Saturday, August 27, 2011

Military Bases Prepare for Hurricane Irene

By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 25, 2011 - Military bases along the eastern seaboard are securing for the Category 3 winds and rain of Hurricane Irene, and the Defense Department is working closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency as part of the U.S. government response, defense officials said today.
Click photo for screen-resolution image
A GOES-13 infrared satellite image provided by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Monterey, Calif., shows the status of Hurricane Irene at about 6 a.m. EDT, Aug. 24, 2011. Irene crossed over the Bahamas with 115-mph winds. The storm could strike the U.S. East Coast between Florida and the Carolinas as a Category 3 hurricane. U.S. Naval Research Laboratory image 
The Defense Department is providing air and ground transportation experts and defense coordinating officers to work with state, local and other federal agencies, process mission assignments and coordinate DOD resources in support of FEMA, the lead federal agency.DOD facilities in and near Irene's forecast path are taking actions to alert, prepare and secure for the storm, officials said.
The storm was in the northwest Bahamas this morning, National Hurricane Center Director Bill Read said during a telephone briefing, moving over the Abaco Islands with sustained winds of 115 mph.
"The next area of concern as [Irene] exits the Bahamas is what the impact will be in North Carolina," he said. "We have a hurricane watch up now for most of the North Carolina coast [and a] tropical storm watch through most of the South Carolina coast," Read added.
The storm is expected to maintain major hurricane status -- winds of at least 115 mph -- as it approaches the coast of North Carolina the morning of Aug. 27, he said.
As the large storm passes through North Carolina, Read said, residents should expect very high winds and tropical-storm-force and hurricane-force winds over a large area.
With the National Hurricane Center's next advisory at 5 p.m. EDT, Read said, "we'll probably extend watches northward into the mid-Atlantic region."
After it crosses North Carolina, he added, Irene is expected to continue moving toward the north-northeast, potentially bringing into play the Tidewater area of Virginia, the Delaware-Maryland-Virginia peninsula and the lower Chesapeake Bay, at a minimum.
"Any further deviation to the left could bring direct center impacts as far inland as the Washington-Baltimore area," Read said. "After that, the rest of the eastern seaboard is well within the path of this storm."
Irene will bring into play "all of the northeast corridor for heavy rains, high winds and coastal storm flooding," he added.
Impacts on the morning of Aug. 28 are expected to be on the Delmarva peninsula and the New Jersey shore. That afternoon and into the following morning, the impacts will be in New England and New York, he said.
North and South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and New York have begun preparations. State officials have ordered mandatory evacuation for people in Hyde and Dare counties and on Ocracoke Island in North Carolina.
In North Carolina, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point and Marine Corps Air Station New River have set Destructive Weather Condition 4, defense officials said, which means they project hurricane impact within 72 hours.
Navy squadrons in Virginia's Hampton Roads area will hangar or evacuate aircraft tomorrow. Navy Vice Adm. Daniel P. Holloway, commander of the 2nd Fleet, today ordered all ships in Hampton Roads to be ready to get underway to avoid damage if the storm is expected to produce at least 50 knots of wind and a 5-to-7-foot storm surge.
Navy Rear Adm. Mark S. Boensel, commander of Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, and Navy Rear Adm. Patrick J. Lorge, commandant of Naval District Washington, ordered emergency conditions of readiness for their areas of responsibility.
Defense officials say about 101,000 National Guard members are available if needed to governors of the affected East Coast states, territories and the District of Columbia.
In Puerto Rico, where Irene struck Aug. 21, members of the National Guard's 190th Engineering Battalion have been activated to clear roads and debris, transport equipment, support communications, perform urban search and rescue, and support public safety.
U.S. Northern Command will support FEMA efforts along the East Coast and to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands with resources and experts.
FEMA has provided $8 million in funding to support the assistance, which includes military experts, air and ground transportation experts, emergency preparedness liaison officers and others.
Northcom officials have asked that the Joint Staff put 18 utility helicopters in a 24-hour prepare-to-deploy status to help with incident awareness and assessment. The command also requested that U.S. Transportation Command put a mobile public affairs detachment on 24-hour prepare-to-deploy order status.
FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said his agency is pre-positioning supplies at military bases in North Carolina, Massachusetts and New Jersey. Supplies include heavy-duty generators, communications equipment, bottled water, shelf-stable meals, baby and infant supplies, tarps and durable medical goods to support shelter operations, Fugate said.
"Our role right now is focused on supporting governors as evacuations are being ordered, as we've seen already on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and as we anticipate may be required further up the East Coast," he said.
FEMA then will prepare for initial response to the aftermath of the hurricane by moving supplies into these areas to have them ready to go.
"We oftentimes focus on the coastal residents, but ... this will not just be a coastal storm," Fugate said. "We can see impacts well inland, both from winds that can cause widespread power outages as trees come down, especially due to the saturated soil, and also flooding."

Friday, August 26, 2011

Joe Biden poses for a photo

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden poses for a photo with Service members at the Taiyo Community Center, Yokota Air Base, Japan, Aug. 24, 2011. About 1,000 Service members from the Air Force, Army, Marines, Navy and Coast Guard attended the vice president's speech in which he thanked them for their efforts during Operation Tomodachi, the assistance operation that took place in response to the magnitude 9.0 Tohoku earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck northeastern Japan March 11, 2011. 

DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Stacy Moless, U.S. Air Force/Released)

Patrols down a road

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman John Fitzgerald, a medic attached to the Laghman Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), patrols down a road with many known improvised explosive devices (IED) hotspots during a multi-day operation in Alingar district, Laghman province, Afghanistan, Aug. 21, 2011. The PRT and the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team conducted a cordon and search in a village thought to be home to improvised explosive device makers and Taliban fighters. (DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Crane, U.S. Air Force/Released)

State Level Haematology Quiz held at CMC

North Zone competition on October 5th in PGI 

CMC Ludhiana and Patiala to represent Punjab in the zonal round

Ludhiana, 26th August, 2011: On behalf of the ISHTM (Indian Society of Haematology and Transfusion Medicine), the Punjab and Himachal Pradesh State level quiz was held in CMC Ludhiana.  Six different medical colleges with post graduate courses from CMC Ldh, DMC Ldh, GMC Patiala, GMC Amritsar, Adesh Institute Bhatinda and RPG medical College Kangra participated in the quiz.
In closely contested competition, Drs Neha Talwar, Navin Mathew and Jessita from CMC Ludhiana were the winners and Drs Kavita,  Vivek Rana and Amit Madaan from Govt College, Patiala were runners up. DMC Ludhiana got third prize.
This was conducted as part of the 1st National Haematology quiz for post graduates.  The state and zonal co-ordinator Dr Naveen Kakkar said that the unique nature of the quiz was that it was a 3 member team with post graduates from medicine, paediatrics and pathology.
The national co-ordinator Dr M Joseph John, Associate Professor & Head of Clinical Haematology and Bone Marrow Transplant at CMC Ludhiana commented that the goal of initiating this event at the national level was to increase the awareness of Haematology as a sub-specialty among the students and the 3 member team would stress on the importance of clinicians and pathologists working together to render the best care for the patients. 
The winners and the runners up would be taking part in the North Zone competition on October 5th in PGI Chandigarh.  The grand finale would be held at the same venue during the national ISHTM conference on 11/11/11 at 11 am. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

‘Six Vidarbha Farmers suicides reported in last 48 hours

Anna Urged to raise farmers on Going Genocide in his Civil Movement'
Nagpur- Dated 25th August 2011
When all media and political along with billions of Indian are deeply concerned Anna Hazare fast unto death which entered in to 10th day demanding stringent and effective Anti graft law ,the six more victims of India’s economic corruption at the policy reported from vidarbha farm suicide capital of India as six farmer suicide reported v.i.z.
1.Kaniram Jadhav of Krishnanagar in Yavatmal
2.Pramod Gawande of Lotwada in Amaravati
3.Nitin Fale of Masa in Akola
4.Purshottam Pakhan of Muradevi in Amaravati
5.Sheikh Anwar of Pangarkhed in Buldhana
6.Santosh Raut of Malegoan in Washim
in 48 hours taking toll to 24 in August and 495 in 2011, Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha 
‘Even vidarbha cotton farmers of farm suicide capital of India has supported Anna Agitation at all village level,we have been demanding stringent law to stop on mass genocide of innocent farmers who are victim of wrong policies of Indian Govt. supported by UPA and NDA both hence very accountable and effective ‘LOKPAL’ comes to the office there is no provision to economic corruption related to free trade , development of land market, privatization water, entry of GM Seed and GM food , takeover of agriculture ,retail and key service sector by MNCs where all decision are taken with heavy corruption and ill managed law makers and policy planers hence country needs stringent law to stop these malpractices which are depriving 90% population from basic needs like food ,shelter, health care, education and employment but this serious issue is completely ignored in Anna Agitation hence we have been urging Team Anna to in list demand of economic corruption at policy and permit level and millions of distressed debt trapped farmers suicides will continue ’Tiwari added.
‘in fact rural India’s 70% population of farmers ,tribal and land labors are real victims of massive economic corruption due to wrong policies of state .the well-established policies of giving subsidies, license and free trade ,globalization ,GM food and privatization of health care, education and rural employment are basic issues of corruption which are beyond scope individual base and policy base corruption hence Anna demand even it is conceded today will same fate that was of first lokpal bill 1069 hence present momentum and public unrest is right opportunity for civil society to uproot this US-UK-USSR BASE corrupt political rulers system to allow young generation to take over the power .India needs change and Anna’s civil movement can do it other wise bloody revolution will follow hence Team Anna should expand demand and get ready for long fight as common man is behind them,Tiwari added.
Even after 66 years of so called freedom 90% population is denied food, shelter, healthcare ,education and forced to die due to starvation ,despair and distress then there is need to change system and policies and year 2011 is set to have that change and Anna Hazare’s movement against graft is the beginning of that revolution and we urged all section to civil society to join the second freedom movement in order to save million of dying vidarbha farmers and tribal who are innocent victims of this post-independence hostile systematic political and administrative corruption , Kishore Tiwari said
“2,30,000 Indian farmers suicides in last decade is largest genocide in world history of mankind is result of on going corruption at high level that is resulting in wrong anti-poor and farmer policies and vidarbha is capital of that genocide hence our protest and support to anti-graft agitation is much more valid and legitimate hence to echo this mass genocide in all civil disobedience agitation we have been participating and extending support actively and this time too we are joining Team Anna for the same ”Tiwari added.
‘If Annaji can sacrifice life then why we should not spare come on the road to make ‘corruption free India’ ,we have decided that whole vidarbha agrarian community will join the agitation along with civil society to take issue to the final conclusion’ Mohan Jadhav of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti informed.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Soldier Saves Drowning Child

