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Annie Hawkins Natural Breasts world's largest

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The woman with the largest breasts in the world has talked about how security is used to help defend against unwanted suitors 'hunt' to her.

Annie Hawkins-Turner, 53 years old, Atlanta, Georgia, which has a bra size of 102ZZZ, TLC Sex Strange said she is a "celebrity in other countries due to their Guinness record for the breasts.
Although attracted to laugh when Mrs. Hawkins-Turner was a child, her breasts have helped her develop a career as a "fantasy model" describes himself. She has appeared on "over 250" self-directed fetish videos.
Appearing on a trailer for a new season of the reality series that explores unusual sexual fetishes, the mother of two children is talking about his pride in body length.
She says: "Nobody seems to me, I'm one in a million. [I'm] always imitated but never equaled. I have security because people hate me."

Chest Ms. Hawkins-Turner weighs eight stone.
She adds that she has never thought to undergo a breast reduction.
"I never thought about bringing a knife to myself," he says. "Why fix something not broken?
Ms. Hawkins-Turner, a victim of macromastia, a condition that involves slow and progressive growth of breast tissue, admits that despite his newfound fame, her breasts do not create problems everyday.
She says: "When I have to bend, if I get up the wrong way I'll hurt me. If I stand for a long period of time, I get numbness in my shoulders."

Even driving a car provides its own share of problems.
"I'm not going to put on my seatbelt because it is too tight across my breasts," he says.
Your positive self-image is unbreakable, yet even when challenged by those around her.
She told UK breakfast show this morning in June that has been plagued since childhood and mocked daily by strangers.

She told hosts Phillip Schofield and Jenni Falconer at the time: "When I leave my house, I have to think of what my day is going to be and I'm going to attack today.
"Every day someone makes fun of me I do not know. They make fun of me and no reason. I'm human like everyone else.

"I'm blessed differently to others. Affects my son very badly because people look at me."
Ms. Hawkins-Turner, who now makes his living as a model under the pseudonym of Norma Stitz said the harassment began when she got her first bra at the age of ten years.

"I do not know what size I was. I was big," he said. "All I remember is that the clips were made of cotton and protruding like footballs and that's when I knew I was different.

"Children are among the worst people in the world when it comes to choosing people. I laughed a lot."
She admitted she was devastated to learn that she could not breast feed their children were born, because the size of her chest meant there was no convenient way of placing the baby against your chest.
Ms. Hawkins-Turner also spoke of her late husband of 13 years, Alan, who died seven years ago.
"He turned my life around," the official said retired Air Force.

"He treated me like a queen. He loved me and he loved my children. He was my angel, it was not just sexual."

Rani Mukerji secretly married to Aditya Chopra ?

According to an insider of Yash Raj Films (YRF), Rani and Aditya have been married for several months. The wedding apparently took place around Diwali last year.

"They did not want people to know they are married Rani has two films releasing this year (and Talaash Aiyya)," says our source. "The news of his marriage could hinder the prospects of the films. Her marriage be declared after the release of the movies."

According to experts, Rani YRF staff see as a very important family Chopra. "Everyone in YRF addresses her as Bhabhi (sister-in-law)," says our source. "She keeps an eye on studios and makeup, as if they were your own home, and also keeps employees on their toes YRF."

The couple just celebrated the birthday of Rani in London, where the cast and film crew untitled Yash Chopra has been shooting last month, adds the source. "Rani cut her birthday cake there with Adi. They kept a very private matter. Only Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif were invited," says the source.

World leaders need to stand up for rights: Clinton

Washington: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called on the leaders of the countries around the world, including India, China and Pakistan, to defend the rights of all religious minorities in particular.

"We must stand for the rights of everyone in the community, all denominations ... In Egypt, Pakistan or Indonesia or China or India or anywhere else, leaders must be at the front saying, then act accordingly, "Clinton said.

"When I think of how much fear the minority of religious minorities are many around the world, governments are not I mean, I think governments have a greater role to play and their influence," he told the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, based in prestigious Washington think tank.

"I think many governments especially rapidly in these societies in transition where there are so many things at the same time, many governments believe that religious freedom is something you get up after dealing with everything else, is not only a priority for them , "he said.

"We want to raise it up on the list of visibility of what is necessary to try, and try to send a clear message: We need to defend the rights of all people that you are now a leader of a diverse community. Society. If you are in Iraq, must be the protection of all communities, not just one or maybe two at most, "he said in his speech after the publication of the annual report of the Department of State International Religious Freedom for 2011.

Clinton said that several countries with different religious communities are now in the process of going through the transition towards democracy, who are dealing with issues of freedom whether to protect the religious freedom of its citizens.

"This is in Tunisia to places of Burma, and many in between. But take, for example, Egypt, which I visited two weeks ago. I had a very emotional very personal conversation with Christians who are deeply concerned about what the future holds for them and their country.

"What Egypt and other countries decide to have a major impact on the lives of its people and go a long way to determine if these countries are able to achieve true democracy," he said.


China criticises US report on religious freedom

Washington: China has criticised the US government's report on international religious freedom, calling it "a notorious practice of blatantly interfering in the internal affairs of other countries".

