Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sharing eye-drops is a big NO

Sharing eye-drops is a big NO

Do not share eye drops as it can also transmit eye infection from one person to another.

Eye care for computer users

Eye care for computer users

If are into a job that requires working on computers for long hours, do take off your eyes from computer at regular intervals and have an anti-glare screen set on your computer.

While working for long hours, look at distant objects either in your office or outside. Looking at a distant object and then returning to your task helps your eyes focus better. Try taking such visual breaks for about five to 10 minutes every hour.

How to prevent eye infection?

How to prevent eye infection?
An eye infection is usually caused by bacteria or a virus. Eye infections include styes, conjunctivitis, trachoma etc. and can occur in any age group.

She'll never be able to sleep, says father of girl allegedly raped by Facebook friend

The family of the girl who was allegedly raped by her Facebook friend is ruing the day she took the decision of going to the boy's home.

"My daughter made one wrong decision and now she will not be able to sleep for the rest of her life. Her life has been ruined by the boy she went home with on that fateful night," said the father of the girl.

MiD DAY visited the home of the 17-year-old student from Swami Vivekanand College, Chembur, who was allegedly raped by Pankaj Mishra, a management student from the same college. The duo had become friends on Facebook.
The family said the girl had barely spoken since the incident and refuses to step out of the house. "I trusted him and went with him for the project, but he ruined my life," she told MiD DAY.

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When asked whether they wanted the boy to get the strictest punishment, the father pointed to an idol and said, "We believe in God and want Him and the law to punish the boy. But, at the moment, we are just concerned about our daughter and her future."

The rape took place on July 21, but the family filed the police complaint only on Sunday. "We got delayed because of the college principal. She had assured us that she will take necessary action against the boy but it never happened," said the girl's mother.

"It was only when we came to know that his father works in the college that we filed a police complaint. When the boy was brought to the police station, he said that he had never met the girl. The principal did not take any action and delayed the case," she added.

In her statement to the police, the girl said, "We became friends through Facebook and met on July 19 and 20. I told him that I had a project to complete and he offered to help me. At 6.30 pm on July 21, we met at Saroj hotel in Chembur. Pankaj told me that we can work on the project at his residence as there was no one at his place. We went there by auto and started working."

"His maid was at home and left at 8 pm. Around 9.30, he went to have food and locked the door. He started misbehaving with me around 10.30 pm. I threatened to kill myself with a knife; he took the knife saying he would drop me home and then raped me at knifepoint. He locked me inside the room and then let me go to college in the morning," she added.

Tejnarayan Mishra, the accused's father, said, "The police have been forcing us to say that we were out of town on the day of the alleged rape. The truth is that we were at home and there is no way our son could have raped the girl at our residence."

Meanwhile, J K Phadnis, Principal of the Swami Vivekanand College in an interaction with the media said the boy was innocent. She refused to divulge details.

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Mallika Sherawat goes topless

No doubt Mallika Sherawat is one of the sexiest and boldest heroines Bollywood has ever produced. She knows how to make guys go weak in the knees. But this time, she has posted her topless photo, leaving very little to the imagination.

Mallika Sherawat
It looks like Mallika is desperately trying to make it big in Hollywood, as her career in Bollywood has hit a new low. After her sexy act in Jackie Chan's The Myth, she is leaving no stone unturned to make her film Hissss a hit. She received lots of attention at the Cannes film festival by spiralling a snake around her neck. Now, she has posted her topless picture on Twitter.

Nokia C3, C6 and E5 Now Available on Nokia USA's Website

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Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia is readying the launch of a series of new handsets on the market in the United States. The company did not announce anything officially, but three new devices have just popped up on the Nokia USA website, with price tags and all. The three new mobile phones listed there include the Nokia C3, Nokia C6 and Nokia E5.
The emergence of these devices on Nokia's website suggests that the official release date might not be too far, a recent post on The Nokia Blog reads, even if no other details that their price tags were unveiled at the moment. According to the handset vendor's website, the Nokia C3 should sport a price tag of $129.00 when launched in the US, the Nokia C6 would be priced at $309.00, while the Nokia E5 should cost $259.00.

All three handsets were announced officially by Nokia back in April. The Nokia C3 was launched as the first Series 40 device to sport a full QWERTY keyboard. The phone includes support for social networking sites, as well as Ovi Mail and Ovi Chat integration, something that can only suggest Nokia planned it as a cheap messaging device. The device also includes a 2.4-inch screen, a 2-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi connectivity, and enhanced Internet capabilities.

The second device in the list, the Nokia C6, comes as a Symbian^1 smartphone that packs a 3.2-inch touchscreen display complemented by a side sliding QWERTY keyboard. The new mobile phone also comes to shelves with a 5-megapixel photo snapper, with 3G connectivity capabilities, built-in GPS receiver, enhanced email capabilities, and more.

As for the last of the three new devices spotted over at Nokia USA, namely the Nokia E5, it comes as a Symbian S60 3rd Edition device meant to prove a great option both for those interested in an entertainment device, as well as for those looking for handset for their professional lives. The E5 packs a 2.4-inch display, a 5-megapixel photo snapper with LED flash, QWERTY keyboard, enhanced support for emails, and other features more. All three phones can be seen at Nokia USA

Bullfighting around the world: from conquistadors to Hindus

Jallikattu, a bull-taming sport in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu
A villager is flung by a bull during Jallikattu, a bull-taming sport as part of the harvest festival of Pongal, in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Photograph

Bullfighting is also practised in a small number of other countries besides Spain – albeit with regional twists:


Portuguese bullfighting is generally described as "bloodless" because the bull is not killed in the ring. Often, however, a butcher will dispatch a wounded animal backstage though the lucky ones are packed off to take part in American rodeos or put out to pasture. Unlike the Spanish version, in Portugal the bullfighter is usually on horseback, and the bull's horns are sometimes filed down to make them less sharp.


Bullfighting has been popular in pockets of southern France for 150 years. Though the practice contravenes a 1976 act that outlaws the torture and deliberate mistreatment of animals, the law makes an exception for La Corrida in areas where there is an "unbroken, local, tradition". Nîmes in Languedoc-Roussillon is particularly passionate with a million visitors flocking to the five-day festival at Pentecost each year.


The conquistadors brought bullfighting to Latin America in the 1500s and nowadays Mexicans are probably the most enthusiastic after the Spanish. Mexico City boasts the largest ring in the world, which can accommodate 60,000 spectators. Mexican bullfighting is similar to the Spanish style – the matador is the star of the show, teasing the animal with a cap before killing it with a sword.


Conchita Cintrón made her debut in 1937 at the main arena in Lima, aged 13. Famous for her skills on foot and horseback, Cintrón reportedly killed more than 750 bulls in Europe, Central America and South America. She died in Lisbon last year.


