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The Nominees of the 81st Annual Academy Awards

The Nominees of the 81st Annual Academy Awards

Best Picture
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Frost/Nixon
Milk
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Actor
Richard Jenkins – The Visitor
Frank Langella – Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn – Milk
Brad Pitt – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler

Best Actress
Anne Hathaway – Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie – Changeling
Melissa Leo – Frozen River
Meryl Streep – Doubt
Kate Winslet – The Reader

Best Supporting Actor
Josh Brolin – Milk
Robert Downey Jr. – Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman – Doubt
Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight
Michael Shannon – Revolutionary Road

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams – Doubt
Penelope Cruz – Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis – Doubt
Marisa Tomei – The Wrestler
Taraji Henson – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Best Director
David Fincher – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard – Frost/Nixon
Gus Van Sant – Milk
Stephen Daldry – The Reader
Danny Boyle – Slumdog Millionaire

Best Animated Feature
Bolt
Kung Fu Panda
WALL-E

Recipe for Christmas

021

Recipe for Christmas All Year Long

Take a heap of child-like wonder
That opens up our eyes
To the unexpected gifts in life—
Each day a sweet surprise. 

 

Mix in fond appreciation
For the people whom we know;
Like festive Christmas candles,
Each one has a special glow. 

 

Add some giggles and some laughter,
A dash of Christmas food,
(Amazing how a piece of pie
Improves our attitude!) 

 

Stir it all with human kindness;
Wrap it up in love and peace,
Decorate with optimism, and
Our joy will never cease. 

 

If we use this healthy recipe,
We know we will remember
To be in the Christmas spirit,
Even when it’s not December.

Mumbai live coverage terrorist attack – Malaysiakini

http://edition.cnn.com/video/flashLive/live.html?stream=stream3

MUMBAI, India (CNN) — Fighting broke out early Friday between government soldiers in a helicopter and gunmen holed up inside a Jewish center where two or three gunmen were believed to be remaining.

Fresh explosions have been heard at the Taj Mahal hotel, where police are trying to free hostages.

Fresh explosions have been heard at the Taj Mahal hotel, where police are trying to free hostages.

 The helicopter dropped off seven or eight soldiers onto the roof of the Chabad house, and then moved away from the line of fire, CNN sister station CNN-IBN reported.

The operation followed after grenades had been tossed from inside the structure toward anyone approaching the building — three such explosions occurred in four hours.

But movement appeared imminent shortly before dawn, when several jeeploads of police, firetrucks and at least one ambulance pulled up to the five-story structure.

The fighting at Chabad house comes as Indian security forces appear to be gaining control of two Mumbai five-star hotels attacked by gunmen in a wave of violence that has lasted more than 24 hours and killed at least 125 people.

A gunman was killed around 1 a.m. in the Oberoi hotel, where commandos were going room-to-room, trying to flush out attackers and rescue people, J.K. Dutt, the director of India’s National Security Guard, told CNN-IBN, CNN’s sister network in India.

Dutt said he could not say how many gunmen remained in the Oberoi, where hostages have been trickling out of the building for hours.

Security forces used in-house telephones to ask guests holed up in their rooms to switch on lights and open curtains, so that they could provide cover, CNN correspondent Andrew Stevens reported.

A siege at the nearby Taj Mahal hotel was over, CNN-IBN reported, but one gunman remained holed up there early Friday morning, Dutt told IBN.

Police sources said at 2 a.m. Friday that they believed the gunman was wounded and getting tired.

Dutt said his teams had rescued most of the hostages inside the Taj, but an undetermined number of people remained inside.

One woman expressed frustration over the lack of information regarding her sister and niece, who have been trapped inside the Taj for nearly 30 hours.

“I have whatsoever no information as to what’s being done to rescue them,” said the woman, who did not give her name to CNN.

“There is somebody inside who is preventing the rescue,” she said. “They should take action and let us know what is happening.”

Deepak Datta told CNN that he waited in his room at the Taj, listening to gunfire, for almost 24 hours before commandos rescued him.

“There was a lot of explosions right before my rescue,” he said. “The explosions kept getting louder then they opened the door with a master key,”

Elsewhere in the city, a standoff continues at a Jewish center in the city, a spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry said.

For hours, gunfire and grenades were tossed from inside at anyone approaching the building, with three such explosions occurring in four hours.

But movement appeared imminent shortly before dawn, when several jeeploads of police, firetrucks and at least one ambulance pulled up to the five-story structure.

It is unclear who was responsible for the series attacks, which hit several high-traffic landmarks in the city, including the hotels, a hospital, a train station and a popular tourist cafe.

But whoever planned the attacks spent months coordinating them, even setting up “control rooms” in the two hotels targeted, the Press Trust of India reported, citing Union Cabinet Minister Kapil Sibal.

“Enormous planning went into the incident. The terrorists were dropped by a mother ship and traveled in rubber boats which they docked (at Mumbai),” Sibal said.

The death toll from the series of coordinated attacks was at 125, by Friday morning, authorities said. Among the dead were at le

  • iReport.com: Images, reports ast six foreigners, three top law enforcement agents, including Hemant Karkare, the chief of the Mumbai police’s anti-terror squad, and 14 police officers.

Another 327 people were wounded in the attacks, including seven British, three American and two Australian citizens.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh suggested the group behind the terror attacks was based outside the country.

“It is evident that the group which carried out these attacks, based outside the country, had come with single-minded determination to create havoc in the financial capital of the country,” Singh said. 

At least nine gunmen were killed in fighting with police. IBN quoted police sources as saying they believed there were around 26 gunmen, most of them young.

Indian officials have told Canada that they believe six Canadians are being held hostage, according to a senior aide to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The French Foreign Ministry said 15 to 20 French nationals were trapped in the two hotels.

Authorities found 8 kilograms (17 pounds) of RDX, one of the most powerful kinds of military explosives, at a restaurant near the Taj, indicating that the attackers may have been planning more violence.

Gunmen also remained holed up in a building called Chabad House, where several Jewish families live. Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, the city’s envoy for the community, was being held inside with his wife, a member of the Hasidic Jewish movement said.

Two women and a child were seen escaping from the building, said Johny Joseph, chief secretary of Maharashtra state. CNN-IBN reporter Raksha Shetty said three people escaped — apparently a caretaker, a cook and a child.

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported later that Sandra Samuel — a cook for the center who had barricaded herself in a room in the house — told them she grabbed a toddler whom she identified as Holtzberg’s son and fled the building, along with another person.

“I just grabbed the baby and ran,” Samuel told Haaretz.

Police said gunmen fired indiscriminately from the building. Stray bullets killed a couple in their home and a 16-year-old boy who stepped outside, police said.

A standoff at a fourth location — the Cama Hospital for women and infants — appeared to have been resolved by Thursday morning, CNN-IBN reported.

Authorities locked down Mumbai and asked residents to stay inside. The stock market in the city — India‘s financial hub — was closed, as were schools and colleges. The city is also home to Bollywood, the world’s most prolific film industry.

Police say the attackers came by boats to the waterfront near the Gateway of India monument.

The Indian navy, stepping up patrols on the country’s western coast after the attacks, boarded a cargo vessel Thursday afternoon, officials said. They and the Indian coast guard were also searching for a small boat in the Arabian Sea.

International hot lines

Australia: Department of Foreign Affairs offers these numbers: In Australia: 1-800-002 214. Australians overseas, call 61 2 6261-3305.

India: JJ Hospital, 91 22 2373-5555; St. George Hospital (Dr. Ashok Shinde), 91 98 6905-0622; Police control room, 91 22 2262-5020, 91 22 2262-1855

UK: The British Ministry of Foreign Affairs is directing concerned UK nationals to call 44 (0)20 7008-0000

U.S.: The State Department has established a Consular Call Center: The number is 888-407-4747.

Canada:
For Canadians in India call 1-800-387-3124. In Canada call 613-996-8885.

Nine suspects were arrested in connection with the attacks, including seven fishermen. Police also found a boat loaded with explosives near the Taj’s waterfront location.

“Those men were wearing jackets and they carried big big bags,” one fisherman told CNN-IBN.

“We asked, ‘Where are you coming from?’ They said, ‘Go do your work,'” another witness said.

The gunmen then hijacked cars — including a police van — and broke up into at least three groups to carry out the attacks, police said.

One group headed toward the Cafe Leopold, a popular hangout for Western tourists, firing indiscriminately at passers-by on the street. They then opened fire and lobbed grenades at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station, a Victorian building.

As police rushed to the scene of the attacks, gunmen attacked the Cama Hospital. Two other groups attacked the Oberoi and Taj hotels.

Several Indian news outlets reported receiving e-mails from a group calling itself the Deccan Mujahideen, claiming responsibility for the attacks. CNN was not able to verify the reports.

Reaction from the United Nations, United States and United Kingdom was swift as world leaders joined in condemning the attacks.

India has suffered a number of attacks in recent years, including a string of bombs that ripped through packed Mumbai commuter trains and platforms during rush hour in July 2006. About 209 people were killed in that attack.

Accounts of Mumbai attacks from media in India

Gunmen targeted several areas in the Indian city of Mumbai on Wednesday, taking scores of hostages, killing dozens and taking hostages in two luxury hotels frequented by Westerners: The Taj Mahal Hotel and the Oberoi Hotel.

