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Obama kick offs his re-election campaign

News4u - News Desk :   President Barack Obama launched his re-election campaign with two back to back rallies in key battleground states of Ohio and Virginia wherein he introduced the slogan of “Forward” in an attempt to recreate his magic of four years ago that made him the first non-White US president.

Addressing impressive rallies in both Columbus in Ohio and Richmond in Virginia, Obama said “his agenda of change though has accomplished a lot is yet to reach its destination and thus he needs another chance.”

Hitting hard at his presumptive Republican rival, Mitt Romney, Obama said Americans can’t afford to give him a chance, alleging that their agenda was on steroids.

“Not now. Not with so much at stake. This isn’t just another election. This is a make-or-break moment for America’s middle class. We have been through much to turn back now. We have come too far to abandon the change we fought for these past few years,” Obama said.

He was accompanied by the First Lady at both the rallies.

“Virginia, we have got to move forward, to the future that we imagined in 2008. We have got to move forward to that future where everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules. That’s the choice in this election. And that’s why I am running for a second term as President of the United States of America,” Obama said while repeating his new “Forward” slogan.

At these rallies, Obama received support with members from the audience shouting “Four More Year”.

Obama said because of the steps taken by his administration since he came to power three years ago, economy was on track.

“The problem with our economy is not that the American people aren’t productive enough — you have never been working harder in your lives. You are working harder than ever. The challenge we face right now — the challenge we have faced for over a decade — is that harder work hasn’t led to higher incomes. It’s that bigger profits haven’t led to better jobs,” Obama said amidst applause.

“And Governor Romney doesn’t seem to get that. He doesn’t seem to understand that maximising profits by whatever means necessary — whether through layoffs or outsourcing or tax avoidance or union- busting — might not always be good for the average American or for our economy.”

“Why else would he want to spend trillions more on tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans? Why else would he propose cutting his own taxes while raising them on 18 million working families?” he said.

“I am here to say that we were there, we remember, and we are not going back. We are moving this country forward. We remember. Look, we want businesses to succeed. We want entrepreneurs and investors rewarded when they take risks, when they create jobs and grow our economy. But the true measure of our prosperity is more than just a running tally of every balance sheet and quarterly profit report. I don’t care how many ways you try to explain it: Corporations aren’t people. People are people,” he said.

Obama said he was fighting for a bold and competitive America.

“A forward-looking America, where everybody has the chance to make of their life what they will. That’s what made us the envy of the world. That’s what makes us great. That’s why I’m running again for President of the US,” he said.

President Obama, in his rallies, acknowledged that his reelection was going to be closer than the last one.

“This election will be even closer than the last. Too many of our friends and neighbors are still hurting because of this crisis. I have heard from too many people wondering why they haven’t been able to get one of the jobs that have been created, why their home is still underwater, why their family hasn’t yet been touched by the recovery,” he noted adding that he was expecting negative advertisements from his opponents.

“The other side won’t be offering these Americans any real answers to those questions. They won’t be offering a better vision. They won’t be offering new ideas. But what they will do is spend more money than we have ever seen before, all on negative ads on TV and radio, in the mail, on the Internet — probably Tweeting a few negative ads out there somewhere — ads that exploit people’s frustration for my opponent’s political gain. And over and over again, they will tell you that America is down and out, and they’ll tell you who to blame,” he said.

“We are going to have to contend with even more negative ads, with even more cynicism, more nastiness — sometimes, just plain foolishness. It will be worse than we saw in the last campaign. We know, because we’ve seen some of the foolishness over the last three and a half years,” Obama said.

“… will finish what we started. We are still fired up. We are still ready to go. And we are going to remind the world once more why it is that the US is the greatest nation on Earth,” said the US President.


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Five accused of plotting 9/11 strikes in US formally charged

News4u-News Desk-The five men accused of plotting the deadly September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, including confessed mastermind Kahlid Sheikh Mohammed, have been formally charged at a military tribunal in Cuba. 

Mohammed, 47, as well as the four other accused, were charged with “conspiracy, attacking civilians, murder and violation of the law of war, destruction, hijacking, terrorism” for their links to the attacks that killed 2,976 people.

The Pakistani was charged along with his Pakistani nephew Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali, also known as Ammar al-Baluchi; Mustapha al-Hawsawi of Saudi Arabia; and Yemenis Ramzi Binalshibh and Walid bin Attash, in the worst terror strikes on US soil in modern history.

If found guilty, the five face the death penalty.


Khalid Sheik Mohammed

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FIIs infuses Rs 876 cr in equities on hopes of GAAR revision

News4u-Business DeskOverseas investors infused Rs 876 crore into Indian equity markets in the first week of May on hopes the govt may review the General Anti Avoidance Rule (GAAR) provisions in coming days to address most of the concerns of FIIs, say experts.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) had pulled out over Rs 1,100 crore from equity markets last month due to fears that proposed GAAR provisions could lead to heavy tax burden for investors putting money through tax-friendly places likeMauritius.

