says door wide open for Dalai Lama to return
May 19: China today said the "door is
wide open" for the Dalai Lama to return from
exile if the spiritual leader sheds the demand
for an independent Tibet but ruled out any
contact with the India-based Tibetan government
Tibetan official said "it all depends"
on the Dalai Lama to act in light of Chinese
depends on the Dalai Lama himself whether he
returns or not. The key lies with him. The door
is wide open and he knows the Chinese
governments stance for sure," Padma
Choling, Chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region,
told a press conference held in connection with
60th year "liberation of Tibet" by
This is perhaps a
rare occasion that a Chinese official spoke about
the return of the Dalai Lama from his exile in
government did not accede to the Dalai
Lamas request to allow him visit his native
Tibetan province Qinghai when it was hit by a
devastating earthquake last year.
In a press
conference televised live across the country,
Choling ruled out talks with Tibetan government
in exile headed by newly-elected Prime Minister
Lobsang Sangay, saying that it has no
representational status as it is not recognised
by any government in the world, least of all
"feudal serfdom system" with conjoined
political and religious authority was abolished
in 1959, he pointed out.
"You said the
Dalai Lama has picked a successor. But what he is
going to succeed, and from whom?" Choling
said, asserting that his is the "the only
legitimate government elected by Tibetans since
But at the same,
he said, Chinese government is willing to talk to
Dalai Lama and his representatives.
"As long as
the Dalai Lama abandons his advocacy for
independent Tibet, stops separatist activities
against China, recognises that Tibet is an
inalienable part of China and Taiwan is a
province of China we can enter into contact with
him on whatever topic," he said.
But the Dalai Lama
has not met "these criteria".
"Our door to
contact with Dalai is always open. What matters
most is whether he will truly abandon advocacy of
independent Tibet. We must not just (look) at
what he says but also look at what does," he
China held several
rounds of talks with the Dalai Lamas
representatives in the past but made the dialogue
made no headway despite repeated assertions by
him that he recognised Tibet as part of China.
The Dalai Lama had
however demanded on autonomy on the lines of Hong
Kong and Macau and also insisted on greater
Tibet, meaning unifying all Tibetan areas. Sangay
himself was part of the talks in the past. (PTI)
to persuade someone? How you say it
May 19: In what could be an invaluable
advice to salesmen and politicians, a new study
has found that when it comes to persuasion, the
secret is not what you saybut how you
actually say it.
by the University of Michigan, have carried out
the study and found that the key of talking
someone round to your view depends on how fast
you speak, the Daily Express
In fact, the
researchers have based their findings on an
analysis of 1,400 cold sales calls which they
Cold callers who
spoke moderately quicklyat a rate of around
3.5 words a second or 210 a minutewere the
most successful at convincing people to take part
in a telephone survey, the findings revealed.
too quickly made people feel the caller was
trying to fool them, while those who talked too
slowly were branded stupid, the study found.
also found those who paused four or five times a
minute were more successful.
Dr Jose Benki, who
led the research, said using brief pauses gave
the impression the speaker was talking from the
heart rather than reading off a script. (PTI)
it worth it? Pakistan, US weigh aid calculus
May 19: Muhammad Farooq waits by his truck
outside the Pakistani border town of Chaman, the
main crossing into southern Afghanistan. He has
driven several hundred kilometers from the port
city of Karachi carrying supplies for NATO
forces, along with a couple of dozen other
tankers and trucks.
start moving soon in a convoy," says Farooq.
"We are regularly attacked in this area. We
are attacked with sticks, stones and even fired
Indeed, many of
the trucks have dents and broken windows, from
stones that have found their mark. "This is
my third trip here," Farooq says, "and
I have decided that this is the last time
Im coming here. Its not worth
calculation of whether his journey is worth it is
a reflection of the larger assessments going on
in Islamabad and Washington, which have sharpened
since Osama bin Laden was found hiding in plain
sight in a garrison town near Islamabad.
if the billions of dollars in military aid they
give Pakistan is being misspent or diverted to
beef up Pakistans military capabilities
against India, or possibly even to bolster its
nuclear weapons capabilities.
government and military believes it is paying a
high price to fight Americas war against al
Qaeda and the Taliban. More than 30,000
Pakistanis have been killed in the decade since
the September 11. 2001 attacks, including 5,000
soldiers, police and intelligence agents.
