Sunday, February 28, 2010

India and Saudi Arabia to ink 10 pacts

India and Saudi Arabia to ink 10 pacts
2010-02-28 17:08:59 - Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal said on Sunday.'Pakistan is a friendly country. Therefore, any time one sees a dangerous trend in a friendly country, one is not only sorry but worried,' the Saudi minister said after a nearly hour-long meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

He told the Indian media that Saudi Arabia believed it was the duty of the political leaders of Pakistan to unite and see that extremism did not find its way again into the country.'This can only happen by a united political leadership in Pakistan and we hope that this work will be achieved,' he said.

India and Saudi Arabia today to ink 10 pacts finalised today including an Extradition Treaty a agreements in the economic sphere for signing during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's ongoing visit to this oil-rich country.

Dr Singh, the first Indian Prime Minister on a three-day visit at the invitation of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to Saudi Arabia in 28 years,
met King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and hold wide-ranging talks on issues ranging from cooperation in various areas, situation in Afghanistan and the threat of terrorism.Singh has expressed keenness to impart "strategic character" to India-Saudi Arabia ties and the agreements are expected to give a major fillip to the relations.

The Prime Minister's long overdue visit to the Kingdom comes four years after King Abdullah visited India.King Saud University will confer a doctorate on the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh. The conferment of a doctorate is being seen as another mark of respect extended to Dr. Singh by the Saudi leadership.

Opposition urge roll back of hike in fuel prices

Petrol price increases by Rs 2.71 a litre and diesel by Rs 2.55 per litre from Saturday midnight after Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee raised customs and excise duties on the two auto fuels in the Budget.
Prices of petrol and diesel hiked as indirect tax proposals moved as the Budget came into effect immediately.

(live-PR.com) - UPA is under pressure fron its allies DMK and Trinamool Congress have demanded a roll back of hike in petrol and diesel prices. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK President M. Karunanidhi too has urged the Centre to roll back the hike in prices of at least diesel to protect the interest of farmers and common man.

In letters to the Prime Minister and UPA Chairperson, he said any increase in the price of diesel will have a cascading effect on the food prices and prices of other essential commodities.He pointing out that both the Central and State Governments are grappling with the issue of high food inflation Karunanidhi said, the increase will have far reaching implications. He commended the budget and said it had been presented in keeping with the objectives of the UPA to ensure inclusive growth and overall economic development.

The Trinamul Congress has also demanded a roll-back on the increased prices of Petrol and Diesel. Talking to newsperson in Kolkata today, the Trinamul Congress Supremo and Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee said, that, she would write letters, with this request to the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and the UPA Chairperson Ms. Sonia Gandhi.

Mamata Banerjee on Saturday appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi to roll back the price hike in petro products but said she did not want any 'confrontation'.She said, that, her party would demand a discussion on the same issue on the floor of the Parliament in the current session. Ms. Banerjee said that, at present the prices of essential commodities have increased alarmingly and if petroleum prices increase, these prices will go up higher.Trinamool Congress launched street protests in Kolkata to demand immediate rollback of fuel price hike, but remained non-committal on BJP's move to bring cut motions to censure the government. TC's Chief Whip in Lok Sabha Sudip Bandhopadhay led the protests. The party faces civic and municipal polls in West Bengal in May-June.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday said he took a risk of facing inflation in raising excise duty across the board for mobilising resources, but expressed confidence that the impact would be absorbed.

The "price hike" of petro products is next issue fuelling inflation, entire opposition Left BJP SP,RJD hold congress reponsible for the rise in price of essential food item thus with its interests converging the opposition is attacking the budget thus the entire opposition converged against UPA.

Arun Jaitley said, "The Budget is devoid of any big picture and it fails to lay down a roadmap for economic recovery.He also criticised the government's attempts to shift the blame for rising prices to the state governments."Eighty-three percent of the raids that have been conducted to prevent hoarding of essential commodities have been in non-UPA states. Only 17 percent of the raids have been conducted in states where the UPA is in power," Jaitley maintained.He said during his speech at Rajya Sabha the government must consider drawing up a single price index to present a truer picture of inflation."We have a wholesale price index and a consumer price index and there is a glaring mismatch between the two. We need a single price index to give a true picture of where inflation truly stands," he contended.

" More critical Yashwant Sinha said BJP MPs would bring cut motions to censure government for its "anti-people" policies. He said Mukherjee had dashed hopes of any relief from price spiral. Sinha argued that "domestic demand and domestic growth have been driving our economy" and that nothing had been done to boost this.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Salman Bashir's agenda to India

Salman Bashir's agenda to India:
26.02.2010 04:41:22 Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir aimed at ending the chill in bilateral ties, the two sides noted the "trust" deficit in the ties and decided to "remain in touch and continue endeavour to restore trust".Rao told a press conference after the talks that "We have set out to take a first step towards rebuilding trust and I believe my meeting with the Pakistan Foreign Secretary has constituted that first step."

(live-PR.com) - Pakistan today strongly favoured for resumption of the composite dialogue with India. Addressing a press conference after holding talks with his Indian counterpart Ms Nirupama Rao, Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir said that Pakistan is looking forward to reversing the tide of aggression in the bilateral relations after the Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008.

Mr Bashir maintained that Kashmir


remained the core issue and expressed willingness to address and resolve outstanding issues of Siachen and Sir Creek.
Bashir said in press meet: "Do not lecture us." . He had a word of praise for the Indian premier single out Prime Minister Manmohan Singh the only man with a "vision" in the Indian government. Further adds that Pakistan was not desperate for talks and dwelled on Kashmir being the "core issue", demanded "do-able" things like an agreement on the Siachen Glacier and Sir Creek. He said, India prune its defence purchases and curb its missile development. Bashir did not make gave one conciliatory gesture to India's persistent demand to tackle the terrorist infrastructure based on Pakistani soil.

At the talks, Rao handed over to Bashir three dossiers detailing activities against India by groups and individuals based in Pakistan. The dossiers contained 34 names of those involved in Mumbai attacks and perpeptrators of other terror acts here.

