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Notice Board

Cooperation of Legislative, executive powers ‘vital’ – NA panel to investigate case related to KAC

Cooperation of Legislative, executive powers ‘vital’
– NA panel to investigate case related to KAC

KUWAIT: Cooperation between the legislative and executive powers is vital for the state development plan, said Minister of State for National Assembly Affairs Dr Rola Dashti here yesterday.

Minister Dashti’s statement came during the regular supplementary session of the National Assembly which was designated for the discussion of the government’s agenda of the 14th legislative term for the years (2012-2013) and (2015-2016) The Minister said that the government’s program could not be carried out without the cooperation of parliament, affirming that the Kuwaiti people were eager to witness such kind of cooperation to see their nation even prosper more. Meanwhile, the National Assembly formed here yesterday a committee to look into the case related to a Kuwait Airways Corporation’s (KAC) pilot.

During the regular session, the parliament assigned the committee to investigate an incident in which a pilot from Kuwait Airways had flown a plane to Tehran on March 20, 2012 while KAC’s employees were on strike. The committee will have three months to investigate the incident.

The parliament also formed a committee to look into violations at the ‘abroad treatment department’ at the the Ministry of Health in the last two years. A committee looking into the contracts for the Jaber Bridge and Al-Zour station was also formed by the National Assembly. The parliament referred to the government, during its yesterday’s regular supplementary session, a draft law on combating human trafficking and migrants smuggling to be discussed and voted on.

The voting process gained the approval of 34 members of the Parliament (MPs) out of 38 MPs who were present at the session; four MPs abstained. The explanatory memorandum of the draft law pointed to the United Nations General Assembly’s agreement on combating organized crime where the latter stressed the importance of eliminating human trafficking, especially of women and children, and smuggling of migrants via land, sea and air exist points.

The memorandum explained that the state of Kuwait had signed the UN agreement; therefore, it has become obligatory to take necessary steps to stop and punish these crimes according to the draft law submitted today at the parliament. Today’s draft law consisted of a number of articles that explained some of the criminal definitions and terms of human trafficking and migrant smuggling and described the punishment deserved for the people involved in these crimes and their accessories. The draft document also stressed the importance of providing the victims of these crimes with temporary treatment and shelter.

In another development, Parliament Speaker Ali Fahad Al-Rashed hailed here yesterday the prospective national dialogue in the Kingdom of Bahrain next week under the auspices of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. Al- Rashed said in a press statement issued by the Information Department of the National Assembly today that the move “will have a positive impact on the brotherly Bahraini people and reveal the sincere desire of all parties to overcome repercussions of the previous phase”. He expressed hope the national dialogue in Bahrain would achieve the desired goals in promoting security and adhering to constitutional underpinnings approved by the brotherly Bahraini people, calling on the parties concerned to effectively and positively participate for the success of the dialogue and the achievement of its objectives. Al- Rashed is expected to head a delegation to Bahrain next Saturday. — KUNA

 
- Kuwait Times
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Show begins at crack of dawn

Show begins at crack of dawn

Actor-film-maker Kamal Haasan’s Vishwaroopam will arrive at the crack of dawn in some theatres across the State on Thursday, riding heavily on the controversy surrounding it over the past two weeks.

It is also aiming at reaching almost the entire cinema-going audience in the State, before the week ends.

Though the iconic actor has been a veteran of many hits in his career spanning over five decades, the hype surrounding Vishwaroopam is unprecedented, according to some theatre owners.

“Over the past few years, the stars with the biggest openings have been Rajinikanth and Ajith Kumar,” a prominent theatre owner, who spoke on conditions of anonymity, said.

“Kamal Haasan’s movies usually have reasonably good openings but have a prolonged run at theatres, filling in 60 to 70 per cent occupancy for a few weeks. In our parlance, we call this ‘class’ audience. The ‘mass’ openings are where the crowds flock the theatres for the opening weekend. In Vishwaroopam’s case, it seems to be aiming for a ‘mass’ opening.”

In its first attempt to release, Vishwaroopam was slated to be screened in 524 theatres across the State. But the controversy is likely to help it release in over 600 State-wide theatres.

