SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
W O R L D

India committed to fighting AIDS: Sonia
Bangkok, July 16
Underlining the need to integrate prevention and treatment to tackle the spread of AIDS, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi today said the government was determined to meet the “daunting challenge” posed by the pandemic with the same resolve adopted to eradicate smallpox.


AIDS conference ends with calls for more funds

Congress President Sonia Gandhi speaks during the closing ceremony of the 15th International AIDS Conference in Bangkok on Friday Congress President Sonia Gandhi speaks during the closing ceremony of the 15th International AIDS Conference in Bangkok on Friday.
— Reuters photo

USA can help India, Pak work together: Powell
Colin Powell Washington, July 16
The USA can help India and Pakistan work together as they solve mutual problems because it is working with them individually and looks upon them as two proud nations, Secretary of State Colin Powell has said.
In video: Powell calls Al-Jazeera coverage "horrible". (28k, 56k)

USA to buy small arms from Pakistan
Islamabad, July 16
The USA has expressed its willingness to buy small arms and ammunition from Pakistan for use in Iraq and Afghanistan, media reports said. ‘’The US Government needed small arms and light equipment for use in Iraq and Afghanistan. And they have expressed their willingness to buy various kinds of weapons from Pakistan,’’ the Dawn quoting senior defence sources said. — UNI

India may get US anti-missile systems
Washington, July 16
The Pentagon has announced the possible $ 40 million sale to India of missile warning and countermeasure systems for three new Boeing 737 aircraft used by the country’s Head of State.

Tarlochan Singh Tarlochan seeks representation for NRI Sikhs in SGPC
London, July 16
NRI Sikhs should be represented in the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee to highlight their problems, Chairman of the Minorities Commission Tarlochan Singh has said.




A new image taken of the Iapetus, a moon of Saturn, by the Cassini spacecraft on July 3 and released on Thursday shows one hemisphere is dark while the other is bright
A new image taken of the Iapetus, a moon of Saturn, by the Cassini spacecraft on July 3 and released on Thursday shows one hemisphere is dark while the other is bright. Scientists hope the new image will offer clues as to why the moon has a dark hemisphere and another that is bright, scientists said on Thursday. The brightness variations in this image are not due to shadowing. — AP/PTI




EARLIER STORIES

 

Muslims’ panel asks Musharraf to ban LeT activity
London, July 16
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf should ban the activities of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) if he is serious about “good” neighbourly relations with India, the Council of Indian Muslims has said here while asking the people of Jammu and Kashmir to realise the dubious role of organisations like the LeT.

Flames bear down on homes in the Timberline area of north Carson City Flames bear down on homes in the Timberline area of north Carson City, Nevada, on Thursday afternoon. The explosive wildfire went out of control in stiffening winds, destroying 12 more homes and forcing evacuations of hundreds of others. — AP/PTI 

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India committed to fighting AIDS: Sonia
Jaishree Balasubramanian

Bangkok, July 16
Underlining the need to integrate prevention and treatment to tackle the spread of AIDS, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi today said the government was determined to meet the “daunting challenge” posed by the pandemic with the same resolve adopted to eradicate smallpox.

“Given the scale of suffering wrought by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, it is to be expected that doomsday scenarios of its spread are commonplace. My country figures prominently in all these projections,” she said addressing the concluding session of the 15th International AIDS Conference here.

“While there is no place for complacency, I would like to take this opportunity to categorically assert the determination and ability of the government and people of India to meet this daunting challenge just as they did in the campaign to eradicate smallpox some decades ago,” the Congress President, who got a standing ovation when she walked to make her address, said.

Mrs Gandhi said the government had already allocated 10 per cent of the national health budget for AIDS control.

“Many in my country believe that we are paying disproportionate attention to HIV/AIDS at the expense of malaria or tuberculosis, for instance. The present government does not share this view.

“In fact, the budget increased the allocation for the national AIDS Control Organisation for this year, although we recognise that the amount needs substantial augmentation”.

Noting that greater insight and commitment were needed to deal with the social issues that prevented a proper recognition of the scale of the problem, she said, “There is need to integrate prevention and treatment”. — PTI
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AIDS conference ends with calls for more funds

Bangkok, July 16
Leaders of the world’s fight against AIDS called for renewed political and financial impetus to counter its inexorable march today as they expressed shame that 38 million people were still living with HIV.

In a blunt appraisal of work so far, a coalition of leaders at the closing ceremony of the world AIDS forum said failure and inaction had contributed to the 20 million AIDS deaths since the early 1980s and vowed to step up the fight against the disease.

“We are ashamed that in 2004 some 38 million people are living with HIV/AIDS and fighting the same battles after two decades,” said the Bangkok leadership statement at the end of the six-day conference in the Thai capital.

“Despite all that we have learned about what works in prevention and treatment, the epidemic is on the rise in every region.

“We recognise that we have not done enough to protect people from new infections. We have not done enough to provide access to affordable treatment and care to all those who need it.”

The communique was drafted under the patronage of Mrs Graca Machel, wife of former South African president Nelson Mandela, in the name of health ministers, youth groups, women’s organisations and armed forces who took part in the conference.

The six-day forum has been marked by rows over funding and the commitment of key world leaders in combating the epidemic that now threatens Asia and Eastern Europe with a similar disaster that has hit sub-Saharan Africa. — AFP
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USA can help India, Pak work together: Powell
T. V. Parasuram

Washington, July 16
The USA can help India and Pakistan work together as they solve mutual problems because it is working with them individually and looks upon them as two proud nations, Secretary of State Colin Powell has said.

