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We talked with Palash Biswas, an editor for Indian Express in Kolkata today also. He urged that there must a transnational disaster management mechanism to avert such scale disaster in the Himalayas.




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Friday, May 29, 2009

AWACS ALERT: GODDESS HATRED INVOKED to Boost Blind Nationalism as APARTHEID Anti India VIOLENCE Extends from VIENNA to Sidney to JUSTIFY ARMS Shopping and HUNDRED Days ILLUMINATI Action Plan for Mass Destruction in the Geopolitics. Marxists Must Stan

AWACS ALERT: GODDESS HATRED INVOKED to Boost Blind Nationalism as APARTHEID Anti India VIOLENCE Extends from VIENNA to Sidney to JUSTIFY ARMS Shopping and HUNDRED Days ILLUMINATI Action Plan for Mass Destruction in the Geopolitics. Marxists Must Stand united Behind PRKASH Karat as the TRADE UNIONS Have to be MOBILISED for RESISTANCE and SUSTENANCE! DU says no to admission of OBC students centrally!

Troubled Galaxy Destroyed Dreams,Chapter 242



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Karat asks Pinarayi to redraft report

Economic Times - ‎May 26, 2009‎
NEW DELHI: CPM general secretary Prakash Karat, who in the eye of a storm over the Left's electoral debacle, has asked the Kerala state unit not to point ...

No question of Prakash Karat resigning: CPM

Times of India - ‎May 18, 2009‎
NEW DELHI: The CPM on Monday stated there was no question of its general secretary Prakash Karat resigning from his post over the party's debacle in the Lok ...

Poll debacle: Karat cites BJP factor, sterile Third Front

Express Buzz - ‎May 24, 2009‎
... of the Third Front have been cited by CPM general secretary Prakash Karat as the prime reasons for the poll debacle suffered by the Left parties. ...
Third Front a mistake: Yechury Chandigarh Tribune

Prakash Karat writes off Third Front

Daily News & Analysis - ‎May 21, 2009‎
CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat, who spearheaded the efforts to forge the Third Front, said his party and the CPI had an electoral understanding with ...
Karat's chum in line of fire Calcutta Telegraph

How Karat nuked his party

Hindustan Times - ‎May 16, 2009‎
For, as 61-year-old Prakash Karat has failed miserably in his first major political test, he will have to do a lot of explaining on the fall of the Left's ...

Democracy works

The Statesman - ‎12 hours ago‎
The root cause of the precipitous decline of the CPI(M) was its general secretary, Prakash Karat's pursuit of the Third Front chimera, whose defining ...

Karat tells Congress who's the boss

Times of India - ‎May 10, 2009‎
NEW DELHI: CPM general secretary Prakash Karat has told Congress that it will have to deal with a combination of 10-11 parties which along with Left will ...

Onus on VS but Karat ensures rap for Pinarayi

Indian Express - ‎12 hours ago‎
During the discussions, party general secretary Prakash Karat pulled up both Achuthanandan and state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan. ...

Reality bites Prakash Karat

Express Buzz - ‎May 10, 2009‎
Prakash Karat's comment that he will reassess his party's options after the results are declared means that he has understood the limitations of excessive ...

Left ready for Cong-led minority govt: Prakash Karat

Economic Times - ‎May 13, 2009‎
... concluded on Wednesday amid predictions of a hung verdict on May 16, CPM general secretary Prakash Karat has made clear the Left's post-poll strategy. ...

The selection and placement of stories on this page were determined automatically by

CPI(M) State panel begins poll review

Hindu - ‎May 26, 2009‎
Those who took part in the discussion on the election review report presented by CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan are understood to have been ...

Third Front cannot be a cut and paste arrangement, says CPI(M)

Hindu - ‎May 21, 2009‎
"The CPI (M) had all along, in the Political Resolutions of successive Party Congresses articulated the need for the creation of a third political ...

CPI(M) reviews election debacle

Hindu - ‎May 24, 2009‎
The next Assembly elections are due in two years when the CPI(M) along with its Left partners will be up against a Trinamool Congress-led Opposition whose ...

Provide aid to cyclone-hit West Bengal: CPI-M urges Delhi - ‎May 26, 2009‎
New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Tuesday asked the central government to urgently provide all necessary assistance to ...

Trinamool wants CPI-M out of Bengal, says party MP - ‎May 21, 2009‎
Talking to the media, Trivedi made it clear that his party is not indulging in any kind of bargaining and says that the party just wants the CPI-M out of ...
How it came about The Statesman

A Raja retains IT and Telecom Ministry

CIOL - ‎4 hours ago‎
Many political parties, including the CPIM and BJP, had lashed out at the Government saying that the manner in which the 2G spectrum was allocated by the ...

Kerala CPM admits to organisational lapses for debacle

Zee News - ‎16 hours ago‎
Thiruvananthapuram, May 28: Introspecting its debacle in Lok Sabha polls, CPI-M in Kerala on Thursday admitted that lack of unity in the party and ...

Sadanand Menon: What 'reality' did the Left lose touch with?

Business Standard - ‎14 hours ago‎
From the tone of the inner party stock-taking going on in the CPI(M), in Kolkata, Delhi and Thiruvananthapuram; and the preambles to the forthcoming June 6 ...

CPI-M supporter beaten up in Nandigram

Indopia - ‎May 25, 2009‎
A CPI-M supporter was severely beaten up allegedly by Trinamool Congress activists in a dispute at Satengabari in Nandigram, police said today. ...

CPI-M, Cong yet to announce candidates for ward 11 by-poll

The Statesman - ‎May 21, 2009‎
MALDA, 21 MAY: After the debacle of losing two Malda Lok Sabha seats, the CPI-M will contest against the Congress again in a by-poll of ward no 11 in ...

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next

Indian Air Force inducts its first AWACS

Times of India - ‎May 27, 2009‎
The AWACS, constituting the number 50 squadron, will be based in Agra. With the induction of the AWACS, India has joined a club of only six other nations ...

India in talks to buy three more AWACS planes from IAI

Ha'aretz - ‎May 23, 2009‎
The news comes just days before the expected delivery of the first of three Phalcon AWACS that India ordered in 2004 for $1.1 billion, the official said. ...

AWACS by Oct: PAF : Pakistan will not be intimidated, says Gen Kayani

Daily Times - ‎9 hours ago‎
The air chief said acquisition of spying satellite and AWACS by India had created an "imbalance in the power" in the region, in response to which, ...

Pakistan to get Air Warning system by October this year: PAF Chief

Associated Press of Pakistan - ‎17 hours ago‎
... and Engineering Branch at Rislapur Academy, Air Chief said that acquiring of spying satellite and AWACS by India has imbalanced the power in the region. ...

Indian defense minister urges attainment of self reliance in ...

Xinhua - ‎22 hours ago‎
The 1.1 billion US dollar AWACS deal with Israel was signed in 2004 and the first of the three systems was delivered this week after several delays. ...

Armed forces need modernisation: Antony

Business Standard - ‎May 25, 2009‎
Antony's very first day in office was marked by India receiving the state-of-the-art AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) platform from Israel. ...

India recieves 1st Awacs plane

Straits Times - ‎May 25, 2009‎
NEW DELHI - INDIA on Monday took delivery of its first Airborne Warning and Control System (Awacs) plane, as part of a deal with Israel worth more than US$1 ...

India to receive first Phalcon AWACS on May 24

Press Trust of India - ‎May 20, 2009‎
The AWACS will provide India means to track incoming missiles and look deep into the neighbouring countries under all weather conditions. ...

Kundi says military operations in Swat region was imperative

Associated Press of Pakistan - ‎5 hours ago‎
NEW DELHI, May 28 APP: Not satisfied with the performance of Russian IL-76 aircraft on which Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) is fitted, India is ...

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  1. SuperMan Returns: In The Works-Features- The Economic Times

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UPA 2.0: The economic challenges

UTVi - ‎May 24, 2009‎
The buzz is that the government's 100 day plan could include a vast array of steps and since the budget will fall within that time zone a lot could be ...

After the Elections: What's Next on India's Economic Agenda?

Knowledge@Wharton - ‎May 21, 2009‎
In insurance, much was expected of the UPA government after it threw off the yoke of Left support in the wake of the Indo-US nuclear deal. ...

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Programmes started by Arjun will not be scrapped, says Sibal

New Delhi, May 29 (PTI) Programmes in the education sector initiated by previous HRD Minister Arjun Singh will not be scrapped, Kapil Sibal today said as he assumed charge as HRD Minister.
After taking over, Sibal said the policies and programmes started by the HRD Ministry during last five years will be continued with modifications "as required".

"Whatever policy has been started or rules and regulations framed by the previous government will not be scrapped. I respect my predecessor, who is a respectable leader of the Congress," he told reporters.

Sibal, however, said changes were required in the education sector to enable the children and youth to compete with their counterparts at the international level.

"Nothing is static. We have to march forward to be able to compete at the international level," he said.

Sibal said changes are required with respect to curriculum at every stages. "Skill development is our priority. Our youth do not get jobs because our curriculum has not been changed. The curriculum of schools and universities should be upgraded," he said.

Even the IITs, which are considered centres of excellence, need to upgrade themselves with the changing times, he added. PTI

Delhi University has turned down the proposal of several colleges to conduct admission of OBC students centrally on the grounds that the relaxed cut offs for the backward classes has to be decided by the institutes individually.

About seven colleges have approached DU Vice Chancellor Deepak Pental, requesting him to start conducting the admissions for OBC students centrally from this year to make the process more smooth.

At present, admissions for SC/ST candidates are being conducted by the university centrally, an arrangement under which the varsity allots students to colleges on 'preference-cum-merit' basis.

But admission of OBC students is conducted by individual colleges on the basis of relaxed cut-off marks.

The colleges have said they asked for the new arrangement as the present system allows duplication of applications.

