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Wednesday, 22 November

16:51

Movement to Boycott Israeli Industry Hails Indias Decision to Scrap $500m Missile Deal "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Members of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement claimed the Indian defence ministrys move was a huge blow to the Israeli military industry.

Israel's media has been widely reporting the cancelled Spike order. Credit: Reuters

Israels media has been widely reporting the cancelled Spike order. Credit: Reuters

New Delhi: A global campaign to boycott Israeli industry has hailed the reported cancellation of a $500-million deal with an Israeli military firm for manufacturing Spike, an anti-tank guided missile, as a huge blow to the military industry of the Middle Eastern nation.

On November 20, Indian Express reported that the defence ministry decided to cancel the India-Israeli venture as it would adversely impact the indigenous development of the Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM) by the Defence Research and Development Organisation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modis visit to Israel in July this year had given momentum to the deal.

In a press release, Jamal Juma, member of Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) national committee secretariat and coordinator of the Stop...

16:24

Jan Gan Man Ki Baat, Episode 154: Meme on PM Modi and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Vinod Dua discusses the Modi meme posted by the youth wing of the Congress and the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

The post Jan Gan Man Ki Baat, Episode 154: Meme on PM Modi and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan appeared first on The Wire.

16:11

Interview 1326 James Corbett Breaks Down the Middle East "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

[audio mp3="http://www.corbettreport.com/mp3/2017-11-22%20James%20Corbett.mp3"][/audio]So what was the Saudi purge about, exactly? And what does Yemen have to do with this? And how about the South Pars oilfield? And what does all of that have to do with the price of tea in China? Confused? Well, you're not the only one. Join James and Ernest Hancock on this special commercial-free edition of Declare Your Independence for a breakdown of the latest turmoil in the middle east and what this means for the future of the world.

16:07

Tajikistan: President Seizes on Audiobook Fad "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The president of Tajikistan appears to be seizing on the audiobook fad now proving such a boon to the publishing industry by requiring national broadcasters to read out his written works on the air.

Asia-Plus newspaper this week cited the head of state-run Tajikistan radio station, Farruh Ziyoyev, as saying that a team of actors and announcers are currently busy creating audio materials from President Emomali Rahmons many writings.

These lengthy programs will, in the words of their creators, help enhance the sense of patriotism in every Tajik. Audiobooks will serve the interests of elderly and blind people thus far deprived the pleasure of reading Rahmons oeuvre, they also say. 

Readings of two books the classic Tajiks in the Mirror of History (also available in English) and The Language of a Nation The Essence of a Nation have already been recorded and broadcast. The recordings have been placed into Tajikistans Golden Fund a sort of notional receptacle of cultural touchstones. 

It isnt just works by Rahmon that will be turned into audiobooks. Books about him are to get the same treatment too. 

RFE/RLs Tajik service, Radio Ozodi, has noted that the order to air the audiobooks has been extended to private radio stations, who are obliged to comply in order to avoid losing their operating licenses. These patriotic slots can last anywhere between 30 minutes and 10 hours.

read more

15:24

The Goofy Billionaire Overnight Saudi Prince is Going After Iran "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

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Lebanons Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri, who announced his surprise resignation in Riyadh, has recently announced his intention to return to Beirut.

In fact it was the Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman, who still needs an excuse to provoke Israel into attacking Iranian, Hezbollahs and Shia militias positions in Syria, that was behind this trick with the resignation of Hariri. And thats just square one of the plan to fulfill the unparalleled ambitions of the not as sane as one would want heir of the Saudi throne. And nobody really doubts his ability to take all power in Saudi Arabia at this point. The transition of power in favor of his son Mohammed, while retaining the title of the keeper of two sacred places (Mecca and Medina). The delay is caused by the need to negotiate this transition with two influential clans: the Al-Rashid clan that controls the Republican Guard and intelligence agencies, and the clan of Al-Jiluwi that has been ruling the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia, the main oil producing region of the kingdom that is populated by Shiites.

However, to make his dreams come to fruition Mohammed also needed huge financial resources to sponsor his military adventures that are going to be launched under the banner of combating the Shia expansion. And boy did he get those by arresting about 200 members of his fellow royal family members and high-ranking officials under the pretext of fighting corruption. Among them one could find Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, whose estimated fortune exceeded 18 billion dollars. He would suggest then that the detainees, who were kept hostages in the luxury Ritz hotel would surrender 2/3 of their fortune to Mohammed in order to escape the punishment. Due to this, Muhammad received a whopping sum of 800 billion dollars. And through this secured a successful IPO of the state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco for a sum of 2 trillion dollars.

And who would have thought that the inadequate Mohammed that is still in his 30s would be capable of this? The answer is simple: Jared Kushner was behind this scam, none other than the son-in-law of Donald Trump and his senior adviser at the same time, but he was assisted by his best friend Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Now Mohammed bin Salman has the means to modernize Saudi Arabia, which is going to be without abolishing the poisonous Wahhabi ideology, but theres still more...

14:50

Women speak out against harassment in Gaza "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

I didnt know what to do. He kept insisting, so I felt that I had to answer him to make him stop, I told him that Im married and have three kids but he didnt believe me. A report about the women no longer willing to stay silent and the difficulties they face.

By Mohammed Moussa

A model of strength and resilience and an education in feminism. Women in Gaza (Photo: Shuair Karam / IRIN, Flicker).

Palestinian women walk in al-Maghazi refugee camp market, central Gaza strip. (Photo: Shuair Karam / IRIN, CC 2.0).

Writers note: Some women passengers quoted in this story asked that their last names be withheld to protect their privacy.

GAZA CITY The growing number of women speaking out against sexual assault and harassment at the hands of powerful men seems to have created a sea change. In Gaza, however, women feeling constrained by conservative societal norms are cautious about speaking out about verbal and physical harassment, especially by local taxi drivers.

Huda, 26, said she tried ignoring a driver when he started whispering as she got into his cab. He stared at me through the mirror, looking at me in a way that made feel terrified, she recalls. Then he asked me if I would go on a date with him. This was outrageous! I was stunned and I asked him to let me out of the car. I opened the door so that he was forced to stop, and  got out of the car in the middle of the street.

...

14:30

Zimbabwe Beware: The Military Is Looking After Its Own Interests, Not Democracy "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Contrary to popular sentiment that the coup would usher in a new era of democracy, the military intervention is much more about a succession crisis in the ruling ZANU-PF.

Military vehicles and soldiers patrol the streets in Harare, Zimbabwe, November 15,2017. Credit: Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo

Military vehicles and soldiers patrol the streets in Harare, Zimbabwe, November 15,2017. Credit: Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo

November 2017 will go down in the history of Zimbabwe as the beginning of the end of Robert Mugabes 37 year tyranny. A tumultuous week finally culminated in his resignation on November 21st. One cannot understate the widespread jubilation at the demise of Mugabe and his desire to create a dynasty for himself through his wife Grace.

But the optimism is misplaced because it doesnt deal...

14:02

Are We the Aliens We Seek? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The significance of a new finding is that it is compelling evidence of life elsewhere, even if it doesnt prove life on Earth originated elsewhere.

According to the theory of panspermia, outer space seeded Earth with comet-borne primitive life forms over four billion years ago. Credit: Yuri_B/pixabay

According to the theory of panspermia, outer space seeded Earth with comet-borne primitive life forms over four billion years ago. Credit: Yuri_B/pixabay

Aliens have reached Earth, say researchers from the University of Edinburghs School of Physics and Astronomy, basing their dramatic findings on a new study of fast-moving extraterrestrial dust that constantly rains down on our atmosphere. These particles serve as tiny spaceships for microorganisms from alien worlds that traverse the vastness of interstellar space for eons before reaching Earth. This dusty downpour could also collide with biological particles in Earths atmosphere with enough energy to send them careening into space, and conceivably onwards to other planets in other solar systems.

Astrobiologists earlier found evidence of microorganisms reaching the planet in air samples taken at extreme altitudes, and from the discovery in 1984 of fossilised worms in a meteorite from Mars. Exciting data from the 1976 Viking space probes, which actually confirmed the presence of Martian microorganisms but were overlooked for 25 years by careless scientists, back these findings. In 2006, researchers from Columbia Universi...

13:45

Telecom Department Mulls Allocating Valuable V-Band Spectrum Without Auctions "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The move, which is a gross violation of the Supreme Court order on 2G and auctioning spectrum, could result in potential revenue loss of upto Rs 4 lakh crore.

It is difficult to quantify the size of potential revenue loss for the government if V-band spectrum is given away for free. Credit: Reuters

It is difficult to quantify the size of potential revenue loss for the government if V-band spectrum is given away for free. Credit: Reuters

New Delhi: In what appears to be a gross violation of the Supreme Court judgement on the 2G spectrum case, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is considering allotting 7000 MHz of V-band spectrum without conducting auctions.

If the department succeeds in allotting spectrum on first-come-first-served basis (FCFS) without auction, it would be running against the logic laid down by the 2G judgement, as V-band airwaves have very high potential for commercial applications.

The Supreme Court had clearly laid down that the government shall allocate spectrum to private players only through an auction process.

It is difficult to quantify the size of potential revenue loss for the government if V-band spectrum is given away for free. This is because the market value of spectrum, in most cases, can be realised only through an auction process. However, if we go by the methodology adopted by the former CAG Vinod Rai under whom the national auditor had calculated notional loss, the size of potential revenue loss could be...

