Thursday, February 28, 2013

Quake 6.9 - HITS KURIL ISLANDS

Quake 6.9 -  HITS KURIL ISLANDS

Magnitude 6.9 Mwp
Date-Time
  • 28 Feb 2013 14:05:51 UTC
  • 1 Mar 2013 00:05:52 near epicenter
  • 28 Feb 2013 18:05:51 standard time in your timezone
Location 50.934N 157.339E
Depth 52 km
Distances
  • 85 km (52 mi) SE of Ozernovskiy, Russia
  • 233 km (144 mi) SSW of Vilyuchinsk, Russia
  • 251 km (155 mi) SSW of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, Russia
  • 260 km (161 mi) SSW of Yelizovo, Russia
  • 2205 km (1367 mi) NE of Tokyo, Japan
Location Uncertainty Horizontal: 15.9 km; Vertical 9.6 km

Naresh – Brace yourself. If congressional Republicans don’t act by tomorrow

by sagarmedia
Organizing for Action Naresh –
Brace yourself.
If congressional Republicans don’t act by tomorrow, we’re going to be hit by a series of devastating, automatic budget cuts called the sequester.
It’s a sledgehammer to the budget, our economy, and millions of Americans across the country — and the most frustrating part? It doesn’t have to happen.
The majority of Americans support President Obama’s balanced approach to deficit reduction — add your name if you do, too.
So far, congressional Republicans are refusing to compromise — all because they don’t want to close tax loopholes for millionaires, billionaires, vacation homes, and corporate jets. Seriously.
This has very real consequences.
On the chopping block are 10,000 teaching jobs, more than 70,000 kids’ spots in Head Start, $35 million for local fire departments, $43 million to make sure seniors don’t go hungry, and access to nutrition assistance for 600,000 women and their families. That’s just a few of the things we’ll lose.
President Obama has put forth a balanced deficit reduction plan with smart spending cuts that protect the critical investments needed to strengthen middle-class families and our economy.
We need to send a strong signal about where Americans stand on this issue.
Add your name today:
http://my.barackobama.com/Tell-the-GOP-to-Act
Thanks,
Messina
Jim Messina
Chair
Organizing for Action

Budget is deceptive for majority of Indian.

 

Union Budget is deceptive for majority of Indian.
CPI Gurudas Dasgupta, budget is a “lollypop election budget” with minor additional investments, “There is a lot of noise but in reality is different,”
Main opposition leaders Arun Jaitley described the budget document is of   “extremely low on substance”.Arun added it is “a bit of jugglery” to cut down on expenditure. Sushma Swaraj find, “it is unimaginative, dull and boring and there is nothing for the women, youth and poor. Neither is there anything for boosting the agriculture sector nor for controlling prices.”
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalaithaa today said it was full of rhetoric and lacked any tangible steps to tackle the fiscal crisis, “The Union Budget presented in Parliament today has turned out to be an uninspiring damp squib, full of rhetoric, without any tangible steps to tackle the deep crisis confronting the Indian economy today… I would describe it only as a day dream cosmetic budget of Mr P Chidambaram,” she said.
 SP Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav called the  budget  “anti-poor”, “anti-farmer” plan  to oppose on the floor of house.He added, “This budget is only for 10% population of the country. What kind of budget is this which ignores 65% people who are engaged in farming”?
Shatrughan Sinha on his part said the Finance Minister has presented a ‘lollypop’ budget.
BSP chief Mayawati briefing the media said  “there is nothing new in the budget,nothing  for farmers, employees,e middle class.” The policies of the central government “are not in the interest of the common man and are anti-people”.Mayawati said despite large allocations for SCs/STs in every budget, the money has not helped improve the plight of people from lower castes,she said all the budgetary announcements seem “lofty, illusive,directionless”

Union Budget 2013-14 presented by Finance Minister

Finance Min P Chidambaram announced a sharp increase of Rs 1.25 lakh crore in agriculture credit target to Rs 7 lakh crore for next fiscal and allocated additional Rs 10,000 crore in subsidy for implementing the Food Security Bill.
Following are some of the key highlights of the Union Budget 2013-14 presented by Finance Minister P Chidambaram in Parliament.
*No change in income tax slabs
*Relief of Rs 2,000 for tax payers in tax bracket of Rs 2-5 lakh
*10 pc surcharge on persons with taxable income of over Rs 1 crore
*Tobacco products, SUVs and mobile phones to cost more
*Income limit under Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme raised to 12 lakh from Rs 10 lakh
*First home loan of up to Rs 25 lakh to get extra interest deduction of up to Rs 1 lakh
*Duty free limit of gold import increased to Rs 50,000 for male passengers and Rs 1 lakh for female passengers
*India’s first women’s bank to be set up by October
*Concessional six per cent interest on loans to weavers
*Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana benefit extended to rickshaw pullers, auto and taxi drivers, among others
*’Nirbhaya Fund’ of Rs 1,000 crore to empower women and provide safety in the wake of Delhi gang-rape incident
*Fiscal deficit for 2013-14 pegged at 4.8 pc of GDP and 5.2 per cent in 2012-13
*Market borrowings pegged at Rs 6.29 lakh crore, higher
than Rs 5.59 lakh crore in FY13
*Disinvestment target more than doubled to Rs 55,814 cr
*Plan expenditure pegged at Rs 5,55,322 crore and non-Plan at Rs 11,09,975 crore
*New taxes to collect Rs 18,000 crore for government
*Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme launched for recovering service tax dues
*Rs 14,000 crore earmarked for capital infusion in public sector banks in 2013-14

He also allocated 22 percent more funds to Agriculture Ministry at Rs 27,049 crore for the 2013-14 fiscal, of which Rs 3,415 crore has been earmarked for farm research.
Chidambaram announced extension of interest-subvention on crop loans to private sector banks and commercial banks.
 
“Agricultural credit is a driver of agricultural production. We will exceed the target of Rs 5,75,000 crore fixed for 2012-13. For 2013-14, I propose to increase the target to Rs 7,00,000 crore,” Chidambaram said while presenting the Budget for the 2013-14 fiscal in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.
 
