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Archive for February 18th, 2012

India brokers deal, Maldives parties agree for early polls

Posted by Admin on February 18, 2012

By Indo Asian News Service | IANS India Private Limited – Thu 16 Feb, 2012

Male, Feb 16 (IANS) In a triumph of diplomacy, India Thursday succeeded in brokering a political deal in the Maldives, with allpolitical parties agreeing to hold elections “as early as possible”, paving the way for a political reconciliation in the island nation that plunged into turmoil after the resignation of president Mohamed Nasheed Feb 7.

The breakthrough came after Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai, the second senior Indian diplomat to visit the Maldives after the dramatic transfer of power, held talks with key political figures, including ousted president Mohamed Nasheed and his successorMohamed Waheed Hassan.

Mathai also met Abdulla Yameen of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), Thasmeen Ali of the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), Chief Justice of the Maldivian Supreme Court and the Speaker of the People’s Majlis.

After wide-ranging discussions, the feuding Maldivian parties agreed on a formulation that holds out the hope for an early return of peace and stability to the strategically located island nation.

“Consequent to my discussions, the following formulation was agreed upon by all the parties concerned; In addition, in the interests of national reconciliation and to encourage harmony between our citizens, the government of National Unity will hold discussions with all relevant parties to conduct elections by an early date,” Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai said in the capital Male.

“The government of national unity will work towards the conditions that will permit such elections to take place including any necessary constitutional amendments,” said Mathai.

“There was a degree of convergence on how matters should be taken forward. The parties also agree to the need for maintenance of constitutional order,” said Mathai. “The president has come out with a roadmap for an inclusive political process which provides a very good basis for the parties to resolve their differences,” stressed Mathai.

After initial missteps when India quickly recognized the regime of the new president Mohamed Waheed Hasan, India made up by brokering a broad-based political deal by conceding to the long-standing demand of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) for early election.

“I reiterated our belief that there is need for a Maldivian led process for reconciliation and resolving political differences through constitutional means,” he said.

Mathai, who was expected to return Thursday afternoon to host a reception for the media at his residence, had to prolong his stay in the Maldives by a few hours as a political settlement which India had been pushing for looked imminent.

“The MDP, on its part, committed itself to encouraging an atmosphere appropriate to the holding of elections. In this context, we understand that their decision to hold a rally tomorrow is being reconsidered,” said Mathai.

With India stepping up its political outreach in the Maldives, Nasheed softened his stance saying he was now satisfied with New Delhi’s “more realistic approach” towards the crisis in the picture-pretty atoll nation.

“I now fully understand how things may be brought into a proper alignment and I am much more satisfied,” Nasheed told reporters in Male after talks with Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai Wednesday night.

“I am more than satisfied with India and I believe that Indians have (in mind) the best interest of Maldivian people,” said Nasheed, the country’s first democratically-elected president who resigned Feb 7 amid opposition protests and a police revolt.

Mathai, the second senior Indian diplomat to visit the Maldives after the dramatic transfer of power, held talks with key political figures, including Nasheed and his successor Mohamed Waheed Hassan.

Only a few days ago, Nasheed had voiced disappointment with India’s stand after New Delhi quickly recognized the new president, barely 24 hours after Nasheed resigned amid controversial circumstances.

M. Ganapathi, secretary (west) in the external affairs ministry, went as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh‘s special envoy last week to meet key political figures to underline the need for a broad-based coalition government.


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Two die in Italian ship firing, India summons envoy

Posted by Admin on February 18, 2012

By Indo Asian News Service | IANS India Private Limited – Thu 16 Feb, 2012

New Delhi/Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 16 (IANS) India Thursday summoned the Italian envoy and voiced concern over the killing of two fishermen by security officials of an Italian cargo vessel in the waters off Kerala. It asked Italy to ensure the ship’s captain cooperates with Indian police.

Italy, however, maintained that the Italian navy personnel on boardEnrica Lexie fired warning shots after they were allegedly attacked ininternational waters by people on an Indian fishing vessel.

