WTO panel faults US duties on Indian steel 

15072014

WTO panel faults US duties on Indian steel
The United States broke global trade rules by slapping import duties on Indian steel products, a WTO panel ruled on Monday, calling on Washington to fall into line.

A World Trade Organization dispute settlement panel, said that Washington had “acted inconsistently” with regulations set down for the international body’s 160 member economies.”We conclude that the United States has nullified or impaired benefits accruing to India,” said the panel, which is made up of independent trade and legal experts. “We recommend the United States bring its measures into conformity with its obligations,” it added.India filed its complaint at the WTO in 2012, after Washington imposed duties of nearly 300 per cent on imports of products including steel pipes.

The United States applied the duties because it felt Indian steel manufacturers were benefitting from unfair subsidies.

WTO members are allowed to impose so-called countervailing duties — a special import tax — if they believe that their domestic manufacturers are being hurt by subsidies granted by a trade partner to its companies.

The WTO regulations require the importing country to first conduct a detailed investigation that shows properly that domestic industry is hurt.

Legal sparring over the scope and depth of such investigations, and the legitimacy of subsidies and countervailing duties is commonplace at the WTO.

The WTO polices global trade accords in an effort to offer its member economies a level playing field. Its panels can authorise retaliatory trade measures by the wronged party if its rival fails to fall into line. It disputes process can last for years however, owing to appeals, counter-appeals and compliance assessments.

Monday’s ruling was the first by the WTO panel in the steel case, and Washington has the right to appeal.





PM meets Chinese President Xi Jinping ahead of BRICS Summit

15072014

PM meets Chinese President Xi Jinping ahead of BRICS Summit
In a significant development, China has invited India to attend a summit of Asia and Pacific (APEC) leaders as PM Narendra Modi met President Xi Jin Ping and discussed various issues including the need to resolve the boundary question in an amicable manner.

The two leaders, who arrived almost at the same time in Fortaleza on Monday evening for attending the BRICS summit, engaged shortly thereafter for what was described as “good discussions and good meeting”.

The meeting was scheduled for 40 minutes but it went on for 80 as it was freewheeling discussion without any constraints.

The two leaders appeared well prepared for the meeting as both of them referred to the statements made by the other before they assumed power, Akbaruddin said. He quoted Xi as saying that “when India and China meet the world watches us”.

President Xi in particular referred to Modi’s experience in Gujarat as Chief Minister and his focus on development.

The discussions centered around all aspects of the bilateral relations, regional and international matters, he said.

The surprise invitation for the APEC summit as part of partnership and engagement came in the context of the two leaders discussing the need for the two countries to work together in international fora like BRICS and other fora.

Tuesday’s meeting was the fourth high-level engagement between the two countries since the Modi government assumed charge six weeks ago.

First Xi’s emissary Wang came to Delhi, followed by the visits of Vice President Hamid Ansari’ and Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh to China recently.

Xi acknowledged his visit to India in September and extended an invitation to Modi to visit China, which was accepted.

The dates will be decided by diplomatic channels, he said.

Asked if India has accepted the invitation for the APEC summit, Akbaruddin said November was a busy month with SAARC and G 20 meetings scheduled but New Delhi considers the invitation as a significant gesture which will be given very serious consideration.

Xi also told Modi that India should work more deeply with the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation but the prime minister pointed out that New Delhi was only an observer.

If other members were willing, India was ready to work with SCO more closely.

On the boundary question, Modi said there was need for finding a solution and maintenance of peace and tranquility on the border was essential for resolving the issue.

It was a substantive and a very cordial and warm meeting in which the two leaders struck a personal rapport which augurs well for the future, the spokesman said.

He said the prime minister emphasised that there should be no incidents on the border that would undermine the bilateral relations.

To a question on the incursions by the Chinese army on the border, Akbaruddin said India conveyed its concerns to China on the issue.

On his part, Modi also emphasised on the economic relations between the two countries and talked about cooperation in the infrastructure sector, industrial parks and investment.

He referred to the adverse trade imbalance against India and sought correction of the situation.

Xi acknowledged that there was a possibility of enhanced trade, particularly in the services sector from the Indian side and the increased Chinese tourist numbers to India.

Modi referred to the visit of Chinese travellers coming to Gujarat in the ancient period.

