Saturday, 30 November 2013

Trending: Brazil's controversial World Cup substitution

The choice of who presents the World Cup draw in Brazil has proved highly controversial - with a heated discussion on social media over race.

Lazaro Ramos and Camila Pitanga are two well-known and well-loved Brazilian stars - they played the leading couple in the soap Lado a Lado (Side By Side). And they were expected to play a key role in the World Cup group stage draw on 6 December, in the state of Bahia - the historic heart of African-Brazilian culture. When news emerged that the draw would instead be led by the blond, white couple, Fernanda Lima and Rodrigo Hilbert, there was outrage on blogs, forums and social media in Brazil.

"Fifa, we want Lazaro Ramos and Camila Pitanga, ok? They are our face, our people, and we love them!" was one tweet. "As if we weren't already self-sufficient when it comes to racism, Fifa comes over to lend us a hand," was another. US film director Spike Lee even chimed in with criticism of Fifa's power over the game. Many demanded an explanation - and in the absence of one, were quick to come to their own conclusions.

"I was trying to tell people 'Hold your horses'‏, it could be racism, but we don't know," says Guilherme Pinheiro, a film and TV producer in Sao Paulo, who joined the Twitter discussion to call on people to cool down. There could be other explanations, he says - to do with sponsorship or standard of English, for example.

Fifa says the choice of who presents the World Cup draw is not theirs, but one made by the host nation - in this case by GEO and TV Globo who are producing the show. Fifa has announced a line-up of musicians for the World Cup draw which includes a significant number of Afro-Brazilian artists.

The story hit such a nerve, because many in Brazil are resentful of the money being spent on World Cup preparations, and feel Fifa is trying to dictate how Brazil comes across on the world stage, says Sergio Charlab, of the Twitter-based English-language news service Brazil Character Lab. There have been similar controversies before. When women in Bahia were told they could not sell acaraje - a traditional dish with African origins - at World Cup stadiums, there was outrage on social media.

125 firefighters at the scene


A police helicopter has crashed into a busy pub on the banks of the River Clyde in Glasgow.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said it had a specialist urban search and rescue crew at the scene.

Assistant chief officer Lewis Ramsay said: "Our officers are working very hard in what is a very complex and hard environment for them.

"We are in the process at the moment of making the building stable. It is very unsafe".

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Here Are The Spectacular Plans For A Floating Airport In London

London's Heathrow is the fourth busiest airport on the planet, and it's not nearly big enough to handle the doubling in traffic the UK's Department for Transport predicts will hit by 2030.

Some want to construct a third runway, but that would likely require the demolition of entire villages, as Heathrow is in a dense area outside London.

There is a more outlandish idea that takes advantage of unused space: Build a new airport, and make it float on the estuary of the Thames River. One group pushing for this option, the Thames Estuary Research and Development Company (Testrad) has released new plans for its "innovative and spectacular" London Britannia Airport.

It certainly is spectacular. Here's the view from the air:

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Cannot imagine Sachin Tendulkar without cricket: Anjali Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar has been playing cricket for close to 24 years and wife Anjali said on Saturday - last day as a cricketer for Sachin - that after his retirement, things at home are going to be a whole lot different.

Explaining how much the sport has meant to her husband, Anjali said that Sachin has always worshiped cricket and that not playing anymore will be a emotional not just for him but the entire family. "I can imagine cricket without Sachin but I cannot imagine Sachin without cricket," she said. "I don't know what will take the place of cricket in his life."

Anjali however did add that Sachin is not someone who shows his emotions although the maestro did have tears in his eyes after his final match . "Sachin is really good at hiding his emotions. He has never shown he's facing the pressure. Even at home, he does not show his emotions," she said, adding that daughter Sara is also like her father. "Sara's been OK, she doesn't show lot of emotion. Kids are getting to realise now what their father meant to fans and cricket." 

Anjali said that the decision to retire after his 200th Test was arrived at after Sachin discussed his future with her. "He's always said, the minute he feels he can't give a 100 per cent, that will be the time. One day he told me and took the decision. When we were discussing, everything fell in place with the tours in India."

Rohit, Pujara impress with attitude and maturity

Rohit Sharma was on 96. He had been farming the strike in a 55-run last-wicket partnership until then. Mohammed Shami had scored just one of those 55. Such was Rohit's control of the strike. Now all nine men were back near the boundary. Rohit punched the third ball of a Shane Shillingford over straight to deep cover. And he set off. It was surprising because he had been taking singles only on the fourth ball of the previous overs or even later. Had the proximity to the hundred, which could be his second in as many Tests, got to Rohit?

No. Rohit had seen something we hadn't. The ball was hit towards Chris Gayle. In that split second, Rohit's mind calculated that he had played this towards the slowest man on the field, who would have had to come in a little to prevent the second. Gayle couldn't. And the next ball he placed for a single, leaving Shami only two to face. In those two balls, moving from 96 to 99, Rohit displayed his manoeuvring skills and confidence as a No. 6 batsman who will need to bat with the tail a lot in the future.

