News Ticker » Breaking News Thu, 19 Aug 2010 16:04:49 +0000 en hourly 1 Taj Mahal opens its palace wing in Mumbai today Sat, 14 Aug 2010 17:53:10 +0000 arvindgawde

As the country brings in India’s 64th Independence Day, the iconic Taj Mahal Palace re-opens its doors to the magnificently restored Palace wing in Mumbai.

Mr. Ratan Tata’s promise made to the world in 2008 has been a compelling force and a testament to the Taj Group’s commitment to resurrecting India’s original luxury hotel. And as promised the hotel will continue to benchmark the best in hospitality and service.

Speaking at a preview press conference, Mr. Raymond Bickson, Managing Director, Indian Hotels Company Limited, said, “Today, we have fulfilled our promise of rebuilding the Taj to its former glory. The Taj Mahal has always reinvented itself and its storied past which makes it the icon that it is. The palace wing has been lovingly and painstakingly restored, and we will now offer our guests an even more customized experience. It is a befitting tribute to the spirit and resilience that is The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai; and the beginning of a new chapter in the history of the hotel. As India celebrates its 64th year of independence, we warmly welcome our guests, old and new to the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.”

An extensive restoration by internationally acclaimed designers, Lissoni Associati, Milan, BAMO San Francisco, DesignWilkes, Malaysia and James Park Associates, Singapore was carried out. The Palace accommodations that is, the Taj Club rooms, Luxury Grande rooms, themed Grand Luxury Suites are graciously appointed spaces filled with precious art, redolent with luxury and state-of-the-art technology befitting the architectural magnificence of the building making it an unforgettable experience that encapsulates a slice of history, legend & romance.

The reinvigorated Palace wing comes with a warm arrival arrangement and stunning stay experiences. All our guests in the Palace wing will experience the highly attentive and personalized “Palace Butler Service” where the butler will discreetly and efficiently, guide guests to the pleasures that lie within and outside the walls. The Palace Lounge will be a private retreat; exclusively for residents of the Palace wing, for a cup of perfectly brewed tea or coffee; an evening cocktail or after hour chocolate and cognac. Guests can look forward to an indulgent customized bath experience, in the most luxuriously appointed bathrooms. High end technology and interactive multimedia systems at the touch of a button ensure that guest’s experiences are wired for efficiency and comfort. Taj Club rooms and suites come with chauffeur-driven luxurious Jaguar transfers.

Even when the hotel was closed, renowned world leaders and prominent dignitaries continued to stay with us at the Tower wing of the hotel. With the reopening of the Palace wing, we look forward to receiving once again all those who have supported us and considered The Taj Mahal Palace as a home away from home. Through the last couple of years, the hotel has also been the quintessential venue for landmark events and celebrations. The restaurants and eateries which have been renovated, including Sea Lounge, Golden Dragon and the Taj Ballroom (design by LTW) and the Harbour Bar and Wasabi by Morimoto (design by the Rockwell Group) are accompanied by inspired cuisine from our team of acclaimed chefs.

The entire staff of the hotel shared a special moment with the Chairman Mr. Ratan Tata and the Vice Chairman, Mr. R K Krishnakumar and our Managing Director MR. Raymond Bickson.

The 15th of August is a day that India made her tryst with destiny. Echoing the same sentiments, the staff and management of The Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai, make their tryst with destiny and have pledged to reinvent the magic that made the Taj the institution it is.

The staff and management of The Taj Mahal Palace, joined hands with the Dabbawalas in a spirit of celebration and as a token of giving back to the city to share a meal with the less privileged in certain identified institutions… Dabbawalas are intrinsic to the city of Mumbai, and are indeed the nerve center and lifeline of the city, ensuring that in rain, hail, snow or storm " no one goes hungry. With their help, we will be able to share our happiness with our little friends.

On December 16, 1903, the Taj opened its doors to its first 17 guests. Over the years, the hotel has played perfect host to Maharajas and Princes, presidents & legends, performers and world figures offering them the ultimate in luxury, fine dining and impeccable service. It was all made possible by the love and support that all our guests wished upon us. A wish that finally finds freedom as the Taj welcomes you once more.Enhanced by Zemanta

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Cleartrip CEO arrested in data theft case Thu, 12 Aug 2010 16:30:52 +0000 mohan

Eight months after charges of data theft were slapped against him by a rival company, Stuart Crighton, CEO, Cleartrip, was arrested after being questioned by the Gurgaon police and later let out on bail by a local court.

The police also arrested Amit Taneja, former CEO, Desiya Online Travel Distribution, who was also later released on bail.

The charges against them, were levelled by Travelocity India, a major online travel company. Travelocity accused Cleartrip CEO Crighton, a British national, of conniving with senior executives of Desiya to pilfer data, which the company alleged had led to huge business losses.

“A case in this regard was lodged by Travelocity in the Civil Lines police station in December last year. The CEO joined the investigations today after appearing in the court. The questioning today, however, was not decisive,” said Alok Mittal, Joint Commissioner of Police, Gurgaon. He refused to divulge details of the questioning.

