Monday, February 28, 2011

The Communist party of India district Ludhiana

The Communist party of India district Ludhiana has termed the budget pro rich and ignoring the interests of poor vast majority of the people. Prime Minister has termed the budget as pro reform and for growth. The previous years' statistics has shown that since the so called reform process has started and slogan of growth due to reform has been given, there is constant decrease in employment generation and the poor section has been marginalized further with increase in economic gap in the population. The budget has done nothing in streamlining the growth in agriculture sector or for the prices of agriculture produce. It talks of giving loan to the farmers and thus further add to the burden of loan to them. Nothing substantially has been said for the agriculture labour. No mention has been made as to how it will control the inflation in the prices of essential items. Nothing has been done for women. No mention has been made for the unorganized sector employees who form bulk of the employees. Similarly poor and dependent elderly have been totally ignored. Com Kartar singh Bowani-Secretary and Dr Arun Mitra - Asstt. Secretary said that the budget will add to inflation and make the life of common man miserable and increase the economic gap in the population, damage the small scale sector in industry as well as trade asd further marginalise the already deprived sections leading to rise in crime, and disharmony in society.

Com D P Maur General - secretary Joint Council of Trade Unions has said that there is nothing for increasing the employment The mid day meal workers who provide food to the children have been totally ignored and Aasha and other workers under NRHM too have not been given any pay rise. The Aanagwadi workers have been given marginal increase in pay but even that is much below the minimum wage as stipulated by the government.
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The Communist party of India district Ludhiana

Ludhiana 28/2/2011 (Gurzent Singh)

The Communist party of India district Ludhiana has termed the budget pro rich and ignoring the interests of poor vast majority of the people. Prime Minister has termed the budget as pro reform and for growth. The previous years' statistics has shown that since the so called reform process has started and slogan of growth due to reform has been given, there is constant decrease in employment generation and the poor section has been marginalized further with increase in economic gap in the population. The budget has done nothing in streamlining the growth in agriculture sector or for the prices of agriculture produce. It talks of giving loan to the farmers and thus further add to the burden of loan to them. Nothing substantially has been said for the agriculture labour. No mention has been made as to how it will control the inflation in the prices of essential items. Nothing has been done for women. No mention has been made for the unorganized sector employees who form bulk of the employees. Similarly poor and dependent elderly have been totally ignored. Com Kartar singh Bowani-Secretary and Dr Arun Mitra - Asstt. Secretary said that the budget will add to inflation and make the life of common man miserable and increase the economic gap in the population, damage the small scale sector in industry as well as trade asd further marginalise the already deprived sections leading to rise in crime, and disharmony in society.
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Award for Faculty of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, GADVASU at Mumbai

Ludhiana 28 – Mar - 2011

Dr Kirti Dua, Professor cum Head, Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine in College of Veterinary Science, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Science University (GADVASU), Ludhiana, received the Fellowship from Indian Society of Veterinary Medicine for this contribution in the field of Veterinary Medicine. The award was bestowed at the 29th Annual Convention of Indian Society of Veterinary Medicine held at Mumbai Veterinary College, Mumbai.

In this conference Dr Dua also presented a lead paper on "Climate change impacts on animal risks in Asia". In addition to many refereed publications in journals he is the author of a text book on Veterinary Ethics and Jurisprudence. Eleven postgraduate students did MVSc and PhD under his supervision. Dr Naimi Chand, Asstt Professor in Veterinary Medicine received best oral presentation award on equine colic in this conference. The other authors in this paper were Dr S.K.Uppal, Dr C.S. Randhawa, Dr R.S. Singh, Dr Ashwani Kumar, Dr D.K.Gupta and Dr Kirti Dua. The research paper of Dr A.Q. Mir, Dr Ashique Hussain and Dr R.K.Bharadwaj who did their M VSc degree under the supervision of Dr B. K.Bansal, Dr S.K.Uppal and Dr C. S. Randhawa respectively also received best oral and poster presentation awards in different scientific sessions. Dr. S.K. Uppal was the chairman in the equine and pack animal medicine session and Dr B.K. Bansal acted as Judge in the best field veterinarian award presentation. Dr Rakesh Ranjan, Asstt Prof Veterinary Medicine is in the Editorial board of the Indian Journal of Veterinary Medicine published by ISVM.

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The Annual Sports Day for juniors was held at Everest Pb. Sr. Sec. School, Moti Nagar, Ludhiana

Ludhiana 28/2/2011

The Annual Sports Day for juniors was held at Everest Pb. Sr. Sec. School, Moti Nagar, Ludhiana on 28.02.2011. Students from junior classes enthusiastically took part in it. It was fascinating sight to see the tiny-tots and others vying with one another to gain prominence. The results were as follows.

Flat Race

Nursery : 1st Sampan 2nd Manveer 3rd Balkirat

L.K.G. 1st Parth 2nd Himanshu 3rd Harshit

U.K.G. 1st Amritpal 2nd Kashika 3rd Kanistha

First 1st Ankit 2nd Manoj 3rd Sonali

Third 1st Ankit 2nd Himanshu 3rd Parminder

Fourth 1st Antuj 2nd Pushpinder 3rd Devraj

Fifth 1st Jagraj 2nd Dheeraj 3rd Tanvi

Balloon Race

Nursery 1st Sampamn 2nd Balkirat 3rd Ujjaval

LKG Class 1st Parth 2nd Harshit 3rd Himanshu

UKG Class 1st Amritpal 2nd Kanistha 3rd Vansh

Couple Race

LKG Class 1st Parth & Parisha

UKG Class 1st Kanitha & Vansh 2nd Kashika & Vanshika 3rd Jasmeet & Ritik

Frog Race

I Class 1st Chessy 2nd Ankit 3rd Manoj

II Class 1st Prince 2nd Gurpreet 3rd Razaq

III Class 1st Gaurav 2nd Ankit 3rd Vasant

IV class 1st Pushpinder 2nd Antuj 3rd Devraj

V Class 1st Dheeraj 2nd Atul

Spoon Race

UKG Class 1st Amritpal 2nd Ridhima 3rd Kshika

I Class 1st Manoj 2nd Piyush 3rd Sonali

Mrs. Asha Sharma, Principal, distributed prizes among the winners.

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G. N. International Sen. Sec. Public School EXHIBITS BENEVOLENCE

Ludhiana 28/2/2011(Gurzeet Singh)

Under the aegis of Principal Mrs. Gumant Kaur Gill students of G. N. International Sen. Sec. Public School, Model Town, exhibited an act of benevolence by donating an amount of Rs.1,18140 to the famous body of HelpAge India –

Students contributed generously and most of them were doing this from their pocket money. They were seen doing this very enthusiastically and showing the spirit of compassion and kindness with all humility. In this way, some generous students were source of inspiration to many junior students who came forward happily and contributed from their piggy banks.

Harsimran Kaur of VIII-C contributed the maximum with Rs.5001/- and was awarded a trophy from HelpAge India – which was handed over to her by Mrs. Gill on behalf of the organization. Other two contributors who were awarded were Kirat Kaur VII-D who donated a sum of Rs.1936/- and Sukhpreet Singh of IV-B who donated Rs. 1710/-.

"The aim to have such contributions is to inculcate the spirit of altruism compassion, kindness and benevolence" said Principal Mrs.Gill. She further congratulated the donors and conveyed thanks to all of them for their generosity.

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The students of Biotechnology & Bioinformatics of Guru Nanak Girls College

Ludhiana 28/2/2011 (Gurzent Singh)

The students of Biotechnology & Bioinformatics of Guru Nanak Girls College, Model Town, Ludhiana bid farewell to their seniors at a party hosted by them on 28th February, 2011. The function was presided over by Principal, Dr. (Mrs.) Charanjit Mahal. To add colour to the occasion the students presented an entertaining cultural programme. The function comprised of several dances and songs. The major highlight of the show was modeling by the senior students. The winners of Miss Farewell were selected after two rounds. In the first round, students gave their introduction and in the second round they answered well to the question asked by Judges. Miss Hapreet Kaur was crowned Miss Farewell. Miss Indpreet & Miss Divya Lekhi 1st and 2nd runners up respectively. Miss Jaspreet Kaur and Miss Gurpreet Kaur were selected as the Miss beautiful smile and Miss Elegant respectively. Fun games were also played and students gave compliments to their respected teachers. The duty of the judges was performed by. Dr.(Mrs.) Surinder Bhathal and Mrs. Sukhwinder Cheema Dr. (Mrs.) Charanjit Mahal crowned the winners and also advised the students to burn midnight oil for the approaching Annual Exams and come out in flying colours. A wave of cheer and joy prevailed everywhere.
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Gaddafi unflinching: Libyan rebel city fears counter-attack

Feb 28, 2011, TRIPOLI:

Libyan rebels awaited a counter-attack by Muammar Gaddafi\'s forces on Monday, after the country\'s leader defied demands that he quit to end the bloodiest of the Arab world\'s wave of uprisings.

Rebels holding Zawiyah, only 50 km (30 miles) west of Tripoli, said about 2,000 troops loyal to Gaddafi had surrounded the city.

\"We will do our best to fight them off. They will attack soon,\" said a former police major who switched sides and joined the rebellion. \"If we are fighting for freedom, we are ready to die for it.\"

Gaddafi is fighting a rebellion which has swept through his Mediterranean oil producing nation after uprisings toppled entrenched leaders in neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt. His fierce crackdown has killed hundreds, triggering U.N. sanctions and Western condemnation, but has not turned the tide of protests.

Residents even in parts of the capital Tripoli have thrown up barricades against government forces. A general in the east of the country, where Gaddafi\'s power has evaporated, told Reuters his forces were ready to help rebels in the west.

\"Our brothers in Tripoli say: `We are fine so far, we do not need help\'. If they ask for help we are ready to move,\" said General Ahmed el-Gatrani, one of most senior figures in the mutinous army in Benghazi.

