0 The News Tribe

Poonam Pandey more talented than Jism’s Bipasha Basu: Nasha director
Newtown Church evacuated after bomb threat
Siachen avalanche hits Indian camp, 6 killed, 1 missing
India lashes out at Rehman Malik, terms comment on LeT’s Jundal ‘ridiculous’
Nine Pak players sold at Hockey India League auction
Real held by Espanyol, pressure builds on Mourinho
Obama under pressure as town mourns dead children
Syria VP says neither side can win decisively
Balochistan’s Sakhi Mohammad wins Mr. Pakistan bodybuilding title
Bal Thackeray death post: Shaheen Dhada back on Facebook

Poonam Pandey more talented than Jism’s Bipasha Basu: Nasha director

Posted: 16 Dec 2012 03:09 PM PST

Mumbai: Bollywood Director Amit Saxena is very impressed with Poonam Pandey's talent and her ability to express her emotions before the camera.

Amit Saxena, who directed Bipasha Basu in ‘Jism’ (2003), is also directing Poonam Pandey in her Bollywood debut, ‘Nasha’.

“Poonam is a natural when it comes to facing the camera. She grasps the script so well that working with her is a cakewalk,” he said, adding, “Poonam is a director’s actor. I think she is far more talented than Bipasha. The future looks very bright for Poonam in Bollywood.”

Responding on the comments, the sizzling actress said, “I am very passionate about my work. For me, work always comes first.”

“I listen to music to keep me charged up.” And which is her current favourite? “I am sexy and I know it,” she concludes with a wink and a wicked grin.

Newtown Church evacuated after bomb threat

Posted: 16 Dec 2012 02:34 PM PST

Connecticut: A Roman Catholic Church in Newtown was evacuated on Sunday after a reported bomb threat on the church.

Police cleared St. Rose of Lima Church after a long search.

This occurred within just two days after a fatal incident on Sandy Hook Elementary School in the town which left 20 children and seven others dead.

The New York Times reported that during noon-mass a man phoned the church and began making threats to a parishioner who picked up.

"I'm going to kill everyone there. My friend didn't finish the job,” the man said, according to The Washington Post.

“He started talking about, 'I'm coming to kill, I'm coming to kill,’” Monsignor Robert Weiss told ORA.tv.

The church was evacuated without any complicatons. It will remain in lockdown for at least the rest of the day.

The church was very close to the place where President Obama was due to attend a memorial service for the victims of the Newtown school massacre.

Siachen avalanche hits Indian camp, 6 killed, 1 missing

Posted: 16 Dec 2012 02:06 PM PST

New Delhi: At least six soldiers were killed and one missing when an avalanche hit the Siachen glacier area on Sunday.

According to Indian media reports, six men belonging to the 1st Assam Regiment, deployed in Siachen glacier area, died in the avalanche hit around 7am.

One soldier is still missing and efforts are being made to locate him, they said. “The incident happened during inter-post movement of the soldiers,” they said.

This is for the first time in several years that an avalanche has hit an Indian position in the glacier area, the sources said.

An avalanche had hit a Pakistani Army camp in the glacier area last year killing over 100 troops.

India and Pakistan have deployed their troops in Siachen for close to 30 years now and have lost more people to the weather and terrain than to enemy bullets.

India lashes out at Rehman Malik, terms comment on LeT’s Jundal ‘ridiculous’

Posted: 16 Dec 2012 01:31 PM PST

New Delhi: India on Sunday reacted strongly to Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik statement that Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist Abu Jundal was an operative of an elite Indian intelligence agency, terming it as a “ridiculous” remark.

Home Minister R K Singh said that the Malik's statement was ridiculous as Jundal was working with the LeT in Pakistan’s soil when the Mumbai terror attack was carried out.

On Malik’s remark that Indian agencies could have prevented the Mumbai terror attack, the Home Ministry in a statement said the main issue was that the Mumbai terror attack was conceived and planned and directed from the soil of Pakistan.

Pakistan did not take any action against these terrorist elements when the plan was being conceived and put into effect, it said.

The Home Ministry also said even after the Mumbai terror attack when full facts were known to the world, Pakistan was hesitating to take action against key conspirators and key operatives.

Nine Pak players sold at Hockey India League auction

Posted: 16 Dec 2012 01:27 PM PST

New Delhi: Atleast nine Pakistan hockey players will be seen in action in the Hockey India League which is going to be introduced on the pattern of Indian Premier League of cricket in India.

Mohammad Rashid from Pakistan was the most costly player as he was sold for $41,000 to Bombay Magicians.

Fareed Ahmed was bought for $21,000 by a Mumbai franchised team. The team also bought Mohammad Tauseeq for $27,000 and goalkeeper Imran Butt for $5,500.

Mohammad Rizwan for $25,000 and Rizwan Junior for $10,000 were bought by Delhi Wave Riders.

