February 29, 2012

Top Personalities Born on February 29

February 29, a date that usually occurs every four years. A child who is born on this date is called a "leaping" or "leap year baby". It suggests that he/she celebrates birthday in a leap year.

February 29 occurs in most years that are divisible by 4 such as 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016. A year containing a leap day is called Leap Year and February 29 is the 60th day of the Gregorian calendar.

A Leap Year contains one additional day in the month of February that makes the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year. It suggests that the year lasts 366 days instead of the usual 365.

However, some leapings celebrate their birthdays on either February 28 or March 1 or on the dates in according with Hindu calendar.

Many famous people have been born on the leap day including Morarji Desai, India's former Prime Minister, Pope Paul III. The only notable person Sir James Wilson, Premier of Tasmania, was both born and died on February 29.

Top Personalities born on February 29 are:

* Pope Paul III (1468-1549)
* Juan Bautista Comes, Spanish composer (1568-1643)
* John Byrom, English poet (1692-1763)
* Eva Marie Veigel, ballet dancer and wife of actor David Garrick (1724-1822)
* Ann Lee, American founder of Shakers (1736-1784)
* Gioachino Rossini, Italian composer (1792-1868)
* Sir James Wilson, Premier of Tasmania (1812-1880)
* Emmeline B. Wells, American women's rights advocate (1828-1921)
* Dickey Pearce, American baseball player and manager (1836-1908)
* John Philip Holland, Irish inventor (1840-1914)
* Arthur Giry, French historian (1848-1899)
* Frank Gavan Duffy, Australian judge (1852-1936)
* George Maximilianovich, 6th Duke of Leuchtenberg, Russian nobleman (1852-1912)
* Herman Hollerith, American statistician (1860-1929)
* Ed Appleton, American baseball player (1892-1932)
* Augusta Savage, African-American sculptor (1892-1962)
* Morarji Desai, Prime Minister of India (1896-1995)
* Roy Parker, baseball player (1896-1954)
* William A. Wellman, American film director (1896-1975)
* Jimmy Dorsey, American bandleader (1904-1957)
* Pepper Martin, baseball player (1904-1965)
* Rukmini Devi Arundale, Indian dancer and founder of Kalakshetra (1904-1986)
* Balthus, French-Polish painter (1908-2001)
* Dee Brown, American writer (1908-2002)
* Alf Gover, English cricketer (1908-2001)
* Dinah Shore, American singer and actress (1916-1994)
* Arthur Franz, American actor (1920-2006)
* James Mitchell, American actor (1920-2010)
* Michèle Morgan, French actress (1920)
* Howard Nemerov, American poet (1920-1991)
* Ivan Ivanovich Petrov, Russian operatic bass (1920–2003)
* Rolland W. Redlin, American politician (1920–2011)
* Fyodor Abramov, Russian novelist (1920-1983)
* Al Rosen, American baseball player (1924)
* David Beattie, New Zealand Governor-General (1924-2001)
* Carlos Humberto Romero, President of El Salvador (1924)
* Joss Ackland, English actor (1928)
* Vance Haynes, American archaeologist (1928)
* Terry Lewis, Australian police commissioner (1928)
* Tempest Storm, American burlesque performer
* Paul Giel, American baseball player (1932-2002)
* Gene Golub, American mathematician (1932-2007)
* Masten Gregory, American F1 Driver (1932-1985)
* Reri Grist, African-American coloratura soprano (1932)
* Jaguar, Brazilian cartoonist (1932)
* Jack Lousma, American astronaut (1936)
* Henri Richard, Canadian ice hockey player (1936)
* Alex Rocco, American actor (1936)
* Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople (1940)
* William H. Turner, Jr. American horse trainer (1940)
* Ene Ergma, Estonian politician (1944)
* Dennis Farina, American actor (1944)
* Phyllis Frelich, American actress (1944)
* Steve Mingori, American baseball player (1944-2008)
* Paolo Eleuteri Serpieri, Italian illustrator (1944)
* Jirō Akagawa, Japanese novelist (1948)
* Gérard Darmon, French movie actor and singer
* Ken Foree, American actor (1948)
* Al Autry, American baseball player (1952)
* Sharon Dahlonega Raiford Bush, American television personality (1952)
* Tim Powers, American writer (1952)
* Raisa Smetanina, Russian cross-country skier (1952)
* Bart Stupak, American congressman (1952)
* Jonathan Coleman, Anglo-Australian entertainer (1956)
* Jerry Fry, American baseball player (1956)
* Bob Speller, Canadian politician (1956)
* J. Randy Taraborrelli, American celebrity journalist (1956)
* Aileen Wuornos, American serial killer (1956-2002)
* Khaled, Algerian raï musician (1960)
* Bill Long, American baseball player (1960)
* Richard Ramirez, American serial killer (1960)
* Tony Robbins, American motivational speaker (1960)
* Lyndon Byers, Canadian hockey player and Boston radio personality (1964)
* Mervyn Warren, American film & TV composer and musician (1964)
* Suanne Braun, South African actress (1968)
* Chucky Brown, American basketball player (1968)
* Pete Fenson, American curler (1968)
* Naoko Iijima, Japanese actress (1968)
* Gonzalo Lira, Chilean-American novelist (1968)
* Bryce Paup, American football player (1968)
* Wendi Peters, British actress (1968)
* Eugene Volokh, American law professor (1968)
* Frank Woodley, Australian comedian (1968)
* Antonio Sabàto, Jr., Italian-born actor (1972)
* Dave Williams, American singer (1972-2002)
* Saul Williams, American rapper, poet, and actor (1972)
* Mike Pollitt, English footballer (1972)
* Pedro Zamora, Cuban-born American Real World housemate and AIDS activist (1972-1994)
* Iván García, Cuban athlete (1972)
* Katalin Kovács, Hungarian sprint canoer (1976)
* Ja Rule, American rapper and actor (1976)
* Terrence Long, American baseball player (1976)
* Zoë Baker, New Zealand swimmer (1976)
* Simon Gagné, Canadian ice hockey player (1980)
* Taylor Twellman, American soccer player (1980)
* Clinton Toopi, New Zealand rugby league footballer (1980)
* Chris Conley, American musician (1980)
* Ruben Plaza, Spanish cyclist (1980)
* Michail Mouroutsos, Greek Olympic taekwondo gold medalist (1980)
* Darren Ambrose, English footballer (1984)
* Cullen Jones, American swimmer (1984)
* Nuria Martinez, Spanish basketball player WNBA (1984)
* Adam Sinclair, Indian field hockey player (1984)
* Dennis Walger, German rugby player (1984)
* Cam Ward, Canadian ice hockey player (1984)
* Mark Foster, American musician (1984)
* Scott Golbourne, English footballer (1988)
* Benedikt Höwedes, German footballer (1988)
* Bobby Sanguinetti, American ice hockey player (1988)
* Perry Kitchen, American soccer player (1992)
* Sean Abbott, Australian cricketer (1992)

February 28, 2012

Strike hits Normal Life across Country

The nation-wide strike called by major trade unions on Tuesday against the UPA government's anti-labour policies hit normal life in many parts of the country with disruption in banking and transport sectors.

