Monthly Archives: May 2014

Finally, The Solution to Longer Battery Life

The Solution to Longer Battery Life Has Finally Arrived

The news: A start-up from Japan has unveiled a new battery model — with the potential to revolutionize the entire energy market, and every industry that depends on batteries.

Meet the Ryden dual carbon battery, “a low-cost, recyclable, high-performance battery” created by Power Japan Plus. In its lifetime, it can go through 3,000 discharge/recharge cycles before noticeable degradation (existing consumer-grade cells can only last 300 cycles). It can also charge 20 times faster than a regular lithium-ion battery — which means it could fully charge an electric car in just a couple of minutes.

“Current advanced batteries have made great improvement on performance, but have done so by compromising on cost, reliability and safety,” said Dr. Kaname Takeya, CTO of Power Japan Plus, in a statement. “The Ryden dual carbon battery balances this equation, excelling in each category.”

How it works: The key ingredient behind Power Japan Plus’ breakthrough is carbon. Both the anode and the cathode of the battery are made out carbon, with an organic electrolyte solution for ion flow. It does not contain any rare, heavy metals — such as cobalt, nickel, and manganese — which creates a host of benefits. The lack of rare metals, rare earth and heavy metals means that the Ryden battery is significantly cheaper to produce. There is also much less risk of fire, explosion or thermal change. That also means cars that use the Ryden battery don’t need expensive cooling systems, and that the battery is stable enough to discharge completely without harming its longevity.

Image credit: Power Japan Plus

And the battery’s carbon-based nature means that it is 100% recyclable. Power Japan Plus also has plans to develp an all-organic carbon model, which would make the Ryden battery the first organic battery on the market.

Why this is important: “We have ambitious claims,” Chris Craney, Power Japan Plus’s chief marketing officer, told the Atlantic earlier this month. “If there’s an [electric vehicle] company that wants to climb to the Tesla level, we’d be a good company to talk to.”

And indeed, the company’s goals are ambitious, given how much power companies and the electric car market are growing — and changing. Tesla Motors, arguably the most notable name in the electric car game right now, announced in February with much fanfare that it was creating the biggest lithium-ion factory in the world. The company estimates that its Gigafactory would not only push the company’s production from 35,000 to 500,000 cars a year, but would also disrupt the entire power industry by driving down costs.

Image credit: Tesla

But Power Japan Plus has the potential to change the game even further by getting rid of lithium-ion batteries completely. The company has already built a production line in Okinawa that will start pumping out 500 to 5,000 batteries a month later this year. It is also planning on collaborating with and licensing the technology to electric car makers, which means Tesla might want to hold its horses for a while.

And although the Ryden battery’s potential impact on the electric car market is certainly exciting, it’s important to keep in mind that the technology could change our lives in a myriad different ways. We currently use lithium-ion batteries to power everything from flashlights to satellites — a cheaper, safer and more sustainable battery could be the new key to propel other technologies forward.

Inside the 11-Story Building That’s Calling Itself the People’s Republic of Donetsk

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images News
RED TAPE

MAY 21, 2014

Inside the 11-Story Building That’s Calling Itself the People’s Republic of Donetsk

By 

With one 11-story building to its name, the People’s Republic of Donetsk is the smallest country in the world. It must also be the most bureaucratic. 

When I first arrived in Donetsk (the city) a Russian journalist who has been stuck covering this place since May 9 advised me and my photographer Max Avdeev to go and get accredited with Donetsk (the people’s republic). The PRD has been in existence for just over a month and is fighting for its survival. But it is also rigorously accrediting journalists. 

To get into the countrywhich is basically just the seized Soviet-era building that once housed the Donetsk city administrationMax and I had to get through a series of checkpoints set up in the adjacent square, now piled high with tires, barbed wire, and signs decrying fascism, Kiev, America, the E.U., and, weirdly, Poland. At each of the three checkpoints, Max showed his Russian press card and I showed my New Republic business card to an endless series of sun-burned, black-fingernailed men in Adidas track pants. 

I should’ve known how things were going to go given that the stairwell of the Republic is plastered with signs cautioning people not to walk around, in any circumstance, without a propusk, which is basically an adult hall pass required pretty much anywhere where the Soviet Union ever had any presence. People passing us on the stairwell all had them, either pinned to their breasts or dangling from their necks on lanyards. We did not. 

At the door to the fifth floor, where the press center is located, we had to show ID again to an 18-year-old in fatigues who sat sprawled on a black leather office chair watching what looked like a Russian remake of “Married With Children.” Like everyone else, he tried to find a reason to give us a hard time about the authenticity of our papers, but eventually let us through to see Claudia, who, we were told, was in charge of the press center. 

 

 
 

In the press center, we found four gray, doughy men in post-Soviet polyester and a mint-green leather sectional, but no Claudia. In a minute, she blew in, lanyard with propusk around her neck, juggling cell phones and a note book, and looking every bit the busy, important press secretary of a busy and important country.  

“Sergei will do it,” she said and whirled out the door.

Sergei, a 28-year-old itinerant IT worker with bare feet, looked at Max’s Russian press card and my business card. The latter he found puzzling.

“Where’s the stamp?” he asked, turning it over.

I explained there’s no stamp.

