Wednesday, August 27, 2008

11 hours on: Army, cops gun down two militants in Jammu

Security forces have rescued three children and a woman who were being held hostage during a gunbattle in which three civilians, an army officer and two militants were killed in Jammu on Wednesday.

The militants, holed up in a house in Chinore on the outskirts of the city took six civilians hostage on Wednesday morning. The police said they were trying to rescue the two remaining hostages before launching an assault on the militants.

The police say three terrorists had crossed into Jammu and Kashmir from the Kanachak sector of the Pakistan border on Tuesday morning. They were intercepted at the police check post of Chinore on Wednesday morning, about 20 km north from the centre of Jammu.

The militants, dressed in police uniforms and carrying AK-47 assault rifles, shot dead a junior commissioned officer and then hijacked a three-wheeler.

They then fired indiscriminately killing a milk man identified as Shabeet Hussain as well as a motorcyclist, Naseeb Singh, before killing the three-wheeler driver, Vijay Kumar, said the police.

The militants then entered a house in Chinore.

Police and Army personnel cordoned off the area and have been engaged in a gunbattle with the militants since.

Once the remaining hostages have been rescued, there would be a "final onslaught", said an Army officer, which in military terms means blowing up the building with rocket launchers or explosives.

"The civilian hostages is what is holding us up from launching a final onslaught. We are ready for that," the Army officer said.

Army personnel have taken positions on roof tops of adjoining houses in densely populated Chinore, located on a hillock.

Grenade explosions and gun shots were heard in the area as the one-storey building where the militants were hiding was perforated with bullet marks.

"A high alert has been sounded in Jammu due to the terrorist infiltration from across the border," said Inspector General of Police (Jammu Zone) K Rajendra.


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Shilpa to marry Raj Kundra in 18 months

Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty, who became an international celeb following her success in the UK-based reality show Big Brother, has revealed that she plans to marry her year-long boyfriend Raj Kundra in a year and a half.

Told to comment on her relationship and whether marriage is on the cards, Shilpa told The London News, "I normally don't talk about my personal life, but his name is Raj Kundra. We met a year ago."

"For the next 18 months, I've got my hands full with work, so I can't really think of marriage yet but, after that, I definitely want it to culminate in marriage. And, of course, I'm dying to have a family - at least two children," she said.

Shilpa, who will be seen in a two-minute sequence in the 22nd James Bond movie Quantum Of Science, said she will wrap
up the Hollywood assignment and other projects she has on hand before getting married.

She will be seen portraying an Indian woman in the Hollywood film starring Daniel Craig and Mathieu Amalric directed by Marc Forster.

Shilpa is also hosting Bigg Boss, the Indian
version of Big Brother.

On Jade Goody, who had travelled to India to participate in the reality show but had to return after being diagnosed with cervical cancer, Shilpa said she would tell people to pray for her recovery.

"I spoke to her and we exchanged numbers - it was really emotional. I can only ask people to pray for her, because there is a lot of power in prayers," she said.

Goody's comments in the Big Brother show, where she participated along with Shilpa, had led to a racial controversy.


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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Kingfisher Neelam Chauhan hot Photoshoot Pictures

Shaurya Chauhan or Neelam chauhan is one of the recent find of Bollywood .This hottie was first seen at the Kingfisher Swimsuit Calendar shot by Atul Kasbekar. Shaurya Chauhan started her career as a model from Hyderabad, and has recently started to work in mainstream bollywood movies. Neelam has recently been seen in a song with Salman Khan in Priyadarshan’s "Kyon Ki."
Mumbai Salsa was Shaurya Chauhan first leading role in a Bollywood feature film . Shaurya has done a lead role in Vikram Bhava`s Mumbai Salsa. She will also be seen with Nana Patekar in" Horn Ok Please" Neelam is quite keen to work in Tollywood and Kollywood if she gets a chance. Going by her sexy photo spreads.. that should not be a problem with this hot babe..

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Giant Flower Carpet of Brussels (IMAGES)

Once every two years, the Grand Place, a central market in Brussles, Belgium becomes one of the largest flower gardens in the world. This year people could admire a beautiful flower carpet

between the 14th and 17th of August, for those of you that missed it, there’s always two years from now.

The flower carpet of Grand Place has a different model every time and it’s made out of roughly 700,000 begonias. This is definitely one of the must see- attractions of Brussels.


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Monday, August 18, 2008


Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf resigned on Monday minutes after giving a speech to his country in which he outlined his achievements and flayed attempts to impeach him.

“In last nine years I have worked very hard and faced all challenges. I have withstood every challenge. We have seen growth in everything from GDP to foreign exchange reserve,” he said in his speech.

"I wanted to help the Government but they never listened to me. Now they want to impeach me. No charge will be proved against me. Impeachment will never be right for the country. Impeachment will be defeat to the country.”

"Keeping everything in mind, I have decided to resign. God was always kind (and) we faced every challenge. This day is important for me. I have to take an important decision.”

“I have fought two wars for Pakistan and still have enthusiasm for another.”

Speculation that the former army chief and US ally will resign had been mounting since the coalition government, led by the Pakistan People’s Party, said in August it planned to impeach him.

Prolonged jockeying and uncertainty over Musharraf's position has hurt Pakistan's financial markets and raised concern in Washington and among other allies it is distracting from efforts to control violent militants in the nuclear-armed nation.

The ruling coalition had prepared impeachment charges against Musharraf focusing on violation of the constitution and misconduct. Coalition officials had indicated that Musharraf could quit and avoid impeachment.

