12 March 2010
SHILPA SHETTY (P-12)
Psycho surgery ... (P-17)
March. 12, 2010
BENGALI PULAV... (P-20)
Pretty girls .. (P-25)
From Venice to... (P-29)
Chokers Delhi Daredevils bookies' pick to win IPL-3 NEW DELHI (agency):: Delhi Daredevils have entered the semi-finals of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in both the seasons played so far, but failed to go further. That, say Indian and English bookies, is set to change and Gautam Gambhir’s men are favourites to win Season III, which begins on Friday in Mumbai. That’s about the only thing the bookies are unanimous on, on the eve of the tournament. With a batting line-up that includes Virender Sehwag, Tillakaratne Dilshan, captain Gambhir, David Warner, AB de Villiers and Paul Collingwood as well as the in-form Dinesh Karthik, you can see why the bookies are impressed. Add to that a bowling attack that has proven performers like Dirk Nannes, Ashish Nehra, Daniel Vettori and Amit Mishra being buttressed by the entry of South African Wayne Parnell and the balance
Top Ten Richest Men In the World Today Unveiled – 2010 Forbes Billionaire List Update Top Ten Richest Men In the World Today Unveiled – 2010 Forbes Billionaire List Update – Where can we find the bulk of the world’s wealth? That’s a pretty easy question, with a very simple answer- hidden in the bank accounts of the ten richest men in he world. Topping the list is a telecom’s titan from Mexico, Carlos Slim Helu, with net worth of $53.5 billion. Next up is the founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, with a total net worth of $53 billion. Just hald a billion lower than Helu’s. Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway resides in the third spot with $47 billion net worth. Two Indians are next in the list namely, Mukesh Ambani (oil and gas industry) and Lakshmi
Mittal (steel industry). Ambani has a total of $29 billion net worth while Mittal has $28.7 billion. Oracle’s Lawrence Ellison is in the 6th with $28. Bernard Arnault of LVMH luxury goods is in the seventh with $27.5. Eike Batisat of Brazil (mining, oil) is in the 8th spot with $27 billion. $25 billion net worth puts Spain’s Amancio Ortega (clothing retail) on the 9th spot while Karl Albrecht is the poorest among the richest with $23.5 billion net worth with his supermarket business.
does look enviable. English bookmakers Ladbrokes and William Hill are offering returns of Rs 5 and Rs 4.5 respectively or earnings of Rs 4 and Rs 3.5 - on every rupee bet on the Daredevils winning the tourney, while Indian bookies are offering Rs 4.1 for every rupee. The bookmakers, however, can’t quite see eye-to-eye on the rest of the teams, although Kolkata Knight Riders are not surprisingly in the bottom half on all their forecasts. Ladbrokes and William Hill both see Chennai Super Kings - the only team apart from the Daredevils to figure in the semi-finals in both seasons - as a team running Gambhir’s men close. William Hill is offering Rs 5.5 and Ladbrokes Rs 5 for every rupee bet on Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings. The difference is that Ladbrokes has current champions Deccan Chargers sharing second spot with Chennai.
Was Dhillon’s passport fake? Oz probing Melbourne (agency): Australian immigration authorities are investigating whether Indian national Gursewak Dhillon, accused in the death of three-year-old Gurshan Singh Channa, was living in Melbourne on a false passport. “(Such) Allegations have been made and the man charged is
being investigated for possible immigration fraud,” an immigration Department spokesman was quoted as saying by The Age newspaper. Dhillon (23), a part-time taxi driver, was yesterday produced before a court here in relation to Gurshan’s death. The court adjourned till June 29 the hearing of the case. Detectives are also now looking for a woman who gave Dhillon a lift on the day of the death to contact them. Investigators also said that a woman stopped to help Dhillon between noon and 3pm last Thursday in Melbourne’s northern suburbs after he ran out of petrol. The woman is believed to have driven him to a service station. Meanwhile, Narinder Sharma, an Indian community member who works with an immigration agent, told PTI that he had informed the police on Thursday night that he
had strong suspicion on the involvement of Dhillon in Gurshan’s death. Sharma said that a day before the Gurshan disappearance he was contacted by a woman who lived at the same house as Gurshan and Dhillon, because she suspected Dhillon was in Australia on a false passport. He said he called Dhillon to confront him about the allegedly fake travel documents, an argument broke out and he was threatened with violence after telling Dhillon to “stop this nonsense”.
12 March 2010
12 March 2010
CALLING Smack My B**ch Up singer Shahin Badar is looking to collaborate with Indian artistes and give Bollywood a shot She's been the Indian voice in British mainstream music for the last decade. But this Brit singer of Indian origin is now looking to her roots for some inspiration. Best known for her controversial track Smack My B**ch Up with Prodigy, Shahin has in the past sung Dol Dol for Rahman's Yuva soundtrack and is hungry for more. "I have had success in the mainstream internationally and that will continue, but I think my roots are calling me. I love India, the people and the food. I want to sing for Bollywood,"-says the writer, composer and singer who grew up in Kuwait and has been living in the UK for many years. Shahin who is doing loads of electronic music alongside Sufi and Arabic-style vocals made her entry into the music industry with the controversial Smack My B**ch Up. "I was still working with the customs when the controversy happened. In fact, the name of that track was supposed to be something else earlier but was changed. The track became an anthem and I got instant recognition. It just opened new doors for me," says Shahin who got a platinum disc for her alaap on the track which became an anthem worldwide. Shahin, who is currently in Mumbai to work on her Sufi album, will be busy with her international commitments till the end of the year, but the singer plans to come back in November. "I want to come back towards the end of the year after my Sufi album is out and stay here and give Bollywood a shot. I think my IndoArabic voice has great potential here," she says. The singer, who is fresh from the success of her last electronic dance fusion track Take It with Noise Control which is making waves on Irish radio, will head back for the release of her next single Revolver and then complete her Sufi album which will have a lot of percussion.
Shilpa Shetty leads campaign to save BBC Asian Network Indian actress Shilpa Shetty - one of the most recognised faces in Britain - and many leading British Asian personalities have led over 100 prominent people in a campaign to save the BBC Asian Network, whose closure was announced earlier this week. In a letter to the BBC Trust chairman, Sir Michael Lyons, Shetty, actor-writer Meera Syal and Olympic boxer Amir Khan have called for the radio station to be saved. Signatories include cricketer Vikram Solanki, film director Gurinder Chada, and Sir Mota Singh. The letter published today in The Guardian, expresses the signatories' "profound shock" at the BBC's decision to shut the national station. It says that the eight-year-old digital broadcaster provides a "key platform" for the national Asian community "and offers creative British Asian talent an outlet which is demonstrably under-represented in the more mainstream BBC. This would all be tragically lost if these proposals are agreed.
Gerard Butler training hard for 'Coriolanus' Scottish star Gerard Butler is sweating hard to prepare for his role in Ralph Fiennes' directorial debut, a film adaptation of playwright William Shakespeare's tragedy 'Coriolanus'. The 40-year-old actor, who is currently promoting his film 'The Bounty Hunter' with actress Jennifer Aniston is heading to Belgrade to start shooting the movie, in which he plays rebel leader Tullus Aufidius, Daily Mail reported online. "Tullus is totally fearless and I'm getting in shape and having fight training. War's not supposed to be fun, but I'm looking forward to making the film with Ralph," Butler said. The plot revolves around the hero of Rome 'Coriolanus' played by Fiennes who is banished from the city only to return with its sworn enemy in an effort to avenge his honour. "I'm playing Tullus Aufidius, the general of the Volscian rebel forces. They're the underdogs and Tullus is Coriolanus' sworn, hated enemy but Coriolanus respects him.
12 March 2010
Farah's ‘Tees Maar Khan’ set to release on December 24, 2010
This Christmas, audiences are in for a big treat with Farah Khan's Tees Maar Khan which is set to release on the Christmas Eve, December 24. Says Farah, "I'm really happy that we will be releasing Tees Maar Khan on the 24th December, 2010. TMK is a very kid friendly, holiday season kind of film, full of fun, big dance numbers and action comedy. It's
just the kind of film you'd want to watch in the holidays." Still in its filming stages, Tees Maar Khan is already in the news for its leading jodi Akshay Kumar & Katrina Kaif and director Farah Khan's track record for delivering two super-hit films. Says Akshay Kumar, "Tees Maar Khan will be our gift to audiences this holiday season. It's a great film with a great script and with Farah you know you're in for a treat with larger than life scenes, great music and hilarious dialogues. The movie will have you laughing uncontrollably." Tees Maar Khan is produced by Shree Ashtavinayak Cinevision Ltd. and Shirish & Farah's home production 'Three's Company Pvt Ltd.' and co-produced by Akshay Kumar's 'Hari Om Productions'.
The king of comedies
Madonna’s brother Women on top mocks her role Ajay Devgn has become the king of c o m e d i e s , l i t e r a l l y. H e seems to be enjoying it more than action, which was his e a r l i e r f o r t e . A ft e r t h e success of Golmaal- Fun Unlimited, Golmaal Returns and All The Best, he is set to rock with Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge?, another comedy. “Right scripts have been coming my way and I find myself enjoying comedies as much as action films. Perfect timing coupled with the right dose of humour brings out the best in any actor. Fortunately, I seem to have found a right footing here,” says Ajay during a long distance call from
Karaikudi in Tamil Nadu where he is shooting for Priyadarshan’s film Garam Hawa. Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge?, he says, is a comedy, but with a touch of emotion. “It falls in the Hrishikesh Mukherjee genre. I am not comparing this film with his work, yet I would like to say that the feel and the emotions will be liked by all. It has clean humour yet quite ribtickling. A sweet film, it will have people coming out of the theatres smiling and laughing,” promises Ajay, who has been a fan of Hrishida and manages to catch his films whenever he finds the time. “All his films are great and Chupke Chupke is one of my favourites,” shares Ajay.
Christopher Ciccone has mocked his sister Madonna’s new role as a marriage referee in an upcoming small screen series. Ciccone, who left the Queen of Pop fuming with the publication of his tell-all book, openly disapproved the twice-divorced singer’s involvement with the new American TV show The Marriage Ref. “I can’t imagine what she’s doing on The Marriage Ref giving advice to married couples,” the Daily Star quoted him as telling the New York Post. He added: “I guess it’s kind of ironic. Everyone has their experiences regarding marriage: hers are maybe what not to do.”
If you are looking to soak your eyes into a cache of eye candy on the silver screen, a forthcoming film is set to dish it out to you. Five female actors Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Preity Zinta, Vidya Balan and Anushka Sharma are slated to do cameos in Milap Zaveri's Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai. Apart from these female actors, Akshay Kumar, Karan Johar and Farah Khan are also playing themselves in the film. The movie is produced by Nikhil Advani (who directed Kal Ho Na Ho, Salaam-e-Ishq and Chandni Chowk to China). A source says, "Nikhil has approached all the five female actors to play cameos in the movie. All these people play themselves in the film. The movie also has Riteish Deshmukh and Jacqueline Fernandes in key roles." Nikhil says, "Milap's film had a requirement of people making an appearance and talking about an upcoming star. So, we have already shot with a few actors and are coordinating dates with others." What's most interesting about this project is that Akshay and Priyanka, who had an unsaid vow that they would not work opposite each other, might actually star in the same movie after five years even though they are not paired opposite each other. "This will be certainly a great USP for Nikhil and Milap when Priyanka agrees to shoot for them," ends the source.
12 March 2010
Cindy Crawford wants to be healthy Abhishek Bachchan in role model for daughter race for Pune IPL team
American supermodel Cindy Crawford wants to set a healthy example for her young daughter, by eating sensibly. The 44-year-old beauty who has two children, Presley, 10, and eight-year-old Kaia, with husband Rande Gerber, is keen to show her girl that it is important to have a balanced diet and not to feel guilty about indulging in the odd treat, Us magazine reported. "For breakfast, I'll eat oatmeal and blueberries and enjoy a salad with chicken or shrimp for lunch. At dinner, I'll serve up fish and vegetables," she said. "But I do have a little chocolate mixed in between meals from time to time. I have a daughter, so I eat consciously because I want her to see me eat healthy and not think that she can't have dessert ever. I think it's a bad e x a m p l e f o r h e r, " C r a w f o r d added.Crawford, who quit the runway in 2000 admits that she regularly workouts to maintain her svelte figure."I try to be 80 per cent good, 80 per cent of the time. We all know when we're blowing it, but as long as you don't do that all the time... We live in Malibu, so there's a lot of great hiking there. I work out with a trainer three times a week," she said.
A consortium led by consumer durables-tooil and gas group, Videocon is understood to be in the race for the franchise rights of the Pune team for the Indian Premier League 2011 season with Bollywood star Abhishek Bachchan as a likely partner. According to sources, P Vision Ltd, a company owned by Videocon Group chief Venugopal Dhoot, along with two other Pune-based firms, may rope in Bollywood star Abhishek Bachchan in running the Pune IPL team. When contacted Dhoot declined to comment. The sources said Videocon is leading the bid for the Pune IPL team as it meets the criteria of billion dollar turnover and upfront bank guarantee of Rs 430 crore, set by organizers of the domestic T20 league. The two new franchises for the IPL's 2011 season will be announced in Mumbai tomorrow. "Everyone is speculating many things. You will know (bidders) tomorrow," IPL commissioner and chairman Lalit Modi said while announcing the League's first-ever b r a n d e d merchandise tie-up globally with 130-yerold Swiss watchmakers Bandelier in Mumbai.
Is Freida the next bond girl? Rumours have resurfaced yet again that actor FREIDA PINTO, who was in the city recently, could be the next bond girl The rumour that Freida Pinto is again in the race to be the next Bond girl has resurfaced. The Slumdog Millionaire prodigy was initially rumoured to have been approached to be a part of Quantum of Solace but things did not work out. It is now being said by sources that Freida is again being looked by the 007 makers to cast her in their next. A highly placed source reveals: "Freida is definitely one of the most sought-after Indian actors in the West. She currently has some heavyweight projects like Miral by Julian Schnabel, Dawn of War by Tarsem Singh Dhandwar and You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger by Woody Allen. There are many international offers at her doorstep and all she is doing is pick and choose. But we hear that she is one of the favourites to be cast in the next James Bond movie." The insider says: "Freida's price point is also going through the roof. Apparently she was paid about $3 million for the Woody Allen movie but obviously there are no confirmations regarding the same. Freida has also become the face of US television chat shows after having appeared in shows like Entertainment Tonight, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Tyra Banks Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Larry King Live, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Late Show with David Letterman, and Up Close with Carrie Keagan. She is definitely soaring and thus major film-makers want her to be a part of their films." Freida is also rumoured to have been roped in for a movie titled American Empire (directed by Andy Armstrong), a dark comedy about betrayal.