The strike evoked mixed response in some states. The busses and autos kept off the roads. The shops, many business establishments and schools remained closed in the states like Kerala.

The strike also affected the functioning of banks and private sectors on Tuesday in many parts of the country. In Kerala, pro-Left unions joined the protest against the "neo-liberal economic and labour policies" recommended by the UPA government.

The mobility of people was hampered in states like Odisha, Delhi, Kerala, and Punjab. Commuters complained of low frequency of the state-run buses. Several passengers were stranded at railway stations and bus terminals.

However, the strike had a partial impact in metros like Mumbai and Kolkata. Services at the city airports were running smoothly without any disruption despite the agitation called by 11 trade unions.

There was a little impact in Delhi. However, the normal functioning of PSU banks were affected and the autos and taxis were off the roads.

The transport and banking services were largely affected in Punjab, Chandigarh and Haryana. The bus and auto drivers kept their vehicles off to join the protest.


Whistleblower website WikiLeaks began exposing more than five million emails from the US-based global security analysis firm Stratfor alleging it had monitored activities of Bhopal gas tragedy activists at behest of Dow Chemicals.

The Bhopal disaster in India is considered as one of the world's worst industrial catastrophes. It had occurred on December 2, 1984 at the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. Around 3,787 people were killed in the incident, 3,000 died within weeks and another 8,000 had died from gas-related diseases.

However, the revelation by WikiLeaks, has been rejected by Stratfor. In a statement, the firm said that the release of its stolen emails was an attempt to silence it. Some of the emails published on WikiLeaks may be forged or altered and some may be authentic.

The firm rejected the report that its founder and chief executive officer George Friedman has resigned from his post. The report circulated on the internet was not true.

However, the firm will not explain about all the leaked emails. Even though, the emails have been stolen, the company would not be victimised once again by questioning about them.

WikiLeaks on Sunday had announced that Stratfor's confidential emails from July 2004 to December 2011 will be exposed on website on Monday. It will reveal Stratfor's "web of informers, pay-off structure, payment-laundering techniques and psychological methods.

The documents have been analysed with the help of 25 publications around the world including Rolling Stone in the United States, L’Espresso in Italy and The Hindu in India.

However, it did not disclose how the emails were obtained by the site. But Stratfor acknowledged that its data severs were hacked in December by a group of hackers known as Anonymous.

February 27, 2012

Tribute to Marie Colvin - The Fearless Journalist

While the journalist fraternity mourns the inhuman killing of war journalist, Marie Colvin by the ruthless Syrian forces. Brutality in Syria has been met with outrage by the peaceniks.

As a concerned audience, we await the news of the latest updates on the war-affected zone. The brave escapades, the tragic civilian deaths, the brutality and ruthlessness of government forces and we have been witnesses to historic wars and conflicts through the live coverage of courageous journalists. And, Mary Colvin is one such grand veteran testimony of unabashed selfless grit and determination ensuring the world never missed out on her eyewitness accounts, which were broadcast on CNN or the BBC because though a staff reporter of more than 20 years’ standing for The Sunday Times, she was – as usual – the last journalist not to have fled.

But sadly the news from Homs, where brutality under a cruel dictatorship would not trickle down to us. We would not know how many people have been killed or what areas of the town are under bombardment, and that is because Marie Colvin, one of the bravest journalists, ever to report a story has been killed by shellfire in Homs while covering the current uprising in Syria.

The American-born reporter for the London Sunday Times, Marie Colvin, along with a young French photographer, Remi Ochlik, were killed in Syria on Feb 22nd. They were killed when the Syrian forces shelled the makeshift media center, where they were staying to cover the Homs battle. At least three other journalists, including Paul Conroy, a freelance photographer travelling with Colvin, were wounded.

56 year old Colvin dared to go where many brave journalists feared to tread. Marie Colvin said: 'Someone has to go there and see what’s happening … we believe we do make a difference.'

Colvin’s streak for adventure and audacity to bring hope to the war ravaged was undaunting when she disclosed, "I entered Homs on a smugglers' route, which I promised not to reveal, and climbing over walls in the dark and slipping into muddy trenches,"

Colvin wrote in an article published by the Sunday Times on Feb. 19. "Arriving in the darkened city in the early hours, I was met by a welcoming party keen for foreign journalists to reveal the city's plight to the world. So desperate were they that they bundled me into an open truck and drove at speed with the headlights on, everyone standing in the back shouting 'Allahu akbar'—God is the greatest. Inevitably, the Syrian army opened fire."

Ms Colvin, in her final dispatches had detailed the unfolding conflict in Homs, which has been the focus of unrest against the Syrian president.’ Colvin reported on shelling in Homs for the BBC and CNN, in which she described the bloodshed as “absolutely sickening”. The killing was not an accident, it was pre-planned to extinguish the presence of journalists from Syrian soil.

The killing came days after many journalists were asked to evacuate Syria. But the gutsy Colvin along with few other journalists decided to stay back and report the horrors and dangers boiling in Syria. According to Jean-Pierre Perrin, a journalist for the Paris-based Liberation newspaper who had been with Colvin in Homs last week, told London's Telegraph that Syrian forces had threatened to kill journalists there.

"A few days ago we were advised to leave the city urgently and we were told: 'If they find you they will kill you,'" Perrin said. "I then left the city with the journalist from the Sunday Times but then she wanted to stay back." Perrin said he was told the Syrian Army "issued orders to 'kill any journalist that set foot on Syrian soil.'"

In a message to a friend the night before she was killed, Colvin admitted that she was still baffled and angry that the world could simply stand by as Homs burned.

Marie wanted the world to wake up and solve the crisis. Disgusted by the horrors of the war and killing of civilians she had pointed, "Every civilian house on this street has been hit, the top floor of the building I'm in has been hit, in fact, totally destroyed".

She had added "It's a complete and utter lie they're only going after terrorists, they are targeting civilians as well." Her coverage was infused with emotion. In Syria, Colvin said government forces were committing “murder” and she described how she had witnessed a baby die from shrapnel wounds.

She was never mawkish, but nor was she minded to stand idly by and witness massacres. Colvin was a guest on Anderson Cooper’s show before she was killed, "There's been constant shelling in the city," Colvin said. "So, Anderson, I have to say, it's just one of many stories ... It's chaos here." Colvin made sure her stories of atrocities helped the world to learn the plight of the helpless.

