VOL. 15, ISSUE - 771, 15 - 21 MAY, 2018 PH: (905) 671 - 4761
The bigoted question Canada’s media keeps asking about Sikhs, and only about Sikhs A few short months ago, Sikhs in Canada grappled with media coverage rife with unfounded claims of “Sikh extremism” in Canada following the controversy during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to India. At the time, some commentators posed a question that would have caused a massive uproar had “Sikh” been replaced with “women,” “Indigenous people” or “Blacks,” by asking the question: “are Sikhs overrepresented in Canadian politics”? All Canadians — Sikhs, women, Indigenous, black, LGBTQ — have the right, responsibility and privilege to engage politically and serve their communities without having this right questioned on the basis of their race, religion and gender. For 50 years after their arrival on Canadian soil, Sikhs did not have the right to vote and no representation in government, making even the most basic and
mundane of tasks — owning or even renting a house, going out in public without verbal attacks or physical violence, a challenge. There was rarely a politician to help or speak out on behalf of the community. In the early 1900s, senior government officials came up with a scheme to expel the entirety of Canada’s Sikh population to the British Honduras (now Belize). Incoming migrants from Asia, including Sikhs who had the same status as Canadians as subjects of the British empire, were required to possess $200 — an inconceivable amount — while European migrants were only required to have $20 in their possession. Sikhs and Canadians defended the line, shoulder to shoulder as brothers in arms, while the Canadian government and public was instituting racist policies In 1914, a boatload of Sikhs entered British Columbia via the
“continuous passage” journey, which required a direct journey to Canada from India, and were still refused entry. After months
of living on the boat, the 376 Sikhs were forced to return to India, resulting in the deaths of many of these Sikh men.
While this was happening, Sikhs from the same families and villages as the men on the Continued on Page 4 Komagata
Punjab School Education Board Changed Class 12 History Syllabus to make it Indian Nationalistic AMRITSAR SAHIB The pro-Hindutva outfit RSS has been getting more blunt in implementing its policies against minorities since the formation of saffron BJP’s government in India. In addition to its repeated attacks on Sikh history & culture, the RSS has once again succeeded in getting the Sikh history removed from class 12 syllabus taught by the Punjab School Education Board. Although the PSEB has excused of shifting the syllabus of Sikh history to
class 11 after observing sharp reaction from Punjab residents but on thoroughly checking this “shuffling” of syllabus one can easily observe the anti-Sikh approach working in a clever way. On the condition of anonymity, a history lecturer working in PSEB affiliated government school told Sikh24 that the PSEB has changed syllabus to make it parallel to the one being taught by Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). He informed that firstly the PSEB was going to remove
the entire syllabus of Sikh history from syllabi for secondary classes but later it was retained in class XI syllabus in a shrink form due to opposition by few of the board members. Sources have clarified that the PSEB had appointed a panel of history lecturers from Punjab and other states of India to pen the new books for class 11 & 12. A history lecturer, who is said to be a staunch follower of RSS’ ideology, is learnt to have played a key role behind Continued on Page 4
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15 - 21 May, 2018
Pak attacks Sharif for the 26/11 truth
A FIRESTORM sparked by former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s remarks on the 26/11 Mumbai attacks threatens to consume him as the country’s top civil and military leadership on Monday condemned his statement while a petition was filed in court to register a treason case against him. In an interview with a local news organisation, Sharif had suggested that Pakistani attackers were behind the 2008 carnage that killed over 150 people and acknowledged that non-state actors were active in his country. India blames the LashkareTaiba group, founded by USwanted terror mastermind Hafiz Saeed, for the Mumbai massacre. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi tried to gloss over the issue, arguing that Sharif ‘s remark was misreported by the media. “Please note, no one dictated me to give this statement,” said Abbasi, seen as close to threetime PM Sharif. The two had met shortly before the press conference. Taking serious note of Sharif’s statement, a National Security Committee (NSC) comprising Pakistan’s top military and civilian leadership unanimously rejected his claim as “misleading and incorrect”. A petition was filed in the Lahore High Court by advocate Aftab Virk on behalf of Pakistan Awaami Tehreek’s Khurram Nawaz Gandapur, alleging that Sharif’s statement is against national security and state institutions. Opposition parties, including the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), launched a broadside against the ex-PM, calling him a security threat. Sources privy to the NSC meeting told this paper that all of the participants of
observed that Sharif ‘s statement was unfortunate and misleading; it was thus condemnable. The discussions lasted more than two hours with Abbasi in the chair. Pakistan’s army chief, the director generals of the country’s Inter-Services Intelligence, Military Intelligence and Intelligence Bureau, defence and foreign minister, foreign secretary, national security adviser and chairman of joint
chiefs of staff committee were among those present. A press note issued from the office of the Prime Minister soon after the meeting stated that the delay in conclusion of the Mumbai attacks case was caused by India, not Pakistan. “Besides many other refusals during the investigation, the denial of access to the principal accused, Ajmal Qasab, and his extraordinarily hurried execution
became the core impedi ment in the conclusion of the trial,” the statement said. “The National Security Committee resolved that Pakistan shall continue to play its due role in fighting the war against terrorism at all fronts.” Sharif, on the other hand, stood by his words. “What did I say that was wrong in the interview?” he asked on Monday. “Will speak the truth come what may.”
Pilot safely lands jet after snag in cockpit
AN AIRLINE captain successfully performed emergency landing in China on Monday after a cockpit windshield suddenly broke and fell off from the aircraft during the flight. All passengers were unhurt, but the cockpit’s temperature dropped to minus 40 degree Celsius and a copilot was partially sucked out of the plane, said the captain. The captain also told Chinese media that the co-pilot sustained injuries after having top half of his body dangling in mid-air. The Sichuan Airlines plane, 3U8633, was scheduled to fly from Chongqing to Lhasa. It departed Chongqing at 6.27 am and was due to arrive in Lhasa at 9.27 am. One of the plane’s windshields reportedly shattered about one hour into the flight when the Airbus A319 was flying over the city of Chengdu. Captain Liu Chuanjian told a daily that the incident caused his co-pilot to be partially sucked out of the window. According to Xinhua, the captain issued an “Squawk 7700” emergency code, alerting the air traffic control facilities of the dangerous situation. The plane was diverted to nearby Shuangliu International Airport in Chengdu. Within in 20 minutes, around 7.46 am, the captain safely landed the plane at the airport. Mobile phone footage emerged online shows flight attendants asking passengers to wear oxygen masks and putting on safety belts. The airline did not reveal the total number of passengers.
India asks Canada to stop people from misusing freedom of expression to ‘glorify terrorists’
India says it wants Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to do more to prevent people from misusing their right to freedom of expression to “incite violence and glorify terrorists as martyrs.” The statement was made during a Universal Periodic Review
session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland on Friday. In the statement, a representative of India’s permanent mission to the UN also recommended that Canada continue its progress in fighting
discrimination against Indigenous peoples, work to tackle racial profiling and help promote equal pay for women, among other things. The recommendation pertaining to freedom of expression is particularly significant in light of the Indian government’s discomfort with what it has said is the leniency shown by the Trudeau government towards Sikh separatist elements in Canada. The issue was a major flashpoint of Trudeau’s trip to India in February. The reference to terrorists being glorified as martyrs could be seen as a reference to posters
of Talwinder Singh Parmar — believed to be responsible for the 1985 Air India bombing — being displayed at a Sikh temple in Surrey, B.C. India recently also filed a First Information Report against a Surrey man, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who it accuses of plotting to carry out a major terrorist attack in India. Nijjar has previously admitted to speaking out in favour of Sikh separatism, but denied being involved in any
acts of violence.e for the invite, but a Trudeau government official — who was not identified at the time — told reporters that rogue factions within the Indian government arranged the invitation to sabotage the trip, a suggestion that the Indian government slammed as “baseless and unacceptable.” The official was later revealed to be national security adviser Daniel Jean.
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15 - 21 May, 2018
UK spy chief says Russia spreading lies to cripple West MI5 head says Putin was responsible for poisoning of Skripal & daughter, wants EU to jointly fight ISIS BRITAIN and the European Union must retain close security ties after Brexit to foil Islamic State militant attacks and counter Russia’s “pernicious” attempts to subvert Western democracies, the head of Britain’s domestic spy agency said on Monday. As one of Europe’s leading intelligence powers, Britain is seeking a new security pact with the bloc to ensure its continued access to secrets from major EU countries as it seeks to clinch a broader Brexit deal. In the first public speech outside Britain by a serving head of MI5, Andrew Parker told an event in Berlin hosted by Germany’s BfV domestic intelligence service that Islamic State militants are plotting “devastating and more complex attacks”. Parker said while Britain was set to leave the EU next year, its three main intelligence agencies — MI5, the MI6 foreign spy service and the GCHQ eavesdropping agency — were united in wanting to continue cooperation with EU member states. “We must not risk the loss of mutual capability or weakening of collective effort across Europe,” Parker said, adding, he hoped for a comprehensive UK-EU postBrexit security agreement. “I don’t do politics but it is of course political arrangements, laws and treaties that permit or constrain
what we can do together as agencies protecting our countries and Europe. MI5, established in 1909 to counter German espionage ahead of World War I, is tasked with protecting British national security and so takes the lead, along with the police, in countering militant attacks. Britain suffered four deadly militant attacks last year that killed 36 people, the deadliest spate since the London “7/7” bombings of July 2005. These included a suicide bombing at a pop concert in Manchester on May 22 in which 22 people were killed. Parker said Britain had thwarted 12 plots since March 2017, bringing the total number of disrupted attacks since 2013 to 25. He praised the CounterTerrorism Group (CTG), which groups all 28 European Union countries, Switzerland and Norway, for its exchange of intelligence. He said: “Whilst ISIS has now lost its false caliphate in its strongholds in Syria and Iraq, tackling the group as a movement will require sustained international focus for years to come. As I speak today, they are seeking to regroup, and the threat seems likely to persist. Islamic State have been blamed for (attacks) that’s upset a lot of alQaeda affiliated groups who want to get back into high-level, sophisticated attacks like they
Sikh Riders of Canada held third annual Pioneer Run
did with the 9/11 attacks, because they see Islamic State getting the media limelight.” Russia under President Vladimir Putin, he said, had sought to regain the clout it lost after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 by carrying out “aggressive and pernicious actions” with its military and intelligence services. Parker listed Russia’s annexation of Crimea from
Ukraine in 2014, Russian meddling in the US and French presidential polls, a coup attempt in Montenegro and cyber attacks against the West as examples of what he called the Kremlin’s unacceptable behaviour. “Instead of becoming a respected great nation it risks becoming a more isolated pariah,” Parker said. Britain blames Russia for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, a former colonel in Russian military intelligence who betrayed dozens of agents to Britain’s MI6 foreign spy service. Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a bench in the cathedral city of Salisbury on March 4. Britain said the Skripals were attacked with a militarygrade nerve agent from the Novichok group of poisons, developed by the Soviet Union in the 1970s and ‘80s. Moscow denied any involvement in the first known use of an offensive nerve
Manmeet Kaur becomes first Sikh TV Anchor in Pakistan Peshawar 23 years old Peshawar based Manmeet Kaur has been has become first female Sikh appointed as TV anchor by the reporter in Pakistan. Owned by Hum Network Pakistani channel Hum TV. With this appointment, Manmeet Kaur Limited, the Hum TV is a 24-hour
The Sikh Riders of Canada held their third annual Sikh Pioneer Run on Sunday, May 13. The motorcycle ride left at 1 p.m. from the Gur Sikh Temple at 33094 South Fraser Way in Abbotsford and finished at around 3 p.m. at the Komagata
Maru Memorial in Vancouver. The Sikh Riders of Canada are committed to raising awareness and to educate people about the Sikh pioneers who have been in B.C. since 1897 and to build bridges between other communities.
agent on European soil since WWII. R USSIAN officials suggested Britain had carried out the attack to stoke anti-Russian hysteria. Hans-Georg Maassen, head of Germany’s BfV domestic intelligence agency, said Moscow was behind a series of cyber attacks carried out by a Russian hacking group called APT28. MI5’s Parker said Russia had sowed large-scale disinformation in an attempt to divide the West. “Bare-faced lying seems to be the default mode, coupled with ridicule of critics,” Parker said. “The Russian state’s now wellpractised doctrine of blending media manipulation, social media disinformation and distortion along with new and old forms of espionage, and high-levels of cyber attacks, military force and criminal thuggery is what is meant these days by the term “hybrid threats.”
entertainment TV channel based in Karachi, Pakistan. It was founded by Sultana Siddiqui and Duraid Qureshi. After offering prayer in a Gurdwara Sahib of Peshawar (Pakistan) on May 11, Manmeet Kaur said that she is feeling proud after getting appointed as a Reporter in Hum TV. She added that now she has become able to bring the difficulties of Sikhs into limelight via media. “I will serve my duties with full dedication and honesty” she maintained.
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15 - 21 May, 2018
Melania Trump’s kidney procedure explained WASHINGTON First lady Melania Trump, 48, underwent an embolization procedure Monday morning at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to treat a benign kidney condition, according to a statement issued by the White House. The procedure was successful with no complications. Trump will likely remain in the hospital for the duration of the week, the statement said. The White House did not elaborate on the condition or the procedure. “When I hear benign kidney condition, most of the time, you’re thinking a cyst and a cyst is basically a fluid-filled structure that can sometimes develop on top of the kidney, or within the kidney,” CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta said. “It’s not something that typically gets embolized. Was there a cyst and something else associated with that cyst? What is it ... is the question.” Embolization “cuts off the blood supply to a certain part of the body,” according to
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the National Institutes of Health. “There are certain benign tumors that may be treated this way. These are the kind of tumors, you worry they could bleed
grow they can cause bleeding around the kidney, they can cause bleeding in the urine, they can cause pain as well,” said Brahmbhatt.
because they have a lot of blood vessels in them. One of the ways to treat them is to embolize them, to block the blood flow to that part of the kidney,” Gupta said. Dr. Jamin Brahmbhatt, urologist at Orlando Health in Florida, said, the most common condition he would use an embolization procedure for would be “something called angiomyolipoma, which is basically a benign growth of the kidney that has some fat in it and some cystic components.” “These are usually benign but if they
Angiomyolipoma is an uncommon condition, still only in very rare cases would something be discovered during the procedure itself where a patient might need “something further done,” said Brahmbatt. Sometimes embolizations can be done on an out-patient basis, he said, but sometimes they admit the patient overnight just to keep track of the kidney function and to make sure there’s no excessive pain. It’s always safe to monitor patients afterwards “and make sure what you
The bigoted question Canada’s media keeps asking about Sikhs, and only about Sikhs continued from page 1 Maru were shedding blood in key battles in the First World War, including, the battles of second Ypres, Somme, Vimy, Passchendaele, Cambrai and beyond. Sikh soldiers were reinforcing a weakened Canadian division on Flanders Fields as the first gas attack was illegally used by the German forces. Sikhs and Canadians defended the line, shoulder to shoulder as brothers in arms, while the Canadian government and public was instituting racist policies. Sikhs joined the Canadian and British forces even as they faced racist policies and while they protested discriminatory treatment through the efforts of Teja Singh and Hari Singh, who presented their case on the restrictions of South Asian migration in England. Average South Asian community members took to the streets in order to publicly protest their conditions and tried to create change through petitions to the Canadian, British and Indian governments. Activism is an important tool to achieve change and work for positive outcomes. In democratic countries, we have the privilege to carry that activism forward by being involved in the process of governing and challenging and changing the unfairness and inequality in our political systems. Sikhs believe strongly in the principles of service and creating positive change for everyone in society. An important way to do that is through politics. In 1993, the first Sikh was elected to the House of Commons. In 2015, a record 16 members of the Sikh community became MPs, and four were named to
cabinet. In 2017, Jagmeet Singh became the first visible minority and Sikh to be elected as the leader of a major political party.Some commentators have published opinion pieces that include warnings about an ethnic takeover of Canada Such progress and such a Canadian success story should make Canadians proud, but there has been a backlash. A short reading of the comment sections on articles relating to Sikh politicians or the replies on Twitter shows that many Canadians are deeply resentful about what they see as a “takeover” of their country. Some commentators have published opinion pieces that include warnings about an ethnic takeover of Canada, claims that Sikhs in Canada are “over-represented” in politics and the suggestion that Sikhs, including NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, carry “blood hatreds” that they have brought with them to Canada. Among the mainstream media, there has been nary a voice condemning these examples of racebaiting. The charge that Sikhs are overrepresented has been particularly jarring. Such allegations feed the type of tribalism and communalism that we see consuming other places around the world. What should be the right amount of representation? Is white overrepresentation the only acceptable form of over-representation in politics? Such allegations are a clear attempt to marginalize Canada’s Sikh community and seek to diminish their role in defending, building and contributing to this country. Mukhbir Singh is president of the World Sikh Organization of Canada
wanted to embolize was embolized,” said Brahmbatt. One reason the hospital may be keeping the first lady for a few days is “the full lesion may not have been completely embolized and sometimes you need it done again.” Or there could be “bleeding around the kidney or bleeding where you actually go through and get into your blood vessels,” he said. Overall, said Brahmbatt, an embolization is “a fairly low risk procedure” though the biggest risk would be to overembolize. In that case, other parts of the kidney would be affected “and so you may lose some of the functioning to that part of the kidney.” See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter. Gupta said, “ ‘Benign (kidney) condition’ is all we know. Typically, most people would think it was a cyst. This no longer sounds like a cyst because of the way it was treated and how long her recovery is going to be.” People typically have two kidneys, each about the size of a fist. The organs filter a person’s blood — about 200 quarts of it each day — converting waste products into urine, which then flows out of the body through the bladder. Even with just one kidney, many people live normal healthy lives. A person with only one kidney, though, may experience a slight loss of function over a long period.
Punjab School Education Board Changed Class 12 History Syllabus to make it Indian Nationalistic continued from page 1 this reform in History syllabus for class 11 & 12. Lecturer Jasbir Singh informed Sikh24 that new chapters of history about ‘Sakhi Sarvar’ and ‘Lakhan Da Data Peer’ have been inducted in the new curriculum of PSEB to push youth of Punjab towards blind faith. Whistle blower Gurpreet Singh
Chandbaja has said that the new History book is full of pictorials about Indus valley civilization and temples of south India but there is no clue of any pictorial representation of traditional edificial art of Punjab. On checking the newly inducted chapters in class 12 history book and comparing it with the NCERT book being taught by CBSE board, one can easily grasp the nationalistic approach working behind the development. Although, the PSEB has tried to hide its intention by changing the name of chapters, but it come to fore on thoroughly going through the book. For example, the CBSE board has straight forward named the first chapter on Harappan civilization but the PSEB has titled it as ‘Cities, Trade and Crafts’.
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Enter shoes that come with built-in treadmills
CREEPY HUMANOID ROBOTSTHATTALK A TEAM of British engineers are building lifelike robots that can dance, talk in several languages and even scare London pub-goers. Engineering Arts is developing the automatons in a sleepy Cornish seaside town. Photos taken at the firm’s factory reveal the inner-workings of how the company combines prosthetics, robotics and artistry. Founded in 2004, the company operating from an industrial unit in Penryn, near Falmouth, is a world leader in life sized commercially available humanoid robots. With prices ranging from £9,500 to £59,000 (‘8,67,798 to ‘53,89,480), the high-end robots are used for entertainment, information, education and research. The company currently offers three commercially available products — RoboThespian, SociBot and the SociBot Mini. Its top of the range android, the fully interactive and multilingual RoboThespian, has been sold
and displayed around the world. It even succeeded in giving a 15 minute long TEDx Talk. In many places, it has been joined by the smaller SociBot robot at science centres, theme parks and visitor attraction. Many academic and commercial research groups are also using the robots as research and development platforms. Engineering Arts is
also developing new robots. It has been developing a range of lifelike biomechanical Mesmer robots that build on the sensors and the software framework already developed for RoboThespian. Mesmer robots offer some of the smartest animatronics on the market, giving extensive interaction but can also move very smoothly,
quietly and naturally. Developed using animation software Virtual Robot, Mesmer characters can be fictional, or faithful recreations of real-world people. In a collaboration with Madame Tussaud’s wax works in Shanghai, it created an extremely lifelike and animated version of the Jing Boran and Wuba, from the film Monster Hunt 2.
US-Pakistan rift over mobility of diplomats PAKISTAN and the United States — two long-time strategic partners and allies in the war against terrorism — are at a crossroads. In what could be called as “huge disappointment” for Pakistan, the US has imposed constraints on the movement of Pakistani diplomats, restricting them within 40 km of their appointed stations in the US. Fresh ‘travel restrictions’ come into effect from Friday. Under the Trump administration, the officials of the Pakistan embassy and four consulates are required to get permission from the state department five days before going beyond the set limits. Previously, Pakistani diplomats have been allowed to travel throughout the US without limits. In sharp contrast, the US diplomats in Pakistan are already facing travel
restrictions. They are prohibited from visiting most of the areas, including Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Authorities have cited “security concerns” behind travel restrictions on US diplomats in Pakistan. Acting on a tit-for-tat mode, Pakistan on
Friday imposed reciprocal travel restrictions on US diplomats stationed in Pakistan. The move is likely to strain on already icy relations between the two. On Thursday, Pakistan officially informed high-ups of the US embassy in Islamabad that
the reciprocal measures would come into effect immediately after US restrictions take effect. Following fresh ‘restrictions’, the US diplomats will not be able to use non-diplomatic number plates on official vehicles, use diplomatic number plates on unspecified or rented vehicles, and overshooting visa periods and/ or the use of multiple passports. Also, Pakistan made it mandatory for the US embassy to seek NoC from the home ministry to install radio communication at residences and safe houses. Aizaz Chaudhary, Pakistan’s ambassador the US, said: “The US may have some other grievances. We believe that matters can be solved.” On April 7, US diplomat in Islamabad, Col. Joseph Emanuel Hall killed a Pakistani motorcyclist in a road accident.
IN A patent filed early May, Nike has designed a shoe with a “rotatable conveyor element” that intends to help people put on their footwear. And, it looks like a mini, builtin treadmill. It is essentially a conveyor belt built into a shoe’s sole and “configured to rotatably engage a body part of the wearer as the foot enters the space and draw the foot into the space”. The patent includes an “insole, an upper configured to form a space between the upper and the insole”, which in turn is “configured to admit and secure a foot of a wearer”. It also implies that the patent might be motorised, as it’s “coupled to an activation mechanism, such as a switch or mechanism to detect the presence of a foot”. It also might have a rechargeable battery paired with a kinetic energy generator, “such as a piezoelectric generator or other suitable power generation mechanism”. Piezolectricity is the ability to generate electricity by applying pressure to a material. It can convert mechanical energy into electrical energy.
Spain likely to legalise euthanasia as MPs vote SPAIN is considering a assisted suicide — euthanasia — legal after a vote in it’s parliament’s lower house. Lawmakers voted in favour of examining a bill on legalising euthanasia, a first in the country even if there will likely be major opposition before any potential approval. Spanish MPs voted 173 against 135 — and 32 abstentions — to examine the bill, which was originally drafted by Catalonia’s regional assembly. This is the first time that a bill aimed at legalising euthanasia makes it past this first hurdle after previous attempts failed, a parliament spokeswoman said. It comes on the same day as a worldrenowned BritishAustralian scientist died in a euthanasia clinic in Switzerland. Dr David Goodall, 104, died at 11.30 am on Thursday after flicking a switch allowing a lethal dose of a sleeping drug to flow into his body. The Spanish bill seeks to modify part of article 143 of Spain’s penal code.
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Historic Trump-Kim summit set for June 12 in Singapore WASHINGTON US President Donald Trump on Thursday revealed his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will take place in Singapore on June 12. The location and date of the landmark meeting - the first ever between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader were announced by presidential tweet just hours after North Korea released three American prisoners. US officials said their freedom removed the last major obstacle, providing Trump with tangible evidence that his twin-track policy of engagement and “maximum pressure” was working. “We will both try to make it a very special moment for World
Peace!” Trump wrote. Technically the United States and North Korea are still at war - a stop-gap armistice ended the brutal three year war between the two countries in 1953 and around 30,000 US troops remain in neighboring South Korea. Neutral Singapore has long acted as a bridge between the United States and China, with successive prime ministers offering Oval Office occupants
cherished geopolitical counsel. When Trump and Kim sit down in the sweltering Southeast Asian city state, the two relatively new and untested leaders face a nuclear puzzle that has eluded seasoned diplomats for decades. A series of US administrations have sent envoys, both official and unofficial, to Pyongyang in the hope of stopping North Korea’s provocative nuclear weapons program.
Former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter visited after leaving office, non-proliferation talks have repeatedly taken place and a deal was even signed in 1994. But despite the optimism of that moment, all efforts to limit North Korea’s nuclear program have, to date, failed. And more than two decades and multiple provocative weapons tests after the last accord, the threat from North Korea has only grown. The country is now believed to be on the cusp of developing an intercontinental ballistic missile that could deliver a nuclear warhead to the continental United States. Trump has vowed that he will not let that happen and has demanded that North Korea give up its nukes.
Choc-a-block traffic after tanker spill in Poland
WARSAW A tanker truck turned a stretch of highway into Poland’s sweet spot when it spilt 12 tonnes of liquid chocolate after crashing through a traffic barrier. Local police said it was unclear why the truck belonging to a candy maker slammed into the central reservation on highway A2 between the western towns of Wrzesnia and Slupca. After flipping over, the tanker came to rest across lanes and the chocolate barred traffic in both directions. The
driver was hospitalised with a broken arm. Passing vehicles left chocolate tire marks across several kilometres before authorities closed down the highway. A cleaning crew armed with shovels, an excavator and hot water pressure washers have begun chipping away at the chocolate that turned rock solid in the open air. “It will take several hours,” local firefighter chief Bogdan Kowalski told TVN24 television. “Once it hardens, chocolate’s worse than snow.”
Iraq puts Belgian IS jihadist on trial BAGHDAD An Iraqi court on Thursday began the trial of a Belgian Islamic State group jihadist who threatened attacks against the West in propaganda videos. Tarik Jadaoun - known by his nom de guerre Abu Hamza al-Beljiki - pleaded “not guilty” to charges including carrying out attacks on Iraqi troops that could see him handed the death penalty. Born in 1988, Jadaoun - who was captured in exIS bastion Mosul in August - appeared before the Baghdad court dressed in a beige prison uniform with a shaved head and bushy moustache. “I was not a fighter, I was in charge of a group of IS nurses. I took care of everybody,” he told the court. “I got lost and I appeal to your kindness.” Jadaoun, who has Moroccan roots, said he was forced by “one of the top IS commanders” to appear in videos threatening attacks against Belgium and France. The footage saw Jadaoun earn the moniker “the new Abaaoud”, after his compatriot Abdelhamid Abaaoud, one of the organisers of November 2015 attacks in Paris. Earlier, investigators alleged Jadaoun was in charge of the “cubs of the caliphate” - about 60
children aged eight to 13 who received intensive fitness and weapons training. There was no mention of those accusations at the court session on Thursday. The judge postponed the next hearing until May 22, with a judicial source putting the delay down to a lack of diplomatic representation for the accused. Belgium does not
have an embassy in Iraq, but the source said the foreign ministry in
Baghdad had sent a letter to representatives from the country.
In total, Iraqi courts have sentenced to death more than 300 people, including dozens of foreigners, for belonging to IS, judicial sources said last month. Since January, some 100 foreign nationals have been sentenced to death in Baghdad and around 185 to life in prison, officials said.Thousands of foreign fighters from across the world flocked to the black banner of the jihadists as
the group seized swathes of Iraq and Syria in 2014. Their self-declared “caliphate” has since been reduced to a rump territory of desert in the east of war-torn Syria. The fate of those who survived ferocious onslaughts by various forces against IS has been a major headache for their home governments, which are often against seeing them return.
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UK apologises to former Libyan dissident over rendition LONDON Britain apologised on Thursday for contributing to the mistreatment of Abdel Hakim Belhaj, a former Islamist fighter turned politician who was kidnapped and handed over to Libya in 2004 and subsequently tortured, in an unprecedented admission of culpability. “The UK government’s actions contributed to your detention, rendition and suffering,” Prime Minister Theresa May said in a letter to Belhaj and his wife Fatima Boudchar, which was read out in parliament by Attorney General Jeremy Wright. “On behalf of Her Majesty’s government, I apologise to you unreservedly,” the letter read. Belhaj, who became Tripoli’s military commander after Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi was ousted in the 2011 revolution, claimed British complicity in the couple’s capture by the CIA and later torture by his regime. The British government accepted the couple “were subjected to a harrowing ordeal which caused them significant distress”, and said that it had reached “a full and final settlement” with them both. Boudchar will receive £500,000 (570,000 euros, $670,000) compensation, but Belhaj did not seek any financial settlement, only an apology. At a news conference in
Istanbul, where he lives, Belhaj expressed “his gratitude for this courageous move”. “This apology is accepted and it puts an end to years of suffering,” he said. In an earlier statement, he argued Britain had “set an example for other nations to follow”. “For more than six years I have made clear that I had a single goal in bringing this case: justice. Now, at last, justice has been done,” he said. “A great society does not torture; does not help others to torture; and, when it makes mistakes, it accepts them and apologises.” Boudchar was four-and-a-half months pregnant when she was kidnapped, telling the Guardian that she had been taped to a stretcher for the 17-hour flight to Tripoli. She was released shortly before giving birth. “This is a historic day,” Boudchar told reporters outside Britain’s parliament. “My message to the world’s governments is to support solidarity with no injustice to others.” Belhaj was held for more than six years and said he was subjected to torture. “Your accounts were moving and what happened to you is deeply troubling,” wrote May. “The UK government believes your account, neither of you
should have been treated in this way”. The prime minister added that “we should have understood sooner the unacceptable practices of some of our international partners. We sincerely regret our failures.” So far the North Korean regime has made vague pledges to “denuclearize” but not said spelled out what that means, when it would happen or how it would be implemented. In North Korea’s bombastic rhetoric, “denuclearization” has, for years, been a by-word for US troop withdrawals from South Korea and and an excuse for stalling. The regime’s hardliners are believed to see possession of a nuclear weapons as the only guarantee against US-led efforts to topple the regime.
BMW expands UK car recall LONDON German car manufacturer BMW on Wednesday said it was expanding a British recall on faulty vehicles whose engines are at risk of suddenly cutting out. A company spokesman said 312,000 diesel and petrol cars are being recalled in Britain, having conducted safety checks on more than 36,000 petrol cars last year. The electrical fault could be fixed within two hours and involved replacing a plug, he added. The affected models are the BMW 1 Series, the 3 Series, the Z4 and its X1 cars that were produced between March 2007 and August 2011. “Now we recognise the need to widen the recall to capture a larger cohort of cars. We are widening the net as a precaution,” a BMW spokesman
said. The group will contact owners of the cars over the next three weeks. The carmaker made the decision to expand the recall after the BBC reported that there may have been similar issues in cars not covered by the initial checks. Britain’s Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) revealed last week that BMW
had failed to alert authorities to 19 cases of electrical faults in a car model that had been involved in a fatal crash. The initial recall was launched last year after former Gurkha soldier Narayan Gurung died on Christmas Day in 2016. He had crashed his Ford Fiesta into a tree while trying to avoid a stalled BMW in the town of Guildford in southern England.
Flying doctors group awarded top prize MADRID Amref Health Africa, a Kenya-based flying doctors group, was awarded on Wednesday Spain’s prestigious Princess of Asturias award for international cooperation for their efforts “to respond to the needs of millions of people on the African continent”. “By means of this initiative, it has been possible to reach the most vulnerable and remotest populations that would not have regular access to health services, in particular, thanks to its flying doctors
piloting light aircraftambulances,” the jury said in a statement. “This organisation also develops distance training programmes to strengthen local capacities in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. “Its efforts to eradicate female genital mutilation via social and cultural awarenessraising actions are also worthy of note”. Based in Nairobi, Amref was founded in 1957 as the Flying Doctors of East Africa and claims to be the oldest and
largest indigenous African health organisation. It has expanded its operations from emergency rescues to more general medical activities, including fighting infectious diseases and promoting public health in some of the continent’s most impoverished regions. One of its employees, Nice Nailantei Leng’ete, an activist against female genital mutilation, has just been named one of Time magazine’s top 100 most influential people in the world.
But Trump’s high profile meeting offers a glimmer of hope of a breakthrough, according to Republican Senator Cory Gardner, who discussed preparations for the summit with Trump at the White House on
Wednesday. “This is a moment for cautious optimism,” he told AFP. “The president understands that there is a historic opportunity to achieve what the world has been unable to achieve for decades.” At the same time Gardner said, Trump’s eyes were wide open about the risks of failure and the need to be clear that denuclearization means abandoning nuclear weapons. “As of last night there was no nuance in terms of denuclearization,” he said. But before any technical talk about reprocessed fuel rods, separated plutonium or spent fuel removal, Trump will want to answer one basic question whether North Korea wants to change.
Imam dead in S Africa mosque attack
VERULAM Attackers armed with guns and knives struck a mosque outside the South African city of Durban on Thursday, stabbing to death an imam and seriously injuring two others, medical services told AFP. The three attackers escaped in a Hyundai car from the Imam Hussain mosque in Verulam town on the outskirts of the eastern port city. Police said the men entered the large mosque after midday prayers and stabbed three people. “They further set certain rooms alight and fled in their getaway vehicle,” police spokeswoman Nqobile Gwala said in a statement. “The motive of the attack on the three men is unknown at this stage. Verulam police are investigating three counts of attempted murder and arson.” Paul Herbst, spokesman for the private IPSS medical rescue service, told AFP that the imam “who had his throat slit, passed away a few minutes ago due to his injuries.” “There were three people in the mosque — a caretaker, a worshipper and the imam and they were held up by three armed men,” Herbst said after visiting the scene. “The priest was tied up and thrown to his knees and his throat was slit. The other two men were also stabbed — one was stabbed in the abdomen and the other in the groin of his left leg. “Before the assailants left
the mosque, a petrol bomb was thrown into the mosque and it was set alight. “The attackers managed to get out of the mosque. The imam was in a critical condition. He was treated by paramedics on the scene and transferred (to hospital). “Fire services were on scene and put the blaze under control.” Prem Balram, spokesman for the Reaction Unit South Africa security company, said he had arrived at the mosque to find two victims covered in blood lying in the forecourt of the mosque. He said a third victim had been attacked inside the building, which was then set alight, and had jumped out of a window. “Eyewitnesses said three attackers with guns had used knives. One knife was left behind,” Balram told AFP. “There have been theft and robbery incidents at mosques before, but not like this, when nothing appears to have been taken.” South Africa has a history of relative religious tolerance. About 1.5 percent of the country’s population is Muslim. The Muslim holy month of Ramadan is due to start next week. “It is the first time anything like this has happened in South Africa, let alone in KwaZulu-Natal province,” Faizel Suliman, chairman of the SA Muslim Network, told AFP.
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15 - 21 May, 2018
Tomb raiders find ancient Roman horse in Pompeii
ANCIENT remains of a military horse that died 2,000 years ago in the inferno that obliterated Pompeii have been discovered — thanks to the help of some tomb raiders. Criminals had been using tunnels they dug to search for valuables in the ruins of a Roman villa, located in a suburb of the long destroyed city. Their work prompted conservators of the Unesco world heritage site to start their own digs, in order to put a stop to their activities and protect its remaining artefacts. Researchers used laser scanning to map a 200-foot-long network of illegal tunnels dug by the robbers and began excavating. They recreated the complete outline of the horse they discovered using plaster casting, the first time this has happened at the site. The remains of humans, mules, donkeys and other animals that
were victims of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 78 have previously been restored using the technique. The horse was found in an area now known as Civita Giuliana, to the north of the ancient city and outside of its protective walls. Archaeologists say a distinct imprint in the ground created by the creature’s ear as it lay on its left side confirms this was a horse, and not another form of equine. While none of the creatures muscles or bones remained, plaster was used to fill in these gaps to create a full body cast of the animal. Pompeii’s director genral Massimo Osanna said the find was an “extraordinary” discovery while culture minister Dario Franceschini called it “exceptional”. Experts believe that the horse — uncovered in a stables alongside the villa — was used in military
parades, according to the Italian news agency Ansa. They also discovered the body of a man, aged 40 to 55, who died after the eruption, suggesting that people continued to make the area their home. In a statement, professor Osanna added: “This is a sign that people continued to grow crops and live here even after the eruption, producing on top of the layer of ash and stone that covered and destroyed the entire city.” Alongside these major finds were a number of interesting artefacts, including amphorae, kitchen utensils, and part of a wooden bed. This is not the first time in recent months that remains have been uncovered at the site. The skeleton of a child who tragically perished in the eruption of Mt Vesuvius found in the ruins of a public baths at Pompeii was revealed in April. Workers restoring the ancient thermal recreational area discovered the body, believed to belong to a child aged seven or eight at the time. Vesuvius is believed to have killed more than 16,000 people - with bodies still being discovered to this day. The crouching child is thought to have been trying to take shelter from the ensuing cataclysm when they were overwhelmed by deadly volcanic gases, experts say. Professor Osanna said in a statement at the time that the skeleton was found during work in February to shore up the main ancient baths in the sprawling archaeological site. The skeleton was removed from the baths area for study, including DNA testing to determine its sex.
Lagerfeld may drop German citizenship over migrant welcome PARIS Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, who has made no secret of his disdain for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to allow some one million migrants into Germany, has said he might have to renounce his German citizenship over the issue. “Did she really need to say it was necessary to welcome one million migrants at a time when France, which casts itself as the land of human rights, pledged to take in 30,000?” Lagerfeld said in an interview with French weekly Le Point published Thursday. Again dismissing Merkel as a “pastor’s daughter who can’t accept the evil that Germany carried out after 1933,” the designer accused her of fostering the emergence of the far-right Alternative for Germany party. “The AfD didn’t exist, yet with one sentence she made it exist by alienating two million voters and sending 100 of these neo-Nazis into parliament,” he said, referring to the 92 AfD lawmakers who obtained seats in the Bundestag in last September’s election. “If this keeps up, I’ll abandon German
cosmopolitan. And I don’t feel German either - I’m Hanseatic,” he said, referring to the Hanseatic League of merchant guilds across northern Germany that emerged in the 13th century. His stance would appear to be a stark reversal from one espoused just a few months ago, when he told Madame Figaro magazine that he was “a Kraut at heart”.
Berlin court bars woman with headscarf from teaching school
BERLIN A Berlin labour court Wednesday found the city was right to bar a teacher who wears a Muslim headscarf from teaching primary school classes, rejecting her discrimination complaint. Justice Arne Boyer ruled that the city state’s so-called neutrality law, which bars the wearing of overt religious symbols and clothing for state employees on duty, weighed stronger than the right to free religious expression. It found however that the young woman, who was not publicly named and did not appear at the court hearing, is allowed to continue teaching older vocational students in a Berlin public secondary school. The ruling, which was still subject to a possible appeal, was expected to impact a wider debate on the issue on Germany, where rules on the hijab headwear differ between the 16 federal states. German national law bans all civil servants from covering their faces, including with Muslim niqabs and burkas - except for health and safety reasons, such as fire-fighters wearing breathing masks. But there is no nationwide ban on civil servants wearing the Muslim hijab headscarves, and many states weigh the tension between freedom of religion and civil servants’ neutrality rules on a case-by-case basis. The predominantly Catholic state of Bavaria recently ordered Christian crosses, which already hang on walls in schools and courtrooms, to also be fixed in the entrances halls of state administration buildings.
China’s AI patents account for 22pc of world’s total citizenship,” Lagerfeld said, without indicating what he might trade it for, though he has gushed previously that “a new day is dawning in France” with the arrival of President Emmanuel Macron. “I like Macron personally, and (his wife) Brigitte, but that doesn’t mean I want to become French,” he told Le Point. “I don’t like nations, I’m
NANJING China’s patents in the artificial intelligence (AI) industry accounted for about 22 percent of the total globally, according to an official with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). Wang Xinzhe said China had more than 2,000 artificial intelligence companies by the end of 2017. Wang made the comments at the Global AI Products Application EXPO 2018 in Suzhou city, Jiangsu Province. About 150 AI companies and institutions from 10 countries and regions participated in the three-day exposition, which kicked off on Thursday, showcasing more than 1,000 AI products. Wang said China’s AI companies are mainly located in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta.
