POSCO willing to return land

first_imgThe Odisha government said on Saturday that POSCO had requested it to take back the land acquired for a mega steel plant that the South Korean steel major proposed more than a decade ago.“Recently, POSCO authorities sent a communication to the Odisha government. Since POSCO had not started construction as per the conditions in the lease agreement, the company requested the government to take the land back,” State Industries Minister Debi Prasad Mishra said here. “Subsequent to receiving the letter from POSCO, we secured the Chief Minister’s approval to keep the land parcel in the land bank being created for setting up future industrial projects.”The company had signed a memorandum of understanding with the State government in June 2005 to set up a plant with a capacity of 12 million tonnes a year and a captive port at an estimated investment of ₹52,000 crore near the port town of Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district. It was then the largest FDI received by the country.People’s protestThe people, however, protested against the acquisition of 4,004 acres of land, saying that the industrial project would spell doom for their livelihood based on betel farming and fishing.The curtains fell on the much-hyped project when a Central amendment to the Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation Act in January 2015 necessitated POSCO to go through the auction route to get iron ore mines. Since there was uncertainty in securing a captive mine, the company started folding up its operation in the State.By that time, the State government had transferred 1,723.78 acres of land to POSCO through the Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation.With this, one of the most intensely fought land acquisition processes came to an end. During the decade-long protest, several hundred villagers were arrested by the police for blocking land acquisition. Over 1,200 non-bailable warrants were pending for execution in the project area. As the process of acquisition slowed down, the police stopped executing warrants.last_img read more

Ceiling fans with springs, sensors to check suicides in Kota

first_imgA siren sensor and a spring device that will lower ceiling fans if anyone over 20 kg tries to hang from it will be affixed to fans in hostel rooms in the coaching hub of Kota. The city is grappling with rising cases of student suicides.Kota, known as the capital of competitive exam coaching in the country, has seen a rise in cases of suicides by stressed out students.Most of the suicides in the past in Kota have been committed by coaching students by hanging themselves from the ceiling fans of their hostel rooms.Keeping this in mind, the Kota Hostel Association, has come up with the decision to attach a spring equipment and a siren to the ceiling fans of the hostel rooms providing accommodation to coaching students.“The association has decided to make it mandatory for every student hostel registered with the association to attach a secret spring equipment and siren sensor to the ceiling fans of the hostel rooms,” Naveen Mittal, President of Kota Hostel Association, told PTI.The secret spring equipment attached with the ceiling fan is capable of bearing a weight of not more than 20 kg and will come down with the expansion of the spring if anyone heavier than 20 kg tries to hang from the fan, he said.Besides, the sensor will also start blaring out alerting authorities.A firm from Gujarat has been given an order for the supply of the spring equipment and sensor and the work to attach the equipment and sensor is underway in some of the hostels. The process is expected to be over in two to three months, said Manish Jain, founder president of the Association.In addition to this, biometric attendance machines would also be installed for daily attendance at all the hostels in Kota and the same would be made accessible to parents, hostel warden and officials of the association through mobile message.Biometric machines have been installed in 80 to 90 hostels in Land Mark area of the city. Around 500 to 550 hostels are currently registered with the association, he said.Besides, CCTV cameras would be installed at the entrance and exit roads, points and gates in areas where the coaching institutes and hostels are located, Jain said.The National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) in its 2014 report said at least 45 students committed suicide in Kota due to fear of failure in exams. Last year, 17 students committed suicide in Kota.The state government as well as the district administration has taken several measures and issued guidelines to check such incidents.Around 1.75 lakhs students from across the country have come to Kota in recent years for coaching for entrance tests in IIT/JEE and NEET.last_img read more

