Jumat, 05 Desember 2008

NAIDUPET/NELLORE: Eleven persons were killed, several tanks breached, hundreds of houses either collapsed or suffered extensive damage, while road and

NAIDUPET/NELLORE: Eleven persons were killed, several tanks breached, hundreds of houses either collapsed or suffered extensive damage, while road and rail networks were damaged as widespread rain disrupted normal life across the district on Monday.

An old person travelling in a mini private bus, a middle-aged person and his young son, in a mini truck, were washed way in Pandluru stream near Naidupet mandal despite valiant efforts by villagers to save them with the help of a country boat. Eight others at different places were also killed.

According to District Collector M. Ravi Chandra, the victims’ kin are eligible to receive Rs. 50,000 under Apath Bandhu and an equal amount from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.

He said that control rooms at all mandals and 63 relief and rehabilitation camps had been set up in 12 most affected mandals. Special officers have been deputed at almost all vulnerable villages and evacuations taken up in most of them.

The Collector said that Naidupet (310 mm), Nellore (300 mm) Kavali (200 mm) and Sullurpet (150 mm) received highest rainfall in the last 24 hours due to depression over South West Bay of Bengal.

According to irrigation department officials, Kanigiri and Sarveypalli reservoirs are filled to the brim and overflowing. “Nellore tank is nearing full storage capacity while around 60 system tanks are filled up. The Kanupur main canal bund near South Mopur village was breached and restoration measures are in progress.

Twenty-five gates of Swarnamukhi barrage are opened and about 55,000 cusecs of water is being released through the barrage. In minor irrigation, 90 per cent of 1,763 tanks are full,” they said.

The flood situation in the Municipal Corporation of Nellore (MCN) and other areas across the district remained grim due to the incessant rain.

The Meteorology Department warned that thundershowers are likely at most places over South-West coastal A.P. and Rayalaseema during the next 24 hours.

Global Forum stresses heathcare for developing countries

BEIJING (Xinhua): Investment in health research in developing countries still accounts for only a small fraction of the global total in spite of a sharp rise in global funding, an international health official said at an ongoing global forum in Beijing.

About 125 billion U.S. dollars is being spent each year on health research, a four-fold increase over the past 20 years, said Stephen Matlin, the executive director of the 11th Global Forum for Health research.

But he said only ten percent of the global health research funding is spent on dealing with health problems in developing nations, which have 90 percent of the world's population.

The pattern of the major health threats in developing countries has changed, he said, with diseases such as cancer, diabetes and strokes becoming more serious threats in addition to malaria and tuberculosis.

However, health research that produces solutions requiring expensive drugs and sophisticated technology would only have limited applicability in poorer countries, he said.

He said that the global forum will help invest more in developing countries and try to realize the Millennium Development Goals.

The Millenium Development Goals are a series of social and economic targets formulated by the United Nations that aim to halve extreme poverty by 2015.

Matlin stressed that developing countries need to develop more strong and robust health systems to deal with the health problems of growing populations.

To achieve that, more public health exchanges and cooperation are needed to improve the situation, and developed countries should provide technical assistance and funding for developing countries, said Chen Zhu, China's Minister of Health.

The minister said that China is trying to increase investment in health care but he admitted that "China still suffers from wide disparities in allocation of health resources."

The World Health Organization Director-General, Dr. Margaret Chan, said that advances in healthcare must keep the poor in mind.

"If we want healthcare to reduce poverty, we cannot allow the cost of care to drive impoverished households even deeper into poverty," she said.

The 11th Global Forum for Health research, which is scheduled from Oct. 29 to Nov. 2, has attracted more than 800 officials, scholars and scientists from more than 80 countries and regions.

The Geneva-based Global Forum for Health Research is aimed at helping developing countries to improve their healthcare.

Hindu seers stage protest in New Delhi

New Delhi, Nov 26 : Hindu seers led by senior Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Pravin Togadia staged a silent protest in New Delhi on Wednesday, to show solidarity with Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, one of the accused in the Malegoan blasts case.

Earlier this month, Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in Maharashtra detained Thakur, Dayanand Pandey and Lietenant Colonel Purohit, all belonging to Hindu community, in connection with the Malegaon blasts case.

Togadia described the Malegaon probe as a conspiracy by the government to protect the extremists.

"Malegaon is a conspiracy to protect the extremists. We believe the saints and the army officials who have been arrested are innocent. They have been tortured to adhere to the version of the ATS. For this the ATS officials should be arrested," said Togadia.

