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Tezz (Movie-Review)

News4u-Entertainment Desk- courtesy toi-: Revenge-seeking Indians plant a bomb on a British train - can Indians loyal to the law prevent an explosion fast enough?

Movie Review: Look carefully - Tezz shows you a London Bollywood hasn’t explored before. Forget those chiffon saree-soirees, lush parks and cream teas - Tezz’s London showcases illegal Indian migrants trapped between violent ghettoes and furious policemen, wet sewers, oily garages and bomb-strapped garbage bins. This is a gritty city, normally shown as every Indian’s vacation paradise - but what happens to those who want to live there, even illegally?


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‘Ancient life thrived beneath Mars rocks’

News4u - News Desk : WASHINGTON: Underneath their rough exterior, some rocks on Mars may have sheltered life in the ancient past, according to a new study. An examination of data collated by Nasa’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunityreveals deposits that, on Earth, are only created by water moving through the rock.

“There are plenty of places on Earth where organisms live in places where water is flowing through fractures in rock,” Discovery News quoted lead scientist Steve Squyres of Cornell University as telling “That’s definitely a possibility at this location.”

The water, which has since evaporated, could have offered a home for life billions of years ago. Opportunity also turned up proof of hot, moving water within the rocks in the past, likely caused by the impact that scooped out the crater, Odyssey.

The study has been published in the online version of journal Science.ANI


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Vikram and I wanted to work together for years: Jimmy Shergill

News4u-Entertainment Desk- Jimmy Shergill, who is teaming up with Vikram Bhatt for the first time in “Dangerous Ishhq”, says it took him 10 years to finally get an opportunity to work with the director.

The 41-year-old said he has known Vikram for years but they never came across a right project to work on together.

“I had met Vikram when I was doing ‘Yeh Zindagi Ka Safar’. That was over 10 years back. Due to certain reasons, we could just not get together for a film. Later when Vikram informed me about this film, it sounded quite exciting,” Jimmy told PTI.

“Dangerous Ishhq” marks actress Karisma Kapoor’s return to the big screen after a gap of six years. The film also stars Rajneesh Duggal in the lead role and will hit the theatres on May 11.

Jimmy says that he doesn’t mind Karisma hogging all the limelight in the film and insists his role is as important as any other role.

“More than just the fact that it is Karisma’s comeback affair, what intrigued me was the way Vikram explained my character. Even though it isn’t a quintessential leading hero role, I knew that the film would be a good platform for me to perform,” he said.

The actor plays the role of a cop in the film. “The film is spread over 500 years and I feature in the present times. I am required to carry out an investigation. The film is a dramatic thriller and I am required to find out the connection with Karisma’s past life.”

Jimmy, who has been in the industry for over a decade, has given hits like “Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster”, “A Wednesday”, “Yahaan” and “Haasil”.

His upcoming projects are “Saheb Biwi aur Gangster Returns” and “Special Chabbis”.

Jimmy Shergill

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UNDP, required to play a neutral role in international governance : India

News4u-News Desk-NEW DELHI: The government has taken exception to the `biases’ in the United NationsDevelopment Programme’s (UNDP) Asia Pacific Human Development report, titled, One Planet, which was released on Thursday.

UNDP, required to play a neutral role in international governance, has recommended that India and other countries in the Asia Pacific region take greater responsibility to reduce emissions and warned that ‘inclusive growth’ would increase emissions, a trade-off that India cannot afford.

Pointing out that UNDP had not even consulted the government on the draft report, an environment and forests ministry official said, “It pits the issue of growth against environment which is not a correct framework for analysis. The very title of the report is objectionable. It suggests that cleaning up first, and growing up later should be the option. This is like putting the logic on its head.”

Sources in the ministry said that the government would write to UNDP shortly, raising its concerns about the `biased’ report.

The report plays down the issues of equity and historical emissions, while suggesting that future emissions from developing countries would cause harm. “The report is silent on the principle of equity. It only says that developed countries are taking adequate steps to reduce carbon emissions and achieving carbon neutral production and consumption. Our experience with theKyoto Protocol and low-level of pledges made in Cancun do not support this view,” the environment ministry responded.

Earlier, miffed with other UN agencies like the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), India had demanded that such documents should not be used as basis of climate negotiations as suggested by the European Union and its allies, the small island states. India was irked by UNEP’s report on emission reduction and its participation in a US-backed coalition of select countries to reduce short-lived greenhouse gas emissions that shifts the onus to act on developing nations.