India demanded hand over of retired Army Major Iqbal besides Hafiz Saeed and some Lashker operatives like Muzzamil, Abu Hamza, Abu Kahfa, Usman and Sajjid Mir in connection with Mumbai attacks.India asked Pakistan to investigate the claim made by a hitherto unknown organisation, Lashkar-e-Toiba Al Almi and a separate claim by Ilyas Kahmiri owning responsibility for the recent Pune blast."We said it was the duty of Government of Pakistan to take effective action to dismantle and put an end to the activities of all such organisations," Rao said.Rao also raised India's concerns over rise in terrorist infiltration and ceasefire violations across the Line of Control and International Border.Pakistan sought resumption of composite dialogue that was halted by India in the wake of Mumbai attacks but New Delhi disfavoured it, saying "time is not right" and appropriate "climate" was required for it and that could be achieved through a "step-by-step" approach.

When Pakistan raised the Kashmir issue, Rao told the Pakistan Foreign Secretary that India believes in resolving all outstanding issues between the two countries through bilateral dialogue in "an atmosphere free of terror and violence."If we are to build upon the past discussions at an appropriate time, trust and confidence between us must be restored."Rao also rejected Pakistan's allegations of Indian interference in Balochistan, saying New Delhi does not believe in destabilising any country.On water dispute, Rao underlined that the 1960 Indus Water Treaty was the adequate mechanism for resolving such issues.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Leaders welcome India-Pak Secretary-level meet

Former President of Pakistan Mushraf said on NDTV that he look forward with anxiety that two neighbours peace talks reach logical conclusions. With more than a year hiatus, Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan met in New Delhi on Thursday structure the fractured talks with an aim of vent out the heatl in the relations caused by Mumbai attacks.

(live-PR.com) - "With respect to India and Pakistan, we've encouraged the resumption of the direct talks which were suspended when Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf left office," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a Senate panel on Wednesday. The Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake, had termed it as a significant breakthrough."We welcome very much the fact that


these talks are taking place. I think this is a significant breakthrough, and I really want to commend both the Indians and the Pakistanis for arranging these talks," Robert Blake said in an interview to the BBC.

Speaking to CNN-IBN:Pervez Musharraf: I would like to put forward my hope, my hope being we reach peace, we reach an accord on Kashmir, that is my hope. Now what I expect, I wouldn't like to comment on that, I wish leadership on both sides best of luck in trying to achieve peace.

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao heads Indian delegation,her counterpart the Pakistani delegation led by Salman Bashir begin their talks at Hyderbad House.Pre meet remarks Rao, "I welcome Foreign Secretary of Pakistan Salman Bashir...I look forward to our talks". Bashir said, "It is a pleasure for me to be back here.We are also looking forward to a very good, constructive engagement".

India to raise concerns over continued terrorism emanating from Pakistan and press it to end this scourge which was hampering normalisation of ties. Rao is expected to refer to the recent anti-India rally held by Jamat-ud-Dawa in Lahore where its chief Hafiz Saeed made provocative speeches inciting Pakistanis to intensify attack against the country.
India is also likely to seek the progress report from Pakistan on the investigation and prosecution into the Mumbai attacks.Rao is to seek voice samples of seven arrested LeT operatives in connection with Mumbai attacks to be provided to India to match them with telephonic intercepts recorded by the security agencies here.

Pakistani side was expected to raise Kashmir and water issue.India has made it clear that terrorism is the focus of these talks although it was ready to discuss any issue that could yield to peace and security between the two countries.India has played down any great expectations from these talks and cited the "trust deficit".

New Delhi has emphasised that the Foreign Secretary-level talks did not mean resumption of composite dialogue which was put on hold by India after the 2008 Mumbai attacks carried out by ten Pakistani nationals.After 26/11, Foreign Secretaries of the two countries have been meeting on the sidelines of various multi-lateral events. The last formal meeting between the Foreign Secretaries was held in May 2008.Refusing to pre-judge the outcome of the talks, India, says the future of the relations could be determined by the way Pakistan acts on India's concerns.

Arriving on Wednesday, Bashir said, "I have come here to bridge the differences. I am hopeful of a positive outcome."Bashir is also scheduled to call on External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon.Prior to Mumbai attacks, the composite dialogue which was launched in 2004 had made considerable progress during the four rounds.Under the composite dialogue, eight issues including Jammu and Kashmir, Confidence Building Measures, Siachen and Sir Creek were discussed.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mamatas Rail Budget 2010 Salient features

Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has not proposed any hike in passenger or freight rates.Presenting her second Rail Budget in the Lok Sabha the minister said Railways will not be privatised but will develop business models for improving earnings.
She announced 54 new trains, six long and four short route Duronto trains and 100 new suburban services for Mumbai. *Railway Minister appeals to business houses to join hands for building partnership with Railways.

