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Monday, 21 January

15:46

Competition Commission- a bundle of confusion! "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

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By Neeraj Mahajan

The Competition Commission of India (CCI)-the competition watchdog-has a reputation for more misses than hits. Half the people and companies indulging in unfair business practices are beyond its mandate; as far as the other half is concerned, a good number of cases it books gets closed after investigations because of internal contradictions.

The closure rate is so high that every second case is closed. The matter was discussed in the parliamentary standing committee. They wanted to know why so many cases are getting closed-either no case is made out, or the DG was not doing the investigation properly. If so what is stopping the Commission from conducting further Enquiry. It also enjoys the same powers as the DG. It makes no sense to close the case, admits AK Chauhan, former DG, CCI.

Has the CCI, which completed five years of enforcement on May 20 this year, lived up to its mandate and protected the interest of Indian consumers?

The Competition Act is a bundle of contradictions. Though the CCI does not entertain an individual consumer complaint, it is not averse to class action by a group of aggrieved end-consumers having the same interest taking up the matter jointly against loss or damage. The end-consumers, however, cannot claim damages under the Competition Act and also have to bear the litigation costs. This greatly reduces their incentive to sue.

These legal lacunae suit a new breed of competition lawyers, who know how to play the game of hide and seek, and mega-corporations who can engage them. The Act allows a combination, or an enterprise to abuse its dominant position to justify blatantly anti-competitive practices in the name of economic development. Provisions on abuse of dominance can be exploited for or against big business. An influential firm may get away without attracting penalties whereas the CCI can wind up a firm abusing its dominant position without the requirement of any evidence that it has done so.sherlock-holmes

Biased process
An Indian company with earnings of `40,000 crore cannot acquire another company without the prior permission of the CCI, while a foreign company with a turno...

15:02

Marie Colvin, Homs And Media Falsehoods About Syria "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The deaths of Marie Colvin and Remi Olchik sparked many tributes and widespread publicity. Largely unknown in the West, hundreds of Syrian journalists have also died in the conflict. In a sense, they are all victims of the proxy war on Syria. In another sense, the equivalence is not fair. The war has been encouraged by some and imposed on others.

The post Marie Colvin, Homs And Media Falsehoods About Syria appeared first on OrientalReview.org.

14:35

What Will Take the Place of America? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

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The dog and pony show that is US leadership is an ongoing embarrassment for millions of American brought up to believe in excellence. Big talk, never-ending controversy, and mudslinging, and disastrous decisions on a daily basis have made a mockery of freedom and democracy. Trump-Russia, propaganda, and the rewriting history and truth are bigger threats than terrorism. Heres another brief look at the mayhem from Washington. Heres some food for those who think.

Investigative genius Gordon Duff wrote recently about the psychopathic killer, former Vice-President Dick Cheney in a piece about the indecency of Washington. Discussing a new film called V-I-C-E, which fries Cheney on the spit like a big fat hen, Duff encapsulates what mucky slime our nations capital is infested with the following passage:

Cheney may well have been or well may still be the most powerful leader in Americas history, a history that is rocked with failure upon failure, an end to American power, an end to American honor, such as it is or was, an America whose cohesion at home and reputation around the world may well be irreparable.

Duffs scathing commentary of Dick Cheney goes on, and on, clinically dissecting for us the notion that the Washington elites are anything but rogues. But Duff does not go far enough in my opinion. In my view, bums like Dick Cheney walking into the halls of power has less to do with their butt kissing, as Duff puts it, and a lot more to do with the real power brokers standing behind. Sure, the banker elites like their rear-ends being smacked by corruptible minions like Cheney, but their mission goes beyond such narcissism. Cheney, Trump, the Clintons, whoever you choose to name, theyre all in town for the same purpose, to perpetuate the game and to line the pockets of the western world elite. Sorry to harp on the same theme, but its the only theme. Returning to Duffs report, we find:

There is a process some call normalization, wherein the worst possible human beings, when placed in the public eye, bumbling fools, criminal sociopaths, simply wear out the publics ability to deal with disaster and insanity.

Lets be clear here, Washington is not about the tail wagging the dog, as is often surmis...

12:32

An income tax officer who always managed to get into trouble "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

By Neeraj Mahajansherlock-holmes

Rules are for fools Even today its not difficult to find people like Jagdish Chander Pandey who are not worldly wise and end up paying the price. Though he retired as Director General Investigations (Income Tax) almost all his life he was the proverbial Taxman in trouble. Contrary to popular perception of government officials misusing their powers for personal gains here is a bold and upright income tax officer who always managed to get into trouble for doing the right things and following the rules. His is a great story that elaborates how success and failure are two ends of a wide river. How you bridge the gap and go across is called success or failure.

