KATHMANDU, NOV 25 –
Leaders of Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-UML —first and second parties in the first-past-the-post (FPTP) system of the Constituent Assembly (CA) election—have started to throw their weight behind the probable leaders for the post of prime minister.
The leaders, however, said the upcoming government would be formed on consensus.
Speaking at an interaction at the Reporters Club in Kathmandu on Monday, NC leader Sujata Koirala said that the next government would be led by party President Sushil Koirala if NC emerged as the largest party.
She said that her party had gained electoral success at the second CA polls, and went on to claim that Sushil Koirala would be the next PM as the party had already proposed his name as the PM candidate.
She opined that the parties should focus on constitution drafting rather than brawl over government formation.
Likewise, CPN-UML Vice Chairperson Bidhya Devi Bhandari said that influential leader KP Oli would be the next PM if UML was to form the government, adding that there was no confusion inside the party over PM position.
Leader Bhandari said that the second CA would draft the constitution as per the values of the federal democratic republic of Nepal. The new constitution will be established as per the agenda of NC and UML, she further added.
Posted on: 2013-11-25 06:15
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The central committee meeting of the party held on Monday formed a panel under the coordination of party leader Barshaman Pun with leaders Ram Chandra Jha, Khim Lal Devkota, Ram Narayan Bidari and Janak Raj Joshi as the other members.
Party spokesperson Agni Prasad Sapkota said that the committee has been given a week-long period to submit its report.
The party has also urged the government to form an independent probe committee claiming that the party was defeated in the November 19 CA election in a highly organised fashion.
“Rigging was done in different parts of the country in a highly systematic way. The leaders raised the issues that party cannot go ahead without probing such incidents as the reports of rigging in elections are reported. So, we have urged the government to form a high-level committee based on the complaints,” spokesperson Sapkota said.
Likewise, the meeting has also decided to form an alliance with the like-minded parties and take them into confidence.
The UCPN (Maoist) leaders have expected participation of Madhesi Janadhikar Forum- Nepal, Federal Socialist Party Nepal and other political parties in the alliance.
Similarly, the party also concluded that it would remain committed to constitution drafting.
Furthermore, the UCPN (Maoist) has said that the constitution writing process would not move ahead at any cost without incorporating the political parties that stayed out from the election process.
Posted on: 2013-11-25 06:35
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MIAMI (AP) — The chairman of the Republican Party of Florida on Monday called for U.S. Rep. Trey Radel to step down following his recent cocaine conviction.
Chairman Lenny Curry joined a growing number of Republican leaders from Radel’s district demanding his resignation.
“The people of Florida’s 19th Congressional District need a Congressman who is 100 percent focused on the needs of Southwest Florida,” Curry said in a news release. “Therefore, Congressman Radel should step down and focus his attention on rehabilitation and his family.”
Radel pleaded guilty to cocaine possession last week, acknowledging that he purchased 3.5 grams of cocaine last month from an undercover police officer. He has since taken a leave of absence and checked himself into a rehabilitation facility.
As part of a plea agreement, Radel admitted he agreed to buy the cocaine for $250 in a Washington neighborhood on Oct. 29. After the undercover officer gave Radel the drugs, federal agents confronted him, court documents show. Radel agreed to talk with the agents and invited them to his apartment, where he also retrieved a vial of cocaine he had in the home, the documents said.
The Collier County Republican Executive Committee also called on Radel to leave office Monday, stating the group would not support him in future elections.
“While the decision to complete the current term is his alone to make, we strongly encourage him to reflect on his ability to remain effective and that a return to Congress may serve only as an impediment to his recovery,” Chairman Mike Lyster said in a release. “We feel it is in the best interests of all involved that he resign immediately.”
Radel spokeswoman Amanda Nunez did not return a telephone phone call Monday night seeking comment. During his hearing last week, Radel said he wanted to “continue serving this country.”
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky trailed Cleveland State by 10 points late in the game, and that was all the motivation Andrew Harrison needed to break out of his funk.
With some added incentive from Wildcats coach John Calipari, the freshman point guard also forgot about playing with four fouls and got aggressive.