Her reports were influential because she prioritized small human details as well as her passionate appeal to international governments to act. Later she told CNN of her hope that "that little baby will move more people to think why nobody is stopping this murder that is going on in Homs every day." It was her female, more empathetic approach to war journalism that made her such a stand-out.

Studies into the influence of female war reporters suggests that their increasing presence since the mid-70s encouraged a shift from an artillery and military-based focus to one more concerned with the impact of warfare on civilian victims.

She was known for sporting a black eye patch, after she lost an eye when she was ambushed by government soldiers in Sri Lanka, while reporting during an attack in 2011, an injury she later said unhesitatingly was 'worth it'. Writing in the Times following that incident, Colvin vowed to continue reporting in war zones despite the risks. What was striking about her was there complete absence of self-pity. Colvin has never been heard complaining about the hardships she endured or the effects of witnessing so much pain.

A peek into the Hero’s personal life

Marie Catherine Colvin was born on January 12 1956 in Oyster Bay, New York, to William and Rosemarie Colvin, both schoolteachers. Her father was a former US marine who had served in Korea, and he eventually gave up teaching to become a political activist for the Kennedy Democrats.

She studied American Literature at Yale, where she got her first taste of journalism by working for a university newspaper. Her urge above all, however, was to become a foreign correspondent. She swiftly convinced UPI to promote her to the Paris bureau, where her dash, good looks and dark curls soon won her a host of admirers. She spent most of her life going from one conflict to another, embedding herself in the eye of the storm in Chechnya, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka.

She married three times but never had children; her relentless drive not just to report the facts of war, but to urge the powers that be to respond was the beating heart of her existence. She wrote and produced documentaries, including Arafat: Behind the Myth for the BBC in 1990, and she featured in the 2005 documentary film Bearing Witness with four other female war reporters.

She was twice named foreign reporter of the year (2001 and 2010) in the British Press Awards. She was given an International Women's Media Foundation award for courage in journalism for her coverage of Kosovo and Chechnya. And the Foreign Press Association named her as journalist of the year in 2000.

Colvin constantly weighed “bravery against bravado”

In 1999, she scored her dramatic triumph in East Timor when Indonesian troops closed in on a United Nations compound in Dili, where 1,500 people had taken shelter, the UN wanted to pull out and leave the refugees to their fate. Marie Colvin and two other female journalists remained in place, defying the UN, and the world, to do nothing.

Eventually, shamed by the courage of the reporters, Indonesian forces allowed the refugees to leave and the international community stepped in. Marie Colvin’s presence had undoubtedly helped save many hundreds of lives. In another incident, based with Chechen rebels as Russian troops cut off all escape, she found that the only route out was a 12,000ft mountain pass to Georgia. During an eight-day midwinter journey she strode through chest-high snow and braved altitude sickness, hunger and exposure.

Colvin has been admired by her colleagues for being eloquent, passionate and courageous. She had a fearless zest for life, never hesitating to get straight to the heart of the story no matter how dangerous. She made sure she focused on the suffering of individuals and brought their stories to light. For most of her esteemed fraternity, she was a formidable competitor but also a good and generous colleague.

She was also incredibly glamorous, funny and exuberant. She sacrificed a lot for her work. She had two failed marriages, never raised a family and never had a conventional personal life. She lived for her work and died for it. She loved life, and brought an American energy to the countless parties she graced over many years. She could be found at the heart of the conversation, cigarette and brimming vodka martini in hand. Colvin’s enthralling character and her journalistic talent was that tyrants like Gaddafi were charmed by her, and sought her out, even as she eviscerated them in print.

Last year, she published an account of her encounters with the late Libyan leader over 25 years. It was entitled “Mad Dog and Me”.

Marie Colvin always maintained: 'Someone has to go there and see what’s happening people are being shot at, and others are shooting at you.. we believe we do make a difference.'

Colvin was a fearless and formidable woman, committed to telling the world the truth about its atrocities - and it’s shameful reluctance to combat them - her whole working life. Channel 4 News anchor Jon Snow called her "the most courageous journalist I ever knew."

Often compared to the ferocious spirited journalist, Gellhorn, Colvin displayed an extraordinary bravery that put her in a position to deliver the wartime stories of rebels, underdogs and ordinary citizens. She was doing precisely this when she was killed, telling the world of indiscriminate government shelling of “a city of cold, starving civilians”. Colvin’s life echoes bravado, strength, the undeterred courage and determination in facing risks in order to tell the world the truth, giving her life revealing man’s inhumanity.

Colvin wrote of the importance of telling people what really happens and about "humanity in extremis, pushed to the unendurable". She continued: "My job is to bear witness to history.” She wrote about people so that others might understand the truth. Colvin paid a price for telling truth to the world. But she did not put her life on the line to win acclaim. Instead it was by being in the line of fire, by sharing the risks of those she was writing about, that she was able to produce her immensely powerful coverage of conflict’s human toll.

Robert Fisk, once said, If we rely on Governments, official sources or the powerful, we are finished as journalists. A war journalist’s life is pretty tough; Colvin’s killing is an eerie reminder of the danger lurking in war zones, with bullets flying and of deadly atrocities taking place in Syria. When it comes to exposing a cruel dictatorship to the world, to add Peter Preston’s words, ‘there's no substitute for a war reporter’.

February 24, 2012

Peptide boosts Learning and Memory

A recent study has revealed that Peptide boosts up a number of events inside the neuron that enhances the power of brain to learn and memorize better. The findings of the study were published in the journal PLoS Biology on 22nd February.

Peptides are short polymers of amino acid monomers linked by peptide bonds. They are different from proteins for their size. Polymer is sometimes known as plastics.

The study was done by Jose A. Esteban, Shira Knafo and Cesar Venero. It was a combined study performed by the researchers from The Centro de Biologia Molecular Severo Ochoa and UNED (Spain), the Brain Mind Institute (EPFL, Switzerland) and the Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology (Faculty of Health Sciences, Denmark).

The study finds that - human brain contains a huge number of neuronal connections, called synapses, whose pattern of activity controls all our cognitive functions. Cognitive function is an intellectual process by which one becomes aware of, perceives, or comprehends ideas. It involves all aspects of perception, thinking, reasoning, and remembering.

The strength and properties of these synaptic connections are dynamic and constantly changing. However this process is found to be the cellular basis which is responsible for controlling the brain’s function of learning, memorizing, thinking, concept making and so on.

The present study provides new intelligentsias on the molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity and how this process may be controlled to improve cognitive performance of the brain.

They find that this can be done using peptide, derived from a neuronal protein involved in cell-to-cell communication and the peptide, which is known as FGL in the experiment, activates the supplement of new neurotransmitter receptors into synapses in a region of the brain called the hippocampus, which is known to be involved in multiple forms of learning and memory.

They went through a thorough experiment and found that when this peptide was administered to rats, their ability to learn and retain spatial information was enhanced.