BJP ready for polls in Rajasthan: Amit Shah

first_imgBharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah on Saturday said his party was set to become “invincible” in Rajasthan in the next four months following a drive to strengthen each polling booth in the State. Ahead of the 2018 Assembly election, the BJP would emerge as the strongest party in the State, he said. .Addressing a press conference at the State BJP headquarters during his three-day visit here, Mr. Shah said while the BJP would form the next government in Rajasthan, there was no proposal for a change of the Chief Minister. “Vasundhara Raje is doing a good job…Leave this issue for our central leadership,” he said while setting at rest speculations about change of guards.Abducted IndiansThe BJP chief defended External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who had recently stated that the 39 Indians abducted by the Islamic State from Mosul city in Iraq were alive in a prison. “The search is underway to locate the missing Indians. The government is not misleading the nation,” said Mr. Shah.Asked about the increasing number of suicides by debt-ridden farmers across the country, Mr. Shah said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had already clarified that the State governments were free to take a decision on loan waiver for agriculturists.Mr. Shah said the BJP was not against the implementation of goods and services tax in the past, while the Centre had accepted the States’ demand that the losses incurred by them be compensated. “The Opposition has raised apprehensions, but the people of the country have happily accepted the GST regime.”Ram templeAsked about the controversial issues such as ban on cow slaughter and construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya, Mr. Shah said the legislation for protection of cow exists in the BJP-ruled States and the BJP manifesto during the last four Lok Sabha elections had stated that the temple should be constructed through the due process of law.Earlier in the day, Mr. Shah, accompanied by Ms. Raje and BJP State president Ashok Parnami, met a large group of seers and monks and sought their blessings. The BJP leaders spent an hour with the seers at a closed-door meeting at a luxury hotel in the city.last_img read more

India cannot push back those seeking asylum, says Tarun Gogoi

first_imgFormer Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi says the “Rohingya crisis is a humanitarian one and India cannot simply push back those seeking asylum”.Reacting to The Hindu’s report on Saturday that the BJP-led governments in Northeast India have asked the State police forces to push back any Rohingya refugee trying to cross the border, Mr. Gogoi said, “As a country which is concerned about human rights, how can we simply push them back into the country from where they are fleeing because of persecution.”The senior Congress leader maintains that such a stand is a violation of the principle of non-refoulement — not to send asylum seekers back to a hostile country — and “the Government of India should take up with the United Nations to force Myanmar to give the Rohingya citizenship rights”. “It is unfortunate if refugees are also divided along religious lines by the BJP governments in the north-east. They talk about population control but says we welcome Hindu Bangladeshis. If the idea is to welcome minorities who are persecuted, then Rohingya qualify too,” Mr. Gogoi say.He says the north-eastern region can’t handle the burden of more refugees but the “issue has to be dealt with in a humane way.” Suggesting that the Centre convene an all-party meeting and prepare a standard operating procedure to deal with refugees, Mr. Gogoi said, “We should be prepared to provide some temporary shelter if someone crosses the border.”Congress for consensusThe Congress said on Monday that the Modi government “must take all sections of the political spectrum into confidence” on the issue of Rohingya refugees and evolve a national consensus.Addressing presspersons, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi advised caution on the Centre’s position in its affidavit in the Supreme Court that India was not bound by international treaties when it was a question of national security.last_img read more

Two Hizb militants, local resident killed during Army operation in Pulwama

first_imgTwo Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militants, including a ‘commander’, were killed and two soldiers injured during an anti-militancy operation by the Army in Pulwama on Monday.Shahid Ashraf Dar, a resident of Arihal village, was killed in clashes with security forces during the operation. An Army spokesman said two rifles were recovered from the site of operation, which began in the morning at Drabgam in Pulwama.“The operation is still on,” said the spokesman. The militants were trapped in the hometown of Hizb commander Sameer Bhat alias ‘Tiger’, who is also believed dead in the encounter.’Tiger’ was wanted in many attacks on security forces. Another militant was identified as Aqib Khan of Rajpora, according to the locals. Around 16 protesters also sustained injuries during the operation. Of them, five were shifted to a Srinagar hospital.Internet services have been suspended in the area and train services stopped in south Kashmir.last_img read more

Seven killed in U.P. road accident

first_imgSix students and a teacher were crushed to death while two others were injured after being hit by a speeding bus on the Lucknow-Agra Expressway on Monday morning, the police said. According to a police spokesperson, the accident happened in Tirwa area of the district at around 4 a.m. “The students were filling diesel from one bus to another when they were run over by a bus which was passing by. As of now seven persons, including a teacher and students, have died, while two others are injured,” the police spokesperson said. The students were from Sant Kabirnagar district and were going to Haridwar. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has expressed sorrow over the loss of life. A U.P. government spokesperson said that Mr. Adityanath has condoled the death of six Basic Training Certificate students and a teacher of Prabha Devi Vidyalaya, Sant Kabirnagar, in a road accident in Kannauj. THe Chief Minister has announced a financial assistance of ₹2 lakh for the kin of each of the deceased and ₹50,000 for each of the injured persons. He has also directed the officials to get an FIR registered in the matter and asked them to provide proper medical treatment to the injured persons.last_img read more

Indore holds on to top spot as India’s cleanest city

first_imgFor the second year in a row, Indore has been declared India’s cleanest city, followed by Bhopal and Chandigarh, according to the Swachh Sarvekshan 2018 rankings announced on Saturday. Jharkhand was ranked the best performing state, followed by Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh.At the bottom of the pile, the dirtiest city with a population over one lakh, was Bhadreswar in West Bengal. In fact, 19 of the country’s 25 dirtiest cities lie in West Bengal, according to the Survey. The nationwide urban cleanliness survey, conducted by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, covered 4,203 cities in its third iteration. The first version of the survey, released in 2016, ranked only 73 cities, while last year’s rankings covered 434 cities.Cities’ cleanliness scores take into account data provided by urban local bodies, independent observation by Central assessors, as well as citizen feedback. “The objective of the survey is to encourage large-scale citizen participation and create awareness amongst all sections of society about the importance of working together towards making towns and cities a better place to live in,” said a Ministry statement. Overall, 38 lakh citizens provided feedback this year.This year, while national rankings were issued for the 485 cities with a population of over one lakh, zonal rankings were determined for smaller cities. Bundu in Jharkhand (East), Kakching in Manipur (North East), Panchgani in Maharashtra (West), Siddipet in Telengana (South) and Bhadson in Punjab (North) were declared winners among these smaller cities. Delhi Cantonment was awarded as the cleanest Cantonment Board in the country.last_img read more

Mahadayi ruling major victory: Goa government

first_imgThe Goa government on Tuesday claimed that the Mahadayi Inter-state Water Disputes Tribunal’s ruling, was a “major victory” for the State. On Tuesday, the tribunal decided that Goa will allot 13.42 TMC of water from the Mahadayi river basin to Karnataka, as against the latter’s demand for 36.55.The tribunal headed by Justice J.M. Panchal ruled that only 13.42 TMC water would be allotted to Karnataka. Karnataka had claimed 36.55 TMC water from the Mahadayi basin, which included 1.50 TMC for irrigation and drinking, 7.56 TMC for diversion to the already depleted basin of the Malaprabha river through the Kalsa-Bahnduri canal project and 14.97 for power generation.Goa Congress, however, called the verdict unfortunate and urged the State to appeal against it. Former chief minister Francisco Sardinha alleged that the verdict was manipulated by the BJP government at the Centre.“They should move the Supreme Court to get justice. If this is not done, then people of Goa will have to come on to the roads to remind the government that this is their job and they should do it as early as possible,” Mr. Sardinha said. Mr. Sardinha said that the members of the tribunal were appointed by the Central government and that the ruling was known before-hand, because BJP national president Amit Shah had promised the people of Karnataka of diverting the Mahadayi river water in the run-up to the polls in Karnataka.Rajendra Kerkar, senior environmentalist and leader of Mahadayi Bachav Abhiyan, an NGO which has been simultaneously fighting the case on the State’s side, said, “This is a loss to Goa, and a setback to its environment and ecology.”Additional Solicitor General Atmaram Nadkarni said that the Goa government did not have any objection to Karnataka’s claim for use of water from the basin for consumptive purposes.“Karnataka has been allocated only 5.5 TMC of water which also includes 1.5 TMC of water for in-basin consumptive use for which the state of Goa did not have any objection,” he added.An official from the Goa Water Resources Department said that the 8.02 TMC water allotted to Karnataka for power generation, would not have much impact on Goa’s needs, because the water would continue to flow downwards along the river into Goa.Goa Water Resources Minister Vinod Palyekar who had earlier said that the State would not share “one drop of water” from the Mahadayi with Karnataka, was unavailable for comment.Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who is currently on a U.S. trip for a medical check-up, on Twitter, said, “I am happy that the Mahadayi Tribunal with its final verdict has done justice to Goa.” Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra are locked in a dispute over the Mahadayi river basin. Mahadayi also known as the Mandovi river when it enters Goa, is considered a lifeline in the northern parts of the State. It originates in Karnataka and meets the Arabian Sea in Panaji in Goa, while briefly flowing through the territory of Maharashtra.While 78% of the basin of the Mahadayi river lies in Goa, 42.79% is located in Karnataka and a small portion comes under Maharashtra.last_img read more

Petition highlights plight of detainees in Assam

first_imgThe Supreme Court on Thursday sought responses from the Centre and the Assam government on the plight of families, who languish in the State’s six detention centres as “declared foreigners”, separated from each other and their children.A Bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta admitted the petition filed by Harsh Mander, who speaking through his lawyer Prashant Bhushan, compared the situation of these families with the family separation policy imposed on illegal immigrants in the U.S. by the Trump administration.The petition, whose content was inspired from a report submitted by Mr. Mander as Minorities Monitor for the National Human Rights Commission, conveyed the helplessness of children who are just over six years’ old, separated from their parents who are held inside these detention centres.“A child below six years would stay with the mother within the detention centre. But after six years, there are situations in which the child is declared Indian and both parents are declared foreigners. In these cases, the State takes no responsibility for the child. “The child is left in the care of distant family members or the community,” the petition said.It pointed out that the legal handling of children above six years, who are declared foreigners is “even more unclear and shaky.”Mr. Mander said the Indian juvenile justice laws should be made applicable to these children and to children of foreigners and those deemed to be foreigners.last_img read more

OBC leaders meet CM, fear quota cut

first_imgEven as Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis claimed that the upcoming Maratha reservation will not harm the present OBC quota, OBC organisations on Tuesday warned that they will hit the streets if the CM fails to keep his word. A delegation of several OBC organisations met Mr. Fadnavis on Tuesday afternoon fearing possible encroachment in their reservation as Marathas have also been granted the status of Socially and Educationally Backward class (SEBC), under which category OBCs have been granted reservation in the Constitution.Former MLA Prakash Shendge said it is rumoured that the Marathas will be given reservation in the OBC category. “The Chief Minister has promised us that OBC reservation will not be touched. There will be the special mention of the same in the bill that we will be bringing in the Assembly,” he said.Mr. Shendge said that the draft of the bill is going to be presented in the Assembly on Wednesday. “It will all be clear soon. If he has not kept his word, we will not hesitate to hit the streets. If need be, we are ready to create a political option against this government,” he said.Earlier, while replying to the discussion in Assembly, Mr. Fadnavis had said that Maratha reservation under SEBC will not hamper the existing 52% reservation in the State and especially the 19% reservation to OBCs.last_img read more

‘BJP did not keep its promise on Statehood’

first_imgA rally by leading Bodo organisations at Kokrajhar in Assam on Monday demanded a separate Bodoland and blamed the BJP-led government at the Centre for not keeping its promise on Statehood. The All Bodo Students Union, the National Democratic Front of Bodoland Progressive and Peoples Joint Action Committee for Bodoland Movement participated in the rally, sources said. ABSU president Promod Boro said that the BJP-led government at the Centre had promised that their problems would be solved. “It is now more than four and a half years but the government is yet to take any policy decision on the issue.”The BJP had assured to fulfil the demand for separate State before the 2014 Lok Sabha and 2016 Assembly elections, “but they forgot their commitments”, he said. “We believe in the Indian Constitution and are not demanding anything against it. We want a separate Bodo State which can solve our problems,” the ABSU leader said. The united Bodo movement seeks a national policy on the issue of settlement of Bodoland State, to expedite the process of dialogue at the political level, ensure the political rights of the Bodos living outside the proposed Bodoland area and to grant ST Hills status to the Bodos living in Assam, sources said.last_img read more

