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Friday, July 28, 2006

Malaysians take anti-Israel protest to Rice's door

Thousands of Malaysians today protested against Israel at the front door of a global security forum attended by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Led by the son-in-law of Malaysia's prime minister, the protesters surged through riot police to stand at the front door of the forum venue in Kuala Lumpur, threatening to storm in unless Rice appeared to receive a protest memo.

''Rice get out!'' the protesters chanted after they burned an American flag and Rice in effigy. Inside, Rice was in talks with Asian counterparts on Israel's offensive in southern Lebanon, North Korea's nuclear-arms ambitions and other issues.

Khairy Jamaluddin, son-in-law of the forum's host, Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, wrapped himself in a Malaysian flag at one point and shouted ''Dr Rice, please come out. The Malaysian people do not want you here.'' The protesters then sat down, with police watching on, and refused to leave.

Local News: Call Center Murder

India, Local newsThe case of a call centre employee, Tania Banerjee (32), took a turn on Thursday after it was found that she was arrested on August 31, 2005 for indulging in immoral activities. She was arrested form her South Kolkata appartment.

Tania, was the kingpin of the racket, Jason Anthony, had been booked under Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act. The DCP said that they had submitted charge sheet for all three but they were out on bail.

Police sources said Tania had flown into Kolkata just a week before her arrest. They said that she was quite aware and confident of what she was doing. Senior police official said that she had no qualms over what she did.

"She said she did it for fun. Guys enjoyed her company and she liked it. Sometimes she got money for doing it; at other times she got gifts," said an officer.
She flew to Kolkata from Bangalore often, the police claimed. "It's possible that the girls were introduced to Jason through common friends and got involved in the racket. It was easy money for them," said an officer. However, her father Kalidas Banerjee, retired railway officer will be leaving for Bangalore soon. His tickets have been arranged by the company Tania used to work for.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

MPCC is serious over farmers' suicides

Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president Prabha Rau today said the Committee is reviewing the situation of the debt-ridden farmers in the Vidarbha region.

Talking to reporters here, Ms Rau said the Committee has taken a serious note of the suicides committed by the farmers in the Vidarbha region, even after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's recent visit there and declaration of a financial assistance amounting to Rs 3,750 crore.

The July 11 serial blasts in Mumbai suburban trains could be one of the reasons why there was delay in disbursal of succour to the farmers,'' she said.

A meeting of the district and taluka-level party office-bearers has been called tomorrow at Wardha to discuss the issue and find out the real reasons why the farmers are continuing to commit suicides in Vidarbha, Ms Rau said.

Replying to another question, the MPCC chief said the existing agriculture policy needs to be changed so that the farmers could get more benefits.

''We are also organising a state-level seminar on agriculture in Mumbai in August to discuss ways and means in the agriculture sector,'' she added.

March in protest against Israeli attacks

Thousands of demonstrators marched through London and hundreds more gathered in Amsterdam today to protest against Israeli attacks in Lebanon and the refusal of the US and British governments to condemn them.

Police said around 7,000 people joined the London protest as it snaked from the banks of the Thames to Hyde Park, first in brilliant sunshine and then in torrential rain. Many carried red and white Lebanese flags and placards condemning ''Israeli crimes in Lebanon''.

''Having seen the devastation on our TV screens in recent days, it's impossible to view the Israeli response as anything other than a gross over-reaction,'' said Yasmin Ataullah, spokeswoman for the British Muslim Initiative, one of the groups behind the rally. Hundreds more protesters took to the streets of Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Newcastle and Sheffield.

In Amsterdam, around 700 people gathered near Dam Square to condemn the Israeli assault, which has killed 349 people in Lebanon, mostly civilians, in the past 11 days.

''We will win against the biggest terrorists in the world,'' said Ali Nasraka Afyouni, a 23-year-old who left southern Lebanon for the Netherlands seven years ago.
The protest came two days after around 2,000 pro-Israeli demonstrators gathered in Amsterdam.

