The Boston marathon tragedy 3 dead, 144 wounded







Boston marathon tragedy

boston-marathon-tragedyMonday, 15th of April 2013 was a tragic day for the people of Boston. Two bombs exploded near the finishing line of the Boston marathon which is conducted on the third Monday of April every year. According to the reports, three people have lost their lives and there are around 130 people known to be injured. Many of the people injured include children and out of the three who lost their lives, there is also an eight year old boy. After the first two explosions, a third explosion was also reported. The marathon runners had not completed the race when the event occurred. One of the explosions was near the Copley hotel which remains closed.

The investigation is by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and says it is a terror attack.  According to the police commissioner of Boston, there are no suspects. FBI is to overlook to the criminal investigation of the attacks.

US president barrack Obama said in a determined tone that they will find out who did this and also requested to the Americans not to jump to a conclusion. He also offered condolences and prayers and said that whoever was responsible for this would suffer the full weight of justice. He also said that he had spoken to the FBI director secretary of homeland security and also to the Massachusetts governor.

A US intelligence officer also said that police had found two more unexploded devices. As of now high security is provided in New York and Washington.  Yellow tape was used by the police to stop the pedestrians from getting into the white house. Only credentialed pass holders were allowed to get inside and leave the place. The speaker of the House of Representatives Mr John Boehner in order to pay respect to the victims, flags would fly on federal government buildings and hall staff over Capitol Hill.

Mostly the patients were admitted in Massachusetts general hospital where some patients were said to be critical.  Around 20 patients mostly with leg injury were admitted in the Boston medical centre.

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Sitar maestro passes away: nation mourns







Pandit Ravi Shankar passed Away – Nation mourns

Pandit Ravi ShankarIndia’s most loved and best known musicians, Sitar maestro Ravi Shankar is no more. He was admitted to the Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, San Diego last Thursday after complaining of breathing difficulties, best known contemporary Indian musician, breathed his last at 4.30 p.m. Pacific Time Tuesday.

He is survived by his wife Sukanya Rajan and daughters Anoushka and Norah Jones. Dubbed the godfather of world music by George Harrison of the Beatles, Ravi Shankar was born in Varanasi, from where he started his awesome journey, fulfilling souls with his charismatic guitar skills. His last concert was particularly poignant.  Anoushka and he played together in perfect unison.  Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Wednesday described his death as the passing away of an era. Many celebrities and fans tweeted the mournful death. Somebody who had dedicated his whole life to his guitar and entertaining troubled souls by his music, which was soothing, and never-again-to-be-heard kinds, the Bharat Ratna and Grammy winner’s death has shocked everybody. May his soul rest in peace.

Shalini Singh,
Gujarat National Law University,
Gandhinagar, Gujarat

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4 days later, Madiba still in hospital







Nelson MandelaPresident of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 and 1993 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Nelson Mandela, 94 had been admitted in hospital. His health has been waning and so is his “sparkle” trademark, said Mandela’s wife, Graca Machel. She didn’t give any details but said that age was doing its black magic.

“I think he takes it in his strides, he has come to accept that it’s part of growing old, and its part of humanity as such. At some point you will dependent on someone else, he has come to embrace it,” said Mandela’s grand-daughter Ndileka.

Defense Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula had visited Mandela on Monday and said the revered statesman was “doing very, very well”. The presidency didn’t give any statement as it was too early for an update.

On July 2001 Mandela was diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer. Mandela renounced from public life in 2004. In January 2011, frail and weak Mandela was admitted to the private Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg due to a respiratory infection.

Shalini Singh,
Gujarat National Law University,
Gandhinagar, Gujarat

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Jenni Rivera believed to be killed in a plane crash







Jenni RiveraMexican-American music superstar Jenni Rivera might have been killed in a fateful air crash earlier this day. The US-registered Learjet 25 was supposed to be carrying 6 passengers including Rivera, who was a Mexican American, 43 year old singer who had sold out a staggering 15 million records. Fans have already started mourning her death and praying for her. “My  friend! Why? There is no consolation. God help me!” said Mexican songstress Paulina Rubio on her official Twitter account. According to authorities, nobody has been touted to survive the crash so powerful that remains were scattered over 250 to 300 metres.

Born and raised in Long Beach, California, the singer was famous for Mexican regional style known as grupero music. Reports say that thousands of fans in Monterrey have attended a concert given by Jenni Rivera on Saturday.  After that concert Rivera gave a press conference at night.

She was quoted to say, “I can’t get caught up in the negative because that destroys you. Perhaps trying to move away from my problems and focus on the positive is the best I can do. I am a woman like any other and ugly things happen to me like any other woman”.

A proud Latina woman who had many years to live for and to rejoice is believed to be dead. Her brother will fly down to Mexico to identify the remains, according to Rivera’s mourning father.

Celebrities to die in airplane crashes includes: Randy Rhoads on March 19, 1982, Otis Redding on December 10th, 1967, R&B vocalist and actress,  Aaliyah  died on August 25, 2001,  while on August 27, 1990, Blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan was killed in a helicopter crash. And so many others.

Shalini Singh,
Gujarat National Law University,
Gandhinagar, Gujarat

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Malala sent to Britain for medical treatment







Malala sent to Britan for medical treatment

Malala YousafzaiWhen Malala Yousafzai, a 14 year old social activist hailing from Pakistan raised her voice against girls not getting education and about the increasing rate of terrorism in the country, she was shot in her head by one of the terrorist group, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on her way back from school and was seriously injured. Following which she was admitted in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology. Doctors stated that she requires prolonged medical treatment and an improvement is seen in her health condition. On hearing about the same, the HTTP said that if Malaria is found alive even after the medical treatment, they would kill her. Three men in connection with TTP have been arrested till date for investigation and hundred others for further questioning. However on prior advice of the Doctors and consent of her parents, Malala has been sent to Britain to get further treatment as it was stated that she requires prolonged medical treatment if she needs to be brought back to life again. The military stated that the Government is up for bearing all the expenses that comes in the way as medical expenditure for Malala. The latest news however reports that, Malala is in a stable condition and has been taken off the ventilator.

APARNA D. SHENOY
School of Law Christ University,
Bangalore

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Protocol breach by the Chinese Defence Minister







Liang GuanglieChinese Defense Minister General Liang Guanglie on Monday, September 3rd, committed a serious breach of protocol by handing over Rs. 50,000/- to two officials of the Indian Air Force. The minister had come down to India to attend delegation level talks in Delhi. Two officials of the Indian Air Force (IAF) (pilots) and an Avro Aircraft were sent to Mumbai to fetch the Minister from Mumbai to Delhi to attend the talk. This aircraft was from the communication squadron of the IAF which is tasked to ferry senior officials and dignitaries including the Indian Prime Minister and the President.

Handing over Small mementos and other token of appreciation is natural and common among delegates who are assisted by the crew from the IAF. However handing over money is against the protocol. The money was handed over in two packets and the pilots realized that it was currency only after opening the packets. They immediately informed the IAF headquarters and in turn they informed the Ministry of Defense. The money is proposed to be deposited in the Government treasury. However, the money might be returned to the Chinese Government owing to the protocols in existence.

This is not the first time that protocol has been bleached by the Chinese. In 1991 Prime Minister Li Peng also handed over an envelope containing Rs 500 to the Intelligence Bureau (IB) officer who was his liaison officer. Media reports say that the money was immediately returned back to the embassy China.

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Legal Woes on Greek exit of the European Union







greek flagA major economic decision in a country usually involves devaluation of a currency; it might also mean withdraw from a broad monetary unit. However Greece is contemplating this happening all at the same time. Such a turn of events if it does happen would be quite unheard of for an economy. Especially an economy that is so entrenched into the global financial markets. Greece would have to rebuild its economy that is presently in shambles. This would happen after a sharp devaluation that would have delivered a severe confidence shock to the entire population. And there is a chance of undermining the banks and it may trigger likely defaults on debts to foreigners. The consequences of an exit from the EURO have spelt doom among policy makers that they refuse to talk about it. They reckon that it may be very tumultuous not just for Greece but for all of Europe. And even though the taboo of mentioning a euro exit has fallen away in recent months, going back to the drachma would likely be messy, with many steps having to be improvised overnight. Policy makers have clearly stated that a loan exit from the currency would not be possible. An exit would mean a complete one from the whole union.

Greek exit from Euro zone

According to Maria Fekter, Finance Minister of Australia, Leaving the European Union would also mean an end to billions of Euros left in areas like farm and development subsidies. There is also easy access to a large internal market.

“It’s impossible to leave the Euro zone, one can only leave the European Union,” she told reporters at a meeting with her counterparts in Brussels.

“After that, Greece would have to apply for re-accession and we would hold accession talks and look very closely whether Greece actually fulfils the accession requirements.”

These statements reflect the opinions of many other Europeans who are frustrated with Greece.

Legal Woes on Greek exit of the European Union

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Outgoing French president to be investigated







Nicolas SarkozyAfter handing over power to the 2012 Presidential election winner, Francois Hollande, outgoing French President Nicolas Sarkozy is slated for some serious meetings with French officials regarding charges of corruption against him, in addition to funding scandals involving him during his term as President.

Nicolas Sarkozy French president to be investigated

Judicial Investigators are no longer tied down by the immunity attached to the post of the President, as according to the Constitution of France such immunity expires within a month of the President stepping out of power. While many friends of the outgoing President are being investigated in this regard, Mr. Sarkozy has continually denied any part in the same.

