After Google, another US Web firm cuts back in China

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Two days after Google halted censorship in China, another leading US Internet company, Go Daddy, said it was cutting back on its activities there because of Chinese regulations.

Go Daddy, the largest Web domain name registrar in the world, is no longer registering names in China because of “chilling” new requirements imposed by the Chinese authorities, executive vice president Christine Jones said on Wednesday.

Jones also told a hearing of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China that Go Daddy was one of the companies hit by Chinese-based cyberattacks in December that contributed to Google’s decision to stop self-censorship there.

Representative Chris Smith, a Republican from New Jersey, praised Google and Go Daddy at the hearing here for “doing the right thing in China” and urged other US companies, specifically Microsoft, to follow their lead.

Related article: Foreign firms ponder China future

“Google fired a shot heard ’round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people,” Smith said.

Google announced Monday it had effectively closed its Chinese-language search engine in China,, and begun redirecting mainland Chinese users to an uncensored site in Hong Kong.

Chronology: Google’s operations in China

Alan Davidson, Google’s director of public policy, told the hearing the Hong Kong site is already being censored.

“We are well aware that the Chinese government can, at any time, block access to our services — indeed we have already seen intermittent censorship of certain search queries on both and,” he said.

Davidson also echoed a call made by Google co-founder Sergey Brin for new rules to govern trade in the online world.

Brin said in an interview with the British newspaper The Guardian that Chinese regulations that prevent companies from being competitive in China should be considered a “trade barrier.”

“Since services and information are our most successful exports, if regulations in China effectively prevent us from being competitive, then they are a trade barrier,” Brin said.

Davidson said governments “need to develop a full set of new trade rules to address new trade barriers.

“We should continue to look for effective ways to address unfair foreign trade barriers in the online world: to use trade agreements, trade tools, and trade diplomacy to promote the free flow of information on the Internet.”

Brin and Davidson’s comments came after TOM Online, the Internet company owned by Hong Kong’s richest man, Li Ka-shing, severed ties with Google.

TOM, which runs online and mobile Internet services in mainland China, said that “as a Chinese company, we adhere to rules and regulations in China where we operate our businesses.”

TOM’s move sparked concerns other companies may also pull away from the Web giant. On Thursday the Financial Times reported that China Unicom, the country’s second largest mobile phone operator, will jettison Google’s search function from new handsets.

The move is the first concrete result of Google’s decision to shut down its Chinese search engine on Monday.

“We are willing to work with any company that abides by Chinese law…. We don’t have any cooperation with Google currently,” the Financial Times quoted China Unicom president Lu Yimin as saying.

China has attacked Google for stopping censorship but said there should be no broader fall-out in Sino-US ties provided the issue is not politicized in the United States.

Go Daddy’s Jones said the company has been authorized since April 2005 by the China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC) to offer registration services for .cn domain names.

The .cn suffix is a Top Level Domain for China like .com and individuals or companies seeking to create a Web address are required to go through a registrar such as Go Daddy, which has 40 million domain names under management.

Jones said Go Daddy collects contact information of individuals or companies registering a domain name including their full name, address, telephone number and email address.

Four months ago, however, CNNIC required registrants of new .cn names to provide color headshot photos, a Chinese business registration number and signed registration forms, she said.

She said Go Daddy is “concerned for the security of the individuals affected by CNNIC’s new requirements, as well as for the chilling effect we believe the requirements will have on new .cn domain name registrations.

“For these reasons, we have decided to discontinue offering new .cn domain names at this time,” Jones said. “We didn’t want to act as an agent of the Chinese government.”

Jones also said that Go Daddy was one of more than 30 companies hit by the cyberattacks in December that Google said originated in China. “We’ve had a couple of dozen since the first of the year as well,” she said.

“The Google attack was aimed at infiltrating email accounts,” she said. “The attack on our system is designed to disable websites somebody doesn’t like.”

Bin Laden issues fresh threat to U.S.

Exiled al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden

Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, threatened in a new audio recording released on Thursday to kill any captured Americans if the U.S. executes the self-professed mastermind of the September 11 attacks or any other al-Qaeda suspects.

The U.S. is still considering whether to put Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four of his fellow plotters on military tribunal for their role in the September 11 attacks. The Obama administration is also looking into recommendations for civilian trials, and is expected to announce a decision soon.

