IPL 2010 Points Table | IPL 3 Points Table

Teams Mat Won Lost Tied N/R Pts Net RR For Against
Mumbai Indians 2 2 0 0 0 4 +2.550 430/40.0 328/40.0
Royal Challengers Bangalore 3 2 1 0 0 4 +1.463 432/49.3 431/59.2
Kolkata Knight Riders 3 2 1 0 0 4 -0.641 406/59.2 449/60.0
Delhi Daredevils 3 2 1 0 0 4 -1.192 408/57.0 501/60.0
Chennai Super Kings 2 1 1 0 0 2 +0.600 323/40.0 299/40.0
Deccan Chargers 2 1 1 0 0 2 +0.500 340/40.0 320/40.0
Kings XI Punjab 2 0 2 0 0 0 -0.427 345/40.0 350/38.4
Rajasthan Royals 3 0 3 0 0 0 -1.995 441/60.0 447/47.5

Points by match:

Result Date Team Pts Team Pts
12 Mar 2010 Kolkata 2 Deccan 0
13 Mar 2010 Mumbai 2 Rajasthan 0
Delhi 2 Punjab 0
14 Mar 2010 Kolkata 2 Bangalore 0
Deccan 2 Chennai 0
15 Mar 2010 Delhi 2 Rajasthan 0
16 Mar 2010 Bangalore 2 Punjab 0
Chennai 2 Kolkata 0
17 Mar 2010 Mumbai 2 Delhi 0
18 Mar 2010 Bangalore 2 Rajasthan 0

India has reduced over 35,000 troops in Kashmir

Jammu: Without much fanfare, India has withdrawn over 35,000 troops from Jammu and Kashmir. More troops are expected to be withdrawn soon.

Over 35,000 troops have been reduced in Jammu and Kashmir in the past 15 months, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah told the state legislative assembly. He promised a further decline in the number of troops.

“Without creating any hype we have reduced 35,000 troops and also decreased the number of central paramilitary forces from internal duty,” Abdullah said Wednesday evening.

The main opposition Peoples Democratic party (PDP) and separatists in the state have been consistently campaigning for troop reduction as they believe that the presence of the army in Kashmir was intruding into the day-to-day lives of the people and was also responsible for human rights abuses.

Abdullah’s National Conference is also of the view that an improvement in the security situation necessitates reduction of troops in the Valley.

However, the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) is opposed to the move. BJP legislature party leader Chaman Lal Gupta told the assembly that the reduction of troops would only encourage the militants. “It will encourage militants to regroup and worsen the situation,” he said.

“With the gradual restoration of peace and tranquillity, the footprints of the security forces in the state would lessen,” he said.

The chief minister claimed that “the track record of his government’s last one year is testimony to his commitment to zero tolerance to human rights abuses”.

He cited the instance of Border Security Force (BSF) commander R.K. Birdi and constable Lakhvinder Kumar being arrested for their alleged involvement in the killing of a teenager in Srinagar last month.

India gets $1 bn World Bank loan to improve education

Washington: The World Bank has approved two education projects worth $1.05 billion for India, designed to boost the number of children enrolling in and completing elementary school, and to improve the quality of engineering education across the country.

India has made significant progress in meeting its education goals, especially at the primary level, the bank said announcing additional support for the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), a nationwide programme aimed at providing quality elementary education to all children.

The bank has supported the SSA with two IDA credits totalling $1.1 billion since 2003.

“SSA – the largest ongoing Education for All (EFA) programme in the world – has been remarkably successful, particularly in achieving greater access to elementary education,” said Roberto Zagha, the World Bank Country Director for India.

“Between 2003 and 2009 the number of children reportedly enrolled in elementary education in India increased by 57 million to 192 million. More than two-thirds of this increase took place in government schools.

“The number of children out of school declined from 25 million to 8.1 million during that same period, a truly remarkable achievement.”

The $750 million in additional financing for the Second Elementary Education Project will enable SSA to expand activities related to increased access at upper primary level (grades 5-8), increase elementary level completion rates, and improve learning outcomes for the full elementary cycle (grades 1-8).

The $300 million for the Second Technical/Engineering Education Quality Improvement Project (TEQIP) will support some 200 competitively selected engineering education institutions to produce higher quality and more employable engineers.

It will also scale up post-graduate education, research, development and innovation at these institutions, the bank said. This is the second phase of TEQIP, an envisioned 15-year phased programme initiated with the first phase from 2002 to 2009.