By Army Staff Sgt. Brandon Little
32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command

FORT BLISS, Texas, Aug. 23, 2011 - "I asked my dad, 'Please don't let me die like this. I have a kid in my arms,'" said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Don Schmidt, a Patriot missile system technician here for B Battery, 3rd Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery.
Click photo for screen-resolution image
Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Don Schmidt stands outside the B Battery, 3rd Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery headquarters building at Fort Bliss, Texas. Schmidt jumped into a raging, flood-swollen river on the outskirts of Tucson, Ariz., to save a drowning child July 23, 2011. U.S. Army photo
These were Schmidt's thoughts before a piece of debris struck him on the head and he lost his grip on 11-year-old Angel Sandoval, resulting in the boy being swept away by raging flashflood waters.
A fierce July 23 rainstorm that'd pummeled the area surrounding Tucson, Ariz., caused Schmidt to risk his life in an attempt to save the boy, named Angel, from drowning.
Many low-lying areas in the southwestern United States flood easily, Schmidt said, because of a combination of intense rain and poor drainage.
Schmidt, who hails from Tucson, said he is well aware of the areas that become dangerous and impassable when severe weather strikes. He had returned home and was visiting his family when dark, thick rain clouds filled the sky.
"I was home playing with my baby for about an hour when this huge monsoon storm rolled in and it started pouring," Schmidt said. "Initially when I went out it was still raining and I was trying to help the county [highway personnel] put out the 'Do not enter when road closed' signs."
These signs are placed at sections of roads intersecting with a usually dry riverbed, Schmidt said, which is also referred to as a "wash." He had helped position a road closing sign when he noticed how unusually high the water was in the previously dry riverbed.
"I remember leaving my truck running because I was just going to videotape [the water-filled riverbed] because I had never seen the wash this full," Schmidt said. "I recorded approximately 10 seconds of video ... I took a couple of steps forward to get a better view of stuff that floats by in the wash."
On the opposite side of the river, Schmidt noticed a group of young men running along the bank and staring intently at the water. That's when he noticed Angel floating down the river as the powerful current pulled his head underwater.
"They screamed 'Help, help; he's in the water,'" Schmidt said. "I jokingly laughed to myself and said 'My wife's going to kill me and I hope no one steals my cell phone.'"
Schmidt, who in no way considers himself a strong swimmer, tossed his phone and dove into the raging, debris-riddled water, oblivious to what was awaiting him.
"I got a hold of Angel right away; he was fighting with me but I managed to get control of the situation," Schmidt said. "I got him to where his back was in my arm pit. We kept getting pulled underneath; I mean we're getting dunked constantly."
They gasped for air as their heads burst above water for only a quick two or three seconds and then they were once again submerged, Schmidt said.
"Ninety percent of my time in the water was spent underwater," he said. "There was one point where we went under [for about] 20 or 30 seconds. [When you resurface] you don't get good breaths. I was stretched out on my back and I was fighting to keep us above water; I swear I thought I was going to die."
Schmidt said he had a tight grip on Angel with his right arm while using his left arm to frantically grab at thorny branches in unsuccessful attempts to free them from the strong current. These branches caused deep lacerations on Schmidt's hand and arm.
It was at this point, Schmidt said, that he asked his father, who'd passed away in 1999, to help him out of the perilous situation.
"I said: 'Dad please, let me get home to my baby and my wife; let me get this kid out of here. I can't die like this, I don't want to be found face down in a muddy wash,'" Schmidt said.
At that very moment, a large piece of debris struck Schmidt, splitting his bottom lip.
"When I got whacked, I still had him by the shirt but my grip had loosened up," Schmidt said. "Somehow I lost grip [of him] and I'll never forget this kid looking at me like I let go of him ... that still haunts me to this day."
Schmidt then hit a sandbar and was pulled ashore by an onlooker. Angel, too, hit a sandbar on the opposite side of the wash and was rescued by onlookers. Schmidt had battled the ravaging current for nearly five minutes. Angel was swept away further upstream while he tried to save his younger sister who'd also fallen into the water.
Schmidt, Angel and his sister were taken to the hospital for medical treatment and then they were released.
"My wife was pretty upset and didn't speak to me the entire trip to the hospital," Schmidt said.
Schmidt said he didn't think of being a hero when he jumped into the water to help Angel.
"I didn't jump in the water for guts and glory," Schmidt said. "I just hoped that someone would do the same for my kid in that situation. Maybe I didn't change the world, but at least I made a difference in someone's life."

Monday, August 22, 2011

Campaign against the drug abuse, female foeticide

Chandigarh, August 20:-- The Shiromani Akali Dal Patron and Chief Minister, Punjab S. Parkash Singh Badal appealed to the sikh masses that to maintain Supremacy of Sri Akal Takht Sahib, management of Sikh Shrines in the best possible way, upgradation of Sikh educational institutions and to defeat the forces inimical to the panth, they should vote for SAD-Sant Samaj candidates in the general elections to the “Parliament of Sikhs”, the SGPC.

