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Monday, September 30, 2013

What Happens When Only 1.2% of Chinese Women Take the Pill: 13 Million Abortions

New data published by China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission indicates that there are more than 13 million abortions conducted in the country every year, highlighting the huge reliance on the procedure as it seeks to restrain population growth.

The rate of abortions, at roughly 1 in 100 people, is well above global averages. The U.S., by comparison, reported just 780,000 abortions in 2009, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or a rate of 1 in 500 people.

The Chinese statistics, published last week, only account for surgical procedures conducted at licensed hospitals and clinics, and don’t take account medically induced abortions or procedures conducted at the unlicensed clinics seen in poorer parts of the country.

The data appears to show that it is predominantly younger people who are choosing to have abortions. And while China’s restrictive one-child policy is certainly one factor influencing the high rate of terminations, lack of awareness about sexual safety seems to be another important contributor.

Almost half of the reported procedures were conducted on women below the age of 25, the majority of whom were university students. Recent surveys have shown a surprising lack of awareness about basic sexual health among China’s youth. A survey published by the China World Contraception Day Organization showed that more than 68% of Chinese women were confused about the difference between oral contraceptives and the morning-after pill. Just 1.2% of Chinese women take oral contraceptives, compared with 30% to 50% of women in some developed countries.

Source: Time

White House orders government agencies to begin shutting down

The White House budget director ordered federal agencies to begin closing down on Tuesday after Congress failed to pass a budget to avert a government shutdown.
"Agencies should now execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the absence of appropriations," said Sylvia Mathews Burwell, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget in a memo.

The order was issued 10 minutes before the US government officially ran out of money after a day of angry brinkmanship between the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and the Senate, where Democrats have the majority.

Burwell urged Congress to pass a temporary operating budget as soon as possible to allow departments to reopen.

"We urge Congress to act quickly to pass a Continuing Resolution to provide a short-term bridge that ensures sufficient time to pass a budget for the remainder of the fiscal year, and to restore the operation of critical public services and programs that will be impacted by a lapse in appropriations."

Source: HT

Google Nexus 7 Available for Just Rs 9999

After Amazon slashed the price of its Kindle Fire HD, it seems Google’s Nexus 7 (2012 version) has also seen a price cut. Online retailer Flipkart is offering the 16 GB version of the Nexus 7 (WiFi) only for Rs 9999. The 32GB version of the Nexus 7 has also got price drop and is available of Rs 13,999.

Google’s Nexus 7 is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core Tegra 3 chip with a 12-core Nvidia GeForce GPU. It also has NFC, Bluetooth. Google’s Nexus 7. The screen is is 7-inch screen with 1280×800 pixels screen resolution which works out to 216 ppi. There’s no slot for a MicroSD card and the device has a 1.2 megapixel front camera for video calls.

Recently Amazon also announced that it was slashing the prices of the Kindle Fire HD in India. The 16 GB Kindle Fire HD 7-inch tablet is now available for Rs 11,999, down from the earlier price of 15,999. The 32GB Kindle Fire HD 7 is now priced at Rs 15,999 down from an earlier price of Rs 18,999.

Friday, September 27, 2013

5 things to eat to lose weight

Stop worrying about your weight, just eat right. Here are five tips you need to keep in mind.

Have a healthy breakfast
The cardinal rule to any weight loss programme is never to miss breakfast. And oatmeal, a complex carbohydrate is ideal. It is a satisfying breakfast cereal, and compared to any other grain it provides more protein per serving. The fact that it takes longer to digest and hence releases energy slowly makes it perfect because you feel full for longer. Oats also keep blood sugar and insulin levels stable, which helps prevent fat storage. Have it with skimmed milk or yogurt.

Opt for skimmed milk
Milk and its products are rich in calcium and can help keep your bones strong. Skimmed milk, low fat cheese and yogurt helps to break down fat cells.

Bean it
Foods that are high in fibre and are good sources of protein, can help you feel full for a very long time. And that, will help you control unnecessary bingeing. Protein has a very high satiety index and that is why make proteins an essential part of your meals.

Go for the grain
Grains have complex carbohydrates which during digestion release glucose slowly. Jowar, bajra and ragi etc can help in maintaining your blood sugars levels. The fibre and vitamins in them play an important role too.

Snack on nuts through the day
Stay away from fried and salted nuts but you can munch on raw, unsalted ones — almonds, and walnuts. These have essential roughage, protein, fat, minerals and micro-nutrient.
A handful can keep hunger at bay and provide energy.

Source: Time

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Supreme Court gives voters right to reject all candidates

In a landmark judgement on Friday, the Supreme Court for the first time allowed voters to cast negative vote by pressing a button saying none of the candidates is worthy of his vote.

The SC asked the Election Commission to provide None Of The Above (NOTA) button on EVMs and ballot papers.

The apex court said the right to vote and the right to say NOTA are both part of basic right of voters.

"When a large number of voters will press NOTA button, it will force political parties to choose better candidates. Negative voting would lead to systemic change in polls," the apex bench observed.

The bench also observed that implementation of NOTA option was akin to 'abstain option' given to MPs and MLAs during voting in respective houses.

The SC directed the EC to start implementing NOTA button on EVMs forthwith in a phased manner and asked the Centre to render all assistance.

Source: TOI

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

To Bedshare or Not to Share: Why Infants Shouldn’t Sleep With Mom and Dad

A new study suggests that breastfeeding and bedsharing may go hand in hand, but while more data supports breastfeeding, the studies aren’t as definitive about parents sleeping in the same bed as their infants.

The U.S. Healthy People goal for 2020 is to increase the number of women who exclusively breastfeed their infants in the first three months to from 33% to 46.2%. And UNICEF and other international organizations are also actively promoting the practice.

But there is far from unanimous agreement on bedsharing. La Leche League and many parent groups support it because they believe it encourages nursing, while the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against it because of an increased risk of suffocation and SIDS.

It certainly seems as if bedsharing makes breastfeeding easier, but until a new study published today in JAMA Pediatrics, there was incomplete evidence that the practice actually helped mothers nurse more or longer. There was always the chicken versus egg dilemma: does nursing promote bedsharing or the other way around?

