Archive | July, 2012

What is Obama’s religion? Most Americans clueless

Posted on 28 July 2012 by GGS News

Washington, (GGS NEWS)  :-: More than half of Americans are unaware about President Barack Obama’s religion, according to a poll.
A survey by the Pew Research Center found that only 49 percent of those polled knew Obama is Christian, while 17 percent thought he is Muslim and 31 percent said they don’t know.
According to the New York Daily News, the percentage of voters who knew Obama is Christian has declined since October 2008, when 55 percent correctly identified him as Christian, however, it was seen to be higher than in August 2010, when just 38 percent knew his faith.
The survey showed that about 45 percent of voters said they are comfortable with Obama’s religion, while 19 percent are uncomfortable, and of those who thought he was Muslim, only about a quarter were comfortable with that faith.The poll results also found that 60 percent of voters were aware that GOP candidate Mitt Romney is Mormon and it wasn’t an issue for about 80 percent of them.
The research showed that white evangelical Protestants, black Protestants, atheists and agnostics were most likely to say they are uncomfortable with Romney’s religion.
The poll was conducted June 28 to July 9, 2012, among 2,973 adults, including 2,373 registered voters.

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US police foil new ‘Joker’ attack

Posted on 28 July 2012 by GGS News

GGS NEWS : Police in the U.S. state of Marylands have stopped a copycat gunman one week after the violent cinema shooting in Colarado.

It is believed the man, identified as Neil Prescott, made threatening phone calls to his boss on Monday, describing himself as a ‘joker.’

‘He made significant threats to coming back and harming people at the business. In fact he said, ‘I’m a joker and I’m going to load my guns and blow everyone up,’ Prince George’s County Police Chief, Mark Magaw told Reuters News Service.

‘That initiated a 36-hour investigation that culminated this morning.’

The news has come a week after the deadly shooting in Aurora, Colorado in which a gunman opened fire at a midnight screening of the latest ‘Batman’ film, killing 12 people and wounding 58 others.

‘In light of what happened a week ago in Aurora, Colorado, it’s important to know and for the community to know, that we take all threats seriously. And if you’re going to make a threat, we will take action,’ Magaw said.

Prescott was taken into custody on Friday morning after a pre-dawn raid of his apartment discovered a large cache of firearms.

Police found approximately 25 firearms including semi-automatic rifles and pistols as well as several thousand rounds of ammunition.

Prescott has not been formally arrested but he was taken into custody on the grounds of an emergency medical petition and it is expected he will undergo a court-ordered mental evaluation.

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Britain stages a spectacular welcome for the world

Britain stages a spectacular welcome for the world

Posted on 28 July 2012 by GGS News

LONDON :- Britain greeted the world on Friday with an extravagant celebration that included Bond, the Bard and a Beatle — and a formal welcome from no less a figure than its jubilee queen.

 

Look who paid a visit, it is MR.BEAN

 

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Massacre in Aleppo feared; ‘Assad fall imminent’

Posted on 28 July 2012 by GGS News

Singapore,(GGS NEWS) :   Brent crude held steady above $105 on Thursday, near a seven-week high on geopolitical fears, while comments by the U.S. Fed about the world’s biggest economy avoiding a double-dip recession renewed hopes of a recovery in oil demand growth.

Fed chief Ben Bernanke’s comments helped improve sentiment across financial markets on hopes the global economy might not deteriorate further. But oil supply fears were stoked by a deadly bombing in Syria and an attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria that plunged the Middle East deeper into crisis.Brent crude gained for a seventh straight day, rising to $105.83, its highest since May 30. By 0309 GMT, it was up 65 cents at $105.81 a barrel. U.S. oil gained 40 cents to $90.27 and also touched a seven-week high.

“WTI rising above $90 implies that overall sentiment is turning positive,” said Tetsu Emori, a Tokyo-based commodities fund manager at Astmax Investments. “They touched their lows in June and are turning around. Tension between Iran and the West are also substantial factors.”

Brent has gained 20 percent from the lows touched in June. The contract had slumped since the year’s high of more than $128 in March on worries that demand growth would slow further as a debt crisis in Europe threatened to engulf the United States and emerging economies.

