Dec 30, 2011

Tahrir Square turned into World Democracy Square in 2011

How many people sacrificed their lives in 2011 for democracy in Egypt! It is a big question over the world that how many were killed. Everyone knows one name “Tahrir Square”. It can be named as World Democracy Square where hundreds of democracy loving people sacrificed their lives to get free from dictatorship in the year 2011.
Different sources said that though comparatively less number of people who embraced martyr in the fight for democracy but it touched at least 846 and 6,000 people were also injured.
Democracy may be the only solution for salvation of a nation. The flows of bloods over the high ways of Tahrir Square reminisce the picture of fight for democracy over the world. It envisages that people can put their lives for free of thinking and free of speech.
They gathered there defying military bullet for security of democracy. It will be a lesson for all democracy loving people over the world for hundreds of years.
It was January 17, 2011. An young man set ablaze to his own body in front of parliament building protesting the misrule of President Hosne Mobarak. The flame speeded out its action over the country.  On the next, thousands of people took the street in Cairo on January 27, 011. In its own sequence, the movement took a momentum on February 02, 2011 when hundreds of thousands people gathered at Tahrir Square where Military men opened fire showing irresponsibility and hundred were killed.
The movement took its high in the face of serial killing and Mr Mubarak step down after his 30 years of rule and handed over power to military on February 11, 2011.    
The new military government committed to arrange a free and fair election within very short time. But they did not stay in their commitment. On November 18, 2011 people returned to the Tahrir Square and demanded election when the Egyptian military also opened fire over the people. But defying killer bullet people stayed until declaration of election date till November 25, 2011.
Parliamentary election is currently being held in Egypt to the People's Assembly from 28 November, 2011 - 11 January, 2012,[1] following the revolution that ousted President Hosni Mubarak, following which the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces dissolved the parliament of Egypt.
Originally, the election was scheduled to be held in September 2011, but was postponed amid concerns the established parties would gain undue advantage.
In late 2010, a parliamentary election was held, though it was followed by controversy and repression as well as accusations of fraud.
Following similar events in Tunisia during the Arab Spring, Egyptian activists called for protesters to turn up in cities around Egypt on various specially-designated days of rages. Though violence was reported at some points, protests were largely peaceful with the army staying quiet until  February 10, 2011, when calls for Husni Mubarak to resign were at their peak.

 The following day, Vice President Omar Suleiman announced Mubarak's resignation from the presidency while turning power over to the military. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, headed by Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi would lead the country for a transitional period until a civilian government takes over.
A constitutional referendum was then approved on March 19, 2011 that would ease the process of electing a president.
The election to the People's Assembly will take place on the following dates:
First stage: 28–29 November, run-off on 5–6 December;
Second stage: 14–15 December, run-off on 21–22 December;
Third stage: 3–4 January, run-off on 10–11 January.
There are a total 508 seats in the Lower house: 498 seats are elected, and 10 seats appointed, in this case, by the Military Council, and usually by the President.
The Muslim Brotherhood announced on February 15, 2011 that it would form the Freedom and Justice Party to run in the election. Together with 27 other parties representing diverse political families, the Freedom and Justice Party formed the Democratic Alliance for Egypt.
After several defections and entries, the Freedom and Justice Party-dominated coalition settled on 11 parties. The FJP fielded the overwhelming majority of the candidates, and all the Democratic Alliance for Egypt joint candidates are running under the FJP label.
As a reaction to this centre-right alliance, the different liberal democratic and centrist parties intensified cooperation. Five parties drafted a joint statement criticising the current electoral law and proposing a new one.
On August 16 of 2011, 15 political and social movements, some of which defected from the Democratic Alliance for Egypt, announced the Egyptian Bloc electoral alliance. It consists of liberal, secularist, and centre-left political parties, as well as social organisations and labour unions, and also the traditional Islamic Sufi Liberation Party. Its main objective is to prevent an imminent electoral victory of the Muslim Brotherhood, respectively Freedom and Justice Party.
After suffering many defections, the remaining Egyptian Bloc parties are: the Free Egyptians Party, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party and the National Progressive Unionist Party (Tagammu).

Now, after voting of the two phases of election, Muslim Brotherhood, respectively Freedom and Justice Party recorded a landslide victory in 49% seats as they gained 3,565,092 out of total 9,734,513 votes and 73 seats out of 150 seats in the first turn over of voting and 48% seats in the 2nd turn over of voting as they gained 4,058,498 out of total 11,173,818 votes and 71 seats out of 148 seats.
Salafi Islamist under the political party of Al-Nour placed them selves in the second position of the voting race. They won 20% seats as they gained 2,371,713 out of total 9,734,513 votes and 30 seats out of 150 seats in the first turn over of voting and much better bagging 28% seats in the 2nd turn over of voting as they gained 3,216,430 out of total 11,173,818 votes and 41 seats out of 148 seats.
When all other parties could gain only 31% seats in 1st phase and 24% seats in 2nd phase of the election.
The final phase of the election to be held during January first week and result to be published in the 2nd week of the January 2012.
Now, we have to wait to see whether democracy is recovered through supreme sacrifice of Egyptians or another dictator has been waiting to grab peoples’ power. 

In quest of a democratic world in 2012

Democratic state and society is precondition for total development of a country. Democracy is the thumb for sustainable development. Democracy is the motto for humanism and balanced society. Any decision would be taken showing honor to the opinion of maximum people of any society or state or organization which is called democracy.   

Democracy only can ensure peace, progress, justice and achievement. It can also ensure right for all strata of human being.

So it is necessary to ensure that the peoples verdict, support, opinion and expectation is presented correctly and impartially. What peoples are expecting through their opinion should be depicted correctly. There should not be any way or process that peoples support and verdict is showed after changes fully or partially. This is a great challenge for the developing and under developed countries to ensure that peoples verdict is representing any decision.

Misled democracy:

In most of the cases during formation of government which we see that peoples verdict is changed in the under-developed and developing countries through unauthorized handling of any powerful organ like Election Commission (EC) or Army of the concerned country with close instigate of nearest upper trended country which lead to even civil war of many countries.

This kind of broken democracy leads a country to instability in their social structure, financial bodies, political organizations, constitutional institutions and in every cases of life.

This kind of dictatorship can do all evil in the name of raped democracy. It allows any injustice in the name of justice. Liking and disliking of ruling hoodlums command all sectors even the issues related to human rights like government appointment, jobs, services, violation of constitutional rights like deprivation in respect of cast, colour, religion, birth, everything what they wish  and also judgment in court as per wish of the rulers.

So dictator in the way of misled democracy that means when democracy is snatched or hijacked through different powers in evil ways like changing of peoples right, verdict and opinion over the night.

It is very dangerous because this kind of government emblems themselves as democratic one and try to find support of the developed and democracy loving countries but actually they are not elected one. So they get most of the support of many countries as democratically elected government though they are absolutely have come in power through conspiracy of changing peoples’ verdict.

This kind of political parties or government formed by them encourages them to do more oppression on the general people of the country. They can not hold peoples expectation, values, wishes and mind.

Middle East Incidents:
Peoples and their movements specially memorizes us the state of democracy in the most oil enriched countries of the world like Egypt, Yemen, Syria and Libya.    

A number of republics embracing Arab Socialism, such as Syria and Egypt, regularly hold elections, but critics assert that these are single-party states or unfair dominant-party systems and not full multi-party systems. Multi party system could not evolve in these countries due to oppression from ruling party which is mainly family based. They are the controller of all civil and military power.

Most importantly they do not allow citizens to choose between different candidates for presidency election. The constitution of modern Egypt has always given the president a virtual monopoly over the decision making process, devoting 30 articles (15 percent of the whole constitution) to presidential prerogatives.

According to the constitution, the Egyptian president's powers are equivalent to those of the prime minister in parliamentary systems and to the president of the French Fifth Republic.

