Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Pros and Cons of sex before marriage

September 30, 2009

There are many pros and cons to sex before marriage, however that is no to say that these are for everyone. As individuals we all have our own cultural and social believes that we must uphold. This article is more of overall advice with no religious, cultural or social standard. Sex before marriage is a sticky subject (no pun intended) and I will do my best to help the reader sort through the mess that today’s media has created.

Sex in general should be a very private and special moment, no matter who we are or from were we come. Sex should also be part iced between CONSENTING ADULTS. I highlight those two words because anything other that that can be considered rape, child sex abuse or anything in between. I also state adults because of the risks both mentally and physically that are associated with sex. It should also be noted that the writer is not here to judge what type of sex those involved are having. Every human being has a right to practice sex in whichever manner they desire.

There are many cons to sex before marriage. For one there is the whole “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free”. Basically this was an old passage for the ladies to inform that most guys wouldn’t marry the girls that would give it up before marriage. This not necessarily true in society today but there are some truths still today. As a guy this writer can say that many of the girls that gave it up to me on the first date were never kept for to long and many more became what we call “booty calls”. I am not proud today about these actions but I was also younger and dumber. This can also work in benefit for the woman since they have been known to have boy toys or sugar daddies. No one is safe from having their heart broken once or twice in their life.

The next con of course is disease. STDs (Sexually Transmitted Disease) can range from AIDS to genital warts and some are a death sentence. “In the United States: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are between 800,000 and 900,000 people living with HIV. Through December 2000, a total of 774,467 cases of AIDS have been reported to the CDC; of this number, 448,060 persons (representing 58% of cases) have died.” (www.AIDS.org) AIDS or HIV can contracted in many ways drug use is one way but sexual activity is the best known manner to get it. During sex of any kind this disease can be transmitted through blood (from the tiny abrasions that occur during sex), semen, and vaginal secretions. This is no the only disease but it is the deadliest disease associated with sexual activity. No matter what if one is going to have sex please pratice safe sex.

The last but not the least con is unwanted pregnancies. Many couples today forget that with great sex comes great responsibility (just trying to lighten the mood). “Approximately one-third of the 6.4 million pregnancies in 2001 (the most recent year for which adequate data are available) in the United States were unwanted,That is approximately 2.13 million pregnancies in which most end up in abortions. Abortions are a very sensitive subject and even if we support it, the mental anguish and guilt associated with it can lead major mental health issues for the women that must go through the process. Most of these unwanted pregnancies are found in teenage and unwed women who were not educated or did not practice safe sex. An unwanted pregnancy can and has destroyed many families and couples. This is not a scenario that many people want to find themselves in this situation and it should be taken into account when planning to have sex prior to marriage.

The life history of Barac obama

June 27, 2009

Barrack obama was born in the year of 4 August 1961, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA .His name was Barrack Hussein Obama Jr,the nick name was Barry Bama Rock .His height is6′ 1½” (1.87 m). Barack Obama was born to a white American mother, Ann Dunham, and a black Kenyan father, Barack Obama, Sr., who were both young college students at the University of Hawaii. When his father left for Harvard, she and Barack stayed behind, and his father ultimately returned alone to Kenya, where he worked as a government economist. Barack’s mother remarried an Indonesian oil manager and moved to Jakarta when Barack was six. He later recounted Indonesia as simultaneously lush and a harrowing exposure to tropical poverty. He returned to Hawaii, where he was brought up largely by his grandparents. The family lived in a small apartment – his grandfather was a furniture salesman and an unsuccessful insurance agent and his grandmother worked in a bank – but Barack managed to get into Punahou School, Hawaii’s top prep academy. His father wrote to him regularly but, though he traveled around the world on official business for Kenya, he visited only once, when Barack was ten.

Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, grew up in Wichita, Kansas. Her father worked on oil rigs during the Depression. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he signed up for service in World War II and marched across Europe in Patton’s army. Dunham’s mother went to work on a bomber assembly line. After the war, they studied on the G. I. Bill, bought a house through the Federal Housing Program, and moved to Hawaii.Meantime, Barack’s father had won a scholarship that allowed him to leave Kenya pursue his dreams in Hawaii. At the time of his birth, Obama’s parents were students at the East–West Center of the University of Hawaii at Manoa.Obama’s parents separated when he was two years old and later divorced. Obama’s father went to Harvard to pursue Ph. D. studies and then returned to Kenya.