“Some theatre complexes are allotting literally all their screens to it. Even by conservative estimates, Vishwaroopam is aiming to reach out to anywhere between 40 and 50 lakh cinema-goers by Monday. You can safely say that is the actual number of cinema-goers in the State,” he added.

There seems to be a virtual competition among theatres in the B and the C centres across the State, on who releases the movie ahead of the other.

Such euphoria was last seen with Rajinikanth-starrer Enthiran.

Though the legal requirements of running such early morning shows are not very clear, it seems to have become a tradition in the State where cinema has always held centrestage.

 
-The Hindu
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3 killed in Mumbai bridge collapse

3 killed in Mumbai bridge collapse

Three persons were killed on Wednesday night while several others injured after a portion of an under-construction bridge collapsed near the international airport in Mumbai, officials said.

The injured were admitted to Cooper Hospital and Desai Hospital, they said.

Eight fire tenders and four ambulances have been rushed to the spot and rescue operations are underway, they said.

The officials said that those trapped beneath the debris are mostly workers.

The reason behind the collapse was being probed, they said.

 
-The Hindu
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3 held for online abuse of Kashmir girls rock band

3 held for online abuse of Kashmir girls rock band

 

Another youth has been arrested in connection with the online abuses and threats to the all-girl rock band of Jammu and Kashmir.

Irshad Ahmad Chara, resident of S.D. Colony, Batamaloo, was arrested late Wednesday night during a police raid to apprehend him.

Tariq Khan, was apprehended from Bijbehara, a town in South Kashmir, and Rameez Shah was also arrested from Ganderbal in central Kashmir on Wednesday night, police sources said.

Jammu and Kashmir Director-General of Police Ashok Prasad, who is closely monitoring the case, has directed stepping up of patrolling in the areas where two of the three girls of the band group reside.

Police have started tracking down the Internet Protocol addresses of the 26 users whose comments, out of the total 900 posts on the band’s Facebook page, were found abusive, officials said.

They said the delay of three days in lodging the FIR was due to large number of posts on the Facebook page of Kashmir’s all-girl band ‘Pragaash’ that took time to get scanned.

A case in the matter has been registered under Section 66-A of IT Act and Section 506 RPC (criminal intimidation) in the Rajbagh police station in Srinagar.

A member of the band had on Wednesday said they decided to call it quits as they respected the decree of Kashmir’s grand mufti who found singing un-Islamic.

“We respect the Mufti sahib who said it (singing) is haram. We respect the opinion of people of Kashmir also. That is why we quit,” she said, adding that the band was not disbanded because of online threats.

The DGP has requested all central agencies to extend support to apprehend all those who had hurled online abuses at the band.

 
-The Hindu
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EMBASSY OF INDIA - Holiday Notice

EMBASSY OF INDIA - Holiday Notice

The Embassy of India will remain closed on the following days during the month of February 2013:

 

FEB 25, 2013 –Monday– National Day of Kuwait

 

FEB 26, 2013 –Tuesday–Liberation Day of Kuwait

 

 

 

Kuwait,

February 6, 2013

 
 
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Three ex-MPs jailed 3 years for insults to Amir

Three ex-MPs jailed 3 years for insults to Amir
 
KUWAIT: The Criminal Court presided by Judge Faisal Al-Askari Tuesday sentenced former lawmakers - Falah Al-Sawagh, Khaled Al-Tahous and Bader Al-Dahoum to three years imprisonment with hard labor for criticizing HH the Amir.

The former parliamentarians were accused of offending HH the Amir during one of the seminars which was organized by the so-called opposition last October at the Diwaniya of former MP Salem Al-Namlan.

Though the lawmakers were not present when the verdict was read out, there was heavy security presence at the Justice Palace to prevent any untoward incidents considering what had happened last week during the trial of former MP Musallam Al-Barrak who is being tried for committing the same offence.