Salient features of Rail Budget 2010

* Indian Railways to be lead partner for Commonwealth Games
*Railways to set up mobile e-ticketing centres at hospitals, universities, courts, IITs, IIMs, district headquarters and village panchayats.
*All 13,000 unmanned level crossings to be manned in the next five years.
*Railway Protection Force to be strengthened through amendments in RPF Act; women's wing to be formed in RPF to ensure security of women.
*Ex-servicemen to be inducted in RPF.
*Railways to set up Rabindra Museum in Howrah and Geetanjali Museum in Bolpur -- both in West Bengal – to commemorate Rabindranath Tagore's 125th birth anniversary.
*Railways will provide houses to all its employees in the next 10 years in collaboration with the Urban Development Ministry.
*Railways to enhance contribution to central staff benefit fund.
*Centre for Railway Research to be set up at IIT-Kharagpur.
*Chittaranjan Locomotive Works capacity to be augmented from 200 to 275 engines a year.
*Work on Rae Bareli Coach Factory in Uttar Pradesh to start within a year.
*Wagon Repair Shop to be set up in Badnera near Amravati in Maharashtra.
*Integral Coach Factory in Chennai to be modernised and a new unit to be set up there.
*If land is available, Railways willing to set up a Diesel Multiple Unit factory in West Bengal, says Banerjee.
*No forcible acquisition of land for freight corridor project. One member of each family of land losers to be given employment in the freight corridor as also in the new projects, says Banerjee.
*Railways to develop ten automobile hubs.
*High-speed dedicated passenger corridors to be constructed; National High Speed Rail Authority to be set up.
*Revenue from non-core business of Railways to go up from Rs 150 crore to Rs 1,000 crore.
*Despite slowdown, Railways to exceed freight loading target by eight million tonnes during 2009-10.
*Freight loading target for 2010-11 fixed at 944 million tonnes, 54 million tonnes more than the current year's revised target.
*Gross traffic receipt for 2010-11 pegged at Rs 94,765 crore.
*Allocation for construction of new lines increased from Rs 2848 crore to Rs 4411 crore.
*Rs 1,302 crore provided for passenger amenities in the 2010-11 railway budget against Rs 923 crore last year.
*Railways to have master plan for North Eastern region.
*Special train between India and Bangladesh to be started to commemorate 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore.
*101 additional services to start on Mumbai suburban railways.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Dutch Premier quits

Dutch Premier quits 21.02.2010 07:45:27 Dutch government tumbled on Saturday after coalition parties fail to agree on NATO request to extend the Netherlands' military mission in Afghanistan.

(live-PR.com) - Later today, I will offer to her majesty the Queen the resignations of the ministers and deputy ministers of the (Labour Party) PvdA," premier Jan Peter Balkenende told journalists in The Hague.He said he would also "make available" the portfolios of the remaining cabinet ministers of his own Christian Democratic Appeal, the majority coalition partner, as well as the smaller Christian Union.

Balkenende made the announcement after more than 16 hours of crunch talks failed to save the centre-left coalition he has led since February 2007.
Parliamentary elections, scheduled for March next year, will now have to be brought forward with polls predicting a dip for the CDA from 41 to 34 of the 150 seats and parliament, and for the PvdA from 33 to 20."New elections will be held," deputy defence minister and CDA member Jack de Vries told reporters after Saturday's briefing.

In the latest in a string of coalition rows, vice-premier Wouter Bos invoked the ire of his cabinet colleagues this week by stating that his PvdA would not support extending the Dutch deployment in Afghanistan beyond 2010.

Balkenende insisted that the matter be thrashed out in cabinet, where it belonged, and the Christian Union (CU) chided the leftist leader for speaking out of turn.The public spat resulted in a snap parliamentary debate on Thursday, during which Bos was accused of using the issue for political gain as polls show his party lagging in the run-up to March 3 municipal elections.

The deployment of Dutch troops in Afghanistan was an unpopular move with voters from the outset."As the leader of the cabinet, I came to the conclusion that there is no fruitful path for the CDA, PvdA and Christian Union to take into the future," Balkenende said on Saturday lamenting a break in mutual trust."For days we have seen that unity has been affected by statements that clash with recent cabinet decisions. These statements place a political mortgage on collegial deliberation. "NATO head Anders Fogh Rasmussen had asked the Netherlands this month to take on a new training role and remain in Afghanistan until August 2011, a year later than originally planned.The request had required unanimous cabinet approval.
De Vries said the future of the mission "depends on what the new government will decide".

Bos, who sad said he hoped for new elections before the summer, said there was broad support in society and parliament for his party's stance on Afghanistan.


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Group of Rio 24

Group of Rio meet that begins Saturday to Tuesday in Playa del Carmen, a resort city on Mexico's Caribbean coast, looks set to focus on aid to crisis in Rio nations ,specially Caribbean nation Haiti, struck by an tremblor on Jan. 12 that measured 7.3 on the Richter scale and killed more than 200,000 residents.

The summit to add Caribbean island nations to the existing Group of Rio 24- nation membership with Six of Caricom's 15 members are also Rio members on an individual basis. Foreign Ministers from 31 nations began a meeting that included all the members of Group of Rio and the Caribbean Community, apart from St. Vincent, in Playa del Carmen on Saturday.

The meeting, opened by Mexico's foreign minister, Patricia Espinosa, is the first formal event in a four-day meeting billed as the Unity Summit and expected to produce a new organization, the name to be decided.

Patricia Espinosa ,inaugral speech to the ministers, attended by the media too described the summit as "a collective achievement by a region that is ever more united and strong."

She said the goal of united organization was first mooted during December 2008's Latin American and Caribbean Summit, held in Salvador de Bahia in Brazil.

"A year ago in Brazil we decided that the Group of Rio and the Caribbean Latin America Summit should have the same meeting and agenda," Espinosa said. "We have now agreed a common agenda. This shared space will allow us to overcome obstacles of earlier times. With full respect for the diversity of the region ,we are ready to move forward."

Mexico's Foreign Ministry said that 26 of the 32 heads of state invited have confirmed their attendance for the Summit. Those who did not do so included Peru, St. Vincent, Guyana, St. Lucia, Surinam and the Bahamas.

Mexico suffered most during the crisis, with its economy registering a decline of 10.3 percent during its worst point in 2009. Rio Group's largest economic powerhouse, Brazil, came out relatively unscathed, growing modestly through the year as a whole.
Mexico, whose key concerns are climate change and its war against organized crime, will present a report on its time running the group before handing over its leadership to Chile, which will have the first chance to publish its own agenda.
On Sunday, Mexico will host a meeting with Caricom, the Caribbean economic community which is largely made up of island nations that are former United Kingdom colonies, although mainland nations Guyana and Belize also participate. Mexican government holding Unique Unity Summit and whole event is made up of a day for foreign ministers, a day for Caricom heads of state and two days of meetings for the Rio heads of state, which include Latin region heavyweights like Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and Colombia. A Foreign Ministry official said on Saturday that 26 heads of state have confirmed attendance from a total guest list of 32.

