Friday, October 7, 2016

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos wins Nobel Peace Prize 2016


This year’s Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, the Nobel Committee has announced in Norway’s capital, Oslo.The 2016 Peace Prize Laureate Juan Manuel Santos is 65 years old. He became President of Colombia in 2010 and was reelected in 2014.
The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to 15 heads of state or government, at the time of the award. 5 former and 6 future heads of state or government have also been awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. One prime minister at the time of the award, Winston Churchill, was awarded the 1953 Nobel Prize in Literature. The Nobel Peace Prize has frequently caused controversy. One reason is that many Laureates have been contemporary and highly controversial political actors.

The 2016 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos
”for his resolute efforts to bring the country’s more than 50-year-long civil war to an end”

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2016 to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos for his resolute efforts to bring the country’s more than 50-year-long civil war to an end, a war that has cost the lives of at least 220 000 Colombians and displaced close to six million people. The award should also be seen as a tribute to the Colombian people who, despite great hardships and abuses, have not given up hope of a just peace, and to all the parties who have contributed to the peace process. This tribute is paid, not least, to the representatives of the countless victims of the civil war.
President Santos initiated the negotiations that culminated in the peace accord between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrillas, and he has consistently sought to move the peace process forward. Well knowing that the accord was controversial, he was instrumental in ensuring that Colombian voters were able to voice their opinion concerning the peace accord in a referendum. The outcome of the vote was not what President Santos wanted: a narrow majority of the over 13 million Colombians who cast their ballots said no to the accord. This result has created great uncertainty as to the future of Colombia. There is a real danger that the peace process will come to a halt and that civil war will flare up again. This makes it even more important that the parties, headed by President Santos and FARC guerrilla leader Rodrigo Londoño, continue to respect the ceasefire.
The fact that a majority of the voters said no to the peace accord does not necessarily mean that the peace process is dead. The referendum was not a vote for or against peace. What the “No” side rejected was not the desire for peace, but a specific peace agreement. The Norwegian Nobel Committee emphasizes the importance of the fact that President Santos is now inviting all parties to participate in a broad-based national dialogue aimed at advancing the peace process. Even those who opposed the peace accord have welcomed such a dialogue. The Nobel Committee hopes that all parties will take their share of responsibility and participate constructively in the upcoming peace talks.
Striking a balance between the need for national reconciliation and ensuring justice for the victims will be a particularly difficult challenge. There are no simple answers to how this should be accomplished. An important feature of the Colombian peace process so far has been the participation of representatives of civil war victims. Witnessing the courage and will of the victims’ representatives to testify about atrocities, and to confront the perpetrators from every side of the conflict, has made a profound impression.
By awarding this year’s Peace Prize to President Juan Manuel Santos, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to encourage all those who are striving to achieve peace, reconciliation and justice in Colombia. The president himself has made it clear that he will continue to work for peace right up until his very last day in office. The Committee hopes that the Peace Prize will give him strength to succeed in this demanding task. Furthermore, it is the Committee’s hope that in the years to come the Colombian people will reap the fruits of the ongoing peace and reconciliation process. Only then will the country be able to address effectively major challenges such as poverty, social injustice and drug-related crime.
The civil war in Colombia is one of the longest civil wars in modern times and the sole remaining armed conflict in the Americas. It is the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s firm belief that President Santos, despite the “No” majority vote in the referendum, has brought the bloody conflict significantly closer to a peaceful solution, and that much of the groundwork has been laid for both the verifiable disarmament of the FARC guerrillas and a historic process of national fraternity and reconciliation. His endeavors to promote peace thus fulfil the criteria and spirit of Alfred Nobel’s will.
Oslo, 7 October 2016

