Pranab arrives in Kathmandu
147 killed in Lanka clashes
Indian immigrant kills wife in US
Chris Brown sweeps American music awards
India would make Pak barren by 2014: Pak official
Pak to release 101 Indian prisoners
Russian Air Force to cut 50,000 officers
Russian cruiser to join wargames with India
Two bomb attacks kill 18 in Baghdad
PLO elects Abbas as president
Pranab arrives in Kathmandu
Indian external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee arrived in Kathmandu on Monday for a three-day official visit. Mukherjee is the first senior government officials of India, to visit Nepal after the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) came into the power in August.
According to a source at the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Nepal, it is expected to discuss entire gamut of bilateral issues, including trade, transit, border security to curb cross-border criminal activities and cooperation in water resources, financial assistance the ongoing peace process, review of the past treaties and agreements.
During his visit, Mukherjee is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, President Dr Ram Baran Yadav, Vice-President Paramananda Jha, constituent assembly chairman Subas Nemwang , Nepali Congress president Girija Prasad Koirala and CPN-UML general secretary Jhalanath Khanal.
Mukherjee is scheduled to meet the Prime Minister and minister for foreign affairs Upendra Yadav, separately on Tuesday morning, where the two sides is expected to review the 22-point agreement signed between India and Nepal during Dahal’s official visit to India in September.
Besides, the Indian minister will make aerial inspection about the progress made in the reconstruction process of the damaged Kosi embankment and visit the Birgunj-Raxaul Integrated Check Post.
Colombo, November 24
Pitched battles raged as government troops closed in on Kilinochchi from two sides overcoming stiff LTTE resistance to battle their way to the outskirts of the city, known to be the nerve centre of the rebels.
“Twenty-seven soldiers have made ultimate sacrifice of their lives for their motherland. While 70 others suffered injuries during the battle,” the defence ministry said.
They claimed that “the LTTE had marshalled their final reserves to the battlefront to save their symbolically important stronghold Kilinochchi.” It said that wireless-intercepts of the LTTE indicated that 120 Tigers had been killed and 80 wounded in heavy fighting going on around Kilinochchi for the past thirty-six hours.
Heavy clashes are continuing along the Kilinochchi outskirts since last morning as the Army infantrymen are steadily advancing on to the remaining LTTE defences in the area, defence sources said.
According to reports, Sri Lankan troops are advancing on the Tiger bastion from the south as well as from the north, where they have recently made spectacular gains in wresting two major Tiger towns.
Earlier, the pro-LTTE website Tamilnet had reported that Tiger cadres had beaten back a Lankan attack on the Naloor town, which straddles the highway linking Jaffna with Kilinochchi killing 43 soldiers. The website also claimed that LTTE were in possession of nine slain soldiers, a report which was corroborated by a military spokesman.
“All senior terrorists leaders have been heard in the radios commanding their cadres to die for the safety of the tiger supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran,” the ministry said.
The Lankan soldiers were able to breach the LTTE held earth bund around the Kilinochchi built up from the North of Adampan area at three locations. Meanwhile, soldeirs launched two separate assaults at the same earth bund at the north of Puthumurippu Kulam and Therumurikandi.
The infantry and 57 Div forward units deployed in the Adampan and Puthumurippu Kulam came under massive LTTE counter attack since last evening.
According to the available information troops have withstood the LTTE counter attack successfully and are now consolidating their positions. “Among the injured 35 have sustained only minor injuries,” said the sources, it said adding a few other soldiers have not been able to join with their units so far. — PTI
New York, November 24
The 27-year-old assailant, identified as Joseph “Sanish” Pallipurath, who drove all across the US from California to New Jersey to confront his 24-year-old wife Reshma James, escaped after fatally shooting her. The police said he was still potentially dangerous as he possessed the sliver handgun with which he shot the victim.
While Reshma died four hours later, the two others, identified as Dennis John Malloosseril, 23, and Silvy Perincheril, 47, were reportedly in “very critical condition”.
The hospital though declined to give any information.
Perincheril is Reshma’s cousin and a mother of three.
The incident occurred towards the end of the three-hour Sunday service at the St Thomas Syrian Orthodox Kanaya Church in Clifton, when Pallipurath confronted his wife in the church and shot her, along with another woman and a man.
Apparently apprehending trouble, Reshma had obtained a Court order restraining her husband from coming near her.
