Famous In India

Archive for November 2008

mumbai_blogtaj1National Security Guard (NSG) commandos have entered Mumbai’s landmark Hotel Taj and Oberoi in their bid flush out terrorists. Unconfirmed reports claim that six terrorists, thought to LeT operatives, have been gunned down as of now. Nine foreigners are among 100 killed in the attack that also left over 300 people injured.

Developments By The Minute>>

11.20 am Commandos begin firing at Nariman House. Four terrorists thought to be holed up inside.

11.17 am: L K Advani to accompany Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during visit to terror-hit Mumbai.

11.15 am: A child of foreign nationality and an Indian maid seen coming out of Nariman House in South Mumbai.

11.10 am: Bush, Obama condemn Mumbai attacks; offer assistance

11.05 am: LK Advani terms the Mumbai attacks as the biggest in India. Calls for unity at the hour of crisis.

11.01 am: Shivraj Patil holds emergency meeting

10.45 am: Indian Navy’s Vice Admiral Bedi said that around 4-5 terrorists are still holed up inside the hotel, along with 40 hostages.

Earlier, at around 7.30 am, minutes after the NSG commandoes entered, fresh firing was heard as reports claimed that NSG commandos have already reached the upper storeys of the hotel.

Of the hostages, some are feared to be foreigners. The NSG team is also looking to evacuate as many people as possible to minimise causalities.

A bomb has been diffused that was found this morning near Taj. Fire and smoke is still seen billowing from the hotel as firemen struggled hard to rescue over 100 people still trapped inside. While NSG operation was on in the old building, fire brigade personnel were trying to douse fire in the new wing.

Curfew has been clamped around Taj and at Gateway of India.

Meanwhile, a suspected terrorist is being interrogated, who was held this morning. He is said to be associated with Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), a militant group based in Pakistan.

The recent reports claim that firing is still on at the Nariman House.

The commandoes have also reached Trident Hotel (formerly Oberoi) in South Mumbai to flush out terrorists holed up there. A fresh blast has been heard from the hotel.

Terrorists have, reportedly, positioned themselves on the 19th floor of the Oberoi hotel.

According to reports, six terrorists have been killed until now, two each in Taj, Girgaon and Oberoi.

Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said five police officers including Anti-Terror Squad chief Hemant Karkare were killed in one of the worst terror strikes in the country’s financial capital that in all claimed the lives of at least 16 police personnel.

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil said that there was not any intelligence on the incident. According to Patil, nine suspected terrorists have been arrested.

Little known Deccan Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for the terror strikes in e-mails sent to some media organisations.

Schools and colleges across the metropolis will remain closed today.

In the wake of the attacks, Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and National Stock Exchange (NSE) will stay closed. Home Minister Shivraj Patil arrived in Mumbai in the wee hours in the wake of deadly overnight terror attacks.

source : http://www.zeenews.com/


global-meltdown1Coming to terms with a job loss or have a home loan you can’t pay? Come to India to find peace. This is tourism minister Ambika Soni’s prescription for those who have burnt their fingers in the global meltdown.

So, could India be the destination for meltdown tourism? Speaking in a lighter vein, Soni said, “When things look down…in financial crisis, people turn to God.” She added that the country had destinations which included world famous temples and churches combined with nature cures like ayurveda, yoga and ancient healing practices that the ministry was keen on promoting.

India received 5.08 million foreign tourists in 2007, a growth of 14.2% over 2006. The rate has surpassed the world growth figure of 6.6% and that of Asia-Pacific region of 10.4%. Maintaining this growth, however, is a challenge that the administration is aware of. “It is a challenge but we see no reason to revise our target of 10 million tourists by 2010,” Soni said, speaking at the Economic Editors conference on Tuesday.

The government is hoping to position India as a wellness centre where tourists can enjoy ayurveda, yoga, siddha and naturopathy along with spiritual philosophy that will leave them “physically healed, spiritually enriched and mentally rejuvenated”.

In a bid to think out-of-the-box, the ministry is also shifting its focus from the US and the UK to West Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asian markets. But with costs rising across the board, the travel industry has presented a fairly gloomy picture. Industry forecasts say that foreign tourist arrivals may be down by half if India’s economic growth rate falls to 7% and global growth rate comes down to 3.2%.

To keep prices affordable in difficult circumstances is an uphill task. “We are pushing budget accommodation like homestays and tents aggressively across the country to provide people with products that suit every pocket,” Soni said.

source :http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/

yuvrajA stunning display of form both with bat and ball by all-rounder Yuvraj Singh gave India a 2-0 lead in the seven-match series as Team India defeated England by 54 runs in the second One-Day International at the Maharani Usharaje Trust Cricket Ground in Indore on Monday.

