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The Group of Eight (G8, and formerly the G6 or Group of Six and also the G7 or Group of Seven) is a forum, created by France in 1975, for governments of six countries in the world: France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In 1976, Canada joined the group (thus creating the G7). In becoming the G8, the group added Russia in 1997. In addition, the European Union is represented within the G8, but cannot host or chair. “G8″ can refer to the member states or to the annual summit meeting of the G8 heads of government. The former term, G6, is now frequently applied to the six most populous countries within the European Union. G8 ministers also meet throughout the year, such as the G7/8 finance ministers (who meet four times a year), G8 foreign ministers, or G8 environment ministers.
The purpose of the G8 is to have world leaders meet informally on economic and political issues facing their individual countries and the international community as a whole.
Because of the cooperation and dialogue of the world’s leaders accomplished through the G8, it has also attracted the attention of protestors. Probably the largest and most violent meeting was held in Genoa, Italy, in 2001, where an anti-capitalist protestor was shot and killed while hundreds of others were injured during a clash with police. In subsequent years the G8 has tried to open discussions with non-governmental organizations and include other developing nations.
The G8 meeting hosted by Britain in Perthshire, Scotland, was interrupted by terrorist attacks on London’s transit system on July 7, 2005. Tony Blair, the host of the meeting, left for a brief time to visit London while the other leaders remained to continue the discussion and agenda that was set. The issue of global terrorism has been on the agenda most years since 1978.
Each calendar year, the responsibility of hosting the G8 rotates through the member states in the following order: France, United States, United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, Japan, Italy, and Canada. The holder of the presidency sets the agenda, hosts the summit for that year, and determines which ministerial meetings will take place. Lately, both France and the United Kingdom have expressed a desire to expand the group to include five developing countries, referred to as the Outreach Five (O5) or the Plus Five: Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and South Africa. These countries have participated as guests in previous meetings, which are sometimes called G8+5. This was created during the 2005 Gleneagles, Scotland summit that is attended by finance and energy ministers from all eight member countries in addition to the five “outreach countries”.
With the G-20 major economies growing in stature since the 2008 Washington summit, world leaders from the group announced at their Pittsburgh summit on September 25, 2009, that the group will replace the G8 as the main economic council of wealthy nations
Structure of the G8
There is no administrative structure like those for international organizations, such as the United Nations or the World Bank. The group does not have a permanent secretariat or offices for its members.
The presidency of the group rotates annually among the member countries, with each new term beginning on 1 January of the year. The country holding the presidency is responsible for planning and hosting a series of ministerial-level meetings, leading up to a mid-year summit attended by the heads of government. The president of the European Commission participates as an equal in all summit events.
The ministerial meetings bring together ministers responsible for various portfolios to discuss issues of mutual or global concern. The range of topics includes health, law enforcement, labor, economic and social development, energy, environment, foreign affairs, justice and interior, terrorism, and trade.
In June 2005, justice ministers and interior ministers from the G8 countries agreed to launch an international database on pedophiles. The G8 officials also agreed to pool data on terrorism, subject to restrictions by privacy and security laws in individual countries.
G8 Summit 2010
The 36th G8 summit was held in Huntsville, Ontario, from June 25–26, 2010. In this year’s meeting, the G8 leaders agreed in reaffirming the group’s essential and continuing role in international affairs and “assertions of new-found relevance.”
This was the fifth G8 Summit hosted by Canada since 1976, the previous four being at Montebello, Quebec (1981); Toronto, Ontario (1988); Halifax, Nova Scotia (1995); and Alberta (2002).
The Canadian government picked Huntsville, a small town of 20,000, to host the annual summit and core meetings. Meetings took place at the Deerhurst Resort.
The late scheduling of a G20 summit in Toronto affected the G8 weekend in unanticipated ways. The meeting came to be framed in the press as a preliminary meeting. The theme for this summit was “Recovery and New Beginning,”
The G8 summit was an opportunity for a wide variety of non-governmental organizations, activists and civic groups to congregate and discuss a multitude of issues; but the dramatic demonstrations at the G20 summit in Toronto eclipsed protests primarily focused on the conferring G8 leaders.
The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health and its members has been involved in talking to leaders from G8 countries to bring to their attention the unnecessary maternal, newborns and child deaths worldwide. In 2008, a Call to Action for MNCH was led by The Partnership. In 2009, leaders made a promise to address maternal, newborn, child and reproductive health. Through 2009 and 2010, The Partnership and its members have continued to further highlight the MNCH issues with G8 country leaders as well as the United Nations efforts and beyond.
In January, the host of the 2010 meeting, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, announced his initiative on maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH). The G8 Communique, released on 26 June 2010, outlines the details of this MNCH initiative.
July 5, 2010
The Canadian chairmanship of the G8, which met on 25th June in Huntsville, 200 miles north of Toronto, decided to put this meeting under the banner of respect to their ODA (Official Development Aid) commitments. Out of the additional $50 billion that the group of the most industrialized states on the planet had promised to provide each year before 2010 at the 2005 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, 18 billion dollars are still missing.
The World Bank warned that a further reduction of aid may erase the progress made so far in developing countries and push more people into poverty. It stressed that the resources of poorer countries have also been undermined by the global economic crisis.
The Canadian chairmanship also wanted to discuss ways to involve major emerging economies in the governance of the planet and has therefore decided to invite Africa to the summit in Huntsville.
Seven African countries – Algeria, South Africa, Egypt, Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria and Senegal – were invited by Canada. Canada decided to focus on two out of the eight “Millennium Goals” adopted in 2005 in order to fight against poverty in the world, including those related to maternal, newborn and child health.
The United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) welcomed the commitment made by leaders of the eight most powerful economies in the world to accelerate ‘improvement of maternal, newborn and child health by creating a new fund, called the Initiative Muskoka, named after the town where they attended the G8 meeting.
The UNICEF strongly supports the importance of the Muskoka initiative to strengthen health systems in order to improve the health of mothers and children. The contributions should create more than five billion dollars. The Muskoka Initiative aims to strengthen health systems, health services related to reproduction and sexuality, family planning.
There is an urgent matter: the United Nations (UN) estimates that between ten and fifteen million women are disabled due to complications during pregnancy or childbirth. Each year, more than one million children are left motherless.
The host country, also wishing to address the issue of Haiti’s reconstruction after the devastating earthquake of 12th January, invited Haiti’s representatives. Haiti, and two other southern countries, Colombia and Jamaica, attended a working session of the G8 with African representatives on Friday afternoon. The session was devoted to emerging security threats, including trafficking routes bound for developing countries via West Africa that is becoming more and more a transit area.
Following the G8, the G20 took over on 26th June 2010 at the end of the day in Toronto. The summit tackled the issue of exit strategies from the economic crisis, a source of differences between the U.S. and its European allies. Regarding emerging countries, the G20 wants to rebalance global demand and have more flexible exchange rates in some emerging countries.
Recently, there has been a spate of honour killings in the country which has led the government to decide what laws should be put in place to stop this heinous crime. Also whether the Hindu Marriage Act should be reformed or not is being debated. What is the definition of honour killing and what leads families to commit this heinous crime so that they can protect their family honour? Is this practice prevalent only in India or is it prevalent in other parts of the world also?
An honour killing (also called a customary killing) is the murder of a (typically female) family or clan member by one or more fellow (mostly male) family members, in which the perpetrators (and potentially the wider community) believe the victim to have brought dishonour upon the family, clan, or community.
Such killings or attempted killings result from the perception that the defense of honour justifies killing a person whose behavior dishonours their own clan or family. Honour killing is more prevalent where a member of a lower class (wrt., social status or wealth status) marries a person of relatively higher class (high social or wealth status). The United Nations Population Fund ((UNFPA)) estimates that the annual worldwide total of honour-killing victims may be as high as 5,000.
History of honour killing in India
Honour killing is different from the dowry deaths that are prevalent in India. In the case of dowry deaths, the perpetrators of that action claim that they have not been given enough material rewards for accepting the woman into the family. In that case there is a lot of harassment from the in-laws and more times than one, it has been noted that the wife commits suicide rather than being killed by the in-laws, though it has to be said that she has been mentally killed, if not physically.
This tradition was first viewed in its most horrible form during the Partition of the country in between the years 1947 and 1950 when many women were forcefully killed so that family honour could be preserved. During the Partition, there were a lot of forced marriages which were causing women from India to marry men from Pakistan and vice-versa. And then there was a search to hunt down these women who were forced to marry a person from another country and another religion and when they returned ‘home’ they were killed so that the family honour could be preserved and they were not declared social outcastes from their region. At that time, the influence of religion and social control was much greater and hence there were at least a couple of honour killings a day, if not more. The partition years can be seen to be the beginning of the tradition of honour killing on a large scale. Honour Killing is not specifically related to India only. This practice prevails in North and South America, Africa, Turkey and many other countries. But the number of incidents relating to this crime is very low and there is a very strict punishment for committing this crime in other countries.
Reasons for honour killing
The perceived dishonour is normally the result of the following behaviors, or the suspicion of such behaviors:
(a) utilizing dress codes unacceptable to the family/community,
(b) wanting to terminate or prevent an arranged marriage or desiring to marry by own choice, or
(c) engaging in certain sexual acts, including those with the opposite or same sex.
There are various reasons why people or family members decide to kill the daughter in the name of preserving their family honour. The most obvious reason for this practice to continue in India, albeit, at a much faster and almost daily basis, is because of the fact that the caste system continues to be at its rigid best and also because people from the rural areas refuse to change their attitude to marriage. According to them, if any daughter dares to disobey her parents on the issue of marriage and decides to marry a man of her wishes but from another gotra or outside her caste, it would bring disrepute to the family honour and hence they decide to give the ultimate sentence, as in death, to the daughter. Now as has become the norm, the son-in-law is killed as well.
Sociologists believe that the reason why honour killings continue to take place is because of the continued rigidity of the caste system. Hence the fear of losing their caste status through which they gain many benefits makes them commit this heinous crime. The other reason why honour killings are taking place is because the mentality of people has not changed and they just cannot accept that marriages can take place in the same gotra or outside one’s caste. The root of the cause for the increase in the number of honour killings is because the formal governance has not been able to reach the rural areas and as a result. Thus, this practice continues though it should have been removed by now.
Honour killing in India
To be young and in love has proved deadly for many young girls and boys in parts of north India as an intolerant and bigoted society refuses to accept any violation of its rigid code of decorum, especially when it comes to women. The two teenage girls who were shot dead in June 2010 by a cousin in Noida for daring to run away to meet their boyfriends are the latest victims of honour killings, a euphemism for doing away with anyone seen as spoiling the family’s reputation. Many such killings are happening with regularity in Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh. These are socially sanctioned by caste panchayats and carried out by mobs with the connivance of family members.
People are sometimes murdered in Northern India (mainly in the Indian States of Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana and Bihar for marrying without their family’s acceptance, in some cases for marrying outside their caste (Jat or Rajput) or religion. Among Rajputs, marriages with other caste male/female instigate the killings of the married couple and family. This is unique form of honour killing related to the militant culture of ethnic Rajputs, who, despite the forces of modernization and the pressures of decolonization, subscribe to medieval views concerning the “preservation” of perceived “purity” of their lineage.
Haryana is one of the worst hit as far as honour killing is concerned. Even as rural Haryana remains in the stranglehold of the defiant caste panchayats, honour killings continue in their most horrible form
On June 21, 2010, the family members of a girl allegedly killed her and her teenaged lover and hanged them as exhibits in their house for the village to see their “fate.” Monika (18) and her lover Rinku (19), both from Jat families, were brutally killed for honour at Nimriwali village, near Bhiwani. The father of the girl, her brother, uncle and cousins are suspected to be behind the crime and are absconding.
The case was registered for murder and wrongful confinement on the basis of a complaint by Rinku’s uncle, Krishan Kumar. Police teams have been deputed to arrest the suspects named in the case. However, circumstances clearly suggest it to be an honour killing according to inspector Prem Singh, the investigating officer. Singh avoided enquiries as to who had informed the police and who first came to know about the incident.
According to preliminary investigations, the injury marks on the bodies of Monika and Rinku suggest that they were tortured by their killers.
Sources said Monika was a dropout and Rinku, who belonged to the neighbouring Manherhu village, was living with his maternal uncle, a trader. The two had been going around for over two years despite objections from their families. According to sources, the two were caught by their relatives at Monika’s uncle’s house.
Bhagalpur in the northern Indian State of Bihar has also been notorious for honour killings. Recent cases include a 16-year-old girl, Imrana, from Bhojpur was set on fire inside her house in a case of what the police called ‘moral vigilantism’. The victim had screamed for help for about 20 minutes before neighbours arrived, only to find her still smoldering. She was admitted to a local hospital, where she later succumbed to her injuries. In another case in May 2008, Jayvirsingh Bhadodiya shot his daughter Vandana Bhadodiya and struck her in the head with an axe. In June 2010 some incidents were reported even from Delhi.
In a landmark judgment, in March 2010, the Karnal District Court ordered the execution of the five perpetrators in an honour killing case, while giving a life sentence to the khap (local caste-based council) head who ordered the killings of Manoj Banwala (23) and Babli (19), two members of the same clan who eloped and married in June 2007. Despite being given police protection on court orders, they were kidnapped; their mutilated bodies were found a week later from an irrigation canal.
The latest case of honour killing was reported in a case where a couple was murdered by the father of the girl, Vimla (20), and a guard named Robin, after they found 28 yr old Hari from Jalandhar and Vimla in a compromising position in an under-construction building.
Honour killings are rare to non-existent in South India, and the western Indian States of Maharashtra and Gujarat. There have been no honour killings in West Bengal in over 100 years, thanks to the influence and activism of reformists like Vivekananda, Ramakrishna, Vidyasagar and Raja Ram Mohan Roy.
