Freida Pinto in the list of world's most beautiful woman
Indian actress Freida Pinto is now being feted as a modern 'Helen of Troy' by Vanity fair magazine which is conducting a poll to find the world's most beautiful woman. The magazine has given out a list of 19 names, out of which one will be adjudged the world's most beautiful woman.Although names of Hollywood superstars like Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman are missing, debutant Pinto has found a place on the list."Of the billions of women on this planet, only 19, we believe, could start wars. These modern-day Helens of Troy come from both hemispheres and include legends and ingenues," said the magazine about it's chosen list.The list is an eclectic mix of personalities. From Hollywood, actresses like Halle Berry, Cate Blanchett, Penelope Cruz, Scarlett Johansson, Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow, made to the list.While from the political circles, Queen Rania of Jordan and France first lady Carla Bruni stand tall to give a tough competition.Interestingly two of Leonardo DiCaprio's girlfriends also feature on the list, Gisele Bundchen and current love interest Bar Rafaeli.
"'Loud speaking is not a sign of strength, says PM'"
Loud speaking is no indication of strength, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Monday, after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders L.K. Advani and Arun Jaitley launched a sharp broadside against him. "If you read my statement, you will get my answer. Weakness or strength does not come from loud speaking. It comes from your capacity to react on time," Manmohan Singh said at a press conference here.Referring to the then BJP government exchanging three terrorists for the Indian Airlines hostages in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in December 1999, Manmohan Singh said one of them (Masood Azhar) later founded the Jaish-e-Mohammed."By contrast... we did not negotiate with terrorists" after the terror attacks in Mumbai, he said, adding that "our commandos did us proud". "That is the difference between us and the BJP."The prime minister also discounted as untrue BJP president Rajnath Singh's claim that he had been consulted before releasing the terrorists.Rajnath Singh had said that "as the leader of the oppostion in the Rajya Sabha, I was consulted before releasing the terrorists. This is untrue". Earlier in the morning, BJP's prime ministerial candidate Advani labelled Manmohan Singh the "weakest" head of government. "He has proved to be the weakest prime minister particularly for devaluing the high office because there can be no executive superior," said Advani.His colleague Jaitley said in Agra that the Congress leader was "frustrated" and "weak"."Manmohan Singh's utterances clearly demonstrate his frustration. Running away from a debate with the BJP on crucial national issues only reflects his weakness," Jaitley told a rally of BJP youth workers Sunday evening."World over, national televised debates are conducted to assist voters to make up their minds. But the prime minister has been reluctant to participate in one under the pretext that he is not a good speaker."
Using the ballot to bludgeon politicians
Come elections, voters hold politicians to account. When the voters find that this method does not take them anywhere considering the system has become intractable over some issues, the aggrieved citizens are entering the fray, hoping to serve notice on the system. The farmers of Polepally village in Mahabubnagar district whose land was forcibly acquired by the government to set up a pharmaceutical special economic zone, the slum dwellers of Bhimrao Bada in the heart of Hyderabad whose huts were demolished to extend the Congress party office, and the tribals in Chintapalle and Araku of Visakhapatnam district whose lives have been turned upside down by bauxite mining are determined to use their vote to protect their interests.Fifteen farmers of Polepally filed nominations for Mahabubnagar Lok Sabha seat to "send a message" to political parties who were ‘indifferent' to their plight. Political heavyweights contesting from Mahabubnagar include Telangana Rashtriya Samiti (TRS) supremo K Chandrasekhara Rao and D Vithalrao of the Congress, confidant of chief minister and sitting MP. The farmers hope to upset the political equations by splitting the votes. In the 2008 Assembly by-elections, the Polepally farmers ensured the defeat of Jadcherla TRS legislator who did not raise even a finger to either protect their interests or highlight their tragedy of being deprived of their livelihood and homes by the government to promote the interests of the fat industry cats. "No party came to our aid when we lost our homes and livelihood, so we are using democratic means accessible to us to make our resentment known to them," said M A Jabbar, one of the farmers contesting the elections. Similarly, the ousted residents of Bhimrao Bada slum want to teach a lesson through the ballot box to their tormentors. A Komaraiah and P Renuka filed their nominations for the Khairatabad and Goshamahal Assembly constituencies respectively against Congress candidates D Nagendar and Mukesh. The Bhimrao Bada residents believe these two leaders had a hand in the uprooting of their homes and so are fighting them. Members of all the 96 displaced families will campaign for the two candidates, going from door to door to share their plight at the hands of the ruling party and seek justice. They are on their own with no political party sparing attention to their woes. As Renuka said, "No party, not even the Grand Alliance (of Telugu Desam Party, the TRS and the two left parties), has offered any support to us."
