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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Picture Perfect: Athletes who are great models

These athletes are perfect role models; for they play the role of camera mannequins with utmost ease. Blessed with excellent looks and a fit body thanks to their profession; these ladies will make heads turn wherever they go. Take a look.

The 29-year old American swimmer who has won seven Olympic medals has posed for PETA, and has been photographed for Playboy, FHM and Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Edition.

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The War on Terror: Key events

We look at the key moments in the years before and after the tragic September 11 attacks

The September 11 terrorist attacks undoubtedly changed the face of the world we live in. But what were the key events that helped lead to that tragic day, and how did they help spark the wider War on Terror? Click below for our analysis of 9/11 in context.

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Air Conditioned Bike Developed In Europe

The motorcycle is the preferred choice of transport for many Indians. It is cheaper than cars to buy, run and maintain. However the only complaint about bikes is that it cannot protect the riders from the rigours of nature. While the hot sun bakes motorists in summer, they have to contend with rains in the monsoon and chilly winds in the winter. Here is a solution that will keep you protected at all times – an air conditioned bike!

Peraves Monotracer, a Europe based bike manufacturer has developed a motorcycle with a cabin. This sports bike that has been designed for traveling in high speeds also has an air conditioner that keeps you cool in the sweltering heat of summer. However being cool comes at a rather high cost. Peraves Monotracer has priced its air conditioned bike at 52,500 Euros. Its the kind of money with which you can buy a luxury car.

The air conditioned bike gets all the features of a sports car and a superbike. The cabin is finished in carbon fibre. The bike is powered by a powerful air breathing engine that generates awesome amounts of power. Designed to run more on the German Autobahns, this air conditioned bike might not perform as well on our Indian roads.

With its staggering price tag, the air conditioned bike is unlikely to garner high sales. We should only wait for another company to build a more affordable bike that the one created by Peraves Monotracer.

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Billionaire Seeks to Unload a Private Island

Allan Island, named for a Navy hero, is a 292-acre island north of Seattle, WA.

Try telling billionaires the U.S. housing market is in the dumps. Many of the world’s richest have eagerly been snapping up lavish properties from coast to coast this year. Venture capitalist Yuri Milner broke price records with his $100 million Silicon Valley home purchase, Formula One heiress Petra Ecclestone shelled out $85 million on Los Angeles’ Spelling Manor, and industrialist scion Alexander Rovt rescued Manhattan’s Henry T. Sloane Mansion out of foreclosure for $33 million, to name but a few. Even Mark Zuckerberg became a homeowner. But while many billionaires have been busily buying up real estate, one is actually selling.

Paul Allen, the Microsoft co-founder that ranks 57th on the Forbes World’s Billionaires list with $13 billion, is offloading his private island. Allan Island, situated near Anacortes, Wash., is back on the market and at a reduced price, reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Allan Island has bounced on and off the sale block since 2005, when its initial price tag was $25 million. It took a $5.5 million price chop in 2006 before re-emerging with the current $13.5 million asking price. Windmere Real Estate has the listing. Allen bought the island in 1992, reportedly to build a vacation home, before snatching up the Sperry Peninsula site on nearby Lopez Island in 1996 and abandoning his original plans.

Allan Island, named for a Navy hero (not the billionaire), is an almost entirely undeveloped 292-acre island jutting out of the Pacific Ocean, north of Seattle. It is one of 172 islands comprising the San Juans archipelago. The land boasts one modest house — a caretaker’s cabin fitted with water, septic and generator. There’s also a 2,400 foot grass airstrip and a boat dock, the only two means by which a person can access the island. Jeep trails wind through the acreage and beaches dapple the coastline. The island does not, however have electricity. That would cost about $3 million to pipe in, says Wally Gudgell, the property’s listing agent and a 40-year veteran of private island real estate sales.

The sole island house is a caretaker's log cabin, outfitted with water, septic and generator.

The uninhabited, mansion-less island may seem like a daunting amount of work for a vacation home, but it comes with a legal option that sweetens the deal: approval for the subdividing and construction of up to 44 five-acre lots. Forty of those potential parcels tout ocean views. Three working wells capable of supplying all the lots are already in place. It means the island may sell as a commercial investment, for example to a developer hoping to erect an eco-resort. The business possibilities, similar to those offered at Jackson Wyoming’s $175 million ranch, are already luring prospective buyers.

“We’ve had it on and off the market for several years and we’ve had it in escrow several times and for various reasons — some on the buyer side, some on the seller side — we didn’t consummate a transaction,” explains Gudgell. “We’ve had buyers from every background looking at it and making offers on it.” He anticipates a deal will stick, especially with the lowered price tag.

The land holds approval for up to 44 subdivisions, most with ocean views.

Private islands hold a special niche in real estate. Gudgell says they speak to a smaller pool of buyers and can take much longer to market and sell. Notable island owners are Johnny Depp, who owns a cay in the Bahamas; Mel Gibson who owns Mago Island in Fiji; and magician David Copperfield, who rents out Musha Cay for tens of thousands a night. Fellow billionaire Richard Branson owns Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands where, as my colleague Clare O’Connor reported, his home unfortunately burned to the ground when lightening caused by Hurricane Irene struck.

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Toyota Launches Etios Diesel

Toyota Etios

Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) further expanded the Etios product range by announcing the launch of the diesel variants of Etios and Etios Liva.


Etios Diesel is priced in the range of 6.44 lacs - 7.87 lacs ex showroom Delhi and is available in GD, GD (SP), VD and VXD grades


The vehicle is are powered with a refined 1.4 litre D-4D Common Rail Diesel Engine that generates maximum power of 68 PS @ 3800 rpm and highest torque of 170 NM @ 1800 – 2400 rpm.


The 1.4 litre D-4D Common Rail Diesel Engine with intercooler offers an ideal combination of driving performance and best- in - class mileage.


The high performance engine of the Etios provides flat torque leading to less gear shifting finally resulting in improved fuel efficiency.


