The NewsFuror

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Nominees for 14th Annual Screen Awards

Best Film
Chak De! India
Life in A… Metro
Om Shanti Om
Taare Zameen Par

Best Director
Aamir Khan - Taare Zameen Par
Anurag Basu - Life in A… Metro
Farah Khan - Om Shanti Om
Mani Ratnam - Guru
Shimit Amin - Chak De! India

Best Actor (Male)
Abhishek Bachchan - Guru
Akshaye Khanna – Gandhi My Father
Amitabh Bachchan – Cheeni Kum
Shah Rukh Khan - Chak De! India
Shahid Kapoor – Jab We Met

Best Actor (Female)
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan – Guru
Kareena Kapoor - Jab We Met
Tabu - Cheeni Kum

Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Male)
Aamir Khan - Taare Zameen Par
Darshan Jariwala - Gandhi My Father
Mithun Chakraborty – Guru
Sharman Joshi - Life in A… Metro
Vipin Sharma - Taare Zameen Par

Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Female)
Chak De! Girls - Chak De! India
Tisca Chopra - Taare Zameen Par
Konkana Sen Sharma - Life in A… Metro
Shefali Shah - Gandhi My Father

Best Actor in a Negative Role (Male/ Female)
Arjun Rampal – Om Shanti Om
Pankaj Kapur – The Blue Umbrella
Pawan Malhotra – Black Friday
Viviek Oberoi – Shoot Out At – Lokhandwala

Best Actor in a Comic Role (Male/ Female)
Anil Kapoor – Welcome
Govinda – Partner
Irrfan Khan - Life in A… Metro
Nana Patekar – Welcome
Vinay Pathak – Bheja Fry

Best Playback Singer (Male)
KK – Aankhon Mein Teri - Om Shanti Om
Shaan – Jab Se Tere Naina – Saawariya
Shankar Mahadevan – Maa - Taare Zameen Par
Shankar Mahadevan – Title Song - Taare Zameen Par
Soham – Inn Dino - Life in A… Metro

Best Playback Singer (Female)
Chinmaye - Tere Bina - Guru
Shreya Ghoshal - Barso Re Megha – Guru
Shreya Ghoshal – Yeh Ishq Haaye – Jab We Met
Sunidhi Chauhan – Sajnaji Vaari - Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd

Best Lyrics
Gulzar – Bol Na Halke - Jhoom Barabar Jhoom
Prasoon Joshi – Maa - Taare Zameen Par
Sameer – Jab Se Tere Naina – Saawariya
Sayeed Quadri - Inn Dinon - Life in A… Metro

Best Story
Amole Gupte - Taare Zameen Par
Anurag Basu - Life in A… Metro
Feroz Abbas Khan – Gandhi My Father
Imtiaz Ali – Jab We Met
Jaideep Sahni – Chak De! India

Best Screenplay
Amole Gupte - Taare Zameen Par
Anurag Basu - Life in A… Metro
Anurag Kashyap – Black Friday
Imtiaz Ali – Jab We Met
Jaideep Sahni – Chak De! India

Best Background Music
A R Rahman – Guru
Raju Singh - Life in A… Metro
Salim-Sulaiman - Chak De! India
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy - Taare Zameen Par
Vishal-Shekhar – Om Shanti Om

Best Music
A R Rahman – Guru
Monty Sharma – Saawariya
Pritam – Life in A… Metro
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy – Jhoom Barabar Jhoom
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy - Taare Zameen Par

Best Dialogue
Amole Gupte - Taare Zameen Par
Imtiaz Ali – Jab We Met
Jaideep Sahni – Chak De! India
Sanjeev Dutta – Life in A… Metro
Vijay Krishna Acharya – Guru

Best Editing
Aarti Bajaj Kashyap – Black Friday
Akiv Ali - Life in A… Metro
Amitabh Shukla - Chak De! India
Bunty Nagi - Shoot Out At Lokhandwala
Pooja Ladha Surti – Johnny Gaddaar

Best Sound
Baylon Fonseca - Shoot Out At Lokhandwala
Bishwadeep Chatterjee – Eklavya The Royal Guard
H. Sridhar – Guru
Hari Dwarak & Madhu Apsara - Johnny Gaddaar
Hitendra Ghosh - Life in A… Metro
Manas Chaudhary & Ali Merchant - Chak De! India

Best Cinematography
Bobby Singh - Life in A… Metro
N. Nataraj Subramaniam - Eklavya The Royal Guard
Rajiv Menon – Guru
Ravi Chandran – Saawariya
Sudeep Chatterjee - Chak De! India

Best Special Effects
Red Chillies VFX - Chak De! India
Red Chillies VFX – Om Shanti Om
Tata Elxsi - Taare Zameen Par

Best Art Direction
Gautam Sen – Khoya Khoya Chand
Nitin Chandrakant Desai – Gandhi My Father
Omung Kumar – Saawariya
Sabu Cyril – Guru
Sabu Cyril – Om Shanti Om

Best Choreography
Farah Khan – Dhoom Tana - Om Shanti Om
Ganesh Hegde & Pappu-Mallu – Yun Shabnami – Saawariya
Saroj Khan – Barso Re Megha – Guru
Vaibhavi Merchant – Aaja Nachle - Aaja Nachle
Vaibhavi Merchant – Title Song – Jhoom Barabar Jhoom

Best Action
Abbas Ali – Awarapan
Anthony Stone – Cash
Javed Ejaz – Shoot Out At Lokhandwala
Tinu Verma – Apne

Most Promising Newcomer (Male)
Ranbir Kapoor – Saawariya
Neil Nitin Mukesh – Johnny Gaddaar

Most Promising Newcomer (Female)
Deepika Padukone – Om Shanti Om
Sonam Kapoor – Saawariya

Most Promising Debut Director
Aamir Khan - Taare Zameen Par
R Balakrishna – Cheeni Kum
Feroz Abbas Khan – Gandhi My Father
Reema Kagti – Honeymoon Travels
Sajid Khan - Heyy Babyy

Best Child Artiste
Ali Haji – Ta Ra Rum Pum
Angelina - Ta Ra Rum Pum
Darsheel Safary - Taare Zameen Par
Dhruv Piyush Panjuani – Apna Aasmaan
Shreya Sharma – Blue Umbrella

Breaking News

Pakistan delays parliamentary elections until February 18 due to unrest following assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

Hottest Collection of December 2007 Indian Wallpapers

Cyprus and Malta adopt the euro

Maltese euro coin
A pavement is adorned with the euro in Malta's capital Valletta
Two Mediterranean island states, Cyprus and Malta, have begun using the euro, joining 13 other countries.

The countries' leaders made symbolic withdrawals of euros from cash machines just minutes into the New Year.

Major bank branches opened for a few hours in Cyprus despite the New Year holiday. The Maltese celebrated the euro's arrival with fireworks.

Cyprus and Malta have added just 1.2 million people to the number of Europeans using the single currency.

But they will have equal voting rights with the other 13 eurozone members at the European Central Bank.

Careful preparations

Both island nations prepared for the changeover thoroughly.

Population: 407,000
Size: 316 sq km (122 sq miles), the smallest member of the eurozone
GDP: 4.8bn euros (0.06% of total eurozone GDP)
Biggest earners: Tourism, manufacturing but growth in financial services, IT
Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi is also Finance Minister
Independent from UK in 1964

In Cyprus 300,000 currency converters were sent to households, while in Malta a euro telephone hotline has been running alongside 59 "euro centres".

The switchover in Cyprus will highlight the decades-old division between the south and the Turkish-controlled north of the island.

The Turkish lira remains the primary currency in northern Cyprus, which is outside the European Union and is recognised only by Turkey.

But Cyprus' euro coins are inscribed in both Greek and Turkish.

Aware of the previous experiences of some other eurozone members, Cyprus and Malta are watching retailers to ensure they do not use the changeover to round up their prices, contributing to inflation.

