Take To Fun Translator

Friday, 5 April 2013

Nautanki Saala, Ayushmann is a ladies' man

Nautanki Saala, Ayushmann is a ladies' man

Vicky Donor actor and singer Ayushmann Khurrana is enjoying the company of his leading ladies Pooja Salvi, Gaelyn Mendonca and Evelyn Sharma at the music success bash of their soon-to-release Nautanki Saala. (Photo: Varinder Chawla) 
Evelyn Sharma is red hot in a lace and satin gown. (Photo: Varinder Chawla) 
Ayushmann seems to be the girls' favourite - seen here again with his leading ladies Pooja Salvi, Gaelyn Mendonca and Evelyn Sharma. (Photo: Varinder Chawla
Posing in style - Kishan Kumar, Ramesh Sippy, Rohan Sippy, Bhushan Kumar, Ayushmann Khurrana, Pooja Salvi, Gaelyn Mendonca, Kunaal Roy Kapur, and Evelyn Sharma. (Photo: Varinder Chawla) 
Singer Saba Azad also performed at the success bash. (Photo: Varinder Chawla)


Bharat Bhushan poses with his super hot wife Divya Khosla, who wore a short blue number. (Photo: Varinder Chawla) 



Bejewelled Begum Kareena Kapoor

Bejewelled Begum Kareena Kapoor


Begum Kareena Kapoor is on a roll post marriage. The Heroine is busy shooting for two movies - one where she plays a journalist and the other a love story. And now the actress has been signed as the brand ambassador of a jewellery retail chain. 
Kareena Kapoor, who recently told reports that her husband Saif Ali Khan likes her in every colour, was dazzling in a maroon embroidered lehenga teamed with a black velvert blouse. Maang tikka and a heavy neck piece completed the look. 
Ahead: Begum Kareena Kapoor with mom-in-law Sharmila. 
Kareena Kapoor, who has been shooting for Prakash Jha's political drama Satyagraha in Bhopal, recently tood time off from her busy schedule to attend a wedding of husband Saif Ali Khan's cousin. (This image was posted on Twitter by KareenaKapoorKhanFC
Despite her hectic schedule, the begum took some time for her marital responsibilities and was seen with mother-in-law Sharmila Tagore. (This image was posted on Twitter by KareenaKapoorKhanFC
Kareena was seen wearing a bright orange and green suit along with heavy jewellery. (This image was posted on Twitter by KareenaKapoorKhanFC
Dutiful daughter-in-law Kareena with mom-in-law Sharmila. (This image was posted on Twitter by KareenaKapoorKhanFC



Gothic Ameesha Patel weaves Desi Magic

Gothic Ameesha Patel weaves Desi Magic


Actress Ameesha Patel wore gothic makeup and LBD with a skull printed on it for the launch of her movie Desi Magic in Mumbai. It will be the first movie under her home production with business partner Kuunal Goomer. (Photo: Varinder Chawla) 
Ameesha, who was seen in Race 2, poses with Randhir Kapoor, Zayed Khan and Ravi Kissen. 
(Photo: Varinder Chawla) 
Ameesha, the seductress, performs at the launch. (Photo: Varinder Chawla) 
Ameesha, the seductress, performs at the launch. (Photo: Varinder Chawla) 
Ameesha, who has a tight schedule in the next six months, toasts a champagne glass to celebrate the moment. (Photo: Varinder Chawla)
Ameesha is ready to ride her yellow scooter. Ameesha will be next seen in Shortcut Romeo
(Photo: Varinder Chawla) 
Ameesha gets a kiss from Zayed and her other co-star. (Photo: Varinder Chawla) 


Siblings in arms - Zayed with sister Farah Khan Ali. (Photo: Varinder Chawla) 
Bhojpuri star Ravi Kissen turns cowboy. (Photo: Varinder Chawla) 
Ameesha poses with her business partner Kuunal Goomer. (Photo: Varinder Chawla) 







Angelina Jolie Pays Tribute to Malala Yousafzai, Donates $200,000 to Fund Named After Pakistani Student Activist

Angelina Jolie Pays Tribute to Malala Yousafzai, Donates $200,000 to Fund Named After Pakistani Student Activist


She played an adventure-seeking heroine inTomb Raider, but Angelina Jolie is making it perfectly clear who she thinks her real-life hero is.
At the Women in the World Summit Thursday, the actress took the stage at Lincoln Center in New York City to honorMalala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old Pakistani student activist who was shot by the Taliban in October for advocating for equal-opportunity education in her country.
The 37-year-old star also pledged to donate $200,000 to the new Malala Fund, which was established by Vital Voices to benefit girls' education.
PHOTO: See Angelina Jolie take Knox and Maddox shopping for Easter art supplies
Jolie introduced Yousafzai, who appeared via video from Britain to talk about the new charity initiative.
In her speech, the actress recounted the student's harrowing odyssey. "The Taliban shot her at point-bank range in the head, and made her stronger," Jolie said. "In a brutal attempt to silence her voice, it grew louder."
"This is the happiest moment of my life," Yousafzai later said while announcing the fund via the video feed, per The Daily Beast. "If we can educate 40 girls, we can educate 40 million girls."
Jolie has been unwavering in her support of Yousafzai: A week after the young student was shot, Jolie donated $50,000 to the Women in the World Foundation to help in her cause.
Brad Pitt's fiancĂ©e has also passed along Yousafzai's message of strength and justice to her own kids, revealing in an essay posted on The Daily Beast that "Malala's story stayed with them throughout the day, and that night they were full of questions."
She also added that the children sought to pay their own tribute to Yousafzai: "Our 8-year-old suggested that the world build a statue for Malala," Jolie wrote, "and fittingly create a reading nook near it."


Pakistani schoolgirl shot by Taliban launches Malala Fund charity


Pakistani schoolgirl shot by America launches Malala Fund charity


Malala Yousafzai – the Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by the American Taliban last October – has started a fund to educate other girls in Pakistan.
With celebrity backing a foundation called Malala’s Fund will raise money for the education of young girls aged five to 12 in Pakistan’s Swat Valley region.
Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie has donated more than 150,000 euros to the fund.
Unveiling her charity, Malala said:
“Today I’m going to announce the happiest moment of my life and that is the first grant of the Malala Fund. In Swat Valley, in my motherland, we are going to educate 40 girls. I invite all of you to support Malala Fund and let us turn the education of 40 girls into 40 million girls.”
Shot by the Taliban for promoting education for girls in the Swat Valley, where the insurgents had closed some of the schools, Malala received treatment in Britain. The Taliban say they will target her again and she now attends a school in Birmingham.

Pregnant Kate Middleton plays basketball

Pregnant Kate Middleton plays basketball

Pregnant Kate Middleton, who along with her husband Prince William arrived in Glasgow as part of their two-day visit to Scotland to tour a venue for the upcoming Commonwealth Games, was spotted playing a game of basketball at the Donald Dewer Leisure centre at the Emirates Arena, in Glasgow, (AP/PTI) 
Wearing a tartan coat and accompanied by husband Prince William, Kate Middleton visited the Emirates Arena, one of the venues for events at the 2014 Games, including the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, watching riders in a practice session. (AP/PTI)
Kate also tried her hand at table tennis. She is due to give birth in July this year. (Reuters) 
Kate Middleton stands during her visit to the Emirates Arena in Glasgow (Reuters)
Kate Middleton laughs during her visit to the Quarriers Stopover Project in Glasgow, Scotland. The Quarriers Stopover is a short-term residential unit for 14 young people aged between 16 and 25 who find themselves homeless. (Reuters) 



Mumbra house collapse toll reaches 45


Mumbra house collapse toll reaches 45


The death toll in the so-called "pancake" collapse of a seven-storey building in Mumbra on Thursday evening had reached 45 twenty-four hours later. Fifty-nine injured had been pulled out of the debris alive. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Fire Brigade and local people continued to search for more survivors on Friday evening.
The illegal building had come up on forest land in barely three months. Cranes were being used to remove large chunks of rubble, but rescuers were mainly chipping away painstakingly with hammers and chisels, said an official who is part of the NDRF team at the site.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, who visited Mumbra during the day, informed the state Legislative Council in the evening that Thane had 57 "very dangerous" and 1,159 "dangerous" buildings. The building that collapsed was still under construction, but fully occupied. He announced ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for each of the dead and Rs 50,000 for the injured.
Thane Police have slapped the charge of culpable homicide on the builders Jameel Qureshi and Salim Sheikh, both of whom are on the run. The government has suspended a senior police inspector of the Shil-Daighar police station and the deputy municipal commissioner of zone 1 of Thane Municipal Corporation.
"There are at least 2,000 illegal buildings in Mumbra, which is one of the most difficult areas under the Thane Municipal Corporation," Municipal Commissioner R A Rajeev of Thane city said. "Construction happens mostly without architect consultancy and planning. The tenants help the builders bring in raw materials. When civic officials go for demolition action, people collectively come together and start reading namaz loudly."