The project builds on the significant results achieved in the first phase of the project which supported 127 institutions and thousands of faculty members in well performing institutions such as NIT Rourkela, the College of Engineering Pune, the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Hyderabad, and BIT Mesra.

India not ‘unsatisfied’ if Headley gets life: Pillai

New Delhi: Home Secretary G.K. Pillai Friday said India will not be “unsatisfied” if David Headley, a key conspirator of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, is sentenced to life imprisonment.

“All that we know (is) that Headley has pleaded guilty to 12 charges. In one sense it is good,” Pillai said on the sidelines of a lecture on India-Bangladesh security at the Observer Research Foundation here.

He said the government had learnt that the US attorney general had advised life imprisonment for Headley.

“I don’t think government of India will be unsatisfied,” Pillai added.

Asked about the possibility of India getting a chance to interrogate Headley, he said there was some mention that foreign judicial custody could be allowed. The home secretary added that India has to work it out with the US agencies.

Is India upset that it could not get Headley’s custody? Pillai said that saying anything more now will be “only speculation”.

Headley pleaded guilty in a Chicago court Thursday to a dozen federal terrorism charges and admitted his role in planning the gory Nov 26, 2008 attack in Mumbai that left 166 people dead.

Google TV : Browse the internet through television screens

The system will be called “Google TV”, will be made by Sony and powered by Intel chips. It has built a prototype set-top box, that allows users to browse the internet through their television screens do things such as download movies and television shows. The “Google TV” however will also come in the form of actual TV sets.

Along with regular television there will also be Hulu, YouTube and other web-video sources, along with games and apps for social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.Google TV, will essentially be a big-screen living-room computer.

With this, Google takes a lead among other players in this race like the Apple who have been trying to make people access internet through their TVs. People already with TV sets need not feel disappointed as this device can also be built into the TV. It would facilitate simultaneous viewing of TV and better access to the web, search, and social networking sites. These companies also appear to be in talks with Logitech to build peripherals like a remote control and small keyboard for the system.

The project although is being developed since long but its kept under tight wraps and its details away from the public. The GTV will run on the Android OS, Google’s open-source mobile phone operating system originally designed to run on ARM core, (the processor used in most smartphones, but has been also adapted by some companies to operate on different chip architectures such as MIPS or Intel x86) and will even have the Chrome browser built-in. Partnership with Intel ensures TV will use some form of Atom chips in it. This move was pretty obvious as TV is only one of the few advertising markets Google isn’t yet in.

It has been reported that Google has begun testing the set-top box technology though Dish Network, a satellite TV provider.

However Google’s new venture could weaken the PC industry. This is foreseen as when the people will have the internet in their television, and a tablet appliance like the iPad with them around, they would not need a desktop or even a laptop computer.

It is unclear whether this system would be launched worldwide or be designed for release in the United States only, as with some of Google’s other products.

Both papers, however, cite sources completely anonymous information and denials have come from both the Sony spokesperson and that of Google.

–whitehatfirm

Youngsters prefer internet to family, friends for help

Only a fifth (18 per cent) cross-checked their findings with a friend or parent, researchers found, The Scotsman reported.

Almost nine out of ten young people turn to the Internet to help solve their problems, according to a new survey.

More than half (53 per cent) of the youngsters who took refuge online ended up being more worried after finding the information on web pages, the poll, commissioned by Get Connected, a free confidential helpline, revealed.

Only a fifth (18 per cent) said they cross-checked their findings with a friend or parent, researchers found, The Scotsman reported.

Andrew McKnight, chairman of its board of trustees, said, “These results show that there is a need for young people to be able to verify the information that they find online.”

“In many cases the vast amount of information available on the internet seems to exacerbate their personal worries further.” Andrew McKnight said.

“As a society, we have become increasingly reliant on the internet as a first point of reference for a lot of information.” Andrew McKnight added.

He also said, “It is crucial that we make Britain’s young people aware of exactly where they can turn to for dependable information and support. Get Connected is the safe gateway to these services.”

Shock as Reality Show Invites Contestants to Kill

The other night, a French network aired something called “Le Jeu de la Mort” or “Game of Death,” a documentary on how far some people would go if invested with absolute power and in order to achieve fame. Under the pretense of shooting a pilot for a new reality show, producers wanted to see how people would react in what could only be described as extraordinary circumstances, the Independent says.

