China Passes U.S. As World’s Biggest Oil Importer


China has achieved another world-beating status its leaders don’t want: Biggest oil importer.

China passed the United States in September as the world’s biggest net oil importer, driven by faster economic growth and strong auto sales, according to U.S. government data released this week.

China Oil ImportsA city ring road becomes clogged with heavy traffic in Beijing, China Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013. China has passed the United States in September as the world’s biggest net oil importer, driven by faster economic growth and strong auto sales, according to U.S. government data released this week. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) | AP

Chinese oil consumption outstripped production by 6.3 million barrels per day, which indicates the country had to import that much to fill the gap, the Energy Information Administration said this week.

“China’s steady growth in oil demand has led it to become the world’s largest net oil importer, exceeding the United States in September 2013,'” the agency said in a report. “EIA forecasts this trend to continue through 2014.”

China’s economic boom has raised incomes and increased its global influence. But it also has spurred demand for imported oil and gas, which communist leaders see as a strategic weakness.

Rising auto ownership has left China’s cities choking on smog and added to pressure on Beijing from its own public to curb pollution and from other nations to rein in surging greenhouse gas emissions.

The United States, with a population about one-third the size of China’s, still consumes far more oil per person than China does.

In September, Americans used 18.6 million barrels per day of oil and other liquid fossil fuels, while China used 10.9 million, according to the EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook. U.S. production was 12.5 million barrels per day, while that of China was 4.6 million.

China’s economy, the world’s second-largest, is cooling but still is forecast to grow by nearly 8 percent this year, well above forecasts for the U.S.

 

The Chinese auto market, the biggest by number of vehicles sold, also is cooling but sales still rose by 11 percent in August.

Beijing is encouraging development of wind and solar power and use of autos powered by batteries or natural gas. But gasoline is expected to remain the country’s main vehicle fuel in coming decades.

The government has launched initiatives to improve China’s energy intensity, or the energy consumed for each unit of economic output. It has reported progress but still is far behind developed economies.

Until the late 1990s, China supplied its oil needs from domestic sources including the vast Daqing field in the northeast. But the economic boom outstripped its production capacity while output from existing sources is forecast to decline.

That has forced China to rely more heavily on imports, especially from Saudi Arabia and Iran. Communist leaders see that as a strategic weakness because of possible instability in the Gulf and Iran’s political isolation.

EIA noted that China’s domestic oil production was hampered over the past two months by summer flooding.

State-owned oil companies and their foreign partners are spending heavily to look for new oil sources in China and to develop alternatives such as methane from coal beds. But they have yet to find new deposits that match the size of Daqing.

Abroad, Chinese state-owned oil companies have invested billions of dollars to develop oil and gas sources in Iraq, Central Asia and Africa. Some of that is meant for export to China but much of it is sold in other markets.

At the same time, U.S. import demand has weakened as hydraulic fracturing and other technologies open up new domestic sources of supply.

American demand for oil and other liquid fuels rose by about 110,000 barrels per day, or just 0.6 percent, in the first nine months of this year, due partly to improved engine efficiency, the EIA said. It said consumption is forecast to fall by 0.4 percent next year.

Overall, the United States still should be the biggest oil consumer next year at about 18.7 million barrels per day, down from its peak of 20.8 million in 2005, according to the EIA. It said China’s consumption next should be about 11 million barrels per day.

Malala describes attack, recovery in book excerpt


Malala Yousafzai, Youth advocate for Education...

Malala Yousafzai, Youth advocate for Education, in New York (Photo credit: GlobalPartnership for Education)

Malala Yousafzai, a 16-year-old Pakistani girl who was shot in the face by Taliban members, described the incident in her new book to be released Tuesday.

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Malala is a vociferous supporter of education for girls. Her outspoken advocacy for girls’ education made her a Taliban target. She was shot in the left eye socket at close range on a school bus on October 16, 2012 in Pakistan.

The book excerpt describes how she gradually regained her sight and her voice and was reunited with her parents.

Malala, who has been mentioned as a possible contender for the Nobel Peace Prize to be announced Friday, also describes her amazement at finding out that some 8,000 people had sent messages of support to the hospital.

“Rehanna, the Muslim chaplain, said millions of people and children around the world had supported me and prayed for me,” Malala writes. “Then I realized that people had spared my life. I had been spared for a reason. I realized that what the Taliban had done was make my campaign global.”

Malala, who is now residing in the U.K., also described her goal of one day returning to Pakistan despite the risks: “To be torn from the country that you love is not something to wish on anyone,” she writes.

The book is titled “I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban.”

AP

Wanted to become a soldier, became cricketer – Dhoni #MSD @ChennaiIPL


Team India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni wanted to become a soldier since childhood. He used to visit Ranchi Kent area but destiny intervened, and he became a cricketer. Dhoni

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spent a day with military personnel in the Parachute Regiment and Aaj Tak witnessed these special moments. One day between army troops and soldiers Dhoni’s amazing how Dhoni’s fun, it’s on 5th October at 8pm- 9pm on Aaj Tak’s show – Solid young, star captain.