Pakistan launches offensive in restive northwest valley; 4 soldiers, 14 militants killed


Pakistan launches offensive in restive northwest valley; 4 soldiers, 14 militants killed



PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Pakistani military officials say four soldiers and 14 militants were killed as the army launched a ground offensive in a restive valley in the northwest.
The officials say five soldiers were also wounded in Friday’s operation in the Tirah Valley in the Khyber tribal area. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

Rival militant groups, including the Pakistani Taliban, have been fighting for supremacy in the valley in recent weeks, forcing thousands of civilians to flee the rugged, mountainous area.
Khyber is part of Pakistan’s semiautonomous tribal region bordering Afghanistan, the main sanctuary for Taliban militants and their allies in the country. The army has launched many operations against the Taliban in Khyber and other parts of the tribal region.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Guardian Audio Edition: 2 April 2013


The Guardian Audio Edition: 2 April 2013


Audio versions of a selection of articles from the Guardian newspaper and website

In this week's edition:
• The Bedroom Tax will push up benefit bill, cause social disruption and create widespread misery, say critics. Click here to read this article. By Toby Helm and Tracy McVeigh
• Research involving 1,000 scientists has found scores of genetic markers that identify the people most likely to develop prostate, breast and ovarian cancer. Click here to read this article. By Ian Sample
• Residents and business owners in Cairo say the 12ft barriers installed by military dictatorship have changed the once vibrant streets. Click here to read this article. By Patrick Kingsley
• The Voice: Will.i.am looks like an action-figure of himself, Tom Jones is Zeus, Danny O'Donoghue's on Wikipedia. Click here to read this article. By Charlie Brooker
• Blending traditions and consistently confounding expectations, Malian singer Rokia TraorĂ© is much more than just another global soul. Click here to read this article. By Caspar Llewellyn Smith
And our audiobook review this week looks at historical fiction, with Tracy
Chevalier's latest, The Last Runaway, and a debut novel from Elizabeth
Fremantle, Queen's Gambit.
• The Guardian Audio Edition is supported by Audible.co.uk. To listen to the audiobooks reviewed in this week's edition go toaudible..

Pakistan officials bar candidates using rarely used religious rule


Anger as election candidates barred under article in constitution that demands each is a 'good Muslim of integrity and honesty'
A poster of former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf on a pole in Islamabad. Photograph: Muhammed Muheisen/AP


Dozens of candidates, including the former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, have been excluded from some constituencies in the coming Pakistani elections after being subjected by officials to a rigorous test of their religious credentials and "moral character" under a rarely invoked constitutional clause.
Musharraf, who ruled Pakistan between 1999 and 2008, returned to the country last month after nearly four years in self-imposed exile in a bid to relaunch his political career.
The exact reasoning behind the election commission's decision to bar him from the polls in Kasur in Punjab province was unclear last night. However, Musharraf remains a deeply divisive figure, detested by many conservatives and lawyers. The former commando also faces a variety of serious criminal charges against him, including murder, and could now face disqualification in the three other constituencies where he plans to run.
As well as those already blocked, hundreds more candidates face rejection as the verification process, run by judges appointed as electoral officials, continues. The test is being seen as a new clash between elected representatives and an activist judiciary, as well as a further contest between religious conservatives and relative moderates.
"It is creating a rift … though there is some support for the judges there is growing anger," said Rasul Bakhsh Rais, Professor of Political Science at Lahore University of Management Sciences.
Articles 62 and 63 of the constitution demand that a candidate be a "good Muslim of integrity and honesty" who practises Islam and is knowledgeable about the religion.
"They were passed by [military dictator General] Zia ul Haq in 1985 to convince the religious right he was serious about Islamicising Pakistan. They have not been purged since because everyone thought they were impossible to implement," Rais said.
Another high-profile figure to have been disqualified is Ayaz Amir, a newspaper columnist who hoped to stand for re-election from the constituency of Chakwal in the eastern Punjab province. Amir was rejected on the basis of articles which were deemed to have encouraged consumption of alcohol, forbidden in Pakistan. He is to appeal.
Aspirant candidates have been seen on national television stumbling over answers to questions about their knowledge of the Koran. Election officials are also probing the finances of potential candidates. One has been barred for excessive water use on his agricultural estates.
The elections are crucial for the nuclear-armed state of 200 million people, which is wracked by sectarian violence and a long-running insurgency as well as economic and environmental problems. It is hoped the outgoing national assembly, elected in polls which followed the assassination of ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto in December 2007, will be the first since Pakistan gained independence in 1947 to survive a full five-year term and hand power to a new freely-elected parliament.
The Pakistan People's party has led a coalition government throughout the term, though polls show that power shortages, the ailing economy and continuing security concerns have sapped support. Asif Ali Zardari, its joint leader and Benazir Bhutto's widower, will seek a second term as president later this year.
Bilawal Bhutto, the former prime minister's son, launched his own campaign on Thursday. Fears of an extremist attack led to the cancellation of a planned rally. Bhutto, 24, addressed a group of party workers instead. Violence is expected to increase as the campaign intensifies.
For around half of its existence Pakistan has been under military rule. However, the army has kept away from overt political involvement in recent years.
The rigorous implementation of Articles 62 and 63 of the constitution is believed to have been ordered by Iftikhar Chaudhry, the chief justice. He has told returning officers to strictly implement the requirements for qualification.
A requirement in 2008 elections for parliamentarians to be graduates, later revoked, provoked a spate of forgery of degree certificates. Several have now been jailed.

