Varna – Moite Planini Fri, 20 May 2022 14:02:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Varna – Moite Planini 32 32 BSEC orders seize shares in PK Halder Fri, 20 May 2022 14:02:55 +0000

The Bangladesh Security and Exchange Commission (BSEC) has ordered the seizure of all market shares from Prashanta Kumar Halder, better known as the PK Halder companies.

The Central Depository Bangladesh Limited was ordered on Thursday to seize the shares after the court froze all of Halder’s assets following a case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

On May 14, PK Halder, who is wanted for embezzling thousands of millions of taka in Bangladesh, was arrested by law enforcement in India.

Halder primarily took control of four Bangladeshi companies – Bangladesh Industrial Finance Company (BIFC), International Leasing and Financial Services Ltd (ILFSL), FAS Finance and Investments Limited and Peoples Leasing and Financial Services – by buying shares anonymously.

Halder, the former chief executive of NRB Global Bank and Reliance Finance Limited, is said to have fled to Canada after the ACC launched an investigation into his illegal activities related to the casino business in 2019.

Also read – The government is likely to set up a body to extradite PK Halder

He was arrested during ED raids in 10 areas of West Bengal.

PK Halder and his associates raised Tk2,000 crore in loans from FAS Finance and ILFSL against non-existent companies.

However, the amount was transferred directly to various financial institutions created by Halder.

He used layering techniques to disguise the origin of the money through a series of transactions and accounting tricks.

According to the ACC report, Halder took out a loan of Tk 45 crore on behalf of Konica Enterprise, but Tk 11.32 crore of the amount was paid by three Bangladesh Bank checks to settle the debts of the non-existent companies Sandeep Corporations, SA Enterprise, Repay , Arabi Enterprise, Drinan Apparels Ltd, Varna, Amexo and P&L International Ltd.

Halder borrowed the remainder of the amount under the name of MTB Marine Ltd – another FAS Finance and Investment Ltd borrower – using customer checks from One Bank Ltd, Mercantile Bank Ltd and Bank Asia Ltd.

Similarly, Tk35 crore was issued in the name of Moon Enterprises, Tk38 crore for Messrs. Bernarbi Enterprise and Tk40 crore for Anan Chemical Industries Ltd.

Also, Tk 174 crore was spent on behalf of Newtech Enterprise Ltd, Nature Enterprise Ltd, Deya Shipping Ltd and MTB Marine Ltd. The four non-existent organizations also later took out another Tk 60 crore in loans.

The ACC investigative panel also found that Purnima Rani Haldar, the wife of PK Halder’s partner Swapan Kumar Mistry, had taken out a loan of Tk60 crore as working capital for MTB Marine Ltd, but the amount was held in multiple bank accounts and fictitious institutions was referred by relatives and associates of PK Halder, including former director of Mercantile Bank Ltd, AKM Shaheed Reza.

Also read – ACC is suing PK Halder and 11 others for 44C embezzlement

Atish Mridha, Chairman of Kolasin Ltd., and his brother Uttam Kumar Mistri borrowed Tk 79.70 crore while Songkho Bepari, owner of Moon Enterprise, borrowed 83.34 crore.

Later, Halder’s cousin Amitav Adhikari transferred these funds to various accounts at Sigma Capital Management Ltd, Hal International, Paramount Spinning Ltd, NRB Global Ltd and Bank Asia’s Dhanmondi branch.

Arthscope Ltd Chairman Mira Deuri and MD Prashant Deuri took Tk75 crore while Neutral Ltd owners Swapan Kumar Mistry and Kazi Mumrez Mahmud took Tk80 crore loans from ILFSL.

Amitabh Adhikari owner of Anan Chemical, Purnima Rani Haldar, Rajiv Som, Ratan Kumar Biswas and Omar Sharif took Tk71 crore from ILFSL as well as FAS Finance.

The amounts were later transferred to another account set up by PK Halder, the ACC said in its report.

The Central Bank’s Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) said about Tk 2,200 crore from FAS Finance and Investment Ltd, Tk 2,500 crore from Reliance Finance Ltd and about Tk 3,000 crore from People’s Leasing and Financial Services Ltd were embezzled and using the names washed by non-existent institutions.

The BFIU said the loans are not mortgaged, meaning there is no way they can be recovered.

With the help of the BFIU, the government has so far frozen over Tk2,700 crore of Halder’s money, of which around Tk1,400 crore was in various bank accounts.