In 1990, the National Commission for Women set up a statutory body in order to address the issues of honour killings among some ethnic groups in North India. This body reviewed constitutional, legal and other provisions as well as challenges women face. The NCW’s activism has contributed significantly towards the reduction of honour killings in rural areas of North India.
According to Pakistani activists Hina Jilani and Eman M. Ahmed, Indian women are considerably better protected against honour killings by Indian Law and Government than Pakistani women, and they have suggested that governments of countries affected by honour killings use Indian law as a model in order to prevent honour killings in their respective societies.
Rural vs Urban areas
There are various misconceptions regarding the practice of honour killing. The first misconception about honour killing is that this is a practice that is limited to the rural areas. The truth is that it is spread over such a large geographical area that one cannot isolate honour killings to rural areas only, though one has to admit that majority of the killings take place in the rural areas. But it has also been seen recently that even the metropolitan cities like Delhi and Tamil Nadu are not safe from this crime because 5 honour killings were reported from Delhi and in Tamil Nadu; a daughter and son in law were killed due to marriage into the same gotra. So it can be seen clearly that honour killing is not isolated to rural areas but also to urban areas and as already pointed out, it has a very wide geographical spread. The second misconception regarding honour killing is that it has religious roots. Even if a woman commits adultery, there have to be four male witnesses with good behavior and reputation to validate the charge. Furthermore only the State can carry out judicial punishments, but never an individual vigilante. So, one can clearly see that there is no religious backing or religious roots for this heinous crime.
Nirupama Pathak’s case
At 23, Nirupama Pathak seemed to have seamlessly made the transition from her small home-town in Jharkhand to big city life.
Supported by her parents, she arrived in Delhi to study journalism at one of the capital’s premier institutes. There, she fell in love with a classmate, Priyabhanshu Ranjan. A job at one of India’s best-known newspapers, the Business Standard, followed. On Facebook, she commented on political and personal issues. She was easy-going, unpretentious and helpful.
The roots that seemed to ground her rose quickly to strangle her. Nirupama was a Brahmin, her boyfriend a Kayastha. Where she came from, that was enough to stop everything.
In June 2010, Nirupama’s family summoned her home, insisting that her mother, Sudha, was not keeping well. On Thursday night, Nirupama was found dead in her bedroom at her Jharkhand home. Her family said she had committed suicide by hanging herself. The post-mortem clearly spelled murder by asphyxiation.
Her mother, Sudha, was arrested for her murder and sent to 14-day jail on Monday. Nirupama’s father, Dharmendra, says though the family wasn’t pleased with her relationship with Priyanshu, because he was from a different caste, he would never hurt his daughter.
The crime shows yet again how ‘honour killings’ cannot be considered the curse of rural India where panchayats often order the execution of young couples who dare to cross caste borders. Nirupama’s father worked at a bank, her brothers were PhDs, the family had helped Nirupama to move far from home to follow her dreams.
Meanwhile, the National Commission for Women (NCW) has asked for the case to be handled by a fast-track court.
Legal action towards honour killing
The usual remedy to such murders is to suggest that society must be prevailed upon to be more gender-sensitive and shed prejudices of caste and class. Efforts should be made to sensitise people on the need to do away with social biases. But equally, it should be made clear that there is no escape for those who take justice into their own hands.
So far, there is no specific law to deal with honour killings. The murders come under the general categories of homicide or manslaughter. When a mob has carried out such attacks, it becomes difficult to pinpoint a culprit. The collection of evidence becomes tricky and eyewitnesses are never forthcoming.
Like the case of Sati and dowry where there are specific laws with maximum and minimum terms of punishment, honour killings, too, merit a second look under the law. Undoubtedly, the virus of caste and class that affects those carrying out such crimes affects the police in the area too. But that can be no excuse to sanction murder. Active policing and serious penal sanctions is the only antidote to this most dishonourable practice.
What can we do to prevent such a thing from happening? Firstly, the mentality of the people has to change. And when one says that the mentality has to change, one means to say that parents should accept their children’s wishes regarding marriage as it is they who have to lead a life with their life partners and if they are not satisfied with their life partner then they will lead a horrible married life which might even end in suicide. Secondly, we need to have stricter laws to tackle these kinds of killings as this is a crime which cannot be pardoned because. Humans do not have the right to write down death sentences of innocent fellow humans.
4th July 2010
Participating in International Child Abduction, Relocation and Forced Marriages Conference organised by the London Metropolitan University here, Chandigarh-based legal experts Anil Malhotra and his brother Ranjit Malhotra have said that in traditional societies, honour killings are basically ‘justified’ as a sanction for ‘dishonourable’ behaviour.
They say that forced marriages and honour killings are often intertwined. Marriage can be forced to save honour, and women can be murdered for rejecting a forced marriage and marrying a partner of their own choice who is not acceptable for the family of the girl.
Though there was no nationwide data on the prevalent of honour killings in India, they quoted figures compiled by the India Democratic Women’s Association, according to which Haryana, Punjab and U P account for about 900 honour killings and another 100 to 300 in the rest of the country.
They said the ministries of home affairs and the law and justice are preparing to amend the Indian Penal Code (IPC) to define the act of “honour killing”.
The demand for such a law was made repeatedly with the objective of stamping out this social evil. They pointed out that the Supreme Court of India, concerned over the spate of recent ‘Honour Killings’ has asked the Centre and eight state governments to submit reports on the steps taken to prevent this barbaric practice.
In June 2010, scrutinizing the increasing number of honour killings, the Supreme Court of India issued notices to the Central Government and six states including Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, to take preventive measures against the social evil.
Alarmed by the rise of honour killings, the Government is planning to bring a bill in the Monsoon Session of Parliament next month (July 2010) to provide for deterrent punishment for ‘honour’ killings
July 27 2010
Even as the Government contemplates laws to tackle the phenomenon of honour killings, khap panchayats remain defiant. Leaders from across North India came together in New Delhi on Monday to oppose same gotra marriages.
The meeting was a show of strength against the Government as nearly 250 khap panchayats from different parts of the country reiterated their demand to amend the Hindu Marriage Act and ensure inter-gotra marriages are made illegal.
“Government should not let brothers and sisters marry. We are all part of the same gotra which means the same blood line. We don’t advocate killing anyone. But genetic problems arise due to inter-gotra marriage,” said khap leader Shamsher Singh
The meeting took place even as the Government set up a nine-member group of Ministers to find a solution to the increasing numbers of honour killings across the country. Khap leaders say they have no role to play in the killings cases but maintain that inter-gotra marriages should not be allowed
Another khap leader Mangesh Singh says that the khaps are not involved in honour killing.
It is not the first time that such a meeting was held to oppose same gotra marriages. But with the Government not willing to give into their demands as yet, the khap panchayats say they won’t stop at this and will take their protest forward.
Khap leaders proclaim that they will block roads to register their protests if their demands are not met.
Even as the Government promises to pass a strict Law against honour killings in the monsoon session of Parliament, in 2010, protest meets will continue and who will finally win the battle remains to be seen.
Life-term for three in ‘honour’ killing case – 4.08.2010
The Supreme Court on 4.08.2010 awarded life sentence to three persons who caused the death of six persons of a family in a case of ‘honour’ killing at a village in Uttar Pradesh in 1991.
A Bench of Justices H.S. Bedi and J.M. Panchal reversed the order of acquittal passed by the Allahabad High Court after the trial court handed them the death sentence.
The Bench said: “There is no manner of doubt that killing six persons and wiping out almost the whole family on the flimsy ground of saving the honour of the family would fall within the rarest of rare cases [principle] evolved by this court and, therefore, the trial court was perfectly justified in imposing the capital punishment on the respondents. However, this court also notices that the incident had taken place about 20 years ago. Further, the High Court acquitted the respondents by a judgment dated April 12, 2002. Thereafter, nothing adverse against any of the respondents is reported to this court. To sentence the respondents to death after their acquittal in 2002 will not be justified on the facts and in the circumstances of the case.”
The Bench imposed a fine of Rs.25,000 on each of the accused.
The incident took place on August 10/11, 1991 at Lakhanpur in Farrukhabad district. Krishna Master and two others were charged with murdering Guljari and his family members. The provocation was that a boy eloped with a girl belonging to another community.
To convict the accused, the trial court relied on the evidence of Madan Lal, who was six years old when the incident happened. However, the High Court acquitted them. The State filed an appeal in the Supreme Court.
Stand-alone Law needed to curb Honour Killings: AIDWA
The All-India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) has presented to Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily a comprehensive draft law that seeks to make private parties culpable for violation of fundamental rights in crimes and killings committed in the name of “honour.” All kinds of harassment, and curbing of choice, association, and movement would come within the ambit of this law.
Apart from defining crimes in the name of “honour,” the draft makes eulogising or glorification of these offences and killings punishable. The onus of proof is on the accused. The law seeks to protect young couples who declare their intention to marry before a government officer, and also suggests measures to stop self-proclaimed panchayats and other community bodies from issuing diktats.
Defining ‘honour’ killing, a challenge to GoM
The tricky issue of defining ‘honour’ killings and getting the States on board, as law and order is a State subject, will engage the Group of Ministers (GoM) at its preliminary meeting in New Delhi on August 6 to discuss how to end the pernicious practice.
In the draft bill under consideration, the expressions ‘dishonour’ and ‘perceived to have brought dishonour’ have been defined as “acts of any person adopting a dress code which is unacceptable to his or her family or caste or clan or community or caste panchayat,” “choosing to marry within or outside the gotra or caste or clan or community against the wishes of his or her family or caste or clan or community or caste panchayat,” and “engaging in certain sexual relations which are unacceptable to his or her family or caste or clan or community or caste panchayat.”
Any change in the law — in this case a proposed amendment to the Indian Penal Code, the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, and the Special Marriages Act, 1954 — will need to involve the States. Indeed, at the July 8, 2010 Cabinet meeting, where the decision to set up the GOM was taken, it was also decided to write to the States, as they will have to implement any new law.
It is felt that one of the suggestions made in the draft bill would be both contentious and difficult to implement: This is the proviso that “all members of a body or group of the caste or clan or community or caste panchayat, ordering the commission of an act by which death is caused, shall be deemed guilty of having committed such an act by virtue of their association with such caste panchayat or body or group of the caste or clan or community.”
While law enforcement officers say this proviso — that is holding all members of a khap panchayat guilty of murder — will be difficult to implement, it will be a political hot potato in States like Haryana, where there has been a rash of ‘honour’ killings, as many political parties and leaders there derive their strength from khap panchayats.
Indeed, at the July 8, 2010 Cabinet meeting, there were differences, with Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal, Sports Minister M.S. Gill and Surface Transport Minister Kamal Nath pointing out the difficulties in making all members of a khap panchayat accountable for one crime.
Official name: Chosŏn Minjujuŭi In’min Konghwaguk (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea)
Form of government: Unitary single-party republic with one legislative house (Supreme People’s Assembly )
Head of state and government: Supreme Leader/Chairman of the National Defense Commission
Official language: Korean
Official religion: none
Monetary unit: ( North Korean) won (W)
Population estimate (2009): 24,162,000
Total area (sq mi): 47,399
Total area (sq km): 122,762
Ethnically, the population is almost completely Korean. Language: Korean (official). Religions: Ch’ŏndogyo, traditional beliefs, Christianity, Buddhism. Foreign missionaries were expelled during World War II.
North Korea’s land area largely consists of mountain ranges and uplands; its highest peak is Mount Paektu (9,022 ft [2,750 m]). North Korea has a centrally planned economy based on heavy industry (iron and steel, machinery, chemicals, and textiles) and agriculture. Cooperative farms raise crops such as rice, corn, barley, and vegetables. The country is rich in mineral resources, including coal, iron ore, and magnesite.
It is a republic with one legislature; the head of state and government is the supreme leader and chairman of the National Defense Commission. After the Japanese were defeated in World War II, the Soviet Union occupied Korea north of latitude 38° N; there the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was established as a communist state in 1948. Seeking to unify the peninsula by force, it launched an invasion of South Korea in 1950, initiating the Korean War. UN troops intervened on the side of South Korea, and Chinese soldiers reinforced the North Korean army in the war, which ended with an armistice in 1953. Led by Kim Il-sung, North Korea became one of the most harshly regimented societies in the world, with a state-owned economy that failed to produce adequate supplies of food and consumer goods for its citizens. Under his son and successor, Kim Jong II, the country endured periods of severe food shortages from the late 1990s that caused widespread famine. Hopes that North Korea was seeking to end its long isolation—notably through meetings between Kim and the leaders of South Korea (2000) and Japan (2002)—have been tempered by concerns over its nuclear weapons program.
Official name: Taehan Min’guk (Republic of Korea)
Form of government: Unitary multiparty republic with one legislative house (National Assembly ) Head of state and government: President assisted by Prime Minister
Official language: Korean
Official religion: none
Monetary unit: (South Korean) won (W)
Population estimate (2009): 48,333,000
Total area: (sq mi) 38,486 Total area (sq km) 99,678
South Korea is west of Japan and includes Cheju Island, located about 60 mi (97 km) south of the peninsula. The population is almost entirely ethnically Korean. Most of South Korea’s land area consists of mountains and uplands; its highest peak is Mount Halla (6,398 ft [1,950 m]) on Cheju Island. The densely populated lowlands are heavily cultivated for wet rice. The Naktong, Kŭm, and Han are the principal rivers. The economy is based largely on services, manufacturing (including petrochemicals, electronic goods, and steel), and high-technology industries.