Cypriot euro coin
Euros will be accepted in Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus
The Cypriot government urged companies to round their prices down, while Malta signed 12 price stabilisation agreements with importers, which will last until March 2008.

Both the Maltese lira and the Cyprus pound will be legal tender until the end of January.

Commercial banks in Malta will exchange Maltese lira into euros free of charge until the end of March, and the central bank will allow exchange of lira notes until 2018.

In Cyprus, euros can be exchanged free of charge until the end of June and the central bank will allow exchange of pound notes until 2017.

Big benefits

Scrapping currency exchange costs and adopting a major currency raise hopes of a big boost to the islands' industries.

Population: 778,000 (Greek Cypriots)
Size (combined): 9,251 sq km (3,572 sq miles)
GDP: 15.2bn euros (0.17% of total eurozone GDP)
Biggest earners: Finance and tourism account for almost 80% GDP
Independent from UK in 1960, Turkish northern Cyprus not part of EU

Malta is already enjoying a tourism boom, with double-digit growth expected this year, largely due to the arrival of low-cost airlines.

But it is also planning to become a magnet for hi-tech investment.

Several pharmaceutical companies have established research centres in Malta to develop generic copies of patented drugs.

And the German airline Lufthansa signed an agreement in 2007 for Malta to maintain and overhaul its planes.

The Cypriot Finance Minister, Michalis Sarris, has said the euro will benefit consumers and businesses alike because of the eurozone's low inflation, low interest rates and large market.

In the Turkish-controlled north many businesses have already begun accepting the euro and cross-border commerce is flourishing.

In 2003, the Turkish Cypriot authorities opened crossing points, prompting Turkish Cypriot shoppers to go south in search of greater choice and Greek Cypriots to head north for bargains and casinos.

The euro will also become legal tender on British military bases in Cyprus, the first part of sovereign British territory to adopt the currency.

Although the bases at Dhekelia, Episkopi and RAF Akrotiri are not officially part of the European Union, an estimated 10,000 Cypriots live or work there.

Residents use the shops, cafes and beaches on the bases, so the authorities in the sovereign base areas have decided to adopt the same rules as the Cypriot government.

Spanish bank 'held A&L bid talks'

Alliance & Leicester branch
Alliance & Leicester could be bid target
UK bank Alliance & Leicester held talks last month about a possible takeover by Spanish bank Santander, reports say.

The Financial Times said that although the talks in December faltered over the price, Santander has not ruled out resuming negotiations with the UK bank.

Reports said Santander's offer valued A&L at more than £2.7bn ($5.36bn).

Shares in A&L jumped by more than 8% on the news. The shares had fallen 43% in the past year on fears the bank could be hit by the credit crunch.

However, A&L has denied it faces any problems, and in November it issued a trading statement saying that it had secured extra funding facilities which would enable it to remain pre-funded until the third quarter of 2008.

Santander has been seeking to expand its presence in the UK market. The bank already owns Abbey, the UK's third-largest mortgage lender, which it bought in 2004.

A&L shares were up 8.41%, or 54.5 pence, at 702.5p in early morning trade.

Violence in Kenya delays trading

A man gestures during clashes between rival groups in Nairobi's Mathare slum, 1 January 2008
There have been fresh clashes in Nairobi's slums

The opening of the foreign exchange market in Kenya has been delayed by two hours amid violent protests against the outcome of the presidential election.

Dealers said that currency trading would begin at 0800 GMT. It was scheduled to open at 0600 GMT.

When the markets do open, it is thought that the Kenyan shilling will decline against the US dollar as a humanitarian crisis blights the country.

The incumbent Mwai Kibaki was sworn in on Sunday, but accused of vote-rigging.

Opening of trade at Kenya's stock exchange was also delayed, while the country's weekly tea auction has been postponed until some "normality" resumes, one broker said.

Violence has broken out around Kenya with at least 250 people killed so far as political turmoil descends into an ethnic clash between Mr Kibaki's supporters and that of the opposition leader Raila Odinga.

