Thursday, 30 November 2017

DIA MIRZA appointed as UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador for India

Mumbai, 29 November 2017 – Former Miss Asia Pacific, actor, producer, entrepreneur and environmentalist, Dia Mirza, was appointed as UN Environment’s Goodwill Ambassador for India.
A long-standing supporter of environmental conservation, Dia will take up the role to add more weight to her work on raising awareness of and seeking solutions to environmental issues that the world, and India in particular, faces.
“I feel honoured and inspired by this opportunity to work with UN Environment to protect the environment and promote sustainable development,” said Dia. “Environmental issues will be the defining challenge of this era, and I am committed to helping the UN as a Goodwill Ambassador to do everything I can to provide a better future.
“Together, we will continue working towards conservation of nature, tackling climate change and inspiring people to live more sustainably.” 
Dia is a committed voice for change, and has contributed her efforts in the field of social change, conservation and environment. She has been the face of many pivotal environmental campaigns across India, and has worked towards the conservation of wildlife.
As a Goodwill Ambassador, Dia will work with the United Nations to further spread the message on priority areas including clean air, clean seas, wildlife protection and climate change.
“I am delighted to have Dia join UN Environment as a Goodwill Ambassador,” said UN Environment head, Erik Solheim. “India faces many challenges, in particular the air pollution that is choking many of its cities. Dia’s influence can help to turn the situation around and create a healthy future for Indians and their environment.”
UN Environment is running many global campaigns, which are having a huge impact by reaching millions of people to change behavior.
#BreatheLife is a major campaign on air quality, which is particularly relevant to India. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a partner in the campaign, one in nine deaths globally are caused by air pollution. WHO figures show that half of the 20 most-polluted cities in the world are in India.
#WildforLife seeks to build support for the protection of endangered species across the globe, including the Bengal Tiger.
#CleanSeas is aimed at reducing the massive amount of marine pollution across the globe, drawing inspiration from people such as India’s Afroz Shah, who has been running the world’s longest-running beach clean-up at Versova Beach, Mumbai.
Dia has joined other accomplished and dedicated past and present UN Goodwill Ambassadors, including UN Environment’s Li Binging, Gisele Bündchen and Don Cheadle, and others such as Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Angelina Jolie, Katy Perry and Emma Watson.

Gujarat Pvt Per Capita Health Spend Rank 18th of 20 States

November30, 2017 (C) Ravinder Singh
Kerala & Punjab rank 1st & 2nd in ‘Public Plus Private Health Spend Per Capita’, Gujarat ranks 15th ahead of Jharkhand, Bihar, Assam, MP and Rajasthan.
Kerala & Punjab also rank 1st & 2nd in Private Health Expenditure Per Capita, Gujarat ranks 18th Just Ahead of Assam and Jharkhand.
While TOI took note of HP Public Expenditure On Health Per Capita to be 6 times of Bihar, twice of Gujarat among 20 states with over 1 crore population not including UT and special category states.
Private and Public health expenditure points Private Prosperityand States Priority in addressing critical health issues.
Ravinder Singh, Inventor & Consultant, INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES AND PROJECTS
Y-77, Hauz Khas, ND -110016, India. Ph: 091- 8826415770, 9871056471, 9650421857
Ravinder Singh* is a WIPO awarded inventor specializing in Power, Transportation,
Smart Cities, Water, Energy Saving, Agriculture, Manufacturing, Technologies and Projects
Health: Govts spending less force people to fork out more
Per Capita Healthcare Spend In HP 6 Times As Much As In Bihar
The government spent more than Rs.2,000 per person per year on health in Himachal Pradesh while in Bihar per capita government spending was just Rs.338, about one-sixth as much. This wide disparity in government spending between states also results in a corresponding variation in how much people are forced to spend from their own pockets.
Government spending includes what’s spent by all levels of government, but about two-thirds of the total nationally is by the states. These facts emerge from the National Health Accounts 2014-15 just uploaded on the union health ministry’s website.
In Himachal, people had to pay only about half the total health expenditure from out of their own pockets, while in Bihar their share was 82%. The national average for households’ share of the total spending was less than two-thirds.
The pattern of low government spending leading to a very high share of the burden of health expenditure being borne by the people is clear in the case of states where government share of spending was the smallest. As a share of the total health spend, Andhra Pradesh had the lowest, 15.4%, leaving people to shoulder 78%. In Bihar, the government’s share was just 16.5%. Shockingly, in Punjab, considered one of the most prosperous states, government spending was just 17% of the total health expenditure, while people spent 79.3% from their own pockets.
The two figures do not add up to 100% because total health expenditure also includes private or government-funded health insurance, spending by NGOs and by external donors. Thus, in some states, despite a low share of government in total health spend, the share of households is not too high. For instance, while in Maharashtra the government spends only 17% of the total, the households’ share is only about 60%, the remaining 27% being accounted for largely by insurance.
So where is all this money going? According to the NHA, private hospitals (26%) and private clinics (5%) accounted for almost a third of the total health spending, while pharmacies raked in another 29%. The share of government hospitals and clinics was just over 20%. Diagnostic labs and patient transport accounted for about 5% each. Inpatient care was 35% and outpatient care about 16% of the total health expenditure, while medicines and medical products accounted for almost 30%.
Another revealing statistic that emerges from the NHA is that a mere 5.3% of the total was spent on preventive healthcare.

