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Posts Tagged ‘western hypocrisy’

US military deaths in Afghanistan hit 2,000

Posted by Admin on October 1, 2012

http://news.yahoo.com/us-military-deaths-afghanistan-hit-2-000-063934010.html

By PATRICK QUINN | Associated Press – 3 hrs ago

FILE– In this file photograph made on July 29, 2010, upon landing after a helicopter rescue mission, Tech. Sgt. Jeff Hedglin, right, an Air Force Pararescueman, or PJ, drapes an American flag over the remains of the first of two U.S. soldiers killed minutes earlier in an IED attack, assisted by fellow PJs, Senior Airman Robert Dieguez, center, and 1st Lt. Matthew Carlisle, in Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan. U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan have surpassed 2,000, a grim reminder that a war which began nearly 11 years ago shows no signs of slowing down despite an American decision to begin the withdrawal of most of its combat forces. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The killing of an American serviceman in an exchange of fire with allied Afghan soldiers pushed U.S. military deaths in the war to 2,000, a cold reminder of the perils that remain after an 11-year conflict that now garners little public interest at home.

The toll has climbed steadily in recent months with a spate of attacks by Afghan army and police — supposed allies — against American and NATO troops. That has raised troubling questions about whether countries in the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan will achieve their aim of helping the government in Kabul and its forces stand on their own after most foreign troops depart in little more than two years.

“The tally is modest by the standards of war historically, but every fatality is a tragedy and 11 years is too long,” said Michael O’Hanlon, a fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington. “All that is internalized, however, in an American public that has been watching this campaign for a long time. More newsworthy right now are the insider attacks and the sense of hopelessness they convey to many. “

Attacks by Afghan soldiers or police — or insurgents disguised in their uniforms — have killed 52 American and other NATO troops so far this year.

“We have to get on top of this. It is a very serious threat to the campaign,” the U.S. military’s top officer, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, said about the insider threat.

The top commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen, was blunter.

“I’m mad as hell about them, to be honest with you,” Allen told CBS’ “60 Minutes” in an interview to be broadcast on Sunday. “It reverberates everywhere across the United States. You know, we’re willing to sacrifice a lot for this campaign, but we’re not willing to be murdered for it.”

The insider attacks are considered one of the most serious threats to the U.S. exit strategy from the country. In its latest incarnation, that strategy has focused on training Afghan forces to take over security nationwide — allowing most foreign troops to go home by the end of 2014.

As part of that drawdown, the first 33,000 U.S. troops withdrew by the end of September, leaving 68,000 still in Afghanistan. A decision on how many U.S. troops will remain next year will be taken after the American presidential elections. NATO currently has 108,000 troops in Afghanistan — including U.S. forces — down from nearly 150,000 at its peak last year.

The program to train and equip 350,000 Afghan policemen and soldiers has cost the American taxpayer more than $22 billion in the past three years.

The most recent attack came just days after Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said most U.S. and coalition combat units in Afghanistan returned to their practice of partnering with Afghan forces, nearly two weeks after the top U.S. commander put restrictions on such cooperation.

Like so many other deaths in Afghanistan, the latest were shrouded in confusion and conflicting accounts.

On Sunday, U.S. officials confirmed the deaths of two Americans, a service member and a civilian contractor killed late Saturday.

The fighting started when insurgents attacked a checkpoint set up by U.S. forces in eastern Wardak province, said Shahidullah Shahid, a provincial government spokesman. He said the insurgents apparently used mortars in the attack. The Americans thought they were under attack from their allies at a nearby Afghan army checkpoint and fired on it. The Afghan soldiers returned fire, Shahid said.

The Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman said the shooting broke out as a result of a “misunderstanding” while ISAF forces were on patrol near an Afghan army checkpoint.

NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, commonly referred to as ISAF, gave a different account of the fighting in Sayd Abad district.

“After a short conversation took place between (Afghan army) and ISAF personnel, firing occurred which resulted in the fatal wounding of an ISAF soldier and the death of his civilian colleague,” the coalition said in a statement. It said the three Afghan soldiers died “in an ensuing exchange of fire.”

NATO did not say whether it considered this an “insider” attack on foreign forces by Afghan allies.

In Washington, Pentagon press secretary George Little said 2,000 deaths is one of the “arbitrary milestones defined by others ” that the U.S. administration does not mark.