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Ramgarhia Sikh family seek a suitable match for their daughter, 1986 , 5’-5” tall, Canadian born, slim, extremely good personality, B.A. B.ED., M.A.M.ED, employed in government private sector. The boy should be professionally qualified, tall, athletic built, born or raised in Canada, from a reputed family, preferably Toronto area. Please send your bio-data & recent picture to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 289-499-6718 *** 772 *** Jatt Sikh family seek a suitable match for their son, 29 yrs. old, 5'-8" tall, born in Canada, B.Sc. Nursing from Rayerson University Toronto, working in hospital as RN for last 6 yrs, earning $ 80,000 + annually, clean-shaven, non-drinker, nonsmoker, owns a house in Toronto and family also owns some rental properties. The girl should be well educated, beautiful and family oriented. Please email recent pictures and bio-data to : email@example.com or call :-416-997-0560 *** 771 *** Tonk Kshatriya Sikh parent seeking a suitable match for their Canadian born son, 29 yrs. old, 5'-11" tall, well educated, B. Com in Finance and Accounting, persuing CPA. The girl should be well educated, professionally settled with family values, born and raised in Canada or USA. Please send your bio-data and recent picture to : firstname.lastname@example.org or call :-416-819-0897 *** 771 *** Jat Sikh Brar family seek a suitable match for their daughter, 30 yrs. old, 5'-5" tall, Born & Broughtup in india, Canadian immigrant, engineer, working in Brampton from 4 yrs., beautiful, family oriented, raised & educated in India & Canada. The boy should be Jat Sikh, Broughtup in india, equally educated, employed, well settled in GTA. Please contact uncle Paul Sandhu :647-7671360 *** 771 *** Jatt Sikhfamily based in Patiala seek a suitable match for their son,October 92 born, 6' tall, nondrinker, turbaned, family oriented, from Sports background, Master's in Information Technology & Computer Engineering, Currently working as a Software Engineer in Hyderabad for a MNC firm from USA. The girl should be professionally qualified, Canadian immigrant or citizen, from decent, educated family. Call: 011-91-8146641699 or 1-778-323-7755 *** 771 *** Jat Sikh Gill parents invite matrimonial alliance for their Canadian citizen daughter, 36 yrs.old, 5'-3" tall, professionally qualified, woeking in finance industry from a good gamily backruound. The boy should be
15 - 21 May, 2018
Canadian, well educated and well settled. Boy on visitor visa/ work permit may also be considered. Please email recent pictures and bio-data to : email@example.com or call :-416-566-3275 *** 771 *** Jat Sikh parents looking for a compatible alliance for their Canadian immigrant daughter, 36 yrs. old, 5'-4" tall, very beautiful, slim, medical graduate, working in reputed medical clinic, innocently divorced. The boy should be from Canada, well educated, well settled and from a good family backgruond. Please email recent pictures and biodata to : jmantaalsA@yahoo.com or call :-1-403-975-8163 or 011-9198142-00290 *** 771 *** Jatt Sikh family Seek a suitable well qualified match for their daughter, beautiful slim 29 yrs. old, 5'-4" tall, beautiful, slim, permanent resident, Well qualified, innocently divorced, working (Chartered Accountant from India). The boy should be Canadian Citizen or PR, well qualified. Serious inquiries only. Please send your biodata & recent picture to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 647-271-5985 (Whats App.) *** 771 *** Tonk kshatriya parents seek a suitable match for their son, Born in May 1980, 5'-8" tall, B.tech., working in IT. New York City, well settled, USA citizen . Call: 1-(718)-271-4359 *** 771 *** Jat Sikh family seek a suitable match for theirdaughter, 23 yrs. old, 5’-9" tall, currently doing MBA. The boy should be clean shaven, between 24-28 of age, born in Canada/USA, with university education, having good family values, well-settled. GTA area preferred. Call: 289838-5148 or 289 400-7967 *** 771 *** Jat Sikh Sandhu family invite matrimonial alliance for their daughter, born in 1988, 5'-5" tall, M.A. English, M. Ed, UGC Net, working as assistant professor in college, living in India, vegetarian and family oriented. The boy should be Canadian immigrant/citizen, well educated, vegetarian. Father retired government teacher and mother in govt. as health supervisor. Please email recent pictures and bio-data to : email@example.com or call :-1-519-760-4665 *** 771 *** Hindhu Gupta parents invite matrimonial alliance for their son, 48 yrs. old, 5'-9" tall, Ph. D degree, teaching in Canadian University, divorcee. Seeks a bride from USA/Canada with soft and pleasant nature and family oriented. Divorced may also be considered. Caste/ education no bar ; can be home maker or professional. Please
email recent pictures and biodata to : firstname.lastname@example.org or call :-905-335-9077 *** 771 *** Jatt Sikh Cheema family seek a suitable match for their daughter, 26 yrs. Old, 5’-6" tall, American Green card Holder, M.Sc. Nursing, post graduate from Canada, doing R.N. in USA, family oriented. The boy shoud be equally educated, employed, well settled and from America, Bay Area preffed.Send your bio data and recent picture to: email@example.com or call 1408-802-6658 *** 771 *** Jat Sikh parents invite matrimonial alliance for their son, 32 yrs. old, 5'-9" tall, B. A. B. Ed. degree, working as a teacher in India ; at present in Canada on multiple visa, vegetarian, turbaned and from good family background. The girl should be Canadain immigrant/citizen educated and family oriented. Please email recent pictures and bio-data to : firstname.lastname@example.org or call :416-873-6074 or 011-91-1812960014 *** 771 *** Lubana Sikh parents seek a suitable match for their daughter, 27 yrs. old, 5'-5" tall, Canadain citizen, well settled in government job. The boy should be well educated, well settled from a good family backguound, must be from Lubana Sikh family. Please email recent pictures and bio-data to: email@example.com or call :647-967-1865 *** 771 *** Jat Sikh parents invite matrimonial alliance for their son, born and raised in Canada, 34 yrs. old, 5'-9" tall, Doctor (Specialist), handsome and family oriented. The girl should be beautiful, well educated with family values. Please email recent pictures and bio-data to : firstname.lastname@example.org *** 771 *** Jat Sikh family seek a suitable match for their son,38 yrs. old, 6' tall, Canadian born, clean shaven, very handsome, B.A., Government employee. The girl should be educated, beautiful, slim, family oriented, well versed in both cultures, having good family values. Girl on Student Visa/Work permit may also be considered. Please send your bio-data & recent pictures to : email@example.com *** 771 *** Tonk Kashtrya parents seek a suitable match for their Canadian citizen daughter 30 yrs. old, 5'-3" tall, B. Com., CGA/CPA, working with federal Government. The boy should be clean shaven, well educated, professionally settlled with family values. Boy on work permit may also be considered. Please email recent pictures and bio-data to : firstname.lastname@example.org or call
:-416-722-9771 *** 771 *** Jat Sikh parents seek a suitable match for their only son, US citizen, 31 yrs. old, 5'-10" tall, professionally educated, lives in CA. The girl should be Jat Sikh, B.Sc. in Medical, engineering or CPA, well suited and cultured, permanent living in CA. Please send your bio-data and recent pictures to : email@example.com or call :1-805-405-8721 *** 771 *** Jat Sikh parents seek a suitable match for their daughter, 33 yrs. old, 5'-4" tall, born and raised in USA, beautiful, family oriented, Nurse Practioner in Bay Area. The boy should be well educated, professionally employed preferably from Bay Area or willing to relocate to Bay Area. Please call :-1-408802-1489 *** 771 *** Jat Sikh family seek a suitable match for their son, 33 yrs. old, 5'-6" tall, handosme, American citizen, degree in electrical engineering, working as a software engineer. The girl should be beautiful, educated, Jat Sikh, not less than 5'-3" tall and willing to relocate to Michigan. Please send your bio-data and recent pictues to : firstname.lastname@example.org or call :1-586-435-6228 or 1-313-5952643 *** 771 *** Well educated and well established parents seek a suitable match for their son, 29 yrs. old, 6'-2" tall, School Education from private school, graduated from one of the top ranking Universities of USA, employed in Medical field, handsome, and down to earth. The girl should be professionally educated, beautiful, social, well behaved, polite and family oriented. Caste no bar. Please email recent pictures and biodata to : email@example.com or call :-1-916-450-0674 (Weekend only) *** 771 *** Jat Sikh Sidhu parents seek a suitable medico match for their daughter, Canadian citizen, raised in Canada, 28 yrs. old, 5'-3" tall, vegetarian working as a dentist. The boy should be professionally educated from a good family background. Please email recent pictures and biodata to : firstname.lastname@example.org or call :-1-604-507-1904 *** 771 *** Jat Sikh family looking for a suitable match for their Gursikh son, born in Canada, 29 yrs. old, 6'-1" tall, working as Doctor Optometrist. The girl should be well educated and from a Jat Sikh family. Please email recent pictures and bio-data to : email@example.com or call :-1-604-375-4044 *** 771 *** Ramgarhia Sikh family seek a suitable match from US/ Canada for their clean shaven,
handsome, well educated Son 31 yrs. old, 5’10" tall, working as a software engineer in San Jose California, holding US master’s degree, non smoker, non drinker. Case no bar. Please send your bio-data & recent picture to : firstname.lastname@example.org or call :-1-512-806-4053 *** 771 *** Suitable match for beautiful Saini girl, 29 yrs. old, 5’5" tall, born & brought up in Bhopal, convent educated, M.B.A. Finance, working as a manager admin. in a reputed electrical firm in Bhopal. Please send your bio-data & recent picture to : email@example.com or call :-647-295-3671 or 011-9198269-04495 *** 771 *** Well established Ad-Dharmi family from India, seeking a suitable match for their son 33 yr, 5’5", Clean shaven, M-Tech (USA), CAE Engineer (MI, USA), In US from last 6 years, H1-B / Green card in progress, Born and Brought up in India, Non-Drinker, Non- Smoker, Vegetarian, Athletic with down to earth values.The girl should be well educated and having family values. Girl on student visa may be considered. Caste no bar. Please send your biodata &recent picture to: firstname.lastname@example.org *** 771 *** C a n a d i a n Punjabi Sharma family seek a suitable match for their daughter, born in 1981, 5'-2" tall, Canadian citizen, issueless divorced, working with Toronto District School Board. The boy should be Canadian Citizen or PR, non drinker. Caste no bar. Please send your bio-data & recent picture to: email@example.com or call: 647-785-9222 or 647-9294871 *** 771 *** Alliance invited for Jat Sikh Sidhu girl, 5'-8" tall, DOB 1985, Canadian citizen, beautiful, R.N, divorced after a short marriage. Seeking tall, handsome, Canadian citizen or immigrant, well educated boy. Work permit or student visa applicant may also be considered. Please email recent pictures and bio-data to : firstname.lastname@example.org or call :-647-477-6631 WhatsApp or 416-402-1952 *** 771 *** Well settled Nai family seek a suitable match for their son,Canadian citizen boy 5'11 " ta l l , D O B 26/02/1987, Canadian citizen, University graduated, full time employed as Software Engineer with Canadian Government. The girl should be educated, beautiful, family oriented, working, Canadian PR/student. Caste no bar. Please send your bio-data &recent pictures to: email@example.com or call: 1- 709-685-5062(Whatsapp) *** 771 ***
Issue - 771 (11)
15 - 21 May, 2018
Human - sounding Google Assistant sparks ethics questions SAN FRANCISCO The new Google digital assistant converses so naturally it may seem like a real person. The unveiling of the naturalsounding robo-assistant by the tech giant this week wowed some observers, but left others fretting over the ethics of how the human-seeming software might be used. Google chief Sundar Pichai played a recording of the Google Assistant independently calling a hair salon and a restaurant to make bookings - interacting with staff who evidently didn’t realize they were dealing with artificial intelligence software, rather than a real customer. Tell the Google Assistant to book a table for four at 6:00 pm, it tends to the phone call in a human-sounding voice complete with “speech disfluencies” such as “ums” and “uhs.” “This is what people often do when they are gathering their thoughts,” Google engineers Yaniv Leviathan and Yossi Matias said in a Duplex blog post. Google Assistant artificial
intelligence enhanced with “Duplex” technology that let it engage like a real person on the phone was a surprise and, for some unsettling, star of the internet giant’s annual developers conference this week in its home town of Mountain View, California. The digital assistant was also programmed to understand when to respond quickly, such as after someone says “hello,” versus pausing as a person might before answering complex questions. Google pitched the enhanced assistant as a potential boon to busy people and small businesses which lack websites customers can use to make appointments. “Our vision for our assistant is to help you get things done,” Pichai told the approximately 7,000 developers at the Google I/O conference, along with an online audience watching his streamed presentation on Tuesday. Google will be testing the digital assistant improvement in the months ahead.
Trump risks Scottish anger as resort bans iconic drink
LONDON US President Donald Trump has risked the further ire of Scotland, his mother’s homeland, after his luxury Turnberry golf resort banned the sale of national soft drink Irn-Bru. The resort’s general manager Ralph Porciani told local newspaper the Ayrshire Post that he no longer sold the flourescent orange fizzy drink as it stained the carpets. “We can’t have it staining when to replace the ballroom carpet would be £500,000 pounds ($678,800) alone,” he said. Irn-Bru’s “secret recipe” was introduced by AG Barr in 1901, and it has dominated the Scottish market for over 100 years with the equivalent of 12 cans consumed every second. The 32 different ingredients are combined in a huge vat once a month, although the recipe recently changed in order to comply with a new sugar tax. Trump has previously clashed with locals over the environmental impact of his course and outspoken comments, but newspaper The Scotsman wrote that he may have “gone too far this time.” “This is effectively a declaration of war on Scotland,” wrote Twitter user Tim O’Connor. The US leader is due in Britain on July 13, although it is not know whether he will pay a visit to his resort, on Scotland’s west coast.
The Duplex demonstration was quickly followed by debate over whether people answering phones should be told when they are speaking to human-sounding software and how the technology might be abused in the form of more convincing “robocalls” by marketers or political campaigns. “Google Duplex is the most incredible, terrifying thing out of #IO18 so far,” tweeted Chris Messina, a product designer whose resume includes Google and bringing the idea of the hashtag to Twitter. Google Duplex is an important development and signals an urgent need to figure out proper governance of machines that can fool people into thinking they are human, according to Kay FirthButterfield, head of the AI and machine learning project at the World Economic Forum’s Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. “These machines could call on behalf of political parties and make ever more convincing recommendations for voting,”
Firth-Butterfield reasoned. “Will children be able to use these agents and receive calls from them?” Digital assistants making arrangements for people also raises the question of who is responsible for mistakes, such as a no-show or cancellation fee for an appointment set for the wrong time.At a time of heightened concerns about online privacy, there were also worries expressed about what kind of data digital assistants might collect and who gets access to it. “My sense is that humans in general don’t mind talking to
US sanctions hit Iran Revolutionary Guard currency network
WASHINGTON The US Treasury together with the United Arab Emirates announced action to disrupt an alleged “large scale” currency exchange network run by Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. In the first such action since President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear accord on Tuesday, the Treasury announced sanctions against six Iranian individuals and three companies tied to the IRGC who were part of the network, which it said handled “hundreds of millions” of dollars in exchange transactions. The Treasury also singled out Iran’s central bank as “complicit” in the IRGC operation, alleging the bank gave the operation access to funds held in offshore bank accounts. “The Iranian regime and its Central Bank have abused access to entities in the UAE to acquire US dollars to fund the IRGC-QF’s malign activities,
including to fund and arm its regional proxy groups, by concealing the purpose for which the US dollars were acquired,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “We are intent on cutting off IRGC revenue streams wherever their source and whatever their destination,” he said. The individuals and companies included an alleged IRGC “front company” in Tehran, Jahan Aras Kish, and a Tehran money-changer, Rashed Exchange. The US government made clear Tuesday when Trump announced the end of US participation in the JCPOA nuclear deal that going ahead, Washington was going to ramp up pressure on the IRGC and the Central Bank of Iran. The new sanctions on the currency network ban US individuals and entities from doing business with them, aiming to lock them out of global dollar networks.
machines so long as they know they are doing so,” read a post credited to Lauren Weinstein in a chat forum below the Duplex blog post. An array of comments at Twitter contended there was an ethical breach to not letting people know they were conversing with software. “If you’ve grown up watching ‘Star Trek TNG’ like me then you probably considered natural voice interactions with computers a thing of the future,” read a post by Andreas Schafer in the blog chat forum. “Well, looks like the future is here.”
Bangladesh puppy killer sentenced
DHAKA A Bangladeshi security guard was handed a jail sentence on Thursday for burying alive two dogs and their 14 puppies, in what activists hailed as the country’s first ever animal cruelty conviction. Mohammad Siddique, who buried the dogs in polythene sacks, “was sentenced to six months in jail and fined 200 taka ($2.50),” prosecutor Forkan Mia told AFP after the trial in Dhaka. Animal rights campaigners, who have long lobbied for replacing the South Asian country’s colonialera laws on animal maltreatment, said they hoped the sentence would act as a deterrent. “The fact that this case was heard by the magistrate is a major achievement,” said Rakibul Haq Emil from animal rights group the PAW Foundation, who brought the case.
Issue - 771 (12)
15 - 21 May, 2018
Australian centenarian Third Indian teen commits assisted suicide raped, burned alive in a week
GENEVA A 104-year-old Australian scientist on Thursday committed assisted suicide in Switzerland where he went to die after his home country denied him the right to seek help in taking his own life. David Goodall did not have a terminal illness but said his quality of life had deteriorated significantly and that he wanted to end it. Goodall “died peacefully” in Basel, tweeted Philip Nitschke, founder of Exit International, the organisation which helped Goodall make the journey from Australia. The death occurred at 1030 GMT from an infusion of Nembutal, a barbiturate, at the Life Cycle clinic, he said. The honorary research associate at Perth’s Edith Cowan University set off from Australia a week ago, and stopped in Bordeaux, France to see family before arriving in Basel on Monday. “I no longer want to continue life,” Goodall told journalists on Wednesday. “I am happy to have the chance tomorrow to end it, and I appreciate the help of the medical profession here in making that possible,” he said. The 104-year-old said he hoped the widespread interest in his case would spur Australia and other countries to rethink their legislation. “I would have preferred to have (ended) it in Australia, and I greatly regret that Australia is behind Switzerland” when it comes to right-to-die laws, he said. Goodall secured a fasttrack appointment with the
foundation in Basel after he attempted but failed to commit suicide on his own earlier this year. “It would have been much more convenient for everyone if I had been able to, but unfortunately it failed,” he said of the suicide attempt. But he said he was happy that he had been offered the “Swiss option”, since he has been able to see most of his large family, which is spread over several countries, in the run-up to his final day. Assisted suicide is illegal in most countries and was banned in Australia until the state of Victoria became the first to legalise the practice last year. But that legislation, which takes effect in June 2019, only applies to terminally ill patients of sound mind and a life expectancy of less than six months. According to Swiss law meanwhile, anyone who is of sound mind and who has over a period of time voiced a consistent wish to end their life can request so-called assisted voluntary death, or AVD. Asked on Wednesday if he had
any hesitations or doubts, the 104-year-old said: “No. None whatsoever.” In assisted dying, the person must be physically capable of carrying out the final deed on their own. In Goodall’s case that meant he had himself to open the valve that allowed the short-acting barbiturate to mix with a saline solution and flow into his vein. Exit International said in a statement Thursday that Goodall wanted the Ode to Joy from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony played during the procedure and that “David died at the moment the song (sung in German) concluded”. Goodall had a final meal with his family - his favourite, fish and chips followed by cheesecake and his grandchildren and a friend stayed with him until his death. Nitschke said Goodall had asked for his body to be used for medical research or, if that request was refused, for it to be cremated and the ashes dispersed locally. He wanted no ceremony after his death.
NEW DELHI A third teenage girl has been raped and burned alive in a week in India, the latest brutal sexual assault to shock the country. The 16-year-old died from the burns after being set alight by a 26-year-old man who acted after the young woman said she would tell her family about the rape. Two other teenagers were victims of similar attacks a week earlier in Jharkhand state. One died and one is fighting for her life in hospital. The latest teenager was alone at her home in Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh state when she was raped, police said Friday.
“We have arrested the two accused. One of them is the cousin of the girl who informed the main suspect that she was alone in the house,” said Sagar district police superintendent Satyendra Kumar Shukla. “The main accused is married with a child,” Kumar told AFP. Indian authorities have faced renewed pressure to act on sexual assaults, notably after brutal gang rape and killing of an eight-year-old Muslim girl in Jammu and Kashmir state sparked demonstrations. The cases are the most high-profile since the 2012 rape and murder of a student on a New Delhi bus that triggered mass protests.
Malaysia’s Mahathir sworn in as world’s oldest leader KUALA LUMPUR Ninety-two-year-old Mahathir Mohamad was Thursday sworn in as the world’s oldest elected leader after a stunning election win that swept Malaysia’s establishment from power after more than six decades. In a huge political upset, former strongman Mahathir’s opposition alliance broke the grip on power of the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, which had governed Malaysia uninterrupted since its birth as an independent country in 1957. It capped a dramatic comeback for Mahathir, who previously ruled the country at the head of BN for 22 years and came out of retirement to take on his ex-protege, Prime Minister Najib Razak, after the leader became embroiled in a massive corruption scandal. In a ceremony at the national palace steeped in centuries-old Muslim Malay tradition, Mahathir was officially sworn in as prime minister by King Sultan Muhammad V.
Mahathir, wearing traditional Malay dress, took the oath of office in an elaborately decorated room, with political allies and senior government officials in attendance. As he was inaugurated, hundreds of revellers outside the palace cheered and sang the national anthem, with some breaking down in tears. Fireworks lit up the night sky across Kuala Lumpur. “We feel
so united tonight,” 24-year-old student Abdul Aziz Hamzah, who was among the crowd, told AFP. “Mahathir is so insightful and experienced because he’s been here before.” One of the most remarkable aspects of Mahathir’s comeback has been his reconciliation with jailed opposition icon Anwar Ibrahim, his former nemesis. Their relationship has loomed large
over the Malaysian political landscape for decades. Anwar was Mahathir’s heir-apparent until the premier sacked him in 1998 over political differences, and he was subsequently jailed on charges of sodomy and abuse of power. Anwar was jailed again during Najib’s rule but is due out in June - and Mahathir has pledged to help him get a royal pardon, allowing him to run for political office again and potentially become prime minister. The opposition faced an uphill battle at the election due to what critics said were noholds-barred attempts by Najib to hang on to power. His government was accused of gerrymandering while activists said he hurled cash and gifts at voters and there was a litany of problems with the electoral roll, including dead people
appearing on the list. Najib called the vote midweek, in what critics said was an effort to keep turnout down elections are normally held at a weekend in Malaysia. But in the end voters flocked to the polls in droves in a determined bid to push him out. Najib had initially refused to offer a clear concession. But after Mahathir was sworn in, he congratulated him on Twitter and said he was “willing to assist a smooth transfer of power”. At a press conference after being sworn in, Mahathir said the government’s main focus would be on the economy. A major concern for Malaysians in recent times has been the soaring cost of living. He said his administration would abolish laws that are “oppressive”, and that widelycondemned legislation outlawing “fake news” would be examined.
Issue - 771 (13)
15 - 21 May, 2018
SC dismisses PIL seeking probe into actor Sridevi’s death in UAE
New Delhi The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a petition seeking an independent probe into the death of Bollywood actor Sridevi in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. A Bench three-judge headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra dismissed the plea filed by one Sunil Singh who sought an independent investigation into the death of the actor. He said the actor died under suspicious circumstances. Sridevi, 54, died on February 24 in a Dubai hotel bathroom. The autopsy report termed it an “accidental drowning” in the bathtub. Petitioner Sunil Singh told the Bench that there were
insurance policies in her name, which would be payable only if she died in the UAE. Even senior counsel Vikas Singh raised questions on how could a 5.7-foot tall person drown in a 5.1-foot bathtub. Vikas Singh demanded that all documents related to the 54-year-old actress’ death — medical and investigation — carried out by the Dubai Police be brought to India. He requested that the matter be investigated by an independent agency. Sunil Singh moved the top court after the Delhi High Court on March 9 refused to entertain his PIL seeking probe into her death, saying authorities in India and Dubai had already looked into the incident.
Record $120 million fine for nuisance robocalls WASHINGTON A man has been fined a record-breaking $120m (£88m) for making more than 90 million automated marketing telephone calls in the US. Miami salesman Adrian Abramovich was accused of trying to sell holidays and timeshare properties with the unsolicited robocalls. The fine is the largest the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has ever issued. Mr Abramovich said he had not intended to “defraud or cause harm”. But FCC chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement that the defence “isn’t very convincing”. “Mr Abramovich doesn’t dispute that he was responsible for placing 96,758,223 robocalls during a three-month period in 2016,” he said. “He doesn’t dispute that all these robocalls were made without the recipients’ consent.” The FCC said Mr Abramovich had spoofed his caller ID to make people believe they were receiving a call from a local number. That was in violation of US law. A pre-recorded message would offer an “exclusive” holiday or travel deal, posing as an offer from a well-known brand such as TripAdvisor or Hilton hotels. The call would then be transferred to a human operator in an overseas call centre, who
senior engineer told BBC Marathi’s Amey Pathak. “We have taken action against the employee who is responsible.” He said the issue had not been resolved because Shelke had failed to register a written complaint with the board. He had received the bill in the last week of April for the month of March. “Eight days ago my brother called me. He was worried about the huge amount,” Shelke’s brother, Vitthal, said. “He told me that officials were threatening to confiscate his property.” Shelke’s daughter, Ashwini, alleged that her father had died because of the system’s failure. “My father was under a huge financial burden and the exorbitant electricity bill was a big shock for him,” she added.
Man kills self over $13,000 electricity bill
Single women a burden, Japan MP says Tokyo An MP from Japan’s governing party has been accused of sexism after he said young Japanese women should have more children or face being a burden on the state. Speaking at an LDP party meeting, Kanji Kato said young women should have at least three children. He has since retracted his remark, local media reported. Last year the percentage of children in Japan fell to its lowest level since records began more than 100 years ago. Financial and other incentives to encourage bigger families have had little impact. Mr Kato said that when he gives wedding speeches he tells the bride and bridegroom to produce at least three children.
would try to sell the consumer a holiday or timeshare arrangement. The FCC originally issued the fine in 2017, but Mr Abramovich had appealed against the decision and sought to have the fine reduced. But Mr Pai said it was the “largest illegal robocalling scheme” the FCC had investigated and therefore the fine was “appropriate”. “I haven’t met a single American who likes getting these kinds of robocalls,” Mr Pai said in a statement. “Our decision sends a loud and clear message: this FCC is an active cop on the beat and will throw the book at anyone who violates our spoofing and robocall rules.” “The bill...was erroneous because of a missing decimal point,” Suresh Ganeshkar, a
“We need three or more children from those people to make up for couples who cannot bear a child no matter what they do,” he said. His comments were reported by the Asahi Shimbun newspaper. The 72-year-old father-of-six also said that if he meets a woman who doesn’t intend to marry, he tells her she will end up in a care home paid for by taxes from other people’s children. Several female MPs have complained the speech was sexist. “This is exactly sexual harassment,” one female MP at the meeting said, the Mainichi Shimbun reported. Mr Kato reportedly initially said he had no intention of retracting his remark, saying that boosting the birth rate was the “most important issue facing our nation”,
the Asahi Shimbun said. But he later issued a statement saying: “I apologise if my words gave the wrong impression. Although I never intended to discriminate against women, I retract the remarks I made because they could have been interpreted as such.” It is not the first time an older male member of the LDP party has told Japanese women they have a public duty to have more children. Last year, just 941,000 children were born in Japan, the lowest number since records began in 1899. In April this year, there were 15.53 million children under 15, down 170,000 from the previous year, the internal affairs ministry says.
MUMBAI An Indian vegetable seller allegedly killed himself on Thursday after receiving an electric bill of nearly $13,000 (£9570) in the western state of Maharashtra. Jagannath Shelke, 36, left behind a suicide note in which he said that the bill was “very high”, his family told BBC Marathi. Officials said the actual bill was just 2,800 rupees ($41.6). His family alleges officials did not help him although he approached them.
They say he had made multiple trips to the state-run electricity board. Police have lodged a complaint against an official of the electricity board for sending an incorrect bill. The board also suspended him after Shelke’s note was widely circulated on social media. Shelke had been charged for “61178” units of electricity when he should have been charged for “6117.8” units. Since officials had read the meter incorrectly, they generated a bill for the wrong amount.
