Oct 8, 2010

Chinese Human Rights Worker Liu Xiaobo wins Nobel Peace Prize 2010

China's 11 years imprisoned and dissident Human Rights Worker Liu Xiaobo has won the Nobel Peace Prize 2010.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee in their citation  declared that "It has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2010 to Liu Xiaobo for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China".

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has long believed that there is a close connection between human rights and peace. Such rights are a prerequisite for the "fraternity between nations" of which Alfred Nobel wrote in his will.

Over the past decades, China has achieved economic advances to which history can hardly show any equal. The country now has the world's second largest economy; hundreds of millions of people have been lifted out of poverty. Scope for political participation has also broadened.

China's new status must entail increased responsibility. China is in breach of several international agreements to which it is a signatory, as well as of its own provisions concerning political rights. Article 35 of China's constitution lays down that "Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration". In practice, these freedoms have proved to be distinctly curtailed for China's citizens.

For over two decades, Liu Xiaobo has been a strong spokesman for the application of fundamental human rights also in China. He took part in the Tiananmen protests in 1989; he was a leading author behind Charter 08, the manifesto of such rights in China which was published on the 60th anniversary of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 10th of December 2008. The following year, Liu was sentenced to eleven years in prison and two years' deprivation of political rights for “inciting subversion of state power". Liu has consistently maintained that the sentence violates both China's own constitution and fundamental human rights.

The campaign to establish universal human rights also in China is being waged by many Chinese, both in China itself and abroad. Through the severe punishment meted out to him, Liu has become the foremost symbol of this wide-ranging struggle for human rights in China.

Somdev clears his way for CWG 2010 Men's Tennis Singles Final


Top seed Somdev Devvarman (IND) has assured of at least a Silver medal in the Men's Tennis Singles in the 19th Commonwealth Games 2010 at Delhi after he stormed into the Final with a straight-sets win over third seed Matthew Ebden (AUS) here today.

The world number 97 outplayed world number 165 Ebden, 6-3, 6-1, in one hour and 11 minutes at the Centre Court of the R.K. Khanna Tennis Stadium. His next opponent will also be an Australian as the other semifinal is an all-Australian affair between second seed Peter Luczak and fifth seed Greg Jones.

Unlike previous matches, the semifinal featured long rallies but Somdev had strong enough legs and stamina to outlast his opponent. Ebden was coming into this match after playing an energy-sapping three-setter against England's Joshua Goodall and perhaps had not recovered from the gruelling encounter.

Nevertheless, he did pose some questions for Somdev but the top seed was equipped with enough answers.The match never rose to expected highs ever since Ebden dropped his serve in the first game. The Australian slowly picked up but Somdev gradually tightened his grip over the match to make it to the Finals.

Rugby Sevens competition to hold at CWG 2010 on 11 and 12 October

The Rugby Sevens competition considered as an important event of the 19th Commonwealth Games 2010 will be held at Delhi University of India on 11 and 12 October.

Rugby Sevens to be highlighted by the numbers as mentioned here:

2016 - Rugby Sevens will be an Olympic Sport for the first time at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
1998 - Rugby Sevens appeared for the first time at the Commonwealth Games in 1998.

1883 - The first Rugby Sevens tournament was played at Melrose, Scotland, in 1883.

100 - A playing field of a Rugby Sevens match is 100 metres long and 70 metres wide, excluding the in-goal area.

91 - The total number of players to have won a CWG medal in Rugby Sevens.

40 - Conversion attempts, by drop-goal, must be taken within 40 seconds of scoring a try.

12 - A Rugby Sevens squad consists of 12 players - seven on the pitch and five substitutes.

5 - Five different CGAs have won a medal in Rugby Sevens.

3 - New Zealand have won all three Commonwealth Games titles since 1998. One player, Amasio Valence, was present in all three tournaments for New Zealand.

2 - The Rugby Sevens tournament at the Delhi 2010 is played over two days.

1 - Netball and Rugby Sevens are the only sports to have only one Gold medal at stake at the Delhi Games.

Deepika, Dola and Bombayala Devi win gold in Women's Archery Recurve

The troika of Deepika Kumari, Dola Banerjee and Bombayala Devi Laishram  added gold medal  to  the host Indian athletes records of  bagging the yellow metal by winning in the Women's Archery Recurve event of the 19th Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi today.
Deepika Kumari, Dola Banerjee and Bombayala Devi Laishram
 The Women Recurve team defeated England 207-206 in a thrilling final at the Yamuna Sport Complex here as India's Gold medal tally swelled to 15.

Earlier in the morning, the Indian Women team beat Malaysia 213-185 in the semi-finals.

Yesterday, the Indian compound archers had claimed a Silver and a Bronze in the Men's and Women's team events respectively.

Gold may trade in a $1,325 and $1,340 range for one session

Gold may trade in a $1,325 and $1,340 range for one session before dropping toward $1,315 an ounce, as a sharp fall is generally followed by a mild consolidation, said Wang Tao, a Reuters market analyst. 
 
Spot gold was little changed at $1,333.20 an ounce by 0303 GMT, off the $1,364.6 peak hit on Thursday. Gold is set for a 1.2 percent rise from a week earlier, the fourth consecutive week of gains.

