News4u - A unit of Worldcast Media Network

Telecom EGoM to be held within couple of days: Pawar

News4u-Business Desk- A crucial meeting of the reconstituted Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM), scheduled for Monday, has been postponed, Agriculture Minister and head of the ministerial panel Sharad Pawar said.

The meeting of the EGoM, the first after Pranab Mukherjee resigned as the Finance Minister to contest Presidential election, was to decide on auction of telecom spectrum.

“The meeting has been postponed because I have got some other work,” Pawar said in New Delhi on Monday.

“The meeting will be held either tomorrow or day after tomorrow”.

The EGoM had to be reconstituted after exit of Mukherjee, who was heading it.

The panel was previously scheduled to meet on 21st June to decide on spectrum pricing and related issues but was deferred as Mukherjee did not want to sit on a judgement on such an important issue as he was entering Presidential race.

In February 2012, the Supreme Court cancelled 122 2G telecom licences issued during the tenure of former telecom minister A Raja, and asked the government to complete spectrum auction by 31st August.

Finance and Telecom Ministry are working on a tripartite agreement to facilitate financing of payment for spectrum auction. The provision to mortgage airwaves for loan is one of the points of discussion for EGoM on Monday.

“The spectrum base price decision has bearing on spectrum price policy which cabinet has to decide. If cabinet decides to make operators pay for airwaves at new rates then exposure of banks will be high. All these checks and balances will be kept in mind before making decision,” the official said.

DoT has circulated draft cabinet in which it has proposed to charge existing operators at new rates for all spectrum held by them or spectrum above 4.4 Mhz which was given to them with licence or above 6.2 Mhz which was recommended by TRAI.

“Decision specifically related to the amount to be paid by operators upfront or in installments will be decided on capacity of banks to lend money. Cabinet decision also has to be in place before the auctions,” the official said.

However, a top official in DoT said that it has not yet received inputs from ministries on its draft cabinet note.

TRAI has recommended minimum price of Rs 3,622 crore for a megahertz of airwaves that are used for transmitting wireless signals for telecom services.

It amounts to over Rs 18,000 crore on pan-India level for a new operator. The price is double for airwaves frequency used for CDMA services.

The minimum amount that companies jointly will have to shell out in airwaves auction due before 31st August comes around Rs 81,000 crore.

A PriceWaterhouseCoopers report said that debt burden on telecom industry till March 2012 was around Rs 185,720 crore out of which domestic banks have funded Rs 93,594 crore.

Government has also been served various notices under bilateral trade agreements with allegations of failing to protect investment from firms whose permits to provide telecom services were cancelled by Supreme Court.

Though it has conceded to some of the request of Norwegian firm Telenor for more slot for auction and relaxing network roll-out obligation, it has yet to respond to the request of Russian Conglomerate Sistema JSFC, which has threatened to quit India if the minimum spectrum price is not reduced.

3G Tower

Spectrum Tower

 

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

[email_link]

BJP’s central leadership to look into Karnataka rebels’ demand

News4u - News Desk :  With political crisis in the Karnataka BJP blowing over for the time being, the party on Monday hinted to the rebels that the central leadership will look into their demand and take an “appropriate action” at an appropriate time.

“The ministers have taken back their resignations unconditionally and have returned to work. We are heading for a political solution in Karnataka,” BJP’s in-charge for Karnataka affairs Dharmendra Pradhan told reporters in New Delhi.

In a clear indication that the party’s central leadership was not averse to look into the demand of the rebels, he said, “Appropriate action will be taken at appropriate time. It has been conveyed to all the sides.”

He said the party high command is aware of all the developments in Karnataka and the ministers withdrew their resignations after “threadbare” discussions with the leadership.

The nine ministers loyal to former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa decided to withdraw their resignations after the central leadership assured them that they would decide on their demand for leadership change in the next two-three days, a report from Bangalore said.