13:42

Saad Hariri Returns to Lebanon, Shelves Decision to Resign as Prime Minister "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Saad al-Hariri, who announced his resignation as Lebanon's prime minister from Saudi Arabia arrives to attend a military parade to celebrate the 74th anniversary of Lebanon's independence in downtown Beirut, Lebanon November 22, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Mohamed Azakir?

Saad al-Hariri, who announced his resignation as Lebanons prime minister from Saudi Arabia arrives to attend a military parade to celebrate t...

13:30

If Parliament Doesnt Have the Power to Convene Itself, How Effective Can It Really Be? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Political compulsions and legislative demands have time and again resulted in deviations from the conventional three-session calendar.

Lok Sabhas productivity was 67% and Rajya Sabhas productivity was 72% this monsoon session. Credit: PTI

Typically, winter session begins from around the middle of November, extending three to four weeks. Credit: PTI

Amidst growing anticipation for the commencement of the winter session of parliament, parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar on Tuesday said the session will begin in December. The government is yet to finalise the dates. Typically, winter session begins around the middle of November, extending three to four weeks.

The Indian parliament does not have a fixed calendar of sittings. Furthermore, it does not have the power to convene itself. The constitution only mandates that six months shall not intervene between the last sitting of one session and the first sitting of the next. The power to summon parliament rests with the executive.

At the time of framing the constitution, the provision of summoning parliament was deliberated over extensively. Some members of the constituent assembly felt that the executive may be reluctant to face the legislature and avoid calling session. Others argued that a provision be added to the constitution that in case of any contingency, the speaker or chairman can convene the houses. Finally, the consensus was that th...

13:30

The Puzzle of the 1972 Shimla Summit, Or Why India Did Not Impose Its Will "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

In their quest to shape the post-war order, Indira Gandhi and her advisors sought to reorient Pakistans domestic politics and insulate the subcontinent from the next phase of the Cold War.

Pakistani President Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and the Indian Prime Minister Mrs. Indra Gandhi signing the Simla Agreement. Credit: Bhutto.org

Pakistani President Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and the Indian Prime Minister Mrs. Indra Gandhi signing the Simla Agreement. Credit: Bhutto.org

Indira Gandhis reputation for shrewd statecraft is widely acclaimed, even by her fiercest detractors. Her quest for peacemaking was equally bold, as witnessed by Indias approach to the 1972 peace conference at Shimla. The 1972 case, however, is intriguing for what it did not reflect India not leveraging the fruits of the 1971 war victory to produce an advantageous geopolitical settlement. After all, for the first time since Partition, India was negotiating from a position of (POWs) strength and prestige with Pakistan; 93,000 Pakistani prisoners of war , including the entire military leadership in East Pakistan, had surrendered to Indian forces. India had also captured strategic locations in Kashmir and 5,000 square miles of Pakistans territory in Sindh and south Punjab.

Yet, historians have never adequately resolved the puzzle of why India did not impose its will as a victor. While most interpretations of Indias approach to this post-conflict phase have been polemical, the available evidence reveals that ambitious strategic objectives informed Indias negotiating behaviour. In their que...

13:20

Ex-Bosnian Serb Commander Ratko Mladic Convicted of Genocide, Gets Life in Prison "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Ex-Bosnian Serb wartime general Ratko Mladic appears in court at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the Hague, Netherlands November 22, 2017. Credit: Reuters

Ex-Bosnian Serb wartime general Ratko Mladic appears in court at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the Hague, Netherlands November 22, 2017. Credit: Reuters

The Hague: A UN tribunal on Wednesday convicted former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic of genocide and crimes against humanity for orchestrating massacres and ethnic cleansing during Bosnias war and sentenced him to life in prison.

Mladic, 74, was hustled out of the court minutes before the verdict for screaming this is all lies, you are all liars after returning from what his son described as a blood pressure test which delayed the reading-out of the judgment....

13:11

Hardik Patels Declares Support for Congress Before Gujarat Assembly Polls "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Hardik Patel. Credit: PTI

Hardik Patel. Credit: PTI

Ahmedabad: Patidar quota stir leader Hardik Patel today declared his support to the Congress for the Gujarat assembly elections, saying that the opposition party has accepted the demand of giving reservation to his community in a special category.

The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti leader said that the reservation formula given by the Congress for his community will be over and above the 50% quota for the SC, ST and OBCs.

On the 50% reservation cap set by the Supreme Court, he said that it is just a suggestion.

Hardik said if the Congress comes to power, it will conduct a proper survey for providing reservations. The party will bring a Bill in the state assembly and give reservations, he said.

My fight in Gujarat is against the BJP and that is why we will directly or indirectly support the Congress (in the elections) as it has accepted our demand for reservation, he added. Congress has promised to include our demand in its manifesto.

The post Hardik Patels Declares Support for Congress Before Gujarat Assembly Polls appeared first on The Wire.

13:10

Pakistan Court Orders Release of Hafiz Saeed "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

FILE PHOTO - Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, chief of the banned Islamic charity Jamat-ud-Dawa, looks over the crowed as they end a

FILE PHOTO Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, chief of the banned Islamic charity Jamat-ud-Dawa, looks over the crowed as they end a Kashmir Caravan from Lahore with a protest in Islamabad, Pakistan July 20, 2016. Credit: Reuters

Lahore: A Pakistani court on Wednesday ordered the release from house a...

12:37

Turkey and Central Asia "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

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Today the burning problem for states in Central Asia is the presence of external interests. Earlier, this influence was considered in the region of China and the European Union. Turkey has been longing to become another, though no less important external regional player for Central Asia.

Turkey has always tried to conduct its active pan-Turkish policy on the territory of the former USSR, not only claiming a dominant position in the former Soviet republics with the prevailing Turkic-speaking population, but also patronizing the Turkic autonomies (Tatarstan, Bashkiria, Kabardino-Balkaria and others) as a part of the Russian Federation. One of the main ideas of Turkeys policy in the region was originally the creation of Great Turan under the aegis of Ankara. However, this suggestion did not find approval amongst the leaders of the Central Asian states. Moreover, it caused a sharp reaction on part of all countries of the region. Thus, amid these sentiments, in May 1995, at the suggestion of Islam Karimov, the President of Uzbekistan, an ethno-cultural association was created under the name Turkestan, Our Common Home, in accordance with which the cultural and economic unity was presented based on the common ethnos and in no way based on the religion.

The intricate situation in which Turkey found itself after complications of its relations with the European Union and the USA recently, made Ankara seek more active contacts with the Turkic states of the CIS, thus trying to compensate the economic losses and increase its political influence with the Turkic-speaking republics, using the pro-Turkism ideas to this purpose. Five out 15 of the former republics of the former USSR refer to Turkic Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kirghizstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Most them are in Central Asia, however, certainly, the link between them and Turkey would be Azerbaijan, having a straight terrestrial connection with Turkeys territory via Georgia. 

Throughout their whole history, the states of Central Asia...

12:35

Kazakhstan: Mystery Luxury Paris Apartment Buyers Eludes Investigators "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Even after a week of inquiries, investigators in Kazakhstan appear to be no closer to discovering the identity of the buyer of a 65 million euro ($76.5 million) apartment in Paris. Real estate insiders have said the property was sold to a Kazakh government official, but declined to provide a name.

This week, it emerged that official investigations appear to have extended to tax officials in Kazakhstan telephoning the realtor responsible for handling the sale. But Ignace Meuwissen told Sputnik Kazakhstan that he was taken aback by the unprofessionalism of the query.

I have the right not to divulge the name of the client. If they have any issues to raise, they can present proof, Meuwissen said in remarks translated into Russian by Sputnik Kazakhstan news agency.

Meuwissen said he received no official written query from the officials pursuing the investigation. 

Not unexpectedly, the best-known foe of Kazakhstans government, Mukhtar Ablyazov, has aired his own theory.

Our law enforcement agencies are remaining silent and doing nothing while fully aware who bought this Paris apartment with stolen money, he wrote.

The self-exiled businessman, who has been sentenced in absentia to long terms in prison on corruption charges back in Kazakhstan, then proceeded to name a prominent public figure linked to the ruling family. He provided no evidence to support his claims.

The public in Kazakhstan is largely inured to stories about their officials shenanigans, so the story has had typically limited impact. 

read more

11:45

President Putin: Russia to End Military Operation in Syria "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

All the hard efforts applied and successes achieved in Syria so far may go down the drain. While Russia, the only actor to announce its intention to partially withdraw military forces from Syria, is leading the peace process, the Middle East region is being pushed to war.

11:36

Bihar Teachers Protest Name and Shame Part of Open Defecation Free Campaign "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Defying the administration, school teachers have refused to implement administrations order to photograph people defecating in the open.

Open defecation

Representative image. Credit: Reuters

New Delhi: In a rare show of defiance, Bihars teachers are refusing to implement an order passed by block development officers (BDOs) in several districts across the state. As part of the states open defecation free (ODF) campaign, BDOs have asked the teachers to photograph individuals defecating in the open. But even as they back the ODF, teachers have flatly refused to take part in the humiliating name and shame campaign.

Teachers associations have said that they find it difficult to comply with the instructions because it insults teachers, undermines dignity and could endanger safety, according to an Indian Express report. In a letter to chief minister Nitish Kumar, Bihar Madhymik Shikshak Sangh general secretary and former MP Shatrughan Prasad Singh has deman...

11:15

How Turkey, Iran, Russia and India Are Playing the New Silk Roads "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

...Away from intractable war and peace issues, its even more enlightening to observe how Turkey, Iran and Russia are playing their overlapping versions of Eurasia economic integration and/or BRI-related business.

10:45

Who Is Jared Kushner: Trump Loyalist or 'Deep State' Kissinger Protege? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Never before in the annals of US politics has a top presidential adviser had more of an inside track for influencing the White House than Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner. And this could be just the ticket the Deep State ordered.

10:30

The Fleeting Nature of Memory "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Patrick Modianos recently translated Sundays in August and Such Fine Boys are poles apart in their themes, but are shrouded in mystery and manage to successfully build a sense of place.

<em>Sundays in August</em> is set in Nice. Credit: CHEN.Zhenyu/Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Sundays in August is set in Nice. Credit: CHEN.Zhenyu/Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

In its citation, the Nobel Committee, when awarding French writer Patrick Modiano the literature prize in 2014, commended him for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation. A prolific writer in French, Modianos novels in their English translations were at first sparsely available but following the Nobel, these have appeared in a steady and welcome stream.

One of his first works made available in translation, Dora Bruder (translated by Joanna Kilmartin) is part memoir, part fiction. Modianos ten-year quest for the 15-year-old Dora, who was reported missing in 1941, began in 1988. It was a search that formally ended in a small official record Dora, who had run away from the convent where she boarded, was listed among those Jews deported from Paris to Auschwitz in September of 1942. Looking for Dora...

10:12

The Real Winner in America's Russia Crisis Is China "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The current demonization of Russia as a global threat to American interests and values, and of President Putin as the worlds leading arch-villain, can be explained as an extension of the Cold War, of auto-piloting a foreign-policy paradigm that Republicans and Democrats feel comfortable with. But that is intellectually dishonest, considering American partnerships with mass-murderers like Stalin and Mao, and runs contrary to U.S. interests.

09:50

Water Confirmed Seeping Into Control Room At Bengoh Dam "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Water is now visibly pouring from several points on the lower face of the newly completed Bengoh Dam, according to dramatic footagecaptured over the last few days and provided to Sarawak Report. The public have been barred from inspecting the site, since concerns about a large damp patch on the dams outside wall were raised earlier []

09:45

Washington"s Wars "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The marching bands play on, although often the buglers play Taps at military funerals, and most American citizens seem content to accept expansion of Washingtons wars, which will continue to destabilise the regions in which they are waged.

09:44

SimplyInfo.Org: Fukushima Update November 22, 2017 "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

A group of businesses and doctors from Fukushima prefecture are suing GE in US court over the negligence of their

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09:35

Modis Bank Recap Plan is Not Enough to Kick-Start Lending "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The recapitalisation package of Rs 2.11 trillion is not sufficient to cover additional capital of Rs 2.82 trillion required by public sector banks, let alone providing them headroom to grow their advances.

A cashier displays the new 2000 Indian rupee banknotes inside a bank in Jammu, November 15, 2016. Credit: Reuters

A cashier displays the new Rs 2000 banknotes inside a bank. Credit: Reuters

Bank credit to the economy has slowed down. In 2016-17 (year-on-year as at September), overall bank credit grew at 4.2%, compared to 11.5% in 2015-16. Credit to industry has been stagnant for the last two years. It contracted by -0.4% in 2016-17, and grew only at 0.8% in the previous year. For an economy where banks account for more than...

09:31

The Crucial 48 Hours Before the Vote That Changed Everything "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

In some ways Indias victory at the International Court of Justice is a reflection of change at the UN, however small.

File photo of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands. Credit: Reuters

File photo of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands. Credit: Reuters

Washington: Indias successful campaign to win the last seat on the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is arguably its biggest victory in a multilateral contest ever. Given the number of players and shifting alliances, its significance cant be overstated.

It is also the first time the...

09:29

The Ram Sethu Canal Must Be Scrapped for Scientific Reasons "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

There are plenty of reasons to scrap the Sethusamudram project: we dont know how sediments behave within the canal, how cyclones will affect it and how its marine environment will be wrecked.

The location of Palk Bay. Credit: Google Maps

The location of Palk Bay. Credit: Google Maps

Ever since the UPA government mooted the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project (SSCP) in 2004, it has been a target of criticism from environmental advocates as well as religious enthusiasts. The project envisages excavating the shallow sea between the Palk Bay and the Gulf of Mannar to create a narrow shipping passage, linking the east and west coasts of India and obviating the current hassle of circumnavigating Sri Lanka to reach the eastern coast of India (and vice-versa).

The total length of the channel is estimated to be 152.2 km. Creating it will require two phases of dredging (or even blasting, depending on the nature of the substratum) the 20-km-long coral-reef platform known as Adams Bridge or Ram Sethu, as some like to call it, and the 54-km long Bay of Bengal segments. The third segment falls in the Palk Bay, with a total length of 78 km and which reportedly requires no dredging as this area has a clearance depth of 12 m.

Sethusamudram, as the name suggests, is that part of the ocean being constantly bridged by natural sedimentation processes. Like the Great Barrier Reef off of the northeast coast of Australia, Ram Sethu is a continuous stretch of limestone shoals that runs from the Pamban island near Rameswaram to Mannar Island off of the northern coast of Sri Lanka. Because the ocean floor is shallow in this...

08:38

Government Considers Making Triple Talaq a Punishable Offence "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Sources claim that a Bill to end the practice will be introduced in the winter session of the parliament.

Muslim brides wait for the start of their mass marriage ceremony in Mumbai May 11, 2014. Credit: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui/Files

A Bill making triple talaq a criminal offence is likely to be tabled in the winter session of the parliament. Credit: Reuters

New Delhi: Three months after the Supreme Court ruled set aside instant triple talaq, the central government is contemplating steps towards making the practice a criminal offence. While delivering the ruling in August, the Supreme Court had asked why when Islamic co...

08:24

Youth Congresss Classist Chaiwala Modi Meme Triggers Huge Backlash "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Though the meme was removed soon after it was put out, BJP leaders lost no time in demanding to know if the move had the partys leaderships support.

The meme tweeted by the Yuva Congress, which was later removed.

New Delhi: In a self-goal ahead of the Gujarat polls, the Congresss youth wing on Tuesday circulated a meme about Prime Minister Narendra Modis chaiwala past, provoking a backlash from the BJP, and prompting a red-faced Congress to distance itself from it.

The meme that unleashed a political storm had a photograph of Modi, US President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May engaged in a conversation. It shows Modi telling the two leaders about the oppositions memes targeting him, Aap logon ne dekha vipaksh mere kaise kaise maimai banvata hai (Have you seen the kind of maimai the opposition makes of me)? Trump corrects him, saying the word meme is pronounced meem, Usse maimai nahin, meem kehta hain (That is not called maimai  but meem). May tells Modi to sell tea, Tu chai bech (You sell tea).

Though the tweet with the meme was removed soon after it was put out, the Congress faced a huge backlash from the BJP and others who criticised the opposition party for targeting the prime ministers socio-economic background. The BJP questioned whether the classist meme had the party leaderships approval. This blatantly classist and anti-poor Tweet by the Youth Congress shows their...

08:20

Health Ministry Demands Probe Into Fortis Overcharging Family of Seven-Year-Old Who Died of Dengue "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Gurugrams Fortis Hospital has denied allegations of medical negligence and overcharging.

Fortis Hospital in Gurugram.

New Delhi: The Union health secretary has written to the Haryana government following outcry about overcharging and medical negligence at Fortis Hospital in Gurugram. This follows a brief tweet by the Union health minister on November 19 that the government would take all necessary action in the case of death of seven-year-old Adya Singh who had dengue.

The case came to light after an anonymous Twitter account posted a string of tweets, including copies of Fortis Hospitals bills totaling Rs 1,57,932 that were given to the family of the girl who spent 15 days in the hospital and finally died in September.

The child had an initial diagn...

08:11

As Citizenship Crisis Widens, Ninth Australian Lawmaker Quits "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) Senator Skye Kakoschke-Moore announces her resignation at a NEWs conference at her office in Adelaide, November 22, 2017. AAP/David Mariuz/via Reuters

Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) Senator Skye Kakoschke-Moore announces her resignation at a NEWs conference at her office in Adelaide, November 22, 2017. AAP/David Mariuz/via Reuters

Sydney: A ninth Australian lawmaker quit parliament on Wednesday after discovering she was a dual national, the latest casualty in a widening constitutional crisis that has already cost the government its majority.

The resignation of Skye Kakoschke-Moore, one of three senators in the centre-right Nick Xenophon Team, over the surprise revelation that she wa...

08:08

China Probes Ex-Internet Regulator Chief Over Alleged Corruption "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

FILE PHOTO: Lu Wei, director of Cyberspace Administration of China, speaks at the closing ceremony of the second annual World Internet Conference in Wuzhen town of Jiaxing, Zhejiang province, China, December 18, 2015. Credit: Reuters/Stringer/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: Lu Wei, director of Cyberspace Administration of China, speaks at the closing ceremony of the second annual World Internet Conference in Wuzhen town of Jiaxing, Zhejiang province, China, December 18, 2015. Credit: Reuters/Stringer/File Photo

Beijing: The former head of Chinas powerful int...

08:02

Pakistans ASGA Strategy For The Afro-Pacific "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

One of the driving motivations behind Chinas One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity is to stave off socio-economic challenges caused by the countrys overproduction crisis.

