Thursday, April 30, 2015

2 hrs · 
Rahulji listening to farmers woes in Maharastra

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Global context news

Magnitude 5.5 earthquake rattles Mexico

A Magnitude 5.5 earthquake has hit the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). The quake struck at a depth of about 70 miles (110 kilometers). The epicenter was 6 miles (10 kilometers) east of the city of Palomares, and residents in the state capital reported feeling it, according to AP. There have been no reports of damage or injuries.

​Over 150 people rescued from burning ferry in Mediterranean

All 156 passengers and crew were rescued by the emergency services on Tuesday from a burning ferry, that headed from the island of Mallorca to the Spanish port of Valencia, the ferry operator and government officials said, according to Reuters. The Sorrento ferry sent out distress signals, Spain’s Ministry of Public Works said in a statement. The Italian operator reported that the cause of the fire remained unknown, as well as the state of the vessel itself.

Indonesia executes 8 drug convicts, 2 Australians among them – local media

Eight drug convicts, including two Australians, have been executed by firing squad in Indonesia early on Wednesday. However a woman from the Philippines, who was also on death row, along with citizens from Australia, Nigeria, Brazil and Indonesia was not among them, according to local media reports.

Palestinians protesting in Tel Aviv against home demolitions

Hundreds of people protested against demolitions targeting Palestinian-owned houses in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, AP said. Protests by Israel’s Palestinians are seldom in Tel Aviv. The protesters demanded that Israel cease home demolitions and provide housing solutions for the Palestinian minority. Palestinians make up one fifth of Israel’s population of 8 million.

Roadside bomb targets Pakistan security forces, kills 1 person in Peshawar

A roadside bomb targeting security forces killed at least one person in Pakistan Tuesday, AFP reported. This was the first deadly attack in the restive northwestern city of Peshawar in two months. The bomb targeted a convoy of security personnel that passed by shortly before the blast. A passer-by was wounded in the blast in the upmarket Hayatabad neighborhood near the Khyber tribal district, where the army is battling Taliban-linked militants.

Nepal quake death toll rises to 5,006

The death toll from the 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Nepal four days ago now stands at 5,006, CNN reported, citing officials. Nepal’s National Emergency Coordination Center also said that 10,194 people had been injured. Another 72 people died as a result of the quake in India, and China has reported 25 deaths. Isolated villages in Nepal are lacking food and drinking water, hospitals desperately need medical supplies, and many roads have been cut off by landslides.

Saudi Arabia crown prince dismissed, new FM appointed

In a sudden reshuffle of top posts Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has removed his half-brother, Moqren bin Abdul Aziz bin Saud from the post of crown prince and deputy prime minister and named Mohammed bin Nayef, grandson of the kingdom’s founder, the country’s interior minister and crown prince, instead. Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, 55, who also appears to be a close friend of the US, could be the country’s first king from the third generation of its ruling dynasty. He is now next-in-line to rule the world’s top oil exporter. The king’s son, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is believed to be around 30 years old, has been appointed deputy crown prince. He’s also the country’s defense minister and is seen as being second in line to the throne. King Salman has also appointed Adel Al Jubeir, the Kingdom’s ambassador to Washington, as the country’s new foreign minister, Al Reuters reported citing state television.

​Russian planes evacuate 128 people from Nepal

Russia has evacuated 128 people from Nepal aboard two Il-76 planes, following last weekend’s devastating earthquake. Those rescued include nationals of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Latvia, Ukraine and Israel. Prior to the rescues, Russia’s Ministry of Emergencies delivered more than 2 tonnes of humanitarian aid. A team of rescuers and medical experts have also arrived in Nepal to help it cope with the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that killed more than 5,000 people.

​Indonesia confirms executing 7 foreigners on drug smuggling charges

Indonesian authorities have confirmed the execution of eight drug traffickers, including two Australian prisoners, four Nigerians, a Brazilian and an Indonesian man. The convicts were shot in an isolated field. Austalians Myuran Sukumaran, 34, and Andrew Chan, 31, from the Bali 9 were convicted of attempting to smuggle 8.3 kilograms of heroin from Indonesia to Australia in 2006. Prime Minister Tony Abbott who worked endlessly to get his countryman freed said Australia “deeply, deeply regrets these executions in Indonesia.” A Filipino woman was granted a stay of execution.

