Friday, January 20, 2012

Italian Cruise Ship Costa Concordia Tragedy: Rescue operation suspended again on Friday due to wreck movement

ROME, Italy (Jan. 20) – The search and rescue operation on stricken luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia has been halted third time since the disaster took place a week ago, BBC reported.

Costa Concordia: Rescue operation suspended again on Friday due to wreck movement
The suspension of search and rescue operation was ordered due to further tilting of the vessel on the sea ridge on which it rests, increasing the fears that the ship could unexpectedly skid into deeper water.

Earlier, the search and rescue operations were interrupted twice due to the same type of wreck movements, actually kept suspended on Wednesday for the whole day. 

Cosima Nicastro, a spokesperson for the coastguard, told that more wreck movement on Friday forced rescuers on board the ship and divers working in the waters around it to stop work.

Rough waters have also been hindered the rescue work of emergency teams and weather conditions are likely to deteriorate.

Eleven people lost their lives in this disaster of 21st century Titanic while 21 people are still missing, and finding anyone alive will be a real miracle .

List of dead and missing

  • Confirmed dead: Sandor Feher, Hungary, crew; French nationals Pierre Gregoire, Jeanne Gannard, Jean-Pierre Micheaud, Francis Servil, passengers; Italian Giovanni Masia, passenger; Spaniard Guillermo Gual, passenger; Peruvian Thomas Alberto Costilla Mendoza, crew.
  • Missing: 21 people plus three unidentified bodies. Nationalities as follows: 12 Germans, six Italians (including one crew member), two French, two Americans, one Peruvian (crew), one Indian (crew)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Largest cyber attack: Hackers' group Anonymous take revenge of shutting down Megaupload

WASHINGTON (Jan. 20) – Reacting to the Thursday’s federal raid on Megaupload.com - one of the world’s largest file-sharing sites - on account of infringing piracy laws, hackers’ group Anonymous have broken the websites for the FBI, Department of Justice, Universal Music Group, RIAA, Motion Picture Association of America and Warner Music Group.

Hackers group Anonymous take revenge of shutting down Megaupload
“It was in retaliation for Megaupload, as was the concurrent attack on Justice.org,” Anonymous operative Barrett Brown tells Russia Today on Thursday afternoon.

Only hours after the crackdown on Megaupload the Department of Justice and Universal Music Group sites went down.

Continue reading below:



Megaupload.com shutdown for piracy charges -- Founder Kim Schmitz aka Kim Dotcom arrested in NZ

McLEAN, Va. (Jan. 19) – According to federal prosecutors; Megaupload.com - one of the world’s largest file-sharing sites - was closed down Thursday on account of infringing piracy laws. 

Megaupload.com shutdown for piracy charges by US Feds
Founder of the website, Kim Schmitz a.k.a Kimble and Kim Dotcom, and several company executives were arrested in New Zealand at the request of U.S. officials, the Justice Department said in a statement. Two other defendants are at large.

The indictment claims that the site was responsible for $500 million losses to copyright holders due to music and movie piracy. Kim Dotcom maintains that his company has obeyed all due diligence requirements in regards to piracy issues.

The accusation was opened one day after websites including Wikipedia and Craigslist shut down in protest of two anti-piracy bills, SOPA and PIPA, intended to prevent online piracy.

Visitors to the Megaupload.com, which gets about 50 million hits daily and claims 4 percent of all internet traffic, were greeted with a message from the Justice Department. ”This domain name associated with the website Megaupload.com has been seized pursuant to an order issued by a U.S. District Court.”

Megaupload.com is a service that allows its users to upload files that would be too large to send in an email for temporary hosting. The user can then distribute a link to recipients so they can download the files. While this is a totally legitimate practice, Megaupload.com was also being used by pirates to upload movies, TV shows, and albums for free distribution.

Megaupload.com was unique not only because of its massive size and the volume of downloaded content, but also because it had high-profile support from celebrities, musicians and other content producers who are most often the victims of copyright infringement and piracy. 

Before the website was taken down, it contained endorsements from Kim Kardashian, Alicia Keys and Kanye West, among others.