His mother married Lolo Soetoro, another East–West Center student from Indonesia. In 1967, the family moved to Jakarta, where Obama’s half-sister Maya Soetoro–Ng was born. Obama attended schools in Jakarta, where classes were taught in the Indonesian language.Four years later when Barack (commonly known throughout his early years as “Barry”) was ten, he returned to Hawaii to live with his maternal grandparents, Madelyn and Stanley Dunham, and later his mother (who died of ovarian cancer in 1995).He was enrolled in the fifth grade at the esteemed Punahou Academy, graduating with honors in 1979. He was only one of three black students at the school. This is where Obama first became conscious of racism and what it meant to be an African–American.

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In his memoir, Obama described how he struggled to reconcile social perceptions of his multiracial heritage. He saw his biological father (who died in a 1982 car accident) only once (in 1971) after his parents divorced. And he admitted using alcohol, marijuana and cocaine during his teenage years.

Barack Obama has admitted that he struggled through his initial childhood years to find answers about his multicultural, multi racial heritage. As a very small child he found difficult to accept such vast differences between his mother and fathers skin color. In his own words he says that he had a middle class upbringing. During his teenage years, he even used cocaine, marijuana and alcohol to deal with his internal conflicts, something which he regretted later. Now, he thinks it was a big mistake and he was morally wrong. He never touched illegal drugs again after those years.After high school, Barack moved to Los Angeles and studied at the Occidental College for two years; from there to Columbia College in New York. He majored in Political Science with specialization in International relations in 1983. In the meantime his father had died in Kenya in 1982. Barack Obama moved to Chicago after spending four years in New York and working at Business International Corporation and New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG). He was hired as Community organizer by Developing Communities Project, a church based community organization. The organization wanted a young black man to help them collaborate with black churches in the south side. From 1985 to 1988, Obama worked there as Director of the organization. He helped blacks fight for their rights from the city government. He worked to improve the living conditions of poor neighborhoods which faced crimes unemployment. Working in a small organization taught him organizational skills. He was always good with words and was known for making speeches which people could emotionally connect to. He worked with Saul Alinsky whose method was agitation which meant getting people angry enough about their current state of things that they are compelled to take some step and do something. During his tenure at Developing Communities Project, the staff at this organization grew from 1 to 13 and so did their budget. Then, he worked as consultant and instructor for Gamaliel Foundation, a community organizing institute. It was 1988 when we first traveled to Europe and then to Kenya for few weeks, where he met his fathers family for the first time.

Barack Obama felt that law was a medium which could facilitate activism and community organization. So in late 1988, he entered Harvard Law School. In his second year at college, in 1990, he was elected as the president of law review. This role required him to be editor- in-chief and supervisor of law review staff of about 80 editors. As he was the first black to be elected for this position, it was a widely reported and much publicized event. It had taken Obama long sessions of discussion with conservatives to support him. While still in law school in 1989, he worked as an associate at Sidley and Austin law firms. He met his future wife Michelle, also a lawyer, here. Newton Minnow was a managing partner here. Minnow, later introduced him to many of the Chicago top leaders. In the summer of 1990, he worked at Hopkins and Sutter and finally graduated from Harvard in 1991; after which he again moved back to Chicago where he practiced as a civil rights lawyer. His could have easily taken up a god job after Harvard but his values and mothers teachings had taught him to do something for the society and the less privileged ones. The publicity that he garnered at Harvard, because of his election as first black president of Harvard law review, led him to an offer by University of Chicago law school to write book on racial relations. He was offered a fellowship from the university and an office from where he could write the book. In the meantime, after dating for few years and being engaged for a year, Barack married Michelle Robinson in 1992. Obama initially thought he would complete the book in one year but it took much longer as it was a memoir and he included bits about his personal life also. He traveled to Bali with his wife and wrote most of the part of the book there. In mid 1995, the manuscript was published. Book was named Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. Few months after this publication his mother Ann, who had moved to Hawaii from Indonesia in 1994, died of ovarian and uterine cancer. He won the Grammy award for the audio version of this book.

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Meanwhile, Barack Obama also taught Constitutional Law at University of Chicago Law School from 1992- 2004; first as a Lecturer from 1992 to 1996 and then as Senior Lecturer from 1996 to 2004. Barack had also joined Davis, Miner, Barnhill and Galland law firm as civil rights attorney. He was an Associate in this law firm from 1993 to 1996 and then counsel from 1996 to 2004. Barack served on the board of Directors Woods Fund of Chicago, Joyce foundation form 1994 to 2002. In 1992, he became the founding member of board of director of Public Allies but resigned in 1993 and his wife joined it. All these years in Chicago, he served on board of directors of Chicago Annenberg Challenge, Chicago lawyers Committee for Civil Right under Law, the Centre for Neighborhood Technology and Lugenia Burns Hope Center.

