kin of mumbai attack victims welcome

Relatives of victims of the 2008 Mumbai attack victims on Wednesday welcomed the execution of the lone surviving attacker, Ajmal Kasab, saying justice has been finally delivered. In Varanasi, Sunita Yadav, wife of victim Upendra Yadav, expressed her gratitude to the authorities for carrying out the execution.

Daily Bollywood News:Bipasha Basu - Bollywood will remain a hero-centric business

Women are active in show business like never before, but will they surpass the status Bollywood heroes enjoy? Never, says Bipasha Basu, who feels there is minimum opportunity for female actors in the Hindi film industry

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Simon Makes Strong Start: Tsonga Battles Through

Defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was taken the distance by Ernests Gulbis before edging the Latvian 6-7(3), 7-6(4), 7-6(2) Thursday to reach the quarter-finals of the PTT Thailand Open, the ATP World Tour 250 tennis tournament in Bangkok.

The top seed created the lone break point of the match in the first set, but could not convert. In total, 43 aces were struck, 20 from Tsonga, with both men dominating on serve by winning 75 per cent of points behind their deliveries in the two-hour, 12-minute battle. Tsonga won just one point more than Gulbis, handing the 21 year old to his sixth defeat by a Top 10 player this season.

The No. 7-ranked Tsonga captured his maiden ATP World Tour title in Bangkok last year with victory over Novak Djokovic, avenging the defeat he had suffered to the Serb in the final of the Australian Open at the start of the 2008 season.

The 24 year old returns to Bangkok this year in a bid to win his third ATP World Tour title of the season and strengthen his bid to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Tsonga titled twice in February on separate continents at the SA Tennis Open in Johannesburg (d. Chardy) and the Open 13 in Marseille (d. Djokovic, Llodra).

Tsonga next will face Swiss qualifier Marco Chiudinelli, who ended Marat Safin’s campaign with a 6-3, 7-6(4) victory over the Russian. Chiudinelli saved all three break points he saved, while converting one of two he created, to oust the former World No. 1 after 88 minutes. Safin, who intends to retire at the end of the 2009 ATP World Tour season, reached the semi-finals in Bangkok in 2004 (l. to Roddick) and ’06 (l. to Blake).

Chiudinelli, currently a career-high No. 116 in the South African Airways 2009 ATP Rankings after a third-round showing at the US Open (l. to Davydenko), is through to his first ATP World Tour quarter-final.

ATP World Tour No. 10 Gilles Simon made a strong start to his debut campaign in Bangkok by cruising past American Kevin Kim 6-2, 6-2. After receiving a bye through the first round, the Frenchman will contest his sixth tour-level quarter-final or better of the season. The 24 year old, whose best results this season have been semi-final showings at the Open 13 (l. to Llodra) and the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships (l. to Djokovic) and a quarter-final effort at the Australian Open (l. to Nadal), is looking to reach his first ATP World Tour final since October 2008, when he finished runner-up at the Mutua MadrileƱa Madrid Open (d. No. 1 Nadal, l. to Murray).

In the pair’s first meeting, and playing his first match since retiring against Juan Carlos Ferrero in the third round of the US Open last month, Simon produced a confident display to dismiss the No. 105-ranked Kim in 61 minutes. The Nice native struck 11 aces and converted four of the seven break points he created, while saving both break point threats he faced on serve. It marked Simon’s 33rd tour-level win of the season (33-24 record) and Kim’s 12th career loss to a Top 10 player (0-12 mark).

In the quarter-finals, Simon will meet Russian Evgeny Korolev, who clipped American Robby Ginepri 6-1, 6-1.

American eighth seed John Isner defeated German Mischa Zverev 7-6(5), 6-4 in 83 minutes to improve to a 25-12 match record on the season and secure his place in a sixth ATP World Tour quarter-final. The 24 year old went on to reach the semi-finals at the Indianapolis Tennis Championships (l. to Ginepri) and the Legg Mason Tennis Classic (l. to Roddick). He next will face fourth-seeded Serbian Viktor Troicki.

German Andreas Beck set up a quarter-final meeting with sixth seed Jurgen Melzer after edging American lucky loser Donald Young 6-1, 6-7(3), 6-4. The No. 42-ranked Beck created 14 break points and was able to capitalise on four in the two-hour match. The 23 year old is enjoying a career-best season on the ATP World Tour and reached his first final at the Allianz Suisse Open Gstaad (l. to Bellucci) in August.