A similar show of solidarity with Israel is planned near London tomorrow evening and will be addressed by Britain's chief rabbi. ''Israel has the right to defend itself aganst unprovoked attacks on sovereign soil,'' said Henry Grunwald, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

Much of the anger in yesterday's London protest was directed at the British government for its refusal to openly condemn Israel's actions and call for an immediate ceasefire. ''We're disgusted by the way the US and Britain have isolated themselves from the rest of the international community,'' Ataullah said.

Speaking in Beirut, Foreign Office Minister Kim Howells made the strongest criticism yet of Israel by a British government minister. ''These have not been surgical strikes. It's very, very difficult to understand the kind of military tactics that have been used,'' he told reporters.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Indian businessmen selling products online

News: National News, e-commerce business newsNew Delhi, Jul 26: As many as 12,800 Indian entrepreneurs, including many businesses, earn their livelihood by selling products through eBay India, an online marketplace, a survey report said.

The survey revealed that the Indian entrepreneurs rapidly embraced the internet for online business opportunities with around 38 per cent of the current eBay India sellers quitting their jobs and 9 per cent sellers seeing eBay as their primary source of income.

''Being cost-effective and no prior investment needed, eBay provided the 1.3 million eBay sellers a global market and access to 203 million potential buyers,'' eBay Country Manager Gautam Thakar said.

The net savvy people are taking advantage of low start-up costs, low-cost marketing, and high velocity of business across the world, he added. The survey was conducted in June 2006 by AC Nielsen with eBay Sellers across the US, Canada and Asia-Pacific in the past 12 months.

Bill Gates to set up 'IT science university

Hyderabad, July 26:

Microsoft Founder Bill Gates would set up an ''IT Science University'' in this emerging IT hub city.

According to sources here, the state government had sent a proposal for setting up an IT university to the Microsoft Founder recently. Mr Gates had agreed in principle with the idea which was likely to cost anything between Rs 7 to 10 billion.

The government has been in touch with the Microsoft boss since last year and had sent a couple of letters to him in this regard. The government was waiting for a reply from Bill Gates to begin the formalities for setting up of the university.

The State government has also offered prime land in Gachibowli where major IT companies like Infosys and Microsoft had set up offices. The Government was yet to decide whether the university would have the status of a Central university or Private university, the sources said

NDTV's Rahul Shrivastava (NDTV 24x 7) Reports

Tuesday, July 25, 2006 (New Delhi):

Former Defence Minister Jaswant Singh's revelation about a spy in the Prime Minister's Office has started a guessing game on who was it?

Jaswant Singh is revealing the mole’s identity only bit by bit with some more clues on Tuesday.

And the plot thickens as Jaswant Singh, who had promised to tell Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who the mole in Narasimha Rao's office was, instead only gave a few more teasers but no names. So this is what India now knows ---

  • The so called mole was a civil servant

  • He was close to Narasimha Rao. In fact the letter written by the American diplomat to a US senator says the man had "direct access to the PM."

  • When Jaswant Singh got the letter the bureaucrat was no longer in the PMO.

  • He had left India

Jaswant Singh has still not given a direct answer to why he did not share information about a PMO mole with his own party leader Atal Behari Vajpayee. He maintains it's because the official could no longer influence policy.

There are some other ambiguities in his public statements. For example, in his interview to NDTV, Jaswant Singh said he got the letter well after 1995. So when exactly did the former external affairs minister get hold of the letter?

"Under the Official Secrets Act such information should never be revealed. It can lead to punishment," said Bhuvanesh Chaturvedi, State Minister.

Jaswant Singh's “who dunnit” has the Parliament and the country guessing. Political parties, who are not part of the controversy, feel that Jaswant Singh and the Prime Minister must meet and share information.

News from: NDTV

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

3rd Indian evacuees batch arrive

The third batch of 423 Indian evacuees from the war-torn Lebanon arrived here from Cyprus late tonight.

The evacuees were received by Tamilnadu Ministers N Selvaraj, Madhivanan and External Affairs Ministries Joint secreteries Malay Mitra and others at the old airport.