“We honor all courageous Americans who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan to make the American people more secure,” he said. “The fact of the matter is that America is safer because of all of those who have served in this war, including our fallen heroes.”

In addition to the 2,000 Americans killed since the Afghan war began on Oct. 7, 2001, at least 1,190 more coalition troops from other countries have also died, according to iCasualties.org, an independent organization that tracks the deaths.

According to the Afghanistan index kept by Brookings, about 40 percent of the American deaths were caused by improvised explosive devices. The majority of those were after 2009, when President Barack Obama ordered a surge that sent in 33,000 additional troops to combat heightened Taliban activity. The surge brought the total number of American troops to 101,000, the peak for the entire war.

According to Brookings, hostile fire was the second most common cause of death, accounting for nearly 31 percent of Americans killed.

Tracking deaths of Afghan civilians is much more difficult. According to the U.N., 13,431 civilians were killed in the Afghan conflict between 2007, when the U.N. began keeping statistics, and the end of August. Going back to the U.S.-led invasion in 2001, most estimates put the number of Afghan civilian deaths in the war at more than 20,000.

In recent years, some of those casualties have generated a great deal of criticism from President Hamid Karzai and changed the way NATO forces carry out airstrikes. The overwhelming majority of civilian casualties are caused by insurgents — with the United Nations blaming them for more than 80 percent of the deaths and NATO putting that figure at more than 90 percent.

The number of American dead reflects an Associated Press count of those members of the armed services killed inside Afghanistan since the U.S.-led invasion began. Some other news organizations use a count that also includes those killed outside Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, the global anti-terror campaign led by then-President George W. Bush.

The 2001 invasion targeted al-Qaida and its Taliban allies shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States, which claimed nearly 3,000 lives.

Victory in Afghanistan seemed to come quickly. Kabul fell within weeks, and the hardline Taliban regime was toppled with few U.S. casualties.

But the Bush administration’s shift toward war with Iraq left the Western powers without enough resources on the ground, so by 2006 the Taliban had regrouped into a serious military threat.

Obama deployed more troops to Afghanistan, and casualties increased sharply in the last several years. But the American public grew weary of having its military in a perpetual state of conflict, especially after the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq at the end of last year. That war, which began with a U.S.-led invasion in 2003 to oust Saddam Hussein, cost the lives of nearly 4,500 U.S. troops, more than twice as many as have died in Afghanistan so far.

Although Obama has pledged that most U.S. combat troops will leave by the end of 2014, American, NATO and allied troops are still dying in Afghanistan at a rate of one a day.

Even with 33,000 American troops back home, the U.S.-led coalition will still have 108,000 troops — including 68,000 from the U.S. — fighting in Afghanistan at the end of this year. Many of those will be training the Afghan National Security Forces that are to replace them.

“There is a challenge for the administration,” O’Hanlon said, “to remind people in the face of such bad news why this campaign requires more perseverance.”

___

Associated Press writers Heidi Vogt and Rahim Faiez in Kabul and researcher Monika Mathour in Washington contributed to this report.

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The queen, UFOs, Bolt? Fancy an Olympic bet?

Posted by Admin on June 4, 2012

http://in.news.yahoo.com/queen-ufos-bolt-fancy-olympic-bet-134146378–sector.html

By Belinda Goldsmith | Reuters – Fri 1 Jun, 2012

              LONDON (Reuters) – Would you bet on Queen Elizabeth lighting the Olympic flame? Or a UFO appearing above the opening ceremony? Or maybe on Usain Bolt winning the men’s 100 metre race?

With the London Olympics fast approaching, Britons are happily combining two of their favourite pastimes: sports and betting – no matter how ludicrous some of the bets.

“It is deep in the British psyche to have a bit of a flutter when it comes to sports. Sports and betting almost go hand-in-hand in this country,” said Joe Crilly, a spokesman from bookmaker William Hill.

Less than two months away from kickoff, bookmakers are starting to close their books on the most popular bet so far – who will light the flame, the symbol of the Olympic Games, at the opening ceremony on July 27.

The identity of the person who runs the final stretch with the Olympic torch after a 70-day relay is always a highlight at the opening extravaganza. China’s former champion gymnast Li Ning was awarded that honour in Beijing in 2008; at the Atlanta 1996 Olympics, legendary boxer Muhammad Ali lit the cauldron in an emotional show as he struggled with Parkinson’s disease.

