Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Samsung Ships 32GB DRAM Server Memory Module

Samsung has announced that it has begun shipping samples of what it calls highest density memory module – 32GB DRAM – for servers to equipment manufacturers.
The module doubles the 16GB capacity of Samsung's previous high-end module, which used 2Gbit chips based on 50 nanometer (nm) lithography technology.
The new module is based on 4Gbit DDR3 chips using Samsung's latest 40nm lithography technology. Samsung had started using the 40nm process to produce memory products last July.
"Our highly successful implementation of 40nm-class technology is indicative of our determination to move toward the 30nm-class process node in the second half of this year," said Soo-In Cho, General Manager of Samsung Electronics Memory Division, in a statement. "Our 30nm-class technology will provide even more advanced memory solutions for high-end server and PC applications."
Samsung said the new dual inline memory module (RDIMM) consists of 36 DDR3 chips that can perform at equal or greater levels as a 40nm-based 16GB module with no increase in power consumption.
A dual CPU server can house up to 12 32GB DRAM modules, which would provide some 384GB of memory, doubling the company's previous capacity of 192GBs per server. The new offering boosts power consumption by less than 5% over that needed for 16GB module-based systems, Samsung said.
With just six 32GB RDIMMs, a dual CPU server would offer 192GB of storage capacity, while increasing DRAM operating speed in a two-way server system by some 33% percent from 800Mbits/sec to 1,066Mbits/sec.
Mass production of the 32GB RDIMM is slated to begin next month.

HP Launches New Generation of ProLiant Servers

HP has introduced three HP ProLiant G7 server platforms, delivering a 23:1 consolidation ratio with AMD Opteron 6100 Series processors. The line includes the HP ProLiant DL165 G7 and HP ProLiant DL385 G7 rack-optimized servers, as well as the HP ProLiant SL165z G7 scale-out "skinless" server.
HP ProLiant servers are part of the HP Converged Infrastructure portfolio, which integrates servers, storage, network devices and facility resources into a common environment.
"Customers in Asia Pacific want the best possible return on their server investments, allowing them to channel valuable resources towards innovation," said Rajesh Dhar, Director, Industry Standard Servers, HP India.  "The new HP ProLiant G7 boosts systems performance while utilizing fewer servers than previously needed, allowing customers to reduce capital expenditures, energy costs and software licensing fees by 97 percent."

Friday, March 26, 2010

Nokia acquires Novarra

Browser service technology will provide improved mobile web experience on mainstream mobile phones

Espoo, Finland - Nokia today announced it has signed an agreement to acquire 100% of the outstanding shares of Novarra, Inc., a privately-held company based in Chicago, IL. Novarra is a provider of a mobile browser and service platform and has more than 100 employees. Novarra's mobile browser and services platform will be used by Nokia to deliver enhanced Internet experiences on Nokia mobile devices. Novarra has deployed their solution with leading mobile operator and internet services customers globally.

"Connecting the next billion consumers to the Internet will happen primarily on mobile devices," said Niklas Savander, Executive Vice President, Services, Nokia, "and delivering an optimized internet experience on our devices is core to our mission. By driving innovation in all segments of our portfolio, we are building one of the largest consumer audiences for web services and content. Novarra's Internet services technology delivered on the world's most widely-used mobile platform, Nokia's Series 40, will help us achieve this."

Nokia expects a new service offering utilizing the Novarra technology platform to be available later this year. The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2010, and is subject to the customary closing conditions, including regulatory reviews. Following the acquisition, Novarra will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nokia.




Saturday, March 13, 2010

World Sikh Organization: Canada visit of minister implicated in 1984 anti-sikh riots unacceptable

The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) is gravely concerned to learn that Kamal Nath, Indian Minister of Road Transport and Highways, who has been implicated in leading the 1984 anti-Sikh violence in New Delhi, has been invited to speak by the Canada-India Business Council on March 23, 2010 in Toronto.

Anti-Sikh violence across India in November 1984, took the lives of thousands of Sikhs. The perpetrators of the violence have not been prosecuted to this day.

Nath was identified by numerous witnesses, including Indian Express reporter Monish Sanjay Suri , as having controlled a mob of 4000 people who attacked Gurdwara Rakab Ganj, a prominent Sikh shrine in Delhi, on November 1, 1984. Several Sikhs were burnt alive by the mob.

Nath has denied his involvement in the killings. However, according to Justice Nanavati, who chaired a commission to investigate the 1984 anti-Sikh violence and the role of government officials, Nath has failed to satisfactorily explain his role, the length of time he stayed and why he did not contact the police to help quell the violence.

WSO President Prem Singh Vinning said, "While WSO appreciates the importance of building economic ties, we cannot sacrifice the Canadian values of justice equality and human rights that we hold so dear. There are many survivors of the 1984 anti-Sikh violence now living in Canada along with families of the victims. It is difficult for the Sikh community to accept that someone like Nath who has been implicated in orchestrating the violence will be allowed to freely travel to and speak in Canada."

WSO senior policy advisor Gian Singh Sandhu said, "Sikhs have been struggling for justice for the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh massacre for the past 25 years. Nath's visit is a slap in the face to the Sikh community for whom the issue of prosecuting the guilty is still very much a live issue."

WSO calls upon the Canadian government to refuse Nath entry to Canada and requests that the organizers and supporters of the event reconsider their decision to invite Nath to speak.

The World Sikh Organization (WSO) is a non-profit international organization with a mandate to promote and protect the interests of the Sikh Diaspora, as well as to promote and advocate for the protection of human rights for all individuals, irrespective of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, and social and economic status.
News From: http://www.Time2timeNews.com

Punjab Assembly passes amendment in VAT

The Punjab Assembly passed three bills without any discussion except on one bill on which some members expressed their reservations though there was sufficient time before it.

Interestingly, as there was no discussion as even legislators of the principal opposition Congress too had little to speak on these bills, the house was adjourned over two hours before its scheduled time.

Of the three bills, two replaced the ordinance issued during the inter-session period and both effected amendment in the Punjab Value Added Tax(VAT).

One bill proposed to impose additional tax @ 10 per cent to garner a revenue of Rs 500 crore. After the abolition of octroi, ten per cent of the payable VAT was to be transferred to the local bodies and thus a sum of Rs 550 crore was assured for them as dedicated fund to meet their requirements. However, this move had eroded the VAT receipts to the state exchequer and the proposed bill will compensate the state exchequer.

The other amendment bill had no financial implications but was aimed to have procedural changes to ensure compliance and offered more than 60 days to the complainant.

The third bill based on the recommendations of the two member sub-committee for resource mobilisation and imposed entertainment duty on \"Direct to Home (DTH)\" services and was aimed to garner Rs 15 crore per annum.

Sukhpal Khaira of Congress pleaded to withdraw the bill as it amounted to taxing dissemination of information and curtailing freedom of expression.

Also, he attributed motive to the government that levy on DTH was to help the cable operators whose business is monopolised by pro-government operators.
News From: http://www.Time2timeNews.com

4 suicide blasts rock Kandahar, 30 killed, 46 hurt

Terror struck Afghanistan once again, as 30 civilians were killed and 46 others were wounded in suicide blasts that ripped four different parts of the southern city of Kandahar Saturday, Mar 13, evening.

he head of Kandahar\'s provincial council Ahmad Wali Karzai said that the main objective of the attacks were a prison break in the Kandahar city, adding that the attacks on other three other places were an apparent attempt to divert attention.

However, the prison walls could not be breached in the attack as police were prepared for such attacks and the prison was well-protected, he said.

\"There had been some information, rumors [were] going on that they were going to hit the prison and the police headquarters,\" he said.

Karzai said that a hotel, a mosque were a city centre road junction were also attacked by the suicide bombers.
News From: http://www.Time2timeNews.com

India to testfire AAD missile on Mar 14

India is all set to testfire its indigenously designed and developed Advanced Air Defence missile from the Integrated Test Range off Orissa coast on Sunday, Mar 14.

Defence sources said that AAD missile is capable of destroying any hostile ballistic missile at low altitude situation and has its own mobile launcher, secure data link for interception, independent tracking and homing capabilities and radars.

A modified indigenously built \'Prithvi\' would be used as a target missile, and would be lifted off from a mobile launcher from the ITR at Chandipur-on-sea.

The interceptor AAD missile, with the help of its radio frequency seeker on-board would be blasted off from Wheeler Island about 70 km across the sea from Chandipur.

Sources said that the missile would destroy the target in mid air over Bay of Bengal.

According to official sources about 600 families from five hamlets residing within 2 km radius of launch pad-3 of the ITR at Chandipur have been temporarily shifted to nearby shelter camps as a security measure by Balasore district administration.

The ADD interceptor is a single stage solid rocket-propelled guided missile, equipped with an inertial navigation system, a hi-tech computer and an electro-mechanical activator totally under command by the data up linked from the sophisticated ground based radars to the interceptor.
News From: http://www.Time2timeNews.com

50 new cabs to soon run on city roads

LUDHIANA : Spelling good news for city residents, private taxi companies have decided to expand their business by adding 50 new radio cabs to the already existing fleet of 50 in next two months.

Talking to TOI on Friday, Arvind Kumar, general manager of a private taxi company running radio taxis in the city, said, \"So far, we have 25 cabs running in Ludhiana and will add another 25 soon.\"

Kumar said arrangements had been made and the cabs would be introduced by April end.

\"When we introduced taxis here in June 2009, we knew that the response would be good. But, sometimes, due to non-availability of cabs, customers face many difficulties. As such, we decided to expand our business,\" he further said.

Talking on similar lines, Jimmy, general manager of another private company said, \"We have also planned to introduce 25 cabs in the city. The demand for cabs has increased. People can avail the service in next two months.\"

Notably, these cabs cover a distance of 40 km from the bus stand. The service is also available till Malerkotla and Phagwara.

Meanwhile, residents are elated at the news as it will add to their convenience.

Discussing the issue, Ramandeep Singh said, \"I regularly visit Delhi and have to reach the station on time. As such, the easiest way is to call a taxi. It is comfortable and reaches on time.\"

Sometimes, cabs are not available and it causes inconvenience.

