Onestopbankingexams

Dear users we are very happy to announce that from now on we would be moving to a better organised portal.


New Users Please register here


http://www.bankexam.smffy.com

U are hereby requested to register at the above given location and post your queries there.....

Existing users please register there...
Onestopbankingexams

This is a Forum for all your Bank exam needs - Clerical , Probationary Officer PO , Specialist Officer SO , Assistant Manager AM , Management Trainee MT.


    International News - MAY

    Share
    avatar
    Abhishek

    Forum Admin
     Forum Admin

    Posts : 547
    Join date : 2011-04-08
    Age : 29
    Location : Kolkata

    Re: International News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Wed May 11, 2011 11:56 pm

    Japan orders n-plant shutdown

    A Japanese nuclear power plant has decided to halt its operations in a potentially unstable seismic zone. The Chubu Electric Power Company (CEPC) made the critical decision on Monday following Prime Minister Naoto Kan's intervention late last week.

    Mr. Kan had cited a scientific forecast about the “87 per cent possibility of an 8-class earthquake” in Chubu's Hamaoka plant area — in Shizuoka prefecture in central Japan — sometime “within the next 30 years.” The suspension of operations was suggested so that the plant could enhance its capabilities to withstand powerful temblors and tsunamis.

    On sensing some delay in decision-making on the part of CEPC, Mr. Kan said “the tide is imminent” as predicted by experts. He urged the company to “discuss the situation” and take the “most appropriate decision.”

    CEPC President Akihisa Mizuno said, in televised remarks, that the company would suspend the operations of two active reactors at its Hamaoka plant.
    avatar
    Abhishek

    Forum Admin
     Forum Admin

    Posts : 547
    Join date : 2011-04-08
    Age : 29
    Location : Kolkata

    Re: International News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Wed May 11, 2011 11:57 pm

    U.S.-China talks under way

    Top officials of the United States and China kicked off the bilateral Strategic and Economic Dialogue here on Monday, a series of annual broad-agenda policy discussions focusing on everything from trade and economic issues to human rights.

    The third joint meeting of the U.S.-China S&ED is hosted by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Treasury Tim Geithner.

    On the U.S. side, other senior officials attending include Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell and Senior Coordinator and Executive Secretary for China and the S&ED at the Department of Treasury David Loevinger. The Chinese co-Chairs of the event include Vice Premier Wang Qishan and State Councilor Dai Bingguo.

    At a background briefing, Mr. Campbell said in many respects it was the U.S.' “most important venue... for managing this very complex relationship between the U.S. and China”.

    Earlier this year Chinese President Hu Jintao had visited Washington, an occasion on which U.S. President Barack Obama pressed him further regarding concerns over human rights violations, a sensitive subject for Chinese authorities.

    In his briefing Mr. Campbell reiterated the human rights focus, “I do want to underscore it is our intention to raise issues of concern directly, honestly, and opening with our Chinese interlocutors, including issues of concern associated with human rights.”

    He suggested to attending media that “regional problems” would also be a major focus of the talks, including comparing notes on “where we stand with respect to North Korea, and we will be very clear on what our expectations are for moving forward.”

    He added that the joint approach to Iran would also be considered.
    avatar
    Abhishek

    Forum Admin
     Forum Admin

    Posts : 547
    Join date : 2011-04-08
    Age : 29
    Location : Kolkata

    Re: International News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Thu May 12, 2011 7:03 pm

    Gilani's China visit to firm up ties

    Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani's visit to China next week will see both countries strengthen strategic and economic cooperation, as well as explore taking ties forward in an in flux regional security environment, officials said on Tuesday. Chinese and Pakistani officials said the two countries would also sign economic agreements, as well as discuss deepening cooperation on civilian nuclear energy during the four-day visit, which starts on May 17.

    Mr. Gilani's trip, officials and analysts said, assumed particular significance amid new strains between Pakistan and the U.S. following the death of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, and uncertainty facing the region as the U.S. prepares to begin withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan, starting July.

    While the visit was scheduled before bin Laden's killing, as part of year-long celebrations to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties on May 21, the aftermath of the al-Qaeda leader's death has dominated its build-up.

    In recent days, Chinese officials have mounted a strong defence of Mr. Gilani's government, rejecting criticism from the West over the circumstances of bin Laden's death and Islamabad's failure to crack down on terrorist groups operating on its soil.

    Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu said on Tuesday Mr. Gilani's visit would deepen “practical cooperation across the board”. She also stressed that China would back Pakistan on counterterrorism, and support its “implementing counterterrorism strategies” according to its “local conditions.”

    In an interview with a State broadcaster on Tuesday, Pakistan's Ambassador to China Masood Khan said economic cooperation was top of the agenda for next week.

    “We are satisfied with the strategic partnership and its strengths, but we want to stimulate economic cooperation so that it is commensurate with the strategic solidarity we have between the two countries,” he said.

    Mr. Khan also suggested the two countries would discuss expanding cooperation on nuclear energy, and go ahead with the construction of reactors China is building at Chashma. He rejected concerns that the deal violated China's non-proliferation commitments as a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which bans the transfer of nuclear technology to countries that have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

    Safeguards

    “The United States, or any other country, cannot object to the cooperation between China and Pakistan, because this cooperation is under IAEA safeguards,” he said.

    “It is in accordance with international law, and it is transparent. And it is also geared towards producing nuclear energy for civilian purposes, and we are an energy deficit country.”

    In March, a safeguards agreement for the two reactors was approved by the IAEA. “The U.S. is a member of the IAEA's Board of Governors, and they went along with these two projects,” Mr. Khan said. He also called for China to play a greater role in South Asia, describing it as a force for stability. He said Pakistan would “welcome” China acting as a “catalyst” to address “outstanding issues” between India and Pakistan, which, he said, “cannot be swept under the table”.
    avatar
    Abhishek

    Forum Admin
     Forum Admin

    Posts : 547
    Join date : 2011-04-08
    Age : 29
    Location : Kolkata

    Re: International News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Thu May 12, 2011 7:04 pm

    Kan pledges nuclear policy review

    Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Tuesday promised a radical review of the total energy policy.

    The aim was to set right the distortion of a heavy reliance on nuclear power generation, he indicated at a press conference in Tokyo.

