The theft of Audi Q7 car in February has now put the surveillance of state highways under a cloud. The accused, Anupsinh Padhiyar, drove around extensively between Gandhinagar and north Gujarat in his dream car, but neither the state highway police nor any other police agency thought it fit to question the man driving the Rs 80-lakh car with only 'Applied For Registration' written on the number plate.
City crime branch officials tracked down Padhiyar and recovered the car on Thursday. Investigating officials suspect that Padhiyar was trying to contact prospective buyers for the car. That a stolen car, without a registration number could ply in the state without raising an eye-brow has caught the state police red-faced, especially since Gujarat is high on various terrorist organizations' hit list.
The problem is more deep-rooted than just an oversight. Padhiyar's free run in his stolen car is not a surprise to cops. The state police officials say they usually refrain from stopping high-end, luxury cars for security checks at any check posts.
"More often than not, riders of such cars are well-connected and get away after a phone call to senior officials or some influential person. In some cases, constables have been transferred just for stopping such a vehicle," said a city traffic branch constable. Senior police officials also admitted that everyday they receive at least two to three calls requesting their intervention at traffic signals.
V D Vanaar, deputy superintendent of police, state traffic branch, said, "If the car had a number, it would surely have been caught. However, without a registration number, it is difficult to keep a tab on such cars."
As per Padhiyar's statement, he had told his relatives and friends that the car was second-hand. Even then the car did not have any registration number.
The stickers at back and front of the car read 'APPLIDE FOR REGISTRAION' in black. As a routine procedure, the stickers are red and accompanied by provisional registration number for the car. Padhiyar had got such stickers printed specially to pass the stolen car off as a newly purchased vehicle.
Jun 18, 2011
Fueled by social media and recent uprisings in the Arab world, women in Saudi Arabia took to the capital's streets today in their cars to protest the ban on female drivers.
Areej Khan, one of thousands of women who say they've had enough, drove for 25 minutes. Her campaign "We the Women" pasted the city of Jeddah with signs calling for the right to drive: "It's Not Only for Men" and "Driving Is Not Against My Religion" and "I Don't Like the Backseat."
She said that although she was scheduled to leave the country, she stayed to participate in the effort.
"I'm still sort of in shock," she told ABC News. "We actually passed by a car with guys in it, and no one bothered us. .... They were happy to see us."
Maha Qahtani drove in Riyadh this morning -- as her husband rode in the passenger seat.
"What kind of rule is this," she said to ABC News today. "Why no for us and yes for men? It's my right. It's my right and I have to have it."
'Saudi Women, Start Your Engines!'
Other women and men shared their experiences online:
"I'm on King Fahad Rd [from] AlGadeer Neighborhood 2 Takasosy Rd, I passed 2 police cars & they didn't stop me" Tweeted @Azizayousef.
"Take the wheel. Foot on the gas," said one Twitter message on the main site women2Drive.
Another person said: "Saudi women, start your engines!"
Sultan Al Quassemi, a writer and Arab affairs commentator, said the women-to-drive protest was already a success.
"It's a phenomenon that has been started by women, initiated by them [and] organized by them," Quassemi said. "This is a huge triumph."
Quassemi credited social media with helping women identify other women who were also willing to take up the driving challenge.
"It allowed women to upload proof that they have driven," Quassemi said. "It allowed women to share their stories instantaneously rather than over a period of days. It emancipated women. ... It gave them a voice that was instantaneous, that was direct, that was unfiltered."
Everybody loves vintage, whether they talk about music, apparel or even cars. Some acute car and vintage lovers alike have striven to create top-notch classic cars that are appealing to the eye and even arouse some reminiscent feelings. We present our favorite 10 vintage cars that made us an impression.
10. 1950 GM Futurliner Parade of Progress
Built by GM, the limited edition of 12 transport automobiles was designed under the supervision of Harley Earl. The Futurliner was used in the “Parade of Progress” tour exhibit that traveled the US and displayed new cars and technology. It sold for $4,000,000 in 2006.
9. 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda
The Hemi Cuda was designed by the Plymouth division of Chrysler Corporation and released in only 652 units. The 1971 version had a more complex 6 inlet grille design and fender gill louvers, in comparison to previous models.
8. 1971 CSL BMW
European Touring Car Championship was given a 1971 CSL BMW with an alloy hood, trunk lid, door skins and sports wheel that decreased the weight of the car, making it faster (besides the additional 200bhp).
7. 1953 Aston Martin DB2
The 1953 Aston Martin DB2 was created to replace the previous Aston Martin 2-Liter sportscar, having a larger, dual overhead cam straight 6 engine. Remained in production for only 3 years but regarded as a pillar for future models.
6. 1967 Volkswagen Beetle
The famous Volkswagen Beetle took a turn in 1967 when it featured a new drive-train, a larger engine and an electrical generator that pumped up twice as much power than previous models. Although it doesn’t compete with other vintage cars from the performance point of view, it’s still Beetle.
5. 1964 Porsche 911
The Porsche 911 was a true inspiration (including for certain video game developers). The 911 was bigger than Porsche 356, had an air-cooled rear mounted engine and a five-speed manual transmission. The original plan to make it a four seater was quickly changed to a two seater.
4. 1952 Bentley Continental R
The 1952 Bentley Continental R was launched in the London Motor Show in 207 units at a very steep price. It had an independent wishbone suspension and leaf spring, being able to go over 160km/h.
3. 1967 Ford Mustang
The 1967 Ford Mustang was the first model with a wider body kit, power disc brakes, a tilt steering wheel and FMX transmission. Having a massive power release, the model was sold in over 1 million models during the first 18 months.
2. 1969 Corvette Sting Ray
The beautiful Corvette Sting Ray has captured the hearts of millions. It had a split rear suspension, disc brakes, big block engine, side exhaust pipe and innovative split rear window.
1. 1927 Ford Model T
The first affordable luxury car, Ford Model T remained in production for 19 years. Named “Car of the Year” in 1999, the model set a standard for classic versions of 1908. It had only two gears, proving that speed is not required when you’re placing a milestone in the automobile industry.
The popularity of the Facebook is getting more and more around the world day by day. But there are some security risks and issues with the site that can put its users serious risk if they aren’t careful. The number of Facebook account hacking have been increased during the past days. Face book has unique features that make this more danger even likely. For example, it’s very common to post personal information which can be used to steal the user’s identity.
Be careful using any application that asks to access the profile. It’s very important to safeguard your account and protect personal information from exposure, because when the hacker exposes any information he or she will expose your friend’s personal information too. So even if you don’t have any sensitive information on your profile your fiend might.
People say always prevention is better than cure. It is very easy to prevent your account from hackers than to recover after the account is hacked. Here I’m going to highlight few security practices that can prevent your face book account as well as any account from hackers.
Using Internet Explorer
There are some security loopholes with Internet Explorer. I recommend using Firefox instead of using Internet Explorer. One of the better feature with Firefox is the entire ass-on are very vital. They are:
Adblock Plus – can’t see any ads
Avoid Clicking on Links
Avoid click on a link contained in any email message and also never type the URL directly into the address bar of the browser. When you get any email with a link don’t click on it. Just copy and past the link on Google and search. You can see at the very top of the search page the page you expected. You will also find the comments about phishing, maleware, etc.
Consider a Strong Password
The password you select at least should have 6-8 characters and should include letters and digits which increase the strength of the password. Don’t use same password for more than one site and make sure your Facebook password is completely different from others.
Always log out when you are done
Keep in mind always log out when you’re done. In some websites there are cookies which enable users to remember the password, so they don’t have to log in very time. But this is convenient and safe for home desktops.
Chang e the Password as often as you can
If you change your pass word so often, it makes harder to remember the password. The point is when ever any one figure out password and tries to steal your account by that time you have changed the password.
Use Anti-virus and anti-spyware software
Always scan you computer system for viruses and malwares and make sure that you keep updated your anti virus software with current updates.
Dia Mirza was in town on Thursday to announce a fashion show at the upcoming International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards weekend, scheduled to be held from June 23 to 25 in Toronto, and she did make quite a song and dance of the affair.
She didn't waste the chance to break into an impromptu jig to the beats of Mera naam chin chin chu from the 1958 hit, Howrah Bridge at the show.
She insisted she would only sing if the crowd sang too - which they did. In a short while, IIFA and its deliberations were forgotten as the entire focus was on Dia.
Once she had ensured the limelight was on her, Dia then smartly went on to use the platform to promote her next film Love Breakup Zindagi , which incidentally marks her debut as a producer along with fellow struggling actor Zayed Khan.
