Monthly Archives: February 2011

Zawiyah: 30 miles from Tripoli, the city on the frontline of Libya’s revolt

A man stands on a Libyan army

The city of Zawiyah, controlled by rebels but surrounded by Gaddafi loyalists, is a metaphor for the current stalemate. “If you go down there you will meet young men with guns,” said one of the Libyan government minders. “Please be careful,” he warned.

The crossing from the territory controlled by the regime of Colonel Gaddafi to rebel-held land was a short walk, as unexpected as it was bizarre.

Bizarre, because we had been delivered to the edge of the city of Zawiyah by Gaddafi’s men, who were supposed to be showing us how far their leader’s writ still extended. Instead they let us out of our cars and made no effort to prevent us crossing to the other side.

The “down there” mentioned by the minder was a broad boulevard with barricades across the street. A man with a machine gun came out of a door, ammunition belt across his shoulder. A half hour’s drive from the centre of Tripoli and Gaddafi’s control had run out. On the walls was anti-regime graffiti. Underfoot lay broken glass and bullet casings. Armed men appeared on balconies, flashing V-signs.

In the distance a crowd and flags were visible. Men waved us forward. A short walk brought into view a tank flying the rebels’ tricolour and an anti-aircraft gun mounted on a pick-up.

Some of the crowd had shotguns and hunting rifles. Others had AK-47s. In a little square overlooked by the burned-out building that once housed the local government and a library for studying Gaddafi’s infamous Green Book, armoured vehicles blocked the entrances. Look-outs manned the roofs and the corners of Martyrs’ Square.

We had crossed the line of Libya’s rebellion. The minders stayed with the cars on the city’s edge until it was time for us to leave. Then – extraordinarily – they came into the square to find us passing through the crowd of protesters unmolested.

Zawiyah – 30 miles from the capital – is a metaphor for Libya’s current stalemate, which could itself end at any moment. For Zawiyah is surrounded by the Libyan army, which holds all the roads but yesterday did not appear to be deployed in sufficient forces to retake the city.

But, taking a broader view, it is Tripoli that is increasingly encircled by the opposition as towns across the country abandon the regime. For the moment, the opposition seems to lack the momentum to take the capital from Gaddafi’s forces. But the situation remains remarkably fluid.

A man in a mix of military and civilian clothing pulled me up on to a tank whose barrel was pointing towards abandoned government positions. Tracks were still visible in the sand where armoured vehicles had once dug in. On top of the tank was Youssef Al-Araby, a middle-aged protester. “Don’t believe what the army and government tells you. Zawiyah is under our control. We answer to the interim government in Benghazi,” he said. A rhythmic chant drifted up from the crowd: “We are Zawiyah!”

None of this had been expected. Leaving Tripoli this morning on a tour organised by the government, it was in the understanding that we were to be shown a city still under government control. To prove it had not fallen. The minder in our car Our minder was clear about the mission: to show us that Libya had not been plunged into chaos, that it remained safe.

Six or so kilometres from Zawiyah, with the minaret of its mosque just visible in the distance, the convoy stopped. A distant pair of armoured vehicles was pointed out. We were told it was the last line of government forces. Two men leaving the town in a black car stopped to reinforce the government view – that those in the town were foreigners, al-Qaida fighters with beards, Egyptians and Tunisians.

But the men in Zawiyah were not foreigners, or drugged – as Gaddafi had previously claimed. Nor were they bearded Islamists or even rebels from outside. Instead, they were the town’s people. There were doctors and engineers, teachers, local youths and old men all anxious to speak, although many of them still fearful that the army – whose nearest positions were only two kilometres away – would try to enter Zawiyah again.

In a small mosque off the main square, locals led us into a small storeroom to show off two captured teenage soldiers, one whose family had come from Chad.

Terrified, the boys were led out of the room, one with a dressing on a face wound. We were told they were being handed over to one of the boys’ fathers.

Youssef Mustapha, a doctor who had been working at the aid station, said he believed 24 people had died in the fighting in this city, which began last Thursday night and continued for almost four days.

