Oscar for best short documentary goes to India's ''Smile Pinki''

Oscar for best short documentary goes to India's ''Smile Pinki''Dabai (UP), Feb 23: Residents of Dabai of Uttar Pradesh huddled together during the wee hours of Monday and prayed for the success of the documentary film ''Smile Pinky'' based on the life of a girl from their village.

Their prayers seem to have been answered as ''Smile Pinky'' bagged an Oscar for best short documentary in the USA.

"We have been sitting in front of the television. We feel that when she returns successful, our village will become popular and all of us would progress," said Victoria, a villager.

Saudi Muslim scholar says running cars on bio-fuels could be ‘sinful’

Saudi Arabia MapDubai, Feb. 22 : Saudi Arabia's prominent scholar Sheikh Mohamed Al-Najim has said those who use alcohol-based bio-fuels in their cars could be committing a `sin'.

Najimi is a member of the Islamic Fiqh Academy that studies Islamic jurisprudence for the Organization of the Islamic Conference. OIC is an international group with a permanent delegation to the United Nations.

Najim directed his warning to Saudi youths studying abroad, but his warning was not an official fatwa or religious edict, just his personal opinion, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

ROUNDUP: Williams sets aside controversy to lift Dubai honours

Venus WilliamsDubai, UAE  - Venus Williams put this week's controversy to the side as she lifted the 40th title of her career, claiming the Barclays Championships title 6-4, 6-2 over Virginie Razzano on Saturday.

Williams, seeded sixth, will move back into the WTA Top 5 for the first time since 2003 after her success at an event thrown into chaos by the visa exclusion of Israeli Shahar Peer.

Williams took the opportunity to praise Peer during post-match ceremonies following the win in just over 90 minutes over 58th-ranked Frenchwomen Razzano.

Williams wins first title of season in Dubai

Venus WilliamsDubai, UAE - Venus Williams won her first title of the season as she claimed the Barclays Championships on her fourth attempt with a 6-4, 6-2 defeat of Virginie Razzano on Saturday.

Williams, seeded sixth, followed up her second straight defeat of her sister Serena in the semi-finals as she beat the 58th-ranked Frenchwomen in just over 90 minutes.

Razzano, who prepared after her own semi-final win with a spa treatment and a beer with dinner, was stretched out on court with a back problem after the seventh game of the opening set, trailing 3-4 on serve.

WTA fined 300,000 dollars with Peer to benefit

WTA LogoDubai, UAE - Shahar Peer is set for the biggest pay day of her career after the WTA fined Dubai tournament organizers a record 300,000 dollars over failure to secure a visa into the UAE for the Israeli ranked 45.

The women's governing body put the boot in by also ordering the Gulf event to post a 2-million-dollar bond if it hopes to hold an event next year.

Under the sanctions, Peer will benefit by around 45,000 dollars plus a massive 130 ranking points and will be allowed free entry into any 2010 edition in Dubai notwithstanding her ranking.

ROUNDUP: Rested Razzano to try her luck against Venus

ROUNDUP: Rested Razzano to try her luck against VenusDubai, UAE  - Challenger Virginie Razzano relaxed with a luxury spa treatment followed by a calming glass of beer the night before before facing Venus Williams for the title at the Barclays Championships on Saturday.

The number 58 with two career titles from 2007 is not one to worry too much about the immediate future after crushing Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 6-1, 6-2.

Venus Williams advanced over her world number one sibling as they met for the 19th time, winning 6-1, 2-6, 7-6 (7-3).