Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Media Scan

India Next Only To Iraq on Religious Discrimination: US Think-tank
A report that shakes the very foundation of India's pride as its being a free and pluralistic society, said that India is next only to Iraq as regards social hostility and religious discrimination perpetrated by individuals and groups.

The study titled 'Global Restrictions on Religion' conducted by Washington-based Pew Research Centre, a US think-tank, took into account the situation in as many as 198 countries, North Korea being the only notable exception, to derive the conclusion.

Covering 99.5% of the world population, as the study claims, it deals with restrictions imposed on religion not just by social groups and individuals but also by the government.

Even in the case of government induced restrictions, India fares badly with its position in the top 40 countries out of the 198 mentioned.
India was just below Iraq and well above countries like Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan when it came to social hostility in the country. Pakistan is at the third place right below India.

The report clubs India with Sri Lanka, Ethiopia and Bangladesh as countries where large segments of the population want to protect the special place of one particular religion. "Many of the restrictions imposed in these countries are driven by groups pressing for the enshrinementof their interpretation of the majority faith, including through Shariah law in Muslim societies and Hindutva movement in India which seeks to define India as a Hindu nation," says the report.


Suicide Bomber Lets Detroit-Bound Flight Land Safely

It was a big blow to the U.S. security measures that a man succeeded to board a Detroit-bound Christmas flight with some explosives he tucked into his under wear.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, tried to blow off the flight with a bomb reported to have contained a six-inch pack of highly-explosive powder called PETN sewn into the briefs, weighing about 80 grams. A government test with 50 grams of PETN blew a hole in the side of an airliner — the same amount carried by so-called shoe bomber Richard Reid over Christmas in 2001. Abdulmutallab is believed to have links with the terror outfit Al-Qaeda of Yemen.

As per a statement attributed to Al-Qaeda, the failed attack was a response to American-backed airstrikes on the group in Yemen.

"When I saw the suspect he was getting on a fire, I freaked, of course, and without any hesitation I just jumped over all the seats," Japer Schuringa reportedly said, adding, "And I jumped to the suspect. I was thinking like, he's trying to blow up the plane."

The FBI is reported to have said in an affidavit that Schuringa pulled the melted plastic syringe from Abdulmutallab, shook it and threw it to the floor.

Flight attendant Dionne Ransom-Monroe asked the suspect what was in his pocket, the FBI said, and he replied, "Explosive device."

The fire out, Schuringa marched Abdulmutallab to the front of the plane, helped by a flight attendant. It is surprising why he did not blow himself up during that span of time.

It is also said that some of the flight attendants stripped off some of Abdulmutallab's clothes, searched him for weapons and handcuffed him. The suspect seemed almost in a trance and he said nothing and did not resist.

It Is Modi Vs Ashok Singhal in Asaram Bapu case
Differences emerged between two saffron leaders Narendra Modi and Ashok Singhal over the alleged harassment of the one-time BJP mascot Asaram Bapu and the arrest of his disciples in connection with an assault.

As per the media reports, the Gujarat chief minister told off the international Vishwa Hindu Parishad president Ashok Singhal when the latter called on Modi last month.

Modi took his own time and met Singhal, the sources said, and then he told Singh that his age ~ the VHP chief in his eighties ~ he ought to renounce public life and not take up "dubious" causes.

The Hindu spiritual godman Asaramji Bapu (Gujarat) along with his two unidentified disciples was alleged and booked for attempting to murder a former trustee of the Ashram Raj Chandak. On November 27 last year, Gujarat police had raided Bapu's ashram and rounded up some of his disciples following in this connection.

Notably, Chandak who quit the Asaram alleging irregularities in it had testified againstAsaram before the Justice DK Trivedi commission set up by the Gujarat government to probe the unexplained death of two boys in ashram. On July 3, 2008, two boys studying in a residential school of the ashram (Dipesh and Abhishek Vaghela) were murdered on July 3,2008.

Bapu had campaigned for Modi but once the ashram came under a cloud after the murders, Modi distanced himself from Bapu.

At a news conference on December 22, Singhal alleged that the "deplorable" acts against the spiritual guru were "instigated" by Christian missionaries who saw him as a "threat" to their conversion activities in tribal areas.

Atop VHP leader is believed to have stated that the outfit and its sadhus and sants would meet soon to adopt resolutions against Modi and the appointment of a Muslim as Gujarat DGP in Shabbir Hussain.