“We saw all kinds of injuries,” he said. “People shot in the head and neck. Shotgun and rifle wounds and injuries caused by heavy calibre weapons. The firing always came from the south and east. Have you seen the graves?”

These are in the centre of Martyrs Square. Those killed in the fighting are now buried there and a pair of open graves waited to be filled.

Ghari Ahmed, a computer engineer was worried about the soldiers outside: “They control all of the main roads into city,” he explained. “Villagers from around the town want to come in, but the army is blocking them. I am afraid they will try to attack again.”

What Zawiyah means for Tripoli’s future, and that of Gaddafi and his family, is unclear. Despite its proximity to Libya’s capital, it was a different scene from Tripoli, where tanks and checkpoints guarded the main highways into the city but where traffic seemed normal.

What was not normal were the crowds outside every shop stocking up on food, or mobbing the banks; the convoys of Chinese workers, Egyptians and Tunisians in coaches and cars laden with luggage.

Most puzzling of all is why the minders appointed by Gaddafi’s regime delivered the media to an opposition-held town so close to his seat of power.

I asked one why they had taken us to Zawiyah. “We didn’t want to hide anything from you,” he said disarmingly. “We were told to show you everything.”

Next, we were taken to a village not far from Zawiyah to see the other side of the story. Here, outside a community centre, a crowd of around a hundred mainly women and children gathered to sing and clap and chant Gaddafi’s praises.

People seemed less interested in talking. Mahmoud Abed Karim, an education administrator with a green scarf tied around his head, did not want to talk. The people in Zawiyah, he explained, are all al-Qaida and there are not many of them. “They are the people who were released from Guantánamo,” he added. “I hope the army retakes the town.”

There was another town the government wanted us to see, a place called Salman, a little further up the coast towards Tunisia. Some cars from the village followed our convoy, chanting pro-Gaddafi slogans, honking noisily on their horns.

Which leads to a question impossible to answer in such short time. Which of the scenes is more authentic — Zawiyah or Salman?

Because the reality is that this hinterland of Tripoli and its coast – despite the bussing of regime supporters – seems yet undecided which way it will go, both sides visible, both anxious to be heard.

But what is clear is that the way it is being described – as a rebel advance towards the capital – is not quite accurate for now. Instead, the rebellions are happening town by town, coming ever closer to the centre of a country balanced on the brink.

 

Copyright 2011 by Guardian

JPMorgan Fund Seeks Minority Stake in Twitter

JPMorgan Chase’s new fund aimed at investing in social-media companies is seeking to buy a minority stake in Twitter that could value the service at close to $4.5 billion, people briefed on.

The $1.22 billion JPMorgan fund appears to see Twitter as its beachhead in the highly popular social-media sector, much asGoldman Sachs established its presence in the category by raising $1.5 billion to invest inFacebook, an amount that included $1 billion collected from wealthy private individuals outside the United States.

It is not clear whether the fund, known as the J.P. Morgan Digital Growth Fund, will invest directly in Twitter, or buy current investors’ stakes with the company’s consent, these people said. They cautioned that talks were continuing and might not lead to a deal. These people spoke on the condition of anonymity because the talks were intended to be private.

Investments by the fund are also expected to extend to other sectors of social media, a broad and rapidly expanding group of companies like the gaming giant Zynga and providers of group coupons like LivingSocial. JPMorgan plans to invest in companies with established business models and steady revenue before they go public in widely anticipated stock sales.

Spokesmen for JPMorgan and Twitter declined to comment on Sunday.

Twitter is widely regarded as one of the darlings of the new generation of Internet companies, and its popularity has grown rapidly since it was founded in 2006. The service, which allows users to broadcast messages of up to 140 characters, has been praised for helping facilitate the protests in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East. On Sunday night alone, the service played host to thousands of users who commented on the Oscars in real time.

The potential investment by the JPMorgan fund, which is being run out of the firm’s asset management unit and which company executives have been reluctant to discuss, signals a rapid rise in Twitter’s worth.

