Fuel price hike is 'unavoidable', Jaipal Reddy says

NEW DELHI: An increase in diesel, cooking gas and kerosene prices is "unavoidable", oil minister SJaipal Reddy said on Tuesday but indicated that the hike may not be decided by the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) at its meeting later in the evening on Tuesday.

"There is a meeting of the CCPA (this evening). This item (increase in diesel and cooking fuel) is not listed," he told reporters after meeting finance minister P Chidambaram here. "I am not sure if the item will be taken up at all today."

Find jobs with Jaipur metro by October

Jaipur: Clouds of uncertainty may be looming over completion of the metro project in its set deadline due to land-acquisition hurdles and slow progress in civil works. However, Jaipur metro rail corporation (JMRC) is all set to recruit the team which will operate trains when the project finally takes off.

The corporation has given nod for the recruitment of 400 staffers to operate and maintain the metro trains scheduled to run from Mansarovar to Chandpole, which is the first phase of the project. The recruitment process will start in one month’s time. An advertisement will be issued for this too. The process is expected to be finished by December, just six months before the deadline when trains should actually start to ply.

The decision of recruitment was taken in a meeting of corporation’s board of the directors chaired by CMD NC Goyal on Wednesday. The board meeting approved the drafted rules for the recruitment. According to sources, 472 staffers will be recruited for Jaipur Metro.

“400 staffers will be recruited directly by December. Corporation will decide over the recruitment of other staffers later,” said a source with JMRC.

The manpower to be recruited primary includes technical staff, drivers, station masters and engineers who will be deployed to maintain and operate trains plying on Mansarovar to Chandpole route by June, 2013.

The source added that recruitment process should have been started a couple of months back. But drafting of the rules and its approval from the finance department consumed a lot of time.
Source - Daily Bhaskar

Jal satyagraha: Govt agrees to protesters' demand, will lower water level in dam

Jal satyagraha: Govt agrees to protesters' demand, will lower water level in dam
Khandwa: Fifty one villagers have stood in neck-deep water - their bodies shriveled, covered with rashes and with their skin peeling - for 17 days, forcing the Madhya Pradesh government to accept their demands. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today agreed to lower the water level in the Omkareshwar dam, one of the key demands of the protesters in Ghogalgaon village of the state's Khandwa district.

"We have agreed to bring down the water level of the dam to 189 metres and to compensate the farmers with land for their land. We will also form a three-member ministerial panel to look into the matter," Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said today. He said the benefit of land for land compensation would be available only to those who returned the monetary compensation paid to them in 2008 for their land. 

Jal satyagraha: Central team likely to visit Khandwa today

Khandwa: The 51 protesters in Madhya Pradesh's Khandwa district have been sitting in water for 17 days now hoping to draw attention to their displacement by a big dam. 
And the government has finally taken notice of their protest; a Central team including two Secretary-level officials from the Power Ministry is likely to arrive at the protest site today, sources said.
The Madhya Pradesh government, which was criticised for allegedly ignoring their protest, too reached out to the protesters. Deputed by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, ministers Kailash Vijaywargia and Vijay Shah visited village Ghogalgaon on Saturday and met the agitators assuring them of an early decision to protect their rights.
I with my folded hands request all you protesters to suspend your Jal Satyagraha,I am not asking you to end it. I will publish my report to the Chief Minister and I am sure he will very soon take the right decision," Mr Vijaywargia told protesters.

171 Hindus arrive from Pakistan, seeking refugee status

Jodhpur: A batch of 171 Hindus today have arrived in Jodhpur from Pakistan after a three-month long arduous journey with leader of the group saying they were seeking a refugee status in India for the sake of "self-respect", religious freedom and children's future.

They have been accommodated temporarily in a temple campus until proper arrangements are made.

"We have intimated the chief minister about this, who was in Jodhpur today and expect him to direct the administration to make some arrangements for them," said Singh Sodha, president of Seemant Lok Sangthan, an organisation fighting for the rehabilitation of Hindu migrants.

