L A T E S T      N E W S

India's Satyarthi, Pakistan's Malala win Nobel Peace Prize 

OSLO: An Indo-Pak and Hindu-Muslim combination of Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai on Friday shared the Nobel Peace Prize honours for 2014 for their work on promoting child rights in the troubled sub-continent.

60-year-old Satyarthi, who runs an NGO in India that has been in the forefront of rescuing children from forced labour and trafficking, and 17-year-old Malala, who shot to limelight after the Taliban militants pumped bullets into her for advocating education for girls, were named by the Nobel Peace Prize Committee for the top global award this year.

"The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014 is to be awarded to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education," the jury said.

Satyarthi, who runs NGO Bachpan Bachao Aandolan (Save Childhood Movement), has maintained the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi and headed various forms of peaceful protests, "focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain," the Nobel committee said.

The Committee said it "regards it as an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism." Malala, who was nominated in the peace prize category last year also, had displayed tremendous courage even after the Taliban attack when she resolutely expressed her determination to carry on with her campiagn for child rights and girls education especially in a country like Pakistan.

She has become the youngest Nobel laureate.Satyarthi, the second Indian after Mother Teresa to be named for the peace prize, and Malala join a select league of eminent international personalities who have shared the Nobel Peace Prize for their outstanding work in furthering world peace and in other fields.

Malala, who was airlifted to Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham where she was treated for life-threatening injuries, continued to campaign for girls' education.
She addressed the UN last year, met US President Barack Obama and was named one of 'Time' magazine's 100 most influential people. Last year, she published her memoir 'I Am Malala'.

In the statement, the committee said: "Despite her youth, Malala Yousafzai has already fought for several years for the right of girls to education, and has shown by example that children and young people, too, can contribute to improving their own situations.

"This she has done under the most dangerous circumstances. Through her heroic struggle she has become a leading spokesperson for girls' rights to education." This year's record number of 278 nominees included Pope Francis and Congolese gynaecologist Denis Mukwege, although the full list was kept a secret.

In 1993, F W de Klerk, the last president of South Africa in the apartheid regime, and Nelson Mandela were named for the award for their work for ending the apartheid regime. Next year, Israeli leaders Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin shared the honours with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for their work in reducing tensions in the Middle East.

While in 1997 John Hume (Northern Ireland) and David Trimble (Britain) won the peace prize for their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Northern Ireland.

Nobel, a wealthy Swedish industrialist who invented dynamite, provided few directions for how to select winners, except that the prize committees should reward those who "have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind". –PTI Back
















Gujarat High Court scraps ‘snoopgate’ panel

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat High Court on Friday set aside the state government notification appointing Justice Sugnya Bhatt Commission to probe the alleged snooping on a Bangalore-based woman architect.

Granting the plea of the woman's father, Justice Paresh Upadhyay set aside the state government notification, under which the two-member Commission of retired Justice Sugnya Bhatt and former IAS officer K C Kapoor was formed.

The Gujarat government had on November 25 formed the Commission to probe the alleged snooping scandal, in which surveillance was carried out by state police on instruction of BJP president Amit Shah (then Minister of State for Home in Gujarat government) on the behest of one 'Saheb'.

The Opposition had at that time alleged that the 'Saheb' was then state Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

The woman's father had approached the High Court yesterday and demanded to set aside the probe Commission, contending that they were not 'aggrieved' with the alleged surveillance.

The inquiry by Commission is an infringement to his daughter's 'Right of privacy', the petitioner said.

The petitioner contended that as per section 3 of the 'Commission of Inquiry's Act 1952, the state or Central government can form an inquiry commission to probe an issue or many issues related to public interest.

However, in this case the issue is related to someone's privacy and further inquiry would be an infringement of the privacy, the petition said.

Advocate N D Nanavati argued before the HC that the Commission was formed merely on the basis of news reports.

The alleged surveillance was done in 2009, so what made media to release the news reports after four years, Nanavati said.

He further argued that the formation of the Commission was an arbitrary action by the state government, as per the law, since the petitioner was not aggrieved. –PTI
















Firing de-escalates along IB in Jammu, Samba districts

JAMMU: After nine days of heavy firing and mortar shelling from across the border, firing de-escalated along the 192-km long International Border (IB) in Jammu frontier overnight, with Pakistan opening fire on four borders out posts in Kathua district.

