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When TV channels forgot the code[VIP]{need for regulating media}

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7. When TV channels forgot the code[VIP]{need for regulating media}

Seven years ago, television news channels reporting the 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai were pilloried for the manner in which the incident was reported. The channels also faced flak for giving away operational details of the counter-offensive.

The UPA government was criticised for failing to engage the media in an emergency situation. A self-regulatory code followed after some self-introspection.

On Monday morning, as terrorists struck in Gurdaspur district of Punjab, television channels temporarily forgot the code, particularly the clause that dealt with reporting on a terror attack.

Some channels even reported a hostage situation had developed and some captives were killed in the attack.

8. Beijing, Moscow enhance cooperation in S. China Sea

Military tensions in the Pacific are on the rise as the United States cements its China oriented “Asia Pivot” amid visible signs of naval collaboration between Beijing and Moscow.

Beijing is closely monitoring Washington’s decision to step up aerial monitoring and attack capability in the Pacific as part of a five-year plan.Last week, Admiral Jonathan Greenert, the chief of naval operations, disclosed in a five-page “navigation plan” that Washington would beef up the aerial component of the U.S. Pacific Command.

Aerial command posts

He revealed Pentagon’s intent to deploy the latest E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes-new aerial command posts, which would be central to surveillance network in the skies.The strengthening of the “Asia Pivot” — a “containment” doctrine targeting China — has escalated tensions over competing sovereignty claims over islands in the South China Sea.

The Chinese, sensing deviation from its previous hands-off stance, are especially concerned about a recent surge in U.S. activism in the South China Sea.

Last Monday, the Chinese defence ministry slammed the surveillance mission undertaken by U.S. Pacific Fleet commander, Admiral Scott Swift, who, for seven hours, flew on a reconnaissance mission aboard a P-8A plane in the South China Sea.

Philippines a close U.S. ally, and a country which has a dispute with China in the South China Sea, welcomed Admiral Swift’s flight, calling it a demonstration of Washington’s political will to stand by its allies who have territorial disputes with China. Apart from the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei and have claims over islands in the South China Sea.

The Russians, already allied with China in game-changing strategic projects in Eurasia, have now become unambiguous in accusing Washington of pursuing a “containment” policy towards Russia and China.

“We are concerned by U.S. policies in the region, especially since every day it becomes increasingly focused on a systemic containment of Russia and China, “Russian Deputy-Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov told Russia Today.

He also announced that Russia planned to join its Asia-pacific allies in May next year, in counter-terrorism naval exercises in the South China Sea. The Russians have also announced beefing up its military presence in Kuril islands, heightening the dispute in the area with Japan, a top U.S. ally in the Pacific.

U.S. is likely to beef up the aerial component of the U.S. Pacific Command

9. Royal Bengal Tiger count falls rapidly

The tiger population in Bangladesh has declined sharply to 106 from 440 last year, according to a survey.

The loss of habitat, unchecked wildlife poaching, animal-human conflict in the forest and lack of forest management are the main reasons behind the rapid fall in the tiger population, say experts.

The year-long survey ended in April was based on footage from hidden cameras and found the number of tigers between 83 and 130. Bangladesh’s Forest conservator Dr. Tapan Kumar Dey said more scientific method was used in the new census, which found only 106 big cats in the Sundarbans.

“It’s a more accurate figure,” said the country’s top wildlife official.

The new tiger census project was carried out under ‘Strengthening Regional Cooperation for Wildlife Protection in Asia Project’ with financial support from the World Bank. The Bangladesh-India Joint Tiger Census Project conducted the tiger census examining some 1,500 images and footprints of tigers taken from the Sundarbans through camera trapping and found the horribly low figure of tigers.

Wildlife experts said the methodology applied in the new tiger census is better rather than pug marks used in the past.

There are apparently 74 tigers on the Indian side of the Sundarbans, the mangrove forest that stretches for nearly 4,000 miles across both countries.

One of Bangladesh’s top tiger experts, Dr. Monirul H Khan, said the 2004 census that used pugmarks to count tigers was not actually a reliable and scientific method.


1. Centre returns controversial Gujarat Bill

The controversial Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GCTOC) Bill, 2015, has been sent back to the State following an objection by the Information Technology (IT) Ministry.

The Home Affairs Ministry, which sent the Bill for an inter-ministerial consultation, returned it with the objections raised by the IT Ministry. This means the Bill will not be sent for Presidential assent and cannot become law yet.

Any Bill passed by an Assembly on issues contravening Central laws needs Presidential assent.

The Gujarat House passed the Bill again on March 31 this year, after it was rejected thrice by two former Presidents — the late A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in 2004 and Pratibha Patil in 2008 and 2009.

The Bill was first introduced as the GUJCOC Bill in 2003 — when Narendra Modi was Chief Minister — with provisions like increasing the period to file charge sheet from 90 to 180 days and strict conditions for granting bail to an accused.

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