The world’s most wanted terrorist has been killed in a mansion outside Islamabad; the US President has officially announced the death
Washington: The world's most wanted terrorist, Osama bin Laden, known as the mastermind behind the worst-ever terror attack on US soil, has been killed and his body recovered by American authorities in Pakistan, media reports said today, reports PTI.
In a televised address, US President Obama officially confirmed the death of the terrorist. "I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who's responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children," said the President.
Mr Obama said, "We must also reaffirm that the United States is not and never will be at war with Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader. He was a mass murderer of Muslims."
The US President also called the Pakistani President, Asif Ali Zardari, after the US operation was over and told him that this was a "good and historic day for both of the nations."
"Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth and power but because of who we are," Mr Obama said.
Osama bin Laden created and funded the al Qaeda terror network. The Saudi exile had been on the run since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan overthrew the ruling Taliban regime, which had harboured bin Laden.
Osama had survived many attempts by US and other forces including one at the Tora Bora mountains in Afghanistan, with certain reports in the past claiming that he had been killed or had died of complications due to acute diabetes, but he resurfaced later.
He had also taunted the US and other forces, sending out recorded video and audio clips threatening to carry out more vicious attacks on American and other targets.
It is believed that the United States has the body of bin Laden, according to US officials.
He was killed in an operation carried out by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Pakistan. CNN reported that bin Laden was killed in a mansion outside Islamabad and not in the tribal regions of Pakistan, where he was earlier believed to be hiding. Another report said that it was not a drone operation, but a human operation.
Further details of the US operations are not yet known. The reported death of the Saudi-born extremist comes weeks ahead of the scheduled withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan in July.
Bin Laden, 54, who created and funded the al Qaeda terror network, was accused of being behind a number of atrocities, including the attacks on New York and Washington on 11 September 2001.
Fearing a backlash, various American diplomatic missions have been put on high alert.
A huge crowd gathered outside the White House to celebrate the death of America's most wanted man.
Osama was suspected of playing large roles in the 1998 bombings of two US embassies in Africa and the attack on the USS Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden in October 2000.
The Saudi exile had been on the run since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan overthrew the ruling Taliban regime, which harboured bin Laden.
Born in 1957, bin Laden was a son of Saudi Arabia's wealthiest construction magnate.
According to Pakistani TV channels, a helicopter crashed near Abbottabad city in northwest Pakistan during an operation by US special forces that had resulted in the killing of Osama.
The military helicopter burst into flames after crashing into the compound of a house near Bilal Town area near Abbottabad, a short distance from the Pakistan Military Academy, the channels reported.
Two other helicopters participated in the operation during which some persons were killed and several foreign nationals, including women and children, were detained, the channels quoted sources as saying.
There was no official word on these developments.
Several news channels beamed grainy footage of a burning helicopter on the empty lawn of the compound near Abbottabad, surrounded by security forces.
They also beamed footage of the home, set amidst agricultural fields, surrounded by Pakistani troops this morning.
Pashto-language Khyber TV channel reported that a helicopter shelled a house after suspected militants fired at it.
Local residents told the media they had seen helicopters flying over the area hours after the operation.
Moneylife will bring you further updates as the story unfolds.
Nervousness ahead of the RBI credit policy tomorrow will keep investors on their guard
The Indian market is expected to open in the positive terrain on support from its global peers. But nervousness will prevail ahead of the Reserve Bank of India’s monetary policy due on Tuesday. Wall Street closed with gains on Friday on good earnings reports and economic data. Most markets in Asia are closed today for a local holiday, but those that are open were in the green in early trade on Monday. The SGX Nifty was 20.50 points higher at 5,733 compared to its previous close of 5,752.50.
Among corporates, Ceat, Godrej Consumer, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, Marico, NDTV and South Indian Bank will announce their quarterly numbers today.
Last week the market closed with a loss of 2%, in contrast to the gains in the previous week. Overall for April, the Sensex was down 2% and the Nifty 1% compared to gains of 9% in March. A revival of inflation and concerns over lower revenue forecasts by corporates weighed on investors.
The Sensex closed the week down 466 points at 19,136 and the Nifty was 135 points lower at 5,750. The market will see an upward movement only if the Nifty is able to cross 5,800.
The US markets gain further strength on Friday on good earnings reports and positive economic data. Caterpillar, the world’s largest mining and construction equipment maker reported a huge gain in the first quarter and also raised sales and profit forecast for the year. In economic news, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index of US consumer sentiment rose in April to 69.8 from 67.5 in March. A separate report from the Conference Board recently showed that consumers’ confidence recovered somewhat in April as inflation expectations eased.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 47.23 points (0.37%) to close at 12,810.54. The S&P 500 gained 3.13 points (0.23%) at 1,363.61 and the Nasdaq added 1.01 points (0.04%) to 2,873.54.
Markets in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan are closed for a local holiday while others that are open were in the green in early trade on Monday. China’s official purchasing managers' index fell to 52.9 in April from 53.4 in March, lower than analysts’ forecasts for an increase to 54. Despite various rate-tightening initiatives taken by the government, Chinese growth is expected to expand 9.5% in 2011, against 10.3% last year.
