British Airways has agreed to buy small French business airline l’Avion for 68 million euros (52 million pounds) and it will become part of its new OpenSkies unit, they said in a joint statement on Wednesday.OpenSkies started on June 19 a Paris Orly to New York JFK connection with a Boeing 757 while l’Avion operates two Boeing 757 planes between Orly and New York Newark.
Privately-owned l’Avion was originally called Elysair and specialises in business travel. It was one of the last remaining trans-Atlantic all business airlines as the sector was savaged by high fuel prices and cutbacks on business travel.It was founded by pilot Frantz Yvelin and Marc Rochet, chief executive, who formerly ran Air Liberte
L’Avion started in January 2007 and has transported 65,000 passengers. The acquisition price includes l’Avion’s cash reserves of 33 million euros.


South African born artist Marlene Dumas set a new record this month for the most expensive living female artist, when her painting The Visitor, fetched £3.1 million (R47 million) at a Sotheby’s auction.
Dumas’s painting was sold to New York private dealer Nancy Whyte at the Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale held in London on the 1st of July. The £3,177,250 million bid for the painting surpasses Dumas’ previous record of £1.8 million set in February 2005.
The painting shows six young sex-workers in a room looking towards a door at the end of the room. The poses of the women suggest that they are competing for their trade while anticipating the imminent arrival of a client. Described by Sotheby’s as a psychologically challenging and strikingly beautiful painting, The Visitor is a large scale (180cm x 300cm) depiction of a group of female streetwalkers.

The drum skin used on the cover of The Beatles 1967 ‘ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band has sold for a whopping £541,250 ($1m) at an auction in London. The skin was sold at Christie’s Auction House in the capital (July 10) for almost four times the estimated price. It was part of a large rock memorabilia auction which also featured Jimi Hendrix, The Who and Ella Fitzgerald lots.
The album was the first of the concept albums, a format that was repeated many times through the 70s.
The meaning of the song lyrics are still debated today. Was ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’ really about LSD or just something John’s son Julian said’ Does John really refer to Paul being dead when you play the inner groove backwards’The cover also featured an array of personalities. Look for Lenny Bruce, Bob Dylan, Dion, Tony Curtis, Marilyn Munroe, and Sigmund Freud on the cover.

Barack Obama, the junior U. S. Senator from Illinois, is the first ever African–American to become the presumptive presidential nominee for a U. S. major political party. On June 3, 2008, he gained enough delegates to be nominated by the Democratic party at its national convention in August.

Barack Hussein Obama was born Aug. 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii. His father, Barack Obama, Sr., was born of Luo ethnicity in Nyanza Province, Kenya. He grew up herding goats with his own father, who was a domestic servant to the British. Although reared among Muslims, Obama, Sr., became an atheist at some point.

Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, grew up in Wichita, Kansas. Her father worked on oil rigs during the Depression. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he signed up for service in World War II and marched across Europe in Patton’s army. Dunham’s mother went to work on a bomber assembly line. After the war, they studied on the G. I. Bill, bought a house through the Federal Housing Program, and moved to Hawaii.Meantime, Barack’s father had won a scholarship that allowed him to leave Kenya pursue his dreams in Hawaii. At the time of his birth, Obama’s parents were students at the East–West Center of the University of Hawaii at Manoa.Obama’s parents separated when he was two years old and later divorced. Obama’s father went to Harvard to pursue Ph. D. studies and then returned to Kenya.His mother married Lolo Soetoro, another East–West Center student from Indonesia. In 1967, the family moved to Jakarta, where Obama’s half-sister Maya Soetoro–Ng was born. Obama attended schools in Jakarta, where classes were taught in the Indonesian language.

Four years later when Barack (commonly known throughout his early years as “Barry”) was ten, he returned to Hawaii to live with his maternal grandparents, Madelyn and Stanley Dunham, and later his mother (who died of ovarian cancer in 1995).He was enrolled in the fifth grade at the esteemed Punahou Academy, graduating with honors in 1979. He was only one of three black students at the school. This is where Obama first became conscious of racism and what it meant to be an African–American.In his memoir, Obama described how he struggled to reconcile social perceptions of his multiracial heritage. He saw his biological father (who died in a 1982 car accident) only once (in 1971) after his parents divorced. And he admitted using alcohol, marijuana and cocaine during his teenage years.After high school, Obama studied at Occidental College in Los Angeles for two years. He then transferred to Columbia University in New York, graduating in 1983 with a degree in political science.

Obama moved to Chicago in 1985. Obama entered Harvard Law School in 1988. In February 1990, he was elected the first African–American editor of the Harvard Law Review. Obama graduated magna cum laude in 1991.Obama published an autobiography in 1995 Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. And he won a Grammy for the audio version of the book.

He was elected in 1996 from the south side neighborhood of Hyde Park.In 2000 .

The war with Iraq began in 2003 and Obama decided to run for the U.S. Senate open seat vacated by Republican Peter Fitzgerald. In the 2004 Democratic primary, he won 52 percent of the vote, defeating multimillionaire businessman Blair Hull and Illinois Comptroller Daniel Hynes.

