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UN Economic and Social Council high-level meeting opens with focus on jobs crisis

News4u-News Desk-UN- The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) today opened its high-level meeting in New York with a focus on the global jobs crisis and the search for ways to stimulate the creation of decent and sustainable employment.

“For today’s 205 million unemployed, work is worryingly difficult to find – and finding decent, meaningful work, harder still,” the Council’s President, Ambassador Milos Koterec of Slovakia, said at the opening of ECOSOC’s high-level segment.

“While failure to manage global job creation and sustain growth inflicts tremendous damage everywhere, it is the world’s poorest who suffer the most, with women and youth typically the greatest victims,” Mr. Koterec added.

A founding UN Charter body, ECOSOC is the venue where issues concerning the world’s economic, social and environmental challenges are discussed and debated, and policy recommendations made. More than 500 delegates, including government ministers and heads of civil society groups, international institutions and the private sector, are attending the Council’s high-level segment, which will focus on boosting productive capacity, strengthening development cooperation and creating decent, sustainable work.

In his remarks, Mr. Koterec emphasized that ECOSOC is scaling up its efforts to tackle youth unemployment and the creation of jobs that provide adequate conditions and social protection for workers, linking job creation with sustainable development.

“An effective post-2015 development agenda must be based upon streamlined development cooperation: targeted and improved financing, transparency, accountability, and much more,” Mr. Koterec said.

Addressing the opening of the high-level segment, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon emphasized that getting the global economy back on track will require decisive action, and underlined the need to pursue a “new model of growth within the framework of sustainable development and enhanced international cooperation.”

The UN chief highlighted that the creation of decent jobs had been a priority during the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) last month in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with countries voicing their concern for adequate working conditions and incomes for city dwellers as well as small farmers.

“Only by generating decent – and decently paid – employment can we help the poor and vulnerable to escape poverty traps and build resilience,” Mr. Ban said.

He also noted that this year’s report on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which was launched today, points to significant but uneven progress among and within countries, and more needs to be done to reduce poverty and hunger worldwide. The MDG’s are a set of global anti-poverty targets which world leaders have pledged to achieve by 2015.

“The MDGs have given policy-makers a unifying framework for global development, a clear agenda with measurable goals and targets, and a common, inspiring vision. As we look beyond 2015 we must do the same,” Mr. Ban said.

In his remarks to the opening of the high-session segment, the President of the General Assembly, Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, urged ECOSOC and General Assembly members to collaborate closely to tackle the world’s pressing economic and financial issues, and find ways to promote inclusive, sustainable and equitable economic growth and employment.

Mr. Al-Nasser stressed that the high-level meeting should send out a message about “our commitment to the creation of quality jobs and decent work, productivity development, and the strengthening of international coordination and cooperation, plus well-managed environment.”

The high-level segment is expected to conclude on 9 July with the adoption of a ministerial declaration that will be a road map on how to go forward in the achievement of full employment and decent work.

ECOSOC will also hold its operational activities segment and humanitarian affairs segment before concluding on 27 July. The 54-member Council coordinates the work of the 14 UN specialized agencies, 10 functional commissions and five regional commissions, receives reports from ten UN funds and programmes and issues policy recommendations to the UN system, as well as to Member States. It meets every year, alternating between New York and Geneva.

Council’s President, Ambassador Milos Koterec

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Global partnership key to achieving Millennium Development Goals by 2015 – UN report

News4u-News Desk-UN- With three important targets on poverty, slums and water having been met, a new United Nations report stresses the need for a true global partnership to achieve the remaining Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the 2015 deadline.

The 2012 MDG Report offers “the most comprehensive picture yet” on global progress towards the Goals, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said as he launched the report at the high-level segment of the annual session of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

The eight MDGs, agreed by world leaders at UN summit in 2000, set specific targets on poverty alleviation, education, gender equality, child and maternal health, environmental stability, HIV/AIDS reduction, and a “Global Partnership for Development.”

The report states that meeting the remaining targets, while challenging, is possible – but only if governments do not waiver from their commitments made over a decade ago. Further success depends on fulfilling MDG 8 – the global partnership for development, Mr. Ban notes in his foreword to the report.

