Friday, 30 November 2012

Gong wishes to cooperate with Zoya Akhtar

The struggle for Egypt
EGYPTIAN confused transition from dictatorship to democracy is a dangerous phase with the president and his followers of the Islamic dressed against the rest-each side claims to be the true defender of democracy and the revolution. President Morsi says his controversial Decree (euphemistically called "Constitutional Declaration") ...
MY MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
PRESIDENT Barack Obama is putting together his new team of national security, with Senator John Kerry possibly on the way to the Pentagon and UN Ambassador Susan Rice the perceived frontrunner to be Minister of Foreign Affairs. Kerry is an excellent choice for defence. I do not know rice at all, so I have no opinion about her suitability for the job, but I think.

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Aamir is Indian cinema game changer: Karan Johar

The struggle for Egypt
EGYPTIAN confused transition from dictatorship to democracy is a dangerous phase with the president and his followers of the Islamic dressed against the rest-each side claims to be the true defender of democracy and the revolution. President Morsi says his controversial Decree (euphemistically called "Constitutional Declaration") ...
MY MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
PRESIDENT Barack Obama is putting together his new team of national security, with Senator John Kerry possibly on the way to the Pentagon and UN Ambassador Susan Rice the perceived frontrunner to be Minister of Foreign Affairs. Kerry is an excellent choice for defence. I do not know rice at all, so I have no opinion about her suitability for the job, but I think.

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A feast with a world of ingredients

The struggle for Egypt
EGYPTIAN confused transition from dictatorship to democracy is a dangerous phase with the president and his followers of the Islamic dressed against the rest-each side claims to be the true defender of democracy and the revolution. President Morsi says his controversial Decree (euphemistically called "Constitutional Declaration") ...
MY MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
PRESIDENT Barack Obama is putting together his new team of national security, with Senator John Kerry possibly on the way to the Pentagon and UN Ambassador Susan Rice the perceived frontrunner to be Minister of Foreign Affairs. Kerry is an excellent choice for defence. I do not know rice at all, so I have no opinion about her suitability for the job, but I think.

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The return of the King Peter Jackson is back in the Hobbit

IAN SPELLING

NYT SYNDICATE

All roads lead to Middle-Earth for Peter Jackson ... eventually. It is hard to believe, but when the Hobbit: an unexpected journey is opened on 14 December, it will be almost a decade since the release of the Oscar-winning The Return of The King (2003), the third and final installment in Jackson the Vertigo received The Lord of The Rings (2001-2003).

"Well, the rings films seem a long time ago, I must say, but certainly narrowed the gap when we were shooting the Hobbit," says Jackson, Director, co-writer and co-composer theme co-producer of the famous Lord of the Rings trilogy and also the leading trio from which the Hobbit films. "We had many of the same actors and crew back, and there were moments where it seems not far away.

"In a way that shoot the Hobbit compressed everything," he says. "What length of time happened between the end of Lord of the Rings and the beginning of the Hobbit was collapsed in himself as a time machine once we actually on set shooting were." The gap between The Return of The King and an unexpected trip was really crazy for that love to see the Hobbit. Jackson initially chose not to what was initially planned as two films. Instead, he tapped the Mexican author Guillermo del Toro to lead with only himself on board as a producer and co-writer – a scheme which immediately in doubt, since the films pitched Warner Bros. had a lot of confidence in Jackson, the proven master of Middleearth and qualms about hundreds of millions of dollars to entrust to almost everyone else.

Not surprisingly, delays of all sorts of occurred.

Jackson fought with New Line Cinema, the studio that on profits from the trilogy The Lord of The Rings, had released. Rights issues relating to the Hobbit, as well as the financial problems further complicated Affairs of MGM, co-owner of the rights to the novel by J.r.r. Tolkien. Unsure if The Hobbit would forward, del Toro left and was replaced by Jackson, to relief of the studio and the fans.

