TheSouthAsianTimes.info May 26-June 1, 2012
In the face of a pub-lic outcry in India over rising oil pricesdue to Iran oil sanctions, the US said itwas trying to help New Delhi find al-ternative sources of supply. "We areworking with countries around theworld to encourage them to diversifysupply away from Iranian crude," StateDepartment spokesperson Victoria Nu-land told reporters Wednesday whenasked about the impact of Iran sanc-tions on India."This isn't just about India. It's abouta whole list of countries who we aretrying, in the first instance, to help findalternative sources of supply, to work through what their options might be,"she said. Nuland also welcomed thesigning of an agreement for the Turk-menistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India(TAPI) gas pipeline as "a perfect ex-ample of energy diversification, energyintegration, done right"."We consider it a very positive stepforward and sort of a key example of what we're seeking with our New Silk Road Initiative, which aims at regionalintegration to lift all boats and create prosperity across the region."The US, she said, had offered to besupportive "politically, and we stand byto be supportive in other ways if asked". Asked why the US was op- posed to the Iran-Pakistan pipelinewhen it was so positive on TAPI, Nu-land said: "The other pipeline, as just to be clear, goes to an unreliable partner who is not complying with its interna-tional obligations with Iran.""Our concern has to do with invest-ing in a country that that we have con-cerns is spending its money not on its people but on dangerous technologyand weapons."
Taxi fares in NY may go up by 20%
New York City’s Taxiand Limousine Commission agreedon Monday to formally consider a proposal from the yellow cab indus-try that would raise taxi fares by asmuch as 20 percent, a significant in-crease to a pricing structure that has been virtually unchanged since 2006,according to a New York Times re- port. While the precise details of howthe higher rates would be put into ef-fect are still being drawn up, theBloomberg administration supports ataxi fare increase, making it likelythat one will be approved and that itcould take effect as soon as mid-July.Officials at the taxi commissionsaid there were compelling reasonsto grant the industry’s wish for high-er prices, like allowing fares to keepup with the rate of inflation and re-cent increases in gasoline prices.“The fare hasn’t changed since2006, so it is reasonable for taxi driv-ers and fleet owners to put this on thetable,” David S. Yassky, the taxi andlimousine commissioner, said in astatement on Monday.The city has scheduled a publichearing on the matter for May 31,when the commission is expected toconsider an increase of 16 percent to20 percent. Such hearings are almostnever arranged unless a fare increaseis under serious consideration.The fare proposal comes amid atime of flux for the taxicab industry,which has recently experienced someof the biggest upheavals in its histo-ry. Bhairavi Desai, the executive di-rector of the New York Taxi WorkersAlliance, applauded the proposedmeasure. She said the group hopedthat the increases would be applied tomileage and waiting time charges,rather than the base fee, so that “peo- ple on shorter trips are not subsidiz-ing the longer trips.”
Indian-American treats wife as slave; gets away with probation
An Indian Americanman whose family forced his wifeinto slave labor was spared jail butsentenced to three years' probationand ordered to perform 220 hoursof community service. His mother and sister each face up to sevenyears in prison.Vishal Jagota, 34, of New York suburb Ramapo was also fined$1,000 by Rockland County CourtJudge William K. Nelson, News-day reported.Prosecutors alleged that Jagota'swife, whom authorities never publicly named, was brought to the US from India in January 2008 throughan arranged marriage at 20 and suffered in a life of servitude and sexual abuse.The abuse went on until the Jagotas were arrested inOctober 2010.Jagota, his mother and sister were indicted in March2011 on charges of labor trafficking and endangeringthe welfare of a child in addition to assault charges.However, in a non-jury trial, Nelson convicted Jago-ta in February, only on a misde-meanor assault charge. The con-viction carried a maximum sen-tence of a year in jail.His 58-year-old mother ParveenJagota, and 31-year-old sister Ra- jani Jagota were convicted of labor trafficking and second-degree as-sault, both felonies.They each face up to seven yearsin prison when they are sentencednext month.Rockland County District Attor-ney Thomas Zugibe said he wasdisappointed by the sentence Vishal Jagota received."Plain and simple, he and his family imprisoned thisyoung victim for three years," he said in a statement.Prosecutors alleged that the Jagota family used in-timidation, and physical and sexual abuse to force thevictim, now 25 years old, to work round-the-clock intheir home. On one occasion, Jagota's mother and sis-ter burned the victim's hand with a hot iron becausethey didn't like the way she had done the laundry, theysaid.
Patrick Fitzgerald, thetough- talking US Attorney who prosecuted a slew of highly-publi-cized cases including those leadingto the conviction of Mumbai attack suspect David Headley and former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich,has resigned.In his surprise announcement, 51-year-old Fitzgerald, Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, said hewould step down officially on June30, and leave the Justice Departmentafter serving nearly 24 years.Fitzgerald was appointed by for-mer President George W Bush and began serving in the post on Septem- ber 1, 2001. He was kept on by Pres-ident Barack Obama and ended upserving for nearly 12 years, makinghim the longest serving US attorneyever in Chicago. Fitzgerald praisedthe career attorneys in the NorthernDistrict of Illinois, where he pre-sides. "I tried not to get in their way,"he said. Fitzgerald said he has no fu-ture employment plans and, after thissummer off, the father of two youngchildren will "consider his career op-tions." The announcement came as a bit of surprise to Justice Departmentofficials who had been informed of his decision, CNN reported.US Attorney General Eric Holder praised Fitzgerald for his commit-ment to serve "the American peopleand the citizens of Illinois with theutmost integrity and a steadfast com-mitment to the cause of justice.""Over the years he has gained thetrust of two Presidents and the unwa-vering confidence of four AttorneysGeneral, and I am deeply grateful tohim for his service and his friendshipover the years," Holder said in astatement.Fitzgerald was leading the prose-cution of Headley and Tahawwur Rana in Chicago for participating in plotting the November 2008 terroristattacks in Mumbai and planning toattack a Danish newspaper.Fitzgerald first became widelyknown when he participated in the prosecution of Omar Abdel Rahmanfor the 1993 bombing of the WorldTrade Center. He also helped prose-cute the terrorism defendants tied tothe 1998 bombings of the US em- bassies in Kenya and Tanzania.He also prosecuted the case of Blagojevich, the former Illinois gov-ernor who was convicted last year of corruption charges in connectionwith his efforts to profit from ap- pointing the successor to the US Sen-ate seat vacated by Barack Obamawhen he became president.Speculation about Fitzgerald's fu-ture in legal circles has included the possibility of his being named FBIdirector to succeed Robert Mueller,whose term expires in September,though lucrative offers may be forth-coming from the private sector, theCNN reported.
Patrick Fitzgerald Husband Vishal Jagotawith his parents
Attorney who prosecuted Headley's case resigns
Dhoonya Dance instructors led an outdoor Bollywood dance flash mob onthe hit song ‘Chammak Challo’ at the Fiesta Asia Street Fair, Saturday, inWashington, DC. For the seventh consecutive year, this festival was held tocelebrate the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month that is chock-a-block with events recognizing the tremendous achievements of the Asian Ameri-can and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Organizers estimated that some 20,000 people attended the all-day event on Saturday, set against theawe-inspiring backdrop of the US Capitol building.
US says it's helping Indiafind alternative oil supplies