Monday, February 25, 2013

Michelle Obama presents Best Picture Award

Michelle Obama made a surprise and unprecedented appearance on Sunday's Oscars telecast when she presented the award for Best Picture, the first time a president or first lady has ever presented an Academy Award.
Appearing live on screen from the White House in Washington, almost 3,000 miles (4,800 km) from the Oscars ceremony in Hollywood, Obama praised the work of the movie industry before announcing the Iran hostage drama "Argo" the Best Picture winner. Wearing a silver evening dress, Obama said this year's nominated films had "made us laugh, made us weep and grip our armrests just a little bit tighter." Obama added: "They reminded us we can overcome any obstacles if we dig deep enough and hard enough. They are especially important for young people. Everyday they engage in the arts, they learn to open their imaginations ... and strive to reach those dreams."
"Argo" director and co-producer Ben Affleck said he felt like he was "sort of hallucinating" when Obama presented the award. "The fact that it was the first lady was an enormous honor... it was very cool," Affleck said backstage after collecting the Best Picture Trophy.

Sania,Bethanie win Dubai tennis double title


Sania Mirza clinched her second doubles title of the season after she combined with partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands to defeat Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik in the title clash of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.Unseeded duo Indo-American prevailed over the Russian-Slovenia combo 6-4 2-6 10-7 in a tightly-contested final of the USD 2,000,000 hard court event.

The match lasted for one hour and 32 minutes on Saturday.
 
After a rather easy victory in the first set, the eventual winners were made to struggle as Petrova and Srebotnik fought back strongly to take the second set.
 
Sania and Bethanie, however, sealed the issue in their favour by winning the crucial third set.
 
The two players had won the Brisbane International last month to make a superb start to the 2013 season.
 
This was Sania’s 16th championships wins in doubles, and she also has one single title win.
 
Both the pairs had two aces each but Petrova and Srebotnik, interestingly, committed just one double fault compared to three by the Indo-American duo.
 
As far as first service was concerned, the runner-up team’s winning percentage was 68 compared to the winners’ 62 percent.
 
However, in the second service, Sania and her partner’s winning percentage was 53 compared to the runner-up’s 41 percent.
 
Sania and Bethanie had to work hard for points as their opponents fought well throughout.
 
The total points won were 63 by Sania and Bethanie even as their opponents fell short by just one point.

Tata, Airtel and SingTel under CBI scanner

Tata, Airtel and SingTel under CBI scanner

CBI has registered a case in a Delhi court against Bharti Airtel Ltd, Tata Communication Ltd and Singapore Telecommunications Ltd for allegedly causing a loss of nearly Rs 48 crore to the govt since 2004 by illegally providing ILD services.All the three telecom companies have been booked on charges of criminal conspiracy and cheating under the Indian Penal Code and also under the Indian Telegraph Act for violating the Department of Telecommunications’ licencing norms.The FIR has been filed in a local court on a complaint of Ministry of Communications and IT..When contacted, Bharti Airtel had no comments to offer while Tata Communications said it would not comment on speculation.The complaint said it had come to the notice of DoT that there is an unauthorised/illegal international long distance service provider M/s Singapore Telecommunications Ltd which was selling unauthorised ILD services to Indian customers since 2004 without obtaining the requisite ILD licence from DoT in connivance with Bharti Airtel and Tata Communications.
 
It said the Singaporean company had offered and provided unauthorized ILD services to the Indian customers without obtaining the requisite ILD licence from DoT. Report said the actual loss can be calculated after getting the amount collected by illegal international long distance (ILD) services provided from various Indian customers.
 
 CBI has said in the FIR that “facts in the complaint disclose commission of offences under Section 120-B read with 420 IPC and section 20 of the Indian Telegraph Act against M/s Singapore Telecommunications, M/s Bharti Airtel Ltd and M/s Tata Communication Ltd. A regular case has been registered for investigation.”

South Korean first women President Park Geun-Hye

 
Park Geun-Hye, the daughter of South Korea’s late military ruler, will be sworn in as the country’s first female president on Monday in a ceremony shadowed by North Korea’s recent nuclear test. challenges, including the belligerent regime in the North, a slowing economy and soaring welfare costs in one of the world’s most rapidly aging societies. Park inaugural speech is expected to focus on job creation, welfare expansion and national defence, while appealing for national unity at a time of growing concern with income and wealth disparity. Park had campaigned on a promise of greater, “trust-based” engagement with Pyongyang and her speech will be closely parsed for any indication of how she intends to handle North Korea at the beginning of her five-year term.Park is taking office a little more than 50 years after her father, Park Chung-He, seized power in a military coup. He went on to rule the country with an iron fist for the next 18 years until his eventual assassination, and remains a divisive figure credited with dragging the country out of poverty but reviled for his regime’s human rights abuses. His daughter’s political career has always been shadowed by her father’s legacy a fact that has played both to her advantage and her detriment.
Park publicly acknowledged the excesses of her father’s regime during her campaign and apologized to the families of its victims. Park’s mother murdered five years before her father, and she has never married or had children.She is adored by older conservative Koreans, who feel she shares her father’s leadership qualities and view her as something of an ill-fated princess who lost both parents to assassination but managed to rise above the tragedy.

ISRO to launch ‘SARAL’, PSLV C-20 from Sriharikota

All is set for the launch of Indo-French satellite ‘SARAL’, aimed at oceanographic studies, and six foreign mini and micro satellites onboard ISRO’s workhorse rocket PSLV from the spaceport of Sriharikota on Monday.

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C20 is slated for blast-off at 5.56 PM local time from the first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre, 110 kms from Chennai.
President Pranab Mukherjee is expected to witness the event.
The 59-hour countdown for the launch, which commenced at 6.56 AM on Saturday, was progressing normally, Indian Space Research Organisation sources said on Sunday.
This is the 23rd mission of PSLV, which has an impeccable record of 21 consecutive successful flights.
This is the ninth time ISRO is using the ‘core alone’ variant of the rocket.
The 668.5 kgs and 44.4 metres tall rocket will have a lift off mass of 229.7 tonnes.
Besides SARAL, it would put into orbit two micro-satellites UniBRITE and BRITE from Austria and AAUSAT3 from Denmark and STRaND from United Kingdom as also one micro-satellite (NEOSSat) and one mini-satellite (SAPPHIRE) from Canada.
ISRO had initially planned to launch SARAL on December 12 last year but postponed it to carry out additional tests to “address technical issues to ensure reliability”.
The ISRO-built SARAL is a 410-kg satellite with payloads — Argos and Altika — from French space agency CNES for study of ocean parameters towards enhancing the understanding of the ocean state conditions which are otherwise not covered by the in-situ measurements.
In view of the expected presence of the President, the Satish Dhawan Space Centre has been put under a thick net of security, officials said.
SARAL will provide data products to operational and research user communities, in support of marine meteorology and sea state forecasting; operational oceanography; seasonal forecasting; climate monitoring; ocean, earth system and climate research, the officials said.
Altimeter (Altika) would help study the sea surface heights while Argos payload is a satellite-based data collection platform.

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