Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I don't and never will kiss in films: SRK

In 22 years of his showbiz career, Bollywood Badshah Shah Rukh Khan has maintained a record of never locking lips with his heroines and declares that he never will.

After his infamous love-making scene with his co-star in the much forgettable movie Maya Memsaab, Shah Rukh admits that more than being uncomfortable kissing on screen, he doesn’t know how to do it. This coming from the King Of Romance!

Dismissing rumours that he has kissed Kareena Kapoor in his upcoming sci-fi superhero flick Ra.One, SRK said that if a film requires him to do things which make him uncomfortable, he quits it.
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Jagan to resume Odarpu yatra after bypoll results

http://www.newsofap.com/uploaded_files/news_img/newsofap.com4c497c3066a99ys_jagan_odarpu_yatra.jpgKADAPA/VIZIANAGARAM: A day after the byelection results would be announced on May 13, YSR Congress chief Y S Jaganmohan Reddy would resume his controversial Odarpu yatra in Vizianagaram district.

"I would be resuming my yatra on May 14. I had to temporarily call off the yatra because of the election code. Now, I would go back to Vizianagaram to call on the members of the families who had died after my father's demise," Jagan told TOI.

Sources said Jagan's close follower and former TTD chairman Bhumana Karunakar Reddy is co-ordinating with the local leaders in Vizianagaram to chart out the yatra route. Jagan launched his yatra on March 28 but put it off soon after the announcement of bypolls to Kadapa Lok Sabha and Pulivendula assembly constituencies by the Election Commission.

He had toured the district for three days of the scheduled nine days. "Now, the remaining six days of the yatra has been extended to nine days to cover the entire 580 km in the district," party sources said. As per original schedule, he was to cover four municipalities and 30 mandals in nine constituencies of the district.

But now, more number of villages were added to showcase his strength among the people in the state. Sources said several villages fall in minister Botsa Satyanarayana's stronghold areas.

Not only Jagan's supporters, even opposition parties and the ruling Congress are looking forward to this tour to assess his strength in the district. Former MP Penmetsa Sambasivaraju and former Congress leader Peddinti Jaganmohan Rao are conducting several meetings with Jagan loyalists ahead of the yatra.
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Asin: Bollywood is a tight ropewalk

AsinAsin is back in action. After a spectacular debut with Ghajini and a rather lukewarm London Dreams, the actress teams up with Salman Khan again for her third film Ready, slated for a June 3 release.
In conversation with NewsIndia24, the actress discusses her role in the film, her association with the South Indian film industry and her contemporaries.

Tell us about your character in Ready?
I play Sanjana. She is an orphan and is staying with her greedy uncles who are behind her property. I fall in love with Prem (Salman Khan) and Prem decides to teach the uncles a lesson.

This is your second film with Salman Khan. How was it working with him second time around?
I am very comfortable working with Salman. We started shooting for Ready after Dabangg was declared a blockbuster but he didn't have any starry airs.

I think he has reached a stage where he knows how to handle success and that doesn't change him as a person. On the sets Salman was as supportive as always. He is always fun to work with and quite a prankster on the sets.

There were rumours of you and Salman Khan getting married.
It was a very funny incident. I was shocked to get messages congratulating me on my marriage. It was funny because everybody else knew about my marriage except me. (Laughs). 

So when do we get to see you getting married?
As off now, I have no plans to get married but you never know. I am concentrating on my career right now though.
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Sehwag out of IPL

Sehwag out of IPLSehwag has struggled with the problem since 2009, when a tear led to surgery and a slow rehabilitation for the batting legend.
The India Board of Control for Cricket have confirmed Sehwag's absence from the domestic Twenty20 tournament, while his IPL team suspect the injury could spell trouble for Sehwag's England tour.
Daredevils boss B Vanchi revealed the 32-year old will undergo another surgery, which is likely to ruin his training schedule in the run up to India's test match against England.
Vanchi told Times of India: "Sehwag's injured shoulder is definitely a concern for everyone.
"The BCCI has decided that it needs surgery immediately and are making arrangements for him to travel to London."
Sehwag will be sidelined for the West Indies tour in June. India coach Duncan Fletcher is expected to announce his replacement along with the rest of the squad on Friday.
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Juicy "Mango"could be great leap forward for Windows Phone 7

Microsoft showed off a number of new features planned for Windows Phone "Mango," the major update for the smartphone platform due this fall, at its MIX 11 event in April. These were primarily features aimed at developers, with the company keeping new user-facing features close to its chest. News is starting to leak of just what those user-facing features are going to be, and there's plenty of them.
The Windows Phone Dev Podcast posted a bunch of screenshots purporting to be of Mango. Their podcast wisely warns that in these days of Photoshop a little skepticism over such leaks is wise, but all the features shown are plausible, and consistent with glimpses of the user interface seen elsewhere.
The Bing application is gaining eyes and ears. Bing Vision offers barcode scanning, OCR, QR tag recognition, and the covers of books, CDs, and DVDs—all familiar features to anyone who has used the iPhone Bing application. What's not found in the iPhone application is Bing Audio: indications are that the Windows Phone application will be able to listen to music and tell you what it is—going head-to-head with Shazam. This is in addition to the existing speech-to-text features already available in some markets.
Speech-to-text will be included in more than just Bing. The screenshots show a dictation feature for text messages, allowing messages to be spoken rather than typed. With increasing awareness of the dangers of using a phone while driving—not to mention legal prohibitions—dictation support is a natural extension of the existing voice capabilities. What we can't tell from the pictures is how broadly this support will be available; currently, the voice support is limited to only a few markets, something that will have to change for this to be a major feature.
The voice guidance option hints tantalizingly at the possibility of turn-by-turn navigation
Speech also figures in the updated Bing Maps application, which will apparently offer a "voice guidance" capability, giving a hint that the operating system will include full-blown turn-by-turn support. Although Mango will offer limited multitasking to third-party applications, turn-by-turn isn't one of the supported scenarios; building the feature into the built-in Bing Maps software would make that functionality gap far less important. The maps will also include compass support, so that north always points north, rather than always pointing to the top of the phone.
Marketplace, which already saw performance and organizational improvements in the "NoDo" copy-and-paste release, is going to be extended to include support for podcasts, and possibly even video podcasts (the word "podcast" is bad enough; "vodcast" is to horrible to even contemplate). Podcasts will be publicized through Marketplace, and the phone will handle both subscription management and downloading.
More features were shown off by Liveside.net. Though Windows Phone launched in a number of markets around the world, it was restricted to those using the Latin alphabet; Windows Phone 7.5 will be marketed to a larger number of markets, and to that end, will contain support for some non-Latin scripts. The leaked pictures provide confirmation of this, with East Asian keyboard support, text entry, and dictionary entries/autocorrection.
One of the more glaring omissions—at least to IM junkies—was a lack of built-in support for Windows Live Messenger. There's an official third-party application, but this is lacking in several ways. It doesn't integrate with the People Hub—in spite of the contacts lists being shared between the application—and doesn't run in the background (though it does use push notifications). Reports are that in Mango, Windows Live Messenger will be integrated with the People Hub, doing away with the need for a separate application. There are also claims that messaging will unify SMS and with Windows Live Messenger; send a message to someone, and it'll use the best available mechanism to get it to them.
This description of the messaging system sounds not a million miles away from the unified messaging that HP's webOS includes. That's not the only Windows Phone feature that will have been "inspired" by webOS; the multitasking system will use a kind of zoomed out view of all your open applications to switch between running tasks, just like webOS, and LiveSide.net is reporting that each browser tab will be selectable directly from the task switcher—again, just like webOS.
With the API improvements announced at MIX combined with the interface and feature improvements leaked so far, and the confirmed inclusion of Internet Explorer 9 and Twitter integration, Windows Phone 7.5 is already shaping up to be a major release. And it's likely that there's more still to come; there are persistent rumors of NFC support, for example, though nothing confirmed so far. The full story should become a lot clearer in a couple of weeks; Microsoft sent out invitations today to a press event on May 24th, at which Microsoft will "lift the curtain" on the next major release of Windows Phone.
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US has told Pakistan to act against LeT: Timothy Roemer

