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Archive for February 26th, 2012

Magnificent Women of India

Posted by Admin on February 26, 2012

http://in.lifestyle.yahoo.com/photos/magnificent-women-of-india-slideshow/;_ylt=Ai0GWSZgbSopIR0Wi_OkphNgmeh_;_ylu=X3oDMTM3anZmdnFiBG1pdAMEcGtnAzkxMGU2OGJlLTAzNTUtMzMyZS05MjRhLTg1MWU0OThiNTQzNARwb3MDNARzZWMDZW5kX3NzBHZlcgM4NjQzMjJkMi01ZWQ0LTExZTEtYTlmNy1hMWE4Njc4NDMzODc-;_ylv=3

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Note from Admin:- To the greatest nation on Earth and Mankind’s greatest compromise to the Divine,…For the Land of My Birth,My Love,My Glory,My Sacrifice and My Passing, Ever Unto Thee…I shall never forget you nor let go, for it is in you that I am forever nested beyond the confines of the Cosmos and Origin…

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When France-born photographer CLAUDE RENAULT came to India, he fell in love with the land he now calls “a special place” and his “second country.” His observant eye finds inspiration in commonplace sights that most people let pass without a second glance. His lens seeks out hidden character in the map of human faces, in their laugh lines, dark eyes and unpretentious smiles. A passionate traveler, Renault’s journey is fueled by the mantra: “I won’t travel just for a nice landscape or an historical monument, but for what makes a country: the people.” Enjoy his candid, fascinating and inspiring photos. You will never look at India the same way again. And if you are a foreigner wandering in India with a camera, we invite you to share your impressions of India.

Danuko Lakshmi, a Lambadi woman in Andhra Pradesh.

Photo by Claude Renault

Widows in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, renowned in mythology as Krishna‘s playground.

Photo by Claude Renault

Saying hello to God in Sri Sailam, Andhra Pradesh.

Photo by Claude Renault

Durgi is a shepherd I met in Hampi, Karnataka.

Photo by Claude Renault

Papu during the camel fair in Pushkar, Rajasthan, in 2001.

Photo by Claude Renault

Fatima Tabasu, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh in the bus going to Golconda.

Photo by Claude Renault

This Rajasthani pilgrim was sitting inside a small temple next to her husband in Ram Jhula, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand.

Photo by Claude Renault

This woman is the owner of a small ‘Chai’ place in Ram Jhula, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand.

Photo by Claude Renault

A Muslim girl in Gulbarga, Karnataka.

Photo by Claude Renault

A lovely woman I met walking in the streets of Jodhpur, Rajasthan.

Photo by Claude Renault

A Lambadi woman waiting for the bus in Hyderabad.

Photo by Claude Renault

Ma Ganga in Hampi, Karnataka.

Photo by Claude Renault

Danuko, Sri Sailam, Andhra Pradesh.

Photo by Claude Renault

Papu in Pushkar, Rajasthan. I met her for the first time in 2001. Now she owns a little shop near the Ghats.

Photo by Claude Renault

Claude Renault at work

France-born photographer Claude Renault in Varanasi.

View more of his work on his website.

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‘Proposal for FDI in domestic carriers sent to commerce ministry’

Posted by Admin on February 26, 2012

http://in.finance.yahoo.com/news/proposal-fdi-domestic-carriers-sent-091006069.html

IANS – Thu 23 Feb, 2012 2:40 PM IST

New Delhi, Feb 23 (IANS) A proposal has been sent to the commerce ministry to permit foreign carriers invest in India‘s cash-strapped private airlines, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said Thursday.

“We have sent the proposal to them,” Singh told reporters here.

However, he did not divulge any timeframe for the cabinet to examine the matter.

Foreign airlines are currently not allowed to directly invest in Indian carriers for security reasons. However, 49 percent FDI is allowed by non-airline players.

On Jan 17, a group of ministers (GoM) headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee agreed to draft a cabinet note proposing a 49 percent cap on FDI by foreign carriers in domestic airlines.

Before the Jan 17 decision, various government departments had proposed different investment caps – from 24 percent to 26 percent. The commerce ministry’s Department of Industrial Policy and promotion (DIPP) had suggested a 26 percent cap.

“Private airlines in the country are in need of funds for operations and service upgrades to compete with global carriers,” said the DIPP note.

Industry sources say the fresh infusion of investment would give a lifeline to the struggling sector, which bears the brunt of high jet fuel prices caused by state levies and high interest cost of their debt.

“The current financial position of Indian carriers is extremely challenging. FDI by global airlines in India would be a very welcome step,” Amber Dubey, director (Aerospace) for consultancy firm KPMG told IANS.

“It will provide access to global funds, routes and management expertise,” he added.

Three domestic airlines — Kingfisher, Jet and SpiceJet – have reported heavy third quarter losses.

The FDI proposal was mooted by Vijay Mallya, chairman of the cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines.

