Monday, June 29, 2009

Torch of Olympic hope kindled

Dubai: Senior sports officials have reacted enthusiastically after Dubai's ambitious plans to attract the 2020 Olympic Games were revealed on Sunday.

Ebrahim Abdul Malek, secretary general of the General Authority of Youth & Sports Welfare, said hosting the Olympics was the "ultimate ambition" of any country while former world powerboat champion Saeed Al Tayer welcomed the "fantastic opportunity for Dubai to further establish itself in the international sporting arena".

Yesterday, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, issued a decree setting up a committee to explore the potential of Dubai to host the Olympic and Paralymic Games in 2020 as part of the Dubai 2020 initiative.

"The Dubai 2020 initiative will look at how we can shape our environment and society for future generations," Shaikh Mohammad said in an official statement released from his office.

"It will address, in an integrated way, the building blocks that underpin social and economic progress - sport, education, culture, business, science, technology, health and the environment.

Two global events - the Olympic Games and World Expo - give us a sense of common purpose and play to our strengths."

The 2020 Olympic Games committee will be chaired by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, while Shaikh Ahmad Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, head of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) will be the vice-chairman.

Abdul Malek hoped the vision of Shaikh Mohammad will help Dubai edge out other leading cities to become a genuine contender to host the Games.

"The Olympics is the biggest sporting event in the world and is the ultimate sporting ambition of any country," he told Gulf News.

"Bidding for the Games will mean a lot of work and preparation in terms of planning and developing infrastructure. But the UAE has been successful in hosting big events and with the support of our leaders we can hopefully make a successful bid."

Al Tayer, chairman of the UAE's iconic new horseracing development, Meydan racecourse, agreed with Abdul Malek.

"Dubai has a wealth of know-how in organising major events and has already established itself internationally," he said.

"This [Olympic bid] is a continuation of the vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad.

"We have seen dreams and aspirations being realised in the past and this can also be achieved."

Leading UAE endurance rider and long distance runner Ali Al Muhairi said the proposed Olympic bid "is a matter of pride for the people of the UAE and a huge motivation for all sportspersons", while UAE hockey captain Ahmad Al Sayegh believes the emirates can be a strong candidate.

"We have all the ingredients that are essential to host the Olympics such as political stability, a great environment and sport loving people," Al Sayegh said.

"We have shown to the world how much a small country can achieve and we can continuing achieving."

With inputs from Senior Reporters Yasir Abbasher, M. Satya Narayan and K.R. Nayar.

Source : Gulf News

Friday, June 26, 2009

Etisalat enters India, sets up back office at Ambattur in North Chennai

CHENNAI: UAE based telecommunications service provider Emirates Telecommunications or Etisalat has quietly begun work on its entry into the Indian
market, by setting up a back office operations centre at the India Land Properties’ IT park – India Land Tech Park, at Ambattur in Chennai. This 500-seater technical centre with a 50,000 sq. ft. built up area will be the company’s first office set up in India.

“The company has invested Rs.1500 per sq. ft., that is Rs.7.5 crore, in setting up this centre in Chennai,” an official at the IT park said. This is apart from the real estate investment of Rs.28 per sq. ft. per month, on lease. “They have so far said that this will be a support centre for their operations in UAE.” The official said that the company has started operations at the Chennai centre since early June.

Top officials in Etisalat were not willing to comment on the Chennai Centre. But, sources in Etisalat confirmed it is part of the company’s preparations for its commercial launch in India this year. “The corporate office is yet to come up in Mumbai,” an Etisalat official said.

The telco announced in its 2008 annual report that it has entered the Indian telecom market and has scheduled its commercial launch for 2009. “Our investment in India complements the other regional investments in Pakistan (PTCL), Afghanistan, and Indonesia, representing one of the fastest-growing markets in the telecommunication world,” the report says.

Etisalat had picked up 45% stake in Swan Telecom in September 2008, and formed the joint venture Etisalat-Swan to operate in India. The JV has licenses to operate in 13 of the country’s 22 telecom circles.

The other occupant at the 1 million sq. ft IT park at Ambattur is the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) group, which has set up its BPO on a 5 lakh sq. ft built up office space, at an investment of Rs.2500 per sq. ft. It is learnt that two other banking and insurance companies have expressed interest in the IT park.

24 Jun 2009, 1949 hrs IST, Niranjana Ramesh & Hemamalini Venkataraman, ET Bureau

Sharjah committee to monitor food poisoning

Sharjah: The municipality will soon form a Food Poisoning Committee in order to prevent food poisoning cases from breaking out in Sharjah.

Atif Abdullah Al Zarouni, Director of Public Health Department, Sharjah Municipality, told Gulf News that the municipality is currently co-ordinating with the Ministry of Health and the Forensic Laboratory of Sharjah Police to launch the committee.

"We are co-ordinating with all the parties so that we can adopt a mechanism among all parties to form a Food Poisoning Committee in Sharjah. Through the new committee, we aim to control such situations [of food poisoning] as soon as possible," said Al Zarouni.

"The Department deals with cases of suspected food poisoning in the most accurate manner. We first conduct an investigation of the type of food intake, then we collect food samples, and finally we review the staff who prepared the food to make sure they are free from diseases and wounds."

He stated that there are more than 7,000 food outlets in Sharjah and that five per cent of them were fined recently, due to the negligence of public or personal hygiene, in addition to failing to adhere to correct health practices when dealing and preparing food products.

In a three-week inspection campaign held in May, three shawarma cafeterias and 1,294 food outlets were temporarily closed because they were operating in areas polluted by vehicle emission and air microbes.

Cafeterias were also found to be selling stale meat that was unfit for human consumption.

"The municipality has intensified its preventive measures to protect food commodities from being contaminated during the summer season, and we are focusing on restaurants and butcher shops," he said, emphasising that inspectors also supervise the sterilisation of fast food meals, vegetables, salads, fruits and other food items.

Al Zarouni pointed out that restaurants and cafeterias should use proper equipment, such as electric knives instead of ordinary knives, and that employees should adhere to the standards of personal hygiene when dealing with food items prior to cooking.

"Food control inspectors do not spare any efforts to educate workers in these areas as we want them to deal with food items in a sound manner."

By Mariam M. Al Serkal, Staff Reporter
Source : Gulf News

Shaikh Mohammad posts education question in Facebook status update

Dubai Should the new academic year start during Ramadan or after the Eid holiday?

This was the question posted via status update on the newly opened Facebook page of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

As a user-generated content site, Facebook users are able to comment on his status updates and make virtual friends with him on his unrestricted profile, which allows the general public to view his photo albums, videos, personal information and "poke" Shaikh Mohammad (to get his virtual attention).

"I was brought up in a family that believed in the importance of visionary public service and philanthropy and I have tried to live these values in my everyday life," Shaikh Mohammad posted in his "About Me" section.

By Alice Johnson, Deputy UAE Editor
Source : Gulf News

Michael Jackson dies of cardiac arrest in Los Angeles

Los Angeles: Michael Jackson, the "King of Pop" who once moonwalked above the music world, died Thursday as he prepared for a comeback bid. He was 50.

Jackson died at UCLA Medical Center after being stricken at his rented home in Holmby Hills. Paramedics tried to resuscitate him at his home for nearly three-quarters of an hour, then rushed him to the hospital, where doctors continued to work on him.

"It is believed he suffered cardiac arrest in his home. However, the cause of his death is unknown until results of the autopsy are known," his brother Jermaine said. Police said they were investigating, standard procedure in high-profile cases.

Jackson's death brought a tragic end to a long, bizarre, sometimes farcical decline from his peak in the 1980s, when he was popular music's premier all-around performer, a uniter of black and white music who shattered the race barrier on MTV, dominated the charts and dazzled even more on stage.

Click here to see a gallery of Michael Jackson's life

His 1982 album "Thriller" - which included the blockbuster hits "Beat It," "Billie Jean" and "Thriller" - is the best-selling album of all time, with an estimated 50 million copies sold worldwide.

At the time of his death, Jackson was rehearsing hard for what was to be his greatest comeback: He was scheduled for an unprecedented 50 shows at a London arena, with the first set for July 13.

As word of his death spread, MTV switched its programming to play videos from Jackson's heyday. Radio stations began playing marathons of his hits.

Hundreds of people gathered outside the hospital. In New York's Times Square, a low groan went up in the crowd when a screen flashed that Jackson had died, and people began relaying the news to friends by cell phone.

"No joke. King of Pop is no more. Wow," Michael Harris, 36, of New York City, read from a text message a friend had sent him. "It's like when Kennedy was assassinated. I will always remember being in Times Square when Michael Jackson died."

The public first knew him as a boy in the late 1960s, when he was the precocious, spinning lead singer of the Jackson 5, the singing group he formed with his four older brothers out of Gary, Indiana. Among their No. 1 hits were "I Want You Back," "ABC" and "I'll Be There."

He was perhaps the most exciting performer of his generation, known for his backward-gliding moonwalk, his feverish, crotch-grabbing dance moves and his high-pitched singing, punctuated with squeals and titters. His single sequined glove, tight, military-style jacket and aviator sunglasses were trademarks, as was his ever-changing, surgically altered appearance.

"For Michael to be taken away from us so suddenly at such a young age, I just don't have the words," said Quincy Jones, who produced "Thriller." "He was the consummate entertainer and his contributions and legacy will be felt upon the world forever. I've lost my little brother today, and part of my soul has gone with him."

Jackson ranked alongside Elvis Presley and the Beatles as the biggest pop sensations of all time. He united two of music's biggest names when he was briefly married to Presley's daughter, Lisa Marie, and Jackson's death immediately evoked comparisons to that of Presley himself, who died at age 42 in 1977.

As years went by, Jackson became an increasingly freakish figure - a middle-aged man-child weirdly out of touch with grown-up life. His skin became lighter, his nose narrower, and he spoke in a breathy, girlish voice.

He often wore a germ mask while traveling, kept a pet chimpanzee named Bubbles as one of his closest companions, and surrounded himself with children at his Neverland ranch, a storybook playland filled with toys, rides and animals. The tabloids dubbed him "Wacko Jacko."

"It seemed to me that his internal essence was at war with the norms of the world. It's as if he was trying to defy gravity," said Michael Levine, a Hollywood publicist who represented Jackson in the early 1990s. He called Jackson a "disciple of P.T. Barnum" and said the star appeared fragile at the time but was "much more cunning and shrewd about the industry than anyone knew."

Jackson caused a furor in 2002 when he playfully dangled his infant son, Prince Michael II, over a hotel balcony in Berlin while a throng of fans watched from below.

