President congratulates Indian hockey team

New Delhi, February 28: President Pratibha Patil today congratulated the Indian hockey team for beating arch-rivals Pakistan 4-1 in their campaign opener in the World Cup here today.

“I congratulate the Indian team for their splendid victory over Pakistan in the match and hope they will continue with the fine form in the tournament,” said Patil.

President made the comments after arriving here from Pokhran, where she attended Indian Air Force’s high-voltage exercise ‘Vayu Shakti’.


Harbhajan Singh congratulates Indian hockey team

Jalandhar, February 28: India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh today congratulated the national hockey team for starting their World Cup campaign on a winning note, defeating arch-rivals Pakistan 4-1 at the National Stadium in Delhi.

“The match really set the tone for the World Cup today. I congratulate all the team members for this beautiful victory,” said Harbhajan who watched the match at his residence.

“I also hope that Indian team will carry on same form throughout the tournament,” he added.

Four persons injured in accident

New Delhi, February 28: Four persons were injured when a mini bus turned turtle in east Delhi, police said today.

The incident took place in Pandav Nagar around 9 AM.

Police said the passengers in the bus exceeded the capacity and a minor crash with a cycle rickshaw resulted in the accident.

Three passengers identified as Shanti Mishra, Vijay Kumar and Abrar and the rickshaw puller, Ratan, were injured in the incident.

They were discharged after treatment.

The driver and conductor of the bus fled the spot after abandoning it.

Article on Aishwarya is ‘slander’ says Big B

Mumbai, February 28: Megastar Amitabh Bachchan today defended his decision to boycott the Filmfare awards, where he was adjudged best actor for his role in ‘Paa’, saying he did it to protest against the “slanderous” media report about his daughter-in-law Aishwarya.

“The article was indecent and any man in the world must oppose if such an obscene article is written about a woman in his family,” the 68-year-old actor said on his blog.

The veteran movie star termed the article in a city-based tabloid, as “slanderous”.

Four children drown in water tank

Hyderabad, February 28: Four children drowned in a water tank in Nalgonda district, police said tonight.

According to police, the incident took place at about 5 pm near a village in Aleru mandal when the children, aged between 8-9 went to the tank to have bath, but got slipped and drowned.

“They went inside the tank to have bath, but none of them knew swimming and got drowned. All the four bodies have been recovered,” a senior police official told.

The Police have registered a case and are investigating further.


Four kg charas seized from drug peddler

Kurukshetra, February 28: The crime branch sleuths of the anti-narcotic cell today arrested a person from a bus stand here for allegedly peddling drugs and seized four kg charas from his possession.

The sleuths were tracking the suspicious movement of some persons at Ambala and Pipli bus stands when they noticed the suspicious behaviour of Santosh Gupta and arrested him, Sub- Inspector Munish Kumar, who is the team in-charge of the crime branch of the anti-narcotic cell, said.

Hockey World Cup: India thrash Pakistan

New Delhi, February 28: Indians passed the first test in the FIH Hockey World Cup with flying colours when they trounced arch-rivals Pakistan 4-1 to make a strong start to their campaign.

After Prabhjot Singh added the third goal to India’s tally immediately after the break, Sandeep Singh blasted in the fouth goal, from penalty corner as well as India looked to build an unassailable lead over their arch-rivals.

Luck meanwhile, deserted listless Pakistan in the second-half as well as yet another strike from Sohail Abbas was denied by the cross bar.

Tsunami hits New Zealand

New Zealand, February 28: Waves up to 1.5 metres (five feet) high rammed into New Zealand today as a tsunami generated by a huge earthquake in Chile intensified, but there were no reports of serious damage.

New Zealand’s entire east coast was at risk with walls of water up to three metres (10 feet) expected to hit the Chatham Islands and Banks Peninsula, near the main South Island city of Christchurch, officials said.

1.5 million homes damaged by Chile earthquake

Santigo, February 28: The death toll from Chile’s earthquake has reached 214, with officials saying some 1.5 million homes have been damaged.

That figure included half a million homes “with severe damage” that will “probably not be able to be lived in again”, Housing Minister Patricia Poblete said.

The city of Concepcion, some 440km southwest of Santiago, and its surrounding area was especially hard-hit.


Tsunami hits New Zealand

New Zealand, February 28: Waves up to 1.5 metres (five feet) high rammed into New Zealand today as a tsunami generated by a huge earthquake in Chile intensified, but there were no reports of serious damage.

New Zealand’s entire east coast was at risk with walls of water up to three metres (10 feet) expected to hit the Chatham Islands and Banks Peninsula, near the main South Island city of Christchurch, officials said.

Chile earthquake: US cancels tsunami warning for all countries

Washington, February 28: The United States has cancelled a tsunami warning for all Pacific nations that had been issued in the wake of a 8.8-magnitude earthquake in Chile.

“The Pacific-wide tsunami warning issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre is now cancelled for all countries,” the White House said in a statement.

The earthquake that struck off the coast of Chile before dawn on Saturday killed more than 300 people and affected as many as two million as it left a trail of destruction through a swathe of central Chile.

Two killed in Argentina earthquake

Argentina, February 28: A 6.0-MAGNITUDE earthquake killed two people in Argentina today just hours after a massive quake struck off Chile leaving hundreds feared dead and setting off a tsunami, a doctor said.

An eight-year-old child and a 70-year-old man were killed when the quake struck in Salta province in Argentina’s mountainous northwest, said Carmen Castillo, a doctor at the local hospital.

Dr Castillo said two other children were injured when masonry fell on them during the quake, which was measured at 6.0 by the Argentine monitoring service INPRES.