I started with gold ended with silver he told the then Finance Minister V P Singh, who presented him with a silver plaque for meritorious service. (His reference was to the irony of a gold medal in Chemistry before joining service and silver plaque while in service) Even after receiving the meritorious service award, he wasnt exactly jumping with joy.

At 83, J C Pandey is a happy and contented man. All his three daughters are well settled. His eldest son-in-law retired as a Secretary to the Government of India. He obviously couldnt have asked for more. You can say he tasted the sweetness of success because he retired as Director General Investigations (Income Tax), enjoyed virtually unlimited powers as R. N. Kaos right-hand man in RAW and while on deputation to Defense Ministry handled the first five-year plan of the Ministry of Defense. But before you form an opinion, wait till you hear the whole story.

Success and failure are not permanent. The good times did not last very long. Hidden behind the facades of success are the years of grief and disappointment suffered throughout the service. His biggest drawback was that he was bold and dared to speak his mind. He also did not seek or grant favours and was not prepared to compromise on matters of principals.

There was not much scope for education in Nainital, so he moved to Lucknow where he secured 5th position in U.P. and enrolled for MSc at Allahabad University. He wanted to go for research in Chemistry but half-heartedly appeared for Civil Services. Look at destiny; though he missed one paper due to Typhoid, he was called for the interview. He was non-serious during the interview and had no intention of joining. It didnt make sense as he was receiving a scholarship of Rs 500 as a researcher whereas starting pay of an ICS officer was Rs 350. Still,...

12:25

Make No Mistake: ISIS Needs the US to Survive "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

This week's fatal attack was a calculated event designed to sow chaos amid American withdrawal. And the Blob is responding predictably.

11:55

Political Knives Dull Themselves on the Rock of Brexit Article 50 "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

According to the latest polls, Brits overwhelmingly want the original Brexit vote respected. Leave even has a 5-6 point lead over Remain.

11:25

Star Wars Revisited: One More Nightmare From Trump "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Trumps Pentagon is reviving ideas that were abandoned after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, including weapons that can shoot down missiles from space and high energy lasers that can destroy missiles shortly after they are launched, the so-called boost phase.

11:16

The peoples bureaucrat "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

vinty

By Neeraj Mahajan

In the prime of her life, Vineeta Rai was voted as one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in India.

I am in the twilight of my life I am active physically, mentally and I am not cynical, thats the shortest possible description of Vineeta Rai without any make-up or bureaucratic faade.

Daughter of a former ICS officer, she served a stint each in the Ministry of Urban Development, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and Ministry of Home Affairs before being appointed as Indiasfirst women Revenue Secretary in the Ministry of Finance. The importance of  this portfolio is that the revenue secretary, presents or tables the Union Budget in the Parliament.  Even while holding on to the revenue secretarys post, she continued to hold additional charge of banking and insurance secretaryanother first for a lady. She was a boss- that most men are scared off. Not because she made mince-meat out of them but because she was always a step ahead and difficult to please.

Overall, it was a life well lived and enjoyed to the fullest. There were ups and downs from Revenue, Finance & Insurance, Health and Home Ministry to Chandigarh, Delhi and Arunachal Pradeshher life always revolved around people. All jobs are people-oriented, tell me one job which is not people orientedeven when you make a law you have to look at people. Its all about people I cannot imagine any job which is not about people. At the district level, you look at things much more on a one to one basisThough obviously sitting in the Secretariat as the Revenue Secretary you cannot sit and interact with the taxpayers, but then you come to know what are the problems. And in a way you cant shut your eyes she explains.

Well in case you are wondering who Vineeta Rai is all about wait till you realize the terror she used to be as a bureaucrat? She wanted everything to be done in a proper manner and the files back on her table with the right notings as systems and procedures demand. This was another reason why she was nominated as one of the top 25 most powerful women in India.

She dislikes being called a lady. In fact she is hardly soft or mushy but rather tougher than most men. For this very reason, she was picked up as the first woman Revenue Secretary as well as Secretary Banking and Finance.

Life too gave her ample opportunities to serve the people. Her tenure...

11:00

Rep. Ro Khanna: U.S. Troops Are a Sitting Target in Syria; It"s Time to Bring Them Home "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

In Syria, a suicide bomber struck a restaurant in the northern city of Manbij on Jan.16, killing 19 people including four Americans.

10:55

"The Ultimate Showdown": Pompeo"s Cairo Speech Reflects the Gathering Schism at Home "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Most people in the Middle East were perplexed. Not surprisingly they have little experience of American evangelical Rapture politics.