Coalition officials said last week Musharraf was ready to quit but was demanding immunity from prosecution. Musharraf seized power in a 1999 coup but has been isolated since his allies lost a February election.

All four provincial assemblies have passed resolutions in recent days pressing him to resign and several old allies have joined the campaign against him.

The political battling over Musharraf's fate has sapped investor confidence and there has been criticism it has taken government attention away from economic problems. Pakistani stocks are near two-year lows, while its currency has lost nearly a quarter of its value this year. Pakistan also faces major fiscal problems, with Saudi Arabia's help critical to defer an estimated $5.9 billion worth of oil payments.


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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cooking and Cognition: How Humans Got So Smart

After two tremendous growth spurts — one in size, followed by an even more important one in cognitive ability — the human brain is now a lot like a teenage boy.
It consumes huge amounts of calories, is rather temperamental and, when harnessed just right, exhibits incredible prowess. The brain's roaring metabolism, possibly stimulated by early man's invention of cooking, may be the main factor behind our most critical cognitive leap, new research suggests.
About 2 million years ago, the human brain rapidly increased its mass until it was double the size of other primate brains.
"This happened because we started to eat better food, like eating more meat," said researcher Philipp Khaitovich of the Partner Institute for Computational Biology in Shanghai.
But the increase in size, Khaitovich continued, "did not make humans as smart as they are today."
The early shift
For a long time, we were pretty dumb. Humans did little but make "the same very boring stone tools for almost 2 million years," he said. Then, only about 150,000 years ago, a different type of spurt happened — our big brains suddenly got smart. We started innovating. We tried different materials, such as bone, and invented many new tools, including needles for beadwork. Responding to, presumably, our first abstract thoughts, we started creating art and maybe even religion.
To understand what caused the cognitive spurt, Khaitovich and colleagues examined chemical brain processes known to have changed in the past 200,000 years. Comparing apes and humans, they found the most robust differences were for processes involved in energy metabolism.
The finding suggests that increased access to calories spurred our cognitive advances, said Khaitovich, carefully adding that definitive claims of causation are premature.
The research is detailed in the August 2008 issue of Genome Biology.
The extra calories may not have come from more food, but rather from the emergence of pre-historic "Iron Chefs;" the first hearths also arose about 200,000 years ago.
In most animals, the gut needs a lot of energy to grind out nourishment from food sources. But cooking, by breaking down fibers and making nutrients more readily available, is a way of processing food outside the body. Eating (mostly) cooked meals would have lessened the energy needs of our digestion systems, Khaitovich explained, thereby freeing up calories for our brains.
Instead of growing even larger (which would have made birth even more problematic), the human brain most likely used the additional calories to grease the wheels of its internal functioning.
Digestion question
Today, humans have relatively small digestive systems and burn 20-25 percent of their calories running their brains. For comparison, other vertebrate brains use as little as 2 percent of the animal's caloric intake.
Does this mean renewing our subscriptions to Bon Appetit will make our brains more efficient? No, but we probably should avoid diving into the raw food movement. Devoted followers end up, said Khaitovich, "with very severe health problems."
Scientists wonder if our cognitive spurt happened too fast. Some of our most common mental health problems, ranging from depression and bipolar disorder to autism and schizophrenia, may be by-products of the metabolic changes that happened in an evolutionary "blink of an eye," Khaitovich said.
While other theories for the brain's cognitive spurt have not been ruled out (one involves the introduction of fish to the human diet), the finding sheds light on what made us, as Khaitovich put it, "so strange compared to other animals."
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Monday, August 11, 2008

Bindra wins first ever Olympic gold for India (IMAGES)

Abhinav Bindra shows his medal as he stands with silver medallist Zhu Qinan and bronze medallist Henri Hakkinen.

BEIJING: World champion Abhinav Bindra clinched India's first ever individual gold medal at the Olympics, winning 10m air rifle event at the Beijing Games here on Monday.

The 25-year-old, who qualified fourth for the event, shot an overall score of (596+140.5) 700.5 in a thrilling finale which went right down to the last shot.

Bindra's historic feat makes him India's first-ever individual gold medallist, bettering the silver medal feat of double trap shooter Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore in Athens 2004.

"He is the best shooter in the world and I think his is a morale boosting feat for everyone in the contingent," a jubilant Indian Olympic Association President Suresh Kalmadi said after Bindra's win.

"We are all very happy. He is a very hardworking athlete. The entire shooting contingent is celebrating. We are very proud of him and it is just the beginning," national coach Sunny Thomas said.

"Abhinav is a very calm and composed guy and doesn't get very excited," Thomas added.

Bindra, a Khel Ratna awardee, had earlier won the gold medal in 2002 Commonwealth Games in the pairs event and silver in the individual event.

Earlier, Gagan Narang had failed to qualify for the finals of the same event after falling short in the count-back.

The silver in the event went to Chinese Zhu Qinan (699.7) while Finland's Henri Hakkinen (699.4) had to be content with a bronze.

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Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony (IMAGES)

Beijing held its formal opening ceremony today for the 2008 Summer Olympics. The ceremony, held in the National Stadium known as the Bird's Nest, was attended by thousands, and watched by millions more on television. Below are some highlights of the nearly 4-hour performance.

Thousands of specks of light make up the Olympic rings on the floor of the arena and are then magically lifted into the sky.

A dancer performs during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics at the National Stadium on August 8, 2008 in Beijing, China.

Drums thundered, strobe lights flickered and 14,000 performers poured through the Bird's Nest stadium in a dazzling extravaganza that offered up a vision of global harmony in line with the Games' motto "One World One Dream".

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