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Abbottabad city of bin ladan?
2013.07.28 17:38:59

compoundAbbottabad is a city located in the Hazara area of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan. The city is situated in the Orash Valley, 115 kilometres (71 mi) northeast of the capital Islamabad and 150 kilometres (93 mi) east of Peshawar . The city is well-known throughout Pakistan for its pleasant weather, high-standard educational institutions and military establishments.


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Uttarakhand tragedy - 'development' wreaks havoc
2013.07.20 19:44:29

Any talk of “development” today sounds ominous and one tends to visualize the motives behind it that are sinister. Our political masters (mis) understand by the word development only growth and expansion that is mostly spatial in the context of a city. That there are other meanings also attached to the word, like improvement in quality, refinement or even an attempt to attain fullness, do not seem to occur to them.


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The tiny kingdom of Swaziland
2013.07.03 19:51:38

The Swazi King Mswati III of Swaziland was in the news recently. Polygamous to the core, he wanted a 22 year old girl as his 14th wife. He got smitten by her when she was just 15 and kept making advances. Made of sterner stuff, she had no intentions of joining the millionaire king’s harem of 13 wives (with their individual palaces and luxury cars) several concubines. She, therefore, fled to Britain and currently living in Birmingham has sought asylum in the country. The 45 year old king lost a wife, his sixth, last year who escaped from his harem citing years of emotional and physical abuse.


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Indians' craze for gold hurts their economy
2013.06.27 14:24:29

I found it rather odd that the Indian Finance Minister had to be beseeching people of the country not to buy gold. He has requested everyone not to buy gold for at least one year in view of the mounting current account deficits. Rising demand for the precious metal, he said, is met increasingly by imports which push up the trade deficit, impacting on balance of payments. The consequential mounting current account deficit is causing scarcity of dollars weakening the rupee. Lately the rupee has lost heavily against the dollar and is now pegged around 58 to 59 to a dollar.

Tags: gold

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Fall of the Indian Rupee
2013.06.16 19:11:15

A report appeared recently of a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) study about the share in circulation of various currency denominations in 2010-11. The study effectively reflects how the value of the country’s currency unit, the Rupee, has gradually eroded. The erosion seems to have picked up pace since the economic reforms process began in 1990-91 and was, seemingly, accentuated since 2003-04.

Tags: rupee

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'Amazing Thailand'
2013.06.12 15:02:28

The blurb of Tourism Authority of Thailand sells the country as “Amazing Thailand”. Thailand, indeed, amazes you. Endowed richly by nature and coupled with its cultural heritage the place offers all that makes an attractive destination. It has everything – beach tourism, adventure tourism, nature tourism, temple tourism and what have you. All those have been remarkably exploited to give tourists an unique experience. Welcoming as the Thais are one feels like going there over and over again.

Tags: thailand

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Racism, Conservatism, and Low I.Q. Go Hand in Hand
2013.04.24 23:57:53

by Goal Auzeen Saedi, Ph.D.

This morning as I logged onto Facebook, I came upon this image. Having followed the Boston marathon and MIT shooting coverage initially, I lost some interest when it came down to the “hunt.” As much as justice matters to me, so does tact and class, and the sensationalism of manhunts always leaves me uncomfortable. I also knew it would be a matter of time before the political rhetoric would change from the victims and wounded to the demographic factors of the suspects—namely race and religion. And alas, it has.

Tags: Conservatism | Racism

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Vote against Sri Lanka - India's muddled diplomacy
2013.04.20 14:40:38

News came in the other day that the already agitating students of Chennai are going to launch protest rallies when the internationally popular Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty-20 cricket matches take place at the city’s hallowed Chepauk ground. They have also decided to pressurise the Hyderabad Sunrisers, a participating IPL team owned by Kalanidhi Maran, brother of Dayanidhi Maran who represented Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), a Tamil party, in the Union Government, to sack Kumar Sangakkara, a Sri Lankan cricketer.


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Boston - Attack Against Civilians
2013.04.18 22:26:32
Doesn't anyone else find it rather sickening to hear weak failures in office the likes of Ban Ki Moon and others parading their selective condemnations of attacks on civilians? Personally, I'm apalled and disgusted and have been for a decade at the way these people have failed abysmally to condemn attacks on civilians - vast and wholesale, insidious, callous, brutal (white phosphorous, fleshettes, cluster bombs). Let them rot in hell with Margret Thatcher and all her savage, torturing dictator friends whom they have dared not offend with a misplaced word. It is THEY who have no respect for the victims of Bostom.


