A colorful opening with cultural extravaganza

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The colorful opening of the 19th Commonwealth Games in New Delhi on Sunday surpassed all the expectations!!  It is really a glittering ceremony which showcased the diversity and cultural pride of India. The show erased the negative publicity about problems with the preparations, corruption and chaos of the past few weeks.

After the customary athletes parade, Prince Charles read out the message of Queen Elizabeth II and President of India Pratibha Patil officially declared the Games open with the words "Let the Games begin". As the clock struck seven to signal to start the prestigious ceremony, the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium brightens with an aerostat- a white helium-filled balloon which rose 25 metres (80 feet) above ground level. The nine-million-dollar aerostat showcased India's rich culture.

The opening Ceremony attracted the global audience with variety of events .The most awaited Theme song  Jiyo  Utho  Bado  Jeeto (meaning Live, Rise, Ascend, Win ) by A. R .Rahhman was the grand finale to the ceremony. With the Namaste dance where dancers formed the shape of two palms pressed together the people of India welcomed the guests in a common Indian greeting style. The song Swagatam by noted singer Hariharan, the seven year old Keshav's performance on the tabla, and the "Great Indian Journey" the performance of more than 6000 artists showcasing 5000 years of Indian culture made the ceremony a historic event.

The marching event forms an important part of the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games 2010.The host nation of the CWG 2006; Australia led the parade while India stood at last. The participating nations joined the event according to the alphabetical order. The competition starts with the women's 200m freestyle swimming heats on Monday.

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World wrestling champion from India

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 Sushil Kumar became the first Indian to win a gold medal at the World wrestling championship in Moscow. He defeated Russia's Alan Gogaev 3-1 in the final of the 66kg freestyle category Sunday.

Sushil hails from Baprola village of New Delhi. He got inspiration from his father Mr. Diwan Singh Solanki, a bus driver in MTNL, who was also a wrestler. He started Wrestling at the age of 14 and won State Wrestling Championship amid lack of proper training and insufficient funds for wrestling. In 1998 he displayed his talent by winning the Gold Medal at the World Cadet Championship.

 He had won the bronze in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The 27-year-old already holds the Asian and Commonwealth titles. He was conferred the 'Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award'  for his outstanding achievement as a sports person in July 2009. India had won the bronze medal  in 1961for Uday Chand , silver in 1967 for Bishambhar Singh  and bronze for  Alka Tomar in 2006.

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Kerala, the most favorite tourist destination in Asia

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The God's Own Country, Kerala is emerged as the best holiday travel destination in Asia ahead of Bali, Phuket and the Maldives. A poll carried out by an online travel magazine, Smart Travel Asia revealed that the serene beaches, luxurious hill stations, exotic wildlife and the ancient Indian system of medicine, Ayurveda made Kerala the best choice in Asia.

Bali and Phuket listed the second and third most favorite destination in Asia. The other Indian destination includes Rajasthan and Goa in the eighth and tenth spot respectively. The poll is based on the actual travel experience and perception of the millions of readers of the travel portal. The poll was carried out across Asia, Europe and North America over three months.  


The 2010 BEST IN TRAVEL POLL lists Asia's best business hotels, luxury resorts, spas, destinations, business cities, shopping spots, and the world's best airlines and airports. The Silicon Valley of India, Bangalore figures in the 8th position in the top 10 business destination in Asia. Jet Airways which ranked seven in the last year poll was listed in the fourth position among top 10 airlines worldwide for business class and Cabin services.


Kerala was selected by the National Geographic Traveler as one of the 50 destinations of a lifetime and one of the thirteen paradises in the world. The moderate climate, rich and colorful culture & heritage and of course the exotic cuisine make Kerala a dream holiday destination. 


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Spot-fixing scandal: Pakistan to send officials to London

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Pakistan has decided to send FIA officials to London to probe the match fixing scandal. Seven Pakistan players have been accused of involving the spot-fixing in the fourth cricket test match against England at Lords.

Mazhar Majeed, a London-based bookie was arrested by Scotland Yard detectives on Saturday night on suspicion of a conspiracy to defraud bookmakers. According to reports, Majeed had bribed a few Pakistan players to bowl no-balls and wides in the series and the fourth and final Test between England and Pakistan at Lords. They questioned the players and took statements from Salman Butt, Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif, and wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal for their alleged role in the match-fixing scandal.

The video released by the tabloid shows the key player of the spot fixing; Majeed is taking cash from a tabloid reporter and putting it in a jacket. He asked the reporter 10,000 pounds in advance to introduce the Pakistani players to him. After receiving the cash Majeed introduced the reporter to two Pakistani players -Umar Amin and Wahab Riaz and gave the jacket to one of the players.

Spot-fixing' has emerged as a disaster for cricket. Fixing the match in favor of one team as decided earlier by match-fixers is generally termed as match fixing. The players act  in a predefined manner during the session of a match like  which bowler will come on first change, who will win the toss,  who will bowl no balls and wides in particular session of a match etc.

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No ball Controversy: One match ban for Randiva

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The Sri Lankan Cricket Board suspended Suraj Randiva for one match for denying Virender Sehwag a century with a deliberate no ball. He will miss the match against New Zealand in Dambulla on Thursday. Randiva’s match fee for the match had been forfeited.