Milko Lazarov • President, Union of Bulgarian Filmmakers Mon, 16 May 2022 14:46:52 +0000 “We give prominence to the film professionals who normally remain in the shadows”

– After three years in office, the head of the Union of Bulgarian Filmmakers gives us his opinion on the importance of the Union’s annual awards and their importance for the local industry

Internationally known for its award-winning features alienation [+see also:
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and aga [+see also:
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Bulgarian director Milko Lazarov has also occupied the post of head of Union of Bulgarian Filmmakers already for three years. Following the celebration of “Vasil Gendov” National Festival of Bulgarian Cinema (May 2-9), On May 15, after a lengthy hiatus, the union presented its annual awards for the first time in a while Krzysztof Zanussi Awarding of the main prize for the best film in the feature film category Pavel Vesnakov‘s German lesson [+see also:
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. Additionally, Elitza Gueorguieva‘s Our quiet place was deemed deserving of the award for Best Documentary while Svilen Dimitrov‘s shell in love won the award for best animation. Meanwhile, we chatted with Milko Lazarov about the importance of the awards and what they mean for the local industry.

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Cineuropa: What made you decide to revive the Union of Bulgarian Filmmakers awards?
Milko Lazarov: It was high time to reestablish these traditional awards, which were established in 1975. They suffered from instability during the post-communist upheaval, which was very difficult for Bulgarian cinema. Then they existed for a while during the last decade, and now I hope that with their return, they will once again play an important role in our national film environment, this time forever. As President of the Union of Bulgarian Filmmakers, I see its reintroduction as my personal responsibility. Established in 1936, our union has weathered various regimes and political turmoil with the core mission of highlighting and supporting artistic achievement in cinema. This is our primary focus as we are not a professional organization or syndicate; We are an artistic association. The awards are in the foreground.

They were celebrated together with the national festival “Vasil Gendov”. from Bulgarian Cinema, but there are also those Film Festival Golden Rose for feature films and Golden Ryton for documentaries and animations. Isn’t that enough for such a small film industry?
First, Golden Rose will be held in Varna and Golden Rhyton in Plovdiv (except for the last edition, which was celebrated in Sofia due to the pandemic); Therefore, their programs do not reach audiences in Sofia. So we saw the awards as an excuse to invite the audience to the capital – which is after all the most populous city in Bulgaria – to see an almost exhaustive list of recent Bulgarian film production, which now totals more than 60 films. Secondly, the awards of these festivals highlight artistic achievements only in the basic categories, while the Association of Bulgarian Filmmakers invariably awards all professional guilds, including technical guilds, along the lines of academy awards around the world. We put the spotlight on those film professionals who typically remain in the shadows.

Hence the program “Vasil Gendov”.me includes the feature film selection from Golden Rose and the documentary and animation selection from Golden Rhyton, Correctly?
I agree. We’ve also now recorded titles from the last 18 months. As per the regulations we are taking into account the last 12 months but have made an exception due to the pandemic situation. Many films were cut during the lockdown without being released, resulting in a rich film production, while our festival presented a fairly comprehensive picture of the latest Bulgarian productions: 11 feature films, 23 feature-length documentaries, nine animation films and more than 20 shorts. It’s a real exuberance that we won’t enjoy anytime soon. Our biggest success was the packed cinema halls, especially in the evening slots. We also target young audiences and students, and our goal is to have an educational function as well. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting that many viewers, so I was pleasantly surprised.

You named the festival after the pioneer of Bulgarian cinema, Vasil Gendov. How important is he to them? today’s Bulgarian film industry?
While we cannot fully comprehend his filmography today, as only excerpts of his seminal films survive, his work has had a significant impact on the entire history of our industry, which resonates to this day. Apart from making films with his wife, Zhana Gendova, he developed and engaged in educational activities and also toured the country as a film distributor. In this sense, Gendov marked the beginning of many branches of the Bulgarian film industry; It is therefore logical for me to name the festival and the awards of the professional guilds after him.

How did you decide to invite Krzysztof Zanussi to present the main prize for? a fictional movie?
Many Bulgarian film professionals have studied in Poland, e.g. director Ivan Nichev and my filmmaking teacher, Professor Vladislav Ikonomov. So in that sense there is a big film connection between Bulgaria and Poland. The Association of Bulgarian Filmmakers shares the views of Polish professionals, while Zanussi is also closely associated with the educational aspect of cinema, which is important to us. It’s a real honor to have him as a special guest at the festival.

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Bulgaria’s Sofia Airport announces four new destinations and two new airlines Sun, 15 May 2022 09:11:38 +0000

Sofia Airport on May 15 announced more details of its flight schedule for May and June 2022, including four new destinations and two new airlines that will operate from the Bulgarian capital’s airport.

Wizz Air flies to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates three times a week, the airport said in a media release.

Ryanair has been flying to Zadar in Croatia twice a week since May 1st.

Air France is returning to Sofia Airport and will begin its seasonal flights to Paris, France on May 30th. The route is flown daily.

ITA Airlines (successor of Alitalia) arrives at the capital’s airport for the first time with scheduled flights to Rome Fiumicino Airport. Flights begin June 1st and will operate six times a week.