However, even after the rights issues are resolved, Jackson signed on and new line parent that Warner Bros agreed to finance the Hobbit, production was still delayed by problems with the actors Union – first in New Zealand and again when Jackson fell ill with an ulcer.

No one would blame that Jackson have wondered if The Hobbit would ever happen.

However, speaking by phone from his Office in Wellington, New Zealand, the 51-year-old filmmaker says that his confidence never faltered and he maintained a "pretty disastrous attitude" about the project perspective despite the tumult.

"I actually believe in fate," says the filmmaker, "not in a religious way, but I think that somehow that things tend to happen because they are supposed to happen. That is an experience that I've had quite a few times in my life.

"I think at the end of the day, although I tried to not The Hobbit, something or someone had different plans for me." Jackson goes on to speak extensively and with obvious excitement about The Hobbit. The journey of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) in The Hobbit is slightly less dangerous than those created by Frodo (Elijah Wood) in The Lord of The Rings, and Jackson calls a "more humourbased" Bilbo character than Frodo. It is the 13 dwarves of Erebor, Thorin Oakenshield in particular (Richard Armitage), who on a deeper quest as they try to save their country and their golden treasure from Smaug, a fire-breathing dragon that lives in the Lonely mountains to recover it.

What calls Jackson's most animated comment, however, is the subject of the short novel of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit extend to a scenario in two films and eventually in three.

At the screening of the images he shot for the version twofilm would, Jackson says, he and his production team conferred with actors, and then with Warner Bros and decided that-with a few months of extra main photography-The Hobbit would be best served as a trilogy. An unexpected journey this year, followed by the destruction of Smaug in 2013 and there and Back Again in 2014 opened.

"The thing that you need to realize is that we do not only the adaptation of the novel of The Hobbit Tolkien wrote," Jackson begins. "We have also the annexes, 125 pages in principle with pretty concise, compressed notes that are published at the end of the return of the King. So we are adapting the Hobbit and then expand in a way that Tolkien, at some point in his life, destined to fold and revision of the original novel he wrote.

"In the 1950s and in the 1960s, he was planning to rewrite the Hobbit with all these extra material," Jackson says. "He never did that. so, in a way, what we do with the movie presents something of The Hobbit that may have been present – can have existed – if he had been able to do that review of the novel." Jackson goes on to call on the reputation of The Hobbit "misleading." While it presents an epic story, the book is not an epic read, page-wise. It is a relatively thin book, told in a "breathless pace" of Tolkien.

"It's almost like a children story written," says the filmmaker. "So it races along, which I think is one of the things that makes it so popular and loved by children. If you shoot a movie, and we wanted to shoot this in much the same style as rings, with the same narrative style with a different story and many different characters, we found that, whereas Tolkien the whole set of Lake Town, for example, in three or four pages, just because of the needs would write of making a film and presenting the development of the characters and the relationships between characters, and the dynamics of the story, that three or four pages of script would extend up to 30 pages.

"It was just something that happened if a part of the adjustment process," he says.

"We realized that Tolkien in rings, is interrupted and is present in much more depth on the various episodes that happen along the way, on the journey of the Fellowship. But it is very fast in The Hobbit. That would, I think, lends a very unsatisfactory film if you literally drove by the story Tolkien as well as in the book. " A Mark Jackson is his cameo appearances in nearly all of his films, including each of the Lord of the Rings films. Where should fans look for him in an unexpected trip? "Och," says Jackson: laugh. "It is in the first six or seven minutes of the film."

The choreography of moving on

BRIAN SEIBERT

NYT SYNDICATE

ON December 9 at City Centre, Renee Robinson will do something she has done more times – in front of more people, in more cities of the world – than she can easily calculate.

This time, though, will be the last: the last time as a member of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre that she holds the white parasol above the baptism scene in Revelations, the last time she and her yellow dress help turn the whole Theatre into a rocking church. Robinson is retiring.