07:57

Search for Missing Argentine Submarine Continues as Clock Ticks "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

A man stands in front of signs in support of the 44 crew members of the ARA San Juan submarine missing at sea, placed on a fence outside the Argentine Naval Base where the submarine sailed from, in Mar del Plata, Argentina November 20, 2017. Reuters/Marcos Brindicci

A man stands in front of signs in support of the 44 crew members of the ARA San Juan submarine missing at sea, placed on a fence outside the Argentine Naval Base where the submarine sailed from, in Mar del Plata, Argentina November 20, 2017. Reuters/Marcos Brindicci

Mar del Plata, Argentina: The search for a missing Argentine submarin...

07:54

Australia Defends Alternative Accommodation for Asylum Seekers Against UN Criticism "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

An undated image released November 13, 2017 shows detainees staging a protest inside the compound at the Manus Island detention centre in Papua New Guinea. Refugee Action Coalition/Handout via Reuters

An undated image released November 13, 2017 shows detainees staging a protest inside the compound at the Manus Island detention centre in Papua New Guinea. Refugee Action Coalition/Handout via Reuters

Sydney/Geneva: Australias foreign minister said on Wednesday that asylum seekers occupying an abandoned Australian-run detention camp in Papua New Guinea (PNG) can relocate to...

07:50

US Diplomats Accuse Rex Tillerson of Breaking Child Soldiers Law "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

FILE PHOTO: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson answers questions during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, DC, U.S. on November 20, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Carlos Barria/File PhotoFILE PHOTO: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson answers questions during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, DC, U.S. on November 20, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Carlos Barria/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson answers questions during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, DC, US on November 20, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Carlos Barria/File Photo

Washington: A group of about a dozen US State Department officials have taken the unusual step of formally accusing Secretary of State Rex...

07:16

Hold Those Responsible for Rohingya Crisis Accountable: Dhaka Lit Fest Statement "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The participants in the Dhaka Lit Fest express sympathy for the refugees, and wish to keep the news of this unfolding situation at the forefront of global consciousness.

Rohingya refugees who crossed the border from Myanmar a day before, wait to receive permission from the Bangladeshi army to continue their way to the refugee camps, in Palang Khali, Bangladesh October 17, 2017. Credit: Reuters

Rohingya refugees who crossed the border from Myanmar a day before, wait to receive permission from...

06:43

Zimbabwe: All Eyes Now on Emmerson Crocodile Mnangagwa After Mugabes Exit "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

FILE PHOTO - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe watches a video presentation during the summit of the Southern African Development Community in Johannesburg, August 2008. Credit: Reuters/Mike Hutchings

FILE PHOTO Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe watches a video presentation during the summit of the Southern African Development Community in Johannesburg, August 2008. Credit: Reuters/Mike Hutchings

Harare: When Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe sacked his vice president in front of 12,000 baying party members in 2014, Emmerson Mnangagwa sat quietly in the crowd, a green baseball cap pulled low over his eyes.

The man who stood to gain most from the dismissal betrayed nothing through his expression and gentle clapping a survival tacti...

04:46

The Huge Implications of Russias Northern Sea Route "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

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In terms of dealing with some of the worlds harshest weather conditions no country comes close compared with Russia. Now Russia has made it a highest priority to develop a Northern Sea Route along the Russian Arctic coast to enable LNG and container freight shipments between Asia and Europe that will cut shipping time almost in half and bypass the increasingly risky Suez Canal. China is fully engaged and has now formally incorporated it into its new Silk Road Belt, Road Initiative infrastructure.

Before attending the Hamburg G20 Summit in July, Chinas President Xi Jinping made a stopover in Moscow where he and Russias President Vladimir Putin signed the China-Russia Joint Declaration on Further Strengthening Comprehensive, Strategic and Cooperative Partnership. The declaration includes the Northern Sea Route as a strategic area of cooperation between China and Russia, as a formal part of Chinas Belt, Road Initiative (BRI) infrastructure. For its part, Russia is investing major resources in development of new LNG ports and infrastructure along the route to service a growing maritime traffic passing through its Arctic territorial waters.

The Russian Federation, under the direct supervision of President Putin is building up the economic infrastructure that will create an alternative to the Suez Canal for container and LNG shipping between Europe and Asia. In addition, the developments are opening up huge new undeveloped resources including oil, gas, diamonds and other minerals along the Russian Exclusive Economic Zone,transversing its northernmost Siberian coastline.

Officially Russian legislation defines the Northern Sea Route as the territorial waters along the Russian Arctic coast east of Novaya Zemlya in Russias Arkhangelsk Oblast, from the Kara Sea across Siberia, to the Bering Straitthat runs between far eastern Russia and Alaska. The entire route lies in Arctic waters and within Russias Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Preliminary geophysical studies confirm that vast oil and gas reserves exist below the sea floor along the Northern Sea Route of Russias EEZ waters, increasing interest of the Chinese government in joint resource development with Russia, in addition to the potentially shorter shipping times to and from Europe.For China, which sees increasing threats to its oil supply li...

04:30

Bangladesh Academic Mubashar Hasan Held by Military Intelligence Agency "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The Directorate General of Forces Intelligence allegedly picked up Hasan soon after he attended a meeting at the UN headquarters in Dhaka on November 7. The reason for his detention remains unclear.

Academic Mubashar Hasan. Credit: Twitter

Academic Mubashar Hasan. Credit: Twitter

Bangladeshs military intelligence agency, the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI), is secretly detaining academic Mubashar Hasan, security and political sources have told The Wire.

According to the sources, the DGFI picked up Hasan, who works as an assistant professor at North South University (NSU) in Dhaka, soon after he attended a meeting at the United Nations headquarters in the city on November 7.

This information, which contradicts pro-government media who have sought to portray Hasan as a militant who went into hiding, confirms the fear widely held by his colleagues and friends that he had become another victim of the increasingly widespread practice in Bangladesh of enforced disappearances.

Matt Nelson, a reader in politics at SOAS, who had worked with Hasan as part of the Resolve Network, a US-funded initiative researching the drivers of violent terrorism, said last week that his colleagues in Bangladesh were leaning toward Mubashar being a victim of an enfo...

03:30

Germany Enters Political No-Mans Land as Angela Merkel Wrestles With Election Fallout "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The German chancellor is running out of options to form a viable government.

Angela Merkel. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Angela Merkel. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Angela Merkel is in trouble. Serious trouble. Negotiations to form the next German government have collapsed dramatically. Quite where the chancellor, and indeed Germany, go from here is anything but certain.

It wasnt meant to be like this. Although the Christian Democrats (CDU) performed poorly in the federal election of September 24 (gaining just 32.9% of the vote), the post-election expectations were nonetheless clear. Merkel would get representatives from the CDUs sister party in Bavaria (CSU) and two smaller parties (the liberal FDP and the Greens) around a table and, over time and at their own pace, they would knuckle down and form Germanys first Jamaica Coalition so-named as the parties colours are the same as those on the Caribbean islands flag.

Those expectations have now gone up in smoke. The FDP walked out. Christian Lindner, the FDPs leader, claimed that there simply wasnt enough common ground for the parties to draw up a coalition agreement that...

03:30

Modi Should Explain How Rafale Deal Went From 95% Complete to Zero in Two Weeks "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Days before the PM replaced the deal with one that would eventually exclude HAL, the Dassault CEO had said contract finalisation and signature could come very soon. So what changed?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Credit: Reuters

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Credit: Reuters

The manner in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi bypassed a number of relevant institutional mechanisms to announce the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets during his official visit to France in 2015 is being re-examined with greater focus.

A look at the events preceding Modis visit in April 2015 by itself suggests a startling lack of transparency.

The main questions revolve around how the prime minister took such a big call on cancelling and revamping the Rafale deal  a subject closely related to national security and the public exchequer before relevant approval or inter-ministerial discussion. And why did defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman beat around the bush last week by insisting that all due procedures were followed?

As defence journalists...

01:03

NCR issues should not be politicised "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

READING the statement by the Assemblyman for Ba Kelalan, Baru Bian convinces me more than ever that issues relating to Native Customary laws and rights to customary rights to land should not be politicised. It would be even better if these issues are not articulated by politicians especially, if they have a political agenda. Politicians []

01:02

ACS alarmed by fed govts stand on usage of Allah "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS) is deeply concerned with the stand of the federal government on the issue involving a Bumiputera Christian of Sarawak during her travel at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Sepang. According to a statement issued to The Borneo Post, the case of Jill Ireland involves the wrongful []

01:02

Maria: End of year-old case over Bersih shows Sosma detention was baseless "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Bersih 2.0s Maria Chin Abdullah claimed the polices decision to close a year-old case against the polls reform group showed that her detention without trial was baseless. Maria, who chairs Bersih 2.0, said police also decided to return all items seized from Bersih 2.0, at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters today. Bukit Aman police []

01:01

RoS denies delaying Pakatan Harapan registration, says must do due diligence "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The Registrar of Societies (RoS) said it was carefully scrutinising Pakatan Harapans application to be an official coalition as it must ensure no aspect of the pact contradicts existing laws and norms. Responding to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamads claim that the agency was intentionally delaying the process, RoS director-general Suriyati Ibrahim reiterated that the matter []

01:01

Sabah churches laud states religious tolerance "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Non-Muslims in Sabah can continue to practice their faiths without interference thanks to a religiously tolerant government, Sabah Council of Churches (SCC) president Bishop Melter Jiki Tais said today. Tais said Sabahs non-Muslim community was fortunate that the state government has been supportive of the practice of other faiths through yearly allocations. This is because []

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Tuesday, 21 November

20:46

Family of Deceased Judge Claims He Was Offered Rs 100 Crore for Favourable Order in Amit Shah Case "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The late judges sister says in an interview to Caravan magazine that the then chief justice of the Bombay high court also offered her brother a house in Mumbai.

