14 Indians aboard vessel feared dead
Now, Pak blames India for fog
15 die as gunmen attack Baghdad bus
US President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair are war criminals with more Iraqi blood on their hands than Saddam.
Former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad
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Kazakh Prime Minister Danial Akhmetov gestures in Astana in this September 2004 file photo. — Reuters photo
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Dubai, January 8
A Norwegian tanker sailing some 50 miles south of the Basra Oil Terminal, the scene of the tragic mishap, managed to rescue two survivors the next day and airlift them to safety in Bahrain.
According to Indian diplomatic sources in the Bahraini capital, Manama, they were later flown to Mumbai.
US Fifth Fleet Naval Command sources in Bahrain told Khaleej Times last night that the USS Howard was also involved in the search and rescue operation.
Even as round-the-clock search and rescue mission continues, sources said the chances of finding survivors are now dim. The Indian-flagged vessel, it is learnt, belonged to the Tadia family in Mumbai and was on a scheduled sailing in the Gulf waters. Details of crew and passengers on board the ill-fated vessel were not available so far.
This is the third Indian vessel that sunk in the same vicinity within the past one month. However, crew of the first two vessels were rescued. — UNI
Now, Pak blames India for fog
Islamabad, January 8
According to Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency, the economic losses due to fog during December and January amounted to over Rs25 billion per annum.
The Director-General of Suparco, Air CommodoreArshad Siraj (retd), told the Dawn that a three-year study had been launched to further investigate the sources of pollutants causing smog in Punjab and their impact on economy and health.
Suparco project documents show that the previous study had recommended a more extensive investigation of the chemistry and transport processes of the pollutants causing the fog, which was necessary to delineate emission sources and develop control strategies.
Widespread smog is witnessed mostly in Punjab during winter season and the lack of rain worsens the situation as mist holds pollutants in suspension in lower strata of atmosphere.
The incidence of smog, which is a cocktail of toxic gases and particulates in northern and central Punjab in winter, has not only caused economic losses but has led to increase in respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, as well as increased cardiac arrest rates.
It also affects agriculture and local climate and badly disturbs normal life.
An earlier study by Suparco had revealed that fog in Pakistan was being caused by excessive fossil fuel combustion (mainly coal) in India’s north-eastern region.
According to the study excessively high sulphate (varying from 49.8 to 141 mg/m3) and nitrate (from 3 to 74.5 mg/m3) concentrations were observed during the fog, which are emitted by combustion of fossil fuel. Exceptionally high trace element aerosol concentrations, including selenium, arsenic and antimony, were also observed which were again because of fossil fuel.
Tracer study showed that air parcels contributing to the Lahore fog originated from approximately 580 km away to the south.
The remote sensing satellite data taken from Meteosat, NOAA and Modis satellites showed that fog extended over 1,500 kilometres from north eastern India to north-eastern Pakistan and was a result of excessive coal burning in India.
Suparco officials told the Dawn that these findings were informally shared with Indian experts on a number of occasions, but the Indian side was in state of denial. The Indians, they said, rather insisted that fog in Pakistan was the result of massive vehicular pollution in the country.
The officials said that once the findings confirmed the role of India’s thermal plants in causing smog in Punjab, the issue was likely to be taken up formally by the Pakistan government with India.
When contacted by the Dawn to comment on the issue, Minister of State for Environment Malik Amin Aslam said once proven, the government would definitely take up the matter with India and ask it to cut emissions.
—By arrangement with the Dawn
Baghdad, January 8
A boy aged around 15 told a Reuters reporter at the entrance to the airport zone that he was one of five or six persons to escape the bus which was carrying around 30 persons, all of them Shias being taken in the bus to work from a Shia area.
''All my colleagues were shot, we don't know where the bullets came from, they came from everywhere,'' said the boy, who gave his name only as Karar. He was crying and his clothes were covered in mud from his escape in the rain.
''I survived and some of my colleagues, around five or six people. All the others were lying on the ground, I don't know if they were killed or wounded,'' he said.
The hospital source said 15 bodies and 15 wounded people had been brought to the hospital after the attack in the Sunni Arab neighbourhood of Amriya in western Baghdad.
An Interior Ministry source confirmed there was an attack on a bus in the area and said initial reports were of four dead and nine wounded. Police also put the death toll at four.
Another Reuters reporter saw seven bodies at the hospital that were said by doctors to be victims of the attack, and eight wounded people were being treated on stretchers in the emergency room which was also crowded with walking wounded.
Sectarian tension has been heightened by the hanging of Saddam Hussein at the end of last year. — Reuters
Almaty, January 8
“The Prime Minister has resigned,” the source said, giving no reason for Akhmetov’s resignation.
President Nursultan Nazarbayev has accepted the resignation, the source said.
Under the constitution, the Prime Minister’s resignation triggers the removal of the Cabinet.
Kazakhstan, in Central Asia, is rich in oil and gas which it pumps mainly to the West.
Akhmetov, 52, has been Kazakh Prime Minister since June 2003. Nazarbayev, the country’s leader since the Soviet times, reappointed him to the post last January.
Parliament, which according to the constitution approves the President’s nominee for Prime Minister, is due to hold a plenary sitting on January 10. — Reuters
New York, January 8
The map shows that the dark matter forms a filamentous 'skeleton' upon which visible matter congregates, eventually producing stars, Nature magazine reports. The composition of the dark matter is unclear but without it the universe could not exist. The dark matter is thought to act as a glue holding galaxies together.
"This is the first time that such a large-scale three-dimensional picture of dark matter has been produced”, the report says. — PTI
Baghdad, January 8
But the two condemned men still await death yesterday as Iraqi officials decide how to avoid the kind of outcry that followed the hanging of Saddam on December 30.
Also yesterday, the US military announced the deaths of five more American troops and at least 14 Iraqis died in bombings and shootings.
Saddam's half brother and former intelligence chief, Barzan Ibrahim, and former head of Iraq's Revolutionary Court, Awad Hamed al-Bandar, were sentenced to hang after being found guilty along with Saddam of involvement in the killings of nearly 150 Shiites in the town of Dujail after a 1982 assassination attempt there against Saddam.
Their executions were postponed, however, until after the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha which ended five days ago.
The authorities also decided to give Saddam his own "special day," National Security adviser Mouwaffak al-Rubaie said at the time his execution. — AP
Lagos, January 8
"The Lord is my strength. I am very strong and energetic," they quoted him as saying after the wedding in Lagos yesterday.
Sadela first got married in 1934, and the marriage lasted for 21 years, but none of the couple's seven children lived beyond their infancy.
A second marriage, consummated in 1965, was blessed with four children, but only two survived.
And then he met the new woman of his life, 77 years his junior. — AFP
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