On its part, Cleartrip termed the charges as baseless. “We, at Cleartrip, believe that the FIR filed by Travelocity is misconceived and baseless,” Hrush Bhatt, co-founder,, has said. “We believe in India’s judicial system and are extending our every cooperation to all the relevant agencies involved in this investigation.”

P K X Thomas, chief operating officer,, has alleged that the so-called data theft case was filed against the Cleartrip officials “out of professional rivalry”. According to a report published in Hindustan Times, Amit Taneja was sacked as managing director of Desia Online Distribution in September 2009.

“But Travelocity soon realized its mistake as it came to know that Taneja was going to join Cleartrip. They started making all out efforts not to let him join our company. It was in this endeavour that they started harassing us by way of filing police complaint and finally an FIR was registered,” Cleartrip COO Thomas has said. Amit Taneja joined Cleartrip as director, hotels and distribution in April 2010.

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Smallest Deer in the world born Sun, 08 Aug 2010 17:37:00 +0000 Ricky

Real OR Fake: We may have conquered moon, and planning to go on Mars, but still there are many things in this earth we don’t know.  You might have seen Deer in zoo, but can you imagine a deer that can carry in your palm.

Just have a look at the piece, I felt my reader must know this!

This tiny deer was delivered by Caesarean section at a wildlife hospital after his mother was killed by a car.

Named Rupert can barely stand

It just six inches tall and weighing just over a pound, he is now in an incubator in the intensive care unit at Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital in Buckinghamshire.

Rupert in an incubator

He has only recently opened his eyes.

Les Stocker, founder of Tiggywinkles, said: ‘Rupert’s mother had very severe injuries. We brought him out and got him breathing and then he went into an incubator on oxygen. He is now being fed by a tube.’

Posing for the Camera

Little Rupert, who is so small he can fit in an adult’s hand, was born after vets failed in their battle to save his mother.

Staff are optimistic Rupert, now five days old, will make a full recovery.

Rupert takes 40 winks

‘Deer are very, very tricky but this one has spirit. He’s an extremely feisty little guy and quite pushy,’ Stocker said.

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First western India daily Sanskrit newspaper launched Fri, 30 Jul 2010 14:34:29 +0000 mohan

Vadodara Gujarat Assembly Speaker Ashok Bhatt launched Western India‘s first daily Sanskrit newspaper ‘Sanskrit Vartaman Patram’ here.

The newspaper launch was represented by a huge gathering of dignitaries and Sanskrit students from M S University and Somnath Sanskrit University.

Speaking on the occasion, Bhatt lauded the efforts of the editorial board and said their objective should be to cater to everyone in the society including scholars who desire to read newspaper in the
language they love.

The newspaper, which has already hit the stands, caters to Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, and Union Territory of Diu, Daman and Dadra Nagar Haveli.

Priced at Rs 1.50, the four-page daily will be published from here and cover local, national and international news and the annual subscription is Rs 500, Editor Praful Purohit said.

M L Wadekar, Director, Oriental Institute of M S University and one of the members on the Editorial Board said that after receiving a good response to the pilot copy of this newspaper, they decided to launch it.

For enabling its readers to understand the language, the paper will include glossary of Sanskrit words translated in Gujarati, Hindi, English and other languages, he said.

Chief Minister Narendra Modi in a message said such efforts should be made to revive the glory of the world’s oldest language and further it.

Bhagyesh Jha, Secretary, Youths Culture and Sports, Gujarat government said the launch of a daily in Sanskrit is a positive beginning to popularise the language in the state.

Source: Business Standard

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Plane crashes in Pakistan with 152 on board Wed, 28 Jul 2010 10:01:01 +0000 mohan

Pakistani officials say a plane carrying 152 people has crashed in bad weather near Islamabad.  Authorities have so far recovered at least 20 bodies and expect the death toll to rise.

Credit: AFP

Pakistan‘s interior minister Rehman Malik said five injured people have been taken to the hospital.

Private airliner Air Blue-operated Airbus A-321, flying from Turkey to Islamabad via Karachi, hit the Margalla Hills near Daman-e-Koh viewpoint around 10 am in thick fog, police and a state-run rescue service officials said.

Officials say the plane was traveling from Karachi to Islamabad, and was preparing to land in cloudy and rainy conditions when it crashed.

“Rescue teams, paramilitary Pakistan Rangers and senior police officials have reached the site. The weather is unfriendly but still some helicopters reached the site and airlifted five survivors to hospital,” Malik said.

TV news channels quoted Air Blue officials as saying that there were 159 passengers on board the ill-fated aircraft, which had taken off from Karachi at 7.50 am. The officials did not specify the number of crew members.

Source: VOA/Hindu

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Credit: AFP

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Withdraw funds only by cheque: PayPal Wed, 28 Jul 2010 09:38:50 +0000 arvindgawde

Back in February, PayPal had shocked unsuspecting Indians by announcing a decision to suspend transactions to and from India. However, the order was restored after it announced the resumption of the payment services a few weeks later. That was after the Reserve Bank of India gave a green signal to restart bank withdrawals for settlements for exports of goods and services.