Chasing a target of 293 to win, the entire English team were bowled out for just 238 runs in 47 overs; Kevin Pietersen (33), Andrew Flintoff (43) and Owais Shah (58) raised some hope, but Indian spinners

For India, the star of the day was Yuvraj Singh who first smashed a scintillating 118 runs and then rolled his arm as a left-arm spinner to pick up 4/28 including the wickets of Flintoff, Pietersen and Shah.

source : http://www.newstrackindia.com/

DeshdrohiThe people of Jharkhand are not happy with the move of the Maharashtra Government in banning the screening of Deshdrohi in the state for two months. Lok Janshakti Party activists protested against the ban of Deshdrohi and disrupted the screening of Hindi films in Ranchi yesterday.

The protesters shouted slogans demanding ban of Bollywood films in the state until the Maharashtra Government lifts the ban on the screening of Deshdrohi. They also shouted slogans against Raj Thackeray, Chief of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and tore the posters of Ek Vivah Aisa Bhi. They urged the managers of cinema halls to stop screening Bollywood films.

Around 24 LJP workers were arrested by the police following the disturbances but were released later. However, LJP leader Jitender Singh warned that his party activists would continue to disturb the screening of Bollywood films in the state till the ban on Deshdrohi is lifted.

The Government of Maharashtra has banned the screening of Deshdrohi in the state fearing that its theme would bring about breakdown of law and order in the state. Deshdrohi produced by Bhojpuri actor Kamaal Khan deals with the injustice and discrimination meted out to the North Indians in Mumbai. However, it has turned very controversial following the campaign started by MNS leader Raj Thackeray against the North Indians staying in Mumbai city.

This controversial film directed by Jagdish Sharma features actors like Gracy Singh, Kim Sharma, Kamaal Khan, Aman Verma, Ranjit, Kader Khan, Raza Mura and Manoj Tiwari. It is releasing today.



bordergavaskarIndia crushed Australia by 172 runs on the final day of the fourth and final test match in Nagpur to hand the world champions their worst test series defeat since 1989.

Set with an imposing target of 382 runs for a series-squaring victory, the Australians lost their nerves and were bowled out for 209 runs post-lunch with leg spinner Amit Mishra and off spinner Harbhajan Singh sharing seven wickets between themselves.

The victory was sweet for India as it was the sub-continent nation’s first test series win against top-ranked Australia in 7 years.

“This is more important than the India-Pakistan rivalry. We had motivation, we had plans, the best part was we executed them very well,” India’s new test captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said after the match was over. “The victory is very important for the team and everybody. Everybody was looking up to this series.”

“The fast bowlers did the trick for us in the series. They bowled their hearts out and were backed by the spinners and part-time bowlers. All the bowlers shared responsibility. It was an outstanding team effort,” he said.

With this victory, Dhoni has won three test matches as captain in a row.

Pacer Ishant Sharma picked up two quick wickets on the final day, scalping first-innings centurion Simon Katich (16) and Michael Clarke (22).

Thereafter, India made merry with Harbhajan taking four wickets and Mishra three, as the tourists dramatically lost their nerves and the last seven wickets for 59 runs.

Australia’s sole hope was veteran batsman Matthew Hayden who scored 77 runs at a healthy pace but he could do little to avoid the Australian collapse.

Australian captain Ricky Ponting accepted defeat gracefully, saying his team was beaten fair and square.

source : http://in.ibtimes.com/

namakkal-fort-top-viewThe historical Namakkal fort in the town wears a new look with the conservation and restoration works taken up by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) nearing completion.

The ASI had taken up the conservation of the entire fort wall and old structures inside the fort at an estimated cost of Rs. 16 lakh.

The entire fort wall has been restored to its original grandeur. The workers have used lime, sand, gallnut, jaggery and a variety of traditional materials for the restoration work. “The fort is an important tourist attraction in the district. Apart from protecting the monument, the restoration work will help attract more tourists and promote its historical interest,” ASI officials say.

As part of the work, the ASI also improved the two tanks constructed inside the fort to harvest rainwater.

A handrail was installed along the steps leading to the fort on the rocky surface last year, officials added.

The fort, built by the Madurai Nayakas and declared as a monument of national importance, also gets a large number of devotees.

Those who offer prayers at the famous Sri Anganeyar Temple also visit the fort as it houses Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple. The fort also has a mosque. People in the town celebrate the monument as a symbol promoting communal harmony.

source : http://www.hindu.com/

Barack ObamaWASHINGTON – Americans emphatically elected Democrat Barack Obama as their first black president on Tuesday, in a transformational election which will reshape US politics and the US role on the world stage.

“Tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America,” Obama told a euphoric crowd of 240,000 tearful supporters after defeating Republican John McCain.

