Thursday, February 17, 2011

Riot police storm Bahrain camp; 2 reported dead

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News Desk : Riot police firing tear gas and rubber bullets stormed a landmark square occupied by anti-government protesters Thursday, driving out demonstrators and destroying a makeshift encampment that had become the hub for demands to bring sweeping political changes to the kingdom.
The main opposition group Al Wefaq said at least two people were killed in the pre-dawn assault on Pearl Square, which was littered with flattened tents, trampled banners and broken glass.
There was no official word on deaths or injuries. After police regained control of the plaza, they chased protesters through side streets and put a ring of vehicles around the area with blue lights flashing in the darkened city just as the dawn call for prayers rang out.
The blow by authorities marked a dramatic shift in tactics. It appeared Bahrain’s leaders had sought to rein in security forces after clashes Monday that left at least two people dead and brought sharp criticism from Western allies, including the US which operates its main naval base in the Gulf fromBahrain.
Police held back Wednesday as tens of thousands of protesters crowded into the seaside square, dominated by a 300-foot monument to Bahrain’s history as a pearl diving center.
After the crackdown early thursday, protesters who were camped in the square described police swarming in through a cloud of eye-stinging tear gas. “They attacked our tents, beating us with batons,” said Jafar Jafar, 17. “The police were lined up at the bridge overhead. They were shooting tear gas from the bridge.”

Monday, February 14, 2011

RIM To Release Two More Playbooks For 2011

Reporting live from the Mobile World Congress 2011 (MWC 2011), Research In Motion (RIM) announced plans of releasing two more BlackBerry Playbook tablets by the second half of this year. Moreover, the company phased out that the two editions which the company is planning to unveil would come powered with different features.
One of the Playbook would be able to support the LTE network while the other would come powered with the HSPA + networking technology. Previously, the company had phased out plans of a Wi-Fi only tablet and one using the WiMax wireless networking technology.

RIM Playbook
Compared to the Wi-Fi model, the LTE and HSPA + technology are more widely accepted in the mobile market. Even though the company has no share in the tablet boom era, RIM hopes that the upcoming BlackBerry models would help it stand and make an impression in the tablet world.
Apple iPad is one of the leading tablet, after which Android-based power tablets including the Motorola Xoom and the newly launched Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.4, grab the market share.
RIM Co-Chief Executive Mike Lazaridis, told:

Grammy Awards 2011 Nomination and Winners List

The 53rd Grammy Awards on Feb. 13 2011 at the Staples Center in L.A. will have an eclectic line-up of performers and the range of ages is as marked as is the variety of music. On Saturday Justin Bieber rehearsed his contribution to the show and though young the 16-year-old will not be the youngest onstage.
There are lots of planned Grammy performances getting attention, but perhaps none so much as show-opener Christina Aguliera, who during last week’s Super Bowl, flubbed the lines to the National Anthem. Aguliera will sing alongside Jennifer Hudson, Martina McBride, and others in a tribute to Aretha Franklin.
On the other end of the age, or the musical experience scale from Smith and Bieber, are Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones, 67, and a 10 time Grammy Award winner, Bob Dylan, who turns 70 in May. It’s rare for either to do an awards show but they won’t perform together. Word has it that Dylan will sing his 1965 song Maggie’s Farm. To get a perspective of the age differences between performers: when Dylan put out Maggie’s Farm, Bieber’s parents were not yet born.
Yes, there’s plenty of cynicism surrounding the Grammy Awards, and with good reason. Just check out Cracked’s list of the 7 most unforgivable Grammy snubs of all time or Nerve’s rankings of Best New Artist Grammy winners from least to most deserving.
On the flip side, she cannot sing, so you can sort of see it. Anyway, follow the jump for the full list of nominees for the 2011 Grammy Awards
Album Of The Year
The Suburbs — Arcade Fire
Recovery — Eminem
Need You Now — Lady Antebellum
The Fame Monster — Lady Gaga
Teenage Dream — Katy Perry
Record Of The Year
“Nothin’ On You” — B.o.B Featuring Bruno Mars
“Love The Way You Lie” — Eminem Featuring Rihanna
“…. You” — Cee Lo Green
“Empire State Of Mind” — Jay-Z & Alicia Keys
“Need You Now” — Lady Antebellum
Best New Artist
Justin Bieber
Florence & The Machine
Mumford & Sons
Esperanza Spalding
Song Of The Year
“Beg Steal Or Borrow” — Ray LaMontagne, songwriter (Ray LaMontagne And The Pariah Dogs)
“… You” — Cee Lo Green, Philip Lawrence & Bruno Mars, songwriters (Cee Lo Green)
“The House That Built Me” –Tom Douglas & Allen Shamblin, songwriters (Miranda Lambert)
“Love The Way You Lie” — Alexander Grant, Skylar Grey & Marshall Mathers, songwriters
(Eminem Featuring Rihanna)
“Need You Now” — Dave Haywood, Josh Kear, Charles Kelley & Hillary Scott, songwriters (Lady Antebellum)
Best Female Pop Vocal Performance
“King Of Anything” — Sara Bareilles
“Halo (Live)” — Beyoncé
“Chasing Pirates” — Norah Jones
“Bad Romance” — Lady Gaga
“Teenage Dream” — Katy Perry
Best Male Pop Vocal Performance
“Haven’t Met You Yet” — Michael Bublé
“This Is It” — Michael Jackson
“Whataya Want From Me” — Adam Lambert
“Just The Way You Are” — Bruno Mars
“Half Of My Heart — John Mayer
Best Pop Instrumental Performance
“Flow” — Laurie Anderson
“Nessun Dorma” — Jeff Beck
“No Mystery” — Stanley Clarke
“Orchestral Intro” — Gorillaz
“Sleepwalk” — The Brian Setzer Orchestra
Best Pop Instrumental Album
“Pushing The Envelope” — Gerald Albright
“Take Your Pick” — Larry Carlton & Tak Matsumoto
“Heart And Soul” — Kenny G
“Singularity” — Robby Krieger
“Everything Is Everything: The Music Of Donny Hathaway” — Kirk Whalum
Best Pop Vocal Album
“My World 2.0″ — Justin Bieber
“I Dreamed A Dream” — Susan Boyle
“The Fame Monster” — Lady Gaga
“Battle Studies” — John Mayer
“Teenage Dream” — Katy Perry
Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals
“Don’t Stop Believin’ (Regionals Version)” — “Glee” Cast
“Misery” — Maroon 5
“The Only Exception” — Paramore
“Babyfather” — Sade
“Hey, Soul Sister (Live)” — Train
Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals
“Airplanes II” — B.o.B, Eminem & Hayley Williams
“Imagine” — Herbie Hancock, Pink, India.Arie, Seal, Konono No. 1, Jeff Beck & Oumou Sangare
“If It Wasn’t For Bad” — Elton John & Leon Russell
“Telephone” — Lady Gaga & Beyoncé
“California Gurls” — Katy Perry & Snoop Dogg

