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Sunday, November 30, 2014

World AIDS Day - December 01

World AIDS Day, observed on 1 December every year, is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS Pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection, and mourning those who have died of the disease.

World AIDS Day was first conceived in August 1987 by James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter, two public information officers for the Global Programme on AIDS at the World Health Organization (WHO)in Geneva, Switzerland.

 Government and health officials, non-governmental organizations and individuals around the world observe the day, often with education on AIDS prevention and control.

World AIDS Day is one of the eight official Global Public Health Campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO)

Each World AIDS Day campaign focuses on a specific theme, chosen following consultations with UNAIDS,WHO and a large number of grassroots, national and international agencies involved in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. 

World AIDS Day Themes, 1988–present

1988 Communication
1989 Youth
1990 Women and AIDS
1991 Sharing the Challenge
1992 Community Commitment
1993 Act
1994 AIDS and the Family
1995 Shared Rights, Shared Responsibilities
1996 One World. One Hope.
1997 Children Living in a World with AIDS
1998 Force for Change: World AIDS Campaign With Young People
1999 Listen, Learn, Live: World AIDS Campaign with Children & Young People
2000 AIDS: Men Make a Difference
2001 I care. Do you?
2002 Stigma and Discrimination
2003 Stigma and Discrimination
2004 Women, Girls, HIV and AIDS
2005 Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise
2006 Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise – Accountability
2007 Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise – Leadership
2008 Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise – Lead – Empower – Deliver
2009 Universal Access and Human Rights
2010 Universal Access and Human Rights
2011 Getting to Zero
2012 Getting to Zero
2013 Getting to Zero
2014 Getting to Zero

As of 2013, AIDS has killed more than 36 million people worldwide (1981-2012), and an estimated 35.3 million people are living with HIV,making it one of the most important Global Public Health issues in recorded in history

Mark Webber,Former F1 Driver Injured in Crash at Brazil Race Monday Dec 01,2014

Former Formula 1 driver Mark Webber is in a "satisfactory" condition after being injured in a crash in a World Endurance Championship race in Brazil.

 Webber is reportedly OK after his Porsche 919 burst into flames in Brazil
Mark Webber,the Australian(38) who quit F1 last year after 12 years, was racing for Porsche in the Six Hours of Sao Paulo.

Race organisers said there had been a "serious" collision between his car and the Ferrari of Italy's Matteo Cressoni.

A statement on Webber's website said the driver remained in a local hospital overnight "for precautionary checks".

The FIA, motor sport's world governing body, said the race ended under the safety car following the accident.
Mark Webber was seen giving a thumbs up signal from a stretcher after his crash in Sao Paulo
The FIA added: "Both drivers were taken to the circuit's medical centre and, after initial examination, to the local Hospital Bandeirantes for further checks, their condition has been reported as satisfactory."

Israeli cricket umpire killed by ball Saturday Nov 29,2014

Hillel Oscar,an umpire at a cricket match in the Israeli city of Ashdod has died after being hit by a ball.
A batsman's shot struck Hillel Oscar in the neck, possibly after a ricochet from the stumps at his end of the pitch.
The incident comes just two days after Australian batsman Phillip Hughes died of a head injury caused by being struck by a ball at a match in Sydney on Thursday Nov 27,2014
Hillel Oscar was the former captain of the Israeli national cricket team.
He was taken to a city hospital, but medics were unable to revive him.
Saturday's match was the last in Israel's league season.

Narendra Modi slips to second spot in TIME’s ‘Person of the Year’ poll

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has slipped to the second place in the Time magazine’s ‘Person of the Year’ poll with the Ferguson protesters surging ahead of him in a vote by the readers.

As per latest reports, Mr. Modi is leading second with 9.8 per cent of the total votes polled so far while the Ferguson protesters are leading with 10.8 per cent of the votes.

Joshua Wong, face of the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement, is placed third.

Nobel Peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai (5.3 per cent) and Russian President Vladimir Putin are placed fourth and fifth respectively.