The engine recorded a best – in – class mileage of 23.59 kmpl, as certified by accredited test agency.


The vehicles similar to its petrol variants are being offered in a range of vibrant colours – Symphony silver, Serene Bluish Silver, Celestial Black, Harmony Beige, Vermilion Red, White and Ultramarine Blue (only in Etios Liva).

Toyota Etios

The exteriors and interiors of the petrol variant have been carried over to the diesel variant.

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England hold nerve to inflict more misery on India

London, (AFP): England inflicted more misery on India as Craig Kieswetter's quick-fire 51 inspired a three-wicket win over the beleaguered tourists in the third one-day international at The Oval on Friday.

Thanks to Kieswetter's big hitting and a nerveless 40 from Ravi Bopara, England reached their Duckworth-Lewis target of 218 in 43 overs with seven balls to spare and now have an unassailable 2-0 lead with two games in play in the five-match series.

While Alastair Cook's team can move about India into fourth place in the one-day world rankings by winning the last two matches at Lord's and Cardiff, MS Dhoni's side would simply settle for leaving the country with at least one victory to their name.

The injury-hit Indians were defeated 4-0 in the Test series, lost the lone Twenty20 international and have been beaten in two of three 50-over matches, with the other rained off. It took just four balls for James Anderson to give England the perfect start after Cook put the world champions in as Ajinkya Rahane edged to Jonathan Trott at first slip.

India needed Rahul Dravid to steady the ship but the 38-year-old's aging legs let him down as he was brilliantly run out by Anderson in the sixth over after rashly attempting a quick single.

Anderson soon added Parthiv Patel to his list of scalps and India's struggles continued when Virat Kohli became the fourth man to go, caught behind off Anderson with the score on 25.

Suresh Raina fell when he mistimed a wild slog off Broad, edging to wicketkeeper Kieswetter to put India deep in trouble at 58-5. But, to the relief of the massed ranks of Indian supporters, Dhoni made his 39th one-day 50 in 69 balls and, aided by some overly defensive field settings from Cook, he was able to rebuild India's

Ravindra Jadeja and Dhoni put on 112 before the skipper skied a mistimed drive to Cook off Tim Bresnan. Despite that blow, a 59-run partnership between Jadeja, who finished with 79 from 89 balls, and Ravichandran Ashwin ensured India made a respectable score.

But England openers Cook and Kieswetter, who hit three big sixes, took the hosts past 50 without loss by the ninth over. Munaf Patel broke the partnership when he trapped Cook lbw for 23 with the score on 60. Kieswetter brought up his 50 in 41 balls, yet he perished moments later as Jadeja found some spin to knock out his middle stump.

India's spinners suddenly posed a serious threat and England were reduced to 89-3 after Ashwin bowled Trott. The hosts added six more runs before rain stopped play for an hour, leaving England with a new Duckworth-Lewis target of 218.

Ian Bell didn't help England's cause when he was run out for 23 by Dhoni after he started for a single and turned back too late. Youngster Ben Stokes showed his lack of experience as he bowled round his legs by Ashwin and were England wobbling at 138-5.

Fortunately for England, Bresnan and Bopara - staking his claim for a permanent place in the team with 40 in 41 balls - turned the tide with a crucial 60-run stand for the sixth wicket. Jadeja returned to dismiss Bresnan and Ashwin bowled Bopara, but Stuart Board and Graeme Swann were able to see England home.

9/11 transformed South Asia geopolitics

When the architects of 9/11 were traced to shadowy caves in Afghanistan, the US sent thousands of troops to smoke them out and topple the Taliban regime and arm-twisted Pakistan into cooperating in the "war on terror", fuelling events that brought New Delhi and Washington closer strategically and transformed the geopolitics of South Asia.

The US-led coalition ousted the Taliban regime and installed a moderate Pashtun leader in Kabul. But little did Washington realize the military operation would drain the US exchequer even a decade later: trillions of dollars have been spent in the war without any apparent end.
Post 9/11, the contours of South Asian geopolitics were re-mapped.
Pakistan, which had slipped in the strategic calculus of the US after the Soviets quit Afghanistan, bounced back in the reckoning but with its image tarred as the epicentre of global terrorism and incalculable costs to its society and economy.
Knowing Pakistan's influence over the erstwhile Mullah Omar regime and the ISI-military combine's leverage with the jehad machine, Washington had no choice but to declare Islamabad its "major non-Nato ally" and "a frontline state" in the war against terror.
Pakistan cashed in on US desperation to nail the 9/11 architects and got at least $15 billion in counter-terror and military assistance from the US over the next decade.
"Pakistan used 9/11 to milk the US and get huge funds in the garb of operations against militants but failed to track top Al Qaeda operatives and kept on hoodwinking Washington," Satish Chandra, former deputy national security adviser of India, told IANS.
For India, 9/11 vindicated what it had said all along and provided it an opportunity to scale up its diplomatic offensive to get the world to look at Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism, albeit with mixed results.
South Asia geopolitics
"Earlier, it was their terrorism (international) versus our terrorism (Pakistan). The American establishment has come to see through Pakistan's policy of running with the hare and hunting with the hounds," former foreign secretary Lalit Mansingh said.
He added that the 2008 terror attack in Mumbai - widely seen as a shade of 9/11 - brought New Delhi and Washington closer.
But the most important long-term consequence of 9/11 was the path-breaking transformation of India-US relationship. Its crowning moment was the landmark 2008 nuclear deal.
"The big change is in the India-US relationship. Under President Bill Clinton, we were talking about counter-terror cooperation. 9/11 changed all that and brought more substance to counter-terror cooperation," said Mansingh, a former envoy to the US.
South Asia geopolitics
"In a sense, following 9/11, the US decided to de-hyphenate its relations with India from that of Pakistan," said Mansingh.
George Bush, the then US president, famously underlined this shift when he said that India and Pakistan were "two different nations with two different histories".
Building upon the Bush legacy, President Barack Obama declared the India-US relationship to be the defining partnership of the 21st century.
Another major consequence of 9/11 was India's return to Afghanistan as a key stakeholder -- in its reconstruction.
The topping of the Taliban regime, which New Delhi was ranged against, helped India to re-establish its footprints in a country Pakistan regards its strategic backyard.
On the flip side, India's re-entry into Afghanistan, with over $1.5 billion in aid, has become a new theatre of rivalry with Pakistan.
For other countries in the region, like Sri Lanka, 9/11 meant greater global support in handling the Tamil Tigers, who were eventually crushed in 2009.

