Pakistan court orders release of JuD Chief Hafiz Saeed
The Lahore High Court ordered the release of banned terror group
Chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, who had been
under house arrest since December last year.
Saeed, believed to be the mastermind of the Mumbai terror attacks,
is head of the JamaatudDawa,
a front for terrorist outfit LashkareTaiba.
"The court has ordered that the detention of Hafiz Saeed was a
violation of the constitution and the law of this country," A K
Dogar, the lawyer told reporters outside the Lahore High Court.
On December 10, 2008, the UN Security Council had imposed
sections on the JuD. Government sources in India have called Saeed's arrest by Pakistan
authorities 'an eyewash'.
Mauricio Funes is inaugurated as President of El
Carlos Mauricio Funes is elected as the President of El Salvador. He
won the 2009 presidential election as the candidate of the leftwing
FMLN political party and took office on 1 June 2009.
Funes was nominated to be the FMLN candidate on 28 September
2007 and competed against the Nationalist Republican Alliance's
candidate Rodrigo Avila, a former deputy director of the National
Police. Funes won the 2009 presidential election, achieving an
absolute majority with 51.23% of the popular vote. He is the first
FMLN party leader not to have fought in the civil war. His
presidential campaign was highlighted by statements endorsing
moderate political policies. He has promised to increase taxes on the
rich to pay for programs such as health care in rural areas and crime prevention.
Another Indian student attacked in Australia
Even as the Australian government continues to promise strict
action against those who attack Indians in their backyard, a
television report suggests that another attack took place in
Melbourne on 20yearold
Nardeep Singh, who was on his
way to attend college.
The victim of the attack, who came to Australia just a month
back, hails from Ludhiana. He is a nursing student at the
Chisholm Technical Institute in the city and was attacked on
his way to college on 2 nd June morning.
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He was reportedly assaulted by at least 5 men, which included two Australians. He was
attacked at a car park, where these 5 men asked him for cigarettes. When he replied that he
was a nonsmoker,
the group asked him for money. When Nardeep refused to give them, one
of the attackers stabbed him in his chest.
Nardeep, however, escaped further assaults and reached the police station, where his
statement was recorded. Nardeep's roommate said that he was stabbed, which was followed
by excessive bleeding. Nardeep is currently under observation in a Melbourne hospital.
GM files for bankruptcy protection
General Motors Corp. filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday
as the iconic U.S. automaker moved to shrink its global operations
and shed thousands of jobs in a streamlining aided by massive help
from the Obama administration and US $9.5 billion from the
Canadian and Ontario governments.
General Motors' bankruptcy filing is the largest in history for a
U.S. industrial enterprise and puts the three governments firmly in
control of the company, although U.S. President Barrack Obama tried to ease concerns that
government bureaucrats will run the world's second biggest carmaker.
Obama said the U.S. government will own 60% of the new GM — much as it has taken part
ownership of Chrysler, banks and other corporations in recent months — while the two
Canadian governments will hold about 12% in return for their US$ 9.5 billion contribution.
General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson said the new company will be a leaner and quicker
automaker that's more focused on its customers and its products. It will be built from the
strongest parts of its business, including its best brands and best products.
The company plans to focus on four core brands — Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC —
and get rid of four others — Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer and Saab. It has also made a major
investment on a new electric car, the Volt, which it will build in the United States.
Henderson thanked the Canadian governments for their financing and the Canadian Auto
Workers union for concessions that helped secures the restructuring. He also said he doesn't
expect the Canadian operations will face any further cuts than the already significant
reductions announced last year.
In a joint statement, Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the governments had
reviewed and approved the restructuring plans of GM and its wholly owned Canadian
'I want to thank the governments of Canada and Ontario for making this investment in GM
along with the United States," said Obama. "Our countries share a stake in this company's
future, and I look forward to our close partnership through this restructuring period."
GM's bankruptcy filing in the New York court is the fourthlargest
in U.S. history and the
largest for an industrial company. The company said it has US $172.81 billion in debt and US
$82.29 billion in assets.
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The fallen icon of American industrial might will rely on US $30 billion of additional
financial assistance from the Treasury Department as it reorganizes. That's on top of about
$20 billion in taxpayer money GM already has received in the form of lowinterest
Under the General Motors' plan, the automaker will permanently close nine more plants and
idle three others to trim production and labour costs under bankruptcy protection. The
closures will displace 18,000 to 20,000 GM employees, the company said.
