Saturday, November 30, 2013

“CATALONIA” AS A QUALITY BRAND IN INDIA,

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BARCELONA-CATALONIA WORKSHOP
25-27 November 2013
PRESS PACK
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“CATALONIA” AS A QUALITY BRAND IN INDIA, A DESTINATION WITH AN AMAZING LIFESTYLE AND REAL QUALITY OF LIFE, WHERE THERE IS DEFINITELY A “PASSION FOR LIFE”
Catalonia is the perfect destination for cultural, gastronomy, shopping, luxury, cruising, sports events and MICE trips.

Catalonia and its capital city, Barcelona, is purely Mediterranean Situated in the North-East of Spain, close to France and Italy.

Catalonia is Spain’s top tourist destination and the second most popular in Europe after the Paris region.

Along with Spanish, Catalonia has also its own language, Catalan, and its own distinctive identity.

The intercontinental airport of Barcelona is the perfect gateway to Catalonia, the rest of Spain and Europe.

Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Turkish Airlines connect India with Barcelona and Catalonia via Dubai, Doha, and Istanbul, respectively, amongst many other European national carriers.

3 additional international airports (Girona, Reus – Tarragona & Lleida – Alguaire) and an extensive modern high-speed rail network also enable Indian visitors to reach from Barcelona destinations such as Valencia, Bilbao, Madrid, Salamanca, Granada, Seville, in Spain, and also Switzerland, London, Edinburgh, Rome, Florence, Venice, Vienna, Paris, Amsterdam, Prague, The French Riviera, The Alps, The Danube River and many other iconic “musts” in Europe.

With the Mediterranean Sea as a backdrop, vibrant Barcelona offers a seductive cocktail of beaches, history and a legendary nightlife. 40 minutes away on the road towards the coastal towns of the Costa Brava, La Roca Village is the perfect day trip for sensational shopping and lunch with a distinctive Mediterranean flavour.
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Catalonia offers the visitor an incredibly diverse range of cultural and natural attractions across its 32,000 square kilometres.

Its capital Barcelona is the second largest meetings and events destination in the world and the host of EIBTM, Europe’s main MICE exhibition, Barcelona also hosts the Mobile World Congress, the world’s most important mobile phone event.

Catalonia is a land of Mediterranean sea, the Pyrenees mountains, Romanesque World Heritage Site churches, Gaudi’s modernism, shopping, golf, sport, luxury, wellness and some of the best cuisine in the world.
CULTURAL TOURISM
Catalonia’s cultural offer is diverse and allows visitors following the trace of different architectural styles (Romanesque, Gothic, Modernist, etc.), well-known writers and great artistic geniuses such as Dalí, Picasso, Gaudí, Miró and Tàpies.
There are attractive mountain areas like Montseny, a natural park, as well as
Montserrat monastery and mountain which is much more than just a protected natural area.
The following sites in Catalonia have been declared World Heritage by UNESCO:

Palau de la Música Catalana. Barcelona. Modernism.

Hospital de Sant Pau. Barcelona. Modernism.

Poblet Monastery. Tarragona. the largest Cistercian monastery in Europe.

Roman Tarraco. Tarragona.

Mediterranean cave art in the Iberian Peninsula. There are 27 sites in Catalonia with listed paintings found in caves, grottoes and shelters.

Romanesque churches in Vall de Boí. eight churches and one chapel make one of the most significant sets of Catalan Romanesque art regarding both its architecture and paintings

The work of Antoni Gaudí:

Park Güell. Barcelona. First garden city experience.

La Pedrera (Casa Milà). Barcelona.
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Casa Batlló. Barcelona.

Sagrada Família. Barcelona. Built between 1884 and 1889, Gaudí’s oldest

religious work.

La Patum. UNESCO declared the ancestral La Patum festival in Berga (Barcelona), a Masterpiece of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Castellers. A genuine piece of Catalan folk culture featuring up to ten-storey human towers, it was recognised by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2010.
GASTRONOMY TOURISM

Gastronomy is a part of a nation’s cultural heritage. Catalan cuisine dates back to times immemorial, with a long tradition of recipes gathered in ancient handbooks.

Catalonia is playing an international leading role in gastronomy. Catalonia features 60 stars in the 2013 Michelin Guide.

Topping the list the two restaurants that have received 3 stars: Sant Pau, of Carme Ruscalleda and el Celler de Can Roca, of Joan Roca, which has been recentely named as the best restaurant in the world.
SHOPPING TOURISM

La Roca Village is one of the nine Chic Outlet Shopping® Villages in Europe.

Chic Outlet Shopping® is the Collection of luxury outlet villages by Value Retail, the only company to specialise exclusively in the development and operation of luxury outlet shopping villages.

Currently home to more than 900 boutiques, the Villages offer the authentic previous seasons’ collections of leading luxury fashion and lifestyle brands with savings of up to 60%, and sometimes more, on the recommended retail price, all year round.
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CRUISE TOURISM

Cruise tourism has equally increased considerably in recent years following improvement works in the port, which has become the biggest cruise port in Europe.

The Port of Barcelona has 7 international passenger terminals and is the leading european cruiser port and a Mediterranean turnaround base. Last year, 2012, the Port of Barcelona received 2.408.634 creuse passangers.
OTHER TOURIST ATTRACTIONS:
CIRCUIT DE BARCELONA – CATALUNYA– Racing Track
The Catalonia – Barcelone Speed Circuit has set itself up as a modern sports facilities, serving as the venue for the most important motor sport events of the world such as the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix and the Catalan MotoGP Grand Prix. But the Circuit is not only about passion for speed; it also offers the chance to organise all kinds of events and activities for companies thanks to the multi-purpose facilities.

Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya has 22 years’ experience organising events at the highest levels of the motor racing world, Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix and the Catalan MotoGP Grand Prix being the best examples.

The Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya is the port of entry for Formula 1 in Europe and it is the chance to get a live shot of the drivers and teams who bring us the most spectacular motor racing display in the world.