The UNDP report recommends that India take emission reductions beyond the point where such cuts come out of energy security measures, implying costlier methods.

In a pre-release meeting with media, UNDP officials and team leader, Anuradha Rajivan, had defended the report on various counts, and claimed that the UN body had consulted the government on it.

However, ministry officials told TOI that only a final version of the copy had been provided at the last moment breaking the tradition where UN organizations share draft reports relevant to the country. In 2007 too, the deputy chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia had slammed the UNDP report on climate change for taking a similar partisan position, creating ripples in the UN body.

“While it does recognize the historical responsibility of the developed countries in the region, it seeks to put the blame for damaging the environment in future on the fast growing economies in the region like India and China. Their rising emissions and increasing economic growth are mentioned as the possible sources of trouble. This is clearly unacceptable. Growth is essential to eradicate poverty and enhance the adaptive capacity,” ministry officials said.Agencies & toi

United Nations Development Programme

United Nations Development Programme

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Pepsi to use Michael Jackson’s image in new ad campaign

News4u-News Desk-Soft drink brand Pepsi plans to resurrect King Of Pop Michael Jackson nearly three years after his death in 2009.

The beverage brand announced that it has struck a deal with the King of Pop’s estate which allows the soft drink maker to use the late “Thriller” hitmaker’s image for its new global marketing push, reported Aceshowbiz.

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of MJ’s “Bad” album and tour, one billion cans that feature special edition design of the pop legend’s silhouette will be rolled out in China on May 5.

The limited edition cans will be made available in the US in late May, before hitting 20 additional markets in Asia, South America and Europe.

A part of its “Live for Now” campaign, the promotion will also include iconic music and epic live events.

Fans will also get the opportunities to access special edition merchandise and chances to win tickets to performances of Cirque du Soleil’s “Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour” show.

John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of MJ’s estate, said, “We are thrilled to bring Michael and Pepsi back together, as they were in 1988, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the ‘BAD’ album and tour and to put Michael on one billion Pepsi cans - perhaps a Guinness record.”

Jackson had suffered second degree burns to his scalp while filming a Pepsi Cola commercial in 1984. A stunt went wrong after pyrotechnics accidentally set his hair on fire.

The singer sued the company but later settled for USD 1.5 million out of court settlement. PTI

Michael Jackson

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Pakistan, India to talk Siachen on June 11, 12

News4u-News Desk-ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and India will hold discussions on the Siachen glacier row on June 11 and 12, less than a month after army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani sought talks with New Delhi to demilitarise the world’s highest battleground, authorities here said.

The next round of India-Pakistan defence secretaries’ talks on Siachen will be held June 11-12 in Islamabad, reported Dawn on Friday.

The announcement came after Pakistan sought postponement of talks on Sir Creek that were to be held in New Delhi next week.

The Foreign Office said the new dates would be decided through diplomatic channels.

Siachen was back in the news last month when Pakistan lost nearly 140 soldiers after a massive avalanche entombed the Gayari army base April 7.

The incident prompted Kayani to say that Islamabad was open for talks with India to demilitarise Siachen.

“Peaceful coexistence between the two neighbours is very important so that everybody can concentrate on the well-being of the people,” he had said April 18 after a visit to oversee the rescue efforts.

“Both countries should sit together to resolve all the issues including Siachen,” Kayani added.

Over a fortnight later, foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar said that India should take “a bold initiative” to resolve the dispute over Siachen.

Khar said Pakistan believed that all outstanding issues with India could be resolved through dialogue. IANS


Indo-Pak flag

Indo-Pak flag



Flash flood in north Afghanistan kills at least 27

News4u-News Desk- KABUL: A flash flood swept through villages in a mountainous area of northern Afghanistan on Friday, killing at least 27 people, authorities said.

It was the second major flood reported this week in the north. Abdul Jabar Taqwa, the governor of Takhar province, said flood waters broke through a dam early on Friday, washed down a valley and damaged several villages in Ishkamish district.

“It was a very powerful flood. It hit around midnight,” Taqwa said. “Dozens of villages have been hit. I’m worried that the death toll will go up.”

Rescuers have been trying to reach the site, but vehicles can only be driven to within a six-hour walk of the area, he said.

“It is a disaster,” he said. “Unfortunately, we don’t have enough aid. The only way to access the area is by helicopter.”

On May 6, another flash flood swept through Dhy Marda village in Sari Pul province, killing 21 people, many of them members of a wedding party.