Analysts say they expect rebels eventually to take the capital and kill or capture Gaddafi, but add that he has the firepower to foment chaos or civil war -- a prospect he and his sons have warned of.

Monday looked likely to see nervousness in oil markets. NYMEX crude for April delivery was up $1.38 at $99.25 per barrel at 0722 GMT. Libya pumps only 2 percent of world oil and Saudi Arabia has boosted output, but traders fear turmoil intensifying in the Arab world.

Serbian television quoted Gaddafi as blaming foreigners and al Qaida for the unrest and condemning the U.N. Security Council for imposing sanctions and ordering a war crimes inquiry.

\"The people of Libya support me. Small groups of rebels are surrounded and will be dealt with,\" he said.


European powers said it was time for Gaddafi to stand down and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States was \"reaching out\" to opposition groups.

Residents of Zawiyah told of fierce fighting against pro-Gaddafi paramilitaries armed with heavy weapons.

\"Gaddafi is crazy. His people shot at us using rocket-propelled grenades,\" said a man who gave his name as Mustafa. Another man called Chawki said: \"We need justice. People are being killed. Gaddafi\'s people shot my nephew.\"

There were queues outside banks in Tripoli on Sunday for the 500 Libyan dinars ($400) the government had promised it would start distributing to each family.

From Misrata, a city 200 km (120 miles) east of Tripoli, residents said by phone a thrust by forces loyal to Gaddafi, operating from the airport, had been rebuffed with bloodshed.

But Libyan exile groups said later aircraft were firing on the city\'s radio station.

In the eastern city of Benghazi, opponents of the 68-year-old leader said they had formed a National Libyan Council to be the \"face\" of the revolution, but it was unclear who they represented.

They said they wanted no foreign intervention and had not made contact with foreign governments.

The \"Network of Free Ulema,\" claiming to represent \"some of Libya\'s most senior and most respected Muslim scholars\", issued a statement urging \"total rebellion\" and endorsing the formation of an \"interim government\" announced two days ago.


Western leaders, emboldened by evacuations that have brought home many of their citizens from the vast desert state, spoke out more clearly than before against Gaddafi.

\"We have reached, I believe, a point of no return,\" Italy\'s Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said, adding it was \"inevitable\" that Gaddafi would leave power.

Britain revoked Gaddafi\'s diplomatic immunity and said it was freezing his family\'s assets. \"It is time for Colonel Gaddafi to go,\" Foreign Secretary William Hague said.

Britain\'s former prime minister, Tony Blair, said he had spoken to Gaddafi on Friday and told him to go. Blair helped end the Western isolation of Gaddafi after he agreed to renounce weapons of mass destruction, paving the way for big British business deals in Libya.

Three British military planes evacuated 150 civilians from Libya\'s desert on Sunday, after a similar operation on Saturday.

Wealthy states have sent planes and ships to bring home expatriate workers but many more, from poorer countries, are stranded. Thousands of Egyptians streamed into Tunisia on Sunday, complaining Cairo had done nothing to help them.

Malta said it had refused a Libyan request to return two warplanes brought to the island by defecting pilots last Monday.

Gaddafi, once branded a \"mad dog\" by Washington for his support of militant groups worldwide, had been embraced by the West in recent years in return for renouncing some weapons programmes and, critically, for opening up Libya\'s oilfields.

While money has flowed into Libya, many people, especially in the long-restive and oil-rich east, have seen little benefit and, inspired by the popular overthrow of veteran strongmen in neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt, they rose up to demand better conditions and political freedoms
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Student visa curbs spark fury in UK

Feb 28, 2011,LONDON:

As India takes up the issue of imposing new UK student visa curbs, major stake-holders in Britain have opposed the measures that are likely to result in thousands job losses and a cut in the annual contribution of 5 billion pounds to the British economy from the international student market.

India\'s higher education secretary Vibha Puri Das is reported to have met British High Commissioner Richard Stagg in New Delhi earlier this month to register India\'s concerns over the proposed measures.

The measures piloted by Immigration minister Damian Green are likely to adversely affect thousands of Indian students who come to Britain every year for studies at various levels.

Among the measures proposed is the abolishing of the post-study workers visa, which allows Indian and other international students to take up employment in Britain for two years after their study is over.

Many self-financing Indian use this visa to take up work and recover some of the cost of their study in British universities and institutions.

Other measures include a tougher English language requirement for international students, restrictions on bringing dependants, level of courses allowed for student visas and closer monitoring of international students after they arrive in the UK.

Immigration minister Damian Green has said that it is inappropriate to allow overseas students access to British jobs when British workers were themselves struggling to find jobs in an increasingly difficult public spending situation.

Leaders of British education providers (including universities) and employer organisations have strongly criticised the proposed measures that will not only lead to international talent avoiding Britain, but also cause job losses and significant loss of revenue from high fee-paying international students.

Among those in the forefront of opposing the new curbs on student visas are the Universities UK (the umbrella body of British universities), think-tanks Institute for Public Policy Research and CentreForum (rpt CentreForum), and the Association of MBAs.

According to CentreForum director Chris Nicholson, \"The Government\'s current proposals are destructive and short-sighted. These students provide an immense financial, cultural and academic contribution to Britain\'s universities. It is economic madness crudely to restrict student numbers in this haphazard way.\"

Noting that India and China are two of the UK\'s biggest markets for international students, the Association of MBAs said in its response to the consultation on the student visa review: \"The UK must do all it can to remain competitive in the highly skilled business education sector; turning students away by restricting their access to post-study employment puts their reputations at stake and threatens future viability\".

Professor Keith Burnett, vice-chancellor of the University of Sheffield, added: \"Britain\'s world-class higher education system is at risk from these ill-judged reforms.

By using the one crude measure of English proficiency to tackle bogus students, the Government is jeopardising universities and jobs that rely on them around the country.\"

The consultation exercise on the new measures was concluded recently and the government is expected to announce the new measures shortly.

Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of universities UK, said: \"These consultation proposals, if implemented, will damage our universities, our international reputation and our economy.\"

In a study titled \'Student Migration in the UK\', the Institue for Public Policy Research argued that the proposed reforms to the student visa regime \"could cause substantial harm to the UK\'s education sector and economy, without delivering sustained reductions in total net migration.\"
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Bahrain protesters block Parliament

Feb 28, 2011,MANAMA:

Hundreds of anti-government protesters have blocked access to Bahrain\'s parliament and forced officials to cancel a meeting of the ruler\'s hand-picked envoys.

The demonstration appears part of a strategy to hold rallies at sensitive locations in the capital Manama. The idea is to boost pressure on the monarchy following two weeks of marches and clashes that have left seven dead.

The parliament became a target Monday to coincide with a meeting called by the 40-member upper chamber, which is appointed by Bahrain\'s ruler.

The session was called off after protesters formed a human chain to block the entrance.

Bahrain\'s embattled monarchy is appealing for talks with opposition groups to try to end the crisis
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Few surprises for Maya, but some for citizens

Feb 28, 2011, LUCKNOW:

Sham-e-Awadh came with plenty of chaos for a large number of Lucknowites as an overzealous administration imposed an undeclared curfew in areas chief minister Mayawadi visited on Sunday.

So, the weekend afternoon hustle and bustle of Hazratganj and Gomtinagar markets gave way to eerie silence as cops frantically put brakes on traffic movement and pulled pedestrians even off pavements. Some even got vacated the windows and balconies of the apartments facing the road the CM was supposed to take. Stray canines and bovines too didn\'t have much luck, as they were shooed away into the narrow bylanes -- all in the name of the CM\'s security.

Police maintained that this was necessary keeping in mind the threat perception to the CM, who was out on an inspection of the state capital, but common people who had to bear the chaos for over two hours saw it as an over-enthusiastic effort of some loyalists in the bureaucracy, who are desperate to prove that they are more loyal than the king.

While nobody had anything against the visit of the CM, who was making an effort to get a first-hand account of the peoblems in general, the way local police and general administation handled spilld in form of choas on roads. Similar scenes were witnessed in Noida last Sunday, when the CM had landed in the NCR region.

\"Restrictions on movement of traffic is understandable, but why get the pavements vacated,\" was the question put up by a visibly perplexed senior citizen, caught in the melee in Hazratganj. \"Yahan toh Indira Gandhi se lekar Rajiv, Sonia, Rahul, Priyanka aur Atal Bihari tak aa chuke hain...lekin aisi security to kabhi nahi dekhi,\" quipped Renuka, a 40-plus office-goer, who was on an outing with her kids.

The situation was worse for the occupants of multi-storey apartments and residential blocks on the route -- especially in Gomtinagar and Park Road areas. While the main colony gates were closed by the police to ensure zero entry and exit, some policemen even ordered unsuspecting residents not to peeping from their apartment windows and balconies.

The sound of hooters and police sirens, apparently escorting the CM\'s motorcade at a distance, did come as a much-awaited relief for those stranded by the roadside for almost an hour by then. But the relief was short-lived. When they tried to take to the road, once the CM\'s motorcade had passed, they were stopped again. \"Abhi naheen jaana hai...Madam kisi samay bhi wapas aa sakti hain (No one is to move. The motorcade could be back any moment)\'\', said a cop on duty, as the CM\'s fleet sped towards Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in Gomtinagar. It was after another half-an-hour before the CM returned on the route. The traffic was allowed to hit the road only after another 15 minutes of her passing from the route.


While incharge of the Hazratganj police station Inspector KN Misra said it was a security requirement, the district police chief deputy inspector general (DIG) DK Thakur said there was no such restriction in general. \"If this has happened, it must have been an exception,\" he said.

District magistrate (DM) Anil Sagar, who was seen practically runnig to catch up with the CM where ever she stopped, said no one was being asked to keep off the pavement. \"I myself was standing on the footpath when the CM was in Hazratganj,\" Sagar said.

