United States Defense Secretary, Jim Mattis has said President Donald Trump has a made a decision on the United States’ strategy for Afghanistan after a sufficiently rigorous review process.
Speaking in Amman, capital of Jordan, Mattis said he is satisfied with the process the Trump administration went through to formulate its new strategy for Afghanistan, but he declined to provide details. He said he will not talk about the policy until it is officially disclosed by the White House. Mr. Trump said on Saturday that his administration has decided how to deal with the 16-year war in Afghanistan.
After years of extensive support from the US and other NATO member nations, the Afghan military is still struggling to resist the Taliban, which recently made advances in Afghanistan and the Pakistan border region.
About 8,400 US troops and an estimated 5,000 NATO troops are in the country, serving primarily in advisory and training capacities. The United States also maintains a force in Afghanistan that is tasked with fighting terrorist groups, including Islamic State and al-Qaida.
Call for Action against State Terror on Narmada Bachao Andolan
Demand Immediate Release of Medha Patkar, Durji, Santu and Vijay
No Eviction Without Rehabilitation ! End State Repression !
Many of you have been following the series of incidents of state repression in the Narmada Valley, over the past month, especially the forcible ‘hospitalization’ and illegal detention of Medha Patkar and other oustees on 7th August, following a massive police action at the Chikalda Satyagraha and subsequent arbitrary jailing of Medha by foisting baseless charges, including that of ‘abduction’. The brutal lathicharge on hundreds of oustees at Chikalda left about 45 persons injured including a 15 year old girl.
The arrests of villagers-activists Durji S/o Balya (Village Nisarpur), Devandra alias Santu S/o Ambaram (Village Nisarpur) and Vijay S/o Bharat (Village Khaparkheda), on the basis of severe charges including ‘attempt to murder’ is also yet another way to repress people’s struggle. In the past one week a large number of FIRs have been filed against key activists of NBA. On the other hand,the proceedings before the criminal courts is also quite alarming, especially the manner in which the State Govt. is seeking Medha’s externment from the submergence areas, as a ‘pre-condition’ for her bail. All of this is absolutely malevolent and clearly shows that the State is going all-out to crush the peaceful movement of the Sardar Sarovar oustees.
The people of the valley are waging a relentless and courageous battle against an insensitive State. Even yesterday, about 5,000 oustees, mostly women, stormed the streets of Kukshi (MP) and Nandurbar (Maharashtra), along with hundreds of supporters across different cities in MP, demanding an end to this repression and lack of rehabilitation. While we acknowledge with gratitude, the hundreds of solidarity actions across the country and even beyond, in the past few months, we urge you to continue your solidarity in different forms at this crucial juncture of the struggle.
We call upon you all to immediately organize solidarity actions in your cities / towns / villages with the following two demands from the Govt. of Madhya Pradesh and Govt. of India:
Immediate release of Medha Patkar, Durji, Santu and Vijay, allowing them free access to the submergence villages, end to all forms of terror tactics and repression on NBA.
No eviction of the SSP oustees, without full rehabilitation and initiate dialogue with NBA.
Kindly also call the Chief Minister of MP and Prime Minister’s Office and flood their twitter accounts with short messages, incorporating the aforesaid demands:
US Navy has said, its Guided-missile destroyer USS John S McCain has collided with an oil tanker off the coast of Singapore in the early hours today.
It said in a statement that the Destroyer had sustained damage to its port side when it struck the Liberian-flagged vessel. Navy said currently 10 sailors are missing and five injured in the collision and search and rescue efforts are underway in coordination with local authorities.
US Navy has said.
“Initial reports indicate John S. McCain sustained damage to her port side aft,” the US Navy said, noting that the incident happened while “the ship was transiting to a routine port visit in Singapore.”
“The extent of damage and personnel injuries is being determined,” the statement said. The condition of the wounded is yet unknown, the navy said in a follow-up statement.