In 1992 election he had organized largest voter registration drives, Project Vote, in history of Chicago from April to October 1992. He had with him a staff of ten and around seven hundred volunteers. They had the goal of registering around 150,000 African Americans in the state who were unregistered. It was one of the most successful voter registration drives one had ever seen. Baracks work led him to run for Illinois State Senate. Eventually, he was elected in 1996 November, succeeding State Senator Alice Palmer, as Barack Obama was the only candidate left, after rest of the petitions were invalidated. He strongly worked for ethics reforms and criminal justice reform. In 1998, Barack with U.S. senator Paul Simon passed the toughest campaign finance law. It called for banning any personal use of the campaign money and any gifts received from the lobbyists. Before the law was passed, Illinois was among the worst states for campaign finance regulations.

He went on to serve three terms in the Illinois State Senate, from the year 1997 to 2004. Barack lost a primary run for U.S. House of Representatives to Bobby Rush in a very close fight in the year 2000. In the year 2003, he passed legislation to expand healthcare coverage to 70,000 children making Kidcare, state Childrens Health insurance program, permanent. The legislation also extended health insurance to uninsured parents, which added up to additional 84,000 parents. After he found there were 13 innocent death row inmates, Barrack saw to it that death penalty reforms were changed. Also, Illinois became the first state where videotaping an interrogation became mandatory. Even Law enforcement agreed that recording questioning would help the prosecutions chances. As the Chairman of Illinois Senates Health and Human Services Committee, Barack Obama unanimously led a legislation to be passed on racial profiling by the police, which means maintaining records of the race, age and gender of the drivers detained. For low income families, Obama created Illinois Earned Income tax credit which offered tax relief.

Barack Obama came into national limelight with an inspiring speech at July 2004 Democratic National Convention where he spoke against the Bush administrations policies on Iraq war. His speech was the highlight of the convention and people who saw it knew that he was an emerging star. Barrack is a great orator, at par with Martin Luther King Jr. and often compared with John F Kennedy. People wait for hours to hear him speak. During his presidential campaign he drew huge crowd. He has a flair for consensus building and he loves addressing crowds. His wife Michelle Robinson is a Harvard Law School graduate. Michelle and Barack had their first daughter, Malia Ann in 1998 and second daughter Natasha, known as Sasha in 2001. His second book, Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream was out in October 2006 and he won the Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for audio version of this book too. As a writer, Barack is very talented and is an introspective writer. Barack is a devoted basketball player and a Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bears fan. Though his father was brought up with Islamic faith, he was an atheist by choice, however, Barack follows Christianity.

By middle of 2002, he started thinking about running for U.S. Senate and formally, announced his candidacy in 2003 for U.S. Senate. On 2nd November 2004, he won the election by a great victory margin and was finally, elected to the US Senate, following which he resigned from Illinois State Senate. Barack Obama became the fifth African American senator in the history to do so. Till 2006, Obama held minority appointments like Foreign relations, Environment and Public Works, Veterans Affairs on Senate committees. He took additional major assignments of Committee of Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs at the start of 2007. While in U.S. Senate Foreign relations Committee, Barack visited Iraq to witness the war. In January he even introduced a legislation to end the Iraq war. He went against the conventional thinking of U.S. and had the courage to oppose the war. He also traveled to Russia and Africa. Right through his career he has spoken about his opposition to the Iraq war and to providing universal health care, which he focused on even in the presidential campaign. Obama made efforts to correct the disparity that existed in the state of Illinois where veterans were receiving less disability benefits as compared to other states. As a result more disability claims specialists were hired for the regional office in Chicago and claims of veterans were re-examined. Education was his top priority during his Senate years. He passed a legislation to carry summer education programs which emphasize mathematics and problem solving skills. He worked on to get black colleges eligible for grant money.
Quick summary of Barack Obama’s Life:

1961 – Barack Obama is born in Honolulu, HI.

1968 – Obama and his mother move to Indonesia for 5 years.

1971 – Obama moves back to Honolulu, HI. to live with his grandparents. He starts 5th grade at Punahou School.

1979 – Barack Obama graduates from Punahou School and spends two years at Occidental College.

1981 – Obama transfers to Columbia University.

1983 – Graduates from Columvia University and works at Business Int’l Corporation for a year.

1985 – Moves to Chicago and becomes the director of Developing Communities for 3 years.

1988 – Starts studying at Harvard Law School.

1992 – Obama works as the executive directory of Project Vote and Marries Michelle Robinson

1993 – Begins working as an Attorney at Miner, Barnhill & Galland and is the senior lecturer at the University of Chicago.

1995 – Publishes his first book “Dreams Of My Father”

1996 – Elected into the Illinois State Senate.

