Michael JacksonThe 3-D mania fuelled by the success of Avatar is coming to the Grammy awards at the end of the month.

Organisers announced on Wednesday that the January 31 ceremony will feature a 3-D tribute to Michael Jackson culled from a clip he made for his hit Earth Song that was to be screened as part of his comeback concerts. Jackson died on June 25, just before he was due to start the sold-out engagement.

Usher, Celine Dion, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson and Smokey Robinson will perform alongside the clip, which viewers in the US will be able to watch in 3-D by picking up a pair of free glasses at US retailer Target.

The clip details a little girl’s reaction to the destruction of natural resources and was central to Jackson’s planned comeback concerts, said Grammy producer and former Jackson collaborator Ken Ehrlich.

“It was one of the most important portions of the concert tour to Michael and when Michael saw the film for the first time at his last rehearsal, there were tears in his eyes,” Ehrlich said in a statement.

Jackson won 13 Grammy’s and is to get a posthumous lifetime achievement award at the ceremony.

Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/Grammys-to-feature-3-D-Jackson-film/H1-Article1-500179.aspx

A team from Thailand that is in the city to take part in the 17th National Children’s Science Congress is fascinated by the technological advancement made by India.

“We have been sent by our education board especially to study and understand the Indian technological advancement here so that we can put into practice the same procedures in our education system,” says Wanpen Khien- Iam, a teacher from Thanyabyri school in Thailand.

The team is enthusiastic about learning about the Indian technological systems and all the members are looking forward to interact with Indian students and teachers. The idea is to take back with them the maximum amount of technical knowledge from here to share that with their friends and colleagues back home.

“I am really glad that I was chosen for this trip to India. I have always been fascinated by India and its technology is indeed fantastic. I hope to learn a lot and take back with me a number of ideas, opinions and a lot of information back to Thailand,” says Savina Romyen, class 9 student of Phonesovanh School in Laos, Thailand.

“The engineering and technology colleges in the country have several parameters like quality of teaching, placement, industry interface, IT facilities and research papers which make the technological advancement of this country to be one of the best in the world,” adds Wanpen. “I would like more of such trips between students of India and Thailand to be organised,” she adds.

MUMBAI, India — India has emerged the leader in small cars, overtaking Japan, as declining sales in Western markets coupled with robust growth in Asia redraws the global map of the auto industry faster than many expected.

It’s well known that China will overtake the U.S. as the world’s largest car market this year. Less noticed is the fact that India will top Japan for the first time in sales of super-compact cars. It overtook Japan as the world’s number one producer of basic cars in 2007.

Automakers like Ford, Nissan, Volkswagen, General Motors, and China’s Shanghai Automotive Industries Corp. are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into the country, hoping to capture a piece of the growing market for tiny, inexpensive passenger vehicles. As they do so, they are quietly transforming India into an export hub for small car manufacturing.

By Lilian Karunungan Dec. 11 (Bloomberg) — Investors should buy the Indian rupee versus the Thai baht to profit from the South Asian nation’s faster economic growth and higher interest rates, according to Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.

The baht is “expected to weaken from a combination of weak growth, low interest rates and continued political uncertainty,” analysts led by New York-based Marc Chandler said in a research note dated yesterday. “The rupee should benefit from high interest rates relative to Thailand and a very strong economic outlook in India, which suggests Indian rates will go up in the first or second quarter of 2010.”

The U.S. bank suggested buying the rupee at 1.4095 baht, forecasting the currency will strengthen to 1.35 baht, its highest level since November 2008. It did not give a timeframe for the move.

The Bank of Thailand’s one-day bond repurchase rate is at 1.25 percent, while the Reserve Bank of India’s reverse repurchase rate is at 3.25 percent.

To contact the reporters on this story: Lilian Karunungan in Singapore at at lkarunungan@bloomberg.net.

Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601091&sid=aTp4glN5wuFQ

Obama Singh

From the time he opened the meeting with a “Namaste” and announced “happily” that he would be visiting India in 2010, US President Barack Obama hit all the right buttons here on Tuesday to erase any impression that he had downgraded ties with New Delhi in deference to China.

Calling India and “rising and responsible global power,” Obama ran through such an exhaustive and expansive agenda between the two countries that any suggestion New Delhi had been relegated to the margins was pretty much dispelled after his meeting with visiting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. A cold, bleak day in Washington that dampened the ceremonial welcome on the South Lawn of the White House and drove it indoors was cozied up by warm remarks and sentiments. It was a love-fest alright.

Lavishing praise on Singh, standing next to him at the White House presser, Obama said India would play a “pivotal role” in meeting future challenges in the world, and US-India ties will be the “defining partnership of the 21st century.” It was an expression he used more than once.

“The United States welcomes and encourages India’s leadership role in helping to shape the rise of a stable, peaceful, and prosperous Asia,” Obama said.

