Archive | February, 2012

India win with bonus point, keep final door open

Posted on 28 February 2012 by GGS News

GGS NEWS :-India face an uphill task to remain alive in the CB Series, as they need 321 runs to win in their 11th ODI match against Sri Lanka at Hobart.

India need to achieve the target in 40 overs as they need and earn a bonus point.

India’s decision to field first backfired as Sri Lankan openers Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardene provided their side a confident start, adding 49 runs for the first wicket.

It was Ravindra Jadeja who provided India the much-needed breakthrough when he had Jayawardene caught by Virender Sehwag for 22 off 33 balls.

After Jayawardene’s fall, Kumar Sangakkara teamed up with Dilshan as the two punished the Indian bowlers all over the park.

Sangakkara, who was struggling with poor form before this match, faced just 87 balls during his innings of 105 which included eight boundaries and two sixes.

Explosive batsman Dilshan looked in sublime touch slamming 11 boundaries and three sixes to remain unbeaten on 160 off 165 balls.

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Occupy London: police and bailiffs move in to evict St Paul’s protesters

Posted on 28 February 2012 by GGS News

London,(GGS NEWS) 28 Feb 2012 :- The camp, which was set up in the shadow of the Cathedral last October, was dismantled by officers and around 100 bailiffs after the eviction started shortly after midnight.
Occupy London was refused permission by the Court of Appeal last week to challenge orders evicting protesters from the site.
The group was told they had no arguable case by the appeal judges, led by Lord Neuberger, Master of the Rolls.
It follows a lengthy legal dispute between the City of London and the protesters.
Bailiffs dismantled wooden structures and loaded tents, placards and banners into rubbish lorries. There was also believed to be around a dozen arrests.A spokesman for City of London Police said: “At 12.10am bailiffs employed by City of London Corporation began enforcing a High Court order for the removal of tents and equipment outside St Paul’s Cathedral.
“Officers from City of London Police, supported by the Met Police, are present to ensure public safety and maintain order.”
The atmosphere at the site was said to be peaceful although some protesters created makeshift barriers out of wooden shelving units.
Occupy London said the eviction did not mark the end of the protest which began as a response to the financial industry and corporate greed.
Kai Wargalla, a spokesman for the Occupy movement, said: “It’s really sad what’s happening today but I think we can be proud of what we’ve achieved.
“Our community is being attacked here, but we’re going to reconvene and come back stronger. We’re going to think about our strategy and tactics and it’s going to be an interesting time.”
Ms Wargalla, 27, a student from Germany, had been camping outside the cathedral since the occupation began in October.
She said police gave campers five minutes’ warning to clear their belongings before today’s eviction.
“I had already taken my valuables to Finsbury Square, so I just left my tent with my blankets, sleeping bags and pillows in it. It was all thrown away by the police,” she said.
By 3.30am the remaining handful of protesters standing on the makeshift structure had been cleared from the top of it, allowing bailiffs to dismantle it completely.

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Costa cruise ship adrift off Seychelles