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Obama said: America has its roots in Mahatma

As the world celebrates International Day of non-violence, US President Barack Obama on Friday said America has its "roots in the India of Mahatma Gandhi."

"His teachings and ideals, shared with Martin Luther King Jr. on his 1959 pilgrimage to India, transformed American society through our civil rights movement," Obama said on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Americans owe enormous gratitude to Gandhi, he said.

"The America of today has its roots in the India of Mahatma Gandhi and the nonviolent social action movement for Indian independence which he led," Obama said in a statement. On behalf of the American people, Obama said he wants to express appreciation for the life and lessons of Mahatma Gandhi on the anniversary of his birth.

"This is an important moment to reflect on his message of non-violence, which continues to inspire people and political movements across the globe," he said.

"We join the people of India in celebrating this great soul who lived a life dedicated to the cause of advancing justice, showing tolerance to all, and creating change through non-violent resistance," Obama said.

As the world remembers the Mahatma on his birthday, Obama said, "We must renew our commitment to live his ideals and to celebrate the dignity of all human beings.

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US said begins rolling out swine flu vaccine

The United States said it has begun implementing a massive campaign to vaccinate millions of Americans against swine flu, with the first 600,000 doses to be distributed in coming days.

Anne Schuchat, deputy director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said 25 areas across the country -- among the 50 states and four main metropolitan areas identified in the CDC program -- placed their initial vaccine orders on Wednesday and will receive them by Tuesday.

"We are transitioning from the planning phase to the implementation phase," Schuchat told reporters on Thursday.

"This is really just the beginning."

The initial rollout, about two weeks earlier than expected, is welcome news to health experts who had expressed fears that the vaccine might arrive too late in the flu season to provide protection to the millions of Americans believed to be at risk.

The first doses will be in nasal spray form, safe for adults up to age 49 and for children two years and older, and the vaccine should be effective against A(H1N1) within eight days.

Schuchat expects that many of the first people receiving the vaccine will be health care workers on the front lines of the battle against a virus that has claimed more than 3,900 lives worldwide since it was uncovered in April.

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Great Indian leader: Shastri's 105th birth anniversary

October 2 is celebrated as Gandhi Jayanti but it's also the birth anniversary of another great Indian leader.

Former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri shares his birthday with Mahatma Gandhi. Today is his 105th birth anniversary.

Shastri joined Gandhiji's Civil Disobedience Movement in 1930 and also participated in the Quit India Movement.

Shastri joined Nehru's cabinet as the Railways and Transport Minister in 1952 and after the death of Nehru, he became the Prime Minister of India in 1964.

He died in 1966.

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Naxal attack in Bihar's Khagaria district: kill 16 people

Sixteen people, including five children, have been killed in a Naxal attack in Bihar's Khagaria district. The attack took place at 11 pm on Thursday night.

The attack in Amausi Bharen village took place after farmers defied a Naxal diktat in the area. They were told not to cultivate a disputed piece of land.

"Revenue Minister and DG police are being sent to the spot. A compensation of 1.5 lakh rupees each to the family of the deceased will be given. We are trying to find out the reason behind the attack," said Bihar CM Nitish Kumar.

Heavily-armed Naxals shot dead 16 villagers, mostly teenagers. The gunmen pulled the victims out of their huts, tied their hands and feet and fired at them, ADG Headquarters Neelmani said.

"Around 100 people, suspected to be Maoists, armed with automatic weapons attacked the village and fired indiscriminately late last night," Inspector General (Operations) S K Bharadwaj said.

A dispute on cultivation of land is said to be reason behind the attack on the victims belonging to backward caste.

Neelmani said the attack was carried out on the villagers by the suspected Naxalites with the intention of grabbing the land.

The victims had been living in makeshift camps on the land, he said.

Senior police officials, IG Operations and IG Bhagalpur are camping at the site and Special Task Force has been deployed for combing operations in the riverine area to nab them, Neelmani said, adding police patrolling has been increased as tension prevailed in the area.

Bodies have been kept at Morkahi police station from where they would be sent to a government hospital for post-mortem.

Bihar has seen a few deadly Naxal attacks in the last couple of months:

On Aug 23, five policemen, including an assistant sub-inspector were killed and two injured in a Naxal attack in Sono Bazar area of Bihar's Jamui district.

On April 22, a day before the country went to the polls in the second phase, four Naxal attacks took place in Bihar's Gaya, Aurangabad and Motihari. Naxals set on fire three oil tankers and five trucks killing 16 people killed.

According to data compiled by the Union Home Ministry, Naxal strikes on economic targets have progressively grown across Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal.

