Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tamil Nadu nuke plant goes on alert as 'Nilam' intensifies into severe cyclonic storm

Cyclone 'Nilam' on Wednesday intensified into a severe storm with extremely heavy rainfall expected over North coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry even as the weather department warned of extensive damage to huts, standing crops and power lines.

The cyclone is expected to cross between Puducherry and Nellore in Andhra Pradesh close to Chennai this evening.
"The system would intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm and move north-westwards and cross north Tamil Nadu and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coast between Puducherry and Nellore close to Chennai by this evening, it said in its latest bulletin.
Gusty winds with a maximum surface wind speed of 45 kmph to 110 kmph is expected, it said.
Extremely heavy rainfall of over 25 cm or more is expected over north Coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in the next 24 hours.
Rainfall at most places with isolated heavy to very heavy falls would occur over south coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema and north interior Tamil Nadu in the next 48 hours with gale speeds of 90-100 kmph, gusting to 110 kmph along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coasts.
The sea condition would be "high to very high" along and off North Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and South Andhra Pradesh coast, the Met office said.
Storm surge of about 1-1.5 metre over the astronomical tide is likely to inundate low lying areas of Chennai, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur and Nellore districts, it said.
The Met office also advised total suspension of fishing operations and for coastal dwellers to move to safer places.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Heavy Super Storm Sandy in USA with At least 14 deaths, 5.7 million without power

United States of America : Superstorm Sandy slammed into the New Jersey coastline with 80 mph winds Monday night and hurled an unprecedented 13-foot surge of seawater at New York City, flooding its tunnels, subway stations and the electrical system that powers Wall Street.
At least 14 U.S. deaths were blamed on the storm, which brought the presidential campaign to a halt a week before Election Day. also Sandy killed 66 people in the Caribbean.

For New York City at least, Sandy was not the dayslong onslaught many had feared, and the wind and rain that sent water sloshing into Manhattan from three sides began dying down within hours.
Still, the power was out for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and an estimated 5.7 million people altogether across the East. The full extent of the storm's damage across the region was unclear, and unlikely to be known until daybreak.
In addition, heavy rain and further flooding remain major threats over the next couple of days as the storm makes its way into Pennsylvania and up into New York State. Near midnight, the center of the storm was just outside Philadelphia, and its winds were down to 75 mph, just barely hurricane strength.

"It was nerve-racking for a while, before the storm hit. Everything was rattling," said Don Schweikert, who owns a bed-and-breakfast in Cape May, N.J., near where Sandy roared ashore. "I don't see anything wrong, but I won't see everything until morning." Continue Reading...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

India's cabinet reshuffled to bring in a touch of youth

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gave his cabinet an overdue facelift on Sunday, bringing in younger ministers in a bid to breathe new life into his aged, scandal-tainted government ahead of state and federal elections.
The reshuffle, which has been on the cards for six months, may be Mr. Singh's last chance to significantly change the direction of his government and convince voters the ruling Congress party deserves a third consecutive term in 2014.
He rejigged about a third of his 30-member cabinet, and reshuffled a number of key portfolios, including, oil, foreign policy, railways, and justice. As part of the image makeover, he also brought in a raft of new, younger junior ministers who will not have cabinet-level posts. Continue Reading..

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Obama, Romney crisscross nation to sway voters

President Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney launched dizzying cross-country sprints Tuesday that will take them through several toss­up states this week as their campaigns released new ads seeking to close the deal with the electorate.
Energized and buoyant after his aggressive debate performance against Romney only 12 hours earlier, President Obama drew peals of laughter from a raucous crowd of 11,000 supporters in Delray Beach by labeling his opponent as a victim of “Romnesia” who seems to forget his earlier positions.
President Obama attended a rally in Delray Beach, Fla., while Mitt Romney greeted voters during an event at the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colo

“We had a severe outbreak last night,” Obama said, smiling broadly, in reference to the final presidential debate. “It was at least stage 3 Romnesia. And I just want to go over with you some of the symptoms, Delray, because I want to make sure no one in the surrounding area catches it.”
Obama chided Romney for taking positions in the debate — on the auto industry, Afghanistan, education, and Medicare — that the president said differed from previous stances.
“If you talk about how much you love teachers during a debate,” Obama told the racially mixed gathering, “but said just a few weeks ago that we shouldn’t hire any more because they won’t grow the economy, what do you have?”
The overflow crowd at the Delray Beach Tennis Center roared back: “Romnesia!” Read More..

Friday, October 19, 2012

Beirut assassination heightens fears of Syrian violence embroiling Lebanon

BEIRUT — A top Lebanese security official was killed Friday in a powerful car bombing in a densely populated neighborhood, an attack immedately blamed by the country’s anti-Syrian politicians on the government in Damascus.

The assassination brought the violence threatening to engulf the region to the heart of Lebanon’s capital after several years of relative calm, heightening fears that the sectarian tensions already aggravated by the Syrian conflict would erupt into outright war.

Maj. Gen Wissam al-Hassan, who headed the Information Department of the Internal Security Forces, was among at least eight people who died in the mid-afternoon blast in a quiet side street near Sassine Square in the city’s mostly Christian Ashrafiyeh area.

The swift allegations that Syria was responsible stemmed from Hassan’s close association with the Sunni-led anti-Syrian camp in Lebanon and with investigations into bombings and plots that had exposed the role played by Syria’s Lebanese allies, including the militant Shiite Hezbollah movement. Continue Reading.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Venezuela reelects Hugo Chavez, continues trend of leftist governments in South America

In a reelection to another six-year term, Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez defeated challenger Henrique Capriles in Sunday’s presidential election by a 10 percentage point margin.

Sunday’s election marks Chavez’s fourth presidential election win since 1998, an indication that Venezuela, like many other South American countries, prefers leftist governments that improve living standards and actively pursue poverty reduction, says the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).

“I congratulate the opposition and the directors of the opposition, because they recognize the victory of the people,” Chavez told supporters Sunday. “That’s why I send them this salute and put out my arms to them, because we are all brothers in the fatherland of Bolivar.”

“Chávez is often portrayed as though he were from Mars, but really the similarities between what he has done and what his neighboring left governments have done are much greater than the differences,” said Mark Weisbrot, co-director of CEPR, in a statement. Read More..,