“Do you have an official letter from your boss with all your information?” 

I didn’t.

“You need an official letter detailing the purpose of your visit.”

I didn’t have one, I said. 

“I can’t accredit you without a letter.” 

I told him I could get one in electronic format.

“It needs a stamp,” he told me. 

American editors don’t have stamps, Max explained.

While I thought of how to get around this, Sergei looked at Max’s Russian press card, which, of course, had a stamp, and began to process his accreditation request. One man in a pink shirt sat smoking on the leather couch. Another listened to music and made a bracelet out of paper clips. Another, tubbier and sweatier than the rest, periodically read out a headline from his computer. Max and I waited. 

At that point Claudia burst into the room again. Sergei asked her what to do about me. 

“No, a letter isn’t good enough anymore. It was fine last week, but the guys on the tenth floor”the security team’s floor, which is known as the NKVD“said you have to have a press card.”

“I don’t have a press card,” I said. “Is there any way around it?”

“No, only a press card. Those are the rules. I mean, I could write out apropusk for you but the guys on the tenth floor won’t stamp it and I’ll get in huge trouble,” Claudia huffed. “I’m sorry, those are the rules.” She shook her head as if to indicate that the rules were paramount and the punishment severe and swift, and that there was nothing that she, a mortal woman, could do about any of it.

When she left, I appealed again to Sergei, who was similarly prostrate before the rules, similarly scared of being punished (by Claudia). At this point Max, a Russian, had an idea.

“But look, she has all these visas in her passport issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry that say she is a journalist.”

Sergei blinked. 

“I don’t know. Let me call.”

When he got off the phone, he said, “You have to ask the guys up on the tenth floor.” We had to go up there anyway to get an official stamp on Max’s accreditation.

“So can you guys help put us in touch with some of the heads of the People’s Republic?” Max asked. “We just wanted to talk to some people and take some portraits.” 

Sergei leaned back in his ratty office chair and shook his head. “Oh, no, no, no. We don’t have time for that.” 

“You’re journalists,” said the man with the paper clip bracelet. “We won’t go catching your fish for you.”

Max tried to ask the same thing of a young woman who had just rushed in, a propusk pinned to her chest. She had just been named a deputy press secretary.

“Okay,” she said. “Let’s talk the day after tomorrow after I know what powers I have and what powers I don’t have.”

 

On the tenth floor, we were greeted by a gang of hoodlums in track pants and beat up pointy leather shoes. One of them lazily pounded a black truncheon into black biker gloves. Another had one propped behind his neck. One young man in a blue t-shirt with ears like an Indian elephant had a Kalashnikov slung across his stomach.

“We need our accreditation stamped,” Max said.

We were told to wait for Yulia and sat around chatting to the hoodlums, who found a Russian and American a curious sight.

“Did you hear that Obama ran away?” said a man with a buzzcut, a blue tooth, and the eyes of a man who knows his way around the city’s alleys. 

“What?” I said. 

“Yes, yes,” he said. “He fled the White House and took a helicopter to his ranch in Texas.” 

“What?”

“You haven’t heard?”

“No?”

“And you call yourself a journalist,” he smirked. “You don’t even know anything.”

People kept arriving and flashing their propuski.

Yulia, a tall woman in a short black dress and tall black heels, came out. It was unclear who she wasthe Republic’s chief press secretary?but she wasn’t sure she could stamp Max’s accreditation without the permission of her boss, Alexander Sergeevich. She too feared the possibility of punishment.

We waited for Alexander Sergeevich.

When he came out to talk to us, he wasn’t sure about Max either. Alexander Sergeevich, who, by his accent and appearance, was clearly not from Donetsk but from Russia, lay into Max. He demanded to see his boarding pass stubs, the stamps in his passport showing when and where he had entered Ukraine. He scrutinized his Russian press card, issued by the online Russian publication Slon. 

“What is Slon?”

“It’s an online publication.”

“Where is Slon?”

“The Internet.” 

“Where is Slon registered?”

“Moscow.”

“What is the address of the site where Slon, Incorporated is registered?”

“Bersenevskaya naberzhnaya.” 

“What about you?” he turned to me, and I showed him my passport and all its Russian press visas. 

“You were at the Olympics?” he said, giving me a terrifying look. 

“Yes.”

“Whom did you root for?”

“Russia and the U.S.,” I lied.

“Good answer,” he said. “Very diplomatic. Okay. We’ll accredit you.” 

 

Back down to the press center on the fifth floor.

“No one told me anything,” Sergei said when we told him that the tenth floor had given its blessing.

He called the tenth floor, which proved unhelpful.

“I’ll be right back,” he said. He was off to the tenth floor.

We waited. 

The round, sweaty man, whose name turned out to be Vasily, sat down next to us. 

“You’re from America?”

“Yes.” 

“Is it true that, in America, the people who lost their houses in the housing crisis live in tents outside the cities?”

“Um…”

“Have you been to Detroit?”

“No.” 

“Is it true that Detroit is totally destroyed?”

“I don’t think it’s doing too well, no…”

“Have you ever been to Las Vegas?”

“No.”

His next question was interrupted by Sergei, who had gotten permission on the tenth floor. 

“Okay,” he said, “give me your card.” He began to process my accreditation request.

