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Indian Idol 2 winner Sandeep Acharya dies of jaundice - 12/15/2013


Singer Sandeep Acharya, winner of the second edition of popular reality show Indian Idol 2, died of jaundice at a hospital in Gurgaon on Sunday morning.

He was 29 and is survived by his wife and an infant daughter.

Sandeep, a native of Bikaner in Rajasthan, was admitted to Medanta Hospital.

Sandeep reportedly fell ill after attending a relative's wedding ceremony in Bikaner.

Sandeep won India Idol 2 on 22 April 2006.

He later participated in TV show Jalwa Four 2 Ka 1 on channel 9X.

Sandeep also won the award for best new Bollywood talent in New Jersey, USA and also won the Sur Aradhna award.

The singer was born on February 4, 1984, and was the youngest in the family of two sisters and a brother, said the biography on his website. 

Foodie pilot delays flight for sandwiches - 12/15/2013

Foodie pilot delays flight for sandwiches

FILE photo: Pakistan International Airlines flight

Lahore:  A foodie pilot delayed a New York-bound Pakistan International Airlines' flight by two and a half hours because he wanted to take sandwiches, which were not part of the approved menu, aboard the plane.

PIA flight Pk-711, scheduled for New York via Manchester, was ready for departure yesterday from Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore at 6:45 am (local time).

The catering department served the approved menu, including lunch, peanuts, chips and biscuits but Flight Captain Noushad asked them to serve him sandwiches, The Nation daily reported.

The catering staff expressed their inability to serve anything beyond the approved menu and also informed him of the sensitivity of the flight's departure time.

The staff told him that sandwiches could only be arranged by placing an order to a five-star hotel in the city, which would take more than two hours, the report said.

The captain remained adamant about his demand and said no matter how much time it would take he needed sandwiches at any cost, it said.

The catering department contacted the PIA head office in Karachi and brought the matter to their notice.

Surprisingly, the management directed the catering department to meet his demand.

Sandwiches were arranged from the hotel concerned and the flight could depart at 9:15 am (local time) with the delay of two and a half hours, the report said.

The PIA management has revised the menu on international and long-haul flights as a cost-saving campaign and sandwiches were replaced with peanuts, chips and biscuits. This service was started from November 25.

A PIA officer said the menu was revised on the recommendations of a committee, formed in the recent past, comprising pilots as its member as well.

When contacted, PIA spokesman Mashhood Tajwar said the management had taken a serious notice of the delay of an international flight. He said investigation had been ordered and action would be taken against those responsible for it.

Actor Hrithik Roshan announces separation from wife Sussanne - 12/14/2013


Bollywood heartthrob Hrithik Roshan on Friday announced that he and his wife Sussanne have parted ways after the latter decided to annul their marriage.

"Sussanne has decided to separate from me and end our 17-year relationship. This is a very trying time for the entire family and I request the media and the people to grant us our privacy at this time," said the 39-year-old in a statement.

The news has come just a few days before their 13th marriage anniversary. The duo tied the knot on December 20, 2000 post the success of Hrithik's debut film 'Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai'. They have two sons - Hrehaan and Hridhaan.

Actor Hrithik Roshan announces separation from wife Sussanne

Hrithik announced that he and Sussanne have parted ways after the latter decided to annul their marriage.

"I do not wish this news to disempower my fans and the people about the institution of marriage in any way. I am a firm believer in this institution and respect and honour it at the highest level...," he said.

Last month Hrithik headed to an undisclosed location abroad for his medical treatment. The 'Krrish' star has been suffering bouts of headache. In July this year, he had undergone a brain surgery for removal of a clot at the Hinduja Hospital.

"And once again I thank my fans for all the concern and prayers for my health, my treatment is going well and I should be able to resume my life in every way very soon. Thank you," he said.

Sussanne issued an official statement, "We are two individuals who respect and care for each other and have made our own individual choices. We are parents to two wonderful kids and our responsibility remains to protect and take care of them."