In Canada, the company has already shut down its Oshawa (Ont. truck plant), affecting 2600
workers, and will close a transmission factory in Windsor next year, with the loss of another
1,400 jobs. GM Canada has already taken a huge hit in GM's earlier restructurings, losing
about half of its workforce.
The company plans to streamline its Canadian production to about 6,000 jobs from 20,000 in
2005, but no new plant closures are expected beyond what was announced last year.
Meanwhile, the two car assembly plants in Oshawa are expected to survive the restructuring.
GM will follow a similar course taken by Chrysler LLC, which filed for Chapter 11
protection in April and hopes to emerge from its governmentsponsored
Under the GM plan, the United Auto Workers are getting a 17.5% stake in the company and
unsecured bondholders receiving 10%.
GM's U.S. filing comes 32 days after a Chapter 11 filing by Chrysler, which was also
hobbled by plunging sales of cars and trucks as the worst recession.
Trading of GM shares was halted early Monday after they plunged Friday as low as 74 cents,
the lowest price in the company's 100year
history. GM will be kicked out of the Dow Jones
industrial average because rules established by the News Corp. unit that oversees the index
prohibit it from including companies that have filed for bankruptcy.
Microsoft's search engine Bing is launched
Microsoft stepped up its efforts to cut into the search
dominance of Google, launching a public preview version
of its widely praised Bing search site.
The site offers several features that are not automatically
available on Google such as instant excerpts that allow
users to see the contents of a page without actually
clicking on it and a sidebar detailing related searches.
The Bing home page is also fancier than Google's famously spare design and shows a picture
of hot air balloons flying over a craggy desert landscape in Cappadocia, Turkey. Like
Google, the page offers links to specific search categories like news, video, shopping, maps
and travel, and also includes a link to Microsoft's cashback
search rewards programme.
Microsoft currently trails far behind Google in the search market, which is the most lucrative
advertising format on the internet. Google has 64 per cent of the US market, compared to 21
per cent for Yahoo and just eight per cent for Microsoft, according to recent figures from web
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tracking firm Comscore.
The Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, first unveiled Bing last Thursday at a California
technology conference and the early reactions have been very positive.
HPCL Q4 net profit increases by 13% at Rs 5104 crore
Hindustan Petroleum Corporation reported a 13fold
growth in net profit at Rs 5,104.04
crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2009. The
refining and marketing company had a net profit
of Rs 384.51 crore in the March quarter of FY'08, HPCL
said in a statement. The total income of the company
declined 16.91 per cent to Rs 24,875.02 crore during the
fourth quarter, from Rs 29,936.03 crore in the
corresponding period a yearago.
The gross refining margin for the financial year ended
March 31 stood at USD 3.97 per barrel, against USD 6.54
a barrel in the yearago
The board has declared a dividend of 52.5 per cent at the rate of Rs 5.25 a piece on every
share of Rs 10 each held for the financial year ended March 31.
For the financial year ended March 31, HPCL posted a net profit of Rs 574.98 crore, a 49.33
per cent decline over the yearago
period. The company had a net profit of Rs 1,134.88 crore
in FY'08. Total income rose 12.13 per cent to Rs 1,16,427.83 crore during the fiscal ended
March 31, from Rs 1,03,837.43 crore in the previous fiscal. Shares of HPCL closed at Rs
349.40, down 3.12 per cent on the BSE.
Ratnagiri Gas inks 5year
deal with RIL
Ratnagiri Gas & Power (RGPPL) has signed a fiveyear
contract to buy gas from Reliance Industries (RIL). The
development will help the utility, formerly Dabhol Power
Project, to achieve full production capacity by March next year
and could augur well for Maharashtra's power consumers who
have been plagued by loadshedding.
"We have signed a gas agreement with RIL on Thursday," AK Ahuja, Managing Director of
RGPPL said. He said "We hope the Ratnagiri power plant will achieve its full capacity of
1,900 MW in March next year." The plant is running with a 950 MW capacity.
Under the agreement, RGPPL will receive 2.7 million metric standard cubic meters per day
(mmscmd) of gas from RIL's Krishna Godavari basin. The supply will be scaled up to 5.6
mmscmd by October and 8.5 mmscmd when it achieves full generation capacity, said a
RGPPL director. RGPPL will pay $4.2 million metric British thermal unit (mmBtu) for
purchasing gas from RIL and another $1 per unit for transportation.
