e-cigarette review NEWS: April 2013

Popular Posts

Twitter Update

Welcome to My BLOG


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tourist Places around Hyderabad


, Karnataka


Hampi, the city of ruins and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the major historical places of South India. Once upon a time, it was the royal capital of the dominant Vijayanagara Empire. It is presently a ruined town with full of ancient palaces and forts.

Hampi was constructed by Harihara and Ukka in 1336 AD and was noted for wonderful palaces, holy temples, gigantic forts, markets, big pavilions, and stables of royal elephants. It is a hub of many monuments, nearly 500 in number and each of which has a story to tell. It's a case of a wonderful past history, reaching the pinnacle of splendor and then faltering to a decline of non-maintenance and utter neglect. It is, however, a thriving paradise for tourists. The area of Hampi is surrounded by the passionate river Tungabhadra in north and other three sides by rough rocky granite stones.

There is a miraculous worth to the ruins of Hampi even after 650 years after the empire of Krishna - Devaraya has been forgotten into history. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has been making hard work to refurbish the structures in Hampi. Hampi is an abode of architecture and culture with lot of ancient temples and monuments.

Hampi is a sanctified place for the Hindus as it is Pampakshethra - home of Pampa, the daughter of Lord Brahma and wedded to Shiva.

During ancient times, Hampi had been a thriving commercial center, with the trade of horses and gems. Wonderfully, it is said that diamonds were sold on the streets! At present, Hampi's economy is largely dependend on agricultural and mining. The area is highly rich in manganese and iron ores. With the status of a World Heritage site, tourism is another major factor of economy in Hampi.

Hampi has a number of festivals throughout the year - both cultural and religious. The most celebrated festival is the Vijaya Utsav, known as Hampi Festival, held for three days during November. This is a cultural carnival attracting many tourists, showcasing special puppetry shows, music and dance followed by fireworks and a procession culminating the end of the festival.


Continue reading...

Tourist Places around Hyderabad

Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh


Juicy Mangoes, tongue watering sweets and plenty of beautiful springs Vijayawada, the third largest city of the state Andhra Pradesh in India and also known as Bezawada, is placed on the banks of the renowned River Krishna in the south, the Budameru River on the north, the Bay of Bengal in the east and Indrakeeladri Mountain in the west. Vijayawada, literally means place of victory, is a very important place in South India, having the credit of being the largest railway junction in South India. Vijayawada is located in the stretch of the Chennai-Howrah and Chennai-Delhi rail routes and national highways 5 and 9 also touch the city.

Mainly inhabited by agricultural community, plenty of canals going through this place irrigate the farm land throughout the Krishna delta. Vijayawada is a significant trade and commerce hub and an important administrative center of Krishna District. Vijayawada was an integral part of Vijayanagar Empire under the great king Sri Krishna Devarayar.

Vijayawada is mentioned in various legends and myths. It is believed that Lord Shiva blessed Arjuna, great warrior of epic Mahabharatha, locating at the top of a hill known as lndrakeeladri and Arjuna created Vijayawada. Another myth states that Goddess Durga relaxed in this holy place after destroying a Rakshasa and hence the name Land of Victory or Vijayawada. This place attracts lots of tourists, main tourist attractions are Undavalli Caves, Prakasam Barrage, Gandhi Stupa on Gandhi Hill, The Mogalarajapuram Caves and Kanakadurga Temple.
Continue reading...

Tourist Places around Hyderabad

Mantralayam, Andhra Pradesh

  Mantralayam, famed as a holy place by virtue of the Samadhi of a renowned saint Raghavendra Teertha, is a sought religious location among Vaishnavites (Devotees of Lord Vishnu). Mantralayam, in the border of the states Karnataka and Andhra-Pradesh, is a calm and tiny hamlet in Andhra Pradesh. It is ideally placed in a secluded environment on the banks of the River Tungabhadra. Raghavendra Swamy temple and the Mutt complex are the major attractions in this holy destination. Picturesque town of Kurnool is the closest major town.

The followers of saint Raghavendra Teertha, a famous compassionate Madhava saint, believe that the saint was the incarnation of Bhakta Prahlada, an epic character and an ardent Vishnu devotee. The epics narrate the story of Prahlada, who was saved by Lord Vishnu many times, with great fervor. It is taught that finally Lord Vishnu took his form as Narasimha (one of Lord Vishnu’s ten incarnations) to kill Prahlada’s father and to save him from the clutches of evil forces.

Raghavendra Teertha Swamy was a great scholar, ardent devotee of Vishnu and on top of it a humanitarian. The saint is believed to have displayed charismatic performances and showed many miracles. He has a large following even at present time. Followers throng to this religious town all through the year. Travelers who visit this place are mainly the devotees of Swamy to have the holy darshan of the Brindavan of Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy. Raghavendra Swamy temple is one of the main attractions in Mantralayam. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple architecture is brilliant with many inscriptions, structures and paintings all around. The calm and aesthetic atmosphere in the temple is inviting.

Raghavendra Swamy temple Visiting times 6 to 8 am, 10 am to 2 pm and 4 to 8 pm on all the days. In special occasions, temple deity is taken round the temple on an adorned chariot. Temple elephants paying worship to the deity can also be observed. There are three chariots to carry the lord, gold, silver and wooden.

Other places of interest near Mantralayam are Panchamukhi temple, Venkateshawara temple and picturesque Alampur. Navabrindavana and Hampi are also located nearby.


Continue reading...

Tourist Places around Hyderabad

Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh


Srisailam is a renowned hill town located on a majestic natural setting on the banks of the River Krishna in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Srisailam is known for many ancient temples, a wildlife sanctuary and a dam. Srisailam hills are very rich in scenic attractions, breathtaking wild life and this hill offers panoramic views of the surroundings.