Her tenure, which began in 1981, is the longest of any female dancer in Ailey company history. She is the last dancer still performing with the troupe to have been chosen by the founder Alvin Ailey (who died in 1989). She is the only Ailey dancer to have performed under all three of the company’s artistic directors: Ailey, Judith Jamison and, starting last year, Robert Battle.

But none of these facts explains entirely why Robinson will be missed. In the Ailey building recently Matthew Rushing – the company’s rehearsal director, who has shared stages with Robinson for 20 years – recalled the first time he saw her perform: “She transcended technique. It was more than just stage presence. And it wasn’t just talent.

It opened my eyes to another realm, how she could command a stage but also make people feel comfortable to let their guards down.” “From then on,” Rushing continued, “I looked for that thing. And Renee always delivered. She did it in rehearsal. And over the years she got better and better.

That was another lesson: that it doesn’t have to go downhill after a certain point.” Robinson does not disclose her age, and in a conversation at the Ailey studios she would speak only reluctantly about her decision to stop dancing with the company. “Oh man,” she said, “it was super hard.” But she recently returned to school, earning a master’s degree in dance from Hollins University in Virginia. Going back to school also closed a loop that Robinson’s three decades with Ailey had interrupted.

Her early training was in classical ballet. She began at the Jones- Haywood School, a Washington institution founded to offer ballet instruction to African- Americans who were not always welcome elsewhere. Her dancing won her a scholarship to New York University, where she majored in dance but minored in economics, thinking she would become a lawyer.

“Back then,” Robinson recalled, “the thought was, if you went to college, by the time you graduated you would be too old to start a dance career.” After her first year in New York though, friends persuaded her to audition for a scholarship at the Ailey school.

Despite her minimal background in modern dance she was accepted. She dropped out of NYU, joined an Ailey workshop troupe, and, after twice auditioning unsuccessfully, entered the main company.

Asked which Ailey dancers she emulated, Robinson said, “All of them.” Asked which Ailey role was her favourite, she answered the same. What she remembers about working with the choreographer Ulysses Dove is that he didn’t mind that she fell. (“I fell a lot my first year,” she remembers.) What she appreciates about rehearsing Judith Jamison works is that she “wants you to come into the studio already sparkling, and I have a tendency to be a little clunky a t first, and those ballets pushed me right out of the starting gate.” Over the years Robinson has danced in dozens of works, from Ailey’s tour-deforce solo Cry to Rennie Harris’s hiphop workout Home. But she may be best known for her roles in Revelations, Ailey’s evocation of the black church of his childhood, set to spirituals, that the company performs to unfailing ovations hundreds of times each year.

The first time Robinson saw her name on the callboard for the next day’s rehearsal of Revelations, she couldn’t sleep, she said. She wanted to be perfect.

She picked out a special outfit. She recalled eagerly scanning the casting sheet at the beginning of each subsequent season and saving the sheet – and the programmes too – each time she was entrusted with a new Revelations role.

Robinson also remembers when she and few friends decided to put $5 into an envelope each time they performed Revelations, but she can’t remember what happened to the envelope.

“Audiences know that dance,” she said. “They know it as well as you know it. It makes me feel good to take care of something that people like so much. The electricity that comes from the audience and that we give back to them, that happens every time. Who could get tired of that kind of vibration?” In 1999, when the choreographer Ronald K Brown cast Robinson as a mother goddess in his dance Grace (Robinson will perform the role when she receives a Dance Magazine Award on December 3), he came in as a fan. “But she had the humility of a great artist,” Brown recalled. “She told me she wanted to do a good job. She wanted to do the role the way I imagined it.” In The New York Times, Gia Kourlas wrote that Brown had “reinvented Robinson as a tough beauty, unfurling her wisdom,” adding that “her steps are fiercely calculated, but it’s as if she’s walking on air.” More recently, when Brown was rehearsing the company in Grace, which returns to the active repertory this season, he admired how Robinson sat on the sidelines, not asserting her rank.