Yemen, Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority, while also partly accepting this ideology, are generally considered more democratic than other states that do so, but the power of institutions in the latter two are limited by the domination of Syria and Israel, respectively.

Absolute monarchy is more common in the Middle East than elsewhere, and even a number of kingdoms with parliaments have been claimed to fall broadly under this category. Saudi Arabia and most other kingdoms on the Arabian Peninsula are usually considered absolute monarchies. When one looks at the Arab states of the Middle East in comparison to countries around the world, the endurance of their authoritarian systems seems extraordinary.

Although personalistic regimes have fallen throughout sub-Saharan Africa, for example, the Middle East displays a wealth of similarly corrupt dictatorships that remain in power.

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi compelled to leave power after taking thousands of lives. It was not absolutely unessential for him because he could leave power even when the movement for democracy was mounted and people of his country were not accepting him as ruler.

The parallel condition we see in many countries of Africa. The democracy is marginally practiced there as like of eyewash.

Many Asian countries are also prey of this showing democracy like Bangladesh when they were affected by Army backed interim government on January 11, 2007 for 90 days firstly then it was prolonged for two years ending on January 06, 2009. During their regime, an election was held in the country on December 29, 2008. In the result of the election they published a one sided result to save themselves from any punishment through winning Awami League (AL) who backed that interim government when they came in power in 2007.

The same kind of scenario we see in Pakistan at different times. Myanmar is the most hard here to give state power to its people.   

Transparency in right depiction of peoples’ verdict can ensure rule of law only. Millions of peoples wait for an election to lead a country as per the expectation of the people. But peoples’ expectation and target go in despair when their verdict is snatched, support is changed in evil way, repression escalated to suppress them, constitutional rights are denied to grasp in power.

We can hear a slogan only over the world that please make ensure the rule of people which is mostly famous in the name of democracy. It should not be eyewash but it ought to be in real sense only. 

Dec 14, 2011

Data transfer speed hits 186 Gbps, Scientists claim

Researchers are claiming a new world record for data transfers over long distances. Data was moved back and forth at a combined rate of 186 Gbps (gigabits per second), fast enough to transfer two million gigabytes of data or 100,000 full Blu-ray discs in one day.

It could pave the way for networks with standard speeds of 100 Gbps. That would speed up the sharing of scientific research, such as that at the Large Hadron Collider. 

The tests involved sending data between the University of Victoria in Victoria, British Columbia, and the Washington State Convention Centre in Seattle. The team achieved two-way data rates of 186 Gbps, breaking their previous record of 119 Gbps set in 2009.

The data's fastest speed in a single direction was 98 Gbps. By contrast current fibre optic networks have a top speed of about 1 Gbps. The distances spanned nearly 131 miles (212km) and relied on the latest optical equipment, highly tuned servers and ran over a 100Gbps circuit, set up by CANARIE, Canada's Advanced Research and Innovation Network.

In an even larger demonstration, researchers transferred massive amounts of data between a booth at the SuperComputing 2011 conference in Seattle and other locations within the US, Brazil and Korea.

The experiments brought together physicists, computer scientists and network engineers from a range of institutions, including the California Institute of Technology, the University of Victoria, the University of Michigan, the European Centre for Nuclear Research (Cern) and Florida International University.

"Our group and its partners are showing how massive amounts of data will be handled and transported in the future," said Harvey Newman, a professor of physics who headed up the physicist team. 

According to the researchers, the achievement will help establish new ways to transport the increasingly large amounts of data that currently travel via optical fibre networks across continents and under oceans. 

"Having these tools in our hands allows us to engage in realisable visions others do not have. We can see a clear path to a future other cannot yet imagine with any confidence," said Prof Newman.

Fast data transfers are particularly crucial for sharing the work of big scientific projects, such as work at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The LHC has made the headlines this week as scientists announced that they could have seen first glimpses of the elusive Higgs boson particle, believed to be responsible for giving everything in the universe its mass.

At Cern, the group of scientists behind the particle accelerator have so far processed, distributed and analysed more than 100 petabytes of data - over four million Blu-ray discs - in their search for a better understanding of the nature of matter, space and time.

Lasers Data volumes are expected to rise as the team cranks up their efforts and it is crucial to be able to share the data with researchers around the world. Enabling scientists anywhere in the world to work on the LHC data is a key objective of the project as it seeks to solve some of the biggest mysteries of the universe.

"One can think of these 100Gbps links as a huge highway for our data. But we obviously don't ship data just to take it on a cruise: we want to get it from A to B because B will do the number crunching. And that in turn means we now have a huge bandwidth of data to crunch on," said Axel Naumann, one of the LHC scientists.

"The 100Gbps demonstration is pushing the limits of network technology by showing that it is possible to transfer petascale particle physics data in a matter of hours to anywhere around the world," said Randall Sobie, a research scientist at the Institute of Particle Physics in Canada and a team member.

The push for higher data rates in light-based telecommunications technologies has seen a number of significant leaps in recent years. In May, researchers set a new record for the rate of data transfer using a single laser: 26 terabits per second. At those speeds, the contents of nearly 1,000 high-definition DVDs could be sent down an optical fibre in a second.

Paypal to enter discount coupon market

Online payment service Paypal plans to enter the discount coupon market. The eBay-owned business said it planned to launch the service in the US before April 2012. 

Paypal's president, Scott Thompson, told the Bloomberg news agency that his firm would use its knowledge of its 103 million members' past purchases to tailor offers. The move poses a challenge to the sector's two biggest player, Groupon and Livingsocial. 

Daily deal businesses offer their members the chance to buy goods or services - from spa treatments and sushi to cheap flights and theatre tickets - at a steep discount. 

Buyers are usually limited to using the coupons within a restricted time span. The daily dealer business then splits the revenue with the organisation providing the goods. Companies may make a loss on the specific offer, but profit if customers return for repeat business.

Discount deluge According to the daily deal data aggregator Yipit four of the biggest players sold close to $210m (£135m) worth of coupons in the US in October. The firms surveyed were Groupon, Livingsocial, Amazonlocal and Google Offers. 

Mr Thompson said Paypal's service would be "different" because the firm would only offer unique and relevant offers rather than "bombard" its members. 

A spokesman for the company hinted it might launch coupons in the UK soon after the US. "We don't have any specific plans to bring this to the UK at this stage," said spokesman Rob Skinner. "But Britain is Paypal's second biggest market after the United States, and the past shows that the big developments in the US tends to travel across the Atlantic to the UK very quickly." 

Although analysts forecast growth for the sector, they have repeatedly warned that the firms involved are likely to face increasing competition because the barrier to entry is relatively low. 

In the past two years KGB Deals, Time Out, Grabone, the Telegraph newspaper, Discountvouchers, STV and Mightydeals are among those to have started targeting the UK public with discounted coupon offers. 

Signs of attacks still visible!

Signs of the attacks are still visible today in collapsed buildings and bullet holes in walls in Fallujah, a Iraqi city exploded against US invasion  in Iraq firstly.

Two major offensives Fallujah, home to about a half a million people 60km west of Baghdad, was home to some of the first anti-US protests in the aftermath of the 2003 invasion, in May of that year.

When the protests began, residents were content to throw only their shoes at US soldiers, an Arab gesture that signifies anger and disrespect. 

But in March 2004, four US employees of a US private security firm, Blackwater, since renamed Xe and later Academi, were killed in the city, leading to two major offensives by US troops against Fallujah.

Widespread fighting in Fallujah against the occupation begun in 2003, after a controversial event known as the "pupil's" uprising. 

The US military had turned a primary school into their city headquarters in April 2003. When 200 demonstrators gathered outside asking for the school to be reopened, US forces opened fire, killing at least 13 civilians and injuring dozens. 

The US military said they had shot at armed men after being fired upon from nearby rooftops, but marchers insisted their demonstration had been unarmed and peaceful.