But with more cabs being added to the fleet, it will be a boon for residents, he added.

Paras Jain, another resident said, \"Cabs make for comfortable journey. My wife does not know how to drive. All she does is call the taxi and goes out wherever she wants to. She does not bother to hire an auto-rickshaw as cabs pick you up from your residence.\"

More cabs means more residents can travel in comfort, he added. This will definitely benefit people.
News From: http://www.Time2timeNews.com

Yuvraj, VRV Singh breach security in Chandigarh

Chandigarh : Local lad and star Kings XI Punjab player Yuvraj Singh is again in the news for all the wrong reasons.

The Chandigarh police have sent a written complaint to Indian Premier League (IPL) authorities and the management of the Kings XI Punjab team after Yuvraj Singh and another local player V.R.V. Singh slipped away from the Mountview hotel where the team is staying.

"Yuvraj and VRV slipped away from the hotel without informing the security officer and other police officers, who are deployed all through day and night for the security of the players. We have no problem if they go out but they should at least inform us so that we can ensure their security," Chandigarh Superintendent of Police (security) H.S. Doon told t2tn.

"They should inform us at least one hour before leaving the hotel. We are taking this issue very seriously and we have recommended strict action against these players," he said.
News From: http://www.Time2timeNews.com

Govt proposes free treatment of heart, kidney for BPL persons

New Delhi : The government on Friday said treatment for heart, kidney and bone diseases is provided free of cost to all persons below poverty line (BPL) and at subsidised rates to others in government hospitals.

Replying to a supplementary in the Lok Sabha during Question Hour, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said the government was making efforts to meet requirements as patients from all over the country come to Delhi for such treatments.

"We have started a two-pronged strategy - increasing the number of specialist and super-specialist doctors, and creating infrastructure," he said.

"We are trying to upgrade both human resources and infrastructure simultaneously. This year 4,000 additional specialists and super specialists would be added," he said adding that out of 8 proposed AIIMS-like institutions, six would be ready within next two years.

This would reduce burden on Delhi's hospitals, he said.

The government has approved establishment of 8 AIIMS-like institutions with super-speciality facilities in Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Uttarkhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

On whether there was a proposal to equip hospitals with newly-developed Nano sensor technology, Mr. Azad said, "There is no proposal with the Ministry to equip hospitals with Nano-sensor devices for diagnosis of heart diseases.
News From: http://www.Time2timeNews.com

Karisma Kapoor gives birth to baby boy

Mumbai : Bollywood actress Karisma Kapoor, who is married to industrialist Sanjay Kapur, gave birth to a boy at Breach Candy Hospital on Friday, said a source. This is her second child.

\"Karisma has given birth to a baby boy. The delivery took place in the morning,\" the hospital source said.

The actress, who gave many hits in her career including Raja Hindustani, Hero No.1 and Dil Toh Pagal Hai, also has a six-year-old daughter Samaira.

Karisma\'s friend, jewellery designer Farah Khan Ali, wished her on her Twitter page. \"Karisma Kapoor just gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. Many congratulations to her and her family,\" Farah wrote.
News From: http://www.Time2timeNews.com

Taliban bombers sneaked in by local bus

Lahore : The two Taliban suicide bombers who targeted army vehicles within the cantonment here on Friday had apparently sneaked into the heavily guarded area by using a bus, police sources said.

"Since all seven points leading into the cantonment are heavily guarded by the army and police personnel, hardly any private vehicle is allowed to enter the area without being thoroughly checked," a source in the Crime Investigation Department told t2tn.

"Security officials usually do not inspect buses plying on routes in this area. There is a great possibility that the two terrorists reached R A Bazar within the cantonment by riding a local bus," he said.

"Specific directions have been issued to officials guarding entry points to the cantonment to check teenagers with a pathan look," said the source.

The source further said both bombers were on foot and it would not have been possible for them to enter the area by evading security personnel.

Local buses were the only "safe" mode of transport they could have used to reach the destination, he said.

The suicide bombers blew themselves up after throwing grenades at vehicles of the Garrison Security Force killing 45 people, including 10 soldiers, and injuring over 100.

The bombers were aged between 17 and 20 years. Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said the bombers\' features indicated that they hailed from the tribal areas in northwest Pakistan. Meanwhile, police sources said three suspects had been arrested in the cantonment.

Pakistan has "solid evidence" of India\'s alleged involvement in fomenting unrest in Balochistan province and the government is taking up this matter diplomatically with its Indian counterpart, Interior Minister Rehman Malik claimed on Friday.

Mr. Malik made the remarks while talking to the media at Parliament.

"We are not levelling mere allegations against India but we have solid evidence of Indian involvement in Balochistan.

The weapons recovered from various areas were Indian-made," he alleged.

Afghanistan\'s soil is being used to destabilise Balochistan and President Hamid Karzai, who visited Pakistan this week, has given a commitment that Afghan soil will not be used against Pakistan, he said.

The Indian government has denied allegations by Pakistani leaders that it is behind the unrest in Pakistan.

To a question, Mr. Malik said no targeted killings were being carried out in Karachi but there was a "conspiracy to pitch religious groups against each other".

Lauding efforts by clerics of different schools of thought to foil the "conspiracy" hatched by anti-state elements, he said,

"We have intelligence information that money has been disbursed to pitch religious groups against one other."
News From: http://www.Time2timeNews.com

Love Sex Aur Dhokha will leave you shocked\'

Mumbai : Dibakar Banerjee loves to pull the rug from under us.

He did it in Khosla Ka Ghosla and yet again in Oye Lucky Lucky Oye. And now the unconventional director is back again with the provacatively titled, Love Sex Aur Dhokha slated for March 19.

The movie deals with love, sex and betrayal in small towns in India shown through handycams, hidden cameras, CCTVs and mobile cameras. Given the bold subject matter and scintillating promos showing lots of nudity, it\'s not surprising that the movie is generating a lot of buzz.

Nithya Ramani finds out more.

From Khosla Ka Ghosla to Oye Lucky Lucky Oye and now to Love Sex Aur Dhokha. You seem to love experimenting with films. Why such a shift?

Why not? I was a different person when I made Khosla Ka Ghosla in 2006 and a different person now. You grow and change. I get bored of doing the same thing over and over again. I want to do something different every time.

But running through the different themes of my films you will find a common element. This film is about two things: One, the line between what is private and public. There is so much happening around us today that makes me feel that the line between private and public is very blurred.

I ask myself, what is it that makes us consume these things about someone else\'s life without knowing that person. This thought intrigues me.

Secondly, how the presence of a camera a digital handycam in this case changes things. People say that a camera records the truth. But I think a camera changes the truth. I believe that the presence of a camera actually changes the events in a person\'s life.

These two things are the reason why I am making Love Sex Aur Dhokha.
News From: http://www.Time2timeNews.com

Friday, March 12, 2010

Holiday Inn Mumbai International Airport to open on April 1, 2010

Holiday Inn Mumbai International Airport is scheduled to open on April 1, 2010. The 225-rooms property is owned by Shell Inn International Pvt. Ltd. and will be managed by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG's) brand Holiday Inn. The upcoming hotel is part of the worldwide effort by Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts to create a new identity and establish new brand hallmarks that will deliver a more consistent quality and contemporary image for the brand. Besides, Holiday Inn Mumbai International Airport will be a part of a global re-launch for Holiday Inn.

Harry Thaliwal, General Manager, Holiday Inn Mumbai International Airport said, "Our hotel is a business hotel. Being an international brand we believe in offering business class product and provide more variety to our customers. The hotel is in close proximity to domestic and international airports, which will be advantageous for us. Being surrounded by corporate park, commercial buildings and residents we believe that 40 per cent of the total sales will come from F&B segment and 60 per cent from room sales. To start with, we are expecting room occupancy of 55 per cent."

In the first phase, 173-rooms will be operational. However, the remaining rooms will be operational in the second phase. As part of F&B offerings, the hotel will have an all day dinning restaurant 'Saptami' (a unique seven interactive live stations) with 103 covers, lobby bar '72', speciality restaurant 'Road House' with 120 covers and 'Saptami Express' which will offer cakes, pastries, sandwiches and coffee. Other facilities include rooftop infinity pool, spa and health club, executive lounge, business centre and 3,500 sq ft ballroom which can be divided into three equal parts for smaller functions. The promotional tariff for the rooms will be Rs 6,999 (taxes extra). However, suites will be operational in the second phase. By June 2010 hotel will be fully operational.
News From: http://www.Time2timeNews.com

Amitabh Bachchan to soon become Kerala tourism\'s brand ambassador

According to an IANS report, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, Tourism Minister, Kerala recently said that Amitabh Bachchan has accepted Kerala\'s request to become the state\'s brand ambassador to promote tourism. As soon as Amitabh Bachchan expressed his willingness to become a brand ambassador to promote Kerala tourism last month, a letter to this effect was written to him.

"I recently got his letter stating that he is willing to become the brand ambassador and for that he is prepared to start a dialogue. I have asked the Tourism Director to have a discussion to this effect. The state government is willing to go ahead with him and the final decision to this effect will be made after knowing all the conditions he puts forward," said Balakrishnan.
News From: http://www.Time2timeNews.com

NBTA applauds the addition of Greece to the U.S. Visa Waiver Program

The National Business Travel Association (NBTA) applauded the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announcement about the designation of Greece as a member of the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP), establishing a partnership that will enhance security standards and facilitate the efficient travel into the United States for Greek citizens.

NBTA Executive Director & COO Michael W. McCormick said, "Corporations in both Greece and the United States can rejoice in Greece's acceptance into the U.S. Visa Waiver Program. Visa-free travel is imperative to facilitate effective international travel, enabling the free flow of commerce and economic growth."

NBTA has been a long-time supporter of the VWP, urging the inclusion of Greece since talks between the two countries began more than two years ago. With members in more than 30 nations and regional affiliates based in Australia and New Zealand, Brazil, Canada, Europe, and Mexico, NBTA understands the importance of hassle-free business travel to the United States for foreign travelers.
News From: http://www.Time2timeNews.com

NaturCert signs 3 new countries in Americas and Asia

NaturCert announces the signature of the new representation offices for Argentina, Indonesia and Malaysia, joining the existing offices now covering 10 countries internationally, with local presence and localized marketing.

