|Collage of Other news Pictures 2012|
|3D Picture of Subhaditya Political and other news|
Top General News Of 2012:
|21 March: Soumitra Chatterjee selected for Dadasaheb Phalke award for 2011.|
21 March: Soumitra Chatterjee selected for Dadasaheb Phalke award for 2011.
|Colorado 'Dark Knight Rises' Shooting Witnesses|
Colorado 'Dark Knight Rises' Shooting Witnesses
Eyewitnesses and escapees of the theater shooting at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colo., describe mass confusion and then terror and panicked fleeing.The town's police chief, Dan Oates, said that witnesses "tell us [the shooter, allegedy 24-year-old James Holmes] released some sort of canister. They heard a hissing sound and some gas emerged and the gunman opened fire."
"I knew there was an issue -- well it started, there were explosions behind, but I thought it was just a normal practical joke, fireworks or something, but then I see people starting to leave the theater, smoke behind me," an eyewitness told the Associated Press, "For the first few seconds nobody was panicking, but then everyone started moving toward the exits and we were being herded to the upper area of the theater."
Donovan Tate, a theatergoer who escaped with his girlfriend, told the local CBS affiliate, "There was this one guy on all fours crawling. There was this girl spitting up blood. There were bullet holes in some people’s backs, in some people’s arms. There was one guy who was just stripped down to his boxers. It looked like he had been shot in the back or something."
Benjamin Fernandez told CBS, "I was with my younger sister and a friend, Mike, and Sheala. We decided there's something not right going on. And we got up and as soon as we walked out the door, we saw several police officers with just different guns, like shotguns. I don't even know, I've never seen cops holding guns like that.
"We walked to the left, and we just saw pretty much everything wasn't even under control at that point," Fernandez continued. "There was just people, just there was -- I saw a younger girl laying there, like with bullet wounds just bleeding, and the look in her eyes was like -- I don't know. I've had family members who have been close to death, I've been there at the hospital, and she just had that same look. It was scary."
"At first, I didn't think it was anything serious, I thought it was a joke or part of the show... he came in, he was five feet away from me, he came in on my right side, I was in the second row in the very front. He came in and he threw in the gas can," Jennifer Seeger, another theatergoer, told NBC News. "And then I knew it was real. And then he shot the ceiling, and right after he shot the ceiling, he pointed the gun right at me, and at that point, I dove into the aisle, and I got lucky because he didn't shoot me.
"But then he started to shoot people behind me, and bullets started falling on my head, it was like burning my head because it was so fresh," Seeger continued. "I could smell gunpowder. And at that point he walked up the stairs, and all you could hear is mass chaos."
Speaking to ABC affiliate KMGH, Christ Jones said, "We were maybe 20 or 30 minutes into the movie and all you hear, first you smell smoke, everybody thought it was fireworks or something like that, and then you just see people dropping and the gunshots are constant. I heard at least 20 to 30 rounds within that minute or two."
"I hit the floor and hid behind the seats in front of me, pulling my wife down to hide with me," Adam Witt, speaking to CNN, said. "It was the longest minute of my life. The gunshots just kept coming. I knew it could be over any second. I knew my wife could be gone any second. It was absolutely surreal. I felt something hit my left arm, and my first thought was, 'At least it's just my arm.'"
One of the 12 victims killed is Jessica Ghawi, an aspiring sportscaster who had just recently moved from San Antonio to Colorado. Already, the San Antonio media and friends have started to remember her with news stories and tweets.
|New vector adding sting to dengue spread in Kolkata|
New vector adding sting to dengue spread in Kolkata:
The rapid transmission of the dengue virus has led experts to believe that a new vector is stalking the city, especially in Salt lake, the fringe areas of the city and along the EM Bypass where hundreds have been infected, along with the primary carrier Aedes aegypti.
Aedes albopictus or the Asian tiger mosquito is a secondary vector of the dengue virus and as lethal as the aedis egypti.
Entomologists say the pattern in which dengue is spreading from the south-eastern parts of the city indicate that the secondary vector has become active.
Rampant construction activities and chopping of trees along the Bypass are responsible for a spurt in the number of tiger mosquitoes this year, said entomologist Hiramnay Mukherjee. "Alt-hough fewer in number than the aedis egypti, albopictus has always been there, especially in Salt Lake and other fringe areas. It is very active in rural Bengal. But the number of albopictus had been curbed in recent years, thanks to measures taken," Mukherjee said. But, they made a comeback this season, thanks to the chopping of trees and construction work along the Bypass.
"The albopictus prefers old buildings and tree crevices. With buildings being pulled down for high-rises and trees being chopped to make way for the Garia-Dum Dum Metro corridor along Bypass, the secondary vector has turned active. It could be dangerous at a time when aedis egypti is already wreaking havoc," said Debashish Basu, preventive medicine specialist.
The worst affected areas in south Kolkata include Mukundapur, Kasba, Haltu Rajdanga, Garfa, Jadavpur, Bagha Jatin and parts of Tollygunge which are not far from the Bypass. These are the areas which are within a 5 km-radius, pointed out a tropical medicine expert.
"Traditionally, the albopictus has been active in these areas. Going by the huge number of patients this year, and the quick transmission of dengue, it's clear that the secondary virus has been active. The epidemic at Salt Lake can't possibly have been triggered by just aedis egypti," he said.
Entemologist Amiya Hati agreed. "Areas around Kolkata and Salt Lake have always had albopictus. It is a secondary vector here but has been an even bigger threat in South-east Asia where it has spread diseases like yellow fever, chikungunya and dengue quite regularly. We need urgent measures to check it," said Hati.
|Papyrus fragment revives the question of Christ’s marital status|
Papyrus fragment revives the question of Christ’s marital status
A previously unknown scrap of ancient papyrus written in ancient Egyptian Coptic is pictured in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters September 18, 2012. The papyrus has four words written in Coptic that provide the first unequivocal evidence that within 150 years of his death, some followers of Jesus, believed him to have been married.A historian of early Christianity at Harvard Divinity School has identified a scrap of papyrus that she says was written in Coptic in the fourth century and contains a phrase never seen in any piece of Scripture: “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife ...’”
