JAC appeals to TD, Cong not to contest bypolls

Hyderabad, April 30: The Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) today appealed to Congress and the TDP not to contest the ensuing bypolls in Telangana region to pave way for re-election of those who resigned for the Telangana cause.

The MLAs had quit for the sake of Telangana.

If a contest is forced, it amounts to dividing the people of Telangana. So we appeal to the parties not to contest the bypolls, JAC chairman Kodandaram told reporters.

Engineering students design ‘foolproof’ EVM

Machlipatnam, April 30: A group of students from DMS SVH College of Engineering, Machilipatnam designed a foolproof electronic voting machine with provision for biometric and photo identity system to prevent bogus voting.

The new machine will also help transmitting the data immediately to the State and Central Election Commissions through GSM transmission system.

Demonstrating its functioning here today, the students said that they had thought of designing the new electronic voting machine, which is useful for public in place of the existing electronic voting machines.

2 IAS officers transferred

Hyderabad, April 30: The state government has transferred two more IAS officers today.

Special chief secretary to public enterprises department S Bhale Rao was transferred and posted as special chief secretary in the General Administration department.

AP State Warehousing Corporation managing director Shafiquzzaman has been transferred and posted as principal secretary to public enterprises department.

–Agencies

II year Inter results today

Hyderabad, April 30: The results of second year Intermediate public examinations 2010 for general and vocational courses will be announced at 11.30 a.m. tomorrow.

Arrangements have been made for students to obtain the results through SMSs on their cellphones, telephones and also through internet.

Pawan Kalyan treks to Tirumala

Tirupati, April 30: Tollywood hero and PRP leader Pawan Kalyan today trekked to Tirumala from Alipiri and had a darshan of Lord Venkateswara.

He was accompanied by local PRP leaders and film producer Ganesh.

His fans were disappointed as he left without meeting them after darshan.

–Agencies

SHRC receives another petition

Hyderabad, April 30: The number of complaints against the reality dance show, Aata, refuses to cease as another petitioner turned up at the Human Rights Commission office today and for a change he was not affiliated to any social organisation.

Sriram Reddy, a choreographer who has worked in Aata 4 filed a petition against the producer cum director of `Aata’ and `Challenge’, Omkar and his brother and executive producer, Ashwyn.

Khan warns terror strike may be 3 days away

Hyderabad, April 30: Hyderabad Commissioner of Police AK Khan, who had downplayed threat perception to the State capital on Wednesday, did a U-turn on Thursday.

After a mock drill at Goshamahal police stadium, where he himself ‘‘triggered a bomb,’’ Khan said terrorists were likely to strike in the next three days. ‘‘We have some specific information from Central agencies that anything might happen in the coming few days. And I am serious,’’ he said but declined to disclose more about the terror alert.

Farah: TEES MAAR KHAN is totally Shrish’s idea

Mumbai, April 30: Farah Khan’s TEES MAAR KHAN has been grabbing the headlines ever since its announcement and naturally so as it brings together for the first time the most successful female director Farah Khan with the ‘Khiladi , Akshay Kumar. It also has the hit pair of Akshay-Katrina who have an impeccable record together.

Quite a lot of speculations are being made about the movie, its genre etc. and director Farah is quick to clarify that TEES MAAR KHAN is a hard core commercial stuff like her two previous ventures with Shah Rukh Khan, MAIN HOON NA and OM SHANTI OM.

HOUSEFULL gets a ‘housefull’ opening

Mumbai, April 30: All those (especially director Sajid Khan), who have been waiting with bated breath (keeping fingers crossed) to know the fate of HOUSEFULL, can heave a sigh of relief. As the results are here!

Sajid Khan has all the reasons to rejoice now as his much touted film HOSUEFULL, which hit the screens today, hasn’t let him down (his towering expectations). True to its title, the film has taken a houseful opening everywhere.

Barely a few hours past the film released and it has already generated humungous response amongst the trade.

Man shoots himself while sleeping with gun

Washington, April 30: A US man was injured after he accidentally shot himself while sleeping with his gun.

Police officer Tony Giammarino said the California resident told investigators he was sleeping with his gun when it went off accidentally, fox5sandiego.com reported.

The man was wounded in the back of his leg but was expected to survive.

—Agencies

British blind boy ‘sees’ like a dolphin

Washington, April 30: A Blind British boy, 4, uses echo-location to “see” the same way dolphins navigate murky waters.

The Sun said Jamie Aspland, from Kent, makes clicking noises with his tongue to find his way around objects, after he was taught the revolutionary technique by a US expert.

“It’s amazing,” his mother Deborah Aspland said. “Since learning the skill we can walk to the park and Jamie no longer has to hold my hand.”

The technique works by rebounding the clicking sound off objects – creating a flash of light “mind map” of the obstacle.

French Muslims feel victimised amid veil ban row

Paris, April 30: Muslims in France say the government’s plan to fine women for wearing the veil is one in a string of political ploys that stigmatise them and pander to anti-Islamic prejudice.

Extracts from the law leaked on Friday propose to fine women 150 euros (200 dollars) for wearing a full-face veil in public.

