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West Africa Emerges top in Africa for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

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WW Color Logo_Green Blue
   |    Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Contact: Gaelle Gourmelon, ggourmelon@worldwatch.org , (+1) 202-745-8092, ext. 510

For more information: ECOWAS Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Status Report

        

West Africa Emerges as Leading Region in Africa for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

 

Although access to energy services remains severely constrained in the region, renewables and energy efficiency measures contribute to improved access

 

Washington, D.C.—     The ECOWAS Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Status Report produced collaboratively by REN21 and ECREEE with lead authorship from the Worldwatch Institute, provides a regional perspective on the renewable energy and energy efficiency market and industry development in West Africa.

Launched on November 10, 2014, the report concludes that renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies have rapidly become cost effective solutions for overcoming the diverse energy challenges facing the ECOWAS region  (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo).
“It is clear that the ECOWAS Member States acknowledge the enormous potential that renewables and energy efficiency bring to accelerating energy access and meeting the region’s energy needs,” says Christine Lins, Executive Secretary of REN21. “Through their commitment to developing renewable energy and energy efficiency across the region, ECOWAS Member States have taken a proactive role in ensuring their ability to address current energy sector challenges through the uptake of renewables, while simultaneously building a resilient system that prepares the region to effectively meet future energy needs and ensures sustainable energy access for all.”
The Executive Director of ECREEE, Mahama Kappiah, says that non-availability of reliable and up-to-date energy information in West African countries constrains opportunities for investments in the energy sector. The ECOWAS Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Status Report is therefore a “tool to make information on these activities in the ECOWAS region readily available to different stakeholders, as well as to local and global investors, developers, and project promoters by showcasing the ECOWAS region as one of the most active regions in Africa for the promotion of renewables and energy efficiency.”
“This report presents countries undergoing rapid change, including in the energy sector,” says Alexander Ochs, Director of the Worldwatch Institute’s Climate and Energy Program. “While we are witnessing important projects throughout the region, most ECOWAS countries are just starting to make use of the enormous renewable energy potentials at their doorsteps-and on their roofs, too. With national policies and regional cooperation just taking shape, the big renewable energy boom in West Africa is yet to come. An economically, socially, and environmentally prosperous Africa can only be built on the foundation of a sustainable energy system.”
The ECOWAS Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Status Report, covers recent developments and trends in the energy sector in the ECOWAS region. It uses up-to-date renewable energy data, provided by network of contributors from and around West Africa, and is targeted at policymakers, industry, investors and civil society to enable them to make informed decisions about the diffusion of renewable energy. By design, the report does not provide any analysis or forecasts.

Some Key Findings:

  • As of early 2014, the ECOWAS region had an installed capacity of 39 megawatts (MW) of grid-connected renewable electricity (excluding hydropower). The total installed renewable capacity, including hydro, was 4.8 gigawatts (GW).
  • Renewable energy technologies account for an estimated 28.8 percent of the region’s total installed capacity of grid-connected electricity.
  • Regional new investment in renewable power and fuels from six leading ECOWAS Member States (Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, and Sierra Leone) was USD 29.7 million in 2013, down significantly from the peak of USD 370 million in 2011.
  • Guinea-Bissau, Ghana, and Sierra Leone are regional leaders in the contribution of renewables to their final energy consumption-at 30.3 percent, 22.4 percent, and 19 percent, respectively, in early 2014-largely as a result of their use of modern biomass.
  • Hydropower accounted for 57 percent of total installed electricity capacity in Ghana; it also played a significant role in Guinea (34.2 percent), Togo (28.8 percent), Côte d’Ivoire (28.2 percent), and Nigeria (16.2 percent). As of early 2014, only 19 percent of the ECOWAS region’s estimated 25 GW of hydropower potential had been exploited.
  • Wind energy provided 27 MW of installed electricity capacity, with 25.5 MW of this coming from Cabo Verde’s Cabeolica wind farm, sub-Saharan Africa’s first commercial-scale public-private partnership.
  • Cabo Verde leads the ECOWAS region in installed capacity of grid-connected solar photovoltaics (PV), with 6.4 MW. Ghana has an installed capacity of 1.92 MW.
  • The region’s use of solar PV technology is limited largely to distributed and off-grid functions. Senegal leads with installed capacity of 21 MW, followed by Nigeria with 20 MW and Niger with 4 MW.
  • By the end of 2014, 13 ECOWAS Member States had adopted renewable energy support policies,with all 15 Member States having at least one policy or one target at the national level promoting renewable energy technology development.
  • As of early 2014, feed-in tariffs had been adopted by Ghana and Nigeria and were being developed in the Gambia and Senegal. Cabo Verde became the first and only country within the ECOWAS region to adopt net metering.
  • As of early 2014, the share of the population using improved biomass cook stoves was 20 percent in the Gambia, 16 percent in Senegal, 10 percent in Sierra Leone, 6 percent in Nigeria, and 2.1 percent inBurkina Faso.
  • As of early 2014eight ECOWAS Member States-Benin, Cabo Verde, The Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, and Togo-had energy-efficient lighting initiatives.
  • Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, and Nigeriahave established domestic programs for energy efficiency in the building sector.





Invitation: Book Launch | AMRITA SHER-GIL: Art and Life

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 Invitation: Book Launch | AMRITA SHER-GIL: Art and Life, A Reader | Nov. 19, Wed, 6 pm | at HICC

hicc.delhi New Delhi

To

aarti.sharma@gmail.com
BCC

me
Today at 12:52 PM





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Alliance Française de Delhi and Institut Français en Inde 

Present

        Writers, etc.