“But she wasn’t just waiting her turn,” he said. “She was collecting information and digesting it. She watches like a hawk, and then she implements, always with a sense of discovery. That’s how dancing lives in the moment.” To younger dancers in the company Robinson has been a connection to the past and, as Alicia Graf Mack put it, “the quintessential Ailey woman.” But she’s also been mother, coach, resource, rock and refuge. She has served as the company’s unofficial nutritionist and fixer, convening “body sessions” in her hotel room on tour.

“She can see imbalances in your body,” Rushing explained, just before eating a chicken lunch Robinson had cooked him. “She works those out and the injuries just trickle away.” Jamison, whose own dancing career with the company lasted 15 years, said: “Renee could continue dancing forever.

And I don’t mean come out onstage and hold a pose. I’ve seen her go through ballets where she’s been sick as a dog, but the audience didn’t know. That’s Renee.

Renee does.” Robinson’s unquenchable curiosity, her work ethic: these are the qualities that her colleagues say have remained constant. And in her own view what has changed in the company are the costumes.

“You used have more fabric flowing around you,” she said.

In the immediate future, she said, “those costumes are small, and they are tight, and I’m getting ready for the performances I have” – 11 Revelations before her final one. And after that? “They don’t know,” she said. “But I’m a sneak back in.”

Two special birthday gifts lined up for Rajinikanth

IANS

SUPERSTAR Rajinikanth, who turns 62 next month, has two special birthday gifts lined up for his special day. His birthday falls on December 12. Firstly, the 3D version of his blockbuster film Sivaji will be released on the same day. And second, another Tamil film titled Alex Pandian, which is named after the character the actor essayed in the Tamil film Moondru Mugam, will release its audio.

Incidentally, AVM Productions, the makers of Sivaji have planned to release the 3D version of the film all over Tamil Nadu on the actor's birthday.

Meanwhile, KE Gnanavelraja of Studio Green production house has confirmed that they are launching the audio of Karthi-starrer Tamil action-thriller Alex Pandian on the same day.

"We are releasing on this day because it happens to be Rajinikanth's birthday and 30 years since the character Alex Pandian first appeared in the film Moondru Mugam, said a statement from the production company

To be successful, take good, bad moments in your stride: Tashu

IANS

TASHU Kaushik considers herself fortunate to have gotten an opportunity to work in southern cinema, especially after an unsuccessful stint in Bollywood, and says to survive one needs to take success and failure in the same stride.

Tashu is one of the few actresses who have worked in all the four southern language movies - Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam.

"I feel blessed to have worked in all southern languages and I look forward to doing more films. Cinema has been my greatest passion and I consider myself f o r t u n a t e enough to be doing something I'm extremely passionate about," Tashu said.

She debuted with Ram Gopal Varma's flop movie Darwaza Bandh Rakho, but says she has benefited from her collaboration with the filmmaker.

"Working with someone like Ramuji certainly helped me in my career and even today most people recognise me for my first film", she said.

An economics graduate, Tashu, who was born and raised in Kanpur and did her college in Mumbai, feels an actress should be open to criticism and work hard without worrying about output.

"To be successful in the industry one should always be open to learn and face good and bad moments with utmost confidence. One should also believe in themselves and work hard without any expectations," Tashu said.

The actress, who hasn't grooved to any item song to date, feels such songs can hamper an actress' image, but when done with a bigger star, it helps in gaining popularity.

"Item songs generally affect the image of an actress, but when done with a bigger actor or in a bigger film, it helps in gaining some popularity for the actress. It hampers the most when an actress decides to groove to any item song that comes her way," she said.

Right now she is awaiting release of her two Telugu films - Teluguabbai and Doola Seenu and has also completed Malayalam movie.

Also, she as two projects in Kannada and Tamil respectively.