Ten years after 9/11, South Asia has woken up to the need for greater trans-national cooperation to combat terror. Despite many terror attacks and a bruising global recession, India is seen as an emerging power with one the fastest growing economies.
Pakistan is in a relative terminal mess.
According to Shahid Javed Burki, Pakistan's former finance minister, the country has had to face "overwhelmingly negative consequences" after 9/11.
Around 15,000 Pakistanis have died in terror attacks. Home-grown militia Tehrik-e-Taliban has even targeted the military in Rawlapindi. Islamabad's duplicity in the war on terror was exposed when 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden was killed by US forces in its territory.

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Star Wars: Kareena Kapoor vs. Priyanka Chopra

Kareena Kapoor vs. Priyanka Chopra

The No.1's who were never to be - that, in hindsight, has been the Bollywood career status of Kareena Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra.

Both arrived with fanfare, got more than a fair share of opportunities to shine through, and despite their occasionally success struts on national glory ramp, they still don't count as serious, can-take-it-all-on actresses.

The reason is simple and obvious: They are star material not the stuff that great actresses are made of. Or not. You can debate.

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

This is going to be a rebirth of sorts for me - Harbhajan Singh

Indian off spinner, Harbhajan Singh said in an interview with Mid-Day that he has recovered from the abdominal strain that saw him miss the 3rd and 4th Test and the limited overs leg of the England tour. Harbhajan had to return home and was at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore where he underwent rehabilitation.

Harbhajan said he has worked hard at his fitness at the NCA and will be fully fit and available for selection for the Champions league and the series against England and West Indies, which will follow the multi-starrer T20 tournament.

"I am 100% fit and raring to go for all the cricket ahead. I have worked really hard at the NCA. I am looking forward to the Champions League T20, and also the coming home series (against England and West Indies)," the 31 year old said.

Harbhajan's form has taken a tremendous dip, and the off spinner has only managed 13 wickets in his last 5 Tests, which came against West Indies and England.

The Mumbai Indians player said he struck by the injury at the wrong time.

"Obviously, the injury came at the wrong time. But, I don't think about the timing - it's always bad - whether it was in a home series or away series. An injury is an injury. There was lot of sadness to come back home soon."

He added that he is optimistic about returning to form.

"I have never felt this good about my bowling. This is going to be a rebirth of sorts for me. I am going to get my rhythm back. I am honest to myself and know that I have a lot more to contribute for the country. This is a new beginning. I still have four or five years of cricket left in me."

Harbhajan's return to fitness will be big boost for Mumbai, who may have to do without their skipper Sachin Tendulkar as he is suffering from a toe injury and Rohit Sharma(finger injury). Harbhajan has been one of Mumbai's main bowlers and was retained ahead of IPL 4 along with Lasith Malinga, Kieron Pollard and Tendulkar.

Rahane vows to do his best

Talented Ajinkya Rahane has captured everyone's imagination with his confident batting in the ODIs but unlike his expressive batting, he is a man of few words.

"I would try to do my best in the remaining three ODIs and hopefully India can win," stated Rahane, adding he has no fitness worries ahead of the game.

Rahane sprained his ankle during the second ODI at Southampton but, the young right-hander is ready to open again for India in the day-night game on Friday.

The Mumbai opener made 40 and 54 in the first two ODIs and looks undeterred by the reputation of England bowlers who scythed the famous Indian batting line-up in Tests.

"I had done no preparations before coming here. Initially, I was nervous. But I learnt as I went along. Everyone in the dressing room was good enough to boost me. Seniors such as Sachin and Dhoni asked me to play as I am used to without worrying too much about the opposition and conditions."

Rahane has a formidable first-class record, averaging 67 with the bat. In the four years that he has been around in domestic cricket, he credits former Mumbai coach Praveen Amre a lot for his style of batting, something that has attracted a lot of praise from former players like, Sanjay Manjrekar.

Preview: England vs India, 3rd ODI

India's familiar blues on tour continued with the seven-wicket defeat in the rain-shortened second ODI, which means a first international victory on tour has still eluded the former World Number One Test team and the current World Champions. The tour has, in fact, reached a point where the Indians can be thankful that even if they lost the previous match, at least they didn't lose any more players to injury.

India can also take some heart from the fact that the previous ODI was more a T20 match for all practical purposes, and they perform much better over 50 overs than over 20 overs. Given that the forecast for tomorrow is only for partly cloudy skies, we may witness a full 50-overs match for the first time in the series.

India: Even though they haven't won anything so far in the limited-overs leg of the series, the tourists have looked a lot more competitive than they were in the Test matches. The biggest gain for India has, almost paradoxically, been in the area they were supposed to feel the pinch of injuries the most: the openers. Without Tendulkar, Sehwag and Gambhir, the opening pair of Parthiv Patel and Ajinkya Rahane have performed superbly. Parthiv has rediscovered his batting talent, while the country has discovered Rahane. And in truth, Rahane has looked very much at home on the international stage. He is among the few men in domestic cricket who have been knocking fairly loudly on the doors of selection with mountains of runs, and his performance vindicates the faith people had in him. A full 50-over match will also suit Rahul Dravid more, instead of the hit-everything-in-sight 20-over one, where there is no time to build an innings. Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli too have shown signs of good form in the recent matches, which makes India's batting appear fairly robust. The problem, as always, is in the bowling. If India can fix that, they could still avoid a blank slate for the tour.