So, they came up with the idea of a fake competition: in order to win it, contestants had to push a button that delivered electrical shocks to a man on a chair. Motivated by the desire to win, 64 of the contestants (an overwhelming 80 percent) pushed the button and “killed” the man, no matter how hard he screamed, pled or cried. What the people on the show did not know was that the man was an actor, there was no electrical current in his chair and they had just been tested to see how low they’d scoop for a shot at fame and, presumably, a prize in cash.

As expected, the documentary did not fail to cause a storm. “Critics, however, lambasted the documentary for using precisely the same brainwashing and televisual distorting techniques it claimed to expose. The experiment, they pointed out, was based on an approach first used by the American social psychologist Stanley Milgram in 1963. In an attempt to comprehend the behavior of genocidal Nazi death camp guards, Mr. Milgram created a bogus authority which ordered volunteers to administer electric shocks of increasing severity to an unseen person who answered questions wrongly. Two thirds of the volunteers obeyed orders to deliver the potentially fatal doses,” the Independent writes.

“Critics said that last night’s documentary – although it conceded its debt to the Mr. Milgram experiments – suggested that television was somehow uniquely capable of brainwashing people into committing murder. The original experiments, which are often replicated, suggested that the real problem was something deeply rooted in the human psyche: the incapacity of a large majority of people to resist authority or to refuse to follow a crowd or mob. The program, shown on the France 2, the main state-owned channel, was made by Christophe Nick, a celebrated French filmmaker of shock or investigative TV documentaries. The narrator made it clear that the principal target was mass television culture,” the publication further informs.

The conclusion of the documentary was that television had been using humiliation and violence as a means to attract audiences for many years, so perhaps concluding that it won’t be long until we have murder in prime time is not that far-fetched. Critics, as also noted above, strongly disagree.

—–softpedia

 Other NEWS relating this :

Fake TV Game Show ‘Tortures’ Man, Shocks France

France is reeling from a documentary about a psychological experiment disguised as a game show. Researchers staged a fictitious reality show to see how far people would go in obeying authority, especially if television reinforces that authority.

The documentary Game of Death, broadcast Wednesday in France, shows participants in a game show obeying orders to deliver increasingly powerful electric shocks to a man until he appears to die. The reality show was actually a fiction and the man an actor (Laurent Le Doyen), but the contestants and audience didn’t know

The disturbing results have alarmed the French.

The fictitious game show had all the trappings of a real TV quiz show, including a beautiful and well-known hostess, and a raucous audience. A group of contestants posed questions to a man sitting inside a box in front of them in an electric chair.

The hostess and a chanting audience urged the players — who had levers in front of them — to send jolts of electricity into the man in the box when he gave an incorrect answer.

Even when the player screamed out in pain for them to stop, 80 percent of the contestants kept zapping him. In reality, the man in the electric chair was an actor who wasn’t really being shocked — but the players and the audience did not know that.

The documentary makers say reality television relies increasingly on violent, humiliating and cruel acts to boost ratings. They say they simply wanted to see if we would go so far as to kill someone for entertainment.

Christophe Nick produced the documentary, The Game of Death, with a group of scientists and researchers.

“Most of us think we have free thinking and so we are responsible for our acts,” Nick says. “This experience shows that in certain circumstances, a power — the TV in this case — is able to make you do something you don’t want to do.”

The idea that something deeply rooted in the human psyche makes most of us unable to resist authority is not new. The French documentary was based on an American experiment carried out in the 1960s by psychologist Stanley Milgram.

Milgram had participants delivering what they believed were electric shocks to a man every time he answered a question incorrectly. In that experiment, 60 percent of participants obeyed the sadistic orders until the end.

The French documentary, which was broadcast in France on Wednesday night, included footage of the Milgram experiment.

Sociologist Jean Claude Kaufmann says the French version combines Milgram’s use of authority with the power of live television. He says the result in the French experiment — a higher percentage of participants willing to shock the subject — shows that the manipulative power of television further increases people’s willingness to obey.

Television talk shows ruminated over the documentary Thursday. Comparisons are being drawn to the manipulation of the masses in Nazi Germany. One of the game show participants, Jerome Pasanau, said in an interview that he was still haunted by the experience.

“I wanted to stop the whole time, but I just couldn’t. I didn’t have the will to do it. And that goes against my nature,” he said. “I haven’t really figured out why I did it.”

