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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Clarke Surges Up Leaderboard With Another 68

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Doping scandal: NADA raids SAI’s Bhopal centre

Bhopal: A five-member team of the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) conducted a surprise raid on the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Bhopal on Saturday in the wake of the recent doping scandal.
The raid comes a week after the NADA raided SAI centre in Bangalore. Earlier this month the authority had raided Patiala based National Institute of Sports (NIS).
The crackdown is in response to the worst doping scandal in the country in which eight athletes were tested positive for banned performance enhancement drugs.
Mandeep Kaur, Sini Jose and Ashwini Akkunji, who were part of the 4x400m relay quartet winning the gold medal in the Commonwealth and Asian Games last year were tested positive for anabolic steroids.
Juana Murmu, Tiana Mary Thomas and Priyanka Panwar were also caught for doping in tests conducted at NIS.
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Mumbai serial blasts: Focus on key Indian Mujahideen operatives, say sources

Mumbai:  The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) is likely to question alleged Indian Mujahideen (IM) members in connection with Wednesday's serial blasts in Mumbai. The ATS is in touch with the police in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Kolkata.

Teams of Gujarat Crime Branch and UP Special Task Force have reached Mumbai in connection with the probe.

Indian Mujahideen's Danish Khan, who was arrested recently, is being grilled by the Gujarat ATS. He is suspected to be the recruiter of the 'regrouped' IM.

The ATS has sought assistance from Kolkata Police asking them to verify if any Indian Mujahideen suspects had travelled to Mumbai from Kolkata and subsequently went underground after the blasts, as part of its probe into the triple bombings, that left 19 people dead and over 130 injured.

The Special Task Force in Kolkata is looking for city-based Indian Mujahideen member Abdullah aka Nata. Abdullah is believed to be in Pakistan with IM founder Amir Reza Khan, who is also from Kolkata.

Abdullah is also alleged to be involved in the American Center shootout in Kolkata in 2002. He is wanted for the kidnapping of the Khadim boss in 2001, and is also reported to have made some threat calls to industrialists in Kolkata last year.

Also under the scanner is IM's Karnataka-based operatives Riaz and Iqbal Bhatkal. Last known, they were in Pakistan. They fled to Pakistan after masterminding a series of blasts between 2005 and 2007 in Jaipur and Ahmedabad.

The use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in Wednesday's blasts has many experts looking for a possible IM involvement. The IEDs are their signature explosives. But what fuels the theory of their involvement is that this blast almost coincides with the fifth anniversary of the 2006 Mumbai train blasts, now linked to the terror group.

Sources have told NDTV that remnants of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and fringe elements of IM are under the scanner.

However, preliminary evidence has also raised some questions on the IM's involvement - the most important being the fact that none of the bombs were expertly planted to maximise impact. In Zaveri Bazaar, the bomb was wrapped in an umbrella and kept face-up on a scooter. The result was though the blast was the most intense of the three, the impact was felt upwards and not on the ground. In Dadar, the bomb was placed on a transformer box next to a tree that bore the maximum brunt.

The owner of the scooter on which the bomb was planted in Zaveri Bazaar has been identified by NDTV.

Bhagchand Jain, the scooter owner, saw the scooter on TV and was able to identify it. Mr Jain's mother claims that 'their employee used to take the Activa everyday to the shop.' They own a mobile shop in Zaveri Bazaar. The mother refuses to say whether the police have questioned her son, but sources say the owner was questioned today but did not emerge as a suspect; he seemed to have no links to any suspect groups.
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Thursday, July 14, 2011

'We thought it was a prank'

The blast tore apart a bus stop near Kabootarkhana at Dadar. Photo: PTIWhen caretaker Owen Pereira (48) first heard the sound of the blast, he thought it was a prank by students at the school. He recounted with horror to in.com, the events that tore apart a bus stop near Kabootarkhana at Dadar, near Antonio da Silva High School where he works.
"School had shut for the day as the last class ends at 6 pm. However most of the administrators were still around. Suddenly at 7, we heard a huge blast and our first thought was that maybe some of the children had lit some crackers in the school yard. But when we rushed to the ground, I was shocked to see a huge cloud of smoke and fire coming from the bus stop that is visible from the school premises," said Pereira.

The staffers immediately sealed off the three entrances to the school, worried that the attackers might flee into the premises - as had happened during the 26/11 attacks, when Kasab and another terrorist had taken refuge in Cama Hospital after firing at commuters at CST station. The blast did, however, cause some damage to the school structure, shattering window panes and causing cracks in the walls of the institution that is over 100 years old.

Classes resumed this morning, but school was shut early at 9.30 am. "Buses were unable to reach the school because of the heavy bandobast. Also the heavy rain was making it difficult for children to attend, so we have stopped classes early," said Pereira.
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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Three blasts in Mumbai, ten reported dead, 60 injured

Mumbai:  Three explosions have taken place in Mumbai on Wednesday evening - two in South Mumbai at Opera House and in Zaveri Bazar and one at Dadar West, in central Mumbai. The Home Ministry has confirmed a terrorist attack and Mumbai is on high alert.

Maharashtra government sources say at least 60 people have been injured in the serial blasts. Eyewitnesses said about 15 to 20 people have taken to hospital in Zaveri Bazar. There were unconfirmed reports said six people had died in the Dadar blast, four in the Zaveri Bazaar blast.

The Home Ministry has said that Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) were used. All blasts took place during rush hour and in crowded places. The Dadar area houses the Shiv Sena Bhawan. 

One explosion,  in a car at a bus stop in Dadar West, has been confirmed. A police officer said there might have been an explosive in a meter box behind a hoarding at Khau gali, a street filled with eateries at Zaveri Bazaar. The Opera House blast took place at Prasad Chamber.

An unexploded bomb has also reportedly been found in Dadar and a bomb disposal squad is working to defuse it.

Early reports said a police control room had received a call claiming that there were serial blasts in Mumbai.

A National Investigation Agency (NIA) team has rushed to Mumbai from Delhi to investigate and collect forensic evidence. The police have appealed for calm.

Zaveri Bazaar has been hit before -  over 50 people were killed in twin blasts in 2002. 
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Mumbai attacks: live

Mumbai rocked by three bomb blasts across the city
• Reports of at least 8 dead, 100 injured
• The last major attack on the city was the Nov 2008 terror attack
15.32 The government has confirmed it is a terrorist attack, nearly three years after terrorists sieged downtown Mumbai killing 166 people.
15.30 Fears of high casualties as Dadar, particularly, is a major commuter hub with thousands of people passing through it during rush hour.
15.29 A Home Ministry spokesman said it was too early to comment on the nature of the blasts.
15.28 View a map of the three locations of the blasts in Mumbai.
15.15 Indian TV channel NDTV is reporting ten people are dead.
15.10 One bomb struck the crowded neighborhood of Dadar in central Mumbai. The others were at the famed jewellery market Jhaveri Bazaar and the busy business district of Opera House.
15.07 Police confirm that the city has been attacked with three bomb blasts, early reports of three dead.
15.05 Reports of three separate bomb attacks in three different locations in the city.
15.00 BST (19.30 IST) Live coverage as news breaks of a coordinated bomb attack in Mumbai.
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Monday, July 11, 2011

Cabinet reshuffle tomorrow evening, PM meets Sonia

New Delhi:  The Cabinet will be reshuffled tomorrow evening - sources at Rashtrapati Bhawan say the President and her team have been alerted to the swearing-in.  The actual reshuffle will be less dramatic than anticipated, suggest sources in the government.