 Rohit did enjoy some luck no doubt - he was caught off a no-ball, he benefitted from a player not picking the ball and getting lobbed at the boundary and, most importantly, he was up against a clueless attack - but he showed both the hunger and the willingness to take on the responsibility of doing all the scoring. Rohit was on 45 when the ninth wicket fell so the hundred couldn't have been a motivation. It would have been easy to throw his bat around or take the singles and let Shami go after the bowling and take a not-out against his name.

However, he chose to take as many runs as he could without taking risks. India were only 233 ahead when Shami joined Rohit, and being asked to bat again was a distinct possibility. By the end of the partnership, India had left West Indies needing their best effort of the series to deny India a second innings victory and three-day finish of the series. Rohit did most things in the partnership: turning down singles in the first half of the over while finding gaps for couples, taking singles towards the end, finding a boundary if the single became elusive. He once even chipped nonchalantly when long-on was back to the last ball of an over.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

7.3magnitude quake rocks Japan-; no damage reports

The epicenter of the quake was about 290 kilometers off Fukushima, and it was felt in Tokyo, 300 miles away

Tokyo: A magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck offshore of Japan’s crippled nuclear power plant early Saturday, triggering small tsunamis but causing no damage.

An earthquake official with the Japan Meteorological Agency said the quake was an aftershock of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami that struck the same area in 2011, killing about 19,000 people and devastating the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant.

There was no damage and only one minor injury was reported, the national Fire and Disaster Management Agency said. Tsunamis of up to 40 centimeters (15 inches) hit four areas along the coast, but a tsunami advisory was lifted less than two hours after the quake.

The epicenter of the 2:10 am Tokyo time (1710 GMT) quake was about 290 kilometers (170 miles) off Fukushima, and it was felt in Tokyo, 300 miles (480 kilometers) away.

“It was fairly big, and rattled quite a bit, but nothing fell to the floor or broke. We’ve had quakes of this magnitude before,” Satoshi Mizuno, an official with the Fukushima prefectural government’s disaster management department, told The Associated Press by phone. “Luckily, the quake’s center was very far off the coast.”

Mizuno said the operator of the troubled Fukushima plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co., said no damage or abnormalities had been found.

Japan’s meteorological agency issued a 1-meter (3-foot) tsunami advisory for a long stretch of Japan’s northeastern coast. It put the quake’s magnitude at 7.1, while the US Geological Survey recorded a magnitude of 7.3. The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not post warnings for the rest of the Pacific.
The meteorological agency reported tsunamis of 40 centimeters in Kuji city in Iwate prefecture and Soma city in Fukushima, as well as a 20-centimeter tsunami at Ofunato city in Iwate and a 30-centimeter tsunami at Ishinomaki in Miyagi prefecture.

All of Japan’s 50 nuclear reactors remain offline as the government decides whether they meet more stringent requirement enacted after the 2011 quake, which triggered multiple meltdowns and massive radiation leaks at the Fukushima plant about 250 kilometers (160 miles) northeast of Tokyo.

A string of mishaps this year at the Fukushima plant has raised international concerns about the operator’s ability to tackle the continuing crisis.

Nuclear Regulation Authority chairman Shinichi Tanaka has scheduled a Monday meeting with Tokyo Electric’s president to seek solutions to what he says appear to be fundamental problems. 

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Another minor girl gang-raped in moving car in Delhi

 Innocence was once again torn to pieces when a 17-year-old student was gang-raped in a car by three men she thought she could trust.

NEW DELHI: Death penalty to four convicts in the December 16 gang rape case has failed to act as a deterrent as rapes continue to haunt the national capital.

Innocence was once again torn to pieces when a 17-year-old student was gang-raped in a car by three men she thought she could trust.

The incident took place on Tuesday in Safdarjang Enclave area of south Delhi but the incident came to light only after a case was registered in this regard on Wednesday.

The police officials said, a resident of Humayurpur village the victim knew all the accused, who are in their early 20s, as they lived in her locality.

Explaining the sequence of events, a police officer said: “ On Tuesday evening, her neighbour asked the victim to go for a drive with him to which she agreed.

After they reached a certain point, two of his other friends also joined them in the car. Later, the accused offered her soft drink laced with sedatives.

“After having the drink when the girl went dizzy the accused drove the car to an isolated parking lot in Pilanji village.

They then took turns to rape her and dumped the girl near her house,” a senior police officer said.

The victim studies in a private school in south Delhi. According to the victim’s family, she went back home at around 8.30 pm but was too scared to tell anything to them. It was only after her parents consoled her that she narrated her ordeal. Her father then pursued her to file a complaint in this regard.

Police received the complaint on Wednesday afternoon after which they immediately sent her to a nearby government hospital for a medical examination which confirmed rape.

“The accused have been identified as Rohit, Tinku and Narender. She has provided some crucial information about the accused and their hideouts.

The car used in commission of the crime has been impounded,” the police official added.

A team comprising of senior police officers has been pressed into service to nab the absconding accused.

On the basis of the victim’s complaint, a case has been registered under relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at Safdarjung Enclave police station of south Delhi.

“Further investigation is underway,” the police officer added.