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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Number of rebel fighters killed in Aleppo

Syrian forces have kept up a day-long ground and air attack against rebels in parts of the city of Aleppo.
The BBC's Ian Pannell, who is in Aleppo, has seen skirmishes, with a number of rebel fighters killed.
Rebels with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) say they have repelled an army incursion and destroyed tanks, but there is no independent verification.
Western nations have warned of a potential massacre in Aleppo, Syria's most populous city.
There are also reports of fighting in the western city of Homs, where state media said a number of rebels had been killed, and in the provinces of Hama and Deraa.

U.S.-sanctioned Iranian ships bans in Indian water

In a development that is likely to affect crude oil supplies to the country, India has banned U.S.-sanctioned Iranian ships from entering its waters.
“We were to import four tankers, or cargoes of about90,000 tonnes each, from Iran in July. But we were able to get only one as the cost, insurance and freight (CIF) approval was withdrawn by the government,” Mangalore Refineries and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL) managing director P.P. Upadhya told journalists here on Friday.

Syrian chemical weapons is similar to the false charges trumped up against Iraq

The rhetoric on the dangers posed by Syrian chemical weapons is similar to the false charges trumped up against Iraq in the run-up to the 2003 U.S.-led invasion
For legions of well networked field activists, think tank strategists, intelligence operatives and hands-on diplomats who have been plotting the termination of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad’s regime, Wednesday (July 18) was a day to remember. That fateful day, a powerful bomb — the jury is still out on whether it was triggered by a suicide bomber or planted by an insider — ripped through the interiors of the high-security National Security Bureau in Damascus, where a top secret meeting was under way. The blast decapitated the Syrian security establishment; Defence Minister Dawoud Rajha was killed as was Assef Shawkat, his deputy who was also President Assad’s brother-in-law. The deadly strike also claimed the life of Hassan Turkmani, a former Defence Minister and point man who was steering the fight against the anti-regime revolt. A couple of days later, the badly wounded Hisham Ikhtiyar, National Security Adviser to the President, also succumbed to his injuries.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Cuba's free healthcare

In 1995, Nelson Mandela declared with regard to Cuban international solidarity missions to Africa over past decades:
"Cubans came to our region as doctors, teachers, soldiers, agricultural experts, but never as colonisers. They have shared the same trenches with us in the struggle against colonialism, underdevelopment and apartheid."
The US, of course, had offered a less favourable characterisation of Cuban activities on the African continent, and accused the island nation of exporting revolution. Evidence of diabolical Cuban meddling in the internal affairs of sovereign nations included its substantial assistance in defending newly independent Angola against a US-backed South African invasion that - according to Noam Chomsky - ultimately killed a million and a half people in Angola and Mozambique.
As for more subtly packaged revolutionary exports, the New York Times reported in 2009 that, "[i]n the 50 years since the revolution, Cuba has sent more than 185,000 health professionals on medical missions to at least 103 countries".

Turky and Soudi Arabiya set up a base to aid Syria Rebels

Turkey has set up a secret base with allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar to direct vital military and communications aid to Syria's rebels from a city near the border, Gulf sources have told Reuters.
News of the clandestine Middle East-run "nerve centre" working to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad underlines the extent to which Western powers - who played a key role in unseating Muammar Gaddafi in Libya - have avoided military involvement so far in Syria.

$3 billion damages against BP by Siberian court awards

A Siberian court has awarded more than $3 billion in damages against British oil major BP in a suit brought by minority shareholders in its $60 billion Russian venture TNK-BP, the plaintiffs' lawyer said on Friday.
The setback for BP comes as the company continues to talk to potential buyers of its share of TNK-BP. BP formed the 50-50 joint venture with AAR, a consortium representing four Russian tycoons, nearly a decade ago to tap in to the country's vast energy reserves.

BREAKING: US economic growth slows to 1.5 percent annual rate from April-June, consumer spending weakens.

It may be "Last Chance" Option to Greese

European policymakers are working on "last chance" options to bring Greece's debts down and keep it in the euro zone, with the ECB and national central banks looking at taking significant losses on the value of their bond holdings, officials said.
Private creditors have already suffered big writedowns on their Greek bonds under a second bailout for Athens sealed in February, but this was not enough to put the country back on the path to solvency and a further restructuring is on the cards.