The interest-subvention for short-term crop loan will be continued and farmers who repay loan on time will be able to get credit at 4 percent interest per annum, he added.
 
“So far, the scheme has been applied to loans extended by public sector banks, Regional Rural Banks and cooperative banks, I propose to extend the scheme to crop loans borrowed from private sector banks and scheduled commercial banks in respect to loans given within the service area of the branch concern,” the Minister said.
 
Looking at the success of the scheme — Bringing Green Revolution in the Eastern India, Chidambaram allocated Rs 1,000 crore for the next fiscal.
 
Another Rs 500 crore was allocated for crop diversification in states covered during the Green Revolution such as Punjab and Haryana, which are facing stagnation in farm yields.
 
On proposed Food law, the Minister said: “I sincerely hope Parliament will pass the Bill as early as possible. Over and above the normal provision for food subsidy, I have set apart Rs 10,000 crore towards the incremental costs that is likely under the Act.”
 
 
Fiscal deficit for 2012-13 estimated at 5.2%: Chidambaram
 
The fiscal deficit for the current financial year has been contained at 5.2 percent of GDP, lower than 5.3 percent as was targeted, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said.
 
“The fiscal deficit for 2012-13 has been contained at 5.2 per cent. I propose to bring it down to 4.8 per cent by 2013-14,” Chidambaram said while unveiling Budget 2013-14 proposals in the Lok Sabha.
 
Further, the Revenue Deficit has been contained at 3.9 percent in the current fiscal and would be brought down to 3.3 percent in 2013-14.
 
As per the fiscal consolidation roadmap, the government plans to reduce fiscal deficit to 3 percent by 2016-17.
 
“We must redeem our promise and bring down the fiscal deficit to 3 per cent and revenue deficit to 1.9 per cent by 2016-17,” Chidambaram said.
 
Tax benefits in RGESS extended to 3 years: Chidambaram
While presenting the Budget 2013-14 in the Lok Sabha Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday proposed liberalising the Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme (RGESS) to enable first time investors to park funds in MFs and listed shares and extended tax benefits to three successive years.
Also, the limit for investors wanting to invest in RGESS has been raised to Rs 12 lakh from Rs 10 lakh earlier.
The RGESS will be liberalised to enable first time retail investors to invest in mutual funds and listed shares and not in one year alone, but for three successive years, Chidambaram said.
The RGESS, which was originally announced in the Budget for 2012-13, seeks to provide tax benefits to first-time investors in stock markets. Under the scheme, an individual with an income of less than Rs 12 lakh would get tax incentives for investing up to Rs 50,000 in the stock market.
Budget quote of Mr. Aneesh Srivastava, CIO, IDBI Federal.
An insipid budget
The Union Budget for 2013-14 seems to be a populist one that neither creates any impact on the economy, nor does it address the long-term growth needs.
While the Budget may prove to be positive for FIIs as they can now invest in corporate & government bonds as collateral to meet margin requirements, the Tax Residency Certificate has again become an issue.
The piecemeal perks in some sectors are just not enough to accelerate growth. India continues to face the challenge of getting back to its potential growth rate of 8% along with bringing down inflation. The target to achieve a higher growth rate and a decrease in fiscal deficit looks unlikely in these conditions. The Budget also does not give any direction to address the issue of high current account deficit. The expenditure programme announced by the government would actually be inflationary.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


 



During the flag-off of the BCIM rally on Wednesday, Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh announced that the Centre has decided to provide Visa on arrival at Moreh for the Myanmarese Nationals seeking medical treatment.

"As a first step towards easing of restrictions, the government has decided to provide Visa on arrival at Moreh for the Myanmarese," he said at Kangla Fort on Wenesday morning.
Singh said the restrictions in the movement of goods and services and people across the border need to be eased.
"We are looking at the opening up of road and rail passages to Bangladesh through Tripura so that our goods can be exported by using the ports of Bangladesh," the chief minister said.
The rally on Wednesday set off on its sixth stage from Imphal to Ka Lay in Myanmar.
CII chairman (eastern region) R K Agrawal hoped that the rally would revive ancient links and also forge new ties.
"It would also highlight the potential of northeast and explore cross-border land trade. CII is priviledged to partner the rally and have all the governments in its side," he added.
Hundreds of school children holding flags and flowers lined up at the Kangla Fort street to send off the rally.
The 12-day rally will then proceed to Myanmar and culminate at Kunming, in the Yunnan province of China on March 5.
"We have got the assurance from the highest level from the government of India. We don't see any trouble along the route anymore," Indian rally contingent head Sunil Misra said here as the rally left Imphal, in the last stretch of India before entering Myanmar.
The Kuki State Demand Committee (KSDC) had earlier threatened to block the entry of the four-nation rally into 'Kuki areas' of the state with an indefinite public blockade in the tough 270-km NH-53 stretch from Silchar to Imphal.
Paramilitary personnel were stationed along the entire stretch from Silchar to Imphal as the cavalcade of 20 cars took more than 14 hours to cover the treacherous hilly terrain.
The car rally, which has a motto of 'Building Bonds, Fostering Friendship', is focused to play catalysis in stimulating interest of the concerned stakeholders in deepening BCIM cooperation.
The 3028-km rally's next stop is Ka Lay before heading to Mandalay, Ruili and then to Tengchong, Dali and Kunming in China where it is scheduled to culminate on March 5.

USA SC:No challenge to FISA

 

United States Supreme Court will not let Americans challenge a provision in a foreign intelligence law that lets the federal government secretly eavesdrop on the intimate communications of millions of Americans.
On Tuesday, the top justices in the US said the country’s highest court will not hear a case in which Amnesty International and a slew of co-plaintiffs have contested a provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, or FISA, that lets the National Security Agency silently monitor emails and phone calls [.pdf].
 
Under the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (FAA), the NSA is allowed to conduct electronic surveillance on any US citizen as long as they are suspected of conversing with any person located outside of the United States. That provision was scheduled to expire at the end of 2012, but Congress voted to re-up the bill and it was put back on the books for another five years.
 
