Friday, October 30, 2015

No more Chinese firecrackers this Diwali for Odisha


Odisha will have to do without firecrackers of Chinese origin this Diwali because of directives issued by the center - the Union government has apparently asked all states to take action against any illegal shipment of crackers from China.
This has been reported in telegraphindia.com dated 30 October 2015.
The police have bee asked to keep a watch on those who do not abide by the directives and treat any imported consignment of crackers as illegal. they will have to maintain a close watch on sale of such crackers in the markets of, especially, Cuttack and Bhubaneswar.
The Deputy commissioner of police, Cuttack, has also indicated that the police would ensure that the traders abide by the rules of not selling Chinese crackers before issuing temporary licenses for setting up stalls.
The state government has also asked all its collectors to maintain vigil on sale of illegal fireworks in their respective districts.
Incidentally, the police issue temporary licenses for setting up stalls to sell fireworks in the run up to the Diwalind, on an average, 300 licenses are issued every year in Cuttack and 450 in Bhubaneswar.
It may be noted that the possession and sale of foreign-made explosives is a punishable offense under the guidelines of Explosive Act. However, Chinese fireworks have always been easily available in the markets.
(Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org)

Some more interesting links -

The global broom campaign (satire)

Moody searching for a place where no leader has gone (Satire)

Moody, Jet Lee and missing pulses (Satire)


Fossils and eggshells of baby dinosaurs found in Gobi Desert

Parama Island flyover adds to traffic jams in Kolkata – made one-way

Future of street foods in Delhi bleak - Delhi bans cooking on roads


Arnold Schwarzenegger could play in Rajinikanth-starrer 'Enthiran 2'

Emma Roberts and her horror-comedy series "Scream Queens"

India is one of 81 countries vying for Best Foreign Film in the 88th Academy Awards


Despite US airstrikes, ISIS still makes £300-million a year from oil

Syrian gang caught trying to smuggle 20-tonnes of cannabis worth £150million into Europe

US airdrops 50-tons of ammunition for M-16s and AK-47 to Syrian fighters

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Madras High Court says idol immersion causes pollution of the ecosystem


Madras High Court has made an interesting observation - namely that immersion of idols in water results in pollution of the ecosystem and, simultaneously, poses a serious threat to fish and birds. Moreover, it is amounts to an illiterate attitude towards water that needs to be abolished.
This has bee reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com dated 30 October 2015.
The observations were made during the hearing of the bail pleas of two men who had been slapped with attempt to murder charges and arrested because of a clash during a 'Vinayaka Chaturthi' idol immersion festival.
To prevent damages to the ecosystem, the judge conceded that enforcing every environmental law at every stage of idol-making is a Herculean task and suggested that artificial ponds be built in specific areas for immersion of idols during festive season.
It could be an effective way to do away with the pollution of water bodies.
He also pointed out that during immersion, materials like clay, bamboo, grass, wood, metals, jute, colors, painted cloth, flowers, incense sticks, dhoop, camphor and ash get released into water bodies. The addition of clay results in siltation of lakes. Moreover, toxic chemicals that are employed in making the idols tend to leach out and pose serious problems of water pollution.
The pollution kills fish and other marine life and also poses danger to those who are dependent on water like birds, animals and human beings because it reduces the oxygen level in water.
(Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org)

Some more interesting links -

The global broom campaign (satire)

Moody searching for a place where no leader has gone (Satire)

Moody, Jet Lee and missing pulses (Satire)


Fossils and eggshells of baby dinosaurs found in Gobi Desert

Parama Island flyover adds to traffic jams in Kolkata – made one-way

Future of street foods in Delhi bleak - Delhi bans cooking on roads


Arnold Schwarzenegger could play in Rajinikanth-starrer 'Enthiran 2'

Emma Roberts and her horror-comedy series "Scream Queens"

India is one of 81 countries vying for Best Foreign Film in the 88th Academy Awards


Despite US airstrikes, ISIS still makes £300-million a year from oil

Syrian gang caught trying to smuggle 20-tonnes of cannabis worth £150million into Europe

US airdrops 50-tons of ammunition for M-16s and AK-47 to Syrian fighters

A 29-year-old woman plans to travel 32000-Km from Argentina to Alaska


Her name is Bethany Hughes and she plans to become the first documented woman to travel the length of the Americas - from Ushuaia, Argentina, to Barrow, Alaska. She will use non-motorized means like hiking, cycling or canoeing and might even drive a sled-dog team for part of the way. This is a skill she picked up when she had lived briefly in Alaska. Her 20,000-mile (32,000-kilometre) trek is expected to commence in December and the journey would take an estimated five years to complete.
This has been reported in nzherald.co.nz dated 5 October 2015.
Hughes has lived in Spain and studied abroad at Oxford and she has six little footprints tattooed up her foot, one for each country Hughes has lived in. Her plan is to follow the mountains through Argentina, Chile and Peru, then continue north through Ecuador and Colombia and, continue on bicycle through Central America and Mexico, before heading through the US to Canada.
She knows winters in the Andes are brutal, summers in the tropics insufferable but she has the resolve.
She has spent several years planning for the trip and has saved much of the estimated $12,000 she will need annually by working multiple jobs. She also has managed to rope in some sponsors like Hyperlite Mountain Gear. But, majority of her support is from grassroots fundraising.
Google Earth has allowed her to plot her path with reasonable accuracy. DeLorme's GPS system will keep not only keep her on track but help a team of volunteers back in the US to monitor her progress.
(Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org)