NaturCert Argentina:

In Argentina NaturCert appointed as Representative office PRO Consultora Turistica SA, a consultancy company that develops projects and offers integral solutions for the management of destinations, tourism organizations, hotels as well as food & beverage operations. Jorge Mirchak, Founder & President of PRO Consultora Turistica SA said \"It is a great pleasure for us to be representing NaturCert in Argentina, as sustainability programs shape the present and the future of Tourism. The CEOs and Managers of the companies in the industry are understanding the importance for their company to be green & sustainable for enhancing the value proposing to their customers. And we are here for helping those companies to be more competitive.\"

NaturCert Indonesia:

In Indonesia NaturCert appointed as Representative office BICG, a research, business consulting and integrated sustainable development company based in Bali, Indonesia. The company specializes in assisting local organizations and communities develop and market their products and services. The company\'s consultants also work closely with a range of international partners and associates to help encourage sustainable development, CSR, as well as trade and investment in Indonesia. Ni Komang Sekar Sriyani, Director of BICG said \"For BICG it is very important to provide international accepted certification standards that also consider the local conditions and therefore provide for local sustainability with an international recognition, which so far we found to be a missing link in existing certification schemes and standards.\"
News From: http://www.Time2timeNews.com

Singapore Tourism Board forecasts record numbers for 2010

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) announced its forecasts for the tourism industry for 2010: 11.5 – 12.5 million in visitor arrivals and S$17.5 – S$18.5 billion in tourism receipts. The STB also announced the evolution of Singapore's destination brand, from "Uniquely Singapore" to "YourSingapore", at the Tourism Industry Conference 2010.

"YourSingapore" was unveiled by Senior Minster of State for Trade & Industry and Education, Mr S Iswaran, to close to 800 industry partners. Held at Resorts World Sentosa, the Tourism Industry Conference, themed Redesigning the Tourism Experience, served as a platform for STB to share its plans for 2010 and beyond, as well as to allow industry partners to jointly disucss how to tackle the challenges ahead and capitalise on growth opportunities for the industry.
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A day after a study revealed that over 20,000 young persons from Punjab attempt illegal migration to other countries every year, the State Government said it would take up with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh the issue of Punjabis lodged in foreign jails.

Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal assured the State Assembly in this regard during Zero Hour when Sukhpal Singh Khaira (Congress) mentioned that several Punjabi young persons were currently in foreign jails after being cheated by travel agents. "It is an important issue... thousands of youths from the State are in jails of foreign lands," Mr. Sukhbir Singh said while assuring the House that "he will meet the Prime Minister on the issue as it has international ramifications."

Mr. Sukhbir Singh, who was the leader of the House in the absence of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for health reasons, appealed to the Centre to ask embassies of various countries to identify such youths. He said several youths from Punjab after being deceived by travel agents were in jails of Russia, Ukraine and Africa.

Earlier, highlighting the issue, Mr. Khaira said over one lakh youths who migrated illegally had landed up behind bars. According to the study by UN Office on Drugs and Crime, high unemployment rate is forcing over 20,000 youths from Punjab to migrate to other countries by using illegal channels every year.
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The controversy surrounding Nanakshahi calendar, which created divisions among Sikhs in recent past, deepened further as Dal Khalsa denounced the decisions of Akal Takht and SGPC to follow the amended version of the calendar.

SGPC is all set to release the amended version of the Nanakshahi calendar on March 14. However, at a parallel show, the Dal Khalsa said it will release its version as per original calender adopted in 2003. At a public function at Hoshiarpur, the radical Sikh group will release the calendar dedicated to Sikh warrior Baba Baghel Singh, rejecting the amended version.

Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwarpal Singh rued that the SGPC has killed the letter and spirit of Nanakshahi calendar by mixing it with Bikrami calendar, which had its roots in Hinduism.
News From: http://www.Time2timeNews.com

Put aside differences to pass women’s Bill: Jaya

Jayalalithaa, general secretary, AIADMK, has called upon all political parties to look beyond narrow divides and ensure that the women's reservation Bill becomes law without further hiccups or delays.

In a statement, the former chief minister congratulated both "the ruling as well as Opposition parties for a rare display of unity and unanimity in pushing through this historic legislation in the Upper House of Parliament." She said the "passage through the Rajya Sabha is a small, but historic step in the tumultuous journey of the Bill. Before the Bill becomes law, it has to be passed by the Lok Sabha. It also has to be ratified by at least 14 of the 28 State Assemblies of the country." Stressing that both men and women had an equal place in Indian history, she pointed out that "Indian history chronicles several women — philosophers, queens and matriarchs who were equal to, or better than their male counterparts. We boasted of a woman as the Prime Minister in the 1960s itself. Even today, a woman sits at the Rashtrapati Bhavan." The Opposition leader said although women constitute half the population of the country, they have been subjected to discrimination.

"Instances of genderbased discrimination are found all over daily newspapers everyday. A male-dominated society has contrived ways and means to make women homebound. They have been systematically deprived of education. Large sections of women have been consigned to menial employment.

Women have kept away from a socio-political role solely because of the shackles imposed on them by a male chauvinistic society.

The women's reservation Bill is but a small step in setting right this anomaly and ensuring gender parity."
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ICMR emerges as major funder of neglected diseases in India

India rated among the top 5 government funders-

India is now the fifth largest public funder of neglected disease R&D globally with an investment of $32.5m in 2008, and 60% of which was contributed by the ICMR. This has been reported in the second Global Funding of Innovation for Neglected Diseases (G-FINDER) survey analyses and reports on 2008 global investment into research and development (R&D) of new products for neglected diseases released on 15 December 2009.

The survey covers 31 neglected diseases, and collected data from 198 funders in 44 countries. The results show that nearly US$3billion (US$2.96 bn) was spent on making new products for neglected diseases in 2008. A key finding of the G-FINDER survey was that, for some diseases, traditional donor funding is being replaced by investments from pharmaceutical companies and Innovative Developing Countries (IDCs) such as Brazil , India and South Africa . This trend reflects the growing research strength and pharmaceutical markets of India and Brazil , in particular, as well as high local incidence of diseases such as leprosy and dengue.

The driving force behind the Indian investments is a handful of central government funding agencies: the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), the India Department of Biotechnology (DBT), the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

ICMR was the largest Indian funder, providing a total of $19.5m, or 60.1% of total Indian funding. Another $5.1m (15.6%) was invested by DBT, while DST and CSIR contributed $4.0m (12.3%) and $3.8m (11.7%) respectively. Indian public funders like the ICMR and the CSIR often serve as apex bodies, under which several research institutes or laboratories dedicated to one or more neglected diseases are attached; or as pure funding agencies, like the DBT and the DST, where monies are granted directly to external researchers and product developers.

Indian companies received $4.9m or 15.1% of total public funding in India .

The distribution of Indian funding across diseases reflects a strong emphasis on those endemic to the region. Overall, the diseases receiving the most funding were malaria ($12.5m, 38.5%), diarrhoeal diseases ($4.2m, 12.9%), tuberculosis ($4.0m, 12.4%), leishmaniasis ($3.1m, 9.6%) and leprosy ($2.7m, 8.3%). India contributed 30.6% of global leprosy funding, reflecting remaining pockets of high local endemicity.

Figure: India R&D funding by disease in 2008

The G-FINDER report shows that in 2008 Innovative Developing Countries (IDC`s) like India, Brazil and South Africa and pharmaceutical companies funded:

·Nearly 60% of R&D for pneumonia and meningitis

·More than half (51%) of leprosy R&D ( Brazil and India have the largest number of new leprosy cases per year in the world)

·Nearly half (46%) of R&D for new dengue products (the Americas , particularly Brazil , along with Asia , have the highest global prevalence of dengue)

·Around 20% of funding for new treatments and vaccines for diarrhoeal illnesses, TB and malaria (which occur worldwide)

The G-FINDER survey found that two organisations provided nearly 60% of global funding in this area in 2008: the US National Institutes of Health ($1.1bn, 36.5%) and the Gates Foundation ($617m, 20.9%). The US was by far the largest government funder, providing more than two-thirds of global public funding ($1.3bn, 67.2%), followed in distant second place by the European Commission ($129.9m, 6.9%). The UK was third ($103.3m, 5.5%), followed by Brazil ($36.8m, 2%) and India ($32.5m, 1.7%).

Three diseases captured the lion's share of funding, together accounting for nearly three-quarters (72.8%) of global investment: HIV/AIDS ($1,164.9m, 39.4%), malaria ($541.7m, 18.3%) and tuberculosis ($445.9m, 15.1%). Leprosy, rheumatic fever, trachoma and Buruli ulcer received less than $10m each (<0.4% of global funding). The kinetoplastid diseases (like Chagas, leishmaniasis and sleeping sickness) received just 4.7% of global funding ($139.2m); the diarrhoeal illnesses only 4.5% ($132.2m); and helminth infections (parasitic worms and flukes like hook worm, tape worm and lymphatic filariasis) received 2.3% ($66.8m).

The survey was conducted by the George Institute for International Health, Sydney , Australia through a funding from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The G-FINDER full report can be found at : www.thegeorgeinstitute.org

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MapmyIndia launches new GPS navigator

MapmyIndia, India's leader in maps and GPS navigation solutions, has launched Road Pilot, a sophisticated GPS navigator pre-loaded with maps of 620 Indian cities; 576,000 towns and villages; 30,000 tourist locations; and 2 million unique destinations. The navigator is priced at Rs 7,990.

The Road Pilot has a 3.5" wide touch screen and gives turn-by-turn voice assistance to guide you to your destination. It also has a unique snooze feature to help save power. When not in use, the Road Pilot can be put to 'Sleep Mode' so that it boots up immediately when it is used next. Also, there are no monthly or recurring charges and there's no SIM card or GPRS connection required, according to a company press release.

