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Showing posts from December 29, 2016

Centre forms panel on arbitration hub(thehindu)

The Centre has constituted a high-level committee, led by the former Supreme Court judge B.N. Srikrishna, to draw a road map to make India a global arbitration hub.

The committee would comprise another former SC judge, R.V. Raveendran, Delhi High Court judge S. Ravindra Bhat, senior advocates K.K. Venugopal and Indu Malhotra, Additional Solicitor-General P.S. Narasimha, Director of Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy Araghya Sengupta, representatives of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Confederation of Indian Industry.

A statement said the terms of reference included analysing the effectiveness of the arbitration mechanism, identification of amendments in other laws that need to encourage International Commercial Arbitration and devise an action plan for implementation of the law to ensure speedier arbitrations.

Faint but unmistakable echoes of IS (thehindu)

By the end of this year, 50 young men had been arrested by various investigating agencies for their alleged links to the Syria-Iraq-based terrorist outfit, the Islamic State (IS).

In another instance, a group of 21 persons, which includes women and children, quietly left the country to live in Afghanistan, where the terrorist outfit is said to have gained a foothold.

Investigators insist the number of Indians leaning towards the terrorist group is miniscule in proportion to the Muslim population and much less when compared with countries such as France, the U.K, Russia and even China.

“Most of them were caught before they could execute their plan. Almost all of them told us that they were asked to target vital installations, religious places around them as travelling to the IS-controlled territory in Syria and Iraq had become difficult,” said a senior NIA official.

Recently, during a presentation at the annual Directors-General of Police conference in Hyderabad, the Intelligence Bure…

‘Revised Sarojini Mahishi panel recommendations in a fortnight’(thehindu)

‘Chief Minister had constituted 21-member committee headed by KDA chairman’

S.G. Siddaramaiah, Chairman, Kannada Development Authority, has said that the process of revising the Dr. Sarojini Mahishi Committee recommendations on providing jobs to Kannadigas has almost been completed and that it would be submitted to the State government in about a fortnight.

Responding to questions from presspersons on Thursday at Goolyam, a Kannada-speaking border village in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, Mr. Siddaramaiah said that the State government had constituted a 21-member committee, headed by the chairman of the authority, to revise the 32-year-old recommendations to suit the present day needs of providing employment to Kannadigas.

“The committee, after a lot of discussion, had changed certain terminologies, so as to avoid legal hurdles, and was giving the final touches to the report. We will submit the report in about a fortnight with an appeal to the government to implement it as an Ac…

Cavemen may have used toothpicks even before making meals with fire (the hindu )

Researchers found wood fibres in a 1.2-million-year-old tooth found in Europe

Bits of wood recovered from a 1.2-million-year-old tooth found at an excavation site in northern Spain indicate that the early ancestors of humans may have use a kind of toothpick, scientists say.

Toothbrushes were not around yet, if the amount of hardened tartar build-up is anything to go by, according to the study.

An analysis of the tartar has yielded information about what these early men ate and the quality of their diet.

Study leader Karen Hardy of the Catalan Institute for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) and the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona in Spain says the study found they ate food raw, and that 1.2 million years ago, hominins did not use fire to prepare food.

The teeth investigated by Ms. Hardy’s team come from one of the two oldest hominin remains in Europe.

The piece of jawbone found in 2007 at the Sima del Elefante excavation site in Spain’s Atapuerca Mountains is between 1.1 million…

Peace on track in Colombia (thehindu)

Colombia’s government now knows only too well that there is many a slip between the cup and the lip. In October, a referendum to ratify a painstakingly negotiated peace deal it had signed with the long-time insurgent organisation, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), was narrowly defeated. A more piecemeal, less ambitious and sequenced process since then has helped Bogota notch its first significant victory in effecting the peace deal with the rebels. Now, Colombia’s Congress has unanimously approved an amnesty law granting immunity to FARC fighters from prosecution for committing minor crimes, clearing a major hurdle in effecting the revised peace accord. Those accused of major crimes will be tried by a special tribunal. The main difficulty in passing this measure was the intransigence of the leading opposition, the right-wing Centro Democratico led by former President Alvaro Uribe, who had led a vigorous campaign first against talks between the government and the rebe…

Sasikala rising (The Hindu.)

That V.K. Sasikala was nominated general secretary of the AIADMK by its general council is no surprise. Her elevation from party worker to party head has followed days of demands and entreaties from senior AIADMK leaders that she take up the job. Two things counted in her favour. She was the closest friend of Jayalalithaa, something that means a lot in the personality cult-based structure of the AIADMK. As importantly, any other choice would have divided the party into fractious factions. Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, the only other possible contender, himself backed Ms. Sasikala. As did most other party leaders, including prominent ministers, who rely on their caste bases for popular support. However, it is doubtful whether the AIADMK rank and file is really enthused by the choice — a fact that will have a bearing on the future of the party. It is not surprising that Ms. Sasikala lacks popular appeal. Over the last two decades, her influence over the party and State politics has …

Tel Aviv on tenterhooks (the hindu)

The UN resolution condemning settlement activity in the occupied territories is not what Israel fears. What troubles it is that the resolution opens the door to a full criminal investigation into Israeli excesses

On December 23, the United States Ambassador to the UN abstained on UN Security Council resolution 2334, which condemned Israel’s settlement activity in the occupied territory of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The language is tentative. It does not call the settlements illegal, but only having no “legal validity”. In the world of international law, the difference might not be significant. Israel pressured Egypt to withdraw the resolution, which it did, and it pressured the U.S. to veto it, which it did not. Malaysia, New Zealand, Venezuela and Senegal sponsored the resolution, which passed with 14 votes in favour and one abstention (the U.S.). Ambassadors around the table hoped that the vote would push towards the two-state solution, the “common aspiration of the internat…