They also star in their joint production, which is directed by newcomer Sahil Sangha, these days, a 'close friend' of Dia.
Also present at the event was Anil Kapoor. When asked about Amitabh Bachchan vacating the position of IIFA brand ambassador after a decade's association, Anil said: "Every actor associated with IIFA is a brand ambassador in his or her own way. Just as the Oscars and the BAFTA awards do not need a brand ambassador, IIFA too doesn't need one."
Vinay Pathak and Kay Kay Menon in Bheja Fry 2
Film: Bheja Fry 2 (U)
Cast: Vinay Pathak, Minissha Lamba, Amole Gupte, Kay Kay Menon, Suresh Menon, Rahul Vohra and Aditi Govitrikar
Director: Sagar Ballary
Rating: Half a star
Sagar Ballary’s Bheja Fry (2007) had earned itself a decent following among fans of clean, unpretentious comedy with the dim-witted Bharat Bhushan (Pathak) and aggressive Rajat Kapoor anchoring it.
The first part’s success (a remake of French film Le Dîner de Cons) made way for Bheja Fry 2, whichbears the burden of frying the viewers’ brain on its utterly weak shoulders. Ballary took the title a bit too seriously this time. So serious, he forgot to add humour.
The premise of Bheja Fry 2 remains the same as its predecessor. Annoyingly talkative income tax officer Bharat Bhushan has kept alive his ‘purana sapna’ of cutting a music album of his own. Bhushan emerges as the winner of a reality contest which takes him on a luxury cruise where he meets industrialist Ajit Talwar (Menon).
Tax evader Ajit Talwar is convinced Bhushan is out to get him, while all the latter wants is to have a little fun on the ship. TV serial producer Ranjini (Lamba) is the only one who seems to see within the awful singer whose innocent, helping nature tends to put people off permanently. And that’s exactly what happens when Bhushan and Talwar are stranded on an island with no sight of life. Most of the film unfolds in the island.
Even Akshay Kumar’s dumbed-down pseudo comedies like Tees Maar Khan and Khatta Meetha look like masterpieces when compared to the insipidness of Bheja Fry 2.
Pathak’s act worsens as the film progresses, beginning as the lovable idiot and ending as one whose sight you cannot stand.
Look at the Menons in Bheja Fry 2 if you want to know what it is like to be caught in a bad marriage. No, no, they’re not married to each other in the movie. No matter how hard they work or well they play their parts, nothing can save this rancid pickle of a marriage with Bheja Fry 2.
Both Kay Kay and Suresh (tends to go overboard at times) and Govitrikar are decent and bearable. The cruise setting seems like Ballary’s gimmick to cover the lack of humour, intelligent dialogue, glaring holes in screenplay, story and everything a film’s made of.
It’s surprising to see someone like Gupte risk his credibility as a good filmmaker and actor with such frivolous roles.
Bheja Fry 2 lives up to its name, deep-frying your head with its bland existence two times over. Bellary has said in an interview that he wasn’t keen on Bheja Fry 3. Thank God for small mercies.
Once the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) is ratified at the Parliaments of India and Switzerland, India will be given access to the information it wants on bank deposits and accounts of Indians.
Switzerland’s Ambassador to India H E Philippe Welti disclosed this here on Friday.
At a session on ‘Switzerland- India: A strong partnership, investment & business opportunities’, he said the Indian Parliament was ready to ratify the DTAA and Switzerland would do it soon.
Switzerland, Welti said, still had distinction between tax fraud and tax evasion.
“While tax fraud is a crime, tax evasion is not, though it is prohibited in our country.
We have strict rules for banks and have signed about 70-75 bilateral treaties and agreements with several SAARC countries,” he explained.
Further, he said around 120 Swiss manufacturers had their presence in India, out of which 20-30 were in Bangalore. “We are especially focused on manufacturing, science and technology, and hi-tech sectors, such as information technology and nanotechnology,” said Welti.
Informing that there was a 30 per cent growth in the number of visa applications from India over the past year, he said the new South Consul General office in Bangalore would be functional in near future and would cater to the visa applicants from south India.
At the meet, Executive Director of Swissnex India, Sylvia Hostettler, said they were involved in 22 research projects in the country. “Our key areas of focus are nanotech, IT, health sciences, urban development and renewable energy, among others,” she explained.
Fahira Idris recalls the day she visited the headquarters of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), a group known for its violent acts and vocal support for Sharia law.
"Of course I was terrified, but I was there on behalf of hundreds of people," says Fahira, with a warm smile. Since its birth in 1998 the FPI has made its name raiding bars, nightclubs and restaurants open during the fasting month of Ramadan. But the most infamous incident took place in 2008, when the group attacked a rally staged in support of religious tolerance.
The incident led to the arrest of FPI leader Habib Rizieq Shihab, a Saudi-educated scholar who has become the face of radical Islam in Indonesia. When Fahira visited their headquarters last year she took hundreds of petitions and emails, demanding the group to drop their violent dogma. In the end both parties agreed to disagree, but the meeting itself was a milestone.
It was the first time a member of public, not someone holding office, had come forward to talk with the FPI leader and express their concern. "It was three days before the start of holy Ramadan month and I said, okay, if no one's going to say this to their face, then I will," says Fahira, a practising Muslim. Despite there being no conclusion to the meeting, last year's Ramadan went by without any violent attacks from FPI members.
Many public figures - including Islamic figureheads - have openly called for the dissolution of FPI, but the authorities have repeatedly insisted they can't find any criminal evidence to ban the group, once described by the International Crisis Group as an "urban thug organisation". "We have been staying on the sidelines and discussing this for far too long," says Fahira. She says Islam in Indonesia should not be represented by the face of the FPI, and she's convinced that many Muslims in the country share her belief.
"It's just that they choose to be quiet." Vocal opposition Being vocal is not the norm among Muslim moderates in Indonesia, where almost 185 of its 230 million people follow Islam, making it the world's biggest Muslim nation by population. "The militants will always be noisier although the moderates outnumber them by millions," says Ulil Abshar Abdalla, a Muslim activist who campaigns relentlessly for pluralism in Indonesia. But his vocal opposition to Sharia law in Indonesia comes at a price. Ulil received his first murder threat after he founded the Liberal Islam Network in 2001.
Earlier this year Ulil was the target of a bomb hidden inside a book titled, 'They must be killed because of their sin against Islam'. He was unharmed, but the police officer who opened the package lost his right arm. A group of young men who the police describe as 'a new breed of terror' were later declared as suspects. Police also foiled an attempted attack on a church outside Jakarta, allegedly by the same men. "I was worried, of course. But we can't stop because of things like that," says the Harvard graduate. Misused momentum Indonesia has recently been hit by a series of small outbursts of religious violence after a long period of peace.
On the outskirts of the capital a Christian man was stabbed following a local dispute over building a church inside a Muslim neighbourhood. In February 2011 three people were killed when an angry mob attacked supporters of the Ahmadiyah Muslim sect in Umbulan village, Pandeglang, Banten. The Ahmadi movement follows the teachings of the Koran, but is regarded by orthodox Muslims as heretical because it does not believe that Mohammed was the final prophet sent to guide mankind.
According to Ulil Abshar, Islam has enjoyed a political revival in Indonesia since former president Suharto stepped down 13 years ago, but this momentum has been misused by some for political gain. "For some, it manifested into intolerance and violence in the name of Islam," says Ulil. Islam was suppressed as a political power under President Suharto, who held office for 32 years until his resignation in 1998. This largely stemmed from Suharto's fear of creating an alternative focus of power. Authorities also discouraged strong public displays of Islamic values, fearing a rise in fundamentalism.
Analysts say the absence of autocratic ruling has created room for radicalism. The problem has also been made worse because some hardliners are known to receive backing by former generals, who seek political gain from them. "Either for political or personal reasons, authorities are sometimes reluctant to take firm action against them. Hence that makes them feel privileged," says Ulil. Radicalisation of youth Despite recent crackdowns, the FPI says it now has more members than ever before.
A recent survey found that almost half of high school pupils around Jakarta approved of the use of violence in the name of religion and morality. "This is indeed an astonishing result," says Bambang Pranowo, a professor at the Jakarta Islamic State University, which ran the survey. Pranowo believes this is the result of a vacuum created by moderate Muslims who have not been pro-active enough to discourage radicalism. "As a result the youth absorbed ideas from anywhere else, in this case also from the radicals," says Pranowo.
He also blames the media for creating 'hype' over the hardliners activities. "The media went wild with the news of Imam Samudra being executed," he says, referring to the Bali bomber. He insists that some of the media coverage tended to "glorify" the convicted bombers. "When the public are fed up with news on corruption and injustice, apparently some find solace in people who show they can fight for justice their own way," says Pranowo.
