Special issue on HWPL Chairman Man Hee Lee’s peace movement released
By Deepak Arora
SEOUL, July 28: A special issue containing the peace movement and evidence from the past eight years of HWPL, an international peace organization associated with the UN Department of Global Communications (DGC) and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), has been released in English.
The 64-page special issue focuses on the major achievements in the peace movement of Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL. It gives an in-depth introduction about the Mindanao Peace Agreement in the Philippines; the background of proclaiming the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) which is composed of 10 articles and 38 clauses for sustainable peace in the international community; and the "DPCW support letter" of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP).
At the same time, it features the messengers of peace in the global community, who work with HWPL to take the lead in achieving world peace.
The special issue was first published in a Korean daily newspaper Cheonji Ilbo.
An official from Cheonji Ilbo stressed and highlighted that it is “an important source for world peace”. He also said, "If you see the news of Chairman Man Hee Lee’s peace movement, I hope you will join in making sustainable peace."
Mr. Man Hee Lee works internationally for ‘cessation of war’. He was a Korean War veteran and suffered devastation from the war. He regrets the innocent deaths of young people who died in the war, and is actively engaged in activities to realize the international law of peace and harmony between religions.
Despite turning 90 years old this year, he continued the peace movement by issuing the “HWPL Statement on Human Rights Crisis in Myanmar” in April 2021. So far, he has visited 49 countries through 31 World Peace Tours to awaken a sense of peace in the global community.
The theme of the first English article in the special issue is the story of leading a civilian peace agreement in 2014 in Mindanao, Philippines, a region that suffered the bloody Catholic-Islamic conflict that lasted 40 years, killing 120,000 people. Chairman Lee, who led this agreement, became known to the international community.
Sir Richard Branson rockets to the edge of space
NEW MEXICO, July 11: Billionaire Sir Richard Branson has successfully reached the edge of space on board his Virgin Galactic rocket plane.
The UK entrepreneur flew high above New Mexico in the US in the vehicle that his company has been developing for 17 years.
The trip was, he said, the "experience of a lifetime".
He returned safely to Earth just over an hour after leaving the ground.
"I have dreamt of this moment since I was a kid, but honestly nothing can prepare you for the view of Earth from space," he said in a press conference following the flight. "The whole thing was just magical."
The trip also makes him the first of the new space tourism pioneers to try out their own vehicles, beating Amazon's Jeff Bezos and SpaceX's Elon Musk.
The height reached by Sir Richard in the rocket plane, known as Unity, was 85km (282,000ft; 53 miles).
The businessman was accompanied on the mission by the vehicle's two pilots, Dave Mackay and Michael Masucci, and three Galactic employees - Beth Moses, Colin Bennett and Sirisha Bandla.
The latter trio and Sir Richard were presented with commercial astronaut wings after the flight by former space station commander and Canadian astronaut, Chris Hadfield.
Sir Richard billed the flight as a test of the space tourism experience he expects to begin selling to customers from next year.
Some 600 individuals have already paid deposits for tickets that will cost them up to $250,000 (£180,000).
These are all people who want to reach a height where they can see the sky turn black and marvel at the Earth's horizon as it curves away into the distance. Such a flight should also afford them about five minutes of weightlessness during which they will be allowed to float around inside Unity's cabin.
It's been a long road for Sir Richard to get to this point. He first announced his intention to make a space plane in 2004, with the belief he could start a commercial service by 2007.
But technical difficulties, including a fatal crash during a development flight in 2014, have made the space project one of the most challenging ventures of his career.
Space tourism is a sector being rekindled after a decade's hiatus, and it's about to get very competitive.
Throughout the 2000s, seven wealthy individuals paid to visit the International Space Station (ISS). But this adventurism, organised under the patronage of the Russian space agency, ceased in 2009.
Now, new initiatives abound. As well as Sir Richard's approach, there are projects coming from Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos and the California tech entrepreneur Elon Musk.
The Russians, too, are reprising their commercial flights to the ISS, and there are even those who want to launch private space stations for people to visit. Among these is Axiom, a company started by a former Nasa ISS programme manager.
Elon Musk travelled to New Mexico to support his friend, and following the flight Bezos sent his congratulations.
On Friday, the retail billionaire's Blue Origin space company had issued a tweet that took a pop at Virgin Galactic's Unity vehicle. The posting repeated a claim that anyone who flew on the rocket plane would forever have an asterisk by their name because they wouldn't reach the "internationally recognised" altitude for where space begins - the so-called Kármán line of 100km.
The US government has always recognised the boundary of space to be at about 80km (50 miles) and it awards astronaut wings to anyone who exceeds this altitude. Before Sunday, only 580 people had ever been above this height.
Unity is a sub-orbital vehicle. This means it can't achieve the velocity and altitude necessary to keep it up in space to circle the globe.
The vehicle is designed to give its passengers stunning views at the top of its climb and allow them a few minutes to experience weightlessness.
Unity is first carried by a much bigger aeroplane to an altitude of about 15km (50,000ft), where it is released.
A rocket motor in the back of Unity then ignites to blast the ship skyward.
The maximum height achievable by Unity is roughly 90km (55 miles, or 295,000ft). Passengers are allowed to unbuckle to float to a window.
Unity folds its tailbooms on descent to stabilise its fall before then gliding home.
Woman shoots husband dead; court declares her free: see why
PARIS, July 10: A French woman, who admitted to killing her husband after nearly two decades of abuse, left the court as a free woman after the court decided to release her on Friday.
According to CNN, Valerie Bacot was sentenced to four years in prison, with three of those years suspended. She was released because she had already spent a year in prison, Bacot's lawyer, Nathalie Tomasini, said outside the Chalon-sur-Saone court in France.
Bacot's ordeal had reportedly appalled many in France. She left the court to loud applause from well-wishers.