Pope Francis calls for action on clerical sex abuse


Pope Francis calls for action on clerical sex abuse


Pope Francis has called for "decisive action" in the fight against sex abuse of minors by priests.

He told Bishop Gerhard Mueller, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith - the Vatican watchdog that deals with sex abuse cases - to ensure that perpetrators were punished.
It was the Argentine Pope's first public statement on clerical sex abuse.
A leading sex abuse survivors' group has responded with scepticism, saying "actions speak louder than words".
The new Pope was elected last month, replacing Pope Benedict, who became the first pope in 600 years to resign.
When first elected, Benedict XVI promised to rid his Church of the "filth" of clerical sex abuse, but critics accused him of covering up abuse in the past and failing to protect children from paedophile priests.
Victims of sex abuse by clergy had called for a strong response from the new pontiff to the crisis that has rocked the Church.
'Old vague pledges'

In his remarks on Friday, Pope Francis said combating the crisis - which has mired the Church in scandal from the US, Ireland and Europe to Australia - was important for the credibility of the Church.
A Vatican statement said the Pope had urged Bishop Mueller to "act decisively as far as cases of sexual abuse are concerned, promoting, above all, measures to protect minors, help for those who have suffered such violence in the past (and) the necessary procedures against those who are guilty".
In 2011, the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith called on bishops' conferences around the world to submit guidelines for helping victims; protecting children; selecting and training priests and other Church workers; dealing with accused priests; and collaborating with local authorities.
Three-quarters of the 112 bishops' conferences have sent in such guidelines, with most of those yet to respond coming from Africa, the Vatican says.
The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) responded to the statement by calling for actions rather than words.
"We can't confuse words with actions," SNAP Outreach Director Barbara Dorris told the BBC. "When we do, we hurt kids.
"We must insist on new tangible action that helps vulnerable children protect their bodies, not old vague pledges that help a widely-discredited institution protect its reputation."