This morning, Dr Manmohan Singh met with UPA President Sonia Gandhi at his home where they reportedly finalised his new list of ministers.

Sources say on the menu for tomorrow is the swearing-in of three cabinet ministers, four ministers of State with Independent Charge, and six Ministers of State.

Beni Prasad Verma, currently Minister of State for Steel, is expected to be elevated to Cabinet rank. And E Ahamed of the Indian Union Muslim League is likely to be made a Minister of State with Independent Charge. He is currently a minister of state for external affairs.

Film actor Raj Babbar, who did the Congress proud by winning the high-profile Firozabad seat in a 2009 by-election defeating Dimple Yadav, the wife of Akhilesh Yadav and daughter-in-law of Mulayam Singh Yadav, is likely to become a minister. This is Babbar's first Lok Sabha term as a Congressman. He was earlier a member of Mulayam's Samajwadi Party.

The PM told editors two weeks ago that his government is perceived as India's most-corrupt government ever; the reshuffle was originally expected to address that, with the removal of under-performing ministers, and the induction of younger faces. 

As of now, Milind Deora is the young face expected to be inducted in this minor reshuffle. Milind's father Murli Deora had quit as Petroleum Minister last week citing old age as the reason. There was much speculation then that Milind, a second-term MP, would get a ministerial position.  

After two major accidents over the weekend in which more than 40 people were killed and more than 100 injured, a priority will be to announce a new Railways Minister. Mamata Banerjee who held the post till she was elected Chief Minister of West Bengal has made it clear that her party, the Trinamool Congress (TMC), expects to hold on to the portfolio. Dinesh Trivedi of her party, at present the minister of state for health is expected to be elevated to Cabinet rank. Mamata was the only Trinamool minister with a Cabinet rank before she quit to take over as the Chief Minister of West Bengal. Sudip Bandopadhyay of her party is likely to be inducted as a minister of state.

Balancing the needs of another important ally - the DMK - will also factor heavily into the reconfiguration of the Cabinet. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee met on Saturday in Chennai with DMK Chief M Karunanidhi, whose party has seen two Union ministers exit since November. (Read: Pranab offers 2 Cabinet berths to DMK, Karunanidhi reluctant, say sources) First, A Raja quit after charges of corruption (he is now in jail); then last week, Dayanidhi Maran resigned as Union Textiles minister, again for charges of corruption over his term as Telecom Minister from 2004-2007 (Mr Raja had taken over Telecom from him). The DMK has so far said it would not like any replacements for Mr Maran or Mr Raja- a stand that has the Congress worried that its Southern ally wants to exit the UPA and provide external support.
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Chidambaram behind midnight swoop at Ramlila ground: Ramdev

Chidambaram behind midnight swoop at Ramlila ground: RamdevYoga guru Ramdev today alleged in the Supreme Court that Union Home Minister P Chidambaram was behind the midnight crackdown on him and his followers during the protests on the issue of black money at the Ramlila Maidan last month.
Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani appearing for Ramdev sought a direction that the Home Minister should explain the incident and notice should be issued to him personally.
A bench comprising justices B S Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar said it will consider the plea after getting the response of Delhi police on the June 4 incident and posted the matter for next hearing on July 25.
Jethmalani said Ramdev had taken a decision not to walk down to Jantar Mantar protest on the issue of corruption and was staying with his followers at the Ramlila Maidan when the crackdown was launched.
He alleged there was no order of externment against Ramdev and therefore Chidambaram must be called to explain when the decision was taken and why it was taken to get the area vacated.
However, before Jethmalani began the submissions, the bench asked senior advocate Harish Salve, who was appearing for the Delhi police, that there was need for response on some of the issues on which the law enforcing agency was silent.
The bench questioned the Delhi police for allegedly not registering the FIR on the complaint of the yoga guru's followers against the alleged atrocities committed by the authorities. The bench said this has to be clarified in an affidavit. The bench said the previous affidavit did not clarify what happened between June 1 and June 3. It said the DVDs and photographs, including the documents, clearly showed that yoga was being practised at the venue and asked the authorities to explain the situations that provoked them to stop Ramdev from carrying forward his program.
The bench also questioned the police for lobbing tear gas and water cannons at the enclosed premises to drive out the people.
"Is it not expected that the tear gas and water cannons should be used in enclosed part...Was it not that people at 11:30 p.m. were sleeping? You resort to lathicharge. The photographs show the commissioner of police is talking to someone," the bench said.
At the outset, the bench made it clear it is not dealing with any other aspect, except the June 4 occurrence.
The apex court had taken on June 6 suo motu cognisance of the midnight crackdown and had asked the Centre and Delhi Police to explain why it resorted to such a drastic action in middle of the night against the yoga guru and his followers.
Delhi Police subsequently, in its affidavit on the pre-dawn swoop at Ramlila Maidan, denied the allegations that it had used force to evict the yoga guru and his supporters from the site and claimed teargas shells were fired only after Ramdev's supporters turned violent and started pelting stones on the police.
Justifying its action, police had said the authorities had granted permission to Ramdev to use the ground only to hold yoga camp and not for any other purpose.
The apex court had also issued notice to Ramdev-run Bharat Swabhiman Trust on June 19, seeking to know its version over the eviction of the yoga guru and his supporters from Ramlila maidan.
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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Inside Story - South Sudan: An era of uncertainty

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Over 500 held in Malaysian anti-Govt rally Agencies