In Quito, bullfighting is the highlight of the Las fiestas de Quito festival each December when internationally renowned bullfighters are invited to show off their prowess. Outside of the capital, bullfighting enjoys less support: in 2007, Baños de Agua Santa city council declared itself anti-bullfighting.


A form of bull running called Jallikattu is practised in Tamil Nadu, southern India, as part of the annual Hindu festival of Pongal. The bull is not killed and the "matadors" are not supposed to use any weapons.

Pietersen given all clear despite football injury

England — Kevin Pietersen was passed fit to play in the opening Test against Pakistan despite injuring himself treading on a stray football during practice here on Wednesday - just a day before the first of a four-match series is due to get underway at Trent Bridge.

Pietersen's right foot and ankle were both strapped up afterwards but England captain Andrew Strauss, speaking to reporters, was confident the star batsman would be fit.

England banned players from warming-up by playing football after Owais Shah injured Joe Denly while tackling his fellow batsman at The Oval last year.

"I think we've just got to ban footballs being on the ground because they're still causing problems even though we're not playing it," said Strauss.

South Africa born Pietersen has not played any cricket for nearly a month because of a thigh injury and it is over a year since he last made a Test century.

But opening batsman Strauss said: "I'm not concerned particularly about his lack of cricket.

"He is a guy who spends a lot of time in the nets practising and for someone like him, being in the right state of mind mentally is as important as anything.

"He's in a good state of mind, he has had a good rest, he has the bit between his teeth. I think he wants to come out and prove himself again and I think he'll have a really good series."

England's selectors wanted the 30-year-old Pietersen to play for Hampshire but the county opted against picking him after he announced his intention to leave the south coast club at the end of the season.

"For counties generally it's always an issue," said Strauss.

"They have their squad they have built up without the England players being involved and when the England player comes up it is disruptive to those squads in one way or another.

"I implore the counties to realise the importance of a good strong England team. Even though temporarily that might be difficult for their side, in the bigger picture it's helping both England cricket and indirectly those counties as well.

"So in that sense I was disappointed, though I can understand Hampshire's reticence given KP's comments about what he planned to do in the future."

Indian minister warns of fruit and veg hormone injections

Indian farmers are injecting a hormone sometimes given to women during childbirth into vegetables and fruits to make the produce ripen sooner and gain weight, an Indian minister has warned.

In a letter to health ministry officials seen by AFP, junior health minister Dinesh Trivedi demanded a nationwide crackdown on the illegal use of the prescription drug Oxytocin, which he said can cause serious health problems if taken over a long period.

"These hormones may cause irreparable damage to our health, if taken through these vegetables, over a period of time," he stated, listing heart disorders, sterility, nervous breakdowns and memory loss as possible side effects.

He said the hormone, used to induce childbirth and lactation in women, is injected in pumpkin, watermelon, aubergine and cucumber plants to make them bear bigger fruit.

The injection can also be administered to fruit and vegetables just before they come to market to make them appear more plump and fresher.

Though the drug is banned for use in animals, it is often illegally used in cattle to boost milk production.

India's health ministry banned Oxyotocin for public sale after a series of media reports about the drug being administered to underage girls in rural Rajasthan to make them look older before their marriages.

In neighbouring Bangladesh, sex workers are often given the steroid drug Oradexon, a form of Oxytocin, for the same reason.

Despite the ban on public sales of the drug in India, the hormone is still easily available from fertiliser and pesticide vendors, an official in the health ministry told us.

Vodafone Brings Solar Powered Handset To India

Vodafone Brings Solar Powered Handset To IndiaTo be priced at Rs.1500

Vodafone has announced the launch of its first solar powered handset in India.

The phone, known as the VF 247, is targeted at India's huge rural mobile phone market. The solar powered device would be a boon to many users who face shortage of electricity in the villages of India. They will no longer be required to be near an electrical outlet to charge their phones.

The VF 247's launch comes almost a year after Samsung launched its first Solar powered phone in India the Guru 1107. According to Vodafone, the VF 247 solar powered phone charges by itself, by exposure to ambient light. Sun Boost, the special inbuilt hardware and software, ensures that the phone charges also in a room, under normal daylight. This means one doesn't require exposure to direct sunlight. Normal ambient light should be enough to power this one. The phone requires eight hours of direct sunlight to be fully charged. Once charged, it will last for more than eight days and offer about four hours of talk time. As for the features, it boasts of an FM radio, color screen and a powerful torch light. More details are yet to be unveiled by Vodafone.

The phone is expected to be priced at around the Rs.1,500 mark and would be available across India starting next month.

Ravi Baswani's last interview

Ravi BaswaniIn his last interview to Times Of India, actor Ravi Baswani had talked about why he is still remembered by Chashme Buddoor and Jaane Bhi..., but hasn’t been able to secure a permanent citizenship of tinseltown.

Your directorial debut revolves around a 10-year-old orphan. Why did you choose to write and direct a children’s film?
The child is in the desolate hills and his life revolves around his daadi and his friends. His life is a ball and then something begins to happen. Anything more would let the cat out of the bag. There is no rape, no mujra, no action. It’s a simple, innocent story. Let me clarify that it’s not a children’s film. Hopefully, it will appeal to everyone. It’s about how things affect children, a world that’s cut off, and how you aspire for things. There’s a big gap between the real world and such an innocent world. It’s a lost world that has four houses, no electricity and no room for a big bus.

The project has taken so long to materialise. After Chashme Buddoor and Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro
Ask ask, I know what you’re getting at...

Why do you not have a more stable and successful career graph?
Firstly, let me accept it. If you begin with cinema like that, where do you go from there? I was quite determined that if I was going to work, it has to be good work. Secondly, I don’t like the label of a comedian. We’ve done a lot of theatre; I felt that we were capable of doing, hopefully, all kinds of roles. I cannot play a villain for example. But I did some serious, emotional roles and I stuck to my guns. I will wait, I will die without making my film. But I will not begin with a compromise.

Let’s go further back when Naseer, Om and Raj Babbar had made it in theatre. They’d say, “Tu kya kar raha hai, yaar? Aaja, bahut kaam hai.” I said, “With a face like mine ... ?” I had decided agar mere naseeb mein films hogi, then it will come to me in Delhi. And Chashme Buddoor came to me in Delhi. Everything has to take its own time.

Connect the dots for us, please...
I got my first film to direct back then on the recommendation of Shashi Kapoor and I politely turned the lady down. I said that I must learn filmmaking first. After Jaane Bhi ... , colour television came to my rescue. I got to act in a lot of serials on Doordarshan. Soon after, I got to produce and direct my first serial. These things have kept me occupied and learning. Before 2001, if you would’ve asked me to write a script, I would’ve said, “Wrong number. I don’t write.” Thanks to the computer which helped my Libran trait of writing in an organised manner, in 2001, I began to write. I narrated the first draft of my directorial debut to 12 people — writers, editors and the like. Fortunately, I have a group of friends who are quite capable of telling me it is shit. They unanimously said, ‘Shoot tomorrow.’

