Friday, May 30, 2014

I don't have the slightest doubt that LK Advani, Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari and Ananth Kumar, were against Modi becoming the PM, it is true. Specially Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj.

Said : Ram Jethmalani, a renowned lawyer and politician who has served as India's Union Law Minister and as Chairman of Bar Association. 

"Narendra Modi is keeping his enemies close to him by alloting them key ministries," he added.  

He revealed these facts in an interview with Krishna Kumar which is published in the Economic Times of 29 May, 2014.

When asked about his absence at the swearing ceremony of Narendra Modi as PM, Jethmalani said : "I had got an invite but chose not to go, I clearly wrote to Modi that I don't want to be in the presence of these people because it would bring out anger and contempt in me." 

"I think he appreciated my reason for not coming," he said acknowledging that he had received a call from Modi after he wrote to him.

Two years ago, Jethmalani wrote an article titled "The rise and rise of tomorrow’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi,' in which he quoted : 
"Today, vast sections of civil society see in Narendra Modi the next Prime Minister of India. I hope he will plant more visible footprints on the international seashore. He has to speak of peace and a durable solution to the Kashmir problem with the rulers of Pakistan."
"I felt fulfilled the day Modi took oath as Prime Minister and on 16th when the results were announced," Jethmalani said in yesterday's interview.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

"I think we both know that the competition is against the dictionary, not against each other"

Said : Sriram Hathwar, a co-champion of this year's National Spelling Bee.
(Source : Bsiness Insider)
Sriram Hathwar, a 14-year-old speller from Painted Post, New York, and Ansun Sujoe, a 13-year-old speller from Fort Worth, Texas, were declared co-champions of the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee tonight.

The declaration of co-champions came after round 22, when Hathwar spelled “stichomythia,” which is defined as “dialogue especially of altercation or dispute delivered in alternating lines.” Sujoe responded by correctly spelling the word "feuilleton,” which is defined as “a part of a European newspaper or magazine devoted to material designed to entertain the general reader.” 

Rich Boehne, chairman, president and CEO of The E.W. Scripps Company, declared Hathwar and Sujoe co-champions and awarded them the engraved Scripps National Spelling Bee championship trophy immediately after Sujoe’s correct spelling in round 22. This is the first time since 1962 – and the fourth time overall – that co-champions have been declared at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

"Congratulations to Sriram and Ansun, who navigated their way through some very difficult words to become the 2014 co-champions,” Boehne said. “The Scripps National Spelling Bee captures the nation’s attention every May, and it’s an honor to see these young men and women step up to the challenge. The language skills they develop in preparing for this contest will help them all their lives.”

Hathwar represents the Corning Rotary Club in Corning, New York, in this year's competition. He is an eighth-grade student at the Alternative School for Math and Science in Corning.

Sujoe represents Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. He is a seventh-grade student at Bethesda Christian School in Fort Worth, Texas.

This was the fifth consecutive Scripps National Spelling Bee in which Hathwar competed. He finished in third place in 2013. This is Sujoe’s second consecutive Scripps National Spelling Bee. He tied for 43rd place in 2013.

ESPN broadcast the championship finals live.

The spelling competition began Tuesday with 281 competitors who qualified to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee by winning locally sponsored bees.

With more than 11 million spellers starting at the local level, the Scripps National Spelling Bee is the nation's largest and longest-running educational program. The competition is administered on a not-for-profit basis by Scripps in Cincinnati.

The competition was held in the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. Round-by-round results are available at

Gokul Venkatachalam of Chesterfield, Missouri, representing the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, placed third in the competition.

The co-champions each receive a $30,000 cash prize, along with an engraved trophy from Scripps; a $2,500 U.S. savings bond; and complete reference library from Merriam-Webster; and $1,200 of reference works from Encyclopedia Britannica.

Each student at Hathwar’s and Sujoe’s schools will receive a one-year subscription to Microsoft Office 365 Home. Microsoft is the Official Technology Champion of the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

About the Scripps National Spelling Bee:

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is the nation's largest and longest-running educational program. The purpose of the Scripps National Spelling Bee is to help students improve spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives. Visit for more information about the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which is administered on a not-for-profit basis by The E.W. Scripps Company.

