Indo-US N-deal likely by year-end
London cops off the hook for killing Brazilian
Nepal govt further strips powers of King
US sends ferry, thousands flee Lebanon
Pak newspaper demands probe into Kargil intrusion
When love knows no bounds
Indo-US N-deal likely by year-end
The U.S. Congress is expected to take up the legislation on the civil nuclear agreement between USA and India by next week. The Bush administration also hopes that the recent bombings in Mumbai will not cause a setback in the India-Pakistan peace process, a senior administration official said on Monday.
Mr Richard Boucher, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs stated while talking to reporters, on the eve of the July 18 agreement between President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Washington. With this the U.S and India will share civil nuclear technology for the first time in three decades.
Mr. Boucher said last month both the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House International Relations Committee overwhelmingly approved bills that seek to change U.S. laws and permit the nuclear cooperation and was hopeful that these
Significantly, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York Democrat and former first lady, in a recent statement indicated that she would support the civil nuclear deal after it won approval from the Senate committee.
She described the legislation that emerged from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as a “significant improvement over legislation put forward by the Administration in March.”
“The Administration’s initial proposal sought to undercut Congressional authority by asking us to effectively approve an agreement before it had even been negotiated with India, and before India had reached its nuclear safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),” Ms. Clinton said.
Once the House and Senate pass the legislation, they’ll have to go through a conference, which Mr. Boucher predicted would happen after the August recess. “So perhaps in September they could put through the final legislation,” he said, adding, “In the meantime, we’re working with the Nuclear Suppliers Group. India is working with us on negotiating a bilateral agreement and with the International Atomic Energy Agency to negotiate their safeguards agreement. If the legislation gets through, the process could be completed by the end of the year, he said.
Discussing the fallout of the recent train blasts in Mumbai, Mr. Boucher said the Bush administration hoped that the “progress in India-Pakistan relations is not lost, and that they find opportunities to cooperate, to cooperate against terrorist groups, to cooperate in stabilizing the region.”
Mr. Boucher said it was up to New Delhi and Islamabad to decide how to proceed despite the fact that the meeting between their foreign secretaries could not be held this week.
Describing the bombings as a “horrible tragedy,” Mr. Boucher denied that the incident had strained U.S.-Pakistan relations.
“The fight against terrorism is a tough one. We all have to do more,” he said. We’re all fighting a common enemy and we’re all going to try to keep cooperating, keep improving and keep doing better so that we can beat this threat, the big threat to Pakistan’s success,” he said.
Mr. Boucher, however, defended the Bush administration’s decision to sell F-16s to Pakistan saying this was based on the “legitimate needs of Pakistan, defensive purposes.”
Pangandaran (Indonesia), July 18
At least four non-Indonesians were among the dead and 54,000 people were displaced, they said.
No warnings had been reported ahead of the waves, which struck yesterday afternoon, despite regional efforts to establish early warning systems after the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami that left 230,000 killed or missing, including 170,000 in Indonesia.
But many residents and tourists on the southern Java coast recognised the signs and fled to higher ground as the sea receded before huge waves came crashing ashore.
‘’When the waves came, I heard people screaming and then I heard something like a plane about to crash nearby and I just ran,’’ Uli Sutarli, a plantation worker who was on hard-hit Pangandaran beach, told Reuters.
The waves flung cars, motorbikes and boats into hotels and storefronts, flattened homes and restaurants, and flooded rice fields up to 500 metres from the sea along a stretch of the densely populated coastline.
Vice-President Jusuf Kalla said the death toll had reached 341 and another 229 were missing.
One of the four dead foreigners was a Dutch national, Ciamis regency-based Health Department officer Yuyun Ruhiyat told Reuters. She had no information about the other three.
Soldiers tried to retrieve bodies trapped under rubble today. Metro TV reported several bodies were found in trees along Pangandaran beach near Ciamis town, 270 km southeast of Jakarta.
No other country reported casualties or damage from yesterday’s Tsunami. — Reuters
London, July 18
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) yesterday said, however, that London’s Metropolitan Police as a whole should be prosecuted under health and safety laws for the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes on July 22 last year.
The announcement takes the heat off Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair, Britain’s top police officer, who has faced calls to resign since the 27-year-old electrician was shot seven times in the head on a London underground train.
Relatives of the victim who have long sought charges against the officers involved expressed outrage at the decision as they sought the support of a Brazilian Government delegation visiting London.