UK Female Scientist Alleges Sex Discriminatio
n
Baroness Greenfield was the only female director of The RoyaI Institution of Great Britain throughout the 211 year history of the institution and now she has lost her job. Sex discrimination is said to be the factor behind this.

The removal of Lady Greenfield, the UK's most prominent female scientist, came after the institution incurred huge losses during major refurbishment project she masterminded. According to the reports, the £22 million project has left the body so short of funds that its auditors raised questions about its ability to continue operating.

The Institution is one of the oldest and most respected scientific bodies. It made the neurologist redundant, saying her role was no longer affordable. Lady Greenfield intends to take legal action questioning the legitimacy of the decision to remove her, including allegations of sexual discrimination.

The supporters of Lady Greenfield say she had modernised the charity, which aims to connect the public with the world of science, but had been regarded by some as too stuffy and outmoded.

Critics, however, have accused her of being more interested in self-promotion than science.

Irked By Negligence Katiyar May Quit Politics
Anguished over his neglect by the Bharatiya Janata Party the party general secretary, Vinay Katiyar, the founder of Bajrang Dal may quit politics.

I am disturbed with the state of affairs in the contemporary political scenario and desire to take a break from politics," Mr Katiyar reportedly said. The senior BJP leader told the reason why he wants to go away from politics that he had developed spiritualism.

When queried by media persons whether he was resigning from the Rajya Sabha when his term ends in 2012, Katiyar said "don't link this (sanyas) with the Rajya Sabha. Politics is temporary while spiritualism is permanent".

Katiyar made all these comments while beginning his one-month long 'kalpvaas' at the bank of Saryu in Ayodhya.

However, the analysts believe that his decreasing prominence in the BJP might have influenced the decision. Katiyar was also in the race for party president but the post was claimed by Nitin Gadkari.
BJP sources said this could be an attempt by Katiyar to build pressure on Gadkari to give him a more important post in the new team.

Katiyar is yet another 'Hindutva' leader after Kalyan Singh, Uma Bharti and Jaswant Singh who either an inclination towards distanced themselves or were asked to leave the party.

After Attacks on Indian Students: Oz May Lose $ 70 Million Next Year
The racial attacks on Indian students may cost Australia of $ 70 million as the students will avoid going there for study.

The media report suspects that the enrolment of foreign students is expected to slide by a whopping 21 per cent over safety worries in the aftermath of attacks on Indians.

Tourism Australia, in the recent predication, has said that the recent spate of attacks on students will result in 4,000 fewer Indians coming to Australia to study here next year.

The head ofTourism Australia's forecasting committee Bernard Salt expressed apprehensions that in response to the concerns that the Indian community have had about safety, the number of Indians arriving in Australia for education purposes will decrease by more than 20 per cent in 2010. This, he estimated, could cost of $ 70 million.

"The downturn is expected in response to concerns that the Indian community have had about safety," Salt said.

The attacks on Indians have intensified during the last few months and it was recently that Nitin Garg, an India student was killed in Australia leading to a war of words between India and Australia.
Around 100,000 Indians are studying in Australia.

Want Job In Gujarat? Change Your Muslim Name
It might be startling in the secular India but is reality. Many Muslims in Gandhi's Gujarat have to change their names if they want to get job.

Such a revelation made by an English Daily relates to one Mahboob Pathan who assumed a Hindu name Jayenti Bhatti for the sake of job. As Bhatti, he managed to find work in two separate diamond units in the Kapodara area of Surat.

The cover was blown only after Pathan was brutally killed by one of his colleagues over a monetary dispute. The police, who kept the body in Palsana Primary Health Centre mortuary waiting for someone to claim, cremated it as per the Hindu rituals before his family could reach and identify that Jayenti Bhatti was indeed a practicing Muslim Mahboob Pathan.

According to the reports, in the ledgers of Surat's diamond units, there are many leading a double life like Pathan. His son Mushtaq is registered as Mukesh and daughter Samina as Sharmila, and both are afraid of losing their jobs if the fact was known. If diamond industry sources and workers are to be believed, then many Muslims assume Hindu names to find work in the city's lucrative diamond business.

One of them, Allarakha Khan, admits to having passed himself off as a Hindu like many others from his village. "We would not get a job if we are known to be Muslims. We have been doing this for a long time, and we take great care not to reveal our real names or addresses at work," he told the English daily.