Another Pakistan player Kashif Shah was bought by Punjab Warriors for $9,500.

Ranchi Rhinos purchased forward Shafqat Rasool and Mohammad Irfan for $10,000 and $5,000 respectively.

Pakistan hockey team captain Mohammad Imran, forward Abdul Haseem Khan and Mohammad Waqas were unable to attract any franchise.

Real held by Espanyol, pressure builds on Mourinho

Posted: 16 Dec 2012 01:20 PM PST

Madrid: A late goal from substitute Juan Albin gave Espanyol a 2-2 draw against stuttering Real Madrid who will be 13 points off La Liga leaders Barcelona if they beat second-placed Atletico Madrid later Sunday.

The pressure is now firmly on coach Jose Mourinho with the reigning champions unable to beat relegation-threatened Espanyol.

Cristiano Ronaldo equalised for Madrid on the stroke of half-time after Sergio Garcia had put joint-bottom Espanyol ahead on the half hour mark.

Two minutes after the restart, Fabio Coentrao put Real ahead but it was not enough as Albin slotted home from close range two minutes from the end.

Mourinho had already criticised his players for a lacklustre performance in a midweek Spanish Cup game where they lost to Celta Vigo.

He will be even more frustrated after his side failed to wrap up Sunday’s game.

Barcelona have won 14 of their first 15 games in a record start in La Liga and a win against Atletico would be a significant blow in the title race.

Jose Callejon was given the job of leading the Real line with Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema both injured.

Angel Di Maria, who is widely believed to be one of the players that Mourinho was referring to for not giving their all against Celta, started on the bench.

Madrid pressed forward from the start with Ronaldo firing past the post from 25 yards and then moments later poking a pass to Luka Modric who should have at least hit the target with a shot inside the area.

New Espanyol coach Javier Aguirre has worked hard on making the defence more solid but he was without captain and first choice keeper Cristian Alvarez and so put his faith in the inexperienced Francisco Casilla to cope with the intimidating Bernabeu.

Casilla first parried a Ronaldo shot and then Pepe wasted an excellent opening when he headed a Mesut Ozil cross straight at him.

There were warning signs at the other end when Simao struck a weak effort when well placed on the left of the area and then Garcia failed to connect with a long ball from playmaker Joan Verdu which would have put him clear on goal.

Modric hit the post for Madrid with a long distance drive midway through the first half while Wakaso Mubarak was pulled off by the Espanyol coach after some wild challenges having already been booked.

Garcia put the visitors ahead with a clinical finish from a Verdu pass that split the Madrid defence and silenced the crowd.

Ronaldo was denied again by Casilla before he did finally put the ball in the back of the net as he knocked in a cross from Sami Khedira.

After the break Madrid had more of a cutting edge and Coentrao, bursting forward from full-back, latched onto a Ronaldo pass and slotted the ball past Casilla.

The Espanyol shot-stopper was in inspired form though as he prevented Madrid from killing off the game by denying Callejon and substitute Di Maria before also tipping a powerful strike from the latter onto the crossbar.

Madrid were made to rue their missed chances as Albin knocked the ball in after a goalmouth melee as the home side desperately sought to clear the ball.

Earlier, Valencia suffered their first defeat under coach Ernesto Valverde as they fell 1-0 at home to Rayo Vallecano.

Chori Dominguez scored from the penalty spot after Tino Costa upended Roberto Trashorras.

A first-half strike from Ruben Garcia gave Levante a 1-0 win away to Zaragoza.

Obama under pressure as town mourns dead children

Posted: 16 Dec 2012 01:14 PM PST

Connecticut: As a heartbroken town mourned the death of 20 small children in another US mass shooting, President Barack Obama heard ever louder calls to halt the bloodshed with stricter gun laws.

As Obama prepared to visit Sunday the country’s latest school shooting tragedy, there was much talk that perhaps America had reached a tipping point that would force action to try to end its stubborn addiction to firearms.

A prominent Democratic lawmaker, Senator Dianne Feinstein of California,promised to introduce a bill to ban assault weapons on the very first day of the next Congress, January 3.

That’s the kind of rapid-fire killing machine employed in the massacre here Friday in this small town now doomed to suffer a recurring nightmare for a long time to come.

Heavily armed 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot his way into the Sandy Hook elementary school

“We’re crafting this one. It will be done with care,” Feinstein said, adding that she thought Obama, a fellow Democrat, would back the legislation.

was evacuatedNerves remained on edge. One Catholic church where people attended services Sunday — Saint Rose of Lima – due to an undisclosed threat. Armed police searched a house next door.

In ways big and small, tributes were paid — from candles lit and teddy bears left at the elementary school crime scene here in Newtown, to gestures at the cavernous football stadiums that usually fixate Americans’ attention on Sundays.