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Sent legal notice, CPM mouthpiece apologises to Didi

Feb 28, 2011, KOLKATA:

Barely a few days before the dates for the 2011 Assembly polls are announced, CPM mouthpiece Ganashakti has been forced to express \"sincere regret\" for a scathing attack it had launched on Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on the basis of a photograph published in its edition dated December 27, 2010.

The piece, titled \"Back seat drive\" on page 4 of Ganashakti, had a picture showing Mamata riding pillion on a two-wheeler. The CPM daily claimed Chhatradhar Mahato was driving the bike in Lalgarh. The picture was apparently sourced from another newspaper.

Chhatradhar, former spokesperson for the People\'s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA) has been under arrest since September 2009. The PCPA is considered by the government as a frontal organisation of the Maoists, and Ganashakti said in its piece that Mamata was going to the \"liberated zone\" to provide them oxygen.

Trinamool Congress MP and well-known lawyer Kalyan Banerjee said on Sunday that the picture was actually taken on November 13, 2010 when Mamata was on her way to a meeting at Rajarhat. She had to ride pillion on the two-wheeler of party worker Tarak Chakraborty after her convoy got stuck. Banerjee said Ganashakti was sent a legal notice for the piece. Subsequently, the advocate for the daily, Anindya Sunder Das, informed the Trinamool Congress leadership that the news item was inadvertently published based on some incorrect information. \"They also assured that this would not happen in future,\" Banerjee said.

When the piece appeared in Ganashakti on December 27, the Trinamool leadership was extremely upset and Tarak Chakraborty sent a legal letter to the daily. Chakraborty\'s advocate Chaitali Bhattacharyya said in the letter that \"the article published was derogatory for client and party supremo Mamata Banerjee\".

Advocate Anindya Sundar Das, on behalf of Narayan Dutta, the editor of Ganashakti, wrote back to Bhattacharyya saying that the article was written \"on the basis of some incorrect information\" and Ganashakti was expressing \"sincere regret in this regard\".
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3 silver smelters sealed in Khadia

Feb 28, 2011, AHMEDABAD:

The sky-rocketing price of silver has drawn Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) officials\' attention to the illegal metal smelting units in the walled city. The officials on Sunday sealed three metal smelting units in Khadia. They were operating in a residential area of Mochi ni Khadki and were involved in smelting of metals like silver.

Sources with the AMC central zone office said that areas like Khadia, Sarangpur and Kalupur have more than 30 illegal smelting units. \"The sealed units operated without license and dumped the metal waste in the drainage which caused blockages. Also smoke from furnaces of these units posed a threat to the health of those living nearby,\" said deputy municipal commissioner, central zone, I K Patel.

However, AMC sources said that such raids have hardly deterred people from setting up illegal smelting units and those sealed become operational in a few months after the drive. \"The margins in the silver smelting business are so high that those running the units get back into the business two or three months after the raid,\" said an AMC source.

However, AMC officials said that they haven\'t come across resurfacing of raided units. \"Once caught we make owner of the illegal unit sign an affidavit, promising that he wouldn\'t start illegal smelting again on the same premise. Also if we find the illegal smelting activity at the spot again we can file a police complaint against them,\" Bhavin Joshi, deputy health officer, central zone.

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5 cops injured in clash with students over \'bus day\'

Feb 28, 2011,CHENNAI:

At least five Chennai policemen were injured when students of Presidence College clashed with them over \'bus day celebrations\' on Monday. Police arrested more than 60 students who indulged in violence and tried to hijack three buses to their campus.

Madras high court had recently asked the police why it could not put an end to \'bus day,\' a yearly ritual when college students virtually hijack buses to celebrate a year-long journey on a route. Last Wednesday, more than 30 police personnel were injured when students of another college, Pachiayappa\'s, pelted stones at them for restricting bus day.

On Monday, trouble erupted at noon when a posse of policemen stopped the Presidence College students from taking three buses belonging to the Metropolitan Transport Corporation on to their campus. Students pelted stones and bottles at the police, injuring at least five of them. Later the police took 60 students into custody.

About seven kilometres away, in north Chennai, more than 100 students of Thyagaraya College were arrested for laying siege to a police station at Vannarapet. The students were protesting the police crackdown on bus day across the city.

However, the police do not appear to have been able to stop the ritual that has often turned violent and disrupted traffic on city roads. The day after Pachiayappa\'s college violence last Wednesday, students of Vivekananda College, Mylapore \'celebrated\' bus day.

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\'Aruna Shanbaug\'s brain shrivelled after 1973 sexual assault\'

Feb 28, 2011,MUMBAI:

In a hush-hush operation a few years back, KEM Hospital\'s longest staying patient Aruna Shanbaug was gently put through a CT scanner.

The brutality of the sexual assault that left Aruna confined to a hospital bed since November 27, 1973, was, for the first time, revealed in full. Her brain\'s cortex or its grey outermost matter had shrunk. As a doctor who saw the scan report said on condition of anonymity, \"Human brain is superior to the brain of other mammals because it is huge and capable of a range of complex functions.

But Aruna\'s cortex seemed to have shrivelled up.\" The cortex also called the cerebrum is the brain\'s largest centre handling emotions, reasoning, memory, visual and auditory processing, etc. When Sohanlal Bhartha Walmiki tightened a dog chain around Aruna\'s neck in KEM Hospital\'s canine experiment room, he starved her brain cells of oxygen. \"Dead brain cells cannot ever be revived,\" said the doctor.

These findings tie in with the summation of a three-member medical committee that checked Aruna earlier this month. She meets most of the criteria of being in a permanent vegetative state, noted the committee set up under the Supreme Court\'s directive.

The apex court is hearing a case filed on behalf of the petitioner, Aruna Ramachandra Shanbaug, by Pinki Virani of Mumbai, as a next friend. About five years back, the US Supreme Court allowed stoppage of feeding for Terri Schiavo, who was in persistent vegetative state for 15 years. Another American, Karen Ann Quinlan, became the first person in a persistent vegetative state whose ventilator support was removed by the court. She continued to breathe on her own and died a decade later on June 11, 1985. While Schiavo\'s husband made the plea to stop food, it was Karen\'s parents who petitioned for removal of the mechanical ventilator.
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N D Tiwari moves SC challenging DNA test in paternity suit

Feb 28 2011, New Delhi:

Veteran Congress leader N D Tiwari today approached the Supreme Court challenging the Delhi High Court\'s order asking him to undergo a DNA test in a paternity suit filed by a young man claiming to be his biological son.

Challenging the order for a DNA test, the 85-year-old leader pleaded there was an error of law committed by the High Court in directing him to undergo the test.

A single-judge Bench of the High Court had on December 23 asked Tiwari to undergo a DNA test on the paternity suit filed by Rohit Shekhar who claims to be his biological son born out of the leader\'s alleged relationship with his mother Ujjwala Sharma.

The politician then approached the Division Bench of the High Court which refused to grant him relief on the DNA test and also imposed a cost of Rs. 25,000.

\"Irreparable loss is bound to visit the plaintiff (Rohit Shekhar) if the orders under the application are not immediately passed in as much as the suit itself may be rendered infructuous and vital evidence may be lost forever,\" the Bench had said while imposing cost on the leader.

\"We cannot lose sight of the fact that the mother and the legal father of the plaintiff (Rohit) have both admitted the fact there was no sexual access at the relevant point of time between the parties,\" the Bench had said while relying upon two separate affidavits filed by Ujjwala and her husband.

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Aarushi case: Bailable warrants against Rajesh and Nupur Talwar

Feb 28 2011,Ghaziabad:

Bailable arrest warrants were issued against dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar in connection with the Aarushi-Hemraj murder case by a special CBI court which rejected their plea for exemption from personal appearance before the magistrate.

Rajesh and Nupur had been summoned by the court to appear before it today after Special Judicial Magistrate Preeti Mishra, on February 9, rejected agency\'s closure report in the double murder case and made them accused on charges of murder, destruction of evidence and common intention to commit the crime.

Rajesh, in his plea submitted on Monday, had sought exemption from appearing before the court citing medical reasons while Nupur had cited pendency of a related matter before the Allahabad High Court.

The couple had challenged before the Allahabad High Court the summons issued to them by the special CBI court in Ghaziabad in the double murder of their teenage daughter and domestic help Hemraj through a writ petition

The High Court which started hearing the matter on February 25 has not given any stay against the CBI court order. The High Court heard the matter today as well.

\"The CBI court rejected the plea put forth by Rajesh and Nupur and issued bailable warrants of Rs. 20,000 each against them. The court has now directed them to appear before it on March 22,\" counsel for Talwars\', Satish Tamta said.

Rajesh is not medically fit and has been advised bed rest and he cannot move without help, he said.

The petitioners had pleaded before the High Court that summons had been issued to them despite the fact that they had not been named as accused by the investigating agency in its closure report.

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Budget to meet challenges of economic growth: Manmohan

New Delhi, February 28, 2011

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said the Budget was aimed at consolidation of fiscal deficit and moderation of taxes and will meet challenges of the economic growth of the country.

On the black money issue and lack of any amnesty scheme in the Budget to bring it back, Mr. Singh said there have been such schemes in past that have yielded little success.

"I don't think they have succeeded in providing permanent cure for black money. We need to have a systems reform in a holistic manner to deal with this menace," he said.

Congratulating Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee for doing a "commendable" job, Mr. Singh said, "You cannot please all the people. The Finance Minister has done as good a job as possible."

He was responding to a query on why there was no increase in the income tax exemption limit for women.

"This is the Budget which meets all the challenges of our economy and polity face in the next fiscal year... This is a Budget that matches the challenges that our economy faces--sustained growth, inclusive growth, equitable growth and thus, a determined effort to curb inflationary expectations," Mr. Singh said in an interview to Doordarshan.