Along with human rights workers and journalists, Amnesty International first challenged the FAA on the day it went into effect, arguing that the powers provided to the NSA under the FISA amendments likely puts the plaintiffs and perhaps millions of other Americans at risk of surveillance. Now years later, though, they are finally being told that they cannot challenge the law that, while meant to collect foreign intelligence, puts every person in the country at risk of being watched.
 
“Under the FAA, the government can target anyone — human rights researchers, academics, attorneys, political activists, journalists — simply because they are foreigners outside the United States, and in the course of its surveillance it can collect Americans’ communications with those individuals,” the American Civil Liberties Union wrote on behalf of the plaintiffs in a legal brief filed last year with the court.
 
Amnesty, et al have been pursuing an injunction against the NSA in their lawsuit, which names former NSA-Chief James Clapper is a co-defendant. Because the plaintiffs cannot prove that they’ve actually been targeted under the FAA, however, the case is been stalled endlessly.
 
In last year’s filing, the ACLU acknowledged that an appeals court panel agreed in 2011 that “plaintiffs have good reason to believe that their communications, in particular, will fall within the scope of the broad surveillance that they can assume the government will conduct,” and the full body of US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit later refused the government’s attempts to have them reconsider.
 
“But instead of allowing the case to be heard on the merits, the Obama administration asked the Supreme Court to review the case,” the ACLU’s Ateqah Khaki, wrote. “Our brief urges the Court to affirm the appeals court’s decision.”
 
On Tuesday, however, the Supreme Court dismissed the claims that the plaintiffs were being watched under the FAA. Amnesty and others had argued that the presumed surveillance they were subjected to has caused them to go out of their way to maintain working relationships with clients, forcing them to travel abroad to communicate without the fear of being monitored.

Egypt hot air balloon crash kills 19 Asian, European tourists

At least 19 people, mostly Asian and European tourists, were killed on Tuesday when a hot air balloon caught fire and crashed near the southern historic Egyptian city of Luxor.
The hot air balloon carrying 21 people caught fire mid-air before crashing to the ground, General Mamdough Khaled, director of security for Luxor Governate said in a statement.
Luxor International Hospital received 19 badly burned bodies, Khaled said. The balloon was operated by a company named Sky Cruise, state-run news agency reported.
Ahmed Aboud, who runs another balloon company, was quoted by the media as saying that gas tanks ignited the balloon about 1,000 feet.
Two people survived, a tourist and the pilot, Aboud said.
Both are in critical condition, the statement from Khaled said.
Passengers in the balloon included 19 foreign tourists, nine from Hong Kong, four from Japan, three from Britain, two from France and one from Hungary, officials said.
An Egyptian pilot and another Egyptian were also on board, Luxor province spokesman Badawi al-Masri said.
Balloon rides offering scenic aerial views of the Nile river and the ancient temples of Karnak and Hatshepsut are a popular tourist attraction in Luxor, about nine hours’ drive southeast of Cairo.
The catastrophe may be the deadliest hot air balloon accident in history.
In 1989, 13 people were killed when two hot air balloons collided in Australia.
Luxor lies on the banks of the river Nile and is home to some of Egypt’s most famous pharaonic-era ruins.
US photographer Christopher Michel was in another balloon, taking some aerial shots, at the time.
“We flew over the ancient ruins. Just before landing in the cornfields, I heard an explosion and saw smoke. I think it was the balloon behind mine,” he was quoted by the news agency as saying.
“I wasn’t sure what had happened at first. It was only when we landed we heard the full extent of what happened,” he said.

Classic Golf Resort:Shamim & Rashid hold the joint lead in round one

Classic Golf Resort, Mewat, Haryana, February 26, 2013: The Delhi duo
of Shamim Khan and Rashid Khan shot scores of six-under-66 to hold the
joint lead in round one of the PGTI Players Championship at the
Classic Golf Resort in Mewat, Haryana. Gaurav Ghei, another Delhi
golfer, is a stroke behind the joint leaders in third place.

Shamim Khan, who had a bogey-free round, made a terrific start with
birdies on the first two holes as he landed his shots within six feet
of the pin. The 2012 Rolex Rankings champion collected four more
birdies on the back-nine. He sank a 30-footer for birdie on the 11th
and drained birdie putts from 12 feet and 15 feet on the 12th and 15th
holes respectively. Shamim also two-putted from the edge of the green
for birdie on the 14th.

Shamim said, ㉠sank all putts today and was particularly sharp on the
back-nine with three long birdie putts. The good start was crucial as
it set up the round for me. I also made a good recovery for par from
the fairway bunker on the seventh. I changed my driver last week and
the change seems to have helped my game. I ended last year on a high
and am looking to continue from there in order to make an impact on
the PGTI this year as well.伢r>
Rashid Khan made an incredible eight birdies against two bogeys on
Tuesday. His front-nine featured birdie putts from 15, 12 and 10 feet
on the first, fifth and sixth respectively. He bogeyed the 10th but
then had an amazing run of four straight birdies from the 13th to the
16th. Rashid rolled in a 15 feet putt on the 13th and a 30-footer on
the 15th. The 22-year-old finished with bogey-birdie on the last two
holes.

㉴Ⳡbeen a perfect start to the week. I hit 15 greens in regulation
and made three birdie putts from a range of 15 to 30 feet. I was a
little unlucky on the 17th where my shot landed on the lip of the
bunker and resulted in a bogey. I just changed my irons before this
tournament and that seems to be working for me,䠳aid Rashid Khan, who
finished second on the 2012 Rolex Rankings.

Gaurav GheiⳠround of five-under-67 placed him third. He fired six
birdies and a bogey in the opening round.

