Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mozambique thanks India for rescuing sailors from pirates

New Delhi, March 28

 Mozambique Prime Minister Aires Bonafacio Baptista Ali Monday thanked India for rescuing 12 of its nationals from a hijacked ship by pirates.

"Let me ... express our deep appreciation to the government of India for the actions undertaken by its maritime forces which culminated with the rescue to 12 Mozambicans (taken) hostage since last February," he said in his opening remarks at the CII-Exim Bank India-Africa conclave.

"These actions demonstrate the commitment of the (Indian) government to cooperate with our government in preventing and combating piracy in the Indian Ocean," he said.

The Indian Navy this month arrested 61 heavily armed pirates and rescued 13 sailors from captivity from Vega 5, a Mozambique-flagged fishing vessel which was hijacked by pirates Dec 28 in the Arabian Sea.

"In Mozambique and within the SADC (Southern African Development Region), we have established coordinated mechanism to strengthen the struggle against piracy. I believe India will continue to support our government and SADC in this field," Ali added.


50 percent women married as minors: Experts

New Delhi, March 28 :

Nearly 50 percent of marriages in India involve minors - children under the age of 18 years, thanks to the poor implementation of the law, experts said Monday.

"The consequence of child marriage is in conflict with the development aspirations of the country," Ranjana Kumari, president of the WomenPowerConnect (WPC), said at a national workshop on gender inequalities.

She was referring to the National Family Health Survey 3, which has reported that 45 percent women aged 20-24 years were already married before the age of 18 years.

"It (child marriage) perpetuates health problems, marital violence, poverty and economic inequality, lack of education and awareness, lack of reproductive choice and access to measures of fertility management," she stressed.

"It is important to know that the high economic growth that we are boasting about is not directly leading to better social development due to practices like child marriage, domestic violence and female foeticide still plaguing our country," added Kumari.

According to National Family Health Survey 3, the median age at first marriage for women between the age 25 -49 years was 16.8 years, while that for men in the same age group was 22.7 years.

The seminar highlighted ways to improve implementation of Prohibition of Child marriage Act (PCMA) 2006, domestic violence act and the need to ensure passage of women's reservation bill.

Under the law, a child or minor is a person up to 18 years in the case of girls and 21 years in the case of boys.


Indo-Pak Home Secys meet: Talks positive, progress in right direction, says Pillai

New Delhi, Mar 28

 Union Home Secretary G K Pillai after the completion of the first round of talks with his Pakistani counterpart Chaudhary Qamar Zaman here on Monday said that the talks were extremely positive and progress was being made in the right direction.

"Talks are extremely positive and progress made in the right direction," said Pillai after emerging from the meeting.

Chaudhry, who is leading a six-member delegation, had on Sunday saidPakistan is ready to talk on all issues with India.

Chaudhry, who came to India through the Wagah-Attari border check post with an 'open mind', hoped that the talks would be held in an congenial atmosphere with his colleague.

"My priority would be to take this message of peace and friendship from Pakistan to my friends in India, with whom I will get the opportunity to meet after a break of couple of years to exchange our views. A number of issues are those required in promoting our relationship between the two countries, " Chaudhry said as soon as he entered the Indian Territory on Sunday afternoon.


The two-day meeting between Home Secretary G K Pillai and his Pakistani counterpart Chaudhary Qamar Zaman will deliberate on a wide range of issues, including Islamabad's disinclination in co-operating fully in bringing to justice the perpetrators of 26/11Mumbai terror attacks.

Dismantling of terror camps across the border, progress in the 26/11 trial and the Samjhauta Express blast probe will dominate the talks.

The meeting comes ahead of the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh's, possible meeting with his Pakistan counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani, during the semi-final India and Pakistan clash at Mohali on March 30.

Gilani has accepted Dr. Singh's invitation to visit India to watch the match.

Britain says fighter planes destroy Gaddafi ammunition dumps

London, March 28 :

 Ammunition dumps and bunkers used by the forces of Libya's Muammar Gaddafi have been destroyed in air strikes by Britain's Royal Air Force, the ministry of defence in London said Monday.

A spokesman said the ammunition held in the bunkers in the Sabha desert in southern Libya were designated for use in attacks on the cities of Misurata and other targets in northern Libya.

Major General John Lorimer said the fighter aircraft used Storm Shadow missiles to destroy the dumps following armed reconnaissance sorties over Libya over the weekend.