There was no firing along the IB in Jammu and Samba districts.

"There was no cross-border firing during the intervening night of October 9 and 10 along the International Border in Jammu and Samba districts", BSF spokesman told Friday.

However, there was firing by Pakistan along IB in Hiranagar sector of Kathua district for 20 minutes from 2000 hours to 2020 hours involving four BSF BoPs, the spokesman said.

"There was no loss of life or damage", he said.

The IB has witnessed heavy firing for nine days that has left eight persons dead and injured nearly 90 people, including 13 securitymen.

Besides over 32,000 people have fled from their border homes leaving 113 hamlets deserted along the IB.

India and Pakistan troops traded heavy fire along the IB on the intervening night of October 7 and 8 after Pakistan Rangers shelled almost the entire IB by targeting 60 Border Out Posts (BoPs) and over 130 border hamlets in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts of Jammu and Kashmir, in which 15 people, including 3 BSF jawans were injured.

There has been over three dozen ceasefire violations along IB since October one. On October 8, two women of a family were killed and 15 others injured in heavy mortar shelling and firing by Pakistani troops along the IB.

Five villagers were killed and 34 injured on the intervening night of October five and six in heavy mortar shelling and firing from across the IB and LoC in Jammu and Poonch sectors, triggering strong condemnation by India.

On October 3, Pakistani troops and rangers violated ceasefire four times by shelling forward areas and villages along the LoC and IB in Gulmarg sector of Kashmir Valley and Poonch and Jammu sector in Jammu region in which a girl was killed and six persons were injured.

On October two, Pakistani troops targeted border hamlets in forward areas along LoC in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district by shelling them with mortar bombs and firing resulting in injuries to six civilians.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had on Thursday said  that the only way for Pakistan to normalise the situation is to silence its guns.

"The easiest way, if Pakistan wants to normalise the situation, is to silence its guns. If they stop shelling, I am sure that everyone will stop from here. And that will put an end to this," he said.

"Pakistan is deliberately targeting civilian areas and that is evident from the number of the casualties that have occurred on this side," he had said.

To disrupt the upcoming Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, the militant leadership in Pakistan is desperate to push in large number of militants into the Indian side to carry out terrorism-related activities, Army officials have said. -PTI Back











BSNL not to charge for telecom services in Valley for Sept

SRINAGAR: Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) on Friday joined other service providers in announcing relief to customers in the Valley during the period when the state was hit by floods. 

The company said it would not charge its customers in Jammu and Kashmir for the telecommunication services for the month of September for not being able to provide the services fully during the period.

The announcement came following state Governor N N Vohra's suggestion in this regard to R N Sudhakar, Chief General Manager, BSNL, Jammu and Kashmir Circle, who called on the Governor at Raj Bhavan yesterday.

"Sudhakar agreed to the Governor's suggestion that the consumers must not be billed for the current billing cycle and, in fact, given certain concessions," an official spokesman said.

He said Sudhakar informed the Governor about the various problems which had been encountered by BSNL in restoring telecommunication services in the aftermath of recent floods in the State.

He also apprised the Governor of the steps so far taken to address these difficulties.
A great deal of progress has been being achieved in the replacement of Transmission Equipment at BSNL office in Lal Chowk and in partially restoring the mobile network, landline telephones, wireless telephone lines and internet facility.

He said the Governor emphasised the need for reliable alternate wireless connectivity in the State, which can be used at the time of disasters and stressed the importance of telecommunication facilities for the revival of economy of the state after this mega disaster.

Meanwhile, Idea Cellular also announced that the company will waive off charges for its services for the period they remained affected due to the floods.

Reliance Communications had yesterday said its subscribers in the flood-affected Kashmir region will get a 50 per cent waiver on voice packs and 100 per cent waiver on data packs for September. -PTI Back
















Power supply yet to be restored in Jammu

JAMMU: Power supply is yet to be restored in some parts of Jammu city, which are without electricity for the past 60 hours after strong winds snapped electricity lines.

Several parts of Jammu city including Talab Tiloo, Bohri, Udhaywala, Hazuribagh, Gole belt and dozen of villages plunged into darkness after strong gusts disrupted power supply on October 7.