It is the second collision involving a ship from the Navy’s 7th Fleet in the Pacific in two months. Seven sailors died in June when the USS Fitzgerald and a container ship hit each other in waters off Japan.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, Turkey’s use of an Interpol arrest warrant to detain a German writer in Spain, telling an election town hall event on Sunday that this amounted to an abuse of the international police agency.
Dogan Akhanli was stopped in Spain on Saturday after Ankara issued a “red notice”. The German-Turkish writer was released on Sunday but must remain in Madrid while Spain assesses Turkey’s extradition request.
“It is not right and I’m very glad that Spain has now released him,” Merkel said. “We must not misuse international organisations like Interpol for such purposes.”
Relations between Turkey and the European Union have been under growing strain since last year’s failed military coup in Turkey. European-Turkish nationals are among the 50,000 people detained since then in what critics condemn as an indiscriminate crackdown by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Merkel has been more muted in her criticism of Erdogan than other German politicians, with critics charging her with being beholden to Erdogan because of Turkey’s role as a buffer against a renewed flood of Syrian war refugees arriving in Europe.
“(Dogan’s) is one of many cases, unfortunately,” Merkel said, in a sharpening of her tone toward Ankara. “That’s why we have massively changed our Turkish policy recently… because it’s quite unacceptable that Erdogan does this.”
On Saturday Erdogan urged Turks in Germany to “teach a lesson” to Germany’s “anti-Turkish” mainstream parties in next month’s parliamentary election, despite German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel’s warning he should keep out of German politics.
“Who are you to talk to the president of Turkey? Talk to Turkey’s foreign minister. Know your place,” Erdogan said at a rally for his AK Party in the southwestern province of Denizli.
European countries with large Turkish diasporas have grown increasingly uneasy at what they see as Ankara’s attempts to use ethnic Turkish populations to influence domestic politics.
“President Erdogan is trying to instrumentalise ethnic Turkish communities, especially in German and Austria,” Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz told Die Welt newspaper. “He polarises and brings Turkish conflicts into the EU.”
The final days before elections in the Netherlands this year were overshadowed by violent protests by local affiliates of Erdogan’s party. German security officials have expressed concern about a possible repetition in Germany.
Interpol did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Merkel’s remarks.
Hon’ble MoS (I/C), P&NG Shri Dharmendra Pradhan flags off Mobile Medical Units (MMUs)MMUs to provide doorstep healthcare services in villages of Odisha
Each MMU to have a doctor, nurse, medicines, can function as ambulance too
Bhubaneswar, August 20, 2017: Seeking to provide doorstep healthcare facilities in rural Odisha, Hon’ble Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas (Independent Charge) Shri Dharmendra Pradhan today flagged off 11 Mobile Medical Units (MMUs) which will travel across villages in the state providing free primary healthcare services.
Six of these MMUs, which are specially equipped Tempo Traveler vehicles, have been supported by Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. and four by GAIL (India) Limited as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. Each MMU will have a qualified Doctor (minimum MBBS), nurse (ANM), laboratory technician, pharmacist, essential medicines, ddiagnostic kit (Swashtya Jaanch Machine) and information and awareness material on health and hygiene. Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Limited has also supported the initiative with one mobile Medical Unit.
The MMUs are GPS enabled so that their movement can be tracked on a real-time basis. The project is designed to cover villages in a range of 25 to 40 kms from its base location. One MMU can cover 4 to 5 villages in a day on a regular basis and can cater to the health needs of 90 to 100 people on an average. In emergencies, they can also function as a referral clinic and as ambulance also.
The facilities extended through the MMU will also include quarterly eye-screening and medical health check-up camps, free distribution of Moksha Sanitary Napkins to adolescent girls and women in villages, free distribution of Shuddhu tablets for purification of water and IEC material for creating awareness on Swachhata, health and hygiene issues.