About Scripps:

The E.W. Scripps Company ( serves audiences and businesses through a growing portfolio of television, print and digital media brands. After its acquisition of two Granite Broadcasting stations closes, Scripps will own 21 local television stations as well as daily newspapers in 13 markets across the United States. It also runs an expanding collection of local and national digital journalism and information businesses including digital video news service Newsy. Scripps also produces television programming and runs an award-winning investigative reporting newsroom in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1879, Scripps is focused on the stories of tomorrow.

While tying is never quite as good as winning outright, the two seemed happy to share the prestigious title. 14-year-old Hathwar summed it up perfectly when he told ESPN after the win :

"I think we both know that the competition was against the dictionary, not against each other," Hathwar said.  "I am happy to share this trophy with him."

"That's a 14-year-old wise beyond his years," commented Leah Goldman, a senior editor for Business Insider.

Sriram Hathwar is an 8th grader at the Alternative School for Math and Science (Corning, NY) and Ansun Sujoe is a 7th grader Bethesda Christian School (Fort Worth, Texas).

According to americanbazaaronline, this year, out of 12 championship finalists, six are of Indian origin; each student is sponsored by a newspaper or community organization in the area, and one is even sponsored by a university in Texas:
  1. Sriram Hathwar – Age 14, Grade 8 – Alternative School for Math and Science (Painted Post, New York).
  2. Neha Konakalla – Age 14, Grade 8 – Sam H. Lawson Middle School (Cupertino, California).
  3. Tejas Muthusamy – Age 11, Grade 5 – Rivers Edge Elementary School (Glen Allen, Virginia).
  4. Ansun Sujoe – Age 13, Grade 7 – Bethesda Christian School (Fort Worth, Texas).
  5. Ashwin Veeramani – Age 14, Grade 8 – Incarnate Word Academy (North Royalton, Ohio).
  6. Gokul Venkatachalam – Age 13, Grade 7 – Parkway West Middle School (Chesterfield, Missouri).

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Anything that is not a hit is promising : Microsoft CEO on 'Surface Pro 3'

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Said : Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in his first public interview since becoming CEO in February. He was at the opening keynote at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California last night.

According to CNET - a leading news-site that tracks all the latest consumer technology breakthroughs and provides latest technology news - Nadella said his aim was to build "something big" than make a large acquisition. He expressed confidence in Microsoft's latest offering - the new 12-inch Surface Pro tablet and strongly felt that it could replace laptops in today's "post, post-PC era."

CNET reported that Nadella, a 22-year Microsoft veteran, was also pressed to talk about the company's missteps during his tenure. "It's an interesting question. Should I bother about it or should I be more concerned about what we're doing now?" 

When asked about whether Microsoft was interested in making a big acquisition, Nadella said, "we have to build something big." 

Nadella has been actively trying to embrace "the mobile first, cloud world," policy. Microsoft is now offering its software and services on platforms beyond its Windows operating system. For example, a version of Microsoft's best-selling Office business apps was released for Apple's iPad last month to spread their usage. "The intent here is to make sure our services are available on all devices," Nadella said. "There are going to be Windows devices and there are going to be other devices, and we have to make sure our services run on all of them."

Earlier this month, Microsoft unveiled 'Surface Pro 3' - a new category of tablets with larger screen. With a 12” display, it has the power of a laptop in a lightweight, versatile form. It is being promoted as a laptop replacement. It represents, Nadella said, a "journey of improvement" at Microsoft, which lags in the tablet market behind Apple's iPad and devices powered by Google's Android mobile operating system. He called the Surface "promising" and noted, to laughter, that "anything that is not a hit is promising."

Among those new services will be a near real-time language translation technology designed to work with Microsoft's Skype video conferencing service, which boasts more than 300 million connected users. The Skype Translator will support multiple languages and be available as an app for Windows 8 users at first later this year before being released for other platforms.