In November, a second campaign was launched against the Sunni rebellion, just months before legislative elections in January 2005. Around 2,000 civilians and 140 Americans died, and the battle is considered one of the fiercest for the US since the Vietnam war.

Iraq happy on departure of US army

Peoples of Iraq are happy with the upcoming departure of US and NATO army from their beloved country.     Hundreds of people in the Iraqi city of Fallujah have taken to the streets to celebrate the impending withdrawal of US troops from the country. 

Demonstrators rallied across the city on Wednesday, shouting slogans in support of the "resistance", a reference to the campaign by Iraqi fighters in the city that was a bastion of opposition against the US-led invasion.

Some protesters burned US and Israeli flags while others held up banners and placards inscribed with phrases such as "Now we are free" and "Fallujah is the flame of the resistance".

In the centre of the city surrounded by the Iraqi army, protesters carried posters bearing photos of apparent fighters, faces covered and carrying weapons.

They also held up pictures of US soldiers killed and military vehicles destroyed in the two major offensives against the city in 2004.

The demonstration was dubbed the first annual "festival to celebrate the role of the resistance". The US is due to withdraw the last of its troops from Iraq by the end of the year, more than eight years after the invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, the former President who was executed after a controversial trial in Baghdad.

Dec 13, 2011

US, NATO to leave Iraq by December

US President Barack Obama has declared that American troops will leave Iraq this month "with honour and with their heads held high", while at the same time warning the country's neighbours not to interfere in its progress.

In a press conference with Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq's prime minister, at the White House on Monday, Obama said: "This is a historic moment. A war is ending." The president also said that the US would leave behind a sovereign and self-reliant Iraq, and that the removal of troops after nearly nine years would begin a new chapter in the relationship between the two countries - warning neighbouring nations not to interfere.

"Our strong presence in the Middle East endures," Obama said. "And the United States will never waver in the defence of our allies, our partners and our interests." 

"That is the concern, that at the end of the day the Iraqi officials have much closer ties to the Iranians." Obama said warning Iran to "stay out". 

Obama acknowledged differences between Washington and Baghdad on how to deal with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government's crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators, but said Maliki was acting in Iraq's best interests.

For his part, Maliki thanked the US for its continued assistance in helping rebuild Iraq and said that his country's relationship with the US would not end with the departure of the last US soldier.

Maliki insisted that Iraq would need foreign expertise to help it exploit its natural resources and progress in politics, commerce and education. 

In regards to Syria, Maliki raised concerns about the risk of sectarian violence in that country spilling into Iraq and said that he wanted the Syrian situation resolved peacefully.

As of late last week, the number of US troops in Iraq had dwindled to about 8,000, down from 170,000 at the war's peak in 2007. 

Later on Monday, Obama and Maliki laid wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery, where many of the nearly 4,500 Americans killed in the Iraq war have been buried. 

The war also claimed the lives of at nearly 115,000 Iraqis, according to an estimate by the Brookings Institution in Washington DC, although some estimate the number of civilians killed has been much higher. 

NATO on Monday also announced plans to end its mission in Iraq. "The North Atlantic Council has decided to undertake the permanent withdrawal of the NATO Training Mission-Iraq personnel from Iraq by 31 December 2011," said Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the military alliance's secretary-general.

NATO has about 130 advisers from 13 member nations and from Ukraine in Iraq.

Canada to depart from Kyoto Protocol

Canada will formally withdraw its stand from the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, the country's minister of the environment Peter Kent has said, making it the first nation to pull out of the global treaty. 

The protocol "does not represent a way forward for Canada" and would have forced it to take "radical and irresponsible choices", Mr. Kent said in Toronto on Monday.

He added that it was a mistake for Canada to have signed up for Kyoto: "As we have said, Kyoto for Canada is in the past ... We are invoking our legal right to formally withdraw from Kyoto."

"The Kyoto protocol does not cover the world's two largest emitters, China and the US, and therefore cannot work," he said.

China, which argues that it should be exempt from emissions reduction targets because it is a developing nation, said Canada's decision was "regrettable" and went against international efforts to tackle climate change.

"We hope Canada will face up to its responsibilities and obligations, honour its commitments and actively participate in relevant international co-operation against climate change," a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said. 

Megan Leslie, environment spokesperson for Canada's opposition New Democratic Party said the government was abdicating its international responsibilities.

"We all knew the rumours. We all heard the reports that Canada planned to withdraw from Kyoto, and so today we actually saw it laid out before us," she said.

Canada's former Liberal government signed up to Kyoto, which obliged the country to cut emissions to six per cent below 1990 levels by 2012. By 2009, emissions were 17 per cent above the 1990 levels. 

Canada's delegation said little during recent climate talks in South Africa where countries agreed to extend the Kyoto protocol and hammer out a new deal to force big polluters to cut greenhouse emissions.

Canada has said it backs a new global deal to cut emissions of greenhouse gases, but insists it has to cover all nations, including China and India, which are not bound by Kyoto's current targets.

Dec 9, 2011

World Bank in brief

The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. Its mission is to fight poverty with passion and professionalism for lasting results and to help people help themselves and their environment by providing resources, sharing knowledge, building capacity and forging partnerships in the public and private sectors.

WB is not a bank in the common sense; it is made up of two unique development institutions owned by 187 member countries: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). 

Each institution plays a different but collaborative role in advancing the vision of inclusive and sustainable globalization. The IBRD aims to reduce poverty in middle-income and creditworthy poorer countries, while IDA focuses on the world's poorest countries.

Their work is complemented by that of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

Together, the two institutions provide low-interest loans, interest-free credits and grants to developing countries for a wide array of purposes that include investments in education, health, public administration, infrastructure, financial and private sector development, agriculture and environmental and natural resource management. 

The World Bank, established in 1944, is headquartered in Washington, D.C. They have more than 10,000 employees in more than 100 offices worldwide.

UN Development Motto: 8 MDGs by 2015

These are challenges to poor countries to demonstrate good governance and a commitment to poverty reduction. And these are challenges to wealthy countries to make good on their promise to support economic and social development of the world.

The Millennium Development Goals have captured the world's attention, in part because they can be measured.  

In September 2000, leaders from 189 nations agreed on a vision for the future: a world with less poverty, hunger, and disease; greater survival prospects for mothers and their infants; better-educated children; equal opportunities for women; and a healthier environment—a world in which developed and developing countries worked in partnership for the betterment of all. 

This vision took the shape of eight Millennium Development Goals, which provide a framework for development planning for countries around the world, and time-bound targets by which progress can be measured. 

To help track progress on the commitment made in 2000 in the United Nations Millennium Declaration, international and national statistical experts selected relevant indicators to be used to assess progress over the period from 1990 to 2015, when targets are expected to be met. 

Each year the Secretary-General presents a report to the UN General Assembly on progress achieved toward implementing the Declaration, based on data on the 48 selected indicators, aggregated at global and regional levels. 

The eight MDGs are: (1) Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; (2) Achieve universal primary education; (3) Promote gender equality and empower women; (4) Reduce child mortality; (5) Improve maternal health; (6) Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases; (7) Ensure environmental sustainability and  (8) Develop a global partnership for development.

89 died in Indian Hospital fire

At least 89 killed so far in the massive fire at AMRI private hospital in Kolkata, at West Bengal of India. 

Nearly, 160 patients were admitted in the Hopital, The Times Of India said quoting hospital sources. 

Additional director general, Fire Services, D Biswas was quoted as saying that patients who died were admitted in the critical care and orthopaedic units and were unable to move. 

The private nursing home said a "sudden fire was detected in the basement" of an annex around 3:30am.

Among the dead, there are 70 patients and three staff of the multi-storeyed private hospital which turned into a towering inferno in the early morning. The bodies of the other victims are being identified.

The fire spread fast from the basement of the hospital, engulfing one ward after the other and trapping hundreds of people. While many patients died of burns, several others died due to suffocation.

