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Amitabh discharged

Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, who was admitted to Lilavati Hospital last Saturday following complaints of abdominal pain, was discharged on Friday. He had been in the hospital for a week.

Bachchan was admitted on his birthday, October 11. The Big B was complaining of severe abdominal pain and was diagnosed with incisional hernia.

He went back home in his own car. Son Abhishek and daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai were with him.

The actor has also spoken out on the illness for the first time, mentioning anxiety, pain and sleepless nights, in a post on his blog.

Bachchan, who has been a meticulously regular blogger ever since he started keeping an online journal more than 5 months ago, posted as many as five blog posts on Thursday night, but didn’t give away too many details of his health.

“These days are spent in hospital. In investigation and treatment and anxiety and sleepless nights and pain and… So much more.. But now the nurses exclaim at the time I spend in front of this screen and start pulling plugs out,” Bachchan wrote in his first blog post since he was hospitalised on his 66th birthday.

“I shall fill in these days. Perhaps later when I have the solitude of my convalescence.. My love for you remains steadfast and strong..” he had written.

Bachchan has acted in more than 170 films in a glittering career and is easily one of Indian cinemas most recognisable faces. His son Abhishek and daughter in law Aishwarya too are Bollywood actors. Currently, Bachchan has three projects on the floors, and was in talks for some more.

October 17, 2008 Posted by | Bollywood, Cinema, General | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

President congratulates Tendulkar

President Pratibha Patil on Friday congratulated Sachin Tendulkar for becoming the highest Test run-getter in the world.

“You have given joy to countless Indians with your batting,” the President said in her congratulatory message to the master batsman.

Tendulkar surpassed former West Indian captain Brian Lara’s record of 11,953 runs on the opening day of the second cricket Test against Australia in Mohali.

October 17, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, General, Politics, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tendulkar, Ganguly power India on day of milestones

Sachin Tendulkar acknowledges the crowd after becoming Test cricket's highest run-scorer.

Milestones took centre stage as India closed the first day of the second Test on 311-5 against Australia in Mohali on Friday.

Sachin Tendulkar eclipsed Brian Lara to become the leading run-getter in Test cricket, followed it up with a half-century, and added eight more runs to become the first batsman to score 12000 Test runs before falling short of his 40th Test hundred just before stumps. His partner at the other end, Sourav Ganguly secured one of his own by reaching 7000 runs in the longer version of the game.

Ganguly was batting on 54 and nightwatchman Ishant Sharma was unbeaten on two when stumps were called, after India seemed to throw away a near perfect start to their innings after stand-in captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat in the absence of Anil Kumble, who ruled himself out the game.

India would have more tick marks in the honours board, but the wicket of Tendulkar towards the end of day’s play means Australia had removed half of India’s batting order, and the iffy form of Dhoni would surely keep them interested.

After a run-riot in the first session in which India raced to 104-1 in 25 overs, Australia fought back with three quick wickets to leave the hosts on 174-4 at the end of the second session with two new batsmen at the crease, having added just 70 runs in the afternoon session.

Old Pros Shine

This is why Tendulkar and Ganguly’s partnership — they added 142 for the fifth wicket — became all the more crucial. The hard Mohali surface allowed the batsmen to play their strokes, but had to be wary of further damage to their innings. But it was just the kind of wicket where it’s foolish for a batsman to throw it away after getting a start. Tendulkar could tell, having fallen for 88 to give debutant Peter Siddle his first Test wicket.

Dravid and Laxman had already fallen prey to soft dismissals — both edged to the wicketkeeper down the leg side — while Sehwag too fell to an edge. At four wickets down and virtually no momentum propelling the score, the duo had to wait for their scoring opportunities.

They came, and they came in plenty. Both Tendulkar and Ganguly were aided by a pitch they could trust, and the occasional loose delivery was promptly dispatched to the boundary, much like Gautam Gambhir did in the morning.

October 17, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sensex falls below 10K, first time in 2 years

Melting stock prices on Friday pulled down the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex below the 10,000 point mark for the first time in over two years.

The 30-share index, which opened higher by 205 points, tumbled by 582.76 points to 9,998.73 in pre-close trading, a level last seen in June 2006.

The wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty, which gained 66.65 points at the initial stage, plunged by 196.35 points, or 6 per cent at 3,072.95 points at the same time.

All the sectoral indices, led by realty sector were ruling in the red with steep falls, dragging the Sensex down.

Morning trade

Markets have turned volatile after bouncing back in early trade. Buying is seen in technology, capital goods and oil stocks, while selling in banking, few metal, pharma and FMCG stocks.