Some more interesting links -

The global broom campaign (satire)

Moody searching for a place where no leader has gone (Satire)

Moody, Jet Lee and missing pulses (Satire)


Fossils and eggshells of baby dinosaurs found in Gobi Desert

Parama Island flyover adds to traffic jams in Kolkata – made one-way

Future of street foods in Delhi bleak - Delhi bans cooking on roads


Arnold Schwarzenegger could play in Rajinikanth-starrer 'Enthiran 2'

Emma Roberts and her horror-comedy series "Scream Queens"

India is one of 81 countries vying for Best Foreign Film in the 88th Academy Awards


Despite US airstrikes, ISIS still makes £300-million a year from oil

Syrian gang caught trying to smuggle 20-tonnes of cannabis worth £150million into Europe

US airdrops 50-tons of ammunition for M-16s and AK-47 to Syrian fighters

Edhi Foundation declines Prime Minister Modi's one crore donation


Geeta, a 11-year-old girl had accidentally crossed over to Pakistan and,being deaf and dumb, was stranded in an alien country. Abdul Sattar Edhi took care of her for 15-years and, she is now back in India. Abdul Sattar Edhi of the Edhi Foundation has accompanied Geeta to India and, in order to express gratitude, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had offered to donate Rs 1 crore to his charity. This has been reported in ibnlive.com dated 27 October 2015.
however, Pakistan's most revered and celebrated humanitarian Abdul Sattar Edhi has declined the offer. Edhi Foundation had given shelter to hearing and speech impaired Indian national Geeta and sent her back to India. As indicated by Abdul Sattar Edhi's son Faisal, they have a policy that they do not accept donation from any government including Pakistan government. they have requested the Indian government to use the money for the betterment of hearing and speech impaired children in India.
(Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org)
Some more interesting links -

The global broom campaign (satire)

Moody searching for a place where no leader has gone (Satire)

Moody, Jet Lee and missing pulses (Satire)


Fossils and eggshells of baby dinosaurs found in Gobi Desert

Parama Island flyover adds to traffic jams in Kolkata – made one-way

Future of street foods in Delhi bleak - Delhi bans cooking on roads


Arnold Schwarzenegger could play in Rajinikanth-starrer 'Enthiran 2'

Emma Roberts and her horror-comedy series "Scream Queens"

India is one of 81 countries vying for Best Foreign Film in the 88th Academy Awards


Despite US airstrikes, ISIS still makes £300-million a year from oil

Syrian gang caught trying to smuggle 20-tonnes of cannabis worth £150million into Europe

US airdrops 50-tons of ammunition for M-16s and AK-47 to Syrian fighters

China feels the pinch of one-child norms


China is feeling the pinch of restricting its families to one-child norm for nearly three decades. Therefore, they have officially scrapped its controversial decades-long one-child policy. Couples can now have more than one child.
This has been reported in zeenews.india.com dated 29 October 2015.
The agency Xinhua has referred to a communique issued by China's ruling Communist Party after a four-day meeting here to draw up the action plan of the country over the next five years.
This is the first time that China has done away with its one-child policy that was considered controversial as it forced many abortions and faced criticism by rights groups and activists.
According to United Nations estimates, China will is expected to have nearly 440 million people aged over 60 by 2050 and that could pose many social problems.
China had introduced its family planning policy in the late 1970s to rein in population growth by limiting most urban couples to one child and most rural couples to two. The birth of a second child was allowed only if the first child was a girl.
(Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org)


Some more interesting links -

The global broom campaign (satire)

Moody searching for a place where no leader has gone (Satire)

Moody, Jet Lee and missing pulses (Satire)


Fossils and eggshells of baby dinosaurs found in Gobi Desert

Parama Island flyover adds to traffic jams in Kolkata – made one-way

Future of street foods in Delhi bleak - Delhi bans cooking on roads


Arnold Schwarzenegger could play in Rajinikanth-starrer 'Enthiran 2'

Emma Roberts and her horror-comedy series "Scream Queens"

India is one of 81 countries vying for Best Foreign Film in the 88th Academy Awards


Despite US airstrikes, ISIS still makes £300-million a year from oil

Syrian gang caught trying to smuggle 20-tonnes of cannabis worth £150million into Europe