BJP chief Amit Shah and the late judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya. Credit: PTI/Caravan

BJP chief Amit Shah and the late judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya. Credit: PTI/Caravan

New Delhi: In the months leading up to his sudden death three years ago, the judge who was hearing the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case in which BJP chief Amit Shah was the prime accused was allegedly offered a bribe of Rs 100 crore for a favourable judgment.

The sister of Brijgopal Harkishan Loya who presided over the CBI special court in the matter till his death on December 1, 2014  told The Caravan that some weeks before his death, the judge had confided in her about the bribe offer which she alleged had been made by the then chief justice of the Bombay high court, Mohit Shah. This, she said, had also been confirmed to her by Loyas father Harkishan. Shah, she says, also allegedly offered Loya a house in Mumbai. Caravan magazine says it reached out to Mohit Shah for his reaction to this accusation but did not...

18:20

Robert Mugabe Resigns, Ending Four Decades of Rule Over Zimbabwe "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

FILE PHOTO - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe addressing the inaugural session of the World Summit in Geneva, Switzerland December 10, 2003. Credit: Reuters

FILE PHOTO Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe addressing the inaugural session of the World Summit in Geneva, Switzerland December 10, 2003. Credit: Reuters

Harare: Robert Mugabe resigned as Zimbabwes president on Tuesday a week after the army and his former political allies moved against him, ending four decades of rule by a man who turned from independence hero to archetypal strongman.

The 93-year-old had clung on for a week after an army takeover and expulsion from his own ruling ZANU-PF party, but resigned shortly after parliament began an impeachment process seen as the only legal way to force him out.

Wi...

17:56

Fifty faces of occupation "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

A new exhibit by BTselem marks 50 years of occupation with portraits of 50 Palestinians born in the occupied territories, who have never known a day of freedom in their lives.

'My family had agricultural land near Hadera that was taken in 1948. We could see the land from our house, as well as the sea, but we couldn't reach them.' Khulud Sa'adi, from Atil, near Tulkarem, West Bank. (Miki Kratsman)

My family had agricultural land near Hadera that was taken in 1948. We could see the land from our house, as well as the sea, but we couldnt reach them. Khulud Saadi, from Atil, near Tulkarem, West Bank. (Miki Kratsman)

There is a checkpoint next to my house. It determines my lifes routine. It is a source of constant worry: whenever my children are on their way home from school or to another place, Im worried. I want to travel, to sit on the beach, to visit Al Aqsa and my family in Jerusalem. But because of the checkpoints, I cant. Sometimes it takes hours to cros...

17:42

Will the INF Treaty Be Kept Beyond Its 30th Anniversary? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

As a result of the INF Treaty , by May 28, 1991, 2,692 intermediate- and shorter-range missiles were destroyed: the Soviet Union destroyed 1,846, and the US - 846.

17:37

Jan Gan Man Ki Baat Episode 153: Dynastic Politics in India and Workers Protests "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Vinod Dua discusses dynastic politics across parties in India and protests by workers and farmers against the Modi government.

The post Jan Gan Man Ki Baat Episode 153: Dynastic Politics in India and Workers Protests appeared first on The Wire.

17:14

Dr. Bethunes Children "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Living in the West has the advantage of access to everything from good to bad as long as you have money, but one disadvantage is being somewhat cut off from Chinese literary scene. Thus I was excited when NYT recently talked about a Chinese living in Montreal having his novel translated to English published. His name is Xue Yiwei. He immigrated from China to Canada on a skill visa 15 years ago. He published about 13 works, with 10 in China, and is very popular in China but little known in the West. The recently translated book is called Dr. Bethunes Children, and it excites literary world in the West. While no publisher in China after 7 years of effort dare to publish it because it deals with 2 taboo subjects of CR and TAM, I do hope China will allow it to be published soon. It is time to revisit those events 50 and 38 years later to show confidence and draw lessons from history.
After I read the article, I immediately downloaded the book from Amazon and finished reading it in 1 weekend. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in China or Chinese literature. Unable to get the Chinese edition here in New York, I ordered it from Hong Kong by mail, hopefully I can read it soon.
The author was asked by publisher in China to write a biography of Dr. Bethune as he has access to archives in Montreal. After studying the archives he was unable to write it, but instead wrote a series of letters to Dr. Bethune as one of his millions of children from China. The questions he asked deal with life and death, tragedy and comedy, public persona and private anguish, parents and children, sex and emotion, in other words, philosophical questions eternally asked by philosophers. He constructed 2 characters both ended tragically to symbolize the 2 events, yet he didnt really blame the government directly but treated them as historically inevitable, just as Dr. Bethune must go to China and died there. He skillfully interwoven events and interactions from China to Canada, from 1938 to 1976 to make you feel real. The juxtaposition of his personal struggle against loneliness and Dr. Bethunes loneliness makes it unforgettable. For I, Mr. Xue, and even President Xi are all Dr. Bethunes children, and by inference also Maos children.
Nobel Prize for Literature has been very much a political game. I think only about 10% of the winners in last 60 years since WW2 are worthy the prize, certainly not the Chinese winners. After reading only one book by Xue Yiwei, I think he may truly deserve one.

16:53

Interview 1325 The Indo-Pacific Region on Howe Street Radio "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

[audio mp3="http://www.corbettreport.com/mp3/2017-11-21%20Howe%20Street.mp3"][/audio]James joins Jim Goddard on HoweStreet.com Radio for his bi-monthly round-up of economic, financial and geopolitical stories from around the world. This time around they discuss the new, US-less Zombie TPP; China's shadow banking crackdown; and the US' new penchant for calling the Asia-Pacific the Indo-Pacific.

15:14

Russias Difficult Decision in Syria is to be Discussed with Ankara and Tehran "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

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Its been reported that leaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran will meet in Sochi on November 22 to discuss the Syrian conflict, and specifically, settlement matters. This meeting is in no way connected with the Syrian National Dialogue Congress, which is going to be held in the future, even though the exact date remains unannounced.

The upcoming trilateral meeting involves Moscow informing Ankara and Tehran of its new position on the Syrian settlement. This shift became noticeable after the summit in Da Nang, where US President Donald Trump refused to hold a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. But the foreign ministers of Russia and the US agreed to issue a joint statement on the situation in Syria, which had no mention of the Astana talks in it. However, Russia, Turkey and Iran have been sponsors of the peace talks that were being held in the capital of Kazakhstan.

But the Russian-American statement says a lot about the Geneva process and the withdrawal of foreign troops from Syria. Namely, Russian, Iranian and Turkish troops. Washington has no intention to leave, even though its troops never had permission to enter Syrias territory, so theyve been operating inside Syria illegally. The only excuse they could have had to be in Syria could be provided by a UN resolution, yet no such resolution has been passed. It must also be remembered that on November 15 the United States announced its intention to create a military base in Syria in territory controlled by the SDF, following the assumption that all of Syrias oil fields will fall under the control of Kurdish militants Washington has been sponsoring.

Its no wonder that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan communicated with President Putin for four hours during his visit to Sochi in mid-November in a bid to clarify the joint US-Russian statement on Syria, asking questions about the stay of Russia troops and the motivation behind Damascus six year resistance against foreign sponsored militants.

Theres yet another aspect of the upcoming meeting economic. While ISIS is on its last legs, the process of rebuilding Syrias economy and infrastructure has started, but there is the question of who will ultimatel...

14:58

Bhopal Gas Disaster Survivors to Use Portraits of Missing Modi, CM in Campaign for Demands "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Through the campaign, survivors are making five demands to Prime Minister Modi and Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

Children with disabilities sit in front of cutouts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

New Delhi: Survivors of the Bhopal gas leak from the Union Carbide factory today (November 21) launched Paanch guhar  a campaign to draw the attention of the prime minister and Madhya Pradesh chief minister to five most urgent issues of rehabilitation, justice and compensation.

The demands include: medical care, social and economic rehabilitation, adequate compensation, punishment of culprits, clean up of lingering poisons in soil and groundwater.

The campaign began with children with congenital malformations born to gas-affected parents sitting in front of cut-outs of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Bhopal. These photographs of them seated in front of the portraits was then sent to the two leaders via Twitter, a statement said.

The two portraits of Modi and Chouhan will be carried to different parts of the city that were affected by the December 1984 gas disaster  where the groundwater was poisoned with hazardous waste from the Union Carbide factory. The campaign will continue till the 33rd anniversary of the disaster on December 3.

A large demonstration has been planned for November 30 in Nigam Park in the city, where widows of the...

13:30

Indias Universities Are Falling Terribly Short on Addressing Caste Discrimination "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Physical exclusion and indifference of the faculty towards the plight of marginisalised students is pushing many to suicide, and despite measures being in place, administrations are doing little to address the issues.

A view of the JNU campus. Credit: PTI

A view of the JNU campus. Credit: PTI

On March 13, 27-year-old Dalit student Muthukrishnan Jeevanantham took his own life in a friends room at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus in New Delhi, much in the same way his friend and Dalit scholar, Rohith Vemula, had done in January 2016.

Rajini Krish, as his friends knew him, had documented on Facebook the stories of his struggle as a student facing discrimination. Just a few days before his death, in his last public post, he wrote: There is no Equality in M.phil/phd Admission, there is no equality in vivavoce, there is only denial of equality

The prevalence of caste-based discrimination in Indian universities has been an open secret for decades. While some Dalit student...