Just four months later, PayPal has announced another decision that could affect Indian PayPal users. Starting August 1, PayPal would NOT allow electronic withdrawal of funds from your PayPal account. The only option would be to request for a withdrawal of funds by cheque. According to PayPal, this decision had to be taken in accordance with “regulatory instructions”.

PayPal also added that it is working towards restoring electronic withdrawal service. If you have been using the electronic withdrawal facility, here is how to request for a cheque withdrawal:

  • Log into your PayPal account, click on ‘Withdraw’.
  • Click on the ‘Request a cheque from PayPal’ link.
  • Enter the withdrawal amount and select your mailing address, then click ‘Continue’.
  • Click ‘Submit’ to confirm your request.

PayPal, until now, used to charge a $5 “withdrawal fee” for every cheque withdrawal. That fee has been waived off for all withdrawals made on or after July 29.

Source: Techtree

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India test its Air Defense Shield Mon, 26 Jul 2010 10:30:33 +0000 mohan

India on July 26, 2010 has test fireds its indeginious build Advanced Air Defence (AAD) interceptor missile, capable of destroying hostile in-coming ballistic missiles, was successfully test-fired from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Wheeler Island off the Orissa’s east coast.

“The interceptor destroyed target missile at an altitude of 15 km,” said Integrated Testing Range Director, SP Das.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) also sees it as a major success for India’s indigenous air defence system.

However, the defence sources said that “the trial, scheduled in last mid-March 2010, was abandoned in the last hour twice (on 15th and 16th March) due to some problems”.
Today’s test-fire was carried out from two different launch sites of the Integrated Testing Range (ITR).

The target missile, a modified indigenously built “Prithvi”, was first lifted off from a mobile launcher from the ITR’s launch complex-3 at Chandipur-on-sea.

Minutes later, the interceptor missile getting signals from the hostile missile immediately reacted and swept in to action from the Wheeler’s Island, to intercept it at an altitude of 30 km in mid-air over the Bay of Bengal off Orissa coast.

Yet to get a formal name, the new hypersonic interceptor missile is only called ‘AAD’ (advance air defence) and is meant to be used in ‘endo-atmospheric conditions’ (with in 50 km altitude of earth’s surface).

The seven-metre long ‘AAD’ interceptor is a single stage solid rocket propelled guided missile equipped with an inertial navigation system, a hi-tech computer and an electro-mechanical activator totally under command by the data up-linked from the ground based radar, the sources said.

The missile has its own mobile launcher, secure data link for interception, independent tracking and homing capabilities and its own radar.

The DRDO has already test fired the interceptor missile thrice – November 27, 2006, December 6, 2007 and March 6, 2009 – from the Wheeler Island.

Source: NDTV

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Chlorine gas leak in Mumbai leaves 70 hospitalised Wed, 14 Jul 2010 05:22:59 +0000 Ricky

Fifty nine people have been rushed to hospital in Mumbai after chlorine gas leaked from a cylinder in a container parked in the Mumbai Port.

The condition of six of them is said to be serious. They have been put in the cardiac intensive care. Fourteen students from the Lal Bahadur Shastri College are also among the 59 affected. They have been admitted to Mumbai’s JJ Hospital.

The gas leak has been contained now. But there was panic when the leak was detected close to 4 am in the morning. Four fire fighters were sent to the spot to sanitize the area. Authorities are at the spot too examining what went wrong.

“Following the complaint, our men rushed to the spot to plug the leakage. However, four of our men also took ill and have been rushed to nearby hospitals,” Uday Tatkare, the Chief Fire Officer, said.

As a precautionary measure, people residing in and around the area have been evacuated, the official said.

Chlorine gas is a respiratory irritant. It causes eye irritation as well as nausea, vomiting, dizziness and headache.

If exposed a long period of time and in strong concentration, it may lead to restlessness, throat irritation and excess salivation.

If a person is trapped for a long period in a high chlorine concentration atmosphere, loss of consciousness and possibly death can happen.

Source: NDTV/PTI

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Indian investigators interrogate 26/11 handler David Headley Fri, 11 Jun 2010 10:25:30 +0000 Ricky

After dodging Indian investigators for months, US has finally given access to India government officials investigation the case of Mumbai terror attack of 26/11.

A press release in this reference by the US state department said, “As part of the cooperation and partnership between the United States and India in the fight against international terrorism, Indian law enforcement officials were provided direct access to interview David Coleman Headley, the Justice Department announced.

Headley and his counsel agreed to the meetings and Headley answered the Indian investigators’ questions over the course of seven days of interviews. There were no restrictions on the questions posed by Indian investigators. To protect the confidentiality of the investigations being conducted by both India and the United States, both countries have agreed not to disclose the contents of the interviews.

Headley pleaded guilty on March 18, 2010 in the Northern District of Illinois to 12 federal terrorism charges, admitting that he participated in planning the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, as well as later planning to attack a Danish newspaper.

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