A reliable source said after the court issued its verdict the Interior Ministry issued an order to arrest the defendants and send them to prison.
- Arabtimes

Ministry employee held for work permits forgery

Ministry employee held for work permits forgery
 
A Ministry of Education employee was taken into custody after she was found involved in peddling forged work permits to expatriate laborers in lieu of KD500 each. A secretary who happened to inquire from a man waiting outside the woman employee’s door was told that she was to sign his employment application. Since the woman had no authority to sign such documents, otherwise organized through a company sanctioned by the ministry to provide labor forces, the secretary informed the police who arrested her.
 
Source: Kuwait Times

90,000 in travel ban list

90,000 in travel ban list

KUWAIT: A total of 90,000 people living in Kuwait figure in the Interior Ministry’s travel ban list as of this past weekend, a local newspaper reported yesterday quoting security sources.

The ban orders in case of 48,000 Kuwaitis and 42,000 nationals of 12 other countries are based on court judgments mainly in regard to unpaid dues, said the sources who spoke to Al-Qabas on the condition of anonymity.

The sources explained that if anyone owed any amount, even less than KD50, to companies for state services or others can land him or her on the travel ban list.

Meanwhile, borrowers who do not have court orders against them can pay the money they owe at the outlet they wish to travel from in order to have the ban immediately lifted.

 
- Kuwait Times
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NA refers draft amending public sector laws to govt

NA refers draft amending public sector laws to govt
KUWAIT: The National Assembly (Parliament) referred, in its regular session yesterday, a draft document to the government to amend law no. 6/2010 concerning working in the country’s public sector. Article no. 9 of the modified law stipulates the creation of a public body of legal personality and an attached budget and supervised by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor. The body shall manage the Ministry’s activities as well as importing labor at the request of their employers. Moreover, article no. 10 of the adjusted law forbids employers from bringing in labor to the country without the Ministry’s approval.

Employers are also not allowed to hire labor from inside or outside the country without assigning any labor to them; otherwise they would be entitled to furnish expenses of their home return. Once the employee is reported absent or decided to work with a different employer, the original employer is exempted from any expenses concerning the employee.

The parliament also approved two draft laws; one on the public authority for manpower while the other concerns unemployment insurance. Meanwhile, the National Assembly discussed the call by the Public Prosecution for lift of parliamentary immunity of three MPs on different grounds, and the result of the vote went against the recommendation. After review and discussion of the reports of the Legislative and Legal Affairs Committee, the vote was 24 nays for lift of immunity of MP Safa Al-Hashem on grounds of a press offense, and there were also 26 nays to lift of immunity of MP Nabil Al- Fadhil on a criminal offense. Meanwhile, 24 MPs voted against lift of immunity of member Abdelhamid Dashti on a media offense. Parliament Speaker Ali Fahad Al-Rashid called for a 15-minute break following the vote.

 
- Kuwait Times
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Photo of ‘murder victim’ shocks Filipinos in Kuwait – No reports yet, says embassy

Photo of ‘murder victim’ shocks Filipinos in Kuwait
– No reports yet, says embassy

KUWAIT: A gruesome photo of a decapitated woman, alleged to be a Filipina, was circulated on Facebook, a social media network, shocking many in Kuwait, especially Filipinos.

The photo depicted the body that appeared to be a Filipina, though no name was mentioned and her identity is yet to be confirmed. The complexion and the dress she wore could make her as someone belonging to a different nationality also.

The body lay in a pool of blood with grass all around, while the accompanying text in the Facebook tag read: “Another brutal murder of a Filipina in Kuwait.” An embassy official who asked not to be identified noted there has been no report or information about a Filipina brutally murdered in Kuwait. “We have no information about it but will try to seek verification.” Messages from netizens expressed anger but also sadness about the fate of the ‘murder victim.’ “The killing is yet another proof of how they are treating Filipinas here.

They are murdering us just like rats and dogs,” one message read. Another comment read, “The government should stop sending Filipinas abroad. Our embassy here should do something about the plight of Filipinos here and we have to be very careful.” But another comment suggested that the body seemed a fake. “It could be someone alive (since) there is no discoloration. How can you say she was murdered while, in fact, it could be just a Photoshop creation,” went another comment. “Don’t believe everything that appears on Facebook. It could be the imagination of a mad man.” When the Kuwait Times made queries about the origins of the photograph, a certain ‘Rea’ on a Facebook account claimed: “I just posted it from someone and shared it. I was concerned because she looked like a Filipina. But I do pray she’s not.”

