May 30, 2012
Viswanath Anand's parents say this is the proudest moment of their life. 42-year-old Anand won the World Championships title and fourth crown in a row today. The Indian chess wizard bagged his first world title in 2000 before winning three in a row in 2007, 2008 and 2010.
He has been the world champion since 2007. Anand will pocket approximately USD 1.4 million -- 55 per cent of the total prize fund of USD 2.55 million -- while Gelfand will get the remaining amount.
Rediff.com's Vicky Nanjappa reports that the special CBI court today rejected the bail plea filed by mining baron Janardhan Reddy.
Reddy, who is facing charges of illegal mining, had moved the court seeking bail for two separate cases in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. He is considering moving the high court in the case.
The CBI court in Hyderabad had granted bail in the cases in Andhra Pradesh, 20 days ago. However, the CBI had challenged it and obtained a stay on the order. Reddy is at the Bangalore jail, which is where will remain till he gets bail.
It's not easy being green - as one Brazilian man proved when he painted himself to look like the Incredible Hulk - and found the colour wouldn't wash off.
Taking a dig at Salman Khan, actor Vivek Oberoi today said that 'Sher' is bigger than 'Tiger', referring to the titles of their upcoming movies. Salman and Vivek are gearing up for their forthcoming projects 'Ek Tha Tiger' and 'Sher' respectively.
Vivek said, "We are all wild enthusiasts. And as far as my knowledge goes, I think 'Sher' is bigger than 'Tiger'." Salman would be seen playing the role of a RAW agent in the Yash Raj film. The theatrical trailer is out and has garnered positive response. The movie is directed by Kabir Khan is slated to release in August. Vivek's 'Sher' is an action-thriller directed by Soham Shah.
While SRK takes a break, heres' news.
A minor fire broke out in the operation theatre of Safdurjung Hospital, New Delhi, this evening but no one was injured in the incident, fire brigade officials said. The incident was reported at 4:10 pm.
"With fluorescent yellow eyes and tufts of hair sticking straight up behind their ears, Bonner and Etienne look like slightly crazed old men,' Leslie Kaufman writes in The New York Times.
"For an Internet start-up, Arjuni faces more challenges than usual,' Ron Gluckmanwrites in the Deal Book blog of The New York Times. "The e-commerce site that sells hair extensions operates out of a five-story building here that lacks elevators and, sometimes, power.'
Vishwanath Anand leads 2-1 in World Chess Championship in Russia. He is one step away from winning the title. The third game was a draw, but Anand needs a draw in game 4 to win the title.
There will be four games under rapid chess rules with 25 minutes to each player and a ten seconds increment after every move is made. In case of a 2-2 result, the two will play two blitz games with five minutes each with a three seconds increment. There will be five such matches if the tie persists and finally an Armageddon game will be played with five minutes to white and four to black, and white will be forced to win should this arise.
Anand plays Boris Gelfand.
Terming the corruption charges levelled by Team Anna against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as "reckless", Minister for Planning Ashwini Kumar today said the insinuations deserved to be treated with contempt.
"I would only like to say that even to rebut these disgusting insinuations is in a way giving respectability to those allegations. I would like, as a responsible citizen, to treat them with the contempt they deserve", Kumar said on the sidelines of a function here.
Team Anna, for the first time last Saturday, had clubbed the Prime Minister with 14 of his Cabinet colleagues, calling them corrupt and demanded an enquiry.
Australian women are suffering from an eating disorder in middle age, dubbed as 'Desperate Housewives Syndrome', which is driven by the desire to look as thin as celebrities in TV shows. All the TV shows and Hollywood celebrities seem to convey the message that thin is beautiful. Experts agree that the way celebrities portray themselves on screens is putting pressure on ordinary older women to look just as good.
Unfortunately, that's true for a lot of women all over the world. In India it's called the Size Zero syndrome.
A total of 361 cadets participated in the Passing Out Parade (POP) after successfully completing their stint at the National Defence Academy in Khadakvasla today.
Chief of Army Staff General V.K. Singh was the guest of honour and took the salute at the POP. Among those present were the parents and guardians of the cadets as well as top brass of defence units based in and around Pune and other dignitaries.
General Singh congratulated and felicitated the outgoing cadets and wished them luck ahead of commencement of their service to the nation.
Also read: Abhishek Mande's story on Krishnant Gholap is an autorickshaw driver's son, who after two failed attempts, made it to the NDA. He graduated two years ago.