The faded papyrus fragment is smaller than a business card, with eight lines on one side, in black ink legible under a magnifying glass. Just below the line about Jesus having a wife, the papyrus includes a second provocative clause that purportedly says, “She will be able to be my disciple.”Containing just eight lines, the document, which measures 3.1in by 1.6in, includes the words, "Jesus said to them, my wife", and the sentence: "She will be able to be my disciple."
Written in the ancient Egyptian Coptic language, it also includes the phrases, "My mother gave to me life" and, "Mary is worthy of it". The latter is likely to be seized upon as evidence that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene.
The finding was announced by Karen King, a professor of Church history in Harvard's divinity school, at an international congress on Coptic studies in Rome on Wednesday.She believes the script is probably a copy of a gospel written in Greek in the second century AD and that while it by no means proves that Jesus was married, it shows that there was discussion of the question as early as the fourth century. Its precise meaning is now the subject of international academic conjecture, but its authenticity has not been disputed.
Historians believe that the text, already being called "The Gospel of Jesus's Wife", was written by members of the Gnostic sect, which questioned whether Jesus was both human and divine, and which was later condemned as heretical. The prominence given to Mary Magdalene in the Gospels, as the first witness to the Resurrection, has helped to increase speculation about her role.The Da Vinci Code, the novel by Dan Brown, brought the theory that Jesus married her to a wider audience.
|Malala Yousufzai Shooting: Pakistani Girl Activist's Condition 'Satisfactory':|
Malala Yousufzai Shooting: Pakistani Girl Activist's Condition 'Satisfactory':
A 14-year-old Pakistani activist who was shot by a Taliban gunman after speaking out for girls' education is in "satisfactory" condition at a military hospital, a spokesman said Friday, cautioning that the next few days will be critical.
The shooting of Malala Yousufzai on Tuesday as she was coming home from school set off an international outcry.
Maj. Gen. Asim Saleem Bajwa said she is being kept unconscious and on a ventilator, and doctors will decide when to take her off.
"Her blood pressure is normal. Heartbeat is normal, and thanks to God, her condition is satisfactory," Bajwa said.
Bajwa said the bullet entered her head and went into her neck toward her spine, but it was too soon to say whether she had any significant head injury.
Yousufzai is widely respected for her role in promoting girls' education in the Swat Valley, where she lives, and the rest of Pakistan. A Taliban gunman shot and wounded her and two other girls Tuesday, sparking widespread condemnation. There has been an outpouring of praise for her bravery from Pakistani and international leaders.
The school she attended in Mingora, owned and operated by her father, reopened Friday. The atmosphere was grim as children and teachers tried to come to terms with what happened to their star pupil.
"We have decided to open the school after two days to overcome the fear among our students that gripped them due to the attack. The number of students is low today. We have not resumed regular teaching activity, but held an assembly to pray for Malala and the other two injured girls," said one of the teachers, Zafar Ali Khan.
Police had been deployed around the school, but even so, many students stayed away.
"Although we have gathered here for to pray for Malala, this shows we will keep her mission going," Ayesha Khan, a ninth-grade student. "Many of the students haven't come due to fear, but I believe this fear will subside ultimately."
The girl was initially airlifted from the town of Mingora in the Swat Valley to a military hospital in the frontier city of Peshawar, where doctors operated on her to remove a bullet from her neck. On Thursday she was transferred to a hospital in Rawalpindi, where the Pakistani army is headquartered.
In addition to the team of Pakistani military and civilian doctors who have been treating her, two foreign doctors have also been consulted, Bajwa said. He said so far there are no plans to send her abroad for treatment.
|Nobel Prize in Literature, 2012: Mo Yan had received the Nobel Prize in Literature for his work "with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary".|
Nobel Prize in Literature, 2012: Mo Yan had received the Nobel Prize in Literature for his work "with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary".
On 11 October 2012, the Swedish Academy announced that Mo Yan had received the Nobel Prize in Literature for his work "with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary". Aged 57 at the time of the announcement, he was the 109th recipient of the award and the first ever resident of mainland China resident to receive it—Chinese-born Gao Xingjian, a citizen of France, having been named the 2000 laureate. According to Swedish Academy head Peter Englund, Mo Yan was "overjoyed and terrified" to hear the news and had been at home with his father when he heard the news. Englund also said, "He has such a damn unique way of writing. If you read half a page of Mo Yan you immediately recognise it as him".
Mo has published 11 novels so far, as well as dozens of short stories and novellas. His work is set largely in the past, in rural areas, and many of his books are described as family histories, though they also have a strong affinity with magical realism—he once remarked: “García Márquez wrote my novel.” His 2006 novel Life and Death are Wearing Me Out, for example, is the story of a landowner who, following his execution under Mao Zedong, is reincarnated as a donkey.
Stylistically Mo is a maximalist: his novels are distinguished by their playfulness and their stylistic flamboyance, as well as occasional scenes of graphic violence—The Red Sorghum Family, on which the movie is based, includes a scene in which a human being is flayed alive. He occasionally includes himself as a character in his fictions. Mo is frequently classified as a satirist: The Republic of Wine tells the story of an official sent to the countryside to investigate rumors of cannibalism. His novel Big Breasts and Wide Hips, which appeared in China in 1996 and the West in 2005, was an epic, sprawling indictment of the male dominance of Chinese society. Frog, his most recent novel, addresses the Chinese policy of one family, one child.
Mo’s work unquestionably contains powerful elements of social criticism, but he has been engaged in a career-long game of brinksmanship with the Chinese government, and while he has had his share of run-ins with the censors, he still lives in Beijing and writes and publishes within the constraints of Chinese state censorship.
