Impacting Lives of Beginners: Mrs. Neena Bhatia, Principal ABC Public School

Impacting Lives of Beginners: Mrs. Neena Bhatia, Principal ABC Public School

  Who was your inspiration in Childhood ? My father was my inspiration in Childhood. He always preached us that luck sure comes at the door and knocks too but your efforts More »

Top of the Town: Ravindra Bhadana, MLA  Indian politician and a member of the 16th Legislative Assembly of Uttar Pradesh of India

Top of the Town: Ravindra Bhadana, MLA Indian politician and a member of the 16th Legislative Assembly of Uttar Pradesh of India

1. आपका बचपन में प्रेरणा स्त्रोत कौन था? मेरे पूज्य बाबाजी स्वर्गीय श्री रामसिंह जी । जो एक कृषक थे, एक सामाजिक व्यक्ति थे। उन्होंने जिंदगी में मुझे जीना सीखाया। प्ररेणा भी More »

Top of the Town: Mr. Vikram Parakash Lamba, MD American Institute of English Language Pvt. Ltd.

Top of the Town: Mr. Vikram Parakash Lamba, MD American Institute of English Language Pvt. Ltd.

Mr. Vikram Parakash Lamba, MD American Institute of English Language Pvt. Ltd. with 300+ Centers all across India Who was your inspiration in Childhood ? My mother and father were my source More »

Top of the town: Dr. Mohini Lamba, Director in American Kids Play School, Early Childhood Curriculum Developer, Montessori Teachers Trainer

Top of the town: Dr. Mohini Lamba, Director in American Kids Play School, Early Childhood Curriculum Developer, Montessori Teachers Trainer

Who was your inspiration in Childhood ? My inspiration was my family. I was surrounded by educators in my family. Ma Nanaji, Mamaji, my mother everybody was into academics. My Mamaji was More »

Top of the Town: Mrs. Monika Kohli, 52 years young model and actor, into print ads, T.V. commercials and movies

Top of the Town: Mrs. Monika Kohli, 52 years young model and actor, into print ads, T.V. commercials and movies

Who was your inspiration in Childhood ? I always believed that inspiration is from inside and not from outside. Only you can inspire yourself. Outward inspirations are momentary and do not stay More »

Top of the town: Respected Rajendra Aggarwal, MP

Top of the town: Respected Rajendra Aggarwal, MP

  Who was your inspiration in Childhood ? My dad and my uncle were my inspiration in my childhood. Both of them were associated with RSS. They inspired me to join RSS More »

Top of the town: Dr. Vishwajeet Bembi, renowned Physician and Social Worker

Top of the town: Dr. Vishwajeet Bembi, renowned Physician and Social Worker

Dr.Vishwajeet Bembi, renowned Physician and Social Worker Who was your inspiration in Childhood ? My mother was my inspiration in my childhood and she is still my inspiration. My brother had also More »

Top of the town: Mr. Rakesh Kohli, Chairman, Stag International known for sporting goods in different countries of the world.

Top of the town: Mr. Rakesh Kohli, Chairman, Stag International known for sporting goods in different countries of the world.

Who was your inspiration in Childhood ? My grandfather was my biggest inspiration. I had learnt the minutest details of life from him. I learnt a lot from him about business. Like More »

Top of the town: Mr. Prem Mehta, Principal City Vocational Public School

Top of the town: Mr. Prem Mehta, Principal City Vocational Public School

Who was your inspiration in Childhood ? I think in my childhood it was the national leaders like Gandhi ji and Nehru ji who inspired me the most because our exposure at More »

Top of the town: Dr. Mamta Varshney, Lecturer and Poetess

Top of the town: Dr. Mamta Varshney, Lecturer and Poetess

Who was your inspiration in Childhood? Radio was my source of inspiration as I used to listen to loads of music and radio and tape recorder were the only source to listen More »

 

It was an extreme experience to have an empty bench, says Germany coach

Seven German players missed the crucial bronze medal match against India at the Hockey World League Final on Sunday leaving them with an empty bench for the game. Thus, with no substitutes available, they were forced to play with just 11 players for the entirety of the 60 minutes which they eventually lost 1-2.

Venezuela opposition barred from presidential polls

CARACAS: Venezuela‘s President Nicolas Maduro announced Sunday that leading opposition parties will be barred from taking part in next year’s presidential vote after they boycotted mayoral polls, in a move set to further consolidate his grip on power.

