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Dr. Shah Faesal from Kupwara tops Indian Civil Service Exam

Dr. Shah FaesalGot this news from Twitter. @FreeKashmir reported that Dr. Shah Faesal from Kashmir topped the IAS, and was complaining that “the news didn’t make it to the Indian media”. It would indeed have been surprising and disgusting if Indian media had ignored this, so I immediately googled the topic, and there it was — on Times of India, Hindustan Times, Indian Express, The Hindu — in each case prominently on first page. Well, this particular blogger likes to complain a lot, so this tweet was not much of a surprise either. We celebrate our heroes, sir, irrespective of what region and religion they come from. Yes, at times Twitter may be faster than conventional websites and newsprint.

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Faisal Shahzad – Another Pakistan Connection

Whenever a new terrorist plot unravels in the US in these times, it does not take too much to bet that it will have a Pakistani connection. In India, the phrase “Pakistani connection” has had to be so much overused, that it has become almost a joke and acquired the same meaning as “crying wolf”. Even when the same thing is repeating itself in the US, most Americans and definitely all Pakistanis refuse to see the Indians’ pain.
faisal shahzad, huma miyanWith Faisal Shahzad dominating the airwaves and the internet, and even his wife Huma Mian hitting the peak of Google search trends today, it must feel hot to be in a Pakistani’s shoes in the US. The fact that this was a well-educated person, came from an educated, established family, and does not fit the profile of a Muslim fanatic with a long beard, does not makes it any easier for anyone. Unfortunately there is not enough condemnation of the acts of people like Shahzad among Pakistanis on the web. They are busier complaining about the difficulties they are going to face on planes. Here’s a sampling of the buzz going around on Twitter yesterday:

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Kashmir's War with Plastic Bags

While reading the e-paper edition of Greater Kashmir (a daily newspaper published from Srinagar, Kashmir) today, I saw an interesting front page advertizement from Srinagar Municipal Corporation.

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PA Gym Killer George Sodini was a Blogger

There is not a lot of detail out yet about who George Sodini, who killed 3 people in a Pittsburgh area Gym yesterday. But what is known is that he kept a blog, and already had his date of death written there.
Apparently, the killer’s blog site has crashed due to all the attention, but a number of sites have already duplicated the content. One good source was “Broke But Still Drinking“. Following is an excerpt from what is reported to be George Sodini’s blog:

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Another Armed Maniac Strikes

This story is still unfolding. Looks like another armed maniac has struck and killed a number of people. According to this news item in New York Post, at least 4 people have been killed by a man in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania (outside Pittsburgh) in an LA Fitness Center. The man reportedly entered a busy gym carrying a gun and a gym bag and opened fire. According to the report, the gunman appears to have turned the gun on himself after committing the murders.

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NASA Space Shuttle Landing Successful

Space Shuttle Endeavour landed successfully this morning at NASAs Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 10:48 am Eastern. Watch out for the post-landing news conference set for approximately 1 pm Eastern. It will be broadcast live on NASA Television. There will be a crews news conference later in the day.
According to the information on NASA’s YouTube channel, this mission, STS-127 “was the 127th space shuttle mission, the 23rd flight for Endeavour and the 29th shuttle visit to the station”.

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From Hogwarts to Brown University

According to this interview published in Pastemagazine.com, Emma Watson, the popular heroine of the Harry Potter series of movies says she is headed to Brown University this fall. From one “hallowed” school to another, Emma claims she has excellent grades and has already been “provisionally accepted” to this Ivy League University where she will be studying literature.

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Andrea McNulty accuses Ben Roethlisberger of Sexual Assault

According to reports circulating on the Internet today, another prominent sportsman seems to be in legal trouble. This looks very much like the case of Kobe Bryant (the LA Lakers basketball star) that made headlines a few years ago. This time, Ben Roethlisberger, star quarterback of the Pittsburgh football team, Steelers, has been accused of a sexual assault by Andrea McNulty, an employee of Harrah’s Casino. Interestingly, the incident has allegedly occured a year ago, so questions are being raised about the timing and nature of the case. There is no criminal case filed at this time, just a civil lawsuit.

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Apollo 11 is Not a Hoax – Hopefully

We just celebrated the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon, and along with the celebrations of one of humankind’s greatest achievements, comes a sprinkling of conspiracy theorists calling it all a hoax. I generally stay away from conspiracy theories — I do not believe America did 9/11 or India did 26/11. The proof is there for all to see that they did not, in spite of conspiracy theorists abound. And I normally don’t think Apollo 11 is a hoax either, but when I recently heard over the radio that NASA had “recorded over” (listen) the Apollo 11 original tapes, I was floored.

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Stewart Cink Dashes Watson's Hopes

Steward Cink59-year old Tom Watson seemed to be public favorite to win the British Open Golf Championship until today, when fellow American Stewart Cink (pictured right, courtesy Wikipedia) dashed his hopes and won the Claret Jug. If Tom Watson had won, it would have been the sixth time for him. For 36-year old Cink, this was his first major title.
According to the Wikipedia page,
Cink was born in Huntsville, Alabama and grew up in Florence. He attended Bradshaw High School in Florence, AL then later Georgia Tech in Atlanta, where he played golf for the Yellow Jackets, and turned professional in 1995.
According to the Stewart Cink page on PGA Tour website, Stewart Cink attended Georgia Tech (Management, 1995). He was married and became a father while at Georgia Tech.