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
“Crazy Love” — Michael Bublé
“The Greatest Love Songs Of All Time” — Barry Manilow
“Let It Be Me: Mathis In Nashville” — Johnny Mathis
“Fly Me To The MoonÂ…The Great American Songbook: Volume V” — Rod Stewart
“Love Is The Answer” — Barbra Streisand
Best Dance Recording
“Rocket” — Goldfrapp
“In For The Kill” — La Roux
“Dance In The Dark” — Lady Gaga
“Only Girl (In The World)” — Rihanna
“Dancing On My Own” — Robyn
Best Electronic/Dance Album
“These Hopeful Machines” — BT
“Further” — The Chemical Brothers
“Head First” — Goldfrapp
“Black Light” — Groove Armada
“La Roux” — La Roux
Best Rock Song
“Angry World” — Neil Young, songwriter (Neil Young)
“Little Lion Man” — Ted Dwane, Ben Lovett, Marcus Mumford & Country Winston, songwriters (Mumford & Sons)
“Radioactive” — Caleb Followill, Jared Followill, Matthew Followill & Nathan Followill, songwriters (Kings Of Leon)
“Resistance” — Matthew Bellamy, songwriter (Muse)
“Tighten Up” — Dan Auerbach & Patrick Carney, songwriters (The Black Keys)
Best Rock Album
Emotion & Commotion — Jeff Beck
“The Resistance” — Muse
“Backspacer” — Pearl Jam
“Mojo” — Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers
“Le Noise” — Neil Young
Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance
“Run Back To Your Side” — Eric Clapton
“Crossroads” — John Mayer
“Helter Skelter” — Paul McCartney
“Silver Rider” — Robert Plant
“Angry World” — Neil Young
Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals
“Ready To Start” — Arcade Fire
“I Put A Spell On You” — Jeff Beck & Joss Stone
“Tighten Up” — The Black Keys
“Radioactive” — Kings Of Leon
“Resistance” — Muse
Best Hard Rock Performance
“A Looking In View” — Alice In Chains
“Let Me Hear You Scream” — Ozzy Osbourne
“Black Rain” — Soundgarden
“Between The Lines” — Stone Temple Pilots
“New Fang” — Them Crooked Vultures
Best Rock Song
“Angry World” — Neil Young, songwriter (Neil Young)
“Little Lion Man” — Ted Dwane, Ben Lovett, Marcus Mumford & Country Winston, songwriters
(Mumford & Sons)
“Radioactive” — Caleb Followill, Jared Followill, Matthew Followill & Nathan Followill, songwriters
(Kings Of Leon)
“Resistance” — Matthew Bellamy, songwriter (Muse)
“Tighten Up” — Dan Auerbach & Patrick Carney, songwriter (The Black Keys)
Best Metal Performance
“El Dorado” — Iron Maiden
“Let The Guilt Go” — Korn
“In Your Words” — Lamb Of God
“Sudden Death” — Megadeth
“World Painted Blood” — Slayer
Best Rock Instrumental Performance
“Hammerhead” — Jeff Beck
“Black Mud” — The Black Keys
“Do The Murray” — Los Lobos
“Kundalini Bonfire” — Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds
“The Deathless Horsie” — Dweezil Zappa
Best Alternative Music Album
The Suburbs — Arcade Fire
Infinite Arms — Band Of Horses
Brothers — The Black Keys
Broken Bells — Broken Bells
Contra — Vampire Weekend

Best R&B Song
“Bittersweet” — Charles Harmon & Claude Kelly, songwriters (Fantasia)
“Finding My Way Back” — Ivan “Orthodox” Barias, Curt Chambers, Carvin “Ransum” Haggins, Jaheim Hoagland & Miquel Jontel, songwriters (Jaheim)
“Second Chance” — E. Debarge & Mischke, songwriters (El DeBarge)
“Shine” — John Stephens, songwriter (John Legend & The Roots)
“Why Would You Stay” — K. Owens, songwriter (Kem)
Best R&B Album
The Love & War Masterpeace — Raheem DeVaughn
Back To Me — Fantasia
Another Round — Jaheim
Wake Up! — John Legend & The Roots
Still Standing — Monica
Best Female R&B Vocal Performance
“Gone Already” — Faith Evans
“Bittersweet” — Fantasia
“Everything To Me” — Monica
“Tired” — Kelly Price
“Holding You Down (Going In Circles)” — Jazmine Sullivan
Best Male R&B Vocal Performance
“Second Chance” — El DeBarge
“Finding My Way Back” — Jaheim
“Why Would You Stay” — Kem
“We’re Still Friends” — (Kirk Whalum &) Musiq Soulchild
“There Goes My Baby” — Usher
Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance
“When A Woman Loves” — R. Kelly
“Hang On In There” — John Legend & The Roots
“You’re So Amazing” — Calvin Richardson
“In Between” — Ryan Shaw
“Go [Live]” — Betty Wright
Best Urban/Alternative Performance
“Little One” — Bilal
“… You” — Cee Lo Green
“Orion” — Carolyn Malachi
“Tightrope” — Janelle Monáe & Big Boi
“Still” — Eric Roberson
Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals
“Take My Time” — Chris Brown & Tank
“Love” — Chuck Brown, Jill Scott & Marcus Miller
“You’ve Got A Friend” — Ronald Isley & Aretha Franklin
“Shine” — John Legend & The Roots
“Soldier Of Love” — Sade
Best Contemporary R&B Album
Graffiti — Chris Brown
Untitled — R. Kelly
Transition — Ryan Leslie
The ArchAndroid — Janelle Monáe
Raymond V Raymond — Usher