  Session 34

 

Akash Kapur

 In conversation with

Manu Joseph

 On Friday,14th November 2014, 6:30 pm

at

M.L. Bhartia Auditorium

Alliance Française de Delhi

72, Lodi Estate, New Delhi – 110003

Free Admission. Right of admission reserved.

invite writers 34.jpg





Indian Citizenship to be Minority Community nationals of Pakistan and Afghanistan

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The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh has considered the difficulties being encountered by the minority community nationals of Pakistan and Afghanistan for submitting their applications for grant of Indian Citizenship. Shri Rajnath Singh has permitted the manual acceptance of applications for grant of Indian Citizenship to such individuals who had entered India prior to 31.12.2009.

The eligible applicants, who were facing difficulty in submitting online applications, can now submit their applications offline also with their passports. However, the Long Term Visa (LTV) of the applicant should be valid at the time of submitting citizenship application at the office of the District Magistrate/Collector/Deputy Commissioner. An affidavit filed before the authority prescribed under Rule 38 of the Citizenship Rules 2009 will be considered in lieu of Renunciation Certificate.

The children of minority community, who entered India on the basis of their parents Passport, can apply without Passport for grant of Indian Citizenship after regularization of their stay in India. In the case of children of minority community born in India, they can also apply without Passport for grant of Indian Citizenship after regularization of their stay in India. These children will have to register with the Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) of the concerned district for the regularization.

Shri Rajnath Singh approved the above guidelines for the grant of Indian citizenship to the minority community nationals of Pakistan and Afghanistan by the Foreigners Division of the Ministry and hoped that the grievances of these applicants would be suitably addressed.





41.5 Percent Growth in “Tourist Visa on Arrival” (VoA): October, 2014

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As a facilitative measure to attract more foreign tourists to India, the Government launched the “Visa on Arrival” (VoA) Scheme in January 2010 for citizens of five countries, viz. Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Singapore, visiting India for tourism purposes. The Government extended this Scheme to the citizens of six more countries, namely Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Laos and Myanmar in January 2011. Recently Govt of India has extended Visa on Arrival (VoA) Scheme for South Korea for which Ministry has started receiving data w.e.f 15th April 2014. The following are the important highlights of VoAs issued during October, 2014.

(i) During the month of October 2014, a total of 2,705 VoAs were issued under this Scheme as compared to 1,911 VoAs during the month of October 2013, registering a growth of 41.5%.

(ii) During January- October 2014, a total number of 21,995 VoAs were issued as compared to 15,770 VoAs during corresponding period of 2013 registering a growth of 39.5%.

(iii) The number of VoAs issued under this scheme during October 2014 for nationals of the twelve countries were South Korea (683), the Philippines (469), Japan (423), New Zealand (373), Singapore (345), Indonesia (225), Finland (105), Myanmar (34), Vietnam (20), Luxembourg (17), Cambodia (10) and Laos (1) .

(iv) The number of VoAs issued under the Scheme, during January- October 2014 were Japan (4,373), South Korea (4,243), New Zealand (3,263), Singapore (3,027), the Philippines (2,996), Indonesia (2,450), Finland (865), Myanmar (327), Vietnam (216), Cambodia (109), Luxembourg (108) and Laos (18).

(v) During January- October 2014, the highest number of VoAs were issued at New Delhi airport (10,378) followed by Mumbai (4,218), Chennai (3,014), Bangalore (1,487), Kolkata (1,418), Kochi (712), Hyderabad (547) and Trivandrum (221).





125th Birth Anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru.

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INVITATION

Dear Sir/Madam,

You are cordially invited to cover the following event:

EVENT : Inauguration of Commemoration of 125th Birth Anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru.  Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh will be the Chief Guest.
DATE : 14th November, 2014
TIME : 11:00 A.M.
VENUE : Auditorium, Nehru Memorial Museum & Library, Teen Murti House, New Delhi





7th edition of Indian Air Force (IAF) Placement Fair 2014

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I N V I T A T I O N

IAF TO ORGANISE PLACEMENT FAIR 2014

 

Dear Sir/Madam   

  1. Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Arup Raha PVSM AVSM VM ADC will be inaugurating the 7th edition of  Indian Air Force (IAF) Placement Fair 2014 for retired IAF personnel.   You are cordially invited to cover the function as per the following details.

Date :        14 November 2014

            Function :  Placement Fair 2014

            Venue :      Air Force Auditorium, Subroto Park (Near Dhaula Kuan)

            Time :        1030 hrs

  1. You are requested to depute your correspondent/Cameraman/ Photographer to cover the event.  An IAF mini coach will leave Shastri  Bhawan (Opp Gate No. 3) at sharp 0925 hrs.  Those who intend to reach directly, are requested to reach latest by 1030 hrs.





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INVITATION

Dear Sir/Madam,

You are cordially invited to cover the following event:-

 Event  : Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh to address the concluding session of NHRC’s two-day National Seminar on Prison Reforms 
Date : November 14,  2014 (Friday)
Time : 1600 Hours
Venue : Multi-Purpose Hall, Kamla Devi Block, India International Centre, Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi – 110 003





CRPF Blood Donation Camp organized at AIIMS Trauma Center.

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INVITATION

Dear Sir/Madam,

            

You are cordially invited to cover the following event.

 Event Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare will be the chief guest at CRPF Blood Donation Camp organized at AIIMS Trauma Center.
 Date 14th November (Friday) 
 Time 10.00 am 
 Venue Trauma Center, AIIMS, New Delhi 

 





Uma Bharti to inaugurate the Pavilion of the Ministry of Resources, River Development

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INVITATION

 

Dear Sir/Madam,

You are cordially invited to cover the following event:

Event Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Sushri Uma Bharti to inaugurate the Pavilion of the Ministry of Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation in India International Trade Fair 2014
Date    November 14, 2014
Time 3.30 PM
Venue      Hall No. 7E, Pragati Maidan,  New Delhi





Guerrero’s state assembly building torched

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A protests over the apparent killing of 43 students by corrupt police and thugs from drug gangs gave rise on Wednesday, hundreds of protesters,  wearing masks, rallied in central Chilpancingo, Guerrero’s capital,in Mexico.

The demonstrators, students and teachers, set fire to the session hall in the empty state assembly building while also torching several cars outside. Firefighters extinguished the blaze.