Pakistan, for its
part, has received 20.7 billion dollar worth of
US assistance over the past decade, about
two-thirds of it military aid.
What is clear is
that both sides feel short-changed by an alliance
they forged 10 years ago that is rooted in
battling Islamist militancy, but which has
largely ignored starkly different strategic
Pakistan is a
nuclear-armed and politically volatile country
that has fought three major wars with India and
fought countless skirmishes. This rivalry largely
defines its policy.
The United States
has given Pakistan billions to flush out Taliban
and al Qaeda militants along the Afghan border,
but few doubt that Islamabad actually protects
many of them, seeing them as collateral to ensure
that itand not Indiahas a key role in
any settlement in Afghanistan.
preoccupation with its eastern front has led it
to snap up weapons as a pace Western experts say
may, within the decade, turn it into the
worlds fourth-largest arms purchaser after
the United States, Russia and China.
Pakistan is also
suspicious of the United States ties with
India and Washingtons help for its nuclear
programme, a relationship it hopes to counter by
cosying up to China.
All that makes for
an alliance that is, at best, half-hearted and
one in which aid money is diverted towards what
Pakistan sees as its strategic interest.
"The US wants
to leave Afghanistan, and end terrorist threats,
but Pakistan wants parity with India and
domination over Afghanistan," Vali Nasr, a
former State Department adviser on Afghanistan
and Pakistan, wrote in the Financial Times.
"It is not
easy to change the calculations of a nuclear
power that harbours deep distrust of U.S.
In the 2009-10
budget, official defence expenditures amounted to
4.45 billion dollar out of a total national
budget of 29 billion dollar. In that same fiscal
year, according to the Congressional Research
Service, direct military-to-military transfers
amounted to just over 1 billion dollar, almost a
quarter of Pakistans military spending.
A big chunk of the
military aid has been spent on weapons systems
that appear to have little to do with fighting
terrorists in the mountain wilderness, including
31 F-16 fighters, anti-tank missiles and
launchers, fast patrol boats, and the
refurbishment of a frigate.
Much of this
equipment would, however, be of use on the
eastern front where Indian and Pakistan forces
have for decades been locked in a tense standoff
over the disputed territory of Kashmir.
Qaeda releases new audio of Osama bin Laden
May 19: Osama bin Laden extols the
"winds of change" blowing in the Arab
world and asks Muslims around the world to keep
the present day revolutions from running out of
steam, in a new audio tape apparently recorded a
few months before his death.
Al Qaeda has
released a new "posthumous" 13-minute
audio tape of bin Laden which has an apparent
reference to revolts in Tunisia and Egypt and
includes still images emblazoned with an old
picture of the al Qaeda leader.
This is the first
audio message of bin Laden released by al Qaeda
after his death.
media arm, as-Sahab, released a posthumous audio
from slain al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden
addressing Muslims in regard to the revolutions
sweeping the Middle East and North Africa,"
SITE Intel Group said.
"The winds of
change flew to the square of Tahrir (in Cairo)...
And a great revolution was begun," bin Laden
is quoted as saying in the audio.
wasnt a revolution of starving and pain,
but a revolution of giving and peace... The great
oppression in our countries has reached great
levels, and we have delayed enough the wave of
change," he says.
The al Qaeda
leader, who was killed by US forces in a special
operation in Pakistan on May 2 asks Muslims to
not let the new wave of revolution worn out.
Muslims to fight ignorance for the revolutions to
truth ring out. Remember those that go out with a
sword are true believers, those that go fight
with their tongue are true believers, and those
that fight in their hearts are true
believers," bin Laden says.
you have seen many revolutions in your past...