Sentiment has improved this month on investor optimism the worst may be over for the global economy.

Brent will gain further to $107.78 per barrel as it has broken above a resistance at $103.22, while U.S. oil will rise to $90.88 per barrel as it has also broken past a resistance, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Six people were killed in a bomb attack on a bus carrying Israeli tourists at a Bulgarian airport on Wednesday and Israel accused Tehran of carrying out the attack, promising a strong response to “Iranian terror.”

Oil also drew support on fears the 16-month revolt against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would worsen after a bomber killed and wounded his security chiefs and rebels closed in on the centre of Damascus.

CAPPING GAINS

Yet gains in oil were capped by data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday showing crude stocks in the United States fell less than expected last week as crude imports rose and refineries scaled back processing rates.

Domestic stocks of crude, excluding oil held in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, fell 809,000 barrels to 377.39 million barrels, the EIA reported, compared with an analysts poll that forecast a drop of 1.2 million. Gasoline inventories fell 1.82 million barrels, bucking analyst expectations for a 1.2-million-barrel increase.

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Govt positive towards issues facing military veterans: Army Chief

Posted on 28 July 2012 by GGS News

GGS NEWS :-Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh on Friday said the government was very positive towards improving the life of military veterans and a committee under the Cabinet Secretary is looking into all of their issues.

Addressing a gathering of ex-servicemen during the General Council Meeting of Indian Ex-Services League (IESL), Gen Singh said he was in the process of revitalising the mechanism to address the grievances of veterans. He said the veterans were the foundation of the armed forces and the nation cannot let the foundation be weak.

He told the IESL members that although 2012 has been declared ‘The Year of Veterans’, the attempt should not be restricted to this year alone but should be an ongoing process.

Aiming to find out an early solution to issues faced by them, the three service chiefs have already put across their points to the Cabinet Secretary and are going to have another interaction soon, officials said.

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Zardari formally invites Manmohan Singh to visit Pakistan

Posted on 28 July 2012 by GGS News

ISLAMABAD,(GGS NEWS) :  — President Asif Ali Zardari Friday formally invited the Indian prime minister to visit Pakistan, an official said, the latest sign that tensions are easing between the two countries.
“I can confirm that President Asif Ali Zardari has sent a letter to the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and invited him to visit Pakistan,” Zardari’s spokesman, Farhatullah Babar, told AFP.
“The letter has been sent through the High Commission (of Pakistan in India) and the president also invited PM Manmohan Singh to visit his ancestral hometown in Pakistan.”
It was not immediately clear when the visit would take place, but the Press Trust of India news agency suggested that it could be November.
The invitation is the latest bid by the neighbours to normalise relations.
The nuclear-armed rivals have fought three wars since independence in 1947, but in 2010 resumed a fragile and slow-moving peace process suspended by the 2008 Mumbai attacks blamed on Pakistani gunmen.
Earlier this month, Indian cricket chiefs invited Pakistan for a series in December-January — the rivals’ first in five years.
Cricket ties were also severed after the Mumbai attacks, which killed 166 people in India’s financial capital.

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FACT CHECK: Treaty unlikely to curb US gun rights

Posted on 28 July 2012 by GGS News

WASHINGTON (GGS NEWS) — Negotiators at the United Nations are working to put final touches on a treaty cracking down on the global, $60 billion business of illicit trading in small arms, a move aimed at curbing violence in some of the most troubled corners of the world. In the United States, gun activists denounce it as an end run around their constitutional right to bear arms.

“Without apology, the NRA wants no part of any treaty that infringes on the precious right of lawful Americans to keep and bear arms,” National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre told the U.N. this month. “Any treaty that includes civilian firearms ownership in its scope will be met with the NRA’s greatest force of opposition.”

And treaty opponent John Bolton, who was President George W. Bush’s ambassador to the U.N., wrote that gun-control advocates “hope to use restrictions on international gun sales to control gun sales at home.”

But what both ignore is a well-enshrined legal principle that says no treaty can override the Constitution or U.S. laws.