Spot gold was steady on Friday, after staging its biggest daily loss in two months in the previous session triggered by a rebound in the dollar, as the market awaits a key U.S. payrolls data for indications on the state of the economy.

New U.S. jobless claims fell to a near three-month low, data showed, shoring up the U.S. dollar. Still, it was not strong enough to diffuse speculation on more monetary easing from the Federal Reserve.

Investors are eyeing the all-important U.S. non-farm payrolls for September due later in the day, which were expected to be unchanged, according to economists polled by Reuters.

"Consolidation is coming. We've been expecting some correction for some time," said a Hong Kong-based dealer. "People are using the non-farm payrolls data today as an excuse to sell."

"But the bullish trend is still here. We still have low interest rates, and the economy is not stable -- the old story."

Expectations the Fed will pour more money into the economy and worries about inflationary pressure looming ahead have attracted investors to seek safe haven in gold.

Central banks are expected to be net buyers of gold in 2011 for the first time in nearly 20 years, the World gold Council said on Thursday.

For a 24-hour gold technical outlook:

Adding to the bullish sentiment, AngloGold Ashanti (ANGJ.J), the world's third-largest gold miner, said it has eliminated its hedge book, and is bullish on gold prices for next year.

China's financial markets returned after a week-long holiday. The 99.99 grade gold on the Shanghai Gold Exchange rose about 1.5 percent to 286.35 yuan ($42.79) a gram.

Spot gold hit record highs in four out of five sessions when China was out, and rose about two percent during the period.

"Gold prices in China are a bit reluctant to chase the record-high prices because the yuan has been appreciating while the dollar has been falling," said Wu Jun, an analyst at Shanghai CIFCO Futures.

"Gold priced in yuan is not as strong as gold priced in the dollar."

The fourth quarter traditionally marks strong demand for gold, in jewelry and investment, Wu said. Investment demand may rise faster, as investors seek new channels after Beijing tries to squeeze speculation out of the red hot property market.

Spot silver fell to a two-day low of $22.31 an ounce, and was trading at $22.56, poised for a 2.3 percent weekly gain.

The Relative Strength Index on silver, or RSI, dropped to just below 70, from above 70 previously, a sign of an overbought market.

Courtesy: www.reuters.com/article

Jamaican L. Clarke titled Fastest Man of Delhi Commonwealth Games

Jamaican Leron Clarke became the fastest man of the 19th Commonwealth Games 2010 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi clocking the second quickest time of 10.12 seconds on the Indian soil.

In the men's event, Clarke won Gold recording the second fastest time in India after the 10.10 s by Samuel Francis of Qatar in the 2007 World Military Games in Hyderabad.

Clarke led the eight-man field from the beginning after being the third fastest to kick out of the block and he eased through the finishing line with his hands raised.

His 10.12s effort was a tad less than his season's best of 10.10s and also below his personal best of 9.99s.

Englishman Mark Lewis Francis, who won a Silver in the European Championships, was second with a timing of 10.2 s while Trinidad and Tobago's Aaron Armstrong was third with 10.24s.

Addressing a press conference after the 100 m dash at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Clarke said he practised hard for the Games and the slew of star pull outs can't take away the sheen from his triumph.

"It is the Commonwealth Games, it is a big thing. I will take that way," he told reporters after clocking 10.12 s".
"I had practised hard for this event and it's an awesome feeling that I have won a Commonwealth Games Gold. I had never felt bad," he said.
Lewis-Francis, who won Silver in the European Championships in July, said he and his coach and former Commonwealth Games Gold medallist Linford Christie, was gearing up for the mega-event and he was happy that he bagged his only second medal in a big competition.
"I was waiting for this event and my coach was telling to go for this. So I am happy that I won my second medal of any big event (after the European Championships). I ran a very good race though I am not taking anything away from Leron's win," he added.
   
Clarke and Lewis-Francis were also felt there were no deficiencies in the facilities at the Games Village and at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, saying they were world class.
   
Asked the Games Village, Clarke said, "I had not raised anything against the Games Village. I felt great about the Games Village, the food and the training areas. I have no issues."
Lewis-Francis was effusive in his praise of the facilities, saying that his Silver win  will be something to be remembered in his career.
"This is the best venue I have ever run a race. The track is fast and the stadium is superb and the crowd is fantastic. This is the only second time I have won a medal in a big event, I am going to remember this for a long time," he said.

Oct 5, 2010

Test Tube Baby Maker Robert Edwards wins 2010 Nobel Prize in Medicine

Test Tube Baby pioneer and professor emeritus of Cambridge Robert Edwards of Britain has won the 2010 Nobel Prize in medicine on Monday for developing in-vitro fertilization, a breakthrough that opened out heated controversy in the 1970s but has helped millions of infertile couples since then have children.

Professor Robert Edwards with his fellow Patrick Steptoe tried to provide the touch of satisfaction, peace and completeness of life in the hearts of the millions of couples over the world.   

Edwards, an 85-year-old professor emeritus at the University of Cambridge, started working on IVF as early as the 1950s. He developed the technique - in which egg cells are removed from a woman, fertilized outside her body and then implanted into the womb - together with British gynecologist surgeon Patrick Steptoe, who died in 1988.

