Monday, April 4, 2011

Assam goes to first phase polls on Monday

Guwahati, Apr 3: The polling process to elect the newAssam Assembly begins Monday when voting for 62constituencies will taken place in the first phase.

Polling for the 126 seat Assembly is being held in two phases, with the second phase slated on April 11 for remaining 64 constituencies.

The ruling Congress will be aiming to complete its hat-trick at the power seat in Dispur, while the principle Opposition Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), which had served two terms at Dispur, will seek to reverse its poll fortunes.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), though left with just six MLAs in the outgoing House after four were expelled for cross-voting, is going all-out to capture more seats and have a stake at the government formation.

The All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), which won 10 seats in last Assembly elections, is another major player.

The Left parties and smaller regional parties, including ruling alliance partner Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) are key factors, who are busy trying to increase their electoral success as well as hunt prospective allies for government formation.

The fate of 485 candidates will be decided by 85,09,010 voters in the first phase, while 96,78,720 voters will seal the fate of 496 candidates in the second phase.

Among the first phase candidates, there are 38 female, 32 Scheduled Caste (SC) and 65 Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates.

The second phase will feature 47 female candidates and 47 and 72 candidates belonging to SC and ST communities respectively.

As many as 11,264 polling stations will be set up for first phase, of which 2094 have been marked as hyper-sensitive and 2985 as sensitive.

For the second phase, 12,589 polling stations will be set up, of which 2033 have been identified as hyper-sensitive and 4175 as sensitive.

Counting of votes will be done on May 13.

Cash for votes rains in Tamil Nadu, Rs.3.82 mn seized

Chennai, April 3 : It is not only freebies that are raining in Tamil ahead of the April 13 assembly elections, but also cash for votes - and a lot of it.

Giving a glimpse of the money power play in the polls, the Election Commission Sunday said a total of Rs.3.82 million was seized from various political functionaries after a single day's raid Saturday.

Flying squads comprising officials from the EC and Income Tax department have been conducting surprise checks on vehicles and other places to seize the movement of unaccounted money.

According to the EC, over Rs.1.66 million kept in 105 plastic bags was seized from the house of a panchayat chairman belonging to DMK party in Tiruvannamali district, around 185 km from here.

The money bags were kept with acquaintance slips indicating the persons to whom they were to be distributed.

The seized money has been deposited in the government treasury.

The flying squad had a rich haul in Dharmapuri district seizing Rs.1.1 million from an AIADMK functionary and Rs.990,000 from two DMK officials.

In Tirunelvelli a sum of Rs.46,500 were seized from an AIADMK official when he was trying to distribute the money to voters.

According to the EC, a sum of Rs.25,000 was seized from a person while distributing it in Tiruvannamalai town. His party affiliation is being ascertained.

The ruling DMK has been opposing vehicle checks and cash seizures saying that it puts small businessmen and others in difficulty.

Police told to crack down on human trafficking

Hydrabad (India) Sunday, 3 April 2011

Andhra Pradesh tops in human trafficking which in turn is spreading the deadly HIV and the police have to play an active role in checking the trafficking, additional commissioner of police (Traffic) CV Anand has said. He was speaking at the police sensitisation programme on HIV/Aids jointly organised by the state police and the AP State Aids Control Society here yesterday.
He exhorted police officials to curb trafficking in woman with an iron hand and spread awareness among the police personnel as well as the people.
“The Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act (1956) helps us to raid and arrest women, who are involved in running and luring the minors into the flesh trade.
After paying a fine, these women are released and go back to the same trade. We have to coordinate with the media and the health department to provide proper medical assistance to them,’’ Anand said. He called upon the police officials to strictly enforce the Act.
Police personnel and the people should not look down upon or discriminate against persons with HIV-AIDS. He directed the police personnel to take stern action against persons resorting to trafficking in women and organisers of brothel houses. Joint commissioner of police (administration) Mahesh Muralidhar Bhagawat said they have trained as many as 4,800 policemen in the state to prevent human trafficking. He said they would develop core trainers to work on the issue.
Kailashditya, joint director, AP State Aids Control Society, speaking on the occasion said the state also tops in HIV positive cases in the country.