From May 24th, Pegasus Airlines will fly twice a week to Antalya, Turkey.

Corendon Airlines and Sunexpress started charter flights to Antalya on May 1, and Bulgarian airline ALK JSC will start flights there on May 20.

Bulgaria‘s BH Air, Corendon Airlines and ALK JSC will offer flights to the Turkish resort of Bodrum.

From May 22, Bulgaria Air will fly to Heraklion in Greece once a week.

Seasonal flights to Corfu are served twice weekly by Ryanair. The flights start on June 2nd. Wizz Air will also fly to Corfu once a week from June 19th.

Ryanair and Wizz Air will also operate flights to Chania, Crete. Ryanair will start on June 4th with three flights per week, Wizz Air will add two more from June 15th. The Hungarian airline will also fly twice a week to the Greek island of Mykonos from June 14th.

BH Air will offer charter flights to Enfidha in Tunisia from May 10th and ALK JSC will add two more flights to Enfidha from May 18th.

European Air Charter and ALK JSC Charter will operate flights to the Tunisian island of Djerba.

European Air Charter offers flights to the city of Olbia in Sardinia.

In May and June, Bulgaria Air operates two charter flights to Funchal in Portugal and ALK JSC to Keflavik in Iceland.

The cities on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast are also part of the capital’s summer offer, Sofia Airport said.

Ryanair started seasonal flights to Varna on May 1st and will fly the route twice a week.

As of June 17, Bulgaria Air will fly daily to Burgas, in addition to its daily flights to Varna, Sofia Airport announced.

(Photo of Iceland: Provided)

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Up close and personal” with BPO Fri, 13 May 2022 16:38:19 +0000

Fri, May 13, 2022 12:35 p.m

Artpark & ​​Company announced “Opera in Concert at Artpark: Up Close and Personal” at the Mainstage Theater on Saturday, July 30 at 7:30 p.m. The performance is performed by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Gil Rose, along with vocalist Danielle Talamantes (soprano). , Janna Baty (mezzo-soprano), Dominick Chenes (tenor) and Michael Chioldi (baritone).

According to a press release: “The programme, curated by Gil Rose, will delight experienced and casual opera music lovers alike with the most memorable melodies and moments of opera by Verdi, Bizet, Gounoud, Puccini and Rossini.”

Tickets cost $25 and are available now at the Artpark box office, 450 S. Fourth St., Lewiston; and

Renowned opera producer, conductor and stage director Rose has been engaged for an extended residency at Artpark to explore the feasibility of new opera programming and the development of a strategic plan for an Artpark opera with a potential live production.

Artpark stated, “He is a musician who is helping to shape the future of classical music. Recognized by Opera News for his “sense of style and sophistication”, described as “an amazingly versatile conductor” by The Boston Globe and praised by the New York Times for conducting with “Admiral Command”, he has been called “one of the best”. most adventurous conductors in the world” by KUSC Radio. Over the past two decades he has built a reputation as one of the most imaginative and versatile conductors in the country. His dynamic performances on both the symphonic and operatic stages, as well as over 100 recordings, have garnered international critical acclaim.”

Among his numerous professional career accomplishments, he founded the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), the premier professional orchestra dedicated solely to the performance and recording of symphonic music of the 20th and 21st centuries. BMOP has won 14 ASCAP awards for adventurous programming and was the first symphony orchestra to be selected as Musical America’s Ensemble of the Year in 2016.

Also in Boston, he introduced a new company to the operatic scene, Odyssey Opera, dedicated to the diverse and subpar operatic repertoire. Odyssey Opera has continued to garner universal acclaim for its annual festivals of compelling themes and unique programs that showcase fully staged operatic works and concert performances of overlooked grand opera masterpieces.

Rose has a busy schedule as a guest conductor on both the operatic and symphonic stages. He made his Tanglewood debut in 2002 and made his Holland Festival debut with the Netherlands Radio Symphony in 2003. He has conducted the American Composers Orchestra, the Warsaw Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra of the Ukraine, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana and the National Orchestra of Porto. In 2015 he made his Japanese debut as a substitute for Seiji Ozawa at the Matsumoto Festival and in 2016 he made his debut with the New York City Opera at the Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center. He has since returned to City Opera in 2017 (as conductor and director) and in 2018 to conduct Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall. In 2019 he made his debut conducting the Juilliard Symphony.

As an educator, he has served on the faculty at Tufts University and Northeastern University, and has worked with students at a variety of colleges including Harvard, MIT, the New England Conservatory, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of California at San Diego. among other. He has three times curated the Fromm Concerts at Harvard and was the first curator of the Ditson Festival of Music at the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art.

In 2007, Rose received Columbia University’s prestigious Ditson Award and an ASCAP Concert Music Award for his exemplary commitment to new American music. He is a six-time Grammy nominee, winning the 2020 Grammy for both conductor and producer in the Best Opera category. Learn more.