Dhoni at Parachute Regiment enjoyed the whole day. Spoke with soldiers, learned a lot from him. Mark saw drill. What kind of military attack during the turn lock on the front, Dhoni has seen it all and learned. Dhoni is fond of shooting targets at a shooting range and heavily planted. Captain Cool joke done well here. Every shot was perfectly fitted to Dhoni, Dhoni smiled but missed once said -” I stand behind the till, at the same pressure missed. Media monitors everything.” In these talks Mahendra Singh Dhoni said that he is very afraid of heights. Fan Dhoni was still jump. He said it came from the bottom up -” The uniform is something special. Maybe this is all in uniform, which I was not afraid.”

Dhoni after the evening tea party with seals made it great. Some sing and dance troops had passed. Dhoni’s men they want me to dance, but Dhoni said when he returns next time dance course. Some also questioned Dhoni seals. Asked the young man how are you so cool. The Dhoni replied: – “The day I have to press conference, a day before I go and sit in the fridge, I am the Being Cool.”

Dhoni’s men met with great warmth. Also lavishly praised. Dhoni said in response to a question – “Since childhood I wanted to join the Army. Army area was often goes in Ranchi. Seeing the soldiers thought
that one day I’ll be the same. ” After cricketer to come out in the Army in response to a question,

Dhoni said – “I want to serve the country. And thus had the opportunity to serve my country so I accepted. “

Asked a young man – you become a soldier and military and cricket cricketer and why not make it, we are not able to play in the IPL. Dhoni said this – “Cricket is a game which anyone can play. There is no cap. You can play the IPL. Provided you have the ability to play good cricket then you can also get a chance to play. “

Army Dhoni with many unseen, unknown factor em erged. Dhoni when he met with the widows and the children got to see a different face. Dhoni was emotional. Spent time with the children of military widows, were all his demands are met. He gave autographs and posed for pictures.

US attack on Syria would be “aggression”, says Putin


United States’ military action against Syria without the United Nations’ approval would represent an act of “aggression,” Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has said.

In a wide-ranging interview to Russian state television and Associated Press aired on Wednesday, Mr. Putin said he did not exclude supporting the use of force against Syria at the United Nations if there was “objective, precise evidence” proving that the Syrian Government was behind the use of chemical weapons. But he strongly warned Washington against launching unilateral attack against Syria.

“In line with international law, the U.N. Security Council alone can sanction the use of force against a sovereign State. Any other pretext or method to justify the use of force against an independent sovereign State is inadmissible and can only be qualified as aggression,” Mr. Putin said.

The Russian leader reiterated his view that it would be “absurd” for the Government of President Bashar al-Assad to resort to chemical weapons at a time when the tide of war was swinging its way.

“From our viewpoint, it seems utterly absurd that the regular armed forces, which are on the offensive today and in some areas have encircled the so-called rebels and are finishing them off, that in these conditions they would start using banned chemical weapons while realising quite well that it could serve as a pretext for applying sanctions against them, including the use of force,” Mr. Putin said.

Evidence of poisonous gas attacks must be “convincing” and should not be based on “rumours” or “eavesdropping” by secret services, he added.

Mr. Putin compared the evidence presented by Washington to the notorious “anthrax” vial Secretary of State Colin Powel showed in the U.N. General Assembly to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

“All these arguments turned out to be untenable, but they were used to launch military action, which many in the U.S. called a mistake. Have we forgotten it? … I assure you, we have not. Everybody remembers it and factors in in their decision,” Mr, Putin said.

The Russian President, who will host the G20 summit in St. Petersburg on Thursday, said he would raise the Syrian crisis issue at the summit.

Mr. Putin, a former career officer in the Soviet KGB, refused to disclose what Russia would do if the U.S. attacked Syria.

“We have our ideas about what we will do and how we will do it, in case the situation develops toward the use of force or otherwise,” he said. “We have our plans, but it’s too early to talk about them.”

Mr. Putin confirmed that Russia had a standing contract to supply the S-300 air defence missile system to Syria and had already delivered “some components” before the deal was “suspended.”

“But if we see that steps are taken that violate the existing international norms, we shall think how we should act in the future, in particular regarding supplies of such sensitive weapons to certain regions of the world,” he said.

Three years ago, Russia cancelled a contract to sell the S-300s to Iran under strong U.S. pressure, but last month, Moscow reportedly offered Tehran to supply a still more powerful system – Antey-2500.

–Vladimir Ryahudin–

Accused forced Mumbai gang-rape victim to watch porn clip on cell


The photojournalist who was gang-raped at the Shakti Mills compound recently was allegedly forced to watch a pornographic clip on the mobile phone of one of the five suspects.

