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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Sonia's visit to Kawas

Police resorted to cane charge when a BJP worker was allegedly roughed up by the SPG commandos in the security of Congress President Sonia Gandhi in Kawas here today.

Ms Gandhi is here to review the relief work in the worst-affected Malwa and Kawas village. The trouble started when Kailash Chowdhary, a BJP activist, who was trying to hand over a memorandum to Ms Gandhi had a scuffle with the SPG commandos deployed in the Congress President's security. In the ensuing melee police lathicharged to control the crowd.

BJP district president Dilip Paliwal told that a number of BJP workers were injured in the incident. He said the BJP is going to lodge a complaint against the treatment meted out to them by the commandos with Superintendent of Police.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Sports Awards

National News : Sports News
New Delhi, Aug 29 (IANS) President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Tuesday conferred the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, the country's highest sports award, on cueist Pankaj Advani and gave away Arjuna Awards to 15 others, including badminton star Aparna Popat and hockey wizard Viren Rasquinha, at a glittering ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here.

Commander Nandy Singh (hockey) was among the three people named for the Dhyan Chand Award for lifetime achievement, while Ismail Baig (rowing) was among the four winners of the Dronacharya Award for excellence in coaching.

The following is the list of awardees:

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna: Pankaj Advani (Billiards & Snooker).
Dhyan Chand Awards: Uday K. Prabhu (Athletics), Commander (retd) Nandy Singh (Hockey), Harish Chandra M. Birajdar (Wrestling).

Dronacharya Awards: Hony. Captain M. Venu (Boxing), Balwan Singh (Kabaddi), Maha Singh Rao (Wrestling), Ismail Baig (Rowing).

Arjuna Awards: Tarundeep Rai (Archery), Dola Banerjee (Archery), Manjit Kaur (Athletics), Aparna Popat (Badminton), Anuja Prakash Thakur (Billiards & Snooker), Akhil Kumar (Boxing), Surya Shekhar Ganguly (Chess), Anju Jain (Cricket), Viren Rasquinha (Hockey), Ramesh Kumar (Kabaddi), Gagan Narang (Shooting), Shikha Tandon (Swimming), Soumyadeep Roy (Table Tennis), Sushil Kumar (Wrestling), Rajinder Singh Rahelu (Physically Handicapped).

The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna comprises Rs.500,000 in cash, a scroll of honour and a medal.
The Dhyanchand and Dronacharya Awards comprise Rs.300,000 in cash, a plaque and a scroll of honour.

The Arjuna Award carries Rs.300,000 in cash, a statute and a scroll of honour.
Raj Singh Dungarpur, a former president of the Indian cricket board, headed the selection committee for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, the Dhyanchand Awards and the Arjuna Awards.

Professor beaten to death in Ujjain

A professor in Ujjain died of a heart attack after clashing students beat him up.
Professor Harbhajan Singh Sabarwal and two other teachers were beaten up brutally when they tried to broker peace between student factions and the faculty.
While Professor Sabarwal died on the way to the hospital, two other teachers were badly wounded.

"It is difficult to decide whether it is useful to teach such students," said Professor Gopal Sharma, teacher in Madhav college. The police have registered cases of murder against unnamed students based on a complaint by Komal Singh, a college employee who was with the dying professor.

Related cases have been registered against students of both the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and the rival National Student Union of India (NSUI)
"The police is inquiring into the matter," said Vineet Khanna, Additional SP, Ujjain.
The episode has also taken on political colours with Congress leaders blaming the state's BJP government responsible for the ugly incident.
Leader of Opposition in MP Assembly Jamuna Devi has held BJP government responsible for the incident.

A panel of three doctors will conduct a post-mortem on Sunday to establish the cause of the professor's death.But with college teachers going on an indefinite strike and political parties getting involved, the controversy is unlikely to end anytime soon.

Rahul Mahajan in focus again

National News : Rahul mahajan ties knotRahul Mahajan, the headline-grabbing son of late Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) leader Pramod Mahajan, married Tuesday - a ceremony that once again became a media event and drew several political leaders to the city.

Rahul, who was arrested for suspected drug abuse in June and then released on bail, married airline pilot Shweta Singh. His choice, the family said, was approved by his late father who was one of BJP's stalwarts at the time of his sudden death.

