Syria to kick off presidential campaigns


Syria’s presidential elections will officially kick off on May 11, Syria’s supreme constitutional court said on Saturday.

The court notified that the final three candidates for the presidential elections to start their campaigns from May 11 to June 2, a day ahead of the June 3 presidential vote.

Majed Khadra, the court’s spokesman, said the court had reviewed petitions filed by contenders who have been declared ineligible for candidacy last week, adding that the court’s decision hasn’t changed.

He repeated that only three out of the 24 runners for the elections were eligible for candidacy, namely Maher Abdul-Hafiz Hajjar, Hassan Abdullah al-Nouri and incumbent President Bashar al- Assad.

Maher Abdul-Hafiz Hajjar, a Syrian parliamentarian, was the first to submit application for the presidential elections. According to the state news agency SANA, Hajjar was born in Aleppo in 1968, hailing from a family well-known in religious teaching.

Meanwhile, Hassan Abdullah al-Nouri, 54, declared his candidacy for the June 3 elections a day after lawmaker Hajjar announced his bid for the top post.

Al-Nouri served as the minister of administrative development and minister of state for parliamentary affairs from 2000 to 2002. He also served as the general secretary of the Chamber of Industry from 1997 to 2000, and was a member of Syrian Parliament from 1998 to 2003.

Those two people, who haven’t been publicly known ahead of the elections, are now running against Assad, who was the seventh to register his candidacy.


Presidential election in Lithuania


President Dalia Grybauskaite is likely to be re-elected as  2.5 million voters casting their votes in the current presidential election in Lithuania, the Central Electoral Commission announced on Sunday.

Data obtained from 1,963 out of the 2,004 voting stations show that 7.38 percent of the voters have expressed their will in the first three hours of voting. In all, 5.1 percent casted their vote in advance voting earlier this week. In the previous presidential election in 2009, 5.74 percent of the voters casted their vote in the first three hours, according to data from CEC.

President of Lithuania and candidate for a second term Dalia Grybauskaite voted in early morning in Vilnius.

“Today is the day when every person in Lithuania can make a very serious and important decision for oneself. I invite all to make this decision. Lithuania’s tomorrow depends on every person in Lithuania and on every citizen, Grybauskaite told news media after casting her vote.

Polling stations are open from 7:00 a.m. local time (0400 GMT) to 8:00 p.m. (1700 GMT).



24th ASEAN Summit


Bridging inequality, tackling regional disputes and pushing the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) forward on its integration deadline received focus at the 24th Summit that concluded here Sunday.

Myanmar President U Thein Sein, who hosted the summit, said a range of topics including the South China Sea, the Korean Peninsula, disaster relief and Middle East issues were discussed by the leaders during their retreat here.

This discussion also included multinational assistance for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, the president said at a press conference after the leaders’ meeting, but without elaboration.

The main result of the summit was the adoption of the Nay Pyi Taw Declaration on Realization of the ASEAN Community in 2015, said the Myanmar president.

One of the most pivotal decisions to emerge from the summit was the focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as the prime mover of ASEAN’s post-2015 growth.

This is particularly relevant because while the ASEAN Secretariat insists that most countries have achieved around 80 percent of their implementation goals for the community, analysts point out some countries are not yet ready for the changes the ASEAN Community will bring, particularly for a planned economic liberalization that would reduce trade barriers.

The so-called CLMV countries — Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam — that joined the bloc in the 1990s risk being adversely affected because of their lack of preparedness and also by the comparative smallness of their economies when compared with other members such as Singapore and Indonesia.

As such focus on SMEs is especially important to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth within the bloc.

Promotion of disaster preparedness, humanitarian assistance and a balanced approach in expansion of relations with the regional bloc’s dialogue partners were also priorities in the ASEAN Community Post-2015 Vision as outlined by the Myanmar president.

Thein Sein insisted that his country’s chairmanship under the theme Moving Forward in Unity to a Peaceful and Prosperous Community was yet another indication that the country was dedicated to continuing democracy, peace and development. “The theme reflects Myanmar’s commitment to the ongoing democratization process and its reconciliation and the government’ s multi-faceted development objectives.”

He noted that Myanmar as the head of ASEAN will represent the members’interest at the G20 conference to be hosted by Australia in November.


IEC : ANC has won the 2014 general elections


African National Congress (ANC) has won the 2014 general elections, thus securing President Jacob Zuma’s second term in office, the country’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) officially announced on Saturday.

The ANC received 249 seats in the National Assembly dropping 15 seats compared to the 2009 elections while the official opposition, the Democratic Alliance (DA) received 89 seats, and newcomers the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) received 25, the third highest number, IEC chairwoman Pansy Tlakula announced at the release of the final election results in Pretoria.

Among over 25 million registered voters, 73.43 percent voters turned out in 22,263 polling stations on Wednesday to elect the new National Assembly and provincial legislatures.