However, Rohit Mehta, president of the Surat Diamond Association has reportedly denied the knowledge of Muslims passing themselves off as Hindus for jobs.

Allah Is Not Monopoly to Muslims: Malaysian Court

Now, the non-Muslims of Malaysia too are entitled to use the Arabic word Allah to refer to God.
The decision has come in the wake of a lawsuit filed in late 2007 by The Herald, the Malaysian Roman Catholic Church's main publication, after the government blocked non-Muslims from translating God as Allah in their literature. The authorities fear that Muslims might be tempted to convert the Christianity by reading Christian literature.

Issuing the verdict to the effect Lau said that Christians had the "constitutional right to use Allah" and that the home ministry was "not empowered" to impose ban.
While the December 31 ruling has got appreciation from Christian community, the government lawyers said that they would consult with the Home Ministry before deciding whether to appeal Judge Lau Bee Lan's verdict in a higher court, where the ban could still be reinstated.

According to authorities, Allah is an Islamic word that should be used exclusively by Muslims, and its use by other religions would be misleading. The ban had affected the Malay-language edition of The Herald, which is read mostly by indigenous tribes who were converted to Christianity.

There is perceived fear among the authorities that Muslims might be tempted to convert to Christianity by reading Christian literature. However, Lau said that Herald's readership is largely limited to followers of Christianity and "that is a sufficient safeguard."

Basanagouda Yatnal Predicts BJP's fall in Karnataka

Former Bharatiya Janata Party leader Basanagouda Patil Yatnal has alleged that there is nothing like administration and patriotism in BJP.

While addressing a press conference in Bijapur he clarified that he was to join Janata Dal Secular as it believes in a secular fabric of India which is the need of time. He added, "I want that seed of hatred is no more sown between Hindus and Muslims."

The only agenda left for BJP is to have Hindus and Muslims engaged with each other for political gains," said former union minster Yatnal who had been a Lok Sabha member from Bijapur thrice.

He expressed his concern that Karnataka BJP paid him badly for his efforts to strengthen BJP in the state and thus he was expelled. Yatnal predicted the imminent fall of BJP in Karnataka and claimed that majority of the BJP legislators, MPs and other leaders are serious to quit the party.

Patil, who has become Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa's bete noire, accused him of neglecting party workers and alleged that even senior leaders like national general secretary Anantkumar and Rural Development Minister Jagadish Shettar have remained mute spectators.

The former saffron leader took a swipe at RSS, alleging that it interfered in BJP's affairs. He also alleged RSS to lavish on the money provided by Yeddyurappa. Yatnal said that now both Vajpayee and Advani have grown old. And in Karnataka, Yeddyurappa, Anantkumar, Jagadish Shettar and Reddy brothers are busy digging a grave for BJP.

Notably, BJP last year had expelled Patil after he launched a banner of revolt and criticised Yeddyurappa and state unit president D V Sadananda Gowda.

2009 Was Deadlier Year For Media Workers: Survey Brussels

The year 2009 has been one of the deadliest one for the reporters and media staffs all over the world.
According to the Brussels-based International Federation of Journalists, a total of 133 journalists and media personnel were killed in 2009.

While the total death toll in 2007 and 2008 was 175 and 109 respectively.
The IFJ listed the Philippines, Mexico and Somalia as the most dangerous countries for journalists in the year.

"The devastating massacre of 31 journalists and media staff in the Philippines in November and fresh violence against colleagues in Mexico and Somalia have made this a year of terrible bloodshed for media," IFJ said. The International Federation of Journalists represents over 600,000 journalists in 125 countries. Its death tally covers all people employed by media organisations who died in the line of duty, including not only journalists but also interpreters and drivers.

Visiting Church for Materialism

A church in England has come up with a novel way to attract people to the worship place; offering to bless their mobile phones and laptops. "It's the technology that is our daily working tool, and it's a technology we should bless," said
Rev David Parrot who blessed a symbolic heap of high¬tech laptops and mobiles on the altar of London's 17th- century St. Lawrence Jewry church.

Mr. Parrot added that it was to remind the capital s busy workaholics that "God's grace can reach them in many ways". He added that the ceremony had made worship "lively and relevant to the people who work nearby, in the financial district."

Parishioners took out cell phones as Parrott recited a blessing over them and their electronic devices. A few held their phones up in the air as he ran through the prayer.