Given your uncompromising stand, have your relationships been strained in the industry?
Not really. But people feel that I am a difficult man. I ask four questions: What is my role? What is the film about? How much money will you give? And if it’s acceptable, when and how will you pay me? Till recently there were no stories! Now there is an obsession about bound scripts. A boy goes abroad, meets a girl and marries her. This is the story. What am I to play? The flight or the air ticket? To money, the reaction is, ‘Hain? You’re asking about money also?’ It’s about clarity, which the industry lacks. A producer remarked, “Ravi, it is difficult to do comedy”. I say, “Yaar, you give me difficult work, while you give Suniel Shetty the easy work. And you give him more money. I don’t understand the logic.” Let’s be clear about the terms. If professionalism makes you difficult, so be it.

Has it made you bitter or cynical?
Not at all. I celebrate life. You understand why people are like that. Sometimes it is distinct lack of knowledge. One has worked with all kinds. I am one actor you can set your watch by. People think jitna late aayega, utna bada star. Galat hai. I once asked an actor why he was coming late. He said, ‘Sir, they never start on time.’ I said, ‘Why are you spoiling your discipline?’ Recently, I heard another actor saying, ‘I have done a lot of research on this character. And because this is a serious role, I will wear glasses.’ He wasn’t laughing about it.

What do you think of cinema today?
Soul ka problem hai. It has become very aspirational ... with one eye on the Oscar and one eye on New York’s Times Square. There is a vast audience for Hindi films, NRIs specially, but the change is reflected in two prominent things — one is the English titles. I mean, Kites? Kyon bhai? There was an ad where Hrithik Roshan tells a writer to go to an island, think of the film and call him. He calls Hrithik and says, “I’ve thought of the title — Kites.” If I were Hrithik, I’d tell the writer, “You come back on the next flight out!” The second is the use of English in songs. My cameraman Anshul Chaubey asks me in his Bengali accent, “Sir, but where is the Indian culture?” I don’t know about Indian culture but I know about Indian ethos. If we didn’t ignore that, we’d make a genuine film.

We make films dimaag se, not dil se. It’s very calculated. Subject matter thanda padh jaata hai. We have to admit that we are very poor in storytelling. If we take Karan Johar’s cinema for reference, it’s technically superb, polished. There is gloss and glam. Emotions hain, but there is nothing new. It’s always about family, saas, sasur and culture. We just have to turn around and start reading our regional literature. Don’t say audience nahin samajhti hai, I say aapko samajh nahin aata hai. Of course, if there is a big budget you have to recover it. My question is: Why make a film costing `2 crore or `100 crore?

Among the current lot, which directors would you like to work with?
Vishal Bhardwaj, Anurag Kashyap, Ashutosh Gowariker... I told Ashutosh that Jodhaa Akbar was a terrible film. I don’t think I’ve seen a worse assembly of actors. It’s like he said, “Bring me all the bad actors. I’m going to make cinema out of that.” He will kill me for this, but he knows that I mean well.

What happened to the Jaane Bhi... sequel?
It has been on the cards for three years. We were signed on by Firoz Nadiadwala. Kundan Shah was to direct and write. We had one session and we haven’t heard about it since.

Can you take criticism as generously as you dole it out?
I hope people won’t have to say those words.

Low-cost PCs fail to boot up fast in India

The government’s $35 device gives a sense of déjà vu. Will low-cost computing gather steam this time?

In May 2005, an Indian technology firm Encore Software announced a Rs 10,000 Linux-based mobile computer. Christened Mobilis, it was powered by an Intel processor, had 128MB of SDRAM, featured a 7.4-inch LCD screen, roll-up keyboard, touch screen with stylus input, six-hour battery life and a case that opened up as a desktop stand.

“This marks India’s leap into the future of PC technology...,” said Kapil Sibal who was, then, minister for Science and Technology. Not much has been heard of the “Mobilis” since then.

Around five years later (just last week), Sibal again — this time around as Union Minister for Human Resource Development (MHRD) — unveiled a low-cost, solar-powered computing-cum-access device. To be commercially available from 2011, he pegged its price at $35 (about Rs 1,600) per piece, assuring it would gradually drop to $20 (about Rs 900) and ultimately to $10 (about Rs 400) a piece. The device, according to Sibal, will allow users surf the internet, and also perform tasks like video web-conferencing and access multimedia content.

History reveals such initiatives have quickly run out of steam. Does anyone, for instance, remember the Simputer — the handheld low-cost computing device introduced by Encore again (along with PicoPeta)? Over the last eight years, the Simputer has been used by the governments of Karnataka and Chattisgarh besides for automobile engine diagnostics (M&M), and tracking iron-ore movement (Dempo), and (in some cases) by the police to track traffic offenders and issue traffic tickets.

Low-cost computing devices could effectively, and eventually, bridge the “digital divide”. However, Sumanta Mukherjee, lead PC Analyst of IDC India cautions that while the move of the government to introduce the $35 computing device is good, the word “computing device” creates expectations in the minds of consumers. “When these expectations are not matched, disappointment sets in,” he says.

The underprivileged sections of society, whom this $35 computing device targets primarily, may prefer a keyboard to a touch-screen. Besides, many schools in villages operate from buildings that do not have adequate infrastructure (some remote ones even operate in cowsheds). Having a Wi-Fi hotspot to leverage the device’s capability may not be ambitious.

“This is an emerging space. We appreciate the government giving it a try. However, what is needed is a strategy to mass market these devices. Besides, the country needs adequate internet (broadband) penetration to make such models a success,” says Naveen Mishra, senior research analyst, Gartner. Mishra cites the examples of countries like Italy and Japan where telco service providers have pushed up the sales of these devices.

The success of a computing model, according to analysts like Mukherjee and Mishra, revolves around a friendly operating system (OS), application-ready device, and a robust distribution model. The government, however, has neither shortlisted manufacturers nor finalised the mode of distribution.

Meanwhile, manufacturing of the device is being done in Taiwan but the government is hopeful of bringing its manufacturing to India. Analysts are not convinced. The numbers of low-cost PCs are too small to justify manufacturing in India. Around 8-9 million PCs sell in India annually.

Notebooks comprise around 25-30 per cent of the total PC sales. Low-cost PCs (which include netbooks that sell for anywhere between Rs 12,000 and Rs 20,000) comprise a mere 10 per cent of the total notebook sales. “Manufacturing in India is all about scale. This is why PC manufacturing has not taken-off in India,” explains Mukherjee of IDC.

