Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Karzai Warns NATO Against Air Attacks on Afghan Homes

[President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan warned on Tuesday that NATO risks becoming an “occupying force” if aerial bombings that cause civilian casualties continue]
KABUL, Afghanistan - President Hamid Karzai warned NATO on Tuesday that Afghans will no longer tolerate airstrikes that result in civilian casualties. If they continue, he said, “we will be forced to take unilateral action in this regard.”
The Afghan president, speaking at a news conference at the presidential palace in Kabul, declined to offer specifics on what actions the government would take, saying only that Afghanistan “has a lot of ways of stopping it.”
In an admonishment that carried an air of threat, he said NATO forces were on the verge of being considered occupiers rather than allies.
“If they continue their attacks on our houses, then their presence will change from a force that is fighting against terrorism to a force that is fighting against the people of Afghanistan,” he said, “And in that case, history shows what Afghans do with trespassers and with occupiers.” Read More...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Chennai Super Kings eye second IPL title

CSK is ready for second IPL title
CHENNAI: Defending champions Chennai Super Kings will be banking on home advantage when they take on a formidable Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League final on Saturday.

Chennai, led by India's World Cup winning captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, have won all of their seven league games at home this season and have lost just once in 12 matches over two editions.

Conditions at the Chidambaram stadium suit Chennai perfectly, leading to speculation that the low and slow wicket has been specially prepared for the home side.

The Chennai franchise is owned by N Srinivasan, secretary and president-elect of the powerful Board of Control for Cricket in India ( BCCI), which owns and runs the IPL. Read More

Friday, May 27, 2011

Clinton visits Pakistan to firm up new ties

Pakistan — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met here this morning with top Pakistani officials on a brief visit designed to establish new ground rules for the shaky U.S.-Pakistani relationship.

Hillary Clinton visits Pakistan to firm up new ties
With no advance public notice, amid tight security, Clinton traveled directly from the airport for meetings with President Asif Ali Zardari and Pakistan’s military and intelligence chiefs. She was accompanied by Adm. Michael Mullen, who arrived here Thursday night.
At the presidential palace, with only a camera crew allowed to briefly witness the greeting with no sound recording, a grim-faced Clinton was heard repeating what she said was President Obama’s “strong support for the relationship and our commitment to working with and support for Pakistan, and the recognition of the sacrifice that is made ... by your country” in fighting terrorism. Read More..

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

How to Photograph a Thunderstorm

Storms and lightning create beautiful opportunities for photography. The bolts of light are powerful and will make any scene dramatic but only if you can capture them.

To capture lightning you have to behave like a hunter, shooting and shooting until something is caught, focus and expose for the landscape you are using shooting 20 or 30 seconds exposures depending on the level of brightness in your scene. Something like ISO400, F11 and 20 seconds is a good way to start and you can adjust the parameters after taking a couple of sample shots before the hunt begins. Check focus carefully, it’s difficult to focus at night and out of focus bolts are not nice at all.

Use a remote intervalometer and program it to take dozens, even hundreds of shots one after the other. While the camera is taking the shots you can take a nice cup of coffee while you are warm and dry. You can also buy a specialized device as the Lightning Trigger to make the camera shoot only when lightning is detected.

Once the storm is finished examine the photographs looking for the best bolts and then create a composite scene merging all the nice shots in one. Load the shots in your photo editor as layers and play with different blending modes to find the best mode for your final image. Luminosity mode works quite well in several cases, other modes can be even better so always try them.

Lightning storms are fast, our brain usually remembers a mix of all the bolts and lights that we saw, that’s why a single photograph usually seems to do no justice to what we remember. The composite shot is usually more dramatic and even more similar to what we remember. Sometimes reality is the sum of events.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Imran Khan prefers hot Kat over Malaika

Imran Khan Prefers hot Kat Over Malaika
Item numbers are fast catching up in Bollywood News and perfectionist Aamir Khan has planned to add a bold number to his already adult movie, Delhi Belly. And nephew Imran Khan, the hero of the film, has made his choice between Munni and Sheila.
Well, it is not Salman Khan's bhabhi, but his ex- girlfriend Katrina Kaif. "I think Katrina has a beautiful figure. She is sexy and when she sizzles on screen, she undoubtedly kills all men.
"I would really want her to do the item number for us in Delhi Belly," Imran said.
The young actor is hoping that in the coming time, he will get a chance to work with the actress herself.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Eoin Morgan beats Ravi Bopara to England Test place