The new research, based on the Infant Feeding Practices Study II, enrolled pregnant women and sent them questionnaires periodically during their babies’ first year. The study results showed that frequent bedsharing was in fact associated with mothers who breastfed longer. Those who bedshared moderately nursed for less time but still longer than the women who rarely shared beds. So, yes, says study co-author Dr. Fern Hauck, a professor of family medicine at the University of Virginia, “The two things are quite intertwined, but we believe that bedsharing promoted breastfeeding, not the other way around.”

Still, she cautioned, physicians’ groups are not recommending sharing a bed with baby because placing infants in adult beds is associated with three times the risk of suffocation or SIDS, even among parents who do not drink, smoke or take drugs. The risks are even higher for parents who do. More research is needed, she says to find other, safer ways to encourage breastfeeding.

The American Academy of Pediatrics currently recommends that parents place babies in their own, safe place in the parents’ room. It can be near their mothers’ bed for ease of nursing, but when finished feeding, mothers should put babies back in their dedicated crib or bassinet.

On a psychological note, Dr. Fran Walfish, a child and family psychologist in Beverly Hills and author of The Self-Aware Parent, says that although it may seem easier for mothers to let babies fall asleep at their breast, doing so may ultimately make things harder. “A key life coping skill is developed when babies are allowed to learn self-soothing in order to fall asleep,” Walfish says. She recommends gently arousing your baby and meeting her eyes when putting her down. “Say goodnight, kiss her and lay her into her crib,” she suggests. Babies will learn to soothe themselves with a thumb, pacifier, or, later, a love object.

While it is typical for breastfed babies to fall asleep at the breast and sleep more soundly, Hauck says, there’s a dark side to such profound slumber. “We believe,” she explains, “”that SIDS is a disorder of arousal. So if babies are sleeping too soundly and they get into a position like getting the nose down into the mattress, they are at higher risk of SIDS.”

So how do new moms balance the benefits of staying physically close to their newborns while not putting them at risk of SIDS? Room sharing might be a solution, say some experts. “Keeping the mother and infant together for most of the time, including night time,” says neonatologist Dr. David daCosta at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, “represents the most biologically appropriate arrangement simply because breastfeeding is not possible or easily managed without it. In my mind, room-sharing with safe-sleep practices would produce similar benefits in motivated parents.”

Source: TIME

Google Starts Searching Cure For Death

Google is famous for taking moon shots at the technologies that are no different from science fictions. Search giant’s inroads into driverless cars, Google Glass, connecting world by floating balloons and others define their obsession towards such technologies. And now the company is embarked on a project to cure aging.

The Mountain View, California based company is planning to launch Calico, a new firm that will attempt to solve some of health care‘s most vexing problems- aging. It will be run by Arthur Levinson, chairman of Apple and Genentech, a biotech company, and former director at Google, who is also an investor of the firm. He is a biochemist with a Ph.D. from Princeton, and rose through the ranks to become CEO of Genentech in 1995.

Telco’s to implement Pan India Mobile Number Portability in six months

Telecom regulator TRAI has released its suggestions on Pan India Number Portability. The idea for pan India was first envisaged in the National Telecom Policy 2012 and after several rounds of deliberations with the stakeholders TRAI has come out with its recommendations. Under the current form of Mobile Number Portability mobile customers can switch to other operator of the same circle but now one can switch to any operator across the nation while keeping the same number. According to the TRAI recommendations telecom operators will be given six months time to implement full MNP in the country. So now it can be expected that six months from now mobile customers can keep their existing mobile number and switch to any operator across India.

Samsung to launch smartphone with curved display in October

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said it will introduce a smartphone with a curved display in October, as the world’s top handset maker seeks to set the pace of hardware innovation and maintain its supremacy in a fiercely competitive business.

Curved displays are an early stage in screen evolution which is shifting to bendable or foldable designs, eventually allowing mobile and wearable gadgets to take on new forms that could radically change the high-end smartphone market.

"We plan to introduce a smartphone with a curved display in South Korea in October," Samsung’s mobile business head of strategic marketing D.J. Lee said on Wednesday at an event launching the Galaxy Note 3 smartphone in Seoul.

In January Samsung, which has taken over from Apple Inc as the global smartphone leader, showed off prototype products with a flexible screen and a display that extends from the side of a device.

But technology firms have yet to figure out how to mass produce the parts cheaply and come up with display panels that can be as thin as a sheet and highly heat resistant. Curved display is already commercially available in large-screen televisions. Samsung and its home rival LG Electronics Inc had started selling curved OLED TV sets this year priced at about $9,000.

Source: IBN

Priyanka Chopra replaces Sunny Leone as India's most dangerous celebrity online

Last year, porn star-turned-Bollywood actress Sunny Leone was the most dangerous celebrity in Indian cyberspace, but this year it's Priyanka Choprawho topped the toxic list.

The Barfi! actress dethroned the Jism 2actress who is now dropped to ninth position in the study by security software maker McAfee.

The study also saw Bollywood superstars Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan occupy the No2 and No3 positions on the list respectively.

The top 5 was rounded up by Kareena Kapoor-Khan and Akshay Kumar.

Hackers used the names of celebrities to steal passwords and personal information from unsuspecting and celeb crazy fans who search the web for news and pictures of the favourite stars.

This year searches for the celebrity's name with search terms like wall paper, videos and nude pictures mostly lead to malicious sites.

The study used McAfee SiteAdvisor site ratings to indicate which sites are risky to search when attached to celebrity names on the web and calculated an overall risk percentage.

Miss World-turned-actress Priyanka Chopra who recently took to singing had 79 infected search results. While Shah Rukh Khan whose film Chennai Express broke all Bollywood records recently lead to 75 malicious sites. Bigg Boss host Salman Khan's name resulted in being lead to 68 infected sites.

Saif Ali Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Farhan Akhtar and Hrithik Roshan rounded up the list of the top 10 most dangerous celebrities online.

Interestingly Katrina Kaif, Bipasha Basu, Deepika Padukone and Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan have all dropped out of the list this year.

Source: DNA

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Honda Mobilio MPV debuts in Indonesia. coming to India soon!

Honda has unveiled the Mobilio, a MPV that’s built on the Brio platform. The Mobilio has been unveiled at the Indonesia International Motor Show held in Jakarta. The MPV will be made in Indonesia, from a new factory from 2014. India will get this MPV sometime next year and will be the third Brio platform based car to be launched in India.

