Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Freefalling granny: Oldest Indian woman skydiver dedicates jump to nation

59-year-old Santosh Parhar became
the oldest Indian woman skydiver with her
 tandem freefall jump at the Edmonton S
kydive Centre

On a bright summer day over Edmonton, Canada, 59-year-old Santosh Parhar wore a red and blue jumpsuit and took a plunge out of an aircraft at 13,000 feet. Touching the ground a few minutes later with her instructor, Parhar dedicated her jump to the nation with an ebullient: "I Love you India."

The King Shah Rukh Khan Bows To Uddav Thackeray

riendships and enmities are only temporary in Bollywood and Politics. So in a striking gesture Shar Rukh Khan, the King of Bollywood bowed down to the dada of Mumbai politics, Uddav Thackeray and published a half page advertisement in his newspaper Saamna, wishing him on his birthday.

Nothing new in leaked Afghan documents: Obama

US President Barack Obama says there is
nothing new in the leaked documents.

US President Barack Obama has said leaked classified documents on the war in Afghanistan did not contain any issue that was not already part of debate, as he sought Congressional support for his Af-Pak policy that has come under increased scrutiny after the incident.

'Amit Shah had tasked 3 IPS officers to kill Sohrabuddin'

Arrested former Gujarat minister of state for Home Amit Shah had entrusted the job of eliminating Sohrabuddin Sheikh to three senior IPS officers, the chargesheet filed by CBI in a court said.

At least 100 feared dead in plane crash near Islamabad

slamabad: At least 100 people are feared dead when an aircraft of a private airline carrying 159 people crashed amid heavy rain in the wooded Margalla Hills skirting the Pakistani capital Wednesday morning, civil aviation officials and police said. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

BJP boycotts Manmohan lunch to protest ‘misuse’ of CBI

BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and L.K. Advani in New Delhi after paying floral tributes to Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak on his birth anniversary. Senior BJP leaders held a meeting on the Amit Shah issue on Friday

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday said its top leaders decided against attending the lunch hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to protest against “misuse” of CBI by summoning Gujarat Minister Amit Shah in connection with the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case.

India-US sign counter terrorism cooperation initiative

India and the United States on Friday signed the India-US Counter Terrorism Initiative, the text of which was initialed on the sidelines of the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the US in November, 2009.

Union Home Secretary, G.K. Pillai signed for India whereas US Ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer signed on behalf of the USA.

Militants may strike capital before CWG: Punjab cops

CHANDIGARH: Pakistan-based Sikh militants, supported by the ISI, might carry out bomb blasts in New Delhi before the Commonwealth Games, the Punjab police has alerted. An advisory circulated recently among all senior officers in the state by the intelligence department of Punjab police has pointed out that Sikh militant leaders based in Pakistan are under "tremendous pressure" from the ISI to carry out sabotage activities in India before the Games.

Thousands of Gaza kids set unofficial record for basketballs bounced

(CNN) -- More than 7,200 children in Gaza dribbled their way to an unofficial record Thursday night at an airport in Rafah, officials from a United Nations agency said.
"It was a fantastic day today," John Ging, head of the U.N. Relief Works Agency said of the event. "Children of Gaza once again show they have fantastic abilities, fantastic talent, and all we need to do is help them to realize their potential."

Whale Jumping on Boat

A 40-ton whale flipped into the air and smashed the mast of a 33-foot boat off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa, on Sunday, July 18, 2010. The couple on board was not injured, but their boat was wrecked. The whale then slid down the boat and back into the water. There are reports the boat was harassing the whale prior to the attack.

(CBS) It's footage that you just can't believe even with both eyes wide open.
Off the coast of South Africa, a 40-ton whale flipped into the air and smashed the mast of a 33-foot boat.
"It's such a loud sound, when you hear those whales flapping their tails," the boat's owner Ralph Mothes said. "We were attracted by the sound." 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Senate OKs more funding for wars, sends package back to House

Washington (CNN) -- The Senate passed an emergency supplemental spending bill to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, setting aside a House package that includes additional social spending.
The Senate action late Thursday sends the package back to the House for its consideration.

School principal arrested for raping student in Hyderabad

Hyderabad: The principal of an international school here has been arrested on charges of raping a Class 11 student from Mumbai, police said Thursday. The victim had become pregnant.

A case of rape and criminal intimidation has been booked against Salahuddin Ayub, principal of Parkwood International School at Manneguda near Vikarabad on the outskirts of Hyderabad.

Muralitharan picks up 800th Test wicket

Muttiah Muralitharan on Thursday became the first bowler in the history of Test cricket to pick up 800 wickets. He achieved the milestone when he picked up the wicket of Pragyan Ojha on the last day of the Test match against India at Galle.

Agencies Tags : Hillary Clinton, S M Krishna, Mahmood Qureshi

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has applauded the Indo-Pak leadership for reviving peace talks despite opposition to it in their countries, while ruling out mediation on the issue of Kashmir.

