Manmohan is a wise leader: George Bush

The former U.S. President, George W. Bush, speaks at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in New Delhi on Saturday.

NEW DELHI: “I really like Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The Prime Minister is a wise leader.”

This is what the former U.S. President, George W. Bush, had to say on Saturday about Dr. Singh, with whom he clinched a civil nuclear agreement that ended India’s 34-year isolation in nuclear trade.

Mr. Bush returned the compliment a day after Dr. Singh described him as a “great friend of India.”

At the HT Leadership Summit here, Mr. Bush described the liberalisation process, initiated in India in 1991 when Dr. Singh was the Finance Minister, as one of the two important events of that year that led to the transformation of the India-U.S. ties.


On his second visit to India since March 2006, Mr. Bush said he was “honoured” to be back here.

“Three years back, I and Laura came here and were dazzled by India. India is a vibrant and diverse nation based on civilisation. I was looking forward to coming back here to say ‘namaste’,” he said. — PTI

Jaipur oil depot fire rages on, toll 10

Fire in an Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) depot continued to burn for the third day running Sunday in this Rajasthan capital with the toll rising to 10 after recovery of two more bodies, officials said.

The officials said they are waiting for the fuel in the tanks to burn out.


‘We are just waiting for the fuel to burn…we cannot do much till then and according our information kerosene in three of the tanks has completely burnt’, a district administration official said.


He said two tanks each of petrol and diesel are on fire and it may take some time for the stocks to burn out.


‘Though it is difficult to say but it may take another 12-24 hours more for these products to burn up,’ the official said.


The administration along with army has dug ditches around the premises so that the fuel spilling over from these melting tanks does not cross over to adjoining parts of the city and the fire is controlled.


The IOC officials believe it would take over a year to rebuild the depot which has been completely damaged.


‘We recovered two more charred bodies from the fire site today (Sunday),’ Pradeep Sen, state home secretary, told IANS.


Three bodies were found from the depot premises Saturday. The five bodies are believed to be of the IOC employees reported missing.


Meanwhile, the Rajasthan High Court on a public petition has issued notice to the state government asking for deatils of the efforts being made to extinguish the fire.


A dark cloud of smoke has covered the area, making breathing difficult. The state Pollution Control Board is monitoring the pollution level.


Sources in the IOC said of the 11 storage tanks that caught fire, four are burning while black smoke is coming out from the remaining eight. Union Petroleum Minister Murli Deora visited the accident site Friday with Indian Oil chairman Sarthak Behuri and other senior company officials.


The depot had about 50,000 kilolitres of petroleum products, worth about Rs.150-200 crore.


People living in the radius of 5 km around the depot are complaining of difficulty in breathing and irritation in the eyes.


‘Since Friday night, I have been having problems in breathing… I complained to my doctor and he told me it is because of the smoke in the air,’ said Adesh Kumar, a resident of a nearby colony.


The state government has set up two committees to assess the damage to industrial units and nearby villages.


One of the committees will assess the damage caused to different units in terms of building, plant, machinery and raw materials, and will submit its report in seven days.


The association of Sitapura industrial area in the vicinity of the accident site has said that of 1,100 units, 500 have suffered losses.


‘Each unit must has suffered a loss of Rs.5-7 lakh due to the fire, and this figure does not include our production loss,’ said S.N. Kabra, president Sitapura Industrial Area.

Yeddyurappa gets a breather but dissidents want him out

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday came out in support of beleaguered Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, his supporters said, but the dissidents continued to campaign for his removal.

Leaders of the rival BJP groups from Karnataka pursued their lobbying in New Delhi, meeting party leaders including LK Advani, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley.

Several legislators and MPs belonging to both the camps – one supporting Yeddyurappa and another favouring the Reddy brothers of Bellary – are in the capital.

Revealing the thinking in the highest echelons of the BJP, state party president Sadananda Gowda said that Yeddyurappa would remain the chief minister.

Yeddyurappa backers — former MP Dhananjay Kumar and state Home Minister VS Acharya — met Advani here Sunday and said they had been assured that there would be no leadership change. They also met BJP president Rajnath Singh.

Acharya and Kumar also called on RSS pointsman and BJP general secretary Ramlal earlier and claimed his support in favour of Yeddyurappa.

Legislators and MPs supporting Yeddyurappa are again to expected to meet Advani.

The chief minister’s supporters claimed that the RSS wanted Yeddyurappa should continue in his post. The chief minister’s removal is being sought by the powerful Reddy brothers of Bellary.

The Reddy brothers, both ministers in the state cabinet, are lobbying to appoint assembly Speaker Jagadish Shettar as the chief minister.

Shettar, 53, is close to the Bellary brothers – dissident ministers G Janardhana Reddy (Tourism) and elder brother G. Karunakara Reddy (Revenue).

Shettar also met central party leaders, including Jaitley.

A senior party leader close to the political developments told IANS that “everything is under control and the CM is Mr Yeddyurappa”. All issues would be sorted out in a couple of days, he said.

Asked whether the chief minister still enjoyed the support of the RSS and the BJP leadership, he said, “The Sangh is not against Yeddyurappa.”

Four-term legislator Shettar came to the BJP after being a member of the RSS and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

The BJP government in Karnataka, the party’s first in the south, has been facing turmoil for days.

Posthumously, he becomes a role model


Ramkishor, a research scholar in the US, who died in an accident had pledged his organs when alive, inspiring others to do the same

 Invaluable gift

Invaluable gift: Ramkishor Sadhu, whose organs gave a fresh lease of life to five others.

VIJAYAWADA: Ramkishor Sadhu probably had very little idea of the giant stride he was taking when he casually checked the box against the question, “Do you want to be an organ donor?” in the application he made for a driving licence in the US.