The US government Monday released the 2011 Report on International Religious Freedom, "continuing a notorious practice of blatantly interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, including China, in the name of religion", said a commentary in Xinhua news agency.

"Contrary to the US report's claims that 'increased restrictions on religious freedom' led to at least 12 self-immolations by Tibetans in 2011, these incidents were in fact politically-motivated, as they were part of the Dalai Lama clique's scheme to internationalize the Tibet issue," it added.

The report designated eight countries - Myanmar, China, North Korea, Eritrea, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Uzbekistan - as countries of particular concern for alleged violations of religious freedom.

Without providing factual proof, it alleged that the situation of religious freedom "deteriorated" in 2011 in countries, including China, Eritrea, Iran and Pakistan, the commentary said.

Xinhua said that the annual report is "nothing but a political tool used by the US government to exert pressure on other countries, mostly deemed as its rivals".

"The US practice of releasing such a report, which is full of prejudice, arrogance and ignorance, is unimaginative and even counterproductive.

"The US action will only backfire by creating more suspicion and distrust rather than fostering mutual understanding and improving relations with other countries. In fact, the report has been repeatedly rejected and condemned by countries that Washington has accused year after year," it added.

It described China as as a multi-religious country where religious freedom is fully protected under the Constitution and state laws.

The commentary stressed that for the past decades, "China has already made great strides in consolidating the rule of law to ensure the protection of religious freedom so that all practitioners of lawful religions can practice their faith freely."

"In today's China, no one will be persecuted just because he or she is affiliated with any of the lawful religions".

It pointed out that "only a few members from banned cults and illegal extremist religious organisations, which engage in illegal or splittist activities under the guise of seeking religious freedom, have been punished in China strictly according to the laws".

Xinhua said that China has "every right to maintain its social stability and territorial integrity by cracking down on religious extremism, splittism and terrorism which advocate violence in the name of seeking religious freedom and human rights".


Shruti Hassan signed for Prabhu Deva`s next

Mumbai: Actress Shruti Hassan has been roped in as the lead actress for Prabhu Deva`s next venture.

"I have never worked with him before. So for me it is going to be lovely to finally get to work with him," Shruti said in a statement here.

Making his directorial debut in Bollywood with Salman Khan-starrer `Wanted`, Prabhu Deva`s second film Akshay Kumar-starrer `Rowdy Rathore` was released recently. Both the action films did good business at the box office.

His third venture will be a musical love story, produced by Kumar Taurani of Tips.

Taurani`s son Girish will be making his debut as an actor in the yet-to-be named film and Shruti has been confirmed opposite him.

Even though she has not worked with Prabhu Deva, Shruti is full praises for the director.

"Prabhu Deva is very clear, efficient and good with his work. It just helps you keep your focus on your performance and not worry about other things. He makes the entire process so much easier," she said.
The shooting for the film is likely to begin from August.


Salman Khan likely to face imprisonment for three years!

Jaipur: The Rajasthan High Court on Tuesday reviewed the charges against actor Salman Khan and his colleagues in the case of 14-year-old murder black money, paving the way for the start of a trial in the case.

Provide a statement of the state government against a sessions court order dropping some of the charges against the accused, the Supreme Court has held that Khan will apply Article 51 of the Wildlife Act and Section 149 of the IPC (Unlawful assembly), said Hastimal Saraswat, Salman Khan's lawyer.

Article 51 of Wildlife Act carries imprisonment of up to three years or fine or both.

Another colleague of Khan, who were captured with him - Saif Ali Khan, Tabbu, Sonali Bendre and Neelam - under Article 52 (Attempts to counter, or counseling the contravention of any provision of this Act) of the Act Wildlife and Article 149 of the IPC against others, he said.

"After this decision the high court, the trial will now begin the trial court under Article 51 of the Wildlife Act and Section 149 of IPC against Salman Khan and under Article 52 of the Act Wildlife and Article 149 of the IPC against others, "said Saraswat.

The matter was pending before the Supreme Court since 2006, when the state government had filed a review petition in court against the abandonment of some charges against these players.

The lower court had filed charges under Article 51 of the Wildlife Act, 27 Arms Act and 148 IPC against Salman Khan and Article 52 of the Wildlife Act, 147 and 149 of IPC IPC read Article 51 of the Wildlife Act against others.

The defense had filed then an application for review against these charges in court session, calling it baseless and redundant.

The granting of the petition, the court session, had retained only the positions of the Wildlife Act. However, the state government entered the Supreme Court against this decision.

The stars have been accused of poaching black bucks two in the intervening night of 1-2 October 1998 in the village of Kankani near Jodhpur during the filming of "Hum Saath Saath Hain.

Government lawyers Mahipal Bishnoi, said that now all the accused must appear in court to hear the charges reviewed and for the resumption of the trial.

Previously, they had all appeared in court on June 19, 2006.

Salman Khan has been sentenced for one year and five years for poaching two Chinkaras in Bhawad and a Black Buck in Ghoda Farm (Mattaniah) intervention in almost 26-27 September 1998 and 28 to 29 September 1998, respectively .

Appeals against these decisions, both Salman Khan and the state government are pending in the Supreme Court.

State of Sunny Leone porn star in Pooja Bhatt tempted!

