Saturday, April 30, 2011



The students of G. N. International Sen. Sec. Public School, Model Town, celebrated today, '30 April' as 'Labour Day' in a very novel way reminding us of their importance which we tend to forget in today's busy world and take their services for granted.

The celebrations started since morning and went off till afternoon. It was presented in two batches. First half of the day was celebrated by the Primary Wing and other half of the day by Senior Wing.

The Primary Wing thanked the workers in a special way- presenting songs, choreography, dances etc in their honour.

"Jo Karda Hai Pyar Sabhi Nu" was a song presented by students of classes III, IV and Vth std. Arshpreet Kaur sang "Muqaddaran de Likhaya te Guzara na kar" in a very melodious voice. Sanjampreet Singh of IVstd recited a poem- "Sadi Duniya"- explaining the plight of workers in different parts of the world.

Manveen Kaur of Senior Wing, a Class XI student made students aware of the importance of this day and how it is celebrated all over the world in a different manner, however the purpose is same more or less--- expressing gratitude to the labour class- the services of which are vital for smooth running of the society.

Fancy Dress was presented by these students, highlighting various services provided by them, to make our lives more comfortable, be it – service of an Electrician, Plumber, Carpenter, Gardener, Peons, Cobbler, Construction labourer, Coolie, House Maids and Drivers etc. The item left every one sitting in the audience spell-bound.

"Today we are celebrating this day in their honour and to keep us humble and appreciative of their untiring services to the institute and each one of us" said Savleen Kaur (Head Girl of School)

"Celebration of 'May 1' is a recognition of the respect & dignity the labour class deserves & very good occasion to bestow our respect to them all," said Principal Mrs.Gurmant Gill.

The celebrations ended with a Lunch hosted by Management, Director, Principal & faculty members in the honour of Class IV Employees & thanked them with all humility for always giving their untiring services with a 'smile' on their face.

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Two entrepreneurs get CIPHET groundnut milk technology

Ludhiana, April 30:

Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and technology (CIPHET) has today licensed technology of groundnut milk to Sangrur and Taran Taran based entrepreneurs. The institute has standardized the groundnut based products technology with deodorizing technique and negligible nutty flavor.

Handing over copies of MoUs to entrepreneurs, Dr S.K Nanda, Project Coordinator (PHT), said that groundnut milk had very high potential in ever growing market for milk products. He said that it could emerge as healthy alternative to meet shortage of animal milk.

Baldev Raj, an entrepreneur based in Taran Taran, said that he saw lot of scope in groundnut milk as business. "Animal milk is inadequate to meet the demand of current population. On the other hand, groundnut milk has high nutritious value," he said, expecting that people would respond to this product. Another entrepreneur S. Garg, who got the technology, said that consumers were now getting more conscious about the health aspect. "Already consumers have started taking soyabean milk, groundnut milk could be another good option," he added.

"The groundnut is also the richest source of Niacin. It is free from lactose and cholesterol. Similarly, it contains Vitamin B 6 and phytochemicals, which act as anti cancer and anti cholesterol agents," added Dr D.N Yadav, who has standardized this technology. Head transfer of Technology Division Dr Deepak Raj Rai and ITMU Incharge Dr D.M Kadam were also present on the occasion.

Notably, India produces around 6-7 million tons of groundnut every year. But, consumption is limited either to production of oil or directly as peanuts. With natural milk for cow and buffaloes are getting expensive, groundnut with useful vitamins and other health benefits could emerge as highly acceptable alternative. Groundnut contains about 25 percent good quality protein, 40 percent oil rich in essential fatty acids, 3 percent fiber and 2.5 percent minerals.
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U.S. imposes sanctions on Syrian President relatives, intelligence agency

Washington, April 30, 2011

U.S. President Barack Obama has signed an executive order imposing sanctions on two relatives of his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad and the Arab state's intelligence service, with the White House asking the embattled leader to heed to the calls of his people.

The action came in response to the brutal crackdown on anti-government protesters in Syria. Hundreds of civilians have been killed in the clash between the Syrian government and demonstrators in recent weeks with more than 50 reportedly dying yesterday.

"We call on President Assad to change course now, and heed the calls of his own people," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement after Mr. Obama signed the order imposing sanctions against three Syrian officials, including Assad's relatives, and other Syrian and Iranian government entities responsible for human rights abuses.

The officials are Mahir al-Asad -- brother of Syrian President and brigade commander in the Army's 4th Armored Division -- who played a leading role in the regime's actions in Dar'a where protesters have been killed by the security forces; Atif Najib -- cousin of the Syrian President Bashar al-Asad -- who was the head of the Political Security Directorate (PSD) for Dar'a Province during March 2011, when protesters were killed there by Syrian security forces; and Ali Mamluk, director of Syria's General Intelligence Directorate (GID).

Obama also slapped sanctions on the GID -- the overarching civilian intelligence service in Syria. The agency represses internal dissent and monitors individual citizens and is said to be involved in the regime's actions in Dar'a.

"This Order provides the United States with new tools to target individuals and entities determined to have engaged in human rights abuses in Syria, including those related to repression; to be a senior official of an entity whose property is blocked pursuant to the Order; to have provided material support to, or to be owned or controlled by, persons blocked under the Order," the White House said.

Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security also revoked certain licenses for export and re-export to Syria of items relating to VIP aircraft used to transport senior officials of the Syrian government.

"Due to the commission of human rights abuses related to political repression in Syria, export and re-export of these items is deemed contrary to the foreign policy interests of the United States," the department said.

The move impacts four relevant licenses for exports and re-exports of parts to these planes, which are small civilian aircraft used by Syrian leaders.

These sanctions are in addition to those the United States maintains pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and other orders, as a part of the national emergency with respect to Syria.

"Today, the President continued that national emergency declaration for another year. Further, based on the current repression in Syria and charges of human rights abuses, the Commerce Department has also revoked certain commercial export licenses relating to VIP aircraft used to transport senior officials of the Syrian government," Press Secretary Carney said.

Welcoming the sanctions, Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said indiscriminate killing in Syria and the use of tanks in population centres are unacceptable.

"Democratic aspirations are universal, but every country is unique and every situation in the Middle East is different.

The status quo in Syria is unacceptable. What is clear is that we need to increase the political and economic pressure so President Assad understands that he must end the violence and embrace reforms."

In addition to these actions, the U.S. believes Syria's deplorable actions toward its people warrant a strong international response.

"We welcome the decision today by the UN Human Rights Council to condemn the Government of Syria for its violent crackdown against peaceful demonstrators," he said. UNHRC has passed a resolution to send a mission to Syria to probe into human rights violations there.

"We strongly support the resolution passed today in Geneva, including the mandate for an urgent mission by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law, with the goal of ensuring full accountability for the perpetrators of the violence" Carney said.

The Syrian people's call for freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly, and the ability to freely choose their leaders must be heard, the White House stated.

Condemning, the brutal crackdown in Syria, the White House said: "The United States strongly condemns the Syrian government's continued use of violence and intimidation against the Syrian people.

"We call upon the Syrian regime and its supporters to refrain from further acts of violence and other human rights abuses against Syrian citizens seeking to express their political aspirations."

At State Department briefing, Jake Sullivan, Director of Policy Planning, said the resolution of UN Human Rights Council on Syria sends a clear message on behalf of a broad cross-section of the international community that these attacks against civilians perpetrated by the Syrian government are "unacceptable".

"Then, there is the dimension of targeted sanctions, which are meant to show the direct personal costs on individuals who are personally associated with and responsible for the violence that's been perpetrated against civilians in Syria.

"And then beyond that, we have an ongoing consultation with other members of the international community about how, collectively, we can work to sharpen the choice for this Syrian regime and show them that continued violence against their people is not the answer," Sullivan said.

At the moment, the US is in a position to work with other countries to build the kind of international consensus around condemnation, and beyond that to be able to determine what steps the international community can take this regard.

"And that's a process that is underway as we speak, and we're assessing what opportunities are not only available but are going to be most effective in helping to stop the violence," he added.

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Aseemanand seeks bail as NIA fails to file charge

Jaipur, April 30, 2011

Failing to file a charge sheet against Ajmer blast accused Swami Aseemanand with in the mandatory 90-day period, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday sought more time from the CBI court which extended his judicial remand till May 14.

Swami Aseemanand, also an accused in several other terror cases, sought bail after he was produced in the court in Jaipur along with another Ajmer blast accused Bharat Bhai. It is alleged that the two masterminded the 2007 bomb attack at the dargah of Sufi saint Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti that left three persons dead and 15 others injured.

Swami Aseemanand moved a petition seeking bail on technical ground citing Section 167 (2) of CrPC, which provides that a person cannot be kept in custody for more than 90 days during investigation.

He argued that since the prescribed period has lapsed and the investigating agency has failed to file any charge sheet against him, he should be granted bail.

Opposing the bail plea, the NIA moved an application requesting the court to extend the time for filing the charge sheet against the two accused. The court will hear the matter on May 2.

The court, however, extended the judicial remand of Swami Aseemanad and Mr. Bhai till May 14.

The NIA was handed over the investigation into the case on April 6, 2011. Earlier, the Rajasthan Anti-Terrorism Squad was probing the blasts.

The ATS has already charge sheeted Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma alias Kaalo and Chandrasheker Levae in the court of District Judge, Ajmer.