12:49

Another Journalist Shot Dead in Tripura "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Sudip Datta Bhaumik. Credit: Facebook

Sudip Datta Bhaumik. Credit: Facebook

Agartala: A journalist was shot dead on Tuesday (November 21) by a Tripura State Rifles (TSR) trooper during an altercation in Bodhjung Nagar in Tripura, police said.

Sudip Datta Bhaumik, a senior journalist with my newspaper, had gone to meet the commandant of the Second TSR at R.K. Nagar after obtaining due appointment from him. But when he reached there he had an altercation with a PSO of the commandant outside the latters office, during which the PSO shot him. Sudip died on the spot, Subal Dey, the editor of Syandan Patrika, told The Indian Express over the telephone.

The body of Bhowmik, a reporter of Syandan Patrika and local television channel Venguard, was brought to Gobinda Ballav Panth Medical College and Hospital for postmortem.

On September 20, a television journalist, Santanu Bhowmik, 28, was killed allegedly by some activists of a party in Mandai, 35 km from here.

(With IANS inputs)

The post Another Journalist Shot Dead in Tripura appeared first on The Wire.

12:30

Confrontation is Not the Best Way to Deal With the Danger of Judicial Misconduct "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Do we really want a scenario where sitting judges are ordering investigations against their fellow judges?

Supreme Court. Credit: PTI

Supreme Court. Credit: PTI

A lot has been said and written in the last week on the crisis at the Supreme Court of India after a petition was filed before it by the Campaign for Judicial Accountability & Reform (CJAR) demanding a court-monitored investigation into the Chief Justice of India (CJI). The petitioners justified their request on the grounds that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had registered a criminal case and arrested certain people who had allegedly convinced certain litigants that they could manage their case, being heard by a bench headed by the CJI.

While most of the criticism has been directed against the conduct of the judges, it is perhaps also time to speak about the petitioners, their brinksmanship and how they almost opened the door to sitting judges ordering investigations against other sitting judges, in a country where judges already appoint each other.

The CJAR and its role

The CJAR has for long led a fire and brimstone campaign against corruption, lack of transparency and other assorted ills plaguing the higher levels of the Indian judiciary. Thanks partially to the CJARs efforts, it is now possible to at least discuss the issue of corruption publicly.

This is a far cry from the days when certain elements in the higher judiciary would initiate contempt proceedings against anybody who publicly spoke about corruption in the higher judiciary. For example, in 2001,...

12:22

UN General Assembly Against Glorification of Nazism "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

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The Third Committee of the UN General Assembly met on November 16 this year and adopted the resolution on combating glorification of Nazim, racial discrimination and xenophobia, as introduced by Russia, with the support of 125 states. The importance of this international paper has only increased recently. In it, the war on fighting with monuments to honour the fighters against Nazism is contemptable, as declared in separate European countries, which in several states for the past year acquired the nature of a national policy, as well as annual marches to honour the Nazi and their collaborationists. It is noteworthy that only the USA and the Ukraine voted against this international resolution, having demonstrated by this their true attitude to the problem of glorification of Nazism.

In the said resolution, the question is not only about the tales of the past, but about the alarming rise of various extremist groups, resorting to acts of violence against people of a different race, of different religions, immigrants and national minorities, about the modern and very dangerous manifestations of racism, which should be opposed both at the national and international level.

Unfortunately, during recent years in Europe, where the fascist plague was most prolific, attempts and actions became frequent aimed at vandalising and destroying the monuments erected to those who were fighting against the Nazism during World War II, as well as unlawful exhumation and transfer of the remains of such people. The spread of racist and extremist ideas is more and more often justified by the reasons of freedom of expression, which contradicts the responsibilities of the states regarding the main international agreements on human rights, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Glorification of the Nazi movement and the former members of SS organisations cannot be acceptable, including the Waffen-SS declared as criminal by the Nuremberg trials.

In August in Estonia, as the website BaltNews.ee. informs us, with the assistance of the Estonian authorities, the so-called Erna Raid was held for the eighteenth time already, aimed to commemorate the actions of the Nazi long-range reconnaissance group Erna formed by the military intelligence of the Nazi Germany  the Abwehr and acting on the territory of Estonia in...

11:45

Germany"s Government Impasse: End of Merkel Era Is Within Sight "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has suffered a crushing defeat. On Nov.20, she informed the president of her failure to form a coalition government. This is a shock for Germany with its postwar record of government stability and political consensus and the entire Europe as well.

11:38

Sanjay Leela Bhansali No Less Guilty Than Those Threatening Him: Adityanath on Padmavati "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Adityanath claimed the filmmaker was in the habit of playing with public sentiments.

UP chief minister Adityanath. Credit: PTI

UP chief minister Adityanath. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh chief minister Adityanath today alleged that Padmavati director Sanjay Leela Bhansali is no less guilty than those issuing threats to actors and others involved with the film and asserted that if there is any action, it will be against both the sides.

Lashing out at the filmmaker, he said Bhansali was in the habit of playing with public sentiments.

The state government has said it would not allow the movies release till certain controversial portions are removed.

No one has the right to take the law into own hands, whether it is Sanjay Leela Bhansali or anyone else, the chief minister said.


Also read: BJP Leader Adds to Open Threats Against Bhansali, Padukone; Producers Delay Release of Padmavati


I feel that if those threatening (the actors of the film) are guilty, Bhansali is no less guilty, he told reporters here. The chief minister said if there is any action, it will be against both the sides. On threats being issued to eliminate actors, Adityanath said, Everyone should respect the feeling...

11:15

The Saudi System and Why Its Change May Fail "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The Saudi response to the competition of the Iranian system is a move towards more authoritarian rule. This is hoped to allow for more agile policies and responses. But the move breaks the traditional ruling system. It removes the sensible impediments to impulsive foreign policies. It creates the contitions for its very failure.

10:53

Kerala High Court Says IFFI Must Include S Durga in Schedule "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The information broadcasting ministry had earlier removed S Durga, as well as Nude, from the festivals line up despite the jury choosing them.

<em>S Durga</em> director and poster. Credit: Facebook

S Durga director and poster. Credit: Facebook

New Delhi: The Kerala high court has told the organisers of the International Film Festival of India, to be held in Goa between November 20 and 28, that they must include the film S Durga in the line up at the festival. The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had earlier pulled out both S Durga and Nude from the schedule, even though the festival jury had chosen them.

10:45

US Military Fraud Endemic in Overseas Operations "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

When it comes to the US military operating in its overseas locations, the Latin phrase popularized by the Roman poet Juvenal, perhaps wise to the corruption of the Praetorian Guard of his time, comes to mind. Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who watches the watchmen?

10:15

Doomsday Scenarios: the UK"s Hair-Raising Admissions About the Prospect of Nuclear War and Accident "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) has published several reports over the last few years. They discuss geopolitics and related themes, one of which is the likelihood of nuclear war or accident, including what it means for long-term survival.

09:54

White House Asks US Supreme Court to Allow Full Travel Ban "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

FILE PHOTO: A man exits the transit area after clearing immigration and customs on arrival at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, U.S., September 24, 2017. Credit: Reuters/James Lawler Duggan/File Photo

A man exits the transit area after clearing immigration and customs on arrival at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, US, September 24, 2017. Credit: Reuters/James Lawler Duggan/File Photo

Washington: The White House asked the US Supreme Court on Monday to allow President Donald Trumps latest travel ...

09:45

The Theresa May Brexit Showdown "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Mrs. May's survival as UK Prime Minister is to a large extent predicated upon her being able to secure a good divorce deal and transition agreement that satisfies both the Remain and Leave wings of her Party as well as its ardently hard-line Leave grassroots.

09:43

WhatsApp Earnings Leak Shows SEBI Must Monitor Insider Trading on Social Media "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

This new technology presents a challenge but the problem of insider trading is hardly new. The regulator must rise to this new challenge if it is to maintain its reputation for efficiency.

Messages were being circulated in private Whatsapp groups frequented by equity traders. Credit: Reuters

The Securities and Exchange Board of India will investigate possible leaks of company earnings in social media chatrooms after a Reuters investigation documented at least 12 cases of prescient messages about major Indian companies being posted in private WhatsApp groups. This author explains why SEBI should try to create means of observing this medium and others like it.

A recent Reuters news report identifies a dozen messages that accurately predicted Q2 earnings patterns (and a bonus announcement in one case) for specific listed stocks. In each case, the messages were being passed around, just before the results were officially announced. These messages were being circulated in private Whatsapp groups frequented by equity traders. These were all big companies in fact, more than half of the stock concerned are members of the Nifty-50.

WhatsApp, an instant messaging service owned by Facebook, is a popular platform for all sorts of sensitive communications. It is encrypted end-to-end, making it impossible for even the service provider to monitor content.

There are many p...

09:15

In Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtras Sugar Alliance, a Sweet Mixture of Politics and Business "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The two BJP-ruled states working together will give it greater lobbying power and comes at a time when the industry is looking to end volatile, bi-annual supply and demand crises.

Parubai Govind Pawar, a 55-year-old female worker cuts sugarcane in a field in Degaon village in Solapur, in the western state of Maharashtra. Credit: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui/File photo

Two sugar giants the states of Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Maharashtra have struck an alliance in a major development on the farm front that is expected to give a better deal to cane growers and mills.