Perhaps, the first real answer to the challenge of low-cost computing for kids was the XO (which runs open-source Linux) from Nicholas Negroponte — founder of the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project. The original target cost was $100 (about Rs 4,600), but this escalated (including shipping costs) due to design upgrades (more memory and a faster microprocessor) and also because the initial production volumes would not enjoy economies of scale.

The OLPC, according to an OLPC spokesperson, has sold around 1.7 million XO laptops in 40 countries till date — Uruguay, Peru and Rwanda are the three largest installations. But only around 700 laptops have been sold in India. The OLPC Foundation joined hands with Reliance Communications (RCom), which runs a pilot in a village called Khairat, near Karjat (in Maharashtra). Around 31 XOs (one teacher) are used in a school in Khairat. The other XOs are running in places like Rajasthan’s Keekarwali village and Nainital. Cognizant, too, has supported several schools in Chennai.

Intel, which had initially partnered but later parted ways with the OLPC project, introduced its Classmate PC for developing countries (including India), which costs between Rs 9,000 and Rs 12,000, but was launched in India in July-August 2007 for Rs 18,000. Intel teamed up with HCL Infosystems (which offers both Microsoft and Linux) and Educomp.

Indian and multinational PC makers like Asus, HCL Infosystems and Wipro also have Nettops (low-cost desktops), based on Intel Atom processors. And players like Chennai-based Novatium have partnered with MTNL to offer cheap desktops at less than Rs 10,000 (including the service, monitors and so on). The desktop called netPC costs just Rs 4,999. Novatium offers a managed service, which means that customers store data on the Novatium servers — a good option for small- and medium enterprises too.

Research firm IDC has predicted that the new market segment, comprising small, energy-efficient and low-cost devices (netbooks and nettops), could grow from fewer than 500,000 in 2007 to 9 million in 2012 as the market for second computers expands in developed economies. Form factors like that of the $35 “Sakshat” device, if successful, are expected to add to the numbers.

Headley's revelations 'ticking time bomb' in Pak-US ties

David Headley's revelation that LeT planned the Mumbai attacks with possible help from the ISI is a "ticking time bomb" that could wreck the US-Pakistan relationship and take the subcontinent to disaster, a former CIA official has warned.

Bruce Riedel, a former CIA official and now with the prestigious Brookings Institute, said Pakistan should carry out a "thorough house cleaning" of its military after the Pakistani-American LeT operative's revelations that attackers had links to the ISI.

"Thanks to David Headley's extraordinary confessions, we now know how thoroughly LeT planned its 2008 Mumbai attack and how closely linked it is to al-Qaeda - and perhaps to the Pakistani military," said

"There is no excuse for not executing a more robust crack down on Lashkar-e-Taiba and its front organisations from the Pakistani government and for not conducting a thorough house cleaning within the Pakistani army," he said commenting on the recent statements of top Indian officials that Headley's interrogations had given ample proof of ISI's involvement in the Mumbai terrorist attack.

Radar crash spoils T3 show at IGI

On day one of the bigger, better and brand new terminal 3 at IGI airport, old problems came as a foil: a radar crash shortly after the first few landings at T3 on Wednesday led to departures being held up for almost half an hour.

The Autotrack-III, a system that is still undergoing validation trials, crashed around 5.50pm due to a technical glitch and the air traffic control system had to switch over to stand-by system Autotrack-II. According to sources, British PM David Cameron's British Airways flight from Bangalore was the last to land before ATC had to switch over to manual mode to guide landings.

The new terminal itself got mixed reviews from passengers. Arriving passengers and those who managed to check-in soon after reaching the airport were full of praise for the swank building and the efficient services but cityside management was in a shambles. Poor traffic management, no seating arrangements for waiting passengers till evening, chaos at the prepaid taxi stands and a clueless staff dampened the excitement of the new terminal.

The first flight that was to land at the new terminal was initially slated to be Air India's AI 102 from New York. However, instead of arriving at 4.45pm, the flight reached Delhi at 5.14pm and was pipped by AI 307 from Tokyo that landed at 5pm. About half an hour later, the radar problem led to departures being held up for close to 30 minutes. "The system was fixed about an hour later but ATC continued to operate on AT-II since the other system could not be validated. Before the switch over took place, ATC had to use manual mode to assist flights in landing. Nearby ATC zones were also told to hold flights in their respective airspace until the switchover happened," said sources.

Check-in for the first flight from T3 opened at 2.50pm and fliers were greeted with chocolates and sweets. But for scores of passengers who had connecting international flights at night and who had reached Delhi earlier in the day, there was no getting into the terminal in a hurry. With no check-in facilities available, many had to spend hours outside before Delhi International Airport (P) Ltd (DIAL) officials ushered them into a visitors lounge. The lounge itself was sparsely done with no food, water or restroom facilities. "We were asked by Jet Airways to reach Delhi in the morning and were told that we could wait at the terminal for our American Airlines flight that was scheduled for midnight. When we reached here, we were told to wait outside since we could not check in two hours prior to the departure of our flight. We walked up and down the terminal several times and nobody could tell us what to do. There was no food or water. This is such a disappointment," said Roopa Modukuri who arrived with her family from Bangalore at 11.30am.

With no signs outside to guide passengers to the visitors lounge, several continued to sit outside in the heat. "We arrived here from Leh at 12.30pm and have a flight to catch for Barcelona at 2am. The shuttle took two hours to bring us here from the domestic terminal and then we were told to wait outside in the heat without food or water," said Sylvia Villarrubia, a tourist. She was taken to the visitors' lounge at 4.30pm.

The arrival section was much better managed inside though the cityside section again witnessed major chaos once the evening traffic picked up. Delhi resident Jyoti Bhatia was one of the first passengers who came out of the arrival terminal. Having just arrived from Tokyo on AI 307, she described the terminal as fantastic. "Years after flying in and out of IGI airport, the experience today was very good. We were told that we would be the second flight to land so reaching here first made the experience doubly special," she said.

However, initial glitches continued to mar the experience. The conveyor belt kept stopping since the emergency buttons placed near the floor kept getting pressed with passengers standing close to the belt. This led to the belt stopping on several occasions and it took close to an hour to clear luggage of several flights. The duty-free too had only stocked alcohol and several shops were yet to open. Airlines complained that there were no facilities for their staff, including restrooms and canteens.

Outside the terminal, prepaid taxi drivers created more furore and sat on a dharna to protest against the lack of a prepaid counter outside. "We were earlier promised the first parking line outside the terminal but we were pushed back and radio cabs were accommodated there. There is no counter outside either so where are we to get our slips encashed from?" said a driver.

Shab-e-barat celebrated with devotion

Shab-e-barat celebrated with devotion

Shab-e-barat was celebrated with great devotion and enthusiasm by Muslims in India and other parts of the world. According to Muslim beliefs, Shab-e-barat is the night when `Allah` - the Almighty arranges the affairs of the following year.