Harrison had a pair of three-point plays, including one that broke a 57-all tie with 2:08 left, before twin brother Aaron followed with a 3-pointer with 1:20 remaining that helped No. 3 Kentucky rally past the stubborn Vikings 68-61 on Monday night.
With the Wildcats behind 54-44 with 7:41 remaining and needing a breakthrough, the brothers helped Kentucky close with a 24-7 run that included a pair of lobs from Andrew Harrison to Willie Cauley-Stein for dunks. Andrew Harrison’s first three-point play with 3:55 left tied it at 54.
After Bryn Forbes’ 3-pointer provided a 57-56 lead, Cauley-Stein made one of two free throws before Andrew Harrison followed with his drive and free throw to put the Wildcats ahead to stay. Aaron Harrison added a 3-pointer for a six-point lead.
Andrew Harrison scored 12 and the brothers combined for 23 points, providing a building block as he tries to establish himself as Kentucky’s floor leader.
“I feel like I was letting my teammates down pretty much, getting those fouls in the first half and not being as aggressive as I should be,” said Andrew Harrison, who also had all five Wildcats assists. “This is definitely, hopefully, a turning point.”
Julius Randle led Kentucky (5-1) with 15 points and 15 rebounds on a night when the Wildcats shot 19 of 53 from the field (36 percent). Cauley-Stein finished with 11 points for Kentucky.
Forbes’ 22 points led the Vikings (3-3). Trey Lewis added 15 points and Sebastian Douglas 13 for Cleveland State, which started both halves shooting well but wilted down the stretch and finished 21 of 59 (36 percent) from the field. The Vikings were outrebounded 42-35.
“We kind of faltered at the end,” coach Gary Waters said. “That’s something we need to get better at. I asked them in the locker room what happened at the end and they came up with all sorts of answers.
“I said one thing happened: ‘We were undisciplined at the end.’”
Kentucky’s strong finish seemed unlikely late in the game as it struggled to make headway against a Vikings team that led 44-33 and seemed to answer every Wildcats charge with a basket that silenced the crowd.
Then came the Wildcats’ final flourish that ended a tense game featuring five ties and six lead changes, prompting 21,067 to give the competitive Vikings a standing ovation after the final buzzer.
“I thought we showed a will to win, which is good,” Calipari said. “But I thought Andrew made the plays. It’s nice to know we’ve got two or three guys now we can go to if the game is in the balance.”
Kentucky was playing for the first time since last Tuesday’s 29-point rout of UT Arlington, but there wasn’t much down time as Calipari used the break to teach his talented youngsters the finer points of defense. Besides teaching the zone, his main point was getting the Wildcats to play through the entire defensive possession instead of standing around.
Those instructions seemed to be initially forgotten as the Wildcats’ all-freshman starting line was outhustled by the Vikings, who beat them for a couple of easy baskets inside. The Vikings had several of those moments in making five of their first six from the field and six of 10 en route to a 19-12 lead that created a nervous murmur in the Rupp Arena crowd.
Things became more desperate for Kentucky as it trailed 31-27 at halftime and by 11 with 14:11 left, prompting Calipari to call a timeout. The Wildcats responded to get to 47-44 nearly 5 minutes later on two free throws by Randle, but the Vikings kept going at Kentucky as Lewis banked a shot over two defenders while Douglas sank a 3-pointer for an eight-point lead at 52-44.
Just when Kentucky seemed to be at its low point, Andrew Harrison and his teammates showed the resolve that Calipari had been seeking from his heralded group. All of which made the thrilling end more satisfying even though everything else wasn’t as pretty.
“All of us stepped up,” Andrew Harrison said. “So, it wasn’t me at all. It was the team and I was just getting them the ball. They were just making me look good.”
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Madonna is in Haiti to visit humanitarian projects that ex-husband Sean Penn has been overseeing since the Caribbean nation’s devastating earthquake in 2010, the actor said Monday.
Penn said in a brief phone call to The Associated Press that he had invited Madonna, with whom he has “maintained a great friendship over the years,” to visit several times and that she had come with her son Rocco. He said they arrived a “couple of days” ago, and he wasn’t sure when she would leave.