New Delhi: The girl who seduced many young hearts in India is back in the country during the Jism 2 'promotions. Meet hot bold and known as 'Ithna' Sunny Leone, which has left the masses waiting anxiously to his capture in "action" from promos 'Jism 2' released on the Internet.

When asked if her porn star status was the reason behind wanting to take Pooja Bhatt in "Jism 2 'council, Sun said," That could be the reason why Pooja (Bhatt, director) hired me. With all that was said when I first came here and in the 'Bigg Boss', I think that's part of the appeal of Jism 2. Everyone knows me as a certain type of person. And although the focus is on what I am and what I do in the United States, I just hope people will see the film (Jism 2) and say "wow you did a good job acting" or "worked hard" , which I did. "

'Jism 2' tells the story of a porn star who is hired to catch a criminal. For the whole story, we have to wait and watch out for the movie to release on August 3.

Romanians go to polls

Romania: Romanians went to the polls Sunday to decide whether to impeach their president Traian Basescu, bringing to a head weeks of political feuding that has mired the young democracy in crisis.

Opinion polls show two-thirds of Romanians are expected to vote in favour of impeaching Basescu, once one of the country’s most popular politicians whose ratings plummeted amid austerity cuts in 2010.

“I came to vote to say ‘down with Basescu’,” said Dumitru Cristea, a retired 61-year-old, outside a polling centre in central Bucharest.

“He’s done nothing but harm to the country, cutting wages, raising taxes on retirement income. He’s attacked little people like us instead of taking on the rich,” he said.

Another voter, who gave her name only as Maria, said she would not vote for impeachment, “even if Basescu isn’t perfect.


With 100 days until vote, Obama ahead but vulnerable

According to a Wall Street Journal and NBC poll published this week, only 36 percent of American voters are confident Obama can improve the economy, while 43 percent prefer Romney, a multi-millionaire former venture capitalist.

US: With 100 days to go before the US election, President Barack Obama appears to have a slight edge over Republican rival Mitt Romney, though he is still at the mercy of a stumbling US economy. Polls show the Democratic incumbent's lead is shrinking as voters lose faith in his ability to tackle crucial domestic issues, in particular the economy, as growth slows and the job market stubbornly refuses to pick up. According to a Wall Street Journal and NBC poll published this week, only 36 percent of American voters are confident Obama can improve the economy, while 43 percent prefer Romney, a multi-millionaire former venture capitalist.

Obama and his team have been hammering away at Romney's argument that his business experience makes him the better choice to get Americans back to work, alleging that his firm often sacked US workers and sent jobs abroad.

But the attacks appear to have gained little traction with a pessimistic electorate. Unemployment is stuck at 8.2 percent and is not expected to fall below 7.9 percent by the end of the year, the White House acknowledged Friday.

Figures released by the US Commerce Department on Friday showed GDP growth in the second quarter slowing to 1.5 percent from 2.0 percent in the first, amid falling consumer demand. Economists warn that growth of less than two percent is not enough to make inroads into unemployment, and Romney's economic advisers claim that their policies could quickly double the rate.


Cuban dissident's widow rejects official account of death

Monday, July 30, 2012

The widow of Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya has rejected a government report that blamed the car accident that killed her husband in the driver because he was denied access to witnesses of his death.

Ofelia Acevedo criticized the government for not allowing him to speak with the two survivors of the accident, including the driver, which have remained in custody since July 22 incident in southeast Cuba.

"I reject this report, since it is the official government of Cuba and because they have not had access to this information they say they have," he told AFP. "I have no reason why this version of events."

The government insists Paya, 60, died when the rental car he was riding went out of control and hit a tree.

In a lengthy report issued Friday, the Interior Ministry, said the pilot, Spanish Angel Carromero political activist, lost control of the vehicle when suddenly the brakes on the slippery surface of a section of unpaved road, while excess speed.

Paya family, however, has said he had information that the rental car was driven off the road by another vehicle.

Acevedo said he could not talk to Carromero, 27, or other survivor, Swedish political activist Jens Aron Modig, also 27.

"They were the last people to see my husband alive and they need to know a lot more than me so far," he said.

The authorities have kept the two witnesses in custody since being discharged from hospital after being treated for injuries sustained in the accident. Both men were in Cuba on tourist visas.

Acevedo said he did not believe the government version of what Carromero said about the accident because "it has had access to the media outside the presence of state security, which has had kidnapped him since he left the hospital" .

Paya's widow said she had asked the ambassadors of Spain and Sweden to arrange for her to talk to Carromero and Modig, but "have not even been able to talk to them without the presence of state security."

Carromero, who is detained by police in a town near where the accident occurred, faces charges of traffic violations resulting in death, which can take up to 10 years imprisonment under the Penal Code of Cuba.

In Madrid, Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo Carromero confirmed yet held in Cuba and could possibly be charged Monday or Tuesday after the investigation was over.

"If he were to charge, we would like to keep in our embassy, ​​in any case, the most important is to bring home" Carromero, said the Spanish minister.

Also killed in Paya, winner of the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize in 2002, was a Cuban dissident, 31 years old, Harold Cepero Escalante.