According to Islamic scholar,Dr.Riaz Umer is a night of worship and prayers for all Muslims. On the night of Shab-e-barat Allah writes the destinies of all men for the coming year by taking into account the deeds committed by them in the past.

In capital,Muslims offered prayers in mosques for the well-being of one and all. Muslims in Mumbai too offered prayers on the occasion of Shab-e-barat.

According to mythology, Shab-e-barat festival is celebrated either on the thirteenth or on the fourteenth day of Shaban, the eighth month of the Muslim year. This happens to be fifteen days before the beginning of Ramadan.

CBI quizzes Amit Shah in Ahmedabad jail‎

CBI quizzes Amit Shah in Ahmedabad jail‎

Former Gujarat minister of state for home Amit Shah is being questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inside the Sabarmati Jail over the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case.

The CBI began questioning at around 10:30 am on Wednesday morning.

Shah is being interrogated by the CBI for the first time in connection with the killing of Sohrabuddin and his wife Kausarbi.

The CBI will question Shah over three days starting today. CBI officer Amitabh Thakur and other officials along with their lawyer are part of the team constituted to quiz Shah.

Shah is likely to be questioned about his role and to what extent was he involved in the conspiracy to abduct and kill the couple. The CBI will also grill him on whether he had a role to play inthe killing and disposing off the body of Kauser Bi.

Shah resigned as minister of state for home in the Gujarat government on Saturday after a chargesheet was filed against him. He was arrested by the CBI on Sunday amid high drama and was sent to judicial custody till August 7.

"All the allegations against me are politically motivated and fabricated. None of the allegations are true," Shah had said.

Backing his close aide, Chief Minister Narendra Modi had said that Shah has resigned but all charges against him are fabricated.

The CBI on Tuesday made another high-profile arrest in the Sohrabuddin. Raju Jirawala, the owner of Arham Farm, was taken into CBI custudy on Tuesday.

The charge sheet filed by CBI states that Kausar Bi was murdered in Arham Farm, which is located on outskirts of Gandhinagar.

Shah has been accused of calling up policemen involved in the killing of Sheikh, who was a suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba operative. The CBI collected the phone records of the minister to prove his role in the execution of the staged killing, sources said.

The Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has been accused of killing Sheikh in a staged shootout on November 26, 2005, in Ahmedabad. His wife Kauserbi has been missing ever since.

The CBI took over the investigations of the fake encounter and mysterious murder of his wife Kausar Bi in January this year on the direction of the Supreme Court.

Contraceptive pills not effective on fat ladies

Contraceptive pills not effective on fat ladies
Hormonal contraceptives seem to be less effective in preventing pregnancy among obese or overweight women, a study says.
Four of seven studies examined in a review comprising 39,531 women suggest that the heaviest women have the highest risk of pregnancy while using the contraceptives.

"Obese or overweight women should also consider potential health risks from hormonal contraceptives," said Amitasrigowri Murthy, who directs the reproductive choice programme at Bellevue Hospital Centre in New York, reports The Cochrane Library.

"Some studies show that estrogen-based contraceptives can increase the risk of heart attack, blood clots, high blood pressure and gallbladder disease in obese women, who are already at increased risk for these conditions," Murthy said.

In a study of oral contraceptive pills, women with a body mass index (BMI) - height to weight ratio - in the overweight range had a higher risk of pregnancy that those in the normal weight range, says a release of Family Health International (FHI) - a global health and development organisation.

"Other contraceptives such as injectable or implantable hormones might be unaffected by body mass," said study lead author Laureen Lopez of Family Health International.

Many researchers think that metabolic changes associated with obesity - in particular, the amount of body fat - could make hormonal birth control less effective.

"However, we know little about how overweight women metabolise hormonal contraceptives since many studies exclude overweight women," Lopez added.

IIT, Roorkee in Greater Noida

IIT, Roorkee in Greater Noida

Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee is developing an extension centre at knowledge hub of NCR at Greater Noida. It would most probably start admitting students from next academic session.

It would greatly help students belongng to capital and NCR region. Ten acre campus is located in the Knowledge Park –II, Plot no. 20, by the side of Express Highway at Greater Noida. It is surrounded by a large number of technical institutions and industries.

IIT Roorkee, through this extension centre intends to extend its outreach to the industry and academia. This centre of IIT Roorkee will be used to undertake extension and other related activities.

A brain storming session with the representatives of industry, academia and government agencies in NCR at a common platform was organized to identify their needs and accordingly to identify various activities to be undertaken at the centre.

This session was attended by 57 delegates representing 30 industries/agencies from diverse backgrounds for opinion sharing and cooperation. Shri Ashok Bhatnagar, Chairman, Board of Governors, IIT Roorkee presided over the event. Prof. S.C.Saxena, Director IIT Roorkee initiated the deliberations.

Mittal unveils 5-storey high mural

Mittal unveils 5-storey high mural at Airtel Centre

Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman and Managing Director, Bharti Airtel Group, officially unveiled a 5 storey high mural conceptualized and created by Manav Gupta at the Airtel Centre in Gurgaon, recently. This unique piece of art is co- created by over 3500 employees of the Airtel Centre and thereby encapsulates the collective spirit, innovative minds and creative approach of the employees of the company.

Airtel Centre is a landmark campus in Gurgaon spread over 6, 85,921 sqft of vibrant efficient space. It houses all the businesses of the Group viz. Mobile services, DTH, Enterprise and Telemedia.

Speaking about the creation of the mural, Sanjay Kapoor, CEO, India & South Asia, Bharti Airtel said, “The elements of nature have been woven together to capture the core values of Airtel and highlight the One Airtel Spirit. It is a true reflection of the collective approach & innovative minds of our company. We thank all the Airtel employees who participated in co-creating this mural with Manav Gupta, who has been the "Sutradhar" in channelizing our vision into this mega masterpiece.”

Spread over five floors and towering over 60 feet, the interior of the building has been used innovatively as a canvas to lay out the mega masterpiece.

Manav Gupta, an internationally acclaimed multifaceted painter, poet and performance artist, undertook the goal of creating a contemporary work of art “Tree of life” at the Airtel centre. Under the guidance of Manav Gupta, around 3500 Airtel employees created the mega masterpiece.

The art work is an interpretation of the desire to create and identify with “Multi-dimensional energy & Innovation” themes that one relates to the Airtel brand. Some important elements that weave these myriad hues and help the story unfold are “The Roots” at the foundation of the canvas, depicting how it all started; “The Gaze” which is a reflection of the soul of the organization; “The Peacock” which enthuses about the joy of being; and “The Glow” revealing the path to enlightenment.