Issue - 771 (14)
15 - 21 May, 2018
Ban on Berlusconi holding office goes
Rome An Italian court has lifted a ban on three-time former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi running for elected office, Italy’s media reported on Saturday, clearing the way for yet another political comeback. The decision comes as the leaders of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) and the far-right League inch closer to a deal for a coalition government, just days after
Berlusconi signalled he would not block such an agreement. The Corriere Della Sera reported that a Milan court ordered the immediate “rehabilition” of Berlusconi on Saturday, which “cancels all the effects” of his 2013 tax fraud conviction — including a ban on holding elected office. The ban on the 81year-old media mogul, who is notorious for his “Bunga Bunga” sex parties, had originally
been until 2019 and the court’s decision taken on Friday was made a month ahead of schedule, the newspaper added. It means that Berlusconi would be able to again run for the PM, if coalition negotiations fail and new elections are called. But it may be too late as M5S and the League seem to be making headway in their talks. A right-wing coalition, including the League and Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party, won 37 per cent of the vote in March 4 elections, while M5S became the single largest party with nearly 33 per cent. However, coalition talks were stalled for two months as M5S insisted the League, which led the right-wing coalition with 17 per cent of the vote, ditch Berlusconi and his party.
Diaz quits over sexual misconduct claims NEW YORK Award-winning and critically acclaimed US novelist Junot Diaz has stepped down as chairman of the Pulitzer Prize Board after being accused of inappropriate sexual conduct. Novelist Zinzi Clemmons confronted Diaz at a literary festival in Australia, before publicly accusing him of forcibly kissing her six years ago while she was a 26-yearold graduate student at Columbia University. Clemmons says the incident happened after she invited the Pulitzer winner to speak at a workshop while she was attending the Ivy League school. “He used it as an opportunity to corner and forcibly kiss me,” she tweeted. “I’m far from the only one he’s done this 2, I refuse to be silent anymore.” Short story author Carmen Maria Machado and novelist Monica Byrne have also taken to Twitter to accuse the Dominicanborn novelist and university professor of being verbally aggressive. In April, Diaz published a searing essay in The New Yorker revealing that he had been raped as an eight-year-old. He narrated its damaging impact on his life, detailing depression,
drinking and infidelity. “I take responsibility for my past,” Diaz said in a statement to The New York Times via his literary agent in reference to the women’s accusations. “That is the reason I made the decision to tell the truth of my rape and its damaging aftermath. This conversation is important and must continue. “I am listening to and learning from women’s stories in this essential and overdue cultural movement. We must continue to teach all men about consent and boundaries,” he said. The Pulitzer Prize Board said Thursday it had ordered an “independent review” into allegations of misconduct against Diaz, and that while he had asked to step down as chairman, he would remain on the
board. “Mr Diaz said he welcomed the review and would cooperate fully,” it said in a statement. Diaz had been elected incoming chairman only last month. Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson, the board’s immediate past chairman, will take over on an interim basis. A string of powerful men have been publicly accused of sexual misconduct and lost their positions in the #MeToo cultural watershed sparked by the downfall of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey last year. Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey, Diaz won the Pulitzer Prize in 2008 for “The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.” He is a writing professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
14-yr-old arrested in school shooting near LA PALMDALE Police in California arrested a 14-year-old boy in connection with a shooting at a high school near Los Angeles on Friday that left one hurt, the local sheriff’s department and education officials said. The Los Angeles County Sheriff said the suspect had been detained near Highland High School in Palmdale, 40 miles (65 kilometers) north of downtown Los Angeles. Both were students at the school. “Deputies responded immediately to Palmdale shooting, arrest made, weapon found, active investigation underway. Reasonably sure threat is contained,” department spokesman Jim McDonnell tweeted. The suspect was a “male Hispanic juvenile,” the sheriff’s office said, later clarifying that the weapon was a rifle that was “recovered off campus.” The sheriff’s office said a boy had been shot in the arm at
the school and was in stable condition at a local hospital. Local media reported that the victim, also 14, was wounded as he was getting out of the car that brought him to the campus. Agents with the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) were heading to the scene, the agency said. About a half hour later, calls were received about “shots fired” near Manzanita Elementary School, around eight miles to the west, the sheriff’s department reported, adding that officers found no evidence of a crime there. Deputies said they had
secured both locations, and were investigating. “We are all concerned about the safety of our children,” Palmdale School District Superintendent Raul Maldonado said in an alert. “It has been confirmed that earlier this morning, there was an active shooter on the Highland High School campus. Apparently, the person was already apprehended. “I want to let you know that all of the Palmdale Elementary Schools were put on lockdown, and will stay on lockdown until the situation is confirmed as safe for our students, teachers, staff and parents.”
Issue 771 (15)
15 - 21 May, 2018
Say yes to Raazi Vinayak Chakravorty By
Raazi Cast: Alia Bhatt, Vicky Kaushal, Rajit Kapur, Soni Razdan, Jaideep Ahlawat Direction: Meghna Gulzar A T the core of Meghna Gulzar’s new film is a real-life saga so intriguing that you wonder why no one in Bollywood ever thought of filming the story in all these years. Raazi is a quasi-fictionalised account of Sehmet Khan, a young girl from a Kashmiri Muslim family who, after rigorous training, is married off to a Pakistani military officer to spy for India during the 1971 Indo-Pak war. The film is based on Harinder Sikka’s novel, Calling Sehmet. It highlights how Sehmet’s biggest feat was passing vital information to the Indian government about Pakistan’s plans to sink the Navy aircraft carrier INS Vikrant. Meghna’s film mixes real-life drama with ample fiction to set up a quaint period thriller. The filmmaker, who returns after the hugely applauded 2015 drama Talvar, has obviously bettered in these three years. Raazi is as pulsating an entertainer as it is poignant in realistically sketching Sehmat’s dilemmas. Due credit to Alia Bhatt for bringing alive Sehmet. Morphing seamlessly from the demure Kashmiri beauty to the quietly resilient Indian spy who operates in enemy terrain, Alia as Sehmet is among the strongest female protagonists one would have come across on the Bollywood mainstream screen in a while. Meghna Gulzar and Bhavani Iyer’s writing accommodates a complex relationship drama for Alia and Vicky Kaushal, cast as Sehmet’s husband Iqbal Syed. Vicky, who made an impressive debut a while back in Masaan, carries his doomed character with dignified presence. The script demands Alia and Vicky impart a lot of angst through their eyes. Both actors leave sufficient impact. Raazi is enriched significantly by its music. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s title track in particular mellifluously brings alive the master class of Gulzar’s poetry, even as Arijit Singh’s voice sets the overall mood of the story in the opening credits. Jay Patel’s camera work is remarkable, although
Dum Dum Dumroo Cast: Sanaya Irani, Anil Charanjeett Direction: Akash Goila AKASH Goila’s short film is a dark comedy that leaves a simple message: do not judge anyone without fully knowing the person. The 11.15-minute film is about young doctor Sneha (Sanaya Irani), who is on her first day at work. In the hospital, she
portions of the second half could make you feel the film, at 140 minutes, should have been a good 20 minutes tighter. Raazi is at the same time a searing love story, a gripping thriller and a captivating slice of history. The film doffs the spirit of patriotism without getting rhetorical about it. This is good cinema that entertains, underlining the fact that new-age mainstream in Bollywood is right on track.
comes with fine performances by Preety Sharma and Saurabh Goyal in central roles.
Short film round-up
Jutti Cast: Shivani Raghuvanshi, Vishwas Kini, Deepika Sharma, Suren, Jaskiran Direction: Mohinder Pratap Singh
comes across a peon named Dumroo (Anil Charanjeett) whose attitude and behaviour strikes rather weird to her. The twist in the end involves Dr Sneha discovering a searing truth about Dumroo. Goila and co-writer Shikha Kaul have credibly mixed ironic humour with a quiet sinister edge, and strike a subtle emotional chord in the end. Sanaya Irani and Anil Charanjeett are aptly cast in interesting roles. The film is available for free viewing on YouTube. Seal Cast: Saurabh Goyal, Preety Sharma, Uday Atroliya, Shenaaz Direction: Gaurav Mehra
THE 12.24-minute short is a poignant drama that talks of how acceptance in her new home can be an ugly affair for a newlywed homemaker — often to the point of being regressive. Director Gaurav Mehra establishes that fact by highlighting the sick ritual of virginity test the morning after for a young bride, which is prevalent even today. Seal is competently executed and
JUTTI is the story of a young girl Ami (Shivani Raghuvanshi) on a trip to heartland Punjab. When her sandal breaks during a trek, she lands at a local shoe shop to buy a pair of juttis, and meets the glib-talking salesman Harry (Vishwas Kini). What happens next makes for a simple and sweet rom-com that is crisply written and spiritedly acted out.
Issue 771 (16)
15 - 21 May, 2018
Unfair To Say Hindi Films Can’t Achieve What Regional Cinema Has: Sonakshi Sinha
Actress Sonakshi Sinha, who made her acting debut with Dabangg in 2010, agrees that certain facets of regional cinema are better than the mainstream Hindi film industry, but she finds it unfair to say it cannot achieve the attention and adulation that movies from different parts of the country are getting. In 2014, Sonakshi worked in Tamil film “Lingaa” wth superstar Rajnikanth. She says that since she has tasted the dynamics of how regional cinema works, she knows its strength, but it is not unachievable by the Hindi film industry. Sonakshi, who was here at the launch of Streax Professional’s Spring Summer 2018 Collection “Marigold”, told IANS: “I have done a Tamil film, and based on that I can say that their style of work is slightly better than how we work over
here (in Bollywood). “In terms of timings, vision, originality and the concepts that they come up with... like the stuff they make over there, we could not even imagine making over here. Otherwise, why hasn’t a ‘Baahubali’ been conceptualised in Hindi cinema till today? And they have gone and done it and we can all see how,” she added. The daughter of actors Shatrughan Sinha and Poonam Sinha says Hindi cinema will always be her “first love”. “I really respect the way they (regional cinema makers and actors) work, but yes it is unfair to say that we (Hindi cinema makers) cannot do it. Where there is a will, there is a way. If we want to do it, we can do it, we will do it,” said the “Lootera” actress. It was filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, as the jury head of the 65th National Film Awards last month, who
I Am Not Here To Make Money, But To Create Impact: Richa Chadha From playing the mother of Nawazuddin Siddiqui at the age of 24 to making her presence felt at the festival circuit as well as at the box office, Richa Chadha has carved her own niche. The actress says she would rather opt for a project that gives her a chance to act than just give her visibility. Born and brought up in Delhi, Richa started her career in Bollywood with the film Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! in 2008 after doing theatre extensively. However, she went through a tough time in the film industry before Gangs of Wasseypur happened in 2012. She has since played several substantial roles in films as different as Fukrey and Masaan. Doesn’t she feel bad that mainstream filmmakers are not collaborating with her enough for a protagonist’s role? “Look, if the producer is looking for a business of Rs 100 crore from a film, they need a star like Deepika Padukone to pull it off and it is purely a professional reason. I am okay with all that. “I am not here to make money anyway. I want to leave a mark on every project that I take up,
every film that I do,” Richa told IANS in an interview. “I would say that only in Sarbjit, I felt misused. I regretted choosing the film, but ‘Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela’ was a great experience. My character was pretty substantial. As long as my choice of the film gives me a chance to do that, I will continue choosing quality,” she added. However, she admits that playing the mother of an older man, at the age of 24 in Gangs Of Wasseypur, was certainly a risk. “That was a huge risk that I took at that point in time for which nobody appreciated me.
said Hindi cinema was far behind regional cinema in content and treatment of subjects. On working on the digital platform, Sonakshi says she is open to it as it is the “future”. “A lot of money is being pumped into making good digital content. People are watching it, and nowadays everybody is on their phone. Everybody has access to it. I think that is the future and if something really good came along my way in terms of a digital series or a movie even, I wouldn’t mind doing it,” said Sonakshi. A number of times, certain actors have stepped behind the camera and surprised the audience — be it a web series, short film or a feature movie. However, Sonakshi feels she is incapable of directing. “I don’t think I am capable of directing or going behind the camera. A director’s job is really tough. I have seen all these wonderful directors I have worked with over the years. And I would not be able to do what they do. “If I have any idea, I will give it to the right person. Maybe they can implement it, but I love being in front of the camera and being the actor. That is what I love and that is what I will do,” said the actress, who will next be seen in “Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi”, “Kalank” and “Dabangg 3”. “Satisfied” with her journey so far in the acting world, Sonakshi says her films have taught her something or the other and she is still learning. “Learning should never stop. I hope it only gets better.”
Arjun Kapoor To Play Lead In Rajkumar Gupta’s ‘India’s Most Wanted’
Actor Arjun Kapoor has been cast as the lead in Raj Kumar Gupta’s next directorial venture “India’s Most Wanted”. The film, which has a release date of May 24, 2019, is about “the capture of India’s most wanted, without firing a single bullet”. Arjun shared the news on Twitter and wrote, “Honoured to be a part of an untold story that will inspire India! #IndiasMostWanted, a tribute to all the unsung heroes who dedicate their lives to protect ours. In cinemas 24th May 2019.” The actor also shared a statement saying, “India’s Most Wanted” comes on the day when his debut movie film “Ishqzaade” completes six years. “On this day, 6 years ago, ‘Ishqzaade’ released but it just feels like yesterday. This film gave me my identity, made me realize that movies are my true calling. May 11 will always remain the most memorable day of my life and today feels even more amazing because I’m letting you know about one of the
most special films of my career,” he said in the statement. The 32-year-old actor said he is “excited” to collaborate with Gupta, who has films such as “Raid”, “No One Killed Jessica” and “Aamir” to his credit. “Working with Raj Kumar sir obviously excited me. His films are raw and gritty. They talk about true events and true heroes. When he narrated ‘India’s Most Wanted’ to me I was moved. I was proud of my motherland and its unsung heroes. It is a film that will inspire patriotism within all of us. “To play a character that might not be known to everybody but needs to be known by everybody was exciting. It’s always been something that has been at the back of my mind. It intrigues me as an actor to play this role but it excites me as an audience that I will be getting a chance to see this story unfold on the big screen,” Arjun said. “India’s Most Wanted” will co-produced by Gupta along with Fox Star.
Alia Bhatt Feels Happy Making People Cry Through Films Actress Alia Bhatt says that she feels really happy when she makes people cry through her films. Alia Bhatt was interacting with the media along with her Raazi co-star Vicky Kaushal on Saturday. Asked whether she expected a positive response from the audience for her latest release “Raazi”, Alia said: “I didn’t expect this kind of response. Since the beginning, we thought that we were making a small film, so we didn’t feel we would get so much attention and love from the audience.” “We were proud of the film but the kind of unanimous reaction we are getting for the film is amazing. We all are pleasantly shocked. I am really happy, especially for Meghna Gulzar (director) because I think she hasn’t slept for God knows how many months. “She was so nervous before the release of the film but the audience has given so much love that we are so grateful. Some people were crying after watching the film and I feel really happy when I make people cry through my films. Then I feel we have done our job.” Alia
has played different kinds of character in a short span of time. What goes through her mind while playing both glam and deglam roles in films? She said: “I feel nervous from inside but I feel very excited and because of that I try do so many things in terms of my preparations. “I think the biggest aspect of doing a film is that you have to be a good student of a director and whatever directors demands from you, you should be able to give that because it’s a director’s film and we are just actors who take forward the vision of the director and writer,” said the “Student of the Year” actress.
“Raazi” is based on the 1971 India-Pakistan war. Reacting to the Pakistan censor board’s decision to ban “Raazi” in Pakistan, Alia said: “This is not a call that we are involved in. There are so many Indian films which don’t get released in Pakistan. I don’t think it’s personal when it comes to our film. “In this film, we are not taking anyone’s side or doing any kind of bashing. Obviously, we will hope that it gets released there as well but we have no hard feelings whatsoever.” After “Raazi”, Alia has an impressive line-up of films which includes “Gully Boy”, “Kalank” and “Brahmastra”.
Issue 771 (17)
15 - 21 May, 2018
Diane Keaton Used Own Clothes For Ugly Outfit Scene
Director Bill Holderman says actress Diane Keaton used her personal clothes in “Book Club” for a scene that required an ugly outfit. “We were shooting the scene where Diane was supposed to put on an ugly outfit and her friends are like, ‘No, No, No! You can’t wear
that. We’re going to take that to Goodwill’. On the day of rehearsal, the jacket we had was too elegant, the joke didn’t work,” Holderman said in a statement to IANS. He added: “Diane is like, ‘Okay, I’m going to go home’. She races off and 10 minutes
later she brought out all of these incredible pieces of clothing, one of which is in the film. The poncho that she comes out in, that beautiful thing that we make fun of… it’s actually from some very famous designer who is probably going to be really upset that we put this in the movie. She solved the problem herself. She just goes and does it. “What she’s not is shy. And she’s not careful about is sharing her opinions when she has one. She likes to make you know where she stands.” In the film, Keaton (Diane), Fonda (Vivian), Candice Bergen (Sharon) and Mary Steenburgen (Carol) play successful older women getting back into the dating world thanks to the erotic thriller trilogy “Fifty Shades of Grey”. The film is being brought to India by PVR Pictures and will open on May 18.
Kelly Rowland’s Impromptu Collaboration With Stevie Wonder Singer Kelly Rowland had a fourth wedding anniversary to remember after joining legendary singer Stevie
Wonder onstage for an impromptu collaboration. Wonder celebrated his 68th birthday a few days early on May 9, when he staged a show, dubbed “The Stevie Wonder Song Party: A Celebration of Life, Love and
Music”, in a club here. A number of celebrities were in the audience for the set, including Rowland and her husband Tim Weatherspoon, who were toasting their anniversary. Wonder, who turned 68 on Sunday, ended up calling on Rowland and fellow singer Jessie J to join him in the limelight, as well as actor-rapper Donald Glover, also known as Childish Gambino, to perform his song classic “Superstition”, reports aceshowbiz.com. The former Destiny’s Child star shared video footage of the unexpected sing-a-long on her Instagram story timeline, and captioned it: “Soooo... This happened... On our anniversary! These voices on the stage... wow!”
Rita Ora Releases Oprah Has Smoked A Little Bisexual Anthem Marijuana, Says Gayle King
Rita Ora, 27, has come up with a new single, Girls, which features guests Cardi B, Bebe Rexha and Charli XCX. The singer says it was inspired by her own sexuality. “Sometimes I Just Wanna Kiss Girls,” Ora and the ladies sing on the chorus of the song. Talking about the song and her orientation, Ora says, “It’s time for girl power, baby. I wrote this song two years ago in London with my team, and I didn’t think that much of it then. I knew it was a vibe when I first got it, but I never thought it will become a song that all my peers and my fellow
musicians — the girls on the record — wanted to jump on. It represents freedom and the chance to be what you want to be — and there being no judgment, and just living your life as you want to live it. That’s what this song represents to me every time I hear it.” Her track was inspired by a Katy Perry song, I Kissed A Girl. “It’s one of my favourite songs. That was the first song anyone heard of Katy Perry’s, and it was such a statement. I wanted to do something that was on those lines,” she says.
TV and entertainment icon Oprah Winfrey occasionally enjoys smoking marijuana, says her best friend and American television personality Gayle King. During her first appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” earlier this week, King, 63, opened up about how even though she’s never dabbled with the drug, she’s not staunchly opposed to trying it, reports people.com. Describing a conversation she had with actress Amy Schumer at Degeneres’ birthday party in February, she said that she had “never smoked a marijuana cigarette”. Insisting on helping her out, Schumer responded by saying: “Well, we have to do something about that”, King recalled. “I would try it, I would try it with Amy, but I don’t intend to do it publicly,” the news anchor continued, before adding that
Melissa McCarthy Roots For Her Online Trolls Actress Melissa McCarthy says she has dealt with her share of online trolls, but she has nothing to give back to them but love. The “Life of the Party” actress, 47, has spoken out about how she deals with criticism in people.com’s new cover story. McCarthy was on the bitter end of some especially vicious hate when she starred in the 2016 all-
female “Ghostbusters” reboot alongside Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones. McCarthy said: “Weirdly, instead of getting mad at them, I always feel like, ‘Oh, I hope you meet someone soon that you can talk to, someone that really makes you laugh’. I just root for that person to find a little joy. “I’m never going to change things by sitting in my living
room bawling. That’s not going to fix or help anything. This has been a tough chunk of history for women. “But at one point I just said, ‘I’m not going to wallow in this anymore.’ It’s not my reality-the men I know wouldn’t act like this. So I look to the men I know, who have made my life better, and I just keep remembering that they’re the norm.”
Winfrey “has smoked a little marijuana too, I don’t mind saying. I’m not telling tales out of school”. But when asked whether Winfrey liked marijuana, King jokingly replied: “I refuse to
answer on the grounds that it may incriminate her.” “It’s not something that happens on a regular (basis),” King began to explain. She then abruptly announced that she was “going to change the subject”.
Issue 771 (18)
15 - 21 May, 2018
The suicide bomber family Thirteen killed and 41 hurt after a mother, father and their four children blow themselves up at three churches in Indonesia Suicide bombers from the same family killed at least 13 people and wounded 40 in attacks on Christians attending Sunday morning services at three churches in Indonesia. Indonesia’s national police chief says the murderers who attacked three churches in the country’s second-largest city were members of one family, including children and teens. The national police
chief, Tito Karnavian, said the family had been in Syria, where ISIS until recently controlled a large swath of territory. He said the family’s father exploded a car bomb, two sons aged 18 and 16 used a motorbike in their attack and the mother was with two children aged 12 and 9. Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslimmajority country, has seen a recent resur- Suicide bombers from
the same family killed at least 13 people and wounded 40 in attacks on Christians attending Sunday morning service s at three churches in Indonesia. Indonesia’s national police chief says the murderers who attacked three churches in the country’s second-largest city were members of one family, including children and teens. The national police chief, Tito Karnavian, said the family had been in Syria, where ISIS until recently controlled a large swath of territory. He said the family’s father exploded a car bomb, two sons aged 18 and 16 used a motorbike in their attack and the mother was with two children aged 12 and 9. Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslimmajority country, has seen a recent resur-five members of an elite counterterrorism force during a 36-hour standoff at a high security jail in the
capital, Jakarta. The attacks were likely linked to the prison hostage standoff, Purwanto said. “The main target is still security authorities, but we can say that there are alternative (targets) if the main targets are blocked,” he said. TV images showed toppled and burnt motorcycles and debris scattered around the entrance of one church and police cordoning off areas as crowds gathered. A spokesman for Indonesia’s church association (PGI) called on the government for more help on security at churches. “PGI is concerned because this had happened many times and often taken place around the time of Sunday services,” said Jeirry Sumampow, a spokesman for the Communion of Churches. Indonesia has had some major successes tackling militancy inspired by al Qaeda’s attacks on the United States in 2001.
Issue 771 (19)
15 - 21 May, 2018
Trump praises Kim’s ‘gracious gesture’ to shut nuke test site US says will help N Korea rebuild economy if it gives up arsenal
Herpes drug to come in 5 yrs SCIENTISTS have made a huge step forward in their quest for a herpes vaccine and claim one could be available within five years. Two US universities claim they are ready to test their vaccines on humans, after they protected guinea pigs and monkeys from the common virus. The vaccines target genital herpes, a common STD, but may also work on cold sores, which are caused by a different strain. Both teams can prevent animals getting new infections from HSV2, the strain that causes genital herpes, and one is able to treat those already infected.
