Monday, July 26, 2010

Aamir, SRK dine together

Shah Rukh and Aamir KhanLook who was spotted flashing hashis (Japanese chopsticks) at the Hakkasan restaurant in London on Friday night over sushi and sashimi... Bollywood superstars Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan. And, with them, the film industry’s most celebrated filmmaker, Karan Johar, and the Bollywood Badshah’s stylish wife, Gauri Khan. The foursome gave Indians dining at this Japanese restaurant paisa vasool for their meals.

Aamir is in London (then LA, NY, Dubai...) to promote Peepli Live, Shah Rukh is there shooting for his futuristic RA One with Kareena Kapoor, and Karan flew to the UK to spend 20 days with SRK and Gauri and also work on his own script.

What is interesting is that in the midst of all their independent work activities, the superstars found time to break bread together.

Aamir invited Karan, SRK and Gauri to a private screening of Peepli Live. SRK didn’t make it but Karan saw the film. After pack-up SRK and Aamir went for dinner, though. Accompanied by Gauri and Karan. A fan of both Khans said, “There were some jokes being cracked over which SRK and Aamir were laughing a lot. Gauri seemed to enjoy herself watching these guys cracking up.”

Ranbir doesn’t turn Sonam on!

Sonam Kapoor is the one of the most sought after actresses in town. The youngster symbolizes the attitude of Bollywood’s young brigade who doesn’t shy away from calling a spade a spade. Be it her chic fashion sense or that million dollar smile, Sonam Kapoor is fast becoming a favourite amongst men and good news being the actress is single!

Ask Sonam about her Mr Right and the actress reveals, “I would never date a guy who works in films like me. We would then end up discussing movies most of the time and that would get boring eventually. Also, if he works in films, he would remind me of my dad!”

What about Ranbir, Abhay and Imran we probe. “They are not my kind. I want someone who is intelligent and caring”, winked Sonam.

Ahem! Ranbir, Abhay and Imran are you listening guys!

Pakistan denies helping Taliban in Afghan war

Pakistan has vehemently rejected accusations that its intelligences agencies have actively supported Taliban militants in Afghanistan.

The claims are based on leaked American military documents made public by the internet whistle-blower Wikileaks.

The papers contain specific claims that Pakistani intelligence helped the Taliban plan attacks on NATO, United Nations and Indian targets.

One refers to an alleged meeting between insurgents and the former Pakistani intelligence chief, Lieutenant General Hamid Gul.

He says the allegations are false.

CBI gets court nod to quiz Shah in jail

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was on Monday allowed by a special court to question Gujarat's former minister Amit Shah in jail for three days, starting July 28, in connection with the 2005 Sohrabuddin Sheikh killing. Special CBI Judge AI Raval allowed the investigating agency to quize shan July 28-30 between 9.30 am and 5.30 pm

The former minister's interrogation will have to be videographed, the court told the CBI.

Shah was sent to 14 days judicial custody on Sunday after he surrendered before the investigating agency.

Earlier Monday, noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani appeared for the former minister in court and applied for his bail. The court will take up the matter Aug 2.

Prithvi test fire successful

PM to intervene in Babhli barrage dispute, say Andhra parties

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has assured an all-party delegation from Andhra Pradesh of intervening to try and resolve the problems concerning the Babhli barrage issue, a suggestion not welcomed by the Telugu Desam Party.

The delegation led by Chief Minister K Rosaiah and joined by TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu and PRP's Chiranjeevi also urged Singh to call a meeting of Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra to solve the impending issue.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Rosaiah hoped the Prime Minister would consider their demand and call a meeting of Chief Ministers of both the states to amicably resolve the issue.

"We are very much satisfied with the meeting. The Prime Minister assured us that he will discuss the issue with officials and then take it up at the political level. He assured us that he will intervene and try to solve the problems," he said.

The delegation met Singh at his 7, RCR residence and asked him to direct the Maharashtra Government to dismantle the gates installed at Babhli barrage, which Andhra calls "illegal construction".

Describing the meeting as satisfying, Chiranjeevi said the Prime Minister was receptive to the suggestion of convening a meeting of the Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra on the issue.

However, Naidu said he was not satisfied with the meeting as the Prime Minister did not "give any commitment on the issue."

"Neither the Chief Minister nor the Congress party nor the Prime Minister are serious about the (Babhli) issue. We will decide the party's future course of action tomorrow," he said.