The university, however, said OBC admissions are being done by the colleges as the Supreme Court guidelines say that the candidates from this category should not be given a discount of more than 10 per cent from the general cut off.

"As the general cut offs are being decided by the colleges individually, the cut offs for the OBC have to be decided accordingly," a DU official said.


Obama to stress on better understanding with Muslim world!

The market mood remained upbeat in afternoon trade spurred by advances in the oil & gas space amid reports that oil price deregulation may be on the cards.

My niece KRISHNA has passed PLUS Two exams from New Delhi. My cousin ARUN called me again and again  as  KRISHNA was insisting to AUSTRALIA for her Higher studies in MARINE Science or OCEANOLOGY. Her Mother JHARNA strongly supported her. ARUN has a residence in PUNJABI AREA JAHANGIRPURA in West Delhi. He is economically sound to send his daughter abroad but he hesitates to break the Cultural barrier!

KRISHNA has been dreaming to study Oceanology since her school days and I am quite AWARE of the DREAMS and Planning of our child. SHE believes that the FUTURE for HUMANITY lies in the DEEP. I endorse her feeling!

But I also do understand the confusion in the mind of my brother.

Krishna is only SEVENTEEN years old and is not Mature enough to cope with Challenges in an alien land.They did not try to groom her at all. She was not aloud to go alone anywhere.Her school was nearby. Arun is not ready to drop the girl into an OCEAN of Uncertainty.

I talked to Krishna on Phone and convinced her for the Mandatory GROOMING!I suggested her to get Admission in JNU or Jamia Milia or Delhi University or Pantnagar for the time being.first she has to groom herself as an INDEPENDENT Personality! We also talked about Apartheid and RACIAL Feelings in AUSTRALIA and elsewhere.

The Girl, luckily, is intelligent enough to be CONVINCED as I advised her not to depend much on Family Connections!

Then the News Broke.First from Vienna and then,from AUSTRALIA.Anti India Apartheid VIOLENCE extends like FIRE!

NUCLEAR ARMAMENT in Pakistan is nothing new.But it is HIGHLIGHTED once again to justify the LONG Shopping List in the Global ARMS Market and the eventual KICKBACKS and Swiss bank Accounts. It also INVOKES Goddess hatred against Pakistan and Muslims in India to CREATE BLIND nationalism.

See the infrastructure of Government of India carefully manufactured to Pursue Mass DESTRUCTION Agenda of tri IBLIS Global Order of Phoenix! SIX Cabinet Ministers to appease the SC communities to break the Bases of Mayawati! Then this hatred campaign to alienate and segregate the Muslims!

Meanwhile , I have Telephonic Talks with Marxist Minister ANIL sarkar and have one to one CONVERSATION with Marxist Leaders and cadres on different level.I have been in touch with friends based in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.I suggested my Social,ECO, human Right Activist Friends to be engaged in GRASS ROOT Level Mass Mobilisation. I told the TRADE UNION Leaders all about the KILLING Plans of the Ruling Hegemony.I talked to Bamcef to change their mode of Social Movement a little bit on the base of PURE AMBEDKARITE Ideology keeping in mind ANNIHILATION Of Caste, Small Holding, Problems of RUPEE and Ambedkars fight to ensure the right to TRADE UNIONS and Right to EDUCATION and Liberation of the Sudra Women!

Then, I suggested my Marxist friends to adjust with delinked with Power politics. Prakash karat has done an EXCELLENT job to save COMMUNIST Movement decoupling it from the RULING Hegemony.Marxists must go back to Ideology and give up CAPITALISM and COLONIALISM!

I know since the Marxists have got all the Trade unions as well as Very Powerful social and Production Organisations,they MUST lead and initiate the RESISTANCE Pending so long against the LPG Mafia. They Must also lead the FIGHT against Globalisation, Disinvestment and DIVESTMENT,Fascism and IMPERIALISM!

We may not succeed to launch any Resistance whatsoever without the INVOLVEMENT of the Marxists who DEVIATED far away from IDEOLOGY and History, Grass Roots and RURAL bases!

Thus, I appeal all Marxists to stand UNITED ROCK SOLID with Comrade PRAKASH Karat!

President Barack Obama wants to give a message that how United States can change to improve its relationship with the majority-Muslim countries and develop better understanding with them when he addresses the Muslim world from Cairo next week.

"I want to use the occasion to deliver a broader message about how the US can change for the better its relationship with the Muslim world," Obama told reporters when asked about his next week's speech aimed towards addressing the Muslim world, a promise he made soon after becoming the President.

That will require, I think, a recognition on both the part of the US as well as many majority-Muslim countries about each other; a better sense of understanding and, I think, the possibilities of achieving common ground, he added.

"I want to emphasize the importance of Muslim- Americans in the US and tremendous contributions they make, something that I think oftentimes is missed in some of these discussions," the US President said.

Earlier, the White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs said a draft of the speech has not been prepared yet.

"We were in meetings about this last night, and I know the President has spent time over the course of the past week with his speechwriters, but a draft has not yet been birthed to the point of - that he's had a chance to look at it," Gibbs said.

India on Friday said the spate of violent attacks targeting its students in Australia should "stop now" and asserted that authorities here should come up with a solution to prevent such incidents from recurring.

Indian High Commissioner Sujata Singh, who met premier of Victoria John Brumby and top police and educational officials of the province, said there is a "racist element in some of the attacks" but many of them were "opportunistic".

"The fact of the matter is that whatever the motive behind the attacks, they seem to be Indian students," she told a crowded press conference in Mumbai.

Observing that the Indian students are seen as "soft targets," Singh said it has been made clear to the Australian government and police that they will have to come up with a solution to prevent such attacks.

"It is my earnest hope that these attacks stop now. And that is precisely what we are all trying to work towards," Singh, who was accompanied by Indian consul general to Melbourne Anita Nair, said.

Australia has recently seen a series of attacks on Indian students, the most serious being the assault of Shravan Kumar, a 25-year-old student from Andhra Pradesh who is battling for life in a hospital here after being stabbed by a screwdriver by a group of teens in a weekend attack that also left three of his friends injured.

Meanwhile,The attacks on Indian students in this Australian city were not racially motivated, an official said Friday, adding "we think they are vulnerable, we don't think it's racial".

Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe said there was no indication that a rise in assaults and robberies against Indian students in Melbourne's west was due to "race hate".

He said there was a perception that Indian people were weak prey for criminals.

"I don't think they are (racist crimes) in general ... more opportunistic activity.

"We think they are vulnerable, we don't think it's racial, we think they are a weak target," Walshe told The Herald Sun.

Walshe said the Footscray Embona Taskforce was working with representatives of Melbourne's Indian community to catch those responsible for the attacks.

Three attacks on Indian students have taken place in quick succession, with the first incident being reported May 9 while the most recent took place Monday.

Sravan Kumar Theerthala, a 25-year-old Indian student who was assaulted Sunday in Melbourne along with three other students, is battling for his life in intensive care unit in a hospital.

Theerthala, who hails from Andhra Pradesh, went to Melbourne to study two years ago.

The attackers allegedly hurled racist abuses at Indian students and hit them with a screwdriver.

Another Indian student Baljinder Singh was robbed and stabbed in Melbourne Monday.

Singh had left a railway station when two men carrying weapons approached him and demanded money. As he searched through his bag to hand over his wallet he was stabbed in the abdomen, Herald Sun reported.

He said: "They just laughed when they stabbed me in the stomach. They laughed at me...I was screaming 'don't kill me, don't kill me'."

Australian police Thursday arrested two teenagers over the beating of yet another Indian student on a Melbourne train.

Sourabh Sharma, 21, was beaten by a group of young men as he travelled on a train May 9, Herald Sun reported.

Sharma suffered a fractured cheek bone and a broken tooth in the attack, which was captured on closed circuit television cameras.

He said he was also racially abused and robbed during the attack.

Internet provided us an Alternative SPACE to RESIST Constant  MisInformation, Brain washing and Mind contro campaign. Ruport Mordoch has already theratened to finish Internet. Resistance BLOGS and Groups are being deleted or thrown out of LISTING!

Now, The Pentagon plans to create a new military command for cyberspace, stepping up preparations by the armed forces to conduct both offensive and defensive computer warfare, a leading U.S. daily reported on Friday.

The military command would complement a civilian effort to be announced by President Barack Obama that would overhaul the way the United States safeguards its computer networks, administration officials said.

Mr. Obama, officials told New York Times, will announce the creation of a White House office — reporting to both the National Security Council (NSA) and the National Economic Council — that will coordinate a multibillion-dollar effort to restrict access to government computers and protect systems that run the stock exchanges, clear global banking transactions and manage the air traffic control system.

White House officials told the paper that Mr. Obama has not yet been formally presented with the Pentagon plan. They said he would not discuss it on Friday when he announces the creation of a White House office responsible for coordinating private-sector and government defences against the thousands of cyberattacks mounted against the U.S. — largely by hackers but sometimes by foreign governments — every day.

But he is expected to sign a classified order in coming weeks that will create the military cybercommand, officials were quoted by the paper as saying.

It is a recognition that the US already has a growing number of computer weapons in its arsenal and must prepare strategies for use — as a deterrent or alongside conventional weapons — in a wide variety of possible future conflicts.

The White House office, said the Times, will be run by a "cyberczar," but because the position will not have direct access to the president, some experts told the paper that it was not high-level enough to end a series of bureaucratic wars that have broken out as billions of dollars have suddenly been allocated to protect against the computer threats.

The main dispute, the Times says, has been over whether the Pentagon or NSA should take the lead in preparing for and fighting cyberbattles. Under one proposal still being debated, parts of the NSA would be integrated into the military command so they could operate jointly.

Officials said that in addition to the unclassified strategy paper to be released by Obama, a classified set of presidential directives is expected to lay out the military's new responsibilities and how it coordinates its mission with that of the NSA, where most of the expertise on digital warfare resides today.

