India reduces Olympic torch route

India has decided to shorten the Olympic torch relay route over fears that Tibetan activists may try to disrupt the event.

The torch will now only be carried over a 2-3km heavily-secured route, Indian Olympic officials have said.

On Wednesday, India's foreign minister told his Chinese counterpart that the government would take steps to ensure the torch's safe passage.

It arrives in India later this month, and is due to be carried through Delhi.

The torch will be taken from the historic Red Fort to India Gate, a war memorial and city landmark.

But the 9km route has now been shortened and is expected to be only about 2-3km.

It follows advice from security agencies who say they have credible information to suggest that Tibetan activists intend to disrupt the relay.

The route will be heavily barricaded to keep protesters at bay.

Last month, Tibetan exiles managed to get into the heavily guarded Chinese embassy and the Indian government does not want a repeat of the incident.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi has spoken to his Indian counterpart, Pranab Mukherjee, who assured him that India would ensure that the passage of the Olympic torch was a success.

India is the home of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government in exile but while Delhi offers them sanctuary, it takes a hardline stance against allowing them to carry out any political activity.

Tanzania in witchdoctor crackdown

anzania's president has ordered a crackdown on witchdoctors who use body parts from albinos in magic potions to bring people good luck or fortune.

"This is senseless cruelty. It must stop forthwith," Jakaya Kikwete said on television, AFP news agency reports.

"I am told that people kill albinos and chop their body parts, including fingers, believing they can get rich when mining or fishing," he said.

The order comes after the murder of 19 albinos in the last year.

The BBC's Vicky Ntetema in Dar es Salaam says there is a widespread belief in Tanzania that the condition is the result of a curse put on the family.

Old women with red eyes have been killed in parts of Tanzania, after being accused of witchcraft, she says.

In the past, Tanzania's Albino Society (TAS) has accused the government of turning a blind eye to the killing of albinos.

There are more than 8,000 registered albinos in Tanzania, although TAS believes there to be 150,000 among the country population of some 35m.

Mariah breaks Elvis chart record

Mariah Carey arrived in London this week to promote her single.

Singer Mariah Carey has beaten Elvis Presley's US chart record by scoring the 18th number one of her career.

Touch My Body, from her new album E=MC2, is the new number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and has also topped its download chart.

The achievement means she has now surpassed Elvis Presley's 17 number ones. The Beatles are in front on 20.

"I'm just feeling really happy and grateful," the 38-year-old performer told the Associated Press.

But she played down comparisons with Presley and The Beatles.

"I really can never put myself in the category of people who have not only revolutionised music but also changed the world, that's a completely different era and time," she said.

"In terms of my ethnicity, always feeling like an outsider, always feeling different... for me it's about saying, 'Thank you Lord, for giving me the faith to believe in myself when other people had written me off."

But she added that she was now at the most enjoyable point of her career, and trying to set sales records was not a priority for her.

"I've gone through enough of my life worrying about that kind of thing," she said.

Despite her US chart success, Carey has only reached the UK's top spot on two occasions - both times with cover versions.

The first was Without You, originally recorded by Badfinger and made popular by Harry Nilsson, which hit number one in 1994.

Six years later, she topped the chart with Phil Collins's Against All Odds, which she sang with Irish balladeers Westlife.

Madonna also made US chart history this week, when her track 4 Minutes, featuring Justin Timberlake, became her 37th top 10 hit, breaking another record set by Elvis Presley.

Akhtar cannot play in IPL until the Ban is revoked

Two days after being handed out a five-year ban for bringing cricket into disrepute, Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar today suffered another major setback with the Indian Premier League also debarring him from taking part in the cash-rich event.

The IPL's Governing Council Chairman Lalit Modi told reporters that Akhtar cannot take part in the high-profile Twenty20 competition till the Pakistan Cricket Board lifts the ban on him.

"A big discussion on Akhtar has taken place. The decision of the Governing Council was very simple that Akhtar has been banned for a period of five years, he has appealed... And till the time he is cleared the Governing Council will not be allowing Akhtar from playing in the IPL," he said.

Modi said Akhtar had appealed to the PCB to overturn the ban and it was now up to the concerned Board to take a decision on the matter. "So if his appeal is upheld he will be taken into the IPL," Modi said.

Akhtar has been roped in by the Kolkata Knightriders, owned by Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan for the IPL, which will begin from April 18.

The 32-year-old Akhtar has been banned for five-years by the PCB, which found him guilty on six accounts, including criticising the policies of the Board.

Another IPL Governing Council membert IS Bindra said it would be "odd" if Akhtar being banned to play for his country plays in the IPL.

"If he can't play for Pakistan, how can we play him? There will be no discipline left in the game, if we play him. It will set an unwanted precedent," said the former BCCI President.

"We (the IPL) want to be a part of the international system, not operate outside it. If somebody is banned on disciplinary grounds, that is a serious offense, and we felt it would be very odd if he was to play in IPL.

Kuruvi on May 10th

Kuruvi is all set to be released on 10th of May. Even though the movie is not yet completed and few more portions for the movie is to be shot, still the producer believes the movie will be ready to be screened on 10th May.

Theater bookings have been started and Kuruvi will be the movie in recent times to hit the screen as per the planned schedule.

General Motors REPLY TO BILL GATES

At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated,

"If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon."

In response to Bill's comments, General Motors issued a press release stating:


"If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics (and I just love this part, esp 7th point and 10'th point):

1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.

2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.

3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.

4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive - but would ! run on only five percent of the roads.

6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single "This Car Has Performed an Illegal Operation"
warning light.

7. The airbag system would ask "Are you sure?" before deploying.

8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

9. Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

10. You'd have to press the "Start" button to turn the engine off. "

 
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