Mahindra & Mahindra today said its Chairman Keshub Mahindra will retire in August and his nephew Anand Mahindra will take over as Chairman and Managing Director of the USD 15.4 billion conglomerate.
Keshub, who informed the M&M Board about his intention to retire at the conclusion of the forthcoming Annual General Body Meeting scheduled on August 8, 2012, will become Chairman Emeritus of the firm.
Keshub said: "I am deeply touched by this gesture of the Board, whose wisdom has guided me and the company over the years, and whose trust and friendship have enriched me personally. It is gratifying to be able to hand over to the next generation at a time when the company's performance is at its best."
A Delhi court has allowed 2G accused Karim Morani, Vinod Goenka
Shahid and Asif Balwa, Sanjay Chandra and Sidharth Behura to travel abroad. Delivering the order, Judge OP Saini said today that six applications have been received from the 2G accused facing trial.
He said while their presence for the trial is important, travel is natural in human life and should not be normally denied. Balancing the two requirements, the judge allowed the applications, but with conditions.
Morani will travel to London and Amsterdam between June 11 and 29 for medical reasons. The judge said that Behura has to furnish a surety of Rs 5 lakh, while it's Rs 20 lakh for the other accused. Shahid and Asif Balwa will be going to Mecca between June 9 and June 30.
Behind her generally glum expression, Victoria Beckham insists she is in fact very happy - she just doesn't feel the need to scream and shout about it.
Sachin Tendulkar will take oath as member of Rajya Sabha on June 4. Tendulkar, who turned 39 recently and was nominated to the Upper House in April, is scheduled to take oath as member in the chamber of Chairman Hamid Ansari, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla said today.
Two others -- actress Rekha and industrialist Anu Aga -- who were nominated to Rajya Sabha along with Tendulkar had already taken oath earlier this month when the House was in session. Tendulkar was busy with the IPL season, which had just ended earlier this week.
President Obama used the term "Polish death camp' in a speech Tuesday honoring Polish resistance hero Jan Karski at a ceremony awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom, setting off a firestorm of angry retort from Polish dignitaries abroard.
A White House spokesman said the president "misspoke." Polish officials have long been trying to get foreigners to stop using that particular phrase when referring to Auschwitz and other Holocaust death camps, since they were created by the Germans in Nazi-occupied Poland.
After stripping for a photoshoot for her first film, actress Veena Malik is brushing up her salsa skills with choreographer Longines Fernandes. Dressed in a sexy red dress, the actress strikes several poses for the camera. Take a look!
The case of Pakistani doctor Shakeel Afridi took a new twist on Wednesday when a detailed order about his arrest and conviction stated that he has been punished for his links with a militant outfit, not for working with the Central Intelligence Agency and helping it locate Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.
Read Tahir Ali's report from Islamabad.
A little-known life-threatening illness caused by blood sucking insects has been labelled the 'new AIDS of the Americas' by experts. The parasitic illness called Chagas Disease has similarities to the early spread of HIV, according to a new study.
What the armed forces think of the controversial army chief Gen VK Singh, who is retiring tomorrow.
Retired Lt Gen Shankar Prasad: "History has not spared Jawaharlal Nehru, it did not spare Winston Churchill either. History will not spare even Gen V K Singh either.
"I think it will take 26 years to get things back on track after the 26-month tenure of Gen V K Singh comes to an end. I think the best thing to do at this moment would be let the man retire and say goodbye and farewell to him," Lt Gen Prasad said.
Gen Singh's predecessor Gen Deepak Kapoor: The next incumbent will have to work "very hard" to restore functional relationship between the Defence Ministry and the Army Headquarters. Along with this the next Army Chief will have to improve the morale of the troops and the preparedness of the armed
Former Western Air Commander A K Singh: "His biggest achievement has been highlighting the rampant corruption in the military and the Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs). If I have to underline his negative sides, I would say that his strong stand on his date of birth was not justified. He forgot that he had accepted 1950 earlier as the date when he was taking benefits. This was the biggest blot on his tenure."
The Bombay High Court today directed the Centre, the Petroleum Ministry and the Finance Ministry to file an affidavit by June 20 in response to a petition which claimed that the recent petrol price hike was "illegal" as it lacked Parliament's approval and violated the Constitution.
Apart from the Central ministries, other respondents include oil marketing companies, Indian Oil Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd.
The PIL, filed by Rajendra Phanse, General Secretary of 'Dharmarajya Paksha', submitted that the petrol prices were hiked "abruptly" by Rs 7.50 on May 23 at the stroke of midnight after the conclusion of budget session of Parliament.