However, Mr. Levae has been successful in obtaining bail from the High Court.

Two other accused — Harshad Solanki and Mukesh Vasani — were charge sheeted on Thursday by the NIA before the CBI court.

Swami Aseemanand had in his confessional statement, recorded by a magistrate on December 12, 2010, said he and several other Sangh activists had a direct role in the blasts, including those at Malegaon, Ajmer dargah and Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad and on the Samjhauta Express.

He was arrested in January this year in the dargah blast case.

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Manmohan asks CBI to work without fear or favour

New Delhi, April 30, 2011

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday directed the CBI, which is investigating high-profile 2G and CWG scams, to thoroughly investigate these cases, produce quick results and act without fear to bring to book those guilty.

"The handling of these cases constitutes a litmus test for you," he told the top brass of the CBI at a function to inaugurate the new CBI headquarters, although he did not specifically refer to the 2G or Commonwealth scams in which the agency has arrested top corporate honchos as well as sacked chairman of CWG Organising Committee Suresh Kalmadi and former Telecom Minister A Raja.

Describing these as "high-profile" cases, the Prime Minister said in a forthright address that "the CBI should act without fear or favour and bring to book all those who are guilty, irrespective of their position or status.

"I would advise the CBI to put your heads down and work hard, away from the media glare, to ensure early resolution of these cases," the Prime Minister said.

Civil Services Week

Dr. Singh refereed to his address at the Civil Services Week during which he had spoken about the problem of corruption and the growing "impatience of our people to see quick action for tackling it".

"The CBI is today investigating many high profile cases of corruption that have attracted a great deal of public attention," he said, adding "what is expected of you is thorough investigation, fair action and quick results."

The Prime Minister also had a word of caution for the sleuths, saying that it was important for the CBI to ensure that its judgement always remains rooted in "hard evidence and is not influenced by extraneous factors".

"Ours is an open and free society. There will be many views and opinions on all issues. The CBI has to be sensitive to these but it has always to do what is right and correct," he said and added that there was only one "guiding beacon" -- only one gold standard and that is the law of the land.

"Whoever transgresses it, however mighty, he has to be brought to book. At the same time, CBI has to avoid harassment to those who act in good faith in the discharge of their duties."

CBI cautioned

Dr. Singh cautioned the CBI that there should be no vendetta, no witch-hunt and no harassment of the innocent. "There should be no apprehension of punitive action for bona fide mistakes as we cannot afford an environment that breeds fear, inaction and indecision."

The Prime Minister acknowledged that investigation was only one part of the process to bring the guilty to book.

"Trials have also to be conducted, and conducted speedily. We have decided to set up 71 additional special courts for dealing with cases entrusted to the CBI. I am told that 64 of these have now been sanctioned but only 16 are operational," he said.

He asked Minister of State for Department of Personnel V Narayanasamy to pursue the matter with the states. "We have already agreed to reimburse the costs incurred in setting up of these courts and it is necessary that the states get persuaded to provide the necessary infrastructure and personnel at the earliest," he said.

Difficult task

The government remains committed to give the CBI "necessary independence and operational flexibility" besides providing it manpower, finances and the technology that the agency requires, Dr. Singh said.

He said the officers, men and women working in the CBI have a difficult task to perform and it was "essential that they are looked after well and they have the necessary technical and other resources required for their work."

The Prime Minister said there is a loud clamour for investigations to be handed over to the CBI, whenever there is a gruesome crime, a complex case, a politically-sensitive matter or large-scale fraud.

Over the years the CBI has proved itself well as an independent, professional and competent investigating agency, he said.

"It has set benchmarks for other investigating outfits in our country to emulate. But there is room for improvement. I would urge the officers of the CBI to strive tirelessly to set even higher standards of work," the Prime Minister said.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal, National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon, senior bureaucrats including Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar and Home Secretary G K Pillai were present at the function besides former CBI Directors including P C Sharma, who is known as the founding father of the new building.

New CBI headquarters

The new CBI headquarters has been built at a cost of Rs 186 crore by the National Buildings Construction Company Limited, a government of India enterprise.

The 11-storeyed building house all wings of the country's premier investigating agency.

The building is equipped with modern communication systems, advanced systems for maintaining records, fitted storage space and computerised access control along with provision of add—on facility for new technology.

Interrogation rooms, lock-ups, dormitories and conference halls are also provided at various floors.

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BJP workers injured in clash with police

LUCKNOW, April 30, 2011

Several BJP workers, including State president Surya Pratap Shahi, were injured here on Friday when the police used force to foil an attempt by them to stage a protest against the "tie-up" among the Congress, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party at Thursday\'s meeting of the Public Accounts Committee on the 2G spectrum scam.

Soon after hundreds of BJP workers, led by Mr. Shahi, staged a dharna on the busy Vidhan Sabha Marg to protest the police action and courted arrest. They burnt the effigies of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh.

The BJP headquarters on the Vidhan Sabha Marg was heavily barricaded by the police. When the party workers, led by Mr. Shahi and other senior leaders, came out, they were halted. Violence broke out when members of the women\'s wing scuffled with the police.

As the workers did not back down, the police resorted to a lathi-charge and used water cannon. Mr. Shahi and some senior leaders sustained minor injuries.

BJP leaders alleged that the police entered the party office and threw stones to scare the workers away, a charge the police denied. The arrested were later released.

Addressing a press conference, Mr. Shahi accused the Congress of coopting the BSP and the SP at the PAC meeting. The three parties were misleading the people, he said: they stood together in Parliament, but were opposed to one another in public.

He said the BJP would stage dharna in all district headquarters on Saturday, and no permission was needed.

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Left supporters protest Centre\'s ‘collusion\' in Purulia arms-drop

KOLKATA, April 30, 2011

Supporters of the Left parties in West Bengal, led by chairman of the Left Front Committee Biman Bose, took to the streets on Friday to protest against the 'involvement\' of the Centre in the arms-drop in Purulia in December 1995, as charged by the main accused in the case, Niels Christian Nielsen alias Kim Davy.

"Even as we protest the attempt to destabilise the Left Front government ahead of the 1996 Parliamentary and Assembly elections, we must bear in mind that a similar conspiracy against the Leftist forces is ongoing," Mr. Bose told the protesters.

He demanded a judicial inquiry into the arms-drop case immediately.

Appealing to supporters to organise protests and mobilise public opinion against the conspiracy, Mr. Bose said: "Forces within and outside the country have been conspiring to dislodge the Left Front government in West Bengal in an unjust manner for a very long time."

He alleged that the leadership of the ruling party at the Centre was involved in the conspiracy.

Recalling events in the 1990s, he said the then Home Minister had made a statement in Parliament saying that the headquarters of the terrorist organisation Ananda Marg had moved to Purulia, but had assured that the Centre was keeping a close watch on their activities.

Mr. Bose said that when the then Chief Minister Jyoti Basu had called for the Assembly elections to be held simultaneously with the 1996 Parliamentary polls, the arms-drop was planned to create a situation of anarchy and impose President\'s Rule in West Bengal and then oust the Left Front government.

He added that three inquiries into the incident were held, including one by the CBI, but none of their findings was made pubic.

Left supporters marched through the streets shouting slogans demanding an inquiry into the case and expediting the arrest of Mr. Nielsen.

'Attempts to incite trouble\'

Even though the first three phases of the ongoing Assembly elections in the State have passed off more or less peacefully, Mr. Bose alleged that attempts were being made to incite trouble, particularly in the Purba Medinipur district, in the fourth phase of polls due on May 3.

He charged that Left supporters in Khejuri in Purba Medinipur were being threatened not to attend an election rally of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

Mr. Bose said the developments there could not be viewed in isolation and were part of the ongoing conspiracy by "domestic and international reactionary forces" to oust the Left Front government.

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Friday, April 29, 2011

Chief Secretary Punjab Visits Vet Varsity


Chief Secretary, Punjab Sh SC Aggarwal visited the Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana today on 29.4.2011.Sh Aggarwal accompanied with Dr VK Taneja, Vice chancellor, GADVASU ,Deans, Directors and Registrar visited the university dairy farm, and biogas plant, fishery farm and poultry farms. Showing keen interest in successful inland saline water aquaculture trials conducted by the university, in salt affected waterlogged waste land in Fazilka, district Ferozepur, he said that utilization of these waste lands through aquaculture is certainly going to uplift the socio-economic status of the affected farmers of the salt affected areas in south west districts of the state. He also asked the university to test suitability of rearing some suitable brackish water species in inland saline waters. He also visited different colleges, School of Animal Biotechnology at the GADVASU campus. and was introduced with different teaching and research activities being taken up by them. Sh Aggrawal shown keen interest in GADVASU veterinary hospital and he along with Deputy Commissioner Sh Rahul Tiwari especially visited the Small Animal Clinic, clinical diagnostic lab. and different Units of the veterinary hospital. A brief presentation comprising the important activities and research achievement of College of Veterinary Science, School of Animal Biotechnology, College of Dairy Science and of Collage of Fisheries was given by the experts. Experts from different disciplines also revealed their future strategies; plan and proposal for betterment of livestock sector as a whole. Extension department also briefed the impact of its institute village linkage programme operational in village Gureh. Later on an interaction between dairy, goat, pig farmers and fisheries farmers was organized to acquaint the chief secretary about the various issues, problems and constraints faced by the livestock farmers of the Punjab. Sh. Aggarwal also inaugurated the hi-tech, seat of learning -GADVASU library. Processing machineries and processed products of milk and meat were also exhibited to the Chief Secretary. Mr. Aggarwal appreciated the GADVASU efforts and said that within a short span of 5 years GADVASU has given effective livestock technologies for rural development in Punjab and assured that the State Government will extend all possible assistance to the university to take up further challenges for sustainable development of livestock sector in the state

