Saturday, 31 August 2013

World News Snippets

31 08 2013

At least 5 killed in suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan

A suicide bomber detonated explosives near a police checkpoint and a bank in southern Afghanistan on Saturday morning, killing at least five people, officials said. Most of the victims were civilians. The bank building was badly damaged, AP reported, adding that no group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. Taliban fighters have recently escalated their activity as US-led foreign forces cut their presence in the country, with primary responsibility for security now handed over to Afghan troops.

15 killed in liquid ammonia leak in Shanghai

At least 15 people died Saturday after liquid ammonia lead at a refrigeration unit in a factory in Shanghai, China’s Xinhua reports. Over 30 people were hospitalized, six of them in critical condition, the Shanghai regional government said. The incident occurred in the city’s northern district of Baoshan, at a cold storage unit owned by a seafood company. It is not clear yet whether the company’s workers or people living in the urban area nearby have also been affected.


Building at N. Korean missile launch site – US institute

Satellites show that building work has begun in North Korea at the site where the country fired a long-range rocket in December, AFP reported a US research institute as saying. The construction appears to be for a new launch pad for testing ballistic missiles, the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University said on its 38 North website. “One possible explanation is that Pyongyang is building a ‘flat launch pad’, a large concrete area that would be used to test mobile ballistic missiles fired from a transporter-erecter launcher,” the website said, adding that “rockets fired from this location… could travel over 4,000 kilometers [2,500 miles] before encountering a foreign land mass. This would allow full tests of North Korea’s Musudan rocket.” International criticism has backed North Korea into a corner with its missile program, but the country maintains that continuing down this path is the only way to an effective nuclear deterrent. December’s rocket launch and February’s nuclear test coincided with a rise in regional tensions, resulting in Pyongyang admitting to being able to fire a nuclear missile as far as the US West Coast. North Korea claims that its aims are peaceful and scientific, and that it is merely defending its rights as a sovereign state.

Three people killed as 5.9-magnitude earthquake hits southwest China

A 5.9-magnitude earthquake has killed at least three people and left several more injured in southwest China as homes for 22 families collapsed. The earthquake shook several counties in Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, including in Shangri-La County. Seventeen tourists have been reported trapped on a highway in Shangri-La as falling rocks hit a tour bus. Earthquakes are common in China’s mountainous areas. In July an earthquake that hit China’s northwest Gansu Province killed 94 people and injured more than 1,000. In April, a quake in Sichuan Province killed 193 people.

First verdict in gang rape and murder case

A New Delhi court is finally set to hand down its first verdict in the trial over the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old female student, who was assaulted with an iron bar on a public bus in the city in December. A juvenile court has delayed announcing the verdict four times since wrapping up the case against the teenage man charged over the brutal attack. Six men were initially arrested over the attack, in which the young woman died from internal injuries. The man, who was 17 at the time, faces a maximum of three years in prison if found guilty. The trial of four other adult suspects continues, with the men facing possible death sentences if convicted.


US cyber-operations regime more aggressive

US intelligence agencies executed 231 cyber-operations in 2011, The Washington Post reported in detailing a more aggressive, expanding cyber-attack architecture than was previously known. In addition, a $652 million program named GENIE helps the US break into foreign networks to plant sophisticated malware in computers, routers and firewalls in tens of thousands of machines every year. Almost three-quarters of the 231 attacks in 2011 were against top-priority targets including Iran, Russia, China and North Korea, and activities including nuclear proliferation. The disclosure of US cyber-ops, defined by the US “to manipulate, disrupt, deny, degrade, or destroy information resident in computers or computer networks, or the computers and networks themselves,” were provided by NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

Court upholds ban on gay-to-straight therapy

A controversial psychological practice that purports to convert a youth from gay to straight is illegal, a federal appeals court ruled has ruled unanimously. The judges upheld an earlier court’s ruling, agreeing that a treatment claiming to change a minor’s sexual orientation through intense therapy seemed dangerous, and have rightfully been rejected by the scientific community. The therapy, one judge wrote, poses “critical health risks, including depression, shame, decreased self-esteem, social withdrawal, substance abuse, self-harm and suicide.” The law is the first of its kind in the US.

Catholic school files second suit against contraception mandate

A Catholic university has filed a second lawsuit against the US Department of Health and Human Services over contraception coverage “facilitation.” Ave Maria University said in the suit it “cannot fulfill its mission of preparing students to impact the world by living their Christian values if it violates its own religious convictions by” facilitating access to contraception, sterilization, or abortion, or related counseling and services. The first suit was dismissed when the government agreed to change regulations of its health care mandate to accommodate religious beliefs, yet religious entities felt the new rules were inadequate.

Six dead, dozens injured as Morsi supporters march across Egypt

At least six are dead and around 50 injured in Egypt as thousands of supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi marched in cities across the country, calling for Morsi’s return to office. Security sources said around 20 were arrested, and that police fired teargas at protesters in Cairo’s Mohandiseen district. The marches spurred the military-backed government to warn Egyptians of legal consequences should anyone violate a mandatory 1700 GMT curfew. Since Morsi was forced from office on July 3 by the armed forces, hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters have been killed by Egyptian security forces.

12 killed in twin car bombing in Iraq

Two car bombs exploded in the town of Tuz Khurmato, killing 12 and injuring 10 others, with the second bomb going off just as bystanders gathered to help the victims of the first blast. Tuz Khurmato, 170 kilometers north of the capital, Baghdad, has been a hotspot for sectarian violence, and tension between the central government and Kurdish separatists. A total of more than 1,000 people died in attacks in Iraq last month.

N.Korea withdraws US envoy invitation

North Korea has withdrawn its invitation for a senior US envoy to travel to Pyongyang to seek the release of detained American Kenneth Bae, the US State Department has said. Bob King, the US special envoy for North Korean human rights, was due to travel from Tokyo to Pyongyang on Friday to request a pardon for Bae. The American was accused of subversion and was sentenced to 15 years hard labor. The US is “surprised and disappointed by North Korea’s decision,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said.

Colombia president orders troops to patrol capital

Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos on Friday ordered troops to patrol the capital following rioting. Violence broke out on Thursday after some 30,000 university students and others marched in support of a 10-day protest by small farmers. Two men, aged 18 and 24, were killed by gunfire in circumstances which are not yet clear. “To assure normality… I have ordered the militarization of Bogota,” Santos said. He added that 50,000 military personnel would help police along highways blockaded by small farmers.

Tunisia closes southern border regions to protect against terrorism threat

Tunisia’s authorities have closed southern regions bordering Algeria and Libya to protect against the threat of terrorism, the presidential office has announced. The closure would last a year and could be shortened depending on the situation. Tourists and traders will require permission from local authorities to travel in the area. The Algerian border where troops have been fighting militants in the mountains, was also included. The measures will further impact the impoverished regions surviving largely on cross border trade and smuggling.