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Giving a detailed account in her supplementary statement to the police of the horrors she was put through on the premises of the derelict mill, the 23-year-old said one of the men showed her a pornographic clip before she was gang-raped, sources revealed. She has also alleged that all five had unnatural sex with her.

Crime branch sources said the police recorded the woman’s supplementary statement last week. “Since she claimed that all five had unnatural sex with her, we added section 377 of the Indian Penal Code to the case. It is also clear that the rape was a conspiracy and, so, section 120B of the Indian Penal Code, too, has been added,” said a police officer.

Based on the woman’s allegation of being shown a pornographic clip, the police have sent all the mobile phones of the five accused to forensics retrieve deleted data.

“Once we recover the clip, we will add charges under relevant sections of the Information Technology Act to the case,” said the police officer.

The police are also pinning hopes on the identification parade to nail the suspect who forced the photojournalist to watch the clip.

Satyanarayan Chaudhary, deputy commissioner of police (detection), said, “We will not ask for custody of the accused beyond September 5 unless something new crops up in the investigation. We will get the identification parade done once they are sent to judicial custody.”

Somendra Sharma 

Was Princess Diana killed by SAS murderers posing as paparazzi?


A royal expert has claimed that Princess Diana was murdered by SAS members who were disguised as photographers.

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The man in question, Alan Power, believes that he has proof that commando hitmen were hired to stop Di from disclosing the details of her sex life with Prince Charles, the Daily Star reported.

Power alleged that the soldiers chased her car on motorbikes and shone a laser into driver Henri Paul’s eyes.

Power added that he is a 100 percent sure that the incident was no accident, but murder.

British Police are currently investigation a letter, which was provided by the parents-in-law of a former SAS member, claiming that SAS was involved in the murder of Princess of Wales and her lover Dodi Fayed.

 

Facts You Must Know About the Food Bill


We cannot imagine our life without a pinch of food in a day as it is the most essential element for human beings to survive. In an overpopulated country like India, there is more demand for basic necessities like food, clothing and shelter, out of which, food serves as the most important component for a healthy living. The country is home to 25 percent of starving poor people of the world.

Recently, the Central government with the main aim to combat poverty and hunger of its ever increasing population had introduced ‘Food Security Bill’ which is considered as the world’s largest welfare scheme. The bill guarantees highly subsidized food grains to two-thirds of the population. Here are some of the facts worth knowing about this food legislation as listed by rediff.com

Initial Stage of Food Bill

7326Rwim Food Security Bill- the most ambitious project of the UPA government was first drafted by its Chairperson Sonia Gandhi way back in the year 2010. Initially, the bill aimed to supply food to around 75 percent of the country’s population. C Rangarajan, an Indian Economist led a panel which urged the government to reduce entitlements and also to reform the Public Distribution System (PDS).

.A year later, the draft report was circulated by the ministry of food for public opinion. In July 2013, the government approved an ordinance that covers 67 percent of the country’s population.

 Provision Included

523C8cAG In this scheme, the government rolled out 5 kg of rice, wheat and coarse grain at Rs 3, 2 and 1 per kg respectively to an estimated 800 million people i.e. 75 percent of rural and 50 percent of urban population every month. The rest will be designated as general ones.
Under the welfare scheme Antyodaya Anna Yajna, families below the poverty line (BPL)will be entitled with 35 kg food grains per household every month and general households will get  3 kg. But, the scheme does not provide pulses and edible oils, due to the lack of supply in the country.

 Empowering Women and Children

iz47SyRf The food bill is not only confined to the general masses but also gives equal importance to women and children . The bill seeks to empower women by entitling meals and maternity benefits of not less than 6000. Besides these benefits, pregnant women and lactating mothers will also receive maternity benefit of at least 6000. Woman should be at least 18 years old to avail ration card. As per prescribed nutritional norms, Children between the age group of 6 months to 14 years will be allowed to take home ration or hot cooked food under ICDS and Mid-Day Meal Schemes.

 Food grains required and the cost involved

2904B5qx It is estimated that the total food grains required for this welfare scheme is around 62 million tons a year. This means subsidy bill of over 12.4 million will be required to successfully implement this food bill all over the country.

Procedures involved in choosing the Beneficiaries


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Beneficiaries for the bill will be chosen on the basis of the 2011 population census. The states and union territories are allowed to include their own criteria or can employ census data based on social, economic and caste, where the government is meant to identify households within its jurisdictions. But in the original Food Bill, the central government is responsible for identifying it.

Misconception about the bill

Many people have raised the question whether India can afford such an expensive scheme, where the country’s annual food subsidy bill will witness more than double  of 1.3 trillion rupees. It is also claimed that this bill will only fill the pockets of those corrupt and inefficient state-owned cheap food ration shopkeepers. It is said that, the food bill is an extensively regarded key method of the union government to entice people to vote for them in the upcoming 2014 election.