But that simple action of this cellular and molecular biology researcher at the University of New Haven in Connecticut, who died in a road accident near Boston, Massachusetts on September 23, made him an icon of sorts in the American Telugu circles.

Ramkishor’s five vital organs – heart, lungs, liver and two kidneys – were harvested after he died on September 27, battling for life for four days. They were received by five different individuals who were waiting for long.

Ramkishor, whose parents belong to Srikakulam district, was driving a hired car along with his friends Sripal Reddy, Sankarsh Reddy and Sripal’s parents, when a momentary dozing off proved fatal. While Sripal’s parents died on the spot, Ramkishor was airlifted and treated at two hospitals before he succumbed to the severe injury to the brain.

After the authorities of Massachusetts General Hospital alerted the New England Organ Bank about the condition of Ramkishor and that he was an organ donor by consent, the bank’s officials coordinated with Telugu Association of North America secretary Mohan Nannapaneni in getting the consent of his parents.

Family’s consent

“Ramkishor’s father and sister were initially apprehensive feeling the hospital authorities may not extend the best treatment to him, so that they can take out his organs. But when I explained to them that there are several safeguards, they agreed and conveyed their consent,” Mr. Nannapaneni told this correspondent on phone from the US.

Mr. Nannapaneni, who ensured sufficient financial help to air transport the body to Hyderabad, said though Ramkishor’s gesture was not rare, it was well received by all Telugu families. It found a special mention in the Diwali meetings of the Telugu families. “It made many more Telugu people pledge their organs,” Mr. Nannapaneni said.

ODI tickets sale tomorrow

  HYDERABAD: Tickets for the India-Australia day and night international cricket match will be sold through some of the UCO Bank branches in State capital on November 2. The match is to be played at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium on November 5.

 While a chunk of tickets (23,000) would be sold through UCO Bank branches in Banjara Hills, Sanathnagar, Madhapur, Kukatpally, SD Road and Malakpet, some eSeva centres would be selling 5,245 tickets, the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) has decided on Friday. The stadium has a seating capacity of 39,000.

 The ticket denominations would be: Rs. 300, Rs. 600, Rs. 1,000, Rs.1,500 Rs. 2,000, Rs. 4,000 and Rs. 5,000. The tickets would be sold two per head on a first come first served basis.

 The HCA president and former Minister G. Vinod said the association would try to get an undertaking from the bank on the exact number of tickets to be sold at each branch. “The HCA officials have nothing to do with sale of tickets”, Mr. Vinod said. Like any other match, the issue of complementary tickets is turning out to be a headache for the HCA authorities. “The obligations to various Government departments, donors, corporate boxes and agencies involved in the construction of the stadium total 10,000,” Mr. Vinod conceded. On the exorbitant rates charged for snacks and drinking water during earlier matches, BCCI vice-president N. Shivlal Yadav said “We are planning to give the contracts to different people to keep a check. The parking on the stadium premises is totally free,” he said to a query.


WordPress for iPhone 2 comes to App Store

To offer rich mobile blogging experience, the new version of WordPress is now available for the iPhone. The new version called the WordPress for iPhone 2 brings several new features and usability enhancement.

It comes with a new user-friendly interface that allows users to efficiently switch between comments, posts and pages. The new user interface is refined and bugs encountered in the previous version are eliminated. The comments interface also displays Gravatars and author URL in the comment list.

When the new version is installed, it doesn’t overwrite the previous version. The older version can be easily removed from the device if not in use. WordPress for iPhone 2 automatically saves posts and restores them if the connection is lost while publishing.

It offers same features like the previous version that include support for multiple blogs, upload photo and post reviews, tags, categories and password protected posts. Passwords are stored in the keychain. Users can now manually enter the XMLRPC endpoint for non-standards setups with the new interface. The new version is improvised with rotation-related visual errors and malformed XML that prevented access to XMLRPC endpoint. Photos are displayed in the order they have been uploaded.

Like the previous version, WordPress for iPhone 2 is an Open Source app. The application’s source code  is available publicly. The new version is available at the App store.


Facebook outlines new privacy policy

 Facebook outlined changes to its privacy policy on Thursday and asked for feedback from the social network’s more than 300 million users.

The vice-president of communications and public policy, Elliot Schrage, in a post on the Facebook blog, said members will have until November 5 to send in their comments about the proposed changes.

“This is the next step in our ongoing effort to run Facebook in an open and transparent way,” he said. “After the comment period is over, we’ll review your feedback and update you on our next steps.”

Some of the changes to Facebook’s privacy policy are the result of pressure from Canada, whose privacy czar conducted an investigation into its handling of personal information.

“In this revision,” Mr Schrage said, “we’re fulfilling our commitment to the privacy commissioner of Canada to update our privacy policy to better describe a number of practices. Specifically, we’ve included sections that further explain the privacy setting you can choose to make your content viewable by everyone,” he said.

Mr Schrage said the changes also clarify the difference between deactivating and deleting an account and “the process of memorializing an account once we’ve received a report that the account holder is deceased.”

Facebook said it will save profile information such as friend lists and photos from a deactivated account in case a member decides to reactivate it later but the material will not be viewable by other users.

It said a deleted account is “permanently deleted.”
Facebook said information from a deleted account may still be viewable on the pages of other users if it was shared or copied and stored by them.

“However, your name will no longer be associated with that information on Facebook,” it said, and will be attributed to an “anonymous Facebook user.”

Facebook also stressed that personal data is not provided to advertisers. “The information we provide to advertisers is “anonymized,” meaning that it can’t be traced back to you as an individual in any way,” Mr Schrage said.