Pasanau told the TV host that he felt intimidated and isolated on the fictitious game show set, and that the crowd was overbearing. The host countered by pulling up footage of Pasanau pumping 460 volts of electricity until the actor pretending to be electrocuted seems to keel over dead.

In the footage, the game show hostess yells: “And you’ve won!”

Video : More about ‘The Game of Death’

Sibal to release teacher training curriculum today

New Delhi: Five years after the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) for schools stressed on bringing the teacher education programme at par with that of the change in pedagogy, Human Resource Development (HRD) minister Kapil Sibal will finally release a new curriculum for teachers today.

Prepared by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), the National Curriculum for Teacher Education takes into account the importance on quality of teachers in the Right to Education Act, 2009.

It ensures that the syllabus is more child-oriented so that she can grasp various concepts through outdoor activities while exploring the surroundings.

Gender perspectives, equitable development, role of community knowledge and Information and Communication Technology finds an important place in the curriculum.

The National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT), in the absence of a new curriculum for teacher education, undertook the initiative to conduct workshops and train the teachers which is how the NCF-2005 came into being, leading to new NCERT textbooks.

Now even state governments have adopted these books

–indiaedunews

18,622 police posts in Ahmedabad unmanned

Gandhinagar: Leader of opposition in the Gujarat assembly, Shaktisinh Gohil, on Thursday alleged that there is a deliberate move by the state government to keep the police force weak.

Reacting to the demands of the state home department, Gohil said that Gujarat should have a strong and efficient police system as it is a border state.

“It is unfortunate that millions are spent to make CM’s security impregnable while 5.5 crore people of Gujarat are left to fend for themselves. As of March 2009, 18,622 posts in police department were vacant,” he said.

He said no arrangements are made in the chowkies on the border. The Central government had allocated huge funds, but the state government delayed its annual plan and the money could not be utilised, he said.

“There is not even a single bullet available for INSAS rifle and there is shortage of 17 to 100 per cent in ammunition for different arms.” Gohil said, “The CM wishes that terrorists should come to Gujarat so that his vote bank becomes strong and he can promote his politics of terrorism. Akshardham was not provided security cover and so terrorists had struck. The murder of Haren Pandya did not move the government.

“Soon after the chief minister in his public speeches challenged terrorists to come, there were serial blasts in Ahmedabad. And this gave fresh lease of life to the chief minister’s politics of terrorism.” He reminded the government that terrorists had taken boat from Porbandar in Gujarat for striking in Mumbai.

However, rejecting Gohil’s claims, minister of state for home, Amit Shah, said: “Compared to the time of the Congress rule, the population has increased by 37% but the crime rate has gone down in the state.

The percentage of attempt to murder has gone down by 40%, incidence of loot has decreased by 26% and incidence of housebreak has gone down by 18%. According the data of National Crime Records Bureau, the crime rate is lowest in Gujarat in the whole country.”

Shah told the House that the process of recruiting 13,149 jawans in police was over and the recruitment of 14,000 jawans more was in process.

–dnaindia

Fresh FIR filed against Swami Nithyananda

Bangalore: The Ramanagaram district police have formed a team of officers and personnel to trace tainted godman Swami Nithyananda Paramahamsa, who runs a dhyanapeetham at Bidadi

District superintendent of police SB Bisanahalli said that a first information report (FIR) had been registered against the swami at the Bidadi police station, based on the ones filed by the Chennai and Coimbatore police.

“The fresh FIR was filed after the FIRs registered by Tamil Nadu police were translated into Kannada. It was filed under sections 295 (a), 420, 376, 377, 506 (b) and 120 (b), based on a complaint filed by K Lenin of Athur in Salem district. In his complaint, Lenin had accused Nithyananda of misbehaving with women and forcing them into performing ‘indecent’ acts with him,” the officer said. The police team will be headed by deputy superintendent of police (Ramanagaram sub-division) Devaraj.

The district police officers said that they would be tracking the movements of the godman, who was yet to be traced. “We will despatch the team to various places where the swami is believed to be hiding,” an officer said.

Police said that they would question some of the ashram inmates in Bidadi to get more information, which could be used as evidence against the godman. “However, we still have not decided if we should arrest Nithyananda. We will let the law take its course once the swami is traced,” another officer said.

The police will have to record Lenin’s statements before proceeding ahead with the case. Besides filing a complaint that resulted in a case being booked against Nithyananda by the Chennai police, Lenin had also handed over a CD containing “raunchy” bedroom scenes of Nithyananda and a Tamil actress to the police commissioner of that city.