12 March 2010
Keira Knightley to Swift still finds Lautner 'hot' testify against stalker Keira Knightley is all set to face her stalker and testify against him in court. The Pirates of the Caribbean actress will give her testimony against Marek Daniluk, a 6ft 6in Pole, at his trial, magistrates heard yesterday.According to reports, Daniluk, grabbed Knightley, 24, outside the Comedy Theatre in London, where she is starring in The Misanthrope. He is also accused of sending her unwanted gifts and letters, reports The Daily Express.However, he denies "conduct that amounted to the harassment of Keira Knightley". Daniluk, of Palmers Green, north condition he does not go near London, was bailed until June on Knightley or the Comedy Theatre.
The online fairy godmother that lets you rent posh shoes on the cheap Like most women, I love shoes - particularly those beautiful designer ones with sky-high heels and prices to match. But, like most women, I can't bring myself to stump up hundreds of pounds for a pair of stilettos I'll wear only a handful of times. So, what's the answer? Well, I think it might be a new service called Cinderella Me, which loans out designer shoes for a fraction of their retail price. The website acts like a giant, online fairy godmother, with dozens of Jimmy Choos, Christian Louboutins and other designer heels sent out from its storage bank each week. Even style icon Keira Knightley has cottoned on to the new trend The actress, who is currently starring in The Misanthrope in the West End, says: 'I haven't bought any shoes in quite a while. 'Now I just rent.' The process is (relatively) simple. First you have to become a member of the cinderellame.co.uk website - this fairy godmother doesn't dish out £900 heels to anyone. Then, when you're approved, your first job is choosing the shoes you want: classic black Louboutin skyhigh courts £65 per week), bondage-style, buckled Choos £60 per week), fuchsia McQueen peep-toes £50 per week) or even metallic Choo 'Stay Silver' pixie boots £65).
They may not be dating anymore but country singer Taylor Swift still finds her 'Valentine's Day' co-star Taylor Lautner 'hot'. When asked who she thinks is hot by Elle magazine, the 20-year-old singer was a bit shy about her answer but said, "Um, well... Taylor Lautner." The stars casually dated last year before calling it quits in late December and Swift said that her love life often inspire the lyrics of her songs."A letdown is worth a few songs. A heartbreak is worth a few albums," she said. The 'Love Story' hitmaker also admitted that life is not a bed of roses being a star and there are lot of difficulties that come with her celebrity status. "I've had countless opportunities to do some really bad things. And then people start combing through everything I do trying to find the next mistake and mis-perception, which leads to more scrutiny," Swift said."Like, if I go to a bar, even if I'm not drinking, who's to say that a source isn't going to say that I was doing something I shouldn't have been doing? So it's not only about your own moral compass, but the moral compasses of other people that you don't know," she added.
Front row confidential When Mugda Godse walked the Lakme Fashion Week ramp with Pria Kataaria Puri in a showstopper pink jewel encrusted lengha, I had goose bumps for various reasons: Pria's collection, which was inspired by the late Rajmata Gayatri Devi, was glamorous and truly amazing. Even though the elegant Rajmata was the inspiration behind the collection, Pria had clearly designed it keeping the modern woman in mind. The collection is for women of today who embody class, elegance and beauty. There was tremendous excitement before the show as the front row quickly filled up with anxious fashionistas. Not that I attend too many fashion shows, but I have noticed that the audience can be split into two - those who come to be seen and those who come to actually see the collection. Some posed (actually on the catwalk to a throng of photographers!), others preened, while the rest of us were very impressed that the show started right on time. I had the pleasure of sitting next to Pria's husband Sumit. Ekta Raheja looked stylish in a grey dress with a bright red Valentino bag. Michelle and Yohan Poonawalla were also seen enjoying the show. But the lady most stylishly dressed that evening was Laila Khan. In a pink off shoulder top paired with leather pants, she oozed oomph and was quite the head-turner!Mugdha Godse was the showstopper for Pria Kataaria Puri
Lohan dating another DJ
I plumped for a pair of burgundy, velvet shoes by Christian Dior with 1½in platforms and 6in heels, and a silver climbing vine and red flower design. They arrived by Fed-Ex and looked nearly new, with barely worn soles and no marks at all on the satin platforms (which are, no doubt, easy to stain).
Hollywood beauty Lindsay Lohan seems to have a thing for DJ's. But after dating DJ Samantha Ronson she seems to have given up on girls as this time the spinner is a man. The 23-year-old actress, who had a stormy two-year on-off romance with Ronson, is now dating British DJ Gareth Geno, Mirror reported online. The 'Mean Girls' star, famed for her wild partying ways was spotted at the Sketch nightclub in central London, all over DJ Geno who held her hand, fed her chips and sorted out her playlist. When Lindsay eventually got on the decks, he whispered in her ear for moral support. This lead the actress turned fashion designer to get cosy with him until it was his turn to hit the decks. She was overheard telling DJ Geno, "See you in a bit, baby" and when he joined her there later, she practically leapt on the guy.
12 March 2010
Key protein in energy regulation identified Mumbai : A new research by scientists at the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology has identified a key protein in energy regulation. Eric Verdin, senior investigator and senior a u t h o r o f t h e s t u d y, s a i d : " M a n y mitochondrial proteins undergo a small chemical modification known as acetylation, which varies during feeding and fasting conditions. "From our previous studies, we knew that the enzyme SIRT3 is involved in removing these modifications, and we speculated that SIRT3 might have a role in regulating metabolism and looked for how it might do this." To investigate the enzyme's role in mice, the scientists used mice in which both
copies of the gene had been deleted. It was seen that mice that lost both copies of the SIRT3 gene appeared to be completely normal. H o w e v e r, the researchers then tested the mice under fasting conditions. During fasting, expressoin o f SIRT3 was n i creased in the liver, an organ
that helps maintain the body's energy balance. The livers of mice without SIRT3 had higher levels of fat and triglycerides than normal mice, because the mice could not burn fat. To find out how SIRT3 controls fat burning, the team looked at the mitochondrial proteins. They found that the enzyme called LCAD was 'hyperacetylated' and contained even more acetyl groups than usual and the enzyme had reduced
activity. The mice that did not have SIRT3 also had many of the key markers of fat oxidation disorders, low energy levels and low tolerance to cold. Further analysis showed that higher levels of SIRT3 expression and activity increase the activity of this key enzyme in fat oxidation. However, a number of other proteins are acetylated in the mitochondria, an observation which suggests that other proteins may be involved. M a t t h e w H i r s c h e y, postdoctoral fellow and lead author of the study, said: "We conclude that acetylation is a new mechanism for regulating fatty acid oxidation in mitochondria and that SIRT3 mediates the acetylation state.
Vit D, skin cancer linked, study Women at increased risk of becoming disabled Sydney : Researchers at Henry Ford and Wayne State University have explained a link between Vitamin D levels and basal cell carcinoma, a discovery which could lead scientists to better understand the development of the most common form of skin cancer. In a small study, boffins found elevated levels of Vitamin D enzymes and proteins in cancerous tissue taken from 10 patients compared to normal skin tissue taken from them. Previous studies have linked Vitamin D deficiency with certain cancers but this is believed to be the first time researchers looked at Vitamin D and basal cell carcinoma. "This finding may help us in future research to determine whether
vitamin D plays a causative or reactive role in the development and progression of skin cancer," says Iltefat Hamzavi, MD, senior staff physician in Henry Ford's Department of Dermatology and the study's lead author. The study will be presented at the Photomedicine Society's annual meeting in Miami, one day before the American Academy of Dermatology's annual meeting. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer. This cancer forms in the basal cells of the deepest layer of the skin. Mohs micrographic surgery is one of the most effective treatments for removing skin cancer.
New Delhi : Women were at increased risk of becoming disabled due to neglect in healthcare, poor workplace conditions and gender-based violence, according to an ILO report. "International Labour Organisation states that women are at an increased risk of becoming disabled, throughout their lives due to neglect in healthcare, poor workplace conditions and gender-based violence," the city-based Association for Women and Disabilities said quoting an ILO 2001 census, the Association said that there were nearly 93 lakh women with disabilities in India,
while a 2007 World Bank study has estimated the number at four crore. "Globally there are approximately 300 million girls and women living with physical and or mental disability." Quoting a statement by Special Rapporteur of the UN, the Association said that worldwide women with disabilities face double discrimination for being disabled. "But in developing countries, they confront discrimination on a third front - for being poor." "Women and girls with disabilities remain invisible in development policies and programmes and are ignored both in women's affairs and in disability affairs," it said.
Insomnia linked to impaired heart rate variability in kids New Delhi : The new research showed that insomnia symptoms were consistently associated with impaired heart variability measures. The researchers also found a significant but less consistent pattern with shortened sleep duration and decreased heart rate variability. Heart rate variability is the beat-to-beat variations of heart rate. In a healthy person, beat-to-beat intervals change slightly in response to automatic functions like breathing.The study included 612 elementary school
children in the first to fifth grades. The children were average age 9, and 25 per cent were non-white and 49 per cent were boys. All were generally in good health. Their parents completed the Paediatric Behaviour Scale, including two questions that focused on symptoms of insomnia. Researchers examined the children overnight in a sleep laboratory with polysomnography (PSG), a standardized method for measuring sleep disorders. The researchers measured sleep duration, trouble falling asleep, the number of wake-ups and problems
going back to sleep if awakened. They also measured cardiac autonomic modulation (CAM), the balance of the sympathetic and the parasympathetic control of the heart rate rhythm. "Kids who sleep a longer duration have a healthier heart regulation profile compared to kids who sleep shorter durations," said Duanping Liao, co-author of the study and professor of epidemiology at Penn State University College of Medicine in Hershey, Pa. "Their hearts are more excitable if they have
insomnia. If the heart is too excited, th a t m e a n s i t i s beating too fast and usually that isn't good. These data i n d i c a t e t h a t among young children with insomnia symptoms reported by their parents, there already is an impairment of cardiovascular autonomic regulation, long before they reach the traditional high-risk period for cardiovascular disease," Liao
added. The study has been reported at the American Heart Association's 50th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention.
12 March 2010 New Delhi : Psychosurgery or deep brain stimulation (DBS) has shown promising results in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive d i s o r d e r, depressive d i s o r d e r s , a n d To u r e t t e syndrome, according to experts. Jens Kuhn (University of Cologne) and Theo P J GrĂźnder (Max Planck Institute, Cologne) and their co-authors have given an introduction to the method in the current issue of Deutsches Ă„rzteblatt International. The authors evaluated therapeutic studies from 1980 to 2009, in an effort to determine the clinical utility of DBS in psychiatric disorders. Improvement rates of between 35 per cent and 70 per cent,
Psycho surgery effective for depressed patients
in treatment-resistant obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, and To u r e t t e s y n d r o m e , w e r e noted. Also, the rate of side effects associated with DBS was usually low and mostly reversible by modulating the stimulation parameters. DBS has been in use as therapeutic option for 20 years in treating ailments like Parkinson's disease. To administer DBS, two electrodes are implanted into the patient that deliver continuous, high frequency, short electrical impulses, enabling modulation of the functional neuronal circuits. The electrodes are connected via a cable to an impulse generator, which is usually implanted below the collarbone.
Key cause of chronic leukemia progression identified Washington : Scientists in the US have discovered why a form of leukemia progresses from its more-treatable chronic phase to a life-threatening phase called blast crisis. They found that chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) progresses when immature white blood cells lose a molecule called miR-328. Loss of the molecule traps the cells in a rapidly growing, immature state. The cells soon fill the bone marrow and spill into the bloodstream, a tell-tale sign that the disease has advanced to the blast crisis s ta g e . According to the researchers, the study should provide a better understanding of the blast-crisis stage of CML, and it suggests a possible new treatment strategy for the disease. "These findings indicate that the loss
of miR-328 is probably essential for progression from the chronic phase of the disease to the blast crisis stage," said principal investigator Danilo Perrotti, associate professor of molecular v i r o l o g y, i m m u n o l o g y a n d medical genetics and a member of the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer CenterA r t h u r G. J a m e s C a n c e r Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCCJames). "Our findings also suggest that maintaining the level of this microRNA might represent a new therapeutic strategy for CML blast crisis patients who do not benefit from targeted agents such as imatinib (Gleevec) and dasatinib (Sprycel)," Perrotti added. The study has been published in the March 5th issue of the journal Cell.
Diabetes 'leads to diminished brain power' London: Diabetic retinopathy could be associated with poorer memory and diminished brain power in people with Type 2 diabetes, according to a new research. For the study, researchers at Edinburgh University looked at 1,066 people with type 2 diabetes aged between 60 and 75. Participants in the study completed seven tests focusing on memory, logic and concentration to establish their level of brain function. The researchers found that those with retinopathy had worse scores on most of the individual tests, as well as on general cognitive ability, compared with those without the condition. "These findings suggest that the severity of diabetic retinopathy is independently associated with cognitive dysfunction in people with type 2 diabetes aged 60 to 75," the Scotsman quoted Jie Ding, from Edinburgh University, lead author of the study, as saying.
Policies up risk of psychiatric disorder in gays, lesbians Vancouver : The Mailman School of Public Health examined the effects of institutional discrimination on the psychiatric health of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) individuals. It found an increase in psychiatric disorders among the LGB population living in states that instituted bans on same-sex marriage. Dr Deborah Hasin, professor of clinical Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health and senior author, and colleagues at the NYS Psychiatric Institute and Harvard University analysed data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC). Participants were initially interviewed during 2001 â€“ 2002 (Wave 1) and again during the period 2004-2005 (Wave 2), at which time participants' sexual orientation was assessed. "To address the impact of institutional discrimination on mental
health, we examined whether LGB individuals living in states that instituted constitutional amendments banning gay marriage via the 2004-2005 elections evidenced increased rates of psychiatric disorders between Wave 1 and Wave 2 of the s u r v e y, " according to the authors. Among LGB study participants living in t h e s e states, t h e prevalence of mood disorders,
generalized anxiety disorder and alcohol use disorders increased significantly between Wave 1 to Wave 2, with the greatest increase, more than 200 percent, in generalized anxiety disorder. T h e prevalence of any psychiatric disorder a l s o increased slightly a m o n g heterosexual respondents, but to a much lesser extent than their LGB counterparts. "Before this study, little was known about the
impact of institutional discrimination toward lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals in our society. The study highlights the importance of abolishing institutional forms of discrimination, including those leading to disparities in the mental health and well-being of LGB individuals," said Hasin. Institutional discrimination is characterized by societal-level conditions that limit the opportunities and access to resources by socially disadvantaged groups. During the 2004 election and soon after, the authors note, 14 states approved constitutional amendments restricting marr i a g e t o u n i o n s b e t w e e n heterosexual couples. The study was published in the March issue of the American Journal of Public Health.