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Dr. Yadwinder Singh, Head, Department of Soil Science, retired upon attaining the age of superannuation. He served PAU in various capacities for a period of over 35 years. This internationally renowned soil scientist has made tremendous contributions in the area of soil health improvement and rational use of natural resources. Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha), Dr. M.S.Swaminathan and Dr. Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, PAU earlier appreciated Dr. Singh for his contributions and wished him all well in the post-retired life. In a special farewell function held in the Department of Soil Science, Dr Yadwinder Singh was given a warm send-off. Appreciating the humane and scientific qualities that Dr Singh possesses, the faculty members conveyed their best wishes for a happy post-retired life. Dr Yadwinder Singh thanked all those present for the cooperation they gave him all through his professional career.
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The PAU Department of Agronomy organized gur making day to educate the students about the procedure for making jaggery. A demonstration on various operations ranging from collecting canes, crushing, and heating to making jaggery were explained to them. Dr. D.S.Cheema, Dean, College of Agriculture said that the traditional ways of cooking and processing should not be given up as each has its own worth. He added that the students will be involved in hands-on-experience regarding processing of farm commodities in order to provide them with practical insight. Dr. G.S.Butter, Head of the Department highlighted about the ongoing research and technology transfer programmes of sugarcane Agronomy. Additional Director of Communication, Dr. Jagtar Singh Dhiman discussed the cultural and nutritional significance of gur with the students. Mr. Gurbhajan Singh Gill, Editor Punjabi said that gur has a special place in Punjabi way of life as it represents happiness and auspiciousness. Present on the occasion were Dr. S.S.Mahal, Dr. J.S.Kang, Dr. J.S.Deol, Dr. Tarandeep Kaur Grewal and students of various classes.
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Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has on its campus Museum of Rural Life of Punjab that displays Punjabi culture to its best. Built across about 4000 sq. yard area, the Museum created by Dr. M.S.Randhawa, an art connoisseur and the former Vice-Chancellor of PAU, in 1974 preserves the rich heritage of rural Punjab. The Museum is an attraction for the foreign visitors, city residents, especially the younger generation, who are keen to have a glimpse of Punjabi culture. Dr. Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, today laid the foundation stone for the enquiry office-cum-ticket window of the Museum. The Deans, Directors, Officers, faculty members and employees of the Center for Communication and International Linkages were present. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Kang said, "We must preserve our culture and heritage as this museum is the only one of its kind in India that reminds us of the charms of ancient Punjab. A self-explanatory replica of the 18th century socio, economic and rural life, the museum serves to create awakening among the young generation about the evolution and development of Punjab's farming and rural life. The enquiry office-cum-ticket window is a necessity and will be instrumental in the smooth functioning of the museum." Dr. Kang said that the Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) and an eminent farm scientist, Dr. M.S.Swaminathan has offered to support the further development of the Museum Complex. He said that like various landmarks of education, technology generation and extension education at PAU, the Museum is a distinct attraction. He congratulated all those present on the occasion for their efforts in making PAU the best farm varsity in the country. The Additional Director of Communication, Dr. Jagtar Singh Dhiman welcomed the Chief Guest, Dr. Kang and other dignitaries to the foundation laying ceremony. The tiny tots from the crèche in the College of Home Science, presented rose buds to Dr. Kang as a mark of welcome, who in turn presented them with little gifts. The Incharge of the Museum, Dr. Nirmal Singh Jaura proposed his vote of thanks.
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The school ground of G. N. International Sen. Sec. Public School, Model Town, witnessed a grand ceremony of Investiture of School Council for the session 2011-2012, today on 28.04.2011.

The procedure for the same is that students are nominated from senior classes (X, XI, XII) for different categories like – House Captain (Boys & Girls), Sports Captain (Boys & Girls), President, Vice President, Manager, Secretary, Head Boy & Head Girl.

The nominations are done on the basis of academic achievements, co-curricular activities, over-all personality, What the student can do for the betterment of institution – how can he/she perform his/her duty for the betterment of school & how popular he/she is with students.

These nominated students were then selected as a Council on the basis of the interview taken by Principal Mrs.Gurmant Kaur Gill.

The newly elected School Council took the oath with proper sanctity and pledged to perform their duties with all sincerity and responsibility.

The results of the School Council are as follows:



























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Mr. Nauharia Singh, working as Secretary to Vice-Chancellor was given a warm send off upon his retirement after attaining the age of superannuation, in the Committee Room of the Vice-Chancellor, today. He served PAU in various capacities, for a period spanning over four decades, in the Departments of Entomology, Horticulture, Library, etc. wishing Mr. Singh a happy post-retired life, Dr. Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, PAU said that he had been an energetic, dutiful, and efficient official who had been very cordial with his colleagues and superiors. Others who shared their experiences of working with Mr. Singh included the Registrar, Dr. R.K.Mahey, Dean, Postgraduate Studies, Dr. Gursharan Singh, Director of Research, Dr. S.S.Gosal, Estate Officer, Dr. P.P.S.Lubana, Chief Engineer, Dr. Jaspal Singh and officials of the Vice-Chancellor\'s office including Mr. Shyam Murti and Mr. Avtar Singh. Freedom fighter, S. Ratan Singh was also present on the occasion. They appreciated Mr. Nauharia Singh\'s positive outlook in handling official matter. Family members of Mr. Singh were also present on the occasion. He was honoured by Dr. Kang with the presentation of memento.
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Prince William and Kate Middleton are married

LONDON, April 29, 2011

An elegant, tiara-bedecked Kate Middleton swept down the aisle to marry Prince William at Westminster Abbey as fans packed the streets of London on Friday, hoping to snatch a glimpse of a historic royal wedding expected to revitalise the British monarchy.

As the future king and queen of England began their lives as husband and wife with the simple words "I will," some 2 billion people across the globe were believed to have tuned in. The couple looked nervous but happy and recited their vows without stumbling before Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.

A million well-wishers — as well as some protesters — flooded into central London, around Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and other landmarks. Crowds were up at dawn waving flags for television cameras under steely gray skies and cool temperatures. Cheers erupted as huge television screens began broadcasting at Trafalgar Square and Hyde Park.

"Will, it's not too late!" said one sign held aloft by an admirer dressed as a bride.

The biggest secret of the day — Kate Middleton's wedding gown — prompted swoons of admiration as she stepped out of a Rolls-Royce with her father. Against all odds, the sun emerged at that exact moment.

The ivory and white satin gown — with its low neckline, high lace collar, long lacy sleeves and a train over 2-meter-long — was designed by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen. Kate Middleton's hair was half-up, half-down and decorated with dramatic veil and a tiara on loan from Queen Elizabeth II.

Jennie Bond, a leading British monarchy expert and royal wedding consultant for The Associated Press, called it a "fairy tale."

"It's a dream," she said. "It is a beautiful laced soft look which is extremely elegant. She looked stunning."

Prince William wore the scarlet tunic of an Irish Guards officer, sending a strong signal of support for the armed forces and reinforcing his new image as a dedicated military man.

Wedding present from queen

Hours earlier, the couple received their first royal wedding present from the queen — the titles duke and duchess of Cambridge.

Maid of honour Pippa Middleton wore a simple column dress and naturally styled hair, while best man Prince Harry was dressed in formal military attire. The flower girls, in cream dresses with full skirts and flowers in their hair, walked down hand-in-hand with Pippa Middleton.

The iconic abbey was airy and calm, the long aisle leading to the altar lined with maple and hornbeam trees as light streamed in through the high arched windows. The soft green trees framed the couple against the red carpet as they walked down the aisle.

'Some very odd choices'

Hours before the ceremony, plumage of Amazonian variety filled the cavernous abbey as some 1,900 guests filed in, the vast majority of women in hats, some a full two feet across or high. Some looked like dinner plates, and one woman wore a bright red fascinator that resembled a flame licking her cheek. A BBC commentator noted there were some "very odd choices" walking through the abbey door.

Most men, however, looked elegant and suave in long tails, some highlighted by formal plaid pants and vests. Others wore military uniforms.

The queen, of course, wore a soft yellow hat and coat dress, just like the bookies had predicted.

The biggest question

All the details — the wedding dress, her hair, their titles, the romantic kiss on the balcony, the honeymoon — were finally being answered. But the biggest question won't be resolved for years — Will this royal couple live happily ever after?

Will their union endure like that of William's grandparents — Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, now in its 64th year — or crumble in a spectacular and mortifying fashion like that of his own parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana?

Recent history augurs badly — The first marriages of three of the queen's four children ended in divorce. But Prince William and Kate Middleton seem to glow with happiness in each other's company, and unlike Prince Charles and Diana they've had eight years to figure out that they want to be together.

Still, the fate of their marriage depends on private matters impossible for the public to gauge, since any wedding is fundamentally about two people. Will their lives together, starting with such high hopes, be blessed by good fortune, children, good health, productive work?