In the months since the results of Pranowo's survey two of Indonesia's biggest moderate Islam organisations, Muhammadiyah and Nahdatul Ulama, have been under review. While some high ranking government officials have denounced the survey in public, both Islamic organisations admit the survey was a wake-up call. "I've been invited to countless occasions by both organisations, also their top notch ulemas, who are really worried about this," says Pranowo. Fahira Idries says she's working on a campaign using social media.
"We initiated this Love Peace Movement around Indonesia via twitter and now we have about 10,000 members already," she says. "Teachings can only be challenged by teachings, belief by belief. Don't count on others to do it for you". http://meandmysansar.blogspot.com/
passenger jet after mistaking it for a
North Korean aircraft, South Korean
Soldiers on Gyodong island, off South
Korea's west coast, fired 99 rifle rounds at
the Asiana flight, which was out of range
and landed undamaged.
The incident took place on Friday close to
the tense border between the Koreas.
The airliner, which had 119 people on
board, was descending at the time to
Seoul's Incheon International Airport.
The BBC's Lucy Williamson, in Seoul, says the
West Sea - which contains the disputed
maritime border between North and South
Korea - has been especially tense since two
attacks on South Korea last year.
Relations between the two nations have
been frosty ever since, with North Korea
recently vowing to break ties with the South
in retaliation for what it called
"psychological warfare" against it.
announced proposals for constitutional
amendments in a landmark speech.
The king said the measures would entrench
democratic institutions and protect rights,
though he confirmed that he will retain
some key powers.
The reforms would give the prime minister
and parliament more executive authority
and make Berber an official language in
Morocco, alongside Arabic.
The proposals will be put to a referendum
on 1 July.
The king promised in March to introduce
"comprehensive constitutional reform" after
anti-government protests inspired by those
elsewhere in the region.
Despite the pledge, thousands of pro-
democracy protesters have continued to
Many activists have been sceptical about the
king's promises of change, saying Morocco's
400-year-old monarchy has a long history of
enacting superficial reforms.
In his speech broadcast late on Friday on
Moroccan TV, King Mohammed outlined his
proposals and urged Moroccans to back
He said that if the reforms were approved,
they would "constitute a decisive historic
transition in the process of the building of
the rule of law and democratic institutions,
and in entrenching the principles and
mechanisms of good governance".
An amended constitution would also
guarantee "dignified citizenship and social
justice", he said.
The independence of the judiciary and
efforts to tackle corruption would be
boosted, he added, and the reforms would
guarantee freedom of expression and
But the king also said his own powers
would be reduced "as much as possible",
with the prime minister gaining the
authority to appoint government officials
and dissolve parliament.
According to the proposals, various national
councils, including a youth council, will
enable greater citizen participation.
The king said he would remain as the
supreme commander of the armed forces,
and retain control over security.
A new article within the constitution
formalised his role as the highest religious
authority in the country.
"The integrity of the person of the king
should not be violated," he said.
"The new formula does not try to put a
religious dimension to the person of the
king but rather highlights political
The proposals were drawn up by a reform
panel appointed by King Mohammed.
Driss Lachgar, minister in charge of relations
with parliament, called the draft "a real
He said it "laid the foundations for a
As the speech ended, cars flying Moroccan
flags drove through the streets of the capital
honking their horns, and young people
marched along the streets banging drums
But some activists were not pleased by the
"Before we had an absolute monarch, now
we have an absolute monarch that is a pope
as well," said Elaabadila Chbihna, an activist
with the February 20 movement that has
carried out weekly pro-democracy marches
around the country.
Morocco has been facing severe economic
challenges with high unemployment and
rising levels of poverty.
King Mohammed, 47, acceded to the throne
in 1999 following the death of his father,
Hassan II, and now heads the Arab world's
Cast: Zoa Morani, Ali Fazal, Giselle Monteiro, Lillete Dubey, Satyajeet Dubey, Ali Fazal
Director: Roshan Abbas
Set on a sprawling Delhi campus where students spend the bulk of their time attending drama rehearsals or dancing merrily in the corridors, 'Always Kabhi Kabhi' directed by Roshan Abbas channels those breezy 'High School Musical' movies…but alas this film doesn't have the infectious charm of those feel-good Disney entertainers.
The kids in this film are your usual stereotypes: you have the resident nerd (played by Satyajeet Dubey), the firebrand (played by Zoa Morani), the charmer (played by Ali Fazal), and the pretty new head-turner (played by Giselle Monteiro). There's little by way of plot here - the school's putting up a production of Romeo & Juliet, and our four leads sign up for assorted duties. Alongside we get a glimpse of their troubled home lives. The nerd is under pressure from his overbearing father to get admission into MIT, the short-tempered, snappy one longs for the attention of her busy parents, the pretty one is being bullied into realizing her mother's unfulfilled dreams, and Mr Popular has a strained relationship with his worrying father.
Much in the same sloppy vein as 'Faltu' recently, the larger theme that's addressed here is the lack of communication between adults and their children. Pretty much all parents are painted as villains, while teenagers are dubbed the misunderstood generation. Some of this might have worked if the characters or their situations felt authentic. But very little feels real or relatable in this film, aside from the sporadic use of status updates to take the narrative forward, and the exasperation of parents watching their kids spend so much time texting.
The real problem is that the film neither feels accurately representative of this generation and its lifestyle, nor does it have an aspirational quality to it like those campus portions of 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai' did all those years ago. As a result it feels very boring, and a closing-credits item-song featuring Shah Rukh Khan doesn't redeem it in any way.
Of the cast, Ali Fazal has a likeable presence, and Zoa Morani is blessed with abundant confidence. The clumsy script however, which throws in everything from a teenage pregnancy scare to a drugs bust, is limp to say the least despite the involvement of four writers.
I'm going with one-and-a-half out of five for director Roshan Abbas' 'Always Kabhi Kabhi'. Watching this film is like attending a concert put up by ten-year-olds. It's amateurish, and tedious to sit through, and the only thing you can appreciate in the end is the earnestness behind the effort.
Rating: 1.5 /5
Bheja Fry 2 Direction: Sagar Bellary Cast: Vinay Pathak, Kay Kay Menon The first part, the surprise commercial success of 2007, had a lot going for it. There was a good performer (Vinay Pathak) on board — a part adorable, part pesky character (Bharat Bhushan) in the screenplay.
The pic had a plot, courtesy a French original, The Dinner Game (1998).
This dull second part, which already seems belated, has the same lead actor. But check out the number of movies in which he’s roughly played that simple idiot, common man’s part since: Chalo Dilli, Utt Patang, Dasvidaniya… Bharat Bhushan, fully stretching it then, seems more annoying, peskier, than his role may demand.
Here’s why. The sequel’s forced the filmmakers to look for a plot on their own. I’m not sure if they did find one eventually. At least I can’t quite find it in the film.
Music lover Bharat Bhushan meets a woman (Minissha Lamba) who could be his soul mate. Her father’s called Malhar, mother Bhairavi, she’s herself Ranjini, named after another classical raag. Her grandfather Shantanu-da played violin for Shankar Jaikishen. Which is good to know. Except, that’s not what this film is vaguely about. It could’ve been.
What’s it then? Bhushanji’s won a television quiz show like Salman’s Dus Ka Dum. He’s on a cruise liner (with his girl, a TV exec). One of the passengers on board is a business tycoon (Kay Kay Menon), who has now invested heavily in the media industry.
Because, he says, there may be 130 TV stations on air right now, television ratings (TRPs) still don’t top 8 (which is a low number, given it means only 8% of the surveyed households). Clearly something’s missing in the content, he suggests. He could say that about the movie he’s in as well.
Our everyman hero Bhushan, if you recall, is an inspector from the ‘aykar vibhag’ (income tax department). The said tycoon, a serious tax evader, wants him dead. He wants to throw this IT inspector off the cruise liner. He does manage to. But he falls into the ocean as well.
The pic, entire second half thereafter, goes off into another tangent altogether. Bizman (Kay Kay) and Bhushan have only each other for company now. It’s like that Guy Ritchie Madonna tribute Swept Away? No. It’s like nothing.
Bhushanji, you know, will be fine. He packs into his bandi (sleeveless under-short) Vicko turmeric, Swiss knife and other assortments for circumstances such as these. What about the audience?