1998 – Re-Elected into the Illinois State Senate.

1999 – His first daughter, Malia, is born.

2000 – Challenges Congressman Bobby Rush but was defeated in the Primary.

2001 – His second daughter, Sasha, is born.

2004 – Gives the keynote address at the 2004 DNC convention after defeating Alan Keyes.

2006 – Publishes his second book “The Audacity Of Hope”

2006 – Announces that he will seek the 2008 Democratic party nomination.

2008 – Wins the Iowa caucus.

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The End of Michael Jackson at the age of 50

June 26, 2009

Pop star Michael Jackson has died in Los Angeles, aged 50.Paramedics were called to the singer’s Beverly Hills home at about midday on Thursday after he stopped breathing. He was pronounced dead two hours later at the UCLA medical centre. Jackson’s brother, Jermaine, said he was believed to have suffered a cardiac arrest. Jackson, who had a history of health problems, had been due to stage a series of comeback concerts in the UK, beginning on 13 July.

Speaking on behalf of the Jackson family, Jermaine said doctors had tried to resuscitate the star for more than an hour without success. Jermaine Jackson on his brother’s sudden deathThe family requests that the media please respect our privacy during this tough time. And Allah be with you Michael always. I love you.TV footage showed the star’s body flown from UCLA to the LA County Coroner’s office where a post-mortem is expected to take place on Friday.

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Concerns were raised last month when four of Jackson’s planned comeback concerts were postponed, but organizers insisted the dates had been moved due to the complexity of staging the show. A spokeswoman for The outside Organization, which was organizing the publicity for the shows, said she had no comment at this time.

Broadcaster Paul Gambaccini said: I always doubted that he would have been able to go through that schedule, those concerts. It seemed to be too much of a demand on the unhealthy body of a 50 year old.

I’m wondering that, as we find out details of his death, if perhaps the stress of preparing for those dates was a factor in his collapse.It was wishful thinking that at this stage of his life he could be Michael Jackson again.”Uri Geller, a close friend of the star, told BBC News it was “very, very sad”.

Speaking outside New York’s historic Apollo theatre, civil rights activist Rev Al Sharp ton paid tribute to his friend.

I knew him 35 years. When he had problems he would call me,” he said.

“I feel like he was not treated fairly. I hope history will be more kind to him than some of the contemporary media.” Melanie Bromley, west coast bureau chief of Us Weekly magazine, told the BBC the scene in Los Angeles was one of “pandemonium”.

“At the moment there is a period of disbelief. He was buying a home in the Holm by Hills area of Los Angeles and the scene outside the house is one of fans, reporters and TV cameras – its absolute craziness.

I feel this is the biggest celebrity story in a long time and has the potential to be the Princess Diana of popular culture. Musical icon. Tributes from the world of music and film have already flooded in from celebrities including Madonna, Arnold Schwarzenegger and ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley.

Large numbers of fans have also gathered outside Jackson’s home and at the UCLA medical centre with lit candles to mourn the star while playing his greatest hits. Face book groups have also been set up for fans to share their memories.

Paramedics were called to the singer’s house in Bel Air at 1221 (1921GMT) following an emergency phone call. They performed CPR on Jackson and rushed him to the UCLA medical centre.

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A spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department said the robbery and homicide team was investigating Jackson’s death because of its “high profile”, but there was no suggestion of foul play. Jackson began his career as a child in family group The Jackson 5. He then went on to achieve global fame as a solo artist with smash hits such as Billie Jean and Bad. Thriller, released in 1982, is the biggest-selling album of all time, shifting 65m copies, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

He scored seven UK number ones as a solo artist and won a total of 13 Grammy awards.

“For Michael to be taken away from us so suddenly at such a young age, I just don’t have the words,” said Quincy Jones, who produced Thriller, Bad and Off The Wall.He was the consummate entertainer and his contributions and legacy will be felt upon the world forever. I’ve lost my little brother today, and part of my soul has gone with him.” The singer had been dogged by controversy and money trouble in recent years, becoming a virtual recluse. Michael Jackson’s body is delivered by helicopter for a post mortem report .He was arrested in 2003 on charges of molesting a 14-year-old boy, but was found not guilty following a five-month trial. The star had three children, Michael Joseph Jackson Jr, Paris Michael Katherine Jackson and Prince Michael Jackson II. He is survived by his mother, Katherine, father, Joseph and eight siblings – including Janet, Randy, Jermaine and La Toya Jackson.