In 2005, he was cleared of charges he molested a 13-year-old cancer survivor at Neverland in 2003. He had been accused of plying the boy with alcohol and groping him, and of engaging in strange and inappropriate behavior with other children.

The case followed years of rumors about Jackson and young boys. In a TV documentary, he acknowledged sharing his bed with children, a practice he described as sweet and not at all sexual.

Despite the acquittal, the lurid allegations that came out in court took a fearsome toll on his career and image, and he fell into serious financial trouble.

Michael Joseph Jackson was born Aug. 29, 1958, in Gary. He was 4 years old when he began singing with his brothers - Marlon, Jermaine, Jackie and Tito - in the Jackson 5. After his early success with bubblegum soul, he struck out on his own, generating innovative, explosive, unstoppable music.

The album "Thriller" alone mixed the dark, serpentine bass and drums and synthesizer approach of "Billie Jean," the grinding Eddie Van Halen solo on "Beat It," and the hiccups and falsettos on "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'."

The peak may have come in 1983, when Motown celebrated its 25th anniversary with an all-star televised concert and Jackson moonwalked off with the show, joining his brothers for a medley of old hits and then leaving them behind with a pointing, crouching, high-kicking, splay-footed, crotch-grabbing run through "Billie Jean."

The audience stood and roared. Jackson raised his fist.

By then he had cemented his place in pop culture. He got the plum Scarecrow role in the 1978 movie musical "The Wiz," a pop-R&B version of "The Wizard of Oz," that starred Diana Ross as Dorothy.

During production of a 1984 Pepsi commercial, Jackson's scalp sustained burns when an explosion set his hair on fire.

He had strong follow-up albums with 1987's "Bad" and 1991's "Dangerous," but his career began to collapse in 1993 after he was accused of molesting a boy who often stayed at his home. The singer denied any wrongdoing, reached a settlement with the boy's family, reported to be $20 million, and criminal charges were never filed.

Jackson's expressed anger over the allegations on the 1995 album "HIStory," which sold more than 2.4 million copies, but by then, the popularity of Jackson's music was clearly waning, even as public fascination with his increasingly erratic behavior was growing.

Jackson married Lisa Marie Presley in 1994, and they divorced in 1996. Later that year, Jackson married Deborah Rowe, a former nurse for his dermatologist. They had two children together: Michael Joseph Jackson Jr., known as Prince Michael, and Paris Michael Katherine Jackson. Rowe filed for divorce in 1999.

Cardiac arrest is an abnormal heart rhythm that stops the heart from pumping blood to the body. It can occur after a heart attack or be caused by other heart problems.

Billboard magazine editorial director Bill Werde said Jackson's star power was unmatched. "The world just lost the biggest pop star in history, no matter how you cut it," Werde said. "He's literally the king of pop."

Jackson's 13 No. 1 one hits on the Billboard charts put him behind only Presley, the Beatles and Mariah Carey, Werde said.

"He was on the eve of potentially redeeming his career a little bit," he said. "People might have started to think of him again in a different light."

Fans in shock, tears

In Malaysia, they hoped he would be remembered like Princess Diana. In Mexico, one of his impersonators said part of his life had been torn away.

Even Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called it "lamentable news," though he criticized the media for giving it so much attention.

Michael Jackson's death Thursday in Los Angeles prompted broadcasters from Sydney to Seoul - where the news came early Friday - to interrupt morning programs, while fans worldwide remembered a "tortured genius" whose squeals and moonwalks captivated a generation and sparked global trends in music, dance and fashion.

Within minutes of Jackson's arrival by ambulance at UCLA Medical Center, people began arriving by the hundreds outside. As word spread that he was dead, people burst into tears. Others stood in disbelief.

In Sydney, where Jackson married second wife Debbie Rowe in 1996, a celebrity publicist who was a guest at Jackson's Sydney wedding and worked on his Australian tour that year described him as a "tortured genius."

"He was very gentle, very quiet, very shy," Di Rolle told Sky News television. "He was a very complicated, strange man, women loved him and men loved him too. It's such a sad day, a very sad day."

Australia's morning shows devoted full coverage to the Jackson's death, alternating reporting from Los Angeles with viewers' e-mails of memories and condolences.

Did you grow up listening to Michael Jackson's music? What differentiated Michael Jackson from other music celebrities? How has he influenced you? Tell as about it below.

Source: Gulf News

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dubai residents gather to mourn for Neda

Dubai: Close to one thousand Iranian residents gathered in Dubai for a silent candle-lit vigil on Monday to mourn the killing of Neda Agha Sultan, the woman who has become the symbol of the movement contesting the Iranian presidential election results.

Watch video of Iran vigil in Dubai

The group gathered on the beach next to the Hilton hotel in Jumeirah Beach Residence holding candles and posters. While most of the posters showed pictures of Neda, few were of political slogans calling for Iran's "freedom."
Neda, 26, was shot dead in Tehran on Saturday during a rally protesting the perceived rigging of the presidential elections held earlier this month, allegedly by forces affiliated with the government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Footage of the killing was leaked to news websites and has been widely circulated since.

Dubai Police had said earlier that no protest rallies would be permitted, saying that a possible counter rally could lead to clashes. The authorities have expressed concern that violence in Iran could spill into Dubai.

Many of those present pointed out that the gathering was not intended to be a protest rally, but a silent vigil free of slogans and chants. A speech in support of Neda was read and Persian songs were sung. Mourners wept as their arms swayed in the air with the singing.

A woman, who did not want to be named, said she had not attended any rallies or protests in Dubai in support of former reformist presidential candidate Mir Hussain Mousavi, but was "woken up" after the "brutal" death of Neda.

Attendees were also keen to point out that they did not oppose the Iranian regime, but its alleged corruption, as well as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

An Iranian resident, Mahmoud, who read a poem for Neda, said he was opposed to "tyranny, and not the Islamic Republic."

A number of attendees also noted that Iranians inside and out of their country had become bolder by the opposition movement, citing their new confidence in speaking to media without worrying about hiding their identities.

"That's because they know Ahmadinejad's government won't last long," Mahmoud said. Few however, expressed opposition to the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and the regime in Tehran.

"Politics is dirty, when you bring religion into politics, you're putting it in dirt," Schahin, a German-Iranian resident of Dubai, said. "Once [the leaders] claim they come from God, they are invincible," he added.

Schahin and others acknowledged deep splits within the opposition movement, with some protesting the conservative movement and Ahmadinejad, and others contesting the entire regime. Schahin said the priority was to remove Ahmadinejad, which united both parties.

"For me, it was a choice between the bad and the worse, and I chose the bad: Mousavi," he added, noting the former prime minister's conservative record.

Source: Gulf News By Abbas Al Lawati, Staff Reporter

Ahmadinejad asks Obama not to interfere in Iran

Tehran: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called on Barack Obama on Thursday not to interfere in Iran's internal affairs after the US president said he was "appalled and outraged" by post-election violence.

Iran's tough security crackdown after its disputed June 12 presidential election has led Obama to ramp up his previously muted criticism of the Islamic Republic.

"Mr Obama made a mistake to say those things...our question is why he fell into this trap and said things that previously former US President George W. Bush used to say," the semi-official Fars News Agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.

"Do you want to speak with Iran with this tone? If that is your stance then what is left to talk about," said Ahmadinejad, who won the election by a landslide according to official results. His moderate opponents say the vote was rigged.



The turmoil in Iran has dimmed prospects for Obama's engagement with Tehran over its nuclear programme, with Ahmadinejad's government blaming Britain and the United States for fomenting violence.

"I hope you avoid interfering in Iran's affairs and express your regret in a way that the Iranian nation is informed of it," Ahmadinejad said.

He was speaking in the port town of Assaluyeh, where he was inaugurating a petrochemical plant.

Since taking office Obama has made diplomatic overtures towards Iran, after three decades of severed ties and a standoff over Tehran's nuclear drive.

But as the unrest has mounted in Iran over the disputed presidential election that returned Ahmadinejad to power, Obama has been increasingly critical of the vote and the crackdown on opposition protesters.

In his most recent comments, Obama said there were significant questions about the election results and that he "appalled and outraged" by the violent suppression of the protests.

The Washington Times reported on Wednesday that Obama's administration wrote to Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei before the election offering to improve relations.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

KFC sued over free meal that went awry

Los Angeles: KFC and some customers are embroiled in a beef over a free meal that never came to be.

In May, the fast-food chain promoted a giveaway of two pieces of grilled chicken, two individual side dishes and a biscuit on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Demand was so high that the company had to scale back the offer, asking customers who had printed the online coupons to visit stores for an IOU voucher that included a free Pepsi.

James Asanuma and Veronica Mora were feeling so peckish that they filed suit against KFC and its parent company, Yum Brands, in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Wednesday and are seeking class-action status.

The complaint accuses KFC of false advertising, fraud and unfair business practices, among other things. The company, according to the suit, used the promotion to pluck money from customers who hadn't intended to spend any.


KFC sued over free meal that went awry

By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service
Published: June 19, 2009, 23:39

Los Angeles: KFC and some customers are embroiled in a beef over a free meal that never came to be.

In May, the fast-food chain promoted a giveaway of two pieces of grilled chicken, two individual side dishes and a biscuit on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Demand was so high that the company had to scale back the offer, asking customers who had printed the online coupons to visit stores for an IOU voucher that included a free Pepsi.

James Asanuma and Veronica Mora were feeling so peckish that they filed suit against KFC and its parent company, Yum Brands, in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Wednesday and are seeking class-action status.

The complaint accuses KFC of false advertising, fraud and unfair business practices, among other things. The company, according to the suit, used the promotion to pluck money from customers who hadn't intended to spend any.

KFC should have made greater effort to accommodate people who had downloaded the coupons, the complaint said. Those who missed out on the free meal spent money on travel, paper and printing to learn about the change, and then wasted more on postage for a mail-in rain check.

KFC spokesman Rick Maynard said he couldn't comment on the lawsuit. But he said, "We apologise to any customers who were inconvenienced, and we remain committed to providing a free Kentucky Grilled Chicken meal plus a medium soft drink to those who submitted valid coupons for replacement coupons."

According to the complaint, Asanuma used a colour printer and paper to print four coupons, which required him to download and install a special computer program.

Mora did the same. Her daughters, according to the complaint, were excited at the prospect of KFC for dinner. But when they arrived at a KFC, they were told that they were too late for the giveaway because the restaurant had doled out its quota of 100 free meals a day.

