Monday, 31 October 2011

Arab League urges Syria to withdraw tanks

Arab League urges Syria to withdraw tanks from streets-A proposed Arab League plan to end months of bloodshed in Syria includes a demand to remove tanks from the streets, the head of the pan-Arab group Nabil al-Arabi said today.

"The Arab proposal to Syria calls for withdrawing tanks and all military vehicles to bring an immediate end to the violence and give assurances to the Syrian street," Arabi told the news aegncy in the Qatari capital Doha.

The Arab League was today awaiting a response from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to its plan which, Arabi said, also calls for a dialogue to take place in Cairo between Syrian regime officials and opposition figures.

Arabi's statements came after an overnight meeting between a group of Arab foreign ministers and their Syrian counterpart Walid Muallem in Doha that was convened to address fears that unchecked Syrian bloodshed could further inflame the Arab world.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Thai soldiers detained over Mekong attack

Nine Thai soldiers have been detained in connection with deadly attack on two cargo ships in the Mekong River earlier this month. A police spokesman in Thailand said soldiers from an anti drug task force turned themselves in . China demanded an investigation after the bodies of thirteen Chinese crew members were found floating near the Burmese border in an area notorious for drugs smuggling.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Pakistan test fires Hatf-7 cruise missile

Pakistan test fires Hatf-7 cruise missile-:
Pakistan on Friday test fired nuclear-capable Hatf-7 cruise missile with a range of 700 km. A statement issued by the military said the test of the indigenously developed multi-tube cruise missile system was successful.

Pakistan military said the Hatf-7 or Babur missile has stealth capabilities and can carry nuclear and conventional warheads.The missile with a range of 700 km can carry both nuclear and conventional warheads. "The test will consolidate Pakistan's strategic deterrence capability and further strengthen national security," the statement said.The test was aimed at validating the "design parameters of the weapon system."The military said a "special feature" of the launch was the validation of a "new multi-tube missile launch vehicle".

Vodafone-McLaren-Mercedes-Team-Sagar 31news

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Explosion in Afghanistan kills ten

Explosion in Afghanistan kills ten

Today in Afghanistan at least ten people were killed and dozens other injured when a bombs hidden inside an oil tanker went off in Bagaram district of the northern Parwan province this morning. Official sources said scores of people had gathered around an oil tanker to collect fuel that was leaking from the tanker.

As the people massed around the tanker, a bomb inside went off killing ten people and injuring 35 others.

Media reports say there were two blasts.

The first one struck a hole in the tanker and when a crowd gathered to collect leaking oil from the tanker the second bomb went off causing big fire.

Hospital sources said some of the injured suffered serious burns and were in a critical condition. The site of the explosion is about 40 kilometers north of Kabul.

RBI hikes interest rates by 25 bps

The Reserve Bank chose to continue with its tight monetary stance and raised interest rates by 25 basis points-- 13th time since March, 2010-- to tame inflation, even as it lowered the growth target to 7.6 pc for the current fiscal.
In a major policy decision, Reserve Bank Governor Duvvuri Subbarao also deregulated savings bank deposit rates with immediate effect.
"Changing the policy stance when inflation is still far above the tolerance level entails risks to the credibility of the Reserve Banks commitment to low and stable inflation," the policy document said, even as it admits that growth momentum has slowed down.
It said inflation will start cooling by December this year and is likely to come down to 7 percent by March, 2012.
Tuesday’s hike is the 13th since March, 2010. The series of rate hikes has cumulatively increased interest rates by 525 basis points.
The policy is expected "to continue to anchor medium term inflation expectations", while stimulating investment activity to support growth.
Borrowers, who are livid at repeated rate hikes, can heave a sigh of relief as the RBI hinted at a reversal of policy stance by saying the likelihood of a hike in December is "relatively low".
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has kept other key rate and ratio-- bank rate and cash reserve ratio (CRR)-- unchanged at 6 percent each. It also retained the statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) at 24 percent.
Factors like weakening global macroeconomic outlook and high domestic inflation will pull down the economic growth rate further, RBI said while lowering the GDP forecast for the current fiscal to 7.6 percent from its earlier projection of 8 percent.
The risks to the policy emanate from worsening global macro scenario, commodity prices and increase in government spending which could crowd out private investment, it said.
An important policy decision RBI announced on Tuesday is the freeing of savings bank deposit rates with immediate effect, the last bastion of the regulated interest rate regime.
Earlier in May, RBI had raised the savings deposit rates to 4 percent from 3.5 percent.
Giving banks the freedom to fix the savings accounts interest rate, RBI said banks will have to offer uniform rate on deposits of up to Rs one lakh.
On higher amounts, they can give differential rates to depositors. It has also permitted commercial banks to open branches in tier II cities without prior approval of RBI.
The Reserve Bank has also proposed to notify banning prepayment penalty on floating rate home loans, as recommended by the Banking Ombudsman recently.
The policy document further said that RBI will issue the final guidelines on credit default swaps by November-end.
As banking system prepares to go on to the Basel-III framework requiring higher capital adequacy, the RBI said the draft guidelines for its implementation will be issued by December-end.
As regards the micro finance sector, RBI has given the go-ahead for creating a new category called NBFC-MFIs