Out of 423 evacuuess 269 are from different parts of Tamilnadu and others belonging to Kerala, Delhi, Punjab, Goa, Andhrapradesh and Mangalore.

The 269 evacuees of Tamilnadu were sent to their respective destinations in the state by the state transport buses, while others housed in a nearby marriage hall would be sent the destination through flights and trains later in the day.

The state government provided an assistance of Rs 500 each to all the evacuees on their arrival. They were also given some refreshments and water bottles.

It may be recalled that 476 evacuees had arrived in two batches on July 22 and 23.

Monday, July 24, 2006

5 year old Prince Rescued

Five year old Prince was rescued from a 60 feet deep pit late on Sunday evening in a rescue operation that lasted more than 50 hours. It was a nationally televised event that almost brought the nation to a standstill. From the common man to the Prime Minister were concerned about the rescue of this five year old boy. And this story, thanks to the efforts of the Indian Army and prayers of millions, had a happy ending. However, this event has raised many questions about who should be held accountable for what happened at Kurukshetra? Who will take responsibility? Where does the buck finally stop?

Jaya Bachchan back in Upper House

Political News, News India, PoliticsActress Jaya Bachchan today took the oath as a Rajya Sabha member, while her husband and Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan watched the proceedings from the gallery.
Ms Bachchan returns to the Upper House as a Samajwadi Party member after she was disqualified by President A P J Abdul Kalam for holding an Office of Profit.
Six months ago, she forfeited her Rajya Sabha membership for simultaneously holding the post of chairperson of the Uttar Pradesh Film Development Council.
She was the last among the five new Rajya Sabha members who took the oath today.
The others who were administered the oath were K P K Kumaran, (DMK), Rahul Bajaj (Ind), Chaudhry Mohammad Aslam (Cong) and Amir Alam Khan, SP.

Tsunami & Earthquake in Indonesia

International News : Tsunami and Earthquake hit Indonesia
A strong undersea earthquake struck off the coast of Indonesia's Sulawesi island today, a meteorology and geophysics official said. Death toll from tsunami on Indonesian island of Java climbs to 86; triggered by undersea quake

Fauzi, the head of the agency's earthquake centre, said the quake, of 6.6 magnitude, was at a depth of 62 km (40 miles) under the sea and the epicentre was 90 km (60 miles) southeast of the city of Gorontalo.

The quake comes less than a week after another powerful undersea earthquake triggered a tsunami on the south coast of Java island.

An undersea earthquake near Indonesia's Sulawesi island today was around 6.1 magnitude, under the threshold for a specific tsunami warning, an official of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

Speaking to Reuters by telephone from Hawaii, Stuart Weinstein said, ''The earthquake was 6.0, 6.1, in that range and our threshhold is 6.5.'' Earlier Indonesia's meteorology and geophysics agency warned of the possibility of a tsunami hitting Sulawesi after what it said was a 6.6 strength earthquake.

''We have informed local officials to warn people in the areas that the earthquake is likely to cause a tsunami in the area,'' said Fauzi, the head of the agency's earthquake centre.

''A tsunami hasn't taken taken place but people have been evacuated to higher ground.''

Thursday, July 13, 2006

US Republicans steps against Korea

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist proposed expanding a law aimed at stemming the nuclear weapons ambitions of Iran and Syria to include North Korea, as Republicans sought more money for a US missile defense system.

Frist, a Tennessee Republican, yesterday said he would introduce legislation to add North Korea to the Iran and Syria nonproliferation act after Pyongyang defied international warnings and tested seven missiles last week.

Under the law, President George W Bush can impose sanctions on any foreign person believed to have transferred goods, services or technologies that could help those countries build nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction.

''The US must prevent North Korea from obtaining additional materials for its weapons and missile programs,'' Frist said in a statement.

Sanctions could bar named individuals from doing business with the US government and prohibit the issuance of US export licenses.

Meanwhile Rep Duncan Hunter, chairman of the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, said he would look for ways to speed up development of a US missile-intercepting system, as House and Senate negotiators work out a defence policy bill.