When not acting, Tashu likes to watch TV, sleep and go on long drives.

Lindsay’s indifference hurts half-sister

IANS

ASHLEY Horn is reportedly unhappy that her half-sister, actress Lindsay Lohan has no plans to get to know her.

Lindsay’s father Michael Lohan took a paternity test recently which confirmed that 17-year-old Horn is his daughter.

“While Ashley can’t stand Michael, she thought Lindsay would be kinder to her. She says the Lohans are trash and wants nothing to do with them, but the truth is that she is really hurt by Lindsay’s attitude,” contactmusic.

com quoted a source as saying.

After it was revealed Lindsay, 26, has no plans to reach out to Ashley because her father was still married to her mother Dina when he had a fling with Horn’s mom - Kristi Horn, Michael too has been disappointed by Lindsay’s feelings.

“I am sorry to hear Lindsay feels that way.

I met Ashley and she is a good kid. But we all have our choices to make in life, as well as our own prerogatives. Who knows, maybe someday things will change. Regardless, I want the best for all my kids,” he said.

Bieber, Gomez hate public romance

IANS

TEEN sensation Justin Bieber and girlfriend actress Selena Gomez, who reconciled after a brief split, hate the fact that their relationship has become public.

Last Friday the couple went to a restaurant and left just minutes later with Gomez speeding off separately. It was assumed the two got into a fight, but a source claims that’s not what happened at all.

“There was no blow up. Selena is just super embarrassed by all of this attention surrounding their relationship. She got upset when they sat down and people were staring and pulling out their cell phones,” showbizspy.com quoted a source as saying.

“She was uncomfortable and wanted out of there, and that’s why they left almost immediately,” added the source.

Shortly after that, paparazzi caught Bieber outside Gomez’s house.

“The gate was just broken or having some sort of malfunction and wouldn’t let Justin in.

He got frustrated by all the paparazzi out there taunting him about being locked out, so he took off to get them off his tail and returned to Selena’s s h o r t l y after,” said the source.

Alec Baldwin plays a different side of Santa

CINDY PEARLMAN

NYT SYNDICATE

“IT was time for something new,” Alec Baldwin says.

“Was I nervous? Of course. It’s a big journey that I’m going on.” The 54-year-old actor is talking about his recent marriage to yoga teacher Hilaria Thomas, which – given his tabloid-heaven personal history – is nothing if not an expression of optimism.

Baldwin’s first marriage, to actress Kim Basinger in 1993, lasted for nine tumultuous years and led to a seemingly never-ending custody battle over their only child, now-17-year-old daughter Ireland. Hot-tempered and quotable, he has been a tabloid magnet ever since, and he and his quarter-century-younger bride rarely can escape a pack of paparazzi.

He’s also had to adjust to his transition from a 1980s leading man to a 2000s character actor. It’s been a long time since Clueless (1995), whose teen girls described hot young men as “Baldwins.” Today he’s seen mainly in supporting roles, often comic ones, and is best known as egomaniacal television executive Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock, a careerresuscitating role that has brought him two Emmy Awards as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.

“What I’ve learned to do, over the years, is to accept disappointments,” says Baldwin, whose latest film, Rise of the Guardians. “In this business you always hope for the best, but you realise that the best-case scenario is rare.

“When I was younger and a project didn’t work out, I was very depressed,” he continues. “Let’s say I made a movie and it didn’t make money or didn’t get the creative reception I hoped for, I’d be sad about it. With age, I think, you learn how to accept a disappointment. It’s about shifting your focus. If something turns out and does well, then fine, that’s great news. If it doesn’t, then you’re not as hard on yourself and you move on.” Based on a book by William Joyce, Rise of the Guardians is an animated film that revolves around an evil spirit called Pitch who plans to take over the world. Opposing him are the Immortal Guardians, iconic figures – think Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the like – who must join forces for the first time to protect the dreams, beliefs, hopes and imaginations of children around the world.

