Top Stories of the Week
Former Indian Cricketer Hanumant Singh died
Former Test player Hanumant Singh passed away this morning in Breach Candy hospital here, after battling with dengue for over a month.
He was 67 and is survived by his wife and son.
He had scored a century on debut for India and had represented the country in 14 Test matches. After retirement Singh was the National Selector as well as a Coach at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore. He also became a respected ICC Match Referee.
Labels: national, others, sports
Parliament adjourned over Shibu Soren issue
Amid noisy scenes, Parliament was was adjourned till 1200 hrs over the Shibu Soren issue.
As soon as the Lok Sabha assembled, Leader of the Opposition L K Advani wanted to make a statement on the issue of former Union Minister and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha president Shibu Soren, who was convicted yesterday in a murder case.
However, Speaker Somnath Chatterje did not allow Mr Advani to speak at that time but assured him time at 1200 hrs. Angry BJP and NDA members were on their feet, disrupting the proceedings of the House.
The NDA was supported by Samajwadi Party members on the issue. As the Speaker remained firm on his stand, the NDA members started raising slogans asking the Prime Minister to apologise. Intervening in the issue, Parliamentary Affairs Minister P R Dasmunsi said the manner in which the Opposition wanted to raise the issue was not acceptable.
The Speaker said he has not even received a notice on the issue and in order to pacify the agitated BJP members, even read out a letter written by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee requesting him that disruption of the question hour should not be allowed.
Howver, the BJP and NDA members became more agitated and raised slogans.
Mr Dasmunshi said ''this only shows that the BJP has even disowned their own leader and that is the reason Mr Vajpayee had not even come to the House.'' The Speaker said that it was due to such scenes that a foreign coach had made a remark on Parliamentarians. He then adourned the House at 1125 hrs till 1200 hrs.
Similar scenes were witnessed in the Rajya Sabha with Leader of the Opposition Jaswant Singh demanding that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh make a statement on the issue.
Home Minister Shivraj Patil wanted to make a statement on the issue but Mr Singh said only the Prime Minister should do so. Chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat then adjourned the Upper House at 1145 hrs till 1200 hrs.
Labels: national, politics
Shibu Soren resigns
Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren resigned on Friday night after he failed to obtain a vote of confidence in the assembly as directed by the Supreme Court.
Raj Bhavan spokesman A N Jha told rediff.com over phone from Ranchi that Soren put in his resignation papers at around 2300 hours.
The Centre asked Soren to resign after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs convened by Prime Minsiter Manmohan Singh.
Singh was said to be upset over the political developments in Jharkhand and held consultations with allies on the matter.
Ahead of the meeting, he held a round of discussions with Leftist leaders Harkishen Singh Surjeet, Prakash Karat and Abani Roy and spoke to Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader M Karunanidhi over telephone.
After the meeting, Home Minister Shivraj Patil said Soren should resign and the possibilities of installing an alternative government should be explored.
The new government should be asked to seek the vote of confidence in three-four days, he said.
Patil said constitutional propriety demanded that the incumbent government should resign. He said Singh and his government were determined to see that the Constitution was followed in letter and spirit.
Labels: breaking news, national, politics
China mine bosses jailed after blast
A Chinese court jailed two managers of a state-owned coal mine today for negligence two years after a gas explosion killed 166 miners, Xinhua news agency said.
The blast, one of the worst in China in decades, hit the Chenjiashan coal mine in Tongchuan in the northwestern province of Shaanxi just days after the pit had caught fire. Mine manager Liu Shuangming was jailed for five and a half years and his deputy and chief engineer, Wang Youjun, was jailed for five years, Xinhua said.
''After the fire was put out, (they) ordered the miners to risk their lives resuming production without sufficient safety measures,'' Xinhua said. ''Their action was extremely outrageous.'' China has the world's deadliest coal mining industry with fatal accidents almost on a daily basis as safety regulations are ignored and production is pushed beyond limits in the rush for profit.
Four coal mine accidents killed at least 88 people across the country just over the weekend. Nearly 6,000 coal miners died in about 3,300 floods, blasts and other accidents in 2005, and the death toll for the first 10 months of 2006 stood at 3,726.
Officials say small and privately run coal mines that fall short of safety standards account for most of the casualties, but large state-owned mines report the higher death tolls. A gas blast in a state coal mine killed 214 in the northeastern province of Liaoning in February 2005, while 171 died in a similar accident in Heilongjiang province last November.
Labels: accidents, breaking news, international
U Turn to Nitish Katara murder case
, sister of prime accused Vikas Yadav in the Nitish Katara kidnapping-cum-murder case, told the Ghaziabad police today that Nitish was just a friend at the management institute and there was ``no affair'' between them. The police, who had already summoned Bharati, today recorded her statement following the directions of the Delhi High Court issued yesterday in the matter.
``She told us that she just happened to know Nitish as he was a classmate at the management institute,'' said the Deputy Inspector-General (Meerut Range), Arun Kumar. He, however, maintained that her statement would not deter the police from proving their case in court. ``It is her statement but we have other evidence and facts in support of our case,'' he said
In a significant development, while Bharati did not approach the police earlier, she appeared before a television channel and was interviewed by a national daily on Friday in which she summarily denied having had any relationship with Nitish. The police have been saying that kidnapping and murder of Nitish was the result of Vikas Yadav taking objection to the affair of his sister and Nitish. Vikas' father D.P Yadav, a Rajya Sabha MP, has been claiming that his son was being framed as part of a political conspiracy.
Reacting to the statements attributed to Bharati, Ms. Neelam Katara, mother of Nitish, said it was clear from the interview that she had been forced to say things which she might have not wanted to. ``It has not come as a surprise to us. Her father was present when the interviews were being taken and this makes her statements understandable,'' she said. ``I have said what I had to. It is for the other agencies to decide how authentic Bharati's statements are,'' she added.
Interestingly, the interviews were arranged by D.P Yadav after the Delhi High Court had directed the Ghaziabad police to get Bharati's statement recorded by today. Counsel for Vikas Yadav had told the court that it was the police which was not recording Bharati's statement, though she was ready.