The decision to create a cybercommand, the Times said, is a major step beyond the actions taken by Bush administration, which authorised several computer-based attacks but never resolved the question of how the government would prepare for a new era of warfare fought over digital networks.

Five teenagers held for attacks on Indian students in Australia

Five teenagers have been charged for two separate attacks on Indian students in this Australian city, as an official held the assaults were not racially motivated.

One teenager was charged with attempted murder over the attack with a screwdriver on 25-year-old Sravan Kumar Theerthala who is battling for his life, while four others were charged with brutally beating up Sourabh Sharma, 21, on a train.

"A 17-year-old male from Glenroy was charged with attempted murder after four Indian students were attacked with a screwdriver by gatecrashers at a party in Hadfield, in Melbourne's north, on Saturday night. One of the victims remains in intensive care in hospital," The Age reported on Friday.

An 18-year-old man from Heidelberg West was questioned in relation to the attack but has since been released.

The police have also charged four minors from Melbourne's west over the brutal bashing of Sharma who was going home on a Werribee line train after a shift at KFC, the report said.

The teenagers have been charged with offences including affray, intentionally causing injury, recklessly causing injury and robbery.

However, Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe said there was no indication that a rise in assaults and robberies against Indian students in Melbourne's west was due to "race hate".

He said there was a perception that Indian people were weak prey for criminals.

"I don't think they are (racist crimes) in general ... more opportunistic activity.

"We think they are vulnerable, we don't think it's racial, we think they are a weak target," Walshe told The Herald Sun.

Mr. Walshe said a taskforce was working with representatives of Melbourne's Indian community to catch those responsible for the attacks.

Three attacks on Indian students have taken place in quick succession, with the first incident being reported May 9 while the most recent took place Monday.

Mr. Theerthala, who was assaulted on Sunday in Melbourne along with three other students, is battling for his life in intensive care unit in The Royal Melbourne Hospital.

Mr. Theerthala, who hails from Andhra Pradesh, went to Melbourne to study two years ago.

The attackers allegedly hurled racist abuses at Indian students and hit them with a screwdriver.

Another Indian student Baljinder Singh was robbed and stabbed in Melbourne on Monday.

Mr. Singh had left a railway station when two men carrying weapons approached him and demanded money. As he searched through his bag to hand over his wallet he was stabbed in the abdomen, Herald Sun reported.

He said: "They just laughed when they stabbed me in the stomach. They laughed at me...I was screaming 'don't kill me, don't kill me'." He was released from hospital on Friday.

Australian police on Thursday arrested two teenagers over the beating of yet another Indian student on a Melbourne train.

Sourabh Sharma, was beaten by a group of young men as he travelled on a train May 9.

Mr. Sharma suffered a fractured cheek bone and a broken tooth in the attack, which was captured on closed circuit television cameras.

He said he was also racially abused and robbed during the attack.

India to intensify global trade engagement: Sharma

New Delhi (PTI): India will intensify its global economic engagement in sync with the country's profile and the government will take "every possible step" to give a fillip to the industry, new Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said on Friday.

"We shall see to it that in the global context our economic engagement is intensified as it is expected of a country of India's profile," Mr. Sharma said in his first interaction with reporters after being appointed as the Commerce and Industry Minister.

Mr. Sharma, who was Minister of State for External Affairs in the previous government, said he would benefit from his earlier assignment.

"I will benefit from my earlier experiences, particularly from the External Affairs Ministry," he said adding economic diplomacy was a part of the global engagement.

Mr. Sharma, 56, thanked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi for "reposing trust and confidence in (him)"

He said he was taking a "challenging responsibility".

Mr. Sharma is taking charge of the trade ministry at a time when India's exports have suffered a severe setback due to the global downturn.

Also, the economy is growing at a much slower pace. For 2008-09, the GDP growth dropped to 6.7 per cent against nine per cent in the previous fiscal.

Tharoor takes over as MoS External Affairs

New Delhi (PTI): Shashi Tharoor, who failed to become U.N. chief three years ago, on Friday took charge as Minister of State for External Affairs, a portfolio the former U.N. diplomat says he is very happy to be in.

"I am very happy to be here. This is a ministry that I have had very very good, constructive and positive dealings with for many many years and to be part of this is a real privilege" 53-year-old Tharoor told reporters.

He said India has been occupying an important place in the world and that he will contribute in his own way to further strengthen that "honoured place".

"India's place in the world is of great importance.India is a country which for the longest period of time, since the days of Jawaharlal Nehru, has had an honoured place in the world ...and I wish to make my own contribution for strengthening that very honoured place," he said.

Asked whether he will pursue India's case for a permanent membership in the U.N. Security Council, Tharoor who served as Undersecretary General for Communications and Public Information, said the Government has a very clear policy on the issue.

"There are very clear policies of the Government of India on these issues. I certainly hope to be a good and faithful servant of these policies," he said.

Asian markets gain after jump in Japan production

HONG KONG (AP): Asian stocks were modestly higher after Japanese industrial production jumped at its fastest pace in 56 years, in the latest sign recession was easing in major economies.

But trading was tepid as many investors held back because of doubts about how much longer the aggressive run in world stock markets this spring can last. Among the day's best performers were resource producers like oil firms, lifted by stronger commodity prices.

In Japan, industrial output jumped 5.2 percent in April, the government said, as companies raised production following drastic cutbacks because of the unprecedented drop in demand late last year.

It was evidence that manufacturers in the world's second largest economy are starting to heal amid the country's steepest recession since World War II. Still, a rise in Tokyo's market was capped by other reports showed continuing pain for workers and consumers.

Markets could be directionless for now, analysts say, as a hesitancy among many investors to buy more stocks is offset by the massive liquidity brought on by stimulus spending and rock-bottom interest rates around the world.

``We've had such a good run and stocks don't look cheap at this point anymore,'' said Andrew Orchard, Asian strategist for Royal Bank of Scotland in Hong Kong. ``But I think the liquidity is so strong that any bit of good news can get blown out of proportion and support prices right now.''

The Nikkei 225 stock average gained 43.15 points, or 0.5 percent, to 9,494.54 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 82.04, or 0.5 percent, to 17,967.31.

South Korea's Kospi was up 0.1 percent at 1,393.62. Australia's key index both climbed 1.6 percent.

Financial markets in mainland China and Taiwan were closed Friday for a holiday.

In New York Friday, the Dow rose 103.78, or 1.3 percent, to 8,403.80. The S&P 500 index rose 13.77, or 1.5 percent, to 906.83.

Wall Street was poised to give back some of its gains after U.S. futures declined. Dow futures were down 17 points, or 0.2 percent, at 8,367 and S&P futures were little changed at 905.30.

Oil prices pulled back from a six-month high in Asia, with benchmark crude for July delivery down 16 cents to $65.24 a barrel. The contract rose $1.63 to settle at $65.08 overnight, boosted by a fall in U.S. oil inventories and better economic news.

The dollar fell to 96.50 yen from 96.76 yen. The euro was higher at $1.3988 from $1.3939.

No chemicals hub; no Tata money: Mamata Banerjee

29 May 2009, 0547 hrs IST, Mohua Chatterjee, ET Bureau

NEW DELHI: Her new ministerial responsibilities have not dampened her agitational spirit . Even as new ministers were taking oath on Thursday, a
vintage Mamata told TOI that come hell or high water, she would not allow the proposed chemicals hub to come up in Nayachar in West Bengal.

"We are against the chemical hub. It is an environmental hazard. We have learnt that Dow Chemicals, the company which has been blacklisted for the Bhopal gas tragedy, is also involved in the hub. If they have not got environmental clearance, how can we give clearance," she said, driving another spoke in the state's industrial revival plans.

The fiesty lady who was responsible for the Tatas moving their Nano car project out of West Bengal, also revealed that she had turned down a poll contribution of Rs 27 lakh sent by the Tatas. '' The cheque came from a Tata trust with a letter to my Kolkata office address two days ago. We have returned the cheque and will also write a polite letter in reply," she said.

When asked about this, a Tata spokesman said, '' The money was indeed offered to Mamata Banerjee by the Tata Electoral Trust. Tatas do not distribute money. Based on the criteria laid down in its mandate, the trust offers money to any party that meets the criteria.''

In reply to a question on what she would do about the Singur land where the Nano factory was coming up, Mamata said, "Our stand remains the same - have your factory in the 600 acres and give 400 acres back to farmers." She added, "We are not against industry, we want industry and farmers both to flourish, which is what the Left failed to understand."

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Asked what she would do for her state with her large contingent of ministers, even if they had MoS portfolios, Banerjee said, "once ministries are announced it will have to be seen how much responsibility is given to the junior ministers and accordingly one can work out how much work can be done for the state. We have asked for ministries which can directly serve the people and our agenda is to do the best we can for the people of West Bengal."

"Expectations may be high but the people of Bengal are also extremely aware, they know unless the state government is changed nothing can be done and what we are doing now is only infrastructure building," was her well thought out but prompt reply.

Wipro, TechM, IBM in fray for $300 mn telecom deal

Datacom and Sistema Shyam TeleServices have shortlisted Wipro, Tech Mahindra and IBM for an IT outsourcing contract.

Citigroup to stay with TCS, Wipro, drop Infosys

Infosys could see around $25 million of its annual revenues from Citigroup go to rivals like TCS and Wipro.

Infy eyes $250 mn BP deal as BT revenues shrink

At a time when revenues from its top customer BT are dwindling, Infosys is chasing new contracts worth $100-250 mn from BP.

Infosys seeing good demand in India, Middle East

Infosys Technologies is seeing good outsourcing business opportunities in India and the Middle East, a senior official said, as a global economic downturn crimps spending in developed markets.