Bookmakers William Hill, Ladbrokes, Stan James and Coral all agreed the favourite for that coveted task in London, with odds of 1-3, is former rower Steve Redgrave, 50, Britain’s most successful Olympian who won five gold medals from 1984 to 2000.

Bets were also running on the 83-year-old Roger Bannister, who made history as the first man to run the four-minute mile in 1954; Kelly Holmes, the retired British runner who won two gold medals at the 2004 Athens Olympics; and football star David Beckham.

“We also took some bets on Tom Daley at 16-1, Prince William at 66-1 and, incredibly, the queen at 500-1,” said Stan James spokesman Rory Jiwani.

BORIS HAIR ON FIRE?

William Hill has taken some bets on whether London Mayor Boris Johnson would have a mishap when he runs with the Olympic torch, setting his notoriously wild hair on fire, and has odds of 5-2 on it raining on the night of the opening ceremony.

But spokesman Crilly said the weirdest bet yet was a 15 pound wager that a UFO would appear above the Olympic Stadium on the night of the opening ceremony. The odds? A massive payout at 1000-1.

“It is mainly Brits really getting into the spirit of things as the Olympics draw closer and having fun,” said Crilly. “Once the torch arrived on these shores, we have seen people getting involved in the Olympics and betting not just on novelty bets.”

Bolt, the Jamaican sprinter and world record holder, is currently the favourite with odds of 4-7 to win the Olympics showpiece event, the men’s 100 metre race, while fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake is second favourite with odds of 3-1.

Most bookmakers were also running bets on which country would top the gold medal table when the Olympics close on August 12.

Coral spokesman David Stevens said the Olympics were not usually a major betting event but interest was likely to be higher at the London Games due to Britons’ love of gambling.

The most recent independent report by the Britain’s government-sponsored Gambling Commission on gambling participation showed that nearly three quarters of British adults, or 73 percent, had gambled in 2010 compared to 68 percent in 2007.

The Association of British Bookmakers estimates that bookmakers contribute 3 billion pounds annually to the UK economy, which is about 0.5 percent of gross domestic product.

“It will be the biggest Olympics in betting terms but this is starting from a very low base,” said Stevens.

“The Olympics are being held in a nation where betting is a part of everyday life. The real activity will kick off in the fortnight leading up to Games and then during the Games but we’re a bit in the dark over how much interest we will see.”

(Editing by Alessandra Rizzo)

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100-yr-old photos of British India found in shoebox

Posted by Admin on May 12, 2012

http://in.news.yahoo.com/photos/exquisite-hundred-year-old-photos-of-british-raj-discovered-in-a-shoe-box-slideshow/exquisite-hundred-year-old-photos-of-british-raj-discovered-in-a-shoe-box-photo-1336556192.html

Note from the Admin : – My beloved Mother Land, Land of my birth, livelihood and demise, I will ever return unto Thee, only to fathom thy Limitless Beauty, Glory, Culture, Heritage, your various Traditions abounding playfully amidst the shores of Tranquility and the steep Cliffs of your Timeless Spirituality. Yonder I wander, thither I am lost, weeping in the sorrow of having to bear witness your Ungodly Fall into pittance and ineptitude.

Release your bonds and unshackle Yourself, shake off the dew of rust, complacence and decadence that have covered you for too long, wake up and surmise all the chaos and debauchery that surround your existence wrought with injustice, butchery and barbarism.

May the tears of my pain well your springs of Intolerance so You may rise again to be the Shining Light of this World, that You have always and forever will be, beyond the confines of Mankind’s mistakes and fall from Grace, its Ultimate compromise to the Divine.

The most interesting discoveries are indeed made in the most unlikely of places: a treasure-trove of photographs, documenting life in India over 100 years ago during the British Raj, has recently been found in a shoebox in Edinburgh.A total of 178 negatives were found in a shoebox for a pair of grey, size 9, Peter Lord slip-on shoes by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS). The stunning negatives were stored in 5” by 8” plate boxes and had been wrapped in copies of The Statesman newspaper of 1914.Nothing is yet known about the photographer of these historic images, although efforts are on to find out his or her identity.Among the images are some that depict the celebrations for the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Calcutta in 1912 with the city’s buildings all lit up. Others show pilgrims gathered for a religious festival; merchants selling their wares outside the Jagannath temple in Orissa; labourers pulling carts loaded with crates at (probably) the Howrah station, while another shows a woman standing outside a house, most likely, in Darjeeling.Take a look at these amazing photographs from a bygone era and marvel at what life was like for the common Indian during the British rule.

Exquisite hundred-year old photos of British Raj discovered in a shoe box

Exquisite hundred-year old photos of British Raj discovered in a shoe box

Exquisite hundred-year old photos of British Raj discovered in a shoe box

Exquisite hundred-year old photos of British Raj discovered in a shoe box

The Sages, Ascetics, Rishis, Sanyasins, Gurus, Seekers and Spiritualists who have kept the walls of my country strong and timeless.

Exquisite hundred-year old photos of British Raj discovered in a shoe box

Exquisite hundred-year old photos of British Raj discovered in a shoe box

Exquisite hundred-year old photos of British Raj discovered in a shoe box

Exquisite hundred-year old photos of British Raj discovered in a shoe box

Exquisite hundred-year old photos of British Raj discovered in a shoe box

Exquisite hundred-year old photos of British Raj discovered in a shoe box

A group of filthy and disgusting white boys with their white albino gals trying to look serious but silly enough to make monkeys cry out of despair.

Exquisite hundred-year old photos of British Raj discovered in a shoe box

Exquisite hundred-year old photos of British Raj discovered in a shoe box

Exquisite hundred-year old photos of British Raj discovered in a shoe box

Exquisite hundred-year old photos of British Raj discovered in a shoe box

Another faggot who thinks it can play one of its own civilised sports!

Exquisite hundred-year old photos of British Raj discovered in a shoe box

Exquisite hundred-year old photos of British Raj discovered in a shoe box

Exquisite hundred-year old photos of British Raj discovered in a shoe box

Exquisite hundred-year old photos of British Raj discovered in a shoe box

Must be the previous faggot’s brother – yet another faggot trying to look big and superior in front of the camera.

Exquisite hundred-year old photos of British Raj discovered in a shoe box

Must be the two faggots’ father, an older faggot.

Exquisite hundred-year old photos of British Raj discovered in a shoe box

The faggots’ sister who looks like it spent many days under the sands in Tanzania with ostriches, ducking out of pure scariness with stilt legs.

Exquisite hundred-year old photos of British Raj discovered in a shoe box

The Holy dips of our culture polluted by steam boats to carry albinos on their chartered courses of conquest and upheavals.

Exquisite hundred-year old photos of British Raj discovered in a shoe box

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No Crime, but an Arrest and Two Strip-Searches

Posted by Admin on April 16, 2012

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/08/us/08bar.html?_r=2

By ADAM LIPTAK
Published: March 7, 2011

Albert W. Florence was held for eight days in two counties on a civil contempt charge, even though he had paid the relevant fine.

Albert W. Florence believes that black men who drive nice cars in New Jersey run a risk of being questioned by the police. For that reason, he kept handy a 2003 document showing he had paid a court-imposed fine stemming from a traffic offense, just in case.

It did not seem to help.

In March 2005, Mr. Florence was in the passenger seat of his BMW when a state trooper pulled it over for speeding. His wife, April, was driving. His 4-year-old son, Shamar, was in the back.

The trooper ran a records search, and he found an outstanding warrant based on the supposedly unpaid fine. Mr. Florence showed the trooper the document, but he was arrested anyway.

A failure to pay a fine is not a crime. It is, rather, what New Jersey law calls a nonindictable offense. Mr. Florence was nonetheless held for eight days in two counties on a charge of civil contempt before matters were sorted out.

In the process, he was strip-searched twice.

“Turn around,” he remembered being told while he stood naked before several guards and prisoners. “Squat and cough. Spread your cheeks.”

The treatment stung. “I consider myself a man’s man,” said Mr. Florence, a finance executive for a car dealership. “Six-three. Big guy. It was humiliating. It made me feel less than a man. It made me feel not better than an animal.”

The Supreme Court is likely to decide this month whether to hear Mr. Florence’s caseagainst officials in New Jersey over the searches, and there is reason to think it will.

The federal courts of appeal are divided over whether blanket policies requiring jailhouse strip-searches of people arrested for minor offenses violate the Fourth Amendment. Eight courts have ruled that such searches are proper only if there is a reasonable suspicion that the arrested person has weapons or contraband.