Microsoft has been working on a translator software for more than a decade. The Comany is in the process of launching a revolutionary speech recognition and translation technology which will similar to the Star Trek vision for a Universal Translator. Gurdeep Pall, Corporate Vice President of Skype and Lync at Microsoft, gave a demonstration showing real time English-German translations to conference attendees. The demo showed near real-time audio translation from English to German and vice versa, combining Skype voice and IM technologies with Microsoft Translator, and neural network-based speech recognition. 
At the inaugural Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., Gurdeep Pall, Microsoft corporate vice president of Skype and Lync, demoed the new Skype Translator app while Re/code's Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher looked on. Photo credit: Asa Mathat – Re/code.
Later, in a blog post, he wrote : "Imagine in the very near future technology allowing humans to bridge geographic and language boundaries to connect mind to mind and heart to heart in ways never before possible. The latest offering from Microsoft 'Skype Translator' will enable us enhance productivity and human connection by overcoming language barriers. Skype Translator is a great example of why Microsoft invests in basic research. We’ve invested in speech recognition, automatic translation and machine learning technologies for more than a decade, and now they’re emerging as important components in this more personal computing era."

Gurdeep Pall said : "Today, Skype has more than 300 million connected users each month, and more than 2 billion minutes of conversation a day as Skype breaks down communications barriers by delivering voice and video across a number of devices, from PCs and tablets, to smartphones and TVs. But language barrier has been a blocker to productivity and human connection; Skype Translator helps us overcome this barrier."

Monday, May 26, 2014

"Data Scientist is now the hottest job title in Silicon Valley"

Jeff Hammerbacher

Said : Tim O'Reilly, founder of O'Reilly Media in a recent survey - The World's 7 Most Powerful Data Scientists - in Forbes. Out of these, two names include those who jointly coined the term 'Data Scientist' that has now become one of the jobs that is hot in demand in Silicon Valley today. 

"The success of companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Netflix, not to mention Wall Street firms and industries from manufacturing to retail and healthcare, is increasingly driven by better tools for extracting meaning from very large quantities of data. "Data Scientist" is now the hottest job title in Silicon Valley," Tim said.

Jeff Hammerbacher, Chief Scientist, Cloudera and DJ Patil, VP of Product at RelateIQ coined the term "Data Scientist.” Now it’s Silicon Valley's hottest job title. These two built the first formal data science teams at Facebook and LinkedIn, respectively. Both of them are at # 2 in the list after Larry Page, CEO, Google.

DJ Patil
Jeff Hammerbacher : Prior to co-founding Cloudera, Jeff (@hackingdata) conceived, built, and led the Data team at Facebook. The Data team was responsible for inventing and building powerful data analysis applications on Hadoop. That system is the core data platform at Facebook for improving the user experience and driving revenue. Before he joined Facebook, Jeff worked as a quantitative analyst on Wall Street. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from Harvard University.

DJ Patil : Prior to joining RelateIQ, he was Greylock’s data scientist in residence. He joined Greylock from now defunct Color Labs where he was Chief Product Officer. He has also worked as head of data products, chief scientist, and chief security officer at LinkedIn. As LinkedIn’s Chief Security Officer he partnered with Facebook, Google, Twitter, Zynga and others to take on hackers, spammers and fraudsters, and worked at eBay as their Director of Strategy, Analytics, and Product.

Others in the O'Reilly list are :

#3 Sebastian Thrun, Professor, Stanford University and Peter Norvig, Data Scientist, Google
#4 Elizabeth Warren, Candidate, U.S. Senate (Massachusetts)
#5 Todd Park,  Chief Technology Officer of the United States 
#6 Alex "Sandy" Pentland, Professor, MIT
#7 Hod Lipson and Michael Schmidt, Computer Scientists, Cornell University

The role of the data scientist has grown tremendously during the past few years thanks to the explosive growth of social media network on the web. It has now become the hot new role to fill in Silicon Valley. 

Today, data-mining experts and talent, especially those who can develop compelling products and experiences around massive amounts of data, are among the most desirable talent hires in the technology world, both at companies and VC firms. There is great demand for new emerging data-mining companies that expertise in application of complex algorithms to make the enterprise smarter. 

According to - a leading website on which employees share their salary and job satisfaction - the median salary for the job title “Data Scientist” ranges from $115,000 to $125,000. 

