From Muscat to Mumbai to Bollywood, a beauty queen debuts

New Delhi, April 01: She did her schooling in Muscat and her graduation in Mumbai. Now, as former Miss India World Sarah Jane Dias debuts opposite Abhishek Bachchan in Bollywood, she says her ultimate dream is to be a performer.

“When I was growing up, I wanted to sing, I wanted to dance. Basically, I wanted to be on screen, – small, big screen, whatever. With my friendly terms with the camera, I realised my love for acting,” Sarah, whose first film “Game” releases Friday, told IANS in an interview.

She admits to having initial inhibitions.

Afridi pulls out of W.Indies tour: PCB source

Karachi, April 01: Pakistan World Cup captain Shahid Afridi has withdrawn from next month`s tour to West Indies, a source at the national cricket board said on Thursday.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) source, who declined to be identified, said the 31-year-old all-rounder had made himself unavailable for the tour which starts on April 18.

“He will not be going to West Indies as apparently he wants to take a break from the game,” said the source before adding the player had spoken to the chairman of the PCB and explained he was not in the right frame of mind to go to the Caribbean.

Animation & gaming SEZ to come up near city

Hyderabad, April 01: Moving over the controversies over land allotments to private companies by his predecessors, chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy on Wednesday offered more sops to information technology companies which set up their units in Tier-II cities.

He asked the IT firms to make Tier-II cities as their new destinations and play vital role in turning Andhra Pradesh into a world-class IT destination for global players.

Auto driver ‘killed’ by cab drivers

Hyderabad, April 01: An auto driver was strangled to death allegedly by cab drivers over a dispute on parking of a car in an auto stand at Madhapur on Wednesday.

According to police, the victim, N Jayaram (38) of Vivekanadana Nagar in Borabanda, used to park his vehicle at an auto stand near Madhapur. As usual, he did the same last night as well.

Meanwhile, a cab driver parked his vehicle in the auto stand and another auto driver, Anand Rao, objected to it.

Libya foreign minister resigns, new blow to regime

Ajdabiya, April 01: Opponents of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi were knocked back by government troops for a third straight day on Thursday but took heart in a sign that the embattled regime is cracking at the highest levels: the defection of the second top official in as many days.

‘India, Pak must find ways to resolve differences’

Mohali, April 01: Buoyed by his cricket diplomacy, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that India and Pakistan must “find ways” to resolve whatever be the “differences” between the two neighbours.

Singh also said that he and his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani reaffirmed their resolve to make every “honest effort” to overcome difficulties coming in the way of improving bilateral relations.

“Whatever be the differences between our two countries, we have to find ways to resolve them,” he said.

Multi-layer, multi-agency security in Mumbai for WC final

Mumbai, April 01:Against the backdrop of terror threat, a thick security lanket has been thrown around the metropolis, turning it into a fortress, ahead of Saturday`s world cup final between India and Sri Lanka at Wankhede stadium in Mumbai.

Mumbai Police Arup Patnaik said that a 3-tier security will be in place for the high-profile World Cup final match on Saturday.

He also informed that special security has been arranged for the top dignitaries from both the nations.

‘Gaddafi forces use Israeli weapons’

Tripoli, April 01: Libyan revolutionary forces have found evidence showing that government forces are using Israeli bombs and rockets against them, a report says.

The opposition forces in the Libyan city of Misratah displayed weapons that they have seized from the forces supporting Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Al Jazeera reported Thursday.

They said that some of the confiscated rockets and bombs had signs imprinted on them, clearly indicating that they are manufactured in Israel.

‘Libya war repeats Iraq attack scenario’

Tripoli, April 01: Iran’s parliament speaker slams the West’s offensive on Libya, saying the US involvement in the Libya war under President Obama resembles the Bush-era invasion of Iraq.

“It so appears that the Libya scenario is similar o the scenario of confronting with [executed dictator] Saddam [Hussein] in Iraq,” Mehr quoted Ali Larijani as saying on Thursday.