  Releasing the Panthic Agenda of SAD-Sant Samaj Combine at the 26th death anniversary of Sant Harchand Singh Longowal S. Badal said that Sikhs have made huge sacrifices and fought numerous battles to get Gurdwaras vacated from the “Mahants”. He said that a number of “Morchas” were organised by the community including Saka of Nanakana Sahib, Panja Sahib, Jaito Morcha, Guru ke Bagh Morcha and Chabian da Morcha besides others. He said that hundreds of Sikhs were martyred, thousands were imprisoned and thousands other were brutally tortured by the British regime.

Describing SGPC as “Parliament of Sikhs” the SAD Patron said that Shiromani Akali Dal has the honour to claim that right from the time of its inception in 1920 till today the sikh masses have always trusted the SAD for the management of sikh shrines. 

Releasing the agenda, S. Badal said that people were aware of the fact that right from the establishment of SGPC, the Congress party had always tried to interfere in the religious affairs of the Sikhs with an intention to get the control of SGPC.

Briefing about the document released today  S. Badal said  that  for the information of the masses, the achievements of the SGPC in the last seven years and earlier, have been included with self explanatory photographs of all important educational institutions, sikh missions, Gurmat Vidyalas and Sarai (inns) built for the convenience of pilgrims.

  S. Badal complemented SGPC for establishing Sikh University and described it as a historic achievement of the Khalsa Panth.

 S. Badal further expressed satisfaction over the performance of all 110 education institutions run by SGPC and informed that 74745 students are getting quality education at a cheaper rate in these institutions.

Panthic Agenda begins with the three page impressive appeal  of the SAD President S. Sukhbir Singh Badal. In his appeal S. Sukhbir Singh Badal has described the menace of drugs, female foeticide, environmental pollution as the big challenges before the Khalsa Panth. He stressed that there should be a quality school, a well equipped hospital and a nice play ground along with each and every Gurdwara Sahib being managed by SGPC.

S. Parkash Singh Badal said that a long pending demand of direct telecast of ‘Shabad Kirtan’ from Sri Harmandir Sahib has been fulfilled. He also lauded the use of Internet and other modern techniques by the SGPC for preaching  sikh religion.

          Disclosing about the future agenda of the SGPC, S. Badal said that apart from establishment and up-gradation of the education institutions, a campaign against the drug abuse, female foeticide and social reform would be a launched by the SGPC. He also said that Institute of Advanced Studies in Sikhism in the name of former President of SGPC Panth Ratan Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra would be completed in time. Similarly, the most important job of authentic translation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, which is under progress, will be completed in the shortest possible time and it would further be translated to different languages so as to spread the message of social equality and universal brotherhood enshrined in Sri Guru Granth Sahib to whole of mankind. He said that SGPC would establish a wonderful Museum with a cost of Rs. 100 crore at Akali Market Sri Amritsar and  Rs. 25 crore would be spent of construction of Sarai (inn) at Saragarhi site. He said that Langar building at Sri Harmandir Sahib is being upgraded with Rs. 20 crore.
Congratulating the SGPC on successful conduct of ‘Khalsai’ sports S. Badal said that sports is the need of the hour and ‘Khalsai’ sports will continue with the same vigour in the times to come for the better future of the sikh youth.

( Dr. Daljit Singh Cheema )
Secretary & Spokesman,
Shiromani Akali Dal. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pong Dam water level touches 1387.48 feet

Beas, Satluj witness increased discharge 
Chandigarh August 21: Beas and Satluj rivers in Punjab witnessed increased discharge from Pong Dam, Naushera Mirthal and Dhilwan   in Beas, Harike and HussainiWala in Satluj.
       64477 cusecs water was discharged from the Pong Dam against the inflow of 76674 cusecs. There was discharge of 54500 cusec in Beas at Naushera Mirthal and 122500 cusecs in Dhilwan .  Satluj also witnessed the  discharge of 67746 cusecs from Harike and discharge of 51537 cusecs from Hussainiwala.       
       According to an official spokesman the water level in Pong Dam was 1387.48 feet against it maximum capacity of 1390 feet. Last year on this day it was 1370.28feet.        
Due to continuous heavy rain fall in the state, the water level in Bhakra Dam has been increasing. The water level at Bhakra Dam today touched 1667.35 feet water mark whereas its capacity was 1680 feet. According to an official spokesman water level on this day during the previous year was recorded at 1670.83 feet.        
The water level at Ranjit Sagar Dam has touched 518.69 meter whereas its capacity was 520.94 feet.     
He said that the data received from the Department on 21-8-2011 indicates the level of rain fall during last 24 hours in Madhopur 7mm, Ranjit Sagar Dam 8 mm, Shahpur kandi 7.8 mm , Shena Khera 4.00mm, Mallanwala 2 mm, Kandukhera 5 mm Sidhwan 6mm, Moga 3mm, Bhoond 6.40mm, Khairy 5.60 mm ,Basoli 4.40mm  and Chamba 9.40mm.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Motivated Marine Succeeds in Afghanistan