England: England are walking on a bed of roses at the moment, and nothing they are doing is going wrong. And when it has gone marginally wrong - such as in the first ODI - rain has arrived, almost as if to wipe away the memories of any match not dominated in this series. In the Twenty20 match, England huffed and puffed to victory, aided a little by India losing the plot while batting. In the 23-over ODI, it seemed the bowlers had not done the job, but the batsmen made a stiff target look like a stroll in the park. Alastair Cook has been in the form of his life for the past few months. He's scored 382 runs off 381 balls at an average of 76.4 in his past 7 ODIs, and for a man whose career average and strike-rate are 40.00 and 78.33, those numbers show the kind of zone Cook has hit as a batsman. Craig Kieswetter, who might have been under mild pressure earlier, smashed 46 off 25 balls in the previous match, and though Jonathan Trott didn't play the 2nd ODI, his career average of an astounding 53.5 tells its own story. Even though England's bowling has not looked as threatening as it did with the red ball in Test matches, it has been leaps ahead of the Indian bowling, and has therefore managed to be adequate.

Last Word: India need one of their batsmen to play an outstanding innings, with the others chipping in around him, because their best bet lies in winning the game with their batting. If England can prevent the Indian batsmen from batting on, even reasonable knocks from the tourists will most likely not be enough to secure a first win.

Donkey remark not meant to attack anyone: Hussain

Former England skipper Nasser Hussain has said that his controversial "donkey" remark against a few Indian cricketers during their one--off Twenty20 match against England was not intended to attack any player personally.

"I don't want to say too much about this because I have found the reaction amazing. I just can't believe the fuss over what is a bit of cricket slang. It's a term I used all the time when I was a captain. Nothing personal was intended," Hussain said.

The controversial remark caused a furore in India, with several former Indian cricketers criticising Hussain and the BCCI taking up the matter with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

While commentating during the lone Twenty20 International between India and England at Chester--Le--Street, Hussain, referring to some Indian fielders, had said "there are one or two donkeys" still in the side.

"I would say the difference between the two sides is the fielding. England are all--round a good fielding side. I do believe that India have few...3 or 4 very good fielders and one or two donkeys in the field still," Hussain had said.

Terror threat called 'credible' for 9/11 anniversary

Image: A New York City police officer stops Xiang Mao, left, and Lexi Li along the perimeter of the World Trade Center.

WASHINGTON — A "specific, credible" threat has emerged surrounding the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, U.S. officials said Thursday.

But they emphasized that there was a great deal of uncertainty about the threat and said they were acknowledging it out of an abundance of caution. NBC News said police in New York City and Washington had been alerted.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said late Thursday 9/11 commemorations would go on as planned under heightened police presence already boosted for the weekend.

Recent intelligence, obtained within the past day, and originating from the tribal areas of Pakistan, advised the United States of a plan to set off car or truck bombs in Washington or New York around the time of the 9/11 anniversary, officials told NBC News.

The information indicated that three people would travel to the U.S. from Pakistan to carry out an attack, they said. However, the information included very little else in the way of specifics — in terms of timing or target.

Law enforcement officials were being alerted to be on the lookout for three men "of Middle Eastern descent" and potentially traveling in a van, they said.

While the information had some specificity and the source has been credible in the past, it's uncorroborated, officials warned.

However, given that documents found when Osama bin Laden was killed indicated his desire for an attack on the 9/11 anniversary, and further given concerns about possible retaliation for bin Laden's death, officials decided to pass this information along to local law enforcement agencies.

"Now is not the time not to tell them about it," one official said Thursday night.
Police in Washington and New York were told earlier Thursday to expect an alert, and some officers said they were told to stay on duty longer.

"In this instance, it's accurate that there is specific, credible but unconfirmed threat information," the Department of Homeland Security said Thursday in a prepared statement. "As we always do before important dates like the anniversary of 9/11, we will undoubtedly get more reporting in the coming days. Sometimes this reporting is credible and warrants intense focus, other times it lacks credibility and is highly unlikely to be reflective of real plots under way.

"Regardless, we take all threat reporting seriously, and we have taken, and will continue to take all steps necessary to mitigate any threats that arise. We continue to ask the American people to remain vigilant as we head into the weekend."

An administration official told NBC News the threat "so far" was a 5 to 6 on a scale of 10.

President Barack Obama was briefed on the specific threat information Thursday morning and was updated on it throughout the day, a White House official said. The U.S. government "already significantly enhanced its security posture in advance of the 9/11 anniversary to protect the country against possible terrorist threats. Nevertheless, the president directed the counterterrorism community to redouble its efforts in response to this credible but unconfirmed information."

One official told NBC News that discussions are under way about whether to raise the threat warning status, but no decision has been made.

Earlier Thursday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said "in the intel world there is lots of chatter and we are taking it very seriously."

The threat was revealed as officials said they already were adding thousands of extra police, cameras and weapons around New York, Washington, and western Pennsylvania for Sept. 11 anniversary attacks.

Taking no chances in NY

The New York Police Department, as a result of the threat information, is stepping up its protective measures, some visible to the public and some not, starting now, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told a Thursday night news conference.

They also urged people to go about their business but remain vigilant.

"I will take the subway tomorrow and feel just as safe as I did this morning," Bloomberg said.
"If you see something, say something," he said, noting the possibility of people calling in reports unattended packages on subway platforms or cars parked illegally.

Kelly said police would be held for an extra 4 hours of duty beginning Friday, effectively increasing police patrols by a third. He also said the public will be subject to vehicle checkpoints around the city; more bags will be inspected on the subway system; more bomb-sniffing dogs will be on patrol; more bomb sweeps will be conducted in parking garages; more illegally parked cars will be towed, and more radiation detectors would deployed with officers.

Special attention will be paid to bridges, tunnels and infrastructure, they said.

"There's absolutely no need for any panic," Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told NBC News earlier. He said he was briefed on the threat.

Kelly earlier outlined security procedures earlier this week at a Manhattan Institute conference on terrorism, the New York Daily News reported.

