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Tuesday, 28 June 2011

NATO helicopters end Kabul hotel siege, 7 dead









KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Taliban fighters armed with explosive vests, anti-aircraft weapons and grenade launchers raided an international hotel in Kabul on Tuesday and killed seven people on the eve of a conference to discuss plans for Afghan forces to take over security when international troops leave by the end of 2014.
Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said guards at the Inter-Continental hotel killed two insurgents during the assault, which began about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday and ended about 3 a.m. Wednesday. Four other insurgents either blew themselves up or were killed on the roof of the hotel by NATO helicopter airstrikes.
A Taliban spokesman quickly claimed responsibility for the rare nighttime attack in the capital.
Coming on the eve of the transition conference, the attack threw a harsh light on President Barack Obama's recently announced plan to withdraw 33,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan in a year and to end the American combat role by the end of 2014. Kabul has been designated as one of seven cities and provinces scheduled to start shifting from NATO to Afghan control in July.
Initially, Afghan security forces took the lead in the hotel battle, shutting off electrical power to the neighborhood around the hilltop building and rushing at least 200 troops to the scene. A team of Afghan commandos moved into the hotel, where 60 to 70 guests — including provincial officials from around the country and foreign visitors — hid in their rooms as machine guns echoed. The insurgents made their last stand on the hotel rooftop, engulfing the top floor in flames and detonating bomb vests as Black Hawk helicopters fired at them with machine guns and rockets.
"We were locked in a room. Everybody was shooting and firing," said Abdul Zahir Faizada, head of the local council in Herat province in western Afghanistan. Like many others staying at the hotel, Faizada came to Kabul for the transition conference.
Nazar Ali Wahedi, chief of intelligence for Helmand province in the south, called the assailants "the enemy of stability and peace."
"Our room was hit by several bullets," Wahedi said. "We spent the whole night in our room."
Kabul deputy police chief Daoud Amin said seven people died in the attack and eight other people — two policemen and six civilians — were wounded. The attackers were not included in that death toll.
The Taliban fighters made their way to the hotel rooftop where they launched rocket-propelled grenades and ragged bursts of automatic weapons fire at Afghan forces. The gunfire echoed against nearby mountains and red tracer rounds slashed across the sky.
After four hours of sporadic fighting, Black Hawk helicopters staged successive air assaults, circling around the hotel and firing down with machine guns. British army Maj. Tim James, a NATO spokesman, said three or four suicide bombers fired at the choppers and detonated their explosives. Massive concussive blasts flashed orange and hurtled shrapnel in all directions.
The helicopters pounded the flaming rooftop with rockets, ending the melee. Ambulances and fire crews then raced up the hill to retrieve the dead and wounded. An AP reporter saw three bodies in the back of an Afghan police truck and two more in an ambulance.
After the shooting stopped, the lights that had been blacked out in Kabul's Bagh-e-Bala district came back on and shaken guests and employees stumbled down the hotel driveway.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack in a telephone call to the AP, and later issued a statement claiming that Taliban attackers had killed guards at a gate and entered the hotel.
"One of our fighters called on a mobile phone and said: 'We have gotten onto all the hotel floors and the attack is going according to the plan. We have killed and wounded 50 foreign and local enemies. We are in the corridors of the hotel now taking guests out of their rooms — mostly foreigners. We broke down the doors and took them out one by one.'"
The Taliban often exaggerate casualties from their attacks. The statement did not disclose the number of attackers, and said only one suicide bomber had died.
Before the attack began, officials from the U.S., Pakistan and Afghanistan met in the capital to discuss prospects for making peace with Taliban insurgents to end the nearly decade-long war.
"The fact that we are discussing reconciliation in great detail is success and progress, but challenges remain and we are reminded of that on an almost daily basis by violence," Jawed Ludin, Afghanistan's deputy foreign minister, said at a news conference. "The important thing is that we act and that we act urgently and try to do what we can to put an end to violence."
The Inter-Continental opened in the late 1960s and was the nation's first international luxury hotel. It was once part of an international chain, but when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979, the hotel was left to fend for itself.
It was used by Western journalists during the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.
On Nov. 23, 2003, a rocket exploded nearby, shattering windows but causing no casualties.
Twenty-two rockets hit the Inter-Con between 1992 and 1996, when factional fighting convulsed Kabul under the government of Burhanuddin Rabbani. All the windows were broken, water mains were damaged and the outside structure pockmarked. Some, but not all, of the damage was repaired during Taliban rule.
Attacks in the Afghan capital have been relatively rare, although violence has increased since the May 2 killing of Osama bin Laden in a U.S. raid in Pakistan and the start of the Taliban's annual spring offensive.
On June 18, insurgents wearing Afghan army uniforms stormed a police station near the presidential palace and opened fire on officers, killing nine.
Late last month, a suicide bomber wearing an Afghan police uniform infiltrated the main Afghan military hospital, killing six medical students. A month before that, a suicide attacker in an army uniform sneaked past security at the Afghan Defense Ministry, killing three people.
Other hotels in the capital have also been targeted.
In January 2008, militants stormed Kabul's most popular luxury hotel, the Serena, hunting down Westerners who cowered in a gym during a coordinated assault that killed eight people. An American, a Norwegian journalist and a Philippine woman were among the dead.
A suicide car bomber in December 2009 struck near the home of a former Afghan vice president and a hotel frequented by Westerners, killing eight people and wounding nearly 40 in a neighborhood considered one of Kabul's safest.
And in February 2010, insurgents struck two residential hotels in the heart of Kabul, killing 20 people including seven Indians, a French filmmaker and an Italian diplomat.

A Day Out in Munnar




Munnar, which means confluence of three rivers, was the summer resort of the erstwhile British rulers in the colonial days. In the late 19th century, A.H. Sharp planted the first tea bush and since then tea has been the main agricultural crop in the region. Today, the hills around Munnar are blanketed with best-in-class green tea bushes. With its sprawling tea plantations, pristine valleys and mountains and cool air, it’s no surprise that Munnar has been rated the second-best Asian travel destination for 2010.
If you are a true admirer of nature who has a passion for driving, Munnar is your dream destination and cruising along winding smooth roads across mist-sheeted lush green tea gardens is the finest experience you can ever have.

