Archive | June, 2014

Israel bombs Gaza after rocket attacks, Hamas gunman killed

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Israel bombs Gaza after rocket attacks, Hamas gunman killed

Posted on 30 June 2014 by GGS News

Gaza, 30 JUNE : (Reuters) – Israeli forces attacked militant targets in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, killing a Hamas gunman and wounding two others after a spate of rocket launches from the Palestinian territory, officials on both sides said.

The Hamas casualties were caused by a strike that the Israeli military said targeted a group of Palestinians spotted about to fire a rocket across the border.

Palestinian medics said two other people were wounded in air strikes on at least six other Gaza targets.

The Israeli military said two rockets fired from Gaza earlier on Sunday were shot down by its Iron Dome missile interceptor defense system.

On Saturday rockets set a factory on fire in the southern Israeli town of Sderot, wounding three people, officials said.

“Over the weekend, the Israel Defense Forces attacked multiple targets in response to firing at Israel from the Gaza Strip,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in public remarks to his cabinet on Sunday. “We are ready to expand this operation, if necessary.”

Palestinian officials said targets hit in the Israeli air strikes belonged to Hamas’s armed wing – the Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades – Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees.

Hamas, an Islamist movement that seized the Gaza Strip from forces loyal to Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2007, signed a reconciliation deal with him in April under which a unity government was formed on June 2.

Since the beginning of June, militants in the Gaza Strip have fired at least 62 rockets at Israel in attacks that have caused few injuries, the Israeli military said.

In Gaza, Israeli air strikes have totaled more than 80 this month and killed three militants and wounded more than a dozen other people, Palestinian officials said.

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Nigerian Islamists attack villages, churches near Chibok, dozens killed

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Nigerian Islamists attack villages, churches near Chibok, dozens killed

Posted on 30 June 2014 by GGS News

Nigeria, 30JUNE :  (Reuters) – Suspected Islamist militants killed dozens of people on Sunday in an attack on three Nigerian villages, including one targeting worshippers at a church, a few kilometres (three miles) from Chibok, the scene of an abduction of more than 200 school girls.

Violence in Nigeria’s northeast has been relentless in the past year and has gained in intensity since April, when more than 200 schoolgirls were snatched by Boko Haram rebels from Chibok. Efforts to free them, which have attracted Western support, have so far not succeeded.

In a separate assault on Friday evening insurgents killed seven soldiers in the village of Goniri, in Yobe state, a security source and witnesses said.

The attackers on Sunday made simultaneous strikes on three villages in the Chibok community, in Borno state.

Boko Haram, which is fighting for an Islamic state in largely Muslim northern Nigeria, has killed thousands since launching an uprising on 2009, and many hundreds in the past three months. It is by far the biggest security threat to Africa’s largest economy and top oil producer, and has overshadowed government efforts to project an image of Nigeria to foreign investors as a prospective economic giant.

Samuel Chibok, a survivor of the attack on Kautikiri village, about five km from where the girls were snatched, said that around 20 men in a Toyota pick-up truck and motorcycles rolled into town. They sprayed it with bullets, focusing much of their fire power on panicked worshippers in a local church. “Initially I thought they were military but when I came out, they were firing at people. I saw people fleeing and they burned our houses,” he said, adding that some people had died in the attack, including two of his relatives. “Smoke was billowing from our town as I left.”

A local pro-government vigilante, who declined to be named, said residents had now recovered 15 bodies from the village. He added that many of the deaths occurred when worshippers were locked in a church, which was then sprayed with bullets.

HEAVY DEATH TOLL

Boko Haram often attacks institutions it sees as against its strict version of Sunni Islam, including churches, bars and non-religious schools that teach Western ideas like science.

Another attack on Kwada, eight km (five miles) from Chibok village, left dozens of people dead, a security source operating in the area said, although the precise toll was not yet clear.

A senior advisor to Borno state governor Kassim Shettima, who declined to be named because he was not authorised to speak, said there had also been a third attack on Nguragida, his home village which he visited on Sunday. Nine bodies had been recovered from that attack, he said.