Use brainpower for betterment of humanity, says KSU official

                                  Dr. Azad Moopen speaking at the reception in Riyadh. (AN photo)
RIYADH: The brain is the God’s greatest blessing for man, who is evaluated based on how he utilizes his brain, said Dr. Abdul Hameed Abdul Jabbar, vice president of King Saud University in Riyadh.

He was addressing a reception organized in honor of Dr. Azad Moopen, who received the Padma Shri, one of India’s top civilian awards, for his distinguished services in various fields.

“God has blessed everyone with the ability to think and there are people using it positively and negatively. When wise men apply their brainpower negatively, it becomes a catastrophe for humanity. Wealth, health and wisdom are blessings of God. When man uses these blessings creatively and productively for the sake of human wellbeing, life becomes meaningful,” Abdul Jabbar said.

He said Moopen won the covetous award thanks to his activities for the welfare of mankind. “Insha-Allah, he will receive a better award for his humanitarian activities from Allah,” the KSU official said to the applause of a large crowd who attended the reception organized by the Indian community.

“Dr. Moopen has used his wisdom, wealth and health for the betterment of his fellow beings. He deserves this award and more,” he added.
Professor Abdul Hameed of Prince Naif University for Security Sciences who also spoke on the occasion highlighted the strong relationship between Saudi Arabia and India since time immemorial. He urged the audience to be grateful to God for His various blessings such as health, offspring and wealth. “We have to remember these blessings throughout our life,” he said and invited Dr. Moopen to visit his house.

M.C. Sebastian, principal of Al-Yasmin International School, presided over the function. Ubaid Edavanna introduced Moopen. Mohammed Ali Mundodan presented a memento to Moopen on behalf of the Indian community.

T.P. Mohammed, Mehroof, Shanavas and K.U. Iqbal delivered felicitation speeches. Organizations such as KMCC, BRC, MES, MSS, Riyadh-Indian Media Forum, Navodaya, Prathyasha, NRK Forum, Al-Huda School, Friends Creations also presented mementos to Moopen, who expressed his thanks for the warm reception. Jaleel Mattool welcomed the guests and Abdul Gafoor gave a vote of thanks. Aamirwas the anchor.


Two men feeding on dead bodies arrested in Punjab

Police also seized coffins and parts of other corpses from the home of the accused. – File Photo

LAHORE: Police on Sunday have arrested two corpse-eaters from the Darya Khan area of Bhakkar, Punjab.

The arrested men claimed that they have been feeding on dead bodies of humans since the past 10 years.

According to details, a 24-year-old girl, Saira of Kahawarh Kallan died last night and was buried in a graveyard nearby. When Saira’s relatives went to her grave to offer prayers, they found the grave opened and realised that the body was not there anymore. They reported the matter to the police.

The police immediately tried to trace the responsible by studying and following the footprints left near the grave and arrested Arif and Farman. Police also seized coffins and parts of other corpses from their home.

The arrested men admitted that they had been eating the flesh of dead humans and dogs since a decade. 3 :8:34 PM(PST)


Vijai P. Sharma, Ph.D

Most of us express dissatisfaction with our memory, especially when we want to recall some detail and we can't. Some examples are, an address or a telephone number, the time of a meeting, somebody's name, etc. Even people who I think have an excellent memory, complain that they forget things. In their case, perhaps their mind refuses to be cluttered with a detail which doesn't seem important to them at the time. Later, for some reason, they want to contact that person, and they can't recall the name or other details of that person.

Memory works like a bank. You can get to it, only if you put it there. If you didn't deposit it, you can't collect it when you need it.
A lot of people insist, "My memory is terrible, or "I can't remember anything." In most of the cases, their memory is fine. The power to remember is certainly there. They just need to take the time to learn ways to "register" the events more clearly, so they can 'recall" them more successfully, later.

In this article, I will briefly describe what we need to do to improve our memory and in later articles, I will write in more detail about them.

l. Positive expectation. Believe that you have a good memory. If you believe you have a poor memory and you can't remember anything, your mind will do everything to prove you right. It is better to think that your memory is basically good. When you learn better memory techniques, you will have a better memory. The reason that someone you know has a better memory is that he or she, knowingly or automatically, is using better memory techniques.

