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Commonwealth Games 2010 saw a grand opening in Delhi a couple of hours ago. All the controversy that surrounded it was kept aside as people witnessed most spectacular show ever.

Here is a link to the spectacular live performance of  the CWG Theme song by AR RAHMAN-

And here’s a link to video of the opening ceremony-

For those of you who are outside India, you can watch live web stream here-

* India – Doordarshan, DD Sports
* Australia – Network Ten, Foxtel
* Fiji – Mai TV
* Canada – CBC, CBC Bold
* Cyprus – Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation
* Namibia – Namibia Broadcasting Corporation
* New Zealand – Sky Network Television and Prime (New Zealand TV channel)
* Nigeria – Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria
* Malaysia – Astro
* Seychelles – Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation
* Singapore – MediaCorp Channel 5
* South Africa – South Africa Broadcasting Corporation
* Tanzania – Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation
* United Kingdom – British Broadcasting Corporation
* United States – Video Sound Inc.

Here’s to next 13 days of rigorous games, fun, and party!


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President Obama makes a toast in honor of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

President Obama makes a toast in honor of India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. If you watch the you tube video here, it appears he actually said “Prime Minister Mohammad Singh”.  He welcomed all in hindi, “aapka suagut hai.

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Sanjay Dutt Joins Samajwadi Party
Sanjay Dutt Joins Samajwadi Party

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This is a scanned copy of the 69-page dossier of material stemming from the ongoing investigation into the Mumbai terrorist attacks of November 26-29, 2008 that was handed over by India to Pakistan on January 5, 2009.

Evidence 1

Evidence 2

Evidence 3

Some Of The Items Recovered

Some Of The Items Recovered

Conversation

Conversation

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Mumbai Attacks

Mumbai Attacks

Mumbai has been attacked once again. This time luxury hotels, hospitals, railway stations, and restaurants have been made target. More Americans and British than Indians. Again, lives have been lost.

Media, news channels, online news, bloggers, witnesses, and victims are now reporting this nightmare while military and commandos are trying to gauge the event.

The firing and bombing apparently started close to the Gateway of India. The gunbattle then moved on towards CST and raged on for over 45 minutes from 10 pm.  Gunfire has been reported from Nariman House, Cama Hospital, Metro cinema, Leopold Cafe. BP gas station blown up. Oberoi, Dadar stations evacuated, VT trains stopped. Terrorist gunfire also reportedly came from a Qualis van with police markings. 195 dead (updated) , scores injured.

Army Enters Oberoi Hotel

Army Enters Oberoi Hotel

Mumbai Under Alert

Mumbai Under Alert

Once again human life has been shaken with fear. Once again freedom has been challenged.

Tomorrow it will be forgotten.

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Mahatma Gandhi rarely spoke in English. He would address crowds in Hindi, Gujarati and even other Indian languages but never in English. There have been only two instances when he addressed people in English.

A rare recording of his speech in English made 7-8 months before his assassination has been found in Washington DC. This speech was made to a conference of Asian leaders convened by Jawaharlal Nehru.

Hear it.

Journalist Alfred Wagg recorded the speech in New Delhi on April 2, 1947 and produced four 78-rpm LPs that included both Gandhi’s voice as well as Wagg’s own commentary about the man revered as Father of the Indian Nation.

It had been lovingly preserved for 60 years by John Cosgrove, a former president of the National Press Club in the US capital, who discovered the significance of the recording during a chance encounter with Rajmohan Gandhi, Mahatma’s grandson and biographer.

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Mc Cain\'s Vice President ?Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal along with wife Supriya are spending the Memorial Day weekend at Republican presidential nominee John McCain’s ranch in Arizona. There is speculation that Jindal might be called Mc Cain’s Vice President. Mc Cain may present Jindal with the opportunity to speak at the 2008 Republican National Convention, in a similar fashion to Barack Obama at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, cementing a place for him in the party and opening the gate for a future run for the presidency.

At 36, this first-generation Indian-American Rhodes Scholar is America’s youngest governor in a southern state with a long history of racial discrimination.

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Antilla as seen in artists sketchTo everyone’s surprise, price tagged at $ 2 Billion, Antilla (named after the mythical island) is in India and is World’s First Billion Dollar Home. Indeed, like its name, it houses stuff that surrounds myth!

