5/1/15

US Report Slammed Narendra Modi Government for Religious Intolerance in India

. 5/1/15
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"Not a day goes by without at least one country from these lists appearing on the front page of a major newspaper.  Humanitarian crises fueled by waves of terror, intimidation and violence have engulfed an alarming number of countries over the past year,” said USCIRF Chair Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett.

As per the recent report (read this report) presented by the US Commission on International Religious freedom (USCIRF), Religious minorities in India are not safe and have been subjected to “violent attacks, forced conversions” and ‘Ghar Wapsi’ campaigns by groups like Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) after the Narendra Modi government assumed power in 2014.

In its 2015 annual report, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) asked the Barack Obama Administration to take necessary action against the Indian government to publicly rebuke officials and religious leaders who make derogatory remarks about communities and to boost religious freedom standards in India.

USCIRF panel said that despite the country’s status as a pluralistic, secular democracy, India has long struggled to protect minority religious communities or provide justice when crimes occur, which perpetuates a climate of impunity. Incidents of religiously-motivated and communal violence reportedly have increased for three consecutive years, the panel said in its key findings. Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Odisha, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan tend to have the greatest number of religiously-motivated attacks and communal violence incidents against Religious Minorities.

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and religious leaders, including from the Muslim, Christian and Sikh communities, attributed the initial increase to religiously-divisive campaigning in advance of India’s 2014 general election. Since the election, religious minority communities have been subject to derogatory comments by politicians associated with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and numerous violent attacks and forced conversions by Hindu extremist groups, such as RSS, Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), Bajrang Dal, Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarti Parishad (AVBP) and numerous small groups.

 USCIRF said Hindu groups in December 2014 announced plans to forcibly “reconvert” at least 4,000 Christian families and 1,000 Muslim families to Hinduism in Uttar Pradesh on Christmas day as part of a so-called ‘Ghar Wapsi’ (returning home) program. “In advance of the program, the Hindu groups sought to raise money for their campaign, noting that it cost nearly Rs.2 lakh per Christian and Rs.5 lakh per Muslim. After both domestic and international criticism, the day was ‘postponed’ according to Mohan Bhagwat, an RSS leader”.

India sharply reacted on this report, Indian external affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, "Our attention has been drawn to a report of the USCIRF which has passed judgment on religious freedom in India…the report appears to be based on limited understanding of India, its constitution and its society,” he said, asserting the government did not take cognizance of such reports.

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4/30/15

Microsoft Unveiled Their New Browser - Edge

. 4/30/15
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Yesterday Microsoft in their showcase developer event, “Build” announced a new Internet Browser named “Edge”. This new Microsoft offering will replace the older internet browser “Explorer” (IE). The web browser initially codenamed Spartan, later as “Edge”. This features a redesigned tab page that offers suggestions of popular content based on users browsing habits, such as news stories, stock reports, weather and the like.

Entire features of the browser have not been revealed thus far, but it is clear this new browser is based on its all new engine and will have tight integration with their Cortana assistant, a built-in annotation feature where users can directly scribble on Web pages to share via social networks, and the distraction free reading mode.

Microsoft Edge will be the sole browser running on Windows 10 mobile, although it can be downloaded to Windows 10 desktop, tablets and laptops. It is still not confirmed whether the mobile version of this browser will be made available for Android and iOS.

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Nepali Doctor Set an Example: Didn't Leave Patient on Operation Table after the Earthquake

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You may not have heard about this courageous 33 year old Gynecologist Dr. Ram Prasad Sapkota working in government run Prasuti Griha hospital in Kathmandu, but the 33-year-old doctor has become a hero in the Nepalese capital's neighborhood after Saturday's devastating earthquake.

When the earthquake struck, he and his nursing assistant refused to abandon a pregnant woman who had already lost her unborn child. Had the five-kilogram stillborn baby not been delivered, the mother faced certain death.

"I was stitching up her uterus when the tremors came. I had to keep it (uterus) closed to stop severe bleeding. There was no question of evacuating the building as she would have died within minutes," Sapkota told to the news agency.

Seemingly brought to life by the tremors, the cautery machine- used to stop heavy bleeding- darted towards the gynecologist and struck him, the table fan toppled and surgical instruments flew off the table as Dr. Sapkota held on to his patient.

"I was petrified as I had read somewhere that if a quake were to hit Nepal, Prasuti Griha and Bir government hospital would be the first buildings to be flattened," said Sapkota.

The surgery was successful; the woman saved.

We salute you Dr. Ram Prasad Sapkota! 

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4/27/15

German tourist captures on video Mount Everest Avalanche after Nepal earthquake

. 4/27/15
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Jost Kobusch, a German tourist filmed the video while at the Everest Base Camp, uploaded the video on his youtube account, "The ground was shaking from the earthquake and as soon as we saw people running, we were running ourselves to save our lives," he wrote.


Survivors on Everest have described a cloud of rock and ice that smashed into base camp on Saturday. Twenty bodies were recovered from the rubble,  and more than 61 people were injured and 217 are missing. The injured were flown into the capital yesterday. 

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