M6.7 – central Mid-Atlantic Ridge

Preliminary Earthquake Report
  • 30 Nov 2017 06:32:51 UTC
  • 30 Nov 2017 06:32:51 near epicenter
  • 30 Nov 2017 10:32:51 standard time in your timezone
Location1.108S 23.418W
Depth10 km
  • 1044.7 km (647.7 mi) ENE of Fernando de Noronha (Distrito Estadual), Brazil
  • 1251.5 km (775.9 mi) NW of Georgetown, Saint Helena
  • 1408.7 km (873.4 mi) ENE of Natal, Brazil
  • 1412.4 km (875.7 mi) ENE of São Miguel, Brazil
  • 1415.3 km (877.5 mi) ENE of Extremoz, Brazil

Nations of the South Asia Region join hands to promote Inclusion through Unified Cricket RDT Ananthapur Andhra Pradesh

 30 November 2017– Special Olympics Teams from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Serendib (Sri Lanka) and India will be participating in the 3rd South Asia Unified Cricket Tournament to be held from 1-4 December 2017 at RDT Ananthapur, Andhra Pradesh.
The Tournament will be inaugurated on the 1st of December 2017 at 6PM at the RDT Ananthapur Sports Academy Ground in the gracious presence of the Chief Guest Shri GVG Ashok Kumar, IPS, Superintendent of Police, along with Mr. Moncho Ferrer, Program Director, RDT & Chairman, Organizing Committee and Guest of Honor – Mrs. Anne Ferrer, Founder and Executive Director, RDT & Mr. R. Dasarath, Director, CBR Sector. Dr. (Cdr) Kartikay Saini, Chairman, SO Bharat, Mr. Victor R Vaz, National Sports Director and Ms. Mukta Narain Thind, National Director – OD & C.Rajasekhar , Area Director, Andhra Pradesh will be present from the Host Country.
The Tournament is being held with support from Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Government of India, Government of Andhra Pradesh, the Lions Clubs International and the Aruna Abhey Oswal Trust along with Rural Development Trust. The Lions Club International and Aruna Abhey Oswal Trust has come forward to promote health needs and unified sports for Special Olympics Bharat under the program Mission Inclusion Bharat.
This is the third edition of the tournament, with the previous two held in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2014 and 2016. Unified Cricket matches will be played on 2nd and 3rdDecember at the RDT (Rural Development Trust) ASA grounds.
Unified Sports encourages persons with and without Intellectual disabilities to team up and play. This breaks barriers in as much as targeting common goals and sharing experiences, it is considered a catalyst in promoting inclusion
Alongside the competitions 300 Athletes, including all participating Athletes will be screened across Fit feet and Health Promotion on 2 and 3 December at Indoor Auditorium. Families of the children special needs will be given awareness on Hygiene & Sanitation & Intellectual Disability on 3rd December 2017.
 Quote from Drew Boshell, Senior Vice President, Sport & Health, Special Olympics International:
On behalf of Special Olympics International, I wish many great wickets and centuries for all the cricketers competing in the 3rd Special Olympics South Asia Unified Cricket Tournament in Ananthapur, Andhra Pradesh, India. As the second most popular sport in the world, and with over 80,000 Special Olympic athletes competing in cricket worldwide, all eyes will be proudly focused on the great example of sport and inclusion that you are setting. Play well, Play fair and Play Unified!”
Quote from Air Marshal Denzil Keelor, Founder & CEO, SO Bharat: “It is a privilege to hold an event of this scale in India. With Cricket reigning high in the hearts of the people this is a strong platform for relaying the message of Inclusion, and spreading it beyond national boundaries. I trust the SO Bharat Andhra Pradesh Chapter to carry out this event most successfully and I extend a warm welcome to the Special Olympics programs from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Serendib to join us in making this a memorable Unified experience”
Quote from Mr. Moncho Ferrer, Program Director, RDT and Chairman, Organizing Committee“RDT has a great privilege in welcoming all the special athletes to South Asia Unified Cricket Tournament. A rare occasion for the inclusion for integration – A global village, crossing barriers and carrying a spirit of unity.”
Quote from Mr. Rajshekhar Cheli, Area Director, SO Bharat – Andhra Pradesh: “Performance always comes from passion & not from pressure. Always be passionate of sports, as sports plays critical role in life. I feel privileged to receive this opportunity to host this great event for Special Olympics Asia Pacific to promote Inclusion for our Special Athletes. “