Talamantes recently had a role as Violetta in La Traviata at the Hawaii Opera Theatre. Recent appearances include roles in Bizet’s Carmen and Verdi’s Nabucco at the Metropolitan Opera; Catán’s Il Postino with Virginia Opera; Beethoven’s “Fidelio” at the Princeton Festival; “La Traviata” with the Finger Lakes Opera; “La Bohème” with the St. Petersburg (Florida) Opera; the title role of Susannah with Opera Roanoke; “Don Giovanni” with the Cedar Rapids Opera Theater; and a Spoleto Festival debut in Cavalli’s Veremonda. She also has several recordings on the MSR Classics label. Learn more.

Praised by the Boston Globe for “a rich, viola-like tone and a ravishing, luminous lyricism,” mezzo-soprano Baty has enjoyed an extraordinarily varied career as a mezzo-soprano and as an educator. She has sung with the Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Daejeon Philharmonic, Hamburg State Opera, L’Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Tallahassee Symphony, Tuscaloosa Symphony, South Florida Symphony, Longwood Symphony, Hartford Symphony, Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá , Opera Theater of St. Louis, Eugene Opera, Opera North and Boston Lyric Opera. As a soloist, chamber musician and recitalist, she has appeared at festivals worldwide including the Aldeburgh and Britten Festival in England, the Varna Festival in Bulgaria, the Semanas Musicales de Frutillar Festival in Chile and the Tanglewood, Norfolk, Monadnock and Coastal Carolina Festivals in the USA Baty is proud of a long association with conductor Rose and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. A graduate of Oberlin College and the Yale School of Music, she began her teaching career at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and joined the faculty of the Yale School of Music in 2008. Learn more.

Chenes, lyrico-spinto tenor, has enjoyed great operatic success on some of the world’s greatest stages and under the musical direction of today’s finest conductors. Dominick’s recent works include: “Madame Butterfly” with the Opéra Royal Wallonie-Liège (2019); “I Masnadieri” at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia (2019); “La Reine de Saba” with the Odyssey Opera (2018); and several roles with the Lyric Opera of Chicago under the direction of Rose; Seattle Opera in Madame Butterfly (2017); Opera Colorado and Hong Kong in La Bohème (2017). During his career, Chenes has had the privilege of working with the Palm Beach Opera, the New National Theater in Tokyo, the Opera på Skäret Festival in Sweden, the Austin Opera, the New Orleans Opera, the Grand Théâtre de Genève, the Minnesota Opera, the Utah Opera, Welsh, National Opera, the Reading Symphony and the San Francisco Opera. Learn more.

American baritone Chioldi has quickly gained a reputation as one of the most in-demand dramatic baritones of his generation, having garnered critical and audience acclaim for his performances of dramatic baritone roles by Verdi, Puccini and Strauss. His numerous works include the title roles in The Flying Dutchman, Rigoletto, Nabucco, Macbeth and Nixon in China, as well as Don Carlo, Il Trovatore, La Traviata and Andrea Chenier “. ‘, ‘Tosca’ and ‘Madama Butterfly’. He has performed at the Metropolitan Opera, Seattle Opera and New York City Opera. He has also performed at almost every major American opera house, including San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Palm Beach Opera, New Orleans Opera, Michigan Opera Theater and Utah Opera. His performance of Sharpless in the New York City Opera production of Madama Butterfly was featured on the PBS television series Live from Lincoln Center, which won an Emmy in 2008. Internationally he has performed at the Gran Teatre de Liceu in Barcelona, ​​​​Opera de Oviedo in Spain and the Royal Opera House, Muscat. Learn more.

The singers are accompanied by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Rose. For more information on BPO, see Visit here.

The 2022 Artpark season is supported by: M&T Bank; Cullen Foundation; Labatt blue light; Bud Light; Southern Tier Brewing; Try it; National Endowment for the Arts; Parks and Trails New York; Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo; New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; New York Stage Council on the Arts; FACE Foundation; Mid-Atlantic Arts; and Northtown Automotive Companies.

Visit for more information and a full list of upcoming events.

NATO has no intention of staying out of the Black Sea for long – Tue, 10 May 2022 09:50:03 +0000

Vice Admiral Keith Blount (left) and Commander of the Bulgarian Navy Rear Admiral Kiril Mihailov (right) @BTA

Nato doesn’t intend to stay out of it Black Sea long time the commander of the Alliance Naval Command (MARCOM), Vice admiral keith Blunt, was quoted by BTA. He was greeted with an official military ceremony in front of the Admiralty Headquarters by the Commander of the Bulgarian Navy Rear admiral Kiril Mihailov

During Vice’s visit admiral Bluntthe talks focus on security in the Black Sea, explained Mikhailov. According to him, the two will visit the Naval Coordination Element at the base in Varna. It is clarified how a better coordination between all can be ensured Nato members in the Black Sea.