Another Title for U.S. Women

Photographs by Itsuo Inouye/Associated PressU.S. players reaching for a touch of the championship trophy after defeating Germany early Saturday in the final of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Tokyo.

Another group of American women were crowned champions of an international soccer tournament when the United States defeated Germany early Saturday, 1-0, to win the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Tokyo.

The title comes only weeks after the senior national team beat Japan to win the gold medal at the London Games (and a bit more than a year after the American women were runners-up to Japan at the Women’s World Cup in Germany). The United States has one more opportunity this year to win a major tournament — theFIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup begins in two weeks in Azerbaijan.

“It was a great performance by our team,” U.S. Coach Steve Swanson told The Associated Press. “It’s a reflection of a lot of people’s efforts. We had some adversity in the group stage, but the players learned from that and our character showed tonight.”

U.S. goalkeeper Barane Heaberlin, top front of Julie Johnston.

The United States narrowly advanced from the group stage, getting the nod over China only on goal differential. The American team had lost to Germany in the first round by 3-0 as the defending champions tore through the tournament without allowing a goal — until the final. Germany scored 15 goals in the group stage and had gone 610 minutes without allowing a goal.
I don’t think beating them 3-0 had any implications for today’s match,” Germany Coach Maren Meinert told the A.P. “Playing the United States is always tough. We gave up a goal in the first half, and that made it harder for the players to respond, and it was a totally different situation than the first time we played them.”
On Saturday in Tokyo’s National Stadium, the site of the 2002 World Cup final, Kealia Ohai, one of the quickest American players, scored just before halftime. Crystal Dunn beat a defender and hit a square pass to Ohai, who beat goalkeeper Laura Benkarth for the game’s only goal.
“I saw Crystal making a run, and every time she does that you know she is going to get something in the box,” Ohai told the A.P. “I sprinted as fast as I could, and she got the ball to me and I just squared it.

The championship was the third won by the U.S. in this age group. The Americans won the inaugural tournament in 2002 and again in 2008.

After slipping into the knockout stage, the U.S. team ousted North Korea, 2-1, in extra time, blanked Nigeria, 2-0, and stymied and quick and skillful German team.

“Our defense got better and better as the tournament went on,” Swanson said. “They deserve a lot of credit, and when I say that I include the goalkeeper. We needed to stay compact. We got a little stretched out against Germany in the first game against them, so we knew we needed to be better defensively, and that was a key to our winning tonight.”

With the departure of Pia Sundhage as coach of the senior national team,Swanson may have positioned himself for promotion. He is also the women’s coach at the University of Virginia.

Source - The New York Times

Mexico Holds Suspect in Death of U.S. Border Officer

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The Mexican federal police announced Friday that they had arrested a suspect in the killing of a United States Border Patrol agent, Brian A. Terry, whose death is at the center of the scandal over a botched United States gun-smuggling investigation known as Operation Fast and Furious.
Two guns found at the scene of Mr. Terry’s killing were bought by a member of a gun-smuggling ring that was being monitored in the Fast and Furious investigation. United States authorities have been criticized for allowing informants to walk away from Phoenix-area gun shops with weapons, rather than immediately arresting suspects.
In Operation Fast and Furious and at least three earlier operations during the administration of President George W. Bush, agents in Arizona employed a risky tactic called gun-walking — allowing low-level “straw” buyers in gun-trafficking networks to leave with loads of weapons purchased at gun shops. The goal was to track the guns to major weapons traffickers and drug cartels in order to bring cases against kingpins who had long eluded prosecution under the prevailing strategy of arresting low-level purchasers of guns who were suspected of buying them for others.
During Operation Fast and Furious, many of the weapons were not tracked, and wound up at crime scenes in Mexico and the United States, including the Terry shooting.
In July, the Justice Department unsealed an indictment of the five suspects in Mr. Terry’s death, and offered a $1 million reward for information leading to their capture.
Authorities had previously released the identity of one suspect, Manuel Osorio Arellanes, who was shot during the gunfight and has been in custody since the night of the shooting.
The indictment identified the four other men, who were fugitives at the time: Jesús Rosario Favela Astorga, Iván Soto-Barraza, Heraclio Osorio Arellanes and Lionel Portillo Meza, which the Mexican police said was an alias of Mr. Sánchez. All five men have been charged with murder. They also face charges of assaulting four federal agents.