Sikharam, the highest spot in the undulated hilly regions of Srisailam, is known for its majestic natural beauty, eye catching scenarios and a marvelous temple. The temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is renowned as Sikhareswara Swamy temple. The idol is believed to be the Lord of Sikharam. There is a temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha in Sikharam.

The famous Bhramaramba Mallikarjunaswamy Temple located at height of about 457 meters on the southern bank of River Krishna is a major pilgrim spot in Srisailam hill town. This temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga temples in the country. The artificial Srisailam Dam having a length of 512 meter constructed across Krishna River and the Srisailam Wildlife Sanctuary with wealthy wild life are other tourist attractions in Srisailam.

Nallamala forest ranges with densely wooded trees and diverse flora and fauna lies in the proximity to the Srisailam hills. These lusting green forest regions are ideal for adventurous trekking, hill climbing and forest exploration and research. Srisailam is the base camp for Nallamala explorations. It was in this Nallamala forest ranges, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Dr Rajasekhara Reddy was killed in a helicopter Crash.


Continue reading...

Tourist Places around Hyderabad

Warangal, Andhra Pradesh

 Warangal, the erstwhile capital of the great Kakatiya Kingdom which ruled during 12th- 14th century, is presently an ushering industrial and cultural centre in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. The Warangal city is credited as the fifth largest city in the state and has the historical legacy of being known as Oruguallu or Omtikonda or Ekasilanagaram mainly due to the existence of a huge hillock seems to be carved out of one stone.

It is assumed that the Prola Raja of great Kakatiya Kingdom built this beautiful town in 12th century and given the incredible status of the Capital city. The Kakatiyas who ruled more than 200 years left many grandeur monuments, architectural marvels like Warangal fort, a Shiva temple known as Swayambhu temple and many such ancient structures. Travel diaries of great traveler Marco Polo also has mentions of this great city.

Warangal basically consists of an agricultural community, cultivating rice, red chillies, cotton and tobacco. Warangal is renowned for its granite quarries, exported to many other states.

Present Warangal attracts many tourists, thanks to Warangal's important history, exquisite monuments, grand temples, superb gardens, beautiful lakes, and sanctuaries with rich fauna & flora. The Main draw of tourists in the city include Warangal Fort, the 13th century star shaped Shiva temple, Bhadrakali temple and the thousand pillared temple. Wildlife Sanctuaries at Pakhal and Eturnagaram and Pakhal Lake are other tourist spots which are worth visiting. Natural beauty with magnificent manmade structures leaves Warangal with an enviable spot in the tourist map of India.

Continue reading...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

IM operative Himayat Baig gets death sentence in Pune German bakery blast case

Indian Mujahideen operative Himayat Baig was awarded the death sentence by a Pune court on Thursday for murder, criminal conspiracy and other serious charges in the 2010 German Bakery terror attack.
Baig was the only accused arrested for his role in the terror blast which killed 17, including five foreigners, in what was the worst extremist strike after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
The verdict draws the curtains on the Valentine's Day-eve tragedy of Feb 13, 2010 which shook the state's academic and cultural capital.
Pune Sessions Court Special Judge NP Dhote delivered the verdict in a packed courtroom.
During the arguments on the quantum of sentence in the afternoon, Baig broke down claiming innocence and pleaded for mercy. He was held guilty by the court April 15.
According to the prosecution, Baig planted the bomb under one of the tables in the German Bakery.
His lawyer A Rahman opposed the prosecution's claim that there was a link between the Indian Mujahideen, banned since 2004, and the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror group and that the two terror groups jointly carried out the blast.
He further contended that Baig was framed by the investigators and they had neither arrested nor presented the six other accused in the case.
"Vodafone provided evidence based on phone records that at the time of the blast, Baig was in Aurangabad. The accused had never been to Pune before the blast and six witnesses also gave evidence to this effect. The prosecution could not prove the conspiracy theory nor did it produce the other accused before the court," Rahman said soon after the verdict.
The prosecution had named Baig and six other accused in the chargesheet, including absconders Yasin Bhatkal, Riyaz Bhatkal, Iqbal Bhatkal, Mohsin Choudhary and Fazzay Kagti.
Another accused, Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, is currently undergoing trial in other terror cases in the country.
Rahman said though he respected the court verdict Thursday, he would appeal against it in the Bombay high court.
A resident of Beed district, Baig was nabbed from Udgir town in neighbouring Latur district by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad in September 2010, nearly seven months after the terror attack.
Among other offence, Baig has been convicted under Indian Penal Code Sections 302, 307 (murder and attempt to murder), 435, 474 (mischief by fire and explosive and forgery) and 120(b) (criminal conspiracy), besides other charges under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and the Explosives Act.
The court upheld the prosecution contention that the blast was "a carefully planned and executed attack" calculated to terrorise the general public, causing extensive damage to life and property.
The prosecution said the primary objective of the terror attack was to undermine and reduce faith of the common people in the elected government and destabilise the system of law.
The special judge upheld the prosecution argument that the terror attack caused deaths of foreign nationals, earning the country a bad name. Five foreigners were among the 17 victims of the Feb 13, 2010 blast.
After his arrest, the ATS charged Baig with hatching a conspiracy along with his six associates for the terror blast at German Bakery, situated in the up-market Koregaon Park area of Pune.
The investigators said the conspiracy for the terror blast was hatched in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in March 2008 in the presence of Baig, Jundal and Kagti. Baig's lawyer Rahman denied this charge.
After Baig returned from Colombo, he settled in Udgir where he operated a cyber cafe and remained in touch with the other accused using 25 different email identities, the prosecution said.
Baig surveyed the area near the German Bakery Jan 31, 2010 and under the orders of Yasin Bhatkal planted the bomb, the prosecutions said.
During the three-and-half-year-long trial, the prosecution examined 103 witnesses even as Baig rejected the charges claiming he was in Aurangabad on the day of the terror blast and was framed in the case.
Continue reading...