GAIL has deployed the four MMUs as part of its CSR initiative Project Arogya (Wellness) which provides nutrition, health and sanitation and drinking water facilities. They will primarily provide services to villages along the GAIL natural gas pipelines being constructed in Odisha under the Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga project, i.e., in the districts of Cuttack, Jajpur, Angul and Dhenkenal. The project will be implemented through Wockhardt Foundation.
The Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga project, which is presently under construction, will connect eastern India to the country’s Natural Gas Grid through the Jagdishpur – Haldia & Bokaro – Dhamra Pipeline (JHBDPL). The pipeline will pass through five states, i.e. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal and the longest stretch – 762 kms – will be built in Odisha.
GAIL is also implementing the City Gas Distribution (CGD) projects in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack to provide environment-friendly Piped Natural Gas for households and industries and Compressed Natural Gas for vehicles.
There was sudden Explosion of ‘Corporate Feuds’ last week, Raymond, Tata, Mistry, Infosys – all reported in ET but Swaminathan Aiyar ignored them all because of Ignorance & Incompetence. It was shocking Tata Group companies were giving Preference to Family Group Companies and to Shapoorji Pallonji Group than competitive bidding.
There is no old family run business ‘Free of Feuds and Frauds within’ – Ambani, Birla, Bajaj, Thapar, Singhania, Goenka, Shriram, 99% of all, some going back 5-6 generation. All due to Control Over the Company and Income Sharing. Even first generation Corporate – INFOSYS has internal feud due to false ego.
This has led to INEFFICIENCY – these Corporate rarely Engage Professional Experts to be CEO of the Company –Mukesh Ambani with many close relations would be in Key Management Positions which they normally don’t deserve at all. These have Crippling Effect on Indian Economy –
Ø These Family Businesses are Most Inefficient in Use of Capital,
Ø These Family Businesses don’t TRUST outside professionals,
Ø These Family Businesses NEGLECT R&D and Avoid Risk Taking,
Ø These Family Businesses SOURCE/Sell Products through Family Companies,
Ø These Family Businesses AVOID creating new jobs.
Corporate Family Feuds & Frauds had HURT India the most are responsible for Gross Failures in every respect.
My own experiences are eye opener –
1974 – Working in QC department I found Maintenance Deficiencies at Bharat Steel Tube – Raunaq Group company and offered to PROVIDE TECH SOLUTIONS – I was asked to resign. Later topped Zenith Steel Tube (Birla) competition,Indian Steel Tubes (Tata), Jain Tube were other Companies who could have benefit from it. Swaraj Paul too run Steel Tube Mill in UK.
1975 – Invented ‘Efficient Kerosene Stove’ – NRDC, Indian Oil were interested in cheating than manufacturingCommercial Scale Technically Sound Product – TERI (Tata) alone took foreign Funding for over 40 yrs from over 50 sources didn’t produce a Commercial product.
1976 – Working at BTPS noticed TRF (Tata) Coal Handling Plant was substandard – ‘Offered to Improve It’. Desert Cooler was another Invention. Voltas & Rallis were making substandard and Inefficient Desert Cooler – I Offered to Improve it – TATA product delivered 1800 M3/H and Consumed 250W – My Invention intended to deliver 6000 M3/h and consume around 120W power, Saving 80% to 85% Energy Use.
1978 – Invented ‘Irrigation Technologies’ and ‘Urban Water Supply’ – India has FAILED to Develop Such Essential Technologies – CORPORATE LET DOWN Who OWN FACTORIES Get Bulk of BANK CREDITS, Tax Concessions.
GOI must Come Up with Policies That Dismantle Family Group Company Dealings, Support Promotion of New Technologies than Families, Older Companies Must Contribute Max Taxes, Charged Max Interest Rate, Directed to Seek Funds Through IPOs and FD.
GOI is reducing their Interest Burden by Half – and protecting their PPA at up to 5 Times Present Bid Rates in case of Solar Power. Stories annexed here.