Posted on 28 February 2012 by GGS News

ROME,(GGS NEWS) 28 Feb 2012 :– An Italian cruise ship from the same fleet as the tragedy-struck Costa Concordia was adrift on Tuesday in pirate-infested seas off the Seychelles with no power and with more than 1,000 people on board.
A blaze in the engine room of the Costa Allegra saw the liner stranded in the dangerous and choppy Indian Ocean seas and it was forced to make a mayday call seeking assistance from nearby vessels.
Emergency crews onboard managed to put out the fire after a few hours and nobody was injured, but the passengers were all moved onto the stricken ship’s outer decks to ensure an easier evacuation if needed.
The Costa Allegra is from the same fleet as the much larger Costa Concordia, which crashed into an Italian island in January, in a tragedy that claimed 32 lives.
The first vessel to come to Allegra’s rescue, a French 90-metre (300-foot) fishing boat, reached the liner overnight and the two captains were in radio contact, cruise operator Costa Crociere said.
“At dawn, Costa will evaluate the assistance operations the ocean-going fishing ship can provide,” a company spokesman said.
A second large fishing trawler was due to arrive at the scene, with two tugs expected a few hours later Tuesday afternoon.
Company official Giorgio Moretti said one option was to evacuate passengers and crew from the Costa Allegra onto the vessels and take them to the Seychelles archipelago, while another was to tow the boat to the islands.
“The fire has damaged the ship’s electric grid,” Moretti told reporters.
He said the passengers and crew came from 25 countries and included 135 Italians, among them nine Marines to guard against pirate attacks, 127 French people, 97 Austrians, 90 Swiss, as well as nationals from Britain, Germany, Mauritius, Russia, Slovenia and Spain.
The crew had sounded a general emergency alarm “as a precaution”, the company said in a statement.
“According to standard procedures, Costa Allegra transmitted a distress signal and the relevant authorities were alerted, including the Maritime Rescue Control Centre in Rome, Italy,” the statement said.
The Italian coast guard said the first tug boat out of two dispatched from the Seychelles was only set to arrive at around 1500 GMT on Tuesday.
The coast guard also said it was in touch with authorities in the Seychelles and that the incident happened near Alphonse Island, some 200 nautical miles from the main islands of the Indian Ocean archipelago.
All 636 passengers and 413 crew members on the ship, which left Madagascar on Saturday on its way to the Seychelles, were “in good health and were informed promptly of the situation”, it said.
A government official told AFP: “An aircraft (from the Seychelles coast guard) is flying over the vessel. Two tug boats and several vessels have been sent for assistance. Several ships in the vicinity are also being sent.”
Italy’s coast guard said the plane had already made an initial reconnaissance over the area — where Somali pirates have attacked several vessels over the past few years — and found that the ship was stable.
“The ship is completely safe. Other vessels are also on their way. The captain is updating us regularly about the situation on board,” said Cosimo Nicastro, a spokesman for the Italian coast guard.
“The Costa Allegra’s engines are out but its communications are working,” the coast guard said, adding that wind speeds in the area were around 25 knots, which can make for choppy but not gale-force conditions at sea.
The ship was at the start of a cruise which would have also taken it to Oman, the Red Sea and the Egyptian Mediterranean port of Alexandria.
Officials said it was around 20 nautical miles from tiny Alphonse Island, part of an atoll that officially belongs to the Seychelles and is known for its white sandy beaches and dense forests, as well as tortoises and rare birds.
The 1.74-square-kilometre island has a population of just a couple of hundred people and a luxury hotel, the Alphonse Island Resort.
Costa Crociere said it had been informed of the fire at 10:39 am (0939 GMT) Monday in Italy.
“Fire security procedures on board were immediately activated and special fire crews intervened. The fire was extinguished and did not extend to any other part of the ship. There were no injured or victims,” it said.
Nine people are under investigation for the January disaster, including three Costa Crociere executives, the ship’s captain and five other crew members.

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Mamata to address workers’ rally, scripts plan to foil Left strike