In 2006, 71 Naxal attacks were reported. In 2007, the number went up to 80. In 2008, the figures rose sharply to 109.

In the first half of 2009, 56 Naxal attacks have been reported. (With PTI inputs)

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U.S. commander Odierno: May not be possible to declare victory in Iraq

It isn't clear whether the United States will ever be able to declare victory in Iraq, the top U.S. commander there said Thursday.

"I'm not sure we will ever see anyone declare victory in Iraq, because first off, I'm not sure we'll know for 10 years or five years," Army Gen. Ray Odierno told reporters at the Pentagon.
About 123,000 U.S. troops are in Iraq now, and President Obama says all combat forces will be gone by the end of August 2010, leaving as many as 50,000 noncombat troops to advise and train Iraqi forces before leaving by the end of 2011.

Odierno has said he wants to draw down the U.S. forces at a faster rate than planned if the security situation allows it. On Thursday, he said he expected the number of U.S. troops to drop to 120,000 by the end of October, and to as few as 110,000 by the end of 2009.

"What we've done here is we're giving Iraq an opportunity in the long term to be a strategic partner of the United States, but more importantly, be a partner in providing regional stability inside of the Middle East," Odierno said.

Odierno also highlighted continuing security issues inside the country, saying Iraqi security forces have recently seized several "very large" caches of Iranian-made rockets and armor-piercing munitions known as explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs.

"If you're training people ... in Iran to come back into Iraq, and you're providing them rockets and other things, I call that significant because it still enables people to conduct attacks not only on U.S. forces but on Iraqi civilians," Odierno said.

At a congressional hearing Wednesday, Odierno said the main threat to stability in Iraq are Arab-Kurd tensions, adding there has been difficulty bringing the two sides together for possible joint patrols.

"We've had some very good meetings," he said. "But we still have some ways to go on that."

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Big Boss 3 in: Sherlyn Chopra

The second season of ‘Big Boss’ was not as big a hit as its original. However, the producers of the show are all up and in high spirits as they have chosen in Amitabh Bachchan as the host of ‘Big Boss 3’.

‘Big Boss’ had Rakhi Sawant for the oomph, ‘Big Boss 2’ had Payal Rohatgi for the masala and ‘Big Boss 3’ will have the seductress Sherlyn Chopra to add the appeal.
Says a source from the channel Colors, “One reason why we were interested in getting Baba Ramdeo on board is because we got Sherlyn. So we wanted to create a Vishwamitra-Menaka kind of situation between the saint and the seductress in the ‘Bigg Boss’ house. Unfortunately Baba opted out.”

Well, we hope that even if Baba is not there, the channel may find other interesting celebs to match to the heat of Sherlyn Chopra.

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Karisma Kapoor is expecting her second child soon

Karsima Kapoor has maintained her charisma even after marriage and motherhood but some additional curves and an additional glow on her face these days is making us believe that the gorgeous lady is expecting her second child soon. The news was confirmed when her sis told the media that she’s very excited about her sister expecting a second child.

However, when Karisma was asked if the good news was true, she only smiled and replied cheerfully, “It’s something very personal. All I would say is that we are very happy at the moment.”

Now, with motherhood knocking at her doors, does she have further plans to make entry in movies? When asked, Karisma said, “I’m enjoying my break from movies at the moment. Yes, David Dhawan is doing a script keeping me in mind, and I’m looking forward to it.” So is that going to be a David-Karisma style comedy flick? “Yes, something light. But, you know, it’s too early to talk about it.”

Movies or second baby, whatever you have Karisma, our good luck will always be with you!!

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AIDS Rising Globally: Detection And Treatment

Last year, the number of people tested for HIV doubled in dozens of countries, resulting not only in improved AIDS detection, but contributing also to a major surge in those getting treated for the disease.

United Nations 2009 progress report on HIV and AIDS reveals, the numbers of people from the developing world taking anti-retroviral drugs has risen by over a million to surpass 4-million globally.

A growing number of children with AIDS, largely left to die quick, unheralded deaths in past years, also benefitted from life-saving drug therapies, in large part due to the vast international AIDS effort financed by USA, European countries and other donors, their numbers rising from 2007's 198,000 to 275,700 in 2008.

Mothers from parts of Africa hit hardest by the disease, also saw a marked increase in numbers of those getting medicines to prevent their babies from getting infected with H. I. V., a huge ramping up of AIDS services that made 2008 an extraordinary year, according to Mark Stirling, United Nations Regional Director for AIDS in eastern and southern Africa.