The simple, traditional ceremony that took place at 11.30 a.m. at a banquet hall in Worli in south-central Mumbai, comes less

than four months after Pramod Mahajan died of gunshot injuries inflicted by his brother Pravin.

The event was covered live by many TV networks who have been trailing the 31-year-old Rahul ever since his father's death and his subsequent arrest after an alleged drug-laced party at his late father's Delhi bungalow barely a month after his death.

Several bigwigs, including union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel, Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah as well as industrialists Anil Ambani and Rahul Bajaj, attended the function.

The BJP was represented by L.K. Advani, Venkaiah Naidu, Ananth Kumar, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Kalraj Mishra and Smriti Irani apart from Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray.

Former deputy chief minister and BJP leader Gopinath Munde, who is married to Pramod Mahajan's sister Pradnya, greeted the guests along with Rahul's mother Rekha and sister Poonam.

"The wedding ceremony was kept simple in the wake of the recent death of Pramod Mahajan, the subsequent arrest of Pravin and the arrest of Rahul in a drug abuse case," said senior BJP leader Ganesh Hake.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Five dead in Spanish train derailment

International News: Spanish train derailmentFive people were killed and between 20 and 30 injured today when a Spanish inter-city train derailed in the northwest of the country, police said.Six carriages of the train derailed near the station of Villada in the Palencia region as the train travelled between the Spanish city of Vigo and the town of Hendaye in France, said a spokesman for the Guardia Civil police in Palencia.Spanish state radio had earlier said the train was travelling from the capital Madrid.

Nine months lost at sea

World news, Fisher men lost in seaThree Mexicans who survived an epic voyage across the Pacific Ocean in a small fishing boat have arrived in the Marshall Islands, setting foot on land for the first time in more than nine months.

The three men walked off the Taiwanese tuna trawler that found them two weeks ago floating in their 8-meter fiberglass boat about 8,000 km from their departure point, the Mexican Pacific coastal town of San Blas. Their bare feet were swollen, but otherwise the men appeared in good health.

The men, who said they set off on a fishing trip in November and lost their way when they ran out of gasoline, today reached the Marshall Island capital of Majuro, which is Monday in Mexico.

They smiled and waved and one man shouted ''Hello Mexico,'' to Mexican journalists as the trawler got close to the islands. The Mexicans stayed alive by eating raw birds and fish and drinking rain water. They said two other men died of starvation during the trip and were thrown overboard.

''We held a three-day wake and when he began to swell up we prayed,'' survivor Salvador Ordonez told Mexican television, describing what happened when the first man died. ''We put him in the sea and the current took him away.'' The fishermen denied rumors they had been trafficking drugs.

''We are shark fishermen,'' said Ordonez, who said he had no intention of abandoning the sea after his ordeal. ''I like living in San Blas, there's lots of shark nearby.'' Speculation about the mens' activities has centered on the fact that the survivors do not know the full names of the men who died. A local government official in San Blas said last week that no one there knew two other men were on board.

The fishermen were expected to be flown home to Mexico in the next few days.

"Sati" in Madhya Pradesh

In a suspected case of 'Sati', a tribal woman jumped into the funeral pyre of her husband and died instantly in Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh. Police, however, said it was not a case of 'Sati' but self-immolation.

Family members told the police that Janakrani (45) had sneaked out of the house on the pretext of attending the call of nature and jumped into her husband's funeral pyre on the village outskirts yesterday. The incident took place at Tulsipur village in Deori tehsil, about 80 km from Sagar town.

Police said Premnarayan Gond (50), who had been bed-ridden for five years due to paralysis, died yesterday. By the time the village elders left the crematorium after Premnarayan's funeral to bathe in a nearby river, Janakrani jumped into the pyre.

When she did not return home, a frantic search was conducted and her youngest son noticed her burning body at her husband's pyre.

Pakistan will boycott Darrell Hair in future

A bitter Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said Pakistan will never play in any future Test match with Darrell Hair as umpire even as the media, former cricketers and students continued to lambast the Aussie umpire for raking up the ball-tampering row.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Shaharyar Khan told reporters at the Marriott Hotel in North West London that he had lodged a complaint to the International Cricket Council (ICC) that Hair never officiates in a Test involving Pakistan in future.