Unemployment rate of Spain is 24.6%, A Record High

MADRID — A day after markets registered relief at comments from the European Central Bank president in strong support of the euro, data from Spain showed the fragility of the underlying economy as the region’s debt crisis drags on.
Just over 5.69 million Spaniards ended the second quarter jobless, raising the unemployment rate to a record 24.6 percent, compared with 24.4 percent in the first quarter, according to the latest national employment statistics published Friday.

N.D.Tiwari is father of Rohit-Court

N.D. Tiwari is the biological father of a Delhi-based youth Rohit Shekhar, the Delhi High Court on Friday said while declaring the result of the DNA test of the veteran Congress leader.
Justice Reva Khetrapal declared the result of the DNA test conducted at a Hyderabad-based laboratory in the open court and said as per the report, “Tiwari is reported to be the biological father of Rohit Shekhar and Ujjwala Sharma is reported to be the biological mother.”

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The wife of Bo Xilai charged with murder

The wife of controversial Chinese politician Bo Xilai has been formally charged with murder, the state-run Xinhua news agency said Thursday.
She is Gu Kailai, suspected of killing British businessman Neil Heywood.
Her husband had been one of the country's most prominent politicians until he was sacked as the chief of Chongqing in what has been seen as a political power struggle.
He remains under house arrest and is under investigation for flouting Communist Party discipline.
Chinese authorities announced that the two were arrested earlier this year on suspicion of intentional homicide and had been jailed.

Syrian Army near Aleppo

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Government forces maintained their shelling of key Syrian cities on Thursday, with Aleppo in particular bracing for an anticipated showdown between rebel fighters expanding into more neighborhoods and government military reinforcements who have yet to materialize.

Syrian rebels took up their weapons during a government helicopter attack at the Tecvid Sicco military base north of Aleppo on Wednesday.

59th anniversary of revolution of CUBA

HAVANA (AP) — Cuba marked the 59th anniversary Thursday of the failed uprising against the Moncada military barracks that the island considers the beginning of Fidel Castro's revolution.
The main celebration kicked off at sunrise at a plaza in the eastern province of Guantanamo, home to the U.S. naval base of the same name.
The American presence in Guantanamo is a sore point for Cuba, which demands the base be shut down and accuses the U.S. of torturing terror suspects held in the military prison.

Greece is off track, Spain feel debt heat, Italy in line.

                                                     What happaned of Eurozone

Spain paid the second highest yield on short-term debt since the birth of the euro at an auction on Tuesday, and EU officials said Greece had little hope of meeting the terms of its bailout, casting fresh doubt on its future in the euro zone.
Spain's increasingly desperate struggle to put its finances right has seen its borrowing costs soar to levels that are not manageable indefinitely, reflecting a growing belief that it will need a sovereign bailout the euro zone can barely afford.

Islamophobia within the US government.

In late June, when Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi spouted anti-Semitic comments at a Tehran forum marking International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, his offensive rhetoric was rightfully ridiculed and condemned. Rahimi declared his belief that the Talmud, the central holy scripture of Judaism, "teaches [Jews] how to destroy non-Jews so as to protect an embryo in the womb of a Jewish mother", and also to "destroy everyone who opposes the Jews". Jews, according to Rahimi, "think God has created the world so that all other nations can serve them".

Mormon foreign policy-US

A ‘Mormon foreign policy’ would actually be good for America and great for the world, but it won’t happen
As the world prepares to face another United States presidential election — one in which President Barack Obama is the front-runner but not a shoo-in by a long-shot — governments and analysts across the globe, including in India, must ask themselves what the likely foreign and national security policies of America’s first ‘Mormon’ White House under Mitt Romney might look like.