Bharati's refusal to acknowledge her relationship with Nitish has come at a time when the accused have reportedly confessed -- during the 24-hour police remand which ended yesterday -- to have kidnapped and murdered Nitish in the early hours of February 17. At the instance of the accused, police have also recovered the weapon of offence, a hammer, and Nitish's wrist watch from the place where the charred body, believed to be that of Nitish, was found from Khurja.
Meanwhile, the Ghaziabad police have filed a revision petition in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate in Ghaziabad seeking a 10-day remand for the accused in order to effect recoveries, particularly the vehicle used in the incident. The matter will be taken up by the court on Monday.
The police have said in the application that the vehicle, which was supposed to be in Alwar was not found there and now could be in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana or Punjab.
Labels: breaking news, national
South Korea suspected second bird flu case
South Korea farm ministry said today it had found a second suspected case of highly pathogenic bird flu at a poultry farm, after confirming on Saturday it had its first outbreak in three years of the H5N1 strain.
The ministry said the second suspected case was at a poultry farm near where the first case had been found and they are checking to see if the virus has spread through the country.
South Korea has nearly completed culling all 236,000 poultry within a 500 metre (1,640-ft) radius of a farm in North Cholla province about 170 km (100 miles) south from Seoul where officials said the H5N1 avian influenza strain had been detected.
Labels: enviornment, international, others
Bomb hoax in Sealdah, west bengal
A hoax call of planting a bomb inside a coach of Sealdah bound Teesta-Torsha express delayed about one departure of the train this morning, Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) officials said.
A phone call to railway officials at Alipurduar station in neighbouring Jaipaiguri district forced the railwaymen to call police and bomb squads, who made a through search of the coaches but found no explosives.
This delayed the departure of the 3142 Dn Teesta-Torsha train for an hour from its originiating station, Alipurduar.
Last week unidentified terrorist group detonated a powerful bomb at a local train at Belacoba station in Jalpaiguri in which eight people were killed and many inujred.
Labels: breaking news, national, terror attack
In a new twist to the enduring enigma of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s “disappearance’’, one of the witnesses appearing before the one-man Mukherjee Commission investigating the mystery today claimed that Netaji and monk Bhagwanji, he met in the seventies in Uttar Pradesh, were the same person.
Appearing before Justice M.K. Mukherjee’s single Bench here, Bijoy Kumar Nag claimed that he had met Bhagwanji between 1970 and 1975 at Raja Maidan in Purani Basti and between 1976 and 1977 at Brahmakunda in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh. Justice Mukherjee said that the witness claimed that whatever Bhagwanji uttered about his early life to Mr Nag and his associates complied with Netaji’s life.
Further, Bhagwanji spoke about issues regarding certain people which were exclusively known and confirmed by those people only, claimed the witness, who is the publisher of “Jayshri”, which had brought out several books on Netaji’s life.
Labels: national, others
Gold hallmarking to be made mandatory
Hallmarking on gold jewellery shall be made mandatory from January 1, 2008 by the government, Mr Y P Singh, Additional Director General, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) said today.
Addressing a seminar on hallmarking of gold/silver jewellery, organized by BIS here, he informed that in order to promote gold hallmarking among consumers and bring more jewellers under assaying ambit, BIS is planning to spread its network of assaying and hallmarking centres in the country. Thirty five additional assaying centres will be set up by March next year, he added.
The government shall be giving one time financial incentive of 15 per cent of the cost of machinery and equipments subject to maximum of Rs 15 lakhs per centre for hallmarking, he added.
Mr Singh informed that according to an estimate there are more than three lakh jewellery retailers, manufacturers and over 100 large-scale units manufacturing jewellery in the country. He informed that BIS had conducted a market survey on 120 samples drawn from eight cities, which revealed failure of 88 per cent samples with average purity shortage of 11 per cent.
Another market survey revealed that more than 90 per cent samples failed against the purity declared as wide as 44.66 per cent and average shortage of 13.5 per cent . In Chandigarh, all the 10 samples drawn failed with maximum shortage in purity of 18.71 per cent and average shortage of 10.4 per cent.
Mr Singh said that uptil October 31 this year, 2,708 gold hallmarking licenses had been issued by BIS in the country. About 162 lakh pieces of gold, silver and artefacts had been hallmarked uptil October this year.
Suicide bomber kills 2 NATO soldiers
A suicide bomber killed two NATO soldiers in an attack on an alliance convoy in Afghanistan's southern city of Kandahar today, a NATO spokesman said.
The spokesman, speaking in Kandahar, could not give the nationalities but Canadians form the bulk of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kandahar.
''Two ISAF soldiers were killed by suicide attack this morning,'' the spokesman said.
Civilians in the areas said NATO forces sealed off the site of the attack, which happened on a road where several governmental buildings are located. They said the suicide bomber ploughed into the convoy in a car.
Flames and smoke rose from one of the vehicles and a NATO helicopter hovered overhead, the witnesses said.
The attack comes a day before a NATO summit in the Latvian capital Riga which is likely to be dominated by the tough mission in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is going through its bloodiest period since U S-led coalition forces overthrew the Taliban's radical Islamic government in 2001.
Labels: international, terror attack
Shahrukh Khan to host KBC
The 'Baadshah' of Bollywood Shahrukh Khan
is all set to once again step in the shoes of Superstar Amitabh Bachchan after Farhan Akhtar's 'Don'.
Shahrukh is to host the new edition of the popular game show 'Kaun Banega Crorepati', to be aired soon on Star Plus, sources in the channel said.
The sources said the hosting of the KBC, the most popular game show on Indian television till date, by Shahrukh Khan was primarily aimed at reaching out to the "below 35" age group, which today comprise two thirds of the population of India.
Considering that Shah Rukh Khan today commands a huge following among the youngsters in the country, the Channel as well as the producers of ther KBC feel that in his new role of host, the Bollywood 'Baadshah' would help draw to the programme viewership from a whole new set of audiences.
''Kaun Banega Crorepati" has redefined television viewing in India.
KBC is very close to our hearts as it laid the foundation for Star Plus unprecedented domination over the last 6 years. With the Next Gen avatar of KBC with Shah Rukh Khan as its host, we promise to engage and deliver to our audiences a whole new entertainment experience,''Sameer Nair, CEO, STAR Entertainment India, said.