An explosion on Friday night in a brothel in the northeastern Nigerian city of Bauchi killed 11 people and wounded 28, police said on Saturday. This attack was also believed to be the work of Boko Haram. A military operation in the northeast has so far failed to quell the rebellion and has triggered reprisal attacks that are increasingly targeting civilians, after they formed vigilante groups to try to help the government flush out the militants. But their tactics – often striking then fleeing over the border into Cameroon – have repeatedly proved devastating. They are well armed and funded by a lucrative kidnapping operation. In Friday night’s attack on a military outpost, suspected Boko Haram fighters arrived in four armoured personel carriers and 11 Hilux trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns, said a security source and a witness who gave his name only as Hamisu. “They were all dressed in full military but they did not direct their onslaught on the civilian population,” Hamisu said by telephone. The militants are extending their reach beyond their remote northeastern heartlands. A bomb in an upmarket shopping district of the capital Abuja killed 21 people on Wednesday, the third attack on the capital in three months. President Goodluck Jonathan said Nigeria had entered one of the darkest phases of its history during a visit to the scene of the Abuja blast on Friday.

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FIFA 2014: Costa Rica vs Greece, won 5-3, Match 51

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FIFA 2014: Costa Rica vs Greece, won 5-3, Match 51

Posted on 30 June 2014 by GGS News

GGS SPORTS : Costa Rica are into the quarter-finals of the World Cup for the first time in their history after beating Greece 5-3 in a penalty shootout in Recife.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos’s injury-time equaliser for Greece had cancelled out Bryan Ruiz’s side-footed opener and sent the game into extra time.Costa Rica, down to 10 men for almost an hour after Oscar Duarte’s dismissal, scored their first four spot-kicks.
Theofanis Gekas missed for Greece, and Michael Umana settled the tie.
It means the Central American side – surprise qualifiers from a group containing England, Italy and Uruguay – go through to face the Netherlands on Saturday for a place in the semi-finals as their unlikely run at the World Cup continues.
The last-ditch equaliser and the penalty shootout added belated drama to what had been a less than enthralling encounter at times.
Dimitris Salpingidis had the best chance of a turgid first half but his close-range volley from a fine Jose Holebas cross was saved by the legs of Costa Rica’s Keylor Navas – the first of several crucial interventions by the Levante keeper.
Christian Bolanos had already sent a half-chance over the bar for Costa Rica while Greece’s Giorgos Karagounis saw a long-range effort comfortably saved as erratic passing meant chances were a rarity.
Greece started the second half well with Giorgos Samaras heading a Holebas cross straight at Navas from six yards.
But it was Costa Rica who broke the deadlock with their first shot on target.
Fulham forward Ruiz, who spent the latter part of last season on loan at PSV Eindhoven, converted from the edge of the area, placing a precise side-foot shot into the corner of the goal after a Bolanos pass from the left found him in space.
The Central Americans were incensed not to be given the chance to double their lead after Greek defender Vasilis Torosidis appeared to handle in the box and then lost Duarte when he brought down Holebas to pick up a second yellow card.
Although the game opened up as a result of the dismissal, neither side was able to create a clear opening until the final minute of the game when Papastathopoulos found the net with a scuffed shot from inside the box after Navas had parried Gekas’s shot into his path.
The goal, Papastathopoulos’s first in international football, sparked wild celebrations on the Greek bench and they might even have won it in what remained of normal time but Navas superbly tipped Kostas Mitroglou’s bullet header over the bar.
Greece had further half-chances through Gekas and Kostas Katsouranis before a golden opportunity to win it arrived in the second half of extra time.They broke upfield from a Costa Rica corner and found themselves with a 5-2 advantage, the ball eventually finding its way to Lazaros Christodoulopoulos – but once again Navas responded agilely to turn the strike away for a corner.
And Costa Rica had their keeper to thank yet again as he saved Mitroglou’s late half-volley from six yards in the last seconds of extra time.
There was to be further drama before the penalties had even begun as Greece manager Fernando Santos was sent off.
The first seven spot-kicks were confidently dispatched before Navas made his final and decisive contribution, saving from Gekas and leaving Umana to put Costa Rica through.

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Iraq crisis grows as ISIS declare ‘Caliphate’, eclipsing al Qaeda

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Iraq crisis grows as ISIS declare ‘Caliphate’, eclipsing al Qaeda

Posted on 30 June 2014 by GGS News

Baghdad, 30 June : (AFP) The Al-Qaeda breakaway group that has seized much of northern Syria and huge tracks of neighbouring Iraq formally declared the creation of an Islamic state on Sunday in the territory under its control.The spokesman for the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham, Abu Mohammed Al-Adnani, made the announcement in an audio statement posted online. Islamic extremists have long dreamed of recreating the Islamic state, or caliphate, that ruled over the Middle East for hundreds of years.