Mukesh Kumar, Chiragh Kumar and Mandeo Singh Pathania were tied fourth
at four-under-68.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Reformist and forward looking budget: PM Dr Singh

  • Indian Railways to join 1 billion tonne select club with China.
  • Educational tourist train”Azadi Express” proposes
  • Eight more companies of women RPF personnel to be set up.
  • Several measures taken to deal with fire accidents.
  • 17 distressed bridges sanctioned for rehabilitation to be completed over the next year.
  • Train Collision Avoidance System to be put to rigorous trials.
  • Railways will strive to work towards zero accident situation.
  • Rail Minister calls for paradigm shift in approach to tariff and non-tariff segments of earnings.
  • Passenger earning target Rs 32500 crore this year.
  • Freedom fighters to renew their passes only once in 3 yrs.
  • Complementary passes for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Olympic awardees.
  • Coach making facilities at Bhilwara and Raebarelli.
  • Indian Railway Financial Management Institute to be set up at Secunderabad.
  • Coaches to be made wheelchair friendly.
  • Hostel facilities for all single women railway employees at all Div.HQS.
  • Free wi-fi facility at select trains.
  • Exclusive lounges at 7 stations.
  • 1800111321 number for redressing complaints.
  • Wagon maintenance workshop in Kalahandi in Odisha.
  • E-ticketing to be made available through mobile phone.
  • 104 Stations identified for added amenities.
  • Target of investment of 1 lakh crore through PPP mode in 12th FYP.
  • For the first time, Arunachal Pradesh brought under  Rail Network.
  • UID-Aadhar to be used for ticket reservation.
  • Need based border connectivity top priority.
  • Freight loading estimated to be 1007 tonnes this year.
  • No hike in passenger fares; 67 new express and 26 passenger trains to be launched.
  • Next generation E-ticketing introduced to be able to book 7000 tickets in a minute.
  • Gross traffic receipts to be 18062 crore rupees over 2012-13.
  • Thrust on using renewable sources of energy.
  • Some Railway related activities included under MGNREGA.
  • Railways to fill up 1.52 lakh vacancies.
  • Dronacharya awardees to get Shatabdi and Rajdhani passes.
  • 47000 vacancies reserved for differently abled to be filled.
  • Plan to spend 3000 crore rupees to connect mines.
  •  
Rail budget remarkable and commendable, says P Chidambaram.
Railways is committed to ensure security, safety and better passengers facilities including sanitation in trains and railway stations. Minister of Railways Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal has said that to strengthen the security of rail passengers, especially women passengers, Railways have already created four companies of women RPF personnel and another eight would be set up. Presenting the Railway Budget for 2013-14 in Parliament today he said, recruitment to RPF is being conducted with 10% vacancies reserved for women. He said, the presence of women RPF personnel will be further strengthened with the field units.
The Minister said, many trains are being escorted by Government Railway Police and Railway Protection Force in sensitive sections. Further, the Ladies Special local trains in Metropolitan Cities are being escorted by lady RPF Staff. Shri Bansal said, security helpline numbers have been made available on several zonal railways to facilitate passengers in reporting any untoward incidence for immediate intervention.
Rs one lakh crore to be raised from public-private partnership, Rs 1.05 lakh crore through internal resources in the 12th Plan; Elimination of 10,700 unmanned level crossings targeted during the Plan; no more new such crossings to be created.Briefing media Prashar exclusively, Railways Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said, during the last four months, efforts have been stepped up to ensure better upkeep of the Railway network and maximize passenger convenience.Bansal said, work on installing bio-tiolets in railway coaches is on.The Railway Minister added that people’s aspirations and demands regarding safe, convenient and secure traveling on trains, are genuine.He said, the Ministry is well aware of what is expected from it and it is diligently working to deliver better services.Railways to set up six more Rail Neer bottling plants.
Identification of 104 stations for upgradation in places with more than one million population and of religious significance.Corporate Safety Plan to be prepared for ten-year period 2014-24.
BSE Sensex dropped by 134 points to 19197 in the late morning trade due to selling pressure ahead of the railway budget amid weak global cues as the Early results in Italy polls show hung parliament thus euro crisis to prevail.   Earlier, the Sensex resumed lower at 19,290 and dropped further to 19,186, showing a loss of 109.53 points from its last close.
The Nifty also moved down by 43 points to 5,811
Indian Railways and BHEL Sign MOU for setting up of Memu Coaches Manufacturing facility at Bhilwara
In the presence of the Minister of Railways Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal and the Minister for Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises Shri Praful a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed here today between Indian Railways and Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) for setting up of Greenfield MEMU coaches manufacturing facility by BHEL at Bhilwara in Rajasthan. The signatories to the MOU were Shri Kul Bhushan, Member Electrical Railway Board, and Shri B. P. Rao, CMD, BHEL.

Main Line Electric Multiple Unit Trains, popularly known as MEMU trains were first introduced in Indian Railways in the Year 1994-95, as a mode of rapid transit system, to cater to non-suburban passengers, residing in small towns and villages surrounding urban and industrial centres. MEMU trains have higher passenger carrying capacity and higher average speed as compared to conventional loco hauled passenger trains due to faster acceleration and braking characteristics. These rakes are now being manufactured with toilet facilities to take care of passenger needs. MEMU trains increase the line capacity utilisation, and therefore are more suitable for running on high traffic density routes.

These MEMU trains have gained rapid popularity over the years. Currently, there are about 160 MEMU services running. There are demands coming from all over the country for running more and more MEMU trains. The demand for these coaches will further increase as Indian Railways have plans to Electrify approximately 15000 route kilometre during the next 10 years, in addition to the existing 22000 route kilometre of electrified track. There was a shortfall in acquisition of 800 MEMU coaches during XIth Plan Period due to capacity constraints at Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala, where these MEMU coaches are produced. Overall it is expected that the requirement of MEMU coaches will grow to nearly 9000 coaches during the next 10 year period. Setting up of factory for conventional MEMU coaches will go a long way in meeting this demand.

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) is a Maharatna Central Public Sector Unit (CPSU) company, which is a partner of Indian Railways for a period spanning more than 40 years. It has been manufacturing and supplying electric rolling stock including EMUs and MEMUs; as well as sub-assembly and equipment for rolling stock being manufactured at IR’s own production units.