It can be recalled that late last year, a Filipina was found dead in a manhole near a private compound in Yarmoukh. Her photo was also circulated through the social media. Another photo last December showed a Filipina brutally battered by her employer, a claim that was found true and she was eventually rescued by the embassy’s Assistance to Nationals unit.

By Ben Garcia, Kuwait Times Staff

 
- Kuwait Times
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38,000 labor complaints in 2012

38,000 labor complaints in 2012
KUWAIT: At least 38,000 labor complaints were filed in Kuwait last year, including around 20,000 cases pertaining to delayed salaries and other financial disputes, a senior Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor official announced recently.

The remaining 18,000 complaints pertained to disputes over work permits, mainly with regards to the worker’s right to switch employers or have their visas canceled, said Deputy Director of the Public Relations Department Hadi Al-Enizy. He added that the department’s labor disputes committee has looked into more than 6,000 grievances last year, a majority of which pertained to transfer of dependency visas (article 22) to a work visa (article 18).

The department also looked into 1500 missing reports filed by employers in 2012, Al- Enizy added. Meanwhile, nearly 100 cleaning workers employed at the ministry’s social care homes staged a labor strike at the Social Care Compound in Ghernatah on Monday morning, demanding an increase in their monthly pay from KD60 to KD100.

The workers reportedly accused their company of collecting KD100 illegally for each annual leave request. Undersecretary Assistant for the Labor Department, Jamaal Al-Dousary, said the ministry was following up the issue of workers’ salaries with the company.

 
- Kuwait Times
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FBI arrests 13 in global credit card fraud

FBI arrests 13 in global credit card fraud

US law enforcement officials arrested 13 people on Tuesday as part of an investigation into a massive credit card fraud scheme that the US Department of Justice said was the largest ever prosecuted.

The Justice Department said amount stolen was still being added up, but 200 million dollars in losses had so far been confirmed.

The scheme was a “sprawling criminal enterprise that stretched across dozens of states and numerous countries.” the FBI said.

FBI and US Postal Inspection Service officials arrested 13 defendants and searched 13 locations in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Each defendant is charged with one count of bank fraud. They were to appear before a US magistrate in federal court. Five other people are named in the complaint.

The defendants allegedly created more than 7,000 identities to obtain about 25,000 credit cards and doctored credit reports to pump up the spending limits on the cards.

“The higher the fraudulent credit score, the larger the loans that the defendants could obtain,” the FBI said. “They would then borrow or spend as much as they could and not repay the debts.”

The defendants used the proceeds to buy luxury cars, electronics, spa treatments, expensive clothing and millions of dollars in gold.

They also stockpiled large sums of cash. Law enforcement discovered approximately 70,000 dollars in the oven of one defendant.

“This type of fraud increases the costs of doing business for every American consumer, every day,” US attorney Paul J Fishman said.

They harmed not only the credit card issuers, but everyone who deals with increased interest rates and fees because of the money “sucked out of the system by criminals acting in fraud rings like this one,” he added.

To run the scheme the defendants allegedly constructed an elaborate network of false identities, maintained more than 1,800 homes used as the mailing addresses of the false identities and created dozens of sham companies that did little or no legitimate business.

The defendants also wired millions of dollars outside the US to Pakistan, India, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Romania, China, and Japan, the complaint alleges.

The bank fraud count with which the defendants are charged is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of 1 million dollars.

 
-The Hindu
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Solomon Islands quake triggers tsunami

Solomon Islands quake triggers tsunami

A powerful earthquake in the South Pacific generated a tsunami on Wednesday, prompting warnings to several island nations.

 

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said a tsunami of 3 feet was measured in Lata wharf, in the Solomon Islands. No damage was immediately reported there or in Vanuatu, which also was covered by the warning.

 

The statement said the waves could be destructive near the epicentre and threaten more distant coasts.

