Leaders: US, UK will ‘not be cowed’ by militants

News4u-News Desk- US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron declared on Thursday that their nations will “not be cowed” by extremists who killed two American journalists.

“We will be more forthright in the defence of our values, not least because a world of greater freedom is a fundamental part of how we keep our people safe,” the leaders wrote in a joint editorial in the Times of London.

Their comments come as world leaders gather at a golf resort in Wales for a high-stakes NATO summit.

The official agenda will focus on the crisis in Ukraine and the drawdown of the NATO combat mission in Afghanistan, but the rise of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria will dominate discussions on the sidelines of the summit.

Both the US and Britain are deeply concerned about the potential threat to their homelands that could come from the foreign fighters who have joined the violent Islamic State group.

Obama and Cameron appear to suggest that NATO should play a role in containing the militants, but were not specific in what action they would seek from the alliance.

Cameron on Monday proposed new laws that would give police the power to seize the passports of Britons suspected of having travelled abroad to fight with terrorist groups.

The two leaders were to visit with students at a local school today morning before joining their counterparts from France, Germany and Italy to discuss the crisis in Ukraine.

New Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was also to join the discussion in a show of Western solidarity with his embattled nation.

Ukraine and Russia have been locked in a standoff for months, with pro-Moscow forces stirring instability in eastern Ukrainian cities.

On the eve of the NATO summit, Russia and Ukraine said they were working on a deal to halt the fighting, but Western leaders expressed scepticism noting it wasn’t the first attempt to end the deadly conflict.

NATO leaders are expected to agree this week on the creation of a rapid response force that would set up in nations in the alliance’s eastern flank to serve as a deterrent to Russia.

Baltic nations and others in the region fear Moscow could set its sights on their borders next.

“We must use our military to ensure a persistent presence in Eastern Europe, making clear to Russia that we will always uphold our Article 5 commitments to collective self-defence,” Obama and Cameron wrote.

Under Article 5 of the NATO charter, an attack on one member state is viewed on an attack on the whole alliance.

Obama reiterated his support for that principle Wednesday during a visit to Estonia, one of the newer NATO members set on edge by Russia’s provocations.


Obama & Cameroon

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Govt approves 7% DA hike; raises it to 107% from July 1

News4u-News Desk- Government on Thursday approved 7 per cent hike in dearness allowance (DA), taking it to 107 per cent of basic pay, a move that will benefit around 30 lakh central employees and 50 lakh pensioners including dependents.

“The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today gave its approval for the release of an additional instalment of DA to general government employees and Dearness Relief (DR) to pensioners with effect from July 1, 2014. This is an increase of seven percent over the existing rate of 100 percent of the Basic Pay/Pension, to compensate for price rise,” a press statement said in New Delhi.

The increase is in accordance with the accepted formula, which is based on the recommendations of the 6th Central Pay Commission, it said.

The combined impact on the exchequer on account of both DA and DR would be about Rs 7,691 crore per annum and Rs 5,127 crore respectively in the financial year 2014-2015 (for eight months — July, 2014 to February, 2015), it added.

As per the practice, the dearness allowance is worked out on the basis of 12 month average of Consumer Price Index for Industrial Workers (CPI-IW).

The average rate of retail inflation for industrial workers from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014 was 7.25 per cent.

Therefore, the central government decided to hike dearness allowance for it employees by 7 per cent.

The previous UPA government had increased DA to 100 per cent from 90 per cent with effect from January 1, 2014, on February 28 on the basis of agreed formula for revision of the allowance.


Govt approves 7% DA hike

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One Direction sets new Guiness World Record

News4u-Entertainment Desk- One Direction has earned a spot in the Guinness World Records 2015 book after their first three albums debut at number one on the standard-bearing American chart.

The group’s Midnight Memories is their latest chart-topping LP. It debuted at number one on Billboard 200 following its release late last year. Previously, their first album Up All Night and their sophomore set Take Me Home also entered the same chart at the top slot.

The boys recently received their Guinness World Records certificate when bringing their ‘Where We Are Tour’ to New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium.

Member Niall Horan made the announcement before thousands of fans at the venue. “This really is one of our proudest moments, both for us and our incredible fans. Whenever we talk about it we always say how cool it is that we did it first, how sick is that?!,” he said.

One Direction is currently working on their fourth album. It’s still unknown when the yet-to-be-titled project will be released, but the band’s members have already been teasing it on social media.

Guinness World Records 2015 book will be released on September 11.


One Direction

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Ban hopes Modi would attend key UN climate summit

News4u-News Desk- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has expressed hope that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would attend the General Assembly and particularly participate in a key climate change summit, an area he said India can make important contributions.

Ban’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told reporters here that he is aware of reports that Chinese President Xi Jinping and Modi will not be attending the Secretary General’s climate change summit on 23rd September during the upcoming 69th UN General Assembly session that begins this month.