The proposed facility for production of MEMU coaches will be set up by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) at Bhilwara in the State of Rajasthan. The entire cost will be borne by BHEL. Government of Rajasthan will provide land to Railways, for setting up the project. In order to make the project viable, Ministry of Railways will give Assured Off- Take orders to BHEL.
New Look Mahindra Racing Completes Second Solid Test in Jerez

Mumbai, February 25, 2013: Mahindra Racing has completed its second pre-season test for the 2013 Moto3™ World Championship in promising style. The group-test at Spain’s Jerez circuit, venue for the third round of this year’s MotoGP season, saw the Indian team’s two new riders complete the test with the fifth and eighth fastest times of the 33 Moto3 participants.
Three trouble-free days for Mahindra’s all-new MGP-3O (pronounced three "o") were marred only by rain on the final day that led to an early finish for the team, who had achieved most of their objectives.

Portuguese teenager, Miguel Oliveira, recorded the fifth fastest time of the test (1’47.958). The 17 year old from Pragal near Lisbon, was also impressively quick in the wet conditions of Thursday despite having a small fall. “I'm really happy that we had the opportunity to continue the job started in Valencia,” he commented. “I'm pleased with the way we are working and I’m learning so much about the bike and my team. We are on a good path and we are ready to fight.

“Our immediate area of focus is to find a good set-up for the bike and doing our job without looking at the other teams and riders. We need to give the best!"

Experienced Spanish rider Efrén Vázquez was eighth fastest in Jerez (1’48.327). He finished testing at lunchtime feeling satisfied with his move to Mahindra Racing: "I'm really happy with the bike and everything is going better than we expected. I'm very pleased with the team. It has all changed since last year and the expectations and thinking are very positive. The project we are working for is a good one and we can do well."

The successful ‘Jerez 1’ test followed on from last week’s Valencia test, the first outing for the 2013 Mahindra. Efrén finished the three days at Valencia with the eighth quickest time (1’40.495), while his young teammate was 10th fastest (1’40.526). Both times were well within the 2012 pole position time at Valencia, scene of the traditional end to the MotoGP season in November. It marked an impressive debut for riders, team and bike.

The 2013 Mahindra bikes completed 750km (Efrén) and 800km (Miguel) over the two tests, but the hard work now continues back in the team’s Swiss base before the final test, ‘Jerez 2’ (18-21 March). Bikes and equipment will then be shipped to Qatar for the first race of the season on 7 April.
 Ends

About Mahindra Racing

Mahindra Racing became the first Indian team to participate in the FIM MotoGP™ World Motorcycle Racing Championship in 2011 and the Italian National Motorcycle Racing Championship (CIV) in 2012.
 Racing in the Moto3™ class in MotoGP, Mahindra Racing enters the 2013 season with its own new 4-stroke, single-cylinder 250cc motorcycle developed in conjunction with experienced Swiss firm Suter Racing Technology AG. Experienced Spanish rider Efrén Vázquez (26, from Bilbao) is teamed with exciting Portuguese teenager Miguel Oliveira (17, from Pragal near Lisbon) in the team.
 In the 2012 CIV season, Mahindra Racing competed in the 125 GP Class and became the first team from India to win an international motorsport event, eventually recording six victories from eight races and securing the Constructors’ Championship. In 2013, Mahindra Racing will enter the Moto3™ class in CIV.

For further information please visit: www.mahindraracing.com
                           
About Mahindra
The Mahindra Group focuses on enabling people to rise through solutions that power mobility, drive rural prosperity, enhance urban lifestyles and increase business efficiency.
A USD 15.9 billion multinational group based in Mumbai, India, Mahindra employs more than 155,000 people in over 100 countries. Mahindra operates in the key industries that drive economic growth, enjoying a leadership position in tractors, utility vehicles, information technology and vacation ownership. In addition, Mahindra enjoys a strong presence in the agribusiness, aerospace, components, consulting services, defence, energy, financial services, industrial equipment, logistics, real estate, retail, steel and two wheeler industries.
In 2012, Mahindra featured on the Forbes Global 2000 list, a listing of the biggest and most powerful listed companies in the world.

Visit us at  www.mahindra.com 
Our Social Media Channels -  
For further enquiries
Roma Balwani                                         
Senior Vice President – Group Communications
Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. 
Smriti Mehra looks forward to a second consecutive title at the third leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour 2013

Mumbai, 25th Feb 2013: Veteran Delhi golfer Smriti Mehra will look forward to her second consecutive title at the third leg of the Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour 2013. The third leg will be played at the par 70 Bombay Presidency Golf Club from the 26th – 28th February 2013. Smriti who was the winner in the second leg of the HWPGT 13 currently leads the Hero Order of Merit with a total earning of INR 1,90,000 from the first two legs.

DLF Golf & Contry Club’s golfer Vani Kapoor who stormed the circuit with some aggressive and exceptional golf in her rookie season will be eager to get her first winners cheque on the tour forthis season. Kolkata Golfer Neha Tripathi, who had a great start to the season winning the first leg of the Hero Women’s Golf Tour 2013 will be hopeful of a good show in the third leg.

Hero MotoCorp sponsored golfer, Sharmila Nicollet will be another professional to watch out for in this leg. Sharmila who had to miss the first leg of the tour due to an injury finished tied second in the second leg with a strong comeback on the final day.

The Rs. 5,00,000 event is the third in the series of 12 this year.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Anwar Ibrahim on a new era for Cosmopolitans

Malaysia's opposition unveiled election manifesto on Monday  with pledges to eliminate authoritarian rule, corruption, promising lower fuel prices other sweeteners lure

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on a new era for cosmopolitans  and economically vibrant country, which has been governed since independence in 1957 by essentially the same ruling coalition.He said, "This is about the rise of the people. We, as leaders, are only the catalyst," Anwar said in a speech after the manifesto's release."We are responsible for returning human dignity and pride to the people."

Elections are due by late June but Prime Minister Najib Razak is expected to call a fresh vote within weeks.

Michelle Obama presents Best Picture Award

Michelle Obama made a surprise and unprecedented appearance on Sunday's Oscars telecast when she presented the award for Best Picture, the first time a president or first lady has ever presented an Academy Award.
Appearing live on screen from the White House in Washington, almost 3,000 miles (4,800 km) from the Oscars ceremony in Hollywood, Obama praised the work of the movie industry before announcing the Iran hostage drama "Argo" the Best Picture winner. Wearing a silver evening dress, Obama said this year's nominated films had "made us laugh, made us weep and grip our armrests just a little bit tighter." Obama added: "They reminded us we can overcome any obstacles if we dig deep enough and hard enough. They are especially important for young people. Everyday they engage in the arts, they learn to open their imaginations ... and strive to reach those dreams."
"Argo" director and co-producer Ben Affleck said he felt like he was "sort of hallucinating" when Obama presented the award. "The fact that it was the first lady was an enormous honor... it was very cool," Affleck said backstage after collecting the Best Picture Trophy.