Around every corner is another stunning view. You do not need a map or a guide; all you need is a good pair of shoes and the curiosity to see what is around the next curve. You need not necessarily be a shutterbug; random clicks can get you incredible photographs. 

On the way to Munnar, some 22 kms before reaching there, I stopped by Anayirankal dam, a vast expanse of water surrounded by green carpeted hills covered with tea gardens. The distant view of the reservoir follows you for another 15 kms and it’s an excellent location for photography.

The dude who poses here is Varayadu or Nilgiri Tahr, stocky goats with short, coarse fur and a bristly mane. Nilgiri Tahr is an endangered mountain ungulate listed in schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972. Eravikulam National Park which has the highest density and largest surviving population of this species is situated hardly 14 kms from Munnar town. Know more about this endangered species.

Does this picture suggest land’s end? It virtually is. This is Top Station, which is 41 kms uphill from Munnar. Located at the border of Kerala and Tamilnadu, this spot offers an ‘awebreathtakingsome’ panoramic view. Strolling down this pathway with steep abyss on both sides is adventurous, rather risky, but the view you get there is one of a kind.

At every other corner you will find women with baskets full of locally grown fruits and vegetables. Don’t forget to bargain and buy tender carrots, passion fruits and wild tomatoes, all farm fresh and delicious.

Anamudi is the highest peak in the Western Ghats situated at a height of 2,695 metres (8,842 feet) above mean sea level. It is located in the southern part of Eravikulam National Park, fifty kilometers from Munnar. It is also the ideal place for wildlife travelers and nature lovers. It literally means “Elephant forehead”.

13 kms away from Munnar, Mattupetty is famous for its highly specialised dairy farm, the Indo-Swiss project. More than 100 varieties of high yielding cattle are reared here. The Mattupetty Lake and Dam, just a short distance from the farm, is a gorgeous picnic spot. The sprawling Kundala tea plantations, Kundala Lake and the echo point are other attractions in the vicinity. A boat cruise on the lake is the best way to enjoy the leisure.

Bristling with wildlife and crystal clear streams, the enticing charm of Munnar is simply irresistible. The area has many attractions within a short distance of the town of Munnar, including the Sandalwood Forest of Marayoor and the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary.













particular reebok in material rates today




Reebok Women's Lifewalk Max White Blue Shoe


Product Description
The LifeWalk DMX Max II features the DMX Max engineered cushioning system that moves air from heel to toe as you walk, offering “cloud-like” comfort and optimal energy return.


Upper


Leather and mesh upper for added comfort, support and durability
Perforated upper on the toe counter for ventilation
Synthetic overlays on the forefoot for extended durability
Synthetic knit laces for snug fit
Perforated mesh tongue with synthetic overlay with fabric lining for snug fit
Breathable mesh lining
Plushly padded collar for snug fit
Midsole


EVA injected midsole for light weight feel
Soft, cushioned footbed for ergonomic fit
Outsole


Walking stride guide and transition bridge for easy heel-to-toe transition
Forefoot flex grooves create flexibly silhouette
Bevelled heel construction for enhanced walking stride
Pivot point below the big toe mound and the heel for easy fitness activity
DMX Max is a hollow two-pod cushioning system made for the walker seeking the maximum amount of cushioning
Air trapped inside DMX Max travels back and forth under the foot in concert with each walker’s individual stride, making walking easy
Shoe care
Rub surface with clean, damp cloth to remove dust
Do not machine wash






Reebok Women's Easytone Trend White Shoe




e lace design for improved midfoot stability and a custom fit.
Breathable mesh lining
Midsole


Molded, antibacterial PU sockliner that's easily removable to accommodate orthotics
Specially designed, women's Specific Last technology ensures optimal fit and function for a woman's foot
Outsole


Balanced Ball-inspired pods on the outsole with Moving Air Technology designed to tone and strengthen your glutes, hamstrings and calves with each step
Shoe care
Rub surface with clean, damp cloth to remove dust
Do not machine wash






Reebok Women's Easytone Raceon White Shoe




Product Description
Featured on Reebok's patented Moving Air Technology, it has built-in balance pods that transfer air in response to your stride to create micro-instability with every step.


Upper


Synthetic and mesh upper, with a running-inspired design, for the ultimate in lightweight breathability
Synthetic overlays for extended durability
Padded collar and tongue
SmoothFit seamless design ensures minimal rub and decreases irritation
Unique lace design for improved midfoot stability and a custom fit.
Breathable mesh lining
Midsole


Molded, antibacterial PU sockliner that's easily removable to accommodate orthotics
Specially designed, women's Specific Last technology ensures optimal fit and function for a woman's foot
Outsole


Balanced Ball-inspired pods on the outsole with Moving Air Technology designed to tone and strengthen your glutes, hamstrings and calves with each step
Shoe care
Rub surface with clean, damp cloth to remove dust
Do not machine wash

Alfa Romeo Giulietta


Model in brief

Having made its world preview at the recent Geneva International Motor Show, the new Alfa Romeo Giulietta makes its debut today and, from May this year, will be marketed progressively on all the major markets, thus relaunching the brand in one of the most important segments in Europe.

In Alfa Romeo's Centenary year, the name Giulietta is a tribute to an automobile and an Alfa Romeo legend. In the Fifties, the Giulietta caught the imagination of car enthusiasts throughout the world, making the dream of owning an Alfa Romeo and enjoying its high level of comfort and technical excellence accessible for the first time.

Now the Alfa Romeo Style Centre has produced a new Giulietta, a five-door hatchback with an evident Alfa Romeo appearance and capable of expressing both great agility on the most demanding routes and providing comfort on everyday journeys. This is due to the new Compact platform which, thanks to the sophisticated technical solutions employed for the suspension, the dual pinion active steering, the sophisticated materials used and the manufacturing technologies implemented, allows the Giulietta to achieve exceptionally high standards both in terms of on-board comfort as well as its dynamic and safety features (active and passive).