At 1022 hrs IST, the Sensex rose 5.90 points to 10,587 and the Nifty gained 16 points to 3,285. BSE Midcap and Small Cap indices rose 0.8 per cent each.

Top losers are ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Sterlite Industries, Tata Communication, SBI, DLF, Reliance Communication, HDFC, Tata Power and HUL. However, gainers are Wipro, ONGC, L&T, HCL Tech, Cairn India, TCS, Reliance Industries and ITC.

Breadth is negative; about 1363 shares have advanced while 1583 shares have declined. Nearly 242 shares are unchanged.

Markets @ 0956 hrs IST: Nifty stands above 3300; Cap Goods, IT, Realty stocks up

Markets have bounce back in early trade after sharp cut seen in previous trade, as US markets rebounded sharply in Thursday’s trade. Buying is seen in capital goods, auto, technology, banking, technology and power stocks.

At 0956 hrs IST, the Sensex rose 111 points to 10,692 and the Nifty gained 35 points at 3,304. BSE Midcap and Small cap indices rose over 1 per cent.

Satyam, Tata Motors, Zee Entertainment, Reliance Infrastructure, L&T, BHEL, Siemens, Suzlon, HDFC Bank, TCS and Tata Steel have gained.

Satyam Computer is witnessing volatility after gaining nearly 5 per cent in opening trade, after its Q2 numbers. The company has reported growth of 6.05 per cent in net profit of Rs 580.85 crore as against Rs 547.70 crore, QoQ. Net sales stood at Rs 2819.29 crore versus Rs 2620.83 crore.

Asian markets are trading mixed. The Nikkei and Shanghai rose 2 per cent and 1 per cent, respectively. However, Kospi, Taiwan and Jakarta tumbled 1-3 per cent. Hang Seng and Straits Times fell marginally.

US markets closed firm after a hugely volatile session. A late-day rally gave the Dow a triple-digit boost after a 700 point intra-day swing. Unwinding of hedged options on the S&P 500 ahead of October options expiry was one of the factors for the volatility in the market.

The expiration triggered several big buys at the end of the day. Dow gained 401.35 points, or 4.68 per cent, to 8,979.26. The S&P 500 index advanced 38.59 points, or 4.25 per cent, to 946.43, and the Nasdaq composite index added 89.38 points, or 5.49 per cent, to 1,717.71.

October 17, 2008 Posted by | Business, General | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tendulkar breaks Lara’s record

Sachin Tendulkar went past Brian Lara’s tally of 11,953 Test runs © AFP

Sachin Tendulkar broke Brian Lara’s record for most Test runs in the final session of day one in Mohali when he hit Peter Siddle to third man for two runs. The record stood for nearly two years after Lara played his final Test and it was inevitable that Tendulkar would eventually break it. Incidentally, he is also one-day cricket’s leading run-scorer with 16,631 runs.

Tendulkar was expected to attain the feat in Sri Lanka recently but he endured a poor series with the bat, scoring just 95 runs in three Tests. It was only fitting, though, that he achieved the record against Australia, a team he has tormented several times in the past.

Coincidentally, Lara too achieved the world record against Australia, when he went past Allan Border’s tally of 11,174 runs during the Adelaide Test in 2005. They remain the only three players to cross the 11,000-run mark in Tests. Though it is uncertain how long Tendulkar will prolong his Test career – which has lasted 19 years – the two players who stand the best chance of beating his eventual tally are Rahul Dravid (10,341) and Ricky Ponting (10,239).

October 17, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, General | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Parliament session starts, ‘fireworks’ expected

The economic crisis will be the big issue after Parliament reconvenes on Friday even as the session is expected to be a short one.

The session is also expected to be stormy with the United Progressive Alliance Government facing fire from the Opposition on many other issues.

With General Elections next year and five states going to polls starting November 14, there are many issues like the global financial crisis and its impact on the Indian economy, terror attacks, communal riots, price
rise and the Indo-US nuclear deal, which the Opposition will try to raise.

It could also be the last session under the leadership of Manmohan Singh.

But with elections for Assemblies of Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Mizoram already announced, there are many who feel that there is no point of continuing with a month-long session.

So it might well be cut short by at least 10 days to allow leaders to campaign aggressively in a poll that is already been billed as mini General Election.

“Whenever we need to have something, we will discuss it. There is no hard and fast position on that because political exigencies can definitely come,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi said.

An estimated Rs 25000 are spent per minute on Parliament’s activity.

October 17, 2008 Posted by | General, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment