News4u - A unit of Worldcast Media Network

Venice is sinking!

News4u-Travel Desk- Scientists say Venice is sinking into the watermore than five times quicker than previously thought and the city is also gradually tilting eastwards into Adriatic Sea, as it is hit by more floods than ever before

Previous studies had shown that water levels in the former capital of the Maritime Venetian Republic had stabilised.

But a new research claimed it has actually submerged, and tilted to the east, by an unprecedented 2mm per year over the last decade, the Daily Mail reported.

Earlier studies suggest it was submerging at just 0.04mm per year. The patches of land in Venice’s 117 island lagoon are also sinking.

Northern sections are dropping between 2 to 3mm per year, while the southern lagoon is subsiding by 3 to 4mm over the same period.

“Venice appears to be continuing to subside. It’s a small effect, but it’s important,” said Yehuda Bock, research geodesist with Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.

Bock, who is publishing a study in American Geophysical Union’s journal Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems on Wednesday, said the current subsidence was due to natural causes, such as plate tectonics.

“The Adriatic plate, which includes Venice, subducts beneath the Apennines Mountains and causes the city and its environs to drop slightly in elevation,” he said.

And he added that the frequency of floods in Venice is increasing.

Residents now have to, about four or five times each year, walk on wooden planks to stay above the floodwaters in large parts of the city.

The study may spark fears not enough is being done to save the city”s Gothic and Byzantine palazzos from plunging into the water.

But experts at Consorzio Venezia Nuova, a group in charge of safeguarding Venice and the lagoon, highlighted concerns about the report.

“I learned about the new research from journalists like yourself. We have records of the subsiding of Venice for hundreds of years, and yet they haven’t called us,” a source told NBC News.

“We have calculated the city has been sinking 3 to 4cms per century.

“Now they say 2mm per year… that means Venice would sink 20cm every 100 years. That’s more than five times more than we calculated. So I’ll believe it when I see it,” the source added.

And Bock himself admitted a multi-billion dollar investment in the city’s flood defence system would hopefully prevent the tourist destination from sinking into the abyss.

“A multi-billion-dollar effort to install flood-protection walls that can be raised to block incoming tides is nearing completion. The adjustable barriers were designed to protect the city from tides that are coming in higher as overall sea levels are rising in response to climate change,” he said.ANI


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

Men in Black III 3D (Movie-Review)

News4u-Entertainment Desk-  Agent J has to stop the alien criminal from assassinating his partner, Agent K… in time. But how? 

Let’s rewind history. Shall we! It’s been a decade since the Men in Black (MIB) put on their suits for the last time ever: first in 1997 and then in 2002.  So it won’t really be a bad idea to brush up a little on why we liked (and missed) the secret society of protectors. Well, the MIB gave us good comedy, great special effects, inspiring performances, and ample action. Welcome to Circa 2012 and nothing much seems to have changed.

There’s Agent J (Will Smith) who still gives us rib-tickling moments with his one liners. In his own words: ‘Men for me are ‘K’; women for me are ‘O’. I refer to couples as ‘OK’!’ There’s the grumpy, agent-of-hardly-any-words, K (Tommy Lee Jones), and tales of his heroic deeds and achievements that have been saving planet Earth. And above all, there are aliens, once again seen as our next-door friendly refugees who are still using New York as their hideout from mean intergalactic creatures. Of course, now we have Boris the animal ( Jemaine Clement), who has just escaped from the Lunar prison and is on the lookout for Agent K for settling scores of the last forty years. Agent J, on the other hand, is on a spree to change the course of his buddy and partner’s life… and that of mankind. All this, simply to save the future while he travels back in time.

Once the time travel begins (in the movie), it is simply a trip down memory lane. You are actually transported to the USA of the 1960s… in time to witness the launch of Apollo 11 and man’s maiden journey to the moon. Don’t miss out the setting, the headline makers and the style statement of the Big Brother then. And just incase you thought the Smith-Jones pairing is what kept the MIB series alive, here is more. No doubt, the two have put up a great show in all MIB movies, but taking the partnership forward this time is the Will Smith (Agent J) - Josh Brolin (Agent K, the younger one) bonding. In fact, it’s hard to believe that Agent K of the 1960s is not really Agent K of 2012. So convincing is Brolin as the young Tommy Lee Jones. As for Will Smith, he fits the bill (the MIB suit in every sense of the word) as always.

Now, for the special effects. The monster show where Smith fights it out with a huge fish that attacks diners is surely worth every penny. The moment when Smith jumps off the Empire State Building to travel back to the past is worth every cutting-edge moment. Add to that some cool gadgets — the state-of-the-art MIB workplace and the wheel Hoover-bike, for instance — and you are left high and dry.