In a brief 74-second audio tape aired on Al-Jazeera television, bin Laden said if the U.S. decides to execute any al-Qaeda suspects in its custody — and explicitly mentioned Mohammed — his terror network would kill American captives.

The terror leader said such a decision “would mean the U.S. has issued a death sentence against whoever of you becomes a prisoner in our hands.”

It was not immediately clear whether al-Qaeda currently has any U.S. captives, but the Haqqani group – the Pakistan-based Taliban faction closest to al-Qaeda — is holding an American soldier it captured in eastern Afghanistan in June 2009. It released a video of him in December.

Bin Laden said U.S. President Barack Obama is following in the footsteps of his predecessor George W. Bush by escalating the war in Afghanistan, being “unjust” to al-Qaeda prisoners and supporting Israel in its occupation of Palestinian land.

In a veiled threat, bin Laden said Americans had previously thought their homeland was beyond the reach of his group until the 9/11 attack.

Mohammed, who was captured in Pakistan in 2003, is the most senior al-Qaeda operative in U.S. custody, and is currently in detention at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In 2008, the U.S. charged him with murder and war crimes in connection with the September 11 attacks. Pentagon officials have said they’ll seek the death penalty.

Water Board seeks hike in water tariff

Hyderabad: In a bid to earn more revenues, the Water Board has proposed a hike in the water tariff.

Officials of the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board are working out the different slabs and are likely to target the high-end consumers like hotels and other commercial establishments while bringing the hike to effect.

The tariff for the 16-30 kilolitre slab consumers may increase from Rs 8 to Rs 12 or maybe even Rs 14 per kilolitre.

Similarly, for the 31-50 kilolitre slab, there may be an increase from Rs 15 to Rs 20 per kilolitre.

The Water Board expects an increase of Rs 10 crore in its monthly revenue due to the hike. Currently, the Board collects Rs 32 crore as revenue from water bill payments each month against a monthly expenditure of Rs 45 crore.

The water tariff was last increased in 2002. The officials are planning to place the proposals before the Chief Minister, Mr K. Rosaiah, who is also the chairman of the Water Board. He is scheduled to review the performance of the Board on March 27.

Sources say that domestic consumers, currently, paying Rs 6 per kilolitre are likely to be exempted from the hike. The Rosaiah government is averse to the idea of imposing additional burden on the middle and lower middle classes of the society. When contacted, the Water Board executive director, Mr Ashok Reddy, told this correspondent that nothing had been finalised and there had only been a discussion among officials regarding a hike.

It may be mentioned that Andhra Pradesh was was the first state to increase bus fares.

Even Transco is reportedly proposing a revision in power tariff.

Book LPG cylinders at e-Seva

Hyderabad: Applications for new cooking gas connections will soon be accepted through all e-Seva centres across the state. This comes after a good response to the initiative in Hyderabad.

Many applicants allege that dealers insist they purchase a gas stove and other gadgets from them to get the new connection. A dealer makes a profit of around Rs 1,000 on the sale of the stove etc. but for consumers who already have a stove it’s a waste of money

AP joins Maha battle against Almatti

Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh has presented crucial data of water storage before the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal to prove that Karnataka had secretly increased the height of the Almatti dam of the Supreme Court guidelines.

It also joined hands with Maharashtra to oppose Karnataka’s proposal to increase the height of the dam further by arguing that it would submerge large habitats and would also delay water release during Kharif season in AP.

Officials of AP presented a detailed investigation report stating that Karnataka had impounded 210.38 tmc ft water during the 2006-07 season, which would not have been possible if its height had been 519.6 metres as decided by the Supreme Court.

The state contended that Karnataka raised the height of the dam by 0.60 metres to accommodate additional 37.38 tmc ft water in violation of the Bachawat Award and the SC judgment. This allegation by AP created furore in the tribunal hearings with Karnataka denying increasing the height.

“But we have evidence that Karnataka indeed impounded more than what it could have done with the declared height,” said a senior official in the irrigation department. Karnataka argued for raising the height of the dam to 524.256 metres for utilising another 130 tmc ft out of its share of surplus water of 517 tmc ft.

It alternatively proposed storage of between 519.60 metres and 524.256 metres as carryover for the benefit of all the three states and offered to store about 100 tmc ft water belonging to AP and release it whenever the state wants. However, AP rejected these proposals and argued that Karnataka can use only 155 tmc ft and not 173 tmc ft as claimed during the hearings before the tribunal.

