Politics & the Nation
  • Abdul Kalam, our former President frisked at airport
    • In an outrageous incident, former President APJ Abdul Kalam, who is exempt from security checks, was frisked by the ground staff of American airliner Continental Airlines at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) when he was travelling to US. This led to an uproar in Parliament, forcing the government to order a probe and file an FIR against the airline.
    • Responding to demands for immediate action against the airline, civil aviation minister Praful Patel said a notice has been issued to the US based airline under Section 11A of the Aircraft Act for wilful violation of law.
    • Meanwhile, Continental Airlines appeared to care least saying that it was bound to follow the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) procedures. TSA requirements impose a final security check in the aerobridge just before boarding the aircraft. This procedure is reportedly followed by all carriers flying to the US.
    • This is not for the first time that an Indian VIP has been frisked at an airport. Last year, the then external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee was frisked at Moscow airport. In 2003, the then defence minister George Fernandes was also made to undergo security screening in the US.
    • Update: Newspaper web sites are presently reporting that Continental has apologized to the former President.
Mahatma Gandhi International Award conferred
  • The Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Peace and Reconciliation was awarded to Aung San Suu Kyi, the jailed Burmese leader at a function in Durban, South Africa. It was received by Burmese Prime Minister in exile Thien Win.
  • The award was bestowed by the South Africa-based Mahatma Gandhi Foundation in recognition of her strong commitment to non-violence, justice and peace.
Finance & Economy
  • Govt kicks off stake sale in two PSUs?
    • The steel ministry has reportedly initiated steps to sell small stakes in profit-making state-run firms Manganese Ore India (MOIL) and NMDC, which it estimates could fetch the government up to Rs 25,000 crore.
    • The proposal is to divest 10% in unlisted MOIL through an initial public offer, and to divest 8-20% stake in listed NMDC (formerly National Mineral Development Corporation). In 2006, the government had finalised a proposal to sell 15% equity in NMDC.
    • NMDC, which produces 30 million tonne iron ore a year, is the largest mining company in the country. It reported a net profit of Rs 4,350 crore on a turnover of Rs 7,500 crore in 2008-09. MOIL reported a net profit of over Rs 695 crore on a turnover of Rs 1,300 crore during the period.
  • The pros and cons of allowing FIIs to increase their participation in government securities
    • Read today's ET editorial on the subject here. Worth a read.
    • But we would like to take a different stand from the editorial. We welcome the government's move, albeit with a bit of circumspection. While the move by the government is welcome, it should do its best to keep a continuous tab on the holdings of the FIIs so that any adverse impact of their withdrawl is countered effectively and in time.
    • What cannot be ignored in the current scenario is the fact that for all we may know dollar may be losing its strength in times to come. That is when other currencies, including India's, will gain in strength vis a vis the dollar. So, to err on the seemingly prudent side at the current juncture, may not after all be so prudent. Unless we take some risks, we will stay where we are.
  • Boeing gets help from India to build better aircraft
    • Boeing’s has a Technology Centre at Bangalore, the third of its kind outside the US, that will function as a centralised R&D organisation for its major business units. It acts as a focal point for collaboration with Indian R&D organisations, including universities and private sector R&D providers.
    • Boeing has collaborations with several institutions for development of aerospace technology. It has a tie-up with Indian Institute of Science (IISc) for research in aerospace material, structures and manufacturing technologies.
    • Boeing is working on some key technologies in India for improving the aircraft’s efficiency and bringing down its operating costs. The technology, once fully developed, will help Boeing build a fuel-cell powered futuristic aircraft, which will be lighter and more fuel-efficient.
  • Hillary's reiteration on RET welcome
    • The US secretary of state Hillary Clinton has reiterated American resolve to implement the Indo-US nuclear deal in both letter and spirit, and not withhold transfer of attendant reprocessing and enrichment technology (RET). Her statement would summarily put to rest persistent speculation, of late, that the Obama administration is having second thoughts about RET transfer to India. At the G-8 summit in Italy there were reports of moves to tighten the nuclear non-proliferation regime, with media reports suggesting India would not after all be able to access RET from abroad. Such fears can now safely be put behind us.
  • Jail term for Fujimori
    • The former Peruvian President, Alberto Fujimori, was sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison for embezzlement on Monday after he admitted illegally paying his spy chief $15 million in government funds.
    • This is the third conviction he is receiving. He was sentenced in April to 25 years in prison for authorising military death squad activity during his 10-year rule. Previously, he was convicted of abuse of power and sentenced to six years for an illegal search.
    • Mr. Fujimori acknowledged making the payoff — avoiding a drawn-out trial that could damage his daughter’s candidacy for the 2011 presidential election. Keiko Fujimori has said she will pardon her father if she wins.
  • Taro Aso dissolves Parliament
    • Prime Minister Taro Aso dissolved the powerful lower house of Japan's Parliament on Tuesday and vowed his divided ruling party will make a new start in national elections next month.
    • Japan's fractious political scene is dominated by two parties -- the LDP (Liberal Democratic Party) and the Democratic Party of Japan.
Obituary: Gangubai Hangal
  • The doyenne of Hindustani classical music and one of the foremost exponents of the Kirana Gharana, Gangubai Hangal, died at a private hospital following cardiac arrest. She was 96.
  • A recipient of more than 50 awards, including the Padma Vibhushan, the Padma Bhushan and the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, four honorary doctoral degrees and 24 titles, Ms. Hangal had the rare honour of being felicitated by nine Prime Ministers and five Presidents.
  • Born in a family of boatmen, hers was an incredible saga of struggle to reach the pinnacle of a musical career, dotted with poignant incidents of battling financial woes, ridicule by casteist neighbours and a constant battle between staving off hunger and delivering sublime music.
Language lessons
  • gaol: Noun
    • A correctional institution used to detain persons who are in the lawful custody of the government (either accused persons awaiting trial or convicted persons serving a sentence)
    • Verb: Lock up or confine, in or as in a jail
  • doyenne: Noun
    • A woman who is the senior member of a group
  • doyen: Noun
    • A man who is the senior member of a group

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

Sitio Web de apoyo al movimiento político Fuerza 2011, creado para participar en las próximas elecciones presidenciales con el propósito de unificar a todos los fujimoristas y demostrar el gran respaldo del pueblo al ex presidente Alberto Fujimori.

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