Kolkata police said 60 patients were rescued and shifted to other parts of the same hospital and some were transferred to other city hospitals.

The annex where the fire started was used for storing cylinders of chemical gases and other medical equipment.

Police said the West Bengal government has cancelled the hospital's license following the incident. Police also said government forensic and disaster response teams arrived at the site Friday afternoon to check for any radioactive leakages or evidence of sabotage.

A director of the West Bengal government's fire department said that by Friday afternoon the rescue operation was over. He said the fire brigade was dispatched to the site after receiving a call from the hospital at 4am .

He said aerial ladders were used to pull out the patients through windows. He denied Indian media reports that firefighters arrived at the site two hours later.

Many victims' relatives were shown Friday on Indian news channels blaming the hospital for being unhelpful and negligent.

Meanwhile, the Times of India said fire department lodged an FIR against the hospital authorities, saying that they did not have the adequate fire-preventive mechanism and emergency evacuation system in place.

Hundreds of family members of patients, aggrieved that no list of the dead and injured was provided, smashed glass panes at the reception and threw away hospital registers

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee told reporters on the spot the licence of the hospital had been cancelled. Hospital authorities have declared to give Rs 500,000 to each of the deceased people's family. 

Samsung's legal victory on Apple in Australia

Samsung Electronics' tablet computer, the Galaxy Tab, will be available to consumers in Australia in the coming days, after the South Korean electronics giant scored a victory against Apple in a legal battle that had blocked the product from going on sale.

Samsung welcomed the court's decision and said the Galaxy Tab 10.1 will be ready for sale in Australia in time for the Christmas shopping season.

The Australian High Court denied Apple's appeal to an earlier court ruling that overturned an injunction placed on Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 citing violation of its patent. 

The recent ruling is expected to give Samsung a stronger footing in a legal battle it is involved in with Apple in several countries across the world, including the United States. 

"The Full Court of Australia decision on November 30 clearly affirmed our view that Apple's claims lack merit and that an injunction should not have been imposed on the Galaxy Tab 10.1," Samsung said in a news release, referring to the earlier ruling that lifted the injunction. 

Apple claims that Samsung's newer Galaxy Tab 10.1 copies the iPad's look and infringes upon its design patents. Samsung offers $2 smartphone.

"It is no coincidence that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging. This kind of blatant copying is wrong and, as we have said many times before, we need to protect Apple's intellectual property when companies steal our ideas," according to a statement from Apple. 

Apple recently was denied a preliminary injunction on several of Samsung's mobile phones and tablets in America by a San Jose court. The South Korean electronics giant said it is confident that it can prove the distinctiveness of its mobile products when the two companies battle it out in court next year. 

Samsung separately filed a complaint back in June with the United States International Trade Commission claiming Apple has violated five patents related to wireless communications standards and mobile device user interface. The South Korean company requested a permanent exclusion order that would block the entry of all Apple products in question, including the iPad and iPhone series, into the United States.

Dec 6, 2011

How NASA discovered second Earth

Researchers find planets by examining the brightness of stars as a function of time; brightness drops when a potential planet crosses the star.

Three transits are required for a planet confirmation. The period of the transit of the newly discovered second earth 'Kepler 22-b' was 7.4 hours. It did not appear to give off its own light, indicating it is a planet and not a star.

Scientists do not yet have a measurement of the mass of Kepler 22-b, which would tell them more about the composition of the planet. This summer, when the planet's star will be high in the sky, ground-based telescopes can attempt to get its mass.

The planet is even more mysterious because its radius is between that of Earth and Uranus and Neptune, both of which have radii about four times the size of Earth's. So we don't know what a planet in this size range typically looks like.

Is life restricted to Earth, or could it exist somewhere like Kepler 22-b? It may be that the characteristics of Earth, with its particular position in the solar system, particular magnetic field strength and presence of larger planets like Jupiter make Earth very rare in having life. But it's also possible that life in the universe is common, and we're only one example.
"As soon as we find an independent example of life somewhere else, we'll know it's ubiquitous throughout the universe. We're all looking for No. 2," said Jill Tarter of the SETI Institute.

NASA discovers second habitable Earth !

NASA's Kepler mission has discovered 'a new Earth' for the first time in the history of science of the world.  The newly discovered 'Kepler-22b' is the first confirmed planet in the "habitable zone," the area around a star where a planet could exist with liquid water on its surface.

The planet's radius is about 2.4 times that of the Earth. It is located about 600 light years away. Its orbital period is shorter than that of the Earth: a "year" on Kepler-22b is 290 days instead of 365.

There were two other planets confirmed this year by other projects in the habitable zone, but their stars are much cooler than our Sun, and their orbits are more like that of Venus or Mars, scientists say.

Kepler-22b is 15% closer to its star and we are to the Sun. But since Kepler-22b's star is dimmer, lower in temperature and smaller than our Sun, researchers' modeling suggests it is a similar temperature to the Earth, said Bill Borucki, Kepler principal investigator at NASA's Ames Research Center.

"If the greenhouse warming were similar on this planet and had a surface, its surface temperature would be something like 72 Fahrenheit, a very pleasant temperature here on Earth."

The warmer a planet, the more evaporation of water there would be, Borucki said. A planet can't have a surface temperature that's very hot without losing all of the surface water.

The Kepler mission reported in February that it had found 54 planet candidates in the habitable zone; Kepler-22b is the first of these to be confirmed, and those results will be published in The Astrophysical Journal. There are still 48 potential planets from that batch.

Oct 23, 2011

32 died in Darjeeling Bridge collapse

At least 32 people have died and 132 injured after a bridge collapsed at a political event in India's tea-producing region of Darjeeling on Saturday night. 

More than 150 villagers were standing on the bridge for talks by local separatist leaders on Saturday night when it collapsed. 

Officials say the victims fell at least 70ft (21m) into the fast-flowing Rangeet Khola river. The army, fire brigade and police helped residents in the rescue effort. Up to 60 people were rescued on Saturday night, but the search on Sunday was mainly focused on areas down river, reports say. 

Government help People had gathered in the village of Bijonbari, 30km (20miles) from Darjeeling, to listen to speeches by leaders of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) party. The GJM is fighting for a separate state for the tea-producing Darjeeling hills.

"A cultural programme was being held on one side of the bridge, while a meeting was being held on the other," GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri said.

"Too many people were standing on it when it collapsed and they fell into the river below." Darjeeling District Magistrate Soumitra Mohan said on Sunday that the death toll had reached 32, with 132 wounded. 

At least six children are among the casualties. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said her government would do "everything it can" to help the victims and their families. 

The bridge was reportedly built in 1942, and is thought to have been weakened by a magnitude 6.9 earthquake that shook north-eastern India, Nepal and Tibet in September this year.

Oct 22, 2011

American war in Iraq ends, troops to back home by 2011: Obama

President Barack Obama on Friday (October 21, 2011) announced that virtually all U.S. troops will come home from Iraq by the end of the year -- at which point he can declare an end to America's long and costly war in that Middle Eastern nation. "After nearly nine years, America's war in Iraq will be over," Obama said. "The coming months will be a season of homecomings. Our troops in Iraq will definitely be home for the holidays." 

Of the 39,000 troops in Iraq, about 150, a negligible force, will remain to assist in arms sales, a U.S. official told CNN. The rest will be out of Iraq by December 31. 

The president said he was making good on his 2008 campaign pledge to end a war that has divided the nation since it began in 2003 and claimed more than 4,400 American lives.The announcement also came after talks that might have allowed a continued major military presence broke down amid disputes about whether U.S. troops would be immune to prosecution by Iraqi authorities. 

Obama spoke with Iraqi President Nuri al-Maliki in a video conference Friday, after which he said both nations were comfortable with the decision on how to move forward. The new partnership with Iraq will be "strong and enduring," Obama said. "The last American soldier will cross the border out of Iraq with their head held high, proud of their success and knowing that the American people stand united in our support for our troops," Obama said. 