Intel Capital invests USD 23 million in Indian tech firms

Intel Capital, Intel Corporation’s global investment unit, on Thursday said it has invested USD 23 million in three Indian technology companies – July Systems, KLG Systel and MCX.

However, the firm did not reveal the amount the three companies have received individually.

Funding would come from the USD 250 million Intel Capital India Technology Fund, established in December 2005, Intel Capital said in a statement.

“This fund invests in Indian technology companies to stimulate local technology innovation and the continued growth of India’s information technology industry,” it said.

July Systems provides mobile internet solutions, which enables media brands to publish, distribute, monetise inventory and personalise services for consumers.

KLG Systel provides smart grid and energy management and efficiency solutions to power utilities and end-users.

MCX, a leading commodity futures electronic exchange in India, has permanent recognition from the Indian government for facilitating online trading, clearing and settlement operations for futures market across the country.

“Intel Capital’s investment in July Systems, KLG Systel and MCX reinforces our commitment towards fostering Indian innovation,” President of Intel Capital and Executive Vice- president of Intel Arvind Sodhani said.

Since 1998, Intel Capital has invested more than USD 200 million in Indian technology companies across 10 cities, the statement added.

Kolkata fire: Caretaker, assistant in 14-day custody

A notice informing public about demolition work hangs on the gates of the Stephen Court building in Kolkata on Thursday

The caretaker of the fire-ravaged heritage building on Park Street and his assistant were on Thursday remanded to 14-day police custody as the blame game intensified with the Chief Minister warning civic officials of stern action over the ‘racket’ in illegal constructions.

Tarun Bagadia, the caretaker of Stephen Court, and his assistant Ramshankar Singh, arrested on negligence and other charges, were sent to police custody by a court of the chief metropolitan magistrate.

Acting on a petition, the Calcutta High Court granted interim stay on the demolition of any portion of the 150-year-old Stephen Court.

Debraj Sharma and other residents of Stephen Court submitted that the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, in the name of demolishing the two top floors of the building, was destroying their property and not allowing them to enter.

The fire that broke out on Tuesday claimed 24 lives.

While Fire Services Minister Pratim Chatterjee put the number of missing at 24, Kolkata Police Commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakraborty said 12-15 people were untraceable.

Buddhadeb talks tough

Facing public outrage over the absence of safety norms, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee accused the civic administration of being hand in glove with the ‘coterie’ of illegal builders.

“The top floors of Stephen Court are illegal. We are investigating what the KMC’s role was at that time…The city has a coterie of illegal builders with whom the administration is involved. Exemplary punishment will be given. The fire has taught the government to intervene in such situations immediately,” he said in the State Assembly.

He went on to say that “a racket is working” in connivance with a section of the administration.

Search still on

Firemen continued search for the third day for those missing after the fire in the building as a stench was coming from the rubble on the upper floors.

“We can’t rule out more bodies as debris is yet to be cleared,” a fire brigade official said.

The residents demanded that they be allowed into the building, which was out of bounds for them, to collect their valuables.

The police and KMC officials had a tough time in facing the demonstrators, who included women with some lunging at the officials. “Save our houses. Don’t demolish them,” read one of the posters of the demonstrators.

Blast convict wants to sell kidney to fund his defence

Hanif Sayeed has been sentenced to death for his role in the 2003 Gateway of India blast

Haneef Sayyed, who, along with wife Fahmida, has been sentenced to death for their role in the 2003 Gateway of India blast, wants to sell off his kidney to raise money for legal defence, his lawyer said.

“He wrote to me last week saying that he wants to auction one of his kidneys to pay the lawyers,” advocate Sushant Kunjuraman told PTI on Thursday.

“I am going to file a petition in the High Court, seeking direction to the government that Sayyed be allowed to sell his kidney,” Mr. Kunjuraman said.

Sayyed was a taxi driver by profession before his arrest. Sayyed, his wife, and one Arshad Ansari were convicted by the court last year for carrying out twin blasts — at Gateway and Zaveri Bazaar — which killed 54 people.

Their appeals are pending before the High Court.

“Since he is in jail, if he wants to sell his kidney, government’s permission is required,” Mr. Kunjuraman said.

Under the Indian law, no human organ can be removed from a living donor unless it is intended for a close relative. Organ transplants require the consent of government-appointed committees, and no organ can be sold.