FIIs made gross purchase of equities worth Rs 6,716.50 crore and sold shares valued Rs 5,840.40 crore translating into a net inflow of Rs 876.10 crore during May 2-4, according to the data available with the market regulator Sebi.

Market experts said there is widespread expectations that government may review GAAR (General Anti Avoidance Rule) provisions in the coming days. The revision expected to address most of the concerns of the FIIs.

However, last month FIIs pulled out Rs 1,109 crore after investing a hefty sum of Rs 43,951 crore the first three months of 2012. This was the first instance of monthly net outflows by FIIs since November 2011.

The last month’s withdrawal was attributed by marketmen to a host of factors including government’s GAAR proposal announced in the Budget which has been the real dampener for several FIIs whose clients had used participatory-notes to invest in the Indian stock market.

The sentiment was further soured by ratings agency S&P’s move to lower India’s outlook to negative from stable, citing slow progress on its fiscal situation and deteriorating economic situation, experts added.

During the current month, foreign fund houses poured in Rs 876.10 crore in the stock market and Rs 748.10 crore in the debt market, taking the collective net inflow by FIIs in stocks and bonds to 1624.20 crore.

The BSE barometer Sensex has fallen 320.11 points, or 1.87 percent on the last trading session to close at 16,831.08 points.

With the latest inflows, FIIs investment reached to Rs 43,717.70 crore into the equity market so far this year and Rs 16,358.60 crore into the debt market during the same period.

FII pulled out over Rs 2,700 crore from the equity market in 2011 calender year.

FIIs infuses Rs 876 cr in equities on hopes of GAAR revision

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North Korea vows to pursue nuclear programme

News4u-News Desk-SEOUL: North Korea vowed on Sunday to push ahead with what it says are peaceful nuclear and space programmes, rubbishing calls from the five permanent UN Security Council members.

The communist North condemned a statement issued Thursday by the United States, ally China, Russia, France and Britain on the sidelines of a non-proliferation meeting inVienna.

They had expressed “serious concern” and urged Pyongyang to “refrain from further actions which may cause grave security concerns in the region, including any nuclear tests”.

There has been widespread speculation the North could stage its third nuclear test following a failed rocket launch on April 13 that sparked international criticism.

A South Korean nuclear expert had said that the North has finished preparations for a third nuclear test, while satellite photos of the North’s Punggye-ri test site show work in progress.

Thursday’s statement was an “illegal act that infringes upon” the North’s right to use space and nuclear power for peaceful purposes, an unnamed North Korean foreign ministry spokesman said through state media.

“We will… persistently safeguard the sovereignty of our nation, based on self-defensive nuclear deterrent, and strongly pursue our peaceful space development and the development of our nuclear power industry,” the spokesman said.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday in Beijing that Washington was ready to work with Pyongyang if it changed course, but she voiced doubts about the regime’s intentions. AFP

North Korea Nuclear

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Life Ki Toh Lag Gayi (Movie-Review)

News4u-Entertainment Desk- courtesy toi-: In the big bad city of Mumbai, four people are on a 24-hour mission to survive. Some make it, some don’t. Caution: If you thought a drive down Mumbai’s over-flooded, potholed roads was a nightmarish experience, sample this. 

Movie Review: Salman (Kay Kay Menon), son of a one time underworldbiggie ( Jackie Shroff, in a flash of an appearance), is on a mission to nail the murderer of his parents, even before he’s started mourning their sudden death.
ACP Chautala (Manu Rishi) is chided by his bully boss and packed off from the capital city to Mumbai’s underbelly, to track four Nigerian drug peddlers (referred to as kaale throughout the film). The gold medalist cop, who prides himself on being Haryane-da-sher, cruises his way around Mumbai’s gallis with ease, but struggles with Mumbaiyya lingo.

Amol Ganguly (Ranvir Shorey) quits his job as a chef in UK and dashes back to Mumbai to his beloved, only to find out that she’s ditched him for an ugly millionaire. Distraught, he seeks comfort in his wannabe rockstar friend, dope-head Ajoy Ghosh (Pradhuman Singh), who walks around in boxers with sazaa-e-maut tattoo on his back, chants ‘The Bengali will rock’, has ‘Mother Chucker’ sprawled on his walls, scratches his privates (yuck!) and ‘Doogle’-searches ways to commit suicide, for his heart-broken Bong buddy. Chandigarh ki chori, Dolly (Neha Bhasin), a struggling starlet is on a mission to dupe Mumbai’s rich men to recover some of her losses (money and dignity). They all converge at the shady Hotel Plaza, amidst bullet showers, purposeless blood-baths, and a climax that leaves an after-taste of stale vada pau.