The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2012 Alvin E. Roth, Lloyd S. Shapley
The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2012 Alvin E. Roth, Lloyd S. Shapley:
The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2012 was awarded jointly to Alvin E. Roth and Lloyd S. Shapley "for the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design"
Alvin E. Roth
Affiliation at the time of the award: Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA, Harvard Business School, Boston, MA, USA
Prize motivation: "for the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design"
Lloyd S. Shapley
Born: 1923, Cambridge, MA, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Prize motivation: "for the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design"
|NYC inches back to normal after Sandy|
NYC inches back to normal after Sandy:
The nation’s largest city inched a bit closer to normalcy Thursday as some subways, buses and commuter rails began running and power was slowly being restored three days after superstorm Sandy.Across the region, more than 4.7 million homes and businesses still lacked power Thursday due to Hurricane Sandy, the Department of Energy said. In the last day, power had been restored to 1.7 million homes and businesses.
Locally, an estimated 676,000 remained in the dark across the five boroughs, along with 166,000 customers in Westchester, Consolidated Edison reported. But electrical power had been restored to more than 225,000 customers since the storm, Con Ed said.
New York’s subways were also returning.Metropolitan Transportation Authority buses picked up commuters at three locations in downtown Brooklyn, ferried them over the East River via the Manhattan or Williamsburg bridge and then rumbled north along Third Avenue to midtown Manhattan, where subway service resumed before dawn.
Smaller than usual crowds of subway riders emerged at Grand Central Terminal on E. 42nd Street, happy to get back to work routines.On Long Island and in Westchester County north of the city, commuter rail riders jammed aboard crowded Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad trains into Penn Station or Grand Central.
Commuters lined up at Penn Station to board uptown trains at 6 a.m. Thursday. Technology worker Ronnie Abraham was on one of them, hoping to get home to Harlem, a trip that is 20 minutes by train and 2 ½ hours by bus.”It’s the lifeline of the city,” Abraham said. “It can’t get much better than this.”
More good news for commuters: MTA said it won’t charge subway or commuter rail fares Thursday or Friday. The savings was particularly welcomed by suburban commuters who had braved long lines with multi-hour waits at the few gas stations that had fuel.Still, there were glitches.New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Wednesday that cars into Manhattan across bridges and tunnels must carry three people. City police set up check points at the crossings to enforce the restriction.
The plan exempted the George Washington Bridge, mainly to allow truck traffic to cross from New Jersey and continue north to New England or East toward Long Island. The ban also exempted taxis and livery cars.But some solo commuters spotted what they thought was a loophole. After crossing the George Washington, they turned south into Manhattan at exits for the West Side High or the Harlem River Drive – only to be met by police checkpoints.Traffic jams across the bridge quickly backed up across the bridge back New Jersey. “NYPD mistakenly put checkpoints up at GW bridge. We are alerting the City now to pull those checkpoints, Howard Glaser, New York State’s director of operations and a Cuomo advisor, tweeted at 7:30 a.m.The storm killed more than 140 people as it swept north from the Caribbean and left more than 5 million without power in the U.S. alone.
Two of the region’s main airports opened Wednesday and officials promised that the third, LaGuardia Airport, would return to service Thursday.Actors and eager audiences brought darkened Broadway theaters back to life. And New Yorkers packed on to buses that returned for the first time to city streets since the storm, joining a throng of gridlocked traffic that navigated the city without working stop lights.
The airports and subways weren’t the only transportation systems returning to the region. Suburban trains started running for the first time on Wednesday, and Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor was to take commuters from city to city for on Friday for the first time since the storm.
It is clear, however, that restoring the region to its ordinarily frenetic pace could take days — and that rebuilding the hardest-hit communities and the transportation networks could take considerably longer.There were still only hints of the economic impact of the storm.
The total economic damage from Superstorm Sandy could run as high as $50 billion, according to new estimates from the forecasting firm Eqecat. The new numbers are more than double the firm’s previous estimate.Eqecat said Thursday that its new estimate for economic losses is between $30 billion and $50 billion. The cost to insurance companies could run from $10 billion to $20 billion.Electricity was out as far west as Wisconsin in the Midwest and as far south as the Carolinas.
In New Jersey, signs of the good life that had defined wealthy shorefront enclaves like Bayhead and Mantoloking lay scattered and broken: $3,000 barbecue grills buried beneath the sand and hot tubs cracked and filled with seawater. Nearly all the homes were seriously damaged, and many had entirely disappeared.“This,” said Harry Typaldos, who owns the Grenville Inn in Mantoloking, “I just can’t comprehend.”Most of the state’s mass transit systems remained shut down, leaving hundreds of thousands of commuters braving clogged highways and quarter-mile lines at gas stations. Atlantic City’s casinos remained closed. Christie postponed Halloween until Monday, saying trick-or-treating wasn’t safe in towns with flooded and darkened streets, fallen trees and downed power lines.
Farther north in Hoboken, just across the Hudson River from Manhattan, nearly 20,000 residents remained stranded in their homes, amid accusations that officials have been slow to deliver food and water. One man blew up an air mattress and floated to City Hall, demanding to know why supplies hadn’t gotten out. At least one-fourth of the city’s residents are flooded and 90 percent are without power.
|Nilam kills 17, wreaks havoc in TN, AP|
Nilam kills 17, wreaks havoc in TN, AP:
Many parts of north and north-western Tamil Nadu took the brunt of nature’s fury in the wake of the tropical cyclone ‘Nilam’ that crossed the State’s coast near Mamallapuram Wednesday evening, even as the toll in the cyclone-related deaths climbed to 13 on Thursday.
While the cyclonic system in the last few days pounded Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Cuddalore, Kancheepuram, Ariyalur, Villupuram, Tiruvannamalai, Vellore, Salem, Dharmapuri and parts of Tiruvallur and Chennai districts, more than half the deaths due to wall collapses, crashing of trees and lightning strikes were from Vellore and Tiruvannamalai districts, official sources said.
The cyclone had its humanitarian fallout as well. In a village near Periyapalayam in Tiruvallur district, parents of a five-year-old girl child, Yogalakshmi, who was instantly crushed to death as a tree crashed down on their house, donated her eyes to the District Government Hospital.
