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India indispensable…n-power: Obama

In their first steps towards taking the Indo-US strategic partnership to a new level, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Barack Obama sought to consolidate gains rather than break new ground as they identified five core areas to carry forward what the US President called the “defining partnership of the 21st century.”

With the agreement on reprocessing US-origin nuclear fuel hitting a roadblock, the best takeaway for both sides was the ever-improving personal equation between the two leaders.

Obama referred to Singh as a “wise leader” and a person of “honesty and integrity”. “I respect him and I trust him,” said Obama. “And I have happily accepted his gracious invitation to visit India next year.”

The PM praised Obama’s leadership at the G-20 as major economies grappled with the economic crisis.

Noting that India and US share a “common story” of two “proud people” who struggled to break free from an empire and declare their independence, Obama said they are two great republics dedicated to ideals of liberty, justice, equality, and the “never-ending work of perfecting their union.”

On his part, Singh said, “We should cooperate in addressing global challenges of combating terrorism, making our environment cleaner, and moving towards a world free of nuclear weapons.”

Flanked by business leaders Ratan Tata, Sunil Mittal, Kris Gopalakrishnan and Deepak Parekh, Singh hoped that the two countries will be able to “harness the potential” of their talented people.

November 25, 2009 Posted by | News | , , , , , | Leave a comment

India to have mobile number portability from Dec 31

India will introduce mobile number portability on Dec 31, a move that could further intensify the stiff competition in the world’s fastest-growing wireless market and push call charges lower.

Mobile Number Portability (MNP), which allows users to retain their number even if they switch operators, will be introduced in two phases, the telecoms regulator said, first in the metro cities and the so-called Category A telecom zones and in other areas by March 20.

MNP helps in “increasing competition between the service providers and acts as a catalyst for the service providers to improve their quality of service,” the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said on its website.

The regulator also notified certain charges associated with MNP and said switching charges for users must not exceed 19 rupees (U.S. 40 cents).

November 22, 2009 Posted by | News | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A ration card in the name of Mahatma Gandhi

Hyderabad, Nov 21 (IANS) Believe it or not – the authorities in Andhra Pradesh have issued a ration card in the name of Mahatma Gandhi along with his picture!

What is more shocking is that the card named Nathuram Godse, the killer of Mahatma Gandhi, as his father. Godse, however, has been misspelt as Godsay.

Chittoor district collector V. Seshadari has ordered a probe after the ration card, carrying a fictitious address, was detected during a verification drive in the district to wee out bogus cards.

The card was issued in Chuttagunta village of Ramachandrapuram mandal in Chittoor district. It carried the picture of Gandhi with the name of M.K. Gandhi Thatha (Thatha in Telugu means grandfather), age 65, father’s name Godsay, address 15-46541, Gandhi Street, Gandhi Road. The address was that of a fair price shop owner.

The white ration card issued to below poverty line families make them eligible to get rice at Rs.2 per kg and social security benefits like health insurance and housing.

The authorities had launched door-to-door verification campaign early this year when it was found that the number of ration cards issued in some districts exceeded the population. The number of bogus cards in the state is estimated to be 3.5 million.

November 22, 2009 Posted by | News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

World’s Most Expensive Cruise Ship


After five years of planning and construction, Royal Caribbean is unveiling the Oasis of the Seas, a $1.4 billion ship that will be the largest and tallest cruise liner in the world when it takes its maiden voyage this December.

At 1,184 feet from stem to stern, it’s nearly as long as the Empire State building is tall–while rivaling the amenities of any world-class Las Vegas resort. A crew of roughly 2,160 will man 18 decks and tend to 5,400 passengers (assuming two per room).

Video: $1.4 Billion Cruise Ship

“It’s in the DNA of our company, about every 10 years, to take more or less a fresh sheet of paper and create the greatest cruise ship in the world,” says Adam Goldstein, CEO of Royal Caribbean International.

The laundry list of amenities is daunting: a central park the length of a football field with 12,000 plants and trees; a boardwalk with two rock-climbing walls; an aqua theater with dive performances; two FlowRiders for surfing; a full-service spa and a main theater where the Broadway musical Hairspray will be shown four times a week. As an avid runner and sports enthusiast, Goldstein’s favorites include the 600-plus meter jogging track on deck 3 and the zipline across the boardwalk.

For now, the Oasis will feature two main routes. From December 2009 to April 2010, the ship will sail seven nights from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., to St. Thomas, St. Maarten and the Bahamas. Then, beginning May 2010, it will sail from Ft. Lauderdale to Haiti, Jamaica and Mexico. Prices start at $729 for interior rooms, per person, based on double occupancy. For a steeper price, there are multi-level loft suites available with floor-to-ceiling windows.

October 29, 2009 Posted by | News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

CM writes foreword for Rajni book


One of the most admired in India, ‘superstar’ Rajinikanth is indeed a living legend. The actor’s last release, Sivaji, was a global smash and the mere announcement of his next two projects, a quickie, Kuselan and a sci-fi film Robot, has sent the entire media in a tizzy.

Apart from his films, people really love Rajinikanth for being a humble person despite being at the pinnacle of superstardom. No wonder that many a person has come up with a book on this charismatic star. The latest in the line is Dr. Gayathri Srikanth. A medico by profession, Gayathri has now come out with a book titled, ‘Rajini Pera Ketale’, after being smitten by the Rajni bug.

The doctor also plans to release an English version titled ‘The Name is Rajni’. The book release function is to be held on March 1 in Chennai. The buzz is that Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, who is a good friend of Rajinikanth, will release the book.

One notable aspect of this book is its foreword. Guess who has written that? It is none other that Chief Minister Dr. Karunanidhi. The Chief Minister, who was recently all praise for the superstar at the Sivaji silver jubilee celebrations, is an admirer of Rajinikanth. One more interesting aspect is that the book has a message written to the superstar by his good friend and colleague Kamal Haasan.

October 27, 2009 Posted by | Actor, News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment