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CITI may get $2billion for smith barney deal

Citigroup Inc is in advanced talks to sell its Smith Barney brokerage unit to Morgan Stanley, a person familiar with the matter said on Friday, in a move that would further dismantle the financial supermarket that has been bailed out by the U.S. government.Under the deal being discussed, the two banks would set up a joint venture. Morgan Stanley would control it with a 51 percent stake and expect to buy Citi’s 49 percent share over three to five years, the person said. Talks are “serious” and “advanced” but may still fall through. Both banks declined to comment.Separately, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin resigned immediately as a senior counselor to New York-based Citigroup, following months of criticism of his performance, as the bank’s sinking share price led to a government rescue. The 70-year-old Rubin will remain a director until the bank’s annual meeting later this year. He joined Citigroup in 1999.

A combined brokerage would have more than 23,000 financial advisers before attrition, ranking as the world’s largest retail brokerage, surpassing rivals Bank of America Corp and Wells Fargo & Co.Citigroup ended September with 14,735 brokers, and Morgan Stanley ended November with 8,426. Last week, Bank of America bought Merrill Lynch & Co, and Wells Fargo bought Wachovia.Citigroup could boost its capital levels by doing the deal, and Morgan Stanley could diversify its sources of revenue. The U.S. Federal Reserve is pressing the two banks to do a deal because of the potential benefits to both, CNBC reported on Friday.

Combining the two businesses could also help Morgan Stanley and Citigroup cut costs. Brokerages are expected to suffer this year as broad weakness in stock and bond markets globally weigh on trading volume.A joint venture would reestablish ties between Citigroup Chief Executive Vikram Pandit and Morgan Stanley, which he left in 2005 after being passed over for a promotion in favor of fixed-income chief Zoe Cruz. She had faulted Pandit for being unwilling to take enough risk.

Shedding Smith Barney would be the latest, and perhaps the boldest step in dismantling Sanford “Sandy” Weill’s original conception for Citigroup when his Travelers Group Inc bought Citicorp to create the world’s largest financial services conglomerate.Pandit is trying to shed hundreds of billions of dollars of assets and reduce risk after Citigroup suffered $20.3 billion of losses in the year ended Sept 30. The bank has taken $45 billion from the government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program, $20 billion of which came from a federal bailout in November that will also limit potential losses on some assets.

Placing the business in a joint venture would likely allow Citigroup to record an immediate accounting gain, boosting its capital. And the bank would still be able to receive revenue from the business.A brokerage venture could allow Morgan Stanley to diversify its revenue streams, fewer than four months after Chief Executive John Mack turned it into a bank holding company. Many traditionally strong businesses for Morgan Stanley, such as hedge fund prime brokerage and commodities trading, are expected to be less profitable in coming years than they were a few years ago.But the deal may not be entirely positive for Morgan Stanley. As it takes over Citigroup’s brokerage business, it might have to offer incentives for brokers to stay, potentially boosting costs. Morgan Stanley plans to reduce risk and become more aggressive in gathering deposits. It got $10 billion of TARP money

January 11, 2009 Posted by | global | , , , , | Leave a comment

Tintin’s 80 birthday


Fans around the world celebrate Tintin’s 80th birthday Saturday just as a British politician-turned-columnist claims he knows things about the Belgian comic-book hero that the rest of us don’t.”A callow, androgynous blonde-quiffed youth in funny trousers and a scarf moving into the country mansion of his best friend, a middle-aged sailor? A sweet-faced lad devoted to a fluffy white toy terrier, whose other closest pals are an inseparable couple of detectives in bowler hats, and whose only serious female friend is an opera diva.

