Monday, May 10, 2010


Saturday, May 02nd 2009
Swine flu threat deepens
There are indicators that the international outbreak of the H1N1 virus can be worse than the earlier case of bird flu. There are reports stating that the swine flu case which started in Mexico has now spread to around 11 countries. According to the World Health Organization(WHO), “The situation continues to evolve rapidly. As of 06:00 GMT, 1 May 2009, 11 countries have officially reported 331 cases of influenza A (H1N1) infection. Level 5 pandemic."

Saturday, May 02nd 2009
Swat peace deal almost dead
The peace agreement brokered between the Pakistan government and the Taliban in the restive North West Frontier Province(NWFP) is being considered as “practically dead”. The Taliban is now awaiting a decision from their hardliner religious cleric Sufi Muhammad to decide future strategy. The peace deal which was brokered by the cleric in February has come under strain as the military pointed accusations at the Taliban for kidnapping, killing security personnel and civilians in the restive swat valley.

Sunday, May 03rd 2009
Pak Sikhs take shelter in Gurudwara
As per reports in the media over 400 sikhs have taken refuge in a Gurudwara in Hassanabdal following their persecution by Taliban for failure to pay ‘jaziya’ or protection tax levied on non-Muslims. The Sikhs who have taken refuge at the Punja Sahib Gurudwara include women and children. More reports state that hundreds of Sikhs from the Buner region in the Swat valley have started migrating to safety. India has expressed concern over the discrimination being meted out to minorities in Pakistan and has asked the Pak government for positive action.

Monday, May 04th 2009
Nepal government sacks army chief
In what is being seen as a setback to India, Nepal's Maoist PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' sacked army chief Rukmangad Katuwal. India had used all diplomatic means to retain the army chief. India is now getting ready to back a coalition of the Nepali Congress, Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist(UML) and the Madhesi Janaadikar Forum(MJF). After the decision to remove the army chief, UML has pulled out of the government.

Monday, May 04th 2009
India to renegotiate treaty with Switzerland
Swiss authorities have been approached by the Indian government to renegotiate the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA), a tax treaty between the two countries in force since 1995, to obtain details of bank accounts maintained by Indians in Swiss banks. The Swiss authorities have expressed their willingness to co operate after the tough posture adopted by the G-20 nations at their recently held London summit seeking to bring tax havens and non-cooperating Jurisdictions under close scrutiny.

Monday, May 04th 2009
11 killed as Norwester sweeps Bengal
A powerful Norwester which hit several parts of West Bengal on Sunday killed 11 and injured around 15 people. The districts where maximum damage was reported was in Malda where seven people were killed. Several trees and electric poles were uprooted due to the powerful storm. This has also brought respite to the scorching heat conditions that the people were facing in West Bengal.

Tuesday, May 05th 2009
Nepal PM quits over army chief battle
The Maoist leader and Prime Minister of Nepal, Pushpa Kamal Dahal also known as 'Prachanda' has quit the post of prime minister as announced in a televised address on Monday. Prachanda took this decision after the President of Nepal, Ram Baran Yadav, rejected the PM's order asking for the dismissal of the army chief, Gen Katawal. The dispute between the army chief and the PM arose when the General resisted Prachanda’s decision to enlist 19,000 Maoist guerrillas in the army. The Maoist-led government has now fallen after a period of eight months in power.

Tuesday, May 05th 2009
45 killed in Turkey wedding attack
In an attack at a wedding party in South-Eastern Turkey around 45 people were killed on Tuesday. Assailants wearing masks attacked the group of people using automatic rifles and grenades. The area, near the border with Syria, has been plagued by fighting between Kurdish separatists and government troops for 25 years. The interior ministry has however claimed that the attack is not a terror event.

Wednesday, May 06th 2009
Myanmar rejects appeal for Suu Kyi release
According to sources; Myanmar's junta has rejected an appeal to free pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, whose most recent period of detention will expire May 27.Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has spent about 13 of the past 19 years under house arrest in her family's Yangon compound. Suu Kyi's lawyer has argued that her detention must end by May 27, because Myanmar law sets a maximum of five years in jail on charges of disturbing the peace, as Suu Kyi was charged with on May 27, 2003. Suu Kyi leads the National League for Democracy (NLD) party that won the 1990 general election.

Wednesday, May 06th 2009
Comedy actor DeLuise passes away
Actor and comedian Dom DeLuise, who starred in films including Blazing Saddles and Cannonball Run, passed away in his sleep at a hospital in Los Angeles on Monday night following a long illness. He was 75. He had appeared in scores of films, TV shows and Broadway plays and provided voices for numerous cartoon characters and is best known for his performances in Mel Brooks' successful comic films, playing film director Buddy Bizarre in Blazing Saddles and Roman emperor Nero in History of the World: Part I.