More than 4.5 million users sign Googles anti-SOPA petition in one day: LA TIMES

WASHINGTON (Jan. 19) – The protest against anti-piracy bills Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) is going on and hundreds of websitehave gone dark to register their protest.

More than 4.5 million users sign Googles anti-SOPA petition in one day

Tech giant Google joined the protest and when Google asked its users to sign a petition protesting SOPA and PIPA circulating in Congress, millions responded.

The fact really depicts that when Google speaks, the world not only listens but reacts positively too.

A Google spokesperson confirmed that 4.5 million people added their names to the company's anti-SOPA petition today, Los Angeles Times reported.

The petition, which was available through a link from Google's homepage, states that even though stopping online piracy is vital, the line of action described in the SOPA and PIPA bills would be useless.

"There’s no need to make American social networks, blogs and search engines censor the Internet or undermine the existing laws that have enabled the Web to thrive, creating millions of U.S. jobs," the petition reads. "Too much is at stake -– please vote NO on PIPA and SOPA."

In the wake of growing Internet's unprecedented protest members of the Senate are rushing for the exits and at least 13 members of the upper chamber announced their opposition on Wednesday dragging the fate of the bills in complete uncertainty

Google recurrently pleases its users by designing its homepage logo, Google Doodle, but on Wednesday it did something which had never been done before: it blocked out its logo totally.

A link below the blackout read "Tell Congress: Please don't censor the web!" and lead to a page with the petition.

VIDEO: Rick Perry calls it quit from GOP run in support of Newt Gingrich

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is abandoning his presidential for the White House. Republican sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, tell the Associated Press Thursday (Jan. 19) that the Texas Governor is suspending his GOP nomination.


Rick Perry reportedly endorsed rival Newt Gingrich as the best candidate to face Democratic President Barack Obama in the November presidential election.

Pakistan thrashed England in Dubai -- Saeed Ajmal with 10-wicket haul named man of the match

DUBAI, UAE (Jan. 19) – Pakistan won the first Test against England by a huge margin of 10 wickets on the third day of the match here at Dubai Sports Complex, Dubai

Saeed Ajmal with 10-wicket haul named man of the match

Muhammad Hafeez struck boundary to take the score to 15 needed for the victory as England were all out for 160 in the second innings giving only 15-runs target to Pakistan for victory in the first Test. 


Graeme Swann was the last wicket to fall off Saeed Ajmal who took his tally to 10 wickets in this match. James Anderson stood unbeaten at 15.
England has a nightmarish start yet again in the second innings but this time man in-charge was experienced Umar Gul who struck early not once or twice but thrice, picking up wickets of Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen at 25. 

Umar Gul bruises the England’s hope to control the things after they fought back quite impressively and succeeded to curtail Pakistan on just 338 in the first session on third day of the first Test.

Veteran pacer Umar Gul led the proceedings for Pakistan in this innings and picked up 4 wickets giving away 63 runs. First innings destroyer Saeed Ajmal has also picked up three wickets while Abdur Rehman struck at the later stages to claim three wickets. 

Continue reading the day three report below:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Anderson and Broad helps England fight back on day 2 of 1st Test against Pakistan

DUBAI, UAE (Jan. 19) – Pakistan will resume their first innings today at 288/7 on the third day of the first Test being played at Dubai Sports Complex, Dubai.

James Anderson and Stuart Broad celebrate England's fightback late in the day
Pakistan is 96 runs ahead of England’s first innings score of 192. England bowlers have a pretty decent job to curtail Pakistan under 300-mark on the day two. They never allowed playing Pakistani batsmen with freedom of mind and the willow in their hands.

The pick of the bowlers was definited Stuart Broad who started things happen for England when he cleaned Taufeeq Umar off-stumps with a gem of beautiful ball. Then it was Broad who picked up the second wicket of Azhar Ali.  

To continue reading and live score updates:


Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) under threat due to increasing protest by many websites

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Jan. 18) – The online anti-piracy bill moving through Congress is under threat due to increasing planned protest by numerous websites - including Google, Wikipedia, Reddit - against Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA); reported by CCN citing as saying a Senate Democratic aide.