South Korea is a republic with one legislative house; its head of state and government is the president, assisted by the prime minister. The Republic of Korea was established in 1948 in the portion of the Korean peninsula south of latitude 38° N, which had been occupied by the U.S. after World War II. In 1950 North Korean troops invaded South Korea, precipitating the Korean War. UN forces intervened on the side of South Korea, while Chinese troops backed North Korea; the war ended with an armistice in 1953. The devastated country was rebuilt with U.S. aid, and South Korea prospered in the postwar era, transforming itself from an agrarian economy to one that was industrial and highly export-oriented. It experienced an economic downturn beginning in the mid-1990s that affected many countries in the area.
Efforts at reconciliation between North and South Korea, including the first-ever summit between their leaders (2000) and reunions of families from both countries, were accompanied by periods of continuing tension.
The Recent Conflict
North Korea (officially the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or DPRK) has been accused by South Korea (officially the Republic of Korea or ROK) of initiating a torpedo attack that sank the South Korean Cheonan corvette navy warship on March 26, 2010. Forty-six sailors lost their lives in the maritime disaster near the Northern Limit Line (NLL), a disputed maritime demarcation line in the Yellow Sea between North Korea and South Korean. North Korea has denied these allegations.
South Korea’s Response to the Yellow Sea Incident
South Korean President Lee Myung Bak on March 23, 2010 stated that henceforth, the Republic of Korea would not tolerate any provocative act by the North and will maintain a principle of proactive deterrence. He also proclaimed that if their territorial waters, air space or territory are militarily violated, they would immediately exercise their right of self-defense.
Following the Cheonan warship incident, South Korea soon began blasting radio and loudspeaker broadcasts across the North Korean border. It also reduced trade with North Korea and began denying North Korean cargo ships permission to pass through South Korean waters.
North Korea’s Response to the Yellow Sea Incident
On May 25 2010, North Korean officials stated that it would end diplomatic relations with South Korea over accusations of the Cheonan warship sinking.
The North Korea government has released a statement that it would sever ties with South Korea until 2013, when the South Korea President Lee Myung Bak leaves office. Severed diplomatic relations have escalated to the point where ships and airliners from South Korea are also not allowed in North Korea territory.
According to the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), North Korea also plans to expel South Korea government officials working in the northern town of Kaesong at a joint industrial park that contains archaeological findings of human inhabitants on the peninsula durng the Neolithic-era.
The industrial estate, in which South Korean firms employ cheap North Korean labor, is an important source of revenue for the Pyongyang leadership.
North Korea earlier said if the South continued to cross into its side of the disputed sea border — the scene of deadly clashes in the past — the North would “put into force practical military measures to defend its waters.” The North referred to the South’s government as “military gangsters, seized by fever for a war”.
Korean War or Roots of the North Korea and South Korea Tensions
Long known as the forgotten war, sandwiched between the definitive victory of World War II and the trauma of Vietnam, the Korean conflict was honored with its own memorial on the National Mall in 1995.
The sinking of the Cheonan warship is one of South Korea’s worst military disasters since the end of the Korean War. The Korean War started on June 25, 1950 and ended with an armistice on July 27, 1953. Sometimes referred to as the “The Forgotten War” in the U.S., it began when a political division arose in Korea at the end of the Pacific War (also called the Asia-Pacific War), which refers to those parts of World War II that occurred in the Pacific Ocean.
Prior to the end of World War II, the whole of the Korean peninsula was ruled by Japan since 1905. When the Japanese surrendered rule of the peninsula in 1945, the U.S. government divided it at the 38th Parallel. Soviet Union troops occupied the northern 38th and U.S. troops occupied the southern 38th. In 1948, the North established a Communist government which further politicized the border between the two Koreas.
Where South Korea meets North Korea there exists a securely guarded border. On June 25, 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea. It was one of the earliest armed conflicts of the Cold War. The United Nations and the U.S. aided South Korea. China and the Soviets aided North Korea. The Korean War ended with an armistice once the threat of a U.S.-Soviet nuclear war escalated. As recent as 1999 and 2002, however, there have been military encounters between the Koreas. According to an AP report, the U.S. still has 28,500 troops in South Korea.
International Relations Effort in the Koreas
Recently, a team of international investigators issued a fact-finding report that concluded that the Cheonan warship was torpedoed by a North Korean submarine. A North Korea official stated through the KCNA that the investigation was “unilateral and not objective.” News agencies report that U.S. President Barack Obama supports South Korea’s stated intent to address the issue before the United Nations Security Council.
The U.N. has backed sanctions against North Korea on prior nuclear and missile tests. On May 24, 2010, the U.N. Secretary-General Bank Ki-moon stated that he expects the U.N. Security Council to take action against North Korea. China has urged peace and stability on the Korean peninsula since the start of the warship conflict.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Canada has imposed sanctions on North Korea for the incident. Canada’s Prime Minister Harper stated that Canada has condemned the reckless North Korean regime for this egregious violation of international law and its blatant disregard of its international obligations.
It is notable that both North Korea and South Korea have separate unification movements. In North Korea there is the Committee for Peaceful Reunification. In South Korea there is a Unification Ministry.
July 22nd 2010
Robert Gates, U.S. secretary of defense states that it is stunning how little had changed in the North, while South Korea has continued to grow and prosper.
Tensions have increased in recent months. The U.S. and South Korea will soon begin joint military exercises. And, in Seoul, the two Americans held security talks with their South Korean counterparts and announced new sanctions against the North, which the U.S. says is pressing ahead with its nuclear weapons program.
U.S. secretary of state Hilary Clinton says that these measures are not directed at the people of North Korea, who, she says have suffered too long due to the misguided and maligned priorities of their government. They are directed at the destabilizing, illicit, and provocative policies pursued by that government.
The U.N. Security Council voted to defend the South with a multinational force. And President Harry Truman, without asking Congress to declare war, committed U.S. soldiers to what is called a police action. Poorly trained and equipped American troops rushed to the peninsula from occupation duty in Japan, where they were first quickly pushed deep into the South by the North Koreans. Months later, the tide turned with an amphibious landing at Inchon, and the 15-nation U.N. force led by American General Douglas MacArthur routed the Northern armies almost to the Yalu River. That, in turn, drew in massive armies of Communist Chinese, who sent the allied forces into a hasty winter retreat. General MacArthur called for carrying the fight into China, but was overruled and fired for insubordination by President Truman, in one of the great tests in American history of civilian control of the military.
The war then settled into a stalemate along the 38th Parallel and ended in an armistice on July 27, 1953, but never in a formal peace treaty. For years, the official American combat death toll was set at some 56,000. But, in 2000, the military revised the actual combat toll to 37,000. Hundreds of thousands of South and North Koreans, as well as Chinese troops, died in the conflict.
In a meeting held in June 2010 diplomats said the March 26 sinking of the warship Cheonan that killed 46 South Korean sailors featured prominently at a meeting in Hanoi of Southeast Asian foreign ministers and their counterparts from China, South Korea and Japan on Wednesday.
South Korea blames the torpedoing of the ship on the communist North, which accuses Seoul of fabricating the incident.
Seoul and Washington have said the North must admit responsibility for the sinking before they would return to six-way talks on North Korea’s nuclear programme.
A Thai foreign ministry spokesman said ASEAN decided to adopt the stance of the United Nations, which condemned the sinking but in deference to China did not cite North Korea by name.
China, the closest North Korea has to an ally, has avoided taking a firm stand on who was responsible for destroying the Cheonan, which an international panel has blamed on a North Korean torpedo fired from a mini-submarine.
Russia seeks restraint
Russia, which like China and the United States holds a veto in the Security Council, urged restraint. China, the North’s only major ally and which effectively bankrolls its economy, has studiously tried to keep out of the fray, urging calm and refusing to voice support for the international report on the Cheonan sinking.
Both sides have stepped up their rhetoric over the Cheonan incident, one of their deadliest since the 1950-53 Korean War.
The North accused South Korea’s government of fabricating the issue, partly to help the ruling party in next week’s local elections — important to cement President Lee’s power in the second half of his single five-year term.
Analysts say the main risk is that small skirmishes along the heavily armed border could turn into broader conflict.
The U.S.-led military command monitoring the cease-fire on the Korean peninsula confronted North Korea on 23.07.2010 about the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship, calling it a violation of the 1953 armistice.
Colonels from the U.N. Command, who met at the border with counterparts from Pyongyang’s Korean People’s Army, reminded North Korea of the U.N. Security Council order to honour the truce. Officers also proposed a joint task force to discuss the “armistice violations,” the military commission said in a statement.
The 100-minute talks, which took place at the “truce village” of Panmunjom inside the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas, were the second round of talks since the Cheonan went down off the Koreas’ west coast on March 26, 2010 killing 46 South Korean sailors.
North Korea also rejected South Korean demands to apologise for the sinking of the Cheonan.
Following are the major international sanctions in force against North Korea for its nuclear and ballistic missile activities and suspected human rights violations.
UN Security Council Resolution 1874
The resolution of June 2009 allows inspection of all cargo to and from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or DPRK, along with vessels containing suspicious cargo. The resolution bans provision of fuel or supplies, or services for North Korean vessels suspected to be carrying banned items. Suspicious vessels are subject to inspection at sea. Eight North Korean organisations including its General Bureau of Atomic Energy, which oversees its main nuclear complex and trading firms, are blacklisted by a UN sanctions committee under resolution 1874. The blacklist includes five North Korean individuals believed to be involved in nuclear or missile production.
UN Security Council Resolution 1718
This resolution of October 2006 imposes arms and financial sanctions on North Korea in response to its first nuclear test three months after firing its longest range Taepodong-2 ballistic missile. The sanction also bans the sale of luxury goods to the North.
UN Security Council Resolution 1695
This resolution of July 2006, also after the launch of Taepodong-2, bans trading of material, technology and financial resources that could be used in any programme of weapons of mass destruction in North Korea.
The US treasury department rules ban transactions by US firms with North Korean banks and trading firms for their role in arms dealing and weapons proliferation, including Amroggang Development Bank, Tanchon Commercial Bank, Korea Hyoksin Trading Corp and Ryonbong General Corp.
Imports of goods made in North Korea require prior approval. Provisions of the US Patriot Act and the code on money laundering have been applied to North Korea.
In 2003 President George Bush launched the “proliferation security initiative”, an informal multilateral grouping that aims to stop trafficking of weapons of mass destruction.
Bush removed North Korea from the list of countries alleged to be state sponsors of terrorism and from the US Trading with the Enemies Act in October 2008 as an inducement to keep Pyongyang engaged in nuclear diplomacy. In February, Barack Obama decided not to reinstate North Korea to that list, which would deny Pyongyang access to loans and other funds from international financial organisations. Some US lawmakers say North Korea’s nuclear co-operation with Syria, which is on the list, and suspected arms exports to Hezbollah and Hamas are sufficient grounds to reinstate Pyongyang.
On 21.07.2010, Clinton unveiled new sanctions designed to deny luxury goods to North Korean elites and strangle funding for Pyongyang’s nuclear programme. The north says it will not return to nuclear negotiations unless the sanctions are lifted.
The U.S. plan to impose new financial sanctions on North Korea will focus on cracking down on its overseas arms sales and the supply of luxury goods to its leadership, according to South Korean intelligence sources, on 23.07.2010.
Washington is reportedly taking steps to freeze Pyongyang’s secret overseas bank accounts used to deposit money from arms transactions, counterfeiting, money laundering and drug trafficking.
The United States has identified about 200 bank accounts with links to North Korea and is expected to freeze some 100 of those suspected of being used for weapons exports and other illicit purposes banned under U.N. resolutions, Yonhap News reported 23.07.2010.
These were renewed in April, 2010 for a year and ban imports of North Korean goods, as well as all exports to the country, and prohibit port calls by North Korean vessels. Japan, in principle, bans North Korean nationals entering the country, though this does not apply to re-entry by North Korean residents of Japan. Cash sums of more than 300,000 yen carried to North Korea must be reported to authorities, while remittances of over 10m yen must be declared.
North Korea threatens ‘physical response’ to US military exercises
North Korea on 23.07.2010 threatened a “physical response” to planned military exercises by the US and South Korea in the weekend, as tensions on the Korean peninsula dominated a regional security forum in Hanoi.
Thirty-five undergraduate students from seven engineering colleges, four in Bangalore and three in Hyderabad, have done something that would have been unthinkable even a few years ago. One of the five satellites carried by the PSLV-C15 launched on July 12, 2010 is a pico satellite, named ‘Studsat,’ which weighs less than 1.5 kg.
A picosat is a miniaturised artificial satellite. This is the first time in India that a picosat with an imaging camera has been designed, fabricated, and built by students, under the guidance of scientists from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
The students were also involved in testing the adequacy of the clean room and ground station built for fabricating Studsat, and in receiving data and commanding the satellite. The clean room and ground station were established at one of the seven institutes involved in the project. The camera has a low resolution of 90 metres. The panchromatic images will provide terrain information during the satellite’s short lifespan of six months to one year. The idea behind this exercise was to provide students an opportunity to understand the mission aspects and gain hands-on experience in building a working satellite.
Satellite launches by ISRO have always attracted public attention. But it was the Chandrayaan-1 launch in October 2008 that fired the imagination of students. The outcome was an impressive increase in the number of young men and women showing interest in space research. What is more, the trend has been sustained.
Studsat, a student initiative backed by some of India’s finest higher educational institutions, is an inspiring first — and there is more to come. Two nano satellites (in the less-than-15-kg category) are being built by IIT Kanpur and IIT Mumbai, and two by Chennai-based universities. All four satellites will be launched before mid-2011. If this progressive trend is student-driven, ISRO has played an exemplary role in mentoring and nurturing it. The decision to sacrifice precious payload to accommodate the demonstration satellites shows that ISRO is playing for the future. With the educational institutions required to build their own clean room and ground station, the agency has ensured that they have a long-term commitment to promote space research.