Honda already sells the Brio hatchback and Amaze compact sedan, and both cars are quite successful. The Mobilio will be sold with petrol and turbo diesel engine options in India. In Indonesia, only the petrol engined model will be sold as petrol engined cars are more popular there. For the Indian market, either the 1.5 liter petrol engine or a smaller 1.2 liter petrol engine could be launched.

The diesel engine will be the 1.5 liter i-DTEC turbo diesel motor that was first seen on the Amaze compact sedan. While the Indonesian Mobilio gets manual and CVT automatic gearbox options, the Indian model could get only the 5 speed stick shifter. In India, the Honda Mobilio will go head to head with the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga. So, expect similar pricing as well. Honda has learnt its lessons with the pricing fiasco of the Jazz hatchback.

High levels of localization will be explored on the Mobilio also. The Mobilio will be the first MPV that Honda will launch in the Indian car market. The Mobilio is bigger than the Ertiga. The MPV’s 4.4 meter length is much higher than that of the Ertiga. This length makes the Mobilio match the Toyota Innova. Since we’ve seen how efficient Honda’s been when it comes to space management, acres of space could be offered on the Mobilio.

With the Amaze turning out to be a good seller, Honda has made a comeback in India. Cars like the Mobilio, all new Jazz and next gen City will be the products that could make the Honda stronger in the coming days. Honda will also launch a compact SUV based on the Jazz in India. All these cars will get diesel engines. So, only the Brio seems to be missing a diesel engine and Honda is already developing a smaller diesel engine for that car.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Microsoft launches new Surface tablets

Microsoft has introduced two new Surface tablet computers and several accessories as it tries to boost its tablet business as sales of traditional desktop and laptop computers decline.

The Surface Pro 2, unveiled Monday at an event in New York, is targeted at professionals who want to full power of laptops in a tablet-style device. The kickstand built into the device is redesigned to make it easier to use on laps. In the past, it worked best on a flat surface such as a table.

Microsoft says the Pro 2 also offers a 75 per cent improvement in battery life over the previous model.

The other tablet is Surface 2. Unlike Surface Pro 2, which is powered by an Intel processor and can run all Windows applications and programs, Surface 2 uses Tegra 4, a processor made by Nvidia using the low-power chip design created by ARM Holdings. The price of Surface 2 will be $449 for the 32 GB version. Surface 2 will only run ARM-compatible applications.

Surface Pro 2 will cost $899 for the 64GB version. It will have 4GB RAM. The model with 256GB or 512GB internal storage will have 8GB RAM.

Microsoft will also sell a cover that will also act as a physical keyboard for Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2. This is similar to the cover offered with the earlier version of the tablet. However, unlike the older cover, the new one comes with a battery inside it, which will increase the battery life the Surface tablets.

The earlier versions of Surface failed to find takers. In the last quarter, Microsoft took an almost $1 billion hit on the account of unsold Surface units. The tablets have also led to strained relationship between Microsoft and its hardware partners like Asus and Acer, which see the Microsoft devices as a threat to their business.

Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 will be available from October 22 in select markets. For now Microsoft has not revealed when these two tablets will be available in India and at what price.

Source: TOI

The Mistake Busy People Make

Busy people all make the same mistake: they assume they are short on time, which of course they are. But time is not their only scarce resource. They are also short on bandwidth. By bandwidth I mean basic cognitive resources — psychologists call them working memory and executive control — that we use in nearly every activity. Bandwidth is what allows us to reason, to focus, to learn new ideas, to make creative leaps and to resist our immediate impulses. We use bandwidth to be a good participant at an important meeting, to be a good boss to an employee who frustrates us and to be attentive parent or spouse.

When we schedule things, we don’t want to just show up, we want to be effective when we get there. This means we need to manage bandwidth and not just manage time. And this is where things get tricky, because bandwidth does not behave the way time does. Time can be dissected easily: an hour can be cut up in many ways. Fifteen minutes on this memo, a five-minute walk to another meeting, 30 minutes at that meeting and then 10 minutes debriefing. Oh, and maybe a quick phone call on the walk to that meeting. The busy are expert at dissection: that’s how they make it all fit.

But bandwidth cannot be dissected like time can. Picture yourself at dinner with a friend whose marriage is on the rocks and wants some advice. Now imagine her request comes at a time when you have a big-project deadline looming. You value her friendship so you make time for dinner, but once you’re there, you find your mind wandering back to that project. You hear the advice you’re giving and feel it’s muddied. You try to console her, but it feels a bit off-key: after all you’ve heard only 70% of what she’s said. The problem of course is that while you’ve made time for her, you didn’t make bandwidth for her.

This is the big mistake: we focus on managing time and end up mismanaging bandwidth. Here is another example. An important strategy memo requires two hours to write. As a good time manager, you find the time for it — a one-hour block between two meetings and two half-hour blocks later. But by the time you’re really focused and have got the previous meeting off your mind, your first hour is nearly over. And the other half hours may as well not have been there. Your two hours got you maybe 30 minutes of quality work.

But we can become better bandwidth managers. First, recognize that different tasks require more or less bandwidth. That round-table project update meeting may be time consuming but not bandwidth consuming. The final decision on what to do about that nice but underperforming employee is not time consuming but is bandwidth consuming. Being a good parent or spouse may be both time and bandwidth consuming.

Second, recognize that some tasks tax your bandwidth even when you are not working on them — a looming deadline or a challenging decision call your mind away from whatever you’re working on. They leave you with less bandwidth for everything else. Finally, other tasks do not tax bandwidth but refresh it. It may be time with family, watching a basketball game, time at the gym or simply doing nothing.

These simple ideas can change how you schedule your day. Don’t place tasks requiring heavy bandwidth (that strategy memo) right after tasks that tax bandwidth. Give yourself more time than you need to get the previous meeting off your mind. For bandwidth-demanding tasks, recognize that big contiguous blocks are better than smaller blocks. Finally, find those tasks that refresh bandwidth and make time for them.

A friend of mine, a busy entrepreneur, confessed to me that he fills up his calendar with fictitious meetings for Tuesday. Sometimes he wanders record shops. (Yes, they still exist!) Sometimes he runs errands that have piled up. Sometimes he just loafs on the sofa. These are investments in bandwidth. “I’m just more productive overall since I started secret Tuesdays,” he told me. That’s the real secret of secret Tuesdays.