Special guests at prof funeral!
AFTER spending the afternoon at a golf course, US President Donald Trump has expressed his enthusiasm for North Korea’s announcement that it will dismantle its nuclear test site. “North Korea has announced that they will dismantle nuclear test site this month, ahead of the big summit meeting on June 12. Thank you, a very smart and gracious gesture!” Trump tweeted Saturday evening. Trump spent part of the day at Trump National Golf Club in Virginia, arriving around 10 am and departing at 3.18 pm. In what has become a rarity for his presidency, Trump was actually captured on the links by a CNN photographer with a telephoto lens. Earlier Saturday morning, North Korea said it will hold a “ceremony” for the dismantling of its nuclear test site on May 23 to 25 in what would be a dramatic but symbolic prelude to Kim Jongun’s summit with Trump next month. North Korea’s foreign ministry said Saturday that all of the tunnels at the country’s northeastern testing ground will be destroyed by explosion, and that observation and research facilities and ground-based guard units will also be removed. The North said it plans to invite journalists from the United States, South Korea, China, Russia and Britain to inspect the process. Kim had revealed plans
HE ONCE jokingly suggested people should ‘invent time travel’ if they wanted to address questions or complaints to his ‘younger self’, so it is hardly surprising that time travellers might well attend Stephen Hawking’s memorial service. Members have been invited to apply for tickets to attend a celebration of his life at a memorial service in Westminster Abbey on June 15, where his ashes placed beside the graves of Newton and Darwin. to shut down the nuclear test site during his summit with
South Korean President Moon Jae-in last month. The nuclear facility was hidden in Mount Mantap and suffered multiple landslides following the bomb tests. US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said if North Korea agrees to surrender its nuclear arsenal, Washington will work with Pyongyang to rebuild its
tiny economy. “If North Korea takes bold action to quickly
denuclearise, the United States is prepared to work with North Korea to achieve prosperity on par with our South Korean friends.” According to the South China Morning Post, two groups of Chinese experts say the military facility has collapsed “putting China and other nearby nations at unprecedented risk of radioactive exposure”. One of
the experts said this could be the real reason behind Kim Jongun’s decision to end his missile and nuclear trials. The tyrant had claimed that the freeze was because he had now successfully developed the arsenal, including miniaturising warheads to fit them on to rockets. But Wen Lianxing, from the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, and his researchers have concluded that a major collapse took place at Kim’s atomic site after the country’s sixth nuclear test in September. At the time, Japan estimated that the blast was measured at 120 kilotonne, eight times the size of the US device that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945. Satellite images appeared to show multiple landslides in the wake of the hydrogen bomb blast, with green mountains reduced to muddy hillsides. Weeks later, unverified reports emerged that up to 200 workers may have been killed during the construction of a new tunnel at the site.
Specialists to tackle Ebola THE Democratic Republic of Congo and UN agencies began deploying emergency teams of specialists over the weekend to try to prevent the spread of an Ebola epidemic suspected to have infected more than 30 people, they said on Sunday. The latest suspected case was reported on Friday in the northwestern province of Equateur, which health minister Oly Ilunga Kalenga visited on Saturday with officials from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Scary baptism irks twitterati TWITTER users have been outraged after bizarre footage emerged on social media showing a Greek Orthodox bishop violently baptising a baby in water. The archbishop swings the naked child by its arms and repeatedly dunks him in the baptismal font.
Iranians protest US call to abandon N-deal THOUSANDS of people have taken to the streets of Tehran to protest at the US decision to back out of the nuclear deal. Hordes of enraged demonstrators could be seen pouring petrol on US flags and burning them as the protests became increasingly vitriolic in the Iranian capital. The protests began as Iran denied firing rockets at Israel on Thursday, claiming the allegations were invented by Israeli politicians to justify attacks on Syria. Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi described claims the Revolutionary Guard fired around 20 missiles at Israeli targets in
the Golan heights as “freely invented and baseless” as discord spreads through the Middle East following the landmark decision on Iran’s nuclear capabilities. Israel then struck dozens of Iranian targets inside Syria with high-powered missiles early Thursday as part of Operation House of Cards. Following the Israeli strikes, Qasemi struck out at western nations for not condemning the ferocious Israeli retaliation against the Iranian military. “Their silence only gives the
Zionist regime (Israel) the green light for unstable,” he said. “They are a violation further aggressions that serve only to of Syria’s national sovereignty and make the region more insecure and territorial integrity, and contrary to international law.” The defense committee of Iran’s parliament also said Iranian forces had nothing to do with the attacks on Israeli positions. “This is another lie from the Zionist regime for propaganda purposes, “ said committee spokesman Mohammad Nabandegani. He also denied that Iran had any military forces in Syria at all. Israel announced early Thursday that its forces had hit “almost all” Iranian infrastructure sites in Syria during the Golan airstrikes.
Issue 771 (20)
Is Meghan related to Jack the Ripper? killing 27 people, though some suspect he was to blame for 200 deaths. Mudgett, who is Holmes’ great, great, great grandson, says handwriting analysis and details from the investigation into the Ripper suggest Holmes carried out the infamous murders during a trip to London. Ancestral studies carried out by Mudgett now suggest Meghan Markle is also related to the serial killer. Mudgett told the Channel 4 documentary Meet The Markles: “We did a study with the FBI and CIA and Scotland Yard regarding handwriting analysis.” “It turns out [Holmes] was Jack the Ripper. This means Meghan is related to Jack the Ripper.” He said of the Markle link: “I don’t think the Queen knows. I am not proud he is my ancestor. Meghan won’t be either.” Meet The Markles, which will be aired 10pm tomorrow, sees presenter Amelia Dimoldenberg track down a number of Meghan’s relatives.
WHO WAS THE RIPPER SUSPECT?
Herman Webster Mudgett, known as HH Holmes, was a wealthy & well-educated doctor in Chicago. He became owner of a drugstore and opened a hotel in Englewood. But the 60- room boarding house was a murder trap. Some victims were locked in their bedrooms, that were soundproof and fixed with gas lines, so they would be asphyxiated.
69-year-o amputee sca
A CHINESE climber who lost both legs to frostbite on Everest four decades ago finally reached the summit on Monday, moving millions with his sheer determination and courage. Xia Boyu, 69, summited Everest early Monday on his fifth attempt to reach the top of the 29,029-ft mountain. “He reached the summit this morning, along with seven other members of his team,” said Dawa Futi Sherpa of Imagine Trek and Expedition, who organised Xia’s Everest bid. Xia confirmed in
MEGHAN Markle is related to a Victorian-era murderer suspected of being Jack the Ripper, according to claims aired in a new documentary. Markle is said to be distant relative of Dr H.H. Holmes, a man dubbed ‘America’s first serial killer’, who some suspect may
have carried out the Whitechapel murders. The claims are made by another of H.H. Holmes’ descendants, US lawyer Jeff Mudgett, who has led investigations into the killer. Holmes killed his victims at his ‘murder trap’ hotel in Englewood near Chicago. He admitted to
Sweetening the ‘pot’: Big merger in Canada
Cop mom whips out gu shoots school attacker
WITH the legalisation of recreational marijuana looming in Canada, therapeutic producer Aurora said Monday it was acquiring rival MedReleaf Corp. in a huge deal set to create a giant company. Aurora said it would pay $2.51 billion as part of an allstock deal that will leave Aurora shareholders with control of 61 per cent of the resulting company. The new company will have a production capacity of 570 tonnes of cannabis a year, with nine greenhouse operations in Canada and two in Denmark, Aurora and MedReleaf said in a joint statement. The merger comes amid surging interest in the country’s nascent pot industry with legalization expected this summer. Already in January, Aurora had spent more than Can$1 billion to purchase rival CanniMed. The Canadian government originally scheduled legalization for July 1, coinciding with the Canada Day weekend, but complications with new distribution and monitoring systems forced delays. But last week Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said legalisation would come this summer. While provincial governments work to set up distribution channels, and prepare to share resulting tax windfalls with the federal government, companies linked to cannabis business have seen a speculative bubble develop. The capitalization of the three biggest Canadian producers on the Toronto Stock Exchange has exploded in recent months.
THIS is the moment a gunman’s attempted robbery on young children and families was foiled by a waiting mother — who turned out to be an off-duty armed policewoman. Dramatic security footage shows a suspect named as Elivelton Neves Moreira, 21, approaching the crowd with a gun outside a private school in Sao Paulo. But his attempted crime backfired when military police officer Katia da Silva Sastre, 42, pulled out her own weapon and unleashed three shots. The video shows Moreira, who later died in hospital, falling backwards and clutching his chest before Sastre shoves him on to his front with her foot having thrown her handbag aside on Saturday morning. Officer Sastre is being hailed a hero for her act of bravery and was honored in a ceremony by Sao Paulo Governor Márcio França on Sunday. Although the suspect died later the same day in the hospital from his injuries, Officer Sastre is still being commended for her actions despite the ‘regrettable’ outcome. Writing on Twitter Governor França said: “I went earlier to the 4th BAEP in the east of Sao Paulo to honor a very special
mother: Corporal Katia Sastre. Her courage and precision saved mothers and children, yesterday at the door of a school.” As a thank you for her off-duty valor, the governor then presented her with a purple orchid plant at her police station, fittingly on Brazil’s Mother’s Day. Officer Sastre is a mother to two girls, aged seven and two. She has worked on the force for 20 years and is also married to a police lieutenant. The horrific attack unfolded Saturday as Sastre was waiting for the gates of Ferreira Master school to open. A bandit, dressed in a black jacket, casually walked up and announced it was a robbery while pointing a .38 revolver at the group of terrified mothers and small children. The school, in the Jardim dos Ipês suburb of the city, was due to host a Mother’s Day party. Pointing the firearm at the school’s security guard and reaching out to grab the man’s wallet and phone, the suspect suddenly stopped in his tracks by the officer, who had her gun at the ready after being alerted to the danger by another woman seconds earlier. Pulling her police issued weapon from her bag, she loads the gun then reacts with speed, stepping forward and firing off three rounds, shooting the assailant in the chest and leg as he tries to fire back. The armed man falls backwards onto the zebra crossing and releases two shots in the process as he hits the ground. The first one ricochets off the ground hitting no one, and the second jams in the weapon. Sastre quickly backs away out of the line of fire then goes
over to the injured suspect who is rolling around on the ground in agony crying out for help. She kicks away his weapon before picking it up. Sastre, who had gone to the event with her seven-year-old daughter, told colleagues: “I didn’t know if he was going to shoot the kids or the mothers or the security guard at the school door.” “I just thought about defending the mums, the children, my own life and my daughter’s.” Approaching the wounded assailant while still pointing her gun, she throws her bag to one side, orders the suspect to turn over and pushes him with her foot into a facedown position, then pins him down while waiting for medical help and backup to arrive. S PEAKING on her act of valor she said: “I had to act quickly to end his aggression and prevent him from harming anyone. I reverted to the training I have received in the corporation.” “It’s gratifying to have been in the right place to have saved all our lives,” she added revealing she was first warned of the danger when a woman, in a grey dress, hurriedly walked past and pointed backwards saying a robbery had just taken place behind her. Moments later the gunman appeared. Husband of officer Sastre, military police lieutenant André Alves said to Folha de Sao Paulo: “The suspect’s gun fired once, but it is not known whether or not it was before Katia fired. Sao Paulo’s Governor França commended Sastre saying she had shown ‘dexterity, technique and courage.’
ld double ales Everest a Weibo post that he stood atop the Everest summit at 8.26 am (Nepal time) on Monday, after starting the journey on May 8. “I have successfully conquered Mt Everest and accomplished my dream,” he said. “Thank you so much for all your support.” He first tried to conquer the Everest when he was 26, but lost both his legs to frostbite after he lent a teammate his sleeping bag. Videos posted on his account on video-sharing platform Kuaishou shows Mr Xia slowly but surely scaling the snow-covered mountain with his metal prosthetic legs. The senior climber has millions of fans supporting his expedition, with a topic page ‘Xia Boyu scales Mt Everest’ gathering 18.4 million views on Weibo. An outpour of congratulatory messages emerged online, with net users saying that they were moved to tears by the senior climber’s tough journey. “I feel so inspired following Xia’s expedition,” one said.
un & r dead
15 - 21 May, 2018
52 killed in Israel as US opens embassy
I SRAELI snipers have killed scores of Palestinians and wounded hundreds more as 35,000 protesters rallied against the US Embassy opening in Jerusalem overseen by Donald Trump’s Middle East envoy Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka. A 14-year-old was among 52 shot dead along the Gaza border on what is already the deadliest single day in the IsraeliPalestinian conflict since a 2014 war between the Jewish state and Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas. At least 1,300 more have been injured with about 450 of them by live bullets, according to Gaza officials as the Palestinian government accused Israel of committing a ‘terrible massacre’ and Amnesty International called the bloodshed an ‘abhorrent violation’ of human rights. This afternoon a White House delegation — including Ivanka Trump and her husband — gathered for an inauguration ceremony for the opening of the
new embassy alongside Israeli Prime Minister B e n j a m i n Netanyahu. The US President tossed aside decades of precedent when he recognised the city as Israel’s capital in December — a decision that sparked global outcry, Palestinian anger and exuberant praise from Israelis. Russia said it feared the embassy opening would increase tension in West Asia while Turkey President Tayyip Erdogan warned the US it had forfeited its role as a mediator in the region and was now ‘part of the problem rather than the solution’. As deadly clashes continued this afternoon, Trump said in a video address aired at the opening that the embassy has been a ‘long time coming’ and that the U.S. had ‘failed to acknowledge the obvious’ for many years. He added that “today,
we follow through on this recognition” and that the new embassy was opening “many, many years ahead of schedule.” Trump also said his ‘greatest hope’ is for peace and that he ‘remains fully committed to facilitating a lasting peace agreement’. His onin-law Jared Kushner said the opening showed the US could be trusted and that ‘when President Trump makes a promise, he keeps it’. “Today also demonstrates American leadership. By moving our embassy to Jerusalem, we have shown the world once again that the United States can be trusted,” he said. “We stand with our friends and our allies, and above all else, we’ve shown that
the United States of America will do what’s right,” he said. Netanyahu made a reference to the conflict on the Gaza border as he said in his speech that ‘our brave soldiers are protecting the borders of Israel as we speak, we salute them all’. Israel’s PM said Jerusalem will always be the ‘eternal, undivided’ capital of Israel. Netanyahu thanked Trump for showing the ‘courage’ to keep a key campaign promise and said relations with the U.S. have never been stronger. He said Mideast peace must be founded on what he says is the ‘truth’ recognized by U.S.
Weird ways to get kicked out of public places WHETHER you’ve had too much to drink or lost your temper, most of us have acted up in public once or twice. But people have been revealing the bizarre reasons why they’ve been kicked out of places in a hilarious Twitter thread — and some of them don’t make a lot of sense. Some had rather surprising run-ins with security staff - including the bouncer who kicked a man out for wearing a V neck top and the guard who ejected someone from an art gallery for dozing. Others had some questionable incidents with animals, including the girl who got removed from class for trying to sneak in her pet goat. One man got kicked out of a pub for being too drunk by the assistant manager,
despite being the manager himself — and his assistant was his own mother. Someone’s aunt and uncle were asked to leave Toys R Us One hungry person was asked because they jousted using pool to leave an all-youcan-eat buffet floats while sitting on because they ate just a little bit too Spacehoppers. much. Shops are obviously very
picky about their customers as one woman was kicked out of Harrods for ‘dressing provocatively’ while another was elittle bit too much.
Issue 771 (22)
15 - 21 May, 2018
Meghan’s father staged photos with paparazzi MEGHAN Markle’s father has secretly collaborated with a British paparazzi photographer to stage a series of pictures – despite pleas from Prince Harry for the media to leave his future fatherin-law alone. Thomas Markle, who will walk his daughter down the aisle at Windsor Castle on Saturday, has been caught on
Markle’s privacy, saying he had been ‘harassed’ by paparazzi. A Mail on Sunday investigation has established that the internet cafe pictures are just part of a series Rayner took of Meghan’s father. They have been published in newspapers, magazines and on websites around the world. In all of them
CCTV willingly posing for faked photographs that have been sold to newspapers around the world. Together with other pictures taken with his co-operation, they will have netted up to £100,000. The astonishing footage obtained by The Mail on Sunday shows the 73-year-old former lighting director arriving at an internet cafe with photographer Jeff Rayner. Minutes later the pair are seen preparing to photograph Mr Markle while he is sitting at a computer looking at a news story about his daughter and Prince Harry. The staged photographs come despite Kensington Palace issuing a warning to publishers to respect
Markle appears to be unaware they are being taken. But it was revealed that they were in fact contrived and shot with his cooperation. It is not known if he was paid to take part. The revelation that Markle has been co-operating with a paparazzo behind the backs of his daughter, Prince Harry and Kensington Palace officials will cause huge embarrassment to the Royal Family in the run-up to the wedding. It will be galling for Harry who, in a BBC documentary last year, hit out at the paparazzi for the way in which they pursued his mother, Princess Diana. She was killed
in Paris in 1997 after being chased by photographers. And shortly after his relationship with Meghan became public in 2016, the Prince made a heartfelt plea for the media to respect the privacy of Meghan and her family. Last night, just hours ahead of our exposé, represenatives of Markle wrote to editors around the world and to British newspaper watchdog the Independent Press Standards Organisation. Editors were told that he was suffering as a result of media intrusion and did not want to participate in photocalls or interviews. Kensington Palace officials did the same a few weeks before. An official letter, written by Prince Harry’s communications secretary Jason Knauf, described how Mr Markle had been ‘followed and harassed’ by photogra phers and journalists. The letter urged editors not to publish pictures of Mr Markle and called on them to stop pursuing him. Mail on Sunday reporters have established that Mr Markle and Rayner, a 44-yearold Los Angeles-based photographer, set up at least four photoshoots. Markle is seen wearing identical clothes in different sets of pictures, suggesting different ‘scenarios’ were possibly staged on the same day. Our exclusive images were captured by CCTV cameras on March 27 at the Omega internet cafe in Mr Markle’s adopted home town of Rosarito, Mexico. He and Rayner, who is wearing flip-flops and carrying an expensive camera, can clearly be seen arriving together at 9.50am. Over nine minutes, the pair are seen chatting and choreographing a series of photographs, two of which were published for the first time last Wednesday. Their publication in Britain came 42 days after they were taken but just ten days
China’s first home-built aircraft carrier begins sea trials CHINA’S first domestically constructed aircraft carrier known as Type 001A began its first seatrials on Sunday, leaving shipyard in the northeastern
port city of Dalian. State broadcaster CGTN said the carrier, which will be the Navy’s second after the Liaoning and its first domestically built one, “left port in northeast China’s Liaoning Province on Sunday morning and began its performance test”. Reports have said the short performance trial may
be limited to the Bohai Sea, with online reports saying activities in the area have been restricted. In recent weeks, speculation had grown that its first sea trials were imminent. Chinese media reported that scaffolds had been removed and a phased-array radar had been installed. Li Jie, a Beijing-based naval expert, told the Global Times last month that the second carrier will be a vast improvement in the Liaoning — which was built by retrofitting an old Ukrainian carrier — and will be “China’s first combat aircraft carrier”. “It will also provide knowledge for future projectile and nuclearpowered carriers,” Li said. Chinese experts had said that longterm plan is to have at least six carriers deployed, with two carrier strike groups in the Indian Ocean, two in China’s periphery, including the South China Sea, and two for Western Pacific.
before the wedding. They appeared in a number of publications including MailOnline, who were not party
to any financial agreements with Mr Markle. Experts say they would have made thousands of pounds for the photographer.
Issue 771 (23)
15 - 21 May, 2018
PARTING SHOT MUMBAI SUPERCOP KILLS HIMSELF TO BEAT CANCER Himanshu Roy, former ATS chief who probed IPL match-fixing, turns the gun on himself as disease spread from bone to brain BIPLAB BOMB ‘Upset with British, Tagore returned his Nobel Prize’ Justice Joseph’s name to be resent by SC collegium SIKH CANADA MINISTER TOLD TO TAKE OFF HIS TURBAN AT U.S. AIRPORT SEE PAGE 13 SEE PAGE 9 SEE PAGE 5 ADG Himanshu Roy would have turned 55 next month. On Friday morning he called his friends and colleagues, thanking them. Those on the other side of the line were mildly surprised by the sudden display of emotion by the original ‘tough guy’ of Mumbai police. Then precisely at 1.40 pm in the afternoon, the 1988 batch IPS officer reportedly shot himself in the mouth with his service revolver. Cancer had ravaged his body and depression, his mind. Roy was rushed to Bombay Hospital where he was declared dead-on-arrival. He lived alone at his IPS officers’ quarters behind Mantralaya. Only servants were present at the time of the
incident. The police officer left a suicide note in which he wrote about his depression due to the cancer he had been battling over the past two years. He mentioned that he couldn’t take it anymore and no one should be held responsible for his actions. Several of his friends and colleagues told this paper that Roy had been calling them up over the past few days. To one subordinate, he said: “You’re a very good officer, friend, and colleague and you should always stay that way”. Roy fobbed of inquiries about his own wellbeing with the promise of “sharing a cup of tea” with the person on the other side of the line. “Roy was one of the best leaders with whom one enjoyed working. He was one of the few officers who motivated subordinates and was like a rock at times of crisis,” an IG-level officer, who had served under Roy and did not wish to be identified, told this paper. He, too, had received a call from Roy a few days ago. Another officer who had worked with Roy said he stood out because of his human
POSTER COUPLE TEJ Pratap Yadav, the eldest son of Lalu Prasad, got married to Aishwarya Rai, the eldest daughter of former minister Chandrika Rai, on May 12. While the couple was busy with wedding preparations, members of the Yuva Rashtriya Janata Dal went out of their way to make the wedding even more special. Outside 10, Circular Road, the official residence of Tej Pratap’s family in Patna, the party put up a billboard that depicts the couple in the avatars of Lord Shiva and Parvati. “Shri Tej Pratap Ji aur Aishwarya bhabi ji ko vivah ki hardik shubhkamnaye (Our heartiest congratulations to Shri Tej Pratap Yadav and Shri Aishwarya Rai Bhabiji),” read the message on the billboard.
qualities that helped deal with difficult situations. “The last time I spoke to him, he was unwell, but his voice was still commanding,” he said. Roy suffered from bone marrow cancer and was on medical leave for more than two years, shuttling between Singapore and the United States for his treatment. In early 2017, he had recovered and was to resume service, but suffered a relapse. This was the tipping point, say his friends, and since then Roy reportedly turned depressive. A Mumbai boy, Roy was an alumnus of Campion Boys’ School and later Saint Xavier’s College, Mumbai, after which he pursued Chartered Accountancy. He cracked the UPSC in 1988 and joined the Indian Police Service. Roy was the additional SP when Malegaon was burning during the 1993 riots. His legend started growing as JCP, Mumbai crime branch, followed by Additional D-G Anti-Terrorism Squad, Maharashtra. There are many cases which Roy personally supervised — cases that put him under the spotlight. For instance, the IPL ‘spot-fixing scandal’ in which he arrested actor and wrestler Dara Singh’s son, Vindoo Dara Singh, followed by Gurunath Meiyappan, the son-in-law of former ICC president N Srinivasan. Roy investigated the case involving the murders of actress Laila Khan and her family — killed and buried at a farmhouse in Igatpuri. The Shakti Mills gangrape case, and journalist J Dey’s murder (in which gangster Chhota Rajan was convicted) made him a household name in Mumbai. Few other cases that he dealt with were builder Sunil Lahoria’s murder, music director Jatin Lalit’s sister Sandhya Singh’s murder, and the murder of lawyer Pallavi Purkayastha (which was cracked within 14 hours). There was rarely any case that remained unsolved by Roy. In 2015, Roy was transferred to Police Housing as the ADG — finding himself sidelined completely. “He was very good officer, but was unwell, due to which he was under depression. It’s a great loss,” said former Mumbai police commissioner Arup Patnaik. His tenure as the chief of Maharashtra ATS was also very successful and he was the officer who dealt with the first case of Indians joining the Islamic State. Four youth from the Mumbai suburb of Kalyan had left on a pilgrimage to Iraq, from
where they somehow managed to slip away and join ISIS. The case had to be dealt with great care as families were in extreme shock. Roy would conduct regular meetings with the families of the four boys to know about their lifestyle, their friends, people who they were in touch with, and their online activities. The investigations led by Roy revealed the spread of ISIS propaganda in India through online chatrooms and the radicalisation of young men from the minority community. Roy’s report highlighting the need to monitor the Internet was shared with the Union home ministry. It was under Roy’s watch that the de-radicalisation programme for youths was started and many youngsters were dissuaded from joining terror outfits.