Due to its privileged geographical location, it offers a plethora of possibilities in terms of available tourist attractions. The Circuit is only 30 minutes from Barcelona, and it is very well connected with the city (bus, train and highway) which makes it possible for visitors to experience the city’s fantastic architecture (the Sagrada Familia, the Gothic Quarter, La Rambla…), do all kinds of shopping, enjoy the local
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cuisine and participate in a great number of leisure activities (theatre, cinema, musicals, football…)

Further tourist attractions to be found at Spanish Formula One Grand Prix are the beaches of the Catalan coastline: Costa Brava, Costa Barcelona and Costa Daurada. In addition, the weather in May, the month during which the race is to be held, is perfect. For further information: http://www.circuitcat.com
FC BARCELONA
FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium is one of the icons of the city of Barcelona. Almost 100,000 spectators can enjoy magnificent nights in the biggest and most spectacular stadium in Europe, which was granted five-star status by the UEFA.
Imagine living this experience from an unbeatable view of the pitch and enjoying special comforts in an exclusive setting including catering
and bar service, hostess, CCTV and match line-ups. The Hospitality Programme.
More information: http://www.catalunya.com

Abe pledges effort to improve ties with S.Korea



Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has reiterated he will try to improve diplomatic ties with South Korea by seeking dialogue at all levels.

Abe was speaking at a joint assembly of the Japan-Korea Parliamentarians' Union and its South Korean counterpart, held in Tokyo on Friday.

Abe stressed the 2 countries are important neighbors for each other. He said they have faced difficult problems due to their geographical proximity, but that they have many interests in common related to the situation in Northeast Asia.

The prime minister said it's important to develop bilateral relations for regional peace and prosperity.
He noted he hopes the 2 peoples can joyously celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties in 2015. Media agencies

Taiwan parliament urges protest over China ADIZ

30 11 2013
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Taiwan’s parliament has urged its government to lodge a stern protest with the Chinese government for declaring a new air defense identification zone in the East China Sea. The zone partly overlaps that of Taiwan. It also covers the Senkaku Islands, which are controlled by Japan but claimed by China and Taiwan.
Lawmakers issued a bi-partisan statement on Friday calling for a strong response by President Ma Ying-jeou and officials of his administration. They are pushing the government not to submit flight plans to Beijing, and better coordinate with Japan.
The executive body of the Taiwanese government issued a statement in response. It notes that China’s action will not benefit the development of their ties and that the administration had expressed a tough stance toward China.
But the statement defended the submission of flight plans, saying that it’s for safety purposes and that it’ s in line with rules of the International Civil Aviation Organization.
The Ma administration is seen to be seeking closer ties with China. Media agencies
Allahabad-bound train derails near Lucknow, passengers injured

Allahabad-bound train derails near Lucknow, passengers injured
Allahabad-bound Haridwar Express on Saturday derailed on the outskirts of the city, leaving some passengers injured.


The last three bogies of the train derailed near Nigoha area at about 3.30 AM when the train was going to Allahabad from Haridwar, Circle officer, Government railway police (GRP), RD Yadav said.

He said that some passengers received minor injuries in the incident. Traffic was soon restored on the track.
seers acquitted in Sankararaman murder case

Kanchi seers acquitted in Sankararaman murder caseUpdated on :&nbsp30-11-2013 12:29 AM
In a huge relief to the pontiffs of Kanchi Sankara Mutt, Jayendra Saraswathi and Vijayendra Saraswathi, a Puducherry court on Wednesday acquitted them in the sensational case of murder of a temple official in Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu.


Besides the seers, arraigned as accused 1 and accused 2 respectively in the murder of A Sankararaman, Manager of the Varadarajaperumal temple in Kancheepuram district, 21 other accused were also acquitted by Puducherry Principal District and Sessions Judge C S Murugan.

A total of 24 persons were made accused in the case, but one of them, Kathiravan, was killed early this year.

The judge held that the witnesses failed to support the prosecution case that the two Sankaracharyas -Jayendra (78) and Vijayendra (44)were part of a conspiracy to eliminate the temple official in September 2004.

He also said the witnesses, including Sankararaman's daughter, failed to identify the accused in the court. None of them identified any accused in the court and no incriminating evidence was made out against the accused, the judge noted.

The arrest of Jayendra Saraswathi on Diwali day in November 2004 in Andhra Pradesh and later his heir apparent, Vijayendra, came as a big jolt to the Kanchi Mutt and its followers.

During the trial, 189 witnesses were examined between 2009 and 2012, of which 83 turned hostile.

The keenly-anticipated judgement was delivered in a packed court hall for which security was beefed up in and around the area.

Sankararaman, who was murdered in his office room in the temple on September 3, 2004 using sharp-edged weapons, had levelled charges of financial misappropriation against the two Sankaracharyas and over the way they ran the Mutt.

Police from Vishnukanchi station took up investigation following a complaint and a case was registered under section 302 and 34 of Indian Penal code.

Cases were registered against the two seers under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 302 (murder) of IPC in connection with the murder.

Reacting to the judgement, Sankararaman's son Anand said the verdict was "shocking and unbelievable" and wanted to know who were his father's killers.

The family will go through the judgement and decide the next course of action including whether to appeal against the verdict, he said.

The seers' counsel said the prosecution had failed to prove the conspiracy charge and the witnesses, including Sankararaman's daughter Uma Maitreyi, had failed to identify the accused.

With no material or evidence "this is not a fit case for appeal," one of their counsel, K M Subramaniam, said.

Lakshman Reddy, another of the seers' counsel, said no witness or documents were there to prove the involvement of the Sankaracharyas.

Earlier, it was alleged that the pontiff hatched a conspiracy to eliminate Sankararaman since he had allegedly made allegations against Jayendra Saraswathi.

The others acquitted in the case include the Manager of the Mutt Sundaresa Iyer, junior pontiff Vijayendra Saraswthi's brother Raghu and K G Krishnaswamy alias Appu.