"A bunch of geniuses can act stupid when put into a group"

Alex `Sandy’ Pentland (Pic : MIT’s Media Lab)

Said : Alex Pentland - one of the world's leading data scientists - in an interview with Spiegel

Aged 62, Pentland heads the Human Dynamics Lab at the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In his interview, he explains how data streams can be used to determine the laws of human interaction. According to him, the information can be used to help forge better societies.

When asked : "Professor Pentland, you do research on the intelligence of groups. Can a bunch of geniuses act stupid when put into a group? He replied : "Oh, absolutely. That's how I got started on this. We were setting up a laboratory in India. We had a board of directors, some of them were among the most brilliant people in the world, but as a board, they were completely useless. There was just too much ego in the room. When one person started talking, he wouldn't stop for half an hour, so very few ideas were actually put on the table."

"In his book "Social Physics: How Good Ideas Spread - The Lessons from a New Science," he argues that human communication behaviors follow the rules of mathematics. He says that with the aid of a computer, it is possible to monitor people in ways sufficient to detect these rules. The use of Big Data is proving to be just as important to social scientists as the telescope once was for astronomers," Spiegel reported.

Pentland's book is published by the Penguin Press, which in it's introduction observes : "Pentland and his teams have found that they can study patterns of information exchange in a social network without any knowledge of the actual content of the information and predict with stunning accuracy how productive and effective that network is, whether it’s a business or an entire city. We can maximize a group’s collective intelligence to improve performance and use social incentives to create new organizations and guide them through disruptive change in a way that maximizes the good. At every level of interaction, from small groups to large cities, social networks can be tuned to increase exploration and engagement, thus vastly improving idea flow."

"Social Physics will change the way we think about how we learn and how our social groups work—and can be made to work better, at every level of society. Pentland has distilled remarkable discoveries significant enough to become the bedrock of a whole new scientific field: social physics. Humans have more in common with bees than we like to admit: We're social creatures first and foremost. Our most important habits of action—and most basic notions of common sense—are wired into us through our coordination in social groups. Social physics is about idea flow, the way human social networks spread ideas and transform those ideas into behaviors," said the publisher's note. 

"Where do ideas come from? How do they get put into action? How can we create social structures that are productive and creative? If the Big Data revolution has a presiding genius, it is MIT's Alex Pentland, whose research has led to the creation of more than 30 companies. Yet according to his research, innovation doesn't come from a few super-bright people; it comes from idea flow, the way ideas are spread. Thanks to the rise of smartphones, GPS devices, and the internet, the flow of ideas can now be tracked. Sociologists no longer need to rely on surveys or abstract models. With stunning accuracy, social physics allows us to predict - and improve - how effective a network is, whether it's a search-and-rescue operation, a business, or a city," says the book's Australian publisher

In it's book review, The Economist wrote : “Social Physics” is filled with rich findings about what makes people tick. Using millions of data points measured over a long period of time in real settings, which Mr Pentland calls “living laboratories”, the author has monitored human behaviour on an unprecedented scale. Through it, for example, he has discovered that people change how they behave in measurable ways when they fall ill. By tracking mobility and call patterns, researchers were able to tell that someone was coming down with flu before they knew it themselves."…Social Physics is a fascinating look at a new field by one of its principal geeks.”

Pentland's page on MIT's website says : "Alex `Sandy’ Pentland has helped create and direct MIT’s Media Lab, the Media Lab Asia, and the Center for Future Health.  He chairs the World Economic Forum's Data Driven Development council, is Academic Director of the MIT-Harvard-ODI Big Data and People Project, and is a member of the Advisory Boards for Google, Nissan, Telefonica, Monument Capital, and the Minerva Schools. In 2012 Forbes named Sandy one of the 'seven most powerful data scientists in the world’, along with Google founders and the CTO of the United States, and in 2013 he won the McKinsey Award from Harvard Business Review."

The Human Dynamics Lab at the MIT Media Laboratories pioneered the idea of a society enabled by Big Data.   The Lab has developed technologies such as reality mining, which uses mobile phone data to extract patterns that predict future human behavior, a `nervous system’ framework for dramatically more efficient transportation, health, energy, and financial systems, the New Deal on Data policies which are now enshrined in the US Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, and a Trust Network communication architecture that ensures that this new data driven society is secure and fair.  