Two months ago, the Internet company raised $200 million from a group of investors led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which valued the company at $3.7 billion. That round of investments was itself a sharp rise from the $1 billion valuation assigned to Twitter in a fund-raising round in September 2009.

Trading of Twitter shares on SharesPost, a secondary market, currently value the company at about $4.3 billion.

Twitter is now seeking to prove that it can create a durable and profitable business from its more than 175 million users.

So far, Twitter is in the early phases of developing its moneymaking platform. It introduced its first ads last April, including special messages known as “promoted tweets.” That service has attracted brands like Coca-Cola and Nike. The company’s advertising revenue could swell to $150 million this year, according to eMarketer, an Internet analysis company.

The company has also added two seasoned Silicon Valley executives as board members. And in October, it promoted Dick Costolo to chief executive from chief operating officer, succeeding a co-founder, Evan Williams, in a move that placed a more experienced manager atop the company.

The company has grown to more than 300 employees and is continuing to expand.

The Digital Growth Fund follows in the footsteps of Goldman’s Facebook fund, which gave that site a valuation of about $50 billion. Facebook is currently valued at about $52.3 billion on SharesPost, though recent trades in its shares suggest a valuation of nearly $84 billion.

So far, the JPMorgan fund has raised about $1.22 billion from wealthy outside investors, much higher than the $500 million to $750 million that the investment pool was initially expected to raise, according to a regulatory filing made on Friday.

The minimum investment is set at about $250,000, according to the filing. JPMorgan expects to collect about $13 million in commissions.

The fund consists only of money from outside investors, and will not use any of JPMorgan’s own capital.

 

Copyright 2011. News of the JPMorgan fund’s plans was first reported on Sunday by The Financial Times.

 

X-Rays and Unshielded Infants

It was well after midnight when Dr. Salvatore J. A. Sclafani finally hit the “send” button.

Soon, colleagues would awake to his e-mail, expressing his anguish and shame over the discovery that the tiniest, most vulnerable of all patients — premature babies — had been over-radiated in the department he ran atState University of New YorkDownstate Medical Center in Brooklyn.

A day earlier, Dr. Sclafani noticed that a newborn had been irradiated from head to toe — with no gonadal shielding — even though only a simple chest X-rayhad been ordered.

“I was mortified,” he wrote on July 27, 2007. Worse, technologists had given the same baby about 10 of these whole-body X-rays. “Full, unabashed, total irradiation of a neonate,” Dr. Sclafani said, adding, “This poor, defenseless baby.”

And the problems did not end there. Dr. John Amodio, the hospital’s new pediatric radiologist, found that full-body X-rays of premature babies had occurred often, that radiation levels on powerful CT scanners had been set too high for infants, and that babies had been poorly positioned, making it hard for doctors to interpret the images.

The hospital had done the full-body X-rays, known as “babygrams,” even though they had been largely discredited because of concerns about the potential harm of radiation on the young. Dr. Sclafani and Dr. Amodio quickly stopped the babygrams and instituted tight controls on how and when radiation was used on babies, according to doctors who work there. But the hospital never reported the problems in the unit to state health officials as required.

A little over a week ago, after The New York Times asked about the situation at Downstate, the state health commissioner, Dr. Nirav R. Shah, ordered two offices of the department to investigate.

“Our investigators will pull films, they will examine the medical records and they will interview relevant staff,” said Claudia Hutton, the department’s director of public affairs. “Our authority to investigate goes basically as far as we need it to go.”

The errors at Downstate raise broader questions about the competence, training and oversight of technologists who operate radiological equipment that is becoming increasingly complex and powerful. If technologists could not properly take a simple chest X-ray, how can they be expected to safely operate CT scanners or linear accelerators?

This poor, defenseless baby..

With technologists in many states lightly regulated, or not at all, their own professional group is calling for greater oversight and standards. For 12 years, the American Society of Radiologic Technologists has lobbied Congress to pass a bill that would establish minimum educational and certification requirements, not only for technologists, but also for medical physicists and people in 10 other occupations in medical imaging and radiation therapy.

