Danes excel in practice at Volvo Regatta

Chennai, November 01: Denmark’s Kristian and Mathias finished on top in the 29er Class in the practice races of the Volvo Indian International Regatta here Sunday off the Chennai Port.

The Indian teams of Hussain and Nishanth, and Varan and Keshub could not complete the race due to rig failure, according to a press release from the organisers.

Xerxes and Krishna (RBYC, Mumbai) were second while Shweta and Aishwarya from the host club finished third, in the practice race.

HUL profit dips 21.6%, co seen losing market share

Mumbai, November 01: Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HINDUNILVR.NS : 97.8 -1.15) (HUL) on Saturday reported a 21.6 % decline in its net profit at Rs 428.53 crore in the second quarter ended September 30, 2009, compared to Rs 546.6 crore in the corresponding quarter last year.

Indira continues to inspire us: Sonia Gandhi

New Delhi, November 01: Congress president Sonia Gandhi Saturday paid tributes to her mother-in-law and late prime minister Indira Gandhi, saying her leadership during the liberation of Bangladesh was a ‘prime example of her commitment’ to protect India and its people.

Sonia Gandhi said there are some people who continue to inspire others even after their death. ‘Such people create history and she was among them,’ the Congress president said.

Gandhi said it was unbelievable to know that ‘Indiraji is not among us’.

BJP passing through bad phase: Sushma

New Delhi, November 01: Deputy Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj on Saturday admitted that the BJP was passing through a bad phase but added that the “party would come out of it soon”. “As in an individual’s life, there are good and bad phases in the life of a political party, but we will come out of it soon,” Swaraj said in response to a question at the HT Leadership Summit.

Fourth typhoon in month lashes Philippines; 14 killed

Manila, November 01: A typhoon has battered the Philippine capital and surrounding provinces still reeling from recent flooding, killing at least 14 people and sending residents of one town clambering onto rooftops to escape rising waters, officials said on Sunday.

Militants blow up Pakistan girls school: Officials

Islamist militants blew up a girls school in Pakistan’s lawless Khyber tribal district on Sunday, destroying the building and wounding four people in neighbouring homes, officials said.
Islamabad, November 01: Two explosions ripped through the 18-room government high school for girls at Kari Gar village and a boy who watched the premises is missing, possibly kidnapped by the militants, local administration officials said.

“The militants have blown up the school with two blasts and all rooms were demolished,” said administration official Shafeer Ullah.

Dengue cases: 366 cases reported in Delhi

New Delhi, November 01: Fourteen cases of dengue were confirmed Sunday morning, taking the total number of cases of the vector-borne disease in the national capital to 366, a health department official said.

“As of today (Sunday) morning, there were 366 confirmed cases of dengue in Delhi. This is no alarming figure since the numbers of those affected has been consistent,” NK Yadav, chief medical officer of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), told an agency.

On Saturday, the total number of cases recorded was 352.

Indian Navy to procure five midget submarines

New Delhi, November 01: To strengthen its capabilities of carrying out special underwater operations in high seas and enemy harbours, the Indian Navy is planning to procure five midget submarines for the Marine Commandos (MARCOS).

Submarines weighing less than 150 tonnes are classified as midgets and are used by the Navies to carry out underwater covert operations and surveillance missions.

Cell phone waste, next big threat to environment

New Delhi, November 01: Sporting a new mobile phone may be fashionable in these well-connected times, but the discarded old handsets could poison the environment, as a whopping 8,000 tonnes of cell phone waste is estimated to burden the earth by 2012.

As per a whitepaper by global consultancy Deloitte, there is a growing need to better manage the rising cell phone waste, as it is posing a threat to the environment.

Rs 124 cr spent to fight swine flu

New Delhi, November 01: To check the outbreak of deadly H1N1 virus and safeguard citizens against it, the government has spent about Rs 124 crore towards purchase of swine flu drugs.

In reply to an RTI filed by a local resident, the Union Health Ministry said an amount of Rs 123.89 crore has been spent towards procuring ‘Oseltamivir'(Tamiflu).

Working women face accommodation problem in Delhi

New Delhi, November 01: The recent murder of a teenaged Naga girl at Munirka in South Delhi has once again raised concern over the safety of migrant women due to inadequacy of recognised and affordable hostels in the city.

While more and more women are coming to Delhi every year in search of employment, there are only 11 government-recognised working women hostels in the national capital.

Any more terror attack from Pak will be retaliated: PC

Madurai, November 01: Taking a tough stance, Home Minister P Chidambaram has warned Pakistan against meddling in India’s affairs and said any more terror attack from that country will be retaliated “very strongly”.

He said he has been warning Pakistan not to play with India and that the Mumbai attacks should be the “last game”.

We’ve started calling Tendulkar grandfather: Yuvraj

New Delhi, November 01: Sachin Tendulkar maybe just 36 but he is already being addressed as grandfather — by his India teammates.

Tendulkar’s teammate Yuvraj Singh paid rich tribute to the batting maestro’s longevity and his insatiable hunger for perfection, saying it would be difficult for any other player to survive the wears and tears that Tendulkar has endured.

“We have started calling him grandfather,” Yuvraj quipped last night, after guiding India to a six-wicket win against Australia in the third one-dayer.