Ravinder Singh, Inventor & Consultant, INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES AND PROJECTS
One person was killed and four others injured after a car plowed into pedestrians on Promyshlennaya street in Saint Petersburg Saturday night, traffic police confirmed on Sunday, adding that a woman, 37, died at the scene. Two women, 47 and 18, and a man, 20, sustained heavy injuries. Another victim, a man, 27, is said to be in moderate condition. According to preliminary information, the driver lost control of his Volkswagen Polo and hit an adjacent building, ramming into pedestrians. “The driver of a Volkswagen Polo due to an as yet unknown cause lost control of the vehicle and hit pedestrians,” police told local media. The man, reportedly unharmed in the incident, has been detained by local police. RT news
Police in Catalonia are still looking for a 22-year-old Moroccan suspect in the Barcelona attacks, who may have fled north into France.
The suspect, Younes Abouyaaqoub, is the only person unaccounted for in the case of an extremist cell of 12 people identified by Spanish police, force spokesman Albert Oliva told a local radio station on Sunday. Oliva added that the identification process of the 14 victims in Barcelona is progressing, but will require more time for DNA testing and necessary formalities. He said the families of some of the individuals killed have been notified.
Catalan police have put up scores of roadblocks across the province in a manhunt for Abouyaaquoub, but the suspect has so far eluded law enforcement. The investigation is also focusing on imam Abdelbaki Es Satty, who is suspected of radicalizing the group behind the Barcelona attack. He is believed to have died in an explosion in a house in the town of Alcanar.Oliva refrained from confirming the number of people killed in the blast, saying it could be “one, two or three.”
Catalonia Police Chief Josep Lluis Trapero later on Sunday confirmed that the remains of two people were indentified in the Alcanar house. The official also said that only one person was inside the van used to attack pedestrians in Barcelona, but it was not necessarily Abouyaaquoub, whose credit card was used to rent the vehicle.
Abouyaaquoub, Trapero added, may have eluded the manhunt in Spain and crossed into France.
On Thursday, a man plowed a van into a crowd of people in a popular tourist street in Barcelona, killing 13 people and injuring more than 100. Hours later, terrorists launched a second attack in the seaside town of Cambrils, injuring seven people, one of whom later died
Catalonian terrorist cell, responsible for the twin attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, originally planned to carry out a major bombing campaign with explosive-laden vans. Antoni Gaudi’s unfinished cathedral masterpiece was reportedly their main target.
Wednesday’s apparent accidental explosion at their Alcanar hideout forced the terrorists to adjust their sinister plans. The group of jihadists plotted to construct a number of bombs to blow up at least three targets in Barcelona, the Spanish online portal El Espanol reported Saturday.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has assured balance-sheet stressed firms that the key objective of NPA resolution is not liquidation of their businesses but to save them. He said, the objective is to make sure that these valuable assets are preserved.
Addressing an insolvency summit organised by Confederation of Indian Industry in Mumbai yesterday, the Minister said, the new insolvency law has significantly reversed defaulting debtor-creditor relationship. Explaining the rationale for the new insolvency and bankruptcy code,IBC, he said, this was necessitated by the failure of debt recovery tribunals to effectively perform their duty after the initial success.
Mr Jaitley added that the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act had succeeded in getting down NPAs drastically in the initial two-three years. Calling for speedy and time-bound resolution of the bad loans issue, the Finance Minister expressed hope that the mandated timelines will be adhered to for effective implementation of the Act.
Speaking on the occassion, RBI Governor Urjit Patel called for recapitalisation of state-run banks to help them resolve the NPAs issue in a time-bond manner. He said, bad loans at 9.6 per cent of the system is not acceptable. The government and the RBI are working together to comprehensively address the issue through a multi-pronged approach, he added.