#12: 43rd Arise Steel Sub-Junior Nationals 2016

#12: 43rd Arise Steel Sub-Junior Nationals 2016 –Chhattisgarh girls repeat while BFI-MP boys three-peat as champs
Hyderabad, 7th October 2016: The finals of the 43rd Arise Steel Sub-Junior National Basketball Championship 2016 concluded a short while ago at the SATS Indoor Stadium, Saroornagar in the city.
Chhattisgarh girls and BFI-Madhya Pradesh* defended their titles from last year, beating Kerala and Rajasthan respectively.
Mr P Niranjan Reddy, Vice Chairman, Telangana Government Planning Commission distributed the winning boys’ medals and trophy. Mr Aadhav Arjuna, Managing Director of Arise Steel Industries, the title sponsors of this championship, was the special guest for the second day running. Also seen distributing the trophies and medals were Mr Chander Mukhi Sharma, Secretary-General of Basketball Federation of India, Mr M Rajender Reddy, President, Telangana Basketball Association, Mr R Sridhar Reddy, President, Organising Committee (& also President of the Hyderabad District Basketball Association) and other dignitaries.

Chhattisgarh girls bt Kerala 57-48

The winners of the last two sub-junior national championships, Kerala girls and defending champions Chhattisgarh squared off in the final today morning. The game lived up to its billing with both teams sticking close to each other till the final minutes. Chhattisgarh followed their game plan of ball movement and finding the open man against Kerala’s zone defence. Kerala’s go-to player, centre Ann Mary Zachariah, struggled in the early going being unable to knock down freethrows. She was frequently double-teamed which opened up the lane for her teammate, Aleena Antony, who kept making tough layups to keep her side within a couple of possessions of Chhattisgarh.
Chhattisgarh, however, went on an 8-3 run to close the first half and held a 37 to 31 lead entering the third quarter. Kerala’s Ann Mary found her touch in the third quarter, creating second chance opportunities for her team. But Chhattisgarh still held the advantage entering the fourth period leading by 3 points.
In the final quarter, Chhattisgarh were the more accurate team from the field and found easy scoring opportunities in transition. Kirti (20 points) and Urvashi Baghel (16 points) led the way for their team as Chhattisgarh pulled away from Kerala in the final minutes. Coach Rajesh Patel guided his team admirably in this game resulting in a 57-48 win and a repeat championship run.
“This is my 100th medal at the national level,” an ecstatic Chhattisgarh Head Coach Rajesh Patel said post the win.

BFI-MP* bt Rajasthan 69-66

Defending champions BFI-Madhya Pradesh* boys were gunning for a three-peat as they entered their final against Rajasthan. Both teams were unbeaten so far in the tournament. The game began slowly with the teams feeling each other out in the first quarter. Rajasthan managed to put up only 6 points in the first period, but went on a scoring run in the second taking full advantage and poured in 37 points in the second quarter. Rajasthan regained the lead with the halftime score at 43 to 31.
In the second half BFI-Madhya Pradesh* showcased their quality offense, led by big man Virat Dhakad (19 points). Both teams followed a run-and-gun style of play, but BFI-MP* had more accuracy from the field in the second period and pulled their way back into the contest.
Leading by one point entering the fourth period, BFI-MP* kept their poise and held off a furious Rajasthan comeback attempt. Rajasthan’s most consistent player in the tournament, Mahaveer Banjara, led the way for his team once again with 29 points. But it wasn’t enough, as BFI-MP* pulled off a 3-point victory and were crowned 3-time champions.
Final Standings
GirlsBoys
1. Chhattisgarh1. BFI-Madhya Pradesh
2. Kerala2. Rajasthan
3. Tamil Nadu3. Haryana
4. Maharashtra4. Andhra Pradesh
5. Rajasthan5. Telangana
6. Uttar Pradesh6. Chhattisgarh
7. Karnataka7. Uttar Pradesh
8. BFI-Madhya Pradesh*8. Punjab
9. Delhi9. Maharashtra
10. Punjab10. Odisha

