Writing, sketching, exercising: Omar Abdullah loses weight, smile on his face in detention

first_imgA morning walk, writing, sketching, lunch, two hours of gym followed by a home-cooked meal – That’s how Jammu Kashmir’s Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah spends his day in detention.His daily schedule, accessed exclusively by India Today, shows Omar Abdullah spends his day at Srinagar’s Hari Niwas state guest house by ‘writing, sketching, gymming’. He is often served home-cooked breakfast and dinner.Omar Abdullah has been under detention after the Centre scrapped Article 370, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir, on August 5. It has been more than 30 days since the former chief minister has not been allowed to step outside the Hari Niwas state guest house.The premises host an open area where Omar Abdullah goes for a 1-hour morning walk every day but spends the rest of the day in his room. He dons colourful shirts and is served a simple lunch cooked by the staff of Hari Niwas. This is followed by two hours of gym session in the evening with only basic gym equipment available at the guest house and a home-cooked meal at night.He has no television but Omar Abdullah has access to newspapers, books and Digital Versatile Discs (DVDs) which he was given after a “formal request” made by him. A source told India Today that he has lost weight and does not smile so often but is courteous to the staff nonetheless.Take a look at the former chief minister’s daily routine:MORNING ROUTINEOmar Abdullah “wakes up at around 5.45 am and offers morning prayers”. Soon after that he drinks a cup of tea/coffee and at around 7 am he goes for a walk. The walk is in an open area, within the premises. At around 8.30 am, he is “served breakfast, which often comes cooked from his home”.Omar Abdullah ensures he dresses up well every day nonetheless.According to sources, Omar Abdullah is seen “sporting colourful T-shirts, mostly in red and black”. He has grown a beard and spends most of his time near a window in his room overlooking Dal Lake.Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah also “sketches occasionally and is seen writing something almost every day”, according to a source.NOON SCHEDULEWhen it’s noon and time for lunch, he is served a simple platter prepared by Hari Niwas guest house staff. The food is also checked every time it is served “to rule out any sabotage”.”Tests are as per security protocol as he is out of home and remains Z+ protectee,” a top government official said.Special Service Group (SSG) personnel guard Omar Abdullah round the clock. “Former CM has remained respectful with the staff and co-operated with security officials with courtesy,” according to the sources.Omar Abdullah has been allowed to meet his relatives. He has had almost four meetings with an aunt, sisters and two nephews.EVENING RETREATA team of doctors visit Omar Abdullah and a medical bulletin is submitted to the home department for the record.Each evening, Abdullah ensures two hours of gym session – with only basic equipment available at the guest house.Omar Abdullah is served dinner which is cooked from his home and soon it’s time for him to retire for the day.Also Read | Day 29 of arrest: Omar Abdullah refuses to shave his beard, runs 8 kms every dayAlso Read | Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti finally allowed to meet relatives after weeks of detentionAlso Watch | Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti reject govt’s conditional release offerlast_img read more

Europes economy is reeling and unemployment could remain high for years EU

The ongoing post-financial crisis correction continues to weigh heavily on economic activity and employment in the EU BRUSSELS, Belgium — Europe’s economy is still reeling and unemployment could remain high for years in spite of the progress made in solving the debt crisis, the European Union warned Wednesday as it downgraded its forecasts for the 27-country bloc.The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, on Wednesday revised its forecast for the economy of the entire region, saying that it now expected the region’s gross domestic product to contract by 0.3% on an annual basis this year, rather than remaining flat as it predicted in the spring. It also said that the 17 countries that use the euro will contract, with GDP falling 0.4%, against a previous expectation of a 0.3% fall.But the most significant downgrade is for next year’s forecast. The commission had expected the eurozone to find its footing in 2013, with 1% growth. Now it predicts only a 0.1% uptick. For all 27 countries in the EU, it forecasts 0.4% growth, compared with 1.3% last spring.[np-related /]The report also suggests that unemployment won’t start falling until 2014 — and then only slightly.“The ongoing post-financial crisis correction continues to weigh heavily on economic activity and employment in the EU,” the report said. “Yet, compared to the situation before the summer, over the last few months financial tensions have somewhat abated.”Official third-quarter GDP figures for the EU and the eurozone, which will show whether the region has entered recession, are due to be released on Nov. 15. A recession is defined as two quarters in a row with negative growth.The eurozone has made progress this year toward resolving its debt crisis, which has been dragging down economies throughout the EU and beyond. Countries that use the euro have slashed spending and promised to keep their deficits in check; they’ve vowed to better protect their banks by improving how they’re regulated and supervised; and the European Central Bank has put in place a plan to help countries struggling with high borrowing costs, the hallmark of the crisis and the reason some have sought bailouts.But those measures are still to be felt in the real economy. The unemployment rate across the eurozone is at a record high of 11.6%, and it is 10.6% in the wider EU. In the latest in a steady stream of job cuts Danish wind turbine maker Vestas, Swedish wireless equipment group LM Ericsson, and Dutch bank ING announced a total of almost 7,000 layoffs Wednesday. Eurostat, the EU’s statistics agency, also said retail sales in the eurozone shrank 0.2% in September.Many economists have argued that, in solving one crisis by cutting government spending and raising taxes, politicians have exacerbated another — slow or negative growth. Meanwhile, tighter banking rules have hurt lending, the fuel economies need to grow.Greece has suffered the most from this vicious cycle and is now in its fifth year of recession. Many say it’s unclear how the country will ever manage to reduce its debts, spark growth and break the cycle. The new forecast expects Greece’s economy to contract 6% this year and another 4.2% next year. In the spring, the commission had hoped growth would be flat in 2013.A similar story is played out across the EU, with the 2013 forecasts for most countries significantly worse than they had been just a few months ago. Even powerhouse Germany is expected to eke out just 0.8% growth now, compared with 1.7% in the spring. read more