Aggressive opposition to continue protest against Nitish Kumar

A day after unseemly scenes of a slipper being flung at the speaker and flower pots being broken in the assembly, Bihar’s opposition legislators Thursday said they would continue their protest against Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his alleged involvement in a Rs.11,412 crore scam.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Only 960 years left for Bhutto's war

Qureshi forgot that the world was listening when he said that terrorist-infiltrators in the Kashmir were India’s problem. He would not last a minute in his job if he told America that Al Qaeda was Washington’s problem and the Pentagon should deal with them once they had infiltrated into America. When the FBI wants a suspect, Pakistan picks up six in six hours. When India asks for Hafiz Saeed, Qureshi talks about India’s home secretary G.K. Pillai — not in the quiet of a conference hall, but at a press conference.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Afghan forces aim to take lead by 2014

Afghan police and soldiers should be responsible for Afghan security by 2014, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said during an international meeting hosted in Kabul.
Speaking at the first international conference on Afghanistan held in the war-torn nation, Karzai told representatives from roughly 70 nations and organizations that he is "determined that our Afghan security forces will be responsible for all military and law enforcement operations" throughout the country by 2014.

West Bengal train accident: Locals turn Samaritans at train disaster site

Suri (West Bengal): They have been working tirelessly but silently since the Uttarbanga Express crashed into the Vananchal Express at the Sainthia station in Birbhum district, ferrying the injured, donating blood and helping out in the morgue.

Monkhush Hossain Khan, a resident of Joramath Churmura area here collected a group of young men and drove them in his truck to the Sainthia station 40 km away after hearing about the accident.

Friday, July 16, 2010

20 dead, 100 hurt in twin blasts in Iran

At least 20 were killed and over 100 injured in two explosions that tore through a mosque in Iran’s southeastern city of Zahedan Thursday, media reports said Friday.

“Two explosions in the front of Zahedan’s Grand Mosque have left more than 20 dead and over 100 injured,” Fariborz Rashedi, the head of Sistan-Baluchestan’s emergency unit told IRNA.

10 killed, 20 injured in bomb blast in Khyber Agency of NW Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: At least ten people were killed and 20 others injured in a bomb blast on Friday morning in Khyber agency of northwest Pakistan, reported local media.

Lalit Modi under Income Tax department’s scanner

Lalit Modi is in fresh trouble as he is now made to respond to the queries from the Income Tax department over the rights the IPL sold. These rights included big-ticket TV deals and advertising and hospitality rights in stadia.

Katrina to spend birthday on shooting of film

Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif had planned to celebrate her birth day on Friday with family in London, but she had to cancel it. She will now return to Spain for Zoya Akhtar’s film Zindagi Na Milegi Dobaara.
Talking to media, Katrina said, “Yes, I had planned well in advance to spend my birthday with my family in London. But some scenes for Zoya’s film have been rescheduled and I’ve to go back on Thursday, a day ahead of my birthday, to Spain. Never mind. I’ll be working on my birthday and that’s the best way to bring in my birthday,” But she said her two younger sisters are coming back to Spain with her and so she has a part of family. She said Zoya is the coolest director to celebrate birthday on 
She said that she worked with Zoya and Farah Khan, the two women director this year and it was fun to work with them. She was also involved in a big hit Rajneeti and this year has been successful for her. She hoped to find love which every girl looks for. Katrina will return to India next month.

4 NATO containers torched in Quetta, Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Four NATO supply containers were completely destroyed after they were set on fire by unknown miscreants in Quetta, a capital city of Pakistan's southwest province of Balochistan, reported local media The News on Friday.
According to the report, the attack took place late Thursday night when some unidentified gunmen fired at the containers parked nearby a hotel on National Highway in Mach locality of tehsil Bolan in Quetta city.
The NATO containers were attacked on its way to Afghanistan en- route Quetta from Karachi.
No people were injured in the attack, the report quoted police sources as saying, adding that the fire tenders were called in to quench the fire after the attack was reported.
Thursday's attack on NATO supply convoy is the third of its kind over the last three consecutive days. Prior to this, two attacks were reported respectively on Wednesday and Thursday, in which at least four NATO supply vehicles carrying oil and other goods for NATO troops in Afghanistan were destroyed.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Kashmir unrest: All eyes on PM Manmohan Singh

SRINAGAR: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has repeatedly called for "out of the box" solutions to the Kashmir dispute. It seems now is the time for him to act. All eyes in Kashmir are set on Singh, hoping he will make a decisive intervention to improve the situation and bring dialogue back on track to find a lasting solution to the festering row. The need for his personal attention is all the more urgent as moderate separatists inch closer to hardliners, and mainstream political parties add further to the strife with their cacophony. 