Much will depend on whether the 28-year-old Prince William and 29-year-old Kate Middleton can summon the things every couple needs — patience, love, wit and wisdom. But they face the twin burdens of fame and scrutiny. Money, power, beauty — it can all go wrong if not carefully nurtured.

These are the thorny issues upon which the fate of the monarchy rests, as the remarkable queen, now 85, inevitably ages and declines.

After the church ceremony, the royal-couple travels from the abbey to Buckingham Palace in an open-topped carriage for two parties, one hosted by the queen for 650 guests, and an evening dinner dance for 300 close friends.

The queen and her husband have promised to go away for the evening, leaving the younger royals free to party the night away— and Prince Harry to make his best man's speech away from his octogenarian grandparents' ears.

Hundreds of street parties were under way as Britons celebrated the heritage that makes them unique — and overseas visitors come to witness traditions they've admired from afar.

Brenda Hunt-Stevenson, a 56-year-old retired teacher from Newfoundland, Canada, said there was only one thing on her mind. "I want to see that kiss on that balcony. That's going to clinch it for me. I don't care what Kate wears. She is beautiful anyway."

Very English

The celebration was British to the core, from the freshly polished horse-drawn carriages to the sausages and lager served at street parties. Some pubs opened early, offering beer and English breakfasts — sausages, beans, toast, fried eggs and bacon.

The public festivities reflected Britons' continuing fascination with the royal family, which despite its foibles remains a powerful symbol of unity and pride.

"It's very exciting," Prime Minister David Cameron said before he entered the church. "I went on to the mall last night and met some people sleeping on the streets. There's a sense of excitement that you can't really put a word to ... It's a chance to celebrate."

A number of famous people were left off the guest list, including President Barack Obama and Britain's last two Prime Ministers, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown of the Labour Party, which is not as strong a backer of the monarchy as the ruling Conservatives. That snub might resonate for years among Labour voters.

The royals fervently hope that a joyous union for the second-in-line to the British throne will rub out the squalid memories of his parents embarrassing each other and the nation with confessions of adultery as their marriage tumbled toward divorce.

And there is no small irony in the sight of Americans waking up before dawn (on the East Coast) or staying up all night (West Coast) after their fellow countrymen fought so fiercely centuries ago to throw off the yoke of the British monarchy and proclaim a country in which all men are created equal.

Brenda Mordic, 61, from Columbus, Georgia, clutched a Union Jack with her friend Annette Adams, 66.

"We came for the excitement of everything," Mordic said. "We watched William grow up. I came for Prince Charles' wedding to Diana and I came for Princess Diana's funeral. We love royalty, England and London."

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Obama dispatches Special Envoy to Darfur peace talks

Washington, April 29, 2011

U.S. President Barack Obama has dispatched Princeton Lyman, the country's Special Envoy for Sudan, to the on-going Darfur peace talks in Doha, the State Department said.

Mr. Lyman will join U.S. Senior Advisor on Darfur, Dane Smith, in urging the Sudanese government and Darfuri armed movements to use the remaining weeks of the Doha talks to reach a political agreement, commit to an immediate ceasefire, and take immediate steps to improve security and humanitarian conditions on the ground in Darfur, the State Department said in a statement.

Following their participation in the Doha talks, Mr. Lyman and Mr. Smith will travel to Darfur to evaluate conditions on the ground and explore mechanisms to more fully involve the Darfuri people in the peace process, it said.

Mr. Lyman also plans to travel to Southern Kordofan, where gubernatorial and legislative elections will be held May 2-4.

"There, he will join other international officials in observing the polling process and will discuss with Sudanese authorities the way ahead on the region's popular consultations, a critical element of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that remains outstanding," the State Department said.

During his trip, the Special Envoy will also meet with Northern and Southern leaders in Khartoum and Juba as part of sustained dialogue with Sudanese officials on a wide range of issues, including full and timely implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement and resolution of the Darfur conflict, it said.

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Committed to our ties with IAF: Lockheed

Washington, April 29, 2011

America's top defence sector manufacturer Lockheed Martin has said it remains committed to its relationship with the Indian Air Force despite losing out on India's multi-billion dollar combat fighter deal.

"We understand that the U.S. Government is working on a response to the letter from the Indian government. Lockheed Martin remains committed to our relationship with the Indian Air Force, Ministry of Defence and the other Services," Lockheed spokesman said.

In fact, Lockheed is eyeing on the vast Indian defence market, as New Delhi goes on a massive buying spree in the coming years to modernise its armed forces.

"The U.S. Government has informed Lockheed Martin that they have received a letter from the Indian MOD (Ministry of defence) concerning the M-MRCA (medium multi-role aircraft) competition," the spokesman said on the Indian decision to exclude both Lockheed and Boeing from its $11 billion 126 fighter jet plane deal.

Lockheed Martin's F-16 was in contention for the bid.

The firm said it has several world class products which it believes is most suitable for India's security needs.

"Lockheed Martin has several world-class products offering the most advanced and reliable technology we believe is suitable for India's security needs," the spokesman told PTI.

Lockheed Martin upgraded its Indian presence in 2005 and relocated the office to enable better support for marketing teams from the U.S.

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Diplomatic tantrums on eve of royal wedding

LONDON, April 29, 2011

Diplomatic tantrums threatened to take some of the shine off tomorrow\'s [Friday] royal wedding, expected to be watched by an estimated two billion television viewers around the world, as the Syrian Ambassador\'s invitation was suddenly withdrawn after the Foreign Office said his presence was "unacceptable\'\' in the light of his government\'s crackdown against pro-democracy protests.

It said Buckingham Palace shared its view that it was "not considered appropriate for the Syrian Ambassador to attend the wedding."

The last-minute decision, which the Ambassador Sami Khiyam found "embarrassing,\'\' raised eyebrows as it emerged that he had been singled out for humiliation. Ambassadors of Libya and Bahrain, both countries accused of repression, remained on the guest list despite protests from rights groups.

"I found it a bit embarrassing," Dr. Khiyam said, "I don\'t really understand it but I understand the influence of media on the government decisions."

The wedding has been dogged by controversy with Labour Party extremely upset that neither Tony Blair nor Gordon Brown, both former prime ministers, has been invited though their Tory predecessors John Major and Margaret Thatcher have received invitations.

Media frenzy escalated with hundreds of international TV crew camped outside Westminster Abbey where Prince William will wed Kate Middleton in front of 1,900 guests. The couple, who were said to be suffering from last-minute nerves, visited the Abbey for final rehearsals.

In a message, they said they were "incredibly moved\'\' by the affection shown to them since their engagement.

"The affection shown to us by so many people during our engagement has been incredibly moving, and has touched us both deeply. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone most sincerely for their kindness," they said.

Large crowds were gathering outside the Abbey and Buckingham Palace. Many said they had travelled long distances to come to London and planned to "camp out\'\' to see the wedding.

A poll showed that there was greater enthusiasm among women than men. Less than a third of men expressed interest compared with slightly less two-thirds of women, The Times reported.

As the countdown began, there were fears that the famously fickle English weather could play the spoilsport.

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Police arrest, tear gas Uganda\'s opposition leader

Kampala, April 28, 2011

An Associated Press reporter who witnessed the arrest says Kizza Besigye locked himself inside his vehicle and that police used an axe and the butts of their guns to smash open the windscreen. Police then fired tear gas into the vehicle.

Police in Uganda have again arrested the country's top opposition leader during a protest march.

An Associated Press reporter who witnessed the arrest says Kizza Besigye locked himself inside his vehicle and that police used an axe and the butts of their guns to smash open the windscreen. Police then fired tear gas into the vehicle.

Judith Nabakooba, a police spokeswoman, said Mr. Besigye was arrested for causing chaos. She said that his supporters hurled stones at passing vehicles.

The arrest is Mr. Besigye's fifth for participating in "walk to work" protests. Mr. Besigye, who says he is protesting government corruption and high food and fuel prices, came second to President Yoweri Museveni in Uganda's February presidential election.

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Supreme Court restrains operation in 19 Bellary mines

New Delhi, April 29, 2011

The Supreme Court on Friday restrained 19 mines from carrying out mining operations and transportation of iron ore in Bellary region of Karnataka.

A special forest bench headed by Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia also said it would pass an order on another 68 mines which have been indicted by the Supreme Court -appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) for violating rules in mining operations.

"We make it clear that there would be no mining or transportation of mined materials (in 19 mines) till further order," the bench said in an interim order.

The bench, however, did not pass any order against 68 other mines, which have approached the Karnataka High Court.

It directed the amicus curiae A.D.N. Rao to file transfer petition after getting list of the companies which had approached the High Court so that those cases could also be heard by it.

The bench passed the order on the basis of reports of CEC in which it has been stated that large-scale illegal mining was on in Karnataka particularly in Bellary district in connivance with officials and public representatives.

The CEC had on April 15 filed its report before the apex court in which it had said that there has been illegal mining on colossal scale in the State, particularly in Bellary district with "active" connivance of officials of the departments concerned and also public representatives.

The Supreme Court had in February directed the CEC to conduct a probe over allegations of illegal mining in the state and submit a report within six weeks.

The court's direction had come after a petition filed by an NGO had submitted that as per Karnataka Lokayukta report, mining activities were being carried not only illegally but also in the areas categorised as forest land.

Earlier, the bench had directed the CEC to probe the Andhra Pradesh side of the Bellary region.