RESULTS FROM Day 7 (7th October 2016)
Girls:
Finals
  1. Chhattisgarh (Kirti 20, Urvashi Baghel 16) bt Kerala (Ann Mary Zachariah 19, Aleena Antony 8) 57-48 (18-16, 19-15, 8-11, 12-6)
3-4 Classification Match
  1. Tamil Nadu (Nitika A 19, Sathya K 19, Sree Varshini J 18) bt Maharashtra (Siya Deodhar 18, Chaitaali Bafna 14) 70-50 (16-14, 14-7, 27-16, 13-13)
Boys:
Level 1
Finals
  1. BFI-Madhya Pradesh (Virat Dhakad 19, Aman Negi 13) bt Rajasthan (Mahaveer Banjara 29, Kamal Singh 10) 69-66 (14-6, 17-37, 24-11, 14-12)
3-4 Classification Match
  1. Haryana (Gourav 19, Depender 11, Sahil 11, Vikas 10) bt Andhra Pradesh(Shaik Ahmed 12, Nayeem Pranav 8) 73-42 (17-6, 25-10, 12-19, 19-7)

*BFI-MP is an independent team comprising players from across Madhya Pradesh who were given one time approval to participate in this event. 

About the Sub-Junior Nationals

The Sports Authority of Telangana (SATS) Indoor Stadium in Saroornagar, Hyderabad will play host to the 43rd Sub-Junior National Championship 2016. The tournament is being held from 1st to 7th October 2016, organised by the Hyderabad District Basketball Association under the auspices of Telangana State Basketball Association (TBA) and the Basketball Federation of India (BFI).
The Sub-junior or ‘mini’ nationals is annually held for boys and girls of the age 13 or younger and is the premier national level tournament at this entry level age group. As many as 22 matches per day will be played on a league cum knockout basis inside the two indoor courts within the stadium complex with 27 boys’ teams and 24 girls’ teams participating.
National level basketball is returning to the city of Hyderabad for the first time in 13 years, after the 2003 Senior National Basketball Championship. In fact, the last time a national level tournament was held in unified Andhra Pradesh was the junior national championship in Anantapur back in 2007.
BFI-Madhya Pradesh is the two time defending champions in the boys section while Chhattisgarh is the defending champion in the girls section from the 42nd edition held in Puducherry earlier this February. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana teams had finished 5th and 10th in the boys and girls sections respectively.

About Basketball Federation of India

The Basketball Federation of India or BFI is the governing and controlling body of basketball in India, and is responsible for the development and promotion of the sport at all levels. BFI has been involved in conducting camps, clinics, events, and training sessions at its academies for the development of basketball. BFI came into being in 1935 and took complete control over Indian basketball in 1950. Prior to that time, the Indian Olympic Association handled the conduct of Indian basketball championships. Since 1950, the BFI has been conducting various such championships, from the grassroots to senior team participation in international tournaments. In addition, the BFI has been responsible for the establishment of strong sub-junior and junior level programs. The BFI has to its credit produced several international players of repute, among them 17 have been bestowed with the honour of Arjuna Awards. Earlier in June 2015, 19-year-old Satnam Singh Bhamara made history by becoming the first Indian national to be drafted by an NBA team, when he was selected by the Dallas Mavericks. More information atwww.basketballfederationindia.org
For media queries please contact:
Norman Isaac (+91 8790188844)
Gopalakrishnan R (+91 8197235684)

India-Singapore Joint Statement during the visit of Prime Minister of Singapore to India

