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Montevideo, February 21st 2019 - 01:57 UTC

India announces its first manned space mission to cost US$1.4bn

Friday, August 31st 2018 - 08:34 UTC
Full article 10 comments

India announced it expected to spend less than 100 billion rupees (US$1.43 billion) on its first manned space mission to be launched by 2022, suggesting it is likely to be cheaper than similar projects by the United States and China. Read full article


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  • chronic

    Great comedic potential in this scenario.

    Aug 31st, 2018 - 12:35 pm - Link - Report abuse -1
  • darragh

    It amazes me that a country like India with it's chronic levels of poverty particularly in the large cities and it's millions of subsistence level farmers can waste $1.4 billion on putting a man into orbit - surely that could be better spent on helping the destitute children of Mumbai etc.

    Sep 01st, 2018 - 01:43 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    I was thinking the same. But with India's huge population, that $1.4 bn is little more than $1 per person, it's not going to go far in ending poverty. So maybe they are better off spending money on R&D? Their unmanned satellite launches could well lead to commercial contracts and pay for themselves, not so sure about a manned flight.

    Sep 01st, 2018 - 03:05 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    “Lula's case’s definitely not one where evidence 100% clear”, shows you’re not all that well informed. The deed not in his name doesn’t prove it was not an illegal gift. Am fed up repeating the same stuff, but you conveniently ignore MLeticia’s meetings/ visits with Leo Pinheiro to the flat in 2014, to supervise the reform ; maybe you think she was only the decorator, working for someone else ? They planned to move in by Dec, as arranged btwn ML / LP, but the L J fingered it Oct/Nov. But that is an indication of nothing, right ?

    Moro can’t ‘decide’ to prosecute anyone - he was designated (by the STF) to be the judge of the L J trials in the lower court. If he’d acquitted Lula, he would’ve had to ignore the evidence presented by the Feds.

    “He doesn't need a pardon though, does he? Earlier on you implied he might : ‘IF Meirelles or Alckmin don’t win…who’ll protect him ?’…he’ll be tried, then most likely convicted, and if so, why pardoned ? Temer isn’t a candidate, ‘n loses immunity on 31st Dec. His case’ll go to 1st instance. Maluf was sent to jail at 86, ‘n is now under house arrest only because he’s very ill.
    The ‘mensalão’ trials went on until 2012, ‘n Dirceu’s case went to the STF, with the other defendants who had immunity, only because he was the mastermind. No point splitting the case. The photo (link) shows the PT claque at the time, Lula, Dirceu ‘n Palocci.
    I’m not trying to mislead anyone. Have always been clear on the fact that only the 1st two examine proof …and isn’t that enough ? Or, are you too, one of those people who believe that ALL courts should examine evidence from scratch, and that appeals should be unlimited, and while not ruled on, the defendant remains free ? in practice, meaning ‘never’ going to prison. Is that how it works in the UK ?
    Wiretaps didn’t provide evidence used in Lula’s trial, they gave investigators leads to find evidence. The Law permits jailing when the defendant might flee or try to destroy evidence…as some did.

    Sep 05th, 2018 - 04:59 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    In Britain crimes have to be proved “beyond reasonable doubt”, not 100%. I assume there is some similar standard in Brazil, so the fact Lula was convicted doesn't mean the evidence was 100% clear. Anyway, I think we must agree to disagree on this, too. I know there was evidence, I'm just not convinced it was conclusive.

    Could Moro not have said “there is not enough evidence, so I'm going to drop the charges”? In the US a prosecutor has that power, if they think the evidence is not good enough to get a conviction. It all works very differently in Brazil.

    What I said about Temer, I meant that if an ally won the election, they could give him a job in government to protect him, as Dilma tried to do for Lula. But perhaps they wouldn't want to, as he's so unpopular now.

    As for the courts, I have no idea how they should best work, I'm not a legal expert. In the UK I think it's harder to convict someone, and everyone gets a jury trial, but also much harder to get an appeal. AFAIK you need to show there is new evidence, or else something wrong with the original trial. So, less mistakes in the first place, but they're harder to fix. D'you think that system's better?

    Sep 05th, 2018 - 11:47 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    I know it's not what you want to hear, but the fact that Lula was convicted - in Brazil, where the law has been historically extremely lenient with white collar crime, and which the L J has been successful up to now, in combatting it - is a sign that the evidence was very clear....only someone who can't add 2 and 2 to find 4 will believe he isn't guilty as charged.

    Faced with evidence, well “beyond reasonable doubt”, why in hell would Moro drop the charges ??? you keep on speculating about the most improbable scenarios.... if the evidence were weak, the case would’ve been dismissed by the some other cases, against politicians (of various parties) and executives alike, have been. P-L-E-A-S-E, stop looking for hair on eggs.

    A job in govt to protect Temer ? only if it were to be Minister of something….highly unlikely. But if they tried, I hope the same as applied to Lula would apply to him.

    Jury trials for corruption cases would be just what the politicians want - once appointed (without necessarily knowing if they are politically neutral), enough jurors could be bought off.
    Murder trials here, only ones which go to jury, have one appeal in each instance, allowing the case to progress to a higher court …Lula, up to now, and even now, has presented over 90 appeals (all similar) to three courts (STJ, STF, TSE)…when does this end ?? the ridiculous amount of appeals (and not sure if under ormal circumstances so many would be allowed – and definitely have not been to the other convicted politicians and executives - as it’s the first time a president goes to jail) is unheard of in any country. His lawyers always harp on “he hasn’t been given a chance to defend himself” (???). Never heard so much BS.
    Ok, to get a new trial, or an appeal, I agree that a new, significant fact has to appear…. Reckon all systems have their merits, but I think the US system works well. If convicted, even in lower court, you serve time, appeal from prison.