AHMEDABAD: The US had told Pakistan that it now needed to act against the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), US ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer said Tuesday while stressing that his government had been building enormous pressure on Islamabad to target terror havens in its territory.

Roemer, who went around Sabarmati Ashram, which was home to Mahatma Gandhi for years, said the US shared India's "targets and goals" on the LeT, whose leaders have been charged with the 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai.

"We share the targets and goals in terms of the LeT and have communicated to Pakistan that it now needs to act against the LeT as well as individuals," Roemer told journalists, days after US forces killed Osama bin Laden in his hideout in Pakistan's Abbottabad town.

On Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani absolving intelligence agency ISI of any wrongdoing, Roemer said President Barack Obama had in the last 48 hours made it clear that the targets that US and India shared in terms of the LeT and individuals being indicted were more and more common.

"The commonalities and goals with regard to world security and intelligence sharing are very close between the US and India," he added.

The envoy added that his government had been building immense pressure on Pakistan to go after safe havens in their country and target the Al Qaeda.

Refuting that the US was practicing double standards on 9/11 and 26/11, he said Washington and New Delhi had come together to share intelligence in unprecedented ways in the last two years.

"There is vibrant day to day, hour to hour and minute to minute sharing of information. We are sharing information with India on Afghanistan, Africa, did so on security during the Commonwealth Games, World Cup cricket. We even shared David Headley (the alleged LeT operative accused in the 26/11 strike).

"Our president has also supported India for a permanent seat in the UNSC," he added.

"We are now working under the directions of the US and India to help build capacity here in India, forensic capabilities, the possibility of new national counter terrorism centre, share best practices and expertise as to how to prevent the next terrorist attack."

The FBI, he said, had helped India convict Ajmal Amir Kasab, the only terrorist to be caught after the Nov 26-28, 2008 terror attack. "The FBI's cooperation on GPS, statistics and data helped convict Ajmal Kasab."

Roemer evaded questions on whether he would be meeting Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, saying he was here to meet common people.

"The president of the US has asked me to connect to the people of India, not just the top brass. Connect to the hearts and minds of the people, the aam aadmi, the regular men and women of India, which is what I am doing."

He said about 20 percent of Indian Americans in the US come from Gujarat. He added that the state was growing fast with over 10 percent annual growth but evaded a question on when the US would do business with Modi.
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CPI-M rubbishes exit poll forecasts

Kolkata, May 10 : The CPI(M) today rubbished exit poll forecast of Left Front's defeat in the just-concluded West Bengal Assembly elections, saying such predictions have no "scientific basis".

"There has been a competition among TV channels to broadcast exit polls which predicted that the results will go against the Left Front, but it will ultimately prove otherwise," CPI(M) state secretary Biman Bose told reporters.

Emphasising that exit poll forecasts had "always" been proved wrong since the 2001 assembly polls in West Bengal, Bose said, "All such predictions have failed to alter people's mandate which overwhelmingly elected Left Front to power all these years."

Bose asserted that the Left front would form the government for the eighth consecutive term, adding, "The exit polls will only seek to create confusion among people.
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Osama posters sell like hot cakes in Pak

http://nerdkore.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/bert_and_osama1.jpgIslamabad: There has been a record sale of posters of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan after the al Qaeda leader was gunned down in a daring US commando raid May 2 in the country, a media report said Tuesday.
More than 100,000 posters of Osama Bin Laden have been sold since his death, the Online news agency reported citing the print industry. It added that the volume of sale is increasing daily.

Osama's death on May 2 ended nearly a decade-long hunt for the US' most wanted terrorist. He was blamed for the terrorist attacks in the US in September 2001 in which nearly 3,000 people were killed.
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DC vs PWI: Amit Mishra strikes, Manish Pandey misses half-century

Jesse RyderNEW DELHI: Chasing 137-run target, Pune Warriors India lost Jesse Ryder (35) after a good start against Deccan Chargers in their Indian Premier League match at Rajiv Gandhi stadium. 

Click here to watch Deccan Chargers vs Pune Warriors India from Rajiv Gandhi International stadium in Hyderabad

Ryder smashed two huge sixes and five boundaries in his quick-fire 20-ball knock before Pragyan Ojha struck in the seventh over. Ryder gave Pune a terrific start to their run chase as he added rapid 55 runs for the opening wicket with Manish Pandey.

Sent in to field, Mitchell Marsh (4-25) and Yuvraj Singh (2-17) helped Pune Warriors restrict Deccan Chargers to 136/8 in Hyderabad.

Chargers failed to capitalise on their good start as openers added quick 51-run partnership before Pune skipper Yuvraj and young pacer Marsh struck in successive overs to remove Deccan openers.

Marsh clean bowled Ravi Teja (30) in the eighth over after his skipper Yuvraj dismissed Shikhar Dhawan (24) in the previous over.

Teja hit four boundaries in his 27-ball innings whereas Dhawan smashed two sixes and a four in his 17-ball knock.

Marsh was the wrecker-in-chief for the Warriors with four crucial wickets as he also scalped JP Duminy (30), Sunny Sohal (0) and Amit Mishra (0) in the penultimate over of the match.

Chargers lost wickets at regular intervals against Warriors and failed to build any substantial partnership after a good opening stand.

Daniel Christian (10) became Yuvraj’s second victim as the left-armer trapped the Deccan batsmen lbw in the fifteenth over.

Young spinner Rahul Sharma continued his good form with the ball as he dismissed Deccan skipper Kumar Sangakkara (12) in the eleventh over.

Earlier, Deccan skipper Kumar Sangakkara won the toss and opted to bat against Pune on Tuesday.

Sourav Ganguly is finally making his debut in the fourth edition of the Indian Premier League as Bengal Tiger has been drafted by Pune into the playing eleven.

Deccan Chargers have also made one change, brought Pragyan Ojha in place of Ishan Malhotra.