The incident that killed two fishermen, one from Tamil Nadu and the other from Kerala, who were mistaken for pirates, took place Wednesday evening about 14 nautical miles off Alappuzha in Kerala.

M. Ganapathi, secretary (west) in the external affairs ministry, met Italian ambassador Giacomo Sanfelice di Montefort and asked him to ensure that the captain cooperates with Indian officials probing the incident.

The Italian envoy said the captain will cooperate with Kochi police.

Enrica Lexie is now berthed off the Kochi coast and its officials have been summoned by police for further investigations.

The Italian embassy, however, insisted that the ship was attacked and the firing was done only in self-defence.

‘The Italian ship was attacked yesterday in international waters about 30 nautical miles of the south west coast of India.

‘Italian navy personnel on board following international protocols after repeated warnings and after ascertaining from binoculars that the pirates were armed gradually fired some warning shots and the pirates withdrew,’ it said Thursday.

‘Later, the master of the Italian ship was contacted by the Indian coast guards and requested to direct towards the Kochi harbour to offer information on the pirate attack. The master agreed and the ship is now in Kochi harbour,’ an embassy statement said.

‘We are in touch with the Indian authorities and we shall work together to clarify all aspects of the incident,’ said the embassy.

The Kerala cabinet has decided to give Rs.500,000 as compensation each to the next of kin of the two fishermen.

Kerala Fisheries Minister K. Babu told IANS that it remained to be seen how the issue is settled as an Italian ship was involved.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has asked the home department to register a case.

The boat in which the two were shot dead had left for fishing a week ago from Kollam. Freddy, its owner who was present when the incident took place around 4.30 p.m. Wednesday, said there were 11 people on board.

Freddy, from Tamil Nadu, told reporters: ‘Except the two who were shot dead, all the other nine were fast asleep. I woke up hearing sounds similar to a gunshot. When I woke up I saw the two workers in a pool of blood.

‘I scramed and shouted and all others also woke up, but by then it was too late.’

The bodies of the two fishermen would be handed to relatives after an autopsy at the Medical College Hospital here.

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NRI couple reunited with children in Norway

Posted by Admin on February 18, 2012

Yahoo! India News – Fri 17 Feb, 2012

Norway: The Indian couple who had lost custody of their children, reunited with them today after an agreement was reached between Barnevarne (Norwegian Child Welfare Services) and the parents.

The Norwegian Child Welfare Services agreed to give the children’s custody to their uncle but also asked the parents to stay back and visit India atleast twice a year.

The Child Welfare Service and the parents met to evaluate whether care of their children who have been placed in a Norwegian foster home can be awarded to the brother of the children’s father.
The three-year-old Abhigyan and the one-year-old Aishwarya, children of Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya, an NRI couple living in Stavanger, Norway, were taken under protective care by Barnevarne in May last year on grounds that they were not looked after properly by their parents.

Barnevarne had placed them in foster parental care as per the directive of the local Norwegian court, mandated under Norwegian laws.

An agreement was struck recently between India and Norway under which the parents named Anurup’s brother Arunabhash Bhattacharya as the primary caretaker of the two children.

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Hitler had son with French teen

Posted by Admin on February 18, 2012

By Indo Asian News Service | IANS India Private Limited – 19 hours ago

London, Feb 17 (IANS) Adolf Hitler had a son with a French teenager while serving as a soldier during the First World War, The Telegraph reported Friday.

Jean-Marie Loret, who died in 1985 aged 67, never met his father, but went on to fight Nazi forces during the Second World War.

His extraordinary story has now been backed up by a range of compelling evidence, both in France and in Germany, which is published in the latest edition of Paris’s Le Point magazine.

Hitler is said to have had an affair with Loret’s mother, Charlotte Lobjoie, 16, as he took a break from the trenches in June 1917.

Although he was fighting the French near Seboncourt, in the northern Picardy region, Hitler made his way to Fournes-in-Weppe, a small town west of Lille, for regular leave, where he met Lobjoie.