The high-velocity winds knocked down hundreds of trees as ‘Nilam’ moved north-westwards on Thursday towards Rayalaseema region in Andhra Pradesh. In Kancheepuram district, over 1100 electric poles crashed and several transformers were damaged, straining the power distribution, sources said.
It was a tale of woe for paddy-growing farmers, particularly in Nagapattinam and Tiruvarur districts, in the tail-end areas of Cauvery delta, with the incessant rains flooding 1,27,000 hectares of ‘Samba’ (long-term) paddy crop.The Met office here said ‘Nilam’, which had already weakened into a depression as it moved over to Rayalaseema and south interior Karnataka, will weaken further into a low pressure area during next 12 hours.
4 die in AP
Normal life was affected in all the coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh and four persons were killed on Thursday - three due to electrocution and another person in a wall collapse - in Prakasam, Nellore and Anantapur districts. Standing paddy, banana and other crops were damaged and normal life thrown out of gear.
Cyclone ‘Nilam’ brought torrential rains to several parts of Kerala, leaving low-lying areas in the state capital and Kochi flooded since Wednesday evening.Both road and rail traffic was affected in Thiruvananthapuram. Power and water supply was hit in many parts of the city. Officials declared a holiday for schools. The downpour has partially disrupted vehicular transport in the commercial hub of Kochi as well.Weathermen here said that the rains will continue for the next 48 hours. Fishermen have been warned against venturing into the sea for the next two days.
|On India-China border, reports of UFOs skyrocket|
On India-China border, reports of UFOs skyrocket:
Mysterious yellow spheres that appear to lift off from the Chinese side are causing more embarrassment than fear as India struggles to figure out what they are.
Adding to the litany of issues besetting neighboring nuclear rivals China and India, ranging from border disputes to the Dalai Lama to trade deficits, is a new one: UFOs.
"Over 100 UFOs seen along China border," said a headline in Tuesday's Times of India.
Indian troops guarding the often-tense 2,100-mile border between the two Asian giants say the objects seen in recent months are yellow spheres that appear to lift off from the Chinese side, slowly traversing the sky for three to five hours before disappearing. Indian military officials have reportedly ruled out Chinese drones — 99 of which reportedly were documented during the first 10 months of 2012 — or low-orbit satellites.
The acronym-happy Times of India says the UFO sightings have stumped the DRDO, NTRO, ITBP and other Indian military organizations. If they weren't stumped, this would presumably make them IFOs, not to be confused with ULOs, short for unidentified luminous objects. That's what other Indian new organizations have dubbed the objects, given the glow they reportedly give off "at day and by night."
In September, the Indian army reportedly deployed a mobile ground-based radar unit and a spectrum analyzer to assess what was dancing around up there. As the troops watched the light show, however, the machines picked up zilch, according to India Today magazine, suggesting that the UFOs were non-metallic.
The army reportedly aimed one of its drones in a UFO's direction, but the object disappeared. Astronomers were also called in. According to local media, they saw some of the same unexplained objects but gave up after three days, concluding that they were "non-celestial." Indian border troops report nearly 100 sightings over the last three months.
The lack of answers has caused more embarrassment than fear in military circles, India Today reported, amid concern that this could be a crude psychological operation by the Chinese or a sophisticated probe designed to test Indian readiness.
"If there has been some sightings, I wouldn't be surprised if it's a technology demonstration by the Chinese, and the Chinese are very advanced," said Lt. Gen. B.S. Jaswal, former Northern Army commander. "During my time, we didn't have such sightings."
N. Ratnashri, director of New Delhi's Nehru Planetarium, believes they could be some sort of balloon-borne objects that reflect ambient light, given that they're visible for several hours, which tends to rule out a meteor shower.
"I wouldn't put much faith in photographs of a shape that could be anything," she said. "There's nothing to tell us there isn't extraterrestrial life, but nothing to tell us there is."
Gaurav Tiwari, founder of the 500-member Indian Paranormal Society, said the news dovetails with reports he's read of alien camps in the Himalayas that the Indian army tolerates. But he hasn't been able to do his own research in the area, he said.
"Earlier reports said the Indian government was in touch with aliens and was getting technology from them," Tiwari said. "It's all over the Internet."
This is hardly the first time mysterious objects have been reported along the border, including sightings of unexplainable lights over the last decade around Ladakh, part of a barren militarized area wedged between the Pakistan-controlled part of Kashmir and Chinese-controlled Aksai Chin. But the number and frequency in recent months have set off alarm bells, launching reports up the military chain and even into the prime minister's office.
Troops have sometimes balked at reporting the sightings, fearful of being ridiculed. In 2010, the air force was reportedly called in to investigate UFOs that it ultimately concluded were Chinese lanterns. A decade ago, then-area commander Gen. N.C. Vij is said to have angrily dismissed similar reports of dancing lights as hallucinations.
Sunil Dhar, a geology professor with Dharamsala's Government Post Graduate College, was on a research expedition with four other geologists and several reporters in 2004 when they saw a 4-foot-tall robot-like figure one morning descending a hill just as they were climbing out of their tents.
As the object approached, some in the group raised the alarm, Dhar said, and it ascended back up the hill, changed color from white to metallic black and went airborne, hovering for about 10 minutes before disappearing.
"We were all amazed," he said. "We thought it was some UFO, some object from some place that may not be the Earth."
They provided photos to authorities, they said, but the government never issued a report."The UFOs in this area should be studied," he said. "Why in such remote topography? That is important."
Source : http://ralphdeeds.hubpages.com/hub/Crook-Alert-UBS-and-47-000-Americans-Secret-Accounts
|Ancient 'Vampire' Bodies Found In Bulgaria|
Ancient 'Vampire' Bodies Found In Bulgaria:
Bulgarian archaeologists have unearthed centuries-old skeletons with iron rods through their chests - believed to have been victims of an old anti-vampire ritual.
According to Bozhidar Dimitrov, head of the National History Museum in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, two skeletons from the Middle Ages have been discovered near the Black Sea town of Sozopol.
"These two skeletons stabbed with rods illustrate a practice which was common in some Bulgarian villages up until the first decade of the 20th century," said Mr Dimitrov.