Source: Time

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Kenya mall attack: Death toll reaches 68, fresh gunfire heard

Reports of fresh fresh gunfire came from inside the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, where siege continues for the third day. This came even as military authorities say the siege is close to an end. At least 68 people have been killed including two Indians and more than 175 injured. Hour on hour, casualties of the Nairobi mall attack have been pouring into hospital as the Kenyan police battle Al-Shabaab terrorists who carried out the weekend's carnage. From inside Westgate, the uptown shopping mall where gunmen walked in and opened fire on shoppers, stories of horror have been coming out.

India too is counting the cost. Among those dead are IT professional from Chennai Sridhar Natarajan and 8-year-old Paramanshu Jain, the son of a bank manager there. Hour on hour, casualties of the Nairobi mall attack have been pouring into hospital as the Kenyan police battle Al-Shabaab terrorists. India's External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said, "It is with some sadness that we have to acknowledge that two Indian nationals, including a young man and a boy, unfortunately succumbed to the attacks. Apart from that there are four Indian nationals who are currently in hospital; they are being provided adequate medical attention." Kenya's president, whose own relatives were amongst the casualties, vowed to bring the Al Shabaab group, affiliated to al-Qaeda to justice But even on Sunday, gunbattles between his forces and the terrorists continued. Al Shabaab has close links with Al-Qaeda, and the attack on civilians resembles 26/11 and other brutal terror strikes around the world. Al Shabaab's Islamist radical leaders say they will attack again until Kenyan forces pull out of anti-terror operations in Somalia. For hundreds of innocent victims who faced their bullets, the ordeal is unending. The family of Sridhar Natarajan killed in the attack has issued a statement saying, "This is difficult time for the family and we are trying to find more information. We are in touch with the relevant authorities in the MEA and we appreciate their help. As we decide the next step, we will appreciate if our privacy, in this difficult hour, is respected." The Indian authorities have promised all help to the family. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has condemned the attack in Kenya. In a letter to the Kenyan government, he said, "This incident is a stark reminder that the persisting menace of terrorism remains a formidable challenge that calls for a concerted and sustained response from the global community."

Source: IBN

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Supreme Court: Adultery is not cruelty

Merely being "intimate" with another woman is not sufficient ground for a man to be held guilty of inflicting cruelty on his wife on the charge of failing to discharge his marital obligations, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday.

Only if treatment meted out to the wife is of a nature as is likely to drive her to commit suicide will it fall within the ambit of Section 498A of IPC, a provision of the penal code providing up to three years in jail, said the bench.

"We are of the view that the mere fact that the husband has developed some intimacy with another, during the subsistence of marriage, and failed to discharge his marital obligations, as such would not amount to cruelty," said a bench of Justices K S Radhakrishnan and P C Ghose.

The SC reading of what constitutes cruelty brought relief to a man who had been convicted by both the trial court and the high court for behaviour that resulted in the suicide of his wife due to an alleged extra-marital affair at his place of work.

The ruling came in a case where the wife committed suicide suspecting the husband of intimacy with a woman colleague in office. The trial court and the Gujarat high court held him guilty under Section 498A for causing cruelty to his wife and under Section 306 of IPC for abetting suicide.

"Harassment, of course, need not be in the form of physical assault and even mental harassment also would come within the purview of Section 498A IPC. Mental cruelty, of course, varies from person to person, depending upon the intensity and the degree of endurance, some may meet with courage and some others suffer in silence, to some it may be unbearable and a weak person may think of ending one's life," the bench said.

But keeping in view the case before it, the apex court set aside the concurrent judgments to exonerate the man of any wrongdoing and said, "We, on facts, found that the alleged extra-marital relationship was not of such a nature as to drive the wife to commit suicide or that A-1 (husband) had ever intended or acted in such a manner which under normal circumstances, would drive the wife to commit suicide."

Writing the judgment for the bench, Justice Radhakrishnan said to charge a husband for abetment of suicide, the prosecution must establish that the wife's suicide was a direct result of the extra-marital affair.

"Prosecution has to establish beyond reasonable doubt that the deceased committed suicide and the accused abetted the commission of suicide. But for the alleged extra-marital relationship, which if proved, could be illegal and immoral, nothing has been brought out by the prosecution to show that the accused had provoked, incited or induced the wife to commit suicide," the court said.

"We have on facts found that, at best, the relationship of A-1 (the husband) and A-2 (the other woman) was a one-sided love affair. The accused might have developed some liking towards A-2, his colleague, (but) all the same, the facts disclose that A-1 had discharged his marital obligations towards the deceased. There is no evidence of physical or mental torture demanding dowry," the court said.

Referring to the wife's suicide note, the bench said, "On reading the suicide note, one can infer that the deceased was so possessive of her husband, and was always under emotional stress that she might lose her husband. Too much of possessiveness could also lead to serious emotional stress, over and above the fact that she had one abortion and her daughter died after few days of birth."

Source: TOI

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Hyundai Grand i10 launched at a starting price of Rs 4.29 lakh

NEW DELHI: Heating up the small car segment war, Hyundai on Tuesday launched the Grand i10 hatchback at a starting price of Rs 4.29 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi, introductory price). The diesel variant of the same has been launched at a starting price of Rs 5.23 lakh.

The Hyundai Grand i10 is a larger and more premium offering in the B-Segment market. Wearing the company's fluidic family design language the Grand i10 is quite the looker with its stretched back headlamps, strong shoulder line, large glass house and wrap around tail lamps.

Hyundai has also put together the interiors of the new Grand i10 with good quality materials that give the cabin an upmarket air. Armed to the teeth with gizmos the Hyundai Grand i10 packs in a host of features such as a smart key, push button start/stop, a double DIN audio system with 1 GB internal memory, Bluetooth connectivity , Aux-in and USB connectivity, steering mounted audio controls, A/C vent for rear passengers (an industry first in the segment), rear parking sensors, glove box cooling, electric ORVMs, etc.

Engine options include the proven 1.2 litre KAPPA petrol motor and a brand new 1.1 litre U2 CRDI diesel motor which will indeed bring home the heavier numbers on the Grand i10's sales charts. The diesel engine, an official claimed, will deliver best-in-class fuel efficiency of over 23 kilometres per litre.