06:57

Adamowiczs Assassination Is Being Exploited To Politically Polarize Poland "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Gdask mayor Pawe Adamowicz of the Civil Platform (or PO) opposition party died after being stabbed in the heart by a deranged assailant at a charity concert on Sunday, who deceived security in order to get onstage and then give a crazed rant after the attack attempting to justify his crime []

The post Adamowiczs Assassination Is Being Exploited To Politically Polarize Poland appeared first on OrientalReview.org.

05:18

America and Its Wall of Violence "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

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I intended to write in a light manner about President Trumps wall, the wall he wants to put across the length of the border with Mexico, on lands stolen when the United States invaded Mexico in 1846 and seized its vast territories, a wall supposedly intended to protect the United States from an imminent threat of invasion by the dispossessed. I was going to have some fun comparing it to other walls in history, not the fences being put up across Europe as people flee the imperial wars, climate change, drought, famine and poverty, but the great walls tourists still flock to see.

The Great Wall of China comes to mind, built to keep the Mongols, Turks and Uighurs out of China, or Hadrians Wall in Britain and that of Antoninus, built to protect the Roman province from blue painted Picts, or the walls built around Rome itself, around Constantinople, around medieval European towns, the palisades of the Iroquois in Canada.

But then I began to think of the Berlin Wall, built to protect socialist Germany from the fate that befell it when the wall came down, or the Israeli wall dominating the lands of Palestine and making the Palestinian prisoners in their own land. Naturally my thoughts went to John Lennons Walls and Bridges, walls dividing, bridges connecting, and to Pink Floyds famous metaphor for society, for the individual and social isolation that is one of the primary characteristics of capitalist society. So light became dark as I began to wonder.

The great walls of history were built to defend against military invasions, invasions of conquest or short term pillage. So long as they were maintained and manned they were more or less successful. The Berlin Wall was built to protect socialism in Germany. When socialism in Germany was betrayed, the capitalists tore it down, re-established wage slavery, claimed it freedom, and sold pieces of the wall for souvenirs. The Israeli wall has the opposite purpose. It wasnt built to protect anything. It was built to divide the Palestinian people from their own lands, to make them permanent prisoners of an occupying army. Its a prison wall, a ghetto wall. But what is Trumps wall for?

Mexico is not about to invade the United States. Mexico and the United States cooperate in border security. There is no military threat. Trump claims the threat is the mass movement of peoples from the south. But the movement of Mexicans into the...

00:39

Announcing the 2nd Annual REAL Fake News Awards! "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

So what was the biggest fake news stinker of 2018? Corbett Report members are invited to log in and leave your nominations for worst fake news story of last year in the comments section here.

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Sunday, 20 January

17:06

Activists pulled off bus for protesting racial profiling at Israeli hospital "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Security guards remove the activists for protesting a new policy that singles out Palestinians on a public bus line in southern Israel.

Arab and Jewish citizens protest racial profiling at the entrance to Barzilai Medical Center, January 20, 2019. (Courtesy of Standing Together)

Arab and Jewish citizens protest racial profiling at the entrance to Barzilai Medical Center, January 20, 2019. (Courtesy of Standing Together)

Security guards at an Israeli hospital detained 10 Arab and Jewish activists Sunday for an act of civil disobedience protesting a policy to single out, remove, and inspect Palestinians on a public bus line in southern Israel.

[tmwinpost]

The activists, from the grassroots protest movement Standing Together, were removed from the bus at the entrance to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, after refusing to show their identification cards and demanding to know why non-Arab passengers werent asked to show theirs.

For several months now, security guards at the hospital have been asking passengers deemed to appear Arab to show their IDs. If they are Palestinian, the guards make them step off the bus and are only allowed back on as it leaves the hospital premises, Local Call first reported last week. The hospital and bus company both confirmed that the...

15:34

The Tale of Count Soros and the Young Latvian State he Destroyed "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

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All across the globe alternative media sites would typically describe George Soros as the mastermind of a globalist movement, who would undermine any society it can profit from through subversion, manipulation and trickery.

As its been revealed by the Telegraph, George Soros, the billionaire known as the man who broke the Bank of England, is backing a campaign to overturn Brexit, while remaining one of the three senior figures linked to the Remain-supporting campaign group Best for Britain. Reportedly, he handed some 500 thousand dollars to this movement in a bid to lead a second referendum to keep Britain in the EU.

