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  1. #2251
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    Yahtzee Champion, Slingo Para-Dice Champion suliso's Avatar
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    Re: World News Random, Random

    Quote Originally Posted by mmmm8 View Post
    I'm going to take an outlandish guess that Kazakh is the third language.
    That would have been too easy
    The grass master

  2. #2252
    Director of Media Relations Ti-Amie's Avatar
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    Re: World News Random, Random

    Women’s advocate, Indian diplomat paid housekeeper peanuts: Feds
    Devyani Khobragade, a diplomat to the US from India, allegedly promised to pay the female servant at least $9.75 an hour but then reneged, giving her an hourly wage of just more than $3. She’s been slapped with federal charges of making false statements and visa fraud.

    BY DANIEL BEEKMAN / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

    THURSDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2013, 9:25 PM

    A high-ranking Indian diplomat who speaks about gender issues and promotes women’s rights was busted for paying her female housekeeper just $3.31 an hour.

    Deputy Consul General Devyani Khobragade, 39, who rakes in more than $100,000 a year and lives in a luxury apartment paid for by the Indian government located on New York’s East Side, pleaded not guilty to making false statements and visa fraud in Manhattan Federal Court.

    Prosecutors said she submitted a bogus visa application for her housekeeper in which she said she’d be paid almost $10 an hour.

    The ambitious foreign service executive, who “provided a unique perspective on gender and social equality in India” and “spoke passionately about women's rights” in an April 30 speech, declined comment after her release on $250,000 bond.

    “We do not at this time agree that my client is subject to prosecution,” her lawyer, Daniel Arshack said, arguing that Khobragade should enjoy diplomatic immunity.

    Khobragade handed over her passport as a condition of bail.

    “Foreign nationals brought to the United States to serve as domestic workers are entitled to the same protections against exploitation as those afforded to United States citizens,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Thursday. “The false statements and fraud were designed to circumvent those protections.”

    The feds claim that Khobragade, who has two young daughters, promised in the visa application that the unnamed housekeeper and baby-sitter would be paid at least $9.75 an hour.

    But prior to having the woman sign the document, Khobragade told her she would actually be paid 30,000 rupees a month, which came out to $3.31 an hour, the feds allege.

    Khobragade later had the woman sign a second contract, which she kept, with the 30,000 rupee deal, according to the criminal complaint.

    Suneeta Dewan, who described herself as an attorney and a friend, stuck up for Khobragade after her release.

    “She’s a very fine person,” Dewan said. “She’s a wonderful human being.”
    The diplomat, who wore a purple sweater and plaid skirt with black boots in court, faces maximum sentences of 10 years and five years in prison if convicted.

    Last year, Khobragade reportedly was one of 15 Indian officials named in an alleged housing scam. She reportedly testified before a judicial panel investigating how she and other people with influence obtained apartments in a new Mumbai co-op built by the government.

    The Consulate General didn’t return a request for comment.

    It has been embroiled in controversy around domestic workers before.

    In 2011, then-Consul General Prabhu Dayal demanded that the feds deport a former housekeeper who accused him of treating her like a slave, including making her sleep in a closet.

    Khobragade comes from a political family. Her uncle was formerly a deputy consul general in New York.


    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crim...icle-1.1546336
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  3. #2253
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    Re: World News Random, Random

    Quote Originally Posted by suliso View Post
    That would have been too easy
    Then English. (I was gonna go with Mongolian, as it might pass through there, but if they don't have Kazakh...).


  4. #2254
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    Re: World News Random, Random

    Actually it's Chinese, Russian and German and prices are fixed in Swiss francs.

    It's a remnant of old Soviet block system when international tickets were issued in a local language plus Russian and German so the same system is un use for Moscow-Beijing, Beijing-Ulanbaatar etc. Swiss francs probably because it's a stable currency from a neutral country.
    The grass master

  5. #2255
    Director of Media Relations Ti-Amie's Avatar
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    Re: World News Random, Random

    17 December 2013 Last updated at 12:48 ET

    Devyani Khobragade: India-US diplomat row escalates

    India has ordered a series of reprisals against the United States amid a worsening row over the arrest of one of its diplomats in New York.

    Security barricades around the US embassy in Delhi have been removed and a visiting US delegation was snubbed.

    The diplomat, Devyani Khobragade, was handcuffed upon arrest last week and strip-searched, Indian reports say.

    She denies visa fraud and making false statements over allegations that she underpaid her Indian maid.

    The maid had complained the diplomat was paying her less than the minimum stipulated under US visa requirements.

    US officials say standard procedures were followed during the arrest of Ms Khobragade, who appeared in court on Friday and was freed on bail.

    Ms Khobragade will challenge her arrest on grounds of diplomatic immunity, her lawyer said.

    The US state department said that Ms Khobragade does not have full diplomatic immunity.

    It said under the UN's Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, she is immune from arrest only for crimes committed in connection with her work.

