Showing posts from May, 2010

Obama admin. dismisses leak of Obama letter on Iran fuel deal

Obama admin. dismisses leak of Obama letter on Iran fuel deal The Obama administration is dismissing as “selective leaking” the leak to a Brazilian website of a letter from President Barack Obama to Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva setting out conditions for a possible Iranian fuel swap deal. In the April 20 letter, which the White House did not dispute Obama sent, Obama thanks Brazilian President Lula for meeting with him and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of Obama’s Nuclear Security Summit about a possible confidence building measure with Iran. Under the deal, Iran would sent 1,200 kilograms of its low enriched uranium to Turkey, in exchange for Iran receiving in one year of highly enriched nuclear fuel cells that can be used to fuel the Tehran Research Reactor, to provide the country’s nuclear medicine. While Oama expresses skepticism in the letter about Iran's willingness to send its uranium abroad and its motivations for pursui

US, Arabs reach deal at nuclear treaty talks

The United States accepted Arab demands to pressure Israel over its atomic program to rescue talks on shoring up a global anti-nuclear arms pact, Western envoys said on Friday. Politics But they said Iran or Syria might still block a final declaration now agreed by most of the 190 signatories of the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, who have been trying for a month to strengthen the troubled pact. Either or both could block the declaration because NPT meetings make decisions through consensus. If agreed, this would be the first deal at an NPT review meeting since 2000. "We have a deal that everyone can live with," a Western diplomat told Reuters. "Now the question, is will Iran do the right thing? Will they go against something the entire Arab League and everyone else here is ready to support?" Syrian delegates also refused to commit themselves to supporting the final declaration. The final draft urges Israel, which did not participate in the conference,

US has 5,113 nuclear warheads & UK has 225 nuclear warheads

U.S. Declassifies Nuclear Stockpile Details to Promote Transparency By Donna Miles American Forces Press Service WASHINGTON, May 3, 2010 – The United States released newly declassified details about its nuclear stockpile today, including significant progress made in dismantling warheads, in an effort to promote transparency and help stem nuclear proliferation. The United States had 5,113 warheads in its nuclear weapons stockpile as of Sept 3, a senior defense official told reporters today on background. That represents an 84 percent reduction from the end of fiscal 1967, when the U.S. nuclear arsenal was its largest, with 31,255 warheads, the official said. The current stockpile is 75 percent lower than when the Berlin Wall fell in late 1989, and the United States had 22,217 warheads. The United States is making continued progress in dismantling nuclear warheads: with 8,748 dismantled between fiscal years 1994 and 2009 and several thousand more currently retired and awaiting disman

NPT Review Conference Struggles To Find Common Ground

UNITED NATIONS -- Hopes were that the 2010 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference, which ends on May 28, would result in a resolution showing the strength of the global nonproliferation effort. But as the 189 treaty members mulled over a draft final declaration, it appears they might have to wait for the next treaty review in five years to move forward. The contentious draft pertains to the idea of how to achieve and ensure a nuclear-weapons-free Middle East, and calls for the UN secretary-general to organize a meeting of Middle East states in 2012 to sign on to the creation of a zone free of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The sticking point revolves around Israel, a nonmember of the NPT that has never declared its nuclear weapons, but is widely suspected of having them. The chances of reaching the goal of a WMD-free Middle East would be boosted greatly by Israel's participation in the 2012 meeting. But the United States on the one hand, a

Mangalore Air Crash Tragic Fallout of Criminal Negligence of Planning & Regulatory Authorities

Mangalore Air Crash Tragic Fallout of Criminal Negligence of Planning and Regulatory Authorities An Air India Express Boeing 737-800 aircraft arriving from Dubai with 167 on board 2010 tragically crashed at Mangalore International Airport at 6.30 am today (22 May 2010). It is reported that the plane overshot the runway while landing and fell over a cliff resulting in this disastrous crash. Very few are known to have survived this horrific crash. This was no accident, but the direct result of deliberate failure of officials at the highest level in the Director General of Civil Aviation, Airports Authority of India, Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Government of Karnataka for allowing this 2nd runway to be built in criminal negligence of applicable norms and standards. Such a strong charge is being made as the likelihood of this kind of a crash (the worst case scenario) was predicted. A series of Public Interest Litigations were fought by the undersigned to stop the construction of t