Iraq, security forces today launched an offensive to take back the city of Tal Afar. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said, this is their next objective in the US-backed campaign to defeat the Islamic State terror group. In a televised speech, he advised the terrorists either to surrender or be prepared to die. A longtime stronghold of hardline Sunni insurgents, Tal Afar, 80 kilometers west of Mosul, was cut off from the rest of the Islamic State-held territory in June. According to US and Iraqi Military commanders, about 2,000 terrorists remain in the city. The Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliphate collapsed last month, when US-backed Iraqi forces completed the takeover of Mosul, after a nine-month campaign.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah will meet chief ministers and deputy chief ministers of all party ruled states tomorrow to take stock of development and social welfare work being done.
Our corresponden quoting party sources reports, besides 13 chief ministers and six deputy chief ministers, a few cabinet ministers are also likely to attend the meeting. This will be Mr Modi’s third meeting with the chief ministers’ after the BJP swept to power in 2014.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu today directed Chairman, Railway Board, to fix responsibility on prima facie evidence by today only into the derailment of the Utkal Express in Uttar Pradesh.
The railway ministry said 21 people were killed and 97 injured, 26 of them grievously, in the accident near Khatauli in western Uttar Pradesh.
“Prime facie, it seems maintenance work was being carried out on the tracks. An investigation will reveal what caused the accident,” Mohammed Jamshed, Member (Traffic), Railway Board, told reporters in Delhi.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu directed the chairman of the Railway Board to fix responsibility on “prima facie evidence by the end of day” for the derailment. He had ordered an inquiry into the accident.
Media reports 23 people died and 156 were injured after 14 coaches of the Utkal Express derailed near Muzaffarnagar in western Uttar Pradesh yesterday evening.
In a tweet, Mr Prabhu said that he is monitoring the situation closely and restoration of tracks is his top priority. The minister directed senior officials and medical personnel to provide assistance to injured passengers and all possible help to relatives of affected passengers. Mr Prabhu had ordered an inquiry into the derailment yesterday. He said he was personally monitoring the situation and strict action will be taken in case of any lapse.
Affected rail route is expected to be cleared and traffic is likely to be restored by 7 this evening. Meanwhile, all the trains on the Ambala-Meerut- Saharanpur line will be cancelled or diverted. About 12 passenger trains have been diverted and three trains have been cancelled following the accident. Of 23 causalities 11 have been identified. Of them five were from Gwalior and Muraina districts of Madhya Pradesh and six were from Saharanpur, Agra and Muzaffarnagar districts of Uttar Pradesh. A total 156 injured are admitted in different hospitals of Muzaffarnagar and Meerut. State Government has released the list of injured.
Our correspondent reports that NDRF, ATS and PAC have completed search and rescue operations at the accident site. Railway authorities have started restoration works. Rerailing device and a full scale ART have reached at the site. In view of any suspect terror module behind the derailment a team of ATS of state police has been put for investigation.
The minister also announced 3.5 rupees lakh ex-gratia compensation for those who lost their lives, 50,000 for the seriously injured and 25,000 for those who received minor injuries.
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has also announced financial assistance of two lakh rupees each for the kin those killed and 50,000 for the injured.
Muzaffarnagar administration has opened a helpline and the numbers are 0131-243-6918, 0131-243-6103 and 0131-243-6564. Haridwar railway station has also set up a helpline number. The number is 9760-534-054. Meerut Police Helpline numbers are 945-440-1587, 945-441-7431 and 0121-264-8623.
President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have expressed sadness over the incident. In a tweet, Mr Kovind said, his thoughts are with the deceased and their families. Mr Modi said, the Railway Ministry and the UP government are doing everything and providing all assistance required.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi has also expressed pain at the derailment. She called upon Pradesh Congress and party workers to provide assistance to the affected families.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has announced ex-gratia of five lakh rupees each to the next of the kin of Odia passengers killed in the derailment. A statement from the Chief Minister’s office said, Mr Patnaik also announced 50,000 rupees for those injured. The Chief Minister spoke to Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and sought his assistance for the rescue of the passengers. He also asked the state’s commerce and transport department to work in coordination with the railways and Uttar Pradesh government to provide help to the injured persons and the kin of the deceased.