“I think the important issue for us is really on the commitments that countries will bring. And the Secretary- General expects every Member State to come with strong and bold commitments on climate change,” Dujarric said on Wednesday.

Modi is expected to reach New York on September 26 and will address the UN General Assembly the next day, giving his first global speech to an audience of nearly 200 world leaders and foreign ministers at the annual gathering of the world body’s policymaking organ.

After a grand community reception at the Madison Square Garden on September 28, Modi will head to Washington for his crucial bilateral meeting with President Barack Obama.

Dujarric had said in May that Ban expressed “hope” that Modi would attend the General Assembly and particularly participate in the climate change summit, an area he said India can make important contributions.

Dujarric had said that India has a big role to play on the issue of climate change and it has very important contributions to make.

Heads of State and Government will join leaders from business and civil society to announce new commitments and practical actions to address climate change at the summit hosted by the Secretary-General.

The one-day summit will mark the first time in five years that world leaders will get together to chart a bold, new course of action on climate change.

The Secretary-General has asked leaders to announce significant and substantial initiatives to help move the world toward a path that will limit global warming.

The UN Chief said in a statement that the summit would accelerate political momentum and catalyse ambitious action on the ground.

“I have invited leaders fromgovernments, cities, business, finance and civil society to showcase what they are doing to promote the transformative change we know we need. The world needs to seewhat countries are already doing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.


UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

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Encourage students to think critically: PM to teachers

News4u-News Desk- Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India should regain the status of ‘vishwaguru’ (leader in education) by according high respect to teachers whom he asked to encourage students to think critically about issues concerning nation.

In an email message to teachers, he told them that their determination and sincerity will shape the destiny of the nation as they are laying the foundation and the building blocks of the society.

“Teaching is not just another profession. It is a divine responsibility to guide and enlighten,” Modi said in his message of greetings. He said that by according high status to the teaching community, India had once attained the status of ‘vishwaguru’. “We must once again accord such respect to the teachers and thereby regain that status where India becomes the beacon of knowledge for the entire world,” he added.

He said that in the present day, often learning is equated with either collection of information or mastery of skills for occupations and jobs.

“Yes, that is important but I call upon you to widen the horizon of thinking of your students. Encourage them to think critically about broader issues concerning our nation, society and the environment. Our goal must be to create good citizens who are capable of preserving the past and creating the future,” the Prime Minister said.

“The wheels of change have put India on the march towards ‘surajya’ (good governance},” he said, adding “Your determination and sincerity will shape the destiny of the nation! “I want to see the day when every student is proud of his or her teachers and every teacher is proud of his or her students.”

Noting that the influences and experiences that teachers share with students will remain with them for a lifetime, Modi told them, “You are also laying the foundation and the building blocks of the society. This is a responsibility of great significance because on this depends how our present and future generations will thrive.” He said lessons in good citizenship inculcated at a young age will go a long way in creating a better society. “This could be as simple as traffic rules, cleanliness, gender sensitisation, concern for the weak and reverence for the elders,” the Prime Minister said.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi

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India an emerging democratic superpower: Abbott

News4u-News Desk- Describing India as an “emerging democratic superpower”, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he looks forward to making the most of the abundant opportunities for business in the country.

Kicking off his two-day India visit from the commercial capital, Abbott said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call “come, make in India” was “close in spirit and in intent” to the phrase he had used in respect of Australia that “we are open for business”.

“…..this is a country which has amazed the world over the last few decades with its growth and its development the world’s second most populous country; on purchasing power terms, the world’s third largest economy, clearly, the emerging democratic superpower of the world and a country with which Australia has long and warm ties.

“The purpose of this trip, as far as I am concerned, is to acknowledge the importance of India in the wider world, acknowledge the importance of India to Australia’s future, to let the government and the people of India know what Australia has to offer India and the wider world for our part, and to build on those stronger foundations,” he said addressing a 30-member business delegation accompanying him on the trip at Hotel Taj Palace.

Noting how India has changed “enormously” since his last visit 33 years ago as a backpacker, Abbott, who has expressed keenness to sign a nuclear deal with the country, said, “I can remember on my first day in Mumbai watching a bullock cart take material to a nuclear power station.

“Well, 33 years on, there aren’t that many bullock carts left in urban India, and the power stations the nuclear power stations are more sophisticated than ever,” he said.


Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott

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Teaching not a profession, a way of life: PM

News4u-News Desk-Ahead of Teachers’ Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said teaching is not a profession but “jeevan dharm” (a way of life) and asked teachers to understand changes happening across the world to prepare the new generation accordingly.

Interacting with the 350 national awardee teachers, who will be felicitated by President Pranab Mukherjee on Teachers’ Day on Friday, Modi said a teacher never retires and always endeavours to teach the new generation, according to an official statement.

“If a society is to progress, teachers must always be two steps ahead of time. They need to understand changes happening across the world and prepare the new generation accordingly by arousing curiosity in them,” he told them.