The more recent trend, from appeals courts in AtlantaSan Francisco and Philadelphia, is to allow searches no matter how minor the charge. Some potential examples cited by dissenting judges in those cases: violating a leash law, driving without a license, failing to pay child support.

Although the judges in the majority in Mr. Florence’s case, the one heard in Philadelphia, said they had been presented with no evidence that the searches were needed, they nonetheless ruled that they would not second-guess corrections officials who said they feared that people like Mr. Florence would smuggle contraband into their jails.

The most pertinent Supreme Court decision, Bell v. Wolfish, was decided by a 5-to-4 vote in 1979. It allowed strip-searches of people held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York after “contact visits” with outsiders.

On the one hand, such visits are planned and may provide opportunities for smuggling contraband in a way that unanticipated arrests do not. On the other, as Judge Marvin E. Frankel of Federal District Court in Manhattan wrote in the case in 1977, contact visits take place in front of guards. “The secreting of objects in rectal or genital areas becomes in this situation an imposing challenge to nerves and agility,” Judge Frankel wrote.

The recent decisions allowing strip-searches of all arrestees have said they were authorized by the Supreme Court’s Bell decision. In the Atlanta case, Judge Ed Carnes said that new inmates enter facilities there after “one big and prolonged contact visit with the outside world.”

In Mr. Florence’s case, the majority used interesting reasoning to justify routine strip-searches.

“It is plausible,” Judge Thomas M. Hardiman wrote, “that incarcerated persons will induce or recruit others to subject themselves to arrest on nonindictable offenses to smuggle weapons or other contraband into the facility.”

Mr. Florence’s lawyer, Susan Chana Lask, said that would make sense if her client were “Houdini in reverse” — a master of becoming incarcerated though blameless, in the hope of passing along contraband to confederates waiting for him inside.

In his dissent in Mr. Florence’s case, Judge Louis H. Pollak, a former dean of Yale Law School, was also skeptical of the majority’s theory. “One might doubt,” he wrote, “that individuals would deliberately commit minor offenses such as civil contempt — the offense for which Florence was arrested — and then secrete contraband on their persons, all in the hope that they will, at some future moment, be arrested and taken to jail to make their illicit deliveries.”

In urging the Supreme Court not to hear Mr. Florence’s case, officials from Burlington County, N.J., allowed that “perhaps petitioner’s frustration is understandable.”

But jails are dangerous places, the brief said. “It might even be argued that those arrested on nonindictable or other ‘minor’ offenses would be particularly anxious,” the brief reasoned, to make sure that everyone around them was thoroughly searched.

Mr. Florence’s son has drawn a lesson from what he saw from the back seat in 2005. “If he sees a cop and we’re together,” Mr. Florence testified in 2006, “he still asks, ‘Daddy, are you going to jail?’ ”

wrote recently about a criminal libel action in Paris over a book review. On Thursday, a French court ruled against the unhappy author, Karin Calvo-Goller, saying she had abused the judicial process by complaining about a review that did not go beyond “the limits of free criticism to which all authors of intellectual works expose themselves.”

A version of this article appeared in print on March 8, 2011, on page A17 of the New York edition.

 

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The Olympics – Guts and the gory

Posted by Admin on February 18, 2012

http://in.video.yahoo.com/blogs/vw/olympics-gory-075611209.html

By Tisha Srivastav | Video Wall – Fri 17 Feb, 2012 3:12 PM IST

Note by Admin: This is the same company responsible for the Bhopal Gas Tragedy that took place in the capital city Bhopal of Madhya Pradesh one of the central and largest states in the country of India.

It occurred on the night of December 2nd, 1984 at the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant.

A leak of methyl isocyanate gas and other chemicals from the plant resulted in the exposure of hundreds of thousands of people. Estimates vary on the death toll. Methyl isocyanate (MIC), a heavier-than-air gas, leaked from Tank 610 allowing 30 metric tons of the existing 42 tons to escape into the atmosphere in a matter of 45 to 60 minutes. The toxic substance made its way in and around the shantytowns located near the plant. The official immediate death toll was 2,259 and the government of Madhya Pradesh has confirmed a total of 3,787 deaths related to the gas release. Others estimate 3,000 died within weeks and another 8,000 have since died from gas-related diseases. A government affidavit in 2006 stated the leak caused 558,125 injuries including 38,478 temporary partial and approximately 3,900 severely and permanently disabling injuries. As many as 25,000 deaths have been attributed to the disaster in recent estimates.

