Friday, January 28, 2011

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- "Glee" star Lea Michele will sing "America the Beautiful" before the Super Bowl on Feb. 6 in Texas.

It will be the seventh time the song has been performed at the Super Bowl.

The Golden Globes-nominated singer and actress from the Fox musical comedy will join a list of "America the Beautiful" performers that includes Ray Charles and Queen Latifah.

Christina Aguilera is singing the national anthem and the Black Eyed Peas are performing at halftime.

The Pittsburgh Steelers play the Green Bay Packers at $1.3 billion Cowboys Stadium in the Dallas-Fort Worth suburb of Arlington.
I just received a call from a friend in Cairo (I won't say who it is now because he's a prominent activist) telling me neither his DSL nor his USB internet service is working. I've just checked with two other friends in different parts of Cairo and their internet is not working either.

This just happened 10 minutes ago — and perhaps not uncoincidentally just after AP TV posted a video of a man being shot.

Will update with more info. The ISPs being used by my friends are TEDATA, Vodafone, and Egynet.
Imran Khan has proved a simple point in his life -- if you have the talent and passion to pursue your dream, nothing can keep you from your goal. The shooter, who rose to fame by clinching gold in 2010 Commonwealth Games, is the true symbol of perseverance and determination. Dearth of resources could not restrict his success as this marksman from Bareilly fought all odds turning adversities into opportunities.

Imran has inspired many budding shooters in his home town and nearby areas. His success could be credited to the revival of shooting in Bareilly. Meanwhile, the Armyman had a superb outing in The National Shooting Championship where he shot gold outclassing stalwarts like Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang.

Vaibhav Tiwari of Indian Sports News caught hold of this soft-spoken marksman and talked to him about his game and future plans: Excerpts:

CAIRO (AP)-- Egypt's capital was the scene of violent chaos Friday as tens of thousands of anti-government protesters stoned and confronted police, who fired back with rubber bullets and tear gas - a major escalation in the biggest challenge to President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule. Even a Nobel Peace laureate was soaked by water cannon and forced to take refuge in a mosque.

Large groups of protesters, in the thousands, gathered at at least six venues in Cairo, a city of about 18 million people, and many of them were on the move marching toward major squares and across Nile bridges. There were smaller protests in Assiut south of Cairo and al-Arish in the Sinai peninsula. Regional television stations were reporting clashes between thousands of demonstrators and police in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria and Minya south of Cairo.

"It's time for this government to change," said Amal Ahmed, a 22-year-old protester. "I want a better future for me and my family when I get married."

Police fired water cannons at one of the country's leading pro-democracy advocates, Mohamed ElBaradei, and his supporters as they joined the latest wave of protests after noon prayers. They used batons to beat some of ElBaradei's supporters, who surrounded him to protect him.

A soaking wet ElBaradei was trapped inside a mosque while hundreds of riot police laid siege to it, firing tear gas in the streets around so no one could leave. Tear gas canisters set several cars ablaze outside the mosque and several people fainted and suffered burns.

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) -- Pakistan will pursue murder charges against a U.S. consular employee suspected in the shooting deaths of two armed men possibly intent on robbing him, a top prosecutor said Friday.

The weak government, already frequently criticized for being subservient to the United States, will likely come under domestic pressure to be tough on the American.

Many Pakistanis regard the U.S. with suspicion or enmity because of its occupation of neighboring Afghanistan and regular missile attacks against militant targets in Pakistan's northwest. The government condemns those attacks, but is widely believed to agree to them privately, further angering its critics.

In a sign of the political sensitivities of the case, Interior Minister Rehman Malik was asked by a lawmaker in parliament whether he was trying to set the American free. "I will never abet a criminal," replied Malik.

A third Pakistani was killed in the incident Thursday in the bustling city of Lahore after being hit by a U.S. vehicle rushing to aid the American, who also in a car, according to police, who have said the driver could also face charges.

Police officer Umar Saeed said the American, who has not been named by American authorities, had told officers he had withdrawn money from an ATM shortly before the incident, raising the possibility the two men were following him. Others Pakistani officers have said the men were likely robbers, were on a motorbike and both were carrying pistols.

Rana Bakhtiar, deputy prosecutor general for Punjab, said the state would pursue murder charges.

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- A Turkish action movie based on the deadly Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound Turkish aid ship opened in cinemas across Turkey on Friday.