At a time when many developed countries are finding it difficult to promote science, ISRO’s novel way of attracting talent stands out. With Chandrayaan-2 and human space flight in prospect, it is clear that rising India’s space future is very bright.
When Dolly, the first cloned sheep became news, cloning interested the masses. Not only did researchers delve deeper into the subject but even the common people sought great interest in knowing all about how cloning had been done. There was a sudden curiosity that rose in society about how cloning could benefit the common man. People were eager to know all about cloning and questions prevail till date. Ever since cloning became a possibility, its pros and cons have been fervently debated over on moral, ethical and technical grounds.
Cloning in biology is the process of similar producing populations of genetically identical individuals that occurs in nature when organisms such as bacteria, insects or plants reproduce asexually. Cloning in biotechnology refers to processes used to create copies of DNA fragments (molecular cloning), cells (cell cloning), or organisms. The term also refers to the production of multiple copies of a product such as digital media or software. The term clone is derived from the Greek word for “trunk, branch”, referring to the process whereby a new plant can be created from a twig.
Pros of Cloning
If the vital organs of the human body can be cloned, they can serve as backup systems for human beings. Cloning body parts can serve as a lifesaver. When a body organ such as a kidney or heart fails to function, it may be possible to replace it with the cloned body organ.
Cloning could help reproduce plants that are more disease-resistant. Reproducing superior plants, especially those with nutritional superiority, could help address world hunger issues. Cloned plants also are more predictable, which could help save millions of dollars in farming costs, and plants near extinction could be saved through the right cloning programs.
Cloning in human beings can prove to be a solution to infertility. Cloning has the potential of serving as an option for producing children. Cloning may make it possible to reproduce a certain trait in human beings. We will be able to produce people with certain qualities, human beings with particular desirable traits, thus making human beings a man-made being.
Cloning technologies can prove helpful for the researchers in genetics. They might be able to understand the composition of genes and the effects of genetic constituents on human traits, in a better manner. They will be able to alter genetic constituents in cloned human beings, thus simplifying their analysis of genes. Cloning may also help us combat a wide range of genetic diseases.
Cloning can make it possible for us to obtain customized organisms and harness them for health benefits of society. Cloning can serve as the best means to replicate animals that can be used for research purposes.
Cloning can enable the genetic alteration of plants and animals. If positive changes can be brought about in living beings with the help of cloning, it will indeed be a boon to mankind.
Cons of Cloning
Cloning created identical genes. It is a process of replicating a genetic constitution, thus hampering the diversity in genes. While lessening the diversity in genes, we weaken our ability of adaptation. Cloning is also detrimental to the beauty that lies in diversity.
While cloning allows man to tamper with genetics in human beings, it also makes deliberate reproduction of undesirable traits, a probability. Cloning of body organs might invite malpractices in society.
In cloning human organs and using them for transplant, or in cloning human beings themselves, technical and economic barriers will have to be considered. Will cloned organs be cost-effective? Will cloning techniques really reach the common man?
Moreover, cloning will put human and animal rights at stake. Will cloning fit into our ethical and moral principles? Cloning will leave man just another man-made being. Won’t it devalue mankind? Won’t it undermine the value of human life?
Cloning in India
Feb 13 2009
In a landmark achievement for India, the scientists at Karnal-based India’s National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) successfully cloned the world’s first ever buffalo calf. The scientists at NDRI are said to have used a technique superior than that used in cloning the famous sheep- Dolly. The buffalo calf was born on Feb 6 2009 at NDRI campus. However, this jubilation was cut short, as the buffalo calf died five days later due to pneumonia. It is said that the infection was caused due to complications at the time of delivery and the cloning technique in itself was not faulty.
The cloning of the buffalo calf at NDRI was conducted under the expertise of a team of six scientists, SK Singla, RS Manik, MS Chauhan, P Palta, RA Shah, and A George. Though the unnamed calf died just after five days, the scientists involved in the cloning are hopeful that the new technique implied in the process would lead to a new era in animal science for faster multiplication of superior germplasm. This breakthrough is expected to solve scarcity of milk production in the coming times.
Another advantage of this technique lies in the fact that it is less demanding in terms of equipment, time and skill. At the same time, this would enable to produce calves of desired sex. As India boasts of world’s best quality buffaloes, the new enhanced technique used by the Indian Scientists may make it possible to clone and multiply a number of calves from a single embryo taken from a buffalo of highest quality.
Following the death of their first cloned buffalo, the scientists in the Indian state of Haryana cloned a buffalo using foetal tissue. The female calf named Garima weighed 43 kilograms (95 pounds) and was born at the National Dairy Research Institute in the city of Karnal in northern India. Scientists cloned Garima using tissue from a foetus as part of a “hand-guided cloning technique” which allows the sex of the calf to be chosen. Scientists said India has the largest population of buffaloes in the world and that cloning would increase the percentage of elite animals in the species.
The world’s first cloned camel produced in the desert of Dubai made news in April this year.
Dr Nisar Ahmad Wani, a senior reproductive biologist at Dubai’s Camel Reproduction Centre who had worked as assistant professor in Sher-i-Kashmir University of Agricultural Technology, toiled for six long years to achieve this.
Injaz or achievement in Arabic, a humped female camel, is the 12th domestic species to be cloned. She was produced by injecting the cells harvested from the female camel ovary into a camel oocyte (female germ cell or reproductive cell) whose nucleus had been removed. The two were then subjected to a split-second electrical impulse and chemically activated to induce them to start dividing like a normal fertilised egg. The resulting embryo was cultured for seven days in laboratory before it was re-implanted into a surrogate camel.
March 22 2010
Despite their success with the “cloned water buffalo”, animal scientists at National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), Karnal, are not enthused about “cloning the endangered species of tigers” to save them from becoming extinct.
Cloning experiments and their success have kindled a hope that endangered and extinct species can be revived and tiger conservationists are looking forward to some breakthrough in tiger cloning.
While the companies in the USA are working on isolating the best breeds of cattle and poultry for cloning to enable the farmers raise the quality of their livestock, scientists at NDRI assert that each species of animal has different characteristics and one cloning method cannot be said to suit all.
However, the pertinent question defying an unambiguous answer is that whether “cloning” could come to the rescue of Bengal tigers. A team of scientists headed by SK Singla associated with cloning of buffalo by hand-guided method warns that it is more likely possible with large mammals whose fertility characteristics are known.
Further, any tiger-cloning project would entail enormous logistics to locate sufficient donor eggs and parent cells and there was also an element of the “unknown” if the captive-bred tigers would survive when released into the wild.
Tiger conservationists also point out that the gene pool of wild tigers was already tiny and cloning them will not diversify the gene pool and the best course is to preserve the tiger’s habitat and hope the population recovers naturally.
Some characteristics of cloning animals are given below:
Cloning is more likely possible with large mammals whose fertility characteristics are known
There is a problem of harvesting eggs as tigers produce only a few eggs at a time
The project will entail enormous logistics to locate sufficient donor eggs and parent cells
In Chandigarh this year 2010, it is said that two more water buffalo clones will be borne by the end of this year.
Human cloning is the creation of a genetically identical copy of an existing or previously existing human. The term is generally used to refer to artificial human cloning; human clones in the form of identical twins are commonplace, with their cloning occurring during the natural process of reproduction. There are two commonly discussed types of human cloning: therapeutic cloning and reproductive cloning. Therapeutic cloning involves cloning adult cells for use in medicine and is an active area of research. Reproductive cloning would involve making cloned humans. A third type of cloning called replacement cloning is a theoretical possibility, and would be a combination of therapeutic and reproductive cloning. Replacement cloning would entail the replacement of an extensively damaged, failed, or failing body through cloning followed by whole or partial brain transplant.
The various forms of human cloning are controversial. There have been numerous demands for all progress in the human cloning field to be halted. Most scientific, governmental and religious organizations oppose reproductive cloning. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and other scientific organizations have made public statements suggesting that human reproductive cloning be banned until safety issues are resolved. Serious ethical concerns have been raised by the future possibility of harvesting organs from clones. Some people have considered the idea of growing organs separately from a human organism – in doing this, a new organ supply could be established without the moral implications of harvesting them from humans. Research is also being done on the idea of growing organs that are biologically acceptable to the human body inside of other organisms, such as pigs or cows, then transplanting them to humans, a form of xenotransplantation.
The first human hybrid human clone was created in November 1998, by American Cell Technologies. It was created from a man’s leg cell, and a cow’s egg whose DNA was removed. It was destroyed after 12 days. Since a normal embryo implants at 14 days, Dr Robert Lanza, ACT’s director of tissue engineering, told the Daily Mail newspaper that the embryo could not be seen as a person before 14 days. While making an embryo, which may have resulted in a complete human had it been allowed to come to term, according to ACT: “[ACT's] aim was ‘therapeutic cloning’ not ‘reproductive cloning’”
On January, 2008, Wood and Andrew French, Stemagen’s chief scientific officer in California, announced that they successfully created the first 5 mature human embryos using DNA from adult skin cells, aiming to provide a source of viable embryonic stem cells. Dr. Samuel Wood and a colleague donated skin cells, and DNA from those cells was transferred to human eggs. It is not clear if the embryos produced would have been capable of further development, but Dr. Wood stated that if that were possible, using the technology for reproductive cloning would be both unethical and illegal. The 5 cloned embryos, created in Stemagen Corporation lab, in La 0Jolla, were destroyed.
Cloning in Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Making steady progress in stem cell research and its clinical applications, Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS) is in a position to venture into the realm of cloning.
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of an international seminar on ‘Frontiers of stem cell and biotechnology in human and veterinary medicine,’ TANUVAS Vice-Chancellor P. Thangaraju said the varsity was conducting trials in embryo transfer in cattle and culturing of stem cells collected from ovaries for treatment of spinal cord, joints, nerves and tendons in animals.
After successfully using autologous (patient derived) stem cell therapy for the management of a paraplegic dog’s spinal cord injury, the varsity plans to set up an umbilical cord cell bank for animals, especially dogs and horses. Stem cell therapy could come in handy in treating the injured tendons of race horses, which could cost Rs 4 to 5 lakh each. Virginia Tech, a partner institution, was also working on stem cell therapy for tendon injuries, he said.
On cloning, Mr. Thangaraju said, “We have standardised techniques for cloning rabbits. Now, we are working on larger animals.” Unwilling to set a deadline, he said: “I am not in a position to say whether it (cloning) is in its initial or final stage. There are impediments.”
Meanwhile, TANUVAS sources said the varsity has not taken up cloning till now as it involved ethical issues and needed the approval of animal ethics and genetic engineering committees. At present, TANUVAS was focussing on embryo transfer and stem cell therapy which have greater application in clinical applications, the sources said. Another buffalo calf cloned – 23.08.2010
A cloned buffalo calf was born at the Karnal-based National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) on 22.08.2010, where two calves were cloned a year ago, the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) announced here on 23.08.2010.
The buffalo calf, named Garima-II, was born through the new and advanced ‘hand-guided cloning technique’. It weighs 32 kg and is apparently normal and healthy. “This cloned buffalo calf is different from the earlier clone calf because, in this case, the used donor cell was an embryonic cell,” said NDRI Director A.K. Srivastava in a press statement.
According to him, the technology could go a long way in facilitating faster multiplication of superior milch buffaloes in the country. “There is an acute shortage of good bulls in the country. The technology of cloning will decrease the gap between supply and demand by breeding the bulls in the shortest possible time,” he said.
Dr. Srivastava said that although the world’s largest population of buffaloes was in India, and it contributed about 55 per cent to the total milk production in the country, the percentage of elite buffaloes was low.
Dr. Srivastava and his team of scientists, including M.S. Chauhan, S.K. Singla, R.S. Manik, Shiv Prasad and Aman George, feel that embryonic stem cells have a better cloning ability as compared to somatic cells (used in earlier cloning) that are lineage committed.
The world’s first buffalo calf through the ‘hand-guided cloning technique’ developed by the NDRI was born on February 6, 2010 but it could not survive beyond five days. The second cloned calf, Garima-I, was born on June 6, 2009. It survived and is reportedly healthy.
The new calf was developed from embryos that were cultured and grown in a laboratory and then transferred to recipient buffalo. It was born in a Caesarean operation carried out by a team of doctors from the NDRI and Chaudhary Charan Singh Agricultural University, Hisar.
Congratulating the team, ICAR Director-General S. Ayyappan said the new technology of hand-guided cloning of buffaloes may lead to a “new era in faster multiplication of elite germplasm to face the challenges of increasing demands of milk in view of the ever-growing human population”.
The search for water resources in China and India has persistently been a source of tension between the two countries. Chinese efforts to divert the water resources of the Brahmaputra River away from India will worsen a situation that has remained tense since the 1962 Indo-China war. The melting glaciers in the Himalayas as a result of accelerating global climate change will have a dramatic effect on this river’s water supply. This will increase water scarcity as well as the likelihood of floods, impact agrarian livelihoods and strain the fragile equilibrium between the two Asian giants.
The Brahmaputra River flows 2,900 km from its source in the Kailas range of the Himalayas to its massive delta and the Bay of Bengal in Bangladesh. It flows through China, India, and Bangladesh, but its watershed includes Nepal, Bhutan, and Burma as well. The river drops steeply from the heights of the Tibetan Plateau through the world’s deepest valley (5,075m) into northeast India where the river eventually merges with the Ganges and Meghna rivers to form the largest river delta in the world (60,000km2).The Brahmaputra basin covers 651,334 km2 (WRI), 58% of which lies in India and 20% in China.