The results, unveiled by TIME Sunday Nov 30,2014 ahead of the voting deadline at 11.59pm on December 6,2014

2014 Petrol Price Revision Sunday Nov 30,2014


Petrol Price Cut by 91 Paise Per Litre, Diesel by 84 Paise

Petrol price was on Sunday Nov 30,2014slashed by 91 paise per litre - its 7th reduction since August 2014, while that of diesel was reduced by 84 paise, its 3rd straight cut, as international oil rates continued to slump.

The revised prices will be effective from the midnight of November 30 and December 1,2014 Indian Oil Corp announced

Post-reduction, petrol will cost Rs. 63.33 in Delhi; Rs. 70.73 in Kolkata; Rs. 70.95 in Mumbai; and Rs. 66.05 in Chennai. Diesel will cost Rs. 52.51 in Delhi; Rs. 57.08 in Kolkata; Rs. 60.11 in Mumbai; and Rs. 55.93 in Chennai. 

Prior to Sunday's reduction, petrol price has been lowered by a cumulative Rs 9.36 per litre since August 2014

Petrol price was last cut by Rs. 2.41 a litre and diesel by Rs. 2.25 a litre on November 1,2014


Rupee Falls to 9-Month Low of 62.25 Per Dollar Monday Dec 01,2014

The rupee slumped to 62.25 per dollar in morning trade, a level last seen nine months ago on February 20,2014

The partially convertible rupee traded at 62.12 per dollar versus Nov 28,2014 Friday's close of 62.03 as of 11.15 a.m. on Monday Dec 01,2014

The rupee is weakening because of global factors. A broad rally in the dollar has led to weakness in nearly all currencies. The euro and the yen are also trading at multi-year lows against the dollar.

The rupee has fallen for five straight weeks now. It dropped nearly 0.5%  last week.

In November 2014, the rupee declined 1.1 %

2014 Jharkhand Phase II Assembly Election for 18 Seats Tuesday Dec 02,2014

In Jharkhand, former Chief Ministers Arjun Munda and Madhu Koda and three ministers are among 223 candidates, including 35 women, contesting from 20 seats-- 16 of them reserved for tribals

Altogether 44,31,900 voters, including 21,72,982 women, are eligible to exercise their franchise in 5,048 polling stations across the seven districts to elect their representatives from among 223 candidates, including 35 women.

In the 20 seats which are going to polls in the second phase, BJP had eight MLAs, JMM five, Congress two and rest were held by Independents and other parties in the last Assembly elections

The BJP is contesting in 18 seats in this phase, leaving two - Tamar and Jugsalai - for its pre-poll alliance partner, the AJSU party.

The Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM-Prajatantrik) and Trinamool Congress are contesting in a pre-poll alliance, with the JVM-P fielding candidates in 18 seats, conceding two seats to the TMC.

About 65.46 % electorate on Tuesday exercised their franchise in the second of the five-phase polling for the 20 Maoist-hit Assembly constituencies
Chief Electoral Officer PK Jajoria said, 65.46 % votes were cast in the 2nd phase polling.
In the first phase polling for 13 seats on November 25, 61.92 % voters exercised their franchise.

The 20 Maoist constituencies where polling was held today are spread over seven districts -- Seraikela-Kharsawan, West and East Singhbhum, Khunti, Simdega, Ranchi and Gumla.
Polling was held from 7 AM to 3 PM in 18 seats while the exercise was carried on till 5 AM in Jamshedpur (East) and Jamshedpur (West).

2014 Jammu and Kashmir Phase II Assembly Election for 18 Seats Tuesday Dec 02,2014

Out of the 175 candidates in fray in 18 constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir which are going to polls in the second phase on Tuesday, 97 or more than 50 per cent are not graduates and nine have criminal cases against them

Nine seats in Jammu and as many in Kashmir are going to polls in the second phase with 175 candidates in fray, including several high-profile candidates like former separatist Sajad Lone and four state ministers

A total of 15,35,087 voters, including 8,12,809 men and 7,22,269 women, will decide the fate of Four ministers of the Congress-NC coalition government, 16 former ministers and sitting legislators are among the 175 candidates at 2181 polling stations in on December 02,2014

J&K records 71% voter turnout in second phase of polls despite separatist calls for a boycott

All shops in the border town of Handwara were closed and only a few private vehicles were seen plying on the roads on Tuesday. 