Note: If Stream Not Working Please Download and Install Plugin
Continue reading...

Nipple tattooing sweeps UK as women strive for 'perfect boobs'

Liverpool gave us the Scouse Brow; Essex, the vajazzle. Now comes nipple tattooing, otherwise known as 'tittooing', the latest beauty craze for women. Radhika Sanghani reports from the front line. 

 Beyonce on stage in the corset by The BlondsDespite the fact we all see our own naked form on a daily basis, for some reason we're still gobsmacked when a designer chooses to exaggerate it on clothing. Whether it's Jean Paul Gaultier's conical bras or Vivienne Westwood's photocopied 'boob tee', you can guarantee a hefty round of gasps and whispers of disapproval as soon as what should be hidden inside clothing is illustrated on the outside.

It's no surprise, then, that when Beyoncé took to the stage on the opening night of her world tour, the picture that was plastered everywhere the next day was of her in a crystal-heavy bodysuit featuring trompe l'oeil breasts (maybe we should call it a boobysuit?).
READ: Beyonce to channel Nineties supermodels in Mrs Carter Show
The bedazzled piece in question was, rather predictably, labelled 'vulgar', 'inappropriate' and 'trashy' and Beyoncé was accused of trying to compete with the likes of Lady Gaga's absurdly incongruous stage outfits. In fact, the corset was a result of 30,000 crystals, more than 600 man-hours, and a collaboration between US design duo The Blonds (made up of brothers Phillipe and David), Beyoncé, her mother, and her stylist Ty Hunter.
"To start, Phillipe hand-painted the suit on Beyoncé to achieve the correct shading. The piece was then hand embroidered with approximately 30,000 Swarovski crystals that took over 600 hours to apply," David told Fashionista . Though the garment was intended to be both "glamorous and provocative", the inspiration for the trompe l'oeil breast was in fact artist Tamara de Lempicka, who is famed for her powerful interpretations of the female form. "[It's] meant to give the illusion of being covered in crystallized honey," the duo told WWD, a clear reference to the singer's nickname Queen Bey.
The outfit was just one of a series of custom-made designer pieces commissioned by Beyoncé for the tour. She also wears pieces by Givenchy, Pucci, Julien Macdonald and DSquared2 - because when you're Beyoncé, the world is your wardrobe.


Continue reading...

Aerobic exercise may protect brain from alcohol damage

Aerobic Excercise
Aerobic exercise known to slow cognitive decline, may also prevent or repair damage to the brain caused by alcohol, a new study has found.
US researchers found that aerobic exercise may protect white matter in the brain from alcohol-related damage. Heavy long-term alcohol consumption leads to neural damage that looks similar to the decline in neuro-cognitive functioning observed as people age, said Hollis C Karoly, a graduate student at the University of Colorado at Boulder and corresponding author of the study.
"Given that exercise is protective against some of the neural and cognitive effects of ageing, it seemed likely that aerobic exercise may also work to reverse or prevent some of the damage to the brain caused by chronic alcohol consumption," Karoly said.
Karoly and her colleagues had 60 participants (37 men, 23 women), drawn from a larger database designed to share common brain and clinical data collected across studies on alcohol and nicotine use, undergo a diffusion tensor imaging session.
All participants also completed measures of alcohol consumption, loss of control over drinking, and aerobic exercise participation.
Study authors then examined relationships among exercise, alcohol, and fractional anisotropy in the superior longitudinal fasciculus, external capsule, fornix and superior and anterior corona radiata, as well as self-reported loss of control over drinking.
"This study found that the relationship between alcohol consumption and white matter depends upon how much people exercise," said Karoly. "For individual with low levels of aerobic exercise, heavy drinking was linked to poorer white matter health, but for those with greater exercise involvement, the relationship between alcohol and white matter health was not as strong," said Susan F Tapert from the University of California, San Diego.
"Although we don't know yet if the exercise is protecting against alcohol-related damage, or if it is a sign of factors linked to brain health, this is a very compelling study. "This suggests that individuals who have experienced alcohol-related brain problems could possibly use exercise to help recover those effects; studying people over time will tell us if this is in fact the case," Tapert said.
"Aerobic exercise appears to be a promising candidate for decreasing alcohol-related brain damage. Certainly clinicians could use these findings to support prescribing aerobic exercise programs as an adjunct treatment for individuals dealing with psychological or physiological problems related to a heavy alcohol-use history," Karoly said.
The study will be published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research

Continue reading...

Brain stimulation curbs cigarette craving

Stimulating a portion of the brain with magnetic fields temporarily reduces the craving for cigarettes felt by smokers, researchers say.
A new study found that a single 15-minute session of high frequency trans-cranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over the prefrontal cortex temporarily reduced cue-induced smoking craving in nicotine-dependent individuals.
Nicotine activates the dopamine system and reward-related regions in the brain. Nicotine withdrawal naturally results in decreased activity of these regions, which has been closely associated with craving, relapse, and continued nicotine
One of the critical reward-related regions is the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which can be targeted using a brain stimulation technology called trans-cranial magnetic stimulation, according to the study published in journal Biological Psychiatry. Trans-cranial magnetic stimulation is a non-invasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells.
It does not require sedation or anaesthesia and so patients remain awake, reclined in a chair, while treatment is administered through coils placed near the forehead.
Dr Xingbao Li and colleagues at Medical University of South Carolina examined cravings triggered by smoking cues in 6 nicotine-dependent volunteers who received one session each of high frequency or sham repetitive trans-cranial magnetic stimulation applied over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.
They found that craving induced by smoking cues was reduced after participants received real stimulation. They also reported that the reduction in cue-induced craving was positively correlated with level of nicotine dependence, in other words, the TMS-induced craving reductions were greater in those with higher levels of nicotine use.
"While this was only a temporary effect, it raises the possibility that repeated TMS sessions might ultimately be used to help smokers quit smoking," said Li. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths globally. Smoking cessation is difficult, with more than 90 per cent of attempts to quit resulting in relapse.
Continue reading...