“Solidarity is important in these difficult times and I want to assure you of that Nato remains committed to it Black Sea and the region” added Vice admiral Blunt. He said that coordination in the water sector is very important and the Bulgarian Navy, which is very capable, has a big role to play in achieving it.

Blunt said he could not share Allianz’s operational plans, but gave assurances Nato had no intention of staying out of it Black Sea for long. He expressed his satisfaction with the capabilities and capabilities of the navies of Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey.

Blunt added that revision of Nato‘s plans are carried out daily depending on the situation. “We have submarines, ships and planes and daily adjust their program and maneuvering scheme,Blunt called.

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An Ordinary Man’s Political Journey – TheLeaflet Mon, 09 May 2022 09:49:36 +0000

Interpreting the life and times of a prime minister who rose from humble circumstances to make his mark on history is no easy task. Sugata Srinivasaraju deserves our praise as he seems to have achieved his goal as a biographer with ease.


WILL India ever had another random prime minister? Of the 14 prime ministers that India has had to date, the promotion of four of them to the post of prime minister could be described as a fluke. They are PV Narasimha Rao, HD Deve Gowda, IK Gujral and Dr. Manmohan Singh, who held the post for two terms. Of these, the tenure of Deve Gowda, the subject of the book reviewed here, is fascinating and unique in every respect.

“Accidental” prime ministers are those who did not run as leaders of their respective party in the previous general election and are seeking a post-election mandate from voters to form the center government. Her assumption of office was a pure coincidence of political circumstances that she had not reckoned with.

As the author of this book, journalist and author Sugata Srinivasaraju recounts, despite being an integral part of the Indian political system for four decades, Gowda was labeled a “dark horse” for being an outsider in the Delhi-Lutyens establishment . However, the author finds a perfect justification for his choice within the political class: It was arguably one of the finest moments of democratic India when the son of a poor farmer with no pedigree, fur or patronage was placed in charge of the nation.

Gowda was also from below Varna Pyramid – he was a Shudra who were often caught up in the prejudices and strategies of upper-caste politics. He was arguably India’s first full Prime Minister from the lowest echelons of India’s pernicious caste system.

It was one of the finest moments of democratic India when the son of a poor farmer, with no pedigree, fur or patronage, was put in charge of the nation.

In a sense, when the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP] While the center appears invincible in elections today, its causes may perhaps lie in the events of 1997, when Gowda was forced to resign as Prime Minister without completing his term due to the Indian National Congress withdrawing outside support.

governance paradigm

Gowda was Prime Minister from 1 June 1996 to 21 April 1997 when he was succeeded by Gujral. Gowda’s short tenure had raised great expectations in various circles of people about important parameters. To name just a few: transparency, cooperative federalism and growth with social justice were high on his agenda. But Gowda was also a man in a hurry: he knew he could not stay in power long and had to make a quick statement. He was also a principled politician; he refused to accept the BJP’s offer of help to gain a majority in the Lok Sabha when Congress withdrew its support.

The author recalls that Gowda’s short tenure as prime minister raised hopes for a political settlement in Kashmir and a thaw in India-Pakistan relations. Gowda had also successfully negotiated a truce agreement with the Naga leaders to bring peace to the region. The ceasefire came into effect on August 1, 1997, after Gowda resigned as Prime Minister, and lasted until March 2015 when the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) broke the accord, killing several defense forces in one barrage of attacks in the next month.

The author mentions a little-known fact that Punjab farmers consider one of the best varieties of rice to be “Dev Gowda‘ after he resigned as Prime Minister. The rice variety was very popular for over two decades. The author says that farmers who could not converse with Gowda in Punjabi, Hindi, Kannada or English understood and acknowledged the man’s intention. Naming the paddy field after Gowda was a tribute to his lifelong commitment to the farmers’ cause and to his political initiatives towards the farming community, as well as the excellent Farmers’ Budget of 1996-97, says the author. Ironically, like all other things associated with Gowda, this tribute too remained little known and unsung. Interestingly, Gowda himself only found out about this rice variety named after him in 2014.

Of particular interest is the author’s comparison between Gowda and current Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He writes: “While Modi is very articulate, very communicative and, in the eyes of many, “a demagogue”, Gowda is on a completely different end in this department. He doesn’t like to talk much; his sentences are broken, he almost mumbles; Rhetoric is not his domain. Gowda speaks directly and with dates and documents and this makes his communication dull and tedious. In an old way, he believes that actions should speak louder. He doesn’t believe in the publication of his deeds, but wants them to be discovered. Actually, he is not concerned with communication and advertising; Therefore, chaos and confusion have reigned around his actions. However, Modi is no match for Gowda’s thoroughness and commitment to big ideas. Gowda has specialties such as law, irrigation, agriculture, water disputes and general administration. Modi is a very vague generalist at best.