Three crew killed in medical chopper crash in US

A medical helicopter crashed in a field in Tennessee early Thursday and state officials confirmed three crew members were killed.

Tennessee Emergency Management Agency spokesman Jeremy Heidt, in Nashville said the medical flight crashed into a field near Brownsville during a rainstorm shortly after 6 a.m.

Mr. Heidt said the helicopter had flown a patient from Parsons to a Jackson hospital and was returning to its base in Brownsville when it went down only a few miles from its destination. All those aboard were crew members.

Hospital Wing, the company that flies the medical airlifts, didn’t immediately respond to telephone and e—mail messages seeking more details.

The company’s Web site says it flies the Eurocopter Astar AS350B3 model, which is capable of carrying a three—person crew and one patient.

The crash scene is near a highway and about 55 miles (90 kilometers) northeast of Memphis.

World’s tallest tower to ‘go dark’ for Earth Hour

Burj Khalifa , the world’s tallest building during the official opening ceremony in Dubai

Burj Khalifa, the tallest man-made structure, will join tens of thousands of iconic buildings and landmarks from across the world for the Earth Hour on March 27.

To mark the occasion, the golden glow that cascades down the 828-metre tower will be turned off.

Other local landmarks such as Burj Al Arab, Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Abu Dhabi Tower of Commerce and Hyatt Regency will also embrace darkness to express solidarity.

Expressing appreciation for the record number of participants this year, Earth Hour, in a statement, said Burj Khalifa was the epitome of global cooperation and unwavering determination and, hence, perfectly reflected the campaign’s ideals.

Earth Hour Executive Director Andy Ridley said growing number of participants symbolised the campaign’s popularity and the world’s resolve to save the planet.

Ridley has seen the campaign grow from a one-city affair in 2007 to more than 4,000 cities in 2009.

“Earth Hour demonstrates the determination of the world’s citizens for a better and healthier world. It is an opportunity for the global community to speak in one voice on the issue of climate change.”

When contacted, Burj Khalifa representatives were unavailable for comment.

Apart from man-made structures, some of the world’s best known natural landmarks, including the Table Mountain and the Victoria Falls, will also join the campaign this year.

Swamis in Scandals: What Keeps the Faith?

Twenty-seven-year-old Priya, a devotee of Paramahamsa Nityananda Swami, can’t believe a video footage where the Karnataka-based spiritual guru is allegedly shown in a compromising position with a Tamil actress.

“I still doubt whether it is swamiji or it is a graphic gimmick,” a shocked Priya told IANS.

Nityananda Swami’s is not the first reported case of a person in religious garb being caught in a scandal. Of late, a number of swamis have been in the news for the wrong reasons.

Ichchadhari Sant Swami Bhimanand Ji Maharaj was arrested for running a multi-crore rupee sex racket in Delhi involving former air hostesses. Kumar Sahai alias Swami Ji was arrested from Ghaziabad, on the outskirts of Delhi, for kidnapping a girl.

Guru Asaram Bapu is still under the police scanner for the deaths of two minor boys in his ashram-run gurukul in Ahmedabad, while several years ago Kancheepuram mutt head Jayendra Saraswathi was charged with the murder of a former employee.

Although many blame followers for not being discerning enough, more interestingly what has emerged is the unshakable faith that devotees, particularly women who seek solutions to personal problems, have in them.

Swami Shantatmananda, secretary of the Ramkrishna Mission, told IANS: “One should seek god through prayer and scriptures and not through fake godmen.”

“They thrive due to thoughtless followers who have not understood the true meaning of spirituality. Ignorant, miracle-and-fortune-seeking followers are the ones who help such fake swamis prosper in our society,” he said.

According to Swami H.H. Sukhabodhananda, founder of the Prasanna Trusta, “Like fake doctors and engineers, there are also fake godmen in society.”

Kamini Jaiswal, a senior Supreme Court lawyer, who has fought a case against Sathya Sai Baba, blames blind followers for such incidents. “It is shocking to see that well educated people are followers of such godmen,” she said.

Police say they can’t act against fake swamis until they get a complaint. “It’s a social issue, with proper evidence, police will do its duty and arrest fake godman. As for the public, it’s high time they recognised such fraudsters,” Rajan Bhagat, Delhi Police spokesman, told IANS.

Sudha Sundaram, general secretary of the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA), says their should checks and balances.

