domingo, 11 de julho de 2010
Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has said the secret dumping by the government of toxic waste from the Bhopal chemical disaster was wrong.
People living near an incinerator where 40 tonnes of waste were taken two years ago, say it damaged their health.
Visiting the plant, Mr Ramesh promised transparency in the disposal of more than 300 tonnes of remaining waste.
More than 4,000 people died after the toxic gas leak from the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal in 1984.
It is considered the world's worst industrial accident.
Mr Ramesh, who was not environment minister at the time of the secret night-time dumping in Pithampur, said the continuing clean-up had to be done openly.
"I admit as minister that it was wrong to have brought those 40 tonnes of waste to Pithampur," he said.
"Whatever we do needs to be done with adequate transparency. I am ready to admit publicly that transporting that waste from the Union Carbide factory secretly during the night hours was wrong".
The incinerator is about 230 km (140 miles) from Bhopal.Outrage
Angry villagers who live near the incinerator blocked a road and shouted slogans when Mr Ramesh arrived at the plant on Saturday, the Times of India reported. They want the facility shut down.
A year after poisonous gas from the Union Carbide plant poured into Bhopal's slums, local officials collected 350 tonnes of waste and left it in the factory yard. Most of it is still there.
There has been outrage over last month's court verdicts into who was responsible for the tragedy and also the amount of compensation offered to victims.
Seven former managers at the plant were given two-year jail sentences, but campaigners say senior figures at the US-based Union Carbide parent group should also be held responsible.
Last month, campaigners denounced a $280m (£186m) compensation package announced by the government for victims of the disaster.
The package was the latest in a series of pay-offs made by authorities to victims of the disaster.
LARKANA: A black day was observed by the journalists of Larkana against the resolution passed unanimously by the Punjab Assembly against media here on Sunday. They vowed to continue their protests till the resolution is withdrawn and action is taken against all those who had prepared the resolution. Carrying placards and banners, the journalists raised slogans against the Punjab government. In Kot Ghulam Mohammad town of Mirpurkhas, the National Press Club held a demonstration on Sunday to protest against the passage of a resolution. The protesters chanted slogans against the Punjab Assembly and called for withdrawing the resolution against journalists. They also called for suspending the membership of those Punjab Assembly members who had submitted fake educational degrees.
Our Thatta correspondent adds: The journalist community staged a demonstration here on Sunday to protest against the resolution passed by the Punjab Assembly against the media. Several political and social workers joined the protest held outside the Thatta Press Club. They condemned the Punjab Assembly resolution against the media.
PATNA: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar met senior BJP leaders Arun Jaitley and Ananth Kumar over breakfast on Sunday to hammer out differences that have rocked the ruling NDA coalition in the state recently.
Sources said almost all issues, including the contentious one related to Gujarat CM Narendra Modi, were "resolved" in the one-and-half hour meeting. This was Nitish's first meeting with BJP's central leaders after he cancelled a dinner he had thrown for them when they had gathered for their national executive meet at Patna on June 12. The JD(U)-BJP ties soured further after Nitish, angered over publication of his photograph with Modi in a newspaper advertisement, returned Rs 5 crore that the Gujarat CM had donated for Kosi flood victims' rehabilitation.
"The meeting was very cordial and the leaders were unanimous over the alliance's continuation. There was specific agenda for discussion and everybody is satisfied with the talks," said Bihar JD(U) chief Vijay Chowdhary. He said both sides reached an understanding on respecting each other's sentiments and continuing with the time-tested alliance.
Chowdhary claimed that there was little talk about election strategy and joint campaigning, but sources said Nitish reiterated his reservations over inviting Modi to Bihar during elections. "He gave reasons for his reservations," said a source.
Sources said the BJP leaders agreed that only those leaders from outside the state would be invited for campaigning, who the party believes would help the alliance win elections. "The state party president and the deputy CM will take the decision in this regard," the source said. Jaitley described the event as a "social meeting" and refused to elaborate on the issues discussed. In the evening Nitish had another round of meeting with Jaitley.
By Stella Mapenzauswa
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa bowed out of the World Cup at the first round stage but President Jacob Zuma said on Saturday the successful hosting of the tournament made its people the champions.
Africa's economic giant is crowing over its successful hosting of the world's biggest sporting tournament, defying sceptics who had doubted it could organise the tournament, including completing construction of stadiums on time.
"We extend a special thank you to South Africans for the passion and excitement that has kept the tournament alive for the past weeks. We thank you for putting the country first," Zuma said in a statement on Saturday.
"They are the stars and champions of this tournament," he said on the eve of the World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands.
Zuma's government has played down reports that despite an outpouring of support for other teams from the continent, locals have threatened to turn on poor African migrants competing for scarce jobs in the continent's largest economy when the World Cup ends. nLDE6670GA
"The committed support given to Ghana and other African teams displayed African unity, love and solidarity in practice," Zuma continued.
"We thank you for embracing one another and Africa. We thank (you for) your opening up your country and your hearts to the world in a most patriotic and memorable manner (and) for making this a truly African World Cup".