Meet Aaliya Sultana Babi, the Dinosaur Princess. This 30-something princess of the former princely state of Balasinor (about 80 km from Ahmedabad in Gujarat) is the woman behind the preservation of the rare dinosaur fossil site in Raioli village of Balasinor.
Read more on the Daily Mail.
India says it is serious about helping Myanmar democratize.
During his three-day trip to Myanmar, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met pro-democracy activist and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and offered his government's assistance to speed up political reform in the country.
Here are 10 lessons Indian parliamentarians could teach their counterparts in Myanmar.
Sun reporters trick way into secretive state where lights go out at 11pm, gum is given as change and no one knows Jacko's dead... among other things. Read
Also see: Defectors describe horror, heartbreak in North Korea's labor camps. That's on cnn.com
Just in: The two Italian marines get bail in fishermen killing case. The Kerala High Court granted bail tot he marines on a surety of Rs 1 crore each.
The Kerala government had opposed the bail pleas of two Italian marines, accused of shooting dead two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast on February 15.
The Government counsel informed the court that if the accused were released on bail at this stage, their presence could not be procured.
The marines -- Latore Massimilliano and Salvatore Girone - had contended that they had not committed any offence as alleged by the police and that there was no justification in continuing their custody.
Right now in New Delhi, Team Anna is holding a press meet on the charges they have levied against the PM. Arvind Kejriwal said the PMO caused losses in coal block allotments and wants to know why the PM is refusing a probe.
Kejriwal says Team Anna has no axe to grind with the PM.
Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi today criticised Team Anna members for levelling corruption charges against Dr Manmohan Singh.
"It's very unfortunate that allegations have been made against the Prime Minister. Even Prime Minister's enemies will not accuse him of being corrupt," Alvi said.
Justice Santosh Hegde distanced himself from corruption allegation against Dr. Singh, and said: " I myself find it very difficult to believe that there could be any charge or allegation of corruption against Manmohan Singh".
Lawyers for Julian Assange say they will appeal the UK Supreme Court decision to allow extradition to Sweden.
Read: The Wikileaks Files Cables
The Wikileaks founder will now be extradited to Sweden. He had denied the claims and has said his European arrest warrant was "invalid and unenforceable".
In February, his lawyers told the Supreme Court judges that the Swedish prosecutor who had issued the warrant did not have the authority to do so.
The 40-year-old Australian has been on conditional bail in the UK. Mr Assange is accused of raping one woman and "sexually molesting and coercing" another in Stockholm in August 2010 but he claims that the allegations against him are politically motivated.
Update on the 23-day Air India strike.
The Delhi High Court today said the striking pilots of Air India have no right to get training on advanced Boeing 777 to be used in international flights. Refusing to hear an Air India appeal against the single judge's May 11 order which had stayed the training of more pilots till the implementation of the Justice Dharmadhikari panel recommendations on the issue, the court said "let them call off the strike, we will then hear the matter."
The high court, however, refused to disturb the ongoing training of the Air India pilots. "So long as they (Air India pilots) are on strike, the court is not inclined to hear the matter. They cannot go on strike as well as get training simultaneously," the bench said pulling up the Air India management for seeking court's intervention for training to the pilots who are on strike.
Ajay Maken @ajaymaken RT "@IndiaSportNews: @ajaymaken Best wishes to Vishy Anand as he tries to retain World Championship in Moscow today."
Maken is the union sports minister.
Defending champion Viswanathan Anand is set to fight it out in a Rapid chess tie-breaker against challenger Boris Gelfand after a tied 6-6 result in the World Chess Championship match in Moscow today. The match is on right now.
Before Karunanidhi made his U-turn, DMK leader TR Baalu met PM Dr Manmohan Singh this morning and expressed the party's concern over the petrol price rise. He requested a rollback as it affected all sections of people.
Baalu said the matter needed urgent consideration given the state-wide agitations tomorrow and because Karunanidhi was very upset.
The PM responded that the government is working out ways and means to resolve the price hike and reduce the burden on consumers.
With Team Anna under attack for levelling allegations against the Prime Minister, Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy today asked Anna Hazare to leave the group which is in the grip of "Naxalite minded crazies" and join him and Ramdev in the fight against graft.
"Team Anna has always been in the grip of Naxalite minded crazies. It is time Anna Hazare dump most of Team Anna and join Action Committee Against Corruption in India (ACACI) and Ramdev for nationalist approach to fighting corruption," Swamy said.