Merkel ready to help African states

EU wants to work more closely with Africa to address illegal migration, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday. She was addressing a summit attended by dozens of European and African leaders in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. “It’s very important that we simply support Africans to put a stop to illegal migration, so people don’t have to either suffer in horrible camps in Libya or are even being traded,” Merkel said. Migration is a top issue at the summit after recent footage of migrants at a slave auction in Libya drew international condemnation, AP said. Another issue high on the agenda is security as the threat of extremism grows in West Africa and elsewhere.

May visits Iraq

British Prime Minister Theresa May met with her Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi in Baghdad on Wednesday, Reuters reported, citing an Iraqi government spokesman. This is her first visit to Iraq since coming to power last year. The British government said in September that there were around 600 British soldiers on the ground in Iraq. “We will continue to support Iraq in various fields,” May said, according to Iraqi state television. Abadi said that “Iraqi-British relations have witnessed an improvement, especially in the field of counter terrorism,” according to the report.

Czech PM Bohuslav Sobotka stepped down

Czech center-left government of Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka stepped down on Wednesday. The move makes way for billionaire Andrej Babis, who won an election last month, to take power in time for an EU summit in December. “The resignation will be delivered to the president today,” Sobotka said after a regular government session.
His coalition government was the first in 15 years to complete a full four-year term and presided over robust economic growth that helped cut unemployment to the lowest level in the EU and push up wages at the fastest pace in a decade, Reuters said. However, voters opted for anti-establishment candidates, punishing traditional parties at the polls. Babis’s ANO party, with pledges to fight political corruption, has failed to convince any of the other eight parliamentary parties to join a new coalition.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Aung San Suu Kyi plans to visit China

Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi plans to visit China, starting on Thursday.
Myanmar’s government says that during her stay in China, Aung San Suu Kyi will attend a conference of officials from the Chinese Communist Party and its foreign counterparts.
The government says the purpose of her visit is to strengthen relations with China.
The government has been under international criticism for allowing the conflict in the country’s Rakhine state to force minority Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh. The international community sees the Myanmar government’s inaction as a violation of human rights.
Myanmar has conspicuously been approaching China in recent months, apparently due to China’s hands-off stance over the Rohingya issue.
The Chinese government maintains that the exodus of Rohingya is a bilateral issue between Myanmar and Bangladesh.
Aung San Suu Kyi met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on November 19th when he visited Myanmar.
Wang expressed China’s intention to help Myanmar resolve the Rohingya issue. Aung San Suu Kyi thanked him for the support.
Analysts say China also wants to strengthen ties with Myanmar by setting aside the human rights issue because it ultimately wants to advance into Myanmar’s economy.
They say Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit to China will provide another opportunity in this direction for the 2 countries.