“Because in Iraq they devastated the infrastructure in the first place, imposed sanctions for as while and then launched an invasion with the infantry,” Larijani argued.

‘Libyan aide in London for secret talks’

London, April 01: An aide to the Libyan regime has arrived in London for secret talks with the UK government, adding fuels to speculations that the regime is seeking a way out of the crisis, a report says.

The Libyan envoy identified as Mohammed Ismail, who is a senior aide to Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, have held secret talks with British officials a day after Libyan Foreign Minister Mussa Koussa fled to London and announced his resignation, The Guardian reported on Thursday.

Man jailed for stabbing wife 13 times

Melbourne, April 01: A Man who tried to pass off his wife’s stab wounds as suicide has been jailed for almost a quarter of a century for her murder.

SA man jailed for wife’s murder

Craig Aaron Cocks, 37, stabbed his wife 13 times and strangled her after they got home from a dinner to celebrate her 40th birthday early last year.

He claimed she did it to herself after talking him into an impromptu suicide pact to escape their financial woes.

He had shallow cuts that he said showed he had considered joining her in death before he changed his mind.

Ex-nurse jailed for murdering cleaner

Melbourne, April 01: A Former nurse who murdered a Filipina cleaner whose remains were found wrapped in garbage bags in the front yard of a vacant house has been jailed for 17-and-a-half-years.

Luvina Dayang’s remains were found at the house in Springvale, south-east Melbourne, on December 12, 2007.

Last year, a Victorian Supreme Court jury found Danilo Guingab, 46, guilty of her strangling murder.

The court heard Ms Dayang came to Australia from the Philippines on a three-month tourist visa in 2006 but had overstayed.

Bodies of 27 Tunisian migrants retrieved from sea

Tunis, April 01: Tunisian rescuers have retrieved the bodies of 27 migrants whose boats sank in the Mediterranean, as the European Union offered to double its aid to Tunisia’s poorest regions.

Many European voters are worried about an influx of North African immigrants following uprisings that have destabilised Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.

Thousands of immigrants have landed on the Italian island of Lampedusa, not far from Tunisia’s shores.

Tunisia’s state news agency TAP said the 27 victims whose bodies were found this week had sought to leave the Tunisian city of Sfax in two boats.

SP to go it alone in UP polls

Meerut, April 01: Samajwadi Party today said it will go it alone in the next Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh to be held in 2012.

“Samajwadi Party is no mood to have a tie-up with any party, including the Congress, in UP Assembly polls. We want to go it alone,”

SP general Secretary Ram Gopal Yadav told reporters here.

The SP leader was here to meet party MLA Vijay Mishra, lodged in Meerut jail in connection with the bomb attack on UP Cabinet minister Nand Gopal Gupta ”Nandi” last year.

Replying to a question he said Mishra had been framed in the case.


Vijaykant videos morphed: AIADMK

Chennai, April 01: AIADMK today claimed that visuals showing DMDK leader Vijaykant allegedly assaulting his party candidate were morphed by pro-DMK channels to create his negative image among voters and sought the intervention of election officials to stop such “false propaganda”.

Court acquits MNS-Sena activists accused of rioting

Mumbai, April 01: A local court today acquitted 54 Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) activists, accused of rioting and pelting stones at each other in Central Mumbai in October, 2006.

The sessions court here acquitted 23 MNS activists, including party spokesperson Shirish Parker, and 31 Shiv Sena activists, including former MLA Sada Sarvankar and former city Mayor Milind Vaidya.

Jazeera says more Gaddafi aides leave Libya

Tripoli, April 01: Al Jazeera television said on Thursday that “a number of figures” close to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had left Libya for Tunis, a day after Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa defected and flew to London.

A spokesman for the Tunisian foreign ministry said he had no information on the matter. A Libyan government spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

Citing unnamed sources, Al Jazeera said the group included the chairman of Libya’s National Oil Corporation Shokri Ghanem.

