Sunday, April 29, 2012

Big B open to working with Rekha again

Big B open to working with Rekha againMumbai: An all time popular on screen couple, Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha might have parted ways over decades but Big B doesn`t rule out the possibility of reuniting with her again on the silver screen.

"If there is a good story and like it then I don`t mind working with her," the megastar said at a function here Saturday.

The two have earlier worked together in films like `Silsila`, `Mr Narwarlal`, `Muqaddar Ka Sikandar` among others.
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Rumours about Salman Khan don't bother me: Katrina Kaif

Actress Katrina Kaif, who is teaming up with Salman Khan again in Ek Tha Tiger, says she is not bothered about the gossip that goes around regarding her and the actor.
Katrina reportedly dated Salman when she started off her career in Bollywood but later separated. And their new movie has got the rumour mills spinning again. She was last seen with the Dabangg star in 2008 movie Yuvraaj.
"When we start working for a movie we go in as professionals. I am here to do my job and if people want to highlight baseless stories then it's up to them. I don't think that these stories will have any affect on my work and the film.
"I am never bothered about such stories. Why should I? I think it's what every actor goes through. When you start working in the industry, people taking about you becomes a part of your life. Why analyse it so much?" Katrina told PTI.
The 27-year-old actress, who first starred alongside Salman in Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya, said she is excited to work with him again.
"I am excited about the film, it's shaping up good. Salman is working with Yash Raj for the first time and it's my second film with them. It's always fun working with Salman, he makes everything very comfortable on the sets," she said.
Katrina is also working in another Yash Raj film opposite Shah Rukh Khan. The untitled film will mark the comeback of veteran director Yash Chopra after a gap of eight years.
"I am enjoying working with Shah Rukh and Yashji. Yashji is a living legend in Indian cinema and working with him has been a learning experience for me. I am very fortunate to have got an oppurtunity to work with him. Working with him is magical.
"And Shah Rukh is a wonderful co-star. I have learnt so much from him," she said.
With hits like Singh Is Kinng, Raajneeti, Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani and Namastey London to her credit, Katrina has always been experimental with her choice of roles.
The actress says she likes exploring herself and does not think there is any definite formula to success.
"I like experimenting with my roles... If you stick to one thing you can easily get bored. Everything in life is a risk, there is no definite way to success.
"Today if I do a role which I have done before there is no guarantee that the audience will like it. The higher the risk the greater will be the outcome. You won't be able to work if you fear taking risk. I just try to give my best," Katrina said.
The actress, who has made heads turn with her seductive act in a recent Slice ad, said, "It is a very different campaign. The new ad is very rustic and ethnic. I think it is the best one. I love the rapport which I share with the brand."
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Defence Ministry had looked into Tatra issue 7 years ago

A Tatra truck at a Republic Day parade. File photo
Seven years before the issue rocked the country, the Defence Ministry had gone into the procurement of Tatra trucks through an intermediary company and not original manufacturers and had closed the matter.
With Army Chief Gen V.K. Singh raking up the issue of alleged bribes in procurement of Tatra trucks, the CBI is probing alleged irregularities in the procurement of trucks.
It is probing into alleged irregularities in assigning of supply from Czech Republic-based Tatra, with which the agreement was originally signed in 1986, to the Tatra Sipox U.K. owned by Ravi Rishi in 1997, showing it as Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and the fully-owned subsidiary of the Czech company.
There were allegations in 2005 that Tatra family of trucks were being procured from an agent and not directly from OEM and that BEML was at best an assembler of such vehicles without absorbing technology.
In the wake of these allegations, the Defence Ministry had gone into the matter and apparently found that there was nothing wrong in procuring components from the intermediary company.
Before coming to this conclusion, the Ministry got a letter from the Indian ambassador in Slovakia about the ownership of the Tatra Sipox U.K. company.
According to official documents accessed by PTI after a recent review of the issue, the Ambassador had reported in 2005 that Tatra Sipox company was set up to resolve coordination issues arising out of division of the country Czechoslovakia into Czech and Slovak republics resulting in the division of the company producing these trucks.
Giving details of the ownership pattern of the company, the Ambassador’s report concluded that ”... as the vehicles were being supplied by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) through its own subsidiary, there appeared to be no other channels to purchase Tatra vehicles.”
The Ministry had sought clarification and received a reply from Tatra Sipox Director Josef Majsky also who said Tatra Sipox UK was authorised to represent the parent company and was responsible for sale of trucks to India and a number of other countries including Israel, Indonesia and Taiwan.
The Ministry report said there was no option but to buy components from Tatra Sipox UK as the vehicles in question can be produced only if components manufactured by Tatra of Czech Republic and Tatra Sipox of Slovak Republic are both available for making the complete vehicle.
The Department of Defence Production said it concluded that the issue regarding BEML working through an agent and not through the OEM was examined.
“It was concluded that there is no option but to buy components from Tatra Sipox (UK) as the vehicles in question can be produced only if components produced by Tatra AS of the Czech Republic and Tatra Sipox/Tanax of the Slovak Republic are both available for the manufacture of the complete vehicle,” the Department said.
The report stated that in view of the “peculiar situation” created as a result of the division of the original company, dealing with the OEM would entail dealing with not one but two OEMs in two countries not having best of relationships.”
It said the incorporation of Tatra Sipox (UK) Limited, it appears, was essentially to resolve the coordination issues arising out of the division and was authorised by the OEMs to sell to India components required for production of trucks by BEML.
The Ministry subsequently “closed” the issue, the documents suggest.
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Chen Guangcheng's escape sparks China round-up

Chinese authorities have begun to round up relatives and associates of blind activist Chen Guangcheng, who fled from house arrest last week, reports say.
Chen Guangcheng and Hu Jia appear together in photo released by Mr Hu's wife Zeng Jinyan on social network site TwitterSeveral people involved in Mr Chen's escape have been detained or have disappeared in recent days, and fellow activist Hu Jia is being questioned.
Mr Chen is believed to be sheltering at the US embassy in Beijing.
The US and international rights groups have frequently expressed alarm at the treatment of Mr Chen and his family.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has demanded his release in the past, is due in China this week for a previously arranged meeting which is now likely to be overshadowed by Mr Chen's case.
The US government has not so far commented publicly on the whereabouts of Mr Chen.
Analysts say the issue will be highly sensitive for both sides, and will not be easy to resolve.
If Mr Chen is in the embassy, his case will raise memories of an incident in 1989 when another prominent activist, Fang Lizhi, fled to the US mission in Beijing.
He remained there for more than a year while the two sides attempted to broker a deal.
'Shameful saga' Mr Chen was placed under house arrest in 2010 after spending more than four years in jail for disrupting traffic and damaging property.
He had exposed how local authorities in Linyi, Shandong province, forced thousands of women to have abortions or be sterilised as part of China's one-child policy.
His colleagues said last Sunday's escape had taken months to plan, and was carried out with the help of a network of friends and activists.
He scaled the wall that the authorities had built around his house, and was driven hundreds of miles to Beijing, where activists say he stayed in safe-houses before fleeing to the embassy.
His wife and six-year-old daughter remain under house arrest, but several of his family members have been detained and others are being sought by the authorities.
One of Mr Chen's friends, He Peirong - who wrote on her microblog that she had driven him to Beijing - is believed to have been detained in the city of Nanjing.
"I was actually talking to her and the last words she said were 'the PSB [Public Security Bureau] has arrived,'" said Bob Fu, of the US-based ChinaAid pressure group.
Her microblog was later deleted, and all searches on popular microblogging sites for Mr Chen's name and other related terms were being blocked by the censors.
On Saturday, the authorities detained Hu Jia, who had earlier told the BBC how he had met Mr Chen since his escape.
Mr Hu's wife, Zeng Jinyan, said late on Saturday that her husband's detention had been extended for a further 24 hours.
"I asked where Hu Jia would sleep, they said on a chair," she said.
The fate of other associates of Mr Chen also remains unclear, with reports claiming several have disappeared.
The treatment of Mr Chen and his family by local authorities has long been controversial.
Amnesty International regards him as a "prisoner of conscience" and has called on the authorities to end the "shameful saga" of his detention.
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Petitions filed in Pak court against Gilani holding PM office