The rebel group, which triggered a fresh crisis last week with nine of their ministers quitting to put pressure on the leadership to remove Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, has been invited for talks in New Delhi by the party’s central leadership.

Gowda is reaching the capital today to attend a meeting of BJP-NDA Chief Ministers with NDA working chairperson L K Advani on the presidential election.

He will also attend the marriage reception of BJP President Nitin Gadkari’s son in the evening.

Sources said a meeting of Gowda, Gadkari, Karnataka in-charge Pradhan and other senior leaders will take place.

B S Yeddyurappa

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

[email_link]

High-level talks between BSF, Pak Rangers begin

News4u-News Desk- High level talks between the Boarder Security Force of India and Pakistan Rangers began in New Delhi on Monday.

This is probably the first time when senior functionaries of two security forces guarding our frontiers are meeting in New Delhi.

Terror and cross boarder infiltration are the issues which figure in the talks. The 18-member delegation is led by Pakistan Rangers Director General (Sindh) Major General Rizwan Akhtar.

The Pakistan delegation also comprises the second Rangers DG (Punjab) Major General Mian Muhammad Hilal Hussain, Additional Secretary in the Pakistan Interior Ministry Najibullah Khan and other senior officials.

BSF, according to sources, is expected to flag a number of issues to the visiting team which include unprovoked firing by Pakistan troops in Jammu and Sialkot sectors, death of two BSF personnel in the last months because of sniper firing and a spurt in the smuggling of narcotic drugs from the cross the border.

Indo-Pak flag

Indo-Pak flag

[ratuings]

[email_link]

Indian envoy in Tibet after 10 years

News4u-News Desk-BEIJING: The Indian envoy to China, S Jaishankar, is on a rare visit to Tibet where he is touring Mount Kailash and Manasarovar — two religious centres frequented by Indian pilgrims, and areas that witnessed unrest and a number of self-immolations.

Jaishankar’s visit is the first such visit by a topIndian diplomat in a decade, after the 2002 visit of the then Indian Ambassador and present National Security Advisor, Shivshankar Menon.Beijing invited Jaishankar to have first-hand look at the Himalayan region, specially sacred places like Manasarovar where it plans to step up investments to improve facilities for Indian pilgrims.

The rare visit of Jaishankar to Tibet has its own political significance.

During his ongoing tour, Jaishankar has already visited Mount Kailash and Manasarovar — the two most important sacred places visited by batches of Indian pilgrims every year.

He is scheduled to visit the Nepal border tomorrow from where the Indian pilgrims enter Tibet.

Speaking to this news agency here over the phone from Manasarovar, the envoy said Chinese officials were keen to improve facilities for the Indian pilgrims, whose numbers were steadily going up.

Officials in Tibet were very positive about improving facilities like transport, stay and food for the Indian pilgrims, he said.

“After meeting officials Mount Kailash and Manasarovar, I found the Chinese authorities are interested in further improving the facilities,” he said.

Indian pilgrims visit the holy places in batches. The visit of each batch lasts about two weeks. As the relations improved between the two countries, China appeared to be keen to make it easier and comfortable for the Indian pilgrims, considering the spiritual significance of the Himalayan pilgrim centres.

Besides the pilgrim centres, the Indian envoy would also be visiting other areas of Tibet, which along with neighbouring Tibetan prefectures in recent months witnessed a number of self-immolations, calling for the return of the Dalai Lama and to protest against the security curbs.PTI

India and Tibet Flag

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

[email_link]

Japan starts first N-reactor since Fukushima crisis

News4u - News Desk :TOKYO: Dozens of protesters shouted and danced at the gate of a nuclear power plant as it restarted on Sunday, the first to go back online since Japan shut down all of its reactors for safety checks following the Fukushima nuclear disaster. 

Ohi nuclear plant’s reactor No 3 returned to operation despite a deep division in public opinion. Last month, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda ordered the restarts of reactors No 3 and nearby No 4, saying people’s living standards can’t be maintained without nuclear energy. Many are against a return to nuclear power because of safety fears after the Fukushima accident.

