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Teamwork in Pakistan

Games women play

Girls in (sister countries')Pakistan and Bangladesh are not really expected to kick up their heels. Nevertheless,women's soccer made its debut in Pakistan last month and female players in Bangladesh have vowed to take a tournament ahead in the face of stiff opposition. Hardliners across our eastern border have demanded that this first-ever competition for women, currently being held in Dhaka, should be cancelled immediately. But the girls are holding firm ' and it doesn't matter who wins. On our other side, a match between two teams, the Greens and the Whites, was held to mark FIFA Fair Play Day in Pakistan. A success, no doubt, but still a long way to go.

As sweet as can be

The power of silence ' that's something Vamsi Mootha discovered when he got a call from the MacArthur Foundation. Mootha was told that he had received the the $500,000 MacArthur 'Genius' Award ' but there was a condition. He would'nt be able to reveal the news to anybody till the official announcement was made at the end of September. The foundation insists on keeping the identities of the winners and selectors secret. Mootha, an Indian American working as an assistant professor at the Massachusetts General Hospital, received the award for research in the field of genetics which may lead to a novel treatment of diabetes. At just 31, he is one of the youngest to get the award this year.

What do you do when you have a pole for company' You dance with it, of course! That's exactly what Nigar Khan will do in the flick Double Cross ' Ek Dhokha. She's even gone to London for some training. Let's hope no one's hurt.

Freedom in Frisco

Californian Monty Davis had a curious habit ' he loved doing yoga poses in the nude at crowded tourist spots of San Francisco. He was charged in a case of 'public nuisance', but was let off when prosecutors admitted there was no law barring public nudity in the zone. On a sterner note, a new law, still being mulled, will bar smokers from lighting up in all outdoor areas of the city where gentle people wear flowers in their hair. One supposes, that includes tourist spots. Ta, Frisco.

An iPod

Gizmo gift

Be sure you have music on your mind if you check into Hong Kong's Le Meridien hotel for a vacation this Puja. If you walk into their swank gym, you'll be given an iPod to keep your spirits high as you exercise. The hotel has no fewer than five networks to offer guests a wide range of facilities including Net-surfing, call reception and printouts from anywhere within the premises. Increasingly, high-end Asian hotels are offering digital facilities like these. You can stay wired round the clock.

AWARD OF THE WEEK

Award

Goes to five-year-old Nicholas White of Bristol, UK, who stopped a thief by running after him as he tried to flee. Nicholas reportedly told the poor chap: 'Oi! What are you doing' That's not yours ' put it back!'

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