    Mr. Kan said: “Under the current energy policy, by the year 2030, more than 50 per cent of Japan's electricity will come from nuclear power generation, 20 per cent from renewable energy resources. However, we now have to go back to the drawing board to conduct a fundamental review of the nation's basic energy policy. In the past, the government promoted nuclear power generation as a national policy. So it shares the responsibility for the problems caused by [an earthquake and tsunami at] the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.”

    Tracing some aspects of the new move to think out of the nuclear box, Mr. Kan said: “With regard to nuclear energy, safety should be emphasised as a priority. … Fossil fuel was another important source of energy so far. CO2 reduction should be implemented.”

    Energy savings

    “Natural energy [resources] and energy savings should be the two additional pillars of Japan's [new] energy policy. We have to aggressively learn to use such alternative energy sources. … I wish to make efforts to promote such diversified [access to] energy sources.”

    On energy conservation, he called for “a new kind of society which will use less energy.”

    Not to take salary

    Apologising once again for the Fukushima nuclear radiation crisis, Mr. Kan said he would not draw his prime ministerial pay from this month and until the end of the nuclear crisis.
    avatar
    Abhishek

    Forum Admin
     Forum Admin

    Posts : 547
    Join date : 2011-04-08
    Age : 29
    Location : Kolkata

    Re: International News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Fri May 13, 2011 12:15 am

    Iran seeks enhanced regional role

    Iran and the global powers are set to begin fresh talks, with south-west Asia in flux following uprisings in the Arab world and the death in Pakistan of Osama bin Laden.

    Head of Iran's National Security Council Saeed Jalili wrote to European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton accepting the invitation for talks. He asked the global powers to align themselves with the political transformation that the region has been experiencing. “What we witness today obviously proves that…the future management of the world would be based on the will of nations for their self-determination.”

    Mr. Jalili said the “developments of the past few months” had established that Iran three years ago had correctly identified the underlying principles that have brought about these changes.

    Iran had last held talks with the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany in January in Istanbul.

    The western powers have expressed anxiety about Iran's nuclear enrichment programme, which they fear can lead to Iran's emergence as an atomic weapon power.

    But instead of narrowly focusing on its nuclear programme, Iran has been calling for a comprehensive, broad-based strategic dialogue with the West that recognises its regional stature. Unsurprisingly, Mr. Jalili has called for a “comprehensive and sustainable agreement,” which reflected Iran's “national, regional and international capacities”.

    Analysts point out that by pursuing a multi-dimensional dialogue, Iran wants to be recognised by the West as a premium regional power —a de facto status that Saudi Arabia has so far enjoyed in the Persian Gulf area.

    Iran has, on the nuclear issue, been working closely with Turkey, whose regional profile has significantly grown under Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish Prime Minister. On Tuesday, Mojtaba Samareh Hashemi, a senior adviser to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said the next round of talks with the global powers, like the previous one, must also be held in Istanbul.

    Calling for a “forward looking” process of negotiations, Mr. Jalili identified a wide-range of areas of global concern on which the dialogue with the West could proceed. “These talks could cover the most important regional topics such as combating the root cause of terrorism, drug trafficking, piracy in the high seas as well as enhancement of cooperation on energy supply and security,” he said.

    Implying that it was a responsible stakeholder, the Iranian side identified nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and nuclear safety as possible items on the agenda of future talks.
    avatar
    Abhishek

    Forum Admin
     Forum Admin

    Posts : 547
    Join date : 2011-04-08
    Age : 29
    Location : Kolkata

    Re: International News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Fri May 13, 2011 12:16 am

    Julian Assange awarded Sydney Peace Prize

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was on Wednesday awarded the Sydney Peace Foundation's top honour for “exceptional courage in pursuit of human rights”.

    Mr. Assange, an Australian former computer hacker who is fighting extradition from Britain to Sweden over alleged sex crimes, was praised and rewarded with the Sydney Peace Prize's Gold Medal.

    Though the Peace Prize is awarded annually by the foundation, only three other people in its 14-year history have been awarded the gold award for courage in pursuit of human rights — the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela and Japanese Buddhist leader Daisaku Ikeda.

    The foundation paid tribute to Mr. Assange's determination to seek greater transparency and accountability from governments around the world, having challenged “centuries old practices of government secrecy”.

    Right to know

    “By championing people's right to know, WikiLeaks and Julian Assange have created the potential for a new order in journalism and in the free flow of information,” said foundation director Stuart Rees.

    Mr. Assange is the founder of the WikiLeaks whistleblowing website that has published thousands of cables in which U.S. diplomats give their often candid views on world leaders, to Washington's acute embarrassment.

    It has also leaked countless secret documents about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Mr. Assange, who was arrested in London at Sweden's request in December, remains on bail pending his challenge in July to a British judge's decision to extradite him over allegations of sexual assault.
    avatar
    Abhishek

    Forum Admin
     Forum Admin

    Posts : 547
    Join date : 2011-04-08
    Age : 29
    Location : Kolkata

    Re: International News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Fri May 13, 2011 12:18 am

    Legal principles violated, say bin Laden's sons


    The adult sons of Osama bin Laden have lashed out at President Barack Obama in their first public reaction to their father's death, accusing the United States of violating its basic legal principles by killing an unarmed man, shooting his family members and disposing of his body in the sea.

    The statement, provided to The New York Times on Tuesday, said the family was asking why bin Laden, leader of al-Qaeda, “was not arrested and tried in a court of law so that truth is revealed to the people of the world”.

    Citing the trials of Saddam Hussein, former Iraqi leader, and Slobodan Milosevic, former Serbian leader, the statement questioned “the propriety of such assassination where not only international law has been blatantly violated” but also the principles of presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial were ignored.

    “We maintain that arbitrary killing is not a solution to political problems,” said the statement, adding that “justice must be seen to be done”.

    The statement, prepared at the direction of Omar bin Laden, who had publicly denounced his father's terrorism, was provided to The Times by Jean Sasson, an American author who helped the younger bin Laden write a 2009 memoir, “Growing Up bin Laden.” A shorter, slightly different statement was posted on jihadist websites.

    Omar bin Laden (30) lived with his father in Afghanistan until 1999 when he left with his mother, Najwa bin Laden, who co-wrote the memoir. In the book and other public statements, the younger bin Laden had denounced violence of all kinds, a stance he repeated in the sons' statement.