Isro launches PSLV-C-15 with 5 satellites

SRIHARIKOTA: The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C-15 carrying remote sensing Cartosat-2B along with four satellites blasted off from the spaceport near here on Monday morning.


A look back at Day 25 of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Here we highlight the best PLAY, PLAYER, STORY, PICTURE and VIDEO of the day.
Play of the day: It was a play which brought Spain the World Cup for the first time in their history. It came in the 116th minute when Fernando Torres tried to cross the ball from the left for Iniesta at the far end.

Friday, July 9, 2010

World Cup final: Paul the psychic octopus predicts Spain will beat Holland

Paul the psychic octopus has predicted Spain will beat Holland and win World Cup 2010 while Germany shall be triumphant in the third and fourth place play-off.
The news will come as a boost to Spain ahead of the World Cup final against Holland at Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg on Sunday.

BJP supports Gadkari's remarks; demands apology from Cong

Defending its President Nitin Gadkari's remarks over the delay in hanging Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, the BJP on Friday said it was "constructive criticism" and demanded an apology from the Congress for using "uncivilised" language against its leader. "The remarks of Congress spokesperson (Manish Tiwari) against Nitin Gadkari were utterly uncivilised, utterly irresponsible and lacked political courtesy," BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said in New Delhi.

14k Yellow Gold Carnelian and Citrine Necklace w/ Faceted Citrine Pendant, 17-19

Thursday, July 8, 2010

15 dead in rains, fresh breach in Satluj Yamuna link

CHANDIGARH: Fifteen people perished in floods triggered by heavy rains in Punjab and Haryana even as a fresh breach occurred in Satluj Yamuna Link at Udhar Singh village in Kuruskhetra submerging several adjoining areas. 

Afridi urges team to continue winning trend

Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi has called upon his players to continue with the winning momentum ahead of the 2 test series against Australia starting on July 13. Following their 2-0 clean sweep of the T20s against Australia, Pakistan have got off to a great start on this tour. This recent win has boosted Pakistan after they were whitewashed by Australia in all formats of the game earlier this year and suffered heart-breaking losses in the World T20 against the same nation. 

Six-pack Sallu plays widower

For years, we've seen Salman Khan as the cool dude, bashing up villains and flashing his chiselled torso. Now, get ready to see the bad boy do the unthinkable -- play a widowed, working class father of two in Ready, Mahesh Manjrekar's Hindi adaptation of hit Marathi film Shikshanachya Aaicha Gho.

Assam rail track blast kills one, injures seven

Guwahati, July 8 (IANS) At least one person was killed and seven wounded, two of them critically, in a powerful explosion on a railway track Thursday that ripped apart the engine and a coach of a passenger train in Assam, officials said.

Curfew in Kashmir, Army stages flag march in Srinagar

Srinagar, July 7 -- The Army on Wednesday moved into curfew-bound Srinagar to assist the civil authorities in maintaining law and order and staged a flag march on airport road after violence had left three people dead. The flag march was conducted on the Srinagar Airport Road from 10:30 am, a defence spokesman said.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Silky Spain reach first World Cup final

By Martin Petty
DURBAN (Reuters) - Carles Puyol finally cracked open Germany's stubborn defense with a superb late header on Wednesday to give Spain a deserved 1-0 win and send the European champions into their first World Cup final.
Puyol headed home Xavi's 73rd-minute corner after a Spanish onslaught to break a frustrating tactical deadlock and set up a final with Netherlands on Sunday at Soccer City in Johannesburg when new world champions will be crowned.

Genes predict Who lives forver

By: S A Sagar
Genetic variants play a critical and complex role in predicting exceptionally long lives, says a study. Well, surely none from this planet, but according to Friday's isssue of the journal science, scientists have discovered a certain pattern of genes that gives an accurate prediction on who might live a longer life.
Paola Sebastiani and Dr. Thomas Perls, who leads a research team at Boston University, have revealed that they have identified a set of genetic variants that's capable of predicting a 77-percent accuracy of extreme logevity.

Kashmir remains tense; PM holds security meeting

NEW DELHI: The Cabinet Committee on Security met on Wednesday and is understood to have discussed the situation in Kashmir where army has been deployed to assist the civil authorities in restoring normalcy following violence. 

The meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, reviewed the situation in the wake of the spiralling protests in Srinagar following the killing of three persons yesterday. 

Engage all in J&K

By Arun Nehru
India lives in many dimensions. As we hurtle towards attaining “superpower” status, we are confronted with serious security issues, both internal and external. We see this in the increased violence in Jammu and Kashmir and in yet another daring and deadly attack by the Maoists.

