Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie - (born June 19, 1947) is an Indian-British novelist and essayist. He first achieved fame with his second novel, Midnight's Children (1981), which won the Booker Prize. Much of his early fiction is set at least partly on the Indian subcontinent. His style is often classified as magical realism, while a dominant theme of his work is the story of the many connections, disruptions and migrations between the Eastern and Western world.
His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses (1988), led to protests from Muslims in several countries, some of which were violent. Faced with death threats and a fatwā (religious edict) issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, then Supreme Leader of Iran, which called for him to be killed, he spent nearly a decade largely underground, appearing in public only sporadically. In June 2007, he was appointed a Knight Bachelor for "services to literature", which "thrilled and humbled" him. In 2007, he began a five-year term as Distinguished Writer in Residence at Emory University.
LONDON - A year after the award was announced, Queen Elizabeth II conferred a knighthood on author Salman Rushdie on Wednesday. The announcement of the knighthood had provoked protests from the Muslim world.
In 1989, Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini pronounced a death sentence on Rushdie, accusing him of blasphemy in his novel "The Satanic Verses."
"I really have no regrets about any of my work," he told reporters after being asked about "The Satanic Verses."
"This is, as I say, an honor not for any specific book but for a very long career in writing, and I'm happy to see that recognized."
Rushdie was forced to accept round-the-clock protection.
The Iranian government withdrew the death sentence in 1998, and Rushdie has gradually returned to public life.
"It's been a long time. My first novel was published 33 years ago, but I think the thing you hope to do as a writer is leave behind a shelf of interesting books, and it's great just to have that work recognized," Rushdie told reporters.
He added: "At this stage, you know, it's certainly not a day to talk about controversy. It's a day for myself and my family to celebrate this."
The only son of Anis Ahmed Rushdie, a Cambridge University-educated lawyer turned businessman, and Negin Butt, a teacher, Rushdie was born in Mumbai (once known as Bombay), India. He was educated at Cathedral and John Connon School in Mumbai, Rugby School, and King's College, Cambridge, where he read history. He worked for two advertising agencies (Ogilvy & Mather and Ayer Barker) before becoming a full-time writer.
Rushdie has been married four times. His first wife was Clarissa Luard, to whom he was married from 1976 to 1987 and with whom he has a son, Zafar. His second wife was the American novelist Marianne Wiggins; they were married in 1988 and divorced in 1993. His third wife, from 1997 to 2004, was Elizabeth West; they have a son, Milan. In 2004, he got married to the Indian actress and model Padma Lakshmi, the host of the American reality-television show Top Chef and that marriage ended on July 2, 2007 with Rushdie indicating that it was her desire to end the marriage.
In 1999, Rushdie had an operation to correct a "tendon condition" that, according to him, was making it increasingly difficult for him to open his eyes. "If I hadn't had an operation, in a couple of years from now I wouldn't have been able to open my eyes at all," he said.
Three American soldiers and an interpreter were killed in a roadside bomb north of Baghdad, and Iraqi police reported 14 Shiite gunmen were arrested after fighting south of the capital.
In Baghdad, meanwhile, American soldiers using specially trained dogs sifted through the wreckage Wednesday of an office in Sadr City where a bomb killed 10 people, including four Americans working to restore local government in the former Shiite militia stronghold. The roadside bombing occurred about 10:45 p.m. Tuesday in Nineveh province, where al-Qaida in Iraq and other Sunni extremist groups remain active. The U.S. statement contained no further details.
Scientists have announced that eleven species of African frogs—including Trichobatracus robustus (top) and Astylosternus perreti (bottom) have a Wolverine-like defense mechanism. The amphibians pierce their skin with toe bones, sprouting makeshift claws with which to attack predators.
MANILA, Philippines - The worst fears of authorities were confirmed Tuesday as Navy and Coast Guard divers saw the bodies of several passengers still trapped inside MV Princess of the Stars that capsized off Romblon.
Most of the bodies were floating inside. They were trapped when the ship suddenly tilted and capsized," Arevalo said.
"Di natin kasalanan yan, ang turbulent seas hanggang ngayon hina-hamper ang operation natin (That is no longer our fault. The seas were too turbulent. Up to now the turbulence is interfering with our operations)," Arevalo said.
The bow of the sunken M.V.Princess of the Stars juts from the sea off the island of Sibuyan, in central Philippines on June 22, 2008. The ferry capsized in rough seas stirred up by Typhoon Fengshen. Only 38 of more than 800 passengers and crew believed to be aboard the ferry have so far been found, according to the Associated Press.
MANILA, Philippines - There are two rescuers team prepared to dive into rough waters off the Philippine coast to find a way inside a capsized ferry "Princess of the Stars" in a desperate effort to locate 800 people believed to be still aboard.
If the planned underwater missions fail, a tugboat will be on standby with gear to cut through the ferry's hull as a last resort — a prospect complicated by a cargo of bunker oil that could leak and turn the human disaster into an environmental one.
The divers, however, will get the first shot, coast guard chief Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo said, "looking for open hatches or doors on the side of the ship, diving underneath, breaking cabin glass windows if we can break them or cut an opening."
On Sunday, divers heard no response when they hammered on the hull, but officials refused to give up.
Hundreds of people are feared to have been trapped when the ship suddenly tilted and went belly up Saturday at the height of the powerful storm that left 163 people dead in flooded communities in the central Philippines.
All that was visible Monday of the 23,824-ton, seven-story Princess of Stars was one end poking out of the waters off Sibuyan island, still churning after Typhoon Fengshen's full force swept through.
Only 38 ferry survivors have been found, including 28 who drifted at sea for more than 24 hours, first in a life raft, then in life jackets, before they were found Sunday about 80 miles (130 kilometers) to the north in eastern Quezon province.
A US Navy ship carrying search and rescue helicopters was headed in, and a P-3 maritime surveillance plane also was being dispatched. "We want to express our condolences to the Philippine people," State Department spokesman Tom Casey said.
Officials initially reported 747 passengers and crew were aboard the ferry, but said Monday that it was carrying about 100 more. Six bodies, including those of a man and woman who had bound themselves together, have washed ashore, along with children's slippers and life jackets. While some relatives tearfully waited for news, others angrily questioned why the ship was allowed to leave Manila late Friday for a 20-hour trip to Cebu with a typhoon approaching.
Sulpicio Lines said it sailed with coast guard approval. The government ordered the company to suspend services pending an investigation and a check of its other ships' seaworthiness.
Debate also began anew on safe-sailing rules in a country prone to storms — Fengshen was the seventh typhoon this year — and dependent on ferries to get around the sprawling archipelago.
The storm continued to dump rain on Luzon island and generate strong winds Monday as it headed toward China and Taiwan.
Wombats are Australian marsupials; they are short-legged, muscular quadrupeds, approximately one metre (39 inches) in length with a very short tail. They are found in forested, mountainous, and heathland areas of south-eastern Australia and Tasmania. The name wombat comes from the Eora Aboriginal community who were the original human inhabitants of the Sydney area.
They may have been vegetarians, but the ancient wombats that roamed Australia were a frightening lot.
Up to 9 feet (3 meters) long and 70 inches (180 centimeters) tall, some of the marsupials weighed as much as a pickup truck and stood as tall as a person. Others were much smaller, about the weight of a compact car.
According to Peter Smith, the mission's principal investigator - this photo is taken before and after by NASA's Mars Phoenix Lander show "perfect evidence" of water ice on Mars.
The dice-size crumbs of bright material seen in the bottom left corner of the so-called Snow White trench in the left image, taken June 15, appear to have vanished by the time the right image was taken, on June 19.
Scientists are convinced the material was frozen water that vaporized after the lander's robotic arm dug up the material.
Giant lakes of meltwater pooled on top of Greenland's ice sheets flows into a overflow channel leading to a moulin, can suddenly drain to the bedrock, allowing the sheet to more easily slip forward. This giant lakes of meltwater on top of the ice sheet can suddenly drain at a rate faster than the flow of Niagara Falls, a new study found.
With powerful suction capabilities, Electrolux addisoni—a species of electric ray—lives up to its scientific name.
Commonly called the ornate sleeper ray, Electrolux crowns the inaugural list of the International Institute for Species Exploration's (IISE's) top ten new species of 2007, which was released in May 2008.
This legless lizard reptile was recently discovered in central Brazil's Cerrado, a wooded savanna being converted to ranch and cropland at twice the rate of the nearby Amazon. The lizard's lack of legs and sharply pointed snout help it swim within the sandy soils.
The lizard part of a separate evolutionary line from snakes, is one of 14 species believed new to science discovered on a four-week expedition to a 1.77-million-acre (716,000-hectare) protected area in the Cerrado. The team also found several threatened and rare species.