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The CIA Mind at Work
2013.04.17 06:53:24
The comments of "Former CIA Officer" Robert Grenier might make an interesting study in psychology. Interestingly, the "People who hate our Freedom and Democracy" now may be "Domestic Terrorists" with some sort of grievance against the government and the woven tale of far-fetched speculation pulls in imagery of the American Revolution and the national climate of discontent. How sad it all is. Guns are not the problem. The NRA is not the problem. Gun control won't calm the waters. No peace in the world. No Justice. No peace of mind.


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Politics and the London Zoo
2013.04.15 21:00:38
Personally, I find it difficult to disengage or avoid politics, even on an outing with my children to the London Zoo. At King’s Cross Station I interrupted our journey to take my two boys to admire what I consider to be a rare and wonderfully imaginative innovation in Architecture and a marvel of modern engineering – the roof above Kings Cross Station. Of course, you can’t tell that to a child under 4, but I could get them to lie on their backs on the floor alongside the central column and get them to study the beautiful sweeping arches that hold up the enormous roof lattice above. A crowd was amassing with a high police attendance and someone was shouting with a broad Irish accent “Maggie Maggie Maggie! Dead Dead Dead!!” followed by a loud chorus of cheering and chants of “The bitch is dead!”. I asked one of the crowd what it was all about – “They’re protesting the cuts”. She was not impressed with my contention that unless there was a very large number of the British population willing to get serious they were wasting their time. She was less dismissive of this view when I reminded her that despite 2 million protesting in London against the Iraq war in 2003 we are still participating in wars all over the world; “Is this little mob going to make any difference?”. They just don’t give a damn about protest and they are militarising the Police and reshaping the law ready for the time when the world economy hits the fan and it all gets serious. While we conversed my 1-year-old son was pushing the double push-chair away and into the back of a group of police. As their alarm subsided I joked that it was probably the strongest resistance they would face all day. Meanwhile the “Maggie!” chants continued and I shouted back up the escalator shaft (at risk to life and limb) that if they didn’t have the balls to get rid of her while she was Prime Minister there was not much point raving now. At the London Zoo, wandering among the remnants of the procession of species disappearing in the wake of the human onslaught there were endless reminders of the FACT of Climate Change and the alarming rate of species extinction (which I first heard about at University more than 30 years ago) and efforts to persuade the masses that the loss of eco- and bio-diversity matters. As has been the necessity for some time, I fought off my rising anger and anxiety in order to present calm rationality for my day out with my boys; as best I could. On The Tube going back to King’s Cross an old lady (older than me) lamented the crowded conditions. I asked “What would things have been like if all the money spent on cars, petrol, motorways, traffic control and all the carnage of motor accidents had been spent on Public Transport?”. She agreed with my point and someone else joined the conversation. I told them that I had only recently come to understand, thanks to Monbiot, how we embarked on this madness. I had discovered that Dr Beeching, who had shut down the railways in the 1960s had been appointed by the then minister of transport, Ernest Marples - owner of the motorway-building company Marples Ridgway. I expressed the view that this was a criminal act of monumental consequence. Others tuned into the conversation and I began my usual rant about the psychopaths who currently run the planet and the consequent danger we are in with imminent environmental disaster due to Climate Change and economic disaster due to criminal mismanagement of the global economy. Once I began to see my folly I simply asserted that we are in deep shit and that all that was going to save us is conversations like this among ourselves leading to a broader awakening.

Tags: Public Transport | Margret Thatcher | Budget Cuts | climate change | Economic Collapse

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SEX PISTOL John Lydon and Australian Takyvision
2013.04.11 18:48:01

I had very little to do with pop music generally in the SEX PISTOLS era, much less their music in particular, but I must say I was impressed with John Lydon's handling of the dim-witted, push-the-corporate-angle, Australian media in this interview: SEX PISTOLS: John Lydon Interview (sorry about the ad).

