From space walks to rockets launches and Silver medals to cricket wins, here are the top 10 news stories of the week.
1. Girisha Nagarajegowda wins Silver at the London Paralympics 2012
Girisha became the first Indian to win a medal in the ongoing London Olympics by bagging the silver medal in the men’s high jump event. Girisha was competing in the F2 category which is meant for the participants who have disabilities of the hands or legs. Though Girisha and the Gold-medalist Iliesa Delena of Fiji both cleared the same height of 1.71 meter, Girisha lost out on the Gold since he cleared it in his second try. However, in his second attempt Girisha cleared a career-best height of 1.74 meter. A Rs. 5 lakh cash price was announced for Girisha for achieving this feat by the Vice-president of Karnataka States Sports Authority, Girish Patel. Full story here.
2. Hollywood actor Michael Clarke Duncan dies at 54
Oscar-nominated Hollywood actor Michael Duncan died at the Cedars-Senai Medical Centre at Los Angeles after suffering from a heart attack. Duncan was the former bodyguard of Will Smith and Jamie Fox before he struck gold at the box office with “ The Green Mile’ in 1990 which also earned him the Academy Award nomination for the best supporting actor. His other famous works include, “Armageddon”, “Planet of the Apes”, “Kung Fu Panda” and “Talladega Nights”. Full story here.
3. Paes – Stepanak enter the US Open final
India’s Leander Paes and Czech’s Radek Stepanak entered the men’s doubles finals of the US Open 2012 after Lopez from the Spanish duo of Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez retired hurt when the scorecard was 6-6. The fifth-seeded pair of Paes and Stepanak will now face the second-seeded American duo Mike and Bob Bryan in the finals, who defeated the Pakistani-Dutch pairing of Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer by 6-3, 6-4. Full story here.
4. India wins the Nehru Cup for the third time
The Indian football team created history by winning the Nehru Cup for the third time in a row by defeating Cameroon by 5-4 via tie-breaker after both the teams were 2-2 after extra time. India’s new football coach Wim Koevermans and skipper Sunil Chettri were applauded for their successful game plan. While India is ranked at 168 in the World Rankings, Cameroon is ranked at 59. The winners were awarded with a cash prize of $1,00,000 and the runner-up was awarded a $50,000 cash prize. Full story here.
5. Sunita Williams sets a record with sixth spacewalk
A new record for total cumulative spacewalk time by a female astronaut was created when Sunita Williams set out for her sixth spacewalk to repair a faulty power distribution unit. The spacewalk which lasted for 6 hours 28 minutes broke the record previously held by Peggy Whitson. Williams along with her Japanese counterpart Akihiko Hoshide fixed the faulty cable to restore power to International Space Station. Apart from the record of highest number of spacewalks, Williams also holds the record of longest spaceflight (195 days) and total time spent on spacewalks (44 hours and 2 minutes). Full story here.
6. India wins the second test match against New Zealand; completes a series whitewash
India won the second test match against New Zealand by 5 wickets, thereby winning the test series by 2-0. With this win, Dhoni became the most successful skipper at home by winning 14 matches and surpassed the record of former captain Mohd. Azzharuddin’s 13 match win. The Kiwis had set a target of 261 and initially seemed to have the upper hand in the game when they took the wickets of Sachin Tendulkar, C Pujara and Suresh Raina in succession. However, the stable partnership of Kohli(51) and Dhoni(48) steered India to the path of victory. Kohli was declared as the Man of the Match while R Ashwin was declared the Man of the Series. Full story here.
7. Air India gets its first Dreamliner Aircraft
Air India became the fifth global airline company to take possession of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft after its officials took the aircraft’s delivery in US. Loaded with new and sophisticated technologies which will reduce noise and emission during all phases of the flight, 787 Boeing is known to be one of the most fuel-efficient and eco-friendly aircraft as it requires 20% less fuel. The aircraft has the capacity for 256 seats and can fly 16,000 km non stop. Full story here.
8. Five Indian firms feature in Forbes’ “World’s Most Innovative Companies”
In a recent report published in Forbes magazine, five Indian firms have made it to the list of the “World’s Most Innovative Companies”. Larsen and Tourbo is ranked 9th, followed by Hindustan Unilever (12) and Infosys (19). Tata Consultancy was ranked 29th while Sun Pharmaceuticals was ranked 38th . The criteria for the selection were that the companies must have $10 billion in market capitalization and should have spent at least one percent of their asset base on research and development. Cloud computing king Salesforce.com took the top position in the list. Full story here.
9. Amazon launches Kindle Fire HD
The world’s largest Internet retailer, Amazon.com, launched the brand new Kindle Fire HD in a bid to dominate the market space of Apple’s iPad. The new Kindle Fire HD promises to be loaded with a range of new apps and sophisticated technology and also comes at a cheaper price than the iPad. The premium Kindle Fire HD has a 1920×1200 resolution screen, lagging Apple’s so-called “retina” display. At 8.9 inches, it is also slightly smaller than the iPad’s screen. However, the lowest price of Kindle’s new version is just $ 159 while Apple’s lowest prices iPad is $499. Full story here.
10. Countdown for India’s 100th rocket launch begins
The 100th mission of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is scheduled to launch at 9:51 AM on Sunday from Sriharikota satellite launch in Andhra Pradesh. The Indian rocket – Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle – will carry the 715 kg French satellite called SPOT 6 and the 15 kg Japanese satellite called the Proiteres. The SPOT and Indian remote sensing satellites are the two leading earth observation satellite series. The Prime Minister is expected to witness the launch of the 100th Indian mission. Till date, India has built 67 satellites and 32 rockets staring from its first satellite Aryabhatta launched in 1975.