“I am an avid supporter of FDI. I don’t see any reason why FDI from strategic partners like an airline should be banned or not permitted. Who would understand an airline better than another airline,” Mallya had asked.

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Syria referendum goes ahead amid military onslaught

Posted by Admin on February 26, 2012

http://in.news.yahoo.com/violence-rages-syria-holds-referendum-030825956.html

By Alistair Lyon | Reuters – 1 hour 35 minutes ago

BEIRUT (Reuters) – At least 31 Syrian civilians and soldiers were killed on Sunday in bloodshed that coincided with a vote on a new constitution that could keep President Bashar al-Assad in power until 2028.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a military bombardment of opposition districts in Homs, now in its fourth week, had killed nine civilians, while rebel fighters had killed four soldiers in clashes in the city.

The British-based Observatory said eight civilians and 10 members of the security forces were killed in violence elsewhere in Syria, scene of what has become an increasingly militarised revolt against four decades of Assad family rule.

Voting was under way in the referendum on a constitution which Assad says will lead to a multi-party parliamentary election in three months, but which his opponents see as a sick joke given the unrest convulsing the country.

“What should we be voting for, whether to die by bombardment or by bullets? This is the only choice we have,” said Waleed Fares, an activist in the Khalidiyah district of Homs.

“We have been trapped in our houses for 23 days. We cannot go out, except into some alleys. Markets, schools and government buildings are closed, and there is very little movement on the streets because of snipers,” he said.

“Baba Amro has had no food or water for three days,” Fares said of another besieged and battered district in the city. “Homs in general has no electricity for 18 hours a day.”

He said people in opposition areas of Homs had wanted to burn copies of the new constitution in protest at the referendum, but it was too dangerous to venture out of doors.

On Saturday security forces killed at least 100 people across Syria, including six women and 10 children, the opposition Syrian Network for Human Rights said.

HARROWING CONDITIONS

The Syrian government, backed by Russia, China and Iran, and undeterred by Western and Arab pressure to halt the carnage, says it is fighting foreign-backed “armed terrorist groups”.

The outside world has been powerless to restrain Assad’s drive to crush the 11-month-old revolt, which has the potential to slide into a sectarian conflict between Syria’s Sunni Muslim majority and the president’s minority Alawite sect.

The military onslaught on parts of Homs has created harrowing conditions for civilians, rebels and journalists.

A video posted by activists on YouTube showed Mohammad al-Mohammad, a doctor at a makeshift clinic in Baba Amro, holding a 15-year-old boy hit in the neck by shrapnel and spitting blood.

“It is late at night and Baba Amro is still being bombarded. We can do nothing for this boy,” said the doctor, who has also been treating Western journalists wounded in the city.

American correspondent Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik were killed in the bombardment of Homs last week and two other Western journalists were wounded. The group is still trapped there despite Red Cross efforts to extract them.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it was still unable to evacuate distressed civilians from Baba Amro . After a day of talks with Syrian authorities and opposition fighters, it said there were “no concrete results”.

“We continue our negotiations, hoping that tomorrow (Sunday) we will be able to enter Baba Amro to carry out our life-saving operations,” spokesman Hicham Hassan said in Geneva.

REVISED CONSTITUTION

Despite the violence in provincial cities across Syria, voting on the constitution went ahead in calmer areas.

If approved, it would drop an article making Assad’s Baath party the leader of state and society, allow political pluralism and enact a presidential limit of two seven-year terms.

But the limit will not be enforced retrospectively, meaning that Assad, already in power for 11 years, could serve another two terms after his current one expires in 2014.

Dozens of people lined up to vote in two polling stations visited by a Reuters journalist in Damascus. “I’ve come to vote for President Bashar, God protect him and give him victory over his enemies,” said Samah Turkmani, in his 50s.

Bassam Haddad, the director of one polling centre, said: “From the beginning the voting has been much better than we expected. We can say 200 percent above expectations.”

Another voter, Majed Elias, said: “This is a national duty, whether I agree or not, I have to come and vote… I agree with the draft constitution, even if I object to some parts. Every Syrian must ride the wave of reform to achieve what he wants.”

Anti-Assad activists have called for a boycott of a vote they see as meaningless. They said they would try to hold protests near polling stations in Damascus and suburbs where troops drove out insurgents last month.

Some said security forces had stopped people venturing out to buy food in Homs on Saturday, confiscated their Interior Ministry-issued identification cards and informed them the cards could be retrieved at specified polling centres the next day.

“They want to force people to vote in this doctored, so-called referendum,” activist Mohammad al-Homsi said from Homs.

This is Syria’s third referendum since Assad inherited power from his late father. The first installed him as president in 2000 with an official 97.29 percent ‘yes’ vote. The second renewed his term seven years later with 97.62 percent in favour.

(Additional reporting by Khaled Yacoub Oweis in Amman and Erika Solomon and Dominic Evans in Beirut; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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