There are few things possibly worse than being stuck with two actors in a deserted island, when both seem out of sorts, because there really is no screenplay to take their performances forward, let alone any funny lines. Being also stuck with a cranky Bengali bozo (Amol Gupte), who owns a house in the same island, and Bhushan’s office colleague (Suresh Menon), who’s undeniably, understandably hamming it up.
Hangover 2, similarly a sequel to another sleeper hit, with precisely the same plot as the first, could still make you laugh in parts (or at least it did me). This one makes you believe in benefits of plagiarism alone. Knock-offs have delivered for Indians, fine films in the past.
May as well steal ideas then. What on earth’s this?
A two-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court on Friday recused itself from scheduled hearing of DMK MP Kanimozhi’s bail plea on Monday, prompting the Chief Justice of India (CJI) to refer the case before a special Bench comprising Justice G S Singhvi who is monitoring the probe in the 2G spectrum scam case.
A Bench of Justice Singhvi and Justice B S Chauhan would now hold the hearing on bail plea of the daughter of DMK Chief M Karunanidhi and Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar on June 20.
Justices P Sathasivam and A K Patnaik, who are now presiding over a Vacation Bench, informed the CJI Justice S H Kapadia about their decision recusing from hearing the case.
Kanimozhi and Kumar have been in jail since May 20 after a special Court had denied them bail for their alleged role in the 2G scam. Both are accused of receiving more than Rs 200 crore for Kalaignar TV from accused Shahid Balwa’s firm allegedly as quid pro quo for spectrum allocation.The case has seen several high-profile persons including corporate honchos behind the bars.
Earlier, the CBI filed an affidavit in the Court opposing their bail pleas contending that they could influence witness and tamper with the evidence after being released from jail. The probe agency also trashed the plea made by Kanimozhi and Kumar that Rs 200 crore money was received as loan amount.
CBI also referred to the order passed by the Delhi High Court denying bail to both the accused. It maintained that the High Court had dismissed their plea for bail after examining different material evidence and other factors.
Taking up the hearing on the bail petitions, the apex Court had on June 13 asked CBI to explain where the Rs 200 crore, allegedly diverted to DMK-owned Kalaignar TV in 2G scam, had gone and also to file a response in a week's time.
A Bench comprising Justice Chauhan and Justice Swatanter Kumar had also asked CBI to come out with a status report on the loss to the state exchequer due to the award of 13 licences to one of the telecom operators besides the trial proceedings in the CBI special Court.
Kanimozhi and Kumar had moved the apex Court seeking bail on June 10 challenging the Delhi High Court verdict rejecting their bail on the ground that they had strong political connections and there was a possibility of them influencing witnesses.
It's a call to awaken the Indian government's conscience that could save Dr Khaleel Chishty. In an unprecedented step, Justice Markandeya Katju of the Supreme Court, requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to release the Pakistani prisoner on "humanitarian grounds" under Article 72.
Pleading that the Pakistani prisoner is 'old and infirm', Justice Katju said, "it will be a disgrace for our country if he dies in jail." And as time is running out for Dr Chishty, he said, "if a pardon is granted it will enhance the prestige of India."
Following Justice Katju's appeal, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot cleared the mercy plea of Dr Chishty and sent it to the Governor. If the Governor gives his approval, the mercy petition will be cleared.
Dr Chishty had come to Ajmer to see his ailing mother in 1992, but got implicated in a murder case. As the case dragged on for years, he was prevented from returning home. His relatives say he's become a victim of Indo-Pak tensions.
"We are praying to Khwaja sahib that my brother should be released so that he can return home to his wife and children. He is in his final phase of life and we are afraid that he could expire any day," said Jameel Chishty, brother of Dr Khaleel Chishty.
The BJP, meanwhile, reacted sharply to Justice Katju's initiative. In a sign on how ordinary citizens become hostage to Indo-Pak hostilities, the party has linked up Dr Chishty's case with that of Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh, languishing in a Pakistan jail for years.
"It appears odd that a sitting judge of the Supreme Court, even though in his individual capacity, is talking about the release of a Pakistani prisoner. We would only say this if the government elects to consider that request - certainly, Sarabjit who is detained in Pakistan about whom there is a continuous demand that he should be released, the Government of India should ensure that he too is released," said Ravi shankar Prasad, BJP Spokesperson.
But human rights activists say, 80-year-old Dr Chishty has already suffered a lot. A heart patient for over 30 years, he can't even walk on his own and was carried by others, when he was sent to jail.
Dr Chishty's case raises serious questions about the slow pace of India's judicial system, for it defies all logic why any court should take 19 years to decide a case that makes a man stay away from his county and his family.
Those lobbying for Dr Chishty's release say keeping him in jail makes a mockery of our justice system.
"It's a gross injustice to keep him in jail. If his case had been decided on time and even if he had been given a life sentence, he would have been free by now," said Prem Kishan Sharma, President, PUCL, Rajasthan.
Ironically, even the Supreme Court of Pakistan, has rejected a plea to intervene in Dr Chishty's case, saying its beyond their territorial jurisdiction. Justice Katju's move could, however, prove to be a fresh ray of hope, despite the political games that may yet be played in Dr Chishty's case.
Marco Antonio Guzmán accused of leading the armed wing of the Juárez cartel, which has terrorised northern Mexico.
A leader of Ciudad Juárez's La Linea cartel is arrested in connection with a cell phone-detonated car bomb that killed four people in 2010 Link to this video
Federal authorities have detained a former police officer accused of leading the armed wing of the violent Juárez cartel in northern Mexico, according to the government.
Marco Antonio Guzmán, who had several aliases including "El Brad Pitt", was captured on Wednesday in Chihuahua along with two alleged accomplices, according to a federal police statement.
Guzmán, 34, was brought to the Mexican capital on Thursday and shown, handcuffed, to the media.
Police said Guzmán was involved in a car bomb explosion that killed a federal police officer and two civilians in June 2010.
They also accuse him of being involved in drug-trafficking operations across Chihuahua. Ciudad Juárez is one of the worst affected areas of the drug war, where an estimated 3,100 people were killed in 2010.
A federal official, speaking off the record, said Guzmán's nickname, "El Brad Pitt" arose from a disguise he wore when he served as a lookout for the Juárez cartel.
To go unnoticed, he tried to look like a tourist wearing his hair long, a baseball cap and a camera around his neck. According to the official, gang associates said Guzmán looked like Pitt in a scene from the US film Spy Game about CIA agents.
A $42,000 (£26,000) reward was offered for Guzmán's capture, and police suspected he may have been planning another bombing. Federal police said in a statement he had been responsible for acquiring another load of explosives seized in Ciudad Juárez on 25 April.
He also alleged to have participated in a videotaped killing that was posted online.
Also on Thursday, federal police said they arrested a leader of the so-called Zodiac kidnapping gang, whose member used the signs of the zodiac as nicknames.
Dhither Camarillo Palafox, alias Taurus, was arrested in Cancun on Friday. His alleged associates nicknamed Sagittarius and Aquarius were arrested in 2009. The group's other leader, nicknamed Cancer, was detained in 2005.
The group allegedly carried out kidnappings in and around Mexico City.
The couple apparently kissing during the Vancouver riots. The man has been named as Australian Scott Jones. Photograph: Rich Lam/Getty Images
At first glance the picture, snapped during Vancouver's hockey riots, seemed to show a young couple lying on the road and kissing, oblivious to the chaos around them. Now it appears that the real force behind the arresting image was not romance, but a charge by riot police who knocked Scott Jones and his girlfriend, Alex Thomas, to the ground.
The picture taken by Canadian photographer Richard Lam became a global sensation – appearing in the media, shared on Facebook and tweeted around the world – and looked set to take its place as one of the world's most iconic kiss photographs.
"How's that for making love, not war," astonished dad Brett Jones declared on his Facebook page, announcing that his son, Scott, was the Romeo depicted in the picture.
But others wondered if it was a fake, and the photographer himself had doubts about what the picture really showed. A second shot emerged showing more people around the couple and adding to the mystery.
A witness, identifying himself as William, wrote to the Vancouver Sun to give his take. He said he was on top of a carpark looking down on the place where the picture was taken. "What happened was the police line rushed the crowd and this couple trying to stay together couldn't react in time and were run over my two riot police officers.
"The girl who was knocked over landed head first on the pavement with her boyfriend landing partially on top of her. She was in visible pain, crying, but the two officers gave them a parting shove and moved on. Bystanders went to go make sure she was OK. I understand that the frontline police have to control the crowd but it is a bit ridiculous that they couldn't have other officers or paramedics behind the line to help anyone who is hurt."
Australian media have widely identified the man in the picture as Scott Jones, a 29-year-old from Melbourne who has been living in Vancouver for six months. The woman is said to be his girlfriend Alex Thomas, a Canadian.