“And you’re telling me Tintin isn’t gay?” said Matthew Parris, ex-Tory MP.
Parris, himself gay, is a well-known newspaper columnist who notoriously ‘outed’ Business Minister Lord Peter Mandelson in the middle of a television interview in 1998.
Now, Parris insists, the reporter whose adventures have sold more than 200 million copies and been translated into 50 languages, is gay and that fans are in a state of “denial”.In an article published in The Times Wednesday, Parris said he comes to the conclusion from an examination of Tintin’s life.Tintin, who was born January 10, 1929, on the pages of a children’s supplement to the Belgian newspaper Le Vingtième Siècle, has an unknown background and origin, says Parris, adding: “This is common among young gay men, some of whom find it hard to believe that they really are their parents’ child”.
Tintin’s journalism also raises Parris’s suspicion: “Tintin’s only recorded remark to his editor (on departing for Moscow) is ‘I’ll send you some postcards and vodka and caviar.’ For a cub reporter on his first assignment, a curious remark.”
In fact, Parris suspects Tintin may well have been a spy – “secret intelligence has always attracted gay men. I myself applied for and was offered a post in MI6.”He finds Tintin’s world full of men. Of the complete list of 350 characters in Tintin books, Parris counts only eight women, and he doesn’t find them attractive.
The best known of them, chain-smoking opera singer Bianca Castafiore, is a “diva fag-hag,” while Peggy, the wife of a Latin American dictator, is a “curler-wearing virago”.”The butch, bitchy, bullying, cigar-smoking, hard-drinking, flame-haired wife of General Alcazar may well have been lesbian,” Parris proclaims.
Snowy the loyal fox terrier is the only “unambiguously heterosexual male mammal in Tintin’s entire universe,” Parris says.Fans reacted calmly. “Don’t sexualise Tintin,” wrote one on the Times website. “Leave him as the asexual hero I have always unconsciously assumed him to be.”Parris is not the first person to speculate on Tintin’s sexuality. In 2001, Belgian police seized 600 copies of an unauthorised book titled “Tintin in Thailand” – which showed Tintin and his friends living it up in Thai gay bars.
However, Belgium-based Studios Herge reacted stoutly, with spokesman Marcel Wilmet declaring: “Tintin is not at all gay – he was very macho in fact. He has many friends who are boys but they are not boyfriends.”

January 10, 2009 Posted by | global | , , , , , | Leave a comment

worst dressed celebs of 2008


Katie Holmes came first in the list. In photo: Actress Katie Holmes arrives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala, Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy, held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2008 in New York City.

The list featured Lesley Garrett in the second place. In photo: Actress Lesley Garrett attends an after party at the Albannach restaurant, following the performance of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s musical ‘Carousel’ at the Savoy Theatre, on December 02, 2008 in London, England.

w3 Gwyneth Paltrow in a selection from Stella McCartney, came up third. In photo: Actress Gwyneth Paltrow attends a screening of ‘Iron Man’ hosted by the Cinema Society and Michael Kors at the Tribeca Grand Screening Room on April 28, 2008 in New York City.

w4 Mary-Kate Olsen in Missoni came up fourth. In photo: Mary-Kate Olsen attends the New Yorkers for Children celebration of ‘New Year’s in April: A Fool’s Fete’ presented by Missoni at the Mandarin Oriental on April 16, 2008 in New York City.

Madonna brought up fifth position on the list. Madonna performs during her ‘Sticky & Sweet’ tour at Madison Square Garden on October 6, 2008 in New York Citys5

January 4, 2009 Posted by | global, photos | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Colorado school chief gets Senate seat


Michael Bennet, head of the Denver public school system, was named to replace Sen. Ken Salazar, the Colorado Democrat who is leaving the Senate to become secretary of the interior in the Obama administration, Colorado’s governor said on Saturday.

Bennet, 44, a lawyer who has served as superintendent of Denver’s schools since 2005, will serve the remaining two years of Salazar’s term, Colorado’s Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter said in a statement on his web site.

President-elect Barack Obama in a statement hailed Bennet as “one of the nation’s leading education reformers” and said he would bring fresh ideas to Washington.

In 2010, Bennet and anyone else interested in holding the seat would have to run for a full, six-year term.

January 4, 2009 Posted by | global, news | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Columbia crew had no chance to survive

Astronauts on the shuttle Columbia were trying to regain control of their craft before it broke apart in 2003, but there was no chance of surviving the accident, a NASA report said on Tuesday.

From the crew’s perspective, the shift from what appeared to be a normal descent on February 1, 2003, into disaster happened so fast that the astronauts didn’t even have time to close the visors on their helmets.