 

The tsunami formed after an 8.0-magnitude earthquake near Lata in Temotu province, the easternmost province of the Solomons.

 

“There was no immediate report of damages or any accidents,” said George Herming, a spokesman for the Prime Minister. “We’ve been hoping that reports will come in from the responsible authorities ... very soon.”

The tsunami warning is in effect for the Solomons, Vanuatu, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, New Caledonia, Kosrae, Fiji, Kiribati, Wallis and Futuna. A tsunami watch is in effect for American Samoa, Australia, New Zealand and eastern Indonesia.

The US Geological Survey said the quake struck 81 kilometres west of Lata, at a depth of 5.8 kilometres.

More than 50 people were killed and thousands lost their homes in April 2007 when a magnitude-8.1 quake hit the western Solomon Islands, sending waves crashing into coastal villages.

 
-The Hindu
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27-point plan to ensure women’s safety

27-point plan to ensure women’s safety
A 27-point plan finalised by the Centre on Monday to improve administrative and policing policies, especially with regard to crimes against women, has proposed to start a countrywide three-digit number on the lines of 911, used in the US, to respond to all emergency situations. The number would be available to subscribers of all telecom service providers.

The Ministry of Home Affairs and Department of Telecom will come out with a concept note on the proposal by this month end.

Once operational, the system will work as a one-point contact to a person in distress and the call will be seamlessly transferred to the appropriate distress line. There are plans to operationalise a dedicated three-digit number 181 across the country. As of now, the women’s helpline is available in Delhi.

The Cabinet Secretariat said all the measures taken by the government would deal with changes in the police system, review of Motor Vehicles Act and measures to make responses to crimes against women efficient and sensitive.

“The secretaries of seven key ministries have been directed to personally monitor the implementation of these measures and report every month to the Cabinet Secretary and Prime Minister’s Office,” the Cabinet Secretariat statement said.

Despite earlier hurdles, the government will go ahead with name-and-shame plan displaying details of criminals convicted of crimes against women on the National Crime Records Bureau website. It will also make sure that citizens who come forward to assist a woman in distress do not face any harassment or be subject to any interrogation by police or be forced to become a witness.

Inspecting officers in all police stations across the country will also record details related to registration and investigation of complaints of crimes against women. Training courses will be organised for police personnel on gender sensitisation.

“Strict disciplinary action will be taken against any official indulging in gender bias. Action taken in this regard has to be reported at every level. If action is not found to be taken against an erring official, the supervisory officer will be held accountable,” the statement added.

The government also stressed upon the need to recruit more women in the police force. The Ministry of Home Affairs will, within a month, obtain necessary approvals to formulate a suitable proposal to initiate recruitment drive in all states.

Among major reforms, the Ministry of Women and Child Development will start a scheme to provide compensation to victims of sexual assault. It will also set up crisis response centres in select hospitals to provide psychological and other assistance to victims.

The proposed scheme will be implemented in a pilot phase in 100 districts in 2013-14.

The government will also review the existing motor vehicle regulations and has asked the ministry concerned to initiate ‘women only’ bus services. A programme to encourage more women-driven buses and taxis across the country has also been proposed by the government.

In the backdrop of the Delhi gangrape, the government is pushing for overall reforms in the public transport system. The Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, in consultation with technical experts and police representatives, will examine what should be the maximum permissible level of tinting of the side and back windscreens in public transport buses.
 
- New Indian Express
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Ahmadinejad ready to be a spaceman

Ahmadinejad ready to be a spaceman

 

TEHRAN: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said yesterday he is ready “to be the first man in space” under Iran’s ambitious program which aims to send a human being into orbit by 2020. “Our youth are determined to send a man into space within the next four, five years, and I’m sure that will happen,” he said during a ceremony in Tehran where two new Iranian-made satellites were unveiled, according to ISNA news agency. “I’m ready to be the first Iranian to be sacrificed by the scientists of my country and go into space, even though I know there are a lot of candidates,” Ahmadinejad quipped.