Watch Alex Pentland speak on "Social Physics: How Good Ideas Spread" (Talks at Google) 

Monday, May 19, 2014

When a foreign nation uses military or intelligence resources and tools against an American executive or corporation........., we must say, 'enough is enough'

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder

Said : U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder at a press conference held today to announce U.S. charges against five Chinese military hackers for cyber espionage. 

He announced an indictment against five officers of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) for, what he called, "serious cybersecurity breaches." The six American victim entities identified by him were : Westinghouse Electric, Alcoa, Allegheny Technologies Incorporated, U.S. Steel, the United Steelworkers Union and SolarWorld. 

A federal grand jury in Pittsburgh has found that these five Chinese military officers conspired together, and with others, to hack into the computers of these organizations in order to spy and steal business secrets.

"This is a case alleging economic espionage by members of the Chinese military. These are the first ever charges of 'economic espionage' against known state actors for infiltrating U.S. commercial targets by cyber means. The range of trade secrets and other sensitive business information stolen in this case is significant and demands and aggressive response," the attorney general said. "When a foreign nation uses military or intelligence resources and tools against an American executive or corporation to obtain trade secrets or sensitive business information for the benefit of its state-owned companies, we must say, ‘enough is enough,’ he added.
What is Cyber Spying? : Cyber spying means 
accessing to a private data of individuals or an 
organization without asking for permission. 
This act is usually applied for political/military
purpose by linking to the Internet, 
networks or 
individual computers by taking 
advantage of 
the cracking techniques and 
and malicious 
software including 
Trojan horses and spyware. 

"This case should serve as a wake-up call to the seriousness of the ongoing cyberthreat. The indictment makes clear that state actors who engage in economic espionage, even over the Internet from faraway offices in Shanghai, will be exposed for their criminal conduct and sought for apprehension and prosecution in an American court of law," he said.

Attorney General's full statement appears on the website of the US Department of Justice here.

It is widely believed that U.S. authorities wouldn't be able to get hold of the indicted military personnel as the Chinese authorities would never hand them over. But the accused individuals would be black listed from traveling to the US and to the partner countries with whom the United States has an extradition agreement. These individuals also would find it extremely difficult to find jobs in the private sector in China once they leave the PLA. This is because U.S. government can keep a watch on such firms that hire former cyber spies and have an influence on them.

On the other hand, Chinese news agency Xinhua reports that China has strongly protested against the cyber theft charges and decided to suspend activities of the China-U.S. Cyber Working Group.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The asking price of natural gas ($400 per 1,000 cubic meters) supply by Russia to China is higher than our expectation

Said : Wang Ruiqi, senior analyst with Shanghai-based energy consultancy ICIS-C1 Energy, reported China Daily yesterday.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Moscow. (File Photo : Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)  
According to the report, China-Russia deal for natural gas delivery and cooperation on other projects is likely to be signed during Russian President Vladimir Putin's official visit to Beijing next week when he visits China to attend a summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia from May 20 to 21 in Shanghai. It's his first trip to China since President Xi Jinping, took office.
Loading Gazprom's LNG carrier (Pic : Gazprom)
In view of the Western sanctions after the Crimean annexation from Ukraine, Russia is looking to Asian markets to sell it's natural gas to reduce dependency on Europe. Gazprom OAO - Russia's top natural gas producer - is reported to be supplying 38 billion cubic meters of gas annually starting from 2018 and increase it to 68 billion cubic meters later. The fuel will be supplied through China's western and eastern pipelines the construction of which will take two to three years.

In 2013 - with total consumption of 167.6 billion cubic meters - China became the third-largest natural gas user recording 13.9 percent year-on-year growth.

Russia's top natural gas producer, Gazprom OAO, plans to supply China with 38 billion cubic meters of gas annually starting from 2018 and increase it to 68 billion cubic meters. The fuel will be supplied through China's western and eastern pipelines. No timetable has been specified for the increased supply.
The China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC), the nation's biggest natural gas importer, has also signed a deal with the Russian government to acquire a 20 percent stake in the Yamal liquefied natural gas project located in Northern Russia. It is a joint venture between Russia-based Novatek Inc, which owns 60 percent, France-based Total SA with 20 percent and CNPC, also with a 20 percent stake.