Moments earlier, protesters torched the education department’s audit office in another part of Chilpancingo.

At least five people were injured in the clashes, local media quoted by the Associated Press news agency reported.

Anger has intensified in Mexico since Attorney General Jesus Murillo said last week that evidence suggests 43 missing trainee teachers were murdered by gangsters, incinerated in a bonfire at a garbage dump and their ashes thrown in a river.

The students were abducted by corrupt police in September, Murillo said. Media agencies





News round the world

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Virgin Galactic spaceship pilot ‘didn’t know’ co-pilot unlocked brakes

Peter Siebold, the pilot of the Virgin Galactic spaceship that tore apart over the Mojave Desert didn’t know his co-pilot had prematurely unlocked its brakes, AP reported. Protocol for the test flight required the co-pilot to announce the step, federal investigators said on Wednesday. Siebold told the National Transportation Safety Board that he was not aware co-pilot Mike Alsbury had pulled a brake-unlocking lever before the rocket designed to fly tourists to the edge of space had finished accelerating. At this point, SpaceShipTwo began to disintegrate over Southern California. It is not clear if Siebold didn’t hear Alsbury, or the co-pilot never indicated he was taking the action. The crash on October 31, about 120 miles north of downtown Los Angeles, killed Alsbury, injured Siebold and cast a shadow over the immediate future of space tourism.

Keystone XL pipeline legislation clears procedural hurdle in US Senate

A bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline cleared a procedural hurdle in the US Senate on Wednesday. A vote on the project is expected next week, Reuters said. TransCanada Corp’s pipeline that would send some 800,000 barrels per day of Canadian oil sand petroleum to refineries in Texas.

2 Warhol images of Elvis, Brando sold for $151mn

Two Andy Warhol paintings of Elvis Presley and Marlon Brando sold for more than $151 million at auction in New York, AFP said. ‘Triple Elvis’ – a 1963 silkscreen depicting three images of the King of Rock and Roll posing as a gun-slinging cowboy – sold for $81.9 million at the Christie’s sale on Wednesday. The other Warhol classic sold was ‘Four Marlons’, a giant set of four images of the legendary actor taken from his 1953 motorcycle gang classic ‘The Wild One’. However, both of auction prices were well short of the all-time record for a Warhol work set by ‘Silver Car Crash’, which fetched $105.4 million in November last year at Sotheby’s.

Private forensics expert to testify at Ferguson grand jury in Brown case

A private forensic pathologist who performed an autopsy on Michael Brown will testify before a grand jury, AP reported. Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Brown’s parents, confirmed that former New York City Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Michael Baden is scheduled to testify Thursday, but a spokesman for St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch declined comment. Brown’s parents are pleased Baden will testify, but skeptical about the process, according to Crump. They were in Geneva, where the UN Committee Against Torture is hearing testimony this week about US policies. Michael Brown was shot in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson on August 9 after Officer Darren Wilson ordered Brown, and a friend to stop walking in the street.

Medvedev has brief talks with Obama

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and US President Barack Obama had talks for several minutes after the East Asia Summit. They also had an opportunity to speak with each other on Wednesday evening at an official dinner given by summit host President Thein Sein of Myanmar, TASS reported. Medvedev told reporters that the US should take first step towards improving Russia-US relations. “To overcome current problems it is just needed to lift sanctions, shift relations in working field, come back to normal, calm and productive talks; then everything will stabilize,” Medvedev said.

Surgeon detained over deaths of 13 women after sterilization

Police have detained a doctor over mass sterilization surgeries in central India that left 13 women dead and dozens ill in hospital, AFP reported. R.K Gupta was detained for questioning late Wednesday in Chhattisgarh state. In five hours, the doctor operated on 83 women who were paid $26 under a government-run sterilization scheme to reduce population growth. The doctor, who says he has conducted more than 50,000 such operations, blamed adulterated medicines for the tragedy. India is the world’s top sterilizer of women, and efforts to rein in population growth have been described as draconian, Reuters said. Birth rates fell in recent decades, but population growth is among the world’s fastest.

Probe into downing of Malaysia Airlines MH17 Flight

The international investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 has been extended by nine months. Under a deal struck between Australia, the Netherlands, Ukraine and other states, investigators will now have until August 2015, AAP reported.“Australia continues to encourage the international community to remain focused on finding, prosecuting and punishing the perpetrators of this cowardly attack,” Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan said in a statement on Thursday.

8 missing after attack on Egypt naval vessel in Mediterranean

An Egyptian Navy vessel came under “terrorist” attack in the Mediterranean Sea on Wednesday, AFP reported. Five servicemen were injured and eight others are missing at sea, according to the military. Four boats used by the assailants were destroyed and 32 of the suspected militants were reportedly arrested. MENA news agency said that a naval vessel had been set alight in an exchange of fire with assailants about 70km from Egypt’s shore off the coast of the Damietta province in the northeast.

Japan’s PM appears to opt for early elections

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seems to have opted for early election, a senior official within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party told the media, Jiji news agency reported. “It looks like Shinzo Abe has finally made up his mind and it’s fair to consider that he decided to go to the people,” Tadamori Oshima asid, according to a former deputy chief of the party. The announcement comes amid increased rumors around the possibility of early elections. Sankei newspaper revealed reports on Wednesday that Abe was considering calling a general election for December and postponing tax increases.

Ebola death toll surpasses 5,000

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has now claimed 5,147 lives, the World Health Organization announced on Wednesday. According to its latest statistics, more than 400 new infections were reported in Sierra Leone during the week leading up to November 9, but the outlook in Guinea and Liberia is a little more hopeful.“There is some evidence that case incidence is no longer increasing nationally in Guinea and Liberia, but steep increases persist in Sierra Leone,” the WHO said in a statement. “Cases and deaths continue to be under-reported in this outbreak.”