On Wednesday, there were speculations that the case may be handed over to the Crime Investigation Department (CID) because, as an officer put it, “the case had inter-state ramifications.”

Meanwhile, the swami kept mum as he had reportedly gone on a maun vrath.

–dnaindia

India’s First GSM + GSM or GSM + CDMA Phone

Another low-cost BlackBerry look-alike

Bright Telecom, which markets its range of mobile phones under the ‘G-Fone’ brand, has announced at the launch of the G-588, a full QWERTY keyboard laden, dual SIM, dual mode phone in India. The dual mode feature means that the phone can be used in different modes like GSM + GSM or GSM + CDMA.

The G-588 comes with Nimbuzz preinstalled making it social networking friendly right away. It also has a decent multimedia player that supports various file formats. The G-588 supports upto 8GB of memory via microSD cards. It also comes with a localized, Indian Calendar that has listed major festival and cultural events of India.

The phone has a landscape, 2.2-inch screen capable of displaying 65k colors.

Here is a brief low down on the specs of the device:
•Dual mode CDMA + GSM OR GSM+ GSM)
•QWERTY keypad
•1.3 MP camera
•MP3 / MP4 player
•Video recording and playback
•Bluetooth
•FM radio
•Big display
•Exp memory upto 8GB
•WAP/GPRS
•Phone book
•SMS
•wap/gprs

The G-588 will retail at a price of Rs. 4,799, which does not seem too bad for a phone that looks like a BlackBerry!

—-techtree

Free zone: resolution adopted in House in record time

HYDERABAD: The government bulldozed its way in Assembly on Thursday and ensured adoption of the resolution urging the Centre to delete a clause in the Presidential Order that treated Hyderabad as free zone for recruitment of police. The resolution, seeking removal of clause 14(f) of the Presidential Order of 1975, threatened to nearly split parties on regional lines. But it was adopted in a record time at the fag end of the day’s session amidst vociferous protests by members of Praja Rajyam who surrounded the Speaker’s podium and a few from Telugu Desam belonging to Andhra and Rayalaseema regions.

Soon after Chief Minister K. Rosaiah sought the cooperation of all parties for adoption of the resolution unanimously and read it out, Deputy Speaker N. Manohar swiftly put it to voice vote, declared it adopted and adjourned the House for the day.

The resolution read: This House resolves to request the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to obtain the approval from the President to delete Clause (f) of Para 14 of the Andhra Pradesh Public Employment (Organization of Local Cadres and Regulation of Direct Recruitment) Order, 1975”. The resolution again brought into focus, sharp division in Congress and Telugu Desam ranks with members from Telangana favouring it and those from Andhra and Rayalaseema opposing it. In Telugu Desam, the differences came into the open. Addressing press conferences separately, Telangana MLAs led by Nagam Janardhan Reddy described the adoption of resolution as a “big victory for the party” while those from the two other regions, including Payyavula Keshav and Devineni Umamaheswara Rao said it was a ‘black day in the history of the State’. For the latter, the move was ‘initiated by the Chief Minister to protect his post’.

Praja Rajyam leader Chiranjeevi castigated the government for steamrolling a one-line resolution without a debate and not allowing their party even to protest. The resolution was not necessary, he said, as it harmed the interests of people of several districts within Telangana and at a time when Srikrishna Committee was studying all aspects.

The differences within its own ranks created tense moments for treasury benches before the Chief Minister stepped in to cool the ruffled feelings. These differences arose, though barring Praja Rajyam, all other parties supported adoption of the resolution at the all-party floor leaders’ meeting called by the Chief Minister on Wednesday to find ways of overcoming

Red card for Amitabh Bachchan

 
NEW DELHI: Almost a fortnight after Kerala’s tourism minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan wrote to Amitabh Bachchan offering him brand ambassadorship of Kerala Tourism, a section within the CPM, including some politburo members, have come out against the proposal.
 
For them, brand ambassador of Narendra Modi’s Gujarat for the Left-controlled state is sacrilege. Mr Bachchan, who had accepted the Kerala’s government’s proposal a week ago, had in the CPM’s eyes committed the cardinal sin of praising Mr Modi. Mr Bachchan had said that he was promoting a state, not an individual.