Baldwin voices the Santa figure, called North. Hugh Jackman lends his pipes to the East Bunny, with Isla Fisher voicing the Tooth Fairy and Chris Pine voicing Jack Frost.

And no, Baldwin’s dialogue wasn’t limited to “Ho ho ho!” “The filmmakers showed me that these were going to be kind of an edgier version of the characters we know and how you usually see the Santa Claus figure,” he says. “That’s why I was interested.

“When you see the Santa figure, it’s usually the rosy-cheeked, saintly man,” Baldwin continues. “In this film they have little edgy touches, but they don’t cross the line.” Some of the film’s jokes are designed to fly over the heads of younger moviegoers, he adds.

“I like how Isla’s character was hitting on Chris Pine’s character when she meets him,” he says. “It was real. Of course, they couldn’t consummate their love because of interspecies issues. That is problematic.” Baldwin has done voice work on occasional films through the years, most notably in Cats and Dogs (2001), Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001) and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008), and he says that he appreciates the freedom it offers.

“We’re doing radio acting here,” he says. “Someone else is going to render the physical dimensions for us, so we could go places with the vocals and take chances without concerning ourselves with the rest of it.” The only risk, he adds, lay in taking too many risks.

“There’s always a chance to make it very bombastic and strident with the Santa character,” Baldwin says. “I wanted to vary the tone throughout, so I wouldn’t exhaust it.” In real life Baldwin – who grew up in Massapequa, New York, with brothers Stephen, William and Daniel, all of whom also became actors, and a sister who didn’t – admits to having some Santa-related trauma left over from his childhood.

“I remember walking into a room and my sister was wrapping presents with my mother,” he says. “I went, ‘What? What!’ I was 7 or 8 at the time, and they told me what was going on.

“I think they told me because, the more kids my mother had, the more wrapping they had to do,” Baldwin adds.

“When I came in and knew the truth, then I could be enlisted as a wrapper.” His holiday viewing wasn’t as varied as that enjoyed by today’s children.

“I was of the generation where there wasn’t as much programming for children as there is now,” Baldwin says. “I was born in ‘58, and you watched that Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) special on TV and then the animated Grinch (1966).

“When I was young there was no cable and no DVD,” he adds.

“They showed a movie on TV five years after it was released. I remember The Wizard of Oz on TV being billed as a major television event. We were thrilled to see it.” The past year has been an eventful one for Baldwin. Besides his marriage and Rise of the Guardians, he made his first musical and appeared in his first major role in a Woody Allen movie, playing the disembodied adviser to a young man ( J e s s e Eisenberg) torn between his longtime g i r l f r i e n d (Greta Gerwig) and her sexy friend (Ellen Page) in To Rome with Love.

In Rock of Ages Baldwin played the owner of a hot club who finds love when he least expects it. The part involved singing, dancing and sharing a memorable kiss with Russell Brand.

“I’m very self conscious and I know I’m not a singer,” he says with a laugh. “You do a musical and you come to make a fool out of yourself. You know you’re going to play a crazy, over-the-top character.” Rock of Ages failed to click at the box office, but Baldwin – who has not been asked to carry a movie for some years – is unperturbed.

“People need to have an appetite for

Hamilton wins pole position for Brazilian GP

AP

SAO PAULO LEWIS HAMILTON won the pole position for the seasonending Brazilian Grand Prix on Saturday, while Formula One leader Sebastian Vettel will start fourth and title challenger Fernando Alonso only eighth.

Hamilton set a lap of 1 minute, 12.458 seconds with his McLaren at Interlagos, just .055 in front of teammate Jenson Button.

Vettel’s Red Bull teammate Mark Webber will start third after a lap of 1:12.581, with Vettel behind him with a run of 1:12.760.

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa was fifth after clocking 1:12.987, while teammate Alonso only managed a lap of 1:13.253, hurting his chances of overtaking Vettel for the championship.