The 73.43 percent voter turnout during the general elections showed that democracy was thriving, Tlakula said.

“Today we celebrate two decades of democracy and conclude the fifth democratic national and provincial elections, we can confirm to the world democracy is well and thriving in this land,” she said.

The ANC has won a fifth consecutive success with a 62.16 percent share of the votes, down from the 65.9 it got in the 2009 elections. The leading opposition party DA won 22.22 percent up from 16.66 percent in 2009, achieving its best ever result comparing with previous elections, and the newly-formed Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) won more than 1 million votes as 6. 35 percent.

The SA National Assembly consists of 400 members elected by proportional representation with a closed list approach. Two hundred members were elected from national party lists; the other 200 were elected from provincial party lists in each of the nine provinces.

The President of South Africa will be chosen by the National Assembly after the election. The premiers of each province will be chosen by the winning majority in each provincial legislature.

The 2014 general elections are the first since the death in December of Nelson Mandela, and also the fifth election since the end of the apartheid era in 1994


AAP open to supporting Third Front to stop BJP



AAP open to supporting Third Front to stop BJP
The Aam Aadmi Party on Sunday did not rule out backing Third Front to stop BJP from coming to power, saying it may offer issue based support to a non-Congress secular dispensation.

With the marathon Lok Sabha elections wrapping up on Monday, senior AAP leader Gopal Rai said AAP will consider offering issue-based support to a Third Front government if such an initiative was launched based on election results which will be out on 16th May. 

“Yes, we may extend issue based support if there is a situation that demands our support to a Third Front government,” Rai said. 

The talk of possible cobbling together of secular forces to stop BJP from coming to power has gained momentum in the last couple of weeks with Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and a number of other leaders exuding confidence of such a formation, expecting that Congress would not do well to form UPA-III. 

Rai, considered close to AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal,, however, said a decision on future role of the party will be taken after analyzing the outcome of the election. 

“Our movement is for common people and support will be definitely issue-based. Final decision on future course of action will be taken after May 16 when results will be declared,” he said. 

AAP has fielded candidates in 422 Lok Sabha seats and Kejriwal had earlier claimed that his party will win at least 100 seats. 

Rai, however, refused to hazard a guess about number of seats AAP would bag, saying the party’s struggle will go on even if it does not perform well. 

The AAP had in a stunning victory in its electoral debut bagged 28 seats in Delhi Assembly elections in December last year and a number of senior party leaders said they will repeat the surprise in the Lok Sabha polls as well. 

The party was hoping to perform well in Punjab, Haryana and Delhi. 

“Our aim is to ensure that voice of honest politics reaches Parliament. It does not matter whether we win 10 seats or 30 seats. We will go there and try to build pressure to bring systemic changes,” Rai said. 

Last week, CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat had said that a repeat of the 1996-like situation was possible and the Congress may be forced to support a government of secular parties at the Centre to keep the BJP out of power. 

The front of non-Congress, non-BJP parties would be able to cobble up a majority with outside support from Congress, he said. 

On Saturday, Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati said her party will not join any front and her numbers will be enough to galvanise secular forces around her. 

Few days back, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had ruled out extending support to a Third Front government saying he was confident that Congress will have the numbers to form UPA III. 

But Mulayam had hoped that Congress would support a Third Front government. 

Rai said Arvind Kejriwal was confident of winning the mega contest against BJP’s Narendra Modi in Varanasi as there has been a yearning for change across the temple town. 

“People want to see change in Varanasi. They have been supporting BJP and Congress for last so many decades but the elected representatives never cared for the city and that is why there has been a groundswell of support for AAP,” Rai said. 

The presence of Modi and Kejriwal in the political battle in Varanasi has made the contest one of the most keenly watch fight of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. 

“Arvind Kejriwal has come out as an honest and credible face because of which he has been receiving massive support across Varanasi. This is a fight of two ideologies. Kejriwal represents honest politics while Modi backs corruption and interests of big corporate. 

“If Kejriwal wins, then honest politics will move forward while if Modi emerges victorious, the politics of hatred, religion and corruption will continue,” he said. 


Reliance threatening friendly govt


 Reliance threatening friendly govt
From: mediacellaap8 <> Sun, 11 May ’14 6:37p
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
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Reliance has yesterday issued notice to the government seeking arbitration on the Gas Price issue. On the eve of the election results, Reliance now says that it is not happy with the price of $8.40/MMBTU notified by the government (which has been stayed for the time being by the election commission till the elections are over) and wants more. It seeks to get from gas fields owned by the people of India (for which Reliance is merely a contractor) a price equal to the price at which Gas is being imported into India in Refrigerated LNG ships (around 16$ as they claim).

