quinta-feira, 24 de junho de 2010
MUMBAI: During a high-level, marathon meeting on Thursday, in which chief minister Ashok Chavan discussed the Bombay high court’s quashing of the best-five policy, it was pointed out that for the third consecutive year a policy for junior college admissions, which had been made by the school education department, had been set aside by the high court, and that, to date, no such decision had been challenged in the supreme court.
It was therefore suggested that this year the state government should go in for an appeal before the apex court.
In 2008-09, the school education department had proposed the percentile system for admission to junior colleges, while in 2009-10 the 90:10 formula had been proposed. For the upcoming academic year, the best-five system had been proposed by the state. All these three systems were ruled against by the high court on the grounds that they were discriminatory to students of non-SSC boards.
At Thursday’s high-level meeting, it was also suggested that since it would take 15 to 20 days to provide new marksheets to all SSC students, the state should approach the supreme court against the high court order.
There was also an opinion that the state had not hurriedly announced the best-five policy. “Some cabinet members said that while proposing the best-five system, adequate care was taken by the school education department. The system had been announced in February itself. Suggestions and objections were invited and, after their redressal, a decision on introducing the best-five scheme was taken. Under such circumstances, we feel that the decision had not been taken in a hurry,’’ a senior Congress minister said.
Legal experts present at the CM’s meeting expressed the view that, while the HC had rejected the policy on the grounds that it was discriminatory and violated constitutional provisions, there was still scope for approaching the SC. “We can take a chance. In view of the HC order, we are in the process of starting admissions. But meanwhile, if there is relief from the SC, we will act accordingly,’’ he said.
Former University of Mumbai vice-chancellor B Mungekar submitted to Chavan that frequent changes in the admissions process over the past three years had created a sense of uncertainty among lakhs of SSC students and their parents. “It has created instability in the field of education too. Under such circumstances, we need a well-thought-out policy. In the immediate context, the government may move the apex court. However, at the same time, the school education department should start the admissions process on the basis of the marks got in all six subjects, and without considering the sports marks,’’ Mungekar told Chavan. However, the government plans to take into account the sports marks.
The Bombay high court had on Wednesday struck down the best-five system, saying it violated the fundamental right to equality as guaranteed by the Constitution.
MUMBAI: The city registered three more deaths on Thursday, all women, due to swine flu. Worryingly, the deaths have brought to the fore the fact that city hospitals have learnt little from last year’s pandemic given that two of these patients got the anti-viral drug Tamiflu much later.
One of the deceased from Andheri, who was six months pregnant, got Tamiflu at least four to six days after visiting two hospitals. She died at Vile Parle’s Babasaheb Gawde Hospital on Tuesday after being treated at the ICU of the hospital since June 17. The hospital’s assistant medical director Dr Supriya Malshe said that the patient was put on Tamiflu as soon as she was suspected of swine flu—a full two days after her admission.
This is even as Malshe confirmed that she was admitted with classic symptoms of swine flu like breathlessness and fever. “Once we saw her X-ray reports, only then we put her on Tamiflu as we have to be cautions with pregnant woman,’’ she added. The patient was also suffering from narrowing of the mitral valve of the heart.
A French man accused of killing a fellow prison inmate and then eating part of his body has been sentenced to 30 years in jail.
Nicolas Cocaign was convicted of murder accompanied by acts of torture and brutality at a court in Rouen.
Cocaign admitted beating and stabbing Thierry Baudry before smothering him with a rubbish bag in a Rouen jail in 2007.
His lawyers had argued that he should be declared criminally insane.
The court heard that Cocaign killed Baudry after an argument over the state of the toilets.
In the four-day trial, Cocaign - dubbed the cannibal of Rouen by the French press - testified that he cut open Baudry's chest with a razor blade and ripped out what he thought was his heart but in fact was a piece of lung.
He than ate part of the lung raw before frying the rest with onions on a camping stove in his cell.'Totally mad'
"He killed him because he is mad, totally mad," said defence lawyer Fabien Picchiottino, addressing Baudry's mother.
But prosecutor Elizabeth Pelsez argued: "A man who plunges into horror is not necessarily afflicted with madness."
Cocaign told the court that prison authorities had ignored his repeated appeals for psychological help.