Modi said two of his wishes after he became the Gujarat Chief Minister were to meet his childhood friends and honour his teachers.

“I fulfilled both of them … The role of a teacher is very important in any student’s life,” he said.

Speaking in a lighter vein, Modi said he is sure the teachers, who will be honoured by the President, would not be affected by “Delhi’s airs”.

“I am sure it would not happen,” said Modi, who has in past referred to himself as an outsider in the capital.

The teachers also participated in the informal interaction, the statement said, and expressed their views on various aspects of teaching.

Modi will be interacting with students Friday afternoon and schools across the country have been asked to “assemble” students to watch the event which will be streamed live.


Teaching not a profession, a way of life: PM

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President appeals to citizens to shun untouchability in any form

News4u-News Desk-Stressing on the need for having an egalitarian society, President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday called on citizens to ensure that untouchability is not practised anywhere in the country.

Delivering the fifth Dr BR Ambedkar Memorial Lecture here on the ‘Vision of India in 21st Century as Envisaged by Dr Ambedkar’, the President said it was the responsibility of the citizens to realise the dreams of the principal architect of the Indian Constitution.

“We must ensure that untouchability or any form of discrimination based on caste, creed, religion or sex is not practised in any part of the country,” he said.

At the same time, he also reminded of the distance that the country still needs to travel to become an egalitarian society without any discrimination between man and man.

Pointing at the challenges before the country, he said that a large number of Indians still live in poverty and deprivation. Casteism, too, sadly remains a phenomenon the country is yet to fully wipe out, Mukherjee added.

The President’s remarks come in the wake of reports last week in Tamil Nadu of discrimination against Dalits and other caste Hindus who were allegedly served with separate cups in some villages.

Six tea-shop owners were arrested for engaging in the practice. Highlighting the contributions of Ambedkar, the President said his commitment towards the creation of strong institutions and constitutional methods had taken many interesting modern manifestations.

“For example, the Right to Information Act is a unique and powerful instrument created by law to empower people and enable them access information from any department of the government on any subject, advancing thereby openness and transparency,” Mukherjee said.

Earlier, speaking on the occasion, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Thawar Chand Gehlot, said that an international institution named after Ambedkar would be soon set up in Delhi.


President Pranab Mukherjee

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Over 40 missing as bus washed away in flash floods in J&K

News4u-News Desk-Over 40 people are missing after a bus carrying a marriage party, including the bride and groom, was washed away in flash floods in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district on Thursday.

The bus carrying nearly 50 people, mostly members of a marriage party, was crossing the Laam-Darhal-Moushera Road when it got washed away in the flash floods (of Gambhir river), a senior Army officer said.

An Army unit, which immediately reached the spot after the mishap, rescued four people who had jumped off the bus, he said.

Those rescued include the driver and conductor of the bus. The driver told the Army team that there were nearly 50 people in the bus, the officer said.

The Army has launched an operation to search and rescue the victims, he said, adding that their whereabouts are not known.

SSP Mubasir Latiffee, who also rushed to the spot along with a police team for the rescue work, said, “We cannot tell the exact number of people washed away along with the bus.”

Meanwhile, a truck was also washed away in flash floods in Noushera of Rajouri district, police said, adding that the details of the incident are awaited.


Over 40 missing as bus washed away in floods

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AIIMS revamps OPD appointment system

News4u-News Desk- People who wish to avail medical services at Out Patient Department (OPD) in AIIMS will now be able to book appointment of doctors online or through mobile phones.

The new system known as ‘IVR Based appointment system’ makes it possible to book an appointment without human interaction from anywhere using mobile phone. Old patients having UHID (Unique Health Identification number) can make appointments by dialling 09266092660.

“New OPD patients who want to visit AIIMS can pre-register themselves to avail its services through the website, following which they will be allotted a temporary UHID number,” Head IT and Additional Professor Nuerosurgery AIIMS Deepak Agrawal said.

However, the patients will have to visit AIIMS once for physical identification and get their permanent UHID number, through which they can later book their appointments through phone, he added.

This system is currently available in two languages, English and Hindi. Based on the lines of the railway booking system, there will also be a 25 per cent ‘tatkal quota’ for new walk-in patients for each department.

With effect from 1st September, taking an appointment has been made compulsory for both old and new patients to help curtail the problems of crowding and queue-jumping.

“AIIMS has been catering to an ever increasing patient volume and although the statistics seem overwhelming a lot can be done to improve patient care,” Director AIIMS, MC Mishra said.

Another service being offered in the emergency department is the Patient Display System (PDS) where all the details of the patients regarding their consultation, investigation and status run on a screen, which gets updated real-time by nurses, Agrawal added.

These services including PDS, IVR based appointment system and Live Patient Statistics Display (LPSD) will be inaugurated by Minister of State for Science and Technology Jitendra Singh tomorrow at the 4th International Conference and Workshop on “Cost Effective Use of Technology in E-health care”.


AIIMS revamps OPD appointment system

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