Economic losses pegged at Rs 13,000 crore due to bandh

New Delhi, July 05 Bharat Bandh today partially disrupted economic activities with commodity markets and the transport sector taking a hit in many parts of the country, and the industry pegged losses at up to Rs 13,000 crore. While Mumbai, the financial capital of the country, and several industrialised states including Maharashtra, Gujarat, were affected, the impact was partial in many other states like Tamil Nadu and in the national capital Delhi.
The 12-hour strike was called by the Opposition parties to protest the fuel price hike and rising inflation. "The bandh is estimated to have cost the nation close to Rs 13,000 crore in terms of GDP loss," industry chamber Ficci said in a statement.
Another industry body Assocham put the losses at Rs 10,000 crore, while CII pegged it at Rs 3,000 crore. Wholesale commodity markets remained shut in most of the cities, while several flights from key airports like Mumbai were cancelled.
According to the All-India Motor Transport Congress, 6 lakh vehicles were off the road. Though the screen-based stock market remained open, the trading volume at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) was down 52 per cent to Rs 2,857 crore against a daily average of nearly Rs 6,000 crore.
According to reports by industry chambers like Ficci and Assocham, thin attendance was witnessed in commercial establishments in several states, while the economic activity came to a complete halt in states like West Bengal, Gujarat and Kerala. Ficci said most of the industrial activities remained shut in Bangalore and majority of MNCs and IT firms preferred to give a holiday to their employees.
In Mumbai, transport services were "completely affected" and traders were mostly off the market. The PHD Chamber catering mainly to the northern states, said the impact was felt in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and UP. Banking services were completely paralysed in Left governed West Bengal and Kerala while some disruptions were noticed in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Mumbai.
The industry leaders including Rahul Bajaj and Adi Godrej have opposed the bandh and termed the protest as "odd and absurd". The disrupted rail movement also contributed to the industry loss.

Lady luck will stay on Dhoni's side, says Ganesha

Affectionately known as 'Mahi', Mahendra Singh Dhoni has rocked the Indian cricket scenario like no one since Sachin Tendulkar. The popular youth icon has made a big impact in and outside the cricketing world. His power-packed performances and on-field agility have had fans, especially girls, swooning all over him. But the heart throb is no longer single.

Dutch joy as 32-year wait ends

CAPE TOWN (AFP) - Elated Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk fulfilled a 32-year dream on Tuesday by steering his team into the World Cup final for the first time since 1978.It was a long time coming but Van Marwijk said the wait was worth it.

"Of course I am very, very happy and proud that such a small country is in the final of a world championship, it is hard to comprehend," he said after his team overcame Uruguay 3-2.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Pak again violates ceasefire, BSF jawan killed in firing

Jammu, July 7 (PTI) In the fourth ceasefire violation in two days, Pakistani troops today fired at a forward outpost along the International Border in Jammu sector, killing a BSF jawan and leaving a villager injured. Pakistani troops fired at Pindi, Mala Bela and Chak Phagwari border outpost around 2230 hours last night, BSF officials said, adding BSF troops fired back resulting in exchanges which continued till 0030 hours.

Playing the energy game against China

Yes, India has lost several rounds of the energy resources game -- as much to itself as to China -- over the last few years. In a recent, well-researched article Bloomberg's Rakteem Katakey and John Duce point out that in last year alone, companies controlled by the Chinese government spent $32 billion acquiring en-ergy and resources assets around the world. In comparison, India's Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), also a state-owned company, spent $2.1 billion. Like that kid who comes to school in his father's Mercedes, China's oil companies have access to a parent with far deeper pock ets. China's foreign reserves are ten times that of India's, the yuan is getting stronger and Beijing has purposefully used its financial strength towards buying up what it wants.

Apple iPod touch 32 GB (3rd Generation) NEWEST MODEL

The Girl with the Dragon TattooThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Engage all in J&K

By Arun Nehru
India lives in many dimensions. As we hurtle towards attaining “superpower” status, we are confronted with serious security issues, both internal and external. We see this in the increased violence in Jammu and Kashmir and in yet another daring and deadly attack by the Maoists.