“I like America,” Vasily said. “It’s the biggest self-proclaimed country in the world. And you know how to raise good patriots. Americans are very patriotic.”

Journalists from the Economist and Le Figaro arrived and deferentially asked about the accreditation process. They too were told to wait. The Frenchman plunked down on the sectional, hung a cigar from his lip and lit it. The Brit bowed out, vowing to return later.

We waited.

“All done,” Sergei said, finally taking out the paper from the grimy printer. He had me sign it and sent me up to the tenth floor, where Max and I waited again with the hoodlums. As we waited for our stamp, the door flung open and a man in a blue suit ran past us, followed by a wave of people, mostly men, weapons drawn and huffing after the long trek up the Republic’s stairs. The hoodlums started to yell at them to leave their weapons at the desk, and the men started to yell something else at the hoodlums. I don’t remember who yelled what; I was totally frozen in the presence of more weaponry than I’d ever seen in my life.

When everyone was patted down, it became clear that the man in the blue suit was Denis Pushilin, the head of the council of the Donetsk People’s Republic and once the local representative of MMM, Russia’s biggest pyramid scheme for the people. Everyone else was his security.  

We went back to waiting. Yulia came out, skeptically examined the accreditation paper from the fifth floor, and disappeared with it. The main thug, a red head with a long, naughty face challenged Max when he said we had just flown into Donetsk that morning.

“You just said you had taken the train!”

“What?” 

“Yeah, your story doesn’t add up!” another hoodlum yelled. 

“We flew, we flew,” I said. “Didn’t you see him showing Alexander Sergeevich his boarding pass stubs?”

“Let me see your accreditation,” the redhead demanded.

Max turned it over. The redhead examined it carefully.

“Aha!” he shouted. “Why isn’t this field filled in? You didn’t fill this out! Your accreditation is invalid!” 

Max and I looked at each other, helpless, but Yulia’s return saved us. She had stamped my accreditation and sent us on our way after saying that she too couldn’t really help us with press-related matters. She too was too busy. 

It had all taken well over two hours, but we’d gotten to see the sights of the Donetsk People’s Republic, which says it wants to join Russia. By the time we got outside, though, I realized it doesn’t need to. It’s already Russia, through and through. 

 

Forests beyond our reach: tribal healer Achappan Vaidyar

Forests beyond our reach: tribal healer

JABIR MUSHTHARI

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Achappan Vaidiyar

Achappan Vaidiyar

Tribesmen’s freedom to enter the forest to collect herbal plants and other medicinal material should be protected by the law, Achappan Vaidyar, tribal healer from Wayanad, has said.

Speaking to The Hindu on the sidelines of a national-level tribal healers’ workshop and an exhibition of tribal medicines on the campus of the Kerala Institute for Research, Training and Development Studies of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Kirtads) here on Friday, the octogenarian tribal healer said his community was finding it impossible to collect many inevitable medicinal ingredients as entry to the forest was restricted by authorities. Maintaining that they were not plunderers of forest, like many outsiders were, and wanted only a few inevitable medicinal plants to be collected from the woods, which they consider as their deity, the Vaidyar said centuries-old invaluable knowledge of tribal healing would be endangered if something was not done immediately in this direction. “Many of our men are persecuted for entering the forest to collect what they have been garnering from time immemorial,” he said adding that protecting the forest was their “responsibility and duty” more than anybody else’s.

The famed tribal healer, with a number of disciples spread across their tribe and with patients coming in search of him even from foreign countries, said that forest officials were not allowing their entry into the forest fearing that many of their (officials’) shady activities, including their furtive deals with tree fellers and forest looters, would come to light. “I know many cases of secret felling of trees that would cost lakhs of rupees from the very forest which the officials claim to be protecting,” said the veteran healer, who is also the chieftain and senior most member of the famous Ettillam family of the Kurichyar tribe at Palode in Mananthavady. Claiming that people with a variety of ailments, including asthma, sinusitis, and obesity were approaching him seeking remedy from one of the ancient healing methods of the country, the Vaidyar claimed that many high-profile officials, including judges and police officers, were his patients.

Observing that the ignorance of tribesmen was exploited by many people, he said the authorities should take measures to grant pension for tribal healers to enter the forest.

Achappan Vaidyar / Suresh Vaidyar (Son) contact Numbers:

04935 266 010, mobile 99 61 902 599

 

 

Fake terrorism charges against engineers

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/mishra-was-free-to-use-her-mobile-madrasa-tells-court/222485/2

NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 28  The police stand in the case of Dr Madhumita Mishra, who they allege was abducted by an IBM engineer and held in confinement in a Bangalore madrasa, weakened after a madrasa official’s statement that Mishra was allowed to keep and use her mobile even though other students there weren’t allowed to do so.

It was the police itself that produced the madrasa official’s statement on the court’s instruction that they investigate the role of the madrasa in the case in which two techies, Mohammad Yaseen of IBM and Shaji Yusuf of Intel, were arrested. The two are now in judicial custody till October 2 and the court is to decide on their bail tomorrow.

Mishra, a doctor at Lok Nayak Jay Prakash Hospital, Delhi, is married to Subijay Sinha, an ophthalmologist. Sinha lives in Kolkata, while Mishra has been living with her brother in Noida.