Source - The New York Times

Super Saturday Skies: Cloudy, Partly Happy

On Super Saturday at the United States Open, weather dominated instead of Serena Williams. This included torrential downpours, wind gusts so powerful they picked up chairs, a postponed women’s final, a postponed men’s semifinal and even an evacuation for an impending tornado.
They played tennis, too, in an afternoon window between the storms, in conditions one of the participants, Andy Murray, described as the most difficult he has played in. Murray defeated Tomas Berdych in a match that resembled tennis, if they played tennis in a wind tunnel designed to produce bloopers and errors and frustration.
The scoreboard read 5-7, 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 (7), in favor of Murray, who advanced to his fifth Grand Slam final and assured he would ascend to No. 3 in the world rankings next week. His reward: a visit from Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Sean Connery at his news conference.
“Excuse me for interrupting,” Connery said, as it started to register for Murray that James Bond wanted to say hello.
Ferguson then said something about how Scotland invented the world. “And today,” he added, “we invented the wind.”
It was that kind of afternoon. Strange, in a word.
For most of this United States Open, the schedule remained on track, a break from recent years, from four straight men’s singles finals pushed to Monday because of weather delays. After Saturday, though, it will be five.

Romney not ready for international diplomacy: Obama

US President Barack Obama castigated Republican rival Mitt Romney for insulting top ally Britain today and said he was not ready for international diplomacy.
"You might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing if you can't visit the Olympics without insulting our closest ally," 
Obama trumpeted his own foreign policy and national security successes as he launched a blistering attack on his opponent in November, trying to persuade American voters he was the only candidate suitable of being commander-in-chief.
"In a world of new threats and new challenges, you can choose leadership that has been tested and proven," he said.
"Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq. We did. I promised to refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11. We have," he said.
"I promised to refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11. We have. We've blunted the Taliban's momentum in Afghanistan, and in 2014, our longest war will be over.
"A new tower rises above the New York skyline, al Qaeda is on the path to defeat, and Osama bin Laden is dead."
Obama contrasted his sterling record with that of an opponent he portrayed as clearly not ready for the Oval Office.
"My opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy, but from all that we've seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that cost America so dearly," he said.
"After all, you don't call Russia our number one enemy - and not al Qaeda - unless you're still stuck in a Cold War time warp," he said to raucous cheering from a convention hall in North Carolina packed with party faithful.
"My opponent said it was 'tragic' to end the war in Iraq, and he won't tell us how he'll end the war in Afghanistan," he said. "I have, and I will."
The Olympics barb was particularly scathing, coming after Romney arrived in London for the Olympics in July and promptly questioned the preparations, suggesting that the host nation might not be fully behind the Games.
Source - Hindustan Times

'One-day-one-book' campaign on International Literacy Day

On International Literacy Day, a city-based NGO will initiate a simultaneous nation-wide book reading effort
Today as shadows dance and fingers talk, rosy-cheeked children in the mountains of Himachal Pradesh and wide-eyed tots from Odisha and elsewhere will be engrossed in an initiative that brings together 250 storytellers, who will bring alive the characters in Susheela's Kolams, the book chosen for an ambitious nation-wide one-day-one-book campaign.