Deccan Chargers: S Dhawan, S Sohal, B Chipli, KC Sangakkara (capt) JP Duminy, DT Christian, DB Ravi Teja, PP Ojha, A Mishra, DW Steyn, I Sharma

Pune Warriors India: MK Pandey, SC Ganguly, JD Ryder, RV Uthappa (wk), Yuvraj Singh (capt), CJ Ferguson, MR Marsh, WD Parnell, SB Wagh, R Sharma, B Kumar 

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West Bengal polls: 84.8 pc voting in last phase

 A Joint Force jawan keeps vigil as women stand in a queue to cast their votes during the sixth phase of West Bengal Assembly polls, at Belpahari in West Midnapore on Tuesday. Photo: PTI An estimated 84.8 per cent turnout was recorded during the sixth and last phase of the West Bengal Assembly elections which passed off peacefully, the Election Commission announced on Tuesday.
“The polls were held absolutely peaceful and totally incident free,” Deputy Election Commissioner Vinod Zutshi told reporters at the end of polling.
Asked whether the poll percentage in the State this time was the highest ever, he said it could be termed “maximum” compared to 2006 Assembly and 2009 Lok Sabha polls.
Three helicopters were used and a special observer was deployed over and above general and expenditure observers to ensure peaceful polling in 14 Maoist-hit constituencies spread over three districts, he said.
There was poll boycott in one booth because of local issues, he said.
Asked about reasons for the large turnout, Mr. Zutshi said this was because people came out without any fear and reached polling stations to exercise their franchise.
The Commission has also been taking all possible measures ever since the announcement of the poll schedule to instill confidence among the people, he said.
The DEC said one observer will be deployed in each assembly constituency during counting on May 13.
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Petrol prices may go up this week;diesel, LPG rates may follow

http://topnews.com.sg/images/petrol-prices.jpgThe government may hike diesel and domestic LPG rates next week while an increase in petrol prices may happen later this week.
"The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee (on fuel price hike) was to meet tomorrow evening. It has been put off," Oil Minister S Jaipal Reddy told reporters here.
The EGoM was to meet tomorrow to consider raising diesel prices by Rs 3-4 a litre and domestic LPG rates by Rs 20-25 per cylinder.
"It has been postponed to accommodate some ministers... It could be anytime on (May) 17 or 18," he said.
State-owned oil firms, however, are likely to get the go-ahead to raise the price of petrol, which they have not revised since January on informal 'advice' from the government in view of Assembly elections in five states.
"Petrol prices may be raised as early as Thursday-Friday night," an official said, adding a steep hike of up to Rs 3 per litre of petrol is on the cards.

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NATO Carries Out Airstrikes on Libyan Capital

A man, wounded during what Libyan officials said was an air strike by NATO forces, lies on a bed at a hospital in Tripoli, May 10, 2011NATO warplanes have carried out heavy airstrikes on the Libyan capital, Tripoli, early Tuesday.

Witnesses heard at least five loud blasts in the capital and watched a plume of smoke drift over the city.

Government officials escorted journalists to the site of some of the damage. The airstrikes hit an office building used by a government agency, knocked over a communications tower, and shattered windows at a hospital.

Reports said it is possible that the compound where the family of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi lives may have also been hit.

The unusually heavy bombardment followed separate NATO air attacks Monday against government weapons depots near the western town of Zintan.

In the besieged port city of Misrata, rebel fighters said they have pushed back government troops from positions ringing the town. A ship chartered by the International Committee of the Red Cross arrived in Misrata Monday, bringing 8,000 jars of baby food as well as urgently needed surgical instruments and medical dressings.

U.N. aid chief Valerie Amos told the U.N. Security Council Monday that the way international sanctions are implemented in Libya is delaying the delivery of supplies to the country's embattled population.

The U.N. humanitarian coordinator asked all parties in the fighting to agree to a temporary pause in hostilities to enable the delivery of food, water, medical supplies and other aid to needy populations.
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Vintage fashion for Sonam at Cannes!

Sonam, masaba
Indian films may not be a talking point at Cannes but fashion always is.

All eyes will be on Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor & Freida Pinto this year as they will light up the Red Carpet for L'Oreal
Paris at the Cannes Film Festival to be held from the 11th – 22nd of May 2011. It is for the first time that L'Oreal Paris will have 3 spokeswomen representing India at Cannes!

The trio is interesting since all three are unique in their own way.

Ash is a Cannes veteran of sorts as its her 10th year at Cannes this year. Freida Pinto already enjoys fair amount of recognition in the west while Sonam is undoubtedly one of the best dressed actresses we have in India.

Amongst the three, classy yet conventional Ash often gets flak at Cannes for her dress choice though the actress remains India's most beautiful and global face. An experimental Sonam on the contrary is tagged as the 'most stylish' by fashion experts and thus would be a delight to watch the women strut their stuff on the red carpet.

On 15th May, we will see Sonam Kapoor dazzling the red carpet of Cannes for the very first time. If you are as excited to know what the young style icon is planning to wear at the festival, read on!

A friend close to Sonam exclusively revealed to TOI, "Sonam is all set to sport a vintage look at Cannes 2011. She swears by vintage clothing and she is thinking about sporting the 20's & 50's look. Also she won't be wearing Indian clothes at the red carpet...no saris and no anarkalis for Sonam. She has few designers in mind like Valentino, Roberto Cavalli and Indian designers like Anamika Khanna and Masaba Gupta. She would be zeroing in on her final outfits soon."

Sonam Kapoor said, "It has always been my dream to walk the red carpet at Cannes and it is soon going to be a reality thanks to L'Oreal Paris. I look forward to meeting actors and film makers from the world over and attending screenings of some interesting films. But what excites me the most is meeting the L'Oreal Paris international dream team of make-up artistes and seeing how they transform me for one of the most glamorous red carpets in the world."

We are also told the theme of L'Oreal makeup this season is gold!
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Microsoft Agrees to Buy Skype for $8.5 Billion to Add Web Calls

Microsoft Said to Discuss Buying Skype to Expand Web Calls Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) agreed to buy Skype Technologies SA for $8.5 billion in cash to gain the world’s most popular Internet calling service and its 663 million customers.
Microsoft will acquire Luxembourg-based Skype from an investor group led by Silver Lake, the companies said in a statement today. The agreement was approved by the boards of directors of both companies.
The takeover may help Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer attract Web users and narrow Google Inc. (GOOG)’s lead in Internet advertising. The acquisition is Redmond, Washington- based Microsoft’s largest, surpassing the purchase of AQuantive Inc. for about $6 billion in 2007.
“This could give Microsoft a much-needed kick-start” in telecommunications, said Paolo Pescatore, an analyst at CCS Insight in London. In voice services, “Skype has certainly set the benchmark and gained a lot of traction.”
A purchase by Microsoft would divert Skype from a plan, announced in August, to sell $100 million of shares in an initial public offering. The company has struggled to convert users of its free PC-to-PC phone services into paying customers, according to a March regulatory filing.
Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker, slipped 1.8 percent to the equivalent of $25.58 at 2:06 p.m. in German trading. The stock fell 4 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $25.83 yesterday in Nasdaq Stock Market composite trading, extending the stock’s decline to 7.5 percent this year.