M Kathiravan, one of the accused, was killed in Chennai on March 21 this year. This brought down the number of accused in the Sankararaman murder case to 23 from 24.

The Special Investigation team of Tamil Nadu police filed the charge sheet naming Jayendra Saraswathi as first accused and Vijayendra Sarawathi as the second accused in the case.

The then District Superintendent of Police in Kancheepuram K Premkumar and the Superintendent of Police S P Sakthivelu who was the Chief Investigation Officer submitted the 1873-page charge sheet before the Judicial Magistrate (I) of Kancheepuram G Uthamaraj.

Jayendra Saraswathi was arrested on Diwali day on November 11, 2004 at Mahbub Nagar in Andhra Pradesh. After two months in jail in Vellore the seer was granted bail by the Supreme Court on January 10, 2005. Vijayendra Saraswati was arrested from the mutt on January 10, 2005 and the Madras High Court granted him bail a month later.

The Sankaracharyas moved the Supreme Court and got the case transferred to Puducherry in 2005 on the ground that the atmosphere in Tamil Nadu was vitiated and there would not be free and fair trial.

Ravi Subramanian, a civil contractor of the Mutt, who was among the accused, turned approver. He, however, later turned hostile during investigation in the case in Puducherry court on January 21, 2010.

The trial in the case was shifted to Puducherry from Chengalpattu court in Tamil Nadu on an order of the Supreme Court following a writ petition filed by the senior pontiff.

The Supreme Court directed in July 2008 that the Puducherry government could appoint the Public Prosecutor to conduct the trial.

This direction was given in a petition Jayendra Saraswathi presented in the apex court where he insisted that once the trial was shifted to Puducherry, Tamil Nadu government had no authority to appoint its PP.

Subsequently, senior lawyer N Devadoss was appointed as the Special Public Prosecutor to conduct the trial.

The trial in the Puducherry Principal District and Sessions court began on April 2, 2009.

Padma, the widow of Sankararaman, his son Anand Sharma and daughter Maitreyi were among the 189 prosecution witnesses examined during the trial in Puducherry court. Of them, 81 witnesses turned hostile.

Ravi Subramanian who was approver in the case earlier, turned hostile during examination.

He retracted his earlier statements given before the court and the investigation officers in Kancheepuram.

During the four-year trial in Puducherry, four judges looked into the case. This is the first time in the legal history of Puducherry that a case from a neighbouring state had been shifted to the Union Territory which comes under the jurisdiction of the Madras High Court. No murder case has perhaps seen such number of adjournments as the present case in Puducherry.
shattered by allegations: Former SC judge Ganguly

Shocked, shattered by allegations: Former SC judge Ganguly Updated on :&nbsp30-11-2013 01:49 AM
Denying any sexual harassment of a young woman law intern, former Supreme Court judge Justice A K Ganguly on Friday said he was "shocked and shattered" by the charges against him.



"I am denying everything. I have told the committee that all the allegations levelled by the intern are wrong. I don't know how such allegations have been levelled against me," he told mediapersons.

He was giving his reaction after an apex court official released a statement that Justice Ganguly had recorded his statement before a three-judge committee that went into the intern's allegations and has submitted its report to the Chief Justice of India.

The apex court official statement said Justice Ganguly had recorded his statement to the three-judge committee headed by Justice R M Lodha.

The report was handed over to CJI Justice P Sathasivam on Thursday. "I totally deny the allegations. I am a victim of situations," he told television channels. "I am not ashamed of anything," he said in reply to a question in regard to the alleged episode which came out in public domain after the intern spoke about in a legal portal earlier this month.

He said the charges against him were totally wrong. The girl had not raised any sexual harassment issue with him, he said, adding that he had not done any physical harm to her.

The former judge said the intern worked with him though she was not officially allocated to him. She came in the place of another intern who had gone abroad after marriage. "I never put up a poster. She came on her own." He said the girl had come to his house on a number of occasions in connection with the work.

Asked about the charge that he had asked her to come to a hotel room, Justice Ganguly said he was in Delhi at that point of time in connection with work and she was also in Delhi.

"I know what she has said. The question is that when I was in Delhi she was also in Delhi. She came on her own to my...," he said. "If anybody feels uncomfortable to work with me she was free to leave," he said, adding that there was inconsistency that she has respect for him and there was no rancour.

He said that the intern was like his child and he treated her that way. Asked if he was worried whether the three-judge committee will pass strictures against him, he said, "I don't know what kind of strictures will be there."

To another question if he felt that the committee could have preconceived notions about him, he said,"I am not saying anything." Asked whether the allegations have cast a shadow on him, he said, he has faith in people and the people will judge him by his "conduct" and by his judicial work.

Justice Ganguly, who demitted office on 12th February last year, said that if this trend continues it will be difficult for the upright judges to continue to work.

"I have worked with several interns in my life, a large number of them and I treat them like my children. They are all well placed in several places in their lives and nobody has made such allegations. I am shocked and shattered."

He said that his case be not compared with that of Tarun Tejpal. "Don't compare this case with Tejpal. Please," he told to a television channel. To a question if asked to prove ..., Justice Ganguly shot back "how can I prove the negative."

The apex court committee recorded the statement of Justice Ganguly, who is at present heading West Bengal Human Rights Commission, after recording the statement of the law intern.

"The committee constituted to inquire into the allegations of sexual harassment levelled by the law intern against a former SC judge held its meetings on November 13, 18, 19, 20, 21, 26 and 27. "The statement of law intern was recorded. She had also submitted three affidavits. The statement of Mr. Justice (retired) A K Ganguly has also been recorded by the committee. The committee has submitted its report to the CJI on 28th November," the official said in a statement.

The official, however, did not give any details of the findings of the committee comprising Justices R M Lodha, H L Dattu, and Ranjana Prakash Desai which was constituted by the CJI on 12th November.