Mr. Singh also noted that "quite a lot" has been to encourage foreign direct investment.

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SC notice to MNCs on compensation to Bhopal gas victims

February 28, 2011, New Delhi:

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to the Union Carbide Corporation, Dow Chemicals and others on a Centre\'s plea seeking enhancement of compensation to the victims of 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy from Rs 750 crore to Rs 7,700 crore.

The apex court also sought replies of Mcleod Russel India, which holds 50.9 percent share in UCIL, currently known as Eveready Industries Ltd, on a curative petition filed by the Centre against the 1989 judgment and the 1991 judgment.

A five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice SH Kapadia also said it will hear on day-to-day basis from April 13 the Centre\'s plea for restoration of the stringent charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against the accused and enhancement of compensation for the victims.

\"We propose to sit on day-to-day basis from April 13 to hear the criminal matter,\" the bench, also comprising Justices Altamas Kabir, RV Raveendran, B Sudershan Reddy and Aftab Alam, said.

The bench also issued notices to the companies on the Centre\'s plea seeking transfer of the writ petition before the Madhya Pradesh High Court, which is hearing the issues relating to the environmental damage caused due to the leakage of the poisonous gas.

On a curative plea by the CBI, the apex court had on August 31 last year decided to re-examine its own September 1996 judgment, which had ruled in favour of the trial of various Bhopal gas leak tragedy accused on charges of causing death due to negligence rather than the harsher penal provision of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

The apex court\'s 1996 ruling eventually had resulted in a Bhopal trial court imposing a lighter punishment of two years imprisonment on several accused including former Union Carbide India Chairman Keshub Mahindra in May 2010.

After the CBI moved the apex court following the Bhopal trial court ruling, the apex court in August had also sought replies of seven accused on the CBI plea for restoration of the charge of culpable homicide, which attracts a maximum punishment of 10 years\' jail term, against them for the world\'s worst industrial disaster that left over 15,000 people dead and thousands maimed.

Besides Mahindra, Vijay Gokhale, the then managing director of UCIL, Kishore Kamdar, then vice president, JN Mukund, then works manager, SP Choudhary, then production manager, KV Shetty, then plant superintendent and SI Quereshi, then production assistant were convicted and sentenced to two years\' jail term by a trial court in Bhopal on June 7 this year.

The curative petition in the criminal case was filed after a nation-wide outrage over the trial court judgment in the 26-year-old case following which the Centre appointed a group of ministers (GoM) to recommend steps including ways to get the punishment enhanced.

The charge under section 304 part-II was diluted to section 304A by a bench comprising the then Chief Justice AM Ahmadi and Justice SB Majmudar on the plea of the accused in the 1984 gas disaster case.

The CBI has sought reconsideration of the September 13, 1996 apex court judgment which had whittled down the charge to \'causing death due to rash and negligent act\' against Mahindra and six others.

The trial court verdict had sparked an outrage with activists and political parties seeking an appeal against it, maintaining the accused had been tried under a less stringent provision of law.

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Performing rights official booked

Feb 28, 2011,CHANDIGARH:

Cops have registered a case of extortion and cheating against Arvind Sharma, who is an official of Indian Performing Rights Society Limited, Delhi. He allegedly took money for providing no-objection certificate (NOC) to the manager of Pashchatya Entertainment, Arun Sharma, for organizing programmes at Rose Festival.

Sources in police said the accused had taken Rs 33,000 from Arun for allowing the company to organize events during the festival at Rose Garden, Sector 16, and Leisure Valley. That was apart from the money charged for the actual licence.

In his complaint to police, Arun Sharma alleged that initially the accused had demanded Rs 1.8 lakh as fee. \'\'Later he said that if we applied eight days before the festival, the fee would be 1.25 lakh,\'\' he mentioned. The complainant stated that instead of taking full fee Rs 1.25 lakh, Arvind told him to deposit a demand draft ( DD) of Rs 66,150 in the account of IPRS and took Rs 33,000 from him without specifying any reason.

Sources in police said though the NOC has been issued to Arun Sharma and Pashchatya Entertainment was running its show in Rose Festival, a complaint was filed in this regard on Saturday night.

A case under Section 384 (extortion) and 420 (cheating) of Indian Penal Code was registered at Sector-17 police station.
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Drunk man enters CBI director\'s house

Feb 28, 2011,CHANDIGARH:

A drunk man entered the residence of Central Bureau of Investigation zonal director Mahesh Aggarwal in Sector 16 at 1.30am on Sunday and created a ruckus there.

The accused was identified as Har Mohinder Singh, who works as an assistant with the office of Haryana Advocate General. Sources said medical examination confirmed presence of alcohol in his bloodstream.

Sources said Aggarwal noticed that the Singh was sitting in a chair in his house in the night.The accused is a resident of Panjhokra Sahib in Ambala district.

Sources in police said Singh reached the house of CBI official in his car and was ot aware where he abandoned the vehicle before entering. Sources added that Singh was initially arrested under Section 109 (security for good behaviour from suspected persons) of Criminal Procedure Code and later, after a fresh complaint, booked under Section 451 (house trespass) of Indian Penal Code. Singh was released on regular bail from district courts, Sector 17, on Sunday. Sources in police said Har Gobind Singh should have been be booked under Section 456 (lurking in house) of IPC instead of under Section 451, which was a bailable offence. Cops also interrogated the accused.
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Bhakra dam was to irrigate Hisar, Gurgaon & Rohtak

Feb 28, 2011,CHANDIGARH:

The Bhakra waters have failed to reach large parts of the area it was originally built to irrigate - Hisar, Rohtak and Gurgaon. A resolution to this effect was passed in the Punjab assembly on February 28, 1929.

The fact has come out in a Government of India publication under a series \"Saga of Inspirational Leadership\" devoted to Sir Chhotu Ram. The book has been brought out by the information and broadcasting ministry. Sir Chhotu Ram was considered the father of Bhakra Dam, which he pushed for to rid the farmers of the \"economic plague spots of Punjab\" in southeastern parts, which now form these three districts of Haryana.

The contents are bound to create ripples, as Punjab and Haryana are already fighting over the sharing of Satluj Yamuna Link (SYL) canal waters.

They also have bitter disputes over Hansi Butana and Dashmesh canals. Although the dam brought \" Green Revolution\" to Punjab and parts of Haryana, a large part of the original areas it was meant to water remain deprived. This water goes only to Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Narwana and Fatehabad areas.

The resolution reads, \"This council recommends ... that vigorous attempts should be made to obtain the sanction of the Government of India and the Secretary of State for the execution of Bhakra Dam, and that the actual execution of the project should be taken in hand ... as soon as the requisite sanction has been obtained.\"
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Trees on service lane to give way to smooth traffic

Feb 28, 2011,LUDHIANA:

The municipal corporation will pay Rs 92.18 lakh to the forest department to remove trees from the service lane of Ferozepur Road. With it, light vehicles can ply the service lane, decongesting the main stretch.

The amount to be paid to the department has been cleared and now, forest corporation in Phillaur will be approached for permission to axe trees.

The finance and contract committee recently gave consent for making payment to the department. MC had been trying to get nod for it since 2001.

Trees interrupt traffic flow on about 10.14 hectare of forest land \' from Durga Mata Mandir to Sidhwan Canal. The civic body has already started several projects on Ferozepur Road, like passenger underpasses are being constructed at two sites \' in front of mini secretariat and in Aggar Nagar \' but these will be useless if service lanes are not utilised.

Joint commissioner MS Jaggi said they have cleared payments for acquiring 10.14 hectare on Ferozepur Road to make its service lane operational.

The forest department through a letter had sought Rs 92,18,880 from MC on February 2, 2010, for granting permission. When MC had consulted a legal advisor regarding the issue, it was suggested that \'\'there was no need to pay the huge amount for the task\'\'. But despite that, it has decided to pay it.

Traffic jams on Ferozepur Road are a regular feature, with commuters taking long to cross it. Once the service lane becomes clear, two-wheelers as well as auto-rickshaws could be diverted there.
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\'Band, baaja, baraat\' at Syan House

Feb 28, 2011,LUDHIANA:

After a hectic 15 days due to two marriages in the family, Syan House located in a narrow lane of Mall Enclave finally got down to relaxing on Sunday.

Apart from local guests, around 46 people had flown in from Canada, England and Australia to attend the marriages. Apart from attending the functions, the NRI guests spent their time sightseeing around Ludhiana.

Ravinder Singh Syan said the wedding ceremonies of his two sons started simultaneously and concluded with the reception on Saturday night. Around 1,600 guests, including politicians, attended the reception that was held at Casa-le-baron Resort.

While Syan\'s elder son Harpreet tied the nuptial knot with Kiran, his younger son Amandeep got married to Isha. Amandeep stays in Canada.

With the landing of 46 guests from abroad, marriage ceremonies started at Syan House on February 12. A week later, the ring ceremonies were held. While Harpreet solmenized the \'anand karaj\' (marriage) on February 22, the younger one got married three days later.

\'\'It was sheer craziness for two weeks... everybody\'s exhausted now,\'\' smiled Syan.

As Syan is associated with politics, people cutting across party lines were seen attending the reception.

Ludhiana MP Manish Tiwari took out some time out from Budget session, made it a point to ensure his presence at the Syan residence, where he stayed for an hour.