A new platform to enhance road holding and agility in total comfort and safety

The Giulietta introduces an entirely new platform - called Compact - designed to satisfy the most demanding customers in terms of road-holding, agility and safety. It ensures both exceptional dynamic performance and high comfort levels, thanks to the refined technical solutions employed for the suspension, a new-generation steering system, a light and rigid structure created from materials such as aluminium and high-strength steels, and avant-garde manufacturing techniques.

This new platform will allow the Giulietta to accommodate the needs of all customers in this category, combining on-board comfort, functional interiors and generous boot space, with the dynamic qualities that belong to every Alfa Romeo. Furthermore, driving satisfaction and comfort can be adapted to meet every customer's specific needs thanks to the Alfa DNA selector, a device that customises the vehicle's behaviour to suit different road conditions and driving styles. The new platform of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta was designed to integrate the vehicle's different systems and exploit them to the full, thus emphasising the three set-up functions (Dynamic, Normal and All Weather) available through the Alfa DNA selector. This device, fitted as standard on the entire range of the new model, is designed to modify the operating parameters of the engine, gearbox, steering system and Q2 electronic differential, in addition to the behaviour logic of the Vehicle Dynamic Control system (VDC).


Sporty and comfortable, Italian style

The perfect blend of sportiness and style, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta redefines the Brand's technological standards and emotional values.

The front displays a brand new interpretation of the classic shield, embedded in the front bumper and suspended between the air vents. This is the starting point for the design of the entire car, which combines an energetic personality with a distinctly elegant form. The front headlights have DRL with LED technology and a day light function for maximum active safety.

Even the profile of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta is brimming with personality, giving the impression of an agile and sturdy car. This is above all due to the side windows which recall the appearance of a coupé, emphasising the dynamism and fluidity of form, thanks also to the concealed rear door handles. The ribs on the sides of the vehicle seem to elongate the car while the clean lines which end at the rear accentuate the angular shape of the car's body.

The rear, like the front and side, features distinct styling which emphasises the feeling of a muscular car, firmly gripped onto the road surface. In addition, like the headlights, the innovative rear lights also use LED technology, not only for the sake of style but also preventive safety.

Lastly, the measurements of the new car amount to a compact and dynamic shape, while at the same time guaranteeing excellent comfort and a spacious boot (350 litres): it is 4.35 metres long, 1.46 metres high and 1.80 metres wide, with a wheelbase of 2.63 metres.


Advanced features for maximum wellbeing on board

Attention to detail and high quality materials used for interiors are, today as always, the most developed expression of Italian style. More specifically, the dominant concept in the interiors of the new model is lightness. The lines are clean and the dashboard develops horizontally. The seats are comfortable and their shape is designed to ensure maximum comfort during long journeys.

Thanks to the advanced ergonomics in the interior design, every switch is ideally located: the main ones are grouped together at the centre of the dashboard and feature the same design as those on the 8C Competizione.

The navigation system with pop-up display allows drivers to safely display the route or the mechanical operating parameters set by the Alfa DNA device without having to take their eyes off the road.

There are practical open storage compartments situated in various areas of the passenger compartment: in front of the gearbox, on the centre console and on the interior trim of the doors. There are closed storage compartments - depending on the version - on the top of the dashboard, under the dashboard opposite the front passenger (cooled with dual zone climate control) and in the front and rear armrests.


Innovative engines for a thrilling, environmentally-friendly drive

The Alfa Romeo Giulietta guarantees the highest levels of performance and technology through a range of engines that are state-of-the-art in terms of technology, performance levels and environmental-friendliness. At the time of its commercial launch, 4 Turbo engines will be available, all Euro 5 compliant and with a Start&Stop system to reduce consumption levels and emissions fitted as standard: two petrol versions (120 HP 1.4TB and 170 HP 1.4TB Multiair) and two diesels (105 HP 1.6 JTDM and 170 HP 2.0 JTDM, both second-generation MultiJet engines). The range is completed by the high performance 235 HP 1750 TBi with direct injection and scavenging control in combination with exclusive Quadrifoglio Verde interiors.

This latter version equipped with a 235 HP 1750 TBi engine perfectly represents the way in which Alfa Romeo offers the most in this segment. Not just a means of transport, but a vehicle that can really connect with the customer. There is strong acceleration thanks to high torque levels even at low revs, a smooth response that minimises gearbox use thanks to the flexibility typical of modern petrol engines, and an engine note that is engaging without ever becoming intrusive. In detail, the 1750 Turbo petrol engine boasts advanced technical solutions including direct fuel injection, dual continuously variable valve timing, a turbocharger and a revolutionary scavenging control system that gets rid of any turbo lag. The resulting performance is comparable to – or better than – that of many 3-litre engines while still delivering fuel consumption typical of a compact four cylinder unit. It should be noted that the specific power of 134 HP/litre is the highest in the world for a 4-cylinder unit installed in this category of vehicles, as well as being the highest ever achieved by an Alfa Romeo production engine. The specific torque too, totalling 194 Nm/litre, is the highest of all petrol engines in this category, while the maximum torque of 340 Nm, reached at just 1,900 revs, is excellent.

The range of engines available can accommodate the needs of all customers. First of all the 120 HP 1.4TB is the ideal engine for those in search of a car that can handle city traffic effortlessly while keeping running costs to a minimum. The turbo engine guarantees prompt response even at low revs (maximum torque is achieved at just 1,750 revs) while Start&Stop, in the city, makes it possible to cut consumption and harmful emission levels drastically, without compromising comfort and on-board safety.

The 170 HP 1.4 TB Multiair engine is an amalgam of technology, which blends high performance levels with the lowest emissions and fuel consumption levels in its class for petrol engines of this power rating. It is a brilliant and flexible engine, with a maximum torque of a generous 250 Nm (when set to Dynamic), fitted with a Start&Stop system and with fuel consumption and emission levels resembling a diesel engine more than a petrol one with this power rating (4.6 l/100 km in the extra-urban cycle and 134 g/km of CO2 emissions). The combination of this engine with the new platform places the Giulietta at the top of its segment both for its dynamic qualities as well as comfort and practicality during everyday use.