Kelly told the group police are not taking any chances for a Sunday observance at the World Trade Center that Obama and former President George W. Bush plan to attend.

Kelly said Ground Zero would be surrounded by a frozen zone. Thousands of cops will be on duty, some carrying radiation detectors and sniper rifles. Hundreds of surveillance cameras will monitor the site.

Kelly said quick-reaction forces will be assigned outside lower Manhattan.

Cops trained to use heavy weapons after the Mumbai 2008 terror attacks will supplement Emergency Services officers, he said.

"Bomb squad officers and hostage negotiators will also be attached to these quick reaction groups, as will highway patrol officers to ensure these teams can get to any point in the city as quickly as possible," Kelly said.

A police source told the Daily News that two teams of these officers will be in place by the United Nations and near one of the bridges leading to an outer borough.

Police scuba divers will also examine the USS New York, made of World Trade Center steel, at its West 48th Street dock, Kelly said.
Capital concerns
Some District of Columbia police officers received an internal memo from department management on Thursday saying that the city additional staffing would be required due to the "credible threats," according to a law enforcement source who had seen the memo.

District Police Chief Cathy Lanier earlier told The Associated Press that every one of her 3,800 officers would work at some point during remembrances.

"You’ll see mass transit, you’ll see restaurants, hotels, sporting events — any place where there’s a crowd, we’re going to have an increased presence," Lanier said.

People walking or traveling near the U.S. Capitol will see more uniformed and plainclothes officers, additional police cruisers and may notice a bomb squad or SWAT team in areas of Capitol Hill where they wouldn’t ordinarily be seen, said Sgt. Kimberly Schneider, a U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman. The U.S. Park Police, which has jurisdiction over D.C. landmarks including the National Mall and the Washington Monument, is also on alert.

"We’re well aware that this anniversary does bring with it a lot of emotion and concerns, but we’re certainly addressing it," said Park Police spokesman David Schlosser.

Pennsylvania on alert

Already responding to rampaging rivers, Pennsylvania emergency workers say they are preparing for whatever security threats Sept. 11 events may bring.

National Park Service’s Flight 93 National Memorial in Stonycreek Township near Shanksville will be unveiled Saturday during events that are expected to draw 10,000 people, including Vice President Joe Biden. Obama is expected at events on Sunday.

Cory Angell, a PEMA spokesman, told radio station WHYY the center nearest to the site of the Flight 93 memorial in Somerset County will be activated at a Level 2 — meaning key emergency staffers from different state departments will be on duty.

"In the western part of Pittsburgh, of course — Flight 93 and the event that they're having in memory of those lost on 9/11 — being a significant event, that EOC will be activated at a Level 2, as well," he said.

The Flight 93 memorial's website notes that security checkpoints will be located at ceremony entrances, chairs will be permitted but not in bags; coolers are banned.

Astronauts spot Texas wildfires from space

They send down prayers and pictures of damaged lands from space station

The wildfires burning in Texas are visible all the way from space, as seen in photos by astronauts on the International Space Station.

NASA astronaut Mike Fossum was particularly saddened to see the fires, because Bastrop State Park, one of the damaged areas, is a favorite spot of his.

Fossum asked Mission Control to update him about the fires, which have raged over thousands of acres in Central Texas during the past week. The fires are thought to have been spurred by winds from Tropical Storm Lee, which swirled over the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend and made landfall on the Gulf Coast.

"Did you guys confirm that the state park Bastrop is one of the directly affected areas with the fire in that region?" Fossum asked from space on Tuesday.

"Yes Mike, unfortunately that's true," capcom Jay Marschke replied from Houston. "The news agencies are reporting up to two-thirds of the park has been burned and hundreds of homes in the area have been destroyed."

Fossum, an avid outdoorsman, according to NASA spokeswoman Nicole Cloutier-Lemasters, was stunned.

"Oh, wow," he said. "Wow, that's rough news. Thanks. We're really thinking about all those folks through there."

Fossum has experience as a scout leader and hiker, Cloutier-Lemasters said, and counts Bastrop State Park as one of his favorite hiking spots.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected," Fossum wrote on Twitter, under the name @astro_aggie, Tuesday.

The Bastrop County Complex fire is now 30 percent contained. Texas, in the grip of one of the worst droughts in the state's history, has seen 3.5 million acres burn so far this year.

Fossum wasn't the only one in orbit affected by the news. His crew mate on the space station, Ron Garan, also tweeted about the fires.

"Prayers for those in harm's way," Garan wrote Tuesday under the name "Astro_Ron." Garan posted a series of photos of the fires from above, where wisps of gray smoke can be seen wafting away from our planet.

Garan and Fossum are currently living on the International Space Station along with one Japanese astronaut and three Russian cosmonauts. Garan was originally scheduled to return to Earth on Thursday, but a Russian rocket failure has delayed his return until Sept. 15. Fossum is expected to fly back home in mid-November.

Jennifer Ehle's 'Contagion' scientist role grows

The ads for Steven Soderbergh's "Contagion" flaunt the pandemic-nightmare drama's high-powered cast: Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet. Not pictured: The actress playing the CDC researcher working desperately to find a vaccine, an actress who happens to have a BAFTA, a SAG and two Tony Awards on her shelf. But Jennifer Ehle understands; she felt as if her Dr. Ally Hextall had a couple of strikes against her from the start.

"That particular story line originally ended with Ally making (a radical choice), and then you never saw her again. And I remember Steven saying, 'Oh, we must tie that up,' " says Ehle, admitting she was afraid her story line would be slashed to ribbons. "They're never going to get to the point when they edit this together and they need more story. And they have so many extraordinary people in this, I couldn't imagine this character ... and I thought, even in Steven's hands, many people won't want more science. Then suddenly, in the spring, three more scenes arrived" for additional shooting.

"And apparently when it was tested, what people - and most hearteningly, young people - wanted was more science. That's our future, and I think that's a really good sign that that had a lot to do with what made Ally amplified."