Morgan currently averages 32 in Test cricket
England have called up Eoin Morgan to take the place of Paul Collingwood in a 12-man squad for Thursday's first Test against Sri Lanka in Cardiff. Middlesex batsman Morgan was preferred to Ravi Bopara, whose ability to play as a fifth bowler had him as favourite.Morgan, who made 193 for England Lions against the tourists, is named along with county colleague Steven Finn."This is an opportunity for him to cement his place," national selector Geoff Miller told BBC Radio 5 live."Obviously there are one or two others, as we've always said we wanted, knocking on the door, but on this occasion Eoin got the nod.
"We've got a lot of players now who are just on the fringe there, in all areas with bat and ball and with the [wicketkeeping] gloves as well. There's plenty of opportunities for people to get in, but it's difficult because we will always be consistent."
Collingwood retired from Test cricket in January, following England's Ashes success in Australia, opening up a spot in England's middle order.
Dublin-born Morgan made his Test debut against Bangladesh last summer and went on to make 130 against Pakistan at Trent Bridge.
The selectors kept faith with him for the winter tour to Australia but he was unable to force his way into the side during the Ashes series despite Collingwood's poor form, remaining as the squad's spare batsman. Read More...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Geelani put under house arrest

SRINAGAR: Hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani has been placed under house arrest ahead of a rally planned by him in south Kashmir's Anantnag town on Friday.

"Geelani has been placed under house arrest since last evening as a preventive measure," a senior police official said.

Geelani put under house arrest
The Hurriyat hawk had called for a public rally in Anantnag town as part of his campaign to seek release of all political prisoners in the state.

He was put under house arrest last week also as he had called for a similar rally in Shopian district headquarters.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Obama raises funds, spirits in Boston visit

President Obama greeted well-wishers after he arrived at Logan International Airport yesterday
Boston: President Obama paid a quick but rewarding visit to Boston yesterday, rallying supporters at a pair of fund-raisers to energize a Democratic stronghold and bolster his campaign coffers.
Jetting into town for the second time in three months, Obama addressed a crowd of 900 at the Boston Center for the Arts in the South End before dining with big-money benefactors at the Brook line home of advertising executive Jack Connors Jr.
The evening event, which couples paid $35,800 to attend, was expected to raise more than $2 million, part of an aggressive fund-raising drive since Obama formally launched his reelection campaign last month. With its deep reservoir of Democratic donors, Massachusetts will probably play a major role in the party’s fund-raising efforts.
On Tremont Street, where hundreds waited in a cold rain in hopes of a glimpse of the president at the arts center, support for Obama was unconditional.
“I just want to see him in person,’’ said Jaheim Payne, who said seeing Obama would be an unforgettable memory he would tuck away forever. “I have a folder in my head and I will never forget it.’’ Read More...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Obesity Raises Risk of Prostate Cancer in Men

Obesity Raises Risk of Prostate Cancer in Men
Obesity and physical inactivity may account for 25 to 30 percent of several major cancers such as colon, breast, endometrial, kidney, and cancer of the oesophagus. Experts recommend that people establish habits of healthy eating and physical activity early in life to prevent overweight and obesity. Those who are already overweight or obese are advised to avoid additional weight gain, and to lose weight through a low-calorie diet and exercise. Even a weight loss of only five to 10 percent of total weight can provide health benefits.
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., found that obesity is associated with an increased risk of high-grade prostate cancer. The study was conducted over four years and involved 6524 participants.
The study tested Dutasteride (drug used for prostate cancer) 0.5 mg daily for PCa risk reduction in men with a PSA level of 2.5-10 ng/mL and negative prostate biopsy. 1,762 men (27 percent) were of normal weight, 3,429 (53 percent) were classified overweight, and 1,333 (20 percent) were obese.
The study found that men in the study group who were overweight or obese had a three-fold increased risk of cancer progression compared to normal-weight men, despite receiving the same treatment.
Additionally, overweight men had more than a three-fold increased risk of their cancer spreading to the bone compared to normal-weight men, while obese men had a five-fold increase in the risk of metastases.
Interestingly, earlier studies have also shown a correlation between height and prostate cancer. This probably has to do with the role of steroid hormones such as testosterone and estrogen that regulate both prostate development and height.
The Durham study has very compellingly added weight to the theory of a link between obesity and aggressive prostate cancer.