He added to the buoyant atmosphere, saying he was willing to “auction (himself ) and donate” the money to the Iran’s space program, which has shrunk because of international economic sanctions over Tehran’s controversial nuclear drive, ISNA reported. The presidency website showed pictures of Ahmadinejad at the ceremony with what was purportedly Pishgam (pioneer), the monkey sent into orbit by Tehran last week.

The monkey’s launch was presented by the Islamic republic as a first step towards sending a human into orbit by 2020. Space tourist Anousheh Ansari was the first Iranian to make a journey into space aboard a Soyuz TMA-9 capsule from Baikonur, Kazakhastan, in Sept 2006.

The 40-year-old telecommunications entrepreneur paid a reported $20 million for a space station visit. Her journey became an inspiration to women in male-dominated Iran. Meanwhile, outspoken US Senator John McCain raised eyebrows online yesterday when he compared Ahmadinejad to the monkey that Iran launched into space. “So Ahmadinejad wants to be first Iranian in space – wasn’t he just there last week?” said a message on McCain’s official Twitter feed, followed by the headline and link to a recent story: “Iran launches monkey into space.” The comments by the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, a strong advocate for tougher sanctions on Tehran for its nuclear program, followed Ahmadinejad’s claim earlier that he is ready to be the first man in space.

The slur by McCain, the senator with by far the most Twitter followers, with nearly 1.8 million, elicited swift condemnation on Twitter. “Wow, way to elevate political discourse,” tweeted @heyitsurban to McCain. Another user, @manolo_loop, wrote: “@SenJohnMcCain is racism funny?” About 50 minutes after his original “monkey” tweet, McCain posted a follow-up. “Re: Iran space tweet – lighten up folks, can’t everyone take a joke?” — Agencies

 
- Kuwait Times
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Skeleton under car park is Richard III

Skeleton under car park is Richard III

LEICESTER, United Kingdom: A skeleton found under a car park in the English city of Leicester was yesterday confirmed as that of king Richard III, widely depicted as one of history’s most notorious villains. Scientists from the University of Leicester matched DNA from the 500-year-old skeleton with descendants of the king’s sister, while the skeleton had the twisted spine and battle injuries consistent with contemporary accounts.

“It is the academic conclusion of the University of Leicester that, beyond reasonable doubt, the individual exhumed at Greyfriars in September 2012 is indeed Richard III, the last Plantagenet king of England,” lead archaeologist Richard Buckley said to applause at a press conference at the university. He said the king’s remains would now be re-interred at Leicester Cathedral, in keeping with archaeological practice to bury remains on the nearest consecrated ground.

The find has caused huge excitement among historians, as it provides firm evidence about a monarch whose life has been shrouded in controversy ever since his death at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. Richard’s body was paraded naked and bloody on the back of a horse in Leicester, in central England, before being buried in an unmarked grave at Greyfriars, a friary in the city. The crown passed to Henry VII and the Tudor monarchs, who, with the help of William Shakespeare and other playwrights, painted Richard as a brutal, hunchbacked villain who stopped at nothing in his quest for power, even murdering his two young nephews to secure the throne.

The skeleton confirms that Richard did have severe scoliosis which caused his spine to be twisted and his right shoulder appear higher than his left, but there was no evidence of the twisted arm depicted by Shakespeare. The man was the right age – Richard died aged 32 – had a high-protein diet consistent with someone of high birth, and had a slender, almost feminine build, which matched contemporary accounts.

In a forensic search that at times resembled a television crime drama, there were also clear signs of the person having been in battle. A slice was taken off the back of his head by a weapons such as a halberd, a type of axe, which with another injury nearby would have probably killed him, according to Jo Appleby, the project’s lead osteologist. There was also evidence of “humiliation injuries” to his face and his buttocks, which may well have been inflicted on his naked body by rivals after his death.

The researchers were confident they had found Richard, but the final green light came just hours before more than 150 journalists were due to gather for the announcement, with the confirmation of the DNA results. Geneticist Turi King revealed that the skeleton’s DNA matched that of two descendants of Richard’s sister, Anne of York – a Canadian-born carpenter, Michael Ibsen, and another person who wishes to remain anonymous. It presented a “strong and compelling case that these are indeed the remains of Richard III”, King said. Ibsen, the 17th generation descendant, said he was “stunned” at the discovery, and was looking forward to seeing the facial reconstruction of Richard, although he added: “It won’t look like me.”