Friday, May 16, 2014

"Given Russia's hostile actions in Ukraine, business as usual is unacceptable"

Said : U.S. Senator Dan Coats.

U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), and John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced yesterday the Russian Weapons Embargo Act of 2014, bipartisan legislation that would sanction Russia’s Rosoboronexport – the sole state agency for export of Russian weapons systems and defense-related goods.
The proposal would forbid the direct or indirect use of American tax dollars to enter contracts or agreements with Rosoboronexport and immediately terminate existing contracts and agreements with the agency. The legislation also would prohibit contracts with any domestic or foreign company that cooperates with Rosoboronexport to design, manufacture or sell military equipment.

“The hostile situation in Ukraine is yet another recent example of why the United States should stop doing business with Russia and its arms dealer,” said Blumenthal. “This legislation sends a clear message to Russia and Rosoboronexport: America will not do business with countries that behave irresponsibly and companies that arm terrorist regimes.”

“Given Russia’s hostile actions in Ukraine, business as usual is unacceptable,” said Coats. “With American credibility and the future of the international order on the line, our actions should reflect that. This specific economic sanction will harm Russian interests in a serious way without damaging America’s economy.”

“It’s time to put an end to this hypocritical relationship and end all contracts with Rosoboronexport,” said Cornyn. “Considering Rosoboronexport’s close connection with Vladimir Putin and his cronies, and its ties to brutal dictators who’ve committed mass atrocities, there is no reason for our military to continue to rely on equipment from thugs masquerading as a legitimate business.”
Russian Mil Mi-17V-5 military transport helicopters (Pic Courtesy : RIA Novosti) 
Rosoboronexport facilitates and funds Putin’s foreign policy objectives through the sale of military equipment and technology, handling more than 80 percent of Russia's weapons exports.

The agency is the chief supplier of arms to Bashar al-Assad, whose regime is using these weapons to murder innocent Syrian civilians. Rosoboronexport has committed to provide Syria with S–300 advanced anti-aircraft missiles, and under a $100 million contract from the Assad government, Rosoboronxport is delivering 36 Yakovlev Yak-130 jets, even as the Syrian Air Force continues to bomb civilian targets. (Source : Press release by Senator Blumenthal's office published on the Senate website)

The Gandhi family should hand over the leadership to others for India to have a credible opposition

Sonia and Rahul own up responsibility for defeat

Said : The New York Times Editorial Board on it's Opinion Pages column today. Andrew Rosenthal, the editorial page editor of The New York Times, is in charge of the paper's opinion pages. 

The editorial, titled "With Narendra Modi, a Change in India", has described Narendra Modi's victory as 'historical' whereas the Congress party' defeat as 'crushing and humiliating.' In a clear advice to the Gandhi family, the editorial board says : "The loss was so humiliating for the Indian National Congress party, which has governed for most of India’s independence, that it was unclear if it could rebuild its prominence. The Gandhi family, which dominates the party, should hand over the leadership to others. That is the only chance for India to have a credible opposition."

Narendra Modi at his victory speech
The editorial argues that "the victory gives Mr. Modi the chance to revitalize the economy and shape the way India engages with the world. How he moves forward will matter to Indians clamoring for jobs and development, but also to others, including the United States, which sees India as a vital economic and security partner in Asia." It goes on to say that "Mr. Modi needs to deliver on his vow to make progress, and he and Washington must confront differences on global trade issues," hinting that the new Indian government should open its economy up to greater trade and foreign investment. 

The editors have also suggested that "the two countries should pursue deeper cooperation beyond occasional military exercises and arms sales, like calming tensions between China and Vietnam over regional waterways, building peace between India and Pakistan and stabilizing Afghanistan."

The editorial noted that Mr. Modi had set very high expectations for economic revival and his government. It appreciated his promise to work for the good of all Indians in the victory speech in Vadodara and opined that to fulfill peoples' expectations, he will need to stick to that commitment.