Nicos Anastasiades President of Cyprus

President-elect of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, vowed on Sunday to sign a bailout deal with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as soon as possible. "We will cooperate with our European partners in order to conclude the agreement as soon as possible. We will be absolutely consistent and fully comply with all our obligations,” the president-elect told on state TV.
He vowed extensive structural reforms needed to restore economic stability and ensure growth.
With all the votes counted, Anastasiades, 66, of the main opposition Democratic Rally party, garnered 57.5 percent of the vote while left-wing rival and former health minister Stavros Malas, 45, won 42.5 percent of the ballots. Mediterranean island,  on the brink of bankruptcy, needs a bailout of 17.5 billion euros $23 billion.The president elect's inauguration ceremony is about to begin at a stadium in Nicosia.

Tata, Airtel and SingTel under CBI scanner

CBI has registered a case in a Delhi court against Bharti Airtel Ltd, Tata Communication Ltd and Singapore Telecommunications Ltd for allegedly causing a loss of nearly Rs 48 crore to the govt since 2004 by illegally providing ILD services.All the three telecom companies have been booked on charges of criminal conspiracy and cheating under the Indian Penal Code and also under the Indian Telegraph Act for violating the Department of Telecommunications’ licencing norms.The FIR has been filed in a local court on a complaint of Ministry of Communications and IT..When contacted, Bharti Airtel had no comments to offer while Tata Communications said it would not comment on speculation.The complaint said it had come to the notice of DoT that there is an unauthorised/illegal international long distance service provider M/s Singapore Telecommunications Ltd which was selling unauthorised ILD services to Indian customers since 2004 without obtaining the requisite ILD licence from DoT in connivance with Bharti Airtel and Tata Communications.
 
It said the Singaporean company had offered and provided unauthorized ILD services to the Indian customers without obtaining the requisite ILD licence from DoT. Report said the actual loss can be calculated after getting the amount collected by illegal international long distance (ILD) services provided from various Indian customers.
 
 CBI has said in the FIR that “facts in the complaint disclose commission of offences under Section 120-B read with 420 IPC and section 20 of the Indian Telegraph Act against M/s Singapore Telecommunications, M/s Bharti Airtel Ltd and M/s Tata Communication Ltd. A regular case has been registered for investigation.”

South Korean first women President Park Geun-Hye

 Park Geun-Hye, the daughter of South Korea's late military ruler, will be sworn in as the country's first female president on Monday in a ceremony shadowed by North Korea's recent nuclear test. challenges, including the belligerent regime in the North, a slowing economy and soaring welfare costs in one of the world's most rapidly aging societies.

Park inaugural speech is expected to focus on job creation, welfare expansion and national defence, while appealing for national unity at a time of growing concern with income and wealth disparity. Park had campaigned on a promise of greater, "trust-based" engagement with Pyongyang and her speech will be closely parsed for any indication of how she intends to handle North Korea at the beginning of her five-year term.Park is taking office a little more than 50 years after her father, Park Chung-He, seized power in a military coup. He went on to rule the country with an iron fist for the next 18 years until his eventual assassination, and remains a divisive figure credited with dragging the country out of poverty but reviled for his regime's human rights abuses. His daughter's political career has always been shadowed by her father's legacy a fact that has played both to her advantage and her detriment.

Park publicly acknowledged the excesses of her father's regime during her campaign and apologized to the families of its victims. Park's mother murdered five years before her father, and she has never married or had children.She is adored by older conservative Koreans, who feel she shares her father's leadership qualities and view her as something of an ill-fated princess who lost both parents to assassination but managed to rise above the tragedy.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Italy goes for voting for a new government

Italy goes for  voting for a new federal government beginning Sunday,  and the country’s European partners anxious the results for weeks.
Nearly 47 million Italians are eligible to vote, public is angry at austerity measures and do not want to skid like Greece.Voting is taking place over two days, with polling stations closing 3 p.m. (1400 GMT) Monday.
The election is likely to produce another format of  coalition government led by Bersani, Monti’s centrist party, the probable results  favoured by global markets and the euro zone.
 Berlusconi, former prime minister, of  a centre-right coalition in the election and polls indicate he will come second to the centre-left.Italy facing worst recession in two decades, unemployment is above 11% and rising, while the public debt mountain as a proportion of GDP is second only to Greece in the eurozone.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Pentagon grounds its entire fleet of F35 fighter jets

The US military temporarily grounded its entire fleet of F-35 fighter jets - used in Air Force, the Navy and the Marines - as a precautionary measure after a routine inspection detected a crack on an engine blade.

All F-35 flight operations have been suspended until the investigation is complete, the Pentagon said on Friday.
"It is too early to know the fleet-wide impact of the recent finding," it said, adding F-35 Joint Program Office is working closely with Pratt & Whitney and Lockheed Martin at all F-35 locations to ensure the integrity of the engine, and to return the fleet safely to flight as soon as possible.
The Pentagon said a routine engine inspection revealed a crack on an engine blade of the F-35 engine installed in F-35A aircraft AF-2 operating at Edwards Air Force Base, California.
Engineering teams are shipping the engine's turbine module and its associated hardware to Pratt & Whitney's Engine Facility in Middletown, Connecticut, to conduct more thorough evaluation and root cause analysis, it said.
The F-35 II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, fifth generation multirole fighters under development to perform ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defense missions with stealth capability.

Bangladesh, Japan strike deal for Dhaka metro rail
With an endeavor to ease the traffic problems that create havoc mainly in the capital city, Bangladesh on Wednesday signed a loan deal with a Japanese development agency for construction of the country's first-ever metro rail system.