The practical, comfortable, spacious and well equipped Hyundai Grand i10 looks to be the perfect recipe for the value conscious Indian car buyer, said Zigwheels.com.

Hyundai said the vehicle has been engineered to suit local taste, based on feedback of several thousand prospective customers. The Indian version is 100 mm longer than the European version to offer bigger seating space.

The world's fifth largest carmaker will launch three compact cars in India over the next 18 months - the all new global hatchback Grand i10 (launched today) which will take on Maruti SuzukiBSE -2.00 % Swift, Eon 1 litre to take on Alto K10 and the next generation i20 next year.

PETROL Prices (ex-showroom Delhi)

Era: Rs 4,29,900

Magna: Rs 4,49,400

Sportz: Rs 4,88,800

Asta(O): Rs 5,47,800

DIESEL Prices (ex-showroom Delhi)

Era: Rs 5,23,700

Magna: Rs 5,43,200

Sportz: Rs 5,82,600

Asta: Rs 6,41,600

Source: ET

Monday, September 2, 2013

Microsoft to buy Nokia's mobile phone business for $7.2 billion

Microsoft on Tuesday said it would buy Nokia's mobile phone business for 5.44 billion euros ($7.2 billion), and the Finnish firm said its CEO, Stephen Elop, would join Microsoft when the transaction closed.

Finland's Nokia, once the undisputed leader in mobile phones, has been struggling to respond to the challenge from smartphone makers such as Apple and Samsung.

ALSO SEE Steve Ballmer's email to Microsoft employees on the Nokia acquisition

Analysts say Elop's bold bet in 2011 to adopt Microsoft's untested Windows Phone software has yet to pay off.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014 and is subject to approval by Nokia's shareholders and regulatory approvals. Nokia partnered in 2011 with Microsoft and uses Microsoft's Windows software to run its mobile phones.

"It's a bold step into the future - a win-win for employees, shareholders and consumers of both companies," Microsoft's outgoing CEO, Steve Ballmer, said in a statement.

"Bringing these great teams together will accelerate Microsoft's share and profits in phones, and strengthen the overall opportunities for both Microsoft and our partners across our entire family of devices and services."

Nokia said in a statement it expected that Elop, along with senior executives Jo Harlow, Juha Putkiranta, Timo Toikkanen, and Chris Weber, would transfer to Microsoft when the deal was concluded. It did not say what roles they would take at Microsoft.

Nokia board chairman Risto Siilasmaa would take over CEO duties while the Finnish firm looked for a new CEO, it said.

Elop, a Canadian hired by Nokia in 2010 from Microsoft, has been one of the favourites to take over as Microsoft chief when Ballmer steps down. ($1 = 0.7582 euros).

Read more

Sunday, September 1, 2013

LG unveils pocket-sized G Pad 8.3 tablet

LG Electronics officially took the wraps off its much-rumored G Pad 8.3 tablet.

The electronics maker will debut the newest addition to its G series at IFA 2013 next week in Berlin, the company announced Sunday. The new tablet, which weighs less than a pound, will sport an 8.3-inch WUXGA display (1920x1200 pixels), a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 1.7Ghz quad-core processor, and a 4600mAh battery. It will also feature a 5MP rear-facing camera and a 1.3MP front-facing camera

The G Pad will ship with the Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2 operating system and feature 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. It will be available in black and white.

It's been more than a year since LG launched a new tablet, and the company said the G Pad 8.3 will build on the recent launch of the "LG G2 superphone, reinforcing LG's commitment to leadership in advanced mobile devices through its premium G Series products."

LG said the tablet will be rolled out in North America, Europe, Asia, and other key markets in the fourth quarter of 2013. The company did not reveal any details on pricing, but said it would be announced at launch time.

Source: cnet

Toyota Innova Facelift to be launched in September

Next month will be a busy one. Plenty of cars and even a couple of superbikes are being launched. The latest addition to the launch list in September could be the Toyota Innova Facelift. Last week, the 2014 Innova Facelift was launched in Indonesia and this very model could come to India next month.

2014 Toyota Innova facelift

So, what’s new in the Innova?

The pleasant design of the Innova might go for a toss with the facelifted model as the new design of the MPV looks very garish. A big splatter of chrome on the front grille, which is now bigger than ever, some more chrome around the fog lamps and a new bumper is what the facelifted Innova comes with.

The MPV also gets more chrome on the rear end with a big strip of chrome on the hatch door. Inside, the MPV gets a new infotainment console and better seats. Apart from these changes, the MPV is similar to the one that’s sold in our country currently.

2014 Toyota Innova facelift rear

The Innova is available with petrol and diesel engines. The diesel engined model is the top selling version of the MPV in India while corporate and petrol fleet-only buyers buy the petrol engined model. A 5 speed manual gearbox is what the Innova is offered with in India. The same set up will be retained in the new model also.

The Innova is the top seller in the MPV segment of India. Toyota will hope that the facelifted model also does well. The MPV’s competition comes from the Maruti Ertiga and the Mahindra Xylo. While the Ertiga is much cheaper priced and sells quite well, the Xylo comes in distant third place.

The USP of the Innova is the great reliability it is known for and the refined nature of the final product. This is why both cabbies and family MPV buyers love this vehicle. We like everything too, except the over chromed new looks. But India loves chrome, so the 2014 Innova might still be a hot seller.

2014 Toyota Innova interiors

Source: indiancarsbikes

Microsoft Could Have Invented the iPhone

It’s been more than a week since Steve Ballmer announced his intention to retire, and the blogosphere is still busy assessing his tenure as Microsoft CEO. In a response to a post by Asymco’s Horace Dediu, Daring Fireball’s John Gruber says:

Microsoft, in theory, could have produced the iPhone first — not the actual iPhone, of course, but the game-changing device that set the stage for the future where mobile is the primary computing platform for most people, most of the time. That wouldn’t have disrupted Microsoft’s lucrative existing businesses — or least not immediately.

In a previous post, I said that I thought that it was unlikely that Microsoft would ever have dominated mobile technology, for the simple reason that the tech company that dominates the old way of doing things rarely dominates the new way of doing things. But Gruber’s reference to the notion of Microsoft inventing the iPhone, or something very much like the iPhone, got me thinking.