Malaysian riot police officers march on a street during a rally in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Saturday.
Breaching a lockdown imposed by authorities, more than 10,000 people on Saturday poured onto the streets of Malaysian capital in the biggest political rally in years to demand electoral reforms.
People came out in fair numbers for the opposition-backed rally to bring pressure on Prime Minister Najib Razak’s long ruling coalition to usher in electoral reforms and more transparency ahead of national polls early next year.
Police fired tear gas and detained more than 514 people as they sealed off all major roads leading to the city centre in the capital, closed train stations and deployed trucks mounted with water cannons to thwart the rally.
Many were held at public area where they had gathered to march to independence stadium in downtown Kuala Lumpur.
Thousands of other marchers were also trying to make their way to the venue, shouting slogans ‘long live the people’ and ‘we want electoral reforms’
Police have declared the protest illegal, warning of chaos in the streets. Hundreds of policemen, many armed with batons and anti-riot gear and backed by water cannon, have been deployed in strategic locations around the capital.
The rally marked the culmination of a campaign launched by opposition parties who have accused Mr. Najib’s national front government of clinging to power for 54-years through electoral frauds.
The rally, called by the non-governmental organisation Bersih 2.0 (meaning clean in Malay language), was to be held at the city centre but after Prime Minister Najib suggested that the march be held inside a stadium, Bersih chief Ambiga Sreenevasan agreed.
Police fires tear gas
Malaysian riot police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse thousands of protesters from the rally calling for electoral reforms.
Tear gas was fired in at least three different locations within the capital Kuala Lumpur, which was locked down from midnight Friday.
No injuries had yet to be reported.
Protest organizers had defied a police ban on the demonstration to demand an overhaul of electoral laws to be more transparent and fair.
Officials accused organizers of threatening national security and plotting to overthrow the government.
Authorities have clamped down hard on activists over the past two weeks, arresting hundreds of people and putting up blockades around the capital.
Organizers criticised the police action as “a show of might over the show of right” and a violation of the right to peaceful assembly.
Special force police officers surrounded the building where the activists were holding a press conference attended by top opposition leaders including former deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim.
Organizers were due to begin their march into town, but faced possible arrest before making much ground.
The protesters had intended to hold the rally at the Merdeka Stadium, but crowds instead detoured to other parts of the city after police put up barbed wire to block access to the stadium.
Authorities had also held an exercise in which soldiers held up banners reading “disperse or we will shoot,” and the army was placed on standby to be deployed for crowd control.
Prime Minister Najib Razak has supported the strict actions of the authorities, even throwing his endorsement behind local martial arts groups, including one that vowed to “wage war” against the activists.
Protest leaders said they had received death threats.
“The authorities have put obstacle after obstacle where they only needed to provide sincere cooperation to win the trust and confidence of the people,” they said in a statement said Friday.
“(But) we have witnessed nothing but the utmost bravery and commitment to peace and justice demonstrated by ordinary Malaysians from every walk of life.” The official reaction to the rally was almost unprecedented in Malaysia’s recent history, creating an atmosphere of fear rare in a country that prides itself on moderation and harmony.
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20 killed, over 100 injured as Kalka Mail derails in UP

FATEHPUR/LUCKNOW: At least 20 persons have been killed and over 100 injured as 13 bogies of Delhi-bound Kalka Mail from Howrah derailed near Malwa station here.

The accident took place this afternoon near East cabin of Malwa station, nearly 120 kms from state capital Lucknow.

"Twenty bodies have been recovered...it won't be surprising if more than 50 people are killed as many bodies are still trapped inside the mangled coaches," special director general of police Brij Lal said.

He said the coaches were being cut with gas cutters and more than 200 policemen were conducting rescue operations.

Lal said inspector general Javed Akhtar was supervising the operations, while Railway Board chairman Vinay Mittal was on his way from Delhi.

The Army was also moving about 120 troops from adjoining Allahabad and Kanpur for the rescue operations after chairman of the Railway Board spoke to the Army chief.

The derailed coaches include four AC coaches, five sleeper coaches and two general bogies.

"13 bogies of the Delhi-Howrah train have derailed out which 10 are in very bad shape. The exact cause of the derailment could not be ascertained yet as we are busy in rescue operations," North Central Railway General Manager HC Joshi said.

He said a high-level probe has been ordered into the incident.

Two rescue trains -- one each from Allahabad and Kanpur -- have rushed to the spot, where gas cutters and other equipment are being used to pull out the trapped passengers.

More than 100 people are believed to be trapped inside the coaches and efforts are on to rescue them, said a railway official.

The train was bound for Kalka and was travelling at 105 km an hour when it went off the rails at Malwa station in Fatehpur district, about 150 km from here.

According to senior development operations manager of North Central Railways Pradeep Ojha: "Relief measures are on in full swing and people are engaged in cutting the AC coaches with gas welding machines to bring out survivors."

Minister of State for Railways Mukul Roy has announced Rs five lakh ex-gratia to the next of the kin of the dead, Rs one lakh for those who sustained serious injuries and Rs 25,000 for victims who have suffered minor injuries.

The accident has disrupted rail traffic on the Delhi-Howrah mainline.
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Friday, July 8, 2011

Emily Scott
Emily Scott
Emily Scott
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Telangana upsurge: Azad favours talks

Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is in charge of Andhra Pradesh affairs, on Friday said the dialogue with the representatives of MPs, MLAs and ministers who had resigned in support of a separate state of Telangana has not yet ended and talks will continue. “I had two rounds of
meetings with the representatives of these MLAs, MPs and ministers. I hope the discussion will continue. Dialogue has not yet over,” Azad said while responding to a query on Telangana upsurge. The Union minister flew in to Jammu from New Delhi amid heavy rains to attend the Jammu Cooperative Women Conference at Maralia, Miran Sahib, about 15 km south-west of Jammu city.
Azad had also met the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, and briefed them about the evolving situation in Andhra Pradesh.
He had earlier said the Telangana issue was sensitive and complex and it required wider consultations.
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar is likely to take a decision on the resignation of 13 MPs from Telangana region before the Monsoon session of Parliament that begins on August Ist. Of the 13 resignations, nine are of Congress MPs and two each of TDP and TRS.
Union home minister P Chidambaram had on July 4 said that the Centre was yet to take a final decision on the issue and that it would try to expedite the consultation process.
On the resignation of the minister for communications and IT Dayanidhi Maran in 2G Spectrum scam after telecom minister A Raja, Azad termed it unfortunate, but quickly added, “There is no difference between minister and common man before the law. Law will take its own course and those are guilty will be punished.”
Responding to a question regarding Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s “rejection” to stone throwing, the Union health minister welcomed the statement, saying “It was an endorsement to what we had been saying since long.”
“We had repeatedly saying that guns, bullets and stones would yield nothing. I want to congratulate the people of valley, especially youth who, finally, feet and believe that guns and stones were no solution to any issue as it is not in favour of the state. It weak the state economically,” he added.
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Kapil Sibal defends waiver of RCom penalty