Recession near bottom

June 24, 2009

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development says the world economy is near the bottom of the worst recession in post-war history.The body that represents the 30 most industrialized nations said that those economies would shrink 4.1% this year. But it adds that recovery is likely to be “weak and fragile” for some time. The UK is in a sharp recession with output set to decline by 4.3% in 2009. Worse than its previous forecast of a 3.7% fall. The OECD predicts zero growth in the UK economy in 2010, and says the UK budget deficit will reach 14% next year – both worse than UK government estimates.

It says the pace of the global downturn is now moderating after the sharp drop in the six months to March, but it still expects world output to shrink by 2.2% this year. However, this is the first time for two years it has revised upwards its overall economic forecasts, especially for 2010, with the economies of Japan and the US now expected to decline less sharply than projected in its previous report. It says the advanced economies will return to weak growth of 0.7% in 2010, compared with its previous forecast of a contraction of 0.1%. It looks like the worst scenario has been avoided the OECD said. Even if the subsequent recovery may be slow, such an outcome is a major achievement of economic policy.” The OECD adds that there are already signs of recovery in the large non-OECD countries such as China, and that in the US activity could bottom out in the second half of 2009.

However, it is more pessimistic about the prospects for the UK and the euro zone. It says that “signs of impending recovery in the euro area are not yet clearly visible” because of housing bubbles, damage to the financial sector, and export setbacks. And it warns that in the UK, rising public sector deficits will need to be reined in as recovery takes hold, and urges the government to develop a “concrete and comprehensive plan” to ensure debt is on a declining path. It also warns that unemployment could still rise to above 10% in the UK, the euro zone, and the US.

The collapse in world trade, which is projected to fall by 16% this year, has hit major exporting countries such as Germany and Japan particularly hard. The OECD says that not only have its growth projections been revised, but the risks that things might be worse than expected are lower. It says financial conditions might improve more quickly that it has assumed, although there is still a risk of an adverse reaction in bond markets to the high levels of government debt.

“A really disastrous outcome has become more of a remote risk,” said OECD chief economist Jorgen Elmeskov. This was a policy-driven upturn”, but it was still not clear when private demand would be able to replace public demand, and he urged governments to “stay the course”. The OECD says that “it would be tempting but wrong” to relax the extraordinary policy effort of the last nine months. It says there is still more that policy can do to ensure a faster and more robust recovery, especially by removing the uncertainty over impaired bank assets.

The OECD adds that there are major challenges in eventually rolling back the range of government interventions to stabilize the financial system – in particular, it calls for coordination across countries to avoid fear of competitive disadvantage blocking progress. And it says that tough measures will be needed to eventually reduce government budget deficits that have been stretched by the crisis. It urges governments to begin planning for such adjustments now even if they cannot be fully implemented until the economy improves

U.S. ready for North Korea missile

June 20, 2009

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that the United States could defend itself should North Korea launch a missile toward Hawaii and that U.S. officials are carefully monitoring the reclusive nation’s military. This North Korean ship is known for having carried “proliferation materials,” a senior U.S. official says. North Korea is preparing to launch a missile over Pacific Ocean waters, Japanese media reported Thursday. With missile interceptors and radar equipment deployed in and near Hawaii, “we are in a good position should it become necessary to protect American territory.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military is tracking a North Korean ship in the Pacific that is believed to be carrying illicit weapons or technology, a senior U.S. official said Thursday. While the United States does not know what is on the ship, the Kang Nam is a repeat offender,” known for having carried “proliferation materials,” one senior defense official said. Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Thursday that the United States would not forcibly board a North Korean ship but, in accordance with a recent U.N. resolution, would request permission to search the ship or press any port the ship docks in to inspect it for illegal materials.

The U.N. Security Council passed a resolution June 12 calling on all states to inspect vessels suspected of containing contraband. If a ship refuses, it is to proceed to the closest port for a mandatory inspection. Tension has been rising with North Korea, which in May conducted a nuclear test, fired test rockets and threatened U.S. and South Korean ships near its territorial waters.

Also in late May, two U.S. Defense Department officials said U.S. satellite imagery spotted “vehicle activity” at a North Korean ballistic missile facility. The officials said the images showed vehicles used to transport Taepodong-2 missiles but no missile parts. The Taepodong-2 is a long-range missile that North Korea tested in April. That test showed a significant improvement in range from North Korea‘s initial long-range missile test in 2006.Further aggravating tensions are North Korea‘s arrest, conviction and sentencing of two American journalists, Euna Lee and Laura Ling. The Current TV journalists were apprehended near the country’s border with China and accused of plotting a smear campaign against North Korea. Lee and Ling were sentenced to 12 years in a labor camp.

