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Malaysia air force chief denies saying lost plane tracked to west - 3/11/2014

NDTV newsKuala Lumpur:  Malaysia's air force chief has denied saying military radar tracked a missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner over the Strait of Malacca, adding to the mystery surrounding the fate of flight MH370, which vanished on Saturday with 239 people aboard.

Malaysia air force chief denies saying lost plane tracked to west
A massive air and sea search now in its fifth day has failed to find any trace of the Boeing 777, and the last 24 hours have seen conflicting statements and reports over what may have happened after it lost contact with air traffic controllers. (Speculation widens over missing jet's fate as search area expands)

Malaysia's Berita Harian newspaper on Tuesday quoted Air Force chief Rodzali Daud as saying the plane was last detected by military radar at the northern end of the Strait of Malacca at 2.40 a.m. on Saturday, hundreds of kilometres off course.

"I wish to state that I did not make any such statements," Rodzali said in a statement on Wednesday. The air force chief said he had merely repeated that military radar tracking suggested the plane might have turned back.

A senior military officer who had been briefed on the investigation told Reuters on Tuesday that the aircraft had made a detour to the west after communications with civilian authorities ended. (Malaysia jet changed course at time of disappearance, officials say)

"It changed course after Kota Bharu and took a lower altitude. It made it into the Malacca Strait," the officer said.

Malaysian authorities have said previously that flight MH370 disappeared around 1.30 a.m., roughly midway between Malaysia's east coast town of Kota Bharu and southern Vietnam, about an hour after it took off from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing.

The Strait of Malacca, one of the world's busiest shipping channels, runs along Malaysia's west coast, while Kota Bharu is on the northeast coast.

After the comments from the officer, a non-military source familiar with the investigations said the reported detour was one of several theories and was being checked.

If the plane had made such a detour it would undermine the theory that it suffered a sudden, catastrophic mechanical failure, as it would mean it flew at least 500 km (350 miles) after its last contact with air traffic control.

A spokesman for the Malaysian prime minister's office said on Wednesday he had not been informed by the military of evidence showing the plane had recrossed the Malay Peninsula to reach the Malacca Strait.

"The people I checked with were not aware of that," spokesman Tengku Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad told Reuters.

HUGE INTERNATIONAL SEARCH

A huge international search operation has been mostly focused on the shallow waters of the Gulf of Thailand off Malaysia's east coast, although the Strait of Malacca has been included since Sunday.

Navy ships, military aircraft, helicopters, coast guard and civilian vessels from 10 nations have criss-crossed the seas off both coasts of Malaysia without success. (Timeline: The hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370)

In the absence of any concrete evidence to explain the plane's disappearance, authorities have not ruled out anything. Police have said they were investigating whether any passengers or crew on the plane had personal or psychological problems that might shed light on the mystery, along with the possibility of a hijacking, sabotage or mechanical failure. (Terrorism cannot be ruled out in missing Malaysia Airlines jet: CIA)

"Maybe somebody on the flight has bought a huge sum of insurance, who wants family to gain from it or somebody who has owed somebody so much money, you know, we are looking at all possibilities," Malaysian police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said at a news conference on Tuesday.

The airline said it was taking seriously a report by a South African woman who said the co-pilot of the missing plane had invited her and a female travelling companion to sit in the cockpit during a flight two years ago, in an apparent breach of security.

"Malaysia Airlines has become aware of the allegations being made against First Officer Fariq Ab Hamid which we take very seriously. We are shocked by these allegations. We have not been able to confirm the validity of the pictures and videos of the alleged incident," the airline said in a statement.

The woman, Jonti Roos, said in an interview with Australia's Channel Nine TV that she and her friend were invited to fly in the cockpit by Fariq and the pilot between Phuket, Thailand, and Kuala Lumpur in December 2011. The TV channel showed pictures of the four apparently in a plane's cockpit.

The Boeing 777 has one of the best safety records of any commercial aircraft in service. Its only previous fatal crash came on July 6 last year when Asiana Airlines Flight 214 struck a seawall on landing in San Francisco, killing three people.