Wipro sees Mideast as a main growth area

Areas of growth in the Middle East include telecoms and the banking and government sectors, said Premji.

STPI withdrawal may hit Infosys, Wipro net profit

The SEZ policy of the government provides five-year tax holiday for the IT units, followed by gradual taxation after the fifth year.

Wipro warns of adverse business impact due to WB disclosure

World Bank had made a disclosure nearly four months ago that Wipro was ineligible to work with the international lending institution.

Bharti, Infy, TCS, Wipro among world's top tech cos

The ranking showcases companies that managed to thrive even in the face of a bruising global recession.

Infosys to hire 1,000 people in US

Indian software firm Infosys plans to hire about 1,000 people in the US in the next 12 to 18 months amid a gloomy job market.

Premji takes pay cut, but hike for others in Wipro

Wipro had paid a total remuneration of $3,28,556 to its Chairman in FY-09.

Wipro honchos get big perks; but salaries dip

Commissions and incentives dominate Wipro senior management's paychecks in the just-concluded fiscal - or so it seems.

Each Infosys employee worth Rs 97 lakh!

Infy's total value of human resources including software professionals and support staff is pegged at Rs 1,02,133 cr for FY09.

Infosys to cancel home loan facility

Infosys is planning to withdraw its home loan facility for employees with effect from July 1, according to an internal mail from the company.

TCS bags 5-year IT contract from Volkswagen

TCS will support the group in its business transformation programme to meet its aim to sell more cars, more parts and drive down costs.

Revenue per staff dips for TCS, Infy, Wipro

Revenue per employee for Infy and TCS has taken a sharp plunge to $40,000-odd levels from around $50,000 even an year ago.

Performers get key portfolios as PM tightens grip

29 May 2009, 0115 hrs IST, PR Ramesh, ET Bureau

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday added 59 new ministers — 14 at the Cabinet level, seven ministers of state (MoS) with
independent charge and 38 MoS — after reconciling conflicting interests and aspirations of his party colleagues, his party's need to shore up in vulnerable areas and injecting an element of youthful energy.

The 59 new ministers who took oath of office included three former chief ministers — Vilasrao Deshmukh, Farooq Abdullah and Virbhadra Singh. The PM's grip on economic policy-making was tightened with appointments in key ministries.

The sign of his determination to place people he wanted where he wanted came last week itself when he refused to accommodate DMK ministers in key infrastructure ministries. The DMK had to contend with Cabinet posts in telecom, fertilisers and chemicals and textiles.

His resolve to hand over key infrastructure ministries to proven performers was evident in the appointment of Kamal Nath for the roads and highways portfolio. As is his selection of GK Vasan, son of the late and workmanlike GK Moopanar, for the shipping department.

The appointment of Salman Khursheed as the new corporate affairs minister — a job held in the previous government by the Lalu factotum Prem Gupta — is proof, if indeed it were needed, that with the shackles of allies off, Manmohan Singh now means business. Murli Deora has got an endorsement in petroleum as Mr Singh has asked him to continue, while Assam veteran BK Handique has chosen for mines.

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Anand Sharma, whose elevation as Cabinet minister was no surprise last week, was given the key twin portfolios of commerce and industry. Coming as it does as India prepares for crucial WTO negotiations — a job commendably done by Kamal Nath in the previous regime — it is a reflection of the leadership's implicit faith in Mr Sharma's ability.

After five years of grievance mongering in the HRD, the department is now in the hands of Kapil Sibal, whose outlook is as modern as can be in the current dispensation. Veerappa Moily, though not a minister in the previous government, was among the most sought-after Congress leaders. He is the new law minister.

The selection of experienced Congress leaders for infrastructure ministries is expected to boost Mr Singh's premiership at a time when the country is going through an economic crisis. The government, in any case, has sufficient elbowroom to operate, as it does not have populist allies or the constant carping Left to deal with in this term.

The PM and his finance minister Pranab Mukherjee have already said they will take the measures required to put the economy on the high growth trajectory.

Other stories in this section

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'20,000 Tamils killed during final assault against LTTE'

London (PTI): Over 20,000 trapped Tamil civilians were killed as the Sri Lankan Army launched its final assault to end the country's nearly three decades old civil war with the LTTE guerrillas, a media report said on Friday.

An investigation by The Times newspaper has revealed that the figures of over 20,000 civilians killed in the final stages of the civil war, most as a result of government shelling, is three times the official figure.

Blaming the civilian casualties on the LTTE rebels, authorities in Colombo have insisted that the Army halted the use of heavy weapons on April 27 and observed the no-fire zone where 1,00,000 Tamil men, women and children were sheltering.

However, the report claimed that aerial photographs, official documents, witness accounts and expert testimony present a clear evidence of an atrocity that comes close to matching Srebrenica, Darfur and other massacres of civilians.

It said the Army, without the scrutiny of the world's media and aid organisations which were kept well away from the war zone, launched a fierce barrage that began at the end of April and lasted about three weeks.

Confidential United Nations documents obtained by the British daily record nearly 7,000 civilian deaths in the no-fire zone up to the end of April.

According to sources with the world body, the casualties then surged, with an average of 1,000 civilians killed each day until May 19, the day after Tamil Tigers supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran was killed in fierce fightings, the report said.

The figures concur with the estimate made to The Times by Father Amalraj, a Roman Catholic priest who escaped from the no-fire zone on May 16 and is now among the 2,00,000 other survivors in Manik Farm refugee camp, which is among the largest camp sites hosting internally displaced persons.

It would take the final toll above 20,000.

The report said one photograph shows the destruction of the flimsy refugee camp, with sand mounds showing makeshift burial grounds.

Independent defence experts, who analysed dozens of aerial photographs taken by the paper, said that the arrangement of the Army and rebel barrage positions and the narrowness of the no-fire zone made it unlikely that the LTTE's mortar fire or artillery caused a significant number of deaths.

"It looks more likely that the firing position has been located by the Sri Lankan Army and it has then been targeted with air-burst and ground-impact mortars," Charles Heyman, editor of the magazine Armed Forces of the U.K., was quoted as saying by the British daily.

However, Sri Lanka has rejected these allegations.

"We reject all these allegations. Civilians have not been killed by government shelling at all. If civilians have been killed, then that is because of the actions of the LTTE [rebels] who were shooting and killing people when they tried to escape," said a spokesman for the Sri Lankan High Commission.

The overall scale of relief operation in Sri Lanka remains huge. Last week, the government announced that its military operation against the LTTE had ended.

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U.S. to host next G20 Summit in September

Washington (PTI): The U.S. will host the next G20 Summit on September 24 and 25, in which top world powers, including India, will discuss the ways to ensure a "sound and sustainable recovery" from the global financial crisis.

The third such global summit, to be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, would be attended by leaders of the top 20 economies of the world.

The first G20 meeting was held in November last year, while Britain hosted the second summit in April.

"At the Pittsburgh Summit, (U.S.) President (Barack) Obama will meet with leaders representing 85 per cent of the world's economy, take stock of the progress made since the Washington and London summits, and discuss further actions to assure a sound and sustainable recovery from the global economic and financial crisis," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, told reporters on Thursday.

Pittsburgh has been chosen as the venue of the next summit, Mr. Gibbs said as most of the world leaders would be there in neighboring New York City to attend the annual General Assembly summit of the United Nations.

Further, Mr. Gibbs said, Pittsburg is an area that has seen its share of economic woes in the past, but because of foresight and investment is now renewed, giving birth to renewed industries that are creating the jobs of the future.

"I think the President believes it would be a good place to highlight some of that stuff," he said.

Obama 'confident' on two-state solution

Mr Obama said he was a strong believer in the two-state solution

US President Barack Obama says he is confident that Israel will recognise that a two-state solution is in the best interests of its security.

Speaking after White House talks with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, Mr Obama again urged Israel to freeze settlement expansion.

Israel has insisted it will allow existing settlements to expand, despite pressure from Washington.

President Obama also said Palestinians must rein in anti-Israeli violence.

For his part, Mr Abbas said he was committed to all obligations under the Mid-East peace plan "roadmap".

However, without a halt to Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinians have said there can be no progress towards peace.

'Israel's interests'

Mr Obama said he was a "strong believer in a two-state solution" and believed Israel would recognise that it was in the best interests of its long-term security.

He said it was important for all countries, but particularly Arab states, to be supportive of the two-state solution.

"I am confident that we can move this forward if all parties are ready to meet their obligations," he said.

Construction of settlements began in 1967, shortly after the Six Day War
Some 280,000 Israelis now live in the 121 officially-recognised settlements in the West Bank
A further 190,000 Israelis live in settlements in Palestinian East Jerusalem
The largest West Bank settlement is Ma'ale Adumim, where more than 30,000 people were living in 2005
There are a further 102 unauthorised outposts in the West Bank which are not officially recognised by Israel
The population of West Bank settlements has been growing at a rate of 5-6% since 2001
Source: Peace Now

Mr Abbas said the need for progress in the stalled process was urgent.

He added that "time is of the essence" - a phrase also used by Mr Obama.

He said that he had shared ideas with Mr Obama based on the 2003 peace plan and the 2002 Saudi peace plan supported by the Arab league.

Under the US-backed 2003 roadmap to peace, Israel is obliged to end all settlement activity, specifically including natural growth.

The plan also requires the Palestinian Authority to crack down on militants who seek to attack Israelis.

President Obama said he had been "very clear" in his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week on the need to "stop settlements".

Mr Netanyahu later said no new settlements would be built but natural growth in existing settlements should be allowed.

The BBC's Justin Webb in Washington says Mr Obama's public reiteration of his view - a day after his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had laid it out only to have it shot down by the Israeli government - has raised eyebrows in Washington.

Ahead of his visit to the Middle East next week, Mr Obama has put Mr Netanyahu on notice that this White House has a firm agenda of its own, our correspondent adds.