She met Yaseen via Orkut, the networking site, through forum discussions on Islam, after which police sayshe left her brother’s Noida home and lived in a guest house before boarding a flight to Bangalore on September 3 to meet Yaseen. Sinha had filed a police complaint on September 7 naming Yaseen and saying that he feared his wife was being confined by some fundamentalist group. He also alleged that Yaseen had demanded Rs 10 lakh when he sought his wife’s whereabouts.

Delhi Police’s Special Cell found her in the madrasa. They arrested Yaseen for the abduction and Yusuf for helping him. Yaseen and Yusuf are friends who had studied together at an engineering college in Kollam.

The statement of Dr Mustaq Ahmed, who runs the madrasa, says: “According to our rules, no student is allowed to carry mobile phones but we allowed Madhumita Mishra to use one as she was a new convert.”

It goes on to say: “Yaseen brought the woman to the madrasa and asked for permission for her stay for few days. By rules, those who embrace the religion have to stay in the madrasa for 30 days. We told her the rules clearly.”

The statement says that the madrasa is meant for women and Yaseen wasn’t staying with Mishra.

Dr Ahmed also says in the statement: “Had I known that the woman was slated to go abroad for a job I might not have allowed to keep her in the madrasa.”

Defence lawyers, meanwhile, submitted the affidavit signed by Mishra, which she gave madrasa before she was admitted. A copy of the affidavit is with The Indian Express. It says she had embraced Islam of her own free will and changed her name to Momina.

A Delhi police team is still stationed in Bangalore for further investigations….

Posted by: informer | October 7, 2008

Techie fights kidnap stain

Techie fights kidnap stain
OUR LEGAL CORRESPONDENT

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1080224/jsp/nation/story_8941507.jsp

New Delhi, Feb. 23: A former Intel engineer accused of kidnapping a woman doctor for extortion linked to “fundamentalist activity” has moved Delhi High Court to quash the charge.

Bangalore-based Shaji Yusuf, 31, denied helping his friend, former IBM engineer Mohammed Yaseen, lure Dr Madhumita Mishra of Delhi to their hometown and abduct her.

Main accused Yaseen, 32, had befriended Mishra over the social networking site Facebook at a time her marriage was under strain, according to the first information report filed by the doctor’s husband in Delhi.

A few months ago, the duo induced her to move to Bangalore, forced her to convert to Islam and held her captive in a madarsa, Subijay Sinha’s FIR says.

Yaseen was arrested in Bangalore and brought to Delhi. When Yusuf arrived in the capital to look for him, he was arrested, too. Both are out on bail but have lost their jobs.

During the bail hearing at a Delhi court, the public prosecutor had alleged that Yaseen had got Mishra to convert by promising her a plush job in West Asia. He had also allegedly contacted Mishra’s sister Rachna and asked for a Rs 10-lakh ransom.

Yusuf said he had come to Delhi to be at Yaseen’s side after learning that his friend was being detained for 15 days and would face trial for a crime he had not committed.

His plea for quashing of the charges (only against him) cites Mishra’s police statement after the cops brought her back from the Bangalore madarsa, alleged to have terror links.

The prosecution said Mishra had indeed been confined against her will and her mobile had been taken away. But the doctor said she had been staying in the madarsa of her own will.

Yusuf’s petition says Mishra’s statement does not even mention him — it names only Yaseen.

“Although the petitioner has no role in the alleged crime and the same has also been admitted by Mishra… he is made guilty of the alleged offence and has been labelled a co-conspirator,” the petition said.

While granting him bail, the court had asked Yusuf to surrender his passport and told him he needed police permission to go abroad.

Yusuf’s petition says he graduated in electrical engineering from TKM Engineering College at Kollam, in his home state of Kerala, and had worked with Intel till December 2007.

Coincidentally, another electrical engineer from Kerala, who too had worked with leading IT companies in Bangalore, was arrested on terror charges on February 22. The police said Yahya Khan, 33, who had worked for Tata Infotech and General Electric, was part of a militant sleeper cell of “educated” young men.

Posted by: informer | October 7, 2008

Behind jailed engineers

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Behind-jailed-engineers,-a-strained-marriage,-promise-of-faith/221623/

Behind jailed engineers, a strained marriage, promise of faith

New Delhi, Bangalore, September 26 “By treating my patients, how am I serving Allah?” this was the statement that started the conversation four months ago between New Delhi doctor Madhumita Mishra and Bangalore-based IBM engineer Mohammed Yaseen. Today, Yaseen, 32, and his 31-year-old friend Intel engineer Shaji Yusuf are in jail, accused by the Delhi police of being at the centre of Mishra’s abduction drama — a charge that police claim could also be linked to “fundamentalist activity.”According to the complaint filed by Mishra’s husband, opthalmologist Subijay Sinha, Yaseen abducted Mishra — his aim was to allegedly extort money — after enticing her to a Bangalore madrasa via a social networking website. Interviews with madrasa officials in Bangalore and Mishra’s statement to a Tis Hazari magistrate, accessed by The Indian Express, point to a story of a strained marriage, a connection over the Internet and the promise of faith which even led to Mishra’s conversion to Islam.