She also tweeted, "Nothing can change that. Would appreciate if we are given our privacy in such a time. Thank you for your warmth and concern for both of us and the family."

AAP is a confused party, says Nitin Gadkari - 12/14/2013

IT Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Nitin Gadkari on Friday said the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is a confused party and is running away from the responsibility to form the government in Delhi. 

"The AAP is a confused party. I think the Congress should support the AAP in the formation of a government in Delhi. The BJP will respectfully sit in the Opposition. If they are able to form a government, they will be exposed in front of the people in the next two-three months. Whatever promises they have made in their manifestos will be never be fulfilled. That's why they are afraid of forming the government," Gadkari said. 

"Two days earlier they said all the honest leaders of the BJP and the Congress are welcome in the AAP. But what they don't know is that according to the anti-defection law, nobody can leave a party as it requires the majority of two-third members of the party. So at one hand they say that they are against corruption and on the other hand they instigate people to defect from their parties," Gadkari added. 

"It is only because of Anna Hazare's agitation the AAP in getting so many seats in the Delhi Assembly Elections. Anna always talked about the non-political revolution and but they are using his movement to fulfill their political ambitions," Gadkari said. 

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the single largest group in the 70-seat house with 31 members has refused to form a government. The Congress says that a number of senior leaders of Delhi are of the opinion that the party should extend unconditional support to the Aam Aadmi Party to form a government in the national capital. 

AAP Convener Arvind Kejriwal, however, said that his party will neither take nor extend support to either BJP or Congress to form the government. He said, AAP is ready for fresh elections in the city. Harsh Vardhan said, his party does not have enough numbers to form a stable government and is ready to fight the election once again.

Sanjay Dutt getting beer, rum in jail: Vinod Tawde - 12/13/2013

Sanjay Dutt getting beer, rum in jail: Vinod Tawde

NAGPUR: Leader of opposition Vinod Tawde on Friday dropped a bombshell in the Maharashtra council by alleging that actor Sanjay Dutt was being supplied beer and rum inside Yerawada jail in Pune. He said some police officers were helping the actor convicted for his role in Mumbai bomb blasts of 1993.

The senior BJP leader, commenting on state's law and order situation, also pulled up the government on increasing number of rape and sexual harassment cases and called on home minister RR Patil, minister of state Satej Patil and women and child development minister Varsha Gaikwad to conduct an audit of women's safety in Maharashtra through police stations. The government would reply to this discussion on Monday.

Speaking on discussion under Rule 260, Tawde dismissed government's claims of maintaining law and order citing various statistics. He claimed that in October alone, 216 rape cases were registered while crimes against women had jumped from 1,701 cases in 2011 to 1,800 in 2012.

Citing Shakti Mills rape case, he said all the accused were hardened criminals but as police failed to act against them they dared to commit such heinous crimes. "Your minister visited Shakti Mills at night after the incident just because the victim was from media. In hundreds of other cases, no action takes place. The criminals go scot-free while the victim suffers," he charged.

Tawde said Congress infighting had resulted government's failure to appoint chairman of State Women's Commission. He claimed large-scale corruption in various child welfare schemes. He also expressed concern over low conviction rate stating that 93% criminals get relief from courts due to loopholes in the investigations.

Shobha Fadnavis drew attention towards growing number of dowry cases stating that in 2010-11, 588 were registered while in 2011-12 the number grew to 599. However, chargesheet was filed only in 543 cases in 2010-11, and 522 in 2011-12.

Neelam Gorhe stressed on the need of night shelter for women and special grievance redressal cells while Vidya Chavan demanded complete ban on the sale of acids due to growing incidents of attacks on women. She also highlighted government's failure to curb prostitution rackets citing example of Dhule girl. Alka Desai spoke on increased vulgarity on the small screen through serials and reality shows. Chandrakant Patil informed that 91.87% cases of crimes against women were pending.

