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Bye Bye Bangalore!

Interesting article on renaming the most-talked about city in India, published in NY Times.

You Say Bangalore, They Say Bengalooru
By SARITHA RAI

BANGALORE, India, Nov. 1 — In Boston, San Jose, London or elsewhere, if you were being “Bangalored,” it meant your job was being shipped half a world away to someone who would toil for a tiny fraction of your salary.

Even the local politicians had come to resent the global attention. The commercial focus was westernizing Indian culture too quickly for them. So Wednesday, officials in this city changed its name to Bengalooru, the vernacular original, and the sparks are flying. The change is actually part of a trend in India and a sign of its newfound confidence. As the economy blazes ahead at growth rates of more than 8 percent, the local governments in India are trying to shed the country’s colonial names, adopting local language names instead.

Bombay is now Mumbai, for instance, and Madras has been quietly renamed Chennai. But turning Bangalore …

Anna gave her best...

Copyright: Washington Post

Anna gave her best to this world, till three bullets put an end to her life. The cowards who murdered Anna is trying to silence the voice of freedom, decency and dignity.

Anna, there is a place for you in heaven -- in the hearts and minds of people, who will remember you forever as a brave woman who had the courage to demand truth and justice.


Mosnews.com reports: The Moscow prosecutor’s office says they’re investigating her death as a possible murder.

Would we be surprised if the prosecutor told us that Anna shot herself thrice?

This is how the Economist reported.

A suspicious death in Russia
Oct 8th 2006

From Economist.com

Anna Politkovskaya, a Russian journalist, was shot dead on Saturday October 7th, aged 48

SHE was brave beyond belief, Anna Politkovskaya, reporting a gruesome war and a creeping dictatorship with a sharp pen and steel nerves. It may be a chilling coincidence that she was murdered on President Vladimir Putin’s birthday, but her friends and supporte…

Learning to shield our academic excellence

About 8,000 foreign students are studying in India. In Australia, on the other hand, there are about 350,000 — and remember, we add to our numbers every year more than the total population of Australia. Nor is it just that foreign students studying in India are less than a fortieth of those studying in Australia. The number of students who come to India has actually been going down: according to government figures, in 1990/91, there were over 12,765; last year there were 7,745! (By contrast, the increase in 2004 in the number of foreign students studying in China was three times the total number of foreign students that came to India: China hosted 141,087 foreign students in 2005.) We could be educators to the world — just as we could be surgeons to the world. But here is another opportunity missed: while Dubai, Singapore, Australia, to say nothing of distant US, etc. are positioning themselves as education hubs, we remain mired in that bog — the HRD Ministry.

It isn’t just that we are…

Why?

Should India Kill a citizen?

Should the Government of India kill one of it's citizens? Aren't we civilized enough to abolish Capital Punishment?

Today is Mahatma Gandhi's birthday. What happened to Gandhi's India? What happened to the India I love so much?

What do we achieve by hanging a man? In 1989 the Indian Government killed Kehar Singh for conspiring to assassinate Indira Gandhi. Yes, for conspiring to.

We haven’t even heard Afzal’s story

Nandita Haksar


Mohammad Afzal has been sentenced to death by hanging for the offence of conspiring to attack the Indian Parliament on December 13, 2001. The news that the date for his hanging has been fixed for October 20, 2006, has been greeted by most of the media with approval, if not celebration. But before we endorse the decision to hang Afzal we need to inform ourselves of the hard facts of the case without emotion. It is important to remember that we are not discussing whether Afzal was or was not a part of the conspiracy to attack the Parliament. He has …

'It smells of sulphur still today'

CHAVEZ (through translator): "Representatives of the governments of the world, good morning to all of you. First of all, I would like to invite you, very respectfully, to those who have not read this book, to read it. Noam Chomsky, one of the most prestigious American and world intellectuals, Noam Chomsky, and this is one of his most recent books, 'Hegemony or Survival: The Imperialist Strategy of the United States.'" [Holds up book, waves it in front of General Assembly.]

"It's an excellent book to help us understand what has been happening in the world throughout the 20th century, and what's happening now, and the greatest threat looming over our planet. The hegemonic pretensions of the American empire are placing at risk the very survival of the human species. We continue to warn you about this danger and we appeal to the people of the United States and the world to halt this threat, which is like a sword hanging over our heads. I had considered readin…

Hedge Fund makes $4.6 disappear

Conn. hedge fund loses billions
The $4.6-billion loss by Amaranth Advisors may spark activity by Congress or regulators.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

BY KATHERINE BURTON and MATTHEW LEISING
Bloomberg News

Amaranth Advisors LLC, the Greenwich, Conn.-based hedge fund whose wrong-way bets lost about $4.6 billion this month, reached an agreement yesterday to transfer all of its energy trades to an unidentified third party, according to a letter sent to investors.