Before the day’s games, the National Football League had teams observe a minute’s silence in memory of the 26 people killed in the shooting — including the 20 six- and seven-year-olds shot by a reportedly disturbed young man armed to the teeth.

Obama was to visit Newtown, until now a quaint postcard-pretty town of 27,000, on Sunday evening. He will meet with families of victims and first responders who had to view the carnage, and attend an interfaith vigil.

As people awaited the leader, they poured into churches to pray and seek solace over the unimaginable — a gunman pumping shot after shot into small children with a rifle of the kind used in wars.

Six adults at the school were also killed. The shooter first killed his mother at her home before driving to Sandy Hook Elementary School and carrying out the slaughter in two classrooms of 1st graders, then killed himself as sirens rang out and police arrived.

From early Sunday churches filled and the town Christmas tree became an impromptu place of remembrance, with people pausing every few minutes to pray and cross themselves under a light snowfall.

One middle-aged woman knelt down in front of the ranks of votive candles, teddy bears and handwritten notes, and bowed her head in tears.

“The community is gathering together and praying,” Rosty Slabicky, a Red Cross volunteer told AFP at the Saint Rose of Lima Church, where worshippers flocked to Mass.

”They are destroyed,” Slabicky said. “Not just the families, but the first responders are dealing with the crisis in a very personal and emotional level.”

Parishioners pay their respects to the victims of a school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 16, 2012

Meanwhile, the investigation entered an important new stage with the autopsy of shooter Adam Lanza.

Coroners, who on Saturday formally identified all the school victims, were turning their attention to Lanza and also his mother, whom he murdered in her Newtown home immediately before heading to the school.

That autopsy was likely to start lifting the lid on the mystery of Lanza, who at 20 years old was seen as a withdrawn and awkward youngster, but had shown no signs of violence, let alone any indications that he might perpetrate a massacre.

Officials revealed Saturday that Lanza’s main weapon was a .223 caliber Bushmaster, a civilian version of the US military’s M4 — essentially a killing machine — registered to his mother.

He was known to have two pistols with him as well and Connecticut police spokesman Paul Vance said Sunday that a fourth gun had been found.

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy revealed that Lanza blasted his way into the school, which had just installed a new security door where visitors could be viewed by video camera and buzzed in.

“He shot his way into the building. He penetrated the building by literally shooting an entrance into the building. That’s what an assault weapon can do for you,” Malloy said on CNN.

Names of victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting on a flag in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 16, 2012

The tragedy revived calls for stricter laws on gun ownership, particularly regarding military-style rifles, which fire bullets designed to tear a target apart, but are marketed as regular hunting weapons.

“There will be a bill,” insisted Feinstein, a longtime gun-control advocate.

“It will ban the sale, the transfer, the importation, and the possession. Not retroactively, but prospectively. It will ban the same for big clips, drums or strips of more than 10 bullets,” she told NBC television.

Many states, including Connecticut, already have strict laws on the purchase of firearms, but with no federal statutes, there is little to stop the traffic of guns from other states where fewer restrictions apply.

An assault weapon ban was passed in 1994 under Bill Clinton but it expired in 2004 and was never resurrected. Obama supported restoring the law while running for president in 2008 but did not make it a priority during his first term.

“We have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this,” Obama said in his weekly radio address on Saturday. “Regardless of the politics.”

However, with gun ownership protected by the constitution and firearms popular among a broad base of Americans, especially conservative Republicans, most politicians see gun bans as a vote-losing proposition.

Syria VP says neither side can win decisively

Posted: 16 Dec 2012 01:03 PM PST

Damascus: Syrian Vice President Faruq al-Sharaa said in an interview to be published Monday that neither his government nor the rebels fighting to overthrow it can win a decisive victory in the 21-month conflict.

His comments came as the regime launched air strikes for the first time against a Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus, drawing condemnation from both Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and the Hamas rulers of Gaza.

“No opposition can end the battle militarily, just as the security forces and army cannot achieve a decisive conclusion,” Sharaa told the pro-Damascus Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar.

“Every day that passes, we are moving further away from a military or political solution, ” said Shara, who is the most prominent Sunni Muslim in the Alawite minority dominated regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

“We must position ourselves to defend Syria’s existence — we are not in a battle for an individual or a regime.

Maps of Syria and Damascus locating latest regime bombardments of refugees, civilian villages and rebel positions

“The various opposition forces — whether armed or civilian, or linked to foreign powers — cannot claim they are the sole legitimate representatives of the Syrian people,” he added, referring to the decision of Arab and Western governments last week to recognise the armed opposition.

He called for confidence-building measures between the warring parties and said that “the solution must be Syrian, but through a historic settlement including key regional countries and (UN) Security Council member states.”

“This accord must first bring about an end to all forms of violence and establish a national unity government with broad powers,” he added.