Gogoi visits Kokrajhar as violence continue

Scattered violence continued for the sixth day today in riot-torn lower Assam districts where one person was killed in police firing while four persons were injured in an attack by a group of persons in Baksa district.
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi arrived in Kokrajhar to review the situation in the riot-affected areas where tension prevailed.
Kokrajhar district Executive Magistrate Bipul Saikia was injured in an attack by unidentified assailants and his vehicle damaged while he was on his way to visit a relief camp in Bhotgaon Kanchipara area of the district.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Analysis of greece Economy and Eurozone Remedy

Greece installed a new government, the country is facing renewed peril. Its official lenders are signaling a growing reluctance to keep paying the bills of the nearly bankrupt nation, even as the government is seeking more leniency on the terms of its multibillion-euro bailout.
Adding to the woes, there is little agreement within either side. The Greek government is itself a motley coalition of conservatives and Socialists, and the leaders of the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank, known as the troika, are increasingly divided among themselves. That is creating even more uncertainty as Greece and the rest of Europe head for yet another showdown, renewing doubts about how long Athens can remain within the euro zone.

Venezuela is withdrawing from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Tuesday the South American nation is withdrawing from a regional human rights court that Latin America's leftist leaders have increasingly criticized as a pawn of Washington.
Allies of Venezuela including Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua have accused the Inter-American Court of Human Rights of improperly weighing in on disputes still being heard in domestic courts and working to undermine leftist governments.
"Venezuela is withdrawing from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, out of dignity, and we accuse them before the world of being unfit to call themselves a human rights group," Chavez said during a military ceremony.

UN confirm that Turkey-Syria border open for refugees

Turkish authorities have told the U.N. refugee agency that its borders with Syria will close to commercial traffic but remain open for Syrian refugees fleeing the conflict, a UNHCR spokeswoman said on Wednesday.
"We've received assurances that it is staying open. The border is closed for all commercial traffic in both directions, that is what we heard from the Turkish government," Sybella Wilkes, spokeswoman of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said.
Earlier, an official from the Turkish Customs and Trade Ministry told Reuters that all Turkey's border gates with Syria are to be closed from Wednesday, in response to worsening security conditions.

Rioters break curfew in Assam

(Reuters) - Rioters and police fought gun battles in India's Assam state overnight, wounding more people in ethnic violence that has killed at least 36 people and forced tens of thousands to flee their razed homes, police said on Wednesday.
The police warned violators would be shot on sight to enforce a curfew as they struggled to contain clashes between Bodo tribespeople and Muslim settlers in the remote northeast of the country, next to Bangladesh.
But the threat appeared to have done little to stem violence in three of the state's districts. Police have complained they are ill-equipped to deal with roving mobs that are armed with guns, machetes, clubs and rocks.
"Nobody is following any curfew," said Sanjeev Kumar Krishna, a police official in Chirang district, which is one of the affected areas.

Pranab Mukherjee sworn-in 13th President Today

Pranab Mukherjee was on Wednesday sworn-in as the country’s 13th President at an impressive ceremony in the packed and historic Central Hall of Parliament.
Chief Justice of India S H Kapadia administered the oath of office to Mr Mukherjee in the presence of Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Union Ministers, Governors and a host of dignitaries.
Mr Mukherjee took the oath of office in the name of God in English to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and the law”.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

US Farmers Benefit from the Drought

The drought of 2012 is etching its name deeper into the history books. According to a report by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), more than 55% of the U.S. is in a state of moderate to extreme drought — the largest swath of the country that's been this dry since 1956. Only 31% of the nation's corn crop is currently rated good or excellent, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) — and that's lower than the 38% rated as poor or very poor. Fears of a shriveled harvest have helped push the price of corn to an all-time high of $8.24 a bushel on the Chicago exchange. In the words of the NCDC report, "crops, pastures and rangeland have deteriorated at a rate rarely seen in the last 18 years."

Cure is worse than the disease-Global Economy

         Take two aspirin and call Bernanke in the morning


The patient’s history includes a seizure in 2007/ 2008 — financial losses, banking problems, a major recession. Liberal injections of taxpayer cash avoided catastrophic multiple organ failure, assisting a modest recovery.

Fed sees action if growth stays sluggish

Federal Reserve officials, impatient with the economy's disappointing performance, are moving closer to taking new actions to spur growth and employment if they don't see evidence soon that activity is picking up. Jon Hilsenrath has details on The News Hub.

JPMorgan pay $100 million to credit card customers

(Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) has agreed to pay $100 million to settle litigation by credit card customers who accused the largest U.S. bank of improperly boosting their minimum payments as a means to generate higher fees.
The class-action settlement resolves a three-year-old case stemming from Chase's decision in late 2008 and 2009 to boost minimum monthly payments for thousands of cardholders to 5 percent of account balances from 2 percent.

Mexican official says that drug trade 'manages' by CIA

Juarez, Mexico - The US Central Intelligence Agency and other international security forces "don't fight drug traffickers", a spokesman for the Chihuahua state government in northern Mexico has told Al Jazeera, instead "they try to manage the drug trade".
Allegations about official complicity in the drug business are nothing new when they come from activists, professors, campaigners or even former officials. However, an official spokesman for the authorities in one of Mexico's most violent states - one which directly borders Texas - going on the record with such accusations is unique.
"It's like pest control companies, they only control," Guillermo Terrazas Villanueva, the Chihuahua spokesman, told Al Jazeera last month at his office in Juarez. "If you finish off the pests, you are out of a job. If they finish the drug business, they finish their jobs."

“Bhopal Special Olympics” by Gas tragedy victims

Even as the world prepares to witness the spectacle of the London Olympics starting Friday, victims and survivors of the Bhopal gas tragedy have decided to pre-empt the organisers of the London Olympics by holding the “Bhopal Special Olympics” in Bhopal on Thursday.
Five survivor organizations, led by the Bhopal Group for Information and Action (BGIA), will be jointly organizing “Bhopal Special Olympics” on July 26, a day ahead of the London Olympics to oppose sponsorship of the Olympic Games by Dow Chemical-the current owner of Union Carbide Corporation-which “continues to evade civil, criminal and environmental liabilities of Bhopal inherited from Union Carbide”.

Rich exploit legal loopholes in the global economy.

A couple of weeks ago traders in Barclays Bank were reported as having deliberately lied about fixing Libor interest rates to maximise their own profits on currency dealings.

One week later HSBC, one of the world's biggest banks, apologised for allowing drug gangs to launder billions of dollars.
"One [option] is to tackle the source [such as getting] banks to reveal the names of their offshore clients. The second is to make intermediaries, the financial service providers, accounting firms, legal firms and banks, liable. The third is to act against the tax havens."
- Sony Kapoor, the managing director of Re-Define
A new report has now revealed that some of the world's richest people have more than $30 trillion stashed in offshore tax havens.

People should be ready for hike in diesel, LPG prices

   New Delhi, Jul 24 : Close on the heels of a 70 paise per litre hike in petrol prices, the Oil Ministry is pushing for an increase in diesel and domestic cooking gas LPG prices, even though it is unsure of political support for the unpopular move with the ruling UPA alliance.
     "The most important reform is not allowing FDI in retail, but cutting subsidies on diesel, LPG and kerosene," a top Oil Ministry official said here.
     "There is absolute consensus that prices of diesel, LPG and even kerosene have to be raised. But when and how is uncertain," the official said.

Politics in Higher Education

The International Milieu

The value of education for exploitative relations under industrial capitalism has been understood for some time. The need for state intervention in education to further the interests of capitalism has been recognized since the nineteenth century.

Another development is the declining profitability of Capital – the crisis of capital accumulation. This crisis has resulted in intensification of competition between Capitals, between national and between transnational Capitals and corporations. This crisis of capital accumulation, as predicted by Marx and Engels (1848) has led to the intensification of the extraction of surplus value, the progressing global immiseration of workers, and the intensification of control of populations by the ideological and repressive state apparatuses identified and analyzed by Althusser.

India Ranked 103/141 in child development index

India fares badly in child development index
India has slipped by 12 ranks in the global grading on the child development index, denoting health, education and nutrition, between 1995 and 2010.
Japan is the best place in the world to be a child while Somalia is the worst, a latest report has suggested.
The Child Development Index report released by Save the Children makes an aggregate analysis of the Child Development Index in three time periods – 1995-1999, 2000-2004 and 2005-2010 of 141 countries.

If Basar removed, syria will be next Afgan-Putin

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin warned of endless Afghan-type civil war in Syria if President Bashar al-Assad is removed “unconstitutionally”.
“We fear that if the country’s current leadership is removed from power by unconstitutional methods, the opposition and today's leadership could simply swap their places – the former become the leadership, the latter become the opposition. The civil war will then drag on for who knows how long,” Mr Putin said.