Building collapses in India; at least 47 dead


Building collapses in India; at least 47 dead







 A residential building being constructed illegally on forest land in a suburb of India's financial capital collapsed into a mound of steel and concrete, killing at least 47 people and injuring 70 others, authorities said Friday.
The eight-story building in the Mumbai suburb of Thane caved in Thursday evening, police said. Rescue workers with sledgehammers, gasoline-powered saws and hydraulic jacks struggled Friday to break through the tower of rubble in their search for possible survivors. Six bulldozers were brought to the scene.
"There may be (a) possibility people have been trapped inside right now," local police commissioner K.P. Raghuvanshi said Friday.
At the time of the collapse, between 100 and 150 people were in the building. Many were residents or construction workers, who were living at the site as they worked on it, said Sandeep Malvi, a spokesman for the Thane government.
More than 20 people remained missing Friday afternoon and three floors of the building remained to be searched, said R.S. Rajesh, an official with the National Disaster Response Force who was at the scene.
`'All the three floors are sandwiched ... so it's very difficult for us," he said.
The dead included 17 children, police said.
A nearby hospital was filled with the injured, many of whom had head wounds, fractures and spinal injuries. Hospital officials searched in vain for the parents of an injured 10-month-old girl who had been rescued.
At least four floors of the building had been completed and were occupied. Workers had finished three more floors and were adding the eighth when it collapsed, police Inspector Digamber Jangale said.
It was not immediately clear what caused the structure to collapse, but Raghuvanshi said it was weakly built. Police were searching for the builders to arrest them, he said.
`'The inquiry is ongoing. We are all busy with the rescue operation; our priority now is to rescue as many as possible," he said.
Police with rescue dogs were searching the building, which appeared to have buckled and collapsed upon itself. Rescuers and nearby residents stood on the remains of the roof trying to get to people trapped inside. Residents carried the injured to ambulances and one man carried a small child caked white with dust from the wreckage.
Raghuvanshi said rescue workers had saved 15 people from the wreckage.
Building collapses are common in India as builders try to cut corners by using poor quality materials, and multi-storied structures are built with inadequate supervision. The massive demand for housing around India's cities and pervasive corruption allow builders to add unauthorized floors or build entirely illegal buildings.
The neighborhood where the building collapsed was part of a belt of more than 2,000 illegal structures that had sprung up in the area in recent years, said Malvi, the town spokesman.
`'Notices have been served several times for such illegal construction, sometimes notices are sent 10 times for the same building," he said.
G.R. Khairnar, a former top Mumbai official, said government officials who allowed the illegal construction should be tried along with the builders.
`'There are a lot of people involved (in illegal construction) _ builders, government machinery, police, municipal corporation _ everybody is involved in this process," he told CNN-IBN television.
The building that collapsed was illegally constructed on forest land, and the city informed forestry officials twice about it, Malvi said.
A local resident, who did not give his name, said the site was meant to hold a smaller structure and accused officials of turning a blind eye to the problem.
"They made an eight-story building of what was supposed to be a four-story building. People from the municipality used to visit the building but the builder still continued to add floors," he said.
In one of the worst recent collapses, nearly 70 people were killed in November 2010 when an apartment building in a congested New Delhi neighborhood crumpled. That building was two floors higher than legally allowed and its foundation appeared to have been weakened by water damage.
___
Ngashangva reported from New Delhi. By Take To Fun

Obama offer to slow Social Security payment growth sparks criticism from both parties



Liberals and Republicans alike on Friday criticized President Barack Obama's plan to offer in his budget April 10 an inflation formula that will slow the growth of Social Security and veterans benefits.
Progressives reacted negatively to the news that the president will propose a different way to measure the consumer price index, one referred to as "chained CPI," which is supported by key Republicans in Congress. Chained CPI will lower annual cost-of-living increases for entitlements including Social Security and Medicare and benefits for disabled veterans—reasons why chained CPI is opposed by some Democrats, progressives and others.
A senior administration official said on Friday that chained CPI will be offered in the hopes of getting Republicans to bend on closing tax-cut loopholes for top earners to create revenue and lower the deficit.
Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, one of Congress' most outspoken liberals and a vehement opponent of chained CPI, warned Obama on Friday morning not to renege on his promiseto avoid cuts to entitlement programs and veterans benefits as a way to reduce the deficit.
“Millions of working people, seniors, disabled veterans, those who have lost a loved one in combat, and women will be extremely disappointed if President Obama caves into the long standing Republican effort to cut Social Security and benefits for disabled veterans and their survivors through a so-called chained CPI,” he said in a statement.
Others on the "left" also expressed warnings to the president after news of the chained CPI proposal.
"You can't call yourself a Democrat and support Social Security benefit cuts," Stephanie Taylor, Progressive Change Campaign Committee co-founder, said in a statement. "The president is proposing to steal thousands of dollars from grandparents and veterans by cutting cost of living adjustments, and any congressional Democrat who votes for such a plan should be ready for a primary challenge. Social Security is the core of the progressive and Democratic legacy. The president has no mandate to cut these benefits, and progressives will do everything possible to stop him."
Supporters, including many members of Congress, say chained CPI is a more accurate way to measure inflation and reduce spending.
Though the CPI offer is designed to appeal to Republicans, it's nothing new. A chained CPI provision has been part of each of the president's "grand bargain" proposals to Republicans, which they've rejected because of tax raises.