"No-one was listening to me," he said. "I made several appeals for help, saying I was a man capable of being dangerous. I took action, and then they took me seriously.
Before the jury retired to consider its verdict, Cocaign apologised to Baudry's mother and sisters.
He had been serving a sentence for attempted rape at the time of Baudry's murder.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has promised a massive relief effort for north-eastern regions devastated by floods.
After a visit to the worst-hit areas, President Lula approved more than $300m (£200m) in emergency aid.
Entire towns and villages were swept away as rivers burst their banks after heavy rains in Alagoas and Pernambuco states.
More than 150,000 people have been left homeless, and 46 are confirmed dead.
"What we saw on the streets was very different to what you see on television or in the newspapers," Lula said after visiting flood-ravaged towns by helicopter.
"We have the political, human and moral obligation to help rebuild what has been destroyed".Flood prone
Several rivers reached record levels, sweeping away bridges, roads, hospitals and schools.
Many towns and villages are still partially flooded or buried in rubble and mud.
Soldiers have been using boats, planes and helicopters to get aid to the worst-affected areas. Damaged railway tracks and roads have hampered the aid effort.
President Lula also urged local authorities not to let people rebuild on areas subject to recurring floods.
"It was irresponsible in the past to let people live on the banks of the river and it would be much more irresponsible to let them go back".
People in one of the worst-hit towns, Branquinha, have already said they are considering rebuilding on higher ground to prevent any repeat of the disaster.
DETROIT, June 24 (UPI) -- Officials at Detroit's Motown Historical Museum say an exhibit of Jackson 5 memorabilia celebrating the pop group's Motown career is set to open.
The Detroit Free Press reported the exhibit will open Friday, the first anniversary of Michael Jackson's death at age 50. The exhibit, expected to run through October, coincides with the museum's 25th birthday.
Among the items on display are Jackson's iconic white glove, as well as costumes he wore when he performed with his brothers, some of the fraternal pop group's gold and platinum records, magazine covers, rare photos and other memorabilia, the newspaper said.
PATNA: Even as the state was mourning the death of planning and development minister Sudha Srivastava, the news of the demise of former Union minister and Banka MP Digvijay Singh brought a further pall of gloom in political circles on Thursday.
Singh (54), affectionately called Dada, passed away at St Thomas Hospital in London. He is survived by his wife Putul Kumari and two daughters. Family sources said he was undergoing treatment for brain haemorrhage and was in coma for over a fortnight. He had gone to London in connection with the Commonwealth Games to be held in Delhi.
Leaders of different parties termed his death as a big loss to the Indian polity. Singh was a five-time MP — three times member of Lok Sabha (1998, 1999, 2009) and twice of Rajya Sabha (1990 & 2004).
CM Nitish Kumar expressed grief over Singh’s demise and called him a great social activist and politician in whose death not only Bihar, but the entire nation had lost a prominent figure. Nitish called up Singh’s brother Tripurari Sharan Singh and consoled the bereaved family.
Assembly speaker Uday Narayan Chowdhary also sent his condolence to the bereaved family. Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi said Singh believed in the politics of principles.
NCP general secretary Tariq Anwar said Singh was a respected politician and a good orator. Bihar Congress in-charge Mukul Wasnik, BPCC chief Mehboob Ali Qaiser, AICC secretary Sagar Raika and legislature party leader Ashok Kumar also mourned Singh.
A number of ministers, including Bijendra Prasad Yadav, Ramashray Prasad Singh, Ramnath Thakur, Narendra Singh, Nandkishore Yadav, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Shahid Ali Khan, Giriraj Singh, state JD(U) chief Vijay Kumar Chowdhary, general secretaries Shyam Rajak, Anil Pathak and Munna Shahi, state BJP chief C P Thakur and leaders like Ganga Prasad, Radha Mohan Singh, Kiran Ghai, Mangal Pandey and Janardan Singh Sigriwal mourned Singh.
Born on November 14, 1955, Singh was a native of Gidhaur in Jamui district. He studied at Patna University, JNU and Tokyo University. A former JD(U) leader, he won the 2009 Lok Sabha election from Banka constituency as an independent after being denied a JD(U) ticket.
Singh, who was first elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1990, was the Union deputy minister for finance and also external affairs in the Chandrashekhar regime. He also served as a minister of state for railways, commerce and industry and external affairs in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government.