Sadly, it’s the 3D that does not really spruce up the drama, but once you know you are in for some real MIB-isms (a hi-tech, buddy sci-fi comedy that features everything weird, creepy, funny and wonderful in and around the universe), you don’t really care. courtesy toi

Men in Black III 3D


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ... [email_link]

MLA-An Inside Intruder (Movie-Review)

News4u-Entertainment Desk-  Setting up a milk factory for industrialist Anuj in the village of Bhaglipur (Madhya Pradesh) is a tedious task. Here’s why…. 

A few minutes into the movie and you realise there is ample scope to generate a something (burning issues of utmost importance) out of nothing (a cast and movie pretty unheard of). There’s a lecture on farmer suicides and employment scope. There is also an uprising — of the locals against corrupt politicos and policemen - where change and people’s movement shall be the ultimate winner. But all is lost to the too-many-loopholes in the script.

The big fight turns into a clash of the egos between MLA Kay Kay ( Mukesh Tiwari) and industrialist Anuj ( Chaitanya Naidu). The idea of setting up a milk factory is lost to the tycoon’s foreign-return girlfriend, Anna ( Ana Kanandadze) who is either seen singing songs or getting her gender right. ‘Main bolunga’, is what she tells a cop. The common man, aka villagers, are just too busy dancing to the tunes of some raunchy item songs scattered here and there. As for the sitting MLA, he is seen sitting for most part of the movie. He creates chaos while he ‘sits’ with face pack on; while he ‘sits’ ogling at the item he wants to bed next.
Finally, it’s the performances that leave you very disappointed. Even someone like Omkar Das Manikpuri (that’s Natha of Peepli live fame) seems disinterested to the core. The first time he speaks is right in the beginning of the movie saying the village needs the milk plant. No explanation whatsoever. The second (and last time) he actually speaks is when Mr Tycoon sympathises with him. Omkar’s reaction: ‘It’s okay… at least things are fine now’. That after his daughter is harassed all through the movie, raped, and finally forced to commit suicide. courtesy toi

MLA-An Inside Intruder


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ... [email_link]

China warns US from ‘muddying waters’ in South China Sea

News4u-News Desk-BEIJING: It was no time to “make waves” in the disputed South China Sea and dance behind a “Pied Piper”, China’s official news agency warned today, after US said it would shift the bulk of its naval fleet to the Pacific Ocean by 2020. 

“It is advisable for some to refrain from muddying the waters and fishing therein and for some others to desist from dancing behind aPied Piper whose magic tone, as tempting as it is, might lead its followers astray,” said Xinhua in a commentary, referring to the sea, which is part of the Pacific and the subject of overlapping territorial claims.

China claims the South China Sea in full, and it is also claimed in whole or part by Taiwan,Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines.

The much-hyped China threat to the freedom of navigation in South China Sea is a pure invention, Xinhua said.

“China has seen its political, economic and military strengths growing markedly,fabricating new claims is not in its blood,” said the agency.

It was Beijing’s “genuine wish” to turn the South China Sea “into a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation,” added Xinhua, in the commentary titled ‘Not to make waves in South China Sea’.

In a major re-posturing, US today announced it will shift the bulk of its naval fleet including as many as six aircraft carriers to the Pacific by 2020 as part of new strategic focus on Asia.

The decision to deploy more warships to the Pacific Ocean, defence secretary Leon Panetta said, was part of a “steady, deliberate” effort to bolster the US role in the area, deemed vital to American interest recently by President Barack Obama.PTI

China and US Flag

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...


Garry Kasparov regrets leaving chess: Viswanathan Anand

News4u-Sports Desk-CHENNAI: Hitting back at Garry Kasparov, world champion Viswanathan Anand on Sunday said the Russian legend’s remark about him was nothing but frustration of a player, who misses “attention” and “regrets his retirement” from the game.

Kasparov, during Anand’s world championship match against Boris Gelfand, had said that the Indian lacked motivation and was “sliding downhill” these years.

However, Anand successfully defended his crown, which was a befitting answer to his critics such as Kasparov.

“We were asked about his remarks. He is the man who regrets leaving chess. He misses the attention he got in chess, somehow wants to be there. May be he should play again,” Anand said at his first press conference in the country after winning his fifth world title.

Anand said maybe Kasparov wants him to retire. “Kasparov retired in 2005, he has been trying to make me retire since 2011. You just have to develop a thick skin as a public figure,” he said.

When Anand had drawn the sixth straight game against Gelfand during the world championship in Moscow, Kasparov hit out at the Indian, saying: “What I think with Vishy is that he has lost motivation. Gelfand hasn’t won a single game against Vishy since 1993.

“As for Vishy, I think he’s sliding downhill these (last) years. He wants to win, he knows he’s a better player, but it’s not enough.”