U.S. planemaker Boeing has declined to comment beyond a brief statement saying it was monitoring the situation.

India to build 200 low-cost airports in next 20 years - 3/10/2014

NDTV ndia plans to build 200 low-cost airports in the next 20 years to connect tier-II and tier-III cities, said a civil aviation ministry official.

This will be one of the focus areas of India Aviation 2014, the country's largest civil aviation exhibition and conference beginning in Hyderabad on Wednesday.

The event with the theme "Enhancing air connectivity" will have special session on 'looking beyond metros'.

G Ashok Kumar, joint secretary, civil aviation, told reporters in Hyderabad on Monday that low-cost, small and no-frills airports would be built in tier-II and tier-III cities, which are expected to spur the development of the aviation sector in the second phase.

"As the operating and service costs at the major airports are phenomenally high, there are plans to build small no-frill airports. They will have the basic infrastructure and will be like upgraded high class railway stations," he said.

The non-metro airports in India presently accounts for only about 30 percent of the total air traffic, but is expected to rise to 45 percent in the next few years.

The government also plans to construct 15 additional airports in the country under the Greenfield Airport Policy, by identifying the most suitable low cost viable model.

Airports Authority of India plans to invest Rs.1,500 crore in the development of non-metro airports during the 12th Plan.

India is planning to invest over $120 billion in the development of airport infrastructure; improvement in connecting infrastructure; development of world class air navigation services infrastructure and other related activities to improve the air connectivity.

India, one of the fastest growing aviation market in the world, currently ranks ninth but is expected to become the third largest after US and China by 2020.

Indian airport system is poised to handle 336 million domestic and 85 million international passengers by 2020, from the current level of 121 million domestic and 41 million international passengers.

According to International Air Transport Association's (IATA) Airline Industry Forecast 2012-2016, India's domestic air travel market would be among the top five globally, experiencing the second highest growth rate at CAGR of 13.1 percent.

"About 400 aircraft are currently operational in the country and by 2020 the number is expected to reach 1000 aircrafts," said Ashok Kumar.

According to him, there is a huge opportunity for MRO sector (Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul sector).

"Civil aviation is a highly-regulated sector. This is a good opportunity and we are focusing for India to emerge as a MRO hub," he added.

4,500 fake Aam Aadmi Party webpages spreading lies, says party y - 3/10/2014

IT

This election season, the social media may no longer provide a battleground to political parties and their candidates.

While parties have, in the past, made subtle and obvious barbs at each other on Twitter and Facebook, repeating that could now land them in trouble.

With the Model Code of Conduct in place, the office of the chief electoral officer of Delhi (Delhi CEO) has warned that candidates could face action should their social media content qualify as defamatory.

As social media offers a multitude of platforms for candidates to interact on, the Delhi CEO said while monitoring the activities of everyone would be nearly impossible, the candidates fielded by parties for the Capital's seven parliamentary seats would be kept under a strict check.

"Candidates have to declare their social media accounts in their affidavits. While it is very difficult to keep a check on every single activity that goes on the social media, we act on intelligence reports that claim that candidates have indulged in defamatory activities," said Ankur Garg, chief nodal officer.

"During the Assembly polls, in December, with nearly 900 candidates, it was difficult to keep a check on each and every account. This time, with just seven parliamentary constituencies in the city, it will be easier," he added.

Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which has already reportedly fallen prey to spurious activity on social media, has approached Facebook and Twitter against fake pages created in the party's name that host content bordering on the defamatory.

"We have 200 genuine pages and 4,500 spurious pages," explained an AAP worker, "wherein parties or people have written untrue content or have been defamatory towards others.

"We had informed the Election Commission about the same earlier and have now written to Facebook and Twitter to have the accounts verified. Some of the spurious pages have defamatory content and for the upcoming Lok Sabha Polls, we are taking adequate steps to ensure that there is maximum verification as far as our social network campaign goes," the worker added.




Salman hints at marriage this year to Romanian beauty Iulia Vantur - 3/9/2014

IT Superstar Salman Khan has hinted at a possibility of getting hitched by the end of this year as he is tired of being single for a long time.