Microsoft Said to Discuss Buying Skype to Expand Web Calls The price includes net debt, a person familiar with the matter said. Skype reported about $775 million in debt, along with a revolving credit line of $30 million, in a filing in April.
Ballmer is aiming to revive Microsoft’s online services division, which had an operating loss of more than $700 million in the three months that ended in March. The company lags behind Google in Web search and related advertising.
“Microsoft has a lot of areas in its overall Internet business that it could be working on, and whether the acquisition of Skype is the key silver bullet that fixes all of that remains to be seen,” said Kunal Bajaj, head of telecommunications consulting firm Analysys Mason India Pvt. in New Delhi. “People go to Skype to make phone calls, and there isn’t much else in social networking, instant-messaging and status updates and things like that.”
Yahoo! Bid
Microsoft abandoned an unsolicited effort to buy Yahoo! Inc. for as much as $47.5 billion in 2008 and instead struck an agreement to provide search services on Yahoo’s pages.
Microsoft offers voice chat services to consumers through its Windows Live Messenger software, and to corporate customers through its Lync collaboration platform.
Tightly-integrated Skype services could be an added selling point for Windows Phone 7, the mobile operating system Microsoft is promoting as a competitor to Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS, CCS’s Pescatore said.
Skype was founded in 2003 by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis and its investors include EBay Inc. (EBAY), private equity firm Silver Lake and venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.
Zennstrom and Friis sold the company for $2.6 billion in 2005 to San Jose, California-based EBay, which in turn sold off most of its stake four years later.

Skype, which started as a way for consumers to chat for free online, is developing premium services such as group video calling and pursuing corporate accounts. Skype’s competitors include the fledgling Google Voice service and video chat client Fring.
“Google is probably the one that’s getting the closest to Skype” with its voice product, though the Google Talk service is “not on par in terms of quality” and the Google Voice product is a late entrant and will find it difficult to catch up, said Leif-Olof Wallin, a telecommunications analyst at Gartner Inc. in Stockholm. Vonage Holdings Corp. (VG) is another rival in the paid-for business in the U.S., he said.
“The biggest monetization potential is through ads, but you’d need to understand how often people are using Skype, like measuring calls, but that is difficult,” he said.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) are advising Skype on the deal.
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An instant 'cure' for baldness... if you don't mind being injected with pigs' bladders

It is a condition that brings despair to millions of men.
But now there is a potential cure for those suffering from hair loss - which takes its cue from the farmyard.
Male pattern baldness could be stopped in its tracks or even reversed by the treatment, which involves patients being injected with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) taken from their own blood.
Cure? Male pattern baldness affects millions of men including comedian Harry Hill and Foreign Secretary William HagueCure? Male pattern baldness affects millions of men including comedian Harry Hill and Foreign Secretary William HagueAnd the injections will also contain ACell - a powder extracted from pigs' bladders.
Cure? Male pattern baldness affects millions of men including comedian Harry Hill and Foreign Secretary William Hague
This week, 20 British men will be given the 30-minute treatment, the Daily Express reported.
Dr Raghu Reddy, a Harley Street clinician at the The Private Clinic, will perform the treatment with the help of Dr Gary Hitzig, who developed it in the U.S.
Dr Reddy said: 'It is as close as we have come to a cure for male baldness.
'This revolutionary injectable combination of ACell and PRP may be the answer to restoring hair growth for those in the early to moderate stages of hair loss.
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Monday, May 9, 2011

Pakistan board seek Shahid Afridi explanation

Pakistan's Cricket Board has asked Shahid Afridi to explain comments about the "differences within the tour management in West Indies".
Afridi led Pakistan to a 3-2 win in the one-day series in the Caribbean before complaining about "interference".
"An explanation has been sought from him for reasons to make such statements publically," said a PCB statement.
"PCB will take appropriate action after submission of the tour-report at the conclusion of the tour."
Pakistan, who are coached by former fast bowler Waqar Younis, have still to play two Test matches against the Windies.
But following the conclusion of the ODI series, limited overs team captain Afridi has returned home from the Caribbean.
On his return, he said: "I don't like people interfering in my domain. I think it would be better if everyone focused on his job in the team.
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Pakistan ignored US warnings on unilateral action on Osama: Report

Journalists and locals stand near the house of former al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden (seen in background) in Abbottabad on Sunday.Pakistani authorities ignored several warnings from the US over the past three years that it would take unilateral action if it gathered intelligence on Osama bin Laden's presence in the country, according to a media report today.
The Americans had warned Pakistan "time and again" that if the US had intelligence concerning bin Laden, "they would act on it with or without Pakistani cooperation", The News daily quoted informed sources as saying.
An unnamed top-ranking US official said, "Time and again we have warned Pakistan but it seems like your officials live in a dreamland and believe that we need you so much that we will close our eyes and ears to all you do."
This official angrily asserted that US had warned Pakistan time and again that it would undertake unilateral action against Laden if the US thought Pakistan would not act on its own.
One warning came almost three years ago in June 2008, when a high-level US delegation comprising Steve Hadley, national security adviser in the Bush administration, and CIA deputy director Stephen Kappes were sent to Islamabad with a message to then President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani - the US strongly believed that some militant groups in Pakistan were harbouring Laden, the report said.
The Pakistani leaders asked for "actionable intelligence".
When questioned by civilian leaders, Pakistani intelligence officials immediately denied any knowledge about bin Laden and any other groups or individuals mentioned by the CIA, the report added.
A few months later, similar demands, including the threat of unilateral action, were made to national security adviser Maj Gen (retired) Mahmood Durrani when he visited Washington.
On returning to Pakistan, Durrani communicated his fears about potential US actions.
"Unfortunately, these were interpreted in a way to make him seem like an 'American agent' and the substance of his views was ignored," the report said.
Durrani was later sacked by Gilani without the prior knowledge of President Asif Ali Zardari after he told the media that Mumbai attacker was a Pakistani national.
In July 2008, then CIA director Michael Hayden communicated to Gilani during a meeting in Washington that certain Pakistani militant groups had deep ties with al-Qaeda.
Soon after the Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008, the CIA again reiterated this fear. However, Pakistan's reaction was simply that it needed concrete proof, the report said.
"While willing to avoid placing excessive open pressure on a weak civilian government and often issuing statements that reassured Pakistan, Americans repeatedly said they felt betrayed," the report said.
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Congress flays Mayawati over land acquisition stir

Farmers protest against land acquisition in Uttar PradeshNEW DELHI: Congress today came down heavily on the Uttar Pradesh government for the violence in Greater Noida and adjoining areas over the land acquisition issue, saying Chief Minister Mayawati's "greed" has taken over all her sensible decisions.

