Indian defense minister backs new Kerala Channel

Updated 13 February 2013
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Indian defense minister backs new Kerala Channel

Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony launched “Media One” news and entertainment channel during a colorful ceremony here on Sunday and pledged all support for Media One’s efforts to promote communal harmony in the country.
“I welcome the new baby of Madhyamam family and I wish every success to the new channel,” the minister said while commending the channel’s corporate slogan that it would stand for truth and goodness.
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Opposition leader VS Achuthamenon, Industry Minister P.K. Kunhalikutty, and businessmen Galfar Muhammad Ali, Dr. Asad Moopan and PV Abdul Wahab joined the ceremony attended by more than 100,000 people from across the state.
In his keynote address, Antony urged Media One and its management to stand for truth, even if it is difficult. “There is big competition in the visual media world but I wish Media One every success as I believe that it should not fail,” he added.
Madhyamam Group Chairman T. Arifali, who presided over the function, said: “Our dream is to make Media One a number one channel not only in India but in the world. We are working hard to realize this objective with the support of the Almighty and the general public.”
Chief Minister Chandy inaugurated the opening ceremony and advised the media not to create news in their drive to get more viewers and readers. Achuthanandan opened the channel’s headquarters building while Kunhalikutty opened its news studio. Culture Minister KC Joseph inaugurated the channel’s website, Galfar Muhammad Ali its program studio and cinema director Rangit its signature music.
A large number of prominent personalities from all communities and political parties attended the ceremony. This is the first news channel from Calicut and a silver jubilee gift from Madhyamam group.


FBI to help probe into Ethiopia rally blast

Updated 11 min 21 sec ago
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FBI to help probe into Ethiopia rally blast

ADDIS ABABA: The US is sending the FBI to help investigate a grenade attack in Addis Ababa which killed two people at a rally addressed by Ethiopia’s reformist prime minister, state media said Monday.
“The US government said it will send FBI experts to investigate Saturday’s bomb blast at a rally organized to support [the] reform agendas of Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed,” state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate said.
A spokesman for the US embassy in Addis Ababa confirmed the FBI’s involvement.
On Monday, an AFP photographer saw four people who did not appear to be Ethiopian combing the site of the blast while a US embassy vehicle was parked nearby.
Thirty people have so far been arrested over the attack that took place as Abiy concluded a speech promoting his reformist policies before a crowd of hundreds of thousands in the capital’s Meskel Square.
Saturday’s explosion sparked panic in the crowd, resulting in a stampede and more than 150 injuries.
There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack.
Rally organizer Seyoum Teshome earlier told AFP he saw police scuffle with a person attempting to hurl a grenade at the stage Abiy had spoken from.
Nine officers have also been arrested for negligence, including the deputy commissioner of the Addis Ababa police.
Since taking office in April, 42-year-old former cabinet minister and army officer Abiy has initiated unprecedented reforms that have been broadly welcomed but have upset the status quo.
He has released jailed journalists and opponents, agreed to cede contested territory to Eritrea, admitted that security forces tortured dissidents and begun to open up the state-controlled economy.
These moves have boosted his popularity among Ethiopians.
But it remains unclear how much support he has within the secretive ruling Ethiopia People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition, which wields absolute power in Ethiopia.