A.R.Rahman will join Jennifer Hudson in providing entertainment for the Obama’s state dinner for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, First Lady Michelle Obama revealed just hours before the banquet.

Among the invitees for the bash — Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, Pulitzer Prize winning writer Jhumpa Lahiri, Obama buddy Vinai Thummallapally, Film maker Steven Spielberg, journalist Fareed Zakaria. The full list of invitees is as follows…

The Honorable (Rep) Gary Ackerman, United States Representative Mr. Sant Singh Chatwal (Guest)


Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh, India, 8 November 2009 (By Krittivas Mukherjee, Reuters) - Thousands of Buddhist monks and supporters welcomed Tibet's exiled spiritual leader on Sunday to Arunachal Pradesh also claimed by China, a trip that has renewed tensions between the Asian giants.

TAWANG: Tibetan Spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama on Monday inaugurated a district hospital here and donated Rs 20 lakh for its building on the second day of his visit to Arunachal Pradesh.

The Dalai Lama inaugurated the Kahndo-Dowa Songma Tawang district hospital and consecrated a Buddhist statue at its entrance.

Later he visited the Yid-Ta-G-Choezin ground where he planted saplings and also distributed some of them among the thousands of devotees assembled there.

Addressing the devotees, the 74-year-old Tibetan monk asked the younger generation to join monasteries to carry forward Buddha’s message of peace.

“Buddhist culture and tradition have to be preserved at every cost,” he said.

Speaking on the occasion, chief minister Dorjee Kandu urged the people to preserve the Buddhist culture in this part of the country.

The Dalai Lama, who arrived here on Sunday on a four-day visit, had rebuffed China for objecting to his trip to Arunachal Pradesh and expressed surprise over its claims to Tawang, a revered seat of Buddhism.


GUWAHATI: India’s gamble to bat first on a tricky wicket backfired heavily as they suffered a six-wicket defeat against Australia in the sixth


One-dayer to allow the visitors to clinch the seven-match series by taking an unasailable 4-2 lead on Sunday.

Scorecard | In Pics

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and surprisingly chose to bat first in heavy weather conditions and the side never really recovered from the early jolts to virtually serve the game on a platter to the worlds champions.


It was a thoroughly professional display by the world champions, who first shot out India for 170 in 48 overs with their second-string attack and then chased down the target in 41.5 overs — losing just four wickets — to complete a facile win.

On a track where ball turned sharply, Australia rode on Shane Watson’s run-a-ball 49 and cameos from Ricky Ponting (25) and Cameron White (25) to inch closer to the target.

Michael Hussey (35 not out) and Adam Voges (23 not out) then guided them home with 8.1 overs to spare.

Earlier, a horror story unfolded after Dhoni’s gamble to bat first on a wicket that offered generous movements boomeranged.

India slumped to 27 for five in nine overs and a three digit total looked like a distant possibility at that point.

Fortunately for them, Ravindra Jadeja (57) and Praveen Kumar (54 not out), who slammed his maiden ODI half-century, did not throw in the towel and pushed the score to 170 in 48 overs before the hosts folded.

Doug Bollinger (5/35) and Mitchell Johnson (3/39) shared eight wickets between them to knock the wind out of India’s sail in the crucial match.

Both the teams now move to Mumbai for the seventh and last ODI on Wednesday.

Earlier, Doug Bollinger (5/35) and Mitchell Johnson (3/39) wreaked havoc with the ball to leave India in tatters before defiant half-centuries from Ravindra Jadeja (57 off 103 balls) and Praveen Kumar (54 not out off 51 balls) lent some semblance of respectability to the score.

His team in dire straits, Jadeja first added 48 runs with skipper Dhoni (24) and starred in a vital 74-run stand for the eighth wicket with Praveen to save India the blushes.

Dhoni’s decision to bat first backfired soon with Johnson extracting significant swing and picking up dangermen Virender Sehwag (6) and Gautam Gambhir (0) in the opening over of the innings.

Sehwag, who had dispatched Johnson for a six over the point region of the second ball of the match, lost his stumps to the pacer two balls later.

New man in Gambhir lasted just two balls, the second being a Johnson inswinger that sent the left-hander’s off-stump cartwheeling.

Tendulkar (10) looked like carrying the golden touch of his previous match but his stay was cut short when Bollinger took a good reflex catch off his own bowling.

Yuvraj Singh (6) too departed soon in an unusual manner when a Bollinger delivery hit him on the pad and looped over his shoulder with the batsman, trying to drag his bat in, inadvertently hitting the ball, helping it knock off the bail.

With Suresh Raina too returning soon, Jadeja showed the sense of responsibility that was missing among his illustrious teammates.

The youngster joined hands with Dhoni, trying to put the house in order but their association was nipped just when it had started blooming.