At first, it’s a ludicrous notion. So many basic things about Microsoft’s character would seemingly have gotten in the way of creating something like the iPhone that envisioning how it might have seems pointless, like trying to devise a scenario in which Walt Disney directed Pulp Fiction.

And then it occurred to me: Ballmer’s Microsoft actually did invent something which was an awful lot like the iPhone in multiple major respects. It did so before the iPhone was announced, using a bunch of impressive technologies it developed itself. It came closer than I’d remembered to inventing the iPhone.

Oh, O.K., Microsoft’s invention was utterly unlike the iPhone in one critical way: It didn’t fit in your pocket. It was, in fact, huge. It was Microsoft Surface — not today’s tablet computer by that name, but the tabletop computing system which Steve Ballmer unveiled at the D conference in May, 2007.

The Surface table had a beautifully polished, fluid multi-touch user interface. While it ran on Windows Vista, it dumped the Windows interface altogether in favor of something more modern, intuitive and engaging. Microsoft’s demo apps included some of the same stuff that people like to do on iPhones, such as browse photos and play games.

Basically, if Microsoft had announced Surface a year or so after Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone, it would have been subject to an avalanche of snark about it being a Jumbotron-sized knockoff of Apple‘s product. Even though they both owed a considerable debt to concepts created by researchers such as Jeff Han, who did dazzling demosof multitouch interfaces before either the iPhone or Surface was released.

But Microsoft developed Surface concurrently with the iPhone. It showed it to journalists for the first time at a hush-hush briefing for journalists at CES in January, 2007, shortly before Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. (When I saw the iPhone, my immediate reaction was “Hey, neat — a pocket-sized Surface.”)

Surface’s technology involved a Windows PC, a DLP projector and multiple cameras which picked up the gestures you made on its touchscreen. It wasn’t cheap stuff, which is presumably why Microsoft’s initial plans involved using it for commercial applications in venues such as hotels, casinos and stores. As I wrote in Slate after the debut at the D conference, it seemed like a mind-numbingly prosaic fate for such a clever concept.

The product which Microsoft announced more than six years ago as Surface still exists, but I don’t think it’s being unfair to say it’s been a major disappointment. (I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen one in the wild, though I did spot one in a restuarant on the Microsoft campus when I attended the Xbox One launch earlier this year.) You know that a company has lost faith in something when it yanks its name to apply to something newer and sexier, as Microsoft did when it turned the Surface moniker over to its new tablets and redubbed the old Surface as PixelSense.

At a D conference cocktail party back in 2007, Bill Gates told a bunch of us fellow attendees that he thought that Surface-style computing would eventually be built into every desk, but it would be a slow process. He may still be proven right — products such as Lenovo’s Horizon are essentially consumerized versions of Surface, at price points which make them plausible for home use. But it may be telling that Lenovo had to devise its own tabletop-computing interface — Windows 8 isn’t designed for such applications.

Anyhow, when you try to envision Microsoft having made a Great Leap Forward in mobile computing before the iPhone came along, the obvious thought process involves assessing what Windows Mobile looked like at the time. It was unimaginative and, with its tiny Start button, backwards-looking. And Microsoft seemed to be reasonably pleased with it.

But Surface proved that the company knew exactly what the future of user interfaces would look like. The only things it got wrong were the scale of the device and the accessibility, pricewise, to consumers. The idea wasn’t destined to eventually show up inside every desk; it was going to be built into a sizable percentage of the world’s phones, starting almost immediately.

So if you want to imagine Microsoft inventing the iPhone, it’s easy. Just summon up a mental image of Microsoft researchers demoing Surface to Steve Ballmer while it was in its earliest stages of development. Then ask yourself: What would have happened if Ballmer had said “That’s fantastic — can we build it into something you can put in your pocket, and sell it at a profit for a few hundred dollars?”

Children's home running in inhuman conditions raided in Jaipur, 29 girls rescued

Over 600 empty liquor bottles, rotting vegetables in the store, one broken toilet and just one room. Such are the conditions that the police found 29 poor tribal girls living in when it rescued them in a raid at an illegal child home in Jaipur on Tuesday. Aged between five and 14, these girls were brought from the north east to Grace Home in the Rajasthan's capital with promises of education, food and care.

But in this institution, not only were the children never sent to school, no teacher ever visited them at the home. What's more shocking is that instead of a female warden, a 14-year-old boy was in charge here.

The children were not allowed to call their families; even their parents were also not allowed to call them. Belonging to poor Christian families, the parents had been promised food, education and lodging for their children at this Christian institution.

After one child died at this home, parents complained, and the Child Rights Commission, after surveying this home for a month, on Tuesday carried out a raid with the help of the police. 29 girls were rescued and the man who single-handedly ran this home, Jacob John, was taken into police custody. He is being questioned.

"They stay in the hall and study by themselves. The older children teach the younger ones... there is no female warden or domestic help to take care of them... no registration papers," said Deepak Kalra, Chairperson of Child Rights Commission, Rajasthan.

Grace Home was being run illegally and had no paperwork. All such institutions are meant to be registered with the government so that monitoring committees can oversee functions and check that children are being taken care of.

Neighbours say they never saw the children go out to play in the park in front of their home, which is a rented two-bedroom house in a colony in Jaipur.

Mr Jacob John, who ran the home, also runs a similar home for boys in another part of Jaipur. 15 young boys have been rescued from there.

The children have now been moved to different shelters in the city. They will undergo medical check-ups and counselling.

It is still not clear how Grace Home was funded, but pictures of smiling children with foreign volunteers on its notice board hint at foreign funding. The source of funding will also be investigated by the police.