The Srilankan Cricket board decided to take disciplinary action against the players and also advised the Caption to ensure to prevent the occurrence of such incidents in future as it affects the spirit of the game. Senior batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan, who prompted Randiva for a no ball, has also been fined 100 percent of his match fee. Also the board was examining the stump microphone to find out whether captain Sangakkara or any of his team mates was involved in the issue.

India won the match comfortably by six wickets. India needs just one run for victory when Randiva bowled a no ball which was hit by Sehwag for a six. Sehwag raised his bat and a moment later he realized that it was a no ball. The six however did not count as the no ball amounted to India's winning run.

The Srilankan off-spinner later, apologized to Sehwag after the match. The Sri Lankan board too offered their apologies, which prompted the Indian team management to declare the episode a "closed chapter" while the BCCI also made it clear that it would not pursue the case any further.

Sehwag told the media that Srilanka has a record of doing such things as they that they had left Sachin Tendulkar stranded at 99 with similar tactics in Cuttack. Sourav Ganguly, former India Captain said that this was not the first time Sri Lanka had done such a thing. He faced the same situation in a Test match at Kandy in 2002 where he was left stranded on 98.

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BlackBerry Issue: RIM offers technical solution

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The India government has given RIM and service providers a deadline of
 August 31, 2010 to comply with its security requirements over BlackBerry email and messaging services. Authorities sent formal notices to the mobile operators informing that they must have the right equipment to monitor Blackberry services before 1 September 2010. Mobile operators including Tata Teleservices confirmed the receipt of letter from the Department of Telecommunications to ensure proper interception mechanism.   


RIM technical team started discussions with India's telecommunications ministry and intelligence agencies to come up with a technical solution to avoid the ban on some of BlackBerry's services. The makers of the BlackBerry smartphone reportedly agreed to provide a monitoring method which would allow emails and chats shared between two BlackBerry devices to be intercepted and read by security agencies. RIM has already assured a manual access to its instant messages by September 1 and automated access by year end.


On behalf of The Mumbai attacks, it became clear that terrorists used high technology for their operations; the security agencies demanded RIM to provide a security system for the service in India. But RIM refused to provide access to its services saying that it has not provided anything unique to the government of any country and cannot accommodate any request for monitoring its services. The messages sent between two BlackBerry devices follows a code format (encrypted form) which prevents intelligence agencies from monitoring the contents transmitted across the networks.


India is one of the fastest growing telecommunication markets, with10 lacks Blackberry subscribers. So RIM will not be able to ignore Indian market. On the other hand Businesspeople and diplomats in India prefer BlackBerry for sending secure e-mails and text messages. RIM faced the same security concerns from other countries and it has lost more than 11 percent of its market capitalization since August, as Saudi Arabia and the UAE said they would also consider a ban on its Services.

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US Visa Fee Hike will affect Indian Companies

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The US House of Representatives has passed a bill to steeply hike US visa fees for US-bound professionals by $2,000 per application for next five years. The bill will seriously affect Indian companies in US and would cost an extra$ 200 million a year.

The hike in fees will be applicable only to companies with more than 50 per cent foreign employees. The bill proposes a fee hike for highly skilled professionals from $320 to $2,320and for L visas given to multi-national transferees from $320 to $2,570. 

This will adversely affect Indian IT companies especially Infosys, Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services and Mahindra Satyam which have large number of employees in US to handle IT operations for American customers. But professionals on H-1B visas for IT giants such as Microsoft and Google will not be affected as per the clause that limits the fee hike to companies with more than 50 per cent foreign workers.

The fund raised by the law will be utilized for increasing the security of US-Mexican border. The $600 million package is allocated to prevent illegal immigration through the US’s porous border with Mexico. New Delhi raised its concern over the law as it will primarily impact Indian firms even though they account for fewer than 12 percent of the total visas issued. US lawmakers defended it saying that the law would hopefully create some vacancies for Americans in some higher skilled jobs to fill which foreign companies are using these visas.

The Emergency Border Security Supplemental Appropriations Act was passed yesterday by a voice vote in the House of Representatives.

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North Korean World Cup coach forced to become a construction worker

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The North Korean coach Kim Jong-Hun has been sacked from the Workers' Party of Korea and degraded as an unpaid construction worker following the poor performance in the FIFA World Cup. It is reported that Kim fears he could soon be executed. 

North Korea's football team which lost all three World Cup matches in South Africa, has been suffered a six-hour public inquisition at the People's Palace of Culture in Pyongyang. Under coercion, every player confessed their mistakes and blamed the defeat on the coach.

Further Kim has been accused of betraying Kim Jong-un, the son and heir of the great leader Kim Jong-il. North Korea's succeeded in the in qualifying match for the World Cup for the first time in last 44 years. This made the Party to organize countrywide celebratory lectures in recognition of Kim Jong-un's accomplishment. Only two Japanese-born players avoided the public humiliation as they flew straight to Japan after the tournament.

The live broadcasting of games had been banned in North Korea to avoid national Embarrassment.This is for the first time a foreign football match has ever been broadcasted in North Korea after the brave 2-1 defeat to Brazil. But they stopped broadcasting the second half of the live match against Portugal after the poor performance of 7-0.The match went unreported in the next day's newspapers.

 It is reported that the North Korean athletes and coaches who performed badly in the international level were sent to imprisonment earlier. According to the Daily Express, North Korea has executed two top officials recently.



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