Widespread superstition led to iron rods being hammered through the chest bones and hearts of those who did evil during their lifetimes for fear they would return after death to feast on the blood of the living.
People believed the rod would pin them down to prevent them from leaving their graves at midnight and terrorising people as they slept, the historian explained.
In 2004, archaeologist Petar Balabanov unearthed six nailed-down skeletons at a site near the eastern town of Debelt.
He said the pagan rite also was practised in neighbouring Serbia and other Balkan countries.
Vampire legends form an important part of the region's folklore.
The most famous tale is that of Romanian count Vlad the Impaler, known as Dracula, who staked his war enemies and drank their blood.
Bulgarian archaeologists have discovered two vampire graves in the city of Sozopol on the Black Sea. The burials, which are about 700 years old, were each held down with a massive iron stake through the chest. One vampire was buried in the apse of a church – a spot usually reserved for aristocrats – and showed evidence of multiple stab wounds.
Bozhidar Dimitrov, head of the Bulgarian National Museum of History, says more than a hundred vampire graves have been found in Bulgaria. He says that most suspected vampires were aristocrats or clergy. Interestingly, none were women.
One possible explanation for the vampire myth comes from anthropologist Paul Barber in his book "Vampires, Burial, and Death." He posits the vampire legend started because people didn't know how bodies decomposed. Rigor mortis is only temporary. After a few days the muscles ease up and expanding gases in the body will actually shift it within the coffin. Blood seeps out of the mouth and the face and belly get a flushed and puffy look. So. . .a guy dies, they bury him, and shortly thereafter several more people die. The villagers decide the first guy is a vampire, and when they open up his grave they find he's moved, looks fat and flush with life, and has bloody teeth. When you drive a stake through a body filled with corpse gas it lets out a shriek.
There are several good vampire attractions in Europe, such as Dracula's Castle in Romania, the Vampire Museum in Paris and Highgate Cemetery in London, scene of a wave of vampire sightings in the 1970s.
|Won't take rushed decision on abortion: Irish PM|
Won't take rushed decision on abortion: Irish PM:
With an Indian dentist's tragic death igniting protests over right to abortion in Ireland, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has said he is awaiting a report by an expert group on the issue but will not be rushed into an immediate decision.
Kenny said his government would go through the report and indicated it will take its own time in arriving at a decision.
Savita Halappanavar, 31, died in an Irish hospital last month after doctors refused to terminate her pregnancy despite telling her that she was miscarrying. Savita died of blood poisoning after spending three days in pain and agony.
The case has prompted protests in Ireland and calls for right to choice, and the PM himself asked to see the report into the investigation in the case.
India summoned the Irish ambassador in New Delhi on Friday to convey its "concern and angst" over the tragic death of Savita and hoped the inquiry instituted into the case would be "independent".
Kenny was quoted as saying by state broadcaster RTE News that the report of an expert group will be before the Cabinet on November 27, and can be discussed by "everyone else" after it is published. He said he will not be rushed on the issue of abortion by pressures from any side, according to RTE.
Earlier, Minister for Health James Reilly also suggested the government will take its own time in arriving at any decision as rushing the issue or coming to wrong conclusions, which could have "disastrous" consequences into the future. He admitted that right to abortion had long divided opinion in the Catholic country, but said his government was determined to deal with it as a sensitive issue.
Amnesty International has written to Reilly over the issue expressing its concern and asking the country to address the gap in law over the issue.
"Successive Irish governments have failed in their duty to provide the necessary clarity on how this right is protected and vindicated, leaving women in Ireland in a very vulnerable position. The government must offer this clarity without further delay," said Colm O'Gorman, executive director of Amnesty International in Ireland
|Kargil martyr Saurabh Kalia's torture: Violations by Pakistan unacceptable, says government|
Kargil martyr Saurabh Kalia's torture: Violations by Pakistan unacceptable, says government:
The father of Kargil martyr Captain Saurabh Kalia, who was made captive and subjected to brutal torture by the Pakistan Army in 1999, has moved the Supreme Court seeking its direction to the Union Government to take up his son's case at the International Court of Justice.
In his petition to the Supreme Court, Dr. NK Kalia, a retired scientist, has asked the Indian Government to get Pakistan to apologise for the incident, alleging that the latter violated all norms of the Geneva Convention that charts out protocols for treatment meted out of prisoners of war.
While terming the violations as "completely unacceptable", the government said that it would do "whatever is possible" in the case. "Whatever is possible would be done but I do not want to give you a commitment now of any nature of what is possible or what is being done...This is a matter we have taken up at the highest level over the years and we have not yet been able to get adequate stands of the matter being addressed, that is absolutely true," said External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid.
The Kalias have been waging a lonely battle for justice for their son, who was a victim of war atrocities.
Captain Kalia, of the 4 Jat Regiment, was the first army officer to report the incursion by the Pakistani Army on Indian soil. He along with five soldiers - sepoys Arjun Ram, Bhanwar Lal Bagaria, Bhika Ram, Moola Ram and Naresh Singh - were on a patrol of the Bajrang Post in the Kaksar sector of Jammu and Kashmir when they were taken captive by Pakistani troops May 15, 1999.
They were tortured for weeks before being killed. Their mutilated bodies were handed over to the Indian authorities on June 9 that year.
The elderly couple, settled in his tea garden town, about 120 km from the state capital Shimla, wants the Indian government to highlight the atrocities committed by the Pakistani Army internationally.
British lawyer of Indian origin Jas Uppal, who has launched an international campaign to highlight the plight of Saurabh and five other soldiers, has been helping the Kalias to petition the Supreme Court.
She has been demanding the blacklisting of Pakistan for the purpose of giving international aid.
India and Pakistan fought a limited war over the icy heights of Kargil in Jammu and Kashmir in May-July 1999. India took back all the positions that had been occupied by the Pakistani Army.
India lost 527 soldiers and Pakistan upwards of 700 men.