NGO Samaj Parivartan Samudaya had alleged that the governments of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh had failed to stop the rampant illegal mining of iron ore, which adversely affected the livelihood of local people, especially the rural poor.

It had alleged that illegal mining had resulted in "an encroachment of 1,114.8 hectares of forest land in Karnataka."

It had said, "The Union of India through both the Ministry of Environment and Forest and the Ministry of Mines has not exercised enough checks and balances to curtail illegal mining in the two States."

The NGO had submitted that the Lokayukta report had highlighted that forest area to the extent over 2,000 sq. km was available for mining by private entities despite specific objections raised by the Forest Department.

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Stockholm meet favours elimination of endosulfan


The conference of parties at the Stockholm Convention on Friday approved the draft proposal for elimination of production and use of endosulfan and its isomers worldwide, subject to certain exemptions. The decision will not be binding on India unless specifically ratified by the country.

However, the Indian delegation to the Convention has concurred with the proposal after its concerns regarding exemptions and financial assistance were addressed.

The Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee to the Convention will work with parties and observers to come up with alternatives to endosulfan. The convention will also provide financial assistance to developing countries to replace endosulfan with alternatives. The actual decision of the Convention is to list endosulfan and its related isomers in Part I Annex A to the Convention with specific exemptions for production as allowed in the Register of Specific Exemptions and/or use on crop-pest complexes as listed.

Exemptions will apply to 22 crops — cotton, jute, coffee, tea, tobacco, cow peas, beans, tomato, okra, eggplant, onion, potato, chillies, apple, mango, gram, arhar dal (pigeon pea), maize, paddy, wheat, groundnuts and mustard.

The conference took the decision after considering the risk profile and risk management evaluation for endosulfan done by a review committee.

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Pre-impeachment probe against Dinakaran stayed

New Delhi, April 29, 2011

The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the pre-impeachment probe by a Rajya Sabha-appointed panel into allegations of judicial misconduct and corruption against Sikkim High Court Chief Justice P D Dinakaran.

The apex court passed the order on a plea by Justice Dinakaran, expressing apprehension of a biased probe against him by the three-member panel, comprising Justice Aftab Alam of the apex court, Karnataka High Court Chief Justice J S Khehar and senior advocate P P Rao.

Senior advocate Amrendra Saran, appearing for the 61-year-old judge, pleaded before the apex court bench of justices H S Bedi and C K Prasad that Mr Rao was part of a delegation of lawyers, which had met the erstwhile Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan in 2009 to oppose his (Dinakaran's) elevation to the Supreme Court.

Inclusion of advocate Mr Rao in the probe panel indicates the possibility of bias in probe against the judge, he said.

The bench after hearing his contentions, stayed the panel's proceedings and issued notices to it, its chairman Justice Aftab Alam and advocate Rao.

Justice Dinakaran, in his petition to the apex court, said, "If there is reasonable likelihood of bias it is in accordance with natural justice and common sense that the judge likely to be so biased should be incapacitated from sitting. The basic principle underlying the rule is that justice must not only be done but must also appear to be done," he said.

Challenging the panel's decision of rejecting his plea, the judge pleaded that it was in violation of natural justice.

"The impugned order passed by the Judges Inquiry Committee allowing a biased member to continue to serve as a member of the committee is hit by the principles of natural justice and, hence, violative of Article 14 of the Constitution," he said.

He pleaded that the apex court should quash the order passed by the panel on the issue of Rao's recusal.

The panel had on April 24 rejected Dinakaran's plea against Rao saying the objection should have been raised at the start of the proceedings. Rao did not participate in the meeting when this application was discussed.

The panel had also rejected his plea of staying the proceedings till he is supplied with all documents in the case.

Charges against Justice Dinakaran, who is due to retire on May 9, 2012, were levelled when he was Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court. He was subsequently transferred to the Sikkim High Court.

According to the judge, the panel is acting in contravention of Article 124 and 121 by raking up personal issues against him and his family members although the said constitutional provisions expressly barred any such reference of a high court or Supreme Court judge's personal life.

The panel, appointed by Rajya Sabha chairperson Hamid Ansari after the House initiated impeachment motion against him, had asked Dinakaran to respond to the 16 charges framed against him.

The charges against Dinakaran include possession of wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income and illegal encroachment on public property and land belonging to Dalits and other weaker sections.

He is also accused of having five Tamil Nadu Housing Board plots in the name of his wife and two daughters, benami transactions, acquiring and possessing agricultural holdings beyond the ceiling fixed by the TN Land Reforms Act 1961, destruction of evidence, undervaluation of sale agreements, evasion of stamp duty and illegal constructions.

He has also been accused of resorting to irregular and dishonest administrative actions by fixing rosters of judges to facilitate dishonest judicial decisions while he was the Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court.

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Lokpal Bill panel: SC refuses to take up “premature” PILs

New Delhi, April 29, 2011

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to go into a batch of PILs challenging constitutional validity of the notification on composition of a committee to draft the Jan Lokpal bill, saying the petitions were "premature".

A bench headed by Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia posted the matter for hearing in July.

The bench said, "The petitions are premature and can't be taken as the Lokpal Bill was yet to be passed."

"It is still not the law," the bench, also comprising justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar said.

The bench dealt with the three petitions separately and passed identical orders for hearing them in July.

While dealing with one of the petitions, the bench said, "Some of the averments in the petition are untenable in law."

The petitioners including some public-spirited individuals and advocates had challenged the notification issued by the government relating to the constitution of the committee for drafting of the Lokpal Bill.

"We will go strictly by the law," the bench said while adjourning the matter.

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Air India operates only 50 out of 320 flights

New Delhi, April 29, 2011

As the strike by Air India pilots entered the third day on Friday, the national carrier drastically reduced its operation to 50 flights across its network against the regular 320 as all executive pilots joined the stir.

"Under the contingency plan, we are operating 50 flights across the network today," an Air India official said.

From Delhi, the national carrier will be operating just 10 flights and almost an equal number from Mumbai to metro cities.

In Mumbai, the airline has decided to use three wide-body Boeing 777 aircraft on the Bombay-Delhi-Ahmedabad-Bombay and Bombay-Ahmedabad-Bombay sector to accommodate more passengers, the official said.

AI has decided to operate four special services using Air India Express from Mumbai flying Boeing 737 on Bombay-Abu Dhabi-Bombay, Chennai-Singapore-Chennai, Cochin-Calicut-Cochin and Calicut-Dubai-Calicut routes.

Additionally, a jumbo service will operate between Bombay-Dubai-Delhi-Bombay, the spokesperson said.

With both pilots and management refusing to budge from their position, passengers continued to bear the brunt of the agitation. Most of the flyers have cancelled their tickets on Air India while some others were being accommodated in other airlines.

According to Air India spokesperson, the cash strapped national carrier is losing Rs 4 crore per day due to the strike. However, sources said, this figure might be more as the airline has liabilities towards payment of instalments of new and leased aircraft and the salary of its employees.

Executive pilots also joined the agitation on Thursday and started to report sick. The management has terminated the services of seven pilots and suspended six others.

"We are extending our 100 per cent support to our agitating younger brothers in the ICPA, over 300 executive pilots have reported sick and now it is up management to take action against all 800 pilots," said a senior pilot.

Out of 69 executive pilots, 68 had yesterday reported sick in Delhi and at other bases.

On Thursday, the management initiated contempt of court proceedings against the pilots in the Delhi High Court but the pilots remained unfazed. Also, the conciliation talks between the management and the agitating pilots also ended in failure as both were not ready to budge from their position.

Around 800 pilots, of erstwhile Indian Airlines, associated with Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) are on strike since Tuesday midnight demanding fixed salary, removal of AI CMD and CBI probe into alleged mismanagement.

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Anti-endosulfan hartal hits normal life in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram, April 29, 2011

The dawn-to-dusk hartal called by the CPI(M)-led LDF in Kerala demanding countrywide ban on pesticide endosulfan disrupted normal life across the state on Friday.

Early reports from across the state said public modes of transport like buses, taxis and autorickshaws were off the road, crippling the mobility of the people.

Pro-Left unions in the transport sector have extended their support to the hartal.

The hartal did not affect the train services but people who arrived at major stations by long-distance trains faced difficulty due to the absence of city buses, taxis and autos.

The protest coincided with the last day of the current round of meeting of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants in Geneva, where the question of global ban on endosulfan has figured prominently.

The Left parties want India to join the nations pressing for the global ban of the pesticide.

For quite some time, Kerala has been pressing for a nationwide ban on the deadly pesticide, whose use over the years left scores dead and forced several hundreds to live in chronic health problems in parts of Kasargode district.

Though Congress in Kerala supported the demand, the party has criticised the LDF's hartal call dubbing it as a political move to cast the UPA Government in poor light.

Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan on Thursday wrote to his counterparts in other Indian states and sought their support for the cause.

The 87-year-old veteran Marxist leader himself had led a day-long fast on the issue earlier this week.

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To counter CPM, Mamata promises her own ‘global’ Nandigram

Nandigram: Apr 29 2011,

Will give jobs to 10 lakh youths across the state, she promises

The wheel seemed to have turned a full circle as Mamata Banerjee addressing her first election rally in Nandigram today — it goes to the polls on May 3 — unfolded her blueprint for the region that was remarkably similar, in objective, to what her rival Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had said once upon a time. With a distinctive Mamata twist, of course.