The gas supply would help ease shortage of fuel to RGPPL — India's first gasbased
project which supplies power to Maharashtra. RGPPL is expected to reduce the daily shortfall
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in the state from its peakdemand
of 4,500 MW to nearly 2,500 MW after achieving full
capacity next year, said the director.
The company has planned to replace the gas it takes from Petronet LNG by RIL gas. It would
help RGPPL, buys 5 mmscmd has from Petronet LNG, to save nearly Re 1 per unit.
According to Mr Ahuja, RGPPL has sorted out issues with GE and National Insurance
Corporation. The US equipment firm GE has agreed to repair and maintain all six turbines
while the domestic insurance company would provide insurance cover for them.
Russian Revolution (19171923)
In 1917 there were actually two revolutions in Russia. One was the February Revolution in
which the Tsar abdicated his throne and the Provisional Government took power. The other
was the October Revolution in which the Provisional Government was overthrown by the
The Russian Revolution of 1917 played a very important role in world history and also a
major role in the history of the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania and led to the
creation of the Soviet Union.
Tsar Nicholas II
Tsar Nicholas II served as the last emperor of Russia from 1895 to 1917. He, his wife, and
their children were executed following the October Revolution.
V.I. Lenin or simply Lenin was a Russian revolutionary, Bolshevik leader, communist
politician, principal leader of the October Revolution and the first head of the Soviet Union.
In 1998, he was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the
20th century. His contributions to Marxist theory are commonly referred to as Leninism.
Tsar Nicholas II Leon Trotsky Vladimir Lenin
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Russian Communist Leon Trotsky led his comrades during the Russian Revolution of 1917
and later served as a leader of the Soviet Union under Lenin. After Lenin's death, Trotsky was
exiled and later assassinated.
Consequences of World War I
By the end of 1915, there were manifold signs that the economy was breaking down under
the heightened strain of wartime demand. The main problems were food shortages and rising
prices. Inflation shoved real incomes down at an alarmingly rapid rate, and shortages made it
difficult to buy even what one could afford. These shortages were especially a problem in the
capital, Petrograd (formerly the City of Saint Petersburg), where distance from supplies and
poor transportation networks made matters particularly bad. Shops closed early or entirely for
lack of bread, sugar, meat and other provisions, and lines lengthened massively for what
remained. It became increasingly difficult both to afford and actually buy food.
By 1917, the growth of political consciousness, the impact of revolutionary ideas, and the
weak and inefficient system of government (which had been debilitated further by its
participation in World War I), should have convinced the emperor, Nicholas II, to take the
necessary steps towards reform. In January 1917, in fact, Sir George Buchanan, the British
Ambassador in Russia, advised the emperor to "break down the barrier that separates you
from your people to regain their confidence." In response to his advice, Nicholas effectively
Militarily inadequate supplies, logistics, and weaponry led to heavy losses that the Russians
suffered during World War I; this further strengthened Russia's view of Nicholas II as weak
and unfit to rule. Ultimately, these factors, coupled with the development of revolutionary
ideas and movements (particularly during the years following the 1905 Bloody Sunday
Massacre), led to the Russian Revolution.
This revolution broke out without definite leadership and formal plans, which may be seen as
indicative of the fact that the Russian people had quite enough of the existing system.
Petrograd, the capital, became the focus of attention, and, on 23 February people at the food
queues started a demonstration. They were soon joined by many thousands of women textile
workers, who walked out of their factories—partly in commemoration of International
Women's Day but mainly to protest against the severe shortages of bread. Already, large
numbers of men and women were on strike, and the women stopped at any stilloperating
factories to call on their workers to join them. The mobs marched through the streets, with
cries of "Bread!" and "Give us bread!" During the next two days, the strike, encouraged by
the efforts of hundreds of rankandfile
socialist activists, spread to factories and shops
throughout the capital. By 25 February, virtually every industrial enterprise in Petrograd had
been shut down, together with many commercial and service enterprises. Students, whitecollar
workers and teachers joined the workers in the streets and at public meetings, whilst, in
Duma (government institution), liberal and socialist deputies came to realise a
problem. They presently denounced the current government even more
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vehemently and demanded a responsible cabinet of ministers. The Duma, consisting
primarily of the bourgeoisie, pressed the Tsar to abdicate in order to avert a revolution.