Nearly one lakh people have been affected in these areas.

Commissioner Secretary, Power Development Department (PDD), Arun Kumar Mehta said, "It should be restored by today.PDP people are working on it."
The residents said many poles are damaged with wires literally on the roads, but the department is yet to reach the spot.

"It is like we are living in the dark ages as inverters have stopped working and we are dependent on candles.The water supply has also been affected," they said.

There were protests in Talab Tilloo overnight as people raised anti-government slogans and demanded immediate restoration of power supply.

The residents of these areas alleged that their pleas to Chief Engineer Power department, Jammu Shahnaz Goni to restore power supply at the earliest fell on deaf ears.

They have now urged Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to intervene and get the power supply resorted at the earliest. -PTI Back
















Omar directs authorities to construct community bunkers 

JAMMU: With border dwellers bearing the brunt of firing by Pakistani troops, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has directed authorities to construct community bunkers in hamlets along the International Border in Jammu frontier.

The CM, who chaired a high-level meeting of divisional level officers over the issue of ceasefire violations last evening, directed construction of community bunkers in border areas which could be utilised by villagers in the hour of need.

He also directed establishment of camps for cattle with arrangements for fodder and medical treatment.

Omar also visited various camps set up in Hiranagar, Samba, Bishnah and Jammu for border migrants who have been hit by the shelling from across the border.

The Chief Minister asked the officers to ensure medical facilities, food, drinking water, electricity etc. for the affected families. -PTI Back












HC directs Chautala to surrender before jail authorities tomorrow

NEW DELHI: Former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala was today directed to surrender before jail authorities tomorrow by the Delhi High Court for allegedly misusing bail and campaigning for Assembly elections.

The high court said the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) chief "cannot take the court for ride" and "cannot be permitted to question the majesty, dignity and decorum of this court".

"Let him surrender tomorrow. Let's not bargain over this," Justice Siddharth Mridul said while refusing to grant time till Sunday or Monday morning to surrender.

The INLD leader was granted bail in the case relating to teachers recruitment scam in which he has been convicted and sentenced to 10 years and his appeal is pending in the high court.

Chautala, who was yesterday directed to appear in person was present in the high court. He was served with the high court summons in the Tis Hazari court, where he was appearing in connection with another case of disproportionate assets.

The HC judge orally made it clear that Chautala would not indulge in campaigning in the intervening period till he surrenders and also declined his plea seeking more time to surrender.

"I need treatment for fractures that are in the process of healing. I will surrender on October 17, if court allows it," 79-year-old Chautala said while his counsel was making submission.

"If he wants to surrender on Sunday, then he will go back to his residence and there will be no campaigning," the court observed during the hearing.

The court said that if jail authorities deem it necessary they may take him to AIIMS for medical treatment.

CBI, which had sought cancellation of Chautala's bail, wanted him to surrender today itself.

"Fact is if he (Chautala) is well enough to campaign, well enough to travel, he will have to surrender," the court said.

"I cannot for a moment permit anyone to question the majesty, dignity and decorum of this court. I cannot permit this. Justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done," the court said.

The judge said that he was pained and disappointed at the actions of Chautala and the relief granted to him "can't be turned into a carnival".

"If he has faith in judiciary and the system, he must surrender," the judge said,  adding, "There must be a line which must not be crossed". — PTIBack

















'Hudhud' to make landfall in AP near Vizag on Oct 12 

HYDERABAD: Cyclone 'Hudhud' would cross North Andhra Pradesh coast on October 12 and is expected to make landfall close to Visakhapatnam, according to Cyclone Warning Centre (CWC) at Visakhapatnam.

"It is forecast that Hudhud, which is already a severe cyclonic storm, will intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm in next 12 hours. Hudhud is likely to make landfall on October 12 close to Visakhapatnam," IMD's (Hyderabad centre) assistant meteorologist M Narasimha Rao said on Friday.

The severe cyclonic storm Hudhud over west central Bay and adjoining east central Bay moved north westwards and lay centred at 0230 hrs today at about 610 kms southeast of Visakhapatnam and 630 km south-south east of Gopalpur in Odisha, the CWC said.

The system would continue to move west-northwestwards and intensify further into a very severe cyclonic storm during next 12 hours and cross North Andhra Pradesh coast around Visakhapatnam by the forenoon of October 12.