French defense minister says Mistral to be handed over to Russia, date unknown

The Mistral helicopter carrier will be handed over to Russia soon, but the exact delivery date is unknown, TASS quoted French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian as saying on Wednesday. “The contract is being implemented, but the exact date of delivery has not yet been set,” the French minister told the National Assembly. Earlier reports indicated the French Defense Ministry was set to implement all contract obligations with Russia on the delivery of its Mistral-type helicopter carriers. Under the €1.12 billion contract, Russia was to receive the first of the two warships, the Vladivostok, in October. The second ship, the Sevastopol, is expected to be handed over next year.

EU disburses €260mn in loans to Ukraine

The EU has given €260 million ($333 million) in loans to Ukraine as part of a €1.61-billion aid package. EU Economy Commissioner Pierre Moscovici was quoted by dpa as saying that the money is aimed at helping Ukraine with its urgent financial needs, as well as economic reforms. The EU also increased humanitarian assistance for Ukraine by €7.8 million, to a total of €32 million, to help “the population affected by the conflict,” EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said.

Azerbaijan says Armenian military helicopter downed in Nagorny-Karabakh

Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry says its forces have shot down an Armenian military helicopter in Nagorny-Karabakh. The helicopter was shot down Wednesday afternoon after it “tried to attack Azerbaijani positions,” AP reported, citing the statement. A Nagorny-Karabakh representative said the helicopter belonged to its armed forces, adding that it had been on “a training flight.” The fate of the pilots in the Russian-made Mi-24 helicopter was not immediately known.

Pope Francis tells G20 leaders not to forget poor

Pope Francis has called on G20 leaders who gather in Brisbane this weekend not to forget the poor. World powers “must not forget that many lives are at stake behind these political and technical discussions,” the pontiff wrote in a letter to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who holds the G20’s rotating presidency. The pope cited such problems as malnutrition, a rise in the number of the unemployed, a high percentage of young people without work and an increase in social exclusion. He also expressed hope that the talks would mark a step towards “eliminating the root causes of terrorism, which has reached proportions hitherto unimaginable.”

9 suspected ISIS supporters arrested in Germany after raids

German police have arrested nine men suspected of supporting militant groups in Syria, Reuters said. Numerous properties were also raided in one of the largest sweeps against alleged Islamists in Germany yet, prosecutors said on Wednesday. More than 240 police officers took part in the operation in the most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia. A network was targeted which is believed to help radical organizations, including the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

Spain PM Rajoy declares Catalan breakaway vote ‘failure’

Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has described the Catalonia region’s symbolic voteon independence a failure, AFP reported. “We have witnessed a deep failure for the independence movement,” Rajoy said Wednesday, adding that constitutional reform was“the only legal and responsible course.” However, the premier said he was open to reforms to answer Catalan demands.

Suicide bombings, car bombs kill 23 in Iraq

Suicide bombings and car bombs killed 23 people in Iraq on Wednesday, Reuters reported. A car bomb, followed by a suicide bombing, killed 11 people at a police building in al-Nisour Square in Baghdad, and 21 people were wounded. In Diyala province north of Baghdad, Army Colonel Faisal al-Zuhairi and five of his men were killed by a suicide bomber. Another suicide bomber in an explosives-laden car attacked an army checkpoint in the town of Yusifiya, 15km south of Baghdad, killing six people and wounding 20, according to police.

Russian cosmonauts could visit Chinese space station in future – official

Russian cosmonauts could visit Chinese space station Tiangong-1 in the future, RIA Novosti quoted Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) chief Oleg Ostapenko as saying on Wednesday. Their Chinese colleagues could, in their turn, visit the International Space Station (ISS), he added. Setting up such an exchange program has not been ruled out, and both sides have expressed interest, according to Ostapenko.

Kiev redeploying troops in E.Ukraine – defense minister

Ukrainian armed forces are redeploying troops in eastern Ukraine, RIA Novosti quoted the country’s defense minister, Stepan Poltorak, as saying on Wednesday. The task is to be ready “for combat activities,” he said. The redeployment is being conducted in the area of Ukraine’s special operation in Donbass. Earlier reports said OSCE monitors had seen a military convoy on the outskirts of Donetsk.

2 new Ebola deaths in Mali capital

Mali has two new Ebola deaths that are not connected to the first case in this West African country, AP said, citing an official. A sick imam has died from Ebola in the capital, Bamako, and a nurse who treated him has also died, officials said on Wednesday. Tests have confirmed the patient and nurse at Clinique Pasteur both had Ebola. The first case reported in Mali last month was a 2-year-old girl who contracted the virus in neighboring Guinea and later died.

Iran confirms centrifuge tests, says atom deal not violated

Iran has confirmed it tested a new centrifuge that could speed up its enrichment of uranium, Reuters reported. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said such tests were conducted before the Geneva agreement between Iran and the world powers, and these have continued after the deal was reached. The US said on Monday that Tehran had ceased the activity. Iran dismisses suggestions the move may have violated last year’s nuclear deal with world powers. The IR-5 was simply an ordinary piece of kit belonging to Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, IRNA quoted Afkham as saying.

French lawmakers to vote Nov. 28 on recognizing Palestine

French lawmakers will hold a vote on November 28 about whether to recognize the Palestinian state, AFP reported on Wednesday. Left-wing MPs were reported earlier to be preparing a motion calling on the government to grant recognition. The Swedish government was the first in the EU to officially recognize Palestine.

Israel border policeman arrested for fatal shooting of Palestinian

Following a probe by a Justice Ministry department, Israeli authorities have arrested a border policeman on suspicion of firing live bullets which killed a young Palestinian during a West Bank demonstration, AFP reported. Nadeem Nuwarah, 17, was killed on May 15 during a day of clashes in Beitunia, southwest of Ramallah, between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters. He died after being hit in the chest by a live bullet, according to an Israeli human rights group. At the time, Israel denied live bullets were used. The suspect, whose identity has not been revealed, denies firing live bullets, lawyer Benny Katz told army radio.