    Sep 07th, 2018 - 08:24 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    “if the evidence were weak, the case would’ve been dismissed by the judge”

    I thought Moro was the judge? But okay, I'll stop speculating.

    Re Temer, it's pretty plausible he might have the same problems getting appointed as Lula did. I bet his colleagues will be willing to throw him under the bus once he's of no more use to them, and his support is worse than useless right now.

    IMO the main problem with the US system is most people don't even get a trial; there is a huge emphasis on plea bargaining in order to save money, but there's nearly as much a temptation for innocent people to agree to it as the guilty. Whereas in Brazil, with no jury and various other issues, I wouldn't be confident in the verdict after the first trial, so jail after one appeal seems about right.

    The rules on getting an appeal are reasonable in principle, but that also seems to be too difficult in the US, judging by the difficulties of people who were eventually proved innocent by DNA evidence.

    Sep 08th, 2018 - 12:46 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    Moro WAS the judge. Evidence was strong. Witnesses, documents, photos, e-mails backed up plea-bargains...what more do you need...a written confession ?

    You can be sure that in politics no one is loyal when push comes to's every man for himself...and women and children, get out the way if you don't want to be trampled on.

    If plea bargains didn't exist, some one guilty would have absolutely no incentive to squeal on others...just as guilty as himself...we are not dealing with trumped-up charges to get some innocent person to confess to crimes that never existed, or that there was not even the slightest suspicion of. You can be sure that 99% of what the executives detailed in the plea-bargains corresponded to the truth, despite the fact some may not have had evidence to back them up....but then, why confess at all, IF they never paid bribes to any one ?...why confess inexistent crimes and go to jail for 10 years ?? And if they paid bribes - which no one doubts - who received them ? If you are truly innocent with regards to corruption charges, why the hell would you feel tempted to confess ? confess what ?

    Modern society embraces the principle that you ae innocent until proved guilty....ok, very wise to avoid wrong convictions in very serious crimes, with capital punishment, but most of the time, and with all the technical restrictions, throwing “proof” out because it was obtained illegally - illegally according to what ? simply makes crime a profitable business... the laws today, are better at defending criminals than innocent people.

    Sep 08th, 2018 - 08:53 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    “what more do you need...a written confession”

    I would say even a confession (alone) is not 100% convincing, because there are people who have confessed to crimes - due to police mistreatment or mental illness - who were later proved innocent. Possibly we just have different ideas of what 100% convincing means.

    I don't think plea bargains should be banned, but that there should be limit on how much time you can get off your sentence. Maybe 25%, or even 50%, but the difference should not be so great that it becomes rational for innocent people to plead guilty, even if they have a decent chance of being winning in a trial. I don't know about Brazil, but that definitely happens in the US.

    And conversely, I presume the executives confessed because there was good evidence against them, and taking the plea bargain was the best option. Better to go to jail for 10 years, probably in practice 3, than for 30 years. Also, the fact Moro was keeping them in jail indefinitely may have had something to do with it. Doesn't imply they told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; indeed, we know Joesley Batista didn't.

    And the reason for throwing out proof obtained illegally is to make sure there is no incentive for the police to break the law. Sometimes it produces the wrong result, but overall it's better. If it's too hard to get evidence, they need to change the law instead, and let people consider the implications, rather than have the police ignore it whenever they please.

    Sep 08th, 2018 - 09:40 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    I'm not referring to heinous crimes where the police might knock a suspect about until he confesses, even if innocent....haven't heard of politicians being tortured to confess.

    Regarding the L J plea-bargains, no one innocent has plead guilty - and none are 100% innocent - and I don't know, but reckon that the time knocked off depends on how useful the information was, or it's probatory capacity.

    “And conversely, I presume the executives confessed because there was good evidence against them...” exactly...and if they are paying bribes, it's obvious there's someone at the other end receiving them. As you say, why would an executive who's accused, keep quiet and go to jail, to protect someone else ? But if there were no incentive for someone to spill the beans, people would get away with murder...and many of the guilty still do.

    The longer an executive sees his sentence, the more likely he is to be willing to own up....and in Joesley's case, he owned up to only enough to get him off the hook...or so he thought. With so much information being crossed, and new leads appearing, it was just a matter of time to prove that Joesly was not telling the whole truth. Then again, he was probably withholding part of the truth in order to use it, if and when he saw necessary.

    “...throwing out proof obtained illegally is to make sure there is no incentive for the police to break the law....” while that may be true in some cases, even like planting evidence, the fact is that there was a time when proof, was proof, no matter how obtained, and this was changed...why ? to “protect” the suspect....but many guilty suspects use it to their advantage, and to the disadvantage of justice....for ex, the police may have warrant to search a suspect's 'house' for a gun he supposedly used in a murder, and a cop wanders into his 'garage' and finds the gun in the glove compartment of his car....the gun cannot be used as the warrant only covered the house...ridiculous.

    Sep 09th, 2018 - 07:22 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

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