The company Dow chemicals responsible for the operations at large washed its hands off through legislation and legal affairs.

Remember far greater tragedies have befallen on the people of this world outside of the western nations and more so happen increasingly but go unrecognised, unreported and unnoticed because your MNCs are not liable for compensation to their actions outside the purview of your jurisdictions and also because rich people with fair skin and very high standards of living don’t really like seeing poor and darker looking people pop on their news channels.

9/11 was nothing compared to what some of us have experienced for several centuries on end from the start of imperialism by the western colonial powers.

No doubt it reeks of racism and intolerance and outright callous belligerent contempt for other nations and their free indigenous people to even state that the staged attacks of 9/11 were the most prominent and diabolical of all insidious and sinister conspiracy schemes to forge a New World Order.

That is just western bullshit fed to make the rest of the world sympathise for you people shooting yourselves in your own foot.

I for one was very happy with the events that transpired on the September 11, 2001 because for the first time you people understood what it feels like to get screwed in your own backyard by an unnecessary and arrogant external threat without any of you being able to escape or just ride off into the sunset.

You understood what it was like to be at the receiving end of fear and sorrow and death and tragedy and destruction and to realise with humility that you cannot escape the fruits of your own actions and that all those souls that your twisted soul group at large [mostly conceived as an inbreeding with the lower vibrational Pleaidians and regressive warrior like Orion groups] have troubled and tortured, you will now wail in the haunting cries of their memories and experiences.

Some of your New Age and spiritual researchers and fomenters actually have the ba**s to say that you will lead the entire world into a New Golden Age and through the path of Ascension. Yeah right!

Just step aside once your nation crumbles within the next 5 years and let the rest of us who have ever so been tolerant and patient with your antics step in to create true peace and harmony in along time upon this world, forever.

Remember you cannot escape Karma.

http://www.netphotograph.com/pablo/bhopal/

Check the above link to know through pictures what happened there. This was one of the world’s worst industrial catastrophes.

File:Bhopal-Union Carbide 1 crop memorial.jpg

 

 

 

Image Credit: The RootAn image that may evoke a thousand questions or silent rage or a ‘get on with it, the games  are bigger than  one part-time sponsor.’

But what if both were possible? Getting on with the game and yet having something to say during the Games ?

In the down with Dow rage, are the now ex-Olympic Ethics Commissioner, the politicians and NRIs in UK and marginally less, Indian activists and families of those who have directly suffered.

And individuals like graphic designer Nitesh Mohanty who made this disturbing image. The Dow logo being  dropped has been the only symbolic concession.

This is what he has to say.’International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge rejected India’s calls to terminate DOW Chemicals‘ sponsorship deal for the 2012 London Games. DOW may not have created the tragedy but it cannot, from an ethical perspective, absolve itself from cleaning up the toxic mess as part of its inherited legacy. Bhopal might have long stopped being the bonfire it used to be in people’s mind, but the embers still glow. The terrifying image of the dead child’s swollen head rising from the rubble shot by Raghu Rai is a grim reminder of the industrial catastrophe. The IOC would have blood on its unifying rings that represent the five continents of the world which willingly accept healthy competition. Let the Games Begin! The world will not shed their tears for Bhopal. ‘

Vir Sanghvi offers a useful reality check and some pro-active possibilities  here for protesting when the Indian contingent enters the opening ceremony this summer. He also says, ‘The furore over Dow Chemicals sponsorship of the London Olympics and the suggestion that Indian athletes should now boycott the Games to register our protest, reveals an utter and complete lack of conscience on the part of the British organisers of the Olympics and a complete lack of imagination on the part of Indian activists.’ What he suggests is don’t sulk, but shame them imaginatively.  Is an ideal middle possible with our distinctly uncomfortable athletes at this mix of sport and politics. Busy training for the Games with hopes of Olympic glory. There has been no substantial debate in the political arena on the lethal mix that sport and real life issues can be.Bhopal is a bad memory in the nation’s psyche and the Olympics are the near future. Where then is space for the politics of the forgotten ? Tell us what you think?

the politicians and NRIs in UK

Posted in India Forgotten, Pollution | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Olympics – Guts and the gory

“Vindicated” India renews call for London to drop Dow

Posted by Admin on January 28, 2012

http://in.news.yahoo.com/vindicated-india-renews-call-london-drop-dow-115455085–spt.html

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Friday renewed its demand that London 2012 terminates its sponsorship deal with Dow Chemicals, feeling vindicated by the resignation of a Games watchdog panel member over the tie-up.