“She’s here, she’s seeing, she’s made the effort to come here, and I’m thrilled by that,” Penn said, adding that he hoped Haiti might inspire her to seek out a cause in the country. “She has a unique platform, and wherever she chooses to bring that to, it’s very well.”
Madonna’s been busy posting photos on Instagram. One shows her posing with others at a new hospital built by public health pioneer Dr. Paul Farmer in the central part of the country. The caption: “Revolution of Love in Haiti.” Another picture shows a view of the mountains at dusk. The caption: “Sunset in Haiti. This is Heaven!”
Penn has served as an ambassador-at-large for Haiti since early 2012. He received the recognition for his work as head of a humanitarian group he co-founded in the aftermath of the earthquake, the J/P Haitian Relief Organization. The group has focused on housing and relocating thousands of people from a golf course that was among hundreds of impromptu settlements that sprang up after the quake.
His group recently sponsored five Haitian runners to participate in the New York marathon.
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — If Colin Kaepernick and Robert Griffin III have become the future of football suddenly put on hold, consider Kaepernick the one more likely to get going again.
The young, mobile quarterbacks who have struggled in 2013 after breakout years in 2012 faced off for the first time Monday night, and Kaepernick clearly outperformed his counterpart as the San Francisco 49ers broke a two-game losing streak with a 27-6 win over the Washington Redskins.
Kaepernick completed 15 of 24 passes for 235 yards — the first time in five games he’s topped 200 yards — with three touchdowns and no interceptions.
The Redskins bottled up Frank Gore (13 carries, 31 yards), essentially daring Kaepernick to throw the ball, and the QB responded by showing some veteran-like chemistry with veteran Anquan Boldin.
Boldin finished with five catches for 94 yards and two touchdowns — a 19-yard grab at the pylon in the first quarter and a 6-yard, wide-open-in-the-end-zone reception in the third.
Vernon Davis also had a touchdown catch for the 49ers (7-4), who are tied for second with the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC West and are three games back of the Seattle Seahawks with five to play.
A loss would’ve put the defending NFC champions in trouble in their quest to return to the playoffs, but they’re nowhere as bad off as the Redskins (3-8), who have dropped three straight and sit alone in last place in the NFC East a year after a late-season run that won the division.
Kaepernick and Griffin seemed poised to take the quarterback position to a new dimension last season when they wowed the NFL with their mobility when running zone-read and play-action.
But defenses have adjusted, and the two QBs’ stats have tumbled accordingly when they’ve been forced to throw in conventional drop-back situations.
Griffin’s fall has been more precipitous. He threw his 11th interception Monday night, more than twice the number he had all last season.
He completed 17 of 27 passes for 127 yards and was sacked four times, and Washington tallied only 190 total yards. RG3′s throws were off-target, and the Redskins were again the victim of questionable clock management, including a timeout that was called while the clock was already stopped on a hurry-up drive in the final minute of the first half.
The 49ers led 10-6 at the half, and the Redskins had their best chance to take the lead when they took over in San Francisco territory after a fumble on the opening drive of the third quarter. But, on a fourth-and-2 at the 41, Washington gave the ball to backup tailback Roy Helu, who was stopped short of the first down.
The 49ers took over and drove for a score that gave them a double-digit lead for good, with Kaepernick and Boldin hurdling into each other for a celebratory chest-bump after the 6-yard touchdown pass.
There would be no such celebrations for Griffin, who took some flak last week from teammate Santana Moss for not taking enough responsibility for mistakes.
There’s plenty of blame to go around for everyone after the game, including some for coach Mike Shanahan, whose future is unclear as his team heads for a third last-place finish in his four years in Washington.
Griffin’s interception came on the final play of the first quarter, when he unwisely unloaded while being decked by Aldon Smith.
Griffin rolled over onto his stomach and lay there for several seconds. He wasn’t injured, but perhaps he was mulling over a quarter in which he went 1 for 6 for minus-1 yard and a pick — in a rare home game in which no one was chanting “R-G-3!”
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
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NEW DELHI, NOV 25 –
A special CBI court on Monday convicted dentist Rajesh Tawlar and his wife Nupur Talwar for killing their daughter Aarushi and servant Hemraj.