However, there was sobering news as well in the United Nations' progress report on AIDS, with over a million people put on drugs, they required for the rest of their lives i. e. there were 2.7-million people newly infected with H. I. V. in 2007.

The United Nations report published by the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the United Nations AIDS programme stresses the groundwork laid by African countries this past year for offering circumcisions for men. Studies have found that foreskin removal cuts a man's risk of H. I. V. infection by more than half.

However, health officials, experts and advocates advice the need for political leaders, particularly in Africa, to be far more outspoken about how multiple long-term sexual partners fuels the AIDS epidemic, while the risk of infection can be reduced with circumcision.

South Africa has more H. I. V.-positive citizens than any other country, as its numbers of people getting anti-retroviral drugs grows faster than in any other country, and it has by far the largest AIDS treatment programme in the world. According to the United Nations an estimated 700,000 South Africans were getting medication, though the number is actually closer to 600,000 after discounting those who dies or dropped out.

Mark Heywood, Executive Director, AIDS Law Project and Deputy Chairman of the South African National AIDS Council responsible for advising the government said: 'South Africa will get its act together, but it hasn't at the moment.'

A new study on an AIDS vaccine funded by U. S. National Institutes of Health involving 16,000-adults in Thailand represents the first break through since the mid-1990s, when potent drug cocktails i. e. a mix of protease inhibitors and other anti-retrovirals, helped transform AIDS from a virtual death sentence, into a chronic though manageable disease.

Clinical trial results of the vaccine reveal it is safe and is effective in reducing the chances of getting infected with AIDS causing human immunodeficiency virus or HIV by 31%. Specifically designed for use in Thailand, the vaccine is based on the subtype B and E strains of HIV more common here.

It remains unclear whether the vaccine would work in Africa where subtypes, A, C and D predominate.

Two thirds of 33-million people infected with HIV live in Africa, with 75% of all AIDS-related deaths in 2008 occurring there.

Of all racial and ethnic groups in USA, African-Americans have been hardest hit by HIV and AIDS, though the reasons have no direct relation to race or ethnicity. Rather they are due to the barriers African-Americans face, including poverty (being poor), sexually transmitted diseases, and stigma.

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International Space Station: H-II Transfer Vehicle Arrives

ISS020-E-041290 (17 Sept. 2009) --- Backdropped by Earth's horizon and the blackness of space, the unpiloted Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) approaches the International Space Station. Once the HTV was in range, NASA astronaut Nicole Stott, Canadian Space Agency astronaut Robert Thirsk and European Space Agency astronaut Frank De Winne, all Expedition 20 flight engineers, used the station's robotic arm to grab the cargo craft and attach it to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony node. The attachment was completed at 5:26 (CDT) on Sept. 17, 2009. The end effector of the Canadarm2 is visible at bottom right.

ISS020-E-041386 (17 Sept. 2009) --- Backdropped by a cloud-covered part of Earth, the unpiloted Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) approaches the International Space Station. Once the HTV was in range, NASA astronaut Nicole Stott, Canadian Space Agency astronaut Robert Thirsk and European Space Agency astronaut Frank De Winne, all Expedition 20 flight engineers, used the station's robotic arm to grab the cargo craft and attach it to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony node. The attachment was completed at 5:26 p.m. (CDT) on Sept. 17, 2009.

ISS020-E-041306 (17 Sept. 2009) --- Backdropped by the blackness of space, the International Space Station's Canadarm2 grapples the unpiloted Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) as it approaches the station. NASA astronaut Nicole Stott, Canadian Space Agency astronaut Robert Thirsk and European Space Agency astronaut Frank De Winne, all Expedition 20 flight engineers, used the station's robotic arm to grab the cargo craft and attach it to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony node. The attachment was completed at 5:26 (CDT) on Sept. 17, 2009.

ISS020-E-041394 (18 Sept. 2009) --- Expedition 20 crew members enter the newly attached Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) docked to the Harmony node of the International Space Station. The HTV attachment was completed at 5:26 p.m. on Sept. 17, 2009.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Indonesian island of Sumatra toll more than thousands

Rescue teams are racing to reach thousands of people trapped under collapsed buildings after an earthquake struck off the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

Officials say up to 200 are dead but Siti Fadillah Supari, the Indonesian health minister, said on Thursday that given the widespread damage the number of victims "could be more ... than thousands".

The 7.6 magnitude undersea quake hit on Wednesday afternoon, about 50km from the coastal city of Padang with a population of 900,000, which bore the brunt of the temblor.