Meredith Alexander quit the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 on Wednesday, saying she did not want to be part of a body that “became an apologist” for Dow Chemicals, the U.S. firm linked to India’s 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy.

Dow bought the Bhopal plant owner Union Carbide in 1999.

Alexander said a number of other panel members were also “deeply disturbed” by the company’s sponsorship of a temporary decorative wrap around London’s Olympic Stadium.

Her resignation prompted IOA chief Vijay Kumar Malhotra to send a second letter to International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge exactly six months before the Games, saying there was no need to carry “this toxic legacy”.

“…the resignation of Ms Meredith Alexander from the Games Ethics Committee – the Commission for Sustainable London 2012 – has vindicated IOA’s stand of opposing Dow’s sponsorship,” Malhotra wrote in his letter, copies of which were distributed to Indian media.

“I am sure that you are well aware of the growing opposition to this sponsorship the world over with NGOs (non-governmental organisations), intellectuals like Noam Chomsky, Members of British Parliament and civil society openly coming out against it.

“On behalf of the IOA I again urge you to take steps to remove Dow as sponsor and settle the matter as early as possible,” Malhotra added.

Activists say 25,000 people died in the years that followed the gas leak at a pesticides factory in Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh.

Campaigners have demanded Dow boosts a 1989 compensation package for those affected by the disaster.

Dow, also an IOC worldwide partner, has denied any responsibility for the accident and says Union Carbide had settled its liabilities with the Indian government.

A number of former Olympians have slammed the London sponsorship deal while Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan has urged the government to boycott the Games over the issue.

However, Malhotra has ruled out the possibility.

Malhotra said he has sent a copy of his letter to London Games chief Sebastian Coe as well, while also conveying the IOA’s position to the British High Commissioner in India last week.

(Editing by Mark Meadows; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

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Greece stops Gaza-bound boat, immobilizes flotilla

Posted by Admin on July 8, 2011

http://news.yahoo.com/greece-stops-gaza-bound-boat-immobilizes-flotilla-112948472.html

By Renee Maltezou | Reuters – Thu, Jul 7, 2011

ATHENS (Reuters) – The Greek coastguard intercepted a small French boat with Pro-Palestinian activists aboard on Thursday, the third flotilla ship to be prevented from sailing to Gaza to challenge an Israeli blockade.

Greece, just over a year after nine people were killed when Israeli marines stormed a pro-Palestinian flotilla, imposed a ban on all Gaza-bound ships saying it feared for the safety of the activists who are now trying to find a way to set sail.

The boat with about 10 activists aboard, including French politicians, an MEP and a journalist, sailed from Corsica. Activists had said it was in international waters waiting to join the rest of the flotilla, now confined in Greek ports.

The “Dignity” was detected in the early morning near the southern Greek island of Crete as it was refueling at sea and was towed to the port of Sitia for checks, the coastguard said.

“We are still checking their papers. We haven’t spotted any problem so far. They have not disclosed their destination, maybe because they have not decided yet,” said a coastguard official in Crete, on condition of anonymity.

There were no arrests, activists and the coastguard said.

The 10-ship flotilla, with about 350 passengers, was supposed to take drugs, food and building materials to Gaza by the end of June, but a priority was to challenge the blockade.

But the chances that they will reach their destination has faded due to the vigilance of the Greek coastguard which has intercepted three of their ships so far and is closely watching the other seven, moored in ports across Greece.

“WE CAN’T MOVE”

“We are still waiting. We know that the days are going by but we are waiting to see what will happen. So far, we can’t move,” said Dimitris Plionis, one of the activists.

On Friday, the Greek coastguard intercepted the U.S. ship “Audacity of Hope” just a short while after it set sail from Piraeus port, and arrested its captain. Three days later, armed coastguards boarded the Canadian ship “Tahrir” which set sail from Crete and escorted it back. Three people were detained.