On the other hand some other researchers are doubtful on some points in the findings. The frequent queries among them are - can it cross the blood brain barrier..., have they found a means of artificially reproducing this peptide.

Some researchers are also not certain about the oral dose, and they have advocated for injection because Peptides are normally used either by IM or IV route (intramuscularly or intravenously) since the gastric juiced can hydrolyze the peptides into Amino Acids, thereby rendering them useless as memory enhancing drugs.

Again, although both Homo sapiens and rats belong to the same phylum Chordate and the anatomy of their brain may be identical, but coming to functions of brain, a complete conclusion (so as to true for human being) cannot be drawn from any accurate experiment on a rat’s brain.

So in nutshell, the experiment finds that synaptic plasticity mechanisms can be manipulated pharmacologically in adult animals (by the use of peptide), to enhance the cognitive ability of brain.

Obama apologizes for Afghan Koran Burning

US President Barack Obama apologised to Afghans over the issue of burning of holy Korans at a military base in Afghanistan, which had triggered tension between NATO troops and Afghans.

Obama is concerned about the rising of anti-American sentiment after the burning of Korans. Meanwhile, two American troops were killed on Thursday in ongoing protests across the country.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said that the President's apology to Afghan counterpart was rare but appropriate. Obama apologised in a three-page letter to Hamid Karzai on Thursday. Earlier, former White House press secretary Dana Perino had apologized on behalf of the then President George W Bush in 2008 after an official shot the Koran.

The US-led military coalition in its clarification said that the Muslim holy books were sent by mistake to a garbage burn pit at Bagram Air Field. The matter is being investigated.

However, the explanation and apologies from the US army officials did not end the outrage in the country. Thousands of protesters staged demonstrations across the country shouting "Long live Islam!" and "Death to America!"

Hundreds of protesters pelted stones at the troops and at some places they burned tires and American flag. The protests sparked clashes with Afghan police that claimed at least five lives on Wednesday.

The violence erupted at a time when Karzai is trying to hold discussions with the US over a long-term partnership agreement to monitor the US troops in Afghanistan after 2014.

February 23, 2012


A recent study has found that drinking coffee can help reduce the risk of diabetes. It says that the three compounds contained in this beverage can check the toxic build up of a protein leading to prevent Diabetes.

Supporting its previous findings, the study maintains that the coffee extracts - caffeine, caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid could help develop more effective treatment against Diabetes.

The article, which has been published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, asserts that people who drink four or more cups of coffee a day have a 50 per cent lower risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

When the body doesn't produce enough insulin for it to function properly the body system starts malfunctioning leading to diabetes, which normally is termed Type 2 diabetes. But the study offers that the coffee extracts help to prevent insulin-producing cells from being destroyed. The other type i.e. type 1 diabetes results from the body's failure to produce insulin.

Daily Mail from U.K., one of the most renowned newspapers, has published the statement of Lead researcher Kun Huang from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, which says: 'We found three major coffee compounds can reverse this toxic process and may explain why coffee drinking is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.'

The study also avers that all the three compounds present in coffee were shown to have a positive effect during laboratory tests; where caffeine was the least effective among them. Hence Huang also advocates for decaffeinated coffee which could be more beneficial than the regular one.

February 22, 2012

Case filed against Saif Ali Khan for punching Man

A case of assault has been registered against Bollywood star Saif Ali Khan for allegedly punching a man on his nose after an argument at a restaurant in Mumbai last night.

The case has been lodged under section 325 of IPC (causing grievous hurt) on the basis of a complaint filed by Iqbal Sharma, who accused Saif of breaking his nose.

He alleged that Saif punched him on his nose at the Taj's Wasabi restaurant in Colaba last night. He said that he had come to the restaurant with his family. He was dining at an adjoining table.

In his complaint, Sharma said that he had requested Saif to talk in a lower voice as the he along with his family was being disturbed. He claimed that Saif told him to go to a library if he wants peace.

After a brief argument between them, Saif's associates allegedly assaulted Sharma. He sustained a fracture on his nose.

Saif was accompanied by his girlfriend Kareena Kapoor during the incident.

Wipro e.go Aero Ultra - World's Thinnest Ultrabook

Aero Ultra is the thinnest Ultrabook out of the series of ultra-portable notebooks that Wipro Infotech launched on Tuesday. It is the thinnest ultrabook in the world too.

An Ultrabook is a higher-end type of subnotebook defined by Intel. A subnotebook, which is also called an ultraportable or mini notebook, is a class of laptop computers that are smaller and lighter than a typical laptop.

Thickness of e.go Aero Ultra is just 19.3mm, making it the thinnest notebook in the 14 inch category available in India. It weighs about 1.7 kg and available with a 4GB memory and 500 GB hard disk.

The Aero series comprises of Aero Alpha, Aero Book and Aero Ultra and this has been priced between Rs 39,000 to Rs 49,000.

"Wipro has understood that there is a need for light-weight, powerful yet affordable laptops in India. E.go primarily targets the progressive Indian on the move," said Ashok Tripathy, VP and Business Head, Wipro Systems and Technologies.

The e.go Aero Ultra is perfect for those who want to be connected always or in other words whom we can call the progressive Indians.

The e.go Aero comprises of a wide range of mobile computing devices to suit the needs of the users and the Aero Ultra is the thinnest of them. Aero Ultra is India’s slimmest and first 14″ Ultrabook.

February 21, 2012

Abhishek-Aishwarya's Beti B named as 'Abhilasha'!

According to latest entertainment buzz, Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai have named their daughter as 'Abhilasha'. But, a final announcement will be made once Amitabh Bachchan is out of hospital.

Abhishek's daughter is being known as 'Beti B' ever since she was born two months ago. It was not easy for the Bachchans to find a suitable name for their angel. But, finally, they got it.

“We’ve got a name, and I’ll announce it very soon, but in terms of releasing a photograph you know I... if people see her in everyday life that’s fine by me, but I just think releasing the photograph is a very pompous thing to do. We don’t believe in any ceremony in terms of naamkaran,” said Abhishek Bachchan in a statement earlier.

Author Shobha De broke the news of Beti B's name on Twitter. "Beti B to be named Abhilasha? That's a stroke of genius. Well done, parents.Abhi and Ash.Truly inspired, if true (sic)," she tweeted.

RIM sets up BlackBerry Server in Mumbai

Canadian major Research In Motion (RIM) has finally installed its server in Mumbai following much pressure from the government to provide a mechanism for interception of BlackBerry messenger services and enterprise email.

During a high level meeting, the Home Secretary hoped that the Company will allow for direct linkage for lawful interception of its data. After RIM, Nokia has been asked to install its servers following the similar policy.

Earlier, the government had raised a red flag over and BlackBerry's operations in India after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. However, BlackBerry said that India cannot access the encrypted email on its devices saying it is not technologically feasible.