Charlesworth angry at video referral

New Delhi, February 28: Australian coach Ric Charlesworth today said the video referral system had made his side’s life difficult with many wrong decisions against them during the 2-3 loss to England in their first match of the hockey World Cup here.

“The umpires made lots of decisions against us and the video referral decisions went against us. It happened in the Champions Trophy in Australia last year also. But it is the system here, what can we do,” he said at the post-match press conference.

GM food only way to feed starving people: US scientist

Kochi, February 28: The ‘spat’ over GM vegetables on ethical grounds was meaningless while millions of people are starving in the world, renowned biomaterial scientist of the US Prof Buddy D Ratner said today.

Speaking to reporters here, Prof Ratner, Director, University of Washington, Engineered Biomaterials, said the only way ahead to feed these people was available food varieties and supplements brought out through Research and Development in biotechnology.

Those opposing it on ethical grounds should consider the issue of starvation and support R&D in this area, he said.

17 Taliban militants found dead in north-west Pakistan

Islamabad, February 28: Villagers have found the bodies of 17 suspected Taliban fighters in Pakistan’s troubled north-western region, a security official said on Sunday.

The bodies were found dumped in the fields near a school in Toor Chappar village of Darra Adam Khel, a semi-tribal district located around 40 km south of Peshawar, the capital of North Western Frontier Province.

A local security official who spoke on condition of anonymity said “all 17 bodies had bullet wounds”, adding that these were the “terrorists wanted by the government for involvement in terror activities”.

England upset Australia 3-2 in Hockey World Cup

New Delhi, February 28: England shocked Australia 3-2 in a pool B game of the Hockey World Cup here on Sunday.

At the half-time, England were leading 3-1 at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.

James Tindall scored two goals while Ashley Jackson stuck once for England.

For Australia, both goals were scored by their skipper Jamie Dwyer.


Four held over Carlton Towers fire in Bangalore

Bangalore, February 28: Four people have been arrested and search is on for a few others for Tuesday’s fire in the Carlton Towers here that left nine dead and around 60 injured, police said on Sunday.

The four, arrested Saturday night, were sent to jail for a day Sunday by a Bangalore court, assistant police commissioner G.B. Manjunath told reporters here. Manjunath headed the police probe into the fire in the seven-storey office and commercial complex on the busy old airport road.

Four more persons involved in Goa bomb blast: NIA

New Delhi, February 28: Four more persons, hailing from Karnataka and Maharashtra, were aware of the plans to trigger bomb blast in Margao last year, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has told a court here.

In an affidavit filed two days back before Judicial Magistrate at Margao, about 20 km from here, NIA Superintendent of Police S Vijayan has named these suspects along with four accused already arrested.

11 civilians killed in Afghan mine blast

Kabul, February 28: A mine explosion on Sunday in southern Afghanistan killed 11 civilians, including women and children, a provincial spokesman said.

The attack in southern province of Helmand, where thousands of Afghan and NATO forces have been taking part in the biggest-ever operation against the Taliban, happened when the civilians were travelling in a trailer attached to a farming tractor in province’s Nawzad district, a government spokesman said.

India to host World Cup of hockey clubs

New Delhi, February 28: The inaugural World Cup for clubs will be held in India later this year, International Hockey Federation (FIH) president Leandro Negre said here on Sunday.

Negre said the deal has been finalised with an Indian sponsor and the tournament will be held in India for the next five years.

“We are in the final stages of the plan. If the proposal is passed by FIH’s executive committee, then we will have the tournament later this year by December,” said Negre on the sidelines of the World Cup at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.

Saudi Arabia worried about Pakistan

Riyadh, February 28: Saudi Arabia is worried about the current situation in Pakistan and wants to see the political leadership in that country to be united in the fight against extremism, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal said on Sunday.

“Pakistan is a friendly country to us. Therefore, anytime one sees a dangerous trend in a friendly country, one is not only sorry but worried,” Saudi minister said while addressing the visiting Indian media accompanying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on his historic three-day visit to this Gulf nation that started Saturday.

Air force chopper crashes ahead of demonstration

Rajasthan, February 28: An advanced light helicopter (ALH) of the Indian Air Force (IAF) Sarang aerobatic display team crashed no Saturday, ahead of the firepower demonstration here, an IAF officer said on Sunday.

“The aircraft suddenly lost power and crashed after the pilot was unable to regain control,” the officer told.

It crashed at the Jaisalmer airfield, about 50 km from the Pokhran ranges.

Both the pilot and the co-pilot of the helicopter were safe. A depleted

three-helicopter Sarang team displayed its skills at Sunday’s fire power show.

Man killed as crane topples over in Delhi

New Delhi, February 28: A 30-year-old call centre employee was killed when a crane toppled over and fell over his car in west Delhi on Sunday, police said.

According to police, the accident took place around 3 a.m. Sunday near Rajouri Garden flyover when Abhinav Puri was returning home.

“Abhinav, who worked in a call centre in Gurgaon, was returning home in Tilak Nagar area when the incident took place,” said a senior police officer.

“The crane toppled over and parts of it fell on three cars, including Abhinav’s car,” the officer said.

Maharashtra, J&K top list of police vacancies

New Delhi, February 28: Over 86,000 posts at different levels in police forces are lying vacant in Maharashtra and Jammu and Kashmir. According to latest Home Ministry data updated till 2007, a total of 86,012 posts – 49,252 in Maharashtra and 36,760 in J-K – are vacant.

Following them are Uttar Pradesh with 22,267 vacant posts, Bihar with about 22,000 and Andhra Pradesh with 19,268. In Naxal-infested Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Orissa and Jharkhand there are 14,867, 13,007, 8,724 and 2,449 posts respectively, which have not been filled, according to the data.