Hair and fellow umpire Billy Doctrove awarded the fourth Test at The Oval to England after Pakistan refused to return to the field after the umpires had imposed a five-run penalty against them for ball-tampering and changed the ball. The ICC had then charged captain Inzamam of ''bringing the game into disrepute'' and ''changing the condition of the ball'' while also deciding for a Code of Conduct hearing on Friday into the incidents.

''Darrell Hair has trained his guns on the team. It is a slur on the players and a slur to Pakistan itself. The team has had problems with him before and have lost confidence in him as an umpire. They are deeply offended by his attitude.

and at the manner in which the ball-tampering issue arose'' Khan said. ''It is not that Darrell Hair is a bad umpire, Darrell Hair is a good umpire. Our team has a problem with his attitude on the field. That attitude has upset our team more than once.

Meanwhile, dozens of Pakistani students burned Hair's pictures in Islamabad and over a hundred Pakistani cricket fans assembled at the Southall locality in London to protest against Hair's accusation of ball tampering against Inzamam's men, The News reported.

AIIMS medical students observe Black Day

AIIMS Resident Doctors Association and medical students are observing a black day here today in protest against the government's decision to implement OBC quota in institutes of higher education. The doctors will go on mass casual leave tomorrow in protest against the decision. But essential services, including the emergency in the world renowned health care institution will function normally.

''The Government has to realise that it has to be answerable. The future of millions of people cannot be decided in such a hurry. We will keep protesting the move,'' AIIMS RDA president and Youth For Equality leader Binod Patra told.The decision to observe Black Day was taken at last night's general body meeting of the Youth For Equality, which is spearheading the anti-quota agitation.

However, services in the OPD might be affected as it will only be run by the senior doctors in absence of the residents. Yesterday, the medicos held a protest rally at Jantar Mantar during which they clashed with police when they were trying to march towards Congress president Sonia Gandhi's 10, Janpath residence.

Police aimed water canon and lobbed teargas shells to stop the protestors, including students from Delhi University and JNU, from breaking the security cordon.
The medicos were back to the streets in protest over the same issue within almost three months of the 20-day strike in May when Supreme Court had asked them to call off their agitation.
The government had assured them that their concerns regarding OBC reservation will be addressed.

The angry medical students and few resident doctors, from all medical colleges across the city, sought details from the government on the implementation of 27 per cent OBC reservation in higher educational institutes.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Inzamam-ul Haq under dispute

Cricket, Sports News: Inzamam-ul Haq and ICCThe International Cricket Council (ICC) today charged Inzamam-ul Haq of 'bringing the game into disrepute' and 'changing the condition of the ball' and confirmed a Code of Conduct hearing on Friday into incidents that occurred during their fourth day of the fourth Test against England at the Oval. Both the charges will be considered during a hearing to be conducted by ICC Chief Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle.

According to the ICC, Inzamam has been charged, as captain, with a breach of Level 2.10 of the ICC Code which relates to changing the condition of the ball in breach of Law 42.3 of the Laws of Cricket.

The charge was brought by the on-field umpires Billy Doctrove and Darrell Hair yesterday. If Inzamam is found guilty of breaching this provision he faces a fine of between 50 and 100 per cent of his match fee and/or a one Test or two ODI ban. The Pakistan captain was also charged, as captain, with a breach of C2 at Level 3 of the Code which relates to conduct that brings the player or the game of cricket into disrepute.

This charge was brought by the on-field umpires Billy Doctrove and Darrell Hair along with the third and fourth umpires Peter Hartley and Trevor Jesty following a meeting on this morning, the ICC said in a statement. If Inzamam is found guilty of breaching this provision he faces a ban of between two and four Test matches or four to eight ODI matches.

In laying this charge the umpires made reference to the preamble to the Laws of Cricket which highlights the responsibility of the captain to ensure that play is conducted within the spirit of cricket as well as within its laws. The ICC has provisionally appointed Madugalle to conduct the hearing as the Match Referee for the fourth Test, Mike Procter, was involved in the incidents that took place on yesterday afternoon and is likely to be asked to present evidence to the hearing.

