Monday, May 31, 2010

Jackson leaves over USD 33 million each for his kids

London, May 31 (PTI) Pop icon Michael Jackson has reportedly left his three children USD 33 million each, according to his will.The 'Thriller' hitmaker has set up trust funds, which could make his children billionaires in the future. But Prince, 13, Paris, 12, and Blanket, 8, will be at least 30 before they can get their own hands on the money, reported News of the World.Under the terms of the Michael Jackson Family Trust fund, first drafted before he had children, and signed off in 2002, the three kids are today each worth USD 33 million.Jackson's mother Katherine is entitled to USD 99 million from the legacy, but he has left nothing to his other family members including his father, brothers, sisters and former wives.

India, Pak hold talks on river water sharing

New Delhi, May 31 (PTI) India and Pakistan today discussed issues of river water sharing and exchange of data including that related to flood warning here.The three-day talks between the Indus Commissioners would also focus on finalising the annual report and work out the programme for the next year as per the 1960 Indus Water Treaty.Source said before the talks began, Pakistani team expressed its desire to visit the 240 MW Uri II project and the 44 MW Chutak hydel project on Suru, a tributary of the Indus in Kargil district.Pakistan claims that the construction of the Chutak project would block 35,000-feet per acre water.On Uri II, Pakistan claims that under the Indus Treaty, it was given a certain time period to respond to the designs of the projects, but India had started construction work before the deadline for Islamabad's response.

"There is threat to my life," claims Sri Sri Ravishankar

Bangalore, May 31 (ANI): Art of Living (AoL) founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said on Monday that there is a threat to his life.His statement came just a day after he escaped being shot at in Bangalore.An unidentified gunman shot at his car as he was returning after delivering a discourse.He said there are certain elements who wanted to attack him.However, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said he did not want security that would be an obstacle between him and his devotees.Addressing media at his Bangalore ashram, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said he has forgiven the attacker and invited him to the ashram."If I spend some time with him, he will be a changed man,” Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said. "I have no enemies and I have never used any kind of abuse in my entire life," he added.He also said his message was that of peace and only non-violence can overcome such an incident."We must ensure the safety of the devotees and we must not be afraid of such attackers," he added.On Monday, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar conducted morning prayers as usual.Meanwhile, Karnataka Police has resumed their investigations and are scanning the spot for clues.The Karnataka Government has beefed up security in and around the Art of Living ashram. According to Art of Living sources, one devotee sustained a minor injury on his thigh. (ANI)

President Patil calls for greater market access for Indian goods in Chinese market

Shanghai, May 31 (ANI): President Pratibha Devisingh Patil, who is on a visit to China, said on Sunday that unless market access for Indian pharmaceutical, engineering and information technology companies improves, trade relations between India and China, which is under strain at present, would continue to worsen.During her meeting here with the ruling Communist Party''s Shanghai chief Yu Zhengsheng, Patil said it was important for Beijing to focus on trade imbalances and market access issues.Briefing media persons about the meeting, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao underlined that India wanted more market access in China in fields like engineering goods, IT (Information and Technology), IT enabled services, agricultural products and commodities, and added that this issue has been well conveyed to the Chinese leadership during Patil’s visit.The trade relationship between the two countries has been seen as a crucial driver of overall bilateral relations amid persisting political strains over the long-pending border dispute.India’s recent restrictions on the import of Chinese telecom equipment in light of security concerns, has added to the list of strains.Responding to a question on the dumping of Chinese goods in Indian markets, Rao said there are many corrective measures in place to check such practices.“There are a number of anti-dumping investigations also on Chinese products coming into India. And , there are also safeguard duties that are placed on Chinese goods. Whenever we see a surge which is likely to affect our industry adversely, corrective measures are taken,” she said.Earlier, during the last leg of her China visit, Patil visited the Indian pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo, which is being described as the biggest and most expensive in exhibition history.She also unveiled a statue of Rabindranath Tagore in the heart of old-town Shanghai, China’s financial capital.Tagore had visited Shanghai in the 1920s and left a strong influence on a whole generation of Chinese intellectuals and writers. (ANI)