4 suspected Al-Qaeda militants killed in US drone strike

At least four suspected Al-Qaeda militants were killed on Friday in a presumed US drone strike in Yemen’s central al-Bayda province, according to a local government source. The strike in the district of Rada’a killed the local Al-Qaeda leader and three others, the source told Reuters. Tribal sources put the death toll at five. The drone reportedly targeted a place where the suspected militants were meeting. At least 40 people have been killed in Yemen since late July.

Lebanese authorities charge 5 in Tripoli mosque bombings

Lebanese authorities have charged five men in connection with the fatal double bombing last week in the northern city of Tripoli, a security official said Friday. Lebanese defendants Hashem Menkara, Ahmad al-Ghareeb and Mustafa Houri reportedly face charges of orchestrating the August 23 bombings outside two Tripoli mosques that killed at least 47 people. Syrians identified as Mohammed Ali and Kudr al-Aryan have been charged with preparing the explosives.

Russia expects Belarus to release Uralkali’s CEO shortly – Kremlin aide

The Kremlin expects the Belarusian authorities to release shortly Uralkali Director General Vladislav Baumgertner, detained in Minsk, presidential aide Yury Ushakov said Friday. “Russia hopes it would be done without delay,” he told reporters. Belarusian investigators on Thursday evening officially charged Russian potash miner CEO with abusing his office.

Iraq Al-Qaeda group claims Baghdad attacks

An Al-Qaeda front group claimed a wave of bombings across Baghdad in a statement on Friday. Nationwide violence killed 75 people and wounded more than 200 on Wednesday. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant said the attacks were retribution for the executions this month of people convicted of terror-related offences. On August 19, Iraq put 17 people to death, all but one of them on terrorism-related charges.

DNA test verified Osama bin Laden’s identity – reports

A forensic intelligence laboratory run by the CIA in Afghanistan performed the DNA test of Osama Bid Laden’s body and confirmed his identify back in 2011, revealed intelligence budget documents leaked by the whistleblower Edward Snowden. The Washington Post wrote that results “provided a conclusive match.” In May 2011, the Pentagon denied having records of these tests, after AP asked for disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. In their request, the press service asked for DNA and facial recognition tests disclosure of Bin Laden’s corpse as well as all media material captured during the raid on bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, the death certificate and other records related to the May 2011 mission.

US refuses to negotiate on NSA surveillance – Brazilian minister

United States lawmakers have rejected a proposal to negotiate with the Brazilian government over the circumstances by which the National Security Agency monitors Brazil’s communication data. Brazilian Justice Minister Jose Cardozo made a “proposal to move toward an agreement to establish the rules on procedures in the interception of data” during meetings this week with Vice President Joe Biden, Attorney General Eric Holder, and White House counter-terrorism adviser Lisa Monaco. He asked for an explanation on the revelation that intelligence analysts were not only seeking to identify terrorists, but tracking Brazilian diplomatic maneuvers. “They told us the United States would not sign an agreement under those terms with any country in the world,” Cardozo said.

Two Guantanamo detainees released to Algeria

The US announced the release of two detainees from the prison at Guantanamo Bay to their home nation of Algeria, bringing the total number of detainees at the prison to 164. Nabil Said Hadjarab and Mutia Sadiq Ahmad Sayyab were approved for transfer based on a review directed by President Obama. Hadjarab had been detained for 12 years, his lawyer told the Guardian, and was cleared for release in 2007. He took part in the ongoing hunger strike at the prison. More than 37 detainees remain on hunger strike, according to the US military.

Car bombing in Iraq kills at least 11

At least 11 people has been killed and 27 wounded in a car bomb in the Iraqi city of Samarra, some 125 kilometers north of Baghdad, reports Reuters, citing police and medical sources. The parked vehicle blew up in a busy market street. This comes just a day after a series of terrorists attacks ripped through Baghdad, killing up to 90 people and injuring around another 300. In July, over 1,000 Iraqis died in attacks – the highest monthly death toll since 2008, the UN said.

Moscow links Iraq bombings to Syrian armed groups

Moscow is “seriously concerned” over a new escalation of violence in Iraq, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Thursday, commenting on a series of bombings Wednesday in Baghdad that killed up to 90 people and wounded nearly 300.“These terrorist attacks are obviously backed from abroad, including by armed groups operating in Syria,” the ministry said in a statement. The ministry said the attacks showed that the ongoing conflict in Syria had spread and that further destabilization could lead to a worsening of the situation “not only in neighboring states, but in the entire region.”

Greek unions start fall protests

Greece civil servants’ union, ADEDY, caused most public services to close early, while several hundred protesters marched peacefully to parliament. The action against government plans to axe thousands of state jobs saw no major disruption Thursday, but unions are threatening to organize more protests in September. The conservative-led government is planning to suspend up to 50,000 public servants this year and fire 15,000 by the end of 2014. The start of the new school year could be disrupted as teaching unions were meeting Thursday to plan strikes.

Pakistani judge overturns sentence of doctor who helped find bin Laden

A Pakistani judge on Thursday overturned the 33-year sentence of Shakil Afridi, the doctor who helped CIA agents find Osama bin Laden. Judge Sahibzada Mohammad Anees ordered a new trial, ruling that the previous judge in the case had exceeded his authority when handing down the sentence last year, Reuters said. The US withheld $33 million in aid for Pakistan in retaliation.

Iran appoints first-ever Foreign Ministry spokeswoman

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has appointed Marzieh Afkham as its new spokesperson, the first time Tehran has named a woman to the position. A career diplomat with nearly three decades of service at the ministry, Afkham has been director of its media and public diplomacy department since 2010. Incumbent spokesman Abbas Araqchi described her as “seasoned and experienced in the field of media diplomacy,” ISNA news agency reported. “Her expertise was the only factor in this appointment,” he added, in reference to opposition from ultra-conservative MPs.

Khmer Rouge tribunal ‘survival’ under threat – UN

The UN secretary general has warned Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge tribunal is running out of money and its “very survival” is now under threat. International donors’ contributions to the UN-backed court have run dry and some staff members have not been paid for months, Ban Ki-moon said. Speaking in The Hague on Wednesday, he said that “financial failure would be a tragedy for the people of Cambodia.” The tribunal, which began in 2006 to seek justice for atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge in the late 1970s, has faced budgetary shortfalls. Some unpaid staff went on strike in March, and about 100 staffers plan to strike again on September 1.

Taliban kills 15 police in W Afghanistan

Taliban insurgents killed 15 Afghan officers and wounded 10 from police convoy patrolling a key highway in western Afghanistan’s Farah province, an official said Thursday. Insurgents staged an evening mountain pass ambush and fled unharmed after attacking about 40 officers in the convoy. Before dawn Wednesday near the ambush site, rockets were fired at a fuel truck parking. One truck full of gasoline exploded and fire destroyed about 35 of the 40 trucks in the lot, and reportedly killed six of the drivers.

