Friday, May 7, 2010


News: World Politics,

Business & Economy, and


World Politics

􀀹 Pop diva Britney Spears has

beaten US President Barack

Obama as the most searched

for celebrity on the Internet in

the last decade. The singer

shot to fame in 1998 with her

debut track Baby One More

Time, and during her time in

the limelight she has been

married twice, given birth to

two children and suffered a

public meltdown, which saw

her hospitalized on an

involuntary psychiatric hold in

2008 and her drama-filled life

has resulted in her being

named the most popular celeb

on the web. Barack Obama

came in second, while soccer

ace David Beckham was the

third most searched for star.

􀀹 Ford, although better off than

other U.S. carmakers, has

been hit hard by the global

slump in car sales. Through

November, its sales were

down 19 per cent compared

with the same period last

year. As of October, Ford had

about 80,000 employees in

North America, down from

89,000 at the beginning of the


􀀹 Rani Mukherji and Prakash

Raj won the V Shantaram

awards for best actress and

best actor for Dil Bole Haddipa

and Kanchivaram respectively

for 2009.

􀀹 With stock markets up, and

after passing government

“stress tests” to see how they

would cope in future

downturns, many banks,

including Bank of America,

Citigroup and Wells Fargo,

began to repay the bail-out

money they had received at

the height of the crisis. Many

financed this by offering

shares through big capitalraising


􀀹 Bank bosses were roasted by

politicians for continuing to

pay out large bonuses. The

revelation that bonuses were

given to executives at

American International Group,

a troubled insurer that

obtained a $170 billion bailout,

sparked outrage. Britain’s

chancellor imposed a super

tax on bankers’ bonuses in


􀀹 Bernie Madoff received a

150-year jail sentence for

defrauding clients of $65

billion in his Ponzi scheme. Sir

Allen Stanford, a Texan

billionaire and cricket

promoter, was arrested for

allegedly defrauding investors

out of $8 billion through his

bank in Antigua.

􀀹 An Air France jet en route

from Rio de Janeiro to Paris

crashed into the mid-Atlantic

in June killing 228 people, the

worst plane crash in a decade.

􀀹 The Iranian presidential

election brought about the

Islamic Republic’s worst crisis

since the 1979 revolution.

Polls had suggested that Mir

Hosein Mousavi, a reformminded

candidate, might

defeat Mahmoud

Ahmadinejad. The scale of Mr

Ahmadinejad’s victory caused

millions to take to the streets

to protest against what they

said was a rigged election.

Hundreds were arrested in

Tehran and elsewhere.

Dissidents were sentenced in a

series of televised trials.

􀀹 After a quarter of a century of

conflict, Sri Lanka’s civil war

came to an end when the

army overwhelmed the last

remnants of the rebel Tamil

Tigers. Thousands were killed

in the final days of fighting

and up to 300,000 were


􀀹 Australia suffered its worstever

outbreak of wildfires in

February, in which more than

170 people died across


􀀹 Revelations about the

expenses charged by British

members of Parliament

crushed many reputations.

The juicier claims included

those for duck islands,

manure, moat-cleaning and

adult films.

􀀹 General Motors went bust

with debts of $172 billion,

America’s biggest-ever

industrial failure. The

American government took a

majority stake in the carmaker

as it emerged from

bankruptcy protection. GM

and its rivals benefited from

“cash-for-clunkers” subsidies

schemes, which encouraged

consumers to trade in their old

bangers for more fuel-efficient


Business & Economy

􀀹 State-run Oil and Natural Gas

Corp (ONGC) which pays the

highest dividend among public

and private firms said its board

of directors had approved an

interim dividend payout of 180

per cent (Rs 18 per share)

aggregating to Rs 3,850 crore.

The Company recently made two

gas discoveries in the well GK-28-

1 drilled in the Kutch offshore

block-1 in western offshore. The

well drilled to the depth of 1,550

meters floated 1.2 lakh cubic

meters a day of gas during test.

For 2008-09 fiscal, ONGC had

paid an aggregate dividend of 320

per cent (Rs 32 per share).

􀀹 Ammolite Holdings Ltd, an Anil

Dhirubhai Ambani Group

company, withdrew its petition

against customs department

which had alleged that the

company had evaded duty on a

yacht, an expensive vessel

propelled by sail or power and

used for cruising or racing, it

brought to India. 'Tian', the

yacht in question, was reportedly

a gift by Anil Ambani to his wife

Tina. The Customs department,

in February this year, seized it

and asked Ammolite to pay duty

of Rs 3 crore.

􀀹 Engineering and construction

major Larsen & Toubro’s current

order book stands between Rs

70,000 crore and Rs 75,000

crore. The company is expecting

its sales would grow at 14-15 per

cent in FY 10.

􀀹 John Mack, Morgan Stanley’s

outgoing chief executive, will

forgo a bonus for the third

straight year as his bank heads

for its first annual loss – a move

that reflects Wall Street’s fears of

fuelling the public backlash over

compensation. In a memo to

employees, Mr Mack, who is

handing over to James Gorman

in January while remaining as

chairman, said he had

recommended to the board that

he “receive no year-end bonus”.

Morgan Stanley’s board was

prepared to award Mr Mack a

bonus for his role in ensuring the

bank’s survival during the crisis,

and its improved performance.