US airdrops 50-tons of ammunition for M-16s and AK-47 to Syrian fighters

Converting lighthouses in Mumbai to attract tourists


The director general Lighthouses and Lightships has indicated that efforts are on to develop eight lighthouses as tourist attractions. these are the ones located at Kanhoji Angre and Sunk Rock off the Mumbai coast, Aguada in Goa, Kadalur Point at Thikkodi in Kerala, Minicoy in Lakshadweep islands, Mahabalipuram and Kanyakumari - Muttom in Tamilnadu and Chandrabhaga in Odisha.
This has been reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com dated 29 October 2015.
Already four Lighthouses located at Chennai and Mahabalipuram in Tamilnadu and Alapuzha (Alleppy) and Kannur (Cannanore) in Kerala have been developed as tourist attractions, which are seeing substantial footfalls.
It is understood that an Expression of Interest (EOI) for developing tourism infrastructure has also been issued by the DGLL for another set of 70 lighthouses. The shipping ministry has favored Swiss Challenge method for awarding lighthouse projects in a bid to encourage innovative ideas.
The development of tourism infrastructure would necessarily involve addition of hotels or resorts, thematic restaurants, construction of viewing galleries, walk in museums and allied tourism facilities. Such inattentiveness has paid dividends for countries like South Korea, Scotland and South Africa who are the pioneers in development of lighthouse tourism.
(Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org)

Some more interesting links -

The global broom campaign (satire)

Moody searching for a place where no leader has gone (Satire)

Moody, Jet Lee and missing pulses (Satire)


Fossils and eggshells of baby dinosaurs found in Gobi Desert

Parama Island flyover adds to traffic jams in Kolkata – made one-way

Future of street foods in Delhi bleak - Delhi bans cooking on roads


Arnold Schwarzenegger could play in Rajinikanth-starrer 'Enthiran 2'

Emma Roberts and her horror-comedy series "Scream Queens"

India is one of 81 countries vying for Best Foreign Film in the 88th Academy Awards


Despite US airstrikes, ISIS still makes £300-million a year from oil

Syrian gang caught trying to smuggle 20-tonnes of cannabis worth £150million into Europe

US airdrops 50-tons of ammunition for M-16s and AK-47 to Syrian fighters

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Global warming could soon force people out of Gulf countries like Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha


Global warming is not something to be scoffed at because a recent study has shown that rising global temperatures could soon push the sun-baked cities of the Gulf across a threshold of human acceptance. The temperatures would literally be beyond survival limits of humans.
This has been reported in nzherald.co.nz dated 28 October 2015.
The study carried out by scientists from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Loyola Marymount University has warned that at least five of the region's great metropolises could see summer days that surpass the "human habitability" limit. The heat and humidity would be so high that even the healthiest people could not withstand more than a few hours outdoors.
The report cautions that booming cities such Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha could cross the threshold by the end of the century, if temperatures continue to rise at current rates. The Saudi holy city of Mecca, a destination for millions of Muslim pilgrims every year, is also in the list.
Incidentally, a wet-bulb temperature of 35C is regarded as the survivability limit for healthy people. The wet-bulb temperature is measured by using a thermometer that has its bulb wrapped in cloth that is kept wet.
Climate scientists have indicated that some parts of the Earth could cross the 35C mark in future centuries if global warming continues. However, when the temperatures could rise well beyond 43C in the hottest summer months. That would affect Gulf cities like Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha. These cities already suffer from high heat-index values that contribute to high rates of heatstroke among outdoor workers.
(Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org)


Some more interesting links -

The global broom campaign (satire)

Moody searching for a place where no leader has gone (Satire)

Moody, Jet Lee and missing pulses (Satire)


Fossils and eggshells of baby dinosaurs found in Gobi Desert

Parama Island flyover adds to traffic jams in Kolkata – made one-way

Future of street foods in Delhi bleak - Delhi bans cooking on roads


Arnold Schwarzenegger could play in Rajinikanth-starrer 'Enthiran 2'

Emma Roberts and her horror-comedy series "Scream Queens"

India is one of 81 countries vying for Best Foreign Film in the 88th Academy Awards


Despite US airstrikes, ISIS still makes £300-million a year from oil

Syrian gang caught trying to smuggle 20-tonnes of cannabis worth £150million into Europe

US airdrops 50-tons of ammunition for M-16s and AK-47 to Syrian fighters

Timings for traffic on Parama flyover in Kolkata still not finalized


The Parama flyover has been named ‘Ma’ but, there appears to be plenty of confusion on when traffic would be allowed to operate from which direction. Of course, for flyover, there is usually no restriction on timings and traffic moves equally fast from both sides – but, in Kolkata, things are not like other places.
The Kolkata Police are right now in a fix. They are unable to finalize the timings for traffic on the newly opened Parama flyover (aka Ma) that connects Park Circus to EM Bypass. The police have yet again changed the timings for the Parama flyover in order to distribute the load of vehicular traffic equally on and off the flyover during the morning and evening peak hours.
As per the new plan introduced last week, vehicles from the city can travel towards the EM Bypass from 9am to 9pm while from 9pm till 9am the next morning, the flyover is open to traffic both ways. Even though one-way movement takes off at 9am, traffic sources said city-bound traffic would be barred from taking the flyover from the Bypass end at least 15 minutes earlier.
This has been reported in telegraphindia.com dated 28 October 2015.
Till last week, the timings for flyover had been synchronized with vehicle movement on Park Street. This means, vehicles could enter the city from the Bypass end of the flyover till 1pm and go in the reverse direction from 1pm till 10pm.
Traffic timings on the new flyover have already seen multiple changes since its inauguration earlier this month. And, it is understood that the new traffic model would be in force till around Diwali and reviewed later. The police plan to hold a meeting with other agencies to review the situation around that time.
(Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org)