''We want to accelerate the capability to intercept an incoming ballistic missile coming into an American city,'' Hunter, a California Republican, said at a news conference.

''If we find true opportunity to accelerate missile defence, I think the American people would loudly, in unison, say 'yes, let's do it.' So I think we can come up with money for that,'' Hunter said.

The United States has spent nearly $100 billion on missile defence since then-President Ronald Reagan launched what became widely known as his ''Star Wars'' initiative in the 1980s.

Democrats have criticised the program as unworkable and a drain on the budget and said the United States faces a greater threat from small ''dirty'' nuclear bombs than from missiles.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Blast Effects on Sensex

Business News : Mumbai Blast Effects SensexThe Sensex of BSE zoomed up by 315.74 to close at 10,930.09 on the sentiment of impressive result of IT bellwether Infosys Technologies, brokers said.
They stated that it was widely expected that the market would drift down to lower levels today following a series of explosions that shook Mumbai yesterday evening.

The US markets did not close on a firm note and Asian stocks did not have a nice time either. But, the sentiment got a boost, thanks to an impressive show by IT bellwether Infosys Technologies in the April - June 2006 quarter.
The information technology major, which reported a 50% rise in its quarterly net profit, also revised upwards its future earnings forecast. Though the rally remained confined to Infosys Technologies and other IT majors for a long time, as the session progressed, stocks cutting across sectors began firming up on renewed buying support.

Mirroring the impressive surge in values of frontline stocks, the benchmark BSE index Sensex, which had tumbled to a low of 10,549.85 amid early weakness, flared up to a high of 10,939.68 a few minutes before the closing bell and eventually settled at 10,930.09, recording a sparkling gain of 315.74 points or 2.97 per cent for the day. On the National Stock Exchange, the 50 stock Nifty index spurted to a high of 3201.35 before settling down to close at 3195.90, up 79.75 points or 2.56 per cent over its previous closing mark.

IT stocks remained the favourites of traders today. Infosys Technologies, which remained the top gainer right through the session, ended the day at Rs 3386.45, a few rupees off its high of Rs 3400, with a gain of 7.5 per cent.Tata Consultancy Services shot up by 7 per cent to Rs 1892.95. Satyam Computers (4.4 per cent) and Wipro (4.25 per cent) also had a nice ride up the charts today.

Index heavyweight Reliance Industries recorded a handsome gain of 4.8 per cent and contributed its share to the market's sterling performance today. Hindalco (7.1 per cent), Reliance Communications Ventures (6.4 per cent), Larsen & Toubro (4.25 per cent), Maruti Udyog (3.3 per cent), ITC (3.25 per cent), Gujarat Ambuja Cements (3.25 per cent), BHEL (2.65 per cent), Grasim Industries (2.2 per cent), ACC (2.1 per cent), Tata Motors (1.85 per cent), State Bank of India (1.1 per cent), Tata Steel (1.05 per cent) and ONGC (0.95 per cent) moved on to higher levels, brokers added.

Mumbai blasts: Death toll rises to 190

The death toll in the serial bomb blasts on Mumbai's suburban Western railway network has risen to 190.Police said 464 persons are being treated in different hospitals.

Meanwhile, the list of dead and injured in the worst-ever terrorist attack since the 1993 serial bomb blasts, has been put on, the Mumbai police's official website. Besides, the list will also be available on the police helpline 1090.

United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi visited the Bhabha and Sion Hospitals to enquire about the health of the injured. She also visited the Matunga railway station, before leaving for New Delhi.The scheduled meeting to review the security scenario which was to take place at the Sahaydri Guest House, was cancelled.

Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh has convened an all-party meeting today morning to discuss the security scenario in the state in the wake of the serial bomb blasts.Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad are likely to address a news conference here today.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Mumbai Serial Blast 11th July 2006

At least 454 people suffered injuries from multiple explosions in Mumbai, India, that are being blamed on terrorists. Bodies are still being recovered. Police say 174 people were killed. Analysts are comparing the attack with the 2004 Madrid bombings and 2005 London blasts, noting all involved multiple, well-coordinated explosions.