RIM had agreed to install a 'network data analysis system' in India to provide lawful access to its consumer services. The security agencies can check the BlackBerry data while investigating.

Even though, the government had threatened to ban BlackBerry services in India, RIM had denied to provide the access of the email services to the security agencies as the company has certain rules.

RIM operates in 175 countries and the onus lies to provide its customers a secured service. However, the government said that the security agencies should be allowed to monitor information on BlackBerry devices to intercept any conversation or message of any subscriber whenever required.

February 20, 2012

Why Dhoni sticks to Rohit, Raina, Jadeja

Even though India won two matches in the tri-series so far and played an exciting TIE, the batting line-up of the team looks quite fragile. Barring Gambhir and Dhoni, no other Indian batsmen have lived up to the expectations.

Tendulkar and Sehwag, are playing on a rotational basis, have failed to produce any good innings. Virat Kohli's bat has become silent. Raina's poor form continues, while Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja have failed in all matches.

Still, skipper MS Dhoni stuck to Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja because of their agile fielding. Dhoni has downgraded Sehwag and Tendulkar's fielding abilities, saying they remain slow on the field.

On the other hand, the youngsters are quick and nimble. Dhoni believes that they make a difference by saving at least 20-40 runs in every match. So, he is unwilling to let them go.

Dhoni is out of the next match against Sri Lanka due to a slow over-rate ban. Sehwag will lead the team in his absence. It would be interesting to see whether Rohit Sharma can retain his place in the team despite a poor form. Australia dared to drop Ponting, but Indian selectors can't even drop new players like Rohit, Raina and Jadeja.

Crisis mounts, as Kingfisher cancels 80 Flights

Cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines plunged into a deep crisis today, as it had to cancel around 80 flights across India in the last two days. Most flights operating from Kolkata and Mumbai are badly affected.

The airlines has already stopped taking bookings for Mumbai-Delhi-Mumbai flights. Efforts are on to accommodate the passengers of cancelled flights. Many passengers are left stranded because of this turbulence.

According to reports, many flights operating on the zones of Lucknow, Patna, Srinagar, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune and Ahmedabad were also cancelled, while some international flights to Dhaka and Bangkok have also been affected.

It was reported the ground staff in Kolkata have stopped work in protest against the non-payment of their dues for the last two months.

The Kingfisher operations from Tier-II and Tier-III cities are likely to be affected until March-end. The airlines owes Rs 1,500 crore to SBI and Rs 400 crore each to Corporation Bank and Bank of Baroda. It also owes Rs 380 crore to Federal Bank.

February 18, 2012

Why Mumbaikars don’t care to Vote

The recent civic poll in Mumbai disappointed one and all for its low turnout. It was a much-hyped election, but it all fizzled out at the end, as yet again with 45% of the electorates casting their vote for crucial civic polls.

It was believed that the Shiv Sena-BJP combine returned to power in the BMC because of this low voter turnout. Although the people in Mumbai were not happy with the 17-year-old rule of Shiv Sena-BJP, the Congress-NCP could not convince the voters to turn up in large numbers and vote for them.

It was the election where the local issue of daily life, like the issue of ration card, drinking water, sanitation, garbage, the potholed roads etc is mainly focused.

Lakhs of SMSes have been circulated; awareness campaigns are being held by civic activists in order to turn up and caste vote. So much so, the government declared February16 as a government holiday — to make it convenient for the workforce to vote.

Sadly, nothing seems to move the Mumbaikars particularly the middle class and the elite to step out and vote. Instead, they took it as a day off and stayed at home.

On the contrary, the poverty driven states like Odisha and Uttar Pradesh, where the voters need to walk a mile in a chill winter to cast their vote, the voters’ turout are impressive on their ongoing election.

In the recent past, Mumbaikars have shown their enthusiasm in the candle light march protesting the 26/11 terror attack and supporting Anna Hazare’s call against corruption. But, the poor turnout in civic poll is a serious worrisome issue.

Priya Dutt, Congress MP for the Mumbai North-Central constituency said: "It is very sad that a lot of people have not come out to vote. If you don't vote, you have no right to complain. [Those who don't vote] are not contributing to the society. You are getting what you deserve; you are harming the society and country."

HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh also disapproved of the people's lukewarm response to the civic elections. "Educated people don't come out and vote. The quality of life is going down in the city and some desperate measures are needed," he said.

However, many voters, including prominent citizens like Gulzar, finding their names missing from the voting lists. Residents in Andheri (W) found their names enlisted in the wrong voting constituency and were unable to cast their ballot.

Mayank Gandhi, a renowned “Anna team member” pointed out that the low turnout is due to political cynicism and voter apathy. He said the right to reject option in the ballet paper will definitely attract the voters in large number.

It can’t be exaggerate to say that the citizens need to understand their fundamental duty in the democracy. It can’t be solved the socio-political problems just by criticizing the political system nor by asking the accountability of the government only.

It is to be mentioned that 21,000 core rupees of tax payers’ money are spent in Mumbai civic election. So every citizen should come forward and vote for a better society and for better governance.

On the whole, the technical mistakes of the concerned authority in the electoral process are to be minimized. The mindset of the educated middle and elite class should be changed. Until and unless the educated masses exercise their franchise, it will turn out to be a “Slum’s verdict”.

India's First Tablet Magazine - 'Tweak'

‘Tweak’ - the first ever Tablet Magazine of India was launched on Wednesday. Times Internet Limited (TIL) has developed ‘Tweak’ in partnership with GENWI, a cloud-based publishing company.

The magazine can be accessed through iPad. However it is expected to be launched for the iPhone and Android devices soon.

‘Tweak’ will cover articles on different subjects including business, entertainment, lifestyle and sports from around the world. Coming one step forward in media technology, this tablet magazine will not only bring out text-articles, rather it will also publish listenable and watchable pieces.

‘Tweak’ will allow the readers/listeners to share their favorites from the magazine through social networking sites, including Facebook and Twitter. They can also a share their feedback with the ‘Tweak’ team.

February 17, 2012

High Hopes, Low Profits: Foreign Life Insurers Rethink Their China Strategies

When China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) a decade ago, foreign insurance companies were full of hope. A liberalizing economy, along with the country's large population and low level of insurance coverage, offered hugely enticing growth potential. But despite their early optimism, foreign life insurers have struggled in China. Their combined market share peaked at 9% in 2005, and has been dropping steadily since, to around what it was before China's WTO membership, hitting 3.7% in the first nine months of last year.

Given their lackluster progress, these companies are now rethinking their ambitious plans for China. “Everybody is evaluating what their next move should be, whether it is just a question of being patient or whether they should make a more radical change in direction,” says Chris Kaye, a partner and insurance specialist at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in Hong Kong. For foreign companies, “the key question is whether to go broader with a local distribution partner -- and sacrifice control -- or create a more focused and differentiated strategy.”