Since the device does not depend on mobile network coverage, it offers an 'always on' GPS navigation experience, even in places where a mobile phone GPS navigation (which relies on GPRS) would have failed because of patchy or even non-existent network coverage.

Says Rakesh Verma, MD, MapmyIndia: "With the launch of Road Pilot, MapmyIndia has entered a new market for GPS navigators. The new navigator offers all the features of a sophisticated GPS navigator along with India's best and most accurate maps.\"
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Go beyond narrow divides on Women’s Bill: Jayalalithaa

Chennai : AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa on Friday said all political parties should "look beyond narrow divides" and ensure that the Women's Reservation Bill becomes law without further hiccups or delays.

"The passage... is a small, but historic step in the tumultuous journey of the Bill. Before the Bill becomes law, it has to be passed by Lok Sabha," the former Chief Minister said adding she congratulated both ruling and opposition parties for voting in favour of the bill in the Rajya Sabha.

Stating that women, forming almost half of the country's population, had been subjected to discrimination in a male-dominated society, she said women's reservation "is but a small step in setting right this anomaly and ensuring gender parity."

She said when the Bill becomes law; the country would need women of calibre to take up positions in State Legislatures and Parliament.

"AIADMK will take necessary steps towards grooming and developing women of substance for a positive political role in future", the party leader said in a statement, adding a committee was being formed to work out the training modules for women in elocution, law, financial management and political science.

She also recalled various initiatives for women taken during her earlier rule, including setting up of All—Women Police Stations.
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Twin suicide attacks kill 45 in Lahore

Lahore : Twin suicide attacks seconds apart have targeted the Pakistani military, killing up to 45 people in the second attack to hit security forces in the country\'s cultural capital this week.

The bombers walked up to army vehicles in the crowded R A Bazaar area of Lahore yesterday, blowing themselves up as people sat down to eat before the main Muslim weekly prayers were to begin, a senior official said.

Lahore, a city of eight million near Pakistan\'s border with India, has been increasingly subject to Taliban and al-Qaeda-linked attacks in a nationwide bombing campaign that has killed more than 3000 people in three years.

The bombers targeted the cantonment, home to army officials and military installations, as well as hospitals and schools run by the military. There were civilian homes, shops and restaurants in the vicinity of the attack.

Footage of the blasts broadcast by private Geo TV showed people running and shouting in panic. One man, who apparently shot the video on a mobile phone, is heard murmuring: \"Oh my God, Oh my God, Be kind to us God.\"

Jumpy images of the second explosion showed a thick ball of smoke with a huge bang and people shouting.

Mohammad Nadeem, a man in his 20s whose traditional white shalwar khameez was stained with blood down the front, said he was praying in the mosque when he heard the first blast and rushed out, only to hear another explosion.

\"The second blast took place very near a military vehicle. I sensed real danger and started running,\" he said.

\"There were scenes of destruction in nearby restaurants and shops. There were broken chairs and tables and other items lying everywhere on the ground.\"

The army sealed off the tree-lined street. Security officials said at least five soldiers were among those killed when the twin blasts shattered windows and sent debris flying from nearby buildings.

\"Forty-three people were killed and 134 wounded in the attacks,\" Lahore civil defence department chief Mazhar Ahmad said.

But a senior security official put the death toll at 45 and said six army personnel were among the dead.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Pakistan\'s Taliban claimed a suicide attack on Monday that destroyed offices in Lahore used to interrogate militant suspects and killed 15 people. They had pledged further attacks..

Violence in Pakistan is concentrated largely in the lawless northwest border area with Afghanistan, but analysts have warned that extremism is taking hold in Punjab, Pakistan\'s most populous and politically important province.

Eight attacks have killed more than 170 people over the past year in Lahore, an historical city, playground for the elite and home to many top brass in Pakistan\'s powerful military and intelligence establishment.

\"We have the heads of both the bombers. There was an interval of 15 seconds between the two attacks. They were on foot. Their target was army vehicles,\" added police official Chaudhry Mohammad Shafiq.

Nuclear-armed Pakistan is on the frontline of the US war on al-Qaeda, under pressure to act against Islamist militants in the border area with Afghanistan - which Washington calls the most dangerous place on Earth.

The first two months of this year saw a decline in violence by militants in Pakistan after a significant increase in bloodshed in late 2009.

Officials linked the reduction to the suspected death - still not confirmed - of Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud and military offensives that have disrupted militant networks.

Pakistan\'s military claims to have made big gains against Taliban and al-Qaeda strongholds over the past year, following major offensives in the northwestern district of Swat and the tribal region of South Waziristan.

Washington says militants in Pakistan\'s semi-autonomous tribal belt are fuelling the war in Afghanistan, where more than 120,000 NATO and US troops are spearheading a last-ditch strategy to defeat a nine-year Taliban insurgency.

Despite a series of reported arrests in Pakistan in recent weeks, scepticism remains on whether its powerful spy agency has made a decisive break with Islamist hardliners after well-established historical ties.

Pakistan has confirmed only the arrest of Mullah Adbul Ghani Baradar, described by US officials as the Afghan Taliban number two, but also reported to have been in contact with Afghan government officials.
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Twin Suicide Attacks Hit Military Sites in Pakistan, Kill 39 - 100 injured

LAHORE, Pakistan: Dozens of people, including Pakistani soldiers, died on Friday and many were seriously injured in two suicide bomb attacks directed at army personnel patrolling a busy market place, police officials said.

Police Inspector General Tariq Saleem Dogar said at least 39 people were killed and 100 injured in the two blasts.

A Lahore police officer, Sohail Sukhera, said the city in the Pakistani heartland was "in a state of war" after the explosions — the second assault in Lahore in less than a week — which came despite what he termed tight security in the army-controlled cantonment area of the city.

The attacks came only days after a suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden truck into the main gate of a safe house in Lahore used for interrogation by the Pakistani military. The explosion killed at least 15 people, including guards, and flattened the building.

In addition, militants have struck several times in other parts of Pakistan this week, including an attack on Wednesday on the offices of World Vision, an American-based Christian aid group, in the northwest district of Mansehra, which killed six Pakistani employees. A bombing at a small, makeshift movie theater in the main northwest city of Peshawar killed four people.

The upsurge in violence follows a Pakistani crackdown on Taliban and Al Qaeda militants, including the arrest of the Taliban's No. 2 commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. But no group immediately took responsibility for the latest attack on Friday.
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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Resettle Maoist army, humanise Nepal army: UN envoy

An envoy sent by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to assess Nepal\'s fraying peace process has asked the coalition government to rehabilitate the guerrilla army of the Maoists and democratise the national army, warning that Nepal still had two armies though the communist uprising had ended four years ago.

\'The question of the future of the two armies should not remain unresolved any longer,\' said B. Lynn Pascoe, UN undersecretary-general for political affairs, in a statement issued by the UN Thursday.

\'Unfortunately, Nepal today still has two armies, and no agreed strategy for what to do about this... We encourage leaders to engage in serious, good-faith discussions leading to agreements and actions.\'

Pascoe, who arrived in Kathmandu on a three-day visit Wednesday, held talks with Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda and Girija Prasad Koirala, who heads the largest party in the government, the Nepali Congress.

He is also expected to inspect the cantonment in Shaktikhor in southern Nepal where part of the 19,600-strong Maoist army - the People\'s Liberation Army - has been confined since they ended their 10-year \'People\'s War\' in 2006.

The peace pact signed by the ruling parties and the Maoists, which ended the insurrection, had agreed to induct the PLA combatants into the state army.

However, the merger is yet to take off due to opposition by senior army officials and now ruling party leaders who are accusing the Maoists of having inflated the strength of the PLA.

Pascoe said the integration and rehabilitation of the Maoist army personnel along with the democratisation of the Nepal army and the enforcement of a new constitution in May were the two major tasks before the government.

The effective integration and rehabilitation of former combatants is one of the most important factors distinguishing those countries that successfully navigate these transitions to peace,\' he said.

\'Former combatants need to be afforded a real stake in the economic, political and institutional life of the country.\'

The army, which had supported deposed king Gyanendra in seizing power in 2005 and was charged with gross violation of human rights, has refused to toe the line even after the fall of the royal regime and its pledge to obey the elected government.

Army personnel named in torture and extrajudicial killings have not been punished despite court orders for their arrest.

With the parties having failed 10 deadlines in the process of drafting the new constitution, Pascoe indicated the UN had realised that the May 28 deadline for the new constitution may also fail and recommended backup action in that case.

We strongly encourage that every effort be made to accelerate progress in the days and weeks ahead,\' he said.

\'At the same time, inclusive discussions are needed to prepare carefully for the possibility that a final draft of the constitution will not be completed by the deadline.\' The Maoists, who went to war demanding the new constitution, have warned of a new revolt if the ruling parties fail the May 28 deadline.

There is also mounting anger and frustration among civil society members at the delay and many constitutional experts have warned that a failure to meet the deadline would see chaos and violence.
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Dead Indian toddler loved Australia, says grieving mother

A three-year-old Indian boy whose body was found dumped in Melbourne loved living in Australia, his grief-stricken mother said, admitting that she cannot come to terms with her child's death.

Gurshan Singh's lifeless body was found by the side of an isolated road in north Melbourne on March 4, six hours after his mother reported him missing from home.

"Gurshan loved Melbourne," mother Harpreet Kaur Channa told a Punjabi programme on Australia's SBS Radio on Thursday.

"Whenever I asked him about India, he would say 'I want to stay here´. He got along so well with everyone at home (in Melbourne)."

Australian police have charged 23-year-old Indian national Gursewak Dhillon, one of six adults who shared a house with the Singh family, with manslaughter by criminal negligence over the death.

Authorities allege Dhillon put the boy unconscious into the boot of his car and drove around for three hours before leaving the body, without checking if the child was still alive. How the boy was knocked out is not known.

Channa said her husband was putting a brave face on his loss but was "completely shattered". She said she was struggling to cope with the tragedy.

"You can well imagine what's going through a mother's mind who has just lost a child. I don't know how I feel, I can't even think about myself," she said.