By Marine Corps Cpl. Tommy Bellegarde
2nd Marine Division

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan, Aug. 18, 2011 - Marine Corps Cpl. Austin Barton of Charleston, S.C., keeps his "ear to the ground" here as he monitors enemy activity to inform and safeguard his fellow service members.
Click photo for screen-resolution image
Marine Corps Cpl. Austin Barton is the combat operations center watch chief in the intelligence section for 2nd Marine Division in Afghanistan's Helmand province. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Tommy Bellegarde 
Barton serves as the combat operations center watch chief with the 2nd Marine Division's intelligence section here, analyzing activity in the division's area of operations and briefing the intelligence section. He also acts as a liaison to ground commanders.
"I focus on what is going on in the battle space on a constant basis -- where the enemy is, where they are attacking," Barton explained. "I have to analyze that and provide [an] operational picture to the intelligence section. While doing that, I also provide an intelligence picture to the operations side."
Barton was recognized as his battalion's noncommissioned officer of the 3rd quarter for fiscal 2011, but he had built a reputation for being a stellar Marine before deploying to Afghanistan in February, said Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Richard Pinner, the collections chief for the division's intelligence section.
Knowing this, Pinner said, Barton's supervisors wanted him to assume high-profile tasks and responsibilities typically reserved for much higher-ranking Marines.
"He was put in the combat operations center, which is not a desirable billet; however, it's something that has to get done," said Pinner, who hails from Pensacola, Fla. "He was performing the duties and tasks of a lieutenant."
Barton, 22, has served in the Marine Corps for five years. He is a former rifleman who switched to the intelligence field when he re-enlisted. His infantry experience, Barton said, has given him an ability to see through the eyes of Marines on the ground without actually being there, a skill that prepared him well for the intelligence field.
"Understanding what [the infantryman] is looking for and understanding what they're seeing on the battlefield without actually being there aids you significantly when trying to provide an intelligence picture," he said. "[It] really helps, because you have the opportunity to speak from both sides and bring that middle ground when ideas don't meet."
Barton's job proficiency and leadership ability are well known in the intelligence section, said Marine Corps 1st Lt. Joseph Timoteo, the division's intelligence operations center watch officer.
"Corporal Barton is the most intense and enthusiastic Marine that I've met in the [intelligence section]," said Timoteo, a Philadelphia native. "The longer he's been here, the more enthusiastic he's become about his job. Then he pushes that off on others, and it's refreshing to see."
Barton said his drive to perform comes from his love of being a Marine in what he believes is the pinnacle of any Marine's career -- being deployed.
"My motivation comes from being out here [in Afghanistan]," he said. "Being deployed is the greatest part of [a Marine's] career, because that's when [they] are really affecting the rest of the world."
Related Sites:
NATO International Security Assistance Force 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Prioritize tackling human rights violations

Amnesty International Urges Presidential Candidates in Guatemala to Address Human Rights Problems affecting hundreds of thousands
WashingtonD.C: Amnesty International today urged Guatemalan presidential candidates to prioritize tackling human rights violations affecting hundreds of thousands in the country. In an open letter sent to all presidential candidates, Amnesty International wrote that the new government should improve investigations into past human rights abuses, tackle the alarming rate of violent crime and killings of women, provide long term solutions to land conflicts and protect the work of human rights activists. “Human rights abuses are a common problem in Guatemala today. Those particularly affected tend to be the most vulnerable, the ones who are most discriminated against: women, indigenous peoples and those living in poverty,” said Sebastian Elgueta, Guatemala researcher at Amnesty International. “The political will of the future President will be crucial in ensuring human rights are protected in Guatemala. This is why it is so crucial that candidates commit to addressing the human rights challenges ahead,” he said.Elections are scheduled for Sept. 11 2011. If none of the candidates receives more than fifty percent of the votes, a second round will take place on Nov. 6 2011. Municipal and legislative elections are scheduled on the same day. Violence against candidates has been reported, including the killing of three candidates since their campaigns started in May 2011. Over the past decades Amnesty International has documented alarming levels of human rights abuses in Guatemala. The internal armed conflict, which ended in 1996, left 200,000 victims of torture, killings and enforced disappearances. Those responsible for the harm have only been brought to justice in a handful of cases and few victims have received reparations. Today Guatemala is a country with one of the highest rates of homicide and violent crime in the Americas. Many of the victims are women –695 were violently murdered in 2010 alone, according to official figures. Most of those responsible for the abuses never face justice. Land conflict and forced evictions are two issues that most affect rural communities across Guatemala. The country’s government has so far failed to address the underlying causes of land conflicts and instead prioritized short-term violent solutions. In recent years, Amnesty International has also documented a large number of threats and attacks against human rights activists, particularly those who focus on economic, social and cultural rights such as activists who work on land disputes, mining projects and labor disputes.In the first six months of 2011, local human rights organizations reported 273 incidents of intimidation, threats and or attacks against activists. The vast majority has not been investigated. “Justice for human rights abuses in Guatemala can be done. What is needed are efficient investigations, effective prosecutions and the political will of the authorities,” said Elgueta. “We urge all presidential candidates to commit to protecting and improving human rights in Guatemala.” Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied. 
# # #

Joy of freedom enjoyed


Ludhiana, :: The 65th Independence Day celebrations were celebrated in a grand way at Christian Medical College Ludhiana, yesterday at 9:00 am at the College campus of CMC.  Earlier there was a special service conducted at the College Chapel led by Rev. Stanley Thomas, to thank God for the freedom we received as a Nation and all those who made it possible.   Dr. George Koshy, Registrar and Vice Principal of the Christian Dental College exhorted from the Holy Bible that God blesses the Nation which builds on righteousness.
The Chief Guest of the occasion was Brig. M. George Jacob, Station Commander for the Army Unit at Ludhiana.  During the occasion the Chief Guest took the salute from the march past led by the students of all the five colleges of the institution and security personnel.  Dr. Abraham G. Thomas, Director of CMC Ludhiana welcomed the gathering and reminded  everyone present that CMC Ludhiana had played a critical role in the freedom struggle and  it is important to carry on the legacy of our fore-fathers with dedication and perseverance.Chief Guest of the occasion Brig. M. George Jacob said during his Independence Day address that CMC Ludhiana is an institution of national importance and he encouraged all the students to be good citizens and to carry on with passion.  He also highlighted how different sections of the society played a key role in our freedom struggle. 
After this students of the various colleges of CMC presented a cultural programme depicting the various facets of our freedom struggle through songs, dance and choreography.  This years Independence Day celebrations were co-ordinated by Christian Dental College.  