Take that Taliban! Kabul rocks with indie band

Less than a decade ago, when the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, a concert like this would have landed them in jail. Playing musical instruments was banned. Singing was allowed, but only songs praising Allah or the Taliban.
Today, Kabul Dreams, as the band is named, is paving the way for a very modest but growing local rock scene.
About 100 Afghans and foreigners gather around a makeshift stage with improvised lighting and a sputtering sound system.
Baby-faced singer and guitarist Suleman Qardash repeatedly screams "I wanna run away" -- the album's title track -- as drummer Mujtaba Habibi ramps up the beat.
While the lyrics resonate with an Afghan youth weary of suicide bombings and Taliban attacks, running away is the last thing on the band's mind. The trio returned to Afghanistan after temporary exile in Iran, Uzbekistan and Pakistan during Taliban rule.
"Young people in Afghanistan like rock music a lot, and we're providing them with something from their own country," bass player Siddique Ahmed says.
The band rouses the crowd with another popular number, Crack in the Radio, based on a girl who works in a Kabul rock radio station. It's a song subject that would have been unthinkable under the Taliban.
The crowd roars, and some dance wildly, waving their arms to intensifying drumbeats. A few even drink beer, though it is banned by Islam.
The band changes the mood with a wistful tune reminiscent of 1990s Britpop. Women in headscarves, sitting on the sidelines, sway demurely to the melodic guitar riffs.
"We really want a change here and want to see something new. Many young people here my age really enjoy the songs," says Hadi Marafat, a 28-year-old employee of a nonprofit organization.
With Taliban insurgents still holding sway in parts of the country, Kabul Dreams has had to cancel several performances because of security threats.
The group sings in English, limiting its appeal at home, but the band says its choice of language will help spread its message to an international audience. In January, the group played at a regional music festival in New Delhi.
"We want to show the world that Afghanistan has rock music, it's not only suicide bombings or attacks," Qardash says.
Newer groups, such as alternative metal band District Unknown, look up to Kabul Dreams as mentors and pioneers.
District Unknown, which draws heavily from Western bands such as Metallica and Led Zeppelin, has a much harder edge. Its upcoming single, My Nightmare, deals with the frustrations of Afghan youth with few or no prospects in a war-torn country.
"We have our own feelings, we have got aggression, depression and we need to speak out for each and every Afghan youngster who needs to speak," says Lemar Saifulla, the 23-year-old lead singer.
The band doesn't perform widely, fearful of threats from religious conservatives.
"We don't want to be called Satanists," Saifulla says.
Rock music has made inroads since the fall of the Taliban. A smattering of music shops sell pirated CDs of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and other bands. Indian and Pakistani groups also are popular among the youth.
What is missing are albums by Afghan bands, a gap that Kabul Dreams hopes to fill. After its first album, which had just five songs, it is at work on a full-length successor that would have 12.
The new one won't be about politics, guns or violence, but rather love, relationships and daily life, Qardash says during a short break from a practice session at their drummer Habibi's home.
That prompts bass player Ahmed to chime in: "The fact that our songs don't have any political message in itself is political."

Aamir doesn't have time to babysit me: Imran

New Delhi: He might be basking in the success of his recent hit I Hate Luv Storys, but Bollywood's chocolate boy Imran Khan rues the absence of superstar uncle Aamir Khan in his career.
"Aamir is really busy with his own career. He is generally very caught up with his own work. Being busy as he is, he really doesn’t have the time to babysit me," Imran told IANS.
The 27-year-old shone to glory with his launch vehicle Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na produced by his maternal uncle. He, however, saw failures in future outings Kidnap and Luck.
Asked if something was in the pipeline for the nephew-uncle duo to star together, Imran said: "Nothing on the cards right now. In life, if something good comes up, I’m sure we’ll do it."

Monday, July 5, 2010

SF: Uruguay vs Netherlands Preview

Tuesday's FIFA World Cup™ semi-final follows the unpredictable nature as Uruguay and Holland prepare to meet in Cape Town.

For Oscar Tabarez's Uruguay it places a return to the globe-conquering days of 1930 and 1950 within unexpected reach, while it can also be argued that Bert van Marwijk's Holland have surpassed expectations.
Uruguay, surprisingly South America's last remaining representation in the 2010 World Cup, may have won the maiden finals 80 years ago, before repeating the feat two decades later, but they are now in territory not chartered since finishing fourth in 1970.
Holland, famously finalists in 1974 and 1978, were the dark horse choice of many prior to the start of the tournament in South Africa, but it was also suspected that they would characteristically implode in a flash of in-house bickering that has undermined recent campaigns.
The fact that both sides have made it to the last four, along with Spain and Germany, therefore marks a significant achievement and sets an intriguing scene as fans get ready to gather close to Signal Hill.
There is perhaps a little more romance associated with underdog Uruguay's presence in the semi-finals, but Tabarez, who guided the nation to a round-of-16 place at Italia 90 in a previous stint in charge, is refusing to get carried away.
He has pointed to a level of expectation surrounding two-time champions which has not been satisfied over the past 40 years and he does not want the pressure to impact upon his players against a Holland team who have not lost in 24 matches.
Uruguay have earned many plaudits for the style of their football in topping Group A before defeating South Korea in the second round prior to the dramatic and controversial quarter-final elimination of Ghana, but they are still outsiders.
Tabarez's task has increased in difficulty due to the fact that influential striker Luis Suarez, having found his feet after a slow start to the competition, is suspended following his red card for the much-debated goalline handball that denied Ghana.
Defender Jorge Ciro Fucile is also ineligible, while captain Diego Lugano is an injury doubt and midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro has been ruled out of the finals due to a broken foot to place even more pressure on the shoulders of key man Diego Forlan.
Meanwhile, it is difficult to measure the strain on Van Marwijk. Is he now expected to deliver the World Cup or is he still earning praise for simply avoiding rows and bust-ups to get the Dutch to a first semi-final since 1998?
Van Marwijk's side have been criticised for lacking the characteristic Oranje, Total Football style of Johan Cruyff, Ruud Gullit and Marco van Basten, but it cannot be argued that they are not getting the job done.
After a 100 per cent record this summer, topping Group E and beating Slovakia before stunning favourites Brazil, Holland have still not lost since a friendly against Australia in September 2008 and they are expected to stretch that statistic.
The Dutch were boosted when main striker Robin van Persie was declared fit to play against Uruguay after a scan revealed his left elbow injury was not as bad as first feared.
With defender Joris Mathijsen also available again after a knee problem, Holland no longer have any injury worries, but midfielder Nigel de Jong and defender Gregory van der Wiel are out of the game due to suspension.