Crowds of tens of thousands of people have gathered on Friday evenings around Noda’s official residence , chanting, “Saikado hantai” or “No to nuclear restarts” . Protests drawing such numbers are extremely rare in Japan, often known for orderly conformity.

All 50 of Japan’s working reactors were gradually turned off in the wake of last year’s earthquake and tsunami , which sent the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant into multiple meltdowns.AP

 

Japan Flag

Japan Flag

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ... [email_link]

Iran to fight back ‘malicious’ oil ban

News4u-News Desk-DUBAI: Iran pledged to counter the impact of aEuropean Union oil embargo which took full effect on Sunday, saying it had built up $150 billion in foreign reserves to protect itself. The EU ban on crude imports is part of a push by Western countries aimed at choking Iran’s export earnings and forcing it to curb a nuclear programme they fear includes weapons development.

“We are implementing programmes to counter sanctions and we’ll confront these malicious policies,” Mehr news agency quoted central bank governor Mahmoud Bahmani as saying.

The EU banned new contracts for imports of Iranian crude in January, but allowed existing ones to continue until July 1.

So far, sanctions have not forced Iran into concessions on its nuclear programme. In fact Iran has demanded that the sanctions stop before it will take steps to curb uranium enrichment.

But there are signs of the embargo having an impact on Iran’s economy. Its crude oil exports - which according to EU estimates represent half the government’s income - have fallen by 40% this year. Iran used to export a fifth of its crude to EU countries.Reuters

Iran Flag

Iran Flag

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ... [email_link]

20-year itch: Wife throws Dominique Strauss-Kahn out of home

News4u-News Desk- PARIS: Former International Monetary Fundchief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who is facing a probe into his alleged involvement with a prostitution ring in France, and his wife have separated, a source said.

Anne Sinclair, a wealthy heiress who recently relaunched her media career as a news editor at the Huffington Post’s French edition, and Strauss-Kahn separated about a month ago and they are living in separate residences in Paris, said the source, who is close to Strauss-Kahn.

The weekly magazine, Closer, earlier reported in its online edition that Anne Sinclair threw Strauss-Kahn out of their home in central Paris.

Strauss-Kahn is under investigation in France to establish whether he knew he was dealing with prostitutes and pimps when he attended sex parties in northern France, Paris and Washington in 2010 and 2011 allegedly organized by business acquaintances.

Public prosecutors last month widened the inquiry to include a possible gang rape charge after a prostitute told them Strauss-Kahn and friends had forced her to have sex in a group when she came to Washington to meet him in December 2010. DSK denies knowing that the women at the parties were prostitutes or that there was any violence.

His career at the head of the Washington-based IMF was cut short when he was arrested in New York in May 2011 on charges, which he denied and that have since been dropped, of attempting to rape a hotel maid. After criminal charges were abandoned, the maid, Nafissatou Diallo, pressed a civil case.

Strauss-Kahn, a former French finance minister, and Sinclair have been married for 20 years. She stuck close by him when he faced the rape accusations in NY.Reuters

Dominique Strauss-Kahn

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

[email_link]

Qaida plot to bomb US jet during Olympics?

News4u-News Desk-LONDON: Al-Qaida is plotting to blow up an American airliner in the run-up to this month’sLondon Olympics and has trained a Norwegian Muslim convert in an attempt to evade airport security, a media report said on Sunday.

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has trained the Norwegian convert and is understood to have also selected a target, believed to be a US passenger jet, The Sunday Times quoted intelligence sources as saying. “The Norwegian recruit goes under the name of Muslim Abu Abdurrahman. He is understood to be in his thirties and a ‘clean skin’ , with no previous criminal record,” it said.

“He converted in 2008 and quickly became radicalized. He later travelled to Yemen , where he has spent several months, to complete his training,” the paper said.

