Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar has declared that he harbours no ambitions to become the Prime Minister. At a press conference on Monday, he said that he has always felt that a nominee for that post should hail from a bigger party of the coalition.
It has been over a year since the Grammy award-winning crooner Amy Winehouse was found dead at her north London home. On Monday, the British authorities reopened the probe of Winehouse’s death one year later after the coroner who cited the reasons for her death resigned when questions regarding her legal credentials arose.
To know more about this sudden development, read this.
Among the midst of grief surrounding New Town, Connecticut, President Barack Obama addressed a gathering of family and friends of the 26 victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
In Friday’s shooting, where a lone gunman, identified as 20-year-old Adam Lanza, began a shooting spree in his childhood school, resulted in the death of 20 children and 6 adults. The children, all between the age of 5 and 10, were gunned down by Lanza in a merciless period of half an hour after which he was found dead from a self-inflicted gun wound.
President Obama was given his first real challenge after his recent re-election and the former Harvard Law Graduate did a successful job. A teary Obama spoke about how the rampage had shook up the entire country and that it taught law enforcers that more effort was required to prevent such incidents.
In his 15-minute address, the President consoled the residents of Sandy Hook, a community prized for promoting residential safety. “We can’t tolerate this anymore,” he said. “These tragedies must end, and to end them we must change.”
The complex causes of gun crime “can’t be an excuse for inaction”, he said.
The incident was a fresh reminder on how the United States was still suffering from insufficient gun control measures. It threw chilling reminiscence of the Virginia Tech killings from 2007 where 32 people lost their lives or even from this year’s Century Plaza shootings in Aurora, Colorado.
The gunman was supposedly suffering from severe mental trauma. Lanza’s mother Nancy reported earlier that her son had acute Asperger’s syndrome, and that it was “getting worse by the day”.
The guns Adam used were all legally bought and registered by his 52-year-old mother, who had divorced his father several years ago.
President Obama called for serious reforms in gun control in the States, a concern raised by other delegates in the House of Congress earlier today. Ironically, the then President had flexed the gun laws. A nationwide ban on certain semi-automatic rifles in the US expired in 2004 and the Bush administration chose not to renew it.
Since then violence has escalated in manifolds as the country struggles to curb shootings like Sandy Hook and Aurora or even the Wisconsin Sikh Temple attack.
In a bid to strip Google off its monopolistic demeanour in the search engine market, Microsoft roped in political strategist, Mark Penn. Penn, responsible for ousting enemies of the likes of the Clintons, is currently the Corporate Vice President for Strategic and Special Projects at Microsoft Corporation.
Often called the ‘Brawler’ by the media, Penn devised an ad campaign that makes Google take full offence for their new initiative, ‘Google Shopping’ where paid product listings pop up as search results. The campaign- ‘Scroogled’ is a website where Microsoft uses the signatory Google colours to warn customers off the initiative and urges them to try its Bing for honest results.
Showing excerpts from the ‘Terms and Conditions’ of Google Commerce which say that Google Shopping will exclude members who do not ‘participate’ in the transaction, Penn has hit Google where it hurts most. In lieu of the anti-trust lawsuit that Google is facing, the search engine giant maybe heading to a gigantic downfall.
Search engine wars have been a trend on the internet with Yahoo! trying to stave off Google since 1995. Bing, overtook Yahoo! but still has a Goliath in the form of Google to beat. Microsoft is pulling out all stops to sow a doubt about Google’s unbiased search results. The ‘Don’t be evil’ preach at its inception has been attacked by the Scroogle initiative as Microsoft calls Google an “evil empire” built on a “pure commercial model.”
The SWAT-style team that Penn has assembled for the campaign includes political advisors, public relation officers and Josh Gottheimer, counsellor to the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. A poll conducted by the team showed that consumers of Google where unaware of the monetary transaction and were hardly bothered by it. Microsoft warns holiday shoppers that they might not get the best merchants or prices through Google Shopping.
Penn who is of the opinion that “negative ads are, by and large, good for [our] democracy”, has put a step forward for Microsoft in the search engine war. Microsoft which already has Apple on its back will have to strive to sustain this initiative, lest it loses face among millions of internet users.
See the Scroogle campaign here: http://www.scroogled.com/
In a strong backlash, lenders to the now grounded Kingfisher Airlines have refused to fund its unprofitable business. The airlines that bears 17 lenders including SBI has a debt of over 7,000 crore and is being pushed by the syndicate to pay a portion of the arrears.
Gujarat goes to vote on December 17th for the second phase of the Assembly Polls. Contesting this election are leaders like Narendra Modi, Shankarsinh Vaghela and Praful Patel. Sir Creek continues to be a major issue for this phase as well.
On Wednesday, Deepa Mehta’s recent movie ‘Midnight’s Children’ got cleared by the Central Board of Film Certification in India and that too without a single cut. The Toronto-based director who has had run-ins with the censor board before for her controversial movies ‘Fire’, ‘Water’ and ‘1947: Earth’ can’t believe her luck.
To read more on Deepa Mehta’s reaction, click here.