About The New York Times Editorial Board

The editorial board is composed of 18 journalists with wide-ranging areas of expertise. Their primary responsibility is to write The Times’s editorials, which represent the voice of the board, its editor and the publisher. The board is part of The Times’s editorial department, which is operated separately from The Times’s newsroom, and includes the Letters to the Editor and Op-Ed sections. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Don't Worry, Earth Will Survive Climate Change - We Won't

Said : Neil deGrasse Tyson - the world's most famous astrophysicist, and he is a HUGE Trekkie. 

Neil is the host of StarTalk Radio is a fan of science fiction and futuristic movies, and of Star Trek in particular. He talked about the climate change in his StarTalk Radio podcast, as per the Business Insider of May 1

The program was produced by Kamelia Angelova, William Wei, and Alana Kakoyiannis. 
Watch Neil deGrasse Tyson talk about the Climate Change by clicking here.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

“The world is headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill”

Dr. Keiji Fukuda
said : Dr. Keiji Fukuda, WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Health Security, in WHO's recent press release.

A new report by WHO–its first to look at antimicrobial resistance, including antibiotic resistance, globally–reveals that this serious threat is no longer a prediction for the future, it is happening right now in every region of the world and has the potential to affect anyone, of any age, in any country. Antibiotic resistance–when bacteria change so antibiotics no longer work in people who need them to treat infections–is now a major threat to public health.

“Without urgent, coordinated action by many stakeholders, the world is headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill,” says Dr Keiji Fukuda, WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Health Security. “Effective antibiotics have been one of the pillars allowing us to live longer, live healthier, and benefit from modern medicine. Unless we take significant actions to improve efforts to prevent infections and also change how we produce, prescribe and use antibiotics, the world will lose more and more of these global public health goods and the implications will be devastating.”
WHO HQ main building, Geneva

According to the WHO report, 

People can help tackle resistance by :
  • using antibiotics only when prescribed by a doctor;
  • completing the full prescription, even if they feel better;
  • never sharing antibiotics with others or using leftover prescriptions.
Health workers and pharmacists can help tackle resistance by :
  • enhancing infection prevention and control;
  • only prescribing and dispensing antibiotics when they are truly needed;
  • prescribing and dispensing the right antibiotic(s) to treat the illness.
Policymakers can help tackle resistance by :
  • strengthening resistance tracking and laboratory capacity;
  • regulating and promoting appropriate use of medicines.
Policymakers and industry can help tackle resistance by :
  • fostering innovation and research and development of new tools;
  • promoting cooperation and information sharing among all stakeholders.
The full report may be found here.

Monday, May 5, 2014

"Town-sponsored sectarian prayer violates the basic rule requiring the government to stay neutral on matters of faith."

Daniel Mach
said : Daniel Mach, director of the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief. He was expressing his disappointed by the United States Supreme Court's decision to upheld today a New York town’s practice of starting town meetings with official sectarian prayer. "We are disappointed by today’s decision.  Official religious favoritism should be off-limits under the Constitution," he said.

The practice was challenged by residents of Greece, a town in Monroe County, New York who objected to hearing government prayers, the vast majority of which were expressly Christian invocations, as a condition of attending public meetings.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a friend of the court brief supporting the residents of Greece.

"The constitutional requirement that church and state must be separated rests, in part, on the understanding that when government supports one religion over others, people who are not members of the favored religion are made to feel like outsiders by their government," said Arthur Eisenberg, legal director of the New York Civil Liberties Union.

Background :

Thirty years ago, in Marsh v. Chambers, 463 U.S. 783 (1983), the Supreme Court upheld the Nebraska Legislature’s practice of opening its sessions with nonsectarian prayers delivered by a chaplain. The issue in this case is whether a town board in upstate New York may open its meeting with sectarian prayers that have been overwhelmingly Christian in practice. In its amicus brief, the ACLU urges the Court to overrule Marsh and hold that any official governmental prayer violates the separation of church and state. If the Court is unwilling to go that far, the ACLU argues that official sectarian prayers should be prohibited under the Establishment Clause to preserve the core constitutional principle that the government cannot favor one religion over another.

The Supreme Court held today that the town's prayer practice does not violate the Establishment Clause.

"The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is the nation's guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country," as per its website.