Andhra accuses the Maharashtra government of carrying out illegal construction and installing gates at the Babhli barrage against a Supreme Court order, but Maharashtra disputes it.

"Babhli is an illegal and unauthorised terminal barrage of the series of 13 other unsanctioned barrages on Godavari, upstream of Sri Ram Sagar project of Andhra Pradesh," the leaders said in a memorandum submitted to Singh.

"While Babhli stands out as the most blatant violation, there are also several unauthorised and unaccounted for water retaining structures in the upper reaches of both Godavari and Krishna in the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka affecting our lower riparian interests adversely," they said in the memorandum.

The leaders said in the memorandum: "A strong controlling authority with necessary Constitutional backup and strong implementing teeth perhaps is the only way to prevent the 'prophecy' of water wars and needs to be in place urgently."

They also urged him to personally intervene and take all possible measures to protect the interests of the lowest riparian state -- Andhra Pradesh.

Noting that Maharashtra has constructed Jayakwadi Project across Godavari at about 262 km from the source or 502 km upstream of Pochampad Project, the leaders said Pochampad Dam (SRSP) is constructed across Godavari.

They said Singh should ask the Maharashtra Government that the construction of Babhli project, which falls within the water prism of Sri Rama Sagar and is being built without any permission from the Central Water Commission, may be stopped forthwith.

They said Singh should also ask the state government to stop other 13 projects, which are obstructing the flow of water and have been constructed without obtaining the permission of the Central Water Commission and consent of lower riparian states.

Tying up funds for Parkway never an issue: Malvinder Singh

Malvinder Singh, Chairman, Fortis Healthcare

In a surprise turn of events, Fortis today backed out of the race for Parkway Holdings. Fortis will divest its entire holding in Parkway at S$3.95 per share to Malaysian sovereign fund Khazanah. Fortis said it accepted the offer and would use the S$116.7 million profit on its Parkway stake to look for other opportunities in the region.

Khazanah and Fortis, which both own around a 25% stake in Parkway each, had wrangled for more than two months over the Singapore firm that both were eyeing to spearhead their regional expansion in the region's booming healthcare market। Parkway runs hospitals in Singapore, Malaysia, India and China.

In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Malvinder Singh, Chairman, Fortis Healthcare explained the rationale behind the exit.

Below is a verbatim transcript. Also watch the accompanying video.

Q: Let me start by asking you about your decision to walk away from the bidding war. This would have given you a combined market cap between Fortis and Parkway of about USD 5 billion. It made you the largest player in thehealthcare space in Asia and it opened up the avenues for you to expand your global footprint significantly. Why then the decision to let go at this stage?

A: It does all of that. I think Parkway is a great asset for us to use as a vehicle for achieving our strong leadership position across Asia. But at the same point in time we were very clear, we were not interested to get into a bidding war. At the same point in time we made a very good and a very compelling offer to all the shareholders through our open offer at S$3.8 a share which I personally believe is a little more stretched than what should be that optimal or that maximum value that we should be looking at Parkway.

So for us at Fortis S$3.8 was somewhat of a stretch. And therefore there is a point where you will reach where you believe that look this is a point at which I am a buyer. At S$3.8 we were a buyer for the entire company but at S$3.95 we are not a buyer, but somebody else is still a buyer and we were very comfortable between Fortis and Khazanah to come to a mutual agreement. They chose to do an open offer at the higher price and we agreed that we would tender our shares as a part of that open offer.

So we need to make sure at Fortis that we are taking the right decision. We are looking at all the opportunities out there which are in the market and at that value and at a relative benchmark of where we can make maximum returns and maximum value and achieve our strategic vision.

RBI asks banks to beef up deposit mobilisation

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked banks to increase their deposit mobilisation efforts, saying the ‘easy liquidity’ conditions of last year won’t return as monetary tightening may be continued to tackle rising prices।
While credit growth for the year to July 2 was 21.2 per cent, which was in line with the central bank’s projection, money supply growth was at 15.3 per cent – below the projected trajectory of 17 per cent – due to unattractive deposit rates. Bank deposits form a major part of the money supply.

“The tightness in liquidity conditions would ease, but the calibrated normalisation of monetary policy may not lead to a return of the persistent easy liquidity conditions that prevailed last year. Banks, therefore, have to step-up mobilisation of deposits to meet demand for credit from both the private sector and the government,” RBI said in its Macroeconomic and Monetary Developments report for the first quarter.