Sudin Dhavalikar seeks disqualification of 2 former MGP MLAs

first_imgFormer Goa Deputy Chief Minister and lone MLA of Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) Sudin Dhavalikar on Friday filed a petition before the acting Speaker seeking disqualification of two former party MLAs, who joined the BJP on March 27. In his petition, Mr. Dhavalikar claimed that the “bedroom merger” of two MGP MLAs — Manohar Ajgaonkar and Dipak Pauskar — in the absence of a formal merger of the MGP into the BJP attracts grounds for disqualification under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution. “The Tenth Schedule of the Constitution of India does not postulate a ‘bedroom merger’ by which the members of the legislature party would meet at a bedroom at midnight and claim that a merger has taken place even of the original political party,” the petition filed with the office of the Speaker on Friday said. Mr. Dhavalikar, in his petition further said that the MGP — as a party — had not taken any resolution to merge with the BJP and the two MLAs had voluntarily resigned from the regional party, thus attracting disqualification. In the drama which unfolded well past night on March 27, Mr. Ajgaonkar, and Mr. Pauskar split from the party, formed a separate legislative unit and merged it with the BJP. The merger, as approved by acting Speaker Michael Lobo, reduced the strength of the MGP in the Goa Assembly to one MLA, Sudin Dhavalikar, who was dropped from the State cabinet by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, within hours of this development. Mr. Ajgaonkar was appointed Dy. Chief Minister, while Mr. Pauskar was inducted into the Cabinet as Public Works Minister. Since then the MGP has informally broken away from the BJP-led coalition alliance and contested the April 23 Parliamentary elections and three assembly by-polls against the Bharatiya Janata Party.last_img read more

WHO declares escalating Ebola outbreak an international emergency

first_imgWith cases rapidly mounting in four West African countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) today declared the Ebola outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), a designation that allows the agency to issue recommendations for travel restrictions but also sends a strong message that more resources need to be mobilized to bring the viral disease under control.”The outbreak is moving faster than we can control it,” said WHO Director-General Margaret Chan at a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland, this morning. Chan said the declaration of a PHEIC serves as “an urgent call for international solidarity.” The affected countries don’t have the resources to battle the disease alone, and neither does her agency. With three major humanitarian crises on its hands—in Syria, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic—as well as three important disease outbreaks—Ebola, the H7N9 influenza virus, and MERS—WHO is “extremely stretched,” she said. So are organizations such as Doctors Without Borders, which do much of the control work on the ground.This is only the third time the health agency has issued a PHEIC declaration since the new International Health Regulations (IHR), a global agreement on the control of diseases, were adopted in 2005. The previous two instances were in 2009, for the H1N1 influenza pandemic, and in May for the resurgence of polio.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The WHO declaration is “an alarm call that will hopefully stimulate the richer countries to provide more money and personnel,” says Preben Aavitsland, a Norwegian epidemiologist who helped draft the IHR. But Aavitsland says that alarm should have gone out earlier. “In my view it should have happened months ago, when the infection spread to other countries than Guinea,” he says.With 1779 cases and 961 deaths officially recorded as of Wednesday, the outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria is by far the worst for Ebola in history. There were only 425 cases in the most serious outbreak thus far, in 2000 to 2001 in Uganda*, and many other outbreaks were contained after just a few dozen cases.What’s more, WHO’s official tally is probably far too low, one expert told a congressional hearing yesterday in Washington, D.C. “Our epidemiologists and medical personnel believe that these numbers represent 25 to 50% of what is happening,” Ken Isaacs, a vice president at Samaritan’s Purse—the group that repatriated two staffers suffering from Ebola and helped provide an experimental treatment for them—told a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations. Chan today acknowledged that infected people often don’t seek care and that the real number of victims is probably higher.At yesterday’s hearing, Isaac labeled the international response to the outbreak as a “failure.” Doctors Without Borders and Samaritan’s Purse, where he oversees international programs and government relations, have provided the bulk of outside medical support so far, he stressed. “The international community was comfortable in allowing two relief agencies to provide all of the clinical care for the Ebola victims in three countries,” he charged. “It was not until July the 26th, when [U.S. patients] Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol were confirmed positive, that the world sat up and paid attention.”His organization’s epidemiologists predict that the disease soon will come out “with a fury” in Nigeria. “We’re going to see death tolls in numbers that we can’t imagine now,” he warned. “The truth is the cat is most likely already out of the bag.”Asked why WHO convened the emergency committee only this week, WHO Assistant Director-General Keiji Fukuda this morning said the organization was initially focused on coordinating the response on the ground and on raising awareness and drumming up political support, for instance at a meeting of health ministers in Accra in early July and a meeting with Chan and West African presidents last week. It was the spread of the virus to Nigeria that triggered WHO to call the committee’s meeting, Fukuda said.The declaration of a PHEIC came after the panel held a 4.5 hour teleconference on Wednesday and another 6-hour conference on Thursday, Fukuda said. The committee issued a range of specific recommendations for stopping the spread of the virus. Among other things, Ebola-affected countries should check every person leaving the country for possible signs of Ebola infection. “The exit screening should consist of, at a minimum, a questionnaire, a temperature measurement and, if there is a fever, an assessment of the risk that the fever is caused” by the Ebola virus, it said.Anybody who has an illness consistent with Ebola should not be allowed to travel, the panel said, unless as part of an appropriate medical evacuation. Neither should people who have been in contact with patients; they should be monitored for Ebola symptoms and fever for 21 days.Wider restrictions on travel—such as halting airline traffic—would be counterproductive, Fukuda said, because they would not help control the disease and would increase anxiety. “Most people who go to business meetings or family gatherings [in the affected countries] are at low risk of Ebola infection. So we don’t think a ban on that kind of travel makes any sense at all,” he said. “But it will have a lot of bad effects on the community.”With reporting by Jon Cohen and Kai Kupferschmidt. *Correction, 8 August, 8:55 a.m.: This story originally said the Ebola outbreak of 2000 to 2001 was in Sudan instead of Uganda.*Update, 8 August, 12:24 p.m.: This article has been updated to include the most recent case numbers, as of 6 August, which were released today.*The Ebola Files: Given the current Ebola outbreak, unprecedented in terms of number of people killed and rapid geographic spread, Science and Science Translational Medicine have made a collection of research and news articles on the viral disease freely available to researchers and the general public.last_img read more

