Friday, January 16, 2015

Hundreds of students killed in attack, Pakistan school in Peshawar

"'God is great,'" the Taliban militants shouted as they roared through the hallways of a school in Peshawar, Pakistan. 

Then, 14-year-old student Ahmed Faraz recalled, one of them took a harsher tone.

" 'A lot of the children are under the benches,' " a Pakistani Taliban said, according to Ahmed. " 'Kill them.' "
By the time the hours-long siege at Army Public School and Degree College ended early Tuesday evening, at least 145 people -- 132 children, 10 school staff members and three soldiers -- were dead, military spokesman Gen. Asim Bajwa said. More than 100 were injured, many with gunshot wounds, according to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province Information Minister Mushtaq Ghani.

The death toll does not include the terrorists who attacked the school, bursting into an auditorium where a large number of students were taking an exam and gunning down many of them within minutes, Bajwa said.

"They started shooting indiscriminately," Bajwa said, "and that's where maximum damage was caused."
Pakistani Taliban spokesman Mohammed Khurrassani said the militants scaled the school's walls around 10 a.m. (midnight ET), intent on killing older students there.

The Taliban had "300 to 400 people ... under their custody" at one point, said Khurrassani, whose group is called Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan, or TTP. But Bajwa said there was no hostage situation, as the attackers' focus was shooting to kill rather than taking captives.

They were eventually met by Pakistani troops who pushed through the complex building by building, room by room. By 4 p.m., they'd confined the attackers to four buildings. A few hours later, all the militants -- seven of them, according to Bajwa -- were dead.

Pakistani authorities spent Tuesday night inside the school in Peshawar, a city about 120 kilometers (75 miles) from the country's capital, Islamabad, looking for survivors, victims and improvised explosive devices planted to worsen the carnage.

As they searched, they discovered that the school's principal was among the terrorists' victims.
The attack drew sharp condemnation from top Pakistani officials, who vowed that the country wouldn't stop its war against the Taliban.

"We are undeterred. ... We will not back off," Defense Minister Khawaja Asif told CNN.
But he said the ambush at the school is another example of how great his nation's sacrifices have been in fighting that's raged for more than a decade.

"Even the children are dying on the frontline in the war against terror," he said. "The smaller the coffin, the heavier it is to carry. ... It's a very, very tragic day."

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Taapsee has four films - two each in Hindi and Tamil

"I just feel I've been wholeheartedly accepted in both the industries. Sometimes when you're popular in the south, Bollywood may not work out and vice versa. But I think I've been lucky," Taapsee told IANS.

She admits her Bollywood career took off quickly, but she "never expected it".

"I also never expected my first Tamil film 'Aadukalam' to win six National awards. Bollywood has responded as well as the south did when I debuted four years ago. Post my Tamil film debut, I was flooded with offers. I think the same fate is repeating with Bollywood," she said.

Taapsee made her Hindi debut with 2013 hit "Chashme Baddoor". She currently has "Baby" and "Agra Ka Daabra" in her kitty. In Tamil filmdom, she's awaiting the release of "Vai Raja Vai" and "Muni 3".

The actress was busy working on four projects in 2014, but she didn't even manage to have a single release.

"The release of a film lies in the hands of a producer," she said, adding that the work she did last year was "creatively satisfying".

"I may not have had a release in 2014, but it was an eventful year because of the kind of work that was offered to me. That's precisely why I didn't worry too much about the release of these films because I knew I had the best in hand. I also learnt that you need a lot of perseverance and patience in this profession," she added.

For Neeraj Pandey-directed "Baby", Taapsee underwent special training in the Krav Maga Israeli form of martial arts, while for "Agra Ka Daabra", she plans to visit Uttar Pradesh to research her character.

With such diverse roles in her Hindi films, Taapsee agrees Bollywood has offered her meatier characters.

"Since I know Hindi, I've realised how easy and interesting it is to work in Bollywood. Not knowing the language becomes a bigger challenge and that's what I face in the south. This is one of the limitations why we (Hindi film actresses) don't get interesting characters there. But all that is slowly changing. The roles I play in 'Vai Raja Vai' and 'Muni 3' are proof to it," she said.

Although she plays a brief role in "Vai Raja Vai", it has shades of grey, quite contrary to the bubbly roles she's played so far.

