38. Current Affairs Fourth week of November Unit Two

Continuing the series on current affairs, we deal in this issue with the sad demise of ndira Raisom of Assam, a Jnanapeeth Award winner, Probiotics, the ICC, , the Syrian crisis, How revolutions occur, impact lap tops and wi-fi, the controversy of the Mullaperiyar dam, and Solar energy,

21 thoughts on “38. Current Affairs Fourth week of November Unit Two

  1. 1.NEW DELHI: Jnanpith award winning Assamese litterateur Indira Raisom Goswami, who was 70, died on Tuesday (28 Nov 11) morning after prolonged illness.

    She was in hospital for the last six months.

    Goswami, who had authored several novels and short story collection, also took the initiative for a political dialogue to resolve the ULFA issue which has rocked Assam for nearly three decades.

  2. 2. Probiotics (PBs): Defined as micro organisms, PBs when administered orally in adequate amounts confer a health benefit. The Human gastro intestinal tract is host to more than 400 diverse species of bacteria and organisms that colonise the gut., soon after our birth and there after live in harmony with man. These bugs aw useful producing essential vitamins and nutrients absolutely essential for life. They constitute a veritable kitchen of activity and emanate from the large intestine. That is how the liver functions.

    Today Doctors prescribe and patients demand antibiotics for evey cceivable problem. Patients are in a hurry to get well soon. And doctors want to `cure’ the patients in double quick time.

  3. The Anti Biotics (AB) destroy al organisms in the gut and in the process the PBs are also destroyed, The primary infection is removed by the Abs but the body loses its ability to produce the necessary vitamins and nutrients since the PBs are also killed. Hence along with ABs, PBs also have to be attended to (examples of PBs: lactobacillus; bifidobacter; saccharomyces boulardi etc.,) PBs enhance immunity. PBs are found in plenty in fermented milk, yogurt etc., There are eve artificially created PBs available at medical stores. Pickles, curd rice are some of the common sources of PBs.

  4. 3. Ivory Coast’s Laurent Gbagbo arrives in The Hague (25 Nov 11)
    He left northern Ivory Coast, after an arrest warrant was issued, and was flown to Rotterdam, from where he was transferred to detention in The Hague early on Wednesday.
    The ICC has been investigating alleged war crimes committed in unrest after last year’s disputed elections.
    The transfer comes just two weeks before legislative elections.

  5. Laurent Gbagbo had been under house arrest in Korhogo in the north of Ivory Coast since April when he was ousted.
    He will be the first former head of state to be tried by the ICC since it was set up in 2002.
    The ICC opened an investigation last month into killings, rapes and other abuses committed during the four-month conflict in Ivory Coast which began when Mr Gbagbo refused to give up power to Alassane Ouattara in a presidential election last year.

  6. Arab League sends ‘serious political message’ to Syria
    By Lyse DoucetBBC News, Cairo 25 Nov 11

    The secretary general of the Arab League has said its approval of unprecedented sanctions has sent a very serious political message to Syria.
    Nabil al-Arabi told the BBC that the Syrian government could not carry on as if it was business as usual.
    He said new sanctions recently agreed by Arab states would come into force on Saturday unless Syria kept its promises.
    Syria’s foreign minister has described the sanctions as “economic war”.

  7. 4. How Revolutions happen

    Goal: To overthrow the Shah. Democrats started the popular uprising, but Islamists took over.
    By Dr Mark AlmondVisiting Professor in International Relations at Bilkent University, Ankara

    Revolutions can be short and bloody, or slow and peaceful. Each is different, though there are recurring patterns – including some that were on show in Egypt.
    Trotsky once remarked that if poverty was the cause of revolutions, there would be revolutions all the time because most people in the world were poor. What is needed to turn a million people’s grumbling discontent into a crowd on the streets is a spark to electrify them.

  8. Violent death has been the most common catalyst for radicalising discontent in the revolutions of the last 30 years. Sometimes the spark is grisly, like the mass incineration of hundreds in an Iranian cinema in 1978 blamed on the Shah’s secret police.
    Sometimes the desperate act of a single suicidally inflammatory protester like vegetable salesman Mohammed Bouazizi in Tunisia, in December 2010, catches the imagination of a country.
    Even rumours of brutality, such as the claims the Communist secret police had beaten two students to death in Prague in November, 1989, can fire up a public already deeply disillusioned with the system.

  9. Reports that Milosevic had had his predecessor, Ivan Stambolic, “disappeared” in the weeks before the Yugoslav presidential elections in 2000 helped to crystallise Serbian rejection of his regime.
    Chinese template
    Death – though in this case non-violent – also played a role in China in April 1989, when students in Beijing hijacked the officially-sponsored mourning for the former Communist leader, Hu Yaobang, to occupy Tiananmen Square and protest against the Party’s corruption and dictatorship.

  10. But although the Chinese crisis set the template for how to stage protests and occupy symbolic city-centre squares, it also was the most obvious failure of “People Power”.
    Unlike other elderly dictators, Deng Xiaoping showed energy and skill in striking back at the protesters. His regime had made a billion Chinese peasants better off. They were the soldiers sent to shoot down the crowds.