India-Singapore Joint Statement during the visit of Prime Minister of Singapore to India
  • Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore H.E. Mr. Lee Hsien Loong made a Working Visit to the Republic of India from 3-7 October 2016 at the invitation of the Prime Minister of the Republic of India H.E. Shri Narendra Modi. The Prime Minister of Singapore was accompanied by Mrs Lee, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry), Mr. S Iswaran, Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) and Senior Minister of State for Defence, Mr. Ong Ye Kung, Senior Minister of State (Defence) & (Foreign Affairs), Dr. Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, Members of Parliament, Ms. Denise Phua and Mr. Vikram Nair, and an official delegation.
  • During the visit, Prime Minister Lee called on the President of India H.E. Shri Pranab Mukherjee. He had a meeting with Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, who hosted a banquet in his honour. External Affairs Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj, called on Prime Minister Lee. Prime Minister Lee also visited Udaipur, Rajasthan, from 5-6 October 2016.
  • The two Prime Ministers held wide-ranging discussions on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues in a warm, cordial and friendly atmosphere, reflecting the excellent bilateral ties. They reviewed and expressed satisfaction over the good progress in the bilateral relationship since the signing of the Joint Declaration on a Strategic Partnership on 24 November 2015 during the Official Visit of Prime Minister Modi to Singapore. Both Prime Ministers noted with satisfaction the good exchange of regular high level visits and consultations between India and Singapore which have served to strengthen all-round cooperation under the pillars of the India-Singapore Strategic Partnership.
  • Both Prime Ministers reaffirmed the strong cooperation in the area of smart cities and urban solutions. They welcomed the collaboration between Singapore and various states including Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh and noted the successful launch of the Urban Planning and Governance Programme for Indian officials in September 2016.
  • The Prime Ministers also reaffirmed their commitment to cooperate in skills development through knowledge sharing and capacity building, and look forward to the launch of the Centre of Excellence for Tourism Training in Rajasthan and collaboration to develop skills training in North East India.
  • The two Prime Ministers appreciated the significant progress made in defence cooperation since the signing of the revised Defence Cooperation Agreement in November 2015. They welcomed the inaugural India-Singapore Defence Ministers’ Dialogue held in Singapore on 3 June 2016 during which new areas of bilateral cooperation were explored.
  • The two Prime Ministers also noted the convening of the first Defence Industry Working Group in May 2016, the continued progress in cooperation in defence R&D and technology, regular joint military exercises and training between the Armies, Air Forces and Navies, service-to-service cooperation, naval ship visits, and the sharing of White-Shipping Information.
  • The two Prime Ministers expressed satisfaction at the ongoing cooperation to address common security concerns, such as in the areas of counter-terrorism, maritime security, cyber security and illicit drug trafficking.
  • The two Prime Ministers recognised the importance of further strengthening economic cooperation between India and Singapore and the many complementarities and opportunities that exist between the two countries. In this regard, they noted the holding of meetings by the Joint Working Group on Trade & Investment and the Financial Dialogue Preparatory Meeting as important initiatives as envisaged under the India-Singapore Strategic Partnership.
  • Prime Minister Modi welcomed the listing of Masala Bonds on the Singapore Exchange and briefed Prime Minister Lee about the efforts made to boost investments into India in the field of infrastructure development.
  • The two Prime Ministers recognized the importance of the bilateral Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) in providing the foundation for economic cooperation. The Chief Negotiators would meet for an early conclusion of the Second Review.
  • To support growing economic links, the Prime Ministers also recognised the importance of exploring the expansion of air connectivity to support new and commercially viable air links between and beyond both countries, and to broaden cooperation in the aviation, maritime and logistics sectors, including through capacity building and the sharing of best practices.
  • The Prime Ministers also discussed furthering already strong economic ties and agreed to appoint senior ministers from both sides to explore new and innovative ways to cooperate and find win-win outcomes and to report back to the Prime Ministers.
  • The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed the significance of parliamentary exchanges between the two democracies. In this regard, they appreciated the Goodwill Visit by a Parliamentary Delegation from India to Singapore in April 2016 and visits by members of the India-Singapore Parliamentary Friendship Group to India on various occasions.
  • Welcoming the launch of six satellites of Singapore by Indian Space Research Organization’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle in December 2015, the two Prime Ministers hailed the growing cooperation between India and Singapore in space technology and stressed on the need for furthering cooperation in R&D.
  • Both sides shared convergence of views on various regional and international issues, including the regional security situation in Asia. Both sides reiterated their desire and determination to work together to maintain peace, stability, growth and prosperity in Asia and beyond.
  • Both sides reiterated their support for security, safety and freedom of navigation and over flight, and unimpeded commerce, in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS. Both sides also called on all parties to resolve disputes through peaceful means without threat or use of force and exercise self-restraint in the conduct of actions that could escalate tensions in the region.
  • The two Prime Ministers recognized that terrorism continues to remain the single most significant threat to peace and stability and reiterated their strong commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and stressed that there can be no justification for acts of terror on any grounds whatsoever.
  • Prime Minister Lee expressed his condolences to the Indian Government and the families of the victims of the Uri attack, and stated that Singapore strongly condemns terrorist attacks of all forms.
  • The two Prime Ministers affirmed their resolve to fight against global terrorism, terror organisations and networks and all those who encourage, support and finance them. They called for reinvigorating multilateral action on terrorism, including through the finalisation and adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism in the United Nations at the earliest.
  • The Prime Ministers lauded the cooperation between both sides at regional and international fora and reaffirmed efforts to strengthen cooperation particularly in the United Nations, World Trade Organization, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and related forums and as well as other regional cooperation mechanisms.
  • India welcomed the realization of the ASEAN Community and expressed full support for ASEAN’s centrality in the evolving regional structure. Singapore welcomed and highlighted the vital role that India played in the regional architecture, especially through its participation in and support for ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus), East Asia Summit (EAS), and Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).
  • Prime Minister Lee reaffirmed Singapore’s continuing support for India as a permanent member in a reformed United Nations Security Council.
  • The following bilateral documents were signed during the visit: i. MoU in the field of Industrial Property Cooperation between Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and Intellectual Property Office of Singapore. ii. MoU on Collaboration in the Field of Technical and Vocational Education and Training between the National Skill Development Corporation and ITE Education Services, Singapore. iii. MoU on Collaboration in the Field of Technical and Vocational Education and Training between the Government of Assam and ITE Education Services, Singapore
  • Prime Minister Lee expressed his gratitude for the warm reception and hospitality accorded to him and his delegation. He extended an invitation to Prime Minister Modi to visit Singapore at a mutually convenient date. Prime Minister Modi accepted the invitation. Dates for the visit will be finalized through diplomatic channels.