'Being famous can shorten your life'

Being famous
Being famous comes at a price! Having a glamorous career as a singer, actor or sports star may come at the cost of a shorter life, a new study has claimed.
Based on the premise that an obituary in the New York Times (NYT) usually implies success in one's career, Australian researchers Richard Epstein and Catherine Epstein analysed 1000 consecutive obituaries published in the NYT during 2009-2011 in terms of gender, age, occupation, and cause of death.
"A one-off retrospective analysis like this can't prove anything, but it raises some interesting questions," researchers at The Kinghorn Cancer Centre, St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney, said.
They separated subjects into four broad occupational categories: performance or sport (including actors, singers, musicians, dancers, and sportsperson), non-performing creative m(including writers, composers and visual artists), business or military or political, and professional or academic o religious.
The gender distribution of NYT obituaries was found to be strongly skewed towards males over females (813 vs 186), according to the study published in the journal QJM. In terms of occupations, younger ages of death were apparent in performers or sportsperson (77.2) and creative workers (78.5), whereas older ages of death were seen in professionals or academics (81.7) and in business or military or political careers (83).
Moreover, although the life expectancy for a US citizen born today is about 76 years for males and 81 years for females, the average age of death for males was older (80.4), and females younger (78.8) than these averages.
This was associated with a higher proportion of females than males in performance or sports (38 per cent vs 18 per cent) and fewer in professional careers (12 per cent vs 27 per cent).
When the researchers looked at causes of death, they found that earlier deaths were associated with accidents, infections (including HIV) and certain cancers.
Continue reading...

Shahid Kapoor receives multiple offers to attend World Dance Day events

Shahid Kapoor is known for his exceptional dancing skills. And with World Dance Day (April 29) around the corner, several NGOs and dance choreographers are interested in getting him to attend their events that celebrate dance to talk about his passion for it and maybe even shake a leg. A source says, "Shahid has got multiple offers to be part of dance dos that commemorate World Dance Day. Choreographers Shiamak Davar and Bosco are organising two separate events in the city while a couple of NGOs too want him to attend their functions and spend time with underprivileged kids. He hasn't decided which one he will attend, but is leaning towards an NGO."
Shahid is currently shooting for Rambo Rajkumar in Wai and has just wrapped up Phata Poster Nikla Hero. The source adds, "His schedule is packed, yet he has decided to take a day off to celebrate World Dance Day. He is passionate about dancing and does not want to miss this occasion. He wants to reach out to students of dance and share his knowledge and experience. However, he is humbled and touched by so many requests pouring in."
When contacted, Shahid's spokesperson confirms the report and says, "Shahid has been getting a lot of requests from various NGOs and dance choreographers, but he is yet to take a final call."
Continue reading...

I lost my best friend: MS Viswanathan

I lost my best friend: MS ViswanathanReacting to the demise of 91-year-old veteran composer T K Ramamurthy (TKR), musician M S Viswanathan (MSV) says he has lost his best friend. Ramamurthy passed away Wednesday at his residence here after brief illness.

"I feel like I have lost my best friend with whom I had shared so many great memories over the years. Even after we parted ways in the 1960s, we remained friends at heart. I will certainly feel his loss," said Viswanathan.

Popularly known as Vishwanathan-Ramamurthy duo, they composed music for hundreds of Tamil films in over a decade and a half. "I suggested that we should work together as a team. Initially, he was not game for it, but I convinced him with great difficulty. We had great memories of working together and when we faced differences, we amicably parted ways," he said.

"We may have stopped working together, but we were friends at heart and, therefore, we buried all the differences and worked together again. Even though he only used to play the violin, he was a highly proficient musician," he said.

"He would supervise most of my compositions. He would also conduct most of the recordings at the studio. Since he hailed from a family of musicians, his suggestions were always respected and taken seriously," he added.

Vishwanathan-Ramamurthy composed chartbusters for films such as Panam, Padmini, Raththa Kaneer, Pasa Valai, Sugam Enge and Sorga Vaasal. They spilt in 1965 after the release of the Tamil film 'Aayirathil Oruvan'.

In 1995, they reunited after 30 years to work for Tamil film 'Engirundho Vanthan'. "Actor N S Krishnan introduced us as a team in our debut film 'Panam'. He suggested that since TKR was senior to me, he would lead me," said MSV.
Continue reading...

1993 Mumbai blasts: After Sanjay Dutt, other convicts get four more weeks to surrender

1993 Mumbai blasts: After Sanjay Dutt, other convicts get four more weeks to surrenderNew DelhiThe Supreme Court has allowed three convicts in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case four weeks of freedom before returning to jail.

Yesterday, the court had given Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt a month to finish filming projects before he starts a three-and-a-half-year sentence. His lawyers had asked the court to give him six months to complete projects which are worth nearly Rs. 270 crore for movie producers.

The convicts who were given four more weeks to surrender today include Abdul Razak Memon, who had been sentenced to life in priso, Altaf Ali Sayed who was given 10 years in jail and Yusuf Mohsin Nulwalla, who was given a five-year sentence for their role in the serial bombings in Mumbai in which more than 250 people were killed and nearly 700 injured.
Later today, the court will decide whether to allow Zaibunissa Kazi, who is 70, and three others more time before they return to prison. Zaibunissa has argued that she is unwell and too old and sick to handle a jail sentence.

She had also said that the court should not send her to jail till the President of the country decides on her clemency petition, but that appeal was rejected earlier this week.

Mr Dutt, who is 53, was convicted of illegally possessing arms that were supplied to him by men who executed the terror strike in Mumbai. He has denied all knowledge of the attack, and said that he acquired the AK-56 and a pistol to protect his family which was receiving death threats at the time.
Continue reading...