2. Interest and importance: Recall of a particular event or detail depends on the interest we take and the importance we assign to that detail or event, at the time when it is taking place. We remember so much more about people, places, and topics which fascinate us. When you are greatly interested in a subject, you pay close attention and your brain releases chemicals to form deeper "imprints" on the cells that store memory. Those can literally become "long lasting impressions. "

3. Pay attention: If you want to recall something, pay close attention to it at the time. The problem may not be memory, the problem may be one of attention. People who have a good memory, pay close attention to events as they happen. Also, you may well know that the level of interest and importance we assign to a person or an event, determines how much attention we are going to pay it at the particular time it is occurring.

4. Memory is an active process. The more active attention you pay, the more details you observe, the more you think, reason, and comprehend, the more associations you make of what you know with what you are trying to learn, the more you will retain and be able to recall, later on. Good memory is a state of the active mind.

5. A relaxed mind helps memory: Learn with a relaxed mind. Recall the learned material with a relaxed mind. Let's take as an example a situation where you misplace your car keys. If you get too agitated with yourself in trying to recall something, as is the case in this example, you are in for frustration. But, if you relax your mind, and calmly go through the events backward, you are more likely to remember where you left them.

6. Reduce anxiety. While mild anxiety can increase interest and attention, high anxiety can impair attention and concentration, and therefore, limit the recall of learned material. That is why, if we are too anxious during a test, we forget what we earlier knew very well. Actually, your memory is okay but anxiety is interfering with it. Management of test anxiety has helped many students in their test performance.

7. Monitor depression. Depression can impair the interest and joy in the events 
surroundings us. As a result, too little energy is left to recall anything. Some depressed persons become more anxious and depressed thinking, "I have lost my mind. " Once depression is treated, memory as a general rule, returns to the normal.

8. Use your favorite sensory channel. Some remember better what they see, "visual memory, " and some remember better what they hear, "auditory memory. " If you are someone who remembers better what you hear, then listen to a book on tape, rather than reading it. For other material, tape what you want to learn, and then listen to it for better recall.


Tepco dumps concrete to plug radiation leak at No. 2

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sea contamination traced to cracked storage pit connected to reactor

Staff writers
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Saturday that a cracked storage pit at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant was the source of a radioactive water leak contaminating the ocean and that it is attempting to fill it with concrete.
News photo
Holed up: A worker at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant points to a cracked storage pit from which highly radioactive water was found leaking Saturday. KYODO PHOTO
According to the utility and the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, the square, concrete-covered pit is situated near an intake used to pump seawater into reactor No. 2.
Although the pit is small, it contains highly contaminated water with a radioactivity exceeding 1,000 millisieverts per hour that is leaking into the ocean from a 20-cm crack, Tepco said.
The pit, which is 1.2 meters x 1.9 meters and 2 meters deep, is usually used to store cables. But it is also connected directly to the reactor building through a cable trench, raising the possibility that the source of the contaminated water is the reactor itself, a NISA official said.
The cable trench is different from the pipe trench at No. 2, where water with the same level of radioactivity was discovered Monday. Although the two trenches are connected, no water has been found in the cable trench because it is at a higher elevation, the official said.
How much water has leaked and for how long were not known as of Saturday afternoon.
NISA spokesman Hidehiko Nishiyama said Tepco has been told to make sure there are no other leaks near reactor No. 2 and to strengthen is monitoring of seawater.
Earlier Saturday, NISA said seawater tested near the power plant contained nearly twice the legal limit for radioactive iodine but presented no "immediate" health risk.
According to a March 30 sample taken by the technology ministry, seawater tested about 40 km south of the plant contained 79.4 becquerels per liter of iodine-131, compared with the legal limit of 40 becquerels per liter.
This number shows that the highly contaminated water apparently draining from the plant has spread.
Nevertheless, Nishiyama said the radioactive material has dispersed and gave more assurances that it was not an "immediate" danger to the public.