The short blessing capped services at the Christopher Wren-designed building — the official church of the Corporation of the City of London, which runs the capital's bustling financial district.
Parrott said the blessing ceremony was an update of a traditional back-to-work ceremony called "Plow Monday," in which villagers gathered to bless a symbolic farming implement dragged to the church's door. Parrott said that ceremony didn't have much relevance for his church, which was "nowhere near a field in the middle of London."

AMU teacher Receives Scientist of the Year Award-2009

An Aligarh Muslim University teacher has bagged the Scientist of the Year Award-2009.
The National Environment Science Academy conferred the award on Riaz Ahmad in New Delhi for his important contributions, particularly in the field of fisheries sciences.

A spokesperson of the University reportedly told that the award consisted of a gold medal and a plaque as a token of appreciation for the contributions of Riaz Ahmad in the area of biochemical and molecular genetics.

Ahmad has also published a number of research papers in scientific journals of national and international repute, varsity officials said.

Saudi Arabia Continues Increasing Education Expenditure
Saudi Arabia continues to lay emphasis on education in its budget. Hence, the 2010 budget witnessed a rise by around 13 per cent in the amount allocated for the sector.

According to the media reports, expenditures for education and training a key reform project has risen to 137.6 billion riyals in 2010 as compared to SR 122bn in 2009.

It is seen as an attempt by King Abdullah to modernize education at schools and universities. Abdullah in
September last year had inaugurated "King Abdullah University of Science and Technology" (KAUST) which marks the first institute in the conservative Kingdom where mix-gender classes are allowed. The appropriation for education and manpower development accounts for more than 25 per cent of the total budgetforthe2010fiscalyear.

The budget includes the construction and development of four new universities in Dammam, Alkharj, Majma and Shaqra, along with the completion of surrounding infrastructure around a number of existing universities and the establishment of new polytechnic colleges and vocational institutes.

In addition, more than 5,000 Saudi students will receive scholarships to study abroad as part of the King Abdullah Scholarship Program, with a particular emphasis on technical training.

New projects for primary education will include the addition of 1,200 new schools to the 3,112 schools currently under construction and the more than 770 schools completed in 2009. Two thousand existing schools are scheduled for renovation. The government will continue to place a large emphasis on implementing its national plan for science and technology.

Official Says US Spy Effort in Afghanistan "Ignorant"
The suicide bombing at a CIA office in Afghanistan has drawn sharp criticism to the U.S. spying agency that it is out of touch with the local Afghans.

In a statement issued by the Centre for New American Security think tank, Major General Michael Flynn, deputy chief staff for intelligence in Afghanistan for the U.S. military and its NATO allies described the U.S.

intelligence officials there as "ignorant of local economics and landowners, hazy about who the powerbrokers are and how they might be influenced...and disengaged from people in the best position to find answers."

Notwithstanding its involvement in the current Afghan war the "U.S. intelligence community is only marginally relevant to the overall strategy", Flynn wrote in the report with his chief adviser, Captain Matt Pottinger.

The media reports that an operations officer called that the United States is "clueless" because of a lack of needed intelligence about the country.

Earlier, in the second-most deadly attack in the CIA history, its high-profile seven agents were killed on December 30 last year. The suicide bomber, reportedly Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi (36), is believed to be an Al-Qaeda double-agent from Jordan.

The report adds that the U.S. intelligence had focused too much on gathering information on insurgent groups and was "unable to answer fundamental questions about the environment in which U.S. and allied forces operate and the people they seek to persuade," the report said.

North Korea Detains US Missionary

The authorities of the North Korea have arrested an American who had trespassed to its border.
The man, though was named in the North Korean report, activists in South Korea said was a Korean-American Christian missionary named Robert Park.

"An American was detained after illegally entering the DPRK [North Korea] through the DPRK-China border on December 24," the Korean Central News Agency said in a report.

According to Park's colleagues, a US citizen of Korean ancestry claimed he had seen a vision from God of North Korea's liberation and redemption. They also said he crossed the border shouting "I came here to proclaim God's love".

Park is said to have carried a letter calling on Kim Jong- il, the North Korean leader, to release political prisoners, close concentration camps and take steps to improve rights and conditions.

His crossing comes after North Korea freed two US journalists earlier this year who had been arrested in March last year and sentenced to 12 years of hard labour for trespassing and "hostile acts". They were freed in August following a diplomatic mission led by Bill Clinton, the former US president

In Quest for English Terminologies Equivalents
The dominance of English terms over the modern subjects has created difficulties for the students learning from non-English medium.
In this context, a three-day workshop sponsored by the National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language, New Delhi, was organized at Jr. Shahbabu College in Patur with the very aim of bringing uniformity in the Urdu terminologies of Science, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Math and other IT subjects.