A second quake, with a 6.8 magnitude, struck Sumatra on Thursday morning, about 225km southeast of Padang, according to the US Geological Survey.

There have not yet been any reports of deaths or damage from the second quake, but the Indonesian geophysics and meteorology agency said the quake struck near several heavily populated towns.

Raphael Abreu, a geophysicist at the national earthquake information centre of the US Geological Survey in Colorado, told Al Jazeera that the second quake was "definitely capable of creating, by itself, significant damage to structures and property".

"And if combined with weakened situation in places like Padang which is still suffering the effects of the earlier quake, it could definitely compound the already significant damage in Padang."

Access difficult

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Indonesia's president, instructed officials to "flood" Padang with aid and medical relief.

But Al Jazeera's Step Vaessen, reporting from Indonesia, said disaster teams were having trouble getting aid in.

She added that scientists had been warning of a major earthquake in the area for a long time, but Jakarta said it did not have funds for disaster preparation measures.

Malka Older, a programme director with aid agency Mercy Corp, based in Jakarta, said it has been extremely difficult to access the hardest-hit areas.

"We have a team on the ground as part of our ongoing programme but communication is down and we haven’t been able to get in contact with them, so we're sending additional people out there today to try and reach some of the damaged area.

"From what we know the government is responding quite quickly but the situation is making very difficult to get in there, for the government as well as NGOs, due to the breakdown in communications and infrastructure."

Three military transport planes were preparing to deliver aid including tents, blankets and medicine, disaster management agency spokesman Priyadi Kardono said.

"The effects of the earthquake could be as big as the Yogyakarta quake," he said, referring to a 2006 quake that killed more than 5,000 people and damaged or destroyed 150,000 homes.
'Big buildings down'

Officials in Padang said about 500 houses had caved in and witnesses said many buildings had collapsed after Wednesday's quake.

"The big buildings are down. The concrete buildings are all down, the hospitals, the main markets, down and burned. A lot of people died in there. A lot of places are burning," Jane Liddon, an Australian businesswoman, told Australian radio from Padang.

Padang's airport had to be closed after part of the roof collapsed and bridges and telecommunications links were also cut.

Rustam Pakaya, the head of the Indonesian health ministry's disaster centre, said that a hospital was among the buildings that had been destroyed.

He said a field hospital was being prepared to assist the injured and medical teams were on their way from neighbouring provinces.

'Very strong'

"The earthquake was very strong," a resident named Kasmiati, who lives on the coast near to the epicentre, said.

"People ran to high ground. Houses and buildings were badly damaged," she said. "I was outside, so I am safe, but my children at home were injured."

Panicked residents rushed from their homes on to the streets after Wednesday's quake struck off Sumatra's west coast at 5:16pm (10:16 GMT).

It was felt in the Indonesian capital Jakarta, 940km away, and sent frightened office workers streaming out of buildings in Singapore as well as Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur.
Dozens of aftershocks followed and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre issued a regional tsunami warning, but cancelled it afterwards.

The Indonesian earthquake came just hours after a series of tsunamis on the Pacific island nations of American Samoa and Samoa left more than 100 people dead.

Padang, the capital of Indonesia's West Sumatra province, sits on one of the world's most active fault lines along the so-called "Ring of Fire", the same one that cracked off Aceh, at the northern tip of Sumatra, in 2004 to trigger the Indian ocean tsunami that killed more than 220,000 people.

Padang was badly hit by an 8.4 magnitude quake in September 2007, when dozens of people died and several large buildings collapsed.

And geologists say the low-lying city is vulnerable to more quakes and tsunamis.

"There are three big volcanoes in West Sumatra - Merapi, Talang and Tandikat. We fear that this quake might cause volcanic eruptions there," said Surono, the head of the Geological Disaster Mitigation and Volcanology Centre in Indonesia.

Kerala boat tragedy: Thirty five bodies have been fished out of the water

THEKKADY / KOCHI: A thick veil of grief descended on the famed tourist spot of Thekkady on Wednesday when Kerala witnessed its worst ever boat tragedy in the Mullaperiyar waters as the KTDC’s Jalakanyaka, carrying about 76 passengers, sank. Thirty five bodies have been fished out of the water. Any hope of finding more tourists alive faded with the daylight even as rescue personnel continued their desperate search.

The two-deck boat, commissioned just a month back, was returning to the boat landing after an hour-long sight-seeing trip when tragedy struck. All the passengers on the upper deck apparently rushed to one side of the boat to take photos of a lone bison spotted on the shore. At the same time many from the lower deck flocked to the top leaving the lower almost empty. This movement and the uneven distribution of weight caused the boat to overbalance and turn turtle.