SOPA and PIPA under threat due to increasing protest by many websites
The source further said it was still a bit early to predict exactly how the bill will tackled but recognized that because of protest from Internet core companies like Google and Wikipedia "the merits of the bill are getting lost" and "sand is shifting pretty quickly" against it. 

Before it looked like it would pass with 80 votes, and now [the online protest] looks like something that will suck the votes away," the aide said. "We're at a tipping point. It will either become a huge issue or die down a bit and that will determine the future of this."

Lamar Smith - Texas Republican Congressman and a frontrunner to move anti-piracy bill in the House - condemn efforts by those who oppose the bill and charge them to build up the internet blackout on Wednesday (Jan. 18).

Smith and allies, who support this bill, has already announced that they are open to make any changes to the proposed act to nullify the concerns of their opponents. He stressed that the House bill "only targets foreign websites that are primarily dedicated to illegal activity. It does not grant the Justice Department the authority to seek a court order to shut down any website operated in the U.S." 

SOURCE: CNN 

British Airways' passengers terrified with erroneous 'plane crash warning'

LONDON, UK (Jan. 18) – Passengers flying over the Atlantic were terrified when it was announced twice that their plane could be about to crash.

British Airways' passengers terrified with erroneous 'plane crash warning'
The Friday night incident occurred as British Airways (BA) Flight 206 was over the Atlantic Ocean about 35,000 feet, halfway from Miami to London's Heathrow Airport, when the taped message was played by accident.

British Airways (BA) Flight 206 was at 35,000 feet , halfway from Miami to London’s Heathrow Airport, when the taped message was played by accident.

"It was about 3 a.m. An alarm sounded and we were told we were about to land in the sea. I thought we were going to die," one passenger onboard told The Telegraph.  “My wife was crying and passengers were screaming. Then they played an announcement telling us to just ignore the warnings."

A spokesperson of British Airways explained the situation saying, “The cabin crew canceled the announcement immediately and sought to reassure customers that the flight was operating normally. We apologize to customers for causing them undue concern.”

SOURCE:

List of Websites Going Dark in Protest of Proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) or the Protect IP Act (PIPA)

It’s a dark day on the Internet in an effort to show what darkness could come to pass if Congress embraces the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) or the Protect IP Act (PIPA).

List of Websites Going Dark in Protest of Proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) or the Protect IP Act (PIPA)
You’re probably already aware that relying on Wikipedia isn’t in the cards today (unless you use one of the techniques to go around the blackout), but before you stumble out there in the darkness, Mashable has compiled a list of sites participating today.

They point out that the list isn’t complete thanks to rumors of other sites joining in protest, so if you have others, feel free to add them to the Comments section below.

Full story at Mashable.

VIDEO: At least 29 killed, 56 injured in a tragic road accident at Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Port-au-Prince, Haiti – At least 29 people were killed and 56 injured in a tragic road accident when a truck carrying rubble from the Haitian earthquake that struck two years ago has crashed into a bus in Port-au-Prince.

At least 29 killed, 56 injured in a tragic road accident at Port-au-Prince, Haiti
 According to details; the dump truck, suffering from brake failure, stagger into a passenger bus and then struck into, an official said Tuesday.

"It totally destroyed everything in its path," Frederick Alexis, a freelance photographer who was at the scene, told the Herald. "There were partially destroyed, mangled bodies everywhere.

Watch the effects and after math of this tragic accident:

PAF's Squadron Leader Masood Hussain among two missing pilots in military jet crashed in Izmir, Turkey

ANKARA, Turkey (Jan. 18) – According to Turkish General Staff reports; the search operation is still underway for the missing pilots aboard a jet of Turkish Air Force which was crashed off Foca Town of western province of Izmir.

PAF's Squadron Leader Masood Hussain among two missing pilots in military jet crashed in Izmir, Turkey
The T-37C military training jet crashed on Monday (January 16) afternoon during a training mission and a Turkish under-training pilot, Serkan Sagir, was aboard under the supervision of Squadron Leader Masood Hussain Chhachhar of Pakistan Air Force.

Squadron Leader Masood Hussain Chhachhar, reportedly was employed in Turkey in accordance with a military cooperation agreement between Turkey and Pakistan. 