Kapil Sibal defends waiver of RCom penalty
Union Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal on Friday alleged that public interest litigation (PIL) were being used to settle personal scores while clarifying on a petition filed in the Supreme Court accusing him of waiving off a huge penalty on Reliance Communications  (RComm).
Sibal claimed that a penalty of Rs 5 crore was imposed on RComm for interruption of service as per agreement between Universal Service Obligation Fund and the company.
Sibal said  RComm services were switched off for "whatever reasons" in November 2010 and on December 21, a show cause notice was issued to the company threatening imposition of "lumpsum" amount of Rs 50 crore as penalty for the same.
An NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), had filed the application in the Supreme Court seeking CBI probe against Sibal for allegedly favouring private firm by abusing his position to over-rule the unanimous view of senior DoT officials.
The petition alleged that Sibal had favoured private firm Reliance Communications by reducing the penalty from Rs 650 crore to Rs 5 crore in 13 circles.
The Department of Telecom secretary also backed Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal saying "there was no delay in submitting Reliance Communication files to me".
Sibal had earlier dismissed the petition as "motivated and defamatory”. "This whole process (petition) is malicious. This is motivated and defamatory. I wonder why proceedings have been filed in a court which is dealing with only 2G matters," Sibal told reports.
He said the case had nothing to do with 2G case, which is being heard by the Supreme Court.
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Indian court orders security for temple treasure

A policeman stands guard as temple staff crowd at the north side entrance of the 16th century Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Trivandrum, India, Wednesday, July 6, 2011. Inside the temple are staggered hoard of gold coins and statues of gods and goddesses studded with diamonds and other precious stones. The valuables were donated to the temple by devotees over hundred of years, and India's erstwhile royal family has been the custodian of the treasures. Outside, small groups of armed policemen patrolled the temple grounds in the heart of the Kerala state capital, Trivandrum.NEW DELHI—India's Supreme Court ordered Friday that a security plan be drawn up to protect a Hindu temple where devotees left billions worth of treasures over the centuries.
The state of Kerala and the former royal rulers of the region were directed by the court to explain how they plan to safeguard the gold, silver and precious stones that were stored in vaults at the 16th century Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple.
The temple, dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, was built by the maharajas who ruled the then-kingdom of Travancore. The former royal family has remained the trustees of the temple after India's independence in 1947.
The Supreme Court ordered the inspection of the vaults last week after a lawyer petitioned for the state government to take over the temple, citing inadequate security. The current Maharaja of Travancore had opposed the petition.
The family says the treasure belongs to the Hindu deity, also known as Padmanabhaswamy.
"The royal family is not claiming any ownership. It is a public temple," said K.K. Venugopal, the family's lawyer. "No part of it belongs to any member of the family. The property belongs to Lord Padmanabhaswamy."
The treasure trove instantly made the temple the richest known religious institution in India. The unofficial $22 billion estimate of its value is likely far too low, since the inventory isn't yet complete and many items are centuries old.
Before the court-ordered inventory started last week, the only visible security at the temple had been security guards who mainly controlled crowds at the popular site in the heart of Trivandrum, Kerala's capital.
The state government deployed policemen this week to patrol the temple complex, metal detectors have been installed and video cameras now monitor people entering and leaving the temple.
The Supreme Court earlier this week ordered a curator be appointed, the vaults inspected and the objects photographed and recorded on video as a security measure.
On Friday, it also put off a decision on opening a sixth and final vault until it is satisfied with temple security.
The court has given the state and temple trustees a week to come up with their suggestions on enhancing security and managing the wealth.
Some wealthy temples around India have formed trusts to run schools, colleges and hospitals that offer free treatment to the poor.
The find in Trivandrum has prompted some public debate that the wealth should go into a national trust to help the poor. Others have suggested creating a temple museum so the public can view the many objects, some of immense historical and cultural value.
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Pricey Mallika loses on a TV show

Mallika Sherawat was approached to host a reality showMallika Sherawat was recently approached to host India's Sexiest Bachelors on a newly launched channel. The actress after an initial hearing asked for an astronomical fee. 
However whatever the channel offered, the sexy siren would demand double of it. After a few rounds of negotiations, the channel decided that they were better off without her.

Says a source, "As the channel was launched in May, they are looking at grabbing eyeballs. The show would feature hot hunks, so they felt the sexy siren was the best bet to anchor the show."

Attitude problem
Adds the source, "The show was for 10 episodes and among the names that are slated to feature include Sidhartha Mallya, John Abraham, Yuvraj Singh and Ranbir Kapoor.

Initially, Mallika showed interest but when the monetary talk began she was like a diva who refused to budge." In the past, Mallika had judged a few episodes of the dance show Chak Dhoom Dhoom on another channel. She was booted out due to her starry tantrums. The actress had turned up hours late at the launch of the show itself.

Later during the shoot, she had her list of demands that included not getting proper breaks during the shoot. An exasperated channel then replaced her with Urmila Matondkar. India's Sexiest Bachelors has now roped in Shibani Dandekar to host the show. Mallika, who is presently in New York, remained unavailable for comment.
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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Deadlock over Telangana, protests continue

NEW DELHI/HYDERABAD: The deadlock over Telangana continued on Wednesday as Congress leaders returned from New Delhi without an assurance from the central leadership while protests rocked the region on the second day of a 48-hour shutdown.
Despite the resignation of 13 MPs and 100 legislators from the region, the central government said it was not thinking of imposing President's Rule in Andhra Pradesh.
"There is no move to impose President's Rule," Home Minister P. Chidambaram said in New Delhi.
He said the central government had also not taken any final decision on whether or not to give statehood to Telangana, saying the "consultation process is still in progress".
Telangana leaders, who held four rounds of talks with the central leadership since Tuesday, demanded that the process for formation of a separate state be initiated with a fixed time frame and made it clear that any delay would not be good for the party.

Claiming that their talks have not failed, state minister K. Jana Reddy said in New Delhi that they were optimistic the central government would initiate the process immediately by taking note of their views.
Soon after his return to Hyderabad, Congress MP from Karimnagar Ponnam Prabhakar lashed out at his own party describing it as accused number one in Telangana and blamed it for the present crisis.
Life remained paralysed across Telangana on the second day of the 48-hour shutdown called by the Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC).
Public transport remained crippled in Hyderabad and nine other districts of the region while shops, business establishments, hotels, petrol bunks as well as educational institutions were shut for a second straight day.
Coal production in Singareni Collieries was affected for the second day as a majority of nearly 100,000 employees in the mines, spread over four Telangana districts, refused to work.
The shutdown badly affected the work in government offices as a majority of about 300,000 employees in the region stayed away from work.
In courts, lawyers struck work. Even medical services in government-run hospitals were hit as doctors attended only emergency services.
However, buses of state-owned Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corp returned to the roads in the evening as the authorities resumed services between Hyderabad and other cities.
Telangana activists attacked the office of CPI-M in Bhongir town in Naglonda district demanding resignation of its sole legislator in support of a separate state.
In Hyderabad, police arrested JAC convenor M. Kodandaram and dozens of leaders of TRS, BJP, CPI-ML New Democracy, unions of government employees and student bodies.
Protestors were arrested when they tried to lay siege to the residence of Union Petroleum Minister S. Jaipal Reddy demanding his resignation.
Police said the leaders of various groups were arrested for violating prohibitory orders.
Osmania University again turned into a battle zone as students fought pitched battles with police, who fired rubber bullets, tear gas and sound bombs.
One student was injured when police fired rubber bullets. Another student was injured when a tear gas shell hit him.
A television reporter was injured in stone pelting by students.
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Many athletes and weightlifters tell me that “we take it”, says Saina