Those that the people have been so happy about,
but then have turned into nothing. And the way to
keep these revolutions from having the same
problem is fighting ignorance.
"And some of
the most important information is Islam. For this
is the true crisis that has hit our
nations," he says according to available
translation of his message. (PTI)
in Pakistan knew about bin Ladens presence:
May 19: US Defense Secretary Robert Gates
says that "somebody" in Pakistan knew
about slain Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin
Ladens hideout in that country but there is
no "evidence" that the top leadership
was aware of it.
Gates would not
say who knew about the presence of bin Laden in
Abbottabad deep inside Pakistan but suggested it
could have been retired or low-level Pakistani
At a Pentagon news
conference, Gates also said Pakistan already has
paid dearly for its failure to know or
acknowledge that bin Laden was hiding for more
than five years in a compound a short distance
from a Pakistani military facility. Admiral Mike
Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
echoed similar sentiments.
"I have seen
no evidence at all that the senior leadership
knew. In fact, I have seen some evidence to the
contrary. But we have no evidence yet with
respect to anybody else. My supposition is:
Somebody knew," Gates said at a Pentagon
supposition is somebody. We dont know
whether it was, you know, a retired people,
whether it was low-level. We have pure
supposition on our part. It is hard to go to them
with an accusation when we have no proof that
"So I just
want to underscore, its my supposition. I
think its a supposition shared by a number
in this government that somebody had had to know,
but we have no idea who, and we have no proof or
no evidence," Gates asserted in response to
At the same news
conference, Mullen endorsed Gates
assessment and said, "I have seen no
evidence that the top leadership knows."
evaluation of the sensitive site material and
exploitation thats going on, its just
going to take us a while to see if theres
anything else," Mullen said.
Gates also said
the US has humiliated Pakistan by carrying out
with impunity its covert operation in Abbottabad
that killed the 9/11 mastermind.
"If I were in
Pakistani shoes, I would say Ive already
paid a price (for terrorist safe havens).
Ive been humiliated. Ive been shown
that the Americans can come in here and do this
with impunity. I think we have to recognize that
they see a cost in that and a price that has been
paid," he said.
Mullen also said
that one should not underestimate the humiliating
experience of Pakistan after the bin Laden
think we should underestimate the humbling
experience that this is. In fact, the internal
soul-searching thats going on inside the
Pak military right now and the impact of that,
before you even start to talk about external
effects," Mullen said.
Mullen has been in
constant contact with the Pakistani leadership in
particular its Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervez
Kayani. In the past two years, he has travelled
to Pakistan at least two dozen times.
internally, and I just know for a fact that is
going on, and theyre not through that,
because theyve been through a lot tied to
this, and their image has been tarnished. And
they care, as we all do, and they care a lot
about that. Theyre a very proud
military," he said.
Mullen said the US
needs to give Pakistan some time and space to
work on some of the internal challenges that came
out of this, while at the same time the things
that there are some near-term things that we
think actions need to be taken. (PTI)
read sky to find home
May 19: Bees are more clever than you
thought. They can find their way home from long
distances up to 14 kms by deciphering what they
see in the sky, such as the suns position,
a new study has found.
For the study, an
international team released bees in Canberra
where the landmarks include Black Mountain, Mount
Ainslie, Red Hill and Lake Burley Griffin.
that these creatures often relied on the position
of the sun, the polarisation of light in the sky,
the panorama view of the horizon and landmarks
including towers, mountains or lakes to find
their way home.
forage trips, one way that honeybees use to find
their way home is by storing distance and
directional information when they venture out. In
other words, they try to go back the way they
them as soon as they reach their hives and
placing them in a black box sets their
pre-calculated information back to zero, so the
bees are deprived of any directional information
in relation to the hive.
this, we can confirm that they are relying solely
on knowledge that they have gathered about the
landscape to travel home," Prof ShaoWu
Zhang, who led the team, said.