Under the influence of the system, rainfall would occur at most places with heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and isolated extremely heavy falls would occur over East Godavari, Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram, and Srikakulam districts of north coastal Andhra Pradesh from tomorrow evening onwards, according to CWC forecast.

Rainfall would occur at most places with heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places over remaining districts of Andhra Pradesh.

Squally winds speed reaching 50 to 60 kmph gusting up to 70 kmph would commence along and off north coastal Andhra Pradesh from tomorrow morning onwards. The wind speed would increase to 130-140 kmph, gusting to 155 kmph from October 12 morning.

Sea condition would be rough to very rough from tomorrow morning. It would gradually become phenomenal from October 12 morning onwards along and off North Andhra Coast.

Storm surge of about 1 to 2 metres above astronomical tide would inundate low lying areas of East Godavari, Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts at the time of landfall.

Fishermen are advised not to venture into the sea while those out at sea are advised to return to shore, the CWC said. -PTI Back















Cong complains to EC about PM Modi's Haryana land deal remark 

NEW DELHI: The Congress has approached the Election Commission seeking "exemplary punishment" for Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his remarks on a land deal involving Robert Vadra and DLF in Haryana.

In a petition to Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath, the party alleged that the Prime Minister "openly" flouted the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) "deliberately maligning, defaming" the Haryana government and made "malicious and scandalous personal attacks" on central leadership of the Congress in October 6 rally at Hisar.

The Congress yesterday demanded an "apology" from Modi after the EC on Wednesday ruled that there was no violation of model code of conduct by the Haryana government in clearing the land deal involving Sonia Gandhi's son-in law Vadra.

Addressing a public rally on Monday, Modi had asked EC to take serious note of Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda clearing the land deal between Vadra and DLF alleging it was done hastily as ruling Congress faced "certain defeat" in the October 15 state Assembly polls.

Secretary of AICC Legal Department KC Mittal said that as per the code, parties and candidates need to refrain from criticism of all aspects of private life, not connected with the public activities of the leaders or workers of other parties or have to avoid criticism of other parties or their workers based on unverified allegations or distortion.

He claimed that the statement made by Modi is a "only a distortion to malign the government and Congress party publicly to prejudice the interest of Congress candidates and seek votes for BJP candidates" and constitutes a case for violation of model code.

Maintaining that such criticism based on "unverified allegations" is not permissible under the MCC, the party said in the complaint that the statement "is not only derogatory, malicious and scandalous on the face of it, but, such a conduct in public discourse needs to be penalised adequately for the purity of electoral process and fair conduct of polls." 

The party alleged the modus operandi was to mislead people Modi took all liberties during the public address to focus on personal attack to defame the Congress Party.

"It is therefore requested that the Commission may be pleased to impose exemplary punishment to BJP and Modi and also to ensure that in future they don't conduct themselves to violate the MCC," Mittal said in the complaint. — PTIBack

















Ishant to replace injured Mohit for remaining ODIs 

NEW DELHI: Ishant Sharma has got another lease of life in the shorter format with the lanky pacer being included in the Indian ODI squad for the ongoing series against West Indies after Mohit Sharma was ruled out from the remaining four matches due to injury.

"Mohit Sharma has aggravated his bilateral shin pain, and has therefore been ruled out of the ongoing Micromax Cup, India vs West Indies ODI series. The All-India Senior Selection Committee has named Ishant Sharma as his replacement in the Indian squad," informed BCCI via a press release.

Ishant, who is a Test regular, last played an ODI in January against New Zealand and will certainly look to make an impression before the upcoming 2015 World Cup.

Ishant, 26, a veteran of 58 Tests and 72 ODIs, was not present at Feroz Shah Kotla for the practice session of tomorrow's game, while Mohit and Mohammed Shami were also missing from the nets.

Mohit, who played the first match against West Indies at Kochi, failed to give Bhuvneshwar Kumar enough support as a new-ball partner, giving away 61 runs in nine overs in a match that India lost by 124 runs.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men, who outplayed hosts England 3-1 in a five-match series in August-September, looked a pale shadow of themselves against the touring Caribbean side in Kochi.

But the Men in Blue would be looking to get their permutations and combinations right before the 50-over showpiece event kickstarts in February next year. -PTI Back




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