Source: NDTV

Life Inside A Syrian Refugee Camp

In Za’atari, the dispossession is absolute. Everyone has lost his country, his home, his equilibrium. Most have lost a family member or a friend. What is left is a kind of theatrical pride, the necessary performance of will. Photograph by Moises Saman.
In Za’atari, the dispossession is absolute. Everyone has lost his country, his home, his equilibrium. Most have lost a family member or a friend. What is left is a kind of theatrical pride, the necessary performance of will. Photograph by Moises Saman.
Early on a summer morning in the Jordanian desert, driving along an empty road toward the Syrian border. A skeletal hound limps by the roadside. An old man selling melons and coffee slumps on a crate and watches the dog. It’s in the nineties already, and dust is everywhere. A gust picks up, and your lips are filmed with a gritty scum. After a few miles, signs start appearing for the crossings into Syria. In the villages here at night, you can sometimes hear the sounds of artillery fire thudding across the frontier; occasionally, a shell lands in Jordan. On the side of the road, in a shallow, sandy ravine, there’s a small Bedouin encampment. You can see a tent bearing the blue, sun-faded letters U.N.H.C.R.—the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. A five-hundred-dollar tent goes for around a hundred dollars on the black market.
We arrive in Za’atari, a village six miles east of the city of Mafraq. Until a year ago, there was nothing much in the vicinity: some modest brick mosques and schools, a Royal Jordanian Air Force base. Za’atari, one aid worker told me, had been little more than “sand, snakes, and scorpions.” The uprising in Syria, which began twenty-five miles away, in Dara’a, changed all that. The flow of refugees from Syria into Jordan reached such a point of emergency—thousands every night, evading sniper fire, crossing the frontier on foot—that Mafraq, to take just one city, doubled in size. Jordan, with a population of six million, many of them displaced Iraqis and Palestinians, could not go on absorbing limitless refugees. It became necessary to build a camp. During Ramadan last summer, the U.N.H.C.R., the Jordanians, and a laundry list of international aid organizations built and opened the Za’atari refugee camp in two weeks. One of the first things to be done was to overlay the sand with gravel, an expensive project intended to prevent sandstorms in summer and rivers of mud in the rainy winter. It didn’t really work. There were sandstorms. There was mud. The snakes and the scorpions remained.
We pull up to the camp gate. There’s a bustle of Royal Jordanian Army and police officers, honking cars, belching motorbikes, young boys pushing wheelbarrows and hawking cigarettes and vegetables, and even younger kids looking for something to do. An armored personnel carrier keeps watch at the gate. A soldier raps on our window. He leans in to check our documents and, after a hard, suspicious glance, waves us through.
When Za’atari opened, in July of 2012, its population numbered in the hundreds. By late August, it had fifteen thousand residents. Now that number is a hundred and twenty thousand—the population of Hartford, Connecticut, or Santa Clara, California. The main drag is on the western side of the camp, a boulevard of ramshackle shops, makeshift clinics, schools. The smells are city smells: sewage, sweat, cigarette smoke, eau de cologne, meat roasting on spits. The boulevard is known to the Syrians and the aid workers as the Champs-Élysées.
Since the revolt began in Syria, more than two years ago, the death count has passed a hundred thousand. In Za’atari, the dispossession is absolute. Everyone has lost his country, his home, his equilibrium. Most have lost a family member or a close friend to the war. What is left is a kind of theatrical pride, the necessary performance of will. “This place is a graveyard for camels,” a refugee in his thirties named Ahmed Bakar told me one morning. “Camels can’t even live here. But Syrians can.”
In every tent and trailer, there are stories of personal horror. On the eastern edge of the camp, in District 8, I called on a family of women. Fatima, a solidly built farmer in her fifties, asked me not to publish her real name or the name of her village. If I did, she said, the moment she returned home the Syrian Army would hunt her down and kill her—“and everyone I know.” She glared and pulled back her hijab just enough for me to see her gray hair. She told me how terrible it would be to “betray” a woman of her age. “So you promise, then?”
We sat on the floor of her broiling caravan, as the mobile-home trailers are called. She introduced her two daughters. Iman, who is twelve, sat by her side; she had lost most of her right leg. The elder daughter, Inas, is twenty-five; on her left leg, she wore a cast up to her knee. She had just had surgery for shrapnel wounds. For the first year of the war, the family had lived as before. Fatima and her husband and their children owned a small house in a village and tended their olive trees. They had food, electricity, running water. They were able to make a pilgrimage to Mecca. “We had a beautiful life,” Fatima said. The family’s relation to the politics of Damascus and the world beyond consisted precisely of what was expected of them: They had pledged allegiance to Hafez al-Assad, as they had been taught on television and in the schools, and, after the old man died, in 2000, they had high hopes for his son, Bashar. When Hezbollah engaged Israel in battle, in 2006, the family again followed the lead of Syrian television and pledged allegiance to Hezbollah. They had, she said, “no reason in the world” to expect that Bashar’s Army would turn his artillery on their village, or that Hezbollah, fighting the rebels in support of Bashar’s regime, would cross the border from Lebanon and threaten their lives.
One day this May, shells began falling on their fields, on the houses of the village. Fatima said, “My husband called me and told me to leave and go with my sons. They were in the eighth and fourth grade. They ran out fast, and I grabbed their shoes and ran after them. While I was running, a rocket came from behind and whistled over my head. Just like that!” She made a motion with her hand. “And then the rocket came in and hit! It exploded out ahead of me.”
After the explosion, Fatima realized that the rocket had struck her two sons and one of her neighbors. Fatima got up and saw the pile of bodies. “My neighbor’s body lay over my son. I lifted him off and there was my son with shrapnel sticking out of his back. And the other.”
Fatima wandered through the fields. Finally, she found her husband.
“Where are the boys?” he said.
“Your sons are dead,” she said.
The fierce, flat way that Fatima recounted her words to her husband left the sense that she was punishing him with the news and, now, punishing herself in the recollection.
Fatima’s husband and a third daughter are in Syria now, living in a neighboring village. He watches over their farmland and sheep. Fatima took her wounded daughters to Jordan mainly for the medical help. Like most other refugees, she depended on rebel fighters to get her across the border. The girls were treated at the Moroccan-Italian medical clinic in the camp. Fatima talks to her husband daily. He tells her that the shelling has grown worse. The war is more desperate. Still, she has every intention of returning. “Living in a tent in Syria is better than a mansion in Jordan,” she says.