On the occasion, about 2000 Urdu terminologies of these subjects were discussed and emphasis was laid that terminologies should be easy and prevalent. This, they said is hoped will free the Urdu medium students from the burden of different terms for the actual English equivalent.

"The formation of terminologies is not an easy task. It needs to be formed a state level expert committee. The committee should figure subject experts as well as linguistic figures who have at least ten years experiences of teaching Urdu medium students at 10+2 level," expert Ghulam Kibria Shibli.
Mr. Natiqueuddin, former M.L.C. assured all types of help at the government level for the cause.

Lokayukta Complains Government's Unwillingness to Solve Peoples Problems
In 2009, the Lokayukta disposed of 12,000 complaints, most relating to the refusal of police to register cases, denial of pensions to the disabled, senior citizens, widows, delay in issue of records, building law violations and more.

However, the Lokayukta chief Santosh Hegde is disappointed with the government which does not respond properly to people's problems.

"We are fed up with the government," says Justice Hegde, regarding the administration's lukewarm response to the Lokayukta's drive against corruption. He sees no point in trying to plead with the government to be more attentive to the Lokayukta's views.

Hegde, while calls the year 2009 better than 2008, he hastens to add 'statistically'. He complains of lack of judicial powers for infrastructure required for Lokayukta's effective functioning and says it hampers its ability to meet the expectation people have from it.

Justice Hegde also made it clear that the common prevailing notion among people that the duty of Lokayukta is only prevention of corruption is wrong. "Dealing with corruption isjust 10 percentof ourwork. The remaining 90 per cent work pertains to ensuring good standard in public life, dealing with deficiencies in governance, looking into peoples' legitimate demands and others. This 90 per cent work goes unnoticed as the media concentrates only on corruption cases. Hence, this wrong notion," he says.

Hegde recalls that there were counter-attacks on them by a few bureaucrats and government in 2009.

Another Innocent Spent Four Years in Jail

The acquittal of Mumbai Haj House Imam Maulana Ghulam Yahya Bakhsh by a fast track court at Sewri (Mumbai) has once again raised questions whether police are reckless when it comes to combating terrorism.

It is unfortunate that so far the tag of "terrorists" has been labeled only against Muslims. The ATS had arrested Maulana Yahya, a religious personality leading prayers at the mosque of Haj House, on January 13, 2006; a week after the arrest of three Kashmiri youth for allegedly plotting a terror strike in India on the Republic Day.

Maulana was booked under sections 16 (conniving), 18 (conspiring) and 19 (harbouring terrorists) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). During the early days in jail, he was first kept in an isolated cell meant for hardened criminals and terrorists and then shifted to a barrack where most of the inmates were accused of murder.

The ATS had also claimed that Maulana had received around Rs 40 lakh through hawala and arranged for the accommodation of Khursheed Gani Lone alias Lala, Arshad Gulam Husain and Ramzan Wahab Qazi: the alleged Kashmiris LeT members. The trio were sentenced to seven-year rigorous imprisonment for having detonators and firearms in their possession.

Maulana Yahya, as he ensured communal harmony in the prison, was offered due respect by hisjail inmates. "From gangsters like Abu Salem and Mustafa Dossa to petty criminals, I would be showered with sympathy as they believed an imam like me could not be involved in crime," Maulana is quoted to have said. However, the jail staff would often insult him with terrorist references and treat him badly.

It is ironic for Baksh that just days before each of the four times his bail pleas were rejected, some terrorist attack would happen somewhere in India. "Once it was Malegaon, then the series of blasts across Delhi, Ahmedabad, etc and then of course, 26/11. The prosecutor would then oppose my bail, saying I would pose a threat to the tense situation outside." January 16, 2010 was the day when delivering the final order in the case; Ad-hoc Additional Sessions Judge AV Patkar acquitted Maulana Yahya. "Maulana, there is no witness against you. You are being acquitted for lack of evidence."

Though he has been acquitted, Ghulam Yahya says he has acquired a "notorious tag" forever. People will now always say 'Perhaps he had some role in terrorism, or else he wouldn't have been jailed for four years," Maulana says.

He has also lost four precious years of his life in the jail for a crime he never did. How his family who had lost their lone bread winner spent these four years can only be imagined.