The 48-year-old 'Jai Ho' star, who was at his funniest best at last evening's India Today Conclave 2014, did not rule out the chances of marrying Romanian beauty Iulia Vantur, whom he is allegedly dating for quite sometime.

"Now I'm in transit period and I like it. From the age of 15, I did not get a transit period. For the first time, I have such a chance to sigh. I am sighing more since it has been two-and-a-half years. It's time to stop sighing because something soon will happen in my life...

"I follow humanity. I follow Islam, Christianity, and follow right thing as much I can. I have been kind of blessed.

Father is Pathan, mother is Hindu, second mother is catholic, and brother-in-law is Punjabi. Wife, I am thinking to bring from outside...," Salman said.

Salman has often been linked with his co-stars and also being termed as a 'possessive' boyfriend. He admitted that he was a miserable lover but a great friend.

"When you are in a relationship you try everything to see that she doesn't leave you. You try to be good. You give her a silent treatment. You yell, cry and when nothing works you say go.

"I thought they were the most correct people for me...

Great girls bad boyfriend. I have not been like the most incredible boy friend. I could be the friend and I have heard this from the ex girlfriends also that (he is) a great friend but miserable boyfriend," Salman said.

The actor also thanked his parents -- father Salim Khan and mothers Sushila Charak Khan and Helen -- for being with him at his worst times.

"No child would have given them as may problems. I was a naughty kid. They had to hear slanderous things about their son from others -- the jail episodes, the cases that have come. If these things would not have come, my father and mother would have looked as young as I look now," he said.





Google faces up to $5-billion fine in India; says cooperating in probe - 3/9/2014

NDTV Google faces up to $5-billion fine in India; says cooperating in probe

Google, which is facing antitrust investigation in India by fair trade watchdog CCI, can face a penalty of up to about $5 billion (Rs. 30,500 crore) if it is found to have violated competition norms of the country.

Google said it is "extending full cooperation" to the CCI in its investigation. The conclusion of a two-year review by the US antitrust watchdog has concluded that the company's services were good for competition, it added.

The case has been before the Competition Commission of India (CCI) as well for over two years now and it relates to allegations that Google is abusing its dominant position in the Internet search engine space.

Under competition regulations, an entity found violating the norms could be slapped with penalty of up to 10 per cent of its three-year annual average turnover.

In the case of Google, its annual revenues in the last three years amounts to a staggering $49.3 (Rs. 300,730 crore) billion and the maximum penalty can be up to nearly $5 billion.

When asked about the ongoing probe and the potential penalty of up to $5 billion, a Google spokesperson told PTI: "We are extending full co-operation to the Competition Commission of India in their investigation."

"We're pleased that the conclusion of the Federal Trade Commission's two year review was that Google's services are good for users and good for competition," he said in an e-mailed statement.

While Google has settled anti-trust cases in the US and European Union, Indian competition regime does not have provisions for settlement process. Besides a complaint filed with CCI cannot be withdrawn.

Finding prima facie evidence of violations, CCI had referred the matter to its investigation arm - Director General (DG) -- for a detailed probe.

Sources said that the DG has also collected comments from third-parties with regard to this case and it is likely to soon submit its report to CCI.

The Director General could not be contacted for comments. Apart from penalty, CCI is empowered to pass orders to correct a company's conduct in the market place. Also, the regulator can go for structural remedies that could see breaking up of dominant enterprises into separate businesses.

The complaint against Google, also one of the world's most valued company, was first filed by advocacy group CUTS International way back in late 2011. Later. Matrimonial website matrimony.com Private Ltd also filed a complaint.

Referring to Google's settlement with the European Commission, matrimony.com counsel Ferida Satarawala said: "Google's unfair use of trademarks as well as its retaliatory conduct are not specifically addressed in the European settlement and are distinct theories of harm being pursued by the CCI. Therefore, this settlement is unlikely to address CCI's concerns in our case".

CUTS International's associate director Udai S Mehta said the group is planning to write to CCI, seeking to expedite the Google case.

Emphasising that there should be plea bargaining provision in Indian competition norms, Mehta said that slapping penalty might not really be a detriment for a company and stop anti-competitive practices.