Ms Shailaja Kejriwal, senior creative director of Star India, told UNI that Shah Rukh has been signed for two seasons of KBC of 52 episodes each.
''Star India has signed a 5 year contract with Celador for Kaun Banega Crorepati which gives us a continuing license to run the show for the next five years. Of this, we have already entered into a contract with Shahrukh to host the show for the next two years,''Ms Kejriwal told UNI.
Ms Kejriwal said the replacement of Amitabh Bachchan with Shahrukh Khan as host for the new edition of the KBC came about after Mr Bachchan expressed his disinclination to host the show.
''The channel had approached Mr Bachchan for resumption of the show, but he expressed his disinclination to do the show. While there is no denying that he was instrumental in the show becoming the most popular game show on Indian television, it is time to move on and who better than Shah Rukh Khan to fill his shoes. AFter all, he is the 'Badshah' of Bollywood today,''she said.
Sources said the channel had been in talks with Shah Rukh Khan for over a month now and he expressed his willingness to do the show.
The launching of the new edition of KBC comes almost an year after the show's second season - 'KBC Dwitiya' was pulled off air following Mr Bachchan's illness in November last year and the bank of episodes was exhausted. Speaking to UNI, Mr Siddharth Basu said the contestants who could not make it to the show because it had to be taken off air following Mr Bachchan's illness will get a chance to play with Shah Rukh Khan in the new edition.
Ms Shailaja Kejriwal, senior creative director of Star India, told UNI that Shah Rukh has been signed for two seasons of KBC of 52 episodes each.
Replying to a question on why the host was replaced, Ms Kejriwal said the channel had approached Mr Bachchan for resumption of the show, but he declined.
''So, we went ahead and signed Shah Rukh,'' she said.
Labels: entertainment, national
Katara case: Bharti Yadav back in India
The trial in the four-and-a-half- year-old Nitish Katara murder case is set to take a decisive turn with the arrival of prime witness Bharti Yadav back in India after a protracted legal wrangle.
However, mystery shrouded the return of Bharti, daughter of Uttar Pradesh politician D P Yadav, from London on Friday with her family and the police maintaining a complete silence about her whereabouts.
"I can confirm that she is in India. But I would not be able to tell you where exactly she is. I have not spoken to her so far. She will depose on November 29 as scheduled," her advocate S C Buttan told.
Speculation is rife that she is putting up in a farmhouse in Chattarpur locality of South Delhi, but Delhi Police have refused to confirm or deny.
Meanwhile, Nitish's mother Neelam Katara said Bharti's deposition was "important to take the case to its logical conclusion as she can throw useful light into the happenings of that fateful day."
"I expect her to speak the truth. She saw Nitish going with her brothers," Neelam told here when asked whether she expected her to speak against her family in the controversial case.
Neelam said she had met Bharti twice and spoke to her over phone before the murder of her son. "Even after Nitish went missing, she was the person who told me to file a complaint against her brothers."
Bharti is set to depose before a court here on November 29 and media have been barred from the hearing of her testimony.
The court had allowed her plea for in-camera proceedings of her testimony, but rejected the demand that main complainant Neelam Katara should not be allowed to be present during her deposition.
from Time of India
Labels: national, others, politics
Katara case : Bharati on November 27
Bharati Yadav, sister of Vikas Yadav who is accused in the Nitish Katara murder case, has moved the trial court to arrange for video-conferencing to testify from London where she is studying.
In an application moved before additional sessions judge J. M. Malik, Bharati said her university had denied her leave as examinations were starting in December and studies are in full swing. "The university has declined to grant leave. Therefore, realising the importance of the matter, I may be permitted to depose through video-conferencing," she said.
The court listed the application for hearing on November 27.
Earlier, Bharati had requested the court to send her to-and-fro airfare so that she could come to Delhi to depose before it. The court had then said she could collect the fare from the Uttar Pradesh government after she turned up at the court to testify.
Bharati is a key witness in the case, as Katara was murdered on February 16 2002.
Katara was a Delhi-based businessman and studied in the same college as Bharati.
On the fateful day, Katara, who was sitting with Bharati at a friend's wedding in Ghaziabad, was allegedly taken out from the banquet hall by Vikas and Vishal on some pretext.
From there, he was kidnapped and then killed. His charred body was found a few days later on the roadside at Khurja in Uttar Pradesh.from yahoo news
Labels: national, others
Jordanian King and Queen to visit India
Jordanian King Abdullah II Bin El Hussein
will visit India from November 30 to December one, an External Affairs Ministry spokesman said.
The King, accompanied by Queen Rania El Abdullah, will be on their first State visit to India.
The visit is taking place at the invitation of President A P J Abdul Kalam
Labels: international, national, others
HIV infection on rise in all regions
HIV infection is rising in every region of the world and most worryingly in countries like Uganda and Thailand, which had been heralded as success stories in the fight against AIDS, the United Nations has said.
Nearly 40 million adults and children are infected worldwide.
The most striking increases in new cases are in east Asia and in eastern Europe/central Asia, mainly due to drug use and unsafe sex, UNAIDS and the World Health Organisation said yesterday.
Somebody is infected with the deadly HIV virus every 8 seconds, equivalent to 11,000 infections worldwide every day, while another 8,000 infected people die, the two agencies said in a joint annual report ''2006 AIDS Epidemic Update''.
''Evidence shows again that the global epidemic is growing in all areas,'' Peter Piot, executive director of UNAIDS, told a news conference.
''Perhaps of even greater concern to me is the fact that in some countries that had known real results in the fight against AIDS -- Uganda and some western countries -- we see an increase in infection rates.'' Some 4.3 million people across the globe became infected with HIV this year, with a heavy concentration among young people, bringing the total number to an estimated 39.5 million.
Sub-Saharan Africa, which recorded 2.8 million new infections, still bears the brunt of the AIDS scourge, with 24.7 million people living with HIV, according to the report.
Of the 2.9 million global deaths from AIDS last year -- which Piot said was the highest number recorded -- 2.1 million occurred in Africa, the core area of the 25-year-old epidemic.
Labels: health, international, others
Fire accidents in world
At least nine people were killed and 12 critically injured in a devastating fire that broke out at an illegal leather factory at Topsia in the Eastern fringes of the metro late last night.
