Major News and Events of 21 August 2012
What Happened on 21 August 2012
India and US to discuss Syria, Russia has warned against it
11,000 km of LNG pipelines laid so far, 14000 km in the offing
Banking activities to be paralyzed in West Bengal for two days
Advani defeats McManus 6-3
Amitabh Bachchan's Facebook page gets 8 lakh likes within an hour
Facebook is working with government to remove hateful content
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla was caught on mike telling the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien to adjourn the house. This was after there was an uproar in the house over the CAG report regarding allotment of coal blocks. The opposition members were shouting slogans when Shukla went to the chair and whispered "Pure din Ke liye House adjourn kara dijiye (Adjourn the House for the day)." The house was adjourned for the day. BJP stated that this has revealed Congress's intentions to stall the proceedings of the house.
India and the US are will be analyzing the situation in the violence-torn, Syria when the US's envoy to the UN, Susan Rice will discuss the matters with Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai and National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon.She is also expected to call on External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna. US has said it will take unilateral action against Syria and Russia has warned against it. Rice will have meeting with Indian officials regarding, "a range of bilateral and multilateral issues including peace-keeping, regional cooperation, and Syria," as per US embassy. India is expected to support a UN-led solution to the Syrian crisis and would be demanding for UN given a chance to get through the situation. With the escalating crisis in Syria, where the tussle between the Bashar Al Assad regime and armed opposition activists is stuck at a point amid the larger backdrop of the power struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran in Middle East, the discussions on Syria situation holds significance and Rice's visit is intended for that. Indian diplomats will also apprise Rice on the recent conference called by Iran, which backs the Assad regime. India is looking for "indigenous solution" which would lead to political reconciliation for doing away with the Syrian crisis.
Minister of State for Petroleum R.P.N. Singh has said that more than 11,000 km of cross-country gas pipelines have been laid for linking the consumption centres and another 14,000 km of pipelines infrastructure is in the process of implementation. Replying to the question regarding natural gas pipeline grid in the country, the minister said that government has focused on domestic exploration and deployment of new measures for production like a New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP), exploring shale gas potential, LNG imports and transnational pipelines like the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline and Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline. Joint venture oil and gas company, Petronet LNG, has initiated development of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal at Gangavaram port (Andhra Pradesh) which will be linked to gas pipelines for supply to the consumers, including the power sector.
The banking strike is going to cause a lot of hassles to people in West Bengal on Wednesday and Thursday as most of the union members will participate in the two-day nationwide strike to protest against the proposed Banking Sector Reform Bill. ATMs will also be not operational as the security guards have also joined the strike. The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), which is an umbrella organisation of nine major bank employees associations, opted for the two-day strike in the event of reconciliation talks called by the chief labour commission having failed. 10000 branches in West Bengal will be closed in West Bengal.
India's Pankaj Advani securing two century breaks, defeated another former top-10 player in Alan McManus 6-3 to get into the final qualifying round of the International Championship snooker tournament. After his spectacular win against former World champion Steve Davis 6-5 in the earlier round, Advani cracked a break of 117 and did not look back after that. He increased his lead 4-2 in his favor prior to getting another century break 113 in the seventh frame to a 5-2 lead and he finally won the match 6-3. He will now play against World No.32 Michael Holt of England, if he wins then he would qualify for Snooker's richest tournament scheduled to be held in China at the end of 2012.
Amitabh Bachchan's popularity was once again proved when he joined Facebook. Within an hour of activation his page got 784,417 likes. Amitabh Bachchan is active on social media and connects with his worldwide fans through his blog and Twitter, and even through his voice blog. His fan page was visible on Tuesday morning when he uploaded a video taken from his home Jalsa. He also tweeted that he was now on Facebook and that his page has got close to 8 lakhs in half an hour.
Science and Technology
Social networking website Facebook has stated it is working with the government to remove "hateful content" which is being perceived to trigger communal tension across the country. The company spokesperson said Facebook will remove the content which violates their terms. He also said that the Indian authorities have requested Facebook to remove such content. Users were also requested to report against such content. This development is after there was an online hate campaign targeting people from the northeast which has brought into limelight the power of Facebook's network which has more than 60 million users in India.