Giant sea stars or starfish that measure 24 inches (60 centimeters) across are held by Sadie Mills, left, and Niki Davey of New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research on February 15, 2008.
MANILA, Philippines - Ces Drilon, cameraman Jimmy Encarnacion and Mindanao State University professor Octavio Dinampo were freed late Tuesday night, nine days after they were abducted in Sulu province. Philippine National Police Director General Avelino Razon confirmed the hostages were released at around 11 p.m. Tuesday.
"Ces Drillon, Jimmy Encarnacion, and Angelo Valderama are finally all free," ABS-CBN said in a statement. "We are thankful our prayers have been answered and our efforts rewarded."
The release of Ces Drillon, Jimmy Encarnacion, and Angelo Valderama could not have been possible without the cooperation of the people of Sulu and their local government. We thank them and share their hope for enduring peace in Mindanao.
NASA image shows an artist's impression of a new planet called 2003UB313. The planet discovery was made in 2005 using the Samuel Oschin Telescope at the Palomar Observatory near San Diego, California. European astronomers say they have located dozens of giant planets in three distant solar systems.
Three "super-Earths" orbiting a nearby star and two other solar systems with small planets are discovered by the European researchers. They said their findings, presented at a conference in France, suggest that Earth-like planets may be very common.
Today is the day! Download Day fever is in the air. Download Firefox now or upgrade to mozilla Firefox 3. Be the first on the list and help set a Guinness World Record for the most software downloaded in 24 hours!
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Customization Your taste and needs set you apart from the rest. With Firefox 3 you can choose from over 5,000 add-ons that help you customize your browsing experience.
TOKYO - Northern Japan: The 8:43 a.m. 7.2 magnitude earthquake was centered in the northern prefecture (state) of Iwate about 280 miles north of Tokyo. It was felt as far away as the capital. One of the deaths was a man who ran out of a building in fear and was hit by a passing truck, and the other confirmed death was a man who was buried in a landslide while he was fishing. Fire and Disaster Management Agency spokesmen said at least 64 people were injured, including at least two people who in critical condition. One of them was a dam worker in Iwate, who was hit by falling rock. National broadcaster NHK said 67 people were hurt.
A powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rocked a rural area of northern Japan on Saturday, killing at least two people and 64 were injured according to fire and disaster management officials. It triggers landslides and reportedly knocking down a bridge.
At the time of natural disaster like this, we as people should act as one no matter what color or nationality you are. Money and nature - your everyday life... is praying for the safety of the people in Northern Japan.
Magellan's new range of satellite-navigation products is being sold. Can we believe that it is the slimmest devices around? The Maestro 4200 includes navigation with full postcode searching and information on speed cameras. There is also a 'Marco Polo' travel guide, but this only extends to major sights in capital cities, you need to pay to unlock the rest of it. The 4200 comes pre-loaded with detailed street maps by Navteq of the lower 48 states, Puerto Rico and Hawaii. Also included with these detailed maps are 1.3 million searchable points of interest. Magellan has also made searching through the points of interest easier with their new QuickSpell technology. QuickSpell speeds up your search and even checks your spelling when entering an address.
Stacy Dash are being seriously injured on NBC's "Celebrity Circus," a reality show that follows famous participants as they learn to perform circus acts. Stacey Dash cracked three ribs climbing "The Silks," a length of fabric suspended 30 feet in the air. NBC used the clip of Christopher Knight fracturing his forearm in the German Wheel as a promo for the show. Not only did Olympic swimmer Janet Evans fall 15 feet from a trapeze during a rehearsal, she also got her fishnet stockings caught on her partner's top, causing a Janet Jackson-like wardrobe malfunction in front of the entire crew.
This is the nature of money...if you want to earn money you should make hard of it.
ZAMBOANGA CITY: Ces Drilon a Filipino television journalist, two cameramen Jimmy Encarnacion and Angelo Valderama and a Muslim university professor on the southern island of Sulu have kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf militants. According to the police, Ces Oreña-Drilon, a multi-awarded broadcaster of the television network ABS-CBN, her crew and their companion, Octavio Dinampo, were taken at the village of Kulasi in the town of Maimbung. Drilon’s team arrived in Sulu on Saturday from Zamboanga City, said Supt. Julasirim Kasim, the provincial police chief.
Dinampo teaches political science at the Mindanao State University and is said to be helping Drilon in her coverage and the identities of the two cameramen were not immediately known.
Ransom demand range from PPh10 million to PPh30 million or about $227,000 and $454,000 U.S. dollars.