According to official sources the fire broke out at around 0230 hours in the night and quickly engulfed the factory that was on the second floor of the building. To make matters worse, in the chaos that resulted, the keys to the only exit was lost.
It was only after the fire brigade arrived at around 0400 hours that the door was pulled down and the rest rescued. Official sources said that nine people had died, that included women working in the factory, and 12 were battling for life at National Medical College Hospital with 90 per cent burn injuries.
Another story, Polish officials said today they feared the worst as rescuers battled to reach 15 miners trapped in a deep coal mine after an explosion that killed at least eight others.
More than 70 rescuers worked through the night and tried to pump air into a tunnel to help them overcome ''hell'' conditions in the mine beneath the town of Ruda Slaska, about 300 km southwest of the capital Warsaw, after yesterday's blast.
A spokesman for the state-run Kompania Weglowa coal group said it could take several hours to ventilate the underground area and that it was impossible to say if the rescuers would reach the 15 in time. Seven badly burned bodies have been hauled from the mine, and an eighth miner has been confirmed dead.
''The rescuers have reached the eighth man but were forced to withdraw due to the threat the methane will explode again,'' said Madej. ''Ventilating the shaft may last up to 8-9 hours. It is difficult to say what barriers we will meet (after that).'' Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski flew to the mine to watch rescue efforts and promised help for the families of the miners.
The Halemba mine is one of the oldest in Poland and has been in operation since 1957.
Labels: accidents, international, others
Rahul Mahajan denies beating wife Shweta
, son of late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan
, is again in the news. His two-and-half month marriage with Shweta was on the rocks after allegations of his relentless physical and verbal abuse' of her, a charge both have strongly denied. Mid-Day
daily reported on Monday that Rahul had regularly beaten and thrashed former pilot Shweta whom he had married after his father's death and in the midst of a legal battle over drug abuse.
The story was accompanied by a photograph which showed that Shweta showing a bruise on her right arm.
Denying the report, Mahajan said, "this is totally baseless. We are both shocked at this news report. In fact, this is invasion of privacy. They are not even bothered to take our reaction before making these allegations."Shweta
, who was in Dehradun said over the telephone that "all these allegations are totally baseless. I sustained some bruises when I was trying to ride a bicycle and fell down. Please respect our privacy. Our viist to Dehradun should not be linked to any possibility of marital discord. “It is a planned holiday to my parents house in Doon. My parents are arranging a party to celebrate my marriage on Saturday and Rahul is also taking part in the party
. My purpose is also to assist my parents in the arrangements".
She said her family is annoyed with the newspaper report. Shweta's parents denied any rift between her and Rahul and said the couple had talked to each other.
On the accompanying photograph in media which showed Shweta with bruised hand
, Rahul said, "photographs like this can be doctored using all kinds of software. This is not true. Our family has been constantly hit by some crises in the last few months but we will face it."
Labels: national, others
UK urges more tax on biofuels
Britain has fallen far behind its own target for increasing biofuel usage, and the government should consider extra tax incentives to encourage uptake of the renewable energy source, a parliamentary report said today.
The report by the House of Lords, the British parliament's upper chamber, supported promoting biofuel for vehicles as an alternative to petroleum in the fight against global warming.
''Increasing Europe's use of biofuels has a significant role to play in dealing with this problem,'' said Lord Renton of Mount Harry, chairman of the Lords' European Union Committee, which published the report.
Britain's goal is to have 5 per cent of road fuels come from renewable sources by 2010. That policy, known as the Road Transport Fuel Obligation, called for a 2 per cent usage rate by now but the actual current figure stands at only 0.3 per cent.
The Lords committee also said there was a pressing need to assess the full environmental impact of using biofuels and called for mandatory EU-wide biofuel certification to that end.
It pointed to the paradoxical practice of destroying the Brazilian rainforest to clear ground for planting biofuel crops, a process which on balance may produce more of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions believed to cause global warming.
Brazilian bioethanol makes up 80 per cent of all the biofuel used in Britain, according to Blooming Futures, a biofuel advocacy group. ''If CO2 saving is the primary goal, it is clearly illogical to use biofuels which have caused the emission of more greenhouse gases by their production than are saved by their consumption'', the Lords report said.
Matt Bulba of Blooming Futures said the voluntary certification scheme in force in Britain does not require oil firms to specify the source of their biofuels.
The Department of Transport welcomed the report and said it was trying to promote biofuel usage.
''That's why we've introduced the first Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation, predicted to save 1 million tonnes of carbon a year by 2010,'' it said in a statement. ''The UK is developing a robust carbon assurance scheme to ensure that the Obligation promotes the use of environmentally sustainable biofuels,'' it added..
Labels: international, politics
108 gold coins garland for Lord Balaji
A devotee today donated garland of gold coins worth Rs 16 lakh to the deity of Sri Padmavathi Ammavaru Temple at Tiruchanoor near here.
The garland, made of 108 gold coins, weighing 1658 grams, was handed over by the devotee, who declined to reveal the identity, to TTD Chairman Karunakar Reddy in the presence of TTD Executive Officer A P V N Sarma.
The garland would adorn Goddess Sri Padmavathi when the idol would be taken out in a procession on a decorated ''Simha Vahanam'' this evening
Labels: entertainment, national, others
Beijing plans world's longest subway
The Chinese capital Beijing
could have 561 kilometres of subway by 2020 and would supplant London as having the world's longest transit system
, the official China Daily reported today. The network, which would stretch to 19 lines, will reach every major corner of the city, though the plans are still subject to government approval, the newspaper said.
Cities around China are spending billions of dollars building new subways or upgrading existing systems to try to beat the often chronic traffic jams that have come with years of booming economic growth.
Beijing's four metro lines carry 1.5 million people a day, and another three lines will enter service in time for the 2008 Olympic Games, the newspaper added.
By comparison, the London Underground's network is 408 kilometres with 11 lines that carry more than three million people a day.
No price tag was given for the Beijing expansion, but the city is spending some 40 billion dollars to improve infrastructure including road and rail links for the Olympics. Beijing is also considering building six underground highways running north-south and east-west to lighten pressure on its overburdened ring roads, the Xinhua news agency added, though some experts have opposed the plan due to safety concerns.