Breaking News : Mumbai blast, National News

The first blast took place at Khar, the second one at Mahim, third at Matunga, fourth at Jogeshwari and the fifth blast took place at Borivilli, sixth took place at Bayander while the seventh blast took place in a subway near Santa Cruz.

The first class appartment of the train in Khar was blown to pieces and bodies of people are lying on the tracks. This was a powerful blast and police suspects that RDX might have been involved.Eyewitnesses reported blasts at Mahim, Bandra, Bhyander, Jogeshwari and Borivali. All blasts have been reported and all of them took place in moving trains.

The Prime minister has called for an emergency meeting with the Home Minister in the capital. All major cities and airports across the country are on high alert.

Plane crashes in Pakistan : 45 dead

A Pakistan International Airlines' Fokker passenger plane crashed today killing all 45 people on board, the police chief in the central city of Multan said.

''Everyone is dead. I am standing at the site,'' police chief Iftikhar Babar told Reuters.

Flight PK 688, en route for Lahore before flying on to Islamabad, crashed 10 minutes after take-off from Multan airport. It was carrying 41 passengers and four crew, PIA spokesman Hasan Jaferry said.

''Bodies are badly charred. The debris has caught fire,''a Reuters eyewitness said.

He said rescue workers from the privately run relief foundation Edhi, the Civil Aviation Authority and the army were taking part in the rescue operation.

The plane crashed near a government primary school, around three km (two miles) from the airport.

Saddam boycott trial : 2nd day

Saddam Hussein and his lawyers again boycotted his trial on charges of crimes against humanity today as a lawyer for a minor co-accused began summing up his case.

The former Iraqi leader's half-brother Barzan al-Tikriti, his former vice president, Taha Yassin Ramadan, and former Revolutionary Court judge Awad Hamed al-Bander and their lawyers were also absent from the court.

Saddam's lawyers said yesterday they would boycott the toppled leader's trial unless their personal security was improved and a probe launched into the killing of a third member of the defence team.

US officials say they have repeatedly offered security to the defence lawyers and their families but that this has been rejected. Chief defence lawyer Khalil al-Dulaimi has blamed pro-government Shi'ite militias for the killing of his deputy, who was abducted from his Baghdad home last month.

Saddam and seven co-accused are on trial for crimes against humanity for the killing of 148 Shi'ites following an attempt on Saddam's life in the town of Dujail in 1982.

A lawyer for Abdullah Kadhem Ruaid, a former official in Saddam's ruling Baath party in Dujail, told the court today that his client had been unjustly accused.

Once final statements have been made, a five-judge panel is expected to adjourn to consider a verdict. Officials close to the court say a verdict on Dujail could come in September.

A death sentence may be delayed by appeals and the many other trials the toppled leader is likely to face for alleged crimes during his Sunni-dominated rule, most of them against the Shi'ites and Kurds now in power.

Saddam and his former top army commanders face a separate trial on August 21 on genocide charges stemming from the killing of tens of thousands of Iraqi Kurds in a 1988 military operation to force them from their villages.

Seven defendants including Saddam's cousin, Ali Hassan al-Majeed, or ''Chemical Ali'', will stand trial in the new case.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Italy hold their fourth crown

Sports News: FIFA 2006, Italy Italy recovered from the loss of an early goal to outscore France in a penalty showdown as the FIFA World Cup™ Final went the full distance for only the second time. For Zinedine Zidane there was double disappointment as his final ever game ended with a red card.

France had promised to repeat their success of 1998 for their retiring captain and only he will know what possessed him when he thrust his forehead into the chest of Marco Materazzi. Zidane had to go, accompanied down the tunnel by the glare of thousands and thousands of flash bulbs and the tears of the legions of French supporters.