The serene atmosphere was not on account of a strike, as is usually the case, but because people had gone to polling booths to exercise their franchise. 

People lined up in long queues at Handwara’s Higher Secondary School, where four booths were set up, to cast their votes in the second phase of voting in Jammu and Kashmir. 

Interestingly, queues for women voters were longer than those for men.

The voter turnout in the state on Tuesday was higher than the 68.79 per cent recorded during the 2008 Assembly polls. 

107-year-old Khazer Mohammad turns up to vote in J&K
107-year-old Khazer Mohammad turns up to vote in J&K


P V Sindhu Wins Macau Grand Prix Gold Trophy Sunday Nov 30,2014

Two-time World Championship bronze medallist P V Sindhu lifted her first title of the season by successfully defending the USD 120,000 Macau Grand Prix Gold trophy after seeing off Kim Hyo Min of Korea 21-12 21-17 in the women's singles finals at the Tap Seac Multisport Pavilion on Sunday Nov 30,2014

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Switzerland Votes in Referendum on Immigration Quotas

The Swiss are voting in a referendum on Sunday Nov 30,2014 on measures aimed at severely restricting immigration.

The ballot marks the second time this year that the non-EU country has held a referendum on immigration.

Last February voters narrowly backed the reintroduction of quotas, effectively opting out of a free movement agreement with Brussels.

The new proposal, known as Ecopop, goes much further, limiting net immigration to just 0.2% of the overall population.


 Environmentalist group Ecopop launched the "Stop overpopulation - safeguard our natural resources" initiative.
 It proposes capping the number of immigrants at just 0.2 percent of the resident population or the equivalent of 16,000 people per year.
 Supporters say a lack of living space exerts too much pressure on the land and natural resources in landlocked Switzerland, tapping into a growing concern about overcrowding among its residents, who are frustrated by rising rents and crowded public transport.
Opponents, including the Swiss government, say the campaign would have disastrous consequences for the Swiss economy, which is heavily reliant on foreign workers.
 The latest poll shows 39 percent of the population support the initiative, 56 percent are against it, and 5 percent are undecided.

Switzerland's population is just 8.2 million - but that is still more than a million more than it was 20 years ago.

  • Switzerland's population is about 8.18 million - of whom 1.96 million are not Swiss nationals, according to the Swiss Federal Statistical Office(FSO) 
  • EU citizens make up the vast majority of immigrants in Switzerland
  • The largest group of foreign nationals living in Switzerland is from Italy; immigration from Italy started more than a century ago, but difficulties getting Swiss nationality meant many families remained Italian
  • The second largest group comes from Germany, and the third largest comes from the former Yugoslavia
Swiss voters 'reject bid to set limits on immigration' in national referendum 
A Swiss voter casts  a  ballot: The proposal to limit immigration to 0.2 per cent of Switzerland's population was opposed by 74 per cent of voters and supported by 26 per cent, according to Swiss pollsters gfs.bern

Swiss voters have overwhelmingly rejected plans to drastically limit immigration, according to early results from a nationwide referendum.

The proposal to limit immigration to 0.2 per cent of Switzerland's population was opposed by 74 per cent of voters and supported by 26 per cent, according to Swiss pollsters gfs.bern.

The plan, which would have torn up freedom of movement agreements with the EU, would have slashed migration by about 16,000 immigrants a year. 

Currently, immigration is estimated at around 80,000 a year.

G K Vasan Re-Launch Tamil Maanila Congress Friday Nov 28,2014

Re-launching the Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC) here on Friday Nov 28,2014, former Union Minister G.K. Vasan declared that his party would do away with the “seeking-appointment-with-the high-command” syndrome to discuss vital Tamil Nadu issues even as it shouldered the responsibility of securing a new life for the 7.5 crore Tamils in the State.
“Tomorrow belongs to us. The Tiruchi meeting will be a turning point in Tamil Nadu politics,” he asserted. He decided to stick to the party’s name given by his late father, G.K. Moopanar, when the TMC as a regional variant of the Congress was launched in 1996.