Monday, May 16, 2011

AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa sworn in as new Tamil Nadu Chief Minister

CHENNAI: AIADMK general secretary J. Jayalalithaa, 63, was Monday sworn-in Tamil Nadu chief minister for a third time at a packed hall in Madras University as thousands lined up the nearby roads.
She was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Surjit Singh Barnala at the University Centenary Hall. Jayalalithaa will head a 34-member government in the 14th Tamil Nadu assembly.
Barnala also administered oath of office to the council of ministers, days after the AIADMK-led alliance dealt a crushing blow to the DMK-led alliance led by veteran M. Karunanidhi.
Senior politicians like Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu as well as Tamil film personalities were present at the event.
The swearing-in ceremony was also attended by Communist Party of India (CPI) leader A.B. Bardhan, DMDK leaders A. Vijayakanth and Panrutti S. Ramachandran, SMK leader R. Sarathkumar and his wife Radhika.
jayalalitha victory photos in Tamil nadu election 2011
Chief Justice of Madras High Court M.Y. Eqbal, other judges and members of the Bar Council were also present.
All those who were present at the hall, including Jayalalithaa, had a hearty laugh when C. Karuppasamy took oath in a loud rhythmic staccato voice as the minister for animal husbandry.
Political commentator Cho Ramaswamy was seen gesticulating his hands in sync with Karuppasamy's oath.
A large number of people gathered at the venue. People lined up on both sides of the road, starting from Jayalalithaa's residence at Poes Garden and along the entire stretch of Kamaraj Salai on the Marina till the Madras University campus.
Two giant screens were installed outside the venue so that people could view the swearing-in ceremony.
Leaders of rival camp - DMK , Congress and PMK- stayed away from the swearing-in ceremony.
The AIADMK-led front won 203 seats in the 234-member Tamil Nadu assembly. The AIADMK won 150 seats - 146 on its own and four by allies who fought under its election symbol.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Dominique Strauss-Kahn: medical examination delays court appearance

Dominique Strauss-Kahn to appear in New York court over alleged sex attack on hotel maid
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the International Monetary Fund chief who allegedly sexually attacked a Manhattan hotel maid, has delayed appearing in court after agreeing to a medical examination.
Mr Strauss-Kahn, the IMF's 62-year-old managing director, was due to face a judge at New York City criminal court accused of a criminal sexual act, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment.
But late last night, after police, court officials and reporters had waited more than eight hours for him to appear, Mr Strauss-Kahn's legal team announced that he would be undergoing further tests before being formally charged.
Mr Strauss-Kahn was arrested and provisionally charged by police in the early hours of Sunday morning, after being seized on an Air France jet waiting to take off on the tarmac of New York's John F. Kennedy Airport.
The prominent French socialist, who was expected to challenge Nicolas Sarkozy's presidency next year, allegedly assaulted a 32-year-old maid who had arrived to clean his £1,855-a-night suite at the luxury Sofitel near Times Square, at 1pm on Saturday. Read More...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

President Obama weakly punts immigration reform back to Congress

President Obama pauses while speaking about immigration reform on Tuesday in El Paso, Texas.
President Obama said all the right things in El Paso on Tuesday about the need to fix the country's immigration system, while lauding the progress he'd made in controlling the border.

But when the soaring rhetoric was done, Obama closed with a weak punt of immigration reform back to Congress.

Yes We Can turned into No I Can't. He refused to do what many Latino leaders have urged for months. He rejected using executive powers to soften the worst aspects of the government's crackdown on the nation's 11 million undocumented residents.

He turned his back on 1 million young people known as the DREAMERS. They are the high school and college kids brought to this country illegally by their parents. Having known no other home than the U.S., they face deportation at any moment and can't legally find work.