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Afghan, Coalition Force Kills Insurgents

From an International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Release
KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 12, 2011 - A combined Afghan and coalition force killed two insurgents and detained several more yesterday during a security operation targeting a Taliban facilitator and his suicide-attack network in the Baghlan-e Jadid district of Afghanistan's Baghlan province, military officials reported.
The facilitator is responsible for harboring suicide bombers in preparation for an attack on provincial government officials.
While searching for the leader, the security force came across two armed insurgents who threatened the force. Responding to the threat, the security force engaged the two men, killing them.
The security force also detained multiple other suspected insurgents, including the would-be suicide bomber who was to carry out the attack against government officials.
The security force confiscated a rocket-propelled grenade launcher and multiple assault rifles.
In other Afghanistan operations yesterday:
-- A combined Afghan and coalition force detained a Taliban leader and another suspected insurgent during a security operation in Kandahar city in Kandahar province. The leader was responsible for overseeing the construction and emplacement of roadside bombs.
-- A combined Afghan and coalition security force detained multiple suspects during an operation targeting a Taliban leader in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province. The leader directs a Taliban cell in the district, and is responsible for roadside-bomb and small-arms attacks against Afghan and coalition forces. The security force also found 500 pounds of ammonium nitrate – a banned fertilizer used in homemade explosives -- and explosive bomb-making device.
-- A combined Afghan and coalition force captured a Haqqani terrorist network leader and an associate in the Zurmat district of Paktia province. The detained leader participated in roadside bomb and other attacks against Afghan forces.
-- Also in the Zurmat district, a combined Afghan and coalition security force detained several suspects during a search for a Haqqani network leader who coordinates roadside bomb and other attacks against the Afghan army.
Related Sites:
NATO International Security Assistance Force 

Dad Takes Oath From Son After Service Break

By Air Force Airman 1st Class Jarrod Grammel
23rd Wing

VALDOSTA, Ga., Aug. 11, 2011 - Nineteen years after separating from the active duty Air Force, Scott Long enlisted into the Reserve. Now he's a staff sergeant, serving with the 476th Maintenance Squadron as a fuel systems craftsman.
Click photo for screen-resolution image
Army 2nd Lt. Brandon Long, right, administers the oath of enlistment to his father, Scott Long, in Valdosta, Ga., July 28, 2011. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jamal D. Sutter 
Long's son, Army 2nd Lt. Brandon Long, 1-169th Aviation Support Battalion liaison officer, presided over the July 28 ceremony.
"When I decided to re-enlist, I was looking into the future," said the elder Long, 51. "I always regretted getting out, even though it was the right decision at the time."
Before his separation in 1992 after 11 years of service, Long was stationed in numerous countries and states, finally settling down at Moody Air Force Base, Ga.
"What makes Sergeant Long a special case is that he has a 19-year break in service," said Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jeffrey Walker, Eastern Recruiting Squadron line recruiter. "He will bring back knowledge and heritage to the newer generation of airmen."
Lieutenant Long was happy to have the chance to preside over his father's re-enlistment ceremony.
"It's a special event, and a rare opportunity to do a re-enlistment ceremony as a young officer, especially for my father," he said. "I'm really happy for him. He has been talking about re-enlisting for a long time, and he is happy to have the chance to serve his country again."
The lieutenant, who is waiting to leave for pilot training, was commissioned in May during a ceremony in which his father pinned on his rank.
"It has been a dream of mine to serve in the military ever since I was young," the lieutenant said. "I really wanted to join the Air Force, but my college only had an Army ROTC program. I got a slot for pilot training in the Army, and I have always wanted to fly, so it didn't matter which service.
"My father's service definitely influenced my decision to join the military," he added. "It's a family legacy. His father was a Marine in World War II, and my other grandfather was in the Navy."
At more than 50 years old and 19 years after leaving active duty, Sergeant Long faced challenges when re-enlisting.
"The biggest challenge in re-enlisting after all this time was making sure I was physically fit," he said. "You also have to make sure you are still medically qualified."
Only a few months after his son's commissioning and 19 years after leaving active duty, Long is glad to be back in uniform.
"I am just proud to have the opportunity to serve my country again," he said, "and contribute more than just my tax dollars."