Mr. Sarkozy is to be investigated with respect to illegalities during his 2007 Presidential campaign and certain funds received therein from L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt in violation of French Election Code. After the scandal became public during Mr. Sarkozy’s Presidential term, an illegal investigation was initiated into how the same came out in the open. The head of France’s Domestic Intelligence Agency and a prosecutor has been charged in this regard.

The second investigation probes into what is now popularly known as the “ Karachi affair”. This issue dates back to when Mr. Sarkozy was a budget Minister, regarding the illegalities and suspicious dealings including corruption charges, in the sale of certain submarines by French Government to Pakistan in the 1990’s.Furthermore, Mediaport, a news website has alleged that the Libyan Government under Mohammad Ghaddafi had tried to fund the 2007 Sarkozy Presidential scandal. This has been vociferously denied by the outgoing President.

These investigations are a welcome change in France, as French administration until Jacques Chirac in 2007, has consistently avoided investigating into their former Heads of State. Francois Hollande, the successor of Mr. Sarkozy has vowed to make the necessary changes to French law to facilitate investigations against Presidents in office with respect to charges leveled against them prior to taking office.

Outgoing French president to be investigated

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Former French President found guilty







Jacques ChiracThe former French President Jacques Chirac was found guilty by a French criminal court of misusing Paris city funds during his tenure as the mayor of the city. He was given a two year suspended prison sentence, which means that this would be recorded in his criminal record but he would not be jailed unless he commits further offences. The 79 year old former president has denied all charges made against him. He did not attend the court proceedings due to ill health. His doctors say that he has irreversible neurological problems which causes memory lapse.

Jacques Chirac was the French President from 1995 to 2007. He is said to have been the principal author of the plan through which the Paris city funds were used to benefit his party loyalists. He was accused of paying the members of his Rally for the Republic party for municipal jobs that did not exist. Of the 28 job contracts that were reviewed by the court, Chirac was found guilty of misusing the public funds on 12 of the job posts. Investigation against him was delayed as the former president had legal immunity as the head of the state. The French courts verdict is seen as a stain on the former president’s character although he believes and says that the people of France know that he was an honest man who worked only for the peace and grandeur of the country.

Former French President found guilty

Report by Priyanka S Menon

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Canada formally withdraws from the Kyoto Protocol







canada flagCanada became the first country to announce officially its withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol declaring that the accord which deals with the cutting of carbon emissions has not permitted to tackle the issues relating to climate change effectively. This came as a blow to the accord on climate crisis as no other country has formally relinquished it.

Canada’s Environment Minister Peter Kent said that the treaty does not stand for the progress of Canada or the world and therefore it is exercising its legal right to pull out of the treaty.

Last year Canada, together with Japan and Russia, had announced that it will not accept new Kyoto commitments, but withdrawing from the agreement is another setback to the treaty which was widely accepted by almost all the countries with much triumph in 1997.

The Kyoto Protocol which came into effect in February 2005 after 140 countries ratified it and it aimed at fighting global warming and climate change issues. The previous Liberal government of Canada had signed the accord but it was not fully implemented and it was never embraced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government.

The main criticism that was leveled against the Kyoto Protocol has been that it does not include the world’s largest two emitters, United States and China, and therefore it cannot work effectively to tackle climate change issues. Kent remarked “It’s now clear that Kyoto is not the path forward to a global solution to climate change. If anything it’s an impediment.”

The withdrawal of Canada comes a day after lengthy climate discussions were wound up in the South African port city of Durban.

Delegates from as many as 200 countries had agreed on a deal that would set the world on a path to sign a new climate treaty by 2015 to substitute the first Kyoto Protocol, which expires at the end of next year.

Kent said the Durban agreement does represent a path of progress. Durban’s accord envisages a new agreement with binding targets for all countries that would come into force in 2020.

The supporters of the Kyoto accord see the withdrawal of Canada is probably going to be a significant blow to the UN climate progression already weakened by divisions among the member nations.

Canada decided to withdraw itself from the Kyoto Protocol as it said that the protocol does not represent a way forward. This was announced by the Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent immediately after his return to Ottawa. This move by Canada has invited criticism from various countries with China and India leading the way. Although the move is legal and was expected from Canada, it makes it the first country to withdraw from the Protocol.

The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997 with an aim to protect the environment by reducing emissions of various greenhouse gases. More than 190 countries had agreed on extending the Kyoto Protocol for the next five years. This was due to expire at the end of the next year. Canada justified its pullout saying that it would be subject to penalties equal to almost $13.6 billion under the terms of the treaty for not cutting emissions by the required amount by 2012. The UN Climate Chief said that Canada would still have a legal obligation to cut its emissions irrespective of its withdrawal from the treaty.

Canada formally withdraws from the Kyoto Protocol

Report by Radhalakshmi R

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