Although all four detainees were freed, they face charges for defying the Greek ban, which can only be lifted if the Greek Citizen Protection Ministry issues a new order. Nine ships are being confined in Greek ports and all 10 are accounted for.

Israel says its blockade of Gaza is aimed at stopping weapons from reaching the enclave’s rulers, Hamas — an Islamist group that is branded a terrorist group by some Western nations.

In an effort to calm the activists, Greece offered to ferry the aid to Gaza in cooperation with the United Nations. The activists turned the offer down saying this was “insufficient” as their mission was also about the rights of the Palestinian people and not just about aid.

“It is an offer that is always on the table and is still on the table,” said Greek Foreign Minister Stavros Lambrinides on Thursday in Vienna.

(Additional reporting by Angeliki Koutantou in Athens and Michael Shields in Vienna, editing by Peter Millership)

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Over 500 Indian workers sue US firm for human trafficking

Posted by Admin on February 22, 2011

http://in.news.yahoo.com/over-500-indian-workers-sue-us-firm-for-human-trafficking.html

PTI – Tue, Feb 22, 2011 6:35 PM IST

Houston: Lawyers for a group of Indian guest workers, trafficked to the US from India to work in ship yards after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, have sued an American company, Signal International, along with its co-conspirators and other entities for human trafficking and racketeering.

If class status is granted, the lawsuit could be the largest human trafficking case in US history, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has said in a statement.

Workers were allegedly lured here with dishonest assurances of becoming lawful permanent US residents, the statement said.

The ACLU joined a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of over 500 guest workers from India charging that the workers were trafficked into the US through the federal government’s H-2B guest worker programme with dishonest assurances of becoming lawful permanent US residents and subjected to squalid living conditions, fraudulent payment practises, and threats of serious harm upon their arrival.

The complaint alleges that recruiting agents hired by the marine industry company Signal International held the guest workers’ passports and visas, coerced them into paying extraordinary fees for recruitment, immigration processing and travel, and threatened the workers with serious legal and physical harm if they did not work under the Signal-restricted guest worker visa.

The complaint also alleges that once in the US, the men were required to live in Signal’s guarded, over crowded labour camps, subjected to psychological abuse and defrauded out of adequate payment for their work.

The ACLU charges that the federal government has fallen short of its responsibility to protect the rights of guest workers in this country.

According to the lawsuit, the treatment of the workers violates the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (TVPA) and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations Act (RICO).

In addition to the federal court litigation, in partnership with the ACLU, the workers have testified before the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants, the UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, and senior staff at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Signal, a marine and fabrication company with shipyards in Mississippi, Texas and Alabama, is a subcontractor for several major multinational companies.

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Emerging economies are fed up by West lecturing, says Premji

Posted by Admin on January 29, 2011

Azim Premji, chairman of Wipro, India, at the ...

Wipro CEO - Mr.Azim Premji

http://in.finance.yahoo.com/news/Emerging-economies-fed-West-pti-1342019832.html

On Thursday 27 January 2011, 10:16 AM

Prakash Chawla Davos, Jan 27 (PTI) In a harsh criticism of the US “restrictive” policies, Chairman of India-based Wipro Azim Premji told the gathering of global CEOs that the emerging economies are “more than fed up” of being lectured by the west to open their economies without any reciprocity.

“I think they (emerging economies) are fed up of being needled for opening their economies,” Premji said here at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.

He particularly expressed his disappointment with the US seeking more market for its goods in the developing economies, while putting restrictions on its import of services. The liberalisation of goods and services was being treated differently.

When asked whether the Asian economies are “fed up by the lecturing” by the west, Chairman of India”s third largest software exporter said: “more than fed up”.

“People don”t seem to equate, liberalise both products and services. If you are talking about global trade–it is products and services.

You cannot have one standards of opening up economy for emerging countries to products and contrary (for the others) particularly the US, which has put all sorts of restrictions on services. This cannot be one way traffic,” Premji said.

The Indian IT industry which gets USD 50 billion of its revenue from the global outsourcing, mainly from the US is peeved at a string of restrictions by the American authorities for service imports.

These include hiking the visa fee for professionals.

On the contrary, India has given deals worth USD 10 billion to the US which will create jobs for 50,000 Americans. Services are of key interest to India, as they provide about 55 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product.

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