As a result of the relationship we have been able to develop with the two countries, “we no longer see India and Pakistan in one lens, but we look at them as two proud nations we are working with individually, and because we respect them individually, we can help them work together as they solve mutual problems,” Powell said in a speech at the US Institute of Peace here yesterday.

“We defend the peace and extend the peace and we work with our friends in South Asia,” he said.

Recalling that two years ago he was “worried to death” about a major war breakout between India and Pakistan, he said the USA got deeply engaged, along with other members of the international community, working with the Pakistanis and the Indians.

“And now we see them working together, having meetings among themselves, having soccer matches with each other, working on issues that would have been too difficult to even imagine just two years ago. That is part of our policy of defending the peace and extending the peace throughout the world,” he said.

On US relationship with Pakistan, Powell said “we can be proud of what we have done there. We can be proud of the new relationship we have created in South Asia with Pakistan, with Afghanistan, with the others in that part of the world that used to be on the other side of the Iron Curtain are now working with us, cooperating with us.

Pointing out that President George W. Bush has said after 9/11 that the struggle against terrorism would be a long one, and “we have to have patience and determination to defeat this new kind of enemy, he said “we have that patience, we have that determination”. — PTI
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India may get US anti-missile systems

Washington, July 16
The Pentagon has announced the possible $ 40 million sale to India of missile warning and countermeasure systems for three new Boeing 737 aircraft used by the country’s Head of State.

The three systems each consist of a AN/AAQ-24 large aircraft infrared countermeasures system, a AN/ALE-47H countermeasure dispensing system and a AN/ALQ-211 early warning suite controller and radar warning system, the Defence Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement yesterday.

“India will install the self-protection systems on three new Boeing 737 aircraft,” it said. “They will use the system for the movement and protection of their Head of State.”

The AN/AAQ-24 automatically alerts an aircraft’s crew to a missile launch and activates an infrared countermeasure to foil the launch.

The AN/ALQ-211 is used to detect hostile radar signals and jam them, and the AN/ALE-47H is a computer-controlled system to dispense decoys. — AFP
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Tarlochan seeks representation for NRI Sikhs in SGPC

London, July 16
NRI Sikhs should be represented in the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to highlight their problems, Chairman of the Minorities Commission Tarlochan Singh has said.

“The 170-member SGPC should have NRI Sikh representatives from as many countries as possible to take up the problems of Sikhs all over the world,” he said here last evening.

He also emphasised the need for having a Sikh gallery in the British Museum on the lines of the one in the USA. — PTI
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Muslims’ panel asks Musharraf to ban LeT activity
H. S. Rao

London, July 16
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf should ban the activities of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) if he is serious about “good” neighbourly relations with India, the Council of Indian Muslims has said here while asking the people of Jammu and Kashmir to realise the dubious role of organisations like the LeT.

“We urge the Pakistani Government to come clean and ban the activities of the LeT and request our Kashmiri brothers to realise the evil nature and dubious role of organizations like the LeT,” the Chairman of the Council of Indian Muslims, UK, Munaf Zeena said, in a statement here yesterday. Reacting to LET’s confession that Ishrat Jahan, who was killed along with other three of her accomplices in Ahmedabad was its member, Zeena said: “We cannot expect any better action from a terrorist organization like the LeT than to defame the Islam and create problems for the Indian Muslims”.

“If Musharraf is serious about good neighbourly relations with India and if he was honest in his advice that he gave to Pakistani politicians a few years ago to refrain from making statements which might create problems or Indian Muslims, then we urge him to take notice of the outrageous activities of this evil outfit and take stern action against it,” the Council said.— PTI
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BRIEFLY


People watch ram fighting in front of a mosque
People watch ram fighting in front of a mosque during a tourist festival in Kashi, a remote city of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, on Thursday. — AP/PTI

Bangladesh flood toll 72
DHAKA:
The death toll from Bangladesh’s worst floods in more than a decade climbed to 72 on Friday, while 60 other persons were still missing and feared drowned, officials said. The security forces and civilian rescue workers were kept on a state of high alert after the swirling waters of the Brahmaputra forced the collapse of a flood control dam washing away at least 60 persons in northern Bogra district.
— DPA


Little notice of Laden offer
ROME:
A three-month offer of a terrorism truce purportedly made by Osama bin Laden has expired with little notice in the European countries invited to accept it. After the taped message was broadcast on Islamic satellite networks on April 15, CIA officials said technical analysis of the recording indicated it was probably authentic. — AP

6 Maoists, dist chief killed
KATHMANDU:
Six Maoist rebels including a district chief, were killed in Central Nepal in an operation launched by the security forces, a state media report said. Two Maoists and a district chief were killed at the Gumdi area of Dhading district when the rebels were trying to escape after breaking a security cordon. Three armed Maoists were killed during a separate operation launched by the security forces at the Shailungeshwor area of Dolakha district. — PTI

Lawsuit against US Govt
SAN JUAN (Puerto Rico):
A team of lawyers said they sued the US government on behalf of 15 detainees from Yemen held by American troops at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The lawsuit was filed in US District Court in Washington, bringing to about 50 the number of detainees for whom suits were pending, said Clive Stafford-Smith, a human rights lawyer who leads the New Orleans-based group Justice in Exile. — AP

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