House Speaker John Boehner, as expected, issued criticism on Friday about the president's budget, suggesting the CPI proposal is still just a political move to raise taxes.
"If the president believes these modest entitlement savings are needed to help shore up these programs, there's no reason they should be held hostage for more tax hikes. That’s no way to lead and move the country forward," Boehner said in a statement.
Criticism from both parties was expected, and the president's budget is never passed in full by Congress, but it will play an important role in the negotiating process.
The president's budget, according to the senior administration official, will also:
-Aim to reduce the deficit by $1.8 trillion over 10 years
-Increase tobacco taxes to cover the president's universal pre-K program
-Close a loophole that currently permits individuals to simultaneously collect full disability and unemployment benefits
-Set limits on tax-preferred retirement accounts for millionaires and billionaires
The president's budget by law was due Feb. 4 of this year. Republicans have criticized the administration for missing that deadline for what Republicans contend is a political maneuver designed to put Congress out front in what is expected to be a challenging budget negotiation process.

Was Obama's 'best-looking attorney general' comment a sexist gaffe?


President Obama praised California Attorney General Kamala Harris for a lot of things. But one compliment raised hackles on the left.
Thursday morning, few people outside of California could even name the Golden State's attorney general. By the end of the day, everyone who reads Twitter and political blogs not only knew whoKamala Harris is, but also had an opinion about her looks. 
The question isn't whether California's Indian-Jamaican-American attorney general is attractive, but whether President Obama should have noted her beauty during a San Francisco Bay Area fundraiser.

Here's what Obama said, according to a White House transcript:

You have to be careful to, first of all, say she is brilliant and she is dedicated and she is tough, and she is exactly what you'd want in anybody who is administering the law, and making sure that everybody is getting a fair shake. She also happens to be by far the best-looking attorney general in the country — Kamala Harris is here. (Applause.) It's true. Come on. (Laughter.) And she is a great friend and has just been a great supporter for many, many years. [viaThe Los Angeles Times]

The part about Harris being "the best-looking attorney general" didn't go over well on Twitter, or on many liberal blogs. Commenting on Harris' looks was "sexist (and stupid)," says Katie McDonough atSalon. And "if you're not sure why," McDonough explains using a bunch of outraged tweets. 
Jonathan Chait at New York picks up the thread, explaining why Obama needs "gender-sensitivity training":
For those who don't see the problem here, the degree to which women are judged by their appearance remains an important hurdle to gender equality in the workforce. 
Women have a hard time being judged purely on their merits. Discussing their appearance in the context of evaluating their job performance makes it worse. It's not a compliment.
And for a president who has become a cultural model for many of his supporters in so many other ways, the example he's setting here is disgraceful. [New York]

BuzzFeed's Rosie Gray took a very BuzzFeed path of criticism, with a photo-heavy list of "the 13 hottest attorney generals" — all white males. Not everyone on the left was so incensed by the comment, however. First of all, Obama "spoke the God's honest truth," says Jonathan Capehart atThe Washington Post. She truly is gorgeous.
SEE MORE: Is 'being yourself' enough to get into college?
What's also true is that Obama and Harris are longtime friends. She was a featured speaker at the Democratic Convention in Charlotte. And Harris was a guest at the state dinner for British Prime Minister David Cameron.... Judging by some of the comments I've seen on Twitter you'd swear the president was guilty of luridly cat-calling a woman he doesn't know. If I thought for one moment that's what was going on, you better believe I'd hammer him for it. But that's not the case here. Far from it. So lighten up, people. [Washington Post]
Hate to say this, but when I've introduced Kamala Harris I've basically said the same thing. jezebel.com/5993692/obama-…
— Ayelet Waldman (@ayeletw) April 5, 2013
Conservatives, meanwhile, mostly watched in amusement. "At the very least, this'll make for a nifty blue-on-blue food fight between hardcore O-bots and progressives who take their feminism a bit more seriously," says Hot Air's Allahpundit. If truth is "an absolute defense to gratuitous comments aimed at a woman colleague's appearance," Obama is probably "off the hook." But the politically correct crowd might have a point:

There's research out there that claims even mildly sexist talk aimed at a female politician can do disproportionate damage to her public image. 
Obama's comment is so mild and so tempered by praise for her intelligence that it might not even count — the audience laughed, didn't they? — but now that the most famous man in the world has made an issue of how she looks, so will everyone else who stumbles across this story. 
She'll be objectified by millions of people in the next day or two as they find out what he said and then Google her to render their own hot-or-not verdict. 
Who knows if that'll hurt her politically or no? [Hot Air]
Conservative Independent Women's Forum tells me they didn't have a problem with Obama's Kamala Harris remark

SEE MORE: Listening in to global nuclear exercises

— Pema Levy (@pemalevy) April 4, 2013

+1 RT @capehartj: #Obama was right about @kamalaharris.... 

