Sallu upgraded personal security

Mumbai, July Salman Khan is in Colombo shooting for the first schedule of Anees Bazmee’s Ready. Bhushan Kumar is producing the film.

While Khan is currently shooting indoors at the Taj Colombo, the coming week will see him hit the beach and a few other outdoor locations. Keeping the safety issue in mind his personal security has been upgraded to Z-grade.

HC pulls up beer manufacturer over accord with state

Hyderabad, July 01: The AP High Court on Wednesday pulled up Skol Breweries Ltd, the manufacturer of Royal Challenge Beer, for its failure to ensure proper supplies in the last two years, especially during the summer.

The firm had approached the HC challenging the new beer procurement policy announced by the state government.

Skol’s counsel told Justice B. Seshasayana Reddy that the new policy would reduce its market share and would help its business rival United Breweries to increase its share.

Al-Qaida to launch English propaganda newspaper

New York, July 01: Al-Qaida is preparing to launch its first online propaganda newspaper in English, a move that could help the terror group recruit inside the US and Europe.

The group has begun promoting the paper, called Inspire, with animated online graphics promising “special gift to the Islamic nation.”

Counterterrorism officials and terror analysts say it will be run by al-Qaida’s branch in Yemen, which has been linked to the failed Christmas Day bombing attempt of a US-bound airliner.

Dead man draws salary!

Mumbai, July 01: Allauddin Sheikh, a security guard with the local civic body, reports to work regularly and draws salary every month. Nothing strange, except that the 52-year-old was declared “dead” by civic authorities last year.

“In May this year I learnt through my colleague that I had been declared dead in BMC’s records by one of our clerks on October 27, 2009. I have been reporting to work daily and also get my salary on time,” Sheikh said.

Sheikh is making endless rounds of the civic body and meeting officials to ensure the error is rectified at the earliest.

Emma Watson plays dog in beau”s music video

Melbourne, July 01: ”Harry Potter” star Emma Watson is playing the role of a dog in boyfriend George Craig”s new music video. The 20-year-old actress, who recently confirmed her relationship with the One Night Only frontman, plays his love interest in the band”s new video ”Say You Don”t Want”, reported Daily Telegraph.

The video shows the couple being chased out of shops and running around the streets of New York and at one point Craig even licks Watson”s face. It later transpires that the characters played by Watson and Craig are, in fact, dogs.

Vinay Nagpal elected as new ICCC President

Toronto, July 01: Vinay Nagpal, a senior Development Manager at the IBM Software Laboratory, has been nominated as the new President of the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC).

Nagpal has succeeded Asha Luthra as the 24th President of the ICCC, one of the oldest bilateral organisation established in 1977 with a coast to coast to presence, during its annual general meeting held on Tuesday.

“I feel honoured to lead such a venerated organisation,” he said after being nominated for two-year term as President.

Women devotees want to go back to Nithyananda

Chennai, July 01: “We are going back to Swami Nithyananda’s Bidadi Ashram in Bangalore of our own free will to perform spiritual service. Please, do not take cognisance of any false complaint filed by our parents either against us or Parahamsar Nithyanandar or other ashramites…” So goes a written plea of two Kanyakumari sisters to City Police Commissioner T Rajendran, whom they met here on Wednesday.

Obama to sign new sanctions bill against Iran

Washington, July 01: US President Barack Obama will sign into law Thursday a new sanctions bill against Iran, the White House said.

The bill, passed last week by the House of Representatives and the Senate respectively, contains sanctions targeting Iran’s energy and banking sectors, Xinhua reported.

Under the bill, businesses that help supply Iran with refined petroleum or help develop the country’s own refining capacity would be penalised.

Jail for man who threw shoe at Turkish PM

Seville (Spain), July 01: The Kurdish man who threw a shoe at Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan after an event in this southern Spanish city has been sentenced to three years in prison, the prosecutor’s office said.

The court “has not agreed to the … expulsion requested by the prosecutor, in view of his claim of fear of reprisals were he to be repatriated to his country”, the office said in a statement Wednesday.

Sonia keeps Jagan men on tenterhooks

Hyderabad, July 01: The sphinx-like silence Congress president Sonia Gandhi maintained on YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s Odarpu Yatra during his interaction with her at her residence in Delhi on Tuesday has left his campers baffled.

Jagan is keen on resuming his yatra from July 8, the birth anniversary of his late father YS Rajasekhara Reddy, from Srikakulam after his aborted attempt to tour Warangal district in May.

Al-Qaeda under pressure in Afghanistan and Pakistan

Washington, July 01: Al-Qaida and its extremist allies are under tremendous pressure in Pakistan and Afghanistan and the global terror network has been weakened elsewhere by popular Muslim disaffection due to its targeting of the community people, a top US official has said.

“In the key countries of Pakistan and Afghanistan, the group is under serious pressure,” Robert F Godec, Principal Deputy Co-coordinator for Terrorism in the State Department said. There us “growing resolve” in both Afghanistan and Pakistan to “defeat” al-Qaida, he added.

Punjab does a reality check as a ‘drugged’ state

Chandigarh, July 01: With Punjab emerging as a major transit and destination point for drugs coming from Afghanistan and Pakistan, the state government has begun a new campaign against drugs to check addiction and abuse among youth.

The state’s health department has commissioned a study on drug abuse in the border districts of Punjab to know how widespread the menace is and to initiate corrective measures.

Sharad Pawar takes over as ICC president

Singapore, July 01: Former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief Sharad Pawar Thursday formally took over as president of the International Cricket Council (ICC) here.

Pawar, who is the second Indian after Jagmohan Dalmiya to occupy the ICC top post, was given the charge during the annual conference week of the world cricket body.