The possibility of additional Mansarovar yatra route was raised by Modi considering the fact that he had himself undertaken that pilgrimage in difficult conditions in the present route.

Xi gave an assurance that China will consider the request for the additional route.

Both the leaders touched on the historic and civilisational links between the two countries, especially the Buddhist links.

The Prime Minister referred to terrorism and extremism and said India and China should work together to fight the menace in the region in view of the common civilisational heritage they had.

Replying to questions whether any timeliness were discussed on resolving the border question, Akbaruddin said obviously since it was a first meeting between them they could not go beyond their initial references and stated positions.





Hamas rejects Egypt proposal for truce with Israel 

15072014

Hamas rejects Egypt proposal for truce with Israel
Hamas on Tuesday rejected an Egyptian proposal for a cease-fire with Israel, moments after the Israeli Cabinet accepted the plan, throwing into disarray international efforts to end a week of fighting that has killed 192 Palestinians and exposed millions of Israelis to Hamas rocket fire.

A senior Israeli government official warned that Israel would strike Gaza even harder if Hamas does not accept the truce.

Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes against targets in Gaza in the past week and amassed troops on the border of the coastal strip, but has so far refrained from a ground offensive that could quickly drive up the casualty count on both sides.

The Egyptian cease-fire offer, which was presented late Monday, called for a halt of hostilities as of this morning, followed by negotiations on easing the closure of Gaza’s borders – a closure that has been enforced by both Israel and Egypt to varying degrees since Hamas seized the territory in 2007.

A group of senior Israeli Cabinet ministers accepted the offer Tuesday, according to a statement by the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

A senior government official said after the announcement that Israel would step up its military offensive if Hamas rejects the offer.

“As you know, the Cabinet has accepted the Egyptian proposal. If Hamas rejects it, Israel will continue and intensify its operations and Hamas will find itself totally isolated, including in the Arab world, which supports the proposal,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

In Gaza, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the Egyptian proposal was “not acceptable.”

The military wing of Hamas, Izzedine al-Qassam, said in a statement on the Hamas website that the proposal “does not deserve the ink it was written with.”

Hamas officials are weary of promises by Egypt and Israel to ease the border blockade.

Such promises were also part of a truce that ended more than a week of fighting in 2012, but were quickly broken as violence flared again.

“It’s not logical to ask people who are under aggression to cease fire and then later to negotiate terms that were not respected in the past by the Israelis,” he said, referring to the 2012 truce.

An easing of the blockade is key to the survival of Hamas.

Before the outbreak of the latest round of fighting, the militant group found itself in a serious financial crisis because a particularly tight closure by Egypt had prevented cash and goods from coming into the strip through hundreds of smuggling tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry, who was in Vienna for negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, decided not to make an immediate trip to the Middle East today to push diplomatic efforts toward the Israel-Hamas cease-fire.





Turmoil in Parliament over Vedic meeting with Hafiz

15072014

Turmoil in Parliament over scribe
The turmoil over the meeting of a journalist with terror mastermind Hafiz Saeed stalled Parliament for the second consecutive day on Tuesday, with Government stating it has nothing to do with it and terming it as “diplomatic misadventure of a private individual”. Issue has been raised on non issue by the political outfits to disrupt the proceeding as the media meet with terrorist is not neo phenomenon and many such occasions have brought better relation and acted as bridge between the hardened attitude of bilateral ties.

Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha saw disruptions as soon as the two Houses met for the day, with opposition Congress seeking suspension of Question Hour to get government’s response over the serious matter.Both Houses were again disrupted during the Zero Hour with Congress members expressing concern over the meeting and entering the Well raising slogans.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told Rajya Sabha that the government has nothing to do with either the visit or the meeting between Ved Pratap Vaidik and Saeed.

“It is a diplomatic misadventure of a private individual,” he said.

In Lok Sabha, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said government has nothing to do with a journalist meeting India’s one of the most wanted terrorists Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan recently.

“Allegation that the government facilitated the journalist’s meeting with Hafiz Saeed is false and baseless,” Swaraj said.

The issue led adjournment of the Rajya Sabha twice and Lok Sabha once.

Jaitley said in the Upper House that the concerns of the Leader of the Opposition are also the concerns of the entire country.

“Yesterday, I clearly said in unambiguous terms that Government of India has nothing to do with either his visit or his meeting with someone whom we regard as a terrorist,” he said.