The police said she had suffered abuse right from the initial days of her marriage in Kerala, and after the couple moved to California, she continued to complain of abuse.
Recently, Reshma had left her husband to live with a relative in New Jersey.
Several law enforcement agencies were involved in the search for the suspect who escaped in a jeep.— PTI
Los Angeles, November 24
Brown was clearly shocked when his name was announced for artiste of the year, the ceremony’s final award.
“I probably was shocked like everybody else,” Brown said. “I know everybody was like, ‘Huh?’ I thought Coldplay should have genuinely won that award, but I’ll take it!” He was also named favourite male artiste in both soul/R&B and pop/rock categories. His girlfriend, Rihanna, won those categories for the women, beating Keys in both races.
Keys’ awards were for her chart-topping disc, “As I Am,” which was named favourite album in the soul/R&B and pop/rock categories.
Other multiple winners included outspoken rapper Kanye West, who has never been afraid to express his dismay when he is overlooked at awards shows. He won the first two American Music Awards of his career, but said he would give one of them away to fellow nominee, Lil Wayne.
“If it was last year, this would have been my award,” he said of the favourite male rap/hip-hop category. “This year, it’s Wayne’s award. We’ll see what happens next year.” Earlier, he won for the statuette for favourite rap/hip-hop album with “Graduation.” West challenged musicians of all genres to push each other, and to reclaim the spirit of artists like the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. In his case, he declared, “I wanna be Elvis!” But host Jimmy Kimmel retorted a little later, “Elvis died on the toilet with half a jelly donut in his mouth, so you might want to rethink that one.” Kimmel also took a dig at addiction-plagued rocker Scott Weiland, who had to struggle to introduce a performer. Kimmel suggested that Disney starlet Miley Cyrus, who turned 16 yesterday, would now be able to drive him home.
“I have always, always wanted to win an American Music Award,” he said, pausing to survey the bottom of his perspex statuette. —Reuters
India would make Pak barren by 2014: Pak official
Lahore, November 24 Shah said India had constructed dams on different rivers and continued doing so in violation of the Indus Water Treaty. The treaty, he said, allowed New Delhi to generate electricity on the flow of the river but said water to Pakistan could not be stopped, the Daily Times reported on Monday. Dismissing India’s claim that it had stopped Pakistan’s water only from August 19 to 28, he said,”we do not accept the Indian point of view because India has stopped water till September 5 according to our estimate”. The commissioner said that an Indian delegation was supposed to visit Pakistan on November 29 for discussions. Pakistan has formally complained to India about the alleged diversion of river waters to fill the Baglihar dam, claiming this was a violation of the Indus Waters Treaty. Pakistan Water and Power Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf had earlier said that they would seek compensation from India in the form of additional discharge of water for the reduction of the flow of the Chenab from 55,000 cusecs to 22,000 cusecs. —
Lahore, November 24
Shah said India had constructed dams on different rivers and continued doing so in violation of the Indus Water Treaty.
The treaty, he said, allowed New Delhi to generate electricity on the flow of the river but said water to Pakistan could not be stopped, the Daily Times reported on Monday.
Dismissing India’s claim that it had stopped Pakistan’s water only from August 19 to 28, he said,”we do not accept the Indian point of view because India has stopped water till September 5 according to our estimate”.
The commissioner said that an Indian delegation was supposed to visit Pakistan on November 29 for discussions.
Pakistan has formally complained to India about the alleged diversion of river waters to fill the Baglihar dam, claiming this was a violation of the Indus Waters Treaty.
Pakistan Water and Power Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf had earlier said that they would seek compensation from India in the form of additional discharge of water for the reduction of the flow of the Chenab from 55,000 cusecs to 22,000 cusecs. — PTI
Islamabad, November 24
Interior ministry chief Rehman Malik said 99 Indian fishermen and two other prisoners would be freed before the meeting of the Pakistan’s interior secretary and India’s home secretary here on November 25.
Asking India to reciprocate the gesture, Malik said hundreds of Pakistanis languishing in Indian prisons should be freed at the earliest.
Leading Pakistani rights activist Ansar Burney said he had been informed by officials that the Indian prisoners were likely to be freed tomorrow or the day after.
He said the two Indian prisoners being released had completed their prison terms. “There are many other Indian prisoners who have completed their sentences but are still in jail. I have also taken up their case with the authorities,” he said.