Posted on 28 February 2012 by GGS News

GGS NEWS :-West Bengal’s Trinamul Congress (TMC) government, which came to power last May by posturing as a “pro-people” alternative to the utterly discredited Stalinist Left Front government, has openly displayed its class character by threatening draconian sanctions against any state worker who takes part in the national one-day general strike called for Tuesday, Feb. 28.
The one-day strike has been called by all eleven national trade union federations, including those affiliated with the ruling Congress Party, the opposition Hindu Supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and the Stalinist parties. It is meant to pressure India’s Congress Party-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to take action against soaring prices and contract labour, abandon its privatization drive, and improve the conditions of workers in the “informal” sector.
Led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the TMC government has mounted an offensive aimed at derailing the strike in the state. She has appealed to both organized and unorganized workers not to take part, while threatening state workers with draconian sanctions should they be absent from work on that day.
Banerjee has said that government workers who fail to report for work on the 28th may be deemed to have committed a “break in service”. This sanction is the equivalent to cancelling all of a worker’s accumulated pension benefits. Should it be imposed, workers who have not completed the mandatory 20 years’ service to receive full pension (one half of their final salary) by Feb. 27, would have to complete a further 20 years of service starting from Feb. 29 to receive full pension.
Banerjee has also instructed senior police officers to “prevent any breach of peace,” that is to use violence to break up pro-strike demonstrations.
Banerjee’s threat to cancel workers’ pension benefits should they join Tuesday’s protest strike comes only weeks after her government served notice that it is preparing to illegalize all job action and even protests by state employees and will legally bar them from belonging to political parties.
Banerjee’s TMC government has already effectively banned police unions, by transforming them into “police welfare boards.”
Banerjee’s ministers have publicly browbeat state employees, accusing them of lacking a proper work ethic and of having contributed, along with the working class as a whole, in promoting a culture of strikes and disruption that has brought disrepute to West Bengal in the eyes of private investors.
In a comment made to The Week, Labour Minister Purnendu Bose, a former trade union bureaucrat, thundered: “Bengal is being portrayed as a state without work ethics and with a bad administrative system. We have to change it at any cost. It takes months to move a file from one department to another. Many employees do not come to office by 10 A.M., but they use every opportunity to declare strikes against the government they serve.”
He went on to state that “even the Supreme Court has ruled from time to time that government employees should not cripple the state by agitating.” In 2003, the Supreme Court ruled workers have no constitutional right to strike and endorsed a vicious strikebreaking campaign that was being mounted by then AIADMK Tamil Nadu government. But governments have generally shied away from trying to enforce the Court’s claim that bandhs and protest strikes are illegal, out of fear that implementing such a repressive, antidemocratic measure would spark widespread unrest.
Banerjee, however, has threatened to do just that. Last August she went on a tirade against a “Bandh” (total shutdown) organized to demand a wage increases for the state’s poverty-stricken tea workers: “In the name of bandh, hooliganism is going on there. I will not allow this. I have taken a vow that while we ourselves will not indulge in bandhs and strikes, we will not allow others to do this. I will enact a law to enforce this.”
A virulent right-winger and political also-ran , Banerjee was able to resurrect her political career starting in 2007, because of the Left Front government’s ruthless pursuit of pro-investor policies and the support she received from a coterie of petty bourgeois forces. Various NGOs, the Stalinist Socialist Unity Center of India (SUCI) and the Maoists all embraced her as a progressive alternative to the Stalinists.
In a calculated display of political ruthlessness, late last year Banerjee orchestrated the murder of a top Maoist leader despite having used their political support, including a quasi-electoral endorsement during the assembly election, to posture as a friend of the poor. (See: “West Bengal government orchestrates murder of top Maoist leader”)
Mamata Banerjee has now cast aside any pretention of being an ally of indigent peasants and workers. Her reaction to the upcoming strike is nothing other than a naked display of her class fear and hostility.
In response the Stalinists pleaded with her to withdraw her threat, claiming that Tuesday’s strike is not directed against her government—no matter that Banerjee is clearly preparing an all-out assault on the working class and that her TMC is itself a leading partner in the United Progressive Alliance government.

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Dilshan, Sangakkara dominate India