Columbia broke apart about 12 miles over Texas as it headed for landing at the Kennedy Space Center. The cause of the accident was traced to a hole in one of the shuttle’s wings, which was hit by a piece of falling foam insulation during launch 16 days earlier.

Seven astronauts, including Israel’s first astronaut Ilan Ramon, were killed when superheated atmospheric gases blasted inside the breach like a blow torch, melting the ship’s structure.The crew cabin broke away from the ship and started spinning rapidly. Analysis of the wreckage indicated the crew members had flipped cockpit switches in response to alarms that were sounding. The astronauts had also reset the shuttle’s autopilot system, the report said.”We have evidence from some of the switch positions that the crew was trying very hard to regain control. We’re talking about a very brief time in a crisis situation,” said NASA’s deputy associate administrator, Wayne Hale.

But rapid depressurization caused the Columbia crew to lose consciousness, and medical findings show that they could not have recovered, said the report, which took four years to compile.

“This report confirms that although the valiant Columbia crew tried every possible way to maintain control of their vehicle, the accident was not ultimately survivable,” said Hale, who oversaw the shuttle program during its return to flight after the accident.


Analysis shows the astronauts’ shoulder harnesses failed and their helmets did not adequately protect their heads. The lack of safety restraints caused traumatic injuries.

The investigation also found problems with the shuttle’s seats and parachute landing system, which requires astronauts be conscious to operate manually.

Even if the safety gear had worked, the astronauts would have died due to the winds, shock waves and other extreme conditions in the upper atmosphere.

Designing spacesuits that are more automated and integrated into future spaceships is among 30 recommendations made in the report.

“I call on spacecraft designers from all the other nations of the world, as well as the commercial and personal spacecraft designers here at home to read this report and apply these hard lessons which have been paid for so dearly,” Hale said.

Also killed in the accident were shuttle commander Rick Husband, pilot William McCool and astronauts Michael Anderson, David Brown, Kalpana Chawla and Laurel Clark.

January 2, 2009 Posted by | global | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wal Mart to sell I-Pones from sunday

Wal-Mart Stores Inc said on Friday it will start selling Apple Inc’s iPhone on Sunday, but the popular cell phones that can surf the web will not be priced as low as some anticipated.

Wal-Mart plans to sell the black 8-gigabyte iPhone 3G model, which also holds about 2,000 songs, for $197. The 16-gigabyte model, in black or white, will be priced at $297. All of the phones require a new two-year service agreement from AT&T Inc or a qualified upgrade, Wal-Mart said.

The move gives Apple the chance to reach millions of Wal-Mart shoppers who may not be as familiar with the company’s products.

Wal-Mart typically appeals to a lower-income group of shoppers than those who buy Apple’s Macintosh computers, iPods and iPhones, which are typically more expensive that other PCs and music players. But the world’s largest retailer has also lured new customers seeking low prices in a recession.

Wal-Mart used discounts to draw in millions of cash-strapped shoppers during the holiday season. It was among the first to advertise its deals this fall, including hot electronics such as flat-screen televisions.

Numerous websites had previously speculated that Apple would offer a 4-gigabyte model of the iPhone for $99 at Wal-Mart stores. But the phones being sold at Wal-Mart are the same ones already on the market, for about $2 below the prices offered at other locations.

AT&T, the exclusive U.S. wireless service provider for iPhone, currently sells the cheapest version for $199 for a model with 8 gigabytes of storage, and $299 for the 16-gigabyte version. AT&T declined to comment

December 27, 2008 Posted by | global, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Volkswagen wins d green car of the year

volkswagenVolkswagen AG’s Jetta TDI, won the “Green Car of the Year” award at the Los Angeles auto show on Thursday, the first time a diesel-powered car has taken the industry’s top environmental honor.”This signals that clean diesel has arrived,” said Ron Cogan, editor of Green Car Journal, the trade magazine that awards the prize.Diesel, however, costs almost $1 more per gallon than gasoline in some parts of the United States.Diesel, a conventional combustion approach long favored by Europeans, has been making inroads into the U.S. market as a here-and-now option to make engines run more economically and pollute less.

The use of diesel for passenger cars had long been stalled in the United States because of unacceptably high tailpipe emissions, but advanced technology has allowed so-called clean diesel vehicles to filter out more pollutants and for the first time meet smog pollution laws in all states.