Some more interesting links -

The global broom campaign (satire)

Moody searching for a place where no leader has gone (Satire)

Moody, Jet Lee and missing pulses (Satire)


Fossils and eggshells of baby dinosaurs found in Gobi Desert

Parama Island flyover adds to traffic jams in Kolkata – made one-way

Future of street foods in Delhi bleak - Delhi bans cooking on roads


Arnold Schwarzenegger could play in Rajinikanth-starrer 'Enthiran 2'

Emma Roberts and her horror-comedy series "Scream Queens"

India is one of 81 countries vying for Best Foreign Film in the 88th Academy Awards


Despite US airstrikes, ISIS still makes £300-million a year from oil

Syrian gang caught trying to smuggle 20-tonnes of cannabis worth £150million into Europe

US airdrops 50-tons of ammunition for M-16s and AK-47 to Syrian fighters

Africa wants India to help make ‘Make in Africa’ successful


India-Africa Forum Summit 2015 is on in New Delhi and, impressed with the ‘Make in India’ message, several of the African ministers took up the subject of investment in their countries by India. They have made an appeal to India for a 'Make in Africa' program alongside Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Make in India campaign.
Foreign Ministers of South Africa and South Sudan have aggressively pushed for investments in their countries. As they have explained – Africa has resources and the Make in India initiative could get a boost with the help of technology available in India.
Simultaneously, with investments by India in South Africa, a similar program of Make in Africa can also be visualized. This was put up in the Ministerial Meeting of the 3rd India-Africa Forum Summit.
This has been reported in ibnlive.com dated 28 October 2015.
Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, the foreign minister of South Africa has said that the Indian Ocean not only separates India and South Africa but also connects them. In her opinion, both the countries should cooperate in exploring the marine resources with the help of modern technology.
There were 40-odd foreign ministers of African nations, cutting across regions, who gave speeches in the programs and they spoke in different languages like English, French, Portuguese and Arabic.
Incidentally, the menu at the dinner for African trade ministers, hosted by Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, did not have any beef. There were two non-vegetarian dishes — fish (narial bata betki paturi) and chicken chettinad — apart from a range of vegetarian fare, including Gujarati kadi.
(Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org)


Some more interesting links -

The global broom campaign (satire)

Moody searching for a place where no leader has gone (Satire)

Moody, Jet Lee and missing pulses (Satire)


Fossils and eggshells of baby dinosaurs found in Gobi Desert

Parama Island flyover adds to traffic jams in Kolkata – made one-way

Future of street foods in Delhi bleak - Delhi bans cooking on roads


Arnold Schwarzenegger could play in Rajinikanth-starrer 'Enthiran 2'

Emma Roberts and her horror-comedy series "Scream Queens"

India is one of 81 countries vying for Best Foreign Film in the 88th Academy Awards


Despite US airstrikes, ISIS still makes £300-million a year from oil

Syrian gang caught trying to smuggle 20-tonnes of cannabis worth £150million into Europe

US airdrops 50-tons of ammunition for M-16s and AK-47 to Syrian fighters

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Filthy polluted waters of the Yamuna has its plus points for some Delhites


The waters of the Yamuna River in Delhi may be filthy and polluted but, there ae some people who survive in these surroundings – they are the bunch of people who grow water chestnuts in these waters and sell them at Rs 40 per kilogram in the wholesale market.
This has been reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com dated 28 October 2015.
These people make use of perilous contraptions that they have fabricated out of rubber tubes and, sitting on them, they pull the floating mess of leaves and pluck the water chestnuts also known as singhara or water caltrop.
The innovative farmer hails from Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh and is the owner of the 40-bigha holding at Rainy Well Thoka Number 13 in east Delhi. He has hardly any competition and there is a great demand for the starchy edible seed.
He has with him a work force of around 10 from his home state who arrive once at sowing time at the outset of the monsoons and then again between September and November at the harvesting time. In Bijnor, water chestnuts are a common sight and practically every other family is into the business.
(Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org)


Some more interesting links -

The global broom campaign (satire)

Moody searching for a place where no leader has gone (Satire)

Moody, Jet Lee and missing pulses (Satire)