Although the broad contours of such an alliance are still being worked out, government and industry officials say that is likely that the combined voice will give both states greater leverage when it comes to influencing policy-making at the Centre.

The decision of the two BJP-ruled states, which account for a majority of Indias production of sugar large amount of sugar in the country, to work together for the common cause has come amid projections that the next two years would witness a record production of the sweetener.

UP and Maharashtra are key political...

09:02

To Discuss Brexit Divorce Bill Offer, Theresa May Meets Senior Ministers "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street in London, November 1, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Toby Melville /File Photo

FILE PHOTO: Britains Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street in London, November 1, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Toby Melville /File Photo

London: Prime Minister Theresa May met with senior members of her ministerial team on Monday to discuss their response to European Union demands for more detail on how much Britain is willing to pay as part of its Brexit divorce package.

The EU told May on Friday that there was more work to be done to unlock the Brexit talks, repeating its...

09:01

Chinese Rights Lawyer Sentenced to Two Years in Jail for Inciting Subversion "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

FILE PHOTO - Police react in front of disbarred lawyer Jiang Tianyong's portrait, during a demonstration, outside the Chinese liaison office in Hong Kong, China December 23, 2016. Credit: Reuters/Tyrone Siu/File Photo

FILE PHOTO Police react in front of disbarred lawyer Jiang Tianyongs portrait, during a demonstration, outside the Chinese liaison office in Hong Kong, China December 23, 2016. Credit: Reuters/Tyrone Siu/File Photo

Beijing: A prominent Chinese rights lawyer was sentenced to two...

08:42

BJP Received 82% of Donations to National Parties in Gujarat: ADR Report "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The saffron party received Rs 80.45 crore as donations in the state between 2011-12 and 2015-16.

Donations the BJP received in Gujarat were also far higher than what the party got in other states. Credit: PTI

Donations the BJP received in Gujarat were also far higher than what the party got in other states. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: A report from the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Gujarat Election Watch has shown that between 2011-12 and 2015-16 in Gujarat, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has received more than four times as many donations from the public as all the other national parties put together.

Donations the BJP received in Gujarat were also far higher than what the party got in other states, the report said, with 10.04% of all donations the party got in that period (a total of Rs 801.675 crore) coming from the state.

08:32

After Military Takeover, Zimbabwes Mugabe Faces Impeachment "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Residents attend a prayer meeting called to celebrate after Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe was dismissed as party leader of the ruling ZANU-PF's central committee in Harare, Zimbabwe, November 19, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo

Residents attend a prayer meeting called to celebrate after Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe was dismissed as party leader of the ruling ZANU-PFs central committee in Harare, Zimbabwe, November 19, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo

Harare: Zimbabwean President Robert Muga...

08:30

HC Pulls up Delhi Government for Discriminating Against Women Inmates "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The Delhi high court asked the state government to reveal the reason behind denying open and semi-open jail facilities to women prisoners.

Sunetra Choudhury profiles the incarceration of 13 people who are either in jail or were at one point of time. Credit: Pixabay

It was pointed out that only Yerwada jail in Maharashtra and some jails in Rajasthan were extending the benefit of semi-open and open prisons to their women prisoners. Credit: Pixabay

New Delhi: In a stark case of gender discrimination, the Delhi high court has pulled up the Delhi government for not extending the benefits of the semi-open and open prison to women inmates in prisons in the capital.

Hearing the matter this past week, the court, which had earlier issued show cause notices to lieutenant governor and principal secretary (home) of Delhi government as also the director general of prisons, Delhi, on a petition questioning deprivation of women convicts from the benefits of these reformist prison systems, questioned the Delhi government counsel about why no reply had been filed in the matter in the stipulated four week period it had allowed.

When the matter was listed in August, the court had directed the Delhi government to explain how and why the discrimination was being allowed to be carried out against the women prisoners. The petitioner, Sunil Kumar Gupta, who now practices in the high court after ser...

08:18

Trump Declares North Korea State Sponsor of Terrorism, Triggers Sanctions "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

FILE PHOTOS: A combination photo shows US President Donald Trump in New York, US September 21, 2017 and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, September 4, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque, KCNA/Handout via Reuters/File Photos

FILE PHOTOS: A combination photo shows US President Donald Trump in New York, US September 21, 2017 and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in this undated photo released by North Koreas Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, September 4, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque, KCNA/Handout via Reuters/...

08:16

Myanmar Hopes to Strike a Deal With Bangladesh to Solve Rohingya Refugee Crisis "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi attends the 13th Asia Europe Foreign Ministers Meeting (ASEM) in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, November 20, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Stringer

Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi attends the 13th Asia Europe Foreign Ministers Meeting (ASEM) in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, November 20, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Stringer

Naypyitaw: Myanmars de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi said on Tuesday she hopes talks with Bangladesh this week will result in a memorandum of understanding on the safe return of Rohingya Muslims who fled to Bangladesh in the past three months.

A military clearance operation launched in...

07:41

P-5 Privileges Breached as Britain Blinks and Indian Judge is Elected to International Court of Justice "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The UK withdraws its candidate, leaving the field clear for Dalveer Bhandari, who had the overwhelming support of the UN General Assembly.

Dalveer Bhandari and Nawaf salam on Lebanon, both now judges of the ICJ (left); Christopher Greenwood of the UK, whose withdrawal from the race on Monday ended the deadlock between the Security Council and General Assembly. Credit: Nawaf Salam/ICJ

New Delhi: In a last-minute move at the United Nations on Monday afternoon EST, Britain withdrew its candidate for the International Court of Justice, leaving the field clear for Indian candidate Dalveer Bhandari to win the requisite majority in both the UN General Assembly and Security Council and be re-elected to the UNs principal judicial organ.

This marks the first time that the UK has not been part of the ICJ since its inception in 1946 and breaks an unwritten rule taken for granted by the big powers and the rest of the world that the five permanent members of the Security Council (the P-5) are guaranteed a seat at the world court.

The news of Bhandaris victory was broken on Twitter almost immediately by Syed Akbaruddin, Indian ambassador to the UN and principal coordinator of Indias ICJ campaign.

07:31

Hands Raised Against Modi Will Be Chopped off, Says Bihar BJP Chief Nityanand Rai "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Rai asked everyone to be proud of Modis achievements.

Nityanand Rai (second from left), with Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Modi at the event. Credit: Twitter/@nityanandraibjp

New Delhi: Bihar BJP president Nityanand Rai, who was speaking at a  function organised by the Vaishya and Kanu (OBC) communities in Patna, said Prime Minister Narendra Modis achievements should be a matter of pride for everybody. He further warned that any finger or hand raised against Modi would be broken or chopped off, reported the Indian Express.

Rai, who is a Lok Sabha member of parliament from Ujiyarpur, spoke of Modis humble background and his journey of becoming prime minister. He said   that everyone should be proud and respect him for this.

Rai said, Unki or uthne waali ungali ko, uthne waale haath kohum sub milkeya to tod dein, zaroorat pari to kaat dein (Any finger or hand raised against the PM, we should get together to either break it or, if need be, chop it off).

When the Indian Express spoke to him regarding his statement, Rai said it was an off-the-cuff statement, something that was not intended to target individuals or opposition parties, &#822...

06:21

Gangsterism, Mob Rule and War "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

673423424

Criminal gangs that run our governments, control our corporations, fabricate our news, invent and reinvent out history and lull us into slavery do so believing humanity to be a form of cattle, no more.  Denying this is insanity.

Their prime methodology is war, this is what gangs do.

Ask anyone across the Middle East and they will say war is coming to Lebanon.  However, there is one problem with this, no one is certain who will be fighting whom?  The divided politics of Lebanon, though puzzling to outsiders and a daily concern to the Lebanese themselves are not a factor.  No one in Lebanon wants war.  Only Saudi Arabia and Israel want war, or so we are told.

Stranger still, classified briefings to key American congressional committees, blame Lebanons Hezbollah for backing ISIS across Africa and even in Afghanistan and Pakistan, notwithstanding the fact that Hezbollah has up to 20,000 fighters engaged in war against ISIS and its US backed surrogates at this time.

Saudi Arabia is blaming Iran for shooting missiles at them from heavily blockaded Yemen, and even more insane is the unending effort to accuse Syria of use of chemical weapons.

The world was supposed to learn a lesson after Bush 43 and Blair cooked up a war on terror after 9/11, might we well say conveniently after 9/11.  Fabricating war crimes, false flag terrorism, staged videos, actors as victims, all of this is not only standard fare, it is and has been the rule of the day.

Thus, we expect the now suspected 60-year marriage of love or marriage of convenience, the jury is out on which applies, between Saudi Arabia and their besties in Israel, to garner their assets, their paid-off politicians in America and Europe, their media assets, and their intelligence agencies, long suspected of backing ISIS and al Qaeda.

We can only wait for what they do next, will it be more staged gas attacks or a mass murder somewhere, anywhere, blamed on Iran or Syria or Hezbollah or perhaps Russia?

As American humorist, Jim W. Dean so often says, You just cant make this stuff up.

Background

Before assigning blame, usually attributed to the halls of...

05:40

Singaporeans will never achieve democracy "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The common but erroneous perception is that with more education and higher standard of living, a society would become more democratic. The belief was totalitarianism and societal advancements work in opposites. Unfortunately this is not true as history shows, and point proven by Singapore. Since independence no doubt the island has progressed economically, but as for democracy, it not only did not take root, and as far as democracy is concerned, it has regressed, not progressed.