The differences within the CPM came to the fore on Thursday when politburo member Sitaram Yechury said Kerala and BJP-ruled Gujarat cannot have the same brand ambassador. “The decision will be made by the state government. At the same time that I am confident that the LDF will not appoint a person as brand ambassador who is already a brand ambassador for Modi’s Gujarat,” Mr Yechury told reporters.

But Mr Balakrishnan, a politbureau members and number 2 in the state Cabinet, is determined to go ahead with the government’s decision. “We will be sending a senior tourism official to Mumbai to hold discussions with Bachchan. If the terms and conditions are mutually acceptable, he will be made the brand ambassador for tourism. It all depends on how the specifics are going to work out,” officials in the Kerala government said.

The state government has already deputed the director of tourism M Sivasankar to hold talks with Mr Bachchan. However, there are worries within the state party unit that the move could upset Muslims in the state. The CPM had adopted an aggressive Muslim appeasement strategy during the recent Lok Sabha polls to re-capture its waning minority votebank.

The bickering within the party is bound to cause some embarrassment to the LDF government, which decided to approach Mr Bachchan at a time when Kerala’s tourist figures were dropping. The state government had been searching for a brand ambassador to give a boost to tourism in the state when Mr Bachchan in a television interview expressed his willingness to become brand ambassador for Kerala tourism.

The state’s efforts to draw tourists to its breathtaking beauty have taken a hit with frequent hartals paralysing life and often causing violence. With a record of around 100 hartals a year at one point, all of which were generally successful, the state bears the loss of several crores.

—economictimes

Anti-hijacking law gets tougher, death sentence included as punishment

NEW DELHI: The UPA government on Friday made the anti-hijacking law much tougher by including death sentence as a punishment.

The Cabinet was expected to consider the proposal moved by civil aviation ministry to amend Anti-Hijacking Act of 1982 to make it more stringent to deter hijackers from using an aircraft as a missile.

With enhanced terror threats, a group of ministers headed by home minister P Chidambaram had cleared the “tougher” proposals paving the way for civil aviation ministry to move the amendments for Cabinet approval.

The Cabinet’s approval paves the way for amending section 4 of the 1982 Act, which provides for life imprisonment and a fine for hijacking, to include death penalty also.

The government is likely to place the proposed amendments before Parliament in the budget session itself once the House meets again after the recess.

The GoM had also decided to incorporate a new clause to cover the aspect of conspiracy to hijack an aircraft which does not exist in the 1982 Act.

The fresh move to ensure legal sanction to anti-hijacking policy comes almost five year after the Cabinet Committee on Security had cleared it in August, 2005. The policy allows shooting down of a “hostile plane if there is conclusive evidence that it is likely to be used as a missile to blow up strategic establishments”.

The policy recognises that hijacked aircraft can be transformed into a “hostile” entity. It also prescribes surrounding of hijacked planes by fighter aircrafts in Indian airspace.

The law will authorise Indian Air Force to take quick steps for scrambling fighters to guard and guide hijacked aircraft and force land it in an Indian airport.

To avoid Kandahar-like situations, the policy also provides that no negotiations whatsoever would be held with hijackers. The policy talks about immobilisation of an aircraft and not allowing it to take off if the hijacking takes place on Indian soil, besides scrambling of IAF fighters if the hijacked plane remains in Indian airspace.

–timesofindia

‘Foreign governments can quiz Headley on U.S. soil’

With the U.S. government’s assurance that he will not be extradited to India or Pakistan, LeT operative David Coleman Headley has agreed to be “available” to foreign governments, such as India, who may “interview” him only on US soil.

Under the plea agreement that Headley, a Pakistani-origin American citizen, has entered into with the prosecutors for pleading guilty to 12 counts of terror charges, he cannot be extradited to India, Pakistan or Denmark if he pleads guilty or is convicted of the offences in the superseding indictment.

“Headley has agreed to not only continue his cooperation with the government, which he has been doing since October, but also to make himself available for interviews by other governments in this country. As part of his agreement, he has agreed to allow himself to be interviewed by foreign governments in this country,” Headley’s attorney John Theis told reporters after the hearing.

When asked, if this means that Indian investigators could come to US and talk to Headley, even about the Mumbai attacks, Mr. Theis said “Yes. If he refuses to talk to foreign governments here, it would mean a violation of the plea agreement“.

The plea agreement states that whenever directed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, “Headley must fully and truthfully participate in any debriefings for the purpose of gathering intelligence or national security information.”