Those remaining on the lower deck were trapped inside while about 20 on the upper deck were rescued by other boats in the convoy. Other help reached the spot only about 45 minutes later, after the news reached the boat landing centre some 4 km from the accident site at Manakkavala (very near the Lake Palace Hotel).

Though the first batch of rescuers tried to save those who were rescued by tribal fishermen, they could do little as most were in very serious condition.

Persons who had any sign of life were immediately rushed to Kumily. But at least 10 of them succumbed at the Periyar hospital.

The rescue operations led by forest officials and locals were badly hit by lack of communication.

As darkness set in the rescue became more difficult without electricity.

It was a heartrending scene with bodies floating on the water even as rescue personnel searched for people trapped under the boat.

A film crew shooting in nearby Cumbum rushed its light crew to the spot to aid the rescue efforts. The Navy also rushed a helicopter and a team of 40 divers from Kochi.

According to sources, the majority of the victims were from Karnataka. There was a group of 10 tourists from Delhi of whom only two survived. Two foreigners, whose nationality is being ascertained, also died.

“We warn tourists not to make any sudden moves on the upper deck. But no one listens.
Even a slight chance of an animal sighting sets off a rush which threatens the balance of the boat,” said Sudheer, a tour guide.

There were tourists on board from Karnataka and North India and some foreigners. The majority of the deceased are women and children.

Though some tourists escaped with the help of life jackets, the less fortunate outnumbered them. The arrival of the first rescue boat was greeted with shrill cries from onlookers as bodies were being carried to the shore.

T h e bodies were taken to Periyar Hospital at Kumily, St Augustine’s Hospital at Spring Valley and the Kumily Primary Health Centre, Thekkady. Some of those rescued were sent to Kottayam Medical College. The Periyar Hospital was filled with bodies by around 7.15 pm.

This is the second tragedy in the Mullaperiyar waters after a four-decade old incident which saw a small boat turning over after hitting a stump. Lifesaving equipment on board most boats is not in proportion to the number of passengers. In fact, the case is no different in many of the tourist spots in the State where hydel tourism is being showcased as a crowd puller.

The Karanataka police chief has asked Assistant Inspector General of Police (Crime) Harashekharan to visit Thekkady as some of those on the boat were from Karnataka.

US encourages Pak to look into Mumbai attacks

Washington, Oct 1 (PTI) The US has said it continues to "encourage" Pakistan to investigate the Mumbai terrorist attacks and expects that Islamabad would bring the perpetrators to justice.

"We certainly have encouraged and continue to encourage Pakistan to fully investigate the Mumbai attacks, and even more importantly, bring those responsible before their judicial system," the Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, P J Crowley, said.

When asked about last week?s meeting between the Indian Minister of External Affairs, S M Krishna, and his Pakistani counterpart Makhdoom Qureshi, Crowley said: "I think we certainly encourage a dialogue between India and Pakistan, two very important countries to the United States."

Crowley said the Obama Administration understands clearly the importance of Afghanistan, the importance of Pakistan, the importance of India, and the interaction among those countries.

"We have a strategic relationship that is emerging with India.

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UEFA Champions - League round-up

Arsenal beat Olympiakos as Liverpool and Rangers suffer defeats

Liverpool lost to Fiorentina and Rangers were thumped by Sevilla, but Arsenal overcame Olympiakos on a dramatic night in the UEFA Champions League.

Elsewhere there were wins for Barcelona, Lyon, while Inter Milan, Stuttgart and AZ Alkmaar were held to draws.

Liverpool was in irresistible form against Hull City in the Premier League at the weekend but their defensive shortcomings were exposed in a 2-0 defeat to Fiorentina at Artemio Franchi.
Stevan Jovetic latched onto a fine pass from Cristiano Zanetti to slot home Viola's opener after 28 minutes and the Montenegro international grabbed his second of the evening with a clever flick nine minutes later.

The Reds improved after the break but Fiorentina withstood long periods of pressure to join them on three points in Group E, three points behind leaders Lyon.

Hungarian champions Debrecen showed they were capable of competing with Europe's elite when they narrowly lost to Liverpool at Anfield but they were crushed 4-0 by Lyon in their opening home game.

Kim Kallstrom fired the French giants ahead after just three minutes and Miralem Pjanic doubled their advantage with an exquisite free-kick 10 minutes later.

Sidney Govou's header deflected off Peter Czvitkovics to make it 3-0 and Bafetimbi Gomis added a fourth early in the second half to seal a convincing win.

