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Showing posts from May 16, 2010

Legendary Telugu film lyricist Veturi Sundararama Murthy dead

PTI Hyderabad, May 22, 2010 FROM film : Godavari Legendary Telugu film lyricist and national award winner Veturi Sundararama Murthy died of cardiac arrest here late tonight. He was 74. He was ailing for sometime now and was rushed to a corporate hospital in the night after he complained of chest pain. He died of cardiac arrest in the hospital, sources close to his family said. Born at Peda Kallepalli village in Krishna district on January 29, 1936, Veturi began his career as a journalist in Andhra Prabha and Andhra Patrika Telugu dailies. He was a disciple of famous Telugu writer Viswanadha Satyanarayana. Legendary Telugu actor N T Rama Rao was the first to recognise Veturi's writing talent and introduced him to the film industry. He penned the songs for NTR's blockbuster movie 'Adavi Ramudu' and shot into fame instantly. Prior to joining the film industry, Veturi penned many short stories, ballets and poems for All India Radio. Veturi's songs in f

Bleeding-heart cynics

K. Subrahmanyam Posted online: Wed May 19 2010, 04:13 hrs Once again the Maoists have struck, blowing up a commercial passenger bus, causing 35 fatalities including civilians. As is to be expected there are demands for the use of the army, employment of air support, the enhancement of the mandate of the home ministry, more vigorous pursuit of development programmes in the affected areas and other perspectives with alternative priorities. A large section of the political class, including those holding responsible positions in the ruling party, are of the view that Maoism is a reaction to lack of developmental benefits reaching the people of the areas affected and the multinational mining companies and to forest contractors depriving the people of the areas of their livelihood and subsistence rights, and therefore development should have priority over anti-Maoist counter-insurgency operations. But they do not explain how development activity can be pursued in an area where school buildi

LET EXPLOITS ANGER AGAINST FACEBOOK: NEED FOR CAUTION IN INDIA

The Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the front organization of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET), and other Pakistani jihadi organizations associated with Al Qaeda and the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have been organizing protest demonstrations in different cities of Pakistan to condemn an attempt by an user of “Facebook” to organise an "Everyone Draw Mohammed Day" competition to promote "freedom of expression". His attempt was allegedly inspired by an American woman cartoonist. 2. According to the Agence France Presse (AFP),Molly Norris, the American cartoonist whose work inspired the controversial page, condemned the Facebook spin-off and apologised to Muslims. She allegedly drew a cartoon in April to protest against the cancellation of an episode of popular show "South Park". Norris satirically proposed May 20 as an "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day." An "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" page quickly turned up on Facebook, but Norris, writing on her website,

OBAMA DROPS INTELLIGENCE CZAR

B.RAMAN The decision of President Barack Obama to drop retired Admiral Dennis Blair, his Director of National Intelligence (DNI), has led to his resignation from the post with effect from May 28,2010. He has chosen to resign instead of waiting for the President to name his successor after being informed by Mr.Obama of his decision to replace him. His announcement that he was quitting came on May 21,2010, three days after the Senate Intelligence Committee had come out with a report specifying 14 intelligence failures relating to the unsuccessful attempt by a Nigerian student trained by Al Qaeda in Yemen to blow up a US flight from Amsterdam as it was about to land in Detroit on December 25,2009. The list of 14 failures named by the Committee is annexed. 2. Ever since the Christmas Day incident, there were indications that Admiral Blair had lost the confidence of Mr.Obama. His role as the co-ordinator of the intelligence community of 16 agencies, as the supervisor of the National

India's course correction on Iran

By M K Bhadrakumar http://atimes.com/atimes/ South_Asia/LE22Df02.html The agreement between Iran, Turkey and Brazil for a swap deal on the stockpile of Tehran's nuclear fuel sets the stage for a diplomatic pirouette of high significance for regional security. The paradigm shift affects Indian interests. The Barack Obama administration has hastily debunked the Iran-Turkey-Brazil deal, which was announced in Tehran on Monday, and announced its intention to press ahead with a United Nations Security Council sanctions resolution, claiming that a "strong draft" has been reached by the so-called "Iran Six" (the five permanent council members plus Germany). The grandstanding highlights that Washington's policy is at a crossroads as the cohesiveness of the "Iran Six" comes under renewed stress. The statements and innuendos - and, more importantly, the unspoken words - from Moscow and Beijing suggest the two capitals are quietly chuckling with pleasure

How Pakistani Taliban Is Like Facebook

By MAX FISHER on May 19, 2010 11:59am http://www.theatlanticwire.com/features/view/feature/How-Pakistani-Taliban-Is-Like-Facebook-1273 The Pakistani government's relationship with the country's various insurgent groups, sometimes described generally under the broad term "Taliban," is complicated. Pakistan actively fights some, turns a blind eye to others, and is often accused of secretly backing some groups. What's less complicated is the Pakistani government's relationship with Facebook: The social networking site was blocked nationwide on Wednesday because of a single Facebook group that invites users to submit humorous drawing of the prophet Mohammad, a violation of Islamic law. Nitin Pai, a prominent Indian journalist and blogger, takes the opportunity to compare and contrast. What Facebook Can Learn From Name-Changing Insurgent Groups " Dear Facebook: if the Pakistani govt bans you, you only have to resurface under a new name." Pakistan T