"We just celebrated his third birthday on 21st February. He was so happy that day, so happy. It's only now that he was more aware of things, he had a better understanding of what was happening, he really enjoyed his birthday.

"Our families are supporting us. They keep saying that we'll have another baby soon. Please pray for me, that I have another child so Gurshan comes back."

Gurshan went missing while his father was at a nearby library and his mother took a shower.

Talking about the day of his death, Channa said: "When I went into the shower, he was knocking on the door. Maybe he wanted to say, 'Mum don't go´," she said through sobs.

(HT news)
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Google tests new TV programming search service

Google in collaboration with Dish Network Corporation is launching a new innovative TV programming search service.

It would enable customers to discover content from the web as well as television. It also allows locating shows on satellite TV, videos from YouTube, and personalizing the line-up of shows.

Google has been approaching to numerous hardware makers and television service providers to use its service in order to be able to provide a better personal experience.

It includes a wider range of programming and ads.
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2010 IPL Schedule: Catch the action on YouTube Live Stream

It is time for the biggest event of cricket of the year. The Indian Premiere League (IPL) Season 3 kicks off today.

Today, D Y Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai will be abuzz as IPL 3 kicks off with a bang. One can catch the action live online via YouTube.

The opening game is between the defending champions Deccan Chargers and King Khan Shah Rukh's team Kolkata Knight Riders.

The game commences at eight in the evening and live streaming will be available on YouTube for viewing on the IPL channel on the site.

youtube.com/ipl is where you can catch the action live.
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Preity Zinta to spread AIDS awareness via IPL

Bollywood actor Preity Zinta, who was Thursday appointed as the goodwill ambassador for UNAIDS in India, will create awareness against AIDS along with the members of her Indian Premier League (IPL) team Kings XI Punjab.

\'All our players will sport red ribbons during their matches. In our first match against Delhi Daredevils, we will take an HIV positive person to the toss to convey our message against stigma and discrimination,\' Preity said here.

\'Me and my team will produce a short commercial to spread awareness against the disease. I will be there, our captain Kumar Sangakkara and other players will also be there,\' she added.

Besides, Kings XI Punjab will donate 25 percent of the profit they will earn from selling their merchandise to UNAIDS, which will decide its usage for the betterment of HIV positive people.

On being appointed goodwill ambassador for UNAIDS, Preity said: \'I have done many roles. This one is different. I am very happy.\'

\'All human beings, wherever we are, have the basic right to be happy and healthy. I see this as a great opportunity to bring the realities faced by people living with HIV to the forefront and to call for attention to the injustices faced by them,\' she said.

Preity will work to create awareness on HIV prevention, treatment, care and support, with an emphasis on women, children and oppressed classes, the UN body said.

\'Goodwill ambassadors are celebrities with a demonstrated commitment to improving the lives of people living with HIV. Highly talented in their own right, they all share an ability to bring issues to global attention, to galvanize support from the public and leading decision makers, and to raise urgently needed support and attention for vital UN programmes,\' Charles Gilks, country coordinator, UNAIDS, said.

\'I am very pleased to appoint Preity Zinta as UNAIDS\' special representative,\' Gilks added.

India is home to at least 2.3 million HIV positive people.
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IPL: Ludhiana colours all

Remember SRK cheering KKR from the dug out, dressed in black and gold? Or the bubbly Preity Zinta, vibrant in red, boosting her team\'s morale? And, Dhoni smashing the cherry out of the ground in his yellow gear?

The attires that add a dash of colour to IPL, and also give a sense of identity as players and owners root for their teams, all come from Ludhiana, the country\'s hosiery capital.

So, from Nita Ambani to Sachin Tendulkar and Vijay Mallya to Shilpa Shetty and Saurav Ganguly, it\'s Ludhiana that drapes them for the big show.
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Not interested in Rs 600-crore property: Preity

MUMBAI : Actor Preity Zinta on Thursday clarified that she was not interested in inheriting Shandar Amrohi\'s property worth Rs 600 crore. The actor was speaking at a press conference in New Delhi where she was announced the Indian ambassador for the joint UN programme on HIV-AIDS.

\"I won\'t accept Shandar Amrohi\'s share of Kamal Amrohi\'s studio,\" Preity said. Shandar Amrohi had told TOI that Preity was like his daughter and he wanted to will everything to her.

Preity has been helping Shandar Amrohi for the past 15 days to get an FIR registered against his sister, Rukhsaar, and nephew, Wase-em, with the Khar police.

They have allegedly forged and also stolen share certificates pertaining to the family property, a source said. Waseem, however, has denied the charges claiming that the shares were transferred legitimately.
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Preity is UNAIDS goodwill ambassador

New Delhi : Actress Preity Zinta was today appointed UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador and plans to combine cricket and Bollywood to raise awareness about the deadly disease.

The 35-year-old actress who is the co-owner of IPL team Kings XI Punjab, will donate 25 per cent of the profits made by her team to charities selected by the UN.

\"The players of my team will be wearing ribbons for the cause of HIV-AIDS. Someone living with HIV will come on the field and toss for our matches. Me and my team will also be making field trips in Punjab,\" the actress told reporters here.

Preity will be making public service message films for UNAIDS featuring herself and the players which will be in English, Hindi and Punjabi.

She promised to ask for support from the film fraternity, who she noted are always up for a cause.

\"I\'ll try to garner support from Bollywood. No one ever says no and I am sure if they have the time, they\'ll be available for it,\" Preity said.

\"I am taking on a new role. 40 percent of the people suffering from HIV-AIDS are women. What is disturbing is they pass it to their children. The people suffering from HIV face discrimination which is unacceptable,\" she added.
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Early Iraq election results show tight contest

Early results from Iraq\'s election released Thursday show Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in a tight contest with a non-sectarian former premier.

Results from five of the 18 provinces were released, but they represented a setback for Iraq\'s top Shia religious coalition, the Iraqi National Alliance, which contains some strident religious parties tied to Iran.

The Independent High Electoral Commission released results that showed al-Maliki\'s coalition ahead in two Shia-dominated southern provinces — Babil and Najaf — while the hardline Shia coalition trailed in second place.

Although the early results are based on a count of only about a third of the votes cast, al-Maliki had polled about 42 per cent of the roughly 160,870 votes counted in Babil.

In Najaf province, al-Maliki garnered about 47 per cent of the 116,000 ballots counted.

Former PM leads in Sunni strongholds

A non-sectarian coalition, Iraqiya, led by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, a secular Shia, took the lead in the former Sunni insurgent strongholds of Diyala and Salahuddin.

Allawi\'s party had about 55 per cent of the vote in Diyala and 60 per cent in Salahuddin with about 17 per cent of the ballots counted.

Results from a fifth province, Irbil, were also released and showed the Kurdish Alliance, which joins the two main Kurdish parties, beating out the upstart Kurdish party, Gorran, in the self-rule territory.

Al-Maliki left the main Shia coalition in 2009 to form his State of Law alliance, which includes some Sunni groups. Al-Maliki made the move to appear more inclusive.

Elections officials in Baghdad appeared overwhelmed by the task of counting and reporting the vote, and did not make the results accessible to the public, although the state-run TV channel reported results so far on Thursday evening.

The poll\'s complicated ballot contains some 6,200 candidates competing for 325 parliamentary seats.

About 62 of eligible voters cast a ballot in the election, defying a wave of insurgent attacks aimed at disrupting balloting.

Whichever group forms the next government will largely set the course for Iraq, as U.S. combat troops are expected to withdraw from the country in 2011, over eight years after they led the 2002 invasion that helped overthrow the government of Saddam Hussein.
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Salman Khan appears in court, says nobody threatened him to cut fee

Mumbai : He was summoned as a prosecution witness in the case.

According to the prosecution, Fazlani had asked Salman to reduce his fee for the movie and threatened him with dire consequences if he didn't do so.

Khan, however, told Special MCOCA Judge M P Kukday that no one had threathened him and he was approached by producer Nazim Rizvi and assistant producer Abdul Rahim Allahbaksh with an offer to play the lead role in the movie. He said he didn't remember Fazlani in any special reference but had met him in one or two occasions.

"Rahim wanted to direct the movie. Later, the movie was directed by Abbas-Mastan," Khan said.

He also said he did not have much expectations from the movie and only wanted it to be directed by an experienced and well-established director.

According to the prosecution, the film was financed by diamond merchant Bharat Shah at the behest of Chhota Shakeel. Shah, Rizvi and Rahim had been charged and faced trial under the stringent provisions of MCOCA and other sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC)
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SBI tragets 1,000 branches in Chandigarh circle

Chandigarh : State-owned bank State Bank of India (SBI) plans to reach 1,000 branches in the Chandigarh circle next financial year.

Talking to Business Standard on the sidelines of the conference held at PHDCCI, SBI Chief General Manger (Chandigarh Circle) S K Sehgal said the bank, which has around 875 branches in the region, plans to add another 100 branches in the next fiscal.

The Chandigarh Circle comprises of Union Territory Chandigarh and states including Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

Sehegal added keeping in mind the additional workforce required due to expansion plans, SBI is looking to hire 2,500 additional people in next fiscal year.

The additional workforce would not only take care of the requirement of bank for new branches but also substitute for the retirees.
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Myanmar enacts election laws, but no date for poll

YANGON : Myanmar has announced the enactment of long—awaited laws to set the stage for an election its ruling junta has said will take place later this year.

State television in a Monday afternoon news broadcast said the junta, formally known as the State Peace and Development Council, had enacted an Election Law and a Political Parties Registration Law. It gave no further details, but said they would be published in state newspapers beginning Tuesday.

Myanmar's military government announced in early 2008 that the country's first election in two decades would take place in 2010, but has not yet set any date for the election. A 1990 election was won by the National League for Democracy party of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, but the military refused to relinquish power.
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India to be among top 5 markets soon: Domino\'s Pizza

United States based quick service restaurant chain Domino\'s Pizza on Thursday said share of India in its global revenue would increase substantially in the near future and that the country would become one of its top five revenue garners within three years.