He said Team Anna has accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of corruption and want him to be prosecuted but alleged that they have not specified under which section of Prevention of Corruption Act is he prima facie guilty. He alleged the "glib accusations" appear to derail the legal steps to bring the corrupt to book which ACACI was undertaking.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi received a rapturous reception in Thailand today from crowds of cheering compatriots who flocked to celebrate her first trip outside Myanmar in nearly a quarter of a century.
Read the report on Reuters.
DMK chief Karunanidhi does a quick U-turn hours after he threatened to pullout of the UPA if there was no rollback on fuel prices. He now says: I never said we will come out of the UPA. We don't wish to weaken the government. We will not leae the UPA. If we pullout the Centre will become weak and we don't want that."
Phone call from 10 Janpath?
Whether it's George Clooney on the crisis in Sudan or Angelina Jolie on the Millennium Development Goals, international celebrities aren't shy about weighing in on pressing social issues close to their heart. That phenomenon now seems to have come to India too, in a big way.
Read: Aamir Khan's column on The Hindu
Tomorrow is World No Tobacco Day. And here's something that should make you sit up and listen or stub the butt. Smoking is THE most important cause of premature heart attacks, with India having about 4.5 crore patients with ischemic heart disease, doctors warned today.
According to the World Health Organisation, tobacco use is one of the biggest public health threats worldwide which kills nearly six million people a year of whom about 600,000 are non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke.
And the situation in India is very alarming as around 10 lakh deaths are caused by tobacco every year, with the WHO 2012 Global Report on Mortality claiming seven per cent of all deaths for people aged 30 and over in India are attributable to tobacco.
It is widely believed that tobacco use, especially smoking, causes chronic bronchitis and lung cancer, but many may not know that it is actually the most important cause of premature heart attacks.
This is what Karunanidhi said on Jayalalithaa during the fuel hike protest rally this morning. "The Centre had at least explained the reason for the fuel
price hike but Jayalalithaa had not come out with the genuine reason," he said.
Jayalalithaa had justified the hike, saying government was forced to take the step due to the weak financial situation of the loss-making state government undertakings.
The DMK chief also attacked her for spending "huge" taxpayer money on newspaper advertisements following completion of one year in office. Besides Karunanidhi, senior party leaders, his son and DMK treasurer MK Stalin and general secretary K Anbazhagan led the protests elsewhere in the state.
A day after triggering speculation of cracks in ruling BJD in Odisha by holding a
meeting of a group of MLAs, party MP Pyari Mohan Mohapatra today ruled out any threat to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and said he had no plan to topple the government.
"There is absolutely no threat to Naveen Patnaik from me. He is completely safe as chief minister as he is the leader of the BJD," Mohapatra, who is regarded as chief adviser and strategist of the ruling BJD, said scotching speculation about possible revolt in the party.
Claiming that he had no aspiration to become Chief Minister, Mohapatra said there was no move at all to topple the government headed by Patnaik. "Had I wanted to become Chief Minister I could have tried long ago instead of waiting for so many years ... I could have tried in 2009 also," the former bureaucrat turned Rajya Sabha MP said.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on board Air India One, declared he will quit public life if the charges on coal block allotments are proved.
Rejecting Team Anna's allegations of corruption against him, the PM who is on his way back from a two-day visit to Myanamar said, "There have been reports about the allocation of coal blocks based on leaked portions of a draft CAG report. It is unfortunate that irresponsible allegations relating to irregularities in allocation of coal blocks are being made without confirming facts.
"I will give up my public life if allegations are proved against me. My long public career as finance minister, as leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha and now as prime minister has been an open book. If found guilty in the coal scam I will quit."
Our Delhi sources tell us that V Kishore Chandra Deo, the Union Minister of Tribal Affairs, is also in the race for the first citizen of India.
A long time Charan Singh confidante, Deo was minister in 1982 in his cabinet. He missed the position as Speaker of Lok Sabha as he was considered to be too close to Dr YS Rajasekara Reddy.
But now to show loyalty to 10 Janpath, Deo has been issuing daily statements against Jagan Reddy -- but only in Telugu daily newspapers -- and not national dailies.
Kolkata Knight Riders co-owner Shah Rukh Khan, also the state's brand ambassador, said there was "nothing wrong" in the grand felicitation organised by the state government for his IPL-5 winning team.