Fossils and eggshells of baby dinosaurs found in Gobi Desert

Parama Island flyover adds to traffic jams in Kolkata – made one-way

Future of street foods in Delhi bleak - Delhi bans cooking on roads


Arnold Schwarzenegger could play in Rajinikanth-starrer 'Enthiran 2'

Emma Roberts and her horror-comedy series "Scream Queens"

India is one of 81 countries vying for Best Foreign Film in the 88th Academy Awards


Despite US airstrikes, ISIS still makes £300-million a year from oil

Syrian gang caught trying to smuggle 20-tonnes of cannabis worth £150million into Europe

US airdrops 50-tons of ammunition for M-16s and AK-47 to Syrian fighters

Flash flood warnings in Texas after Hurricane Patricia


Following the Hurricane Patricia striking Mexico and heading towards Huston, heavy rains are triggering flash flood warnings and tornado watches in the US state of Texas. The hurricane, the most powerful one ever measured, was downgraded to a tropical depression. But, it could still dump up to 8 to 12 inches of rain.
This has been reported in ibnlive.com dated 25 October 2015.
A voluntary evacuation call for the Bolivar Peninsula and the closure of underwater roadways in Houston because Houston leaders have warned that the area's bayous can take care of about five additional inches and the situation was not favorable.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker has indicated that there could be localized flooding in Houston, primarily street flooding in Houston and Harris County, because of the terrain.
This rainfall was the second time in five months that severe weather has pounded Texas. In May, a series of storms had triggered floods and led to 21 deaths. That prompted President Barack Obama to declare parts of the state as disaster areas.
(Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org)


Some more interesting links -

The global broom campaign (satire)

Moody searching for a place where no leader has gone (Satire)

Moody, Jet Lee and missing pulses (Satire)


Fossils and eggshells of baby dinosaurs found in Gobi Desert

Parama Island flyover adds to traffic jams in Kolkata – made one-way

Future of street foods in Delhi bleak - Delhi bans cooking on roads


Arnold Schwarzenegger could play in Rajinikanth-starrer 'Enthiran 2'

Emma Roberts and her horror-comedy series "Scream Queens"

India is one of 81 countries vying for Best Foreign Film in the 88th Academy Awards


Despite US airstrikes, ISIS still makes £300-million a year from oil

Syrian gang caught trying to smuggle 20-tonnes of cannabis worth £150million into Europe

US airdrops 50-tons of ammunition for M-16s and AK-47 to Syrian fighters

7.5 magnitude quake strikes Pakistan, Afghanistan and North India – leaves at least 260 dead


A massive earthquake of 7.5 magnitude on the Richter scale struck the remote Afghan northeast and killed at least 63 people in Afghanistan and 223 in Pakistan and has left hundreds injured. Its shock waves were felt in parts of North India and damaged properties in Jammu and Kashmir. Recue operations are on and the toll could rise.
This has been reported in zeenews.india.com dated 27 October 2015.
The US Geological Survey has identified the epicenter of the earthquake as near Jurm in the Hindu Kush Mountains. It is in the sparsely populated province of Badakhshan, which borders Pakistan, Tajikistan and China. It said the epicenter was 213-Km deep and 73-Km south of the provincial capital, Fayzabad.
The duration of the massive earthquake was nearly one minute and it was followed by at least two aftershocks of magnitudes 4.8 and 4.7 respectively, according to the USGS.
(Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org)


Some more interesting links -

The global broom campaign (satire)

Moody searching for a place where no leader has gone (Satire)

Moody, Jet Lee and missing pulses (Satire)


Fossils and eggshells of baby dinosaurs found in Gobi Desert

Parama Island flyover adds to traffic jams in Kolkata – made one-way

Future of street foods in Delhi bleak - Delhi bans cooking on roads


Arnold Schwarzenegger could play in Rajinikanth-starrer 'Enthiran 2'

Emma Roberts and her horror-comedy series "Scream Queens"

India is one of 81 countries vying for Best Foreign Film in the 88th Academy Awards


Despite US airstrikes, ISIS still makes £300-million a year from oil

Syrian gang caught trying to smuggle 20-tonnes of cannabis worth £150million into Europe

US airdrops 50-tons of ammunition for M-16s and AK-47 to Syrian fighters

Nestle India back in business – starts production of Maggi noodles


Nestle India, the Swiss giant, has indicated that it has restarted its production lines in three of its units in India and the products would come in the market once its fresh batch of products clear the prescribed tests as given by the food testing laboratories.
This has been reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com dated 26 October 2015.
It may be recalled that Nestle had to withdraw Maggi from market and stop production in June after lab tests found lead and MSG beyond permissible limits in its products. Nestle would send first samples of the fresh batches to three accredited labs for tests as directed by the Bombay High Court.
The production facilities have been restarted in Nanjangud (Karnataka), Moga (Punjab) and Bicholim (Goa) and samples would be sent to three accredited laboratories as designated by the High Court.
Nestle India had to destroying over 30,000 tonnes of its products because of the findings.
A total of 90 samples, covering six variants, had been tested by these laboratories and have been clear with lead much below the permissible limits.
(Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org)