Tags: John Lydon | Politically Correct | sexism

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Nobel Prize for Bradley Manning
2013.04.09 08:54:13

From: Allen Jasson [mailto: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ] Sent: 25 March 2013 23:02 To: ' This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ' Subject: Nobel Prize for Bradley Manning Dear Sirs and Madams of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, I write to urge you to give serious, positive consideration to the widely supported nomination of Bradley Manning for the Nobel Peace Prize. There are, in my view, at least three important reasons why Bradley Manning should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Tags: Nobel Prize | Bradley Manning

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Let's hope the dear lady rests among friends
2013.04.09 06:40:06
With the passing of the late Margret Thatcher all those who mourn her passing will hope that she will spend eternity among friends; so do the rest of us. Indeed, I personally hope that Mr Pinochet is the first to greet her; his table set with his best china to serve her tea and scones. Let us all hope you find the just peace you deserve for all eternity.

Tags: pinochet | Thatcher

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Oscar Blinked?
2013.02.26 01:14:18

Last night I was not among the four Billion plus viewers who watched Tinsel-town’s sharp-elbow, popularity contest known as the Academy Awards.


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A rape that shook India
2013.01.13 19:03:27

It was different; it was a different kind of gang-rape that shook not only the nation but also the Diaspora, besides evoking strong and sensitive reactions from abroad. It even prompted the Secretary General of the United Nations to write to the Indian Prime Minister for ensuring greater security for women. It was a different kind of rape in that it was not like the ones that are reported almost every day in the newspapers. It was different because it was an uncommonly and excessively brutal and beastly assault, which tore up the insides of the 23-year old bright and ambitious paramedic, eventually taking her life despite the best efforts of medicine men in the country’s capital and abroad.


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The end of 'Indian Spring'
2012.11.27 19:27:14

Arvind Kejriwal, of the erstwhile NGO India Against Corruption, has made quite a splash since he went political. Even before he named his outfit as “Aam Aadmi Party” (AAP) he had commenced his campaign against the entrenched political establishment. His exposes, virtually like serial ‘bombs’, have already scorched Robert Vadra, the son in-law of Sonia Gandhi,  Chairperson of the ruling formation United Progressive Alliance, Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid, the suave but loyal to the point of being a sycophant of Sonia Gandhi, Nitin Gadkari, the reigning president of the principal Opposition,  the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Reliance Chief and the richest Indian Mukesh Ambani, and, lately, sugar mill owners of Western Maharashtra, presumably targeting the Maharashtra strongman Sharad Pawar, currently Agriculture Minister at the Centre. The Ambanis came in for further treatment in Kejriwal’s accusations regarding their alleged unaccounted wealth in foreign banks details of which, though suppressed, were allegedly available with the government.


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On the edge - the Great Indian Bustard
2012.10.14 22:38:00

With a rapidly growing population, increasing pressures of development and unconcerned public authorities wildlife in India do not seem to have a chance. A recent list of most threatened species of animals, plants and fungi jointly compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the Zoological Society of London includes four Indian species. Questioning whether these are “Priceless or worthless” species and, therefore, whether we have the right to drive them to extinction the two organisations have surmised that humans seem to care more for economic benefits that certain species provide if they are conserved. The rest, it seems, could be left to their native ingenuity to either adapt to the ever-changing environment or to perish.

Tags: on | edge | bustard

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Radios of yore - an eulogy
2012.10.04 19:36:17

The other day while listening to a programme on the fm of Radio Mirchi my mind traveled back long years to 1948 when we got the first radio in our house. My late second brother got a first division in his intermediate examination. The examinations were held then by the Ajmer Board of Secondary education to which a number colleges in Rajputana, United Provinces, Central India, etc were affiliated. With thousands of candidates competing, getting a first division in those days in any board or university examination was no ordinary matter.  Elated by the distinction achieved by him, my father went and bought a radio as a gift for him – a small one, of five valves made by Phillips of Holland. Its price was Rs. 350/-, an amount that was more than my father’s monthly salary.

Tags: valve | radios

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Ballot Access for Third Parties
2012.09.19 23:49:39

(With The Rocky Anderson Campaign)

By Tim Gatto with Ben Shaw

During radio show last night I had problems with the audio that were very suspicious. Every time my guest, Ben Shaw (who works with the Rocky Anderson campaign) tried to mention specific problems that the campaign faced on getting Anderson on the ballot in various States, the audio would become garbled to the point where it was very difficult to understand his speech. He would stop talking about these instances and the audio would clear up. This is the link to the show so you can hear it for yourself.


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