In 2006, in its inititial Development plan, Reliance had promised that with a Capital Expenditure of 2.4 Billion Dollars, it would extract more than 6 Trillion Cubic Feet of Gas at an average rate of approximately 40 mmcmd  whose average cost would be a little over 1$ per MMBTU till 2022. Soon thereafter they revised this by saying that they should be allowed to increase the Capital expenditure to $8.8 Billion by promising that they will extract a total of 11 TCF of Gas at the rate of of approximately 80 mmcmd till 2022. Even here they projected their average cost of production of the gas as well under $2/MMBTU. That is why Reliance had itself offered to supply gas to NTPC at the rate of $2.34/MMBTU in 2006 for a period of 17 years. They would have made a substantial profit even at this price. Yet, a pliant government fixed the price at $4.2 in 2009 (for a period of 5 years) giving them windfall profits. Reliance sought to wriggle out of their contract with NTPC by stating that the government is free to fix any price in public interest since the Gas is owned by the government, an argument accepted by the Court. 
In the succeeding years, the CAG has found Reliance guilty of grossly inflating their costs by overinvoicing and gold plating and squatting over the entire more than 7000 square Kilometers of the Gas Basin, though they were obliged to have surrrendered more than 90% of this by 2007. The Indian High Commission at Singapore had reported that a bogus, name plate company called Bio Matrix with virtually no equity or assets had invested 6,500 Crores in 4 companies owned exclusively by Mukesh Ambani, raising questions about whether this money was from that which had been siphoned out of the Gas fields. Despite this over invoicing and gold plating, Reliance has recovered even its inflated costs from the gas sales in the last 5 years. In addition to this, it has made an additional profit of $7.2 Billion by selling 30% of its participating interest in the fields to British Petroleum.
Most shockingly however, Reliance has in the last two years, dropped production steadily from the fields from a peak of 60 mmcmd to 8 mmcmd, prompting justified fears of hoarding of the gas. Reliance has stated in the Court proceedings that it is not economical for them to increase production beyond the present level at the price of $4.2.
In these circumstances, any honest government would have cancelled the contract, recovered the fields from Reliance, recovered the loss that they have caused to the government and prosecuted them for over invoicing by way of fraud, fabrication and cheating. But instead of doing this, the government allowed them to earn further windfall profits by increasing the price of gas to 8.40 despite the fact that the continued production cost of extraction of Gas from the existing wells is less than $.50. This would mean that Fertiliser and Power prices would increase by over 50%, and it would mean a transfer of over 50,000 crores annually from the public exchequer or from the pockets of the people to Reliance. 
But now, in the vain hope that an even more pliable government could be on its way, Reliance has served arbitration notice seeking an even higher price. They seem to be confident that a future government may allow them an even higher price in collusive arbitration proceedings. After all, it was the Gujarat owned GSPC which has been asking the Central government to increase the price to $14.2. Mr. Modi has been conspicously silent on the issue of Gas price, even when he has been repeatedly asked to make clear his stand. We again demand that Mr. Modi should come clean on this issue.


AAP Media Cell


AAP will not support any front


 AAP will not support any front
From: mediacellaap9 <> Sun, 11 May ’14 6:25p
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
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There is no question of the Aam Aadmi Party extending support to any front after the declaration of the Lok Sabha election results and the party strongly refutes news reports attributed to it in this regard.

The AAP makes it absolutely clear that it has contested the Lok Sabha elections to present a model of alternative politics before the people of the country and any speculation about the party supporting any third or fourth front is completely misleading and contrary to the party’s stated position.

The AAP cannot and will not be a part of any front which could include parties whose leaders are involved in largescale corruption, neither will the AAP extend support to any such front.

The AAP will prefer to sit in opposition rather than be a part of extend support to any combination/front which compromises with corruption, since this is against the core values for which this party was formed.

The AAP appeals to the media to refrain from indulging in baseless speculation, since misinterpretation of facts leads to unnecessary confusion. The Press Trust of India (PTI) is a credible news organisation and the AAP hopes it will refrain from misquoting facts at this critical juncture.  


AAP Media Cell


Indian Election Circus: Will Regional Players be the new Ringleaders?


Samarth Pathak Headshot

Indian Election Circus: Will Regional Players be the new Ringleaders?

Posted: 05/09/2014 2:28 pm EDT Updated: 05/09/2014 2:59 pm EDT

Print Article

 When the curtains finally come down on India’s “dance of democracy” on May 12, a whopping 814-million strong electorate would have cast their ballots across 543 constituencies in an explosive nine-phase, five-week long general election. These votes will essentially decide the fates (and in some cases, careers) of major national and regional leaders and parties–thereby making these elections one of the most politically charged battle royales in India’s recent history.

A deeply-layered and multi-dimensional exercise, the ongoing polls in India are being fought on a wide spectrum of factors: socio-economic development; caste, religious and linguistic diversity and individual personalities of leaders. However, these are all intrinsically linked with one crucial element: hope. As a popular grassroots theory goes, “Indian elections are a game of dreams, sold by candidates and parties. The winner is usually the one who offers the best dreams to the electorate!” . What is perplexing is that for most voters, the realisation of these dreams is immaterial–the only thing that matters is whether or not the dreams offer a glimmer of hope to a voter. And so, every five years, contesting parties and candidates attempt to woo the Indian voter with a torrent of promises–hollow promises, false promises, promises within promises and even promises of keeping promises!