The 105 HP 1.6 JTDM is a flexible and economical diesel engine that will surprise customers due to its prompt response (in Dynamic mode, max. torque is a generous 320 Nm at just 1,750 revs) combined with extremely low fuel consumption (in the extra-urban cycle, it is just 3.7 l/100 km). This is possible thanks to the combination of second-generation MultiJet technology and the Start&Stop system. Consequently, it is an engine dedicated to all those in search of a car with character and a distinctive style, affording the typical agility and handling of an Alfa Romeo yet able to combine the latter with limited running costs.

For customers who use the car mostly on the motorway or who demand the maximum performance levels from a diesel engine, Alfa Romeo suggests the 170 HP 2.0 JTDM. Again, it is an amalgam of technology which combines second-generation MultiJet technology with the Start&Stop system. The result is a vehicle with the highest performance levels of its segment, extremely flexible driving (with the dna selector set to Dynamic mode, the available torque at 1,750 revs is a generous 350 Nm), among the lowest fuel consumption and emission levels in its category for cars with this power rating (124 g/km of CO2 and 4.1 l/100 km in the extra-urban cycle). Thanks to the exceptional qualities of the new compact platform, this version is able to blend fantastic dynamic and motoring performance levels with the highest comfort and practicality in its segment.

All the engines are combined with a state-of-the-art manual 6-speed gearbox belonging to the three axle transmission family, which can withstand and transmit high maximum torque values. Subsequently, the Multiair and 170 HP 2.0 JTDM engines will also be combined with an innovative dual-clutch automatic transmission.


Segment-leading safety, comfort and dynamic behaviour

The Alfa Romeo Giulietta was designed to achieve the highest Euro NCAP safety rating to offer total protection for both driver and passengers. In addition, the new platform was devised to guarantee the utmost interaction of the systems in charge of controlling the vehicle dynamics.

All this is controlled by the real 'brain' of the vehicle, namely the Alfa dna device, which manages all the sophisticated electronic devices for dynamic vehicle control: VDC (Vehicle Dynamic Control), Dual Pinion Active Steering, the Q2 electronic differential, the response and torque curve of the engine, the braking system with pre-fill function. All these systems guarantee genuine Alfa Romeo driving safety, vehicle traction and performance.

The new compact platform, thanks to the sophisticated technical solutions employed for the suspension and the materials used, such as high-strength steels, aluminium, magnesium and xenoy, can accommodate the needs of the most demanding customers in terms of on-board comfort and quiet running, placing the Giulietta at the top of its category also in terms of the everyday practicality of the vehicle.


Extensive range

Devised to cater for the different needs of segment C car drivers in pursuit of driving satisfaction and comfort, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta is available in two versions (Progression and Distinctive), along with two customisations (Sport Pack and Premium Pack).

All the devices linked to active and passive safety are fitted as standard on the entire range. The Progression version comes with the Alfa dna system (with Q2 electronic differential and DST), VDC (including ASR and hill holder), 6 airbags, front seat belts with dual pretensioners and front seats with anti-whiplash system as standard. The standard equipment also includes manual climate control, 16'' wheels, front and rear electric windows, trip computer, stereo system with dual tuner radio, 6 speakers and MP3 CD player. The latter version (Distinctive) offers the following in addition to the standard equipment of the former: 16" alloy wheels, dual zone automatic climate control, leather steering wheel with radio controls, front armrest with storage compartment, cruise control, fog lights, reconfigurable control panel, seats upholstered in Competizione fabric, front armrest, and a stylish chromed insert (chrome line) framing the side windows. The dashboard on the Distinctive version is also distinguished by a stylish insert painted in magnesium grey or, alternatively, in Ghiaccio white, Alfa Red as well as in brushed burnished aluminium.

Customers can further customise their Giulietta with two specific Packs (Sport and Premium). The first pack is designed to highlight the sporty character of the vehicle with specific features which improve the already excellent handling of the car and includes 17''or 18'' alloy wheels, side skirts, sports pedals, sports seats with leather and microfibre fabric upholstery, brushed burnished aluminium dashboard insert, burnished headlight frames and dark interiors (black ceiling and pillar lining).

For customers in search of even more technological and complete on-board equipment, the Premium Pack includes bi-xenon lights with AFS function, the Blue&Me system with Bluetooth function, USB port and MP3 player, radio/mobile phone controls on steering wheel, rear parking sensors, rain-dusk-humidity sensors, electrically folding door mirrors and an electrochromic rear-view mirror.

To customise their Giulietta, customers can also choose from the list of options available, including a large panoramic sunroof, navigation system with maps and pop-up display and a Bose® Hi-fi. In addition, the Blue&Me–TomTom system is also available, which adds navigation functions to the functions of the Blue&Me® thanks to the TomTom portable navigation system which is perfectly integrated with the vehicle's existing systems thanks to a Bluetooth® interface. The TomTom portable navigation system is positioned on the dashboard using a support designed to guarantee maximum safety in the event of impact and complete integration with the vehicle's other systems and improved ergonomics in everyday use.

There is also a special trim specification dedicated to the version fitted with the 235 HP 1750 TBi engine. It's called the Quadrifoglio Verde (four-leafed clover), a legendary brand which has competed on tracks all over the world. Only available on this engine type, this special version is distinguished by its sporty lowered ride height (15 mm at the front and 10 mm at the rear), 17'' wheels (18'' as an optional), an enhanced braking system with calipers painted Alfa red, as well as sporty interiors which include sporty leather and microfibre seats. All designed to guarantee the best in driving pleasure and segment-leading active and passive safety. It offers reduced fuel consumption for this power rating; the "Quadrifoglio Verde" is thus reinterpreted for today, combining the utmost driving pleasure with greater environmental awareness for eco-conscious and environmentally-friendly sportiness.
Filed under: Europe, Hatchback, Alfa Romeo





Tags: alfa, alfa giulietta, alfa romeo, alfa romeo giulietta, AlfaGiulietta, AlfaRomeo, AlfaRomeoGiulietta, giulietta