    Sorrow for victims

    “We want to remind the world that Omar bin Laden, the fourth-born son of our father, always disagreed with our father regarding any violence and always sent messages to our father, that he must change his ways and that no civilians should be attacked under any circumstances,” said the statement. “Despite the difficulty of publicly disagreeing with our father, he never hesitated to condemn any violent attacks made by anyone, and expressed sorrow for the victims of any and all attacks.”

    Condemning the shooting of one of the al-Qaeda leader's wives during the assault on May 2 in Abbottabad, Pakistan, the statement added: “As he condemned our father, we now condemn the President of the United States for ordering the execution of unarmed men and women.”

    In explaining the killing of bin Laden, Obama administration officials have cited the principle of national self-defence in international law, noting that bin Laden had declared war on the United States, killed thousands of Americans and vowed to kill more.

    The sons' statement called on the government of Pakistan to hand over to family members the three wives and a number of children now believed to be in Pakistani custody and asked for a United Nations investigation into the circumstances of their father's death.

    None of Osama bin Laden's sons other than Omar, who lives in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, was named in the statement; Ms. Sasson said she believed it was approved by three other adult sons who have not lived with their father for many years. Before Osama bin Laden fled Afghanistan in 2001, he had at least 11 sons, one of whom was killed in the assault last week, and nine daughters, by Ms. Sasson's count.

    In addition to the statement, Ms. Sasson shared notes on what Mr. Omar, who declined to be interviewed directly, had told her by telephone in recent days. The notes describe his struggle, as he came of age, to understand and eventually reject his father's embrace of religious violence.

    Family affected

    He told Ms. Sasson that the death of his father “has affected this family in much the same way as many other families” that experience such a loss. But he also described a childhood of “upheavals and relocations” that, she said, “caused his mother and siblings great upset and danger”.

    Mr. Omar said by 18, after al-Qaeda had plotted the bombings of two American Embassies in East Africa and two years before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, he had concluded “that the course of action his father was taking was not for him, irrespective of what his father's wishes were,” said Ms. Sasson.

    Eventually he asked his father's permission to leave Afghanistan with his mother and younger siblings.

    The younger bin Laden told Ms. Sasson that he “thanks Allah that his father granted his permission for this departure, otherwise the grief the family faces could be even greater.”
    avatar
    Abhishek

    Forum Admin
     Forum Admin

    Posts : 547
    Join date : 2011-04-08
    Age : 29
    Location : Kolkata

    Re: International News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Sat May 14, 2011 8:17 pm

    Prosecution of WikiLeaks will stifle free speech, says Amnesty

    Amnesty International on Thursday condemned attempts by American authorities to prosecute WikilLeaks founder Julian Assange describing it as a bid to “stifle” free speech in the name of national security.

    “National security should not be used to stifle freedom of speech except in very restricted circumstances where there is clear evidence that there is a genuine threat to national security. We are committed to protecting free flow of information and believe that more information is always better than no information,” Amnesty's Asia Pacific director Sam Zarifi told The Hindu on the launch of its annual human rights world report. The report also criticises the Indian government over its treatment of “marginalised communities,” especially the Adivasis.

    His remarks came as it was reported that the American government had opened a grand jury hearing into the leak of secret official documents as a prelude to deciding whether to prosecute Mr. Assange for alleged espionage.

    Mr. Zarifi also denounced the ill-treatment of Bradley Manning, the young American soldier held in solitary confinement after being arrested for allegedly leaking thousands of restricted documents.

    “The harsh and punitive conditions in which he has been held are very problematic under international law,'' he said.

    On the circumstances surrounding the capture and killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden by American forces, Mr. Zarifi said Amnesty had asked both America and Pakistan to provide more information as to what exactly happened.

    Questions on Osama

    “We've some serious questions. We would have preferred to see Osama put on trial so the world would know what he did,'' he said commending Indian action in putting Ajmal Kasab, the sole surviving terrorist involved in the Mumbai attacks, on trial.

    On several other fronts, however, India's record on human rights left much to be desired, he said pointing to Amnesty's report that the government failed to protect the rights of marginalized communities facing threat from big corporate interests.

    “Protests by Adivasis and other marginalized communities against moves to acquire their lands and natural resources without proper consultation or consent resulted in the suspension of key corporate-led projects. Human rights defenders in these cases were attacked by state or private agents with politically-motivated charges, including sedition, being brought against some,” the report says.

    Generally, it claims, institutional mechanisms meant to protect human rights and human rights defenders remained “weak and judicial processes failed to ensure justice for many victims of past violations and abuses.” Also, despite its growing global clout India “did not speak out against gross human rights violations” in neighbouring countries putting its “economic and strategic interests above human rights considerations.”
    avatar
    Abhishek

    Forum Admin
     Forum Admin

    Posts : 547
    Join date : 2011-04-08
    Age : 29
    Location : Kolkata

    Re: International News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Sat May 14, 2011 8:20 pm

    Gilani inaugurates second nuclear plant

    Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani inaugurated the second nuclear power plant at Chashma in Punjab on Thursday with an appeal to the international community to stop discriminating between nations and allow Pakistan access to nuclear technology for power generation.

    The second unit of Chashma Nuclear Power Plant — CHASNUPP-2 — built in collaboration with China is expected to produce 330 MW of electricity and bring some relief from the power shortages being faced across the country. This is the third nuclear power plant in Pakistan, the first being in Karachi which began commercial operations in 1972.

    Stating that Pakistan has and would consistently comply with the requirements of nuclear safeguard agreements mandated by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mr. Gilani said: “Building and operating nuclear power plants is something vital to the interest of the people of Pakistan because our country is suffering from severe energy deficiency and needs more power plants.''

    Beijing's support

    About Pakistan-China cooperation, Mr. Gilani said Beijing's continuing support in international fora was a continuous source of strength for the country. In the wake of increased criticism that Pakistan has been drawing from worldover since March 2 for the presence of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in the country, China rejected the charge that Islamabad had not done enough to battle terrorism.

    The CHASNUPP-2 – a single-unit plant of 300 MWe Class – will include a two-loop pressurised water reactor nuclear steam supply system furnished by the China National Nuclear Corporation. In March this year, the IAEA Board – of which India is also a member -- gave its approval to a safeguards agreement for two new reactors that China plans to build for Pakistan at Chashma.
    avatar
    Abhishek

    Forum Admin
     Forum Admin

    Posts : 547
    Join date : 2011-04-08
    Age : 29
    Location : Kolkata

    Re: International News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Sat May 14, 2011 8:21 pm

    Nepal government proposes CA extension



    The Nepal government tabled a motion to amend the interim constitution and extend the term of the Constituent Assembly by one more year on Thursday. The CA's term expires on May 28.