Hit by allegations of sexual misbehaviour by one of its judges, the Supreme Court constituted a three-judge committee to go into the charge of a woman intern that she was sexually harassed last December by the judge. Justice Ganguly was elevated to Supreme Court on 17th December, 2008 and superannuated on 3rd February, 2012.

The intern, in a blog, had accused the retired judge of having misbehaved with her in a hotel room last December when the nation was grappling with the gangrape of a 23-year-old woman in the capital. On 18th November, the intern appeared before the panel and gave details of the incident and on 21st November, she had sent certain applications and affidavits to the panel.

While setting up the panel on 12th November, Justice Sathasivam had observed that he was concerned as head of the institution (judiciary). "In the cases of sexual harassment, we cannot take it lightly," the CJI had said.

The young woman intern had first come out in public by writing her experience and ordeal in a blog of NGO 'Natural Justice: Lawyers for Communities and the Environment', with which she has been working. She has also got support and solidarity from her employer NGO
China to launch its first moon rover mission next week

China to launch its first moon rover mission next week
China will launch its first ever mission to land an unmanned spacecraft on the lunar surface next week, as it moves forward in its ambitious plan to become the world's pre-eminent space power.

The Chang'e-3 moon rover will be launched at 1:30 a.m. on Monday from Xichang Satellite Launch Center, the mission's launching headquarters said on Saturday.

China has already sent two moon missions which hovered around the lunar orbit.

This will be the first time for China to send an unmanned spacecraft to soft land on the surface of an extraterrestrial body and conduct surveys on the moon.

Facilities at the launching site are in good conditions and preparations for the launch are going well, state-run Xinhua news agency quoted the space officials as saying.

Chang'e-3 comprises a lander and a moon rover called "Yutu" (Jade Rabbit).

The rover was named "Yutu" following an online poll seeking name proposals from the Chinese worldwide.

In Chinese folklore, Yutu is the white pet rabbit of Chang'e, worshiped as the moon goddess in China for thousands of years.

Tasks for Yutu include surveying the moon's geological structure and surface substances, while looking for natural resources.

The Chang'e-3 mission is the second phase of China's lunar programme, which includes orbiting, landing and returning to Earth. China had launched its Chang'e-1orbiter in 2007 and Chang'e-2 in 2010.

The first probe retrieved a great deal of scientific data and a complete map of the moon, while the second created a full high-resolution map of the moon and a high-definition image of Sinus Iridium, a lunar landmark.

Chang'e-2 which was launched in 2010 orbited the moon to finish a more extensive probe than its predecessor Chang'e-1.

After finishing its objectives in June, 2011, Chang'e-2 left its lunar orbit for an extended mission to the Earth-Sun L2 Lagrangian point, according to Chinese space officials.

Besides continuing its lunar programme, China's space programme is focussing on building a permanent space station like Mir, the Russian space station being used by US.

China has flown to manned missions to link up with an orbiting module to master the manual and automatic space docking technologies.

China's deep-space exploration should go beyond the moon, and the country's scientists are actively preparing to implement plans to explore Mars, Venus and asteroids, said Ye Peijian, chief scientist of the Chang'e-3 programme.

"Scientists are always prepared to conduct deep-space exploration and will do it after conditions permit," said Ye.

India's Mars mission Mangalyan, which was launched this month, has evoked considerable interest in China as it enabled New Delhi to steal march over Beijing specially with a modest budget of USD 73 million.
OBC REDUCES ROI ON MSME ADVANCES

·        Oriental Bank of Commerce has reduced Rates of Interest applicable to MSME sector advances (Manufacturing as well as Services) w.e.f. 01.12.2013.

·        Under Micro & Small Enterprises

A.  Reduction in Rates of Interest ranges from 25 bps to 75 bps for advances above Rs.25 lacs & upto Rs.1.00 crore

B.  Reduction in Rates of Interest ranges from 50 bps to 200 bps for advances above Rs.1.00 crore.

·        Under Medium Enterprises

A.  Reduction in Rates of Interest ranges from 25 bps to 150 bps for advances upto Rs.1.00 crore

B.  Reduction in Rates of Interest ranges from 50 bps to 150 bps for advances above Rs.1.00 crore.

·        The revised Rate of Interest shall be applicable to all the existing as well as fresh advances sanctioned to MSME under manufacturing as well as service sector.

·        With this revision,  the rates of interest now offered by Oriental Bank of Commerce to MSME advances are most competitive in the industry.


Andy
99 99 57 37 07

Pak PM to visit Afghanistan today


Pak PM to visit Afghanistan today
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will visit Kabul on Saturday to meet President Hamid Karzai to discuss the troubled reconciliation process in neighbouring war-torn Afghanistan.


"Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will visit Kabul on Saturday on a one-day visit," Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Chaudhry said on Friday.

The visit comes a week after a delegation from the Afghan High Peace Council, mandated for holding talks with Taliban insurgents, visited Islamabad.

Media reports said that besides meeting Sharif, the team held parleys with top commander Mullah Baradar, who is among more than 35 Afghan Taliban leaders freed by Pakistan to kick start the peace and reconciliation process.

Afghanistan is keen to speed up the peace process ahead of the drawdown of US and NATO forces by the end of 2014.

Karzai is yet to sign a security pact with US that will allow some US troops to stay on for training and counter-terror missions.

This will be Sharif's first visit to Afghanistan since he began his third term as premier in June.