US-led strikes kill 865 people, 50 civilians in Syria – report

Airstrikes by US-led forces in Syria have killed 865 people, including 50 civilians, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Wednesday. The majority of the deaths, 746, were Islamic State fighters, the group said, adding that the actual figure could be much higher. Eight of the civilians were children and five were women, Reuters said, citing the report. The airstrikes, which started on September 23, also killed 68 members of Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front, according to the Observatory.

Yemen bomb attack kills ‘dozens,’ 6 Al-Qaeda militants killed in drone strike

A bomb attack on a gathering of Shiite Huthi fighters in central Yemen killed “dozens of people” on Wednesday, according to military and tribal sources. The blast targeted the residence of a local tribal chief in the central town of Rada, AFP said. It was being used as a camp by the Shiite militia, who have overrun the Yemeni capital and other parts of the country. No group has claimed the attack. Meanwhile, six suspected Al-Qaeda militants were killed in a drone strike in South Yemen, Anadolu reported, citing an official.

Hong Kong protesters threaten to occupy roads to UK consulate

Hong Kong students plan to occupy roads surrounding the city’s British consulate, AFP reported. The move reflects protesters’ anger at a “lack of support” from the UK. The organizers condemn Britain for not standing up to China over “breaches” of the agreement made before Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997. Meanwhile, the city’s authorities have urged protesters to leave the main rally sites after more than six weeks of demonstrations. Police will back up bailiffs in clearing barricades, and the operation could start in the next few days.

US drone kills 6 militants in NW Pakistan

A suspected US drone strike on a Taliban hideout, in a northwestern tribal region bordering Afghanistan, has killed six militants, according to Pakistani intelligence officials. Four missiles struck the compound in the town of Datta Khel in the North Waziristan tribal region on Tuesday, AP reported. North Waziristan had been considered to be a strong base for local and foreign militants. On June 15, Pakistan’s army launched a major operation there and now the military says more than 80 percent of the region has been cleared.

Republic of Transdniester ‘ready for independence referendum’ under intl supervision

Moldova’s breakaway Republic of Transdniester is ready to hold a referendum under international scrutiny on independence, provided that the results are recognized, President Yevgeny Shevchuk said. He believes such a decision would be the simplest way to settle relations with Moldova. The republic’s authorities have always proposed that this referendum should be held if international organizations were prepared to recognize it, he said.

Merkel says new economic sanctions on Russia not planned

There are no plans at present for further economic sanctions on Russia over Ukraine, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday. She said, however, that she was unhappy that “large parts of the Minsk agreement are not being implemented,” Reuters said. The chancellor reiterated her intention to have EU travel bans extended to newly-elected officials in self-proclaimed republics in eastern Ukraine.

UN: 13.6mn displaced in Iraq, Syria

About 13.6 million people have been displaced by wars in Syria and Iraq, according to the UN refugee agency. Some 7.2 million displaced are within Syria. Many of those people remain without food or shelter as winter starts, the UNHCR said on Tuesday. “Now when we talk about a million people displaced over two months, or 500,000 overnight, the world is just not responding,” Reuters quoted Amin Awad, UNHCR’s director for the Middle East and North Africa, as saying. The UNHCR is short of $58.5 million in donations to prepare 990,000 people for winter. The required funds would cover basic supplies such as plastic sheeting and warm clothing.

Pilot ejects as Belarusian MiG-29 military jet crashes

A Belarusian military aircraft crashed in Brest Region on Tuesday, BelTA reported, citing the country’s Defense Ministry. “As a result of an emergency” a MiG-29 aircraft crashed during a scheduled flight at about 10:30 GMT, the pilot managed to eject, a source in the ministry said. The pilot has been found and is said to be in good health. No casualties or damage were reported.

 Ministry for Yoga, Traditional Medicine

India has set up a ministry to promote alternative therapies such as yoga and traditional ayurveda medicine, Media reported. “This is our system and it has not received enough prominence. We will take it to the masses,”Shripad Naik, who took charge of the ministry, said on Tuesday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has repeatedly called for greater use of India’s health remedies and exercises.

Abbas accuses Hamas of attempts to ‘destroy Palestinian unity’

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday accused the Hamas movement of trying “to destroy” efforts to broker national unity, citing a series of bomb blasts in Gaza last week. Speaking in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Abbas said Hamas was behind the attacks targeting leaders of his Fatah movement in Gaza, AFP reported. The rival faction was trying “to sabotage and destroy the Palestinian national project,” according to the Palestinian leader.

PM Abe says Japan, China ‘need each other’

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pressed ahead with tentative efforts on Tuesday to allay the deep hostility behind Japan and China. “We need each other. We are in a way inseparably bound with each other,” AFP quoted Abe as saying in Beijing after an Asia-Pacific summit. The two states “both have responsibility for peace and prosperity of the region and of the world,” the premier added. The countries’ relations are at their lowest in decades over competing claims to Japanese-controlled islands in the East China Sea. On Monday, Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Abe in Beijing on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.

Iraqi army drives out IS militants from refinery town of Beiji

Iraqi soldiers battling the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) have recaptured Beiji town center, 155 miles north of Baghdad, AP said. The top army commander in Beiji, General Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi, was quoted by state television as saying that troops had recaptured the city’s local government and police headquarters. The town is home to the country’s largest oil refinery. Retaking Beiji could allow Iraqi forces to use it as a base to attack neighboring Tikrit, which was taken by the extremists this summer. It’s also a morale boost for Iraq’s security forces.

S. Korea prosecutors to appeal court rulings on 15 ferry crew

South Korean prosecutors said on Tuesday they would appeal against court rulings on the 15 crewmembers of a capsized ferry. Earlier on Tuesday, they were given prison terms ranging from five to 36 years, Reuters said. The captain of the ferry, which sank killing about 300 people, mostly children, was acquitted of homicide. However, he was found guilty of negligence and sentenced to 36 years in jail. Prosecutors had sought the death penalty for the captain.