    Immediately after returning from a conference of Least Developed Countries in Istanbul, Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal convened a meeting of all parties to discuss the political situation. While the opposition boycotted the meeting, major ruling parties — Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist), Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), and Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum (Nepal) — agreed to support term extension.

    Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda' told reporters, “All leaders were of the view that extension of CA was essential but government should be able to justify the extension and come up with a clear roadmap to bring peace and constitution drafting process to a logical end.”

    The Nepali Congress (NC) has said it will support CA extension only if three conditions are met — agreement on numbers and modality of integration of former Maoist combatants and their regrouping so that the peace process reaches an ‘irreversible' position; agreement on draft democratic constitution; and the abrogation of the seven-point agreement between Mr. Khanal and Mr. Prachanda and resignation of the present government.

    The United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF), comprising three Tarai based parties, have also opposed extension . NC and UDMF sources told The Hindu that their aim was to use this moment to pressure the Maoists to move on the peace process and alter power sharing arrangement.

    The CA's term was extended after last minute negotiations on May 28 last year. The Maoists, who were in opposition then, had supported term extension after extracting a commitment that then PM Madhav Kumar Nepal would resign.
    avatar
    Abhishek

    Forum Admin
     Forum Admin

    Posts : 547
    Join date : 2011-04-08
    Age : 29
    Location : Kolkata

    Re: International News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Sat May 14, 2011 8:22 pm

    Russia, Pakistan for joint fight against terror

    Russia and Pakistan have agreed to give top priority to their joint fight against terrorism and drug trafficking and to expand economic ties between the two countries.

    A joint statement signed by the Presidents of the two countries, Dmitry Medvedev and Asif Ali Zardari after their talks in the Kremlin noted “considerable progress in the Russian-Pakistani dialogue on political and security issues” and pledged to expand “contacts, consultations, cooperation and coordination of action by the two countries” in promoting peace and regional stability.

    Mr. Zardari arrived in Moscow on Wednesday on a four-day official visit, his first foreign trip since Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan earlier this month.

    “The Presidents emphasised the priority of their joint fight against terrorism and narcotics crime, which pose a serious challenge to international peace and stability,” the joint statement said.

    The two sides signed inter-governmental agreements on cooperation in agriculture, aviation and energy. Russia reaffirmed its willingness to help modernise the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) in Karachi, as well as to build electric power stations and develop gas deposits in Pakistan. However, a memorandum of understanding on PSM announced earlier was not signed.

    Mr. Medvedev and Mr. Zardari reiterated their mutual interest in undertaking regional projects involving the supply of electricity from Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan, known as CASA-1000, and the construction of the TAPI gas pipeline from Turkmenistan via Afghanistan to Pakistan and India.

    The summit marked further warming between Moscow and Islamabad even as Pakistan's relations with the United States are badly strained.
    avatar
    Abhishek

    Forum Admin
     Forum Admin

    Posts : 547
    Join date : 2011-04-08
    Age : 29
    Location : Kolkata

    Re: International News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Sun May 15, 2011 11:55 pm

    Prosecution of WikiLeaks will stifle free speech, says Amnesty

    Amnesty International on Thursday condemned attempts by American authorities to prosecute WikilLeaks founder Julian Assange describing it as a bid to “stifle” free speech in the name of national security.

    “National security should not be used to stifle freedom of speech except in very restricted circumstances where there is clear evidence that there is a genuine threat to national security. We are committed to protecting free flow of information and believe that more information is always better than no information,” Amnesty's Asia Pacific director Sam Zarifi told The Hindu on the launch of its annual human rights world report. The report also criticises the Indian government over its treatment of “marginalised communities,” especially the Adivasis.

    His remarks came as it was reported that the American government had opened a grand jury hearing into the leak of secret official documents as a prelude to deciding whether to prosecute Mr. Assange for alleged espionage.

    Mr. Zarifi also denounced the ill-treatment of Bradley Manning, the young American soldier held in solitary confinement after being arrested for allegedly leaking thousands of restricted documents.

    “The harsh and punitive conditions in which he has been held are very problematic under international law,'' he said.

    On the circumstances surrounding the capture and killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden by American forces, Mr. Zarifi said Amnesty had asked both America and Pakistan to provide more information as to what exactly happened.

    Questions on Osama

    “We've some serious questions. We would have preferred to see Osama put on trial so the world would know what he did,'' he said commending Indian action in putting Ajmal Kasab, the sole surviving terrorist involved in the Mumbai attacks, on trial.

    On several other fronts, however, India's record on human rights left much to be desired, he said pointing to Amnesty's report that the government failed to protect the rights of marginalized communities facing threat from big corporate interests.

    “Protests by Adivasis and other marginalized communities against moves to acquire their lands and natural resources without proper consultation or consent resulted in the suspension of key corporate-led projects. Human rights defenders in these cases were attacked by state or private agents with politically-motivated charges, including sedition, being brought against some,” the report says.

    Generally, it claims, institutional mechanisms meant to protect human rights and human rights defenders remained “weak and judicial processes failed to ensure justice for many victims of past violations and abuses.” Also, despite its growing global clout India “did not speak out against gross human rights violations” in neighbouring countries putting its “economic and strategic interests above human rights considerations.”
    avatar
    Abhishek

    Forum Admin
     Forum Admin

    Posts : 547
    Join date : 2011-04-08
    Age : 29
    Location : Kolkata

    Re: International News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Sun May 15, 2011 11:55 pm

    Gilani inaugurates second nuclear plant

    Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani inaugurated the second nuclear power plant at Chashma in Punjab on Thursday with an appeal to the international community to stop discriminating between nations and allow Pakistan access to nuclear technology for power generation.

    The second unit of Chashma Nuclear Power Plant — CHASNUPP-2 — built in collaboration with China is expected to produce 330 MW of electricity and bring some relief from the power shortages being faced across the country. This is the third nuclear power plant in Pakistan, the first being in Karachi which began commercial operations in 1972.