China scrambles jets after US, Japan planes enter new air zone

30 11 2013
 
 
China scrambles jets after US, Japan planes enter new air zone
China scrambled several fighter jets to monitor military planes of the US, Japan and South Korea in its newly de clared air defence zone over the East China Sea amid a call by President Xi Jinping to the PLA to enhance war capabilities.
The Chinese fighter jets identified and monitored the two US and 10 Japanese aircraft during their flights through the zone early Friday, Defense Ministry spokesman Colonel Shen Jinke was quoted as saying by the state-run China News.
He made no mention of any further action.
“Several combat aircraft were scrambled to verify the identities” of US and Japanese aircraft entering the zone, the state-run Xinhua news agency said, citing an air force official.
Colonel Shen said on Thursday said several fighter jets and an early warning aircraft from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force conducted normal air patrols in the East China Sea Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) that Beijing unilaterally declared last week.
Colonel Shen described the move as “a defensive measure and in line with international common practices.”
China’s air force will remain on high alert and will take measures to deal with diverse air threats to firmly protect the security of the country’s airspace, he said when the PLA Air Force conducted its first air patrol in the area.
President Xi, who is also the chairman of the Central Military Commission, ordered the PLA to reinforce the party’s leadership over the troops, enhance its war capabilities and strive to build a strong strategic reserve force.
Military training is critical to beef up the PLA’s war capacities and that trainings must focus on what is needed to fight a war and what it lacks most, Xi said while inspecting the Jinan Military Area Command in the east China.
Beijing announced the establishment of the ADIZ over the disputed islands called Diaoyu by China and Senkakus by Japan.
Till last year the chain of uninhabited were administered by Japan.
China started challenging the Japanese hold with naval patrols and the ADIZ was seen as an effort to enforce its air control over the islands.

OBC REDUCES ROI ON MSME ADVANCES

        Oriental Bank of Commerce has reduced Rates of Interest applicable to MSME sector advances (Manufacturing as well as Services) w.e.f. 01.12.2013.

·        Under Micro & Small Enterprises

A.  Reduction in Rates of Interest ranges from 25 bps to 75 bps for advances above Rs.25 lacs & upto Rs.1.00 crore

B.  Reduction in Rates of Interest ranges from 50 bps to 200 bps for advances above Rs.1.00 crore.

·        Under Medium Enterprises

A.  Reduction in Rates of Interest ranges from 25 bps to 150 bps for advances upto Rs.1.00 crore

B.  Reduction in Rates of Interest ranges from 50 bps to 150 bps for advances above Rs.1.00 crore.

·        The revised Rate of Interest shall be applicable to all theexisting as well as fresh advances sanctioned to MSMEunder manufacturing as well as service sector.

·        With this revision,  the rates of interest now offered by Oriental Bank of Commerce to MSME advances are most competitive in the industry.


Andy
99 99 57 37 07

Ukraine President urged to resign over EU pact

30 11 2013

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Ukraine’s opposition leaders are demanding the resignation of President Viktor Yanukovych. The president is being criticized for shelving an agreement with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia.
The Ukraine government was originally intending to sign a deal that would pave the way for the country to join the European bloc. But President Yanukovych changed his course after Russia imposed restrictions on some of Ukraine’s exports.
Protestors gathered in the Ukranian capital, Kiev, on Friday. Demonstrators held hands in a human chain to protest the government’s decision.
Opposition leaders told a massive rally that they are committed to fighting against Russian pressure. They also said that the president betrayed the people. They pledged to urge the president to resign.
The government says it still aims to conclude the deal with the EU. But the country is expected to face challenges as Russia will likely impose further pressure. Media agencies





Copter crashes into Glasgow pub

30 11 2013
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A police helicopter crashed into a pub in the Scottish city of Glasgow on Friday night.
Several people were reportedly injured.
Police say the incident took place shortly before 10:30 PM. 2 police officers and a civilian pilot were on board the helicopter.
Images of the scene show a wrecked helicopter on the roof of a building and a gaping hole in the roof.
Local media are reporting that several people were injured, but further details are not available.
The pub in central Glasgow was crowded with weekend revelers.
One pub customer said that after a loud bang, part of the room was filled with dust and everyone rushed outside.
Many of the customers reportedly retreated to a nearby hotel and other places of safety.
Emergency crews are searching for anyone who may still be in the building.





Abe pledges effort to improve ties with S.Korea

30 11 2013

Abe pledges effort to improve ties with S.Korea

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has reiterated he will try to improve diplomatic ties with South Korea by seeking dialogue at all levels.
Abe was speaking at a joint assembly of the Japan-Korea Parliamentarians’ Union and its South Korean counterpart, held in Tokyo on Friday.
Abe stressed the 2 countries are important neighbors for each other. He said they have faced difficult problems due to their geographical proximity, but that they have many interests in common related to the situation in Northeast Asia.
The prime minister said it’s important to develop bilateral relations for regional peace and prosperity.
He noted he hopes the 2 peoples can joyously celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties in 2015. Media agencies





Taiwan parliament urges protest over China ADIZ

30 11 2013

//
Taiwan’s parliament has urged its government to lodge a stern protest with the Chinese government for declaring a new air defense identification zone in the East China Sea. The zone partly overlaps that of Taiwan. It also covers the Senkaku Islands, which are controlled by Japan but claimed by China and Taiwan.
Lawmakers issued a bi-partisan statement on Friday calling for a strong response by President Ma Ying-jeou and officials of his administration. They are pushing the government not to submit flight plans to Beijing, and better coordinate with Japan.
The executive body of the Taiwanese government issued a statement in response. It notes that China’s action will not benefit the development of their ties and that the administration had expressed a tough stance toward China.
But the statement defended the submission of flight plans, saying that it’s for safety purposes and that it’ s in line with rules of the International Civil Aviation Organization.
The Ma administration is seen to be seeking closer ties with China. Media agencies





Mozambique passenger plane carrying 34 missing: Airline

30 11 2013
Mozambique passenger plane carrying 34 missing: Airline
A Mozambican Airlines airplane carrying 28 passengers and six crew members has gone missing en route from Mozambique to Angola, the airline said.
Flight TM470 took off from Maputo at 1456 IST on Friday and had been due to land in the Angolan capital Luanda at 1840 IST, but never arrived, the airline said in a statement. “Initial information suggests it might have landed in Rundu, in northern Namibia near the border with Botswana and Angola.”
“LAM airlines, aeronautical and airport authorities are trying to establish contact to confirm the information,” it added.
Company spokesman Norberto Mucopa could not confirm the nationalities of the people on board nor the time of the last contact with the Brazilian-produced Embraer 190.
It was not immediately clear if government officials were on board.
Mucopa declined to comment on reports the plane went down in a storm.
“We are busy searching. It’s dark now and it makes our job a bit difficult,” said Olavi Auanga, police commander of the Kavango West region, where the control lost signal with the aircraft.
An aviation officer in the area said on condition of anonymity that unconfirmed reports suggested the airplane may have gone down in the Bwabwata National Park around 200 kilometres east of Rundu.
The 6,100-square-kilometre reserve covers the narrow strip of land formerly known as the Caprivi strip, a sparsely-populated area with wetlands and dense forests.