Dalmiya was the first Indian to be elected to the president’s post in 1997.

Pawar, who is also the Indian agriculture minister, is the seventh ICC president, succeeding Englishman David Morgan who concluded his two-year term.

‘Israel would never dare to attack Iran’

Tehran, July 01: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has ruled out the possibility of a military attack on Iran over its nuclear program, saying no country would dare to launch an offensive on the country.

In an interview with the Kyodo news agency, when asked about prospects for an Israeli attack on Iran, Ahmadinejad said, “No one dares to do so.”

Man held for chopping wife into three pieces

Ghaziabad, July 01: A man who murdered his wife, hired an accomplice to chop the body into three pieces, placed them in two bags and dumped them in a drain has been arrested on his minor son’s complaint in this Uttar Pradesh district, police said Wednesday.

“We have arrested the killer husband and attempts are being made to arrest the co-accused and to recover the remaining parts of the victim’s body,” said Superintendent of Police (City) A.K. Vijaita.

Riyaz Ahmad, 48, a father of four, confessed to his crime during interrogation Wednesday, police said.

Conduct polls in Sircilla, Vemulawada too: HC to EC

Hyderabad, July 01: Accepting the plea that there is no valid reason not to hold by-elections in Sircilla and Vemulawada Assembly constituencies, the State High Court on Wednesday ordered the Election Commission of India to hold simultaneous polling in all the 12 vacant seats in Telangana region on July 27.

The election commission had earlier cited pending legal petitions as the reason for its decision not to hold elections in the two constituencies.

Babu has Nandamuri clan’s ‘united’ support: Harikrishna

Guntur July 01: Telugu Desam Party MP Nandamuri Harikrishna on Wednesday said that party chief and his brother-in-law has the backing of the entire Nandamuri clan.

Speaking to media persons, the son of the party’s founder late NT Rama Rao said that the entire Nandamuri clan was united behind Mr Naidu’s efforts to end the Congress rule in the state.

Setback for GHMC Standing Committee members

Hyderabad, July 01: The Ministry of Municipal Administration on Wednesday poured water over the hopes of the Standing Committee members who had sought the compulsory presence of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation commissioner Sameer Sharma at all the standing committee meetings.

The Standing Committee members long standing demand that the GHMC Commissioner Sameer Sharma compulsorily attend all the meetings has long been believed to have been made to bring him under their control

Rail passengers can now book meals along with tickets

New Delhi, July 01: Railways have decided to offer passengers the choice of booking their meal along with their ticket, payment for which will be accepted only after the food is served Under the ”book a meal” scheme, passengers reserving berths online on the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) website can place the order of their choice “which will be duly served to them once they embark on their journey.”

The delicacies range from masala dosa to egg and vegetable biryani.

An eye doctor’s battle to save snakebite victims

Kolkata, July 01: Meet Dayal Majumdar, a 50-year-old eye specialist, who travels to remote villages in West Bengal on a mission to save people who fall unwitting victims to snakebite. About 3,000 people die of snakebites in the state every year.

Majumdar, attached to a premier medical college of the city, has been battling government apathy for over three years to fulfil his mission to raise public awareness and drive home the need for proper training of doctors about snakebites.

No dancing around trees in ‘Khatta Meetha’: Trisha

Mumbai, July 01: South Indian actress Trisha Krishnan, who’s entering Bollywood with Priyadarshan’s “Khatta Meetha”, says it’s not a typical debut as she won’t exactly be seen “singing and dancing around trees”.

“It’s my first Hindi film and I can’t expect to have everything that appeals to me. It’s definitely not a film where I am singing and dancing around trees. But it’s good enough for a launch and Priyan has projected me very well,” Trisha told IANS in an interview.

Be careful about sycophants: Shankar Rao advises Jagan

Hyderabad July 01: One of the senior most Congress MLAs, Shankar Rao, on Wednesday advised Kadapa Member of Parliament YS Jaganmohan Reddy to heed the instructions given by AICC president Sonia Gandhi in letter and spirit.

Talking to media persons, Dr Shankar Rao said that the Congress party’s strength lay in its belief that no MP, MLA or Minister is above the High Command.

The senior leader advised the son of former chief minister late YS Rajasekhara Reddy to be careful about being used by his ‘so-called well wishers’.

Mumbai is India’s gay capital

Mumbai, July 01: Rocking party scene, nightclub, support groups, magazine… homosexuals here have a host of choices vis-a-vis other cities

A year after Section 377 was decriminalised, Mumbai is emerging as India’s gay capital.

A comparison across four cities — Pune, Bangalore, New Delhi and Mumbai — has revealed this.

For instance, in the last two months, there were more than 20 parties organised only in Mumbai. While Delhi hosted 15, 10 were held in Bangalore and there weren’t any in Pune.

Israel launches airstrikes on Gaza

Gaza, July 01: Israeli aircraft have fired five rockets at the Gaza Strip, striking three targets, witnesses and Palestinian security officials say.

Israeli F-16 aircraft fired two rockets at a airport in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah early Thursday.

The rockets hit the Yasser Arafat Airport, which is currently not in service, in southern Gaza. The same airport was also hit in February.

Another strike targeted an official Hamas base in the center of the coastal strip. There are no reports of casualties in either of the attacks.

Senate confirms Petraeus as Afghan war chief

Washington, July 01: Gen. David H. Petraeus was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate Wednesday as the new Afghan war commander, replacing Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal after his ouster over controversial remarks in a Rolling Stone magazine article.

The 99-0 Senate vote followed a confirmation hearing Tuesday in which members of the Senate Armed Services Committee praised Petraeus’s leadership of the war in Iraq and lauded him as the nation’s premier warrior-diplomat.