His mother, Megan Jones, told NineMSN: "I knew it was him because he doesn't have a lot of clothes with him and he always puts on the same thing."
Before the full story emerged, she said she was shocked to spot her son lying in the middle of the street but not surprised. "It is something he would do, that's our boy. He has always lived in his own world, he's special like that. He doesn't always connect with what going on around him. I'd have to have my house flooded to get on the news, but he just has to kiss a beautiful girl."
Scott's sister Hannah said people had been posting on Scott's Facebook page. "You keep getting played on the news. You're famous!" one wrote. Jones replied: "Classic! This was shortly after the riot police run over the top of us and naturally Alex needed some comforting."
Lam took the photograph while covering the riots that followed the Vancouver Canucks' 4-0 loss to the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup.
The photographer was being buffeted by rioters and riot police when he spotted the couple. "I was about 20 or 30 yards away," he said. "There were these two people on the ground in this empty street. Initially I thought one of them was hurt." He took a few shots and then the moment was lost.
"It was complete chaos. Rioters set two cars on fire and then I saw looters break the window at a neighbouring department store," he said.
"At that point the riot police charged right towards us. After I stopped running I noticed in the space behind the line of police that two people were lying in the street with the riot police and a raging fire just beyond them.
"I knew I had captured a moment when I snapped the still forms against the backdrop of such chaos but it wasn't until later when I returned to the rink to file my photos that my editor pointed out that the two people were not hurt, but kissing," Lam said before the real story behind the photo came out.
A second photograph taken by Richard Lam of the 'kissing couple' lying in a Vancouver street after the hockey riots.
Officials in Vancouver said almost 150 people required hospital treatment and almost 100 were arrested during the riot.
A spokeswoman for the local health authority said three stabbing victims had been admitted and one man was in a critical condition with head injuries after a fall from a viaduct.
Rioting and looting left cars burned, stores in shambles and windows shattered over a roughly 10-block radius of the city's main shopping district.
The police chief, Jim Chu, said nine officers were injured, including one who required 14 stitches after being hit with a thrown brick. Chu said some officers suffered bite marks. He said 15 cars were burned, including two police cars.
He called those who incited the riot "criminals and anarchists" and said officers identified some in the crowd as the same people who smashed windows and caused trouble through the same streets the day after the 2010 Winter Olympics opened.
"These were people who came equipped with masks, goggles and gasoline," he said. "They had a plan."
Chu said those who stood by and filmed and cheered also bore responsibility.
The assistant fire chief, Wade Pierlot, said people were rescued from rooftops and bathrooms where they had hidden for safety. He said some people moved burning dumpsters away from buildings to prevent further damage.
Jun 17, 2011
Couple caught on camera by photojournalist during riot following Canucks' loss in Stanley Cup decider.
A couple are seen in the middle of the Vancouver riot after the Canucks lost to the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup decider.
Lying in the street and seemingly locked in a kiss as chaos erupts around them, a young couple appear oblivious to the charging crowds and baton-wielding riot police.
The photograph, taken amid Vancouver's hockey riots, has been tweeted around the world. But the photographer who took it is still not sure what the picture really shows.
Canada-based photojournalist Richard Lam took the photograph while covering the riots that followed the Vancouver Canucks' 4-0 loss to the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup.
The photographer was being buffeted by rioters and riot police when he spotted the couple. "I was about 20 or 30 yards away," he said. "There were these two people on the ground in this empty street. Initially I thought one of them was hurt." He took a few shots and then the moment was lost.
"It was complete chaos. Rioters set two cars on fire and then I saw looters break the window at a neighbouring department store," he said.
"At that point, the riot police charged right towards us. After I stopped running, I noticed in the space behind the line of police that two people were lying in the street with the riot police and a raging fire just beyond them.
"I knew I had captured a 'moment' when I snapped the still forms against the backdrop of such chaos but it wasn't until later when I returned to the rink to file my photos that my editor pointed out that the two people were not hurt, but kissing."
"Everyone has been asking who they are," said Lam but he has no idea and never had the opportunity to speak to them.
Even now he's not sure whether the picture shows a couple kissing or whether one of the two people is hurt. "I keep looking at the picture but I don't know what I think any more," he said.
Officials in Vancouver said almost 150 people required hospital treatment and almost 100 were arrested during the riot.
A spokeswoman for the local health authority said three stabbing victims had been admitted and an one man was in critical condition with head injuries after a fall from a viaduct.
Rioting and looting left cars burned, stores in shambles and windows shattered over a roughly 10-block radius of the city's main shopping district.
Police Chief Jim Chu said nine officers were injured, including one who required 14 stitches after being hit with a thrown brick. Chu said some officers suffered bite marks. He said 15 cars were burned, including two police cars.
He called those who incited the riot "criminals and anarchists" and said officers identified some in the crowd as the same people who smashed windows and caused trouble through the same streets the day after the 2010 Winter Olympics opened in 2010.
"These were people who came equipped with masks, goggles and gasoline," he said. "They had a plan."
Chu said those who stood by and filmed and cheered also bear some responsibility.
Assistant Fire Chief Wade Pierlot said people had to be rescued from rooftops and bathrooms where they had hidden for safety. He said some people moved burning dumpsters away from buildings to prevent further damage.
Foreign minister says past deals such as the Oslo accord will be threatened by efforts towards UN recognition of Palestinian state.
Catherine Ashton and Avigdor Lieberman prior to their meeting in Jerusalem.
Israel will renounce past agreements made with the Palestinians if they press ahead with unilateral plans to seek recognition of a Palestinian state at the UN, foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman has said.
"A move like that will be a violation of all the agreements that were signed until today," Lieberman told the EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, in Jerusalem. "Israel will no longer be committed to the agreements signed with the Palestinians in the past 18 years."
The principal agreement referred to is the Oslo accords, signed in September 1993, under which the Palestinian Authority (PA) was created with responsibility for administering parts of the West Bank and Gaza.
Lieberman's comments further raise the stakes in the run up to the UN general assembly in September, at which a majority of the 192 countries are expected to back a Palestinian state. Israel and the US are fiercely opposed to such a move and pressure is being applied to the Palestinians to abandon their approach.
Ashton is visiting Jerusalem and the West Bank in an attempt to break the impasse in negotiations between the two sides. Talks collapsed last September after Israel refused to extend a temporary and partial freeze on settlement construction.
In May Barack Obama publicly backed the creation of a Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 borders, with agreed land swaps, as an outcome of talks. The US president's move angered the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, who wants to retain the large settlement blocks in the West Bank. Obama's speech was intended to hold out the prospect of a negotiated alternative to the Palestinians' unilateral plan.
The Israelis say they are ready to resume negotiations on the basis of the Palestinians recognising Israel as a Jewish state. The Palestinians reject this on the grounds it pre-empts talks on the right of return of Palestinian refugees.
Lieberman, a hawkish member of the Israeli coalition government, said on Friday: "In light of [PA President Mahmoud] Abbas's current stance, the chances for negotiations are zero ... Israel is prepared to renew negotiations. The ball is in the Palestinians' court."
Israel has launched a global campaign through its embassies against the Palestinian move to garner support for its state ahead of the UN meeting. It is particularly worried about the position of European countries.
David Cameron indicated to Netanyahu in London last month that Britain might back a Palestinian state if there was no substantial progress in negotiations.
Germany and Italy have said they will oppose the Palestinians' move. France's position is thought to be similar to the UK's although it is trying to broker a peace conference as an alternative.
The US is expected to vote against the Palestinian move, and to use its veto in the UN security council over a Palestinian application for membership of the UN. It is applying pressure on Abbas and his officials to rethink their strategy.
However, Palestinian negotiator Muhammad Shtayeh told journalists on Thursday that the Palestinian Authority would press ahead with seeking recognition and membership of the UN regardless of whether talk resume.
"We are by all means going to the United Nations, whether there are negotiations or no negotiations," he said. "We think that is not either/or. We think that going to the United Nations and negotiations can go hand in hand and they are complementary to each other."
Both the Palestinians and the Israelis were focusing on the stance of European countries, he said. "For us and the Israelis the battle is over Europe because the issue is not how many states, the issue is also quality states, with all respect to everybody," he said.
A spokesman for Ashton said: "It is more urgent than ever to engage in meaningful negotiations and move the peace process forward ... What is needed is a clear reference framework to allow both sides to return to the negotiating table."
Ashton had called for a new meeting of the Middle East quartet, comprising the EU, US, Russia and the UN, to discuss the issues, he added.