Plug is pulled on Blackstone deal

Blackstone logo
Conditions for private equity buyouts are becoming trickier
A company that private equity firm Blackstone was aiming to buy for $1.8bn (£908m) has ended the deal on the basis that its suitors could not raise funds.

Blackstone and industrial giant General Electric (GE) agreed in March last year to buy PHH, a US provider of mortgages and fleet management services.

But PHH said the sale had been terminated because it could not be completed by 31 December as agreed.

In the wake of the credit crisis, funding deals has become much harder.

In recent years, firms such as Blackstone have used cheap credit from banks to fund a takeover spree that has pushed up stock markets and thrust the private equity sector into the spotlight.

We regret that the banks are now unwilling to provide financing under the terms they originally agreed to
Blackstone spokesman

But higher interest rates and record mortgage defaults in the US sub-prime sector means cheap credit is now harder to access.

PHH has requested a $50m termination fee from Blackstone, citing the terms of the arrangement.


A successful deal would have seen GE buying PHH, retaining its fleet management services business, and then selling its residential home loan unit to Blackstone.

Mr. AB Krongard, non-executive chairman of PHH, said he was "disappointed" that the transaction could not be completed.

Blackstone expressed similar sentiments, blaming the banks, which included JP Morgan and Lehman Brothers.

According to Blackstone, the lenders had previously agreed to provide loans to support the deal but reneged on the terms of the financing arrangement.

"Blackstone was prepared to close its end of the transaction using the financing that in March was originally committed to be made available," spokesman John Ford said in an email to Reuters.

"We regret that the banks are now unwilling to provide financing under the terms they originally agreed to."

Arsenal 2-0 West Ham

Eduardo and Cesc Fabregas celebrate after putting Arsenal ahead
Eduardo and Cesc Fabregas celebrate Arsenal's opening goal
Arsenal comfortably saw off West Ham to maintain their two-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.

Eduardo put the Gunners ahead in the second minute, finding space in the box to smash home into the bottom corner.

Anton Ferdinand had a shot cleared off the line as West Ham responded well but Emmanuel Adebayor made it 2-0, slotting home from the narrowest of angles.

The Hammers' attacking threat faded as the game wore on and they ran out of ideas well before the final whistle.

Alan Curbishley's side, whose victory over Manchester United on Saturday had allowed Arsenal to reclaim top spot, came to the Emirates Stadium on the back of a productive festive period that has seen them move back into the top half of the table.

But they were chasing this game from the start thanks to Eduardo's latest strike, his fifth in his last three starts.

With two minutes gone, the Brazil-born Croatia international ghosted between Ferdinand and Matthew Upson, chested down Cesc Fabregas's cross with his first touch and buried the ball past Robert Green with his second.

Green's frustration at the amount of room Eduardo had been given was clear, but he could have no complaints about West Ham's response.

First Mark Noble's toe-poke flew just wide, then Carlton Cole shrugged off Justin Hoyte and saw his shot spin off Kolo Toure and arch past the post.

The Hammers went even closer from the resulting corner which saw Ferdinand's deflected near-post shot cleared off the line by Gael Clichy.

But Arsenal are known for their resilience almost as much as for their flair these days and the Gunners not only held out, but increased their lead in the 18th minute.

Adebayor beat Green to Clichy's long ball and, after nodding past the stranded goalkeeper, he threaded his shot between the post and defender Upson from an almost impossible angle.

It was a blow for West Ham but an even bigger one was the injury that forced Freddie Ljungberg off on 37 minutes, as the visitors did not come forward with the same conviction once the Swede departed his old stamping ground.

Adebayor nodded the ball past Rob Green before firing home
Adebayor nodded the ball past Rob Green before firing home

However, Arsenal were hardly creating much by then. Apart from a half-hearted Eduardo header and a deflected Mathieu Flamini effort, there was little to trouble Green.

The spark had gone out of this match long before Dean Ashton was belatedly brought off the bench for the injury-hit visitors.

