Archive for the ‘world’ Category

Our World: India blames militants for bloody bombings

August 26, 2007

Hyderabad – Indian security forces launched a manhunt on Sunday for those behind twin bombings in the southern city of Hyderabad that killed 42 people, with some officials blaming Islamic militants.More than 50 others were injured in the blasts late on Saturday, which ripped through a packed street eatery in this mixed Hindu-Muslim city and an outdoor amusement park auditorium where hundreds were watching a sound and light show.

Federal authorities deployed paramilitary forces to the city, the capital of Andhra Pradesh state, to ensure ethnic tensions did not flare up following the near-simultaneous attacks, for which no one has yet claimed responsibility.

“The death toll now is 42. More than 50 people are being treated in various hospitals,” the state’s home minister K. Jana Reddy told reporters.

‘I saw limbs flying around me’

“The victims are from all sections of society – they included Hindus and Muslims,” chief minister Y.S. Rajshekhar Reddy said.

More than a dozen of the wounded were in serious condition.

“One terrorist group or the other, which is bent on destroying the unity of the country, is certainly involved,” said Sriprakash Jaiswal, India’s minister of state for home.

Reddy said “available information” pointed to the involvement of terrorist organisations based in neighbouring Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The chief minister hinted that those behind the blasts were linked to a deadly bombing three months ago at the 17th-century Mecca Mosque in the city of 6.5 million people, 40 percent of whom are Muslim.

Eleven people were killed in the attack. No one has claimed responsibility, although several people have been detained over their alleged role.

“Maybe same organisations or sister organisations” are involved, Reddy told CNN-IBN television. “There is some definite link.”

“We have launched a manhunt for those who committed this dastardly crime,” Hyderabad police chief Balwinder Singh said.

India’s federal home minister Shivraj Patil revealed that authorities had “bits of information” before Saturday that an attack was being planned, but they did not know a “time and place.” He declined to blame Islamic militants.

Security was beefed up here Sunday, as 10 000 Hindu weddings were planned on what is seen as an auspicious day, police said. Police had located another bomb in a cinema on Saturday and defused it before it exploded.

Forensic experts were also dispatched to aid local efforts to trace the culprits.

On Saturday, rescue workers carried out bodies burnt beyond recognition at the popular eatery. At the auditorium, severed arms and legs lay scattered around.

“I saw limbs flying around me and blood splattering,” 29-year-old Romanna, who goes by one name, told AFP as she waited for help for a chest wound outside the amusement park.

There was chaos at the city’s main Osmania hospital as wailing relatives thronged the hallways, searching for their missing loved ones.

After an emergency cabinet meeting, Reddy announced compensation of 500 000 rupees for families of those killed.

India has suffered a series of recent blasts that authorities have blamed on Islamic militants seeking to upset a peace process between India and Pakistan and stir Hindu-Muslim violence.

“We’re seeing a pattern of attacks every two to three months somewhere or other in the country on soft targets,” said Ajai Sahni, head of the New Delhi-based Institute for Conflict Management.

In the deadliest, seven blasts on the rail network in the country’s financial hub Mumbai killed 186 people in July 2006.

Indian authorities say they believe Pakistan-based guerrilla groups fighting its rule in Indian Kashmir are using Indian Muslim militants to stage attacks.

The attacks “appear to be linked to what we call Pakistan-backed Islamic terrorist groups,” said analyst Sahni. Pakistan, which has fought two wars over Kashmir with India, routinely denies any involvement in attacks on Indian soil.

This is from http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=126&art_id=nw20070826200252816C247177

Our World: A new idea

August 26, 2007

A new daily section about our world

YouTube vs. Viacom: then come Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart

August 18, 2007

YouTube vs. Viacom: into the ring come Colbert and Stewart

 

By Joshua S. Hill

Thursday, August 16, 2007

It was only a matter of time before a big entertainment conglomerate attempted to bring their full weight down on the head of internet video giant YouTube, and it was Viacom – the company behind MTV,Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central – that has made the first move. With a twist though, as they have sided with The Football Association Premier League Ltd and indie music label Bourne Co.

Filed with the New York federal court, the suit alleges that YouTube is“…pursuing a deliberate strategy of engaging in, permitting, encouraging, and facilitating massive copyright infringement on the YouTube website”.

The aim of the suit is to draw Google in to a stranglehold where its ability to publish any content is severely restricted. Any further restrictions set upon the YouTube design will mean slower upload times, more checks along the way and less freedom for those who are actually providing decent content. In addition the suit hopes to acquire unspecified damages for past violations.

Thankfully though, Google has deep, deep pockets; really deep! And they’ve announced that they want to depose approximately 30 people, including well known and beloved comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. The two funny men, whose shows are broadcast over the Viacom network’s Comedy Central, are surprising additions to a list that includes Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone and CEO Philippe Dauman.

No doubt Viacom will be arguing shortly that the deposition of these two funny men is entirely irrelevant to the case, however pundits – including this humble reporter – disagree. In fact these two may very well be the lynch pin in a case that could very well change the face of the internet as we currently know it.

It is well known that both comedians are big fans of YouTube, with Stewart often showcasing funny clips found on the social networking video site on his own show, whereas Stephen Colbert has openly asked people to spread his work across the internet, using YouTube and other video sites. Why have they focused so much attention on this website? The answer is simple, because they understand where media is heading, and what needs to happen so that television stars like themselves can stay in business.

The issue is of course the fact that Viacom – along with many of the major industry heavies across the television, movie and music spectrum – are literally entirely clueless when it comes to the future. They are so wrapped up in the current way of doing things that they are unable to see what is happening outside of their bubble. They receive reports that their ratings are dropping, and that this “internet” thing is picking up speed – “as if it will last”.

Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart may never make it to an official setting, but they have already made themselves an intrinsic part of the debate that will no doubt be waged for several years to come. We can only sit back and hope that the noise we make from out here in the bleachers is heard all the way up in their tall towers.

A Geek’s-Geek from Melbourne, Australia, Josh is an aspiring author with dreams of publishing his epic fantasy, currently in the works, sometime in the next 5 years. A techie, nerd, sci-fi nut and bookworm, Josh can be found at JoshSHill.com for his personal blog, or atMyWritingVoice.com for his writing blog.

WESITE:  http://www.canadafreepress.com/2007/hill081607.htm

Skypes flying high again, but not everywhere

August 17, 2007

Skype Update: All Systems Go?

by nowsourcing · 5 hours ago

The Skype blog has been reporting that some parts of the world are back up and running.

On my end (as of 10:30am EST), I’ve finally been able to have my first successful Skype messaging back up! Very happy to see the service running again – didn’t realize how dependent people are on it.