NHRC finds 27 encounters by police as fake

The National Human Rights Commission registered 2956 cases in connection with police encounters in different parts of the country, since its inception on the 12th October, 1993 till the 31st April, 2010. These include, 1590 cases registered on the basis of intimation received from the public authorities about encounter by the police, and 1366 cases registered on complaints received from public alleging fake encounter by police. A NHRC release dated May 21st, 2010 revealed. On consideration of various reports and material on record sought by the NHRC through its notices to the concerned public authorities and examination thereof, it was found that out of 1846 cases, 27 encounters by police were fake. 1819 cases were found to be of genuine encounter by police. Remaining 1110 cases of encounter/alleged fake encounter are at different stages of consideration in the Commission. Depending on the facts and circumstances of all such cases, wherein the encounter was found to be fake, the Comm

Mani Shankar Aiyar on "Extremist Affected Areas"

Mani Shankar Aiyer on "Extremist Affected Areas" 6th May, 2010, Rajya Sabha SHRI MANI SHANKAR AIYAR (NOMINATED): Mr. Deputy Chairman, Sir, first my apologies for not having been here, when you first called me. Sir, the gravamen of what I call the Rajiv Gandhi approach to the resolution of the development issues that have arisen in the Naxalite affected areas of the country, which we are told comprise nearly a third of the districts of the country, and constitute, according to the hon. Prime Minister, the single gravest challenge to the internal security of our country, lies, I believe, in paragraph 3 of Part A of the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution, where it says, and I quote, “The executive power of the Union shall extend to the giving of directions to the State as to the administration of the said areas, namely, the Fifth Schedule Areas.” I appeal to the Government of India to urgently take action to invoke this provision of the Constitution in view of the patent fail

Government go ahead to UIDAI's proposal on data collection

Government go ahead to UIDAI's proposal on data collection Delhi , May 18,2010 16:42 IST The Cabinet Committee on Unique Identification Authority of India related issues (CC-UIDAI) today approved in principle the adoption of the approach outlined by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) for collection of demographic and biometric attributes of residents (face, all ten fingerprints and iris) for the UID project. It was also decided to include data of the iris for children in the age group of 5 to 15 years. The same standards and processes would be adhered to by the Registrar General of India for the National Population Register (NPR) exercise and all other Registrars in the UID system. The first set of UID numbers will be issued between August 2010 and February 2011. Thereafter, 600 million UID numbers will be issued in the next five years. The UIDAI proposes to collect the data through various agencies of the Central and the State Governments and others who,

Does Mr Chidambaram believe in democracy?

Note: On 19th April, 2010, while speaking on the issue of Dantewada incident in the Rajya Sabha, P Chidambaramsaid, ""I think the gravity of the situation must be recognized, and I am willing to be advised, as I have been advised, if necessary, what cross-corrections we need to make, what fine-tuning we need to make. But there is no escape from the fact that the challenge has to be met squarely and fearlessly. It is a serious law and order problem. It is also a problem where we have to address the underlying socio-economic issues. " He added, "What is happening is, in Many States, tribals, villagers affected by Maoist activities are also setting up their own organizations. This is not to be confused with the controversial Salwa Judum. That is a controversial matter." Responding to Chidambaram's views, Nandini Sundar gave an interview to Rediff. The last six weeks have seen a series of deadly attacks on security forces and civilians by the Maoists or Na

“Paid News”:How corruption in the Indian media undermines democracy

Revised draft report prepared on April 01, 2010, for circulation among members of the Press Council of India. It was discussed at the Council's meeting on 26th April, 2010. “Paid News”:How corruption in the Indian media undermines democracy Preface The fifteenth general elections to the Lok Sabha took place in April-May 2009 and in order to ensure free and fair coverage by the media, the Press Council of India issued guidelines applicable to both government authorities and the press. After the elections, a disturbing trend was highlighted by sections of the media, that is, payment of money by candidates to representatives of media companies for favourable coverage or the phenomenon popularly known as “paid news”. The deception or fraud that such “paid news” entails takes place at three levels. The reader of the publication or the viewer of the television programme is deceived into believing that what is essentially an advertisement is in fact, independently produced n