Diesel engines have also suffered an image problem in the U.S. market due to an association with the underpowered versions sold in the 1970s. The technology has been largely limited to large trucks in the United States, even though it is a perennial top seller among passenger cars in Europe.

Volkswagen’s U.S. chief, Stefan Jacoby, said diesels have emerged as an alternative to hybrids such as Toyota Motor Corp’s popular Prius.

“It’s a breakthrough in this country,” Jacoby said. “I don’t want to say it’s better than other technologies, but it’s a real alternative to hybrids. It brings fuel consumption down, it’s environmentally friendly, and — this is a difference with a Prius — this is really fun to drive.”

Volkswagen’s five-passenger Jetta TDI, which boasts a fuel efficiency of 41 miles per gallon, starts at $21,990, compared with $17,340 for a traditional Jetta.

The Jetta TDI beat out finalists including BMW’s 335d diesel sport sedan, Ford Motor Co’s Fusion Hybrid passenger sedan, General Motors Corp’s crossover Saturn Vue 2 Mode Hybrid, and the smart fortwo mini car.

“This is the vehicle that stood out among all of the five finalists as the one that really exhibited the greatest environmental achievement,” Cogan said. “You get 30 percent better fuel efficiency, on average, with a diesel, and a commensurate reduction in greenhouse gases.”So far the Jetta TDI, which went on sale in August, has sold out, said Jacoby. “The Jetta TDI and Sportswagen don’t see recession,” he said.Jacoby said diesels could represent up to 30 percent of sales for Volkswagen models like the Jetta, on which diesel is an option. That would mean a sales target of 30,000 to 35,000 Jetta TDI per year in the United States.The panel of judges that awarded the “Green Car of the Year” prize included famed car designer Carroll Shelby, late-night talk show host Jay Leno and representatives from environmental groups the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council, among others.

November 21, 2008 Posted by | global | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oil drops $49 a barrel

Asian stock markets dropped to a five-year low on Friday, tracking US stocks that hit their lowest in a decade the previous session as the fate of the country’s major car makers continued to hang in the balance.

Oil tumbled to a three-and-a-half year low below $49 a barrel on Friday, nearing a $100 drop from its July record high, as more distress for the global economy threatened to eat further into demand for fuels.

“The economy is pulling everything down like a black hole,” said Anthony Nunan, risk management executive at Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Corp. “Until the economy stabilises, it will be hard for oil to put in a bottom.”US light crude for January delivery fell $1.02 to $48.40 a barrel at 0209 GMT, its sixth straight session of falls and a 14 per cent drop for this week alone, heading for the largest weekly fall since early October. London Brent crude shed 68 cents to $47.40 a barrel.

Oil has lost two thirds of its value in just under four months since peaking above $147 in July, and is just above the lowest since May 2005 hit on Thursday.Reflecting the sharp reversal in oil’s fortunes, Goldman Sachs, which in May had been talking of a $200 a barrel superspike, on Thursday again cut its 2009 forecast for US crude oil to $80 a barrel from $86.As demand tumbles, oil companies plan to store millions of barrels of crude in the hope economics will improve. Shipping brokers said US oil trader Koch and Royal Dutch Shell had booked supertankers capable of storing 10 million barrels of crude, more than top exporter Saudi Arabia produces in a day.

The further falls in oil prices brought more Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries members out in support of further output cuts. Libya’s top oil official said the cartel may decide to reduce supply further at its informal meeting in Cairo next week if it finds members have implemented a previous decision to lower output.The comments followed remarks from other OPEC members, including Kuwait, Iran and Venezuela, raising the possibility of a further cut in supply to prop up oil prices.

OPEC agreed in October to cut output by 1.5 million barrels per day, about 5 per cent, from Nov. 1, but the move has failed to stem the decline in oil prices.

November 21, 2008 Posted by | global | , , , , | Leave a comment

Yahoo’s five biggest mistakes

Exerts say these things as Yahoo’s five mistakes

1. Aborted Projects
Yahoo! is rife with projects that have been started, with great fanfare, only to die quietly months, sometimes years, later.

