>समाचार News (2) 11.03.2011

12 मार्च

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THE HEADLINES:
  • At least 200 people feared killed in a devastating earthquake and Tsunami in Japan; Scores still unaccounted for; Massive damage reported in Eastern Japan; Five nuclear plants safety shut down; Tsunami warning issued to Pacific countries including Indonesia, Philippines and New Zealand; No threat to India says, the Government.
  • Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh conveys condolences over the loss of lives and offers all help to Japan.
  • New Delhi to intensify diplomatic efforts with Egypt and UAE for safe release of 53 Indian sailors held hostage by Somali pirates.
  • A Mumbai court grants conditional bail to Hasan Ali Khan allegedly involved in huge money laundering.
  • CBI interrogates DMK Rajya Sabha MP, Kanimozhi in the 2G Spectrum case.
  • In Uttar Pradesh, at least 9 persons burnt alive over a land dispute in Mahrajganj district.
  • In Libya, Colonel Gaddafi’s forces make major gains against rebel troops in Ras Lanuf.
  • And in ICC Cricket World Cup: The West Indies defeat Ireland by 44 runs at Mohali; In Chittagong, Bangladesh are chasing a target of 226 runs against England.
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apan has been devastated by Tsunami and the most powerful earthquake to hit the country in at least 100 years with police there now confirming that between 200 and 300 bodies have been found on the beach near Sendai, the closest city to the epicentre. Japanese NHK Television said, the victims appeared to have drowned. Earlier, the Broadcasting Organisation said, more than 90 people were killed and hundreds are missing in the earthquake. There has also been a major explosion at a petrochemical complex in Sendai. AFP has reported that Japanese authorities are urging some 2,000 residents living within a 2 kilometre radius of a nuclear plant in Fukushima to evacuate. The plant has been shut down after its cooling system failed.  Associated Press reports that Japan has declared a state of emergency because of the failure of the cooling system at the nuclear plant. Officials say, there has been no leak of radiation. Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan has appealed for calm and said, there are no reported leaks of radioactive materials from power plants. According to the UN nuclear watchdog agency, four nuclear power plants closest to the quake were safely shut down. Reuters quotes a report of Japan’s Kyodo news agency which says that a ship carrying 100 people was swept away by the tsunami. A passenger train is unaccounted for in a tsunami-hit coastal area of Japan. A tourist described the Tokyo city to be on a standstill. The offshore quake measuring  8.9 magnitude that struck at 2:46 p.m. local time prompted issue of a tsunami warning. The quake’s epicenter was 373 kilometers away from Tokyo. But residents there continued to feel aftershocks hours after the quake. More than 30 aftershocks followed, with the strongest measuring at 7.1. Tsunami warning has been issued to 50 countries and territories and minor waves have now begun hitting the Philippines. Tsunami waves have also  reached the Hawaiian island chain. In Hawaii, people have been evacuated to higher ground and its radio is reporting a 6 feet high wave hitting the beaches in the south. People there are waiting to see if further waves arrive. Auckland-based geologists say, tsunami wave is on its way towards New Zealand at 500 or 600 miles an hour. California emergency management agency spokesman says, the tsunami could generate waves of up to 6ft  when it hits parts of the state’s northern coast. The tsunami is also expected to reach Mexico’s coastline within hours. Ports in the state of Guerrero are now closed.  Ecuador has now ordered preventive coastal evacuations. To the north, the Russian authorities said, small waves had reached the Kurile islands.  Taiwan reported minor tsunami. Indonesia’s eastern areas including Papua, Maluku and Sulawesi are on guard. Firefighters battled a blaze at an oil refinery in Chiba near Tokyo. The Union Home Ministry said in New Delhi today that there is no threat to the Indian coast in the wake of the huge tsunami that devastated  Japan. Humanitarian agencies are working with rescue crews to reach the affected people.
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New Delhi says, there are no reports of any casualties from the Indian community due to the earth quake and tsunami in Japan. There are 25,000 Indians living in Kanto and Kansai regions of Japan. A spokesman of the External Affairs Ministry said in New Delhi that a control room has been established in the Embassy of Tokyo and the phone number is 00813-32622391 up to 397. The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and the External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna have spoken to their counterparts offering India’s help in the hour of crisis and conveyed heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families.
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Cabinet Committee on Security, CCS, today decided to intensify diplomatic efforts  with government of Egypt and UAE where the owners of concerned vessels reside to seek the safe and secure release of 53 Indian sailors held hostage by Somali pirates. Making a statement in the Lok Sabha today, the External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said that his Ministry will also coordinate with government of other nationalities whose people have been held hostage, besides intensifying efforts at multilateral level and within the framework of the United Nations.
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India today successfully test-fired nuclear capable ballistic missile DHANUSH and Prithvi-II ballistic missiles from separate locations off the Orissa coast. Both have a range of 350 kilometers. While Dhanush was fired from a naval ship INS SUVARNA in the Bay of Bengal off the Orissa coast this morning,  Prithivi was test-fired within an hour from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur near Balasore. Dhanush has  a pay load capacity of 750 kilo grams and is capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear war heads. Director of the Range S.P.Dash said the flight tests were in text book fashion with the missiles reaching the target points with high accuracy. Defence Minister A K Antony congratulated all the DRDO scientists, technicians and the armed forces for the successful tests.
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Mumbai Sessions Court today granted conditional bail to Pune businessman Hasan Ali Khan, accused of massive money laundering and tax evasion.  Principal Judge M L Tahiliyani dismissed Enforcement Directorate – ED’s  plea for Khan’s custody, saying there is no substantial evidence against him.
After three days of arguments, the Mumbai’s sessions court today finally rejected Enforcement Directorate’s remand application and granted conditional bail to Hasan Ali Khan, accused of massive money laundering and tax evasion. Slamming the ED for framing a flimsy case against Khan, Judge Tahiliyani said that prima facie ED had failed to provide any evidence that can nail Khan under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Rejecting the confidential documents submitted by ED, the court said that all of them were freely available on the internet and asked ED to verify their genuineness. The court also observed that UBS through the Swiss government had denied existence of Khan’s 8 billion dollar account in a letter addressed to ED and the Reserve Bank of India. Khan was granted bail on the condition that Khan will remain in Mumbai for the next five days and appear before the ED officials daily. Disappointed ED counsel Rajeev Awasthi has said that they will challenge the order in high court. Speaking to reporters in Mumbai after the hearing, Mr. Awasthi said that the ED had overwhelming evidence against Khan but probably the court failed to appreciate those.
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A four-member CBI team has begun interrogation of DMK Rajya Sabha MP, Kanimozhi and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi’s  wife, Dayalu Ammal  in connection    with the 2G spectrum case. Both are  share holders in Kalaignar TV. 
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In Uttar Pradesh, at least 9 persons including 3 girls, 2 women and one infant girl child were burnt alive today over a land dispute at Mahrajganj district. Quoting police sources our Lucknow correspondent reports that Gram Pradhan of Dinghi village under Thuthibari police station of the district was killed today in broad day light. It was alleged that some people from the same village were involved in the killing of Pradhan. Five houses of alleged culprits were set on fire by the supporters of Pradhan agitated over murder. Deceased were living in the houses that were set on fire.
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The Delhi Police have identified a mentally disturbed youth  from Uttar Pradesh as the murderer of college girl Radhika Tanwar. She was shot dead in broad day light on Tuesday. Deputy Commissioner of Police (South)     H G S Dhaliwal told reporters that the killer Ram Singh nurtured deep grudge against Radhika after he was beaten up for harassing her and used to tell his friends that whenever he gets an opportunity, he will take revenge. Investigators zeroed in on Singh after investigators detained his two friends — Tabrez and Ashraf — from UP’s Sitapur earlier in the day. The duo allegedly harboured and helped him flee the capital yesterday. Search is on to apprehend Ram Singh.
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Forces in Libya loyal to Colonel Gaddafi have made major gains against rebel troops, pushing them from the port of Ras Lanuf, east of the capital Tripoli.  Reports speak of many casualties. Meanwhile, European Union leaders are meeting in Brussels to discuss action against Libya.
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Violence has  erupted in the Pakistani city of Karachi after the country’s apex court ruled the appointment of NAB chairman as null and void. The violence has so far claimed lives of five people and left many others injured. Areas mostly hit by tensed situation include Lyari, Orangi Town, Khara Dar, Gulistan-e-Johar, and Shanti Nagar where a number of vehicles have been burnt and incidents of aerial firing are on the rise since last night. Sindh Education Minister has announced closure of all government and private educational institutions in Karachi to prevent any untoward incident.
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Security forces are patrolling the streets of the Saudi capital, Riyadh, in preparation for a day of demonstrations being planned by inter-net activists.  Yesterday, police opened fire at a rally in the eastern city of Qatif where demonstrators were calling for political reform.  At least one person was injured.
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Calling for political and economic reforms, protestors in several countries in West Asia including Yemen, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, and Jordan have organised demonstrations today after Friday prayers Reports quoting medical sources say, six protesters were wounded in Yemen today when thousands of protestors demonstrated in southern port city of Aden. Yemeni protestors demonstrated in several cities including capital Saana, rejecting President Saleh’s offer of political reforms. Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is facing deadly protests, had announced to draft a new constitution and move to a parliamentary system of government. He also said that a committee would be formed to prepare for the new constitution. But opposition termed the initiative too little too late. In Bharain, protestors are camping at Pearl square demanding sweeping political changes while they plan a march on the royal court. In Iraq, a massive demonstration was staged today in al-Tahrir square in central Baghdad, calling for improving services and fighting corruption. According to Voice of Iraq news agency, dozens of citizens went to streets today billed as ‘Friday of Truth’, calling for better services and fighting corruption. Like other countries in the Middle East, Iraq has been buffeted by protests. Unlike elsewhere, demonstrators are not aiming to replace the regime. Instead, they focus on improving government services and end of corruption.
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In the ICC Cricket World Cup today, the West Indies thumped Ireland by 44 runs in a Group B match at Mohali.  Sent in to bat, the West Indies made  275 in their 50 overs. Opener Devon Smith’s maiden ODI hundred of 107 and Kieron Pollard’s whirlwind 94 helped the West Indies to beat the Irish team. Chasing the target of 276, Ireland were all out for 231 in 49 overs. With six points from four games, the West Indies have brightened their chances of a quarter-final berth. In the other Group ‘B’ match at Chittagong,  chasing a target of 226 runs against England,  co-hosts Bangladesh were 162 for 5 in 36 overs, a short while ago.
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