Special CBI judge Shyam Lal held the couple guilty of murder and destruction of evidence under section 302 and 201 of Indian Penal code (IPC) respectively.
Rajesh Talwar was also separately held guilty, under section 203, of registering a false FIR. Soon after the judgment, Talwars issued a statement saying they were deeply disappointed and hurt by the verdict.
The two were taken into custody immediately after the verdict.The court will hear the arguments on the quantum of sentence on Tuesday.
The verdict comes almost five-and-a-half years after the sensational double murder was committed.
The CBI had accused the parents — Rajesh and Nupur Talwar — of being the killers, going by circumstantial evidence, testimony of witnesses and forensic reports.
The Talwars had all along claimed that “they have been framed” on the basis of conjectures and tutored witnesses.
When the Noida police first came to know on May 16, 2008 that the 14-year-old daughter of prominent dentist Dr Rajesh Talwar had been murdered at their residence in Jalvayu Vihar allegedly by their servant, Hemraj Banjade, it appeared as a regular murder case.
But things changed dramatically the very next day when Hemraj’s body was found on the terrace of the house. The Noida police and two CBI teams investigated the case, which saw many twists and turns.
From Dr Rajesh and Nupur Talwar going to jail and allegations of tampering of evidence to witnesses turning hostile, police officers getting shifted, closure report being filed, parents coming out on bail and then a trial – the case has kept both the media and people transfixed.
The latest trial got over on November 12 after almost 19 months during which CBI used testimony of close to 90 witnesses in order to prove that it was only the parents who could have committed the murders and there was no possibility of an outsider entering the house.
The motive: Dr Talwar found his daughter in an objectionable state with Hemraj after which he killed them with a golf club and slit their throats using a surgical scalpel or knife. CBI ‘s investigating officer A G L Kaul stated that he wanted to make Dr Rajesh Talwar’s brother, Dinesh Talwar, a suspect as well.
During cross-examination and their final arguments, the counsel for Talwars – Satyaketu Singh and Tanveer Ahmed Mir – slammed every aspect of CBI ‘s investigations.
They alleged that its important witnesses like Dr Sunil Dohre, Naresh Raj and M S Dahiya had improved their statements while many witnesses like maid Bharti and CDFD (Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics) experts had been tutored by the agency. Talwars’ lawyers alleged that CBI had tampered with, fabricated and changed the evidence to frame the parents and that its case against them was full of “alternate hypothesis” and had no merit.
The case had been first investigated by the Noida police and Dr Rajesh Talwar had been arrested. Then IG Gurdarshan Singh had addressed a press conference where he announced the honour killing theory leading to severe criticism and his eventual transfer.
The police were blamed for not properly pre-serving the crime scene and going easy on the probe. The then chief minister, Mayawati, transferred the probe to CBI .
The first twist came when CBI , led by then joint director, Arun Kumar, arrested three servants – Krishna Krishna, Rajkumar and Vijay Mandal – and called a press conference to claim that they were the killers and that there was “scientific evidence” against them.
Dr Talwar was given a clean chit. The agency had at that time conducted several tests, including lie-detection, psychoanalysis and narco analysis, on the servants. However, Kumar’s team later did not file a chargesheet, saying “they did not have enough evidence against the servants” and they were released on bail.
In September 2009, after reports of Aarushi’s vaginal swabs being changed and pathology reports going missing emerged, the then CBI director, Ashwini Kumar, changed the investigation team.
The new team was headed by joint director Javed Ahmad (in Lucknow) and SSP Neelabh Kishore. Additional SP AGL Kaul, investigating officer of the case, re-investigated the matter by re-examining the scene of crime, going through the case dairies, checking hospital records and conducting narco tests on Talwars in February 2010. The trail led them back to Dr Talwar.
Though Kaul wanted to file a chargesheet against the parents, his seniors suggested a closure report. This report was filed on December 29, 2010, with evidence against Dr Rajesh Talwar and Nupur Talwar, along with statements of 84 witnesses, documents and forensic reports.