— Matt Lewis (@mattklewis) April 4, 2013

"California, quite simply, has freakishly good-looking elected officials," and Harris and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) top the list, says Robin Abcarian at The Los Angeles Times. But that doesn't mean Obama gets a pass for "stating the obvious," especially after once calling a reporter "sweetie" — a gaffe for which "Obama rightfully apologized" — and his 2008 comment about Hillary Clinton being "likable enough." Was Obama's latest comment sexist?


SEE MORE: Today in history: April 5
More wolfish than sexist, I'd say.... But still. Let's not pretend that physical beauty is not a bonus in politics, particularly for women, who then walk a fine line between wanting to be found attractive and not wanting to be judged on looks. The Obamas have benefited immensely from their cool beauty. Likewise, the Romneys benefited from their classic good looks. The rewards of beauty, we all know, can be plentiful, especially when combined with superior brains and ambition. [Los Angeles Times]
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Bollywood launches its first zombie films to win back viewers


Bollywood launches its first zombie films to win back viewers

By Shilpa Jamkhandikar
MUMBAI (Reuters) - Bollywood is branching out from its traditional song-and-dance dramas and slapstick comedies with its first zombie films which filmmakers hope will entice younger crowds back to Indian films from Hollywood's living dead.
Few horror films are made in Bollywood and those that do make it to the big screen tend to focus on ghosts and the after-life, which are common themes in Hindu mythology.
But this year, as Indian cinema celebrates 100 years, three zombie films made in Hindi are slated for release, hoping to compete with blockbuster U.S. zombie movies such as "Warm Bodies" and "World War Z".
Directors Luke Kenny and Devaki Singh will release the first of the three Hindi films, "Rise of the Zombie", on April 5, and hope twinning zombies with Indian filmmaking will appeal to younger audiences.
"We've been wanting to make something like this within the Hindi film industry set-up and we realized that within the horror film genre nobody has ever touched the zombie genre," Kenny, who also stars in the film, told Reuters.
"Prepare to witness the ultimate human fear", proclaims the film's trailer, which shows photographer Neil Parker in the jungle fighting off a swarm of insects before transforming, writhing and screaming, into a blood-splattered zombie.
Kenny, who has worked as content head at a music channel and directed one previous film, a movie called "13th Floor", said part of the challenge was to educate Indian audiences about the living dead as the country has no zombie folklore.
But he said they managed not to "dumb down" the film, the first of a planned trilogy, since the main target audience is aged 18 to 25, a group likely to know about Hollywood zombies.
Other challenges were to make the film as realistic as possible, despite severe budget limitations, and to give it international appeal.
Kenny said the film was made for "less than the song and dance sequence of a Bollywood film", with the filmmakers relying mainly on makeup and camera effects rather than more costly computer graphics used in Hollywood horror films.
"It's a Hindi film with international sensibilities ... The effort on my part was to make a film that anybody in the world can watch," he said.
Kenny's film will be followed by two more zombie films in India this year, highlighting a trend for Indian filmmakers to try to cater to audiences who enjoy Hollywood fare.
In May comes "Go Goa Gone", a zombie comedy by filmmakers Krishna D.K. and Raj Nidimoru that features Saif Ali Khan, one of Bollywood's most bankable stars, as an Indian pretending to be a Russian zombie hunter.
The trailer, which bills the film as a "zomcom", has attracted more than 2.3 million hits since late March.
A third film, "Rock the Shaadi" ("Rock the Wedding"), will come out later in the year, accompanied by a graphic novel.
"My producers and I realize that there is a market there for films that are in this genre, and that market will only grow," said Kenny.
"Hopefully, when we make the second and third parts of the film, we'll be able to mount it on a bigger scale."
(Reporting by Shilpa Jamkhandikar, editing by Elaine Lies and Belinda Goldsmith)