Vettel needs to finish fourth or better on Sunday to become F1’s youngest threetime champion at age 25.

Alonso, also seeking his third title, needs at least a podium finish to have any chance of overcoming the 13-point deficit he has to Vettel.

Hamilton, who won the 2008 championship at Interlagos, will be driving his last race with McLaren before joining Mercedes next season.

He is coming off a victory at the United States GP last week.

McLaren has been strong all weekend and seems set to play a role at the title showdown between Vettel and Alonso.

Hamilton led the practice times on Friday and Button did the same earlier on Saturday. Vettel was always close behind the McLarens while Alonso was well behind the pace.

Drivers had faced very warm temperatures during practice but the temperatures dropped significantly for qualifying.

It started raining about half an hour before the timed session but it stopped by the time the cars hit the track. The top teams waited several minutes to get out to avoid the slippery conditions at the tricky 4.3-kilometer track in South America’s biggest city.

Michael Schumacher, preparing for his final race before retiring on Sunday, couldn’t do much with Mercedes and will start only 14th.

United storm back to steal Redknapp’s thunder

AFP

LONDON A QUICK-FIRE three-goal salvo gave Manchester United a 3-1 win over Harry Redknapp’s new club Queens Park Rangers on Saturday that took them to the top of the Premier League table.

Incoming QPR manager Redknapp was present at Old Trafford, hours after his appointment as the successor to Mark Hughes was confirmed, and he saw his new charges take a shock lead in the 52nd minute.

Kieron Dyer’s cross-shot from the left was palmed out by Anders Lindegaard and Jamie Mackie found the roof of the net from close range.

After losing at Norwich City and Galatasaray in their last two outings, United were staring at the prospect of a third consecutive defeat, but three goals in the space of eight minutes saw them roar into the lead.

Jonny Evans headed in the equaliser from close range in the 64th minute and four minutes later, Darren Fletcher marked his first league appearance in over a year by scoring with a thumping header from Wayne Rooney’s corner.

Substitute Javier Hernandez then beat QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar from Anderson’s pass in the 72nd minute to kill the game off and lift Alex Ferguson’s men two points above Manchester City at the summit.

City are not in action until Sunday, when they visit fourth-place Chelsea and their new interim coach, Rafael Benitez.

Arsenal, bidding to trim the five-point gap that separates them from the top four, play at Aston Villa in the evening kick-off.

Everton were prevented from closing to within a point of fourth-place Chelsea as Sebastien Bassong netted a last-minute equaliser to earn Norwich a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park.

Steven Naismith had given the hosts the lead with a 12thminute tap-in before Bassong struck at the death, meeting Wes Hoolahan’s deep freekick with a back-post header.

Earlier, West Bromwich Albion continued their superb start to the season with a 4-2 win at Sunderland that took them up to third place.

Zoltan Gera’s curling 25- yarder put the visitors ahead after half an hour’s play at the Stadium of Light, before a fumble from Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet gifted Shane Long the Baggies’ second.

Romelu Lukaku’s 81stminute penalty made it 3-1 after Craig Gardner had scored with a deflected freekick, but Stephane Sessegnon brought Sunderland back into the game again with a late strike from close range.

However, Steve Clarke’s men struck again in injury time through substitute Marc-Antoine Fortune to secure a fourth straight league win.

“To talk about European football at this stage would be folly,” warned West Brom coach Clarke.

“There are a lot of games to go, so we’ll keep our feet on the ground.” Wigan Athletic prevailed 3- 2 at home to fellow relegation contenders Reading after Jordi Gomez completed a hat-trick with an injury-time winner at the DW Stadium.

Reading looked to have snatched a point in the 80th minute when Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi allowed Hal Robson-Kanu’s deflected shot to squirm into the net, only for Gomez to restore Wigan’s advantage in stoppage time.

