The Canadian adult star Sunny Leone to get Rs 1.5 crore to promote an energy drink


The Canadian born Indian adult star Sunny Leone who took Bollywood by storm with her film Jism 2 has since become a name to reckon with in the Indian advertising circuit. Post her signing her second Bollywood venture Ragini MMS 2, we hear that Sunny has been roped in to be the face of energy drink XXX, owned by actor-entrepreneur Sachiin Joshi.

Apparently, Sunny was paid a whooping figure of approximately Rs. 1.5 crore to be a part of the campaign. The reason behind signing on the actress we learn is that research carried out by the drink major revealed Sunny was by far one of the most popular faces among its target audience of youth in the age group of 18 to 25.

If that wasn’t all, the energy drink major will also be casting two other Bollywood personalities alongside Sunny in its adverts. While on the film front, Sunny will soon be seen in an item song Laila in Shootout At Wadala.

US shuts 149 airport control towers


The US has announced that 149 airport control towers will be closed across the country beginning April 7 due to a budget saving implementation plan.

“We heard from communities across the country about the importance of their towers and these were very tough decisions,” US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement.

“Unfortunately we are faced with a series of difficult choices that we have to make to reach the required cuts under sequestration,” Xinhua quoted LaHood as saying.

Roughly $85 billion of spending cuts started to hit various US governmental departments this year starting March 1. The spending cuts were included in the August 2011 debt reduction package.

Authorities will begin a four-week phased closure of the 149 air traffic control towers beginning April 7, part of its efforts to save $637 million spending this year, according to the statement.

Congress has always misused CBI: Hazare


Social activist Anna Hazare on Saturday said it was wrong to presume that the CBI acts of its own volition and alleged that Congress had always “misused” the central investigating agency.

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Asked about the CBI raid on DMK leader M K Stalin’s residence immediately after the party withdrew its support to the UPA government,
Mr Hazare told reporters, “Everybody knows that the CBI is under government’s control. If it is brought under the Lokpal’s control, it would help in curbing corruption.”

Mr. Hazare alleged that Congress had always “misused” the agency, even though it has some good officers in its fold.

“It is not that all people with the CBI are bad. But they are subjected to pressure as they have their jobs to protect.

Congress has always misused it,” he alleged.

When asked to comment on the UPA allies leaving Congress, Mr. Hazare said the party was losing the sympathy of the people because of the corruption associated with it.

“Congress is taking wrong steps. People have lost their sympathy for the party as responsible ministers in the government too are involved in scams,” he added.

Referring to the support of Samajwadi Party (SP) to the Congress-led government, Mr. Hazare said, “Regional parties pose a threat to the country as they bring pressure (on the government).”

He said although he had parted ways with his erstwhile colleague Arvind Kejarwal, there was no conflict between them and he wished him well for their cause through political means.

Mr. Hazare said he had not instituted any core committee of his own after breaking away from IAC. “It is difficult to get selfless workers for a cause. I am at present associated with ’Janatantra Morcha’ along with former Army Chief V K Singh, which is a non-political organisation,” he added.

Later, addressing a gathering, the activist said he was confident that the Lokpal would be a reality. “We have seen part one of the Lokpal bill,” he added.

He also noted with satisfaction that the provision of a fine for civil servants, who delayed their work beyond the stipulated period under Citizens’ Charter.

“When the elections are declared, I would be once again be at the Ramlila maidan to press for the demand for Right to Reject as part of electoral reforms to keep anti-social elements out of Parliament and the state legislatures,” Mr. Hazare asserted.

Saudi Arabia asked to lift driving ban on women


A human rights group in Saudi Arabia has pressed the Shura (Consultative) Council to launch a debate on the right of women to drive.

The move by the Saudi Committee for Human Rights is based on a study supported by 3,000 Saudi men and women from various parts of the country.

They have called for an open debate to allow women to drive ‘in accordance with religious and social norms’, Gulf News reports.

Under the by-laws, the Shura Council has to respond to all questions, queries and petition.

According to Saudi news site Sabq, Sulaiman Al Zayadi, the former head of the rights and petition committee that submitted the petition and requested a date to debate on the issue, said debating the issue of allowing women to drive gives the Council greater credibility.

He added that if women were given the right to drive it will promote trust among the people who will view the Council as their representatives who are ready to engage in the debates they suggest.

The petition was handed before the end of the last session to the committee that approved it and suggested its debate by the Shura Council members.

The study argued that local social and economic developments in Saudi Arabia and the international covenants endorsed by the Saudi kingdom require that Riyadh allow women to drive cars.