Bosnian Croat political after ‘the Butcher of Bosnia’

United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague has suspended an appeal case of a Bosnian Croat suspect after he apparently drank poison upon hearing his 20-year sentence was upheld.
The suspect, Slobodan Praljak, drank from a small bottle, declaring: “What I am drinking now is poison”.
“I’m not a war criminal,” Praljak shouted at the presiding judge.
The tribunal on Wednesday was handing down its last judgment, in an appeal by six Bosnian Croat political and military leaders who were convicted in 2013 of persecuting, expelling and murdering Muslims during Bosnia’s war.
Six former Bosnian Croat political and military leaders will on Wednesday learn their fate as UN judges hand down their final verdict for war crimes committed during the bloody break-up of Yugoslavia. Prosecutors accuse Ratko Mladic and his political counterpart Radovan Karadzic of seeking through ethnic cleansing to “permanently remove”Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats from areas claimed by BosnianSerbs.
This judgement comes after week after the judges imposed a life sentence on former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic, whose ruthlessness in the conflict earned him the title ‘the Butcher of Bosnia’.
Former prime minister of a breakaway statelet Prlic, and his five co-defendants were found guilty in 2013 on 26 charges of taking part in a scheme to remove Bosnian Muslims permanently and create a Croatian territory.
The bloody 1992-1995 war in Bosnia, in which 1 lakh people died and 2.2 million were displaced, mainly pitted Bosnian Muslims against Bosnian Serbs and Bosnian Croats.

S.Korea tests 3 missiles

South Korean military conducted a missile drill in waters close to the maritime border with North Korea immediately after the North launched an ICBM-level missile.
The drill, which lasted about 20 minutes, began in the Sea of Japan at 3:23 AM on Wednesday, only minutes after the North Korean missile launch, and involved the country’s Army, Navy and Air Force.
An Aegis ship fired a Haesong-2 missile, which has a range of 1000 kilometers and can penetrate concrete 5 meters thick.
An Army missile unit fired a Hyunmoo-2 missile, which has a range of 300 kilometers and is capable of destroying an area within a 600-meter radius.
An Air Force KF-16 fighter jet fired a SPICE-2000 missile, which has a range of 57 kilometers and is capable of penetrating concrete 2.4 meters thick.
The military released videos of the launches of the Haesong-2 and Hyunmoo-2 missiles.

Bali’s international airport will re-open today

Bali’s international airport will re-open on Wednesday after a nearly three-day shutdown, Indonesian airport authorities say, as ash from a rumbling volcano that looms over the island paradise shifted direction.
The eagerly awaited decision opens up a window of hope for some of more than 1.20 lakh 2tourists stranded after a spike in activity at Mount Agung grounded hundreds of flights since Monday.
The majority of Bali’s tourists are Chinese, followed by Australians, Indians, British and Japanese. Foreigners whose visitor visas are expiring will be given a special permit to stay longer due to the eruption.
Agung rumbled back to life in September, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people living nearby.
Indonesia, the world’s most active volcanic region, lies on the Pacific Ring of Fire where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent volcanic and seismic activities.

Francis calls for peace in Myanmar

Pope Francis has called on the people of Myanmar to exercise compassion to overcome ethnic problems in the country, where members of the Rohingya minority have been forced to flee their homes.
Francis delivered his message at a public Mass in a stadium in Yangon, the country’s largest city, on Wednesday. He arrived in Myanmar 2 days earlier.
Organizers say about 150,000 Christians from across the country attended the Mass. About 90 percent of the population is Buddhist.
The pontiff said he knows many people in Myanmar carry the wounds of violence, but he urged them to show forgiveness and compassion to others, for the sake of reconciliation and peace.
He did not refer to Rohingya issues directly in his speech. Members of the Muslim community in the western state of Rakhine are seeking refuge in neighboring Bangladesh. The Myanmar government has been accused of abusing their human rights.
The Pope apparently prioritized conveying a message of peace to avoid adding fuel to the country’s conflicts. Many in Myanmar hold negative views of the Muslim minority.
A man attending the Mass said that seeing the Pope moved him. He added that he prays for peace for the people of Myanmar and Rakhine.