United States, absent for the meeting, may appear in topic for discussion on recent allegations from Venezuela that US had exploited the disaster in Haiti to stage a military takeover of the state, which shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic. But U.S. has strongly denied the allegation and Venezuela is a longstanding harsh critic of U.S. foreign policy.

Regional media have reported that the arrival of thousands of U.S. troops during the emergency has raised hackles elsewhere. Concerned parties include Brazil, which is the single largest contributor to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti and which has a much smoother relationship with the absent giant.

The Rio meet appear sjourn where the region' s powers thrash out their differences, couple of years back it brought together the presidents of Ecuador and Colombia, Rafael Correa and Alvaro Uribe, shortly after Colombian soldiers had raided a camp belonging to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on Ecuadorian territory, triggering the suspension of diplomatic relations between the two. At the end of that meeting, in Dominican Republic capital Santo Domingo, Correa and Uribe shook hands for the first time after the incident, after Uribe made a public apology.

Group of Rio came into exitence in 1986 as a successor to the Contadora Group of four that formed to support peace efforts in Central America then with eight members and had been adding members steadily since then.

Now presently Group's members are Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Surinam, Uruguay and Venezuela. Caricom's members are Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ukraine Election results

“I wish you to foster the development of Ukraine in your work, the well-being of Ukrainian people, and a foreseeable future for them at the presidential post”, President of Hungary Laszlo Solyom says in his greeting.

President elect, Yanukovich,wins from Ukriane Russian speaking east,south backed him and the Western Ukrainian-speaking half that backed Tymoshenko,the present Prime Minister withdrew her election case and the Supreme court has closed the case. But she has not conceded.She said once again that Viktor Yanukovich will never be considered Ukraine's legitimately elected president.In contrast to her fellow Orange Revolutionary - incumbent Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko on Saturday congratulated his long-time rival, Mr Yanukovich, on a legitimate victory. Interesting scenario as president, Mr Yanukovich does not have the right to fire or to appoint a prime minister - that is up to Ukraine's parliament. With presenly Mrs Tymoshenko's party is still part of the parliamentary coalition, but negotiations are under way to form a new coalition based on Mr Yanukovich's Regions Party.The Parliamentarians to form coalition again with MPs and then they are likely to vote Mrs Tymoshenko's government out, till process of a new government is complete which may take fortnight or months in the current political analogy Mrs Tymoshenko will remain as acting prime minister under President Yanukovich.
Sultan of Oman Qaboos bin Said wished Viktor Yanukovych success in achieving the aspirations of the Ukrainian people. President of the Arab Republic of Egypt Mohamed Hosni Mubarak wished Ukraine’s president-elect all the best of success in the new assignment, and expressed hope that relations between the two countries would develop and progress. Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Jan Peter Balkenende expressed his sincere congratulations to Viktor Yanukovych on his election as President of Ukraine. “I am confident, – he noted, – that relations between our two countries will continue to be constructive and mutually beneficial.”
“Your victory shows public support for your active and purposeful position on strengthening of the national state system, modernization of economy, enhancement of structural economic cooperation”, Secretary General of the Eurasian Economic Community Tair Mansurov says in his greeting to Viktor Yanukovych.
Ukraine Election results enter court room:
2010-02-17 19:30:24 - Yanukovych the President Elect of the Ukaraine has called couple of times Tymoshenko to step down as prime minister, that a defeat in court should be followed by her resignation.Ukraine’s parliament has voted to approve the swearing-in of Viktor Yanukovych on February 25 2010 as presiden

Yulia Tymoshenko camp, which boycotted the parilament with her camp, not only boycotted the vote while Tymoshenko formally lodged court action challenging Yanukovych’s win.

Tymoshenko went to the supreme administrative court on February 16 with crates of evidence that she says backs up her allegations of vote-rigging, the Voice of America reported.

International observers have deemed the election that produced
Yanukovych’s victory as in line with accepted standards, and Yanukovych already has been congratulated by the White House, the Kremlin and the European Union, among others.

Official results say that Tymoshenko lost by about 888 000 votes, while she alleges that electoral fraud deprived her of about a million votes.

Officials of Yanukovych’s Party of the Regions say that it is not possible for the court to order a repeat of the second round of presidential elections, and Tymoshenko can only challenge the conduct of the central election commission in counting the results.

Yanukovych has called more than once for Tymoshenko to step down as prime minister, a call that he repeated by saying that a defeat in court should be followed by her resignation. while Tymoshenko formally lodged court action challenging Yanukovych’s win.

Tymoshenko went to the supreme administrative court on February 16 with crates of evidence that she says backs up her allegations of vote-rigging, the Voice of America reported.

International observers have deemed the election that produced Yanukovych’s victory as in line with accepted standards, and Yanukovych already has been congratulated by the White House, the Kremlin and the European Union, among others.

Official results say that Tymoshenko lost by about 888 000 votes, while she alleges that electoral fraud deprived her of about a million votes.

Officials of Yanukovych’s Party of the Regions say that it is not possible for the court to order a repeat of the second round of presidential elections, and Tymoshenko can only challenge the conduct of the central election commission in counting the results.

Ukrainian court has suspended the result of the recent presidential election, following a challenge by losing candidate Yulia Tymoshenko.The court said the result should be suspended considering the evidence the Prime Minister has submitted. It also said the inauguration of winner Viktor Yanukovych should be delayed.

Court hearing is expected to last about five days and is seen as Mr Yanukovich's last roadblock to the presidential chair.

Ms Tymoshenko said her legal team had amassed evidence that Mr Yanukovich's narrow election victory was secured through "systemic and massive falsification". Her claims are contradicted by more than 3,000 international observers.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Obama: Knowledge is the currency of the 21st century

2010-02-13 18:21:35 - US President Obama said,you know that the United States and Muslims around the world have often slipped into a cycle of misunderstanding and mistrust that can lead to conflict rather than cooperation. We’re working to ensure that the global economic recovery creates jobs and prosperity in all regions of the world.We are increase collaboration on science and technology. We’ve launched a Global Technology and Innovation Fund that will invest in technological development across the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Presidential address by video the U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Doha, Qatar is historic call for global unity and peaceful society in which he has addressed the key issues for the civil society with assurances of essential ingradients to be followed to bring Knowledge based policies to uplift the standards of peoples at large thus adds knowledge is the currency of
the 21st century, and countries that educate their children—including their daughters—are more likely to prosper.