Ravinder\'s wife Harjeet Kaur said she was relieved that her sons were now

settled and were going to start a new life. \'\'We had become used to seeing so many people in the house during the last two week... with many having returned home, the house suddenly seems vacant,\'\' she added.
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Saturday, February 26, 2011

SCD Professor Awarded with Excellent Research Award-2011 during UGC International Conference


Dr. Ashwani Bhalla an Associate Professor in the Post Graduate Department of Commerce and Business Innovations SCD Government College Ludhiana and Executive Vice President of Punjab Commerce and Management Association , has been awarded with Excellent Research Award-2011 during a University Grants Commission sponsored International conference on "India in the Emerging order-A potential market for the world" which concluded yesterday at D.A.V College Malout. Dr. Bhalla has been awarded with this award for his excellent contribution to research in Commerce, Management and Business and promotion of education in this field. Dr. Bhalla has produced 20 research papers in indexed and accredited journals and edited four research monographs. The award is also his recognition for his research in the field of Housing Finance for which he was awarded PhD degree by Punjabi University Patiala. Dr. R.K. Uppal senior social scientist and Chairman of the Award Committee told that Dr. Bhalla is actively involved in the Faculty improvement drive in the state of Punjab and has organised many seminars/Conferences and Faculty development programmes to ensure quality teaching in commerce and management education in the region. He said that Dr. Bhalla has worked extensively for the improvement in the curriculum of the commerce and management programmes and guiding the educational institutions for the designing of the innovative programmes to be introduced for the benefit of students as well as industry. His contribution as a Member of the Post Graduate Board of studies in Commerce and Special invitee to the Under graduate board of studies in Commerce Panjab University Chandigarh for revision of B.Com/M.Com Courses has been well established. Recently UGC has approved the Innovative programme of M.Com Business Innovations designed by the Dr. Ashwani Bhalla and sanctioned a massive grant to SCD Government College Ludhiana. The Post Graduate Board of studies in Commerce Panjab University has also approved the M.Com Business innovations programme designed by him. He was also elected unanimously as the Secretary of Faculty of Business Management and Commerce Panjab University as unapposed. Principal of the SCD Government College Ludhiana Mrs Jasbir Kaur Makkar , Dr. Dharminder Singh Ubha, President of the Punjab Commerce and Management Association (PCMA), Dr. Prem Kumar, Executive Director of the Rayat and Bahra Group, Dr. B.B. Singla, Generel Secretary of the PCMA, Dr. Yogendra Verma, Officer on Sepecial Duty Central University of Himachal Pradesh, Dr. Kulbushan Chandel, Associate Professor Himachal Pradesh Universith Shimla , Dr. Raj Kumar vice President of the Himachal Pradesh Government College Teachers Association and many faculty members of the colleges and universities of the state of Punjab has congratulated Dr. Bhalla for his achievements.

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Akalis are habitually aggrieved, dual faced

LUDHIANA, February 26:

Ludhiana MP and the National Spokesperson of the Indian National Congress Manish Tewari today said, the Akalis had the habit of feeling aggrieved. He said, at the same time they were double faced as they will always go to the centre with a meek face for demanding funds and grants and once they return to Punjab they will say the state is discriminated against.

Addressing a series of meetings in villages Bhullara, Jaspal Bhangar and Sangowal in Gill assembly segment, Tewari pointed out, despite the fact that this government was surviving on the central grants only as they did not even have the money to pay the salaries of the employees still it was beating its breast with the false allegations that the Congress led United progressive Alliance government was discriminatory towards them.

The Ludhiana MP challenged the Akali-BJP leadership to name a single project that the government had done of its own by mobilising its own resources. He disclosed that there were scores of other projects pending just because the state was not in a position to provide the matching grants. "It is their own failure that they are not able to generate the matching grants for the development projects with the result central funds are remaining unutilised", he pointed out, while expressing surprise, still they will keep on blaming the central government.

Ex Minister Malkiat Singh Dakha, PPCC general secretary Pawan Dewan and Paramjit Singh Ghawaddi also spoke on the occasion.

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The Orientation Programme for the parents of the new admissions of classes Nursery and LKG

Guru Nanak International Sen. Sec. Public School, Model Town organized an Orientation Programme for the parents of the new admissions of classes Nursery and LKG on 26th February, 2011.

Principal Mrs.Gurmant Kaur Gill sought the support and the suggestions of the parents so that the children could be provided the best for their overall development.

The School Counsellor and Co-ordinator of Pre-Primary classes Mrs.Abhineet Kaur Sarna gave valuable tips on good parenting and encouraged the parents to play a proactive role in their child's education.

Headmistress Mrs.C.Paul enlightened the parents about the rules and regulations of the institution and the co-curricular activities that are conducted in the school. She laid stress on bridging the gap between the teachers & the parents. She also encouraged the parents to give suggestions.

The Orientation Day received an over whelming response from the parents. All were happy to attend the programme as they came to know about the functions and operations of the institution. It was a healthy interactive session between the parents and the panel.

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Ludhiana 27/2/2011 (Gurzent Singh)

PCTE Group of Institutes concluded its International students Fair. This Fair was a weeklong event in which different sport events like football, Basket ball, and cultural events were organized between foreign and Indian students of PCTE. Last day of the fair was marked by cultural extravaganza, where foreign students showed their talent in singing, dancing and Fashion show. Dr Rajneesh arora Vice Chancellor Punjab technical University was the chief Guest on the occasion. Dr. K.N.S.Kang, Director General PCTE Group of Institutes, Faculty and staff members of the institute were also present on the occasion.

The Cultural extravaganza on the last day was completely organized and managed by foreign students. In the fashion show students from Tanzania, Mozambique, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe designed their own dresses and displayed their art which was unmatchable. Foreign students from different countries highlighted their cultures and projected the rich heritage of their countries.

Dr. K.N.S.Kang, Director General, PCTE Group of Institutes said "Event is great source of inspiration and learning for both foreign and Indian students to understand each other cultures". Dr Kang said that such type of events help in developing the sportsmanship and team work among the students. It's a good platform to learn the skills from each other. He added that about 60 international students from Mozambique, Cameroon, Afghanistan, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Rwanda are studying in various courses at PCTE Group of Institutes

Dr. Rajneesh Arora, Vice Chancellor, Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar, welcomed the foreign students in Punjab especially in PTU. He said PTU is among the few Universities in the country where foreign students are studying. He appreciated the contribution of Punjab College of Technical Education which has been instrumental in bringing the culture of foreign students in the university. He said university will launch few initiatives in future as well in association with PCTE to encourage foreign students to get admission in different courses in Punjab technical University.
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Friday, February 25, 2011



After the declaration of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) as the Best Farm University 2011, on behalf of Punjab Government, Agriculture Minister (Punjab) S.Sucha Singh Langah visited the university today to congratulate PAU Vice-Chancellor, Dr Manjt Singh Kang.

On behalf of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal and entire Punjab Government, S.Langah applauded the scientists of PAU who have been instrumental in making this university as the numero uno of the country. Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd. has bestowed 'Krishi Shiksha Samman' on PAU at Mahindra Samriddhi India Agri Awards 2011 after evaluating the research, teaching and extension services and for making significant contributions in the field of agriculture, thereby increasing productivity and enhancing rural prosperity.

The Agriculture Minister assured full support and government cooperation to PAU reserach and welfare programs for the farmers. Taking into consideration the global climatic changes, the security and safety of the grains has become the issue of serious concern. He stressed on the need for new technology and research in accordance with the prevailing times and needs of the farmers. The entire country's hopes are pinned on the scientists of PAU, added he.

Welcoming the special visit and greetings of Punjab Agriculture Minister, Dr Kang said that besides the untiring efforts of PAU scientists, this award is clubbed with hard work and single-minded devotion of the farmers, who repose implicit faith in the university. Keeping in view the future needs of the farmers, new techniques and technologies are being developed at PAU inorder to raise the living standards of the farmers, said Dr Kang.

Those present on the occasion were deans, directors, additional directors, officers, coordinators of research, and heads of various departments of PAU.
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A two –day Dr MS Randhawa flower show and competition concluded here today. The show was organized by the Department of Floriculture and Landscaping (DFL) in association with the Department of Family and Resource Management, College of Home Science, PAU. With 2500 entries for the participation, the show received an unprecedented response from the public.

Speaking on this occasion, the chief guest Dr M.S.Gill, Director of Extension Education, PAU, said that flowers are the source of joy, bringing smile and prosperity to all. He added that the floriculture has become a full-fledged industry and many farmers were exporting flowers to the foreign countries. He appreciated the innovation of the participants who used wide variety fresh and dry flowers of different shapes and sizes and lauded efforts of the university in organizing the flower show in the name of Dr M.S. Randhawa, who had great love for flowers.

The guest of honour, Dr SS Johl, former Chairman, Agricultural Costs and Prices Commission, said that flowers send a message of peaceful living. The sight of the blooming flowers all around was an enriching and delightful experience, said he, adding that the flowers find a respectable place in all the stages of life.

Dr Kushal Singh, Head, Department of Floriculture and Landscaping, PAU, said that nine varieties of gladiolus and four of hybrids were at display. The flowers, arranged in the shape of a peacock, Indian map, etc., were the main attraction at the show. Healthy competition was seen among the students from various city schools and colleges, who showcased their creative abilities in decorating the flower arrangements with the themes like 'Beauty and the Beast', 'India of our dreams,' 'Aim High…. Reach High, For sky is the limit,' 'Different stages of life,' 'Eternal beauty,' etc.

Various city schools and colleges including DAV Public School, BCM School, Sacred Heart Convent School, Guru Nanak Public School, Greenland Public School, Government College for Women, Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Guru Nanak Girls College and university students, amateurs and nurseries made an active participation in this event. Maximum number of prizes were fetched by BCM School, Shastri nagar, and DAV School, BRS nagar, informed Dr Kushal.
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Tewari thanks Railway Minister for Ludhiana Shatabdi

LUDHIANA, February 25:

Ludhiana MP and the national spokesperson of the Indian National Congress Manish Tewari today expressed his gratitude to the Railway Minister Ms Mamta Bannerjee for starting the Ludhiana-New Delhi Shatabdi train which was a long pending demand of the people of the region.