In fact, in the
study, the team caught foragers as they returned
to their hives and displaced them in a black box.
The bees were then released in novel spots at
various distances up to 13 kilometres in north,
east, south and west.
that from four kilometres onwards, honeybees
homing from the eastern direction return to their
hives sooner than bees from the north, west and
south. When we released the bees from seven
kilometres and above, only those from the east
can successfully find their way back," Prof
"This is because bees released from the east
can see Black Mountain in the opposite direction.
It also helps if they are released in the early
afternoon, when the sun is situated in the west,
too. When they fly towards Black Mountain
familiar local features can guide them back to
released from longer distances did not reach
their hives until two to three days later. What
took us by surprise was the bees ability to
retain their knowledge of landscape and
directions for several days."
The team used new
technology to track the bees journey. They
placed Radio Frequency Identification tags on
each bee and left a receiver at the hive
entrance. The system recorded the exact arrival
time of the individually targeted bees, including
the late arrivals, ensuring accurate results.
slams govt for inviting Chinese Gen to US
May 19: A top Republican lawmaker has
slammed the Pentagon for giving a visiting
Chinese general access to sensitive US
facilities, contending that China openly regards
the US as its enemy and would use every
information it gets against it.
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman of the House
Foreign Affairs Committee said she was concerned
by the development and asked the Congress to
review and if needed strengthen the prohibitions
"I am very
concerned that high-ranking Chinese military
officials are being given access to sensitive US
military facilities as part of an effort to
re-establish US-Chinese military-to-military
relations," she said.
She said this
raises questions about the policies in place to
safeguard US national security-related
information and the foreign policy implications
of the administrations response to Chinese
actions against US interests and allies.
the visit of General Chen Bingde, Chief of the
General Staff of the Peoples Liberation
Army (PLA), to Nellis Air Force Base is
especially troubling, given its key role in US
defenses against cyber warfare and other
actively engaged in cyber attacks against the US,
including massive assaults on US government and
civilian networks alike, especially those of the
Department of Defense.
"There can be
no doubt that every scrap of information this
expert delegation collects will be used against
us," she said.
She said Congress
must immediately review existing prohibitions
against giving Chinese officials access to
sensitive information, and determine if they need
to be strengthened.
military openly regards the United States as an
enemy. We should not undermine our own security
by thinking we can make friends with
self-proclaimed adversaries with hospitality and
open arms," she said.
US-Chinese military exchanges were cut off by
Beijing in 2010 in response to US arms sales to
Taiwan to strengthen its defence against a
includes the Chinese Chief of Staff and a
delegation of two dozen high-ranking officers
whose itinerary includes Norfolk Naval Station in
Virginia, Fort Stewart in Georgia, Nellis Air
Force Base in Nevada, and the National Training
Center at Fort Irwin in California. (PTI)
good for heart
May 19: The humble tomato is more than a
delicious fruit. A new study says that eating it
daily could help lower cholesterol and blood
pressure levels, thus keeping heart disease at
team, led by University of Adelaide, has claimed
that a bright red pigment called lycopene found
in tomatoes contains antioxidant properties vital
to good health, the Maturitas journal
to the conclusion by summarising the effect of
lycopene on cholesterol and blood pressure
analysing the collective results of 14 studies in
the last 55 years.
suggests that if more than 25 milligrams of
lycopene is taken daily, it can reduce
LDL-cholesterol by up to 10 per cent," Dr
Karin Ried, who led the team, said.
particular have high levels of lycopene, with
half-a-litre of tomato juice taken daily, or 50
grams of tomato paste, providing protection
against heart disease, say the researchers.
comparable to the effect of low doses of
medication commonly prescribed for people with
slightly elevated cholesterol, but without the
side effects of these drugs, which can include
muscle pain and weakness and nerve damage,"
Dr Ried said.
According to the
researchers, lycopene is better absorbed in
processed and cooked tomatoes or tomato paste
rather than fresh tomatoes.
shows that high lycopene consumption has been
associated with a decreased risk of
cardiovascular disease, including hardened
arteries, heart attacks and strokes," Dr
He, however, added
that more study is needed to explore whether
doses higher than 25 to 44 milligrammes of
lypocene a day provide additional benefits. (PTI)
Bank approves $23.5 mn biodiversity
grant&loan for India
May 19: The World Bank on Thursday approved
a USD 15.36 million credit and USD 8.14 million
grant for a project to conserve high-value forest
areas while improving the livelihoods of forest
dependent communities in India.
Conservation and Rural Livelihood Improvement
Project will conserve biodiversity, while
improving rural livelihoods by applying
culturally appropriate and tested participatory
approaches to support opportunities for improving
rural livelihoods, the Bank said in a statement.
among the most diverse countries, with up to
47,000 species of plants and some 90,000 species
of animal and the countrys biodiversity is
fundamental to human well being," said
Malcolm Jansen, World Bank Senior Environmental
Specialist and Project Leader.
dependent locally on forests for their
subsistence and livelihood and 70 per cent of
Indias rural population depends on fuel
wood to meet domestic energy needs," Jansen
Indias rich biodiversity is threatened by
increased population pressures and
over-utilisation of resources along with
development that is largely inconsistent with
conservation objectives, the Bank said these
threats, coupled with the countrys high
incidence of poverty, have accelerated the speed
of degradation. (PTI)
resigns as IMF chief
YORK, May 19: The International Monetary Fund said
Dominique Strauss-Kahn has resigned as its head
following charges against him of sexual assault
and attempted rape.
"I deny with
the greatest possible firmness all of the
allegations that have been made against me,"
Strauss-Kahn said in his letter of resignation,
which was released by the IMF and dated May 18.
"I want to
devote all my strength, all my time, and all my
energy to proving my innocence."
He will today for
a second time request release on $1 million cash
bail and placement under 24-hour house arrest
while he awaits trial on charges of attempting to
rape a hotel maid, his lawyers said. He is being
held in New Yorks notorious Rikers Island
will definitely be a bail hearing tomorrow,"
Manhattan District Attorneys Office
spokeswoman Erin Duggan told Reuters on
A mug shot of
Strauss-Kahn, 62, taken more than 24 hours after
he was pulled from a plane and detained on
Saturday, showed him exhausted, his eyes downcast
and half-closed and wearing a rumpled, open-neck
The photograph may
fuel outrage in France over how a man who had
been viewed as a strong contender for the French
presidency has been paraded before the cameras
before he has had a chance to defend himself in
Polls released in
France yesterday showed 57 per cent of
respondents thought the Socialist politician was
definitely or probably the victim of a plot.
Strauss-Kahn allegedly tried to rape, a
32-year-old widow from West Africa, testified on
Wednesday before a grand jury. It will decide in
secret whether there is enough evidence to
formally press charges with an indictment.
proceedings are ongoing," her lawyer,
Jeffrey Shapiro, said.
arrest has dashed his prospects to run for the
French presidency in 2012 and raised broader
issues over the future of the International
countries are questioning Europes hold on
the top IMF position, and jockeying to replace
him has already begun.
emerged on Wednesday about the sequence of events
surrounding the alleged sexual attack on the
the Sofitel near Times Square in Manhattan around
12:30 pm (2200 ist) on Saturday and roughly an
hour later, hotel security called police to
report an alleged sexual assault, a law
enforcement source said.
investigators are questioning why officials at
the Sofitel waited an hour to call police after
the IMF chief left the hotel in a hurry following
the alleged assault.
He has been
charged with attempted rape, sexual abuse, a
criminal sexual act, unlawful imprisonment and
forcible touching. If convicted, he could face 25
years in prison. The woman he is accused of
assaulting is an asylum seeker from Guinea with a
In the only public
hint of Strauss-Kahns possible line of
defense, his attorney Benjamin Brafman told his
arraignment hearing on Monday that the evidence
"will not be consistent with a forcible
Any trial could be
six months or more away.
Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said
Europe would naturally put forward a candidate to
replace Strauss-Kahn if he were to step down.
wants a European to keep the job, said the IMF
should deal with its immediate leadership
internally and that it is too early to discuss a
successor to Strauss-Kahn.
said John Lipsky, the IMFs American number
two official whose term ends in August, would
represent the Fund at next weeks Group of
Eight summit in France.
Strauss-Kahns absence, Lipsky is
temporarily in charge of the IMF, which manages
the world economy and is in the midst of helping
euro zone states like Greece, Ireland and
National Glass buys Germanys insolvent
May 18: Hindustan National Glass &
Industries (HNG), Indias largest
manufacturer of glass containers, has achieved a
breakthrough in Europe by acquiring the assets of
insolvent German company Agenda Glass AG for an
company, which is the market leader in
Indias glass packaging segment, with a
share of 55 per cent, beat competition from over
a dozen rival bidders to seal the deal.
The new company
will be known as HNG Global GmbH, a fully-owned
subsidiary of the stock exchange-listed parent
HNG not only made
the "most convincing offer", but its
manufacturing expertise and experience in
transforming under-performing industrial units
into profitable companies also played a role in
securing the deal, insolvency administrator Lucas
The deal was
signed on May 11 and the two sides agreed not to
disclose the costs involved, he said in a
Mukul Somani, the
Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of HNG, and a
team of officials representing the new owners of
Agenda Glass AG were introduced to its staff and
the local media at a function hosted today by the
Economics Minister of the State of Saxony Anhalt,
The new owner
promised to keep the companys existing
staff and its production location in Gardelegen,
in Saxony Anhalt, the insolvency administrator
Agenda Glass AG
was founded in 2008 with an investment volume of
50 million euros as one of Europes most
modern glassworks for the production of glass
With a production
capacity of 320 tonnes per day of glass bottles
for the alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage
segment and a workforce of around 150 people, it
started production in February, 2010.
company had to apply for insolvency on February
22, 2011, after it made a turnover of only around
10 million euros in 2010, far below its
expectations, because of starting technical
difficulties, Floether said.
He said he was
quite pleased that the Indian buyer acquired
Agenda Glass AG within ten days after the
insolvency proceedings against the company were
opened at a regional court on May 1.
us to rehabilitate one of the states
leading industrial units in a record time,"
he said. (PTI)
BRIC countries key to
sustaining Gulf hotel growth
May 19: Asia and South America are drivers
for growth in the hotel sector in the Gulf,
particularly for Dubai, where demand is only
limited by the number of available airline seats,
senior hotel officials have said.
China and India
were cited as the key to future expansion in the
sector, while others said that recent events had
demonstrated the effects of the numbers game.
Dardenne, the CEO of Emaar Hotels & Resorts,
said it was not only China, but other emerging
markets that would sustain development in the
targeting countries closer to home in the first
instancethe GCC and Indiabut will be
setting up sales offices in China and then look
at Brazil and Africa as source markets," he
Delegates at the
summit were in agreement that airlines such as
Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways would fuel
development of the region by fulfilling the
cross-roads designation of the region.
geographical location is undoubtedly one of its
major strengths, providing a natural link between
the East and West. Moreover, its access to
Russian and Indian markets specifically gives the
region a strategic advantage.
whether hotel rates in the region would remain
high, the experts agreed that expansion of
three-and four-star hotels in most markets would
serve to pull down average daily rates (ADR),
which have remained among the worlds most
expensive for many regional cities.
first quarter in 2011, average occupancies in
Dubai hotels were back above the 80 per cent mark
and while average daily rates have taken a
plunge, they still exceed USD 200," said
summit moderator Jalil Mekouar, MD-Hotels, Jones
Lang LaSalle, pointing out this was more than in
Hong Kong, Paris, New York and London. (PTI)