12 March 2010
IRAQ war drama The Hurt Locker is set for for an Oscars shoot- out with sci- fi epic Avatar set in fantasyland Pandora on Sunday as the film fraternity descends on Hollywood for the 82nd Academy Awards. The streets around the Kodak Theater have already been cordoned off and the red carpet rolled out. Organisers fine- tuned preparations for Sundayâ€™s showbusiness spectacular, which gets under way at 5: 00 pm ( 0630 IST on Monday.) The critically acclaimed Hurt Locker is about a bomb disposal squad in Baghdad. It emerged as a clear favourite after winning a string of awards seen as indicators of success. The Hurt Locker â€™ s director Kathryn Bigelow ( 58) is also favourite to pip former spouse James Cameron, who directed Avatar , for the best director Oscar. It will make her the first woman to win the prize. Other nominees for best director include Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds , Lee Daniels for harrowing drama Precious and Jason Reitman for the recession- era dramedy Up In the Air . Clear favourites have emerged in most of the acting categories. But Sandra Bullock could face a stronger- thanexpected challenge in the best actress race for her role in The Blind Side . The competition includes Meryl Streep ( Julie & Julia ), Carey Mulligan ( An Education ) and Gabby Sidibe ( Precious ).
12 March 2010
Dharavi turns chic on catwalk DHARAVI on the ramp. Sounds bizarre but that’s exactly what a young designer showcased in her collection at the ongoing Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai. Call it the ‘ Slumdog effect’ - Slumdog Millionaire has inspired many to glamourise poverty. Young designer Sabah Khan turned to the Dharavi slums in Mumbai to seek inspiration for her collection titled ‘ No Class’. A final year student at the Inter National Institute of Fashion Design, she also has a major in psychology. Patchwork is a major theme in the collection Sabah says the people of Dharavi often use cloth patches to make the best of what they have. The collection also has asymmetrical hemlines that signify the thatched, jagged roofs of the slums. The colour palette consisting of bright pinks, greens and yellows is a reflection of the optimism found in Dharavi. Reversible separates such as pants and skirts conveyed the message that one can make do with less. Says the designer: “ We are not apologetic of who we are, slums are a part of our lives and we are not embarrassed of them.” It’s a bizarre logic - most people would say they are ashamed of the poverty in their country and wish to eradicate it, rather than celebrate it or see it as ‘ chic’. But then, fashion is known to go over the edge sometimes. Sabah says she wants to attract attention to the issue of poverty. And just in case the point
was lost, she drove it home by using the digital prints of the children of Dharavi on the skirts, tops and jumpers. Sabah says though these children take up fulltime jobs by the age of eight, such hardships don’t dampen their happiness. Sabah, a young girl of British- Asian origin who spent her early years in the UK, claims that the idea of the collection came to her much before Slumdog Millionaire was released. She was travelling in a rickshaw when she saw these people on the streets. She was struck by how happy and content they appeared despite their hardships. “ Though of course most of us only see their miserable circumstances,” she says. Sabah’s research included visiting Dharavi and reading Kalpana Sharma’s Rediscovering Dharavi . To give Sabah
due credit, her collection was funky and interesting. However, this is not the first time Dharavi has appeared on the ramp. Two seasons ago, the child actors of Slumdog Millionaire - Rubina Ali and Mohammed Azharuddin Ismail - had walked the ramp in another distasteful attempt at cashing in on their popularity. Who knows, inspired by Sabah, the glitzy people at the fashion week may be affected by a fit of conscience. They may even be moved enough to donate their designer handbags from last season for a good cause. But just in case the readers are wondering, the prices of Sabah’s garments begin at Rs 4,500. And no proceeds go to the residents of Dharavi. They are meant for the ‘ sympathetic’ designer.
A step-by-step guide to winged eyes Celebrity make-up artist OONAGH CONNOR'S failsafe guide to the new winged eye - a look championed by Amy Winehouse. STEP ONE Using a fine eye make-up brush, create a sequence of small dash lines, like a dot-to-dot stencil, close to the eyelid and up towards the eyebrow in the shape of a classic winged eye. STEP TWO Using the dotted line as a guide, go over this with a black liquid eyeliner, filling in the area below the dots and taking the line to a strong point at the
inner eye. Complete the look with several layers of mascara. STEP THREE Use a nude lipstick or concealer to blot out lip colour so your lips blend with the rest of your face. The eyes are the real focus of the look. STEP FOUR towards the ear. Wear the Sweep a peachy pink blusher look with messy hair pulled over the cheek bones and up back into a loose chignon.
12 March 2010
Mushroom Soup Ingredients: 2 cups Mushrooms 2 cups Chicken or veg stock 3 nos. Egg yolks 1 cup Milk 1/8 tsp Black pepper 4 tbsps Butter or margarine 1/4 tsp Salt
How to make mushroom soup: • Melt the butter in a pan, add the mushrooms and cook them for 5 minutes stirring constantly. • Add the chicken or vegetable stock, raise the heat and bring to a boil. • Remove the mushroom mixture from the heat. • Beat 1/2 cup of hot broth with the egg yolks until the mixture becomes frothy. • Gradually pour this mixture into the mushroom mixture, stirring constantly to prevent the mixture from curdling. • Return the pan to the heat and add the milk, salt and pepper. • Reheat uncovered, stirring constantly, but do not let the soup boil. • Serve the mushroom soup hot.
12 March 2010
A Last Chance for the Trade Center to Rise Again AFTER years of false starts and broken promises, we have reached a defining moment in the rebuilding of the World Trade Center. By Friday, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the site’s developer, Larry Silverstein, must make a choice: Will they broker a compromise that allows them to move forward with rebuilding the historic heart of our city? Or will they allow their dispute to return to arbitration, condemning the World Trade Center site to years more of delays? For the two of us, the choice is clear. In the days after our city was attacked, New Yorkers vowed to rebuild, to make Lower Manhattan whole again. And with new schools, parks and housing, it has been rejuvenated as a dynamic, bustling community. There has also been some important progress at ground zero. The memorial is on track to open in time for the 10th anniversary of the attacks, next year. The tower at 7 World Trade Center is a commercial and critical success. Construction of the Port Authority’s 1 World
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Trade Center, Mr. Silverstein’s 4 World Trade Center and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Fulton Street Transit Center is well under way. But the latest stalemate between the Port Authority and the developer, which has been dragging on since last summer, now threatens to overshadow and overwhelm all of the progress. At the root of their dispute is financing for the office towers that are to be built along Church Street, on the east side of the complex. With capital markets still tight, Mr. Silverstein is seeking credit assistance from the Port Authority for two of his skyscrapers; but the Port Authority is willing to fully back only one of them. Because the new World Trade Center has been designed so that all the buildings share key infrastructure, an indefinite delay for one building would delay the entire eastern side of the site. That would mean the loss of 10,000 construction jobs and leave us with an enormous empty lot where we should have a revitalized Trade Center. That outcome is unacceptable. And it doesn’t have to end up this way: Mr. Silverstein and the Port Authority have one day to hash out an agreement that fulfills their moral obligation to our city. Several months ago, the two of us spelled out a compromise. It’s a deal that’s still within reach. Our proposal would require Mr. Silverstein to invest significantly more equity and take on more risk, and the Port Authority to provide more temporary credit assistance to move construction forward on both towers. Mr. Silverstein has been receptive to this plan, but the Port Authority has not, couching its opposition as an effort to protect taxpayers and preserve its ability to pay for other transportation and development projects in the region. Its continued intransigence, however, comes with its own price. Delays at the site have already cost the Port Authority tens of millions of public dollars. Not only would further delays cost much more, but rent proceeds from a thriving World Trade Center would provide money for the Port Authority’s other transportation projects around the city, including Moynihan Station and a new passenger rail tunnel under the Hudson River. From the beginning, the redevelopment process was always intended to be a public-private collaboration. We need a reinvigoration of that partnership now more than ever. The parties have one day to produce a realistic schedule, a budget and a financing plan for the World Trade Center. The future of Lower Manhattan — and a piece of our national pride — depend on it.
Breezy Love, or the Sacking of the Bees Birds do it. Bees do it. Beetles, bats and light summer breezes do it. I refer, of course, to that raunchiest of sex acts: the pollination of flowers. When it comes to sex, plants have more headaches than the rest of us. One problem is that they can’t travel about to find a mate — they are, after all, rooted to the spot - so they have to depend on intermediaries to bring egg and sperm cells together. For mosses and ferns, the intermediary is water. For conifers like pine trees and cypresses, the intermediary is wind. But for most flowering plants, the intermediaries are animals. Flowering plants are the largest, most successful group of plants on the planet today. There are thought to be more than quarter of a million different species — nearly 10 times more than all the other types of plants added together. (To put things in perspective, the number of living species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals combined is less than 58,000.) The flowering plants include roses and waterlilies, grasses and oak trees, tulips and orchids. They include, in short, most of the plants that come to mind when one thinks of vegetation. It was not always thus. Before the mid-Cretaceous, 100 million years ago or so, flowering plants were scarce: conifers and their relations ruled the landscape. But then, for reasons that are not well understood, flowering plants upstaged all others, and the Earth came into bloom. Flowering plants were not the first to seduce animals into spreading their pollen for them. Fossils suggest that some earlier groups of plants, now extinct, had evolved a dependency on insects like scorpionflies. Nonetheless, the earliest flowers appear to have been pollinated by insects, and the full-scale blossoming of flowering plants coincides with the rise of animals as go-betweens. Bees, for example, buzzed onto the scene with flowering plants; the evolutionary history, and success, of both groups is intimately linked. The appearance of flowering plants brought a new flamboyance to the planet. Flowers pollinated by animals tend to be big and colorful; they often smell. (To a human, flowers pollinated by bees typically smell pleasant; flowers pollinated by flies tend to smell foul, like rotting meat.) Often, flowers offer something for the animal to eat — a sip of nectar, perhaps. Sometimes, they provide heat.
That calls for celebration. Let’s have vegetables for dinner tonight.
I have an idea that the phrase ‘weaker sex’ was coined by some woman to disarm some man she was preparing to overwhelm. - Ogden Nash
12 March 2010
Senior prison officer suspended over 'sex for days out' claims Surrey : A senior prison officer in charge of a wing at a women’s jail has been suspended over allegations he had sex with inmates in return for day-release passes. Police are investigating claims that Russell Thorne, 40, a principal officer at HMP Downview in Surrey, was caught in a cell with a prisoner. Three unnamed wardens have also been suspended over the claims. Mr Thorne, a married father of two who has also served as an acting governor of the prison, is also alleged to have sent a sexually explicit ‘love letter’ to an inmate. He denies the allegations. Sources have told The Mail on Sunday that a ‘sexfor-favours culture’ existed at the prison, which houses offenders convicted of crimes ranging from theft and drug-smuggling to manslaughter. Part of the police investigation is understood to focus on extraordinary claims that prison officers had sex in the
library at Downview, a closed jail in Sutton.‘It involved the same group of girls who would then be granted favours, mainly day release and, in some cases, protection from bullying,’ said a source. Last week, Downview was placed on ‘lockdown’, with inmates confined to cells while police carried out enquiries. A mattress was said to have been removed for DNA analysis. The governor of the prison, Ian Murray, has taken early retirement but the Ministry of Justice said his departure was ‘totally unrelated’. It is understood an inmate, 23year-old Lizzi Stanley – who was
China Hints at Resolution of Sino-US Disputes New York : China's foreign minister says Beijing and the United States should move past recent disputes and work together to get relations back on track. The foreign minister's comments came on the sidelines of the annual session of parliament. Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi appeared to signal Sunday that a small, but significant, thaw in the frosty relations between Beijing and Washington has begun. During a lengthy news conference at the on-going National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing, he invited the United States to work with China to put recent differences behind them. He says the United States should work with the Chinese in a joint effort to return the China-U.S. relationship to a track of stable development. And he says Beijing hopes the United States will agree to overcome the differences. Beijing and Washington have been at odds over a number of issues. Among them are U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, the White House welcome for Tibet's exiled leader,
The Great Hall of the People on the first day of the National People's Congress session the Dali Lama, Chinese cyberspying and trade issues. Yang's call for a resolution came amid a repeat of the hostile rhetoric by Beijing in recent weeks. He reiterated Beijing's claim the United States had caused the strained ties, saying China's core interests had been ignored. China's foreign policy has caused international anger recently, including Beijing's rigid stance on climate change and emissions cuts. Beijing's trade policies have also
caused friction. China has refused to adjust the value of its currency, the yuan, which has been frozen at just under $7 since mid-2008. This has allowed Beijing to preserve the international competitiveness of its exports. Europe and the United States claim this creates unfair trade balances and have called on Beijing to loosen the yuan. China's central bank released a statement to NPC delegates Saturday pledging to keep the country's currency stable throughout 2010.
not involved in any of the alleged incidents – reported concerns to prison authorities late last year. Her mother, Terri Stanley, said: ‘Lizzi made a complaint to guards at the prison, naming Mr Thorne and others, but nothing changed. I wrote to the prison several times raising the issues, but with no response.’She claimed the investigation began in earnest only when she contacted police on December 13. Mrs Stanley also raised the matter with her Conservative MP, Maria Miller, on February 5.On February 18, she received a letter from Mrs Miller saying: ‘I will speak to my colleague who looks after prisons
and raise your concerns, which I am sure he will be very interested to hear.’ Mrs Stanley, who visits other inmates as well as her daughter, said: ‘All the girls were talking about it but no one was doing anything about it. They were telling me the guards were having sex with the girls in return for day releases. ‘Girls were worried that if they reported it, the prisoners involved would be angry because they would lose their privileges. ‘They also didn’t want to get in trouble with the guards. After my daughter complained, she was told by one prison officer that he could make her sentence become very difficult.’