Among the objectives of the party is creation of a liquor-free society, upholding the rights of Tamil Nadu in inter-State water disputes and fighting for justice to Tamil Nadu fishermen and Sri Lankan Tamils.
“The TMC is a regional party with a national outlook. You can proudly declare that you are the real Congressmen in Tamil Nadu,” he said at a rally on the Ponmalai Railway Ground,Tiruchi

Inauguration of Kannada Actor Rajkumar Memorial in Bengaluru Saturday Nov 29,2014


Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, film actors Rajinikanth, Chiranjeevi and Ambareesh and Parvathamma Rajkumar, in front of the statue of the late Kannada superstar at the inauguration of his memorial in Bengaluru on Saturday Nov 29,2014
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, film actors Rajinikanth, Chiranjeevi and Ambareesh and Parvathamma Rajkumar, in front of the statue of the late Kannada superstar at the inauguration of his memorial in Bengaluru on Saturday. PHOTO: V. SREENIVASA MURTHY 

Superstar Rajinikanth was in his element as he spoke on the illustrious career of Rajkumar after the inauguration of his memorial on the sprawling Kanteerava Studios premises here on Saturday. 
Speaking in chaste Kannada to the delight of thousands of Rajkumar fans, he encapsulated in his short speech both the milestones of the career of the Kannada film icon and his personal association with him.

The gallop had begun with the 1954 release Bedara Kannappa and gone on till is death in 2006, conquering people’s hearts all over Karnataka. “No other ashwa, including Rajinikanth, could ever match its pace,” said the Tamil star. 

He recalled an anecdote when both stars had gone for a walk on the Tata Institute campus long ago. When Rajinikanth pointed out that people of all ages had flocked to do namaskara to him, Rajkumar had said, “Always remember that namaskara is not for us, but for Saraswathi in us.” 

It was this humility of Rajkumar that Telugu star-turned-politician Chiranjeevi also remembered. “He was the very definition of simplicity and humility,” he said, recounting his experience of meeting Rajkumar during a shooting when he was a student. “He got up and shook hands with each of us.”

Now get Aadhaar number through EPFO

Retirement fund body EPFO has decided to become a registrar of the Unique Identification Authority of India to facilitate enrolment of its subscribers who don’t have Aadhaar numbers.

The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) wants to seed over 4.2 crore portable Universal PF Account Numbers issued by it, with the Aadhaar number of subscribers.

EPFO wants of leverage its over 120 field offices for the seeding of Aadhaar numbers with UAN to facilitate the body in improving delivery of services to subscribers on real time basis which includes online settlement of PF claims.

In order to deliberate upon the strategy to seed more Aadhaar numbers in UAN database, a meeting was held between EPFO and UIDAI in the presence of UIDAI’s Director General & Mission Director Vijay S Madan and EPFO’s Central Provident Fund Commissioner K.K. Jalan.

“During the meeting, it was decided that EPFO should sign up as registrar to enrol EPF members, who do not have an Aadhaar number to facilitate the enrolment process for such members,” an office circular said.

Australia-India first Test postponed, new date yet to be announced Saturday Nov 29,2014

The first Test match between Australia and India in Brisbane will not start on December 4 as scheduled, Cricket Australia announced on Saturday Nov 29,2014
A tribute to Hughes which circulated on Twitter following his death at the age of 25
The first test between Australia and India has been postponed to allow his team mates to mourn the death of Phillip Hughes at his funeral on Wednesday, Cricket Australia said on Saturday.
The test was scheduled to start in Brisbane on Thursday, a week after batsman Hughes died at the age of 25 as a result of being struck on the head by a ball at the Sydney Cricket Ground two days earlier.
Given the close proximity of the funeral in his hometown of Macksville to the start of the four-match series, CA said it would be unreasonable for the Australian players to be expected to play