Today, the President Obama addressed by video the U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Doha, Qatar as per reports in official website of the US government.President Obama address in Doha as follows:

Assalaamu alaykum. And on behalf of the American people—including Muslim communities across America—greetings as you gather for the 7th U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Doha.

I want to thank all those whose support has made this Forum possible, especially the Amir of Qatar, the government of Qatar and the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution. It is fitting that you gather again in Doha—a place where our countries come together to forge innovative partnerships in education and medicine, science and technology.

Thank you all for being here. As leaders in government, academia, media, business, faith organizations and civil society, you understand that we are all bound together by common aspirations—to live with dignity, to get an education, to enjoy healthy lives, to live in peace and security, and to give our children a better future.That is why in Cairo last year I called for a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect. I laid out a vision where we all embrace our responsibilities to build a world that is more peaceful and secure. It has only been eight months since Cairo, and much remains to be done. But I believe we’ve laid the groundwork to turn those pledges into action.

The United States is responsibly ending the war in Iraq; we are removing all our combat brigades from Iraq by the end of August, and we will partner with the Iraqi people on behalf of their long-term security and prosperity. In Afghanistan and beyond, we are forging partnerships to isolate violent extremists, reduce corruption and to promote good governance and development that improves lives. We remain unyielding in pursuit of a two-state solution that recognizes the rights and security of Israelis and Palestinians. And the United States will continue to stand for the human rights and dignity of people around the world.

And while the United States will never waver in these efforts, I also pledged in Cairo to seek new partnerships in Muslim communities around the world—not just with governments, but with people, to address the issues that matter most in our daily lives.

Since then, my administration has made a sustained effort to listen. We’ve held thousands of events and town halls—with students, civil society groups, faith leaders and entrepreneurs—in the United States and around the world, including Secretary Clinton’s landmark visit to Pakistan. And I look forward to continuing the dialogue during my visit to Indonesia next month.

This dialogue has helped us turn many of the initiatives I outlined in Cairo into action.We’re partnering to promote education. We’re expanding exchange programs and pursuing new opportunities for online learning
, connecting students in America with those in Qatar and other Muslim communities. Because knowledge is the currency of the 21st century, and countries that educate their children—including their daughters—are more likely to prosper.

We’re partnering to broaden economic development. We’re working to ensure that the global economic recovery creates jobs and prosperity in all regions of the world. And to help foster innovation and job-creation, I’ll host a Summit on Entrepreneurship in April with business leaders and entrepreneurs from Muslim communities around the world.

We’re partnering to increase collaboration on science and technology. We’ve launched a Global Technology and Innovation Fund that will invest in technological development across the Middle East, Africa and Asia. And the first of our distinguished Science Envoys have begun visiting countries to deepen science and technology cooperation over the long-term.

And we’re partnering to promote global health. We worked together to address H1N1, which was a concern of many Muslims during the hajj. We’ve joined with the Organization of the Islamic Conference to eradicate polio. And as part of our increased commitment to foreign assistance, we’ve launched major initiatives to promote global health and food security around the world.

To deepen these partnerships, and to develop others, I’m proud to announce today that I am appointing my Special Envoy to the OIC—Rashad Hussain. As an accomplished lawyer and a close and trusted member of my White House staff, Rashad has played a key role in developing the partnerships I called for in Cairo. And as a hafiz of the Qur’an, he is a respected member of the American Muslim community, and I thank him for carrying forward this important work.

None of this will be easy. Fully realizing the new beginning we envision will take a long-term commitment. But we have begun. Now, it falls to us all, governments and individuals, to do the hard work that must be done—turning words into deeds and “Writing the Next Chapter” in the ties between us, with faith in each other, on the basis of mutual respect.

Thank you coming to Doha in that spirit. Thank you for your work to advance the principles we share—justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.Let us succeed together. And may God’s peace be upon you.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Iran nuclear plan roll fresh Sanctions

Iran nuclear plan roll fresh Sanctions:
2010-02-10 07:04:40 - US President appreciated Russia's role and said there were all indications that Iran was moving towards weaponisation programme, and "if Iran's attitude does not change, the next step would be sanctions against them."China’s inbuilt relation with Iran are on its reliance on crude oil imports and build infrastructure, being member the Security Council as a permanent member in 1971and used its veto power twice may either be absent or excute its option.

US President Barack Obama expressed confidence that the international community was unified around Iran's misbehaviour "How China operates at the Security Council as we pursue sanctions is something that we're going to have to see," Obama told reporters at the White House.The President was pleased to see how "forward-leaning" the Russians have been on the issue. "I think they clearly
have seen that Iran hasn't been serious about solving what was a solvable dispute between Iran and the international community," he said.

Obama, in response to a question, said international community bent over backwards to say to Iran that they were willing to have a constructive conversation on how the Islamic republic could align itself with the international norms and rules and re-enter as full member of the community.The most obvious attempt was when the international community offered Iran to convert some of low-enriched uranium, that they already have, into the isotopes that they need for their medical research and for hospitals that would serve up to a million Iranian citizens, Obama said."They rejected it - although one of the difficulties in dealing with Iran over the last several months was that it was not clear who was speaking on behalf of the government, and we got a lot of different, mixed signals," he said. "But what's clear was that they have not said yes to an agreement that Russia, China, Germany, France, Britain and the US all said was a good deal
and the director of the IAEA said that the right thing to do was to accept it," Obama said.
Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs P J Crowley said that Iranian decision to improve their processing to 20 per cent was an unnecessary step and "they were working against their own long-term self-interest".
He said that Iran had missed an opportunity to engage constructively and seriously with the international community despite it "bent over backwards" in an attempt to provide the Islamic nation the benefits of civilian nuclear programme.
The State Department official said that Iran decision to improve their processing to 20 per cent as "provocative and it deepens our concern about what Iran's real intentions are and the country was technically not capable of doing the processing.