Posted on 28 February 2012 by GGS News

GGS NEWS :- Over No. 50: 321-run target for India in 40 overs! A terrific 160 not out by Dilshan and an equally good 105 by Sangakkara helps Sri Lanka post a mammoth 320, the biggest in the series. The two seasoned campaigners put on 200-run stand for the second wicket.A Mathews c Ashwin b Khan 14 (10)
Over No. 46 Sanga departs! Too little, too late for India! The southpaw fell but did the job for his side. As expected, no celebrations by Praveen Kumar after cleaning up Sangakkara. Meanwhile, Thisara Perera also gets run out against the run of play. Will India chase down 300 runs in 40 overs? Phew! Too much to think!
K Sangakkara b Kumar 105 (87)
T Perera run out 3 (3)
Over No. 43: Dilshan and Sangakkara bring up their hundreds! The two experienced batsmen once again did it for Sri Lanka. While Dilshan takes 132 balls to get to his eleventh century, Sangakkara brings up his 13th ton in just 84 balls. It was Dilshan’s first ton in Australia, while Sanga has hit one more before this one.
Over No. 40 Sri Lanka turning up the heat! After scoring 41 runs in the batting powerplay, Sri Lanka are looking good to score 300, with Dilshan and Sangakkara both approaching their centuries. The two seasoned campaigner also bring up the 150-run stand in just 156 balls. Sri Lanka 210/1.
Over No. 36 Sri Lanka have put their foot down in the batting powerplay, which has been taken between over no. 33 to 37. Dilshan is closing on to another landmark, his century, while Sangakkara is scoring almost run-a-ball. Sri Lanka 179/1.
Over No. 32: Now Sanga scores fifty! It’s his first half-century of the series and he brings it up in just 55 balls. Sehwag though bowling according to the nature of the pitch, which is slow, he is going for plenty of runs. The duo of Dilshan and Sangakkara also brings up the 100-run partnership in 119 balls. Sri Lanka 150/1.
Over No. 28: It seems like Sri Lanka have a target in mind. A score close to 280 is not out of reach, especially if they have wickets in hand at the end. And irrespective of the target they put, India will have to chase it down in 40 overs. Sri Lanka 124/1.
Over No. 24: Fifty for Dilshan! The right-hander scores his 27th ODI half-century and second for this series. But he would have hardly taken 68 deliveries to bring up the landmark in the past. But the approach is really working for the Lankans. Sri Lanka 107/1.
Over No. 20: Sri Lanka kept in check! India have given away 22 runs in the bowling powerplay, but only one wicket is down for Sri Lanka.
Over No. 16: Dilshan is going steady! It’s not the sort of Dilshan we see in every match. He has played a very subdued innings so far, which is very much unlike him. But the approach is definitely helping his team’s cause. A lesson to learn for Sehwag here! Sri Lanka 66/1.
Over No. 13: Jayawardene departs! MS Dhoni’s double bowling change works immediately. While Umesh Yadav troubles the batsmen with his pace, Ravindra Jadeja gets the wicket of the Sri Lankan skipper, who makes 22. Sri Lanka 50/1.
M Jayawardene c Sehwag b Jadeja 22 (33)
Over No. 11: It’s the sort of start Sri Lanka were looking for, not losing a wicket in the first 10 overs and scoring at four runs per over. Sri Lanka 48/0.
Over No. 9 Still no wicket! Though India haven’t picked up a wicket yet, they are maintaining pressure on the Sri Lankan openers, who are doing their job of not losing early wickets perfectly. Sri Lanka 36/0.
Over No. 6: After negotiating the early swing by the Indian bowlers, Jayawardene takes an attacking approach, coming down the track and hitting a four and a six off Zaheer. Sri Lanka 24/0.
Over No. 3 Watchful start by Sri Lanka! The Sri Lankan openers are taking time to get their eye in. Sri Lanka 9/0.
Over No. 1: Good start by Zaheer! The comeback seam bowler is right on the money from the beginning, trying to swing the ball in to the two Sri Lankan openers – Jayawardene and Dilshan. Sri Lanka 4/0.
8:25 a.m. Toss and Team News: MS Dhoni won the toss and decided to bowl first in a crucial game against Sri Lanka on Tuesday.
Irfan Pathan has been ruled out after an injury in the last game and his place is taken by Zaheer Khan. Rest of the team is kept same! That means, there is no place for Manoj Tiwary, Rahul Sharma.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, are keeping the same side which has done so well for them lately.
Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene(c), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara(wk), Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Thissara Perera, Farveez Maharoof, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Rangana Herath
India: Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni(wk/c), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Praveen Kumar, Zaheer Khan, Umesh Yadav
8:10 a.m. Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the the tri-series match between India and Sri Lanka from the Bellerive Oval in Hobart on Tuesday.
Indian team has already been pushed against the wall and it has a real task in their hands today. They not only have to register a win but also have to do it with a bonus point. Things don’t stop just here. In order to progress to the best of three finals, they will also want Australia beat Sri Lanka in the last round robin match.
But will that be easy? No prizes for guessing! Whosoever has been following India’s tour Down Under so far knows the fact that how tough it has been for them, who got pummeled 4-0 in the Test series.
It well could be the last match of India’s tour, so there is a good chance that the untested players like Manoj Tiwary and Rahul Sharma may get a go in place of out-of-form players like Virender Sehwag, Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja.