In May 2007, Mishra, who was working as a senior resident in Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital, completed her MD from Maulana Azad Medical College while her husband Sinha did his MD in Opthalmology from AIIMS. While Sinha returned to Kolkata, Mishra stayed back to look for a job. They were married two years and theirs was a “love marriage.”

“I had a strained relation(ship) with my husband,” says Mishra, according to her statement. “I was staying alone at my brother’s place in Noida and my husband was in Kolkata. During that time, I started exploring Orkut, a social networking website. Here, I came across a community ‘Islam and Muslim’ which had 30,000 members. I started posting queries about Islam on the discussion forum. One Feroze Hussain answered my initial questions. Then I asked a question, ‘By treating my patients, how am I serving Allah?’

“To this question, I got a reply from Mohammed Yaseen. I was very impressed by his mail. We initially started interacting through forum, then through scrapbook and later through mails. He was 32, almost my age, and I was impressed with his maturity. He spoke about Islam and discussed the benefits of embracing this religion. He said that death would come soon and, therefore, it’s better to join it. But he said I should convert to Islam only if I am convinced. I was looking a job and I sent him my CV and he promised to get me a job.

“He gave me his mobile number through e-mail and we started talking over phone. On August 28, he sent me a flight ticket through the Internet. I resigned from my LNJP job but did not inform my family about it. I shifted to a guest house in Karol Bagh. On September 3, I flew to Bangalore on an Indigo flight. On reaching Bangalore, his friend Shaji Yusuf was also present. They told me that before I could embrace Islam I have to urgently sign an affidavit. On September 8, I was sent to Dr Mushtaq’s madrasa in Bangalore. I was told that I will have to stay in the madrasa for 40 days and would not be allowed to go out of it during that period. On September 11, Yaseen called me up and asked me to meet him outside the madrasa. There, I saw my husband standing with him,” Mishra’s statement reads.Hearing the engineers’ bail plea today, the court directed the Delhi Police to get a statement from Dr Kareema Mushtaq who runs the Jamiat-ul-Mohsinat madrasa in Bangalore from where Mishra was picked up by the police the same day that Yaseen was arrested. (Yusuf was arrested when he came to Delhi on September 14.)

The madrasa is barely 100 yards from the Sana Nursing Home in Bangalore where Dr Mohammed Haneef, the Indian doctor arrested and later discharged of terrorism charges in Australia, first worked. The head of the Shifa Health Foundation that runs the madrasa, Mushtaq Ahmed, admits that Yaseen brought Mishra to stay at the madrasa but adds that it was of Madhumita’s own volition.

He said he asked Yaseen to produce a legal affidavit showing she was a Muslim and her certificates as a pre-requisite to admitting her. “The girl said she wanted to know more about Islam. They produced the required affidavit and certificates and we had no hesitancy in admitting her. While she was here, she had access to her mobile phone and freedom within the rules,” said Ahmed.

According to records, Yaseen produced a court affidavit stating that Mishra is a Muslim and had taken the name Dr Mumina to get admitted to the madrasa. “She boarded the flight on her own and came from Delhi to Bangalore out of an interest to know the Islamic way of life. How that becomes abduction I don’t know,” said Ahmed.

“Yaseen induced her to convert into Islam by promising her a lucrative job in Middle East,” the public prosecutor told the court in Delhi today. He added that Yaseen had even contacted Mishra’s sister Rachna and asked for Rs 10 lakh as ransom.A software architect in IBM, Yaseen is held in high regard by colleagues and is an online e-mentor for software architecture students. Some of his colleagues are surprised over the ransom charge and point to his over-Rs 10 lakh annual package. “Although radical in appearance, he got along well with everybody. At his work he was very good. He wrote and presented technical papers at conferences on more than one occasion,” a colleague said.

Since his arrest, Yaseen’s wife and child have left the Bangalore apartment they had rented and returned to Kerala.

As for Yusuf’s wife, Hasnat Abu, she denies the allegations: “We are a progressive Muslim family. My husband allowed me to keep my maiden name and keep working. Moreover, I don’t even wear a burqa. How can we be extremists?”…

related news:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Yusuf-says-he-never-spoke-to-Madhumita/223492/

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/doc-leaves-her-home-for-madrasa-intel-ibm-engineers-held/220887/

All the propaganda  news articles that were online for about a week, until the reality came out, are removed. Few of the media outlets didn’t even cared to publish the correction.

Behind jailed engineers

terrorism watch

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Behind-jailed-engineers,-a-strained-marriage,-promise-of-faith/221623/

Behind jailed engineers, a strained marriage, promise of faith

New Delhi, Bangalore, September 26 “By treating my patients, how am I serving Allah?” this was the statement that started the conversation four months ago between New Delhi doctor Madhumita Mishra and Bangalore-based IBM engineer Mohammed Yaseen. Today, Yaseen, 32, and his 31-year-old friend Intel engineer Shaji Yusuf are in jail, accused by the Delhi police of being at the centre of Mishra’s abduction drama — a charge that police claim could also be linked to “fundamentalist activity.”According to the complaint filed by Mishra’s husband, opthalmologist Subijay Sinha, Yaseen abducted Mishra — his aim was to allegedly extort money — after enticing her to a Bangalore madrasa via a social networking website. Interviews with madrasa officials in Bangalore and Mishra’s statement to a Tis Hazari magistrate, accessed by The Indian Express, point to a story of a strained marriage, a…

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BJP activists resort to vandalism, attack Masjids amidst celebrations

BJP activists resort to vandalism, attack Masjids amidst celebrations

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Mangalore, May 16: Overjoyed with Narendra Modi led-BJP’s historic victory at the centre and BJP candidate Nalin Kumar Kateel’s second consecutive win in Dakshina Kannada Lok Sabha constituency, inebriated saffron activists resorted to hate crime and attacked two Masjids in separate places of the district on Friday.