Also read: Why no other PM would have chosen Modi’s Covid-19 strategy

Critical Review

Is this biography a hagiography? No doubt the author defends Gowda for many of his perceived qualities. He commends Gowda for his phenomenal memory and also points out that the public perception of him as drowsy and disinterested in public gatherings and as prodigiously yawning in conferences and seminars was probably wrong. He cites several people who say that he was fully awake despite falling into a drowsy state.

Gowda’s brief tenure had raised great expectations among diverse communities in terms of key issues: transparency, collaborative federalism, and growth with social justice. He was also a principled politician; he refused to accept the BJP’s offer of help to gain a majority in the Lok Sabha when Congress withdrew its support.

But the author balances his praise of Gowda with critical appraisal where necessary. Thus he reveals that Gowda himself has regretted his mistake by appointing Joginder Singh to the Central Bureau of Investigation [CBI] Director. Singh wreaked havoc with his loose talks with the media and embarrassed the Gowda government on many issues. The CBI was handling sensitive cases at the time, involving individuals who were central to the survival of the Gowda government.

The book does not deal with Gowda’s life after 2004, in order to preserve a biographer’s objectivity and distance from too close contemporary events. Gowda’s life after 2004, when his family rose to prominence in Karnataka state politics, may merit critical treatment in the hands of his future biographer.

As Gowda nears his 90th year, the book offers fascinating insight into the man and his political journey. As the author shows, he has shown a tremendous appetite for hard work and risk-taking. He never chose the winning side. He always sided with the fighters, which gave him an identity that a winning side could never have.

The author makes Gowda’s philosophy clear by stating that he has never romanticized his secularism. He took tough and unpopular positions that were politically costly, opposite the Ram Temple movement in Ayodhya and later when he led a fight against the AB Vajpayee government when communal slaughter broke out in Gujarat in 2002. He visited Muslims in camps where they were being pushed in Gujarat and wrote angry letters to then Prime Minister Vajpayee. He called out the hatred that had spilled over into the streets.

Secularism is a default for Gowda, as it is for most Indians, whose common sense and humanity teaches them to live with others and to empathize, the book suggests.

Also read: Secularism and democracy need the power of truth, not any religion, to survive

The son of a farmer, he became prime minister by plowing the field with local knowledge, native wisdom, common sense and exceptional perseverance, seeing the world in a grain of sand, says the author.

For those who aspire to make a name for themselves in politics without compromising principles and a personal code of ethics, Gowda is a living example of what it takes to climb the political ladder and remain content with what you achieve when the ladder gives way.

His political journey began in 1962 when he ran as an independent candidate in the Karnataka general election and won. He waited 21 long years to become a first-time minister and later a chief minister. He was also opposition leader in the Karnataka Assembly for seven years. For those who aspire to make a name for themselves in politics without compromising principles and a personal code of ethics, Gowda is a living example of what it takes to climb the political ladder and remain content with what you achieve when the ladder gives way.

Srinivasaraju’s biography of Deve Gowda is elegantly written and would be insightful reading for anyone interested in understanding contemporary Indian politics and governance.

Nearly 25 million tons of grain stuck in Ukraine, UN food agency says – Fri, 06 May 2022 13:15:20 +0000

Nearly 25 million tons of grain is stuck in Ukraine, unable to leave the country due to infrastructure problems and blocked Black Sea ports, including Mariupol, a UN food agency official said on Friday (May 6).

The blockades are believed to be a factor behind high food prices, which hit a record high in March following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine before easing slightly in April, the FAO said on Friday.

According to data from the International Grains Council, Ukraine was the world’s fourth largest exporter of maize (maize) and the sixth largest exporter of wheat in the 2020/21 season.

“It is an almost grotesque situation that we are currently seeing in Ukraine, with almost 25 million tons of grain that could be exported but cannot leave the country simply because of the lack of infrastructure, the blockade of the ports”, Josef Schmidhuber, FAO deputy director said the Department of Markets and Trade at a press conference in Geneva via Zoom.

Schmidhuber said the full silos could lead to storage bottlenecks for the next harvest in July and August.

“Despite the war, the harvest conditions don’t look that bad. This could really mean that the storage capacity in Ukraine is not enough, especially if no wheat corridor opens for export from Ukraine,” he said.

Another concern is reports that some grain stores have been destroyed in the fighting in Ukraine, he added, without giving details.

Since Moscow launched a so-called “special military operation” in late February, Ukraine has been forced to export grain by train across the western border or from its small ports on the Danube rather than by sea.

Earlier this week, the head of the World Trade Organization told Reuters she was “seriously concerned” about rising food prices and was working with other partners to find solutions.