News photo
"As for the high-level number, it is our understanding the water rode the tide toward the south," Nishiyama said. "We don't think there are any risks even if people eat the fish . . . but we will continue to observe the situation carefully."
Despite his assurances, however, he didn't provide estimates on radioactivity levels that actually would affect human health.
Meanwhile, radiation levels in Tokyo and Chiba, Ibaraki and Miyagi prefectures remain elevated, according to daily readings from the technology ministry. NISA said the numbers were on the decline.
In Tokyo, for example, environmental radioactivity was measured at a harmless 0.098 microsieverts per hour on April 1, compared with the capital's average range of 0.028 to 0.079 microsieverts per hour.
"Although the levels are higher than past average numbers, you can see that the numbers are roughly declining," Nishiyama said.
As for Tepco's latest botched readings for contaminated water at the Fukushima plant, Nishiyama said the utility was reviewing all it past data releases to make sure no other mistakes were made.
Tepco has been scrambling since Friday to review past analyses after finding errors in its tellurium calculations.
Courtessy:Japan Times

India set for biggest electoral battle after 2009




Amid corruption sagas that have dented India's ruling coalition, five states go to the polls from Monday in the country's largest electoral exercise in two years that holds the maximum significance for the Congress and the Communists.

Some 150 million people will be eligible to vote in the April-May elections in Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and West Bengal in which the key players are the Congress, the Left, and regional parties such as the Trinamool Congress , DMK, AIADMK and Asom Gana Parishad (AGP).

Most political pundits believe that ruling parties will be voted out in most of the five states. If that does happen, the most significant of changes will take place in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.

Although the Left Front is overtly confident of retaining power, West Bengal watchers believe the six-phase elections in the state are likely to end the over three decades of uninterrupted and enviable Marxist rule.

"After the Bihar election where it was jolted by the scale of its defeat, the Congress is looking for solace," political analyst G.V.L. Narasimha Rao told IANS. "As for the Left, it is now a matter of survival.

Congress spokesman Shakeel Ahmed explained why these elections, although taking place only in five states, are important.

"Assembly results from any state reflect on the national political scene and indicate what the preferences are of the people of those areas and what their priorities are," he said.

The Congress hopes to overcome the divided opposition in Assam to prolong its rule for another five years and retain power in Puducherry. In Kerala, going by the past, the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) has the better chance of dislodging the now ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF).

The Congress, which rules the country and has a stake in all five election-bound states, has its fingers crossed although publicly it voices confidence of a good performance across the board.

The Congress concerns arise from the major corruption scams that have hit the central government in the past year or so.

These include the second generation spectrum allocation scam that has led to the jailing of DMK leader and disgraced former communications minister A. Raja and allegations of corruption involving the Commonwealth Games last year whose public face was veteran Congress leader Suresh Kalmadi.

The other worry for the Congress is inflation -- steep hike in prices of food and other commodities.

"If the Congress scrapes through in this election, it's ok. But if they suffer big reverses, there will be problems," Rao added.

"The Congress would be looking for a sort of breather so that it can argue that all the negativity of recent months is misplaced."

A change of guard in Tamil Nadu would hit hard the ruling DMK, which is embroiled in the spectrum allocation scam, which even Congress loyalists admit has affected the image of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, otherwise still regarded as the "Mr Clean" of Indian politics.

Likely changes in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu would herald two more women chief ministers: actress-turned-politician J. Jayalalithaa, who ruled Tamil Nadu during 1991-96, and the passionately anti-Marxist Mamata Banerjee, who is union railway minister.

The country's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP )) is a player only in Assam. Everywhere else it is a poor also-ran. In Kerala, the party has never won an assembly seat till now.


The biggest of the state assemblies is in West Bengal -- 294 seats. It is followed by Tamil Nadu (234 seats), Kerala (140), Assam (126) and Puducherry (30). 

While Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry will have one day's balloting April 13.


Assam will see two days of polling: April 4 and 11.


West Bengal, which has seen a dramatic surge in political violence, will vote over six days: April 18, 23 and 27 and May 3, 7 and 10. 
Votes will be counted in all five states May 13.


BJP demands Alagiri''s removal from union cabinet

PTI | 03:04 PM,Apr 03,2011

Madurai, Apr 3 (PTI)

BJP has demanded dismissal of Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers M K Alagiri from the union cabinet in the wake of police booking cases against him and some DMK workers on charges of assaulting an election official and a videographer at a village in the district.

 Talking to reporters here last evening, BJP national Secretary P Muralidhar Rao said "democracy is facing a threat in Tamil Nadu with even election officials not being able to discharge their duties".

"If Alagiri is not removed from the ministry, his status as Union Minister will provide immunity to him in the cases", Rao said. Alagiri, son of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, along with 52 other partymen were booked by police yesterday in connection with alleged assault at Keelavalavu village in Melur assembly segment.