If found guilty the penalties would apply with immediate effect subject to appeal which would have to be made within 24 hours of notification of the adjudicator's decision. If an appeal is made a player is permitted to continue to represent his country pending the outcome of the appeal.

Pakistan did not appear for the session after tea yesterday after they were penalised five runs for ball-tampering by the umpires and remained in the changing room when the umpires went out a second time 15 minutes later. Later, England were awarded the match.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Ustad Bismillah Khan passes away

Breaking News : Ustad Bismillah  Khan expaired
Shehnai legend and Baharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan died here in a private hospital early today. He was 90 years old.

According to the family sources the maestro died due to severe cardiac arrest at 0245 hrs at the Heritage hospital. He was admitted to the hospital on August 17 for treatment of Electrolyte imbalance, sources said.

The hospital authorities had even discussed of discharging him in three to four days as he was improving day by day. But his health deteriorated after midnight and he died of heart attack, they added. The body has been taken to his residence at Harh Sarai in the city. The funeral is likely to take place in the evening. Some top political leaders of the country are expected to attend the last rites.

Born on March 21, 1916 in Dumraon (Bihar) Ustad Bismillah Khan was conffered with the nation's highest civilian honour Bharat Ratna on May 4 2001.

NCERT text 'distortions'

Education : national newsThe Centre will conduct an inquiry into the 'distortions' and 'objectionable' language used in the description of freedom fighters in NCERT school textbooks, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee said here.
''There will be an inquiry into the indecent descriptions of some of our freedom fighters in the NCERT school textbooks, which is condemnable," Mr Mukherjee said on the sidelines of a function organised near Serampore yesterday.

Mr Mukherjee, however, said that he was of the view that the NCERT mistakes might have cropped up as the British used to label Indian revolutionaries as 'terrorists' in their official records.
Earlier, the state Congress demanded that NCERT school textbooks should be banned immediately because of distortions.

"You should cancel the NCERT textbooks and take action against the writers, who have defamed national heroes," Congress Legislature party leader in the state assembly Manas Bhuniya said in a letter to the HRD Minister.

He said it was matter of regret that freedom fighters like Khudiram Bose, Arabinda Ghose, Bipin Chandra Pal, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose were dubbed 'terrorists' in the books.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Germany offers Sea

Germany has pledged to provide police, customs agents, aircraft and ships to a UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon to prevent arms from flowing into the country by land from Syria or by sea.

''Today I was in a position to offer a rather substantive maritime component which is so encompassing that it could patrol and secure the whole of the Lebanese coast to make sure that no weapons or other related materials get into Lebanon,'' German U.N. Ambassador Thomas Matussek said yesterday.

''We could also offer a rather substantial border patrol along the Syrian border,'' Matussek said after a meeting at UN headquarters of countries interested in supporting a beefed-up UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon. The offer was contingent on parliamentary approval, he said.

Master Mind behind Airline bomb plot

A son-in-law of al Qaeda deputy Ayman al-Zawahri was the mastermind of a plot to blow up transatlantic airliners unearthed in Britain this month, a Pakistani newspaper said today. British police said on August 10 they had foiled a major plot to carry out suicide bombings on aircraft bound for the United States and are questioning 23 suspects.

Pakistan said last week it had arrested seven people, including two British Muslims of Pakistani descent, in connection with the plot. One of the arrested Britons was identified as Rashid Rauf and Pakistan said he was an al Qaeda operative with links in Afghanistan and was central to the plot. Pakistan's Dawn newspaper, citing what it described as credible sources, said a son-in-law of the fugitive Zawahri was the mastermind and was being hunted.

The newspaper did not identify the suspected mastermind but said Zawahri, Osama bin Laden's deputy, was known to have several sons-in-law. Senior Pakistani security officials were not immediately available for comment. Zawahri is believed to be hiding out along the Afghan-Pakistani border, in the area of the eastern Afghan province of Kunar and the Bajaur region in Pakistan.

A missile from a CIA drone aircraft hit a meeting of al Qaeda leaders in Bajaur in January. US intelligence officials believed Zawahri might have been attending the gathering. The airliner bomb mastermind was believed to have met one or more of the plotters in Bajaur or across the border in Kunar, Dawn said.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Rail roko against changes to RTI

National News, Change in RTI
Activists of the 'Brashtrachar Viroddhi Jan Andolan' (BVJA) headed by noted social activist Anna Hazare has declared a nation wide rail roko stir against the proposed amendments to the Right to Information Act from August 18.