UK may deport terror suspects to Pak
Pitched against Rajiv Pratap Rudy of Bihar's ruling JD(U)-BJP combine and Salim Pervez of the BSP, the RJD veteran is aware that the going is getting tougher day by day. Hence, he is leaving no stone unturned in this supposed "battle of attrition" of his vote base. The constituency (earlier known as Chapra) has remained backward though it has kept electing either Lalu or Rudy in the last 15 years or so. But this time, the RJD supremo's rustic charm will have to hold sway over the voters to give him any hope. He did win the 2004 battle against Rudy by nearly 60,000 margin, but now certain facts may upset his calculations. These are: the development mantra of chief minister Nitish Kumar, the three-way split in the UPA, and the BSP factor. The task is tricky, even daunting. That Nitish has charmed the electorate with visible developmental works on roads, flyovers and hospitals, has given the RJD powerhouse sleepless nights. Above all, the 2004 allies the Congress and Left are not with him any longer. Some of the areas which are dominated by his clan, Yadavs, have been moved out of the constituency, thanks to the delimitation process. The four railway factories which he has announced over the years are yet to show any signs of coming up.Bahadur Singh, a former professor of Botany in Chapra, told Deccan Herald: "Things were very different in 2004 when jungle raj was prevailing here as it was all over the state. Abhi vikas ka badlaav aya hein (now it has changed into development). In 2004, the polling in the entire constituency was countermanded, still he won in the repolling." Bhola Prasad, Lalu's election agent, said: "The RJD will pull it off as it has a strong base of Yadavs who won in five of the six Assembly segments in the 2005 polls to Vidhan Sabha. The Congress has no base here so we don't have to worry."Lalu's backers point out that statewide, in 2004, the RJD and LJP together garnered 39 per cent of the votes, which was more than the JD(U)-BJP combine's 37 per cent. But BJP leaders are quick to point out : "It is chemistry rather than arithmetic which matters in Indian elections." The BJP leaders say that the BSP would help the BJP immensely because of two factors: the dalit base of the BSP will vote for their candidate; and a good chunk of Muslims - the traditional support base of Lalu -will also vote for the BSP, since its candidate is a Muslim. "Lalu's M-Y (Muslims-Yadav) formula will take some beating this time," says Devender Gupta, a Nitish supporter."Nitish has given reservation to ‘the most backward' among Muslims during panchayat elections and they will vote for Rudy."Difficult task, yes, but wily Lalu has an escape route: he is contesting from Pataliputra, too, which should see him romp home safe.
Hate speech against church: Sahu missing
Bhubaneshwar, Apr 13: Ashok Sahu, the Bharatiya Janata Party candidate from Kandhamal Lok Sabha constituency, who is wanted for his 'hate speech' instigating communal disharmony, is still missing. "Ashok Sahu is still absconding. A team of Kandhamal district police and Nayagarh district police are searching for him. There are reports that he is hiding in Nayagarh district," said Superintendent of Police of Nayagarh Jay Narayan Pankaj.After his inflammatory speech in Raika, alleging the church of indulging in conversions the Election Commission had issue a notice to Sahu on Sunday, Apr 12 for violating the Model Code of Conduct during campaigning in Raika on Apr 5. He is booked under 153 IPC for provocation with the intent to cause rioting and 125 of Representation of the People Act and promoting enmity among people in connection with the election.The Commission has also asked the District Magistrate to book Sahu on two other casees. One being the 505 IPC for making statements conducing public mischief and 295 IPC for deliberately acting to offend the religious feelings of a group of people.