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Tuesday, January 31, 2006




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Business and Economy

  • Russia & the US are in a new race to built permanent bases on the moon to begin an industrial-scale delivery of the rare isotope Helium-3 by 2020. Helium-3 is a highly effective fuel for thermonuclear reactors but is a very scarce on earth but abundant on the moon. According to Russia’s Energia Space Corporation President Nikolai Sevastyanov, one ton of Helium-3 could generate as much energy as 14 million tons of oil. Based on this estimate, 100 tons of Helium-3 is enough to meet the earth’s entire energy needs for a whole year. It is estimated that the moon has up to 500 million tons of Helium-3 trapped in the upper layers. The deadline to set up such a base on moon coincides with a timeline to develop thermonuclear reactors based on Helium-3 isotope and the country that could which could deliver Helium-3 to earth will be the global energy leader of the 21st century.

Environment, Health and Education

  • The French Government is seeking an urgent court order to stop an independent verification on the asbestos content in the condemned aircraft carrier Clemenceau. The ship is in the Red Sea on the way to the Alang dismantling facility in Gujarat and not far from Djibouti has been asked to stay out of the Indian exclusive economic zone of 220 nautical miles till February 12 when a verdict from the Supreme Court is due.

  • Editorial: Regulate Ship Breaking Business

Terrorism, Defense and Security

  • In a move to synchronize actions of multiple countries to fight terrorism, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has invited Russia and India to participate in a joint exercise in Russia. Using simulated scenarios that include nuclear and biological weapons, the troops will have to interact with local authorities and co-ordinate with local officials to disarm terrorists.

  • India test fired a surface-to-air missile that can target multiple targets simultaneously. Indigenously developed Akash has a range of 25 kilometers and brought down two targets flown by India’s unmanned aircraft Lakshya. For the first time, an integrated system of surveillance was used to demonstrate how these different systems could be used together. The multi-function phased array weapon control radar (Rajendra), mobile launchers, unmanned aircraft, and surveillance radars were used in the test configuration. The intercept capable Akash is developed by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) in partnership with the Bharat Dynamics Limited and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). 

  • Days before the crucial vote on the Iranian nuclear program at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran has warned Israel, the United States, and Britain of missile attacks. Accusing these countries of arming militants in the South-Western Khuzestan, Iran said that they will “respond with our very effective missile defense.” Military experts say that Iranian Shahab-3 missile have a range of 2000 kilometers and could easily reach Israel, US-led forces in Iraq, and US bases in the region. As a last ditch effort, Iran said that it was sending a nuclear negotiating team to Brussels to resume negotiations with the EU-3. The West has been trying to convince Russia and China, who have significant investments in Iran, to take a harder stance with Iran. A Non-Aligned Nations group has counseled the West to take the negotiating route with Iran.

  • Editorial: Iran's Nuclear Program

  • India will hold second series of joint exercises with Russia in August 2006. India and Russian elite airborne combat units will participate in joint operations in Russia. The first joint exercise with Indian paratroopers was held in Rajasthan in October 2005


  • Former Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir Prime Minister Sardar Abdul Qayoom said that the Pakistani Government should have accepted Indian help after the earthquake four months ago. He said that Pakistan “should not have rejected” the offer and termed the Indian offer a “sincere move.” Rejecting proposals to divide the state on religious basis and for independence from India and Pakistan, Qayoom recommended a more detailed examination of the proposal to adopt a federal model. More than 125000 people still live in tents after their houses were destroyed by the killer quake that killed more 30,000 people. Officials in Pakistan say that they are awaiting a Japanese report on a comprehensive development plan and have suspended all construction. Victims of the earthquake accuse the Government of not providing the promised relief of Pak Rs.100000 but officials say that there are problems within families on who should get the relief money. On the Indian side, 6 Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists and 2 Indian soldiers (including a Major) died when they were stopped from entering India from Pakistan. 


Hot Topics

Helium-3 in the Moon

Clemenceau and the environment

Indo-Russia Joint Operation

IAEA-Iran nuclear vote

Earthquake Relief operations in Pakistan

Election in Nepal

Hamas & the Palestinian elections

Featured Analyses

The Saga of the Jemaah Islamiah

Indonesia has continuously been embarrassed by the terror acts of a handful of terrorists from the Jemaah Islamiah (JI), a group with definite Indonesian origins and made up mostly by members of Indonesian nationality.

Will Kashmir go the way of Aceh?
A Cry for Help
Watch the Dragon
Cage This "Tiger"
Dalits in India
Was Jinnah a Secularist?
Burying the Howitzer?
Smoking Out Smoking

Featured Edits

Detach politics and economics
N-proliferation can’t be ignored
Villages for sale, rural despair growing
India’s freedom of action not for sale
The Constitution: who, if anybody, is supreme?
Sonia could learn from Atal
Race bias and the British media
Hamas victory sparks debate in Kashmir
South Indian Inscriptions

Ancient Indian dynasties documented their administration, significant developments, grants, and milestones as inscriptions in temples. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has documented these inscriptions from 1886. These pages contain inscriptions from Pallava, Chola, Pandya, Western Chalukya, Eastern Chalukya, Rashtrakuta, Hoyasala, Vijayanagara, Vishnukundin, Kakatiya, Reddi, Vaidumba, Chinda, Eastern Ganga, Gajapathi, Kalchurya, Qutb-Shahi of Golkonda, and Moghul,  dynasties.

  • Over 608 electoral candidates, fearing Maoist terrorists’ threats, pulled out of upcoming Nepal polls. King Gnanendra insists on going through elections for mayoral offices despite the boycott of 7 political parties and incessant violence from Maoist terrorists. The Government has promised safety and secure housing for the candidates but these promises do not seem to have convinced the candidates.

  • Editorial: The Nepal Stalemate


  • Striking an increasingly defiant tone, Hamas has rejected international demands that they recognize Israel’s right to exist and disarm. The European Union and United States have said that they would cut back close to USD 1 billion for the Palestinian Authority if Hamas continues its belligerent philosophy. Hamas said “this aid cannot be a sword over the heads of the Palestinian people and will not be material to blackmail our people.” They said they would disarm only if Israel ended its “occupation” of land that Palestinians seek to form an independent state. Hamas seeks to establish an Islamic state and looks to form a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip “as a first step.” In the meanwhile, Fattah gunmen and Hamas operatives clashed over the results of the elections. Although Hamas has a clear majority, it wants a unified Government and Fattah does not want any part of it. Angry Fattah gunmen disappointed over the results and some policemen took over the Parliament briefly and demanded the resignation of senior Fattah leaders except President Mahmoud Abbas.

  • Editorial: Hamas's victory in Palestinian Territories

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