Under the pretext of victory celebration a group of BJP activists, raising Hara-Hara Modi slogans stormed inside the compound of a Masjid and burst crackers at Kambalabettu in Vittla Moodnoor village of Bantwal taluk.

The BJP workers damaged the window panes of the Masjid by pelting stones and destroyed a stage built to host religious programmes.

Reliable sources said that at around 12:55 p.m. dozens of jubilant BJP activists reached near the Masjid from different directions including Kamblabettu and Shantinagara. They parked their vehicles and stormed into Masjid compound without any provocation.

There are two Masjids in the village. The incident occurred at Muhiyuddin Juma Masjid when all Muslims had gathered at Ibrahim Khaleel Masjid for Juma prayers. It was decided to perform Juma together at one Masjid this week.

The BJP activist also tried to harm the Muhiyuddin Juma Masjid Khatheeb, who was getting ready to go to Ibrahim Khaleel Masjid. However, he managed to escape from the hands of the miscreants and reached another Masjid.

Following the incident, Bantwal DySP Rashmi and sleuths from Vittla police station visited the spot and tried to bring the situation under control.

A case has been registered against nine people at Vittla police station in connection with the incident. Local residents identified few of the accused as Ramdas, Sunith, Ganesh, Gangadhar, Nandakumar, Harish, Vasant, Karunakar, Jagadish.

Suralpady

Meanwhile, another group of miscreants, believed to be BJP activist, reportedly pelted stones at a Masjid in Suralpady near Kaikamba under the limits of Bajpe police station.

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50 Actual Facts That Challenge What You’ve Been Told About Muslims

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50 Actual Facts That Challenge What You’ve Been Told About Muslims

Muslims. 

If you’re Pamela GellerBill Maher or Ayaan Hirsi Ali, then you’re most likely obsessed with stereotyping them, stirring fears about them and making blanket statements about a rather large and varied group of people.

And if you look to the mainstream media, it might be easy to see why this oversimplified version of Islam persists: Particularly after 9/11, Islam is usually coupled in coverage with references to terror attacks and political groups, as well as ridiculous calls on Muslims to apologize for terror attacks (as if there’s a spokesperson). 

While terrorism in the name of Islam is an unfortunate reality of today’s world, it is ignorant to paint all Muslims — more than one billion people — with the same brush. 

Muslims come from all walks of life all over the world and perhaps it is time to understand what that really looks like. Here are 50 facts about Muslims today that show that it’s not just offensive but also inaccurate to assume that all Muslims are the same. 

1. Worldwide, there are 1.6 billion Muslims. That number is expected to increase by 35% in the next 16 years, rising to 2.2 billion in 2030.

 

 

Image Credit: AP

2. Sixty-two percent of the world’s Muslims live in the Asia-Pacific region and only 20% live in the Middle East and North Africa.

3. Even though Indonesia boasts the world’s largest population of Muslims right now, Pakistan is expected to surpass that number in the coming years.

4. Most Muslims aren’t actually Arab. In fact, fewer than 15% of the world’s Muslims are Arab.

5. America comes in 84th place in a global ranking of women elected to government cabinet positions. It comes after Muslim-majority nations like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Sudan and Saudi Arabia.

6. Edible Arrangements, with 74 locations in the U.S., was founded by Tariq Farid, a Muslim American entrepreneur.

7. The fastest-growing religion in Ireland is Islam.

8. Malaysian pop star Yuna has garnered fans from across the globe and the talented singer is taking the U.S. music industry by storm.

 

 

9. Zaytuna College is the first liberal arts college built on Islamic principles and it’s located in Berkeley, Calif. Its first-ever class just graduated.

10. The world’s youngest female president, Atifete Jahjaga, is the current leader of Kosovo and her country’s first female Muslim president.

 

 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

11. A counterpart to the Miss World pageant, Miss World Muslimah, held annually, judges participants from around the world on piety, smarts, health, beauty and ability to be role models. Last year, a contestant from Nigeria won.

12. Many modern surgical instruments are of exactly the same design as those invented in the 10th century by a Muslim surgeon called al-Zahrawi.

13. The first Muslim to reach outer space, in 1985, shattered a few stereotypes: He was a Saudi sultan.

14. In 2006, the first Muslim woman made it to space — and she was the first Iranian female space tourist.

15. Laleh Baktiar wanted to clear up gender misconceptions that appeared in previous translations of the Quran, so in 2007 she became the first woman to translate the Quran into English.