About This Publication


Reviews & Endorsements  
The Author  

Reviews & Endorsements
"Understanding how and why states fail is not just an urgent task for policymakers but also for anyone interested in the main trends shaping the world. Weak Links is a rigorous account of a phenomenon that combines medieval-like realities with modern conditions. There is no other book like this."
—Moisés Naím, author of Illicit
"The phenomenon known as fragile states is typically over-determined but poorly specified, leading to sweeping conclusions of limited policy relevance. Stewart Patrick’s new book performs a critically important service by analyzing fragile states in relation to specific security threats."
—Chester A. Crocker, professor of strategic studies, Georgetown University
"Weak Links takes on the conventional wisdom that there is a close connection between weak states and transnational threats like terrorism. The book demonstrates that the relationship is much more attenuated—perhaps a small comfort, since the international community’s ability to fix failed states is so limited."
—Francis Fukuyama, professor of international political economy, Johns Hopkins University, and author of The Origins of Political Order
"Stewart Patrick’s brilliantly researched book is an overdue corrective to some of the overwrought claims about the problems posed by failing, failed, and phantom states. He shows that every state situation is different, demanding its own analysis and its own policy solution. Meticulously and impressively argued."
—Gareth Evans, former foreign minister of Australia
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The Author
Stewart M. Patrick is senior fellow and director of the International Institutions and Global Governance program at the Council on Foreign Relations.





Stewart M. Patrick
Senior Fellow and Director, Program on International Institutions and Global Governance


Contact Info:
Phone: +1.202.509.8482 
E-mail: spatrick@cfr.org


Location:
Washington, DC


Media downloads:
High-resolution photo (JPG, 485K)
One-page bio (PDF, 40K)
CV (PDF, 44K)


Former State Department policy planning staff member. Current work focuses on U.S. policy toward global governance. Author of Weak Links: Fragile States, Global Threats, and International Security (Oxford University Press, May 2011).

Stewart M. Patrick: The Internationalist
Patrick assesses the future of world order, state sovereignty, and multilateral cooperation.
Read the blog The Internationalist.

Expertise:
Multilateral cooperation, international institutions and global governance; United Nations; weak and failing states; foreign assistance and post-conflict reconstruction; transnational threats; U.S. foreign policy; diplomatic history.
Experience:
Research Fellow, Center for Global Development (2005-2008); Policy planning staff member, Afghanistan, post-conflict and global affairs portfolios, U.S. Department of State (2002-2005); Research Associate, Center on International Cooperation, New York University(1997-2002).
Languages:
French (proficient).
Honors:
International Affairs Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations (2002-2003); Rhodes Scholar, Oxford University (1988-1991); Brookings Research Fellow (1992-93); Guest Research Fellowship, Norwegian Nobel Institute (1993).
Selected Publications:
The Best Laid Plans:The Origins of American Multilateralism and the Dawn of the Cold War (Rowman and Littlefield, November 2008); "U.S. Policy toward Fragile States: An Integrated Approach to Security and Development," in The White House and the World: A Development Agenda for the Next U.S. President (Center for Global Development, August 2008); "'The Mission Determines the Coalition:' The United States and Multilateral Cooperation after 9/11," in Cooperating for Peace and Security (forthcoming 2008); "Index of State Weakness in the Developing World," Brookings Working Paper (2008); Integrating 21st Century Development and Security Assistance (contributor; 2008); "A Return to Realism? The United States and Global Peace Operations since 9/11," International Peacekeeping (2007); Greater than the Sum of Its Parts: Assessing "Whole of Government" Approaches toward Fragile States, (co-author, International Peace Academy: 2007); "Toolbox: Making Foreign Aid Reform Work," The American Interest (2007); "The Pentagon and Global Development: Making Sense of the DoD's Expanding Role," CGD Working Paper #131 (2007); "Beyond Coalitions of the Willing: Assessing U.S. Multilateralism," Ethics and International Affairs (2003); Multilateralism and U.S. Foreign Policy: Ambivalent Engagement (coeditor, Lynne Rienner, 2002); Good Intentions: Pledges of Aid for Post-Conflict Recovery (co-editor, Lynne Rienner, 2000); and op-eds published in Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Miami Herald, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, San Diego Union-Tribune.
Interviews and Discussions:
Washington Business Tonight: "Issues Facing World Economic Leaders" (television interview; April 24, 2009)
Institute of International Studies Conversations with History: Building a Multilateral International Order (discussion; April 15, 2009)

Related Links:
Summary Report of CFR Symposium on International Law and Justice (October 17, 2008)
International Institutions and Global Governance Program


Current Research Projects
2011 CRF-SWP Conference on the Atlantic World and Rising Global Powers
Making Multilateralism Work Workshop Series
Council Special Report on UN Security Council Reform and U.S. National Interests
Emerging Powers and International Institutions Meeting Series
The United States and the Future of Global Governance Roundtable Series
U.S.-UN Roundtable Series


Past Research Projects
Rising India: Implications for World Order and International Institutions
CFR Symposium: Rising Powers and Global Institutions in the Twenty-First Century
Council Special Report on the Future of NATO
The United States and the Future of Global Governance Symposium
Council Special Report on Combating Mass Atrocities

Review of Yashpal’s Divya in today’s New Indian Express

First published in The New Indian Express. Official weblink is here.

When it was first published in 1945, Yashpal’s novel Divya created a furore because of its unconventional portrayal of women and their quest for independence. Although it is tame enough for our times, the book remains enigmatic as ever since it sets out by envisioning the prostitute as a liberated woman. Set in a time-period when the clash between Buddhism and Brahminism was at its peak, the novel probes the roots of slavery and the plight of women, thus providing insight into the personal and political nature of bondage.

Born in a Brahmin family, the enchanting Divya is the great-granddaughter of the Chief Justice of the Republic of Madra. She falls in love with Prithusen, the son of a former slave, who is also the best swordsman in the kingdom. As in works of fiction (and unlike in almost all of real life), pregnancy follows a single night of love-making, and Divya hides the signs of a new life growing inside her as she awaits the return of Prithusen. He emerges successful in the war, and in warding off the Brahmins who seek to annex the Sagal territory, but spurns Divya on the advice of his father who is keen to get him married to Seero, granddaughter of the President of the Republic, since that would ensure him a better place in the echelons of power.