Abu Mohammed Al-Adnani said the group’s chief, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, is the new leader, or caliph, of the Islamic state. He called on those living in the areas under the organization’s control to swear allegiance to Al-Baghdadi and support him.

“The legality of all emirates, groups, states and organizations becomes null by the expansion of the caliph’s authority and the arrival of its troops to their areas,” Al-Adnani said.

He said that with the creation of the caliphate, the group was changing its name to just the Islamic State, dropping the mention of Iraq and Al-Sham.

It was unclear what immediate practical impact the declaration would have on the ground in Syria and Iraq, or among the wider global jihadi communityIraqi helicopter gunships struck suspected insurgent positions in Tikrit on Sunday as part of a government offensive to retake the northern city from Sunni militants led by ISIS, residents and officials said.

The Iraqi military opened its campaign to wrest back Tikrit, the hometown of former dictator Saddam Hussein, on Saturday with a multi-pronged assault spearheaded by ground troops backed by tanks and helicopters.

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Delhi University to declare first cut-off list today

Delhi University to declare first cut-off list today

Posted on 30 June 2014 by GGS News

NEW DELHI, 30 June : Expect very high cutoffs when Delhi University colleges announce the first lists for admissions to undergraduate courses on Monday, after nearly 10 days of upheaval during which the varsity was made to junk the four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP) and switch to the old three-year courses.

Admissions will commence from Tuesday across 61 colleges as per the courses available in 2012-13. As part of the return to the old structure, colleges may also issue additional admission criteria for some courses.

Cutoffs will be high in honours programmes because of the reduction in the number of seats in these courses following the switch back to the three-year structure. Moreover, as the university has allowed all students who make it in the cutoff to get admission irrespective of whether they had applied, colleges are playing safe with the first list.

“The first list is a blind cutoff for us and will be high. Only in the subsequent cutoffs will we know the real picture and a more accurate cutoff can be calculated,” said a principal of a north campus college.

In fact, colleges are already preparing for the second cutoff and would look forward for the data to be collected from fresh applicants. Aspirants who had not applied for courses under FYUP, can register by filling the offline centralized registration form and college admission forms.
“The admissions committee will meet on Monday and decide on cutoffs. There will be a marginal increase in the cutoffs due to seat re-appropriation,” said P Hemalatha Reddy, principal, Sri Venkateswara College.

St Stephen’s college which had declared its cut-off lists on June 17 itself, will now have to redo the lists. “We will be incorporating the suggestions and guidelines of the university. I have called a meeting of the heads of department tomorrow. After that we will explain how it’ll be done,” says principal Valson Thampu.As soon as the FYUP had seemed at risk, St Stephen’s had announced that all admissions and lists of selected candidates were provisional. Provisional lists with 100 names for economics and 60 for English had been announced but since the number of seats has now gone back to 2012-13 levels — 50 for economics and 30 for English — some of the provisionally selected candidates will have to be dropped.

The college authorities in 2011 had moved applications to increase the number of seats in these two subjects. The abolishing of certain programme courses under FYUP and the freeing up of sanctioned seats allowed the college to expand these classes without having to seek further permissions.
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PSLV-C23 successfully launched, PM Modi says India has potential to be world launch service provider

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PSLV-C23 successfully launched, PM Modi says India has potential to be world launch service provider

Posted on 30 June 2014 by GGS News

SRIHARIKOTA (ANDHRA PRADESH), 30 June : (IANS) Congratulating ISRO’s scientists for the successful launch of PSLV C-23, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said, “Space technology has evolved into an invaluable asset during crisis management.”

“Despite many hurdles we have made India a powerhouse of space research. I urge Department of Space to proactively engage all stakeholders, to maximize use of space science in governance, development,” Modi said.

Modi also asked ISRO to, “enlarge the footprint of our satellite-based navigation system, to cover all of South Asia.” “Our dream of a SAARC satellite will not only benefit India but also neighbours,” Modi pitched.

“India has the potential, to be the launch service provider of the world. We must work towards this goal,” Modi said. “India’s space programme is driven by an urge for welfare of society rather than greed for power. Benefits of space technology can impact common man’s life,” he added.

A rocket carrying a French earth observation satellite and four other foreign satellites blasted off from the rocket port on Monday. Exactly at 9.52 a.m., the rocket – Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C23 (PSLV-C23) – standing around 44.4 metres tall and weighing around 230 ton tore into the bright morning skies with orange flames fiercely burning at its tail.