“I am very disappointed. I was expecting a negative reply and it is shameful,” a cousin of the victim, Patricia da Silva Armani, told a London press conference.
Brazil’s government also expressed its regret at the outcome.
“The Brazilian Government regrets the decision ...because it prevents the officials who took part in the assassination of Jean Charles de Menezes from being punished,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
It said a Brazilian delegation that was recently sent to London would ask for extra information about the decision. —AFP
Nepal govt further strips powers of King
Kathmandu, July 18 Most of the laws were made by the King during his 15-month direct rule after the royal coup of February 1, 2005, they said. This was the latest in various measures taken by the seven-party alliance government for stripping the powers of the King after the movement for restoration of democracy in April this year ended his absolute rule. Gyanendra has already been stripped of his control over the army, veto power over Parliament and government decisions as also immunity for his actions. The cabinet also nominated new chiefs for the government communication agencies Radio Nepal, Nepal Television and the National News Agency.
Kathmandu, July 18
Most of the laws were made by the King during his 15-month direct rule after the royal coup of February 1, 2005, they said.
This was the latest in various measures taken by the seven-party alliance government for stripping the powers of the King after the movement for restoration of democracy in April this year ended his absolute rule.
Gyanendra has already been stripped of his control over the army, veto power over Parliament and government decisions as also immunity for his actions.
The cabinet also nominated new chiefs for the government communication agencies Radio Nepal, Nepal Television and the National News Agency. — PTI
Beirut, July 18
Britain said two aircraft carriers, the HMS Illustrious and HMS Invincible, were among six of its ships in the region ready to start rescuing its citizens from the violence.
Other European nations mustered boats and planes to reach their nationals stranded by the bombing of Beirut airport and the destruction of roads and bridges.
Countries from as far away as Chile were making arrangements to reach their citizens.
Convoys of foreign nationals also travelled the hazardous route to Syria from Lebanon in a mass exodus to flee a seventh day of an Israeli bombardment which has killed at least 230 people in Lebanon, all but 26 of them civilians.
“I ran from hell,” Lebanese businessman Nassar Nassar told Romanian daily Adevarul on his return to Bucharest with his Romanian wife.
“I made it to Tripoli (in north Lebanon) where I took a taxi to Damascus ... On Friday, I took a plane to Vienna .... and then I came back to Bucharest,” said Nassar who was in the western part of Beirut when the conflict began.
The ferry commissioned by the USA, that can carry up to 1,000 people, left Cyprus on Tuesday morning and headed to the Lebanese coast and some of the 8,000 Americans registered as living in Lebanon were expected to board, a diplomatic source in Nicosia said.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair said a fleet of ships was in the region and ready to take up position. — Reuters
Islamabad, July 18
The demand by The Nation is not new, but comes at a time when Sharif has renewed his attack on President Musharraf, and written a book giving his version of the events. In it he has stressed that Kargil was essentially Musharraf’s misadventure along with some other generals and that he (Sharif) had been kept in the dark.
“The conflicting versions presented by the president and the former prime minister have thickened the mystery surrounding the operation which led to huge casualties on both sides,” the newspaper observed. — IANS
When love knows no bounds
Lahore, July 18 A history teacher at Delhi University, Dr Fatima Husain married World Punjab Congress chairman and former PPP leader Fakhar Zaman recently. Dr Husain, who met Zaman for the fist time at a conference here last year, admits it was love at first sight. “He impressed me so much that I could not think of living without him,” she said while celebrating her marriage at a local hotel on Saturday evening. Zaman said he had been feeling lonely after the death of his first wife last year. “I had decided to remarry in case I found a learned woman.” “A relation that started from a conference went too far that we decided to wed.” The nikah ceremony held quietly about five weeks ago was attended by close friends.
Lahore, July 18
A history teacher at Delhi University, Dr Fatima Husain married World Punjab Congress chairman and former PPP leader Fakhar Zaman recently.
Dr Husain, who met Zaman for the fist time at a conference here last year, admits it was love at first sight.
“He impressed me so much that I could not think of living without him,” she said while celebrating her marriage at a local hotel on Saturday evening.
Zaman said he had been feeling lonely after the death of his first wife last year.
“I had decided to remarry in case I found a learned woman.”
“A relation that started from a conference went too far that we decided to wed.”
The nikah ceremony held quietly about five weeks ago was attended by close friends.