The remarkably beautiful Ehle reads as warm, vivacious and possessed of a powerful intellectual curiosity. So it's no surprise she soaked up all she could in sessions with epidemiologist Dr. Ian Lipkin, whom the New York Times once dubbed the man from whom viruses can't hide.

Respect science more

"To be able to do the kind of experiments and be talked through so many things I would have had to study for years to get a chance to do - to mash up brains and code things and discover sequencing," she says, beaming, "I came away with even more respect for science than I had before. Which I think is fairly unfashionable."

Although Lipkin's Columbia University team was eager to share the secrets of the microscopic creatures that can kill us all, the actress was equally excited by more mundane details.

"The simple way you open one thing when you're holding another thing and another thing. You know, they thought I'd find it useful to know how to code the DNA. 'Well, that's great, it's extraordinary to be here learning it, but - to be able to hold something like that ...'

"And just to watch the way he explained things. Ally had to explain so much of the science to the audience, which I loved. Ian does it in such an unintimidating way, so that helped me figure out how to do that too."

Parallel story lines

The film follows several parallel story lines - CDC researchers (led by Ehle), field operatives (such as Winslet) and bosses (Fishburne); a World Health Organization epidemiologist (Cotillard) tracking the outbreak's source; an ordinary family (Damon, Paltrow).

And then there's Jude Law's conspiracy theorist blogger Alan Krumweide, whose alarmist rhetoric starts its own kind of contagion from his base in San Francisco. Law had no scenes with Ehle but shares her birthday and worked with her in 1997's "Wilde." They met when, as teens, they attended a protest to save the foundations of the Rose Theatre near London.

Law enjoyed some unique experiences of his own while shooting in the city.

"Going to the 49ers stadium when it was empty with a huge helicopter hovering over it was quite a one-off experience," he says.

He also got to storm out of the newsroom of this paper, shouting, "Print is a dead medium!" And then there was walking through San Francisco streets deserted but for refuse bags and men in biohazard suits.

"Those images are sort of at the heart of what's effective about the film. It's a terrific city to walk around, San Francisco, it's similar to New York or London that way; the life on the streets. So stepping onto a set that was like a ghost town was really harrowing."

Jonathan Taylor Thomas celebrates the big 3-0


Another sign that we're all getting old. Jonathan Taylor Thomas turned 30 on Thursday (Sept. 8).

The first crush for many 1990s teen girls rocketed to stardom for his role as Randy Taylor on the long-running ABC hit "Home Improvement." After leaving the show, Thomas continued with acting and voiceover work, but certainly not with the pace or notoriety he achieved during the "Home Improvement" years.

Thomas, whose real name Jonathan Weiss, enrolled at Harvard in 2000 and went for two years. He ultimately graduated from Columbia University in 2010.

Thomas recently got back together with his TV family for an EW photo shoot. While he's all grown up, he still looks much like the fresh-faced kid America knew from the show.

As for what he's up to these days, his TV mom Patricia Richardson knows.

She posted on Twitter, "Jonathan is acting, and he wants to direct!"

Happy Birthday JTT.

Now 'Indian Muzahiddin' email claims Delhi blast

New Delhi, Sep 8 (IANS) An email attributed to 'Indian Muzahiddin' has claimed responsibility for Wednesday's blast outside the Delhi High Court that killed 12 people.

The email, written in Hindi but in the Roman script, denied that the Pakistani-based Harkat-ul-Jehadi Islami (HuJI) had planted the briefcase bomb outside the Gate No.5 of the court complex in the heart of the capital.

The email, sent to the TV Today network Thursday reads: 'Delhi blast kal Delhi me hue blast me HuJI ka haath ho hi nahin sakta hai. Kyunki use hamne anjam diya hai. Hamne pehle se yeh plan banaya tha ki Wednesday ke din hi blast karna hai kyunki us din wahan sabse jyada crowd hoti hai. Ise hamne yani INDIAN MUZAHIDDIN NE ANJAM DIYA HAI. Huji ka toh isme dur dur tak koi wasta nahin hai. Hamara agla target jald hi rang layega jo ek shoppping complex ke bahar hoga. Use koi nahin rok sakta. Aur yeh agle Tuesday ko hoga. Rok sako toh rok lo.'

The email roughly translates into: 'HuJI hand cannot be behind the Delhi blast because we have done it. We had planned it earlier for Wednesday because the crowd is usually huge there on that day. We, the Indian Muzahiddin, have done it. HuJI is not even remotely connected to it. Our next target is coming soon which will be outside a shopping complex. Nobody can stop that. And this will be done on next Tuesday. Stop us if you can.'

The email was sent from an ID and is signed off by the user calling himself 'Chotoo, member INDIAN MUZAHIDDIN'.

It wasn't immediately clear whether 'Indian Muzahiddin' was a mis-spelling of Indian Mujahideen (IM), a home grown group believed to be affiliated to the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba. The IM has claimed responsibilty for various blasts in the past in emails written in English and sent from different IDs. However, none of these emails have misspelt the name as 'Indian Muzahiddin'.

Secretary (Internal Security) U.K. Bansal said the email was not being taken lightly. 'We will examine it and let you know,' he told reporters.

Advani discloses he was aware of cash-for-votes sting operation

New Delhi, Sep 8 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) veteran Lal Krishna Advani today hailed as 'whistle- blowers' the two former party MPs jailed in connection with the cash for vote scam, and dared the government to arrest him claiming that he was aware of a sting conducted by his party in 2008 to expose the United Progressive Alliance's willingness to buy support to survive a trust vote.

Amid repeated disruptions from the Congress lawmakers in Lok Sabha, Advani made a strong defence of the two former MPs - Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Singh Bhagora Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Bhagora during the July 22, 2008 confidence vote.

"Whatever was done was done as per constitutional norms. If anything was wrong, I would have stopped them. They were whistle-blowers who honestly reported the matter in the House. They presented the money. That time I was the Leader of the Opposition and I know the facts... I believe that these two members have done a great service to democracy by bringing in Parliament the Rs one crore given to them," Advani said in the din of the House during the Question Hour.