Labels: international, others
Naresh Gupta accepts ransom paid
Putting an end to the various contradicting stories of the Anant kidnapping case
, Adobe (India) CEO Naresh Gupta
today said he had ''paid'' a ransom of 50 lakhs
for the safe return of his son, and the police had been duly informed of the fact.
Mr Gupta, while revealing the fact in a press conference -- witnessed by senior police officials of Uttar Pradesh -- here today said police played a major role in the demanding situation and, that unless for the joint effort of the UP police and the STF, his son would have not returned safely.
Mr Gupta also dislosed that he had contacted an America-based kidnapping expert in this regard and a senior Asian expert was also roped in to solve the matter, as his primary objective was the safe return of his son.
''Both the experts came to the conclusion that the abductors were not professional and so could harm the child. They asked us to abide by what they were saying,'' Mr Gupta said.
His telephonic conversation with kidnappers and his laptop details corroborated his statement that kidnappers had asked a member of Guptas' family to board the Paschim Express at the Nizamuddin Railway Station with the desired amount. As the train does not stop at the station, the person boarded Dehradun Express. The abductors stayed in touch with him and asked him to drop the money at a place nearby Mathura, which was then collected by them.
Meanwhile, prime accused in the case Dev alias Chhatrapal Singh was arrested here today. from 'Pushta Nallah' area between Sector 14 and 15.
Police sources said here, Chattarpal Singh was arrested this afternoon from a ''hide out.'' Pawan and Vijay Singh Chauhan, who runs a travel agency in Noida, are the other accused still at large.Chattarpal Singh is the sibling of Jitendra, who was arrested soon after Anant appeared at his house under mysterious circumstances. Both Jitendra
help their father run a Mother Dairy booth in sector 15 A of Noida, opposite the Guptas' house.On Friday night, police had recovered Rs 50 lakh from a person arrested in connection with the kidnapping of the son of Adobe India's CEO.The money was found in Belana village of Kakod in Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahar district after police interrogated Jitendra, who allegedly kidnapped three-year-old Anant Gupta on Monday from outside his home.
Labels: breaking news, national, terror attack
Kidnapped son rescued
The Uttar Pradesh police on Friday rescued Adobe CEO's kidnapped three-year-old son from the Noida-Bulandshahr border. Anant Gupta has now been handed over to his parents and is back home. His father Naresh Gupta, CEO of Adobe India, said his son was "hale and hearty". Details regarding his rescue are still awaited.
Labels: breaking news, national, terror attack
Mexico Aztec god carving
Archeologists say a giant, ornate carving of an Aztec god recently unveiled in downtown Mexico City could be a massive headstone in honor of one of the civilization's last rulers.
Scientists say the 12.4 ton stone cutting, which is covered with a vast, heavily detailed full-body engraving of earth god Tlaltecuhtli, is one of the most important Aztec finds ever.
The 11-foot long monolith was first made public in October. It is broken into several pieces but otherwise in excellent condition, archeologists said. They have spent weeks scraping dirt and debris from the piece and now say it may be the headstone of Ahuizotl, the eighth Aztec ruler, whose successor Moctezuma II governed at the start of the Spanish conquest of Mexico.
The headstone is decorated with the carved image of a deity with a giant male head ringed by masses of curly hair and a sharp extended tongue representing a stream of blood.
Skulls and crossed bones surround the body, as well as a rabbit and several dots thought to be a time stamp dating the sculpture to 1502.
The Aztecs, a warlike and deeply religious people who built numerous monumental works including towering pyramids, ruled an empire encompassing much of modern-day central Mexico until they were overthrown by the Spanish in 1521.
The piece was found in the ruins of Mexico City's Templo Mayor, an Aztec temple used for human sacrifice and now steps from choking traffic in the city's Spanish colonial center.
Spanish conquerors built a new city from the rubble of Tenochtitlan, the sprawling Aztec capital they found built on largely man-made islands amid a lake in the Valley of Mexico.
Labels: international, others
3 year old Anant in dacoit Jagjivan's clutches?
Police were exercising caution and additional force deployed in the Chambal ravines following reports that Adobe India CEO Naresh Gupta's abducted son has reached the cultches of dreaded dacoit Jagjivan Parihar.
Bastar Range Inspector General of Police D C Sagar said Noida and Etawah police were being contacted to ascertain on what basis the suspicion was expressed. Three-year-old Anant was on way to his school with his maid when two persons arrived on a motorcycle and abducted him from outside his residence in posh Sector 15 A of Noida, a satellite township of New Delhi.
The abductors have allegedly handed over Anant to Parihar, who carries a reward of Rs 5.15 lakh on his head. A ransom of Rs one crore has been demanded for his release.
''On receving information on these lines, more than a dozen police teams were immediately deployed in the Chambal ravines. Besides, searching was being carried out at suspected places in the ravines,'' Superintendent of Police Rajababu Singh said.
Labels: breaking news, national, terror attack
Bush promises to get India-US nuke deal
On November 9th 2006, US President George W Bush resolved to get Congressional approval for the India-US civilian nuclear agreement, which awaits the Senate's endorsement, notwithstanding the electoral reverses suffered by the Republican Party.
Addressing a press conference at the White House yesterday after the big Democrat victory, Mr Bush, however, said he was not certain whether the deal would figure in the agenda of the session of the outgoing Senate.
The House of Representatives had approved the measure in July last with certain amendments.
Though there is a strong lobby against the deal in the United States as in India for different reasons, according to observers, the House of Representatives' new composition would not have any effect on it.
An overwhelming majority of the members in the two houses of the Congress will still remain the same. For example, the 100-member Senate will have only six new faces, even if the withheld result of the disputed Virginia state goes in favour of the Democratic Party. Mr Biden, who was first elected to the United States Senate in 1972 at the age of 29, is recognised as one of the country's most powerful and influential voices on foreign relations.
Similarly, Democratic Congressman Tom Lantos of California is likely to chair the new House Committee on International Relations in place of Republican Party's Henry Hyde.