According to a statement from the Iraqi prime minister's office, al-Maliki and Obama "shared the same point of view on the need to start a new phase of strategic relations." That includes agreeing to a high-level meeting within two weeks. Beyond the human cost, the price tag for U.S. military activity in Iraq has been steep as well. 

A report from the non-partisan, government-funded Congressional Research Service found that the Defense Department spent nearly $757 billion for military operations in Iraq over the past decade, $50 billion higher than the estimate released by the Pentagon. Another $41 billion for Iraq was spent on State Department and USAID initiatives, plus $6 billion for troops' health expenses, the CRS report stated. 

Paul Rieckhoff -- an ex-Army soldier who heads the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the first and largest such organization for these veterans, according to its website -- cheered Friday's announcement as "really good news for the troops serving overseas." "It's a really poignant time, especially for the veterans community," Rieckhoff told CNN. 

"Many of us gave large parts of our lives, some gave all in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn." While Democrats largely applauded Friday's announcement, some Republicans disagreed with the president. Sen. John McCain called it a "consequential failure" for the Obama administration, which he said wasn't focused on succeeding in Iraq, and Iraq's government.

"Today marks a harmful and sad setback for the United States in the world," said McCain, an Arizona Republican who faced off against Obama in the 2008 presidential election. "This decision will be viewed as a strategic victory for our enemies in the Middle East, especially the Iranian regime, which has worked relentlessly to ensure a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq." 

Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough dismissed the notion that Friday's decision would affect Iran, which he claimed already is "weaker and more isolated" due to U.S. and allied efforts unrelated to Iraq. "We don't need to try to exercise our influence on those matters through Iraq," McDonough told reporters Friday. "We're obviously concerned about Iran's willingness to live up to its obligations ... but we don't have concerns about our ability to make sure that the Iraqis can exercise the kind of sovereignty that they want." 

Another U.S. official -- who is not authorized to speak for attribution -- acknowledged that "the Iranians have been trying to gain influence in Iraq for some time," but stressed that "Iranian influence in Iraq has limits." The official said the Iraq "will not roll over" to Iran, with whom it has a long history of border disputes including a bloody eight-year war in the 1980s. 

The current Status of Force Agreement had called for U.S. troops to leave by the end of 2011. But lengthy negotiations in recent months had led some to expect that American troops -- roughly 40,000 of which are in Iraq -- would remain there into next year. These talks, however, broke down over the prickly issue of legal immunity for U.S. troops in Iraq, a senior U.S. military official with direct knowledge of the discussions told CNN this month.

 U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and other top brass have repeatedly said any deal to keep U.S. troops in Iraq beyond the withdrawal deadline would require a guarantee of legal protection for American soldiers. But the Iraqis refused to agree to that, opening up the prospect of Americans being tried in Iraqi courts and subjected to Iraqi punishment. 

The negotiations were strained following WikiLeaks' release of a diplomatic cable that alleged Iraqi civilians, including children, were killed in a 2006 raid by American troops rather than in an airstrike as the U.S. military initially reported. U.S. troops have already started the drawdown. For instance, a brigade from Fort Bliss, Texas, that was originally scheduled to be among the last to leave Iraq was being pulled out of the country months ahead of its planned departure, military officials told CNN last week.

Besides withdrawing more units, others will not head overseas as planned. That includes about 775 Georgia-based soldiers from the Army's 3rd Infantry Division, which announced Friday it will not deploy to Iraq in December as previously scheduled. Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, has said that Iraq wouldn't be able to defend its borders if U.S. troops pulled out and also questioned Iraqi forces ability to defend its airspace.

 But Panetta, en route to Indonesia, said history shows that Iraq will be ready. "We've taken out now about 100,000 troops and yet the level of violence has remained relatively low," the defense secretary said. "And I think that's a reflection of the fact that the Iraqis have developed a very important capability here to be able to respond to security threats within their own country." 

Regardless, officials insisted that the drastic pullback of troops does not mean an end to the U.S. government's presence in Iraq. State Department spokesman Mark Toner described Friday's development as the start of "a new chapter in our relationship" with Iraq -- while acknowledging the challenges of the change. "You can't flip a switch and go from a military operation to a civilian operation; there has to be a transition and we're working on that transition," he said. "But we believe we're ready." 

Toner also noted substantial improvements in the capabilities of the Iraqis, even as he admitted the continued importance of addressing "security needs" of the hundreds of nonmilitary U.S. personnel who will remain there. That includes about 1,700 diplomats, law enforcement officers and various economic, agriculture and other professionals and experts who will be in Iraq into 2012, according to the State Department. 

In addition, 5,000 security contractors will protect the U.S. diplomats and another 4,500 contractors will serve other roles, such as helping provide food and medical services, until they can be done locally. 

Toner said the U.S. and Iraqi governments are still talking about security and other matters, though he stressed any such discussions should not change the basic decision announced Friday.

"We continue to talk about the post-December 31 arrangement (and) security relationship," Toner said. "At the same time, we are very committed to meeting the December 31 deadline." Panetta, too, did not rule out the possibility that U.S. forces would head to Iraq to train forces there. "As we ... look at developing this normal relationship, a lot of it is going to depend on what they want, what their needs are and how we can best meet them," he said.


Saudi Crown Prince Sultan dies in New York

Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud died in New York due to illness, officials said Saturday (October 22, 2011), raising succession questions in the key oil-producing country of the world. 

No other details about his death were immediately available, but arrangements are under way to transport his body back to Saudi Arabia, officials said. 

Crown Prince Sultan, thought to be in his 80s, was Saudi Arabia's minister of defense, and was one of the top figures in the Saudi kingdom. He's had various medical issues in recent years. In 2009, he was in New York for surgery for an undisclosed illness and had also flown to Morocco for medical treatment over the years.

 The country's royal court released a statement about the death Saturday. "King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud mourns the death of his brother and his Crown Prince ... Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud," the statement said. 

The statement also said he died "outside the kingdom following an illness," but did not release details on the ailment. Reports in recent years have indicated that Crown Prince Sultan was battling cancer. 

King Abdullah's half-brother was the desert kingdom's defense minister for decades, meeting regularly with visiting dignitaries. He took a leading role in Saudi Arabia's involvement in the 1991 Gulf War against Iraq, heading a coalition of about half a million troops from more than 30 countries. 

Of his many children, perhaps the best known internationally is Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Saudi Arabia's former ambassador to the United States. Prince Bandar served as ambassador from 1983 to 2005 and was friends with the family of President George W. Bush. 

Saleh Al-Namla, a member of Saudi Arabia's Shura Council, said the prince would be missed. "Crown Prince Sultan lived his life in service of his country and also serving the Arab people and the people of Saudi Arabia," Al-Namla, said. "He was very much loved by the country." 

Prince Sultan's death brings up questions about who will now be named crown prince. Many have felt that Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud would be the one to get that post. In 2009, King Abdullah appointed Prince Nayef as the country's second deputy prime minister as rumors started to circulate about Prince Sultan's failing health. 

At the time many Saudis took the appointment to mean that Prince Nayef was made the country's crown prince in the place of the ailing Sultan and was second in line to be king, King Abdullah in 2007 created a group called the Allegiance Council to make decisions on succession issues. It is unclear when this group, made up of members of the royal family, will make a decision on who will be named the crown prince.

NATO feels proud of achievement in Libya War

"We mounted a complex operation with unprecedented speed and conducted it with the greatest of care," Rasmussen said. "I'm very proud of what we have achieved." 

NATO also called an end to its air war in Libya. At an understated and sparsely-attended news conference late on Friday (October 21, 2011), NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the Western alliance had taken a preliminary decision to call a halt to Operation Unified Protector on October 31. 