Russia to send new ships to join naval group in Mediterranean Sea

The composition of the Russian Navy’s group of ships in the Mediterranean Sea will be changed soon, Interfax reported, citing a source in the Armed Forces General Staff. A large anti-submarine ship of the Northern Fleet is expected to join it within the next few days. The Black Sea Fleet’s missile carrying cruiser Moskva, which is now wrapping up its mission in the North Atlantic, will join it a little later, the source said. In autumn, the Pacific Fleet’s missile-carrying cruiser Varyag is expected to replace the large anti-submarine ship Vice Admiral Panteleyev. The Russian Navy is not planning to expand its permanent force in the Mediterranean, a Navy spokesman told Interfax on August 27.

Founder of Indian Mujahideen arrested

Indian security services have arrested Yasin Bhatkal, the founder of Indian Mujahideen, after being on the run for over five years. Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Thursday confirmed the arrest near India-Nepal border. Bhatkal, 30, is accused of masterminding several terror strikes including Delhi, Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad explosions. He was detained along with another IM leader Akhtar, sources said.
Media agencies

Friday, 30 August 2013

Fundamentals of economy strong; growth in second half of fiscal: PM

Facing an attack over the economic situation amid a sliding rupee, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, made a detailed statement on the crisis in Rajya Sabha, asserting that growth will improve in the second half of fiscal year, even as the BJP and Left parties walked out after his statement.
  • What triggered the sharp depreciation in Rupee value was due to certain external forces
  • We need to reduce our appetite for gold, economise the use of petroleum products and take steps to increase our exports
  • The last two decades have seen India grow as an open economy and benefited from it. There is no question of reversing these policies
  • Growth will pick up in second half of fiscal year
  • US federal reserves tapering has caused general weakening in global currencies
  • Part of rupee depreciation needed adjustment as inflation in India was much higher than advanced countries
  • Government not contemplating capital controls
  • Foreign exchange reserves at USD 278 bn more than sufficient to meet requirement
  • Depreciation of rupee and rise in oil prices will put further upward pressure on inflation
  • There is a liquidity problem


Stop gedwongen verdwijningen Syrië

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Stop gedwongen verdwijningen Syrië
Het verschrikkelijke drama in Syrië duurt voort, met een vermoedelijke gifgasaanval als nieuw dieptepunt. Amnesty blijft aandringen op onpartijdig onderzoek naar deze en andere mensenrechtenschendingen. Wat is er bijvoorbeeld gebeurd met de duizenden vermeende tegenstanders van de regering die zonder aanwijsbare reden zijn gearresteerd? Velen van hen zijn nog steeds vermist. Hun families weten niet waar ze zijn. Vandaag is het de Internationale Dag van de Slachtoffers van Gedwongen Verdwijning. Kom in actie!
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Jaitley on Election of Members to the JPC on 2G Spectrum Scam

Thursday, 29 August 2013

THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION (SHRI ARUN JAITLEY): You are setting a wrong precedent and I will tell you the reason why. This is a Motion for filling up two vacancies in the JPC. Now, it is a JPC on 2G Spectrum Allocation. For the last few months, the Committee has not been functioning. Numbers matter; they are important, considering what is happening. From time immemorial, a Parliamentary Committee always represents the strength of various parties in the House. It is proportionate; it is never ‘winner takes all’. Otherwise, if a Resolution system is there, when a Committee is constituted, the Government, which may be in a majority, will say, ‘I propose a Resolution and all Members are mine.’ It has never happened. Now, you have, like a bye-election, two casual vacancies, and two casual vacancies have arisen. Now, two casual vacancies, therefore, have to be filled up in a manner, keeping the proportionate strength of the Government and the Opposition in mind. It can’t be that the Government proposes and takes both. That is against parliamentary norms and the precedent that they are setting is extremely dangerous, which would be far-reaching, and for future parliamentary history, it would have bad consequences. Therefore, the Minister must discuss this with important Members of the Opposition and if we can give an agreed name to him, have a proportionate representation, which is the in-built parliamentary rule. …(Interruptions)…
SHRI SITARAM YECHURY: Sir, I would suggest, let the hon. Minister call a meeting of all the leaders. Let us all sit down and discuss it and, then, come to an agreement on that. Don’t push through something. You just call all of us — we are all here– and then decide.
SHRI RAJEEV SHUKLA: Mr. Deputy Chairman, Sir, we have discussed this with leaders of different political parties. It is not as if a Congress Party nominee’s name, or a UPA nominee’s name is being given in place of Mr. Siva. There are ten MPs nominated by the President of India. This time, we are giving one nomination to a person who has been nominated by the President of India. That block is there. …(Interruptions)…

SHRI BALBIR PUNJ: It is at your…(Interruptions)…

SHRI RAJEEV SHUKLA: That block is there. And, most of the people have agreed on that. So, if the House has to decide it, it should be left to the House. And we are ready for a division.

SHRI ARUN JAITLEY: That is exactly my opposition. It is not that you are nominating a Nominated Member.

SHRI RAJEEV SHUKLA: Ultimately, the House is supreme. Let the House decide.

SHRI ARUN JAITLEY: Both the Members that you are nominating are Members of choice of the Government. Therefore, if the Government says, ‘by an absolute majority we can take both’, then, in future Parliamentary Committees, there could be a precedent of no Opposition representation and the winner taking it all.
SHRI RAJEEV SHUKLA: There may be many other precedents also. Therefore, I am suggesting, let the House decide.
SHRI ARUN JAITLEY: That is the precedent you would be setting. Therefore, let the Chairman discuss this. It is a precedent which is going to have very dangerous consequences, where if there are two vacancies, Government takes both, because irrespective of who the Member is, both Members are of your choice. The Opposition’s views are not taken into consideration. We are willing to request any one Member from the Opposition. Let Mr. Yechury and Dr. Maitreyan be there; we would ask Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad to be there; you discuss it with all the three of them and settle the matter.

SHRI RAJEEV SHUKLA: But I think the House is supreme, and let the House decide. …(Interruptions)… the House should decide it. Discussions will keep on taking place. The other day also, no discussion took place. Let the House take a decision. The House is supreme, and I am ready for a division. …(Interruptions)…

SHRI ARUN JAITLEY: So, are you saying that this House would, henceforth, decide? Let us be very clear. Is it the Government’s stand and, therefore, the stand of the ruling party, that in future when Parliamentary Committees are constituted, it would be done by a principle of ‘winner takes all’, and there would be no Opposition representative?