On July 25, 1978, Louise Brown in Britain became the first baby born through the groundbreaking procedure, marking a revolution in fertility treatment.

"(Edwards') achievements have made it possible to treat infertility, a medical condition afflicting a large proportion of humanity, including more than 10 percent of all couples worldwide," the medicine prize committee in Stockholm said in its citation.

"Approximately 4 million individuals have been born thanks to IVF," the citation said. "Today, Robert Edwards' vision is a reality and brings joy to infertile people all over the world."

Today, the probability that an infertile couple will take home a baby after a cycle of IVF is 1 in 5, about the same odds that healthy couples have of conceiving naturally.

Prize committee secretary Goran Hansson said Edwards was not in good health and would not be giving interviews on Monday.

"I spoke to his wife and she was delighted and she was sure he would be delighted too," Hansson told reporters in Stockholm.

Steptoe and Edwards developed IVF from the early beginning experiments into a practical course of medical and founded the first IVF clinic at Bourn Hall in Cambridge in 1980.

Their work stirred a "lively ethical debate," the citation said, with many religious leaders and some scientists demanding the project be stopped. When the British Medical Research Council declined funding, a private donation allowed Steptoe and Edwards to continue their research.

In a statement, Bourn Hall said one of Edwards' proudest moments was discovering that 1,000 IVF babies had been born at the clinic since Brown, and relaying that information to a seriously ill Steptoe shortly before his death in 1988.

"I'll never forget the look of joy in his eyes," Edwards said.

Oct 4, 2010

India for shinning image through Grand opening of 19th Commonwealth Games

The world finally saw a spectacular grand opening ceremony of the ever largest 19th Commonwealth Games full with Indian culture and heritage staged and aired at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium of New Delhi on Sunday afternoon.

Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium gleamed with multi-colored lights as representatives from Commonwealth countries walked the length of the field by turns, waving their flags and wearing traditional native costumes.

It's the first time India has hosted the international sporting event between countries of the former British Empire. The games, held every four years, include many Olympic events as well as other sports played traditionally in those countries.

Britain's Prince Charles and Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil officially declared the games open. Prince Charles was representing his mother, Queen Elizabeth.

As the spotlight shines on the country, a team official of the nation's bowling team was suspected of having dengue fever, a mosquito-borne viral disease.

Ruptu Gogoi is undergoing tests and the doctor will get the results Sunday evening, said Dr. Om Bharti, who was on duty at GB Pant hospital.

Despite the setback, the event began as planned.

Excitement filled the air in New Delhi after days of fears that India simply would not be ready in time. Athletes had expressed alarm over the poor condition of their village. Others charged shoddy construction and slammed the government for corruption.

The games give India an opportunity to promote a shiny image as an emerging power. The government spent billions on a new international airport, additional metro lines and fresh landscaping along dingy Delhi roads.

Still, India remains a country with millions of poor people, who feel brushed aside as the new India tried to put its best face forward.

People like Shanti, a 65-year-old beggar, who said she was detained by police for sitting on the side of a street, where she always sits, hoping that passers-by will drop a few coins in her hands. Or Mala Mangla, who sells balloons on the streets. She said police have told her to disappear for at least a month.

India, they said, was trying to hide them from foreign visitors. They said beggars have been warned to stay off the streets. So have vendors and children who are commonly seen going from car to car begging. And shanties have been torn down.

"There has been a very strong movement by the government .. to get rid of the filth and to portray the beautified and shining India," said Maushmi Basu, a migrant worker activist.

The Indian government maintains that it respects the rights of the poor. But there are also laws against begging and putting up structures without proper permits.

The games have been a tough act for a nation that has never hosted such a large international event.

Parliament has been forced to deal with accusations of corruption in the planning of the games.

Two weeks ago, gunmen fired on a tourist bus in New Delhi and injured two Taiwanese tourists. A car blaze turned out to be a crudely manufactured bomb. And a militant group warned that it planned to target the games.

Indian law enforcement authorities responded with a heightened security plan, placing thousands of extra forces on the streets of the capital.

If all that weren't enough, two days before athletes were scheduled to begin arriving, complaints rang out across the globe about their shoddy living quarters.

"You know, construction dust is still there, filth, excrement, it really is disgusting in parts and it really requires a professional deep clean throughout the entire complex," said Michael Hooper, chief executive officer of the Commonwealth Games Federation.

As if to amplify Hooper's complaint, a pedestrian bridge leading to Nehru stadium collapsed that same day. India's image was slipping faster than a rocket.

Two world-class athletes canceled their trips, citing security and health concerns. Entire teams threatened to do the same, while others delayed their arrival date.

Indian officials went to work on a massive clean-up effort. In the end, athletes from 71 countries showed up and have settled in.

India still wants to make a lasting impression on its visitors.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit said she hoped the Commonwealth Games would leave a legacy that will ultimately make life more comfortable for the residents of India's sprawling capital -- rich and poor.

Organizers certainly hope that with opening ceremonies Sunday, the glow will wipe out the gloom.