Thursday, May 07th 2009
Pak attacks Taliban in Swat
With the US exerting more pressure on Pakistan regarding the fight against militancy, the Pakistani security forces have intensified their attack on Taliban fighters in the Swat valley. Around 64 fighters were killed in an attack on Wednesday. The military launched attacks on the outskirts of Mingora, the main town in Swat and which is 130 Km northwest of Islamabad. Around 38,000 people have been displaced from Swat since fighting intensified last month.

Thursday, May 07th 2009
Indian enterprises face the heat in Nepal
Ever since the Maoist led government came into power in Nepal, several Indian enterprises have faced trouble. As per reports in the media the left-wing cadres have been forcing Indian owned firms to shut down operations and shift the business out of the country. With the political environment becoming unstable in Nepal, Indian investors and the business community may have it even tougher in the days to come.

Friday, May 08th 2009
Pakistan calls of Swat peace deal
Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani called off the Swat peace deal with the Taliban on Thursday. Since this announcement, the Pakistani military has intensified its fighting in the Swat valley. On the other hand according to the United Nations, tens of thousands of Pakistani nationals have fled their homes in recent days from the Swat Valley where a militant-government peace pact has collapsed.

Sunday, May 10th 2009
Pak troops to be moved from Indian borders : Zardari
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has told different US interlocutors in Washington that Pakistan will move many of its troops from its eastern border with India to the insurgency hit areas of the nation. The US has also offered aid worth $1.9 billion to Pakistan. Asif Ali Zardari also spoke of opening talks with India, the possibility of which has been rejected by Prime minister Manmohan Singh.

Monday, May 11th 2009
All night artillery barrage in Sri Lankan war zone
As per reports in the media the war zone in Sri Lanka witnessed an all night artillery barrage in which around 378 civilians were killed and thousands were forced to flee to makeshift shelters along the beach. The journalists reporting the war events are also facing a tough time due to stricter measures from the government.

Monday, May 11th 2009
Nepal might have a new PM of Indian origin
Madhav Kumar Nepal seems to be the party's choice for a PM of a coalition government in Nepal. After former Maoist leaders Prachanda resigned from the office of the prime Minister the Nepal government has been in a state of deadlock. On Sunday the President asked the parliament to choose a PM to end the political deadlock. Madhav Kumar Nepal, who is a 56 year old veteran communist leader of Indian origin could become Nepal's next prime minister.

Tuesday, May 12th 2009
Top Afghanistan general sacked by the US
The United States defence secretary has asked the US commander in Afghanistan to step down. In a move to bring in “new thinking” for the battle against the Taliban Gen. David McKiernan will be succeeded by Gen. Stanley McChrystal. The US has now decided to boost the troop's numbers and also adopt new strategy in Afghanistan.

Tuesday, May 12th 2009
A(H1N1) flu count hits 4,694 globally
The number of confirmed cases of swine flu, or the A(H1N1) virus, around the globe has increased to 4,964. The number has now doubled from what was taken a few days ago. As per the World Health Organization 53 lives have been claimed by the virus so far. Mexico has 1,626 cases with 48 deaths while the US has 2,532 with three deaths.

Thursday, May 14th 2009
Burma's Aung San Su Kyi to be charged
Aung San Suu Kyi Burma's pro-democracy leader has been charged under article 22 of the state for an uninvited visit from a US national. She has been taken to a prison. Ms.Suu Kyi had been put under house arrest for the last 19 years in Rangoon by the ruling Junta. She has been under house arrest due to her pro-democracy stance.

Friday, May 15th 2009
Tamil Civilians to be spared: Obama
US President Barack Obama has urged the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE to step back to allow safe passage to all Tamil civilians trapped in the conflict zones. He warned of a humanitarian crisis turning into a catastrophe if the plight of the Tamil civilians went unheeded. He also asked the government of Sri Lanka to allow the United Nations and the Red Cross access to nearly 190,000 displaced people within Sri Lanka so that they can receive additional support that they need.

Saturday, May 16th 2009
Sri Lanka to stamp out LTTE in 48 hours
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajpaksa declared that the military will stamp out the LTTE in 48 hours as the army launches its final offensive against the Tamil Tigers on Friday. The government has promised to free thousands of Tamil civilians who are trapped in war zones because of the LTTE. The Sri Lankan army has massed 25,000 troops for the final onslaught and they have encircled around 1,200-1,500 remnants of the Tamil Tigers.

Monday, May 18th 2009
LTTE accepts defeat
The Tamil Eelam fighters have finally conceded defeat and have surrendered to the Sri Lankan army. However the fate of the LTTE chief V. Prabhakaran is still speculative with some quarters claiming that he may have committed suicide along with his close associates. The Sri Lankan government has stated that all Tamil civilians trapped in the war zones have moved to safety. As many as 63,000 managed to flee in three days.

Monday, May 18th 2009
Pak pushes into Taliban strongholds
Pakistani troops have entered two Taliban strongholds in the swat valley. And around 1000 militants have been killed in the ongoing anti-militancy operations. Pakistan has vowed to flush out all militants as its security and survival are at stake.