Turkey's semi-official news agency Anatolia quoted Izmir Governor Cahit Kirac as saying that "According to eyewitnesses, the training plane crashed into the Aegean Sea about 7 to 8 kilometers north of Foca town at around 16:30 to 16:45 on Monday."

An emergency rescue team comprising of several ambulances, a CN-235 plane, a Cougar helicopter, three coast guard boats and a search and rescue ship of the Turkish navy, has searching vigorously for the pilots and remains of plane.

Any casualty could not be ascertained yet though some parts of the training jet has been recoved but no body has been found yet. The search and rescue operation is ongoing, according to the Turkish general staff.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Google joined Wikipedia, Reddit and many tech giants -- Announced to protest PIPA and SOPA on US home page

The search engine giant Google, also one of technology's most leading powers in US, announced to post a link on its US homepage tomorrow (Wednesday, Jan. 18) to inform users of Google's disagreement to controversial anti-piracy bills being debated in Congress.

Google joind Wikipedia, Reddit and many tech giants protesting SOPA and PIPA


Google’s decision was reported by Cnet and TechCrunch has got confirmation via e-mail.

With this decision Google will join Wikipedia, Reddit, and other prominent technology firms in staging protests of varying kinds against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA), which are backed by big entertainment and media interests. 

A representative from Google announced that the next day they would be joining many other tech companies to underline this issue on our U.S. home page.

"Like many businesses, entrepreneurs, and Web users, we oppose these bills because there are smart, targeted ways to shut down foreign rogue Web sites without asking American companies to censor the Internet," Google rep said further. 

Responding to queries about how the protest link would be shown on the page, all Google would say is that the link would not replace the company logo. 

Not everyone who opposes the legislation agrees on how best to stage a protest. None of the protests appear to take as dramatic a step as the one planned by Wikipedia. The English version of the Web encyclopedia is scheduled to go dark for 24 hours. 

While Wikipedia, Reddit and other companies moving ahead with complete blackout decision for 24 hours, Google’s move with a link is surely  pretty big step and the homepage link will catch the attention of much more web visitors about the issue.

Costa Concordia Disaster: Nicole Servel, 61, Survived Only Because of Her Husband Francis

ROME, Italy – The tragedy of Costa Concordia is like a real ‘modern day Titanic’ story and a lot of stories are associated with it. Some of the stories have been made public already while some of them will come into light with the passage of time.

Nicole Servel, 61, Survived Only Because of Her Husband Francis
The Costa Concordia disaster showed the world two very different sides of human nature. According to various media reports; the captain of the luxury cruise ship, Captain Francesco Schettino, opted to leave the ship far before the complete evacuation from stricken cruise ship, showing the unethical and selfish side of human nature. 

On the other hand; an elderly couple, among the passengers of the Costa Concordia, left a great example of sacrifice and selflessness.  

The 61-year-old Nicole Servel survived the disaster only because her husband Francis, who gave her the only life jacket they had, when the ship started to sink after disaster hitting rocks and forcing passengers to evacuate.

"I owe my life to my husband," Servel told the media, explaining she doesn't know how to swim. That was the last moment she saw of her husband.

Nicole Servel blames the loss of her husband on the ship's crew, some of whom saved themselves without helping any passengers, Emirates 24/7 reports.

According to latest updates; following the crash, there are 11 confirmed deaths, 29 people still unaccounted for, and several injuries to the 4,200 guests on board.

Monday, January 16, 2012

PM Gilani to appear in Supreme Court on Jan. 19 to face contempt charges

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (Jan. 16) – Pakistan’s Supreme Court increase the pressure on the country’s struggling government today, issuing a contempt order against Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani for failing to carry out its order to reopen a corruption case against the president and few other political figures.

PM Gilani to appear in Supreme Court on Jan. 19 to face contempt charges
Prime Minister Gilani has been ordered to appear in person at the court on Thursaday (January 19) and it comes on a day of quite a lot of critical confronts for the government amid continuing tensions with the army.

Gilani has to clarify his position for denying reopening the graft investigation, injecting fresh ambiguity into the political crisis intimidating to surround the country. If the court convicts Gilani of contempt, he could serve up to six months in prison and be disqualified from holding office.