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Feelings, friendships and connections from the past come to the fore as nostalgia and sentiment overwhelm you this week. You have a tremendous sense of exhilaration when taking a quantum leap into unknown professional and personal situations. You are graceful and amiable, quick to respond to attraction and easily enthusiastic about new business opportunities. It’s best not to take things personally and adopt a positive attitude without being taken for granted. You need to trust life to take you sailing through personal and professional changes. An older man makes a professional decision in your favour.
You are a force to reckon with in personal or professional situations this week. You bring a singlepointed approach to professional ventures and prestigious assignments. Your success comes from combining creativity, labour and intelligence. Your investments and plans for the future are gainful and you need to be persistent. You are likely to cut away from personal and professional limitations to expand and grow. You can expect a busy work schedule packed with meetings and engagements. You uphold values, stay with priorities and stick your neck out for fair play in personal and professional relationships.
Material gain and triangular situations need your time and energy this week! Watch out for a love triangle that is building up and it could affect your personal relationship. A third person may interfere in your loving relationship and manipulate your partner. However, a three-way business alignment could be very gainful indeed. You are likely to make choices and at that point focus on your own priorities, truths and relationships without getting influenced by others. Be aware of what is realistic when reaching towards fantastic goals. When your head and heart pull you in different directions, listen to your heart.
Family solidarity and support can be expected during conflicts and controversies. Established business is enhanced with opportunities for expansion and growth which you need to explore. Reunions and family celebrations are on the cards! It’s time to look at systems, routines and relationships that you have outgrown and need to let go. Changes are likely to creep into set patterns to bring growth, realisation and understanding. A little bit of meditation and introspection encourages you to breakthrough restrictions and inspires you to let go what you are hanging on to.
Loosen your grip on whatever you are holding on to, be it anything material or emotional and feel the freedom and expansiveness sharing can bring. You display leadership qualities and special skills to draw respect and confidence of people who matter. You have the need to feel emotionally secure in relationships and tend to be possessive or jealous without good reason. It’s time to be free and open to whatever life brings rather than be afraid of changes. Material power and stability are on the cards and give you a sense of security and wellbeing! You splurge on loved ones.
You are likely to have mixed feelings about everything this week! Since you feel insecure about new people or connections, you find yourself saying ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ in one sentence. You tend to procrastinate and allow worthwhile opportunities to slip away, be aware and quick to respond. Health problems need to be attended to or they can get out of hand. Finances and practical details demand your attention. Some delay and disruption at work is temporary and should be taken in your stride. Personal relationships flower with love and patience.
A blind and irresistible impulse urges you to make a commitment in a personal relationship and take a quantum leap into unknown territory. Business opportunities are a gamble and a challenge that you need to take to restore your financial stability. Without a bit of courage and a sense of adventure life cannot be lived or enjoyed – so here is your chance, don’t miss it. A light and playful attitude takes you past heavy adversaries. Negative and destructive forces may be around but are unable to touch you. Beware of obsessions of any kind as they create discontent and a lop-sided perspective.
You are blessed with harmony and an exalted influence in your life this week. There is love and unconditional support in personal relationships and gain in business partnerships. You are gracious in family situations and diplomatic in social gatherings. You are aesthetic with a discerning taste and have an eye for art, and ear for music that you enjoy. You are caring and loving, mothering your own children and others around you. Get in touch with your mother for some positive insights. Happiness and success blend together and bring a feeling of great satisfaction and ease this week.
You feel free and unfettered this week and you go beyond standard practice, rules and regulations in the work area. You are creative, original and have the courage to be different in a prestigious project. You may invite a mixed lot of reactions and responses, a few negative and others mostly positive and flattering in nature. You need to trust your intuition in personal relationships and gut feelings in business matters and act accordingly even if your actions appear to be foolish to others. It is best to allow and take freedom and space in loving relationships for them to continue happily.
Brilliant intellectual ideas, designs and plans are put into effect this week. Professional aspects take top priority as you make policy and give future direction. You are invited and felicitated by important people or institutions for your intellectual contribution to your field of activity. You are likely to work and interact professionally with bright young people who challenge your ideas and systems. Be sensitive to your partner’s needs and feelings! Don’t forget to celebrate with family and friends! You need to lighten up, relax and stop analyzing relationships. There is more to life than being in control of situations!
Established and deep-rooted personal and professional aspects are maintained this week. You stand firm and strong against stormy weather and difficult situations to face professional and personal challenges. You are able to build further on the foundations of your career and achieve great success in a significant venture. Material wealth and physical well being allow you to travel, indulge in sporty activity and burn your candle at both ends. You work hard and play hard this week but need to maintain balance in all areas of life. A valuable relationship is sensitive and vulnerable at this point.
Endings and new beginnings are on the cards! Introspection and meditation lead to clarity and understanding about personal and professional situations that may have been frustrating you for some time. You are prudent and careful when expressing views and offering advice. You can trust your intuition and make your own judgments and decisions as the best answers lie within you. The more selfesteem you have the more respect you draw from others so it’s important to stand up for yourself, your values and priorities. You can be vulnerable emotionally and prefer to be alone for a while.
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15 - 21 May, 2018
Technology Active Twitter users most likely to spread fake news: Study
Most active users on Twitter tend to spread fake news during public emergencies by retweeting or “liking” the original post, a study has found. The study, published in the journal Natural Hazards, examined four false rumours - two each from the marathon and hurricane, including an infamous falsehood about the New York Stock Exchange flooding. Researchers examined three types of behaviour. Twitter users could either spread the false news, seek to confirm it, or cast doubt upon it. They found that 86 to 91 per cent of the users spread false news, either by
retweeting or “liking” the original post. Only five to nine per cent sought to confirm the false news, typically by retweeting and asking if the information was correct, while just one to nine per cent expressed doubt, often by saying the original tweet was not accurate. “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate how apt Twitter users are at debunking falsehoods during disasters. Unfortunately, the results paint a less than flattering picture,” said Jun Zhuang, associate professor at University at Buffalo in the US.
Even after the false news had been debunked on Twitter and traditional news media outlets, the study found that less than 10 per cent of the users who spread the false news deleted their erroneous retweet and less than 20 per cent of the same users clarified the false tweet with a new tweet. “These findings are important because they show how easily people are deceived during times when they are most vulnerable and the role social media platforms play in these deceptions,” said Zhuang. On a more positive note, the study found that while Twitter users are likely to spread false news during disasters, Twitter and other media platforms move quickly to correct the misinformation. It is important to note that the study does not consider Twitter users who may have seen the original tweets with false news and decided to ignore them, Zhuang said. “It’s possible that many people saw these tweets, decided they were inaccurate and chose not to engage,” he said.
Snapchat rolls out new app redesign for iOS users
After drawing criticism from users worldwide about itscontroversial redesign, audiovideo sharing platform Snapchat has rolled out another app redesign for iOS users. In the new design, snaps and chats are aligned chronologically and “Stories” from friends have been moved back to the right-hand side of the camera screen. Snapchat has added a separate “Subscriptions” feature to keep “Stories” from popular creators and publishers in the loop while letting the other “Stories” be separated, The Verge reported late on Thursday. “We are currently rolling out an update to address this by
sorting communication by recency and moving ‘Stories’ from friends to the right side of the application, while maintaining the structural changes we have made around separating friends from creators and sorting friends’ ‘Stories’ by relationships,” Evan Spiegel, CEO, Snapchat had said earlier this month, in the company’s first quarter earnings call. Snapchat was testing a new design in April that would move the user’s “friends’ stories” alongside the “celebrity content” in the “Discover” section again to ensure that the user’s feed would not be dominated by the “celebrity content”. There is no word yet on when the update would be available on Android.
Google to ask OEMs to regularly YouTube ‘Take a Break’: Google’s new release security patches feature focused on your digital wellbeing
Google is rolling out new changes to its security policy which will effectively require original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to regularly release security patches for Android devices. Most OEMs push out updates to some extent, mainly to help users have a sense of security on their device. However, the updates are still totally optional in the long run, 9to5Google reported on Friday. “We’ve worked on building security patching into our OEM agreement. This will lead to a massive increase in
the number of devices, and users, receiving regular security patches,” the report quoted David Kleidermacher, Head, Android platform security, Google, as saying. The announcement, that was made during a talk at the recently held Google’s annual I/ O developer conference, did not specify what Google will specifically require with this change. “Project Treble” that is Google’s plan to help manufacturers streamline the update process will reportedly play a vital role in this process.
At the annual developer conference I/O 2018, Google CEO Sundar Pichai launched a new initiative called “digital wellbeing” aimed at helping people get rid of their smartphone addiction. As part of the initiative, Google is rolling out various controls that will allow users to limit time spent on the phone. One of the first features focused on digital wellbeing is YouTube’s “Take a Break” reminder. As expected, YouTube is now rolling out a set of new controls that help users to set limits on their video viewing, and help them set “Take a Break” reminder from browsing the channels for too long. The new feature will enable the users to set a reminder for every 15, 30, 60, 90 or 180 minutes, at which point the video will pause and users will receive “Take a Break” notification that they have been binge-watching videos for longer than they decided to. Users can then choose to dismiss the reminder and keep watching, or close the app, the TechCrunch reported late Friday. The changes announced during Google’s I/O keynote will roll out in the latest update of YouTube, along with YouTube’s ability to send notifications. The reminders will come with an option of being dismissed and the feature will also allow users to disable notification sounds during a specified time period each day. The new features are first expected to hit the 13.17 and higher versions of the YouTube mobile
app on both iOS and Android. Google is also integrating these features in its latest mobile OS iteration, Android P. The OS comes with four new controls – Dashboard, App Timer, Do Not Disturb, and Wind Down. As the name suggests, Dashboard gives you
a complete overview of app usage and shows how much time you have been spending on your device. App Timer will also nudge you if the app detects you’re spending too much time on your phone. ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode, an existing Google feature, now has been updated with a new feature that allows users to silence visual interruptions in addition to calls and messages. A feature called ‘Shush’ is automatically activated after enabling DND. ‘Wind Down’ turns on DND on your phone and turns the screen to greyscale as per your set bedtime. The smartphone’s display will be set to normal colours once you wake up.
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15 - 21 May, 2018
15 killed in flash floods and storm in Pakistan A T LEAST 15 people were killed and 22 others injured in heavy downpour and windstorm that lashed different parts of Pakistan, according to local media reports. Heavy rains and storm hit different parts of Punjab province, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Nine people were killed and 13 others suffered injuries in incidents of wall and roof collapse after a windstorm hit the area in the evening, Dawn News reported. According to officials, most of the dead and wounded belonged to Mamond and Khar tehsil. Heavy rains also triggered flash floods in different
areas. Strong winds uprooted trees and signboards. A dust storm struck Peshawar and adjacent areas, reducing visibility, which was followed by heavy rain yesterday. In Bhakkar district of Punjab province, a collapsed roof of a shack resulted in two dead and three injured, Geo News reported. Reports suggested that three people were killed and nine others injured in the rain-related incidents in Khyber Agency. The officials said that the accidents occurred due to poor visibility as the area was hit hard by strong winds and torrential rain. MEDICAL staff at the Agency
Headquarters Hospital faced difficulties in providing emergency treatment to the injured due to suspension of power supply. Assistant medical superintendent of the Agency Headquarters Hospital Dr Naseeb Gul was quoted as saying by Dawn that five bodies and 13 wounded were brought to the hospital. However, he said that two people wounded were
later referred to a hospital in Peshawar due to their critical condition. In reply to a question, he said that the condition of almost all the wounded persons was stated to be stable after they received first aid. In another incident, a 10-year-old boy identified drowned in a stormwater drain in Landi Kotal. Two more children were rescued. In Nowshera, lightning killed one
person in the Pir Sabaq area, according to Rescue 1122. An official said that a signboard along the road collapsed due to windstorm in Nowshera that caused injuries to a pedestrian. He was taken to a local hospital. The rooftop of a warehouse also collapsed on the Ring Road, Peshawar, injuring a person. Bad weather also disrupted power supply to many areas of the city.
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Top India policeman Starbucks changes bathroom policy following racial firestorm kills himself
Mumbai One of India’s most senior police officials has killed himself in the western city of Mumbai, senior officials have confirmed. Himanshu Roy, 55, who was the head of the anti-terrorism squad in Maharashtra state, shot himself at his home. Mr Roy had been on a long medical leave as he was suffering from cancer. He is credited with solving some of India’s most sensational cases, including the assassination of a
senior journalist by a mob boss. Other high-profile cases he solved include the murder of Bollywood actress Laila Khan, whose disappearance had created headlines. A former state minister told BBC Marathi that he had met Mr Roy on Thursday, where he had told him that “chemotherapy has its limitations”. His death has caused shock in India, where he was popularly referred to as “super cop”.
Washington Starbucks has adopted an open-bathroom policy following the arrest last month of two African American men at a coffee shop in Philadelphia. Chairman Howard Schultz says he doesn’t want the company to become a public bathroom, but feels employees can make the “right decision a hundred percent of the time,” if that choice is removed at the store level. One of the men arrested on April 12 was denied use of a bathroom. He and his partner sat down to await a business meeting they had scheduled at the store, but were arrested minutes later by police. The incident was captured by people using cell phones and it went viral. The arrest of Rashon Nelson, along with his childhood friend and business partner, Donte Robinson, set off a firestorm for the company, which will shut down more than 8,000 of its US stores on the afternoon of May 29 to instruct 175,000 employees how to better recognise unconscious bias. Access to store bathrooms, for which Schultz said Starbucks
Former New York Mayor warns of ‘epidemic of dishonesty’ New York Americans are facing an “epidemic of dishonesty” in Washington that’s more dangerous than terrorism or communism. That’s according to former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who warned in a commencement speech today at Texas’ Rice University that “an endless barrage of lies” and a trend toward “alternate realities” in national politics pose a dire threat to US democracy. The 76-year-old billionaire, who flirted with an independent presidential run in 2016, did not call out any politicians by name. Although he derided Donald Trump as “a con” and a “dangerous demagogue” before his election, in an interview before the speech, Bloomberg refused to comment specifically on the Republican president’s troubled history with the truth. Fact checkers have determined that Trump has made hundreds of false and misleading statements since entering the Oval Office. “This is bigger than any one person. It’s bigger than any one party,” he said in the interview. In the speech, Bloomberg evoked the legend of the nation’s first president, George Washington, who as a boy said he could not tell a lie when asked if he cut down a cherry tree. “How did we go from a
president who could not tell a lie to politicians who cannot tell the truth?” Bloomberg asked Rice graduates and their families gathered in Houston. He blamed “extreme partisanship” for an unprecedented tolerance of dishonesty in US politics. People are committed more to their political tribes than the truth, he said, suggesting that the nation is more divided than any time since the Civil War. “There is now more tolerance for dishonesty in politics than I have seen in my lifetime,” Bloomberg said. “The only thing more dangerous than dishonest politicians who have no respect for the law is a chorus of enablers who defend their every lie.” For example, he noted that Democrats spent much of the 1990s defending President Bill Clinton against charges of lying and personal immorality just as
Republicans attacked the lack of ethics and honesty in the White House. Just the reverse is happening today, he said. In one jab at Trump, he noted that the vast majority of scientists agree that climate change is real. Trump and his Republican allies have repeatedly called climate change a hoax promoted by America’s adversaries. “If 99 per cent of scientists whose research has been peerreviewed reach the same general conclusion about a theory, then we ought to accept it as the best available information — even if it’s not a 100 per cent certainty,” Bloomberg said. He added: “That, graduates, is not a Chinese hoax.” He warned that such deep levels of dishonesty could enable what he called “criminality.” Asked what specifically he was talking about, Bloomberg noted “lots of investigations” going on, but he declined to be more specific. Several Trump associates are facing criminal charges as part of a federal probe into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election. Three have already pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI. Federal investigators want to interview Trump himself, although the president’s legal team has resisted so far.
had maintained a “loose policy”, came into even sharper focus after another video, taken in January, emerged. The video shows a black man claiming he was denied access to a bathroom at a Starbucks in California while a white man was allowed entry. Neither man had made a purchase, according to the video shot by Brandon Ward, which is posted on his Facebook page. Schultz, speaking at the Atlantic Council in Washington on Thursday, said previous policy required a purchase, but that the decision was ultimately
left with store managers, The Washington, The Seattle Times, and other media outlets reported. The arrests in Philadelphia were a major embarrassment for Starbucks, which has long projected itself as a socially conscious company. Nelson and Robinson settled with Starbucks earlier this month for an undisclosed sum and an offer of a free college education. Separately, they reached a deal with Philadelphia for a symbolic $1 each and a promise from city officials to set up a USD 200,000 program for young entrepreneurs.
London mayor wants fast-food ad ban on transport network
LONDON London Mayor Sadiq Khan on Friday proposed to ban adverts for foods high in fat, salt and sugar from the city’s transport network in a bid to tackle childhood obesity. The mayor also suggested a ban on new hot-food takeaways opening within 400 metres (yards) of schools, his office announced.”Child obesity in London is a ticking timebomb and I am determined to act,” Khan said. “It can’t be right that in a city as prosperous as London that where you live and the income you have can have a massive impact on whether you have access to healthy, nutritious food and your exposure to junk food advertising.“That is why I’m proposing to ban adverts for
harmful junk food from our entire Tube and bus network.” Almost 40 percent of children in London aged 10 and 11 are overweight or obese, according to official data. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver called the plans “a massive and bold step forward”. Lobby group the Advertising Association pointed out that Britain already bans the advertising of high fat, sugar and salt content food and drink products in media where children make up more than 25 percent of the audience. “International experience and independent research have shown an advertising ban would have little impact on the wider societal issues that drive obesity,” a spokesman for the group told the BBC.
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Trump administration targets foreign students overstaying visa period
Washington The Trump administration on Friday announced new measures to strictly enforce rules governing foreign college students and exchange visitors who overstay their visa duration. In a separate announcement, the administration also unveiled increased efforts to prevent foreign workers programmes, such as H-1B visas, from being used to discriminate against Americans. Indians are the second largest group of foreigners enrolled in US colleges and universities and 4,575 of the 98,970 of them scheduled to leave or change their status — possibly to H-1B — had overstayed in 2016. Indians are also the major beneficiaries of the foreign workers programme, cornering
more than 75% of the H-1Bs granted in 2017. The new rules for visa overstayers changes the way authorities calculate “unlawful presence” and they pertain to foreign students and exchange visitors on F, J and M visas and their dependents, said the US Immigration and Citizenship Service (USCIS) said in a separate announcement. Holders of these visas will be declared that they are unlawfully present in the US, the agency said, from “the day after” they finish their course or study programme or their optional practical training (OPT), which is a work permit for foreign students after their course, which can last from one to three years. The new rules come into effect from August 9.
Chinese billionaire sentenced four years in UN scandal New York Chinese billionaire Ng Lap Seng was sent to prison on Friday for four years by a US federal judge after being convicted of bribery in a UN corruption scandal. The 69-year-old Macau businessmen was found guilty in July 2017 after a five-week New York trial of bribing a former president of the UN General Assembly and a former deputy ambassador for the Dominican Republic. The wealthy real estate developer from Macau was convicted on six counts in connection with a years-long scheme to pay more than $1.3 million in bribes to UN officials. In addition to his four-year prison term, Judge Vernon Broderick ordered Ng to pay a fine of $1 million, forfeit $1.5 million and make restitution to the United Nations for its legal fees. Ng bribed John Ashe, president of the Assembly for a year from September 2013, and Francis Lorenzo to win UN support for a multi-billion-dollar UN conference center that he wanted to build in Macau. On Friday, Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey Berman said he “corrupted the highest levels of the United Nations” and exploited “a center for international diplomacy as an instrument for his greedy
intentions.” Four other defendants, including Lorenzo, have pleaded guilty. The fifth, Ashe, who was arrested in October 2015 and came from Antigua and Barbuda, died in 2016. The scandal was a blow to the United Nations, which seeks to promote corruptionfree good governance worldwide. After the arrests, then UN chief Ban Ki-moon promised to
examine the finances of the president’s office and ordered an audit to shed light on the murky ties between the United Nations and Ng. The UN “cooperated extensively to facilitate the proper administration of justice in this case, by disclosing thousands of documents and waiving the immunity of officials to allow them to testify at trial,” spokesman Farhan Haq said.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ask US bishop to deliver wedding address
Canada’s controversial NSA Daniel Jean set to retire Toronto Daniel Jean, Canada’s top spymaster and the official considered responsible for floating the theory that “rogue elements” in the Indian establishment tried to sabotage Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit in February, will retire later this month. He will be replaced as the National Security and Intelligence Advisor by the current cyber-security chief, Greta Bossenmaier. Jean’s retirement is not linked to the controversial episode that impacted relations between India and Canada since he made the decision in January, prior to the Jaspal Atwal affair. Atwal, a former Khalistani militant, was convicted of attempting to assassinate a visiting minister from Punjab in the mid-1980s. He caused serious embarrassment to Trudeau during the course of the disastrous trip to India, when Atwal appeared at an official reception for the Canadian prime minister in Mumbai and was also invited to another event at the
Canadian envoy’s residence in New Delhi. While the latter invite was rescinded, it was only after Canadian media was awash with the expose, one that left its government red-faced. At that time, Jean had briefed select Canadian journalists, alleging that rogue factions within the Indian establishment had planted Atwal in India to sabotage Trudeau’s visit. Later, Trudeau backed Jean in the House of Commons, further hurting ties between New Delhi and Ottawa. Last month, during the course of public testimony
before the House of Commons’ public safety and national security committee, Jean averred he “never” raised a “conspiracy theory” and said “it was definitely not the government of India”. Canadian media later revealed that even parts of this testimony may have been inaccurate, like the date when the intelligence set-up became aware of the invitation extended to Atwal. Jean faced much criticism over the Atwal episode. Commentator Terry Glavin, writing in Maclean’s, was unsparing: “Daniel Jean is a career bureaucrat who came to Canada’s top job in national security and intelligence out of his post as deputy foreign affairs minister in May 2016, with no discernible credentials in either national security or intelligence.”