Ranvir Shorey, as the loser boyfriend looks the part, but only for a few scenes. He loses steam along the way, and boringly finishes the rest.
Much-caked-up Menon, tries hard to force intensity, but fails to evoke any emotion. Amidst all this mayhem, Manu Rishi breathes some life and laughs in this movie. Pradhuman Singh as a pseudo rockstar is exaggeratedly stereotyped, driving us to hair-tearing moments. In her debut film, singer Neha Bhasin, looks desperate to make a mark, but has slim chance.

For eons, Mumbai has spurred creativity in filmmakers. Some good, some bad. Some grossly confused. Like this one. Director Rakesh Mehta tells a story which is more cramped with characters than Mumbai’s local trains. The dialogues are unmoving and script more disoriented than the city’s unbearable traffic. While trying to create a montage of a struggling day in the life of Mumbai, the real story is stuck in some galli of Crawford Market.

Watch it at your own risk, but remember, we warned you. Given a choice, we’d like the real city and a drive on Mumbai’s roads - it probably has fewer potholes than this story.

Life Ki Toh Lag Gayi

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Over 100 Indian companies establish presence in Dubai in 2012 so far

News4u - News Desk : DUBAI: The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Authority (DMCC) — licensing authority for theJumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) Free Zone — has announced that it has registered 612 companies in the first four months of 2012, of which over a 100 are from India.

JLT has attracted entities such as Reliance Industries, Veedol International, Raj Petrochemicals, Malayalam Communications and Simbhaoli Sugar, the authority said.

The JLT Free Zone which registered a record 184 new companies in March and another 200 new companies in April is firmly focused on India as part of its business development strategy. There are currently over 4,200 companies registered with the Free Zone, over 700 of which are from India.

James Bernard, Business Development Director, DMCC said, “India is a huge market for us and over the past months and years we have been fortunate enough to attract a large number of Indian businesses and entrepreneurs to Dubai.”

The JLT Free Zone will also launch its 2012 India road show with several events in New Delhi and Mumbai between May 8-May 11, it said.

The aim of the event is to highlight Dubai as Middle East’s leading business and trade hub, and assist Indian companies in setting up their businesses in the Emirate, it added.

JLT offers infrastructure, value added products and services, and incentives such as zero per cent tax guarantee for 50 years and 100 per cent business ownership, as well as being the fastest growing free zone in Dubai. PTI


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Hillary Clinton arrives in India to breathe life into ties

News4u-News Desk-KOLKATA: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton landed in India on Sunday with hopes of reinvigorating a relationship seen as losing steam despite efforts to bring the world’s two largest democracies closer.

Clinton will be wading into a row over Iran, which is sending a trade delegation this week to New Delhi despite US threats to slap sanctions on countries that buy the Islamic republic’s oil.

Clinton’s final stop on a three-nation tour follows a tense visit to China defusing a crisis over a dissident and a stop in Bangladesh where she urged the country’s polarised politicians to unite in the push for development.

The veteran politician arrived in Kolkata, where she will tour monuments and meet citizens in her latest bid to use her personal popularity as a diplomatic tool.

Clinton said that she saw ample progress in relations with India, pointing to rising trade and cooperation in areas from education to clean energy.

“I think it’s like any relationship — there is progress in some areas that we are very heartened by, and there is more work to be done,” Clinton told reporters before her arrival.

“But that’s the commitment that we make when we say to another country, we want to be your partner,” she said.

The United States and India, which had uneasy relations during the Cold War, started to reconcile in the late 1990s under former president Bill Clinton and reached a milestone when his successor George W. Bush championed a deal that ended India’s decades of isolation over its nuclear programme.

But champions of the relationship have begun to voice disappointment, with US businesses upset that India’s parliament has not passed legislation they seek to enter the nuclear and retail sectors.

India has bristled at a US law that would impose sanctions on banks from countries that buy oil from Iran due to concerns over Iran’s contested nuclear programme.

Only EU nations and Japan have so far been given exemptions to the law which starts on June 28.

India has been reducing oil imports from Iran, but is highly dependent on foreign energy and has historically enjoyed friendly relations with Tehran.

TP Sreenivasan, a former Indian ambassador to the United Nations, said that expectations for the US-India relationship had not been met but that Clinton had the advantage of being considered a friend of New Delhi.

The visit “comes at a useful time as there is a certain amount of strain in relations that needs to be rectified,” he said.

“The relationship has lost momentum partly because… both are preoccupied with their own internal problems,” he said.

C. Raja Mohan, a fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, said that India and the United States had the same objectives in Iran and would likely want to “keep their differences to manageable limits.”