Last year, Congress narrowly failed to provide a path to adjust the status of the DREAMERS.

Ever since, Chicago Rep. Luis Gutierrez and New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez have tried to convince the President to order a "parole in place" for such young people, freezing deportations until Congress overhauls immigration law. Read More!!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Shahid Afridi called to task over criticism of Pakistan management

The Pakistan Cricket Board has asked captain Shahid Afridi, to explain comments he made about the team's management during their West Indies tour.
Upon his return to Pakistan, Afridi, who led his side to a 3-2 win in the recent one-day series, revealed what he claimed was interference from management - including the coach Waqar Younis - in matters of team selection.
Shahid Afridi led Pakistan to a 3-2 victory over West Indies in the one-day series.
Afridi had said: "I always say everyone should do their own job and it is not appropriate to interfere in matters of others. I am responsible for my work and the others are responsible for theirs."
However, the PCB has issued a notice to the fiery all-rounder, saying: "Pakistan Cricket Board" has taken notice of the statements made by Mr Shahid Afridi in the media about the differences within the tour management in West Indies.
"It is a violation of Code of Conduct on part of Mr Afridi and an explanation has been sought from him for the reasons to make such statements publicly.
"PCB will take appropriate action after submission of the tour report at the conclusion of the tour."
Pakistan are scheduled to play two Test matches against the West Indies, beginning on May 12 at Guyana.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Kerala bans hazardous pesticides including Furadan and Endosulfan

Kerala bans hazardous pesticides including Furadan and Endosulfan
Kerala has decided to ban all the pesticides hazardous to health following the mass protest organized by various political parties. The protests were staged against the government and demanded for a ban on pesticides happened due to the recent death of a four year old girl in Kerala.
The Kerala government decided to ban all the pesiticides that are dangerous and hazardous to human health including Furadan and Endosulfan.
The ban would come into force from June.
The Kerala government has requested the Agricultural university to find a solution towards farmers in controlling the pests from the growing crops. However, the plantation workers regretted and expressed their sorrows about the ban since they feel that this ban would spoil their plantation by the pests.
The Kerala government opted to ban all these pesticides for the reasons that Kerala accounted a high mortality by pesticides and it records about 1000 deaths and 10.000 victims who fallen to various diseases due to pesticides.

Friday, May 6, 2011

'Thor' is an unexpected surprise

Thor (Chris Hems worth, left) falls for Jane Foster (Natalie Port man) in the comic book action-adventure "Thor."
Marvel is placing all of its chips on the table for next year's summer tent-pole film "The Avengers" — a movie bringing many top superheros such as Iron Man and Captain America into a single film. In fact, during Comic-Con 2010, Robert Downey Jr. called "The Avengers" project "the most ambitious movie ever!"
But fans have been increasingly skeptical of one aspect of the coming project — a certain Shakespearean-speaking Viking from another planet who flies around with a hammer, wears metallic armor and sports knee-high boots. That's right, Thor, son of Odin and namer of Thursday.
Well Marvel fans, "Avengers" hopefuls and fantasy buffs — breath a sigh of relief. "Thor" is actually a solid film. In fact, it's probably the best fantasy film since "Return of the King."
Beginning in a small New Mexico town, Jane Foster (Natalie Port man) and her small team of scientists accidentally drive over a lone, hearth-throb of a man (Chris Hems worth) when they lose control of their mobile science station. Who is the strange man? Where did he come from and why does he speak like a drama reject?
Those questions are addressed as audience members are transported back in time and across the universe to Asgard, planet of Viking gods and the kingdom of Odin (Anthony Hopkins), father of Thor.
Asgard is home to the comic book goodness most Marvel fans will be eager to see. Gods don't just throw a few punches when they settle their differences, they call down the destruction only rivaled by the imagination of little boys with action figures. And much to the credit of director Kenneth Branagh, even as the story shifts back to Earth, it's well-paced and doesn't drag while you wait for the next over-the-top battle of the gods.
There are two noteworthy flaws that plague the galactic adventure, however. The first includes some wildly unnecessary 3-D, and the second is rather underwhelming character motivation.
"Thor" is a movie that's just too dark for the more-times-than-not distracting technology. And as for character motivation? Thor's arch-nemesis does some pretty terrible things throughout the story, and at the end, when he or she blurts out why they've done the things they've done, you may just ask yourself, "really?"
This also holds true for the kiss scene, the sacrifice scene and the switching-sides scene.
But when you consider the amount of cards stacked against this project, those issues are almost laughable. There's actually a good film in the world called "Thor." Think about that for a minute. The last time Thor made an acceptable appearance in Hollywood was in his brief cameo in "Adventures in Babysitting."
So while this isn't a perfect film, I'm throwing four stars at it because it amazes me that I actually want to see it again. It's a relatively family-friendly, fast-paced jar of eye candy that sets up next year's adventure beautifully.
"Thor" is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence; running time: 113 minutes.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Workers enter crippled nuclear reactor building

