Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Chaz Bono Surprises and Impresses Judges on 'DWTS' Premiere (VIDEO)

Dancing With the Stars' (Mon., 8PM ET on ABC) knew that a lot of people were going to be curious to see how their first transgender contestant fared on the season premiere, so they cleverly saved Chaz Bono and professional partner Lacey Schwimmer for last.

When they finally came out. Bono proved he was a competitor with sheer likability and a spark of potential. While he's nowhere near the best dancer out there, he was graceful on his feet, he was there for his partner, and he showed that he has the drive and passion to improve.

People love to root for someone who shows growth throughout the season, and Bono definitely has room for that. According to Carrie Ann Inaba, though, one area Bono already impressed in was footwork. "It was sharp. It was precise," she said. "You've got so much joy. You light up this room!"

Champions League T20 Live Streaming

Scientists on trial for failing to predict Quake

A group of Italian scientists went on trial on Tuesday for failing to predict an earthquake that killed more than 300 people in central Italy in 2009 despite signs of increased seismic activity in the area.

The seven defendants -- six scientists and one government
official -- are accused of manslaughter in a case that some see as an unfair indictment of science.

Prosecutors say residents around the city of L'Aquila in the mountainous Abruzzo region should have been warned to flee their homes in the days before the quake.

"We simply want justice," L'Aquila prosecutor Alfredo Rossini told reporters.

The injured parties are asking for 50 million euros ($68 million) in damages.

The defendants were members of a panel that had met six days before the quake to assess risks after hundreds of tremors had shaken the medieval university city.

At that meeting, a committee analysed data from the low-magnitude tremors and determined that the activity was not a prelude to a major earthquake.

The only one of the seven defendants present at Tuesday's hearing was Bernardi De Bernardinis, a former senior official in the Civil Protection Agency.

The other defendants include top scientists like Enzo Boschi, the former director of Italy's prestigious National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology, as well as Claudio Eva, a physics professor at Genoa University in northern Italy.

"This is a trial which opens on very shaky foundations. You cannot put science on trial," Alfredo Biondi, Eva's lawyer, told AFP. Biondi said his client had told the meeting in question that "one cannot rule out a major earthquake."

The experts are accused of giving overly reassuring information to residents who could have taken adequate protective measures if they had been properly informed.

According to the indictment, the seven are suspected "of having provided an approximative, generic and ineffective assessment of seismic activity risks as well as incomplete, imprecise and contradictory information."

The experts had made it clear that it was not possible to predict whether a stronger quake would occur but had recommended stricter enforcement of anti-seismic measures, particularly regarding building construction.

In an open letter sent to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, more than 5,000 scientists said the defendants essentially face criminal charges for failing to predict quakes, even though this remains technically impossible.

But Vincenzo Vittorini, a doctor who founded the association "309 martyrs" and lost his wife and daughter in the disaster, said: "I hope that this trial will change mindsets and will lead to greater attention given to communication on risks."

"No one expected to be told the exact time of the quake. We just wanted to be warned that we were sitting on a bomb," he added

Some 120,000 people were affected by the L'Aquila quake, which also destroyed the city's historic centre and medieval churches.

In the September 14 issue of the science weekly Nature focused on the L'Aquila trial, Thomas Jordan, head of the International Commission on Earthquake Forecasting (ICEF), said the case raises a fundamentally important issue about risk assessment.

London Fashion Week 2011: Who Has The Best Front Row? (PHOTOS)

London Fashion Week is already half over -- sadz. But the front rows have been pretty exciting, from Kate Moss at Mulberry to Anna Wintour and Kanye West at Burberry Prorsum.

Then again, Samantha Cameron, the UK's First Lady, made an appearance at multiple shows, including Erdem, Peter Pilotto and Christopher Kane.

The supers also showed up in full-force for some lower-profile shows, including Naomi Campbell at the Unique runway show and Claudia Schiffer at the Fashion Fringe show.

But Temperley may have nabbed one of the UK's biggest names, as its guest of honor was none other than Pippa Middleton.

So which London show has had the best front row so far? Click through our slideshow and let us know!

Kate Walsh explains her Raunchy Side

The biggest surprise of the Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen was seeing actress Kate Walsh walk onstage. The next biggest surprise was listening to the Private Practice star throw out off-color jokes from the podium.

Could Walsh be unleashing her raunchy side?

"I do have a little bit of raunch," Walsh told USA TODAY. "I'm half-Irish after all. So come on."

More: Charlie Sheen 'wins' at Comedy Central roast

Walsh admitted it might be a big shock for fans of her show to see her R-rated roast session (which will be broadcast Sept. 19 at 10 p.m. ET/PT). When asked what they should know before tuning in, she replied with a laugh: "Viewer discretion advised. I'd say, take it easy everybody, it's a little bit of a bumpy ride," Walsh said, before using words like "filthy," "naughty" and "dirty" to describe the evening dedicated to bashing Sheen. These are words not normally associated with Walsh.

Throughout the Saturday night roast, roastmaster Seth MacFarlane continually asked Walsh, "What are you doing here?" from the stage. Onstage she explained that she was using her television medical expertise to analyze the outrageous personalities on the stage -- from Sheen to William Shatner to Mike Tyson.

But afterwards Walsh said it was all about comedy, adding that she started her career in improv.

"And it was a good exercise in masochism to come up here," Walsh said. Though she added that she came out "relatively unscathed" by the other comics -- and Sheen -- despite some of the comedy bombs thrown at her during the roast.

Walsh admitted that when she agreed to do the gig she had at least one sleepless night. "I was like, 'Oh my God, what am I doing," she said. "I have never done a roast before."

But at the end, she was all smiles backstage. "No regrets," said Walsh. "You never want to rest on your laurels. You want to keep doing things that terrify you."

Kochi Tuskers contract terminated by BCCI

Mumbai, Sept 19 (Todaynews24): The BCCI terminated Kochi Tuskers’ contract after the franchise, despite repeated reminders, defaulted on an Rs 156 crore annual payment it was to make as bank guarantee.

The decision to terminate Kochi franchise was taken at the BCCI’s Annual General Meeting here on Monday, in which the new office bearers of the Board were also elected.

BCCI president N Srinivasan, who took charge on Monday, said: ”As the franchisee has defaulted in payment, we have decided to terminate the team.”

The franchise, which was bought for Rs 1,550 crore, is supposed to make the yearly payment for the next 10 years. The team made its debut only last year and was among the laggards in the league.

Asked if the BCCI would reconsider its decision and give the franchise a chance to return, Srinivasan bluntly rejected such a suggestion. Srinivasan said any decision to conduct fresh auction for a new franchise would be taken by the Rajiv Shukla-led IPL Governing Council. Shukla was named as the new IPL chairman today, succeeding Chirayu Amin.

In April 2010, the BCCI’s working committee had rejected demands from Kochi and the Pune Warriors for a reduction in their franchise fees. The two new franchises, which made their debuts in 2011, had sought a 25% waiver on the grounds that the BCCI had stated in the bidding document that each team would play 18 league matches in a season. The schedule was later reduced to 14 matches per team.

The two teams already paid 75% of this year’s installment and wanted the balance waived. They argued the reduction in matches was a breach of the terms of the Invitation to tender the board had issued before the two new teams were bought. Since they had based their bid on the number of matches to be played, a reduction in matches should therefore be accompanied by a reduction in the franchise fee. However, the BCCI voted to turn down the request at its meeting in Mumbai in April.

Kochi had faced the prospect of being axed even last year when the BCCI questioned its shareholding but the matter was settled after agreement between the various owners.

Latest report says Kochi Tuskers have threatened legal action after the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise’s contract got terminated, against the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Narendra Modi Ends Sadhbhavana Fast: Receives Nationwide Support

The 3 day Sadhbhavana Fast by organized by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi came to an end, with Modi breaking the fast by sipping the water offered by seers and priests of differents religions. The fast was broken in the presence of supporters, senior party members, party workers and state government officials. The fast that began on Sept 17, Saturday was dedicated for the promotion of "peace, harmony and unity" of Gujarat. The fast received nation wide support and captured headlines. The event received wide and unprecedented media coverage for Narendra Modi.

Senior BJP leaders LK Advani, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Venkaiah Naydu, Punjab CM Badal, Shiva Sena supremo Bal thackrey, MNS Chief Raj Thackeray and several others were among the eminent political leaders who extended their support to Modi.