Jumaat, 11 April 2014

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The Star Online: Metro: South & East

William and Kate to take to the water in New Zealand

Posted: 10 Apr 2014 05:39 PM PDT

AUCKLAND, April 11, 2014 (AFP) - Prince William and wife Catherine plan to test their sea legs Friday racing America's Cup yachts against one another on Auckland Harbour on day five of their New Zealand tour.

The royal couple will visit Team New Zealand's harbourside headquarters then, weather permitting, take to the water on rival America's Cup boats.

William told Prime Minister John Key at a function on Thursday night that both he and Kate were looking to gain bragging rights over each other in their nautical showdown.

"It will be a competition... a bit of healthy competition," he said.

Team NZ chief operating officer Kevin Shoebridge said the race was expected to take about two hours.

"They're free to pretty much do what they want, we haven't been given any restrictions," he told 3News.

"We're hoping to start the boats and then we'll hand the wheel over to them, give them a little bit of tuition and let them do it themselves... I think everyone will have a good time."

The royals will be hoping for a better performance than Team NZ produced when they lost the America's Cup final to US rivals Oracle in San Francisco last year.

The team were up 8-1, needing just one more race to claim victory, before collapsing spectacularly and losing 9-8 in what has been described as the greatest choke in sporting history.

The royals will also meet New Zealand air force personnel Friday at a base just outside Auckland and go on a brief walkabout in New Zealand's largest city, as well as cross the harbour in an amphibious vessel.

Lobby group Republic New Zealand said that while the royals are on the water it plans to send a plane above Auckland trailing a banner reading "Time for a New Zealand head of state".

"Having the UK supply us with a head of state no longer works for New Zealand, we need our own head of state," the group said in a statement.

Baby Prince George is travelling with his parents on the three-week tour of New Zealand and Australia but remains at their Wellington base with recently appointed Spanish nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo. - AFP

India's Gandhi mocks rival Modi over wedlock confession

Posted: 11 Apr 2014 06:24 AM PDT

NEW DELHI, April 11, 2014 (AFP) - Rahul Gandhi, vice president of the ruling Congress party, Friday accused opposition election frontrunner Narendra Modi of hypocrisy over his belated disclosure that he is married.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) premier candidate Modi, 63, is routinely described as a bachelor and is thought to have lived alone in his adult life, having risen through the ranks of a grassroots Hindu nationalist organisation in which celibacy is expected.

But on Wednesday Modi acknowledged he had a wife in an affidavit while filing papers to run for the national parliament in western Gujarat state.

Gandhi, the 43-year-old scion of India's famous political dynasty and unwed himself, is leading the campaign for Congress, which is tipped to lose to the BJP in elections that began this week.

He said Modi promises respect and security for women while on the campaign trail but never acknowledges his own wife.

"I don't know how many elections he (Modi) has fought before but this is the first time he's mentioned he's married," Gandhi told an election rally in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Modi, chief minister of Gujarat, has contested seats four times in the state's regional assembly but never previously revealed his marital status on affidavits.

"In Delhi, posters read 'respect for women' but his wife's name never reaches his affidavit," Gandhi said.

In the column of the affidavit mentioning spouses, Modi wrote the name "Jashodaben". But he stated elsewhere in the filing he had "no information" about her.

Modi's brother said in a statement Thursday that Modi was betrothed as a child to the now 62-year-old retired schoolteacher, who gave an interview in February in which she said she didn't "feel bad" about not being part of her husband's life.

"I know he is doing so due to destiny," Modi's wife told The Indian Express in February.

The marriage, formalised when Modi was 17, is never believed to have been consummated. Modi went on to rise through the ranks of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a Hindu group which frowns on marriage for its senior cadres.

India's mammoth national election, which kicked off Monday, has been described as a "battle of the bachelors" pitting Gandhi against Modi. Results are due on May 16.

Last month, Gandhi said he would wed "when I find the right girl". In the past, he has been linked to several foreign girlfriends.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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