The 49-year-old Pakistani-American had further agreed that, when directed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he would fully and truthfully testify in any foreign judicial proceedings held in the U.S. by way of deposition, or video-conferencing.

Mr. Theis said Headley’s guilty plea is a “manifestation, one example of his regret and his remorse. His conduct contributed to the harm of many people“.

Since his arrest in October, Headley has been cooperating with the government and has provided substantial assistance in the investigation of this case as well as “critical” information regarding intelligence on other matters.

He said all the information that Headley has given to U.S. authorities is and has been shared with India and Denmark.

Through the 13 days that Headley “talked”, he was informed of his right to remain silent, of his right to counsel, that anything he said could and would be used against him.

“But he chose not to exercise those rights and in fact to provide timely, thorough, trustworthy and complete information,” his lawyer Robert Seeder added.

Mr. Seeder said the information provided by Headley has “significantly helped the United States and has also aided other countries”.

“His cooperation has potentially saved the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of people and his cooperation is going to continue throughout the remainder of this case,” Mr. Theis said, adding Headley was never involved in any kind of plot involving U.S. soil or U.S. citizens, “not knowingly“.

The lawyers refused to comment on the issue of Headley, son of a former Pakistani diplomat and a Philadelphia socialite, being a double agent.

“There is nothing in the plea agreement about anything about that (his being a double agent). I don’t know where that kind of language comes from“.

On whether Headley would get a life sentence, Mr. Theis said the range of the sentence could be either life or any other sentence less than that as authorised by law.

“It is obviously a complicated case. Sentencing is up to the Judge. This case has a long way to go,” he added.

No new taxes in Tamil Nadu budget

An inside view of the new Tamil Nadu Assembly hall. Finance Minister K. Anbazhagan presented the 2010-2011 State Budget here on Friday

Tamil Nadu Finance Minister K. Anbazhagan on Friday presented a Rs. 3,396.45 crore deficit budget and refrained from imposing fresh taxes.

The Minister presented the State budget in the new Assembly-Secretariat complex on Omanthoorar Government Estate here on Friday.

Reduction in taxes on a variety of articles used by the common man was announced by the minister, who presented the fourth budget of the DMK government in the state.

The Vote on Account for 2010-2011 and Final Supplementary Estimates for 2009-2010 will be presented on March 26.

More details on the budget are awaited.

New password-stealing virus targets Facebook

Hackers have flooded the Internet with virus-tainted spam that targets Facebook’s estimated 400 million users in an effort to steal banking passwords and gather other sensitive information.

The emails tell recipients that the passwords on their Facebook accounts have been reset, urging them to click on an attachment to obtain new login credentials, according to anti-virus software maker McAfee Inc.

If the attachment is opened, it downloads several types of malicious software, including a program that steals passwords, McAfee said on Wednesday.

Hackers have long targeted Facebook users, sending them tainted messages via the social networking company’s own internal email system. With this new attack, they are using regular Internet email to spread their malicious software.

A Facebook spokesman said the company could not comment on the specific case, but pointed to a status update the company posted on its web site earlier on Wednesday warning users about the spoofed email and advising users to delete the email and to warn their friends.

McAfee estimates that hackers sent out tens of millions of spam across Europe, the United States and Asia since the campaign began on Tuesday.

Dave Marcus, McAfee’s director of malware research and communications, said that he expects the hackers will succeed in infecting millions of computers.

“With Facebook as your lure, you potentially have 400 million people that can click on the attachment. If you get 10 percent success, that’s 40 million,” he said.

The email’s subject line says “Facebook password reset confirmation customer support,” according to Marcus.

‘Headley attended LeT terror camps in Pakistan’

Pakistani-American David Coleman Headley had attended five terror camps being run by LeT in Pakistan such training between 2002-03 according to a Headley’s plea agreement document

Pakistani-American David Coleman Headley had participated in terror camps being run by LeT in Pakistan despite promises by the then President Parvez Musharraf in 2002 to the Bush Administration that all such facilities will be shut down.

Headley, a LeT operative arrested in October 2009 by the FBI, had attended five such training camps run by the terror outfit between 2002-03, according to a Headley’s plea agreement document which was submitted by US Attorney, Patrick J FitzGerald before a Chicago court on Thursday.