Ponty Chadha murder case: Cops suspect income tax raid link:
New leads in the Ponty Chadha shootout case point to a deep conspiracy, possibly linked to the tax raids at the liquor baron's properties early this year, sources told TOI on Friday. A day after crime branch booked Sukhdev Singh Namdhari for murdering Ponty's brother Hardeep in a shootout at the Chadhas' Chhatarpur farmhouse on November 17, investigators said he may have set up the brothers.
Namdhari, sacked chief of Uttarakhand's minorities commission, was with Ponty at the time of the shootout.
"The questioning of Namdhari, his gunman Sachin Tyagi and Ponty's security manager Narender Ahlawat points to the possibility of Namdhari creating circumstances for a hostile encounter between the Chadha brothers," a source said.
Trying to connect the dots of the mystery, sleuths are looking for a link between the shootout and income tax raids at two of Ponty's properties — Centerstage Mall and a Chhatarpur farmhouse — in February this year. They suspect the raids may have proved a turning point in Ponty's relationship with Namdhari, who was living in the businessman's shadow.
It was alleged after the tax raids that Ponty was tipped off by a contact in the IT department. No cash was found, causing acute embarrassment to the tax sleuths. However, police sources suspect the alleged stash of Rs 200 crore was handed over to Namdhari for safekeeping. Ponty is also suspected to have made large real estate deals in Namdhari's name, including a 50-acre purchase in Uttarakhand. Police now want to find out whether the thought of having to return the cash and properties to Ponty made Namdhari plot against him.
The crime branch, however, has refused to come on record on these theories. "All I can say at this stage is that Namdhari did not call his brother, son and more than three dozen men to Ponty's farmhouse on November 17 just to occupy it by force. We have received information that he did not return Ponty's cash hoard, but we did not find the money at his farmhouse. We will draw a conclusion only when we have documentary evidence," an officer said on condition of anonymity.
A senior unnamed bureaucrat, who was questioned during the raids, is also suspected to be sitting on a part of Ponty's alleged hoard. Namdhari's son Surinder and maternal uncle Hardayal, who are wanted for questioning, remain untraceable.
"We suspect Namdhari provoked Ponty to seize the Chhatarpur farmhouse. That's why he came to Delhi three days before the shootout and arranged the logistics for the November 17 raid. Such elaborate arrangements definitely hint at a bigger conspiracy. He would have known that this brazen act of occupying the two farmhouses, which were part of a Rs 1,500 crore separation deal between the brothers, would enrage Hardeep to the point of taking up arms. He also knew that Hardeep would be accompanied by his men, so he had an army in place," said a source.
Police are waiting for ballistic and forensic reports to ascertain whether bullets fired by Namdhari and his gunman hit Ponty also. "If this is confirmed, getting the truth out of Namdhari won't be difficult as he will have no defence left. So far, he has been evasive in his replies," a senior crime branch officer said.
Court extends anticipatory bail to Zee group Chairman and son:
A Delhi court on Friday extended the duration of anticipatory bail to Zee Group Chairman Subhash Chandra and his son Punit Goenka till December 20 in the alleged extortion case of Rs. 100 crore from Congress MP and industrialist Naveen Jindal.
Additional Sessions Judge Raj Rani Mitra granted the extension for interim protection from arrest and said that the court will hear arguments on December 20.
The court's order came after Chandra and his son's counsel Geeta Luthra sought extension of the interim protection, as she had to rush to Supreme Court to argue in another matter listed there.
She said that the passports of her clients are already with the police so there is no chance of their fleeing from justice. She also mentioned that after the interim protection granted on December 6, Chandra and Goenka have joined the probe on December 8 and 9.
Special Public Prosecutor Rajiv Mohan opposed the request for extension of interim protection. He said if the court wants to adjourn the matter, police have no problem in this but it should not extend their interim protection as it expires today.
The court, meanwhile, also heard arguments on the regular bail application of Zee News Editor Sudhir Chaudhary and Zee Business Editor Samir Ahluwalia, who were arrested on November 27 in the case.
|Vidya Balan is now Mrs Siddharth Roy Kapur|
Vidya Balan is now Mrs Siddharth Roy Kapur:
Actress Vidya Balan and UTV head Siddharth Roy Kapur were married on the morning of December 14. The wedding took place at the Green Mile bungalow in Bandra, contrary to earlier reports of a temple wedding in Chembur. The morning wedding was conducted in a mix of South Indian and Punjabi styles, in keeping with both the bride and groom's cultural traditions. Vidya is Tamilian and Siddharth is Punjabi.
According to reports, the wedding rituals went on for over an hour at the well-decorated venue in the presence of family members of the bride and groom.According to reports, the actress underwent three changes in costume during the wedding ceremony, including a mustard sari with a pink blouse, matching the groom's yellow kurta and pink turban. Vidya wore flowers in her hair and a big smile.
After the wedding ceremony was over, the bride and the groom came out for a photo op and posed happily for the waiting cameras. By this time, Vidya was in a tomato red banarasi sari with gold jewellery and sindoor on her forehead.
According to sources, Vidya is said to be excited about wearing toe rings on both her feet after the actual ceremony, like newly-wed Tamil brides. She will also sport the thaali, a woven yellow thread with small photographs of Lord Balaji and his consort Ambana. Vidya and Siddharth will likely play a traditional wedding 'game' that involves searching for a ring in a bucket of milk and water.
After their quiet wedding, the couple intends to send sweets to people from the industry.
The couple's wedding celebrations kicked off on December 11 with a private sangeet that was attended by close family members of the bride and the groom. Vidya wore a kanjeevaram sari and heavy gold jewellery.
Vidya's mehendi, held at her Khar residence in Mumbai on Dec 12, was also a private affair like her sangeet. Again, only close family and friends were invited for the ceremony.The only celebrity to be invited was veteran actress Rekha, a close friend of the much-younger Vidya
The bride-to-be was glowing in a sari designed by her favourite Sabyasachi Mukherjee. She wore it in Bengali style with floral ornaments. Despite the function being private, Vidya obliged the waiting cameras by coming out for a brief photo-op.Family presence at both the sangeet and mehendi included Vidya's parents Saraswathy and P R Balan. The actress' elder sister Priya and brother-in-law Kedar have been overseeing all arrangements. The couple have so far remained tight lipped about their wedding and post wedding plans though Vidya will reportedly take a sabbatical. The couple will reportedly be hosting a reception in Chennai.