Yousuf Raza Gilani Pakistan
Two petitions have been filed in a Pakistani court asking it to restrain Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani from holding office in the w
ake of his conviction for contempt by the Supreme Court.
The petitions filed in the Lahore High Court yesterday asked it to direct Gilani to explain under which law he was claiming to be the chief executive of the country after his conviction.
The petitions were filed by Shahid Naseem Gondal and Rana Ilamuddin Ghazi, who are known for approaching courts on such issues.
The petitioners' lawyer AK Dogar, also the counsel for Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, said the apex court had convicted and sentenced Gilani for failing to reopen corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.
After the conviction, Gilani could not hold the office of Prime Minister, Dogar contended.
He claimed Gilani had ceased to hold office and that under Article 199(1b) of the Constitution, the Premier is liable to show under what authority he claimed to hold his office.
Dogar asked the high court to restrain Gilani from holding office and "misusing" facilities connected with it.
In a separate development, Gilani has been served with a legal notice by Azhar Siddique, a lawyer of the Supreme Court who contended that his continuation in office is a violation of the Constitution.
The notice said Gilani must leave office, failing which Siddique will approach the courts to get the office vacated.
Siddique said he had sent copies of the notice to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Chief Election Commissioner, Attorney General and the Registrar of the Supreme Court.
Following his conviction, Gilani has said he can be disqualified only by the Speaker of the National Assembly.
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Maharashtra, Karnataka topped cyber crime list in 2010

Maharashtra and Karnataka topped the list of cyber crimes registered in 2010 with 246 cases and 176 cases respectively, Communications and IT Minister Kapil Sibal said.
"With the increase in the proliferation of Information Technology and related services, there is a rise in number of cyber crimes and cyber security incidents. The trend in increase in cyber incidents is similar to that worldwide," Sibal had said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

Maharashtra recorded the highest number of cyber crime cases at 104 under IPC (Indian Penal Code) in 2010 and had registered 142 cases under the IT Act in the same year, putting the combined cybercrime count at 246.

Similarly, under the IT Act, Karnataka in 2010 had the highest incidents of 153 cyber crime cases while it had 23 cases in the same year registered under IPC - taking its total tally to 176 cases.

Across the country, a total 966 cases of cyber crime reported under Information Technology Act, 2000 in 2010, Sibal said.

As per data maintained by National Crime Records Bureau, a total of 288, 420 and 966 cyber crime cases were registered under the Information Technology Act, 2000 during 2008, 2009 and 2010, respectively, thereby showing an increasing trend, he added.
Under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), a total of 176, 276 and 356 cyber crimes were reported during 2008, 2009 and 2010, respectively.

The minister said the government has put in place a monitoring mechanism to detect such cases.

"The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) scans the Indian cyber space to detect traces of untoward incidents that poses a threat to the cyber space purely from technical point of view," he said.

CERT-In provides mechanisms to detect cyber frauds and cyber crimes like phishing, spamming, pharming and detection of 'BOTS' which are used in cyber frauds and cyber crimes.

CERT-In and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) are involved in providing basic and advanced training to law enforcement agencies, forensics labs and judiciary on the procedures on the methodology of collecting, analysing and presenting digital evidence, he said.