Scientists say anti-typhoid gene found

Scientists claim they have found a gene variant that may provide better protection against typhoid fever, AFP reported. The discovery came from screening the genomes of hundreds of infected people and healthy controls in Vietnam and Nepal. Hopes arise that it will aid the development of better vaccines for typhoid and other bacterial diseases.“We found that carrying a particular form of the HLA-DRB1 gene provides natural resistance against typhoid fever,” study co-author Sarah Dunstan of the University of Melbourne said in a statement in Nature Genetics.

Dutch experts on site of MH17 crash ‘initiate debris delivery delay’

Dutch experts on Tuesday arrived at the site of a Malaysian Airlines passenger jet which crashed near the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk in July, RIA Novosti said. The specialists from the Netherlands “initiated an indefinite delay in the delivery of debris,”TASS reported, citing the Information Ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR). The Netherlands does not accept the wording of a protocol prepared with the participation of representatives of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the DNR, according to a source at the Donetsk Ministry of Emergency Situations.

New monitoring team established in Australia for asylum camps after abuse claims

Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison is establishing a new monitoring team for centers holding asylum-seekers, after a series of abuse allegations, AFP said. Asylum-seekers face mandatory detention on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island and the small state of Nauru as Australia wants to stop would-be refugees from risking their lives on people-smuggling boats. The team will recommend “action to deal with credible allegations of misconduct should they arise,” the minister said Tuesday.

Beijing’s air quality ‘top priority’ for Xi Jinping during APEC meeting

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said Beijing’s air quality readings have been at the top of his agenda in the last few days. The city was desperate to keep smog under control during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit. Xi said he wanted all the guests to “feel more comfortable.” To avoid a spike in smog levels Beijing imposed the most stringent controls on traffic and industry since the 2008 Olympic Games, Reuters said. A large number of industrial facilities within a 200km radius of the capital were shut down completely.

Captain of S. Korean ferry jailed for 36 years

The captain of the South Korean ferry that sank in April was jailed for 36 years Tuesday. Lee Jun-seok, 69, was also acquitted of murdering more than 300 people who died in the disaster. Prosecutors had demanded the death penalty, but a three-judge court said they failed to prove the captain had acted with an intention to kill. He was convicted of gross negligence and dereliction of duty, including abandoning his vessel while hundreds of schoolchildren and other passengers remained trapped on board. Three other senior crew members were sentenced to jail terms of between 15 and 30 years.

​56 people, incl women & children, killed in Pakistan bus collision

At least 56 people, 17 women and 18 children among them, were killed on Tuesday, as a passenger bus collided with a truck in southern Pakistan, officials said. “The Karachi-bound passenger bus, which was coming from northwestern city of Swat went on the wrong side of the road and collided head-on with a goods container, killing 56 people,”senior local police official Nasir Aftab told AFP. The accident happened 450 kilometers north of Karachi, near the city of Khairpur.

Putin, Obama talk after first APEC session

Russian President Vladimir Putin has talked with US President Barack Obama after the first APEC session in Beijing on Monday, TASS reported. After the session was complete, all the leaders made their way to the photo shoot, while Putin and Obama stayed behind, approaching the group only a few minutes later. During that time, both leaders talked.“Putin and Obama are continuing to talk on the sidelines of the forum,” Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday. Earlier in the day, Putin met with Obama at the APEC summit, the Kremlin has confirmed. But, the encounter between the two leaders was hardly more than a mere greeting and small talk. Peskov said the two said hello and had a brief talk at the welcoming ceremony.

Media agencies

 





Indirect Tax Revenue rises 5.6% during Apr-Oct 2014-15

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Indirect tax revenue collections have increased from Rs 2,69,909 crore in April-Oct 2013-14 to Rs. 2,85,126 crore during April-Oct 2014-15 registering an increase of 5.6%. It is an achievement of 45.7% of the Budget Estimates for 2014-15. Service Tax collections have also increased from Rs. 81,758 crore in April-Oct 2013-14 to Rs. 90,673 crore during April-Oct 2014-15 registering an increase of about 11%. Collections from Customs have increased from about Rs.98,707 crore during April-Oct 2013-14 to Rs.1,06,123 crore during April-Oct 2014-15 registering an increase of 7.5%. It is an achievement of 52.6% of the Budget Estimates for 2014-15

 

 Indirect Tax Revenue Collections                                                                                                   (Rs. in crores)

Tax Head B.E. 2014-15 For the month Oct % Growth For the periodApril – Oct % Growth % of BE achieved
2013-14 2014-15 2013-14 2014-15
Customs 201819 14064 16800 19.5 98707 106123 7.5 52.6
Central Excise* 205452 13974 14169  1.4 89444 88330 (-) 1.2 43.0
Service Tax 215973 13252 13415 1.2 81758 90673 10.9 42.0
Total 623244 41290 44384  7.5 269909 285126 5.6 45.7

Source: Ministry of Finance, Government of India

Note: *Exclusive of cess administered by other departments. BE: Budget Estimates





UNICEF: Steep drop in childhood pneumonia deaths in last decade,

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Steep drop in childhood pneumonia deaths in last decade,

but much further to go UNICEF

NEW DELHI, 12 November 2014 榮bsp;Significant declines in child deaths from pneumonia prove that strategies to defeat the disease are working, UNICEF said on the fifth World Pneumonia Day. But much more is needed to stop hundreds of thousands of children from succumbing to this preventable illness each year.

Pneumonia is still among the leading killers of children globally accounting for 15 per cent of deaths, or approximately 940,000 children per year but deaths from the disease have declined by 44 per cent since 2000, according to figures released recently by UNICEF[1].

India accounts for the highest number of under-five deaths in the world, with 1.34 million children dying every year[2]. Pneumonia contributes to 23% of total under five deaths in India. Each year there are 35 million episodes of pneumonia, of which approximately 388,100 result in child deaths[3].