Reacting to the announcement made by the Railway Minister in her Rail Budget speech today, Tewari observed, this step will go a long way in providing lot of convenience not only to the people of Ludhiana but also those from other places in the region.

While delivering her speech Ms Bannerjee made special mention of Tewari saying, today he (Tewari) will be happy as he had been insisting on her to start the Ludhiana New Delhi Shatabdi train.

The MP said, he had to prevail upon the railway ministry while underlining that Ludhiana was the biggest city in the region with over 40 lakh population. Besides, it being the industrial city where lot of people travel daily from Delhi and back.

Tewari said, while the introduction of Ludhiana Shatabdi was his top priority, he will now focus on modernising and upgrading the facility at Ludhiana Railway Station to compete with the best international standards.

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A training course on "Integrated pest management (IPM) in vegetable crops under net-house conditions" was organized at Sandhuan village under Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center (AVRDC) – Sir Ratan Tata Trust (SRTT) - Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Centre. Enhancing the knowledge of the farmers, PAU Entomologists Dr. (Mrs) Sandeep Kaur and Dr. (Mrs) Sukhjit Kaur spoke on the entomological aspect and educated them about the control of nematodes and diseases in the net-houses. Various queries raised by the farmers were responded by the experts. Earlier, Dr.Tarsem Lal, Site Coordinator, SRTT, welcomed the farmers whereas Dr. P.S.Brar, Senior Vegetable Breeder-cum-Head, in his inaugural address, dwelt on the IPM net-house technology.
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Alerting the farmers about the armyworm attack on wheat crop, Dr A.K. Dhawan, Head, Department of Entomology, PAU, said the armyworm is a minor pest of wheat in Punjab during the current season. He pointed out that severe damage is observed in some pockets of Gurdaspur, Amritsar and Sangrur. Called as ear cutting caterpillar, it also damages the paddy crop. It shifts from paddy to wheat. The pest is destructive in the larval stage only. The newly hatched larvae feed on tender leaves and their feeding generally remains unnoticed. He added that the grown up larvae feed on the leaves, flag leaf, awns, glumes and on the developing grains. The larvae are shy of sun and very rarely found on the plants during daytime, rather it remains hidden in tillers. Dr Dhawan elaborated that the larvae feed at night in the shade or at dawn and dusk, but its attack can be located from the presence of larvae and faucal pallets on the ground close to the stem of the plant. At higher populations, it defoliates the plants completely and feed on the grains in the milky stages. Keeping this in view, the farmers should monitor their crop regularly, advised Dr Dhawan.

He suggested that if the damage due to armyworm increases, the farmers should spray 200 ml Nuvan 85 SL or 1.2 kg Sevin/Hexavin 50 WP or 400 ml Ekalux 25 EC in 100 litres of water per acre with Knapsack sprayer. Dr Dhawan asked the farmers to spray the damaged areas in the evening hours only by using the insecticides.
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"India needs innovative tools, techniques, and technologies to meet the projected requirement of 276 million tonnes of foodgrains by 2021. Indo-US workshop on 'Precision agricultural techniques and technologies (PATT) 2011,' being organized at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) from February 28- March 3, can go a long way in helping achieve this projected goal," stated PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang, President, National Organizing Committee of the Workshop. PAU in collaboration with Colorado State University, Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) and India Science and Technology Partnership (INSTP) is organizing the four-day workshop.

Describing precision agriculture, Dr Kang said that it is the art and science of using advanced, innovative, cutting-edge, site-specific techniques and technologies to manage spatial and temporal variability in farm fields to enhance productivity, efficiency and profitability of agricultural production systems. He added that while the USA has been involved in precision agriculture for more than 20 years, it is still in its infancy in countries like India. Referring to the workshop, Dr Kang elaborated that it aims at gaining the understanding of India's agricultural production opportunities and constraints by the entire team of precision agricultural experts from the USA and elsewhere; sharing of current "state-of-the-art" knowledge by the US experts on the precision agriculture techniques and technologies and their potential adaptation to India's production conditions; publishing a report documenting the latest technological evolution of precision agriculture in the USA and how precision agriculture can relate to Indian agriculture; developing a web-portal with information, interests and expertise of all participants for efficient networking; and forming joint teams of US and Indian scientists to prepare research and educational proposals, which should provide a platform for working together on collaborative projects.

Giving an overview, Dr PPS Lubana, Chairman, Local Organising Committee, said that Holly Higgins, Minister Counselor, Agricultural Affairs, US Embassy, New Delhi, will be the chief guest while Dr Newell Kitchen, Scientist, USDA-ARS, Columbia and President American Society of Agronomy, USA, will be the guest of honour. Dr Kang will preside over the function. The inauguration ceremony will take place at Jacob Hall, College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, PAU, at 2.30 pm, informed Dr Lubana.

He elaborated that the workshop involves the participation of twelve international experts from various universities and USDA research units from across the US and fifteen experts from different parts of India (faculty members from several State Agricultural Universities, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) research units, government agencies such as National Remote Sensing Agency' and various agricultural industries).

Dr Lubana added that the workshop would provide an opportunity to the various international authorities to interact, discuss, prioritize and identify areas where there is mutual interest for collaboration.

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A five-member delegation from Moscow State Agro Engineering University (MSAEU), Moscow (Russia) is on a visit to Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), to attend the ten-day training programme on 'Engineering Technologies for Crop Production,' till March 2. Referring to the success of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) already signed between PAU and MSAEU for student exchange, both the universities today signed on the extension of this MOU for another five years. The faculty members and the students from Moscow today held a meeting with Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, and deliberated on the student exchange programs.

Dr Kang told the visiting delegation that India and Russia share an age-old friendship. The exchange programs provide a good opportunity to acquaint the students with the institutes, culture, heritage of both the countries, thereby widening their horizons. He said that under the signed agreement, groups from both the participating universities had mutual visits to each other's universities. Sharing the research, extension and transfer of technology programs of PAU, Dr Kang stated that such international academic partnerships help in the personality development of the students. Highlighting the contribution of PAU in ushering in the green revolution, he said that the PAU has made a significant contribution to the nation's food buffer. The farming community reposes full faith in the techniques and technologies designed by the university.

Dr Tamara Kobozeva, Professor, Department of Soya Breeding, MSAEU, said that the relationship between PAU and MSAEU is providing mutual benefits and wished to see it grow deeper and deeper laying focus on new programmes. The similarity of mandated programmes makes the exchange programmes purposeful for the two institutes, added Kobozeva. The delegation on visit to PAU comprises Irina Evdakova, Interpreter, Gvozdev Vladislav, Ekaterina Muravleva and Galina Ksenofontova (students).

Dr PPS Lubana, Dean, College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology (COAE&T), PAU, said that PAU experts would educate the visiting delegation about the method of engine testing, biodiesel production gasification technology, and irrigation management techniques. The training course would hone the skills of the trainees by enhancing their knowledge about soya breeding in Punjab, studies of pilot plants and equipment for cleaning, grading, dehydration, freezing and storage of fruits and vegetables, rice and pulse mulling and honey extraction. Dr Lubana informed that the coordinators Dr Satish Kumar Gupta and Dr Vishal Bector would familiarize the visiting students about the technology developed by PAU for increasing the productivity of agriculture. For the practical exposure, the students will be taken to Swaraj division of Mahindra and Mahindra and Fresh Field (Bharti Group) as well. He added that the delegates would be shown various departments of COAE&T, Museum of Social History of Punjab, Water Resources Museum, Library and Centre for Communication and International Linkages.

Present on the occasion were Registrar Dr R.K. Mahey, Director of Research Dr S.S. Gosal and Dean, Post Graduate Studies Dr Gursharan Singh.
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A crop produce competition is being organized at Punjab Agricultural University Kisan Mela on March 17-18, informed Dr M.S. Gill, Director of Extension Education, PAU.

Giving details, Dr Gill said that besides the competition of the recommended varieties of vegetables including, potato, onion, green onion, green garlic, carrot, brinjal, radish, turnip, tomato, peas, chappan kaddu, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumber, green chillies, sweet pepper, and other seasonal vegetables, the competition will also be held of other crops such as sugarcane (recommended), shakker, gur, turmeric etc. He added that competition will also be organized in fruits and floriculture comprising ber, lemon, guava, kinnow, papaya and other seasonal fruit. Among the floriculture, samples of gladiolus, rose, marigold, gerbera, carnation and other flowers will be received.

Dr Gill further informed that the samples of the produce will be received at the stall provided for produce competition near Kairon Kisan Ghar on March 17 till 11.30 am. The undersize sample of any produce will be rejected, said he. For further queries, the participants can contact Dr Jasbir Singh Chawla, Convener, Produce Competition Committee -cum – senior extension specialist (field crops), Department of Plant Breeding, PAU.

Giving an overview of Kisan Melas to be held in March, Dr Gill said that PAU will hold a series of six Kisan Melas. The first mela will take place on March 8 at Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Rauni (Patiala), followed by that at Faridkot on March 10, at Ballowal Saunkhri and Bathinda on March 11 and 14. Kisan Mela at PAU campus will be held on March 17-18, said he, adding that the last mela will be organized at Gurdaspur on March 22.
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To seek the blessings of Almighty God, Akhand Path of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji was organized in Guru Nanak Girls College, Model Town, Ludhiana from 23rd February, 2011. The campus was decorated with flowers for the pious occasion. In the series of events organized in the college, Sri Akhand Path Sahib marks the beginning and end of the new academic session. The celebrations started with "Bhog" of Sri Akhand Path Sahib followed by Gurbani Kirtan by students and teachers of Music Department. Principal Dr. (Mrs.) Charanjit Mahal prayed for the success of the students in the commencing Annual Examinations. She advised the students to burn midnight oil for the good results in the exams. She exhorted the students to follow the teachings of great spiritual ambassadors.