Some more interesting links -

The global broom campaign (satire)

Moody searching for a place where no leader has gone (Satire)

Moody, Jet Lee and missing pulses (Satire)


Fossils and eggshells of baby dinosaurs found in Gobi Desert

Parama Island flyover adds to traffic jams in Kolkata – made one-way

Future of street foods in Delhi bleak - Delhi bans cooking on roads


Arnold Schwarzenegger could play in Rajinikanth-starrer 'Enthiran 2'

Emma Roberts and her horror-comedy series "Scream Queens"

India is one of 81 countries vying for Best Foreign Film in the 88th Academy Awards


Despite US airstrikes, ISIS still makes £300-million a year from oil

Syrian gang caught trying to smuggle 20-tonnes of cannabis worth £150million into Europe

US airdrops 50-tons of ammunition for M-16s and AK-47 to Syrian fighters

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Ukraine imposes sanctions on Russia – direct flights between the two countries to stop


Ukraine imposes sanctions on Russia by banning direct flights between Ukraine and Russia when flights between the two countries would stop at midnight on Saturday. Moscow initially termed it as ‘madness’ but retaliated by banning flights from Russia to Ukraine. The ban would affect up to 70,000 passengers every month.
This has been reported in bbc.com dated 24 October 2015.
The sanctions that have been imposed are to punish Russia for annexing Crimea and also for supporting armed rebels in eastern Ukraine. However, Russia feels Ukraine is shooting itself in the foot because most passengers who fly to Russia are Ukrainian travelling to work in Russia, visiting relatives or in transit.
Russia's transport minister has estimated that the loss in ticket sales to both countries will be of the order of around $110m every year.
The net result would be suffering of passengers who will have no other alternative but to go in for longer, more expensive routes via third countries, or to brace themselves for a 13-hour trip by train.
(Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org)

Some more interesting links -

Moody searching for a place where no leader has gone

Moody, Jet Lee and missing pulses

Durga Puja in Kolkata housing complexes


Fossils and eggshells of baby dinosaurs found in Gobi Desert

Parama Island flyover adds to traffic jams in Kolkata – made one-way

Future of street foods in Delhi bleak - Delhi bans cooking on roads


Arnold Schwarzenegger could play in Rajinikanth-starrer 'Enthiran 2'

Emma Roberts and her horror-comedy series "Scream Queens"

India is one of 81 countries vying for Best Foreign Film in the 88th Academy Awards


Despite US airstrikes, ISIS still makes £300-million a year from oil

Syrian gang caught trying to smuggle 20-tonnes of cannabis worth £150million into Europe

US airdrops 50-tons of ammunition for M-16s and AK-47 to Syrian fighters

Double decker Shatabdi Express train to run between Mumbai and Goa


Railway Minister has announced the plan to stat a double decker Shatabdi Express between Mumbai and Goa. Once operational, it would be India’s first ever double decker Shatabdi Express. The minister made the announcement on the sidelines of a program at the Goa University.
This has been reported in zeenews.india.com dated 24 October 2015.
When asked about a special Goa Rajdhani Express train, he remarked that he will "definitely look into it". Those from Goa who want to avail of Rajdhani luxury train services have to rely on the Trivandrum Rajdhani which passes through Goa and has a halt at Margao in South Goa.
The minister also indicated that keeping in mind tourists coming to Goa, the Railways could also consider starting holiday train for tourists. Like an IRCTC holiday train.
(Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org)

Some more interesting links -

Moody searching for a place where no leader has gone

Moody, Jet Lee and missing pulses

Durga Puja in Kolkata housing complexes


Fossils and eggshells of baby dinosaurs found in Gobi Desert

Parama Island flyover adds to traffic jams in Kolkata – made one-way

Future of street foods in Delhi bleak - Delhi bans cooking on roads


Arnold Schwarzenegger could play in Rajinikanth-starrer 'Enthiran 2'

Emma Roberts and her horror-comedy series "Scream Queens"

India is one of 81 countries vying for Best Foreign Film in the 88th Academy Awards


Despite US airstrikes, ISIS still makes £300-million a year from oil

Syrian gang caught trying to smuggle 20-tonnes of cannabis worth £150million into Europe

US airdrops 50-tons of ammunition for M-16s and AK-47 to Syrian fighters

Saturday, October 24, 2015

This was not cricket – face-off between Gautam Gambhir and Manoj Tiwary during Ranji Trophy match in Feroze Shah Kotla


It was most unexpected of two captains to have had a spat on the field during the Ranji Trophy match held in Feroze Shah Kotla grounds. The rival captains Gautam Gambhir of Delhi and Manoj Tiwary of Bengal nearly came to exchanging blows. Gambhir had moved towards Tiwary to hit him and he also had come charging at the Delhi skipper.
When the umpire K Srinath intervened to break them off, Gambhir apparently pushed him out of the way. Incidetally, touching the umpire is considered to be a grave offence in cricket and such an action could even invite a ban.
This has been reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com dated 24 October 2015.
It seems both Ganbhir and Manoj exchanged words and tempers kept rising. Cricket is a gentleman’s game but, incidents do happen on the field at the heat of the moment. Anyway, the umpires will have to decide on the quantum of punishment to be meted out. This has been fixed at 70% of match fees for Gambhir and 40% match fees for Manoj.
(Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org)

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254 South Koreans in their 80s and 90s go to Mount Kumgang resort in North Korea for reunion


The Koreans have been separated ever since the Korean War of 1950-53 and an occasion has come when a group of 254 South Koreans, mostly in their 80s and 90s, have proceeded to Mount Kumgang resort in North Korea to have a reunion with their families. They are the second batch of families.
This has been reported in zeenews.india.com dated 24 October 2015.
A convoy of buses carrying the participants have gone to the venue where they are scheduled to have the first face-to-face in the mountain resort after more than six decades of separation.
It will be a three day affair and a total of 188 North Koreans will take part in the event. This had been agreed upon in late August after high-level military talks to defuse tensions that had pushed the Korean peninsula to the brink of armed conflict.
As per the itinerary, only 12 hours will be given to the separated families through six two-hour sessions. These would include lunch and dinner gatherings in public and communal meetings. As to one-to-one private face-to-face meetings, only one such meeting would be allowed during the three-day event.
The physical condition of many of the South Koreans was not good and many of them were on wheelchairs. Some rode in ambulances to the North as they had difficulties to travel by bus.>br> (Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org)

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Friday, October 23, 2015

Domino’s to have own brand of delivery vehicles with oven in the rear to keep the pizzas warm


The pizza business is a highly competitive one and, in order to meet the demands of its customers, Domino's Pizza Inc. is in talks with General Motors to have its own fleet of delivery vehicles that would be equipped with ovens in the rear to keep the pizzas warm. For a start, the company would be rolling out 100 test vehicles which would be emblazoned with the Domino's logo and red-and-blue colors, plus the oven in the rear to keep pizzas warm during transit.
This has been reported in nzherald.co.nz dated 22 October 2015.
Domino's is the second-largest U.S. pizza company and it is attempting to stay ahead of a fast-food industry where delivery is increasingly the norm. With brands like McDonald's, Taco Bell, Burger King and Starbucks breathing down their necks, Domino’s is trying to stay ahead of the competition - all the brands are experimenting with delivery services and are bringing more competition to pizza chains.
The design of the car is unique – there is only one seat for the driver and the rest of the small car's seats are removed. Its interior can hold food items, including as many as 80 pizzas. The warming oven is accessible from the side of the gasoline-fueled vehicle. Moreover, there is a "puddle light," which projects the logo of Domino's on the ground.
Incidentally, Domino’s ranks second to Pizza Hut in sales.
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Cameron and Xi let down their hair with fish and chips in a London pub


In the course of his state visit to England, Chinese President Xi Jinping accompanied by British Prime Minister David Cameron headed for a traditional British pub to indulge in a beer and a portion of traditional fish and chips. The two world leaders wore suits but were tieless and sipped their ales at The Plough. This is close to the residence of the British prime minister located in Chequers northwest of London.
This has been reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com dated 23 October 2015.
The pub had hunting guns hanging on the bare-brick wall behind them and the landlord of the pub has said that the two leaders had chatted for around three-quarters of an hour and had been "extremely friendly".
Incidentally, the history of the pub goes back to the 16th century when it used to be a staging post for London coaches.
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Hurricane Patricia became a Category 5 storm and Mexico is in its path


Mexico is in the path of Hurricane Patricia that grew into a monster Category 5 storm and bore down on the central Pacific Coast of Mexico. Forecasters feel this could a devastating blow even as officials declared a state of emergency and began to distribute sandbags in preparation for flooding.
This has been reported in zeenews.india.com dated 23 October 2015.
Manzanillo is one of the country's principal ports and it experienced rainfall after dark in and the landfall of the hurricane could happen any moment. Mexico's civil defense coordinator has indicated that schools in Colima state, which is home to Manzanillo, would be closed.
The US National Hurricane Center in Miami has warned that the storm could result in coastal flooding, destructive waves and flash floods and, hence, preparations should be rushed to completion because this is an extremely dangerous, and potentially catastrophic hurricane.
The federal government has declared a state of emergency for 56 municipalities in the states of Colima, Nayarit and Jalisco which are in the projected path of the storm.
Patricia's maximum sustained winds had gone up to 260-Kmph and it is labeled as a Category 5 storm. This is the highest designation on the Saffir-Simpson scale used to quantify a hurricane's wind strength.
Patricia was centered about 320-Km south-southwest of Manzanillo and was moving northwest at 20-Kmph on a projected track to come onshore between Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta.
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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Kiwis donate $1 million to rebuild Nepal’s devastated schools


