Monday, June 01st 2009
Demand for rights abuse probe rejected by Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has rubbished reports stating that 20,000 civilians were killed in the final phase of military operation against LTTE. Foreign secretary Palitha Kohona said that the reported civilian deaths was an unverified figure. The Sri Lankan government has also rejected a demand by a few western nations seeking probe into human rights violations in the island nation.
Monday, June 01st 2009
Anti-Taliban operation in Pak nearing an end
As Pakistani forces fought militants in South Waziristan on the Afghan border on Sunday, a government official stated that the Pakistani offensive in the Swat valley could be over in two or three days. The offensive was undertaken by the Pakistani military forces to contain and root out the expanding Taliban insurgency in the country. About 50 militants and nine soldiers have died in the operation so far. The offensive in the Swat has caused the displacement of around 2.4 million people.
Tuesday, June 02nd 2009
228 feared dead as Air France plane goes missing
An Air France plane which took off from Rio De Janeiro heading to Paris went missing on Monday when it lost contact with air traffic control after flying into a severe thunderstorm . The state of the art airbus A330-200 had 228 people on board. Air France has clarified that it does not expect to find any survivors and it is assumed that the plane has crashed into the Atlantic ocean. The airlines offered its condolences to the families of the passengers.
Tuesday, June 02nd 2009
Oz Police and Indian student protesters clash
18 Indian students were detained in connection to holding massive anti-racism protests in Melbourne on Sunday. As per unconfirmed reports the Australian police also used violence to contain what was supposed to be a peaceful rally. The 18 students who were detained have now been freed and Australian PM Kevin Rudd has informed the parliament that all would be done to ensure that the perpetrators of these acts are brought to justice. External Affairs minister S M Krishna expressed his concern over the issue of the attacks against Indian students and he assured that India has taken up the matter at the highest level and he hopes to see the situation sorted out soon.
Wednesday, June 03rd 2009
Debris of the missing airline spotted off Brazil's coast
Search planes have spotted the debris of the Air France airliner in the waters 650 Kms off the Brazilian coast. A Brazilian navy ship is expected to arrive in the area to begin the task of recovering wreckage. It is hoped that the ship will recover some of the wreckage which will provide officials with a clue as to why the airliner crashed. The air liner was on its way from Rio De Janeiro to Paris with 228 people aboard the ill fated flight.
Thursday, June 04th 2009
Tiananmen anniversary today
June 4th marks the 20th anniversary of the crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen square. Several pro-democracy protesters were killed in the suppression on the night of June3-4, 1989. China however increased its police restrictions on the eve of the anniversary especially for the dissidents of the 1989 crackdown. US Secretary of State Ms Hillary Clinton on the occasion of the 20th anniversary urged the Chinese government to publicly account for those killed in the suppression of the Tiananmen Square protests 20 years ago. The Tiananmen square was open to visitors on the eve of the anniversary who had to face several security checks.
Thursday, June 04th 2009
Obama to give keynote speech in Egypt
US President Barack Obama who is on the second leg of his tour to the middle east and Europe is all set to give his special address in Cairo. The speech is specially directed to the young Arabs of the region. As per reports in the media the speech will avoid specific proposals but focus instead on improving US-Middle East relations. Mr. Obama also held talks with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh. Mr. Obama's Middle East tour hopes to increase US engagement with the Islamic world and overcome misapprehensions on both the sides.
Friday, June 05th 2009
Obama reaches out to Muslims across nations
US President Barack Obama in his much anticipated speech at the University of Cairo, Egypt reached out to the 1.5 billion Muslims around world seeking for a new beginning. He said that he hoped to seek a new beginning between the US and the Islamic world by ending the cycle of suspicion and discord and by putting up a fight against extremism together. In his speech Obama also stated that combat troops will leave Iraq by July this year and all troops by 2012.
Monday, June 08th 2009
European elections 2009, a thumbs up for center-right parties
At the European elections 2009, 27 countries participated and 375 million European citizens were eligible to vote. The elections this time saw the center-right parties doing well at the expense of the left parties. As the results were declared the UK Labour party, Germany's Social Democrats and France's Socialist seemed to be heading for a defeat. Spain's Centre-right Popular party was one of the big winners at the elections. 736 members would be elected to the European parliament for a term of five years. As per the statistical information published in media reports, the voter turnout plunged to 43% this time. Jose Manuel Barroso is likely to continue in the post of the European commission president for a second term.
Tuesday, June 09th 2009
Thousands flee Waziristan
As the Pakistani armed forces prepare for an offensive against the Taliban in North and South Waziristan in Pakistan's northwestern tribal areas, thousands of civilians have fled these areas. The Pakistani military encouraged by its success in the swat valley are now preparing to attack the top leadership of the Taliban. As per media reports the Pak military has already eliminated the second and third rung of the Taliban leadership.
Wednesday, June 10th 2009
Pak blast kills 15, 50 hurt
A powerful bomb blast ripped through a five star hotel in Peshawar, Pakistan killing fifteen people. The blast was reported within the compound of the Pearl Continental Hotel in Peshawar late in the evening on Tuesday. As per media reports around 50 have been injured. A section of the hotel collapsed under the impact of the explosion. Rescue operations are on to find victims of the blast. Two UN employees one from Serbia and Philippines are said to have been among those who were killed.