US Redesigns Hundred Dollar Bill New York : The United States says it will debut a new design to the hundred-dollar bill next month. In a s ta t e m e n t F r i d a y, the Treasury Department said it makes decisions about currency redesigns by evaluating "ongoing counterfeit threats." The department said the new look will h e l p protect against fraud. Treasury Secretary
Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will unveil the new look on April 21 in a special ceremony. Details of how the bill will be different from the current version have not yet been r e l e a s e d . B u t the treasury department says it will launch a global public aw a r e n e s s campaign to make s u r e everyone i s aware o f t h e n e w security measures before the bill starts circulating. The hundred-dollar note is the highest U.S. dollar denomination in circulation. It is used by people around the world.
12 March 2010
Possible Shift on US Terror Trial Alarms Human Rights Groups Washington : Last November, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that five alleged conspirators of the 911 attacks including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would go on trial in a federal court in New York City in connection with the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. But that decision may be about to be reversed, according to senior Obama administration officials cited in the Washington Post and by other sources. A decision to reverse course could come as early as next week and would be the latest twist in a political firestorm that erupted over the issue of civilian trials since it was announced by Attorney General Holder last year. The question of whether to try the alleged 9-11 conspirators in a civilian court or through a military justice track sparked an intense debate in Congress and on the nation's airwaves. "I think trying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York is a big mistake," said former Vice President Dick Cheney, who spoke recently on ABC's "This Week" program. "It gives him a huge platform to promulgate his particular brand
of propaganda around the world. I think he ought he ought to be at Guantanamo. I think he ought to be tried at Guantanamo in front of a military commission." Vice President Joe Biden argued in favor of a civilian trial on NBC's "Meet the Press." "Under the Bush administration there were three trials in military courts," he said. "Two of those people are now walking the streets.
Gayatri Mantra read at Catholic youth rally in Nevada
Nevada (US) : In a remarkable interfaith gesture, Fifth Annual Catholic Diocesan Youth Rally held at Reno (Nevada, USA), involving Catholic teenagers from various parts of Nevada, heard from area Muslim-Hindu-Buddhist-Jewish leaders.Catholic teenagers listened intently in the chapel of Bishop Manogue Catholic High School to Muslim imam Abdulrahim Barghouthi, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, Buddhist priest William S. Bartlett, and Jewish rabbi Teri E. Appleby, explaining the tenets of their respective faiths, highlighting similarities. It ended with recitation of Gayatri Mantra (most sacred mantra of Hinduism from the oldest scripture Rig-Veda, dating to around 1,500 BCE) by Zed.Father Charles T. Durante, Pastor of Saint Teresa of Avila Catholic Community of Carson City, who coordinated the interfaith event, said that in order to truly live in peace and harmony; we must strive to understand others. Bishop Randolph R. Calvo,
in his message, said, "May this day be a real source of joy", while Monique Jacobs, Director of Youth Ministry, called it a "day filled with opportunities to see, hear and meet God in each other." Doug Stewart was the Director of the Rally.About 400 participated in this Rally, where workshops were held on "The Church, Sex, and Teens", "Spirituality", "Rosary Making", "Lies Young Women/Men Believe", "Following Jesus: A Dangerous Adventure", "Self image and image of God", "Gang Prevention, etc. Josh Blakesly, well known composer from Louisiana, was the keynote speaker of the Rally, which also included music, dance, skits, mass with ishop Calvo, etc. Rajan Zed has congratulated the Catholic Diocese efforts of exposing their youth to other religions."Religion is a complex component of human life. Dialogue helps us to see interconnections and interdependencies between religions and even similarities in doctrines," Zed adds.
They are free. There were 300 trials of so-called terrorists, and those who engaged in terrorist acts against the United States of America who are in federal prison and have not seen the light of day." Reaction in New York City to the prospect of a trial in federal court was decidedly negative, both from local officials and the public. And r e c e n t l y A t t o r n e y G e n e r a l Holder told the Washington Post that transparency was more important than where the trials will ultimately be held, a signal to many that the administration was considering a shift. Human and legal rights groups have already issued statements urging the administration not to switch the trial venues from the civilian court system to the military. The American Civil Liberties Union said that a regrettable reversal under political pressure will strike a blow to American values and the rule of law and will undermine America's credibility. Similar comments came in a statement from the Constitution Project and Human Rights First.
Sikh man charged with killing father in Canada Vancouver : A Sikh man who beat his father to death last December in the family home in Calgary city was charged with homicide. Police said Ranjit Rana Singh, 30, faces second-degree murder charges in the death of his father Harinder Singh. The 60-year-old Singh had suffered critical injuries after an assault inside the family home Dec 9 last year. Police and paramedics had removed him to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Rana Ranjit Singh fled in his Honda Civic after fatally injuring his father even as other family members denied that they saw the assault. He was arrested later and questioned by police for being 'a person of considerable interest'' in the case. However, no charges were laid against the man at that time, though he remained a suspect in the case. Later, his family admitted the 30-year-old suspect into a mental hospital. But he slipped out of the mental hospital, leading to desperate hunt for him by police. With second-degree charges laid against him at he weekend, Rana Ranjit Singh formally becomes the guilty person in the murder. The victim, who came to Canada more than a decade ago, lived with his joint family of two sons and one daughter. Though it is never reported, physical abuse of elders and women is rampant in Indo-Canadian families. Most families bring their elders from India for the lure of old-age pension in Canada. Often family disputes spiral out of control, leading to tragedies like the death of Singh at the hands of his own son.
Newborn baby dies after being found outside Islamic centre Alasks : Police were last night searching for a mother who left a dying newborn boy in a plastic carrier bag outside a mosque with a note reading, ‘Please bury him for me’. Mosque trustee Mohammed Akbar, who found the package yesterday morning, at first thought the baby was dead. Police officers noticed signs of life and took the boy to hospital but medics were unable to save him. There was a £10 note
in the bag towards burial costs. Mr Akbar, of the Makki Mosque in Stoke-on-Trent, said: ‘We were opening up for a Saturday school class when I saw the bag and realised it was a baby inside. It is so very sad. ‘The baby was totally wrapped up in white sheeting. You could not see the face.’ Detective Inspector Dave Giles said: ‘We urgently need the mother to come forward so we can help her.’
12 March 2010
Sri Lanka rejects UN plan to U.S.-born al-Qaeda form human rights panel operative held in Pakistan
Sri Lanka's president has told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon a proposed U.N. panel to look into possible human rights abuses in the country's civil war was unwarranted, the president's office said on Saturday. Colombo : Sri Lanka has rejected a UN proposal to set up an advisory panel in the wake of alleged human rights abuses during the final phase of the war between government forces and the Tamil Tigers.President Mahinda Rajapaksa said the UN move was 'unwarranted' and would be perceived as 'interference' in Sri Lanka's internal matters. In a telephonic conversation with the secretarygeneral Friday, the president said: 'It was unprecedented and
unwarranted as no such action had been taken against other states with continuing armed conflicts, involving major humanitarian catastrophes and causing deaths of large number of civilians.' Rajapaksa was responding to Ban's letter dated Feb 25 in which he had proposed to form an independent panel on the basis of allegations of human rights violations during the military action against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
(LTTE) last year. After months of fighting, the LTTE was military crushed in May, leaving thousands dead and ending one of the most protracted separatist campaigns. The UN chief was told that Sri Lanka had concluded its conflict with the world's most ruthless terrorist organisation more than nine months ago and was in the process of working out national reconciliation, a statement by the presidential secretariat said. The UN move would be perceived as interference in the current election campaign in the country, the president told the UN chief, adding he would also write a letter to the world body. Rajapaksa said that the allegations about human rights violations were motivated misrepresentations by the LTTE sympathasisers and some organisations working on agenda that was directed against Sri Lanka. The president informed the UN that he had already appointed a special committee to study the allegations of human rights violations and other charges reported by the US State Department. Rajapaksa warned that appointment of a UN panel would compel Sri Lanka to take 'necessary action'.
Washington : A U.S.-born spokesman for al-Qaeda has been arrested, Pakistani intelligence officers said Sunday. Adam Gadahn was arrested in recent days in the southern Pakistan port city of Karachi, two intelligence officers said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to release the information. U.S. defence, intelligence and law enforcement officials could not immediately verify the report, but Patrick Rowan, the former top anti-terrorism official in the Justice Department, said, "If this is him, it's a big capture and a morale-booster." Californian-born Gadahn, 31, has been on the FBI's top 10 most wanted terrorist list since 2004 and was charged with treason in 2006. The agency has a $1-million reward for his capture.Gadahn was arrested in the sprawling southern metropolis of Karachi in recent days, two officers who took part in the operation said. A senior government official also confirmed the arrest, but said it happened Sunday. The discrepancy could not immediately be resolved.
Coming to Israel, Biden flags U.S. support vs Iran Washington : Biden, the most senior U.S. official to visit since Israel President Barack Obama took office in January 2009, is widely expected to caution his hosts not to attack Iran pre-emptively while world powers pursue fresh sanctions against Tehran. In an interview with the biggest-selling Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, Biden emphasized Washington's efforts to drum up greater international diplomatic pressure on the Iranians, as well as unilateral measures imposed by the U.S. Treasury.Asked about the prospect of an Israeli attack, he said: "Though I cannot answer the hypothetical questions you raised about Iran, I can promise the Israeli people that we will confront, as allies, any security challenge it will face. A nuclear-armed Iran would constitute a threat not only to Israel -- it would also constitute a threat to the United States."The Obama administration, Biden said, "gives Israel annual military aid worth $3 billion. We revived defense consultations between the two countries, doubled our efforts to ensure Israel preserves its qualitative military edge in the region, expanded our joint exercises and cooperation on missile-defense
systems." Israel, which is believed to have the region's only atomic arsenal, bombed Iraq's nuclear reactor in 1981 and, in 2007, launched a similar sortie against Syria. But many analysts believe its forces are too small to deliver more than disruptive strikes against Iran's distant, numerous and fortified sites. Those tactical challenges, and U.S. reluctance to see a new regional war, has led some analysts to predict Israel will eventually come round to a strategy of "containing" Iran -- which denies its controversial uranium enrichment is for bombs. Biden, who arrives in Jerusalem on Monday and departs Israel on Thursday, was not expected to take part in indirect IsraeliPalestinian talks that would be spearheaded by Obama's special envoy, George Mitchell, and could be announced during his visit, although he will be briefed on them.U.S.-Israeli tensions flared over Obama's early push for a complete freeze to Jewish settlement in the West Bank, where Palestinians seek statehood as part of a future peace accord.
12 March 2010
G.I.’s, New to Iraq, Hear the Election Explosions BAGHDAD - “You’re hearing a lot of booms out there,” Lt. Ryan P. Alexander told his soldiers, briefing them ahead of their platoon’s anticipated operation as mortar fire and explosions rained on Baghdad early on Sunday while Iraqis began voting in the parliamentary elections.He recited the attacks in their area: two bombs, including one at a culinary school; a mortar attack on a building; an attack on a hospital; and rockets fired from a nearby bridge. More explosions and gunfire were heard in the distance.
The soldiers, many of whom had not faced combat, joked about being killed, the sort of black humor that prevails in combat.“But there’s nothing significant enough for us to go out yet,” said Lieutenant Alexander, who is with the First Brigade, Third Infantry Division. So the soldiers sat, waiting for a request from the Iraqis. They smoked. They ate. They talked about women and movies. After three hours, most of the soldiers were permitted to head back to their barracks to get out of the sun and get some rest,
though the platoon remained on alert.“It makes sense guys, this is their election,” the lieutenant said of the Iraqis. “It’s good they’re trying to handle this on their own.” America’s war here may be seven
Indian man charged with Indian toddler's death in Australia MELBOURNE: A 23-year-old Indian man was today charged over the death of an Indian toddler, whose body was found three days ago in a Melbourne suburb. D h i l l o n Gursewak has been charged with manslaughter due to criminal negligence and is appearing in an out-of-sessions hearing at St Kilda Road Police complex, local media reports said. He is not expected to apply for bail. The man,
who has been charged with murdering the threeyear-old Gurshan Singh Channa from Punjab who was in Australia on a vacation with his parents, is not a relative, but did live in the same house in David Street, Lalor as Gurshan, the reports said. Channa's body was found by a council worker on Thursday night, six hours after he disappeared from a rented property shared by his parents with friends and family here. A total of 12 people lived in the house.
years old, but for many of the soldiers stationed at Baghdad’s old Ministry of Defense, it is their first time in Iraq. With Sunday’s pivotal parliamentary elections, America’s role here
may be its smallest yet. Unseasoned as many of the soldiers here are, they seemed to have an understanding that the success - or not - of the elections could dictate how soon the Americans could go home.
France captures 22 suspected pirates off Somalia PARIS - France's Defense Ministry says a French frigate involved in an EU anti-piracy mission off Somalia has detained 22 suspected pirates from six separate boats in the Indian Ocean. The "Nivose" first captured 11 people from a "mother boat" and two accompanying skiffs about 180 nautical miles east of Mogadishu by tracking them
after they tried to attack a French oceanographic vessel. Hours later, the frigate "neutralized" three other suspected pirate boats about 90 nautical miles to the south. The ministry statement late Friday said the suspects were being held on board the Nivose. EU naval authorities say they are bracing for more high-seas attacks with the end of the monsoon season in the Gulf of Aden and western Indian Ocean.
More women work, but gender inequality remains GENEVA, Switzerland—Despite signs of progress in gender equality over the past 15 years, there is still a significant gap between women and men in terms of job opportunities and quality of employment, according to a new report by the International Labour Office (ILO). The report, entitled Women in Labor Markets: Measuring Progress and Identifying Challenges, says that more than a decade after the 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing adopted an ambitious global platform for action on gender equality and women’s empowerment, gender biases remain deeply embedded in society and the labor market. The ILO report shows that the rate of female labor force participation has increased from 50.2 to 51.7 percent between 1980 and 2008, while the male rate decreased from 82.0 to 77.7 percent. As a result, the gender gap in labor force participation rates has narrowed from 32 to 26 percentage points. The increases in female participation were seen in
all but two regions, Central and South-Eastern Europe (non-European Union), and the CIS (Community of Independent States formerly of the Union of Socialist Soviet Russia) countries and East Asia, with the largest gain
seen in Latin America and the Caribbean. In almost all regions, though, the rate of increase has slowed in recent years. It was in the 1980s and early 1990s that gains in numbers of economically active women were strongest. At the same time, the share of women in wage and salaried work has grown from 42.8 percent in 1999 to 47.3 percent in 2009, and the share of vulnerable employment decreased from 55.9 percent to 51.2 percent. ”While there have been areas of improvement since the Beijing conference and more women are choosing to work, they still don’t enjoy the same gains as men in the labor markets,” said Sara Elder of the ILO’s Employment Trends unit and main author of the report. “We still find many more women than men taking up low-pay and precarious work, either because this is the only type of job made available to them or because they need to find something that allows them to balance work and family responsibilities. Men do not face these same constraints.”