The Jakarta Composite gained 0.55%, the Nikkei 225 surged 0.97% and the Seoul Composite jumped 1.32% in early trade on Monday.
Back home, bank credit to all priority sectors, barring services and, micro and small enterprises, witnessed a slower growth during 2010-11 compared to the previous fiscal. According to RBI data, total credit to priority sector registered a growth of 15.2% in 2010-11 and stood at Rs12.58 lakh crore against 17.1% reported in the previous fiscal.
Within the priority list, credit to agriculture and allied activities, manufacturing, housing, micro-credit, education loans, state-sponsored organisations for SCs/STs, weaker sections and export credit registered a lower growth last fiscal as compared to 2009-10.
The decision of the board of India's second largest software company is based on the recommendations of the nominations committee, chaired by Jeffrey S Lehman, a former president of Cornell University and an independent director at Infosys
Bangalore: Unveiling a whole new leadership succession plan, Infosys on Saturday announced the appointment of veteran banker KV Kamath as its chairman in place of founder NR Narayana Murthy, and named current CEO S Gopalakrishnan as co-chairman, reports PTI.
Chief operating officer SD Shibulal was elevated as CEO and managing director by the board which appointed Mr Murthy as chairman emeritus for life.
The appointments are effective from 21st August this year, a day after Mr Murthy retires when he will turn 65.
The decision of the board of India's second largest software company is based on the recommendations of the nominations committee, chaired by Jeffrey S Lehman, a former president of Cornell University and an independent director at Infosys.
“This is a great moment for Infosys. These three leaders meld an extraordinary range of talents and experiences with a united commitment to drive the company to unprecedented levels of accomplishment while remaining true to its historic values.
We could not be in better hands,” Mr Lehman told a news conference at Infosys campus here through video conferencing.
The tenure of the tenure of the chairman has been extended to 70 years, but is not applicable to the founders.
63-year-old Kundapur Vaman Kamath is currently an independent director on the board of Infosys. He is the non-executive chairman of the board of directors of ICICI Bank, India’s largest private lender.
Mr Kamath said Infosys is a company which has been built by its founders, led by the visionary leader Mr Murthy, who as its CEO and MD and then as its chairman and chief mentor, provided thought leadership over the years.
“This is an innovation-led company, with a core of outstanding professionals that has always set the highest standards and has built a unique culture.
“I feel greatly honoured to have been asked to be the chairman of Infosys, and by the board of directors and accept this responsibility with a deep sense of humility,” Mr Kamath said.
Mr Murthy said he is grateful to the board for appointing him as the chairman emeritus and providing him an opportunity to add value to the board, the executive management and every Infoscion if asked by them.
Mr Murthy said the decision to appoint Mr Kamath as chairman was “absolutely unanimous”.
Asked if the leadership succession is the toughest period for Infosys, he replied in the negative, saying that the Bangalore-based, Nasdaq-listed firm has gone through many such periods and referred to the unfriendly business environment of years ago when importing computers took three years.
“I don't think this a tough period at all,” he added.
Mr Murthy said as chairman emeritus, he has absolutely no time-table and he can pursue whatever he wants to but added that the board, executive management and every Infoscion has the right to demand his time and he would certainly like to add whatever ‘little value’ he can.
Meanwhile, Mr Kamath said he watched the growth of Infosys over the years with admiration and termed it a “shining star”.
“Nobody can replace Mr Murthy. Taking Mr Murthy’s position is not possible for anybody. One can only be chair of the board but one can never be a Murthy,” he said, lavishly praising the outgoing chairman.
Infosys has a tradition of naming its founders as the chairman. While it stuck to its tradition while naming Mr Gopalakrishnan (also known as Kris) as the co-chairman, Mr Kamath’s appointment may be indicative of the changes in company policy.
The industry and markets had been keenly awaiting the succession plans at Infosys, more so, after the resignation of director and head of human resources TV Mohandas Pai, who had served the company for 17 years. Mr Pai was also considered by many as the CEO material.
His exit had raised questions whether there was a strife within the management. Mr Pai was quoted in an interview criticising the selection process for the CEO at Infosys.
He was quoted as saying that the board should assess a prospective candidate on whether he has the energy and fresh thinking required for the job and not just on experience.
However, Mr Pai later retracted his statement saying his comments were “general” in nature.
Another co-founder K Dinesh will also retire from the company, after its annual general meeting on 11th June.
The new appointments come at a time when the muted quarterly performance of the company has dampened street sentiment.
With the change of guard, the company is looking at competing better with rivals like TCS and HCL Technologies, which have posted stellar results.
Founding member Mr Murthy had stepped down as CEO in 2002 to become the chairman of the Board and chief mentor and handing over office to co-founder Nandan Nilekani.
Mr Nilekani, too, left to head the Unique Identification Authority of India and Mr Gopalakrishnan took over.