Yet even with broad bipartisan support, the association said, and the backing of 26 organizations representing more than 500,000 health professionals, Congress has yet to pass what has become known as the CARE bill because, supporters say, it lacks a powerful legislator to champion its cause.

In December 2006, the Senate passed the bill, but Congress adjourned before the House could vote. At the time, the House bill had 135 co-sponsors.

“I would think the public would be outraged that Congress was sitting on what could reduce their radiation exposure,” said Dr. Fred Mettler, a radiologist who has investigated and written extensively about radiation accidents.

Individual states decide what standards, if any, radiological workers must meet. Radiation therapists are unregulated in 15 states, imaging technologists in 11 states and medical physicists in 18 states, according to the technologists association. “There are individuals,” said Dr. Jerry Reid, executive director of a group that certifies technologists, “who are performing medical imaging and radiation therapy who are not qualified. It is happening right now.”

Two months ago, in Michigan — which sets no minimum standards for technologists — the Nuclear Regulatory Commission reported that a large hospital had irradiated the healthy tissue of four cancer patients, three of whom suffered burns, because a technologist repeatedly used the wrong radiological device. “It’s amazing to us, knowing the complexity of medical imaging, that there are states that require massage therapists and hairdressers to be licensed, but they have no standards in place for exposing patients to ionizing radiation,” said Christine Lung, the technologist association’s vice president of government relations.

In New York State, technologists must be licensed and prove that they have passed a professional examination. But there were no continuing education requirements — a provision of the CARE bill — until last year, and regulators usually let hospitals decide whether to discipline technologists. Over the last 10 years, New York health officials say they have not disciplined any of the 20,000 or so licensed technologists for work-related problems.

 

 

Copyright 2011 by The New York Times

Torres doesn’t scare me! -Captain Vidic

Nemanja Vidic insists facing Fernando Torres will hold no fears for him at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.

The Manchester United skipper is enjoying arguably his best season since arriving at Old Trafford five years ago.

At Wigan on Saturday, Vidic was his usual obdurate self, combining with veteran goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar to keep the Latics at bay during their enterprising opening.

However, after guiding United to a 4-0 win that put them four points ahead of nearest title challengers Arsenal, Vidic knows his next test is arguably his hardest.

Torres may be yet to score for Chelsea since his record £50million move from Liverpool but the Spain star has terrorised Vidic often enough for the Serbian to be very wary about their next meeting.

Yet, the theory that Vidic is actually traumatised by his meetings with Torres is simply not true.

‘Sometimes you read people saying that certain players have a hard job to play against someone else,’ said Vidic.

‘Obviously, this is the opinion some people have (about him and Torres) because they always mention it.

‘I don’t have a problem with that. I can only change it on the pitch, not by saying what I think in the media. It actually just makes me more focused to do my job.’

There is another common theory that has attached itself to this week’s clash, namely that Chelsea, who have now slipped 15 points adrift of United, will be out of the running if they fail to win.

John Terry said as much last week and Vidic is hardly going to disagree. ‘They are so many points behind, it would be very difficult for them to come back,’ he said.

‘But anything can happen. If you look at the league and how many points we have lost and the games Chelsea lost in a row, you never know.’

Even though Rio Ferdinand has been ruled out, in Vidic and Chris Smalling, United have a central defensive pairing at the top of their game.

Smalling is benefiting from the gentle cajoling he receives from his vastly experienced team-mate, who tends to be on hand when mistakes have been made.

Such performances as yesterday’s have raised the possibility that the PFA may opt to elect a non-superstar as their player of the year given the most obvious choices, aside from Arsenal duo Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, have lacked the consistency Vidic has shown all campaign.

‘It is not for me to decide whether I have ever played better,’ he added. ‘I just try to limit my mistakes.
“As long as I am thinking like that I will keep myself on a good level.

‘In all honesty, I am never happy with my game. I want to improve all the time.’

 

Copyright 2011 by The Daily Mail

 

 

facebook will END on 15th March!! Is it REAL or not..??

Managing the site has become too stressful………

“Facebook has gotten out of control,” said Zuckerberg in a press conference outside his Palo Alto office, “and the stress of managing this company has ruined my life. I need to put an end to all the madness.”