Stalled talks

The White House meeting between the two leaders is part of an effort by the Obama administration to restart stalled peace talks.

Mr Obama has already met King Abdullah of Jordan and Mr Netanyahu. He plans to meet Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo on 4 June.

Earlier on Thursday, Mrs Clinton said Washington was pushing for a two-state solution in the Middle East as it was in the "best interests" of both the Palestinians and Israelis.

Speaking after a dinner with Mr Abbas, she said: "We believe strongly in a two-state solution."

However, Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said on Thursday that Israel would continue to allow some construction in West Bank settlements despite US calls for a freeze on its work.

He said the fate of the settlements should be decided in peace talks with the Palestinians.

National Post Obama: Halt settlement expansion - 1 hr ago Obama presses Israel, Palestinians on West Bank - 4 hrs ago UPDATE: Obama Meets Abbas; Upgrades Pressure On Israel - 7 hrs ago Obama Meets Palestine President, Pledges Support For Two-State Solution - 7 hrs ago Obama to Israel: Stop settlement expansion - 7 hrs ago

News feeds| News feeds

Pakistan's major cities are braced for further violence in an apparent backlash
to the military offensive in Swat valley [AFP]

Imran Khan, Al Jazeera's reporter in Pakistan, is filing regular dispatches from the country as the army battles Taliban fighters in the North West Frontier Province.

Islamabad, Friday, May 29,  06.41 GMT

After a night that has been described as "tragic" and "desperate", Pakistan wakes once more to the reality of terror.

After four separate attacks, all allegedly linked to the army's action in the Swat valley, one in particular stands out for me. The attack on Khissakhwani Bazaar.

A series of blasts rocked Peshawar on Thursday [AFP]
On May 15, I visited the Bazaar whose name translates as Storytellers Bazaar.

In ancient Peshawar this was the place artists and thinkers would gather and debate long hours into the night. 

It's still as busy as ever and the day I went, I met with Habibullah Zahid. He was running a charity for Pakistan's displaced in the middle of the Bazaar.

At the time of writing, I have not been able to make contact with Habibullah.

I am hoping this has more to do with Pakistan's idiosyncratic telecommunications system rather than any tragic event.

The news of the attacks came in as I was on the road back from covering the bombing in Lahore.

Even for Pakistan, these are trying circumstances. The fears of many about a renewed wave of violence seem to have come true.

What happens next is absolutely crucial.

Al Jazeera is the only news organisation to gain access to the battle in the main town of Mingora.

Shops remain empty with their shutters open, a testament to the haste in which people have left.

But much more than the fighting and the refugee crisis, many are now wondering what happens when the Taliban are on the run from the army?

The root cause that created the Pakistan Taliban still exists. It's something the Pakistanis have little control over: The War in Afghanistan.

The Afghan Taliban have a lot to fight for and will continue their bloody battle against US and coalition forces.

The Pakistani Taliban are allied to their cause. That means Pakistan is right in the middle.

It was a terrifying night for Pakistan ... Storytellers Bazaar has yet another story to tell.

Lahore, Thursday, May 28, 08.17 GMT

Lahore comes to terms with another attack on the city.

At the attack site the rangers and the police try and secure the area. The target, seemingly, was the home of Pakistan's security service.

It is home to many sensitive documents.

As I stood at the scene, the army moved badly damaged computer servers and filing cabinets.

Up to 30 people were killed in the Lahore
attack on Wednesday [AFP]
With this attack the Taliban have upped the ante.

They claimed responsibility for the attack immediately, something they have rarely done in the past.

Their tactic now, according to many analysts here, will be to attack as many of Pakistan's cities as possible.

By doing so, they will want to put pressure on the Pakistani government to make the war as unpopular as possible, thereby building public pressure on the government to strike some sort deal for a ceasefire.

The government is resolute that it will not bow to pressure.

Ordinary Pakistanis, though, are scared.

In the next few days, markets will be emptier and cafes and restaurants a little less busy.

Lahore will bounce back, it always does. But with every attack, the city that's famed for an easy going atmosphere will get that little bit more edgy.

On the road to Lahore, Wednesday, May 27, 06:41GMT

I have now been covering Pakistan for a number of years, but today's attack in Lahore is the thirteenth I have either covered or witnessed.
There was always a fear that Pakistan's war with the Taliban would spill over into the major cities.

We have seen attacks in the last 10 days in Peshawar, but this attack in Lahore has all the hallmarks of something more organised and more deadly.

Ordinary Pakistanis now fear the country as a whole is under threat [AFP]
Lahore is one of Pakistan's most iconic cities. Known for its liberal attitudes, it is the home of Pakistan's art and cinema community.

The attack here shows that not only are Pakistan's security forces under threat, ordinary people are too.

The fear now among many - particularly the friends I have spoken to in Lahore - is that even if the Pakistani army wins the battle for the Swat valley, Pakistan itself will be under threat.
It is worth noting that the Pakistani Taliban, in addition to having a significant presence in the North West Frontier Province, have a reach across the country.
I hope Wednesday's bombing isn't the beginning of a new wave of attacks in Pakistan. However, all the indications suggest that is exactly what it is.

Sheikh Yassin camp , North West Pakistan, 25 May, 10.45GMT

The heat is punishing. It must be 45 degrees C with no wind. A haze seems to rise from every surface.

It's midday in the camp. Seemingly, there is no escape from the brutal sun.

Children try and cool off by splashing water over each other, which would be a happy scene anywhere else in the world.

Except here.

These children are at risk from dehydration, skin diseases and other problems.

The Swati refugees come from a pleasant and temperate valley, and are used to average temperatures of 25 degrees C.

The refugee camps are on the plains. There is little shade. The refugees are forced to live under canvas; water and food are limited and the toilet facilities are basic.

It's taking a toll on the people. 

Children are especially at risk of dehydration 
as the sun beats down on the plain
Iqbal Ahsan is a rickshaw driver from the main Swat valley town of Mingora.

He heads an extended family of 30. He came to the camp on foot, which took two days. When he got here he was tired and ill, but it was the heat that got him down the most.

"It was unbearable for me. But for my children they suffered more. I had to take them to the doctor. I was scared for them, they were so ill," he says. 

Iqbal's children have recovered, but his story is common in all the camps.

Doctors have been battling to see as many patients as they can. The risk of diseases spreading is high. Any epidemic would only add to the misery.

Akbar Noor is a medic from the charity Ummah Welfare Foundation. He says he sees 300-500 people a day in the six hours he holds his surgery. 

Besides the health problems, Noor faces another issue.

"The medicines we have aren't sufficient and then the ones we do have are getting spoiled because of the heat. We are trying to build storage facilities but it takes time," he says.

As I walked down through the camp, the sun was at its highest.

I could feel the sun burning down. I have the luxury of leaving the camp for my hotel. Swatis have no choice but to bear the heat.

Jalala refugee camp, 24 May, 09.54 GMT 

As children play with building blocks and shuttlecocks, I feel a sense of peace in this remote corner of Jalala refugee camp. This is a wonderful, safe zone.

It's run by a Pakistani charity, The Hayat Foundation, and the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef).
Just outside the canvas walls of this camp-within-a-camp is a teeming, chaotic refugee city.

Childrens' pictures show how deeply the conflict has affected the young [Zein Basravi]

I am at a "child-friendly space" - Unicef's term for a nursery.

All the children here been through some sort of psychological trauma. The common cause is separation anxiety. 

In the rush to leave the Swat valley, many children simply lost their parents.

They were then taken in by friendly faces or relatives who brought them to the camp.
At the camp they were reunited, but the trauma of being lost took its toll, so much so, that the children here are undergoing assessment by Nabeela Afridi, a psychologist.
"We are seeing post-traumatic stress disorder; children are having nightmares of helicopters and fighter jets [and] they talk about the Taliban constantly," Afridi says.
I saw the children draw pictures of helicopters flying over houses, and toy soldiers made of plasticine holding guns.
In normal circumstances this would just be innocent play, but the children here are acting out their fears in order to neutralise them. It's heartbreaking stuff.

One child, Qayanat, is just seven years old. She lost her parents in the rush to leave. She was only reunited with them at the camp.
Her story is common here.
This conflict is having a massive psychological trauma for children and adults alike.
Adults suffer from boredom and frustration in the camps. Boredom because they have been torn from their routines, frustration because they cannot return.
At least in this space, some children are getting some the help they need.

Islamabad, Saturday, May 23, 14.07GMT

After a night of terror in Peshawar, where another bomb claimed more lives when it exploded in a busy market place, the Pakistani army made good on their promise to enter the Swat valley town of Mingora.

The army were to present the manoeuvre as a success, saying they have captured a key bridge and interchange.

They say they have blown up an explosive laden vehicle and shot a suicide bomber.

So now Pakistan waits.

Pakistani troops have moved into Mingora, the main town in the Swat valley [EPA]
Awaits the outcome of the battle, awaits how it will play out, awaits news of civilian casualties, army deaths and political spin.

This war has united Pakistanis, but for how long?

Rahimullah is a friend of mine from Peshawar. He mourns for his town.

We meet in a television studio in Islamabad, the capital.

"Look at the security here. It's immense but in my town it's just not there. We feel exposed. These car bombs and suicide bombers are attacking us. ordinary people"

I ask him what he thinks will happen now fighting has intensified in Mingora.

"More bombs in Peshawar, the Taliban can reach there, They can mingle with the people.

My town is about to become a frontline if thats happens then in good nature we cannot support this fight against the Taliban."

Frontline Peshawar is a scary thought.

Support for the war is holding but if Peshawar becomes a regular target, then Peshawaris and Pashtuns, the dominate ethnicity in the North West Frontier, may well drop their support for this operation and if that happens then  Pakistan's war will come under immense pressure.

Islamabad, Friday, May 22, 13.20GMT

It looks like Pakistan's battle with the Taliban is about to get worse, or to use military-speak, enter a new phase.