“It would really help the world if we could evacuate this grain (from Ukraine),” Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said. “There is a serious risk that food prices will rise and fall out of affordability, which could lead to even more hunger.”

A cargo of over 71,000 tons of Ukrainian corn was loaded in the Romanian Black Sea port of Constanta on April 28, the first since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

The first shipment of Ukrainian corn leaves the Romanian port on the Black Sea

A cargo of over 71,000 tons of Ukrainian corn was loaded at the Romanian Black Sea port of Constanta on Thursday (April 28), the first since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, the manager of port operator Comvex said.

Ukraine also turned to Bulgaria for using the port of Varna to export grain. However, the port of Varna has limited capacity for grain exports, Bulgarian experts said.

(Edited by Georgi Gotev)

Romania’s Black Sea port of Constanta becomes a Ukrainian export hub Thu, 05 May 2022 07:50:00 +0000

Like a giant elephant’s trunk, a giant hose sweeps across the hold of a ship in the Romanian Black Sea port of Constanta, spilling tons of corn onto the ship before it sets sail.

Russia’s blockade of Ukraine’s seaports has forced the country’s exporters to look for alternative ways of transporting their valuable cargo.

The country’s grain is now loaded onto trains, trucks or barges in the small Danube ports of Reni and Izmail in the southwest and transported to the Romanian ports.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has turned Constanta into a major maritime export center for Ukrainian crops.

Before the war, Ukraine monthly exported 4.5 million tons of agricultural products through its ports – 12% of the world’s wheat, 15% of corn and 50% of sunflower oil.

“We must ensure that the grain reaches consumers’ tables without delay to avoid the risk of famine,” said Viorel Panait, managing director of Comvex, which handles Constanta’s bulk commodities.

“We hope to pick up the pace… because given the unfortunate situation our Ukrainian neighbors are going through, we have to help them as much as we can,” he told Agence France-Presse (AFP).


Neighboring Bulgaria said this week it was ready to help export Ukrainian grain from its Black Sea port of Varna – and is getting to work to improve its infrastructure.

Meanwhile, Constanta is moving the cargo as fast as she can.

The Lady Dimine, the ship loaded with corn, is the second grain ship since last week to dock at Pier 80 and head for Portugal after loading.

The first ship, loaded with 70,000 tons of Ukrainian corn, left Constanta last Friday, and a third is planned in six days.

The first ship, carrying 70,000 tons of cargo, took 49 trains or barges to fill, Panait said.

Loading such ships in an improperly equipped port would mean thousands of trucks clogging the roads, he added.

Even before Russia invaded Ukraine last year, Constanta overtook France’s Le Havre to become a European hub for grain exports, port director Florin Goidea said.

Now he said: “Our goal is to send the goods as soon as possible and thus support the Ukrainian economy.”

His office offered a breathtaking view of the work at the port, which was teeming with cranes and ship loaders.

“The war in Ukraine is a challenge, but also an opportunity,” said Goidea.

projects in the pipeline

To meet this challenge, the Romanian government has developed two projects to unblock road traffic and facilitate the flow of cargo to the port.

First, by the end of the year, 95 communist-era rail lines blocked for years by hundreds of rusting wagons will be repaired.

The 200 million lei ($42.85 million) project should allow Constanta to match or even surpass the record 67.5 million tons of goods in transit in 2021, Goidea said.

The Ministry of Transport is also seeking tenders for works to reopen a 5-kilometer railway line, more than 200 kilometers north of Constanta.

This line would connect Giurgiulesti in Moldova – wedged between Romania and Ukraine – with Galati on the Danube in eastern Romania.

This short transition is crucial as they are the same gauge used in the former Soviet Union, making it easier to transport goods.

The rehabilitation of the route is planned for this summer.

Traffic in the other direction has now come to a standstill near Constanta.

Dozens of wind turbine parts destined for Ukraine lie abandoned on one of the congested roads.

“There’s no one left to send them to,” said a port worker.

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Zelenskyy says Russia is trying to completely destroy the Donbass

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of destroying the Donbass and everyone who lives there.

He warned: “The constant brutal bombing, the constant Russian attacks on infrastructure and residential areas show that Russia wants to cleanse this territory of all people.

“So defending our country, defending our people, is literally a fight for your life,” he said late Friday in his late-night video address to the nation.

The President also said that the cities and towns of Donbass would only survive if Ukraine survived.

If the Russian invaders can even partially realize their plans, then they will have enough artillery and aircraft to turn the entire Donbass into stones. As in Mariupol.

Zelenskyi said Mariupol, once one of the most developed cities in the region, is now a Russian concentration camp amidst the ruins.

In Kharkiv, a major city in the north, the situation is brutal, but Ukrainian troops and intelligence agents have made important tactical gains, he said without elaborating.

Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov said about 20% of the city’s residential buildings were so badly damaged that it will be impossible to restore them.