BJP delegation led by Shri L.K. Advani to the President of India

Friday, 30 August 2013

Hon’ble Rashtrapatiji
Rashtrapati Bhawan
New Delhi
On behalf of the Members of Parliament of the Bharatiya Janata Party we submit this Memorandum to you on the unprecedented crisis facing the Indian economy today. The free fall of the Indian rupee against the US dollar is only a symptom of the deeper malaise afflicting the Indian economy today. The fundamentals of the Indian economy have been ruined because of the reckless policies of the government. The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act was thrown out of the window in 2008-09. The fiscal deficit of the government was allowed to rise exponentially in that year by the then Finance Minister who also happens to be the Finance Minister today from 2.5% of the GDP in 2007-08 to 6 percent of the GDP and the revenue deficit from 1.1 percent to 4.5 percent. This splurge in expenditure in 2008-09, most of which was consumption expenditure and not investment expenditure is wholly responsible for the present crisis. Fiscal deficit and revenue deficit have stayed at unsustainable levels year after year since then. The utter carelessness displayed on the external front has led to a burgeoning current account deficit. Retail inflation has been in double digit for the last four years. Interest rates have increased to unacceptable levels leading to a singular decline in investment. This has affected production adversely as a result of which growth rate in 2012-13 has declined to 5%. Experts predict that the growth rate in the current year may be below 4 percent.
The foreign exchange market and the stock markets have become extremely volatile. The rupee has lost as much as 3 percent against the dollar in a single day. An atmosphere of gloom and doom prevails in the country. We shudder to think of the unbearable consequences all these developments are going to have on the common man. There is already a talk of diesel prices going up by Rs. five a litre after the current Parliament session ends.
The Government of India, as usual, is in denial. Not satisfied with this it blames everybody else for the current crisis except itself. It blames the opposition, the state governments, the Reserve Bank of India and the global factors. The limit of irresponsibility was however crossed when the Finance Minister blamed his immediate predecessor for the crisis and the Prime Minister kept quiet. Sir, the crisis which afflicts the economy and the country today is primarily a crisis of confidence. We have a government which is unable to take any decision, provide any leadership, or a ray of hope for the future. It is mired in humongous corruption. Even the Supreme Court now suspects that it is trying to destroy evidence by making the incriminating files go missing.
The country can ill-afford at this moment of crisis a government which is paralysed, a Prime Minister who never speaks, a Finance Minister who wrongly blames his immediate predecessor who is unable to defend himself, a supreme leader who does not care about where the money will come from and a bureaucracy which is frozen and unable to act. The Ministers of this government are unbridled and working at cross-purposes. The relationship of the Government of India with the State Governments, specially the non-UPA ruled states and with the opposition parties, is at its nadir. We have come to urge you, therefore, to end the prevailing uncertainty by advising this Government to seek a fresh mandate at the earliest and not later than the state elections due in the next three months.
Thanking you, Sir,

Yours faithfully,

      sd/                                                                          sd/
(L.K. ADVANI)                                                   (RAJNATH SINGH)

     sd/                                                                            sd/
(SUSHMA SWARAJ)                                          (ARUN JAITLEY)


Instituto Cervantes brings to the Delhi Photo Festival



Instituto Cervantes brings to the Delhi Photo Festival some of the best photographers from Spain and Latin-America

Instituto Cervantes will bring two major exhibition by four masters of the Latin-American photography, The Vargas brothers and the Cifuentes father and son, a digital exhibition of works by some of the most important contemporary Spanish Photographers, such as García-Alix, Madoz or Ballester, and a film about photojournalism which includes unedited photos of great masters: Capa, Taro and Seymour.

  • Exhibition “The eye of the father and son: The photography of Hugo and Diego Cifuentes” (Thursday 26thSeptember – Sunday 24th November)
  • Exhibition “Nocturnal”, by the Vargas brothers (Thursday 26th September – Sunday 24th November)
  • Digital exhibition of Contemporary  Spanish photography (Saturday 28th September)
  • Film Screening of “The Mexican Suitcase” (Sunday 29th September)

Two exhibitions of four major internationally recognised Latinamerican photographers will be shown at Instituto Cervantes, from Thursday 26th September till Sunday 24th November: the Vargas brothers and the Cifuentes father and son.

The exhibition “The eye of the father and the son: The photography of Hugo and Diego Cifuentes” will show the artwork of the ‘father of Ecuadorian contemporary Photography’ (Hugo Cifuentes), and one of the “Latin American Leaders for the New Millenium” nominated by TIME magazine, his son Diego.

In spite of being close relatives, they differed on some aspects regarded their pictures. “Though we both deal with the same universe, our visions and styles are very different”, explained the son, Diego Cifuentes, who added that his father was closed to the magic realism but “I try to have a more intense proximity to my sorrows and my demons”.

“Nocturnal”, by the Vargas brothers will show the work of these two Peruvians who caught the night life of the American country in the beginning of the 20th century. Despite their different personalities, their work complements each other perfectly: one was the technical expert and the other, the artist point of view.

They were said to be Arequipa’s (the town where they were born) spirit. “First it was the lens of the Vargas brothers, then a landscape was set up and finally, Arequipa was founded”, published the Latin newspaper El Pueblo about these brothers.

Instituto Cervantes also will display a digital exhibition of major Spanish contemporary photographers, in collaboration to the museum “Patio Herreriano” of Spanish Contemporary Art in Valladolid. The show will include photos by Alberto García-Alix, most of them based in the Madrid’s night life, or Chema Madoz’s work that shows his surrealistic world through common objects.

Furthermore, the Spanish exhibition will include the lens of: José Manuel Ballester, who is very interested in the architecture; Ángel Marcos, whose pictures have an important influence of advertising; and Concha Pérez, focused in uninhabited and ruin urban spaces.

The story of a suitcase which remained lost for tens of years but contained 4.500 unique negatives from Robert Capa, Gerda Taro and David “Chim” Seymour is the plot of the film “The Mexican suitcase”, that is going to be projected at Instituto Cervantes Auditorium on Sunday 29th September.

The photography plays the main character in this film which is, at the same time, a documentary about the Spanish Civil war and about the journalists who fought the European fascism with their cameras.

However, that is not the unique Latin-American and Spanish presence in the festival. The curators of the Festival have also chosen the pictures of a new generation of photographers from Spain, Argentina, Nicaragua and Perú. Works of Spanish photographers like Alvaro Láiz (ANHUA), David Rengel (ANHUA) and Albert Bosnfills, the Argentineans Flavia Schuster, Martín Javier Estol and Sofía López Mañan and also works from Nicaragua and Perú, respectively, Mayerling García and Max Cabello Orcasitas were selected by the Delhi Photo Festival’s curators.