“Contrary to what one might think, the relations are reasonably on track in terms of their engagement. The US is in election mode; India has its own problems,” Mohan said.

Experts noted that the United States made little fuss last month when India tested its nuclear-capable Agni V missile, which can reach across China.

“Now the US views India as a strategic partner with growing economic and political clout that will contribute to promoting security and stability in Asia,” said a paper by Lisa Curtis and Baker Spring, of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative US think tank.

India has recently worked to repair relations with historic enemy Pakistan, removing one potential headache for the United States whose own relations with Islamabad have been in crisis since last year’s killing of Osama bin Laden. AFP

Hillary Clinton in Delhi

Hillary Clinton in Delhi

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Deepika Kumari wins first World Cup title

News4u-Sports Desk-  India’s Olympic prospect Deepika Kumari won her first World Cup individual recurve gold medal at Antalya, Turkey.

She beat Korea’s Lee Sung Jin by six set points to four in the final of the Stage 2 of the championship.

According to information received here, teenager Deepika won the second set (29-27), third (27-26) and the fifth (28-27) while losing the first (27-30) and the fourth (27-29).

Deepika, who has already qualified for London Olympics, is the current junior world champion and a gold medallist at the Delhi Commonwealth Games. She had also won the Cadet World Title in 2009.

Archery Association of India chief and Indian Olympic Association acting president Vijay Kumar Malhotra congratulated Deepika on her win on Saturday.

“Beating a Korea in the final is a great achievement. It’s another feather in her cap. I hope she does well in the Olympics,” Malhotra told a news agency.

Deepika Kumari

Deepika Kumari

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Tornado strikes city near Tokyo, dozens injured

News4u - News Desk : TOKYO: A tornado has torn through an area just northeast of the Japanese capital, injuring at least 30 people and destroying dozens of homes.

The fire department said the tornado struck on Sunday in the city of Tsukuba, 60 kilometers (40 miles) northeast of Tokyo.

Firefighters and helicopter medical teams rushed to the area, and 30 to 50 homes have been destroyed. Other details were not immediately available.

NHK TV footage showed rows of houses that had lost roofs, and apartment complexes with smashed balconies and shattered windows. NHK also showed footage of a swirling gray cloud it said was taken by a passer-by.

Tornadoes are relatively rare in the Tokyo area. Tornado warnings were issued in northeasternJapan, including Tokyo. AP

Japan Flag

Japan Flag

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Missile defence shield ready: DRDO chief

News4u-News Desk-NEW DELHI: India has developed a missile defence shield which can be put in place at short notice to protect at least two cities, bringing the country on par with an elite group of few nations.

The shield, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, has been tested successfully and an incoming ballistic missile with the range of up to 2,000 km can be destroyed. The system is to be upgraded to the range of 5,000 km by 2016.

“The ballistic missile defence shield is now mature… We are ready to put phase-I in place and it can be put in very short time,” DRDO chief VK Saraswat told PTI in New Delhi in an interview.

He said the shield, as part of phase one of the programme, can be put in place at two places in the country, where the infrastructure is available.

However, the two places have not yet been identified and the selection will be made at the political level.

The DRDO used variants of Prithvi missiles as simulated targets and successfully intercepted missiles in test-firings.

“We have carried out six successful launches and demonstrated the capability for 2,000 km targets… We have demonstrated it in two layers that is endo-atmospheric (inside the Earth’satmosphere) and exo-atmospheric (outside the Earth’s atmosphere),” Mr. Saraswat said.

He said all the elements such as long-range radars and tracking devices, real-time data-link and mission control system required for the missile system have been “realised” successfully.

Under the phase-II of the project, the premier defence research agency would upgrade the system to handle ballistic missiles with range of 5,000 km. This phase is expected to be ready by 2016.

The system required for phase-II of the project is being developed, he said, adding that for this purpose, ships are being built from where the target missiles would be launched.

The DRDO chief said the phase two of the project is expected to be completed by 2016.

Talking about the advancement of the system, Saraswat said the missile defence shield has been “automated” to an extent where human intervention would be required only if the mission has to be aborted.

The DRDO chief said the Indian missile defence system is comparable with the U.S. Patriot 3 system, which was successfully used during the 1990 Gulf War against Iraq.

As part of its efforts to protect itself from enemy missiles, India is developing this two-tier BMD which can intercept enemy missiles at altitudes of 80 km and 150 km.

The DRDO is thinking of intercepting the missiles at higher altitudes as it would give it more response time in case the first attempt is a miss and the second layer of the system can be put into action.

The system was first test-fired in November 2006 elevating India into the elite club of countries to have successfully developed an anti-ballistic missile system, after United States, Russia and Israel.PTI

DRDO Chief V K Saraswat

DRDO Chief V K Saraswat

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