"Mayawati government has been extremely insensitive to the cause of farmers and the poor in recent years. Instead of talking to farmers and taking them into confidence, it has been taking violent action against the agitating farmers," AICC general secretary in-charge for Uttar Pradesh Digivijay Singh told reporters here.

"The greed of Mayawati has overtaken her sensible decisions. The whole government is up for grabs for those who have the money to spend and who have the capacity to fill the personal coffers of the Chief Minister," he alleged.

Singh said the Congress condemns the role of the Uttar Pradesh government in all cases of land acquisitions and urged upon the government to discuss the issue with farmers.

"I urge upon everyone to shun the cause of violence and bring peace in the area," he added.
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Tiny radiation leakage from Japan atomic plant, no danger seen

http://media.themalaysianinsider.com/images/uploads/2011/march/15/fire-march15.jpgElectricity wholesaler Japan Atomic Power said on Monday that gas containing a minute amount of radiation had leaked from its Tsuruga nuclear plant in western Japan the previous day, but that the amount was well below the legal limit and there was no impact on the environment.
The amount of radiation was estimated at about one-four hundred thousandth of the annual legal limit, and there were no changes in readings from radiation monitoring devices set up around the plant, the company said.
"The amount that came out was such an extremely small amount, so this is not a problem and it will not have an impact on the environment," said Shinichi Morooka, professor of nuclear energy at Waseda University.
Japan Atomic Power said it now has a policy of disclosing even tiny anomalies at the plant after the crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co's crippled nuclear power station in northern Japan heightened concerns about nuclear safety.
"Whether or not this incident deserves an official announcement is not an issue. If we don't disclose it and the information comes from somewhere else, in this climate it could look like it's being covered up," company spokesperson Koji Otake said.
However, the spokesperson added that it was the first ever accidental radiation leakage from the Tsuruga plant's No. 2 reactor, which started operations in 1987.
The 1,160-megawatt No 2 reactor, located 350 km (220 miles) west of Tokyo, was shut on Saturday for an unplanned inspection after the company found a technical problem last week.
Japan Atomic said it has stopped the leak and is investigating the cause.
A massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11 triggered cooling system malfunctions at Tokyo Electric's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and caused radiation to leak into the atmosphere and the ocean. Engineers are still struggling to bring the plant under control.
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Situation in violence-hit areas tense, leaders detained

Police personnel arrive at the spot where the agitated farmers stage a protest against land acquisition for Yamuna Express Highway, in Agra on Sunday. Around a dozen farmers were detained on Monday in connection with the violence in Greater Noida.Greater Noida Tension prevailed in parts of western UP hit by farmers' unrest over land acquisition even as a heavy police deployment was made in the affected areas and political leaders were detained preventing them from reaching the troubled spots.
BJP leader Rajnath Singh and SP leaders Shivpal Singh Yadav and Mohan Singh were detained by police along with their supporters when they tried to proceed towards Greater Noida where prohibitory orders have been clamped following Saturday's violence.
Terming the Mayawati government as being "anti-farmer", the SP leaders alleged that it was buying land at cheaper rates from farmers and selling them to private developers at high premiums. They demanded a judicial inquiry into the firing incident in Bhatta village in Greater Noida where two policemen and two farmers have died.
"We have also asked for setting up of a two-member committee of retired judges to decide the land compensation issue," they said.
Situation is completely normal and so far 22 people have been arrested in connection with Saturday's violence," Special Director General of Police (Law and Order) Brij Lal, who is camping in Greater Noida, said.
About 5000 personnel belonging to PAC, Rapid Action Force and police have been deployed in the Greater Noida villages, police said.
Searches were being carried out to arrest farmer leader Manveer Singh Tewatia and his aides Gaje Singh, Premveer, Neeraj Mallik, Kiranpal and Manoj, police said. Tewatia, who has more than 20 cases against him, has been leading the farmers' agitation at Bhatta-Parsaul since January 17. The state government has announced a reward of Rs.50000 for the arrest of Tewatia.
Rewards of Rs.15000 each have also been announced for the arrest of three other accomplices of Tewatia which included Mallik. Police teams have been sent to Tewatia's home village in Bulandshahr and other areas.
In Aitmadpur in Agra where farmers and police clashed yesterday, four FIRs have been lodged in connection with the violence and arson by villagers.
In Aligarh, another troubled spot, an FIR has been lodged against 40 people, of which 15 had been named in with the violence in Khangoli village on Aligarh-Mathura border.
Around a dozen more farmers were also detained this morning in connection with the violence in Greater Noida, Additional District Magistrate OP Arya said.
Bhatta and Parsaul villages in Greater Noida have been converted into fortresses with additional deployment of Provisional Armed Constabulary (PAC).Two kilometer radius area has been sealed, police said.
Arya said a criminal-farmer nexus at Bhatta village was being investigated.
On the antecedents of Tewatia, Arya said, "The reward on arrest of Tewatia speaks for itself. Farmers do not carry weapons and resort to violence and kidnapping of officials. Tevatia misled the innocent farmers".
He said a search was on for a police carbine, an SLR gun and a rifle that had gone missing during the violence.
In view of the agitation, the state government is considering setting up a PAC base at Noida and Greater Noida for which three sites were being looked at, district administration sources said.
Meanwhile, Tewatia's wife Nutan has alleged that family members were being "harassed" by the police. She said her husband was not a criminal and had been fighting for the farmers' cause since the last four months. She said she had met her husband on January 10 and since then he had left the village and was sitting at Bhatta fighting for farmers' cause.
Deputy Inspector General of Police, Agra, Aseem Arun said, "Situation is totally normal and four FIRs -- three by construction companies and one by police - have been lodged against the trouble makers".
He said so far 24 people have been identified and efforts were being made to arrest them. Those identified have been named in the police FIR.
To avert further violence, heavy police force has been deployed in and around Aitmadpur area. "As of now 400 civil police personnel, two companies of PAC and one company of Rapid Action Force is camping in the area," Arun said.
After Sunday's arson, construction activity has again started on the site.
Four policemen and some villagers were injured in clashes between the police and villagers near in Aitmadpur tehsil on Sunday.
The irate villagers indulged in arson and brick batting, damaged vehicles and allegedly opened fire after which police used force to disperse the mob.
Senior Superintendent of Police, Aligarh, Satyendra Veer Singh said, an FIR has been lodged against 40 of which 15 have been named." The SSP said the situation was normal in Tappal village and work on Yamuna Expressway is underway.
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Prasad, Jilani welcome Supreme Court ruling on Ayodhya

http://www.brilliantstudent.com/UserFiles/Image/News/ayodhya.jpg Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ravi Shankar Prasad and Sunni Waqf Board counsel Zafaryab Jilani on Monday welcomed the Supreme Court verdict staying the Allahabad High Court verdict dividing the site of the razed Babri Masjid in Ayodhya into three parts and terming it “strange”.
“I agree with it. In fact, the petition (on behalf) of Ram Janmabhoomi lala (deity) said for setting aside that part of the order... No one had asked for one-third, one-third partition,” said Mr. Prasad, who is representing Ram Lalla Virajman in the case. He also stated that he was speaking as a senior advocate, not as a BJP spokesperson.
The Supreme Court stayed the September 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict that had divided the site of the Babri Masjid amongst the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhada and a Hindu party, ‘Ram Lalla’
By directing the partition of the disputed site, the high court has given an entirely new dimension to the case,” the apex court said.
“It is a rare judgement whose operation has to be stayed,” it added.
Sunni Waqf Board counsel Zafaryab Jilani said, “We are satisfied with today’s order of the Supreme Court...This will help in maintaining peaceful position in the country.”
“Everybody had claimed for exclusive rights, so Supreme Court is completely justified in staying the High Court judgement,” he said, adding, “Sunni Waqf board will ask the court to expedite its hearing in the case.”
Expressing satisfaction over the apex court order, counsel representing Hindu Maha Sabha said, “Nobody prayed for it (partition of land into three parts). Everybody wanted full land. Our stand continues that entire Janmabhoomi premises belongs to the Hindu Maha Sabha.”
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Chubu Agrees to Idle Nuclear Plant

A February 2011 file photo shows the Hamaoka nuclear power plant of Chubu Electric Power Co., in Omaezaki city, Shizuoka prefecture, central Japan. - A February 2011 file photo shows the Hamaoka nuclear power plant of Chubu Electric Power Co., in Omaezaki city, Shizuoka prefecture, central Japan. | Kyodo News/APTOKYO—Chubu Electric Power Co. President Akihisa Mizuno said Monday the company has decided to halt the No. 4 and No. 5 reactors at its Hamaoka nuclear power plant in Shizuoka Prefecture, central Japan, while keeping offline the No. 3 reactor, which is currently undergoing maintenance.
The amount of time they will be offline wasn't immediately clear.
This move to halt all operations at the plant comes after a request by Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Friday to shut the plant's three reactors until all planned safety measures against earthquakes and tsunami of similar magnitude to those seen on March 11 are implemented.
Separately, eight workers and a government inspector entered the reactor building of the quake-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex's No. 1 unit early Monday to survey conditions inside, another step toward bringing the complex's three damaged reactors under control.
It was the first time a government official took a firsthand look at the one of the reactors since they began leaking radiation after the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
"No noticeable damage or leakage was found in the area surveyed," said Hidehiko Nishiyama, spokesman for the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, after the inspection. But he added the 30-minute survey wasn't sufficient to assess the condition of the vital pressure vessel, a thick steel cylinder that houses the nuclear fuel.
"There is a long way ahead to fully stabilizing all three reactors," another official said. "It is too early to rejoice."
The eight workers from plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. and one senior inspector from NISA entered the building with protective gear and face masks to check radiation levels. Workers plan to set up a heat exchanger by the end of the month as part of a plan to retrofit an air-based cooling system.
Later Monday, Chubu Electric Power Co. agreed to a government request to shut down its Hamaoka nuclear power plant in Shizuoka Prefecture until measures to protect against a tsunami are in place.
At the Fukushima plant, the inspection of the ground level of the reactor building was the first by humans since the complex was hit by the earthquake and tsunami. A hydrogen explosion the next day damaged the upper part of the building, and robots carried out an initial inspection last month.
During the 30-minute survey, the nine members of the group received cumulative radiation ranging from 2.7 millisieverts to 10.56 millisieverts, Mr. Nishiyama said.
Radiation levels in some places reached 600 to 700 millisieverts per hour, compared with an annual dosage limit of 250 millisieverts allowed for a male worker engaged in disaster relief work at the complex, he said.
In addition to the heat exchanger, workers plan to put up a new water gauge to track the operation to fill the whole steel containment vessel with million of liters of water and so submerge the fuel and the pressure vessel.
But the installation of such equipment is likely to be hampered by high radiation; the group found several "hot spots," especially around pipes suspected to be clogged with highly radioactive material.
Mr. Nishiyama said that for work to proceed without excessive radiation exposure, these spots would need to be shielded with lead sheets.
There are concerns the pressure vessel was damaged during the earthquake or as the nuclear fuel overheated in the days after.
The air-cooling system has become necessary for Reactors No. 1 to 3 because the regular water-based cooling system was disabled by the tsunami.
Monday was the first time a government official had seen one of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi reactors firsthand. An earlier version of this story incorrectly said it was the first time workers had entered the No. 1 reactor building since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
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Reliance Industries cuts headcount; mulls accountability-linked pay for staff

Mukesh Ambani
NEW DELHI: Billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries has cut its headcount for third year in a row and is mulling a salary model where pay is based on accountability and responsibility of its staff.

The company's staff strength fell by 704 workers during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2011, and stood at 22,661 employees.

RIL has disclosed its latest headcount in its 2010-11 annual report, where it also disclosed a new compensation model being mulled over at the company.

"FY-11, saw a significant change in the company's compensation and banding management process. On the variable pay front, efforts are afoot to move towards accountability and responsibility driven variable pay programmes designed uniquely for various levels," it added.

The company's headcount stood at 23,365 employees at the end of fiscal ended March 31, 2010, during which its employee strength had fallen by 1314. During the fiscal year 2008-09 also, the company's headcount had fallen by 808 people.

RIL is one of the biggest employers among the non-IT private sector companies in the country and the company's profitability has been on a sharp uptrend in recent years. During 2008-09, RIL's total headcount had declined for the first time in six years, despite the company hiring more than 1,500 engineers that year.

The steepest fall so far has been in 2003-04, when the headcount fell from 12,915 to 11,358 employees. During 2006-07 it rose by a massive 12,156 people while in 2007-08 the headcount rose by close to 791 employees.

Along with its subsidiaries such as Reliance Retail , the company had a total workforce in excess of 48,000 at the end of 2007-08, according to the company's annual filing for that year for its shareholders.

RIL has not disclosed specific numbers of employees of subsidiaries for the years 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11.

RIL's average employee age stood at 41 years during 2010-11, unchanged from the level in previous fiscal. The average age of employees at the company had increased from 34 years to 39 years during 2008-09.
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Sweeping Arrests in Syria as Military Rolls In

Syria's leading activists are going deep into hiding following a relentless and brutal crackdown by the regime, at a time when protest leaders were expected to be emerging into public view, as they did at this stage in Tunisia and Egypt.
"I have spent three days at a friend's house without being able to go outside and I may have to move again. We are prisoners in our own country," said one activist from outside Damascus, speaking by Skype to elude surveillance.
The military and security services continued a shoot-to-kill campaign on Sunday designed to crush antiregime protests after more than seven weeks. After the military siege of Deraa—the cradle of Syria's protest movement—tanks and troops have moved into other restive cities, as a pattern emerges among the regime's effort to simultaneously eliminate and silence dissent.
At least 18 people were killed on Sunday as the military moved into the central city of Homs, Banias on the Mediterranean coast, and the southern town of Tafas, human-rights activists said. It took longer than in previous days for activists to confirm deaths due to an almost complete electricity and communications blackout across those areas.
In Homs, the site of the largest protests and the bulk of casualties on Friday, residents woke up on Sunday to the sound of large explosions and helicopters overhead, after tanks and hundreds of additional troops rolled into the city overnight, according to activists. Sixteen people, including a 12-year old boy, died as tanks shelled the city's old quarter, hitting houses in central Homs and neighboring districts, rights activists said on Monday.
"We don't know what's going on," a resident reached by telephone said Sunday. "We're inside, but it sounds like a war outside."
Military tanks also moved into Tafas, a southern town on the outskirts of Deraa, killing at least two people on Sunday, rights activists said.
Demonstrations broke out across the country on Friday, including in the business hub of Aleppo and in a district of the capital, Damascus, resulting in the killing of at least 27 people, according to residents and activists. In many cases, they were demanding an end to the crackdown itself. Opposition members estimate, according to their eyewitness accounts and video analyses, that Friday's turnout was about 30% lower than the previous Friday's large protests on April 29, partly due to the mass detention and intimidation of people by security forces.
Six others were killed Saturday in a similar military deployment in Banias, including four women who ran outside to question the mass detention of men around the city. The army went door-to-door in the city rounding up men between the ages of 13 and 70, and handing them over to the security forces, who then checked whether their names were on a "wanted" list, one resident said by telephone. The detentions continued on Sunday.
In Homs, an all-girls elementary school was turned into a detention center, a rights activist said. Both Homs and Banias remain cut off from electricity and telecommunications, according to activists.
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'No, thank you Mallika', says Kangna

While Mallika Sherawat's friends claim she is helping Kangna with some Hollywood connections, Kangna's camp denies those rumours...

Kangna Ranaut and Mallika Sherawat, who are a part of the movie Double Dhamaal, were known not to get along with each other. However, the situation has changed for the better, and the actors started getting along pretty well during the second schedule of the movie.

In fact, it is learnt, that Mallika Sherawat was even invited to Kangna's birthday bash. The two girls spend quality time on the sets, and it is heard that Mallika Sherawat is giving an interested and anxious-to-make-it-big Kangna some Hollywood tips.

Mallika has managed to make it to the Oscar red carpet, and even meet President Barack Obama twice besides rubbing shoulders with some Hollywood biggies. Now, she's busy telling Kangna how it's done.

A friend of Kangna's however states that though Mallika and Kangna are friends, Kangna isn't interested in taking any Hollywood tip. "She has come up on her own strength and paved her own way. She is happy with where she is today, doing what she's doing. Kangna is highly independent and hasn't asked anyone for tips."
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Sony removes data posted by hackers, delays PlayStation restart

A Sony PlayStation gaming console controller is displayed at an electronic shop in Tokyo May 3, 2011. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-HoonSony said on Saturday it had removed from the Internet the names and partial addresses of 2,500 sweepstakes contestants that had been stolen by hackers and posted on a website, and said it did not know when it could restart its PlayStation video games network.
The company, under fire since hackers accessed personal data from about 100 million user accounts of its PlayStation Network and PC-based online gaming services, said in a statement details posted on the inactive website also included three unconfirmed e-mail addresses.
The data came from customers who entered a 2001 product sweepstakes contest. The list did not include information on credit cards, social security numbers or passwords.
"The website was out of date and inactive when discovered as part of the continued attacks on Sony," Sony said, adding that the company took the website down shortly after finding out about the postings on Thursday.
Sony Chief Executive Officer Howard Stringer apologised on Friday to users of the firm's PlayStation Network and other online services, breaking his silence on the massive data breach.
The company said last Sunday that it would begin restoring services within the week but a spokeswoman said on Saturday this would not be possible, and that no date had been fixed for when services would resume.
The incident may prove to be a significant setback for a company looking to recover after being outmanoeuvred by Apple (AAPL.O) in portable music and Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) in flat-screen TVs.
In video games, it faces a tough fight with Nintendo's (7974.OS) Wii game console and Microsoft's (MSFT.O) Xbox.
"This wait is becoming so tedious. I know there needs to be a lot of testing, but it is really getting annoying. I am seriously considering changing to the Xbox," said message posted by a user called Cryonic UCX on the U.S. PlayStation blog.
"I LOVE my PlayStation, but Sony is not doing well in the online. Sony, you need to step your game up!"
On Friday, Sony shares ended 2.3 percent lower in a broader .N225 market down 1.5 percent, extending its total losses to about 6 percent since it revealed the breach. The Nikkei is up around 3 percent over the same period.
Sony issued its first warning on the PlayStation break-in a week after it detected a problem with the network on April 19, infuriating many users around the world. Sony said it needed time to work out the extent of the damage.
The hackers have not been identified, but Internet vigilante group Anonymous, which had claimed responsibility for previous attacks on Sony and other corporations, denied it was behind the data theft.
The group's statement came after Sony said Anonymous was indirectly responsible for the attack on the company.
Sony, which is set to report its annual earnings on May 26, has yet to specify the financial effect of the network breach.
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Medical interns call off strike

Medical interns called off their strike on Sunday after receiving an assurance from State Medical Education Minister Vijay Kumar Gavit that their demands will be looked into in the coming months.
“We had a telephonic conversation with Gavit today. He assured us our demands would be looked into and said the stipend would be comparable to other states. We have called off the strike. Interns will return to work from Monday,” said Dr Snehal Chavan of the Association of State Medical Interns.
“We also got an assurance of support from NCP youth leader Niranjan Davkhare that he will take up our case with the government and that it will be resolved in three months," Chavan said.
Last Monday, around 750 medical interns in the five medical colleges went on a strike demanding higher stipend. Interns are paid Rs 2,500 a month and are asking for a stipend hike which will earn them Rs 13,000 a month — an amount that is comparable with what interns make in many other states. They also sought an assurance of an annual increment of around Rs 1,000 from the government.
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China recognizes India help in rescuing its sailors

Beijing:  Acknowledging Indian Navy's effort in rescuing 24 Chinese sailors from a ship hijacked by Somali pirates, China today said it was working out a new security plan to protect its vessels and crew members from such attacks.

The Chinese vessel MV Fu Cheng (Full City), registered in Panama, faced a pirate attack 450 nautical miles off the Karwar Coast (of Karnataka) while it was on its way from Jeddah to Tuticorin port on May 6.

The Indian Navy swung into action and mobilised its aircraft and ships immediately after receiving an emergency call from the Chinese authorities and thwarted the attack.

"It was thus the navies of other countries, Turkey's and India's among them that helped to drive away the pirates and escorted the ship to safety," Chinese Vice-Minister of Transport Xu Zuyuan said.
This is for the first time top Chinese officials acknowledged efforts of Indian Navy to save the ship. Currently 51 sailors from China are in the custody of pirates, state-run China Daily quoted Xu as saying.

In all Somalian pirates are holding 338 sailors in custody from various countries besides 26 vessels in captivity.

So far this year, pirates have attacked 118 vessels and hijacked 20 ships. In the past week, they assaulted two ships with Chinese sailors on board.
 Xu said his ministry is now trying to learn what other measures can be adopted to strengthen ships' defences and mulling over options like paying security-service companies to station guards on board.