Sayed Jahangir Kramat, the deputy police chief for the province, said about 45 homes were destroyed and another 150 were damaged in that flood as heavy rains caused floodwaters to rush down the mountains.

Other minor flooding earlier this week in two other districts of Sari Pul province killed three people.AP


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US panel backs first anti-HIV pill

News4u - News Desk : SILVER SPRING, Maryland: The first drug shown to prevent HIV infection won the endorsement of a panel of US federal advisers, clearing the way for a landmark approval in the 30-year fight against the virus that causes AIDS.

In a series of votes on Thursday, a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended approval of the daily pill Truvadafor healthy people who are at high risk of contracting HIV, including gay and bisexual men and heterosexual couples with one HIV-positive partner.

The FDA is not required to follow the panel’s advice, though it usually does. A final decision is expected by June 15.

Gilead Sciences Inc., based in Foster City, California, has marketed Truvada since 2004 as a treatment for people who are infected with the virus. The medication is a combination of two older HIV drugs, Emtriva and Viread. Doctors usually prescribe it as part of a drug cocktail to repress the virus.

While panelists ultimately backed Truvada for prevention, Thursday’s 12-hour meeting highlighted a number of concerns created by the first drug to prevent HIV. In particular, the panel debated whether Truvada might lead to reduced use of condoms, the most reliable defense against HIV. The experts also questioned the drug’s effectiveness in women, who have shown much lower rates of protection in studies.

Panelists struggled to outline steps that would ensure patients take the pill every day. In clinical trials, patients who didn’t take their medication diligently were not protected, and patients in the real world are even more likely to forget than those in studies.

“The trouble is adherence, but I don’t think it’s our charge to judge whether people will take the medicine,” said Dr. Tom Giordano of Baylor College of Medicine, who voted in favor of the drug. “I think our charge is to judge whether it works when it’s taken and whether the risks outweigh the benefits.”

Panelists stressed that people should be tested to make sure they don’t have HIV before starting therapy with Truvada. Patients who already have the virus and begin taking Truvada could develop a resistance to the drug, making their disease even more difficult to treat. The experts grappled with how to protect patients while avoiding hurdles that could discourage them from seeking treatment.

“If we put up too many hoops to jump through, there will be people who don’t make it through those hoops,” said Daniel Raymond, the panel’s patient representative.

Truvada first made headlines in 2010, when government researchers showed it could prevent people from contracting HIV. A three-year study found that daily doses cut the risk of infection in healthy gay and bisexual men by 42 percent, when accompanied by condoms and counseling. Last year another study found that Truvada reduced infection by 75 percent in heterosexual couples in which one partner was infected with HIV and the other was not.

Because Truvada is on the market to manage HIV, some doctors already prescribe it as a preventive measure. FDA approval would allow Gilead Sciences to formally market its drug for that use.

But Truvada’s groundbreaking preventive ability has exposed stark disagreements on prevention among those in the HIV community. While Truvada’s supporters say the drug is an important new option, critics worry that the drug could give users a false sense of security, and encourage risky behavior.

During the meeting’s public comment period, FDA panelists heard from more than two dozen doctors, nurses and patients who said patients would not take the drug as recommended - every day, in addition to using condoms.

“Truvada needs to be taken every day, 100 percent of the time, and my experience as a registered nurse tells me that won’t happen,” Karen Haughey told the panel. “In my eight years, not one patient that I’ve cared for has been 100 percent adherent.”

Other speakers worried that wide scale use of Truvada would divert limited funding from more cost-effective options. Truvada sells for about $900 a month, or just under $11,000 per year. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which opposes approval of Truvada, estimates that 20 HIV-positive patients could be treated for the cost of treating one patient with preventive Truvada.

“Truvada for prevention will squeeze already-constrained health care resources that can be better spent on cheaper and more effective prevention therapies,” the group states in a petition to the FDA.

The FDA is legally barred from considering cost when reviewing drugs. Medicare and Medicaid, the nation’s largest health insurance plans, generally cover all drugs approved by the FDA and many large insurers take their cues for coverage from the government plans.

An estimated 1.2 million Americans have HIV, which develops into AIDS unless treated with antiviral drugs. AIDS causes the body’s immune system to breakdown, leading to infections which are eventually fatal. Gay and bisexual men account for the majority of cases - nearly two-thirds.

The number of new HIV infections in the U.S. has held steady for 15 years at about 50,000 per year. But with no vaccine in sight and an estimated 240,000 HIV carriers unaware of their status, doctors and patients say new methods are needed to fight the spread of the virus.