Like other Western officials, Rasmussen expressed no regrets in public about the gruesome death of the deposed Libyan dictator, who was captured alive by the forces of the National Transitional Council but was brought dead to a hospital. 

The NATO operation, officially intended to protect civilians, effectively ended on Thursday with French warplanes blasting Gaddafi's convoy as he and others tried to escape a final stand in Sirte. 

NTC officials have said Gaddafi later died of wounds in the ambulance, but the ambulance driver, Ali Jaghdoun, told Reuters that Gaddafi was already dead when he picked up the body. "I didn't try to revive him because he was already dead," Jaghdoun said, in testimony that adds greater weight to the widespread assumption that Gaddafi was lynched. 

 The U.N. human rights arm said an investigation was needed to into whether he was summarily executed. The interim leaders have yet to decide what to do with the corpse.

Gaddafi family wants dead bodies

The clan of Muammar Gaddafi demanded a chance to bury the body that lay on display in a meat locker after a death as brutal and chaotic as his 42-year rule. 

In a statement on a Syria-based pro-Gaddafi television station, the ousted dictator's family asked for the bodies of Gaddafi, his son Mo'tassim, and others who were killed on Thursday by fighters who overran his hometown Sirte.

"We call on the UN, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and Amnesty International to force the Transitional Council to hand over the martyrs' bodies to our tribe in Sirte and to allow them to perform their burial ceremony in accordance with Islamic customs and rules," the statement said. 

Like other Western officials, Rasmussen expressed no regrets in public about the gruesome death of the deposed Libyan dictator, who was captured alive by the forces of the National Transitional Council but was brought dead to a hospital.

"We mounted a complex operation with unprecedented speed and conducted it with the greatest of care," Rasmussen said. "I'm very proud of what we have achieved." The NATO operation, officially intended to protect civilians, effectively ended on Thursday with French warplanes blasting Gaddafi's convoy as he and others tried to escape a final stand in Sirte. 

Gaddafi was captured wounded but alive hiding in a drain under a road. The world has since seen grainy film of him being roughed up by his captors while he pleads with them to respect his rights. 

NTC officials have said Gaddafi later died of wounds in the ambulance, but the ambulance driver, Ali Jaghdoun, told Reuters that Gaddafi was already dead when he picked up the body. 

"I didn't try to revive him because he was already dead," Jaghdoun said, in testimony that adds greater weight to the widespread assumption that Gaddafi was lynched. 

The U.N. human rights arm said an investigation was needed to into whether he was summarily executed. The interim leaders have yet to decide what to do with the corpse. 

In Misrata, a local commander, Addul-Salam Eleiwa, showed off the body, torso bare, on a mattress inside a metal-lined cold-store by a market on Friday. There was a bullet hole in his head. "He will get his rights, like any Muslim. His body will be washed and treated with dignity. I expect he will be buried in a Muslim cemetery within 24 hours," he said. 

Dozens of people, many with cellphone cameras, filed in to see that he was dead. "There's something in our hearts we want to get out," said Abdullah al-Suweisi, 30, as he waited. It is the injustice of 40 years. There is hatred inside. We want to see him." 

In Tripoli, Gaddafi's death prompted a carnival-like celebration, with fireworks, a bouncy castle and candy floss for the children. "Muammar, bad," one small girl said to foreign journalists in English. "Boom boom." 

"For some people from outside Libya it could look wrong that we are celebrating a death with our children," said one man with a child on his shoulders. "But it was 42 years with the devil." 

Oct 21, 2011

Gadhafi raised hands, begged for life and died after an hour

Dragged from hiding in a drainage pipe, a wounded Moammar Gadhafi raised his hands and begged revolutionary fighters: "Don't kill me, my sons." Within an hour, he was dead, but not before jubilant Libyans had vented decades of hatred by pulling the eccentric dictator's hair and parading his bloodied body on the hood of a truck.

The death Thursday of Gadhafi, two months after he was driven from power and into hiding, decisively buries the nearly 42-year regime that had turned the oil-rich country into an international pariah and his own personal fiefdom. It also thrusts Libya into a new age in which its transitional leaders must overcome deep divisions and rebuild nearly all its institutions from scratch to achieve dreams of democracy.

"We have been waiting for this historic moment for a long time. Moammar Gadhafi has been killed," Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril said in the capital of Tripoli. "I would like to call on Libyans to put aside the grudges and only say one word, which is Libya, Libya, Libya." 

President Barack Obama told the Libyan people: "You have won your revolution." Although the U.S. briefly led the relentless NATO bombing campaign that sealed Gadhafi's fate, Washington later took a secondary role to its allies. 

Britain and France said they hoped that his death would lead to a more democratic Libya. Other leaders have fallen in the Arab Spring uprisings, but the 69-year-old Gadhafi is the first to be killed. He was shot to death in his hometown of Sirte, where revolutionary fighters overwhelmed the last of his loyalist supporters Thursday after weeks of heavy battles. Also killed in the city was one of his feared sons, Muatassim, while another son — one-time heir apparent Seif al-Islam — was wounded and captured. 

An AP reporter saw cigarette burns on Muatassim's body. Bloody images of Gadhafi's last moments raised questions over how exactly he died after he was captured wounded, but alive. Video on Arab television stations showed a crowd of fighters shoving and pulling the goateed, balding Gadhafi, with blood splattered on his face and soaking his shirt. 

Gadhafi struggled against them, stumbling and shouting as the fighters pushed him onto the hood of a pickup truck. One fighter held him down, pressing on his thigh with a pair of shoes in a show of contempt. Fighters propped him on the hood as they drove for several moments, apparently to parade him around in victory.

"We want him alive. We want him alive," one man shouted before Gadhafi was dragged off the hood, some fighters pulling his hair, toward an ambulance. Later footage showed fighters rolling Gadhafi's lifeless body over on the pavement, stripped to the waist and a pool of blood under his head. His body was then paraded on a car through Misrata, a nearby city that suffered a brutal siege by regime forces during the eight-month civil war that eventually ousted Gadhafi. Crowds in the streets cheered, "The blood of martyrs will not go in vain." 

Thunderous celebratory gunfire and cries of "God is great" rang out across Tripoli well past midnight, leaving the smell of sulfur in the air. People wrapped revolutionary flags around toddlers and flashed V for victory signs as they leaned out car windows. Martyrs' Square, the former Green Square from which Gadhafi made many defiant speeches, was packed with revelers. 

In Sirte, the ecstatic former rebels celebrated the city's fall after weeks of fighting by firing endless rounds into the sky, pumping their guns, knives and even a meat cleaver in the air and singing the national anthem. The outpouring of joy reflected the deep hatred of a leader who had brutally warped Libya with his idiosyncratic rule.

After seizing power in a 1969 coup that toppled the monarchy, Gadhafi created a "revolutionary" system of "rule by the masses," which supposedly meant every citizen participated in government but really meant all power was in his hands. He wielded it erratically, imposing random rules while crushing opponents, often hanging anyone who plotted against him in public squares. 

Abroad, Gadhafi posed as a Third World leader, while funding militants, terror groups and guerrilla armies. His regime was blamed in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland and the downing of a French passenger jet in Africa the following year, as well as the 1986 bombing of a German discotheque frequented by U.S. servicemen that killed three people. 

The day began with revolutionary forces bearing down on the last of Gadhafi's heavily armed loyalists who in recent days had been squeezed into a block of buildings of about 700 square yards. A large convoy of vehicles moved out of the buildings, and revolutionary forces moved to intercept it, said Fathi Bashagha, spokesman for the Misrata Military Council, which commanded the fighters who captured him. 

At 8:30 a.m., NATO warplanes struck the convoy, a hit that stopped it from escaping, according to French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet. Fighters then clashed with loyalists in the convoy for three hours, with rocket-propelled grenades, anti-aircraft weapons and machine guns. Members of the convoy got out of the vehicles, Bashagha said. Gadhafi and other supporters fled on foot, with fighters in pursuit, he said. A Gadhafi bodyguard captured as they ran away gave a similar account to Arab TV stations. 

