Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 1:25 AM
at 6:14 AM
Thursday, January 10, 2008 at 4:20 AM
India's giant Tata Group has unveiled the world's cheapest car that auto analysts say could turn upside down the cost of vehicles globally.The long-awaited "People's Car", over which the company has thrown a shroud of secrecy, was slated to be unveiled in the auto show at Pragati Maidan by Ratan Tata, the 70-year-old tycoon who heads the tea-to-steel group. Tata, whom the Indian media have likened to US automobile pioneer Henry Ford, has said he hopes the ultra-cheap car will "make a contribution to making life safer" for Indian families who often travel four to a motorbike -- father driving, mother riding pillion and two children wedged in between. The car, expected to carry a sticker price as low as 2,500 dollars could "revolutionise car costs downward," said leading Indian car analyst Murad Ali Baig. It "is bound to be followed by other low-cost ones."The four-door five-seater rear-engined auto, described by those who have seen it as boasting "cute" looks, is targeted at drivers trading up to four wheels from two in India as a booming economy creates new affluence. The car on which Tata Motor engineers have cut costs to the bone has sparked a race among global automakers to come up with rock-bottom priced vehicles to appeal to this growing lucrative segment in India and other emerging markets.The lightweight car has only one windshield wiper instead of two, no power steering, no power windows and no air conditioning, according to media reports and company comments. Already Germany's Volkswagen, leading Indian motorbike maker Bajaj Auto and France's Renault and Ford among others have said they planning or mulling new cheap cars for India where small autos comprise two-thirds of annual passenger vehicle sales of one million in the country of 1.1 billion. India's biggest carmaker, Japanese-owned Maruti Suzuki, has said it may cut the price of the Maruti 800, its most popular budget model that sells for 4,800 dollars -- the cheapest car now on the country's roads. Tata, which has been on an aggressive overseas expansion drive, is also expected to win its reported two-billion-dollar bid for the British Land Rover and Jaguar brands -- which would put it in the unusual position of making two prestige cars as well as the world's lowest-cost automobile. Environmentalists see clouds on the horizon if Tata's cheap car is a winner, fearing it will further jam up India's clogged roads and add to choking pollution. "With more cars you have more emissions and that adds to global warming -- what we need is public transport," said Souparno Banerjee, an official of Delhi's Centre for Science and Environment.But Tata says the car will create no more pollution than a motorbike. "If I can get a loan from my boss, I might buy the car so my family and I could travel, I can't take my mother on my motorcycle any more -- she's too old," said courier driver Daniel Abraham.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at 2:06 AM
Labels: record breaking
Sunday, January 6, 2008 at 11:17 AM
Labels: Wacky and Weird
Friday, January 4, 2008 at 10:39 AM
Kenya's embattled opposition vowed another day of rallies on Friday, setting the stage for more violence. This comes amid a political deadlock between the president and his chief rival who claims the closest election in the country's history was rigged. The US and Europe pushed for reconciliation, but said a ''made-in-Kenya solution'' is needed to end the violence that has killed 300 people and displaced 100,000 since President Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner of the December 27 polls. Jendayi Frazer, the top US diplomat for Africa, had planned to leave Thursday for talks with Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said. Frazer would not serve as a mediator, but would try to encourage the leaders to talk, McCormack said. Nairobi was calm early Friday, but Salim Lone, a spokesman for opposition chief Raila Odinga, said ''we are not going to give up our right to assemble peacefully.'' ''We will not back down until there is a clear solution for the crisis caused by the stolen election,'' Lone said. Kibaki has said he is ''ready to have dialogue with concerned parties once the nation is calm and the political temperatures are lowered enough for constructive and productive engagement.'' South African Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu met Odinga in Nairobi Thursday, saying afterward Odinga was ready for ''the possibility of mediation.'' Kibaki's office said the president was expected to meet Tutu on Friday. Government spokesman Alfred Mutua, however, said Kenya had no need for mediators. ''We are not in a civil war,'' he said. In the Mathare slum in Nairobi, Ruth Otieno said Friday about 60 houses were burned down overnight, displacing scores of families. On Thursday, riot police fired tear gas and water cannons to beat back crowds of opposition protesters in Nairobi, where postelection violence in what had been one of Africa's most stable countries left shops, homes, cars and at least two churches in flames. The violent images _ of burning churches, machete-wielding gangs, looters making off with petrol _ are heartbreakingly common in a region that includes war-ravaged Somalia and Sudan, but not in Kenya. The dispute over the Dec. 27 vote has degenerated into violence pitting Kibaki's influential Kikuyus against Odinga's Luos and other tribes. The upheaval has spread to the coast to the western highlands. Hundreds of young men marched Thursday in the coastal resort of Mombasa but were quickly driven back by security forces. Police shot one protester in the head and he was taken to a hospital, said witness Moses Baya. ''War is happening here,'' said 45-year-old Edwin Mukathia, who was among thousands of people who poured out of Nairobi's slums Thursday to heed Odinga's call for a million man march in the city's Uhuru Park. Mukathia and the others were kept at bay by riot police, who choked off the roads and fired live bullets over their heads. Opposition leaders canceled the march but said they would hold it on Friday, setting the stage for yet another day of upheaval. Kenya's electoral commission said Kibaki had won the December 27 vote, but Odinga alleged the vote was rigged and international observations say it was flawed. On Thursday, Attorney General Amos Wako called for an independent probe of the counting. Wako did not elaborate or say whether an independent body would include foreign observers, and it was unclear whether he had Kibaki's backing or had made the statement independently. Wako, who was appointed to his lifetime post by former President Daniel arap Moi, has been seen as close to Kibaki. The decision to launch an independent election probe was a surprise and could reflect the seriousness of the rigging allegations. But the government has a long history of appointing independent commissions to investigate wrongdoing, only to have them take years and end with reports that are never released and have no practical effects. Mutua said he had ''no problem'' with Wako's call. But Odinga's spokesman, Salim Lone, rejected it, saying his party had ''no faith in any government institution.'' Also Thursday, Odinga toured Nairobi's City Mortuary, which was full of piles of bodies of babies, children, young men and women. Some were burned, while others had head wounds. Many did not have visible wounds. It was unclear when they had died, but opposition officials said some were killed on Thursday.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 7:47 AM
Delores Aveiro has lump removed Cristiano Ronaldo's mum is battling breast cancer and is recovering from a life-saving operation.Dolores Aveiro had radiotherapy after surgery to remove a lump from her breast and broke the news to the Man United star before Christmas.The soccer star would like to be by the 53-year-old's side at home in Madeira but must stay in England to continue playing in the premiership league.'This has hit Cristiano really hard,' a pal reveals. 'He had his fair share of heartache and his mum means the world to him.'But the 22-year-old is determined to look after his mother and calls her every day to keep her spirits up.'I try to give my mum lots of love and affection,' Cristiano tells the Sunday Mirror.'I'm just sorry I can't be with her for her birthday.'
Labels: Cristiano Ronaldo's
Tuesday, January 1, 2008 at 10:37 AM
Labels: The half ton mum