In August 2004, diplomat and former presidential candidate Alan Keyes, who was also an African American, accepted the Republican nomination to replace Ryan. In three televised debates, Obama and Keyes expressed opposing views on stem cell research, abortion, gun control, school vouchers and tax cuts.

In the November 2004 general election, Obama received 70% of the vote to Keyes’s 27%, the largest electoral victory in Illinois history. Obama became only the third African American elected to the U.S. Senate since Reconstruction.

Sworn into office January 4, 2005, Obama partnered with Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana on a bill that expanded efforts to destroy weapons of mass destruction in Eastern Europe and Russia. Then with Republican Sen. Tom Corburn of Oklahoma, he created a website that tracks all federal spending.

Obama was also the first to raise the threat of avian flu on the Senate floor, spoke out for victims of Hurricane Katrina, pushed for alternative energy development and championed improved veterans´ benefits. He also worked with Democrat Russ Feingold of Wisconsin

His second book, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, was published in October 2006.

In February 2007, Obama made headlines when he announced his candidacy for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. He was locked in a tight battle with former first lady and current U.S. Senator from New York, Hillary Rodham Clinton until he became the presumptive nominee on June 3, 2008.

Obama met his wife, Michelle, in 1988 when he was a summer associate at the Chicago law firm of Sidley & Austin. They were married in October 1992 and live in Kenwood on Chicago’s South Side with their daughters, Malia (born 1999) and Sasha (born 2001).

Barack Obama, the junior U. S. Senator from Illinois, is the first ever African–American to become the presumptive presidential nominee for a U. S. major political party On June 3, 2008, he gained enough delegates to be nominated by the Democratic party at its national convention in August to eliminate gifts of travel on corporate jets by lobbyists to members of Congress.

via biography

On the trail

barrack obama


source – barackobama

Ajantha Mendis the new spin sensation from Sri Lankan Cricket is tying batsman in knots with his spin variations and his dreaded “carrom ball”. Here is how you can learn to bowl the carrom bowl like Ajantha Mendis. Once you learn the basic concept you can create many spin variations.

Things You’ll Need

  1. A love for cricket and spinning
  2. Expertise at playing carroms
  3. A Strong Middle Finger!!
  4. Motivation to practice a lot!


1 The carrom ball is similar to the “Doosra” that Muthiah Muralitharan delivers. It is a delivery normally delivered by an off-break bowler but only it behaves like a leg-break ball. While Murali delivers it by turning the palm of his hand towards himself and by flicking his wrist, Ajantha Mendis delivers it differently.

The Grip To bowl the Carrom ball that behaves like a Doosra – Hold the ball as show in the picture with the seam facing gully. Place the index finger on the seam and the thumb below the ball. Essentially you’re gripping the ball between your thumb and index finger. Now place your middle finger folder underneath the seam of the ball (similar to how you get ready to srike a carrom with your middle finger), supporting the ball.


At the time of delivery Push your middle finger out (similar to the strike in caroms) by flicking it quickly. This causes the ball to not only spin like a regular leg-break but also provides it the additional lateral force to skid or shoot through causing further difficulty to the batsman.

4 Bowling other variations By using this concept of flicking your finger (or squeezing the ball out) with other grips you can get a similar spin/shoot combination on an off-break, leg-break, etc.

The Carrom Ball | Ajantha Mendis Vs Darren Sammy 2008


John Sidney McCain III (born August 29, 1936) is the senior United States Senator from Arizona and presumptive Republican Party nominee for President of the United States in the 2008 election.

Both McCain’s grandfather and father were admirals in the United States Navy. McCain graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1958 and became a naval aviator, flying ground-attack aircraft from aircraft carriers. During the Vietnam War, he nearly lost his life in the 1967 USS Forrestal fire. Later that year while on a bombing mission over North Vietnam, he was shot down, badly injured, and captured as a prisoner of war by the North Vietnamese. He was held from 1967 to 1973, experiencing episodes of torture and refusing an out-of-sequence early repatriation offer; his war wounds would leave him with lifelong physical limitations.He retired from the Navy as a captain in 1981 and, moving to Arizona, entered politics. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982. After serving two terms, he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986, winning re-election easily in 1992, 1998, and 2004.

While generally adhering to conservative principles, McCain has gained a media reputation as a “maverick” for disagreeing with his party on several key issues. After being investigated in a political influence scandal of the 1980s, as a member of the “Keating Five”, he made campaign finance reform one of his signature concerns, which eventually led to the passage of the McCain-Feingold Act in 2002. He is also known for his work towards restoring diplomatic relations with Vietnam in the 1990s, and for his belief that the war in Iraq should be fought to a successful conclusion in the 2000s. McCain has chaired the powerful Senate Commerce Committee, and has been a leader in seeking to rein in both pork barrel spending as well as Senate filibusters of judicial nominations.McCain lost the Republican nomination in the 2000 presidential election to George W. Bush. He ran again for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, and gained enough delegates to become the party’s presumptive nominee in March 2008.

source –johnmccain /wikipedia /chicagotribune