Headley claims Ishrat was Lashkar operative

Ishrat Jahan, the Mumbai girl shot dead by the Gujarat Police in 2004, was a Lashkar-e-Taiba operative, according to 26/11 plotter David Headley.

Headley has told interrogators from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) that Ishrat was appointed to cover up for Javed, the commander-in-chief of the Lashkar in India.

Sources in the NIA told Headlines Today that Headley claimed Ishrat was recruited by Muzammil, who is in-charge of the Lashkar's operations in India. He recruited four other women as suicide bombers.

Headley claimed he had been in touch with all the women and often sent them on terror missions.

Ishrat was gunned down along with three others in Ahmedabad in an encounter rife with controversies. The police claimed that the four were Lashkar operatives out on a mission to kill Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

But Ishrat's parents contested the claims, saying their daughter was an ordinary college-going girl from suburban Mumbai. The encounter was alleged to be fake and many Gujarat Police officers, including DIG D.G. Vanzara, were arrested.

Mumbai to lose Rs 300 crore during bandh

Mumbai: The Bharat bandh called by the Opposition to protest against rising prices has not only crippled the commercial capital of India, but will lead to a staggering Rs 300 crore loss in revenue.

AGNI, a network of citizen organizations

Gerson Dacuna, founder of Agni, a network of citizen organizations, said, "The city's (Mumbai) daily contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is Rs 300 crore, of which Rs 200 crore comes from the organised sector and remaining Rs 100 crore from the unorganised sector. Who will pay for the loss?"

"The bandh is illegal. Politicians are the reasons of all our problems and now they are calling a bandh to add salt to the wounds," said James John of Agni.

He further added, "We were among a group of petitioners who sought action by the Bombay High Court against two political parties and the State Government in the matter of a bandh in Mumbai called on July 30, 2003. The court upheld the view and that of Kerala High Court that bandhs are unconstitutional and illegal."

According to James, the court also agreed that those calling for bandhs should pay to make good any consequent damage to private or public property. Acting Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice S U Kamdar had imposed a penalty of Rs 20 lakh on each political party, to be deposited in a fund for the city's welfare.

"We are amazed at the irresponsibility of political parties and their failure to heed to the letter and spirit of High Court orders. Why else call for a bandh? Such parties, under the guise of acting in the citizen's interest in the matter of price rise are hurting the very agenda. Bandhs reduce production; lower production means higher prices," James added.

On a conservative estimate, citizens of Mumbai lost Rs 50 crore during the July 30, 2003 bandh. The fundamental right to earn a living was violated and the worst affected were those who lack the means of easy redress, daily wage earners also represented the petitioning group.

James added, "We had moved court against the State Government for failure to protect life and property. Believing that bandhs should be put dealt with "an iron hand", the court issued directions to the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police in 10 paras of their judgment about action to be taken when bandhs are declared."

James appealed to the political parties promoting July 5 bandh, to abandon this illegal and anti-people action and to note that it flouts court orders. "This can lead to higher liabilities. Penalties imposed in 2003 are only an indicative start," he said.

BSNL to outsource 3G mobile services - report

State-run telecoms Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd plans to outsource its third-generation mobile services and is working on details for a franchisee agreement, the Business Standard reported on Monday.
The company will invite expressions of interest by the end of this month, the newspaper quoted BSNL Chairman Kuldeep Goyal as saying.
The paper said outsourcing would help BSNL reduce investments it needs to roll out the 3G services.
Goyal told the paper the franchisee could be an existing mobile service provider or a company that had not won or bid for 3G spectrum.
The franchisee will manage customer acquisition, marketing and sales of BSNL's 3G services across the country, he said.
Vodafone and Bharti Airtel paid a combined $5.1 billion for 3G mobile licences in India last month, ending an epic auction that yields a bonanza for a deficit-strapped government.

The journey of the Queen's baton relay; now in India!

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, left, presents India's President Pratibha Patil with the baton to launch the XIX Commonwealth Games Queen's Baton Relay for the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games outside Buckingham Palace in London, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009. (AP Photo/Shaun Curry, Pool)

The journey of the Queen's baton relay; now in India!