Government Technology Agency of Singapore new logo

Government Technology Agency of Singapore updated their profile picture.
Our new logo — just unveiled~ At the new Government Technology Agency, or GovTech, we transform the delivery of Government digital services by taking an “outside-in” view — this means seeing issues from your perspective and putting citizens and businesses at the heart of everything we do.
Our role includes deploying a wide range of ICT solutions within the public sector, growing new capabilities and talent to support digital service delivery, and developing the Smart Nation
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6.0 earthquake rocks southeastern Taiwan

A powerful earthquake with preliminary magnitude of 6.0 struck off the coast of southeastern Taiwan on Thursday, according to the Central Weather Bureau of Taiwan. The earthquake occurred at 11:52 pm local time some 32 kilometers (20 miles) southeast of Taitung City with a depth of about 20 kilometers, preliminary reports suggest. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) put the magnitude lower, at 5.7. There has been no information on victims or damage caused by the tremor so far. No tsunami warning has been issued.
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Russia calls for emergency UNSC meeting to discuss De Mistura’s Aleppo

Russia has called for members of UN Security Council to convene Friday to discuss an initiative by UN Special Envoy for Syria Steffan de Mistura to personally accompany Jabhat Al-Nusra fighters if they agree to voluntarily leave rebel-held eastern Aleppo to other rebel-held parts of Syria. The meeting will be held at 10 am New York Time (2 pm GMT). The proposal is aimed at sparing civilians from falling victim to the ongoing Syrian government’s offensive in the area, according to de Mistura. Some 900 of the UN-recognized terrorist group’s fighters still held positions in eastern Aleppo. Speaking at a press conference Thursday, De Mistura said that eastern Aleppo could be “totally destroyed” in two-and-a-half months if the fighting continues at the same pace. Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, commended the initiative, saying it “deserves the most careful consideration.”
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why 3 Russians were arrested in US

The Russian Embassy in the US is investigating the circumstances that led to the arrest of three Russians accused of an alleged attempt to export sensitive military devices from the US to Russia, embassy spokesman Yuri Melnik said. “The embassy is trying to establish the circumstances. There is no more accurate information so far,” Melnik said. Two Russian citizens, Dmitry Karpenko and Alexey Krutilin, and naturalized US citizen Alexey Barysheff were arrested on the charges of illegal export on Thursday, according to the US Justice Department, Reuters reported. The three were to appear before court on Thursday afternoon. The US government alleged they planned to obtain microelectronics from manufacturers and suppliers to smuggle them into Russia, sidestepping the US restrictions on the export of high-tech goods.

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