Citizens' Issues
Govt announces list of 98 smart cities; 10 from Maharashtra
The list includes 24 business and industrial centres, 24 capitals, 18 cultural and tourism cities and five port cities. While 64 small and medium category cities made to the list nine capitals fail to be selected
 
Union Urban Development minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday announced the list of 98 cities nominated for the Smart City Mission, saying a population of 13 crore across these cities will be covered under the initiative.
 
"There are 13 cities from Uttar Pradesh, 12 from Tamil Nadu, 10 from Maharashtra, seven from Madhya Pradesh, three each from Bihar and Andhra Pradesh included in the list," Naidu told media persons at an interaction in Delhi. 
 
The Minister informed that nine capital cities, Itanagar, Patna, Shimla, Bengaluru, Daman, Thiruvananthapuram, Puducherry, Gangtok and Kolkata failed to be selected and this goes to prove that the smart city selection was not influenced by the stature or importance of the cities.
 
Naidu said that with the selection of almost all the cities under the Smart Cities Mission, all the selected cities will have to prepare city level Smart City Plans and these will be evaluated in the second stage of competition based on a broad set of criteria to pick up the top scoring 20 cities for financing during this financial year. Funds may be released to these 20 cities by the end of this year, he said. Others will be asked to improve upon the identified deficiencies before participating in the next two rounds of competition.
 
Those cities to be selected in the second stage of competition would be provided with central assistance of Rs200 crore in the first year followed by Rs100 crore each year during the next three years, the Minister informed.
 
From Maharashtra, Navi Mumbai, Nashik, Thane, Greater Mumbai, Amravati, Solapur, Nagpur, Kalyan-Dombivali, Aurangabad, Pune are included in the Smart City scheme. 
 
Here is the list of states and number of cities that have been nominated by the government:
1. Andaman and Nicobar Islands 1 (Port Blair)
2. Andhra Pradesh 3 (Vishakhapatnam, Tirupati, Kakinada)
3. Arunachal Pradesh 1 (Pasighat)
4. Assam 1 (Guwahati)
5. Bihar 3 (Muzaffarpur, Bhagalpur, Biharsharif)
6. Chandigarh 1
7. Chhattisgarh 2 (Raipur, Bilaspur)
8. Dadra and Nagar Haveli 1 (Silvassa)
9. Daman and Diu 1 (Diu)
10. Delhi 1 (NDMC)
11. Goa 1 (Panaji)
12. Gujarat 6 (Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Dahod)
13. Haryana 2 (Karnal Faridabad)
14. Himachal Pradesh 1 (Dharamshala)
15. Jharkhand 1 (Ranchi)
16. Karnataka 6 (Mangaluru, Belagavi, Shivamogga, Hubballi-Dharwad, Tumakuru, Davanegere)
17. Kerala 1 (Kochi)
18. Lakshadweep 1 (Kavarrati)
19. Madhya Pradesh 7 (Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur, Gwalior, Sagar, Satna, Ujjain)
20. Maharashtra 10 (Navi Mumbai, Nashik, Thane, Greater Mumbai, Amravati, Solapur, Nagpur, Kalyan-Dombivali, Aurangabad, Pune )
21. Manipur 1 (Imphal)
22. Meghalaya 1 (Shillong)
23. Mizoram 1 (Aizawl)
24. Nagaland 1 (Kohima)
25. Odisha 2 (Bhubaneshwar, Raurkela)
26. Puducherry 1 (Oulgaret)
27. Punjab 3 (Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar)
28. Rajasthan 4 (Jaipur, Udaipur, Kota, Ajmer)
29. Sikkim 1 (Namchi)
30. Tamil Nadu 12 (Tiruchirapalli, Chennai, Tiruppur, Coimbatore, Vellore, Salem, Erode,  Thanjavur, Tirunelveli, Dindigul, Madurai, Thoothukudi)
31. Telangana 2 (Greater Hyderabad, Greater Warangal)
32. Tripura 1 (Agartala)
33. Uttar Pradesh 13 (Moradabad, Aligarh, Saharanpur, Bareilly, Jhansi, Kanpur, Allahabad, Lucknow, Varanasi, Ghaziabad, Agra, Rampur)
34. Uttarakhand 1 (Dehradun)
35. West Bengal 4 (New Town Kolkata, Bidhannagar, Durgapur, Haldia)
 
Jammu & Kashmir has sought more time to decide upon names for the Smart City Mission.
 
"Smart cities need smart people. We need people's co-operation to move forward in our mission," he added.
 
The central government proposes to give financial support to the extent of Rs48,000 crore to these cities over the next five years, Naidu said.
 
"Around 13 crore population across 98 cities will be covered under the Smart City Mission. Making them smart will make them engines of economic growth besides giving decent life to the citizens".
 
The minister said the prime motive of the initiative was to enhance urban life. A smart city would ensue core infrastructure needed for decent living in urban areas. We are not aiming at making our urban landscape look fanciful and flashy. The prime objective is to enhance the quality of urban life by addressing deficiencies in core infrastructure. Expectations in various quarters may be high but the Mission is very practical and realistic in its intentions and objectives,” Naidu added.

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US FDA: Where's the Mayo in Just Mayo?
My oh mayo. Class action against eggless vegan spread resurfaces allegations of false advertising
 
My oh mayo. What ingredients does mayonnaise have to have to be considered real mayonnaise? 
 
The FDA has an answer for that and has issued a warning letter to Hampton Creek for its Just Mayo brand.
 