Last week there were speculations about Togadia's involvement in the Malegaon Blasts. But, the Mumbai ATS and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) cleared him off the allegations.

The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has openly showed its disapproval with the Malegaon blasts probe.

Five people were killed in the blasts that hit the Muslim-dominated Malegaon town in Maharashtra, and Modasa town in Gujarat, within minutes of each other on September 29.

For years, bomb attacks in India have mostly been blamed on Islamist militants. Even attacks on mosques were often blamed on Islamists seeking to spark communal tension between India's majority Hindus and minority Muslims.

Muslim leaders have accused authorities of conducting a witch hunt and reinforcing stereotypes about their community after dozens of Muslims were detained following a string of bomb attacks across the country this year.

Shadowy Mujahedeen target Hindu-Muslim divide

The spectacular attacks in Mumbai are the latest in a series of assaults that are straining relations between Hindus and Muslims, threatening to aggravate tensions between India and Pakistan and highlighting India's growing struggle with terrorism.

Yesterday's attacks differed from the others in that the attackers singled out two luxury hotels frequented by foreigners, seeking out foreign nationals and reportedly taking some hostage in an apparent attempt to terrorize overseas visitors and perhaps disrupt India's booming trade with the outside world.

It was also much more sophisticated than most previous attacks. While earlier attackers usually used crude improvised explosives, these ones had automatic weapons and grenades.

“You have a huge group of dedicated gunners who have been trained to go into these hotels,” said Reva Bhalla, an expert with the private intelligence company Stratfor. “These things take a lot of co-ordination. They were very well armed and they had a plan.”
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While no one is certain yet exactly who is responsible, one possible suspect is the Indian Mujahedeen, a group that emerged about a year ago.

It has claimed responsibility for a series of previous attacks, including one in the city of Ahmedabad on July 26 in which the attackers caused an explosion in the city's crowded old quarter, then set off car bombs at the hospitals where victims were being taken. Another attack in the Rajasthani city of Jaipur took 60 lives in May. Some of the bombs were carried on bicycles.

The group has typically sent e-mails to news organizations giving just a few minutes warning before its attacks. They claim to be driven by various injustices to Muslims, such as attacks on Muslim residents of Ahmedabad in 2002.

Little is known about the group that reportedly took responsibility for yesterday's attacks, the Deccan Mujahedeen. The Deccan Plateau is a huge terrain covering much of southern India. But there is speculation it may have links to the Indian Mujahedeen. That group, in turn, has been linked to the Students' Islamic Movement of India, or SIMI, which the Indian government outlawed in 2001.

In an account this fall, which was questioned by a skeptical Indian media, police said that Indian Mujahedeen had recruited disgruntled Muslims from north India, enlisting them from a region known for providing criminals for the Mumbai mafia.

In recent months, the mysterious attackers have hit centres from Delhi to Bangalore to Surat, claiming more than 200 lives this year. India's Home Ministry reports that there have been 64 bomb attacks in the past six months alone. As recently as Sunday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was calling for urgent action against the terrorist threat. “I only wish to emphasize here that time is not on our side,” he said.

Most of the attacks have been against so-called soft targets such as markets and religious sites.

Wednesday's attack recalled an assault by Kashmiri militants armed with automatic weapons on the Indian parliament in New Delhi in 2001.

The Mumbai attacks are bound to strain Hindu-Muslim relations as Hindus blame Muslims and Muslims complain they are being unfairly accused of harbouring extremist sympathies.

India's roughly 150 million Muslims often complain that they are second-class citizens, most of them poor and many discriminated against by their Hindu neighbours. But so far, few have gravitated to the cause of international jihad.

The nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, has accused the coalition government, led by Mr. Singh's Congress Party, of being soft on terrorism. BJP politicians and other Hindu nationalists often argue that Muslims are conspiring to take over or undermine the predominantly Hindu country.

In fact, at least some of the terrorists appear to be Hindu. This month, police arrested 10 Hindus associated with a group, New India, suspected of plotting one bombing.

The Mumbai attacks are also expected to aggravate relations between India and Pakistan, which have fought three wars since gaining independence from Britain in 1947. India blames most terrorist attacks on militant groups based in Pakistan or Bangladesh. When a suicide bomber killed 41 people in an attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul in June, India said that Pakistan's spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, was to blame.www.theglobeandmail.com

In India, Hindu Hardware Disallow follow a course Valentine's Day

Hindu nation follow a course hard against Valentine's Day celebration. Dozens protester blocking a road in the city of New Delhi, Wednesday with the burning cards and Valentine's Day present hurl criticism "Valentine's Day" is. Meanwhile, in the City of Lucknow, extremists threaten the nation will memukuli pair of exposure celebrate Valentines Day.

