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Showing posts from February 10, 2008

Wiring India: Asia's Urban Adventure with Sabeer Bhatia

Feb 6th, 2008 USF Center for the Pacific Rim - San Francisco, CA Wiring India: Asia's Urban Adventure with Sabeer Bhatia. As President and Chief Executive Officer, Sabeer Bhatia guided Hotmail's rapid rise to industry leadership and its eventual acquisition by Microsoft in 1998. A pioneer in web-based e-mail, he now heads and in 2000 was named a Global Leader of Tomorrow at the World Economic Forum, seconded by TIME in 2002. His recent visionary project is the creation of the first wired city in India, called Nano City, in the state of Haryana designed from the ground up with modern infrastructure. Come see the future! Patrick Lloyd Hatcher, Ph.D., a Kiriyama Distinguished Fellow at the USF Center for the Pacific Rim, will moderate - USF Center for the Pacific Rim _____________ As President and Chief Executive Officer, Sabeer Bhatia guided Hotmail's rapid rise to industry leadership and its eventual acquisition by Microsoft in 1998. A pioneer i

Admiral Gorshkov: The Real Test of Partnership

Aurobinda MAHAPATRA (India) Source: Strategic Culture Foundation Russian Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov made a two-day official visit to India from 12 February 2008. The main purpose of the visit was to inaugurate Russian Year in India, besides presiding over the second joint forum for trade and investment. The visit acquired significance due to the recent differences over the air craft career Admiral Gorshkov and nuclear cooperation in the overall ambit of bilateral economic and defence ties. It is the defence cooperation that was/is the crowning glory of bilateral relations; hence any dithering in its pace would likely dampen relations. However, despite long drawn debates and discussions about the defence ties the recent developments indicate that both the countries, taking into account the changing imperatives of the world order, would muster enough political acumen to give final shape to the Gorshkov deal. In this context, it may not be an exaggeration to consider the Gorshkov c

Venezuela Strengthens Community Media in “Battle of Ideas”

February 14th 2008, by Kiraz Janicke - Communication and Information Minister Andres Izarra speaking to President Chavez on his cell phone during a forum with community media. (VTV) Caracas, February 14, 2008, ( - Venezuela's Communication and Information Minister, Andrés Izarra donated sixty-nine sets of audio-visual equipment to community television stations from around the country on Wednesday, with the objective of promoting a National System of Popular and Alternative Communication, to combat the "savage" opposition media campaign and increase the "communicational capacity" of Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution. Speaking to over 400 community media representatives in the Cuartel San Carlos Historical Museum, Izarra stressed the importance of using community media to struggle for the truth, "to generate consciousness that allows for the creation of a new culture," as well as dealing with the day to da

Shetty trumps Arunachal again

Arun Shourie Posted online: Tuesday, February 12, 2008 at 2302 hrs IST The Indian Express November 21, 2007: We were all at the weekly meeting of the BJP members of Parliament. L.K. Advani was presiding. Two of our colleagues represent Arunachal in the Lok Sabha — Tapir Gao and Kiren Rijiju. They drew attention to the fact that Chinese incursions into Arunachal were not just continuing — these were becoming more frequent and the Chinese soldiers were coming in deeper into our territory. They pointed to the statement of a senior official heading our force that is deployed on the border: the official had felt compelled to disclose in a public statement that there had been 146 incursions in just 2007. The MPs — who know the area well, who tour extensively across the state, to whom local inhabitants regularly and naturally bring information — said that the Chinese were now preventing locals from going up to regions where they had been taking their animals for grazing; that they were

INDIA : Naxal and North East Terror bleeding India

Iran Concerned about Indo-Pak Differences over IPI Pipeline

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran said that the delay in the implementation of a $7.4 gas pipeline project, which is due to take its gas to India via Pakistan was mainly because of serious differences between New Delhi and Islamabad and that Tehran has nothing to do with it. Stating that there was a limited time and there were various other countries pursuing for Iranian gas, Iran's visiting Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini told FE that India and Pakistan need to agree on contentious issues as it would pave the way for signing the agreement. Declining to comment on whether the delay in signing the deal was due to India's pro-US policy, Hosseini, however, said that public opinion in Iran was growing against Indian policy tilting towards the US. He also declined to comment on the proposed India-US civil nuclear deal. As per the IPI pipeline proposal, after signing of the agreement, 60 million standard cubic meters per day (mmscmd) of gas is expected to be supplied in

PAKISTAN: ELECTIONS - Can it Deliver Peace

Source: South Asia Analysis Group By Bhaskar Roy Pakistan is bracing for the February 18 general elections that is supposed to be “free and fair”, and bring back parliamentary democracy to the nation. The country has almost been at war with itself. This war is not like the ones being fought in some of the African countries these days. For a more sophisticated country like Pakistan with high intellectual property, commendable military strength, and nuclear arms the situation worries everybody. That the problems do not have any definite contours, adds to the concerns. What Pervez Musharraf did in the last one year, that is, through 2007, tore to shreds what was otherwise still a vibrant nation, each interest section pursuing its own goal. As concurrently Chief of Army Staff and literally self-appointed President of the country, he lost whatever political balance that was left. The Western countries led by the USA pinned their hopes purely on the General to deliver to them t