"Cyber forensic training lab has been set up at Training Academy of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to impart basic and advanced training in cyber forensics and investigation of cyber crimes to police officers associated with CBI," Sibal said.
In addition, the government has also set up such labs in Kerala, Assam, Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Meghalaya, Manipur and Jammu and Kashmir, Sibal said.
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Sukma collector in good health, say mediators after meeting Maoists

Alex Paul MenonAbducted Sukma District Collector Alex Paul Menon is in "good health", said the two mediators who briefed Maoists on their talks with the Chhattisgarh government on their demands for release of the IAS officer.
B D Sharma, a former IAS officer, and Hyderabad-based academic Professor G Hargopal, who have held two rounds of talks on behalf of the Maoists, returned to Chintanlar today after visiting Tadmetla forests, where they had gone yesterday to update Maoists about the deliberations with the government.
The two mediators told reporters that they will now meet the government-appointed interlocutors Nirmala Buch and S K Mishra and give them details of their talks with the Maoists.
They declined to share with the media details of their discussions with the rebels, who have put forward three demands for the release of the 32-year-old 2006-batch IAS officer.
Sharma and Hargopal said they did not meet Menon, who was abducted on April 21 from Majhipara village in Raipur district, but they were told by Naxal leaders that he was in "good health". He was abducted when he was holding a meeting as part of the government's Special Gram Suraj Abhiyan.
A CPI leader had last week delivered medicines for the officer, who is asthmatic.
The Maoist-appointed mediators reached Chintanlar, about 450 kms from the state capital, this morning from Tadmetla, a Naxal stronghold in Sukma district.
Their arrival in Raipur was delayed due to bad weather in Chintanlar, government officials said.
No breakthrough has been achieved after two rounds of talks between the mediators appointed by the Maoists and the state government.
To free the bureaucrat, Maoists have demanded release of 17 of their jailed leaders, halt to the anti-Maoist offensive "Operation Green Hunt" and sending security forces in Bastar to the barracks.
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Antony meets Karunanidhi on Prez poll; to report to Sonia

Congress leader and Defence Minister A K Antony today met DMK chief M Karunanidhi as part of consultation process among UPA allies on the Presidential election to arrive at a consensus leader to succeed incumbent Pratibha Patil, who is retiring on July 25.
After more than an hour-long meeting, Antony told reporters that he would convey the DMK leader's views on the issue to Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
"It was a very, very fruitful meeting. I will report to the Congress President whatever he said", he told reporters, refusing to disclose details about his discussion.
Observing that Gandhi had asked him to meet the DMK chief to discuss about the "present political situation", he said "What we discussed, I will convey to the Congress President".
He said Karunanidhi is one of the senior most leaders in the country and "we always value his advice".
DMK Parliamentary party leader T R Baalu and Karunanidhi's daughter and party MP Kanimozhi were also present.
Antony's meeting with Karunanidhi comes close on the heels of Agriculture Minister and NCP leader Sharad Pawar's consultation with the Congress President a few days ago. Pawar was understood to have urged the Congress chief on the need for a consensus on the choice.
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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Norway killer used computer wargames to plan attack

Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik (right) listens to his defence lawyer Geir Lippestad before the start of the fourth day of his terrorism and murder trial in Oslo on April 19. Norwegian anti-Islamic fanatic Anders Behring Breivik told a court on Thursday that he used computer games to prepare for his attacks, once spending an entire year isolated from society playing a game for hours on end.
Breivik, on trial for massacring 77 people last July, said he spent "lots of time" playing Modern Warfare, a first-person shooting game, and also took an entire year off to play World of Warcraft, a multi-player role-playing game with more than 10 million subscribers.
"I don't really like those games but it is good if you want to simulate for training purposes," Breivik said as he discussed Modern Warfare, smiling when asked about the aiming system.
Breivik killed eight people with a car bomb in Oslo on July 22 and then killed 69, mostly teenagers, at a Labour Party summer youth camp on Utoeya island, in a gun massacre.
Although he pleaded not guilty, he admitted the killings, saying his victims were traitors who supported immigration and multiculturalism, threatening Norwegian ethnic purity.
Breivik, who once played Modern Warfare 17-hours straight on New Year's Eve 2010/2011, said he used such games to simulate the police response and the best escape strategy.
"I calculated the likelihood of surviving unharmed at less than 5 percent," he told the court in his third day of testimony, referring to the bomb attack on government headquarters, when he expected to be swarmed by police officers.
"I trained myself to get out of such a situation. That is what I was simulating."
When he acquired the weapons for the actual attacks, he turned to Norse mythology in naming them.
"The rifle I called Gungnir, which is the name of the magical spear of Odin, which returns after you have thrown it. And the Glock I called Mjoelnir...It is the warrior god Thor's Hammer," he said, adding that he marked the weapons with their names in runes.
While playing computer games, Breivik said, he withdrew from his friends, saying personal relationships were not a priority.
In 2006, he moved in with his mother to save money and rarely interrupted his game of World of Warcraft, even though his mother became anxious.
"Of course I couldn't tell her I was going to take a sabbatical because I am going to blow myself up in five years' time."
"During that year I played perhaps 16 hours a day. It was a lot. Only playing for an entire year -- playing and sleeping, playing and sleeping....It was a dream I had, and I wanted to do this."
Thomas Hylland Eriksen, a professor of social anthropology at the University of Oslo, said such computer games could put Breivik in a state of delusion.
"When he went out on Utoeya, possibly at some level still believing he was still paying a computer game and shooting people in real life," Eriksen told Reuters away from the court proceedings.
"He does not seem to be very successful at distinguishing between the virtual reality of world of Warcraft and other computer games and reality," he said.
Breivik's trial, set to last 10 weeks, turns on the question of his sanity and thus whether he can be jailed. He has said that an insanity ruling would be "worse than death".
One court-appointed team of psychiatrists concluded he was psychotic, while a second team found him to be of sound mind.
On Wednesday he said he should either be executed or acquitted, calling the prospect of a prison sentence "pathetic".
Breivik has insisted he is a commander in a resistance movement but has acknowledged some of his claims were an exaggeration. He spent much of Wednesday defending the claim that it existed at all.
In court, he has Breivik struggled to defend his claim of being ordained into a militant-nationalist group called the Knights Templar in London in 2002 after preliminary contact in 2001, refusing to answer over 100 questions on the topic.
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Security tightened for PM's visit in Assam

PM visiting Assam: Plan to thwart ULFA bandh
Security has been tightened for in Assam in view of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh day-long visit tomorrow with the ULFA's anti-talk faction calling a 12-hour Assam bandh in protest. Police and para-military personnel have been posted on all major

thoroughfares, vital installations and patrolling has been intensified throughout the state, official sources said.
A security alert has been sounded throughout the state with police and security forces kept on high alert to thwart any subversive attempt by the ULFA and all forces engaged in counter-insurgency operations are meeting regularly to coordinate operations and share intelligence.
According to intelligence sources, there are reports that the ULFA cadre have been directed to target oil installations, pipelines, railway tracks, security personnel, police stations and outposts along with other vital installations.
The anti-talk ULFA faction has called for a 12-hour state-wide beginning at 0500 hrs tomorrow to protest against Singh's visit.
The Prime Minister, who represents Assam in the Rajya Sabha, is scheduled to arrive here tomorrow at 1050 hrs at the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport from where he would fly in a helicopter and land at the Nehru Stadium, Kamrup (Metro) Deputy Commissioner A Agnihotri told reporters here today.
The Prime Minister would immediately leave for B Barooah Cancer Institute where he is scheduled to inaugurate two new facilities for cancer patients.
Singh would subsequently leave for Dispur Secretariat Ground where he would address the gathering on the occasion of the Assam Legislative Assembly Platinum Jubilee Celebrations.
The Prime Minister will leave for Raj Bhavan for lunch and a meeting with the state cabinet.
The Prime Minister would return to the Nehru Stadium from where he would leave for the airport by a chopper and subsequently depart for New Delhi by 1700 hrs, Agnihotri said.
The district administration has made elaborate security arrangements at all the venues of the Prime Minister's programmes with traffic being either diverted or controlled along the roads through which the convoy will pass, Guwahati Senior Superintendent of Police Apurba Jibon Baruah said.
Public have been also directed to avoid parking vehicles on certain roads and localities.
The Northeast Frontier Railway has cancelled 11 trains and rescheduled four others following security threat in Assam till April 20.
A powerful Improvised Explosive Device (IED), weighing more than three kgs, was recovered today from railway tracks in lower Assam's Chirang district.
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CBI searches BEML chairman's office, residence

 Bangalore: The CBI Thursday searched the office and residence of V.R.S. Natarajan, chairman and managing director of the state-run Bharat Earth Movers Ltd. (BEML), here for evidence related to a tender process for hiring a consultancy firm.

"The searches began around 8 a.m. simultaneously and our officers were going through voluminous documents and files pertaining to hiring Astral Consulting Ltd., as irregularities were found in the tendering process," a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) spokesperson told IANS from New Delhi.

A six-member CBI team also started interrogating Natarajan at his residence after seizing a number of documents from his office and residence as part of the investigation into the case, registered Wednesday.

In the CBI case, Natarajan has been made number one accused and an unnamed director of Astral as the second accused.

"The office of the consultancy firm at Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu is also being searched for documents pertaining to the tender. As the case is under investigation, we will not be able to share details at this stage with the media," the spokesperson said.

A BEML official clarified that the search by the CBI had no connection with the controversial Tatra-truck deal, in which Army chief General V.K. Singh alleged March 26 that a retired lieutenant-general (Tejinder Singh) offered him a bribe of Rs.14 crore to clear the purchase of 600 'substandard' all-terrain Czech vehicles.

"The case is connected with BEML hiring Astral for implementing a resource planning project and not related to the Tatra truck deal," the spokesperson said.
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3 killed, 17 hurt as commuters fall off crowded Mumbai train

Three commuters were killed and 17 injured after they fell from overcrowded local train during the morning rush hour in the continuing chaos on the second day on Mumbai’s suburban railway on Thursday. Suburban services have been seriously affected since Wednesday morning following twin fires at signal cabins near Kurla.
Union Railway Minister Mukul Roy has announced a compensation of Rs2 lakh for families of the deceased.
Railway officials said that according to prima facie information on Thursday around 9am, some protruding object from a speeding fast Badlapur local heading towards Mumbai CST hit a signal post near Nahur station. This lead to the signal leaning towards the passing train, brushing commuters on the footboard of the crowded train.
"Seventeen commuters fell, one after the other. While two of them, who were flung away due to the impact, died on the spot, the third one died later. The fast train went and halted at Vikhroli, Ghatkopar and Dadar, ahead where passengers were rendered first-aid," a CR spokesperson said.
Of the injured victims, 12 are at Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar, 2 are being shifted to Fortis, 6 at Agarwal Hospital in Mulund and 2 at Kalyan railway hospital and one to Thane.
Meanwhile, work on the burnt signalling panels will be complete by tomorrow and services are expected to be normalised by Friday afternoon.
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Agni-V launch: India demonstrates ICBM capability; China reacts cautiously, says India not rival


China responds bitterly to India's missile launch
NEW DELHI: India on Thursday demonstrated the capability of launching a nuclear-tipped inter-continental ballistic missile ( ICBM) as Agni-V hit a target over 5,000 km away.

With this, India has joined an elite group of nations which have mastered such technology.

The 5,000 km-range missile gives India the capability to hit targets in China, including Beijing, eastern Europe, east Africa and the Australian coast.

"This launch has given a message to the entire world that India has the capability to design, develop, build and manufacture missiles of this class, and we are today, a missile power," V K Saraswat, director general, Defence Research and Development Organisation, said.

He said the missile launch was a major milestone in the preparedness of strategic defence of the country.

The Agni-V is 17.5m tall, solid-fuelled, three-stage missile with a launch weight of 50 tons, which includes a 1.5 tonne warhead.