The New LARR Bill will not End the British Legacy of Forced Land Acquisition



Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2011

The Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2011 is was tabled in parliament today and came up for discussion in Lok Sabha. There has not been any consensus on the Bill yet the UPA government is bringing the Bill. In some cases the new Bill is worse than the colonial 1894 Act, by expanding the definition of public purpose, legitimising the acquisition for private corporations and excluding all other laws used for land acquisition for highways, industrial corridors and others.
The proposed amendments introduced by the Ministry of Rural Development earlier this year was to further take away the rights of the people in planning process and the principle of prior informed consent.

The Bill in its current form has refused to accept the key recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee, something which Chairperson fails to see but, a concern shared by many other members of the Committee.

The Bill has now been renamed “Right to Fair Compensation, Resettlement, Rehabilitation and Transparency in Land Acquisition Billwith a claim to better reflect Government’s Commitment towards securing a legal guarantee for the rights of project affected, and ensuring  greater transparency in the land acquisition process. It is also claimed that the Bill will ensure, in concert with local institutions of self-government and Gram Sabhas established under the Constitution, a humane, participative, informed, consultative and transparent process for land acquisition.

However, we feel that the Parliament should not pass the proposed Right to Fair Compensation, Resettlement, Rehabilitation and Transparency in Land Acquisition Bill, in its current form. It needs to be democratically debated by all and take those in account, rather than succumb to the private corporations interests and pursue undemocratic growth. Until then put a moratorium on all ongoing land acquisitions in the country. We oppose all such undemocratic, attempts legislative or otherwise.
In public domain we have the Parliamentary Standing Committee’s report (on Rural Development) on the Bill as well as the amendments introduced by the Ministry of Rural Development, we, the people’s movements, have taken serious cognizance of the fact that the strong position taken by the Standing Committee on certain critical issues are either diluted or rejected by the Ministry of Rural Development, which is shocking. The Ministry that is supposed to protect the rights and powers of the rural communities has not accepted some of the standing committee recommendations, towards that end, which are presented with our comments, herewith:

Definition of Public Purpose and Infrastructure
The Committee had suggested a restrictive definition of Public Purpose, something which didn’t leave any discretionary power to the government and also development of infrastructure by the public agencies with the public funds only.
Ministry has proposed an expansive definition of public purpose and infrastructure and also a clause which leaves the discretionary power to declare anything as infrastructure and of public purpose. The Committee to decide upon the nature of the public purpose all consists of bureaucrats and representation of the democratically elected local self government institutions is wanting. Gram Sabha and Basti Sabha in consonance with the Art 243 provisions have every right to the planning and hence the power to decide the nature of public purpose must rest with them, which will also democratise the development planning.

It is ironical that while food processing and other agriculture related secondary and tertiary sector industries have been brought in the public purpose definition but agriculture itself has not been considered a public purpose, something which would have meant no acquisition of agricultural land.

Acquisition for Private and PPP Projects
No forcible acquisition for private projects, or for PPP, which can not to be categorized as public purpose projects.
l  Ministry has rejected this and justified this with a provision that consent of 80% of project affected People will be sought before acquisition for any private projects
In this era of neo-liberal economic reforms, private projects with corporate investment and interests are taking a much larger toll of land and other rich natural resources as also uprooting by killing communities which are generations old. This must come to an end and the same can happen only with stopping the State playing a role of facilitator and land dealer. At the cost of the livelihood of the nature based sections and working class section of society, the state can’t transfer the most valuable livelihood resources such as land, water to the profiteering bodies in the garb of ‘public interest‘ and ‘public purpose‘.

Food Security and Agricultural Land Acquisition
No forcible acquisition of agricultural land, for non-agricultural purpose including single crop and multi crop land.
l       The proposed Bill leaves this to the state governments to decide, rather than take a clear stand on it. It makes provisions for acquisition of common property resources too.
How can the in-between farms that may be unirrigated, rain fed, single crop be left out, we ask. India has 75% of the agricultural land as rain fed and most of it single cropped. Such land is mostly held by Dalits, Adivasis and marginal farms. Protecting them and all farm land for food security, which comes not from PDS but self sufficient agriculture, is a must!

Bringing 16 Central Acts Under Purview of this Bill
The standing committee has recommended that all 16 central acts should be brought under the purview of the new act, to make all equal before law (Article 14 of the Constitution).
l  Ministry of Rural Development wants to exclude 13 out of 16 Acts including Industrial Development Act, Land Acquisition (Mines) Act, National Highways Act and others from the purview of the new act. This means that 90% of the land acquired as on today will continue with injustice and force used, with no change at all.
The standing committee recommendations must be upheld to end brutal unjust acquisition for all projects under various state and central laws.

Role and Consent of Gram and Basti Sabha
The Committee asks that all studies – SIA, EIA, expert committee appraisal be done in consultation with the gram sabhas and the corresponding reports be made available to the gram sabhas.
l  Ministry emphasises that 80% consent of land loosers is there in case of acquisition for private sector projects and 70%  for public private partnership projects.
Consent and direct involvement of majority of the Gram Sabhas must be there in each and every project, including public projects for public purpose. 80% and 70% consent of the land losers for the private and public – private projects, respectively, alone is not sufficient. Also, why should the linear projects be left out? If it’s consent of 80% affected, there are to be a number of manipulations that people will have to face. Experiences of 70% consent in Slum Rehabilitation Scheme in Mumbai are quite telling.

Return of Unutilised Land to farmers and Land Bank
The Committee recommended that the land, if not used till 5 years, should be returned after 5 years from the date of possession to the land owners.
l  Ministry accepts the reduced five years time period and also its return to the landowner or its legal heirs but retains the provisions for State Land Bank.
The ownership over the land is of those who till it and if not used and unutilized then it must be returned to the owners or distributed amongst the project affected people. We oppose any such feature which will promote land bank, since it has promoted large scale acquisition in the past and later illegally transferred the same land to corporations for real estate and other purposes.

Retrospective Application of the Law and Repeal of Land Acquisition Act
On the question of retrospective application of the R&R provisions Committee has suggested to Ministry to re-examine the issue and incorporate necessary provisions
l  Ministry has partially brought in the retrospective application of the R&R provisions of the Bill in cases where the award under Section 11 of the LAA 1894, has not been made or where award has been made but the possession not taken.
It needs to be noted that nearly 100 million people have been displaced since independence and with a dismal 17-20 percent rate of resettlement and rehabilitation we had suggested that not only the retrospective application of the provisions of the new act but a National Resettlement and Rehabilitation Commission be established to deal with the claims of the projected affected people from various projects. Also the Land Acquisition Act 1894 need to be repealed completely, two acts dealing with the land acquisition will bring in legal challenges and also negate the whole purpose of bringing in a new legislation.

