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Thursday, June 19, 2014

trouble in Mesapatomia - Indians in Iraq - Murali to coach Aus - Governors of Cong. era

Iraq known by the Greek toponym 'Mesopotamia' (land between the rivers), home to continuous successive civilizations since the 6th millennium BC is in shambles  - Hundreds of people have been killed since the start of the militant offensive, many of them believed to be captured soldiers publicly shot by ISIS-led firing squads. Some 500,000 people have been internally displaced, according to UN estimates.  The UN said hundreds have been killed as the Sunni-led Islamists advanced into Diyala province in the east - near Iran and close to the capital - having seized Mosul and Tikrit to the north. Militants have also invaded Iraq's biggest oil refinery at Baiji after a siege lasting a week. Led by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), the insurgents have threatened to push to regions further south dominated by Iraq's Shia Muslim majority, whom they regard as "infidels". The Iraqi military however says it has driven off Islamist-led militants attacking the country's biggest oil refinery amid reports it had been overrun.

Iraq’s turmoil casts its shadow on our Nation too…  India’s Ministry of External Affairs said that 40 Indian workers working for a Turkish construction company near the Iraqi town of Mosul have been kidnapped. MEA spokesman confirmed the kidnapping on Wednesday. He said the government has been unable to contact the workers. There are about 10,000 Indians working and living in Iraq. According to the spokesperson, only about 100 are in violent, insecure areas. That includes the construction workers near Mosul as well as 46 Indian nurses working in a hospital in the Iraqi town of Tikrit.

The big brother is also discussing. US President Barack Obama had told Congressional leaders he does not need lawmakers' approval for any action in Iraq, the top Senate Republican says. Senator Mitch Mc McConnell was speaking after a meeting between the president and senior members of Congress. Iraq has asked for US air strikes against advancing Sunni militants.  Meantime, in a column in Wall Street Journal, former Vice-President Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz Cheney levelled a 1,000-word broadside against President Barack Obama's Iraq policy, accusing him of "abandoning Iraq" and "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory".

Back home in India, much dust has been kicked on the leak of an Intelligence Bureau report slamming foreign-funded non-governmental organisations for retarding India’s development ought to generate concern about the capabilities and sense of balance of those charged with defending the republic. Be it a NGO or any other Organisation, if it is acting against National interests, it must be curbed and all Organisations must be made accountable.

Politics makes strange bed partners…. At times games too follow the suit.. there is news that former Sri Lanka spin great Muttiah Muralitharan has taken position for longtime adversary of Australia to be a coach of its national team. Cricket Australia said that Muralitharan, who finished with a record 800 test wickets, would help prepare Australia’s batsmen for a two-test series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in October and early November. One of his tasks will be to familiarize Australians with the ‘doosra’ delivery, which has baffled them in the past and is part of the armory of Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal.

Amid reports that some UPA-appointed Governors are holding out against attempts to ease them out of office, Maharashtra Governor K. Sankaranarayanan  has  said he would consider quitting only if an “appropriate decision-making authority” asks him to do so.  The 82-year-old Mr. Sankaranarayanan has been serving as Maharashtra Governor since Jan  2010.  With several Congress appointees in no hurry to step down as Governors, the NDA government’s attempts to have its own nominees in Raj Bhavans could lead to a full-blown confrontation with the principal Opposition party.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
18th June 2014.

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