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Art Exhibition successfully running

Ludhiana –

Ten distinguished artists from all over Punjab have collaborated once again to put up an art fiesta, Dustak-II, at the famous art gallery Artmosphere. The fifty-one works that make up this show, touch upon diverse themes which have been aesthetically presented. Experimentation with digital prints, abstract paintings, drawings and sculptures makes it memorable experience for art connoisseurs.

Gurbaksh Singh (Ludhiana) through digital prints has presented psyche of a modern man in today's competitive world which pushes him towards immorality and depravity.

Harcharan Singh (Patiala) portray the eminent art historian Dr. B.N Goswamy in their thoughtfull mood.

Harpreet Kaur's (Ludhiana) experimentation with colours, shapes and textures has created impressive abstract works.

Jaspreet Mohan Singh (Ludhiana) through his paintings has presented the trials and tribulations of a man and a woman in today's world.

Mandeep Manu (Amritsar) represent human existence on different horizon through his Digital Prints.

Manvir Kaur (Patiala) Forms and figures in her paintings have been presented in a lyrical fashion.

Meenu Ahuja (Ludhiana) has used fresh tones of colours in dotted patterns to convey the message of happiness and lyricism.

Parveen Kumar (Ludhiana) draw out nature as a pregnant female as the creator ,different forms of birds, plants and humanbeings are lies in it .he uses Ball point pen to draw.

Jaswinder Singh (Khanna) through wooden sculptures, has depicted the coalesce of life in totality with divinity.
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UN rights body urges Libya action

25 Feb 2011

The United Nation\'s top human rights official says reports of mass killings in Libya should spur world leaders to \"step in vigorously\" to end the violent crackdown in Libya, and that the 47-nation body should use \"all means possible\".

Friday\'s session is the first time that the UN Human Rights Council has held a special session to discuss actions against one of its members, with Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner on Human Right, giving support for an independent panel to investigate the alleged abuses by Libyan security forces.

\"Today\'s brutal and shocking situation is the direct outcome of a callous disregard for the rights and freedom of Libyans that has marked the almost four-decade long grip on power by the current ruler,\" she said.

\"Any official, at any level, ordering or carrying out atrocities and attacks can be held criminally accountable.\'\'

Her comments come hours before a UN Security Council in New York meeting that will consider actions, including sanctions, against the government of Muammar Gaddafi.

Muslim condemnation

European nations have led the call for a UN-led investigation into possible war crimes and the use of sanctions against Libya.

France has already urged the body to approve a draft resolution that calls for a \"total arms embargo, sanctions and asking the International Criminal Court to proceed over crimes against humanity\".

Guido Westerwelle, the German foreign minister, said his country was also preparing sanctions, including travel bans and asset freezes on Gaddafi\'s family, but dismissed economic sanctions on the country as a whole.

Britain\'s prime minister discussed the possibility of \"multilateral measures\" against Libya with Barack Obama, the US president, earlier in the week.

China and Russia, traditionally reluctant to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, have supported a statement from the security council issued on Tuesday that condemned \"the repression against peaceful demonstrators,\'\' and demanded an \"immediate end to the violence\".

Charles Nduka Onianwa, Nigeria\'s ambassador to the UN rights council, said it was \"obvious ... that the indiscriminate use of force against peaceful protesters should be condemned\".

Pakistan also said the 57 members of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference \"condemn the use of force\".

\"Muslims will no longer tolerate inequalities and injustice,\'\' he told the council on Friday.

\"A new dawn has come. The rules of the game have changed. Those who do not embrace it will be swept away.\"

Possible next steps

Mark Lyall Grant, Britain\'s UN ambassador, said on Thursday that members must look at possible next steps because Gaddafi had failed to heed the Security Council\'s demand to end the violence, diplomats reported.

They said possible sanctions likely to be put on the table include travel bans and asset freezes against Gaddafi and top officials in his government, an arms embargo against the government, and imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya.

Nato\'s main decision-making body is also holding an emergency session on Friday to consider a response to the situation in Libya.

However, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Nato\'s secretary general, has already said the military alliance had no intention of intervening in the north African nation, and had not received any requests to do so.

He said that priority must be given to evacuation and humanitarian assistance, and that NATO could act as an \"enabler and coordinator\" if individual member states wished to take action.

\"What\'s happening in Libya is of great concern to us. This crisis in our immediate neighbourhood affects Libyan civilians and many people from Nato allies,\'\' Oana Lungescu, a Nato spokeswoman, said.

\"Many countries are evacuating their citizens, clearly this is a massive challenge,\'\' she said.

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Christchurch earthquake death toll rises to 113 with hundreds still missing

25 Feb 2011

Search and rescue teams from six nations combing the rubble of collapsed buildings refused to give up hope of finding anyone else alive but acknowledged the chances were looking bleak.

No survivor has been pulled from the mangled and twisted wreckage since Wednesday.

Superintendent Dave Cliff said the rain could make already dangerous masonry and buildings even more unstable.

\"Rescue staff are operating in highly dangerous and volatile situations, and we are continually reassessing the risks.\"

One rescue worker had been hit on the head by a piece of falling masonry but had been saved by his hard hat, Superintendent Cliff said.

Police released the names of two more of the deceased, bringing the total to six, all Christchurch residents.

They defended the delay in naming victims, saying officers needed time to complete the painstaking process of identification through DNA, fingerprints, dental records or personal information.

Murray McCully, the Foreign Minister, warned diplomats that many overseas families would have to be informed of relatives\' deaths.

\"I can say clearly this is not just New Zealand\'s tragedy,\" he said.

He said the rescue phase after the earthquake was drawing to its conclusion, and the emphasis would inevitably switch to recovery of bodies.

\"We are going through a difficult period as more are recovered, and more and more families find out their loved ones are deceased.\"

Mr McCully could not say how many of the missing were foreign nationals.

Two Britons known to be among the dead are backpacker Greg Tobin, 25, from Tadcaster, North Yorks, and Susan Selway, 50, who was married to a New Zealander and lived in Christchurch.

Irishman Eoin McKenna, from County Monaghan, is also known to have died.

Among the missing is British-born Phil Coppeard, 41, and another unknown British man, who were on a bus in central Christchurch when the quake struck.

Chinese and Japanese English-language students were in the Canterbury Television building when it collapsed.

The youngest confirmed victim was a local baby, Baxtor Gowland, aged just five months, who was born two weeks after the earthquake that rocked Christchurch in September.

The circumstances of his death were not known.

Sites being searched on Friday included the ruins of the city\'s neo-Gothic cathedral, where 22 people were thought to be buried.

Officials believe most of them are overseas tourists, some of whom were in the belltower lookout when the spire collapsed.

Dr Stuart Philip, a urologist who was in Christchurch attending a medical conference, told how he and a female colleague used a Swiss army knife and a hacksaw to amputate a trapped man\'s legs so he could be saved from the ruined Pyne Gould building.

They sedated the man, known only as Brian, borrowing the tools from local tradesmen who had turned up to offer help.

\"At one stage when we were having aftershocks and the rubble was falling, we weren\'t sure if we were going to make it out alive,\" Dr Philip said.

He said his colleague was so traumatised by the procedure that she preferred to remain anonymous.

The 52-year-old amputee, known to the doctor only as Brian, is recovering in hospital.

Meanwhile, there was outrage over revelations that thieves had ransacked the home of Donna Manning, a television presenter who died in the earthquake.

As Ms Manning\'s children Kent, 15, and Lizzy, 18, kept vigil for her outside the collapsed Canterbury Television building, burglars were looting the family home, which had suffered quake damage.

\"Any people caught looting should be dropped in the middle of Hagley Park and left to the mercy of the crowd,\" Twitter user Phil Wheeler wrote on the social networking website.

Police said there had been a spate of people impersonating officials to gain access to properties, and warned householders to be vigilant.

In some suburbs, residents were still shovelling grey sludge away from their homes after widespread liquefaction, in which the soil literally turned to liquid then set again like a jelly.

Authorities said that by Friday power supplies had been restored to 75 per cent of the city and reticulated water to 50 per cent.

Hundreds of homeless residents were spending a fourth night in temporary shelter.

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Libya: returning Britons say rescue operation \'shambolic\'

25 Feb 2011

Andrew Briscoe, a former Army Sergeant Major from Hereford who arrived at Gatwick in the early hours of this morning, described the scenes at the airport in Tripoli.

The 44-year-old married father-of-two said: \"The atmosphere was very tense. There was mad panic.

\"The Libyan riot police were trying to keep people away. The whole human detritus was there.

\"The weather was cold, wet and miserable. There was hail and thunder.\"

He added: \"It was the worst weather Tripoli has seen in almost living memory, and we were stood in the rain for 13 hours.

\"If you were a prisoner, if you got arrested today and told to wait outside for 13 hours the human rights lawyers would be all over you.\"

Asked how he thought the evacuation operation had been organised by the British Government, he said: \"The one word I can think of is shambolic.\"

Speaking of the staff on the ground, he said they were poorly equipped and one team leader could not even project his voice to give people information.

He added: \"Not a brilliant result I would say.\"

Mr Briscoe did not say where he was working in Libya because it was \"commercially sensitive\" but he said a colleague told him the rest of Tripoli was \"normal\".

He said: \"The airport was the only place that was in chaos in Tripoli. The shops were open, the markets were open.

\"Everywhere was normal. Just the airport was total and utter chaos.\"

Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt insisted \'\'an awful lot\'\' of effort was being put into assisting the trapped oil workers.

\'\'You will appreciate there is a limited amount I can say about that. We are very conscious of their position,\'\' he told BBC News.

\'\'We have been in touch over the last couple of days with energy companies to try to identify where people might be.

\'\'They are not just in one central location, they are scattered around the country. There are not just UK nationals, they are with others as well.