Centre plans to set up 7,000 libraries

New Delhi, November 01: With an aim to encourage reading habit among people, the Centre is planning to set up about 7,000 libraries having computers with internet facility across the country, a large chunk of which may go to rural areas.

These libraries will be opened as part of the National Mission on Libraries (NML), the Centre’s initiative to revitalise the public library movement in the country.

Sources said the Culture Ministry has sent a set of recommendations in this regard to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who holds charge of the ministry.

Nose jobs, botox becoming popular in India

New Delhi, November 01: A pointed nose and taut skin seem to have emerged as the two most important assets for Indians going by the number of people opting for rhinoplasty or “nose jobs” and botox injections in the country.

Though there are no official records of plastic surgeries in India, a study of hospital records show that cosmetic procedures like rhinoplasty and liposuction have seen an increase of 150 per cent in the last five years.

Other popular surgical procedures include abdominoplasty and male breast reduction.

Woman acquitted of pushing girl into flesh trade

New Delhi, November 01: A woman owner of a Delhi-based placement agency, which provides domestic helps, was acquitted of charges of procuring and pushing a girl into flesh trade by a court here which termed her statements as “unreliable”.

“In view of serious contradictions in the testimony of the prosecutrix and statement failing to inspire confidence, it is difficult to accept and believe it to base conviction of the accused,” Additional Sessions Judge J R Aryan said.

Need to check religious conversions in India: BJP

Bhopal, November 01: BJP has advocated for amendment of the constitution to check large scale religious conversions allegedly being carried out by foreign forces through inducements.

“There is a need to check large scale religious conversion being carried out in the country through inducements by incorporating the provision of embracing any faith before a competent authority…there is a need for a law which would give freedom to people to choose their religion,” BJP president Rajnath Singh said yesterday.

Dhoni & Co eyeing hat-trick of wins to stretch lead

Mohali, November 01: Cloaked in an aura of formidability acquired from their back-to-back wins in Nagpur and Delhi, the Indian team under Mahendra Singh Dhoni would be gunning for a treble of triumphs to stretch their lead against Australia in the fourth cricket one-dayer here tomorrow.

The first three matches of the series have been sort of a statement by Dhoni’s men — that they are ready to take over as the top ODI side of the world and incumbent Australia, laid low by spate of injuries, does not look in a position to halt their rampaging hosts.

Sorry for Iraq war, but had no choice: Bush

Washington, November 01: Justifying his decision on Iraq, former US President George W Bush today said dislodging of the “brutal dictator” Saddam Hussain was a necessity after 9/11 attacks but regretted that military had to be used to do so as there was no other “choice”.

Bush, who had earned immense criticism for the war on Iraq launched in March 2003, rejected the suggestion that his action had led to radicalism among the Muslim community and insisted that the world and Iraq were “better off” now.

Ramdev to address moulvis

New Delhi, November 01: From L.K. Advani and N.D. Tiwari to Lalu Prasad and Mulayam Singh Yadav, they all swear by him. Now yoga guru Baba Ramdev, whose influence stretches across virtually the whole spectrum of Indian politics, will add another feather to his cap.

Come November 3, he will address half a million moulvis together at Darul Uloom Deoband along with Shri Shri Ravi Shankar, the duo becoming the first non-Muslim religious leaders ever to speak at perhaps India’s most influential Islamic seminary.

US universities have eye on India

New York, November 01: Visiting Minister for Human Resource Development, Kapil Sibal, is testing the waters in the Unites States to discern whether American universities will support an ambitious Indian initiative to roll out 14 new universities focused on innovation.

“The young demographic advantage that India has needs to be converted into a dynamic economic advantage by providing the right education and skills,” Sibal told, on the sidelines of an event in New York.

Ishrat’s sister recalls the trauma

Hyderabad, November 01: Masarrat Jahan, the younger sister of Ishrat Jahan who was killed in a fake police encounter in Gujarat in 2004, said that her sister might not have lost her life had she not been a Muslim.

Is ‘Kurbaan’ like other terror films?

Mumbai, November 01: Karan Johar’s upcoming “Kurbaan” is being likened to films on terror like “New York” and “Fanaa” but the filmmaker is no longer giving the straight-jacketed ‘It’s truly different’ reply. He has instead left it to the audiences to find out if there are any similarities between the movies.

Big B gets SMS threat for visiting Dargah, temple

Mumbai, November 01: Actor Amitabh Bachchan has revealed that he was threatened by an unnamed person via a text message for visiting a temple and a dargah.

The 67-year-old actor had described his religious routine in an earlier blog, which led the unknown person to threaten him against doing so but Bachchan is undeterred.

“That I visit a Muslim dargah and a Hindu temple has been viciously criticised by an unknown element on my mobile. He says it is incorrect of me to do so and that

I should never do it again,” Bachchan wrote on his blog.

Ponting gracious in defeat

New Delhi, October 31: Far from his belligerent self, Australia captain Ricky Ponting was grace personified after his team went down to India by six wickets in the third ODI here tonight.

Ponting admitted his side had been out-batted by the Indians, praised the match-winning 148-run stand between captain M S Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh and also refused to blame the track — one of the lowest he has come across — for the loss.