Traffic in the country’s capital, home to 15 million people, is among the slowest in the world with commuters spending three-to-four hours in jams daily. A mix of 200,000 motor vehicles and another half-million cycle-rickshaws clog the roads.
Officials said the proposed 20.1-kilometre ground and elevated railway will stretch across Dhaka from north to south with 16 stations and will ferry four million commuters every day, easing the jams substantially.
The project will cost an estimated USD 2.8 billion, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Bangladesh chief Takao Toda said, adding that his agency will finance 85 per cent of the cost at an interest rate of 0.01 per cent.
"The metro-rail will reduce travel time to 36 minutes (to cross from north to south Dhaka), which now takes hours," Toda said at the signing of the first phase of the loan deal entailing USD 116.3 million for consulting services.
The metro-rail construction will start in 2016 and end in 2021. The government may seek investment from other donors for the remainder of the cost.
The metro will be the impoverished country's second-largest infrastructure project after a USD 3-billion bridge project over the river Padma.
The government says it plans to finance the bridge on its own. Early this month, Bangladesh withdrew its request for World Bank financing for the high-profile bridge project which has been dogged by allegations of corruption involving top government officials.

Hero Hockey World League Round Two - Bangladesh VS Fiji 8-4

23.02.13 : New Delhi: Hero Hockey World League Round Two - Bangladesh VS Fiji
Bangladesh – Fiji 8-4 (half-time: 3-2)
 
Mamunur Rahman Chayan’s four goal corner burst eventually put paid to Fiji’s hopes of a first win from a spectacular men’s Hero Hockey World League Round Two 2013 in Delhi.
 
It helped Bangladesh land their third win from four games and, with a game against India to come, are hopeful of causing  an upset to try and make it through to round three.Things looked to be relatively comfortable when Krishno Kumar Das scored twice in the opening eleven minutes, first with a tidy one-on-one finish, next when he guided home Md Mosiur Rahman Mosiur’s whipped pass.
Kamruzzaman’s excellent rising effort made it 3-0 before Fiji stormed back into contention.  Jerome Edwards scored their first with a very smart piece of work down the right, lifting it in from a narrow angle. And Adrian Smith scored his second of the competition from the same corner that succeeded against China for 3-2 at half-time.
Chayan’s first flick made it 4-2 but, again, Fiji replied this time from Alasace Smith’s thumping penalty corner strike. Chayan, though, formally killed off the game with three more drags in the closing 16 minutes to take away Fiji’s dream while Sheikh Md Nannu spun home in the middle of a late goal-rush. Adrian Smith got his second in the final minute to cap a lively performance but Bangladesh’s win means they will certainly finish above their pre-tournament seeding


India’s best cities Awards
Gujarat bags five awards, Vadodara ranked overall best emerging city
***
Gandhinagar, Surat and Rajkot also awarded in different categories
New Delhi:  Gujarat has been adjudged with five prestigious “India Today- Best City Awards-2013” in different categories at a function held here. While Vadodara bagged the award for overall best emerging city, Gandhinagar and Surat ranked best cities in category of Crime & Safety, Rajkot for Housing & Transport and Vadodara again for Public Services. All the five awards were received by Shri I.P. Gautam, Principal Secretary (Urban Development) of Gujarat Government from Union Minister for Urban Development Shri Kamal Nath here.
The cities were ranked on a primary survey of 50 cities and out of these, 17 cities were shortlisted with five from Gujarat state.
Gujarat has received a number of national and international awards in last decade for Good Governance. Under the leadership of Shri Narendra Modi as Chief Minister, Gujarat has developed one of the best infrastructures in the country and created conducive environment for its people to realize their full potential and excel in their chosen vocation.
Gujarat has invigorated the development of its cities and urban spaces with innovative ideas and their speedy implementation for long term, robust urban growth. In the last decade, the State Government has taken a series of initiatives dedicated to urban areas that have generated wonderful results.
Gujarat’s pioneering initiatives in areas such as water management,  disaster management, health care, education, women  empowerment, rural development, industrial development, investment promotion have been studied far and wide and several of them have been replicated and up-scaled in other states of the country.
Recently, Gujarat was adjudged the best Big State for providing citizen security and one of the top three Best Big States for their overall performance at the IBN7 Diamond States Awards. 
Shri Bharat Lal, Resident Commissioner also attended India Today award distribution function.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Boeing, Dream liner brand 787s remain grounded

Boeing, Dream liner brand 787s remain grounded under instructions from the US aviation authorities following a series of systematic error, problems in  a battery fire, malfunction.
Japanese transport ministry’s order on Friday is in response to two cases of fuel leaks in January involving 787s operated by Japan Airlines. One happened at Boston’s Logan Airport, and the other at Japan’s Narita Airport.Transport ministry officials blame the leak in Boston on a foreign object stuck in a fuel tank valve, which prevented the valve from closing.They say the leak at Narita Airport was due to an unnecessary coating job on a motor switch for a separate valve, which caused the switch to malfunction.The ministry’s order for pre-flight checks covers Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways.
Boeing official said, partial changes to its assembly process to prevent faulty coatings, ministry says it will cooperate with the US aviation authorities to monitor the company’s quality improvement efforts.

Egyptians to vote for new parliament in April



Egyptians to elect their new parliament beginning 27th April. The election will be held in several phases and the entire electoral process will be over by June .The new People’s Assembly will be formally convened after the polls on July 6.
A Presidential decree to this effect was issued by the Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi in Cairo yesterday.
The announcement of elections is being seen as yet another attempt by the President Mursi to tide over the ongoing political and economic crisis in the country. The ruling Muslim Brotherhood feels that the move will help stem the protests by the opposition.The umbrella opposition , the National Salvation Front, led by the former IAEA Chief Mohamed El Bardei is yet to react on the move.
However one of the major political players, the left wing Popular Currant led by the former Presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi, the opposition Dostur party and a group of revolutionary movements have declared that they would boycott the elections till their demands are met.
They have demanded a trial of Muslim Brotherhood supporters for crimes against the Egyptian people, sacking the attorney general, release of all political detainees, amendments in constitution and fresh Presidential elections along with that of the parliament

Thursday, February 21, 2013

SC sets up special team to examine contents of Radia tapes

A six-member special team comprising five from the CBI and one from the Income Tax department was today constituted by the Supreme Court to examine the contents of tapped telephonic conversations of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia with politicians, corporate honchos and others.