Tuesday, May 19th 2009
LTTE Chief Prabhakaran killed
The Sri Lankan government has confirmed the death of the LTTE chief V Prabhakaran. The war which has claimed about 60,000 lives over three decades has finally come to an end. As per reports in the media the Sri Lankan army shot and killed the LTTE supremo and his top officials when they attempted to flee the war zone. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajpaksha will address the parliament on Tuesday. India has asked the Sri Lankan government for an early political settlement to solve the ethnic conflict between the Sinhalese and the Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Wednesday, May 20th 2009
Air plane crash in Indonesia, 97 suspected to be killed
An Indonesian military air transport plane crashed in the island of Java killing around 97 people. This toll is likely to rise state officials. The plane which was carrying military troops and their families had been flying from Jakarta to eastern Java when it crashed. The cause of the crash is yet to be made certain.

Wednesday, May 20th 2009
Access to Sri Lankan refugee camps restricted
As per media reports the UN has claimed that many refugee camps in Sri Lanka have been restricted. Humanitarian organizations have been barred from entering some Sri Lankan government-controlled camps that house thousands of civilians who fled heavy fighting between troops and the Tamil Tigers in the northern region of the island. The number of the internally displaced people is expected to rise and the numbers so far have grown to more than a quarter of a million people since April.

Thursday, May 21st 2009
US announces $110 million aid to Pakistan
The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced an emergency fund of $110 million to Pakistan for the humanitarian crisis in the swat valley. The US secretary in a guilt laced speech stated that the American policy towards Pakistan over the last thirty years has been incoherent.

Friday, May 22nd 2009
Tamil areas in Lanka to have polls: Rajapaksa
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is planning to hold provincial elections in the Tamil-dominated areas freed from LTTE control. This has been insisted upon by India repeatedly. President Rajapaksa stated that the concerns of the Tamil diaspora will be addressed. Provincial council elections will be held in the Northern region of Sri Lanka. Mahinda Rajapaksa also stated that his government had drawn up a plan for resettlement of 2.8 lakh war-displaced people in their original places of habitation in the north within the next six months.

Saturday, May 23rd 2009
Pak troops make way into Taliban base
The Pakistani security forces have intensified their fighting against the militants in the Taliban controlled region of Mingora of the restive North West Frontier Province in the swat valley. Around 17 militants have been killed so far. The security forces also made strategic inroads into the base of the top Taliban commander Maulana Fazlullah and captured several of their strongholds on Friday. On the other hand there have been protests by Americans over the US aid offered to Pakistan. Protesters stating misuse of American taxpayers money disrupted a senate hearing on US aid to Pakistan on Thursday.

Monday, May 25th 2009
Madhav Kumar sworn-in as Nepal Prime Minister
Newly elected Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal will be sworn in today. Fifty six-year-old Madhav Kumar, an alumni of Bihar"s Goenka College, received the support of around 360 legislators of 22 political parties, excluding 238 legislators from Maoists and two from the Communist Party of Nepal (United). He was the Deputy Prime Minister in the Nepalese government during the CPN (UML) minority government as well as the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly. On April 12, 2008, he resigned as General Secretary of the CPN (UML) after having lost the Kathmandu-2 seat to Maoist candidate Jhakku Prasad Subedi in the 2008 Constituent Assembly election.

Tuesday, May 26th 2009
Nations furious over North Korea’s second nuclear test
North Korea conducted its second more powerful nuclear test on Monday. Unmindful of international pressure the defiant nation has conducted a successful nuclear test. The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said that the North “successfully conducted one more underground nuclear test on Monday as part of the measures to bolster up its nuclear deterrent for self-defence in every way”. South Korea, Japan and Russia immediately condemned the action calling it a major concern. N Korea had conducted its first nuclear test on October 9; 2006. US President Barack Obama has called Pyongyang’s action a threat to International peace and security

Wednesday, May 27th 2009
N Korea defies all warnings
After giving nations across the world a shock with its second nuclear test on Monday. North korea has defied warnings from the UN and test fired two more short range missiles on Tuesday. A pair of short-range missiles one surface to air and the other a surface to water with the range of 130 km were fired from its east coast launch pad.

Thursday, May 28th 2009
Taliban targets ISI
Suspected Taliban terrorists detonated a car bomb near the ISI office in Lahore on Wednesday. The gunmen opened fire at guards, leaving a trail of 30 dead and 250 injured. The attack damaged the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) office and also flattened the city’s emergency response building near the provincial police headquarters.

Saturday, May 30th 2009
Massacre in Lanka
In the aftermath of the nearly three decade long civil war in Sri Lanka between the LTTE guerrillas and the army, brutal and violent stories of Tamil civilians being massacred are now emerging in the media. Media reports state that over 20,000 trapped Tamil civilians were killed as the Sri Lankan army launched its final assault to end the war. The authorities in Colombo have however blamed the LTTE for many of the casualties caused among Tamil civilians. An initial investigation carried out by a national newspaper have revealed that the number of the deaths stated officially account for only 1/3rd of the actual figure for the number of people killed in the final stages of the war.

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