Half of the Educated Terrorists Are Engineers
Almost half of the educated terrorists have studied engineering, says a report published recently.

The report based on a research by European sociologists Diego Gambetta and Steffen Hertog have taken into account around 400 Muslim jihadists known for violence since 1970. According to the report, the number also includes 25 men alleged to be involved in the terrorist attack on September 11,2001. Nearly half of them were known to have received some level of higher education, and of those, 44 per cent were engineers - including eight alleged plotters and hijackers of 9/11.

Interestingly, Islamic studies, widely blamed for terror acts, occupies the second-place after engineering.

The study also cites that terror outfits prefer engineers when it comes to recruitment because they serve the terrorist organizations in making or deploying explosives.

UK Proscribes lslam4UK
United Kingdom has banned the Islamic group "lslam4UK" under counter terrorism laws and hence, a membership of the outfit will account for criminal offence and will draw a punishment of imprisonment up to 10 years.

Home Secretary Mr. Alan Johnson issued the order which proscribed al-Muhajiroun, lslam4UK and a number of the other names the organization went by. It is already banned under the other names al-Ghurabaa and The Saved Sect. "Proscription is a tough but necessary power to tackle terrorism is not a course we take lightly," Mr. John is quoted as saying.

Earlier, the group had planned a protest at the Wiltshire town to honour Muslims killed in the Afghanistan conflict. However, later it had cancelled the march, saying it had "successfully highlighted the plight of Muslims in Afghanistan".

The outfit was outlawed on January 14, 2010, under the UK's Terrorism Act 2000 which entitles a ban on any group which "commits or participates in acts of terrorism, prepares for, promotes or encourages terrorism or is otherwise concerned in terrorism". It can also be proscribed if they, "unlawfully glorify the commission or preparation of acts of terrorism".

Before ban the spokesperson of lslam4UK Anjem Choudary had stated, "What the people will see is if you don't agree with the government and you want to expose their foreign policy, then freedom quickly dissipates and turns into dictatorship."

He also denied the organization members were involved in violence: "I challenge anyone to authentically prove that any of our members have been involved in any violent activities or promoting violent activities or asking anyone to carry out any sort of military operations. We are always at pains to stress that we are an ideological and political organisation."

Keith Vaz MP, the chairman of Home Affairs Select Committee of UK said, "They have the right to appeal."

Students Wearing Full Mask Barred From Egypt University
Students of a University in Egypt were forbidden the entry in the university campus as they had put on full flu mask covering face the same way as does a veil.

The mater came into limelight when the student Amal Lotfi on January 4, filed complaint with the East Cairo prosecution after she was stopped form entering the campus of Ain Shams University wearing afull mask.

She said that it was the violation of the instructions given bythe Ministry of Health regarding swine flu protection.

Lotfi and her colleagues had to take off the face veil after the ban imposed by three universities; Cairo, Ain Shams, and Helwan.

After the Cairo Administrative Court dismissed a lawsuit filed by 55 face-veiled students to annul the universities' decision, they then resorted to wearing flu masks until they win the legal battle.
"We will keep going to court till we get a ruling in our favour." they said.

It is reported that a few weeks ago, the court ruled in favour of face-veiled students after they filed a lawsuit protesting a ban that restricted their access to university hostels.

According to the Administrative Court ruling, university administrators have the right to stop face-veiled students from writing their exams as the inability to see students' faces makes the proctoring process harder and increases the chances of cheating.

Nezar Ghorab, the lawyer of the aggrieved students, argued that all these steps taken by the Egyptian government and the university administrations illustrate the prosecution that face-veiled women in Egypt face.

"Wearing the face-veil is a matter of personal freedom and this is granted by law," Al Arabiya reported him as saying.

Two Get Five-Year Jail for Robbing Man of Rs. 200, Mobile
Even as the judiciary comes under sharp criticism for poor conviction rate, the verdict of a Chandigarh court sets the records straight.

As reported by the daily Indian Express, two men have been sentenced to five years rigorous imprisonment (Rl) for robbing a man of Rs 200 and a cell phone. They have also been imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 each.

Additional District and Sessions Judge R K Sondhi sentenced Vijay and Amar to five years Rl under Sections 394,397,411 and 34 of the IPC.

The case was registered in July 2008, after the two robbed one Gurnam Singh, a caterer, of his belongings after severely beating him up.