"Muni 3" took a toll on Taapsee, "physically as well as mentally".

"To spend nearly two years of my life on this project itself was very challenging. The role I play in the film required a lot of physical strength. And it doesn't necessarily have to be action, but the conditions we shot in and everything I had to do for this character," she said.

"I've done a lot of underwater sequences. During peak summer time, I was dragged along the sand and we shot under very strenuous conditions," she added.

But it's "Baby" that Taapsee is really excited about for it has given her an opportunity "to step into the shoes of a man".

"It's a privilege for female actors to perform stunts in a male-dominated industry, and to be doing it in a full-length action film is very special. I consider myself as one of the 'guys' in 'Baby'.

"This role made me do all that's expected out of a hero. It's one of the reasons why I wanted to be part of this project because it's not going to sideline me as a heroine," she said.

Aamir Khan's 'PK' has been given huge thumbs up in Pakistan.

The film, which has been helmed by Rajkumar Hirani, has not only grossed over INR300 crore in India, but has gotten rave reviews and repeat visits in the neighboring country and is expected to cross Rs15 crore there, the Dawn reported.

Manager Marketing from Distributor Club (PVT) Ltd for the country, Hassaan Rizvi said that the main reasons for the movie's success are Hirani and Khan, with another factor being Pakistan presented in a positive light.

The Pakistanis are loving Khan's loveable depiction of the unaware, inquisitive alien, and a fan, who claimed to have watched the film 3 times already, said not only it stars Khan, the film also "addresses the theist question in such an effective manner. With religious extremism on the rise in both India and Pakistan, 'PK' is an excellent film that deals with such pressing issues."

According to the Indian Express, the film may as well become the first Indian movie to cross INR600 crore worldwide.

Monday, January 5, 2015

India Sensex falls by over 2% as oil prices drop below $50 per barrel

Mumbai : The S&P BSE benchmark Sensex fell by over two percent to head towards their biggest daily fall in nearly three weeks.

The Sensex fell amidst all-round selling from operators following sharp fall in Asian markets and overnight steep fall in US bourses as oil prices continue its sustained fall.

Oil edged up on Tuesday, steadying after a 5 percent plunge in the previous session that saw prices touch fresh 5-1/2-year lows in an oversupplied market.
Worries about surplus oil supplies were fuelled by data showing output in Russia hit a post-Soviet-era high in 2014 and exports from OPEC`s second largest producer, Iraq, were the highest since 1980. Jitters over political uncertainty in Greece drove investors out of risk assets globally to safe-haven bonds.

Shares of Refinery, Realty, Auto, Capital Goods and Power declined sharply on heavy selling pressure.

The S&P BSE benchmark sensex resumed lower a 27,694.23 and dropped further to 27,330.47 before quoting at 27,376.67 at 1000hrs, showing a loss of 465.65 points or 1.67 percent from its last close.

The CNX 50-share Nifty also fell by 140.65 points of 1.68 percent to 8,237.75 at 1000hrs.

Major losers were Tata Motors (3.42 pct), ONGC (2.90 pct), SSLT (2.57 pct), BHEL (2.54 pct), Tata Steel (2.51 pct), Hindalco (2.39 pct) and Wipro (2.29 pct).

Asian markets were trading sharply lower after stocks on Wall Street declined overnight following the relentless fall in oil prices. Key indices in China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea were off 0.59 pct to 2.65 pct.

US stocks fell sharply yesterday with the S&P 500 extending losses into a fourth session, as energy companies reacted following the fall of oil price to its lowest since April 2009.

Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors bought shares worth a net Rs 472 crore yesterday as per provisional data.

Thousands of Indians have fled from their homes as fighting with Pakistan

Intense, Unprecedented Shelling, Say Kashmiris Fleeing HomesSrinagar :  Thousands of Indians have fled from their homes as fighting with Pakistan spread along the 200-km (124 mile) stretch of the border in Kashmir.

At least 10 Indian and Pakistani soldiers and civilians have been killed in fighting over the past week. Two soldiers from the Border Security Force (BSF) have been killed in the last week.

About 6,000 civilians in Kashmir fled from their homes late on Monday as fighting moved to civilian areas, said Shantmanu, the divisional commissioner of Jammu region. About 4,000 left after fighting began last week.

