|Wednesday, March 8, 2000,
SC can decideMusharraf govt fate
wants to be PM
|Taking holidays in space
WASHINGTON, March 7 Humans are a restless bunch of creatures, says the American astrophysicist Freeman Dyson. People like to go to the wierdest places in the universe. For anyone who has ever dreamed of holidaying on another planet, the emeritus professor from Princeton University has some good news.
turns out to be male
to seek US help
back in race
woman to patent herself
Only SC can decideMusharraf govt fate
ISLAMABAD, March 7 (PTI) Pakistans Chief Justice Irshad Hasan Khan has said Judges decide cases according to their conscience and facts after hearing both parties and not on their personal opinions.
Personal opinion in court matters is extraneous. We decide the matter (before us) on the basis of arguments, facts of the case and according to our conscience, Mr Hasan said yesterday during the hearing of seven petitions challenging proclamation of the emergency and the provisional constitutional order by the Chief Executive on October 12.
He made the observation when former Law Minister Khalid Anwar, counsel for Pakistan Muslim League (petitioner) argued that a Judge of the Supreme Court as an individual could have an adverse opinion about the Nawaz Sharif Government, but as a member of the apex court he had to decide whether the government was constitutional or not.
Only the Supreme Court could confer legitimacy on a government and no one could take away this power, Mr Anwar said, adding the basic question before the court was whether the country was being run in violation of the constitution as on October 12, 1999, when General Pervez Musharraf staged a coup.
The written statement of the government talks about only wrongdoings of the deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Are misdeeds of one person sufficient ground to condemn the constitution? he asked.
DUBAI (Reuters): Pakistans ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said he does not fear the illegal government of General Pervez Musharraf and charged that members of his political party were being tortured in detention.
I trust in God and fear him. I do not fear an illegal government and any decisions it takes, Mr Sharif said in response to questions published today which were sent to him in prison by the Saudi-owned Pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat.
Mr Sharif was ousted by Army Chief General Musharraf in a bloodless coup in October and now faces charges, including hijacking, attempted murder and terrorism. Death is the maximum penalty for hijacking.
Mr Sharif charged that leading members of his Muslim League, including former Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and head of the privatisation commission Kwaja Asif, had been tortured.
He was quoted as saying that they were blindfolded inside prison, had been tortured and had their political rights violated.
The human rights commission of Pakistan in January accused the military government of detaining people since the coup without trial in conditions close to torture.
WASHINGTON, March 7 (Reuters) Americans in 16 states and territories were expected to hand the Democratic Presidential nomination to Vice-President Al Gore on super Tuesday and push Texas Governor George W. Bush towards the Republican nomination.
The biggest day of the 2000 Presidential campaign to date was likely to be decisive for both parties, though Mr Bush still faced a potent challenge from Arizona Senator John McCain.
Polls showed Mr Gore heading for victory in all 16 Democratic primaries and caucuses, which was expected to force his challenger, former Senator Bill Bradley, out of the race.
Bush Jr, the son of former President George Bush, was favoured to win at least seven of the 13 Republican contests including the powerhouse of California. But McCain could win five New England states while New York remained in doubt, although a last-minute poll there gave Mr Bush a 10-point lead.
California will send 162 delegates to the Republican national convention, where 1,034 d+elegates will be needed to obtain the republican presidential nomination. Since it is a winner-take-all state, Bush was expected to scoop them all.
Bush and Gore are already beginning to look past their party opponents at one another, ready for what will likely be a tough election battle.
A Reuters/MSNBC poll showed Bush with solid leads in Georgia, Maryland, Ohio, Missouri and among Republicans in California. McCain led in Massachusetts but Bush had a narrow lead in Connecticut.
In New York, the race was a statistical dead-heat with Bush 3 per cent points ahead of McCain. His lead had been cut in half in the past 24 hours. Another poll by Quinnipiac College found Bush leading by 9 per cent.
Political analyst Allan Lichtman of American University said both Gore and Bush had showed themselves to be tough, ruthless campaigners in the primaries.
That was already apparent yesterday when Gore attacked Bushs record on health in Texas.
Under his (Bushs) leadership, the state of Texas now ranks 49th in health insurance for children, and health insurance for women, 50th, he said. That includes health insurance for woman suffering from breast cancer or any other disease that requires health insurance.
Chandrika wants to be PM
COLOMBO, March 7 (UNI) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has said she preferred serving the people as a Prime Minister with a greater human touch, setting to rest speculations that she will retain the present post for another term.
The talk that President Kumaratunga is going to be President and Prime Minister at the same time is not correct. More than anyone else I wanted to do away with the executive presidency as I find it a total embarrassment personally. As a committed democrat I have always thought it is anti-democratic and that is why in less than one year after coming to power, we presented a constitutional draft to this effect, she said last night in an interview on the state-controlled Rupavahini television.
She said it was with the clear intention to abolish the executive presidency that her government embarked upon preparing a new Constitution proposal. There will be a transitory provision to cover the period of transition from the executive presidency to the executive prime ministership. In any country where there is a transition there have to be transitionary provisions, otherwise the country will be without a President or a Prime Minister. This cannot be allowed to happen, she added.