If the Palestinian Authority was dismantled Israel would be obliged under international law to assume full responsibility for the administration of all the territory it has occupied since 1967.
Meanwhile the Turkish humanitarian organisation IHH has announced it is pulling out of the flotilla of ships taking aid to Gaza later this month after the Turkish authorities refused to give permission for the Mavi Marmara to sail.
Nine Turkish activists were killed on board the Mavi Marmara a year ago when Israeli commandos stormed on board in an attempt to prevent it breaching Israel's sea embargo around Gaza.
Other organisations participating in this year's flotilla have said they will go ahead without the IHH.
A senior Israeli military official has said the navy will stop the flotilla, using force if necessary.
comprising Justice MR Shah Thursday
handed over the probe of infamous Sadiq
Jamal Mehtar encounter case to the Centre
Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The court while allowing the petition of
Sadiq's brother Shabbir observed that high
ranking police officials were involved in the
case and to avoid any apprehension of bias
the probe be handed over to the CBI. The
court rejected governments' plea to hand
over the investigation to the special task
force constituted by it.
Justice Shah also rejected the government
contention of undue delay in preferring the
appeal. Sadiq Jamal Mehtar was killed on 13
2003 January in a police encounter.
before the Supreme Court on charges of
alleged use of force to evict followers of
yoga guru Baba Ramdev from Ramlila
Ground on the night of June 4.
In the affidavit, Delhi Police has denied the
allegations that it used force to disperse off
crowd from the site. The Delhi Police also
justified the eviction action stating that the
number of people that had gathered at the
Ramlila Ground had exceeded more than
three times beyond the permission granted
by the police. It said that permission was
granted for gathering of only 5,000 people
but more than 20,000 people had gathered
on the night of the eviction.
The Delhi Police also alleged that Ramdev’s
followers had resorted to stone pelting and
violence against the police personnel and in
response the police had to use teargas
shells. The Delhi Police has also claimed that
only eight teargas shells were fired and it
maintained maximum restraint.
Earlier the Apex Court had taken suo moto
cognizance of media reports on the
midnight crackdown on yoga guru Baba
Ramdev and his supporters in New Delhi's
Ramlila Ground on early hour of last Sunday,
and issued notices to Union Home Secretary,
Delhi Chief Secretary, and Commissioner of
Baba Ramdev was on a hunger fast at
Delhi’s Ramlila Ground against corruption
along with his followers. Among others
demands, Ramdev’s prime demand was
black money deposited in other countries
abroad, to be declared as National Property.
After being forcibly removed from the site,
Ramdev was then packed off from the
A major tragedy was averted on Friday when 4 kg of explosive and detonators were recovered by police from the Kanchenjunga Express during routine search after its arrival at the railway station here.
Police found the explosive, detonators and a device, which were concealed in an air bag, from seat no. 22 of S5 coach during routine search of the Kolkata-Guwahati express at the Guwahati Railway Station, sources said.
They said after the bomb was found, all 1100 passengers inside the train were deboarded. “The train was checked thoroughly,” the sources said.
Police said they recovered 4 kg explosive, 4 detonators and a time device from the bag at around 5.20 AM after the train arrived.
“The programmable time device was found during routine check by police personnel. Every train which arrives at the Guwahati station is checked,” the sources said.
Maoist guerrillas blew up two mobile phone towers in Jharkhand's Palamau district during a 24-hour shutdown called by them to protest the arrest of one of their top leaders, police said Friday.
According to the police, the two towers, situated under Hunterganj police station , were blasted by the Maoist guerrillas late Thursday. The generator rooms were also set on fire.
No one was injured in the incident, police said.
Maoists also torched two trucks early Friday in Bihar.
Maoist guerrillas had blasted a mobile phone tower of a private company situated at Mali village of Palamau district early Thursday.
They had called a 24-hour shutdown Thursday to protest the arrest of Jagdish Yadav alias Jagdish Master, politburo member of the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist). He was arrested June 12 from Gaya.
The Hollywood flick Green Lantern's poster (above) looks a tad familiar to Krrish (below). What say?
Ajay Devgn who is the special anchor for a few episodes of Emotional Atyachaar 3 besides the reality show's host Pravesh Rana gets candid on his take on relationships, "It is not worth wasting or finishing your life for someone who does not love you!" Point taken, Mister!
Vinay Pathak's lovemaking advice in 'Bheja Fry 2' scandalises censors
Thanks to the Censor Board, a sex scene in Bheja Fry 2, which director Sagar Bellary claims is the most funny, was chopped off. Apparently, the scene had Vinay Pathak aka Bharat Bhushan explaining a couple the best positions in lovemaking to have a child!
In a particular scene, Vinay tells a couple, engaged in lovemaking, that they are doing it all wrong. He then explains them the best positions for sambhog kriya (sex play).
Ballary admits that the how-to sequence had to be removed. "For Vinay's character, sex is only for procreation. So, when he sees a couple on the bed with the woman on top, he gently chides them, and reminds them that this position is not correct for garv-dharan (having a baby). The CB was scandalised and I was told that I can't show the hero telling the couple how to make love with details on garv dharan and other pillow talk."
"So, I've removed the sequence. Now, Vinay sees the couple, walks out, walks back in and says, 'at least lock the door before doing this'. All the humour has been lost, unfortunately!" the director further adds. Ballary, who became a father recently, says he will retain the shot in the DVD. "It's a hilarious scene and one that had all of us falling off our chairs."
Deepika Padukone who features on Simi Selects India's Most Desirable this Sunday was initially coy when asked about Sidhartha Mallya. But a few minutes into the show, the actress said, "I have known Sidhartha from my Bangalore days ¦ he is charming and intelligent." She added, "The best part about him is that he is very inconsequential to the Mallya. And one thing I'd like to change about him is his excessive energy."
Ever since they got hitched, speculation has been rife about the stork visiting Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan.
The latest to hint at the new addition to the Bachchan parivar is Junior B’s tweet: “@juniorbachchan: Alright gotta put the dancing shoes... BIG B IN DA HOUSE!!!! with a ‘little’ support from junior!” Is Abhishek’s support “little” or is Baby B referring to his baby on the way?
At a recent event, media photographers speculated that Ash might be sporting a baby bump as she ensured that her sari’s pallu remained fixed across her belly right through the event.
While many of her inexplicable fashion choices have only highlighted her fluctuating weight, the industry continues to be abuzz with talk of Ash undergoing IVF treatment.
Aishwarya is thought by many to be the world's greatest beauty. Speaking last year about her hopes to one day become a mom, she said, "Life itself is a blessing, let alone to have opportunity to be able to bring a life into this world.... It's really not in our hands... it's in God's hands. I hope I am just blessed with that experience, I am really looking forward to it and we will certainly cherish it."
What’s the truth? We don’t know, but we’re watching the Twitterspace as closely as you are.
Sony Ericsson Text Pro and Mix Walkman
It seems the social networking site Facebook is picking up as a new launchpad. Cellphone giant Sony Ericsson took it to Facebook to unveil two new phones -- the Text Pro and Mix Walkman.
Geared towards music lovers and social networking fans, both the handsets run Sony Ericsson operating system and reportedly have a user interface similar to the Xperia range.
Sporting a 3-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 240 x 400 pixels, Mix Walkman comes with Zappin feature which will let users preview songs before listening.
Featuring a 3.15 megapixel camera, the phone supports GPRS/EDGE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP and Stereo FM radio with RDS. The phone's memory can be expanded up to 32GB.
Sony Ericsson Text Pro features a slide-out QWERTY keypad and comes preloaded with Friends application that lets users scan through the Facebook and Twitter updates.
Like Mix Walkman, Text Pro too comes with 3.2 megapixel camera and sports a 3-inch touchscreen display.
Both the phones are expected to be available from the third quarter of this year.
Samsung wants Galaxy S2 to be the best smartphone in the market.
What's hot: Very fast, gorgeous display, future-proof hardware, superb video playback capabilities
What's not: Plasticky build, people with smaller hands may find it too large, no HDMI port
Almost a year after Galaxy S made a debut and dazzled the world with a premium take on Android, Samsung is ready for its successor. The company knows that topping the success of Galaxy S will require some special effort. And special effort is what it claims to have made for S2. We put it through paces to see if it can meet the mighty expectations.
Under the hood
Samsung wants Galaxy S2 to be the best smartphone in the market. And to achieve its aim, it has used its manufacturing edge to full effect. S2 packs a dual-core Exynos processor running at a zippy 1.2GHz. There is 1GB RAM to make sure that apps get all the memory they require. The phone comes with 16GB storage.
In terms of connectivity, all the usual suspects like 3G, Wi-Fi or DLNA are there. HDMI port, however, is a notable miss. For HDMI connectivity, an adapter will be sold separately for Rs 1,670.
On paper, S2 is a monster. We don't have too much faith in benchmarks — user experience matters, right — but just to put things in perspective, we used Quadrant, an app that tests theoretical performance of a processor, memory card and gaming capabilities. The phone scored 3370 points, over 900 more than Optimus 2X, India's first dual-core phone that we reviewed recently. This makes Galaxy S2 the world's fastest Android phone. At least, in theoretical performance. And, at least, for now.
Build & screen
Samsung has a habit of putting Super AMOLED displays on its high-end phones. And, S2 continues the tradition. Compared to the screen on Galaxy S, the Gorilla Glass screen on S2 has less-saturated colours and more sharpness.
Text looks better on a good quality LCD screen like that of iPhone 4 or Optimus 2X. For everything else, the 800x480 resolution screen is gorgeous. There is one glitch, though. The auto brightness dims the screen too much. But you can set it manually. For daily use, around 20% brightness works well.
Samsung also has a habit of using cheap-looking plastic to build its phone. And, on S2 the tradition continues. The back cover is particularly flimsy. For its size (125.3 x 66.1 x 8.5mm), the phone is surprisingly light at 116grams.
S2 runs on Gingerbread (Android 2.3) customized with TouchWiz 4.0 user interface (UI). Compared to TouchWiz 3.0, the new UI looks the same at the first glance. However, dive deep, and you come across a number of tweaks that enhance user experience. For example, messages or list of missed calls can be accessed without unlocking the home screen.
Live panels — in other words bigger widgets — can be placed on home screens. Ability to organize apps into folders has been added along with option to resize several widgets, TouchWiz 4 comes with apps like Social Hub, Gaming Hub and Readers Hub where relevant content can be put for easy access. There is a provision for motion-based gestures that use gyroscope to zoom pictures or move apps between home screens. The effects are nice but feel more like a forced novelty than something that would be used much by people in real life.
Performance & battery life
On S2, there is no hint of lag. It's buttery smooth. The performance while shifting between tasks during multitasking is top notch. The power of dual core processor is apparent when you install or launch an app. It happens in a jiffy.
Browsing is the same story. Scrolling is smooth even with multiple windows open in browser. And Pinch-to-zoom is fastest we have ever seen on any phone. It even works without any jitters on Flash videos.
Call quality was good though on few occasions there was slight background noise. It's not clear it was due to network glitches or produced by the handset. Keyboard is similar to what is found on Galaxy S. It's decent but not the best.
On Galaxy S, GPS was a major issue. This time, Samsung has paid close attention to GPS. On S2, it locks with satellites quickly, and more importantly, maintains that lock without any trouble.
For such a large phone, battery life is good on S2. Given that we have a patchy 3G service in India, it's difficult to get more than 10 to 12 hours of battery life on moderate to heavy use on S2. If you use EDGE, you can manage a whole day on a single charge.
Camera & multimedia
Finally, the part to which many of our readers pay special attention. There are two cameras on Galaxy S. The one on the back shoots pictures in 8 megapixel while the front camera carries tag of 2 megapixel.
The performance of primary camera on S2 is above average but not spectacular. Compared to Optimus 2X, S2 produced pictures that lacked details. But in terms of colours, this 8MP shooter slightly edged out the competition. The camera on S2 doesn't matches the high bar set by Nokia N8 or even Sony Ericsson Arc but it performs well enough and does justice to its 8-MP tag.
Full HD (1080P) videos are recorded in MP4 format. The quality is decent considering it's a smartphone first.
S2 promises the moon when it comes to playing videos. And when put to test, it delivers on its promise. To test video support on a phone, we play a number of clips encoded with popular codecs. S2 turned out to be the first phone that could play them all, including a 1080P clip with a bit-rate of 17mbps that can choke even netbooks.
At TOI, we are misers when it comes to ratings. But Galaxy S2, with its killer hardware and fluid performance, turned out to be one smartphone that deserves its stars. Apart from the plasticky build, there is nothing seriously wrong with this device. In case you decide to go for the most versatile and the fastest smartphone available in the market right now, look no further than Galaxy S2.
Samsung has fixed its MRP at Rs 32,890, though its street price is estimated to be slightly under Rs 30,000. It will be available in cellphone stores from June 9.
NWZ-E363 Walkman player from Sony
Sony has announced the new NWZ-E363 Walkman player for the Indian market, which boasts Clear Bass and Clear Stereo enhancement technologies to improve the audio quality of the device.
The NWZ-E363 is expected to have a battery life of 30 hours for audio playback and with 4 hours for video playback.
It includes a 2-inch TFT color display with white backlit LED and also includes an alarm/sleep timer.
Other features include FM tuner, voice recorder, SensMe channel, Synchronized lyrics function, Karaoke function along with audio and video codec support for MP3, AAC, WMA (DRM), L-PCM and WMV (DRM) formats.
The NWZ-E363 sports a Dynamic Normalizer which controls the shift between tracks; this is quite pleasant especially while you are listening to music in shuffle mode.
The Sony NWZ-E363 will include 4GB of storage capacity, which is one of its major disappointments. It comes in two colors – black and white and is priced at Rs 4,990.
Asus PA246Q ProArt series LCD monitor
Asus's PA246Q ProArt series LCD monitor is packed with features that should serve artistes, designers and photographers better than general purpose monitors. This 24" monitor has a 16:10 native resolution of 1920X1200 on an IPS panel which gives it a wide viewing angle of 178°.
Other features that should increase efficiency and productivity of contemporary creative-types include deeper color palette, near perfect reproduction of photographs, QuickFit Virtual Scale software and a swivel-stand that can rotate the screen in portrait or landscape mode.
Asus's PA246Q boasts of reproducing Adobe RGB color space with 98% accuracy, allowing the monitor to display photographs taken with DSLR cameras, in near full color spectrum. The screen can display up to 1.07 billion colors and the bundled QuickFit Virtual Scale software gives real-size, overlay previews of documents in A4, letter and various photo sizes.
The monitor's PIP (Picture-in-Picture) capability could be the next best thing to working with dual-displays. PA246Q has input ports for HDMI, DVI, D-Sub and DisplayPort; along with two USB ports and even a 7-in-1 media card reader.
You can bag this specialist display—which carries a 3-year warranty— in exchange for Rs 31,000.
The 7-inch touchscreen tablet will come with inbuilt keyboard, video conferencing facility, multimedia content, Wi-Fi and USB port
After hitting the roadblock for over six months, the Indian government backed ambitious low-cost tablet project is finally set to take off.
According to latest media reports, the low-cost $35 tablet codenamed 'Sakshat' is expected to launch by the end of this month.
The country's answer to the $100 laptops developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will be powered by Linux OS and is made by HCL Technologies.
As for the specs, the 7-inch touchscreen tablet will come with inbuilt keyboard, video conferencing facility, multimedia content, Wi-Fi, USB port, 32GB hard drive and 2GB RAM. The tablet will support Open Office, SciLab and Internet browsing.
According to reports, government has decided that 10,000 Sakshat tablets will be delivered to IIT Rajasthan in late June. Also, over the next four months more than 90,000 tablet units will be ready for launch and will come at a price of Rs 2,200.
Reports claim that the government later plans to further subsidise the cost by 50 per cent which means the device may cost somewhere around Rs 1,100.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Salman Khan
The industry is anxiously waiting to see if Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Salman Khan will come face to face.
The two are likely to attend the extravagant wedding of Mallika Reddy, daughter of socialites Pinky and Sanjay Reddy on June 10. Since Ash is invited for the marriage, the buzz is that she is likely to fly down to Hyderabad.
And Salman, who is very close to the Reddys', also plans to visit Hyderabad for the wedding. Ash has, so far, carefully avoided facing Salman to avoid nasty moments. Now, the two will inevitably come face to face and the whole of B- town is waiting to see what the outcome will be.
Inhuman treatment: An Indian has been chained to a hospital bed in Saudi Arabai for nearly five months after he was arrested in a forgery case.
An Indian has been chained to a hospital bed here for nearly five months after he was arrested in a forgery case and is waiting to be deported back home, according to a report.
Ram Pradip Mali was brought to the King Fahd hospital in Jeddah from the prison in January after he became weak.
The National Society for Human Rights Society (NSHR) called Mali's treatment as inhumane.
He is suffering from severe anaemia, which has caused life-threating problems of inflammation and acute bone marrow, The Saudi Gazette reported.