Mr Lantos too is an ardent supporter of the agreement. In fact, in May, he favoured a legislative compromise to ''keep the momentum for this important agreement moving forward.'' He had gone on record to say that ''the Indian Government needs reassurance that the Congress is supportive. It needs the confidence that we will adopt the necessary legislation in order to negotiate the final details of this agreement with the United States.'' His draft legislation emphasises the importance of deepening India-US bilateral relationship and welcomes the India-US Joint Statement of July 18, 2006, as well as the agreement reached on March 2, 2006 to expand peaceful nuclear cooperation between the two countries.
Therefore, the Congress changing hands is hardly going to have any impact on the fate of the agreement. What matters most is the timing of its figuring on the Senate agenda and whether the amendments that are likely to be tagged on to the agreement, would be acceptable to India.
A clearer picture would emerge when the outgoing Senate returns for its lame duck session next week.
Meanwhile, the Coalition for Partnership with India, a support group, in a statement recognised that many legislative initiatives might be affected by the change in the structure of the Congress, ''We are optimistic that the India bill will weather the shift in political climate.'' It recalls that Democratic leader in the present Senate Harry Reid and its majority leader Bill Frist (Republican) have each stated publicly their desire to pass the agreement during the lame duck session.
It said the broad, bipartisan support for the measure is evidenced by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's 16-2 vote to approve it. When the bill comes to the Senate floor, most experts believe it will win by a margin similar to the landslide House vote of 359-68, it said.
Labels: George W Bush, international, politics
Iran vice-president replaced after budget dispute
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has replaced one of Iran's vice-presidents after a dispute over the national budget allocating body, an Iranian news agency said today,.
The Iranian press had previously reported that the outgoing vice-president, Farhad Rahbar, was critical of Ahmadinejad's move to restructure the budget body, but Rahbar himself denied that.
Ahmadinejad last month put the provincial offices of the Management and Planning Organisation (MPO) under the control of government-appointed governors, prompting fears that budget spending would be overly politicised.
As MPO head, Vice-President Rahbar had said he did not oppose the change but was quoted in state media as saying the plan should undergo ''more expert studies''.
Previously, the provincial budget offices had answered directly to the MPO. Although the MPO's chief is appointed by the president, the national body has a reputation for being staffed with technocrats concerned with Iran's long-term development needs.
Opposition politicians and press said giving provincial governors more budget powers would shift the focus to short-term political interests.
''I, herewith, appoint you as the vice president and the head of the MPO,'' Ahmadinejad wrote in a letter to the new head, Amir Mansour Borqei, Iran's ISNA reported. The president did not give a reason for the change, but thanked Rahbar for his work. ISNA said Borqei, 49, previously worked in the Energy Ministry and attended the same university as the president.
Ahmadinejad's economic management, particularly his government's failure to rein in rising prices, has come in for increasing criticism in the press and among lawmakers. The president, who swept to office in 2005 with promises to spread out Iran's oil wealth more fairly, has said the media has exaggerated the price rises.
Iran holds local council elections in cities and throughout the provinces in December -- the first national vote since Ahmadinejad won the presidency.
Labels: international, politics
Bengalooru Habba from Dec 3 to 10
Cultural extravaganza was in store at the eagerly-awaited 'Bengalooru Habba', to be held in the Garden City from December three to ten.
Cultural programmes, including classical music, dance, lecture demonstrations for western music, besides food festival and sports would be held in various parts of the city.
As a prelude to the main events, an awareness programme for students across 15 schools and colleges would be held from tomorrow to November 30. Besides, street theatre performances for social issue campaigns would be held across the city in malls and shopping complexes, parks and residential areas and other public places.
Upcoming artistes from reputed art schools would perform 'Live Art' under the Bengalooru Habba umbrella at important public places, besides performing 'Street Magic' throughout the city.
Many agencies, including Government tourism department and private companies, have come forward to sponsor the event. Bengalooru Habba, which had received great support from the people over the last three years, would showcase the State's culture and art in keeping with the spirit of Suvarna Karnataka this year.
Labels: entertainment, national
Canadian tourist arrested
A Singapore court has penalised a 53-year-old Canadian tourist for raising a false alarm about an Air India plane 'going to crash', according to a local media report today.
Nanda Sudhir Kumar was charged with having given a false tip-off to the police about a 'very bad guy' on board an Air India flight, which was headed for a crash, from a public phone at Singapore's Changi Airport last Monday.
Anna Nicole's son died
Anna Nicole Smith's 20-year-old son died of a “massive heart attack” while visiting his mother and newborn sister in their hospital room over the weekend, according to media reports. Daniel Smith had flown to the Bahamas on Saturday to join his mother and was in her hospital room Sunday when he suddenly collapsed.
Labels: accidents, international
Son of CEO, Adobe India abducted
A three-year-old son of the Managing Director of a software multi-national was kidnapped by two motorcycle-borne youths in Sector 15 area of Noida on yesterday (13th Nov 2006) morning.
Anant, whose father Naresh Gupta is the Managing Director of Adobe India rpt Adobe India, was abducted at about 0815 hrs while he was on his way to school from his Sector 15-A residence, said the police.
A student of 'Lotus Valley School', Anant was with his maid when two youth riding on a motorcycle 'snatched' him from the maid's hand and fled the scene.
A case of abduction has been registered at Sector 20 police station and sleuths questioned the maid.
Search is on to arrest the culprits, police added.
Labels: breaking news, national, terror attack
India, Pak Foreign Secretary talks
Kickstarting the fourth round of the Composite Dialogue Process (CDP), India and Pakistan began their Foreign Secretary-level talks here this morning to narrow down differences on a host of issues includng terrorism.
Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon met his Pakistani conterpart Riaz Mohammad Khan at the majestic Hyderabad House and shook hands before they moved in to begin two days of hectic deliberations.
The two sides are expected to give shape to the point Mechanism on Terrorism which was proposed at the meeting between Prime Ministyer Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf at Havana on the sidelines onthe NAM Summit in September.
The proposed Joint Mechanism on Terror is likely to be given shape at the talks which are being held after a gap of nearly one year. Terrorism will be the main focus of the talks which will also review the progress on the three rounds of the Composite Dialogue Process (CDP) held so far.
Siachen and Sir Creek issues could also come up although no concrete progress is expected. The talks which were to be held in July, were put on hold after the 7/11 Mumbai bomb blasts. The Pakistan Foreign Secretary, leading a nine-member team, arrived here from Lahore last evening for the talks.