Resettlement and Rehabilitation Benefits
In terms of the resettlement and rehabilitation benefits Committee apart from suggesting some cosmetic changes have accepted the provisions of the Bill, we think this is unfortunate since provisions don’t stand up to livelihood based R&R, it merely promotes the principle of cash compensation. It will be a retrogressive step since it negates the land and employment based R&R as mandated in the Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal Award, and various other projects. The proposed provisions of compensating employment with money and high rates for land acquired will only lead to speculative land market and will destroy the fragile economy of the rural hinterland which will lead to further urban migration.

Urban Eviction
The Bill and the comments by both, Standing Committee as well as MoRD almost totally excludes and have unaddressed the situation in the urban areas, where there is no land acquisition, but eviction, brutal and unjust, for any and every elitist real estate development to infrastructure without guaranteeing right to shelter, right to life and livelihood. The only provision is to compensate with 20% of developed land for land owning families in urbanisation projects, which is not with regard to the cases where land belongs to the government or private entities but people are evicted. We demand a separate section or a separate act for the millions of the urban persons and urban land from getting misappropriated. The Bill with the presently proposed content need to be called only “Rural Bill”.

The rapacious use of Land Acquisition Act 1894 by the government to secure land for ‘development’ projects has caused over 100 million people to be displaced from their land, livelihoods and shelters. The country is dotted with communities resisting State sponsored land grab which resonate the demand for a just law to ensure that there is no forced acquisition of land and resources, including minerals and ground water.  The government must respond to the voices from movements across places such as Narmada, Koel Karo, Singur, Nandigram, Sonbhadra, Chindwara, Bhavnagarm, Kalinga Nagar, Kashipur, Raigarh, Srikakulam and mining areas in central India with genuine efforts to address the longstanding crisis concerning land Acquisition and resettlement & rehabilitation.

If the UPA government is serious about addressing the conflicts over the land and other natural resources then it must listen to the voices of those struggling or else it will only aggravate these conflicts all across the country. The need of growth, infrastructure and urbanisation can’t be fulfilled on the graveyard of millions. A pro-people Development Planning Bill with complete participation of the Gram Sabha will go a long way in stopping the massive corporate corruption and lead to decentralization of power having an overall impact on the politics of the country.
The New LARR Bill will not End the British Legacy of Forced Land Acquisition
People’s Consent for Every Development Project is a MUST
All Agricultural Land Should be Protected from Acquisition and Diversion
रमजान चौधरी, समन्वयक, 9813124386


Bhutan Newsletter

The District (Dzongkhag) of Wangduephodrang
Gangtey Monastery:Situated atop a hill at an altitude of 2800m, Gangtey Monastery (also known as Gangtey Sanga Choeling Goemba) offers a stunning view of Phobjikha valley, winter home to the rare Black   Necked Cranes. This
venerable monastery was founded in 1613 by Je Kuenga Gyaltshen but can trace its history to the famousTerton(Buddhist treasure revealier) Pema Lingpa. In the 15th century Terton Pema Lingpa was visiting Phobjhikha valley and foretold that one day his descendents would build a monastery atop the mountains of the region.
The monastery complex consists of five buildings surrounding the main central tower or Utse
Dargay Goempa: This monastery was built in the spot where Divine Madman Drukpa Kuenley first met Ashi Genzo who was renowned for her beauty. When it was first   constructed   the
monastery was a simple Drubdey or meditation center. Lam Drukpa Kuenley is widely considered to be Bhutan’s favourite and most iconic saint due to his unorthodox method of teaching through ribald humor.
With an abundance of rare and exotic flora and fauna, Bhutan is one of the last biodiversity hotspots in the world.
In order to preserve our rich natural heritage, it has been mandated in our constitution that at minimum 60% of the country’s total area is protected. Currently 72% of the area is under pristine forest cover.Learn More at:
Black Necked Crane Festival: This annual festival takes place inPhobjhikha valley (3000m), an alpine wetland that acts as the most important wintering ground for the Black Necked Cranes that migrate through the kingdom each year.
The festival includes folk songs and dances, mask dances and environmentally themed plays and songs performed by local school children.
The festival also offers opportunities for hiking or to visit the local temple, Gangtey Monastery. It not only give visitors a chance to see this majestic bird in its natural habitat but also educates people on the importance of protecting the natural environment while providing financial benefits to the locals.
The festival is scheduled to take place on November 11th 2013.Learn more at:
Gangtey Trek:
The Gangtey trek is short, easy three-day trek that winds through beautiful forests of Juniper, Bamboo and Rhododendron.
It is an excellent trek for beginner and veteran trekkers alike as it covers gentle slopes while still offering gorgeous views of the pristine, forested landscape. Another attractive feature of the trail is that it passes through several quaint villages and local monasteries.Learn More at:
Thimphu Domchoe: The annual Thimphu Domchoeis considered to be one of the most special and sacred religious festivals in the country. Families come from all over to attend the Domchoe as it
is popularly believed that viewing the Domchoe will bestow you with merit, luck and cleanse your sins.
The highlight of the festival is the Lhamoi Tshomi Kunchum Dance which is performed in honour of Pelden Lhamo, one of the main protective deities of the kingdom.
The Domchoe was first instituted in the 1700’s by Gyalse Kuenga Gyeltshen, the reincarnation of Jamphel Dorji, the son of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal.
For further information, please contact:
Tourism Council of Bhutan, India Representative Office
C/o Charson Advisory Services Pvt. Ltd.
1104 Arcadia, 11th Floor, NCPA Marg, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021 – India
Tel: 91 (22) 65172273; Fax: 91 (22) 22828835; Email: Council of Bhutan 
Tarayana Centre, Chubachu, Thimphu, Bhutan
Tel: 975 2 323251/2 ; Email:; Web:
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Airtel Rising Stars 2013 – Delhi Leg

Inline images 1

C.R.P.F School, Rohini Thrash Agnel Public School, Noida to Reach Semis

G.D. Goenka Public School, Rohini; Apeejay Public School, Noida and D.P.S., Vasant Kunj Qualify for Semi-finals

New Delhi, 29th August: C.R.P.F School, Rohini; G.D. Goenka Public School, Rohini; Apeejay School, Noida and Delhi Public School, Vasant Kunj entered the semi-final of the 2nd edition of the Airtel Rising Stars-Delhi Leg, held at Ambedkar Stadium in Delhi today.

Abhishek Yadav’s brace helped C.R.P.F. Public School, Rohini thrash Agnel Public School, Noida 4-0 in an exciting quarter-final match.

C.R.P.F School started to build pressure from the beginning as Mohd. Aqib scored the first goal in 5th minute and gave an early lead to his team. Abhishek Yadav extended the lead by scoring a brace at 8th and 44th minute. Mukesh’s goal at 48th minute sealed the victory against Agnel Public School, Noida.