Mumbai: Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal on Wednesday added to the dope scandal by saying that many athletes and weightlifters had told her in the past that they knowingly consume banned drugs.
“I also know many athletes and weightlifters who themselves tell me that “we take it”,” Saina told reporters during a promotional event.
India was rocked by doping scandal recently with eight top national athletes who got training in NIS failing dope tests. There were also reports that banned drugs were widely available in chemist shops near the national institute of Sport in Patiala.
 Saina Nehwal. AFP
Asked if she was aware about the availability of banned drugs at medical stores, the world number six said, “I don’t know whether it is available or not. I don’t take it.”
Saina, however, felt that lack of awareness about medicines was the major reason behind athletes testing positive for banned drugs in the country.
“It’s really sad they don’t know what they are taking. I’m sure everyone knows WADA rules, its very common. They have a website which mentions which medicines are banned and which are not. I think its just that they don’t know. Many athletes and weightlifters are not very educated so whatever their coaches give they take that,” she said.
The 21-year-old Hyderabadi said she consults her physiotherapist and doctors before taking any medicine and others too should do the same.
“If I have fever I ask my physio and doctor which medicines can be taken and which are banned. They should be very careful regarding everything,” she said.
Indian athletics had been rocked by a doping scandal in the last few days when CWG and Asian Games gold-winning relay quartet members Mandeep Kaur and Sini Jose as well another quartermiler Jauna Murmu tested positive for a banned substance — methandienone — in out-of-competition tests.
Apart from the trio, another quartermiler Tiana Mary Thomas tested positive for anabolic steroid epimethandiol, while long jumper Hari Krishnan Muralidharan and shot putter Sonia were the other two athletes who have tested positive in the last few days.
The scandal grew in proportion with two more athletes, the country’s new golden girl Ashwini Akkunji and another quartermiler Priyanka Panwar, testing positive for the same anabolic steroid — methandienone, hours before their departure for Japan for the Asian Championships.
Meanwhile, to a query on Titan brand ambassador Aamir Khan, Saina said, “I interact with him a lot. He sends me messages, congratulates me whenever I win any tournament. Its very kind of him.”
“I don’t see him endorsing too many brands but whatever he does, he does it perfectly. I really wish he was here (for the event).”
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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tollywood’s loss put at Rs 1 Cr

HYDERABAD: The film industry stands to suffer a revenue loss of Rs one crore on account of the two-day Telangana bandh.

On the first day of the bandh on Tuesday, practically all the theatres in Telangana observed a bandh. However, Telangana Film Chamber of Commerce president M Vijayendar Reddy said the chamber had found out about screenings at Prasads Imax and Sensation cinema at Khairatabad. "We informed Sensation theatre management to stop the screenings but have not been able to get through to the Prasads' management," Vijayendar Reddy said.

While there were some exceptions like that, the bandh remained total. Some instances of theatres opening for the morning shows came to the notice of the film chamber, who immediately told the managements to observe the bandh.

Vijayendar Reddy said unlike on earlier occasions, the film chamber had not enough time to intimate theatre managements about the proposed bandh and had asked them to strictly fall in line. But this time, the decision to call for the two-day bandh was taken only on Monday evening, and no instructions were sent personally to the theatre managements by the chamber.

Film producers, however, are unhappy about the bandh being enforced. Telugu Film Producers Council (TFPC) secretary T Prasanna Kumar Reddy said while the losses were definitely huge on account of the twoday bandh, some solace was that the bandh was not on a weekend.

On Saturdays and Sundays, the theatres usually are full. This is also because new films get released on Fridays. Since the bandh has been called for Tuesday and Wednesday, though the industry will suffer losses, it is not as much as it would have been during weekends.

According to an estimate, the losses for the film industry stood estimated at least Rs one crore due to the two-day bandh.
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Bandh total in Telangana districts

HYDERABAD: The 48-hour bandh in Telangana region was total and passed off peacefully on the first day on Tuesday. While life was paralysed in Warangal, Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Adilabad and Medak districts, the bandh evoked a mixed response in Mahbubnagar, Nalgonda and Khammam districts.

Commuters faced severe difficulties to reach their destinations with the APSRTC employees' JAC participating in the bandh. The buses remained confined to depots across the Telangana region. While autos ran skeleton services, private operators made a killing by collecting huge amounts from the passengers. Schools, colleges and other educational institutions declared holiday for Wednesday, banks and government offices remained closed. Hotels, cinema theatres, petrol bunks and other business establishments remained shut for major part of the day.

Hundreds of TRS workers and Kakatiya University JAC students laid a siege to Rajya Sabha member Gundu Sudharani's (TDP) residence at Ramannapet in Warangal demanding her resignation. KU students tried to attack a hotel and a petrol bunk (both are run by the MP) at Nakkalagutta in Hanamkonda. However, police came in large numbers and dispersed the mob.

Tension prevailed when a group of students and TRS activists tried to gatecrash into Jagan loyalist and Congress MLC Pulla Padmavathi's residence at Peddammagadda in Warangal. However, police intervened and removed the protesters from the area. The agitating students took out a rally of donkeys in protest against those who did not submit resignations from their posts. They raised slogans against some Congress MLAs for clinging on to their posts.

Another Jagan loyalist and MLC Konda Muralidhar Rao sent his resignation to Warangal district collector Bojja Rahul, while more Congress party ZPTC members submitted their resignations.

Meanwhile, Kakatiya University students' JAC activists presented flowers in protest to Warangal RDO Sarve Sangeetha, daughter of Congress MP Sarve Satyanarayana and pleaded her to impress upon his father to tender resignation.

There was mild tension in Karimnagar town when TRS workers pelted stones on a private supermarket store. They chanted slogans against the store run by an Andhra management. Police made elaborate arrangements to prevent any untoward incident in the district.

The Andhra Pradesh-Karnataka road linkage at Deverkadra manual in Mahbubnagar district was blocked by the agitators right from 6am. Nearly 100 bus services run daily on this route, which is lucrative for both the state road transport corporations. To see that no bus should ply on the route, the agitators rushed to the bus depots before dawn and made arrangements for mass cooking.

Traffic on the national highway was disrupted till afternoon as leaders of all-party unions formed a human chain at Jedcherla. Political JAC activists and Palamur University students attacked Alampur MLA Abraham's convoy at Musapset village in Adakal manual demanding his resignation. Police came to his rescue and dispersed the mob.

The protesting activists vent their ire at Congress MLC D Rajeshwar of Nizamabad for not tendering resignation to his post. Effigies of Rajeshwar were burned at Jukkal, Pitlam, Madnoor and other parts of Nizamabad district.