2. Missing the Google Express
Yahoo! had the chance to buy Google in 2002. Then-Chief Executive Terry Semel reportedly balked at the $5 billion price after months of negotiation. In retrospect, that was clearly a mistake.

No Yahoo! employees would touch that one. “I have no idea,” one employee said.

“I need to go off to a meeting now,” another answered.

3. Hiring Terry Semel
Another commonly cited mistake: hiring former Warner Bros. studio honcho Terry Semel as chief executive. Yahoo! stumbled in the wake of the tech bust early in the decade. It brought in Semel to turn things around. In retrospect, however, Semel was just riding a powerful rebound that other managers, such as the boys at Google, were playing far more skillfully. Semel declined to buy Google; at the same time, he funded a push into media that has largely foundered.

“You should really talk to a press spokesperson about that,” one employee said.

4. Failing to Click With DoubleClick
Another deal Yahoo! missed out on was DoubleClick. The advertising network specialized in the display ads that had long been Yahoo!’s strength as it struggled to hold back a surging Google. But when Yahoo! didn’t move quick enough to purchase the ad network, Google pounced, helping to close the gap.

“I don’t know, I’m not in a position to really speculate,” one employee said as he clutched a pair of boxes and a cup of juice.

5. Not Bonding With Ballmer
Perhaps Yahoo!’s biggest bonehead maneuver was failing to deal with Microsoft’s acquisition offer quickly and cleanly. As a result, the drama dragged on for months, sapping Yahoo!’s energy and opening the door to Carl Icahn, the aggressive corporate raider who grabbed three seats on Yahoo!’s board in August. The move undoubtedly led to Yang’s ouster this week.

“It’s difficult to know, difficult to know,” a Yahoo employee said when asked about the matter.

All these mistakes can be summed up in one word: indecisiveness. One employee, at least, wasn’t shy about blaming management for the problem. “When you hear the culture is indecisive, that’s referring to people who are higher up,” one employee said. “Many of the employees are making great efforts to turn the tide.”

Other employees blamed bigger problems for Yahoo!’s woes. Some cited vague “macroeconomic” problems. Others cited competition from newer, “cooler,” Web brands such as MySpace and Google.

And several argued that Yahoo! can still compete. One mentioned Yahoo!’s cloud computing initiative as an effort that could help the company claw its way forward once again. “It’s a talented group of individuals, and we’re working on some interesting technologies,” he said.

“We are competitive, particularly with Yahoo! Mail and Finance,” another added.

And, unlike banks and domestic auto manufacturers, no one at Yahoo! is asking for a government bailout. “I don’t think anyone in this industry is going to pop that question,” one engineer said, shaking his head. “If you do, you’re admitting you’ve got nothing left, no future.”

God bless Silicon Valley.

November 20, 2008 Posted by | global | , , , , | Leave a comment

Microsoft rules over the Yahoo bid


Microsoft has ruled out the bod from Yahoo but said it was intrested to have a tie up with search related products.Ballmer’s comments to a meeting of Microsoft’s shareholders were the first from the company since the announcement on Monday that Jerry Yang was stepping down as Yahoo CEO. That move was seen as raising the chances for a Microsoft buyout since Yang had been the company’s staunchest opponent of the deal that valued Yahoo at $47.5 billion – more than three times what it is now worth.The comments by the Microsoft boss sent Yahoo’s shares plunging by as much as 20 per cent after they had rallied on news of Yang’s move.

“We thought we had something that made sense. But it didn’t make sense to them. We’ve moved on,” said Ballmer at Microsoft’s annual shareholders meeting. “Let me be clear. We are done with all acquisition discussions with Yahoo.”However he stressed that a partnership between Microsoft and Yahoo in the internet search market is “an interesting possibility”. Such an alliance would help the companies challenge Google, which dominates the US online advertising market that is expected to grow 25 per cent this year.

November 20, 2008 Posted by | global | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Indian Navy blows up Pirate boat

Indian Navy

A Indian war ship blew up a pirate ship in the Gulf of Aden and gunmen from Somalia seized two more vessels, defying the foreign warships patrolling the seas off their anarchic country. Buccaneers have taken a Thai fishing boat, a Greek bulk carrier and a Hong Kong-flagged ship heading for Iran since Saturday’s spectacular capture of a Saudi supertanker carrying $100 million of oil, the biggest ship hijacking in history.