Ashton could do little to change the outcome and George McCartney's fizzing shot wide of Manuel Almunia's post was the Hammers' only effort of merit after the break.

At the other end, Adebayor lobbed wide and Theo Walcott and Tomas Rosicky both brought good saves from Green but Arsenal seemed keener to out-pass West Ham than add to their goal tally.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger will be happy enough with the outcome though, and, after seeing his side collect 10 points from four games over Christmas, he will be content that their title challenge is on track at the start of 2008.

  • Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger:

    "We did the job early on and after that we controlled the game.

    "West Ham created some dangerous situations from set-pieces in the first-half but we stayed in control.

    "They had given a lot when they beat Manchester United on Saturday but they still defended well. They never gave anything away but we commanded things."

  • West Ham manager Alan Curbishley:

    "We conceded a goal we are not used to conceding in the first two minutes. Eduardo had time to bring it down and pick his spot.

    "Their second goal was a disastrous one for us as well.

    "We created a couple of chances but poor defending meant we were on the back foot. You can't concede goals like that here and get away with it."

    Gatlin ban reduced to four years

    Justin Gatlin
    Gatlin won the 100m title at the Athens Olympics in 2004
    Olympic 100m champion Justin Gatlin has had his eight-year suspension for doping in 2006 reduced to four.

    The United States Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) confirmed an arbitration panel had voted 2-1 to a four-year ban.

    The 25-year-old was originally given an eight-year ban instead of a lifetime sanction after agreeing to help Usada's anti-doping campaign but appealed.

    Gatlin, who also failed a test in 2001, will not be able to race until 24 May 2010, but may decide to appeal again.

    The American, who had expected to be able to defend his Olympic crown in Beijing, has accepted testing positive, but claims he never knowingly used banned substances.

    Gatlin, the 2005 world 100m and 200m champion, and his solicitor have not yet commented on the verdict or whether the athlete will against the decision to the Court of Arbritration for Sport (Cas).

    However, Gatlin's mother says her son is still hoping to compete again.

    Given his cooperation and the circumstances relating to Mr Gatlin's first offence, the four-year penalty issued by the arbitration panel is a fair and just outcome
    Usada chief executive officer Travis Tygart

    "There is no doubt about that," she said. "We will be talking to his lawyer. I think everybody is blindsided by this decision."

    Gatlin gave a positive test for testosterone at the low-level Kansas Relays in April 2006.

    It was his second failed drugs test and, under the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) code, he should have been given a lifetime suspension.

    But Usada, in exchange for Gatlin agreeing to cooperate with its anti-doping campaign and in recognition of the exceptional circumstances of his first failure, imposed an eight-year ban, although the athlete decided to appeal against the length of the suspension.

    Usada chief executive officer Travis Tygart said on Tuesday: "Mr Gatlin should be commended for his decision to cooperate with authorities following his positive test.

    "However, these efforts do not completely remove his responsibility for his second doping offence.

    "Given his cooperation and the circumstances relating to Mr Gatlin's first offence, the four-year penalty issued by the arbitration panel is a fair and just outcome."

    He failed his first test in 2001 when amphetamines were found in his samples at the USA Junior Championships.

    But it was accepted that medicine he had been taking for 10 years to control attention-deficit disorder was the reason for the failed test.

    Gatlin started his appeal against the eight-year ban last summer and has now been given the minimum sanction recommended by world governing body the IAAF back in 2006.

    The Washington Post reported that two out of the three arbitration panel members said they could not give less than a four-year ban because of the previous positive test.

    Gatlin has not competed since winning the 100m at the US national championships in June 2006.

    Deadly bomb blast strikes Colombo

    Sri Lankan investigators comb the site of a roadside bomb attack against an army bus in Colombo on 2 January 2007
    A Claymore landmine is said to have been used for the blast
    A bomb targeting a bus in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo has killed at least four people and injured another 20, police and military officials say.

    The blast took place as the military bus was passing a busy junction in a district that houses key military installations, reports said.