Promising to transform Nandigram into an "industrial park and international market" to create thousands of jobs, Mamata offered residents a comprehensive industrial "package" that would ensure the development of what she called the "land of freedom."

Three years ago, Bhattacharjee had talked of his proposal to turn this poor, backward region into a Special Economic Zone with a "petrochemical hub" at its core considering its proximity to Haldia where several petrochemical factories are already in operation including the Haldia refinery complex, Mitsubishi Chemicals and Tata Chemicals. Jobs for locals was also his rallying cry.

Until, of course, the issue got caught in vicious CPM vs Trinamool politics with even fake land acquisition notices being used to drum up opposition and CPM cadres unleashing a wave of political violence in a bid to reclaim their rapidly eroding turf.

Aware of this, Mamata underlined that her industrial blueprint for Nandigram was such that "agricultural land will not be forcibly taken away and both industry and agriculture will flourish simultaneously." How she planned to do this was, of course, too complicated to explain in an election rally.

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SC refuses to lift stay on criminal proceedings against Yeddyurappa

New Delhi, April 29, 2011

In a reprieve for Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, the Supreme Court today refused to quash a Karnataka High Court order which had stayed criminal proceedings against him and his family members in a corruption case.

A bench of justices V S Sirpurkar and T S Thakur dismissed the petition filed by two advocates challenging the stay granted by the High Court against a trial court order which had taken cognisance of the complaint filed against the Chief Minister and his family.

The bench, while dismissing the petition, asked the High Court to consider the application moved by the complainant, if any, for vacation of the stay not later than six weeks.

Advocate Sirajin Basha had moved the apex court through advocate Prashant Kumar challenging the March 29 Karnataka High Court order which had allowed the petition filed by Mr. Yeddyurappa's son-in-law Sohan Kumar.

Mr. Basha had sought directions to lift the stay on the criminal proceedings against Mr. Yeddyurappa and his family members in a complaint case related to irregularities in denotification of land.

Mr. Sohan had challenged the lower court order for further proceedings, including the Lokyukta probe, against them.

There are five complaints filed against the Chief Minister's family members and the Governor had accorded sanction to prosecute for offences committed under IPC section 405 (criminal breach of trust) and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The Additional Civil and Sessions Judge had on March 24 postponed prosecution in the complaint and ordered Lokayukta police to probe the matter and submit the final report of the inquiry by May 4.

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India can become economically developed by 2020: Kalam

Chicago, April 29, 2011

India can become economically developed by 2020 if it maintains a GDP of 10-11 per cent as there are nine more years to achieve 'Vision 2020' goals, former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam said.

"We have nine more years for 2020 and if we maintain 10-11 percent GDP we will be economically developed," he said before a gathering of prominent Indian businessmen and social leaders at Indian Consulate here.

Mr. Kalam was speaking about the success of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and his 'Vision 2020' to make India economically developed by 2020 at the banquet organised by Indian Consul General, in Chicago, Mukta Dutta Tomar in his honour earlier this week.

He said that India's "economic growth must sustain population growth."

Speaking on India-Pakistan relations the former president said he was confident that India and Pakistan can work for people's economic development.

"Europe fought for more than 100 years for peace and has formed the European Union with 28 members, so why not our South Asian nations?" Mr. Kalam said.

He, however, also expressed the need for a corruption-free India for the country's development.

Talking about his 'Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA)' policy, Mr. Kalam said it would bring development in India and bridge the gap.

He said there was a digital divide in villages, and the PURA system that has been evolved would bridge the gaps between the villages and cities.

Mr. Kalam stressed on the need for a clean and green environment, energy, education for women, control on population, to ensure safe drinking water and adequate amenities in the rural areas in India.

PURA aims at providing urban resources like safe drinking water, street lights, education, healthcare and telecom services in villages.

He said that we need to provide adequate amenities to make it sustainable.

On Sunday, the former president visited Fermilab in Batavia and later attended a reception at the Oak Brook Mariott hosted by the Indo-American Centre. "I'm delighted to interact with educational leaders," he said.

Commenting on the Devas Multimedia and ISRO affiliate Antrix scam, in which the private company could have got 70 MHz of spectrum just for Rs 1000 crore, Mr. Kalam said, "We will have to wait for the investigations that are going on."

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Bamboo is liberated, says Jairam Ramesh

Mendha-Lekha (Gadchiroli district), April 29, 2011

"Today, bamboo is liberated," proclaimed Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh at a function here on Wednesday, where he handed over to Mendha\'s community leader Devaji Tofa a transit pass that would allow the sale and transportation of bamboo within the community.

Ever since bamboo was given the status of a minor forest produce (MFP) in the Forest Rights Act, 2006 (Scheduled Tribes and Traditional Forest Dwellers [Recognition of Forest Rights] Act), there has been a campaign for its selling rights — something which the Forest Department has jealously guarded. The Act, which seeks to redress a historical injustice to Adivasis, apart from entitling them to land ownership, also gives communities rights to collect, use and sell bamboo as an MFP.

The Ministry had written to all States in March, asking them to include bamboo in the list of MFP and to take steps to help communities sell it.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr. Ramesh asked the State Forest Department to respect the Forest Rights Act; the department has not taken kindly to the idea that the power to issue transit passes for the transportation of sold bamboo rests with Gram Sabhas.

Mr. Ramesh said the recognition of the right of the Gram Sabha to sell and issue transport passes for bamboo within their community was a historic step. This means the villagers can sell the bamboo in their community forest area and issue passes so the material can be legally transported. Although the Forest Department feels that it is losing control and that giving rights to the Gram Sabha could be disastrous, Mr. Ramesh clarified that there was no need to change any rules to give rights to the Gram Sabha. All the villages which have community forest rights had a right to sell bamboo. If the Forest Department did not allow this, then people could file cases, he said.

When the Forest Department charged Rs.100 per slip in the transit books at the function, the villagers questioned why they should be made to pay for passes that would allow them to produce that which was within their jurisdiction to produce.

The villagers paid up Rs.10,000 for 100 sheets.

Mr. Ramesh said forest officers alone could not protect forest areas; local participation was essential. "About 25 crore people live off the forests, we cannot keep them out." He also called for a change in the mental attitude towards adivasis and forest-dwellers.The adivasi is not the enemy of the forests, he said.

Mr. Ramesh commended Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan for taking the brave step of vesting power with Gram Sabhas. Of the 2,800 claims for community forest rights made in the country, 691 were approved for villagers in Maharashtra. He advocated a minimum support price for minor forest produce and said at least 12 items, including bamboo, mahua, tendu, and lac, could be considered for this.

A special case would be made for the Gadchiroli and Gondia districts and local development work for school, health sub-centres, government buildings — which involved five hectares of forest area — could be taken up without clearance from the Centre. It also decided that Section 68 of the Indian Forest Act, 1927, would be amended so that no cases could be filed against adivasis without the approval of the Gram Sabha.

Apart from Mr. Ramesh and Mr. Chavan, Home Minister R.R. Patil, Forest Minister Patangrao Kadam and top Forest officials were present at the function. Earlier, they visited Mendha village to inspect the honey collection centre, biogas units that were present in most houses and interacted with the villagers.

After getting community forest protection rights in 2009, Mendha like some other villages, had men and women patrolling the 1,800-hectare area.

Bamboo, however, had been a thorny issue. Last month, in an attempt to defy the Forest Department, Mendha villagers harvested and sold some bamboo. The buyers included Namdeo Usendi, MLA, and Sunita Narain, Director, Centre for Science and Environment, who had cases filed against them for breaking the law. Ms Narain too received her transit pass on Wednesday.

Mr. Ramesh denied any rift between the MoEF and the Forest Department and insisted that the forest officials only needed to get accustomed to the Forest Rights Act. He hoped that the Forest Department and villagers would become equal partners in sustainable forest management.

State Principal Chief Conservator of Forests A.K. Joshi, who was in the eye of a storm after having sent a letter to the government that virtually ignored the existence of the Act, said there was 5,500 sq. km. of forest areas in the district which had bamboo, most of which went for paper pulp industries.

Critical of the department\'s refusal to allow sale of bamboo, Mr. Usendi said that if the village had the rights to issue the transit passes, the money would come to the people.

The Gram Sabha is the soul of the village and the 2006 Act gives it a very clear mandate, Devaji Tofa from Mendha village, who had led the fight for forest rights, pointed out.

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Indian Space Research Organisation preparing for three more PSLV launches

Tiruvannamalai, April 29, 2011

India excels in aero space engineering: Director, Sathish Dhawan Space Centre

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) braces itself for three more PSLV launches this year, M. Chandradathan, Director, Sathish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, said.

"PSLV C-17 will be launched in July and it will carry GSAT-12, a communication satellite. PSLV-C18 will be launched in September and it will carry a weather forecast satellite. PSLV-C19 with a payload of Radar Imaging Satellite (RISAT) will be launched by this year end," Mr. Chandradathan said.

Delivering the inaugural address at 'Constellation 2K\'11,\' a national level technical symposium, organised by Department of Humanities & Sciences, Arunai Engineering College here on Thursday Mr. Chandradathan said that when other countries excel in various branches of engineering India excels in aero space engineering.

"Recently launched PSLV-C16 precisely injected its payloads into intended orbits without wasting even a bit of propellant," he said.