The company, which operates in India under a master franchise agreement with the Bhartia Group promoted Jubilant Foodworks, also said it will take its total chain strength to 500 outlets in the next three years and focus more on Tier-II and Tier-III cities as part of the growth strategy.

\"India currently is one of the fastest growing markets for us and ranks among the top ten in our global list. Within next three years, India will be among our top five markets,\" Domino\'s Pizza president and CEO J Patrick Doyle said.

He said India currently contributes around 1.5-2 per cent of the company\'s annual global sales and added that the figure will double in the next few years.

\"With the kind of growth we had here in last 2-3 years, India\'s (share) could be three, four, five per cent in future,\" Doyle said, refusing to give any fixed timeframe.

Doyle, who took over as the global head of the $6 billion company today, spent his first day in his new designation by visiting India and opening the 300th Domino\'s Pizza outlet in the country here.

The Delhi outlet is also the 9,000th global store opened by the company which is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
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Strong quakes torment Chile as president sworn in

SANTIAGO : The earth shook and shook Thursday as dignitaries walked in for the swearing-in of Sebastian Pinera as Chile\'s president. It shook some more as they waited for him.

People in the balconies of the vast congressional hall in coastal Valparaiso shouted warnings as a massive light fixture rocked overhead, and heads of state nervously eyed the ceiling. But a steely calm prevailed, and Pinera strode in smiling.

The 60-year-old president and his ministers then quickly swore their oaths, and the audience of 2,000 headed for the exits and the hills, joining an evacuation called out of concern that Thursday\'s repeated aftershocks would set off another tsunami.

Inauguration Day was peppered with more than a dozen significant aftershocks, amply demonstrating Pinera\'s challenges after last month\'s magnitude-8.8 quake, one of the biggest in modern history.

Chile\'s first elected right-wing president in 52 years won office promising to improve the economy. Now, he says he\'ll be the \"reconstruction president.\" His advice to citizens: \"Let\'s dry our tears and put our hands to work.\"

But relief efforts stalled Thursday as more than 10 earthquakes shook Chile in a span of six hours. The strongest, at 6.9, nearly matched the 7.0-magnitude quake that devastated Haiti on Jan. 12.

Pinera said there were no reports of more deaths, but a key highway suffered more damage in the inland city of Rancagua, and violent waves hit the coastal towns of Pichilemu and Bucalemu, Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter said.

Pinera urged citizens to heed the Chilean navy\'s tsunami warning and seek higher ground. Then he made a show of normality, greeting other presidents for lunch at the Cerro Castillo summer palace, where he left them at the table and boarded a helicopter to tour disaster areas.

\"How was your welcome, president?\" Pinera asked Argentina\'s Cristina Fernandez. \"Moving, moving!\" she joked.

The inauguration had lasted just 30 minutes, marked by three of the aftershocks. One prompted Colombia\'s Alvaro Uribe to leave the hall for several minutes as an announcer appealed for calm. Outgoing President Michelle Bachelet sat unperturbed as a nearby flower arrangement rocked back and forth.

Chile doesn\'t allow immediate presidential re-elections, but Bachelet remains popular. She left the hall to loud applause and a shout of \"Come back soon, presidenta.\" Earlier Thursday, when a reporter asked if she\'ll run again in four years, she said it\'s not the time for politics.

Pinera called on Chileans to dedicate themselves to \"this colossal job of reconstructing our country, of rebuilding better than what we had before, not just to lift up our schools, our hospitals, our homes, but also to make them better, and also to lift up the soul of our country.\"

\"I am sure that just as we have done so many times, the Chilean people will rise up to this challenge,\" he said.

The Feb. 27 earthquake — the fifth-strongest since 1900 — killed 497 identified victims and potentially hundreds of others, destroyed or heavily damaged at least 500,000 homes and broke apart highways and hospitals. Recovery costs could soar above $15 billion, including $5 billion for infrastructure alone.

Thursday\'s quakes terrified many who have been living in and around quake-weakened homes since last month\'s massive temblor. Tall buildings swayed and windows rattled in downtown Santiago. In Talca, supermarkets closed for fear of looting. And just before Pinera visited coastal Constitucion, survivors and volunteers building 60 emergency shelters fled uphill in panic.

The strongest of the aftershocks — magnitude 6.9 — was Chile\'s most powerful since Feb. 27, and occurred along the same fault line, said geophysicist Don Blakeman at the U.S. Geological Survey in Golden, Colorado.

Chile\'s navy and emergency management office were much criticized for failing to issue a tsunami alert that might have saved hundreds of lives from the towering waves that followed the initial quake. This time, the alert went out — Pinera said an overabundance of caution was called for.

\"Everything stopped — my meetings with business owners, work, life, everything has been paralyzed,\" said Mayor Gaston Saavedra of Talcahuano, where waves shoved huge shipping containers into downtown buildings last month.

Pinera repeatedly called for courage as he toured Constitucion, where he left 130 flowers along the riverbank for the dead and missing caught in the tsunami. He signed an order giving one-time cash handouts of $76 each to 4.2 million disaster survivors, and said he would send laws creating subsidies and tax-deductible donations to congress in the morning.

The billionaire investor, Harvard-trained economist and airline executive is known for his impatience with bureaucracy and ill-prepared aides. He quickly returned to Santiago, where he spoke from a balcony at the La Moneda presidential palace before meeting into the night with his ministers.

\"We are certain that we can overcome this adversity,\" Pinera said, invoking the spirit of a man in coastal Pelluhue who was captured in an iconic Associated Press photo pulling a dirty and torn Chilean flag from tsunami wreckage. \"Let\'s rebuild on rock, and not sand.\"

Pinera had vowed to spend billions to make Chile \"the best country in the world,\" accelerating economic growth, creating 1 million jobs and combatting crime while maintaining popular social programs that gave Bachelet 84 percent approval ratings.

His victory ended 20 years of center-left governments that followed Gen. Augusto Pinochet\'s dictatorship, and put Chile\'s business elite squarely back in power. But he lacks a legislative majority, and reconstruction will be very expensive.

Still, Chile\'s rainy-day fund has $11 billion in overseas liquid investments, and more than $3.5 billion in damaged property is not only insured, but reinsured abroad. \"Because Chile is a country where markets work and people insure themselves, all of a sudden you have the equivalent of $3.5 billion in foreign aid coming in,\" said Raul Rivera, president of Chile\'s Innovation Forum.
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Ludhiana\'s recession baby starts walking

CHANDIGARH : Arun Aggarwal, managing director of Sears Knit that makes jackets for Arrow and Raymonds, recently opened the first retail outlet for

his own 'Lure' brand at the God Souk Grande mall in Ludhiana. So did 42 other local brands including better-known ones such as Octave, Monte Carlo, Bluemount and Madame as traditional contract manufacturers from the century-old hosiery and knitwear hub have come together to build a common platform for brand Ludhiana.

The Ludhiana Direct Factory Outlets (LDFO), a joint venture between local brands and property owners, is a recession's baby, set up when demand from the US and other exports markets nosedived, making textile companies turn to the domestic market for survival.

"LDFO is result of brainstorming by seasoned entrepreneurs and a study that emphasis on pooling resources and create synergy under the cluster-based marketing strategy," says Perminder Singh, president of the consortium. It will open its Delhi chapter next month at Wedding Souk at Pitam Pura with 25,000 square feet of retail space, to be followed by a 15,000 sq ft unit in Jaipur. Its Ludhiana outlet is spread across 40,000 sq ft.

"The common platform has provided opportunity to strengthen brand presence by showcasing goods in lavish retail outlets that conforms to world class décor and infrastructure," says Mr Aggarwal.

LDFO encompasses different product categories like men wear, ladies wear, kidswear, shawls, home furnishings and accessories and member brands include Octave, Monte Carlo, Barclay, Lure, Bluemount, ENRG, Madame, Creative Line, Confidence, Rage, Dove, W&T, Juelle, Ziama, Teeknits, Waves, Palmer, Bodyguard, Refuel, Shingora, Sharman Shawls, KMark, Jain Shawls, Elson, Warmzone, Renova, Reverie, Charlie, Sleepins and Oriental's.

The collective retail platform has overcome basic disadvantage of sustaining company owned outlets round the year, particularly since majority of brands are either winter wear oriented or restricted to summer wear.

"Small brands benefits by skipping the wholesalers, marketing and branding costs," says Vinod Thapar, president of Ludhiana Knitwear Club.

And these brands don't have to worry about recurring costs after the initial contribution and stocks as the LDFO takes care of all day-to-day management and manpower costs. Revenues generated from sales are divided equally between the three stakeholders — brands, property owners and LDFO.

The consortium, which has so far invested Rs 5 crore, will enter other major cities in the country soon, Mr Singh says.
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Ambani beats Mittal on world’s richest list

New York : Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim has emerged as the richest person in the world with USD 53.5 billion in assets, while Indian industrialist Mukesh Ambani ranks fourth with USD 29 billion in the US magazine Forbes annual list of world\'s top billionaires.

Slim is followed by William Gates III (popularly known as Bill Gates) with a net worth of USD 53 billion and Warren Buffet at the third spot with assets worth USD 47 billion.

NRI billionaire Lakshmi Mittal with a net worth of USD 28.7 billion ranks fifth while Mukesh\'s younger brother Anil Ambani is at the 36th spot with USD 13.7 billion.

There are 1,011 billionaires in the world now, up from 793 a year ago.

Gates has held the top spot for 14 of the past 15 years in the past. \"The Microsoft founder is now worth USD 53 billion, up USD 13 billion from a year ago,\" Forbes said.
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Fashion Tv banned for showing nude women

New Delhi : The Union Government on Thursday banned the transmission of Fashion Tv (F Tv) for 10 days starting from Friday.

Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry has prohibited transmission and re-transmission of F Tv channel with effect from 7.00 p.m on March 12 to 7.00 p. m. on March 21 through cable television networks and any other platforms throughout the country.

In a statement the I and B Ministry, said that it has observed that F Tv channel has violated various clauses of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994.

"Therefore, the Ministry, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of Section-20 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, as amended from time to time, has taken this action," statement said.