That includes the groups of key figures who have led street protests against his rule such as Henrique Capriles, Leopoldo Lopez and others, Maduro told reporters after casting his vote in the municipal polls.

“That’s what the National Constituent Assembly set out,” he said, referring to a controversial Maduro-allied special powers legislature whose legitimacy has been questioned by many in the international community.

“If they don’t want elections, what are they doing? What’s the alternative? (Civil) war?” the president asked, visibly angry.

While municipal elections were under way across the country, the Maduro clearly had his mind on the 2018 presidential race in which he plans to seek reelection — despite an approval rating of around 30 percent.

Crisis-weary voters meanwhile appeared to be staying away in droves from mayoral elections that the opposition is already boycotting.

A few hours after polling stations were supposed to open, 98 percent of the 14,000 facilities were up and running, according to the National Election Board (CNE).

Yet turnout in many places appeared to be light, and in others extremely so.

In terms of politics, the local election stakes might seem low.

Yet a failure in municipal votes could be seen by many a sign the government had lost the support of the massive lower-income base it relies on to stay in power and in charge of the state-led economy.

Luis Emilio Rondon, a member of the electoral board, said that there were some irregularities involving pro-government candidates who are running some polling stations. He did not immediately say where, or address the extent of the issue.

But voting “cannot be restricted, obligatory, or supervised by people with political interests” therein, Rondon told reporters.

He also said he had had reports that in some polling stations run by the ruling PSUV, officials were making sure that those who have a special social benefits card get out to cast their votes. He said some of these voters’ “Fatherland Card,” an electronic card that helps them get scarce food and medicine, was being scanned.

“There has been some confusion on voters’ part about whether they have to go to the polls with their regular ID card and the Fatherland Card. This is not needed to vote. You only need your regular national ID,” he stressed.

These are the last elections before presidential voting scheduled for late next year, in which Maduro says he will seek another term. Some analysts think they will be moved up to the early months of 2018.

The lack of a serious challenge Sunday to Maduro-aligned candidates has led to skepticism in the main cities of Caracas, Maracaibo and San Cristobal.

“I’m not going to vote because I don’t believe in the transparency of the CNE,” said Nerver Huerta, a 38-year-old graphic designer in Caracas.

Maduro’s ruling socialist party was aided by the refusal of the three main parties in the opposition coalition Democratic Union Roundtable (MUD) to participate, though smaller parties have decided to contest the election.

Supporting the government are a combination of ideological loyalists and pragmatists aware that the electronic Fatherland Card issued by the government could help them get access to scarce medicine or food. Opposition critics call it bald-faced social control.

“The president, despite everything, has helped me. I could not be ungrateful,” said William Lugo, 65.

“I will vote on Sunday, and if we have to re-elect him, I will be there,” he said.

Victor Torres, a chauffeur in Maracaibo, said the election will do nothing to resolve what he considers to be the country’s biggest woe: hyperinflation, estimated at 2,000 percent this year.

“The other day I went to buy a banana. In the morning it cost 1,900 bolivares and in the afternoon, 3,000. You can’t live this way. I am disappointed with politicians,” said Torres.

Yon Goicoechea is contesting the election against the wishes of his party because he says the opposition must “defend” its political space.

Goicoechea, who is running for mayor in a Caracas municipality, said the government “will try to steal the vote, but we will not give it away.”

According to electoral expert Eugenio Martinez, the opposition would do well to hold on to even 50 percent of its 72 mayorships. Maduro loyalists hold 242. Others are held by independents.

The balloting station where the president himself votes, in a poor area of Caracas called Catia, also looked deserted, an AFP reporter there said.

“Not voting is a mistake. Instead of moving forward, we are going backwards the way crabs do,” said Carmen Leon, 78, after casting her ballot in Chacao, which has been home to many opposition leaders.

India likely to have a fixed home season from 2019

As state unit representatives of the BCCI get ready for Monday’s Special General Meeting (SGM), that will discuss India’s new Future Tours Program (FTP) at the International Cricket Council (ICC), there’s a lot for them to be ‘happy’ about.

Live score: New Zealand v West Indies, 2nd Test, Day 3

HWL Finals: India take bronze, depleted Germany win hearts

India reclaim HWL medal but illness-hit Germany win hearts with a gutsy show.