Armed men are seen near the site of one of the attacks in Mumbai.

Armed men are seen near the site of one of the attacks in Mumbai.

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Below is a running list of accounts from news agencies in the area.

The information that follows has not necessarily been confirmed by CNN:

1 a.m. ET (11:30 a.m. IT):

Fire has started in the Taj Hotel’s new wing, which is next to the wing where militants are still believed to be, Rediff.com reports. Firefighters are rescuing people from the new wing, according to Rediff.com.

Meanwhile, two people — an Indian maid and a foreign child — have left the Nariman House, where authorities believe suspects are hiding, according to Rediff.com.

The Nariman House is a residential building where several Jewish families live.

12:30 a.m. ET (11 a.m. IT): A member of parliament says he and other members were dining at a Taj Hotel restaurant Wednesday night when masked militants entered, according to CNN sister station CNN-IBN.

“They fired indiscriminately. I saw three people being shot. The terrorists left the room soon after that,” N.N. Krishnadas said.

Hotel staff rushed Krishnadas and others into another room, he said.

International hot lines

Australia: The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has set up a hot line for Australians with concerns for family or friends in Mumbai: 1800 002 214
U.S.: The State Department has established a Consular Call Center: 888-407-4747.
UK: Foreign Affairs Ministry: 44 (0) 20 7008 0000

“We stayed there through the night. In the morning, commandos rescued us,” he said.

12:10 a.m. ET (10:40 a.m. IT): The number of policemen killed has risen to 16, according to Rediff.com.

CNN-IBN is streaming live coverage of the Mumbai attacks on its Web site.

11:30 p.m. ET (10 a.m. IT): A militant in the Oberoi Hotel has told a TV station that he is among seven people holding hostages there, according to the Times of India.

The militant told the TV station that the attackers want India to release all “mujahedins.”

“Only after that will we release the people,” the militant told the TV station, according to the Times of India.

11:10 p.m. ET (9:40 a.m. IT): Authorities say one arrestee is a member of the group Lashkar-e-Tayiba, according to Rediff.com.

11:05 p.m. ET (9:35 a.m. IT): Besides raiding the Taj hotel, security forces also have entered the Oberoi Hotel and the Cama Hospital for women and infants, CNN’s sister station CNN-IBN reported.

The standoff at Cama Hospital appears to have been resolved; it was not immediately known whether suspects at the hospital fled or were killed, CNN-IBN reported.

11 p.m. ET (9:30 a.m. IT): Police have said the death toll in the Mumbai attacks is at 101 — including six foreigners, the Times of India reports.

Gunfire is heard at the Nariman House in the Colaba area, and police have cordoned off the area amid reports that suspects are in the building, Rediff.com reports.

10:40 p.m. ET (9:10 a.m. IT): People are being evacuated from the Taj Hotel as security forces continue their battle against attackers there, Rediff.com reports. Rediff.com reports a journalist has been injured in the fighting.

10:05 p.m. ET (8:35 a.m. IT): NDTV.com (New Delhi Television Limited) reports the dead include at least 11 policemen, including the head of an anti-terror squad. The site continues to say at least 100 people were killed in attacks on 10 sites in Mumbai, while other outlets, including CNN-IBN, report lower numbers (87).

Multiple Indian news outlets have quoted witnesses as saying the attackers were looking for American and British nationals at the hotels.

NDTV.com quotes a witness as saying: “Gunmen wanted anyone with British or American passport.”

NDTV.com is streaming live video of its coverage.

9:35 p.m. ET (8:05 a.m. IT): Gunshots are fired as military and other security forces move into the Taj hotel, one of two hotels where people are being held hostage, Rediff.com reports. According to Rediff.com, police believe three or four hostage-takers are inside the hotel. Multiple Indian news outlets report at least 100 people are trapped and perhaps being held hostage in the Taj, where fire and smoke could be seen.

9:20 p.m. ET (7:50 a.m. IT): While multiple outlets have reported that a group called the Deccan Mujahideen have claimed responsibility for the attacks, Rediff.com reports that police and the Intelligence Bureau are not ruling out the involvement by the Indian Mujahideen, an offshoot of the Students Islamic Movement of India.

The Intelligence Bureau said authorities cracked down on the Indian Mujahideen in Mumbai, and that the IM responded by warning it was “just waiting for the right time to execute bloodshed,” Rediff.com reported.

9:10 p.m. ET (7:40 a.m. IT): NDTV.com reports at least 100 people were killed in the attacks and that hundreds of hostages still are being held at two hotels, including the Taj hotel. Other outlets report lower death tolls, including CNN-IBN, which reports 87 dead.

