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 Algeria-Flight-crashed

Reuters – An Air Algerie flight that went missing en route from Burkina Faso to Algiers has crashed, an Algerian aviation official told Reuters on Thursday.

“I can confirm that it has crashed,” the official said, declining to give details of where the plane was or what caused the accident.

The tragic accident took place in Masayipet village of Telangana’s Medak district at 9.10 am on Thursday.

The students were of a private school and came from nearby villages Islampur, Gundredpalli, Kishtapur and Venkatapur. Several other children in that bus, which had 38 in all, are seriously injured and undergoing treatment at the Yashoda Hospital at Secunderabad.

Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao visited the hospital and has ordered a probe into the accident. He reviewed the situation with Chief Secretary Rajiv Sharma and DGP Anurag Sharma. He has ordered officials to take necessary steps to extend all medical assistance to the injured. Police say the toll may rise as some of the children are critically injured.

Villagers blame railway authorities for the mishap, but grieving parents found fault with the bus driver for overspeeding and negligence while crossing the railway track.

Photos

Medak School bus accident

Medak accident

Medak school bus

Train hits school bus in medak

Medak school bus accident pics

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Two days after Google halted censorship in China, another leading US Internet company, Go Daddy, said it was cutting back on its activities there because of Chinese regulations.

Go Daddy, the largest Web domain name registrar in the world, is no longer registering names in China because of “chilling” new requirements imposed by the Chinese authorities, executive vice president Christine Jones said on Wednesday.

Jones also told a hearing of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China that Go Daddy was one of the companies hit by Chinese-based cyberattacks in December that contributed to Google’s decision to stop self-censorship there.

Representative Chris Smith, a Republican from New Jersey, praised Google and Go Daddy at the hearing here for “doing the right thing in China” and urged other US companies, specifically Microsoft, to follow their lead.

Related article: Foreign firms ponder China future

“Google fired a shot heard ’round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people,” Smith said.

Google announced Monday it had effectively closed its Chinese-language search engine in China, Google.cn, and begun redirecting mainland Chinese users to an uncensored site in Hong Kong.

Chronology: Google’s operations in China

Alan Davidson, Google’s director of public policy, told the hearing the Hong Kong site is already being censored.

“We are well aware that the Chinese government can, at any time, block access to our services — indeed we have already seen intermittent censorship of certain search queries on both Google.com.hk and Google.com,” he said.

Davidson also echoed a call made by Google co-founder Sergey Brin for new rules to govern trade in the online world.

Brin said in an interview with the British newspaper The Guardian that Chinese regulations that prevent companies from being competitive in China should be considered a “trade barrier.”

“Since services and information are our most successful exports, if regulations in China effectively prevent us from being competitive, then they are a trade barrier,” Brin said.

Davidson said governments “need to develop a full set of new trade rules to address new trade barriers.

“We should continue to look for effective ways to address unfair foreign trade barriers in the online world: to use trade agreements, trade tools, and trade diplomacy to promote the free flow of information on the Internet.”

Brin and Davidson’s comments came after TOM Online, the Internet company owned by Hong Kong’s richest man, Li Ka-shing, severed ties with Google.

TOM, which runs online and mobile Internet services in mainland China, said that “as a Chinese company, we adhere to rules and regulations in China where we operate our businesses.”

TOM’s move sparked concerns other companies may also pull away from the Web giant. On Thursday the Financial Times reported that China Unicom, the country’s second largest mobile phone operator, will jettison Google’s search function from new handsets.

The move is the first concrete result of Google’s decision to shut down its Chinese search engine on Monday.

“We are willing to work with any company that abides by Chinese law…. We don’t have any cooperation with Google currently,” the Financial Times quoted China Unicom president Lu Yimin as saying.

China has attacked Google for stopping censorship but said there should be no broader fall-out in Sino-US ties provided the issue is not politicized in the United States.

Go Daddy’s Jones said the company has been authorized since April 2005 by the China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC) to offer registration services for .cn domain names.

The .cn suffix is a Top Level Domain for China like .com and individuals or companies seeking to create a Web address are required to go through a registrar such as Go Daddy, which has 40 million domain names under management.

Jones said Go Daddy collects contact information of individuals or companies registering a domain name including their full name, address, telephone number and email address.

Four months ago, however, CNNIC required registrants of new .cn names to provide color headshot photos, a Chinese business registration number and signed registration forms, she said.

She said Go Daddy is “concerned for the security of the individuals affected by CNNIC’s new requirements, as well as for the chilling effect we believe the requirements will have on new .cn domain name registrations.

“For these reasons, we have decided to discontinue offering new .cn domain names at this time,” Jones said. “We didn’t want to act as an agent of the Chinese government.”

Jones also said that Go Daddy was one of more than 30 companies hit by the cyberattacks in December that Google said originated in China. “We’ve had a couple of dozen since the first of the year as well,” she said.