Advani, who is also the working chairman of National Democratic Alliance (NDA), lamented that "those who voted for the government 'through dishonesty' by taking money are sitting here comfortably, but my two friends, who honestly served the country are in jail."

Both the Houses of Parliament were adjourned today following uproar by BJP lawmakers, as they demanded discussion on the cash for vote scam.

As soon as the Question Hour commenced, the opposition disrupted the proceedings of the Lok Sabha, as they demanded discussion on the cash for vote scam, which led to the arrest of former Samajwadi Party (SP) General Secretary Amar Singh and two former BJP lawmakers Faggan Kulaste and Mahavir Singh Bhagora.

Similar scenes were witnessed in the Rajiya Sabha over the issue forcing chairman Hamid Ansari to suspend the proceedings.

The cash-for-votes scam had rocked proceedings in the Lok Sabha in 2008, when the ruling UPA Government, led by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, allegedly bribed lawmakers of other parties to help wining the confidence vote. (ANI)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Have a snack but make sure it’s a smart & nutritious one

CONTRARY to what you may imagine, having little snacks between meals is a healthy habit that can help counter health issues ranging from obesity and diabetes to high blood pressure.

From a health standpoint, snacking is both healthy and essential. It can help lower cholesterol levels and regulate blood sugar; keeps the energy levels up and mind alert. What really matters, however, is your choice of snacks.

granola bar

Make choices packed with high nutrient value such as a small bowl of channa or roast chicken sandwich made with wholewheat bread instead of the white kind. Teenagers especially need more nutrients between school, homework, sports, and hanging out with friends as their bodies are still developing.

Women also need to eat more during pregnancy and during their monthly menstrual period as their bodies need extra nutrition at these times.

Those recovering from an illness also need to eat more protein to speed up the healing process. Snacks are a boon for diabetics, too, as they stabilise the blood sugar level. Additional nutrients are provided by snacks that may be missing in our meals. Three meals a day must be intermingled with snacks, so that the total number of times you eat in a day becomes five.

Also, prepare snacks well in advance. Create a variety, for munching, nibbling or simply mitigating that afternoon hunger. Once you have made a list of snacking options that appeal to you, stock up on the ingredients. If you work in an office, buy some little boxes based on portion size, and fill these up with chopped fruit, nuts, or whatever else you feel would constitute a good snack for you. Since variety is the spice of life for most of us, change the snack menu often to ensure that boredom doesn’t set in and drive you to that forbidden packet.

Healthy snacking doesn’t have to be boring as long as you give yourself a variety of choices. A peanut and dry rice mixture, or cereal mix made with roasted oats, almonds and raisins can be kept in small pouches in your handbag or the drawer in the desk. Keep plenty of fresh fruit and veggies in your fridge too, ready to grab and go. Half a cheese or peanut butter sandwich, or a handful of nuts or berries, or rice crackers are other healthy snack options.
Smart snacks are those that are trans- fat free, low in calories and in cholesterol. All the five food groups in the food pyramid should be included. To keep energy levels high and avoid weight gain, steer clear of food with lots of simple carbohydrates (sugars) like candy bars or sodas.

Look for foods that contain complex carbohydrates like whole grain breads and cereals and combine them with protein rich snacks such as peanut butter or low fat yoghurt or cheese. The base should be rice, corn, dals, gram and wheatflour instead of white flour.
A granola bar is a good example of a snack that people think is healthy, but it certainly isn’t useful for anyone trying to bring down their cholesterol. Although these can be a good source of certain vitamins and nutrients, many also contain a great deal of fat, including the harmful trans fat. On average, about 35 per cent of the calories in a regular granola bar come from fat. And there can be a lot of sugar in granola cereals and bars. So check the nutrition facts label on the package to be sure.

Honda to launch small car Brio this month

The car is expected to be priced at Rs 4.2 lakh to Rs 4.5 lakh to compete with Maruti's Swift, Volkswagen's Polo, Ford's Figo, Hyundai’s i10 and Toyota Liva.

It has been reported that Honda's first small car for the mass market, Brio will be launched this month.


The car is expected to be priced at Rs 4.2 lakh to Rs 4.5 lakh to compete with Maruti's Swift, Volkswagen's Polo, Ford's Figo, Hyundai’s i10 and Toyota Liva.


The car has a 1200cc petrol engine which generates power to the tune of 90 BHP. Cars with less than 4-metres of length and 1200 cc petrol and 1500 cc diesel engines are considered small cars.


Honda wants to tap the huge potential in smaller cities to ensure the Brio takes on competitors and revive its flattening sales.


Auto companies have been focusing more on smaller cities, which have given huge incremental volumes and helped car sales to zoom over 30 percent in 2010.


It was reported that the car accommodates five adults, but falls in Indian government's small car category that is taxed 10 percent compared to 22 percent for bigger vehicles.


According to a report in The Economic Times, Honda has developed Brio after five years of painstaking research of the Indian market, keeping in view the local conditions and specifically catering the car to typical Indian families.


Amitabh Bachchan signs first Hollywood film

New Delhi, Sep 7 (IANS) After over four decades of contribution to Hindi cinema, Amitabh Bachchan is finally stepping out! At 68, he is ready to make his Hollywood debut with Baz Luhrmann's 'The Great Gatsby', which has 'Titanic' star Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead.

Amitabh, who is lovingly called Big B in the Indian film industry, is the latest to join the cast of the romantic drama, along with Scottish-Australian actress Isla Fisher. He will play the role of Meyer Wolfsheim, said an official statement from Warner Bros Pictures.

The $125 million project is a 3D adaptation of the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald novel of the same name. The principal photography of the movie began this week in Sydney.

'Fitzgerald loved the movies and was a passionate believer in the power of cinema. 'The Great Gatsby' has been adapted for the screen no less than four times. Fitzgerald's story defies time and geography. The vision and the goal of our remarkable cast and creatives is to do justice to the deftness of Fitzgerald's telling, and illuminate its big ideas and humanity. This is our challenge and our adventure,' said Luhrmann, who made 'Moulin Rouge', and used Hindi song 'Chhamma chhamma' in it.