Mali was admitted to the intensive care unit and moved to an isolation room due to infection concerns .
The hospital has written several letters to prison officials, demanding his speedy deportation after his condition stabilises since the treatment is costly, said the report.
There are also fears of a relapse in his condition since his leg has been chained to the bed for five months.
"The man is disgruntled because the Indian consulate has not made any serious effort to solve his case after its representative visited him in the hospital," Dr Hussein Al-Shareef, supervisor of the NSHR branch said.
Mali also claimed that same treatment was not meted out to him by the consulate as to his colleagues, who were promptly deported following their arrest in a forgery case, Al-Shareef added.
"We are preparing a report on the patient's condition, which we will refer to authorities for expediting his deportation due to his heath condition," Al-Shareef said.
"Chaining him is an inhuman and inappropriate act," he said. "It is humiliating and does not show any regard for the patient's dignity and it is causing him fear," he added.
The superintendent of Asansol sub-divisional hospital, Dr Ranjit Mondal, and a nurse have been asked to go on indefinite leave after they were allegedly seen in an 'embarrassing position' in a room of the nurses' hostel late on Tuesday night.
A third employee of the hospital, medicine department staff and co-ordination committee leader Tarun Mukherjee, has also been told to go on leave on charge of irregularities, say sources. All three will face a departmental inquiry and action will be taken accordingly, said an official.
Some hospital employees apparently heard 'strange noises' coming from the nurses' hostel around 2am on Wednesday. Thinking thieves had entered, they alerted the security and emergency staff. When the nurses were asked to come out of their rooms, one nurse did not open her door. The employees forced in and saw the "hospital superintendent running away", said a source.
When the news spread in the morning, local residents, hospital staff and nurses started an agitation. Asansol SDO Sandip Dutta, mayor Tapas Banerjee and mayoral council member Rabiul Haq rushed to the hospital. Additional chief medical officer health Arita Chattoraj directed Dr Ranjit Mondal, the nurse and Tarun Mukherjee to go on leave. There were a lot of complaints against Mukherjee, say sources. Burdwan CMOH Tanmoy Mukherjee said that a senior doctor of the hospital will become the acting superintendent for the time being.
"The incident is shameful," said mayor Tapas Banerjee. "At a time when chief minister Mamata Banerjee is making surprise visits to hospitals, it's sad that Asansol sub-divisional hospital, which she upgraded only two days ago, has hardly improved."
Ranjit Mondal says he is innocent and that he is being framed by some people. The other two accused have not commented on the allegations against them.
The Asansol SDO, who is also the head of the Patient Kalyan Samity, has warned that all doctors should come on time and remain in hospital during duty hours, otherwise "stern action will be taken".
Irked by the Centre's diametrically diverse views on army and paramilitary forces' immunity from criminal prosecution in fake encounter killings, the Supreme Court today asked the government to spell out its position on the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act and other laws.
"You cannot say that an army man can enter any home commit a rape and say he enjoys immunity as it has been done in discharge of official duties," the apex court remarked. The apex court made the remarks after senior counsel Ashok Bhan, appearing for the Centre, voiced divergent views on two separate encounter killings involving military personnel in J&K and Assam.
In the 2004 Chattisingpora killing in J&K , where seven youth were killed in an alleged fake encounter by Rashtriya Rifles personnel, Bhan sought prosecution of the armymen whereas in a similar alleged fake encounter by CRPF men in Assam, the counsel said they enjoyed immunity.
"How can you adopt diametrically different views?" the bench said, to which Bhan admitted it was "compulsions of his professional duties." He urged the court to de-link the two issues and deal with them separately.
However, the bench said since "the issue involved vital questions of law relating to public" , the matter would be taken up for a detailed hearing after vacation.
The Congress frowned upon Anna Hazare's threat to go on hunger strike from August 16 on the Lokpal Bill issue, wondering whether "only five people are wise and the rest fools".
Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh told reporters that going on a fast to threaten government does not behove a Gandhian like Hazare.
Taking a dig at Hazare and his team, who have five members in the Joint drafting committee on the Lokpal Bill, Singh said the attitude that "only five people are wise and the rest are fools is not proper".
He said the Congress and the government were committed to a strong Lokpal Bill and, therefore, all parties must come together for an effective legislation.
Singh and party spokesperson Jayanthi Nataranjan, who spoke separately, insisted the so-called civil society should respect the inherent right of Parliament.
Nearly two months after Sri Sathya Sai Baba's death on April 24, his favourite abode in the sprawling Prasanthi Nilayam, Yajur Mandir, was opened by the Sathya Sai Central Trust here on Thursday. But the Trust maintained a veil of secrecy on the cash and gold stocked inside the mandir saying that details of the assets would be revealed on Friday once the inventory of jewels, ornaments and other precious stones is completed.
Sources said that crores worth valuables and gold jewellery was stored inside the mandir. The Trust kept everybody, including media, at bay though it had promised to open the doors of the mandir in the midst of devotees and high-profile individuals.
Baba's nephew and Trust member R J Rathnakar Raju told newsmen in the evening that several documents and papers on the valuables inside the mandir were being perused by the SBI authorities. "We will try to give a list of the gold stocks and cash held by Sai Baba on Friday," he said.
The mandir was closed in March ever since Baba was admitted to the super speciality hospital with serious health problems and remained locked up till Thursday morning. Around 9.30 am, senior Trust members S V Giri, V Srinivasan along with Rathnakar, secretary K Chakravarthi and Baba's caregiver Satyajit entered the mandir. They were closeted inside for a long time.
Later, around 11.45 am, SBI manager and some staff went inside along with a counting machine. Sources said lockers were also opened inside the mandir. "Baba used to maintain a cash chest from where he used to gift priceless valuables and gifts to his ardent devotees," a source said.
Ex-CJI P N Bhagawati along with former High Court judge Vaidyanathan and ex-Supreme Court judge A P Misra were also present when the inventory was being done in the mandir. Surprisingly, the district collector, SP or revenue officials were not present at the time of inventory. "Though the Trust promised to carry out the exercise in the presence of a third party, nobody was allowed inside," sources said. Media was kept out of bounds, while only DSP Narasimhulu, who is touted to be close to Rathnakar, was present.
Meanwhile, Bhagawati changed his tack saying that he has not resigned from the central Trust as reported by the media. "I had quit from the Sathya Sai Educational Trust only after I was made the chancellor of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning," he said.
IN STYLE: Hrithik Roshan
Despite a hectic shooting schedule for Agneepath, Hrithik Roshan took time out for private lessons in sign language from a tutor.
The actor wanted to communicate with the hearing impaired contestants who will appear on his soon-to-air reality show Just Dance. "He wanted to be able to express his thoughts to them," reveals a source.
During the auditions, he came across a 21-year boy, Nimeet Kotian, whose mother was deaf and mute. The actor was touched by the boy's story. "He wanted to praise the mother for instilling such good values in her son and asked his sign language teacher to teach him to communicate what he wanted to say to the mother. After he was done 'talking', there was not a dry eye on the sets."
That's not all. An insider reveals, "Hrithik also sent across a message on a video to a young girl who had auditioned in London. She is hearing impaired since childhood but danced beautifully. Hrithik was so impressed by her performance that he recorded a message for her in sign language and asked the channel to send it to her."
Bollywood's Khan royale has done it again! Aamir Khan has announced that he will skip the National Awards from now on. The actor, who quite famously boycotted popular film awards a while back, raised eyebrows not long ago when he did not send his critically- acclaimed crossover production of 2010, Peepli Live, for consideration at the country's mosthonoured film awards.
Peepli Live's director, Anusha Rizvi, subsequently cried victimisation because, like most others, she felt her film could have won a few awards at the esteemed platform. However, as entering a movie into any awards competition is the producer's prerogative, she alleged that Aamir had deliberately held back her debut vehicle, out of spite as the two were no longer on good terms.
Now, Aamir has declared that he has taken a policy decision to never enter any of his productions for any awards, including the National Awards. The decision seems surprising because his past productions Lagaan and Taare Zameen Par have scored big at the prestigious platform.
According to Aamir, he doesn't like the idea of having to apply for an award - obviously referring to the red tape associated with the process at the National Awards. "If anyone wants to honour a genuine effort, they can take the initiative in doing so. To me, the biggest achievement is getting a good response from the audience," he told a section of the media.
Aamir however acknowledged that the National Awards were the highest honour that a film personality can aspire for. This of course means that the only award - if at all - we could see Aamir holding aloft is probably the Oscar, since he has not yet given up on that one. Wonder, how many more new trends Aamir wishes to set as he continues to enthrall audiences with one gem after another.