India to test missile
Added At: 2012-04-16 10:28 PM
Last Updated At: 2012-04-16 10:28 PM
AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
NEW DELHI: India hopes this week to join the select group of countries with intercontinental missiles by holding the first test flight of a new long-range nuclear-capable rocket, officials said on Monday. The Defence Research and Development Organisation has scheduled a maiden launch of the Agni-V missile, which has a range of more than 5,000 kilometres, between Wednesday and Friday. The exact launch date is flexible “because this is our longest-range missile and there are many logistics issues and hence we don’t plan for one day,” DRDO spokesman Ravi Gupta told AFP. In the latest display of India’s growing military might, the test of the indigenously-developed Agni-V will be carried out from a coastal range in the eastern state of Orissa. “Agni-V is a 5,000-plus kilometre range missile and it is to meet our present-day threat perceptions, which are determined by our defence forces and other agencies,” Gupta said from the test site.
B’desh minister quits
DHAKA: Bangladesh’s railway minister resigned on Monday amid a graft scandal in which his personal secretary and two officials were found with seven million taka ($86,000) in cash. Suranjit Sengupta denied accusations that the money was bribes from applicants seeking jobs on the state-run Bangladesh Railway, but he said he was resigning to “bolster democracy”. Sengupta, a veteran politician and lawyer, told a press conference that his decision would allow a full probe into the allegations. “I am stepping down even though I was not involved in the incident. A lot of people think if I stay at the helm of the ministry, the investigation could be influenced,” he said. His resignation came after his secretary and two officials were briefly detained last week at a paramilitary camp in Dhaka with the cash, which they had in a minibus. The three told local media they were heading to Sengupta’s house with the money.
Two killed, 20 trapped
AMRITSAR: At least two people were killed and more than 20 others feared still trapped on Monday after a blanket factory collapsed in northern India, a senior government official said. Emergency workers searched through the debris of the four-storey building that fell down at about midnight on Sunday in the town of Jalandhar in Punjab state. Jalandhar’s deputy commissioner of civil administration, Priyank Bharti, told AFP that scores of workers employed on the factory’s night shift had been rescued. “We have rescued 51 people so far, two dead bodies have been recovered and three people with critical injuries are battling for their lives in hospital,” he said. “We cannot determine the exact number of people still trapped under the debris, but it is certain to be more than 20,” he added.
Ai slams web control
LONDON: Dissident artist Ai Weiwei warned the Chinese government that its attempts to censor the internet would inevitably fail, in an article published in Monday’s Guardian newspaper. Ai, who was held for 81 days last year as police rounded up dissidents amid online calls for Arab-style protests in China, wrote in the British newspaper that new “real identity” rules to curb troublesome microbloggers would only “push the problem to the next generation”. “In the long run, they (the government) must understand it’s not possible for them to control the internet unless they shut it off - and they can’t live with the consequences of that,” he wrote. “The people will always have the last word — even if someone has a very weak, quiet voice.The internet is uncontrollable. And if the internet is uncontrollable, freedom will win. It’s as simple as that,” the dissident artist added.