He attended a three-week course starting in February 2002 that provided indoctrination on the merits of waging jihad, next he participated in a three-week course starting in August 2002 to get training in the use of weapons and grenades

Headley learnt about close combat tactics, the use of weapons and grenades and survival skills during a three—month course in starting April 2003; he got training about the counter—surveillance skills starting August 2003 and starting December 2003 he received combat and tactical training.

Notably in January 2002, Gen. Musharraf had said that he would not allow LeT to carry any anti-India activities inside Pakistan.

But LeT ran terrorist training camps unabated even as Gen. Musharraf conducted back channel negotiations with India on the resolution of the Kashmir problem between 2002—2006, the agreement said.

Starting in or about August 2002, defendant (Headley) attended a three-week course and received training in, among other skills, the use of weapons and grenades. Starting in or about April 2003, defendant attended a three—month course and received training in various skills, including, but not limited to, close combat tactics, the use weapons and grenades, and survival skills,” the agreement said.

“Starting in or around August 2003, defendant attended a three—week course and received training in, among other skills, counter—surveillance. Starting in or around December 2003, defendant attended an approximately three month course and received combat and tactical training,” it said .

Headley had pleaded guilty on all 12 counts of charges against him in a Chicago court.

The plea agreement also proves beyond doubt the direct connection between LeT and Al Qaeda.

According to it, a retired Pakistani Major, Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed (Abdur Rehman), also known as “Pasha,” told Headley that if LeT did not help him in carrying out attack against the Danish newspaper, he would get someone else.

Although not identified by name at the time, Headley later learnt this individual to be co-defendant Ilyas Kashmiri.

Abdur Rehman previously had told Headley that he had been working with Kashmiri and that Kashmiri was in direct contact with a senior leader of “Al Qaeda”, the agreement said.

“Pasha stated to defendant (Headley) words to the effect that if ‘Lashkar’ did not go through with the attack, Pasha knew someone who would. Although not identified by name at the time, defendant later learned this individual to be co-defendant Ilyas Kashmiri.

“Pasha previously had stated to defendant that he had been working with Kashmiri and that Kashmiri was in direct contact with a senior leader for Al Qaeda,” the Plea Agreement said.

Firms get power for all-India purchase

The state government, grappling with a major power crisis, has adopted the ‘open access’ system which will enable industries to directly purchase electricity from private players anywhere in the country.

After Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh is the first state in the country to adopt the system. Under this, an industry in Hyderabad can even buy power from a hydel station located in Arunachal Pradesh and APTransco will facilitate its transmission.

The move is aimed at allowing industries to continue the production at full level. Earlier, the industries had to depend on power provided by government controlled APTransco and Discoms. The new policy is all set to revolutionalise the industries sector. “It is aimed at reducing the hardships faced by the industry,” said Mr Ajay Jain, chairman and managing director of APTransco. “We want to open lines even within the State.”

Initially, open access will be offered for supplies from outside the State. As local industries are struggling to run their units in the context of three-day power holiday, it was decided to allow the same in the State grid also.

“This would allow industries to buy power from local captive power units and we will only charge for transmission service,” said Mr Jain. The Electricity Regulatory Commission will decide the average charge to be collected from the industries for transmission. Sources said it would be less than 50 paise per unit.

APTransco would enter into agreements with the industries for short-term open access and long and medium term open access. Captive units, which till now could not sell their
surplus power, will also benefit from the the latest move.

‘Facebook beats Google for visitors’

Social-networking star Facebook surpassed Google to become the most visited website in the United States for the first time last week, industry analysts showed.

Facebook’s homepage finished the week ending March 13 as the most visited site in the country, according to industry tracker Hitwise.

The “important milestone,” as described by Hitwise director of research Heather Dougherty, came as Facebook enjoyed a massive 185 per cent increase in visits in the same period, compared to the same week in 2009.

By comparison, visits to search engine home Google.com increased only nine per cent in the same time — although the tracker does not include Google property sites such as the popular Gmail email service, YouTube and Google Maps.

Taken together, Facebook.com and Google.com amounted to 14 per cent of the entire US Internet visits last week, Dougherty said.

Google has been positioning challenges in recent months to Facebook and the micro-blogging site Twitter by adding the social-networking feature Buzz to its Gmail service.

In what could signal an escalating battle between Facebook and Google, the leading social-networking service celebrated its sixth birthday earlier this year with changes including a new message inbox that echoes Gmail’s format.

Facebook boasts some 400 million users while Gmail had 176 million unique visitors in December, according to tracking firm comScore.