The city unit president of BVJA, K D Pawar said that Anna does realise that the rail roko may cause inconvenience to people but it was necessary in the interests of the same people and that the bill should be opposed by all sections of society. He said that the proposed amendments included keeping confidentiality of file notings among others.

Earlier, the BJP, the Left and RPI groups extended their support to Anna and in Delhi noted activist Sandeep Pandey called off his agitation after assurances from MP's belonging to the Left parties yesterday. Meanwhile Anna's fast-unto death enterd the eighth day but no government functionary barring the district collector has come to meet him, Pawar said, adding that the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had also written to Anna urging him to call off the fast. ''We are nevertheless going ahead with the agitation,'' Pawar said.

Blast at ISCON Temple Imphal

At least two people were killed and seventeen injured, many of them seriously, when a powerful hand grenade was thrown at a congregation where more than 1000 people were offering prayers to mark Janmastami, the birth of Lord Krishna, here this evening.

Imphal Superintendent of Police Clay Khongsai said a powerful Chinese made hand grenade was hurled in fornt of Lord Krishna temple at ISCON complex at 7 pm when people were offering prayers.The injured were taken to Regional Institute of Medical Science and other local hospitals where condition of ten including some women was critical.No one was arrested in this connection. Police cordoned off the area to launch combing operation.No organisation so far claimed the responsibility of the blast.

Jet Airways security staff suspected

A 23-year-old employee of Jet Airways at Heathrow is one of the 24 people arrested in connection with the planned air terror attack which was foiled on Thursday.

Sources said Asmin Amin Tariq was employed as an ancillary security staff with Jet Airways at their London office. He is a British national of Asian origin who used to work with GS (Group Securitas) 4 until March when a British law required all airlines to permanently employ all their security staff. Tariq was taken in as a permanent employee in March.
Jet’s Executive Director Saroj Datta said, ‘‘We are trying to get more information about him. All employees of Jet in the UK are cleared by police and security agencies there.’’
Tariq and Waheed Zaman, a biochemistry student, were arrested near Walthamstow dog track after a car chase.

Security officials said the suspected terrorists had plotted to blow up 10 US-bound planes by mixing a British sports drink with a gel-like substance and hoping to stage a practice run followed by actual attacks within days.
The 24 suspects, all Muslims and aged between 17 and 35, were being questioned at Paddington High Security police station in West London. Most of them are of Pakistani origin and three of them are converts.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Lebanon major progress in talks with U.S

Lebanese leaders made ''major progress'' in talks with a top US official today on a UN resolution to end Israel's war with Hizbollah, a senior Lebanese political source said.
''We are discussing the details. There is serious and major progress that could lead to an understanding in the next few hours,'' the source said. ''There are no more basic sticking points.'' The source, who is familiar with the talks, said there was a good chance that the UN Security Council would adopt a resolution later today. He gave no further details.
At the United Nations, US ambassador John Bolton said negotiators were ''very, very close'' to an agreement on a draft resolution.
US Assistant Secretary of State David Welch, who has been shuttling between Beirut and Jerusalem, held separate talks in the Lebanese capital with Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, a Shi'ite who has negotiated on Hizbollah's behalf.
Welch said only that he had had a ''good meeting'' with Berri.

Friday, August 11, 2006

100 people killed in China typhoon

More than 100 people have been killed as the strongest typhoon in half a century hit eastern China.

Typhoon Saomai tore into Cangnan county in the eastern province of Zhejiang yesterday after authorities moved more than one million people in the densely populated commercial province to safety.

By Friday noon, 104 people were confirmed dead and 190 were missing in Zhejiang and neighbouring Fujian province, according to the Chinese Xinhua news agency. Some 54,000 houses were destroyed.

Damage to crops, power lines and infrastructure was evident in Cangnan county. Power was also cut in five towns close to where Saomai made landfall.

Meerut Fire: 30-40 per cent of the mall damaged

Thirty to fourty per cent of the plush shopping mall-cum-multiplex in an upmarket locality here has suffered severe damages as a major fire engulfed the building last night prompting the district administration to order an inquiry into the incident.