However PM Gilani later won - as expected - a key vote in parliament in support of ‘democracy and the constitution’, but it was not a personal vote of confidence in Mr Gilani himself. 

The prime minister said that the vote was "good news for Pakistan". 

Media reports say that even some opposition parties supported the resolution - the outcome of which was a foregone conclusion because it was seen as support for democracy in the country in general.

Share Stocks of Carnival, owner of Costa Concordia, fell 18% after the disaster

LONDON, UK (Jan. 16) - Official sources of British-American Carnival Corporation & Plc, the parent company of stricken luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia, revealed that the company will have to bear a loss up to $95m by the sinking of plunged ship


"For the fiscal year ending November 30, the impact to 2012 earnings for loss of use is expected to be approximately $85-$95m or $0.11-$0.12 per share," Carnival said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange.

Though the company would enjoy an insurance coverage for damage to the ship with an approximately $30m.

Conrinue reading below:

Costa Concordia Tragedy: Video showing modern day Titanic before and after the accident

ROME, Italy (Jan. 16) – The modern ‘Titanic’ tragedy took place on Friday (January 13 2012) when luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia ran aground near the island of Giglio off the coast of Tuscany, Italy. As per latest reports it is lying partially capsized, heavily damaged and half-submerged off Isola del Giglio. 

Costa Concordia: A modern day Titanic before tragedy
Costa Concordia (Italian pronunciation: [ˈkɔsta koŋˈkɔrdja]) is a Concordia-class cruise ship owned and operated by Costa Cruises, a subsidiary of British-American Carnival Corporation & Plc. Industry experts quote the ship as a constructive total loss.

Six deaths have been confirmed up to date by the authorities while about 15 are still missing. The captain of the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia is being investigated for manslaughter charges and abandoning the ship, confirmed by prosecutors.

Official sources of the owner company of stricken luxury cruise ship revealed that the company will have to bear a loss up to $95m by the sinking of plunged ship. Company’s shares have already fallen by 18% in London Stock Exchange, though the company has insurance coverage of about $30m for damages to the ship. 

Watch the video below showing Costa Concordia before and after the tragedy.



Sunday, January 15, 2012

Debris of Russia's stray space probe Phobos-Grunt fallen into Pacific: RIA Novosti

MOSCOW, Russia (Jan. 15) - RIA Novosti news agency reported quoting sources in Russia's Defense Ministry that failed Russian probe Phobos-Grunt, whose mission to a Martian moon went off target before circling the Earth, has eventually fallen into the Pacific Ocean.

Debris of Russia's astray space probe Phobos-Grunt fallen into Pacific

The out of control space probe sank into the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean at 17:45 GMT (21:45 Moscow time), says the press service of Russia’s Aerospace Defense Forces in the Defense Ministry.

The Phobos-Grunt is one of the heaviest pieces of space junk ever to fall on Earth, is around 13.5 metric tons (14.9 tons), and one of the most dangerous too due to highly toxic rocket fuel, around 12 tons, intended for the long journey to the Martian moon of Phobos. 

The $170-million Phobos-Grunt was Russia's most expensive and the most ambitious space mission since Soviet times. It has been left unused as the probe got stuck in orbit around Earth shortly after its Nov. 9 launch.

VIDEO (BBC) -- Costa Concordia Trgedy: Two more bodies found, death toll reaches to five

GIGLIO, Italy (Jan 15) – The death toll climbs up to five as rescue teams have discovered two more bodies onboard the suffering luxury cruise ship, Costa Concordia.  The number of missing has been reduced to 17, including 11 passengers and 6 crew members.

Costa Concordia Trgedy: Two more bodies found, death toll reaches to five



The bodies of two aged persons were found by rescue teams’ divers in the sunken restaurant of the luxury cruise ship, the Italian Coastguard says. 

Earlier on Sunday, a third survivor was rescued with the help of helicopter after more than 36 hours of the tragic accident. He has a serious leg injury. During the search operations during Saturday night the emergency teams managed to rescue a South Korean honeymoon couple who had been trapped inside the ship for more than 24 hours.

The rescue operation is still under way, but the authorities have reduced the number of missing people from 40 to 17.