    Stating that Pakistan has and would consistently comply with the requirements of nuclear safeguard agreements mandated by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mr. Gilani said: “Building and operating nuclear power plants is something vital to the interest of the people of Pakistan because our country is suffering from severe energy deficiency and needs more power plants.''

    Beijing's support

    About Pakistan-China cooperation, Mr. Gilani said Beijing's continuing support in international fora was a continuous source of strength for the country. In the wake of increased criticism that Pakistan has been drawing from worldover since March 2 for the presence of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in the country, China rejected the charge that Islamabad had not done enough to battle terrorism.

    The CHASNUPP-2 – a single-unit plant of 300 MWe Class – will include a two-loop pressurised water reactor nuclear steam supply system furnished by the China National Nuclear Corporation. In March this year, the IAEA Board – of which India is also a member -- gave its approval to a safeguards agreement for two new reactors that China plans to build for Pakistan at Chashma.
    avatar
    Abhishek

    Forum Admin
     Forum Admin

    Posts : 547
    Join date : 2011-04-08
    Age : 29
    Location : Kolkata

    Re: International News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Sun May 15, 2011 11:56 pm

    Russia, Pakistan for joint fight against terror

    Russia and Pakistan have agreed to give top priority to their joint fight against terrorism and drug trafficking and to expand economic ties between the two countries.

    A joint statement signed by the Presidents of the two countries, Dmitry Medvedev and Asif Ali Zardari after their talks in the Kremlin noted “considerable progress in the Russian-Pakistani dialogue on political and security issues” and pledged to expand “contacts, consultations, cooperation and coordination of action by the two countries” in promoting peace and regional stability.

    Mr. Zardari arrived in Moscow on Wednesday on a four-day official visit, his first foreign trip since Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan earlier this month.

    “The Presidents emphasised the priority of their joint fight against terrorism and narcotics crime, which pose a serious challenge to international peace and stability,” the joint statement said.

    The two sides signed inter-governmental agreements on cooperation in agriculture, aviation and energy. Russia reaffirmed its willingness to help modernise the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) in Karachi, as well as to build electric power stations and develop gas deposits in Pakistan. However, a memorandum of understanding on PSM announced earlier was not signed.

    Mr. Medvedev and Mr. Zardari reiterated their mutual interest in undertaking regional projects involving the supply of electricity from Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan, known as CASA-1000, and the construction of the TAPI gas pipeline from Turkmenistan via Afghanistan to Pakistan and India.

    The summit marked further warming between Moscow and Islamabad even as Pakistan's relations with the United States are badly strained.
    avatar
    Abhishek

    Forum Admin
     Forum Admin

    Posts : 547
    Join date : 2011-04-08
    Age : 29
    Location : Kolkata

    Re: International News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Mon May 16, 2011 12:07 am

    Scores killed in Pakistan blasts

    In what is being billed as al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden striking from his grave, suicide bombers killed 80 people and injured over 100 in the north-west Pakistani town of Charsadda on Friday morning. Claiming responsibility for the attack on a camp of the Frontier Constabulary, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has threatened more such strikes in Pakistan and Afghanistan to avenge bin Laden's killing.

    This is the bloodiest suicide attack in recent months. The two suicide bombers detonated themselves within minutes of each other outside a training camp of the Frontier Constabulary at Shabqadar around 6 a.m. in the morning just as new recruits were preparing to return home after training. Of the 80 killed, 69 were from the Frontier Constabulary — a federal paramilitary force — and the remaining were civilians. The police fear that the death toll could go up as the condition of many of the injured was serious.

    The recruits had finished their training programme on May 5 and were apparently being sent home in batches in view of the security situation in the province. Some of them were waiting for transport to take them home when the first blast went off while the others were killed and injured as the second suicide bomber detonated himself in the midst of the chaos caused by the first explosion. The toll would have been higher but for the early morning hour when shops had still not opened.

    Though the TTP was quick to claim responsibility and warn of bigger attacks, police personnel said this could also be in retaliation of the ongoing military operations against terrorists in neighbouring Mohmand tribal agency.

    The Army launched the second phase of operations against terrorists in Mohmand on April 22 “under strong demand of local population and political administration of the area who were constantly being subjected to terrorists' atrocities including suicide bombings, target killing of tribal maliks, kidnapping for ransom and extortion''.

    The U.S. and the U.K. were quick to condemn the attack and offer condolences to the bereaved families. In a statement, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said: “These attacks were cowardly and indiscriminate, killing many innocent bystanders and targeting those who serve to protect Pakistan. They prove once again that such extremist groups have no regard for the value of human life. The U.K. is committed to standing with Pakistan in the fight against violent extremism and we will continue to work with Pakistan to tackle this shared threat.''

    The U.S. embassy in Pakistan said terrorists have shown time and again that they are the true enemy of the people and government of Pakistan. “We deeply respect the nation's sacrifices, and will continue to stand with Pakistan in our joint struggle to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al-Qaeda and allied terrorist organisations.''
    avatar
    Abhishek

    Forum Admin
     Forum Admin

    Posts : 547
    Join date : 2011-04-08
    Age : 29
    Location : Kolkata

    Re: International News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Mon May 16, 2011 12:07 am

    All must share failure: ISI chief

    Director-General of ISI Shuja Pasha on Friday offered to “step back'' and submit to Parliament while wondering why no accusing fingers were pointed at the U.S. and India for intelligence failure after the September 11 and Mumbai terror attacks.

    Speaking to PTV about the armed services in camera briefing for a joint session of Parliament on the circumstances leading to the killing of Osama bin Laden, Information & Broadcasting Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan said the DG “presented himself for full accountability before any forum and said if there was any ‘negligence or intentional failure', he was ready to face the consequences''.

    Pointing out that it was the responsibility of the provincial government, the local police and related agencies to have information about bin Laden, the Minister quoted Lt. Gen. Pasha as saying: “We are, of course, not shying away from our responsibility but all must share their failure.''

    Referring to the criticism that the Army and the ISI have drawn, Lt. Gen. Pasha said this was not in national interest and would strengthen the enemy. “They need to be supported at this critical juncture,'' he said citing the sacrifices made by the armed forces in fighting terrorism.

    Network

    Lt. Gen. Pasha was quoted by the Minister as claiming that it was the ISI which had broken the back of al-Qaeda and paralysed it by shattering its network. About how the U.S. helicopters evaded Pakistan's radars, he said stealth technology was used; maintaining that the Americans entered on the strength of superior technology. Also, according to him, the U.S. had fighter aircraft ready and waiting in Afghanistan to react to any bid by Pakistan to counter the helicopters.