First Test Match to take place at Adelaide from Dec 09-13,2014

The series was supposed to start in Brisbane on Thursday but has been delayed and the venue switched to give grief-stricken players more time to recover, with Hughes' funeral taking place on Wednesday Dec 04,2014
The Australian and Indian cricket boards considered a range of options in conjunction with the players' union, including cancelling the Brisbane Test altogether, before opting for a reshuffle.
Adelaide, which was due to host the second Test from December 12-16, will now host the series opener from December 9-13, in what is sure to be a highly emotional occasion.
Brisbane will now host the second Test from December 17-21 while the third Test will proceed as planned from Boxing Day-December 30 in Melbourne.
The fourth and final Test will still take place in Sydney in the new year, but will start on January 6, three days later than originally scheduled.

Revised 4-Match Test Series

First Test (Adelaide) - December 9-13,2014
Second Test (Brisbane) - December 17-21,2014
Third Test (Melbourne) - December 26 30,2014
Fourth Test (Sydney) - January 6 -10,2015

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Flags Off First Train to Meghalaya Saturday Nov 29,2014

Almost after six decades of independence, northeastern state Meghalaya found a spot on the country's rail map with Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagging off the first train to the state on Saturday.

The Prime Minister on Saturday Nov 29,2014 inaugurated the Mendipathar-Guwahati passenger train and laid the foundation stone of broad gauge conversion of Bhairabi-Sairang line in Mizoram.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi flags off the first train from Mendipathar in North Garo Hills of Meghalaya to Guwahati, Assam, at the Maligaon Railway Stadium in Guwahati on Saturday
Prime Minister Narendra Modi flags off the first train from Mendipathar in North Garo Hills of Meghalaya to Guwahati, Assam, at the Maligaon Railway Stadium in Guwahati on Saturday. Photo: Special Arrangement
Modi said the Indian Railways have the potential to become the backbone of the country's economic activity.
"We will not be happy in just adding one coach or upgrading one station. We want both horizontal and vertical development of the railways. It can become the engine of Indian economy," he added.
The government has already allowed 100 per cent foreign direct investment to completely modernise the railway transportation in the country, he said.

Taiwan Premier Jiang Yi-hua Resigns After Election Defeat Saturday Nov 29,2014

Taiwan’s ruling Nationalist Party suffered a landslide defeat in local elections Saturday Nov 29,2014, prompting the resignation of the premier Jiang Yi-hua and leaving the party weakened before a presidential vote in two years.

Also known as the Kuomintang, or KMT, the ruling party which Beijing prefers to deal with, clinched six out of the 22 seats for city and county heads, far fewer than the 15 it won in the previous race four years ago
The main opposition Democratic Progressive Party(DPP) bagged 13 and three went to independent candidates.

In Taipei, where mayorship has been seen as a steppingstone to the presidency, political newcomer, physician and independent candidate Ko Wen-JE beat KMT runner Sean Lien, former investment banker and the son of Taiwan’s former vice president.

In Taichung, the third most populous city in central Taiwan, DPP challenger Lin Chia-lung trumped incumbent KMT Mayor Jason Hu of 13 years. Five other DPP candidates also unseated incumbent KMT mayors

KMT’s landslide defeat shows the government has failed to address voters’ concerns about stagnant wages and income inequality, despite building stronger economic ties with China

The defeat for the Nationalists in the traditional strongholds of Taipei and Taichung, among other losses, are likely to bring discomfort to Beijing, which has forged a working relationship with the current Taiwanese government after decades of fraught ties from civil war.

 Beijing is wary of the DPP, which rejects an eventual reunification with China. 

France's Nicolas Sarkozy wins UMP party leadership election Saturday Nov 29,2014

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has been elected as head of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party receiving 64.5 % of the vote, well ahead of his nearest rival Bruno le Marie,Le Maire, a former agriculture minister, received less than 29.2 % and a third candidate, MP Herve Mariton had just 6.3 % leaving him clear to launch a campaign to return as the country's leader in 2017.

The UMP, which has struggled to be effective in opposition to Francois Hollande, will choose its presidential nominee in 2016

This victory advances Mr Sarkozy's hopes of running in the presidential race, and cements his return to the political scene after losing to Francois Hollande in 2012