Immediately after his arival at the airport, he said he was looking forward to ''very constructive discussions.'' Sources said the Pakistan Foreign Secretary will also call on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
Labels: national, politics
Bush to visit Singapore
United States President George W. Bush will make a two-day official visit to Singapore from November 16, it was announced here today.
Singapore is his first stop in the region en route to Vietnam for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders Meeting. This will be President Bush's second official visit to Singapore. His previous visit was in 2003, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. President Bush will be accompanied by First Lady Laura Bush and key U.S. government officials.
During his visit, President Bush will call on Acting President J Y Pillay and meet with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and other Cabinet Ministers. President Bush will also be delivering a speech in Singapore.
Labels: George W Bush, international, politics
Google accidentally sent out an email that has Kama Sutra worm to 50,000 members of the Google Video Blog. “On Tuesday evening, three posts were made to the Google Video Blog-group that should not have been posted,” Google said in a statement. “Some of these posts may have contained a virus called W32/Kapser.A@mm– a mass mailing worm. If you think you have downloaded this virus from the group or an e-mail message, we recommend you run your antivirus program to remove it.” Security expert says that it happens. An infected email being sent out. It happens. Okay…
United States Politics
The 2008 White House race opens in a political landscape transformed by Tuesday's election, with resurgent Democrats seeing new opportunities and wounded Republicans pointing fingers and counting casualties.
Some potential White House contenders, including Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts and Republican Sens. George Allen of Virginia and Bill Frist of Tennessee, suffered setbacks that likely took them out of contention. Democrats solidified support in the Northeast and Midwest, continued their growth in the West and picked up governors' offices in battleground states like Ohio and Colorado that could give them an advantage in 2008.
''Rather than being beleaguered and lost, we have a national victory in all parts of the country and go into this two-year cycle with more momentum than we've had in 14 years,'' said Simon Rosenberg, president of NDN, a centrist Democratic group.
Republicans bickered over what caused the voter anger at President George W Bush and Republican leadership that cost them control of Congress. Some questioned whether the party could be successful with a message crafted primarily for core conservative supporters.
''The Republican Party will have to decide whether they want to win in 2008 or whether they are willing to impale themselves on the point of doctrinaire conservatism,'' Republican consultant Rich Galen said.
But conservative leaders said Republican leaders in Congress needed to return to the ideas that first helped them win government control.
Bombs hit eight car showrooms
Bombs hit eight car and motorcycle showrooms in Thailand's rebellious Muslim south almost simultaneously today, wounding nine people, despite post-coup government gestures to encourage peace, police said. Police said they had been on the alert for attacks in Yala a day after Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont visited the city.
''We knew they were going to do these, but we didn't expect the showrooms to be the target,'' Yala police chief Major General Paitoon Chuchaiya told Reuters by telephone. The bombs, all timed to explode around midday, were hidden in brand new cars by militants posing as potential customers, Paitoon said.
''We are confident salespeople at these showrooms must have seen those bombers and can give us useful information to find them,'' Paitoon said. The worst of the nine wounded was a woman who worked at one of the motorcycle shops. She lost her left hand and suffered head wounds, hospital staff said.
More than 1,700 people have been killed in almost three years of separatist insurgency in the region where 80 percent of the people are Muslim and speak a Malay dialect. The attacks came a day after Surayud went to a Yala school founded by an insurgent leader to appeal for an end to the violence, reinforcing his policy U-turn from elected predecessor Thaksin Shinawatra's hardline approach to the insurgency.
France tests new nuclear missile
France test-launched a new generation of intercontinental ballistic missiles for the first time today, eyewitnesses at the launch site said.
The M51 missile has a range of 6,000 km 50 per cent further than that of the missile currently in service. Developed by European aerospace giant EADS , the M51 will also be able to carry a heavier load than the M45 it will replace, and be armed with up to six warheads.
It was fired from the CELM test site at Biscarrosse, about 70 km from the southwestern city of Bordeaux.
The missile rose straight into the sky with a low roar before arching westwards over the Atlantic Ocean, leaving a trail of white smoke in its wake. Defence Ministry officials were not immediately available for comment on the launch and it was not clear whether the test had been completely successful. A heavy police presence was in place around the missile testing centre to prevent disruption of the launch by environmentalist groups.
The submarine-launched missile is due to come into service around 2010. Its enhanced accuracy is designed to reduce ''collateral damage'', according to the defence ministry.
Ambani Group launched biggest FM Radio channel
Today Anil Dheerubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) has launched the biggest FM Radio channel of India , Big FM 92.7 which will work with a common frequency of 92.7 over 45 stations. As per Tarun Katial , COO Adlabs Radio , the total estimation of the project Big FM 92.7 is Rs.400 Crores.Initially in the first phase Big Fm will cover Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, BAngalore and will soon cover other big cities of India.
Amitabh Bachchan has been appointed as Brand Ambassador of Big Fm 92.7. This is the biggest ever Fm channel in India , is starting in 6 metro cities and soon will cover other parts of the country.The Overall human force in Adlabs Radio will be around 1500 across India, the RJ's have already been appointed with thorough consideration and Big Fm 92.7 is gonna be a one of its kind with largest coverage ever.
Australia wins ICC Champions Trophy
Damien Martyn and man of the match Shane Watson stitched together an unbeaten-103 run partnership to take Australia to their first Champions Trophy win with an eight wicket victory over West Indies at the Brabourne stadium here today.
Australia were set a revised target of 116 runs in 35 overs after a two-hour rain delay by the West Indies. Martyn and Watson batted sensibly after the world Champions found themselves in early trouble at 13 for two. However, they secovered to compelete the chose in 28.1 overs and make 116 for two, to win by eight wickets with 6.5 overs to spare.
Saddam Hussein's defence team said his conviction today for crimes against humanity and the death sentence passed on him were illegal and political.
''This is a mockery of justice and a judgement that comes from a sham and illegal court created by the US occupation that cannot ever provide a fair trial,'' lawyer Bushra al-Khalil told Reuters in Amman, where the defence team is based.
Two other senior aides, including his half-brother Barzan al-Tikriti, will hang like the former president if their automatic appeals fail.