Berlin summons N. Korea ambassador over missile test

Germany strongly condemns North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test, Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Wednesday. Gabriel added that he would summon North Korea’s ambassador, Reuters reported. Pyongyang “has again breached international law,” the minister said in a statement. “North Korea’s ruthless behavior poses a huge threat to international security.” Pyongyang said on Wednesday it successfully tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that put the entire US mainland within range of its nuclear weapons.
China expressed “grave concern” on Wednesday after North Korea fired what appears to have been an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that landed close to Japan. Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters that China hopes all parties act “cautiously to preserve peace and stability,”

Russia condemns North Kora missile launch

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Wednesday described North Korea’s latest missile launch as provocative. Russia still does not see any reason for significant optimism in implementing the proposed “road map” for resolving the situation around North Korea, he added. Peskov expressed hope that other parties of the conflict will remain calm and will not worsen the situation. Russia and China earlier offered North Korea the option to declare a moratorium on nuclear tests and missile launches and suggested that South Korea and the US refrain from conducting exercises in the region, Sputnik said.

Prime Minister Netanyahu Arrives in Nairobi

Prime Minister Netanyahu landed in Nairobi, Kenya, where he was welcomed by an honor guard.Prime Minister Netanyahu landed in Nairobi, Kenya, where he was welcomed by an honor guard.

EAM Sushma Swaraj leves for Russia

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday left for Sochi, Russia to participate in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Meeting.
The two day SCO summit will begin tomorrow and it is likely to discuss the regional security scenario besides several other issues.
n June, India along with Pakistan had become a full-fledged member of the grouping. On the sidelines of the summit, Ms. Swaraj will also have bilateral meetings with several leaders.
The External Affairs Minister will also attend the reception hosted by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
As a member of SCO, India is expected to have a bigger say in pressing for concerted action in dealing with terrorism as well as on issues relating to security and defence in the region.

India, Singapore agree to enhance security cooperation

India and Singapore have agreed to further deepen security cooperation to collectively tackle the threat of terrorism.
In a joint statement after bilateral talks with her Singaporean counterpart Dr Ng Eng Hen in New Delhi, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, India and Singapore remain strongly committed to tackle transnational security threats.
On regional security, both Ministers reaffirmed the importance of maintaining maritime freedom of navigation and trade consistent with international law.
Both Ministers also discussed Singapore’s proposal to expand the Code of Unplanned Encounters at Sea to all ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting ADMM-Plus countries as well as to establish guidelines for air encounters between military aircraft, to reduce the risk of miscalculations.
In his statement, Dr Ng Eng Hen said, not only Singapore will be comfortable with berthing of Indian naval ships but will also encourage Indian Navy to use Changi port more often.
Appreciating India’s leading role in the Indian Ocean Region, Dr Ng agreed to India’s proposal for continuous and institutionalised naval engagements in their shared maritime space, including establishing maritime exercises with like-minded regional and ASEAN partners.
The Singaporean Defence Minister expressed his appreciation for India’s offer of its test ranges and infrastructure to Singapore for the conduct of testing and evaluation for Reseach and Development projects.
Dr Ng also expressed his appreciation for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s acceptance as keynote speaker for the 2018 Shangri-La Dialogue to articulate India’s vision for a stable Indo-Pacific region.
Singapore and India have also made progress in defence industry cooperation, with the signing of the terms of reference for the Defence Industry Working Group in August this year.
Both Ministers agreed that it will facilitate greater collaboration in aerospace, electronics and other areas of mutual interest between the defence industries of both countries.
Earlier, Dr Ng Eng Hen was given Tri-Services Guard of Honour at South Block lawns.