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Hunt for survivors after Turkey quake

Hunt for survivors after Turkey quake 

Desperate hunt for survivors after Turkey Rescuers scrambled through the rubble in a desperate search on Monday for survivors of an earthquake that killed at least 264 people in Turkey as residents fled the scenes of devastation.
People living in eastern Van province issued cries for help on Twitter, giving out the addresses of collapsed buildings and the number of people trapped under the debris, as hundreds of rescuers worked round the clock.
Two children were plucked alive from the wreckage of a collapsed building in the town of Ercis but it was a rare slice of good news in an otherwise grim task for the rescue teams.
Many students were believed to be buried in Ercis, the town which felt the full brunt of the quake, after a dormitory collapsed and several student houses crumbled.
A total of 264 people were confirmed to have been killed by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake which struck around lunchtime on Sunday, according to Idris Naim Sener, the country's interior minister.
In Ercis 169 people were killed, while 95 died in Van city centre, the Anatolia news agency quoted Sener as saying.
The government said that a total of 970 buildings had collapsed as a result of the quake and aftershocks.
Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay said that rescuers had now managed to get access to all the quake-hit zones in Van province, including remote villages.
One resident of Ercis recounted the moment when disaster struck and how many had been forced to sleep outside overnight in freezing temperatures.
"We couldn't understand what was going on, all of a sudden there was dust everywhere, our eyes were full of dust, and we were thrown against the walls and furniture. It lasted 20 seconds," said 23-year-old Yunus Ozmen.
"We spent the night outside in the street and made a fire to keep warm."
His neighbour Abdul Hadi Isik said that his aunt and her children were buried under the rubble.
"There is no hope left," he added.
AFP journalists in Ercis reported that the rescue effort was being hampered by a lack of electricity and water.
Atalay said 29 villages and 40 per cent of Ercis town were without power but denied there was a problem with water.
Many of the town's residents were fleeing the town while police and soldiers kept watching around crumbled buildings to prevent looting.
Using electrical pliers, rescuers could be seen patiently cutting through iron rods holding concrete blocks together while other people started to sweep up the mess.
The town's football pitch had been transformed into a sea of tents set up by the Red Crescent.
While scores of multi-storey buildings had collapsed, most single-storey houses remained intact.
Only nine per cent of buildings in Van province had compulsory earthquake insurance, according to Selamet Yazici, the general manager of the natural disaster insurance institution.Media agencies

Sunday, 23 October 2011

India for UNSC membership

India  strongly permanent membership of the UN Security Council to play a greater role at the global stage. Addressing a conference on international relations in Delhi, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai said, there is a desperate need to expand India's diplomatic tools and enhance the defence capabilities besides autonomy of the nuclear abilities.

He said, equipping the defence forces with most modern weapons is important apart from creating soft power by organising seminars.

Mr. Ranjan Mathai said the primary task is to achieve inclusive growth and the removal of poverty and pleaded to make growth uninterrupted.

He called for making use of foreign policy to ensure a peaceful neighbourhood and India's role at global level.

Addressing the conference, National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon said, non-state actors are performing state functions in India's neighbourhood. He said, power is moving from larger states into the hands of small groups of people. These, he said, is due to structural shifts in the nature of power.

Inaugurating the Conference, Vice President Hamid Ansari said, India's understanding of countries and people cannot be based solely on academic output of foreign institutions.

Mr. Ansari said, absence of study of international relations in the country evoked questions.

With India emerging at the global stage with a robust economic growth, the nature of its international relations has to change. This was precisely the message of the policy makers and practitioners of diplomacy who strongly supported India's case to be a permanent member of UN Security Council.

With a focus on the Look East policy, New Delhi is further strengthening relations with its immediate and extended neighbourhood.