A keen sportsman, he was also the president of the National Rifle Association of India and vice-president of the Indian Olympic Association. He was instrumental in getting the Sports Authority of India open a Special Area Games Centre in his hometown at Gidhaur.
Of late, he had joined the company of JD(U) rebels and was instrumental in holding the Kisan Maha Panchayat at the Gandhi Maidan here on May 9 where he bitterly criticized Nitish.
Regional Magistrate (South), Lot Moroka revealed to a gathering of top prisons' officials that the government loses over P1 billion every year due to cases of corruption and economic crimes
He told a prisons anti-corruption workshop on Tuesday in Gaborone that the calculation is based on the fact that his court room alone is currently dealing with economic crimes amounting to over P500 million. Moroka however said he believes his estimate is low compared to what the government must be losing. "Considering that this is an estimate from my court room alone, one wonders how much the amount would be, combining economic corruption cases from courts all over the country," he said. He said corruption brings numerous social ills and cripples the economy as the beneficiaries are individuals.
He said corruption robs children of their future because the money involved is usually large enough to build schools or hospitals. "Corruption also hinders the country's national development and makes the country uncompetitive," he said.
Moroka said luring investors to economically unstable countries is impossible. Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC) training and development officer, Jackson Madzima however said the corruption status of Botswana is better compared to most African countries.
"There were 1,926 corruption cases reported to the DCEC last year and only about 35 percent were classified for investigation," he explained. Madzima said people normally confuse corruption with maladministration.
He said the most cases are not considered for investigation because they can be solved within an organisation. However, the DCEC does not completely sideline such issues because at times there are corruption cases, which need further investigation. "Such issues are stored in our referral archives till more reports evidencing corruption are availed," he said.
Madzima however said Botswana's low ranking in corruption does not mean there are no internal problems. He said being lowly ranked comes as a disadvantage as the international corruption bodies do not thoroughly asses the country meaning some issues pass without being noticed.
"This however needs to be dealt with at managerial level by people who are not willing to compromise their botho, integrity, accountability, discipline, fairness and transparency among other values," he said.
Sheriff Joe Arpiao's headquarters could be moving from the Wells Fargo Building in downtown Phoenix if a building the county is considering for purchase meets the needs of the Sheriff's Office.
County administrators passed a resolution in a meeting Wednesday to put down $500,000 to explore the feasibility of moving the Arpaio's headquarters to the former IRS building in Central Phoenix.
County officials have 90 days to assess the property. If the county agrees to purchase the building, that money will be applied to the $12.5 million price. If county administrators determine within the 90-day period that the building won't work for the Sheriff's Office, the $500,000 is refundable.
The sidewalk outside the Wells Fargo Building has become the site of near-daily protests against the Sheriff's Office, with calls for the banker to boot Arpaio from the property.
In February, a Wells Fargo Bank vice president said in a letter to a county official that the bank would waive termination fees if Arpaio moved before the lease expires in 2013. A Wells Fargo spokeswoman said the bank needed to the two floors the Sheriff's Office occupies for office space.
County officials have said repeatedly that they are working to get county agencies out of leased office space and into buildings the county owns.
The potential move for the Sheriff's Office could consolidate some of the arms of the agency scattered throughout Maricopa County.
Boeing has grounded its 787 fleet temporarily because of a quality problem in the horizontal tails of the 787 Dreamliners built by Italian manufacturing partner Alenia.
The problem was discovered within the past week.
Engineers are inspecting all 23 planes already built, and some will need a fix that may take up to eight days' work.
Dreamliner program spokeswoman Yvonne Leach said Thursday the problem is "regrettable but under control."
"We made a decision to be prudent and do the inspections first," Leach said.
She said it won't cause another delay in the schedule for completing flight testing and first delivery of the new airplane, which has already been delayed by more than two and a half years.
"We're going to deal with it and we have a plan in place," Leach said.
Leach said the problem should not affect the plan to fly Dreamliner No. 3 to the Farnborough Air Show next month.
Alenia mechanics in Foggia, Italy, improperly installed brackets used to attach the horizontal tail to the fuselage, according to a person familiar with the problem.
The error, which was discovered during final assembly in Everett, involved small pieces of composite material, called shims, that are used routinely to fill small gaps when assemblying structural parts.