The Himalayan Trust, founded by Mt Everest conqueror Sir Edmond Hillary, has thanked everyone who have donated to its quake appeal and has garnered more than $1 million. The charity is now looking for Kiwis to join its work on rebuilding a school in the Everest region.
This has been reported in nzherald.co.nz dated 23 October 2015.
It may be recalled that two devastating earthquakes had struck Nepal in April and May. The quake killed about 8900 people and destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes, schools, health facilities and temples.
The Himalayan Trust is now on the lookout for 16 people to travel to Nepal a year after the quakes to help re-build a school. The challenge is a 17-day trek through the "stunning" Everest mountain region and includes visits to village schools and the Khunde hospital that had been built by Sir Edmond Hillary and the trust.
Monsoons have retreated from Nepal and the trust can now forge ahead with its re-build efforts. It seems many of the 63 schools supported by the trust have suffered serious damage and the trust will need to rebuild classrooms, teachers' quarters, student hostels and toilet blocks in at least 22 schools.
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India evens ODI series 2-2 at Chennai – Virat Kohli hits a century


#INDvsSA #ViratKohli #abdevilliers #SureshRaina It was another interesting ODI at Chennai between South Africa and India – and, thanks to some useful batting, India managed to put up a score of 200 for 8. Virat Kohli scored a century, it was his 23rd, and that laid the foundation of a 35-run win for the home team.
This has been reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com dated 22 October 2015.
It was an innings that Virat Kohli will cherish because he was desperate to end a run of 12 completed innings without a century dating back to India's World Cup opener on March 15. It was his first against South Africa and, his 138 was key to India's series-levelling victory at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
Suresh Raina also chipped in with a 53 and appeared to have returned to form after his failures in the earlier ODIs of the series.
However, AB de Villiers could have spoiled India’s show because he also hit a century and his awe-inspiring 112 threatened to seal the series for South Africa. But, the series is now level at 2-2, with the last ODI scheduled at Mumbai – it would be a contest worth looking forward to.
(Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org)

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India wants bullet trains – who will win the race for bullets - China or Japan?


The war for bullets is hotting up – India wants bullet rains and both China and Japan are strong contenders. But, Japan has the advantage because it is willing to offer finance at 1% interest to finance India's first bullet train. The estimated cost would be $15 billion.
This has been reported in telegraphindia.com dated 22 October 2015.
Tokyo was picked to assess the feasibility of building the 505-Km corridor linking Mumbai with Ahmedabad, the commercial capital of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state. It has concluded that such a bullet train would be technically and financially viable.
The projects would be a part of a 'Diamond Qaudrilateral' of high speed trains over 10,000-Km of track that India is keen to set up to connect Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. Japan has offered to meet 80 per cent of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad project cost, provided India agrees to buy 30 per cent of equipment including the coaches and locomotives from Japanese firms.
Japan's International Cooperation Agency JICA, which led the feasibility survey, has indicated that the journey time between Mumbai and Ahmedabad would be cut to two hours from seven. And, the route would require 11 new tunnels – one of these would be an undersea tunnel near Mumbai.
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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Philippines battered by tropical storm Koppu, at least 39 reported killed


Koppu was the 12th storm in this year that has battered the Philippines, one of the world's most disaster-prone countries. It has let at least 39 persons dead mostly from drowning, landslides, fallen trees and collapsed walls.
This has been reported in zeenews.india.com dated 22 October 2015.
The tropical Storm Koppu barreled ashore as a powerful typhoon and forced more than 100,000 villagers to rush for safety into emergency shelters. The storm destroyed the rice fields that were ready for harvest. According to the weather bureau, the slow-moving storm was over the Balintang Channel in the country's northern tip with winds of 55 kilometers (34 miles) per hour near its center.
It may be recalled that in 2013, Typhoon Haiyan had leveled entire towns in the central Philippines and left behind more than 7,300 people either dead or missing.
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Use of marijuana in the United States has doubled in last decade


Warning has been sounded on addiction to marijuana - researchers have found that 9.5 per cent of adults in the United States smoke marijuana, this was 4.1 per cent in 2001-2002. Or – a nearly double addiction in a decade as revealed by a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Psychiatry.
This has been reported in nzherald.co.nz sated 22 October 2015.
Statistics show that one in 10 adults smokes marijuana in the US and this is attributed to relaxation of laws with regard to attitudes about pot. However, the rise in marijuana use has also been accompanied by an increase in abuse and dependence.
About three in 10 people who use marijuana meet the criteria for addiction as indicated by the director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Therefore, the scientific community should convey information to the public about the potential harms.
The increases have been noticed among women and individuals who were black, Hispanic, who live in the South, and are middle-aged or older. The finding is based on interviews with 79,000 people regarding alcohol use, drug use and related psychiatric conditions over a year. And, the surveys were conducted in 2001-2002 and 2012-2013.
Incidentally, 23 US states now allow medical marijuana and four states have legalized marijuana for recreational use. (Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org)

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