Other cast members for 'The Great Gatsby' include Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton and Carey Mulligan. The film also features newcomer Elizabeth Debicki. Luhrmann is happy to shoot in his native Australia.

'The opportunity to make the film in Australia with the Bazmark creative team is very important to us; the assistance from Screen Australia and the NSW Government has made that possible,' he added.

The film will be distributed in 3D and 2D by Warner Bros Pictures and in certain territories by Village Roadshow Pictures.

4.2 intensity quake shakes Delhi out of its sleep

New Delhi, Sep 8 (IANS) An earthquake measuring 4.2 on the Richter Scale shook the Indian capital for 5-6 seconds at around 11.30 p.m. Wednesday, the Met department said, scaling down its intensity from the initial 6.6. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage to property.

The epicentre of the quake was in Sonepat in Haryana, about 90 km from Delhi, and its aftershocks were also felt in northern states like Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir.

'It is not 6.6 intensity, it is 4.2 on the Richter,' an IMD official told IANS.

The IMD website described the quake as 'slight' and the timing as 23:28:18 hours.

Fire officials and Delhi Police said they had not received any report of damage or building collapse.

The temblor was particularly felt in east Delhi where thousands of people left their homes and came out on the streets.

'All the furniture in my house started shaking just as we finished dinner,' said Vinod Kapoor, a resident of east Delhi.

In other parts of the capital too, people ran out of their homes in fright when their furniture started rattling alarmingly and cupboards and fans started swaying.

'A lot of panic here... my network is gone. People came out of their homes. Children started crying and everyone was on the roads,' said an IANS correspondent who lives in a women's hostel in south Delhi.

Throughout the city, people called up relatives and friends, and asked after their well-being.

'At first I heard a muffled sound - like a subdued explosion in a tin - and then felt the quake for about 10 seconds,' said Gurgaon resident Gulshan Luthra.

The quake had residents in Faridabad running out of their homes too.

Sachin Tendulkar - Profile

Batting style: Right Handed bat
Bowling style: Off break
Played for: India, Mumbai Indians
Ex Skipper-Test,ODI | Batsman
Born: April 24, 1973, Bombay

Sachin Tendulkar can unquestionably be called the 'face of modern cricket'. He follows Don Bradman and Viv Richards as his generation's most successful batsman. The only close competitors Tendulkar faced were Brian Lara and, in more recent times, Ricky Ponting. Statistically, while Bradman scaled unreachable heights, Tendulkar, by his sheer consistency in longevity, marked his area with expansive width that shall, like the Australian great, probably never be conquered.
By the turn of the century, watching Tendulkar as India's lone warrior staging single-handed fights, - while carrying the hopes of a billion hearts, - was cricket's grandest spectacle. Too often his achievements would be let down by lack of support from teammates. Yet, his ability to continue to live to fight another day, shoulder blame unfairly and always delve into positives, transcends Tendulkar beyond a cricketing icon to a role model and a prized treasure for the oft-tarnished image of the sport. By the end of it all, through each seemingly-effortless, technically-perfect shot, that made batting an art form rather than a laborious effort, Tendulkar went on to be the game's leading run-getter, half-centurion and centurion in the two most pre-dominant forms of the game.
It is paradoxical that at the start of all these achievements was performance of nothingness - a debut ODI duck and an unflattering debut Test 15 against Pakistan as a 16-year-old. It underlines the old adage of attitude over talent, reminding everyone that even legends have to struggle to find their feet. He did make it big, of course, one small step at a time. First replacing Sanjay Manjrekar as India's most formidable batsman of the time and then becoming the only contender to Sunil Gavaskar's stature in Indian batting history. Finally, even the great Don Bradman drew parallels between himself and Tendulkar. In between, captaincy called on a few occasions, but it was one thing he wasn't cut out for. The "Little master" was also one of the very few who came out with his head held high as always, following the match-fixing scandal.
Following the turn of the century came India's ascendency after disappointing pasts during Tendulkar's foray in the peak of his career. He was now provided with the long-awaited support crew. But he still remained the mainstay while guiding his nation towards the summit of Test rankings. If Bradman started high and ended low, Tendulkar started low to rise unfathomably even miles before his end.
Tendulkar's long-awaited dream was finally fulfilled when he, as part of Team India, emerged victorious in the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup. Throughout the tournament, he was a consistent performer with the bat. In an enormous acknowledgment to his batting genius, his teammates paid the Master Blaster rich tributes for his service to Indian cricket. Post-victory, Virat Kohli perfectly summed up the sentiment of many when he famously said that it was time that they carried Sachin Tendulkar on their shoulders after he had carried the burden of the nation's expectations for 21 years. This World Cup win was the most special moment of Tendulkar’s life.

Fast Facts

  • Sachin Tendulkar was the ICC Player of the Year 2010, Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1997 and also Wisden Leading Cricketer, 2011.
  • Tendulkar became the first sportsperson without an aviation background to be awarded the honorary rank of Group Captain by the Indian Air Force.
  • He wanted to become a fast bowler but could not impress Dennis Lillee who suggested him to focus on his batting.
  • In 1988, in an inter-school game, Tendulkar's 664-run stand with Vinod Kambli reduced an opposition bowler to tears and the rest were so frustrated that they refused to continue the game.
  • He is the leading run-getter and centurion in Tests and ODIs.
  • Tendulkar became the first batsman to score a double century in ODI cricket.
  • He also became the first to score 90 International centuries.
  • He was the first batsman in Tests to record 12,000 runs and later the first to reach 13,000 as well.
  • “The Little Master” was the first batsman in ODIs to reach the 10,000 run milestone.
  • He holds the record as the youngest Indian to make a debut in international cricket.
  • Crossing and unprecedented milestone of 17,000 ODI runs in 2009, Tendulkar stretched his lead as the highest run-scorer in ODIs.
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