In its August letter to the company, the FDA, among other issues, said the product does not qualify as mayonnaise, since it doesn’t contain eggs, and its name and imagery of an egg used on the label is misleading. The product, said the FDA, also contains additional ingredients not permitted in mayonnaise.
 
The agency also warned the company that its “cholesterol free” claim and implied heart health claims are not substantiated because of the levels of fat in the product.
 
Hampton Creek is also facing a complaint brought by Unilever, the food giant and maker of Hellmann’s, which filed a lawsuit last October against the company. The suit contended that Hampton Creek falsely advertises Just Mayo as mayonnaise because it does not contain any eggs.
 
Also, a class-action lawsuit alleges: “Despite its name, Just Mayo does not contain mayonnaise and is not mayonnaise at all.”
 
Unilever withdrew its lawsuit in December amid counter allegations over inaccurate mayonnaise advertising on its own website.
 
The class action, however, takes up Hellmann’s previous arguments that the FDA defines mayonnaise as a product that contains eggs and that without eggs, Just Mayo “does not perform like real mayonnaise when it is heated.” The class action also alleges false labeling via the prominent image of an egg on the Just Mayo jar.
 
When Unilever withdrew its suit, the company said it decided to pull the complaint “so that Hampton Creek can address its label directly with industry groups and appropriate regulatory authorities.” At the time, Hampton Creek CEO Josh
Tetrick told TINA.org that there were no plans to change labeling, adding that he understood the FDA’s definition for mayonnaise and that’s in part why the spread is named Just Mayo.
 
The class action notes that the word “mayonnaise” has recently been removed from a section of the company’s website that used to state:
 
Just Mayo is an outrageously delicious mayonnaise that’s better for your body, for your wallet, and for the planet. It’s a piece of the philosophy to make the good thing a little easier.
 
The suit seeks monetary damages in excess of $5 million for consumers who bought Just Mayo thinking that it met the FDA’s definition of mayonnaise, insomuch as it contained eggs.
 
In the meantime, if you find yourself shopping for mayonnaise soon, you might want to check the label to see whether the product is the FDA-definition kind of mayo, or the vegan kind. After all, you don’t want to get yoked into buying something you don’t want.
 
Click here for more of our coverage on sandwich-related products.
 
This story was originally published in November 2014 and updated. 
 
Courtesy: TruthInAdvertising.org 

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Activists in US Pursue Private Abortion Details Using Public Records Laws
Across the country, those who support abortion rights and those who oppose them are feuding in court over how much information should be disclosed about women undergoing abortions
 
This story was co-published with the Washington Post.
 
A few years back, Jonathan Bloedow filed a series of requests under Washington state’s Public Records Act asking for details on pregnancies terminated at abortion clinics around the state.
 
For every abortion, he wanted information on the woman’s age and race, where she lived, how long she had been pregnant and how past pregnancies had ended. He also wanted to know about any complications, but he didn’t ask for names. This is all information that Washington’s health department, as those in other states, collects to track vital statistics.
 
Bloedow, 43, isn’t a public health researcher, a traditional journalist or a clinic owner. He’s an anti-abortion activist who had previously sued Planned Parenthood, accusing the group of overcharging the government for contraception.
 
“There are stories in the data that bring home the reality of what these people do,” Bloedow, a software engineer, said in an email. “Any good investigator knows that when you’re dealing with hard-core criminals, if you ‘keep crawling through their garbage’ some evidence of criminality and corruption will turn up.”
 
The health department had already given him data for one provider, he said, and was on the verge of turning over more information when Planned Parenthood and other clinics sued, arguing that releasing the records would violate health department rules and privacy laws.
 
The legal skirmish, and others like it nationwide, reveal a quiet evolution in the nation’s abortion battle. Increasingly, abortion opponents are pursuing personal and medical information on women undergoing abortions and the doctors who perform them. They often file complaints with authorities based on what they learn.
 
Abortion opponents insist their tactics are generally not aimed at identifying women who have abortions but to uncover incidents involving patients who may have been harmed by poor care or underage girls who may have been sexually abused. They say they are trying to prevent situations such as the one involving Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted in 2013 of murdering three babies after botched abortions and of involuntary manslaughter in the death of a woman.
 
“This is about saving the lives of women,” said Cheryl Sullenger, senior policy adviser for the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, which is based in Wichita, Kansas. “A lot of people don’t understand that. It’s a systemic problem within the abortion industry today for abortion providers to cut corners on patient care.”
 
But those who support abortion rights say the ultimate aim of these activists is to reduce abortions by intimidating women and their doctors — using the loss of privacy as a weapon. They say their opponents are amassing a wealth of details that could be used to identify patients — turning women, and their doctors, into pariahs or even targets. In a New Mexico case, a woman’s initials and where she lived became public as part of an investigation triggered by a complaint from activists.
 
“I don’t think there’s any margin for error here,” said Laura Einstein, chief legal counsel of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands, which challenged Bloedow’s request. “These women came to a private health center to have a private health procedure, and that’s just not anybody’s business.”
 
In recent years, abortion opponents have become experts at accessing public records such as recordings of 911 calls, autopsy reports and documents from state health departments and medical boards, then publishing the information on their websites.
 
Some activists have dug through clinics’ trash to find privacy violations by abortion providers — such as patient records tossed in dumpsters — and used them to… Continue Reading…
 
Courtesy: ProPublica
 

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