Monday, July 23, 2012

European double standards on human rights

Early on the morning of December 18, 1995, residents of Khatanga, a small West Bengal hamlet, finally summoned the courage to step out of their homes and examine the strange gifts that had dropped from the skies through the night. Boxes were scattered across the fields, witnesses told investigators, enveloped in giant pieces of cloth later identified as parachutes. Local residents had helped themselves to the arsenal, but police eventually located over 150 assault rifles, rocket launchers, grenades, anti-tank rockets and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

Dow taking cue from strong sell-off in Europe

NEW YORK — Fear over European debt surged Monday and drove stocks sharply lower around the world. The Dow Jones industrial average plunged almost more than 200 points before recovering after an hour of trading.
The price of crude oil dropped more than $3 per barrel to below $90, and yields for U.S. government bonds sank to record lows, a sign that traders were seeking the safety of American debt.

Won’t Use Chemical Weapons -Syria

Syria’s government said its chemical weapons are secure under the army’s control and won’t be used against insurgents.
Unconventional weapons would only be used in the event of “external aggression,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said at a press conference shown on state-run television today. “All the stocks of these weapons that the Syrian Arab Republic possesses are monitored and guarded by the Syrian army.”

Violence in Assam-19 killed and Thousands flee

(Reuters) - Thousands of people have fled their homes in India's northeastern Assam state after fighting between indigenous tribes and Muslim settlers killed at least 19 people, wounded many more, and left villages in flames, police said on Monday.
Police were forced to fire warning shots to disperse armed groups that were moving between jungle hamlets on Monday, setting fire to bamboo houses, police and aid workers in the area told Reuters. Soldiers and federal paramilitary forces were patrolling remote districts.

Don’t blame Manmohan Singh to paralyse the Govt.

Indians have been wondering whom to blame for the paralysis that has afflicted their government for the last two years. Time magazine’s cover picture of Manmohan Singh, captioned “The Underachiever”, seems to have made up their minds for them. But granted that Dr. Singh is not a natural leader can one ever, justifiably, pin the blame for the collapse of an entire governmental system on a single person?
In Dr. Singh’s case we need to look all the harder for other explanations because he is the same person who piloted a painless transition from a command to a market economy and, a decade later, brokered the coalition with Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s People’s Democratic Party — in the teeth of opposition from the Indian intelligence agencies — that gave the Kashmiris the first government they felt they could call their own. This began the marginalisation of militant separatism in the Valley.

Captain Lakshmi Sahgal--A fighter for Freedom and Human Dignity

“The fight will go on,” said Captain Lakshmi Sehgal one day in 2006, sitting in her crowded Kanpur clinic where, at 92, she still saw patients every morning. She was speaking on camera to Singeli Agnew, a young filmmaker from the Graduate School of Journalism, Berkeley, who was making a documentary on her life.
Each stage of the life of this extraordinary Indian represented a new stage of her political evolution – as a young medical student drawn to the freedom struggle; as the leader of the all-woman Rani of Jhansi regiment of the Indian National Army; as a doctor, immediately after Independence, who restarted her medical practice in Kanpur amongst refugees and the most marginalised sections of society; and finally, in post-Independence India, her life as a member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA), years that saw her in campaigns for political, economic and social justice.
“Freedom comes in three forms,” the diminutive doctor goes on to say on camera in her unadorned and direct manner. “The first is political emancipation from the conqueror, the second is economic [emancipation] and the third is social… India has only achieved the first.”
With Captain Lakshmi’s passing, India has lost an indefatigable fighter for the emancipations of which she spoke.
First rebellion
Lakshmi Sehgal was born Lakshmi Swaminadhan

Haj pilgrims quota reduces by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Monday reduced the government’s discretionary quota seats for Haj pilgrims to 300 from the 5,050 seats.
A bench of justices, Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai, limited the number of seats to be allocated under the discretionary quota by the President to 100, Vice President to 75, Prime Minister to 75 and the External Affairs Minister to 50.
The bench said 200 seats would be reserved for the Haj Committee of India (HCI).
The court was informed that 11,000 seats have been reserved under government quota to be allocated for Haj 2012.