Rescue Operation Video: Third Survivor Airlifed from Capsized Costa Concordia after 36 Hours of Tragedy

GIGLIO, Italy (Jan 15) – A third survivor was rescued with the help of helicopter on Sunday (January 15) after more than 36 hours of luxury cruise ship tragedy near the island of Giglio off the coast of Tuscany on Friday evening.

Third Survivor Airlifed from Capsized Costa Concordia after 36 Hours of Tragedy
The captain of the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia is being investigated for manslaughter charges and abandoning the ship, confirmed by prosecutors.

The number of missing has been reduced to 17, by the authorities, after the successful rescue operation of a crew member worked in cabin service. He was the third survivor to be found, after a South Korean couple on their honeymoon was rescued late Saturday in the capsized hulk of the ship when firefighters heard their screams.

Three unfortunate passengers are confirmed dead after the huge cruise ship carrying more than 4,200 people ran aground forcing a frenzied and terrifying evacuation. The total number of people missing for had decreased, and there are now six crew members and 11 passengers who haven't been located, Tuscany's regional president Enrico Rossi said.

About 15-ton Uncontrolled Phobos-Ground, Loaded with Toxic Fuel, Could Hit England (UK) within Hours

LONDON, UK (Jan. 15) - A failed Russian probe designed to travel to a moon of Mars but stuck in Earth orbit will come crashing down within hours, the Russian space agency said Sunday. The out of control Russian space craft, Phobos-Ground, is likely to strike today which could come down in the south of England.

About 15-ton Uncontrolled Phobos-Ground, Loaded with Toxic Fuel, Could Hit England (UK) within Hours
Roscosmos said the unmanned Phobos-Ground will crash between 1641 and 2105 GMT (11:41 a.m. and 4:05 p.m. EST). Phobos-Ground could possibly crash anywhere along the route of its next few orbits, which would include Europe, Southeast Asia, Australia and South America but most probably it is feared to land in UK, anywhere between the M4 and the Falklands. The U.S., Canada and much of Russia are outside the risk zone.

The experts say the likelihood of the space craft crashing into any populated areas are minimal and it is extremely expected it will land in the ocean.

The Phobos-Ground is one of the heaviest pieces of space junk ever to fall on Earth, is around 13.5 metric tons (14.9 tons), and one of the most dangerous too due to highly toxic rocket fuel, around 12 tons, intended for the long journey to the Martian moon of Phobos. 

The $170-million Phobos-Ground was Russia's most expensive and the most ambitious space mission since Soviet times. It has been left unused as the probe got stuck in orbit around Earth shortly after its Nov. 9 launch.

Its predecessor, Mars-96, which was built by the same Moscow-based NPO Lavochkin company, also suffered an engine failure and crashed shortly after its launch in 1996. 

Its crash drew strong international fears because of some 200 grams of plutonium onboard. 

The craft eventually showered its fragments over the Chile-Bolivia border in the Andes Mountains, and the pieces were never recovered.

The worst ever radiation spill from a derelict space vehicle came in January 1978 when the nuclear-powered Cosmos 954 satellite crashed over northwestern Canada. 

The Soviets claimed the craft completely burned up on re-entry, but a massive recovery effort by Canadian authorities recovered a dozen fragments, most of which were radioactive.

The Phobos-Ground also contains a tiny quantity of the radioactive metal Cobalt-57 in one of its instruments, but Roscosmos said it poses no threat of radioactive contamination.

Arfa Karim's Last Journey: Funeral Prayers Offered in Lahore, Burial in Faisalabad

LAHORE, Pakistan (Jan. 15) – According to media reports; the Namaz-e-Janazah (funeral prayers) of Arfa Karim Randhawa, the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional, was offered in Lahore on Sunday and her body was taken to Faisalabad for the burial.

Arfa Karim's Last Journey: Shahbaz Sharif Participated in Funeral Prayers offered in Lahore
A large number of people from every walk of life participated in the funeral prayers for 16-year-old Arfa Karim at Cavalry Ground. The Chief Minister of Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif was also present along with few other politicians.

Arfa Karim will be buried in her native village, called Ram Dewali, few kilometers on Sargodha Road, Faisalabad.