The river is defined by the diversity of terrain through which it flows, subject to regular earthquakes, natural disasters, and other changing conditions. 29% of the basin is actively used as cropland, almost half of which is irrigated. Only 3% of the basin is developed as urban land and 2% is considered barren. 19% is covered by forest, 16% by shrub, 29% by grassland, 21% by wetland, and 11% is considered eroded land.
History of Tense Diplomatic Relationsbetween India and China
In 2000, India accused China of not sharing hydrological data on the flow of the Brahmaputra River through the Chinese territory resulting in widespread devastation and floods. At least 40 people died. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in 2002 to coordinate data sharing pertaining to water level, discharge and rainfall. The data provided by China has helped in flood-forecasting and given the Indian Water Ministry a better understanding of the river system. Any plan to divert the Brahmaputra will have to be made known to the Indian Water Ministry beforehand in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding.
The Indian concerns over plans to divert the Brahmaputra were not unwarranted. The two components of the diversion scheme would include the construction of the world’s largest hydroelectric plant on the Great Bend of the river on the Tibetan plateau; the second is the diversion of the waters northwards across hundreds of kilometers to China’s northwestern provinces.
In early 2003, scientists from the China Water Conservancy and Hydropower Planning and Designing Institute organized a feasibility study for a major hydropower project along the section of the Brahmaputra River which flows through China. This section of the river, which later flows into India and Bangladesh, has a water energy reserve of about 68 million kilowatt, or 1/10th of the national total.
If successful, this project would divert 200 billion cubic meters of water annually to the Yellow River. Although highly beneficial for Chinese interests, the effects on India and Bangladesh will be devastating. Environmental experts report that roughly 60% of the total water flow will fall drastically if China is successful in constructing this dam on the Brahmaputra.
China’s effort to redirect the flow of a river which provides the base for agrarian life in its neighboring countries is a provocative move, indeed. Some have gone so far to say that this action qualifies as an act of war. In fact, this is another grand effort on behalf of the Chinese government to fulfill its goal of instituting a massive South-North water diversion project.
In 2006, the Chinese government denied the existence of plans to divert water resources from the Brahmaputra to provide fresh water for the Northwest provinces away from India and Bangladesh. Although top water officials denied this motivation, it has been a fear of the Indian government and has yet to be fully resolved.
China’s South-North Water Diversion Project
The incredible growth rate of China’s population (predicted to reach 1.6 billion in 2045) and the rapid urbanization of major sectors of its populace will exacerbate one of the country’s greatest concerns, the availability of water to meet the needs of its people. Current numbers estimate that China has only 8% of the world’s fresh water to meet the needs of 22% of the world’s people. To further compound this problem, the country’s water resources are not equally distributed. Southern China, with roughly 700 million people, has 4/5th of its water and northern China, with 550 million people, has 1/5th of the water.
The scheme to divert the waters from the South to the North was crafted based on this understanding of water distribution. As evidenced in the following map, there are three critical segments: the eastern, central and western routes.
Due to the proximity to the Indian border, the scale and impact of this water diversion scheme will have dangerous consequences for millions of people downstream. The foremost concern is the decreased water flow which will impact irrigation practices and local livelihoods. The environmental impact will result in an increased salinity of the water.
Impact of Climate Change on the Brahmaputra River Conflict
As tensions grow between China and India over river diversion projects and accessibility to fresh water resources, the likely impacts of climate change on this conflict over natural resources will amplify the current state of affairs.
Primary concern needs to be placed on the possible changes in magnitude, extent and depth of floods from the Brahmaputra River in India and Bangladesh.
The gradual melting of Himalayan glaciers as a result of climate change will impact the amount of water in the Brahmaputra. As the ice disappears, so will significant fractions of south Asia’s water supply. As the Brahmaputra River dries up, along with other rivers critical to the survival of India, gross per capita water availability will decline by 1/3rd by 2050. The feedback loops that result from massive declines in water availability are directly correlated with human health and may result in a rise in water-borne diseases such as cholera.
Rather than covertly acting to divert water resources from one country to another, the protection of the shared resource of water supply might be a focal point of cooperation rather than conflict. China and India could work together to protect surrounding communities from increased flood hazard due to climate change by strengthening flood management policies and adaptation measures.
Conflict over the Brahmaputra River will be high at both the intrastate and interstate levels. The main reason for high intrastate conflict will be over availability to water between villages and communities, which may lead to hording and violence. This is less likely than the most definite interstate conflict which will take place between India and China as the two will have various reasons to take arms against one another – climate change may cause draughts throughout the western provinces of China, it will also melt the glaciers that feed the Brahmaputra River, gradually decreasing the total water supply. Decisions to route the direction of the River toward one country over another will be cause enough for high levels of conflict and will be further compounded by the impact of climate change.
Politics and Culture
The river’s three names, the Brahmaputra (India), Yarlung Zangbo (Tibet), and Jamuna (Bangladesh), reflect the complicated fabric of ethnic groups and International Communities living along its banks. The Brahmaputra flows through some of the most heavily disputed and unstable areas in South Asia. China and India currently dispute 83,000 km within the basin. Much of the boundary between the two countries is based on administrative units that do not shift with the rivers as they change course or level over time. Alluvial or “char” land that is exposed as a river shifts often leads to dispute, as the land is highly valued for agriculture (CIA World Fact-book, 1998; IBRU, 1999).
In northeast India, more than 6 separatist and rebel groups are active. Recent riots contributed to the deaths of hundreds of Burmese and other immigrants and led to demonstrations. The northeast is one of the poorest regions in India. Currently population density, on average, is 174 people per square mile, but this population is concentrated in 14 large cities in the region. Urban areas are growing at 5% a year (WRI). The Brahmaputra basin has seen a surge in millions of people immigrating to the area from Bangladesh and West Bengal. Increasing densities have led to competition for jobs and land. In 1999, 500 people died from ethnic violence in Northeast India (US Commission on Refugees). In the mid 1960s the Indian government relocated 3,000 ethnic Chakmas to Arunachal Pradesh from what is now Bangladesh after construction of a large dam. The influx has caused conflict in this state.
In the ancient Indian tradition, two rivers are known to originate from Manasarovar Lake, in Mt. Kailas; one flowing to the east is called Brahmaputra and the other flowing to the west was called Shatadru, a tributary of the Sarasvati (joining the latter at Shatrana, Punjab) in Rigvedic times. Both these major rivers, Brahmaputra and Sarasvati are related to the God of creation, Brahma. The lower portion of the river is sacred to Hindus.
Hydropower and Infrastructure Development
In 1980, the Indian government established the Brahmaputra Board as a statutory body under the Ministry of Water Resources to plan for and implement projects to harness the river for hydropower, flood control, and economic development. The Board has identified 34 “Drainage Development schemes” that include hydropower dams, embankment reinforcement, and other multipurpose projects. These projects are included in the Board”s Master Plan, approved by the Indian government in 1997.Currently there are no large dams on the Brahmaputra.
It is estimated that the Brahmaputra”s power potential could provide about 48000 MW. This constitutes as much as 30 per cent of the total hydropower reserves of India, but less than even 3 per cent of this has yet to be harnessed.
Trade and Economics
The river is navigable for large crafts 1,290 km upstream from the Bay of Bengal to Dibrugarh, India. The lower portions of the river are used heavily to transport agricultural products. A major earthquake in 1950 (magnitude 8.7 on the Richter scale) and disputes over water rights impeded further access upstream. The Brahmaputra Valley in Assam has marshy jungle, teak forest, and commercial fisheries; rice, jute, tea, and sugarcane are grown there as well. In Tibet, the river forms an important east-west transportation route.
There currently exists a rapidly growing trade relationship between India and China. Both Indian exports and imports through China have grown tremendously since 1999.
Hydrology The Brahmaputra’s flows fluctuate drastically between high and low flows. High flows, peaking in mid June, can run at 72,460 m3/s (1962 flood). The mean annual flood discharge of the river is 48,160 m3/sec at Pandu (India). Its minimum recorded dry-season flow was only 3,280 m3/s in 1960.
The average annual rainfall in the basin is 230 cm with a marked variability in distribution over the watershed. Rainfall in the lower Himalayan region amounts to more than 500cm per year with higher elevations getting progressively lesser amounts. The rainfall intensity occasionally records exceedingly high rates causing flash floods, landslides, debris flow and erosion.
The rains begin in May or early June, and the wet season lasts to October. From June to September, the rains occur nearly daily. A period of fluctuating high flow follows, usually with peaks in July and September. The last peak is followed by a long recession into December and January.
During the rainy season there, the river often floods to 8 km wide, rising 9-12 m and depositing sediment carried down from the mountains.
The wide Brahmaputra River is also a bio-geographic barrier for several species. For instance, the golden langur (Semnopithecus geei), hispid hare (Caprolagus hispidus), and pygmy hog (Sus salvanius) are limited to the north bank of the river, whereas the hoolock gibbon (Hylobates hoolock) and stump-tailed macaque (Macaca arctoides) are limited to the south bank (Rodgers and Panwar 1988).
The June to September southwest monsoon is funneled through the Gangetic River plains, flanked by the Himalayas to the north and the Mizo Hills to the south, deluging the eco region with 1,500-3,000 mm of rainfall, depending on the topographic variation. The substrate consists of deep alluvial deposits, washed down over the centuries by the Brahmaputra and other rivers such as the Manas and Subansiri, which drain southern slopes of the Eastern Himalaya. The eco region’s vegetation therefore is thus influenced by the rich alluvial soils and the monsoon rains.
The Brahmaputra drains an area of approximately 9.4 million square kilometers…combined with the Ganges River these rivers sustain more people than all the people in Western Europe and North America combined.
There has been speculation for years that China may build a dam in the area of the Great Bend to divert water into China’s Gobi desert which covers half of China’s landmass and yet has only 7 percent of its freshwater.
The Chinese are apparently eyeing about 40 billion cubic meters, out of the annual average inflow of 71.4 billion, of the Brahmaputra’s waters. The river skirts China’s borders before dipping into India and Bangladesh. China has a serious need to feed water to its north-west territory, the Gobi Desert, which contains almost half the country’s total landmass, but only seven percent of its freshwater. The Gobi occupies an area of 1,300,000 sq.km making it one of the largest deserts in the world. Desertification of Gobi since 1950s has expanded it by 52,000 sq.km and it is now just 160 km from Beijing. It is said to expand by 3 km per year.
China has the will and the necessary resources — manpower, technology and, above all, large foreign currency reserves in excess of a trillion dollars — to take the Brahmaputra diversion project forward; the country’s economic stimulus in infrastructure could create employment potential for more than a few million people.
The Brahmaputra flows 2,900 km from its source in the Kailash range of the Himalayas to its massive delta and the Bay of Bengal in Bangladesh. The river drains a vast area of nearly 9,36,800 sq. km. This river system forms the largest river delta and the third largest free water fall out into the Ocean in the world — next only to the Amazon and the Congo rivers. More people live in the Ganges-Brahmaputra river basin than Western Europe and the entire North American continent.
This river system is of critical interest to all the four countries, including Nepal. China is an upper riparian state and, therefore, has the freedom and capacity to divert the river. Should that happen, the irreparable loss will result in destruction of a large part of the North-East and Bangladesh. This step will also drive millions of refugees from Bangladesh into India for their livelihood. There is thus an urgent need to address this issue trilaterally.
China says it has no designs on the Brahmaputra. In a story reported by the Times of India this past fall China’s Minister for Water Resources, Wang Shucheng, stated in the China Daily that the proposal to divert waters of the Tsangpo-Brahmaputra had no government backing and “there is no need for such dramatic and unscientific projects”. China’s own freshwater resources have become more strained as the population grows and pollution ruins available freshwater. China has water issues…and the Tsangpo-Brahmaputra River is a tempting source and solution for their issues.
In April 2010, China said the dam being built by it on river Brahmaputra will have no impact on the downstream flow of the river into India.
Even though not fully convertible, the Indian rupee will soon have a distinct identity. With a blend of the Devanagari ‘Ra’ and Roman ‘R’ as its unique symbol, the Indian currency will be joining the elite club of the US dollar, the European euro, the British pound sterling and the Japanese yen to mark its presence in the global arena.
Designed by Bombay IIT post-graduate D. Udaya Kumar, (native of Kallakurichi, Tamil Nadu), the symbol was approved by the Union Cabinet on 15.07.2010 to distinguish the currency of the over $ 1-trillion economy from the rest, such as the rupee or the rupiah of Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said: “It’s a big statement on the Indian currency. The symbol would lend a distinctive character and identity to the currency and further highlight the strength and global face of the Indian economy.”
Unlike the pound sterling among the four currencies with distinct identities, the Indian currency symbol will not be printed or embossed on paper notes or coins.
It would be included in the ‘Unicode Standard’ and major scripts of the world so as to ensure that it is easily displayed and printed in the electronic and print media.
Ms. Soni pointed out that the symbol would be adopted within a span of six months in the country and in about 18-24 months globally.
Mr. Udaya Kumar’s winning entry was chosen from 3,000 designs received for the currency symbol competition. He will get an award of Rs. 2.5 lakh from the Finance Ministry. The jury, headed by an RBI Deputy Governor, had sent five short-listed entries for the Cabinet’s approval.
When D. Udaya Kumar decided to participate in the competition to create a symbol for the rupee, he looked at a number of Indian scripts to come up with a design. “I saw many regional language scripts but I thought many represented only one region of India. But the Devanagari script is the most extensively used in the country, so I decided to go with that.”
Mr. Kumar said the horizontal line on top used in the Devanagari script was unique to India. “The two horizontal lines and the band between also represent the Indian flag.”