16. At 20 years old, Iqbal Al Assaad is the youngest medical doctor. She graduated from high school at 12.

17. The Sears (now Willis) Tower in Chicago was designed by a Muslim American architect.

 

 

Image Credit: AP

18. In the UK, Muslims are the country’s top charitable donors.

19. In fact, Muslims give the most out of the world’s religions.

20. Bollywood’s biggest maestro, A.R. Rahman, converted to Islam in 2006.

21. The pioneer behind microcredit and microfinance, Muhammad Yunus, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize that year too.

22. Muslims are Happy in the UKGazaIstanbulLebanonEgypt and Sudan.

 

 

23. The name “Muhammad” is the most common name in the world.

24. Shirin Ebadi, Iran’s first female Chief Justice, was the first Muslim woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

 

 

Image Credit: AP 

25. Some researchers argue that Muslims came to the Americas before Christopher Columbus, in the 700s.

26. The world’s second-largest Muslim congregation is the Bishwa Ijtema, which gathers in Bangladesh. The largest is the Hajj in Saudi Arabia.

Image Credit: AP

27. America’s most popular food cart in 2013, with almost 50,000 Foursquare check-ins, is The Halal Guys in New York City.

28. The global Muslim fashion industry is estimated to be worth $96 billion dollars.

29. This has meant a surge in Muslim female designers and entrepreneurs globally have ensured a thriving hijab (Muslim headscarf) fashion market.

Image Credit: AP

30. The show Little Mosque on the Prairie was the first to show a balanced representation of a dysfunctional Muslim community in Canada. We’re still waiting on a similar show in the U.S.

31. There’s an increasing market for meat that’s both halal and organic

32. UMMA Clinic, the first Muslim-American-founded community-based clinic in the U.S., provides health care and treatment to all and was started by medical students.

33. Muslim women from countries like the U.S. and Bahrain have competed in the Olympics, taking part in competitions like tennis, fencing, taekwondo and archery.

 

 

Image Credit: AP

34. Dr. Oz not only has our hearts with his medical advice, but he’s a Turkish-American Muslim too.

35. Shaquille O’Neal announced he was going on the Muslim pilgrimage in 2010.

36. And let’s not forget Akon or T-Pain, who came from Muslim families.

37. Coffee was a Muslim invention.

38. So was the modern check.

39. The thing that makes selfies possible was invented by Muslims, too.

40. Albania is the only European country whose population is more than 90% Muslim.

41. Pakistani youth decided to break a Guinness world record in 2014 by forming the world’s largest human national flag. By official count, 28,597 people showed up to take part.

 

 

Image Credit: Getty Images

42. Muslims have been living in China for the last 1,400 years. They live in every region of the country.

43. Amid distrust for Muslims and Islam, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and George Washington argued that America should be open to Muslim citizens, office-holders and even presidents.

44. The new Ms. Marvel is a Pakistani-American teenager from New Jersey — and she isn’t afraid of her identity.

 

 

Image Credit: AP

45. Hijab isn’t something all Muslim women wear and it certainly doesn’t define them.

46. Everyone’s favorite singalong, “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen, includes the word “Bismillah”, Arabic for “In the Name of God.”

47. Ten percent of all American doctors are Muslim. That’s beside the fact that the hospital is the invention of Muslim-majority nation Egypt.

48. Ann Osman is the first female Muslim pro MMA fighter.

49. In China, the oldest all-female mosque has existed for the last thousand years — and the leader is a woman too.

50. This should be obvious by now: Muslims aren’t monolithic.

Correction, 05/20/2014:

An earlier version of this article incorrectly said that Freddie Mercury was Indian Muslim. Mercury was actually Indian Parsi, a Zoroastrian group that fled 10th century Iran to practice their religion freely.

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Modi’s image builders have dictators on client list

Modi’s image builders have dictators on client list

AHMEDABAD: Adolf Hitler was a brilliant propagandist. Narendra Modi too believes in the power of image. 

Which is probably why the chief minister hired a US lobbying firm which has serviced clients like former Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha and President-for-life of Kazakhstan Nursultan Abishuly Nazarbayev. 

This Washington-based firm, Apco Worldwide, was hired by Modi sometime in August this year, in the run-up to an important Assembly election, to improve his image before the world community. Among its recent clients are Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a former Communist youth leader-turned-Russian billionaire with mafia links. 

The firm has a distinction of taking contracts of boosting images of leaders who fell out of favour of their followers. 

On the face of it Apco Worldwide’s brief is to build and sell Brand Gujarat to the international community. But according to sources Modi, who was denied visa by the US earlier because of the taint he earned in the 2002 riots, wants his image to be improved so that he gets to visit the US in future. 

The Modi regime feels lobbying is required to attract much-sought after foreign direct investment (FDI) which has been a cause for concern even though Gujarat is topping the charts among Indian states in terms of overall investments, according to latest statistics brought out by the Reserve Bank of India. 

Modi, of course, still nurtures the wish to get an US visa and some of his NRI friends have advised him to use the services of lobbyists for the same. Sources in the government told TOI that if it works and Modi comes back to power, Apco’s contract will be renewed in January for Vibrant Gujarat 2009, the event that Modi prides himself in, for bringing investments to the state. 

The Gujarat government will pay Apco 25,000 USD per month for the Modi image building exercise. 