PAKISTAN : Politicians won't count for much in Pak elections

The elections on February 18 are important for President Pervez Musharraf and he must ensure a particular result. Free and fair elections, as we have seen in India, lead to unexpected results. This is something neither Musharraf wants, nor the Army despite its professed neutrality. Musharraf cannot afford to have a result that allows the Pakistan People’s Party and the Pakistan Muslim League to call the shots; he cannot even let his own loyalists — the Quaid or Q faction of the PML led by the Chaudhry brothers to have too much freedom. Since only a particular result will be acceptable, it requires fixing, managing or rigging before or after the elections. His backers too need a result that ensures his continuance for he is the West’s regional beacon in their Global War on Terror. Nadir The contesting politicians seem to be the least important factor in this race. Musharraf, Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani and the jihadis are going to be the greater determinants on February 18 and in the a

PROFILE : Meet Khiren Rijuju , India

Source: OFFSTMPED He is only 37 years old born in 1971 and he is already making news taking on the Manmohan Singh Government’s pusillanimity in taking on China on Arunachal Pradesh. Arun Shourie in yesterday’s Indian Express had a very concerning piece titled “Shilpa Shetty trumps Arunachal” on how the dimwits in the media have been obscuring the public debate on Chinese transgressions in Arunachal Pradesh. Mr. Rijuju was also in the news for driving home the China question with a bold visit to Taiwan . Back in his home state, Rijiju said over phone that people in Tawang “are confused” over the signals that Delhi was sending by not talking about the security of Arunachal. Rijiju said he chose to visit Taiwan as an MP to make a point. “As an Arunachalese, I could not have got a visa to China but I can go to Taiwan,” he added From speaking up for the Armed Forces to lobbying hard for the interests of the strategically important North Eastern Frontier Mr. Rijuju has had a far more stell

PROFILE : Kiren Rijiju ......‘Stop China before it’s too late’

‘Stop China before it’s too late’ BJP MP Kiren Rijiju alleges Chinese intrusion in Arunachal Pradesh. By Preeti Sharma A recent claim by BJP MP Kiren Rijiju from Arunachal Pradesh that China is consistently intruding into border areas of the state has rocked the nation. His claim holds critical significance in view of last month’s tenth round of Sino-Indian border talks and Cabinet Minister of External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee’s 10 May statement in the Rajya Sabha that India and China are exploring the framework for a final package settlement covering all aspects of the boundary issue. The India-China border dispute has lingered since the 1962 Sino-Indian War. During the war, China seized Aksai Chin and overran Arunachal Pradesh. Later, China vacated Arunachal Pradesh to the Line of Actual Control (LAC), which approximates the McMahon Line. Running through east India and signed by British India and Tibet in 1914,

What Kautilya would say

Some aspects of the relevance of the Arthashastra in the contemporary world Balbir S Sihag Kautilya understood some basic human tendencies and limitations inimical both to national security and prosperity—such as bounded rationality, time inconsistency and shirking (or moral hazard)—and devised measures to handle them effectively, efficiently and ethically. He was also aware of the problems caused by budgetary constraints. National security demanded expansion in spending on infrastructure and in military capability. But an increase in taxes was considered counterproductive, as that would retard long-term economic growth, make taxpayers discontented and prone to be turned against the king. That meant a poor nation with a smaller tax base could not finance the building of the requisite military capability. It certainly could not match the power of a rich nation and consequently would become an irresistible target for attack by stronger nations. He argued that power breeds more power

Imad Mughniyeh: Nemesis Catches up With Father of Mass Casualty Terrorism & Mentor of LTTE

Nemesis Catches up With Father of Mass Casualty Terrorism & Mentor of LTTE - International Terrorism Monitor: Paper No. 369 Source: South Asia Analysis Group By B. Raman At long last, nemesis overtook Imad Mughniyeh, the head of the covert action division of the Hezbollah, who was trained by the Iranian intelligence. At Damascus on February 12, 2008, he died the way he had sent hundreds of innocent civilians---- Americans, Israelis, French and many others--- to their cruel deaths---- through a car bomb. 2. Nobody knows who planted the car bomb that killed him. The Hezbollah and Iranian sources have blamed the Israeli intelligence. One will never know, but whoever killed him has made a major contribution to the fight against terrorism. No tears need be shed over his death. There need be no qualms of conscience over the way he was killed, through the car bomb technique which he himself had developed in the Lebanon in the early 1980s and used with devastating effect to kill hundr

