Eight dead as bus falls into Kerala river, toll likely to go up

At least eight persons, including two women, drowned and more are feared trapped as a private bus with around 40 passengers fell into a river near Kottayam on Tuesday.

Rescuers from the Meenachil River at Thazhathangadi have fished out eight bodies while efforts were on to lift the bus from the water, police said.

Naval divers from Kochi have joined the rescue operations.

At least 19 persons, who either swam to safety or were rescued, are under treatment in various hospitals. Their condition was stated to be out of danger, police said.

The exact toll would be known only when the bus, portion of which got stuck in the muddy riverbed, is lifted out.

The bus coming to Kottayam from Cherthala first hit an electric post and plunged head on into the deep river.

Four of the deceased had been identified; hospital sources said adding the conductor of the bus was among the dead.

Rajan, a survivor, said the vehicle was travelling at normal speed along the narrow road. It hit the electric post, went out of control and fell into the river.

“I cannot say how I escaped, except that it was due to grace of God,” said Rajan, who managed to come out through the backdoor as he was sitting in the rear seat.

He put the number of passengers in the bus at the time of the mishap at 35 to 40.

Kerala Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said entire official machinery had been geared up for rescue work. Ministers of Transport, Health and Public Works rushed to the spot on hearing the news.

—hindustantimes

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Course for jobless youth

Hyderabad: Osmania University is organising “Entrepreneurship Development Programme” for the unemployed graduates who passed degree, post-graduates in diploma, engineering, medicine, pharmacy, management, etc. from March 29 at the Entrepreneurship Development Cell in the campus.

The duration of course is four weeks. Those interested can call telephone nos. 2707 2427 and 99857 94338.

APPSC announces exam schedule

HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission on Monday announced the written examination schedule for the recruitment of junior lecturers in government junior colleges, Group I preliminary, Group IV service for hostel welfare officers and Group IV service junior assistants and supervisors/matrons.

The dates of the examinations are July 4, 25, August 8 and October 3 respectively, a press release issued by the Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission secretary stated here.

Polluted water kills more people than war: UN

A rag picker collecting waste polythenes from polluted waters of Yamuna River in New Delhi. Polluted water is a major health hazard to millions.

Polluted drinking water claim more lives than all forms of violence, including war, a UN report has said, highlighting the need for clean water.

The report, released on the occasion of World Water Day by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) on Monday, said one child under the age of five dies every 20 seconds from water-related diseases.

According to the report titled ‘Sick Water’, the sheer scale of dirty water means more people now die from contaminated and polluted water than from all forms of violence including wars.

“These deaths are an affront to our common humanity, and undermine the efforts of many countries to achieve their development potential,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message marking Word Water Day.

“Day after day, we pour millions of tons of untreated sewage and industrial and agricultural wastes into the world’s water systems. And the poor continue to suffer first and most from pollution, water shortages and the lack of adequate sanitation.”

The report said that some two million tons of waste is being discharged daily into rivers and seas causing the spread of disease and damage of ecosystems.

The report has described wastewater as a “cocktail of fertilizer run-off and sewage disposal alongside animal, industrial, agricultural and other wastes”.

“If the world is to thrive, let alone to survive on a planet of six billion people heading to over nine billion by 2050, we need to get collectively smarter and more intelligent about how we manage waste including waste waters,” said Achim Steiner, the head of the UNEP.

“The facts and figures are stark – pollution from wastewater is quite literally killing people, indeed at least 1.8 million children die annually as a result of contaminated water,” he added.

Notably, the UN has declared 2005-2015 as the International Decade for Action “Water for Life.”

Founder of India’s Maoist rebellion commits suicide: police

A founder member of the radical Maoist insurgency that has plagued large parts of India for 40 years committed suicide on Tuesday in the village where the movement was formed, police said.

Kanu Sanyal, 78, was found hanging in his hut in Naxalbari, 600 kilometres (370 miles) from Kolkata, in the eastern state of West Bengal.

“He committed suicide by hanging himself and we are investigating the case,” senior police officer Surojit Kar Purokaysatha told AFP.

Sanyal and Charu Majumdar established the extreme left-wing peasant uprising in 1967 in Naxalbari — giving Indian Maoist rebels their name “Naxalites”.

The insurgency is now active in 20 out of 28 states with strongholds in a so-called “Red Corridor” stretching across north and eastern India.

India’s government, which sees the Maoist rebels as its biggest internal security threat, has launched offensives against them in recent months but has failed to curb their operations.

At least 900 people died in Maoist attacks in 2009, the highest figure since 1971.

The Maoists have used administrative power vacuums and under-development to establish control over large tracts of land across state boundaries.

In February, the government gave a cautious response to a rebel offer of peace talks, saying the insurgents must first stop their attacks and make a formal proposal.

Can China live without Google?

BEIJING: Google’s decision to withdraw from China showcases a war between the biggest search engine company and the biggest Internet market in the 

world, and questions are being raised in China if they can survive without the giant.

Google’s decision will potentially cut off the country’s 400 million users, the world’s biggest Web audience, but some opinions in the country suggest that the loss may not mean “darkness”, as the western media is putting it.

These opinions also suggest that Google does not “dominate” Chinese people’s lives, and local search engines, including Baidu, can possibly take over in future.

“I’m not sure if Google knows that its arrogance can easily remind the Chinese people of the “big powers” who cracked open China’s door by warships and cannons in the 19th century. The reason those invaders could make the Qing government sign unfair treaties is that they owned advance weapons that China didn’t have,” an opinion piece in China Daily said.

“Google didn’t understand that they had been on the road of the big powers again. The only difference was military weapons in the past and Internet service today,” it added.

The opinions further highlight that “Google has challenged the Chinese government’s sovereignty by demanding the government accept Google’s presumed definition on opening up”, adding that “China has always been in a developing mode that shows no signs of stopping.”

Meanwhile, Ed Burnette, a columnist from adnet.com under the Columbia Broadcasting System Corp (CBS) said it was “a pity and an avoidable mistake” for Google to retreat from China.

He also believes that it is “arrogant thinking to assume that we know what’s best for China, and our values can still work well in that very different culture; and it’s an ignorant idea to believe threats and ultimatums can bring positive results, especially from such proud and sufficient people.”

Produce Nithyananda case documents: HC to police

Bangalore: In a response to the plea filed by scandal-tainted Swami Nithyananda, seeking quashing of the police cases against him, the Karnataka High Court ordered the state police to produce all documents related to the cases

The judge, Arali Nagaraj, also posted the matter for further hearing to Mar 25.

Ramanagaram district police has slapped several charges on the godman after a sex tape showing Nithyananda in compromising position with Tamil actress Ranjitha hit the media on Mar 2, leading to widespread protests and outrage among the followers.

Seeking squashing of all the charges he faces, Swami Nithyananda submitted a writ petition in the High Court contending that he was innocent and that the whole controversy was a conspiracy tailored by his driver Kurup Lenin done to defame him and his ashram.

OneIndia News