And the reasons are obvious. A people cannot want what they do not know. And Singaporeans thanks to their dictators carefully shielding them from any mention of democracy have become today totally ignorant of what democracy even is. The ordinary Singaporean just as another Iraqi or Syrian or Afghan wants a job, food to eat and roof over the heads.  As for democracy, he hasn't heard of it, and as long as he is left alone, quite happy not to have it.

And this is exactly the state of affairs the islands dictators want. Singaporeans have no real rights as an American would have. Singapore police can arrest anyone anytime. But usually they only harass political opponents and criminals. If you are not a criminal or a political dissident, you have no problems at all.

Singapore does have a constitution which is almost the same as that of United States, replete with the rights of man, human rights, free speech and the entire litany. But unlike the United States all that is ignored and the police do whatever they want. But since the police and the Kangaroo judges placed by the rulers only punish anyone who is a critic or a criminal, people don't care whether they have rule or law or not since it doesn't affect them personally.

As a result Singapore today is a very repressive society with no rule of law. But the repression is only used against political opponents. The rule is, as long as you allow the rulers to be as corrupt as they want, you have no complaint of the lack of a free press, or lack of any freedoms, then you can go on with your life uneventfully and quiet. Since the aspirations of the average Singaporean only extends up to his daily upkeep and daily material needs, the dictators can continue in power for another 100 years as long as you accept your humble state.

Unlike the ordinary Singapore who lives this way, there are those, only a handful who may know that a free and independent life without having to live under Big Brother is much more meaningful and rewarding. So the handful, such as Chee Soon Juan and the late JB Jeyaretnam or myself have stuck our necks out to challenge this totalitarian regime for which we have suffered great punishment. And then there are the other handful who are aware but do not think it worthwhile to openly question authority. These people simply leave the island for se...

05:30

Seeking Babasaheb Among His People "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Where can one find Ambedkar? Does it make sense to look for him in the hallowed grounds of academia or in political ideologues?

B.R. Ambedkar. Credit: Ajay Tallam/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

B.R. Ambedkar. Credit: Ajay Tallam/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Our memories are like objects stashed away in an old storehouse, in the hope that they can always be retrieved in the future. Any act of remembering is akin to going through ones accumulated belongings of many years, where the frustration of being unable to locate the intended object is matched by a commensurate joy in making a serendipitous discovery. Reading Ambedkar: The Attendant Details put together by Salim Yusufji at Navayana evokes a similar feeling.

The B.R. Ambedkar we meet here is a collage of multitudinous images refracted through the prism of those whose lives he touched in one way or another: men and women who saw him in the flesh and knew him in many little ways. Like the Tamil writer Bama says in the introduction to this volume, We learn of his love for books, his speed in reading, his fortitude to bear sorrows, and his unceasing hard work. While the many voi...

04:00

Rediscovering Abdus Salam Through a Visit to His Childhood Home "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The home of Nobel laureate Abdus Salam may have been designated a monument by Pakistan, yet he remains alien to the land.

Abdus Salams childhood home. Credit: Aown Ali

Jhang (Pakistan): Tucked away in a quiet narrow street of Mohalla Chain Pura inside the Bab-e-Muhammad neighborhood of Jhang, a small 400 square foot house is designated as a national monument of Pakistan. This is the family house of Muhammad Abdus Salam, the Nobel Laureate theoretical physicist, and where he was born in January 1926.

The gated locality of Bab-e-Muhammad is known as Jhang city. In fact it is the old city of Jhang, which, like old neighborhoods in many other cities of Punjab, is gated and has its particular architecture and lifestyle.

Bab-e-Muhammad leads into a straight lane called Bazaar Noor Shah. Walking a few steps in this cluster of shops, looking over the true picture of life in old Jhang you could ask some passersby or a shopkeeper about Salams house. Turning a left at a Y-junction and walking a few more steps in this direction one arrives at a small house with a tiny inscription on the brown colour main door. The house looks no different than any of the other houses in the area, but it is from this house that a series of knowledge starts, a new page of science begins and the whereabouts of Salam are found.

...

03:30

As Critiques of UN Peacekeeping Missions Grow, Africa Seeks Peace on Its Own Terms "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Indian military doctors attend to a child in Kiwanja, the Democratic Republic of Congo via The Blue Berets. CC BY-SA 2.0

Indian military doctors attend to a child in Kiwanja, the Democratic Republic of Congo via The Blue Berets. CC BY-SA 2.0

United Nations (UN) peacekeeping missions are ubiquitous on the African continent despite growing critiques of inefficacy. Peacekeepers work in cooperation with African military troops with increasingly broad mandates including civilian protection, counterinsurgency operations, and counterterrorism, among others. UN peacekeeping missions in places like Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Cte dIvoire have been hailed as successes, yet UN troops ground activities on the ground have been heavily questioned.

Since the first mission in 1948...

01:03

Uggah ill-advised on statement govt will never take peoples land Baru "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

State Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) chairman Baru Bian says Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, who he claims to be new to native customary rights (NCR) land issue, may have been ill-advised when he recently said the government will never take the peoples lands from them. From the natives perspective, thousands of acres []

01:02

Sarawaks Penan mapping their way to land rights recognition "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

SARAWAKS last nomadic tribe, the Penan, have again pressed the state government to recognise their customary rights to land and a forest sanctuary they want called Baram Heritage Forest, by presenting to the government a detailed community map 15 years in the making. A group of nine Penan chiefs, led by Ajeng Kiew, a penghulu []

01:02

Penans want Baram Heritage Forest to be established "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

A call has been made for Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to continue his predecessor the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satems effort to establish the Baram Heritage Forest (BHF). In making this call yesterday, Komeok Joe, who is Keruan Association coordinator, said this was the wish of the Penan communities in Ulu []

01:01

Tell Pakatan earlier of any problems, Dr M says after Zahid snub "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The government should have informed Pakatan Harapan (PH) of any problems dragging its registration so it could be resolved earlier on, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad urged today. The Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) chairman had attempted to see Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi earlier today, but was directed to secretary-general Datuk Seri Alwi []

01:01

No need to table 1MDBs financial statements, Putrajaya tells Parliament "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The financial statements of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) does not need to be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat, Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today in a written reply. Najib said the audited statements of 1MDB between 2009 and 2014 had been filed with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM), while []

01:01

Citing sacred patrimony, churches reject unauthorised DBP translation of Bibles "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) expressed today its outrage that the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) can provide an official translation of its holy book in Bahasa Malaysia (BM) which forms part of the sacred patrimony for its adherents.The umbrella organisation representing 90 per cent of churches nationwide condemned the proposal by a legal []

01:01

No need to follow Sarawaks route on rights, Sabah minister says "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

A Sabah minister has cautioned his state against copying Sarawaks approach to restore state rights that has been taken away by Putrajaya. Instead, Minister of Special Tasks and chairman of the State Rights Committee Datuk Seri Panglima Teo Chee Kang welcomed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razaks commitment to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63). We []

01:01

Putrajaya to act if petrol, diesel price exceeds RM2.50 for three months "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The government will intervene if pump prices for RON95 petrol and diesel remain above RM2.50 per litre for three consecutive months, the Finance Ministry said today. RON95 and RON97 petrol are currently RM2.38 per litre and RM2.66 per litre, while diesel is retailing at RM2.25 per litre. The ministry said the federal government understood the []

01:01

Deborah Henry: School syllabus needs to be revamped "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The Malaysian education system must improve to allow better opportunities for children to succeed in life, said Fugee School co-founder Deborah Priya Henry. She said her wish during Universal Childrens Day was for children to be given equal opportunities to reach their full potential. Henry said the Malaysian school syllabus needed to be revamped for []

01:01

Zahid: Pakatan needs to resolve DAP, PPBM problems before registration "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Pakatan Harapan (PH) needs to resolve issues with the DAP and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) before it can be approved as a formal coalition, Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today. The deputy prime minister said among the issues that the Opposition coalition needs to address includes the final report of the []

01:01

Minister: Putrajaya needs more support for English-medium schools return "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

A federal minister said today he backs calls for English-medium schools to be reinstated, but said the federal government will need more support to realise the policy. Minister in the Prime Ministers Department Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan said he personally believes English schools are vital for human capital growth but feared that the issue []

01:01

With absent MPs, BN almost loses Budget 2018 vote "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The government narrowly won, by just one vote, the debate on a part of Budget 2018 in the Dewan Rakyat today as few Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs were in the House. Media reports said G. Manivanan (PKR-Kapar) called for a division vote when the government was wrapping up the debate on the Supply Bills portion []

Monday, 20 November

21:06

No institution is safe from the corrupting power of occupation "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The persecution of Breaking the Silences spokesperson is further proof that the states investigative bodies are not only deeply politicized, they are simply uninterested in doing their job.

Illustrative photo of Israeli soldiers arresting a Palestinian man in the Dheisheh Refugee Camp near the West Bank city of Bethlehem. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Illustrative photo of Israeli soldiers arresting a Palestinian man in the Dheisheh Refugee Camp near the West Bank city of Bethlehem. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Between the years 2013 and 2016, Israeli anti-occupation group Yesh Din tracked the polices response to 289 cases of ideological crimes against Palestinians in the West Bank. In each of those cases, the Palestinians filed a complaint with the police; some of them included photographic material, video, and testimonies provided by Israeli civilians or soldiers. And yet, only 20 cases led to indictments. In no less than 183 of them, the police were unable to locate the criminals or find evidence; more often than not, they never truly carried out a real investigation. Of the 45 cases that were opened between 2012-2014 following...

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