The statement further said that it was noticed by the Ministry that "A programme on F Tv channel was telecast on September 4, 2009 at 15:37:34 hours and 19:01:48 hours showing women with nude upper body which was offending against good taste and decency."

"The visuals were found to be obscene, denigrating women and were not suitable for children and unrestricted public exhibition," statement added.

In the year 2007 also, the Ministry had prohibited transmission or re-transmission of F Tv with effect on grounds of telecasting programmes such as 'Midnight Hot' wherein skimpily dressed and semi naked models were shown.

The prohibition was, however, revoked on May 25, 2007 after FTV.com India channel regretted their error and assured that such an error will not be repeated in future.
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Large mammals need protected areas, forest cover in India

The study, by a team of researchers from the United States and India, appears in the March 10 online edition of the British peer-reviewed journal, Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The team\'s analysis showed that forest cover and local human population densities are also key factors. Fostering greater human cultural tolerance for wildlife likewise will be critical.

The study examined extinction probabilities for a range of species. It looked at species considered endangered or critically endangered on the 2009 International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, including tigers, lions and elephants. And it looked at species of least concern, including jackals, wolves and other species.

\"India\'s fragmented network of relatively small protected areas has high carrying capacities for large mammals,\" said Krithi K. Karanth, who conducted the study as part of her doctoral thesis at Duke\'s Nicholas School of the Environment. \"But given the overall patterns of extinction estimated in our study, we need to create new areas, and connect them better, if many of the mammals are to persist into the future.\"

Karanth currently is a postdoctoral scientist at Columbia University. She also is a research associate of the Centre for Wildlife Studies in Bangalore, India.

To identify factors critical to the species\' survival and estimate their extinction probabilities, she and her team collected 30,000 records, including hunting, taxidermy and museum records dating back to 1850. They divided India\'s geographical area into a grid with 1,326 individual local \"cells\" and entered the historical data into each cell. They then used occupancy estimation models, based on observations of more than 100 local wildlife experts, to infer the current occurrence of species in each cell.

Their analysis revealed that protected areas were associated with lower extinction probabilities for 18 species. Higher proportion of forest cover was associated with lower extinction of seven species. On the other hand, time elapsed since the last historical citing was associated with higher extinction probabilities of 14 species, and human population density in a cell was associated with higher extinction probabilities of 13 species.

One of the most important findings, Karanth noted, is that culturally tolerated species - animals that humans perceive as nonthreatening or beneficial - fared better overall.

Using both historical data and current occupancy estimation models allowed Karanth and her team to distinguish more clearly between when a species was truly absent or locally extinct in a cell, and when it likely still exists but hasn\'t been detected in recent surveys or field observations.

\"Distinguishing between a species\' absence and its simple non-detection is critical for accuracy,\" she said. \"Failure to deal with non-detection results in underestimates of species occupancy and overestimates of local extinctions. This clouds our ability to determine the true impact of environmental and social factors on extinctions.\"

Karanth added that for conservation to succeed, policymakers and land managers must also take into account rapid changes in land use, climate, population growth and spread, and economic development now occurring in India and southern Asia.
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Iran and US trade insults over Taliban-led violence

Afghanistan : Mr Ahmadinejad accused America of creating the terrorists it was now fighting. He was responding to comments Mr Gates had made about Iran playing a "double game" by trying to have a good relationship with the Afghanistan government while supporting the Taliban.

The Iranian president also spoke out against the presence of Western forces in the country, saying: "We do not see the presence of foreign military forces in Afghanistan as a solution for peace in Afghanistan."

The war of words broke out as both visited the country, with Mr Ahmadinejad speaking from Kabul Palace and Mr Gates from a military training base about six miles away. Speaking alongside Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, Mr Ahmadinejad asked the United States: "What are you doing here in the region? You are 12,000 kilometres away on the other side of the world. You are on the other side of the world. What are you doing here? This is a serious question."

He said the Americans were "playing a double game. They themselves created terrorists and say they want to fight against terrorism.

"We think the way to fight terrorism is through proper intelligence gathering, through respecting nations and to separate people from terrorists."

The comments were a reference to US help for the mujahideen who fought the Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan during the 1980s. The fighters were supplied with weapons including Stinger anti-aircraft missiles. Afghanistan plunged into chaos when the aid dried up.

Mr Gates described Mr Ahmadinejad's visit as "bothersome" and said it was "certainly fodder for all the conspiratorialists". He said: "We think Afghanistan should have good relations with all of its neighbours, but we also want all of Afghanistan's neighbours to play an upfront game in dealing with the government of Afghanistan."

He also said that US troops could withdraw from Afghanistan before the July, 2011, deadline set by President Barack Obama.

During a visit to the Pul-e-Charki training base in Kabul province, where Afghan soldiers are trained by British and US troops, Mr Gates said Afghan troops were eager to take responsibility for defending the country. "We will begin that transition no later than July, 2011, but the pace will depend also on conditions on the ground," he said. "We should not be too impatient."

The exchanges between Mr Ahmadinejad and Mr Gates, who left Afghanistan yesterday, came as David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, gave a speech in the US pressing the Afghan government to step up efforts for a political solution with the Taliban to bring the conflict to an end.
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Gujarat leader Modi to be questioned over deadly riots

Gujarat : The chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, has been summoned to appear next week before an inquiry into devastating riots in 2002.

Mr Modi faces questions over the murder of Congress MP Ehsan Jafri.

The Gujarat authorities were criticised for not doing enough to prevent the violence. Mr Modi denies wrongdoing.

More than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed in the riots after 60 Hindus died in a train fire. The fire\'s cause was never clearly established.

Hindu groups allege the fire was started by Muslim protesters, but an earlier inquiry said the blaze was an accident.

In the violence which engulfed the state, Mr Jafri and dozens of others were killed in a residential complex in Ahmedabad known as the Gulbarg Society.

\"Yes, we have summoned Mr Modi,\" the head of the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) RK Raghavan told the t2tn.

\"On 21 March, we will ask him a few questions. Then we will send a report to the Supreme Court,\" he said.

The court set up the inquiry into the riots in March 2008.

Last year, the court ordered that the role of Mr Modi, a leading member of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), should be investigated, particularly in connection with the murder of Mr Jafri and nine other specific cases.

The court was acting on a petition filed by Mr Jafri\'s widow.

Narendra Modi is one of more than 60 people who have been named as co-accused.

In the past the Supreme Court has criticised the government of Gujarat for failing to protect its Muslim citizens.

Mr Modi\'s supporters have always said he could have done little under the circumstances to prevent the violence.
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Stampede victims’ families get compensation

Lucknow : The Pratapgarh administration distributed ex-gratia to the next of kin of the victims of stampede at Kripaluji Maharaj ashram, a day after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati made an announcement in this regard, a government spokesman said.

"Cheques of Rs 2.50 lakh each were distributed among kin of 61 people killed in the stampede at Kripaluji Maharaj ashram on March 4. Financial assistance of Rs 75,000 each was provided to grievously injured," he said.

Cheques of two families were withheld due to heirship dispute and would be distributed after legal help, he said.

Nine persons who were grievously injured were handed over cheques at Rani medical hospital in Allahabad, where they were undergoing treatment, the spokesman said.

Mayawati, who had come under attack for not immediately announcing compensation for the victims, yesterday announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2.5 lakh each to the next of the kin of those killed in the incident and Rs 75,000 each to grievously injured.

She had directed the officials concerned to ensure distribution of ex-gratia within two days.

As many as 63 people were killed in the stampede at the ashram at Mangarh during a 'bhandara' (community kitchen) on March 4.
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An eye for sight

So how often do you go for an eye check? With most of us leading a lifestyle that strains our eyes on a daily basis (like long hours in front of computers), a routine eye check up every three months, doctors suggest, is a good idea to keep track of your eyesight. This week, ending March 13, the world is observing Glaucoma Week, highlighting, among other things, the fact that regular eye examination, particularly by those above 40, helps early detection of the disease and, in turn, would help in preserving one\'s vision. Glaucoma is a hereditary disease but there are other factors that can make you a potential glaucoma patient.

Says Dr. Devindra Sood, "We do not know why some people get glaucoma and some don\'t. But we do know that glaucoma is a dangerous eye disease because often there are no symptoms until serious damage has occurred." After cataract, glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide, and affecting approximately 12 million people in India.

Dr. Sridhar Rao, president, Glaucoma Society of India, explains possible risk factors. "People with a family history of glaucoma are the most vulnerable. But there can be others who are at risk of having glaucoma, such as those with physical eye injuries, those who have used steroids for a long period of time, say in treating kidney diseases, depression, etc., and those with diabetes, thyroid problem, hypertension, high blood pressure, myopia and high intraocular pressure. But having said this, I would like to include everyone over the age of 40 to be at risk of getting glaucoma." Though there are rarely any symptoms in the early stages of the disease, regular eye checks are a key to track "the sneak thief of sight."

Dr. Sood, who runs a one-of-a-kind imaging centre in New Delhi exclusively to treat different kinds of glaucoma, has a website (www.glaucomadelhi.org) with exhaustive information on the disease, how it is different from that of western countries and its treatment. Some of the symptoms he notes on it are:

Rapid change of glasses

Seeing rainbow coloured rings around bright light


Pain in and around the eye ball


Explaining what glaucoma is, Dr. Rao says, "It is a disease in which the optic nerve gets damaged, leading to progressive, irreversible loss of vision. Once lost, the damaged visual field can never be recovered."

Though there is no cure for glaucoma, different levels of treatments, including drugs, laser therapy and surgery, are done on patients. "In some cases, surgery does help," says Dr. Rao.

As a part of preventive measures, the Glaucoma Society of India regularly conducts screening of patients and their relatives. Dr. Rao says the society, formed about 15 years ago, has a membership of 400 ophthalmologists across the country. "Each member tries in his/her own way to spread awareness about the disease," he says. Dr. Sood, a member of the Society, adds, "We conduct regular screening of people who can be vulnerable to glaucoma."
News From: http://www.Time2timeNews.com

India to get slimmer, cheaper Google Nexus One

New Delhi : Google is all set to launch its \'superphone\' Nexus One in India. However, the country may not have the chance to enjoy all of its features.