    Asked about parliamentarians' response to the briefing by Lt. Gen. Pasha and other senior Army and Air Force officers, Ms. Awan said they were positive and articulated the hope that the Opposition would not criticise the Army and the ISI any further.
    avatar
    Abhishek

    Forum Admin
     Forum Admin

    Posts : 547
    Join date : 2011-04-08
    Age : 29
    Location : Kolkata

    Re: International News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Mon May 16, 2011 12:08 am

    Russia warns West on Syria

    Russia has warned the West against repeating the “Libya scenario” in Syria and accused the NATO of overstepping the United Nations mandate for Libya.

    Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow was “very worried” that the process of reconciliation in Syria “is being slowed down by a desire of some participants to draw in foreign forces to support their actions”.

    “Their calculation is that outside players will pay attention and will not only discuss the problem but also move on to repeat the Libyan situation [and] interfere, resorting, among other things, to force,” Mr. Lavrov said.

    “We do not want the Libya scenario to be repeated,” Mr. Lavrov told Russian journalists in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Friday.

    “Efforts to multiply the Libyan experience in other countries and regions are very dangerous, whether it is Yemen, Syria or Bahrain,” the Russian Foreign Minister said. Mr. Lavrov called “unacceptable” many actions of the Western coalition in Libya.

    “There are too many violations of the U.N. Security Council resolution,” he said citing the bombing of civilian buildings, hospitals and even embassies.

    Cooperation

    In an interview on Thursday, Mr. Lavrov said the West “abused” Russia's willingness to cooperation on Libya. Moscow refrained from vetoing the U.N. resolution that authorised the enforcement of a no-fly zone in that country.

    Mr. Lavrov called for returning the situation in Libya “into a political channel as swiftly as possible.”

    “It is necessary to use the services of the U.N. Secretary-General's special envoy and the mediation proposals of the African Union in order to sit down and seek agreement without any conditions,” the Russian Foreign Minister said.
    avatar
    Abhishek

    Forum Admin
     Forum Admin

    Posts : 547
    Join date : 2011-04-08
    Age : 29
    Location : Kolkata

    Re: International News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Mon May 16, 2011 6:13 pm

    Indian cultural extravaganza in Iran



    No longer willing to accept stereotypes, a new generation of inquisitive Iranians is arriving in droves at Tehran's palatial Niyavaran exhibition complex to draw a first-hand impression about India, widely seen as a country undergoing a rapid transformation.

    On each day by mid-morning, crowds comprising mostly youth, begin to build up, soaking in the classy ambience, that is imparted by the majestic Niyavaran palace, the venue of a week-long Indian cultural festival in Iran.

    Once home to the late Shah of Iran, the palace, is set against the backdrop of the Elburz Mountains, whose rugged slopes still bear some snow, despite the early summer heat.

    Beneath the shade of mighty maple trees that tower over the venue's verdant lawns, students, couples and families can catch a glimpse of some of the festival's highlights — a tourism exhibition in one corner, and under the white row of pavilions, an Indian food festival, which, expectedly has become a big draw.

    Many are drawn to the Indian film festival, where contemporary classics, such as Kamal Hasan's Chachi 420 and Nagesh Kuknoor's Dor are on show.

    But not all who arrive at the sprawling complex are there simply to have fun. While lauding India's rich cultural tapestry, many air their perceptions about Indian society and politics, which are not necessarily flattering.

    “I have heard that a certain section of Indians face discrimination on account of their caste. Why has India not still been able to resolve this horrific problem,” asks Solmaz Eikder, who works for a local magazine. Her friend Mohammad Fard is worried about the communal situation in India, and is curious to know whether religious intolerance in India has become widespread.

    Mr. Fard is also deeply interested in Sufi music and is pleased to learn that his favourite musical form has now become widely popular among the Indian youth. The couple decides to attend the late evening Santoor performance, by Pandit Bajan Sopori, which is part of the music component of the festival here. A Rajasthani folk ensemble, led by Bundu Khan Langa, is also performing on most festival evenings at Tansen garden, named after the iconic Mughal-era singer.

    Many among the youth are keen to learn about prospects of pursuing in India, higher education, especially in hi-tech areas such as software engineering and biotechnology. Some are surprised when an organiser tells them that nearly 8,000 Iranian students are currently studying in India, and aspiring Iranian scholars can pitch for 67 dedicated governmental scholarships that are offered annually.

    At the exhibition, many Iranians, especially women, flock to the stalls where cosmetics based on Ayurveda are on show. Those who are more knowledgeable about the science point out that the ancient system of Persian medicine drew heavily from the Ayurvedic system, which was integrated with the medicine system of Greece practised by the Nestorian Christians.

    Resonating strongly with the continuously evolving state of Indo-Iran relationship, the theme of the week-long festival is “continuity in change.” The festival is also dedicated to the memory of Rabindranath Tagore, whose seventy-first birthday was celebrated in Tehran in 1932.
    avatar
    Abhishek

    Forum Admin
     Forum Admin

    Posts : 547
    Join date : 2011-04-08
    Age : 29
    Location : Kolkata

    Re: International News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Mon May 16, 2011 6:14 pm

    “Full confidence” in military, ISI

    Pakistan's Parliament on Friday warned of “dire consequences” for peace and security in the region and the world if the unilateral action taken by the U.S. in Abbottabad on May 2 is repeated. It also authorised the government to consider withdrawal of transit facility to the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan in case of more such unilateral attacks or drone strikes.

    In a resolution adopted late on Friday night at the end of the joint session of Parliament — in which the Inter Services Intelligence Director-General Shuja Pasha submitted himself to the legislature's scrutiny after providing an in-camera briefing on the Abbottabad operation — members affirmed full confidence in the defence forces.

    As for Lieutenant-General Pasha's offer to resign, there was no indication on whether it had been accepted or rejected 24 hours after it was offered in Parliament. But the very admission of intelligence failure is a first for Pakistan's military, which has ruled the country for nearly half its history and has come in for considerable criticism after the Abbottabad operation for alleged complicity and apparent incompetence. In fact, it is being billed as a 1971-like moment when the armed forces morale reached an all-time low following the loss of East Pakistan.

