News Wrap


Three out of ten persons in India are poor. The C Rangarajan Committee takes an individual’s spending of Rs 47 a day in cities, and Rs 32 a day spending in rural areas to be considered ‘poor’. This makes 29.5% population of India, in poverty as of 2011-12. The number of poor in India, stands at 36.3 crore in 2011-12, down from 45.4 crore in 2009-10.

Since 1948, Rs 28.65 lac crore has been concealed in black money by the evasion of taxes and deceiving government authorities in India. The Swiss National Bank estimates that Rs 146350 crore (2.09 billion Swiss Francs) have been stashed by Indians in 283 Swiss banks.

Mountain Lakes
While India’s vice president Hamid Ansari and Chinese leaders were celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Panchsheel Agreement in Beijing, Chinese troops intruded into the Indian side of Pangong Tso Lake, in eastern Ladakh, during the last week of June 2014. The Line of Actual Control passes through Pangong Tso Lake, which extends from India to Tibet. The northern bank was a theatre of conflict in the 1962 border war. There were no less than 18 face-offs between Indian and Chinese troops in Pangong Tso, during 2013, because of serious differences in perception on the LAC. China has built up massive infrastructure close to the LAC. The picture-que lake, 134 km long, at a height of 4350 metres above sea level, has witnessed 12 face-offs, between Indian and Chinese troops, in 2014 so far. Four Chinese high speed interceptor boats were spotted on 24 June 2014 morning on the northern bank of the lake, extending around Srijap area posts. They were intercepted and confronted by Indian troops, on four US made boats, moving from Thukang base.

White Births Minority
The US Census Bureau has officially declared that white births are no longer a majority in the United States. For the period August 2012 to July 2013, non-Hispanic whites accounted for 49.6% of all births. Minorities, including Hispanic, blacks, Asians and those of mixed race, reached 50.4%, representing a majority, for the first time in the history of USA. Such a turn has long been expected. USA has been founded by white Europeans, and has witnessed issues of race, slavery, civil war, civil rights battles, and efforts to restrict immigration. A younger generation is being born in which minorities are the majority, in a multi-ethnic country. In 348 counties, whites are no longer in a majority. The number doubles when it comes to the toddler population. In four states and the district of Columbia, whites are no longer the majority. They have slipped below half in many major metro cities.

Vatican in Rwanda Genocide
As Rwanda marks the 20th anniversary of the 1994 genocide, the Vatican continues to be reluctant to confront the murderers within its churches. Roman catholic priests have been indicted by United Nations courts for genocide, extermination, murder and rape in Rwanda. Father Wencelas Munyeshyaka was notorious during the 1994 genocide of 800, Tutsis, for wearing a gun on his hip, and colluding with the Hutu militia that murdered hundreds of people, sheltering in his church. The Catholic Church in France is defending the Roman Catholic priest, who has been given shelter in a medieval church, near Paris. Father Athanase Seromba ordered the bulldozing of his church in Rwanda, with 2000 Tutsis inside, and had the survivors shot. He is now a parish priest in Florence in Italy, with his name changed. Another Rwanda priest in Italy is facing charges of overseeing the massacre of disabled children. The Vatican is reluctant to confront the murderers in its midst and refuses to face up to the Church’s complicity in mass murder. The Vatican has been maintaining for two decades that while individual clergy were guilty of terrible crimes, the church as an institution bears no responsibility. The Holy See invites the world’s attention on the more than 200 priests and nuns killed in the genocide. The Vatican is accused of obstructing extradition of clergy, who played a role in the genocide. In its report on the genocide, the Organization for African Union has found the church in Rwanda of failing to oppose the killings by the Hutu regime, and even promoting ethnic discrimination.

Slave in Sea Food Trade
Under threat of extreme violence, slaves are forced to work for no pay for years and utilized in Asia in the production of sea food sold by major US, British and other European retailers. A large number of men bought and sold like animals and held against their will on fishing boats off Thailand are integral to the production of prawns sold in leading supermarkets around the world, including the top four global retailers, viz Walmart, Carefour, Costco and Tesco. The world’s largest prawn farmer, the Thailand based Charoen Pokphand (CP) Foods, buys fish meal, which it feeds to its farmed prawns, from suppliers that own, operate or buy from fishing boats, manned with slaves. Migrant workers from Burma and Cambodia are promised jobs by brokers in factories and building sites in Thailand, but sold as slaves to boat captains for as little as 250 Pound. The horrific conditions on the fishing boats include 20 hour shifts, regular beatings, torture and execution-style killings.

Vol. 47, No. 4, Aug 3 - 9, 2014