The Indian chess legend said he shuts himself down when he is locked in a tournament, to avoid distraction.

“In general I try not to read anything during world championships. I try to stay in a bubble. The idea is to block it out. He came to the match venue and gave a PC,” he said.PTI


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...


Plane crash in Ghana kills at least 10; crew survives

News4u-News Desk-A cargo plane crash-landed near the airport in Ghana’s capital Accra after overshooting the runway and hit a bus on the ground, killing at least 10 people, but the crew survived, officials said.

Wreckage from the Allied Air plane on Saturday could be seen in an area near the airport along with a badly damaged bus.

Rescue, police and fire officers flooded the scene and cordoned off the immediate area of the crash.

Ghana’s airport operator confirmed in a statement that “flight number DHV 111, cargo aircraft, operating from Lagos to Accra, has overshot the runway on landing on Saturday June 2, at 7:10 pm local time.”

It added that “the crew of four people on board all survived the accident and are currently receiving treatment at the airport clinic. The aircraft collided with a minivan, resulting in 10 confirmed fatalities …”

One witness reported seeing the plane come down and hit the bus, killing those inside.

“I closed from work, walking home in the rain, only to see the plane falling and people in the Benz bus crushed to death,” said Kofi Anor.

A senior military officer said the plane crash-landed and also spoke of 10 dead.

The bus was severely damaged, while the plane’s wings and tail had broken off from its body.

The plane crashed in an area just outside a stadium, near the airport and a military base.

It did not appear to strike any houses. An operator who answered at Allied Air said no one was available to speak.


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...


10 militants killed in US drone attack in Pak tribal area

News4u-News Desk- US drones targeted Taliban militants gathered in a house in the South Waziristan tribal region on Sunday, killing at least 10 of them in the latest in a series of attacks carried out by CIA-operated spy planes despite protests from Pakistan government.

The drone struck in Barmal area of South Waziristan tribal agency, TV news channels quoted officials as saying.

The spy planes fired four missiles at the house, where militants had gathered to condole the death of a commander killed in another drone strike on Saturday.

At least 10 of them were killed and several others were injured, local residents said.

The house caught fire after the missiles slammed into it.

Two commanders of the faction were killed in Saturday’s drone attack.

There have been seven drone strikes since 23rd May.

Most of the strikes were carried out in North Waziristan, described by US and Afghan officials as a safe haven for Taliban and al-Qaeda elements.

Since Saturday, the drone strikes have focused on South Waziristan, where Pakistan army had conducted an operation to flush out the Taliban three years ago.

Pakistan Map

Pakistan Map

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...


The Cabin in the Woods (Movie-Review)

News4u-Entertainment Desk- Nothing could be a more happening vacation for five happy-go-lucky youngsters than taking off to the woods. But then the woods have never really been that safe. 

The Cabin in the Woods is more about the ‘why factor’ than the ‘how factor’: Why do the lambs (a group of bubbly teens) cross the gates and reach the killing ground (a haunted cabin in the middle of nowhere) in almost every horror movie? Why do the lambs choose to part ways to combat the evil dead in almost every horror movie? Or for that matter, why do those who usually coochy coo in almost every horror movie choose to do it in the most deadliest of spots? Well, that’s how it’s meant to be in the scary world. Period. But before that, here’s the not-so-good news for horror buffs: Except for a very few genuine scares - heads being separated from bodies, a woman whispering in the dead of night, blood and gore everywhere — The Cabin in the Woods has nothing much in store when it comes to giving you the real jeebies. But then the movie has loads of the guessing games that could leave the same horror fan pretty satisfied. After all, horror works till victims make their free (and often wrong) choice… till they keep on suffering… till the cliches are in place.

Cliche 1: Five teens want to get a little wild in the woods during their vacation time. They are the typical horror victims — Curt ( Chris Hemsworth) who thinks he is all cool and hot, Miss Perfect Dana (Kristen Connolly); Jules (Anna Hutchison) for whom looking blond is the in-thing, the ever-swearing funny guy, Marty ( Fran Kranz) and Mr Sober Guy Holden ( Jesse Williams).

Cliche 2: The destination they choose is a place that does not show up on the GPS, where traffic cameras do not exist, where the last fuel station does not accept credit cards. Cliche 3: What follows next is perhaps easy to guess: a two-way mirror, a painting of blood sucking creatures , a cellar perfect to play truth or dare, a basement full of strange and weird items, and finally a disturbing journal of Anna Buckner, which when read has the dead rising from their graves.