12 March 2010
12 March 2010
The lawyer who defends animals Britain's Home Secretary tight-lipped Switzerland : When Patrick Giger, a 34-year-old angler from the Swiss village of Horgen, cast his baited line into Lake Zurich's stormswollen waters on an icy February morning last year, he could not have forecast the trouble he would end up reeling in alongside the 22lb pike which was soon to snare itself on his hook. The day ended with the monster fish being devoured by Giger and his friends at a local restaurant, but just a few months later Giger would face, on the instructions of the state prosecutor for the canton of Zurich, criminal prosecution for causing excessive suffering to the animal after boasting to a local newspaper that he had spent around 10 minutes, and exerted considerable physical effort, landing the fish. The pike has gone on to become something of a poster child for the animal rights movement in Switzerland. It has even attracted more than 6,000 "fans" on a Facebook page set up in its memory. But the fate of this fish also acts to highlight the political divisions in Switzerland over just how far to push its animal rights legislation, already hailed as arguably the toughest anywhere in the world. The ultimate test will come this Sunday when the country will decide in a referendum – or "people's initiative" – whether an animal should be represented by a lawyer during any criminal trial in which it is judged to be the "victim". The canton of Zurich has had just such a lawyer – or "animal advocate", as the incumbent prefers to be called – since 1991, but the campaigners who garnered the 100,000 signatures required to automatically trigger a national referendum are now hoping animal advocates will be required by law in all 26 cantons.Antoine Goetschel, Zurich's animal advocate since 2007, acted in court on behalf of the pike two weeks ago when Giger's trial finally came before a judge. Giger was subsequently acquitted, but Goetschel is still hopeful that when the judge finally submits his written summary of the trial in the coming weeks he will clarify what time-length is acceptable for a fisherman to land a fish.
over James Bulger killer's detention Paris - British Home Secretary Alan Johnson is tightlipped after a notorious British child killer was put back behind bars after breaching the conditions of his parole. Jon Venables and his friend Robert Thompson were convicted of killing two-year-old James Bulger in 1993, a crime that shocked the nation because of the ages of the victim and his babyfaced killers. The murder has been ingrained into the British national memory by video images of a trusting toddler being led to his death by two 10-year-old boys. Venables, 27, was released from juvenile detention in 2001. The Justice Ministry said he had been sent back to jail in recent days. Officials did not reveal what the violation was, although Mr Johnson said the huge public interest in the case meant more information would be released in the next few weeks. "At this juncture I can say nothing more than confirm that Jon Venables is back in custody," Mr Johnson told Sky News. "I believe the public do have a right to know and I believe they will know all the facts in due course. "But I must in no way prejudice the future criminal justice
Back in jail ... Jon Venables (right), now 27, was convicted of abducting and murdering toddler James Bulger in 1993. proceedings." Venables will appear before a parole hearing within 28 days to decide if he should be released or stay in jail. The Parole Board said the outcome of the hearing would most likely be made public because of the high-profile nature of the case.Venables and Thompson abducted James from a shopping centre in Liverpool as he waited outside a butcher's shop for his mother. The boys dragged
the toddler through town - telling inquiring adults that he was their brother - to a railway line, where they hit him with bricks and metal bars, poured paint in his eyes and finally left him on the tracks, where his body was cut in half by a train. A security camera captured images of the toddler being led away by the two older boys, scenes replayed countless times on British television and around the world.
Patchwork Pension Plan Adds to Greek Debt Woes ATHENS — Vasia Veremi may be only 28, but as a hairdresser in Athens, she is keenly aware that, under a current law that treats her job as hazardous to her health, she has the right to retire with a full pension at age 50. “I use a hundred different chemicals every day — dyes, ammonia, you name it,” she said. “You think there’s no risk in that?” “People should be able to retire at a decent age,” Ms. Veremi added. “We are not made to live 150 years.” Perhaps not, but that still makes it difficult to explain to outsiders why the Greek government has identified at least 580 job categories that are deemed to be hazardous enough to merit retiring early — at age 50 for women and 55 for men. The law includes some predictably dangerous jobs like coal mining and bomb disposal. But it also covers positions like radio and television presenters who are thought to be at risk from the bacteria on their microphones
and musicians playing wind instruments who must contend with gastric reflux as they puff and blow. As a consequence of decades of bargains struck between strong unions and weak governments, Greece has promised early retirement to about 700,000 employees, or 14 percent of its work force, giving it one the lowest average retirement ages in Europe at 61. Greece’s patchwork system of early retirement has contributed to the out-of-control state spending that has led to Europe’s sovereign debt crisis. What’s more, the government’s promises to pay pension benefits will grow sharply in coming years, and investors can see that the country has not set aside enough money to cover those costs. The predicament has emerged as a divisive topic within Europe, especially because Germany, Greece’s most stubborn taskmaster on fiscal matters, has already taken politically difficult steps to
increase its retirement age to 67 and reduce benefits. Indeed, the problem with Greek pensions far outweighs the troubles caused by finagling with its accounts in the early 1990s to get its official deficit figures low enough to qualify to join the euro club. A recent report by the European Commission found that Greek spending on pensions
and health care for its aging population, if left unchecked, would soar from just over 20 percent of G.D.P. today to about 37 percent of G.D.P. by 2060, the highest level in Europe. Greece is an early indicator of troubles to come. Bigger countries like Germany, France, Spain and Italy have relied for decades on a
munificent state financed by a range of stiff taxes to keep the political peace. Now, governments across Europe are being pressed to re-examine their commitments to providing generous pensions over extended retirements because the downturn has suddenly pushed at least part of these hidden costs to the surface.
12 March 2010
An artist has no ‘political boundaries’: M F Husain DOHA: “Earth belongs to the Creator. For a true artist, the boundaries are political. It is immaterial for him where he is living and where he is dying”, renowned painter M F Husian replied when The Peninsula shot an ‘offending’, rather realistic question where the nonagenarian painter would like to be buried. He said it was his professional commitment that brought him here. I know the whole India, except a negligible segment, love me. I am grateful that India’s left forces and its secular mass stood with me during my time of crisis. But why the ruling dispensation did not act leaves me worrying, he said. “I am sad, because I have been forced to quit my country. Its not shame for India, but for Political India, it’s of course a shame. India is my motherland what I have surrendered is just a piece of paper. Nobody can take away my life from there. It is my birthright to remain an Indian.”, Husain said hours after he surrendered his Indian passport to Indian ambassador Deepa Gopalan Wadhwa here yesterday. Reacting to India’s Home Minister Palaniyappan Chidambaram’s request to Husain to return back to
India he said “it is too late”. “Where were they all these years? It has been going on for 12 years. No one opened their mouths. They have not done anything. I am facing over 15,000 cases in different courts in India”. Asked whether he lost his faith in Indian judiciary, Husain said “No”. India’s Supreme Court has in fact delivered a verdict in favour of me. It’s because of that faith in the Indian system, I continued to face the cases in several courts”. Coming to his mission in Qatar Husain added: “I am involved in a great work here. I am trying to say ‘What Arab gave to the world. It covers Babylonian civilisation and the modern Arab world. I do not know when I can complete it. I have also committed to another major project in Abu Dhabi”, he said I need a sponsor. I don’t have money to invest in such huge projects. Qatar offered me all the help and I accepted it. He said he will continue to travel to India. “ I cannot leave that country. It’s a democratic country. People are free to criticise me. They can even reject my works. I respect that freedom. But they should have realised that an artist’s language is universal.
Rathore offers himself for narco test France's Sarkozy faces whipping in regional vote involved on account of aortic valve surgery undergone by me provided others who have involved me also undergo same tests. I will also request the government to reach the truth into various kinds of allegations being made against me through the media. Painting me as evil man must be independently enquired by any of the premier intelligence agencies of the country e.g. IB or RAW,” he added in his reply to the government notice. Chandigarh : Former Haryana director general of police S P S Rathore, convicted in the Ruchika Girhotra molestation case, has expressed willingness to undergo narco-analysis, but on the “condition” that the complainants against him, too, take the same lie-detection test. Rathore’s condition came in his reply to the show-cause notice issued by the state government, asking him why his pension benefits be not stopped, for allegedly abusing power and bringing disrepute to the police service. In his reply to the showcause notice (a copy of which is with Newsline), Rathore has expressed his willingness to undergo the narco-analysis, provided complainants Madhu
Prakash, her husband Anand Prakash, daughter Aradhana and Ruchika’s father S C Girhotra, too, undergo the same test. The Girhotra family has, however, described Rathore’s willingness as another delaying tactic. In his reply, Rathore said: “I consider it my moral duty to offer myself for narco tests provided S C Girhotra, Ashu Girhotra, Aradhana Gupta, Anand Prakash and Madhu Prakash, who have spread lies all over the country through the media and have succeeded in getting three new false FIRs registered against me, attracting serious noncognisable offences, should also undergo the same test.” “I also undertake that I will undergo this test at my risk knowing fully well the risks
PARIS — Nicolas Sarkozy is looking politically lonely in his presidential palace. Voters hit by France's worst recession since World War II are fearing for their jobs, and are worried and conflicted about how Islamic veils and immigrant culture fit in their nation today. They get a chance to voice their frustration in an election starting Sunday that is likely to leave opposition Socialists in charge of nearly every regional government in France. The left is even dreaming of a "grand slam": control over all 26 regions. The usually confident and charismatic Sarkozy, though he's not on the ballot, is likely to emerge the big loser in this vote, halfway through a presidential term he vowed would transform his country into an economic powerhouse. Sarkozy "thought he could do anything at any moment, all the time, and he figured out that it is not true," said Daniel Cohn-Bendit, the leader of Europe Ecologie, a green-minded party shaping up to be the decisive third force in the regional elections.
India's Maoist extremists ask Arundhati Roy to mediate in conflict with state Kolkata : Booker-prize winning novelist and activist Arundhati Roy was personally invited today to "mediate" by the leader of the guerrillas fighting a violent insurgency against the Indian state. Roy ruled out becoming directly involved in any talks, as suggested by Koteswar Rao, the leader of the main force of India's Maoist extremists, but told the Guardian that she considered the offer "serious" and said she felt "both sides should call a ceasefire". Repeated offers of talks by the guerrillas - who face a government offensive against their forest and hill bases in central India in the coming weeks
– have been rejected by New Delhi. Manmohan Singh, the Indian prime minister, has described Maoist violence as the "biggest internal threat to India since independence". Rao, better known by his nom de guerre Kishengi, had
telephoned the BBC from an undisclosed location to say that the Maoists would halt their campaign if the government invited intellectuals and rights activists like Roy to mediate in peace talks.Roy, whose work The God of Small Things won the Man Booker prize in 1997, said she was "a writer, not a mediator. I don't think I would be very good at it," she said. "It's a serious responsibility and there are people who would be good at it." She was reported to have told the BBC Hindi language service that she would consider being an "observer".
12 March 2010
ZEE TV USA AND HUMDESI RADIO LAUNCH CONTEST TO SHOW APPRECIATION FOR THEIR SOUTH ASIAN AUDIENCE NEW YORK – Zee TV USA, the dominant leader in South Asian entertainment, and Worldband Media, producer of nationally syndicated HumDesi Radio, are offering two lucky radio listeners the opportunity to win backstage passes and enjoy a special intimate concert performance by international pop stars Aatif Aslam and Shreya Goshal on Sunday, March 14, 2010 in Washington,
D.C. “As a sponsor, Zee TV USA is thrilled to create a radio contest that will cultivate a longlasting relationship with the South Asian audience in a way that’s unique, fun and interactive,” says Zee TV USA’s Head of Marketing, Vibha Chopra. “In doing so, we hope to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation for South Asian music, dance and the
Dr Jasmine D’Costa partners with Bookland Press to launch “CURRY IS THICKER THAN WATER” in India under the auspices of Culture Beat of Press Club of India
arts across all ethnicities, class levels and gender.” In the days leading up to the concert, Zee TV USA and HumDesi Radio will promote the radio contest via on-air promotional campaigns, social media marketing via Facebook and Twitter as well as press coverage. Starting Thursday, March 11, Washington, D.C.-based radio listeners can call into HumDesi Radio to prove their knowledge of Zee TV, its shows and characters as well as the featured singers. Zee TV USA and HumDesi Radio will choose two lucky winners in a random drawing on Friday, March 12. In addition to VIP tickets/ backstage passes, the contest winners will be mentioned in a special MC announcement prior to the concert and enjoy an up-close and personal encounter with the South Asian pop icons at a “Meet and Greet” press conference to be held on Monday, March 15. Performing live at the DAR Constitution Hall, one of the largest concert halls in the nation’s capital, Aslam and Goshal will wow
their fans with an eclectic mix of their new and old songs. “HumDesi Radio is excited to join forces with Zee TV USA to bring this exciting contest to our listeners,” says Prabha Selvadurai, Worldband Media’s CEO. “As the nation’s largest South Asian radio network, this will help to further our mission of providing the best radio experience to our listening audience.” Zee TV USA is available on all major cable service providers in the United States. About Zee TV USA, Inc. Zee TV – the name that has become synonymous with unparalleled quality in entertainment – has been a dominant player in broadcasting content for more than 17 years in the national and international space. As an Indian channel, Zee TV is committed to supporting the values and traditions that appeal to South Asians across the globe. In July 1998, Zee TV expanded its presence in the international space by establishing itself as a mainstay in American
households, reaching more than 2 million viewers. As the undisputed leader in the market for over 11 years, Zee TV has successfully evolved its content to meet the changing needs of the market across genres and languages. The network caters to a wide audience with a growing number of channels, including Zee Cinema, Zee Sports and Alpha ETC Punjabi. About Worldband Media Group WorldBand Media LLC's ("WBM") vision is to be "North America's leader in ethnic content and delivery. Led by a team of ethnic and mainstream media entrepreneurs, WBM understands the unique characteristics, demands and potential this market presents. WBM's media interests enable ethnic North Americans to have access to the highest quality content while at home, in the car or on the move; while providing an effective and reliable outlet for its partners and advertisers to reach this growing and largely untapped market segment.
outstanding and exceptional work in field of women empowerment. The Rajasthan Government has decided to allow women to travel free in all categories of State Roadways buses today. In a bid to encourage women to join the
police force, the Mumbai Police will elevate a woman police inspector to the rank of senior inspector and make her the head of a police station. The city police will also announce the selection of 10 women constables as drivers.resident Patil and Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar have stressed on the need for women empowerment for the progress of the country. In her message, President Patil said: "Every year, we celebrate International Women's Day to recognize the dedication and achievements of women. This year is even more special, as this is the 100th year of its observation." "Indian women as part of this epoch making movement have played an exemplary role and will continue to be a major determinant of our future progress and inclusive growth," she added. Kumar, in her message, called for a change in the mindset of society towards women.