Allahabad-bound train derails near Lucknow,

30 11 2013
Allahabad-bound train derails near Lucknow, passengers injured
Allahabad-bound Haridwar Express on Saturday derailed on the outskirts of the city, leaving some passengers injured.
The last three bogies of the train derailed near Nigoha area at about 3.30 AM when the train was going to Allahabad from Haridwar, Circle officer, Government railway police (GRP), RD Yadav said.He said that some passengers received minor injuries in the incident. Traffic was soon restored on the track.





shattered by allegations: Former SC judge Ganguly

30 11 2013
Shocked, shattered by allegations: Former SC judge Ganguly
Denying any sexual harassment of a young woman law intern, former Supreme Court judge Justice A K Ganguly on Friday said he was “shocked and shattered” by the charges against him.
“I am denying everything. I have told the committee that all the allegations levelled by the intern are wrong. I don’t know how such allegations have been levelled against me,” he told mediapersons.
He was giving his reaction after an apex court official released a statement that Justice Ganguly had recorded his statement before a three-judge committee that went into the intern’s allegations and has submitted its report to the Chief Justice of India.
The apex court official statement said Justice Ganguly had recorded his statement to the three-judge committee headed by Justice R M Lodha.
The report was handed over to CJI Justice P Sathasivam on Thursday. “I totally deny the allegations. I am a victim of situations,” he told television channels. “I am not ashamed of anything,” he said in reply to a question in regard to the alleged episode which came out in public domain after the intern spoke about in a legal portal earlier this month.
He said the charges against him were totally wrong. The girl had not raised any sexual harassment issue with him, he said, adding that he had not done any physical harm to her.
The former judge said the intern worked with him though she was not officially allocated to him. She came in the place of another intern who had gone abroad after marriage. “I never put up a poster. She came on her own.” He said the girl had come to his house on a number of occasions in connection with the work.
Asked about the charge that he had asked her to come to a hotel room, Justice Ganguly said he was in Delhi at that point of time in connection with work and she was also in Delhi.
“I know what she has said. The question is that when I was in Delhi she was also in Delhi. She came on her own to my…,” he said. “If anybody feels uncomfortable to work with me she was free to leave,” he said, adding that there was inconsistency that she has respect for him and there was no rancour.
He said that the intern was like his child and he treated her that way. Asked if he was worried whether the three-judge committee will pass strictures against him, he said, “I don’t know what kind of strictures will be there.”
To another question if he felt that the committee could have preconceived notions about him, he said,”I am not saying anything.” Asked whether the allegations have cast a shadow on him, he said, he has faith in people and the people will judge him by his “conduct” and by his judicial work.
Justice Ganguly, who demitted office on 12th February last year, said that if this trend continues it will be difficult for the upright judges to continue to work.
“I have worked with several interns in my life, a large number of them and I treat them like my children. They are all well placed in several places in their lives and nobody has made such allegations. I am shocked and shattered.”
He said that his case be not compared with that of Tarun Tejpal. “Don’t compare this case with Tejpal. Please,” he told to a television channel. To a question if asked to prove …, Justice Ganguly shot back “how can I prove the negative.”
The apex court committee recorded the statement of Justice Ganguly, who is at present heading West Bengal Human Rights Commission, after recording the statement of the law intern.
“The committee constituted to inquire into the allegations of sexual harassment levelled by the law intern against a former SC judge held its meetings on November 13, 18, 19, 20, 21, 26 and 27. “The statement of law intern was recorded. She had also submitted three affidavits. The statement of Mr. Justice (retired) A K Ganguly has also been recorded by the committee. The committee has submitted its report to the CJI on 28th November,” the official said in a statement.
The official, however, did not give any details of the findings of the committee comprising Justices R M Lodha, H L Dattu, and Ranjana Prakash Desai which was constituted by the CJI on 12th November.
Hit by allegations of sexual misbehaviour by one of its judges, the Supreme Court constituted a three-judge committee to go into the charge of a woman intern that she was sexually harassed last December by the judge. Justice Ganguly was elevated to Supreme Court on 17th December, 2008 and superannuated on 3rd February, 2012.
The intern, in a blog, had accused the retired judge of having misbehaved with her in a hotel room last December when the nation was grappling with the gangrape of a 23-year-old woman in the capital. On 18th November, the intern appeared before the panel and gave details of the incident and on 21st November, she had sent certain applications and affidavits to the panel.
While setting up the panel on 12th November, Justice Sathasivam had observed that he was concerned as head of the institution (judiciary). “In the cases of sexual harassment, we cannot take it lightly,” the CJI had said.
The young woman intern had first come out in public by writing her experience and ordeal in a blog of NGO ‘Natural Justice: Lawyers for Communities and the Environment’, with which she has been working. She has also got support and solidarity from her employer NGO