Paya, a devout Catholic, is best known for presenting the Cuban parliament in 2002 with a petition signed by 11,000 people calling for political change in Cuba.

Known as the "Varela Project" was the key initiative to open the debate in Cuba about the direction of a communist regime dominated for over half a century for Fidel Castro and his brother Raul.

Paya's death was deeply felt among the dissident community in Cuba, and authorities have been quick to respond to any protest.

About 50 people were arrested Tuesday after he left Paya's funeral in Havana, shouting slogans against the government. Most were released without charge, activists said.

Anders Swedish Foreign Ministry spokesman Jorle said there was no reason Modig, which will take place in an immigration detention center in Havana, should not be allowed to return home.

The Cuban Commission for Human Rights, officially illegal but tolerated by the government, urged the regime to allow the two survivors to speak publicly about the accident.

"Now that the government has given the official version, continue to insist that absolute truth will be known when the two survivors are able to make statements, without any conditions," said the group's leader, Elizardo Sanchez.


Plymouth University collaborates with NSBM

The Plymouth University of UK entered in to a collaboration with National School of Business Management as the culmination of several years of academic relationship with Sri Lanka particularly in the arena of enterprise and entrepreneurship teaching with two of the country’s top universities.

Plymouth Business School
Associate Dean (International)
Professor Simon Payne Picture by Sumanachandra Ariyawansa
“We have identified the National School of Business Management (NSBM) as our partner in Sri Lanka to work with Plymouth University to offer degrees. The Plymouth University is one of the world’s top universities and is ranked number 60 among the top modern universities in the world,” Plymouth Business School Associate Dean (International) Professor Simon Payne told Daily News Business .

“We have international connections in a number of countries in addition to working with Sri Lanka. We believe that there is substantial interest in undertaking an UK university degree. As we have identified the demand we are concentrating on six subject areas such as Accounting and Finance, International Management, Marketing, Tourism and Hospitality Management and Operational and Logistics Management and Computing where four subjects will be launched initially,” he said.

The degree programmes are scheduled to be launch today moving forward with the partnership with NSBM. Students will have the opportunity to commence studies from September.“We will be working with our partners and the study programme will commence using existing facilities in Colombo. However, the state-of-the-art education complex by NSBM at Pitipana Homagama would be ready by 2014 where the foundation stone was laid last week. This will be constructed at a cost of Rs 6 billion as a modern university structure in a 26 acre land.

This is a major investment and we are confident of the country’s primary and secondary education system where students were prepared to undertake degree programmes. As NSBM has a proven track record of delivering degree programmes of leading recognized universities, the collaboration will be fruitful, he said.

There will be 300 students enrolled for the first year 50 each for all six subjects.

The government support towards the collaboration is excellent and we could witness the progress made by Sri Lanka since the war ended. The highway is a major development. We are happy to become a part in the country’s education system, he said.

On the other hand, the Plymouth University has a strong record on high employability, one of the features of an enterprise university. It has many connections with the industry and we believe that NSBM is also well connected. It’s about the whole approach of the degree which is focus on employability skills and capacity building.

“We are looking forward to professional accreditation where it is necessary to improve on employability. The programmes are taught by a mixture of both local and international staff. There will be substantial lecturing by foreign staff at the final year of the three year degree programme. The partnership with NSBM has the distinct feature of being well focus and genuine in delivering Plymouth University degree, Prof. Payne said.

Srilanka Banks as HNB wins Asia's Best Employer Awards for Excellence in Training

Chiranthi Cooray, Assistant General Manager - Human Resources receives the award on behalf of the bank.
Hatton National Bank PLC, was recognized for its commitment to its staff at the Asia's Best Employer Awards for Excellence in Training. This award was hosted by Universum Employer Branding Institute a world leader in Employer Branding; conferred by World HRD Congress, Employer Branding Institute, India and Stars of Industry Group with CMO Asia as a strategic partner and endorsed by Asian Confederation of Business and was presented at a ceremony in Singapore last week.

Asia's Best Employer Awards adds immense value to the HNB brand and this recognition conveys the importance our bank has always placed on its people and our commitment to learning and growth.
 Chiranthi Cooray, Assistant General Manager - Human Resources receives the award on behalf of the bank.
It should be noted that we have never economized on our training but have always made every effort to ensure that our staff are amongst the best in the industry, said Mancius Paiva, Deputy General Manager, Human Resources & Administration, com menting on the Award.

Source : Dailynews

Indian Premier to attend NAM summit in Tehran

Friday, July 27, 2012

IRAN: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will travel to Tehran in order to attend the forthcoming summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in the Iranian capital in late August, Indian media say.

Singh has reportedly made the decision to pay an official visit to the Iranian capital, IRNA reported.

Singh would be the first Indian premier to visit Iran since a 2001 visit by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

During his stay in Tehran, the Indian prime minister would likely discuss issues of mutual interest as well as the New Delhi-Tehran relations in talks with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on July 25 that representatives from all NAM member states will be present at Tehran summit.

The 16th summit of the NAM member states will be held between August 26 and August 31 in the Iranian capital. PRESS TV

Iran will also assume the rotating presidency of the movement for three years during the Tehran summit.

NAM, an international organization with 120 member states and 17 observer countries, is considered as not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc.