The army is making noises about entering the Swat valley's main town of Mingora.

So far the main thrust of its tactics has been to use heavy artillery and air power to pound Taliban hideouts.

The army insists that it has had to use that kind of tactic to avoid heavy civilian casualties.

In fact, it says the civilian death toll so far in the upper Swat valley is just 10.

The army says the civilian toll in upper Swat valley is just 10, a figure impossible to verify 
That figure is impossible to independently verify.

In the fight for Mingora though the army will not use heavy artillery and air power.

It is sending in the infantry which will mean house-to-house, street-to-street fighting.

It's going to be bloody and hard fought.

When I visited Mingora just after the Taliban signed a peace deal, the Taliban were still armed and highly visible as if to say "This is our town".

Thier confidence is not idle boasting. They know this area well. They know the streets and the best places to hide. This is to be the Taliban's last stand in the Swat valley.

They have always maintained they will fight to the last man.

The army will take over this town. No one expects the Taliban to fight Pakistan's well- trained, well-equipped army into submission but the fighters are likely to claim some sort of victory.

We will know what both will say soon enough. Until then Pakistan awaits the outcome with anticipation and fear.

Islamabad, Thursday, May 21, 10.01GMT

Support for Pakistan's war seems be to holding. Nightly, the county's media shows salute its soldiers.

One newspaper headline is particularly striking: "The nation speaks with one voice: Crush 'em!"

Pakistan will have to deal decisively with the massive refugee crisis it faces as a result of the conflict [AFP]
In the markets and coffee shops people seem to want the crisis over, but welcome the fact that the army is tackling the Taliban.

"The thing is, Pakistanis have realised that the Taliban have gone back on their promises, have shown themselves incapable of sticking to peace deals so Pakistanis have become fed up," Khadim Hussien, a university professor and analyst, told Al Jazeera.

"The Taliban are offering nothing - no new ideas, no way out."

It's an interesting thing to witness, this broad public and political support for the war.

Just a few months ago the government was under immense pressure because its military action against the Taliban in the Swat valley was being vocally criticised.

The army, fearful that their image would be tarnished, supported a landmark peace deal brokered by a pro-Taliban cleric between the provincial government of the North West Frontier Province and the Taliban.

In video

 Inside Swat's conflict zone Pakistan's displaced struggle to find shelter
 Swat residents make dash for safety
 UN warns of 'disaster' for Pakistan refugees

As we now know, that failed.
The Taliban moved into Buner and Dir districts and Islamabad was forced to act.

This latest operation is said to be a decisive action against the Taliban to finish them once and for all.

But beyond that task, challenging as it is, are others.

To maintain support for the war, Pakistan has to deal decisively with the massive refugee crisis it now faces.

It needs to show that the operation is Pakistani by design and that no foreign pressure has been put on the country.

If Pakistan's politicians can keep all those plates spinning, then perhaps Pakistanis will keep supporting the war.

But as the refugee crisis mounts and more soldiers die, the odds are stacked against Islamabad.

Mirabadi Village, Wednesday, May 20, 07.40GMT

The vast majority of Pakistan's almost 1.5 million refugees are living outside of the camps in private accommodation.

Mirabadi Village, which lies just outside of Islamabad, is a 'slum village'
We visited some of these people to really see what their living conditions were like and to hear their stories.

The term "private accommodation" conjures up images of families helping each other out, living in nice conditions with a homely atmosphere.

Whilst that might be true for some, for others the living conditions are as challenging as those in the camps.

Mirabadi Village - just outside of Islamabad - is a slum village. It's dusty, with narrow cobbled streets, open sewers and poor house workers. The type, although not Pakistan's poorest, that have little.

But even here amongst the heat and barefoot children are stories of incredible generosity.

Nazimuddin is a labourer, working whenever he can find a job carrying bricks in one of the capital's many construction sites.

If he earns a dollar a day he considers himself lucky.

His house is basic, two rooms and toilet, with an outdoor cooking area.

Crucially, however, he has a basic house next door in his village which was empty.

A Pakistani charity, FHRO, based in Swat asked him if he could house refugees.

He jumped at the chance to help.

"I have no television, radio, but the villagers her were talking about the fighting in Swat, I knew I had to help," he says.

"It is my duty as a Muslim, as a Pakistani. I have very little."

It has made a massive difference to Ahsanullah who lives in the house.

They have few facilities. Pakistan's energy crisis means they are without electricity, they use gas to cook with, but even then the cost of gas means the have to use it sparingly.

Ahsanullah fled with his familiy and were placed here by the charity. 

"This man has very little, but what he does have he shares with us," he tells me.

Ahsanullah and Nazimuddin are now firm friends.  As their children play together I can't help but be struck by just how, in the face of a massive crisis, Pakistanis have united and continue to unite.

Islamabad, Tuesday, May 19, 13.13GMT

After careering around the North West Frontier Province for the past week or so, it feels good to be back in the relative calm of the capital Islamabad.

The government assault on pro-Taliban fighters has forced 1.5m to flee their homes [AFP]
I say relative calm because, despite the fact that I was here just a few weeks ago, I have noticed a few changes.

Huge concrete walls have gone up around some buildings. In other parts, black and yellow concrete safety barriers have turned open roads into go-kart courses.

The Marriott Hotel, subject to a massive bomb blast in September last year, is cocooned in a massive shell made out of blast walls and sandbags.

Armed guards, pump action shotguns draped casually over their shoulders, stand on every street.

This is Fortress Islamabad.

It's been like this for a while now, but in last few months security the capital has gone into security overdrive.

Driving past the Parliament requires you to navigate several checkpoints and the route from one end of Islamabad to the other, which used to take 20 minutes, can now take an hour.

I contrast this with the Islamabad of my youth. My younger brother, sister and I used to come to the capital city on holiday as children.

In the 1980s it was nice place. Families would picnic in the hills that surround the city, you could go horse riding, every available space seemed to taken up by young men playing cricket and groups of girls would sit in cafes sharing ice cream and gossip. 

The only security you would see was on the outskirts of the city. You would have never seen Pakistani army soldiers ensconced in sand bag posts.

That peaceful Islamabad seems to have gone.

Don't get me wrong, Islamabad still continues in it's own way, but as city it has changed irrevocably.

Fashion shows still happen here, there is a thriving arts scene, the markets are packed with every kind of Pakistani buying every kind of cloth and the cafes are still doing a brisk trade.

But it's not the carefree atmosphere of my youth. People tend not to hang around as much as they used to, most entertaining now happens at home and Islamabad's vast array of restaurants, though packed by day, remain emptier than ever at night.

Islamabad - they call it the beautiful city here. Carved out of the hills it's definitely that, but it's also nervy and tense.

Mardan, Monday, May 18, 12.03 GMT
The streets are teeming, the noise is deafening.
At every corner, on every road, it seems someone is trying to raise money, ask for goods, or pray for Pakistan's displaced.

The outpouring of charitable aid has been 'extraordinary', says Imran Khan [AFP]
Mixed in amongst it all is a small stall with a black and white flag gently fluttering away.
The flag is a surprise to me as it belongs to a group that was banned: Jamaat Ud Dawa.
The UN put them on a terrorist watch list after the Mumbai attacks last year.
The group then disappeared as it members were arrested. Now here they are, working alongside the UN.
The group seems to have risen from the ashes.
But there is a new name to describe it: Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation, which translates as the Humanitarian Welfare Organisation.

I asked the spokesman, a young bearded chap with and high visibility orange jacket on,  if the name change was simply cosmetic. He was non-committal. 
"We coordinate with Jamaat Ud Dawa, but we co-ordinate with several charities," he said.
Inside the tent sat Yayha Mujahadin, a key member of Jamaat Ud Dawa. I asked him for an interview but he declined.
It seems whoever this particular group is, they are keeping a low profile.
For the people in the camp, though, it matters little who is supporting them, whether it's groups with alleged links to jihadist organisations, the UN, or student organisations - the aid is important.
The vast majority of Pakistans estimated 1.5 million refugees live with family or friends but a significant chunk live in camps which are supplied by Pakistanis of every political hue.
It is extraordinary, the outpouring of generosity I have witnessed over the last week.
But what will stick with me is the sight of a member of a group the UN has put on terrorist watch list work alongside the UN when it comes to helping refugees.

Peshawar, Sunday, May 17, 14:09 GMT

It has been a very eerie day in Peshawar.

After Saturday's bomb blasts - which killed at least 11 people and wounded several others - Pakistan has had time to digest the events.

Pakistani politicians seem to have taken a bullish stance. They want to get rid of the Taliban.

Pakistan is braced for what could be a decisive assault on the Swat town of Mingora [AFP]
The chief minister of the North West Frontier Province says he wants the army to go after the Taliban in other areas of the country.

He has some support for the idea, but others are fearful over any more military action.

With something like 1.5 million Pakistanis already displaced, any additional military action is likely to cause that figure to skyrocket. Pakistan is struggling to cope with the problem it has, never mind any more.

Also, ordinary Pakistanis are terrified of reprisal attacks. The Taliban are said to have several bases across Pakistan from which they can launch attacks.

It is a very tense situation.

The government, though, seems to be sensing victory.

Pakistan is braced for what could be a decisive assault on the main Swat town of Mingora.

The Taliban have said it's victory or death. 

Whatever the outcome, what is clear is that Swat valley is only the beginning of Pakistan's fight.

The Taliban are unlikely to just give up Swat without attacking major cities.

The government may be confident of victory, but Pakistanis are terrified of at what cost it will come.

Peshawar, Saturday, May 16, 12:44 GMT

Another shocking day for Pakistan.

This time it's not in the Swat valley but here in the city of Peshawar.

The car bomb exploded outside an internet cafe in the city of Peshawar [EPA]
It was little after midday when a car bomb exploded outside of an internet cafe killing and wounding many, including several schoolchildren waiting in a nearby bus.