Friday, November 29, 2013

Maid murder case: BSP MP Dhananjay Singh denied bail

  29 11 2013
 
 
Maid murder case: BSP MP Dhananjay Singh denied bail
BSP MP Dhananjay Singh, arrested along with his wife Jagriti Singh in connection with murder of their maid, was denied by a Delhi court on Friday which observed that he had “actively participated” in atrocities which aggravated the miseries of his domestic helps.
Additional Sessions Judge Dharmesh Sharma dismissed his plea saying that if released on bail at this stage, he might influence the witnesses or tamper with the evidence keeping in view his previous involvement in 31 cases of heinous crimes.
“This is not a case of simplicitor failure on the part of applicant/accused (MP) in preventing the commission of such continuous act of atrocities on the part of his wife co-accused Dr Jagriti Singh but also actively participating and thereby perpetrating and aggravating the miseries of his domestic servants,” the court said.
“Having regard to the profile of the applicant/accused who has been involved in as many as 31 heinous crimes including murder, extortion, kidnapping and dacoity, it is not difficult to assume that if he is enlarged on bail, he can influence the witnesses and thereby hamper the course of justice,” it said.
The court also observed that according to the investigation, the BSP MP has been “reasonably connected” with the crime and has also tamper with the evidence. “… having regard to the fact that applicant/accused (MP) has been reasonably connected with the offence in question and has tried to tamper with evidence besides the fact that there is reasonable apprehension that if applicant (MP) is released on bail, he might intimidate, influence or try to win over the witnesses, I find that there are no grounds to grant bail to the applicant/accused,” the court said. It also said contents of the FIR and statements of the two key witnesses, who were working as maids at Jagriti’s house, prima facie revealed “gory details of continuous diabolic acts and omissions” on his part in not only allowing his wife to indulge in continuous act of merciless beatings the domestic servants but also encouraging and shielding her.
The judge also said the details of investigation prima facie revealed that Dhananjay himself participated in the acts of torture and beatings to his domestic helps whenever they dared to make complaints against his wife.
Dhananjay had moved bail plea before the sessions court after he failed to get relief from a magisterial court which had earlier dismissed his bail petition saying allegations against him were “very serious” and he does not deserve any leniency due his previous conduct.
He had claimed that he has been falsely implicated in the case due to “political pressure”. Dhananjay and Jagriti were arrested on 5th November in connection with the death of their 35-year-old maid Rakhi Bhadra, a resident of West Bengal.
Dhananjay, who already faces charges of murder and offences under the UP Gangsters Act, was arrested for allegedly destroying evidence, not informing the police about the maid’s death immediately and employing a juvenile as domestic help.
Jagriti was arrested under sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 344 (wrongful confinement) of the Indian Penal Code and the Juvenile Justice Act.
Both are currently in jail under judicial custody. Dhananjay was also recently arrested by Delhi Police in a case in which he was accused of repeatedly raping and criminally intimidating a 42-year-old woman, a railway employee, between 2005 and 2009.
Michelle Yeoh to be chief guest at IFFI closing ceremony

Michelle Yeoh to be chief guest at IFFI closing ceremony Updated on :&nbsp30-11-2013 07:58 AM
Hollywood actress Michelle Yeoh will attend the closing ceremony of the 44th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) to be held on November 30.

The 50-year-old Malaysian actress's documentary film 'Pad Yatra: A Green Odyssey' on which she served as an executive producer, will also be screened at the on-going festival.

The film directed by Wendy J N Lee, chronicles an arduous 450-mile journey across the Himalayas undertaken by Buddhist monks led by his holiness Gyalwang Drukpa to spread the message of environmentalism. His holiness will also accompany Yeoh to the film festival.

"Michelle Yeoh will be the chief guest at the closing ceremony. She would be here with her film called 'Pad Yatra'. She will be here with his holiness, who has conducted the whole pad yatra. The film would be screened on 29," IFFI director Shankar Mohan told.

Yeoh, known for her roles in 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon', Bond film 'Tomorrow Never Dies', 'Memoirs of a Geisha' has previously attended the festival in 2011, when her film 'The Lady', based on the life of Burmese Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, was the concluding movie.

The opening ceremony of the 11-day festival saw the attendance of international names like Hollywood star Susan Sarandon, Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi, and a host of Bollywood stars - Waheeda Rehman, Rekha, singer Asha Bhosle, Tamil superstar Kamal Hassan, actress Rani Mukerjee, 'Sholay' helmer Ramesh Sippy, Nana Patekar, R Madhavan, Huma Qureshi and Alia Bhatt among others.

When asked if the closing ceremony will also see substantial Bollywood presence, Mohan said, "A whole lot of people are expected. We are working on that.

We are awaiting confirmations. It is too premature for me to be taking the names. You will be seeing good representation from the Indian film industry as you saw at the opening ceremony."
Media agencies

Thursday, November 28, 2013


TRAI Releases the Telecommunication Tariff (Fifty Sixth Amendment)

28112013
TRAI Releases the Telecommunication Tariff (Fifty Sixth Amendment) Order, 2013 and The Mobile Banking (Quality of Service) (Amendment) Regulations, 2013 
           