“The person or his views has nothing to do with either the government or my party,” Jaitley said leading to uproar with slogan-shouting Congress members storming the Well.

As soon as the Lok Sabha assembled for the day, Congress members led by Mallikarjun Kharge were on their feet demanding a reply from the government on the reported meeting of the journalist with Saeed, India’s one of the most wanted terrorists who was also the mastermind of the 26/11 attack.

When Speaker Sumitra Mahajan declared that Question Hour will not be suspended, Congress members trooped into the Well shouting slogans like ‘Vaidik ko mat bachao’ (Don’t save Vaidik), ‘Home Minister jawab do’ (Home Minister give reply), ‘Hafiz ka sach batao’ (Tell us the truth on Hafiz affairs).

Amid uproar, Jammu and Kashmir People’s Democratic Party members Mehbooba Mufti and Tariq Hameed Karra too came to the Well protesting against the killing of innocent in Gaza due to the bombing by Israel.

Mahajan asked the members not to disturb Question Hour and warned the PDP members not to show placards as it was against the Parliamentary rules.

Earlier, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said government would make a statement on the issue of journalist meeting Saeed only when the Chair allowed.

The Speaker told the opposition members not to take the House for granted by staging protests during Question Hour.

“Suspension of Question Hour is not done. Question Hour is for all the members. If you do not want the Question Hour, drop it. I do not have any objection. But do not make it (disruption) a precedent,” she said.

Congress leader Kharge said they tried to raise the issue on Monday at least twice but in vain as there was no response from the government which forced them to stage protest today.

Members of Left parties too supported the PDP protest against Israel’s bombing in Gaza and stood in the aisle demanding a reply from the government.

RJD member Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav opposed the introduction of a new examination pattern by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and asked the government to intervene.

 

The turmoil over the meeting of a journalist with terror mastermind Hafiz Saeed stalled Parliament for the second consecutive day on Tuesday, with Government stating it has nothing to do with it and terming it as “diplomatic misadventure of a private individual”.

Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha saw disruptions as soon as the two Houses met for the day, with opposition Congress seeking suspension of Question Hour to get government’s response over the serious matter.

Both Houses were again disrupted during the Zero Hour with Congress members expressing concern over the meeting and entering the Well raising slogans.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told Rajya Sabha that the government has nothing to do with either the visit or the meeting between Ved Pratap Vaidik and Saeed.

“It is a diplomatic misadventure of a private individual,” he said.

In Lok Sabha, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said government has nothing to do with a journalist meeting India’s one of the most wanted terrorists Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan recently.

“Allegation that the government facilitated the journalist’s meeting with Hafiz Saeed is false and baseless,” Swaraj said.

The issue led adjournment of the Rajya Sabha twice and Lok Sabha once.

Jaitley said in the Upper House that the concerns of the Leader of the Opposition are also the concerns of the entire country.

“Yesterday, I clearly said in unambiguous terms that Government of India has nothing to do with either his visit or his meeting with someone whom we regard as a terrorist,” he said.

“The person or his views has nothing to do with either the government or my party,” Jaitley said leading to uproar with slogan-shouting Congress members storming the Well.

As soon as the Lok Sabha assembled for the day, Congress members led by Mallikarjun Kharge were on their feet demanding a reply from the government on the reported meeting of the journalist with Saeed, India’s one of the most wanted terrorists who was also the mastermind of the 26/11 attack.

When Speaker Sumitra Mahajan declared that Question Hour will not be suspended, Congress members trooped into the Well shouting slogans like ‘Vaidik ko mat bachao’ (Don’t save Vaidik), ‘Home Minister jawab do’ (Home Minister give reply), ‘Hafiz ka sach batao’ (Tell us the truth on Hafiz affairs).

Amid uproar, Jammu and Kashmir People’s Democratic Party members Mehbooba Mufti and Tariq Hameed Karra too came to the Well protesting against the killing of innocent in Gaza due to the bombing by Israel.

Mahajan asked the members not to disturb Question Hour and warned the PDP members not to show placards as it was against the Parliamentary rules.

Earlier, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said government would make a statement on the issue of journalist meeting Saeed only when the Chair allowed.

The Speaker told the opposition members not to take the House for granted by staging protests during Question Hour.

“Suspension of Question Hour is not done. Question Hour is for all the members. If you do not want the Question Hour, drop it. I do not have any objection. But do not make it (disruption) a precedent,” she said.

