memorial day

British girl group The Saturdays are set to stop traffic in London's Trafalgar Square on Thursday, November 11 to commemorate fallen soldiers. The pop band will bring the U.K. capital to a standstill at 10.58 A.M., when all traffic lights around the busy tourist attraction will turn red and members of the Armed Forces will hold up signs asking drivers to observe two minutes of silence on the memorial day.

The five-piece will also perform their song "Here Standing", and members of the public are invited to scatter red poppy flowers in the square's famous fountains in honor of servicemen and women lost at war.

The Saturdays star Frankie Sandford says, "We are so proud to have played such a big role in this year's (Remembrance) appeal. We have the greatest respect for our Armed Forces and feel deeply they should be supported and remembered."

source: world entertainment news network

nyc marathon route

NEW YORK -- Another spectacular day of racing should unfold for the 2010 ING NYC marathon. Ninety-one elite men and women marathoners have been invited to compete in their respective races.

Temperatures at the start of the race should be 40 to 42 degrees, rising to nearly 50 degrees, under partly sunny skies. There is a chance of a moderate head wind for most of the first 18 miles. On the day before the race in New York City, with similar weather, there was no wind at all.

$800,000 in prize money plus $200,000 in time bonuses are at stake during the race.

This race will also be the US National marathon championships for women. $40,000 goes to that winner, with prize money down to 15th place. ($1,000).

Here are some key points about the background and preparation of some of the top women and men in the marathon.


Kenya's Mary Keitany certainly deserves watching . She has been training with former Boston marathon champion Salina Kosgei and - of the two of them - she is the one in better shape.

Remember, in both the Boston and ING NYC marathons there are no rabbits, so if the pace develops as it did last year (1:14 at the half) then the race will favor the kickers. In the half marathon, on a course that is not downhill, Keitany is the second fastest woman of all time, having run 66:34.

One other kicker to be particularly aware of is Russia's Inga Abitovia. She possesses outstanding track speed, having run the 10K in 30:31. And six months ago, she finished second in the London Marathon at 2:22:19. By all accounts, her training has continued to go well.

The great Derartu Tulu, the 38 year old defending champion, is back for another go at this challenging course. The feeling is that she is in shape for another 2:28 performance. But the big question is whether that will be good enough.

New Zealander Kim Smith seems poised to take a run at her lifetime best, which she achieved in London earlier this year. While this 2:25:21 time was on the flatter English course, she feels that she is more fit now than she was six months ago.

Last but not least, American Shalane Flanagan is realizing a dream that she has had since she was a child. The 29 year old -- whose mother Cheryl had the world's best marathon time in her day, at 2:49 -- has had a solid build up to her first race at this distance. All of her lead-up races, from 1500 meters (4:06:44) to a September half-marathon (1:08:37), have gone very well.

She has been healthy but it is extremely difficult to win a World Marathon Major in a debut at the marathon distance. (For examples, Kara Goucher, Dena Kastor and Marla Runyon all had excellent debuts in New York, running between 2:25+ to 2:27+ and placing between third and seventh.) Shalane will get great support on the race course.


In last year's men's race, 6 of the top 10 finishers were Americans. That is the deepest American finish since 1976!

This year, in speaking with the athletes and their coaches, I believe that there are 9 men who have the potential to be winner. The field is that deep in talent. Here are some highlights about some of them.

Marilison Gomes dos Santos from Brazil, a 2-time champion in New York, says that he is prepared and ready to roll. He cannot be discounted.

2009 world champion in the marathon, Kenya's Abel Kirui seems to be the one who is the most relaxed and happy, among the elite men. He seems genuinely excited at the prospect of facing Haile and believes that he is in great shape. On three occasions, Abel has been a rabbit in Haile's world record attempts. In another race, he lost to "The Emperor" by about 1:30 minutes.

Preparing for this race, Haile Gebrselassie turned all of his business interests over to his wife or business associates for the last 2 months of his preparation - something he has never done before. He is aware that his major victories have come on flat courses with pacemakers. He will have neither at this race. He comes to New York with one or two minor leg issues.

Two Americans could definitely be podium-players. In talking with Dathan Ritzenhein and his coach Alberto Salazar, it would appear that Ritz is in the shape of his life. His 20-mile runs have been terrific and his interval training sessions of 10 x 1 mile in 4:32, with a 2-minute rest, done at 5,000 feet of elevation in Albuquerque are impressive.

Defending champion Meb Keflezighi's new book, called Run to Overcome, hit the bookstores yesterday, and he would like nothing better than to overcome this extraordinarily deep field. Four of the seven top marathoners ranked in the world last year are in this race. Meb feels that he is in as good shape as he was last year, but can that be fast enough to hold off the likes of Kirui and Haile?

Stay tuned, and enjoy the race!

obama in india

U.S. President Barack Obama struck a defiant tone in the first speech of his trip to India, saying Saturday that his stay at the Mumbai hotel attacked by terrorists two years ago is "absolutely" intended to send a message.
"We visit here to send a very clear message that, in our determination to give our people a future of security and prosperity, the United States and India stand united," Obama said at Mumbai's famous Taj Mahal Palace hotel, which came under siege in November 2008.
The attacks killed 164 people, including more than 30 staff members and guests at the Taj.
"We'll never forget how the world, including the American people, watched and grieved with all of India," Obama said. "But the resolve and the resilience of the Indian people during those attacks stood in stark contrast to the savagery of the terrorists. The murderers came to kill innocent civilians that day, but those of you here risked everything to save human life."
Just before the speech, Obama and his wife, Michelle, signed a memorial guestbook for the victims. In his message, Obama wrote about eradicating the "scourge" of terrorism and affirming "our lasting friendship with the Indian people."
Obama's commemoration of those attacks during his first event here underlined the importance that the United States is placing on boosting collaboration in dealing with terrorism believed to be centered in the region across India's western borders, analysts say.
Obama goes to Mumbai The $200 million myth
Barack Obama
Asia-Pacific Politics
"Obama's Mumbai visit is symbolic of the perspective India and the United States share on terrorism. It should lead to strengthening of counterterrorism efforts," said V.P. Malik, India's former army chief.
The 2008 attacks, blamed on Pakistani-based militants, derailed a fragile peace process between New Delhi and Islamabad.
Under U.S. pressure, the two nuclear-capable states held talks this year in an attempt to resume their fully fledged dialogue, but progress has been slow.
Mumbai is India's financial hub, and talks on business and trade were also a focus of Obama's three days here. Hundreds of American business leaders and chief executives traveled to Mumbai with the president.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and Rajiv Shah, the head of USAID, the humanitarian aid agency, joined Obama for a meeting later with entrepreneurs.
Obama's three-day visit to India, Asia's third largest economy and one of the world's few growth markets, also includes meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi and addressing the nation's parliament.
"The simple truth is that India's rise, and its strength and progress on the global stage, is deeply in the strategic interest of the United States," said William Burns, under-secretary at the U.S. State Department, during a briefing on Obama's trip.
Obama's visit can also help balance regional geopolitics in the face of what is now seen as an increasingly assertive China, said Uday Bhaskar, director of the National Maritime Foundation in New Delhi.
The Chinese and Indian prime ministers met in October in a bid to ease growing tensions despite flourishing trade between the two neighbors.
China's support to Pakistan, India's accommodation of the exiled Tibetan leader, the Dalai Lama, and a decades-old border dispute between the two sides are points of friction as the economic powerhouses jockey for influence in the region.
After India, Obama travels to Indonesia, then on to the G-20 meeting in South Korea and APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) in Japan.

source : cnn

v for vendetta quotes

"Remember, remember the 5th of November. The gunpowder, treason, and plot. I know of no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot." -- V in 'V for Vendetta'

Alas, we are here, Nov. 5, and it is indeed Guy Fawkes Day / Night -- a full-fledged holiday in the U.K. Fawkes is known to today's movies fans as the face of a shadowy revolutionary character (played by Hugo Weaving) from the 2006 film starring Natalie Portman. The mask is of a real person: a British revolutionary from early 1600's who fought with the Spanish.

Fawkes -- distinctive in his look with the curly mustache and long face -- played a key role in 1605's Gunpowder Plot. He attempted to blow up the English Parliament building -- with the King and all the country's nobility inside -- as a statement against Protestant rule. The plot, which was seen as a response against poor treatment of English Catholics, fell through however. He was caught in the early morning hours of Nov. 5, 1605, and was tortured and executed Jan. 31, 1606.

Guy Fawkes Night has long been celebrated in the U.K. where people burn his likeness in effigy and light fireworks, as a day of national pride. Now, he is resuscitated as a 2000's movie anti-hero and Halloween mask.

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