“The current economic crises besetting much of the developed world must not be allowed to decelerate or reverse the progress that has been made. Let us build on the successes we have achieved so far, and let us not relent until all the MDGs have been attained,” he said in the foreword.

The 2012 report says that, for the first time since poverty trends began to be monitored, both the number of people living in extreme poverty and the poverty rates have fallen in every developing region, including sub-Saharan Africa, where rates are highest.

Preliminary estimates indicate that in 2010, the share of people living on less than a $1.25 a day dropped to less than half of its 1990 value. This means that MDG 1 – cutting the extreme poverty rate to half its 1990 level – has been achieved at the global level, well ahead of 2015.

The report notes that the target of halving the proportion of people without access to improved sources of drinking water by 2010 has been achieved. The proportion of people using improved water sources rose from 76 per cent in 1990 to 89 per cent in 2010.

In addition, the share of urban residents in the developing world living in slums has declined from 39 per cent in 2000 to 33 per cent in 2012. More than 200 million have gained access to either improved water sources, improved sanitation facilities, or durable or less crowded housing. This achievement exceeds the target of significantly improving the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers.

The report also points out that the world has achieved another milestone: parity in primary education between girls and boys. Driven by national and international efforts, many more of the world’s children are enrolled in school at the primary level, especially since 2000. Girls have benefited the most. There were 97 girls enrolled per 100 boys in 2010 – up from 91 girls per 100 boys in 1999.

The report says that enrolment rates of primary school age children have increased markedly in sub-Saharan Africa, from 58 to 76 per cent between 1999 and 2010. Also, at the end of 2010, 6.5 million people in developing regions were receiving antiretroviral therapy for HIV or AIDS, constituting the largest one-year increase ever.

“These results represent a tremendous reduction in human suffering and are a clear validation of the approach embodied in the MDGs,” Mr. Ban said in his remarks at the launch. “But, they are not a reason to relax.”

He noted that projections indicate that in 2015 more than 600 million people worldwide will still lack access to safe drinking water, almost one billion will be living on an income of less than $1.25 per day, mothers will continue to die needlessly in childbirth, and children will suffer and die from preventable diseases.

The report warns that the 2015 deadline is fast approaching and in order to achieve outstanding goals, governments, the international community, civil society and the private sector need to intensify their contributions.

“There is now an expectation around the world that sooner, rather than later, all these goals can and must be achieved. Leaders will be held to this high standard. Sectors such as government, business, academia and civil society, often known for working at cross-purposes, are learning how to collaborate on shared aspirations,” said the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Sha Zukang.

Ban Ki Moon

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Dikshit launches online registration of properties

News4u-News Desk-New Delhi, In a major reform initiative, Delhi government today launched an online registration of properties with an aim to plug revenue leakages, ensure transparency and offer people hassle-free services.

The online registration of properties will now be available in the sub-registrar office in Mehrauli and gradually the new system will be put in place in the 12 other such offices.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit launched the online system at the Mehrauli sub-registrar office which has been renovated at a cost of Rs 5.5 crore. Delhi Assembly Speaker Yoganand Shastri, Delhi Revenue Minister, A K Walia and Chief Secretary P K Tripathi were present on the occasion.

Under the new system, people will be able to get their properties registered on the same day of filing of application. The system will be highly secured as proper audit trail and cross verification of transaction would be ensured.

Officials said the online system will ensure transparency and eliminate the role of middlemen in the registration process. An official said under the new system, each applicant will have to come to the sub-registrar office with a pre-fixed appointment.

The appointment can be taken online by accessing the website of the Revenue department. The registered documents will be delivered to the applicant the very same day and in case their documents are rejected, they will be informed in writing on the same day.

“The Revenue Department intends to completely eliminate the menace of touts and middlemen by making the entire registration process transparent and accessible. Facilitation Counters at the office will help the applicants at every step of registration,” the official said.