In another quarter-final match at the same ground, D.P.S., Vasant Kunj drubbed N. K. Bargodia Public School, Rohini 3-0. Vatsal from D.P.S, Vasant Kunj was the star of the match as he scored a brace at 2nd and 49thminute. He was joined in by his teammate Arjun, who scored a goal at 32nd minute.

G.D. Goenka Public School, Rohini beat Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Vasant Vihar 4-2 (0-0) in extra time after a goalless draw. Hartik, Devansh, Robin, Mirnil scored for G.D. Goenka Public School, Rohini whereas, Prakash and Pushkar Singh scored for Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Vasant Vihar.

Apeejay Public School, Noida outplayed Govt. School Sec-11, Rohini 4-2 after a goalless draw. Karan, Amandeep, Rishabh and Prateek scored for Apeejay Public School whereas Ansar and Ajay scored for Govt. School Sector 11.


C.R.P.F Public School, Rohini (Md. Aqib 5th, Abhishek Yadav 8th, 44th, Mukesh 48th) bt Agnel Public School, Noida 4-0

D.P.S., Vasant Kunj (Vatsal 2nd, 49th, Arjun 32nd) bt N.K. Bargodia Public School, Rohini 3-0

G.D. Goenka Public School, Rohini (Hartik, Devansh, Robin, Mirnil) bt Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Vasant Vihar(Prakash, Pushkar Singh) 4-2 (0-0)

Apeejay Public School, Noida (Karan, Amandeep, Rishabh, Prateek) bt Govt. School Sec-11 Rohini (Ansar, Ajay)4-2 (0-0)

1. G.D Goenka School, Rohini v/s C.R.P.F. Public School, Rohini,
2. D.P.S. Vasant Kunj v/s Apeejay School, Noida 

For more information, please contact:

Concept PR

Animesh Biswas - – +91 9891789639
Abhay Pratap Singh - - +91 9818413169


WW Color Logo_Green Blue
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Contact: Supriya Kumar,
 Development Aid Falls Short, While Other Financial Flows Show Rising Volatility

New Worldwatch Institute trend examines international aid flows
Washington, D.C.—-As the world approaches its 2015 deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals outlined in 2000, development aid by the 26 members of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development declined in 2012 for the second year. Preliminary data indicate that official development assistance (ODA) totaled $128.4 billion (in 2011 dollars) that year, down 4 percent from 2011′s $133.7 billion. The 2012 figure marks a 6 percent decline from 2010, when global ODA peaked at $136.7 billion, write Worldwatch staff in the latest Vital Signs Online trend (

The United States provided the largest amount of ODA, with a total of $29.9 billion in 2012, which was 23.3 percent of the DAC total. Trailing the United States are the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Japan. When tracking ODA as a percentage of gross national income (GNI), however, a different picture emerges. Since 1970 the United Nations has set 0.7 percent of GNI as the target for ODA: in 2012, only Luxembourg, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark exceeded this target. In comparison, the U.S. figure was only 0.19 percent. Not surprisingly, given the severity of the Eurozone crisis, the 15 European Union members of DAC decreased their assistance by a total of 7.4 percent, with the most severe cuts coming from Spain, Italy, Greece, and Portugal.

It should be noted that DAC governments are not the only ones that provide development assistance: according to a 2012 UN report, non-DAC countries donated a total of $7.2 billion in development aid in 2010, with Saudi Arabia providing almost half of the total. Furthermore, assistance from private sources was estimated at $56 billion that same year, but reporting on such flows is much weaker than for government funds.

Humanitarian assistance, or short-term aid provided in response to disasters and humanitarian crises, is a numerically small but highly visible portion of ODA. Preliminary data indicate that in 2012 assistance provided by governments for such purposes fell 6.5 percent from the previous year, from $13.8 billion to $12.9 billion. (When including non-governmental sources, humanitarian aid fell by 7.7 percent.) This decline is not totally unexpected, as many of the world’s leading economies are still recovering from the financial crisis. Also, in 2012 the United Nations categorized 76 million people as in need of humanitarian assistance, fewer than the 93 million in 2011.

“ODA is far from the only mechanism of international capital flows to or from developing countries and emerging markets,” said Cameron Scherer, report co-author and program associate at Internews. “A multitude of vehicles—-private and public, bilateral and multilateral—-fill the global finance landscape. And against this broader canvas, ODA involves relatively small amounts of money.”

Among public funds, outflows have actually exceeded inflows into developing countries and emerging markets for most of the past decade. According to the International Monetary Fund, net outflows of more than $180 billion in 2006 turned into net inflows of close to $140 billion in 2009, but by 2012 there was once again a net outflow of close to $42 billion.

Among private flows, the largest amounts are accounted for by foreign direct investment (FDI). Net FDI rose from under $100 billion per year in the 1980s and early 1990s to a peak of $480 billion in 2008. The financial crisis then caused a dip to $335 billion in 2009, but 2011 saw a recovery to $473 billion. The bulk of FDI flowing to developing countries is going to Asia and Latin America. In East Asia and South Asia, almost 90 percent of FDI goes to China and India; in Latin America and the Caribbean, about half goes to Brazil. Only 10 percent of global FDI is destined for Africa.

“In general, FDI is more stable than other forms of private investments, especially where “greenfield” investments in new productive capacity are concerned, FDI is usually undertaken with a longer time horizon in mind, and happens mostly where macroeconomic conditions are stable,” said Michael Renner, trend co-author and Worldwatch Senior Researcher. “In contrast, portfolio investment and cross-border interbank lending are often driven by short-term considerations such as changes in interest rates.”

However, the United Nations points to evidence that a growing portion of FDI in recent years is going to investments in financial companies or to intra-company debt. Also, a considerable portion of FDI relates to mergers and acquisitions—-and thus represents a transfer of ownership rather than fresh investment. These shifts imply that capital can be moved more easily among countries, and indeed the share of short-term and more volatile financial FDI flows has increased.

Further highlights from the report:
  • The United States tops the list of assistance in absolute amounts, with $3.8 billion in 2012, or 29.4 percent of all humanitarian aid (a number that was $483 million below the figure in 2011). Luxembourg (at 0.16 percent of GNI) and Sweden (at 0.14 percent) top the relative standings.
  • In 2011, the most recent year for which data are available, Pakistan, Somalia, and the West Bank and Gaza Strip were the three areas to receive the greatest amount of humanitarian assistance, together taking in over a quarter of global assistance.
  • In 2002, FDI to Africa stood at just $15 billion; in 2012, it totaled $50 billion, having peaked at $59 billion in 2008. China is behind much of this FDI, providing at least $14.7 billion in 2011.
Notes to Editors:    
For more information and to obtain a complimentary copy of “Development Aid Falls Short, While Other Financial Flows Show Rising Volatility,” please contact Supriya Kumar at

About the Worldwatch Institute:
Worldwatch is an independent research organization based in Washington, D.C. that works on energy, resource, and environmental issues. The Institute’s State of the World report is published annually in more than a dozen languages. For more information, visit


Press Invite
4th Cardiac First Aid Camp for the Police personnel of South District
Saturday, 31st August, 2013

 Heart Care Foundation of India is organizing the 4th Cardiac First Aid Camp for the Police personnel of South District on Saturday, Saturday, 31st August, 2013 at 3.30pm at Sarvodaya Vidyalaya, Safdarjung Development Area.
The training will be personally given by Padma Shri & Dr. BC Roy National Awardee, Dr. KK Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India. This time the focus of the training will be on one aspect of the technique ‘push hard and push fast’. Shri BS Jaiswal, DCP South will be Chief Guest.
 You are requested to depute your cameraman, reporter, photographer to cover the event.