    In a related development, the former Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, said intelligence organisations should stop meddling in politics; adding they need to be brought under civilian control and their budgets subject to parliamentary scrutiny. Briefing reporters in Lahore, he said had the democratic process been allowed to function uninterrupted in Pakistan the country would have been on an entirely different trajectory, reiterating the need for foreign policy to be decided by the elected government and not the security establishment.

    The resolution also called for revisiting and reviewing the terms of engagement with the U.S. to ensure that Pakistan's national interests are fully respected and accommodated in pursuit of policies for countering terrorism and achieving reconciliation and peace in Afghanistan.

    Briefing mediapersons about the resolution, federal Information & Broadcasting Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan said the time had come to revisit all policies including the national security strategy, bilateral relations and war on terror.

    Describing the Abbottabad operation as a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty, the resolution noted that unilateral actions cannot advance the global war against terror. It also expressed distress on the campaign “launched by certain quarters in other countries” to malign Pakistan without appreciating the nation's efforts and sacrifices in combating terror.

    The resolution also urged the federal government to appoint an independent commission on the Abbottabad operation, fix responsibility and recommend necessary measures to ensure that such an incident does not recur. The composition/modalities of the commission will be decided in consultations between the Leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition.
    avatar
    Abhishek

    Forum Admin
     Forum Admin

    Posts : 547
    Join date : 2011-04-08
    Age : 29
    Location : Kolkata

    Re: International News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Mon May 16, 2011 6:15 pm

    Emergency cover for n-reactor

    A reactor unit at the quake-and-tsunami-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station in Japan will soon be enveloped in a special “emergency cover”. This would serve as a short-term measure, pending the eventual installation of a long-term “radiation shield”, according to the plant operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco).

    While the preparatory work was being started now, Tepco said the actual installation of the cover for Unit 1 at the multi-reactor plant would begin in June. The entire exercise was being so designed as to minimise the exposure of workers to high levels of radiation at the unit. While the company did not specify, in its latest statement on this subject, that Unit 1 was now in a state of melt-down, observers were of this view.

    On another front in Japan's continuing nuclear crisis, two active reactors at the Hamaoka plant in central Japan were completely shut down by Saturday in accordance with a directive from Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan. The plant's operator announced the shut-down schedule on Friday.

    The Hamaoka plant was asked to suspend operations so that steps could be taken to make it resistant to powerful earthquakes and tsunamis.
    avatar
    Abhishek

    Forum Admin
     Forum Admin

    Posts : 547
    Join date : 2011-04-08
    Age : 29
    Location : Kolkata

    Re: International News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Tue May 17, 2011 8:13 pm

    Hunt for Osama's donors

    American investigators are reported to be trying to identify a “golden chain” of up to 20 al-Qaeda financiers following claims that some of them visited Osama bin Laden at his Abbottabad hideout. According to a report in The Sunday Times, a “million-dollar man'' has emerged as the “prime focus'' for clues to the identity of the shadowy network of financial backers from “millions of pages'' of computer files seized from the Abbottabad compound.

    “There are no doubt dozens of radical funders now worrying that their names, bank accounts or addresses will comes up in bin Laden's spreadsheets, and for good reason,” Matthew Levitt, a former intelligence official at the U.S. Treasury, told the paper citing the example of Abd al-Hamid al-Mujil, dubbed the “million-dollar man” for his alleged fund-raising skills.

    “Frankly any potential plots are likely to now be abandoned and key figures will be on the run. But the money men are people with businesses who can't up and move like that and we hope to pin down organisations we suspected as fronts,” he said.

    Despite worry in diplomatic circles that a lack of trust in U.S.-Pak relations could “undermine'' investigations, David Cohen, head of the U.S. treasury department's terrorism and financial intelligence branch, was said to be hopeful that al-Qaeda's financial backers would be tracked down. According to a senior Taliban commander, bin Laden risked meeting “money men'' because the organisation was in financial trouble. He suggested they were from the Gulf region. “He [bin Laden] said fundraising was crucial but he limited the number of contributors he saw because of the risk. He was afraid these face-to-face meetings would lead his enemies to his house.”
    avatar
    Abhishek

    Forum Admin
     Forum Admin

    Posts : 547
    Join date : 2011-04-08
    Age : 29
    Location : Kolkata

    Re: International News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Tue May 17, 2011 8:14 pm

    Afghanistan may join SCO

    Afghanistan may join the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation as an observer at the group's 10th jubilee summit in Astana, Kazakhstan, next month, said Russia's Foreign Minister.

    The SCO will also consider the applications of India and Pakistan to join as full members, said Sergei Lavrov.

    India and Pakistan have observer status in the SCO along with Iran and Mongolia.

    The regional security group has six permanent members — China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

    “A few days ago Afghanistan submitted a request to grant it observer status. The request will be considered at the upcoming summit,” Mr. Lavrov told reporters after a meeting of the SCO Foreign Ministers in Almaty on Saturday.
    avatar
    Abhishek

    Forum Admin
     Forum Admin

    Posts : 547
    Join date : 2011-04-08
    Age : 29
    Location : Kolkata

    Re: International News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Tue May 17, 2011 8:14 pm

    8 killed, scores injured in Israeli firing

    Eight people were killed and more than 200 injured on Sunday as Palestinians marched on Israel's borders with Lebanon, Syria and Gaza in a mass show of mourning over the 1948 creation of the Jewish state.

    Tensions along the Israeli-Syrian frontier spiralled as thousands of protesters who massed on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights plateau tried to break through to the Israeli side, prompting the army to open fire.

    Syria lashed out at Israel for opening fire on the protesters, warning that the Jewish state would bear full responsibility for its “criminal” actions.

    A Druze doctor from Majdal Shams who rushed to the scene told AFP he saw at least two bodies, with local paramedics confirming the same toll, saying one had been shot in the head, and the second in the chest.

    They also said had treated another 20 people for light to moderate injuries, with the Israeli army confirming that “dozens” had been injured.

    Along the Lebanese border, Israeli gunfire killed six people and wounded another 71 as thousands of mainly Palestinian refugees demonstrated along the tense frontier, local medical sources said.

    Minors injured

    And along Gaza's northern border with Israel, 90 people were injured, five of them seriously, when troops opened fired as more than a thousand Palestinians marched on the Erez crossing.

    At least half of the wounded were minors, medics said.