The tepid deposit mobilisation by banks has made the incremental non-food credit-deposit ratio to over 100 per cent, RBI said.

“The deceleration in the growth of M3 continued up to mid-June. This was on account of the deceleration of its major component, that is, aggregate deposits. The moderation in the growth of time deposits was particularly sharp, which was partly a response to the low deposit rates, given the high inflation,” RBI said.

With the deceleration in deposits and acceleration in the growth of non-food credit, there has been a deceleration in banks’ investment in government securities since November 2009, when growth in non-food credit turned around.

However, for the fortnight ended July 2, aggregate deposits registered a rise of about Rs 1,15,000 crore, which has made the central bank say the increase in off-take of credit has begun to be reflected in deposit growth.

Loan growth picks up for private banks
Private and foreign banks, which experienced slack loan growth in the previous financial year, are now seeing a revival of credit flow in the last one year. According to the RBI report, private sector banks registered 21.7 per cent loan growth for the year to July 2, compared with 3.8 per cent recorded for the year to July 3, 2009. Foreign banks, which experienced decline in loans by 7.2 per cent in the year-ago period, have seen a growth of 12.8 per cent during the latest period under review.

Overall, bank credit growth was 21.7 per cent for the year to July 2, in line with the central bank’s projection of 20 per cent loan growth for the current financial year. Public sector banks continued to lead the growth with 22.4 per cent loan off take which, according to the banking regulator, was “most stable”.

“Besides strong economic activity, credit raised by telecom companies to pay for the 3G and broadband wireless access (BWA) spectrum contributed to the high rate of credit growth observed during the quarter,” RBI said.

Still, the central bank noted that, though credit flow to the industry had improved, the flow was yet to be broad based. Industry absorbed 57.9 per cent of incremental non-food credit in May, compared with 47.4 per cent in the corresponding month of the previous year.

The share of incremental non-food credit to micro and small enterprises declined to 11.9 per cent in May, compared with 16 per cent in May 2009. Loans to real estate dropped sharply for the year ended May 21 to 1.2 per cent from 54.9 per cent a year ago. Loan flow to housing sector improved to 9.6 per cent, compared with 5.7 per cent, while credit card outstanding fell 27.4 per cent compared with a growth of 1.4 per cent in the previous year.

1993 Mumbai blasts: Supreme Court serves notice on enhancing sentences

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice on 48 appeals filed by the Maharashtra government seeking enhancement of sentence of 67 accused who were awarded varying jail terms by the trial court for their involvement in the 1993 Mumbai blasts.

Since the case was investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), in all the 48 appeals, the state government has moved through the investigating agency.

Besides this, the court listed 58 appeals by the accused, including cine star Sanjay Dutt, challenging their conviction and consequent sentencing. Of these 58 appeals, eight are of those who were awarded the death sentence.

A Supreme Court bench of Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice B. S. Chauhan directed that all said the replies to the notice and the rejoinders should be completed before the matter is taken up for final hearing on January 11, 2011.

The court made it clear that once the final hearing commences, there would no adjournments. Justice Sathasivam said that the hearing would take place on every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday till it concludes.

Even as Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam suggested that the appeals by the state government could be considered as admitted, counsel appearing for one of the convicts, Mushtaq Ahmed, objected to this, saying the CBI has discriminated in filing the appeal against the conviction and sentencing of the accused.

Meanwhile, the court allowed the centre to move an application seeking the shifting of Yusuf Abdul Razak Memon, the younger brother of prime accused Tiger Memon, from hospital to jail. The court extended by four weeks its earlier order allowing Memon to be shifted to hospital for his treatment of schizophrenia.

The court gave its nod after Gopal Subramaniam submitted that the hospital authorities have said Memon was better and was in a position to be moved to the jail. At this Justice Sathasivam said that CBI could move an application and accordingly directions would be issued.

Security July 24, 2010 6:27 AM Four Ways IPv6 Will Save the Internet

The world is almost out of IP addresses--or at least it's almost out of the IPv4 addresses that IT admins and users are most familiar with. Fortunately, IPv6 has been developed to exponentially expand the pool of available IP addresses while also providing a few other benefits.

Artwork: Chip TaylorTo address issues with the current IP protocol in use (IPv4), and to add features to improve the protocol for the future, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has introduced IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6). Let's look at a few ways that IPv6 will come to the rescue and save the Internet.