Zuckerberg went on to explain that starting March 15th, users will no longer be able to access their Facebook accounts.

“After March 15th the whole website shuts down,” said Avrat Humarthi, Vice President of Technical Affairs at Facebook. “So if you ever want to see your pictures again, I recommend you take them off the internet. You won’t be able to get them back after Facebook goes out of business.”

Zuckerberg said the decision to shut down Facebook was difficult, but that he does not think people will be upset.

“I personally don’t think it’s a big deal,” he said in a private phone interview. “And to be honest, I think it’s for the better. Without Facebook, people will have to go outside and make real friends. That’s always a good thing.”

Some Facebook users were furious upon hearing the shocking news.

“What am I going to do without Facebook?” said Denise Bradshaw, a high school student from Indiana. “My life revolves around it. I’m on Facebook at least 10 hours a day. Now what am I going to do with all that free time?”

However, parents across the country have been experiencing a long anticipated sense of relief.

“I’m glad the Facebook nightmare is over,” said Jon Guttari, a single parent from Detroit. “Now my teenager’s face won’t be glued to a computer screen all day. Maybe I can even have a conversation with her.”

Those in the financial industry are criticizing Zuckerberg for walking away from a multibillion dollar franchise. Facebook is currently ranked as one of the wealthiest businesses in the world, with economists estimating its value at around 7.9 billion.

But Zuckerberg remains unruffled by these accusations. He said he will stand by his decision to give Facebook the axe.

“I don’t care about the money,” said Zuckerberg. “I just want my old life back.”

The Facebook Corporation suggests that users remove all of their personal information from the website before March 15th. After that date, all photos, notes, links, and videos will be permanently erased.

 

 

Copyright 2011 by Suffian Yans

Resources……?

Qatari royal family will ride anti-Glazer wave to force through takeover of Manchester United

The Glazer family would have us believe that their years of ownership at Manchester United have been defined by trophies. Eight have arrived since the Americans bought the club in 2005. United supporters, however, would talk more in terms of parsimony, secrecy and silence.

As the Qatar royal family prepare to test the strength of the Glazers’ resolve with a fresh bid of £1.5billion for the club, it would appear that they are being driven by a different agenda; by one thing the Americans never even considered. A desire to be popular.

United’s followers detest the aggressive way in which the Americans took the club into private ownership. They detest the debt. They detest the jacked-up ticket prices.

Just as much, though, the rank and file of Old Trafford loathe the Glazers for their failure to acknowledge they even exist; for the fact they have always seen United followers as a simple source of cash. This refusal to communicate has alienated United followers as much as anything.

In Qatar, we are told, things would be done differently. The Glazers never needed popularity. They needed an investment vehicle and a way to make money. If they sell to Qatar, the return on their investment will be enormous.

To the Emirate states, however, popularity is everything. Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar all have European Tour golf events. The first two have Formula One circuits and Qatar is about to build one.

Qatar have secured a World Cup, a shirt deal with Barcelona and persuaded United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola to endorse them as a serious base for sport.

There have been a number of high-profile demonstrations against the Glazer's continuing ownership of United

If Qatar manage to obtain the world’s most famous football club then one thing is for sure. It won’t be done quietly. Indications are that the ruling Al Thani family would embrace the green and gold campaign that so illuminated the anti-Glazer feeling last season.

They would involve their supporters. It’s an easy PR card to play, of course. Actually involving the self-styled ‘Red Knights’ in a takeover would appear to make little sense. Qatar certainly don’t need the financial aid and it would only complicate matters.

United fans have never taken the Glazer regime to their hearts

But tacitly acknowledging their existence and giving a nod towards the ‘Love United Hate Glazer’ factions will only deepen any goodwill that may be extended to them if a bid comes to fruition.

United supporters, of course, are confused. Despite the noises coming out of the city, United continue to publicly deny that their owners would sell. They could not be more emphatic.

However, there is one simple fact to consider. If the Glazers are contemplating a sale, chief executive David Gill and his colleagues at Old Trafford would be among the last to know.