A native of Kallakurichi in Tamil Nadu, Mr. Kumar completed most of his schooling in Chennai.
After studying at the School of Architecture and Planning at Anna University in Chennai, he did his Masters’ at the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay starting 2001, before enrolling for a PhD there in 2005 after a two-year stint in the computer magazine Chip.
Foot Ball World Cup is formally called asFIFA World Cup.Foot Ball is also called association football or soccer and it is agame in which two teams of 11 players, using any part of their bodies except their hands and arms, try to maneuver the ball into the opposing team’s goal. Only the goalkeeper is permitted to handle the ball and may do so only within the penalty area surrounding the goal. The team that scores more goals wins.
The first competition for the cup was organized in 1930 by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and was won by Uruguay. Held every four years since that time, except during World War II, the competition consists of international sectional tournaments leading to a final elimination event made up of 32 national teams. Unlike Olympic football, World Cup teams are not limited to players of a certain age or amateur status, so the competition serves more nearly as a contest between the world’s best players. Referees are selected from lists that are submitted by all the national associations.
The trophy cup awarded from 1930 to 1970 was the Jules Rimet Trophy, named for the Frenchman who proposed the tournament. This cup was permanently awarded in 1970 to then three-time winner Brazil (1958, 1962, and 1970), and a new trophy called the FIFA World Cup was put up for competition. Many other sports have organized “World Cup” competitions.
History – The early years
Modern football originated in Britain in the 19th century. Since before medieval times, “folk football” games had been played in towns and villages according to local customs and with a minimum of rules. Industrialization and urbanization, which reduced the amount of leisure time and space available to the working class, combined with a history of legal prohibitions against particularly violent and destructive forms of folk football to undermine the game’s status from the early 19th century onward. However, football was taken up as a winter game between residence houses at public (independent) schools such as Winchester, Charterhouse, and Eton. Each school had its own rules; some allowed limited handling of the ball and others did not. The variance in rules made it difficult for public schoolboys entering university to continue playing except with former schoolmates. As early as 1843 an attempt to standardize and codify the rules of play was made at the University of Cambridge, whose students joined most public schools in 1848 in adopting these “Cambridge rules,” which were further spread by Cambridge graduates who formed football clubs. In 1863 a series of meetings involving clubs from metropolitan London and surrounding counties produced the printed rules of football, which prohibited the carrying of the ball. Thus the “handling” game of rugby remained outside the newly formed Football Association (FA). Indeed, by 1870, all handling of the ball except by the goalkeeper was prohibited by the FA.
The new rules were not universally accepted in Britain, however; many clubs retained their own rules, especially in and around Sheffield. Although this northern English city was the home of the first provincial club to join the FA, in 1867 it also gave birth to the Sheffield Football Association, the forerunner of later county associations. Sheffield and London clubs played two matches against each other in 1866, and a year later a match pitting a club from Middlesex against one from Kent and Surrey was played under the revised rules. In 1871 15 FA clubs accepted an invitation to enter a cup competition and to contribute to the purchase of a trophy. By 1877, the associations of Great Britain had agreed upon a uniform code, 43 clubs were in competition, and the London clubs’ initial dominance had diminished.
By the early 20th century, football had spread across Europe, but it was in need of international organization. A solution was found in 1904, when representatives from the football associations of Belgium, Denmark, France, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland founded the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).
Although Englishman Daniel Woolfall was elected FIFA president in 1906 and all of the home nations (England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales) were admitted as members by 1911, British football associations were disdainful of the new body. FIFA members accepted British control over the rules of football via the International Board, which had been established by the home nations in 1882. Nevertheless, in 1920 the British associations resigned their FIFA memberships after failing to persuade other members that Germany, Austria, and Hungary should be expelled following World War I. The British associations rejoined FIFA in 1924 but soon after insisted upon a very rigid definition of amateurism, notably for Olympic football. Other nations again failed to follow their lead, and the British resigned once more in 1928, remaining outside FIFA until 1946. When FIFA established the World Cup championship, British insouciance toward the international game continued. Without membership in FIFA, the British national teams were not invited to the first three competitions (1930, 1934, and 1938). For the next competition, held in 1950, FIFA ruled that the two best finishers in the British home nations tournament would qualify for World Cup play; England won, but Scotland (which finished second) chose not to compete for the World Cup.
Despite sometimes fractious international relations, football continued to rise in popularity. It made its official Olympic debut at the London Games in 1908, and it has since been played in each of the Summer Games (except for the 1932 Games in Los Angeles). FIFA also grew steadily—especially in the latter half of the 20th century, when it strengthened its standing as the game’s global authority and regulator of competition. Guinea became FIFA’s 100th member in 1961; at the turn of the 21st century, more than 200 nations were registered FIFA members, which is more than the number of countries that belong to the United Nations.
The World Cup finals remain football’s premier tournament, but other important tournaments have emerged under FIFA guidance. Two different tournaments for young players began in 1977 and 1985, and these became, respectively, the World Youth Championship (for those 20 years old and younger) and the Under-17 World Championship. Futsal, the world indoor, five-a-side championship, started in 1989, and two years later the first women’s World Cup was played in China. In 1992 FIFA opened the Olympic football tournament to players aged under 23 years, and four years later the first women’s Olympic football tournament was held. The World Club Championship debuted in Brazil in 2000. The Under-19 Women’s World Championship was inaugurated in 2002.
FIFA membership is open to all national associations. They must accept FIFA’s authority, observe the laws of football, and possess a suitable football infrastructure (i.e., facilities and internal organization). FIFA statutes require members to form continental confederations. The first of these, the Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol (commonly known as CONMEBOL), was founded in South America in 1916. In 1954 the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) were established. Africa’s governing body, the Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF), was founded in 1957. The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) followed four years later. The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) appeared in 1966. These confederations may organize their own club, international, and youth tournaments, elect representatives to FIFA’s Executive Committee, and promote football in their specific continents as they see fit. In turn, all football players, agents, leagues, national associations, and confederations must recognize the authority of FIFA’s Arbitration Tribunal for Football, which effectively functions as football’s supreme court in serious disputes.
Play of the game
The rules of football regarding equipment, field of play, conduct of participants, and settling of results are built around 17 laws. The International Football Association Board, consisting of delegates from FIFA and the four football associations from the United Kingdom, is empowered to amend the laws.
Equipment and field of play
The object of football is to maneuver the ball into the opposing team’s goal, using any part of the body except the hands and arms. The side scoring more goals wins. The ball is round, covered with leather or some other suitable material, and inflated; it must be 27–27.5 inches (68–70 cm) in circumference and 14.5–16 ounces (410–450 grams) in weight. A game lasts 90 minutes and is divided into halves; the halftime interval lasts 15 minutes, during which the teams change ends. Additional time may be added by the referee to compensate for stoppages in play (for example, player injuries). If neither side wins, and if a victor must be established, “extra-time” is played, and then, if required, a series of penalty kicks may be taken.
The penalty area, a rectangular area in front of the goal, is 44 yards (40.2 metres) wide and extends 18 yards (16.5 metres) into the field. The goal is a frame, backed by a net, measuring 8 yards (7.3 metres) wide and 8 feet (2.4 metres) high. The playing field (pitch) should be 100–130 yards (90–120 metres) long and 50–100 yards (45–90 metres) wide; for international matches, it must be 110–120 yards long and 70–80 yards wide. Women, children, and mature players may play a shorter game on a smaller field. The game is controlled by a referee, who is also the timekeeper, and two assistants who patrol the touchlines, or sidelines, signaling when the ball goes out of play and when players are offside.
Players wear jerseys with numbers, shorts, and socks that designate the team for whom they are playing. Shoes and shin guards must be worn. The two teams must wear identifiably different uniforms, and goalkeepers must be distinguishable from all players and match officials.
Free kicks are awarded for fouls or violations of rules; when a free kick is taken, all players of the offending side must be 10 yards (9 metres) from the ball. Free kicks may be either direct (from which a goal may be scored), for more serious fouls, or indirect (from which a goal cannot be scored), for lesser violations. Penalty kicks, introduced in 1891, are awarded for more serious fouls committed inside the area. The penalty kick is a direct free kick awarded to the attacking side and is taken from a spot 12 yards (11 metres) from goal, with all players other than the defending goalkeeper and the kicker outside the penalty area. Since 1970, players guilty of a serious foul are given a yellow caution card; a second caution earns a red card and ejection from the game. Players may also be sent off directly for particularly serious fouls, such as violent conduct.
There were few major alterations to football’s laws through the 20th century. Indeed, until the changes of the 1990s, the most significant amendment to the rules came in 1925, when the offside rule was rewritten. Previously, an attacking player (i.e., one in the opponent’s half of the playing field) was offside if, when the ball was “played” to him, fewer than three opposing players were between him and the goal. The rule change, which reduced the required number of intervening players to two, was effective in promoting more goals. In response, new defensive tactics and team formations emerged. Player substitutions were introduced in 1965; teams have been allowed to field three substitutes since 1995.
More recent rule changes have helped increase the tempo, attacking incidents, and amount of effective play in games. The pass-back rule now prohibits goalkeepers from handling the ball after it is kicked to them by a teammate. “Professional fouls,” which are deliberately committed to prevent opponents from scoring, are punished by red cards, as is tackling (taking the ball away from a player by kicking or stopping it with one’s feet) from behind. Players are cautioned for “diving” (feigning being fouled) to win free kicks or penalties. Time wasting has been addressed by forcing goalkeepers to clear the ball from hand within six seconds and by having injured players removed by stretcher from the pitch. Finally, the offside rule was adjusted to allow attackers who are level with the penultimate defender to be onside.
Interpretation of football’s rules is influenced heavily by cultural and tournament contexts. Lifting one’s feet over waist level to play the ball is less likely to be penalized as dangerous play in Britain than in southern Europe. The British game can be similarly lenient in punishing the tackle from behind, in contrast to the trend in recent World Cup matches. FIFA insists that “the referee’s decision is final,” and it is reluctant to break the flow of games to allow for video assessment on marginal decisions. However, the most significant future amendments or reinterpretations of football’s rules may deploy more efficient technology to assist match officials. Post-match video evidence is used now by football’s disciplinary committees, particularly to adjudicate violent play or to evaluate performances by match officials.
Strategy and tactics
Use of the feet and (to a lesser extent) the legs to control and pass the ball is football’s most basic skill. Heading the ball is particularly prominent when receiving long, aerial passes. Since the game’s origins, players have displayed their individual skills by going on “solo runs” or dribbling the ball past outwitted opponents. But football is essentially a team game based on passing between team members. The basic playing styles and skills of individual players reflect their respective playing positions. Goalkeepers require agility and height to reach and block the ball when opponents shoot at goal. Central defenders have to challenge the direct attacking play of opponents; called upon to win tackles and to head the ball away from danger such as when defending corner kicks, they are usually big and strong. Fullbacks are typically smaller but quicker, qualities required to match speedy wing-forwards. Midfield players (also called halfs or halfbacks) operate across the middle of the field and may have a range of qualities: powerful “ball-winners” need to be “good in the tackle” in terms of winning or protecting the ball and energetic runners; creative “playmakers” develop scoring chances through their talent at holding the ball and through accurate passing. Wingers tend to have good speed, some dribbling skills, and the ability to make crossing passes that travel across the front of goal and provide scoring opportunities for forwards. Forwards can be powerful in the air or small and penetrative with quick footwork; essentially, they should be adept at scoring goals from any angle.
FIFA men’s World Cup winners
FIFA World Cup—men
*Won on penalty kicks.
FIFA women’s World Cup winners
*Won on penalty kicks.
19th World Cup football (soccer) tournament, 2010
It began on June 11, 2010, in Johannesburg as host country South Africa tied Mexico in the event’s opening contest. Sixty-three games later, on July 11 in Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg, a new World Cup champion was crowned, as Spain defeated the Netherlands 1–0 in extra time. Germany finished in third place for the second straight World Cup, beating Uruguay 3–2.
The 2010 World Cup marked the first time that the world’s most popular sporting competition was played on the African continent. In the 2004 Fédération Internationale de Football (FIFA) balloting to determine the 2010 host country, South Africa (which had narrowly lost out to Germany for the right to host the 2006 World Cup) was selected over bids from Morocco, Egypt, and Libya. To mark this momentous event, Britannica is pleased to present a selection of information on the World Cup and South Africa, including a survey of the World Cup field, a tournament schedule, an overview of the World Cup venues, sections on notable football players past and present, a brief history of the World Cup and international football, coverage of the 2006 World Cup, surveys of South Africa’s sporting and artistic cultures, and a timeline of significant events in the country’s history.
2010 World Cup Venues in South Africa
2010 World Cup Venues
Bloemfontein Stadium: Free State Stadium
Year completed: 1952 (renovated 2008)
Stadium: Cape Town Stadium
Year completed: 2009
Durban Stadium: Moses Mabhida Stadium
Year completed: 2009
Johannesburg (Ellis Park)
Stadium: Ellis Park Stadium (Coca-Cola Park)
Year completed: 1982
Johannesburg (Soccer City)
Stadium: Soccer City Stadium
Year completed: 1989 (renovated 2009)
Nelspruit Stadium: Mbombela Stadium
Year completed: 2009
Stadium: Peter Mokaba Stadium
Year completed: 2010
Stadium: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Year completed: 2009
Iran’s nuclear programme is one of the most polarizing issues in one of the world’s most volatile regions. While American and European officials believe Tehran is planning to build nuclear weapons, Iran’s leadership says that its goal in developing a nuclear program is to generate electricity without dipping into the oil supply it prefers to sell abroad, and to provide fuel for medical reactors.