This was the first launch of the missile after the country's defence scientists began work on it three years ago.

"The first flight itself was demonstrated in user deliverable mode," Avinash Chander, project director of Agni-V, said, adding that it was indeed a rare achievement to launch the missile in such a short duration.

The missile was launched at 8:07 hours on Thursday from a mobile launcher at the Wheeler Island off Orissa coast. It reached the apex at 600 kms and then re-entered the atmosphere to strike a target over 5000 km away from the launch site.

The launch was monitored by three ships deployed in the Indian Ocean and radars were also there tracking the complete trajectory of the missile.

The personnel on the ships spotted a fireball as the missile re-entered the atmosphere on its way to hit the target.

"The sleek missile, within a few seconds of its blast-off from the Island launch pad, roared majestically into the sky leaving behind its trajectory a trail of thin orange and white smoke before disappearing," a defence official at the launch site said

Saraswat said the missile had been achieved despite the stringent export control regimes, which developed countries have imposed on India.

"This shows that self-reliance in the area of this technology is now becoming a reality," he said.

Saraswat said the DRDO would conduct two more validation tests before starting the production of this missile.

The DRDO chief said that barring some electronic components, the Agni V was a completely indigenous product.

"More than 80 per cent of the missile is indigenous, except for the electronic components which we import. Everything has been designed, developed and produced in our industry and our laboratories," he said.

On the road ahead, Saraswat said the DRDO would now develop multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles for anti-satellite system.

"Today, we have done a great event for the country. All the team work that has gone in for the last three years has given a fruitful result," Tessy Thomas, chief scientist, project Agni-V, said.

A senior DRDO scientist said that the missile would be ready for induction into the armed forces by 2014.

"The 5000-plus kilometre range fulfils our strategic needs and moreover we are developing a deterrent capability," former DRDO chief M Natarajan said.

"We have to develop a missile to meet our strategic needs and identified threat perceptions and this missile will answers all those," he said.

China reacts cautiously, says India not rival

BEIJING/NEW DELHI: Reacting cautiously to India's test of Agni-V missile, China on Thursday said the two countries are not rivals and enjoy "sound" relations though the sources in the Chinese establishment feel that the launch can give rise to another round of arms race in the region.

"China has taken note of reports on India's missile launch. The two countries have sound relationship. "During the (recently held) BRICS meeting (in Delhi) the leadership had consensus to take the relationship further and to push forward bilateral strategic cooperative partnership," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin told a media briefing in Beijing when asked about the launch.

In Delhi, the diplomatic sources in the Chinese embassy said the "Agni-V launch can give rise to another round of arms race in this part of the world."

They were also critical of the media commentary on the successful launch of the nuclear capable 5000 km-range Agni-V missile, saying it sounded provocative. Asked whether China was concerned as most of the country would come under the Agni's range, Liu said in Beijing that "both the countries are emerging powers. We are not rivals. We are cooperative partners. We should cherish the hard earned momentum of cooperation."

To another question whether it would affect the regional stability, he said "we hope Asian countries can contribute to peace and stability."

However, China's state-run Global Times came out with a strong editorial criticising the launch, claiming that the Chinese nuclear power is more "stronger and reliable" and New Delhi has "no chance" to catch up.

"India should not overestimate its strength. Even if it has missiles that could reach most parts of China, that does not mean it will gain anything from being arrogant during disputes with China," Global Times, the influential tabloid of China's ruling Communist Party, said in its editorial.

Known for its scathing attacks on countries that have disputes with China, the daily said "India should be clear that China's nuclear power is stronger and more reliable."

"For the foreseeable future, India would stand no chance," it said in the editorial titled "India being swept away by military delusion." "India should also not overstate the value of its Western allies and the profits it could gain from participating in a containment of China. If it equates long-range strategic missiles with deterrence of China, and stirs up further hostility, it could be sorely mistaken," it said. The paper noted that India has moved rapidly in developing missile technology.