'NKorea made progress on missile but getting paranoid'

WASHINGTON: North Korea has certainly made progress in its missile development programme but it is also getting paranoid due to the increasing global isolation, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said on Sunday.

US President Donald Trump last month declared North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism, a move that allows the Trump administration to impose additional sanctions on Pyongyang over its nuclear and missile programmes.

Late last month, nuclear-armed North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile which travelled about 1,000 km before splashing down in the Sea of Japan, within Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

“This is a serious situation. The missile that they launched not too long ago was much stronger than the one we had seen before. They have made progress,” Haley told CNN.

“But what we have managed to do is, the United States has led and the international community is all with us in isolating North Korea. That’s a very important move. They feel it. They are getting paranoid. They are stressed out about it. But we are going to continue keep up the pressure, because we have to,” she said on North Korea.

The series of international sanctions, she said, has cut off 90 per cent of the North Korean trade, 30 per cent of the oil.

“But every ounce of revenue that North Korea receives, they put towards their nuclear programme. So, the fact that the sanctions have completely squeezed them, that is less money they can put towards that nuclear programme now.

“So, whether people can’t see it, it is helping us tremendously to not have them have the cash that they normally would have had,” Haley said.

Responding to a question on Russia, Haley said that the State Department has fully implemented the sanctions against it.

“From what I have been told, the State Department says they have gone forward with the sanctions on Russia. So I don’t know anything about what you’re talking about, because the State Department has said they have fully implemented that,” she added.

In August, North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan in a major escalation of tensions by Pyongyang.

Five days later, it carried out a sixth nuclear test, sending tensions soaring over its weapons ambitions and causing global concern.

ISL: Emana penalty gives Mumbai City FC second win

The class of Achille Emana was all over the game but it needed a penalty from the Cameroon player to give Mumbai City FC a hard-fought 1-0 over Chennaiyin FC in the ISL at the Mumbai Football Arena on Sunday.

Players really believe they can beat any team: Marijne

Coach Sjoerd Marijne is a happy man after guiding Indian men’s hockey team to their second straight bronze medal at the Hockey World League Final here on Sunday.

HWL Final: Australia clinch second straight gold

In the end, the penalty corners made the difference. Both Australia and Argentina boasted of some of the top exponents of the art but it was the former who beat them to retain their Hockey World League Final title, with a 2-1 win in the summit clash here on Sunday.

Jerusalem issue: All you need to know

Why is President Donald Trump‘s announcement that the United States now considers Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital such a big deal? Why are some experts warning of violence or an end to the peace process? What’s the dispute over Jerusalem all about, anyway? Let’s review.

What are the Basics?

Both Israelis and Palestinians claim the city as their political capital and as a sacred religious site. Israel controls the entirety of the city. Any peace deal would need to resolve that.

The city’s status has been disputed, at least officially, since the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Before that, the United Nations had designated Jerusalem as a special international zone. During the war, Israel seized the city’s western half. It seized the eastern half during the next Arab-Israeli war, in 1967.

Most foresee a peace deal that gives western Jerusalem to Israel and eastern Jerusalem to a future Palestinian state.

The United States, to present itself as a dispassionate broker, long considered Jerusalem’s status to be a conflict issue that was up to Israelis and Palestinians to decide. Trump is breaking with that traditional neutrality.

jerusalem-3-ed

A demonstrator holds a Palestinian flag during clashes with Israeli troops near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, near the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Maybe more important, Israel’s position on Jerusalem isn’t just that its capital should be somewhere in the city. A 1980 law declared Jerusalem to be Israel’s “undivided” capital, which was widely understood as a de facto annexation of the city’s eastern half.

Trump, in endorsing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, did not explicitly endorse this idea. But he didn’t reject it, either. Nor did he say that Jerusalem should also become the Palestinian capital.

This implies that the United States is increasingly supportive of Israel’s position — full annexation — though this would almost certainly kill any viable peace deal.

Why Does it Matter if the US Takes Sides?

The United States has, for decades, positioned itself as the primary mediator between Israelis and Palestinians. Neutrality ostensibly allows the United States to remain a credible arbiter and keeps both sides at the negotiating table.

US diplomats tend to consider neutrality a bedrock principle and essential for peace, and see Trump’s announcement as an alarming break.

