Hindu prayer room sought in all Australian universities
A US-based Hindu group has asked for a permanent and dedicated prayer room at all the university campuses in Australia. Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) on Wednesday, said that Australian universities, both public and private, should respond to the requirements of its Hindu students to provide designated prayer-meditation hall for rituals, quiet reflection, festivals and spiritual exercise, which would help in their personal growth.
Chairperson of Delhi Commission for Women Barkha Singh on Wednesday accused the AAP government of harassing her for summoning controversial Law Minister Somnath Bharti in connection with the south Delhi raid episode and refused to step down from the post.
A former Congress MLA, Singh had a public confrontation with Bharti's lawyers last week when they came to depose before the DCW on his behalf in the case of alleged harassment of a number of Ugandan women.
Singh, who had lost the assembly election from R K Puram, said she was holding a constitutional post and there was no need to resign from it though the Congress dispensation, which had appointed her, was defeated.
Earlier this month, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Arvinder Singh Lovely had asked all partymen to quit from various posts in government-run boards and commissions, following convention.
"It is a constitutional post and I still have one year and four months left in my tenure. The AAP government is harassing me and targeting me because I summoned Bharti in connection with the the ill-treatment of Ugandan women during the midnight raid in Khirki Extension," Singh said.
Cautioning people against forces weakening the country's secular ethos, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi ON Wednesday said communal harmony should not be disturbed over small, local incidents which should be dealt with sternly without any bias.
She also expressed hope that the Communal Violence Bill would soon be tabled in Parliament, saying it is aimed at protecting social amity and the nation's secular legacy.
Apparently referring to the Muzaffarnagar riots, the Congress President said police should ensure that communal harmony is not disturbed over small, local incidents and they should be dealt with sternly without any bias.
"It is the government's responsibility to protect and encourage secular values and ensure that minorities get equal opportunities. It is necessary that minorities feel secure and have trust in law and order mechanism. We should be cautious of powers which weaken India's secularism," she said.
Now, printer that uses water instead of ink
A team of chemists has unveiled a new 'water-jet' printer that uses water instead of ink. The used paper fades back to white within a day, which enables it to be reused.
Sean Xiao-An Zhang, a chemistry professor at Jilin University in China, who oversaw work on the innovation, said that many statistics indicate that about 40 per cent of office prints are taken to the waste paper basket after a single reading. The trick lies in the paper, which is treated with an invisible dye that colours when exposed to water, and later disappears, News24 reported.
The print fades away in about 22 hours at temperatures below 35 degree Celsius and quicker if exposed to high heat. Zhang and his team used a previously little-studied dye compound called oxazolidine that yields a clear, blue print in less than a second after water has been applied.
The paper has been published in the journal Nature Communications.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said returns from Waqf assets across India could be used for the socio-economic development of the community.
Speaking at the launch of National Waqf Development Corporation Limited (NAWADCO) here, the prime minister said that the corporation will "facilitate and mobilize financial resources for starting schools, colleges, hospitals on Waqf properties in a transparent manner".
"Waqf assets have the potential of generating considerable returns which could be used for the socio-economic development of the community," he said.
NAWADCO is a new Central Public Sector Enterprise under Ministry of Minority Affairs and will work towards the development of the 4.9 lakh Waqf properties in India, the largest in the world. "Today we take another step forward in our efforts to promote the interests of minorities in our country," said Singh.
US Vice President Joe Biden Tuesday "strongly encouraged" Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to work with the opposition to find compromises critical to ending the country's current political crisis.
In a telephone talk between the two leaders, Biden welcomed the progress made Tuesday and urged Yanukovych to immediately sign the repeal of anti-protest laws, Xinhua quoted White House in a statement.
Earlier, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov tendered his resignation Tuesday, aiming to "create an additional possibility" for a political compromise to peacefully resolve the conflict in Ukraine. Yanukovych accepted the resignation, and the government was subsequently dissolved.
Protests in Ukraine turned violent about 10 days ago, when radical activists attacked riot police with fireworks and petrol bombs.
The mass rallies started in Ukraine last November, following a government decision to put on hold an association agreement with the European Union and opt for closer relations with Russia.
The number of people killed in the Sunday's gunmen attack in Nigerian state of Borno reached 85, after more bodies were found, an official said on Tuesday. However, 16 people remain missing in the incident. Rescuers found more bodies while combing the area for casualties Tuesday, Xinhua quoted a government official as saying.
Ali Kaka Yale, scribe of Konduga local government area of the restive northern state, said 16 people were still missing after rescue operators had counted up to 85 dead bodies which littered the area after the tragic incident. The incident occurred when Kawuri district came under serious attack Sunday evening despite a state of emergency being in place for last one year.
More dead bodies might be found as search and rescue mission continued, Yale said, while receiving Governor Kashim Shettima, who went to sympathise with the community over the carnage. Some 50 people who sustained injuries during the attack were assisted to local hospitals where they are being treated, he said.
Local residents said scores of gunmen, who wielded AK 47 rifles and shot indiscriminately, set hundreds of houses ablaze with improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The unidentified gunmen fled into Sambisa Games Forest, which has recently served as a place of refuge for fleeing Boko Haram fighters.
"America does not stand still and neither do I," Obama declared in his annual prime-time address before a joint session of Congress and millions of Americans watching on television.
Draped in presidential grandeur, Obama's prime-time address to a joint session of Congress and millions of Americans watching at home served as the opening salvo in a midterm election fight for control of Congress that will quickly consume Washington's attention. Democrats, seeking to cast Republicans as uncaring about the middle class, have urged Obama to focus on economic mobility and the gap between the wealthy and poor.
For Obama, the address was also aimed at convincing an increasingly skeptical public that he still wields power in Washington even if he can't crack through the divisions in Congress. Burned by a series of legislative failures in 2013, White House aides say they're now redefining success not by what Obama can jam through Congress but by what actions he can take on his own.
Indeed, Obama's proposals for action by lawmakers were slim and largely focused on old ideas that have gained little traction over the past year. He pressed Congress to revive a stalled immigration overhaul and pass an across-the-board increase in the federal minimum wage. His one new legislation proposal calls for expanding an income tax credit for workers without children.