“The government should come up with a state-level monitoring system to check the registration of an ashram and its source of income before providing monetary support,” he said.

But there are those who are angry with the names of gurus being dragged into scandals. One of them is yoga guru Ramdev, who said the recent arrests, were “a very big conspiracy”.

“Some politicians and communal forces are conspiring to malign the name of Indian saints by trapping them in cases related to fake currency, rape, murder, sex scandals and drugs,” he said.

Agreed Anitha Swaminathan, a member of the Theosophical Society in Chennai. “Our country has veteran sadhus and swamijis. Such fake godmen are just a bubble in the water,” she said.

The arrests have not altogether made much of a dent in the mindset of people or deterred them from following a guru who would show them the light in their day to day problems. But it has helped them understand the need for the right one.

Naunidhi Kaur, a follower of Radhaswami Satsung, said: “There are numerous ashrams and satsangs that stand out for their spiritual teachings and true selfless service to mankind. A follower just needs to be more knowledgeable about the faith and not just be a blind one.”

Summed up Balakrishnan, who follows the preachings of Jiddu Krishnamurti: “I am not a follower of any particular swamiji. But I have come across many sadhus who are true. With just one or two involved in such cheap incidents, we cannot condemn the whole community,” he added.

Cleaner petrol, diesel to cost more from April 1

NEW DELHI: Thirteen cities including Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad may witness oil price hike of 41 paise per litre on petrol and 26 paise per litre on diesel with the introduction of cleaner Euro IV grade fuel from April 1, Petroleum Secretary S Sundareshan said here on Wednesday.“The introduction of Euro IV is going to cost the oil marketing companies 41 paise per litre on petrol and 26 paise per litre on diesel. This is not on the basis of capital expenditure that they have incurred for making these upgradations but purely on the principle which we are following to bring domestic rates to international parity”, he said while speaking at the launch of Bharat Stage-IV fuels here.The 13 major cities which would switch over to Euro-IV from April 1 are Delhi and NCR, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Surat, Ahmedabad, Kanpur, Agra, Solapur and Lucknow.The introduction of Euro-IV fuel would improve the quality of air and will help in reducing the air pollution as the dangerous Sulphur content in the fuels would be reduced to 50 parts per million (PPM). This would in turn result in the reduction of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and suspended particulate matter during fuel combustion that is emitted into the atmosphere.The Petroleum Secretary said that if the government did not take any hard decision, the under recoveries of oil marketing companies would slip from the current Rs 45, 000 crore to the order of Rs 70,000 crore by 2010-11.The Ministry of Petroleum is pushing for increasing auto fuel price so that the cost of supplying cleaner fuel does not add to the current Rs 6 per litre loss on selling petrol and Rs 4.06 per litre loss on diesel for the oil companies.The higher price for Euro-IV fuels is on the anvil to compensate the oil marketing companies for the investment that they have made in upgrading their refineries to Euro-IV standards.

Manila Earthquake | Earthquake Philippines

earthquake, earthquake manila, earthquake today,

Manila Earthquake:Earthquake Philippines Today March 25 2010 – Just moments ago a magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck the west of Manila according to the Seismological Institute of the Philippines.
The first reports that are coming in,claimed that the buildings of the capital shook for about thirty seconds pushing several employees to run out of their offices into the nearby streets. It was not immediately clear if there were any damage or casualties.The director of the institute, Renato Solidum said the seisme occurred at about 10km under the sea.
That’s all we have for now on Manila Earthquake.

SC okays Muslim quota

New Delhi:The Andhra Pradesh government today received a major boost with the Supreme Court, in an interim order, upholding the validity of four per cent reservation provided to backward members of Muslim community in the state.

A bench of Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices J M Panchal and B S Chauhan, however, referred the issue to a Constitution bench to examine the validity of the impugned Act since it involved important issues of the Constitution.

The bench passed the direction while dealing with a Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by the government against an order of Andhra Pradesh High Court which had earlier struck down the provision as being unconstitutional.

A seven-judge Constitution bench of the High Court had by a majority judgement of 5:2 held the Andhra Pradesh Reservation for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes of
Muslims Act, 2007 “unsustainable” and violative of Article 14 (equality before law) and other provisions pertaining to prohibition of discrimination by State on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.

The High Court, while setting aside the state Act, had also quashed a subsequent 2007 government order allocating four per cent reservation to Muslim groups in educational
institutions and jobs.