Her pregnancy, which should have possibly been an occasion for celebration becomes the cause for censure, and Divya leaves the kingdom. Unable to come to terms with that shame, her great-grandfather dies. Sold to a slave trader, she becomes a wet-nurse, and later, flees in order to join the monastic order, but they refuse to allow her since she does not have a father, husband, son or master who can grant her permission. Saved by the generous courtesan Devi Ratnapraba, she’s rescued from slavery of one kind, and inducted into slavery of another.

In her new avatar as the dancer Anshumala, her fame is unparalleled. However, she also realises that merely by becoming the mistress of her own body, a woman cannot become the mistress of her destiny. She returns to Sagal on the invitation of her former guru Devi Mallika, but is once again ostracised by caste society. Rudhradhir, the Brahmin who has now taken over the kingdom asks her to be his wife, arguing that a high-born girl can never be the state’s chief courtesan. Divya turns down his offer. Prithusen, now a Bhikku offers to take her into the monastic order, but she refuses to enter it too, and the novel ends in a conventional manner.

This trajectory of a woman’s life is used to explore the social maladies prevalent in India at that time. As a revolutionary freedom fighter, Yashpal subtly and shrewdly argues for the necessity for transcending caste divisions and empowering women. Even though it is envisaged for personal purposes, this urgent yearning for an egalitarian society by one sensual, spirited woman enables Divya to assume a realness which is neither maudlin or superficial. Such a nuanced construction renders the novel eminently readable.

The mobiThinking guide to mobile advertising networks 2011: Premium blind networks

SECTION 2: PREMIUM BLIND NETWORKS

    Hunt Mobile Ads *
New: March 2011*
    Millennial Media * Updated: October 2010 *
    Greystripe * New: October 2010 *
    Madhouse * Updated: August 2010 *
    Jumptap * Updated: May 2010 *
    GUIDE HOME
    BLIND NETWORKS
    PREMIUM NETWORKS

Premium blind networks in a nutshell:

• Higher proportion of premium publishers (i.e. mobile sites of well-known brands, like newspapers, broadcasters or operator portals), than blind networks, some on exclusive relationships.
• Attract more brand advertising, paid for on a cost per thousand impressions (CPM) model – i.e. you pay X for every 1,000 devices that visit/download the page. This is for marketers who want exposure, perhaps to create awareness of a new product. Costs vary considerably – campaigns targeted at top-tier inventory can be as high as US$20 CPM.
• Plenty of advertising will still be blind or semi-blind (i.e. targeted at a channel), but for a premium price you may be able to buy a specific spot on a site of your choice.
• Performance advertising is also available – and sometimes search advertising (based on key words) – paid for by cost per click (CPC). This is for marketers who want an active response to ads e.g. clicking through a banner to the advertiser’s site, click to download/call etc. The price of CPC varies with supply and demand, determined usually in a self-service auction. The cheapest option is run of network (RON) adverts (i.e. no targeting), which in some countries may start at US$0.05 - US$0.10 CPC.
• Some networks offer cost per action/acquisition (CPA) – where the advertiser only pays if the customer clicks through and then buys, signs up etc – or cost per download (CPD) for companies advertising mobile content/apps.
• Advertisers should expect a mix of self-service and direct sales and support and a wealth of targeting options.
• Publishers should expect to receive a majority share of advertising revenue – %ages are often negotiated on a case-by-case basis.


Mobile advertising network: Hunt Mobile Ads

Type of network: Premium blind (including blind and premium advertising).
Established: June 2010.
Main offices: Headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina (HQ); Mexico City, Mexico; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Boston, US.
Employees: 20.
Major shareholders: N/A (private investors).
Acquisitions: N/A.
Web: huntmads.com.
Mobile Web: m.huntmads.com; huntmads.mobi.
Contact details: Gaston Bercun, gb(at)huntmads.com, Karen Murphy, km(at)huntmads.com.
Profile submitted by: Gaston Bercun, COO and Karen Murphy, Business Development, US.
Last updated: March 2011

Q1. Annual revenue/turnover: Band C (US $10-20 million).
Q2. Is the business profitable? Yes.
Q3. Publishers on network: Over 100 publishers, including MSN (Latam), La Nacion, TuSecreto, riverplate.com, infobae.com and eBuddy.
Q4. Advertisers on network: 20, including Cartoon Network, Visa, Mastercard, Samsung, MoviStar and Nextel.
Q4b) Agency customers/intermediaries: Starcom, Carat, Havas.
Q5. Mobile ads served or page impressions: 2 billion impressions.
Q6. Unique mobile users that see ads: Network reaches 40 million unique users.
Q7. Geographical coverage: Latin America and the US Hispanic market.
Proportion of advertising that is…
Q8. Blind v premium advertising: 70:30.
Q9. Mobile Web v mobile applications: 70:30.
Q10. CPC (performance) v CPM (brand) v CPA (results): 30:50:20.
Q11. Specialism by publisher or demographic: Spanish and Portuguese language publishers in Latin America and US.
Q12. Options for targeting adverts: Audience/demographic; geography/country; carrier/mobile operator; time of day; day of week; location-based ads; operator network or WiFi; and type of handset: brand, operating system, features or age of handset.
Q13. Tools to help advertisers optimize/track campaign: Click and conversion tracking and online bidding system.
Q14. Cost range for advertiser: Minimum US $5,000 investment.
Q15. Estimated ROI for advertiser: average CTR of 0.54%.
Q16. Remuneration for publishers: Publishers receive 50 to 60% of ad spend.
Q17. Fill rate: 92% (at time of writing).
Q18. Protection for publishers: Publishers can request to protect their inventory from inappropriate ads. Hunt mobile ads welcomes campaigns from all advertisers, but will only run those campaigns on inventory which has expressed their approval.
Q19. Tools for publishers: Ad serving, ad optimization, analytics, design, landing-page generation.
Q20. Membership of industry associations, industry accreditations or awards: Members of mobile marketing association (MMA); Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).
Q21. Main competitors: N/A.
Q22. Key differentiation: Hunt is the only mobile advertising network dedicated to the US Hispanic and Latin American market, offering both premium and performance inventory.