On the Saturday evening the 25 th , with police having lost control of the situation, Nicholas II,
who refused to believe the warnings about the seriousness of these events, sent a fateful
telegram to the chief of the Petrograd military district, General Sergei Khabalov: "I command
you tomorrow to stop the disorders in the capital, which are unacceptable in the difficult time
of war with Germany and Austria." Most of the soldiers obeyed these orders on the 26 th , but
mutinies, often led by lowerranked
officers, spread overnight. On the morning of the 27 th ,
workers in the streets, many of them now armed, were joined by soldiers, sent in by the
government to quell the riots. Many of these soldiers were insurgents, and they joined the
crowd and fired on the police, in many cases little red ribbons tied to their bayonets. The
outnumbered police then proceeded to join the army and civilians in their rampage. Thus,
with this neartotal
disintegration of military power in the capital, effective civil authority
By nighttime on the 27 th , the cabinet submitted its resignation to the Czar and proposed a
temporary military dictatorship, but Russia's military leaders rejected this course. Nicholas,
meanwhile, had been on the front with the soldiers, where he had seen firsthand
defeat at Tannenberg. He had become very frustrated and was conscious of the fact that the
demonstrations were on a massive scale; indeed, he feared for his life. The ill health of his
son (suffering from the blood disorder hemophilia) was causing him difficulties, too.
Nicholas accepted defeat at last and abdicated on 13 th March, hoping, by this last act of
service to his nation (as he stated in his manifesto), to end the disorders and bring unity to
Russia. In the wake of this collapse of the 300yearold
brother, to whom he subsequently offered the crown, refused to become Czar unless that was
the decision of an elected government; he wanted the people to want him as their leader—a
minority of the Duma's deputies declared themselves a Provisional Government, chaired by
Prince Lvov, a moderate reformist, although leadership moved gradually to Alexander
Kerensky of the Social Revolutionary Party.
The October Revolution also known as the Soviet Revolution or Bolshevik Revolution was
led by Vladimir Lenin and was based upon Lenin's writing on the ideas of Karl Marx, a
political ideology often known as MarxismLeninism.
It marked the beginning of the spread
of communism in the 20 th century. It was far less sporadic than the revolution of February
and came about as the result of deliberate planning and coordinated activity to that end.
Though Lenin was the leader of the Bolshevik Party, it has been argued that since Lenin
wasn't present during the actual takeover of the Winter Palace, it was really Trotsky's
organization and direction that led the revolution, spurred by the motivation Lenin instigated
within his party.
The revolution was led by the Bolsheviks, who used their influence in the Petrograd Soviet to
organize the armed forces. Bolshevik Red Guards forces under the Military Revolutionary
Committee began the takeover of government buildings on 24 October. On 25 October the
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Winter Palace (the seat of the Provisional government located in Petrograd, then capital of
Russia), was captured.
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War (1917–1923) was a multiparty
war that occurred within the former
Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed and the Soviets under the
domination of the Bolshevik party assumed power, first in Petrograd (St. Petersburg) and
then in other places.
The principal fighting occurred between the Bolshevik Red Army, often in temporary
alliance with other leftist prorevolutionary
groups, and the forces of the White Army, the
forces. Many foreign armies warred against the Red Army,
notably the Allied Forces, yet many volunteer foreigners fought in both sides of the Russian
Civil War. Other nationalist and regional political groups also participated in the war,
including the Ukrainian nationalist Green Army, the Ukrainian anarchist Black Army and
Black Guards, and warlords such as Ungern von Sternberg.
The most intense fighting took place from 1918 to 1920. Major military operations ended on
25 October 1922 when the Red Army occupied Vladivostok, previously held by the
Provisional Priamur Government. The last enclave of the White Forces was the AyanoMaysky
District on the Pacific coast, where General Anatoly Pepelyayev did not capitulate
until 17 June 1923.
Russia had been at war for seven years, during this time some 20,000,000 of its people had
lost their lives. The civil war had taken an estimated 15,000,000 of them, including at least
1,000,000 soldiers of the Russian Red Army and more than 500,000 White soldiers who died
in battle. Although Russia experienced extremely rapid economic growth in the 1930s, the
combined effect of World War I and the Civil War left a lasting scar in Russian society, and
had permanent effects on the development of the Soviet Union.