The present Constitution was brought immorally and I would say even illegally by the United National Party government. A two-thirds majority was required in Parliament for all major proposals. Thanks to the proportional representative system and the Constitution brought in by the UNP, though we had 80 per cent votes in the general election and 99 per cent votes in the presidential election in 1994 we did not have a two-third majority. So we could not abolish the executive presidency as much as we could not bring a final solution to the ethnic problem. But now we have restarted the constitutional process.
Taking holidays in space
WASHINGTON, March 7 (DPA) Humans are a restless bunch of creatures, says the American astrophysicist Freeman Dyson. People like to go to the wierdest places in the universe. For anyone who has ever dreamed of holidaying on another planet, the emeritus professor from Princeton University has some good news.
Im another one who believes that soon well be taking our holi-days in space, revealed Gary Heckman, a space meteorologist at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Washington. The question is where to go (first), he adds.
Dysons prophecy of human habitations on Mars and even Venus envisages hotels and tourist attractions gathered under a canopy of oxygen-producing trees. However, according to Heckman, such a holiday could be prone to interruptions brought on by the odd solar flare.
That would mean a quick trip to the ray bunker, he explains -probably the hotel basement. The bunker would have to be protected by an aluminium hull.
In space, a solar flare can increase the intensity of the suns rays between 10 and a 100 times within a couple of hours. But they dont last too long, Heckman reassures, 10 hours at the most.
NASA, too, is gearing up for space tourism on a big scale. The space agencys chief scientist, Kathie Olsen, the first woman to hold the position, is already working on a space menu. As things stand, tourists would be asked to switch to a diet of sweet potatoes for the duration of their stay. Olsens laboratories are currently cultivating a new variety they predict will be able to grow in a space climate as well as on earth.
Dyson has already worked
out a price. Speaking to journalists in Washington, he
predicted a ticket for a space holiday would cost $
10,000 per month. As he pointed out, that is no more than
well-to-do adventurers pay now for adventure
holidays in the Antarctica and some of the other
more remote corners of the world.
Bride turns out to be male
KANO, March 7 (Pool-Map) A Nigerian man divorced his newly married bride after he discovered on his wedding night that his wife was not a woman but a man instead.
Abdullahi Sani (30) divorced his 16-year-old bride, Jamila Sadi, after discovering his wife was not a female, Nigerian news agency NAN has reported.
We went to bed on the nuptial night to consummate our marriage but I discovered that Jamila had no female organs. Instead I noticed some under-developed male organs in her, Abdullahi said.
A doctor at Murtala Mohammed General Hospital said on the condition of anonymity that Jamila was a boy and not a girl.
Bdesh to seek US help
DHAKA, March 7 (PTI) Bangladesh will seek the help of US President Bill Clinton for the speedy extradition of the accused in the assassination of the countrys founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman now living in America, Foreign Minister Abdus Samad Azad has said.
Mr Azad told reporters yesterday that during official talks between Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the US President Clinton here on March 20, we will ask for extradition of Sheikh Mujibur Rahmans killers now hiding in the USA.
Two of the fugitives
former military officials Mohiuddin and Rashed
Chowdhury are reportedly living in the USA. They
are among 15 former army officials sentenced to death by
a Dhaka court in 1998 for assassinating Sheikh Mujibur
Zhirinovsky back in race
MOSCOW, March 7 (UNI) Mr Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the maverick of Russian politics for the past decade, has bounced back in the March 26 presidential race.
The Russian Supreme Court gave the ruling yesterday stating that the Election Commission by barring Mr Zhirinovsky had made a big issue of an insignificant matter.
The Election Commission had rejected Mr Zhirinovskys nomination for the election on the grounds that he had not mentioned the two-room flat owned by his son in the declaration of his assets.
With Mr Zhirinovskys inclusion, the number of candidates has gone up to 12. Mr Zhirinovsky was among the leading candidates before the commission debarred him.
A bitter critic of the West and a great friend of India, Mr Zhirinovsky had at one time demanded that Russia stop grain imports from the US and instead seek supplies from India.
Mr Zhirinovsky shot to the limelight when as the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party he emerged victorious in the first Duma elections in 1993.
The absence of the most
controversial and colourful leader would have taken away
much of the shine from the election campaign, though Mr
Zhirinovskys vote bank has been shrinking since
1999, political observers said.
British woman to patent herself
LONDON, March 7 (ANI) Patent rights can be acquired on anything to protect ones rights. Therefore, one should patent oneself first to face this harsh world. A 31-year-old British woman has applied to patent herself so she can protect herself from genetic exploitation.
Donna MaClean, a casino waitress from Bristol in southwest England, said, It has taken 31 years of hard labour to invent myself. It may sound odd, but I want to make sure I can protect myself from unauthorised exploitation, genetic or otherwise.
A spokesman at the Patent Office in Newport said, We have received a patent application from Donna,entitled Myself.
Syrian Govt quits
DAMASCUS, March 7 (Reuters) Syrian Prime Minister Mahmoud Zubi submitted the resignation of his government to President Hafez Al-Assad today to pave the way for the formation of a new Cabinet, an official source said.
Joubran Koureih told Reuters that the President had asked
Mohammed Mustafa Mero, currently Governor of Aleppo City,
to form the new government. He asked Zubi to
continue his work until a new government was formed.
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