Mr. Chandradathan asked students to be disciplined and cheerful. He said that humans are utilising not more than 10 per cent of the capacity of their brain. He also said in order to optimize minds ability one need to keep a pleasant, happy, and peaceful disposition and keep away worries.

"Even if worry occurs that should not be allowed to stay for long. Start loving your work. Once you start loving your work that will cease be a work," he said.

V. Kanagarajan, Chair Professor, KAV Pandalai memorial AR & DB Chair, MIT, Chennai, in his special address said that India\'s economy has improved a lot in the last 50 years and India\'s present education system was superior than most of the countries in the world.

India was the largest producer of automobiles today, he added.

S. Gopinath, Head, Department of Humanities & Sciences welcomed the gathering and P. Jayakumar, principal, delivered the felicitation address.

Later speaking to reporters, Mr. Chandradathan said that building of GSLV-Mk III will be over by 2012 end and launch would be in the next year.

"GSLV-Mk III has three stages. The first stage, Solid propellant booster S-200 has been tested and qualified; Second and liquid propellant stage called L-110 has also been tested. Work is yet to be completed in third and important stage, the cryogenic stage," he said.

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Thursday, April 28, 2011



The agronomists of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), whetting the knowledge of the farmers, advised them to adopt integrated approach for controlling weeds in turmeric – the major spice crop of Punjab. Planted in April end to early May, the scientists pointed out that many times farmers are reluctant to go for the cultivation of this high value crop because of the heavy weed infestation.

The field trials were conducted for three years at PAU and one year at farmers' field to find out effective method for controlling weeds in turmeric, divulged Head of the Department of Agronomy, Dr G.S.Buttar. The field was irrigated immediately after planting. Three herbicides viz. Stomp 30EC (pendimethalin) 1300 ml/ac, Sencor 70WP (metribuzin) 400 g/ac, Atrataf 50WP (atrazine) 600 g/acre were applied in different plots by dissolving in 200 litres of water when it was easy to walk in the field and paddy straw mulch at 36 q/ac was spread uniformly in the entire plot immediately after herbicide spray, added he. Three hand hoeing at 30, 60 and 90 days after planting and un-weeded check plots were kept for comparison.

Educating the participants, Dr Buttar revealed that the presence of weeds in the field reduced the rhizome yield upto 73% in the research trials and by 46% at farmer's field. Combined use of paddy straw mulch with either of Stomp 30EC, Sencor 70WP and Atrataf 50WP provided effective control of weeds and increased the fresh turmeric rhizome yield by 2.5 times as compared to un-weeded check plot and about 1.5 times as compared to three hand hoed plot. He disclosed that the integrated use of herbicides and paddy straw mulch increased the net return by Rs 40,000 per acre as compared to un-weeded check plot and Rs 21,000 per acre as compared to hand hoed plot.

Dr M.S. Bhullar, PAU agronomist, elaborating, said that the effective control of weeds is desirable for getting the highest productivity and profitability in turmeric. He impressed upon the turmeric growers to use these three herbicides in rotation every year to control the weeds over the long run and cautioned that if any one of these herbicides is used continuously, one or more hardy weeds will become dominant and will be difficult to control with ordinary means. The farmers can get further guidance about weed control from the experts in the department of agronomy, PAU, Ludhiana, Regional Stations of PAU or from the Krishi Vigyan Kendras in the different districts.

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The PAU department of Farm Machinery and Power Engineering is holding a field day on paddy transplanting technology on May 4 at its research farm near PAU gate No.4. Giving details the Coordinator of Research (Engg.), Dr. C.J.S.Pannu said that the event will be an occasion to review the problems and feedback of farmers and machine operators about the performance of paddy transplanters in the state. He shared that during 2009-10 farmers and cooperative societies purchased nearly 550 paddy transplanters on subsidy. The success for raising good quality mat nursery and proper adjustment and operation of the machines will be discussed, he said.

The experts of farm machinery at PAU will provide technical know how about raising the mat type nursery and adjustments and operations in the technical sessions. There will also be sessions for hands-on training in the field for mat type nursery raising, said Dr. Pannu adding that other machinery relevant to rice cultivation, crop diversification and resource conservation will be put on display. He informed that the PAU Vice-Chancellor, Director Agriculture, Punjab will be the Chief Guest and Guest of Honour, respectively and the functionaries of state development departments and PAU scientists will participate.
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Rabies is Fatal, Protect Your Pets and Yourself-GADVASU

Ludhiana- 28-Apr-2011

"Rabies is Fatal, Protect Your Pets and Yourself", This is the final conclusion that emerged out of lecture and discussion on Rabies held at Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University which was organized in view of the World Veterinary Day celebrations. The College of Veterinary Science, GADVASU celebrated the extended "World Veterinary Day" from 21st to 28th April this year. This is celebrated all over the world on the last saturday of April. DR V.K Taneja, Vice-chancellor of the University inaugurated the free deworming and anti-rabies vaccination camp on 21st April 2011 in the University Veterinary Hospital. Every Year the World Veterinary Association proposes a theme for this day and"Rabies" is the chosen topic for this year. It is a vaccine-preventable disease however it kills more than 50,000 people worldwide every year, mostly children. 99 % of all human cases are caused by bites from infected dogs. Vaccination in animals reduces the incidence of the disease, eliminates suffering and avoids recourse to mass culling while also saving human lives. Action against such a deadly zoonosis offers an opportunity to put the focus on the positive contribution of veterinarians to public health as they are key players in the prevention and control of animal diseases. On the closing of the World Veterinary Day a function was organized where Dr B.S Sandhu, Associate Professor opined his views while speaking on Rabies and Dr. SS Rath, Professor of Parasitology talked about the parasitic infestations of the pets and their control measures. Dr. P.D Juyal, Registrar GADVASU talked about the role of a Veterinarian to safeguard the human health and not only as a means to treat animal disease. Also as a member of World Veterinary Association he informed that Rabies is a dreadful disease and vaccination against this disease is mandatory for pet dogs to safeguard the family members and human population. The Function was also attended by Dr. SPS Sangha, Dean, College of Dairy Sciences and Technology and Controller of Examination of GADVASU. Dr.S.Prabhakar, Head Department of the Teaching Veterinary Clinical Complex informed that during the free anti rabies vaccination and deworming camp organized during the week for the pet dogs, a total of 140 pets were given Anti rabies shots and 108 pets were dewormed. The faculty members and students of College who attend clinical cases have already been vaccinated. An oral Hygiene camp was also organized on the 25th and 26th April in the Small animal hospital of the department for the benefit of the pet owners.

A Photography competition and photography workshop was also organized at Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) on 26 April, 2011 in connection of world veterinary day . In this competition students of different colleges of GADVASU submitted photographs on various themes and there were more than 60 entries for this competition. Mr Arunbber Singh, Parteek Jindal and Varun Prabakar won first, second and third prize respectively. Mr Satinder Saini and Deepjot Singh won the appreciation award.

Janmeja Singh Johal an eminent photographer gave tips to the students for improving the various photographic techniques In the workshop,. He also told the students about the various soft-wares that can be used to improve the photographs. Dr Kirti Dua President of Fine arts and Photography club, who organized this function was of the opinion that students should engage in different types of extracurricular activities that help in channelizing their energies and develop a multifaceted personality.

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CIPHET facilitates Dr Deepika for lifting overall best athlete trophy

Ludhiana, April 28:

Dr Deepika Goswami, Scientist at Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology, has made the institute proud by clinching overall best women athlete trophy during the ICAR Sports Tournament, North Zone, held at Central Soil and Water Conservation Research Training Institute (CSWCRTI), Dehradun.

Director CIPHET Dr R.T Patil facilitated her for bagging four gold medals and one silver medal into the institutes' kitty. He also congratulated all the medal winners for bringing a proud moment for the institute. Dr S.K Nanda, Project Coordinater (PHT), was leading the CIPHET contingent. The function was organized by the staff recreational club.

The institute also got overall third position among the 16 institutes participated in the tournament, which was held from April 18-21.

As many as 785 athletes participated in the games from the ICAR institutes located in north zone and CIPHET contingent was represented by 29 athletes. Dr Goswami clichéd gold medals in 100 m (women), 200 m (women), long jump and badminton doubles with Jasvir Kaur. She also added one silver medal in high jump securing her place for the best women athlete of the tournament. On the other hand, Sunita Rani and Hardev Singh bagged bronze medals in 200 m (women) and 100 m (men) race respectively.
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SEMINAR OF ART OF LIVING at G N International Public School


The students of classes X to XII of G.N. International Public School, Model Town, today on 28th April 2011,experienced a mesmerizing morning with Sumit "Bhaiya" nee Sumit Mahajan…an IT company CEO, & a teacher of ART of LIVING.

Sumit has been associated with SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR JI for the last 12 years & has dealt with about 5 lac young minds till date…..solving their problems & making their lives "worth living".

The purpose of this seminar was to help students deal with their day to day problems – by forming a focus & have a stress-free minds.

Students were told…how to value & imbibe virtues like…honesty & sincerity & not run after the so called superficial distractions parties & pubs.

"Don't run after happiness, just do your duties sincerely…happiness follows", said Sumit. "People who are open minded progress in the world otherwise one tends to stagnate", was further added by him.

The importance of meditation was explained & technique of Meditation was taught in a very subtle manner. "Brain, the most vital organ of our body needs rest & due pampering- which is possible through meditation", was stressed by Sumit Mahajan.