With good reason, international insurers still find China worth the challenge. Over the past decade, China has led the world in insurance premium growth, with a compound annual growth rate of 26.5%. In 2010, the value of total premiums increased 32% year on year, to RMB 1.45 trillion (US$214.6 billion), making it the sixth-largest insurance market in the world. According to reinsurance company Swiss Re, China will become the second-largest life and non-life insurance market by 2021, behind the U.S.

A Foot in the Door

Large life insurance firms have long known how difficult cracking China would be. Just ask U.S. life insurer American International Assurance (AIA), a subsidiary of AIG), which started using door-to-door agents to sell policies to individuals in Shanghai in 1993. It was a novel sales strategy at the time and helped AIA win a 20% market share in Shanghai within a couple of years. But then the going got tougher as local insurance companies pushed back, copying the agent system and poaching AIA sales staff.

It wasn't an isolated case. Across the country, new local insurers began to emerge in 2005, catching many foreign life insurance companies by surprise. “Foreign players did not think the newcomers would become their competitors,” recalls Shu-Yen Liu, partner and Asia insurance and actuarial practice leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Beijing. 

In 2004, China had nine life insurance companies, compared with 19 foreign life insurance joint ventures. By 2007, there were 29 local life insurers competing with 24 foreign ones. The market is even more crowded now. China today has 36 home-grown and 26 foreign life insurance firms. Critically, the top three domestic state-owned insurers China Life Insurance, Ping An Life Insurance and China Pacific Life Insurance -- command around 60% of the market.

For foreign non-life insurers, prospects aren't much rosier. As with life insurance, three firms out of the 37 domestic non-life insurers -- PICC Property & Casualty, Ping An Property & Casualty and China Pacific Property & Casualty -- have a hold on the industry, with 66% of the market share. In contrast, the foreign non-life insurers operating in China -- which total 20 today -- have been scratching away since the 1990s with a market share of only around 1% to show for it. One big reason why? They're not allowed to sell third-party auto liability insurance, which accounts for 30% of the overall non-life business in the country.

Life or non-life, what's arguably toughest for foreign insurers to come to terms with in China isn't their low market share. Rather is their struggle for profits. In a report published late November last year, Sally Yim, senior credit officer at Moody’s Investors Service in Hong Kong, wrote that only 11 of the 46foreign insurance companies in China managed to eke out a profit in 2010, but hardly large enough to make much of an impact on the bottom lines of their global parent companies.

Back to the Drawing Board

Where do they go from here? “Foreign insurance companies may exit or reduce their shareholdings in China," observes Lillian Zhu, a senior insurance and pension analyst at Z-Ben Advisors in Shanghai. "They will find themselves in a dilemma because most of them are not making a profit.”

A exodus, albeit a slow one, has indeed begun. In 2010, New York Life left China, while AXA and Canadian Sun Life cut their stakes in local joint ventures. Standard Life of the U.K. has tried to sell its 50% stake to partner Bank of China, but announced in late 2010 that the two sides failed to reach an agreement. “There will be more moves by foreign life insurers in coming years to exit or reduce their stakes in their China joint ventures,” predicts Nobuya Amabe, director of Japan’s biggest life insurer, Nippon Life Insurance, and president of Nissay Great Wall Life Insurance, a 50:50 joint venture with China’s Great Wall Asset Management.

In the meantime, domestic competition is intensifying. According to Zhu of Z-Ben Advisors, at least 10 new domestic life insurance companies are getting ready to open for business, most of them funded by local governments or government-related companies. “They will be very competitive in their local regions,” she asserts. That's a big reason why she expects the market share of foreign life insurers to fall to 2% or 3% in the next five to 10 years just under 4% currently.

Foreign companies in other service sectors would do well to take note, particularly if they're in businesses such as banking that are betting on their global know-how to win customers in China. Unlike in manufacturing and high-tech sectors, leveraging such expertise no longer gives foreign firms in sectors like insurance much of a competitive advantage over local rivals. “One of the biggest obstacles [for foreign insurers] is the rapid development of the capabilities and infrastructure for local players,” observes Kaye of BCG.

That's a big change from just 10 years ago when the gap in service levels and product offerings between local and multinationals insurers was significant. Since then, domestic companies like Ping An, China Pacific and PICC have transformed themselves. “They have brought international expertise into their management teams and invested heavily in their operating infrastructures and national footprint,” Kaye says, by increasing the number of branch offices, improving IT systems and back-office processes and ramping up staff training.

Entangled in Red Tape

Meanwhile, foreign insurers often take aim at China's onerous regulatory environment -- a perennial complaint in trade talks between China and other countries. Up until 2005, foreign insurers had been limited to operating in only two cities -- Shanghai and Guangzhou. Although that restriction has been lifted, there's still plenty of red tape to contend with, such as the time-consuming license-application process, which foreign insurers must undergo for every branch they want to open. “We applied for two branch licenses at the same time, but we were told that the [regulators] would examine the second one only after they had approved the first one. So there is no point of applying for two at the same time,” says a senior executive of a major foreign life insurance company, who asked not to be named.

Kaye says regulators allow one new branch per year for foreign life and non-life companies, with a waiting period of up to two years for processing. In contrast, local insurers can expand as rapidly as they like. Citi-Prudential Life, a joint venture between the U.K.'s Prudential and Chinese conglomerate CITIC Group has 12 branches, the most among foreign-local life insurance joint ventures in the country. Compare that with China Life, which has more than 5,000 branches and 50,000 sales outlets nationwide.

That has put the brakes on a number of growth strategies. As Yim of Moody’s in her November report noted, “The pace of expansion [has been] highly constrained by the speed at which regulators grant licenses for opening branches.”

Another potential reason for a loss of momentum is the joint-venture requirement for foreign life insurers to agree to with domestic firms, for no more than a 50% stake in each. (Nonlife insurers can set up wholly owned ventures.) Kaye says he often sees a "natural tension" between partners not least because "a lot of local joint venture partners are not even in financial services, let alone insurance. There is a lack of understanding about the financial and economic profile of what it takes to build up a life insurance business.”

As a case in point, Brian Metcalfe, a professor at Canada’s Brock University, who conducts annual surveys of foreign insurance companies in China for PwC, cites the joint venture set up in 2002 between cautious NY Life and fast-growing appliance maker Haier. “You got a mismatch in terms of what the thinking for either of the companies would be," he said. "One is thinking that things just go upward and grow very rapidly and] makes a lot of money. The other thinks, ‘We are an insurance company and it is a long-term story.'” In 2011, New York Life sold half of its 50% stake in the China venture to Haier and the other half to Japanese insurer Meiji Yasuda Life.

Scaling Up

Given the bureaucratic realities, “foreign insurers do not have the scale to compete with domestic insurers," maintained Yim. "Without scale, you do not get brand recognition. It is more difficult for [foreign firms] to make money and get higher market share.”