All details regarding the registration process and stamp duty will now be available on the department’s website. As part of the reform initiative, the government last week had launched electronic-stamping facility to completely do away with stamp paper of all denominations. Earlier, e-stamping was applicable to values of Rs 501 and above. PTI

Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit

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SC notice to CBI on shifting trial of Bhanwari murder case

News4u-News Desk- The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the CBI and the Rajasthan government on a plea for transferring the trial of Bhanwari Devi murder case out of the state and to the national capital.

A bench of justices TS Thakur and FM Ibrahim Kalifulla also sought replies of all the 17 accused, including sacked state minister Mahipal Maderna and Congress MLA Malkhan Singh Bishnoi, in the case on the plea by victim’s sister for transfer of the trial out of Rajasthan.

Senior counsel Colin Gonsalves and advocate Shreeji Bhavsar, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that the accused in the case are powerful and influential politicians, who would not allow free and fair trial in the state.

“The political patronage is so obvious that when the accused persons tried to avoid arrest by having himself admitted to a hospital it was the state chief minister himself who visited the hospital to meet the accused. Thus it is clear that no free and fair trial can proceed in the state of Rajasthan and therefore the request is being made for transfer of the case to Delhi or any other state,” petitioner Indira Solanki said in her plea.

Bhanwari Devi, a nurse who lived near Jodhpur, disappeared from near her home in September last year. Four months after she went missing, her remains were found by police divers in a canal around 100 kms away from Jodhpur.

The case has seen some high-profile arrests. The 36-year-old nurse had alleged affairs with political leaders including Congress leader and former state minister Mahipal Maderna. Bhanwari was reportedly blackmailing him with a sex CD.

Maderna, who was forced to resign after she went missing and her liaison with him became public knowledge, has been arrested. Another Congress leader and Luni MLA Malkhan Singh, who reportedly introduced Bhanwari to him, was also arrested.

Pleading for transfer of the trial, Solanki submitted that the accused persons are powerful political leaders of dominant communities and their followers had created a law and order situation in the state.

“Interest of justice will be served if the case is transferred to Delhi especially in view of the affidavit submitted by the CBI before the Rajasthan High Court wherein it was urged that there existed a real danger of the witnesses being won over during the pendency of the trial. Furthermore, there is also the danger of witnesses being intimidated and the undue harassment of the Victim’s families,” the petition alleged.

The investigation was done by the CBI which registered the preliminary charge sheet on December 2 last year.PTI

Bhanwari Devi

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Olympic medal is my dream, my life: Deepika Kumari

News4u-Sports Desk- NEW DELHI: At 18, she is the world’s number one archer but Deepika Kumari says she would not allow her numero uno status weigh her down as she prepares to hit the bull’s eye at the hallowed Lord’s cricket ground during the upcoming London Olympics.

Deepika, who was crowned the world number one archer last month, on Monday exuded confidence of winning an Olympic medal and said she is focusing on the technical aspects of her game to realise her dream in London.

“This is my first Olympics, but I don’t have any pressure on me. I am confident of my game and I will give my 100 per cent to win a medal,” the 18-year-old said in a function here.

Deepika won her first World Cup individual recurve gold medal in Antalya, Turkey in May and became the world number one in the FITA rankings last month, but the Ranchi girl said she will be happy only after winning an Olympic medal.

“I’m not that happy with the number one ranking, I mean it is okay but I will be happy only when we get a gold in the Olmypics,” said Deepika.

“I can’t express what an Olympic medal means to me, it is my dream, my life. Ever since I became a sportsperson, I have been dreaming of an Olympic medal,” she added.

Deepika, who beat Korea’s Lee Sung Jin by six set points to four in the final to win the recurve gold in the World Cup at Turkey, said the experience will come handy at London.

“The experience of playing in World Cup will help. I am confident after winning against Korea, came to know how to handle pressure, how to score under pressure, so I am confident,” said the Tata Archery Academy (TAA) alumnus.

However, the teenager said the unpredictable weather conditions in London will play a very important role.

“The weather will play a big role since our game is outdoor and in London the weather changes very frequently. But we can handle it,” said Deepika, who is training with fellow archers Chekrawolu Swuro and Laishram Bombayala Devi to compete in the women recurve team competition.