Demise of Famous Persons in 2012:
Verghese Kurien (26 November 1921 – 9 September 2012)
was an Indian engineer and renowned social entrepreneur. He is best known as the "Father of the White Revolution",for his 'billion-litre idea' or Operation Flood — the world's biggest agricultural development programme. The operation took India from being a milk-deficient nation, to the largest milk producer in the world, surpassing the United States of America in 1998, with about 17 percent of global output in 2010–11, which in 30 years doubled the milk available to every person,. Dairy farming became India’s largest self-sustaining industry. He made the country self-sufficient in edible oils too later on, taking head-on the powerful and entrenched oil supplying lobby.
Verghese married Molly and they had one daughter Nirmala Kurien and a grandson, Siddharth. He was an atheist. Verghese Kurien died on 9 September 2012 after a brief spell of illness in Nadiad, near Anand in Gujarat, India. He was 90
|Wrestler-turned-actor Dara Singh has died in the Indian city of Mumbai after a long illness, his doctors say|
Wrestler-turned-actor Dara Singh has died in the Indian city of Mumbai after a long illness, his doctors say.
The 83-year-old had been admitted to hospital last week after a heart attack. He was taken home on Wednesday night after doctors said he had little chance of recovery and that there had been significant damage to his brain.Singh, who won the world wrestling championship in 1960, acted in several Bollywood films and television serials.He gained huge popularity while playing Hanuman, the monkey god, in the television adaptation of the Hindu epic Ramayana.He was also a member of parliament from 2003 to 2009 when he was appointed to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of India's parliament.
|Bollywood prays for departed soul of Rajesh Khanna|
Bollywood prays for departed soul of Rajesh Khanna
Bollywood personalities including Rajesh Khanna's family members today attended a prayer meeting held in memory of the first superstar of Hindi cinema at a suburban five-star hotel here.Besides the actor's kin, including his estranged wife Dimple Kapadia, two daughters Twinkle and Rinke, son-in-law Akshaye Kumar and first grandson Aarav, a string of celebrities also turned up at the function held at Taj Lands End in suburban Bandra.
Dressed in white, Bollywood's who's who including Amitabh Bachchan with wife Jaya, Aamir Khan, Hrithik Roshan with father Rakesh Roshan, Randhir Kapoor, Rajiv Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor with wife Neetu Singh, prayed for the departed soul.The 69-year-old actor passed away at his residence on July 18.
Actor Shashi Kapoor also attended the meet on a wheelchair and was seen being accompanied by Ranbir Kapoor.Also spotted were director Ashutosh Gowarikar, actors Sonakshi Sinha, Deepika Padukone, Tabu among others, while Amar Singh, Jayaprada and a few others politicians too turned up.A huge black-and-white photograph of the actor, decorated with white flowers, was seen at the entrance of the hall at the venue.
|Shiv Sena Supremo Bal Thackeray passes away|
Shiv Sena Supremo Bal Thackeray passes away:
Bal Thackeray (86), founder of the Shiv Sena passed away at his residence Matoshree in suburban Bandra on Saturday. After his demise, son Uddhav has been taken ill. Close family members including nephew Raj Thackeray and his wife were by his side.
Bal Thackeray suffered a cardiac arrest and the doctors couldn't revive him. He was declared dead at 3.30 pm.
Bal Thackeray had been critically ill for the last few days and the condition of the 86-year-old Sena patriarch worsened on Wednesday night when he had to be put on life support. He was taken off life support later after showing signs of improvement.
Bal Thackeray had been suffering from lung and pancreatic ailments and had been under the supervision of doctors for the past two weeks. He was admitted to hospital for a week in July following fever, stomach pain and problems.
He is survived by two sons Uddhav and Jaidev and their families. While Uddhav who now runs the Sena, lived with Bal Thackeray, Jaidev moved out several years ago and the father-son shared strained ties. Thackeray's another son Bindumadhav died in an accident 15 years ago. His family also lives in Mumbai.
Raj Thackeray and his family reached Matoshree late Wednesday night, soon followed by top Sena leaders including Manohar Joshi, Leeladhar Dake, Sanjay Raut and Ramdas Kadam. Actor Amitabh Bachchan went to the Thackeray residence around midnight.
Popularly known as the Hindu Hriday Samrat (ruler of Hindu hearts), Thackeray had single handedly created and then transformed the Shiv Sena from a rag tag bunch of street youth in 1966 into a formidable political force which governed the state of Maharashtra for a period
of four years from 1995 to 1999 along with its Hindutva ally the BJP.
Referred by many as the uncrowned King of Mumbai, Thackeray, a cartoonist by profession made space for himself in Maharashtra’s political arena in the 1960s by addressing the concerns of Maharashtrians who increasingly felt marginalized and deprived of the opportunities in the fast developing metropolis of Mumbai.
In the five decades of the Sena’s existence, Thackeray formed an alliance with almost all political parties including the Congress, Socialist and even the Muslim League at various points of time to further his own cause.
Thackeray, however, had an anathema of adorning any constitutional posts and was happy in governing through “remote control.”
The Sena supremo’s darkest political hour was when he was personally indicted by the Srikrishna Commission Report for directing a pogrom of violence against Muslims in Mumbai in December 1992-January 1993.
An astute politician, Thackeray was also well known for being a lover of the good life and had a huge friend circle amongst Mumbai’s filmstars. His penchant for sipping warm beer had now given way to having a glass of red wine suggested by doctors.
In short, Thackeray defied every political stereotype. As it is popularly said you could like him, you could desist him but you could never ignore him.
Inder Gujral cremated with full state honours:
Former prime minister Inder Kumar Gujral was Saturday cremated here with full state honours in the presence of the country's top leadership, including President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Gujral's body, draped in the national tricolour, was brought to Smriti Sthal on the banks of the Yamuna from his 5 Janpath residence in a flower bedecked gun-carriage accompanied by military personnel and close family. Officers from the three armed forces carried the mortal remains of Gujral on their shoulders to the cremation ground as he was accorded a state funeral.