The anti-Israeli movie "Valley of the Wolves - Palestine" is about a Turkish undercover agent who hunts down Israeli commanders responsible for the killing of nine activists who died in the real-life May 31 attack on a ship that tried to bust through the blockade of Gaza as part of an international flotilla.

The TV series "Valley of the Wolves," on which the film is based, caused a diplomatic row between Turkey and Israel last year and the film could cause even more tension.

Ties between the two countries have strained over the Islamic-oriented government's increasingly critical statements on Israel's treatment of Palestinians and came to the brink of collapse after the raid.

Israel's ambassador Gabby Levy told Turkey's Anatolia news agency this week that the movie was slanderous. It quoted him as saying that some "generalizations about the Jewish people, certain anti-Semitic approaches" were "disturbing."

Correction: AIDS Fund story

GENEVA (AP) -- In a Jan. 23 story about corruption among recipients of grants from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, The Associated Press, relying on fund figures, erroneously reported that the U.N. Development Program manages more than half of the fund's spending, and that the fund has spent $10 billion since its creation in 2002. UNDP has managed about 12 percent of the $13 billion dispersed.
BEIJING (AP) -- A rights group says the wife of China's imprisoned Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo was able to leave house arrest for a family meal last week.

It was the first known time that Liu Xia was allowed to leave her house since mid-October.

Friday's report by the Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy cites Liu Xia's brother as saying she was able to eat with her elderly parents.

Liu Tong told the rights group that the family has not been given permission to visit Liu Xiaobo in prison, though he is supposed to be allowed one family visit per month.

China has blocked visits to Liu Xiaobo since shortly after he was awarded the peace prize in October - deeply angering Beijing, which considers him a dissident.
JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- Former South African President Nelson Mandela went home from the hospital Friday after suffering an acute respiratory infection. Officials said the 92-year-old was joking with his wife and nurses, and handling the difficulties of old age "with the greatest of grace."

Surgeon-General Vejaynand Ramlakan told reporters that the anti-apartheid icon would now receive care at home after about 48 hours in Johannesburg's Milpark Hospital.

"It comes to us this afternoon with great joy to hear that he's been discharged," said grandson Mandla Mandela. Soon afterward, a convoy of security vehicles and a military ambulance carrying Mandela left the hospital, reaching hiss nearby home in minutes.

A dearth of updates since Mandela was admitted Wednesday afternoon had led to speculation and concern about his condition. Journalists have been camped outside the hospital and outside his Johannesburg home. Officials said Friday that Mandela's office has received more than 10,000 messages of support and well wishes, including from President Barack Obama.

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, acting president while President Jacob Zuma is traveling abroad, said in retrospect communications should have been better.

"Madiba has received similar checkups in the past and it's never raised the same public panic it has now," Motlanthe said, explaining why officials had not been prepared.

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) -- Two Indonesian passenger trains collided and a crowded ferry burst into flames Friday, killing 16 people and sending hundreds to the hospital, many in critical condition, officials said.

The accidents occurred 30 minutes apart on the main island of Java.

At 2:30 a.m., an eastbound train stopped on a track outside Banjar, a village in West Java province, and was hit head-on by another slow-moving train that was trying to switch lanes.

"We're still investigating," said Bambang Ervan, a spokesman for the Transportation Ministry, as rescuers shuttled dozens of injured to nearby hospitals.

Three people died, he said, revising the toll downwards after two other victims - wedged between the wreckage and previously thought dead - turned out to be alive.

Thirty minutes later and 225 miles (360 kilometers) to the west, a ferry carrying more than 400 people caught fire in waters just off Java, sending panicked passengers jumping into the water.

Ervan said 13 people were killed in the blaze, which broke out just 40 minutes after the ship left Merak port for neighboring Sumatra island.

SEOUL, South Korea Kia Motors says annual net profit and sales surged to all-time highs last year as it sold a record number of vehicles.

Kia said Friday that it earned 2.25 trillion won ($2.02 billion) in 2010. That was a gain of 55 percent from 1.45 trillion won the year before.

Revenue rose 26 percent to 23.3 trillion won. Global sales volume increased 39 percent to 2.13 million vehicles.

Company spokeswoman Pamela Munoz said the annual net profit, revenue and vehicle sales figures were all Kia's best ever. She said operating profit was also a record.

Kia Motors Corp. is South Korea's second-biggest automaker after Hyundai Motor Co. Together they form the world's fifth-largest automaker.