The rocket port is around 80 km from Chennai. The rocket’s main luggage is the 714 kg French earth observation satellite SPOT-7.

Piggybacking on the main luggage are the four small satellites viz: 14-kg AISAT of Germany; NLS7.1 (CAN-X4) and NLS7.2 (CAN-X5) from Canada each weighing 15 kg; and the 7-kg VELOX-1 of Singapore.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Andhra Pradesh Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu, space scientists and other invitees at Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) rocket mission control room intently watched the rocket’s upward flight with one way ticket.

This is the first space mission of the Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

The five satellites are being launched under commercial arrangements that Antrix Corporation – ISRO’s commercial arm – has entered into with the respective foreign agencies.

Starting from 1999 India has launched 35 foreign satellites till date using its PSLV rocket. The successful launch of five satellites Monday would take the tally to 40.

India began its space journey in 1975 with the launch of Aryabhatta using a Russian rocket and till date, it has completed over 100 space missions including missions to moon and mars.

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Netherlands need new ideas as brilliant Costa Rica await

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Netherlands need new ideas as brilliant Costa Rica await

Posted on 30 June 2014 by GGS News

 

 

Mexico’s coach Miguel Herrera launched a furious attack on match referee Pedro Proenca for giving the injury time penalty that Jan-Klaas Huntelaar hit home to seal a 2-1 comeback victory for Netherlands over Mexico.

Fortaleza, 30 June : Brazil: Dutch striker Arjen Robben on Sunday apologized for diving in a bid to get a penalty against Mexico but insisted he did not fake the foul that led to his side’s winning penalty kick.
Mexico’s coach Miguel Herrera launched a furious attack on match referee Pedro Proenca for giving the injury time penalty that Jan-Klaas Huntelaar hit home to seal a 2-1 comeback victory. Robben was at the centre of both incidents in the World Cup last-16 clash in Fortaleza.
“I really have to say and at the same time apologise in the first half I took a dive and I really shouldn’t do that,” Robben told Dutch broadcaster NOS as he celebrated the victory.
“That was a stupid, stupid thing to do but sometimes you’re expecting to be struck and then they pull their leg away at the last minute.”
But the Dutch striker insisted Proenca was right to point to the penalty spot after he was challenged by Mexico’s veteran captain Rafael Marquez. “I was fouled,” he said.
Mexico had been leading until the 88th minute when Wesley Sneijder scored and then Huntelaar put away the penalty.
And Herrera said referee Proenca should take no more part in the World Cup.
“The determining factor was the man with the whistle. He put us out of the World Cup,” he said.
“Although the first goal was down to our mistake, we had the chance to reconsider during the break before extra time, but at the end when the referee invents a penalty you go out of the World Cup.
“At the very least they can look at this and this gentleman ought to be going home like us.”
Herrera claimed his side had been the victim of poor refereeing in three of their four games in Brazil and a European referee should never have been allocated the game in the first place.
“Out of four matches, we had three where the referee was disastrous.
“I don’t understand why they had someone from the same confederation. Why not an African, Asian or South American referee? All the doubtful decisions went against Mexico.”
Giovani dos Santos’ strike early in the second-half appeared to have Mexico on course for their first quarter-final appearance at a World Cup on foreign soil.
The Dutch goals stunned the Mexicans however and Herrera admitted his side had lacked experience in how to see the game out.
“Maybe we were missing what teams like Argentina, Uruguay and those with experience of winning do.
“We had four minutes to go plus stoppage time and we should have put the ball in the corner, do what other teams do and perhaps we would have been faced with a different result.”
Dutch boss Louis van Gaal admitted that cooling breaks offered to the players for the first time in a World Cup match after half an hour of each half allowed him to have a greater influence on the game.
“It is true it helps having these breaks because first I had switched to 4-3-3 and we created a lot opportunities, (Guillermo) Ochoa had one great save in particular.
“After that I moved to plan B and I did that in the cooling break. That is a clever way of benefiting from these breaks.”
The Manchester United manager was vindicated in his substitutions as he surprisingly replaced captain Robin van Persie whilst in need of a goal to bring on Huntelaar.
And van Gaal insisted he was not afraid to remove his star players for the benefit of the team.
“Van Persie’s change was a tactical substitution and you have to remember that before the World Cup he was just recovering from an injury so it is difficult for him to keep going.
“I am a coach that wants to win so when I have to I will substitute players.”