Badminton Asia Championships: Kashyap enters pre-quarterfinals

India’s Parupalli Kashyap entered the pre-quarterfinals of the Badminton Asia Championships as he outclassed Chinese Taipei’s Chu Han Chou in straight games today.
Kashyap took just 31 minutes to get past Chu and set up a quarterfinal duel with China’s Gao Huan. Apart from a brief session earlier, the Indian led throughout. From 7-all in the first game, he rapidly moved ahead 16-10, and even though Chu came within a point at 15-16, the Indian stepped on the pedal and won the first game 21-17.
Kashyap had it much easier in the second game, leading from start to finish. Chu made a belated fightback by saving three match points, but Kashyap closed it out on the fourth, to seal a 21-17 21-19 verdict. He will play Gao Huan, against whom he has a 1-1 record, later today. Gao Huan won their first encounter in 2009, but Kashyap took revenge in their last match, at the China Masters in September 2012. Both matches were close three game encounters, but the Indian will be favourite as he heads in to this evening’s session.
Several other Indians were due to take court later today, including Sai Praneeth, PV Sindhu, and Ashwini Ponnappa/Pradnya Gadre. Earlier, on Wednesday, Olympic champion Lin Dan, playing his first competitive match in seven months, easily got past Tuan Duc Do of Vietnam 21-12 21-6 to set up a second-round match with the third seeded Hu Yun of Hong Kong.

Continue reading...

Dickie Bird at 80: 'cricketers used to have a laugh back in my day. Not any more'

Cricket's favourite umpire is as passionate as ever about the game as he hits 80 not out
Some of the best stories about Harold “Dickie” Bird involve his pathological fear of lateness. There was one occasion when he arrived at Buckingham Palace at 5am for one of his 29 meetings with the Queen.
And another when he felt a policeman’s hand on his collar as he tried to climb over the front gates of the Oval, some six hours before play was due to start.
So it was a surprise to arrive at his 17th-century cottage in Barnsley, around 10am last Tuesday, and find Bird frantically fiddling with his shirt buttons. “Alarm clock ran out of batteries,” he spluttered.
Keith Lodge, his old friend from the Barnsley Chronicle and the co-author of his latest book, hovered indulgently like a favourite nanny. “Good thing I rang you, Dickie,” he said. “We would have been standing outside in the cold all morning.”
It was a humorous moment, and Bird saw the funny side. But there was an element of pathos too.
As he approaches his 80th birthday on Friday, his health is not as robust as it was. Four years ago, he suffered a stroke that robbed him of his morning bounce.
“It struck at 3am,” he said. “I had a severe pain in my neck and then it worked down my body. I stuck it out until the morning and managed to dial 999.
"The ambulance came and got me away pretty quickly to the hospital, and then they kept me in for five or six weeks.
“I gradually got my strength back, but I have to speak slowly, because if I speak quickly then I can’t get my words out. It’s also left me very emotional – I was always emotional, but not like I am now.
“And you’ve got to make yourself go in the morning every day, because you don’t want to get out of bed, you just want to lie there. You get depressed at times.
“But you just have to fight against it. I can drive now. I have all my movements but I find buttons and shoelaces difficult. But I can’t grumble because some of the cases that I saw in hospital – dear me.”
The carers have left and Bird is independent again, still living in the house that he bought as Yorkshire’s opening batsman in the 1960s.
Today, it has become a shrine to the persona he inhabited for another three decades after that. “Dickie Bird here, Test match umpire,” he still likes to say, when he rings up to discuss the latest local prospect – or, more likely, the evils of the TV review.
The walls are covered with photographs of Bird himself, standing in his white cap behind the stumps as Richard Hadlee, or Kapil Dev, or Imran Khan roars in to bowl.
The desk carries a miniature version of the statue erected to him in the centre of Barnsley. “It stands on the exact spot where I was born, 100 yards from the town hall – trips come from all over to see my statue and go around the market.”
Neither would you want to put a dirty mug down on the living-room coffee table, so crammed is it with memorabilia. Pride of place goes to two books with gilt-edged pages.
One is a commemorative copy of his autobiography, which sold a mind-boggling 750,000 copies. The other is bound in red leather and was presented to him by Eamonn Andrews when he appeared on a 1992 edition of This Is Your Life.
So how did the umpire’s book come to outsell those of the men whom he invigilated? “People have took to me, haven’t they? I don’t know what it is. I talk to everybody and I think that’s why.
“The characters have gone out of all sports haven’t they? There’s no Lambs, Bothams or Dennis Lillees any more. We used to have a laugh in Test matches, which they don’t today – they don’t even smile.”
There is a very British charm to Bird, a Norman Wisdom-style twinkle. A man with a wide variety of nervy mannerisms, he occasionally forgot to laugh at himself – as when the water-pipes burst at Headingley, and he was left wagging his finger at an irate crowd.
But he would banter with the players as if he was still one of them, and they loved him for it.
On the field, Bird was known for being a not-outer. Our own cricket correspondent, Derek Pringle, has never quite forgiven him for turning down an lbw against Gordon Greenidge; the wicket would have completed a hat-trick.
But then Bird, so cautious by nature, could hardly help taking refuge in the “benefit of the doubt”. As a batsman who made only two hundreds in 93 first-class appearances, anxiety was his Achilles’ heel.
“If you’d seen me in one net batting and Geoffrey Boycott in the other, and I’d said to you ‘Which is the England player?’ you’d have said me,” Bird explained, while tapping a finger to his forehead. “But Boycott had it, something up here, more mental strength.
“If I got a series of low scores I worried. A lot thought that I would never make it as an umpire because of that. But it was amazing. I told myself once I crossed that line I were going to enjoy it, have a smile and a laugh.
“I used to have a joke with the crowd, but I never let it interfere with my decision making. And that took all of the pressure off me.”
Inevitably, Bird laments the passing of the glory days, when decisions went unchallenged by ball-tracking technology and Ian Botham could smash spectacular sixes after a night on the tiles.
It is hard to see Steven Finn stopping in his delivery stride to sneak a rubber snake into the umpire’s pocket, as Lillee once did. And nor do relationships achieve the same depth when there is always a plane to catch the morning after a game.
“You can’t buy respect, you have to earn it,” Bird said. “And I can honestly tell you I had not one problem with any professional cricketer.
"If I went to Pakistan, Imran Khan and Javed Miandad invite me round for a meal at their place. If I go to Australia the first man to ring me is Dennis Lillee.
"If I go to est Indies, the first man on the phone will be Garfield Sobers, the greatest that’s ever lived. You’ll never see another like him, not in your lifetime.”
Yet Bird still loves the modern game, even if his passion may not burn as bright as it once did. He remains an ever-present in the stands, both at Yorkshire’s home matches and those of Barnsley FC.
“It’s still the greatest game in the world, cricket,” he said. “I think young Joe Root is one to watch, because mentally I have never met anyone like him.” He leaned forward and tapped his forehead again. “Played up here, is cricket.”
And now it was time to go, because Bird’s solicitor was at the door. “I want to go back over my will,” he said, with a slightly unnerving grin. “My plan is for my ashes to be buried under my statue. What do you think?”
Continue reading...