Court Allows Bank Of Baroda To Leave South Africa Over Gupta Brothers Links

first_imgA top South African court has allowed Bank of Baroda to close its operations in the country next month, over its links with the controversial India-born Gupta brothers who are facing massive corruption allegations.Judge Ntendeya Mavundla of the Pretoria High Court yesterday dismissed with costs an application by 20 companies linked to the Guptas seeking to stop the Bank of Baroda or BoB from closing all its accounts and leaving South Africa.Read it at NDTV Related Itemslast_img

Indian Engineers Are About to Become Even More Employable Abroad

first_imgIndia’s engineering graduates are set to become more employable around the world, with the government agreeing to give globally-accepted accreditation to over 1,000 programmes across institutions in the country.This accreditation will be given by the National Bureau of Accreditation (NBA), a body under the ministry of human resource development, which is part of the ‘Washington Accord’ signed by India in 2014. The accord makes it easier for graduates to get jobs abroad.Read it at The Print Related Itemslast_img read more

More Foreign Tourists Opting For Indian E-visa

first_imgForeign tourists are increasingly taking the e-visa route to come to India after the Narendra Modi government opened the online visa facility to 166 countries in the last four years.The e-visa scheme was launched in November 2014 with 43 countries. Till November 2015, this facility has been given to citizens of 113 countries.Read it at Hindustan Times Related Itemslast_img


first_imgWanted: Brains with originality and backbone.If this ad ever hit the Bollywood-specific glossies, chances are, blind panic would ensue. “Original script? What’s dat Boss?” To the howling fans who drool and salivate over sexy, glam and glitzy stars and shimmering, seductive fantasies that Bollywood dream-merchants dish out, it may come as a surprise, but truth is, for years, the Maharajas of mush and masala have shamelessly “lifted” (ooops, sorry, the politically correct euphemism is “inspired”) from Hollywood. In the last 15 years, this movement has really caught fire, reflecting a pathetic bankruptcy of original ideas, concepts and stories.There were no ifs and buts in Vikram Bhatt’s Fareb, the film that portrayed his version of An Unlawful Entry. Charged by the rave response, he sallied forth to pay tribute to the classic Brando-starrer On The Waterfront with Ghulam. His subsequent Kasoor borrowed heavily from Jagged Edge and Ankahee from his earlier mentor Mahesh Bhatt’s brilliant, memorable, powerful and moving essay on the extra-marital scene, Arth.Tanuja Chandra’s early films Dushman (Eye For Eye) and Sangharsh (Silence Of The Lambs) likewise were “inspired” efforts. Even the talented Mansoor Khan, succumbed. His Akele Hum … had Kramer v. Kramer plastered all over it, and as for Josh, seen West Side Story anyone? Dharmesh Darshan’s Aamir-Manisha starrer Mann is a sad deja-vu of the evergreen romantic classic An Affair To Remember, while Rahul Rawail – the gifted creator of Arjun and Dacait – created a pale imitation of the Hailey Mills super-popular Parent Trap with Kuch Khatti Kuch Meethi. Even Kajol’s bravura performance couldn’t save it! At one point Bollywood seemed to have been totally fixated with Fatal Attraction. Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya… was only one of the many “inspired” versions. The same syndrome struck Sleeping With The Enemy. Except for Agni Sakshi, all bombed badly.Undeterred, “inspiration” shamelessly thrives. Recent examples include Tera Jadoo Chal Gaya (Picture Perfect), Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega (Wedding Singer), Kahin Pyar Na Ho Jaye (While You Were Sleeping), Dhai Akshar Prem Ke (A Walk In The Clouds), Pyar To Hona Hi Tha (French Kiss), Sirf Tum (You’ve Got Mail), Aap Ki Khatir (Wedding Date), Baazigar (A Kiss Before Dying) Papa Kehte Hai (My Father, The Hero), Jism (Body Heat), Masoom (Man, Woman And Child), Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hain (My Best Friend’s Wedding), The Killer (Collateral), Murder (Unfaithful), Sarkar (Godfather), Dewangee (Primal Fear), Sauda (Indecent Proposal), Zinda (Hellboy), Partners (Hitch), Raaz (What Lies Beneath), Karishma (A Woman Of Substance), Krazzy 4 (Dream Team), Champion (Mercury Rising), Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat (Something About Mary), Shaurya (A Few Good Men), Humraaz (A Perfect Murder), Ajnabi (Consenting Adults), Aitraaz (Disclosure), Naqaab (Dot The I), Welcome (Mickey Blue Eyes) …Even the acclaimed Bheja Fry borrowed from a French comedy Le Diner De Cons. Sanjay Bhansali’s much raved about and awarded Black was a knock off of The Miracle Worker and his recent Saawariya found “inspiration” from White Nights. Is nothing sacred …?“No, nothing is!” says Mahesh Bhatt, the self-appointed spokesman of Bollywood. The high-priest of hard-sell and self-promotion genius, is pragmatic, realistic and doesn’t give a damn about being politically correct. “Let’s get real. Movies are not about creativity. They are about entertainment and engaging audiences across the spectrum. Films don’t run – or flop – because of plagiarism or originality. My Dil Hai Ki Maanta Nahin saluted Chori Chori and It Happened One Night and the recent thumper Race was an adaptation of Hollywood hit Goodbye Lover, so? They were big hits, weren’t they? Today big bucks are involved in an environment that is insanely competitive. A young, impatient, distracted and promiscuous audience-base, with an inviting platter of several alternative entertainment avenues at their disposal, have to be engaged in any which way, who gives a shit to where the material is sourced from as long as it gives the viewers the Big O! Brand loyalty is dead. It’s the age of instant gratification. Market forces and ROI call the shots. In this bizarre and complex scheme of things, who cares about authenticity and creativity? Grabbing and retaining audience attention – with some kind of sustenance – is the real challenge to all of us. Everything else is bull crap!” Coming from the maker of Arth, Saaransh, Daddy & Naam, that may sound disappointing, but hey, who said we live in a perfect world? Mercifully, there are a string of successful films – Life In A Metro, Khosla Ka Ghosla, Mithya, Pyar Ka Side Effects, Dor, Iqbal, Traffic Signal, Munnabhai, My Brother Nikhil, Chak De! India, Taare Zameen Par, Jodhaa Akbar – which charm the audiences while remaining fresh, interesting, fun and absorbing, without constantly looking over someone’s shoulders to jhado. At the end of the day, chor-eo-graphy may be lucrative, but imitation remains the finest form of flattery.However, with several Big Hollywood studios coming to Bollywood for co-production, Tinseltown has to brace itself.Sony Pictures, last year threatened to sue K Sera Sera for $30 million accusing it of lifting from the Will Smith starrer Hitch in making Partner. The case is believed to have been settled out of court. More recently, B R Films was sued by Fox for $1.2 million for allegedly plagiarizing from My Cousin Vinny in its production Banda Ye Bindas Hai. The case is also believed to have been settled. Now Warner Bros is threatening legal action against Vipul Shah’s forthcoming Action Replay, starring Aishwaya Rai and Akshay Kumar, which it suspects hues dangerously close to the story line of the Oscar-winning The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button. The Susan Sarandon-Julia Roberts film Stepmom is the inspiration for a Karan Johar remake with Kajol and Karina; Johar has reportedly bought rights to the film. Also on the cards is Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s adaptation of The Prestige. His version is entitled Guzaarish and will star Hritik Roshan and Ash Rai Bachchan. Interestingly, in a path breaking move, film makers Abbas-Mastan (whose Aitraaz was inspired by Disclosure and Ajnabee by Consenting Adults) are all set to legally acquire the rights of The Italian Job before Indianizing it. It is reported that among the hot male stars being considered for this film include Saif, Ranbir, Imran, Shahid and Neil Nitin Mukesh. Way to go, guys! As this goes to print, the latest Hollywood import The Hangover, a superhit in India, is on the list of several Bollywood directors for a remake. But, shaken by the legal threats from Hollywood, they are reportedly seeking rights from the studio.  Related Itemslast_img read more