This time around, the interplay of myriad hopes has created an electric election buzz unparalleled in recent history. Parties have gone into an overdrive of grandstanding, brand-building and support mobilisation with an intensity that almost equals voter frustration against scams, corruption and underdevelopment. Empowered with greater access to information than ever before, a large number of Indians cutting across social, regional and economic divides have found themselves bound in the invisible thread of elections together. At social gatherings across rural and urban India, engaging in poll-related discussions has emerged as the new national pastime. Opinions are being formed and cemented at the drop of a hat, and everyone is professing a new found love for psephology. And this inescapable exchange of views is being powered and shaped by the mainstream and social media.

This is also perhaps one of those rare instances, where the contest has been fought on a multitude of planks: communalism vs. secularism, growth vs social development; wave of change vs status quo; inclusive governance vs divisive politics, among others. The presence of powerful regional satraps, and the intense slugfest between the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Narendra Modi and Congress’ Gandhi Family has clearly split the national voter base–a trend testified by casual interactions in political constituencies. The slow but steady rise of Aam Aadmi Party’s Arvind Kejriwal has also made this a potentially game-changing potboiler. But who will have the last laugh on May 16?

“Yeh public hai, sab jaanti hai” (The public knows everything) goes a popular Indian refrain–and therein lies the answer. Whispers on the ground indicate that the BJP–despite the much hyped Modi wave–and the Congress are facing a tough fight from AAP and regional players. Despite riding on the prevailing wave of public disillusionment with the Congress, Modi and his associates have been unable to get rid of the 2002 Gujarat pogrom taint, and are viewed with a communal prism by the minority community and the civil society. This has caused palpable unease among BJP’s allies, who may be hesitant in extending support to a Modi-led regime in case the BJP fails to get majority.

Then there is the Congress, which has been fighting a crisis of legitimacy in the wake of multi-billion dollar scams, inflation and weak governance since the last couple of years. On the other hand, the Aam Aadmi Party, which has made inroads in several urban and rural centres, is receiving credible public attention as it fights its first national election. Though doubts have been raised on the extent to which the party has captured public imagination, there is a growing acknowledgment that the AAP may have garnered a significant number of votes–especially from first-time electors– in strongholds of other parties in India’s hinterlands, primarily because of its “clean image.”

Differences of opinions notwithstanding, there is consensus among a cross section of academics, voters, journalists and political experts on three distinct aspects: one, that the Congress will lose many of its seats and find itself considerably weaker than ever before. Two, the BJP will gain ground, but not enough to emerge as the single largest party, despite its much-publicised “Modi wave” campaign. Three, the AAP will make a significant debut, but not enough to make a dent at the national stage.

If this scenario were to come true, the outcome would then be decided by India’s regional parties–SP, BSP, AIADMK, DMK, TMC, JDU, RJD and the Left. Since not many parties are expected to back Modi as the Prime Minister, the BJP would either need to replace him with a consensus candidate, or allow its potential allies to flock to the UPA instead. At the end, the elections may yet again mark a victory for the regional parties, who will enjoy a significantly increased bargaining power with the new government.

If independent ground reports are to be believed, these regional parties–who possess a tremendous support base in their states–will emerge as the key ringleader of the great Indian election circus, and continue India’s tryst with coalition politics. The only question is: can India afford multiple centers of power in its quest for strong governance, inclusive development and higher growth?

(Samarth Pathak is an advocacy and communications professional based in New Delhi. Views expressed are personal.)

