Posted: 19 Apr 2009 08:03 PM PDT
WASHINGTON - India's Muslims face new discrimination following last November's attacks in Mumbai and now
Posted: 19 Apr 2009 07:55 PM PDT
Madrid - Dinara Safina made tennis history for herself and her family when she officially climbed to the world number one position in the women’s rankings on Monday.
Safina, 22, is at the top for the first time. Her brother Marat Safin led the men’s rankings for nine weeks in 2000, making them the first brother-sister act to be number one in the singles rankings.
“I didn’t know about that until recently. I was told that we are the first family. That is a huge honour, and I am proud of my brother, he has achieved everything in tennis,” Safina told German Press Agency dpa in a telephone interview.
Safin is playing in the dusk of his career far from the top of the rankings at age 29, but Safina rejects all criticism that he could have done better over the years than the 2000 US Open and 2005 Australian Open title.
“You can think a lot but he could have also won no Grand Slam. I think he has achieved a lot,” said Safina, adding: “My brother was always my idol.”
Successful brothers and sisters are rare in sport.
Zimbabwe’s Cara and Byron Black got to the tennis doubles rankings top, there are the skiing acts of Hanni and Andreas Wenzel of Liechtenstein and Janica and Ivica Kostelic of Croatia, and US athletics greats Jackie Joyner-Kersee and AL Joyner both won Olympic gold medals.
Safina’s career has seen a remarkable turnaround in the past year.
Ranked just inside the top 20, Safina was on the verge of quitting the sport after poor results in early 2008, but then got her act together with four 2008 titles and her first big finals at the French Open and the Olympics.
She also made the January 2009 decider of the Australian Open, losing a showdown for the trophy and the world number one position to American Serena Williams.
Safina attributes the rise to coach Zeljko Krajan, who, she said, made her see tennis in a “positive” way.
It has not gone unnoticed that Safina - like Serb Jelena Jankovic last year - is now top without having won a Grand Slam, but she swiftly dismissed any criticism.
“I can win every one of the remaining three Grand Slams of the year. Every one!” she told dpa.
Safina is the 19th number one overall since the rankings were introduced in 1975 as the race for the top has become very tight in recent months with several changes.
“There are many girls in the top 10 who play well. In the past there were only a few, the others were only average,” said Safina.
Safina is the second Russian atop the rankings, but considers herself far away from the glamour of the other top-ranked star, Maria Sharapova.
“We are totally different, you can’t compare us at all,” she told dpa, but added: “We are both fighters, we don’t like losing.”
After all, for Safina only the on-court performance counts, not the latest designer dress.
“I have no favourite brand and no favourite designer. I simply wear clothes that suit me. I just want to feel good,” she said.
That is definitely the case on court and the top ranking adds to the good feeling of the hard-hitting baseliner.
“I am only interested in tennis at the moment, I want to concentrate entirely on that.
“When you realize a dream (of being number one) it is unbelievable and difficult to explain. I want to be the best in everything I do,” she said.
Posted: 19 Apr 2009 07:37 PM PDT
LAHORE: Newly-elected ameer of Jamat Islami Syed Munawwar Hasan has said that India is taking advantage of the present situation of Pakistan.
He said that India is involved in the attacks on Sri Lankan cricket team and Manawan Police Training School but the advisor on interior is not indicating it.
Addressing at a reception hosted by Jamaat Islami in his honour here on Sunday, Syed Munawwar Hasan said that when the CCPO Lahore told about evidences of India's involvement in these incidents then Rehman Malik immediately denied it.
He further said that the hope of any change from the February 18 elections has not been fulfilled.
He said that Balochistan is on fire and the anger of the Balochs would not be lessen until the name of former president Pervez Musharraf is not brought to the court after including him in the exit control list.
Syed Munawwar Hasan said that he does not favour mid-term elections but he would be showing mirror to the government.
He demanded from the chief justice of Pakistan to take sue moto notice against the incidents of Lal Masjid, Karachi's incidents of May 12 and April 9 and issue an order to bring Dr Aafia Siddiqui back home.
Posted: 19 Apr 2009 07:27 PM PDT
WASHINGTON: Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai while expressing his reservations on reports of the direct talks between the United States with Taliban said the U.S. efforts to tame the growing Taliban insurgency through negotiations would fail unless his government agreed to such talks.
In an interview with an American television on Sunday, the Afghan president said “if you want to accomplish a local deal with a certain Taliban commander at a tactical level, good enough".
“But even that has to be done in agreement with the Afghan administration (government) at the local, provincial level. Without that knowledge in the Afghan administration, this peace process will not go anywhere.”
The Obama administration has announced it will send more troops and economic assistance to Afghanistan as well as intensify diplomacy within the region in a bid to counter the Taliban, who now control large parts of the Asian nation.
Karzai objected to the strategy of having U.S. military commanders in Afghanistan conduct direct talks with Taliban members in order to persuade them to abandon their struggle and join local militias.
Posted: 19 Apr 2009 11:52 AM PDT
Everton knocked out manchester united to advance to the final in may to play chelsea.The gane went all the way to the end extra time and ended in penaltys which everton took advantage of some poor penalty taking from united.Dimitar Berbatov's horrid attempt was saved by Howard, who also denied Rio Ferdinand before Jagielka sent the Toffees into the FA Cup final for the first time since 1995 when Paul Rideout's goal accounted for United.Ferguson left out many of this big guns like ronaldo and rooney today and the gamble to do that backfired today for him.While some fans may have been dreaming of five trophies, Ferguson's aim is simpler - to keep liverpool hands off the Premier League trophy.