NDTV.com reports five suspects have been killed, three escaped, and nine have been arrested

Aussies caught in Mumbai attacks

2711_taj_nh_a

TAJ MAHAL HOTEL ON FIRE

Two Australians have been injured as heavily armed Islamist militants hit two luxury hotels and took foreign guests hostage in a series of co-ordinated attacks in Mumbai early this morning.

Four suspects have been shot dead by police and nine more arrested over the attacks, which killed at least 80 people and injured 250 others.

A 20-person trade delegation from NSW and former Neighbours actor Brooke Satchwell were among those caught up in the violence.

The delegation was staying at the Trident Hotel, formerly known as the Oberoi Hotel, one of two hotels targeted by the gunmen who took an unknown number of foreigners hostage and exchanged fire with anti-terrorist commando units who stormed the hotels.

The other hotel that came under attack was the Taj Mahal Hotel, which is around 1km from the Trident.

Satchwell told Nine News she was visiting friends in a hotel less than 250m from the Taj when she heard gunshots.

“I had actually gone downstairs to the front of the hotel to have a cigarette — which I’ve been trying to give up — I came back in and went via the bathrooms which are on the ground floor next to the lobby,” she said.

“As I stepped inside the bathroom, gunshots started to go off and they were in the lobby just outside.

“There were probably about six of us in the bathroom and everybody sort of froze and then I think adrenaline kicked in and it became pretty clear what was going on.

“There was someone dead out the front of the bathroom and probably about 45 minutes later, some of the hotel officials came in and they sort of shepherded us out across the foyer.

“There was chaos. Nobody really knew what was going on and I don’t think they knew where anybody was or what the plan was.”

 

A spokesperson from the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed two Australians had been injured. Acting Foreign Minister Simon Crean said the injuries were not life-threatening.

Are you in Mumbai? Do you know anyone who is there? Contact 9Newswatch here

Melbourne man Pravin Shetty told ninemsn his family lived close to the Taj hotel and had been watching with terror as the attacks on Mumbai unfolded.

“I have just spoken to my brother and he said he could still hear shots being fired,” Mr Shetty said.

“He said the military have surrounded the hotel and have started rescuing hundreds of foreign people from the hotel.”

Issac Zalme this morning told TODAY he and nine other Australians in Mumbai for a wedding had been hiding in their hotel.

“We were in a restaurant … and there’s been bomb blasts and shootings on tourist centres. We’ve heard gunfire. We’re fairly safe as far as we know, we’re in a back street and all the walls are boarded up but it is very tense.”

“At one stage we were hearing shots only 50m away. The whole city is on lockdown.”

“We haven’t been told anything but we’re not going anywhere.”

“The places that have been targeted are obviously tourist spots. Four or five of them we were at only an hour before it all went down.”

 

The chief minister of Maharashtra state said the situation was still not under control.

“We are trying to flush out any more terrorists hiding inside the two hotels,” Vilasrao Deshmukh told a news conference a short time ago.

Earlier, naval commandos stormed the Taj, apparently leading to the release of some guests inside, with television footage showing people being shepherded out of the building.

Shortly afterwards, the upper floors of the landmark hotel became engulfed in flames and huge plumes of smoke billowed out from its distinctive red dome. It was not immediately clear what caused the blaze.

Police said two gunmen were shot dead, but two more were still believed to be holed up inside the hotel.

Fire engines were brought in and trapped guests were rescued from their bedroom windows.

There was also a standoff at the Trident hotel, where at least two gunmen were believed to be holding out.

Several men armed with AK-47 rifles had also stormed into the passenger hall of Mumbai’s main Chhatrapati Shivaji railway and opened fire and thrown grenades.

Elsewhere, firing was also reported at Cama Hospital in south Mumbai, and three people were reported killed in what police called a “bomb blast” in a taxi in the southeast of the city.

One British guest at the Taj told local Indian television that he had been among a dozen people herded together by two heavily armed men and taken up to the hotel’s upper floors.

“They were very young, like boys really, wearing jeans and T-shirts,” the guest said.

“They said they wanted anyone with British and American passports and then they took us up the stairs. I think they wanted to take us to the roof,” he said, adding that he and another hostage managed to escape on the 18th floor.

The Taj, opposite the British colonial era Gateway of India, is one of the world’s leading hotels.

The head of the Madrid government and a British member of the European Parliament were inside when the gunmen stormed the building but escaped unhurt.

“All I saw was one man on foot carrying a machine gun-type of weapon — which I then saw him firing from and I saw people hitting the floor, people right next to me,” MEP Sajjad Karim was quoted as saying by the BBC website.

A fellow MEP from Spain, Ignasi Guardans, spoke to Spain’s Radio Nacional network as he took shelter in a restaurant.

“The terrorists are driving around Mumbai shooting in the air and hurling grenades from cars,” Guardans said.resizer