Appreciating the involvement and creativity of the Airtel employees, Manav Gupta said, “Every employee at the Airtel Centre has an idiom, an imprint, however small or big, mingling with the painting and that will stay forever on this unique and one of its kind mega canvas at this large campus. With this unique art work, I want to showcase the growth of Airtel as an organization and also highlight the team spirit of the employees.”

Even men can feel as unattractive as women

Even men can feel as unattractive as women
It is believed that women feel unattractive at certain times of the month, but not only women, men are just as likely to suffer "fat days", says a new study.
Men too may feel less confident about their appearance and suffer from low self esteem.
According to a survey of more than 5,000 men, 34 per cent said feeling unattractive gives them less confidence to initiate sex with their partner, according to the Telegraph.
Almost one in six men agree that low self esteem about their appearance impacts their confidence in bed and more than a quarter would consider losing weight to boost their performance.
To help tackle the issue, health company Pfizer, in partnership with leading British health organisations, has launched a service Man MOT (Monday Opportunity to Talk) for men who lack confidence or time to visit their general practitioners (GPs).
Tracey Cox of Man MOT said: "Men shouldn`t be suffering in silence, there`s lot of help out there, offering real solutions to improving sexual confidence and performance."
Men will have the opportunity to seek advice on any health issues they may be worried or concerned about and browse a range of health publications online.
Kavita Mathur working in an MNC in Delhi said, ”while I used to go on an outing with my husband I used to be quite embarrassed because of my short height, this demoralized me a lot and at times I had a notion in my mind that I was not perfect for my husband”.
A college going girl Smita Pathak, 22, said, ”I love wearing trendy outfits and when I assemble eyeballs I feel my day is complete. It gives a kind of satisfaction to me that I am attractive”.
Piyush Kathuria, who works in a media house says, "It feels nice when people give compliments, especially girls. I feel, whether I am looking attractive or not depends upon the number of compliments I get each day. And its a universal truth that guys love being stared by girls."
Thus we conclude that all of us today are looks conscious or more suitably craving for attention.

Murali slams bedi, calls him controversy monger

Murali slams bedi, calls him controversy monger
Retired spin great Muttiah Muralitharan on Wednesday lashed out at his long-time detractor Bishen Singh Bedi, calling the former Indian captain a controversy monger and ordinary bowler who would have been hammered by any batsman if was he playing now. Bedi has been an untiring critic of Muralitharan by repeatedly calling the Sri Lankan a "chucker" and asking the ICC to ban the Sri Lankan`s "doosra" as it was illegal.
Muralitharan, who retired last week after completing 800 Test wickets at Galle against India, made an uncharacteristic attack on Bedi, saying that he was just an ordinary bowler.
Asked about the lack of world-class spinners in India, except for Harbhajan Singh, Muralitharan said Bedi was not in the league B S Chandrasekhar, Srinivas Venkataraghavan and Erapalli Prasanna.
"Bedi, I don`t think he does not even come to a contest on that. I saw some (of his) bowling of his playing days. In modern era, if he plays he will get hammered every ball, that is what will happen.
So no comparison," the world`s most successful spinner said in an interview.
Though without mentioning the constant criticism he got from Bedi, the affable Sri Lankan advised the former Indian captain to refrain from whipping up controversies.
"He (Bedi) is also a controversial person. He has lot of controversies everywhere in the world. And he should think about himself first rather than talking about other people," Muralitharan said.
Asked about Bedi`s comments to ban the `doosra` from international cricket, Muralitharan lampooned the Indian by saying that he has no variations in his bowling and was therefore critical of others.
"He (Bedi) did not have any variation. He just bowled left arm spin and pitch did the variation for him. That is what he bowled," he said.
"You forget the best spinner is Anil Kumble. Not Bedi or Venkataraghavan or any other. I think the best ever spinner produced (in India) is Kumble. No doubt about it and nobody can doubt it. Statistics-wise and on the basis of other things, he is far ahead than other guys", he said.
Muralitharan refused to compare between Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara but said on the basis of statistics, the Indian maestro was far ahead of any batsman.
"Sachin and Lara have been the most consistent batsmen in the world (to face my bowling). I admire them. I have most regards for those two guys and now place Ricky Ponting also in that list.
"Statistically, they were performing brilliantly during the last decade. Now they missed players like Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath ... Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer to open. So the youngsters will have to come and fill the void. It took a little bit of time for them," he added.

Batting legend Sachin Tendulkar hits another ton

Batting legend Sachin Tendulkar hits another ton

Batting legened Sachin Tendulkar hit his 48th Test hundred to lead the Indian fightback on third day of the second Test against Sri Lanka on Wednesday.The batting maestro hit his ton in 167 balls which was studded with 13 boundaries and a six. At close of play, India was 382 for four. Sachin was still going strong at unbeated 108.

Tendulkar, who holds the record of scoring highest number of centuries, played brilliant cricket with Suresh Raina to dominate the day.

Earlier, debutant Raina slammed his maiden half-century to lead the Indian fightback with Sachin Tendulkar.VVS Laxman departed after a slow partnership with Sachin Tendulkar to leave India tottering at 243 for four at tea.

Tendulkar and Laxman almost batted through the second session but Ajantha Mendis broke the slow 68-run stand by trapping the stylish Hyderabadi 10 minutes before tea break.

Tendulkar, who was dropped on 29 by Prasanna Jayawardene off Dilhara Fernando, was batting on 39 and debutant Suresh Raina was yet to open his account.

Laxman (29) and Tendulkar dug in went about their business slowly and raised a stand of 68-run to deny the Lankan bowlers any success for almost two hours.

The mid-session produced 70 runs after the troubled opening session, which saw India being jolted by three quick blows including that of explosive Virender Sehwag. Tendukar`s runs came off 95 balls while Laxman consumed 98 balls for his 29-run knock.

The duo slowed down the proceedings by playing a lot of dot balls and relied on ones and twos to keep the scoreboard moving. Laxman was lucky as his edges, off spinner Suraj Randiv and paceman Dammika Prasad, fell short of fielders.

Statistical highlights of second India-Sri Lanka Test

Statistical highlights of the second Test between India and Sri Lanka after third day's play on Wednesday.

# Murali Vijay and Virender Sehwag put on an opening stand of 165 - India's third best for the first wicket against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka, next only to the 171 between Manoj Prabhakar and Navjot Singh Sidhu at Colombo, SSC in 1993 and 167 between Gautam Gambhir and Sehwag at Galle in 2008.

# Since recording a career-best 87 against Sri Lanka at Mumbai's Brabourne Stadium in 2009-10, Murali Vijay has posted his highest score (58).

# Murali has posted both his Test fifties against Sri Lanka.

# Murali Vijay and Sehwag have averaged 150.00 for the first wicket - the highest by an opening pair with 500 runs or more for India. Their aggregate of 600 includes three century partnerships and one ninety-plus

# Suresh Raina'a unbeaten knock of 66 on his Test debut was largely instrumental in an unbroken 141-run stand for the fifth wicket with Sachin Tendulkar.