Owner is India’s richest, Mukesh Ambani of Reliance fame whose net worth was 43 Billion in March of this year and was the 5th richest in the world.

The only remotely comparable high-rise property currently on the market is the 70 million dollar triplex penthouse at the Pierre Hotel in New York, designed to resemble a French chateau, and climbing 525 feet in the air.

When the Ambani residence is finished in January, completing four years of design and construction, it will be 27 story and 550 feet high (height which normally houses 60 floors) with 400,000 square feet of interior space. Click on the picture to see the video.

However, all of this has not been without its share of controversies. Antilla is being built on land sold to Ambanis’ to be used as orphanage by Waqf Board.The land measuring 11793 sq yards was sold in 2004 by the trust for a charitable purpose of looking after the destitutes and orphan children belonging to the Khoja Mohammedan community. The land was given to the Maharashtra State Board of Waqf by Jivagi Raje Scindia in 1957. The MoU was signed with four companies namely Antillia Commercials, Saphire Realtors, Rockline Constructions and Baun Foundation trust.Balroom at Antilla

The Waqf Board has told the Supreme Court that it sold the property thinking it was to be used for an orphanage and that commercial buildings are not allowed on Waqf land. Property having a market value of Rs 400 crore was sold only for Rs 21.05 cr to M/s Antillia Commercial, a company of Reliance group of Industries. Rs 16 crores were also paid to Waqf Board for No Objection Certificate.

The Supreme Court on Friday decided not to intervene in the construction of the building on Waqf board land in Mumbai and has directed the matter back to the Bombay high court.

Critics have also said that showing off such extravagant wealth in a country rife with poverty is insensitive and ethically questionable. This is excessive and ostentatious given that more than 65 percent of Mumbai’s 18 million residents live in tenements.

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NS Harsha is a gifted story teller who captures everyday life from India as seen through the lens of news and world events on his canvas through the medium of paints and color.

NS Harsha\'s \'The School Within\'

Miniature art form is not unknown in India. In fact, it has been used through the ages to depict life from courts of kings to humble settings of huts or villages. However, Harsha has picked up this technique to bring to the world his observations of Indian society which at times are whimsical and at times absurd, or even tragic or significant on the world scene.NS Harsha\'s Mass Marriage

Perhaps painting is just a medium to express the philosopher and the thinker in him. Perhaps brush is Harsha’s tool in an attempt to bring a social change, and awareness and curiosity that surrounds humanity.

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Mahatma Gandhi never got an opportunity to visit USA and carry out a Peace Walk on its streets. But now he will.

Mahatma Gandhi has influenced leaders and people of America as much he did every where else. He kept special contact with people in USA through his letters to them. Gandhi was aware of his fan following amongst Americans. As he admitted in one of his letters to President Roosevelt in August of 1942-

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Richest man of the world in 1940s.Nizam of Hyderabad, is Fifth on Forbes ‘All Time Wealthiest’ list of 2008 with Net Worth: 210.8 Billion USD. Bill Gates is twentieth, Net Worth: 101.0 Billion USD. This is a list of historical figures who lived during the Industrial age, Information Age, Middle Ages, Ancient world and is solely based on net worth accumulated by inheritance or personal earnings. The estimated net worth of these people is calculated into inflation-adjusted 2007 dollars, from when historical figures were at the peak of their net worth

Last Nizam of Princely State of Hyderabad and Berar, Fath Jang Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan Asaf Jah VII, was The Richest Man in the 1940s, having a fortune estimated at $2 billion. He ruled Hyderabad between 1911 and 1948 until it was made part of India as a result of Operation Polo launched by the Indian Government.

Nizam of Hyderabad even featured on the cover of TIME magazine. While rulers of other big states like Kashmir, Jodhpur Bikaner, Indore, and Bhopal were given the title of “His Excellency” (H.E.), the Nizam of Hyderabad alone had the title of “His Exalted Highness” (H.E.H.)

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leander-paes.jpgLeander Paes, who has saved India from several Davis Cup disasters and a medal hope at the Beijing Olympic Games in August, is going to play a miracle man who helps school kids in cartoon television series called The Magic Racquet.