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Air crash families to get payout

June 19, 2009

Air France says it is set to pay initial compensation to the families of those killed in the Atlantic air crash on 1 June.Two hundred and twenty-eight people died when a French plane crashed on a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. Air France Chief Pierre-Henri Gourgeon said a first payment of 17,500 euros ($24,000, £14,800) would be made for each victim.The cause of the crash is unknown and flight recorders have not been found.The so-called “black boxes” record flight data and conversations in the cockpit.

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Memorial details Passengers from more than 30 countries were on board the
Airbus A330 when it crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. So far 50 bodies have been recovered from the water, and some debris from the aircraft has also been found. Brazilian and French ships are continuing the search.

Mr. Gourgeon said Air France was trying to arrange a memorial ceremony for relatives of the victims. An announcement would be made in the coming days, he added,The entire company was deeply affected by this accident, and remains mobilized.

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IIFA Bollywood awards

June 14, 2009

The Indian historical film Jodhaa Akbar, about a Muslim-Hindu relationship, has dominated an Indian film awards ceremony, with six prizes.At the gala event in Macau, China, it won best picture, best actor for Hrithik Roshan and best director for Ashutosh Gowariker. The best actress award went to former Miss World Priyanka Chopra for her role in Fashion. The International Indian Film Academy awards were marking 10 years. Jodhaa Akbar also won awards for best song lyrics, best music direction for Oscar-winning composer AR Rahman, and best male playback singer – an award for performers who record soundtracks for on-screen actors. The movie tells the tale of a Mughal king and his love for a Hindu princess. The best supporting actor award was won by Arjun Rampal for Rock On!!, a movie about the reunion of an Indian band. Kangana Ranawat won best supporting actress for Fashion.

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While the female star of Jodhaa Akbar – Aishwarya Rai Bachchan – did not win for best actress, she did win best actress of the decade and outstanding achievement in international cinema. Gowariker’s Oscar-nominated 2001 film Lagaan, about Indian villagers who play their British colonial rulers in cricket to decide the fate of their taxes, was named film of the decade. Indian screen legend Amitabh Bachchan presented the lifetime achievement award to veteran actor Rajesh Khanna, who received a standing ovation from the audience of thousands. “The word superstar in the Indian film industry was for the first time coined for him,” Bachchan said.

Other awards included male star of the decade for Shah Rukh Khan, and director of the decade for Rakesh Rohan. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the IIFA awards, an event that attracts a worldwide audience of millions every year. The awards were the culmination of a three-day event, including film and music launches, a celebrity fashion show, a global business forum and a performance by Cirque du Soleil. The awards began in 2000 when the first ceremony was held in London at the Millennium Dome.

Deadly blast hits southern Iraq

June 10, 2009

A deadly car bomb has exploded in a crowded market in the southern Iraqi town of Bathaa, killing at least 28 people, say officials. Dozens of people were reported to have been injured in the mid-morning attack. The area has been the scene of fierce fighting in the past between rival Shia militia factions. The attack comes weeks before US forces are due to withdraw from towns and cities in Iraq, leading to concerns that violence could escalate. Police say the bomb was in a parked car in the town of Bathaa in Dhiqa province, about 320km (200 miles) south-east of Baghdad. “There was a big explosion, it was an awful incident” said Farhan Fadel, 31, who suffered a broken leg and injured abdomen in the blast. Hassan Ali, a 44-year-old grocer, said some of his friends were killed or injured. “There was smoke everywhere,” the AFP news agency quoted him as saying. There were conflicting reports about casualty figures, with official sources withdrawing their initial statement that 30 people had been killed. Bathas’s mayor, Ali Fahad, said the casualties were being taken to a hospital in Nasiriya, about 30km away. “Children and women are among the dead,” he said. US withdrawal US soldiers on patrol in Mosul, Iraq (09 June 2009) There are concerns violence could rise after the US withdraws from Iraq Overall, attacks have fallen sharply in Iraq. But a number of recent blasts in the south have raised fears that sustained violence could return to the area. The BBC’s Nicholas Witchell, in Baghdad, says that because Bathaa is in a Shia area, Sunni insurgent groups linked to al-Qaeda will inevitably be suspected of being behind the blast. The US plans to withdraw its troops from Iraqi cities and major towns by 30 June, and is due to end combat operations across Iraq by September 2010, leaving Iraqi security forces to cope alone. There are concerns that insurgents may try to take advantage of the withdrawal, although the country’s leaders say Iraqi forces are capable of handling internal security without US support, says our correspondent.