The state had moved a bill in the Assembly on the basis of a report submitted to it by Andhra Pradesh Commission for Backward Classes (APBC). The bill was later passed by the

The report had recommended that the socially and educationally backward should be adequately represented in the state.

The High Court held that the recommendation made by the APBC was unsustainable as it failed to evolve and spell out proper and relevant criteria for identification of social
and educational backwardness and inadequate representation in public employment among classes or persons belonging to Muslim community.

It said the data was not collected properly by the APBC for determining the social and educational backwardness of the Muslims in the state.

The High Court said the Commission relied on data collected and observations made by Anthropological Survey of India which was meant to make an anthropological profile of
Indian population and has no relevance to the affirmative action or reservation under Article 15(4) and 16 (4) of the Constitution which enables a state to make law on reservation.

Karnataka HC refuses to entertain Nityananda’s bail plea

Bangalore: The Karnataka High Court today refused to pass orders on an anticipatory bail application filed by self-styled godman Swami Nityananda, against whom police have registered cases for his alleged involvement in sleaze activities.

After hearing the counsel for Nityananda, Justice Arali Nagaraj termed as ‘unfounded’ the godman’s apprehension that he could be arrested, pending disposal of the case and directed him to to approach the proper forum to seek anticipatory bail.

The court also rejected his plea for staying of all the proceedings, including investigation. Nagaraj ordered CID SP Yogappa, investigating the case, to submit all documents after translating it from Tamil to English and Kannada, to the court before March 30.

Nityananda has already moved the jurisdictional sessions court in Ramanagar two days ago for bail. Nityananda is at the centre of a controversy after video footage of his alleged sleazy acts was telecast on TV channels in Tamil Nadu on March 2. The swami, whose
whereabouts are not known, has claimed that the images have been morphed and he had not done anything illegal or against the law.

NTPC pays highest dividend to government

New Delhi: The country’s largest power generator, the state-run NTPC Thursday said it had paid the highest interim dividend so far at Rs.2,090.21 crore to the government for the current fiscal.

The dividend payout has been kept at Rs.3 per equity share, which was 30 percent of the paid-up equity share capital of the company, and amounted to Rs.2,473.64 crore for 2009-10.

“Out of this, an amount of Rs.2,090.21 crore was paid to Government of India holding 84.5 percent of NTPC’s paid up equity,” said a statement from the company.

This is the 17th consecutive year that NTPC has declared dividend, the statement added.

NTPC is targetting to generate about 226,000 million units of electricity in the next fiscal.

10 militants killed in Pakistan

Islamabad: Ten militants were killed in fighting with the security forces in northwest Pakistan Thursday, Xinhua reported.

The fighting started when the militants attacked a security check post in the Orakzai tribal agency, an official said.

Security forces have launched a major operation against the militants in the area. On Wednesday, 21 militants were killed by the security forces in Orakzai.

5 killed as Union Minister’s escort jeep hits auto in Andhra

At least five people were killed when a jeep in the convoy of Minister of State for Defence Pallam Raju hit an autorickshaw in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh today, according to media reports.

Four women who were travelling in the autorickshaw died on the spot and a man was also killed. There are reports of few people suffering injuries. These people were travelling in the jeep.

Details are awaited.


And now, a museum on Sachin

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government on Thursday announced that a museum on the career of Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar would soon be built in the state.

The museum will depict the life and cricket career of the master batsman, who recently became the first player in the history of the game to score a one-day international double hundred.

Sachin is also the first Indian sportsperson to have his wax statue erected at the famous Madame Tussauds wax museum in London.

The statue was erected last year on Sachin’s 36th birthday. The statue had been formally launched by Tendulkar in Mumbai, who had exclaimed “it was so real, it was fanastic! I’m glad it doesn’t breathe.”

 He became the first Indian sportsman to make the grade and joined cricket legends Brian Lara and Shane Warne.


Videocon forays into mobile services

Diversified business conglomerate Videocon Group on Thursday launched its mobile services division at an investment of Rs. 14,000 crore.

The group, which has presence in household appliances, Oil and Gas, Retail, Direct-to-Home services, entered the GSM telecom space by offering a scheme of ‘sub 1 paise effective tariff’

Videocon Group Chairman Venugopal Dhoot said the new division, Videocon Mobile Services, planned to cover 100 cities in 100 days.