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Showing posts from October, 2008

Where are the Indian workers suffering from radioactive radiation?

Where are the Indian workers suffering from radioactive radiation?

France's Nuclear Safety Authority has alerted the Indian authorities about the radioactive buttons. It said, the lift buttons contained traces of radioactive Cobalt 60. Radiological safety division of India's Atomic Energy Regulatory Board is investigating the concerns raised by France's Nuclear Safety Authority. The original complain was from Otis firm, a French subsidiary of the US company. The factory belonging to Mafelec company, which delivers the buttons to Otis noticed in early October. Nuclear Safety Authority classed the incident at a factory of the Mafelec firm in the east-central town of Chimilin at level two on the seven-level International Nuclear Event Scale. It said that of 30 workers exposed, 20 had been exposed to doses of between one mSv (milli-Sievert) and three mSv. The maximum permitted dose for workers in the non-nuclear sector is one mSv.

Otis Elevator Company. lifts in France had been …

The Religion of Guns

Americans worship guns. We stockpile nuclear weapons, we spend hundreds of billions of dollars on conventional weapons, and we keep handguns under our pillows. Not me, you might say: never touched a gun, never will. But you can still be part of the religion without visiting the church. Consider all the video games that involve shooting. And all the movies that center around gunfights in the same way that medieval paintings focus on the life of Jesus. And all the plastic guns our kids have. Then there's our $2,000 annual per-capita share of the Pentagon budget - that's a hefty contribution to the collection plate.

We use all manner of spurious rationales to justify our gun theology. It's a dangerous world out there, we say, and even though we spend as much on weaponry as the rest of the world combined, we need still more. At home, gun advocates hold up the Constitution's Second Amendment: "A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the…

Manmohan Singh's toxic Diwali Gift to Indians

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Note:Indian government took an internationally untenable position by opposing the inclusion of Chrysotile Asbestos in the UN's hazardous chemical list under the manifest influence of Asbestos industry and Canadian and Russian governments.

Manmohan Singh government has betrayed the public interest by taking an unpardonable position that endangers each and every citizen of the country at the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-4) of the UN's Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure (PIC) for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade commenced today at the headquarters of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome, Italy.

There are 39 substances on the Rotterdam Convention's international trade watch list, under which an exporting nation must ensure no substance on the list leaves its territory without the consent of the recipient country. The watch list is formally known as the Prior Informed Consent (P…

IMF forgives its Director's Amourous Affairs

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Head of International Monitory Fund(IMF), Dominique Strauss-Kahn is a former Socialist finance minister and contender for French presidency. LibĂ©ration, the left-wing newspaper, said Strauss-Kahn, whom it described as a “seductive epicurean”, had predicted that he might be a liability in Washington. It said his flirtatious behaviour sometimes “verges on harassment” and that this would not go down well among “Anglo-Saxons”. Referring to Anglo-Saxons, Jean Quatremer, the veteran Brussels correspondent wrote“They do not forgive misplaced gestures or words”.It turns out that he has been forgiven.




The International Monetary Fund said Saturday that it would stand by its managing director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, despite concluding that he had shown poor judgment in a sexual affair with a subordinate.

After receiving a report from an outside law firm, the executive board of the fund said there was no evidence Strauss-Kahn had abused his power or shown favoritism in his brief relationship with …

Ambani gas tussle becomes Triangular

Ambani brothers feud over natural gas sharing reaches SC
26 Oct, 2008

PTI reports, a petition has been moved in Supreme Court seeking vacation of stay granted by Bombay High Court, which restrained Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries from selling gas to any company other than Anil Ambani group and NTPC.

The petition filed in public interest by one B A Aloor, a practising advocate from Pune, alleged that the feud between two brothers is affecting people at large who are being deprived of "the most-efficient and environment-friendly fossil fuel".

The matter is coming up for hearing on November 10. While challenging the High Court order dismissing its intervention application, the petition said vacation of stay would help early gas production from Krishna-Godavari basin.

Contesting the interim stay order, Aloor said the delay in using the gas from the RIL-controlled KG basin gas fields was against public interest, as the gas could be used as a cheaper alternate source of energy…

Arundhati Roy

Interview with Arundhati Roy by Karan Thappar in IBN

Communal Profiling of 150 Million Muslims in India and Terrorising an equal number of Dalits and Adivasis by the Police

Karan Thapar: Hello and welcome to Devil's Advocate. Why is Arundhati Roy angry with the police and upset with the press? That's the key issue I shall explore today. Arundhati Roy, let's start with the recent encounter in Jamia Nagar in New Delhi. You've called for an independent judicial enquiry headed by a Supreme Court judge. Why do you involve yourself into this work? What's your locus standi?

Arundhati Roy: Well, I am just one of those thousands of people who are asking some very serious questions of the police. The trouble is that you know, even if you wanted to believe this police version, you don't know which police version to believe. Does one believe the Bombay police, the UP police, the Gujarat police or the Delhi police? All of them have different versions. There's a blizzard …

New Treaty Aims to Protect Shared Transboundary Aquifers

New Treaty Aims to Protect Shared Transboundary Aquifers

PARIS, France, October 23, 2008 (ENS) - Underground aquifers contain 100 times the volume of fresh water found on the Earth's surface but they have been neglected under international law despite their environmental, social, economic and strategic importance.