􀀹 Fortis Healthcare Limited, a

chain of hospitals based in India

has finally acquired 10

Wockhardt hospitals in metro

cities of Mumbai, Bangalore and

Kolkata for Rs 909 crore.

Malvinder Mohan Singh is the

Chairman of Fortis Healthcare and

Religare Enterprises Group.

Earlier in August, Fortis executed

a biding deal with Wockhardt

Hospitals to acquire the latter's 10


􀀹 Some people fall in with a bad

crowd. Some companies, too.

Accenture recently went through

this problem with Tiger Woods: it

dropped the golfer from its

advertising following his frontpage

swan-dive from grace.

Hennes and Mauritz ditched Kate

Moss, the British model, in 2005

after she was at the centre of

drug allegations. DeWitt Stern, a

US insurance broker, is launching

a product that will allow

corporations to guard themselves

against the risk that the idols that

they pay to appear in their

advertisements will prove to have

clay feet.

􀀹 Intel is giving a Special Thank

You bonus that's either $1,000

or $500 depending on the country

where they employee is based.

Employees in India will get $500

(about Rs 23,000), just like those

in China, Malaysia, Russia, etc.

Employees in the US, Australia,

France, Germany, Canada, etc.

will be richer by $1,000 (Rs

47,000). The bonus is said to be

uniform across all grades within a

country and will be paid out

between December 18 and

December 31. The bonus is said

to be a mark of appreciation for

outstanding work in 2009.

􀀹 Forty-four per cent management

students graduating in 2010 have

voted the FMCG sector as the

most preferred industry to work

in, terming giants like Hindustan

Unilever Ltd and Proctor &

Gamble as "dream companies, he

Nielsen Campus Track-B School

Survey revealed.

􀀹 A professor of the Indian Institute

of Management (IIM)-Indore was

found murdered at her residence

in the campus on December 18.

Amrita Panchauli, 32, who

belonged to Udaipur in Rajasthan,

had been working at IIM-Indore

for one and a half years. Her

driver found the murderer.

􀀹 IIM Calcutta’s Post-Graduate

Programme for Executives

(PGPEX) wing started a new

programme ‘Lattice- 2009’

which is essentially a networking

initiative which revolves around

reaching out further to the alumni

and strengthening the IIMC


􀀹 To attract more tourists, the

Indian government has decided to

implement a Visa on Arrival

Scheme for the citizens of five

countries, including Japan, New

Zealand, Luxembourg and Finland

for one year on experimental

basis Japan, New Zealand,

Luxembourg and Finland for one

year on experimental basis. The

present numbers of visitors are

five million visitors every year.

The move is because a large

country like India should have at

least 50 million visitors.


􀀹 Former Pakistan captain and

batting legend Hanif

Mohammad has termed Sachin

Tendulkar as the “cricketing

jewel of subcontinent” and said

the 36-year-old right-hander was

destined to break many more

records in the coming years.

􀀹 Country’s top golfer Jeev Milkha

Singh, has been awarded the

honorary life membership of the

Professional Golf Tour of India

while Bangalore pro Anirban Lahiri

was named the Player of the Year.

Lahiri topped the Aircel—

Professional Golf Tour of India’s

Order of Merit for 2009 with total

earnings of Rs.36,57,853 in the

year, which included two titles

and had seven other top—10s out

of 11 starts in the current season.

􀀹 Adrian Sutil, is the Formula

One Team driver for India which

is owned by liquor-baron Vijay


􀀹 Saina Nehwal and Chetan

Anand clinched singles titles in

their respective categories after

winning the finals of the USD

50,000 Jaypee Cup Syed Modi

International Grand Prix

Badminton tournament.

􀀹 Manuel Osborne—Paradis of

Canada won a World Cup downhill

skying on the Saslong course.

􀀹 Formula One team Sauber has

named Japan’s Kamui

Kobayashi as a driver for the

2010 season. Kobayashi is the

first driver to be named for the

team, which is back in the

ownership of founder Peter

Sauber after BMW withdrew at

the end of the 2009 campaign.

Earlier he was with Toyota.

􀀹 Felipe Massa, the Brazilian

driver of Ferrari, will get behind

the wheel of a Formula One car in

the “next few days.” Massa, who

hasn’t raced since suffering life

threatening injuries in a crash at

July’s Hungarian Grand Prix, will

drive an F2007 model fitted with

demonstration run tires.

􀀹 Former Olympic and world

champion Liu Xiang, won gold in

the 110-meter hurdles at the East

Asian Games 2009.

􀀹 Russia wins women’s Biathlon

relay 2009.

􀀹 Olympic leaders have reallocated

two individual medals stripped

from Marion Jones but withheld

the 100-metre gold from

disgraced Greek sprinter Katerina

Thanou. The International

Olympic Committee executive

board acted on medals taken from

Jones for doping at the 2000

Sydney Games.

􀀹 Triple Olympic gold medallist

sprinter Usain Bolt, will take part

in the 2010 Commonwealth

Games in New Delhi in 2010.

Usain Bolt will light up

Commonwealth Games.

Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the

venue for the opening and closing

ceremonies of the Games on

October 3 and October 14, 2010


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