The pair started a brief relationship, which resulted in the birth of Jean-Marie, who was born in March 1918 after being conceived during a “tipsy” evening in June 1917.

Jean-Marie was, like thousands of other French children with German soldier fathers, badly treated by his peers at school.

He was referred to as “the son of the Bosh”, and often had fights as he tried to defend his father, who had by now disappeared over the border to Germany.

Lobjoie, meanwhile, refused to discuss Jean-Marie’s father, and ended up giving her only son away for adoption in the 1930s to a family called Loret.

Just before her death in the early 1950s, Lobjoie finally told Jean-Marie that his father was arguably the most infamous dictator in human history.

Loret said: “In order not to get depressed, I worked non-stop, never took a holiday, and had no hobbies. For twenty years I didn’t even go to the cinema.”

Hitler, who was born in an Austrian village, frequently spoke of his love for France, and especially for Paris.

Although he never officially had any sons or daughters of his own, Hitler often spoke of his love of children and animals.

He married his mistress, Eva Braun, as the Red Army shelled his bunker in Berlin, in 1945, and committed suicide shortly afterwards.


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Ukrainian girls may be jailed for insulting Indian flag

Posted by Admin on February 18, 2012

By Indo Asian News Service | IANS India Private Limited – 4 hours ago

Kiev, Feb 18 (IANS) A group of Ukrainian topless protesters may face jail term up to four years for climbing onto the balcony of theIndian embassy in Kiev and tearing down India’s national flag last month, said police Friday.

The protesters had brought down the Indian flag, smashed the doors and windows with it and threw it on the ground.

The activists were enraged by the Indian Foreign Ministry ordering thorough checks into all Ukrainians aged 15 to 40 seeking to enter the country, saying it would help weed out the numerous prostitutes in search of a job, the RIA Novosti reported Friday.

The incident resulted in two cases opened on separate charges of hooliganism and desecration of state symbols, Ukrainian police said.

But no one was charged as of Friday evening.

The incident had occurred Jan 19.

The Indian ambassador to Ukraine, Rajiv K. Chander, was not at his residence when the four women from Femen arrived in Indian attire and stripped to their waists before using a ladder to reach the second-floor balcony, an Indian media report said.

The women tied a banner in English to the balcony that declared: “We are not prostitutes”. They also carried placards in English and Russian that said “Delhi, close your brothels” and “We demand apologies”.


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A cloudy day at Bellary Fort

Posted by Admin on February 18, 2012

Photo-editor AZHAR MOHAMED ALI spent a day among the ruins of the historic Bellary Fort in Karnataka, taking in their various moods. Enjoy this pictorial tour.

Yahoo Lifestyle Entertainment – Wed 15 Feb, 2012 4:50 PM IST

Situated 300 km from Bangalore is the spectacular and historic Bellary Fort, which sits atop Ballari Gudda, otherwise known asthe Fort Hill. During the Vijayanagara era this fort was built by Hanumappa Nayaka. In 1769, Hyder Ali of Mysore stormed the fort and occupied it.  The fort was then renovated by a French engineer who, according to legend, was executed because he miscalculated its height, making it visible from a hill called Kumbara Gudda, and thus compromised its military location. The French engineer’s grave can still be found at the east gate of the fort. The Bellary Fort is home to an Upper Fort or Fort Hill(constructed by Nayak) and a Lower Fort or Face Hill (constructed by Ali), symbolizing the two rulers. The only way to get to the Upper Fort is to navigate a rocky, winding path over boulders. This polygonal walled site has no garrison room.  On the other hand, the lower fort is easily accessible from two gates from the western and eastern sides respectively.  A Hanuman temple, the Kote Anjaneya Temple, is located at the eastern side of the fort. The lower fort housed barracks and arsenals.  The British added their own structures in the Lower Fort including stores, a post office, a church, an orphanage and private homes. Today, one can find a number of public buildings and other institutions.

Click through the numbered links to enjoy these dramatic images.

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