The supertanker Sirius Star was seized despite an existing effort to guard one of the world’s busiest shipping arteries by naval ships from the United States, France, Russia and India.

“The pirates are sending out a message to the world that ‘we can do what we want, we can think the unthinkable, do the unexpected’,” Andrew Mwangura, coordinator of the East African Seafarers’ Assistance Program, told Reuters in Mombasa.

India’s navy said one of its warships destroyed a pirate ship in the Gulf of Aden in a brief battle late on Tuesday.The pirates are armed with grenades, heavy machineguns and rocket-launchers, and foreign navies have usually steered clear of direct confrontation once ships have been hijacked, for fear of putting hostages at risk. In most cases, the owners of hijacked ships are trying to negotiate ransoms.

November 20, 2008 Posted by | global | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Somali pirates transform villages into boomtowns

Pirates Of Somali


Somalian pirates are turning to be the most intelligent because they enjoy their lives in luxury not only the pirates but all the people who support them.In Haradhere, residents came out in droves and were celebrating  as the looming oil ship came into focus this week off the country’s lawless coast. Businessmen started gathering cigarettes, food and cold glass bottles of orange soda, setting up small kiosks for the pirates who come to shore to re-supply almost daily.

Somalia’s increasingly brazen pirates are building sprawling stone houses, cruising in luxury cars, marrying beautiful women even hiring caterers to prepare Western-style food for their hostages and in an impoverished country where every public institution has crumbled, they have become heroes in the steamy coastal dens they operate from because they are the only real business in town.”The pirates depend on us, and we benefit from them,” said Sahra Sheik Dahir, a shop owner in Haradhere, the nearest village to where a hijacked Saudi Arabian supertanker carrying USD 100 million in crude was anchored on Wednesday.

These boomtowns are all the more shocking in light of Somalia’s violence and poverty. Radical Islamists control most of the country’s south, meting out lashings and stonings for accused criminals. There has been no effective central government in nearly 20 years, plunging this arid African country into chaos.

Life expectancy is just 46 years; a quarter of children die before they reach 5. But in northern coastal towns like Haradhere, Eyl and Bossaso, the pirate economy is thriving thanks to the money pouring in from pirate ransoms that have reached USD 30 million this year alone.

In Haradhere, residents came out in droves to celebrate as the looming oil ship came into focus this week off the country’s lawless coast. Businessmen started gathering cigarettes, food and cold glass bottles of orange soda, setting up small kiosks for the pirates who come to shore to re-supply almost daily.

November 20, 2008 Posted by | global | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Maruthi A-star

Maruthi A star

The company offers the car at a price of 3.47 lakhs and other variants to go upto 4.17 lakhs.”November and December are usually tough months for carmakers. Knowing that very well, we will be launching the A-Star so that it can bring excitement to the market,” according to MSI Executive Officer Marketing and Sales Mayank Pareek.The company that is manufacturing A Star at its Manesar plant, is aiming to sell about 50,000 units in the Indian market and one lakh units abroad.

MSI claims that according to the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), the A-Star delivers a mileage of 19.59 km per litre.The car industry, which witnessed a decline of 6.59 per cent in October, struggles to sell car in the year-end as most customers postpone purchases for a new model year. MSI is hoping that the novelty factor associated with its 5th global model will help in overcoming the challenge.

The A-Star will be the latest in a series of global models that Suzuki, MSI’s Japanese parent, has launched over the past fewyears and will be manufactured solely in India.

A star will be made in 200 variants and exported to 150 countries across Europe, Middle east , Latin America, Asia, Australia, and Africa.It will be exported under the name of Suzuki Alto and Suzuki Celerio. Nissan also plans to market the same car under the name Nissan Pixo in middle East and African markets.

November 19, 2008 Posted by | global | , , | Leave a comment

Every 26 seconds a woman gets raped in South Africa

The newly elected Charlize Theron an activist and a Academy winner from South Africa said this kind of situation prevailing was

quite horrific.Appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Theron took over her new job as United Nations Messenger of Peace to lead the campaign to end violence against women.