“The Google attack was aimed at infiltrating email accounts,” she said. “The attack on our system is designed to disable websites somebody doesn’t like.”

Exiled al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden

Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, threatened in a new audio recording released on Thursday to kill any captured Americans if the U.S. executes the self-professed mastermind of the September 11 attacks or any other al-Qaeda suspects.

The U.S. is still considering whether to put Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four of his fellow plotters on military tribunal for their role in the September 11 attacks. The Obama administration is also looking into recommendations for civilian trials, and is expected to announce a decision soon.

In a brief 74-second audio tape aired on Al-Jazeera television, bin Laden said if the U.S. decides to execute any al-Qaeda suspects in its custody — and explicitly mentioned Mohammed — his terror network would kill American captives.

The terror leader said such a decision “would mean the U.S. has issued a death sentence against whoever of you becomes a prisoner in our hands.”

It was not immediately clear whether al-Qaeda currently has any U.S. captives, but the Haqqani group – the Pakistan-based Taliban faction closest to al-Qaeda — is holding an American soldier it captured in eastern Afghanistan in June 2009. It released a video of him in December.

Bin Laden said U.S. President Barack Obama is following in the footsteps of his predecessor George W. Bush by escalating the war in Afghanistan, being “unjust” to al-Qaeda prisoners and supporting Israel in its occupation of Palestinian land.

In a veiled threat, bin Laden said Americans had previously thought their homeland was beyond the reach of his group until the 9/11 attack.

Mohammed, who was captured in Pakistan in 2003, is the most senior al-Qaeda operative in U.S. custody, and is currently in detention at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In 2008, the U.S. charged him with murder and war crimes in connection with the September 11 attacks. Pentagon officials have said they’ll seek the death penalty.

Hyderabad: In a bid to earn more revenues, the Water Board has proposed a hike in the water tariff.

Officials of the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board are working out the different slabs and are likely to target the high-end consumers like hotels and other commercial establishments while bringing the hike to effect.

The tariff for the 16-30 kilolitre slab consumers may increase from Rs 8 to Rs 12 or maybe even Rs 14 per kilolitre.

Similarly, for the 31-50 kilolitre slab, there may be an increase from Rs 15 to Rs 20 per kilolitre.

The Water Board expects an increase of Rs 10 crore in its monthly revenue due to the hike. Currently, the Board collects Rs 32 crore as revenue from water bill payments each month against a monthly expenditure of Rs 45 crore.

The water tariff was last increased in 2002. The officials are planning to place the proposals before the Chief Minister, Mr K. Rosaiah, who is also the chairman of the Water Board. He is scheduled to review the performance of the Board on March 27.

Sources say that domestic consumers, currently, paying Rs 6 per kilolitre are likely to be exempted from the hike. The Rosaiah government is averse to the idea of imposing additional burden on the middle and lower middle classes of the society. When contacted, the Water Board executive director, Mr Ashok Reddy, told this correspondent that nothing had been finalised and there had only been a discussion among officials regarding a hike.

It may be mentioned that Andhra Pradesh was was the first state to increase bus fares.

Even Transco is reportedly proposing a revision in power tariff.

Hyderabad: Applications for new cooking gas connections will soon be accepted through all e-Seva centres across the state. This comes after a good response to the initiative in Hyderabad.

Many applicants allege that dealers insist they purchase a gas stove and other gadgets from them to get the new connection. A dealer makes a profit of around Rs 1,000 on the sale of the stove etc. but for consumers who already have a stove it’s a waste of money

Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh has presented crucial data of water storage before the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal to prove that Karnataka had secretly increased the height of the Almatti dam of the Supreme Court guidelines.

It also joined hands with Maharashtra to oppose Karnataka’s proposal to increase the height of the dam further by arguing that it would submerge large habitats and would also delay water release during Kharif season in AP.

Officials of AP presented a detailed investigation report stating that Karnataka had impounded 210.38 tmc ft water during the 2006-07 season, which would not have been possible if its height had been 519.6 metres as decided by the Supreme Court.

The state contended that Karnataka raised the height of the dam by 0.60 metres to accommodate additional 37.38 tmc ft water in violation of the Bachawat Award and the SC judgment. This allegation by AP created furore in the tribunal hearings with Karnataka denying increasing the height.

“But we have evidence that Karnataka indeed impounded more than what it could have done with the declared height,” said a senior official in the irrigation department. Karnataka argued for raising the height of the dam to 524.256 metres for utilising another 130 tmc ft out of its share of surplus water of 517 tmc ft.

It alternatively proposed storage of between 519.60 metres and 524.256 metres as carryover for the benefit of all the three states and offered to store about 100 tmc ft water belonging to AP and release it whenever the state wants. However, AP rejected these proposals and argued that Karnataka can use only 155 tmc ft and not 173 tmc ft as claimed during the hearings before the tribunal.

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Author : Nagraj

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