Nick Literski, a federal worker in Seattle, has been taking Truvada for HIV prevention for more than a year. His partner is HIV-infected and his doctor prescribes the drug as a precautionary measure, even though it is not yet FDA-approved for that use. Literski pays a $40 monthly co-pay for the once-daily pill.

FDA approval of the drug for prevention would be “a huge step forward” in the fight against AIDS, he said in an interview Thursday. But he said rejection would be devastating, threatening gay relationships like his that involve one partner who is HIV infected and one who isn’t.

“Many HIV-positive men end up ending their relationships with HIV-negative men out of fear of infecting their partner,” Literski said, and he worried about that happening to him before he started using Truvada.AP

US panel backs first anti-HIV pill

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Kingfisher Airlines pilots relent, call off strike

News4u - News Desk : NEW DELHI: Kingfisher Airlines pilots on Friday decided to call off their strike. Kingfisher pilots were striking against non-payment of salaries.

Earlier, around 12 Kingfisher flights were on Friday cancelled after the pilots reported sick in protest against non-payment of due salaries.

Ten flights from Delhi and two from Mumbai were cancelled after pilots did not report for work, sources said.

Pilots have been protesting since yesterday against non-payment of their due salary.

Sources said a section of Kingfisher pilots have got their due salary, especially the co-pilots but the captains have not been paid.

According to the pilots, they were assured by the management that their salary for the month of January will be paid by May nine but it did not happen due to which they started reporting sick.

17 Kingfisher flights were cancelled on Thursday due to the stir.

Kingfisher chairman Vijay Mallya had assured the staff in his May 5 communication to them that their January salaries will be remitted from May 9.

Last month, the Kingfisher management had said it would pay employees’ December salaries between April 4 and April 9 in a phased manner, but some of the employees received their salaries as late as around April 24, the sources said.

Kingfisher Airlines has been facing financial troubles for almost a year now. The airline, which never made a profit since its inception in May 2005, reported a net loss of Rs 444.26 crore in the December quarter.

It suffered a loss of Rs 1,027 crore in 2010-11 and has a debt of Rs7,057.08 crore.

Due to paucity of funds, the air carrier now operates only 110 flights a day with a fleet of 20 aircraft as against 400 flights per day last year with 66 planes.

The airline had a 6.4 per cent market share in March, and was ranked below the budget carrier GoAir, which cornered 7.5 per cent market share in the same period.PTI



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US will go after al-Qaida wherever they are: Leon Panetta

News4u - News Desk : WASHINGTON: Following a failed attempt by al-Qaida to attack a US-bound plane, defense secretary Leon Panetta has said the United States would go after the terror group “wherever they are and wherever they try to hide in this world.”

“As I’ve said time and time again, that we will go after al-Qaida wherever they are and wherever they try to hide. And one of the places that they clearly are located is Yemen,” Panetta told reporters at a Pentagon news conference on Thursday.

“The United States’ both military and intelligence communities have gone after al-Qaida, and we continue to go after al-Qaida,” he said in response to a question when asked about recent threats that emanated from Yemen.

On May 8, an attempt by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula to blow up a US-bound passenger plane was foiled. An explosive device bearing the hallmarks of the 2009 underwear bomb was seized.

“The recent threat that concerned all Americans about the possibility of another effort to take down an American airliner has come out of Yemen. It’s for that reason that we will continue to take all of the steps necessary to try to go after those who would threaten our country and threaten the safety of American people,” Panetta said.

“We have operations there. The Yemenese have actually been very cooperative in the operations that we have conducted there. We will continue to work with them to go after the enemies that threaten the United States,” he told reporters.

Panetta however ruled out using US ground forces in Yemen. “There’s no consideration of that. Our operations now are directed with the Yemenese going after al-Qaida,” he said.

The defense secretary said America’s efforts in Yemen have been directed at the leadership of al-Qaida and those that have been involved in trying to plan attacks on the United States.

“With regards to our efforts and our operations, we have been very successful at going after the leadership and those that are directly involved with regards to trying to make those kinds of plans. And I think the fact that we continue to be successful with regards to these kinds of threats is an indication of the effectiveness of the operations that we have there,” he said.

The al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula ( AQAP), he said, does represent a threat in Yemen, and the Yemenis are the ones who are trying to make efforts to reduce their influence as well.

“But they are a threat. No one in any way underestimates the fact that all of them represent a concern for the United States in terms of our national security. But I do believe that we are making effective progress at going after those specific targets that represent real threats to the United States,” Panetta said.PTI

US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta

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