More innocent victims of Pakistan's battle within.

I was on the phone with a Peshawari friend when the news came in.

His reaction was telling.

"Imran, I have to leave this country. I have to get out. What on earth is going on?"

My friend Yousef is the future of this country. Young, educated and articulate he is exactly the kind of person to drive things forward.

But he, and many others, no longer feel safe in Pakistan.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that many young Pakistanis are leaving.

I was in Dubai in March and what struck me most was the amount of young Pakistani nationals who had settled there.

The situation is much the same in Britain and the US.

As news of the Peshawar car bomb continued to come in, I called Yousef back and asked him whether he would really leave.

"My uncle works in Washington as a political lobbyist. He says his firm needs people who understand the US and Pakistan. What would you do?"

I understand that Yousef is beginning to feel like he has little choice but to leave. I only hope Pakistan will one day tempt him back.

Peshawar, Friday, May 15, 13:47 GMT

One of the great things about Peshawar is its history. Behind its noisy, congested streets lie alleyways and markets that have stood for centuries. One such place is Storytellers Bazaar.

In days gone by, this was where artists, poets and thinkers would gather to sing, argue and swap stories late into the night.

Thousands of charities have sprung up in response to the crisis [GALLO/GETTY]
I have come here because another song is now being sung, a lament for Pakistan's displaced - refugees in their own country.

Here one of thousands of charitable organisations has set up a stall gathering together vital food aid, money and supplies to ship to the camps where hundreds of thousands now live.

The stall is surrounded by electric fans. Stacks of rice are piled high and small denomination currency is strewn across a ramshackle wooden table.

The stall is run by Habibullah Zahid, a large, jolly, bearded man who runs restaurants by day and the charity by night.

I asked him what on earth refugees living in tents would do with electric fans.

"They need these desperately," he said.

"Those camps will get electricity eventually. You have to remember that these people are used to the cooler climes of the Swat Valley. This is [a] hot place. You will see these will be most useful."

Whatever Pakistanis feel about the military operation, the humanitarian crisis has united them.

Newspapers are full of advertisements urging readers to donate, television commercials run on loop showing heartbreaking images of children and the elderly.

As I talked to him, people drop money onto Habibullah's table. Some of Pakistan's poorest people, are donating as much money as they can to stalls such as these all over the country.

Their generosity is humbling.

As Habibullah and I talk, a small boy - he must be seven or so years old - begins to sing and a crowd quickly gathers.

His voice rises as more people watch; his words capture the crowd's attention.

I later find out that he is singing the poetry of Sufi Rehman Baba, a 17th century mystic more commonly known around here as the "Nightingale of Peshawar".

The boy's choice of song is particularly poignant. A few months ago Sufi Rehman Baba's shrine, which has stood since he died in the 17th century, was attacked by men claiming to be Taliban fighters.

They planted four devices to try to destroy the shrine, but it survived.

When this chapter in Pakistan's history closes, perhaps it will be remembered and re-told by the storytellers in Peshawar.

Perhaps people will wonder how such a thing ever came to pass.

Swabi, North West Frontier Province, Thursday, May 14, 12:22 GMT

The first thing that hits you when you visit a refugee camp is the sheer scale.

"Camp" is too small a word to use- these are cities of canvas and rope.

Yar Hussein is home to 4,000 refugees, much smaller than the 48,000 strong Jallala camp
Yar Hussein camp has only been running for a few days. So far it houses 4000 refugees - a small town compared to say Jallala refugee encampment which has upwards of 48,000 people living there.

But nonetheless housing people is a mammoth task.

Getting these tents up, supplying water and food is a logistics nightmare.

I spoke to the cook at the camp. He told me: "We are doing the best we can, but look at what we have."

He pointed to huge cauldrons bubbling away, cooking rice. The pots had definitely seen better days.

His whole open air kitchen reminded me of a wedding I had been to in Pakistan as a child - the fires roasting, the multi-coloured awning covering the kitchen area.

This, though, was far from a celebration. It is a "massive crisis" - according to Antonio Guterres, the United Nations high commissioner for refugees.

A soft-spoken man, he is visiting the crisis area for the first time and has passionately pleaded for the world to take notice.

"Pakistan has hosted the largest refugee population in the world - 5 million Afghans - Pakistan now needs help itself and the world must pay attention."

The UN and other aid agencies have a big job on their hands.

This is the biggest movement of people in recent times. The figures are worth going over again.

At least 1.3 million people are on the move and more than 800,000 are registered with the UN alone as refugees.

But behind that figure lies another one. You could call them the forgotten refugees.

Since August 2008, people have been fleeing clashes across the North West Frontier Province. The army has been battling Taliban fighters and more than 500,000 refugees have been registered in camps by the UN since August last year.

They have been living makeshift accommodation since then. The Red Cross has registered another 400,000.

These figures are mind boggling.

I had a chance to reflect on the numbers while I was in the camp. Watching children roam freely, playing as they do, I found myself wondering how many of them would spend their formative years living in places like these.

When so many people live together disease also becomes a problem. Cases of diarrhoea and skin problems have already been registered.

I wonder how many of the children I saw will survive.

Peshawar, Wednesday, May 13, 06:43 GMT

The army is really selling its side of the story.

On Tuesday, it proudly told the media that it had managed to capture a key Taliban stronghold, Gatt Pachar.

The humanitarian crisis persists as thousands of families are displaced by fighting [AFP]
This mountain is the base of Mullah Fazlullah, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban. 

It is said to house armed fighters, training camps and arms dumps.

Capturing it was key.

But has it made a difference?

Well, yes and no. Denying the Taliban any ground is crucial. But were key Taliban leaders there at the time?

It would appear not. That's an issue.

The longer Mullah Fazlullah evades capture, the more of a totem he becomes, and a symbol for the Taliban fighters.

That gives him strength and power beyond his tactical skills. 

Speculation suggests that Fazlullah remains in the Swat valley. Sources close to the Taliban have told Al Jazeera that Fazlullah knew that the army would target his base and that, by leaving fighters there, he was able to escape along with the senior leadership. 

That's important because the Taliban has plenty of fighters, but what the group lacks is men with military knowledge to guide them.

Experts say the Taliban's senior leaders have that knowledge, which encompasses guerrilla warfare, bombmaking and other skills.

If Mullah Fazlullah and men such as his senior commander Ibn-e-Amin perish, then the army can say the Taliban has been defeated.

So far, the Taliban insists that its leaders are all still alive and battle goes on.

So, while the army sells its message of success, success, success others are less sure.

The humanitarian crisis continues; so far, the government says 1.3 million have been displaced. Ordinary Pakistanis are watching the pictures on their television screens nightly and wondering how on earth this spells peace. 

Peshawar, Tuesday, May 12, 2009, 09:22 GMT

Peshawar is a town with a past littered with the ghosts of war.

A palpable fear now hangs over the city after frequent deadly attacks [EPA]
Traditionally it has inhabited the crossroads between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

It was here the British Empire headquartered its great game against Russia in the 19th century.

It is here that the Afghan mujahidin gathered logistics to fight their war against Russian occupation in the 1980s.

This dusty town with its cobbled alleyways was the place where CIA agents mingled with their Pakistani counterparts to conduct their war in Afghanistan after the twin towers in New York fell.

And now Peshawar is once again at the centre of conflict.

It's already home to thousands of refugees fleeing those wars in Afghanistan.

But this time its war is raging within Pakistan's borders and those refugees are Pakistani.

It's had an incredible effect on Pakistan.

The media here have dubbed this the biggest movement of people since partition, when millions crossed the new border between Pakistan and India in 1947.

"The media here have dubbed this the biggest movement of people since partition... in 1947"

Ordinary Pakistanis have taken to the streets demanding the fighting stops.

One taxi driver told me he fears the break-up of Pakistan.

Another shop owner in one of Peshawar's hotels says war will only make the situation worse, that the Taliban will hide in the mountains and fight until the bitter end.

The bitter end.

It's worth thinking about how exactly Pakistan will end its military operation.

The government wants a swift operation that will allow them to claim victory.

Analysts say the army wants to be able to secure the area quickly and withdraw leaving the police in charge.

At the time of writing, the end is nowhere in sight.

The only thing we can say with any degree of certainty is that Pakistanis will flood into the camps and the battle still rages.

 Source: Al Jazeera


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Mouse genome laid bare to science

BBC News - ‎May 26, 2009‎
By Paul Rincon The humble mouse is the experimental workhorse in laboratories worldwide, so this high-quality genome sequence will aid in the fight against human disease.

Pandigital PAN1002W02T 10.4-inch

PC World - ‎May 27, 2009‎
Six HD Pocket Camcorders Side-by-Side We compare six HD, YouTube-friendly pocket camcorders from Creative, Kodak, Sony, and Pure Digital, including the brand new Flip UltraHD. : Make Presentations Online - ‎4 hours ago‎
Adobe has announced a new Presentation service that enables creating presentations online in collaboration with other folks.
ITProPortal - - CNET News - Ub News

Vengsarkar doubts Indian players energy

Times of India - ‎25 minutes ago‎
29 May 2009, 1346 hrs IST, PTI NEW DELHI: Former captain Dilip Vengsarkar doubts if Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men would be mentally fresh and fit for the Twenty20 World Cup after the recent Indian Premier League which he fears could cause "cricket ...

Barca loss 'to motivate Man Utd'

BBC Sport - ‎1 hour ago‎
Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs says defeat in this season's Champions League final will motivate the side to challenge for honours next year.

India's Mirza finds her love match - ‎29 minutes ago‎
NEW DELHI, May 29 (Reuters) - Leading Indian player Sania Mirza has become engaged to a business scholar from her hometown of Hyderabad but has no plans to retire from competitive tennis, domestic media reported on Friday.