The Middle East Opens its Gates For Russia

Author : Sadegh Maleki Iranian Diplomacy, http://www.irdiplomacy.ir/index.php?Lang=en&Page=21&TypeId=12&ArticleId=7609&BranchId=28&Action=ArticleBodyView Moscow the balancing factor for regional states. By Sadegh Maleki. Years ago, when the world was celebrating over the corpse of communist regimes in Eastern Europe and fall of the Berlin Wall, I was probably one of the few anti-communists who shed tears. I have never been a champion of the proletariat cause or a classless society, or a lover of the totalitarian communist regimes, but I knew that as the nemesis of imperialism, communism was the only power that could balance global power relations. In the post-Soviet era, the United States could roam across the world freely. Occupying Iraq to relieve the world from the threat of Saddam Hussein’s never-proven WMDs, and invading Afghanistan to topple the Taliban –itself the brainchild of the United States and Pakistan’s intelligence service- were also pretexts fo

Deconstructing Swiss Identity

http://www.isn.ethz.ch/isn/Current-Affairs/Special-Reports/Deconstructing-Swiss-Identity/Analysis Swiss political identity has demonstrated a long history of self-restraint, with citizens often deferring to political elites and the needs of the state above their own individual self-interest at the voting booth. But recent ballot outcomes seem to illustrate an emerging independent streak among Swiss voters. By Irène Herrmann On 29 November 2009, the Swiss people clearly accepted the ban on the construction of minarets. The result surprised even the Swiss themselves in part because it ran counter to the longstanding pattern of Swiss voter restraint. Historically, Swiss citizens have shown an unusual tendency to vote against their most immediate interests. Just after World War I, for instance, they overwhelmingly refused the introduction of a special tax on personal fortunes although the Swiss population suffered from an intense post-war economic crisis, and the tax would have affect

A billion hopes and 11 men

May 21st, 2010 By Shiv Visvanathan Source: Deccan Chronicle Weblink: http://www.deccanchronicle.com/op-ed/billion-hopes-and-11-men-454 Inversions are strange things. They playfully remind you of the actual logic of events, teach you what happens when you cross boundaries and transform expectations. Take sport. Here I confess I might be a 60-year-old dinosaur. I belong to an era when one eagerly waited for a pristine copy of Sport and Pastime. It was a wonderfully innocent magazine where cricket as a normative domain was constructed by writers like S.K. Gurunathan, Norman Yardley and Jack Fingleton. It was an era where sport evoked the likes of the legendary Emil Zatopek. He raced against trains and eventually he raced against himself, challenging the tyranny of the Communist regime. Every sport was a fable and your cricket, your English and your table manners had to be equally immaculate. Call it the Ranjitsinghji Syndrome. Even if the politics was tacit, it was there and strictly

Elites are under siege in every corner of the world.

(Op-ed) Ian Buruma - The National Thursday 20th May, 2010 Elites are under siege in every corner of the world. “Tea Party” activists in suburban America rant and rage against the so-called liberal elites of New York, Washington and Hollywood. In Europe, populist demagogues, such as Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, rant and rage against the elitist “appeasers” of Islam. In Thailand, red-shirted demonstrators from the country’s rural north-east rant and rage against the military, social and political elites of Bangkok. The first principle of democracy is that government must be based on popular consent, even if the government is made up of parties for which many people did not vote. It is clear from the worldwide rage against elected governments that this consent is becoming dangerously threadbare. More and more people in democratic countries feel unrepresented, anxious, and angry. And they blame the elites. The phenomenon is worldwide, but its causes differ from countr

UAVs Becoming Big Business in Defence Industry

Author: Defence IQ Posted: 05/18/2010 9:37:42 AM ED Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have become big business recently and the UK is fast becoming a leader in the field. Britain is the top-ranked country in the European unmanned aerial systems market and is second only to the United States globally. Lord Paul Drayson, minister of state for strategic defence acquisition reform, spoke recently at the Military Air Solutions site of BAE Systems in Warton, where he highlighted the importance of UAV technology in Afghan operations. Not only is it a major element of military efforts, it also has the potential to create many new jobs in UK aerospace, he said. Currently, the industry employs over 300,000 people across all regions of the UK, injecting over £35 billion into the economy every year, plus a further £5 billion in exports. "This is powerful technology. UAVs can serve as the eyes and ears of a commander in theatre," Drayson stated. "Easy to use, and ge

Iran Establishes Its First Soft War Camp with 100 million budget

A “soft war” can be defined as a set of deliberately hostile acts aimed at transforming the fundamental cultural values and identities of a society. This type of war can influence all social aspects of a political system, and can include such phenomena as “cultural invasions” and “psychological operations.” In other words, a soft war includes the following: It is an intentional and planned activity Its most important domains are cultural, political, and social ______________( Persia House) Iranian Government Expands Efforts to Protect Citizens from Alleged Western Cultural Assault Alef - Summary translation by Persia House http://www.persia-house.com/node/1145 May 5, 2010 Mehdi Esmaili, the Governor of Isfahan’s Political-Security Deputy said today, “Considering the [Ahmadinejad] administration’s approach to cultural issues, and [with the aim of making] optimum use of the allocated budget, a joint secretariat has been created, so that the efforts of provincial cultural councils are n

A Look at Kidnapping through the Lens of Protective Intelligence

May 20, 2010 | 0855 GMT "This report is republished with permission of STRATFOR " By Scott Stewart Looking at the world from a protective-intelligence perspective, the theme for the past week has not been improvised explosive devices or potential mass-casualty attacks. While there have been suicide bombings in Afghanistan , alleged threats to the World Cup and seemingly endless post-mortem discussions of the failed May 1 Times Square attack , one recurring and under-reported theme in a number of regions around the world has been kidnapping. For example, in Heidenheim, Germany, Maria Boegerl, the wife of German banker Thomas Boegerl, was reportedly kidnapped from her home May 12. The kidnappers issued a ransom demand to the family and an amount was agreed upon. Mr. Boegerl placed the ransom payment at the arranged location, but the kidnappers never picked up the money (perhaps suspecting or detecting police involvement). The family has lost contact with the kidnappers, and fe