Obama, 47, will be inaugurated the 44th US president on January 20, 2009, and inherit an economy mired in the worst financial crisis since the 1930s, two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and a nuclear showdown with Iran.

Obama’s win was greeted with euphoria by a vast crowd gathered in his home city of Chicago, as his supporters screamed and waved American flags as they waited for him to arrive to deliver his victory speech.

New York’s Times Square exploded in joy at a moment of healing for America’s racial scars, a huge crowd gathered outside the White House and the result immediately reverberated around the world.

“The road ahead will be long, our climb will be steep, we may not get there in one year or even one term, but America — I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there,” Obama said in Chicago.

“I promise you — we as a people will get there.”

Democrats also made huge strides in Congress, and will hold an unshakeable monopoly in power in Washington after a rare generational and political realignment.

After a bilious campaign, McCain was gracious in defeat, and noted that Obama’s election was a moment to cherish for African Americans.

“The American people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly. A little while ago, I had the honour of calling Senator Barack Obama to congratulate him on being elected the next president of the country that we both love,” he said.

“Though we fell short, the failure is mine, not yours,” he told a crowd of supporters in Phoenix in his home state of Arizona.
President George W. Bush who has steered his country through eight turbulent years also congratulated Obama.

“Mr President-elect, congratulations to you,” White House spokeswoman Dana Perino quoted the president as saying in a phone call to Obama.

“What an awesome night for you, your family and your supporters. Laura and I called to congratulate you and your good bride.”

Obama’s historic inauguration will complete a stunning ascent to the pinnacle of US and global politics from national obscurity just four years ago and close an eight-year era of turbulence under President George W. Bush.

Chanting and shouting their delight at Obama’s historic win, hundreds of young demonstrators flooded the avenue in front of the White House late Tuesday.
Many in the crowd — chiefly students from Washington-area universities — waved red, white, and blue balloons, others pushed their Obama campaign signs to the sky, most chanted Obama’s name, his “yes, we can” slogan, or “USA! USA!”

Early on Tuesday, he captured the state of Pennsylvania, the key battleground which McCain needed to win to keep his long-shot hopes of victory alive.

And in a sweet moment for Democrats, he also seized the midwestern battleground states of Ohio, Iowa and Indiana as well as the southwestern state of New Mexico, all states won by Bush in 2004 to close McCain’s possible route to the presidency.

He later added Virginia, which had not voted Democrat since 1964. He also won Florida, ground zero of the 2000 recount debacle.
So far Obama had won 28 states including the district of Columbia for 349 electoral votes. McCain had won 20 states but had not broken out of the Republican heartland and the south for 159 electoral votes.
In the Senate, Democrats wrested control of five Republican seats including in the traditionally Republican state of Virginia, followed by New Hampshire, North Carolina and New Mexico.

Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell clung on, meaning that Democrats were highly unlikely to win the 60 seats they need in the 100-seat chamber needed to frustrate Republican obstruction tactics.

Among the Republican casualties was Elizabeth Dole in North Carolina, wife of former Senate majority leader and defeated 1996 presidential nominee Bob Dole.

In Mogadishu, Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed voiced hope that US president-elect Barack Obama would help end conflict in the world, including in his lawless Horn of Africa nation. “I am congratulating Barack Obama for his election as the president of United States of America,” Yusuf said in a statement released by his spokesman.

Prominent Iranian MP Hamid Reza Haji Babai on Wednesday welcomed the US presidential victory of Democrat Barack Obama as an “opportunity and test,” with Iran now “waiting for that change.” “The election of Obama over (Republican candidate John) McCain is positive,” Haji Babai told AFP.
The world’s media on Wednesday hailed Barack Obama’s election as the first black president as a major milestone in US history, saying it offered a chance to restore America’s standing.

While the result came too late for morning newspapers in Asia, China’s evening dailies splashed with photos of a beaming Obama, with the Legal Evening News proclaiming him as “the first black American president”.

Major US newspapers said Obama must seize the opportunity to reverse some of the damage wrought by Bush to America’s reputation.

Iraq on Wednesday ruled out a “quick disengagement” policy by Washington in the country following Barack Obama’s victory, dispelling hopes of many Iraqis of a rapid withdrawal of US troops.

Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari welcomed the election of Democrat Obama and said he did not expect an “overnight” change in US policy in war-torn Iraq.

World leaders hailed Obama’s triumph as the start of a new era but there were also calls for the global superpower to change the way it does business.

Former South African President Nelson Mandela on Wednesday praised Barack Obama’s victory in the US presidential election and urged him to fight poverty and disease throughout the world.

“Your victory has demonstrated that no person anywhere in the world should not dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a better place,” the anti-apartheid icon wrote to Obama in a letter released by the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

“We note and applaud your commitment to supporting the cause of peace and security around the world.”



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