• Back to mobiThinking mobile ad network guide
• What’s the best mobile ad network for you? 10 important questions to ask

Mobile advertising network: Millennial Media

Type of network: Premium blind (including blind and premium).
Established: May, 2006.
Main offices: Baltimore, USA (HQ), London, UK; New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, USA.
Employees: over 90.
Major shareholders: Millennial is a privately held company backed by VC investment of US$38 million to date, investors include Bessemer Venture Partners, Columbia Capital, Charles River Ventures and Acta Wireless.
Acquisitions: TapMetrics, a mobile analytics firm in February 2010.
Web: millennialmedia.com; Mobile Web: m.millennialmedia.com.
Contact details: marketing(at)millennialmedia.com
Recent news:
• June 2010: Millennial President and CEO, Paul Palmieri named Ernst & Young Technology Entrepreneur of the Year.
• November 2009: Millennial Media raises US $16 million in Series C funding led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA).
Profile submitted by: Erin (Mack) McKelvey, SVP of Marketing, Millennial Media.
Last updated: October 2010.

Q1. Annual revenue/turnover: N/A.
Q2. Is the business profitable? Not at this time.
Q3. Publishers on network: Millennial Media’s mobile ad network includes thousands of sites, but 80% of the company’s overall impressions come from Nielsen’s top 100 sites. All major US-based media conglomerates use Millennial. Publishers include MTVN, Disney Fox, MLB, ABC, MySpace, Accuweather, Time Warner, and CBS. The top publishers are attracted by the highest-quality advertisers. Millennial also has a vibrant developer community across all major operating systems.
Q4. Advertisers on network: Millennial Media’s monthly customer retention rate averages between 80% and 90%; and in any given month, there are hundreds of brand advertisers on the network. Brand advertisers include Lexus, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Marriott, Mazda, and Gucci. Millennial works with every major movie studio in the US, which helps to make entertainment a top vertical (by revenue) on the network every quarter. The company has deep expertise and a customer base in consumer products (CPG), retail, restaurants and fast food, automotive, entertainment, pharmaceuticals, travel, education, finance, cause marketing, sports marketing, etc.
Q5. Mobile ads served or page impressions: Over 12 billion monthly impressions globally – 10 billion impressions from U.S. consumers.
Q6. Unique mobile users that see ads: According to Nielsen (June 2010), Millennial reaches more than 64M or 80% of the 79M unique mobile users on the U.S. mobile web.
Q7. Geographical coverage: USA (85%) and Europe (15%).
Proportion of advertising that is…
Q8. Blind v premium advertising: N/A.
Q9. Mobile Web v mobile applications: N/A.
Q10. CPC (performance) v CPM (brand): 30:70.
Q11. Specialism by publisher or demographic:
Q12. Options for targeting adverts: Nearly 50% of Millennial Media’s mobile campaigns are audience targeted. Audience targeted campaigns include behavioral, custom audiences, demographic, and geographic. Millennial Media can also target via carrier/operator, handset model/manufacturer/operating system, handset features, age of device, time of day, location, Wi-Fi, etc.; and, the company can target campaigns broadly via Run of Network (RON) or channel.
Q13. Tools to help advertisers optimize/track campaign: Proprietary optimization technology, with a world class delivery team of analysts. Integration with third-party reporting tools: Atlas, DoubleClick DART, Eyeblaster, EyeWonder, PointRoll.
Q14. Cost range for advertiser: CPM cost varies from US$2 and US$15 depending on a number of factors.
Q15. Estimated ROI for advertiser: Depends on the advertiser’s campaign goals.
Q16. Remuneration for publishers: Publisher remuneration averages over 50%.
Q17. Fill rate: N/A
Q18. Protection for publishers: Publishers can implement whatever business rules fit their model. Millennial Media’s self-service platform, Decktrade, has a privacy policy that details our restrictions on obscenity, pornography, violence, etc.
Q19. Tools for publishers: Millennial Media’s UMPIRE solution provides mediation services for clients who want to accept campaigns from other third party networks, as well as, Millennial Media’s campaigns.
Q20. Membership of industry associations, industry accreditations or awards: N/A
Q21. Main competitors: N/A
Q22. Key differentiation: First and foremost, Millennial focuses on brand advertisers. The extensive reach of the network enables advertisers to target scalable audiences that in some segments rivals online in terms of size. Utilizing Millennial Media’s unique ad serving technology, the company can also control reach and frequency of campaigns, on behalf of advertisers. The company’s monthly report Scorecard for Mobile Advertising Reach and Targeting (SMART) provides brand advertisers with insights into targeting and engagement campaign data. In 18 months SMART has been downloaded more than 10,000 times and is read by more than 5,000 brands, agencies, publishers, developers, operators etc. (It was a finalist for the Stevie Award for the Communications Program of the Year). In March 2010, Millennial Media decoupled the device, OS and handset, and application/developer tracking data, now publishing this information in the Mobile Mix: The Device Index each monthly. Intent on educating the marketplace on the opportunity within mobile, the company releases additional research based on client feedback and questions.


• Back to mobiThinking mobile ad network guide
• What’s the best mobile ad network for you? 10 important questions to ask

Mobile advertising network: Greystripe

Type of network: Premium blind (including blind and premium).
Established: 2005.
Main offices: San Francisco (HQ), New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, Detroit, United States.
Employees: 35.
Major shareholders: private company backed with VC funding from Incubic, Steamboat, Monitor, Peacock.
Contact details: here.
Recent news:
• October 2010: Greystripe wins MOBI Award for best rich media ad network.
• September 2010: Greystripe launched rich media ads for the mobile Web.
Profile submitted by: Katie Berk, Greystripe.
Last updated: October 2010.