Stoke City defeated Fulham 1-0 at the Britannia Stadium, with Charlie Adam claiming the game’s only goal in the 26th minute to take his side above Liverpool into 11th place.

Proteas fight back in 2nd Test with late wickets

Anti-War Petition
NEWS of a ceasefire has come as a relief to us on the Israeli left, who have always argued that armed conflict is not the answer. The latest violence in the south of Israel and the Gaza Strip felt like the resurgence of a malignant condition. Just as with previous eruptions it could ...
WHY WE LOVE POLITICS
WE live in an anti-political moment, when many people - young people especially - think politics is a low, nasty, corrupt and usually fruitless business. It’s much nobler to do community service or just avoid all that putrid noise. I hope everybody who shares this anti-political mood will go out to see Lincoln, directed ...

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Lekhwiya, Qatar Sports record wins

IKOLI VICTOR DOHA

LEKHWIYA continued their resurgence in the Qatar Stars League with a 1-0 win against Al Kharaitiyat on Saturday that took them to third place in the table.

Khalid Muftah’s close range finish put the defending champion ahead after eleven minutes at the Al Khor Stadium. It was Lekhwiya’s fourth consecutive to take it to points to 16, same as Rayyan in second place with better goals aggregate.

It was Al Kharaitiyat’s fifth loss and the second only team after Al Arabi that has not won any match in the eighth round of the season.

The bottom club’s misfortune compounded as early as the tenth minute when the centre referee flashed a direct red card to Mahdi al Khammassi for fouling Muftah who was in a goal bound move at the edge of the box. Korean Tae Nam Hee neatly dispatched the resultant kick from about 30 yards that hit the woodwork, the ball rebound to Muftah and the striker was quickest to react slotting it past Khalifa Ndiaye in the eleventh minute.

Kharaitiyat played the rest of the match with 10-man and should be credited for holding the attacking players of Lekhwiya led by Sebastian Soria, Ali Afif and Issiar Dia.

The Bernard Simondi side had their chances but poor finishing from Yahia Kebe and Congolese Alain Dioko denied it a share of the points.

Lekhwiya were guilty of near misses with Dia coming close on the half hour mark but for the sharp reflexes of goalkeeper Khalifa that blocked an open chance from the Frenchman.

In the 33rd minute, Khariatiyat’s skipper Turki Aman was substituted for Chadian Mohammed Abdulrahman after he sustained an injury. Two minutes later, a rare chance for Dioko was too weak to trouble Baba Malick in goal for Lekhwiya.

Brazilian Domingos and Sebastian Soria had several contests in the game and the Kharaitiyat defender won the battles on few occasions.

Yahia Kebe had a glorious chance to at least test Baba Malick but his effort was poor, that was the second time in the game the Burkinabe striker has shot waywardly. That summed up the proceedings in the first half.

New entrant for Lekhwiya Ismael Mohammed was the worst culprit with his profligacy in front of goal. The Lekhwiya striker that replaced Mohammed Musa in the 55th minute came close with two near misses.

Yahia Kebe’s shot at goal was the closest they came but Baba Malick made a point blank save in the 71st minute.

Ismael should have wrapped up the game for Lekwhiya when a through pass from Soria released him with just the goalkeeper to beat but his shot was blocked for a corner kick in the 80th minute. The Eric Gerets team held its own until the final whistle.

Elsewhere on Saturday, a first half goal by Aruna Dindane was not enough for Umm Salal to win its second game, as they lost 3-1 to Qatar Sports Club. Mousa Majid scored twice in the closing minutes with Youssef Safri’s equaliser in the 56th minute.

Sailiya sits a place above the bottom of the table with four points, with twenty goals conceded so far, it has the worst defence in the league. Qatar Sports is sixth on the table with eleven points.

On Friday, ten-man Al Sadd recorded its eighth win with a hard fought win against Al Khor. Rayyan rediscovered its form with a comprehensive 5-1 thrashing of Gharafa.