Best Rap Solo Performance
“Over” — Drake
“Not Afraid” — Eminem
“How Low” — Ludacris
“I’m Back” — T.I.
“Power” — Kanye West
Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group
“Shutterbugg” — Big Boi & Cutty
“Fancy” — Drake, T.I. & Swizz Beatz
“On To The Next One” — Jay-Z & Swizz Beatz
“My Chick Bad” — Ludacris & Nicki Minaj
“Lose My Mind” — Young Jeezy & Plies
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
“Nothin’ On You” — B.o.B Featuring Bruno Mars
“Deuces” — Chris Brown, Tyga & Kevin McCall
“Love The Way You Lie” — Eminem & Rihanna
“Empire State Of Mind” — Jay-Z & Alicia Keys
“Wake Up! Everybody” — John Legend, The Roots, Melanie Fiona & Common
Best Rap Song
“Empire State Of Mind” — Shawn Carter, Angela Hunte, Burt Keyes, Alicia Keys, Jane’t “Jnay” Sewell-Ulepic & Alexander Shuckburgh, songwriters (Sylvia Robinson, songwriter) (Jay-Z & Alicia Keys)
“Love The Way You Lie” — Alexander Grant, Skylar Grey & Marshall Mathers, songwriters
(Eminem & Rihanna)
“Not Afraid” — M. Burnett, J. Evans, Marshall Mathers, L. Resto & M. Samuels, songwriters (Eminem)
“Nothin’ On You” — Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, Bruno Mars & Bobby Simmons Jr., songwriters (B.o.B Featuring Bruno Mars)
“On To The Next One” — Shawn Carter, J. Chaton & K. Dean, songwriters (G. Auge & X. De Rosnay, songwriters) (Jay-Z & Swizz Beatz)
Best Rap Album
The Adventures Of Bobby Ray — B.o.B
Thank Me Later — Drake
Recovery — Eminem
The Blueprint 3 — Jay-Z
How I Got Over — The Roots
Best Country Song
“The Breath You Take” — Casey Beathard, Dean Dillon & Jessie Jo Dillon, songwriters (George Strait)
“Free” — Zac Brown, songwriter (Zac Brown Band)
“The House That Built Me” — Tom Douglas & Allen Shamblin, songwriters (Miranda Lambert)
“I’d Love To Be Your Last” — Rivers Rutherford, Annie Tate & Sam Tate, songwriters (Gretchen Wilson)
“If I Die Young” — Kimberly Perry, songwriter (The Band Perry)
“Need You Now” — Dave Haywood, Josh Kear, Charles Kelley & Hillary Scott, songwriters (Lady Antebellum)
Best Country Album
Up On The Ridge — Dierks Bentley
You Get What You Give — Zac Brown Band
The Guitar Song — Jamey Johnson
Need You Now — Lady Antebellum
Revolution — Miranda Lambert
Best Female Country Vocal Performance
“Satisfied” — Jewel
“The House That Built Me” — Miranda Lambert
“Swingin’” — LeAnn Rimes
“Temporary Home” — Carrie Underwood
“I’d Love To Be Your Last” — Gretchen Wilson
Best Male Country Vocal Performance
“Macon” — Jamey Johnson
“Cryin’ For Me (Wayman’s Song)” — Toby Keith
“Turning Home” — David Nail
“‘Til Summer Comes Around” — Keith Urban
“Gettin’ You Home” — Chris Young
Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals
“Free” — Zac Brown Band
“Elizabeth” — Dailey & Vincent
“Need You Now” — Lady Antebellum
“Little White Church” — Little Big Town
“Where Rainbows Never Die” — The SteelDrivers
Best Country Instrumental Performance
“Tattoo Of A Smudge” — Cherryholmes
“Magic #9″ — The Infamous Stringdusters
“New Chance Blues” — Punch Brothers
“Willow Creek” — Darrell Scott
“Hummingbyrd” — Marty Stuart
Best Country Collaboration With Vocals
“Bad Angel” — Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert & Jamey Johnson
“Pride (In The Name Of Love)” — Dierks Bentley, Del McCoury & The Punch Brothers
“As She’s Walking Away” — Zac Brown Band & Alan Jackson
“Hillbilly Bone” — Blake Shelton & Trace Adkins
“I Run To You” — Marty Stuart & Connie Smith