“Our combination is very good, we have improved a lot and we have reached a level where we can compete against the best,” she added.PTI

Deepika Kumari

Deepika Kumari

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Anurag Kashyap to get international diving license

News4u-Entertainment Desk- Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap is on a break from filming after his successful film “Gangs Of  Wasseypur” and is working towards getting his international diving license.

The 39-year-old took to Twitter to reveal about his big day tomorrow, where he will be making his final dive thereafter getting the license.

“Two Dives at 7.5 mts and 12.2 mts. Even at that shallow the ocean floor is the most beautiful place on earth. Tomorrow is the big dive, then I get my international diving license. Yipee (sic),” Kashyap posted on his Twitter page.PTI

Anurag Kashyap

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A Face that Time Can Never Erase From Memory


Meena Kumari

News4u Feature- Veera Chaturvedi - I have a picture (cut out from some old magazine) of a four year old girl sleeping peacefully on a sofa with perhaps her father in the film, sitting nearby watching over her.

The girl was Meena Kumari who had to step in to the world of grownups at the tender age of four. I feel that the picture I have, was her last peaceful sleep Meena enjoyed till 27th of March, years ago, when she breathed her last.

We remember Meena Kumari every year on this very day, listening to her poetry, watching her films and going through the songs and dances. , she portrayed on the silver screen. However this is not the only time we remember Meena Kumari. A new Heroine in her wish for successful leading lady wants to essay roles that Meenaji did long ago. Can you think of Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam without thinking of Choti Bahu that came to life on the silver screen through Meena Kumari and became one with her. Raveena Tandon tried her hand on the role but could not match the legend in any scene. Whenevr an actress excels in her role, we think of Meena Kumari.

sahib bibi aur ghulam & Choti Bahu

I also remember Meena Kumari a slim & very beautiful Meena, eating a raw Mango and making faces at her co-star Kishore Kumar, hardly any one remembers a film named Ilzam where this s called unmatched Jodi did a lot of Dhamaal.

Meena could do anything . She could star in Kohinoor a most unbelievable comedy with the Tragedy King Dilip Kumar. In the same way she could sit silently for hours with her expressive eyes speaking to an equally quiet Dilip Kumar in Footpath. The way she spoke her dialogues in Pakiza , they keep ringing in our years long after the film is over. She lamented that in her long career she did quite a few films with Dilip Kumar, they were even Hits, but for her they were just mediocre attempts at entertainment. Azad, Kohinoor were fantasies and Footpath was above the common grasp. Only Yahoodi was memorable for the performances of both.

Pakeeza - Yahudi - Sharada.

Meena is accused of being a nymphomaniac, the one who was in love with herself and sorrow, who just could not stick to one man and drank like a fish. Lots and lots have been said about her. She had a crush on Bharat Bhushan, her co-star in the Jubilee Hit Baiju Bawara. This relation had no future as Bharat Bhushan was already married. She married Kamaal Amrohi, gave his sons the love of a mother, but the relationship did not last. They separated but before breathing her llst , Meena Kumari alias Mehjabeen, presented Kamaal & the world with the greats hit of our times. Inspite of being ill and almost subsisting on medicenes she gave her fans and the director, producer of Pakiza a film to remember forever.

Baiju Bawra - Bahu Begam

She was paired with Raj Kapoor in Sharda an extra ordinary tale of the star crossed loves, where the girl is forced by circumstances to become her love’s step mother. Meena lived the role. She was Paired with Ashok Kumar in Parineeta, Bheegi Raat, Ek Hi Raasta and many more. With Pradeep Kumar in Bahu Begum and a few other films. Raj Kumar , Rajendra Kumar, Devanand, Sunil Dutt and even with Mahipal and Gurudutt, she was at ease and gave the performance  an elfin touch of which she was a master. Meena Kumari wrote memorable poetry and under Khayyam’s direction recited them beautifully for her fans. She had a voice as expressive as her eyes and the curly lock that strayed out of her long hair to hang on her beautiful face.

Ek Hi Raasta - Parineeta - Bhegee Raat.

meena kumari

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8 glasses of water a day

News4u - News Desk : A medical practitioner has argued that the recommendation to drink six to eight glasses ofwater a day to prevent dehydration ”is not only nonsense, but is thoroughly debunk nonsense.”