As per reports, the internet major is working on a toned down version of the smartphone for introduction in developing markets such as India and Russia.

This version of the Google Android-powered phone will not have all the features of the phone and is expected to priced much lower than the international pricing.

Google launched Nexus One in Jan 2010, effectively foraying into the mobile phone market to challenge Apple, Nokia and Blackberry.
News From: http://www.Time2timeNews.com

Switch off lights during Earth Hour: Abhishek Bachchan

New Delhi : Actor Abhishek Bachchan has urged Indians to switch off lights for one hour on March 27 as part of WWF's Earth Hour 2010 campaign to support action on climate change. He says he will also request the film fraternity to stop shooting schedules during that period.

'People really need to be educated about about power conservation. I pledge my and my family's support to this initiative. I will, in my power, do whatever to save electricity and will request my friends in the film industry to shut down shootings in studios during the Earth Hour,' Abhishek told reporters here Wednesday.

The Earth Hour, which is a concept that originated through WWF in Sydney in 2007, will be observed worldwide March 27 from 8.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. The actor has been appointed the Indian brand ambassador for this year's Earth Hour campaign.

Abhishek also suggested ways to save electricity on a daily basis.

'When you finish charging your phone, don't just unplug your phone, switch off the charger from the main switch as well. Switch off your TV from the main plug when it's not in use. Keep your car engine off while on a red light. These are just little ways in which we can do a lot to conserve energy,' he said.

In India, 15 cities including Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, have pledged their support for the campaign, which led to conservation of 700 MW of electricity in Delhi last year, said Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit, who was also present at the event.
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Mahajan gets his passport to honeymoon, but with court rider

Mumbai : According relief to Rahul Mahajan and his wife Dimpy Ganguly, a city court on Tuesday released Mahajan's passport till the end of this month.

The couple, who got married on reality TV show last week, has now been allowed to visit the Maldives for their honeymoon from March 9 and 31. The couple will, however, have to ensure the honeymoon is a strictly "private affair".

The court decided to reinstate Mahajan's passport amid vehement opposition from the prosecution, following an application filed by him on February 16.

Mahajan has been asked to submit a fixed deposit worth Rs 5 lakh in the court as guarantee against the passport. Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) P S Malik further imposed a list of conditions on the release of the passport and made it clear that the couple's trip to Maldives must not be an "extension of the show" in which they got married.

ASJ Malik directed Mahajan to ensure there is no shooting involved or the couple's Maldives trip is not telecast. Violation of any of these conditions will lead to forfeiture of the guarantee amount, the court said.

Mahajan, 35, was directed by the court to submit an affidavit stating that the marriage "contracted on March 6 is a bona fide act and not for the purpose of the show" in which he participated, and that now "Rahul Mahajan and Somashree (Dimpy) Ganguly are husband and wife".

Mahajan will also have to give the court an undertaking that his marriage will be registered within two months from now. He will also have to produce the document in court within a week of the registration.

Additional Public Prosecutor Ahmed Khan said since this is Mahajan's second marriage, he could have chosen a destination within India for his honeymoon.

Mahajan had earlier been granted permission by the court to visit Seychelles for his honeymoon after his first marriage to Shweta Singh in 2006. The couple got divorced on August 1, 2008.

Mahajan, who was not accompanied by his wife for Tuesday's proceedings, looked relieved after the order. "I am very happy with the outcome. I just want to pack my bags and leave," he told mediapersons outside the courtroom at the Patiala House court premises.
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Irom Sharmila rearrested

IMPHAL : Irom Sharmila, who has been on a fast-unto-death since November 4, 2000 demanding the repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) in Manipur, was rearrested on Tuesday, as she continued her fast despite being released by the court.

The Act, under which she was arrested (for attempt to commit suicide), does not permit the authorities to detain her for more than one year at one go.

She was released on Monday after she completed one year of detention. As her condition without medication and nose-feeding became precarious, the police rearrested her.

Sources said her condition was a cause of concern. All her organs were affected. She staggered out of J.N. Hospital, which was declared a sub-jail for her and went straight to the office of Save Sharmila Organisation nearby to continue her protest.

She told journalists that there was no question of her breaking the fast until the AFSPA was repealed. The misuse of its provisions resulted in people getting killed, and in excesses, she said.

Sharmila had rejected appeals from Prime Ministers, Presidents and other leaders in the past to break her fast. She only wanted to sleep on her ailing mother\'s lap at home, she said.

On November 4, 2000, some militants exploded a bomb near the airport here, as three vehicles of 8 Assam Rifles were passing by.

There was no casualty or damage to the vehicles.

However, the personnel allegedly rounded up 1o persons, who were standing in the bus-stand and working in their homes nearby and all were mowed down. In protest, Sharmila launched the fast.
News From: http://www.Time2timeNews.com

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

IT exports from Haryana touch Rs 21,000 cr

Recession blues notwithstanding, the total exports from Haryana in the Information Technology (IT) and Information Technology-Enabled Services (ITES) sectors touched Rs 21,000 crore last fiscal.

According to official sources, software exports from the state during financial year 2008-09 showed a growth of about 17 per cent.

A Nasscom-Mckinsey report has projected a growth of 11-12 per cent in IT and ITES exports from Haryana in the current fiscal (2009-10) and the exact figures are expected by June.

Gurgaon has the lion's share in software exports as more than 90 per cent of IT and ITES units of the state are located in the district. As of now, there are around 400 IT and ITES companies operating in the district.

"The IT and ITES industry is providing employment to nearly 2 lakh persons and indirectly benefiting many others," said Gurgaon deputy commissioner Rajender Kataria, adding that to boost the IT industry, a regional IT industry promotion office had been set up in Gurgaon.

Market observers point out that the volume of software exports from Haryana has shown a steady rise during the past several years.

The IT and ITES exports from the state, which were about Rs 10,700 crore in 2005-06, went up to the tune of Rs 14,000 in 2006-07 and reached Rs 18,500 crore in 2007-08, before touching Rs 21,000 crore in 2008-09.

Gurgaon has emerged as a preferred destination for the IT industry in the recent past. Numerous established companies like IBM, Microsoft, Genpact, Oracle, Dell, Samsung, Siemens, Fidelity, HCL, Wipro, TCS, Hughes, Silicon Graphics, Alcatel, Convergys, Google, Accenture, Aricent, Hewitt, Polaris and Sapient etc have a number of units in the city.
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Ex-JE attempts suicide

After "failing" to get justice from the government, a retired junior engineer today set himself afire after climbing atop a water tank near the Municipal Council office at Sunam this morning. Charan Dass (60) sustained 60 per cent burn injuries and is battling for his life at a hospital in Patiala.

Binder Kumar, son of the victim, said they had some feud with their neighbours which prompted his father to take this step after he "failed" to get justice from the government. He said as they had urged the police to register an FIR against their neighbour for not settling the issue, but instead of that the police filed an FIR against them.
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Punjab to tame wayward telecom towers

Towering over any type of buildings and spaces without any control will no longer be easy for cellular companies in Punjab with the state government deciding to bring a mechanism to regulate the unabated installation of telecom towers.

The Punjab Information Technology (IT) Department has been directed to carry out a comprehensive census of all existing telecommunication towers in the state in the next one month.

Punjab\'s IT Minister Adesh Pratap Singh Kairon is concerned at the unregulated mushrooming of telecom towers across the state in recent years and the survey is being carried out to know how bad things are on the ground level.

\"There is a need to insist upon multiple usage of the telecom towers so that every telecom company does not set up its own towers to cover the same area and generate unnecessary congestion, noise and vibrations arising out of accompanying generators,\" Kairon told senior officers from various departments at a meeting here.

He suggested that a mechanism should be in place fast so that the future growth of telecom towers can be regulated.

Punjab has a high density of mobile usage with roughly 1.6 crore (16 million) mobile users for a population of around 2.5 crore (25 million). There are thousands of landline phone subscribers as well.

The tele-density of the prosperous state is nearly 46 percent - more than double the national average of 20 percent. While one out of every five Indians has a telephone nationally, almost one out of two Punjabis has a telephone.

Telecom giant Airtel leads the subscriber figures with over 4,581,187 subscribers (till January) followed by BSNL (3,411,009), Idea-Spice (3,081,186) and Vodafone (2,923,706). There are a few other telecom players in the market as well.

While some telecom companies share their mobile towers, in several areas most companies have installed their individual towers, leading to congestion and air and noise pollution.

Mobile companies in Punjab had three years ago installed three mobile towers in Punjab\'s territory behind Chandigarh\'s famous Sukhna Lake giving an ugly look to the tranquil surrounding of the lake. Since Chandigarh itself has very strict regulations to curb the uncontrolled installation of telecom towers, the Punjab mobile companies took advantage of laws in Punjab to put up the towers.

Following objections from authorities in Chandigarh, two of these towers were later removed.

Kairon called a meeting of senior officers of the IT, local self-government, rural development and panchayats, industries, Punjab small industries and export corporation, Punjab state electricity board and Punjab pollution control board to discuss the disorderly growth of telecom towers in the state.

\"A state-level census of existing telecom towers has been ordered because at present, none of the five or six departments receiving applications related to the construction of such towers has complete statistics about the number of such towers which have cropped up all over the state without any permission, a senior official, who attended the meeting, told IANS.

The Punjab government now proposes to draft a state-level Telecom Towers Regulatory Policy within the next few months.

A study group has been constituted under the principal secretary for IT, Sarvesh Kaushal, to explore how many telecom towers are required actually to cover the entire geographical area of the state and the minimum optimum number of nodal telecom towers that should be jointly used by all telecom service providers.

The new policy would include comprehensive guidelines for setting up telecom towers in residential areas, commercial areas and in the rural areas of Punjab.

The policy will prescribe strict specifications regarding natural disaster and earthquake-resistant structural design, construction material and least polluting telephony and electricity generating equipment and recommend uniform fee structure.
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