# Tendulkar's tally of 76 century stands has been bettered only by Rahul Dravid (82) and Ricky Ponting (78).

# With his century partnership, Tendulkar has set a record for most century stands (12) against Sri Lanka, surpassing Pakistan's Younis Khan's tally of 11.

# Tendulkar has become the first batsman to aggregate 600 runs against Sri Lanka at Colombo, SSC - 603 runs at an average of 100.50 in five Tests, including four centuries and one fifty.

# Rahul Dravid has averaged just 21.66 in the present series - 65 in three innings at a strike rate of 32.01.

# With his superb unbeaten 108 off 181 balls, Sachin Tendulkar has regained his record for the highest run-aggregate in India-Sri Lanka Tests, amassing 1805 at an average of 60.16 in 24 Tests, including nine centuries and five fifties.

# Tendulkar's run-aggregate is the highest by any batsman against Sri Lanka. He has overtaken Mahela Jayawardene's tally of 1756 (ave.73.16) in 17 Tests.

# In just six Tests this year, Sachin has aggregated 677 runs at an average of 96.71.

# His aggregate includes five hundreds and one fifty. His centuries' tally is the highest this year.

# VVS Laxman and Sachin have shared a fourth wicket partnership of 68 - India's highest at Colombo, SSC.

# Sachin Tendulkar's tally of 48 hundreds, including 27 on foreign soil, are both records in Tests.

# Tendulkar has registered nine hundreds against Sri Lanka - the most by any batsman against Sri Lanka.

# Tendulkar's unbeaten 108 is his first century in eleven years in Sri Lanka

# Virender Sehwag has taken his runs' tally in the current series to 239 at an average of 79.66 at a strike rate of 95.98. He is also the top run-scorer for India.

# Sehwag became only the third player to be dismissed on 99 in Tests - the first two were Pakistan's Maqsood Ahmed against India at Lahore in January/February 1955 and New Zealand's John Wright against England at Christchurch in January 1992.

# Sehwag has managed to aggregate 682 runs (ave.75.77) in six Tests in 2010. His runs' tally includes three hundreds and three fifties.

# Sehwag, in nine consecutive Tests has registered fifties. Only West Indian, Vivian Richards (11), India's Gautam Gambhir (11) and England's John Edrich (10) have a better record than Sehwag.

Shah Rukh petrified of lungi!

/photo.cms?msid=6227846Its time Shah Rukh Khan heads to South and learns a thing or two from the southern heroes on how to sport a lungi , for the actor got cold feet when asked to wear one in Ra.One.

For those who are clueless about the word ‘ lungi ’, it’s a sarong worn around the waist especially in India.

Coming back to Shah Rukh, when the actor was asked to wear the lungi , the actor got tense fearing the garment might open up leading to hefty embarrassment in front of his crew.

SRK quoted, “I wore a lungi for a scene. It kind of gets windy & cool inside after a while coupled with the fear that it may open!”

Ironically the dimpled actor had once joked during the IPL that he won’t mind dancing naked if his team wins! The actor often makes bold statements like these, light heartedly but the truth is SRK is extremely shy in real life, contrary to his public image. He even admitted it once saying, “I am extremely shy. Women love the way I romance onscreen but in real life I am quite boring.”

The actor has worn a Dhoti in Karan Arjun , Swades and Paheli but hadn’t worn a Lungi till date. This would be the first time that he would be sporting a sarong, the way Salman did in ‘ Har Dil Jo Pyaar Karega’ .

Internationally, it was Football star David Beckham who made sarong popular amongst men.

Once Upon A Time In Mumbai can release, no stay from HC

Balaji Telefilms, producers of Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai, today agreed to issue a press statement saying that the movie is not based on the life of alleged late smuggler Haji Mastan, paving way for its release on July 30.

With this, the Bombay High Court disposed of the application filed by Haji Mastan's adoptive son Sundar Shekhar alias Suleiman Mirza, who had sought stay to the film's release and a preview screening.

He had contended that he needed to see the film prior to the release to check if there was any thing defamatory in it.

But Justice R C Chavan did not grant such a relief.

The media statement, to be issued today itself, would mention that producers have "never represented to before anyone that the film is based on Haji Mastan a pure work of fiction" and characters therein are fictitious.
The statement will be in addition to the disclaimer to the same effect in the beginning of the film.

The Sessions Court had earlier directed that a disclaimer be inserted in the film stating that it was not based on Mastan's life.

Opposition plea for adjournment motion rejected

A united Opposition, which persisted in its demand for an adjournment motion on the issue of price rise on Wednesday in the Lok Sabha, failed to pin down the government as Speaker Meira Kumar rejected it saying that it did not involve failure of the government in discharging its duties.

Opposition parties created an uproar in the post-lunch session on hearing the rejection of their demand, forcing adjournment of the House for the day.

Amid ruckus, Minister of State for Home Ajay Maken rose to introduce the statutory resolution for extension of President's rule in Jharkhand, but he could not be heard. The Chair adjourned the House for the day.

Earlier in the day, the Speaker set aside the Question Hour and allowed the Opposition leaders to put forward their arguments as to why they wanted to bring in an adjournment motion.

“I appreciate the concern expressed by the Opposition over price rise. The House certainly has the right to discuss it. Adjournment motion can be attracted only in case of failure of the government to perform constitutional and legal duties. That is not the case here,” Ms. Kumar said.

She held that in the present case, the decision taken by the government (on prices) was an exercise of its executive power, the merit of which cannot be considered by the Chair, but the House has full authority to discuss it.

Notices for the motion were given by a number of Opposition parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, Janata Dal (United), Biju Janata Dal, Telugu Desam Party, Revolutionary Socialist Party, Forward Bloc, All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party.Making out a case for allowing the adjournment motion, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, said the motion was perfectly in order and within the ambit of the rules, focussing on increase in the prices of kerosene and LPG cylinders.

“We definitely want to censure this government, which came to power on the slogan of ‘aam aadmi,' but is now punishing the same common man. We have the support of all parties, including the allies of the UPA [United Progressive Alliance] government,” she said.

Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh said that about 90 per cent people in the country had been hit hard by the rising prices and the Opposition members, as elected representatives, were only expressing their agony. “When there is no shortage of foodgrains and sugar, why are the prices of essential commodities going up,” he asked.

In the Rajya Sabha, noisy scenes were witnessed as members pressed for a discussion on the issue that entails voting, leading to the adjournment for the second day.

Cameron warns Pakistan against export of terror

David Cameron

Sending a "very clear message" to Pakistan, British Prime Minister David Cameron today warned that country against promoting any "export of terror", whether to India or elsewhere, and said it must not be allowed to "look both ways".