"Initial reports suggest that the bunkers have been destroyed and that the Libyan government has been denied ammunition it uses to threaten civilians in the north of the country," said Lorimer.


Mubarak, family under house arrest: Egyptian military

Sydney,March 28

Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and his family are under house arrest and they have not fled to Saudi Arabia, Egypt's military rulers said Monday.

"There is no truth in reports that former president Hosni Mubarak has left Egypt for Tabuk in Saudi Arabia," the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces said in a statement on Facebook.

"He is under house arrest, with his family, in Egypt," the Herald Sun newspaper quoted the military as saying.

Mubarak left the capital Cairo for the resort city of Sharm el Sheikh Feb 11.

A report in an Egyptian newspaper earlier said he has gone to Tabuk for cancer treatment, which was denied by Egypt's prosecutor general.

The council has ruled Egypt since Mubarak quit after 18 days of massive street protests against his 30-year regime.

Gingrich says no hypocrisy behind blaming Bill Clinton and not himself for marital infidelity

Washington, Mar 28 :

 Former House speaker Newt Gingrich, a possible candidate for the Republicanpresidential nomination, has said that it was not hypocritical for him to accuse former US President BillClinton while cheating on his own wife, because he never lied under oath.

“I don’t know what you would have had me do, because…the President of theUnited States was committing perjury. Remember, he’s a lawyer! This was not some accidental thing. And I thought the outcome was about right,” Politico quoted Gingrich, as saying.

Although he admitted that his own extramarital affairs would be an issue in the coming campaign, he expressed hope that voters ‘will, if they don’t forgive or forget, at least look the other way’.

“We’ll find out six months or a year from now whether people are forgiving and whether they put in context events that are 10 and 15 years old,” he said.

The former House speaker from Georgia said he had spoken against Clinton because the latter had broken the law.

“Look, obviously it''s complex and obviously I wasn’t doing things to be proud of. On the other hand, what I said very clearly, and I knew this in part having gone through a divorce, I had been in depositions. I had been in situations where you had to swear to tell the truth.

I understood that in a federal court, in a case in front of a federal judge, to commit a felony – which is what he did – perjury was a felony. And the question I raised was very simple. Should a president of the United States be above the law? Now I don’t think the president of the United States can be above the law,” Gingrich said.


Communist Party of India functionary expelled

Chennai, Mar 28 :

The Tamil Nadu unit of the Communist Party of India (CPI) today expelled its Krishnagiri district Committee Secretary Nagaraja Reddy for anti-party activities.

CPI State Secretary D Pandian, in a statement here, said Mr Reddy had sought a ticket from Thali Constituency for the April 13 Assembly polls.

Since he was denied a ticket, he had publicly announced to the media that he had joined the ruling DMK, violating party rules.

Hence, he was expelled from the party.

Mr Pandian said a notice had been issued to Mr Reddy asking why defamatory proceedings should not be initiated against him for his allegations that the State Committee Members had received money from the candidate nominated by the party for the polls.


CPI-M legislator 'roughs up' TV reporter

CPI-M legislator 'roughs up' TV reporter

Mon, Mar 28 2011 23:27 IST

Kannur (Kerala), March 28
A television journalist was Monday allegedly roughed up by a senior legislator of Kerala's ruling Left Democratic Front after a chat show. The legislator denied the charge and accused the journalist of taking a partisan stand during the show.

Asianet TV channel reporter Shahjahan said several issues were raised in the show featuring Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) legislator P. Jayarajan, including the allegations against P.Sasi, who had to step down as the CPI-M's Kannur district secretary. Jayarajan is currently the acting district secretary.

"During the show, there was several times a heated discussion between the supporters of the CPI-M and the Congress-led opposition but the show ended peacefully. But after that I was surrounded by several CPI-M supporters and tried to escape by moving towards the leaders of various parties participating in the show. It was here I was roughed up by Jayarajan," said Shahjahan.

He added that afterwards, he also received a telephone call from Jayarajan threatening him with dire consequences.

Later Asianet TV channel aired the recorded conversation of Jayarajan, where he said that they know that Shahjahan had taken money from the Congress to tarnish the CPI-M's image.

Jayarajan, however, denied the allegation that he manhandled Shahjahan.
"It was totally wrong that Shahjahan was manhandled. I pacified the angry audience. Shahjahan behaved in a partisan manner during the debate," he said.