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Visit Portugal


 May 2014
Dear travel partner,
Saudacoes from Visit Portugal team in India!
The summer holiday season is now around the corner and it’s that time of the year that most of our trade partners are busy with creating client dreams into reality. Portugal is the ideal destination to a Mediterranean or European itinerary offering a mix of history, culture, wine & cuisine, cool weather matched with adventure and leisure sporting options.
Going forward in May, this issue focuses on the most distinctive feature of ‘Portuguese Cuisine’ which comes from the sea. Portugal has developed its own cuisine, one that is different from traditional recipes and that brings surprise and delight to all those who visit Portugal. The Mediterranean diet and its agricultural techniques, which preserve the most delicate flavours is dressed with the finest olive oils, as well as the best fruits from rich Atlantic shores the best fish in the world – characterize Portuguese gastronomy.
Leisure group or family travellers to Portugal will be able to indulge in a variety of cuisine that offer vegetarian options in addition to delicacies that feature meat and fish based on genuine quality products, cooked according to traditional recipes or to the most innovative and unusual trends.
Travellers to Portugal for the summer break will have a wide choice of events to choose from music and entertainment in Lisbon, marathon along the banks of River Douro, sea feasts in the city of Ilhavo and Madeira wine festival during the months from May to August 2014.
Our office in Mumbai is available to assist you with specific queries or introduction to the Portuguese private sector.
Wishing all of you an eventful and fun holiday season.
Visit Portugal Team
India Representative Office
The food in Portugal is a closely guarded secret.Portuguese cuisine has everything to please even the most discerning palate because it is based on genuine quality products, cooked according to traditional recipes or to the most innovative and unusual trends.
The most distinctive feature of Portuguese cuisine comes from the sea. As you enjoy a simple grilled fish, always fresh like the seafood that abounds   from  end to end
along the coast, you can be sure that you are in Portugal!
We might say that Portuguese cuisine hinges around into five icons. Let’s start with the fish from our extensive Atlantic coast.
FISH: The Best Fish In The World And Marvellous Seafood
Many of Portugal’s dishes are fish-based due to the country’s situation on the Atlantic. The most famous fish dish is salted codbacalhau, which it is said can be cooked in 365 different ways. Other popular fish include sardines, especially grilled (sardinhas assadas), sea bassoctopus,squid (often stuffed), anchovies and swordfishShellfishsuch as mussels, prawns, oysters, lobsters, crabs and clams are also very popular.
Meat: A common meat dish is the cozido a Portuguesa, a sort of hotpot of beef, sausages, potatoes, vegetables and rice. Grilled skewers of beef  with  garlic
(espetada) are often served, as is aromatic grilled chicken (frango grelhado), seasoned with piri piri, garlic and olive oil. Feijoada, a meat stew with kidney or butter beans, is a dish popular throughout Portugal.
Cheeses: The most famous cheese in Portugal is most probably the Queijo da Serra, made from ewe’s milk in the Serra da Estrela. This cheese is made   in  the  winter  and
traditionally the milk is coagulated with thistle (flor do cardo). Monte, a cheese from Tr�s-os-Montes in northern Portugal, is a smooth, creamy cheese made from cow’s and ewe’s milk.
Desserts: Portuguese sweets are divine. A popular dessert is the arroz doce, a rice pudding flavored with cinnamon and lemon. The Portuguese have a variety of cake   and   confectionary
specialties that can be found in a pasteleria or confeitaria.The result of the balance between flavour, creaminess and crispiness is another icon of Portuguese cuisine, considered a truly heavenly sweet: the pastel de nata (custard tart)!
Wine: Each dish is matched to the right wine. The whole country produces wine and, while Port wine is famous, the Douro, Alentejo and many other table wines are no less superior.
To watch the video on Portugal Gastronomy, kindly clickhere.
LISBON: From grilled sardines to pasteis de Belem(custard tarts), the food in Lisbon is as appealing as the city and the region.
As for sweets, the temptations around the capital are many and by themselves justify the trip: walnuts in Cascais, at the end of the attractive Estoril Coast; queijadas (cheese
tarts) and travesseiros (eggand almond pastries) in Sintra, and fofos (cream-filled sponge cakes) in Belas, when you cross the Tagus to the south, you will find the Azeitao tortas (egg cream-filled rolls).
The Pasteis de Belem have become a true icon of tourism: each day more than 10,000 pasteis are sold, accompanied with sugar and cinnamon, packed into packets along with the boxes of pasteis. To go to Lisboa and not eat Pasteis de Belem is a crime.
PORTO AND THE NORTH: The rich sauce of ‘Francesinha’is a must, a combination of bread, steak, smoked and fresh sausage and cheese. This Porto speciality is a firm local favourite. A visit to Porto almost always involves a taste of a “francesinha” and a “Tripas a Moda do Porto” dish.
And to accompany such delicious food come the wines of the Douro. The course of this northern river is dotted with the finest vineyards, and there is nowhere better than Porto to try some excellent local wine.
CENTRO DE PORTUGAL: TryBairrada suckling pig accompanied by a regional sparkling wine. The coastline provides fresh   shellfish  and
fish, often served up as ‘caldeirada’ stews and the bread based ‘ensopado’.
Of the sweets, we would suggest the eggy sweet ‘ovos moles de Aveiro’ and ‘pao-de-lo de Ovar’ sponge cake. Both are certain crowd pleasers.
MADEIRA: You must try traditional regional dishes like tuna steak and fried cornbread or the deliciousgrilled beef on a laurel spit accompanied with sweet potatoes bread “bolo do caco”.
Fruit lovers will really think they are in heaven!
Tropical fruits like mangoes, bananas, avocadoes, custard apples and passion fruits are abundant and their exotic flavours are the perfect end to a
meal, either fresh or in a pudding, mousse or ice cream.
AZORES: Gourmets delight in the many traditional recipes of Azorean cuisine.
Grilled, in bouillabaisses orsoups, fishis cooked in a variety of ways. But make sure you taste tuna which, in these waters, has a pink hue and a soft flavor. The Azores
have seafood that is not found anywhere else, such as limpetsbarnacles and locust lobsters, a kind of tender and tasty lobster which is almost a sin not to try.
ALGARVE: Start with what the ocean provides. Seafood: clams, oysters, donax clams and cockles cooked on a griddle or in a frying pan are delicious.
Some plain barnacles on a beach on the Vicentina coast, razor clam rice, whelk bean stew, clam xerem (stew with maize meal) and seafood acorda (bread casserole) are
other examples to make the mouth water.