Co-pilot arrested on alcohol charges

Authorities in Utah ordered a Southwest Airlines co-pilot out of the cockpit of his Arizona-bound jet shortly before takeoff Sunday morning and jailed him on suspicion of being under the influence of alcohol, FBI and airline officials said.

Carl Fulton, 41, of Fort Worth, Texas, faces federal charges of operating a plane under the influence of alcohol, said Special Agent Pat Kiernan, an FBI spokesman in Salt Lake City.

U.S. soldiers charged rape & Murder

Four U.S. soldiers in Iraq are charged with participation in the "rape and murder of a young Iraqi woman and three members of her family," the U.S. military said Sunday. All five are charged with conspiring with former Pfc. Steven D. Green to commit the crimes, the military said, in connection with the incident in March in Mahmoudiya, Iraq.

There have been conflicting reports about the alleged rape victim's age. Sunday, Reuters news agency released documents indicating that she was 14. However, a Justice Department affidavit in the case against Green says investigators estimated victim's age at about 25, while the U.S. military said she was 20.

A U.S. defense official told CNN the five soldiers are still on their base in the Mahmoudiya area, have had their weapons taken away, and are being escorted everywhere they go on the base. Green remains behind bars in Louisville, Kentucky.

INSAT-4C launch began

The final countdown for the launch of INSAT-4C communication satellite for the first time from its own launchpad at the Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) here tomorrow began at 1438 hrs.The countdown was proceeding smoothly, ISRO sources told UNI when contacted. This would be the first launch of GSLV from the state-of-the-art Second launch pad at Satish Dawan Space Centre here.All the preparations for the launch of the second operational flight-Geosynchronous satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-FO2) to hurl into Geostationary Transfer Orbit, the two tonne fourth generation INSAT satellite INSAT 4-C were going on smoothly, he said.So far, India has been launching the INSAT series of satellites from abroad. INSAT 4-C carrying 12 high power Kun band transpsonders has been designed to provide Direct-To-Home (DTH) television services, Video Picture Transmission (VPT), Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG) and to serve National Informatics Centre(NIC) for its VSAT connectivity.

Siberian Airbus A-310 Accident

This TV grab from Russian NTV channel shows the wreckage of an Airbus A-310 aircraft of Sibir (Siberia) company after it crashed at the airport of Irkutsk, Sunday 09 July 2006. More than 150 passengers and crew died when a Russian Airbus A-310 jetliner crash landed and burst into flames early Sunday in the eastern Siberian city of Irkutsk.

Defaced statue of Thackeray's wife creates tension

An uneasy calm is prevailing at Shivaji park area of Dadar after unidentified miscreants defaced the statue of late Meenatai Thackeray, wife of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray this morning.

Tension prevailed in the area after Shiv Sainiks torched a tourist bus and obstructed vehicular traffic in the area. Sensing trouble, police reinforcements have been rushed to the spot and security has been tightened.

Meanwhile, police sources have confirmed that if needed police presence would be further increased to thwart any attempts to destroy peace, law and order.

Earlier, Shiv Sena leader and former Chief Minister of the State Manohar Joshi speaking to mediapersons stated that late Meenatai Thackeray is a revered figure and defacing the statue has hurt the Sainiks.

Shiv Sena has called a bandh yesterday in the area.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Bengal To Make: State of Air Taxi Hub

The West Bengal government has decided to make the state a hub for air taxi operation to reap in the benefits of modernisation of the international airport here.

Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee met senior Airports Authority of India (AAI) officials led by AAI's officiating regional executive director S P S Bakshi recently to discuss the matter."With modernisation of the international airport here getting underway, Air taxi operation from the airport would ensure better connectivity with different growth centres and help promote tourism in West Bengal," Bakshi said."The Coochbehar airport will be made operational by next month to enhance connectivity with north Bengal," Mr Bakshi said."The

Chief Minister also suggested that the airport at Malda in north Bengal and Behala in the metropolis be reopened for air taxi operations," he said.AAI Chairman K Ramalingam will arrive here on July nine for a two-day visit to give final shape to the modernisation of the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport after discussions with the Chief Minister.