    'A snub'
    India's government has said it is "shocked and appalled" at the manner in which Ms Khobragade, its deputy consul general in New York, was "humiliated" in the US.

    On Tuesday, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde called her treatment unacceptable. He cancelled his meeting with the senior US Congressional delegation and his office said he was busy in parliament, but media reports in India described it as a "snub" to the US.

    The governing Congress party Vice-President, Rahul Gandhi, and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi also refused to meet the delegations.

    "Refused to meet the visiting USA delegation in solidarity with our nation, protesting ill-treatment meted to our lady diplomat in USA," Mr Modi tweeted.

    On Monday, the Speaker of India's parliament, Meira Kumar, and National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon had also refused to meet the Congressional officials.

    Mr Menon said Ms Khobragade's treatment was "despicable and barbaric".

    Reports in India said American diplomats and their families in India will have airport passes withdrawn and duty free arrangements suspended.

    One official said US diplomats' gay partners may also be liable to arrest for breaching Indian laws against homosexuality.

    Ms Khobragade's father, Uttam, told local media the treatment of his daughter was "absolutely obnoxious".

    "As a father I feel hurt, our entire family is traumatized."

    Ms Khobragade, 39, was arrested last Thursday in New York and later freed on a $250,000 (153,000) bond after pleading not guilty to the charges. Some reports in India said she was arrested while dropping her daughter at school and was handcuffed in public.

    Latest media reports said she had been "subjected to a humiliating strip search and kept in a cell with drug addicts".

    Law enforcement authorities in New York say Ms Khobragade "allegedly caused a materially false and fraudulent document to be presented, and materially false and fraudulent statements to be made, to the US Department of State in support of a visa application for an Indian national employed as a babysitter and housekeeper at her home in New York".

    State department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters at a news conference on Monday: "Diplomatic security, which is under the state department purview, followed standard procedures during her arrest."

    If found guilty, Ms Khobragade faces a maximum sentence of 10 years for visa fraud and five years for making false statements.


    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia...76#TWEET987890

    What is diplomatic immunity?

    A form of legal immunity that ensures diplomats are exempt from prosecution under the host country's laws

    Agreed as international law in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961)

    Under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (1963) a consul is afforded a variation of diplomatic immunity called consular immunity

    It guarantees immunity from the host country's laws only with respect to acts related to consular duties
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  6. #2256
    Director of Media Relations Ti-Amie's Avatar
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    Re: World News Random, Random

    December 18, 2013

    U.S. Prosecutor Defends Arrest of Indian Diplomat

    By BENJAMIN WEISER and MICHAEL R. GORDON

    The federal prosecutor whose decision to charge an Indian diplomat in New York City last week touched off a furor in India made an unusual and robust public defense of that decision on Wednesday night, saying “there can be no plausible claim that this case was somehow unexpected or an injustice.”

    The prosecutor, Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, said the diplomat’s conduct showed that “she clearly tried to evade U.S. law designed to protect from exploitation the domestic employees of diplomats and consular officers.”

    The diplomat, Devyani Khobragade, 39, the deputy consul general in New York, had been accused of submitting false documents to obtain a work visa for a housekeeper. Indian officials have been quoted as saying she was arrested and handcuffed as she was leaving her daughter at school, and there had been accounts that she was strip-searched and then held with drug addicts before being released on $250,000 bail.

    The Indian government has complained bitterly about Ms. Khobragade’s treatment. In New Delhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called the arrest deplorable, newspaper editorials expressed outrage and the police removed barriers meant to protect the United States Embassy.

    But Mr. Bharara, in his statement, said there had been “much misinformation and factual inaccuracy in the reporting” about the case, and the inaccuracies were “misleading people and creating an inflammatory atmosphere on an unfounded basis.”

    “Is it for U.S. prosecutors to look the other way, ignore the law and the civil rights of victims,” Mr. Bharara asked, “or is it the responsibility of the diplomats and consular officers and their government to make sure the law is observed?”

    “And one wonders,” Mr. Bharara added, “why there is so much outrage about the alleged treatment of the Indian national accused of perpetrating these acts, but precious little outrage about the alleged treatment of the Indian victim and her spouse?” Mr. Bharara noted that the diplomat had underpaid the housekeeper and made her work more hours than her contract called for.

    Although his office did not take Ms. Khobragade into custody, Mr. Bharara said she had been “accorded courtesies well beyond what other defendants, most of whom are American citizens, are accorded.” He said that State Department agents had arrested her “in the most discreet way possible,” and that unlike most defendants, she “was not then handcuffed or restrained.”

    The arresting authorities had not seized her telephone as they normally would have, Mr. Bharara said, and allowed her to make calls for about two hours, including to arrange for child care. Because it was cold outside, Mr. Bharara added, the agents “let her make those calls from their car and even brought her coffee and offered to get her food.”