One morning, I spent a couple of hours at a military surveillance outpost on the border which is run by Brigadier General Mohammed Al-Habashneh. Along the border, the Jordan Armed Forces, with assistance from the West, have set up a network of cameras with a fifty-kilometre range that survey refugee movements. Inside a snug, air-conditioned bungalow, we watched a series of screens: in real time, small groups of Syrians—women and children, mostly—hustle to the border fence. Sometimes the Syrian Army fires on them and the Jordanian soldiers watch Syrians die. The Jordanians cannot help them until they reach the border. Those who make it across are greeted with an I.D. check, juice, bread, blankets, and a medical exam. This is a bewildering experience. “When they see our military uniforms, they are afraid, some of them,” the General said. “Their Army is killing them. Our Army is giving them medication, water, and food.”
The refugees often deliver news from the war. One spoke about a group of refugees from Homs who had headed south for Jordan the previous week. They stopped for the night to sleep in an abandoned school. They used their cell phones to call relatives elsewhere in Syria and Jordan. The Syrian Army used the calls to locate them and then bombed the school.
Historically, Syrians are accustomed to receiving refugees: Circassians, Armenians, Palestinians, Iraqis, Somalis. Now the Syrians are the ones being forced into exile. Since the war began, more than four million Syrians have been internally displaced, and more than a million and a half have fled the country, mainly to Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Iraq. Some have gone by boat to Egypt, hoping to blend in with a bigger population; a few have made it to the Gulf; some have gone as far as Cuba and Brazil. But Jordan has borne the greatest proportion of the burden. Given the size of its population, one high-ranking Jordanian official told me, the scale of the influx is equivalent to thirty-three million Canadians or Mexicans entering the United States. And many officials think that the number of Syrian refugees in Jordan could double by the end of the year. A new camp called Azraq is being built to the east of the industrial city of Zarqa; it is intended to hold as many as a hundred and thirty thousand refugees.
More than ninety per cent of the refugees in Za’atari are from Dara’a; that is, they are either from the towns and villages of Dara’a province, a region of just under a million people, or from the city of Dara’a, the provincial capital, which has a population of eighty thousand. These southern refugees are generally more rural, less educated, and less prosperous than those from northern cities like Aleppo, who tend to go to Lebanon and Turkey.
The rebels consider Dara’a a kind of hero city, because it is where the Syrian uprising began. In March, 2011, the security police arrested fifteen boys, ranging in age from ten to fifteen, for spray-painting anti-regime slogans around town. They’d got the idea from watching on television the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. After the fall of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, in Tunisia, and Hosni Mubarak, in Egypt, they wrote, “It’s your turn, doctor”—a taunt directed at Bashar al-Assad, who was trained as an ophthalmologist in London. On March 18th, after Friday prayers at al-Omari Mosque, in Dara’a, thousands of people marched, demanding the boys’ release. The marchers were met with water cannons and tear gas, and then with live fire. Four people were killed. Soon after, the boys were let go. They were in terrible shape, their faces swollen, their bodies bruised. Bashar’s televised attempt to address the grievances of the people of Dara’a elicited general disdain. As the demonstrations in the area intensified, so did the repressive tactics of the government’s forces. In those early days, rallies typically began with men, women, and children carrying olive branches and chanting for freedom and the fall of the regime. The Army nevertheless opened fire, killing hundreds of unarmed civilians.
By late April, Bashar’s forces were laying siege to Dara’a, forbidding people to leave their homes. The Army cut off electricity, water, supplies, and communications, staged executions, and dug mass graves on the outskirts of the city. Shops and pharmacies were set aflame. There were mass arrests, and widespread and well-verified reports of torture and abuse: Tasers, electric batons, the rack, food and sleep deprivation. Demonstrations, and subsequent crackdowns, spread north to larger towns and cities, including Homs and Hama, where, in 1982, Hafez al-Assad’s Army had slaughtered tens of thousands of Syrians to crush an uprising led by the Muslim Brotherhood. The exodus began.
One afternoon, I went to a tiny transit camp along the Syrian border. There were several trailers, a small command post, and some Jordanian soldiers. The officer in charge walked with me around the border. I tossed a pebble into Dara’a province. The soldiers brought the new arrivals to the transit camp and let them rest—men and boys in one trailer; women and girls in another—before moving them on to Za’atari.
I climbed into the caravan for men and boys. There was no furniture inside, just a linoleum floor, on which about thirty refugees sat. They appeared dazed, heat-stricken, yet many of them wore what seemed like all the clothes they had—shirts, sweaters, jackets.
The oldest man among them was named Ahmed Al-Atma. He was heavyset and sun-baked, with deep creases in his face and neck; his eyes were rheumy, and they wandered. He said that he was forty-eight. He lived in Sanamayn, a town north of Dara’a on the road to Damascus. In the twelfth century, the Crusader king of Jerusalem and the Muslim governor of Damascus signed a peace accord there. Now Sanamayn was known as one of the focal points of the first modern Syrian revolution. This did not give Ahmed any sense of historical pride. “I worked as a taxi-driver, but the Army bombed my car,” he said. “There was nothing else to do but flee.”
According to Ahmed, and to the murmurs of agreement in the trailer, the Syrian Army came into town more than two years ago, with fifteen tanks and hundreds of troops. His older brother died in the fighting. “Like everyone, I carried olive branches two years ago in demonstrations,” he said. “The first five times, we were allowed to protest—for freedom. There was nothing said about Bashar al-Assad. We wanted reforms and freedom.” No one has brandished an olive branch, on either side, in a long time.
Then Ahmed told me a story that has become, at least for the people of Dara’a, part of the revolution’s creation myth. When one of the mothers of the boys who had been arrested appealed to Atef Najib, the head of security services in Dara’a and a cousin of Bashar’s, he replied, “If your kids are disloyal to Bashar, the Army will fuck your women, and we will raise children who are loyal to him.” In the days to come, I heard this story a dozen times from the refugees of Dara’a.
A younger man named Misleh Awad interrupted. He said that he had worked in a market and had taken part in the street demonstrations in Dara’a. The security forces “grabbed me up off the street. They said, ‘We want to talk to you for five minutes.’ ” Misleh said that he was hustled off to prison. “They beat me all the time. They hanged me from my feet and beat me with a truncheon. I was released a month after the last time they tortured me, so there were no marks. These guys know what they’re doing when it comes to torture.” Misleh rolled up his sleeves to show me pockmarks on his shoulders and chest like chicken-pox scars. “They poured all kinds of garbage on me,” he said. “I don’t know why they released me. I think they just got bored of beating me.”
The walk from Dara’a to the border usually takes a couple of days; sometimes refugees come carrying other refugees—the elderly, the disabled—on their shoulders, in chairs. A wheelchair does not glide easily across sand and ravines. But Misleh lived near the border, and he was on his own. The trek took him only four hours. His wife and daughter had left while he was in jail. They were waiting for him now at the refugee camp in Za’atari.