Nation observing 100th International Women's Day
Mumbai : Dr Jasmine D’Costa, an Indian banker turned actor-writer in Canada, today launched her first book “Curry is thicker than Water” in India. A collection of short stories, the book, which is published by Bookland Press, Canada, was launched under the auspices of Culture Beat of the Press Club of India, Mumbai. Placed in the Fiction/ Short Stories genre, Dr Jasmine D’Costa gives the Canadian writing landscape an arresting new voice and her unique gift of nonpareil multicultural storytelling in her maiden book, which has been a great success in the Canadian market. A cobra flies in through an open window. Wives form a pact against their bigamous, abusive husband, a mother and son battle over eagles' eggs, a homeless guest with a secret. An elephant
protests on a highway. A woman marries a pumpkin, are some of the stories that Jasmine D'Costa gives us in “Curry is thicker than Water”. With her completely intelligible language, her stories not only entertain but also enlighten us about the efforts and hardships being faced by some ordinary people in their day-to-day lives. J a s m i n e D’Costa said, “Though I wrote the book in Canada and introduced it there, the stories draw upon my myriad experiences in India. I am glad that we could launch the book here where the reader can identify with the characters and the thoughts in each of these stories. I am glad my publisher, Bookland Press, decided to add my collection of stories to the vibrant Indian publishing industry.” The book is available in all major bookstores in the country.
New Delhi : The nation is celebrating the 100th International Women's Day today. President Pratibha Patil will confer the Stree Shakti Awards at a function here. The 'Stree Shakti Puraskars' are given to women for their
12 March 2010
Supermarket Supermarket lights lights keep keep veggies veggies fresh fresh
Washington: Supermarket lights help keep spinach fresh and producing new vitamins, US government researchers reported. The surprising findings should apply to other fresh vegetables and may offer insights into how to keep produce fresher longer, the
researchers reported on Wednesday in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. They may also suggest ways to boost nutrients in fresh foods, said Gene Lester of the US Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service. He
It's official: Asteroid killed dinos London: A giant asteroid smashing into Earth is the only plausible explanation for the extinction of the dinosaurs, a global scientific team said on Thursday, hoping to settle a row that has divided experts for decades. A panel of 41 scientists from across the world reviewed 20 years' worth of research to try to confirm the cause of the socalled Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction, which created a "hellish environment" around 65 million years ago and wiped out more than half of all species on the planet. Scientific opinion was split over whether the extinction was caused by an asteroid or by volcanic activity in the Deccan Traps in what is now India, where there were a series of super volcanic eruptions that lasted around 1.5 million years. The new study, published in the journal Science, found that a 15-km wide asteroid slamming into Earth at Chicxulub in what is now Mexico was the culprit. "We now have great confidence that an asteroid was the cause of the KT extinction. This triggered large-scale fires, earthquakes measuring more than 10 on the Richter scale, and continental landslides, which created tsunamis," said Joanna Morgan of Imperial College London, a coauthor of the review. The asteroid is thought to have hit Earth with a force a billion times more powerful than the atomic bomb at Hiroshima. Morgan said the "final nail in the coffin for the dinosaurs" came when blasted material flew into the atmosphere, shrouding the planet in darkness, causing a global winter and "killing off many species that couldn't adapt to this hellish environment". Scientists working on the study analysed the work of palaeontologists, geochemists, climate modellers, geophysicists and sedimentologists who have been collecting evidence about the KT extinction over the last 20 years.
said the idea for the experiment came to him when he was shopping. Supermarkets often display fresh spinach in clear plastic containers at around 4°C under fluorescent light 24 hours a day. Lester wondered if this was good
Most liveins end up on the aisle Washington: US marriages last longer than unions where couples live together outside matrimony and one of the main reasons for this is that most livein couples (51%) make the transition to marriage within three years, the Centers for Disease Control reported. About 78% of marriages lasted five years or more, compared with less than 30% of what the CDC called cohabiting unions, or couples living together outside marriage. One reason cohabitations were shorter-lived than marriages is that 51% of couples who lived together made the transition to marriage within three years, CDC said. Over 40% of men and women aged 15-44 were married when the interviews were conducted, compared with 9% who were living together. The study also found that the odds of staying together 10 years or longer in a first marriage are better for couples of the same racial origin. Moreover, 80% of couples who have their first child at least eight months after their first marriage are likely to celebrate their 10th anniversary.
or bad for the leaves.”It is about time we asked some of these questions and do some of the science,” Lester said in a telephone interview. His team kept fresh spinach leaves under continuous light or darkness for three to nine days. Spinach kept under lights for as little as three days had significantly higher levels of vitamins C, K, E and folate, as well as more the colorful and healthful carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, they reported. Leaves stored in the dark lost nutrients, Lester said. On reflection, he said, the findings should not be surprising. ”These vitamins are basically in the plant for photosynthesis and we humans, being the biggest predator of plants, have evolved over time to utilize them as opposed to we having to manufacture them,” he said. Even when picked, leafy greens continue to
photosynthesize, Lester said. “As long as there is moisture in the leaves and as long as there is gas exchange and light, it is good to go whether they are picked or not,” he said. His team chose fresh spinach as it is “arguably one of the most nutritionally complete vegetables commonly consumed”. A serving of spinach provides 20% or more of the recommended dietary intake of vitamins C, A, B9, K and E. Spinach is particularly high in chlorophyll, as are most leafy greens including kale, collards, and romaine lettuce. Other green vegetables would also likely benefit from lighted storage conditions, such as broccoli, bell peppers, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and green beans. The researchers noted that one of the carotenoids in spinach did not increase during the study – betacarotene – so orange fruits and vegetables may not receive the same benefits from light.
WWW: World without wires London: Those tangles of wires behind your PC and telephone could soon be a thing of the past, thanks to a new system being developed at Purdue University that could eliminate wires for communication in homes, businesses and cars. Researchers have developed a miniature device capable of converting ultrafast laser pulses into bursts of radiofrequency signals, a feat that could make wires obsolete for communications in the homes and offices of the future. The advance could enable all communications, from high-definition television broadcasts to secure computer connections, to be transmitted from a single base station, said Minghao Qi, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. "Of course, ideas about specific uses of our technology are futuristic and speculative, but we envision a single base station and everything else would be wireless," Nature quoted him as saying. Generally, the continuous waves of conventional radio-frequency transmissions encounter interference from stray signals reflecting off of the walls and objects inside a house or office. However, the pulsing nature of the signals produced by the new "chipbased spectral shaper" reduces the interference that normally plagues radio frequency communications, said Andrew Weiner. Each laser pulse lasts about 100 femtoseconds, or one-tenth of a trillionth of a second. These pulses are processed using "optical arbitrary waveform technology" pioneered by Purdue researchers led by Weiner. The approach also might be used for transmitting wireless signals inside cars.
12 March 2010
'From porn to Parliament': Woman adult Soon, a device that writes film-maker selected as Lib Dem candidate data directly into brain London : So far, she has been a staunch advocate of all things blue. The first woman in Britain to direct adult films revealed yesterday, however, that her political colours are of a different hue. Anna Arrowsmith, hailed in some quarters as a champion of 'female-friendly porn', has been chosen as a Liberal Democrat candidate in the General Election. Explaining why she wanted to be an MP, the 38-year-old - whose films include Where's The Rent Boys? (sic) - said she was 'disgusted' by the MPs' expenses scandal and believes women are under-represented in Parliament. Mrs Arrowsmith, who is fighting Tory Adam Holloway's seat of Gravesham in Kent, said: 'I am not a professional politician, I have worked all my life to set up a successful business and I want to fight for the rights of people in Gravesham.' A quick glance through the titles of her 300 or so films may suggest she has used them to address some of the major challenges facing Britain today. Hug A Hoodie, for example,
could pass as a David Cameron sound bite about disaffected youths. And another - its title unsuitable for a family newspaper - tackles the frustrations of buxom matrons in the NHS.
Mrs Arrowsmith, who works in porn under the pseudonym Anna Span, is managing director of adult film company Easy on the Eye. She began shooting porn films after graduating from Central St Martins School of Art with a degree in Fine Art (Film & Video) in 1998. Named best director in the 2008 and 2009 UK Adult Film and Television Awards, she says she became involved in porn to make it more accessible to women. She has also written a book for couples about how to make porn at home. 'I would say to the people of Gravesham, don't judge me by the industry as a whole,' she said. 'I have gone into the porn industry with a view to changing it and making it more female friendly. 'In this day and age, people who live in a democratic society should be able to choose what they want to watch. 'I have spent years campaigning for equal opportunities for female workers and this has given me an excellent experience for the coming campaign.'
Washington: Scientists in Japan are developing electric sensors using nanotechnology that could not only read information from our brains, but also write information to it. Keiichi Torimitsu of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) says that the technology could have real practical applications in helping sufferers from Parkinson's disease or stroke. "Establishing connections between the brain and electrical instruments is important for understanding how the brain works and for controlling neural activity," Discovery News quoted Torimitsu as saying. "To develop some kind of devices or interfaces with the brain that would make it possible to transmit our information, sending it through the telecommunication pathways to another person or device such as a computer - that is the goal", he added. The brain-reading device would incorporate a nanosized electrode coated with a membrane that would mimic the receptor proteins found on the
TVs in their rooms. Minorities were at higher risk than whites for nearly every factor. "It's striking," said lead author Dr Elsie Taveras of Harvard Medical School. The researchers questioned 1,826 Boston-area mothers, but Taveras said the study results apply to youngsters across the US. Many circumstances studied are more
common in low-income, less educated families, including whites. Taveras said the researchers accounted for that and still found race was frequently a factor regardless of income. The inflammation study involved data on more than 16,000 children aged 1 to 17 who had blood tests during 1999-2006 national health surveys. Inflammation markers including a
outside of brain cells. There is electrical activity when the receptors and neurotransmitters interact, and the nanoelectrode would be able to pick up that activity, which could then be read by external equipment. Torimitsu also hopes the device would not just be a bystander but be able to interact in the connections between the neurons, known as synapses. Professor Gordon Wallace, of the University of Wollongong's Intelligent Polymer Research Institute in Australia, is working with Torimitsu's team on the device. He said: "People are starting to realize all around the world that there are lots of tools that we can use that we already have at our disposal to make this field progress very quickly." The work was presented by Torimitsu, the head of NTT's molecular and bioscience group, at this week's International Conference on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICONN) in Sydney.
Black, Hispanic kids likelier to be obese Chicago: The odds of obesity appear stacked against black and Hispanic children starting even before birth, provocative new research suggests. The findings help explain disproportionately high obesity rates in minority children. Family income is often a factor, but so are cultural customs and beliefs, the study authors said. In a separate, equally troubling study, researchers found signs of inflammation in obese children as young as 3 years old. High levels were more common in blacks and Hispanics. These inflammatory markers have been linked with obesity in adults and are thought to increase chances for developing heart disease. Their significance in early childhood is uncertain. "We think that fat cells in the body cause inflammation and that inflammation causes vessel damage," said University of North Carolina researcher Asheley
Cockrell Skinner, the lead author of this study. The results suggest that 3-year-olds with inflammation might already have artery changes that could make then prone to later heart problems. Both studies were released on Monday in the journal Pediatrics. Dr Reginald Washington, a Denver pediatric heart specialist who has worked with the American Academy of Pediatrics on obesity issues, called both studies important. Twenty percent of black and Hispanic children ages 2 to 19 are obese, versus 15% of whites, recent government data show. In the racial disparities study, risk factors examined included: mothers smoking during pregnancy; unusually rapid weight gain in infants; starting solid food before 4 months; mothers' pressuring kids to eat more; children sleeping less than 12 hours daily between 6 months and 2 years; and allowing kids to have sugary drinks, fastfood, and/or
substance called C-reactive protein or CRP were measured. CRP levels of at least 1 milligram per deciliter of blood have been linked with heart disease risks in adults. Starting at age 3, very obese children were more likely than less heavy kids to have levels at least that high. Even higher levels were most common in black and Hispanic kids.
12 March 2010
A mid-day nap can make you smarter New Delhi : Taking a midday nap can dramatically boost the brain's learning capacity, according to a new study. The new research suggests that a biphasic sleep schedule not only refreshes the mind, but can also make you smarter. On the other hand, the more hours we spend awake, the more sluggish our minds become, according to the findings. The new findings support previous data from the same research team at UC Berkeley that pulling an all-nighter - a common practice at college during midterms and finals decreases the ability to cram in new facts by nearly 40%. The new study found that those who remained awake throughout the day became worse at learning but those who napped did markedly better.
Emerging from two sinking ships: Selflessness needs time London: Records from two nearly 100year-old shipwrecks, the Titanic and the Lusitania, have given researchers new insight into human selfishness and altruism. On one boat, it seems, the men thought only of themselves; on the other, they were more likely to help women and children. This occurred for one key reason, researchers said: time. The Lusitania sank in about 18 minutes, while the Titanic took nearly three hours. Women and
children fared much better on the Titanic. "When you have to react very, very fast, human instincts are much faster than internalized social norms," said Benno Torgler, an economics professor at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, and one of the authors of the
'Painkillers increase risk of deafness'
Something fishy? Nose scanners to sniff out terrorists
Washington: Regular use of painkillers like aspirin, acetaminophen and nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) ups risk of hearing loss in men below 60. Experts from Harvard University and some other institutions looked at factors excluding age and noise that might influence risk of hearing loss. For aspirin, regular users under 50 and those aged 50-59 years were 33% more likely to have hearing loss than were non-regular users. For NSAIDs, regular users aged under 50 were 61% more likely, those aged 5059 were 32% more likely, and those aged 60 and older were 16% more likely to develop hearing loss than non-regular users, said a statement.