​US Senate will not require Iranian nuclear deal to acquire 2/3 approval

The US Senate turned away an amendment Tuesday that would have required any potential deal with Iran over its nuclear program to gain Senate approval before going into effect, Reuters reported. The amendment would have categorized a deal with Iran as an international treaty, meaning it would have needed to earn support from two-thirds of the chamber. The proposal failed in a 57-39 vote against, but lawmakers continue to work on legislation that would give Congress a chance to weigh in on a deal with Tehran.
Media agencies

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The News Across

More than 50 workers trapped in Saudi building collapse

A convention center under construction in the northwest of the Saudi capital Riyadh has left more than 50 workers trapped under rubble. The workers were of different nationalities but most were from Pakistan, according to the Saudi television news channel Al-Ekhbariya. Four wounded people have so-far been recovered from the debris.

US-led forces conduct 31 airstrikes in Syria, Iraq

The US and its allies carried out five airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria and 26 in Iraq between Sunday and Monday morning according to the US military, Reuters reported. The US-led coalition began airstrikes in Syria in Iraq in the late summer of 2014. The coalition includes the US, the UK, France and a number of Arab countries including Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.

Four US citizens confirmed dead in Nepal earthquake

The US State Department said Monday that four American citizens were among the dead in Nepal’s devastating earthquake, which hit the country on Saturday. Jeff Rathke a spokesman for the US State Department, said that the majority had been at the Mount Everest base camp when the Earthquake occurred.Around 4,000 people were killed by the quake which was the worst in Nepal since 1934 when 8,500 died.

ISIS loyalists kill 5 Libyan journalists

Militants loyal to the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) killed five journalists working for a Libyan television station in the east of the country on Monday. Faraj al-Barassi, a district army commander in the region said the bodies were found outside the eastern city of Bayda, according to Reuters. The reporters had been missing since August, after they set off to travel from Tobruk to Benghazi. Their route took the through Derna, an area controlled by the militant Islamist group.

EU to discuss sanctions on Russia in June – Merkel

International sanctions against Russia should depend on whether peacekeeping commitments signed this year in Minsk are upheld, Reuters quoted German Chancellor Angela Merkel as saying on Monday. “We will deal with this issue in June,” she said at a joint news conference with Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz in Warsaw. Kopacz added that Merkel agreed with her that sanctions already imposed on Russia should be maintained.

Indonesia govt warns court decision won’t delay execution of 2 Australians

The Attorney General’s Office of Indonesia said Monday that two Australian drug convicts will be executed, despite a court decision to hear the legal challenge to the president’s denial of clemency. Australian drug traffickers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are among a group of nine convicts to be executed by firing squad this week, Reuters quoted Tony Spontana, spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office, as saying. The timing of the execution is expected to be announced Tuesday morning. Indonesia’s Constitutional Court has agreed to consider a last-ditch challenge, a lawyer representing the pair said earlier, raising hopes their execution could be delayed.

Palestinians protest over Israel plans to construct 77 new settler homes

Israel has invited bids to construct 77 new homes in two settlements on occupied land in East Jerusalem, Reuters reported. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki described the planned projects as a violation of international law. Tenders for 18 of the 77 units were new, and the others were reissued after previous offers had not been taken up, according to Peace Now, an Israeli group that monitors settlement-building on land Palestinians seek for a state. The Israel Lands Authority said on Monday that 41 of the homes are to be built in Pisgat Ze’ev and 36 in Neve Yaakov, where 63,000 Israelis already live.

Sudan’s Bashir gets 94.5% of vote, reelected as president

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir was reelected on Monday with 94.5 percent of the vote, the National Electoral Commission said. “The number of votes obtained by candidate Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir of the National Congress Party was 5,252,478,”AFP quoted NEC chief Mokhtar al-Asam as saying in Khartoum. Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes. The mainstream opposition boycotted the vote, and he had faced just 13 little-known challengers for the presidency. The closest competitor, Fadl el-Sayed Shuiab of the small Federal Truth Party, won 79,665 votes, or 1.43 percent, according to Asam.

S. Korean president accepts PM resignation over bribery scandal

South Korean President Park Geun-hye accepted the resignation of the prime minister over a widening bribery scandal on Monday, AFP said. Lee Wan-koo offered to step down when Park was on a four-nation-tour of South America. The prime minister fills a largely ceremonial role in the country, but Lee’s departure after two months on the job is seen as a fresh blow for the increasingly beleaguered Park. The prime minister’s resignation followed a scandal triggered by the suicide of Sung Wan-jong, the former head of a bankrupt construction company, earlier this month.