The revolution of Mobile Banking

June 6, 2009

Mobile banking (also known as M-banking and SMS banking etc.) is a term used for performing balance checks, account tranactions, payments etc.. Mobile banking today is most often performed through an SMS or the Mobile internet but can also use special programmers called `clients`. Mobile banking refers to provision and an ailment of banking-and financial services with the help of mobile telecommunication devices may include facilities to conduct bank and stock market transaction, to administer accounts and to access customized information. The coming of internet has revolutionized the way the financial service industry conducts business empowering organizations with new business models and new ways to offer 24*7 accessibility to their customers. The ability to offer financial transactions online has also created new players in the financial industry.

Over the last few years, the mobile and wireless market is one of fastest growing market in the world and it is still growing at a rapid pace. 35% of online banking households will be using mobile banking by 2010, up from less than 1% today. Today 70% of bank center call volume is projected to come from mobile phones. Mobile banking will eventually allow users to make payments at the physical point of sale. “Mobile contacts less payments” will make 10% of the contacts less market by 2010. With mobile technology, banks can offer a wide range of services to their customers such as funds transfer while traveling, receiving online updates of stock price of even performing stock trading while being stuck in traffic.

Wide spectrum of mobile/branchless banking models is evolving. Mobile banking is being used to attract low-income population in often rural locations; the business model will depend on banking agents, i.e., retail or postal outlets, process financial transactions on behalf or banks. The banking agent is an important of the mobile banking business model since customer care, service quality, and cash management will depend on them.

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Mobile banking can offer services such as the following:. account Information ,mini –statements and checking of account history ,Alerts on account activity or passing set threshold ,monitoring of term deposit ,access to loan statements , insurance policy management ,pension plan management ,status on checker, stop on payment.

To start with the M-Banking the involves registration of customer and getting user ID and password. Then downloading of application in the mobile by SMS to Banks site. For clients in remote locations (Financial Inclusion ) ,it will be important to help them deposit and withdraw funds at banking agents , I, e. , retail postal outlets that turns cash in to electronic funds and vice versa . The feasibility of such banking agents depends on local regulation which enables outlets to take deposits or not. Specific sequence of SMS messages will enable the system verify if the client has sufficient in his or her wallet and authorize a deposit or withdrawal transaction at the agent. When depositing money , the merchant receives cash and system credits the client’s bank account or mobile wallet .In the same way the client can also withdraw money at the merchant: through exchanging SMS to provide authorization ,the merchant hands the client cash and debits the client’s account .

The 10 largest U.S. bankruptcies companies

June 3, 2009

Lehman Brothers

Rank: 1
Date of bankruptcy filing: 09/15/08
Assets: $691 billion
One of the biggest calamities of the current recession is the fall of the once highly regarded (and onetime fourth-largest) Wall Street investment firm, which was forced to file for bankruptcy protection last September, the largest corporate filing in the history of U.S. bankruptcy court. As a result, the company’s North American investment banking and trading businesses and New York City headquarters were sold to British bank Barclays. Some of Lehman’s U.S. businesses, including wealth management firm Neuberger-Berman, continue to operate as stand-alone entities under new ownership. And because of the company’s global reach, its bankruptcy proceedings are complex, ongoing, and have resulted in the closing of 80 of the bank’s smaller subsidiaries.

By Christopher Tkaczyk, reporter
Washington Mutual

Rank: 2
Date of bankruptcy filing: 09/26/08
Assets: $327.9 billion
In the middle of  fears of insolvency, customers of Washington Mutual withdrew more than $16 billion of deposits over a 10-day period last fall, causing a government regulator to seize the holding company’s banking assets and sell them to JPMorgan Chase for $1.9 billion. The following day WaMu filed for bankruptcy protection. What was once the nation’s largest savings and loan and sixth-largest bank is now a shadow of its former self. The holding company currently is suing the FDIC for improper seizure and is seeking $13 billion in damages.

WorldCom

Rank: 3
Date of bankruptcy filing: 07/21/02
Assets: $103.9 billion
Once the second-largest long-distance telecom in the U.S. after AT&T, WorldCom filed for bankruptcy protection following the discovery of an $11 billion accounting scandal. In 2003 the company re-dubbed itself MCI, (the name of one of its previous acquisitions), and then emerged from bankruptcy a year later. In 2005 MCI was acquired by Verizon Communications for $7.6 billion and former CEO Bernie Ebbers was sentenced to 25 years in prison after being convicted of securities fraud, con

General Motors

Rank: 4
Date of bankruptcy filing: 6/1/09
Assets: $91 billion
The automotive giant, which for many years was the largest U.S. company and reigning king of the Fortune 500, now ranks as the largest industrial company (and fourth-largest overall) to seek bankruptcy protection in the history of American business. When it filed for Chapter 11, the company announced it owed $172 billion to creditors and expected a total government cash injection of $50 billion. The likely outcome of the reorganization will be the emergence of a new version of the company that holds onto Chevy, Cadillac, Buick and GMC. Brands Saab and Saturn have also filed for bankruptcy, and GM plans to sell its Germany-based Opel to a Canadian car parts maker. Other poor-performing divisions will likely be sold or spun-off. As part of the bailout agreement, the U.S. government will own nearly 72.5% of the new company and the United Auto Workers’ retiree health care fund will hold 17.5%.