    The Israeli army issued a statement saying “hundreds of Syrian rioters” had crossed onto the Israeli side, and in response troops had “fired selectively” towards them, injuring an unspecified number. Protesters in southern Lebanon had tried to cross the border into Israel, the statement added, saying troops had fired warning shots towards them.

    During the two incidents, three Army officers and 10 soldiers had been injured, it said, placing the blame for the violence squarely on the Damascus and Beirut.

    Elsewhere, at least 29 others were injured as clashes broke out between stone-throwing Palestinian youths and Israeli security forces across annexed east Jerusalem and in the West Bank.Within the Palestinian territories, the vast majority of injuries occurred in northern Gaza, where troops opened fire as more than 1,000 people marched on the towering concrete border fence, chanting: “No to the occupation!” and “Revolution, revolution to liberate Palestine!” Syria angrily denounced the Israeli actions.

    "We firmly denounce the criminal Israeli actions against our people in the Golan Heights, Palestine and southern Lebanon that left several people dead and wounded," the Syrian foreign ministry said.

    “Israel will have to bear full responsibility for its actions.”

    A Palestinian man was killed when troops opened fired on an area east of Gaza City but medics said the incident was not related to the "nakba" protests.
    avatar
    Abhishek

    Forum Admin
     Forum Admin

    Posts : 547
    Join date : 2011-04-08
    Age : 29
    Location : Kolkata

    Re: International News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Tue May 17, 2011 8:15 pm

    Targets inside India have been identified: ISI

    Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence chief Lieutenant General Ahmed Shuja Pasha has warned India that any Abbottabad-like attack by it would invite a fitting response from Pakistan as targets inside the country “had already been identified” and “rehearsal” carried out.

    Lt. Gen. Pasha's warning came as he addressed the in-camera joint session of the Senate and National Assembly held behind closed doors on Friday.

    ‘Fitting response'

    Lt. Gen. Pasha is facing fire over the inability of the ISI to track down al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, where he was living, before he was annihilated by the U.S. special forces on May 2.

    In an apparent response to statements from New Delhi that India too can carry out strikes inside Pakistan, Lt. Gen. Pasha said any attack from the east would invite a fitting response, the Dawn reported. He said a contingency plan was in place and targets inside “India had already been identified.” Lt. Gen. Pasha told the lawmakers: “We have also carried out rehearsal for it.”

    Earlier on May 5, Pakistan army and the government had reacted sharply warning India against any Abbottabad-like “misadventure,” saying it would be responded to “very strongly.” The warning had come after a meeting of the Corps Commanders chaired by Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani which decided to reduce the level of U.S. military personnel in Pakistan.
    avatar
    Abhishek

    Forum Admin
     Forum Admin

    Posts : 547
    Join date : 2011-04-08
    Age : 29
    Location : Kolkata

    Re: International News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Wed May 18, 2011 6:15 pm

    French society polarised on Strauss-Kahn

    France on Monday woke up to shocking pictures of the usually well-groomed and dapper IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn being led away, handcuffed, unshaven, tie-less and grim faced from the Harlem police lock-up where he spent the night for DNA tests that will ultimately prove or disprove his case. Mr. Strauss-Kahn, popularly referred to as DSK in France, has been charged with attempted rape, unlawful imprisonment following accusations by a hotel chambermaid in New York that he sexually assaulted her.

    More than the handcuffs or that he was on a grubby New York street accompanied by police officers rather than in the gilded salons of high finance surrounded with bankers and courtiers, it was the look of utter devastation on Mr. Strauss-Kahn's face that so shattered his countrymen.

    Socialist leader Manuel Valls said: “I've never seen anything like this in my thirty years in politics. Never have I felt so shaken. He is a longtime friend and the pictures I saw this morning were of an unbearable cruelty that brought tears to my eyes.”

    Eva Joly, a former judge who investigated Mr. Strauss-Kahn for corruption and declared him innocent said: “Justice in the U.S. is much harsher [than] in France, especially for sex offences. Little attention appears to be paid to the presumption of innocence. If you are charged, in the eyes of most you are as good as guilty. If found guilty DSK could receive a prison sentence ranging from 20 to 25 years.”

    Increasingly theories of entrapment and a deliberate frame-up are gaining ground in France. Canal Plus, a TV station generally sympathetic to leftwing causes, revealed that the first person to break the news a full hour before mainstream media knew of what happened on Saturday afternoon was Jonathan Pinet, a student close to Mr. Sarkozy's UMP Party who had been tipped off by a friend working at the hotel.

    Christne Boutin, a practising Catholic and leader of the Christian Democratic party in France, said: “He fell into a trap. This could have been set up by the French right, by the French Left or by the IMF. Perhaps they wanted to decapitate the IMF, since DSK was keen to break the stranglehold of the West on these institutions.”

    Mr. Strauss-Kahn was reportedly wary of the dangers that awaited him, suspicious of his security detail and the persons sent to keep him safe. He also had an uncanny intuition about what could lead to his downfall. The daily Liberation in an article published on Monday describes and interview it conducted with him on April 28, 2011. “He described the difficulties of the electoral campaign to come as: ‘Money, women and my Jewishness'. I can imagine a scenario like in a bad thriller — an underground parking where a woman, who's been paid 500,000 euros accuses me of having raped her…” However, other voices have added to the charges weighing against him. Jean Quatremer, a respected journalist working for the daily Liberation wrote in his blog in 2007 when DSK was first appointed as IMF chief that the new appointee would do well to keep his sexual appetites in check. “I have witnessed Strauss-Kahn importunating female journalists time and time again, sometimes in a manner so crass and gross it could only be called sexual harassment,” he told The Hindu. “When I wrote that in my blog, I got a call from one of his directors of communications asking me to withdraw the story. I refused and told them they could take me to court. They did no such thing because any court action would have laid bare other incidents of a similar nature.”

    In the wake of the charges filed in New York, a young French journalist called Tristane Banon has decided to lodge a complaint. On a TV show in 2007 she had recounted how he harassed her but Mr. Strauss-Kahn's name was concealed with a blip when the programme was aired. “She was persuaded by her mother not to lodge a complaint then. But now she feels she will get a fair hearing,” her lawyer David Koubbi told reporters.

    French society is sharply polarised about Mr. Strauss-Khan's guilt or innocence.

    Sponsored content

    Re: International News - MAY

    Post  Sponsored content


      Current date/time is Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:49 pm