"We desperately against the Valentine's Day. We have given Love and Get, "asserted been Dutta, a regional leaders follow a course hard, Shiv groups.

Action for the protester from the group Shiv said, they defend and maintain the cultural values of traditional India from the influence of Western lifestyles has become their routine activities every year.

However, it is likely they desire most is not digubris, especially in some large cities in India, where the economy experienced progress with the positions of all lifestyles and culture of the West, including McDonald's, MTV and of course, Valentine's Day.

Some stores have memajangkan Valentine cards and chocolate. In addition cadger sell flowers and roses some restaurants had special menus that offer romantic.

Many newspapers in English in India show the stories Valentine's Day in the front page.

Times of India states will be increased security around the gardens, rose at the University of New Delhi to prevent the "Romeo" young picks flowers, the Hindustan Times and writing suggestions that doctors not to perform the act of adultery or consume drugs such as Viagra.

However, people follow a course of Hindu hard threaten to destroy all forms of the event. "Volunteers will check parking places, hotels and restaurants and comb-Professional Footballer young couples who found out while running the middle bergendengan hands," says Vijay Tiwari, an activist in Lucknow on Shiv.

Exercised over yoga in Malaysia

Of all the things to get exercised about, yoga would seem to be an unlikely candidate for controversy. But such has been the case in Malaysia this week.

Malaysia's prime minister declared on Wednesday that Muslims can after all practice the Indian exercise regime, so long as they avoid the meditation and chantings that reflect Hindu philosophy. This came after Malaysia's National Fatwa Council told Muslims to roll up their exercise mats and stop contorting their limbs because yoga could destroy the faith of Muslims.

It has been a tough month for the fatwa council chairman, Abdul Shukor Husin, who in late October issued an edict against young women wearing trousers, saying that was a slippery path to
lesbianism. Gay sex is outlawed in Malaysia.

The council's rulings, and other religious controversies, might at first blush seem to indicate a growing strain of conservative Islam in mostly Muslim Malaysia. But it could also
reflect the growing unease of Islamic authorities in defending the faith in a rapidly modernising Malaysia where non-Muslims constitute 40 percent of the population and are increasingly
asserting their rights.

The yoga fatwa stirred up a hornet's next, not only in the blogosphere where that could be expected, but in another deeply conservative Malaysian institution -- the sultans. Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, who presides ceremonially over the central state of Selangor, said Abdul's fatwa council should have consulted the nine hereditary Malay rulers who take turns being Malaysia's king before announcing the ruling. The highly unusual comment from one of the sultans on a
policy matter suggests some discord about who speaks for Malaysia's Muslims on matters of faith. Islam is the official religion in multi-religious Malaysia and the constitution designates the nine sultans as guardians of the faith. The (rotating) king is the head of Islam in Malaysia.

The sultans, for their part, have seen what remains of their secular powers eroded over the years, particularly under the two-decade administration of former prime minister Mahathir
Mohamad. They could be defending a last bastion of royal prerogoative in the religious arena.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badaw, who has been preaching a moderate brand of Islam called Islam Hadhari, moved to contain the damage saying Muslims can do exercises like the "sun
salutation" so long as they don't start chanting.

The fatwa council's rulings, in any case, are not legally binding until they are adopted as national laws or sharia (Islamic) laws in individual states. There seems to be little appetite for that. No laws have been made against young women wearing trousers. The government in May dropped a proposal to restrict women from travelling abroad by themselves after a storm of derision from women activist groups.

But even as the flap over yoga is relaxing, the government is crossing swords with Christian groups.

A Christian federation claimed Bibles were seized at entry points earlier this year. Malaysian Catholics are having an ontological argument with the authorities about the word "Allah".
The government banned the Malay-language section of a Catholic weekly newspaper from using the word, saying it creates confusion among Muslims. Catholics say Allah is simply the Arabic word for
"God", and has long been used in Malay-language Bibles. (A Dutch bishop has stirred debate in Europe with a similar argument)

Non-muslims, who constitute 40 percent of Malaysia's population, sometimes worry that things such as the fuss over fatwas and words for God, may augur a mini-clash of civilisations in Malaysia, which last year saw a harsh crackdown on Indian rights protesters. It was one year ago that 10,000 ethnic Indians defied tear gas and waterr cannon to voice complaints of racial and religious discrimination in its biggest ever anti-government street protest.