In turn, Donald Trump would describe this so-called philanthropist in his Twitter posts as a donor to anti-Trump protesters, while the presidents family and his closest advisers are said to go much further. To illustrate this claim its enough to mention that his son Donald Trump Jr. would re-tweet a claim by the comedian Roseanne Barr that George Soros is a Nazi.

Its been noted that on Fox News, in Republican fund-raising appeals and in research by conservative advocacy groups, the name of George Soros is invoked as an all-purpose symbol of liberalism run amok.

Its curious that Turkeys President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused George Soros of supporting anti-government protests in central Istanbul of 2013 and other countries around the world. The protests swelled from a demonstration to the biggest political challenge that then-Prime Minister Erdogan had faced against his rule.

Further still, the New York times would state that:

...

12:25

Pentagon Lies About Training Airmen From Country Accused of War Crimes for Combat Missions "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Newly released documents show that the U.S. has been secretly training airmen from the United Arab Emirates (UAE ), a major partner in the Saudi-led coalition that is waging war on the poorest nation in the Middle East.

11:37

What is NATOs New Mission in Iraq? "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The newly launched NATO Mission in Iraq has a clear geo-political underpinning to it which aims to disturb the delicate edifice of peace that Russia, Turkey and Iran have been building for last two years or so. Although the new mission has been announced at a time when the US president has already announced a potential withdrawal of US troops from Syria, the new mission rather explains the counter-narrative of no policy change that the various US officials have been building ever since Trumps announcement of troop withdrawal. The new NATO Mission in Iraq is thus a plan according to which the US is going to shift its base of regional geo-politics from Syria, where the Russians, Turks and Iranians have already established their own stronghold, to Iraq, a country that has still not recovered from the damages inflicted on it first by the US invasion and then by ISIS. Iraq, accordingly, is going to become the new theatre of regional geo-politics.

Its first glimpse came in December last year when NATO Mission in Iraq organized an introduction Event at the Iraqi Ministry of Defence, where, as the press release they issued showed, a new iteration of a long-standing relationship between NATO and Iraq, one that will bring together expertise and best practice in security/defence sector reform, institution building and training and education from the entire Alliance and its partners was put forward to various key leaders from across the Iraqi Security and Defence sector. They included the Iraqi Chief of Staff, General Othman Al-Ghanimi. Representatives from other various international entities and organizations such as the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, the European Union Advise Mission in Iraq, the United Nations Assistance Mission Iraq, and the Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq and Diplomatic Missions were also present.

Unsurprisingly, the new mission has been endorsed by the Iraqi military command, leading Trump to make a surprise visit to a US military base in Iraq, situated between the borders of Iraq and Syria, symbolising how the US was not just shifting its focus from Syria to Iraq, but also how the US would be dealing with Syriaand in Syrian with Russia, Turkey and Iraqfrom its military bases in Iraq.

Accordingly, it was quite unsurprising to see Donald Trump changing his mind about the region after his Christmas visit to Iraq. In his remarks to reporters after the visit, he even admitted that he felt better about the situation after talking to...

11:25

US Blunders Have Made Russia the Global Trade Pivot "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

As the US-led world crumbles, it looks like Russia is patiently biding its time to become the security guarantor and kingmaker of Asia-Europe trade. A possible state of affairs wrought more by American inanity rather than Russian ingenuity.

11:00

Jethro Tull Aqualung "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

I had feelings of guilt about the homeless, as well as fear and insecurity with people like that who seem a little scary - Ian Anderson.

10:50

Pompeo the Warmonger Supports Authoritarian Regimes "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

Pompeo wants democratic governance and human rights in Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua. Why not in Oman, Jordan and Kuwait?

09:11

Theophany Showing The World To Be The World "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

The Feast of Christs Baptism is called Theophany. It means the showing forth of God. It is so named because, in the event of Christs Baptism, we see Christ, the Son of God, hear the voice of the Father (Thou art my beloved Son), and see the Spirit in the form of a dove.

The post Theophany Showing The World To Be The World appeared first on OrientalReview.org.

08:23

US Withdrawal from NATO Would Benefit Americans Most of All "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

January 20, 2019 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Alleged discussions between US President Donald Trump and his aides about a US withdrawal from NATO have been making headlines recently.


The New York Times in an article titled, "Trump Discussed Pulling U.S. From NATO, Aides Say Amid New Concerns Over Russia," would claim:
There are few things that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia desires more than the weakening of NATO, the military alliance among the United States, Europe and Canada that has deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years. 

Last year, President Trump suggested a move tantamount to destroying NATO: the withdrawal of the United States.
And while the division or dissolving of NATO most certainly would benefit Russia - removing a malignant and aggressive rogue institution from its borders and the toxic atmosphere of perpetual confrontation it creates - it would also most certainly benefit each and every NATO member many times more.