Nicholas Maounis, Amaranth's founder, said in his letter, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News, that more details will follow "shortly." The firm was in negotiations with Citadel Investment Group LLC as of late yesterday, two people with knowledge of those talks said.

Amaranth was forced to unload the trades after swings in natural-gas prices last week turned it into the biggest hedge fund meltdown since Long-Term Capital Management LP's 1998 collapse. By transferring the bets, Amaranth would stem its losses …

Pulitzer prize winner in illegal US custody

AP photographer held by U.S. military for months without chargeNew York, September 17, 2006


The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by news that a Pulitzer Prize-winning freelance photojournalist working for The Associated Press in Iraq has been held by U.S. military forces for five months without charge. "U.S. authorities who have detained Bilal Hussein in Iraq must either charge him or release him from custody," said Joel Simon, CPJ executive director. :::more:::

My Shout:
What was AP doing for the last five months?

US Senator John McCain knows what it is to be detained and tortured by the 'captors'. He has been fighting a battle within the ruling Republican regime in the US. I urge all readers to email senator McCain asking him to voice his support for the immediate release or charge of Bilal Hussein.

Click on the picture below to view the Pulitzer winning photo-series. The photos do capture the dreadful nature of war and violence. There is a picture of a 18-m…

ICC -- A bunch of jokers

Time and again International Cricket Council makes it a point to reveal its true glory to the millions of cricket fans around the world. Cricket administrators are usually politicians who don't make the cut in the political arena or they are failed lawyers who cannot win a decent case in a court of law for their clients.

After reading this report, you would start to wonder whether ICC is an administrative body or a club of a bunch of jokers.
Ponting hit by fine for dissent

Ricky Ponting has been fined his match fee for showing dissent at an umpire during Australia's 78-run one-day win over the West Indies in Kuala Lumpur. Ponting was charged by the umpires with breaching cricket's code of conduct relating to dissent at an umpire's decision by action or verbal abuse.

The Aussie skipper pleaded guilty at a hearing led by match ref Chris Broad.

Broad said: "It is not acceptable for any player, let alone a captain, to question an umpire's decision."

It was Ponting&…

Exxon's efforts to put Greg Palast in jail

It’s true. It’s weird. It’s nuts. The Department of Homeland Security, after a five-year hunt for Osama, has finally brought charges against… Greg Palast. I kid you not. Send your cakes with files to the Air America wing at Guantanamo.

Though not just yet. Fatherland Security has informed me that television producer Matt Pascarella and I have been charged with unauthorized filming of a “critical national security structure” in Louisiana.

Read more...


Campus in crisis

The current chaos in BITS Dubai resembles a great deal to the storyline of a C-grade bollywood movie; providing livelihood to a few and entertaining the general public.

There has been a great deal of media coverage over the last one week on the 'campus crisis' in BITS Dubai campus. Mainstream media (newspapers) and parallel media in the form of blogs have brought out many aspects of the 'BITS Dubai circus.'

It all started with 7Days publishing a story on the 8th of September:

In yet another case of a school administration trying to ban student blogging, three engineering students at a campus in Knowledge Village in Dubai have been suspended indefinitely, raising questions about freedom of speech and expression. A notice on one of the boards at the ‘Birla Institute of Technology and Science – Pilani’ campus in Dubai lists the names of three suspended students. [more]. On the 10th September, 12 more students were suspended.

Hundreds of students assembled in front of their col…

Winning a Katrina Lottery

Katrina was a big lottery for the powerful and rich of the United States of America.







Top Hurricane Expert Says Officials Threatened His Job Over Pre-Katrina Warnings

On the eve of the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, investigative journalist Greg Palast reports that a top hurricane expert says government officials threatened his job over his warnings about the impending disaster. [includes rush transcript] Tomorrow marks the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina that ravaged the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The storm was the most powerful and expensive natural disaster to hit the U.S- killing more than 1,500 people in New Orleans alone, displacing some 770,000 residents and destroying over 300,000 homes. The federal government's response to the disaster was widely condemned - images of the tens of thousands of New Orleans residents piling into the city's superdome stadium pleading for food, water and aid became symbolic of the government's inact…

Put Zaheer Abbas in the dock

Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove awarded five runs to England (penalised Pakistan) as they found out the ball has been tampered with. Pakistan did not stop play at that point. There was no fury, national pride, no nothing. The game went on. During the tea-break, in the comforts of the pavilion, a storm started to gather in the Pakistani tea-cup. Suddenly, Inzi and his team realised that it is their national pride that has been questioned not by the umpires but by one umpire - Darrell Hair!