Historians now hope to dispel some of the myths about Richard, publicising evidence that he never killed his nephews and looking again at what he achieved in his brief two-year reign, including the establishment of a system of bail and legal aid. Philippa Langley, a member of the Richard III Society who coordinated and helped fund the search, said she hoped a new image would emerge of the king and “the two-dimensional character devised by the Tudors will be no more”. “We have searched for Richard and we have found him. Now it’s time to honour him,” she said. There had been debate about what to do with the bones amid calls from some for them to be buried in the city of York, Richard’s power base, but it has been decided that his final resting place will be Leicester Cathedral. – AFP

 
- Kuwait times
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Mad rush at Aadhaar centres

Mad rush at Aadhaar centres

 

Centres flooded with applications following announcement linking LPG cylinders to Aadhaar cards

The government’s announcement that issue of cooking gas cylinders would be linked to Aadhaar cards led to a panic rush at enrolment centres in the twin cities. So much so, the centres ran short of applications on Monday.

To compound the problem, inadequate number of machines being put to use, technical problems and a peculiar problem of collecting biometric fingerprints of many people who have calloused hands, led to an inordinate delay in the registration process.

For 38-year-old R. Suresh, it was a double whammy of sorts. He was unsuccessful in getting hold of an application form, let alone enrolling for the card. His numerous visits to the Urban Health Centre at Mohammadguda in Secunderabad were fruitless as he got a stock reply “application forms are not available”. His father Pitchaiah got the card, but his name was wrongly spelt. Since then, Suresh has been running from pillar to post to obtain two applications, to correct his father’s name and to apply for his own, but his efforts proved to be in vain.

Officials say the State government has already appealed to the Centre to extend the February 15 deadline for LPG consumers to possess Aadhaar cards in order to avail of the subsidies. The government argued that the Aadhaar registration was not yet complete in the State and more time is required. “We believe applicants are rushing to the centre fearing that they would lose subsidy for failing to get the card,” they maintain.

Another reason for the delay in issuing cards is problems in collecting fingerprints. “We are facing difficulties in authenticating the fingerprints of some people because of calloused hands,” explains A. Pruthviraj, Team Leader of Grape Soft Technologies which is executing enrolment process in the capital. He says the enrolment process is on at over 35 centres.

Plans have also been chalked out to open 10 more centres to meet the increasing rush, he adds. To know status, applicants can log on to the website: https://portal.uidai.gov.in.

 
-The Hindu
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Record-breaking rains lash Delhi

Record-breaking rains lash Delhi

Delhi received 50 mm of rainfall for a period of 24 hours till 10 a.m.

Heavy rains accompanied by thunderstorm lashed the capital since Monday night, breaking all previous records of single day rainfall in the last 50 years for the month of February.

The heavy rains threw traffic out of gear across Delhi due to perennial problem of water logging. The Met department predicted more rains in the next couple of days.

“It is the highest rainfall in 24 hours in the month of February in the last 50 years,” Met Department Director B.P. Yadav said.

He said Delhi received 50 mm of rainfall for a period of 24 hours till 10 a.m. He said besides Delhi, Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana will also receive more rains till Wednesday.

Vehicular movement was affected across the city including ITO, Vikas Marg, South Extension, Mahipalpur, Hari Nagar, IIT crossing to Adchini, Moti Bagh, Yusuf Sarai Market and Munirka.

Areas such as Badarpur border, Wazirpur industrial area, Ashok Vihar, Laxmi Nagar, Mahipalpur, ITO, Bhogal, Jungpura, Lala Lajpat Rai Marg, Dhaula Kuan, Janakpuri, Patel Nagar, Khajurikhas and Moolchand also witnessed heavy traffic snarls.

The situation was compounded by non-functioning traffic lights in various areas.

The minimum temperature was recorded at 11.7 degrees, three notches above normal but the wind chill factor added to the chill in the air.