"It successfully launched the Agni IV with a range of 3,500 km last year. Indian public opinion has long seen China as its reference point for military development. "It seems India's path for boosting its military strength has not met too many obstacles. India is still poor and lags behind in infrastructure construction, but its society is highly supportive of developing nuclear power and the West chooses to overlook India's disregard of nuclear and missile control treaties," the editorial charged.

The West remains "silent on the fact that India's military spending increased by 17 per cent in 2012 and the country has again become the largest weapons importer in the world," it said, without referring to China's own whopping defence budget of USD 106 billion listed for this year.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

India scales down tsunami warning, authorities on alert

New Delhi: Hours after a tsunami warning was issued on Wednesday following the 8.6-magnitude earthquake in Indonesia, India withdrew the warning, saying that there was no cause of panic.
Home Secretary R K Singh said, "Apart from Nicobar, the tsunami warning has been reduced to tsunami alert."
Referring to the second earthquake in Indonesia, which measured 8.2 on the richter scale, Singh said, "Let us see what waves are generated by the second quake."
India scales down tsunami warning, authorities on alert
According to Singh, the authorities have been asked for evacuation in South Andaman. Meanwhile, reports suggested that some people had already been evacuated from South Andaman as a precautionary measure.
Reports also said that Andaman and Nicobar Islands could see waves up to 3.9 metres high following the quakes.
Though the tsunami warning has been scaled down, the government has sounded high alert in six districts of Odisha and emergency preparations are underway.
Meanwhile, according to Indian Air Force (IAF) sources, two planes with 80 NDRF personnel and five tones of relief material have been sent to Port Blair.
In Andhra Pradesh, the government has asked the administration in all the coastal districts to remain on alert and shift people to safer areas.
Fishermen have also been asked to stay away from the sea.
Strong tremors were felt in different cities of the country on Wednesday afternoon. People in multi-storeyed apartments and those working in high rise buildings rushed out in panic after they felt the tremors.
Tremors were felt in Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Patna, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Cuttack, Bhubaneshwar and several other cities on the eastern coast of India.
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Indonesia earthquake: No damage to ocean basin, India withdraws tsunami warning

Banda AcehIndia has withdrawn the tsunami warning it issued after the first massive earthquake hit waters off Indonesia, which triggered off at least two more powerful aftershocks.
Parts of Indonesia's Sumatra island still remain in danger from a tsunami following the series of powerful earthquakes off the Indonesian coast on Wednesday, but damage across the Indian Ocean basin is not expected, an official with the US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.
''So far all we've seen is on the order of about a metre or three feet or so, peak-to-peak,'' said Barry Hirshorn, a geophysicist at center, referring to waves measured by gauges mounted on buoys.

''And we've observed that on our closest gauge to the actual epicenter. The gauge is just off northern shore of Sumatra,'' Hirshorn said. ''We don't expect damage basin-wide, but there is danger nearby the source. So the tsunami danger is to the coastlines closest to the earthquake, which would be northern Sumatra.
At least two major quakes with a magnitude exceeding 8.0 hit off the coast of Indonesia's Aceh province on Wednesday, the US Geological Survery said, and a tsunami warning remained in effect.

The first quake measured 8.6 at a depth of 14.2 miles, according to the United States Geological Survey. The second quake was measured at 8.2 at a depth of 10.2 miles.
Indonesia issued a fresh tsunami warning after the first aftershock with a preliminary magnitude of 8.2 shook its western coast.
The first 8.6-magnitude quake off Aceh province, hours earlier, spawned a wave around 30 inches (80 centimetres) high but caused no serious damage.
The US Geological Survey said the strong temblor that followed was centered 10 miles (16 kilometres) beneath the ocean around 380 miles (615 kilometres) from the provincial capital, Banda Aceh.
Harjadi, a local official who goes by only one name, said the new tsunami warning was for residents living along the western coast of the country.
It included Sumatra island and the Mentawai islands.
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