According to the report, the study said that an advisory and executive committee should be set up by Saudi Arabia to draw the religious, social and security regulations to allow women to drive as a prelude for social changes that will make the society more recipient to the idea of women driving.

Rare Beatles guitar set to fetch $200k at auction


A VOX custom-made guitar played by the music legends, John Lennon and George Harrison in mid 1960’s is expected to fetch between 200,000 to 300,000 dollars at an auction on May 18.

The guitar, which was built by Mike Bennett and Dickey Denney, was used by Harrison in ‘I am the Walrus’ and Lennon used it during a video session for ‘Hello, Goodbye,’ the New York Daily News reported.

Bids will be taken at New York’s Hard Rock Cafe, as well as online at JuliensLive.com.

A signed copy of The Beatles’ ‘Please Please Me’ will also be auctioned and is expected to fetch 30,000 to 50,000 dollars.

Whatever target Aussies set will be chased: #MuraliVijay #CSK


Opener Murali Vijay on Saturday said that the ongoing fourth Test match against Australia is “evenly poised and can go either way” but expressed confidence of chasing down any target set by the opponents.

“It is interesting. The match is evenly poised right now. It can go either way. It will be crucial as to how many runs the tail-enders score,” Vijay, who made 57 in India‘s day end score of 266 for eight on Saturday, said.

Asked what will be an achievable fourth innings target, Vijay replied, “Whatever target they set will be chased. No two ways about it.”

Vijay criticised the track in a veiled manner, stating that it was difficult to judge the speed of the deliveries.

“The wicket is getting slower and lower. The cracks are getting wider and it is really difficult to judge the speed of the deliveries,” he said.

The opener, however, revealed that the pitch prepared by Venkat Sundaram is certainly not conducive for good batting.

“It’s a wicket where scoring runs is extremely difficult. However, it’s not that difficult to stay on the wicket. We did bat well, but in patches. I could have batted a little longer but got out at the wrong time.”

His stop-gap opening partner Cheteshwar Pujara got a nasty hit on a finger of his right hand and Vijay said that the physio was working on him.

“It’s swollen a bit and the physio is working on him.” He, meanwhile, didn’t wish to divulge the details of the heated exchange between Ravindra Jadeja and David Warner.

“It’s part and parcel of the game. Whatever happened on the field can’t be told outside,” he replied with a smile.

Were the Aussies a bit more aggressive than they have been in this series so far, Vijay said, “It’s nothing new. They were aggressive throughout the tournament (series).” Having scored a couple of centuries and a half century since his comeback in the Test team, Vijay agreed that it has been a good series for him so far.

“It’s been a good tournament for me so far and I am happy to contribute to the team’s cause,” he concluded.

Anti-terror squad DCP Sanjay Banerjee shoots himself over lunch as wife, kids watch


A deputy commissioner of police attached to the state’s Anti-Terrorism Squad shot himself fatally in a restaurant in Thane on Saturday afternoon while he was seated around a table with his wife and two young sons, aged 14 and 7. There were reportedly no other diners in the restaurant at the time.

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DCP Sanjay Banerjee, a resident of Gajanand Park complex in Hiranandani Estate, Ghodbhunder Road, Thane West, reportedly had an argument with his wife earlier in the day, though investigators said his reason were still unclear. Banerjee reportedly used his personal licensed 9mm pistol to shoot himself in the right temple at 4.10pm.

A cleaner employed at the restaurant, Goa Portuguesa near R Mall on Ghodbunder Road, who rushed out from the kitchen on hearing the firearm go off, was questioned by the police. The Banerjees were the last family eating lunch at the restaurant, said the eatery’s representatives.
Policemen at the Kapurbawdi police station said the 40-year-old DCP’s elder son told them the family had planned to eat out since his father was home. “His wife Aishwarya said he was under some work stress. We also came to know that the couple had an argument with each other earlier, but are still investigating.”

ATS sources said Banerjee was one ofat least two DCPs who had not received their salary for the past several months as the Home Department is yet to sanction their posts in the ATS.

Sources said the DCP was also under stress over a Thane builder allegedly trying to implicate him in a crime.

The family’s uncleared plates and the remnants of their meal remained on the table until police investigations ended. Apart from a large pool of blood and a blood-splattered wall behind the dead DCP’s chair, there was a blood-soaked paper napkin on the floor, a blood-splattered spoon on the table and grains of rice on the floor.

Balasaheb Patil, DCP- ZONE V, said, “We have taken the statement of family members but we are trying to find out the real reason for the suicide. Hopefully we will find out the reason by tomorrow.”
Banerjee’s body was first taken to Thane Civil Hospital, and later to JJ Hospital in Mumbai for a bullet injury post mortem.

By Faisal Tandel