Bollinger trapped Dhoni with a delivery that apparently was missing the off-stump but umpire Shavir Tarapore felt otherwise.

Jadeja finally found an able partner in Praveen, who smashed seven fours and a six in his entertaining knock to give the Indian bowlers something to bowl at.

After Jadeja’s dismissal, caught by White of Bollinger, Praveen ran out of partners with two overs to spare.

Chasing the target, Australian batsmen found it difficult to cope with the prodigious turn but the meagreness of the victory target made their job easy.


Brussels – A European Union surveillance aircraft was tracking on Thursday a Thai-flagged fishing boat headed towards the Somali coast, probably in the hands of pirates, the EU’s naval mission said.

The vessel came under attack at 05.30GMT by two fast boats about 200 nautical miles north of the Seychelles. The naval mission, EUNAVFOR, was checking reports that Russian sailors were aboard, a spokesman said.

The plane "made visual contact with the fishing vessel and confirmed that pirates were on board. Skiffs used by pirates have been sighted onboard the fishing vessel," EUNAVFOR said.


It added that it "will continue to monitor the vessel that now appears to be heading towards the Somali coast".

If the vessel was seized by pirates, it would bring to eight the total number of ships being held off the Somali coast, the statement said.

The incident came two days after Somali pirates said they had hijacked a small yacht with a British couple who were reported missing after leaving the Seychelles last week.

Ecoterra International, an environmental group closely monitoring maritime activity off Somalia, said the yacht was spotted on Tuesday around 30 kilometres south of Hobyo, a pirate town north of Harardhere, central Somalia.

Since last year a flotilla of foreign warships has been patrolling the piracy-plagued Gulf of Aden, one of the globe’s busiest maritime trade routes.

Pirates have since redeployed to the Indian Ocean, a much wider area very difficult for naval forces to patrol effectively.

Since the start of October, subsiding monsoon winds have allowed pirates equipped with small skiffs to resume their operations in earnest after a lull that had seen the number of hijacked vessels drop.

Among their latest catches are an Indian cargo ship, a Spanish trawler with a crew of 36, a Singapore container ship with 21 crew members and a Chinese bulk carrier with a crew of 25. – Sapa-AFP

Source: http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=87&art_id=nw20091029120222196C714505

A Pakistani senator Tuesday welcomed Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s readiness to talk to the separatist Hurriyat Conference in Jammu and Kashmir.

‘I will welcome it but with cautious optimism. Kashmiris have to be taken aboard the dialogue process. Good Indian leaders have started doing it,’

said Mushahid Hussain, who was information minister in the Nawaz Sharif government.

Manmohan Singh said in Thai resort Hua Hin Sunday that he had held two or three rounds of talks with Hurriyat leaders and they had promised to revert to them. He said he was waiting for them.

Hussain welcomed Manmohan Singh’s initiative to re-start a dialogue with Kashmiri separatist leaders and ‘quiet diplomacy’ to solve problems in the troubled state.

Asked about military aid from Pakistan to Kashmiri militants, he said: ‘You ask this to Kashmiris if their struggle isn’t indigenous, popular and genuine.’

So wasn’t Pakistan resorting to blame game tactics in accusing India? Pat came the reply: ‘(The) same can be said about India.’

‘In the end, the two countries have to work jointly in curbing the menace (of terrorism), which is common not only to them but to the entire humankind.’

Hussain is chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Pakistan Senate. He was speaking on the sidelines of a conference against terrorism organised by the Jama Masjid United Forum at Oberoi Hotel here.

At the same time, Hussain echoed the Pakistani establishment line that India was covertly assisting the Taliban — an allegation New Delhi has dismissed with contempt.

‘India is drawing vicarious pleasure from Pakistan’s troubles. Some elements in India are using our problems to what they think is their advantage. They are following the Chanakya principle that the enemy of my enemy is my friend,’ he said.

Hussain condemned terrorism but warned that ‘the menace won’t end until the Kashmir and Palestine issues were solved peacefully and democratically’ – a popular line Pakistani leaders have been maintaining when accused of sponsoring terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.

‘It is our official and realistic policy that the Kashmir issue has to be solved as per the wishes and aspirations of Kashmiris, as laid down in the UN resolutions,’ he said.

Both India and Pakistan have to be ‘realistic that neither can Kashmir be held militarily nor can we snatch it militarily’.

‘We have been the biggest victims of terrorism. There is a terror corridor that runs from Iraq into Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

‘India is promoting and aiding Taliban in Pakistan and should understand that if it doesn’t stop fomenting terrorism against Pakistan, the corridor won’t stop at the Wagah border (in Punjab) and would very much enter into India,’ said the alumnus of the School of Foreign Service in Georgetown University, US.

Source: http://trak.in/news/hussain-welcomes-indian-pm-for-talks-offer-to-hurriyat/17651/

The Style Souk