1. More Addresses. IPv6 uses 128-bit addresses rather than the current 32-bit addresses allowing for an exponential increase in the number of available IP addresses. Network routing experts have been aware of the limitations of IPv4 addressing since the 1980's--before most of the world even knew the Internet existed, and before the Web became ubiquitous.

With 32-bits, IPv4 only allows for approximately 4.3 billion IP addresses. Since every Web-connected device--server, desktop, notebook, smartphone, tablet PC, and more--must have an IP address, and since the Web has exploded in countries like China and India, the world is rapidly approaching the end of the available IPv4 addresses.

With 128-bits to use for creating unique addresses, IPv6 is capable of an insane number of IP addresses far exceeding the demands of today's Internet and Web connected devices. Rather than 4.3 billion address limitation of IPv4, IPv6 has enough addresses that every single person on the planet could have billions upon billions assigned to them personally.

2. Backwards Compatible. IPv6 is backwards compatible with IPv4 so that different networks or hardware manufacturers can choose to upgrade at different times without disrupting the current flow of data on the Internet. Given the world's dependence on the Internet and Web for news, commerce, public safety, national security, and more this is an important feature of IPv6.

Eventually, all IPv4 equipment will be replaced by attrition and IPv6 will be the only address protocol in use. But, that could take decades, so backwards compatibility will be crucial for the foreseeable future.

3. Better Security. IPv6 was designed with encryption and authentication in mind. IPsec is an optional security component of IPv4, but in IPv6 it is mandatory. With IPsec each individual data packet is encrypted and authenticated, making many of the malicious attacks plaguing the Internet today impossible--or at least substantially more difficult.

4. Better Performance. Changes have been made to the way IP packets and headers are formed, and to the way IPv6 routers process the packets to improve performance--resulting in fewer missed or dropped packets, and more reliable and efficient connections. With more people and devices sharing the Internet, and higher demands for VoIP (voice over IP) and video streaming, performance will be more critical than ever.

It has been coming for more than two decades, but the IPv4 address crunch is beginning to get very real. Expect to see a spike in IPv6 adoption in the near future

Karbonn Mobiles graces Indian market with K25

Karbonn K25

Last month, Karbonn was spotted launching two new handsets namely the K485 and the K777. Extending its portfolio of affordable handsets, the company recently released the stylish Karbonn K25 in the Indian market. Packed with a QWERTY keyboard, this handset is said to offer an immersive multimedia experience and also features an optical trackpad.

The phone enhances convenience as it supports dual SIM and comes integrated with social networking apps like Facebook, Twitter, Opera Mini, Yahoo Messenger and MSN. Incorporated with rich multimedia experience, the K25 offers exceptional sound quality and several equalizer effects.

Additionally, it offers features like FM Radio, video recording, torch and extended memory space up to 8GB. Users can capture vibrant photos with a 2.0 mega pixel camera and the handset also comes enabled with A2DP Bluetooth. The Karbonn K25 blends together interesting features and various style elements.

Users can now grab this attractive handset for an affordable price of Rs. 4400.

Deepika interested in working with Ranbir

Deepika PadukoneDeepika Padukone, the model-turned actor is presently all smiles, thanks to the success of Housefull, however contrary to popular belief she had to go through the grind as well। She started off in a music video by Himesh Reshammiya and this is when Farah Khan noticed her. She was cast in the super hit Om Shanti Om and Deepika tasted instant success. However, according to the actress it was only after post-Love Aaj Kal that her career graph started to show a rise.
She also talks about playing the role of a blind girl in the forthcoming, Lafangey Parindey. She says that Aditya Chopra had selected her to play the role of Pinky Palkar, the aforementioned blind girl. The character is not jut visually impaired, but is also a dancer on skates. Deepika had to go through rigorous training and self-control in order to perfectly essay this tough role.

It’s also said that Deepika and her co-star Neil Nitin Mukesh have bonded very strongly. She claims that he’s the most encouraging and supportive co-star she ever had.

She also reveals that she wouldn’t mind working with Ranbir, her ex-beau. She doesn’t have any films with him for the time being, but she would like to do one with him, sometime in the future.

Colombo Test: Sri Lanka dominate Day One

Paranavitana and Sangakara celebrate their hundreds

Post-lunch session (107 runs, 33 overs, no wickets):

Soon after resumption Paranavitana completed his fifth Test fifty with a single off Sehwag.