Arfa Karim lost her battle for life yesterday after being in state of coma in November last year. Microsoft’s founder Bill Gates took special interest in the treatment of Arfa Karim and set up an international panel of doctors for her treatment. The panel frequently kept in contact with Pakistani physicians via teleconference.

The young girl made headlines when she was named the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) in 2004 at the age of just 9. She was also invited by Bill Gates to visit Microsoft’s headquarters in the US.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Cricket Updates: Australia rout India in Perth to seal the 4-match Test series by 3-0

PERTH, Australia (Jan. 15) – India were outclassed by a huge margin of an innings and 37 runs in the third test against Australia just concluded at WACA, Perth. 

David Warner and Peter Siddle celebrate Australia's win
 The nightmarish run of men in blue continues in Australia as they crumbled for 171 in the second innings of the third test falling short of 37 runs from Australia’s first innings score of 369.

At lunch on day three in Perth, India were tottering at 165-6 in their second innings, still 43 away from Australia's first-innings total of 369. Virat Kohli was unbeaten on 69, with debutant Vinay Kumar on six.

The only resistance came from Virat Kohli and Rahul Dravid; but once Dravid clean bowled by Harris, yet again, it looked like over for the tourists. Kohli was the highest runs getter in the second innings with his well-made 75, Dravid made 47 while no other batsmen succeeded to reach the double figure other than openers Gautam Gambhir (14) and Virender Sehwag (10).

Continue reading below:



Youngest MCP, Arfa Karim Randhawa, Passes Away in Lahore; Namaz-e-Janazah (Funeral Prayer) Tommorow in Faisalabad

LAHORE, Pakistan (Jan. 14) – The youngest Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) Arfa Karim Randhawa passed away in Lahore today (Saturday, January 14).

Youngest MCP, Arfa Karim Randhawa, Passes Away in Lahore
 The 16-year-old Arfa karim Randhawa was in coma since three weeks after suffering from epileptic attack. She was being treated at Combined Military Hospital (CMH) Lahore since December 22. 

According to hospital sources she was suffering from idiopathic epilepsy seizure which led to brain damage.

Arfa Karim became the youngest Microsoft professional after completing her MCP in 2004 at the age of only 9.

Upon completing her course, Microsoft owner Bill Gates invited her to visit the company’s headquarters in the United States.

The funeral prayer (Namaz-e-Janazah) will be offered tomorrow (Sunday, January 15) at 10:00 am at Cavalry Ground (Lahore) while she will be burried in her native village Ram Dewali near Faisalabad.

Read more about the young IT genious, HERE.

More: Arfa Karim's Last Journey: Funeral Prayers Offered in Lahore, Burial in Faisalabad

Iran reiterates to punish those behind the killing of nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan

TEHRAN, Iran (Jan. 14) – Iran want to punish those who allegedly plotted the assassination of their nuclear scientist, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan - killed along with his driver on Wednesday when two motor-bikers fixed a magnetic bomb to his car.

Iran reiterates to punish those behind the killing of nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan
Several media reports quoted the deputy chief of Iran's joint armed forces, Masoud Jazayeri, as saying, “We consider committing a terrorist act of killing a scientist to be a threat to the nation... We are looking at punishing those who were behind the scenes of the martyrdom (assassination) of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan.” 

Iran clearly named their enemies and finger is pointed towards Israel, Britain and United States.

“The enemies of the Iranian nation, such as the United States, Britain and the Zionist regime, should be made accountable for their actions,” Jazayeri added further.

The assassination of Mustafa Ahmadi Roshan on Wednesday (January 10) was the latest in a series of strikes on scientists who are linked to the Iran's nuclear program, which Israel, U.S. and other Western nations are truly trying to halt.

The 32-year-old Mustafa Ahmadi Roshan was the fourth attack to kill a leading nuclear scientist in the country in almost two years.

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Thursday that the horrible killing was executed "with the planning or support of the intelligence services of the CIA and Mossad" of the United States and Israel.

Washington has strongly denied any involvement with the assassination.

Israel, widely seen as the prime suspect, has neither denied nor confirmed involvement, in line with its policy of not commenting on intelligence matters.

Tehran has formally demanded that the UN Security Council condemn the "terrorist" killing.