"We had a narrow escape and there is a war-like situation," said Sham Kumar, 54, from Sherpur village. "Pakistani troops are using long-range weapons. It is the first time we have seen such intense shelling." Kumar said he left his village after a shell landed in a school about 3.5 km (2 miles) from the border.

The violence comes days before US Secretary of State John Kerry is due to visit India. President Barack Obama is also due to visit India later this month as the Chief Guest for the Republic Day celebrations. 

Last week, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar warned that India would retaliate with double the force if Pakistan violates the ceasefire, which was agreed upon in 2003.

In August, India called off talks with Pakistan after Islamabad insisted on consulting Kashmiri separatists ahead of the dialogue.
 In October, nearly 20 civilians were killed in both countries as cross-border violence escalated to its worst in over a decade.

Aus vs Ind, 4th Test

The series is out of bounds but Indian cricket is all set to enter a new era under the feisty Virat Kohli, whose leadership would be put through a trial by fire when the visitors seek redemption in the fourth and final cricket Test against Australia starting on 6 January.

Down 0-2 in the series, India have already lost the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after the third Test in Melbourne ended in a draw. Besides, India were dealt quite a shock when skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni chose to quit Test cricket altogether.

Virat Kohli, India's newest full-time Test captain. AP
Virat Kohli, India's newest full-time Test captain. APThis led to Kohli's elevation as captain and it would be interesting to see how the outspoken and flamboyant batsman, who has scored three hundreds in the series so far, handles the pressure of leading the side and salvage some pride in the series.
As such this is India's sixth consecutive Test series loss playing overseas, a run that stretches back to the England tour in 2011.

It is only the second time in their long history that India have suffered such embarrassment —the first stretching from their debut Test in England in 1932 to their maiden tour of West Indies in 1955. However, when the first ball is bowled in Sydney, future and not history will be on the visitors' mind.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dancing With the Stars 2011 Winner : Kirstie Alley’s final performances (Video)

Dancing With the Stars 2011 Winner : Kirstie Alley’s final performances (Video)

The Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver had fans cheering and black-and-gold towels waving as he samba-ed his way to a victory as the season 12 winner of "Dancing with the Stars" ahead of fellow finalists Kirstie Alley and Chelsea Kane.
"Starting this competition, I never thought I'd make it to the finals," the always-humble NFL player said upon being named winner. "I owe it all to Kym, who's the most amazing teacher."
Ward, who originally performed the high-energy samba during "personal story" week, dedicated his dance to his mother, who sat front-row in the audience during the finale dances.
"Mr. Irresistible" ran up to give his proud mom a peck on the cheek, which she brushed away, to the glee of the football star and the crowd.
<embed src="" width="512" height="319" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" flashVars="" allowFullScreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" base="."></embed><div style="margin:0px;padding:4px;width:500px;text-align:center;font-family:Verdana,sans-serif;font-size:12px;"><a href="" style="color:#439CD8;" target="_blank">MTV Shows</a></div>
"Hines, in all honestly, you're the MVP of 'Dancing with the Stars,'" judge Carrie Ann gushed. "You're nothing but consistency and focus ... you really dance with heart."
Outspoken Bruno appeared equally smitten by Ward's charms on the dance floor.
"You're a killer when you play your sport, and a charming dazzler on the dance floor," he said earnestly. "We all fall in love."
Ward and Johnson, who wowed the judges consistently throughout the season with their infectious energy and noticeable chemistry, were favorites going into the finals, though they faced stiff competition from Alley and Kane.
"Kirstie, you're like a phoenix," Bruno said of the actress' physical and technical transformation throughout the season. "You cheating girl, you saved the best for last!"
Even the usually stoic Len admitted that runner-up Kirstie had "overcome setbacks, improved weaknesses" and ultimately "produced [her] best dance yet."
Disney star Kane, who took home third place, was visibly upset by her early ouster, but the judges remained big fans of the bubbly actress.
"A lot of people may not have known who you are," Carrie Ann began, "but performances like this are why everyone will know who you are now. You're a very talented, artistic, beautiful, graceful woman."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Gabriella Pasqualotto Mumbai Cheerleader girl blog

South African cheerleader, IPL Mumbai team, Gabriella Pasqualotto was posting secretly blogging about the fun and flirting that take in post match parties. Pasqualotto had written that some players and celebrity sponsors treat grils like “like pieces of meat”.

