Week in Review: July 26-Aug 1
Mumbai International Airport.
WikiLeaks, a Website that publishes anonymously submitted confidential information, leaked 91,000 documents. Most of these were ground reports from US military personnel that exposed Pakistan’s two-sided policy of fuelling terror in Afghanistan, while claiming to be fighting it as America’s ally. A day after WikiLeaks exposed Pakistan’s thriving partnership with the Taliban and other terror groups, the US publicly asked Islamabad to take action against the perpetrators of the November 26, 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai. Congress leader Sonia Gandhi made a rare public statement in the party publication saying “While we strive for peace, we cannot and will not be soft on terrorism”. After a fellow inmate used sharpened aluminium utensils to attack underworld kingpin Abu Salem, authorities at the Arthur Road Jail considered switching to disposable vessels.
In July, over 13,000 Mumbaiites tested positive for malaria, over three times the number of cases recorded between July 2009 and June 2010. The BMC blamed heavy construction activity and the monsoons for the epidemic. According to the Central Pollution Control Board, air pollution levels in most Indian cities are on the rise due to increase in vehicular congestion. Ludhiana, Delhi and Kolkata and Bangalore were all found to be more polluted than Mumbai. Vidarbha’s agrarian crisis worsened with seven more farmers committing suicide last week after they failed to repay their loans. A total of 85 farmers committed suicide this June and July. The central government threatened to block BlackBerry’s operations unless it allowed security agencies to monitor its e-mail traffic. The personal details of 100 million Facebook users were leaked online. Internet watchdog Privacy International accused Facebook of negligence, despite the social networking site’s argument that “people who use Facebook own their information and have the right to share only what they want, with whom they want”.
The government plans to bring back the cheetah to India, which was last seen here about 50 years ago, by acquiring the cats from South Africa, Namibia or West Asian countries. The project will cost an estimated Rs300 crore and will displace more than 100 settlements, to create a natural habitat for 18 cheetahs in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Mumbai International Airport was ranked the fourth best in the world, in the category of airports handling 1.5 crore to 2.5 crore passengers per year, by the Airport Council International. The Central Vigilance Commission found that every quality certificate that they scrutinised for the Commonwealth Games, to be held in October in Delhi, had been forged or looked suspect.
The police suspected that Nigerians living in Mira Road were behind the fraudulent email scam that attempts to fleece people through claims of bogus lottery wins in Britain and windfall inheritances in Africa. The popularity of spiritual tourism continued to rise among affluent Indians and NRIs. Travel to pilgrimage sites around the country recorded seven to 10 percent growth this year. China overtook Japan to become the world’s second largest economy. It is expected to overtake the US and rise to the top spot by 2025.Tags: Abu Salem, Blackberry, BMC, Central Pollution Control Board, cheetah, Commonwealth Games, Facebook, malaria, Privacy International, Special Top Story, Taliban, Week in Review, WikiLeaks