London: British scientists have found a new weapon in the fight against international terrorism the human nose.With iris and fingerprint scanning already in existence, now the nose is being taken into consideration as a method of identification. Experts at the University of Bath have developed a new technology to read the unique shape of each nose and claimed it could help identify illegal immigrants, terrorists and criminals. The researchers scanned noses in 3D and characterized them by tip, ridge profile and the nasion, or area between the eyes. The researchers found 6 main nose types: Roman, Greek, Nubian, hawk, snub and turn-up. And since they are hard to conceal, the study says, noses would work well for identification in covert surveillance. The researchers say noses have been overlooked in the growing field of biometrics, studies into ways of identifying distinguishing traits in people. "Noses are prominent facial features and yet their use as a biometric has been largely unexplored," the BBC quoted
Adrian Evans, from the University of Bath, as saying. "Ears have been looked at in detail, eyes have been looked at in terms of iris recognition but the nose has been neglected," he said. The researchers used a system called PhotoFace, developed by researchers at the University of the West of England in Bristol, for the 3D scans. The computer models the face so the nose can be analysed in detail, and several measurements by which noses can be recognised were identified and the team developed recognition software based on these parameters. "This initial work is nowhere as good as iris identification but the nose has pros and cons," Evans said. "There's no magic biometric that solves all your problems." "People can easily cover up their ears, with their hair for example. Of course you can have a broken nose or wear a false nose or have plastic surgery but to have nose surgery to change your identity is fairly drastic. Irises are very good for recognition but you can put in dilation drops which change the iris completely. No technique is infallible," Evans explained.
study, published in the current issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "It's very nice to get a nice and controlled experiment," he said. "You're in the ship; you cannot go in and out. We were looking for shipwrecks that were very similar - similar structure, similar rates of
survival, only a couple of years apart." The two ships fit the bill. The makeup of the passengers and crew on both of them was similar, and the sinkings happened relatively close in time, the Titanic in 1912 and the Lusitania in 1915. In their analysis, the researchers studied passenger and survivor lists from both ships, and considered gender, age, ticket class, nationality and familial relationships with other passengers. The differences emerged after a closer look at the survival rates. On the Titanic, the study found, children were 14.8% more likely to survive adults, while on the Lusitania they were 5.3% less likely to do so. And women on the Titanic were 53% more likely to survive than men, while on the Lusitania they were 1.1% less likely to do so. The implication, Torgler said, is that on the Titanic, male passengers went out of their way to help women and children.
12 March 2010
Lifestyle's driving human evolution New Dehi : As with any other species, human populations are shaped by the usual forces of natural selection, like famine, disease or climate. A new force is now coming into focus. It is one with a surprising implication - that for the last 20,000 years or so, people have inadvertently been shaping their own evolution. The force is human culture, broadly defined as any learned behaviour, including technology. The evidence of its activity is the more surprising because culture
has long seemed to play just the opposite role. Biologists have seen it as a shield that protects people from the full force of other selective pressures, since clothes and shelter dull the bite of cold and farming helps build surpluses to ride out famine. But many biologists are now seeing the role of culture in a quite different light. Although it does shield people from other forces, culture itself seems to be a powerful force of natural selection. People adapt genetically to sustained cultural changes, like new
diets. And this interaction works more quickly than other selective forces, "leading some practitioners to argue that gene-culture co-evolution could be the dominant mode of human evolution", Kevin Laland of University of St Andrews in Scotland, wrote in the February issue of Nature Reviews Genetics. The idea that genes and culture coevolve has been around for several decades but has started to win converts only recently.
Men make women Pretty girls increase risky behaviour in young men cry the most
London :Women knew it all along. And now, a study has confirmed it to the entire world â€“ nothing makes a girl cry as much as a man. More than three in four women blame their partners for making them cry, not to mention their fathers or sons, reports The Daily Express. But 63 percent of men reckon their wives, girlfriends and even mothers can reduce them to tears, said the study by Rohto Dry Eye Relief. The survey of 2,000 adults also found that when it comes to men, the pressures of work, being treated badly by the boss or horrid workmates can also bring on the tears. Work woes have left 32 per cent of Brit women and 22 per cent of English men in tears in the past six months. While family, work and friends are responsible for crying, then modern life has the opposite effect in general because it leaves eyes dry and irritable, said Rohto.
Melbourne : Presence of a pretty woman can lead men to throw caution to the wind, says a new University of Queensland research. To reach the conclusion, Professor Bill von Hippel and doctoral student Richard Ronay, from the university's School of Psychology examined the links between physical risk-taking in young men and the presence of attractive women at a local skate park, reports The Courier Mail. "Historically men have competed with each other for access to fertile women and the winners of those competitions are the ones
who pass on their genes to future generations. Risk-taking would have been inherent in such a competitive mating strategy," said Professor von Hippel. After analyses, it was found that the young male skateboarders took more risks in the presence of an attractive female observer rather than a male spectator. Saliva was also tested to measure participants'' testosterone levels which showed that risk taking was caused by elevated testosterone levels brought on by the presence of the attractive female.
Sons of teen dads more likely to become one too New York : Sons born to teenage fathers may end up following in their father's footsteps, according to a new study. Past research has shown that girls whose mothers gave birth as teens are more likely than their peers to b e c o m e t e e n a g e m o t h e r s themselves. B u t comparatively little has been known about the factors that matter in teen fatherhood. In the new study, researchers at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut found that sons of teenage fathers were
80 per cent more likely to have a child before age 20 compared with their peers born to older fathers. The risk remained even after the researchers accounted for a range of other factors, including the mother's age at the time of her first child's birth. That fact w a s somewhat surprising, l e a d researcher Heather Sipsma told Reuters Health, given that mothers are often younger than fathers -- and, when both parents are teenagers, frequently end up as the head of the household.
Boredom 'can kill youâ€™ Melbourne : Boredom can actually kill you, a new study has revealed. To reach the conclusion, researchers at University College London looked at data from 7524 civil servants, aged between 35 and 55, interviewed between 1985 and 1988 about their levels of boredom. They then found out whether they had died by April last year. Those who reported feeling a great deal of boredom were 37 per cent more likely to have died by the end of the study, the researchers found.Scientists said that this could be a result of those unhappy with their lives turning to such unhealthy habits as smoking or drinking, which would cut their life expectancy. "The findings on heart disease show there was sufficient evidence to say there is a link with boredom," the Courier Mail quoted researcher Martin Shipley, who co-wrote the report, as saying.
12 March 2010
Women of greater genetic diversity have more sex partners Sydney : Women of greater genetic diversity have more sexual partners, concludes a new study.After showing a series of genes linked to the
immune system, Western Australia researchers say it can be explained why some women are more sexually successful than others.The genes are thought to make them more attractive to potential partners.According to professor Leigh Simmons, of the University of Western Australia, having a diverse set of genes was beneficial because it meant a person had more defenses against invading germs. Such genetic ''success'' was thought to
influence mate choice, the expert claimed. When searching for a mate, on the subconscious level, people are seeking out someone with different genes from their own to create offspring with a lot of genetic d i v e r s i t y, said Professor Simmons.He said that a specific group of genes called the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), a driver of the immune system, had previously been shown to influence mate choice, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
Too much time on TV for kids Marriages last longer than living together? equals weaker relationships Washington : US marriages last longer than unions where couples live together outside matrimony, the Centers for Disease Control reported on Tuesday. About 78 per cent of marriages lasted five years or more, compared with less than 30 per cent of what the CDC called cohabiting unions, or couples living together outside marriage. One reason cohabitations were shorterlived than marriages is that 51 percent of couples who lived
together made the transition to marriage within three years, CDC said in a statement. Over 40 per cent of men and women aged 15-44 were married in 2002 when the interviews were conducted, compared with 9 percent who were living together. The report was based on a nationally representative sample of 12,571 men and women.The odds of staying together 10 years or longer in a first marriage are better for couples of the same racial origin, the report found.
Love in London is as rare as finding aliens Washington : Spend too much time in front of TV or computer? Well, chances are that your relationships with parents and friends will not be that great. That’s the conclusion of a new study which has been published in the March issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/ Archives journals. "The availability and attractiveness of screen time activities has provoked excitement about the opportunities afforded by these options, as well as concern about
whether these displace other activities that are important for health and development," the authors write. "One area of interest is how screen time may affect the quality of relationships with family and friends." To reach the conclusion, Rosalina Richards, Ph.D., of the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, and colleagues studied 3,043 adolescents age 14 to 15 in 2004. The teens completed a confidential questionnaire about their free-time habits, as well as an assessment of their attachment to parents and peers.
New York : One bathroom in Stefanie Mullen’s home in San Diego is stocked with enough
products to line an aisle in a drugstore: Body wash. Face wash. Exfoliating wash. Body hydrator. Body spray. Deodorant. Shaving cream. Shampoos and conditioner. Hair gel, of course. They belong to her sons N o a h Assaraf, 13, and Keenan
London : Romance may happen every day, but finding true love in London is as rare as aliens in the galaxy, says one London-based economist. Science | Lifestyle Peter Backus, a teaching fellow of economics at the University of Warwick, has calculated that he has a 0.00034 percent chance of finding love in the British capital using the same “Drake” equation scientists use to determine the potential number of extraterrestrials in our galaxy. American astronomer and astrophysicist Frank Drake devised his namesake equation
Body spray, face wash are new signs of masculinity Assaraf, 14. They have been dousing themselves for years. “Every day they walk out the door in a cloud of spray-on macho,” Mullen said. When boys pile into her car, that’s her cue to roll down her window. “The smell drives me nuts.” There’s nothing new about the allure that grooming products and colognes hold for young men, promising to heighten their sex appeal and overall
confidence. But in recent years, the products, marketed to older teenagers, have reached into the vulnerable world of their little brothers, ages 10 to 14. Mike Dwyer, brand development director for Axe said, “We’re clear that the Axe target is 18-to-24year-old guys, but we recognise that we have older and younger users.” Marketers don’t have a consensus for what makes up the tween age bracket.
in the early 1960s. The 31-yearold Backus -- who lives on a narrow boat in central London -is not even that particular about his ideal match, requiring only that she be a London-based female, aged 24-34, with a university education. “I am not trying to be an elitist or anything,” he said about his educational requirements. “Everyone has preferences. I just think we would have more in common.” Further reducing his chances, he has estimated he would be physically attracted to just five percent of the women meeting all these criteria.
12 March 2010
Tattoos can reveal your lover's personality Online dating similar to London : Body language experts have offered tips on how your partner's tattoos can help you read their personality. Judi James, in her new book The You Code, said different designs can offer a deep insight into what the person is really like. "A tattoo is a way of turning your body into an advertising placard with the underlying desire of getting people to believe what they read there - but they actually uncover their inner personality. So you can even use tattoos to weigh up a potential date or your other half," the Daily Star quoted Judi as saying.Judi explained how men and women could display their true colours in their body art. How to read HIS tattoos Lover's Name Judi says: "Surely it must be love because he's gone and got your name etched on his chest? But beware. It implies that he falls in love big but never seems to learn from his mistakes in life. He's the eternal optimist who always thinks he has found The One."
Washington : People dating online behave similarly to those who meet face-to-face, researchers have found. Experts at the University of Kansas quizzed more than 5,000 participants in a national Internet matchmaking service to determine what kinds of people are most likely to lie about topics such as personal interests, attributes, past relationships, age and weight during the online dating process. Jeffrey Hall, assistant professor of communication studies, found that those most likely to lie in the virtual world were "high selfmonitors", people who have an acute sense of what people like and control their behavior to achieve social ends. Hall said: "What people lie about depends on what kind of people they are. For example, if you're an extrovert, you might downplay the number of past relationships you've had because chances are you've had more relationships than an introvert."
Clear all the clutter and enjoy space Why texting is more dangerParis : A fisherman casts his net and catches all kinds of fish. There is one kind of fish though that always eludes him. A few fish struggle and manage to swim away. Others strive to get out but remain imprisoned. The majority in the net relaxes. They are not even aware that they are in a lifethreatening situation. They do not feel the danger. A few moments later they are dead. There are four types of people. Most belong to the fourth category. Caught in the net of maya, delusion, they are oblivious of dangers. They, the bogies, are content in the bondage of worldly life. There are some who have awakened to a higher dimension and are aware of lifeâ€™s pitfalls. They make sincere attempts to free themselves. They are the yogis.
A few, the sanyasis, are able to free themselves. Rare is the person who, even while living in the world, remains out of it - ever free, the nitya mukta, the jnani. The Gitaâ€™s fifth chapter describes three types of spiritual aspirants who remain liberated even while transacting with the world and enjoying its offerings. A yogi is a spiritual novice who is not yet free of desires. He has to tread the path of action. A sanyasi has divested himself of most desires and is ready for contemplation and meditation. He is unaffected by pairs of opposites. Liberation is within his reach. However, one has to plough through karma yoga, the path of action, to be fit for meditation. Krishna underscores the importance of action before plunging into meditation
ous than talking while driving Washington : A new study by University of Utah has shed light on why texting while driving is riskier than talking on a cell phone or with another passenger. In the study, Frank Drews and colleagues found that texters in a driving simulator had more crashes, responded more slowly to brake lights on cars in front of them, and showed impairment in forward and lateral control than did drivers who talked on a cell phone while driving or drove without texting.They found that attention patterns differ for drivers who text versus those who converse on a cell phone. In the
Students celebrate 'coming of age' with Conti parties New Delhi : Pubs in Delhi are holding private drink unions and whiskey parties for school students, defying a government ban on serving the under-aged. The parties, popular as Conti, are a huge draw among the 11th and 12th graders. They use the opportunity to flash their coming of age, and to declare their 'me too' status among their peers. "It is trendy... You got to be in it to be counted!" say students who have had their moment under the sun.Obviously, the students are very demanding when it comes to the Conti. They want it organised in the best of places. They want the meanest DJs in town. They want the deliberately loud dress codes. No less, they want the booze and fag! The bigger the school league, the wealthier the community of the student, "the more obscene the demand", says Lakshya Gujral, a pupil of Merry International School in Rohini, North West Delhi.
latter case, the researchers say, "drivers apparently attempt to divide attention between a phone conversation and driving, adjusting the processing priority of the two activities depending on task demands." Howeverm texting requires drivers to switch their attention from one task to the other. When such attentionswitching occurs as drivers compose, read, or receive a text, their overall reaction times are substantially slower than when they''re engaged in a phone conversation.
12 March 2010
G.M. and Ford Channel Toyota to Beat Toyota JOSH SMITH is a large man with a shaved head, a goatee and a look in his eyes that can only be described as stoked. And he is never more stoked than when he talks about his job, one of the strangest at the General Motors Proving Grounds, here in this suburb 45 miles northwest of Detroit. All day, he breaks G.M. parts. Not just any parts. Mr. Smith is a member of Red X, a team of 33 engineers who study auto parts that are malfunctioning for reasons that have everyone stumped. The work is a little bit “CSI” and a little bit “MythBusters.”