The organization was founded in the former Yugoslavia in 1961.

NAM's purpose, as stated in the Havana Declaration of 1979, is to ensure "the national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of non-aligned countries."


Dutch investors keen on investing in Lanka

Dutch investors are looking forward to enhance bi-lateral links and investment opportunities in tourism, agrofood production, dredging, horticulture, water, energy and logistics sectors in Sri Lanka.
In 201l, bi-lateral trade between Sri Lanka and Netherlands amounted to $ 280 million, of which $ 200 million was for exports from Sri Lanka and $ 80 million was for imports from the Netherlands. Imports form Netherlands are from the categories such as food and beverages, tobacco, pharmaceuticals and chemicals while Sri Lankan exports to Netherlands were mostly tea, rubber finished products, fish, said Bas Van Noordenne, Deputy Head of Mission in Embassy of Netherlands in Sri Lanka.
 National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka President Asoka Hettigoda presenting a token of appreciation to Bas Van Noordenne, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Netherlands in Sri Lanka. Picture by-Nissanka Wijeratne

Tourism is also rapidly on the rise; In 2011 some 25,000 Dutch tourists visited Sri Lanka and the number is increasing rapidly by about 20 % per year.

According to Noordenne, well-known Dutch company is to embark on two hospital projects in Sri Lanka. However, some Dutch companies are still hesitant to have direct trade contacts with Sri Lanka as a result of the 30 year war that existed.

Sri Lanka needs to improve its image overseas to attract more foreign investors.

So much need to be done to overcome the setbacks of the three decade old war. Infrastructure need further investments, agriculture needs modernization and education system needs expansion and policy environment needs more stability, predictability and less bureaucracy, Noordenne said.

Source : Dailynews 

World’s eyes on London for Olympics opening ceremony

The world’s spotlight turned to London’s Olympic Stadium on Friday where the opening ceremony kick started the 2012 Games with an eccentric and exuberant celebration of British history, art and culture.
Among the 60,000-strong audience watching the event, which kicked off at 2000 GMT, were celebrities, ordinary Londoners, dignitaries including U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama as well as presidents, prime ministers and European royalty.

Artists perform in the meadow scene during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. (AFP)

More than a billion more people around the world watched the official start to 17 days of drama when more than 16,000 athletes from 204 countries will contest sport's ultimate prize -- Olympic gold.

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth arrived at the opening ceremony of the Olympics in spectacular style, greeted by a huge roar from the crowd as she appeared in the stadium to help officially open the London Games.

Minutes earlier the 86-year-old monarch appeared in her first film role on big screens with the James Bond actor Daniel Craig at Buckingham Palace, her London residence.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II arrives during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. (AFP)

In the film, the two were seen entering a helicopter which swept off over the capital. Minutes later a helicopter appeared above the stadium and released two people who parachuted just past the stadium.

The Queen then walked into the opening ceremony in east London, before the 60,000 strong audience, and before a choir sang the national anthem.

Britain’s Queen is enjoying her highest level of public popularity in 20 years following the celebration of her Diamond Jubilee this year and the royal family is expected to take a high-profile role during the Games.

Hours earlier, huge crowds flocked to the state-of-the-art arena in the Olympic Park, a sprawling network of sporting venues, athletes’ accommodation, media centers and restaurants built in a previously run-down area of London's East End.
Balloons in the shape of the number two explode during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium. (Reuters)

“The atmosphere is amazing,” said Rebecca Simpson, a 21-year-old dancer due to take part in the ceremony. “The crowd is buzzing and it’s amazing to be a part of something so big. I’m really nervous but nervous-excited.”

An effusive London Mayor Boris Johnson was typically flamboyant in his attempt to sum up the mood.

“The excitement is growing so much I think the Geiger counter of Olympo-mania is going to go zoink off the scale,” he told crowds in London's Hyde Park earlier Friday.

Isle of Wonder
Oscar-winning “Slumdog Millionaire” director Danny Boyle has masterminded the show, which is costing 27 million pounds ($42 million) to stage, less than half the cost of the Beijing extravaganza, and will last nearly four hours.

Entering the stadium, the flood of spectators saw the opening set, a recreation of a British pastoral idyll complete with grassy meadows, fences, hedges, shepherdesses and live animals including sheep, geese and dogs.

At one end of the stadium stood a grassy knoll topped by a tree and at the other a giant bell that will ring out. In front of each is a “mosh pit” of people conjuring the spirit of the Glastonbury music festival and Last Night of the Proms classical concert.

Boyle’s colorful and sometimes chaotic vision aimed to create a kaleidoscope of what it means to be British, an approach that could appeal to the home audience but leave many foreign viewers scratching their heads at times.

Some visitors from overseas, however, were confident that he would strike the right tone at a Games where the motto is Inspire a Generation.

“I have always wanted to go to the Olympic Games, and since it’s in England I thought it's now or never,” said Sigbritt Larsson, a 68-year-old from Sweden who paid 150 pounds ($240) for a ticket.

“I think it’s going to be terrific because the English are so clever, you know the humor,” she added. “I heard on the radio that the theme is generosity which is fantastic.”