As chief minister Mamata Banerjee organised the fete involving Governor M K Narayanan and spent lavishly on the champions KKR side by giving them golden lockets, many ridiculed the move as it had been organised for a club team.
The team members were also showered with gifts from the hosts Cricket Association of Bengal who gifted the 17 members with 10-gram gold chain each including mememtos.
Shah Rukh, however, stood by Banerjee and said there was nothing wrong in it. "There is no harm in being happy and sharing happiness. Nobody should criticise it. It's alright to be happy. "Let's not be political. It has been done because we all are happy. There is nothing wrong if we bring a bit of happiness to the city of joy," he said. Shah Rukh said their celebrations were befitting as they had waited long for the moment.
Karunanidhi at the protest rally in Chennai said the DMK has been a part of a coalition earlier as well, but the party has never hesitated in opposing anti-people policies. He said the DMK would sail with the UPA as far much as we can.
DMK boss M Karunanidhi says the party may pull out of the UPA on the petrol price hike. At a protest meeting in Chennai, Karunanidhi, whose party is a key ally of the UPA, said he would never shy away from speaking on the people's welfare and his duty to the people of Tamil Nadu.
He said he will hold discussions with the UPA, and will leave it to uphold necessary policy decisions, but if a rollback doesn't come through, he may be left with no option but to pull out. He said he hoped the Centre AND the state does not force him to pull out of the UPA.
The defence ministry and the Centre are watching the angry army chief who is capping his eventful tenure with decisions that threaten to upset plans that may impact the institution he headed for months after he demits office.
On the Telegraph, Calcutta. Read
Facebook shares have dropped below the 30 dollar mark, in what has been dubbed as the worst-performing Initial Public Offering of any major floatation in the last decade.
After placing at 38 dollars, Facebook's shares briefly peaked at 45 dollars before sinking back to 38.25 dollars on their first day of trading. They have fallen every day since then, and today plummeted nearly ten percent to a low of 28.84 dollars at the close in New York, The Telegraph reports.
According to the report, most of the brokers are expected to cut their losses now that Facebook shares have passed the important psychological thresholds of 30 dollars a share and a 20 percent drop in value.
Telegraph, Calcutta, reports the Shah Rukh Khan spectacle in the city yesterday. Read
May 31 should be the day that India's Defence Minister observes mauna-vrata -- the profound vow of silence. A day of deep introspection through which he could take stock of past life and realise where he may have gone wrong. But the incumbent Defence Minister A K Antony can't oblige, as he iscaught up in street-fighting for his party in a remote corner of India.
Read MK Bhadrakumar's blog
Rediff.com's Onkar Singh reporting from New Delhi says the BJP, left parties and the Samajvadi party have decided to protest against the steep hike in the price of petrol with countrywide demonstrations, dharnas and will also court arrest to register their anger against the the Rs 7.50 hike in petrol prices.
"The members of parliament, state legislators have been asked to go to their respective constituencies and lead their electorate against the sheepest hike in history. At the moment no joint rally is being planned," Rajeev Pratap Rudy told rediff.com.
Full story in a bit.
Clementi's parents had become tearful as they read statements during his sentencing on May 21, saying Ravi had never shown "a lack of remorse" for spying on Clementi, who had jumped off the George Washington bridge after he found out that Ravi had seen him kissing another man. After a three week trial in March, Ravi was convicted on 15 counts of hate crime and bias intimidation charges. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail, three years probation, 300 hours
of community service and ordered to pay a fine of more than USD 10,000.
On rediff.com: 'Dharun Ravi's sentence is balanced'
Indian student Dharun Ravi, convicted of spying on his gay roommate who later committed suicide, has publicly apologised for the first time for his "insensitive and immature" actions, saying he will surrender this week to begin his month long jail term. Ravi said he regretted his "stupid and childish" choices when he set up a webcam to view the sexual encounter of his roommate Tyler Clementi with another man on two occasions in September 2010 but said he did not act out of hatred.
"I accept responsibility for and regret my thoughtless,insensitive, immature, stupid and childish choices... My behavior and actions, which at no time were motivated by hate, bigotry, prejudice or desire to hurt, humiliate or embarrass anyone, were nonetheless the wrong choices and decisions.
"I apologize to everyone affected by those choices," 20-year-old Ravi said in a statement released by his lawyer Steven Altman yesterday. The apology by Ravi is the first time the former Rutgers University student has publicly said sorry for his actions. Ravi had come under sharp criticism for not apologising during his trial for spying on Clementi and then inviting his other friends to view the sexual encounter through a webcam.