Not much has been disclosed about the story line. Paes will play roughly his own age and will sport tennis gear. The story will revolve around a school with three to five central characters between the age group of 6 to 10. There are also plans to include other sporting stars as guests in a few episodes since the objective is to promote sports in general.

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ferrari-in-india_2.jpg

Ferrari has announced that they will soon open 6 showrooms in India by 2010. There are about 36 Ferrari cars plying in India which were sold through Ferrari’s Singapore hub. Ferrari has five models which range between $276,280 on the lower side to $ 363,120 at the upper end.

Ferrari recently – and rather bravely – sent out two reinforced 612 Scaglietti super cars to tour the sub-continent’s potholed highways to showcase the marque. The car will be driving across 57 cities of India in 64 days. About 13,000 km will be covered during this tour.

“We had conducted such tours in countries like China earlier. India is a popular choice for us since sports car fanatics are no less here as well,” says Gabriel Lalli from Ferrari.

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Earth Hour 2008India has decide to stay illuminated when the world will switch off for Earth Hour between 8 and 9 pm on March 29. As of today no Indian city has officially joined the campaign to black out to show that India too is in the crusade to reduce global warming.

So far, 35 nations, 370 cities, towns and councils worldwide have pledged to turn out their lights for one hour. This includes cities like Christchurch, Bangkok, Seoul, Dubai, Antarctica’s Casey Base, Manila, Copenhagen, Rome, Dublin, Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco and Mexico City.

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Armani SherwaniDo not be surprised if you see Hollywood stars like Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Tom Cruise wearing a Sherwani. Italian fashion giant, Giorgio Armani, has included sherwani in its collection.

India is 3rd most brand conscious country in the world with Greece leading the way followed by Hong Kong.

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Aamir Khan to Run for Olympics

Aamir Khan, accompanied by five other torchbearers Dr. Narayan G Hegde- President, BAIF Development Research Foundation, Dr. Kiran Bedi – noted officer in the Indian Police Service (IPS) and founder Navjyoti foundation, Ravi Singh- Secretary General & CEO, World Wildlife Fund India and Atul Singh, President & CEO, Coca-Cola India. Y. Subhash Chandra Reddy- environment champion, will bear the Olympic torch in Delhi on the 17th of April.

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Chairman Tata Sons, Rattan TataYahoo has struck an agreement with Computational Research Laboratories, a unit of Tata Sons Ltd., to pursue research on “cloud computing” technologies. Yahoo said the project with the laboratory in Pune would use the world’s fourth-fastest supercomputer and Apache Hadoop, a framework for creating software that can handle large amounts of data using several computers. (more…)

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Famous Five get a 21st century lookEnid Blyton’s The Famous Five have undergone a radical 21st-century makeover for a new Disney cartoon series Famous Five: On The Case. The members of the new Famous Five are children of the original five created in 1942 – team leader Julian, Dick, George, Anne and the dog Timmy. They are Jo, Max, Allie and Dylan together with their pet dog, Timmy.

The kids share their parents’ love of adventure and mystery-solving. However unlike their parents they are iPod-wearing children who fight off their enemies using mobile phones and other modern-day gadgets, and uncover plots like a pirate DVD factory, whose owner, a phony environmentalist, has been embedding subliminal messages in the discs to brainwash children.

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Anthony MinghellaShekhar Kappor who was in India for preproduction of his new film Paani, had to fly back to USA unexpectedly. He has been asked to direct the movie New York, I Love You that the acclaimed Academy Award winning Director, playwright and screenwriter, Anthony Minghella of The English Patient and Cold Mountain fame, was making before his death last week.

Anthony Minghella died on 18 March 2008 of a hemorrhage in Charing Cross Hospital, London, following an operation the previous week to remove cancer of the tonsils and neck

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Madhubala stamp releasedVenus of the Indian screen Madhubala is honored by Indian Postal Service: on 18 March 2008 a stamp was released in her memory. After Nargis, Madhubala is the second Indian actress to have a stamp released in her honor.

The Indian Postal Service organized a special two-day event in Mumbai on Indian cinema titled Magic of Film Through Postage Stamps along with a philatelic exhibition titled Mahafilmpex. They also showcased a few landmark movies.

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