People of California have a referendum on Proposition 34 which is about retention of death penalty. Around 260 murderers face death penalty in California. Some groups are canvassing for abolition of death penalty. Some are in favour of death penalty. It is sad that Catholic bishops favour abolition.
People of California should learn lessons from Mexico which did away with death penalty. Murders take place openly without any fear. That has led to rival gangs engaging in shootouts anywhere, anytime. Policepersons are not safe. Priests, teachers and many others are murdered at random. California should imitate Texas which executed around 254 persons in 11 years. Texasâ€™ Governor Rick Perry earned applause for his statement that he does not lose sleep over people executed.
Bill Gates has exaggerated Rajat Guptaâ€™s work as chair of Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria by writing many millions of people are leading better lives â€“ or are alive at all â€“ thanks to the efforts he ably supported. Kofi Annan wrote â€œI urge you to recognise Rajat for the good he has done in the world, to give him the credit that he deserves for helping others and to take into account his efforts to improve the lives of millions of people.â€
Israeli Consul General Orna Sagiv was in Ahmedabad on 3/9/2012. Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) had received many e-mails demanding a change of name. Employees of AMC visited the shop and showed the copies of e-mails to proprietors. Proprietors used to get at least 10 calls daily from USA, UK, Dubai, Germany and Israel, many at odd hours.
The original constitution of USA had seven articles and did not have the right to bear arms. Amendments to the constitution added more articles. The Congress on 25 September 1789 proposed to add 12 articles as amendments. Of these first 10 were ratified and came into effect on 15 December 1791.
Second amendment: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
On 22/3/2012 India voted against Sri Lanka in UNHRC, Geneva. Out of the 47 countries, 24 voted for the resolution, 15 against and 8 abstained. The resolution was moved by USA which has committed more war crimes than any other country in recent times. India was the only Asian country to vote against Sri Lanka. Russia, China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Maldives, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Indonesia, Philippines, Cuba and some other countries voted against the resolution. India gave up its position of not voting in favour of any country specific resolution.
USA and EU want India to stop dealing with Iran. Sometime back Indiaâ€™s Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai visited USA. It is reported that American officials asked him why cannot India reduce its ties with Iran. He replied India imports oil from Iran, there are six million Indians in the Gulf region and Iran is the only land access to Afghanistan and hence difficult to stop reducing ties with Iran.
The reply should have been â€œWhy should India reduce its ties with Iran? India has its interests. Indiaâ€™s foreign policy will not be subservient to foreign policy of any other country.â€
The death of 24 Pakistani soldiers on 26/11/2011 in NATO air attacks has further deteriorated Pakistan-USA relationship. Pakistan has stopped NATO supplies to Afghanistan through its territory and has asked USA to vacate the Shamsi air base given to it in 15 days. Its army chief has vowed effective response. Pakistan has complained to UN and has decided to skip Bonn Conference on 5/12/2011 on the future of Afghanistan. China and Russia have come in support of Pakistan.
For long India said ISI was behind terrorist activities in India. USA was quiet. For some years Afghanistan said ISI was behind terrorist activities in Afghanistan. That included Indian Embassy. USA was quiet. When American Embassy was attacked USA spoke. Americans wanted Pakistan to take action against Haqqani group, veritable arm of ISI, or they will act on their own.
For long Americans witnessed scenes of demonstrations in Arab countries and talked of Arab Spring. Now they witness scenes of demonstrations in their own country and they can talk of American Autumn. There is protest against corporate greed and bail outs. Billions of dollars were given in bail outs and officials responsible for losses got millions of dollars in bonuses. Unemployment is high in USA. Officially it is close to 10%. The unemployed are not ready to put up with a system that rewards failures.
Standard & Poorâ€™s (S&P) downgraded the rating of US Treasury Bonds from AAA to AA+ on 5/8/2011 (In India and some other countries 6/8/2011) and that shocked many. It is the first downgrade since 1917. The downgrade followed wrangling in US Congress over raising debt limit, which used to be a routine matter, from 14.3 trillion dollars. Since 1960 USA had raised debt limit 78 times without any problem but this time it was different. S&P stood out from Moodyâ€™s and Fitch which continued with AAA rating. Treasury Department criticized S&P. S&P justified its decision and said that if matters did not improve further downgrade to AA was possible.