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released the Telecommunication Tariff (Fifty Sixth Amendment) Order, 2013 prescribing a ceiling tariff for the use of USSD for USSD-based mobile banking services and the Mobile Banking (Quality of Service) (Amendment) Regulations, 2013. Together, these establish a framework to facilitate the agents of the banks to interface with the access service providers for use of SMS, USSD and IVR channels to provide mobile banking services.
The availability of and easy access to banking services for all our citizens is a major objective of public policy. However, the harsh reality is that a large section of our population is still unbanked/ under-banked. With a significant penetration of mobile telephony in rural India, the mobile phone can be leveraged to achieve the goal of financial inclusion.
            In April 2010, the Government accepted the framework for ‘delivery of basic financial services using mobile phones’ proposed by an Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG). The IMG framework envisaged the opening of mobile linked ‘no-frills’ accounts, which would be operated using mobile phones. The customers would be able to perform five basic transactions – cash deposit, cash withdrawal, balance enquiry, transfer of money from one mobile-linked account to another, and transfer of money to a mobile-linked account from a regular bank account. In the IMG framework, TRAI was requested to ensure that telecom services of adequate quality are provided for mobile banking at reasonable charges.
            In this context, TRAI initiated a comprehensive consultation process in July 2012 with all stakeholders. Based on the comments of the stakeholders and further analysis, the Authority has concluded the following:
(i)           Being a ubiquitous, inexpensive, secure and convenient channel, the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) is an appropriate channel for mobile banking service for financial inclusion.
(ii)          The telecom service providers should collect charges from their subscribers for providing the USSD channel to deliver mobile banking services.
(iii)        The ceiling tariff for an outgoing USSD session for USSD-based mobile banking service shall be Rs. 1.50 per USSD session.
(iv)        Every telecom service provider, acting as bearer, should facilitate not only the banks but also the authorized agents of the banks to use SMS, USSD and IVR to provide banking services to the banks’ customers.
The maximum number of stages for completion of a mobile banking transaction has been increased from two to five. 
The Mobile Banking (Quality of Service) (Amendment) Regulations, 2013 came into force with immediate effect and the Telecommunication Tariff (Fifty Sixth Amendment) Order, 2013 shall come into force on 1st January, 2014. The Authority is of the view that these Amendments will pave the way for achieving greater financial inclusion in the country.
TRAI Releases the Telecommunication Tariff (Fifty Sixth Amendment) Order, 2013 and The Mobile Banking (Quality of Service) (Amendment) Regulations, 2013 
           
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released the Telecommunication Tariff (Fifty Sixth Amendment) Order, 2013 prescribing a ceiling tariff for the use of USSD for USSD-based mobile banking services and the Mobile Banking (Quality of Service) (Amendment) Regulations, 2013. Together, these establish a framework to facilitate the agents of the banks to interface with the access service providers for use of SMS, USSD and IVR channels to provide mobile banking services.
The availability of and easy access to banking services for all our citizens is a major objective of public policy. However, the harsh reality is that a large section of our population is still unbanked/ under-banked. With a significant penetration of mobile telephony in rural India, the mobile phone can be leveraged to achieve the goal of financial inclusion.
            In April 2010, the Government accepted the framework for ‘delivery of basic financial services using mobile phones’ proposed by an Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG). The IMG framework envisaged the opening of mobile linked ‘no-frills’ accounts, which would be operated using mobile phones. The customers would be able to perform five basic transactions – cash deposit, cash withdrawal, balance enquiry, transfer of money from one mobile-linked account to another, and transfer of money to a mobile-linked account from a regular bank account. In the IMG framework, TRAI was requested to ensure that telecom services of adequate quality are provided for mobile banking at reasonable charges.
            In this context, TRAI initiated a comprehensive consultation process in July 2012 with all stakeholders. Based on the comments of the stakeholders and further analysis, the Authority has concluded the following:
(i)           Being a ubiquitous, inexpensive, secure and convenient channel, the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) is an appropriate channel for mobile banking service for financial inclusion.
(ii)          The telecom service providers should collect charges from their subscribers for providing the USSD channel to deliver mobile banking services.
(iii)        The ceiling tariff for an outgoing USSD session for USSD-based mobile banking service shall be Rs. 1.50 per USSD session.
(iv)        Every telecom service provider, acting as bearer, should facilitate not only the banks but also the authorized agents of the banks to use SMS, USSD and IVR to provide banking services to the banks’ customers.
The maximum number of stages for completion of a mobile banking transaction has been increased from two to five. 
The Mobile Banking (Quality of Service) (Amendment) Regulations, 2013 came into force with immediate effect and the Telecommunication Tariff (Fifty Sixth Amendment) Order, 2013 shall come into force on 1st January, 2014. The Authority is of the view that these Amendments will pave the way for achieving greater financial inclusion in the country.
TRAI Releases the Telecommunication Tariff (Fifty Sixth Amendment) Order, 2013 and The Mobile Banking (Quality of Service) (Amendment) Regulations, 2013 
           
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released the Telecommunication Tariff (Fifty Sixth Amendment) Order, 2013 prescribing a ceiling tariff for the use of USSD for USSD-based mobile banking services and the Mobile Banking (Quality of Service) (Amendment) Regulations, 2013. Together, these establish a framework to facilitate the agents of the banks to interface with the access service providers for use of SMS, USSD and IVR channels to provide mobile banking services.
The availability of and easy access to banking services for all our citizens is a major objective of public policy. However, the harsh reality is that a large section of our population is still unbanked/ under-banked. With a significant penetration of mobile telephony in rural India, the mobile phone can be leveraged to achieve the goal of financial inclusion.
            In April 2010, the Government accepted the framework for ‘delivery of basic financial services using mobile phones’ proposed by an Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG). The IMG framework envisaged the opening of mobile linked ‘no-frills’ accounts, which would be operated using mobile phones. The customers would be able to perform five basic transactions – cash deposit, cash withdrawal, balance enquiry, transfer of money from one mobile-linked account to another, and transfer of money to a mobile-linked account from a regular bank account. In the IMG framework, TRAI was requested to ensure that telecom services of adequate quality are provided for mobile banking at reasonable charges.
            In this context, TRAI initiated a comprehensive consultation process in July 2012 with all stakeholders. Based on the comments of the stakeholders and further analysis, the Authority has concluded the following:
(i)           Being a ubiquitous, inexpensive, secure and convenient channel, the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) is an appropriate channel for mobile banking service for financial inclusion.
(ii)          The telecom service providers should collect charges from their subscribers for providing the USSD channel to deliver mobile banking services.
(iii)        The ceiling tariff for an outgoing USSD session for USSD-based mobile banking service shall be Rs. 1.50 per USSD session.
(iv)        Every telecom service provider, acting as bearer, should facilitate not only the banks but also the authorized agents of the banks to use SMS, USSD and IVR to provide banking services to the banks’ customers.
The maximum number of stages for completion of a mobile banking transaction has been increased from two to five. 
The Mobile Banking (Quality of Service) (Amendment) Regulations, 2013 came into force w

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