There was no casualty in the fire that broke out in PVS Mall in Shastri Nagar area of the town last night due to a suspected short circuit in the basement of the building.
Though the economic loss caused due to the fire could not to be ascertained immediately, a senior police official at the site said that about 30-40 per cent of the building have suffered severe damages.

One portion of the building which houses a super market has almost damaged completely while the other side that has multiplex has no major damages.
District Additional District Magistrate has been asked to conduct an inquiry and he will be assisted by Superintendent Engineer (PWD) and Superintendent Engineer (Power).
"Any authority found guilty of giving approval to the building without proper checking will face the music," District Magistrate Mukesh Meshram said.

The screening of films was on in the three cinema halls located in the basement when the fire erupted and Meshram said all people were evacuated before the flames could trap them in the sprawling complex.

The fire, which broke out at around 7.15 PM, was initially brought under control by fire tenders from Meerut but it suddenly erupted again and spread to the first floor of the mega mall.

This is the second fire in four months in Meerut as an electronic goods exhibition at Victoria Park on April 10 this year had taken a toll of 64 people.

US embassy warns of terrorist attacks in India

news, world news, international newsThe US embassy in India has warned American citizens of likely terrorist attacks in or around New Delhi and Mumbai in the run-up to the country's Independence Day celebrations next week, a spokesman said on Friday.

"We have urged U.S. citizens to keep a low profile, be alert and attentive to their surroundings," he said. "We have learned that foreign terrorists may carry out attacks in or around New Delhi and Mumbai."

The warning comes in the form of an adivsory issued by the US Embassy here to American citizens in the country.

The advisory also gives a possible time frame of August 11-16 for the attacks, which it says are likely to target major airports, key central Indian government offices and major gathering places such as hotels and markets. The Embassy has urged American citizens to maintain a low profile and advises them to be alert and attentive to their surroundings during this period.

Yesterday, Britain unearthed a massive terrorist plan to hijack as many as ten passenger planes between UK and the US and detained 21 people, including those of Pakistani origin.

In the capital, police foiled a bid to target Independence Day celebrations with the arrest of two hardcore Lashkar-e-Toiba militants, including a Pakistani national, from the New Delhi railway station last evening. Police said Abu Anas, a resident of Islamabad in Pakistan and Abrar Ahmad who hails from Bahraich in Uttar Pradesh, were arrested while they were getting into an autorickshaw at the New Delhi railway station at 2200 hrs.

The men, who are in their 30s, had come from Jammu and Kashmir and were ''specifically assigned to target Independence Day celebrations,'' said a senior Delhi Police official. Security has been stepped up in the capital and Mumbai ahead of the Independence Day.

The security drills were being followed more strictly in major airports following yesterday's developments in Britain.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

CPM for probe of Reliance role in oil contracts

Communist Party of India (Marxist) today demanded a special investigation into the oil transactions and surcharges paid by Reliance Industries, the "biggest Indian beneficiary in the oil-for-food programme of Iraq."

Flaying the UPA government and the Opposition BJP for remaining silent on the alleged involvement of Reliance, the Polit Bureau of CPI (M) said the company lifted 15.78 million barrels of the 19 million barrels it was allotted as a non-contractual beneficiary.

''It is incumbent upon the UPA government to submit a report on the biggst ''non-contractual'' beneficiary,'' said a statement issued by the Polit Bureau.

The party also blamed the BJP on the issue saying it was during the BJP-led government that the allotments to Reliance were given.

''The silence of the BJP on this issue is also illuminating,'' the Polit Bureau said.

On the role of former External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh, who has been suspended by the Congress following his indictment by the Justice Pathak Inquiry Authority that he ''misused'' his position as a leader of the Congress to recommend ''a certain individual and his company'' to the Iraqi authorities for oil contracts, the CPI (M) said it was up to the Congress party to decide on the action taken.

The Polit Bureau said the party had demanded that the inquiry should also involve allotments to the Reliance, but ''surprisingly, this was not done''.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Blast shakes SLankan capital

An explosion shook a central residential neighbourhood in the Sri Lankan capital today and eyewitnesses told Reuters they could see plumes of smoke rising, but the military said there were no immediate details.