ALENTEJO:The Alentejo has some of the best gastronomy in Portugal. In the region’s restaurants you can taste: fish, either grilled or in soups, sea food, “acordas”(bread stews),
whelks with pork, gaspacho (a tomato-based raw vegetable soup) , mutton stew, game meat dishes,cheeses, sausages, bread, olive oil, wines and convent sweetmeats.
With a fruity, slightly thick aroma, golden or greenish yellow in colour, bitter, spicy or sweeter, mild or intense, this is Portuguese olive oil.
Olive oil is one of the base elements of Portuguese gastronomy and culture and it is one of the responsibles for the healthy nature of Mediterranean influence cuisine.
The olive oils from Porto e North (Tras os Montes) are intense ones and with unique features when compared to those grown in other regions, just because they use different kinds of olives. The olive oils of Alentejo (NorthernAlentejo, Inner Alentejo and Moura) are also very exquisite in terms of flavor.
TIP: Try a ‘Tiborna’, warm bread dipped in olive oil, with which olive oil route visits often end.
Sunday, 25th May, 2014
In May, come to the Douro wine region and take part in one of the world’s most beautiful races!
This half marathon covers a distance of roughly 21 kilometres along the banks of the River Douro, passing through some truly breathtaking countryside.
Besides the half marathon, there will be other events designed to make your stay in the region an unforgettable experience such as concerts, exhibitions or special wine tasting sessions.
Friday, 23rd – Thursday, 29th May, 2014
  In Sao Miguel, in the Azores, witness the Festivals of the Lord Jesus Christ. The image of the Convento da Esperanca, in Ponta Delgada,
is paraded on the fifth Sunday after Easter, with much fanfare and torchlight.
Friday, 23rd May – Sunday, 1st June, 2014
Rock in Rio-Lisbon is back as 2014’s biggest event. Bela Vista Park will host the fifth edition in Lisbon of the world’s biggest music and entertainment festival.
During this 5-day emotion-packed event, Bela Vista Park will be transformed into a veritable “city of rock”, including over 12 hours of performances per day on the various stages.
Friday, 15th – Tuesday, 19th August, 2014
From August 15th to 19th, the city of Ilhavo will host another edition of Sea Feasts that include the mythical Codfish Festival, dedicated to one of the
most important ingredients of Portuguese cuisine. Delight yourself with this unique festival!
This event is held betweenMay and October and fosters enjoyment and expertise in the field of gardens and gardening,    in    profound
connection to preservation of heritage values and defence of the environment.
Visit the International Garden Festival and prepare to be amazed by the exquisite spaces crated within the framework of this original initiative.
Portugal is a country with a strong winegrowing tradition, so discovering its different wines and the regions in which they are produced can be a great excuse for exploring the landscapes, heritage, culture and the people who live here as well.
The Douro and Alentejo regions are where you will find the largest number of places dedicated to wine tourism.
Don’t miss
During September and October, participate in the grape harvest, a great tourist attraction on the wine tourism farms
Visit the wine producing villages in the Porto and Douro region
Taste the wine and buy a bottle in the Solar do Alvarinho in Melga�o, in the Vinho Verde region
Discover the many museums that are dedicated to wine from the north to the south of Portugal
For this month, we have provided a few ideas on the places which are not to be missed while you are in Portugal:
Pasteis de Belem is the best-guarded secret of Portuguese confectionary. No one knows it exactly except those inside the Factory, a cafe in Belem, near the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, which has become a site of daily pilgrimage.
To go to Lisboa and not eat Pasteis de Belem is a crime. There’s nothing that can be done, there’s no way to avoid it. The problem is eating just one, because they’re so good … you just want to keep eating them.
Do visit the factory and discover other products also produced with traditional recipes.
If eating is one of life’s greatest pleasures for you, then Estoril Coast has many unforgettable experiences in store.
Among the most popular dishes of the region, is theStripped Bass, Sargo, or the unrivaled Cascais Sole, all of which are always fresh and prepared with   the  finest
ingredients. Please your apettite with shrimp, crab, prawns or lobster, that are prepared here in a unique and traditional way. In the end, indulge your palate by experiencing the traditional “Areias do Guincho” or the famous “Trouxas da Malveira”, sweet egg dishes with an exquisite original taste!
Sunday, 31st August – Sunday, 7th September, 2014
The Wine Festival is one of Madeira’s many tourist attractions an event that pays tribute to this precious nectar and its undeniable socioeconomic significance. The Madeira Wine Festival celebrations are a tribute to the effort involved in its production and at the same time
serves to promote and to reaffirm Madeira Islands as a tourist destination of excellence overseas.
In the centre of Funchal there are light, sound and folk shows connected to traditional wine-making.
The island of Sao Jorge from which this cheese gets its name, is located 900 miles from the west coast of Portugal and is part of the Azores archipelago.
Sao Jorge cheeses have a firm, slightly waxy texture with a straw-colored paste dotted with small eyes (holes). Flavors are mild, yet full and buttery, with an underlying tang that becomes more pronounced
with age. Aromas are rich and aromatic. Sao Jorge works well as a table cheese or added to everyday dishes where a tangy, robust flavor is desired.
Situated in the historic Santa Maria area, in the centre of Funchal, the Farmers’ Marketis one of the landmarks that Madeira’s capital has to offer its visitors
and of course the entire population, where the colours, aromas and tradition join together to enchant and delight anyone visiting it.
Have a coffee accompanied by a pastel de nata or some other kind of Portuguese pastry
Simply taste some grilled fish, seasoned with Portuguese olive oil
Taste one of the many convent desserts: rice pudding, creme brulee, sponge cake, barriga de freira (nun’s belly), papos de anjo (angel’s chins), toucinho do ceu (bacon from heaven) and many others
Taste Rocha do Oeste pears or the Bravo de Esmolfe apples and enjoy the PGI varieties of Alcobaca apples, Elvas plums, Cova da Beira cherries and pineapples from the Azores. These are all DOP fruits (Protected Denomination of Origin)
Taste some chilled verde or white wine on hot days, preferably with some fish or seafood, or some full-bodied red with strong meat dishes
Don’t miss the traditional ‘Honey Cake’ in Madeira. Its recipe includes many rich and delicious ingredients, such as spices, nuts and sugar cane honey
Try the roasted chestnuts from street vendors during the winter
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Morning Post