In fact, a first draft of the treaty circulated in New York this week has been criticized by arms-control activists for containing too many loopholes. For instance, it doesn’t include a proposed ban on ammunition trade. Gun activists are standing firm in near-blanket opposition to such a ban, as last Friday’s deadly Aurora, Colo., theater shooting rampage heightens interest in the deliberations and raises the stakes.

While the treaty controversy is simmering in Congress and on the Internet, it hasn’t yet become a burning issue in the presidential race.

President Barack Obama supports the treaty effort but hasn’t talked about it on the campaign trail. Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney hasn’t specifically addressed the treaty but broadly opposes what he sees as overreach by the U.N. on many fronts.

“I’m willing to talk there. I’m not willing to give the United Nations sovereignty in any way or form” over U.S. citizens or law, Romney said at a July 18 town hall in Bowling Green, Ohio.

Romney and Obama did spar long-distance over the narrower issue of U.S. gun control laws this week, with Obama suggesting stiffer regulations in a speech Wednesday night to the National Urban League and Romney arguing in an NBC interview from London, where he is traveling, that America does not need new gun laws.

The Constitution’s Second Amendment offers broad protection for weapons ownership by civilians. As recently as 2008, the Supreme Court affirmed this when it struck down a ban on handguns in the District of Columbia, ruling that individuals have a constitutional right to keep guns for self-defense and other purposes. Period.

The court also has ruled separately that treaty obligations may not infringe on individual constitutional protections and rights within U.S. borders. This goes back at least to a 1920 ruling that a migratory bird treaty with Canada, which prohibited the hunting or capturing of certain birds, was an unconstitutional interference with states’ rights under the 10th Amendment.

Treaties are government-to-government agreements and do not subject citizens of one nation to laws of another or to those of an outside body.

Also, the U.N. resolution that authorized drafting of the small arms treaty recognizes the clear-cut right of nations “to regulate internal transfers of arms” and says nothing in the treaty that emerges will affect “constitutional protections on private ownership” of firearms.

Beyond that, there are many court rulings spelling out the limits of treaties. And if an act of Congress is inconsistent with a treaty obligation, the law passed by Congress prevails. Legal scholars say this has been well-established, including a long history of cases involving Indian treaties. Various international treaties with Indian tribes were abrogated by Congress — and courts ruled in favor of Congress, much to the displeasure of the tribes.

A proposed treaty to regulate exports and imports of small weapons has been on the U.N. agenda since 2006, and Bush ordered a U.S. veto of that move.

Obama got the process rolling again in 2010. So far, 152 nations have participated in the drafting and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has pledged to push for Senate ratification once there is a final document.

But it may be an empty gesture.

Treaties must be ratified by two-thirds of the 100-member Senate, or 67 votes. And with pressure mounting from the gun lobby, led by the politically powerful NRA, a bipartisan letter opposing such a treaty already gained the signatures of well over 50 senators.

Even so, mushrooming fears have spread on the Internet and on social networks lately, with some pro-gun activists even suggesting the Obama administration was capitalizing on the Colorado killings to advance its case for gun control and others portraying it as a darker plot by the U.N. to expand its reach.

The controversy feeds into suggestions by many conservatives that Obama ultimately hopes to ban possession of firearms, even though he has stood up for protecting Second Amendment rights.

Some gun-rights advocates acknowledge that a treaty by itself wouldn’t likely undercut these Second Amendment guarantees.

“But there are all kinds of ways that international law insinuates itself into U.S. law even when there’s not a formal ratification,” said David Kopel, research director for the conservative Independence Institute, based in Golden, Colo.

For instance, he suggests a treaty could affect the shipment of certain gun parts to U.S. manufacturers, even if the United States does not sign the treaty.

But Gabor Rona, international legal director of Human Rights First, said, “The circle created by the treaty and the circle created by the Second Amendment simply don’t intersect at all.”

“There is no doubt that the Constitution is superior to any international treaties,” said Rona, who also teaches international law at Columbia University.