IIP Ignites the Passion for Photography this World Photography Day at NOIDA!
IIP Academy Noida joyously celebrated WORLD PHOTOGRAPHY DAY, this 19th of
A successful and eye catching exhibition was displayed by IIP Academy at DLF Mall of India, Noida, India’s biggest mall, to recognize the craft that immortalizes memories and events. Impactful photographs taken by the passionate and aspiring photographers of the IIP Academy were displayed on attractive easels, becoming an instant crowd puller. Our wish is to engage and impact the lives of people through these images and also fuel the passion for photography by inspiring the youth towards a path of creativity and storytelling.
To commemorate the glorious craftand the world of lights and shadows, banners were also put up from 19th to 25th August covering the area between Sector 15 to Sector 18 metro station Noida, showcasing the work of 50 of our students for IIP.Our aim wasto spread awareness about the art of vision by engaging the residents of Noida through its vibrancy and dynamic nature, to pull them towards a life of creativity and happiness.
New Delhi, August 20, 2017: Olympian SSP Chawrasia, a winner of six international titles including four on the European Tour, has been nominated for the prestigious Arjuna Award.
A selection panel appointed by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India, had recommended SSP’s name along with 16 other sportspersons for the nation’s second highest sporting honour, about two weeks back.
Chawrasia’s nomination was finally confirmed when he received an email from the Sports Ministry on Friday night informing him about the same. The Kolkata-based professional, currently ranked second on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, will receive the award from the President of India in a ceremony to be conducted at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on 29th August, 2017.
Chawrasia is now set to become the 19th Indian golfer and the 10th Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) member to be conferred with the Arjuna Award.
PGTI members who have won the Arjuna Award in the past include Ali Sher (1991), Amit Luthra (1996), Harmeet Kahlon (1997), Jeev Milkha Singh (1999), Shiv Kapur (2002), Jyoti Randhawa (2004), Arjun Atwal (2007), Gaganjeet Bhullar (2013) and Anirban Lahiri (2014).
SSP, the Indian Open champion for the last two years running, joins the illustrious list of Arjuna Awardees thanks to his extraordinary performances at the international level over the last decade.
Chawrasia, the only Indian after Jeev Milkha Singh, to have won four events on the European Tour, has also had the honour of representing India in international team events such as the Rio Olympics 2016 and the World Cup of Golf 2016. He was also part of Team Asia at the EurAsia Cup 2016.
The 39-year-old, who turned professional back in 1997, achieved a major milestone in his career when he secured his maiden overseas win in Philippines towards the end of last year.
SSP had enjoyed a career-best third place finish on the Asian Tour in 2011. He will be looking to improve upon that record in the 2017 season as he is currently placed second on the money list in Asia.
Reacting to his nomination, an elated SSP said, “I had dreamt of winning the Arjuna since childhood even before I started playing golf. My inspiration to win the award was famous Kolkata golfer Mr. SK Jamshed who won the Arjuna back in 1975. I still have a picture of his with the award at my home.
“Finally my dream has come true. The Arjuna Award is something that every Indian sportsperson craves for. It’s a true recognition of my achievements.
“This award will give me a lot of confidence for the battles ahead. I am in a happy space right now, so I am confident of doing well.”
SSP will be participating in the European Tour’s Made in Denmark event in Aalborg, Denmark, next week. He will then rush back to Delhi for the Arjuna Awards ceremony on August 29, a day when the nation also celebrates its National Sports Day.
Congratulating SSP on his Arjuna Award nomination, Mr. Uttam Singh Mundy, CEO, PGTI, said, “We at the PGTI extend our heartiest congratulations to SSP Chawrasia for being conferred the prestigious Arjuna Award. SSP’s path-breaking achievements exemplify what one can accomplish with hard work and determination. His talent and fighting spirit have helped him emerge as one of the leading professionals in Asia over the last decade. The award is a true recognition of his feats. We wish SSP the very best for the future and hope he continues to make India proud on the international stage in the years to come.”