Sources in the government said Modi thought of this image-building exercise during his visit to Switzerland earlier this year. His government shortlisted some seven national and international firms, without floating tenders of which two were shortlisted. Even though it quoted a sum that was three times more than others, Apco was picked for the job. 

The reason given was that Apco has a better team. Apco has former senators from Republican and Democratic parties working with it.

Israel: “Wiped off The Map”. The Rumor of the Century, Fabricated by the US Media to Justify An All out War on Iran

Israel: “Wiped off The Map”. The Rumor of the Century, Fabricated by the US Media to Justify An All out War on Iran

 750 

, and the AP’s Ali Akbar Dareini [Iran President: Israel Will be wiped out]. 
  

The first five paragraphs of the Haaretz article, credited to “Haaretz Service and Agencies”, are plagiarized almost 100% from the first five paragraphs of the Reuters piece. The only difference is that Haaretz changed “the Jewish state” to “Israel” in the second paragraph, otherwise they are identical.

The Jerusalem Post article by Herb Keinon pilfers from both the Reuters and AP stories. Like Haaretz, it uses the following Ahmadinejad quote without attribution: [“Just as the Soviet Union was wiped out and today does not exist, so will the Zionist regime soon be wiped out,” he added]. Another passage apparently relies on an IRNA report:

“The Zionist regime will be wiped out soon the same way the Soviet Union was, and humanity will achieve freedom,” Ahmadinejad said at Tuesday’s meeting with the conference participants in his offices, according to Iran’s official news agency, IRNA.  
 

 

He said elections should be held among “Jews, Christians and Muslims so the population of Palestine can select their government and destiny for themselves in a democratic manner.”

Once again, the first sentence above was wholly plagiarized from the AP article. The second sentence was also the same, except “He called for elections” became “He said elections should be held..”.

It gets more interesting.

The quote used in the original AP article and copied in The Jerusalem Post article supposedly derives from the IRNA. If true, this can easily be checked. Care to find out? Go to: 

                           
www.irna.ir/en/news/view/menu-234/0612134902101231.htm 

     There you will discover the actual IRNA quote was: 

“As the Soviet Union disappeared, the Zionist regime will also vanish and humanity will be liberated”.

      Compare this to the alleged IRNA quote reported by the Associated Press:

“The Zionist regime will be wiped out soon the same way the Soviet Union was, and humanity will achieve freedom”.

In the IRNA’s actual report, the Zionist regime will vanish just as the Soviet Union disappeared.VanishDisappear. In the dishonest AP version, the Zionist regime will be “wiped out”. And how will it be wiped out? “The same way the Soviet Union was”. Rather than imply a military threat or escalation in rhetoric, this reference to Russia actually validates the intended meaning of Ahmadinejad’s previous misinterpreted anti-Zionist statements.

What has just been demonstrated is irrefutable proof of media manipulation and propaganda in action. The AP deliberately alters an IRNA quote to sound more threatening. The Israeli media not only repeats the fake quote but also steals the original authors’ words. The unsuspecting public reads this, forms an opinion and supports unnecessary wars of aggression, presented as self defense, based on the misinformation. 
 

This scenario mirrors the kind of false claims that led to the illegal U.S. invasion of Iraq, a war now widely viewed as a catastrophic mistake. And yet the Bush administration and the compliant corporate media continue to marinate in propaganda and speculation about attacking Iraq’s much larger and more formidable neighbor, Iran. Most of this rests on the unproven assumption that Iran is building nuclear weapons, and the lie that Iran has vowed to physically destroy Israel. Given its scope and potentially disastrous outcome, all this amounts to what is arguably the rumor of the century.

  

Iran’s President has written two rather philosophical letters to America. In his first letter, he pointed out that “History shows us that oppressive and cruel governments do not survive”. With this statement, Ahmadinejad has also projected the outcome of his own backwards regime, which will likewise “vanish from the page of time”. 

 

Arash Norouzi is an artist and co-founder of The Mossadegh Project

The Israeli ID System for Palestinians

Identity Crisis: The Israeli ID System

Visualizing Palestine & Conor McNally
 
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Sources
Population estimates for 2011 collated from Israeli CBS, Palestinian CBS, OCHA and Badil. Maps are illustrative, based on data collated from Israel CBS and OCHA.
ID matrix adapted from Helga Tawil-Souri. Additional facts from B’Tselem and Adalah.

Population Data.
Central Bureau of Statistics, 2012. Statistical Abstract of Israel (accessed on 15 May 2014)
Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Estimated Population in the Palestinian Territory Mid-Year by Governorate,1997-2016 (accessed on 15 May 2014)
Badil, 2012. Survey of Palestinian Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons 2010 – 2012 (PDF)

Map data.
Central Bureau of Statistics, 2012. Statistical Abstract of Israel. (accessed on 15 May 2014)
OCHA, 2012. Humanitarian Atlas, December 2012 (accessed on 15 May 2014)

Matrix.
Helga Tawil-Souri, Social Text, vol.29 (2), 2011. “Colored Identity: The Politics and Materiality of ID Cards in Palestine/Israel” (PDF)

WB areas.
B’Tselem, 2013. What is Area C? (accessed on 15 May 2014)

Israel admissions.
Adalah, 2011. Adalah NGO Report to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Arab Palestinian Citizens of Israel (PDF)

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