Red X takes working parts and methodically torments them in controlled experiments, hoping to re-enact the demise of ones that failed. “Every defective part is like a dead body,” says Mr. Smith, giving a tour of the premises late last month. “To figure out what killed it, we need to duplicate the crime.” Members of this elite little group say they have gone from fixing major problems that affect hundreds of thousands of vehicles on the road to fine-tuning preproduction models that are not yet on sale. And that change highlights a message that G.M. —
as well as its domestic archrival Ford — are both pitching hard these days: We’re better now. Oh, we made some stinkers in the past, no doubt about it. But that was then. Look at us now. It’s been a tough sell, particularly at G.M., which has lagged behind Ford in quality ratings, needed a $50 billion taxpayer bailout and just last week announced a recall of 1.3 million vehicles. (Chrysler, which is now controlled by Fiat, is in what could politely be called a “transition phase” and has yet to try, let alone pull off, a makeover.)
General Motors and Ford have been putting a new focus on quality, on existing models and new ones like the Chevy Volt, above. This could pay off after Toyota's recent stumbles. But in the last two months, G.M. and Ford have been handed a once-in-a-generation chance to make their case to an American buying public that is listening as never before. Perhaps you’ve heard: Toyota, long considered the industry’s king of quality, has stumbled disastrously
with a now-infamous “sudden acceleration” problem that led to the recall of more than eight million vehicles. The ordeal has included every element of an Americanstyle corporate nightmare, including apologies, class-action lawsuits and, inevitably, Congressional hearings.
Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-Benz to to expand expand Brazilian Brazilian production production unit unit Rio de Janiero : German automobile giant Mercedes-Benz will expand its commercial vehicle manufacturing unit in Brazil with a view to increase annual production capacity. The facility at Sao Bernardo do Campo near Sao Paulo has been sanctioned a loan of 1.2 billion reais ($674.1 million) in order to increase production from 65,000 to 75,000 units annually. The deal was signed Friday by the president of Mercedes-Benz do Brasil, Jurgen Ziegler, and the head of Brazil's BNDES state development bank, Luciano Coutinho, the lender said in a statement. The plant which
produces trucks, bus chassis, engines and components, will also develop new models of trucks and engines that meet the requirements of Brazilian environmental authorities, Ziegler said. 'The development of new truck models by local engineers will provide a boost to local engineering,' the BNDES's statement said. The project to expand capacity and modernise the infrastructure at the 54-yearold plant calls for purchases of Brazilian-made machinery and equipment, it said. It also involves construction of three new buildings for machinery
maintenance, final inspection of trucks and the manufacture of packaging materials. MercedesBenz's parent company Daimler AG said that funding was sought from
Google to insert automated captions on YouTube San Francisco : Google is to add automatic captions to the tens of millions of Englishlanguage videos it hosts on YouTube, the web search giant said Friday. The move will make the videos more accessible to deaf viewers but will also help Google index the content and supply relevant ads alongside it, analysts said. Google has been experimenting with the automated captions for several months with a handful of high profile partners like the University of California, Berkeley, Yale University and National Geographic. All other captions on
YouTube videos were provided by the videos' producers.Google has been working on speech recognition technology for some five years, and uses the technology to transcribe audio voice mails through its Google Voice service, and to provide spoken Web searches from smart phones.However, engineers warned that the technology is far from perfect and that the machine translations are sure to contain mistakes. 'We know it's not perfect, and sometimes it will be funny,' said Google engineer Ken Harrenstien, who is deaf. 'But it's better than nothing.'
BNDES so the new investments could be made 'within a narrow timeframe'. 'Brazil is a market with tremendous growth opportunities.
We intend to fully exploit this potential, which is why the expansion of our production capacity is the right step at the right time,' Hubertus Troska, head of Mercedes-Benz Europe and Latin America at Daimler Trucks, said in a press release.
Firms get U.S. money despite Iran work - report New York : The U.S. government, while pushing for tougher sanctions against Tehran, has given $107 billion in the last 10 years to U.S. and foreign companies doing business in Iran, much of it in the energy sector, The New York Times reported on Saturday. Despite the threat of punishment for companies that seek U.S. federal contracts while dealing with Iran, the Times said successive administrations have
struggled to exert authority over foreign companies and overseas units of U.S. firms. Of the 74 companies the newspaper said it had identified as doing business with both the U.S. government and Iran, 49 still work with Iran and have no announced plans to leave. "Many of those companies are enmeshed in the most vital elements of Iran's economy," the Times said of its analysis of federal records, company reports and other documents.
12 March 2010
INDIAN Premier League ( IPL), the world’s largest cricket league, on Thursday licensed the exclusive rights for its transmission over various mobile platforms across the world. This move will curtail a revenue stream for the telecom companies, which were offering IPL updates to their customers for a fee. Lalit Modi, chairman and commissioner of IPL said the league has partnered with Gurgaon- based vRock Mobile Communications ( vRock Mobile) for taking the events and news related to the third edition of IPL to mobile subscribers. “ We did not find the technology earlier, so, we could not licence the same,” Modi added. IPL matches are also available on Google and YouTube, the world’s largest online videosharing site. vRock Mobile acquired the sole and exclusive worldwide rights for transmitting the live and lag information relating to IPL through mobile- based mediums, such as SMS, MMS and IVR over various mobile platforms like CDMA, GSM, GPRS, MMS, WAP, EDGE, 2G and 3 G, a m o n g o t h e r s . A s e x p e c t e d , telecom operators are not too happy with the development. “ We are finding it quite a challenge to convince the mobile operators to shift to the new mode,” Jatin Ahluwalia, chief executive officer ( CEO), vRock Mobile said. On the
pricing of the service, Ahluwalia said, “ The mobile operators were charging Rs 5 per day for providing updates on the first two editions of IPL. Our charges may hover around the same level for
t h e c u s t o m e r. ” M o d i d e s c r i b e d t h e initiative as yet another means of reaching out to the wider audience. “There is no need for IPL fans to sit in front of the television to get updates or watch live anymore. He can do it when he is on the move a s w e l l , ” M o d i s a i d . H o w e v e r, t h e amount of money that telecom companies have been making from providing IPL updates to subscribers is unclear and even equity analysts are not in a position to put a figure to it. Modi said beginning this season IPL matches can be enjoyed from the UK, too. “ We have licensed ITV in the UK, which has 99 per cent reach. This is available under the free- to- air format in that country,” he said. The league matches, which can be seen in all developed countries, were not available to viewers in the UK due to the lack of a licensee postcollapse of Setanta last year.
12 March 2010
'It was an awesome FEELING'
I am such a die-hard globetrotter but the one thing I totally dread in Europe is the winter. So when I received a call inviting me to play at the World Economic Forum at Davos, before I could even think of what music to pack I was making a note of all the possible things to keep me warm in the snow. Though I live in Mumbai, I can proudly say that I have a vast collection of winter wear for all my travels. I was told it was snowing heavily in Davos and I wrapped myself in my warmest winter wear and landed in Zurich at about 6 am. I was so excited as an E class Mercedes drove up to pick me up at the airport and I relaxed myself looking forward to an enjoyable and comfortable two hour drive to Davos. It had been snowing
continuously over the last two days and so halfway through the drive, the car was quite unstable as the roads were not cleared of the snow. My driver informed me that Mercedes cars are not stable on the snow but I couldn't think of swapping this luxury for any other car and so while we moved at a super-slow speed, we finally reached the foot of Davosâ€ŚBut the drama had just begun as it was compulsory to put chains on the car wheels to avoid skidding, and I must confess that the driver made me really under-confident! I got off the car for a short distance but it was very cold and I was back inside within minutes! Finally, the journey ended at 5 pm that seemed to last forever and after a few meetings, I settled in my room to rock it up at Club Gabanna for the night. There were corporate stalwarts from all parts of the world at my gig and I felt so proud to be here
Few would deny that Italy is a country rich in history. But where do you go once you have photographed the Colosseum and explored Rome's stillfabulous Forum? You might want to point yourself towards another city that was the heartbeat of a large empire - and the country cousin whose destruction made it a precious time capsule. Venice A cluster of pigeons, maybe eight of them, has gathered on the eastern edge of St Mark's square. At this time of the evening, I cannot make out the object of their interest as they peck at the fabled flagstones. But the birds have caught my attention for a simple reason. For a few brief seconds, they are the sole living presence on the famous piazza. They stay that way until I break up the party, striding across the great space towards the Accademia district, leaving the Basilica di San Marco and the grey sorrow of the Bridge of sighs
behind. Around me, Venice is hiding in 7pm twilight. Fog drifts off the lagoon and snakes along the colonnaded passageway below the Procuratie Nuove. this, though, is the joy of seeing Venice outside peak season - in the chill confines of February or March. Shorn of the day-trippers of high summer and the massed ranks queuing for a gondola ride, La Serenissima reveals a different persona. that's not to say that she is empty - far from it - but with fewer visitors in evidence, a weekend here smacks less of a march around a historical supermarket and more like time spent with a cultured, elderly relative. You can hear echoes of footsteps in the tight alleys, the splash of an oar as it dives into the water of a narrow canal. It is, in short, perfect. But then, Venice has always projected an air of otherworldliness, a sense that it is not like other cities. And, of course, it isn't. For over a
as an Indian. It had stopped snowing the next day and I walked around this small town with electrifying energy, lots of really smartly dressed up people walking around with a purpose throughout the city. It was an awesome feeling to be able to experience such a significant event that was going to shape the future of this world. I picked up some marroni from the small side stalls; these are sweet nuts that are available in the winter only. I made enough time to go and savour the traditional cheese fondue in the local restaurant. Though I have been to Switzerland earlier, my visit to Davos will be etched in my memory forever.
Musician MEGHA KAWALE talks about her travels in Davos and enjoying the food and sights there
From Venice to Pompeii Exploring Italy's historic cities
thousand years, it was the centre of an empire. Rising in the eighth century, the Republic Of Venice stood proud as an independent nation until 1797 (when Napoleon barged in). At its most powerful, its dominion embraced much of the coastline of what is now Croatia, Montenegro and Albania - and also reached out to grasp Crete, Cyprus and a sizeable chunk of Greece. You can still feel the might and majesty of this era especially on quiet days, when it
is easier to pause and absorb just how striking, for all its familiarity, a place this is. The real Venice is a million less-told stories waiting to be heard. It is the Campo San Stefano, a sparse piazza within a few footfalls of the Grand Canal, where the tower on the church of the same name is tilting over at a rate of a millimetre per year. It is the broad arch of the Accademia Bridge, which offers an arguably better view of the Grand Canal than the classic
vista visible from the crowded steps of the Rialto Bridge. It is the church of San Trovaso in the Dorsoduro district, whose twin grand facades are the fruit of two rival Venetian families contributing to restoration work in the 16th century, and demanding their own individual entrances as reward for their funding. It is the Cannaregio district and the Jewish quarter in the northwest portion of the island, where the passages seem narrower, the labyrinth of canals more intricate.
12 March 2010 They admit to being workaholics and so when the chance came up to spend some quality time together, jewellery designer Farah Khan Ali and husband DJ Aqeel just went ahead and took it. "It was our 11th anniversary on Feb 20th, so what better way to celebrate? It's important to spend quality time alone, without kids or friends, as it increases the bonding and love which is the foundation for a strong marriage," she smiles. Beachside adventure "I am a sun, sea, and beach person so most of all our holidays are planned to these places. Phuket too, didn't disappoint," says Farah. "We were there only for a period of 3 days so we tried to pack in as much as we could - from taking elephant rides, to deep sea canoeing and white water rafting." The couple also went to Phi Phi Island, an hour away by speed boat from Phuket. "It was lovely. We ended up swimming and snorkelling all day there. We also visited Maya Bay where Leonardo DiCaprio's film The Beach was filmed," says Farah. Swimming and snorkelling It didn't take long for Farah to get into diving gear. "Aqeel prefers the beach but on the other hand, I am a complete water baby and can live in the ocean,' she admits, adding,"I find the undersea life mesmerising." Island gourmet They enjoyed the fare. "Seafood is a favourite with us. Thai as well, so Thai Green Curry and noodles were part of the repast almost every other day," laughs Farah. They plan to re-visit again. "Phuket is paradise personified - the deep blue green colours of the Andaman sea, the untouched beaches and friendly folk. It's definitely calling us back," she says. I'm a water baby so there are no prizes for guessing that I was thrilled to see the vast blue ocean staring at me from the balcony of my cabin on the 11th deck of a cruise I had embarked on. The feeling? One of total freedom! It was a three-night getaway aboard SuperStar Virgo that got me enjoying a variety of entertainment. I had to pull myself away from the open deck and into the cruise so that I could explore SuperStar Virgo. Trust me, it's a destination in itself which will take you at least three days to experience (in between as you try getting to your cabin you may get a little lost so please keep your access card with you at all times). Out and about I ventured out on excursions arranged by the cruise but you can easily skip
that, as what is happening on the cruise is far too promising. The day begins with either yoga or an aerobics session and then one can just chill at the jacuzzi or workout at the wave pool. I will specially like to mention the water slide here. Just let go of all inhibitions and dive in. But please do remember to carry a smart costume, if you are still stuck with the typical Indian all-covering costume, you might feel out of place. And if you thought that shorts is all one needs, well, people on cruises are pretty well dressed so please carry decent outfits. The air-conditioning almost killed me as I feel cold too soon. So, keep a thick jacket with you all the time or you might fall ill. I also shook a leg at the free chacha workshop and it's altogether a different experience to dance with people from so many different
Cruise ahoy! A sail on a luxury cruiser can put your vacation in smooth waters with a variety of comforts and entertainment
nations. Don't miss this one. Evenings are fun, hit the dance floor, just grab a mike and get into a karaoke mood. I loved the game zone the best, though it can be disheartening to lose so just buy a few coins, don't go overboard. What a feast Deciding on what you want to eat is a task. From Chinese, Indian, Thai and Japanese, there is so much to choose from. In fact, the biggest restaurant on the cruise on the top deck is almost like a food factory. Trays of food whether vegetarian or
non-vegetarian and loads of drinks float all around you and the sight is quite amusing. The only little nag through the trip is that it takes quite a while to embark and disembark from the cruise during check-in and check-out, so get ahead of the queue. Another tip, the last night on the cruise is the gala dinner night where one is expected to dress up formally. It just gets too crowded on this day and people are almost pushing each other. Don't miss this one if you want to meet the Captain of the cruise.
12 March 2010
12 March 2010