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Captain backs separate panel for Haryana Sikhs

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Captain backs separate panel for Haryana Sikhs

Posted on 30 June 2014 by GGS News

Patiala, 30 June : Captain Amarinder Singh, Congress deputy leader in the Lok Sabha, on Sunday accused chief minister Parkash Singh Badal of trying to distort facts by saying that a separate gurdwara body for Haryana would weaken the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).

Reacting to Badal’s criticising him for backing the demand, Amarinder said it was not the Congress but the Sikhs of Haryana who wanted the right to manage own shrines as opposed to being remote controlled by people such as Badal.

The former CM said the Badal and his ilk had the same argument during the Punjabi Suba movement. “You wanted a separate state where Sikhs could have majority, which led to the creation of Haryana; and if the Sikhs there now want freedom to run own gurdwaras, what’s wrong in that?” he asked, denying that the demand was unjustified.

Amarinder clarified that Haryana was a separate state such as Delhi, Bihar and Maharashtra, which had own bodies for managing their gurdwaras. “Why deny Haryana the right because Badal won’t part with the huge resources its gurdwaras generate,” he said.

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Traders clash with SGPC staff, 9 hurt

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Traders clash with SGPC staff, 9 hurt

Posted on 30 June 2014 by GGS News

Amritsar, 30 June :  The security task force of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) is once again at the centre of a controversy following a clash between its members and some shopkeepers in the vicinity of the Golden Temple complex over a demolition drive.The clash, which occurred on Sunday, left seven persons, including five of the task force members, injured. Police said the clash took place when the task force and some SGPC officials, without informing the police, descended on a cluster of seven empty shops that are reportedly in its possession in the bazaar at Chowk Baba Sahib, and began demolishing these with the help of earthmovers. The SGPC plans to build a serai (resthouse) over the 500 square yards. Besides the seven shops, a closed school and a couple of other properties are to be demolished for the construction. Despite the resistance, the task force succeeded in partly demolishing the properties.

However, it turned violent after a man named Satbir Singh and his family members, who own shops in the area and is already fighting a case against the SGPC for ownership of the seven shops, objected to the demolition. In the clash that ensued, bricks, swords and sticks were used. The five injured task force members were identified as Paramjit Singh, Lakhwinder Singh, Gurvinder Singh, Gurdeep Singh and Banta Singh; and are admitted to the civil hospital. Identities of the two injured men from the other side, admitted to a private nursing home, were not known immediately.Police reached the spot, while more SGPC officials also arrived with revenue records to justify their action. But Satbir claimed the SGPC action was illegal as the seven shops in question were in his possession. Bothe sides alleged that the other already had weapons and started the clash; cross-complaints were lodged.

This was yet again an incident where, rather than intimating the police, the religious body took matters in its own hands. In May, the SGPC task force had courted controversy when its armed members went to forcibly occupy around 161 acres of land in Bhai Rupa area of Bathinda. Those tilling the land resisted the attempt, and it led to a clash.

Meanwhile, station house officer of the Amritsar C-division, inspector Devinder Singh, said both sides lodged complaints against the other: “We are in the process of recording statements of eyewitnesses and those injured. Thereafter, cases will be registered accordingly and arrests made.”

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Unusual love story: Lawyer weds addict

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Unusual love story: Lawyer weds addict

Posted on 30 June 2014 by GGS News

Jalandhar, 30 June : Contrary to the general perception of maintaining a distance from drug addicts, a Mohali-based lawyer has got married to a drug-addict youth from Jalandhar and inspired him to get rid of the habit.

The couple has now decided to involve themselves in the Punjab government’s drug de-addiction and rehabilitation campaign.

Harshdeep Kaur, a lawyer, who used to take cases under the NDPS Act at the Punjab and Haryana high court, met drug addict Amandeep Sharma about a month ago. She decided to wean him from the addiction.

Harshdeep got him treated at the Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), Jalandhar.

Amandeep, who has studied up to Class 12, was a driver He started taking drugs as a result of which the economic condition of his family worsened.

He met Harshdeep in Chandigarh while seeking bail in a drug case about one and a half month ago which completely changed his life.

Harshdeep, daughter of a retired army officer, told her family about Amandeep and after getting their consent she decided to tie the knot with him.

She said giving love and affection to drug addicts could help them wean from the menace.

The couple exhorted the drug addicts and their families to make the optimum use of the drug de-addiction and rehabilitation campaign started by the state government.

“We will meet drug addicts and their families to impress upon them for getting the former treated soon ” they said.

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