Source -  Times Of India

Knights advance to International League finals

FORT MILL The Charlotte Knights are heading to the International League Championship finals.
Saturday night the Knights found the bats that helped them get out to a 2-0 series lead Wednesday and Thursday in Indianapolis, and left behind the ones that failed them Friday in Game 3 in Fort Mill.
The Knights pounded out seven hits and held off a ninth-inning Indians rally in a one hour and 55-minute rain-delayed 6-4 victory. Charlotte takes the series three games-to-one against the Indians and now moves on to meet the Pawtucket Red Sox in a best-of-5 series for the International League’s Governors Cup Championship.
With the Knights holding a 6-1 lead into the ninth inning, Indianapolis scored three runs and had the bases loaded with one out.
Charlotte reliever Santos Rodriguez got the final two outs, sending the Knights into the championship final.
The Knights sent eight men to the plate in the first inning and jumped out to a 3-0 lead after one inning. With one out, Indianapolis starter Kris Johnson gave up consecutive walks to Drew Garcia and Brent Morel. Seth Loman ripped a double into the left-center field gap to score Garcia with Charlotte’s first run, with Morel stopping at third. Josh Phegley then singled sharply to left field, plating Morel, with Loman having to stop at third.

Cochin International Airport Ltd announces 16 per cent dividend

KOCHI: The Cochin International Airport Ltd company today announced 16 per cent dividend to its shareholders. 
This was announced by Chief Minister and CIALChairman, Oommen Chandy at the airport company's AGM here. 
The government will consider the proposal to revive the 'Air Kerala' plan (the state having its own airlines), he said. 
CIAL's total turnover during 2011-12 fiscal was Rs 276 crore. Growth in revenue was 13 per cent compared to the previous year. 
Passenger traffic through the airport increased by nine per cent. About 4.72 million passengers travelled through the airport last fiscal. 
The Maintenance, Repair and overhaul facility for aircraft is ready for commissioning. The approach surveillance radar is ready and is expected to be functional by December this year, he said. 

Once this is ready, landing time of aircraft, which is presently eight minutes, will be reduced to almost three minutes thereby increasing the runway utilisation and also help save fuel significantly.
Source - Economic Times

International Literacy Day: Little to celebrate, lot to worry about

A child signs a banner to ask for free education for all (top). School children take part in the walk. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD JAVAID/EXPRESS
Little to celebrate and a lot to worry about. Like every year International Literacy Day, that was held across the globe on Saturday, served as a grim reminder that not much is being done to make education accessible for all and sundry in the country.
To raise awareness about this issue and highlight the importance of sending children to schools, a walk was held at the Pakistan Sports Complex.
The participants walked a few hundred yards in the rain, carrying banners and placards inscribed with the importance of literacy in socio-economic development and promoting peace. The slogans were in consonance with the theme of this year’s literacy day, “Literacy and Peace”.
Students and teachers from public and private schools, boy scouts, civil society members and officials of the education ministry took part in the walk.
A majority of Pakistan’s children remain deprived of education. Based on the data available on the National Commission of Human Development (NCHD) website, only 12 per cent of 19 million primary school age children study beyond fifth grade. In other words, 22 out of every 25 primary school-age children are expected to fail or drop out of school before fifth grade.
Every Pakistani child should attend school as peace and progress in the country cannot be achieved without literacy and education, said Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Shahnaz Wazir Ali, addressing the participants.
“We have gathered here to send out a message to our leaders and our citizens to send all our children to school,” Ali said, during a literacy walk that was organised by the NCHD.
Ali added, “Through Article 25(a) of the 18th amendment, elected representatives have endorsed the idea that every child between the ages of 5 and 16 years should be provided quality education by the state.”
Sadly, apart from the legislation there is little on-ground work that has been done in this regard, added another participant, on condition of anonymity.
After the walk, Iqbalur Rehman Sharif, director of education at NCHD, said 57 districts across the country had been selected as part of a new project to improve the literacy rate by 10 per cent in the next three years.
NCHD is running its universal primary education programme in 134 districts nationwide, establishing feeder schools in areas with no schools within a two-kilometre of their radius.