“The statistics on rape cases were quite horrific,” Theron told a news conference at UN headquarters in New York on her first day at work, joining nine other existing Messengers of Peace to help advance various UN campaigns.

“One in every three women is raped in her lifetime and the number was devastating,” Theron said. “It is getting worse.”

But what is their genre?

‘We don’t want to confine our music to a particular genre. We don’t know what our music is. And we don’t want to say what it is. Instead of calling our music something else we prefer to name it Indian Ocean Music,’ said band member Sushmit Sen.

Theron founded the Cape Town Rape Crisis Centre in 1999 to deal with the widespread cases of rape and the high number of people infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. But she said she now needs the support of the UN to fight rape more effectively.

“It’s very exciting to work for the UN because it gives you access to the source of information and the responsibility,” she said.

Theron founded The Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project in partnership with the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) to help improve the lives of poor children and their families in her native South Africa, particularly those suffering from HIV/AIDS.

“I am convinced you’ll be a persuasive and powerful Messenger of Peace,” Ban said, after he appointed Theron last week. “You have consistently dedicated yourself to improving the lives of women and children in South Africa, and to preventing and stopping violence against women and girls. I look forward to working with you to end this terrible scourge.”

Other Messengers of Peace include George Clooney for UN peacekeeping, Daniel Barenboim for peace and tolerance, Michael Douglas for disarmament and Yo-Yo Ma for youth.

Theron, who won an Academy Award for her portrayal of a serial killer in the film “Monster”, has used her star power to advocate for women since she emerged on the international scene more than a decade ago.

November 19, 2008 Posted by | global | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tokyo tops star count again in Michelin food guide


The recession period doesnt account for Tokyo.This place is the palace of will be getting all kinds of food here.

Tokyo is once again the world’s starriest city, according to the Michelin restaurant guide, which predicts that even an economic recession won’t dim the allure of good, if pricey, food.

A year after unveiling its first-ever Asian edition in the Japanese capital, Michelin awarded more stars to Tokyo than any other city, with nine restaurants given the coveted three-star rating, one more than last year.

In the new 2009 edition, 36 establishments received two stars, while 128 restaurants were awarded one. The 2008 edition also awarded Tokyo more stars than any other city.

“Tokyo’s food scene is dynamic, diverse, rich and full of excitement,” Jean-Luc Naret, director of the Michelin guides.

“It places importance on tradition and uses world-class cooking techniques to bring the best out of fine ingredients.”

Ishikawa, a 16-seat Japanese restaurant in the geisha district of Kagurazaka, joined the group of three-star establishments this year, a list that included six serving Japanese cuisine and three serving French.

Chef Hideki Ishikawa appeared humbled by the recognition.

“I am happy, but I’m not sure what to say. It hasn’t sunk in yet,” he told reporters at a reception for the city’s three-star chefs.

“I just said ‘Yes, thank you’,” he said of his reaction after receiving the call from Michelin.

Being awarded a star in a city with 160,000 restaurants can mean massive business and publicity for the chef, although several on the list last year are reported to have shut down.

Naret said more restaurants could become vulnerable to Japan’s economic recession, with banks in New York cited as cancelling private functions. Small restaurants may need to review prices.

But diners would still be expected to pick up the guide, which dates back to 1900 and was first aimed at chauffeurs in the early days of motoring.

“Because of the recession, people are going to be more careful about choosing where to eat,” he said.

Naret said he was aware of last year’s criticism from Japanese customers, who complained that the review process was opaque and leaned toward European tastes.

While two of last year’s five undercover inspectors were Japanese, this year’s inspection team consisted of five Japanese and one French national.

November 19, 2008 Posted by | global | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Companies that are involved in giving PINK slips

pepsi-logo-bigPepsi said that it is going to cut jobs for 3150 employees approximately.This is due to the global financial crisis sources said.

HSBC a leading bank is going to cut 500 jobs across asia….

CITI bank is going to give pink slips to the business and management sector and this is mainly to get going eith the fibnancial crisis.

Totally all over the world the IT sector has suffered with 82% in their recruitments.All companis have dropped recruting by 82%.

November 18, 2008 Posted by | global | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yahoo CEO to Stepdown



Search of yahoo CEO continues as Yang decides to step down as yahoo cheif……..