    A hospital official told Reuters that two of those killed were soldiers.

    Military officials said they suspected the separatist Tamil Tigers. The rebels denied involvement, Reuters reported.

    The powerful explosion took place near Hotel Nippon in Colombo's commercial Slave Island area.

    Victims were taken to the Colombo national hospital, where several people were reportedly in critical condition.


    "There was a Claymore (landmine) attack targeting an army bus carrying troops," a military official at the scene told Reuters.

    The official said there were "about 11 soldiers" on board the bus.

    Most of the victims were civilians while a few soldiers were also admitted with shrapnel injuries, news agency AFP quoted hospital director Hector Weerasinghe as saying.

    Police and eyewitnesses said the low-budget Nippon hotel suffered extensive damage and staff members were also among those wounded.

    Fighting between troops and the rebels, who want autonomy for minority Tamils in the north and east, has worsened in recent months.

    A Norwegian-brokered ceasefire in 2002 broke down two years ago, resulting in renewed fighting that has killed more than 5,000 people.

    At least 70,000 people have died since the war began in 1983.

    Pakistan poll date decision due

    Benazir Bhutto supporters in Multan
    Elections were two weeks away when Bhutto was killed

    Pakistan's election commission is meeting to decide when elections originally scheduled for 8 January will take place.

    On Tuesday it said holding the polls as planned looked "impossible", in the wake of clashes following the killing of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.

    A commission official said the decision on the parliamentary poll would be made after consulting the political parties.

    The main opposition parties want the poll to go ahead as planned.

    The commission's spokesman, Kanwar Dilshad, said violent protests had directly affected the organisation of the poll.

    Bilawal Bhutto
    Asif Ali Zardari Benazir's widower and former political ally, has faced corruption and other charges
    Bilawal Bhutto (pictured) Benazir's son, a 19-year-old Oxford University student, considered too young by some PPP members
    Makhdoom Amin Fahim Senior PPP figure and top aide to Benazir

    Thirteen polling offices were burnt in Ms Bhutto's home province of Sindh as protests and violent clashes broke out after her assassination last Thursday, he said.

    But opposition parties have condemned any delay as a desperate measure to avoid defeat by President Pervez Musharraf's ruling party.

    "There are no grounds whatsoever for delaying the elections," said Raza Rabbani, deputy secretary general of Ms Bhutto's party, the PPP.

    "It is being done only at the behest of the PML-Q as they are seeing their defeat," he said.

    The other main opposition leader, former PM Nawaz Sharif, vowed his party would "agitate" against a delay.

    The ruling PML-Q party has said the 8 January vote should be delayed for several weeks, on the grounds that the vote would "lose credibility" if held under current conditions.

    The BBC's Chris Morris in Islamabad says the PPP wants elections as soon as possible, in order to take advantage of what could be a big sympathy vote.

    Dossier on 'rigging'

    On Tuesday, one of Ms Bhutto's aides said that the day the PPP leader was killed, she had been planning to give two visiting US lawmakers a 160-page dossier setting out how she thought the vote would be rigged.

    The aide said it documented how Pakistan's ISI intelligence service and the election commission planned to use intimidation and fake ballots to ensure a ruling party victory.

    President Pervez Musharraf's spokesman dismissed the claims as "ridiculous".

    "Take it from me, it's going to be perhaps the best election that Pakistan has ever had," said Rashid Qureshi.

    The electoral commission has asked each of Pakistan's four provincial governments to compile reports on their readiness for an election.

    The commission says in many districts ballot boxes and voting screens have been destroyed and the printing of ballot papers - and their delivery around the country - has also been disrupted.


    At least 47 people have been killed in violence since Ms Bhutto's death.

    The authorities have accused pro-Taleban militant leader Baitullah Mehsud of being behind her killing.

    On Wednesday, the military said troops had killed about 25 militants in the tribal region of South Waziristan where Baitullah Mehsud is based.

    Fighting began on Tuesday after four troops were taken hostage by the militants, the authorities say.