Gadhafi and several bodyguards took refuge in a drainage pipe under a highway nearby. After clashes ensued, Gadhafi emerged, telling the fighters outside, "What do you want? Don't kill me, my sons," according to Bashagha and Hassan Doua, a fighter who was among those who captured him. 

Bashagha said Gadhafi died in the ambulance from wounds suffered during the clashes. Abdel-Jalil Abdel-Aziz, a doctor who accompanied the body in the ambulance during the 120-mile drive to Misrata, said Gadhafi died from two bullet wounds — to the head and chest. 

A government account of Gadhafi's death said he was captured unharmed and later was mortally wounded in the crossfire from both sides. Amnesty International urged the revolutionary fighters to give a complete report, saying it was essential to conduct "a full, independent and impartial inquiry to establish the circumstances of Col. Gadhafi's death." 

The TV images of Gadhafi's bloodied body sent ripples across the Arab world and on social networks such as Twitter. Many wondered whether a similar fate awaits Syria's Bashar Assad and Yemen's Ali Abdullah Saleh, two leaders clinging to power in the face of long-running Arab Spring uprisings. 

For the millions of Arabs yearning for freedom, democracy and new leadership, the death of one of the region's most brutal dictators will likely inspire and invigorate the movement for change. As word spread of Gadhafi's death, jubilant Libyans poured into Tripoli's central Martyr's Square, chanting "Syria! Syria!" — urging the Syrian opposition on to victory. "This will signal the death of the idea that Arab leaders are invincible," said Egyptian activist and blogger Hossam Hamalawi. "Mubarak is in a cage, Ben Ali ran away, and now Gadhafi killed. ... All this will bring down the red line that we can't get these guys." 

Thursday's final blows to the Gadhafi regime allow Libya's interim leadership, the National Transitional Council, to declare the entire country liberated. It rules out a scenario some had feared — that Gadhafi might flee into Libya's southern deserts and lead a resistance campaign. Following the fall of Tripoli on Aug. 21, Gadhafi loyalists mounted fierce resistance in several areas, including Sirte, preventing the new leadership from declaring full victory. 

Earlier this week, revolutionary fighters gained control of one stronghold, Bani Walid. Information Minister Mahmoud Shammam told AP that Muatassim Gadhafi was killed in Sirte. Abdel-Aziz, the doctor who accompanied Gadhafi's body in the ambulance, said Muatassim was shot in the chest. Also killed was Gadhafi's Defense Minister Abu Bakr Younis. 

Justice Minister Mohammed al-Alagi said Seif al-Islam Gadhafi had been wounded in the leg and was being held in a hospital in the city of Zlitan, northwest of Sirte. Shammam said Seif was captured in Sirte, but the senior NTC leadership did not immediately confirm. The National Council will declare liberation on Saturday, Mohamed Sayeh, a senior council member, said.

That begins a key timetable toward creating a new system: The NTC has always said it will form a new interim government within a month of liberation and will hold elections within eight months. But the revolutionary forces are an unruly mix of militias from Libya's major cities, and already differences have emerged among them. 

Revolutionaries from Tripoli, Misrata and Benghazi — Libya's second-largest city that has served as the rebel capital during the civil war — have exchanged accusations that each is trying to dominate the new rule.

Also, Islamic fundamentalists have taken an increasingly prominent role, pushing for some form of Islamic state in Libya, causing friction with more secular leaders. "Libyans aim for multiparty politics, justice, democracy and freedom," said Libyan Defense Minister Jalal al-Degheili. "The end of Gadhafi is not the aim, we say the minor struggle is over. The bigger struggle is now coming. This will not happen unless all the Libyan people are ... united."

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi killed: instant views from world

Deposed Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has been killed, interim Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril told reporters in Tripoli on Thursday (October 20, 2011). There are conflicting reports surrounding the circumstances of his killing, which reportedly happened in or near Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte on Thursday.

Libya's ambassador to the United Kingdom says that Gadhafi's body is in Misrata, Libya. A different source – a spokesman for a member of the Tripoli military council – says that one of Gadhafi's sons, Mutassim, and Moammar Gadhafi's chief of intelligence, Abdullah al-Senussi, also have been killed. 

A grisly video that aired on the Al Jazeera Arabic network appears to show a lifeless Gadhafi with a wound to his head. A photograph distributed by the news agency Agence France-Presse also appeared to show the longtime dictator severely wounded. 

CNN could not independently verify the authenticity of the images. In another major development, revolutionary fighters said they wrested control of Sirte on Thursday. And NATO said it is going to convene soon for a meeting to discuss ending its operation in Libya, a source told CNN. This story is fast developing. 

Moammar Gadhafi, 69, was in power for 42 years before being ousted in an uprising this year. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the death of Moammar Gadhafi on Thursday is "important" for Libyans. "A bloody war which Gadhafi waged against his own people now comes to a close. The way is finally clear for a new and peaceful political beginning," she said. 

French President Nicolas Sarkozy's office called Moammar Gadhafi's "disappearance" Thursday a "major step" in the struggle by Libyans to "free themselves from dictatorship and violence." 

David Gergen, a CNN senior political analyst and an adviser to four U.S. presidents, reacted to Gadhafi’s death: “Thank goodness. The world is rid of a tyrant,” he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. Gadhafi's death “does promise something new” for Libya, and the Libyans “deserve” this news, Gergen said. However, Gergen cautioned that the death doesn’t bring stability to Libya or the region. 

Moammar Gadhafi "was not killed in an airstrike," interim Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril said Thursday in Tripoli. Conflicting reports have been made regarding how and where Gadhafi died. Libyan Information Minister Mahmoud Shammam told CNN that revolutionary fighters attacked a house where Gadhafi was hiding, and that Gadhafi was shot while trying to flee. 

NATO has said that its aircraft struck two pro-Gadhafi military vehicles in the vicinity of Sirte. It's unclear whether that had any role in Gadhafi's death. 

U.S. Sen. John McCain said of reports of Gadhafi's death: "I think it's a great day." The United States has been part of a NATO military mission enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya since the early days of 2011's Libyan revolt against Gadhafi. McCain said that when he and other lawmakers visited Tripoli to speak with anti-Gadhafi officials after Gadhafi's overthrow, those officials said that they would seriously consider reimbursing the United States for its efforts. 

The amount that the Libyans said they would try to give back to the United States is approximately $1 billion, McCain told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. U.S. Defense Department costs for operations in Libya stand at about $1.1 billion as of September 30, according to Pentagon spokesman George Little. That includes daily military operations, munitions, the drawdown of supplies and humanitarian assistance. McCain said that the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama "deserves credit" for how the crisis in Libya has been handled. 

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Gadhafi's death "marks a historic transition for Libya." "In the coming days, we will witness scenes of celebration, as well as grief for those who lost so much. Yet let us recognize, immediately, that this is only the end of the beginning," Ban said, referring in part to the work that Libya's anti-Gadhafi movement still has to do to transition from Gadhafi's regime. "The road ahead for Libya and its people will be difficult and full of challenges.". 

Streets in Libya's capital, Tripoli, are jammed with people who are celebrating, CNN's Dan Rivers reports from the city. Gunfire – presumably celebratory – can be heard. Video from Tripoli shows many people waving the flag that Libya's National Transitional Council adopted after Gadhafi's ouster. 

A pro-Moammar Gadhafi channel, Al-Rai, is now reporting the death of the former Libyan leader, citing NATO sources. 

The Libyan ambassador to the United Kingdom confirmed Moammar Gadhafi's death Thursday and said his body is in the Libyan city of Misrata. News of the ambassador's comments comes minutes after the interim Libyan prime minister announced Gadhafi's death. 

