“Let me just say that there has not been any change,” Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert O. Blake told reporters Friday asserting “the Obama Administration attaches great importance to our relations with India.”
“As President Obama himself has said, this will be one of our signature partnerships in the 21st century,” he said pointing to the fact that Obama had invited Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the first state visit of his administration last November “to reaffirm the importance that we attach to our relations with India.”
“One of the purposes of the strategic dialogue is to think through what are the big, new opportunities and where are the big areas of cooperation,” Blake said suggesting sceptics perceptions would be best addressed “just by delivering results and by showing, in a concrete way, all of the various things that we’re doing.”
External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will lead a team of ministers and officials at the June 2-3 dialogue covering a wide range of areas, including high technology trade, science & technology, civil nuclear cooperation, agriculture, human resource development, security and other strategic issues.
After the dialogue “there will be deliverables” Blake said. But “the purpose of this dialogue is really to think strategically and, again, to get the key people who work on these issues together to think ahead to the President’s visit and to think strategically about what we can do.”
Among the global and regional issues the situation in Afghanistan Pakistan region would be the key focus area. The two sides will also talk about Iran as “the United States and India both share a concern about Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and both of us are opposed to any kind of nuclear arms for Iran.”
On the bilateral front, “we have 18 separate dialogues underway between the United States and India to really try to capture the full scope of the opportunities ahead of us,” Blake said.
Tone for the discussions was set by Obama’s phone call Friday to Manmohan Singh when the “leaders agreed that the Dialogue is an important milestone in the development of the US-India strategic partnership and looked forward to its results.”
Obama and Singh “also expressed their hope that the Dialogue will initiate a regular exchange of ideas and discussion between their governments and both pledged their support toward that end,” according to a White House readout of the call.
The dialogue gets underway June 2 with the 35th annual meeting of the US-India Business Council, while Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and US Under Secretary of Political Affairs Bill Burns “will oversee a very wide-ranging foreign policy dialogue that will cover Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Middle East, probably China, and many other topics.”
The main strategic dialogue on June 3 chaired by Clinton and Krishna will be “about not so much what we’ve accomplished, but to look ahead about what we can accomplish, and particularly look ahead to the President’s visit sometime this fall to India,” Blake said.
On the Indian side, Krishna will be joined by Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia and the Minister of State for Science and Technology Prithviraj Chavan and other top officials.
On the US side, Clinton will be joined by National Security Advisor James Jones, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, FBI Director Robert Mueller and the USAID Director Rajiv Shah.
The singer gave a sexy pose for snappers, while hugging her reality star friend on the red carpet, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Spence persisted on the Australian star giving further wild looks but the singer walked off chuckling, reports the Daily Mail.
He earned fame in Britain after starring in Sky One”s reality TV show Pineapple Dance Studios.
The film starring Kareena and Shahid was complete with the shoot before the couple broke up but then it got delayed and the recording of the promotional song kept on postponing. The promotional video has already been shot by Shahid Shahid.
The sources reveal that all the music tracks in the film are re-composed by Himesh Reshamiya. The musicvoices like Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, KK, Shreya Ghoshal, Raj Patel and Himesh has been added now.
Boney Kapoor, the producer of film said, “This is being done primarily to give a more contemporary feel to the film.”
Mi-Fone has unveiled its three new QWERTY keyboard incorporated mobile phones called Mi-Q+, Mi-Q1 and Mi-Q5 under the Mi-Q – brand. The company claims these phones with the tag of an “affordable, stylish and a quality competitive mobile to the BlackBerry”.
The Mi-Q+ is the lowest priced handset among the three that comes with the price tag of just Rs. 2500. It comes pre-loaded with GPRS Class 10, WAP 2.0, MMS, FM radio and the QWERTY keypad.
The Mi-Q1 that costs around Rs. 3,399 features GPRS/WAP/MMS and MP3/Video capabilities along with a memory capacity of up to 1GB. Not to forget this handset also comes with QWERTY keypad.
The most expensive of all is the Mi-Q5 which will cost you for Rs.3, 999 which includes all the features as the previous mentioned along with some enhancements like support for Bluetooth, Java applications, push email and social apps such as Facebook, MSN, etc. You can also watch analogue television using this phone.
All three phones share some common attributes like 2.2-inch wide screen, 65k colour screen with a resolution of 220×176 and a basic camera as well.
This range from Mi-Fone is available at Home Shop 18 Networks and Aditya Birla Stores.
Wired Magazine, the widely-distributed tech publication, has now ventured into the field of mobile phones and gets praise from reviewers for its great features. The magazine now reports on iPad app as well and has designed a whole new magazine around it. The aim is to maximize the reading experience about iPad.
The Wired iPad App magazine has been priced at $5 per issue at retail stores. The current issue features many interesting articles on iPad market. Stunning graphics and interactive features are the major attraction of the magazine.
Early reports are full of praises for the magazine for its ambitious design, smooth interface and imprssive graphics, but there are complaints also. The price for the digital issue is too high and there are too many ads. The print version is also available for a one year subscription of $10.
The votes were cast after Tuesday’s performances. His rival in the finale drew wide acclaims from the voters but the British judge had more confidence in DeWyze, who said that he fought for him and he believed in him.
During the show’s rapid-fire post-audition phase, DeWyze he was delight to note that judge Cowell was tapping on his singing. That filled the singer with confidence. After that it became clear that he may emerge the winner when his rendition of Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars compelled Cowell to push for him. This gave the winner singer more confidence.
Amid moves to restore normal operations after a two-day wildcat strike by 15,000 employees, national carrier Air India Thursday initiated steps to avert such stirs in future, suspending over 40 workers and sealing two union offices.
The officials suspended are mainly office bearers of the All India Aircraft Engineers’ Association (AIAEA) and Air Corporation Employees’ Union (ACEU). The offices of these two unions, too, have been sealed, officials confirmed in Mumbai.
“We are also taking due steps to de-recognise these two unions,” said a senior official speaking for the management, adding all moves initiated since Wednesday had the full backing of the aviation ministry.
The union leaders, nevertheless, remained adamant and said they will serve a proper notice for another strike.
The airline has already said that it will take another day or so to resume normal operations as the entire roster was in disarray. They said 78 scheduled operations were pressed into service Thursday and more would be added over the next few days.
“There were a few cancellations from New Delhi and Kolkata this morning, but as far as Mumbai was concerned, we have been able to operate all our flights as usual,” an Air India spokesperson told IANS in Mumbai.
“Two early morning flights to Ahmedabad could not be operated. But they had minimal load, which was transferred to other flights operating from the international terminal.”
The strike, the airline said, had led to over 100 flight cancellations and a loss of Rs.12 crore (Rs.120 million/$2.5 million) for the carrier, even as 13,000 passengers were inconvenienced.
It was evident that the government supported the action by the airline management.
“Whatever action has to be taken, we have to go the whole hog,” Air India Chairman and Managing Director Arvind Jadhav said, hours after the Delhi High Court order Wednesday staying the strike, adding that Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel had fully backed their stand.
“We will ensure that such an event is not repeated in future,” Civil Aviation Secretary M. Madhavan Nambiar added, in a clear signal to the airline to take whatever steps as may be required to ensure orderly behaviour by unions.
But the union leaders have decided to take up the matter with Chief Labour Commissioner S.K. Mukhopadhyay, who was mediating on behalf of the two sides and had assured them that there would be no victimisation.
The sudden strike had further dented the image of the flag carrier that had come under a cloud due to reports of poor safety standards in the light of the Mangalore air crash and overall deterioration in services due to accumulated losses that topped $2.5 billion.