London Britain’s Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle have asked a senior US bishop to deliver the address at their wedding next Saturday. Harry, grandson of Queen Elizabeth and sixth-in-line to the throne, and Markle, star of US TV drama “Suits”, will tie the knot next Saturday at Windsor Castle, home to British royals for nearly 1,000 years. Kensington Palace said the Most Reverend Michael Bruce Curry would join Justin Welby, the spiritual head of the Anglican Communion, for the wedding which is expected to be watched by millions of people around the world. Curry, the 27th Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church, was the first African-American presiding bishop when elected in 2015.
Welby will preside over the exchange of vows, while the service itself will be conducted by the Dean of Windsor. “The love that has brought and will bind Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle together has its source and origin in God, and is the key to life and happiness,” Curry said in a statement. “And so we celebrate and pray for them today.” Markle was reported to have been baptised by Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, in March. The United States-based Episcopal Church is a constituent member of the global Anglican Communion, of which the Church of England is the Mother Church. According to its website, Curry has been active in issues of social justice including immigration policy and marriage equality.
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Sikh Canadian minister asked to take off turban at Detroit airport, US regrets Toronto US officials have apologised to Canada after cabinet minister Navdeep Bains, a practising Sikh, went through a humiliating security procedure at an American airport in which he was asked to remove his turban. While the incident took place in April 2017, the Canadian minister of innovation, science and economic development spoke about it only recently in an interview with the French language publication La Presse. Bains was travelling back from the US after meeting the Governor of Michigan when he was stopped at the Detroit Metro Airport. He told media at an event in Toronto on Thursday that he had passed the metal detector test and there was a “challenge” while undergoing a swab test, but after that was repeated, he was allowed to go through. However, a Transportation
Security Administration (TSA) official summoned him back again from the gate, stating proper protocol had not been followed as Bains had not removed his turban. He declined on religious grounds. At that point, the minister showed them his diplomatic passport and was allowed to proceed. “Once they realised my position, who I was, I was ultimately allowed to fly. I understand how airport security is but proper process needs to be followed,” he said. Bains described the incident as “very frustrating” and “unnecessary”. He said the issue “speaks to discrimination” and it was the first time that’s happened to him. His displeasure was communicated to US authorities, and Bains said, “I was fortunate to be in this position to raise this with my counterparts in the US. They
obviously regret what happened, they apologised and I accept that apology.” In a statement released on Thursday by assistant press secretary Michelle Negron, TSA said it reviewed security videos and found the officer checking Bains didn’t follow procedure and has since received training. The written statement did not include an apology. “We regret the screening experience did not meet the expectations of Mr. Bains,” the agency said. “When possible, passengers may remove nonformfitting headwear before proceeding through the security checkpoint. We recognize that passengers may be unable or unwilling to remove items for religious, medical, or other reasons, and should expect to undergo additional screening protocols.” While Bains’ status prevented the situation from
escalating further, it raises concerns about the predicament facing ordinary Sikhs passing through airport checkpoints. The section on security screening at the TSA website includes procedures for pat-down checks. It states, “A pat-down may include inspection of the head, neck, arms, torso, legs, and feet.This includes head coverings and sensitive areas such as breasts, groin, and the buttocks.” Canada’s foreign minister Chrystia Freeland said officials from her department had raised the matter with the US. “I thought it was important for us to support Mr Bains, and
frankly to support all Canadians travelling across the border,” national broadcaster CBC quoted her as saying. This isn’t the first time a prominent Sikh has faced additional screening at an American airport and been ordered to remove their turban. In 2016, Canadian comedian Jasmeet Singh had to undergo such a search at San Francisco airport. In 2010, Hardeep Puri, then India’s permanent representative to the United Nations and now a minister in the Narendra Modi government, faced such an affront at Houston airport.
Pakistan to impose ‘Non-state actors’ behind 26/11 reciprocal restrictions Mumbai attacks, admits Nawaz Sharif on US diplomats
Islamabad Pakistan is considering imposing reciprocal restrictions on US diplomats after Washington announced that it would impose travel restrictions on Pakistani diplomats starting from Friday, the media reported. The authorities are planning to enforce restrictions on American diplomats posted in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi, Dawn News reported. They are already prohibited from visiting high-security areas, such as the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), to protect them against possible terrorist attacks. It was reported last month that Pakistani diplomats would be restricted from travelling more than 40 km from the
embassy in Washington or consulates in other cities without permission. US Congressman Donald Norcross, a New Jersey Democrat, said: “The important thing is to have dialogue. And if (by imposing those restrictions) we are inhibiting conversation, I do not think that’s a smart thing to do.” On Thursday, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Aizaz Chaudhry told the Voice of America: “In my opinion, this is not the right decision.” Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry has called it a matter of reciprocity because most foreign diplomats, including Americans, face travel restrictions in Pakistan because of security concerns.
Lahore Pakistan’s ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif has for the first time acknowledged his country’s role in allowing the Mumbai attacks of 2008. In statements published in Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper, Sharif, Pakistan’s disgraced prime minister who was banned for life from holding a public office by the country’s Supreme Court after his name appeared in last year’s Panama Papers scandal, questioned his country’s policy of allowing “non-state actors” to kill more than 150 people in the Mumbai attacks of 2008. He also admitted that the country had isolated itself internationally. “Despite giving sacrifices, our narrative is not being accepted. Afghanistan’s narrative is being accepted, but ours is not. We must look into it,” Sharif told Dawn. Without naming Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed and Maulana Masood Azhar’s militant organisations—Jamaatud-Dawah and Jaish-eMohammad—operating in the country with impunity, Sharif said: “Militant organisations are active in Pakistan. “Call them non-state actors, should we allow them to cross the border and kill over 150 people in Mumbai? Explain it to me. Why can’t we complete the trial?” The Mumbai attacks-related trials are stalled in a Rawalpindi anti-terrorism court.
He further said: “It’s absolutely unacceptable (to allow non-state actors to cross the border and commit terrorism there). President (Vladimir) Putin has said it. President Xi (Jinping) has said it”. US President Donald Trump has accused Pakistan of giving the US “nothing but lies and deceit” and providing “safe haven” to terrorists. Sharif, 68, was disqualified by the Supreme Court for not being “honest and righteous” as he failed to declare in 2013 a salary he got from the company of his son in the UAE. In February, the apex court also disqualified Sharif as the head of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN). Citing the military and judiciary establishment, Sharif further said: “You can’t run a country if you have two or three parallel governments. This has to stop. There can only be one government—the constitutional
one”. The relations between the military and Sharif’s government were at its lowest ebb in October 2016 when the latter told the former to act against homegrown militant groups or face international isolation. The Mumbai attack case has entered into the 10th year but none of its suspects in Pakistan has been punished yet, showing that the case had never been in the priority list of the country that appears to be keen to put it under the carpet. A number of Pakistani witnesses both official and private testified and provided evidence against the seven accused, but the Pakistani authorities have been insisting on sending Indian witnesses for reaching a verdict in the case. Some 166 people were killed in the attack carried out by 10 LeT men. Police and security forces killed nine attackers but lone survivor Ajmal Kasab was caught and hanged.
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15 - 21 May, 2018
Rockefeller Collection sold Hindujas slip to 2nd for record-smashing $832m spot in UK rich list NEW YORK In what was billed as the “sale of the century,” the art collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller, comprising 1,500 pieces, sold at auction for a record-breaking $832.5 million, Christie’s said Friday. The figure eclipsed the previous record held by the collection of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge which sold for $484 million in 2009. Coming after the extraordinary $450 million sale last November of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi,” also at Christie’s, there had been some speculation that the billion dollar threshold could be crossed by this sale. Organized over 10 days, including online sales, it nonetheless broke numerous records, testament to the rude health of the global art market. The collection’s crown jewel was auctioned Tuesday for $115 million, the sixth most expensive ever sold: Pablo Picasso’s “La fillette a la corbeille fleurie,” a part of the Rockefeller Collection since 1968. Claude Monet’s “Nympheas en fleurs” fetched $84.6 million, a new record for
the French impressionist master, surpassing a previous high of $81.4 million. The auction also saw a record breaking sale for Henri Matisse’s “Odalisque couchée aux magnolias,” which went for $80.7 million. Latin American art meanwhile also hit a new peak with the sale of Diego Rivera’s “Los Rivales” for $9.7 million, a new record for art from the region. David Rockefeller, the grandson of the legendary magnate John Rockefeller, died last year aged 101, more than
20 years after the death of his wife Peggy. He had embraced his family’s tradition of philanthropy and inherited his taste in art from his mother, who co-founded New York’s Museum of Modern Art. The proceeds will go to a series of nonprofit organizations, including David Rockefeller’s alma mater Harvard University, as well as Maine National Park, which was beloved by the family and to which he donated a thousand acres for his 100th birthday.
London Indian-born Hinduja brothers have been displaced to second spot by chemicals entrepreneur Jim Ratcliffe in annual list of UK’s wealthiest released on Sunday. London-based Srichand and Gopichand Hinduja are listed with an estimated fortune of around £20.64 billion, compared to Ratcliffe’s £21.05 billion, in the ‘Sunday Times Rich List’. They lead nearly 47 Indian-origin super-rich in the list of the UK’s 1,000 wealthiest people. Ratcliffe, described as a self-made British-born industrialist who came from very humble beginnings to launch chemical firm Ineos, jumped to top place from 18th
in 2017 by amassing nearly £15.3 billion in a year. Another set of India-born entrepreneurial brothers, David and Simon Reuben, moved from third to fourth place, with a fortune of £15.09 billion. Steel tycoon Lakshmi N Mittal moved from fourth to fifth place with £14.66 billion. Another high-ranked Indian-origin businessmen on the list is Sri Prakash Lohia, owner of Singaporeheadquartered Indorama group, with an estimated £5.15 billion fortune and ranked 25th. India-born healthcare and foreign exchange magnate Bavaguthu Shetty makes his debut on the list at 59th position with £2.38 billion.
Sacked Philippine chief justice to appeal her ouster MANILA The ousted top judge of the Philippines will appeal against the decision to sack her, after she battled with President Rodrigo Duterte over his deadly drug war, her spokesman said Saturday. Maria Lourdes Sereno’s colleagues voted on Friday to remove her as Supreme Court chief justice in an unprecedented decision that has sparked a legal firestorm. “She will file MR (motion of reconsideration),” her spokesman Carlo Cruz said in a message to AFP without elaborating. Duterte had openly called for Sereno’s removal from the court, calling her an “enemy” after they clashed over his bloody war on drugs and alleged abuse
of power. Sereno’s expulsion came due to a petition by the chief government lawyer - a Duterte appointee - who argued that she was not qualified for her position and accused her of not filing statements of assets and liabilities in previous years accusations she categorically denied. Legal experts, including other Supreme Court judges, have argued that Sereno’s sacking is a violation of the constitution, which says a justice can only be removed through impeachment in Congress. In opinions released Saturday, dissenting judge Marvic Leonen called the move “a legal abomination” while fellow justice Alfredo Benjamin
Caguioa said, “this case marks the time when the Court commits seppuku (ritual suicide) - without honour”. Pacifico Agabin, an expert in constitutional law at the University of the Philippines
Badal’s stand neither legal nor valid: Panel
Chandigarh Just about a month after former CM Parkash Singh Badal refused to furnish information on incidents of sacrilege in the state during his tenure, Justice Ranjit Singh Commission has made it clear that the course adopted by him
was “neither legal nor valid in any manner”. The commission also turned down Badal’s prayer for withdrawing the notice issued to him for coming out with information. In his order, Justice Ranjit Singh asserted a communication was sent to Badal
as he was in a position to furnish relevant information to the commission being the CM then. But he declined to furnish information on the ground that his party has rejected the commission. Justice Ranjit Singh added question on power or authority of a person, required to furnish information, to reject a legally constituted commission may arise under the circumstances. “If the discretion is left to an individual, the Commission of Inquiry Act would be rendered redundant,” Justice Ranjit Singh ruled. Referring to the provisions of the Act, Justice Ranjit Singh observed any person required by the commission to furnish information was deemed to be legally bound to do it.
College of Law, told AFP Sereno’s appeal was unlikely to succeed, saying: “I don’t think any one of the justices will have a change of mind”. Sereno, who has urged her supporters to “fight for justice and
demand accountability”, is the latest high-profile critic of Duterte to be targeted after speaking out against the president. Other Duterte critics have also been ousted, punished or threatened, including Senator Leila de Lima who has been jailed, the Commission on Human Rights and an anticorruption prosecutor who investigated allegations that Duterte has hidden wealth. Duterte has faced global criticism for human rights abuses particularly related to his bloody campaign against illegal drugs which police say has claimed the lives of around 4,200 suspects in nearly two years. Rights groups allege the actual number is three times higher.
Thieves break into Babbu Mann’s house Unidentified men broke in at five houses, including one of singer Babbu Mann, at Khant village on Saturday night. Although the thieves broke open the locks of five houses, they could not find any money and valuables from four houses. However, they decamped with Rs 25,000 in cash and four tolas of gold from the house of one Gulab Singh. ASI Kulwinder Singh said the thieves broke the locks of houses of Babbu Mann, Kuldip Singh, Bahadar
Singh and Agnihotri Hospital. A case was registered.
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As price comes down, risk goes up for Everest ‘trophy hunters’ Everest Base Camp Everest is the ultimate mountaineering “trophy”, but the rising number of inexperienced climbers attempting to tackle the summit is running huge risks to reach the top of the world. An Indian airline pilot, a builder from Ohio and a former online media sales executive are all waiting at base camp for a chance to scale the 8,848 metre (29,030 foot) mountain this climbing season. They haul themselves up the same ropes to the top and face the same dangers of frostbite, avalanche and exhaustion — and yet they pay vastly different amounts for the privilege. Cheaper fees mean far more people can attempt a lifelong dream of conquering the world’s highest peak, but there are grim predictions that an increasing number will never make it home. Critics warn bargain operators — who have slashed
the price of an Everest ticket to as low as $20,000 — accept even the most inexperienced climbers. Meanwhile, more expensive rivals, who charge around $70,000, have smaller teams and require proven climbing ability from clients. “It’s a huge goal and a dream of mine to stand on top of the world,” said Matt Brennan, who runs a construction company in the United States, and paid USbased Alpine Ascents $65,000 to try his first 8,000 metre climb. “I always wanted to climb the big ones and I felt that if I’m going to do it now is the time,” said the 57-year-old, who set his sights on Everest two years ago after tackling North America’s highest mountain, Denali, at 6,194 metres. In the 1980s the Nepal government only allowed one team per route on Everest, which meant only a handful of experienced climbers with
national teams or those with major sponsorship deals could get a foothold. Since the limit was scrapped in the 1990s operators have crowded the slopes for a slice of the lucrative industry. This year, there are 346 paying climbers on the south side in Nepal — just shy of the record 373 permits granted in 2017 — and another 180 climbing from Tibet, foreshadowing a bumper year. Last year six people died. Guy Cotter, who has been guiding on Everest for 27 years, warned that many new climbers lack experience. “Nowadays people can go on the internet and buy the cheapest expedition onto the mountain. But there is no criteria for experience with some of these operators,” said the owner of New Zealand-based Adventure Consultants. “They are not mountaineers.
Canadian mom to visit India for premiere of film based on son she lost to cancer Toronto On Saturday, a single mother in the town of St George in Canada’s Ontario province was paying special attention to the world premiere of an Indian film in New York City. The movie, Uma, is in Bengali, but 34-yearold Nicole Wellwood has a powerful connection to it. Uma is adapted from the heart-breaking real life story of her son Evan, who passed away aged seven in 2015, but not before the townsfolk came together to celebrate Christmas in October, since it was the wish of the terminally ill boy to enjoy his favourite festival one last time. That tragic and uplifting tale inspired filmmaker Srijit Mukherji to create an Indian version, one that will have its theatrical release in Kolkata in early June. Wellwood will be there for that screening. Evan Leversage had been suffering from a deadly brain tumour and his death came just days before Christmas. By then, the St George community had granted his wish, getting together into the Yuletide spirit in October, complete with a parade. The town’s population is just around 3,000 but nearly 7,000 people turned up for the event. Wellwood is looking forward to attending the premiere of Uma, particularly since it weaves into her objective of raising awareness about childhood brain cancer. She has started a foundation, Evan’s Legacy, for that purpose.
“I always believed if people were aware of childhood cancer, brains tumours, there would be more funding for research,” she told the Hindustan Times in an interview. Mukherji, writer and director of Uma, was delighted with the reception to its first international showing at the New York Indian Film Festival. He said he was “quite overwhelmed with the response”. Wellwood was surprised when she was first approached by Mukherji, after initial contact was made by him via the Evan’s Legacy Facebook page. “It’s not something that anybody would ever expect,” she said. Mukherji also became aware of Evan’s story on Facebook, as an article titled, The Boy Who Moved Christmas, appeared on his timeline. “I was moved to tears. I thought it was an incredible act of humanity,” he said. Mukherji started working on adapting the story into an Indian context, with Uma, the protagonist, wanting to celebrate one last Durga Puja.
Wellwood was informed about Mukherji’s adaptation, and she said, “That was made clear to me and I was very happy to be part of that.” “I wanted to tell the story on a bigger plane; telling it to a larger number of people,” Mukherji said, of his intent in taking Evan’s experience to the screen. Uma is about the recreation of Durga Puja in spring, rather than October, with the help of an “out-of-work filmmaker using a motley crew”. It captures the essence of Evan’s story, with strangers coming together for a communal gesture in an effort to please a child. The film pays tribute to Evan, with an In Memoriam section at its outset and during its end credit roll. But Evan’s event will have more media moments in the future: Wellwood is working with renowned children’s author Eric Walters on a book to recapture those days, while a production company based in Montreal is developing a French-language film on the subject as well.
They are just people who want to claim the prize of climbing Mount Everest. They are hunting for that trophy.” Tenzing Norgay, the first man to summit Everest together with New Zealander Edmund Hillary in 1953, only reached the top on his seventh attempt. Concerns about paying clients have haunted Everest since the dawn of commercial expeditions. Many predicted a turning point after 1996 when eight people died descending from Everest’s summit, among them those with limited experience at extreme altitude. “With enough determination, any bloody idiot can get up this hill. The trick is to get back down alive,” Rob Hall — a guide that year — reportedly said.
But critics say Hall and rival guide Scott Fischer, who both died that season, were too focused on their clients’ investment in getting to the summit. “There are more incidents because people get into trouble because they have not learned how not to get into trouble. This is things such as dealing with altitude, even just technical climbing skills,” said Cotter. Many long-time Everest operators warn that inexperience — among climbers and operators — will lead to more deaths. “I predict that we’ll have more fatalities on the mountain until the operators mature,” said Russell Brice, owner of Himalayan Experience, who has been taking people up Everest since 1994.
Parents seek CM’s help to get son’s body from Romania Sangrur Three months back, government employee Gurdarshan Singh took a loan of Rs 7 lakh to send his son Amrit Singh (22) to Romania for studies, but now he is again making rounds of banks and private moneylenders to arrange the same amount to bring b a c k h i s b o d y. H e w a s murdered on May 6. The body has been lying at Spitalul Clinic De Urgenta in Bucharest c i t y. The authorities are waiting for money so that they can send the body back. The family met PWD and IT Minister Vijay Inder Singla at his residence on Saturday and handed over an application for financial help from the CM’s Relief Fund to bring back the body. Singla said he would take up the matter with the CM. “On May 6, my elder son Manjeet got a message on Facebook from an unknown person that his brother Amrit was in trouble and in the evening, we got a call from the hospital that he died after being thrown from the fourth floor of a building. I have yet to pay the loan I took in January and I am trying to arrange money
from private moneylenders at a higher rate of interest now to bring back the body. We request the CM to help us,” said Gurdarshan Singh. Amrit went to Romania on January 23 and got admission in a marketing course at the Universitatea Spiru Haret in Bucharest city. He was also working at a local car washing station. “The police have confirmed that my son’s death is a murder. On May 6, some persons took him to the fourth floor of a building, stabbed him and threw him from the floor,” he said.
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15 - 21 May, 2018
French police seek clues after Russian-born knifeman strikes Paris Investigators on Sunday were probing the background of a 20year-old Frenchman born in Russia who killed one man and wounded four other people during a stabbing spree, with sources close to the case saying he had been on a watchlist of suspected extremists. Sunday night’s attack in a lively area of theatres and restaurants near the main opera house was the latest in a series of suspected jihadist strikes in France that have killed some 245 people since 2015. He was shot and killed by police after an officer unsuccessfully tried to stop him with a Taser. Judicial sources said the man was born in Chechnya, a Muslimdominated Russian republic, which has been the scene of two bloody separatist wars since the 1990s. Hundreds of Islamic militants from Chechnya have left to join terror groups in the Middle East, North Africa and other regions in recent years. Russian news reports said the Russian embassy in Paris was pressing French officials for more information on the knifeman, whose parents have been taken into custody for questioning. Investigators have not yet said when the man arrived in France. The man, born in November 1997, was on France’s so-called “S file” of people suspected of radicalised views who could pose security risks, the sources said, though he did not have a criminal record. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility, saying one
of its “soldiers” had carried out the attack, according to the SITE monitoring group, but provided no corroborating proof to back their assertion. The attack was condemned by Hassen Chalghoumi, head of the Conference of French Imams. “Last night’s attack reminds us how much our security, freedom and democracy have become targets for these people,” he said in a statement. Witnesses described a wave of panic on the Rue Monsigny as people fled into bars and restaurants seeking cover as the man struck apparently at random, yelling “Allahu akbar” (God is greatest). “I was taking orders and I saw a young woman trying to get into the restaurant in panic,” Jonathan, a waiter at a Korean restaurant, told AFP. The woman was bleeding and a young man fended off the assailant who then ran away, he said. “The attacker entered a shopping street, I saw him with a knife in his hand,” he said. “He looked crazy.” Milan, 19, said he saw “several people in distress” including a woman with wounds to her neck and leg. “Firemen were giving her first aid. I heard two, three shots and a policeman told me that the man had been overpowered.” A 29year-old man was killed in the attack, while a 34-year-old Luxembourg man and a 54-yearold woman were seriously wounded and rushed to hospital. A 26-year-old woman and a 31year-old man were slightly wounded, but Interior Minister Gerard Collomb later told
reporters that all four were out of danger. “I was on the cafe terrace, I heard three, four shots, it happened very fast,” said 47-yearold Gloria. “The bartenders told us to come inside very quickly. Then I went out to see what was going on, and then I saw a man on the ground,” she added. French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted: “France has once again paid the price in blood but will not give an inch to the enemies of freedom”. The attack again underscored the difficulty in keeping track of suspected radicalists by police facing thousands of potential risks, either homegrown or who have immigrated to the country. Besides the S file, France maintains a File for the Prevention
Jaspal Atwal arrested last month for threats to radio jockey Toronto Jaspal Atwal, the man at the centre of a controversy that crippled Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to India in February, was briefly arrested by Canadian police last month for allegedly uttering threats against another person. Atwal was taken into custody last month by the Surrey unit of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and held overnight, but released after making an appearance before a judge. The charges against him relate to “one count of uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm”, according to a report in the Toronto Sun. He is scheduled to make an appearance before a local court in that context on March 24 and is believed to have retained Surrey-based criminal lawyer Marvin Stern to represent him.