So far so good. But then as the gruesome killing of teens continue, what keeps you on the edge is the question the movie actually began with: the why factor. Why can’t horror movies live without its cliches? Is it about controlling the outcome? Or is it about ritual sacrifices - that of the ancient gods, that of fate, and that of new age viewers (the betting game and reality shows)? courtesy toi

The Cabin in the Woods


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ... [email_link]

Snow White and the Huntsman (Movie-Review)

News4u-Entertainment Desk- : The evil Queen longs for a life without death. But the only way she can have it is being destroying the fairest of them all — Snow White. She needs to rip off Snow White’s heart from within her body, literally. But the only place where she can reach Snow White is the forest - just where her evil powers do not work. Can the Huntsman, chosen by her, do the needful? 

Is it right to tamper with tales we have actually grown up on? Yes. It’s okay to experiment with fairy tales as long as it’s gripping, racy and, if need be, deadly. And the level of experimenting could range from anything between twists and turns in the storyline to making the evil Queen look much more conniving… much more dangerous… much more larger than life. Believe it or not, the evil Ravenna here overshadows Snow White in every sense of the word. Talk of the character and Queen Ravenna comes across as the epitome of the woman who wants everything - money, fame, kingdom, beauty forever and immortality - at the cost of anything. Talk of the actor and Charlize Theron leaves no stone unturned when it comes to executing that power, passion and utmost greed. She is sometimes seen doing what she ought to do with watery, fiery eyes, sometimes with powerful speeches and monologues… and sometimes with the help of special effects.

The very first shot and you know Snow White and the Huntsman is going to be a jolly good visual treat, often brought out through contrasts. There are three stunningly red drops of blood in the white, snow covered landscape right in the beginning; the end has the same three drops of blood against the backdrop of the stony castle. And in between lies the chase through the forbidding Dark Forest full of black shadows, ugly creatures, hissing snakes, followed by the seven dwarfs and their magical Fairy Land full of colourful butterflies, sparkling streams and birds singing here and there. In fact, there are times you are left wondering how this would look in 3D, specially when the chase and battles get more gloomy with horses, the Black Army, swords and shields.

Finally, it is the sharp contrast to Julia Roberts’ recently released Mirror Mirror that works in favour of this one. If that was funny, crazy and not-so-serious, this one is dark and vicious. However, it’s the length of the movie that seems a way too long. But then all is justified when first time director, Rupert Sanders, gets back to the tried and tested fairly tale formula (of the happily-ever-after kiss) right in time. And all logic be damned… for  there are two men - The Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth)  and Prince William ( Sam Claflin) -  trying to woo the Princess. Wonder who gets to kiss Ms. White?

For now, over to Snow White, her (fairy) tale, the thumping background score, the visual treat, the fact that you know it (the story, we mean) all… and of course, Queen Ravenna….

Tip off: Watch it (for you will like it) only if you are ready to undo the spell that has been cast on you since time immemorial. Don’t ask ‘Who’s the fairest of them all?’. Ask ‘Who’s the darkest of them all?’ Definitely, Snow White and the Huntsman. courtesy toi

Snow White and the Huntsman


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ... [email_link]

Advani proposes collegium system to appoint ECs, CAG

News4u-News Desk- Noting that the present selection process is vulnerable to manipulation and partisanship, BJP leader L K Advani has asked PM Manmohan Singh to introduce a broad-based collegium system to appoint Election Commissioners and Comptroller and Auditor General.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, the Chairman of the BJP Parliamentary Party said the present system where members to the Election Commission are appointed by the President, “solely on the advice of the Prime Minister, does not evoke confidence among the people.”

He said keeping these important decisions as the exclusive preserve of the ruling party renders the selection process vulnerable to manipulation and partisanship.

“Indeed, the credibility of this system was severely dented when a dubious appointment to the crucial office of CEC was made a few years ago. The time has, therefore, come to reform the selection process for the EC and other constitutional bodies, as has indeed been done in the case of the CVC and CIC,” he said.

He said it is in this context that he would like to strongly urge the Prime Minister that the new member to the Election Commission be appointed by a broad-based collegium.

Advani suggested that the collegium should comprise the Prime Minister as Chairman and the Chief Justice of India, the Law Minister and Leaders of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha as its members.

He said Article 324 of the Constitution which deals with the Election Commission of India should be suitably amended.

“The phrasing of Article 324 (2) shows that this would not need any constitutional amendment and can be done by an ordinary enactment,” noted the BJP leader.

A vacancy will arise in the EC following the retirement of CEC S Y Quraishi later this month.

“There is a rapidly growing opinion in the country which holds that appointments to constitutional bodies such the Election Commission should be done on a bipartisan basis in order to remove any impression of bias or lack of transparency and fairness,” Advani said.

Next year, a vacancy will arise in the CAG.

“I would like to suggest in advance that, in this case too, a broad-based collegium should be empowered to select the best possible candidate,” he said.

L K Advani

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...