Five Roma families have been left homeless in Belgrade

Amnesty International Condemns Forced Evictions of Roma Families

Washington, D.C. – Five Roma families have been left homeless in Belgrade after they were forcibly evicted yesterday from privately owned buildings they had been occupying, the latest in a string of such evictions. 
Some 20 Roma people, including 10 children, were removed from the building on the Serbian capital’s Skadarska Street after a June 29 court order called for them to leave the property and remove all their possessions. 
A previous eviction attempt on July 27 was postponed while the families and local activists called on the authorities to provide alternative housing, but the authorities have failed to act on the request. 
“Once again, authorities in Belgrade are uprooting Roma families and pushing them out on the streets without providing adequate alternative housing,” said Nicola Duckworth, Amnesty International’s Europe and Central Asia program director. “This unacceptable practice must not continue, and the authorities must do more to seek out adequate housing solutions to ensure Roma families can bring up their children in safety and with dignity.” 
One woman in the community, who fled to Belgrade to avoid domestic violence in southern Serbia, is facing being sent back following the recent eviction.   
After learning of the eviction order, the Serbian N.G.O. Praxis urged the national Ministry of Labor and Social Policy as well as Belgrade city authorities to provide the families with adequate alternative housing before removing them. 
Amnesty International joined local NGOs in calling for the forced eviction to be stopped, and has previously called on the Serbian government to introduce a law prohibiting the practice.   
According to a recent Amnesty International report, the Serbian government has repeatedly failed to prevent the forced eviction of Roma families, who often lose their livelihoods and their only possessions in addition their homes. 
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied. 
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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Breast feeding week celebrated at CMC

Ludhiana, 11th August, 2011:  Breast feeding week has recently been celebrated with great enthusiasm all over the country.  The Department of Pediatrics Christian Medical College & Hospital too organized various talks, keeping in mind the theme for this year which was ‘Talk to me….’  Dr Inderpreet SohiProfessor of Pediatrics and Secretary National Neonatology Forum, Punjab conducted an interactive session on breast feeding for the staff nurses.  She emphasized the advantages of breast milk which is specifically meant for the optimum growth and development of the human infant. Babies who are exclusively breast fed have been found to have higher IQ and are better in intellectual activities later in life.  Breast milk is also protective against major illnesses like sepsis and necrotizing enterocolitis in the newborn period 
and diarrhea, respiratory infections and ear infections later on.  It is also protective against allergic disorders like asthma, eczema and cardiovascular disorders, obesity, diabetes and even cancer in later life. It is recommended that an infant be exclusively breast fed upto 6 months of age after which appropriate complementary feeds need to be started to maintain optimum growth.
 Dr Shaveta  Kundra , Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics delivered a talk on breast feeding to student nurses.  She emphasized the advantages of breast feeding to the mother and the factors which help in enhancing the milk flow in mothers.  A relaxed and happy state of mind of the mother, along with sight and sound of the baby enhance milk flow.  Mothers are also advised to take a balanced nutritious diet and plenty of fluids while breast feeding.  Young mothers also need to be taught the proper technique of breast feeding so that they avoid the problems like sore or cracked nipples and breast engorgement and can continue to breast feed their babies effectively. 
 Keeping in mind the theme for this year’s breast feeding week a session on breast feeding was also taken By Dr Noorul Ain, Resident Department of Pediatrics, for the expectant mothers attending the antenatal OPD. They were taught the technique of proper breast feeding and also how to tackle any problems that may arise and were motivated to exclusively breast feed their babies till 6 months of age.. --Shalu Arora

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

A wide array of debatable issues were discussed

CME on “Controversies of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Ludhiana, 7th August, 2011: The department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, conducted  CME on “Controversies of Obstetrics and Gynecology” on the Seventh of August in the Guy Constable Auditorium. This Quarterly meet of Northern Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology of India was held under the able guidance of Prof and Head, Dr Kumkum Avasthi with constant encouragement and support by Director of the institute Dr Abraham G Thomas. The conference was duly accredited 4 CME hours by Punjab Medical Council.
A wide array of debatable issues in obstetrics and gynaecology were discussed and was attended by nearly 200 local practitioners as well as medical fraternity from nearby medical colleges.
The gathering was addressed by chief guest Dr Abraham G Thomas who welcomed the delegates congratulated the dept for organizing the conference. Dr Lakhbir Dhaliwal, President of NOGSI complimented CMC for organizing the quarterly meet and emphasized upon role of FOGSI in women’s health. The occasion was also graced by Dr G.S.Grewal, member of Punjab Medical Council  
The conference covered debatable issues in obstetrics ranging from changing trends in breech and instrumental delivery to recurrent pregnancy loss and IUGR management .Burning issues in Gynecology providing insight to infertility, HPV vaccination and misuse of emergency contraception were also covered. Eminent speakers from all over North India deliberated on the same.
The conference ended on a successful note managing to clear a lot of misconceptions on the controversial issues on the subject. 