Crowley said the international community had put forward the Tehran Research Reactor proposal "in good-faith and thinking it to be practical and doable". "But if Iran did not want to accept it, there were others available. What really had to happen here was for Iran to sit down, identify what it really felt it needs, and work with the international community constructively on potential solutions, and in doing so start to build confidence about its intentions," Crowley said.
He said that the US would continue to consult with its counterparts within the P-5 plus on the process.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle on Tuesday threatened new sanctions against Iran, saying that Tehran has the right to make peaceful use of nuclear power, but must refrain from any nuclear armament."If Iran continues to refuse talks, then talks at the United Nations is inevitable, and we'll have to talk about new measures," said Westerwelle.He made the statement as Iran announced on Tuesday that it began to produce 20-percent enriched uranium.

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, meanwhile, said he believed the UN should slap new sanctions on Iran in “weeks, not months according to his spokesman.Netanyahu, however, wants to see immediate action.
“Iran is racing forward to produce nuclear weapons in brazen defiance of the international community Netanyahu told EU ambassadors during a meeting on Tuesday in Jerusalem. “And the international community must decide if it is serious about neutralizing this threat to Israel, the region and the entire world. I believe that what is required right now is tough action from the international communityWhat was needed was not “moderate sanctions or watered down sanctions but rather “crippling sanctions, and these sanctions must be applied right now he said.

Irans Atomic Energy Organization Director Ali-Akbar Salehi said in Press that the door to talks on a nuclear swap deal with the West is still openWe have the capability to enrich uranium to any percentage we wish, but we asked the IAE Agency to ask other countries that could supply the 20-percent enriched uranium because we did not want to go beyond five percent. But they did not respond Salehi told Press TV in a live interview on Tuesday. Further added that Iran could not let its Tehran Research Reactor, in needs 20-percent enriched uranium, run out of fuel because it produces medical radioisotopes for about 850,000 patients in Iran.

“All we have asked the West or countries that have the capacity to produce the fuel is 'Please supply us with the fuel�� he explained.Salehi said that Iran is still ready to send its 3.5-percent enriched uranium abroad when it receives the 20-percent enriched nuclear fuelIt should be simultaneous, and we accept the custody of the agency in Iran. The uranium can be under the custody of the agency in Iran and it could be sealed until the time we receive the 20-percent enriched uranium from the outside he addedSo the deal is still on the table. If they come forward and supply the fuel, then we will stop the 20-percent enrichment Salehi said.Media agencies;
Sagar Media

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Viktor Yanukovych Wins Ukraine vote

All members of the Ukrainian Central Election Commission, including five Tymoshenko representatives,has signed the protocol with official results on Sunday.Yanukovych after the win said Ukraine to focus on ties with Russia,other ex-Soviet states, but too to seek closer relations with the European Union and the United States.
PRO-RUSSIAN opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych declared victory in Ukraine's presidential run-off election and Orange Revolution seems buried. Tymoshenko, known for catalyst role of the 2004 Orange Revolution called for mass protests, had said she would call supporters into the streets if she deemed Sunday's election fraudulent.Mykhailo Okhendovskyi, a member of the Central Electoral Commission, announced this at a news briefing."We will be hoping that the Central Electoral Commission will be able to obtain the originals of the protocols from all district election commissions, without exception, by the end of the week," Okhendovskyi said.
Okhendovskyi further adds that there was a delay in receiving electronic data about the contents of the election-result protocols from polling-station election commissions in 10 regions.In particular, he expressed concern that the relevant data have not yet been received from six districts in the Crimea and the Luhansk region.
As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the Central Electoral Commission has received the originals of the election-result protocols from 14 of the 225 district election commissions in the country.The Central Electoral Commission's Chairman Volodymyr Shapoval has expressed confidence that the commission will announce the results of the presidential elections by February 17.Voting in the second round of the Ukrainian presidential elections took place on February 7 2010.

Ukrainian opposition leader Viktor Yanukovich held a narrow lead on Monday in a presidential election.Victor Yushchenko signed a Law of Ukraine “On Introducing Amendments into Law of Ukraine “On Election of President of Ukraine”.The official web site of the President reports this.As UNIAN reported earlier, the Verkhovna Rada adopted this law on February 3.

Ukrainians fear Victor Yushchenko could bring a retreat from Western democratic reforms and the muzzling of media and opposition parties.

Central Electoral Commission, 96.7 % of ballot papers were processed, and 48.39% of electors voted for Victor Yanukovych and 46 % of electors voted for Yulia Tymoshenko.An UNIAN correspondent from the Central Electoral Commission reports this.A gap between V. Yanukovych and
Yu. Tymoshenko makes up 2.39%.4.4% of electors did not support any candidate.

President of Ukraine Victor Yushchenko is about to order the Interior Forces of the Interior Ministry of Ukraine to guard outer perimeter of the Central Electoral Commission, and to order the State Guard Service to strengthen access control system in the CEC.According to an UNIAN correspondent, he said this today at the session on measures concerning legality and law order during the second round of election of the President of Ukraine.In V. Yushchenko’s words, in a couple of hours he is about to sign a decree on these measures.Yanukovych has claimed victory and his team kicked off festivities by calling on the prime minister to stay true to her claim of being a democrat and admit defeat.Around 5,000 of his supporters assembled today morning near a stage in Kiev adorned with the slogan "Ukrainians for a Fair Election," claiming to defend the results of the election.

Supporters danced in the street as a series of day-long concerts got under way despite frigid temperatures and flurries of snow.

Russia-friendly candidate Viktor Yanukovych held a narrow lead on Monday in a presidential election that seemed likely to spawn a court challenge from his opponent.No sign, of Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko followers up on her vow to bring protesters onto the streets in the event of defeat.