Iran’s claims that its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes has not clogged the considerable concern that Tehran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program. Indeed, the UN Security Council has responded to Iran’s refusal to suspend work on its uranium enrichment and heavy-water nuclear reactor programs by adopting several resolutions which imposed sanctions on Tehran. In spite of this, Iran continues to enrich uranium, install additional centrifuges, and conduct research on new types of centrifuges. Tehran has also continued work on its heavy-water reactor and associated facilities.
But it is not clear whether Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program or not. A National Intelligence Estimate made public in December 2007 assessed that Tehran “halted its nuclear weapons program,” defined as “Iran’s nuclear weapon design and weaponization work and covert uranium conversion-related and uranium enrichment-related work,” in 2003. Tehran is also said to “keep open the option to develop nuclear weapons” and that any decision to end a nuclear weapons program is “inherently reversible.” Iranian efforts to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons by using its known nuclear facilities would almost certainly be detected by the IAEA. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) continues to investigate the program, particularly evidence that Tehran may have conducted procurement activities and research directly applicable to nuclear weapons development.
Origin of the Nuclear Programme
It was during the 1950s that Iran started its nuclear programme. Tehran started constructing its U.S.-supplied research reactor in 1960; the reactor went critical in 1967. During the 1970s, Tehran pursued an ambitious nuclear power program; according to contemporaneous U.S. documents, Iran wanted to construct 10-20 nuclear power reactors and produce more than 20,000 megawatts of nuclear power by 1994.
A light-water nuclear power reactor was constructed near the city of Bushehr. Tehran also considered obtaining uranium enrichment and reprocessing technology. It was then that Iran took steps to demonstrate that it was not pursuing nuclear weapons. When Tehran signed the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1968 and ratified it in 1970, Iran also submitted a draft resolution to the UN General Assembly in 1974 that called for establishing a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East. But the concern had already started In the U.S.
This prompted Iran to cancel the nuclear program after the 1979 revolution, but it again reinstituted the program in 1982, according to a 1988 CIA report. A 1985 National Intelligence Council report, which cited Iran as a potential “proliferation threat,” stated that Tehran was “interested in developing facilities that could eventually produce fissile material that could be used in a [nuclear] weapon The Iranian government says that it plans to expand its reliance on nuclear power in order to generate electricity. This program will, Tehran says, substitute for some of Iran’s oil and gas consumption and allow the country to export additional fossil fuels.
Currently, a Russian contractor is completing the Bushehr reactor and Iran says it intends to build additional reactors to generate 20,000 megawatts of power within the next 20 years. Iranian officials claim that Tehran has begun design work on its first indigenously produced light-water reactor, which is to be constructed at Darkhovin. Iran has told the IAEA that construction on the reactor is scheduled to begin in 2011; it will be commissioned in 2015. However, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, stated October 4, 2009, that the “assembly of this plant will take ten years.”
It is also anticipated that “foreign experts” will be involved. Iranian officials have repeatedly asserted that the country’s nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hassan Qashqavi stated on November 10, 2008, that “pursuance of nuclear weapons has no place in the country’s defense doctrine.” President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad asserted during an April 9, 2009, speech that “those who accumulate nuclear weapons are backwards in political terms.”
But the United States and other governments continue to be concerned based on the argument that Iran may be pursuing, at a minimum, the capability to produce nuclear weapons. It is difficult to discriminate a peaceful nuclear program from a nuclear weapons program. In addition, military nuclear programs may coexist with civilian programs, even without an explicit decision to produce nuclear weapons.
The main source of proliferation concern is Tehran’s construction of a gas-centrifuge-based uranium-enrichment facility. Iran claims that it wants to produce low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel for its planned light-water nuclear reactors. Although Iranian officials have expressed interest in purchasing nuclear fuel from other countries, they assert that Tehran should have an indigenous enrichment capability as a hedge against possible fuel supply disruptions. Gas centrifuges enrich uranium by spinning uranium hexafluoride gas at high speeds to increase the concentration of the uranium-235 isotope. Such centrifuges can produce both LEU, which can be used in nuclear power reactors, and highly enriched uranium (HEU), which is one of the two types of fissile material used in nuclear weapons. HEU can also be used as fuel in certain types of nuclear reactors. Iran also has a uranium-conversion facility, which converts uranium oxide into several compounds, including uranium hexafluoride.
One more thing of concern is the heavy-water reactor, which Iran is constructing at Arak. Although Tehran says that the reactor is intended for the production of medical isotopes, it is a proliferation concern because its spent fuel will contain plutonium well suited for use in nuclear weapons. Spent nuclear fuel from nuclear reactors contains plutonium, the other type of fissile material used in nuclear weapons. In order to be used in nuclear weapons, however, plutonium must be separated from the spent fuel—a procedure called “reprocessing.” Iran has said that it will not engage in reprocessing.
In addition to the dual-use nature of the nuclear programs described above, Tehran’s interactions with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have contributed to suspicions that Tehran has a nuclear weapons program. In the past, Iran has taken actions that interfered with the IAEA’s investigation of its nuclear program, including concealing nuclear activities and providing misleading statements. Although the IAEA has gotten a more complete picture of Iran’s nuclear program since its investigation began in 2002, the agency still wants Tehran to provide more information.
Current Nuclear hullabaloo
In August 2002, the National Council of Resistance on Iran (NCRI), an Iranian exile group, revealed information during a press conference (some of which later proved to be accurate) that Iran had built nuclear-related facilities at Natanz and Arak that it had not revealed to the IAEA. States-parties to the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) are obligated to conclude a safeguards agreement with the IAEA. In the case of non-nuclear-weapon states-parties to the treaty (of which Iran is one), such agreements allow the agency to monitor nuclear facilities and materials to ensure that they are not diverted for military purposes.
Still, the agency’s inspections and monitoring authority is restricted to facilities that have been declared by the states-parties. Protocols to IAEA safeguards agreements dictate the agency’s ability to investigate clandestine nuclear facilities and activities by increasing the agency’s authority to inspect certain facilities and demand additional information from states-parties. The IAEA’s statute requires the agency’s Board of Governors to refer cases of non-compliance with safeguards agreements to the UN Security Council. Prior to the NCRI’s revelations, the IAEA had expressed concerns that Iran had not been providing the agency with all relevant information about its nuclear programs, but had never found Iran in violation of its safeguards agreement. In fall 2002, the IAEA began to investigate Iran’s nuclear activities at Natanz and Arak, and inspectors visited the sites the following February.
The IAEA board adopted its first resolution, which called on Tehran to increase its cooperation with the agency’s investigation and to suspend its uranium enrichment activities, in September 2003. Later, Iran concluded an agreement with France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, collectively known as the “E3,” to suspend its enrichment activities, sign and implement an additional protocol to its 1974 IAEA safeguards agreement, and comply fully with the IAEA’s investigation. As a result, the IAEA board decided to refrain from referring the matter to the UN Security Council.
The investigations revealed that Iran had engaged in a variety of clandestine nuclear-related activities, some of which violated Iran’s safeguards agreement. These included plutonium separation experiments, uranium enrichment and conversion experiments, and importing various uranium compounds.
After October 2003, Iran continued some of its enrichment-related activities, but Tehran and the E3 agreed in November 2004 to a more detailed suspension agreement. However, Iran resumed uranium conversion in August 2005 under the leadership of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who had been elected two months earlier. Iran announced in January 2006 that it would resume research and development on its centrifuges at Natanz. In response, the IAEA board adopted a resolution February 4, 2006, that referred the matter to the Security Council. Later Tehran announced that it would stop implementing its additional protocol.
In June 2006, China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, collectively known as the “P5+1,” presented a proposal to Iran that offered a variety of incentives in return for Tehran taking several steps to assuage international concerns about its enrichment and heavy-water programs. The proposal called on the government to address the IAEA’s “outstanding concerns through full cooperation” with the agency’s ongoing investigation of Tehran’s nuclear programs, “suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities,” and resume implementing its additional protocol.
European Union High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana presented a revised version of the 2006 offer to Iran in June 2008. Representatives from the P5+1 discussed the new proposal with Iranian officials in July 2008. Tehran has told the IAEA that it would implement its additional protocol “if the nuclear file is returned from the Security Council” to the agency. It is, however, unclear how the council could meet this condition. Iran’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Manouchehr Mottaki told reporters October 7, 2009, that Iran is not discussing ratification of the Protocol.
The 2006 offer’s requirements have also been included in several UN Security Council resolutions, the most recent of which, Resolution 1835, was adopted September 27, 2008. However, a November 2009 report from ElBaradei to the Security Council and the IAEA board indicated that Tehran has continued to defy the council’s demands by continuing work on both its uranium enrichment program and heavy-water reactor program. Iran issued another proposal in early September 2009, which described a number of economic and security issues as potential topics for discussion, but only obliquely mentioned nuclear issues and did not explicitly mention Iran’s nuclear program
Geneva Meeting- October 2009
During an October 1, 2009 meeting in Geneva with the P5+1 and Solana, Iranian officials agreed in principle to a proposal that would provide fuel enriched to 19.75% uranium-235 for Iran’s U.S.-supplied Tehran Research Reactor, which produces medical isotopes and operates under IAEA safeguards. Iran asked the agency in June 2009 to provide a new supply of fuel for the reactor, which will run out of fuel in approximately 18 months. Later, the United States and Russia presented a proposal to the IAEA (which the agency conveyed to Iran) for providing fuel for the reactor. Iranian officials have stated that, absent an agreement with international suppliers, Iran will produce its own fuel for the reactor. According to the proposal, Iran would transfer approximately 1,200 kilograms of its low-enriched uranium hexafluoride to Russia, which would either enrich the uranium to 19.75% uranium-235 or produce the LEU from Russian-origin uranium. Russia would then transfer the low-enriched uranium hexafluoride to France for fabrication into fuel assemblies. Finally, France would transfer the assemblies to Russia for shipment to Iran. Iran had, as of October 30, 2009, produced 1,763 kilograms of low-enriched uranium hexafluoride containing less than 5% uranium-235.
More recently, Iranian officials have suggested that Tehran would accept a compromise in which it would ship the LEU out of the country in phases. These officials have suggested that the LEU would be simultaneously exchanged for fuel on an Iranian island or in a third country, such as Turkey.
Iran’s Cooperation with the IAEA
Iran and the IAEA agreed in August 2007 on a work plan to clarify the outstanding questions regarding Tehran’s nuclear program. Iran maintains that it has not conducted any work on nuclear weapons. Iran and the IAEA have had a series of discussions regarding these issues. The agency has provided Iran with documents or (in some cases) descriptions of documents, which themselves were provided to the IAEA by several governments, indicating that Iranian entities may have conducted studies related to nuclear weapons development. The IAEA has asked Tehran about other information suggesting that the country may have pursued nuclear weapons, such as
information about a high level meeting in 1984 on reviving Iran’s pre-revolution nuclear programme
the scope of a visit by officials” associated with Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization “to a nuclear installation in Pakistan in 1987”
information on 1993 meetings between Iranian officials and members of a clandestine procurement network run by former Pakistani nuclear official Abdul Qadeer Khan; and
information about work done in 2000 which apparently related to reprocessing.
The agency also wants Iran to provide more information on nuclear-related procurement, production, and research activity by entities linked to Iran’s military and defense establishments. These included attempts to obtain items, such as spark gaps, shock wave software, and neutron sources, which could be useful for developing nuclear weapons. In addition, ElBaradei’s May 2008 report notes that “substantial parts” of Iran’s centrifuge components “were manufactured in the workshops of the Defence Industries Organization.”
ElBaradei’s November 2008 report points out that the IAEA, with the exception of the document related to uranium metal, has “no information on the actual design or manufacture by Iran” of components (nuclear or otherwise) for nuclear weapons. That report, as well as subsequent reports from ElBaradei, also suggests that Iran and the IAEA are at an impasse. Tehran has not cooperated with the agency on these matters since ElBaradei’s September 2008 report.
Current Status of Iran’s Nuclear Programs
Some non-governmental experts and former U.S. officials have argued that, rather than producing fissile material indigenously, Iran could obtain such material from foreign sources. A National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) made public December 3, 2007, states that the intelligence
community “cannot rule out that Iran has acquired from abroad—or will acquire in the future—a nuclear weapon or enough fissile material for a weapon.” Iran is continuing work on a fuel manufacturing plant that, when complete, is to produce fuel for the Arak and Darkhovin reactors. The plant has produced fuel rods and appears to be nearly complete.
Iran has a pilot centrifuge facility and a larger commercial facility, both located at Natanz. The latter is eventually to hold more than 47,000 centrifuges. Former Vice President Gholamreza Aghazadeh, who also headed Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization until July 2009, explained in February 2009 that Iran’s goal is to install all of them by 2015.
Individual centrifuges are linked together in cascades; each cascade in the commercial facility contains 164 centrifuges. According to ElBaradei’s November 2009 report, Iran was, as of November 2, feeding uranium hexafluoride into 24 cascades (3,936 centrifuges) of first generation (IR-1) centrifuges and is operating at least another 12 cascades (1,968 centrifuges) without feedstock. Tehran is also installing and testing additional IR-1 centrifuges in the facility.
Iran’s efforts to augment the facility’s enrichment capacity have slowed in recent months
In addition to its centrifuge work, Iran produced approximately 541 metric tons of uranium hexafluoride between March 2004 and August 10, 2009. Prior to 2009, Tehran apparently improved its ability to produce centrifuge feedstock of sufficient purity for light-water reactor fuel; whether Iran is currently able to produce feedstock pure enough for weapons-grade HEU is unclear.
The extent to which Iran’s progress is sustainable is open to question. Former Pakistani nuclear official Abdul Qadeer Khan described Pakistan’s first-generation centrifuges as “unsuccessful” in a 1998 interview. Iran’s ability to produce additional feedstock for centrifuges may be hindered by its dwindling supply of uranium oxide; Tehran is apparently running out of foreign supplied uranium oxide and, although Iran is producing more of the material from indigenously mined uranium, it had not yet transferred any indigenously produced uranium oxide to its uranium conversion facility as of June 2009.
Despite the intelligence assessment described in the previous paragraph, Iran revealed that it was constructing a new gas-centrifuge-based enrichment facility in September 2009. Iranian officials have said that the facility is for peaceful purposes and that Tehran has acted in accordance with its international obligations. In addition to the Qom facility, Iranian officials have indicated that Tehran intends to construct ten additional centrifuge plants—a goal that many analysts argue is virtually unachievable.
Iran acknowledged to the IAEA in 2003 that it had conducted plutonium-separation experiments—an admission which aroused suspicions that Iran could have a program to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons.
Iran says that its heavy-water reactor, which is being constructed at Arak, is intended for the production of medical isotopes. According to a May 5, 2008, presentation by Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the reactor is to substitute for an “outdated” LEU-fueled research reactor in Tehran that has been in operation since 1967.
The reactor is a proliferation concern because its spent fuel will contain plutonium better suited for nuclear weapons than the plutonium produced by lightwater moderated reactors, such as the Bushehr reactor. In addition, Iran will be able to operate the reactor with natural uranium, which means that it will not be dependent on supplies of enriched uranium. Salehi stated September 26, 2009, that the reactor would be “operational” within the next three or four years.
Iran is also constructing near the city of Bushehr a 1,000-megawatt nuclear power reactor moderated by light water. According to ElBaradei’s August report, loading fuel into the reactor was scheduled to take place during October and November 2009, but this has not yet occurred.
Iran Nuclear Program 2010
Top American military officials said in April 2010 that Iran could produce bomb-grade fuel for at least one nuclear weapon within a year, but would most likely need two to five years to manufacture a workable atomic bomb. International inspectors said in May that Iran has now produced a stockpile of nuclear fuel that experts say would be enough, with further enrichment, to make two nuclear weapons.
On Feb. 9, 2010, Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, said scientists at the Natanz nuclear facility south of Tehran had begun processing uranium to a purity level of 20 percent to provide fuel for a research reactor producing medical isotopes, raising alarms in Israel and the West.
Enriching uranium to 20-percent purity is high enough for use in a medical reactor but significantly lower than the 90-percent levels needed for nuclear weapons. The worry is that any effort to produce 20-percent enriched uranium would put the country in a position to produce weapons-grade uranium in a comparatively short time.
The decision by Iran to pursue further enrichment elicited sharp reactions in several countries. The United States has been seeking United Nations backing for new sanctions, and has been talking with Britain and France, its closest allies on the United Nations Security Council, as well as Germany. Those countries have long supported tougher measures, which have been resisted by Russia and China. But both Russia and China have signaled new willingness to consider sanctions.
On Feb. 18, 2010, the United Nations’ nuclear inspectors declared for the first time that they had extensive evidence of “past or current undisclosed activities” by Iran’s military to develop a nuclear warhead. The report, the first under the new director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano, also concluded that the nation’s weapons-related activity apparently continued “beyond 2004.” The I.A.E.A. report confirmed that Iran has enriched small quantities of uranium to 20 percent, but made no assessment of how close it might be to producing a nuclear weapon. It cited recently collected evidence that conveyed a picture of a concerted drive in Iran toward a weapons capability.
In April, Mr. Obama announced a new nuclear strategy designed to ease fears in non-nuclear states that the United States might ever use atomic weapons against them. But Mr. Obama pointedly excluded countries like Iran and North Korea that have failed to live up to their obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
The questions of Iran’s sincerity was again raised by its announcement on May 17 of an agreement negotiated by Turkey and Brazil that could offer a short-term solution to its ongoing nuclear standoff with the West, or prove to be a tactic aimed at derailing efforts to bring new sanctions against Tehran. The deal calls for Iran to ship 2,640 pounds of low enriched uranium to Turkey, where it would be stored. In exchange, after one year, Iran would have the right to receive about 265 pounds of material enriched to 20 percent from Russia and France. The terms mirrored a deal with the West last October that had fallen apart when Iran backtracked, but by May 2010 the material to be shipped represented a far smaller portion of its enriched uranium.
The International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iran has now produced over 5,300 pounds of low-enriched uranium, all of which would have to undergo further enrichment before it could be converted to bomb fuel.
Until recently, all of Iran’s uranium had been enriched to only 4 percent, the level needed to run nuclear power reactors. While increasing that to 20 percent purity does not allow Iran to build a weapon, it gets the country closer to that goal. The inspectors reported that Iran had installed a second group of centrifuges – machines that spin incredibly fast to enrich, or purify, uranium for use in bombs or reactors – which could improve its production of the 20 percent fuel.
The Fourth Round of Sanctions
On June 9 2010, the United Nations Security Council leveled its fourth round of sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program, but the measures did little to overcome widespread doubts that they — or even the additional steps pledged by American and European officials — would accomplish the Council’s longstanding goal: halting Iran’s production of nuclear fuel.
The new resolution, hailed by President Obama as delivering “the toughest sanctions ever faced by the Iranian government,” took months to negotiate and major concessions by American officials, but still failed to carry the symbolic weight of a unanimous decision. Twelve of the 15 nations on the Council voted for the measure, while Turkey and Brazil voted against it and Lebanon abstained.
After the Obama administration imposed additional sanctions on more than a dozen Iranian companies and individuals with links to the country’s nuclear and missile programs, the European Union followed suit on June 17 2010 with what it called “inevitable” new measures against Tehran. The main thrust of the sanctions is against military purchases, trade and financial transactions carried out by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which controls the nuclear program and has taken a more central role in running the country and the economy.
The United States had sought broader measures against Iran’s banks, insurance industry and other trade, but China and Russia were adamant that the sanctions not affect Iran’s day-to-day economy.
July 2, 2010
President Obama signed into law new unilateral American sanctions on Iran that go beyond the penalties imposed by the United Nations in June 2010. The new law, passed by Congress on overwhelmingly bipartisan votes last week, tries to further restrict investment in Iran’s energy sector and cut off financing for the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps that oversees nuclear and missile programs. It also cracks down on federal contractors that do business with Iran.
The new sanctions contribute to a strategy under which the United States, Australia, Canada and Europe take individual actions on top of the measures approved by the United Nations Security Council in June. With Russia and China holding veto power on the council, there were limits on how far the United Nations would go in penalizing Iran. But the subsequent unilateral actions are intended to increase the pain on the Tehran government.
The law signed by Mr. Obama imposes penalties on foreign entities that sell refined petroleum to Iran or assist Iran with its domestic refining capacity. It also requires that American and foreign businesses that seek contracts with the United States government certify that they do not engage in prohibited business with Iran.
A New York Times analysis in March, 2010 found that the federal government had awarded more than $107 billion in contract payments, grants and other benefits over the past decade to foreign and multinational American companies while they were doing business in Iran. That included $15 billion paid to companies that defied American sanctions by making large investments that helped Iran develop its vast oil and gas reserves.
The law produced one of the few moments of consensus in Washington. Joining Mr. Obama on stage at the White House was Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the second-ranking House Republican.
Iran’s Bushehr nuclear plant operative from 21.08.2010
After a delay of more than five years, Iran has begun operating its Bushehr nuclear reactor, the heads of the Iranian and Russian atomic agencies announced on 21.08.2010.
The 1,000-megawatt facility is designed to generate electricity, and experts and military officials in Israel, the United States and Western Europe say the prospect the reactor will be used in Iran’s military nuclear program is extremely small.
The head of Iran’s atomic energy agency, Ali Akbar Salehi, held a news conference at Bushehr on 21.08.2010 with the head of Russia’s Rosatom state nuclear power company, Sergei Kiriyenko. Salehi said a symbol of Iran’s peaceful use of nuclear technology had been launched despite pressure by Western countries.
On Saturday the 21st August, 2010, the United States sent a calming message to Israel stating that the new reactor was designed for peaceful purposes for producing electricity and does not threaten Israel.
Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on 3.07.2010 inaugurated the swanky, world-class Terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, saying it signalled the arrival of new India, committed to join the ranks of modern, industrialised nations of the world. .
Hailing the new terminal as exemplifying India’s resolve to bridge fast enough the infrastructure deficit in the country, Dr. Singh said T3, built in just 37 months at a cost of about Rs. 10,000 crore, has established new global benchmarks.
Yet another reason for satisfaction, the Prime Minister said, was that it “proves the success of the Public-Private Partnership model in execution of large infrastructure project.”
Sprawling over an area of 5.4 million square feet, the new terminal building is said to be the world’s sixth largest. Though spanking new and modern airports in Bangalore and Hyderabad have already been opened, the IGI airport at Delhi dwarfs both of them.
The Prime Minister unveiled a plaque to mark the formal inauguration of the new terminal in the presence of United Progressive Alliance chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and G.M. Rao, Chairman of the GMR group that led the international consortium which built the terminal. While international operations from T3 will begin from July 14, 2010, domestic operations will start from July 31, 2010.
Dr. Singh said that it was estimated that India’s aviation sector has the potential to absorb up to $120 billion of investment by 2020. Analysts predict that domestic traffic could reach 160 to 180 million and international traffic in excess of 50 million by 2020, he pointed out. “In a span of a few years, India has become the 9th largest aviation market in the world. We now have 10 scheduled airlines operating in our country, compared to two in 1990. In the same period, the scheduled aircraft deployed by the Indian carriers has gone up four times, from 100 to about 400,” the Prime Minister said.
Emphasising the need to create safe, secure efficient and environment friendly systems conducive to healthy growth of civil aviation sector, the Prime Minister said the regulatory and policy framework also needs to be aligned with the needs of the civil aviation industry to encourage serious investment. Towards achieving these goals, he said, the government has strengthened the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and set up the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA).
Pointing out that Delhi airport has improved its rank sharply in terms of Air Service Quality (ASQ) performance from 101 in 2007 to 21 in 2010, Dr. Singh expressed the hope that after the opening of T-3 the airport would shortly rank within the first 10 airports of the world.
Terminal 3 (T3) has 78 aerobridges, 168 check-in counters
With all foreign carriers shifting their bases from the existing Terminal 2 to the new, swanky Terminal 3 of the IGI Airport in Delhi on July 14, 2010, the first fully integrated terminal is all set to become operational.
The plush T3 will see Air India’s flight AI-102 docking in straight from New York on July 14, 2010. It will take off from T3 later. The shiny glass and steel structure has 78 aerobridges, more than Singapore’s Changi airport, and 168 check-in counters and is fully equipped to receive the super-jumbo Airbus A-380, world’s largest passenger aircraft.
Spread over 4 km, 80 per cent of T3 is made of glass supported by metal frames. The nine-level terminal building would be used for 90 per cent of the entire passenger movement at the IGI Airport.
Comfortable lounges, nap and shower rooms will add to passenger comfort in the airport which will have a mix of restaurants, bars, cafes and fast food outlets in around 20,000 sq meter of commercial space.
Besides three functional runways catering to T3 terminal, it will have 92 automatic walkways and a multi-level air-conditioned car park to accommodate 4,300 cars, both first in India. There is a 100-room transit hotel and business lounge inside the terminal itself.
Around 800 Flight Information Display Systems have been used for live flight information and 8,000 speakers installed for public address system. Most modern technology has been put to use for check-in process and baggage retrieval at the new terminal, which can handle 12,800 bags in an hour.
Common User Passenger Processing System and an advanced 5 level in-line Baggage Handling System with explosive detection technology would be operational to ensure quicker processing and higher security.
Besides 95 immigration counters, the new terminal boasts of numerous escalators and walkalators, including one claiming to be the longest in Asia at 118 m. About 3000 security cameras have been installed to keep an eye on every nook and corner of the airport premises.
Almost 20,000 square metres of retail area offers duty free stores have been set up by the famous Irish duty-free chain Aer Rianta International. Passengers would get an experience of a huge mall inside the terminal itself with all top brands ranging from Gucci and Versace to L’Oreal and Dior having their outlets selling items ranging from apparel, cosmetics, perfumes, jewellery, watches to tobacco and liquor.
Famous food and beverage brands like Pizza Hut, KFC, Costa Coffee, Copper Chimney, Flavours, Cafe Ritazza and The Food Village are also opening their shops at both domestic and international areas of the terminal building.
T3 will be one of the few green airports in the world, having eco-friendly features like energy-efficient buildings, high-performance air-conditioning, use of municipal waste to generate electricity, rain water harvesting, waste-water treatment and reuse of treated water.
Designed as per the Indian Green Building Council’s rating system, T3 will have a high level of green cover with landscaping of 70 acres outside and 10,000 square metres inside the building.
Numerous varieties of plants, trees and shrubs are being planted. While most of the plants are indigenous, few exotic varieties of orchids have been sourced from Thailand and Mexico. Over 9 lakh plants will provide a green cover for the airport and the landscaping will have a large number of fountains and soothing lighting.
An Emirates Airbus A380 flew in from Dubai with over 500 passengers, marking the world’s largest commercial aircraft’s arrival at the Terminal-3 (T3) of Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) on 15.07.2010.
The Emirates EK516 landed around 3:00 pm on 15.07.2010 in heavy downpour around the airport.
The Airbus A380 flight was part of a drill to reaffirm the operational readiness of the world’s sixth largest passenger terminal.
T3 has a capacity to handle 34 million passengers per annum and will be fully operational from July 28 after the synchronisation process among various airport agencies is complete.