A decisive battle against corruption has begun

Anna Hazares message to the Nation for 15th and 16th August

My Dear Fellow Indians,

A decisive battle against corruption has begun. We are not against any political party. We want systemic reforms. We want a corruption-free India. After all, what are the people asking for – a strong anti-corruption law which provides for honest and time-bound investigations and trials that result in jail for the guilty, confiscation of embezzled money and their dismissal from service? Are we asking too much? For two months, we were talking to the government. Government seems unwilling to take even small steps against corruption. Government appears insincere. We have met all prominent political leaders. We have tried everything. What do we do now? When I announced my indefinite fast from 16th August, the government threatened that they would crush us the way they crushed Baba Ramdev's peaceful agitation. Friends, this is a historic opportunity. We can't afford to lose it. We are determined to fight to the end. If they arrest us, we will peacefully offer ourselves. If they use batons and bullets, we will happily lay down our lives but will not leave the place. We will not retaliate. It will be a completely non-violent movement. “If you fast on 16th August, you will be crushed” – this is what they are saying. “We will impose section 144 on Jantar Mantar” – this is what they are thinking. But I say that if every citizen in this country takes off from his work from 16th August, comes on the streets in front of his house, at the crossing, with a tricolor in his hands shouting “Bharat Mata ki Jai” and raising slogans against corruption, they will fall short of batons and bullets. The government may arrest one Anna Hazare but how will they arrest 120 crore Anna Hazares? They may impose section 144 at one Jantar Mantar but will they impose section 144 on the whole country? And let me tell you – the police and army is with us. At traffic signals, policemen stop us, express their support and wish us well; at Raj Ghat, the policemen donated generously for the movement! So, will you take off from your work from 16 August? Will you descend on the streets with me? This year, the country will wait for 16th rather than 15th August. In solidarity,
Anna Hazare 
(Please make copies of this pamphlet and distribute it in large nos.)
“WHY GOVERNMENT'S LOKPAL IS DANGEROUS???” Government's Lokpal is targeted against those who raise their voice against corruption rather than to punish the corrupt!
The government's Lokpal bill covers only about 0.5% of public servants, yet it brings under its ambit virtually every citizen's group and organization, registered or unregistered, meant to serve the social sector. This raises a pertinent question -- whom is the Lokpal really targeted at? There are more than 1.25 crore central and state government employees. Out of this merely 65,000 Group A Central Government employees would be covered in the government bill leaving out all the lower officers and staff. This effectively means that there is no remedy against corruption that a common person faces daily in police, roads, industry, licensing, transport, roadways, municipality, rations, health services, education, pension, provident funds, Panchayat, forest department, irrigation department, etc. On the other hand, Lokpal would have jurisdiction over ALL NGOs, trusts, societies like Resident Welfare Associations(RWAs), big or small, whether registered or unregistered, whether they receive government funding or not, up to the village level! For instance, consider a group of citizens that unearths corruption of the Sarpanch and Block Development officer (BDO) in a village. The government's Lokpal can't take any action against the Sarpanch or BDO but it CAN lock up the group of HONEST active CITIZENS. Each and every association, like Resident Welfare Associations, Market Associations, even your neighborhood committees that organize festivals like Durga Puja, Ramlila, etc. would be under the purview of Lokpal. While there is no disagreement that the rot of corruption is also afflicting many societies, associations and NGOs, there already exists a plethora of laws like the Trust Act, Societies Act, FCRA, etc. to monitor them. Lokpal was originally intended for checking corruption in public servants. Regardless, if it is being extended to all associations of civil society, then why shouldn't it also cover all companies, businesses, political parties, and media houses?

Government's Lokpal Provides Greater Protection to Corrupt! 
Provisions in the government's Lokpal Bill heavily favour corrupt public servants. Under this bill, a public servant accused of corruption is allowed to turn around and file a lawsuit against the complainant accusing him of filing a frivolous complaint. The government will provide a free advocate to the accused to help prove the citizen was wrong, while the citizen has to fend for himself. If the complaint proves to be frivolous, the minimum sentence FOR THE CITIZEN is TWO YEARS. But if the corruption charges are proved, the minimum sentence for the public servant is just SIX MONTHS!

Will then any citizen dare raise a voice against corruption?

Monday, August 01, 2011

CMC Ludhiana City Center has been inaugurated

Ludhiana, 1st August, 2011 : In response to the many requests from the citizens of Ludhiana, the CMC Ludhiana City Center has been inaugurated at the Sirish Hospital, Ghumar Mandi, and it has commenced functioning from 01-August-2011. Patients and their relatives have found it difficult to reach CMC Ludhiana due to the traffic congestion at Ferozepore Road, Jagraon Bridge and Brown Road. The CMC City Center has become a convenient center for consultation with the senior consultants of CMCH.
The City Center Consultations will function from 04.30 PM to 08.00 PM on Mondays to FridaysOn Saturdays the City Center will function from 03.00 PM to 05.30 PM. All basic investigations using the latest computerized and automated equipment will be done from 08.00 AM to 08.00 PM from Mondays to Saturdays at the City Center.  
The following specialty clinics will be running at the CMC City Center: Medicine; Surgery; Pediatrics; Pediatric Surgery; Orthopedics; Obstetrics & Gynecology; Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation; Physiotherapy; Occupational Therapy; ENT; Dermatology; Dental; Ophthalmology; Neurology; Neurosurgery; Cardiology; Cardiac Surgery; Thoracic & Vascular Surgery; Nephrology; Urology; Plastic, Microvascular & Reconstructive Surgery; Endocrinology & Diabetes; Clinical Hematology & Hemato-oncology; Oncology; Chest Medicine; Medical Gastroenterology; Psychiatry, Clinical Psychology & Counseling. Senior Consultants will be available on their designated days and patients can make prior appointments by calling in at the following contact numbers: 0161-2401566; 0161-2408303; 7508899099 [Mobile].
Dr Abraham Thomas, Director, CMCH, while inaugurating the CMC City Center, highlighted that this has been a major step to get our services across to the citizens of Ludhiana at their convenience. CMCH is well known for its team of internationally reputed and experienced consultants and their services will be made available at the CMC City Center. Dr Vijay Obed, Deputy Director, CMCH, will be the co-coordinator of the City Center along with Mr AG Isaiah, GeneralSuperintendent, CMCH.