Police arrested district JAC chairman Gopal Sarma and CPI (ML) New Democracy leader V Prabhakar when they tried to attack the house of the MLC at Nyalkal road in Nizamabad town.

While employees of various departments locked the district collector's office and staged a dharna there, lawyers locked the district court complex. Teachers boycotted the SSC advanced supplementary spot evaluation. Effigies of Union petroleum minister S Jaipal Reddy and state ministers Danam Nagender and Mukesh Goud were also burned by the protesters in the district.
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HYDERABAD: If the other parts of the twin cities remained shut on Tuesday, Old City, MIM stronghold, people went about their business oblivious of the bandh. That it wasn't a normal weekday was only evident from the dip in tourist footfall in this part of Hyderabad. The otherwise crowded Charminar and Lad Bazaar, which are forever bustling with tourists, remained deserted with only few locals venturing out to make some purchases. Almost all the shops on the Pathergatti-Madina stretch, also a hub for shoppers who drop by from all over the city apart from tourists, received no customers.

Officials of Archeological Survey of India, which is the custodian of Charminar, said that the number of visitors on Tuesday dwindled to less than one-fourth the normal figure. "With no public transportation, Charminar had just 1,934 visitors as against the average 6,000," said an official.

It was the same at Chowmahalla Palace, Salar Jung Museum, Nizam's Museum and Mecca Masjid, which are must see places for tourists visiting the city of Nizams. The authorities at these places, who were counting on their losses, said that they were expecting a similar situation even on Wednesday. Except petrol pumps, all the markets, eateries and other business establishments remained open here on Tuesday. "MIM dictates the rules here. Even if we want to shut the shops expecting no customers, we cannot. For, it will give an impression that we are opposing the party's decisions," said a trader in Madina. Other traders said that they were in a peculiar situation. "We are not observing the bandh but the impact is the same. These repeated bandhs are making a dent in our pockets. The whole market is suffering because of this by losing almost a crore in one day. The hawkers who make a livelihood from their daily income are the worst sufferers," said a jewellery store owner near Charminar. A large number of people who depend on public transportation to commute to distant areas had no way but to stay back home. While colleges remained shut, some local schools, which were open reported marginal attendance.

Old City traders extending up to Afzalgunj were patiently waiting for customers but stores at Osmangunj and Abids were shut.
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Hyderabad, July 5: Tear gas shells and rubber bullets were fired by police inside the Osmania University campus as a 48-hour bandh called by Telangana campaigners kicked in today.
Two rebel Telugu Desam MLAs trying to enter the university were arrested on the charge of provoking the students.
City buses, local trains, schools, cinemas and even Irani teashops in the 10 Telangana districts were shut down as statehood campaigners drove around in vans to ensure the bandh was observed.
A government spokesperson said almost 2,000 buses and 45 local trains were cancelled. Buses between the coastal districts and Hyderabad stopped plying in the afternoon for fear of attacks.
Petrol pumps closed in the morning after staying open all night to service people who rushed to fill up before the bandh. This morning, petrol was selling in black at Rs 100 a litre.
The All India Bank Officers’ Association said banking transactions worth Rs 20,000 crore would be affected during the two-day bandh as most of the 5,000 odd branches of all banks in the region stay closed.
V. Anil Kumar, the association general secretary, said the daily transactions of all banks in Telangana region were around Rs 10,000 crore a day.
An attack on the Jubilee Hills home of Union minister Jaipal Reddy, the seniormost Congress MP from Telangana and one of the few who has not resigned, was thwarted by the police.
However, the houses of elected representatives of the Congress and the Desam in Warangal were attacked. An effigy of Congress MP Sarvey Satyanarayana, who had refused to resign saying ‘I cannot let down party president Sonia Gandhi who had handpicked me for Parliament’, was also burnt.
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Cheating, doping & knowing it

Despite eight athletes testing positive for doping, sports minister, Ajay Maken, has denied Indian athletes deliberately took the banned substances. "It's happened out of sheer ignorance on the part of the athletes, who are generally from the rural areas or are not highly educated," Maken said during a press conference here on Tuesday. Haven't we heard this explanation before?
The minister, however, forgot that the same athletes have been participating for around five years, not just in the national circuit, but also in the international arena.
Given the various anti-doping programmes being run at the training venues, as has been admitted by the athletes, no banned substance can escape their knowledge.
Proof lies in the doping charts, some of which are in HT's possession, that were given to the athletes in 2002 during national camps at the National Institute of Sports in Patiala.
The chart was circulated by one of the foreign experts from Ukraine to athletes as well as coaches in Patiala before the 2002 Busan Asian Games.
It was not limited to the 2002 Games.
Even in 2004, before the Athens Olympics, top athletes followed a structured doping programme and were handed out similar hand-written charts, which were prepared according to personal needs and individual bodyweights.
For example, the white tablet, a Russian-made drug similar to neurobol or manbol, was consumed in doses of two tablets before breakfast and again before lunch. The athletes also took winstrol, again a banned substance.
However, doping activities were at their peak during the 2004-2005 season, which saw brilliant performances by top athletes, particularly the 400m runners.
In the following years, since outstanding performances were recorded by the international athletics body, athletes didn't take banned substances for long durations to avoid being caught by dope testing officials.
Despite the strict vigil during their trip to South Africa, prior to the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, top Indian athletes managed to give the WADA officials the slip, and as a result, none of them were caught.
Thereafter, instead of swallowing pills on a regular basis, short-term methods were adopted to gear up for a particularly event.
A national-level coach, who pleaded anonymity, said fringe runners were chosen and given performance-enhancing drugs to deliver in designated national and international meets.
Since they were not high profile, the athletes were never screened. Thereafter, they disappeared from the scene.
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Telangana: Congress under pressure; more MPs, MLAs quit

The central leadership of the Congress on Tuesday reached out to its MPs who had resigned over the Telangana issue, although without offering any concrete assurances, even as more MPs and MLAs of other parties quit their seats to force the Centre to give in to the demand for a separate state.
Congress general secretary in charge of Andhra Pradesh Ghulam Nabi Azad held discussions with party MPs who had resigned on Monday. While the MPs sought to impress on Azad the “seriousness of the situation in Telangana” that had forced them to quit, there was no assurance forthcoming from the Congress general secretary. Azad also met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi later in the day to apprise them of the situation.
Emerging from the meeting with Azad, Nizamabad MP Madhu Goud Yaskhi said while the Centre could hold whatever further consultations it wanted, the process of formation of the separate state has to be initiated in right earnest immediately. These Congress MPs from Telangana were scheduled to meet Ahmed Patel, political secretary to Sonia Gandhi, late on Tuesday night. 