Gill has done his best to keep the club functioning during the chaotic years of Glazer. He and manager Sir Alex Ferguson have done a remarkably efficient job.

While the balance sheet has looked a mess, the trophy room has continued to fill up. The Glazers, though, are unlikely to let Gill into the loop until the moments before a sale is concluded. Why would they?

They rode straight over his toes on the way into Old Trafford and they will, in all probability, do so on the way out. The Glazers have been in this for the money from the outset.

Given the hostility that has come their way every time their private jet from Florida has touched down in Manchester, it is hard to imagine that they have enjoyed their ownership very much.

It is not hate and threats and bile that will drive the Americans out of Stretford, though. They have long since disregarded that. No, it is money. In Qatar, there is plenty of that. It depends now on just how much they are prepared to offer.

 

Copyright 2011 by The Daily Mail

 

 

I want to win more at United!

Patrice Evra puts pen to paper on his new United contract alongside boss Sir Alex Ferguson and chief executive David Gill

Patrice Evra has signed a contract extension that will keep him at Old Trafford until at least the end of the 2013/14 season.

Manchester United defender Patrice Evra has put pen to paper on a contract extension to keep him at Old Trafford until 2014 – and remains as hungry as ever for medals.

The 29-year-old has already helped United land three Premier League titles, a Champions League, plus three League Cups – the last of which he lifted after skippering the team to victory over Aston Villa last year.

And, with his future now secure, Evra is adamant his desire for silverware has not been satisfied yet.

‘Ever since I arrived at United, it’s been a dream come true playing here,’ he said.

‘The fans, the players, the manager and the staff all work hard to make this club the best in the world.

Evra has established himself since his £5million arrival from Monaco in 2006.

He has always been a popular figure amongst the United support and his occasional bizarre outbursts – he recently claimed Arsenal was a fabulous football centre but mocked their inability to win trophies – have only reinforced that view.

‘Patrice is unquestionably one of the world’s best left-backs,’ said the Scot.

‘He has developed into a key character in the dressing room and it is great that he has committed himself to the club.

‘His experience and skill will be increasingly important to us.’

“I’ve won a lot in the last five years, but I want to win more and I know that’s the mentality of everyone here.”

The deal secures the services of a player Sir Alex Ferguson describes as “unquestionably one of the world’s best left backs”.

The boss added: “Patrice has developed into a key character in the dressing room. It’s great that he’s committed himself to Manchester United. His experience and talent will be increasingly important to us.”

 

Copyright 2011 by ManUtd.com & The Daily Mail

Now I know how powerful Man Utd and The Sun are!

The Sun-sponsored Blue Square Premier club face Manchester United tomorrow.

And Evans, whose side will wear The Sun logo on their shirts for the dream tie, said: “You don’t realise the power of Manchester United and The Sun newspaper until you have lived my life for the last few weeks.

“My phone has not stopped ringing since the draw and people in the street have been stopping me to wish us luck.

“That’s all because we’ve been splashed across The Sun for the last few weeks. It’s a real boost to take on the world’s biggest club with the backing of Britain’s biggest newspaper.”

Evans and his men had a cheeky look around United’s home and the Scot joked: “My mates will think I jumped over the wall to get us in here!

“But I wanted my boys to see the size and the sheer aura of the place so they don’t get a shock tomorrow.”

 

Copyright 2011 by The Sun

Dorian Gray keeps his youthful beauty eternally

A naive young man. A lovelorn artist. A corruptible Lord. A deal with the Devil. It all paints a dark picture of a Victorian London and how the rich and infamous party at their peril. Here, the telling of time and its consequence of experience for life’s treasures’ takes its toll on the body, mind and soul. The haunting and bleak tale of power, greed, vanity and inevitable self-destruction is ever present amongst the deceit, opium dens and sin.

Young Dorian arrives fresh on the London social scene and is taken under the wing of Lord Henry Wotton who introduces him to the seedy pleasures of London life. When Dorian sees how incredible he looks in a newly painted picture of himself, he swears to do whatever it takes to look as young and handsome in real life as he does in the picture – forever.