Deadly Explosion Killed 53 Shi’ite Pilgrims in Basra, Iraq -- Death toll may rise: Doctors

BASRA, Iraq (Jan. 14) – According to media reports; at least 53 Shi’ite pilgrims were killed today (Saturday, Jan. 14) in an explosion near southern port city of Baasra.

Deadly Explosion Killed 53 Shi’ite Pilgrims, 137 Injured
Today’s blast was the latest one in a series of assaults during Shi'ite religious activities that have killed hundreds of people and warn to raise sectarian tensions just weeks after the withdrawal of U.S. troops. 

The explosion took place on the last of the 40 days of Arbain, when hundreds of thousands of Shi'ite pilgrims from Iraq and abroad visit the Iraqi city of Kerbala, as well as other holy places. 

Dr Riyadh Abdul-Amir, the head of the Basra Health Directorate, told that hospital received 53 killed and 137 wounded after the blast. The death toll is feared to be risen as quite a few among injured were in critical condition, Abdul-Amir said further.

Photos of Costa Concordia Cruise Ship Capsized off Tuscany Coast, Italy -- Exclusive Video of Recue Operations

PORTO SANTO STEFANO, Italy (Jan. 14) – Search operation is underway after three reported killed when an Italian cruise ship capsized off Italian coast. Dozens were reported injured in this accident.

Costa Concordia Cruise Ship Capsized off Tuscany Coast, Italy
According to updates; about 69 passengers are still missing following the 114,500-tonne Costa Concordia, carrying more than 4200 passengers, capsized after striking against underwater rocks near the island of Giglio off the coast of Tuscany as passengers sat down to dinner on Friday evening.

Almost 4,200 people, including crew members, were rescued but according to Italian officials about 69 had not yet been accounted for.

Coast guards and divers have spent the morning searching the submerged decks looking for further fatalities, the BBC said.

Italian news agency Ansa said 4,165 out of the 4,234 people on-board had been counted.

The colossal €450 million Costa Concordia cruise ship ran aground last night near the island of Giglio. 

The ship carried over 4,200 passengers and crew and was on a 7 day cruise of the Mediterranean.

Initially, the incident caused the Costa Concordia cruise ship to list to one side, now, it is looking as if the ship may well sink.  All those aboard have been evacuated to the nearby island of Giglio which has only one large hotel with 300 beds.

Before watching exclusive video of night-time rescue operation, just see below the pictures of Costa Concordia, inside and outside, after accident:

Costa Concordia Cruise Ship Capsized off Tuscany Coast, Italy

Costa Concordia Cruise Ship Capsized off Tuscany Coast, Italy

Costa Concordia Cruise Ship Capsized off Tuscany Coast, Italy

Costa Concordia Cruise Ship Capsized off Tuscany Coast, Italy

Costa Concordia Cruise Ship Capsized off Tuscany Coast, Italy

Costa Concordia Cruise Ship Capsized off Tuscany Coast, Italy


Thursday, January 12, 2012

U.S. Military Identified the Unit and Troops involved in Afghan Urinating Video -- Not Made Public

WASHINGTON, DC (Jan. 13) – A video footage showing US Marines pissing on dead Taliban in Afghanistan got a strong condemnation Thursday from the top US officials. 

U.S. Military Identified the Unit involved in Afghan Urinating Video
 A reliable US military source revealed that the unit involved in this disgusting act has been identified and even two of the four Marines have been identified but their names were not being made public.

CNN quoted an unnamed US Marine official as saying the military branch was “confident” the troops in the stirring footage were from the 3rd Battalion 2nd Marine Regiment, based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The unit deployed to Afghanistan, mainly in Helmand province, in early 2011 and returned in September or October, CNN reported further.

“We cannot release the name of the unit at this time since the incident is being investigated,” a spokesperson from the Marines said.

The incident evoked memories of previous abuses committed by US troops in Iraq and during the decade-long Afghan war that could spark outrage and unrest in Afghanistan and the wider Muslim world; therefore condemned by top officials of Obama administration.

US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said the behavior in the video was “utterly deplorable,” US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke of her “total dismay,” and both vowed that the culprits would be found and punished.

Watch graphin video HERE.

VigLink

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