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Government trying to break Team Anna, says Hazare

Posted on 28 July 2012 by GGS News

New Delhi,(GGS NEWS) :- Activist Anna Hazare on Friday again accused the government of trying to break the unity of Team Anna by holding secret talks with him. Talking to reporters here, Anna Hazare said: “V Narayanasamy wrote a letter to me and gave it to my team so that they feel Anna is talking with government. They are trying to break our team.”
“It was their conspiracy to stop me from attending this agitation,” he said.
Narayanasamy, who is Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, however, hit back saying he wrote only in response to Anna Hazare’s letter.Narayanasamy on Friday termed the indefinite fast by Team Anna at Jantar Mantar here as an attempt to “fool the people”.
He said their intentions have been exposed after they “announced launching a political party”.
“It is good they told very openly today (Friday) that they are forming a political party. Their intentions are exposed,” Narayanasamy said.
“We brought the Lokpal bill according to our commitment, it is now with the standing committee (of Parliament). We have taken lot of steps. In spite of that, they are agitating because they have an agenda,” he said.
“The people who are sitting at hunger strike, they go and take rest in Maharashtra Sadan. They are fooling the people of this country,” the minister added.
Narayanasamy’s comments came after Anna Hazare, in an interview to a news channel Friday, said: “If people say that Anna should enter politics, then I could think about it.”
He, however, added a quick disclaimer: “I will not go into politics but I will give a political alternative to the people. I will not fight in elections. But if anyone fighting against corruption launches a political party, I will support it. I think the people are ready for an honest candidate.”
Friday is the third day of Team Anna’s indefinite fast at Jantar Mantar. Team members Arvind Kejriwal, Gopal Rai and Manish Sisodia are sitting on an indefinite fast against corruption and in support of a stringent Jan Lokpal bill.
Anna Hazare is likely to join the fast Sunday after his four-day ultimatum to the government ends.

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Ansar Burney dismisses brother Sarim from NGO

Posted on 28 July 2012 by GGS News

Islamabad, (GGS NEWS) : -Leading Pakistani rights activist Ansar Burney today said he has dismissed his brother from his NGO for participating in a live TV show that featured a Hindu boy converting to Islam. “This conversion was a drama created by (TV show host) Maya Khan and my brother Sarim Burney. I have dismissed my brother from the Ansar Burney Trust,” Burney told PTI on phone from London. Burney said he was trying to ascertain if the Hindu boy, identified only as Sunil, was forced to convert on the live TV show aired on Tuesday on the ARY Digital channel. “I have been told that the boy was offered inducements, and that he was very keen on appearing on TV though he might not have known what was going on,” he said. The rights activist said Sunil had worked for his organisation for several years. Sarim Burney had featured prominently in the show on ARY Digital. He was seen sitting next to Sunil while a cleric converted the Hindu boy to Islam. Burney further said he is looking into some “corruption charges” that had been levelled against his brother Sarim. The conversion of Sunil on the TV show, specially produced to mark the Islamic holy month of Ramzan, triggered concerns among minority communities. The host of the show, Maya Khan, was sacked by Samaa TV channel earlier this year after she earned the ire of people across Pakistan by accosting couples dating in a park in Karachi. Burney said if Sunil had chosen to convert to Islam of his own free will, it should have been kept a private matter. “The boy could have converted in front of a few witnesses. There was no need to televise the whole thing,” he said

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14 MS students arrested for vandalism released on bail

Posted on 28 July 2012 by GGS News

Vadodara,(GGS NEWS) : Fourteen students including five girls arrested in connection with vandalism in the office of chief warden of the Maharaja Sayajirao(MS) University on Thursday, were released on bail today. The university authorities had lodged complaints against the students after they stormed into the chief warden’s office to protest against teasing of a girl in the girls’ hostel and allegedly vandalised the office. The authorities had suspended some of the students in the wake of their involvement in the violence. Meanwhile, a call for the university bandh given today by the ABVP and NSUI, the students’ wing of BJP and the Congress, demanding revocation of suspension of the students received good response with hardly any lectures taking place and students not attending classes. Both NSUI and ABVP have threatened to intensify the agitation if the suspension of the students is not revoked.

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