Sharaa, 74, has served the regime for decades, both under Assad and under his father and predecessor Hafez al-Assad, but has been seen in public only a few times since the uprising erupted in March last year.

Palestinian children play at the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmuk on the outskirts of Damascus on August 29, 2007

His comments to Al-Akhbar were his first published statements since July last year.

In October, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu suggested that the vice president would be a suitable pick to lead a transition government, calling him “a man of reason” who could stop the civil war in the country.

The government air strikes against the Yarmuk refugee camp came as the army stepped up an offensive against rebel fighters across the south of Damascus.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said they killed at least eight civilians.

Residents told AFP that a missile hit the Abdel Qader Husseini Mosque in the heart of the camp.

The mosque was acting as a makeshift shelter for some 600 people forced to flee their homes in nearby districts engulfed in violence.

Amateur video posted online by activists in the camp showed broken glass strewn on the ground by the mosque, and several bloodied bodies laid out at the entrance.

“There is a state of real war in the camp now,” Yarmuk resident Abu Mohammed told AFP by Internet.

“There are intense battles between the Free Syrian Army and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command,” a hardline Palestine militant group that has long been a Damascus ally.

Residents gather around a bakery distributing cheap bread in Syria’s northern Aleppo province, on December 16, 2012

The group said in a statement broadcast on state television that “armed terrorists tried to take control of the Palestinian camps, but the PFLP-GC pushed them back.”

It described the attacks as a “US-Zionist scheme against the resistance in Syria.”

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said the bombing of refugee camps “must be stopped immediately.”

The Islamist Hamas movement also condemned the air strike, calling it a “crime.”

The air strike on Yarmuk was Sunday’s sixth on flashpoint districts of south Damascus, the Observatory said.

Fighter jets also bombed the nearby districts of Al-Hajar al-Aswad and Assali, scene of intense fighting between troops and rebels.

“The army feels it has to step up its campaign to suppress the insurgency in south Damascus, and that it cannot fight off rebels without resorting to air power,” said the Observatory’s Rami Abdel Rahman.

Nationwide, at least 19 people were killed in air strikes, among them six children, said the Observatory, which relies on a network of activists and medics for its information.

In the northern province of Aleppo, eight people including three children, died in air strikes on the town of Safira.

In the central province of Hama, three children were killed in air raids on the town of Kfar Zeita.

Balochistan’s Sakhi Mohammad wins Mr. Pakistan bodybuilding title

Posted: 16 Dec 2012 12:39 PM PST

Islamabad: Balochistan Bodybuilder Sakhi Mohammad has won the National Bodybuilding Championship in Islamabad, here on Sunday.

More than 40 bodybuilders across Pakistan participated in the display of full body muscle show in the capital city of the country.

Sakhi won the title of Mr. Pakistan while Mohammad Aslam was declared Junior Mr Pakistan.

The top five bodybuilders will take part in Mr Asia Championship 2013 while top ten contestants will participate in Indo-Pak bodybuilding championship next year.

The winner and other athletes demanded government to support them so they can promote the in-door game and bring honor to country.

Bal Thackeray death post: Shaheen Dhada back on Facebook

Posted: 16 Dec 2012 12:34 PM PST

Mumbai: Shaheen Dhada, the Indian girl who faced arrest after criticising shutdown on the death of Bal Thackeray, has reactivated her Facebook account.

Dhada disabled his social networking service account last month following a row over her comment on the region-wide shutdown in the wake of Bal Thackeray’s death.

The doughty youngster announced her return on the site with a new photo—her face no longer draped in a dupatta—and the words “I am back..!!”.

Keeping the promise to restore normalcy in her life, the 21-year-old has reactivated her cellphone number and is readying her two-wheeler to travel through the lanes and bylanes of Palghar. For nearly a month, even these simple freedoms had eluded her.

Her return to Facebook on Saturday elicited several comments.

Within minutes, three friends welcomed her back. One friend, Ankit Upadhyaya, commented, “Back with a bang…Gr8″. To this, Shaheen replied: “Yaaah.” To others’ greetings, Shaheen responded with thank-yous. Within hours of the account’s reactivation, six people sent her friend requests. All of them she accepted.

Shaheen and her friend Rinu Srinivasan were arrested on November 19 by police on the complaint of the local Shiv Sena unit after Shaheen lamented on Facebook the region-wide shutdown on the day of Thackeray’s cremation and Rinu ‘liked’ the comment. Police hastily applied the stringent IPC section of 295(a) against them for hurting religious sentiments, but later changed it to IPC section 505 (2).

The nationwide outrage over the arrests forced police and the state to backtrack. Transfer orders were given to two senior policemen and a Palghar court magistrate too was moved out. Not soon after, as the Supreme Court questioned the legality of the arrests, the state director general of police and the government decided to drop the charges against Shaheen and Rinu.


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