Cameron also said that it is not right for Pakistan to have any relationship with groups that are promoting terror, in comments seen as endorsing India's stand.

"We cannot tolerate in any sense the idea that this country(Pakistan) is allowed to look both ways and is able, in any way, to promote the export of terror, whether to India or whether to Afghanistan or anywhere else in the world," he said.

Cameron, who began his maiden visit to India after assuming office, made these remarks while talking to newsmen and in his address at the IT major Infosys campus in the outskirts of the city during a trip to Bangalore. He is due to hold official talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi tomorrow.

U.S. Says Pakistan Ties Have Strengthened

The U.S. military field reports released by WikiLeaks paint a picture of Pakistan from 2004 to 2009 in which the country's chief spy agency undermines and even inflames the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan.

But U.S. officials contend that in the past several months, Pakistan's stance has become much more nuanced than portrayed in the WikiLeaks reports, released Sunday by the document-publishing website. U.S. officials argue that the two nations have made strides in deepening military and civilian ties, chiefly in response to a Pakistani military offensive begun almost two years ago against Taliban militants operating on Pakistani soil. In return, the U.S. has pledged billions of dollars in new military and civilian aid.

The WikiLeaks documents, covering six years through December 2009, purportedly show in detail the involvement of the Inter-Services Intelligence military spy agency in numerous attacks on coalition forces in Afghanistan. The reports couldn't be independently verified and U.S. officials have questioned their reliability. Pakistan has denied its spies have aided the Afghan insurgency or terrorism against India.


Many experts, including some U.S. officials and analysts in India, continue to suspect Pakistan's military and intelligence of fostering military ties with the U.S. in return for aid while fomenting the Afghan insurgency and regional terrorism.

U.S. officials are concerned that Pakistan's military continues to offer shelter to Afghan Taliban leaders and their allies because it believes they offer no threat to Pakistan and could play a significant role in Afghanistan after U.S. troops pull out. And India recently presented Pakistan with what it said was evidence that the ISI was directly involved in the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in November 2008, which killed more than 160 people.

But U.S. officials say they have seen a shift in Pakistan's attitudes toward the Taliban in the past 18 months.


"We have made progress in moving this relationship forward," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Monday. "What the Pakistanis have found is that the extremists that once enjoyed complete safe haven in parts of their country now threaten their country."

Pakistan's military in the 1990s funded and trained the Afghan Taliban, who were largely culled from the ranks of militants who had fought the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Since last year, the Pakistan Taliban, who are allied with the Afghan Taliban, began to threaten the Pakistan state, breaking out of their strongholds in the lawless tribal areas on the borders with Afghanistan to overrun the Swat Valley in the north and threaten other settled areas.

The Pakistani military responded with a military offensive that has pushed the militants back to a few areas of the tribal regions. The military cites more than 2,000 casualties so far as a mark of its seriousness in going after militants. The U.S. has supported this campaign with drone missile strikes, which have killed scores of top Taliban leaders.

In response, the Obama administration has also upgraded military and civilian government ties.

The U.S. Congress agreed in October to a $7.5 billion civilian aid package for Pakistan over the next five years. In March, ministers from both governments attended a high-level meeting in Washington aimed at building closer ties.

U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who commanded North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces in Afghanistan until last month, visited his Pakistani counterpart, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, every three weeks and touted their good relations as being a meaningful breakthrough in the U.S.-Pakistan relationship.

"In the last year, we significantly ramped up consultations," said Rick Snelsire, a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad.

Washington is pushing for deeper cooperation on counterterrorism. It has increased the U.S. military presence in Pakistan to about 230 personnel, including 120 Special Operations Forces involved in training and advisory roles. Pakistan doesn't allow U.S. combat forces to operate in Pakistan. The U.S. has trained more than 370 Pakistan military officers in counterterrorism, intelligence and other areas in the past few years.

The Central Intelligence Agency and ISI agreed this year to set up more U.S. listening posts in Karachi along with dispatching more officers from the CIA to the port city, a trade hub of 18 million people that militant and criminal groups also frequent. That dragnet is what led to the February arrest of the Taliban's second in command, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.

"There's a team of crack ISI and CIA people there now," a U.S. official said, adding that the operation is likely walled off from the wing of the ISI that U.S. officials hold with more suspicion because it maintains ties to Islamist militant groups.

The U.S. and Pakistan have also established centers to share military intelligence in cities like Quetta and Peshawar, U.S. officials said. "The partnership is guided in many ways by shared interests, especially when it comes to the problem of terrorism," another U.S. official said. "There's regular, robust, and candid dialogue between CIA and ISI officials, including when differences arise."

Still CIA officers are aware of Pakistan's historical relationships with militants, the official said. "Everyone's eyes are wide open."

In a sign of increased military cooperation, a military official at the U.S. Embassy points to an incident in February when Pakistan's Frontier Corps forced militants operating in the Bajaur tribal region to flee across the border to Afghanistan. Pakistan then informed coalition forces, which dropped precision-guided rockets on the group, killing more than a dozen militants.

To be sure, the U.S. remains deeply suspicious about Pakistan's motives. For one, it has repeatedly urged Pakistan to crack down on the remaining havens in the tribal regions from where al Qaeda-linked militant groups like the Haqqani network continue to launch attacks inside Afghanistan.

"Where we've seen good cooperation between the U.S. and Pakistanis is generally purely out of self interest," a U.S. military official said. That means Pakistan has been willing to help the U.S. target members of al Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban—both of which the Pakistani government, including ISI, see as direct threats to the Pakistani state.

But there is far less cooperation in areas where national interests diverge, such as with the al Qaeda-affiliated groups like the Haqqani network that have tended to attack Afghan and Indian targets, U.S. officials said. In some cases, the U.S. has found evidence of the ISI providing Haqqani fighters with components that could be used for explosive devices as well as basic items like sleeping bags, they added.

The ISI has also provided Afghan Taliban members with financial help, intelligence, and assistance with strategic planning, the U.S. military official said.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton publicly raised U.S. concerns on a July 19 visit to Pakistan, stating she believed someone in the Pakistan government knew where al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was hiding in the tribal regions. Pakistan has replied it is too stretched fighting in other parts of the tribal regions to open a new front now.

Other Pakistani moves have been harder to read. U.S. officials welcomed Pakistan's arrest in February of Mr. Baradar, the Afghan Taliban's military chief, in the Pakistani port city of Karachi. The arrest raised hopes that Islamabad was finally cracking down on the Taliban.

But Pakistan has declined to hand Mr. Baradar over to Afghanistan. Some analysts believe Pakistan may have made the arrest to stop Mr. Baradar from pursuing peace talks with the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai without input from Islamabad.After some tussling, the CIA gained access to Mr. Baradar for questioning and obtained useful details, U.S. officials say. The U.S. has had some access in the past few months, the U.S. military official added.

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