Reacting to the controversy, Leader of Opposition Oommen Chandy flayed the intolerance of the CPI-M.

"It appears the CPI-M is loosing its patience and they have totally acted against the freedom of the pressthrough this barbaric act. Jayarajan has to apologise for this and we are all waiting to hear the response from the CPI-M," he said.

A large number of other opposition leaders also condemned the incident and expressed their concern ovr the way the CPI-M leaders and their supporters were behaving.

3,082 nominations found valid in Tamil Nadu

2011-03-28 23:50:00
Last Updated: 2011-03-29 01:13:35

Chennai: A total of 3,082 nominations were declared valid, after scrutiny, of the 4,228 filed for the April 13 assembly polls in Tamil Nadu, an election official said on Monday.

According to a statement issued by chief electoral officer Praveen Kumar, returning officers have rejected 1,153 nominations on various counts. The rejection percentage is 27.27.
Tirupur North constituency has the highest number of valid nominations with 70.

Nominations of the major leaders like Chief Minister and DMK chief M.Karunanidhi (from Tiruvarur seat), Deputy Chief Minister M.K.Stalin (Kolathur), AIADMK chief J.Jayalalithaa (Srirangam), DMDK founder A.Vijayakant (Rishivandiyam), Congress state chief K.V.Thangkabalu (Mylapore) and others were found valid.

The papers of Thangkabalu's wife Jayanthi Thangkabalu, the official Congress candidate from Mylapore, were however rejected as two documents needed were not filed.

The last date for withdrawal of nominations is March 30. Filing of nominations started March 19.

Two major fronts led by DMK and AIADMK are fighting it out to win a majority in the 234-member assembly.

Counting of votes will be held May 13.


Memorable Moments in Pakistan's Cricket History


In the 1986 Australasia cup final in Sharjah, Chetan Sharma, famous for grabbing a hat-trick in a World-Cup, was about to bowl the last bowl of the match with Pakistan needing four runs to win. He bowled a low full-toss outside the leg-stump, which got hit for six by Javed Miandad. This made Sharma a villain in the eyes of Indian fans, and conversely Miandad was hailed as a hero.

In the first test match of the Pakistan-India test series in 1999 India needed 271 runs to win in the fourth innings. With only Tendulkar putting up resistance, with his dismissal and the score on 254, Pakistan tightened the screws and forced an Indian collapse winning the test match by 12 runs.

The 1999 tri series in Australia was a famous one for Pakistan. Although Pakistan did not win the series they were able to beat rivals India in 3 out of the 4 matches they played against India.
A sledging incident involving Javed Miandad and Kiran More where Miandad famously imitated More during a match by jumping up and down on the pitch. A scene questionable, but equally hilarious.

Saeed Anwar struck a superb 194 against India in Chennai, India in 1997. The match was won by Pakistan. It is one of the greatest innings played by a batsman in an ODI breaking Sir Viv Richards previous score of 189*.

Opening batsmen Saeed Anwar struck a match winning 188* against India in the Asian Test Championship in 1999 in India. Pakistan went on to win the match due to this knock.
In the Wills trophy final played in Sharjah, Aaqib Javed claimed a hat trick against India with his best bowling figures of 7/37 off 10 overs.

The first test match of the Asian Test Championship played at Eden Gardens, Calcutta from 16–20 February 1999 is arguably the most controversial test encounter the two nations have ever played. The match was and has remained the best-attended cricket match in history with total attendance of around 465,000 people.

 The game is particularly remembered due to the extraordinary performances by Pakistan's Shoaib Akhtar for 4/71 and 4/47, Saeed Anwar for 188 not out for batting throughout the second innings. Controversy ensued when Tendulkar was run out in the second innings to which the Indian crowd reacted angrily to. It resulted in them causing a riot and the police and officials having to remove most of the crowd and the remainder of the test having to be watched with the stadium near empty, Pakistan eventually won the test by 46 runs.

Pakistan defeated India in the second match of the Carlton and United Series on 10 January 2000, with Waqar Younis and Saqlain Mushtaq making a 43 run partnership and scoring the winning runs off the last ball of the match.

Pakistan won their first ever win in an ICC event against India in the 2004 Champions Trophy in England. With Mohammad Yousuf (Yousaf Youhanna at that time) struck a beautiful knock of 81* and took Pakistan to the winning line.