On a beautiful day with Lord Henry Wotton observing the artist Basil Hallward painting the portrait of a handsome young man named Dorian Gray. Dorian arrives later and meets Wotton. After hearing Lord Henry’s world view, Dorian begins to think beauty is the only worthwhile aspect of life, the only thing left to pursue. He wishes that the portrait Basil is painting would grow old in his place. A deal with the Devil to barter his soul with his own portrait’s. When he returns home he notices that his portrait has changed. Dorian realizes his wish has come true – the portrait now bears a subtle sneer and will age with each sin he commits, whilst his own appearance remains unchanged. One night, before he leaves for Paris, Basil arrives to question Dorian about rumours of his indulgences. Dorian does not deny his debauchery. He takes Basil to the portrait, which is as hideous as Dorian’s sins. In anger, Dorian blames the artist for his fate and stabs Basil to death. Dorian has not aged for 18 years.

Dorian Gray, the subject of a painting by artist Basil Hallward. Basil is impressed by Dorian’s beauty and becomes infatuated with him, believing his beauty is responsible for a new mode in his art. Dorian meets Lord Henry Wotton, a friend of Basil’s, and becomes enthralled by Lord Henry’s world view. Espousing a new hedonism, Lord Henry suggests the only things worth pursuing in life are beauty and fulfillment of the senses. Realizing that one day his beauty will fade, Dorian (whimsically) expresses a desire to sell his soul to ensure the portrait Basil has painted would age rather than himself. Dorian’s wish is fulfilled, plunging him into debauched acts. The portrait serves as a reminder of the effect each act has upon his soul, with each sin displayed as a disfigurement of his form, or through a sign of aging.His stunning good looks and charm soon attract the celebrity lifestyle and everything that it brings. Dorian finds himself slipping deeper and deeper into a world of sin, sex and celebrity, seemingly without any consequences. But as his actions become increasingly evil, for how long can he hide the secret behind his eternal youth?

 

Copyright 2011 by Suffian Yans

 

Arshavin and Van Persie strike late to sink mighty Barca

Arsene Wenger was bursting with pride after Arsenal fought their way back to beat Barcelona, the team he hails as the best in world football.

The Gunners looked in danger of being overwhelmed as they went behind to David Villa’s first-half strike but responded with two late goals in five minutes from Robin van Persie and substitute Andrey Arshavin.

Wenger said: ‘I am very proud for Arsenal because everybody urged us to play differently to our nature. It feels good. More than pride, it can strengthen the belief in our philosophy and that’s important. It is very promising for our future. The target is to keep these players together.

‘We played against the best team in the world and we managed to beat them. That doesn’t take anything away from Barcelona; they are still an exceptional side. We were resilient and strong. I am highly delighted. The game promised a lot and fulfilled that promise. It was a special football night, an exciting night and I thank the fans because we suffered at times but they were behind us.’

It was the first time the Gunners had ever beaten Barcelona but Wenger claimed the Catalans were still favourites to go through to the last eight of the Champions League, wary of last year’s quarter-final when his team lost 4-1 in the Nou Camp after hitting back from two down to draw 2-2 at the Emirates.

The odds were stacked against Van Persie when he let fly

The Arsenal boss added: ‘It gives us a chance to go to Barcelona with belief. We know it will be difficult but we’ll prepare well and be highly focused.

‘We are not favourites but we believe we have a chance and we will go for it. We know we can beat them, which we didn’t know last year. This is a special lift for my team. We’ve shown exceptional strength and togetherness and this will reinforce that.’

Last night’s victory had special significance for Cesc Fabregas, who began his career at the Nou Camp and was the subject of a failed bid from the Spanish champions last summer.

Fabregas said: ‘Our first ever win against Barcelona? It sounds good, because they don’t lose many games and they are the best side in football history, in my opinion. It is just one game, though. This is a nice victory, it gives confidence to the team but that is all. If we now don’t show it at the Nou Camp, it means nothing.

‘Compared to last year, I don’t know how close we are but we have definitely improved.’

 

Copyright 2011 by The Daily Mail