The main allegations against Google are that it favours its own products in search results and resorts to discrimination by favouring paid searches.

Other allegations include denial of access to content and imposing of unfair and discriminatory conditions on 'AdWords' customers.

Last year, CCI chairman Ashok Chawla had said the complaint was that Google search engine favours the platforms which it wants to support.

"That is when you click on Google under a certain category, you will get the platforms where there is a tendency to put them in a certain order which may not be the fair and non-discriminatory manner

"So, what is the software and what is the algorithmic search, (that is) what the investigation team is looking at," Mr Chawla had said.

In its 2013 annual report filed with US regulator SEC in February, Google mentioned about anti-trust cases in India and some other jurisdictions.

"The Comision Nacional de Defensa de la Competencia in Argentina, the Competition Commission of India, the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission, Brazil's Council for Economic Defense and the Canadian Competition Bureau have also opened investigations into certain of our business practices," the filing had said.



In Mumbai, new warship system malfunctions, Navy officer killed - 3/7/2014

Indian Express Smoke billowing out after a fire at INS Kolkata  at Naval Dockyard in Mumbai on Friday. (PTI)

A Navy commander died and two personnel had to be hospitalised on Friday following an accident on board a Kolkata-class destroyer undergoing trials at the Mumbai Port Trust, weeks before it joined the naval fleet.

The officer, identified as Commander Kuntal Wadhwa, collapsed after the fire suppression systems on board the Kolkata warship, currently designated Yard 701, malfunctioned during trials. The officer inhaled a large amount of carbon dioxide during the malfunction, leading to his death.

Two personnel of the Mazgaon Docks Limited (MDL), where the ship has been constructed, were also affected and have been hospitalised.

Almost two dozen major and minor accidents have taken place involving frontline warships of the Navy in the last six months, which ultimately led to the resignation of Navy Chief Admiral D K Joshi last month.

An official statement released by MDL said the ship was “undergoing machinery trials in Mumbai Port Trust (and) had a malfunction in its carbon dioxide unit, leading to gas leakage”.

Sources said several systems of the ship were being tested when the incident took place in the engine room. The officer, the sources said, was not wearing protective equipment.

“There was sudden leakage from the carbon dioxide cylinders of the fire suppression systems that led to a lot of panic and confusion on the ship. While trying to evacuate, the officer tripped and fell inside, inhaling excessive amounts of the gas,” an official said.

Sources said the officer was also possibly hit by the valve of the fire control systems that burst open.

The accident is a major setback for the Navy as the Kolkata-class destroyer, called P 15 A, was to be inducted next month as the most advanced, indigenous warship in its fleet. Already running four years behind schedule, the Kolkata is the first of its class and is to be followed by the Chennai and the Kochi which are under construction as part of a Rs 15,000-crore project. Three more advanced P 15 B destroyers have been planned thereafter.

The accident is likely to delay its induction as the Navy will now conduct a comprehensive safety review of the vessel before accepting it for duty.

This is the second accident in the past two week — two officers died on board the submarine INS Sindhuratna after a cable fire in the sailors compartment. The officers died of asphyxia after the fire control systems of the submarine was activated to suppress the smoke.

Similar to the Kolkata, the Russian-origin Nerpa nuclear submarine also suffered an incident in 2008 due to the accidental activation of its fire control system weeks before it was to be handed over to India as the INS Chakra. The submarine suffered a loss of 21 lives.



India's Mars mission 200 days away from reaching destination - 3/7/2014

NDTV India's ambitious maiden inter-planetary voyage Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), launched in November last year, has covered over 21 million km and as of today is exactly 200 days away from reaching the red planet's orbit on September 24.

The MOM probe was travelling with a helio-centric velocity of 29 km per second and radio signals sent from ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) ground stations near Bangalore takes 142 seconds to reach the spacecraft and return, ISRO said.

"If everything goes as planned, MOM will get inserted into its Martian orbit around, exactly after 200 days from today," the space agency said in a posting on its social networking site Facebook page.

"MOM team switched 'ON' and checked all the five scientific instruments on-board MOM in February 2014. The health parameters of all these instruments are normal," ISRO said.