    It was true, Mr. Bharara added, that Ms. Khobragade was “fully searched” in a private setting by a female deputy marshal when she was taken into the custody of the United States Marshals Service, which handled her detention. But, he said, “this is standard practice for every defendant, rich or poor, American or not, in order to make sure that no prisoner keeps anything on his person that could harm anyone, including himself.”

    The tone of Mr. Bharara’s statement, issued in the evening in New York, seemed in marked contrast to an expression of “regret” made earlier in the day by Secretary of State John Kerry in a call to a senior Indian official, as Mr. Kerry sought to ease tensions with India over the episode.

    Mr. Kerry’s call to the official, Shivshankar Menon, India’s national security adviser, was disclosed by the State Department in a statement.

    “As a father of two daughters about the same age as Devyani Khobragade, the secretary empathizes with the sensitivities we are hearing from India about the events that unfolded after Ms. Khobragade’s arrest,” the State Department said in its statement.

    “He expressed his regret as well as his concern that we not allow this unfortunate public issue to hurt our close and vital relationship with India,” it added.

    Ms. Khobragade’s lawyer, Daniel N. Arshack, said Wednesday that his client would be pleading not guilty, that the allegations against her were “false and baseless” and that her diplomatic status protected her from prosecution.

    Benjamin Weiser reported from New York, and Michael R. Gordon from Washington.
    This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

    Correction: December 18, 2013

    An earlier version of this article misstated the surname of India’s national security adviser. He is Shivshankar Menon, not Moon.


    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/19/wo...gewanted=print
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  7. #2257
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    Re: World News Random, Random

    Well, Morgan Freeman Did Play Nelson Mandela In A Movie
    by MARK MEMMOTT
    December 20, 2013 9:48 AM



    Among the memorials to Nelson Mandela put up across India is a billboard in Tamil Nadu that features a photo of actor Morgan Freeman, not the iconic anti-apartheid hero from South Africa who died earlier this month.

    The businessman who paid for the sign says it will be replaced with one that has the right image.

    Perhaps the billboard's designer got confused because Freeman portrayed Mandela in the 2009 movie Invictus.

    As you might expect, a photo of the botched billboard has been whipping around Twitter.

    Freeman has inadvertently been part of such a mix-up before. At President Obama's inauguration back in January, ABC News' George Stephanopoulos got famously confused. He thought basketball great Bill Russell was the actor.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/...ela-in-a-movie
    Me and Flavia Pennetta, we got a thing going on

  8. #2258
    Director of Media Relations Ti-Amie's Avatar
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    Re: World News Random, Random

    Quote Originally Posted by Moose View Post
    Well, Morgan Freeman Did Play Nelson Mandela In A Movie
    by MARK MEMMOTT
    December 20, 2013 9:48 AM



    Among the memorials to Nelson Mandela put up across India is a billboard in Tamil Nadu that features a photo of actor Morgan Freeman, not the iconic anti-apartheid hero from South Africa who died earlier this month.

    The businessman who paid for the sign says it will be replaced with one that has the right image.

    Perhaps the billboard's designer got confused because Freeman portrayed Mandela in the 2009 movie Invictus.

    As you might expect, a photo of the botched billboard has been whipping around Twitter.

    Freeman has inadvertently been part of such a mix-up before. At President Obama's inauguration back in January, ABC News' George Stephanopoulos got famously confused. He thought basketball great Bill Russell was the actor.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/...ela-in-a-movie
    I.Just.Can't.
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  9. #2259
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    Re: World News Random, Random

    This is not exactly news, but it is something I just recently saw and it can very much explain why there were(and still are) so many bombings in Iraq, especially in the last couple years

    This is insane.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...e-8854567.html
    "Whatsoever is contrary to nature is contrary to reason, and whatsoever is contrary to reason is absurd." Baruch Spinoza

  10. #2260
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    Re: World News Random, Random

    Quote Originally Posted by Vlad View Post
    This is not exactly news, but it is something I just recently saw and it can very much explain why there were(and still are) so many bombings in Iraq, especially in the last couple years

    This is insane.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...e-8854567.html
    It explains why there are so many successful bombings, but not at all why there are so many in total.
    The grass master

  11. #2261
    Director of Media Relations Ti-Amie's Avatar
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    Re: World News Random, Random

    Quote Originally Posted by Vlad View Post
    This is not exactly news, but it is something I just recently saw and it can very much explain why there were(and still are) so many bombings in Iraq, especially in the last couple years

    This is insane.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...e-8854567.html
    Terrible.
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  12. #2262
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    Re: World News Random, Random

    One of the great injustices of the 20th century was, at least and at last, acknowledged.
    Alan Turing, Computer Pioneer, Posthumously Pardoned By Queen Elizabeth II for Gay Sex Conviction
    (A quick web search will show plenty of other results).

    I remember reading once that Turing was more responsible for winning the war than Churchill.
    And a quick search for Alan Turing Sex Crime will show how terrible this page in British history was.
    50 ways to leave your (non) lover: "I hope you understand me when I say it was torture having met you"

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