Smriti Sthal, where the cremation took place, is located between Jawaharlal Nehru's samadhi Shanti Van and Lal Bahadur Shastri's samadhi Vijay Ghat.
Amid prayers and a 21-gun salute, Gujral's pyre was lit by his elder son, Akali Dal MP Naresh Gujral. Naresh was assisted by his brother, Vishal.
Besides the president and the prime minister, Vice President Hamid Ansari, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma, Law Minister Ashwani Kumar, Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah, Minister for Science and Technology Jaipal Reddy, BJP leaders L.K. Advani and Arun Jaitley, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, INLD chief Om Prakash Chautala, LJP's Ramvilas Paswan, JD-S' Danish Ali and Amar Singh were present.
|Yash Chopra, Bollywood's 'king of romance' passes away|
Yash Chopra, Bollywood's 'king of romance' passes away
Veteran filmmaker Yash Chopra, who was known as Hindi cinema's 'king of romance' for making some of Bollywood's most memorably intense romantic dramas, passed away in Mumbai on Sunday. He was suffering from dengue.
|Yash Chopra, Bollywood's 'king of romance' passes away|
Chopra had celebrated his 80th birthday on September 27. 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan', starring Shah Rukh Khan was his final film as director. Regarded as the country's king of celluloid romance, Chopra has also proved his mettle with intensely emotional and tragic movies, many of which went on to become box-office blockbusters.
Chopra had been admitted to a hospital in Mumbai with an attack of dengue, a spokesperson for his company said. Chopra attended actor Amitabh Bachchan's 70th birthday party with wife Pamela on October 11.
|Pandit Ravi Shankar, sitar maestro, passes away in California|
Pandit Ravi Shankar, sitar maestro, passes away in California:
Legendary sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar, who spearheaded the worldwide spread of Indian music and had a major influence on Western musicians like The Beatles, died today in San Diego at the age of 92.Shankar, whose health had been fragile for the past several years, underwent heart-valve replacement surgery on Thursday at the Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California where he breathed his last. The music icon was admitted to the hospital last week when he complained of breathlessness.
"It is with heavy hearts we write to inform you that Pandit Ravi Shankar, husband, father, and musical soul, passed away today," his wife and daughter, Sukanya and Anoushka Shankar, said in a joint statement.A recipient of Bharat Ratna in 1999 rpt 1999, Shankar maintained residences in both India and the United States.He is survived by his wife Sukanya; daughter Norah Jones; daughter Anoushka Shankar Wright and husband Joe Wright; three grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
"As you all know, his health has been fragile for the past several years and on Thursday he underwent a surgery that could have potentially given him a new lease of life."Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the surgeons and doctors taking care of him, his body was not able to withstand the strain of the surgery. We were at his side when he passed away," the joint statement said. "We know that you all feel our loss with us, and we thank you for all of your prayers and good wishes through this difficult time. Although it is a time for sorrow and sadness, it is also a time for all of us to give thanks and to be grateful that we were able to have him as a part of our lives. His spirit and his legacy will live on forever in our hearts and in his music," they said in their joint statement.
A three-time Grammy award winner, Shankar last performed in California on November 4 along with his daughter Anoushka Shankar.
Shankar has also been nominated for the 2013 Grammys for his album "The Living Room Sessions Part-1" and was pitted against Anoushka in the same category.
"Shankar had suffered from upper-respiratory and heart issues over the past year and underwent heart-valve replacement surgery last Thursday. Though the surgery was successful, recovery proved too difficult for the 92-year-old musician," said another statement issued by the Ravi Shankar Foundation and East Meets West Music. In recent months, performing, and especially touring, became increasingly difficult for the musician.However, health couldn't prevent Shankar from performing with Anoushka on November 4 in Long Beach, California."This, in what was to be his final public performance, was in fact billed as a celebration of his tenth decade of creating music," the foundation said.
|Eminent Bengali film, TV director Jishu Dasgupta dead|
Eminent Bengali film, TV director Jishu Dasgupta dead:
Noted Bengali film and TV show director Jishu Dasgupta died following cardiac arrest at a private hospital here Friday morning after a long battle with cancer, family sources said. He was 53.Dasgupta, known for directing popular serials like "Sishirer Swapno", "Kuasha Jakhon" and "Tithir Atithi", had been fighting with cancer for the last nine months and was admitted to Peerless Hospital Nov 25 following complications."He had been fighting for the last nine months. Towards the end, he had given up. We had admitted him Nov 25 because of liver problems. He had recovered from that but later on his blood pressure had fallen and he was shifted to the critical care unit," a family member told TV channels.West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her grief at Dasgupta's untimely death.
"I am deeply saddened at Jishu Dasgupta's untimely demise," said Banerjee.
|Hockey legend Leslie Claudius passes away|
Hockey legend Leslie Claudius passes away:
India’s triple Olympic gold medallist and one of the legends of hockey, Leslie Claudius passed away here on Thursday after a prolonged illness.
Claudius was suffering from cirrhosis of the liver and frequently needed hospitalisation in the past couple of years.
Hockey Olympians from the city such as Gurbux Singh, Keshav Dutt and Vece Paes, who happened to play alongside him, remembered Claudius as a simple man who got love and respect from everyone for his great qualities.
Claudius, who was admitted to a city nursing home a week ago with liver ailment, had not been keeping well for more than a year. His condition deteriorated on Sunday when he was put on ventilator support.
According to his son Brandon, Claudius was showing signs of improvement but things took a turn for the worse on Thursday morning and the legendary player breathed his last at 3.25 p.m. Claudius was 85 and is survived by wife and three sons.
|Great Bengali Poet and Writer Sri Sunil Gangopadhyay Passes Way during Puja Festival in Kolkata|
Great Bengali Poet and Writer Sri Sunil Gangopadhyay Passes Way during Puja Festival in Kolkata