In her blog, she claimed that the Aussies were “naughty”, one of them playing “kissing catches” with some of the girls despite his girlfriend waiting at home for him, while “Ol’ Graeme Smith will flirt with anything while his girlfriend walks behind him”.

“Usually only after day matches there is an exclusive after party and at night is when it all happens. The music pumps, the drinks flow and the cricketers come and go. We mingle and associate with important people of the IPL wearing their finest and sexiest, sponsors of all sorts, media and fashion shows, even Indian MTV! But the real fun happens in the VIP rooms where the players and night owls can cause scandal! The few Indian players we have met, such as MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma have been very polite and keep to themselves in the dark corners. Hotshots like Tendulkar with families at home are never present. The likes of Jonty Rhodes and Albie Morkel are notorious for having a good time with friends!

In her blog has also written that Gabriella Pasqualott: MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma have been very polite and keep to themselves in the dark corners. Hotshots like Tendulkar with families at home are never present. The likes of Jonty Rhodes and Albie Morkel are notorious for having a good time with friends!

BEFORE departing for India, I had friends and family passing on travel tips, advice and personal experiences. Some of it good, and some of it worrying. As this was my first trip overseas, I needed to take it all in. But with any challenge in life, I like to have an open heart, clear head and positive attitude. This was not just a holiday abroad, this was a job and nobody could prepare me to become a cricket-loving, cheerleading, IPL girl but me!

Already three weeks have passed and in that time I cannot believe how a group of normal girls can become instant celebrities! Each team of ten girls has a manager and we all receive strict instructions from them about safety, behaviour and reputation, as it seems girls from previous years did not heed the rule book!

For example, if people ask why we are in their country, we have to say that we are friends on holiday. The majority of Indians are cricket crazy, glued to their televisions, reading the papers, supporting their teams. So as the tournament kicked off, it became pretty obvious we were not telling the truth!

On our days off, we are free to explore and take in what India has to offer but its not always easy. You can just imagine, a group of fit, easy on the eye, western ladies cruising the congested busy streets…

To the citizens, we are practically like walking porn! All eyes are on you all the time; it is complete voyeurism. The women double take, see you and then pretend you do not exist. The men see your face, then your boobs, your butt, and then your boobs again! As we walk, all you hear is “IPL, IPL!” with a little head jingle!

Usually only after day matches there is an exclusive after party and at night is when it all happens. The music pumps, the drinks flow and the cricketers come and go. We mingle and associate with important people of the IPL wearing their finest and sexiest, sponsors of all sorts, media and fashion shows, even Indian MTV! But the real fun
happens in the VIP rooms where the players and night owls can cause scandal! The few Indian players we have met, such as MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma have been very polite and keep to themselves in the dark corners. Hotshots like Tendulkar with families at home are never present. The likes of Jonty Rhodes and Albie Morkel are notorious for having a good time with friends!

‘Ol Graeme Smith will flirt with anything while his girlfriend lurks behind him. The Aussies are fun but naughty, such as Aiden Blizzard and Dan Christian. By the end of a crazy evening, a certain someone had played kissing catchers with three girls known to me only, although he has his own girlfriend back home. He cooed to each girl, “Come home with me, I just want to cuddle!’

I have come to realise that cricketers are the most loose and mischievious sportsmen I have come across. Makes me wonder if I should worry about them more then the commoners on the street! I still have a long while here, so I shall keep my tip list in mind.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mississippi River Reaches Record High

There's a reason they call it the "Mighty" Mississippi: As heavy rains pound the river's basin and drive water levels above their record heights, the mayor of Memphis has warned city residents to prepare for a possible "large-scale disaster." Officials have begun building sandbag buffers around the city and raised levees where water levels have climbed to dangerous heights. Thousands have evacuated the city, leaving their homes behind to live in tents and campers at higher grounds. One woman showed CBS News correspondent Mark Strassman photos of her submerged home north of Memphis. "What's next? We've never had anything like this. We've lost crops to the water. We've never lost a house," she said. Things haven't been worse since the Mississippi flood in 1927, the most destructive in U.S. history, after which engineers built a system of levees and reservoirs that protect some four million people today. But that system is certainly being tested. The river is expected to crest next Wednesday at 48 feet.


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