And while he held fort at one end, Sangakkara cut loose at the other.

It didn't take long for the latter to complete his half-century, a boundary followed by a single to mid-on (off Ishant) ensuring him his second 50-plus score of the series -- after his hundred at Galle.

And the captain's confidence brushed in on Paranavitana as well, the opener coming down the track and smashing Harbhajan for maximum to help his side cross the 200-run mark, while also ensuring the 100-run stand for the second wicket.

At tea (after 62 overs), the hosts were 235 for one, having consolidated their advantage to a considerable extent.

Post-tea session (77 runs, 28 overs, 1 wicket):

It was the same story in the final session as well: the Indian bowlers were as unimpressive as they were in the opening sessions.

However, with the Sri Lankan batsmen preferring to relax vis-a-vis stepping up the pedal, this session witnessed runs coming in a trickle.

Paranavitana, resuming on an unbeaten 89, soon completed his second Test century with three runs off Sehwag.

Three balls later, his captain joined him.

Sangakkara, resuming at 80, reached his 23rd Test hundred -- his fifth as a captain -- in emphatic manner, with a boundary towards mid-on.

However, the visitors struck in the next over, with Ishant inducing an inside edge of Paranavitana's blade that clipped the bails.

The second wicket partnership had yielded Sri Lanka a whopping 174 runs even though the batsman dismissed again blew away an opportunity to build further on his score.

Paranavitana's 100 came off 221 balls and was inclusive of 10 hits to the fence and one over it.

Sangakkara and Jayawardene ensured the home side finished the day without any further loss.

Swine flu adds to gastro agony

LUDHIANA: With the first case of swine flu being reported from Jalandhar, it seems that the health department is not concerned much as the isolation ward meant for swine flu patients is being used for gastro patients.

It seems that the monsoon is already keeping the health department on toes as the gastroenteritis cases are pouring in along with the new scare of the H1N1.

After Lovepreet Singh from Jalandhar tested positive for H1N1 from Regional Testing Lab Department of Virology, his became first case in Punjab this year.

While giving information, one of the officials of the health department said that already the guidelines had been sent to all the districts to get prepared for any kind of emergency. He added that for this all the hospitals had been told to maintain isolation rooms, along with the ventilators.

On the condition of anonymity, one of the medical officer at Civil Hospital said that there was a permanent isolation room but due to high number of gastro cases, it was being used for them.

According to the information last year during the swine flu outbreak in the state, a total of 1,041 beds in the isolation wards were there. Of these, 437 were with civil hospitals while 604 were with the private hospitals. As far as ventilators were concerned, a total of 160 were available and out of this 86 were in the government and 74 in private hospitals.

Dr Deepak Bhatia, state nodal officer, National Integrated Surveillance Department, said that already all the districts had been issued the directions to get ready and make all the necessary arrangements. He added that last week all the districts had been issued the directions to make necessary arrangements.

In Bihar, women give 'birth' to 5 kids in 2 months

In Bihar, women give `birth` to 5 kids in 2 months

A woman, as everyone knows, usually gives birth to a baby after nine months of pregnancy, but in Bihar 298 women claim to have delivered two to five children in a span of 60 days – at least that`s what records of incentives amount given to new mothers under a government scheme show.

Noted author Aroon Kumar said," this is absolutely shocking that people are misusing the programmes of government to earn money. This is eye -opener for the Bihar government.It must take action against all those who are responsible for looting the money."

A woman gets around Rs1,000 when she gives birth under the government`s Janani Suraksha Yojana but a total of Rs6.6 lakh was paid as incentive to 298 women who claimed to have delivered two to five children within 60 days under the scheme, says a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) that exposes corruption in the state.

"The concerned officials paid incentives under the Janani Suraksha Yojana to these women two to five times in 60 days," the report says.

Unfortunately, thousands of genuine lactating mothers were denied the incentive due to them. The CAG report says that of 470,307new mothers, 97,146 were not provided cash incentives under the Janani Suraksha Yojana for want of funds.

Opposition leaders criticised the state government for the corruption in the implementation of the Janani Suraksha Yojana in the state.

"All this is happening in Bihar when Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is claiming good governance. This is just a trailer of the unbelievable corruption in implementation of welfare schemes," Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) state president Abdul Bari Siddiqui said.

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