Despite the many myths surrounding NATO's role in "protecting" its individual members, nothing has undermined the security of NATO member states more than NATO itself.

The Myth of NATO's Purpose 


A US withdrawal from an expensive, antiquated, and repeatedly abused military alliance allegedly created to keep in check a Soviet Union that no longer exists is one such universal notion. To polarize debate around the otherwise clear-cut benefits of reducing or dissolving America's role in NATO, "Trump's" alleged desire to withdraw from the alliance has been emphasized, and specifically within the context of "Trump" being an alleged agent of "Russian" influence.
...

06:59

US Inarticulate Policy Towards Syria "IndyWatch Feed Asia"

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Everything is in disarray in Donald Trumps White House. All of its residents are against him and his policies, and everyone is poised to attack their spiritual leader. As soon as Donald Trump says something or takes a political decision, his closest household members, the National Security Advisor, John Bolton, and the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, immediately respond with contradictory statements. And we will not even mention the reaction from his sworn enemies, the Democrats. This creates an impression that the White House has now transformed into some backwater theater, which has put on this schtick play for local residents. Please judge for yourself:

The moment the US President made a decision to withdraw American troops from Syria, almost all the liberals, conservatives, and even pacifists and feminists (particularly concerned with the Kurdish issue) immediately descended on their leader and started accusing him of betraying the nations interests while backing those of Russia, Iran and Turkey. The establishment was unable to contain its wrath, as Donald Trump had failed to coordinate his decision with a single US institution, which left the Department of State, the CIA and the Pentagon in the dark.

A letter from a group of Democrats and Republicans in response to Donald Trumps statement on Syria has caused quite a stir. Congressmen from both parties are convinced that the head of state rushed into making that decision. This document reads as follows We believe that such action at this time is a premature and costly mistake that not only threatens the safety and security of the United States, but also emboldens ISIS (a terrorist organization, banned in the Russian Federation), Bashar al Assad, Iran, and Russia. If you decide to follow through with your decision to pull our troops out of Syria, any remnants of ISIS in Syria will surely renew and embolden their efforts in the region.

The Secretary of Defense, James Mad Dog Mattis, immediately left his post barking loudly. In the end though, he admitted the White Helmets organization not only lied about the fact that Bashar al-Assads regime employed chemical weapons, but also stage managed demonstrations of such use. In an interview with Newsweek, he openly said that the United States did not have any incontrovertible proof that Bashar al-Assad had deployed chemical weapons against his own people. What is more, all the evidence collected, including reports from incidents in Ghouta (2013) and K...

04:51

Ukulele Chords: Up on the Hills of Saipan "IndyWatch Feed Asia"


One of the most popular songs to sing on Saipan is 'Up on the Hills of Saipan'. It's one of those songs that someone plays and everyone within earshot starts singing along. It would be like our island anthem if we didn't already have a commonwealth anthem.  (The song is actually a rip off of Johnny Sablan's "Agat Town.")

A while back I wanted to find the lyrics and the ukulele chords so that I could learn to play the song, but as hard as I looked I couldn't find them anywhere. Well, I did the hard work and got them for you and pasted them below. I think the chords are mostly right.

The way they sing the song on the islands is reaaally slooow, which kind of makes sense because it's a sad song about someone who left home and the girl that they love.  But I think you can pick up the tempo.
Up on the Hills of Saipan
Up on the [C] hill lies the village of the place that I love best
In my home on Saipan [G7]

[C]Where the roses bloom no more
By my [F] little ranchador
In my [C] home on the [G7] hills of Saipan [C}

When its [F] night in my dream
Take me [C] back to the sea
Back along the rocks on the [G7] hill

[C]Where the roses bloom no more
By my [F] little ranchador
In my [C] home on the [G7] hills of Saipan [C]

Ive got a [C] sweetheart waiting there with dark eyes and curly hair
Waiting for me back on the [G7] hills
[C] Ill be happy all my life if [F] she will be my wife
And Ill be [C] happy in my [G7] home in Saipan [C]

When its [F] night in my dream
Take me [C] back to the sea
Back along the rocks on the [G7] hill

[C]Where the roses bloom no more
By my [F] little ranchador
In my [C] home on the [G7] hills of Saipan [C]

Ive got a [C] sweetheart waiting there with dark eyes and curly hair
Waiting for me back on the [G7] hills
[C] Ill be happy all my life if [F] she will be my wife
And Ill be [C] happy in my [G7] home in Saipan [C]
....

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