Punjab and Haryana High Court to hear Rathore''s bail plea today

Chandigarh, May 31 (ANI): The Punjab and Haryana High Court will take up the bail plea of former Haryana Director General of Police (DGP) SPS Rathore on Monday.Rathore, who is now lodged in Chandigarh’s Burail jail, moved the high court with a review petition, seeking bail on medical grounds.Earlier, the Chandigarh District and Sessions Court had rejected Rathore’s appeal against his conviction in the Ruchika Girhotra molestation case.The court had enhanced Rathore’s jail term to 18 months from six months.His lawyer-wife Abha Rathore pleaded with the judge to hear the case, arguing that her husband was facing severe health problems.She also initiated a process for a revised petition against the verdict in the court of Justice S.S. Saron, contending that the appellate court had passed the order under media pressure. (ANI)

Fresh round of talks with NSCN-IM on Tuesday in Nagaland

Government negotiators begin fresh talks on Tuesday in Nagaland with the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM), the state's dominant separatist group, aimed at ending nearly six decades of insurgency.New Delhi's main peace interlocutor R.S. Pandey will meet NSCN-IM leaders in Kohima. This is the first time talks are being held in Nagaland since a ceasefire in August 1997 between the two sides."The talks are expected to discuss wide-ranging issues although we cannot divulge the agenda," Pandey told IANS.The NSCN-IM would be led by general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah, while officials from the central home ministry and intelligence agencies are expected to participate in the negotiations.New Delhi and NSCN-IM have held more than 55 rounds of peace talks in the past 13 years to end one of South Asia's longest running insurgencies that has killed 25,000 people since 1947.The NSCN-IM is, however, cynical of the fresh round of talks as they believe the focus of the government emissaries would be to convince Muivah to help end the deadlock in Manipur rather then taking the peace process forward."Any issue involving Nagas of Nagaland, Eastern Nagaland (Myanmar) and other Naga areas (in Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh) should be left alone. The meeting (Tuesday) should in no way be considered as political talks between the government of India and the Nagas as it is clearly a localized issue revolving around an individual's visit to his native village in Manipur," a statement by the NSCN-IM said.Manipur is in turmoil since April. First, Naga groups residing in Manipur enforced an indefinite economic blockade protesting the state government's decision to hold autonomous council elections.The decision by Muivah to visit his ancestral village in Manipur's Ukhrul district led to bloody clashes. Three people were killed in police firing May 6.The Manipur government has banned Muivah's visit saying it would incite tension.The deadlock over the issue has led to several Naga groups enforcing an indefinite economic blockade of Manipur. Hundreds of trucks carrying food and essential goods have been stranded in Nagaland as protesters have laid seige to National Highway 39 - the main lifeline to Manipur.This has triggered a food crisis in Manipur, with the state forced to airlift supplies of even medicines. Hospitals have been compelled to stop routine surgeries due to dearth of oxygen cylinders."No matter the amount of animosity, hatred and bad blood between Manipur government and Nagas of Manipur, emotion should not betray sanity and reason," the NSCN-IM statement said, adding that the Meiteis (the majority community in Manipur) and Nagas of Manipur would "co-exist for as long as man walks on earth".During earlier talks, the NSCN-IM had proposed "a special federal arrangement" to enable the Nagas self-governance but the negotiations ended inconclusively."It was agreed in earlier meetings to explore and discuss our demand for a special federal relationship between India and Nagalim (Greater Nagaland) that allows us self-governance," a senior NSCN-IM leader told IANS.The NSCN-IM has been struggling for nearly six decades to create a 'Greater Nagaland' by slicing off parts of three neighbouring states to unite 1.2 million Nagas. The demand is opposed by Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.The rebel leadership blamed New Delhi for failing to meet their demands -- even 13 years after the ceasefire."The progress of the talks is very slow. We cannot be patient always as there is a limit to everything though we believe in a political solution to our problem rather than a military one," the NSCN-IM leader said.