After a dazzling debut in Delhi, AAP sets up its units in Gujarat - 12/11/2013

Indian Express AAP

uoyed by its success in Delhi Assembly elections, Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) is strengthening itself in Gujarat as well by setting up its units at district and taluka levels. The party has already set up its units in as many as 19 districts and is planning to form its units in the rest of the districts within a fortnight. The districts where it has not been able to set up its units so far are in tribal areas and north Gujarat region.

State convener Baldev Patel said that the party's units would also be in place at block or taluka level within two months with a view to prepare for the Lok Sabha polls. "Following spectacular performance of the party in Delhi Assembly polls, we are getting a good response in the state," he said.

Patel said that he was getting calls from academicians, activists and leaders from the established parties to join AAP. However, he refused the name of the leaders from other parties approaching him to join his party. "But I told them that there are no posts in AAP and everyone is treated as a common worker. The decisions in the party are taken collectively by a consultative committee as no one is authorised to take independent decision on his own," he said, adding that AAP was not like other parties where one could flaunt the post of office-bearers to impress the people.

"Even Arvind Kejriwal is the convener of the party, not its president. And the decisions by him are in consultation with 24 others in the central consultation committee, and not by him alone," Patel pointed out.

Asked if his party would contest Lok Sabha elections in Gujarat, he said that it would be decided by the central consultation committee, depending on the situation in the state. "We may contest all the seats or some seats only, depending on our presence and strength," he said.

Patel said that some tribal educationists from the newly created Chhota Udepur and other places had contacted him and invited him to mobilise the tribals in favour of AAP. AAP won a total of 28 Assembly seats in Delhi and lost five other seats by a margin of 200 to 3,000 votes. Its candidates were runners-up in 20 other constituencies.

It's official: the coldest place on Earth - 12/11/2013

NDTV It's official: the coldest place on Earth

Washington:  Commuters in northeastern US might have felt they were battling the coldest weather in the world as they trudged through snow on Tuesday, but they may be warmed to know it could be far worse.

The coldest place on Earth is in fact a high ridge on the East Antarctic Plateau where temperatures plunged to a record minus 135.8 Fahrenheit (minus 93.2 Celsius) on August 10, 2010, NASA said.

The previous record was a bracing minus 128.6 Fahrenheit, set in 1983 at the Russian Vostok Research Station, also in East Antarctica, NASA said.

"We had a suspicion this Antarctic ridge was likely to be extremely cold, and colder than Vostok because it's higher up the hill," said Ted Scambos, lead scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado.

"With the launch of Landsat 8, we finally had a sensor capable of really investigating this area in more detail."

Scientists made the discovery while analyzing the most detailed global-surface temperature maps to date, developed with data from remote sensing satellites including the new Landsat 8, a joint project of NASA and the US Geological Survey (USGS).

The coldest places on Earth that are inhabited permanently lie in northeastern Siberia in Russia, where temperatures dived to 90 degrees below zero Fahrenheit in two towns in 1892 and 1933 respectively

Congress scripts massive win in Mizoram - 12/9/2013

Indian Express

In a mild consolation for the Congress in this poll season, the party marched back to power in Mizoram for the second consecutive term by riding on the "success" of it's flagship beneficiary scheme called New Land Use Policy, and using it's poll planks of "good governance" and "zero corruption".

In a major blow for the opposition, most of the senior leaders have lost, some to first-time MLA candidates contesting on a Congress ticket. Prominent among them are MNF president and two-time CM Zoramthanga who lost to first timer T Sangkunga, a retired bureaucrat. Another is Dr R Lalthangliana, the MNF Vice president and Leader of Opposition in the last assembly, who lost to first-timer Chalrosanga. This is the first loss for Dr R Lalthangliana in a general assembly since the formation of the state of Mizoram.