㐮eumonia is still a very dangerous disease it kills more children under five than HIV/AIDS, malaria, injuries and measles combined and though the numbers are declining, with nearly 1 million deaths a year, there is no room for complacency,䠳aid Dr. Mickey Chopra, head of UNICEFⳠglobal health programmes. 㐯verty is the biggest risk factor, and that means our efforts need to reach every child, no matter how marginalized.䠼/span>

Deaths from pneumonia are highest in poor rural communities. Household air pollution is a major cause of pneumonia, so children from households which rely on biomass fuels such as kerosene, wood, dung or charcoal for cooking or heating, are at high risk.

Overcrowded homes also contribute to higher pneumonia levels. In addition poor children are less likely to be immunized against measles and whooping cough, which are also among major causes of the disease.

Early diagnosis and treatment of pneumonia, and access to health care, will save lives, thus strategies must target low income communities.

The increased use of vaccines against pneumonia, particularly in low income countries has led to progress against the disease, but inequities exist even in countries with wide coverage.

レosing the treatment gap between the poor and the better off is crucial to bringing down preventable deaths from pneumonia,䠄r Chopra said. 㔨e more we focus on the causes and the known solutions, the faster we will bring this childhood scourge under control.伯span>

UNICEFⳠSupply Division has today put out a call to innovators for new, improved and more easily affordable respiratory rate timers to aid in the timely recognition and management of pneumonia.

In India, low cost interventions to avert these deaths are available but often fail to reach those who need them the most. The Government of India has recently launched an Integrated Action Plan for Pneumonia and Diarrhea (IAPPD). The plan is being targeted in four states which account for more than half of under-five deaths. (UP, Bihar, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh). The strategy involves several sectors and is based on an integrated approach of protection, prevention and treatment

The IAPPD is in line with the Global Action Plan for Pneumonia and Diarrhea. Scaling up of simple measures such as early and exclusive breastfeeding; handwashing with soap; vaccination; and provision of micronutrients will reduce the incidence of pneumonia. In addition, prompt diagnosis, referral and access to appropriate treatment are vital for preventing child deaths due to pneumonia.

###

 

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do.  Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org.

 

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

 

For further information please contact:

Caroline Den Dulk, Chief of Communication, UNICEF India,   Tel: +91-995 8176291, Email: cdendulk@unicef.org

Geetanjali Master, Communication Specialist, UNICEF India, Tel: 91-981 810 5861, E-mail: gmaster@unicef.org

Sonia Sarkar, Communication Officer- Media, UNICEF India, Tel: +91-981 017 0289, E-mail: ssarkar@unicef.org





Stop playing with lives of women!

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NAPM calls for stringent action in incident of death of women at Government run Sterilisation camp in Chhatisgarh

                                              

Ensure gender just and human rights approach to family planning!

 

12th Nov, 2014, New Delhi: The tragic incident of death of 13 women, with more than 20 women presently in critical condition, at the Government Sterilization ‘camp’ in Kanan Penderi village of Bilaspur district of Chhatisgarh is yet another instance of serious violations of medical guidelines and brutal repression of reproductive rights and health of women in India. It is a painful reminder of not just the inadequacies of our public health system  but more importantly a reminder of the wrong focus of health programmes in India, which should focus on health of women, not just on sterilisation. In a state like Chhatisgarh, which has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality, the state government organizes such camps regularly with the motive to control population while turning a complete blind eye to other more important health care needs of women. Furthermore, the incident exposes how human lives are being risked in these botched, ill-equipped and target driven camps. Shockingly, at this camp, 83 women underwent laparoscopic tubectomies with only one instrument in less than 5 hours i.e. less than 4 minutes per operation, completely flouting the central government’s guideline (Standard Operating Protocols for sterilisation camps), of not conducting more than 10 tubectomies with a single instrument, and not more than 30 by a single doctor, in a day. This clearly points out that the operations were performed in a rush and without adequate equipment, thereby blatantly ignoring important hygienic considerations.

 

While organizing free public health camps is a welcomed strategy to counter the increasing commercialization and privatization of health delivery systems, the general trend to have one-day camps with unsaid high targets to do as many operations as possible within a single day is clearly a flawed strategy. Furthermore, the fact that there are monetary incentives for the doctors and the health workers as per the number of operations they conduct add to the problem of rushing and undermining of ethical and medical procedures.

 

India’s Family planning programme, in recent decades, has been targeting only women and almost negligible number of vasectomies are being performed on men, which in fact is a far safer method with zero side effects and post-surgery recovery period unlike tubectomy or hysterectomy for women which has post-surgery hormonal disturbances and health implications. Furthermore, targeting with monetary incentives to women is problematic as it also suggests coercion especially when the women are from poor and marginalized communities.

 

National Alliance of People’s Movements expresses its outrage and strongly condemns the medical negligence and failure of the government to ensure safe health care to women. We demand an immediate and independent inquiry into the incident by a team comprising of women’s organisations and civil society networks working on health issues and its report be made public. We demand that stringent punishment be given, including disqualification of medical practitioners involved. A broader investigating body must be set up to look at the phenomenon of sterilizations of women on the national scale so that this once incident doesn’;t get cast as a one off incident. The Government must ensure that medical, procedural and ethical guidelines are strictly followed in every government run hospital and health camps. We strongly demand that the focus must shift to expansion and availability of non-surgical contraception to women and enhancing their contraceptive choices, along with programmes to women’s empowerment and counseling around medical needs and reproductive choices.