India to hold international meet on air safety

India will host Air Traffic Safety Electronics Personnel (ATSEP) from around the world who will gather here at an international meet to discuss issues and ways to make air travel more safe and efficient.
Around 500 eminent persons, professionals, manufacturers, suppliers, including 200 delegates from over 40 countries would gather here for the 42nd IFATSEA General Assembly, which is being organised by their Indian affiliate CNS Officers' Guild.
Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh and senior officials from the Ministry and the DGCA would inaugurate the four-day Assembly on Monday. This is the first time that such an international gathering is taking place in India.
The International Federation of Air Traffic Safety Electronics Associations (IFATSEA) is a a non-political global body for the representation of ATSEP on professional matters, of which CNS Officers' Guild is a member. IFATSEA has more than 20,000 members from 60 countries worldwide.

Hong Kong backs down on education plan

An embattled Hong Kong government on Saturday backed down on a controversial plan to introduce national education classes after thousands gathered to protest the move a day ahead of local elections.
The plan — described by critics as an attempt to “brainwash” students with a pro-Communist Party message — triggered weeks of protests that culminated in an estimated 120,000 people, according to organisers, gathering on Friday in front of government offices, said organisers.
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who cancelled a trip to the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) meeting in Russia to address concerns, said at a press conference on Saturday the government would not implement a 2015 deadline, as planned earlier, to make the introduction of the Beijing-supported curriculum mandatory.
“The amendment of this policy means that we are giving the authority to the schools,” he was quoted as saying by the South China Morning Post.
“The schools are given the authority to decide when and how they would like to introduce the moral and national education,” he said.
Mr. Leung added that the national education plan would not, however, be withdrawn. Schools would be given the choice of introducing the curriculum, which includes civics and moral classes. Mr. Leung was elected in March after winning 689 of 1,200 votes cast by an election committee of businessmen and political representatives.


The Chief Executive, who has pushed for closer economic linkages with the mainland, is seen as having the backing of the business community.
On Sunday, Hong Kong will see local elections to elect an expanded 70-seat legislature. The election is being seen as particularly significant following the protests of recent weeks, which have reflected concerns in some sections about the increasing influence of Beijing and rising income inequality.
The legislature will also have to grapple with the issue of direct elections, slated to be introduced in 2017, which will allow the seven million residents to have a say in choosing the Chief Executive.
Source - The Hindu

New Jersey child services restrict Indian techie’s access to son

Nirmal Saha, a resident of Balurghat in West Bengal’s Dakshin Dinajpur district, is afraid that the Child Protection Team of the State of New Jersey, U.S. might take away his grandson Indrashish from his son Debashish (28), an employee with an Information Technology major, and daughter-in law Pamela (25).
Mr. Saha said that his son and daughter-in-law were being denied access to their child over the past few days. The couple landed in New Jersey on July 22. On August 9, their son fell from the bed and suffered injuries to the head. He was admitted to Morris Town Memorial Hospital and according to his father, had to undergo a surgery.
However, since September 6 his access to his son was restricted, claimed Debashish.

Medical tests clear fears over Sonia’s health

Congress president to start work on Monday

Fears that Congress president Sonia Gandhi could be battling cancer have been put to rest by tests conducted at a hospital in New York, a source close to her family has told The Hindu.
“The tests are clear,” the source said, adding that Ms. Gandhi now expects to return to work on Monday after returning from New York.
Ms. Gandhi had travelled to the United States earlier this month, for the latest in a series of check-ups following surgery for an undisclosed illness in August 2011. Party spokesperson Janardhan Dwivedi had said at the time that the surgery had been successful, but did not disclose where she had gone for treatment.
“As this is a personal matter that pertains to her health and medical treatment, her family requests that her privacy be respected,” he had said.
In February this year, Ms. Gandhi had again travelled to the United States for a follow-up health check.