Enron

Rank: 5
Date of bankruptcy filing: 12/02/01
Assets: $65.5 billion
The collapse of a vast creative-accounting scandal destroyed the nation’s largest energy, electricity and natural gas company in 2001. After a long and arduous case that was the most-watched bankruptcy proceeding in history, Enron emerged from bankruptcy protection three years later in 2004. Several of its top executives were later convicted of many counts of securities and accounting fraud. In addition to bringing down accounting firm Arthur Andersen, the Enron scandal is considered a landmark case because it inspired the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which set new standards and practices for public companies. In 2007, Enron changed its name to Enron Creditors Recovery Corp. with the intention of liquidating the company’s remaining assets.

Conseco

Rank: 6
Date of bankruptcy filing: 12/17/02
Assets: $61 billion
After years of poor executive leadership, the insurance and finance company accrued massive debt of more than $8 billion and was forced to file for bankruptcy in December 2002. It reorganized and reduced debt to $1.4 billion, emerging in less than a year after selling its finance business. Conseco now sells life insurance and supplemental health insurance to more than 4 million customers.
Because of a number of flaws in the settlement system, Conseco’s restructuring resulted in an overhaul of the credit default swap market. Recently, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has called for further regulation, saying that over-the-counter derivatives should be traded on exchanges and that dealers be subject to federal oversight.

Chrysler

Rank: 7
Date of bankruptcy filing: 04/30/09
Assets: $39 billion

When President Obama forced Chrysler into bankruptcy protection in April, it was the largest manufacturer in history to file Chapter 11, while competitor GM also scrambled to meet government demands for a bailout. As a result of the reorganization, the carmaker is forming an alliance with Italian automaker Fiat. The United Auto Workers will take control of the company via its retirement plan and the U.S. government is expected to inject a total of $12 billion into the company. Most of its debt will be written down by the debt holders. Two years ago, Chrysler was sold to private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management following nearly a decade of ownership by German carmaker Daimler-Benz. In 1979, Chrysler narrowly avoided bankruptcy when the U.S. Government agreed to guarantee $1.5 billion in loans, which were paid back in 1983.

Thornburg Mortgage

Rank: 8
Date of bankruptcy filing: 05/01/09
Assets: $36.5 billion
The Santa Fe-based real estate investment trust and “jumbo” mortgage lender was hit by the sub prime mortgage crisis in 2007 as its stock dwindled and the credit markets convulsed. To prevent a collapse, the company ceased accepting loan applications while it tried to raise more equity through a stock offering. The following year it restated financials and creditors agreed to back off while the company raised more capital, but on April 1 of this year, Thornburg announced that it would close up shop and enter Chapter11 bankruptcy to sell any remaining assets.

Pacific Gas and Electric Co.

Rank: 9
Date of bankruptcy filing: 04/06/01
Assets: $36 billion
The deregulation of energy markets in California that resulted in the blackout crises in 2000 and 2001 also saw the bailout of Southern California Edison and the bankruptcy of PG&E, the major supplier of energy to homes and businesses in Northern California. Because of limited generating capacity and the high cost of producing electricity, the company was forced into Chapter 11 protection in April 2001. California governor Gray Davis used the state’s treasury to bail out the utility, provoking a controversy that eventually contributed to his ouster. PG&E emerged from bankruptcy in April 2004 after returning $10.2 billion to creditors. Today it provides natural gas and electricity to 15 million customers.

Texaco

Rank: 10
Date of bankruptcy filing: 04/12/87
Assets: $34.9 billion
Texaco outbid Pennzoil in a merger battle over Getty Oil in 1984, disrupting an already completed deal. Pennzoil sued Texaco and was awarded $10 billion. The verdict was later reduced to $1 billion, but in 1987 a Supreme Court ruling later upheld the original finding, and because Texaco was unable to make payment to Pennzoil, it filed for bankruptcy protection. A series of shareholder lawsuits ensued, claiming a mishandling of the Getty merger. Texaco and Pennzoil later settled for $3 billion and the shareholder suits were thrown out of court. Texaco emerged from bankruptcy in 1988 and was acquired by Chevron in 2001 for $39 billion.