Interest-free Economy to Rescue Recession- hit World
The fact that there are over 500 Islamic banking institutions and 400 Islamic funds operating in nearly 70 countries indicates the world-wide acceptance of interest-free Islamic Banking system, said Mufti Barkatullah Qasmi, Shariah Supervisor at Islamic Bank Britain and Judge at the Islamic Shariah Council, London while addressing a conference on "Islamic Banking in the Light of the Qur'an and Sunnah" held January 10, at Markazul Ma'arif Education and Research Centre (MMERC), Mumbai.

He observed that the equal partnership both in profit and loss is a unique characteristic of Islamic banking system besides, complete transparency in agreement between the parties and complete clarity on the every issues involved. While some aspects in the modern economy are kept secret: sometimes customer is asked to sign some forms but the complete details are not revealed to him as in insurance dealings.

The ban by some countries on short selling, as Islam does, shows that Islamic principles are favourable for the present day business transactions. Barkatullah said that there were positive signs of Islamic Banking being successful in India if launched.

"In those countries where Islamic interest-free banking is in operation, not only Muslims but other businessmen and customers constitute 40 per cent of the clientele," he revealed.

India Needs Inclusive Development Policy
Attributing all the issues including demands of new states or Naxalism to the deepening social injustice, the SIO national president Suhail K.K said that it was high time to eliminate it.

The shocking revelation made by Suresh Tendulkar report that more than one third of the India's population lives below poverty line prove hollow the propaganda of 'stunning achievements of development' of India.

It is also disappointing that in poor India education is suffering from commercialization making poor children's access to education impossible. If Foreign Direct Investment in education is allowed, a move the union Human Resources Development minister Kapil Sibal favours, will lead to huge commercialization of education and cultural attack on India. "At this particular point of time there is a need to create awareness about the dangerous impacts of capitalistic imperialism on individual, society, culture, environment and politics in general and on students and educational system in particular. So, SIO of India has launched a national level campaign with the title 'Students Voice for a Just World'," said Suhail.

Interfered In Love, Woman Maoist Quits Party
The effects of love on individuals, as well as on a group, are unpredictable. A moist tribal woman, who had joined the Naxalite movement considering it a mission for the cause of poor, quit the organization when senior cadres interfered in her love.

P Laxmi alias Sunita, 18, surrendered before the local police in southern Orissa tribal dominated district of Rayagara and returned to the mainstream.
According to the reports, after joining the left wing ultras in 2006 she had fallen in love with Raju, another local fellow cadre.

The last few months have been a difficult time for Laxmi when the senior members of the Maoist groups had been pressuring hertosnaphertieswith Raju and marry Satish, another cadre from Chhattisgarh.

"It has become extremely difficult for me to bear the pressure from senior cadres to leave Raju and marry the cadre from Chhattisgarh. Therefore, I decided to quit Naxalism and return to the mainstream", Laxmi, who was involved in more than one major naxal operations in Orissa including the daring attack on police establishments in Nayagarh town two years ago, reportedly told the police.

Working Women Lie About Their Shopping Spending

Majority of the working women lie to their partners when it comes to tell about the shopping expenses.

This was revealed during a survey commissioned by Marie Claire magazine. Around half of the 1,500 working women aged between 20 and 40 who were asked whether they hid or lie about their spending to their spouse, admitted hiding from their better-halves about how much money they spend on themselves.

Forty per cent of those surveyed said they had bought clothes or beauty products which they had kept secret from their husbands.

"While once it was the occasional pair of new heels, now women feel compelled to regularly hide new purchases," reportedly said Trish Halpin, editor-in- chief of the magazine. Halpin added that it seems the credit crunch is encouraging the habit.

Mulayam to Demolish Parks, Memorials Made By Mayawati
It constitutes merely one example as to how the politicians play with the hard-earned money of common man. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has erected statues of Dalit icons, constructed their memorials and her rival Mulayam Singh Yadav intends to demolish them once his party is back in power.

In a statement, Mr. Yadav said that he will demolish all these structures and replace them with schools and hospitals.

"Mayawati has occupied over 2,500 acres of public land in the state capital and all political parties are conspicuous by their silence on this issue," said Yadav adding, "Various parks and memorials have been constructed from the hard-earned money of the poor people of the state and we will give these assets back to the people by constructing schools and hospitals in place of the memorials for Dalit icons."

Playing political card Mr Yadav also said the schools and hospitals will be named after the Dalit icons.

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