Yahoo Inc said Jerry Yang will step down as chief executive as soon as the board finds a replacement, sending its shares up 4 percent on hopes his departure will clear the way for a deal with Microsoft.
Yang — who will return to his former role as Chief Yahoo, focusing on strategy and technology — tried to carve an independent strategy for Yahoo and was blamed when Microsoft Corp walked away from an offer to buy the company earlier this year.Rival Google Inc abandoned a search advertising partnership amid regulatory concerns, and Yang faced a growing chorus of criticism from investors and analysts as Yahoo’s shares nosedived.
Yahoo’s months-long talks with Time Warner Inc about combining with its AOL unit — as yet another way to boost Yahoo’s earnings — have also failed to produce a deal.
“The company is in desperate need of change and this is clearly one way to do it,” said Ross Sandler, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, adding that Microsoft could enter the picture again. “Jerry was the roadblock for the last deal getting done.”
Yang has consistently said that he would sell the company for the right price.Microsoft declined to comment.Yahoo shares rose to $11.10 in after-hours trading from their Nasdaq close of $10.63.The shares are down nearly 65 percent from their 52-week high of $30.25, reached in February, two weeks after Microsoft made its $31-a-share offer public.Microsoft withdrew its $47.5 billion buyout offer in May after Yahoo rejected the sweetened bid.Yang, a co-founder of Yahoo, took on the CEO role in June 2007, hoping to strengthen its position as an online consumer brand.”From founding this company to guiding its growth into a trusted global brand that is indispensable to millions of people, I have always sought to do what is best for our franchise,” Yang said in a statement.
Last month, Yahoo announced it planned to cut at least a tenth of its workforce, or about 1,500 jobs, as corporate brand advertisers scaled back spending on Web marketing promotions amid a global economic downturn.In an e-mail sent to employees, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, Yang said his decision to step down was taken jointly with Yahoo’s board.
“All of you know that I have always, and will always bleed purple,” Yang wrote, referring to Yahoo’s corporate color.Yang has been talking with the board, which includes activist investor Carl Icahn, about stepping down since before Google pulled out of the search deal in early November, said a person familiar with the talks.Icahn did not return a call seeking comment.CHIEF YAHOO AGAIN
Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock is leading the effort to find a replacement, said Yang, who will continue to serve as a director.
“Jerry was miscast in this CEO role as far as running Yahoo at this point,” said Martin Pyykkonen, an analyst at Wunderlich Securities. “He’s much better off running strategy or technology behind the scenes.”
Pyykkonen said it was a step in the right direction for Yahoo, but warned that a lot depended on the board’s choice to replace Yang.”Because he’s stepping down doesn’t mean the company is going to magically be wonderful again,” he said.Yahoo has hired the executive search firm of Heidrick & Struggles to look for both internal and external candidates.The process could take anywhere between four weeks and 12 weeks.

November 18, 2008 Posted by | global | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Europe IN recession club


LONDON  – World leaders headed to Washington on Friday to try to find ways to tackle a global economic crisis that has plunged much of Europe into its first recession since the euro currency was formed.
The worst financial crisis in 80 years has weakened the world’s major economies and official data showed the 15-nation euro zone economy had shrunk by 0.2 percent for the second quarter in a row.”We think that the situation is likely to get worse before it gets better,” said Nick Kounis, an analyst at Fortis Bank.
“We will probably see further falls in output in the first few months of next year, before a gradualimprovement later in the year, but we think that there will be no real recovery before 2010.”
Analysts said they expected the European Central Bank to cut interest rates further to try to spur economic growth.With Europe, as well as parts of Asia and North America, suffering, leaders of the G20 developed and emerging countries travel to Washington to try to find ways to ensure the crisis, started by a U.S. housing market crash, is not repeated.
But agreement among the G20, which represents 85 percent of the world’s economy and two-thirds of its population, is unlikely over whether more regulation of markets can protect consumers, savers and companies from the fall-out.
Washington says there should be no return to greater state control of financial markets. Much of Europe says without more regulation, a repeat of the last year’s turmoil is inevitable.

November 14, 2008 Posted by | global | , , , , | Leave a comment