Source :Gulf New

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dubai Police warn residents to take care of possessions

Dubai: A spokesperson for Dubai Police has warned the public against leaving valuable items in their cars as there has been a slight increase in car-related thefts.
According to the spokesperson from the police's criminal investigation department, the public should be more cautious and responsible regarding the items they keep in their cars.
He said that there had been "quite an increase" in the number of laptops stolen from unattended cars, saying that for every 100 cars, there was a possibility of one car having items stolen from it. He advised people to put their laptops in the car boot since they would then not be visible or, alternatively, just to carry the laptops with them.
He also said people should never leave their engines running while they are away from their cars.

Simple mistakes could lead to severe repercussions and in most cases the stolen items take a long time to recover, he said.
Car owners who want to sell their vehicles should accept a cash payment instead of a cheque, which could turn out to be fraudulent, it was advised.
The police also said residents could take advantage of the household protection service offering those residing in villas the option of monitoring their houses while they are out of the county.
The programme was introduced in 2001 with around 200 people annually registering online, said Lieutenant-Colonel Jamal Al Jallaf, Director of the criminal monitoring department.
Source: GulfNews By Siham Al Najami, Staff Reporter

UAE government prepares to create more jobs

Dubai: The UAE government is working to prepare the job market for the post global financial crisis period by drafting plans to develop value-added economic sectors and develop small- and medium-sized enterprises to create more jobs, said the Minister of Labour at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) summit on the global employment crisis.
Saqr Gobash Saeed Gobash told the gathering at the ILO summit in Geneva on the global employment crisis that "despite the difficulties, we see this crisis as an opportunity to reconsider the priorities of national economies, including our own national economy. We should move ahead with developing value-added economic sectors in accordance with our federal government's strategy.

"We should also focus on developing small and medium-sized enterprises to create job opportunities for our citizens and to attract skilled foreign labour."
To execute such plans requires closer cooperation between the UAE and its partners, including the GCC and Arab countries and the Asian labour source countries and to make good use of the expertise of the relevant international organisations, according to Gobash.
"I am looking forward with particular interest to the issuing of the final report of the committee formed by this summit to enable us to identify new areas for cooperation between the UAE and the ILO," said Gobash.
The global financial crisis has had a direct impact on the economy and labour market in the UAE but its effect has been limited on the UAE job market, according to Gobash.
Gobash said the unemployment rate in the UAE workforce, where the majority are expatriates, will not increase in the context of the global financial crisis.
Upon the emergence of the early signs of the crisis, the UAE Federal Cabinet took important proactive and preventive measures which have mitigated the impact of the crisis.
Thus the government pumped sufficient liquidity into the banking sector, ultimately amounting to $33 billion (Dh121.19 billion), and guaranteed all deposits in national and foreign banks operating in the country up to the end of 2013, Gobash said.
"It is not anticipated that unemployment rates will increase among the UAE workforce, the majority of whom are expatriates.
"What is anticipated is a slowdown in the rate of arriving workers, coupled with a slight increase in the number of those who leave the country on completion of the projects for which they were brought.
"It is also expected that access by UAE citizens to the job market in the private sector will be faced with some challenges, given the fact that dwindling growth rates will limit the creation of lucrative job opportunities in this sector," said Gobash.
More than 660,000 labour cards were issued between October 2008 and March 2009 and only 405,000 cards were cancelled, indicating an average monthly growth of 43,000 in the UAE labour force, according to the ministry's statistics.
However, there are no available statistics for the period after March.

Source: Gulf News By (Wafa Issa, Staff Reporter )

Emirati students face swine flu quarantine

Abu Dhabi/Muscat: Emirati students could be quarantined abroad before they return home for the summer holidays as part of a plan to combat swine flu in the UAE.Read in-depth report on swine flu
New procedures are being implemented by the UAE authorities. Medical teams will be sent to UAE embassies in affected countries such as the US and Australia to screen students using thermal scanners.
The move comes after an increasing number of GCC students abroad were diagnosed with swine flu.

Humaid Al Qutami, Minister of Education, told Gulf News students suspected of carrying the H1N1 virus will be quarantined. "This will reassure everyone and prevent panic until all students studying abroad have been checked, especially those coming from the US, Australia, Canada and Europe, where the majority of UAE students are," Al Qutami said.
There are 600 Emirati students studying abroad under the supervision of the Ministry of Higher Education, and four times the number of students studying on scholarships from other parties, such as government and semi-government authorities, banks, rulers' courts and private companies.
Dr Hanif Hassan, Minister of Health, told Gulf News the ministry is coordinating with the National Committee for Combating Swine flu.
"We will ask embassies to provide the committee with records about UAE students and tell us about suspected cases ... in order to isolate them and treat them before coming back to the UAE.
"We will contact their families and let them know all the details about these preventive procedures," Hassan said.
Neighbouring Oman has declared three cases of H1N1. "Three Omani students returned to Muscat last Saturday after a year-long course at a US University and all three have been found to be carrying the H1N1 virus," a spokesperson at the Ministry of Health told Gulf News.Are you an Emirati studying abroad? Do you agree with this latest measure to combat swine flu? Has fears of swine flu affected your studies or travel plans?

Source: Gulf News By (Abdullah Rasheed, Abu Dhabi Editor, and Sunil K. Vaidya, Muscat Bureau Chief)

ഒബാമയും ഇസ്രായേലും

അമേരിക്കന്‍ കത്ത് / ടി.കെ. ഇബ്രാഹീം
ഇസ്രായേലിനെതിരെ കര്‍ശന നടപടി സ്വീകരിക്കാത്തതില്‍ അറബ്^മുസ്ലിം ലോകം ഒബാമയെ വിമര്‍ശിക്കുന്നു. നല്ലൊരു വിഭാഗം അദ്ദേഹത്തെ പ്രതിക്കൂട്ടില്‍ കയറ്റുകതന്നെ ചെയ്യുന്നു. എന്നാല്‍ ഇസ്രായേലിനോട് ഒബാമ എന്ത് നയം സ്വീകരിക്കണമെന്നു ചോദിച്ചാല്‍ വിമര്‍ശകരും കുഴങ്ങും. ഉത്തര കൊറിയയോട് സ്വീകരിച്ചതുപോലുള്ള നയമാണോ? എങ്കില്‍ ഉത്തരകൊറിയയെപോലെ തന്നെ ഇസ്രായേലും അമേരിക്കയോട് ഇടഞ്ഞ് താന്തോന്നിത്തം കാട്ടിയാലോ? ഒബാമക്കെന്ത് ചെയ്യാനാവും? (ഉത്തര കൊറിയ വിഷയത്തില്‍ അമേരിക്കയും ലോകവും നിസ്സഹായാവസ്ഥയിലാണെന്നോര്‍ക്കുക) ഒരു തുറന്ന സംഘട്ടനത്തിലേര്‍പ്പെടാതെ ഇസ്രായേലിനെ ഒതുക്കിനിര്‍ത്താന്‍ ഒബാമക്ക് കഴിയുമോ? ഇസ്രായേലിന്റെ കിരാതമായ ഗാസാ ആക്രമണത്തില്‍ മുഴുലോകവും മിഴിച്ചുനില്‍ക്കയല്ലാതെ ആര്‍ക്കെന്തു ചെയ്യാന്‍ കഴിഞ്ഞു? ഒരു തുറന്ന സംഘട്ടനത്തിലൂടെയല്ലാതെ വല്ലതും ചെയ്യാന്‍ കഴിയുമായിരുന്നോ? തുറന്ന സംഘട്ടനത്തിന്റെ ഫലമോ? നിരപരാധരായ സ്ത്രീകളുടെയും വൃദ്ധരുടെയും ശിശുക്കളുടെയും കൂട്ടക്കൊലയും സാര്‍വത്രിക സംഹാരവുംതന്നെ. തുറന്ന സംഘട്ടനത്തിലേക്ക് നയിക്കുന്ന ഏത് നയവും ഫലസ്തീനികളേയും ഇസ്രായേലികളേയും ഒരുപോലെ നാശഗര്‍ത്തത്തിലേക്കാണ് തള്ളിവിടുക എന്ന് വ്യക്തം. ഇപ്പോള്‍തന്നെ കെയ്റോ പ്രഭാഷണം ഇസ്രായേലിലെ തീവ്രവാദികളെ വേണ്ടത്ര വെകിളി പിടിപ്പിച്ചുകഴിഞ്ഞു.
അമേരിക്കയും ഇസ്രായേലുമായുള്ള ചരിത്രപരമായ ബന്ധം, ബുഷിന്റെ എട്ടുകൊല്ലത്തെ ഇസ്രായേലി പക്ഷപാതനയം, ഇസ്രായേലി തീവ്രവാദികളുടെ പടയൊരുക്കം^ ഇതെല്ലാം കണക്കിലെടുക്കുമ്പോള്‍ ഒബാമക്ക് പരിമിതിയുണ്ട്. ഈ പരിമിതി അദ്ദേഹമല്ല, മുന്‍ഗാമികള്‍ സൃഷ്ടിച്ചതാണ്. മുമ്പ് ബ്രിട്ടീഷ്സാമ്രാജ്യത്വവും പിന്നീട് അമേരിക്കന്‍സാമ്രാജ്യത്വവും ചെയ്തുകൂട്ടിയ അന്താരാഷ്ട്രീയ കുറ്റകൃത്യങ്ങളുടെ ഒരു ബീഭല്‍സരൂപമാണ് ആണവായുധമേന്തി നില്‍ക്കുന്ന ഇസ്രായേല്‍. അന്ന് ജനിക്കുക കൂടി ചെയ്യാത്ത ഒബാമ അതിന്റെ ഭാരം പേറുന്നത് എങ്ങനെ? ആ കുറ്റങ്ങളുടെ വിശിഷ്യ ബുഷിന്റെ പ്രതിവിധിയും പരിഹാരവും സമര്‍പ്പിച്ചതുകൊണ്ടാണല്ലോ അമേരിക്കന്‍ജനത ബഹുഭൂരിപക്ഷത്തോടെ ഒബാമയെ വൈറ്റ്ഹൌസിലെത്തിച്ചത്.
വൈറ്റ്ഹൌസിലെ ഇക്കഴിഞ്ഞ 138 ദിവസങ്ങള്‍ക്കിടയില്‍ ഇസ്രായേലിനോട് കേവലപക്ഷം പിടിച്ചും ഫലസ്തീനികളോട് നിശേãഷം വിവേചനം കാണിച്ചും ഒരു സമീപനം ഒബാമ സ്വീകരിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ടോ എന്ന് പരിശോധിക്കുക. പക്ഷപാതരഹിതവും വസ്തുനിഷ്ഠവുമായ അത്തരമൊരു വിശകലനത്തിലൂടെമാത്രമേ ഒബാമയെ നിഷ്പക്ഷമായി വിലയിരുത്താന്‍ കഴിയൂ.അന്തിമവിശകലനത്തില്‍ പുറമേനിന്നുള്ള ഒരു ശക്തിക്കും ഒരു പരിഹാരവും അടിച്ചേല്‍പിക്കാന്‍ സാധ്യമല്ലെന്നും ഫലസ്തീനികളും ഇസ്രായേലികളും തമ്മില്‍ തന്നെ (മാധ്യസ്ഥ്യത്തിലൂടെയും മറ്റും) പരിഹാരം കണ്ടെത്തേണ്ടി വരുമെന്നും അദ്ദേഹം 'പ്രതീക്ഷയുടെ ധാര്‍ഷ്ട്യ'ത്തില്‍ സൂചിപ്പിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ട്. 'മധ്യപൌരസ്ത്യ ദേശത്തെ ജനങ്ങളുടെ മാത്രം നന്മക്കല്ല, നമ്മുടെ തന്നെ സന്താനങ്ങളുടെ സുരക്ഷിതത്വത്തിനും ഭദ്രതക്കും അവിടെ സമാധാനം സ്ഥാപിക്കാനാവശ്യമായ ശ്രമങ്ങളില്‍ മുഴുകേണ്ട ബാധ്യത നമുക്കുണ്ടെന്ന് ഞാന്‍ വിശ്വസിക്കുന്നു^അതെത്ര ദുഷ്കരമായ ജോലിയാണെന്ന് തോന്നിയാലും'^2006ല്‍ ഒബാമ എഴുതി (പേജ്: 322).
ആ ദുഷ്കരകൃത്യം നടത്തിനോക്കാനുള്ള ഉദ്യമത്തിലാണ് ഒബാമയെന്ന് കഴിഞ്ഞ രണ്ടുമൂന്നാഴ്ചകളിലെ അദ്ദേഹത്തിന്റെ നീക്കങ്ങള്‍ ചൂണ്ടിക്കാട്ടുന്നു. മെയ് 18ന് ഇസ്രായേല്‍ പ്രധാനമന്ത്രി ബെഞ്ചമിന്‍ നെതന്യാഹു വൈറ്റ്ഹൌസിലെത്തി. അദ്ദേഹവുമായുള്ള കൂടിക്കാഴ്ച ഒബാമയുടെ മുന്‍പരിപാടിയനുസരിച്ചുള്ള ഒരു മണിക്കൂറില്‍ നിന്ന് രണ്ടു മണിക്കൂറിലേക്ക് നീണ്ടു. ദ്വിരാഷ്ട്ര പരിഹാരം, കുടിയേറ്റ പാര്‍പ്പിട നിര്‍മാണങ്ങളില്‍ നിരുപാധികമായ വിട്ടുവീഴ്ച^ ഈരണ്ടു വിഷയങ്ങളും വിട്ടുവീഴ്ചയില്ലാത്ത സ്വരത്തില്‍ ഒബാമ നെതന്യാഹുവിനോട് പറഞ്ഞു. 'ഉദ്ദേശിച്ചത് നേടാന്‍ താങ്കള്‍ ദൃഢതീരുമാനമെടുത്തിരിക്കുന്നുവെന്നതിന് സംശയമില്ല. ഞാന്‍ താങ്കളെ കേള്‍ക്കുന്നുണ്ട്, മിസ്റ്റര്‍ പ്രസിഡന്റ്'^എല്ലാം കേട്ടുകഴിഞ്ഞ് നെതന്യാഹുവിന്റെ കമന്റ് അതായിരുന്നു.
അന്ന് ടി.വിയില്‍ ആ കൂടിക്കാഴ്ച വീക്ഷിച്ച ആര്‍ക്കും നെതന്യാഹുവിന്റെ നിസ്സഹായാവസ്ഥ തെളിഞ്ഞുകാണാം. കാണാന്‍ കഴിഞ്ഞിരുന്നു. വൈറ്റ് ഹൌസിന്റെ ചരിത്രത്തില്‍ ഏതെങ്കിലുമൊരു അമേരിക്കന്‍പ്രസിഡന്റില്‍ നിന്ന് ഏതെങ്കിലുമൊരു ഇസ്രായേലി പ്രധാനമന്ത്രിക്ക് ഇത്ര അരോചകമായ അനുഭവമുണ്ടായതായി അറിയില്ല. ഇസ്രായേലിലെത്തിയ നെതന്യാഹു അതൊക്കെ പുല്ലുവിലയാക്കി എന്നത് വേറെ കാര്യം.പത്തുദിവസം കഴിഞ്ഞ് മെയ് 28ന് മഹ്മൂദ് അബ്ബാസ് വൈറ്റ്ഹൌസ് സന്ദര്‍ശിച്ചു. അദ്ദേഹത്തോട് ഒബാമ അടിവരയിട്ടു പറഞ്ഞു: 'യാത്രക്കും വ്യാപാരവിനിമയത്തിനും വിഘാതമായി ഫലസ്തീനികള്‍ അനുഭവിക്കുന്ന സമ്മര്‍ദങ്ങള്‍ക്ക് ഇസ്രായേല്‍ അറുതിവരുത്തണം.. ഒരു ഫലസ്തീന്‍രാഷ്ട്രം ഉറപ്പുവരുത്തുകയും വേണം.'കെയ്റോയിലേക്ക് പുറപ്പെടും മുമ്പായി ഒബാമ കുറെ അഭിമുഖങ്ങള്‍ നല്‍കി. അതിലെല്ലാം അദ്ദേഹം മേല്‍പറഞ്ഞ പോയന്റുകള്‍ ആവര്‍ത്തിക്കുകയുണ്ടായി. കെയ്റോ പ്രഭാഷണത്തിലാകട്ടെ, ഗസയിലെ തുടരുന്ന 'മാനുഷിക പ്രതിസന്ധി' അദ്ദേഹം അപലപിച്ചു. 'ഫലസ്തീനികളുടെ ദൈനംദിന ജീവിതത്തിലെ പുരോഗതി സമാധാനത്തിലേക്കുള്ള മാര്‍ഗത്തിന്റെ അവിഭാജ്യ ഘടകമാവണം. അത്തരം പുരോഗതി സാധിതമാവാനുള്ള ഉറച്ച നടപടികള്‍ ഇസ്രായേലെടുക്കണം... ഇസ്രായേലിന്റെ തുടരുന്ന കുടിയേറ്റ നിര്‍മാണങ്ങളുടെ നിയമാനുസൃതത്വം അമേരിക്ക അംഗീകരിക്കുകയില്ല...'മുമ്പത്തെ കരാറുകളെ ലംഘിക്കുകയും സമാധാനം നേടാനുള്ള ശ്രമങ്ങളെ തകര്‍ക്കുകയും ചെയ്യുന്നു ഈ (പാര്‍പ്പിട) നിര്‍മാണം.' അറബികളേയും ഫലസ്തീനികളേയും അതേ സ്വരത്തിലും ശക്തിയിലും ഒബാമ ശകാരിച്ചു. അതേതായാലും അമേരിക്ക ഇസ്രായേലിന്റെ മേല്‍ ഇത്ര ശക്തിയായ സമ്മര്‍ദം ചെലുത്തിയ അനുഭവം മുമ്പുണ്ടായതായി ഓര്‍ക്കുന്നില്ല.ജൂണ്‍ 8ന് എ.ബി.സിയുമായി നടത്തിയ അഭിമുഖത്തില്‍ ഹിലരി ക്ലിന്റന്‍ ഒബാമയെ ഏറ്റുപിടിച്ചു : 'കുടിയേറ്റ ഭവന നിര്‍മാണം നിര്‍ത്തുകയെന്നത് ഇസ്രായേല്‍ കൂടി ഒപ്പുവെച്ച റോഡ്മേപ്പിന്റെ അവിഭാജ്യഘടകമാണ്'.
ഇതൊക്കെ കേവലം ഡിപ്ലോമസിയും തേനൂറുന്ന വാക്കുകളുമായി പറഞ്ഞുതള്ളുന്നവര്‍ ധാരാളമുണ്ട്. പക്ഷേ, ഒബാമ കൂടുതലെന്ത് ചെയ്യണമെന്നതിന് അവരുടെ പക്കല്‍ പ്രായോഗിക നിര്‍ദേശങ്ങളൊന്നുമില്ല. അദ്ദേഹം വാക്കുകള്‍ പാലിക്കുമോ എന്നാണ് ചോദ്യമെങ്കില്‍ അതിന് സമയം കൊടുക്കണമല്ലോ. അതിനുമുമ്പ് വിധിയെഴുതുന്നതിലെന്തര്‍ഥം? കെയ്റോ പ്രഭാഷണത്തെക്കുറിച്ച് വിമര്‍ശങ്ങള്‍ സംഗ്രഹിച്ച ശേഷം ടൊറന്റോ സ്റ്റാര്‍ എഡിറ്റര്‍ ഹാറൂന്‍ സിദ്ദീഖി പറഞ്ഞു: 'ലോകത്തിലെ ഏറ്റവും അലട്ടുന്ന പ്രശ്നങ്ങള്‍ക്ക് പരിഹാരം തേടാന്‍ രണ്ടും കല്‍പിച്ചിറങ്ങിത്തിരിച്ചിരിക്കയാണ് ഒബാമ എന്നതില്‍ സംശയമില്ല.'
ഫലസ്തീന്‍^ഇസ്രായേല്‍ സംഘര്‍ഷത്തില്‍ ആത്യന്തികനിലപാടുകള്‍ ഇരുഭാഗത്തുമുണ്ട്. ജൂത തീവ്രവാദത്തിന്റെ രൂക്ഷരൂപം വെസ്റ്റ് ബാങ്കിലെ ഹെബ്രോണ്‍ സന്ദര്‍ശിച്ച പശ്ചിമേഷ്യാ പത്രലേഖകന്‍ ഓക്ലാന്റ് റോസ് വരച്ചുകാട്ടി. '2000 വര്‍ഷങ്ങളായി തങ്ങളുടെ ഭൂമിയിലേക്ക് മടങ്ങാന്‍ ജൂതര്‍ സ്വപ്നം കാണുകയായിരുന്നു. ഇപ്പോഴും ജൂതര്‍ ആ ദിവസത്തിനായി പ്രാര്‍ഥിക്കുകയും സ്വപ്നം കാണുകയും ആവേശം കൊള്ളുകയും ചെയ്യുന്നു^' അവിടത്തെ കുടിയേറിപ്പാര്‍പ്പുകാരന്‍ നൊവാം അര്‍നോന്‍ പറഞ്ഞു. ദൈവം ജൂതര്‍ക്ക് വാഗ്ദത്തം ചെയ്ത പ്രദേശമാണത്. ഇസ്രായേലിന്റെ മേല്‍ എന്തുതരം അന്താരാഷ്ട്ര സമ്മര്‍ദമുണ്ടായാലും അവിടം വിടാനോ പാര്‍പ്പിടനിര്‍മാണങ്ങള്‍ നിര്‍ത്താനോ കുടിയേറിപ്പാര്‍പ്പുകാര്‍ തയാറല്ല. പാര്‍പ്പിടനിര്‍മാണം നിര്‍ത്താനുള്ള അമേരിക്കന്‍ ആഹ്വാനത്തിനെതിരെ ഉറച്ചുനില്‍ക്കുന്ന നെതന്യാഹുവുമായി ഒരു സംഘട്ടനത്തിലാണ് ഒബാമ ഏര്‍പ്പെട്ടിരിക്കുന്നത് എന്ന് ഓക്ലാന്റ് റോസ് പറയുന്നു. ഹെബ്രോണ്‍ എന്ന ആ പഴയ നഗരത്തിലേക്ക് ഒരുകൂട്ടം പത്രപ്രവര്‍ത്തകരെ നയിച്ച നൊവാം അര്‍നോന്‍ അറബികളെയും ജൂതരെയും വേര്‍പെടുത്തുന്ന ഒരു വികൃത കോണ്‍ക്രീറ്റ് മതിലിനുനേരെ ചൂണ്ടിക്കൊണ്ട് പറഞ്ഞു: 'ഇടതുഭാഗത്ത് ഒരു ഗേറ്റുണ്ട്. അറബികള്‍ക്കതിലൂടെ കടന്നുപോവാം. പക്ഷേ, ജൂതര്‍ക്ക് പാടില്ല. രണ്ടായിരം വര്‍ഷത്തോളം ജൂതരവിടെ താമസിച്ചു. 1927ല്‍ അറബികള്‍ ആക്രമിച്ചു, കൊലചെയ്ത് ഞങ്ങളെ പുറത്താക്കി. ഇപ്പോള്‍ ഞങ്ങള്‍ അവകാശം പുനഃസ്ഥാപിച്ചിരിക്കുന്നു. ലോകത്തൊരു ശക്തിക്കും ഞങ്ങളെ പുറത്താക്കാനാവില്ല'. ഇസ്രായേലി കുടിയേറിപ്പാര്‍പ്പുകാരുടെ മനോഗതിയാണിത്.
മറുവശത്ത് ഫലസ്തീന്‍ മനോഭാവമോ? ഹമാസ് ഇസ്രായേലിന്റെ നിലനില്‍പ് അംഗീകരിക്കുന്നില്ല. നൂറ്റാണ്ടുകള്‍ പരമ്പരാഗതമായി തങ്ങള്‍ വസിച്ച ഭൂമി ആക്രമിച്ച് കൈവശപ്പെടുത്തി സ്ഥാപിച്ച ഇസ്രായേല്‍ രാഷ്ട്രത്തിന് നിലനില്‍ക്കാന്‍ അവകാശമില്ല. ആ രാഷ്ട്രം ഭൂപടത്തില്‍ നിന്ന് മായ്ക്കപ്പെടണം എന്ന ഇറാന്‍പ്രസിഡന്റ് മഹ്മൂദ് അഹ്മദി നജാദിന്റെ പ്രഖ്യാപനം കൂടി ചേര്‍ത്തുവായിക്കാം.ഈ രണ്ട് ആത്യന്തിക നിലപാടുകള്‍ക്കിടയില്‍ വളരെ ഭിന്നമായ വീക്ഷണങ്ങള്‍ പുലര്‍ത്തുന്ന വിഭാഗങ്ങള്‍ മുസ്ലിംകളിലും ജൂതന്മാരിലുമുണ്ട്. ഇതിനിടയിലാണ് ഒബാമക്ക് മധ്യസ്ഥ ഭാഗം അഭിനയിക്കേണ്ടത്. ഫലസ്തീനികള്‍ക്ക് അനുകൂലമായി ഒരു വാക്കു പറഞ്ഞാല്‍ ജൂത വിസ്ഫോടനം. ജൂതര്‍ക്കനുകൂലമായി വല്ലതും ഉരിയാടിയാല്‍ മുസ്ലിം പ്രതിഷേധം. നിലവിലുള്ള ഈ പശ്ചാത്തലത്തിന്റെ കണ്ണാടിയിലൂടെ വേണം ഒബാമയെ വിലയിരുത്തുക. അല്ലാത്ത വിലയിരുത്തലുകള്‍ ഉന്നം തെറ്റും. ചരിത്രപരമായ വസ്തുതകളേയും നിലവിലുള്ള യാഥാര്‍ഥ്യങ്ങളേയും സ്ഥിതിഗതികളുടെ സങ്കീര്‍ണതകളേയും കണക്കിലെടുക്കാത്ത ഒരു സമീപനവും^ ഏതു ഭാഗത്തുനിന്നായാലും^ ഫലസ്തീനിലോ പശ്ചിമേഷ്യയിലോ സമാധാനം കൈവരുത്തുകയില്ല. ഫലസ്തീന്‍ ഒരന്തിമ സംഘട്ടനത്തിലേക്ക് നീങ്ങുകയാണോ? ഖുദ്സിന്റെ അങ്കണത്തില്‍ കുരിശുയുദ്ധത്തിന്റെ കുളമ്പടികള്‍ മുഴങ്ങുകയാണോ? അല്ല, ഖുദ്സിനു മുകളില്‍ സമാധാനത്തിന്റെ വെള്ളപ്രാവുകള്‍ പറക്കുമോ? സമീപകാലത്തെ ഏറ്റവും ഉദ്വേഗജനകമായ ചോദ്യം. ലോകമെങ്ങുമുള്ള മനുഷ്യസ്നേഹികളുടെ കണ്ണുകള്‍ സമാധാനപ്രാവുകളുടെ മേല്‍ നട്ടിരിക്കുന്നു.

Source: Madhyamamdaily

ഒരു മാസം ശമ്പളമില്ലാതെ ജോലി ചെയ്യാന്‍ ബ്രിട്ടീഷ് എയര്‍വേസ് നിര്‍ദേശം

ലണ്ടന്‍: 'ഒരു മാസം ശമ്പളമില്ലാതെ അവധിയില്‍ പോകാം. അല്ലെങ്കില്‍ കൂലിയില്ലാതെ തൊഴില്‍ ചെയ്യാം' ^സാമ്പത്തികമാന്ദ്യം രൂക്ഷമായ സാഹചര്യത്തില്‍ ബ്രിട്ടീഷ് എയര്‍വേസ് ആയിരക്കണക്കായ ജീവനക്കാര്‍ക്ക് അയച്ച ഇ^മെയില്‍ സന്ദേശത്തിലെ വാചകങ്ങളാണിവ. 40 കോടിയുടെ വാര്‍ഷിക കമ്മിയുടെ കണക്കുകളാണ് കഴിഞ്ഞ മാസം കമ്പനി പുറത്തുവിട്ടത്. സ്ഥാപനം കരകയറുന്നതിന്റെ ഒരു ലക്ഷണവും കാണുന്നില്ലെന്ന് കമ്പനി സി.ഇ.ഒ വില്ലി വാല്‍ഷ് പറഞ്ഞു. തന്റെ 30 വര്‍ഷത്തെ അനുഭവത്തില്‍ ഇതുപോലൊരു ദുരവസ്ഥ സംജാതമായിട്ടില്ല. എക്കാലത്തേക്കും വലിയ പ്രതിസന്ധിയാണ് കമ്പനി ഇപ്പോള്‍ നേരിടുന്നത് ^അദ്ദേഹം കൂട്ടിച്ചേര്‍ത്തു. കഴിഞ്ഞവര്‍ഷം രണ്ടാം പകുതിയില്‍ ബ്രിട്ടീഷ് എയര്‍വേസിലെ ഉയര്‍ന്ന ക്ലാസ് യാത്രക്കാരില്‍ 13 ശതമാനം കുറവുവന്നു. കഴിഞ്ഞ വര്‍ഷാവസാനത്തോടെ യാത്രക്കാരെ ആകര്‍ഷിക്കുന്ന തരത്തില്‍ യാത്രാക്കൂലി കുറച്ചിരുന്നു,

Source: Madhyamamdaily

"A special msg from Dr Zakir Naik"


Don't say 'Mosque' Say always ' Masjid'
Because: Islamic organization has found that
mosque = mosquitoes

Don't write ' Mecca ' Write always correctly ' Makkah'
Because: Mecca = house of wines

Don't write ' Moh'd'. Write always completely as ' Muhammad'
Because: Moh'd = the dog with big mouth.

Forward it to as many Muslims as you can for Sawab.

Nothing bad will happen if you don't forward this but these points are
important and it is our duty to educate / make aware our brothers .

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

WHO declares swine flu pandemic

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a global flu pandemic after holding an emergency meeting.

It means the swine flu virus is spreading in at least two regions of the world with rising cases being seen in the UK, Australia, Japan and Chile.

WHO chief Dr Margaret Chan said the move did not mean the virus was causing more severe illness or more deaths.

The swine flu (H1N1) virus first emerged in Mexico in April and has since spread to 74 countries.

Official reports say there have been nearly 30,000 cases globally and 141 deaths, with figures rising daily.

Hong Kong said it was closing all its nurseries and primary schools for two weeks following 12 school cases.

It is the first flu pandemic in 40 years - the last in 1968 killed about one million people.

However, the current pandemic seems to be moderate and causing mild illness in most people.

Most cases are occurring in young working age adults and a third to a half of complications are presenting in otherwise healthy people.

Dr Chan said: "We have evidence to suggest we are seeing the first pandemic of the 21st Century.

"Moving to pandemic phase six does not imply we will see increased in deaths or serious cases."

She added it was important to get the right balance between complacency and vigilance and that pandemic strategies would vary between countries depending on their specific situation.

And the WHO does not recommend closure of borders or any restrictions on the movement of people, goods or services.

But the picture could change very quickly.

"No other pandemic has been detected so early or watched so closely," Dr Chan said.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for calm.

"Let me stress: this is a formal statement about the geographical spread of the disease. It is not in itself a cause for alarm," he said.

He warned that in the developing world the consequences of the virus could be more serious, and that the southern hemisphere was now entering the flu season.

One factor which has prompted the move to a level six pandemic was that in the southern hemisphere, the virus seems to be crowding out normal seasonal influenza.

The move was not prompted by the situation in any one country but the reports that it had spread in several parts of the world, officials said.

The BBC's Imogen Foulkes, in Geneva, says that while the number of cases has made the declaration inevitable, the WHO will have to manage the global anxiety the declaration of a pandemic will generate.

Experts have warned that poorer nations, especially those in the southern hemisphere now heading into their winter season, face the greatest risk from the flu pandemic.

Pandemic planning

There have been more than 800 cases in the UK with some areas of Scotland being particularly hard hit.

The government has been stockpiling antivirals such as Tamiflu and has ordered vaccine, some doses of which could be available by October.

England's chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson said the WHO declaration of a pandemic would not significantly change the way the UK was dealing with swine flu at the moment.

But he added there could be some minor changes to who received antivirals.

"The declaration of a pandemic per se doesn't make a big difference to the way we are handling the outbreaks we have.

"We are going to continue to investigate every case that occurs and treat their contacts with antivirals even though they may not be ill.

"The difference is that the Health Protection Agency has learnt a lot about approaching this question of antiviral prophylaxis and they are going to be treating the closer contacts of the cases, rather than the more far-flung contacts, because they feel that that is supported by what they know so far about how the disease is transmitting.

He added: "These flu viruses can change their pattern of attack, so when we come into the flu season in the autumn and winter in this country, when we expect a big surge of cases, we need to watch very carefully to see if the character of the virus is changing."

Scottish health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said a move to level six means that countries need to be ready to implement pandemic plans immediately but the UK was already operating at a "heightened state of readiness".

But it could affect the speed at which the UK gets pandemic vaccine supplies but that had been factored into pandemic planning.

Flu expert Professor John Oxford said people should not panic as the outbreak was milder than others seen in the past century.

"It is global and fulfilling the requirements of a pandemic but I don't think anyone should worry because nothing drastic has happened between yesterday and today."

India simply not up to scratch, says Dhoni


Defending champions India were "not up to international standards" at the Twenty20 World Cup, according to captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

India lost by 12 runs to South Africa in their final match on Tuesday after chasing just 131 to win, their third defeat in three Super Eight games.

"This was not really expected of us and everyone thought we would do well," Dhoni told reporters.

"It's not about what you can achieve, it's about what you do achieve. We were not really up to the mark or at 100 per cent. Our performance was not up to the international standard."

Dhoni said his players never played consistently.

"There never was a time when the majority of the guys performed in one match, it was usually two bowlers in one game or three in another, with an off-day for a couple of them, or one man scored and the rest didn't so we never performed as a unit," he said.

The honest assessment may take some heat off Dhoni after he received fierce criticism back home but how the team responds to their below-par showing is what matters most.

India, whose players were involved in a tiring six-week Indian Premier League schedule before the World Cup, get a three-day break in England before flying out to the Caribbean for a four-match one-day series against West Indies.


India then have a long rest before the ICC Champions Trophy in September.

"We will be fitter guys because we have a long time in between," Dhoni said. "Even the two or three days off this week at the hotel will be good just to kick away the kit bag.

Source: The

Some assaults on Indians were racist, admits Oz envoy

New Delhi:

The Australian High Commissioner in India has admitted that some assaults on Indian students there have "racist motive" and said the government has taken effective steps to bring those to an end.

John McCarthy said majority of attacks against Indians in the past one month have taken place in "poorer" areas in Melbourne where the crime rate is already high.

"There have been a series of bad crimes, particularly in Melbourne and not all of them have resulted into serious injuries, but have taken place in very poorer areas of Melbourne. We are seeking to end those attacks as quickly as possible by intensifying police actions," he was quoted as saying in a TV channel.

"There is no question that all these are criminal acts. For some of the acts the motivation might have a racist element. I will not rule out that some of the attacks were racist," he said while responding to a question on the nature of the assaults on Indian students.

Source: Indian

എന്‍ട്രന്‍സ്:പരാജയവും വിജയമാവുമ്പോള്‍

മുല്ലാ നാസറുദ്ദീനെക്കുറിച്ചുള്ള പ്രശസ്തകഥകളില്‍ ഒന്നാണ് വെണ്ണയെക്കുറിച്ചുള്ള മുല്ലയുടെ അഭിപ്രായം ഒരു ദിവസം മുല്ല ഊണുകഴിക്കാനിരുന്നു ഭാര്യ വിഭവങ്ങള്‍ വിളമ്പി. ആകെയൊന്നു നോക്കി മുല്ല ആവശ്യപ്പെട്ടു.

വേഗം വെണ്ണ കൊണ്ടുവരൂ, അത് ആരോഗ്യത്തിന് വളരെ നല്ലതാണ്.
അയ്യോ വെണ്ണയില്ലല്ലോ, ഭാര്യയുടെ മറുപടി
ആഹാ വെണ്ണവേണ്ട, വെണ്ണ ആരോഗ്യത്തിന് അത്ര നല്ല വസ്തുവൊന്നുമല്ല അതില്ലാതെ തന്നെ മറ്റു വിഭവങ്ങള്‍ കൂട്ടി ഊണുകഴിച്ചാല്‍ കൂടുതല്‍ രുചികരമാണ്. ഉടന്‍ വന്നു മുല്ലയുടെ വചനം.

ങ്ഹേ, ഭാര്യ അതിശയപ്പെട്ട് ആദ്യം നിങ്ങള്‍ തന്നെയല്ലേ പറഞ്ഞത് വെണ്ണ ആരോഗ്യത്തിന് നല്ലതാണെന്ന് ! ഇപ്പോള്‍ നേരെ തിരിച്ചും ഇതില്‍ ഏതാണ് ശരി.

രണ്ടും ശരിതന്നെ മുല്ല വിശദമാക്കി ,വെണ്ണയുണ്ടെങ്കില്‍ ആദ്യം പറഞ്ഞത് ശരി. വെണ്ണയില്ലെങ്കില്‍ രണ്ടാമത് പറഞ്ഞതും.

വിഡ്ഢികഥകളിലൂടെ ദാര്‍ശനിക സത്യങ്ങള്‍ വെളിപ്പെടുത്തിയ മുല്ലാ നാസറുദ്ദീന്റെ കഥകള്‍ ഇന്നത്തെ എന്‍ട്രന്‍സ് കാലഘട്ടത്തിലും ഏറെ പ്രസക്തമാണ്.

കേരളത്തിലെ പ്രശസ്തമായ ഒരു എന്‍ട്രന്‍സ് കോച്ചിംഗ് സ്ഥാപനത്തില്‍ മാത്രം മെഡിക്കല്‍ എന്‍ട്രന്‍സ് കോച്ചിംഗിനായി അയ്യായിരത്തോളം വിദ്യാര്‍ഥികള്‍ എത്തുന്നു. ഇത്തരത്തിലുള്ള ചെറുതും വലുതുമായ നിരവധി കോച്ചിംഗ് സെന്‍റ്ററുകളുണ്ട് കേരളത്തില്‍ എം ബി ബി എസിന് പ്രവേശനം നേടുകയെന്ന ലക്ഷ്യത്തോടെ ഇവിടെ ചേരുകയും തീവ്രപരിശീലനം നടത്തുകയും ചെയ്യുന്നത് പതിനായിരക്കണക്കിന് കുട്ടികളാണ്.

ഗവണ്‍മെന്റ് മെഡിക്കല്‍ കോളജില്‍ പ്രവേശനം നേടുകയെന്നതാണ് ഇവരുടെയൊക്കെ മോഹം അതായത് 500 നടുത്തെങ്കിലും റാങ്ക് നേടുക!

പക്ഷെ, എല്ലാവര്‍ക്കും ഇത് നേടാന്‍ പറ്റില്ല എന്നുറപ്പ് മല്‍സരമാകുമ്പോള്‍ വിജയികളെക്കാള്‍ പരാജിതരുടെ എണ്ണമാവും കൂടുതല്‍ അതിനാല്‍തന്നെ എന്‍ട്രന്‍സിനെ ഏറെ പേടിയ്ക്കുന്ന വിദ്യാര്‍ത്ഥികളുണ്ട്. എന്‍ട്രന്‍സ് പരിശീലനത്തെ പുച്ഛിക്കുകയോ വെറുക്കുകയോ ചെയ്യുന്ന വ്യക്തികളുണ്ട് ഇത്തരക്കാരുടെ വാദമുഖങ്ങള്‍ കേട്ട് എന്‍ട്രന്‍സ് പരിശീലനകാലത്ത് തന്നെ നിരാശയും പേടിയും കൊണ്ട് തളര്‍ന്ന് പോവുകയും തന്റെ മികവ് പൂര്‍ണ്ണമായും പ്രയോജനപ്പെടുത്താതിരിയ്ക്കുകയും ചെയ്യുന്നവരാണ് പലരും.

ഇവര്‍ക്കാണ് മുല്ലാ ഫിലോസഫി ഉള്‍ക്കൊള്ളേണ്ടത്. എന്‍ട്രന്‍സിലൂടെ മെഡിസിനോ,എഞ്ചിനീയറിംഗിന്റെ പ്രിയപ്പെട്ട ശാഖയിലോ ഇഷ്ടസ്ഥാപനത്തിലോ പ്രവേശനം നേടാന്‍ കഴിഞ്ഞില്ലെങ്കില്‍ പോലും ആ നഷ്ടം ഭാവിയിലെ ലാഭമായി പരിവര്‍ത്തിക്കാന്‍ കഴിയും.

ഏത് ജോലിയ്ക്കും, ഏത് മികച്ച കോഴ്സിന്റെ പ്രവേശനത്തിനും എന്‍ട്രന്‍സ് പരീക്ഷ ആവര്‍ത്തിയ്ക്കും. മത്സര പരീക്ഷയെ നേരിടുന്നതിനും ക്ളാസ് പരീക്ഷയെ നേരിടുന്നതിനും തികച്ചും വ്യത്യസ്തമായ ആസൂത്രണവും സമീപനവുമാണ് വേണ്ടത്. ഈ മത്സര സ്കില്‍ ആര്‍ജ്ജിച്ചതിന്റെ ഗുണഫലം പഠിതാവിന് ഭാവിയില്‍ തീര്‍ച്ചയായും അനുഭവിക്കാം.

2000 എംബിബിഎസ് സീറ്റുകളും 24822 എഞ്ചീനീയറിംഗ് സീറ്റുകളും ബിഎസ്സി നഴ്സിങ്, എം എല്‍റ്റി, ബി എ എം എസ്, ബി എച്ച് എം എസ്, അഗ്രിക്കള്‍ച്ചര്‍, ഫോറസ്ട്രി ഫിഷറീസ്, വെറ്ററിനറി, ബി എസ് എം എസ്(സിദ്ധ) ബി ഫാം, ഡെന്റല്‍, ആര്‍ക്കിടെക്ചര്‍ എന്നിവയിലെ 8000 ത്തോളം സീറ്റുകളുമാണ് കേരളത്തിലുള്ളത്. മെഡിക്കല്‍ വിഭാഗത്തില്‍ 70,863 പേര്‍ കഴിഞ്ഞ തവണ പരീക്ഷ എഴുതിയിരുന്നു. 55656 പേര്‍ റാങ്ക് പട്ടികയില്‍ ഉള്‍പ്പെട്ടു. എഞ്ചിനീയറിങിലാവട്ടെ 98141 പേര്‍ റാങ്ക് പട്ടികയില്‍ സ്ഥാനം നേടി. ഇവരില്‍ വാലറ്റക്കാര്‍ മാത്രമല്ല മദ്ധ്യനിരക്കാര്‍ക്കും പ്രവേശനം ഉദ്ദേശിച്ച പോലെ സാദ്ധ്യമാവില്ലതന്നെ.

ഈ സാഹചര്യത്തിലാണ് ശുദ്ധശാസ്ത്രവിഷയങ്ങള്‍ക്ക് കേന്ദ്രഗവണ്‍മെന്റ് പ്രഖ്യാപിച്ച പ്രോല്‍സാഹനനടപടികളുടെ പ്രശക്തി. പ്രൊഫഷണല്‍ കോഴ്സുകളുടെ ആകര്‍ഷണീയതയ്ക്കിടയില്‍ സമീപകാലത്തായി മിടുക്കന്മാരാല്‍ അവഗണിക്കപ്പെടുന്ന മേഖലയായി ശുദ്ധശാസ്ത്രം മാറിയിട്ടുണ്ട്. ശുദ്ധശാസ്ത്രത്തിലെ ഉപരിപഠനവും ഗവേഷണവും ആണ് സമൂഹത്തില്‍ വന്‍ പുരോഗതിയ്ക്കാധാരം, വ്യക്തികള്‍ക്കും ദീര്‍ഘകാലാടിസ്ഥാനത്തില്‍ ഇത് വന്‍ നേട്ടമുണ്ടാക്കും. ശുദ്ധശാസ്ത്രപഠനം പ്രോല്‍സാഹനത്തിനായി ദേശിയ വിജ്ഞാന കമ്മീഷന്‍ ആണ് പരിപാടികള്‍ തയാറാക്കുന്നത്.

ഗവേഷണതല്‍ല്പരര്‍ക്കായി, ജീവശാസ്ത്രവും സാങ്കേതികവും സമന്യയിയ്ക്കുന്ന ബയോടെക്നോളജി വന്‍ വികാസം പ്രാപിച്ചുക്കൊണ്ടിരിക്കുന്ന ടൂറിസം മേഖലയിലെ നേട്ടങ്ങളുടെ ഭാഗമാക്കാന്‍ ടൂറിസം കോഴ്സുകള്‍,ഷിപ്പിങ് കോഴ്സുകള്‍,അത്യുന്നതങ്ങളിലെത്താന്‍ ഏവിയേഷന്‍/ പൈലറ്റ് കോഴ്സുകള്‍അഭിരുചിയുള്ളവര്‍ക്കായി സൈക്കോളജി ബിരുദ കോഴ്സുകള്‍
ശ്രവണ/സംസാര, വൈകല്യ ചികിത്സാ രംഗത്തെത്താന്‍ സ്പീച്ച്, ലാംഗ്വേജ് + ഹിയറിംഗ് കോഴ്സ് , ബയോകെമിസ്ട്രി, പോളിമര്‍ കെമിസ്ട്രി ഇന്‍ഡസ്ട്രിയല്‍ കെമിസ്ട്രി, എന്നിങ്ങനെ കെമിസ്ട്രിയില്‍ തന്നെയുള്ള വിവിധ ശാഖകള്‍, അഗ്രികള്‍ച്ചര്‍, ബയോളജിക്കല്‍, ടെക്നിക്സ് ആന്റ് സ്പെസിമന്‍ പ്രിപ്പറേഷന്‍, ക്ളിനിക്കല്‍ ബ്യൂട്ടീഷ്യന്‍ + ഡയറ്റിറ്റിക്സ്, എന്‍വയേണ്‍മെന്റ് ആന്റ് ഫുഡ് ടെക്നോളജി , ഫോറസ്ട്രി ആന്റ് വുഡ് ടെക്നോളജി, ജിയോളജി, ജോഗ്രഫി, ഇന്‍സ്ട്രുമെന്റേഷന്‍, പ്ളാന്റ് സയന്‍സ്, ഫാഷന്‍ ഡിസൈനിംഗ്, മാസ് കമ്യൂണിക്കേഷന്‍ തുടങ്ങിയ വ്യത്യസ്ത മേഖലകളുണ്ടെന്ന തിരിച്ചറിവ് കൂടി വിദ്യാര്‍ത്ഥികള്‍ക്കും രക്ഷിതാക്കള്‍ക്കും ഉണ്ടായാല്‍, അവസാനനിമിഷം ഏതെങ്കിലുമൊരു കോഴ്സില്‍ ചേരുകയെന്ന ദുരവസ്ഥ ഒഴിവാക്കാം. പ്രഫഷനല്‍ ബിരുദത്തിലൂടെ നേടാവുന്നതിന് സമാനമോ അതിലുപരിയോ ആയ നേട്ടങ്ങള്‍ കൈവരിയ്ക്കുകയും ചെയ്യാം.

എം. വി സക്കറിയ, കാലിക്കറ്റ് സര്‍വകലാശാല
Source : MalayalaManorama

പാക്കിസ്ഥാന് യു.എസ് വഴി ആണവായുധം ലഭിച്ചെന്ന്

വാഷിംഗ്ടണ്‍: പാക്കിസ്ഥാന് ആണവസാമഗ്രികളും ആയുധങ്ങളും സംഭരിക്കുന്നതിന് യു.എസ് രഹസ്യ അനുമതി നല്‍കിയിരുന്നതായി വെളിപ്പെടുത്തല്‍. സി.ഐ.എയും പെന്റഗണും എതിര്‍പ്പ് പ്രകടിപ്പിച്ചിട്ടും വിവരം യു.എസ് കോണ്‍ഗ്രസില്‍നിന്ന് അധികാരികള്‍ മറച്ചുവെച്ചതായും അഴിമതിക്കെതിരായി രൂപംകൊണ്ട പ്രോജക്റ്റ് ഓണ്‍ ഗവണ്‍മെന്റ് ഓവര്‍സൈറ്റ് എക്സിക്യൂട്ടീവ് ഡയറക്ടര്‍ ഡാനിയല്‍ ബ്രയാന്‍ കണ്‍ഗ്രഷനല്‍ വിചാരണയില്‍ പറഞ്ഞു.

എണ്‍പതുകളുടെ അവസാനത്തില്‍ അതിനൂതനമായ യുദ്ധോപകരണങ്ങളും ബോംബുകളും പാക്കിസ്ഥാന്‍ കൈവശപ്പെടുത്തിയെന്ന് 2007ല്‍ ഗാര്‍ഡിയന്‍ ദിനപത്രം റിപ്പോര്‍ട്ട് പ്രസിദ്ധീകരിച്ചിരുന്നു. ശീതയുദ്ധം അവസാനിച്ച ഘട്ടത്തില്‍ പാക്കിസ്ഥാനെ തന്ത്രപ്രധാന കേന്ദ്രമായി കണ്ടാണ് ഈ സര്‍വായുധമണിയിക്കലെന്നാണ് പത്രം വെളിപ്പെടുത്തിയത്.

എന്നാല്‍, ഇത് കള്ളന് കഞ്ഞിവെച്ചതുപോലെ പാക്കിസ്ഥാന് ബോംബ് നല്‍കലായെന്നാണ് വിലയിരുത്തല്‍. അതേസമയം, പാക്കിസ്ഥാന് ആണവായുധങ്ങള്‍ സംഘടിപ്പിച്ചു നല്‍കിയതായി യു.എസ് ഇതുവരെ സമ്മതിച്ചിട്ടില്ല.

Source : Madhyamamdaily

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Indian Navy recognised as a blue water force

Kochi: The turn of the millennium saw the Indian Navy aspiring to be a veritable blue water force with capability to carry out sustained operations across deep seas far away from friendly shores.

A few new acquisitions such as the amphibious vessel INS Jalashwa (formerly USS Trenton) increased its fighting capabilities manifold.

Construction of the country’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) is steadily progressing here and despite inordinate delay and cost hiccups, INS Vikramaditya (Russian Admiral Gorshkov rechristened) should join the Navy by 2013. The Indian Navy, as part of its vision 2022 plan, aims at augmenting its assets by adding 30-plus new ships over the next decade. Building of its new line, the Kolkata-class stealth destroyers, for instance, is well under way.

With the Navy deploying its ships on operations far away from its waters, it is acknowledged to have achieved key blue water capabilities.

“The Indian Navy has always been a key player in the Indian Ocean, but with them actively taking part in anti-piracy operations off the Somali coast in the Gulf of Aden, its has proved its blue water capabilities,” Commander Ryan C. Tillotson, Commanding Officer of U.S. Destroyer The Sullivans, had told The Hindu early this year when The Sullivans arrived here.

Emerging role

The Indian Navy’s emerging role as a major maritime force in the South Asian region is evident from the success of the Navy-initiated Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), a pan-Asian maritime security forum comprising 26 littoral countries of the Indian Ocean.

“While the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has volunteered to take chairmanship of IONS March next, the United Kingdom and the United States have requested observer status in the forum, cementing our growing repute among world navies,” Vice-Admiral Sunil K. Damle, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Naval Command, told The Hindu.

Records indicate that there has been an increase in the number of foreign naval vessels docking at Kochi for interaction and exercises with the Southern Naval Command headquartered here.

So far this year, nine naval vessels from countries such as the U.S., France, the U.K., Australia, Indonesia and Bangladesh have called at Kochi and interacted with Indian Navy personnel.

Source: The Hindu

Bermuda Triangle

The Bermuda Triangle, also known as the Devil's Triangle, is a region in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean in which a number of aircraft and surface vessels are alleged to have disappeared in mysterious circumstances which fall beyond the boundaries of human error, piracy, equipment failure, or natural disasters. Popular culture has attributed some of these disappearances to the paranormal, a suspension of the laws of physics, or activity by extraterrestrial beings.[1]

While a substantial body of documentation exists showing numerous incidents to have been inaccurately reported or embellished by later authors, and numerous official agencies have gone on record as stating that the number and nature of disappearances is similar to any other area of ocean, there are incidents (see below) that remain unexplained despite considerable investigation.

Natural explanations

Compass variations

Compass problems are one of the cited phrases in many Triangle incidents. While some have theorized that unusual local magnetic anomalies may exist in the area,[22] such anomalies have not been shown to exist. Compasses have natural magnetic variations in relation to the Magnetic poles. For example, in the United States the only places where magnetic (compass) north and geographic (true) north are exactly the same are on a line running from Wisconsin to the Gulf of Mexico. Navigators have known this for centuries. But the public may not be as informed, and think there is something mysterious about a compass "changing" across an area as large as the Triangle, which it naturally will.

Deliberate acts of destruction

Deliberate acts of destruction can fall into two categories: acts of war, and acts of piracy. Records in enemy files have been checked for numerous losses; while many sinkings have been attributed to surface raiders or submarines during the World Wars and documented in the various command log books, many others which have been suspected as falling in that category have not been proven. It is suspected that the loss of USS Cyclops in 1918, as well as her sister ships Proteus and Nereus in World War II, were attributed to submarines, but no such link has been found in the German records.

Piracy, as defined by the taking of a ship or small boat on the high seas, is an act which continues to this day. While piracy for cargo theft is more common in the western Pacific and Indian oceans, drug smugglers do steal pleasure boats for smuggling operations, and may have been involved in crew and yacht disappearances in the Caribbean. Piracy in the Caribbean was common from about 1560 to the 1760s, and famous pirates included Edward Teach (Blackbeard) and Jean Lafitte.[citation needed]

The Triangle area

The boundaries of the triangle cover the Straits of Florida, the Bahamas and the entire Caribbean island area and the Atlantic east to the Azores; others[who?] add to it the Gulf of Mexico. The more familiar triangular boundary in most written works has as its points somewhere on the Atlantic coast of Florida; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and the mid-Atlantic island of Bermuda, with most of the accidents concentrated along the southern boundary around the Bahamas and the Florida Straits.

The area is one of the most heavily-sailed shipping lanes in the world, with ships crossing through it daily for ports in the Americas, Europe, and the Caribbean Islands. Cruise ships are also plentiful, and pleasure craft regularly go back and forth between Florida and the islands. It is also a heavily flown route for commercial and private aircraft heading towards Florida, the Caribbean, and South America from points north.

History of the Triangle story


The first article of any kind in which the legend of the Triangle began appeared in newspapers by E.V.W. Jones on September 16, 1950, through the Associated Press.[5] Two years later, Fate magazine published "Sea Mystery At Our Back Door",[6] a short article by George X. Sand covering the loss of several planes and ships, including the loss of Flight 19, a group of five U.S. Navy TBM Avenger bombers on a training mission. Sand's article was the first to lay out the now-familiar triangular area where the losses took place. Flight 19 alone would be covered in the April 1962 issue of American Legion Magazine.[7] It was claimed that the flight leader had been heard saying "We are entering white water, nothing seems right. We don't know where we are, the water is green, no white." It was also claimed that officials at the Navy board of inquiry stated that the planes "flew off to Mars." This was the first article to connect the supernatural to Flight 19, but it would take another author, Vincent Gaddis, writing in the February 1964 Argosy magazine to take Flight 19 together with other mysterious disappearances and place it under the umbrella of a new catchy name: "The Deadly Bermuda Triangle" though the first name was The Waters of Despair.[8] He would build on that article with a more detailed book, Invisible Horizons, the next year.[9] Others would follow with their own works: John Wallace Spencer (Limbo of the Lost, 1969, repr. 1973);[10] Charles Berlitz (The Bermuda Triangle, 1974);[11] Richard Winer (The Devil's Triangle, 1974),[12] and many others, all keeping to some of the same supernatural elements outlined by Eckert.[13]

Larry Kusche

Lawrence David Kusche, a research librarian from Arizona State University and author of The Bermuda Triangle Mystery: Solved (1975)[14] has challenged this trend. Kusche's research revealed a number of inaccuracies and inconsistencies between Berlitz's accounts and statements from eyewitnesses, participants, and others involved in the initial incidents. He noted cases where pertinent information went unreported, such as the disappearance of round-the-world yachtsman Donald Crowhurst, which Berlitz had presented as a mystery, despite clear evidence to the contrary. Another example was the ore-carrier recounted by Berlitz as lost without trace three days out of an Atlantic port when it had been lost three days out of a port with the same name in the Pacific Ocean. Kusche also argued that a large percentage of the incidents which have sparked the Triangle's mysterious influence actually occurred well outside it. Often his research was simple: he would go over period newspapers of the dates of reported incidents and find reports on possibly relevant events like unusual weather, that were never mentioned in the disappearance stories.

Kusche concluded that:

  • The number of ships and aircraft reported missing in the area was not significantly greater, proportionally speaking, than in any other part of the ocean.
  • In an area frequented by tropical storms, the number of disappearances that did occur were, for the most part, neither disproportionate, unlikely, nor mysterious; furthermore, Berlitz and other writers would often fail to mention such storms.
  • The numbers themselves had been exaggerated by sloppy research. A boat listed as missing would be reported, but its eventual (if belated) return to port may not have been reported.
  • Some disappearances had in fact, never happened. One plane crash was said to have taken place in 1937 off Daytona Beach, Florida, in front of hundreds of witnesses; a check of the local papers revealed nothing.
  • The Legend of the Bermuda Triangle is a manufactured mystery... perpetuated by writers who either purposely or unknowingly made use of misconceptions, faulty reasoning, and sensationalism.[14]

Further responses

When the UK Channel 4 television program "The Bermuda Triangle" (c. 1992) was being produced by John Simmons of Geofilms for the Equinox Programme, the marine insurer Lloyd's of London was asked if an unusually large number of ships had sunk in the Bermuda Triangle area. Lloyd's of London determined that large numbers of ships had not sunk there.[15]

United States Coast Guard records confirm their conclusion. In fact, the number of supposed disappearances is relatively insignificant considering the number of ships and aircraft which pass through on a regular basis.[citation needed]

The Coast Guard is also officially skeptical of the Triangle, noting that they collect and publish, through their inquiries, much documentation contradicting many of the incidents written about by the Triangle authors. In one such incident involving the 1972 explosion and sinking of the tanker V.A. Fogg in the Gulf of Mexico, the Coast Guard photographed the wreck and recovered several bodies,[16] in contrast with one Triangle author's claim that all the bodies had vanished, with the exception of the captain, who was found sitting in his cabin at his desk, clutching a coffee cup.[10]

The NOVA / Horizon episode The Case of the Bermuda Triangle (1976-06-27) was highly critical, stating that "When we've gone back to the original sources or the people involved, the mystery evaporates. Science does not have to answer questions about the Triangle because those questions are not valid in the first place. ... Ships and planes behave in the Triangle the same way they behave everywhere else in the world."[17]

Skeptical researchers, such as Ernest Taves[18] and Barry Singer,[19] have noted how mysteries and the paranormal are very popular and profitable. This has led to the production of vast amounts of material on topics such as the Bermuda Triangle. They were able to show that some of the pro-paranormal material is often misleading or inaccurate, but its producers continue to market it. Accordingly, they have claimed that the market is biased in favour of books, TV specials, etc. which support the Triangle mystery, and against well-researched material if it espouses a skeptical viewpoint.

Finally, if the Triangle is assumed to cross land, such as parts of Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, or Bermuda itself, there is no evidence for the disappearance of any land-based vehicles or persons.[citation needed] The city of Freeport, located inside the Triangle, operates a major shipyard and an airport which annually handles 50,000 flights, and is visited by over a million tourists a year.

Supernatural explanations

Triangle writers have used a number of supernatural concepts to explain the events. One explanation pins the blame on leftover technology from the mythical lost continent of Atlantis. Sometimes connected to the Atlantis story is the submerged rock formation known as the Bimini Road off the island of Bimini in the Bahamas, which is in the Triangle by some definitions. Followers of the purported psychic Edgar Cayce take his prediction that evidence of Atlantis would be found in 1968 as referring to the discovery of the Bimini Road. Believers describe the formation as a road, wall, or other structure, though geologists consider it to be of natural origin.[20]

Other writers attribute the events to UFOs.[21] This idea was used by Steven Spielberg for his science fiction film Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which features the lost Flight 19 as alien abductees.

Charles Berlitz, grandson of a distinguished linguist and author of various additional books on anomalous phenomena, has kept in line with this extraordinary explanation, and attributed the losses in the Triangle to anomalous or unexplained forces.[11]

Gulf Stream

The Gulf Stream is an ocean current that originates in the Gulf of Mexico, and then through the Straits of Florida, into the North Atlantic. In essence, it is a river within an ocean, and like a river, it can and does carry floating objects. It has a surface velocity of up to about 2.5 metres per second (5.6 mph).[23] A small plane making a water landing or a boat having engine trouble will be carried away from its reported position by the current, as happened to the cabin cruiser Witchcraft on December 22, 1967, when it reported engine trouble near the Miami buoy marker one mile (1.6 km) from shore, but was not there when a Coast Guard cutter arrived.

Human error

One of the most cited explanations in official inquiries as to the loss of any aircraft or vessel is human error.[24] Whether deliberate or accidental, humans have been known to make mistakes resulting in catastrophe, and losses within the Bermuda Triangle are no exception. For example, the Coast Guard cited a lack of proper training for the cleaning of volatile benzene residue as a reason for the loss of the tanker V.A. Fogg in 1972[citation needed]. Human stubbornness may have caused businessman Harvey Conover to lose his sailing yacht, the Revonoc, as he sailed into the teeth of a storm south of Florida on January 1, 1958.[25] Many losses remain inconclusive due to the lack of wreckage which could be studied, a fact cited on many official reports.


Hurricanes are powerful storms which are spawned in tropical waters, and have historically been responsible for thousands of lives lost and billions of dollars in damage. The sinking of Francisco de Bobadilla's Spanish fleet in 1502 was the first recorded instance of a destructive hurricane. These storms have in the past caused a number of incidents related to the Triangle.

Methane hydrates