On Monday, that will change as the UN General Assembly receives the draft of a new international treaty to safeguard these enormous pools of underground water shared by more than one country.

The draft Convention on Transboundary Aquifers applies to 96 percent of the planet's freshwater resources - those that are to be found in underground aquifers, most of which straddle national boundaries.

Many shared aquifers are under environmental threats caused by climate change, growing population pressure, over-exploitation, and human induced water pollution.
Blue Eye Spring in southern Albania is fed by the Vjosa / Pogoni Aquifer shared by Albania and Greece.

The draft treaty req…

UK Court of Appeal gives green light for legal challenge against import of toxic French ship, the Clemenceau

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release

Monday 20 October 2008

UK Court of Appeal gives green light for legal challenge against import of toxic French ship, the Clemenceau.

The Court of Appeal has reversed an earlier decision by the High Court and allowed Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) to challenge the importation of a toxic French aircraft carrier (the Clemenceau) into the United Kingdom.

On 16 October 2008 the Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Laws granted Jean Kennedy (of the Friends of Hartlepool group) permission to apply for judicial review and ordered the full hearing to take place in the Court of Appeal because of the importance of the issues in this case.

Although the date for the hearing has yet to be set, it is expected that the toxic aircraft carrier will now remain in France until the Court has decided the case.

Jean Kennedy, the Appellant in this legal action, said today:

“We are very satisfied with this result. Friends of Hartlepool have always maintained that the HSE’s decision to allow the …

UK Court of Appeal gives green light for legal challenge against import of toxic French ship, the Clemenceau

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release

Monday 20 October 2008

UK Court of Appeal gives green light for legal challenge against import of toxic French ship, the Clemenceau.

The Court of Appeal has reversed an earlier decision by the High Court and allowed Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) to challenge the importation of a toxic French aircraft carrier (the Clemenceau) into the United Kingdom.

On 16 October 2008 the Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Laws granted Jean Kennedy (of the Friends of Hartlepool group) permission to apply for judicial review and ordered the full hearing to take place in the Court of Appeal because of the importance of the issues in this case.

Although the date for the hearing has yet to be set, it is expected that the toxic aircraft carrier will now remain in France until the Court has decided the case.

Jean Kennedy, the Appellant in this legal action, said today:

“We are very satisfied with this result. Friends of Hartlepool have always maintained that the HSE’s decision to allow the …

Le Clemenceau still faces legal challenge in UK

New bid in ghost warship battle

18 October 2008

A CAMPAIGN to stop a controversial French aircraft carrier being scrapped in Hartlepool has taken a dramatic twist.

The 800ft Le Clemenceau was expected in town within weeks after environmentalists lost a High Court challenge to block its arrival on safety grounds.

But a judge has now reversed that decision and ordered a full review be heard in London's Court of Appeal.

Jean Kennedy, of Friends of Hartlepool, launched a legal challenge saying the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) had acted 'unlawfully' by granting Able UK an exemption against asbestos regulations to allow the ship to be dismantled here.

The massive vessel has previously been refused entry into a number of foreign countries for safety reasons.

But Able UK secured a contract to dismantle it at its TERRC (Teesside Environmental Reclamation and Recycling Centre) site at Graythorp.

Ms Kennedy's application, backed by the Public Interest Lawyers group (PIL), was dismis…

IMO's Draft Ship Recycling Convention Callous towards Environmental Health

A shameful stain on the conscience of shipping – recycling – remains unaddressed by the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC)of International Maritime Organisation (IMO). At its 58th meeting in London, the MEPC approved the final draft of its convention on recycling on 7 October, to be considered for final approval early next year at the IMO meeting in Hong Kong. Every new ship would enter service with an inventory of hazardous material.

The draft convention on ship recycling is a “shameful document which will likely do more harm than good” and “an instrument of greenwash” that does nothing to improve the working conditions at shipbreaking yards.

The convention has sought to address the mechanics of recycling business and the responsibilities of party and non-party states. This fails to “address the human rights, health and environmental consequences” of ship breaking.

Environmental groups say that IMO member governments had their own doubts about the convention. “Most notabl…

Taiwan Arms Sales: Less Than Meets the Eye

After more than seven years of waiting, there is reason to celebrate the final approval of a $6.4 billion U.S. arms sale to Taiwan. Unfortunately, there is less to this package than meets the eye. Rather than addressing Taipei's deteriorating military balance against China's rapidly modernizing and expanding forces, these approvals provide gasps of new oxygen to Taiwan's aging defenses, which were starved of air initially by domestic politics and then, for the last year, by Washington's concern about Beijing's ire.

Indeed, for the most part, the sales seem to be designed around a new standard: providing no capability that Taiwan does not already have and about which Chinese protests will be perfunctory. For instance, the sale provides upgrades and repairs of existing systems and gives Taiwan new weapons to use against Chinese ground forces in the unlikely event that the People's Liberation Army decides to invade by way of Taiwan's beaches.

The White House als…