Some say giving police the power to fine Muslim women in the street is part of a worrying trend, after the government’s “national identity debate” and its targeting last week of a man accused of polygamy.

Amnesty blasts Belgian vote to ban burqa

London, April 30: Amnesty International Thursday condemned a vote in the lower house of Belgium’s parliament to ban the wearing of the burqa in public, warning it set “a dangerous precedent.”

“A complete ban on the covering of the face would violate the rights to freedom of expression and religion of those women who wear the burqa or the niqab,” said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty’s expert on discrimination in Europe.

“The Belgian move to ban full face veils, the first in Europe, sets a dangerous precedent,” he warned.

Belgium’s Muslims feel under ‘Nazi’ discrimination

Brussels, April 30: Muslims in Belgium said Friday that a looming public ban on the full-face veil or burqa was simply an excuse to crack down.

“I think they’re trying to wind us up,” Souad Barlabi, a young woman wearing a simple veil, said outside the Grand Mosque in Brussels around the time of Friday prayers.

“We feel under attack,” she said, a day after Belgian lawmakers had voted for a nationwide ban on the full-face niqab and burqa.

There were two abstentions, but significantly, no one voted against in the house.

Somalia, Sudan rank most dangerous for minorities

Nairobi, April 30: Somalia and Sudan are ranked first and second respectively among countries where minority communities face the greatest risk of violence from armed conflict, political violence, displacement and absence of the rule of law, according to a new analysis.

Other countries listed in Peoples under Threat 2010 by Minority Rights Group International (MRG), a London-based NGO, are Iraq, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Chad.

Farming continues to wither in Iraq

Baghdad, April 30: Iraq is planning to import 80 percent of its wheat and rice requirements in 2010, according to Hussein Ghazy, a spokesman of the state-owned Grains Company affiliated to the Trade Ministry.

Trade Ministry figures show Iraq imported 3.55 million tons of wheat and 1.17 million tons of rice last year – up from 2.54 million and 610,000 tons respectively in 2008.

AMW: bias in UK press coverage of Syria ‘Scuds’

London, April 30: Arab Media Watch (AMW) expresses its disappointment at British press coverage of claims that Syria has sent Scud missiles to Hezbollah. The main areas of concern are:

– Overall, the Israeli claims, and US statements supporting them, have been given more prominence than Syrian and Lebanese government denials, as well as doubts expressed by analysts.

-Overall, the claims and supporting statements have been given more word space than the denials and doubts.

– In some articles, Syrian and Lebanese denials are absent.

Turkey orders probe over Noah’s Ark

Ankara, April 30: Turkey’s culture minister has ordered a probe into how pieces of wood, claimed to be remains of Noah’s Ark, were taken from Turkey to China by evangelicals, media reports said Friday.

“How did these objects get there?… I am having this investigated,” Culture and Tourism Minister Ertugrul Gunay said in remarks published in the Milliyet newspaper.

A team of Chinese evangelicals reportedly displayed the wooden pieces at a recent press conference in Hong Kong, claiming they took them from Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey.

Israel PM claims ‘victory’ against party hardliners

Tel Aviv, April 30: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed a major victory against hardliners in his right-wing Likud party in a procedural vote some media on Friday dismissed as a major spin campaign.

The party’s 2,525-strong central committee voted by 77 percent in favour of the premier’s proposal to delay by a year internal party elections amid concerns a more hardline makeup could have tied Netanyahu’s hands in any future US-brokered peace negotiations.

Seven charged in Turkish coup plot

Istanbul, April 30: A veteran Turkish politician and a colonel were among seven people charged Thursday over a plot to discredit and topple the democratically elected government, risking life in jail, media reports said.

It was the seventh charge sheet to emerge from a probe into a purported network of soldiers and civilians which allegedly plotted to foment chaos and spark a coup against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The suspects include Bedrettin Dalan, a former Istanbul mayor, and Dursun Cicek, a colonel at the army headquarters.

South Korea’s Samsung wins gas deal in UAE

Seoul, April 30: South Korea’s Samsung Engineering said Friday it had won a 1.5 billion dollar order from the United Arab Emirates to build a natural gas plant.

Under the deal signed with Abu Dhabi Gas Development Company, a unit of the national oil company, Samsung Enginering will complete the plant by August 2013 at the Shah gasfield.

Samsung Engineering, South Korea’s leading plant builder, said it has now received three orders worth a total of 5.4 billion dollars from Abu Dhabi National Oil Company over the past six months.

Iraq’s Baath holds first public meeting in Syria

Damascus, April 30: Iraq’s banned Baath party, booted out of power in the 2003 US-led invasion, held its first public meeting in the Syrian capital on Thursday.

“We have launched negotiations to reunite the party,” Ghazwan Qubaissi, the number two in a wing led by Mohammed Yunes al-Ahmad, a former governor of Mosul under now executed leader and Baath chief Saddam Hussein, said.

Clinton warns Syria against arming Hezbollah

Washington, April 30: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against the risk of sparking a regional war if he supplies long-range Scud missiles to Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

“Transferring weapons to these terrorists — especially longer-range missiles — would pose a serious threat to the security of Israel,” Clinton said.

“We do not accept such provocative and destabilizing behavior — and nor should the international community.