FIFA World Cup Finals: Italy v France

Sports News, Football Updates, Entertainment News
Italy defender Alessandro Nesta has been ruled out of the World Cup final in Berlin because of a groin injury.

The AC Milan centre-back has missed Italy's last three matches after aggravating a long-term injury in Italy's 2-0 win over Czech Republic.

Marco Materazzi continues in defence alongside skipper Fabio Cannavaro.

France's Zinedine Zidane and Lilian Thuram will play their final games for Les Bleus after confirming their retirement from international football.

Italy (probable): Buffon; Zambrotta, Grosso, Cannavaro, Materazzi; Gattuso, Camoranesi, Pirlo, Perrotta; Totti; Toni.

France (probable): Barthez; Sagnol, Abidal, Thuram, Gallas; Makelele, Vieira, Malouda, Ribery, Zidane; Henry.

Italy's Nesta has suffered injury setbacks in all three of the World Cups in which he has played - he missed Italy's second round defeat to South Korea four years ago and was also injured for the quarter-final exit to France in 1998.

Former Everton defender Materazzi stood in against Czech Republic and Germany, while Palermo centre-back Andrea Barzagli covered in the quarter-final against Ukraine.

Midfielder Daniele De Rossi returns from a four-match ban for elbowing USA forward Brian McBride in the face during the first round, although he isn't expected to start.

Italy are the designated home team and will sport their familiar home blue colours, while France will play in white for the fourth match in a row.

FIFA World Cup: Germany v Portugal

News, FIFA news, Sports newsDefenders Per Mertesacker and Arne Friedrich are definitely out with heel and knee injuries respectively.

Goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has said he would be willing to stand aside to let veteran Oliver Khan play in one last World Cup game. Portugal defender Miguel misses the game because of a knee injury.

Fifa has defended the relevance of the fixture, which tends to be questioned at every World Cup. Spokesman Markus Siegler said: "I believe there is still a high value in this match. For the players it matters whether they come in third or fourth.

"Especially with Germany playing in the match I think the interest will be high. It is a prestige thing. It's about knowing where the teams finished on the field of play."

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Satyam provides free data management soln

Hyderabad: Satyam Computer Services Ltd, a leading global consulting and information technology services company, has said it is providing a free data management solution, as well as IT services to National Office of Project Hope Teacher Training Centre (PHTTC) sponsored by China Youth Development Foundation (CYDF).

"Project Hope Teacher Training programme is one of the important initiatives to implement Project Hope, liaison with the government and support underprivileged children with primary education," a statement from the company said here today.

"The pro bono effort reflects Satyam's commitment to the communities in which it does business. For Project Hope, Satyam volunteers take time during weekends to teach school teachers and headmasters from western China basic IT skills, such as e-mail and Web surfing," the statement added.

Nepal Quest for Democracy

national news, political news, international news Nepal, also known as the Himalayan Kingdom, is now on its way to Democracy. The protests by the people against monarchy forced King Gyanendra to revive the Nepali parliament. The political parties are now gearing up to set up the democratic rule, the first step towards which was appointing G P Koirala the Prime Minister of Nepal. We provide you with an in-depth coverage of Nepal and its quest for democracy.

Koirala calls on Sonia

New Delhi, June 8 (UNI) Nepal Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala today called on UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and discussed the political situation in the Himalayan Kingdom after restoration of democracy.

The meeting with Ms Gandhi, who is also the Congress President, at her official 10, Janpath residence lasted for 30 minutes, AICC sources said here today.

Mr Koirala introduced six of his accompanying ministers to Ms Gandhi.

Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma was also present during the meeting at which both the leaders reiterated their parties' support to improve relationship between India and Nepal

Trade with China through Sikkim begins

Gangtok, Jul 5: After a long 44 years, Nathu La, the famed ancient silk route connecting two Asian giants on icy trail, will reopen tomorrow for fresh border trade between India and China.

The trade, between the two countries, was closed soon after Sino-India conflict in 1962.

Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling and Tibet Autonous Region (TAR) Chairman C Phuntsak will jointly declare reopening the bilateral trade by cutting ceremonial ribbon on the Indian side of the border to mark the historic event that opens up a new diplomatic channel for cooperation, development and friendship between the two emerging economic powers of Asia.

Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Yuxi, TAR Vice Chairman Haopeng, GOC 17 Mountain Division Maj Gen K T Parnaik are expected to attend the function.

Ministers from Sikkim, top bureaucrats of the central and the state governments, businessmen, army personnel, mediapersons would also assemble at Nathu La, at an altitude of 14,200 foot, to witness the historic event that can bring a fresh bond between two neighbouring nations.

With the reopening of the trade route, Nathu La became the third point for border trade after Shiklela in Himachal Pradesh and Lipulekh in Uttaranchal.

After the route was declared open, about 100 Indian traders would cross over the international border and visit the Reqingaang trade mart in China and equal number of Chinese traders would visit the Sherathang Mart to Indian side.

Mr Chamling is scheduled to launch the trade mart at Sherathang, constructed for conducting the border trade 5 km down the road from Nathu La at a separate function.

The first step to reopen the icy pass for border trade was taken after both the countries signed an MoU during the visit of former Prime Minister A B Vajpayee to China in June 2003.

After holding several rounds of discussions, overcoming many geo-political bottlenecks and exchange of delegates by the two countries finally, a six-member delegation led by Union Additional Secretary Commerce Christe Fernadez finalised July 6 for reopening of the trade route through an agreement with the TAR authorities at Lhasa last month.

The decision indicated the change of Chinese attitude to India and its sincerity to improve the bilateral relations.

Sikkim, the land locked Himalayan state with no rail and air connectivity, whose conomic proposerity was adversely affected after the trade route was closed, has been constantly demanding for its reopening for over a decade now.

The study group commissioned by the Sikkim government to assess all aspects of the trade present a rosy picture in its report submitted to the government last year. It said the conduct of the business through this route would help to realise the Union government's goal of India's Look East policy, consolidate sub regional groupings like South Asia Growth Quadrangle (SAGQ) and Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi Sectoral Techno-Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).

The two-way trade could help India to emerge as a major supplier of intermediate products for Chinese manufacturing units, give a boost to export of agricultural products on both sides, promote regional markets that link Bhutan, Bangladesh and Myanmar with other provinces of China and lead to much deeper social, political and cultural bonds.

China could also export its commodities through Kolkata and Haldia port to South East, South and Central Asian countries instead of through Myanamar port as it is more cheaper.

Neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal can also use the route to have access to the mainland China as it is cost effective.

The border trade it said is also likely to boost tourism, expand industrial activity, infrastructural development and revenue generation in both sides of the border.

Sikkim government is likely to get the maximum benefit.

The group led by Prof Mahendra P Lama of Jawaharlal Nehru University presented two scenarios on the volume of trade. While in case of scenario one, higher side showed that the trade flow through the Nathu La pass will be of Rs 206 crore by 2007, Rs 2266 crore by 2010 and Rs 12,203 crore by 2015.

Under Scenario two the lower side projection showed trade volume passing through Nathula will be of Rs 353 crore in 2010, Rs 450 crore in 2015 and Rs 574 crore in 2020.

The group mentioned that the state will get a revenue of Rs 1.81 crore in 2006 and Rs 3.47 crore in 2010 in the form of fee from tourists visiting Sherathang and Nathu La.

The business is likely to generate an annual revenue of Rs 14 to 70 crore from the movement of trucks by the Sikkim Nationalist Transport and private truckers at the existing rate. If the rate is doubled the annual revenue generation is likely to touch Rs 27.94 crore to Rs 139.80 crore, the group said.

In addition to revenue generation, the daily movement of trucks (now fixed at 60) from 100 to 500 in the coming years could give direct employment to 4000 to 10,000 people per annum and many others in various service sectors like restaurants, shops, hotels, telephone booths etc, it said.

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