Thursday, June 11th 2009
Pakistan steps up attacks on Taliban
Post the Peshawar hotel bomb blast where 18 have been reported to have died the Pakistani military has tightened its grip around the Taliban. The army has claimed to have killed around 70 militants in fresh attacks on Taliban strongholds. The military offensive has sparked a major humanitarian crisis in the swat valley. Reports state that numbers of the internally displaced persons in the Swat is increasing and their ordeal remains unending with cases of dehydration, diarrhoea and malaria being rampant in the refugee camps. Close to 2 million people have been displaced due to the ongoing military offensive against the Taliban.
Saturday, June 13th 2009
US house clears aid bill on Pak
In a decision and joint move by the US house of representatives, Pakistan will now receive an American non military aid of $1.5 billion per year. As per the Pakistan Enduring Assistance and Cooperation Enhancement (PEACE) Act 2009 the vast majority of the assistance will be focused on critical counter-insurgency and counter terrorism efforts; it cannot be used to purchase offensive weapons systems for the Pakistani army. The bill also requires that all military assistance flow through the democratically elected Government of Pakistan.
Tuesday, June 16th 2009
Iranian voters protest against Ahmadinejad
Thousands of opponents of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran gathered in central Tehran to cheer pro-reform leader Mir Hossein Mousavi. As per the results that were declared Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won the presidential elections this time. The pro-reform leader who had stood for the presidential elections had alleged that the elections were marred by fraud. Several of his supporters have been holding protests for this reason. The Interior ministry had issued a ban on these protests on Monday which has turned . Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei directed the Guardian council which is Iran's most influential bodies, to examine the allegations.
Wednesday, June 17th 2009
Vote recount ordered by Iran leadership
The Islamic leadership of Iran has prepared to do a limited recount of the disputed presidential elections. This may be a set back for President Ahmadinejad. But the opposition led by presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi has called this an eyewash attempt and has asked for fresh elections in the country. Fresh protest rally by supporters of Mousavi have been called in Tehran.
Wednesday, June 17th 2009
Chinese gas pipeline to Myanmar
Come September and the Chinese would begin laying a gigantic gas and oil pipeline which would be 1,100 Kms long to Myanmar. The announcement came in the wake of a visit by Burmese leaders to China. The new gas pipeline will cut transportation costs by shortening the journey for crude from the Middle East and Africa. This is expected to have political and strategic implications for India and China.
Thursday, June 18th 2009
US unveils banking reforms
To avoid a recurrence of a financial crisis in the future US President Barack Obama announced a reform plan for finance. This is basically a major reform in banking regulations. As per the reform plan new powers will be given to the federal reserve to oversee the entire financial system. It would also create a new consumer protection agency to guard against credit and other abuses that played a major role in the current financial crisis.
Friday, June 26th 2009
Aid bill for Pakistan passed by US senate
The Kerry-Lugar Bill, which triples America's civilian assistance to Pakistan was unannimously passed by the US Senate. Pakistan will now receive $7.5 billion in the next five years and also an equal amount for another five years -- $15 billion in 10 years. The Kerry-Lugar Bill, which is called Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act (S962), received bi-partisan support from Senators and is supported by the Obama Administration.
Saturday, June 27th 2009
US Immigration system set to be revamped
A decision to use cutting-edge technologies to revamp the entire US Citizenship and Immigration Services( USCIS). This would reduce the paperwork and backlog. This is also aimed at bringing in more transparency into the system. US President Barack Obama informed a select bi-partisan group of Congressmen that such a system would be in place in the next 90 days, in which the USCIS will launch a vastly improved website. This is likely to help thousands of Indian-Americans every year who apply for permanent residency or Green Card, or approach USCIS for various immigration issues.
Saturday, June 27th 2009
Swine flu cases in the US at 1 million
As per the US health officials as many as one million Americans are now affected by swine flu and 6 per cent or more of urban areas are infected. The United States has roughly half the world's swine flue cases, with nearly 3,065 hospitalized flu victims and 127 reported deaths.
Monday, June 29th 2009
Curfew set by new Honduran leader
Shortly after the elected leader Manuel Zelaya was outed and flown to Costa Rica by the Honduran army, congress speaker Roberto Micheletti was sworn in as the new president. The congress speaker imposed an overnight curfew in Honduras on Sunday following tension prevailing due to supporters of Mr. Zelaya. The removal of Mr Zelaya came amid a power struggle over his plans for constitutional change. Mr Zelaya, who had been in power since 2006, wanted to hold a referendum that could have led to an extension of his non-renewable four-year term. The interim president Michelletti has promised presidential elections for November 29th this year..
Tuesday, June 30th 2009
Yemeni plane crashes with 150 on board
As per media reports a Yemeni airliner with 150 passengers on board has crashed in the Indian ocean near the Comoros islands, northwest of Madagascar. The airliner that crashed early on Tuesday belonged to the Yemeni state carrier Yemenia Air. Officials have not yet been able to confirm about the exact accident site or about the number of survivors.