Pakistani team, by refusing to go out and play -- let the game down. After a little while, Pakistani team came down to continue playing cricket. It is a fact that Pakistani players played after being penalised, and they expressed a willingness to play after the umpires decided to call the match off.

Something happened in the Pakistani dressing room. Was there a call from Pakistan -- asking them to stop playing? If you check the TV images, you'll notice that Inzi is clearly confused about what is g…

Azhar's three dropped catches

I came across this article written by Ayaz Memon in DNA Sunday.

LK Advani’s decision to revive the Ram Mandir issue during his current rathyatra brings back vivid memories of December 6, 1992 — when the Babri Masjid was demolished — and its aftermath.

We were in Cape Town where India was playing a one-day international against South Africa in a day-night game. During the break between innings or thereabouts, news filtered in (through the All India Radio commentary team, I think) of the mayhem in Ayodhya. There was hushed silence for a while among the Indians in the press enclosure, followed by agitated discussions, and then a flurry of calls back home to check if everything was all right.

When the match resumed after the break, India were fielding and seemed to be making things difficult for the South African batsmen till things suddenly began to go haywire. India’s best fielder — and captain then — Mohammed Azharuddin dropped three catches, two of them skiers, which he would normally ha…

Giving the game a bad name

On 21st August, it was published on the ICC website:

Changing the condition of the ball Inzamam has been charged, as captain, with a breach of Level 2.10 of the ICC Code which relates to changing the condition of the ball in breach of Law 42.3 of the Laws of Cricket. This charge was brought by the on-field umpires Billy Doctrove and Darrell Hair on Sunday. If Inzamam is found guilty of breaching this provision he faces a fine of between 50 and 100 per cent of his match fee and/or a one Test or two ODI ban. Bringing the game into disreputeInzamam has also been charged, as captain, with a breach of C2 at Level 3 of the Code which relates to conduct that brings the player or the game of cricket into disrepute. This charge was brought by the on-field umpires Billy Doctrove and Darrell Hair along with the third and fourth umpires Peter Hartley and Trevor Jesty following a meeting on Monday morning.
----

If the ICC rewards Hair for keeping quiet, it means Pakistan is guilty and the ICC is c…

Cricket's big cover up act

ICC wants to shove the ball tampering controversy under the magic Arabian carpet in their Dubai office.

Malcolm Speed the CEO of ICC says, "Did the Pakistan team change the nature of the ball in an illegal manner under the Laws of Cricket and did its refusal to take the field after the tea interval bring the game into disrepute?"

He must be kidding, why is he having second thoughts when all it takes is to take a look at the ball. If he finds it smooth and shiny, he should get rid of the controversial Hair.

Further evidence of ICC's spineless character was revealed today when Speed said, "We also need some advice about the power of the executive board to in effect overturn a properly laid Code of Conduct charge by an umpire."

If the ball was not tampered why didn't Prcoter or ICC do anything for all these days? Where is that ball now? This is a major cover up -- no transparency at all.

Whether these half-baked lawyers are competent to run the game is what everyon…

A Hair and a tampered ball.

Umpire's decision is final. Every cricket player knows that. If given out, no batsman indulges in a sit-in hoping that the umpire would reverse his decision.

Final. Full Stop.

At the Oval, on a Sunday afternoon, the umpires were convinced that the Pakistani players played a little too much with the ball – which means they tampered the ball to make it reverse-swing.

Pakistani skipper also removed Umar Gul from the bowling attack. Did he do the unthinkable to the cricket ball like Shoaib Akhtar, Waqar Younis and Mohammed Akram did in the last few years? Not to forget the tricks of the great Imran 'bottle-cap' Khan, who says he mastered the trick in the English soil – while playing county cricket for Sussex.

Too many Champions and Winners have been caught doping in the last two months. Floyd Landis, Justin Gatlin, Marion Jones – all have turned the whole idea of participating in sport into a shameful act of winning at all costs.

But hey, Pakistan cricket team hates umpire Hair. Th…