Xi Jinping's anonymous taxi ride through Beijing

Xi Jinping, China's most powerful man, has continued his quest for Chinese hearts and minds by taking an anonymous taxi ride through the streets of Beijing – and rewarding his driver with a smile and a 32p tip. 

 China's President Xi Jinping

Continue reading...

Mayawati woos upper castes ahead of 2014 polls

Lucknow: Making fresh efforts to woo upper castes ahead of the forthcoming general elections, BSP chief Mayawati today announced names of 36 candidates for Lok Sabha polls, 18 out of whom belong to upper caste.

She alleged that atrocities were being committed on upper castes in the Samajwadi Party government's regime.

"Just like Dalits, atrocities are being committed on Brahmins under the Samajwadi Party government," Mayawati told reporters on the sidelines of Brahmin Bhaichara Samiti office bearers' meeting here.

Citing the example of Etawah where a Brahmin family was recently humiliated and defaced, Mayawati said most of those in the echelons of power in the SP government come from that district and it is a well-known fact that people belonging to 'sarv samaj' (all castes) are harassed there.

"But atrocities on Brahmins is much more in Etawah...When the incident took place, BSP raised it in the Assembly. Besides, its local unit tried to take up the issue and help them get justice," Mayawati said.

She said her party had prepared a campaign to ensure that upper castes do not get influenced by the "wrong propaganda" of the opposition parties.

"For ensuring that they (upper castes) do not get influenced by the wrong propaganda of opposition parties and apprising them of the various works done by the BSP government a detailed programme has been worked out," she said.

She emphasised that her party was not for any particular caste or religion and had worked for all when in power and given them equal representation.

She said when her party raised the issue of promotion in reservation, it was projected as if it was something new when it was already being implemented since 1955 with some gaps in between.

Mayawati said reservation in promotion was pending in the Lok Sabha because of opposition from the Congress and BJP and her party would put forth its views again in the next session of Parliament.

"BSP also did not oppose inclusion of some OBC castes in the SC\ST list with the condition that the quota be also increased," she said, adding, when in power she had taken up the cause of reservation for religious minorities as well as economically backward upper castes.

On why upper castes had become disenchanted with the BSP in the last Assembly polls, she said, "Though our vote percentage rose, we lost seats due to internal understanding of our opponents' (Congress and BJP) conspiracy and planning but we have learnt a lesson and would not allow them to succeed this time," she said.

To a question, she reiterated her demand for imposition of President's Rule in Uttar Pradesh alleging dismal law and order situation in the state.
Continue reading...

Shakira asks NY judge to throw out ex's USD 250m suit

Pop star Shakira says her hips don't lie, but her ex-boyfriend does.
The singer and judge on The Voice is asking a New York judge to throw out a USD 250 million lawsuit filed by her ex, Antonio de La Rua.
De la Rua is the son of former Argentine President Fernando de la Rua. He dated Shakira for more than a decade before they split in 2011.
De la Rua has been saying he shaped the "Shakira brand".
The Daily News reports that Shakira said in court papers she does not owe her success to de la Rua. She says he was just one of her numerous advisers.
Continue reading...

Commando Vidyut Jamwal to choreograph fights for Bullet Raja

Fresh from the success of Commando the new action-star Vidyut Jamwal will compose his own stunts for Tigmanshu Dhulia's Bullet Raja.
Tigmanshu Dhulia's new project, which satrs Saif Ali Khan and Sonakshi Sinha in lead roles, has an official action director Parvez Khan, who has films like Ra.One, Vishwaroop and Agent Vinod to his credit.
Vidyut who steps into a doughty cop's role that was to be played by Irrfan Khan would be making a very special appearance in the film. And the action-star will make his appearance as special as possible.
Tigmanshu Dhulia explains, "Vidyut would have two action sequences in Bullet Raja and he'd be composing the stunts. We have the amazing Parvez Bhai composing all the stunts for the film's leading man Saif Ali Khan. But Vidyut knows his body and mind better than anyone else. He has been training in the martial arts since the age of 12. Who better to know how his character would deal with the combative crisis in the plot?"
Vidyut Jamwal's first fight would show him taking on dacoits in the Chambal Valley. "Vidyut Jamwal enters the story at mid-point right after intermission. His character of the cop takes on the Chambal dacoits. The second fight sequence would be staged in the city of Lucknow. They'd be antithetical in ambience mood and impact. I leave it to Vidyut to design and execute these fights in such a way that he makes optimum impact," says Tigmanshu Dhulia who is currently shooting in Etawah city of Uttar Pradesh for Bullet Raja.
"I am having great fun shooting the film. I suspect the audience would enjoy themselves just as much," says Tigmanshu Dhulia.
Vidyut Jamwal Bullet Raja
Continue reading...