A Valentine Is Nothing Like

A Valentine is nothing like
A chocolate or a rose.
For in a week these shall be gone,
But Valentines remain.

If love were always sweet to tongue
Or fragrant to the nose,
Each day would be like Valentine's,
And we would go insane.

A Valentine just hangs around
Waiting to be kissed
Long after special days have passed
And every days are here.

So one is wise to choose one well
And chocolates to resist.
For in the midst of mania
It's nice to have one near.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Why more Americans don’t travel abroad

The numbers tell the story: Of the 308 million-plus citizens in the United States, 30% have passports. That’s just

too low for such an affluent country, said Bruce Bommarito, executive vice president and chief operating officer for the U.S. Travel Association. There were 61.5 million trips outside the United States in 2009, down 3% from

Cricket World Cup: Sri Lanka hoping to repeat triumph

Cricket fans and analysts alike in Sri Lanka hope that the 1996 champions can repeat their World Cup success when the 2011 event starts on Friday.
Sri Lanka are co-hosting the tournament with India and Bangladesh.
Roy Dias, a former vice-captain and national selector, said: "If you compare the 1996 and 2011 teams, both are very well balanced."
"I think Kumar Sangakkara's team is focussed very much to win the World Cup," Dias told BBC Sinhala service.
"There are plenty of bowling varieties with Rangana Herath coming to the team as a left-arm spinner.
"So with Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis, the spinning department has three different types of bowlers with Tillakaratne Dilshan as the extra off-spinner. We also have five fast bowlers who are very good."
Dias has some concerns about the batting and added: "In 1996 we had Sanath Jayasuriya, Asanka Gurusinghe, Arjuna Ranathunga and Hashan Thilakrathne as left-handers.
"Now we have only Upul Tharanga, Sangakakara and Thisara Perera, who is more of a bowling all-rounder, so I would have preferred Thilina Kandamby as a left-handed batsman.
The most important thing I think, is that the players should enjoy the fact that they are playing in a World Cup
Marvan Atapattu
"Out of Kandamby, Chamara Kapugedara and Chamara Silva we could have had a left-handed batsman in the middle to give some strength and variety to batting as well or someone like Jeevan Mendis."
He also sees many similarities and differences between Ranatunga and Sangakkara's captaincy.
"I feel that Kumar is a very strong captain, very hard person, similar to Arjuna," Dias continued.
"But of course they are two different styles of players. We can also see similarities between Arjuna-Aravinda de Silva combination and Sangakkara-Jayawardene combination. It definitely goes in pairs."
Marvan Atapattu, a former captain and another member of the 1996 team, believes that the combination of a team which is in good from, home advantage and crowd support will be the crucial factors if Sri Lanka are to be successful.
"With all these factors in place, the team that keeps up the concentration level will be the winner at the end of the day," Atapattu told BBC Sinhala service.
"The most important thing I think, is that the players should enjoy the fact that they are playing in a World Cup. That is what coach Dav Whatmore always told us during the 1996 tournament," he added.
Atapattu said fans high expectations over Sri Lanka's chances might be an added pressure to the team but it will be difficult to avoid.
"The team should not take it as a pressure, they should focus on their game and enjoy instead," stated the former Sri Lanka skipper, who lost the opportunity to lead the country in the 2007 World Cup because of injuries.
He, however, believes that there are huge differences between the team in 1996 and 2011.
Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara
Kumar Sangakkara first captained Sri Lanka at the 2009 World Twenty20
"I think there was not a single professional player in the team in 1996," he said.
"We all were doing our jobs in different places when we were not playing cricket. But that situation has completely changed, all the players are professionals now and whole world knows Sri Lanka as a cricketing nation."
Therefore, added Atapattu, there would not be a big difference in terms of Sri Lanka's game irrespective of the outcome of the tournament.
"We can only control the way we play. If another team plays better than Sri Lanka on the day, they will obviously be the winners," he continued.
"So we should be able to accept whatever the outcome."
Meanwhile, a veteran astrologer has predicted that Sri Lanka and England will qualify for the World Cup final, in accordance with present planetary positions in the horoscope of Sri Lanka.
Piyasena Rathuwithana, the eminent astrologer who has been advising Sri Lanka's many heads of state, including President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has told Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) that England, Australia and India will be the front-runners of the tournament.
England and India will enter the semi-finals, according to the planetary positions, but Rathuwithana has predicted that England will get a chance to play in the finals against Sri Lanka.
The prediction is the best example of fans expectations over the team's success at the World Cup.