Monday, February 8, 2010

G 7 Meet in Iqaluit Canada

IQALUIT:Finance Minister of G7 and chiefs from the world's major industrialized countries are meeting in the Iqaluit the northern Nunavut territory, Canadian Arctic to discuss Europe's debt crisis and other related fiscal issues.G7 host, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, delivered a brief closing statement that set directions but offered few details:
Stay the course on economic stimulus spending until recovery is well entrenched, but there were no forecasts for stability;
Push ahead with financial reforms, but no details were offered on how each country plans to level the regulator playing field, especially when it comes to bank capitalization, by the end of the year;
Provide development and health-care aid for poorer countries, but only Haiti debt forgiveness and reconstruction were mentioned specifically; and
Maintain G7 relevance as "first responders in an economic crisis."
On the debt crisis facing Greece, Flaherty said the situation "is largely a matter to be managed not by the G7 but by the European Union." Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, host of the meeting, said he and his peers were talking about Europe's problems even before their meeting got underway, with particular concern about the situation in Greece.World stock markets slid to three-month lows on Friday as the worries intensified about a potentially huge bailout and a destabilization of the euro zone. The euro currency dropped to its lowest since May against the U.S. dollar.''I think we have to be very mindful of the potential failure of domestic economies and of the persistence of some toxic assets in some banks,'' Flaherty told reporters.
Euro zone countries like Greece, Spain and Portugal are under increasing pressure to show that they will bring public finances under control as financial markets' fears about the situation in one country spread to others.
European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet denied speculation in financial markets that the ECB might hold emergency discussions this weekend over the crisis. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said the euro would remain stable despite the problems in individual countries.''I don't think they have to concoct a bailout, but they do need to show that they are committed to solving the issues,'' said Kathleen Stephansen, managing director and chief economist at Aladdin Capital Holdings LLC.''We need to see a show of unity in backing the steps taken by the various government... Saying nothing about it would be negative.''The organizers of the meeting say there will be no communique at the end of their discussions -- in part a reflection of the diminished importance of the G7.
It has been replaced as the main forum for discussing the world economy by the wider G20 group that includes China and other big developing economies. Some officials have suggested this weekend's meeting in Canada might be the group's last before becoming a sub-group within the G20.
The G7 meeting starts with a working dinner featuring local delicacies like caribou and Arctic char and ends with a news conference scheduled for 1:15 pm on Saturday (1815 GMT).Earlier on Friday, some of the ministers ventured out on dog sleds on Frobisher Bay, a frozen inlet of the Arctic Ocean that fringes this remote and inaccessible town. Iqaluit, home to just 6,000 people, is a three-hour flight from either Ottawa or Montreal and features blocky aluminium-clad buildings set up on stilts to avoid the permafrost.While most of the fiscal concern was expressed about Greece, the United States and other big economies are also saddled with debts, having spent heavily to stave off a depression in the wake of the 2008 credit crisis.Ratings agency Moody's Investors Service this week said the United States must do more to keep its AAA rating after the Obama administration said it expected a deficit equivalent to 10.6 percent of gross domestic product in 2010, more than three times the level considered sustainable by economists.
Japan was hit with a warning by Standard & Poor's in January that it might suffer a downgrade over its deficit.Nonetheless, the G7 ministers were not ready to start scaling back their spending to keep their economies on the road to recovery after the worst global recession in decades.''We are all agreed that continued stimulus is necessary, that we have not seen entrenched growth, we have not seen an adequate replacement of public demand with private demand,'' Canada's Flaherty said, adding there was also a concern about the level of public decifits and how to tackle them.
Another key issue is the global push for financial sector reforms.
This was thrown into confusion last month by far-reaching proposals from U.S. President Barack Obama who called for limiting the size of banks, restricting proprietary trading and severing their ties to hedge funds and private equity.
That was on top of a previous call for fees on big institutions to recoup the billions spent rescuing the sector.
Flaherty admitted that the approach from different countries was ''not entirely consistent,'' but that was all the more reason for the ministers to get together to talk.The declining role of the G7 has raised questions on whether the G7, which cut its teeth on efforts to steer currency markets in the eras of Plaza and Louvre accords in 1985 and 1987, remains the right place to discuss currencies.
''It's more fair to debate the yuan at the G20 instead of G7 meetings,'' Japanese Finance Minister Naoto Kan told reporters before leaving for Iqaluit.Germany maintained that Iran needs to prove to the world that its programme is for peaceful purposes only. They alleged Iran for using the proposal to buy more time to advance its nuclear ambitions.
US defence secretary at the Munich Security Conference in Germany rejected overtures from Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki as nothing new. US Senator Joe Lieberman warned that military action against Tehran was possible.Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has tasked the country's atomic chief with enriching uranium to 20 percent. Speaking at the exhibition of Laser Science and Technology Achievements in Tehran, Mr. Ahmadinejad called on country's atomic chief Ali Akbar Salehi, to start the process. He however said that that Iran is ready to negotiate on the issue. The development comes as Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki recently expressed hope that an agreement on the nuclear fuel proposal will soon be reached with the Western side, but with the changes that Tehran seeks. But European and US officials said that Iran must prove to the rest of the world that its nuclear programme is purely for peaceful purposes, even if it agrees to a nuclear-fuel swap. Media agencies

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Agni-III missile run a success test-fire

2010-02-07 17:54:42 - "The fourth test-firing of the Agni-III missile was carried out at 1050 hours on Sunday. It was for the full range and it hit the target with pin-point accuracy and met all the mission objectives," Defence Ministry spokesman Sitanshu Kar said.

Official media reports from the Defence sources that all parameters of the mission were accomplished during the test fire conducted today from a rail mobile launcher near Dhamara, about 100 kilometers from Balasore this morning.

The missile with a range of more than 3,000 kilometers is seventeen -metre long marker pen like Agni-III is 2 metres in diameter and has a two-stage solid propellant system with a pay load capability of 1.5 tonnes. "During the course of the flight, the missile reached a peak height of 350 kms and re-entered the atmosphere successfully tolerating the skin temperatures of nearly 3000 degree Celsius," Kar said.

The defence spokesman said the launch was part of the pre-induction trial and "now the missile system will be fully inducted into the armed forces."
A number of radars and electro-optical tracking systems along the coast of Orissa monitored the path of the missile and evaluated all the parameters in real-time, Kar said.

Equipped with a state-of-the-art advanced computer, the navigation system used for guiding the missile to its target is the "first of its kind", he said.
However this is the fourth flight test in the Agni-III series carried out to establish the repeatability of the missile's performance. The entire trajectory of today's trial was monitored through various telemetry stations, electro-optic systems and sophisticated radars located along the coast, in Port Blair and by Naval ships anchored near the impact point in the down range area for data analysis. Agni-III missile is powered by a two-stage solid propellant system. With a length of 17 metres, the missile's diameter is 2 metres and launch weight is 50 tonnes. It can carry a payload of 1.5 tonnes which is protected by carbon-carbon all composite heat shield.

'Burma VJ’ nominated for 2010 Oscar

'Burma VJ’, a courageous documentary film on the professional hazards courted by Burmese video journalists, during the junta’s brutal crackdown on the 2007 September uprising in Burma, has been nominated for the 2010 Oscars,documentary directed by Anders Østergaard and produced by Lise Lense-Mølle, chronicles the work of Burmese video journalists during the September 2007, demonstrations spearheaded by Buddhist monks in Burma.

The nominations announced on Tuesday listed the film in the ‘Best Documentary Feature Category’.Armed with small handycams the Burma VJs stopped at nothing for their reportage on the streets of Rangoon and smuggled out their video footage from the country. It was broadcast back into Burma via satellite and was offered as free usage to the international media.

For the first time, the Burma VJ collages individual images with infinite care and at once tells a much larger story.

The film offers a unique insight into high-risk journalism and dissidence in the military-ruled country, while at the same time providing a thorough documentation of the historical and dramatic events of September 2007, when the Buddhist monks started marching in protest against the regime following an unprecedented hike in fuel prices, which led to spiraling prices of essential commodities.

Burma VJ, has won several International Awards including ‘Amsterdam, IDFA 2008, Holland’, ‘Sundance Film Festival 2009 (USA)’, ‘Berlinale 2009: (GERMANY)’, ‘Bodil (Danish Golden Globe) 2009: (DENMARK)’, and the ‘Boulder International Film Festival 2009 (USA)’.

Monday, February 1, 2010

China protest U.S. arms sale Taiwan

2010-01-31 06:09:58 - China made strong objection onto Washington announced a 6.4-billion-dollar arms package for Taiwan, thus shaping Sino-US crisis under reins of President Barack Obama.Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi expressed on the U.S. arms sales to Taiwan here Saturday, urging the U.S. to stop selling weapons to the Chinese province.Yang, who is paying an official visit to Cyprus, said in disregard of strong opposition and repeated protest from China, the U.S. administration flagrantly announced its plan to sell the weapons to Taiwan worth about 6.4 billion dollars.

Such a move is gravely against the three joint communiques between China and the United States, especially the "Aug. 17" communique, Yang said, adding that it constitutes crude interference in China's internal affairs, and harms China's national security and peaceful reunification efforts.

China has suspended military exchanges with the United States.Chinese officials desbribe the spill over on Washington's 6.4-billion dollar arms deal with Taiwan, the territory that Beijing claims as its own. Uncle Sam in its $6.4 billion arms package, includes Patriot anti-missile systems, Black Hawk helicopters and Harpoon missiles. Huang Xiangyang in chinadaily.com.cn said, The generous offer to militarily equip Taiwan
reminds us how grudgingly Washington sees China rise and compatriots across the Straits live in peace.

Xinhua reports that Ignoring repeated solemn representations made by China, the U.S. government on Friday notified Congress of its nearly 6.4 billion-U.S.-dollar arms sale package to Taiwan.The sale is a wrong decision, which not only undermines China's national security interests and her national unification cause, but also once again hurts the national feelings of the Chinese people.A report on the state-run Xinhua news agency, China's Defense Ministry said the decision to halt visits between the Chinese and U.S. armed forces was made in consideration of the serious harm and impacts on Sino-U.S. military relations brought about by the arms deal. Xinhua did not immediately provide further details on the visits.China said it was suspending military and security contacts with the United States, and imposing sanctions on US firms involved in the Taiwan deal.

Chinese defence ministry spokesman Huang Xueping said the reprisals reflected the "severe harm" posed by the deal with Taiwan, which Beijing says is a part of its territory and must return to the mainland fold.On other side,the US State Department spokeswoman Laura Tischler told media AFP the sale "contributes to maintaining security and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

"Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou, who has overseen a marked warming in trade and political relations with China, said Beijing had nothing to fear from the sale."It will let Taiwan feel more confident and secure so we can have more interactions with China," Ma said, according to Taiwan's Central News Agency.

Obama's national security advisor, former general James Jones, said the administration was being "transparent" with Beijing, which the United States recognises as the legal government for all of China."But we are bent towards a new relationship with China as a rising power in the world, with influence on a variety of issues that go beyond the arms sales," he said.

Pentagon official said it regretted Beijing's suspension of military exchanges."We regret that the Chinese side has curtailed military-to-military and other exchanges," Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell told AFP."We also regret Chinese action against US firms transferring defensive articles to Taiwan."

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei made an urgent official protest to the US ambassador in Beijing, Jon Huntsman, Chinese officials told AFP.In a statement to Huntsman, he urged Washington to cancel the deal, which he said constituted "crude interference in China's internal affairs that seriously endangers China's national security and damages China's peaceful reunification."

Taiwan enjoys high-profile backers in the US Congress, which requires the administration to provide the island with weapons of a defensive nature. Media agencies

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