Boyle has been at pains to encourage 10,000 volunteers taking part in the show and tens of thousands more who attended rehearsals this week to keep its content a surprise.

That has not prevented details being leaked through Twitter, Facebook and the mainstream media.

Entitled “Isle of Wonder” and inspired by Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” the show took viewers on a journey from what poet William Blake famously called “England’s green and pleasant land” to the “dark Satanic mills” of the Industrial Revolution.

Divided into three main sections, it celebrated the National Health Service, cherished by Britons despite being a political hot potato at a time when austerity measures have forced major spending cuts.

Spectators were urged to join in traditional sing-a-longs, beloved by East End pub-drinkers, and help to create spectacular visual effects at an event that sets the tone for the sporting spectacle.

Ex-Beatle Paul McCartney was among the many performers on the night.

Radical Muslims plan protests

Meanwhile, a group of British Islamists earlier said they had received permission to stage a protest on Friday outside the London Olympic Park to denounce what they called the evil of the Games.

The group, led by some of Britain’s most prominent Islamist figures, said they would gather outside the gates to the park in Stratford before the opening ceremony to condemn Britain and other countries they accuse of persecuting Muslims.

They aim to attract the attention of 60,000 spectators due to attend the ceremony in the main Olympic stadium.

The group has set up a website,, which has the tagline “While the world plays, Muslims are being killed around the globe.”

“It will be one of the biggest demonstrations that the Muslim community has put on in the UK,” said organizer Mizanur Rahman said, estimating that “easily hundreds” would attend.

Rahman served a four-year jail term for encouraging followers to kill British and American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq during a protest in 2006.

Rahman said they had been given permission by police to stage Friday’s protest and added it would not be their last during the Games.

Rahman said the decision of judo chiefs not to allow a Saudi athlete to compete wearing an Islamic headscarf showed why Muslims should boycott the Olympics, which this year coincides with the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

“I would hope that this would be a sign they should not be in the Games,” said Rahman.

 AFP and Al Arabia News

Sri Lankan Govt, to explore plastic waste to construct road layers

The government in collaboration with the Central Environmental Authority will look at possibilities to construct road layers by converting contaminated plastics into various scientific substances.

The Central Environmental Authority’s National Post Consumer Plastic Waste Management Project, Project Director Bandula Sarath Kumara said that this would improve the quality of the local road system. Today, plastic waste in Sri Lanka has become a major problem and recycling contaminated plastic would be an ideal solution to address the problem.

Currently, Sri Lanka has two state owned waste collecting centres in Balangoda and Kurunegala and another two centres in Matara and Anuradhapura will be opened this year. Domestic plastics processing industry is presently around 140,000 metric tons per annum with an average growth rate of around 10-12 %. Sri Lanka is exporting plastic products to large number of countries around the world.

However USA is the dominant buyer of plastic exports over the past number of years. Nearly 40 % of the total exports go to the USA market.

Currently, there are 400 companies in Sri Lanka engaged in plastics processing for both domestic and international markets. A total Rs 15 billion has been invested in the industry. Almost 50 % of this has come through Foreign Direct Investments.

The industry processes many commodity plastics and engineering plastics using modern technologies.

Source ; Daily News 

Obama signs Israel security bill ahead of Romney visit

(Reuters) - President Barack Obama signed a measure on Friday to strengthen U.S.-Israeli military ties, a move that could score points with American Jewish voters on the eve of Republican rival Mitt Romney's highly publicized visit to Israel.

Obama also used the White House bill-signing ceremony to announce he was releasing $70 million in approved funding for Israel's short-range rocket shield known as "Iron Dome," a project backed strongly by the powerful U.S. pro-Israel lobby.

His reaffirmation of an "unshakeable commitment" to Israel's security appeared timed to upstage Romney, who has accused the president of undermining Washington's relationship with its No. 1 partner in the Middle East.

The White House denied it was an election-year maneuver, even though senior administration officials have lavished attention on Israel in recent weeks.

Romney, whose Olympics-week tour of London has been plagued by diplomatic stumbles, will travel on Saturday to Jerusalem and meet on Sunday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has had a strained relationship with Obama.

"I have made it a top priority for my administration to deepen cooperation with Israel across a whole spectrum of security issues," Obama said in the Oval Office.

Congress passed the legislation last week with broad support from Republicans and Obama's Democrats, but the president waited until Friday to put his signature to it.

He was flanked by U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer and Representative Howard Berman, the bill's sponsors, and several prominent Jewish leaders, including Lee Rosenberg, chairman of AIPAC, the leading pro-Israel lobby, and Richard Stone, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Obama, criticized by some of Israel's U.S. supporters for being too tough on a crucial ally, wants to shore up his advantage over Romney among Jewish voters, who could prove critical in battleground states like Florida and Pennsylvania in the November 6 election.


Obama received 78 percent of the Jewish vote in the 2008 election, but a nationwide Gallup poll in June showed him down to 64 percent backing versus Romney's 29 percent.

Obama angered many Israelis and their U.S. supporters last year when he insisted any negotiations on the borders of a future Palestinian state begin on the basis of lines that existed before Israel captured the West Bank and Gaza Strip in a 1967 war. His Middle East peace efforts have stalled.