But the policy of neutrality has grown contentious in American politics since the 1980s and the rise of the evangelical Christian right as a political force.

The movement’s pro-Israel positions — strongly in favor of Israeli control of Jerusalem — have roots in millenarian theology as well as more straightforward identity politics. (Still, a number of Palestinians are themselves Christian, and Jerusalem’s Christian leaders objected to Trump’s move.)

Evangelical Christians have been joined by a subset of American Jews and others on the political right in arguing that the United States should overtly back Israel in the conflict. This position hardened during the second intifada, a period of vicious Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the early 2000s.

This debate has often played out over Jerusalem. Presidential candidates will promise to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, thereby recognizing the city as Israel’s capital. But once in office, the new president will forestall the move, explaining that peace should be given a chance.

Trump actually went ahead (though only partly, because he will not move the embassy right away), implicitly endorsing an American shift from neutral arbiter to overtly siding with Israel.

Has the US Really Been Neutral?

That is not really the perception outside the United States, particularly in Europe and the rest of the Middle East.

Much of the world already considered the United States a biased and unhelpful actor, promoting Israeli interests in a way that perpetuated the conflict.

Partly this is because of the power imbalance between Israelis and Palestinians. Because the far stronger Israelis are the occupiers, and the United States is seen as a steward, the Americans are sometimes blamed, rightly or wrongly, for that imbalance.

Partly it is because of domestic politics that led American leaders to pronounce themselves as pro-Israel while pursuing policies intended as neutral.

But it is also due to a decades-old US negotiating tactic. The last three administrations — led by Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama — all believed that they needed to grant Israel concessions to make Israeli leaders feel secure and comfortable enough to make their own concessions for peace.

So Trump’s move, though he does not describe it this way, is arguably in line with past American strategy. And it is seen abroad as confirming long-held doubts about American leadership, rather than as drastically new.

What Happens Now?

Protests, which sometimes grow violent, have been a common Palestinian answer to perceived provocations, particularly on issues related to Jerusalem. The Palestinian view is that Israel’s occupation should be made costly and uncomfortable if it is to ever end.

jerusalem-2-ed

Demonstrators set US and Israeli flags on fire during a protest against Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, in Istanbul.

As for the wider Arab response, the United States is just not very popular or trusted in the region. That tends to happen when you invade an Arab-majority country, Iraq, on what most Arabs consider false pretenses, starting a war that kills hundreds of thousands. This move is going to be unpopular, but it’s sort of a drop in the bucket.

Still, it could complicate regional politics. Marc Lynch, a political scientist at George Washington University, wrote in The Washington Post, “The visible pursuit of peace, if not its achievement, has long been the mechanism by which the United States reconciles its alliances with Israel and with ostensibly anti-Israel Arab states.”

This could make it harder for Arab governments to justify their cooperation with what is perceived to be an US-Israeli plot against Palestinians. Even if Arab governments do not themselves care much about Palestinians, they worry about domestic unrest.

That doesn’t mean Arab states will break with Washington, but they might need to be a little quieter and more careful about cooperating.

What Does This Change Long Term?

Warnings of a long-term shift tend to hinge on the idea that losing American neutrality means losing American leverage over Israelis and Palestinians to achieve peace.

But the simple fact of US power makes the country an important broker, neutral or not. American leverage with Israel also comes from implicitly guaranteeing Israel’s security and providing it with lots of military hardware. Still, because Israel got something for nothing from Trump’s announcement, it has little reason to make difficult concessions.

American leverage over Palestinian leaders is also significant, since those leaders rely on US support to keep their administration funded and stable. But those leaders are deeply unpopular with their own people. A real risk here is that they one day grow so unpopular that their administration collapses. This would risk chaos and violence in the short term and, long term, a likely takeover by the militant Palestinian group Hamas.

All of that points toward a future in which peace is less likely, a Palestinian state is less likely and Israel is one day forced to choose between the two core components of its national identity: Jewish and democratic. Either it asserts permanent control over Palestinians without granting them full rights — a sort of state that critics sometimes compare to apartheid South Africa — or it grants Palestinians full rights, establishing a pluralistic democracy that is no longer officially Jewish.

Trump’s move likely edges Israelis and Palestinians closer to that future. But things were probably moving in that direction already.