''There has been an explosion,'' said Major Upali Rajapakse, senior coordinator at the national security media centre. ''We have no details yet.'' The blast comes as Tamil Tiger rebels fight the military for the 14th day over disputed water supplies in the island's east amid what many analysts and witnesses say is a new episode of the island's two-decade civil war.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Infosys Celebrates

Business News : Headlines, Infosys Shedding its desi garb, software major Infosys has emerged a multi-ethnic, multi-culture employer by recruiting foreigners and scouting for more talent across the globe, with 98 per cent of its revenue coming from exports.

Infosys, which had trained 100 engineers since last year, had gone across universities in the US in search of talent and offered jobs to 126 youngsters from 82 universities. The company would be spending 2.5 to three million Dollars on the US hires. These US citizens were currently under a 16-week training at the Global Education Centre of Infosys here and by the next year the number would increase to 300.

''We are looking for another 100 from the UK and also searching for talent in other European countries, besides Australia,'' Infosys Director and Human Resources Head T V Mohandas Pai told newspersons here today.

''The arrival of these American graduates marks the creation of a true global village at our Global Education Centre in Mysore,'' he said, adding ''the collective capabilities that will develop as these infoscions interact will create a more competitive business model.''

Mr Pai said the company would be spending 150 million US on educating its employees, besides spending on continuing education. It had spent one million US Dollars for imparting training to Chinese engineers. Another 100 engineers would be trained from China this year, he added. Infosys began GTP for entry-level software engineer positions at top universities in the US following a successful pilot programme that brought ten young Americans to work in Bangalore.
Referring to the Rs 900 crore expansion programme of the Global Education Centre, he said by June next, the company would have in all spent Rs 1200 crore on training and education facilities alone at the Mysore Campus, creating a capacity to train 35,000 to 45,000 people in a year. Perhaps this was the single largest investment in education in any single centre, he added.

Supreme court to Bharati Yadav

News India, Katara murder case, Bharti YadavBharti Yadav, a key witness in the Nitish Katara murder case, sent a fax message to a trial court on Saturday, expressing willingness to record her evidence in the case.

The fax was sent from an undisclosed location in the United Kingdom to a judge in the Patiala House Court dealing with the case.

In the fax message, Bharti, the sister of main accused Vikas Yadav, said she was ready to record her evidence through video conferencing.

The prosecution told Additional Sessions Judge Ravinder Kaur that Bharti had sent the fax on Saturday to the judge in charge of the Patiala House Court from the UK.

However, Bharti had not disclosed her address in the fax message.

The ASJ is hearing an application by the prosecution seeking issue of proclamation against Bharti for failing to appear before the court as witness, despite the issuance of three non-bailable warrants.

Anguished over Bharti's non-appearance despite repeated trial court orders, the Supreme Court had on Friday warned her brothers Vikas and Vishal, facing trial in the murder case, not to take the judicial system for a ride.

Rescue workers dig up 49 bodies in south Lebanon

Tyre (Lebanon), Aug 1: Rescuers recovered 49 bodies today at the start of the gruesome task of digging up scores of bodies from the rubble of south Lebanon during a 48-hour suspension of Israeli air attacks.

Lebanese medical sources said the bodies were dug up and found in streets and burnt cars in at least 10 villages east of the port city of Tyre. They said rescue workers were looking for dozens more bodies believed to be buried under the rubble in a cluster of border villages and towns bombarded by Israeli aircraft over the past three weeks.

Israel's three-week offensive in Lebanon has killed around 600 people, mostly civilians. Lebanese Health Minister Mohammad Khalifeh put the number of unrecovered bodies at 200, which would take the death toll to 750 in Lebanon. Fifty-one Israelis have also been killed.

Civil defence workers were using a bulldozer to clear rubble from where around 30 civilians were believed buried under houses destroyed in an Israeli air strike in the village of Sreefa two weeks ago. They had recovered 12 bodies.

Israel today began a 48-hour suspension of air strikes on south Lebanon after an air strike on the village of Qana killed at least 54 civilians.

But the army said it reserved the right to strike at Hizbollah rocket launchers, target the Shi'ite Muslim group's leaders or give air support to its ground operations. The war erupted when Hizbollah captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border attack on July 12.

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