 

Medha Patkar – Narmada Bachao Andolan and the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM); Prafulla Samantara – Lok Shakti Abhiyan & Lingraj Azad– Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti, NAPM, Odisha; Dr. Sunilam, Aradhna Bhargava – Kisan Sangharsh Samiti & Meera – Narmada Bachao Andolan, NAPM, MP; Suniti SR, Suhas Kolhekar, Prasad Bagwe – NAPM, Maharashtra; Gabriel Dietrich, Geetha Ramakrishnan – Unorganised Sector Workers Federation, NAPM, TN; C R Neelakandan – NAPM Kerala; P Chennaiah & Ramakrishnan Raju – NAPM Andhra Pradesh, Arundhati Dhuru, Richa Singh – NAPM, UP; Sister Celia – Domestic Workers Union & Rukmini V P, Garment Labour Union, NAPM, Karnataka; Vimal Bhai – Matu Jan sangathan & Jabar Singh, NAPM, Uttarakhand; Anand Mazgaonkar, Krishnakant – Paryavaran Suraksh Samiti, NAPM Gujarat; Kamayani Swami, Ashish Ranjan – Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan & Mahendra Yadav – Kosi Navnirman Manch, NAPM Bihar; Faisal Khan, Khudai Khidmatgar, NAPM Haryana; Kailash Meena, NAPM Rajasthan; Amitava Mitra & Sujato Bhadra, NAPM West Bengal; B S Rawat – Jan Sangharsh Vahini & Rajendra Ravi, Madhuresh Kumar and Kanika Sharma – NAPM, Delhi





Massive protest by AMU girls

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Massive protest by AMU girls against negative portrayal of AMU in media

Aligarh, 12 Nov 2014:’Daughters are not against their father’ and ‘Media dont pollute AMU’ were the slogans  of the girls who were protesting against their negative image in media as well as the image of Aligarh Muslim University.

The AMU Students girls as well as the boys  were  shocked and angered by intense negative portrayal of Aligarh Muslim University in certain sections of the media and the came on road to protest their feelings. For them the  anti-women depiction of the historical campus of AMU is not only factually wrong but also an unnecessary sensationalization of a simple administrative issue into an issue of gender bias.

http://muslimmirror.com/eng/massive-protest-by-amu-girls-against-negative-portrayal-of-amu-in-media/





Mohit shines as Hansraj College beat Hindu College

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New Delhi, 12th November 2014: Mohit scored 44 points to guide Hansraj College to a convincing victory over Hindu College  84-64 on day 7 of the Indian College Basketball League organized by Basketball Federation of India (BFI) in collaboration with IMG Reliance (IMG R) at the SGTB Khalsa College. Satyajit top scored for Hindu college with 23 points.

In another high scoring game, hosts SGTB Khalsa defeated Zakir Hussain College 80-64. Naveen scored 25 points for the victors. Sri Venketeswara College got the better of Motilal College 46-32 while Kirori Mal College got a walkover  as Aryabhatta College didn’t turn up.

Premier Results:

Venue: SGTB Khalsa College

  • Kirori Mal College walkover Aryabhatta College
  • Motilal College (Satish 11) lost to Sri Venketeswara College (Nirmal 15) 32-46;
  • Hindu College(Satyajit 23) lost to Hansraj College(Mohit 44) 64-84;
  • SGTB Khalsa(Naveen 25)  beat Zakir Hussain College(Bhavya 31) 80-66.





AAP press release on Maharashtra trust vote

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From: Media Cell AAP <mediacellaap@gmail.com> Wed, 12 Nov ’14 7:29p

To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Show full Headers

Press Release

Aam Aadmi Party strongly condemns the highly immoral manner in which the BJP Govt in Maharashtra proved  it’s majority on the floor of the Vidhan Sabha.This is a gross violation of the first principle of parliamentary democracy .A vote of confidence involves the unambiguous recording of division of votes in order to secure the trust of the people of the state.Bynot doing so,the BJP in connivance with the speaker of the house has made great travesty of democracy.The people need to be convinced beyond doubt that their Govt is in absolute majority.The electorate has a right to know whether their elected representative has voted for or against the Govt and a division of votes is necessary for the same.

It must be noted that as per parliamentary procedure,the Speaker has no choice but to concede to a division of votes should it be sought even by a single legislator and can only be waived by absolute unanimous consensus of all legislators of the house.The Speaker is constitutionally mandated to be neutral but by taking sides,the newly elected Speaker-Haribhau Bhagde has shown utter disregard for the Constitution of India.Moreover,in the pandemonium of a voice vote with 140 odd people on both sides,it is impossible to precisely ascertain which side has clear majority and hence the Speaker’s decision to go with a voice vote and not concede to demands of a Vote Division is shocking.

PM Modi had himself referred to the ‘NCP’ as the ‘Naturally Corrupt Party’ while campaigning in Maharashtra and CM Devendra Fadnavis had categorically stated that there is no question of a partnership with the NCP.Despite such vociferous declarations,today’s act of forming a Govt with the tacit support of the NCP is the epitome of political hypocrisy.

The AAP has in the past exposed the unholy nexus between top BJP and NCP Leaders who have been benefeciaries of the humongous irrigation scam.Today’s events have only strengthened the beliefand perception that BJP’s Anti-Corruption Stand is mere lip service and grossly insincere.This has set a dangerous precedent for our democracy and the BJP has further lowered the standard of politics in this country.

Regards.

AAP Media Cell

 





AAP Press Conf today at 4 pm (Marathi Patrakar Sangh) by Mayank Gandhi,

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 PRESS INVITE – AAP Press Conf today at 4 pm (Marathi Patrakar Sangh) by Mayank Gandhi, Nandu Madhav on issue of Maharashtra Assembly trust vote
From: AAPMaharashtra News <News@AAPMaharashtra.org> Thu, 13 Nov ’14 11:42a
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Show full Headers
13th November, 2014

PRESS INVITE
We kindly invite you to cover a Press Conference by AAP National Exec member Mayank Gandhi and State Exec member Nandu Madhav on the issue of the highly immoral and illegal manner in which the BJP’;s Devendra Phadnavis government proved its majority on the floor of the House.
Date: 13th November, 2014
Venue: Marathi Patrakar Sangh
Time: 4.00 pm 
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