Apart from the developed economies, it needs to intensify discussions with the ASEAN countries and other regional groupings.For achieving this objective, peace in the neighbourhood is of paramount importance to pursue its national interests.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Obama calls Merkel on eurozone crisis

President Barack Obama called German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss the latest developments in the eurozone crisis, which he has warned poses severe risks for the US economy. The president and the chancellor also discussed preparations for the upcoming G20 summit in Cannes and agreed to stay in close contact in the run-up to the meetings," a White House statement said on Friday. Obama has been holding frequent telephone consultations with European leaders as the continental crisis deepens. The office of French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Monday that Obama lent his full support to a Franco-German effort to develop a solution to the debt crisis during a call between the two leaders.Obama also spoke to British Prime Minister David Cameron about the European crisis on Monday. The president's call to Merkel came as G20 finance ministers gathered for a weekend meeting in Paris at which the eurozone will be a dominant topic.
Earlier, US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said from the French capital that Europe's leaders were making progress on resolving the crisis, currently focused on containing a much-expected default by Greece on its debt.
"Europe is clearly moving," he said

Friday, 14 October 2011

Berlusconi faces key confidence vote in Parliament

Berlusconi faces key confidence vote in Parliament- Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is facing a key confidence vote in Parliament today amid questions over his handling of the economy and personal scandals.

 Mr Berlusconi is expected to survive the confidence vote but the margin could be narrow.

Italy's government credit rating was recently downgraded and the parliament failed to back a key part of the budget this week, triggering the vote.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Pakistan supports to grant status of Most Favoured Nation to India

Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar today said that Pakistan had made a principled decision to support the granting of Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India. To a question posed to the Foreign Minister in a point of order during National Assembly session, she said a principled decision has been taken to support the declaration of India as Most Favoured Nation. Khar said positive signals were being received in connections with the outstanding disputes with India.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Vice President in Turkey on six-day visit

Vice President in Turkey on six-day visit  

Seeking to create a new paradigm in bilateral ties and boost trade links, Vice President Hamid Ansari on Monday arrived in the Turkish capital Ankara on a six-day visit to the country strategically situated on the crossroads of Europe and Asia.
On his arrival at the Esenboga airport in Ankara, Ansari was received by the Deputy Speaker of Turkish Parliament Mehmet Saglam.

The Vice President is accompanied by his wife Salma Ansari. Ansari will pay homage to the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk at his Mausoleum in Ankara on Tuesday from where he will proceed for a meeting with the Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (GNAT) Cemil Cicek.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Press conference Sagar31News_101_2364_x264.mp4

Deaths mount as anti-Gaddafi fighters inch forward

Deaths mount as anti-Gaddafi fighters inch forward

At least 17 people were killed and 300 wounded in two days of clashes as Libya's new regime fighters struggled to take full control of Muammar Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte, medics said on Saturday.
The push by National Transitional Council (NTC) fighters squeezed Gaddafi's diehard loyalists into an ever tighter net in southeast Sirte, correspondents on the ground said.
NTC chief Mustafa Abdel Jalil predicted "the battle for Sirte and Bani Walid will be very vicious," referring to the two holdouts of Libya's fallen leader.
Hassan Umran, in charge of the registry at a field hospital 50 kilometres west of Sirte, said 17 people were killed and 230 wounded in the fighting in two days.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Shri Sudhir Vasudeva Appointed as CMD, ONGC

Shri Sudhir Vasudeva Appointed as CMD, ONGC
Press Note
The competent authority has appointed Shri Sudhir Vasudeva, Director (Offshore), Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd.(ONGC) to the post of Chairman and Managing Director of ONGC with effect from the date of assumption of charge of the post till the date of his superannuation, i.e. 28.02.2014 or until further orders, whichever is earlier. M/o Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi

Monday, 3 October 2011

Define Sustainable Development Strategies as Per National Priorities: Jayanthi

Allow Policy Space to Define Sustainable Development Strategies as Per National Priorities: Jayanthi Natrajan
Integration of Social, Economic and Environmental Pillars will bring Sustainable Development: Sha Zukang
Smt Jayanthi Natarajan appealed to allow policy space for the countries to define their sustainable development strategies as per their national priorities and respective stages of development. Addressing the Delhi Ministerial dialogue on ‘Green Economy and Inclusive Growth’ here today, Smt Natarajan mentions few other guiding principles, which could be followed towards achieving global consensus and action. They are to reaffirm the Rio Principles, including the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, strike a balance between the three pillars of sustainable development, build institutional capacities at all levels – global, regional and local, prioritize programmes for the inclusion and upliftment of socio-economically weaker sections of the society, women and youth, promote access to green technologies at affordable cost and also including through greater financial assistance for R&D in the public domain. The Union Minister also suggested to strengthen global partnership for sustainable development, including for access of developing countries to additional financing and avoid green protectionism in the name of green economy.Smt Natarajan said, “We have a platform for free and frank deliberations on the theme, ‘Green Economy and Inclusive Growth’ in the next two days as part of the preparatory process for the Rio+20 Conference next year. we must work together collectively. Rio+20 Summit must succeed.”

Sharing India’s progress in Green Economy and growth Smt Natarajan said there are three dimensions of our development process namely rapid economic growth with emphasis on infrastructure and livelihoods, focus on plurality and reduction of disparities and the mainstreaming of environmental concerns in the Sectoral Policies and Programmes. Giving information about a series of legislative, policy and institutional measures India has taken, she referred to Right to Information Act, 2005 which ensures greater transparency and access to public information, the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 which provides a specialized green tribunal to promote access to environmental justice and the National Action Plan on Climate Change with eight thematic Missions covering areas such as solar energy, energy efficiency, sustainable agriculture and strategic knowledge.

Showing concern at few areas Smt Natarajan said, “Considerable challenges remain in the area of poverty eradication. 55% of population of rural India today does not have access to electricity. The challenge of scale up of cleaner energy solutions gets further compounded by limited access to green technologies at affordable cost. These continue to remain major concerns for India.A renewed political commitment on green economy has to be viewed in this Delhi Ministerial Dialogue and a shared vision on basic issues is expected to be the main outcome of this Dialogue.”

Mr Sha Zukang Under-Secretary Genral for Economic and Social Affairs Secretary-General of the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development expressed a hope
that today’s dialogue will be an important contribution to preparations for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).

Mr Zukang said, “Today’s world faces multiple Challenges which includes high unemployment in many countries, risk of a new global recession , increasing food prices and worsening hunger, climate –related stresses, increased frequency and severity of disasters and their impacts ion vital ecosystems, infrastructure, and poor people’s livelihoods. Each of these threatens to undermine progress towards poverty eradication and social and economic development.As an international community we need to refocus Rio+20 must be about three things – integration, implementation and coherence.”

He said, “By definition, sustainable development is about integration among the three pillars: social, economic and environmental and ensuring their coherence.In Practice, this is not easy. This partly explains why progress has been slow.Our problems and challenges do not specialize. Therefore, we must talk and think holistically, and plan and act accordingly. Only special focus area with specialization will not help. We need an institutional framework to ensure this happens routinely and systematically.Rio +20 is meant to mobilize renewed political commitment for sustainable development. If it cannot do this , it would be hard to call Rio+20 a success.
“Though significant social and economic progress over the past 20 years happened and many success stories took place, poverty persists”, Shri Zukang said. He insisted that we have to practically bring these three pillar together, so countries are confident that the social agenda, the environmental agenda, and economic agenda are mutually reinforcing.

India has been actively engaged in the Rio+20 process. As part of preparations, four Inter-Ministerial Working Groups in specific domains to look at the question of sustainable development as a whole have been constituted. These Working Groups are being facilitated by renowned technical organizations, which have provided researched inputs. In addition, consultations with the corporate sector and civil society representatives have also been undertaken. The Dialogue has brought together ministers, policy-makers, representatives from UN bodies and eminent experts from various fields.The themes of the individual Plenary Sessions in the Dialogue relate to integration of Green Economy with key concerns of Inclusive Growth like Poverty Eradication, Food Security and Energy Security. 

Sunday, 2 October 2011

IOA convenes urgent meeting of HI and IHF

IOA convenes urgent meeting of HI and IHF on Tuesday-The IOA has convened an urgent meeting of Hockey India and Indian Hockey Federation in New Delhi on Tuesday to discuss International Hockey Federation's threat to stop India's participation in London Olympics if issues relating to the game's governance in the country were not resolved.

IOA acting president Vijay Kumar Malhotra said in a statement in New Delhi that the meeting will look into issues raised by the FIH in its letter to Sports Secretary, Sindhusree Khullar and will try to find out an amicable solution. In its letter to the Sports Ministry, the FIH has warned that India's participation in next year's London Olympics and other international tournaments may be jeopardised if IOC charter and FIH statutes were not adhered to while resolving the issues related to the governance of the game in the country.

The FIH has taken away the hosting rights of this year's Champions Trophy from India because of the long-standing power-struggle between Hockey India and Indian Hockey Federation.