He said sailors should watch out for their own best interests when they seek employment.

"Many Chinese sailors now work for foreign shipping companies, but some are small. Once hijacked, these small foreign shipping companies just disappear at times, abandoning the hijacked ship and leaving sailors on their own," he said.

"Sailors should know more about a potential employer before signing a work contract. Government departments and non-governmental organisations, such as China Shipowners' Association, can provide information to sailors about foreign shipping companies," he said.
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Japan to close another nuclear plant

Japan's third biggest power operator on Monday agreed to shut a nuclear plant, until it can be better defended against the type of massive tsunami which in March triggered the worst atomic crisis in 25 years. Chubu Electric Power Co said it would agree to a request by Prime Minister Naoto Kan to close its Hamaoka plant, about 200 km southwest of Tokyo.
The move signals a potential shift in energy policy after the Fukushima Daichi plant in Japan's northeast was wrecked by a giant tsunami, triggered by one of the biggest earthquakes ever recorded.
The company said it could restart the plant once its tsunami wall and other safety steps had been approved by the authorities. That could take two years, raising the risk of a shortage of electricity after the Fukushima plant was shut down by the tsunami.
Compounding public concern over an industry that supplies about 30% of the quake-prone country's electricity, another power operator said it had discovered a tiny amount of leaked radiation at its Tsuruga plant on the west coast. Japan Atomic Power said it had stopped the leak and that there had been no impact on the environment.
"By halting the Hamaoka nuclear plant, we are causing great short-term trouble to not only those in the plant area but also many others including our customers and our shareholders," Chubu Electric President Akihisa Mizuno told a news conference. "But firmly implementing measures to strengthen safety would become the cornerstone to continue safe and stable nuclear power in the long-term and in the end lead to the benefit of our customers."
The government is under heavy pressure to review its energy policy, of which atomic power is a major part, after the March quake and tsunami wrecked the Fukushima nuclear power plant run by Tokyo Electric Power.
Nearly 26,000 people were killed or are unaccounted for following the natural disaster which triggered the world's biggest nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986. The plant is still leaking radiation.
Government experts put the chance of a magnitude 8.0 quake hitting the Hamaoka area in the next 30 years at 87%, which has raised questions over why it was built there in the first place.
Trade Minister Banri Kaieda said the government would consider steps to shoulder the cost of closing the plant if requested by Chubu.
The company's shares were down 11% at 1,570 yen in afternoon trade, after falling as low as 1,521 yen. Chubu's tumble push Tokyo's electric and gas subindex down 2.7%.
"This news is triggering uncertainty not just about Chubu Electric but the whole utility sector," said Yoshinori Nagano, a senior strategist at Daiwa Asset Management. "Investors are concerned that on the back of this news other reactors currently under inspection may not resume operations soon."
Kan, under fire for his response to the crisis in northeast Japan after the March quake, said the government would try to prevent the halt of the Hamaoka reactors from causing power supply problems.
Chubu has said it can meet peak demand of 25,600 MW even if Hamaoka shuts.
But relying on thermal plants to fill the power gap would push up costs by 700 million yen ($8.7 million) a day -- or about 256 billion yen a year, double its projected profit of 130 billion yen in the year to March 2012.
However, an unusually hot summer would raise the risk of Chubu not having enough capacity to meet peak demand, which could cause problems for Toyota Motor Corp and other major manufacturers with factories in the region.
Chubu generates a relatively small proportion of its power from nuclear plants, accounting for 14% of the firm's total electricity generated in 2009/10. That was below a 30% average nationwide, while gas thermal power held a 47% share.
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2nd UPDATE: India April Car Sales Grow At Slowest Pace In Nearly 2 Years

NEW DELHI (Dow Jones)--Local car sales in India grew at their slowest pace in nearly two years in April as higher loan rates as well as rising fuel prices forced people to put off purchases.
Also, several auto makers raised vehicle prices over the past few months to offset an increase in the cost of steel and other commodities.
All these factors led to the lowest percentage gain since June 2009 as car sales edged up 13% in April to 162,825 autos from 143,862 a year earlier, showed data issued Monday by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.
This is the lowest percentage rise since an 8.2% growth in June 2009, said Sugato Sen, a senior director at the automobile industry lobby group.
Car sales in India climbed 30% in the financial year ended March 31, the biggest increase since 1999-2000, as customers benefited from easier availability of low-cost loans, the introduction of new models as well as rising incomes in an expanding economy.
But a spate of interest rate increases by the central bank to control spiralling inflation, and a spurt in commodity costs resulting in higher vehicle prices, have since led customers to hold on to purchases of new cars, commercial vehicles and motorcycles.
"In line with our expectations, automobile sales have already begun to slow down," Sachin Gupta and Chetan Vora, analysts at Mumbai-based Edelweiss Securities Ltd., said in a May 2 note.
They expect cars and commercial vehicles to be the most affected, "since their sales are highly dependent on bank funding and susceptible to rise in interest rates and inflation."
Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. (532500.BY), the country's largest car maker by sales, posted a 7.6% rise in April to 73,905 cars.
Second-ranked Hyundai Motor Co.'s (005380.SE) sales grew 11% to 31,604 cars, but Tata Motors Ltd. (TTM), the third-largest car maker, reported a 1.1% decline to 19,544 cars.
The local units of General Motors Co. (GM) and Ford Motor Co. (F) posted a 1.7% and 11% decline in April sales at 7,105 cars and 7,941 cars, respectively.
Sales of Honda Motor Co.'s (HMC) local car manufacturing unit fell 43% to 1,990 cars in April, but the local unit of Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) recorded a more than six-fold increase in sales to 5,458 cars from 904 a year earlier, mainly due to strong demand for its Etios sedan.
"We are anticipating some postponement of purchases due to high interest rates and higher prices of vehicles due to commodity prices," said Sen. "Consumer confidence is also low as all the economic parameters are wobbling."
He said SIAM is maintaining its guidance of 16%-18% growth in car sales for the current fiscal year which started April 1 as sales are expected to pick up in the coming months.
Commercial vehicle sales grew 8.2% in April to 53,202 vehicles, mainly because sales of medium and heavy commercial vehicles rose only 0.7% to 22,391 vehicles. Sales of light commercial vehicles increased 14% to 30,811 vehicles, despite a decline in sales of light buses.
Commercial vehicle sales generally tend to slow in April as companies give bulk orders for vehicles in March, the last month of the financial year, to save on depreciation costs.
Sales of motorcycles increased 23% in April to 809,565 autos, boosted by gains at companies such as Hero Honda Motors Ltd. (500182.BY), Bajaj Auto Ltd. (532787.BY) and the local unit of Yamaha Motor Co. (7272.TO).
Scooter sales surged 48% to 175,054 autos, benefiting from growth recorded by the local units of Honda and Suzuki Motor Corp. (7269.TO) as well as TVS Motor Co. (532343.BY) and Hero Honda.
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