The plot confirms fears among US and British intelligence agencies that al-Qaida is seeking to recruit radicalised westerners in an attempt to evade airport security, it said. The Norwegian was believed to have been in the southeastern town of Azzan, the longtime home of AQAP, until last month. He then moved to Dammaj, a town in the north.

The new plot is the terror group’s fourth to be detected since 2009, when AQAP sent a Nigerian-born British student on a plane with an underpants bomb. The bomb failed to detonate over Detroit and the man was arrested and jailed. In 2010, it sent two bombs hidden in printer cartridges on cargo planes destined for Chicago. They were intercepted and defused in Dubai and Britain. Two months ago, a third plot was averted when a British undercover agent, who had infiltrated AQAP, volunteered to be a suicide bomber. He smuggled out the latest version of the sophisticated underpants bomb to US authorities.

“There is terrorist plotting going on irrespective of the Olympics (from July 27 to August 12). The only thing that connects this to the Olympics is the fact that they are about to happen,” said a Whitehall official.

The intelligence officials said the latest plot should be seen in the context of al-Qaida’s continuing ambitions to blow up American planes.

AQAP has no history of targeting Britain . However, that did not mean British citizens were not at risk.

“If you are blowing up aeroplanes you are likely to be killing Brits or having a big impact on the European or British economy. (So it) would in effect be an attack against Britain,” the official said.Reuters

Al-Qaeda

Al-Qaeda

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

[email_link]

S M Krishna on a two-day visit to Tajikistan

News4u-News Desk-NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister S M Krishna will leave for Tajikistan today on a two-day visit during which he will hold talks with Tajik leadership and attend a meeting of Indian heads of mission of 11 countries in the strategic Eurasian region.

Krishna’s tour to Dushanbe is aimed at accelerating India’s strategic, economic and energy ties with the region and it comes months after defence minister A K Antony’s brief visit to Tajikistan in October last year on his way to Russia.

During his meeting with Tajik Leadership, Krishna is likely to discuss a wide range of bilateral and regional issues, including trade, economy, security and terrorism.

“The external affairs minister is expected to hold comprehensive discussions with his Tajik counterpart and the Tajikistan leadership on India-Tajik bilateral relations and on the situation in the region,” officials said here.

Krishna’s visit assumes significance as the strategically located Central Asian country shares borders with Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and China. Also, a narrow strip of land separates it from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

The ties between India and Tajikistan deepened in the late 1990s, when they came closer following rise of Taliban in Afghanistan. The ties further deepened since 2002, especially in the areas of counter-terrorism and defence cooperation.

India is also in talks with Tajikistan to set up a military hospital even as it maintains an air base in Ayni there, the country’s only such facility overseas.

During his stay in Dushanbe, Krishna will address a Regional Conference of Indian Ambassadors in the Eurasian Region and this includes Indian envoys to Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

This is the Sixth regional meeting of Heads of Mission that the external affairs minister is addressing.PTI


External Affairs Minister S M Krishna

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

[email_link]

Green tea helps fight against obesity

News4u-News Desk-enn State food scientists have found that green tea may slow down weight gain and serve as another tool in the fight against obesity.

Mice that were fed Epigallocatechin-3-gallate — EGCG — a compound found in most green teas, along with a high-fat diet, gained weight 45 per cent more slowly than the control group of mice eating the same diet without EGCG.

“Our results suggest that if you supplement with EGCG or green tea you gain weight more slowly,” said Joshua Lambert, assistant professor of food science in agricultural sciences.

In addition to lower weight gain, the mice fed the green tea supplement showed a nearly 30 percent increase in fecal lipids, suggesting that the EGCG was limiting fat absorption, according to Lambert.

“There seems to be two prongs to this, first, EGCG reduces the ability to absorb fat and, second, it enhances the ability to use fat,” he said.

The findings were reported in the current online version of Obesity.ANI

Green tea

Green tea

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

[email_link]