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German national held, deported for aiding anti-nuke protests

Posted on 28 February 2012 by GGS News

GGS NEWS :- Just days after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh criticised United States based NGOs for allegedly funding protests against the Koodankulam nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu, the state government has deported a German national on charge of being a part of the conspiracy.

The police had arrested the German national, Sonnteg Reiner Hermann, on Monday. He allegedly had close links to S.P. Udayakumar, who has been spearheading the agitation against the upcoming nuclear power plant.

The police claimed they collected Hermann’s mobile phone call details and found that he was in touch with Lalmohan, a close aide of Udayakumar.

The Centre has already cancelled licenses of three NGOs in the state for violating the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).

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Govt makes a U-turn on docs’ foreign trips

Posted on 28 February 2012 by GGS News

New Delhi,(GGS NEWS) 28 Feb 2012 :- The government on Tuesday tried to do a U-turn in the Supreme Court on the issue of gay sex, saying there is no error in decriminalising gay sex. The government through the Health Ministry has told the court that it supports gay sex as interpreted by the Delhi High Court. The apex court pulled up the government for trying to change its stand. “Don’t make a mockery of the system and don’t waste court’s time,” the SC said.
The case was adjourned last week because of a goof-up by Additional Solicitor General PP Malhotra. He had read out the government’s earlier stand on the matter. The Home Ministry had quickly distanced itself from his statement, clarifying that it hadn’t said that gay sex was immoral.
The goof-up by the government over hearing on decriminalisation of homosexuality last week has drawn sharp criticism from the Supreme Court. The Home Ministry first told the Supreme Court it opposes the decriminalisation of gay sex in the country by terming it as “highly immoral” and later took a different stand.
The government sources said that the Additional Solicitor General read out an earlier stand by the government instead of the latest in the apex court. The Home Ministry later clarified that it had not taken any position on homosexuality.
Appearing for the Home Ministry, Malhotra argued that gay sex is against social order and the Indian society cannot imitate the practices prevailing in foreign countries.
The Home Ministry quickly distanced itself from the ASG’s argument and came out with a statement even as the court proceedings were underway, saying it has not taken any stand on the Delhi High Court order decriminalising homosexuality

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Labour strike to cripple key sectors of Indian economy

Posted on 28 February 2012 by GGS News

New Delhi,(GGS NEWS) 28 Feb 2012 :-  In what was expected to affect key sectors like banking, insurance, telecom, transport, mining, postal and manufacturing, crores of trade union members went on a nationwide strike on Tuesday.

The strike, the largest in India since independence according to the unions, is demanding an end to contract labour, amendment to Minimum Wages Act, an increase in gratuity payout and compulsory registration of trade unions within 45 days. In all, 11 trade unions, with around eight lakh public sector employees, barring the railways, are to participate in the strike which has been supported by the trade union wings of all major parties.

Their demands also include universal social security net for all unorganised sector workers through creation of a national social security fund, enforcement of basic labour laws and stringent punitive action against violation of labour laws.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had appealed to the entire major trade unions and 5,000 unaffiliated unions to call off the strike.