ICC refutes Pakistan's charges on BCCI

Hindu - ‎13 hours ago‎
NEW DELHI: The International Cricket Council (ICC) has reacted sharply to Pakistan's allegation that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) influenced the parent body of the game to shift 2011 World Cup matches from the troubled nation.
ICC meeting rescheduled The Press Association

Mizoram gets past J & K

Hindu - ‎10 hours ago‎
INTENSE DUEL: Je Je Lalpekhwa of Mizoram (right) and J & K's Hatchi battle it out in their Santosh Trophy match at Tiruchi on Thursday.
TN drub Tripura Calcutta Telegraph

Ojha wants to shine in India colours at too

Times of India - ‎1 hour ago‎
29 May 2009, 1318 hrs IST, PTI KOLKATA: Instrumental in Deccan Chargers' triumph in IPL season 2, left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha is now waiting to shine in India colours if given a chance in the upcoming ICC World Twenty20 to be held in England from ...

City girls crowd India rugby team

Indian Express - ‎12 hours ago‎
Girls of Pune make up almost the entire India rugby team for next week's Bangkok 7s, taking up 11 of the 13 slots. The city's Avani Sabade will lead the side; the other 10 from Pune are Shruti Marathe, Shweta Prachande, Anu Kulkarni, Neha Pardeshi, ...

Paes-Black in second round of mixed doubles

Press Trust of India - ‎3 hours ago‎
Paris, May 29 (PTI) Second seeds Leander Paes and Cara Black overcame a sluggish start to book a second round berth in the mixed doubles event of the French Open, scoring a 6-3 6-3 win over Virginie Razzano and Jeff Coetzee here.

Chelsea meets Everton for the first time in FA Cup final

Hindu - ‎1 hour ago‎
London (Xinhua): Chelsea has won four of their eight FA Cup finals and Everton five of their 12. The two are now getting ready to meet for the first time in the final Saturday.

India's Mirza finds her love match - ‎29 minutes ago‎
NEW DELHI, May 29 (Reuters) - Leading Indian player Sania Mirza has become engaged to a business scholar from her hometown of Hyderabad but has no plans to retire from competitive tennis, domestic media reported on Friday.

Agatha Sangma gets rural development, Ambika is I&B minister

Economic Times - ‎1 hour ago‎
NEW DELHI: The youngest minister in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's cabinet, Agatha Sangma, 28, has been named minister of state for rural development.

Vengsarkar doubts Indian players energy

Times of India - ‎26 minutes ago‎
29 May 2009, 1346 hrs IST, PTI NEW DELHI: Former captain Dilip Vengsarkar doubts if Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men would be mentally fresh and fit for the Twenty20 World Cup after the recent Indian Premier League which he fears could cause "cricket ...

Google wins back googblog domain from Indian teen

Merinews - ‎43 minutes ago‎
Google had to move the World Intellectual Property Organisation to get the domain name, from 17-year-old Herit Shah, who owned the domain.

Cristiano Ronaldo's Desire Is To Join Real Madrid - Report - ‎21 minutes ago‎
The Cristiano Ronaldo-Real Madrid soap opera had looked all but over several weeks ago when the player declared that he would remain at Old Trafford, while the Spanish giant's president-elect, Florentino Perez, hinted that he would tear up any ...

Danny Boyle buys new home for Slumdog Kid

Oneindia - ‎May 28, 2009‎
Washington, (ANI): Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle has come to the rescue of childstars Mohammed Azharuddin Ismail and Rubina Ali after they were left homeless following a slum clearing drive by Mumbai authorities.

Karunanidhi appoints son Stalin as Deputy CM

Hindustan Times - ‎22 minutes ago‎
PTI Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's son, MK Stalin has been appointed as Deputy Chief Minister. The DMK's patriarch's son is credited with the party's growth in Madurai and adjoining areas while keeping a check on the growth of opposition ...

Aishwarya, Kareena patch up at Karan Johar's birthday bash

Sify - ‎48 minutes ago‎
Mumbai, May 29 (IANS) Director Karan Johar's birthday bash turned out to be an occasion for a grand reunion between Bollywood stars Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Kareena Kapoor.

India's GDP up 6.7% in FY09 despite slow industry growth

Business Standard - ‎54 minutes ago‎
PTI / Mumbai May 29, 2009, 14:30 IST Braving the global recessionary trends, India managed 6.7 per cent economic growth in 2008-09 despite the manufacturing sector recording a dismal performance.

Gates: No Need to Increase Troop Numbers in S. Korea After North's ...

Voice of America - ‎39 minutes ago‎
By VOA News US Defense Secretary Robert Gates says there was no need to increase troop numbers in South Korea, after North Korea threatened an attack following its latest test of a nuclear bomb.

Tata Motors rolls out World Truck

Economic Times - ‎10 hours ago‎
MUMBAI: India's largest automobile company by size Tata Motors, on Thursday, launched a new range of premium trucks called the 'World Truck', which is expected to give its commercial vehicles business a much-needed push.

New cell phone to update rural India

What is the Word - ‎14 hours ago‎
In the Indian context, the disparity between its rural and urban sectors is not any new development but has been going on for centuries.

Dell Unveils Entertainment Laptop For Students

InformationWeek - ‎20 minutes ago‎
The Studio 14z is available with an optional 500 GB hard drive, enough to store up to 125000 songs, 142000 photos or 133 DVD quality movies.

Tobacco is a deadly killer

Times of India - ‎10 hours ago‎
BANGALORE: Inhaling air exposed to `bidi' or cigarette smoke is more hazardous to health than contracting a disease from a garbage dump!

Monitoring situation in Pak: Indian govt

Times - ‎3 hours ago‎
Pakistan seems to be expanding its Uranium enriching capability faster than ever before. The rush for finishing work at all these reactors acoss Pakistan has set alarm bells ringing in India.
Indian Express - Press Trust of India - Daily Times - Business Standard

Cong takes the cake
The Congress has skimmed off the cream of the infrastructure and social sector portfolios and while ceding some important ministries to ally DMK, has attached to them its own junior ministers. ...  | Read.. 
Buddha, Mamata set up relief test for PM
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will now have to choose between his esteemed colleague Mamata Banerjee and one-time good friend Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. ...  | Read.. 
'Flu' torture centre in city
An NRI mother and toddler quarantined for suspected swine flu after landing in Calcutta yesterday with cough and fever spent the night in a dirty, mosquito-infested male ward ...  | Read.. 
Nine CPI(Maoist) cadre in police net
Nine CPI(Maoist) activists were nabbed after a police encounter, while three rifles, can bombs, uniforms and urea were recovered from Ulung village under Rania police ...  | Read.. 
The ID hospital. (Pradip Sanyal)
'Flu' torture centre in city
Isn't MoS enough?
Sonia Gandhi
asked why there is no cabinet minister from Uttar Pradesh
Melbourne attack on student
An Indian student was attacked in Melbourne on Monday, two days after a screw-driver assault on ...  | Read..
Saved from terror, India bound
Tim Roemer brings to Roosevelt House, the residence of the US ambassador in New Delhi, a chilli ...  | Read..
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Nation More.. 
The inauguration of Manmohan Singh's second term a week ago was abbreviated by late-hour hiccups wi...   | Read.. 
Calcutta More.. 
Roll call of exam records
A record number of examinees (8,42,979), a record success rate (81.74 per cent) and result publicati...   | Read.. 
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Team wistful but Mamata gets what she has always wanted
Her ministers may not have got what they wanted, but Mamata Banerjee has reason to be happy.   | Read.. 
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Civic body absent from relief meeting
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The winner takes all
The extent to which life can be cruel on the loser was best illustrated by the hapless Amar Singh im...   | Read.. 
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Serena steps up a gear to advance
Serena Williams raced into the French Open third round on Thursday with a clinical 6-2, 6-0 demolit...   | Read.. 
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India, Pak nuke plans worry US
Sometime next year, at a tightly guarded site south of its capital, Pakistan will be ready to start...   | Read.. 
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Single in the city

A protest rally in Srinagar on Thursday against authorities placing prominent separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani under house arrest. - AFP

JUMBO CABINET (Clockwise from top) President Pratibha Patel and Dr Manmohan Singh with the new council of ministers; Miss Mamata Banerjee with other Trinamul ministers; Dr Farooq Abdullah with Ms Agatha Sangma. At Rashtrapati Bhavan.- AFP BRIEFS
Angaria: CPM duo cleared for lack of evidence
Madhyamik pass percentage at an all-time high
Jumbo Cabinet

MANMOHAN`S MEN~ (From Left)Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mr Omar Abdullah, Congress Party minister of state Mr Sachin Pilot and Mr Abdullah`s father, National Conference President and new Cabinet minister Dr Farooq Abdullah, at the swearing-in ceremony in New Delhi on Thursday. - AFP'Eye in the sky' inducted into IAF
Mamata 'committed' to Bengal
Beachwear row in Goa
Roemer to replace Mulford

A man performs at the inaugural ceremony of the Indigenous Film Festival in Kathmandu on Thursday. - AFP Pak has 60 nuke bombs: Report
Prabhakaran's parents live on in refugee camp

Now The Sound Of Springs At Risk
Special Article
Letters To The Editor

Supreme irony in America
Where's the wild, straggling beard?

Biz Briefs
SAIL Q4 net dips 38%
'PSU divestment likely in Budget'
Inflation stays at 0.61%

Jelena Jankovic in action. At Roland Garros in Paris on Thursday. ;AFPBriefs
Ponting is the pick of the lot
Chelsea set up audacious deal for Ribery
Eto'o as good as Raul

THE SWEET SMILE OF SUCCESS~ Students of Taki Girls Govt. School, Sealdah celebrate their results in Kolkata on Thursday. - Prabir Bhattacharya.CPM policies helped Cong, feels Karat
'Left lost touch with ground reality'
Review work underway

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