Tokyo (CNN) -- Workers entered a reactor building at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant Thursday for the first time since a magnitude-9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami damaged the facility, its operator Toyko Electric Power Co. said.
The workers went into the No. 1 reactor building shortly before noon to install air ducts for a ventilation system that will filter the air to reduce radioactive substances.
Once the radioactive contamination in the air is reduced, workers will be able stay in the building longer to install a cooling system that Tokyo Electric wants to use to do a cold shutdown of the reactor.
The company says it should take two to three days to bring down the contamination to levels suitable for workers to stay for extended periods when wearing protective suits, masks and air tanks.
Cooling systems at Fukushima Daiichi, about 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo, were knocked out by the massive tsunami that struck Japan's Pacific coast after a massive earthquake March 11.

An aerial view of the the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant
The disaster triggered the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl as the cores of reactors 1-3 overheated and spewed huge amounts of radioactive contamination across the surrounding area.
The buildings that house reactors 1 and 3 were blown apart by hydrogen explosions in the first days of the crisis. Another hydrogen buildup is believed to have ruptured a water reservoir beneath the No. 2 reactor.
In April, Tokyo Electric has laid out a six- to nine-month timetable for winding down the crisis and bringing the reactors to a complete shutdown.
The disaster has led to mandatory evacuations of about 78,000 people living within 20 km (12.5 miles) of the plant and orders to people living another 10 km away to remain sheltered, affecting another 60,000-plus.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama bin Laden dead: Live Blog

Most Wanted Terrorists
Nearly 10 years after the traumatic Sept 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York and the Pentagon, the world's most wanted terrorist leader Osama bin Laden has been killed in Pakistan.

Live updates
President Obama announced that Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks, was killed in a firefight during an operation he ordered Sunday inside Pakistan, ending a 10-year manhunt for the world’s most wanted terrorist. Here's the full text and following is the video of Obama's speech Read More

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Obama: Al-Qaida head bin Laden dead

Click image to see photos of bin Laden, reaction to death
Osama bin Laden, the glowering mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that killed thousands of Americans, was slain in a firefight Sunday with U.S. forces in Pakistan, ending a manhunt that spanned a frustrating decade.

"Justice has been done," President Barack Obama said in a dramatic late-night announcement at the White House.

A jubilant crowd of thousands gathered outside the White House as word spread of bin Laden's death. Hundreds more sang and waved American flags at Ground Zero in New York — where the twin towers that once stood as symbols of American economic power were brought down by bin Laden's hijackers 10 years ago.

Another hijacked plane slammed into the Pentagon on that cloudless day, and a fourth was commandeered by passengers who forced it to the ground before it could reach its intended target in Washington.

U.S. officials said the helicopter raid in Pakistan was carried out by CIA paramilitaries together with the elite Navy SEAL Team Six. The U.S. team took custody of bin Laden's remains, which American officials said were being handled in accordance with Islamic tradition.

The death marks a psychological triumph in a long struggle, although its ultimate impact on al-Qaida is less clear.

The greatest terrorist threat to the U.S. is now considered to be the al-Qaida franchise in Yemen, far from al-Qaida's core in Pakistan. The Yemen branch almost took down a U.S.-bound airliner on Christmas 2009 and nearly detonated explosives aboard two U.S. cargo planes last fall. Those operations were carried out without any direct involvement from bin Laden.

Obama said he gave the order for the operation after receiving intelligence information that he did not further describe. Read More