Congress leader Kharge said they tried to raise the issue on Monday at least twice but in vain as there was no response from the government which forced them to stage protest today.

Members of Left parties too supported the PDP protest against Israel’s bombing in Gaza and stood in the aisle demanding a reply from the government.

RJD member Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav opposed the introduction of a new examination pattern by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and asked the government to intervene.

Calling it a diversionary tactics of Congress, the government on Tuesday distanced itself from the meeting between Ved Prakash Vaidik and Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed, saying the journalist was “neither authorised nor representing the government or BJP”.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu alleged that Congress was trying to divert the attention of the people and the entire episode was part of the “disinformation campaign against this government and BJP”.”I feel that the Congress party is trying to make an issue of one of the journalists meeting with Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of the terrorist attack. That’s a private affair. 

“The government has nothing to do. He has been neither authorised nor representing the government or the party. We have nothing to do with that meeting. It’s a free country, people are going to different places,” Naidu told reporters on Tuesday.

He said that the people who were now making a hue and cry over this issue had kept silent when Yasin Malik had met the same Saeed.

“Yasin Malik on an earlier occasion also met Hafiz Saeed. At that time all these people were keeping quite. Now they are trying to make a hue and cry and trying to link it with the government.

“(It is being said) Vaidik is an RSS man….Mani Shankar Aiyer is a Congressman if they could understand. Man is a man whatever organisation you belong to. How is that RSS has come into the picture, I do not understand. They are trying to divert the attention of the people,” Naidu said.

Vaidik had met the chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, said to be the parent organisation of terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba, in Lahore on 2nd July while touring Pakistan along with a group of journalists and politicians invited by a peace research institute.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday described Vaidik as a “RSS man” and questioned whether the Indian High Commission in Islamabad had facilitated the meeting between him and Saeed.

Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said although the Congress and other parties have the right to raise issues in a peaceful manner, disruption of the House cannot be the norm and objective.

“Congress and every party has a right to raise issues in a peaceful manner. But disruption cannot be the norm. And disruption cannot be the objective,” he said.

He said the moment Congress raised the matter, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley had immediately and positively responded to that.

“Jaitley responded positively that neither BJP nor the government approved of any such activity. We disapprove. We have nothing to do with. A diplomatic mis-adventure of an indivudual…you can’t hold government responsible. Therefore, he has made a very clear statement,” Javadekar said.

Charging that the Congress might have a “different agenda” for raking up the issue, the minister said even they (Congress) have to answer questions about the action taken by their government on the meeting between JKLF leader Yasin Malik and Saeed.

“Congress may have some different agenda on their mind. But they will also answer as people will ask them the question that what you (Congress) did when you were in power and when Yasin Malik and others were meeting Saeed and participating with them in a dharna or speaking for ‘Kashmir Azadi’ in Constitution Club.

“What did the then government do? We raised the issue but they did nothing…Therefore, I hope wisdom will prevail and the House will run smoothly,” Javadekar said on Tuesday.





Ukrainian military transport plane shot down

15072014

Ukrainian military transport plane has been shot down along the country’s eastern border with Russia, but all eight people on board managed to escape safely, the defence ministry has said. Ukrainian officials blamed Moscow, saying the missile was “probably fired” from Russia  but  rebels in conflict-wracked eastern Ukraine claimed responsibility for downing the Antonov-26.  Ukraine Defence Minister Valeriy Heletey said the plane was flying at an altitude of about 6,500 metres, which he said was too high to be reached with the weapons used by the separatists.

Last fortnight, the Ukraine government has halved the territory in eastern Ukraine held by pro-Russia separatists, who have been forced back into the cities of Luhansk and Donetsk.





The biggest US arms sale so far this yea

15072014

United States today  signed an agreement with Qatar to sell Apache attack helicopters and Patriot and Javelin air-defence systems valued at $11bn.

The agreement was signed at the Pentagon by US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel and Qatar’s defense minister, Hamad bin Ali al-Attiyah.

“Today’s signing ceremony underscores the strong partnership between the United States and Qatar in the area of security and defence and will help improve our bilateral cooperation across arange of military operations,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement on Monday.

The deal is reported to be the biggest US arms sale so far.Media agencies





July Issue Of The SARCist

15072014

Sarcist

To Me
Today at 10:24 AM

 

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