The agency has performed six orbit raising manoeuvres around the Earth following the launch of the mission on November 5 last year from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, some 100 km from here.

It further performed the Trans Mars Injection (TMI) manoeuvre on December 1 last, which gave the necessary thrust to the spacecraft to escape from Earth and to initiate the journey towards Mars, in a helio-centric Orbit.

The first Trajectory Correction Manoeuvre was conducted on December 11 last year and three such exercises are planned - next month, in August and in September.

If India succeeds in sending its mission to the Mars' orbit, it would become only the sixth in the world after the US, Russia, Europe, Japan and China to have achieved the feat.

Angry outbursts may trigger heart attack, stroke - 3/5/2014

Indian Express Psychological treatments to calm people down could be an effective way to prevent heart attacks.


People who experience angry outbursts are five times more likely to have a heart attack in the following two hours, a new Harvard research has warned.

Statistical analysis of 6,000 heart attacks and strokes suggested that in the two hours after an angry outburst, the risk of an attack was 4.74 times higher than at other times and the risk of stroke 3.62 times higher.

According to scientists at Harvard University, thousands of cardiac arrests are triggered by outbursts of rage each year, with high-risk people such as those with raised blood pressure most likely to suffer from losing their temper, ‘The Times’ reported.

Psychological treatments to calm people down could be an effective way to prevent heart attacks alongside drugs such as statins and beta-blockers, they said.

“Although the risk of experiencing an acute cardiovascular event with any single outburst of anger is relatively low, the risk can accumulate for people with frequent episodes of anger,” said Elizabeth Mostofsky, an epidemiologist at the Harvard School of Public Health and main author of the study.

“This is particularly important for people who have higher risk due to other underlying risk factors or those who have already had a heart attack, stroke or diabetes.

“A person without many risk factors for cardiovascular disease, who has only one episode of anger per month, has a very small additional risk, but a person with multiple risk factors or a history of heart attack or stroke, and who is frequently angry, has a much higher absolute excess risk over time,” Mostofsky added.

The study suggests that people who said they were furious were at higher risk than those who said that they were merely ‘moderately angry’, but researchers cautioned that there was not enough data to judge whether more intense anger made heart problems more likely. The study was published in the European Heart Journal.



Doctors protest Samajwadi Party's alleged 'goonda raj': mass resignations in Uttar Pradesh - 3/4/2014

NDTV Thousands of doctors at hospitals across Uttar Pradesh are on strike to protest against what they describe as the "goonda raj" or lawlessness of the ruling Samajwadi Party.

They allege that on Friday, several doctors of a government hospital were mercilessly beaten and dragged by policemen after a confrontation with a legislator of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party

Sheila Dikshit appointed new Kerala governor - 3/4/2014

TOI NEW DELHI: Former Delhi chief minister and senior Congress leader Sheila Diskhit has been appointed as the new governor of Kerala on Tuesday, according to ABP News report. This follows the resignation of the current Kerala governor Nikhil Kumar.

Dikshit served as Delhi's chief minister from 1998 to 2013 before she lost to Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal in the December 2013 assembly polls. She lost her assembly seat by over 20,000 votes.

The former CM had represented UP's Kannauj parliamentary constituency between 1984 and 1989.

Dikshit faces several graft charges against her including involvement in the 2010 Commonwealth Games that were held in the city and irregularities in Delhi Technological University admissions. The DTU case is related to the recruitment process in 2012 in connection to the vacancies advertised in December 2011.

In a recent order the Delhi high court said Sheila Dikshit will have to defend herself in a graft case and did away with Delhi government pursuing the appeal filed by her administration in 2013 against the trial court order for lodging an FIR against her.

Days before quitting, the Arvind Kejriwal government had on February 14 (when it resigned) moved the high court seeking to take back the appeal filed by then Congress government headed by Dikshit.

Dikshit had moved the high court opposing the plea of the Kejriwal government and had also sought her impleadment in the matter.

AAP government had said Dikshit will have to defend herself as she is no more the CM and the government lacked the "locus standi" to fight for her.

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