Salman Butt scored five out of seven centuries of his career against the arch-rivals India in the time when Pakistan need it. Although he scored his debut century also against India at BCCI's Platinum Jubilee Celebration in 2005 at Eden Garden Calcutta which Pakistan had won by six wickets.

In the fifth ODI in Kanpur, 15 April 2005 Shahid Afridi smashed a 45 ball century making him first and third on the list of fastest centuries in ODI cricket (moved down to fourth after Mark Boucher's 44 ball century in 2006).

In the 2006 Karachi test, Pakistan came back from 39/6 in the first innings to win the match convincingly by 341 runs. Thanks to Kamran Akmal's knock of 113 in the first innings and Mohammad Asif's figures of 7/126.

Pakistan won a memorable 2006 series in India. After losing the first two ODI's, Pakistan went on to win the next 4 ODI's clinically claiming the series 4-2. It was a famous win for Pakistan as they were hinted as the weakest Pakistani team to tour India.
Pakistan beat India in 2009 edition of Champions Trophy by 54 runs.
Pakistan will play India in the semi finals of the 2011 ICC world cup on the 30th of March.


Cricket fever touches crescendo

Ankit Gupt

Mohali: As the needle-clash between India and Pakistan is to take place just couple of days later, all roads lead to the city beautiful. Meanwhile, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi would also going to attend the hig-profile match with his family.

Cricket fever was at its peak today as scores of fans lined up outside the PCA stadium hoping to catch a glimpse of their favourite stars while some searched desperately for non-existent tickets for the high-voltage semi-final between India and Pakistan here today.

Thousands of fans lined up outside the stadium, where batteries of electronic mediapersons were stationed with their OB vans giving live feeds and news updates ahead of the match.
Fans were desperately searching for tickets of the 28,000 capacity stadium, not realizing that 16,000 of those earmarked for the general public had been sold as early as Tuesday.

Chandigarh police, meanwhile, arrested three youngsters from near Chandigarh`s IT Park for allegedly trying to sell some tickets at astronomical prices in black market.  Chandigarh Police sources said the accused were in the age group of 18-20 years.

Police said that the accused had two tickets of Rs 250 each and one ticket of Rs 500, which they were trying to sell for Rs 56,000.
A trap was laid and a decoy customer was sent after which the arrests were made, the sources said.
Police are also keeping a strict watch on those trying to cash-in on the high craze among the fans to watch the semis after news of black marketing of tickets emerged.

Allegations are ripe that tickets priced at Rs 250 have rised to Rs 3,000 while Rs 1,000 priced tickets have been selling for Rs 10,000 in the black market. 

Meanwhile,the cricketing fraternity, including  players who could not make it to the World Cup squad,  extended its best wishes to the Indian team ahead of their high-voltage clash with Pakistan.
Wicket-keeper batsman Parthiv Patel, who was in the Indian squad for the 2003 World Cup in South Africa, said he wished India beat Pakistan in the semi-final and Sachin Tendulkar hits his 100th ton too.

"The way India is playing I think they will win. I wish he (Sachin) will get his 100th hundred against Pakistan and we win. Winning is more important. And nothing like it if Sachin scores a ton," said wicket-keeper batsman Parthiv Patel, who was in the Indian squad for the 2003 World Cup in South Africa.

"India-Pakistan World Cup match is a big game. Both teams will try hard. The team that plays well on that day will win," he told reporters on the sidelines of a promotional event `Bleed Blue` by Nike.
Recalling the 2003 game against Pakistan at Centurion, he said, "It was eight years back, Team India was strong then and is strong now too. It was a fantastic atmosphere, and I expect it would be better in Mohali."
Hoping for India`s win and Tendulkar`s 100th ton, left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha said that the World Cup was definitely within the reach of the team.

"Its a great opportunity. Everyone right from a child to an adult is waiting to see Sachin`s 100th hundred, especially against Pakistan. I pray for that. We should make Pakistan bleed," Ojha said.
Right-arm fast bowler Praveen Kumar, who missed the World Cup bus due to injury and was replaced by S Sreesanth, said he will pray for the team`s win.

"Hopefully, we will do well. Want to support the team. We will pray. I hope Sachin completes his 100th century in this match," the pacer said.
Another Pacer Dhawal Kulkarni said the India-Pakistan match would be a thrilling game and hoped that the batting maestro complete his 100th ton in either the semi-final or in the final.
( With inputs from PTI)