Saturday 10 May 2014
‘द इकोनॉमिक टाइम्स’ का दावा, वाराणसी के मुस्लिम वोटर्स 11 मई को तय करेंगे अपना नेता
भारतीय जनता पार्टी के पीएम पद के उम्मीदवार नरेंद्र मोदी के बाद आम आदमी पार्टी के अरविंद केजरीवाल के काशी रोड शो ने यह दिखाया है…



चुनावी कवरेज के लिए वाराणसी में उमड़ा अंतरराष्ट्रीय मीडिया का हुजूम
लोकसभा चुनाव अब अपने आखिरी चरण में है। 12 मई को 16वीं लोकसभा के लिए मतदाता आखिरी बार अपने मताधिकार का प्रयोग करेंगे…



न्यूज चैनलों के प्राइम टाइम में छाए मोदी, कवरेज में राहुल से आगे केजरीवाल
भारतीय जनता पार्टी के प्रधानमंत्री पद के उम्‍मीदवार नरेंद्र मोदी टीवी पर प्राइम टाइम कवरेज पाने वाले नेताओं में सबसे आगे हैं…



आजतक का सर्वे, बनारस में केजरीवाल को मिलेंगे सिर्फ 10 फीसदी वोट
भारतीय जनता पार्टी के प्रधानमंत्री पद के उम्मीदवार नरेंद्र मोदी वाराणसी लोकसभा सीट में अपने प्रतिद्वंद्वियों से काफी आगे हैं…



मुंबई में गुजराती अखबार ‘संदेश’ के विज्ञापन से मनसे नाराज, बसों से हटवाए पोस्टर


महाराष्ट्र नवनिर्माण सेना (मनसे) की आपत्ति के बाद बेस्ट ने शनिवार (10 मई, 2014) सुबह अपनी बसों से गुजराती दैनिक समाचार पत्र ‘संदेश’ का पोस्टर हटाना शुरू कर दिया…


पाकिस्‍तान सरकार ने बिना वजह दो भारतीय पत्रकारों को देश छोड़ने का दिया आदेश
पाकिस्‍तान में काम कर रहे दो भारतीय पत्रकारों को वहां की सरकार ने एक हफ्ते के भीतर देश छोड़ने का आदेश दिया है…



‘तारक मेहता का…’ की टीम पहुंची वाराणसी, BJP के लिए रोड शो

सब टीवी के सबसे लोकप्रिय शो ‘तारक मेहता का उल्टा चश्मा’  के कलाकारों ने शुक्रवार (9 मई, 2014) को नरेंद्र मोदी के समर्थन में वाराणसी में रोड शो किया…




Boletín de Noticias de Nueva Tribuna


Boletín de Noticias de Nueva Tribuna
Today at 12:02 PM

Boletín informativo. Domingo 11 de Mayo 2014.
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A powerful message from First Lady Michelle Obama


The White House Saturday, May 10, 2014

A powerful message from First Lady Michelle Obama

First Lady Michelle Obama honored all mothers on this upcoming Mother’s Day and offered her thoughts, prayers, and support in the wake of the unconscionable terrorist kidnapping of more than 200 Nigerian girls.