"I would like to thank the court and all the support that I've had from everyone. Now is the time for a new fight for all the other women and all the mistreatments," Bacot told journalists, adding that she was "rather emptied mentally and physically".
"This woman will go back to her children tonight. For me that is a huge victory," Tomasini added.
Bacot had admitted to shooting Daniel Polette in 2016. Polette had started raping her when she was only 12 or 13, CNN reported citing court documents.
At that time he was her mother's boyfriend; he later became Bacot's husband and father of their four children. She previously referred to him as her stepfather before they married.
Earlier on Friday, Bacot had fainted with apparent shock and relief after hearing the sentence sought against her by prosecutors would mean she would walk free. She was facing a life sentence for shooting Polette dead.
In her bestselling book "Tout Le Monde Savait" ("Everyone Knew"), published in May, Bacot, 40, said Polette, 25 years her senior, first raped her when she was 12 years old, impregnated her at 17 and went on to abuse her over the course of 18 years.
"I simply wanted to protect myself. Protect my life, the life of my children. In my eyes, nothing else ever mattered," she wrote in her autobiography.
In her book, Bacot said that killing Polette was the only way to protect herself and her children from a man who had made her life "hell" from the time he first raped her until she shot him dead in 2016.
Everyone knew that Polette was violent, Bacot wrote in her book, in which she recounted how Polette, who was her mother's partner , abused her for years. However, Bacot's mother Joelle Aubague defended herself in court on Wednesday, saying it "all happened behind her back," CNN reported quoting French media.
Bacot became pregnant at the age of 17, and Polette installed her in a flat with him, according to court documents.
A spokesperson for Bacot's support group, Florian Maily, told CNN that support for Bacot started locally by word of mouth, but quickly expanded across France, and then Europe.
"I think that what touches people is that this is completely horrific. This story is really shocking and abnormal, but at the same time it touches upon the societal issues that we are aware of: incest, or MeToo, and others," said Maily.
This case was very similar to that of Jacqueline Sauvage, a French woman sentenced to 10 years in prison after fatally shooting her abusive husband in 2012 — just one day after their son took his own life.
Sauvage was pardoned in 2016 by then-President Francois Hollande and freed from prison.
Doyen of Ayurveda Dr P K Warrier dies at 100
KOTTAKAL, July 10: Dr P K Warrier, who popularised Ayurveda, died in Kerala’s Kottakal on Saturday a month after celebrating his 100th birthday on June 8, his family said. Decorated with the country’s third and fourth highest civilian awards -Padma Bhushan in 2010 and Padma Shri in 1999 - Warrier was also a freedom fighter. He was known as a connoisseur of arts, an author and a teacher.
Warrier remained the managing trustee of Kottakal Aryavaidya Sala till his death. He took over the family-run company at a young age and made Aryavadiya Sala a well-known brand.
The youngest of six siblings, Warrier was born in 1921. He joined the freedom movement while he was still in college. He dropped out to join the Quit India movement on Mahatma Gandhi’s call in the 1940s. Warrier later grew closer to the Communist movement before quitting politics to take care of the family business.
He became a trustee of the Aryavaidya Sala, founded by his uncle in 1902, at 24. He was the in-charge of its medicine-making unit and later became the managing trustee of the group after his elder brother, P M Warrier, died in an air crash in 1953.
P K Warrier, who is survived by his two children, treated patients till the Covid-19 pandemic struck. He was also infected and later recovered from Covid-19, his family said.
Warrier is known to have been instrumental in modernising the packaging of Ayurveda medicines, which were earlier available in the forms of kashayam (concoction) and choornam (herbal powder). He helped develop its tablet and tonic forms. An authority on medicinal plants and herbs, he also set up an R&D unit in the 1960s to help modernise the traditional form of medicine.
When he took over, the firm’s turnover was ₹9 lakh. It is now over ₹500 crore, and the firm has branches in almost all major cities of the country. The firm runs five major hospitals, an R&D centre, two medicine factories, 1500 retail outlets and two herbal gardens.
The firm was instrumental in making rejuvenation therapy famous and attracted many film stars and leaders to Kottakal, which has become synonymous with Ayurveda.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan, and chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan condoled Warrier’s death.
“His contribution to popularise Ayurveda will always be remembered,” Modi tweeted.
Khan said as a physician, Warrier was committed to the scientific pursuit of Ayurveda. “He will be remembered for the matchless contribution to the modernisation of Ayurveda,” said Khan.
Vijayan said Warrier was instrumental in taking ancient science to global fame. “From the heads of the state to the poor, he treated everyone on par.”
Dilip Kumar, Bollywood's 'tragedy king', dies at 98
MUMBAI, July 7: Thespian Dilip Kumar’s has passed away at the age of 98 and has left a void in cinema and a huge body of work behind, for future filmmakers and actors to learn from. The actor was laid to rest at Juhu Qabarastan in Mumbai with full state honours on Wednesday evening.
Popularly known as the ‘Tragedy King’ of Bollywood, Kumar was known as a method actor who was never limited to genres. In a career spanning more than five decades, the prolific legend was part of comedies, dramas, romance, and so on.
Some of his best known films include Aan, Daag, Devdas, Madhumati, Azaad, Mughal-e-Azam, Gunga Jamuna, Kranti, Karma, Ram Aur Shyam, among others.
For his contribution to cinema, Dilip Kumar was conferred with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India’s highest award in the artform. He also received the Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award of the country.
Along with Shah Rukh Khan, he held the record for winning the most Filmfare Awards in the Best Actor category: 8. He also won the inaugural trophy in the same category in 1954.
Personalities from cinema, politics and sports paid tributes to Dilip Kumar. Here are all the wishes and obituaries pouring in for the icon.