After the seminar…there could be a marked difference seen in the students…who attended it …..they looked calm & serene & fully motivated to attend the initial..YES Course of Art of Living.

"My doubts, fears, apprehensions were cleared today through this seminar", said Amanpreet Singh of class XI. Many students were seen & heard echoing same ideas.

In the end Principal Mrs Gurmant Kaur Gill thanked Mr Mahajan & his team to have shared their rich & expert advises with the young minds.

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SEMINAR OF ART OF LIVING at G N International Public School


The students of classes X to XII of G.N. International Public School, Model Town, today on 28th April 2011,experienced a mesmerizing morning with Sumit "Bhaiya" nee Sumit Mahajan…an IT company CEO, & a teacher of ART of LIVING.

Sumit has been associated with SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR JI for the last 12 years & has dealt with about 5 lac young minds till date…..solving their problems & making their lives "worth living".

The purpose of this seminar was to help students deal with their day to day problems – by forming a focus & have a stress-free minds.

Students were told…how to value & imbibe virtues like…honesty & sincerity & not run after the so called superficial distractions parties & pubs.

"Don't run after happiness, just do your duties sincerely…happiness follows", said Sumit. "People who are open minded progress in the world otherwise one tends to stagnate", was further added by him.

The importance of meditation was explained & technique of Meditation was taught in a very subtle manner. "Brain, the most vital organ of our body needs rest & due pampering- which is possible through meditation", was stressed by Sumit Mahajan.

After the seminar…there could be a marked difference seen in the students…who attended it …..they looked calm & serene & fully motivated to attend the initial..YES Course of Art of Living.

"My doubts, fears, apprehensions were cleared today through this seminar", said Amanpreet Singh of class XI. Many students were seen & heard echoing same ideas.

In the end Principal Mrs Gurmant Kaur Gill thanked Mr Mahajan & his team to have shared their rich & expert advises with the young minds.

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Panetta moves to Pentagon; Gen Petraeus to CIA

Washington, April 28, 2011

In a major restructuring of President Barack Obama's national security team, CIA Director Leon Panetta will move to Pentagon to become new U.S. Defence Secretary to replace Robert Gates while his top military commander in Afghanistan Gen David Petreaus is to takeover as the new CIA Director.

Mr. Obama will also have a U.S. team in the war zone of Afghanistan.

General John Allen, currently the Deputy Commander for CENTCOM would be his new Commander in this war-torn country, while Ryan Crocker, a top US diplomat, is being sent as the next U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan.

"Given that the drawdown of troops from Afghanistan is scheduled to begin in July and Senate confirmation takes time, the new team is expected to be occupying their respective positions in phases till September, so as to ensure a seamless transition," a senior Obama administration official said.

President Obama is scheduled to make an announcement in this regard from the White House.

It is the culmination of a multi-month careful process by the President, the official said, adding with this, he has put in place a set of nominees who will provide the strongest possible team to execute America's strategies and policies.

"Each of these nominations would have to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate."

Mr. Panetta is expected to take over from Robert Gates as the next Defence Secretary on July 1.

"Panetta brings all the necessary qualities to be a superb Secretary of Defence, public service for four decades, CIA, White House Chief of Staff, member of Congress and served in the Army. And his son served in Afghanistan," the official said.

Architect of the U.S.' current counter-insurgency policy which played a key role in successful US operations in Iraq, General Petraeus would retire from the US Army and done the civilian dress to take over the post of CIA Director at the beginning of September.

General Allen would replace Petraeus in Afghanistan, the official said. He has been closely involved with the national security team at the White House.

He was deputy of CENTCOM under Petraeus, before he was sent to Afghanistan.

Allen is likely to take over the command of the US forces in Afghanistan at the beginning of September.

"Croker would be leaving for Kabul as soon as he is confirmed by the Senate," the official said.

The major overhauling of the national security team, however, would not see any changes in the policy of the Obama Administration, the senior administration official said, adding in fact they have been brought in to implement the existing Afghan strategy.

"The (Afghan) strategy has been set forth by the President and has been signed onto by our ISAF colleagues and partners at the Lisbon Summit held this past November. This is a strategy that General Petraeus is implementing.

"It's the strategy that General Allen will implement in close consultation, again, assuming Senate confirmation, with Ambassador Crocker, and that is the beginning of a transition from international security lead, to Afghan lead in provinces over the course of this year," the official said in response to a question.

The drawdown of U.S. forces would being this summer, which would lead ultimately to a full Afghan lead on the security side by the year 2014, the official said.

"Leon Panetta's role as Secretary of Defence will to implement that strategy, working with General Allen and Ambassador Crocker," he said, adding Afghanistan continues to be a challenge for them.

"We expect that General Petraeus will serve until General Allen can take up the post there. So there are several months now for General Petraeus to be continuing as the commander for ISAF and US Forces in Afghanistan," he said.

In addition to that, Mr. Obama would look to Panetta to continue the work that Mr. Gates has done on efficiencies and savings at the Pentagon, he added.

"This has been a signal effort by Bob Gates at the Pentagon and that is going to be continued and intensified," he said referring to the announcements of additional cuts of some USD 400 billion over the next 12 years.

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Thailand-Cambodia clashes continue for 7th day

PHANOM DONGRAK, April 28, 2011

Artillery fire boomed across the Thai-Cambodian frontier for a seventh day Thursday as fierce border clashes erupted again between the two neighbours.

Loud explosions could be heard since dawn in Phanom Dongrak, a village about 12 miles (20 kilometres) from the border, an Associated Press reporter said.

In Cambodia, field commander Col. Suos Sothea said the fighting was centering again around the ruins of two crumbling stone temples from the Khmer Empire at Ta Moan and Ta Krabey, which have been caught in crossfire since last Friday.

The skirmishes over contested territory have killed at least 14 people and forced tens of thousands of civilians on both sides to flee their homes.

The border dispute has stirred nationalist sentiment on both sides, but analysts say domestic politics may also be fueling the conflict, especially in Thailand, where the military that staged a coup in 2006 could be flexing its muscles ahead of elections due in June or July.

On Wednesday, Cambodian leader Hun Sen accused Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva of loving war and provoking the conflict, but said he still wants to talk peace with him at an upcoming regional meeting in Indonesia.

Cambodia employed truck-mounted rocket launchers for the first time Tuesday, in what Hun Sen said was retaliation for Thailand's use of heavy weapons.

Abhisit, meanwhile, said his government is not willing to have a meeting of the two countries' defense ministers unless there is a ceasefire first.

"If they want to talk, the easiest way is to stop the firing," Abhisit told Parliament after visiting injured civilians in Surin province in the northeast.

The conflict involves small swaths of land along the border that have been disputed for more than half a century. Fierce clashes have broken out several times since 2008, when Cambodia's 11{+t}{+h}-century Preah Vihear temple was given U.N. World Heritage status over Thailand's objections.

Talks with Cambodia have apparently become a divisive issue within the Thai government, with the military dragging its feet while Abhisit takes a more conciliatory position.

The Thai army has already stymied a plan to station Indonesian military observers along the border. Hun Sen said Wednesday that Cambodia would welcome them on its side of the border regardless of any delays by Thailand.

Indonesia, which currently chairs the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, offered to provide the observers after four days of border fighting in February

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Qadhafi has no intention of ceasing violence, bloodshed: U.S.

Washington, April 28, 2011

Authoritarian Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi has no intentions of ceasing violence and bloodshed, the United States has said.

"It has become clear that Qadhafi and his henchmen have no intention of ceasing the violence and bloodshed.

Despite the claims of recent days, regime forces have continued to commit atrocities in Misrata and the western mountains," U.S. Ambassador to Libya Gene Cretz told reporters.

"The indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas in Misrata has not stopped. In the western mountains, pro-regime troops have laid siege to civilian populations, apparently attempting to starve them into submission," he said.

Mr. Cretz reiterated that Mr. Qadhafi and his regime have lost all legitimacy and must relinquish power, leaving the Libyan people free to determine their own future.

"Qadhafi must also put a stop to his attacks on civilians and pull back from the areas that they have forcibly entered," he said, adding this was agreed by the international community at the first meeting of the Contact Group on Libya held in Doha on April 13.

In the Doha meeting it was also agreed that the regime must comply with its obligations under international law, including the re-establishment of water, electricity, and gas supplies to all areas and unrestricted humanitarian access to all of Libya.

"The participants reiterated that a political solution would be the only way to bring lasting peace to Libya and reaffirmed their commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, and national unity of Libya," he said.

The U.S. envoy said that there was no estimate of number of people killed by the Qadhafi regime since the civil war has broke in Libya.

"We have seen figures ranging from 10 to 30,000. I don't think that we are probably going to get an accurate number until we really get more hands-on experience on the ground. And don't forget, we keep getting reports even from contacts in Tripoli and in the west of bodies that have been uncovered on the beach. We just have no sense of the scale of this thing until it's over," he said.

The U.S. diplomat expressed hope that Qadhafi would realise that the game was up and international community was not going tolerate anymore.

The best thing he can do for the future of Libyan people and himself is to give it up and allow a democratic process and a new government to take hold in Libya, he said.

"Certainly one of the elements of political process, which we hope would lead eventually to a new Libya and a new Libyan Government, would be what his fate would be," Mr. Cretz said.

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