Demand-supply mismatch jacking up DU cut-offs






While a demand-supply crisis is held responsible, fingers also point to a "branding exercise by the premier colleges" that do not want to settlNew Delhi: Even as admission-seekers in Delhi University (DU) look to find their way through chaos and disappointment, educationists feel the 100 percent cut-off marks set by Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) for a course indicates a demand and supply crunch in the education sector.


"From the number of students who seek admission to well-known courses in famous colleges, it is clearly indicated that the problem is all about demand and supply. The possible solution is to increase the seats and bring in more quality colleges," V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai, vice chancellor of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), told IANS.

With nearly 54,000 seats in around 70 Delhi University (DU) colleges, the estimated number of students applying in the university is over 125,000.

"It is a grave crisis that we need to look into. At least six more DUs are needed in the national capital region to meet the skewed ratio of demand and supply," said Pillai, who heads one of the the world's largest universities in terms of enrolments.

SRCC's 100 percent first cut-off for B.Com (H) for non-commerce stream aspirants evoked strong reactions, with union Human Resource Development minister Kapil Sibal calling the move "irrational".
e for any cut-off less than 95 percent.


"The premier colleges, in order to maintain their brands, consider the high cut-offs as a branding exercise. It is unfair for students who are straight out of school and get to see such a stiff competition," Pillai added.






Delhi University, one of India's premier varsities, did away with the application process for admission to its undergraduate courses. So the colleges declared the cut-offs on the basis of last year's marks.


While the demand-supply ratio continues to be the problem, educationists feel the heart of the problem lies in the school education system where "getting perfect scores has become a cakewalk".


"Firstly, there has to be a standardisation of boards that conduct senior secondary exams as different states follow different rules. A common entrance test for various streams is needed," Gouri Ishwaran, educationist and Padma Shri awardee, told IANS.


Ishwaran said the question papers "need to be rational", and not just cater to toppers in any private school.


"When we talk of demand and supply, we refer to the chaos in branded colleges. Why don't we also emphasise on turning other colleges into SRCCs, LSRs (Lady Shri Ram Colleges), or probably like any other top brass college," Ishwaran asked.




"A student from Ram Lal Anand College gets out with 60 percent in B.Com and the one in SRCC also scores the same. And still a job placement remains the only concern for parents and students," Bhim Sen Singh, principal of Kirori Mal College, told IANS.


According to the 2006 report of the National Knowledge Commission, which advises the prime minister, India has nearly 200 autonomous colleges and over 17,000 affiliated colleges in 131 affiliating universities. The report mentions that the "majority of colleges unfortunately barely survive as teaching shops".


The report recommended "revisiting the prevailing model of undergraduate colleges in terms of quantity as well as quality".


"It is all about an overhaul of the education system. Be it at the school level, or higher education, it's time we woke up to the grave demand," Pillai said.


Source: IANS

The goodness of garlic


Garlic has long enjoyed the reputation of a wonder food because of its unmatched health benefits. Garlic belongs to the onion family and has been used since centuries for both taste and health. The garlic plant's flowers - bulb made up of numerous sections called cloves - are strong and spicy in flavour and become milder on cooking.

Garlic contains complex compounds including amino acids like arginine, glutaminic, aspartic, valine & lysine; minerals like calcium, manganese, potassium, iron, zinc, copper, sodium and phosphorus; vitamin C & B6; niacin; folic acid; allicin; quercetin; sugars like fructose and glucose and other essential oils with sulphur containing components like diallyl disulphide and allyl tri-sulphide.


Health benefits of garlic

Prevents cardiac disease: Cardiac diseases are associated with various parameters including high level of blood cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar. The allicin present in garlic breaks down to form sulphides, which together with vitamin B6 and vitamin C form the excellent antioxidants. These work especially well in water-soluble areas of the body like the blood stream.

The oxidised form of LDL (bad cholesterol) works in damaging blood vessels. Garlic has proved to inhibit the growth of oxidised LDL and increase the level of HDL (good cholesterol), thereby reducing the risk of heart stroke. Moreover it reduces the formation of plaque on the walls of heart vessels.

Half a teaspoon of crushed raw garlic taken before going to bed proves beneficial instead of taking a 600 mg tablet. Studies also reveal that garlic has properties to increase insulin in the body thereby reducing the blood sugar level.

Garlic also reduces blood pressure by blocking the angiotensin activity that triggers blood pressure levels.


Fights against cancer: Crushing garlic leads to the formation of compounds like diallyl disulphide and allyl tri-sulphide, which is why consuming it in its crushed form is highly recommended. These compounds work to fight against breast, stomach, bladder and prostate cancer. Garlic obstructs the development of cancerous cells, thereby slowing down the growth of tumour. It has been noticed that sulphur compounds commonly called ajoenes found in garlic are known for their anti-tumour qualities and can reduce the size of tumour by almost 50%. A strong immune system is a key to fighting against cancer and garlic helps to develop a strong immune system.

Improves immunity: Garlic has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. The allium present in garlic helps in controlling infections caused because of bacteria, fungi and viruses. Garlic helps to fight common cold. Studies reveal that crushed garlic can inhibit the growth of infectious bacteria in burn patients and also on open and bleeding wounds. Garlic provides relief from intestinal infections caused by infectious worms, thereby boosting the immunity.



Good for pregnant women:Healthy nutrients found in garlic are highly beneficial for pregnant women. The immunity boosting qualities of garlic can help women stay away from infections caused by bacteria, virus and fungi. Moreover, garlic has proved to be effective in increasing the weight of the child during pregnancy.

Pre-eclampsia is a situation in which blood pressure increases, resulting in excessive release of protein in the urine. Garlic is a diuretic and can increase the flow of urine in pregnant women which in turn expels toxic substance from the human body and helps to reduce the risk of developing pre-eclampsia.

It should be noted however, that excessive garlic is not recommended during pregnancies, as it causes thinning of the blood, which may lead to bleeding.

The problem with garlic

The biggest problem with garlic is it's strong smell, that causes bad breath and body odour. One tip to reduce bad breath caused by garlic is to consume it with milk. Also, cooked garlic has a significantly lesser smell than raw garlic.

Source: www.mdhil.com

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