With kind regards,
 Yours sincerely,
 Mrs. A. Khanna
Director, HCFI



To celebrate the New Luxe Store Rabha’s by Ektaa “Gold”

Join us for wine and hors d’ oeuvres To celebrate the New Luxe Store Rabha’s by Ektaa “Gold”
From: Musharat Perveen <> Thu, 29 Aug ’13 6:04p
To: You
Show full Headers
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 Join us for wine and hors d⠯euvres
To celebrate the
New Luxe Store
RabhaⳠby Ektaa ㇯
On Friday, the 30th of August 2013
4 pm 8 pm
@ 39 NWA, Punjabi Bagh
Club Road, New Delhi
Guest List
Amanpreet Wahi
Krishna Somani
Ramon Lamba
Geetika Mittal
Atul Wassan
Muskaan Aggarwal
Dolly Jain
Rita Gangwani
Gunita Dhingra
Krishna Somani
Neena Verma
Sunayana Malhotra
Pooja Gogia

Media RSVP
Rashi Rohatgi Khan
For Further Information Contact
Musharat Perveen
W Five Communication Pvt Ltd



Procam International
cordially invites you to

The Final Match


Airtel Rising Stars 2013 – Delhi Leg
India’s largest under-16 soccer talent hunt


Friday, 30th August – Semifinal
Saturday, 31st August – Final

Time: 10:30 am – 2:00 pm
Venue: Ambedkar Stadium, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg


Concept Public Relations – Animesh Biswas – – 98917 89639
Abhay Pratap Singh – – 98184 13169
Mohammad Mati – – 96506 04255


Urge Obama to Stand with LGBT Russians at the G20 Summit

When we called on President Barack Obama to press Russia on its antigay law, we weren’t expecting him to do so for the first time on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
His words were welcome, but wouldn’t it be better if he addresses the Russian people directly—on Russian TV?
The G20 Summit next week in St. Petersburg provides the perfect platform to make clear that America stands with Russia’s LGBT citizens. St. Petersburg passed one of the original local bans on gay “propaganda,” and the city is also home to prominent gay rights groups.
Our recent report, Convenient Targets: The Anti-”Propoganda” Law & the Threat to LGBT Rights in Russia, details how Russia has ramped up its crackdown on dissent, including against LGBT persons. This includes a 100-year ban on gay pride marches in Moscow, denial of registration to Sochi Pride House, hefty fines to rights groups accused of acting as a “foreign agent,” and, more recently, a federal law banning the “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors.” Against this backdrop, harassment and violent attacks on gays or those perceived as gay have become commonplace.
President Obama made LGBT rights a priority in U.S. foreign policy. Russian gay rights advocates praised President Obama’s speech in Berlin when he said, “When we stand up for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters … we defend our own liberty as well.” But the Russian public didn’t hear about that remark because state-run media censors “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations.” The message is clear: calling for tolerance or equality in Russia is punishable by law. 
At the G20 Summit, the President must continue to stand for equality and make clear to the Russian people that gay rights are human rights.
Innokenty Grekov
Human Rights First


2nd YES BANK-GIZ-UNEP FI Sustainability Series, in association with the IICA–GIZ Business Responsibility Initiative,[1] is being organized in Mumbai, on 25 September 2013. The objective of the second workshop is to create awareness on Sustainable Finance and Development, in the overall context of responsible business, focusing on the role of media and civil society.
The YES BANK-GIZ-UNEP FI Sustainability Series was launched by Dr. K. C. Chakrabarty, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India, with the intent to mainstream sustainable finance in Indian financial institutions, in April 2013. This workshop, specifically, aims to provide a tailored approach for media and NGO professionals, who deal with financial markets, sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and environment. This workshop would aim to equip the participants with hands-on knowledge on sustainable finance (including the emerging concepts and practices of Responsible Investment and Lending), and to provide the basis for advanced knowledge in this space.
Enclosed are the invitation letter and the agenda. Kindly log on to to register your name. We eagerly look forward to your participation and hope to see you at the workshop!

Warm regards,
Trina Datta| +91 98181 37520
IICA-GIZ Business Responsibility Initiative


Dear Mr Naresh Kumar Sagar,
CSE has just published a food recipe book. It celebrates the connection between biodiversity and culture of food. We believe if we lose the knowledge and culture of our local cuisine then we lose more than just the taste and smell, we lose nature.
We want to celebrate this knowledge and to build a culture of food that recognises nature and nutrition. To do this, we are launching the book, in collaboration with India Habitat Centre.
We hope you will join us for the launch, the live food demonstration by master chef Manish Mehrotra and dinner, all made from recipes in the book.
Please drop a line to confirm that you would be joining us.
Sunita Narain, Vibha Varshney and the CSE team


Government of West Bengal
Cordially invites༯span>you to the
ワnclave of Tourism Investors for West Bengal伯span>༯span>
In the presence
Shri Krishnendu Narayan Choudhary,
Minister-in-Charge of Tourism, West Bengal
Hotel Ashok, Banquet Hall, Diplomatic Enclave,
50-B, Chanakayapuri, New Delhi.

Dated: August 31, 2013
Time: 11 a.m onwards


Between the Lies
Breaking the Myth of Gujarat Model of Development
 31st August, 2013
10.30 am to 5.00 pm
 Venue :
Deputy Chairman Hall, 2nd Floor
Constitution Club, Rafi Marg, New Delhi-110001
10.30- tea
11.00 – 1.00 pm
Mahesh Pandya- Director,Paryavaran Mitra, Gujarat
Prof Hemant Shah-HOD, Economics, HK Arts College, Gujarat
Prof. Shiv Visvanathan- CSDS
1.00 – 2.00 pm
2.00-5.00 pm
Pankti Jog-Advocacy Coordinator,Janpath, Gujarat
D.L. Sheth-Honorary Senior Fellow & former Director  CSDS, Delhi
Zakia Soman- BMMA, Gujarat

Please depute a reporter/ photographer/ camera crew to cover the programme.

Yours sincerely
Shabnam Hashmi