The maximum temperature in the last 24 hours was recorded at 19.3 degrees Celsius, which is three degrees below normal.

The Met department said cloudy weather condition is likely to continue for the next couple of days.

 
-The Hindu
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Case against online abusers of Kashmir girl band

Case against online abusers of Kashmir girl band

 

Jammu and Kashmir police have registered a case and identified several Facebook users, who had posted abusive and threatening messages on the page of the only all-girls rock band of the Valley.

“A case under Section 66 A of the IT Act and Section 506 IPC (Criminal Intimidation) has been registered in Rajbagh police station with regard to the hate messages posted on the Facebook page of the ‘Pragaash’ band,” a police spokesman said today.

He said the investigations are in full swing but refused to give any details.

However, an official associated with the investigation said, police have been able to identify at least six persons who had posted hate messages with the help of experts from the cyber crime cell.

“So far half a dozen Facebook users who had posted hate messages have been identified while efforts are on to identify the others,” the official said on the condition of anonymity.

He said the Facebook page of the band had received a large number of posts — mostly critical — and it would take some time to sift through all of them. “Arrests are likely to be made in the next couple of days,” he added.

‘Pragaash’ on Monday decided to call it quits in the wake of a fatwa issued by grandmufti terming singing as un-Islamic.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was among a large number of political leaders, who extended their unflinching support to the girls, urging them not to quit singing because of a “bunch of morons”.

 
-The Hindu
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ED slaps Rs 98.5 crore notice on Rajasthan Royals

ED slaps Rs 98.5 crore notice on Rajasthan Royals

IPL team Rajasthan Royals was slapped with a penalty notice of approximately Rs 100 crore by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for alleged violation of forex laws, a move which comes barely two months before the sixth edition of the high-profile league gets underway.

The agency, which issued the penalty notice after a two years of investigations under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), has sent out three separate notices to the IPL franchise totalling to Rs 98.5 crore plus some other similar notices earlier, sources said.

While a Rs 50 crore penalty has been slapped on Jaipur IPL Cricket Private Limited (JIPL) and its directors, owners of Rajasthan Royals, Rs 34 crore notice for evasion of forex duties has been issued against EM Sporting Holding, Mauritius and its directors.

A fresh notice of Rs 14.5 crore has been issued against Ms ND Investments, United Kingdom and its directors.

The franchise said it "intends to launch a full appeal" against the ED order.

"Rajasthan Royals has today received an Order from the Enforcement Directorate in respect of alleged breaches of FEMA. We are discussing the contents of the Order with our lawyers and intend to launch a full appeal against the Order," the franchise said in a statement.

"We will not be making any further statement on this matter at this time," it added.

All the three parties can appeal against this penalty order in the appellate authority of FEMA. The order requires the IPL team to pay up in 45 days.

The ED has been investigating financial and foreign exchange irregularities against all the IPL franchises for almost two years now and this is the first big order against any team. It comes just a day after auctions concluded in Chennai for the sixth edition of the glamorous cricket extravaganza.

The penalty order said the probe agency found that foreign investment in JIPL was made in "flagrant contravention of FEMA" and the investment made in this regard was made "much prior to the incorporation of JIPL".

The penalty was issued after investigations pointed out that the funds in the firm have been remitted in an irregular manner and shares were allegedly issued in violation of forex rules stipulated and framed by the RBI.

The agency issued the first penalty order against Rajasthan Royals in mid-2011 and it recently moved the FEMA Adjudicating Authority in Delhi to vet its investigation in this case and issue final orders.

The penalty order states that the ED probe has found that foreign investments of the firm were in contravention of Section 6 of FEMA which deals with transfer or issue of security by a person resident outside India, and other sub-sections of the said Act.

The agency, during its probe, relied on the bank documents and statements made by the directors and investors of Rajasthan Royals.

The ED has issued almost 24 show cause notices, amounting Rs 2000 crore, under FEMA against various IPL franchises and the BCCI in the probe in these cases.

Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty and her businessman husband Raj Kundra also have stake in the franchise, which defied the odds to become the inaugural IPL champion.

 
- New Indian Express
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