Source - The Hindu.

Outlook apologises to M.K. Venu for Radia tapes cover image

Financial Express managing editor M.K. Venu has withdrawn his criminal defamation case against Outlook after a settlement that included an apology from the magazine for putting his photo and name on its cover dealing with the 2G scam and the Niira Radia tapes.

“The cover image of THE 2G SCAM TAPES (November 29, 2010) mistakenly included a photograph of Financial Express managing editor M.K. Venu with a caption that read, ‘In The Ring’,” says the clarification posted on the Outlookwebsite. “This appeared to imply that he was part of a group that worked to perpetuate the then Telecom Minister A. Raja in power, resulting in the scam. This was not our intention and we regret the impression created.”

The November 29, 2010 issue of Outlook magazine carried extracts of several telephone conversations that lobbyist Niira Radia had had with several newspaper editors, among them M.K. Venu. However, in none of Mr. Venu’s conversations with Ms. Radia was he heard discussing the telecom or spectrum issue.

Outlook's clarification continues: “We are happy to draw our readers’ attention to M.K. Venu’s consistent criticism of Raja’s Telecom Policy in his various published articles since 2007. Readers will bear in mind the foregoing clarification when viewing the November 29, 2010, cover page and cover story of Outlook.” It added that technical limitations prevented the clarification accompanying every online reproduction of the story. “In view of a resolution of the matter and issuance of this clarification, M.K. Venu has withdrawn the litigation filed against Outlook,” it says.

The case, being heard in a Delhi court, ended on Friday.

Evolution “prevails” in South Korea

Starting 2013, science textbooks in South Korea will continue to carry information on archaeopteryx, once considered the primitive bird fossil, and other examples of evolution, reports Nature. The major victory for science comes nearly four months after the South Korean government issued a petition to the publishers to revise high school textbooks by excluding examples of the evolution of archaeopteryx and horse.

If the sustained campaign led by the Society for Textbook Revise (STR) to remove “errors” and provide “correct” information to students convinced the government to issue the petition in May, the September 5 decision comes following an expert panel’s recommendation.

The STR members believe in creationism and wanted the textbooks purged of other “flawed” examples of evolution including that of human beings.

Nature played a vital role in first publishing the South Korean government’s May 2012 decision worldwide. Leading newspapers across the world, includingThe Hindu, reported the retrograde decision. The furore created by scientists from South Korea and many other countries forced the government to revisit its decision and set up the 11-member panel to oversee the textbook revision. It included five experts on evolution and fossils.

The panel favoured inclusion of archaeopteryx to explain evolution. This despite the fact that a July 2011 research paper in Nature revealed that it was no longer a primitive bird.

The panel favoured the inclusion of archaeopteryx as “the scientific debate about whether [it] gave rise to all birds or is just one example of a feathered dinosaur does not undermine the theory of evolution itself.” The panel also found the explanation on the evolution of horse “too simplistic” and hence wanted it either “revised or replaced” with another example.
Source - The Hindu

Father of White Revolution Verghese Kurien passes away

A file photo of Dr. Verghese Kurien. Photo: Shashi Ashiwal

The father of India’s ‘White Revolution’ Dr Verghese Kurien passed away early on Sunday morning at Muljibhai Patel Urological Hospital in neighbouring Nadiad town due to age-related problems, Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) sources said.
He was 90 years old and is survived by wife and daughter.
Dr Kurien, who took India from being a milk-deficient country to the world’s largest milk producer, is recognized as the father of White Revolution and the man who started ’Operation Flood’, besides making the Amul dairy brand a household name.
GCMMF chairman M S Sodhi had reached the hospital, sources said.
Dr Kurien’s 90th birthday was celebrated in a big way at his residence in Anand by the GCMMF on November 26 last year.

Source - The Hindu

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