A bench comprising justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya said the working of the team will be supervised by two officers of the CBI who will report to Superintendent of Police, CBI dealing with the 2G matter.
The bench said that the overall supervision will be under the Deputy Inspector General, CBI who is looking after the case.
The bench said that the team shall submit its report in four months from today.
The apex court on February 13 had sought names of officials of CBI, IT department and the Enforcement Directorate for setting up of a team to enquire into the tapped telephonic conversations of Radia with others to ascertain element of criminality.
The court had earlier said that it had gone through some of the tapped conversations and some of them were "innocuous" and hence, the voluminous transcripts were needed to be "scrutinised" to find out elements of "criminality" in them.
It had also made clear that the scrutiny would be limited to those conversations which pertain to criminal element and relating to interest of justice.
Earlier, senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Ratan Tata, had submitted that "utmost secrecy" be maintained in the scrutiny of transcripts.
He was referring to various conversations that took place between Tata and Radia which are allegedly personal in nature.
"There are some conversations in public domain and those are hardly personal in nature. They relate to illegality and shed significant light on how government decisions are being influenced and how institutions run in the country," Prashant Bhushan, appearing for Centre for Public Interest Litigation, had said.
Excerpts from the tapes earlier leaked in the media had sparked a political storm with the conversations bringing out the nature of corporate lobbying and also its purported impact on politics.
The income tax department placed transcripts of 5,800 tapped telephone conversations in 50 sealed envelopes.
The conversations were recorded as part of surveillance of Radia's phone on a complaint to Finance Minister on November 16, 2007 alleging that within a span of nine years she had built up a business empire worth Rs 300 crore.
The government had recorded 180 days of Radia's conversations--first from August 20, 2008 onwards for 60 days and then from October 19 for another 60 days.
Later, on May 11, 2009, her phone was again put on surveillance for another 60 days following a fresh order given on May 8.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Putin Meets with Jordanian King Abdullah II

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Jordan’s King Abdullah II
President Vladimir Putin and Jordan’s King Abdullah II met in Moscow on Tuesday to discuss bilateral cooperation in the trade, economic, military technology, investment, energy and humanitarian sectors, the Kremlin reported.
According to earlier reports, the two leaders were supposed to discuss in particular the proposed Russian participation in a project to build Jordan’s first nuclear power plant (NPP), but it was unclear from a statement on the meeting posted on the Kremlin’s website whether that particular topic was discussed and to what extent.
The Kremlin said earlier that “the heads of state will discuss the possibility of Russian participation in the construction of the first nuclear power plant in the Kingdom of Jordan, as well as infrastructural development and mining.”
Jordan first announced plans to build its own nuclear capacity and exploit the country’s uranium resources in 2008. Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom is on a short list of potential contractors for the NPP project.
The Fukushima disaster led to a clear commitment from the Jordanian Atomic Energy Commission that any reactor built must meet current Western standards of safety and would undergo a full safety assessment by an experienced and credible independent safety regulatory body.
In May 2012 the Jordanian Parliament voted to suspend the NPP program and the uranium exploration effort pending the completion of economic feasibility and environmental impact assessments.
Meanwhile, Rosatom provided 12 Jordanian nuclear physicists with scholarships to study in Russia.
Jordan currently relies on fossil fuels, but imports 97 percent of its energy needs from neighboring countries.
“The heads of state also exchanged views on current issues on the international agenda, including the situation in Syria and the Middle East peace process,” the Kremlin said in a statement Tuesday.
Putin praised bilateral trade, and Abdullah II said the countries have a lot of interesting economic projects that may be discussed, adding that military and technological cooperation was developing well.
According to the Russian government, Russian-Jordanian trade grew 22% in 2012 to $426.5 million. Russian exports, mainly oil products, steel and grain, dominate bilateral trade.RIA

Indian Trade Unions’ two-day strike to hit transport, banking

The country braced for a two-day nationwide strike called by 11 trade unions from Wednesday in support of their demands with banking, insurance and transport sector likely to be affected in some states.

As fresh appeals were made on Tuesday to the trade unions to call of the strike, leading industry body Assocham warned that the economy would take a hit of between Rs 15,000 crore and Rs 20,000 crore due to disruption in economic activity.
The government renewed its appeal to the bank employees including from the RBI not to join the strike saying there is “really no reason” for them to go ahead with it.
Normal life is likely to be crippled in states like Kerala and Tripura where workers from various sectors including transport and banking are set to join the protest.
States like West Bengal, Kerala, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Haryana, Karnataka and parts of Uttar Pradesh are likely to be affected significantly, Assocham president Rajkumar Dhoot said in a statement in Kolkata.
Apart from unions owing allegiance to the Left, the pro-Congress INTUC and pro-BJP BMS are also participating in the strike.
The unions have put forward a charter of 10 demands such as urgent steps to control price rise, strict enforcement of labour laws in all places of work, social security net for workers in the unorganised sector, end to disinvestment in PSUs and raising minimum wage to Rs 10,000 a month.
Organizing for Action Naresh --

Maybe you've seen firsthand how gun violence can rip apart a family and a community.

Or maybe you're concerned by what you see on the news.

Whatever your reason, those in Congress who oppose sensible change need to hear from you: Share your personal story or views on why Congress should act right now to help protect our kids and reduce gun violence.

Your story will inspire others to speak out and show legislators that now is the time.

President Obama said it: "More than a thousand birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun" in just the two months since the tragedy in Newtown.

Each of those families deserves a vote by Congress on commonsense measures to help protect our kids.

But we need to demand it.

It's easy to share your story or point of view:

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4. After you agree to the submission terms, hit the green "Tell Your Story" button. Our staff will review and post your submission.

Please share your story today:

http://my.barackobama.com/Share-Your-Story-on-Gun-Violence

This won't be easy, but if we can save even one life, it'll be worth it.

Thanks,

Jon

Jon Carson
Executive Director
Organizing for Action

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