Obama visited Israel as a candidate in the 2008 campaign but has not done so as president. He has insisted security ties with Israel have never been stronger, although he has pressed Netanyahu to hold off on any attack on Iran's nuclear sites to give diplomacy and sanctions more time to work.

Romney has accused Obama of being too hard on Israel and not tough enough with Iran.

The new bill calls for enhanced cooperation with Israel, already a major beneficiary of military aid, on missile defense and intelligence, and increased access to advanced weapons.

Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said the former Massachusetts governor was "happy" to see enhanced security cooperation with Israel.

"Unfortunately this bill does nothing to address ... evasiveness from the White House on whether President Obama recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which raised doubt about the president's commitment to our closest ally in the region," she said.

The White House says Obama holds to long-standing U.S. policy that the status of Jerusalem, which Israel considers its undivided capital despite a lack of international recognition of its annexation of the Arab half of the city, be resolved in "final-status" negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

White House spokesman Jay Carney denied the bill signing was timed to pre-empt Romney, saying it was a scheduling matter, but adding, "I understand the coincidence."

Romney on Sunday will also meet President Shimon Peres, other top Israeli politicians and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, and deliver a foreign policy speech.

Assistant Secretary of State Andrew Shapiro said Washington understood Israel's anxiety about the changing situation in the Middle East and remained committed to helping it maintain its "qualitative military edge in the region."

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will visit Israel next week to discuss heightened tensions in the region, including the escalating conflict in Syria.

(Additional reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa; Editing by Peter Cooney)

United Nations fails to agree landmark arms-trade treaty

(Reuters) - Delegations from around the world failed on Friday to agree a landmark U.N. arms-trade treaty to regulate the more than $60 billion industry, opting for further talks and a possible U.N. General Assembly vote by the end of the year, diplomats said.

More than 170 countries have spent the past month in New York negotiating a treaty, which needed to be adopted by consensus, so any one country effectively could have vetoed a deal. Instead, no decision was taken on a draft treaty.

But this leaves the door open for further talks and a draft arms-trade treaty could be brought to the 193-nation U.N. General Assembly and adopted with a two-thirds majority vote. Diplomats said there could be a vote by the end of the year.

"We feel that we could have agreed (a treaty). It is disappointing that more time is needed. But an arms-trade treaty is coming - not today - but soon. We've taken a big step forward," said a spokesman for Britain's delegation.

One person every minute dies from armed violence around the world, and arms control activists say a convention is needed to prevent illicitly traded guns from pouring into conflict zones and fueling wars and atrocities. They cited conflicts in Syria and elsewhere as examples of why a treaty is necessary.

While most U.N. member states favored a strong treaty, activists said there was a small minority of states, including Syria, North Korea, Iran, Egypt and Algeria, who loudly voiced opposition to global arms control throughout the negotiations.

But ultimately, arms-control activists blamed the United States and Russia for the inability to reach a decision on Friday, as both countries said there was not enough time left for them to clarify and resolve issues they had with the draft treaty.

"Moving forward, President Obama must show the political courage required to make a strong treaty that contains strong rules on human rights a reality," said Scott Stedjan, a senior policy advisor at Oxfam America, which fights poverty and other injustices.

The draft arms-trade treaty under negotiation required countries to assess if a proposed arms export could be used to commit or facilitate a serious violation of international humanitarian or human rights law.

"The conference's inability to conclude its work on this much-awaited ATT, despite years of effort of member states and civil society from many countries, is a setback," said

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed disappointment the meetings were inconclusive but was encouraged U.N. members will continue pursuing "this noble goal."

"There is already considerable common ground and states can build on the hard work that has been done during these negotiations," he said.


It covered all conventional arms in the categories of battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, large-calibre artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles and missile launchers, and small arms and light weapons.

The treaty would only have come into effect after it was ratified by 65 countries.

"Today was the day for political courage - not delays and dithering," said Anna Macdonald, head of arms control at Oxfam. "Some 50,000 people lost their lives through armed violence during the course of these month-long negotiations. The out-of-control arms trade must - and will - be stopped."

The negotiations on the treaty in New York were delayed for the first week by a dispute over Palestinian participation, which was eventually resolved by allowing the delegation to sit at the front of the negotiating hall but without the right to participate as states with voting rights.

Such procedural bickering was typical of the arms-trade talks, diplomats say, as countries that would prefer not to have a strong treaty tried to prevent the negotiations from moving forward. In February, preparatory talks on the rules nearly collapsed due to procedural wrangling and other disagreements.

One of the reasons this month's negotiations are taking place is that the United States, the world's biggest arms trader accounting for over 40 percent of global conventional arms transfers, reversed U.S. policy on the issue after Barack Obama became president and decided in 2009 to support a treaty.

But U.S. officials say Washington insisted in February on having the ability to veto a weak treaty.

It wanted to protect U.S. domestic rights to bear arms - a sensitive issue in the United States that has been back in the national spotlight after a gunman opened fire in a movie theater a week ago, killing 12 people and wounding 58 other.

A U.N. arms trade treaty would not "interfere with the domestic arms trade and the way a country regulates civilian possession," the U.N. Office for Disarmament Affairs has said.