Avett Brothers


Scott and Seth Avett of The Avett Brothers do a lot of things well in making their band's brand of bluegrass music, but they do one of them even better than the others. It's not that they are easily one of the most engaging and dynamic live acts in the country, turning predominantly string-based, love ballads and stories into barn-burning stomps that are unlikely candidates for being some of the most percussive songs you'll ever hear. Your body beats when they play, the heart feels the floor and the skin gets the hair shaken clean off of it. What they do so well has to do with what the two dapper and charming men of rural North Carolina care about and how they choose their reflections. Last week, I recall reading a song description refer to the inspiration for a tune coming from hearing such phony pawning of emotions that should never be taken as light and malleable, as things to be toyed with. It was such an unsettling experience to hear love and relative feelings being traded and offered so disingenuously, as if they were just a bag of dry goods or printed condolence or celebratory greeting cards. Many people are so quick to pass off the next closest thing to concern, joy or sorrow that they can find without ever investing in it. The two brothers know why they were put here and what they want to put their greatest efforts into before they get wiped away by old age and time. There is nothing fabricated or staged in the music that they and band members Bob Crawford (upright bass) and Joe Kwon (cello) make, just an extension of the gracious and tender feelings that really must rest in them. They are humble family men who can make grown men cry with a small, almost insignificant use of the word "daughter" in the song "Murder In The City," off "The Second Gleam," where Scott Avett now sings live about his recent first-born (a slight change from the recorded version, which makes all of the difference in the world in altering the mood) noting, "Make sure my daughter knows I loved her, make sure my mother knows the same/Always remember there was nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name." It's almost all you need to know about the Avett Brothers before you just immerse yourself in their material, rich in that kind of heritage and in the belief that there's real love out there, unbreakable love and it only hurts when the unthinkable is happening, when it is breaking. They do adore that idea of unbreakable love - like love of the family - and it's moving. It seems to move them just as much as the songs - so alive and present and stunning - appear to be affecting them every time they play them, as if a new set of thoughts is there to join the others, adding to emotion. The emotions topple each other, bear hug them and give them a hearty slap on the back. The Avetts allow this to happen, encourage it even with eyes and an ear to the matters that they'll never tire of, finding themselves regularly going into them with such passionate blindness and fury that they rejuvenate the fires that originally brought them to the fore. It might have been said best by the band's bus driver, there in Austin with them for the first time, having never heard them play before. He sat in Big Orange along with an enraptured, small gathering at 10 o'clock in the morning. The boys were dressed in their Sunday best on this Friday morning and they unleashed, which with an even more minimal microphone set-up than we usually use, comes across. At the end of the set, the old man who was going to be behind the wheel for the long haul home said, "Boys, that gave me God bumps." Scott told him thank you and said that he should expect there to be a lot more of that.