Arsenal's progression to the last 16 was expected to be straightforward after the draw for the group phase was made but, having been given a major scare by Standard Liege in their opening game, Olympiakos provided equally stiff resistance at Emirates Stadium before eventually going down 2-0.

The Gunners put together a number of typically slick, eye-catching moves in the first half but they could not find the finishing touch as Olympiakos, who had lost on their previous eight visits to England, somehow managed to stay level.

The second half followed a similar pattern as Greek goalkeeper Antonios Nikopolidis pulled off several stunning saves before Robin van Persie finally tapped home following good work by Eduardo in the 78th minute.

Andrey Arshavin's cheeky backheel from Cesc Fabregas' cross in the 86th minute made the result safe and took Arsenal three points clear at the top of Group H.

Arsenal's position was strengthened when Moussa Traore salvaged a 1-1 draw for Standard Liege against AZ Alkmaar with a goal in the 90th minute.

Mounir El Hamdaoui's clever finish on 48 minutes had given the Dutch side an advantage and it looked like proving decisive until the last-gasp leveller.


Rangers slipped to a 4-1 defeat against Sevilla after a second-half capitulation at Ibrox.
Walter Smith's men were denied a penalty towards the end of the first half when Steven Naismith appeared to be brought down by Abdoulay Konko, but the referee waved play on.

Sevilla were ruthless in making the most of their reprieve and in a cruel twist of fate it was Konko who put them ahead with a header from Jesus Navas' cross on 50 minutes.

Adriano slotted home a second for the Spanish side 14 minutes later and Luis Fabiano and Fredi Kanoute inflicted further damage with two goals in the space of three minutes (72 and 74).

Nacho Novo netted a consolation goal for Gers with two minutes remaining, but the heavy loss leaves them with a lot of work to do in their remaining four games.

Romanian minnows Unirea Urcizeni battled back to hold Stuttgart to a 1-1 draw in the other game in Group G.

Serdar Tasci opened the scoring for Stuttgart with a close-range finish after just five minutes, but Dacian Varga drew Unirea level three minutes after the interval.

Barcelona took control of Group F with a 2-0 victory over Dynamo Kiev at Camp Nou.

Lionel Messi broke the deadlock on 26 minutes with a trademark run and shot from the left and Pedro doubled their advantage with a fine strike 14 minutes from time.

Inter Milan's winless sequence of results in the competition continued with a 1-1 draw against Rubin Kazan in the day's early kick-off, although Jose Mourinho's side will have been pleased to claim a point from a difficult trip to Russia.

The hosts took the lead courtesy of an excellent goal from Alejandro Dominguez after 11 minutes, but Inter equalised through Dejan Stankovic's header and held on after Mario Balotelli had been sent off for a second bookable offence early in the second half.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Jon Cryer and Lisa Joyner adopt baby girl

Two and a Half Men’ star thanked daughter in recent Emmy acceptance

Jon Cryer and his wife, Lisa Joyner, adopted a baby girl, the "Two and a Half Men" Emmy winner's rep confirms to PEOPLE.

The infant, named Daisy, was born Aug. 11 and is the first child for Cryer, 44, and Joyner, 42, who married in June 2007.

On Sept. 20, while picking up his Emmy as outstanding supporting actor on a comedy series for his CBS show, Cryer mentioned his "baby girl" in his acceptance speech.

The actor also has a son, Charlie, 9, from a previous marriage.

O’Brien jokes: stunt injury into laughs

Tells studio audience he hit his head hard enough to understand ‘Lost’

LOS ANGELES - Conan O'Brien turned his "Tonight Show" stunt injury into laughs at his expense by showing footage of the cringe-worthy backward fall on a hard studio floor.

"As many of you may know, on this past Friday's show I was doing a stunt and I hit my head and suffered a slight concussion. And I promise, if you're a good audience, I'll do it again tonight," O'Brien said during Monday's taping.

In a transcript released by NBC, he joked that he struck his head so hard "that for five seconds I actually understood the plot of `Lost.'"

O'Brien and guest Teri Hatcher were in a footrace when he slipped while trying to slide past the finish line, forcing Friday's show to be halted.

He played a clip of the fall and the studio audience gasped.

"I knew you'd hit your head. It looked like it was serious but then you called for a slo-mo," or slow motion replay, said his announcer, Andy Richter.

O'Brien looked like a rag doll as he picked himself up onto his knees and announced that Hatcher was the winner in a pained voice.