In a dramatic turn, however, the special CBI judge rejected the closure re-port and summoned both parents as accused for murder and destruction of evidence on the basis of statements and circumstantial evidence cited by CBI . After then for over a year, the Talwars filed many applications in lower courts, Allahabad high court and Supreme Court, seeking relief against the charges and rebutting the charges. However, Supreme Court asked them to join the trial as soon as possible.
The CBI , meanwhile, filed many applications in court seeking to send Nupur Talwar to judicial custody since she had been summoned as an accused. She was sent to Dasna Jail on April 30, 2012, until Supreme Court gave her bail on September 17 that year.
During the past 19 months of trial, the dentist couple has maintained that they have not killed their daughter and servant and that the CBI ‘s conclusions were based on “presumptions, conjectures and surmises” and “not substantiated or supported by true and actual facts”.
The Talwars have claimed that the CBI ‘s charges against them show “deliberate lapses” in investigations besides “noticeable non-mentioning of material pieces of evidence”. They have called the probe as “tainted and tailored”.
Posted on: 2013-11-25 07:42
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The party said such a reinstatement should be ensured through an amendment to the constitution.
Political parties had agreed to follow consensus politics in 2006 and a provision to that effect was incorporated in Article 38 of the Interim Constitution-2007. However, after the CA election in 2008, the parties amended the statute and added another provision, allowing them to form a majority government if consensus among them eludes.
Consensual politics means taking every decision, including formation of a government, on the basis of consensus among all the political parties.
In a meeting at the party headquarters at Perisdanda here, members of the UCPN (Maoist) Central Committee said only a constitutional obligation for consensus can ensure a new constitution within the set time frame (one year).
With 26 seats, the UCPN (Maoist) had to settle for the third spot in the first-past-the-post election system in CA polls held on November 19.
UCPN (Maoist) leaders said other parties should have no problem accepting this condition as they are the ones who had removed the provision of consensual system in the constitution when the UCPN (Maoist) became the largest party in the 2008 election.
“If other parties are committed to a progressive constitution, they should not hesitate to adopt this system,” party spokesperson Agni Sapkota told the Post.
The Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML, however, rejected the Maoist demand of amending the constitution in the government formation process. “In practice, we are ready to promulgate a new constitution and form a government on consensus, but not through constitutional amendmet,” said NC leader Prakash Saran Mahat.
UML spokesperson Pradeep Gyawali said that while his party is open to the idea of consensual politics, demanding the removal of Article 38 (2)–which states that the government can be formed on the basis of majority votes in the CA–is not practical.
“If we are talking about consensus, royalist forces such as the RPP-N also need to be taken into confidence, which may not be always easy,” Gyawali said.
The UCPN (Maoist) CC meeting also decided to suggest “ways to ensure the participation of parties that are outside of the CA,” which, according to insiders, was a reference to the CPN-Maoist that opposed the CA polls. The party, however, did not elaborate.
Party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal held talks with CPN-Maoist Chairman Mohan Baidya on Sunday. Addressing the CC meeting, Dahal said that despite various attempts to hatch a conspiracy against his party, it should not deviate from the path of peace and constitution.
The meeting also demanded formation of an independent commission to investigate alleged electoral fraud on the part of the government. The party also formed its probe panel led by leader Barsha Man Pun, which will collect evidences of the fraud.
The other members of the committee include Ram Chandra Jha, Khim Lal Devkota, Ram Narayan Bidari and Janak Raj Joshi. The panel has been asked to prepare a report within a month and submit it to the party.
The party also decided to form an alliance with pro-federal forces. Soon after the party meeting, Dahal held talks with leaders from other political parties that are also claiming election fraud. Madhesi Janadhikar Forum Nepal led by Upendra Yadav and Federal Socialist Party Nepal led by Ashok Rai have also claimed that there had been widespread election fraud.
Posted on: 2013-11-25 09:59
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Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is the latest biopic about former South African president Nelson Mandela. Host Michel Martin speaks to Naomi Harris who plays his former wife, Winnie, in the film.
Retha Powers spent nearly seven years compiling quotes from across the African Diaspora. The result is Bartlett’s Familiar Black Quotations: 5000 Years of Literature, Lyrics, Poems, Passages, Phrases and Proverbs from Voices Around The World. Host Michel Martin talks with Powers about some of her favorite selections.