The other five top arms suppliers are Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia. (Editing by Philip Barbara)


With London Games on focus, do superstitious minds help or hinder athletes?

 When Michael Phelps gets ready to race, he walks to the block, takes off his headphones, swings his arms three times, steps on to the block and he is off. His routine never changes.

Tennis player Serena Williams, five-times Wimbledon champion, who, like Phelps, begins competition on Saturday, always takes her shower sandals to the court, ties her shoelaces in a specific way and bounces the ball five times.

Tiger Woods wears a red shirt in the final rounds of golf tournaments which he has said is because his mother told him red was his power color.

Despite all the science and massive budgets involved in sport, many sportsmen and women at all levels of sport swear by superstitions or elaborate event rituals to enhance their game with many examples of these on display at the London Olympics.

British diver Tom Daley has a lucky orange monkey and British BMX rider Shanaze Reade always carries a picture of her family.

Psychologists say people often become superstitious when faced with unknown and stressful situations, which explains why so many athletes are superstitious and frequently bound to rigid preparation routines.

“When the stakes are high and there is a great deal of uncertainty -- as in top-level sport -- then people will try anything to get the outcome they want,” Richard Stephens, a senior lecturer in psychology at Keele University, told Reuters.

“When there is a low cost of carrying out an action but there is possibly a high gain then you may as well.”

But does it make a difference?

A study by psychologists at the University of Cologne in Germany found in two experiments that superstition triumphed in both cases.

In one experiment, participants were given either a lucky golf ball or an ordinary one before being asked to sink a putt. Those with a so-called lucky ball were more successful.

Participants were also asked to bring along a lucky charm but these were confiscated from half of the participants before making them take a memory test. Those who kept their lucky charm performed better, the scientists reported in 2010 in Psychological Science.

Some sports psychologists warn, however, that superstitions can be harmful to an athlete’s performance if they are taken too far and become a distraction, particularly if they have no link to their actual performance.

Australian swimmer Stephanie Rice says she is a firm believer in superstition and karma, and will do eight arm swings, four goggle presses, four cap touches before a face.

But it is shoulder problems have led Rice to play down her chances in London of repeating her Beijing success when she won three gold medals, two individual and one relay.

Andrew Lane, professor of sport psychology at Britain’s Wolverhampton University, said routines were important for athletes as the hour before an event could be very stressful and go slowly.

British women footballers have spoken about their set routines with Kelly Smith putting her boots on last and leaving the dressing room last while Kim Little always puts her socks and shin pads on her left side before her right.

“It is the reliance on these routines that can be critical to keeping them level-headed,” Lane said.

“But if it becomes a fixation on something that is not relevant to performance, you might need to change that.”

London-based sports psychologist Victor Thompson said athletes needed enough flexibility to cope with something going wrong with their routine such as losing their lucky shirt or an iPod malfunction so they cannot listen to their pre-game music.

“This can create anger, stress, anxiety, and physical tension,” Thompson told Reuters. “It becomes a distraction and causes a drop in confidence... all of which leads to a higher chance of performing poorly. They can’t rely on false self-confidence or reassurances.”

Keele University’s Stephens agreed.

“If you start to spend too much time focusing on these irrational things to improve your performance rather than the important things, such as your swing or being relaxed, then these superstitious techniques can take away from the outcome,” he said.

Some athletes are wary of relying too much on superstitions for their performance.

“I’m superstitious about having any superstitions. I do my best to quash any of that start creeping up on me,” Australian diver Matthew Mitcham, who won gold in Beijing, is quoted as saying on his official Olympic profile.

Rubber earnings hit US $ 1 billion mark in Srilanka

For the first time revenue generated from rubber based product exports would hit the US $ one billion mark by the end of the year. Last year the forex from this industry was around US $ 975.

The main reason for this gain was the increase in production. Spokesman for the Sri Lanka Association of Rubber Producers, Manufacturers and Exporters, Justin Seneviratne said that 75 % of rubber based products were exported and the main markets were USA, Europe and Japan.

He said that 65 % of the local rubber product exports consist of solid tyres and 25 % were rubber gloves. In addition Sri Lana also exports foam and rubber, carpets, cushions mattresses and pillows.

He said that the local production is around 150,000 metric tons and the aim is to increase this to 250,000 by 2025. “In a bid to spread the crop to non traditional areas rubber is now being grown in Moneragala, Maha Oya and many other areas. “We will also carry out tests in the Northern areas like Kilinochchi with the assistance of Asian Development Bank funds,” he said.

“He said that when this project is complete, Sri Lanka would have a production in the excess of 250,000 tonnes and then we can look for a revenue in the excess of US $ four billion,” he said.

Sri Lanka’s rubber gloves, which come in variants like lightly powdered,powder-free, low-protein, smooth, textured, and coloured, are found widely in operating theatres, hospitals, electronic plants and other environments that require the use of sterile equipment. The flexibility and versatility of rubber has resulted in an extensive range of rubber-based products and components widely used in several industries, such as building, automotive and construction.

Rubber manufacture has been a solid part of Sri Lanka’s economy since the very early 1930’s and currently the country is the sixth largest exporter and the eighth largest natural rubber producer. 

Source : Daily News

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