That's particularly worrisome for new life insurance ventures that take off rapidly, says Kaye. “The more successful you are, the more capital you need in the insurance business. This can be hard for non-insurance partners to appreciate.” In the early days of high growth, the costs of customer acquisition require large capital injections to support negative cash flows. "As the business matures, older policies generate enough cash to cover those expenses. The problem is especially acute in China, where growth has been particularly rapid," he adds.

Distribution channels have also become an important consideration. In late 2010, the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) put restrictions on how and where insurers sell their products. First, it capped the number of insurers that a bank can allow to sell from their premises to three, a big blow consider that about half of all insurance sales in the country take place at banks.

With numbers restricted, banks are unlikely to choose foreign insurers to be among the three because they tend to have relatively weaker brand recognition, wrote Yim. According to her, banks in China "prefer large domestic players with a long history and strong brand recognition.” While some foreign life insurers have joint venture with banks, they generally have to pay high commissions and fees to banks to be chosen to sell their products.

It's a vicious circle. “We will lose more money if we sell our products at the banks. But we face a shortage of sales agents in China,” laments the foreign life insurance executive. China has about 2.5 million sales agents serving the current 200 million insured.
Indeed, just like other foreign companies, recruiting and retaining sa
les agents is a chief complaint of foreign insurers. “Insurance is a talent business, and the ability to attract and recruit and train and retain the right talent is getting much harder for multinationals because their attractiveness relative to local businesses is declining,” says Kaye. The relatively low salaries sales agents earn at both foreign and local insurance companies -- at around RMB 2,000 a month on average -- is less than what they could be earning in other sectors. domestic workers are paid .

The Untapped Potential

Yet China is so alluring. About 160 foreign insurance companies have set up representative offices in China, a preliminary requirement for obtaining an operating license. Prudential Financial of the U.S. announced in September a life insurance joint venture with Shanghai-based Fosun Group, the largest privately owned investment group inmainland China, making it the first new foreign life joint venture since 2008. Asked why it is jumping into the fray when others are returning home, the company cited China’s rapid growth and low insurance coverage. “We are very confident about the future prospects of China's life insurance industry, and we are confident that we have found the right partner,” statedLaura Kavanagh, Prudential Financial’s vice president of global communications.

Mainland China’s insurance penetration, calculated by premiums as a percentage of GDP, is 3.8%, compared with 8% in the U.S., 11.4% in Hong Kong and 18.4% in Taiwan. With potentially 1.1 billion people buying insurance in China in 10 years, “the size of pie and the increase of the pie are so big. It may give you small percentage (of market share) but in terms of absolute dollars it is much bigger,” says Liu of PwC.

As with other parts of the financial sector, Beijing wants to ensure its domestic companies are well established. But Kaye of BCG expects at least some loosening of restrictions on branch openings, and a possible easing of the ban on foreign sales of auto insurance. One thing is clear: The market opening in China will continue to be slow. “The Chinese government is under no pressure to open up the insurance market rapidly and completely," he states. "It will be a slow and gradual evolution.”

Sheryln Chopra - The Hot and Bold Actress

Sheryln Chopra aka Mona Chopra is the new sex bomb of Bollywood. She has also created a big buzz on the web with her hot and nude pictures. She never impressed with her acting, but always remained in the news as the queen of glamour.

Sheryln is a model turned actress and is one of the hottest new faces in Hindi film industry. Chopra's early acting career was mainly in the B-grade Bollywood films. She has so far acted in the films Naughty Boy, Jawani Diwani, Game, Red Swastik, Beeper, Time Pass and Dosti.

She was first time noticed in ‘Dil bole Hadippa’in 2009. Sheryln is a complete shameless girl before camera which is the best professional requirement to be a model who wants her career as a hot and sexy actor/model. Hence, many directors and model-makers have started to think and put Sheryl in place of Mallika Sherawat.

Sheryln was born to George/Amitabh Chopra and Susan Chopra in Hyderabad in 1984. She has a brother and a sister, DJ Sharon. She did her schooling from Stanley Girls High School. She is said to be a little Christian, also somehow related to Muslim and also with a Persian ancestry. But she is a more Christian.

On May 26 2010 Sheryln posted some of her sexy nude pics on twitter which she claimed there to be the work of her best friend and renowned photographer Vishal Saxena. These pics, which later were deleted by Twitter, had at that time created a buzz on the Internet.

Besides acting and modeling Sheryl is also hit and hot at singing. So far she has released two musicals namely Outrageous and Dard-e-Sheryln.

Hot Sheryln claims that her real name was always Sheryln, and it was for a director that she had to live for a long period as Mona Chopra before again coming with her original identity/name, Sheryln.

Mona/Sheryln Chopra MMS had also created a buzz on the web months before. Although these pics were recognized by some tech-know people as doctored and morphed in the editing table, it had flooded her with huge popularity from her fans across the world.

There is a popular norm among the strugglers of Bollywood that ‘do something out of track and catchy to avail a career in Bollywood, lest you will be lost in the huge crowd unnoticed.’ Perhaps Sheryln has felt it very much and till today has already made a place for her in Bollywood’s film and modeling world.

February 16, 2012

Sherlyn Chopra posts Nude Picture on Twitter

Model-turned-actress Sherlyn Chopra hit the headlines and became a popular name on internet for her nude picture on Twitter. She went nude for her fans on her birthday.

Sherlyn treated her fans with her nude picture as a return gift on her birthday, which raised a few eyebrows. Even she did not apologise for going full naked.

She posted her picture on Twitter saying, "Thx a ton for all ur wishes!! Here's one more on public demand !!! I was born this way!!’

The actress is proud of breaking the norms set by the society. She tweeted: "Let us quit being hypocrites n quit being apologetic for what v r n who v r! Hail Freedom!!!(sic)".

She has turned producer and she is quite happy to be part of an era, which witnessed a series of revolutions. The actress feminist by thought said that women have proved their potentialities in all the fields including politics, cinema, sports, and business. They are ready to face tougher challenges.

Her posts on Twitter suggest that Poonam Pandey has a tough competitor ahead.

5 Ways a Woman can establish her Identity

Establishing identity is always an issue of apprehension for many women. When a woman gets married and starts a family, she suffers a loss of their uniqueness and identity.

She is expected to be a nurturer, mother, housekeeper, teacher, cook, doctor, and a chauffeur. Many women who are asked by their family to give up their jobs or studies after marriage do experience a sense of identity loss.

When a woman have a solid, clear and concise awareness of her world view, she can consciously make solid and clear preferences of what she says yes and no to her boundaries.  A woman knows what is right and wrong for her. She knows who she is, and it becomes easier to act and behave in a way that is in procession with how she wants to be in Integrity and reliability.

