Terror rocks Assam, 66 killed

Terror rocks Assam, 66 killed

At least 66 people were killed and about 470 injured in serial blasts in Guwahati and three other districts of Assam, as suspected HuJI militants struck terror, considered by far the worst attack. The first of the 13 bombs, suspected to have been planted by the Bangladesh-based Harkat-ul Jehad-e-Islami (HuJI) members, went off at around 11:30 am under the Ganeshguri flyover near the high-security capital complex housing the Assembly building. This was followed by explosions at Paltan Bazar and Fancy Bazar here. Around the same time, bombs went off in the crowded market places of Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon and Barpeta districts in lower Assam. Of the six blasts in Guwahati, RDX was used in two of the explosions.Black smoke billowed from the deputy commissioner’s office housing the district courts, which bore the brunt of the attacks in Guwahati, as vehicles, including a number of cars, turned into mangled heaps of metal. Police suspect that the bomb was planted in the court complex on a two-wheeler. Angry mobs in Guwahati went on a rampage, attacking and torching police vehicles, fire tenders and buses and pelted stones on police barricades at the blast sites. A rattled Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi vowed to deal firmly with the situation. “It is the handiwork of anti-national extremist forces,” he said in a statement.

Anand is world champion

Anand is world champion

Viswanathan Anand is the world chess champion again. The Indian maestro won the 12-game world chess championship match against Vladimir Kramnik of Russia 6.5-4.5 with one game to spare on Wednesday. Playing with white, Anand drew the 11th game at the Art and Exhibition Hall here to retain his title.

The 24–move deadlock was enough to give Anand the title that he had first won in 2000. Anand had taken a decisive three-point lead before the 10th game in which Kramnik fought back dramatically to win and extend the match.

On Wednesday, despite Kramnik’s determined effort, Anand played solidly to rule out any possibility of an upset and forced the draw that he was looking for. Anand, who turns 39 in December, now holds the unique record of winning the game’s biggest crown in three different formats.

In 2000, India’s first Grandmaster was the last man standing in the 128-player knockout format. Last year, Anand won an eight-player double round-robin field that included Kramnik to regain the crown.

Yasin Malik to wed Pakistani national

Yasin Malik to wed Pakistani national

Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik will soon marry a Pakistani national. The engagement ceremony took place in Islamabad without him, as he is in jail.

The 36-year-old Malik’s fiancee is Mashaal Malik, a painter. Three of his friends attended the ceremony on his behalf. Mr. Malik’s confidant and senior JKLF leader in Pakistan, Saleem Haroon, confirmed the event.

China: Award for Dissident Criticized

China: Award for Dissident Criticized

China has strongly condemned the decision by the European Parliament to select a jailed Chinese dissident, Hu Jia, for a prestigious human rights award. “We express strong dissatisfaction and stern opposition,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman, Qin Gang, said in a written statement issued late Thursday evening. The European Parliament selected Mr. Hu on Thursday as the winner of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought for his advocacy of human rights and democracy in China. Last April, Mr. Hu was sentenced to three and a half years in prison on a subversion conviction, based on his critical essays about the Communist Party’s rule.

VHP office in Nashik attacked

VHP office in Nashik attacked

Suspected activists of the NCP students wing on Saturday attacked the office of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in Nashik in protest against the alleged involvement of Hindu right wing organisations in the Malegaon and Modasa blasts, police said. The activists of NCP student wing attacked the VHP office in the busy Ashok Stambh locality and ransacked the furniture, desecrated photographs of national leaders, VHP district chief Eknath Shete told reporters and alleged that some cash was also missing. The protestors attacked the right wing leaders, including Deputy Mayor Ajay Boraste, and also blackened faces of some of the VHP workers who were present in the office. VHP and Shiv Sena activists retaliated the vandalism by pelting stones at a state-owned bus. This incident could generate similar reactions from right wing activists towards Islamic terrorism in the future.

The right wing activists, who squatted in front of VHP office demanding arrest of the miscreants, later withdrew their agitation when Commissioner of Police Himanshu Roy told them that five persons, including former state president of NCP student wing Ranjan Thackeray, were arrested.

VHP office in Nashik attacked

VHP office in Nashik attacked

Suspected activists of the NCP students wing on Saturday attacked the office of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in Nashik in protest against the alleged involvement of Hindu right wing organisations in the Malegaon and Modasa blasts, police said. The activists of NCP student wing attacked the VHP office in the busy Ashok Stambh locality and ransacked the furniture, desecrated photographs of national leaders, VHP district chief Eknath Shete told reporters and alleged that some cash was also missing. The protestors attacked the right wing leaders, including Deputy Mayor Ajay Boraste, and also blackened faces of some of the VHP workers who were present in the office. VHP and Shiv Sena activists retaliated the vandalism by pelting stones at a state-owned bus. This incident could generate similar reactions from right wing activists towards Islamic terrorism in the future.

The right wing activists, who squatted in front of VHP office demanding arrest of the miscreants, later withdrew their agitation when Commissioner of Police Himanshu Roy told them that five persons, including former state president of NCP student wing Ranjan Thackeray, were arrested.

India, China join hands to tackle financial crisis

India, China join hands to tackle financial crisis

Hu and Manmohan Singh discussed in some detail how the two Asian economic powers can join hands to assist in the global economic recovery. President Hu Jintao said on Saturday that China and India should have a “far-sighted, strategic and long-term perspective” even as they join hands to deal with the global financial crisis.
China and India have maintained sound relations and economic cooperation and collaborated in international affairs.

Pope Pius XII supported Nazis?

Pope Pius XII supported Nazis?

Isreal’s social Affairs Minister Yitzhak Herzog, who is in charge of government relations with Christians in Israel, told the Israeli daily Haaretz Pius’s beatification would be “unacceptable.” Pius XII was pope from 1939 to 1958, heading the church during World War II. During the entire period of the Shoah the Vatican was well aware of what was happening in Europe – Herzog said. Vatican officials are furious over Minister Isaac Herzog’s statement.
Many historians, as well as Jewish organizations, argue that had Pius publicly condemned the Holocaust or publicly urged Catholics to shelter Jews, many thousands could have been saved. The Vatican, for its part, says that while Pius was afraid to speak out publicly, lest this lead to Nazi reprisals against Catholics, he secretly saved thousands of Jews. However, the Vatican has consistently refused to open its archives for the years of Pius’ papacy (1939-58), making it impossible for scholars to verify this claim.

Bill to ensure social security for unorganised workers passed

Bill to ensure social security for unorganised workers passed

A bill aimed at ensuring social security to and welfare of the workers in the unorganised sector was passed in the Rajya Sabha. The passage of the bill saw several official amendments being adopted while two amendments moved by CPI(M) member Tapan Sen, which were pressed for division of vote, were defeated. The bill incorporates around a dozen welfare schemes for the unorganised workers which includes health insurance, group accident scheme, saving-cum-relief scheme and family and old age benefit schemes.