Burundi police deploy tear gas as protests continue for 2nd day

Burundi police fired tear gas and water cannon as protesters demonstrated in Burundi for a second day against President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for a third five-year term in office, Reuters reported. At least five people were killed in protests on Sunday, according to activists. The president’s supporters say his first term does not count as he was picked by lawmakers and was not elected.
Media agencies
Nepal quake toll could reach 10,000, govt on “war footing” – PM —

Nepal quake toll could reach 10,000, govt on “war footing” – PM

The death toll in Nepal’s earthquake could reach 10,000, the country’s Prime Minister Sushil Koirala told media . The authorities are stepping up rescue efforts and asking for supplies of tents and medical aid from abroad. “The government is doing all it can, rescue and relief is on a war footing. It is a challenge and a very difficult hour for Nepal,” Koirala said in an interview. The country was devastated by a 7.9-magnitude earthquake on Saturday.
: Swaraj Samwad schedule till 31 May 2015
From: Swaraj Abhiyan Media  Mon, 27 Apr ’15 9:45p
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Show full Headers
As part of Swaraj Abhiyan';s initiative to connect with every corner of the country, we will be holding dialogue on alternative politics and ways to implement it. Similar to the meeting held in Gurgaon on April 14, we will be calling these dialogues as Swaraj Samwad.
Swaraj Abhiyan is glad to inform that the enthusiastic & overwhelming supporters of alternative politics have led us to agree to have Swaraj Samwads in around a 20 places in the next one month. We have finalised the dates for 14 Swaraj Samwad to be conducted in next one month. The details of more such dialogues are in the process of getting freezed, which we will be sharing with you once it';s freezed.
Anand Kumar, Prashant Bhushan, Yogendra Yadav and Ajit Jha will be taking active participation in all the Swaraj Samwads.
Following is the schedule of the Swaraj Samwads to be conducted until May 31.
DateState/ RegionPlace
02.05.2015North BengalIslampur
03.05.2015South BengalKolkata
16.05.2015Eastern U.P.Allahabad
23.05.2015Himachal PradeshKangada
Swaraj Abhiyan Media
The government is responding to the pressure to the save the internet! Add your voice now to the millions of others!
Big telecom companies are trying to control the Internet by bullying us into paying more for services like WhatsApp or Skype. The Telecom Minister has said the Internet is for all not just a few — but he will only be able to stand against the pressure from telcosif we build massive public support for him to save our Internet. Sign and share with 5 friends now!

Dear friends across India,
Big telecom companies in India are trying to kill the free Internet — bullying us into paying more to access services like WhatsApp, Youtube or Skype. But if we join the massive, historic online protest now, we can keep the Internet free and open for all!

Telecom companies want to create a VIP culture online by breaking the web into fast and slow lanes. They’ll offer faster download speeds to rich companies who pay them and choke those who can’t. This kills net neutrality — where all websites are treated equal. Let’s stop money power taking over the Internet in India by acting now!
Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has already tweeted that the Internet belongs to all, not just a few — but he’s under pressure from the telecom giants. So let’s build the biggest online petition showing him our support — we’ll use the Internet to save the Internet. Sign and share with 5 friends now:
Without net neutrality the richest 1% will control what we see online. Download speeds for sites that don’t pay the telecom companies will become so slow that we’ll give up in frustration and any dynamic start-ups will be killed off trying to compete with giants with deep pockets.
Some argue that telecom companies are after all profit-making businesses so they should be allowed to charge what they like. But a free and open Internet is a public utility and a global consensus is emerging to keep it that way.

The US Communications regulator recently ruled against telecom companies saying there should be no discrimination in terms of speed, access or cost. Tim Berners Lee, the originator of the world wide web also called for any discrimination by Internet services providers to be outlawed.
Politicians across party lines, celebrities and activists in India have already spoken in favour of net neutrality. Now let’s add our community’s voices to this amazing effort to save the Internet. Sign now and share this with 5 friends.
It’s the apocalypse of the Internet as we know it, and will erase the democratic promise of an information highway for everyone the founders of the world wide web imagined. Together, Avaaz has built on that vision, using the web to fight corruption, save lives, and bring people-powered aid to countries in crisis. Over 3 million of us signed the petition to the US communications regulator to protect the Internet and won! Let’s add many more millions to this fight in India.
With hope and determination,
Alaphia, Risalat, Luis, Alex and the rest of the Avaaz team
More information:
Telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad bats for net neutrality. Final decision to be taken by DoT (Economic Times)…

Net neutrality is important and more so because most Indians don’t even have access to the internet (Quartz)…
Airtel wants to ruin the internet by bringing in a digital VIP culture (…

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