Labour Minister Mallikarjun Kharge also said government was ready to discuss any kind of labour-related issues.

But the unions rejected the appeal. Major sectors like banking, transport, postal and port operations are likely to take a massive hit due to the strike. Key industries such as steel and power may see a low turnout at factories. Urban transport has been hit as well with auto unions joining the strike. In Delhi, even as state-run buses continue to ply, a protest is expected at the Delhi Transport Cooperation office.

The Delhi government meanwhile invoked ESMA on Monday evening to ensure essential supplies like power is not affected.

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U.P. elections: 10% turnout in first two hours

Posted on 28 February 2012 by GGS News

LUCKNOW,(GGS NEWS) 28 Feb 2012 :-  The sixth and penultimate phase of the Uttar Pradesh elections got off to a brisk start Tuesday with an impressive 9.7 percent voter turnout in the first two hours of polling across 68 assembly constituencies in the western part of the state.

Polling for the elections, which sees Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Ajit Singh’s son Jayant Chaudhury among more than 1,000 candidates testing their luck, opened at 7 a.m.

“While the overall turnout was estimated at 9.7 percent at 9 a.m. this morning, the highest polling was reported from Hathras where a record 20 percent was witnessed during the first two hours of the poll,” Uttar Pradesh chief electoral officer Umesh Sinha told IANS here.

“Even in other places like Baghpat and Muzaffarnagar, the turnout stood at about 15 percent while Agra recorded nine percent,” he said.

About 2.11 crore voters are expected to cast their vote at 21,317 polling stations spread across the districts of Saharanpur, Prabudh Nagar, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Baghpat, Ghaziabad, Gautam Budh Nagar, Panchseel Nagar, Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Mahamaya Nagar, Mathura and Agra.

Though the belt is notorious for its feudal traditions, this phase has 9,391,585 women listed as voters, the highest, besides 712 eunuchs.

The impact of the Congress-RLD combine on the Jat and the Muslim voters, who dominate large parts of the 13 districts, will be tested. While the Samajwadi Party (SP) is also vying desperately for the Muslim vote, the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is trying hard to retain its chunk of 35 seats won in 2007.

Four of the 13 districts witnessing the poll have a substantial Muslim population ranging between 25-39 percent, while the remaining nine districts have 18-22 percent Muslims.

Counting of votes for this high stakes battle will done March 6.

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Tennis: Refreshed Djokovic makes winning return to action

Posted on 28 February 2012 by GGS News

GGS NEWS :-Roger Federer says he hasn’t added to his record 16 Grand Slam titles since winning the 2010 Australian Open because he hasn’t had “confidence on my side.”

Now ranked third, Federer said Sunday in Dubai that he has had some tough losses over the past couple of years” that have denied him more major titles.

He says that is due to “a bit of confidence not on my side and on my opponent’s side” rather than his form being in decline.

Federer didn’t nominate any specific matches.

The Swiss star is in the United Arab Emirates along with No. 1 Novak Djokovic and fourth-ranked Andy Murray to play in the Dubai Championships, which starts Monday.

Having broken Pete Sampras’ mark of 14 Grand Slam singles titles, Federer missed out on breaking the American’s 286-week reign at No. 1 by a single week. Now ranked third, the Swiss star has no realistic chance of the record with Djokovic so dominant.

“It would be great having that record but my life is very much OK without it, too,” Federer said. “Pete is a good friend and was an amazing champion for our game. I don’t need to break every record he has. I came so close and I could have chased it if I had wanted to. I didn’t choose to.”

Federer was impressive in his last tournament, defeating 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro 6-1, 6-4 to win the Rotterdam Open.

Federer still believes he can return to No. 1, however, noting that he has won three titles in the past four months.

“I feel if I play really well until the U.S. Open, thenobviously there is a shot. But then again there is a shot for about 10 players,” Federer said. “I am aware I’m not the only one. But I feel like I’m on a good run right now. I’ve won a lot of tournaments in a short time, which gives me a lot of confidence.”

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