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, left, presents India's President Pratibha Patil with the baton to launch the XIX Commonwealth Games Queen's Baton Relay for the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games outside Buckingham Palace in London, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009. (AP Photo/Shaun Curry, Pool)

Two dengue cases in Delhi

New Delhi: Even before the rainy season sets in, two cases of dengue have been reported in the
national capital, but civic officials insist that the infection has been contracted from outside the city.
"Two patients admitted to Apollo Hospital and AIIMS have been tested positive for dengue," Municipal Health Officer, MCD, N K Yadav said. These are the first confirmed case in the city this season.
However, Yadav maintained that these are not "indigenous" cases. "Both reside in Delhi. But one of them had gone to his native place in southern India while the other also went out on a vacation. They were hospitalised after coming back. The infection has been contracted from outside," he said.
Asked about reports that BJP's Amritsar MP Navjot Singh Sidhu's wife has been admitted to Apollo Hospital with suspected dengue, Yadav said he has no information in this regard.
The city had reported three dengue deaths and over a thousand cases. The civic authorities have been concerned over the incidence of dengue this year as the city will host the Commonwealth Games in October, a month which generally witnesses prevalence of dengue cases.
MCD had this year pre-poned its insectoral meet with Delhi government, DJB, DMRC and other stakeholders on prevention of vector- and water-borne diseases by about two months in view of the Games.
It is procuring 14 vehicle-mounted fogging machines and 247 hand-held pulse jet type thermal fogging machines to prevent breeding of mosquitoes in the city.

A yesterday party

By Kuldip Nayar

CLENCHED fists in a rightist party are like outworn clothes. They neither give it a new look, nor a different entity. I imagine this is what some BJP leaders were trying to do when they stood in a row with their clenched fists to show defiance after staging a demonstration against the Congress government at Delhi.
Clenched fists are associated with radicals from the left. The BJP is associated with wooden sticks and khaki knickers, which its mentor, the RSS, has prescribed.
There is no doubt that the party has to turn a new leaf if it wants to be relevant. But it cannot do so by having its fists clenched. It has to jettison the RSS, which has been riding it like an old man on the shoulders of Sindbad the Sailor, from its back.
This means that the party has to get away from the ideology of Hindutva. It is a yesterday party, as its former ideologue Jaswant Singh said when he was ousted by the BJP. True, he is trekking back into the fold. But it does not indicate that the party is giving up its philosophy of parochialism. Nor has it clarified its stand on Mohammad Ali Jinnah, for praising whom Jaswant Singh landed in trouble.
Jaswant Singh had blamed Jawaharlal Nehru for partition, not Jinnah. The reason why the party has to clarify its stand is the hostility the BJP shows whenever the name of Qaid e Azam, founder of neighbouring Pakistan, crops up. L.K. Advani had to step down from the party leadership after he said that Jinnah was secular, while paying homage at his mausoleum at Karachi.
The issue that the BJP has to sort out is not whether Jinnah was responsible for the division of the subcontinent but whether his exhortation not to mix religion with politics is acceptable to the party. When it parades Narendra Modi of Gujarat carnage fame at the party's National Executive meeting (at Patna earlier this month), it projects the same policy of preferring religion for achieving pre-eminence in politics.
Modi has an image which projects him in the country as a protagonist of Hindu rashtra (state). He is in the midst of several cases, which implicate him for the anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat. When the BJP invites him to its Bihar sitting, the party gives a message that he is the party's mascot in the forthcoming state assembly election and, ultimately, in parliamentary polls.
It was obvious that the BJP was provoking state Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who has a secular image and who leads the coalition with the BJP but wants to convey that he is not guided by what the BJP thinks or does. Therefore, he had to cancel the dinner for BJP executive members and return the Rs.5 crore that he had received from Gujarat for flood relief in Bihar.
Following its own agenda, the BJP placed an advertisement in regional newspapers showing Modi and Nitish together on a platform. Bihar has a large Muslim population, which could not have been happy over the photo. Nitish had to act to assure the Muslims that the publication of the photo was BJP's doing. His party, Janta Dal (U), tried to paper over the differences as if it was a personality clash.
But Nitish Kumar's approach was fundamentally different. He does not think that he can live with personalities like Modi if the BJP thrusts on Bihar. Whatever is the JDU thinking, it looks that Nitish Kumar would like to go it alone when the state goes to polls. He may well pave the path for a third front, which is badly needed in the country.
The BJP is beginning to understand Nitish's long-term policy. It may, therefore, fight the state election on its own. Turning its back on Nitish, the BJP under the leadership of Nitin Gadkari, an RSS man, has made it clear that the party would rather sacrifice even an assured victory under Nitish than give up Modi, who it wants to project as its prime minister candidate in the next Lok Sabha election.
But party has gone over this exercise before and has found that Modi is not an acceptable face. Karnataka had to stop his visit when the state BJP government was contesting a by-election.
Rightist parties all over the world have been a wellspring of new ideas. Why is the BJP stuck at the same thinking since its inception? That Hinduism is in danger is not accepted by Hindus, who constitute 80% of India's population. The electorates in Pakistan or Bangladesh do not return the candidates sponsored by the Jammiat Islami, which appeals in the name of religion. In these countries also the Muslims who constitute the bulk of population do not think that Islam is in danger. Therefore, the Jammiat gets less than a two-digit figure in elections.
The BJP is still the second biggest party in parliament, and rules in some seven states. Its validity is not because it placates Hindu extremist elements but because it is considered by the voters as an alternative to the Congress. The left is still absorbed in its outmoded ideology. What do the people do? They want a viable alternative. Therefore, they turn to the BJP when they find the Congress becoming increasingly corrupt and intolerably arrogant.
Were the BJP to become a centrist party and shed its anti-Muslim image, it could provide the alternative. Why doesn't the party talk about economic programs? The Congress adopts at every party meeting an economic resolution. The BJP does not even attempt to do so.
The Conservatives in the UK were out of power for 18 years because they were seen as a bunch of right-wingers. They recovered only when they were seen adopting progressive steps. With the type of communal agenda the BJP has -- periodically there is an outcry for building the Ram temple where the Babri masjid stood before destruction -- it has little future. The mood of the country is different. It is looking forward to development.
In fact, I am surprised that Jaswant Singh is returning to the BJP without ensuring that it overcomes the tag of a yesterday party. True, his dilemma is that a politician has to have a platform to survive. But this is no basis for compromising with one's principles. Or, maybe, this is the way the politicians function.
What is being rubbed into Jaswant Singh is that his return may coincide with the return of maverick Uma Bharti. Her qualification is that she jumped into the lap of Murli Manohar Joshi with joy when the Babri masjid was being pulled down, stone by stone. I thought Jaswant Singh was a sensitive person.