He said he didn't remember clearly what happened next, as he went to his dressing room to change into a suit for the next segment, an interview with Seth McFarlane.

But back on stage he looked down at his blue cue cards and realized he didn't know what to do.
"It was like a menu for an Egyptian restaurant," O'Brien said.

His producer called him off the stage. O'Brien kept saying that he wanted to do the show, while his staff and a nurse quizzed him about what year it was, Richter said.

Richter accompanied him to the hospital, where doctors did a neurological evaluation.
"I really start to come back and I feel much better. And then one of the neurological questions was how many nickles in $1.35?" O'Brien said. "I've never known that!"
A "Tonight" rerun aired instead of the planned episode.

In his monologue Monday, O'Brien joked that he got so much media attention from the accident that he's planning a sequel with one of Hatcher's "Desperate Housewives" co-stars.

"So tune in tomorrow when Eva Longoria pushes me down an elevator shaft," the "Tonight" host quipped. "It's going to be sexy."

‘Cautionary tale’

Before showing clips from Friday, O'Brien suggested parents "wake up your children because this is a cautionary tale."

The race between him and Hatcher was to end at the studio with the two rushing down stairs to the finish line. His memory was fuzzy, O'Brien said Monday, but he thinks he was trying to slide on a slick floor when he lost his footing.

"Why don't we show people what happened. Set your VCR to record, and your friends can all laugh watching this later," he said before the tape rolled. "`His pumpkin really got pounded' — that's my father talking."

O'Brien took over as "Tonight" host in June, after Jay Leno's 17 years on the job. Leno is host of a new daily prime-time comedy show for NBC.

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A Terrorist scheme Targeting New York City

24-year-old denies charges he plotted to use weapons of mass destruction

NEW YORK - Authorities know the identities of three people believed to be in on a terrorist scheme targeting New York City, a law enforcement official has confirmed, as an Afghan immigrant accused of plotting with them to try to turn common chemicals into explosives is due in federal court Tuesday morning.

Najibullah Zazi is to be arraigned in a Brooklyn courtroom on charges he conspired to use weapons of mass destruction. The 24-year-old airport van driver and former coffee cart vendor has denied any wrongdoing.

A letter filed by Brooklyn prosecutors last week argued that that Zazi should be jailed indefinitely because, as an Afghan immigrant with ties to Pakistan, he could flee, and because he "poses a significant danger" to the community.

Evidence gathered — including bomb-making i0nstructions found on his laptop computer — shows "Zazi remained committed to detonating an explosive device" until he was arrested, the letter said.

Mass transit a target?

The law enforcement official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the investigation continues, confirmed the bombing plot might have targeted mass transit in the New York area.

Authorities released a flurry of terrorism warnings for sports complexes, hotels and transit systems even while saying the plot was disrupted before it become an immediate threat.
The official who spoke to The AP declined to comment further about the co-conspirators, and there have been no reports that the bomb-making materials have been recovered.
The accomplices are suspected of traveling from New York City to suburban Denver this summer and using stolen credit cards to help Zazi stockpile beauty products containing hydrogen peroxide and acetone, which can be key ingredients for homemade bombs, authorities have said.
Before the raids, police detectives showed a source — a Queens imam at a mosque where Zazi had once worshipped — photographs of him and three people considered possible suspects, court papers say. It was unclear whether those three were the same ones suspected of traveling to Denver.

Spokesmen James Margolin for the FBI, Edward Mullen for the New York Police Department and Robert Nardoza for the U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn declined to discuss the case.

Trained in Pakistan, prosecutors say

Prosecutors allege that Zazi has admitted that while living in Queens, he traveled last year to Pakistan and received explosives training from al-Qaida. Security videos and store receipts show that when he returned and moved to Aurora, Colo., he and three others bought several bottles of beauty products over the course of several weeks, court papers said.

On Sept. 6, Zazi took some of his products into a Colorado hotel room outfitted with a stove on which he later left acetone residue, authorities said. He repeatedly sought another person's help cooking up the bomb, "each communication more urgent in tone than the last," the papers said.

The FBI was listening to Zazi and becoming increasingly concerned as the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and a New York visit by President Barack Obama approached, officials said. They decided to track him on Sept. 9 when he rented a car and drove to New York.

On Sept. 10, Zazi told the Queens imam in an intercepted phone call that he feared he was being watched, court papers said. The imam later tipped Zazi off, saying police had come around and asked questions, the papers said.

Zazi cut short a five-day trip and flew back to Denver on Sept. 12. He was arrested a week later and initially charged along with his father and the imam with lying to investigators.

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