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“Before the golden sun sets,
old calender is destroyed,
And mobile networks get jammed,
I wish in new year every moment is enjoyed ”
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.Happy New Year.”
This is begining of a new year!”
“Like birds, let us, leave behind what we don’t need to carry…
Life is beautiful, Enjoy it. HAPPY NEW YEAR”
Receive my simple gift of LOVE
Wrapped with SINCERITY
Tied with CARE &
Sealed with BLESSINGS
2 Keep u HAPPY & SAFE all the life long.
“Tom Cruise
Angelina Jolie
Aishwarya Rai
Jennifer Lopez
Amitabh Bachhan
& me..
All the Stars wish u a Very Happy New Year.”
“Keep the smile, leave the tear, Think of joy, forget the fear… Hold the laugh, leave the pain, Be joyous , Coz its new year!HAPPY NEW YEAR”
“Fill ur life with Happiness & Bright Cheer,
Bring to u Joy and Prosperity for the whole Year,
And it’s my New Year wish 4u Dear…
“New Year begins, let us pray, that it will be a year with new Peace, New Happiness, and abundance of new friends,,God bless you through out the new Year.”
“Here is a wishing that the coming year is a glorious one that rewards all your future endeavors with success”
“On the onset of new year sending you the warmest of wishes”
“Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbours and let each new year find you a better man”
“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.Happy New Year”
“May each day of the coming year be vibrant and new bringing along many reasons for celebrations”
“In ‘The Universal Bank of God’…
God stores his blessings & deposited 365 days full of love,faith & happiness for you…
So,Enjoy spending…
Happy New Year.”
“The merry year is born
Like the bright berry from the naked thorn.”
“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”
“New Year’s Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.”
“Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account.Happy New Year.”
“Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunder-storm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year.”
“” I Wish in this new year God gives You..
12 Month of Happiness,
52 Weeks of Fun,
365 Days Success,
8760 Hours Good Health,
52600 Minutes Good Luck,
3153600 Seconds of Joy…and that’s all!”
“Memorable moment r celebrated together,
U r my best friend for now & forever,
Make me Miss U even more this New Year,
Hope this year bring Happiness for you Dear.”
“Before the sun sets in this year, before the memories fade, before the net works get jammed .. Wish u and ur family Happy Sparkling New Year..”
“Each moment in a day has its own value. Morning brings HOPE, Afternoon brings
FAITH, Evening brings LOVE, Night brings REST, Hope you will all of them
everyday. HAPPY NEW YEAR.”
“With all the Rose’s Perfume & with all the lights in the world & with all the children’s Smiles…I Wish U that ur all dreams comes True..*HAPPY NEW YEAR*”
“When the mid-nite bell rings tonight..
Let it signify new and better things for you,
let it signify a realisation of all things you wish for,
Let it signify a year of courage and believes,
Wishing you a very…very…very prosperous new year.”
“A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.”
“A happy New Year! Grant that I
May bring no tear to any eye
When this New Year in time shall end
Let it be said I’ve played the friend,
Have lived and loved and labored here,
And made of it a happy year.”
“One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this:  To rise above the little things.”
“Aa gale lag ja mere yaar,
Dedoon Jadu Ki jhappi do char,
Aaise hi katjaye Zindegi without any risk
Es ummid ke sath Wish You a ……
“New Year is the time to unfold new horizons & realize new dreams, to rediscover the strength & faith within u, to rejoice in simple pleasures & gear up 4 a new challenges. Wishing u a truly fulfilling new year!”
“My wishes for you, Great start for Jan,Love for Feb,Peace for march,No worries for April Fun for May,Joy for June to Nov,Happiness for Dec,Have a lucky and wonderful new year.”
“Years come n go,but this year I specially wish 4 u a double dose of health n happiness topped with loads of good fortune. Have a gr8 year ahead! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!”
“Oh my Dear, Forget ur Fear,
Let all ur Dreams be Clear,
Never put Tear, Please Hear,
I want to tell one thing in ur Ear
Wishing u a very Happy “NEW YEAR”!”
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RULE 1: Life is not fair — get used to it.
RULE 2: The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
RULE 3: You will NOT make 40 thousand dollars a year right out of high school.
RULE 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. She/He doesn’t have tenure.
RULE 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping — they called it opportunity.
RULE 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.
RULE 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.
RULE 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life./font>
RULE 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.
RULE 10: Television is NOT real life! In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
RULE 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.
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  • Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.

  • Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.

  • Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.

  • Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.

  • Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.

  • But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.

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  • People don’t ever seem to realize that doing what’s right’s no guarantee against misfortune.

  • If you’re going through hell, keep going.

  • Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

  • Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

  • Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it.

  • Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it.

  • Hatred darkens life; love illumines it.

  • Challenges come so we can grow and be prepared for things we are not equipped to handle now. When we face our challenges with faith, prepared to learn, willing to make changes, and if necessary, to let go, we are demanding our power be turned on.

  • We can throw stones, complain about them, stumble on them, climb over them, or build with them.

  • Life is a bridge. Cross over it, but build no house on it.

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  • It is wonderful how much time good people spend fighting the devil. If they would only expend the same amount of energy loving their fellow men, the devil would die in his own tracks of ennui.

  • If we are really to live at all we must put our convictions into action

  • My life is my message.

  • Life is an art we are required to practice without preparation, a score that we play at sight even before we have mastered our instruments

  • Ask yourself whether the dream of heaven and greatness should be waiting for us in our graves–or whether it should be ours here and now and on this earth.

  • Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice.

  • Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever

  • There has been much tragedy in my life; at least half of it actually happened

  • The human spirit needs to accomplish, to achieve, to triumph to be happy.

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  • How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.
  • Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
  • The three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love and something to hope for.
  • Maybe this world is another planet’s hell.
  • To the woman who complained that riches hadn’t made her happy, the Master said “You speak as if luxury and comfort were ingredients of happiness; whereas all you need to be really happy, my dear, is something to be enthusiastic about.
  • I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.
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  • Don’t cry because its over, smile because it happened.

  • To live a pure unselfish life, one must count nothing as one’s own in the midst of abundance.

  • Our own life is the instrument with which we experiment with the truth.

  • The talent for being happy is appreciating and liking what you have, instead of what you don’t have.

  • It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.

  • We need not only a purpose in life to give meaning to our existence but also something to give meaning to our suffering

  • Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.

  • Circumstances and situations do color life but you have been given the mind to choose what the color shall be.

  • The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions, and not our circumstances.

  • We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us

  • Without that innate sense of human worth, a man cannot long endure adversity, nor can he long enjoy prosperity.

  • We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

  • My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I’m happy. I can’t figure it out. What am I doing right?

  • Everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, a mental, an emotional and a spiritual.

  • Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time, but unless we go into every room, every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Telangana lawmakers quit as strike hits normalcy

Telangana MPs, MLAs resign en masse

Congress MPs from Telangana region raise slogans in front of Parliament House after submitting their resignation to Lok Sabha Speaker Ms Meira Kumar, against the Centre's “delay” in the formation of a separate Telangana state, in New Delhi on Monday

Resignations by 74 legislators and 10 MPs from the ruling Congress (I), the Telugu Desam Party and the erstwhile Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) in Andhra Pradesh has once again catapulted the Telangana issue onto the centre-stage.
All these people's representatives belong to the Telangana region. While the MPs submitted their resignations to the Lok Sabha Speaker, Ms Meira Kumar, in New Delhi, the legislators sent in their letters to the Deputy Speaker of the AP Assembly.
There was hectic activity at the office of the Chief Minister, Mr Kiran Kumar Reddy, the Telangana Rastra Samithi Chief, Mr K. Chandrasekhar Rao, and some of the Congress (I) leaders here on the developments and future course of action.
In New Delhi, the Home Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, stated that the Telangana issue was sensitive and needed wider consultations with political parties before a view is taken.
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Temple riches conjure a Louvre in Kerala

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Louvre in Paris, New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Vatican Museums in Rome could just find themselves rubbing shoulders with a new competitor in the world's top league of museums. Fittingly, the likely new kid on the block is the former princely state of Travancore, now southern Kerala, which had relations with practically every part of the world through many centuries, from Egypt to Portugal , Rome to China, and France to Arabia.

If and when that happens, the museum will have a tongue-twister of a name for global tourists - the Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple Museum, Thiruvananthapuram. The lengthy name itself could lend it that special flavour, as in the case of museums like the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, in Spain's Basque country, or the Philbrook Museum of Art, Oklahoma.

The astonishing find of a mountain of gold coins, diamonds, ruby, emerald and vaults-full of antique jewelry at the Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple here over the past week has triggered calls for a museum on the lines of a Musee du Louvre in Paris or the British Museum, displaying the sheer magnitude of the wealth of the Travancore kingdom that was dedicated to the temple's Vaishnavite deity.

And what more, unlike a Louvre that has its fame somewhat anchored to 16th century Florentine artist Leonardo da Vinci, Thiruvananthapuram's Sree Padmanabha Swamy Museum could draw in the crowds for the fame of one of its own - Raja Ravi Varma , of Travancore's Kilimanoor palace who was known for his fusion of Indian traditions in painting with European academic art. That is not to speak of the voluminous ornaments that have just been discovered in the cellars of the temple.

"Future generations must see it, and that is the duty of this generation", says AR Udaya Varman, Kerala's director of museums, who feels the state capital deserves a museum on the lines of the Louvre or the British Museum, given the incredible array of antique ornaments in the Padmanabha Swamy temple's vaults. "Some of the finds in the temple are historical items like coins of ancient times, and other such artifacts. Some of these are not essential items for temple rituals and can be displayed for future generations to learn history and for research purposes", Varman told ET.

Local MP Shashi Tharoor is another supporter of the idea of establishing a museum to display the temple's glittering collection of exclusive antiques.

One of the Supreme Court observers in charge of making an inventory of the Padmanabha Swamy temple treasures, CS Rajan expressed his first-hand experience of viewing the ornaments as "indescribable".

Not everyone is in support of implementing the museum idea immediately. "There is no sense in saying let us move it to a museum. Let us first have a museum on the lines of the Louvre before displaying the temple finds. Let us wait patiently until that happens", says historian MG Sasibhooshan.

The manner in which Kerala has leveraged ordinary resources to do the extraordinary, like matching the developed world on parameters like literacy and infant mortality despite a low per capita income, is proof that the state should not be underestimated in aiming for the skies.

Shortly after Paris introduced the novelty of free cycles across the city, a near-similar service was rolled out in Thiruvananthapuram. A contender for the Louvre could just be the next surprise for Paris from Thiruvananthapuram. 

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Rahul Gandhi's march to get feedback on land policy: Digvijay

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Two TDP MPs resign from LS, attack Chidambaram

New Delhi: Joining the bandwagon of those resigning, two TDP MPs from Telangana region on Tuesday quit from the Lok Sabha in protest against delay in formation of a separate state and targeted Home Minister P Chidambaram for being "totally responsible" for the present situation.
Nama Nageswara Rao, the TDP Parliamentary Party leader, and Ramesh Rathod met Speaker Meira Kumar here and tendered their resignation.
Two TDP MPs resign from LS, attack Chidambaram
TDP has six members in the Lok Sabha. Rao and Rathore hail from the Telangana region.
The move came a day after 10 Congress MPs from the region resigned, mounting pressure on the Centre and their party High Command to take an early decision on the statehood demand.
Rao said that he and Rathod apprised the Speaker of the prevailing situation in Andhra Pradesh, particularly the Telangana region and sought her intervention in resolving the crisis.
The TDP leader said the Centre should abide by its statement made on December 9, 2009 in which it announced that steps would be initiated for the formation of a separate Telangana state.
Asked about Chidambaram's remarks yesterday that two political parties were yet to give their views in the Telangana issue, Rao said "Chidambaram is totally responsible for this situation. He has confused everyone and the current situation is entirely his creation".
The Home Minister had said that consultations with political parties were not yet complete and no final decision has been taken on the issue.
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Balakrishna speech at TANA Celebrations

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TV9 - USA Ramcharan & Priyamani few minutes with NRI's in NATA Celebrations

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Telangana crisis: 48 hrs bandh to be start

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Health Minister calls homosexuality a disease

Health Minister calls homosexuality a disease 
Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday described homosexuality as a "disease" and regretted that despite being "unnatural", it now afflicts a substantial number of people in India.
"The disease of 'Men having Sex with Men' (MSM), which was found more in the developed world, has now unfortunately come to our country and there is a substantial number of such people in India", Azad said speaking at a convention on HIV/AIDS at Vigyan Bhawan here.

The minister said, "Even though it (homosexuality among men) is unnatural, it exists in our country and is now fast spreading, making it tough for its detection".

"With relationships changing, men are having sex with men now. Though it is easy to find women sex workers and educate them on sex, it is a challenge to find MSMs".

Azad's comments, which come in the wake of growing demand to tackle HIV/AIDS, is likely to raise many an eyebrow and generate a heated debate. Activists in the country favouring homosexuality have faught a long battle against the stigma and discrimination associated with homosexuality.

Azad also called for making sex education more open in the country, to help control the HIV epidemic. "We are lagging behind in sex education as compared to the West and not talking about sex has fuelled the epidemic."

He also called for increased efforts to promote sex education, especially among high risk groups, besides promoting condoms, treating sexually transmitted diseases and launching information and communication programmes amongst transgenders and sex workers to help control the disease.

The AIDs convention, organised by a forum of parliamentarians, was also attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi and some union ministers and chief ministers, besides members of parliament and legislative assemblies, Zila Parishad chairpersons and mayors, apart from professionals working in the area.

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