It’s a powerful message. Watch the First Lady’s address:

Watch First Lady Michelle Obama deliver the weekly address.

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BJP likely to gain 200 plus seats in Lok Sabha



BJP likely to gain 200 plus seats in Lok Sabha

Loss to Congress will be gain to BJP


Nation eagerly awaits the conclusion of the final phase of the polls on May 12 and thereafter the announcement of the results four days later. Already the writing on the wall is clear – people want change. Picking up the thread several opinion polls have begun speculating the numbers.


The Congress party, facing anti-incumbency due to allegations of corruption, mal-administration and not being able to check rising prices and unemployment, is likely to reduce its strength. By how much is the real question? Will the loss to the INC mean gain for BJP?


In 2009 polls, the Congress gaining 206 seats could lead the UPA-II coalition in the 543-member house. Among states, its major support base was from Andhra Pradesh where it won 33 out of 42 seats. In 2004 polls also, the Congress won 29 seats that pushed the party to get 145 seats and lead the UPA coalition. This was possible due to the popularity of the then Chief Minister YS Rajashekhara Reddy


But unfortunately, the party is unlikely to repeat its victory card this time in Andhra Pradesh. The tragic death of YSR Reddy came as a setback to the Congress. The party refused to pass on the mantle to his son Jagan who broke away and formed the YSR Congress. The subsequent Congress leadership in the state, riddled with factionalism, could not live up to the expectations of the people. Added to this the bifurcation of the state engineered by UPA-II has left the people of Seemandhra region unhappy. In Seemandhra region which has 25 seats, the Congress is likely to fare miserably. In this region TDP which has alliance with BJP and also the YSR Congress stand to gain. In Telangana, which has 17 seats, the TRS is likely to gain at the expenses of the Congress.


Next to undivided Andhra Pradesh, Congress garnered 21 seats in UP followed by 20 in Rajasthan in 2009 polls. These scores were impressive as compared to 2004 polls when the Congress secured 9 seats in UP and 4 seats in Rajasthan. Other states were the Congress scored in double digits in 2009 were Maharashtra (17), Kerala (13) and Madhya Pradesh (12). But this magic is unlikely to be repeated at 2014 polls. In UP the BJP has put up an aggressive campaign to gain maximum seats out of the total 80 in the state. In Rajasthan, recently the BJP’s Vasundhara Raje took over as Chief Minister routing Congress and gaining two-third majority. Similarly, MP voted back the BJP Chief Minister Shivraj Chauhan to power and in Maharashtra where Congress is the ruling party is facing anti-incumbency factor.


In this situation it seems likely that the Congress is likely to lose around 100 out 206 seats it had gained in the 2009 general elections.


The moot question is which party is likely to gain at the expense of the Congress? The general mood of the people is for a stable national alternative. The BJP has come clear by forming a coalition of parties called the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and projecting the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate with an development agenda.


The BJP has the record of winning 182 seats on its own in 1999 polls that bounced back Atal Bihari Vajpayee as prime minister of NDA coalition. The Congress tally stood at 114, after losing 23 seats it had won in 1998.


States like UP with a total of 80 seats, Maharashtra with a total of 48 seats and Bihar with a total of 40 seats are crucial for BJP if it intends to cross the barriers of 200 in Lok Sabha. BJP has the record of gaining 50 plus seats from in UP in three consecutive polls in 1991, 1996 and 1998 riding on Ram Mandir and Hindutva wave, highest being 57 in 1998. But in 1999 when the party won a maximum of 182 seats in Lok Sabha, its count from UP declined to 29.


However, in 2014 polls, the BJP has set up candidates on basis of its social engineering The BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s aggressive campaign and his project of development agenda seem to have gone well with the people and the party is expected to be a front runner with good number of seats.


In Bihar, the BJP which is competing with Lalu Yadav’s RJD is expected to get about 20 seats. In Maharashtra where the Congress-NCP alliance is likely to shrink to 15 seats, the BJP and its alliance partners will be the ultimate gainers.   


Other major gains for BJP can come from Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, besides gains from other parts of the country. In all likelihood, it seems that BJP is likely to gain 200 plus seats in the overall tally in the Lok Sabha. The Congress tally is likely to be around 100. The loss to the Congress will be gain for BJP.

(*The writer is a senior journalist on strategic and policy issues. He is former Agriculture Editor of the Financial Express)
Ashok B Sharma

To nksagar@rediffmail.comMe

 Today at 4:57 PM

Dear Sagar,

As per our discussions at the recent book launch ceremony of the Railways, I am send my Article for posting on your Website. My PHOTO is attached herewith.
Senior journalist on policy and strategic issues
former Agriculture Editor, Financial Express

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