  11. Protests against Suharto’s “re-election” in Indonesia in March 1998, culminated in the shooting of four students in May, which set off a round of bigger demonstrations and more violence until more than 1,000 were dead.
    Thirty years earlier Suharto could kill hundreds of thousands with impunity. But corruption and the Asian economic crisis had imploded support for his regime. After 32 years in power, his family and their cronies were too rich, while too many former backers were getting poorer – a poverty they shared with ordinary people.

  12. Revolutions are 24-hour-a day events – they require stamina and quick thinking from both protesters and dictators”
    What collapses a regime is when insiders turn against it. So long as police, army and senior officials think they have more to lose by revolution than by defending a regime, then even mass protests can be defied and crushed. Remember Tiananmen Square.
    But if insiders and the men with guns begin to question the wisdom of backing a regime – or can be bought off – then it implodes quickly.
    Tunisia’s Ben Ali decided to flee when his generals told him they would not shoot into the crowds. In Romania, in December, 1989, Ceausescu lived to see the general he relied on to crush the protesters become his chief judge at his trial on Christmas Day.

  13. External pressure plays a role in completing regime-change. In 1989, the refusal of the Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, to use the Red Army to back East European Communists facing protests in the streets made the local generals realise that force was not an option.
    The United States has repeatedly pressed its authoritarian allies to compromise and then, once they have started on that slippery slope, to resign.

  14. Sclerosis
    Longevity of a regime and especially the old age of a ruler can result in a fatal incapacity to react to events quickly.
    Graceful exits are rare in revolutions”
    Revolutions are 24-hour-a day events – they require stamina and quick thinking from both protesters and dictators. An elderly inflexible but ailing leader contributes to the crisis.
    From the cancer-stricken Shah of Iran via the ailing Honecker in East Germany to Indonesia’s Suharto, decades in power had encouraged a political sclerosis which made nimble political manoeuvres impossible. As Egypt reminds, revolutions are made by the young.

  15. Graceful exits are rare in revolutions, but the offer of secure retirement can speed up and smooth the change.
    In 2003, Georgia’s Shevardnadze was denounced by some as a “Ceausescu” but he was let alone in his villa after he resigned. Suharto’s generals had ensured he retired to die in peace a decade later – but his son “Tommy” was imprisoned.
    Often there is a hunger among people to punish the fallen rulers. Their successors, too, find retribution against the old leader can be a useful distraction from the economic and social problems, which don’t disappear with the change of regime.
    Oxford historian Mark Almond is the author of Uprising – Political Upheavals that have Shaped the World.
    NOTE: The topic Revolutions included in the Main Exam syllabus of Optional Political Science

  16. 5. .Scientists are questioning if using wi-fi on a laptop to roam the internet could harm a man’s fertility, after lab work suggested ejaculated sperm were significantly damaged after only four hours of exposure.
    The benchside tests showed sperm were less able to swim and had changes in the genetic code that they carry.
    Experts stress this does not mean the same would occur in a real-life setting and say men should not worry unduly.
    But they are recommending more studies.

  17. The preliminary research, published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, looked at semen samples from 29 healthy donors.
    Each donor sample was separated out into two pots. One of these pots was then stored for four hours next to a laptop that was wirelessly connected to the internet. The other was stored under identical conditions, minus the laptop.
    The scientists, from Argentina and the US, suspect that the effect seen is unrelated to the heat kicked out by a laptop, although heat can damage sperm.

  18. 6. Mullaperiyar dam (30 Nov 11)

    Kochi Normal life was affected on Tuesday in five districts of Kerala following a 12-hour bandh called by political parties seeking immediate resolution of the Mullaperiyar Dam dispute. Shops downed shutters and state transport buses went off road in most places, reports said.

    Kerala has been pressing for Centre’s intervention to persuade Tamil Nadu to agree to building a a new dam at Mullaperiyar saying that the present 116-year-old structure poses threat to nearly three million people.
    However, holding a contradictory view, Tamil Nadu has opposed construction of a new dam, asserting that the present reservoir “is as safe and good as new” and accused Kerala of whipping up fear psychosis.

  19. 7. People living on hillslopes and slums in the city will soon have solar street lighting facility as part of the Solar City project of the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC).
    The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Resources (MNRE) has approved the proposal submitted by the VMC.
    On a pilot basis, the streetlights in the hilly areas of One Town will be converted into solar streetlights. Plans are afoot to bring the bustling Mogalrajpuram and a few other areas under the project which aims at studying the efficacy of solar batteries used for the street lighting.

  20. Solar energy can be easily tapped in hilly regions compared to the plains.
    The VMC has installed three solar lights on the premises of the Rajiv Gandhi Park near Pandit Nehru Bus Station (PNBS) on an experimental basis.
    Municipal Commissioner G. Ravi Babu said the corporation would call tenders for installation of solar streetlights soon. The tender process is likely to be completed by the year-end paving the way for the implementation of the project in January 2012.

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