There is currently no clear evidence of the benefit from drinking increased amounts of water, yet the “we-don’t-drink-enough-water” myth has endless advocates including the NHS, claimed GP Margaret McCartney.

The NHS Choices website states: “Try to drink about six to eight glasses of water (or other fluids) a day to prevent dehydration.”

While many schools also feel it appropriate to insist that pupils are accompanied to school by a water bottle, other organisations, often with vested interests, reinforce this message, she said.

For example, Hydration for Health (created by French food giant Danone - makers of bottled waters including Volvic and Evian) recommends 1.5 to 2 litres of water daily as “the simplest and healthiest hydration advice you can give.”

It also claims that, “even mild dehydration plays a role in the development of various diseases.”

But McCartney disagreed that that there is no high quality published evidence to support these claims.

While there are some conditions that do benefit from drinking increased water, such as in people with recurrent kidney stones, other evidence for preventing disease is conflicting, added McCartney.

“There are many organisations with vested interests who would like to tell doctors and patients what to do. We should just say no,” she concluded.

Her argument was put forward in this week’s BMJ. ANI

Drinking Water

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No wrong doing in accounts of Reebok, says auditor

News4u-News Desk- NEW DELHI: Reebok’s auditor N Narasimhan & Co has informed the ICAI that there was no accounting wrong doing in the company which has filed Rs 870-crore fraud case against two of its former employees. 

“Narsimhan & Co has said they are both the tax auditors and statutory auditors of the firm. They have told us that as far as audit is concerned there is no issue. We are waiting for some trigger from the company,” ICAI president Jaydeep Shah said.

The ICAI had asked from Narsimhan & Co and Reebok’s former COO Vishnu Bhagat, who is also a CA, to give their version and clarification on allegations about their role in the case. Information was also sought from Rebook India which is still carrying out its internal investigation, Shah said.

“The company (Reebok) has said till investigation is going on they will not be able to share anything,” he said, adding, “they have given us the report of the FIR that they have filed with the Gurgaon police.” PTI


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Quitting smoking improves mood

News4u-News Desk- Conventional wisdom says many smokers use cigarettes to ease anxiety and depression. But a new study has shown that quitting makes people happier.

In the new study, researchers tracked the symptoms of depression in people who were trying to quit and found that they were never happier than when they were being successful, for however long that was.

Based on their results, the authors recommend that smokers embrace quitting as a step toward improving mental as well as physical health, said Christopher Kahler, corresponding author and research professor of community health at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Quitting is not, as some smokers may fear, a grim psychological sacrifice to be made for the sake of longevity.

“The assumption has often been that people might smoke because it has antidepressant properties and that if they quit it might unmask a depressive episode,” said Kahler. “What’s surprising is that at the time when you measure smokers’ mood, even if they’ve only succeeded for a little while, they are already reporting less symptoms of depression.”

Kahler and colleagues from Brown, The Miriam Hospital, and the University of Southern Californiastudied a group of 236 men and women seeking to quit smoking, who also happened to be heavy social drinkers.

They received nicotine patches and counseling on quitting and then agreed to a quit date; some also were given specific advice to reduce drinking. Participants took a standardized test of symptoms of depression a week before the quit date and then two, eight, 16, and 28 weeks after that date.

All but 29 participants exhibited one of four different quitting behaviors: 99 subjects never abstained; 44 were only abstinent at the two-week assessment; 33 managed to remain smoke-free at the two- and eight-week checkups; 33 managed to stay off cigarettes for the entire study length.

The most illustrative - and somewhat tragic - subjects were the ones who only quit temporarily. Their moods were clearly brightest at the checkups when they were abstinent.

After going back to smoking, their mood darkened, in some cases to higher levels of sadness than before. The strong correlation in time between increased happiness and abstinence is a tell-tale sign that the two go hand-in-hand, said Kahler, who is based at Brown’s Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies (CAAS).

Subjects who never quit remained the unhappiest of all throughout the study. The ones who quit and stuck with abstinence were the happiest to begin with and remained at the same strong level of happiness throughout. ANI


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