Singapore Airlines To Launch New Routes

By Aglaia Staff

Singapore Airlines (SIA) will launch a new premium economy cabin class on its Airbus A380 for the New Delhi and Mumbai routes from October 25 and January 2, 2016. respectively, the airlines said on Saturday.

As per the release, this Airbus service will be routed from the aforementioned cities to Singapore, and further onto Sydney, Hong Kong, Auckland, Frankfurt and Los Angeles.

“The premium economy class will be progressively introduced across the Singapore Airlines global network on 19 Airbus A380s, 19 Boeing 777-300ERs and the first 20 Airbus A350s“, the airline said.

To promote the new service, Singapore Airlines will be giving a complimentary one-way premium economy ticket for Vistara, a domestic airline joint venture between Tata and SIA, to KrisFlywer members booking the same class on a flight from Mumbai or New Delhi. The offer is available till December 31, and will be valid from October 25 this year to March 31, 2016, for passengers flying out of New Delhi; and from January 2 to March 31, 2016 for those flying out of Mumbai. Apart from this, “existing and new KrisFlyer members can enjoy additional discounts, ranging between Rs 5,000 – 15,000 per person on select Premium Economy destinations”, stated the release.

Tickets for the new premium economy class are expected to be nearly 60% costlier than the current economy class. The new premium seats were showcased in Mumbai on Saturday, followed by on-spot bookings for interested persons.



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Atal Bihari Vajpayee

By Sunil Kumar

A successful politician is someone who means all things to all people”. This enigmatic phrase seems to sum up this insightful biography of Vajpayee; by Kingshuk Nag

 Atal Bihari Vajpayee

For a TV generation; Modi’s achievement has been in making Jana Sangh icons such as Shyam Prasad Mukherjee and Deen Dayal Upadhyay more well known. Vajpayee

For someone who is psychologically invested in the future of his nation; despite a somewhat pretentious world repeatedly stressing on the ill-effects of so-called “jingoism”; and media commentators cooking up daily excuses to undermine national identity; the history of the Indian republic is a roller-coaster ride much like the long narrative of an ancient civilization. Public memory is short; something that is top-of-mind today seems like a shadow only a decade later.

Atal”ji”; a Bharat Ratna is currently incapacitated both physically and mentally. His long innings in public life; poetic nature, witty repartee and thoughtful oratory were appreciated across the Indian political spectrum. Unlike our present prime minister; who draws extreme adulation or revulsion; Vajpayee was a generally liked “middle-0f-the road” politician.

Nag informs that Jawaharlal Nehru was subjected to Vajpayee’s critiques; but was very fond of this fiery orator from Gwalior; who came to Delhi in 1950; a mere three years after independence. Unlike the general lack of civility in public discourse and the instant reactions of social media; Vajpayee was of a more genteel mindset; a wily old man; but appealing nevertheless.

The internal dynamics of the RSS and the Jana Sangh; the formation of the BJP; and Vajpayee’s electoral fortunes make for engaging reading. The writer reveals that M.S Golwalkar; the first sarsanghachalak was instrumental in promoting “cultural nationalism”; was a semi-mystical recluse; not very interested in the trappings of power. Core governance with development is an agenda most people aspire for; the author seems to suggest that Vajpayee provided this in ample measure during his tenure as the first BJP Prime Minister.


Many people; including this writer are sick of politicians making a mockery of democracy; indulging in personal turf wars; and ego struggles. Vajpayee’s statements here are illustrative; “The greatest curse, not merely of Indian politics but of national life as a whole, is the general incapacity to work together. Let’s learn to unite, instead of dividing to create harmony where disharmony exists and to keep our self-interest and ego in leash”. Atal also alluded to how centre-state relations in the country had become akin to a saas-bahu relationship.

Although the book stops short of a hagiography; Atal’s power dynamic; his relations with people such as Balraj Madhok, L.K Advani, Jaswant Singh; K.S Sudarshan, Govindacharya and his personal life are described in some detail. A mild-mannered leader ranks higher in public perception than a so-called “dictatorial” leader; but everything is subjected to the relativity of time; and overall results.

Vajpayee was also instrumental in building a momentum for economic liberalization; and laid the groundwork for “India Shining”; an economic base which helped his arch-rivals when they managed to crawl back into power in 2004.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s politics stem from a conciliatory; all-encompassing Indian world view; pluralism which can sometimes not feel right in a world that is a sordidly brutal power struggle. As a nation; positive icons are needed in times of great upheaval. A.B Vajpayee; A.P.J Kalam seem to inspire faith in an age of over-the-top histrionics and the increasingly dark spectre of votebank politics. Motivation can indeed bring about change; and this sincere citizen earnestly hopes that there is a new dawn.