Confident of a second straight term, four-time Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla had given tickets to 31 of his MLAs (the party had 32 legislators in the previous 40-seat assembly) in the same seats they won from in the last elections, while he himself stood in two constituencies - his bastion Serchhip and neighboring Hrangturzo. He won from both.

While the verdict is clear, a re-poll will be held at one polling booth in Lawngtlai due to an electronic voting machine (EVM). As per the last count, the Congress candidate was up by 83 votes.

Even in their campaign speeches, Congress candidates stressed, "We are going to win again, so please know how miserable it is to be in a constituency represented by an opposition MLA and vote for Congress candidates."

The NLUP was also a common refrain, along with promises of continuing it if the party returns to power. Planned projects including hydro-power projects and infrastructure such as roads were also common themes.

Delhi assembly gets only three women members, all belong to Aam Aadmi Party - 12/8/2013

NDTV he Delhi assembly got only three women legislators, all belonging to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), with the other 67 women candidates failing the electoral test. 

In the last assembly too only three out of the 70 members were women, but all belonged to the Congress -- Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Kiran Walia, and Barkha Singh.

AAP candidate from the Mongolpuri constituency, Rakhi Birla, a former journalist with a private news channel, defeated Raj Kumar Chauhan, the PWD minister in the Sheila Dikshit government, by 10,585 votes.

Social activist, Veena Anand of AAP defeated BJP's Poornima Vidyarthi by 6,262 votes in the Patel Nagar constituency.

Bandana Kumari, the candidate for the Arvind Kejriwal-led party from Shalimar Bagh, trounced BJP's Ravinder Nath Bansal by 10,651 votes. Bandana has been fighting for the cause of poor women's rights and to help them prevent domestic violence.

This time, of the 70 women candidates, Congress and BJP fielded 11 women candidates, and the AAP nominated six. 

According to electoral roll, a total of 1.19 crore people were eligible to vote, of which over 53 lakh were women and 66 lakh men.

In 2008 elections, a total of 57 women candidates were running for the election.

Interaction on Konkani in Schools - one celebration - 12/7/2013

Udupi : Interaction on Konkani language in education System organized at Bishop’s house here on Friday, 6thDecember, 2013. Most Rev Dr. Gerald Isaac Lobo Bishop of Udupi Diocese was presided the interaction meet.

Speaking on the occasion Bishop said that we should make use of our mother language. When our children study and learn Konkani in schools then they can exhibit their talents. More than two thousand languages prevailed in India but now slowly one by one mother languages vanished. It’s necessary to keep alive our mother language. The Diocese of Udupi helps and support for the development of Konkani. It is good that in our Diocese even English mass not conducted as other dioceses do. Bishop try his best for the growth of Konkanii as well as help & support to introduce Konkani in schools and colleges.

Upendra Naik was the chief guest. Around 42 communities are their mother language Konkani in various scripts. We should try our best to development of Konkani  whichever scripts. He offer his support for the development and spread of Konkani specially in schools.

Roy Castalino President of Konkani Prachar Committee, Mangalore, Dr. Devdas Pai, Registrar of Konkani Sahitya Academy, Government of Karnataka were present on the dais.

Earlier Prof. Steven Permude spoke on Konkani in educational system and the work done by the Konkani prachar samithi since several years and how Konkani introduced in schools. He gave vast work done by Konkani Prachar samithi and other steps taken in order to growth of Konkani.

Dr. Nery Cornelio Principal of Milagres College, Kallianpur, Prof Rajan  Principal of St. Mary's College Shirva, Professors and lecturers of the colleges, teachers, Rev Fr. Edwin D'Souza Diocesan Youth Director, Rev Fr. Chetan Lobo Diocesan Director of Planning, Pundalike Marathe member of Konkani Sahitya academy, Karnataka,  Louis Lobo and others were present during the interaction meet.


Roy Castalino welcomed the gatherings and gave introduction on Konkani while Vitori Karkal proposed vote of thanks and compered the occasion.

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