Meanwhile, official sources said the 99 fishermen who are to be released were arrested between two and six years ago.
The two other Indian prisoners had been in jail for a longer period, they said.
India recently freed 29 Pakistani prisoners who had completed their jail terms.
During their meeting, Pakistan’s interior secretary and India’s home secretary are expected to discuss measures for countering terrorism and drug trafficking and liberalising the visa regime between the two countries among other things. — PTI
Moscow, November 24
The Air Force plans to eliminate all its divisions, regiments and form airbases in their place, leading Russian business daily Kommersant reported.
It said in next three years, 55 airbases would be set up based on squadrons.
The rank of ensign would be eliminated and a number of service and management functions would be converted to civilian status.
According to plans, the Russian Air Force in 2012 would consist of a strategic-tactical command, a strategic air command armed with nuclear weapons, a military-transport air command and four air defence and anti-missile commands. In addition, the corps and divisions of the air defence would be reorganised into air-and-space defence brigades and the anti-aircraft missile brigades would be reorganised into anti-aircraft missile regiments. Support structures are also on the cards for reorganisation.
In place of nine vehicular brigades, 20 battalions on constant alert, with fewer personnel, would be formed to transport supplies to the forces.
Russian defence minister Anatoly Serdyukov announced reforms in the Russian military in October, which are frequently called the most radical in post-Soviet history in the press. — UNI
Moscow, November 24
This will be the second time that Pyotr Veliky (Peter-the-Great), known as the ‘Killer of Aircraft Carriers’ will be in warmer waters of the Indian Ocean for large-scale exercises with the Indian Navy.
Besides naval warfare tactics, the two navies will also carry out joint manoeuvres aimed at curbing sea piracy, sea terrorism and anti-submarine warfare.
Pyotr Veliky, leading the task force of the Russian North Fleet, will join the warships of the Pacific Fleet in the Indian Ocean after wargames with the Venezuelan Navy in the Caribbean Sea.
It will cross the Atlantic and traverse the Cape of Good Hope on the southern tip of Africa for the ‘INDRA-2009’ wargames with the Indian Navy, Itar-Tass new agency today reported quoting Russian Navy spokesman Capt Igor Dygalo.
This is the fourth such exercise since 2003 under the inter-services cooperation agreement between the two countries. New Delhi and Moscow held complex wargames in the sea of Japan last year. — PTI
Baghdad, November 24
The attacks are the latest in a series of explosions in the Iraqi capital, where violence has broadly fallen, but insurgents have shown themselves still able to stage large-scale attacks.
The police said the women worked at the trade ministry. A security official at the hospital, who declined to be named because he was not authorised to speak, said he had counted 13 bodies at the morgue.
He added that four others were being treated for wounds.
Baghdad security spokesman Major-General Qassim Moussawi said he had reports that 12 persons were killed and that most of the victims burned alive inside the bus.
In the other attack, the police said a female bomber wearing an explosives vest killed five persons and wounded 12 outside Baghdad’s heavily-fortified Green Zone, which houses US government employees and some Iraqi ministries.
The US military said two of the dead were Iraqi soldiers.
Female suicide bombers are trademark tactic of Sunni Islamist Al-Qaida, who use them because they less likely to be searched. Moussawi said he had reports the woman was mentally handicapped and did not know what she was doing. — Reuters
PLO elects Abbas as president
Ramallah, November 24 Abbas was elected the Palestinian authority President in 2005. Hamas said his term ends in January. Abbas’ loyalists said he had an additional year. Hamas rules Gaza, while Abbas controls the West Bank. The head of the 75-member PLO Central Council Salim Zaanoun, said the title had been vacant since the death of Yasser Arafat in 2004. “This proposal passed, and Abu Mazen (Abbas) was elected by consensus, with the opposition of one member,” he said. The position is symbolic because a Palestinian state has not yet been created. —
Ramallah, November 24
Abbas was elected the Palestinian authority President in 2005. Hamas said his term ends in January. Abbas’ loyalists said he had an additional year. Hamas rules Gaza, while Abbas controls the West Bank.
The head of the 75-member PLO Central Council Salim Zaanoun, said the title had been vacant since the death of Yasser Arafat in 2004. “This proposal passed, and Abu Mazen (Abbas) was elected by consensus, with the opposition of one member,” he said. The position is symbolic because a Palestinian state has not yet been created. — AP
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