Ayushmann Khurrana falls prey to death hoax

New Delhi: Ayushmann Khurrana – who found commercial success with John Abraham’s ‘Vicky Donor’ – is the latest to fall prey to death hoax.

According to reports, Twitter was flooded with Ayushmann’s death news on Wednesday night after Global Associated News reported that the actor had died in a snowboard accident.

The report also explained in great details about how the former VJ - who was on a holiday with friends and family in Switzerland - met with an accident at Zermatt ski resort.

The shocking news created a lot of chaos among Twitteratis to such an extent that some even went on to tweet "RIP Ayushmann Khurrana`.

However, the 28-year-old stepped forth and clarified that the news was a hoax, and assuring his followers that he was fine.

“I have been hearing some bizarre rumors about my demise. RIP rumor mongers. Thanks!” @ ayushmannk tweeted.

Ayushmann is not the first celebrity to fall prey to such a death hoax. Actors like Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson have been subject to similar pranks as well in the past.
Ayushmann Khurrana falls prey to death hoax
Continue reading...

Ayushmann Khurrana falls prey to death hoax

New Delhi: Ayushmann Khurrana – who found commercial success with John Abraham’s ‘Vicky Donor’ – is the latest to fall prey to death hoax.

According to reports, Twitter was flooded with Ayushmann’s death news on Wednesday night after Global Associated News reported that the actor had died in a snowboard accident.

The report also explained in great details about how the former VJ - who was on a holiday with friends and family in Switzerland - met with an accident at Zermatt ski resort.

The shocking news created a lot of chaos among Twitteratis to such an extent that some even went on to tweet "RIP Ayushmann Khurrana`.

However, the 28-year-old stepped forth and clarified that the news was a hoax, and assuring his followers that he was fine.

“I have been hearing some bizarre rumors about my demise. RIP rumor mongers. Thanks!” @ ayushmannk tweeted.

Ayushmann is not the first celebrity to fall prey to such a death hoax. Actors like Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson have been subject to similar pranks as well in the past.
Ayushmann Khurrana falls prey to death hoax
Continue reading...

Bang Bang: Hrithik Roshan, Katrina Kaif to train for stunt scenes

Mumbai: 'Zindagi Na Milegi' co-stars Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif are gearing up to shoot action entertainer 'Bang Bang', which will go on the floors next month.
The film will be ready for release May 1, 2014.
Hrithik and Katrina will undergo training for their respective roles, said a source, and the movie is likely to have an aggressive marketing campaign.

Bang Bang: Hrithik, Katrina to train for stunt scenes
A Fox Star Studios production, 'Bang Bang' will be directed by Siddharth Anand of 'Bachna Ae Haseeno', 'Salaam Namaste' and 'Anjaana Anjaani' fame.
The film will be shot across Europe, Far East and India, and is said to feature "spectacular stunt sequences, intense chemistry and edge-of-the-seat excitement, as Hrithik and Katrina will scorch the silver screens in never-seen-before avatars", said a statement.
The screenplay of the movie has been written by Sujoy Ghosh, and Suresh Nair and Abbas Tyrewala have penned dialogues for it.
The music for the film will be composed by popular duo Vishal-Shekhar.

Continue reading...

Give us our gym equipment back: Neighbours tell Arjun Rampal

The residents of his building are upset with Rampal for robbing them of their daily fitness fix
Arjun Rampal
Arjun Rampal, who is known for his love for fitness, remodelled an existing gym on the ground floor of his building into a modern one with state-of-the-art equipment. He did this a few months ago, at his own expense. The actor welcomed everyone staying in the building complex to use the facility. But now the honeymoon’s over. Following a tiff with the residents, Arjun has carted out his equipment and the gym is empty and no longer functional.

The problem began when Arjun asked people not to use the gym at the same time as him.

This didn’t go down well with the residents because while he did pay for the gym, it is a public area and they didn’t take kindly to the actor dictating terms or timings.

Says a source, “Before Arjun made the state-of-the-art gym, there was a gym of sorts on the ground floor. It had some basic workout equipment like treadmills and weights. When Arjun moved into the building a few years ago, he found the facility too basic and he scaled it up, to suit his fitness standard.

He was also able to avoid  going out every day to a private gym. Also, it would afford him the advantage of working out at any hour, according to his convenience. He’d opened the gym to the other residents of the building and told everyone that he felt happy to see youngsters and children hitting the gym.”

Reveals a source, “But Arjun hadn’t thought this through. He didn’t expect the residents to  work out at the same time as him. To be fair, he wanted some privacy while working out but he was troubled by people taking pictures of him on their cellphones, and autograph hunters. He began to get distracted.

At the residents meetings he requested the members to refrain from working out during his timings. He assumed that they would pay heed to his suggestion. When he realised that they had no intention of doing so, in a fit of rage, Arjun had all the equipment he’d paid for, packed and parcelled off to an unknown destination, without informing or giving any notice to anybody.”

Now while the residents cannot complain about that, they have a valid complain: Give us back the previous equipment which was in the gym. But Arjun had gotten rid of that, which means he will have to buy some standard equipment for the gym, which he is not willing to do, as he feels he has already spent a lot of money.
Continue reading...