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ISRO creates world-record with 104 satellites launched

The Indian Space Research Organisation’s (Isro’s) historic feat of hurling 104 satellites in one go, a record by any space agency, is set to open up a global opportunity and make India a one-stop shop for building and hurling micro satellites

Over the next five years, over 3,000 such satellites with sizes varying from a small shoebox to a 24-inch television set and weighing one kg to 50 kg are expected to be built and launched by various players, according to SpaceWorks Inc, a US space industry researcher.

The biggest such move will be by OneWeb, the Softbank-funded satellite venture which has India’s Bharti as a partner. It will launch 648 small satellites to provide high-speed internet to remotest corners of the world.

Planet Labs, which acquired the satellite infrastructure of Google, on Wednesday used for a second time the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket to hurl 88 micro satellites or Doves into space.

ISRO sees an immense opportunity for two reasons – first, there is a global shortage of launchers for small satellite missions; and second, there is a sudden rush of private industry in the US and Europe to send hundreds of satellites to space for various needs. These needs include weather tracking, navigation on the sea where there is little connectivity so far, and providing high-speed internet to remotest parts of the world.

“Whenever there is a large production of satellites, there will also be requirement for sub systems. There are many industries that can produce for global companies,” A S Kiran Kumar, chairman of (Isro), had said in an interview last year.

So far, Isro’s PSLV rocket has launched 225 satellites, of which 179 are for foreign customers.

“Our teams had come with very good solutions for (the large order), including finding real estate to accommodate all the satellites in the payload compartment,” says B Jayakumar, project director for PSLV at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC)

Rockets from players like SpaceX, BlueOrigin, Rocket Lab and Firefly Systems, are yet to compete on a large scale. Also, Isro, with private players in India taking up satellite building, wants to position the country as a hub where global firms can share design, build it in India and launch it on an Indian rocket.
It has already contracted a consortium of small firms led by Alpha Design, a Bengaluru aerospace firm, to build two of its Navic navigation satellite, transferring the technology knowhow to build and assemble satellites according to design. It also has shared the knowhow for ground equipment that captures satellite data, and processe them for specific local applications.

 ISRO creates world record with 104 satellites launched

English: Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk III (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“We want to enable the Indian space ecosystem. The demand for electronics in space industry is growing. There are opportunities for niche companies in space,” says Kumar. “Some of the technology is already with the private companies”.


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Messi Powers Argentina Past Panama

By Aglaia Staff

Lionel Messi scored a magical hat-trick in 19 minutes as Argentina cruised into the Copa America Centenario quarter-finals with a 5-0 rout of Panama on Friday.

 Messi Powers Argentina Past Panama

Messi takes Barca to 2:1 in the 79th minute against Sevilla FC at Camp Nou, 22 September 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Messi had been forced to delay his debut in the tournament after a slow recovery from a lower back injury, with Argentina coach Gerardo Martino surprisingly naming him amongst the substitutes once more.

But Messi wasted no time in stamping his genius on the tournament after coming on in the 61st minute to replace Augusto Fernandez with Argentina leading the Group D game 1-0.

An electrifying cameo from the Barcelona superstar began with his first goal of the tournament on 68 minutes, finishing with aplomb after Gonzalo Higuain‘s shot bounced off a Panamanian defender into his path.

But there was no question of luck with his second, with Messi curling a wonderful free-kick into the top corner to bring the Soldier Field crowd to its feet in the 78th minute.

With Panama’s heads down, Messi then duly completed his quick-fire hat-trick – skipping clear of a marker inside the penalty area to finish emphatically for 4-0.

There was still time for Messi to have a hand in Argentina’s fifth goal of the evening, providing a sublime pass in the build-up to Sergio Aguero’s close range headed effort in the 90th minute.

Aguero’s Manchester City team-mate Nicolas Otamendi had opened the scoring for Argentina in the seventh minute, heading home an Angel Di Maria free-kick from close range.

The victory sees Argentina, convincing 2-1 winners over Chile in their opening game, guaranteed a spot in the last eight with one group game remaining.

The only blemish on the evening was an injury to Angel Di Maria, who limped off in the first half to extend his miserable record of injuries in major tournaments.

The Paris Saint-Germain winger was injured in the 2014 World Cup, missing the final, and was also injured during last year’s Copa America in Chile.

Argentina are now firmly on course to top Group D, with only one game against pointless Bolivia to come.

Friday’s win marked a dazzling return to the spotlight for Messi, who is determined to help lead Argentina to their first major international tournament victory for 23 years.

Messi, a veteran of Argentina’s agonizing defeats in the 2014 World Cup final and 2015 Copa America final, had arrived in the United States nursing a back injury sustained during a friendly victory against Honduras last month.

He was late joining up with the squad after returning to Spain to give evidence in his tax fraud trial.

On Thursday he had faced a fresh round of criticism from Argentina great Diego Maradona, who accused Messi of lacking “the personality to be a leader” during remarks to journalists in Paris on the eve of Euro 2016.

But 24 hours later, Messi crafted the best possible response on the pitch at Chicago, lighting up the tournament with a hat-trick performance that firmly establishes Argentina as the team to beat.


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After Maggi; Snapdeal Partners With Pizza Hut

By Aglaia Staff


Snapdeal today announced its partnership with Pizza Hut to launch two new pizza offerings on its online platform. The new pizzas are available at Pizza Hut outlets starting today and will be exclusively available till December 30 at discounted prices only for registered Snapdeal users, after which they will go on open sale.


670px Pizza Hut Guardia Vieja After Maggi; Snapdeal Partners With Pizza Hut

Visit Español: Pizza Hut Guardia Vieja, Providencia, Santiago de Chile (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The partnership will allow Snapdeal customers to pre-order the new Cheese Maxx pizzas online by paying a flat amount of Rs 100 which will be adjusted against the final order placed at the Pizza Hut outlet. The pre-order offering is available for Snapdeal customers between December 28 and 30 and includes discounts up to 50 per cent.

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US Politicians Slam Pfizer-Allergan Deal

By Aglaia Staff

U.S. politicians condemned Pfizer Inc‘s deal with Allergan Plc as a tax dodge on Monday, bringing another round of hand-wringing in Washington over the corporate tax code, though legislative action before 2017 is unlikely.

Democrats heaped the most criticism on the New York-based drug maker, with Hillary Clinton accusing Pfizer of using legal loopholes to avoid its “fair share” of taxes in a deal that she said “will leave U.S. taxpayers holding the bag.”

The front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination in the November 2016 election said she will propose steps to prevent more inversions, but she did not provide details. “We cannot delay in cracking down on inversions that erode our tax base,” said the ex-U.S. secretary of state and former New York senator in a statement.

Republican front-runner Donald Trump, who has called for a corporate tax overhaul, called the deal “disgusting” in a statement, saying “our politicians should be ashamed.”

Pfizer is doing the largest inversion deal of all time. In a $160-billion transaction, it plans to move its tax address from the United States to Ireland, if only on paper, by buying and merging into Allergan, a smaller, Dublin-based competitor.

The combined company will be called Pfizer and will be run by Pfizer’s CEO, with executive management staying in New York and extensive operations across the United States, but it will no longer be taxed as a U.S. company.

More than 50 similar deals have been done over three decades by well-known companies such as Medtronic Plc, Fruit of the Loom and Ingersoll-Rand Plc. Congressional researchers have estimated inversions, left unchecked, will cost the U.S. Treasury nearly $20 billion in the next 10 years.



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New Orleans Park Shooting Leaves 10 Hospitalized

By Aglaia Staff

At least 10 people were rushed to the hospital with gunshot wounds after gunfire erupted inside the Bunny Friend Park in the Upper Ninth Ward on Sunday night, New Orleans Police Department officials said.

NOPD spokesman Tyler Gamble confirmed 16 were injured at the park. He could not confirm, however, whether all of those injured received gunshot wounds.

670px New Year%27s Eve 2007%2C NOPD on Horses New Orleans Park Shooting Leaves 10 Hospitalized

Visit New Year’s Eve night at Jackson Square, New Orleans, with mounted New Orleans police. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Officers were dispatched to the park to shut the gathering down, Harrison said. “They were a block away when they heard gunshots and were flagged down” from there. EMS appeared on the scene soon after, he said.

One witness, a nurse who declined to be named citing safety concerns, said the shooting began at around 6 p.m. and continued for three to four minutes. “It was like New Year’s Eve all over again,” she said.

Multiple witnesses said they saw a man with a silver-colored machine gun fleeing the scene toward Louisa Avenue. They said the gunfire continued inside the park as the man ran away.

After the shooting, witnesses described several gunshot victims lying in the middle of Gallier Street and Desire Street as EMS responders administered to them.

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Terrorists Attack Luxury Hotel In Mali

By Aglaia Staff

Gunmen have stormed a luxury hotel in Mali and taken around 170 people hostage.
Shooters have attacked a Radisson Blu hotel in the centre of the country’s capital, Bamako.
The Rezidor Hotel Group confirmed that 170 people have been taken hostage by the attackers.
‘As per our information, two persons have locked in 140 guests and 30 employees,’ a statement said.

670px Bamakomali %283%29 Terrorists Attack Luxury Hotel In Mali

Visit Bamako, Mali (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Automatic weapon fire could be heard from outside the 190-room hotel, according to reports.
‘Very early in the morning there was gunfire. Apparently it’s an attempt to take hostages,’ a security source said.

‘The police are there and are sealing off the area.’

Witnesses at the scene said attackers arrived in a diplomatic vehicle, and are now ‘walking quietly’ around seven stories of the hotel.

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Paris Attacks Mastermind Dead

By Aglaia Staff

The suspected ringleader of the Paris attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, has been identified as one of those killed in a raid in Saint Denis, the Paris prosecutor says.

His body was found riddled with bullets and shrapnel in an apartment in the northern Paris suburb on Wednesday.

670px Porte Saint Denis 01 Paris Attacks Mastermind Dead

Visit Porte Saint-Denis in Paris, from the South. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Belgian national, 27, was identified from his fingerprints.

Friday’s gun and suicide bomb attacks in the French capital left 129 people dead and hundreds injured.

Eight people were arrested and at least two killed in the raid on the property in Saint Denis.

Heavily armed police stormed the building after a tip-off that Abaaoud was in Paris.

A woman at the flat – reported in French media to be Abaaoud’s cousin – blew herself up during the raid.

Investigators are still looking for Salah Abdeslam, who is believed to have travelled to Belgium after the attacks on Friday night.

He was high on French and Belgian wanted lists and yet managed to travel from Syria to the heart of Paris without ever leaving a trace.


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Ilayathalapathy Vijay Signs Film With Bharathan

By Aglaia Staff

Ilayathalapathy Vijay who is currently shooting for Vijay59 in Goa has reportedly signed his next.

According to sources, the Puli actor has signed a film with Bharathan who has worked on films like Veeram. Bharathan has been a dialogue writer and has also directed some small films like Adithi. It looks like Vijay was really happy with the story that was narrated to him.

670px Actor Vijay Ilayathalapathy Vijay Signs Film With Bharathan

Visit English: Actor Vijay . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The music directors they are talking to are Yuvan, Anirudh and Santhosh Narayan. Depending on the availability one person will be brought onboard.? Madhi is said to be the cameraman and the editor would be KL Praveen.


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Real Madrid, Manchester City Clinch: Things To Know

By Aglaia Staff

The first eight matches of the Champions League Group Stage‘s Matchday 4 were played on Tuesday, with 17 goals scored. Real Madrid and Man City made statements, while Manchester United needed late magic.

Here are three things to know about Tuesday’s action.

670px Cristiano Ronaldo %283%29 Real Madrid, Manchester City Clinch: Things To Know

Visit Français : Cristiano Ronaldo lors d’un match entre le Real Madrid et l’UD Almería. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1. Manchester City looks like a real contender without its two best players.

Remember how City lost to Juventus on Matchday 1, and everyone thought it was going to be another season of European failure for the Citizens? Well, City is now in first place in Group D with nine points and earned a spot in the Round of 16 with a convincing 3-1 win at Sevilla on Tuesday. Raheem Sterling scored a fine opener, and City dominated possession on its way to the big win. Without the injured David Silva and Sergio Aguero, City still continues to get results. Watch out for this club as the competition progresses. City is a real threat for the title.

Real Madrid, to the surprise of nobody, is into the Round of 16.

It was another snoozer, really. I mean, it wasn’t as boring as the 0-0 draw on Matchday 3, but you would expect to see plenty of goals when Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo are on the same pitch. It was Nacho’s first half-goal that gave Real Madrid a 1-0 win and a spot in the knockout stages, but fans wanted more. Regardless of the loss, PSG is still in great shape to advance, and Real Madrid is right where most expected.

United barely gets a massive three points.

Manchester United hadn’t scored in the previous three matches, and it almost didn’t score in this one until Wayne Rooney’s winner 12 minutes from time. Sure things look good for United to advance past the group stage, but until it looks like a team on the pitch and creates chance after chance, the club will continue to be a pretender and not a contender. It will take time for this team to gel especially with Anthony Martial, but there is just this feeling that it doesn’t have what it takes to contend, much less win a trophy.


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