Here are the five ways a woman can establish her identity:

1) To have a powerful identity means that one carries an air of command and be looked upon by those around them. This powerful identity can be churned out of a powerful character which is built on the pillars of self acceptance, self esteem and confidence. Once these pillars are established using the cement of dignity, a woman is a capable individual and can set up her identity in the society.

2) Many women are also quite happy to submit to the say-so of the husbands and let them decide what is good and bad for them. This joy of submission is a disadvantage and weakness from the point of view of identity and individuality. It must be given up by women, if they are to stand on their own feet and to establish their own identity.

3) Changing social trends are also giving women the freedom to develop their identity. There are many daughters-in-law in India lived under the domination of the Mothers-in-law and hardly had any freedom to act independently. She obeyed the instructions of the mother-in-law and there is no hope of developing any identity.

But now joint families are breaking up and nuclear families have increased in numbers and so married women have a lot more freedom of choice now. They can have their own point of view upon life and choose among many options before them regarding jobs, children education, family expenses and interior decoration etc.

4) Hasty social changes in women's career and family roles are accompanied by a momentous changeover in their attitude towards their all over identity. Education and culture are important aspect of establishing an identity of women. Research in the last decade highlighted the complex relationships between a woman's objective roles and her subjective attitudes regarding these roles affect her overall life satisfaction and sense of identity in society.

5) For many women, a working career is what gives them a sense of being and purpose and identity that is elevating and inspiring. Women should understand the rights given by constitution of India. To follow their rights such as Right to education and Right to work, helps women to stand on her own and establish her identity in this male dominating society.

Despite the consequences of religious differences, caste, class or tradition demands on the way, there are many women who live their lives from the clothes they can wear, to their mobility, the kind of jobs they take up and so. A milieu which conditions women to think of themselves only as being of facsimile will in the long run, choke their personality and lead to the crisis of their identity.

Tradition is very strong in India and dictates many aspects of our lives. There are hundreds of women who suffer from identity crisis in India. Before marriage, her identity is of someone’s daughter, who has to do everything with the consent of her parents and after marriage, her husband is the regulator. But nothing is going to happen if woman doesn’t exist.

February 15, 2012

Gujarat Riots: Contempt Notice issued to Modi Govt

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi landed in a fresh trouble as the state High Court on Wednesday issued a contempt notice to the government for delaying to compensate people whose shops were destroyed during the 2002 communal riots.

The court slammed the state government for failing to obey the court's order, which was passed last year. The government will have to give explanation to the court why the affected people were not compensated.

Last week, the government was ordered to fund the repair of nearly 600 religious buildings, which were targeted during the riots.

The order came on the same day when a Metropolitan court in Ahemdabad was about to pronounce its decision whether the SIT report on Gulbarg Society massacre, which has given a clean chit to Modi, would be made available for the petitioners.

Finally, the court asked the SIT to give a copy of the report to Zakia Jafri within a month, the widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, who was killed in the Gulbarg Society Massacre in 2002.

Grammy Awards 2012

The 54th Grammy awards ceremony began after paying tribute to one of music's biggest name Whitney Houston, who died on the eve of Grammys. This year English singer and songwriter Adele swept the event winning all six awards she was nominated for.

Adele is the sixth artist to win six awards at Grammy after Dixie Chicks in 2007. She was nominated in six categories including album of the year for "21" and song and record of the year for "Rolling in the Deep", which is inspired by a rubbish relationship. She also won awards for short-form video, pop vocal album and pop solo performance.

Adele performed singing in public for the first time since her throat surgery last year. The Grammy ceremony witnessed performances by a number of artists including Foo Fighters, Chris Brown and Lady Antebellum after mourning over the death of Whitney Houston. She died while she was preparing to attend a pre-Grammy party.

The show was opened by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. LL Cool J hosted the event after a brief prayer in remembrance of Whitney Houston.

Full List of Winners at the 54th annual Grammy Awards:

Album of the year - 21, Adele

Record of the year - Rolling in the Deep, Adele

Best new artist - Bon Iver

Song of the year - Rolling in the Deep (performed by Adele)

Country album - Own the Night, Lady Antebellum

R&B album - F.A.M.E.,Chris Brown

Rock performance - Walk, Foo Fighters

Rap performance - Otis, Jay-Z and Kanye West

Pop solo performance - Someone Like You, Adele

Pop vocal album - 21, Adele

Producer (non-classical) - Paul Epworth (Adele's producer)

Alternative music album - Bon Iver, Bon Iver

Rock album - Wasting Light, Foo Fighters

Rock song - Walk from Wasting Light (performed by Foo Fighters)

Traditional pop vocal album - Duets II, Tony Bennett and various artists

Hard rock/metal performance - White Limo, Foo Fighters

Country song - Mean (performed by Taylor Swift)

Country duo/group performance - Barton Hollow, The Civil Wars

Dance recording - Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites, Skrillex

Dance/electronica album - Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites, Skrillex

Rap album - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kanye West

R&B song - Fool For You (performed by Cee Lo Green and Melanie Fiona)

Pop duo/group performance - Body and Soul, Tony Bennett and Amy Winehouse

Rap/sung collaboration - All of the Lights, Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi and Fergie

Pop instrumental album - The Road From Memphis, Booker T. Jones

February 14, 2012

The Significance of Valentine's Day

Although Valentine's Day is believed to have its origin in Rome with St. Valentine, today it has turned into a universal celebration across the world irrespective of culture and religion.

We find divergent views with regard to the significance of Valentine’s Day. But, the most popular and recognized outlook attached to it is the saga of St. Valentine.

The Legend - Long ago, in the third century, during the reign of   Emperor Claudius II in Rome, in an intention to build the strongest army troop, the Emperor banned marriage, as he was of the view that his armies would be most effective if they are free from the bondage of marriage.

But this was a clear instance of natural injustice and hence nobody was happy with this. The first person to protest secretly against this tyranny was Saint Valentine. He started to wed young lovers in secret. When he was discovered, the Emperor sentenced Valentine to death and had him imprisoned.

While in prison, Valentine is said to have fallen in love with the jailer's daughter, who visited him regularly during his imprisonment. The climax of this affair was much emotional. Valentine affirmed his love in his last letter to his beloved, before his execution and endorsed it, "From your Valentine.”

This expression became the slogan and today also lovers do use the identical tag. It is believed that Valentine's Day came to be celebrated on the day St. Valentine was put to death i.e. 14th February, in commemoration of his efforts to unite people who are in love.

Although these days, people believe that Valentine’s Day is another medium to convey your feelings to anybody you love, including family members, youngsters and elders, the mostly practiced notion for thee is to propose to one’s valentine, that is the beautiful lady in your life whom you love.

Breaking News Online wishes all our loving readers a colorful Valentine’s Day today on 14th February 12. We also wish their love come true.