David Moyes's side will return to London on 30 May to face Guus Hiddink's chelsea after ending United's dream of winning a quintuple of trophies. more
Posted: 19 Apr 2009 11:42 AM PDT
DUBAI: Dubai’s ruler insists his Gulf emirate has recovered from the worst of the fallout from the global economic crisis and has also defended the grandiose vision of the formerly booming city state.
“We have overcome the crisis with the least amount of losses,” Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed al-Maktoum, who is also United Arab Emirates prime minister, told Dubai’s first e-press conference.
“For us in the United Arab Emirates, I can safely say that we have succeeded in containing the risks of the global financial crisis in record time,” said Sheikh Mohammad. His answers to journalists’ questions were posted on the website www.uaepm.ae on Saturday.
Sheikh Mohammad put the recovery down to “the additional liquidity that the Abu Dhabi government pumped into the Emirates’ banks” and the bond issuance of 20 billion dollars.
However, Sheikh Mohammad acknowledged that economic growth in the UAE would probably fall to around three percent in 2009, down from 7.4 percent last year. But he ruled out introducing income tax.
On the world crisis, he said: “I think the panic phase is over now, especially after the intervention of governments in many major countries to regulate financial and banking sectors, and the allocation of large sums of money to revitalise their economies.”
As for Dubai itself, Sheikh Mohammad shrugged off comments that “the bubble” had burst on its dazzlingly rapid development.
“I keep hearing the expression of ‘the bubble’ for the past couple of decades. In my opinion, this bubble is found only in the minds of those who often keep repeating it and do not know its meaning,” he said.
Sheikh Mohammad also brushed aside a spate of negative articles in the international media.
“The stereotypes are being brought up. It seems that any successful Arab model in economic development invites such negative treatment in the international media,” he said.
The architect of Dubai’s emergence on the world stage as a regional business, IT and leisure hub defended the emirate’s achievements.
“We are not growing in order to be a model for its highest building in the world, best airport, and most luxurious hotel, and the largest seaport and man-made islands,” he said.
“The Dubai model is beyond that… Dubai is an Arab city with scarce natural resources but with a clear vision of comprehensive development and social needs,” he said.
It has “succeeded through investments in human resources, its unique geographical location and trade expertise.”
Posted: 19 Apr 2009 11:29 AM PDT
MUMBAI: Bollywood couple Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan, who celebrate their second anniversary on April 20, had earlier planned to make it a working affair but now the plans have changed.
The couple was supposed to shoot for for their movie Ravana on their wedding anniversary because director Mani Ratnam wanted to shoot some crucial scenes of the film in Kerala’s Chalakudy jungles from April 20 onwards.
However, earlier this week, Ratnam was admitted to hospital due to difficulty in breathing and chest pain. This has put a question mark over the upcoming schedule of Ravana.
Now that the doctors have said that Ratnam needs some time to recover, Ash and Abhi have decided to take a quick break from their hectic schedules.
According to reports the couple is likely to go on a brief holiday for their second wedding anniversary, which might be Europe or the US.
Last year, they could not celebrate their wedding anniversary because the family was mourning Teji Bachchan s death. This year, they may finally get to celebrate the completion of two years as husband and wife.
Posted: 19 Apr 2009 11:16 AM PDT
Kolkata Knight Riders, who chose to bat first
Posted: 19 Apr 2009 11:04 AM PDT
LONDON: The father of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ child star, Rubina Ali Qureshi, tried to sell her for 200,000 pounds in his bid to cash in on the celebrity status of his “Oscar child”, a British newspaper claimed today.
Nine-year-old Rubina shot to fame by playing the young Latika in Danny Boyle’s film, which picked up eight Oscars besides earning millions at the box office.
The film depicts the heartwarming story of a Mumbai slumdweller, who escapes the Mumbai slums by winning USD 20 million in the Indian version of ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?’. Rubina and Azharudding Ismail were picked from a Mumbai slum to play the young protagonists in the film.
And now, Rubina’s father Rafiq Qureshi wants 200,000 pounds (USD 400,00) by putting his daughter up for illegal adoption, the News of The World reported.
Rafiq alleged that he was forced to sell his daughter as his family did not get anything from the filmmakers.
“We’ve got nothing out of this film,” said Rafiq while trying to fix the illegal adoption deal, “It’s 200,000!,” he told the reporters, who were posing as fake Dubai sheik.
When the reporters objected to the huge amount Rafiq’s brother insisted, “The child is special now. This is not an ordinary child. This is an Oscar child!” “I have to consider what’s best for me, my family and Rubina’s future,” Rafiq said.
Posted: 19 Apr 2009 10:59 AM PDT
KABUL: Pakistan must do more to “erase” Taliban bases inside its territory which are destabilising the entire region, the U.S. commander of Western troops in neighbouring Afghanistan said on Sunday.
U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration has pledged 21,000 more troops to join 39,000 American soldiers fighting Taliban guerrillas in Afghanistan.
It has also stepped up attacks by drones on suspected militant bases across the border in Pakistan.
U.S. Army General David McKiernan, who commands more than 70,000 U.S. and NATO-led troops in Afghanistan, said he was confident the new troops would bring improvements in security to southern Afghanistan this year after years of rising violence.
But he described insecurity as a regional problem that could only be resolved by a stronger effort from Pakistan’s embattled government to tackle safe havens for militants.
“There must be an improved effort on the other side of the border against these safe havens that many of these insurgent groups operate from in Pakistan,” he told a news conference.
“There are sanctuary areas that have existed for many years across the border. They feed terrorism and insecurity on both sides of the border,” McKiernan said.
“I think it is safe to say there is an expectation that the government of Pakistan must erase these safe havens so that they are not a threat to their own country and the region. They will have the full support of the international community to do that.”
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