Indian American Pleads Guilty to Lying to FBI About Jordan Trip to Join ISIS

first_imgAn Indian American man from Virginia pleaded guilty on Feb. 8 to two counts of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) about taking a trip to Jordan in an attempt to join the Islamic State group.Shivam Patel had expressed his admiration for a U.S. Army officer, Maj. Nidal Hasan, who shot and killed 13 soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, according to court documents quoted by the Virginia-Pilot newspaper. The 28-year-old Indian American man also tried to join the U.S. Army and Air Force, and lied to recruiters about the purpose of the Jordan trip. He reportedly said he wanted to join a “real Muslim Army.”Patel now faces up to 15 years in prison. The sentencing will take place on June 4. Patel was raised as a Hindu but converted to Islam in 2016 when he traveled to China to teach English, and became unhappy with the way Muslims were treated in China. On Aug. 23, 2016, his then employer arranged for his travel back to the United States but Patel instead went to Jordan.Officials in Jordan arrested him and deported him. On Sept. 2, 2016, he flew to Chicago and then to Detroit, according to the court documents.In Detroit, he met an FBI source and spoke to him about the Islamic State group. He told the informant that he went to Jordan to find like-minded Muslims, and to do something “bigger, better, and more purposeful” such as dying for the cause of Allah. He also said that he wanted to see a holy war between Muslims and non-Muslims. He sang ISIS group’s fight song and said that he had made a replica of the terrorist organization’s flag, which he wanted to replace his neighbor’s U.S. flag with.He returned to Williamsburg on Sept. 6, 2016 and started applying for military and paramilitary jobs. In late 2016, he said that he did not support the Islamic State group.Patel is said to have lied to the U.S. defense forces while applying for jobs by saying that the only international travels he had undertaken were to India in 2011 and 2012. Related ItemsIndian AmericanTerrorismUnited Stateslast_img read more