Woman kills infants, self

Bagalkot, April 01: Unable to bear ill treatment by her mother-in-law, a 25-year-old woman killed her two young children and herself by jumping into a pond along with them in a village in this district of Karnataka today, police said.

Rekhavva Prabhu Karosi tied her two children aged one and one-and-half years to herself and jumped into the pond situated on the outskirts of Jalageri Village, they said.

Rekhavva”s mother-in-law forcing her to do labour work was stated to be the motive behind her extreme step, police said.


AP to continue fast track courts without Central assistance

Hyderabad, April 01: The Andhra Pradesh government today decided to continue the fast track courts which have been delivering justice in the state from 2001, despite an end to Central assistance for running them.

The Central assistance for running the fast track courts ended today but the state government has decided to continue the courts to ensure speedy justice, state Law Minister E Pratapa Reddy told reporters here.

There are 108 Fast Track Courts in the state and they have disposed off 1,94,073 cases out of 2,29,623, he said.

”Better connectivity between Noida-Delhi-Haryana in next 5yrs”

Noida, April 01: There will be better connectivity between Noida, Delhi and Haryana in the next five years as the BSP government in Uttar Pradesh plans to build five bridges over Yamuna river, Surinder Singh Nagar, MP from Gautam Budha Nagar, said here today.

The ruling BSP government has decided to put Noida and Greater Noida on fast track of development, he claimed.

“In the next five years, Noida will have five bridges on Yamuna river in Noida and Greater Noida area at a distance of 6 to 7 kilometers each. These will provide better connectivity with Delhi and Haryana,” Nagar said.

”PM”s cricket diplomacy aimed at diverting people”s attention”

Shimla, April 01: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has initiated cricket diplomacy with Pakistan and held talks with his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani to divert the nation”s attention from various scams and the issue of black money, BJP leader Kalraj Mishra today alleged.

He also accused the UPA government of not taking the comments of the Supreme Court seriously as despite directions of the apex court, the identification of the persons who had deposited black money in foreign banks had not been made.

BJP protests increase in circle rates in Faridabad

Faridabad, April 01: To protest against the increase in circle rates of property in the district, local BJP leaders went on a day-long hunger strike at the Secretariat here today.

“The BJP is against the Congress government”s decision to increase the circle rates in Faridabad district. We have called for a Faridabad-bandh on April 15 to force the government to take back their decision,” BJP”s district secretary Ajay Gaur said.

EAMCET exams postponed to March 22

Hyderabad, April 01: Andhra Pradesh government today postponed the Engineering, Agriculture, Medicine Common Entrance Test (EAMCET), scheduled to be held on May 8, to May 22.

“The Election Commission made the announcement regarding bypolls to Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency and Pulivendula Assembly seat on May 8. After considering all aspects, we have decided to postpone the EAMCET from May 8 to 22,” a top government official told reporters here.

EAMCET is hugely popular in the state with lakhs of people taking the test every year.


Japan disaster affects Brazil industry

Tokyo, April 01: At least 36 Japanese subsidiaries located in the so-called Free Trade Zone of Manaus, Brazil, have been adversely impacted by Japan’s mega quake and tsunami.

Well-known Japanese manufacturers in Manaus will most likely face production disruptions as they only have enough inventory to last between 60 to 90 days, a Media correspondent reported.

“Production will be stopped in June if Japanese subsidiaries do not receive their parts from the headquarters,” Project Coordinator of Manaus’ Free Trade Zone Gustavo Igrejas told Press TV.

African-Americans fall in ‘equality index’

Washington, April 01: An annual report shows that Black Americans have slid down on an “equality index” in comparison to their white counterparts than they did last year.

The Equality Index in 2011 stands at 71.5% compared to a revised index last year of 72.1%, the National Urban League (NUL) said as it released its 35th annual report, called “The State of Black America.”

The index has chartered growing inequality since the Equality Index was introduced in 2005.