Zelenskyi said rescuers were still walking through the rubble in Kyiv after Thursday’s rocket attacks. He expressed his condolences to the family of Vira Hyrych who was killed in the bombing. He said she was the 23rd journalist killed in the war.

Ukraine: Zelenskyy says Russia is trying to humiliate UN with attack in Kyiv – Live updates | News | DW Fri, 29 Apr 2022 05:55:29 +0000
  • Two explosions shake Kyiv during visit of UN chief Antonio Guterres
  • Zelenskyy says Russia tried to humiliate the UN
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hails US financial support as ‘very important step’
  • Ukraine and Bulgaria have agreed on close military and economic cooperation

This article was last updated at 05:19 GMT/UTC

Strong Ukrainian resistance limits Russian advances in Donbass: British military intelligence

Russia remains focused on the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine with the aim of seizing control of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the British Defense Ministry said in an intelligence report.

However, it said Russian forces had made limited territorial gains and suffered significant casualties in the face of strong Ukrainian resistance.

The military intelligence report states that there has been heavy fighting around the cities of Lysychansk and Severodonetsk and that Russian forces have attempted to advance south from Izium towards Slovyansk.

Zelenskyy says Russia tried to humiliate the UN

In his daily video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Thursday’s Russian strikes were an attempt to “humiliate” the global body.

The rockets hit a residential area in Kyiv less than an hour after he and UN chief Antonio Guterres held a joint press conference about 3.5 kilometers away.

“Today, immediately after our talks in Kyiv ended, Russian missiles flew into the city. Five rockets,” Zelenskyy said. “That says a lot… about the efforts of the Russian leadership to humiliate the UN and all that represents the organization.”

Zelenskyj added that “a correspondingly strong reaction” is required.

At least three people were wounded in the attack and one person reportedly died. It was the first such attack since mid-April.

Two days earlier in Moscow, Guterres held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said he still hoped the talks could end the conflict.

Mykhaylo Podolyak, a senior Zelenskyy aide, tweeted his dismay.

“During @antonioguterres’ official visit, rockets were fired into downtown Kyiv. The day before he was sitting at a long table in the Kremlin and today there are explosions above his head,” he wrote.

Sofia agrees to closer cooperation with Kyiv

Ukraine and Bulgaria have agreed on closer military and economic ties after talks between the heads of state and government in Kyiv.

Zelenskyy and Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov spoke about increased cooperation at EU level and sanctions against Russia.

An important part of the deal is an agreement that Bulgaria will help repair Ukrainian military equipment.

“A very important agreement concerns the repair of our military equipment in the Bulgarian production plants,” Zelenskyy said.

He added that there was an agreement on electricity and gas lines. The Russian state-owned company Gazprom said on Wednesday that it had stopped supplying gas to Poland and Bulgaria. Both countries had failed to make payments for gas in rubles. The requirement was made by the Kremlin in response to sanctions.

Zelenskyy and Petkov also agreed that Ukraine could use the Bulgarian port of Varna to export agricultural products. Russia controls or blocks all Ukrainian ports.

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev, who is considered Moscow-friendly, refused Petkov’s visit.

Summary of Thursday’s events in the war in Ukraine

Two blasts have rocked the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv after rockets hit a central district during a visit by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

One of the rockets is said to have hit a residential building and injured at least three people.

The blasts were soon after Guterres ended talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

They expressed concerns that Kyiv was still vulnerable to Russian heavy weapons.

In their talks, Guterres and Zelenskyy discussed ongoing attempts to evacuate the Azovstal Steel Plant in the southern port city of Mariupol. Ukrainian fighters and civilians are currently trapped at the facility amid a Russian blockade.

Guterres also acknowledged that the UN Security Council had failed in its efforts to prevent the Russian invasion.

US President Joe Biden has asked Congress to approve $33 billion in funding for Ukraine.

Most of the amount will be used for arms and military aid, but there will also be direct economic assistance to the Ukrainian government, as well as humanitarian and food security needs.

Britain’s Defense Ministry said the Russian Navy was still capable of attacking coastal targets in Ukraine, even after losing two warships. The ministry said about 20 Russian ships are still operating in the Black Sea.

Ukraine’s military command said Russia is stepping up the pace of the eastern offensive in the Donbass region and “exercising intense fire in almost all directions.”

A presidential aide in Kyiv said that although Ukraine has suffered heavy casualties in the war so far, Moscow’s armed forces have lost many more soldiers.

The Bundestag voted by a large majority for the delivery of heavy weapons to Ukraine. Legislators called on Chancellor Olaf Scholz to expand supplies of equipment.

A study published on Thursday showed that just 25 percent of Germans think Chancellor Olaf Scholz has shown strong leadership in the face of Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

You can re-watch our live updates from April 28th here.

rc/ss,kb (dpa, AFP, AP, Reuters)