BHUTAN: NC Elections- First Foray into Democracy

BHUTAN: NC Elections- First Foray into Democracy- Update No. 68 By Dr. S.Chandrasekharan. Source: South Asia Analysis Group Bhutan made history of sorts on 31 December 2007, when elections to the National Council were held in 15 of the 25 dzongkhags (districts). By using Electronic voting machines, the results were announced the very next day. Elections to the remaining 5 dzongkhags could not be held on the same day as sufficient eligible candidates were not available then, but were held subsequently on January 29. Compared to the activities relating to the National Assembly elections , election to the National Council ( upper house) was rather a tame affair and the people did not evince much interest. The reason could be that the people were already excited about the National Assembly elections which were soon to follow. The voter turn out was not at expected levels, but considering the fact this is the first election for a democratic set up, glitches should be ignored. It is

Kosovo: Washington’s “Controlled Chaos” Proving Ground

Source: STRATEGIC CULTURE FOUNDATION Serbia, a small, never wealthy, repeatedly debased European country that is nevertheless strong in spirit, is again attracting a great deal of attention of the world’s public. The situation in and around Serbia is the direct result of the degradation of such political ideals as national statehood and sovereignty, as well as the most sophisticated transformation of the international system and formation of an unipolar world structure. Ruling the world from just one centre is only possible if the world is in a state of chaos. The United States has handled issues of pinpoint influence on the development of individual countries and whole regions since the 1960s. The stake for “the controlled chaos” opened new opportunities to Pax Americana architects. It is known that if a system is in a point of break-up (bifurcation), it can face tremendous upheavals even when affected by minutest impacts. Stephen Mann, one of the chief theoreticians of the state of

Russia to build four more nuclear reactors in India

11:58 | 14/ 02/ 2008 MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti commentator Tatyana Sinitsyna) Russia and India have upgraded their unique cooperation in building civilian nuclear facilities by initializing an intergovernmental agreement on the construction of four additional energy units at the Kudankulam nuclear power station in Tamil Nadu and on joint work at other sites. Deputy Director of the Federal Atomic Energy Agency Nikolai Spassky, and head of the Indian Nuclear Power Corporation S.K. Jain confirmed the viability of this agreement in New Delhi on February 11. Now the document has to go through the last channels and be approved by the heads of state. For Russia, the Indian order is a victory in the struggle for a new segment of the world market. Russia has won a big contract for its energy and industry sector. In turn, construction of new energy generating capacities is very important for the rapidly developing Indian economy. This event is also of global significance as evidence of the

Iran to launch oil and gas exchange on Feb. 27

19:01 | 13/ 02/ 2008 TEHRAN, February 13 (RIA Novosti) - Iran will launch a commodities exchange for oil, petrochemicals and natural gas on February 27, the Islamic Republic's oil minister said on Wednesday. Gholam-Hossein Nozari told Iran's Press TV satellite channel that the opening ceremony of the Oil Bourse would be attended by Minister of Economy and Financial Affairs Davoud Danesh Jaafari, who will head the bourse. He said earlier the Oil Bourse will be located on the Persian Gulf island of Kish and that all financial settlements will be made in Iran's national currency, the rial. The minister said his country's oil revenue will reach $63 billion by the end of this Iranian year, which ends on March 20. He said oil sales reached $55 billion in the first 11 months of the year, and that "if crude prices stand at the current level, next year's oil revenues will be the same as this year." Nozari announced last week that Iran's crude

Patarkatsishvili is gone, but questions to him remain

14:00 14/ 02/ 2008 MOSCOW. (Alexei Malashenko for RIA Novosti) - Badri Patarkatsishvili was no ordinary politician. He played a key role in Georgia's life, apart from his role in the country's economy. Patarkatsishvili was a big name in business and very rich. Figures describing his fortune and his contributions to political campaigns vary wildly, and are difficult to verify. But out of all the independent leaders his financial influence on political life was the greatest. There was a time when he also enjoyed high standing in Russia. It was there that he built his business career - so successfully that at one point he was known as one of the most influential businessmen in Russia. He was also proactive in political life, and headed several Russian television channels. He was a cautious man, and if he took a risk he took care not to go too far. Even when he ran for president in Georgia (and got 7% of the vote), he did not really seem to want that post. Nevertheless, he w

Clinton: wounded whale

Source: OXFORD ANALYTICA Clinton: wounded whale The US media will this week cease to describe Senator Hillary Clinton as the frontrunner for the Democratic party's presidential nomination, following the thumping that she received in the February 12 'Potomac primary' at the hands of her rival, Senator Barack Obama. For by most statistical measures -- pledged delegate support, total popular votes won, and total delegates -- he will have nosed ahead of her for the first time. He may stay there, barring a major comeback by the Clinton campaign. Watching the media pack circling the Clinton campaign is like observing a group of sharks trailing a wounded whale: Clinton spent years painstakingly building a powerful political organisation, burnishing her centrist credentials, and bolstering her national security experience -- to the point where she loomed massively over the 2008 Democratic nominating process. She so thoroughly dominated the 2007 political landscape and nat