Delhi: Class X girl gangraped in car, say police

A Class X student was allegedly kidnapped and gangraped by three men, including her father's cousin, in South Delhi's Sarojini Nagar area on Wednesday morning.
Police said the men kidnapped the girl from New Ashok Nagar, East Delhi, when she was on her way to school around 6.30 am.
A senior police officer said: "The trio drove to a secluded spot in South Delhi where the girl was raped inside the car. While one man stood guard outside the vehicle, the other two took turns to rape her on the rear seat. The girl said that she tried to resist, but the men overpowered her."
Her medical examination confirmed rape, police said.
"She said after raping her, the men took her towards Mayur Vihar Phase-3. She said they stopped the car there for a while and it was then that she escaped. She went home and told her mother about the assault," the officer said.
A case of kidnapping, gangrape, illegal-confinement, threatening and under Sections of Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act has been registered at New Ashok Nagar police station.
Students molest teacher, arrested
A school student and his friend, both said to be above the age of 18, were arrested and sent to judicial custody on Wednesday for allegedly molesting a teacher in a moving bus.
The incident took place in Rohini, Outer Delhi, on Monday evening when the 27-year old teacher was travelling in a DTC bus, police said.
"The woman was returning from Prashant Vihar when the boys started molesting her inside the bus. They also passed lewd comments at her," a police officer said.
Continue reading...

Gold loan companies feel the heat as prices continue to fall

As gold prices continue to fall, gold loan companies could find the going increasingly difficult. An analysis by The Indian Express shows that these companies have kept a very thin margin for themselves while giving the loans, far lower than the limit set by the Reserve Bank of India.
For the companies, the potential losses are on two fronts. Slim margins are getting wiped out, but the interest cost of loans they have taken from banks and non-banking financial companies remains high — even as the value of the gold held by them dips sharply.
The risks are real. Just six months ago when the price of spot gold had reached a lifetime high of Rs 3,159 per gram in November, the companies were offering loans with effective margins of 23% against the 40% mandated by RBI. That cushion had slipped to 5.6% by Wednesday. When offering the loans, the companies had expected the price to remain the same, or even rise.
The companies accept that the average turnover for the loans is about six months. With current gold prices at Rs 2,569.5 per gram at the MCX, an investor who had taken out a loan against gold in November 2012 now has attractive options at the end of six months. Since her gold was pledged at a higher price, the difference is enough to make good on the interest charges as well. Or she can forego the redemption, as the value of the loan she took out is higher than the price of the gold she mortgaged.
Companies like Manappuram Finance Ltd, one of the two largest operating in the field, are however, certain they are on safe ground, because of the Indian way of thinking.
"There is an emotional attachment to the collateral for the family members and this overrules all other factors and induces the borrower to close the loan and take back the jewellery. Since average life of the gold loan is less than six months maintaining an LTV of 60 per cent, the asset will be sufficient to recover the interest and principal," said I Unnikrishnan, executive director and deputy CEO of the company.
Continue reading...

Arjun Rampal turns DJ

Arjun Rampal Lap
Actor Arjun Rampal is all set to turn disc jockey at his night club 'Lap' in New Delhi.
Arjun Rampal, 40, Who will be seen in Prakash Jha's Satyagraha along with Amitabh Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor and Ajay Devgn, is apprehensive about his stint as DJ.
"Working on my set as I prepare to spin tomorrow at Lap. Looking forward to a crazy night. Nervous and excited. Yes, I love electronic music. I do Dj for fun tomorrow, I am spinning in Delhi and yes everyone is invited. No members policy for tomorrow," Rampal posted on Twitter.
The Rajneeti star's nightclub, Lap, has hosted many international performances in the past including pop sensation Lady Gaga and DJ Edward Maya.
Arjun Rampal was last seen in Sudhir Mishra's Inkaar opposite Chitrangada Singh.
Continue reading...

Pervez Musharraf speeds away from court after arrest order

It was not immediately clear if or when the retired general would be arrested. Musharraf swept out of the Islamabad court, facing no resistance from a heavy security contingent and driving away in a jeep escorted by his bodyguards.
Police confirmed that Musharraf had been driven to his farm house on the edge of the capital.
"The judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui ordered that the interim bail is dismissed," Musharraf's defence lawyer Qamar Afzal said.
The case is one of three against Mr Musharraf in the Pakistani courts. He is also accused of conspiracy to murder opposition leader Benazir Bhutto in 2007 and over the death of a Baluch rebel leader during a military operation in 206.
Mr Musharraf returned to Pakistan on March 24 after four years of self-imposed exile in Dubai and London, vowing to contest May general elections having secured pre-arrest bail in connection with all three cases.
But his homecoming has been met by a dismal welcome from a support base that has all but evaporated since he stepped down in 2008 after nine years in office as the nuclear-armed country focuses on a key democratic transition of power next month.
On Tuesday, he was disqualified from contesting the May 11 polls because of the legal cases against him, ending his ambitions of a political comeback built on the promise that he alone could "save" the country from poverty and insecurity.
Mr Musharraf has been in and out of courts in Karachi, Islamabad and Rawalpindi since his return home but judges have always previously extended his bail.
A spokesman for Musharraf's All Pakistan Muslim League said his supporters had been shocked by Thursday's arrest order.
"We were quite sure that the judge would extend the bail, but it came to our surprise when the judge said bail was dismissed and he should be arrested," APML spokesman Muhammad Amjad said.
On April 12, the same Islamabad high court extended his bail over the judges' case in a 20-minute hearing accompanied by massive security to protect Musharraf, whom the Taliban have threatened to assassinate.
On Wednesday, a court in Rawalpindi also extended his bail until April 24 over Bhutto's killing. The former prime minister died in a gun and suicide attack at the end of an election rally in the garrison city on December 27, 2007.
In 2010 a UN report said Bhutto's death could have been prevented and accused Musharraf's government of failing to give her adequate protection.
Bhutto's son, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who is chairman of the outgoing Pakistan People's Party, has accused Musharraf of her murder.
Musharraf's team has vowed to appeal against his disqualification from contesting elections in the Supreme Court, but Pakistan's top court is considered unlikely to reinstate his nomination.
The court is already hearing a separate petition from lawyers demanding that Musharraf face trial for treason for imposing emergency rule in November 2007. His detractors have called for him to face the death penalty.
Continue reading...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

NEWS Copyright © 2009 Not Magazine 4 Column is Designed by Ipietoon Sponsored by Dezigntuts