Former vice-president Taha Yassin Ramadan was sentenced to life in prison by the US-backed Iraqi High Tribunal, and three minor Baath party officials received long sentences.
Another defence lawyer who attended the proceedings today said the verdict was a foregone conclusion by a court that had condemned Saddam even before sentencing him.
''The verdict was prepared in advance and is to market the US elections for Bush ... it's the first court in which the verdict is read without the reasons for the conviction,'' Wadoud Fawzi Shams Eddin told Reuters by telephone from Baghdad.
''In any case, this court is illegal ... what can you expect from an illegal creature of the occupation that not only created it but controlled it and announced the convictions and death sentences.''
Saddam Hussein to be hanged till death
A US-backed Iraqi court today sentenced toppled leader Saddam Hussein
to death by hanging for crimes against humanity.The ousted president, visibly shaken, shouted out ''Allahu Akbar!'' (God is Greatest) and ''Long live the nation!''.The Iraqi High Tribunal also handed down death sentences to former revolutionary chief judge Awad Hamed al-Bander and Saddam's half brother and former intelligence chief Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti. Former Iraqi vice president Taha Yassin Ramadan
was sentenced to life in prison.The charges stemmed from the killing of 148 Shi'ite men in Dujail after an assassination attempt against Saddam in 1982.
A death sentence or life imprisonment generates an automatic appeal, delaying any execution by months at least. Saddam has said he wants to face a military firing squad, not the hangman.
PM to lay foundation stone for auto R&D centre
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will lay the foundation stone for the Rs 400 crore National Automotive Testing and Research and Development Infrastructure project at Oragadam near Sriperumbudur, about 45 km from here, tomorrow.
Oragadam, a remote area near the temple town, will turn into a auto hub when Dr Singh lays the foundation stone for the prestigious project in the presence of Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi.
The project is coming up at the industrial estate being exclusively developed by the state-owned SIPCOT in an area of over 2000 acre for automobile and ancillary units.
It was during the inaugural function of the Sethusamudram Project in Madurai on July two, 2005, that Dr Singh, in the presence of Ms Gandhi and Mr Karunanidhi, announced that the project would be established at a cost of Rs 400 crore in Oragadam.
The state government had earmarked an extent of about 300 acre in the SPICOT estate for establishing the project.
Dr Singh, in the presence of Ms Gandhi, Mr Karunanidhi and Union Minister for Communication and Information Technology Dayanidhi Maran, will also inaugurate Flextronics at Sriperumbudur. The Nasdaq-listed Flextronics had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the state government to build an industrial park at Sriperumbudur in an area of 250 acre.
The company has proposed to begin printed circuit board assembly operations initially and after a couple of months, the plant would see end-products rollout. Products to be manufactured included mobile phone handsets, telecom infrastructure equipment like base stations and set-top boxes for the direct-to-home TV services market.
It would have the capacity to make two million mobile phone handsets a month. Currently, the company's Pondicherry facility had the capacity to produce 500,000 handsets. Its Bangalore plant focused on telecom infrastructure equipment, company sources said.
Flextronics would employ about 1,500 people in its new plant on 10 acre of the total 250 acre in the initial phase, they said.
The criteria for formation of Indian States is language [and of course politicians these days!]. India became a Republic in the year 1950 and in same year linguistic provinces were formed. The state of Mysore is one such state in south India.
The state of Mysore was created taking into fold various parts of the region, which were ruled by kings. Several districts in, now called North Karnataka and Hyderabad Karnataka were dissolved in the new state. The new state was named after Mysore, which by itself was a princely state.
People of North and Hyderabad area did not accept the name Mysore. People of this region were demanding a change in the name. After prolonged debate the name of the state was changed to Karnataka on November 1, 1973.
Late Devaraj Urs the then Chief Minister of state took this landmark decision. Officially the new state was born on Nov. 1 and on this day every year birthday of the state is celebrated. This is popularly called as Kannada Rajyotsava
or Karnataka Rajyotsava
. Rajyotsava means "birth of a state
Come Nov. 1 Karnataka will be in a joyous mood. This day is a government holiday. Very few will be out in the streets and community centers chanting Kannada . Majority of people will enjoy the gift of a holiday.
The State Govt announces Rajyotsava awards every year, which is given to people who have contributed to the Karnataka state.
Delhi: No sealing today
There will be no sealing of commercial units in Delhi today. A spokesperson of the Supreme Court-appointed Monitoring Committee told mediapersons yesterday that the MCD sealing drive would not be carried today.
A decision in this regard was taken by the Monitoring committee after a marathon meeting with the officers of the MCD and the Delhi Police which favoured postponement of the proposed sealing drive, as scheduled tomorrow, due to volatile law and order situation.
A fresh date to begin the sealing drive will, however, be decided today by the Monitoring Committee.
Tourism damaging Egyptian heritage-experts
Booming tourism, a key part of Egypt's economy, is having a catastrophic effect on the country's unique cultural heritage, experts said.
So large were the numbers of people now visiting Egypt's famed ancient sites like the Valley of the Kings that they were causing serious damage in a way that even centuries of weather had failed to do, they said at a meeting in London yesterday.
''Tourists are scuffing walls with bags and bodies, wearing away paintings and colour,'' Michael Jones, of the American Research Centre in Egypt, said during the meeting of the British Egyptian Society and the London Middle East Institute.
''The humidity caused by the crowds' breathing and perspiration is also taking a terrible toll on the fabric,'' he added.
After tailing off sharply following a string of attacks by militant Islamists in the 1990s, tourist numbers in Egypt climbed to eight million in 2004 and up again to 8.6 million last year.
Figures from the Egyptian Tourism Authority show that in the first six months of this year tourist numbers were 12 per cent up on the same period the previous year, and there are plans to boost numbers to 16 million by 2014.
Jones, a speaker at the Anglo-Egyptian conference to mark 50 years since the diplomatic crisis caused by Britain's invasion of the Suez canal, was not alone in his concerns.
''The time has now come...to initiate a detailed study of the damage being caused to all Egypt's sites,'' said Egyptologist Gaballa Ali Gaballa, a former head of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities.
''Above all we must work with the tourism industry on this to raise awareness and seek solutions. We all gain from tourism but seeing the damage it is causing makes you feel very sorry indeed,'' he added.