Read in Urdu
Kuldip Nayar is an eminent Indian columnist.
Source :

Monsoon hits Punjab and Haryana

Chandigarh, July 5 (PTI) The south-west monsoon brought heavy downpour in various parts of Punjab and Haryana today, throwing normal life out of gear and bringing down mercury sharply, met officials said. The city here received around 117.8 mm of rainfall this morning, met officials said.
In Haryana, Ambala received 174.1 mm rain followed by Panchkula at 122mm, Kurukshetra (92 mm) and Karnal (89.4 mm). In Punjab, Mohali received 110 mm of rains followed by Ludhiana (66.6 mm), Ropar (66 mm) Patiala (46.8 mm) and Jalandhar (30 mm).
"The monsoon today further advanced into entire Punjab, Haryana, Union Territory Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh, due to which the region received widespread rains," Director of the Meteorological Department Surender Paul told PTI here. Last year, the monsoon had hit the region on June 30.

Bharat bandh: Left, SP, BJP join hands

Certain pockets of the national capital were also affected by the bandh, despite heavy police deployment to ensure normalcy.
BJP workers tried to interrupt Delhi metro services causing severe halts and delays at Rajiv Chowk, Karol bagh and Patel Nagar stations on the Dwarka-Anand Vihar line.
Bus routes have been affected in West Delhi-parts of Janakpuri and Vikaspuri.
Protests marches are taking place in various parts of Cannaught place.
"The trains are running slow and halting between Karol bagh and Rajiv Chowk stations. It took me 40 minutes to reach Barakhamba metro station from Patel Nagar, said Ruchi Mishra, a passenger.
The police has been deployed on these busy stations. A police official said, "Three to four police personnel are manning metro stations to keep the protesters at bay."
Senior leaders from the Left parties also orgnaised a protest rally near ITO.
"The bandh has been a total success and our workers have succeeded in chakka jam at a number of places in the capital," a senior party leader of BJP told He hoped that the bandh would become more effective by noon.
"In Nangloi, the traffic has come to a halt and the protestors have disrupted the movement of the trains as they are squatting on the rail track. In Preet Vihar, we have received reports of a chakka jam. In R K Puram and Munirka there the bandh has hit normalcy. In the afternoon, party president Nitin Gadkari [ Images ] and Rajnath Singh would be addressing a public meeting in Chandni Chowk area," Srikant Sharma, BJP media convenor at the party headquarets, said. Srikant is currently media convenor at the party headquarters in Delhi.
Reports from Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Sonepat, Bahadhurgarh and Gurgoan said that the traffic movement had been affected.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Bharat bandh against price hike today

The BJP and its allies have called for a Bharat bandh on Monday to protest against escalating prices.
Inflation is in double digits and fuel prices have risen since the government deregulated oil prices, and now the Opposition is taking what it says is the aam aadmi's protest on the streets.
If that's not all, the Left is also protesting against the fuel hike on Monday, demanding a rollback.