\'\'And we are concerned about the situation with food, water and supplies.

\'\'So an awful lot of work is being done to make sure we know where people are and a lot of effort is being put into how best and what sort of methods can be used to get them safely out of the country.\'\'

Mr Burt said \'\'terrific\'\' work had been done yesterday in getting about 500 people back from Libya to the UK, some via Royal Navy frigate HMS Cumberland and a C130 Hercules military transporter.

He said a further charter flight would be able to return Britons still in Tripoli.

\'\'There are about 50 people left in Tripoli altogether. We are contacting them today because there is a further charter flight going out,\'\' he added.

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Anti-social convict goes to court to finish sentence at home

25 Feb 2011

A judge was told yesterday that \'\'PA\'\', who cannot be named for legal reasons, \'\'has not been out for fresh air or exercise for over a year\'\'.

The inmate is in his mid-twenties and is currently serving a three-year sentence at Lewes Prison, East Sussex, for attacking his own child in 2009.

Lawyers for PA, from the Brighton area, said prison was \'\'the worst possible environment\'\', given his debilitating mental health problems.

He suffered anxiety and panic attacks at the prospect of having to come into contact with other people.

He had deteriorated to the extent that he could no longer manage eye contact with his mother, said his barrister Elizabeth Prochaska.

She accused the Lewes governor of unlawfully refusing to exercise his discretion to release PA on home detention curfew.

Ms Prochaska said he was unable to share a cell, did not shower, struggled to go and get food, and was kept in a single cell on the vulnerable prisoners wing. He washed using a basin in his room.

Because of his condition he did not want to finish his sentence in an open prison, where he would have to make more contact with other people. He had self-harmed when a transfer to open conditions was suggested.

Ms Prochaska told Mr Justice Burnett, sitting in London, consultant psychiatrist Dr Marco Procopio had described PA\'s phobia as \'\'one of the most intense and debilitating\'\' he had seen.

PA is serving a three-year sentence after pleading guilty to grievous bodily harm and cruelty to his infant child.

Ms Prochaska said the sentencing judge had found it was unlikely that he had deliberately set out to harm the child.

It was more likely there had been \'\'a momentary loss of control, a feeling of frustration when he was feeling unwell\'\'.

His behaviour in prison had been exemplary, and the governor accepted that he posed \'\'no significant risk\'\' on release from custody.

The governor is arguing that he is entitled on the evidence before him not to order release.

Home detention curfew is available to prisoners serving fixed-term sentences between three months and four years.

PA became eligible for the curfew on November 24 last year. He is due to be freed in any event on April 7 this year, said Ms Prochaska.

She said the governor was unlawfully continuing to treat him as \"unsuitable\" for early release because of the nature of the offence for which he was jailed.

Ms Prochaska argued that, under prison rules and Home Office policy, the governor should have exercised his discretion to treat PA as an exceptional case owing to the infirmity caused by his disability.

The governor\'s suggestion that PA was \"managing to cope\" in prison was not borne out by the evidence.

His Article 8 right to respect for his private life was being violated.

Ms Prochaska said: \"The incarceration of the claimant in circumstances where his mental instability renders him unable to leave his cell, let alone to progress normally to open conditions, is an unjustifiable interference with his Article 8 rights.\"

Ms Rosemary Davidson, appearing for the governor, argued PA\'s legal challenge should be dismissed.

She told the court the governor\'s decision was \"reasonable and properly considered\".

She said: \"He has taken account of all available information in reaching what is a very finely balanced and difficult decision.

\"He has considered all the relevant facts he needs to consider.\"

These included a report from forensic psychiatrist Dr Caroline Ardron which concluded PA\'s disability was not \"exceptional\".

Ms Davidson told the court the governor was entitled to rely on that expert evidence.

Reserving his judgment, the judge said the case raised issues that were urgent and he hoped to give his decision next week.

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Demonstrations against Gaddafi to meet hail of bullets

25 Feb 2011

Pro-democracy protestors in Tripoli called for a rally in Green Square, traditionally the place where people go to celebrate the dictator\'s 42 years in power.

It will take place following Friday Prayers at a time when the streets of the capital are always at their busiest.

Gaddafi is so angry about the prospect that he has flooded the centre with soldiers ordered to â shoot-on-sight\' at anyone causing trouble.

Tanks and other armoured vehicles were also taking up positions, while helicopter gunships whirred overhead.

Heavy gunfire explosions were heard overnight in the high-residential Tajoura district of the city, with locals reporting armed gangs roaming the street.

\"It\'s sometimes hard to know whose side they\'re on,\" said one. \"All carry weapons ranging from heavy machine guns to hunting rifles. It\'s anarchy at times.

\"Thousands are still prepared to defy Gaddafi by taking to the streets today. The time for change has come. The dictator has to step down.

\"We know he has ordered his troops to shoot on sight, but we are ready.\"

Gaddafi has also offered money to anybody who betrays demonstrators and hands them over to the authorities.

And he has told his supporters to \'cleanse\' the streets of opponents, blaming the revolt on terrorist warlord Osama Bin Laden, and drug addicts.

Meanwhile fierce battles continued to rage within earshot of Tripoli.

Troops opened fire with anti-aircraft guns and other heavy weapons on demonstrators holed-up in a mosque at Al-Zawiyah, just 30 miles from the Libyan capital.

Local doctors estimated that some 100 people had died already.

There were also clashes in Miisurata, around 150 miles east of Tripoli, where mortars and rocket-propelled grenades were used on protestors near the town\'s airport.

Skirmishes have also been reported in the towns of Sabha and Sabratha, near Tripoli.

Pro-democracy demonstrations started on February 15th, as people tried to bring about the kind of revolt which led to autocrats in neighbouring Egypt and Tunisia being deposed.

Gaddafi, who has ruled Libya in an uncompromising fashion since 1969, has responded violently, with the death toll across the country already well into four figures.

Much of the east of the country, including the second city of Benghazi, is now in the control of Gaddafi\'s opponents, with the dictator believed to be preparing for a last stand around his capital.

Ahmed Gadhaf al-Dam, a cousin who is one of Gaddafi\'s closest aides, is among those who have defected, renouncing Gaddafi\'s â grave violations to human rights and human and international laws\'

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Tributes to former CNN correspondent Jerrold Kessel

February 25, 2011 -(CNN) --

CNN colleagues have been paying tribute to the network\'s former Jerusalem correspondent Jerrold Kessel, who died Thursday at age 65 after a long battle with cancer.

Kessel was a tireless reporter in a troubled part of the world.

\"Jerrold worked for CNN for 13 years from 1990 to 2003 during some of the most spectacular highs and lows of the Middle East and was one of the network\'s regular reporting faces from the region,\" said Jerusalem Bureau Chief Kevin Flower.

\"He was a passionate journalist and a guiding force for many he worked with.\"

Kessel was born in South Africa and moved to Israel as a young man. He was a widely published print reporter who worked for the Jerusalem Post and Israel Radio before joining CNN as a field producer, then correspondent and deputy bureau chief.

He led CNN\'s viewers through events ranging from the Oslo accords between Israel and the Palestinians, to the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, Israeli elections and the intifada.

A portly man with a fuzzy white beard, Kessel\'s gentle appearance and warm friendly manner gave no hint of his inner intensity. He was known to colleagues for his seven-day-a-week commitment to the story, his voluble personality and his insider\'s knowledge of Middle East events.

\"Jerrold was an expert on the Israeli-Palestinian story, and managed to explain the complicated politics of the Mideast on our air for so many years,\" said Parisa Khosravi, CNN\'s Senior Vice President of international newsgathering.

CNN Anchor Jim Clancy, a former Beirut correspondent well-traveled through the region in his own right, said he also benefited from Kessel\'s experience. \"Jerrold always went out of his way to help others understand the context of the story and shared his knowledge and his sources unselfishly.\"

Kessel\'s encyclopedic knowledge of the region made him a favorite of CNN producers when news broke. As the network scrambled to figure out the story, Kessel could vamp on air as long as needed.

\"If the producer said in his ear, \'keep going\' there would be a hint of a smile, and he would keep right on going,\" said CNN Senior Editorial Director Richard Griffiths.

Even faithful viewers would probably be surprised to learn that Kessel was devoted to cricket, his vegetarian diet and more profoundly, to his family. He is survived by his wife, son and four grandchildren.

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Pak security agencies behind killings in Balochistan: PML-N

25 Feb 2011, Islamabad:

Pakistan\'s security agencies are behind the kidnapping and killing of political workers and national activists in Balochistan province of southwest Pakistan, a leading PML-N parliamentarian has alleged.

Lt Gen (retd.) Abdul Qadir Baloch, who served as the army\'s corps commander in Quetta and was also Governor of Balochistan, made the allegation while speaking in Parliament.

He also questioned the role of security forces and intelligence agencies in the province.

\"If not the agencies then who are the people responsible for daily kidnappings and mutilated bodies found in streets almost every other day? And if not the agencies, why are these people not being apprehended and tried in the courts of law?\" Baloch said.

He expressed concern for the safety and security of political activists in Balochistan.

Inter-Provincial Coordination Minister Raza Rabbani, however, rejected the impression that security agencies were responsible for extra-judicial killings and kidnappings in Balochistan.

\"Extra-judicial killings are strong words to use. The federal government is, nonetheless, trying that security forces in Balochistan do not operate outside the law,\" Rabbani told the National Assembly or lower house of parliament in response to Baloch\'s remarks.

The NGO Voice For Baloch Missing Persons said this week that 101 bullet-riddled bodies had been found in Balochistan in the past seven months.

Most of the dead were political activists or \"missing persons\", a euphemism for people detained without charge by security agencies.

Rabbani acknowledged that there was \"no satisfactory progress\" in the cases of missing persons in Balochistan but maintained that it would be inappropriate to blame security agencies.

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