 Tahsildar M Kalimuthu, who is the Assistant Returning Officer for Melur Assembly segment, and a videographer, part of a flying squad, were allegedly assaulted by DMK activists when they videographed Alagiri's visit to a temple in Melur.

 A case was registered against Alagiri and others on a complaint from the Tahsildhar for offences under the IPC including unlawful assembly, waylaying and assaulting government servant and violating prohibitory orders.

Rao alleged that Congress and DMK have "realised" that they would not be able to win the Apil 13 assembly polls without paying money to public. "Now they are dependenting on money than people as they knew they are fighting a losing battle.That is why they are intimidating the officials", he said. PTI SSN RC



TC, Cong to launch joint election campaign in West Bengal

2011-04-03 19:10:00
Last Updated: 2011-04-03 19:18:56


Trinamool Congress and Congress will launch a joint campaign for the coming West Bengal Assembly polls with Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spearheading the attack against the ruling Left Front.

The decision was taken on Sunday at a meeting between Trinamool Congress Chief Mamata Banerjee and Union Finance Minister and senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee at his residence here before he left for North Bengal for electioneering.
After the 30-minute meeting, Banerjee told reporters that both the alliance partners agreed to hold the joint election campaign.

"Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will launch the joint campaign in North Bengal, which figures in the first round of the six-phase polls in the state," she said.

Banerjee said she planned to begin her campaign in North Bengal on April 12 or 13. 54 constituencies in North Bengal will go to polls on April 18.
She said the two allies would urge the Election Commission to allow them use of microphones for campaign from April 9. The loudspeakers were banned in view of various examinations.

Banerjee claimed that acting on her request to the Finance Minister to waive or reduce the 10 per cent excise duty on branded clothing and hosieries announced in the Union Budget, Mukherjee had agreed to do something positive in the interest of people involved in the sector.

"So people involved in this sector have nothing to worry now. Pranabda has promised to do the best for them," she said.

Courtesy:Sify News

Annadurai's Son Contesting As An Independent

2011-04-03 16:50:00
Last Updated: 2011-04-03 182:21

                                         FIRST CHIEF MINISTER OF TAMIL NADU DMK C.N.ANNA DURAI

It is his dream of 40 years that C.N.A. Gouthaman, one of the four adopted sons of DMK founder and chief minister of Tamil Nadu late C.N. Annadurai, is now realising in 2011 - to contest in Tamil Nadu assembly elections.

Staying away from politics all these years, 64-year-old Gouthaman is now contesting as an independent from Anna Nagar constituency here with the ceiling fan symbol.
When queried that he could have entered politics earlier as Annadurai died in 1969, Gouthaman told IANS: 'I am a book publisher. I publish only those books penned by my father. My father didn't encourage us getting into politics and we stayed away all these years. I also did not approach any political party for a seat.'

'But it was my dream of 40 years to contest in the Tamil Nadu assembly elections,' he said.
He said he was in Bangalore for a long time as his late wife Thulasi hailed from there and came back here in 1980s.

According to Gouthaman, the AIADMK in 1970s and the DMK in 1980s had offered his elder brother Parimalan a Lok Sabha seat to contest which was politely declined.
Two years back Parimalan, a doctor, committed suicide as he was suffering from heart ailment.

A Bachelor of Arts graduate from Madras University, Gouthaman studied in Pachaiyappan College where Annadurai also had studied.

According to the affidavit filed by Gouthaman with the Election Commission, he owns cash of Rs.75,000, a house here with a market value of Rs.8 million.

The upmarket Anna Nagar constituency is currently held by DMK's senior leader Arcot N. Veerasamy. However, the DMK has allotted the seat to the Congress which has fielded V.K. Arivazhagan. The AIADMK is fielding Gokula Indira, a former MP.
A total of 20 candidates are in the fray from the constituency to enter the 234-member Tamil Nadu assembly.

On his campaign strategy Gouthaman said: 'I do only door to door canvassing. People know me as I am a resident of this constituency for a long time.'
As he did not have a child of his own Annadurai adopted his sister's four grandsons -- Parimalan, Ilangovan, Rajendran and Gouthaman.

Courtesy:Sify News