The son of a long-missing anti-Gadhafi activist says that reports of Gadhafi’s death are overwhelming to him. “I can’t explain,” Ahmed Almegaryaf said. “[It is] something I’ve been wanting to hear all my life. Hopefully it really was him that was captured.” Almegaryaf is the son of Izzat Almegaryaf, who the son says was captured by Egyptian security services in 1990 and handed over to the Libyans. He said he has not heard from his father since. Almegaryaf said he that even if his father is dead, Izzat Almegaryaf will be “smiling down” on Libya if Gadhafi is gone. 

NATO's top military official, Supreme Allied Commander Adm. James Stavridis, will call for a special session to address ending the NATO mission in Libya, a senior NATO official says, according to CNN's Barbara Starr. “It will be very soon, perhaps next day or two. (Stavridis) will give a recommendation and a special session of the NAC will be convened," the official said. Stavridis is now looking at “key pieces of intelligence” to make that recommendation, according to the official. That will include assessing whether anti-Gadhafi forces control Sirte, and whether Gadhafi loyalists can mount any significant counter-strike.

Gadhafi's son, Mutassim, and his chief of intelligence, Abdullah al-Senussi, have been killed, according to Anees al-Sharif, spokesman for Abdel Hakim Belhajj of the Tripoli military council. This report comes on the day that the interim Libyan prime minister says that Moammar Gadhafi was killed.

Former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has been killed, interim Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril told reporters in Tripoli Thursday. Catherine Ashton, the European Union foreign policy chief, said if the reports of Gadhafi's death are confirmed, his demise "brings closure to a tragic period in the lives of so many Libyans." She also said that the fall of Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte "marks the end of the Gadhafi era." "Libya is now under the full control of National Transitional Council forces," she said.

Guma el-Gamaty, a Libyan political activist and former London coordinator for Libya's National Transitional Council, told CNN from London that leaders of anti-Gadhafi forces told him that Gadhafi was conscious and was talking shortly after he was injured. Gadhafi said, “who are you, what’s going on?” but died later, according to el-Gamaty, who cited anti-Gadhafi forces. He said Gadhafi was injured as he resisted attempts to capture him.

CNN's Ben Wedeman, who has covered the uprising in Libya for months, said one of the biggest risks for Libya moving forward is a strong impulse among revolutionary fighters and political leaders to commit revenge killings in an attempt to get rid of leftover elements of Gadhafi’s regime. Rioting and looting, thanks to overall instability, could follow, Wedeman said.

Former Gadhafi aide Abubaker Saad, now a professor of Middle Eastern history at Western Connecticut State University, told CNN that he is more optimistic about how Gadhafi's alleged death would affect Libya. He said on CNN that Libya's National Transitional Council is "really thirsty" to enact democratic reforms in the country.Saad said positive change will happen, but he added that it would be "foolish" to expect "smooth sailing" in a country which has been ruled for more than four decades by a dictator.

Cell phone video aired by Arabic language TV network Al Jazeera appears to show Gadhafi's bloody body.  CNN's Phil Black, reporting from the British prime minister's residence in London, says that the British government is making no comment about reports of Gadhafi's death, and that it's unlikely they would do so before Washington. Black noted that there have been "enthusiastic" reports of other Libyan leaders' deaths and capture since the fall of Tripoli that have turned out to be false.

A State Department official familiar with the latest information coming out of Libya said it “looks like he’s been killed," but the department is still awaiting official confirmation. The official would only speak if his name not be used.

Abubaker Saad, a former Gadfahi aide who is now a professor of Middle Eastern history and culture at Western Connecticut State University, said he believed the loyalty that certain Libyan tribes showed to Gadhafi will not transfer to his sons. “None of (Gadhfai’s sons) can muster the loyalty of the tribal groups ... that their father had.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton can't confirm reports of Moammar Gadhafi's capture or death. But she said on Thursday either development would "add legitimacy and relief to the formation of a new government" in Libya. A former member of the Libyan National Transitional Council, Guma El-Gamaty, told CNN from London that Gadhafi is dead. "This is the end of the tyrant," he said.

Rebels said Moammar Gadhafi was killed when fighters attacked the house where he was Thursday, National Transitional Council Information Minister Mahmoud Shamman told CNN. "He tried to flee and they killed him. When they met him, he was alive and he was killed in action," Shamman said. Shamman said the NTC's chairman or prime minister will officially confirm the death.

Abubaker Saad, who worked for Gadhafi for nine years, spoke to CNN via Skype. He viewed a photo that news agency AFP says is Gadhafi bloodied and captured. Saad said he is "90 percent" sure that the man in the photo is Gadhafi. Saad said he is "thrilled" at the news and that it was crucial to have Gadhafi captured or killed – either one – because as long as he was alive or free, he could possibly rally supporters and maintain some level of power. Saad is a professor in the history department at Western Connecticut State University. He teaches Middle East history and cultures.

Most Western governments declined to comment on the reports Thursday, with the U.S. State Department saying it could not confirm the media reports were correct. One exception was Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, whose country took part in the NATO-led air operation in Libya, who said Gadhafi was in custody. "My assistant has just told me that Gadhafi really has been captured," Rutte said during a visit to Moscow. "I am glad that he has been captured." Listen to why Washington is hesitating to confirm reports. If reports are true, it is positive news for U.S. national security, CNN's Barbara Starr reports.

Mahmoud Shamman, National Transitional Council Information Minister, tells CNN that a press conference will be happening soon about the alleged death of Gadhafi. Shamman said Gadhafi is dead and that is "a great victory" for the Libyan people. CNN's Dan Rivers spoke to him in Tripoli where crowds are cheering, shooting guns in a celebratory way and honking their horns. Rebels said Gadhafi was killed when fighters attacked the house where he was Thursday, Shamman told CNN. "He tried to flee and they killed him. When they met him, he was alive and he was killed in action," Shamman said. Shamman said the NTC's chairman or prime minister will officially confirm the death.

CNN's Ben Wedeman, who covers the region and has covered Libya extensively, said that much caution should be used with these reports, because false information has come out previously. It is being reported that Gadhafi was found in a storm drain. "It's a bit of surprise because we knew that he had escaped from Tripoli" with a lot of cash and weapons, Wedeman said. It would seem odd that Gadhafi would end up in a manhole-type of area, Wedeman said live on CNN.

A cell phone photo, distributed by the Agence France-Presse, shows the apparent arrest of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. In the photo, a man identified as Gadhafi appears wounded and bloodied.

Abdel Hakim Bilhajj, head of the National Transitional Council military arm in Tripoli, announced live on Al-Jazeera Arabic Thursday that Gadhafi is dead. Al-Ahrar, a National Transitional Council TV station, reports that Gadhafi is dead. The station didn't cite a source and the news couldn't be independently confirmed.

The White House has not confirmed the report of Gadhafi's death or capture, a senior administration official said Thursday. NATO said its aircraft struck two pro-Gadhafi military vehicles in the Sirte vicinity Thursday."These armed vehicles were conducting military operations and presented a clear threat to civilians," Col. Roland Lavoie said.

Earlier Thursday morning CNN reported that revolutionary fighters said they had captured Gadhafi. That was reported on Libyan television on Thursday. The report cited the Misrata Military Council. That report could not be independently confirmed by CNN.

Around that time, the National Transitional Council military spokesman told CNN that reports of Gadhafi's capture are only rumors. Abdurahman Bousin added at that time that it was doubtful that Gadhafi was even in or around his hometown of Sirte. Meanwhile fighters loyal to the NTC took control of Sirte Thursday, the council said. CNN's Dan Rivers is in Tripoli where massive crowds are cheering and honking their car horns. Many are shooting into the air in celebration.

The State Department can't confirm reports about the capture or killing of Gadhafi, a spokeswoman said Thursday. A "big fish" has been captured in Libya, but a spokesman for the new rulers couldn't say for sure whether it was Gadhafi.

Courtesy: CNN.