The person who filed the complaint against Atwal is believed to be a local radio host and the charges are apparently related to an altercation between him and Atwal last month, according to a source. That person is also believed to have complained to police about Atwal nearly eight months ago, prior to the ruckus created by Atwal’s presence at an official event in honour of Trudeau in Mumbai. Atwal, who was convicted of
an attempt to assassinate a visiting minister from Punjab in the mid-1980s, was photographed at the Mumbai event with the Trudeau’s wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and cabinet ministers Navdeep Bains, Harjit Sajjan and Amarjeet Sohi. He was also invited to an official reception at the Canadian high commissioner’s residence in New Delhi but that was rescinded after Canadian media reported on Atwal’s presence at the Mumbai do. Subsequently, Canada’s National Security Advisor Daniel Jean briefed select members of the media on the matter, giving rise to the theory that “rogue elements” in the Indian establishment had planted Atwal in India to sabotage Trudeau’s trip. The allegation, rubbished by the Indian government, continues to hamper bilateral ties.
of Terrorist Radicalisation (FSPRT), which focuses on people judged to be terror threats. The FSPRT watchlist alone currently has nearly 20,000 people, of whom about half are under active surveillance. As has happened after previous suspected jihadist attacks, some lawmakers urged the government to do more to protect people from Islamic extremists. “In the war against terrorism, words aren’t enough, we need action,” tweeted Laurent Wauquiez, head of the rightwing Republicains party. France has suffered a series of major Islamist attacks including the massacre at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, the November 2015 attacks that killed 130 in Paris,
and the 2016 Bastille Day truck attack in Nice that killed more than 80. There have also been a string of less deadly but frequent attacks by lone wolf jihadists wielding knives or guns. Most of the attacks have either been claimed by the Islamic State group or been carried out in their name. A state of emergency put in place just after the 2015 Paris attacks was lifted in October when Macron’s centrist government passed a new law boosting the powers of security forces. Thousands of French troops remain on the streets under an anti-terror operation known as Sentinelle, patrolling transport hubs, tourist hotspots and other sensitive sites.
Hindu Man Humiliated, Head Shaved Off by Pakistan Police For Lending Money on Interest
New Delhi Pakistan-based Human Rights Activist and Blogger Kapil Dev, in a tweet claimed that Shikarpur Police in Pakistan shaved off head, moustache and eyebrows of a Hindu trader Chunilal for lending money on interest to his customers. “Shikarpur Police shaved off head, moustache and eyebrows of #Hindu trader Chunilal for lending money on interest to his customers. The shameless policeman proudly did this just
to humiliate and disgrace a vulnerable Hindu minority member. Is there any rule of law?@BBhuttoZardari,” the human rights activist tweeted. Hindu population in Pakistan is declining due to discrimination and a general rise in crime against the minority community. At the time of partition in 1947, the violent separation of Pakistan and India into two different countries took place. Hundreds of thousands of Hindus opted to migrate to India.
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15 - 21 May, 2018
Dabbawalas’ ‘sweet’ Grandparents, mum and plans for Harry’s wedding kids shot dead in Australia murder-suicide Sydney Three generations of a single family were identified Saturday as the victims of Australia’s worst mass shooting in 22 years, a murder-suicide which left seven people dead. They included Katrina Miles, 35, and her four children — three boys and a girl aged eight to 13 — who were found Friday in a shed on a rural property near the Margaret River wine region in Western Australia, police said. Miles’ mother Cynda Miles, 58, was found in the main house at the property and her father Peter Miles, 61, was found outside, Police Commissioner Chris Dawson told reporters. Three firearms licensed to Peter Miles were also found, he said. Confirming suggestions of a murder-suicide, Dawson added: “I wish to strongly emphasise that police do not believe any other person is involved in these crimes. Police are not searching for any other suspects.” Dawson said it was too early to confirm which member of the family was the shooter, saying more forensic work was needed. He would only say police were alerted to the shootings by a phone call from a “male person” at the property, who was apparently the killer. Mass shootings are
uncommon in Australia and Friday’s was the deadliest since a 1996 massacre that left 35 dead at Port Arthur in Tasmania. After that attack, the government banned assault rifles, launched a mass firearm buyback program and imposed tight gun registration laws. Police issued a statement from unnamed relatives of the Miles family saying: “We are devastated by this shocking event. We are stunned and still trying to understand how this could happen. “We respectfully ask that the community refrain from speculating on the circumstances surrounding this tragic incident.” Felicity Haynes, who lives on a neighbouring property, told broadcaster ABC the family involved were “caring neighbours”. “They were a very socially aware family, doing their best to
create a safe community, and that is why it is so shocking,” she said. Facebook posts by Katrina and Cynda Miles, quoted by local media, referred to the children as all being autistic and homeschooled. The shooting happened in the small town of Osmington, close to Margaret River, a popular tourist destination renowned for its wine, surf and natural beauty. A neighbour told the West Australian newspaper she was woken by gunfire about 4:00 am Friday morning (2000 GMT Thursday), but thought it was someone shooting kangaroos, which are numerous in the area. “It wasn’t until I saw the police that I thought, ‘Hang on a minute’,” Meg Janes told the newspaper. “(The shots) were separated out, there was quite a long gap between them.”
World Bank Denies Nawaz Sharif Laundered $4.9 Billion to India Washington The World Bank has rejected Pakistani media reports about former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif laundering $4.9 billion to India. The local office of the Washington-based multilateral agency issued the press release hours after Pakistan’s anticorruption watchdog — the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) — on Tuesday announced the launch of an inquiry against Sharif over money laundering allegations. The NAB swung into action about two years after a private TV channel alleged that $4.9 billion was laundered from Pakistan to India in 2016, according to a report by the Express Tribune. “In the past day, there have been media reports citing the World Bank’s Remittances and Migration Report of 2016. These media reports are incorrect,” the World Bank said in a statement. It added that the World Bank’s Remittances and Migration
THE famous Dabbawalas (tiffin carriers) of Mumbai will be celebrating the wedding of Prince Harry of the British royal family and Hollywood actor Meghan Markle in a special way. They are going to distribute sweets to relatives of patients at the governmentrun Tata Memorial Hospital, KEM Hospital and Wadia Hospital here on May 19, the wedding day. The Dabbawalas ferry tiffins of home-made food to thousands of office-goers in the city every day. They also provide free food outside these three hospitals to the relatives of patients who come from far-away places. “We have an emotional connect with the British royal
family. Prince Charles had invited us to his wedding some years ago. The royal family treated us with a lot of respect when we attended the wedding,” said Subhash Talekar, spokesperson of the Mumbai Dabbawala Association. “We have decided that along with the good quality food that we provide to the relatives of patients outside these hospitals every day, we will distribute them sweets on May 19 to mark the wedding,” he said. The association also plans to gift traditional Maharashtrian wedding outfits to the would-be royal couple through the British Consulate here. Harry and Markle are set to get married at St George’s on May 19.
Shops to sell porn ‘pass’ for adults soon ADULTS who want to watch online porn will be able to buy codes from newsagents proving
they are over 18. New age verification laws that are introduced this year will require viewers to prove they are not underage. One option available to the estimated 25 million
Britons who regularly visit such websites will be a 16-digit code — or ‘porn pass’. The move is part of new legislation to prevent children accessing online porn. The new rules were due to roll out in April but the Government has delayed them to ensure any system introduced in workable. Britain’s film censor, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), has carried out a public consultation on how to go around enforcing the proof of age process. The 16-digit code option would be a fully anonymous option. The cards will cost £10 and could be used to purchase other age restricted products such as alcohol and knives.
US man says his dog shot him while they were playing
Report was an effort to estimate migration and remittances numbers across the world. “The report does not include any mention of money laundering nor does it name any individuals,” according to the World Bank handout. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday strongly criticised the NAB for launching the probe. Abbasi, while addressing the National Assembly, asked the House to constitute a committee which would summon the NAB Chairman and investigate the allegations. The Premier said that
the institution had “overstepped its domain”. The country will not function if institutions will work in this way, Abbasi said. Earlier Defence Minister Khurram Dastagir Khan also criticised the NAB. Syed Naveed Qamar of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) said he partially disagreed with the idea of summoning the NAB Chairman and held it tantamount to interference in NAB affairs. The World Bank also referred to a statement by the State Bank of Pakistan which rejected estimates of $4.9 billion in remittances from Pakistan to India on September 21, 2016, and provided an explanation of the methodology used in the World Bank report and the official remittances numbers.
Fort Dodge (US) With best friends like these, who needs enemies? An Iowa man says his dog inadvertently shot him while they were roughhousing. Fifty-one-year-old Richard Remme, of Fort Dodge, told police he was playing with his dog, Balew, on the couch and tossed the dog off his lap. He says when the pit bull-Labrador mix bounded back up, he must have disabled the safety on the
gun in his belly band and stepped on the trigger. The gun fired, striking one of Remme’s legs. He was treated at a hospital and released later that day. Remme told The Messenger newspaper that Balew is a “big wuss” and laid down beside him and cried because he thought he had done something wrong. Police Chief Roger Porter called the shooting a freakish occurrence.
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Vijay Mallya Can be Regarded as Fugitive to Justice: UK High Court London Liquor baron Vijay Mallya, wanted in India to face charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs 9,000 crore, can be regarded as a “fugitive from justice”, the UK high court has concluded. Judge Andrew Henshaw, who upheld a worldwide freeze order and ruled in favour of 13 Indian state-owned banks to recover funds amounting to nearly 1.145 billion pounds in a judgment yesterday, took note of the fact that the 62-year-old businessman is contesting his extradition to India relating to “alleged financial misconduct”. “In all these circumstances, and even taking account of the fact that Dr Mallya is contesting the alleged grounds for extradition, there are grounds for regarding Dr Mallya as a fugitive from justice,” the judge said as part of his ruling. The high court remained unconvinced by Mallya’s claim that he has been a non-resident Indian (NRI) since 1988 and has lived in England since 1992, a country where he has indefinite leave to remain (ILR). “The evidence indicates that prior to March 2016, Dr Mallya travelled fairly regularly between
India and England for business and political reasons. Most of his business interests were in or closely connected with India, most notably United Breweries Group and Kingfisher Airlines … Whilst Dr Mallya has indefinite leave to stay in the UK, he is said to be a non-resident taxpayer,” the court observed. The judge also concluded that the businessman had been in “clear breach” of a Karnataka court’s order when he disposed of assets like a historic sword of Tipu Sultan acquired at an auction in 2003. “The sword of Tipu Sultan is an item of historic importance which Dr Mallya bought at an auction in 2003 for the equivalent of GBP 188,400 and states that he gave away in 2016 as his family members considered that it was bringing him bad luck,” Judge Henshaw notes in his judgment. “Dr Mallya declined to state in correspondence to whom the sword was given. Dr Mallya was unable to put forward any basis for contending that the disposal was not in breach of the Karnataka High Court’s interim injunction, and accepted that it occurred after the Supreme Court had made clear that the injunction
covered subsequently acquired assets … It does, though, appear to me to have been in clear breach of the Karnataka court’s order,” he adds. The judge, however, was less certain that luxury cars and yachts had been undeclared or disposed of by Mallya as claimed by the legal team representing the 13 Indian banks – State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Corporation bank, Federal Bank Ltd, IDBI Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Jammu &a Kashmir Bank, Punjab & Sind Bank, Punjab National Bank, State Bank of Mysore, UCO Bank, United Bank of India and JM Financial Asset Reconstruction Co. Pvt Ltd. The judge noted: “The Claimants (Indian banks) say there are numerous other assets which have been linked to Dr Mallya in various sources on the internet, but which he denies that he owns. These comprise three yachts, numerous cars and the Mabula Game Reserve in South Africa. “The registered/asserted owners are offshore companies and/or trusts. Since these matters are unverified, I do not consider I can take account of them.”
Mallya’s purchase of a Ferrari 246 GTS with an estimated value of 480,000 pounds was also questioned by the Indian banks. The UK court concluded that it may be the case that the payment of the deposit on the Ferrari was in breach of the Karnataka high court’s interim injunction. “However, this point was not the subject of any detailed argument before me and, overall, I do not consider that the matters relating to the Ferrari carry matters any further on this application,” the judge concluded. The ruling by the UK court has been described as “significant” by TLT LLP, the UK law firm which represented the Indian banks in the case. “This is a positive and big step forward. The judgement enables our client banks to proceed with enforcement of the Indian Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) ruling, which has now been registered and is immediately enforceable,” said Paul Gair, partner in TLT’s
Ramsay: Americans know ‘f *** all’ about good food TV chef Gordon Ramsay has credited his success in the United States to Americans knowing ‘f*** all about good food’, DailyMailTV can reveal. Ramsay opened up about his time in the US as he accepted an award for his success on both sides of the Atlantic at the Britweek Innovation Awards in Santa Monica, California, on May 4. The chef spoke about his move to the States in 2004, when he saw a Los Angeles Times reporter to box up a Caesar salad for takeaway. He told the crowd: “The first thing that struck me when I first came over here in 2004, I got interviewed with the lady from the LA Times, and we sat in this amazing restaurant and I couldn’t eat because I was too busy talking about sort of this little documentary called Hell’s Kitchen. “And it was really weird, because I said to her, — ‘Look, I’ve got to get back to set. Fox runs a show, I run a restaurant, that’s why we work so well together.” A ND she wasn’t upset, she just got a little bit nervous that I just wanted to
get out of there and get back to work. And the waiter came over and said, ‘Would you like your food to go?’ She said, ‘Yes’, I said, ‘No, thank you’.” “She boxed a Caesar salad and I said to her, ‘Do you have any idea how s**t a Caesar salad tastes 24 hours later? What will you do with that f***ing thing?’ She said: ‘I’m going to eat it.” “I said, ‘But it’s been dressed. We dressed it 20 minutes ago; it’s sat there for 25 minutes. Why would you eat that?’ She said, “It’s delicious’. “That’s when I knew Americans knew f*** all about good food. Right there and then.” Ramsay, who attended the event with wife Tana at the Fairmont Hotel, spoke to business people and influential Brits in Los Angeles. Since arriving in the United States in 2004, Ramsay has become a television phenomenon. In May 2005, Fox launched a US version of the father-of-four hit show
Hell’s Kitchen, which show cased the chef’s perfectionism and short temper in a high-stress competition reality cooking show. Hell’s Kitchen is still on the air, and its 17th season
US version of MasterChef. The series’ ninth season, with Ramsay, restaurateur Joe Bastianich and chef Aaron Sanchez serving as judges, will premiere on May 30. Ramsay
ended in February. Ramsay also hosted a US version of the show Kitchen Nightmares, which ran for seven seasons from 2007 to 2014, and there was Hotel Hell on Fox, which ran for three seasons. Since 2010, has Ramsay served as a producer and judge on the
has opened 11 restaurants across the United States. While at least three of the restaurants have shuttered, several remain open in cities including Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Baltimore. In 2012, Ramsay bought a $6.75million home for his family in Bel-Air California.
Banking & Financial Services litigation team. “We are considering all of our options with our clients… the worldwide freezing order has worldwide effect, so it’s all of his assets wherever they may be. There are provisions for his weekly allowance, within which he can meet his needs,” he added. Mallya, who remains on bail since his arrest on an extradition warrant in April last year, will return for the last leg of his ongoing extradition trial at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London on July 11, after which the court is expected to set a timeline for judgment in that case. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), representing the Indian government, has claimed it has successfully established a prima facie case of fraud against the businessman. Mallya has claimed the criminal charges against him are “without substance” and “politically motivated”.
Users don’t want paid networks SOCIAL media users and nonusers are unanimous that a paid, ad-free version of social media will not improve the data privacy aspects of these platforms. “How does a paid version of social media work anyway? It will be like an elite club of racists. Once the confidence and trust is gone, I don’t know how much paid versions will work,” says comedian Cyrus Broacha. The controversy erupted after British data analytics and political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica allegedly harvested personal information of millions of Facebook users illegally to help political campaigns and influence polls in several countries. Recently, Twitter also admitted that it sold data to the same Cambridge researcher who improperly harvested private information from millions of Facebook profiles. Building a paywall will definitely make people more judicious with their social media usage, but that beats the purpose of these social media networks, says Deepak Manohar, a Bengalurubased advertising professional.
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EXPERTS, ON AND OFF THE PITCH Former legends relish bringing cricket closer to fans with panel debates & commentary MICHAEL Clarke last stepped out on the field in an Australian jersey during the England tour in 2015. For Scott Styris, that famous day backdates to March 29, 2011. These flamboyant batsmen, who were once a nightmare to the best bowlers of their time, are busy these days throwing metaphors and hyperboles on the green pitch laid out at an unusual setting of a studio. The bats and balls are there for the show, but these legends of the game are just letting their mind do the talking. Be it Clarke, Styris, Brad Hogg or Anil Kumble, these former cricketers are relishing their new role as expert panel for the Indian Premier League this season. Commentary and the expert panel discussion is a tough job, according to Clarke, but he has taken up with open arms. For Clarke, the ageold formula works the best –honesty is the best policy. “I think it’s your job as a commentator to be very honest about what you see. Obviously, at times, that can become harder because of personal relationships, but I think as long as you are honest, the viewer and players will respect your opinion,” he told this
paper. The Select Dugout, as it is called, forms unique set of experts who analyse the pre-match and postmatch situations for viewers to understand the game better. “I have really enjoyed #SelectDugout. I think you have a lot more time to analyse the game with less ad breaks and commercial sponsor promotions. It has a very relaxed feel, which allows us all to be comfortable in expressing our opinions,” he added.
Yusuf says he still has a lot to offer in the shorter format YUSUF Pathan has done something which Gautam Gambhir couldn’t — rub off his previous IPL team’s luck on the next franchise. Having won the tournament for Kolkata in 2012 and 2014, Yusuf now wants to kiss the trophy once again, this time for Hyderabad. “Mashallah, it is a great thing for me personally and Hyderabad team as a whole,” the senior Pathan told this paper at the sidelines of his new academy’s inauguration in the capital. “Becoming the first team to enter the playoffs this season is really special. We have done well in all the three departments so far. The most important thing for any team is how they perform under pressure and we have done that consistently this season by defending low scores and chasing big totals as well.” That they have done, certainly. On Thursday night, chasing 188, Hyderabad notched up a huge nine-wicket victory over hosts Delhi. “Our bowlers have done
really well and the skipper (Kane Williamson) has used them so intelligently. Look at someone like Siddharth (Kaul) who has even been selected in the Indian team for the tour of England. In that game vs Delhi the other night, the way Rishabh Pant was batting, their score could’ve reached beyond 230 but we restricted them,” said Yusuf. “Rishabh batted so well against us and has been going great guns in this tournament. It feels so good to see an Indian batsman doing this,” he added when asked about Pant’s 63- ball 128. Yusuf ‘s contributions have come in handy for Hyderabad this season. The Baroda batsman is happy that unlike many the Sunrisers’ management had faith in his ability considering that he didn’t get to play much first class cricket last season. “Yes, those five months when I didn’t play first class weren’t that easy. But people didn’t know what I was doing during that time.
Calm and composed as they look, these legends were once rivals on the pitch and that’s exactly why it is easy to imagine that a little banter every now and then is part of their daily lives. “The banter is natural and off the cuff and there is plenty of it. Just like a few ex cricketers hanging out for dinner watching the game and having a laugh. Scotty Styris and I are overrun by Aussies so we need to stand
up for ourselves with plenty of subtle one liners,” said Mike Hesson, coach of the New Zealand cricket team. The panel discussion comes as a new chapter in Hesson’s life, who has been a dedicated coach to the Kiwis. This season, Hesson has taken up the new role and expresses his excitement by saying: “The role is very new to me and is certainly a different experience from my role as a head coach. That said, how could you not love being part of the IPL and rubbing shoulders with so many greats of the game.” Styris, who has been in the commentary and expert panel for a long time now, echoed Hesson’s comments by adding that the studio discussion brings cricket closer to the fans. “I think this keeps the fans at the core of its being, giving them access to content that would probably be discussed at the actual dugout on the field,” explained Styris. While the current legends are busy entertaining the cricket fanatics on the field, the fans are getting an extra dose of the gentleman’s game with legendary verdicts off it.
Warne roots for Kohli in England SHANE Warne carries wit and charm to go with his genius. As he arrives in the room, to promote Advanced Hair Studio, he obliges a selfie-seeker and noticing his balding hairline, shouts to the company boss, “Here’s your new customer.” The suggestion met with peals of laughter. As he settles down for the interview, he speaks casually of how he is enjoying the intensity and chaos of IPL again. Having watched the cream of Indian cricket make a splash in the ongoing edition, Warne is convinced, India is the team to beat in world cricket today. “They have an all round team with all bases covered. Usually when India used to come to Australia in the past when I was playing, they would struggle on those fast bouncy pitches. Their fast bowling was ok but not as good as their spin. Now we are seeing some of their fast bowlers are as good as any in the world. So on those fast bouncy pitches, Virat does not have to concentrate on just spin, they also have some excellent fast bowlers. When things are not happening, they have got reverse swing, pace, they can use short ball and they have their spin and their batting. “They are a proven side. I think India for the first time especially with no Smith and
Warner will go in as favourites in a long time, if not ever against Australia, later in the year,” he tells this paper in an exclusive chat. Like a lot of other experts, Warne’s applause for Indian cricket stems from captain Virat Kohli’s brilliance and go getter attitude. Steve Waugh called the 2001 Test series against India, their final frontier. Virat Kohli might want to say that about the upcoming test series against England. Warne predicts, Kohli will come up a winner. “India face England first; perhaps the only place which Virat hasn’t yet nailed. And I think he will nail England this year. I think Virat will have an unbelievable series in England which will hold him in good stead in Australia also. He played beautifully in Australia
in the last tour. His knock at Adelaide was nearly match winning. Jeez! he played well. I love to see Virat Kohli play,” he says effusive in praise of the Indian captain. “Virat and AB De Villiers are the two standout batsmen in all formats. I would throw Steve Smith in there in test cricket. Watching Virat play in England and then on the fast bouncy pitches in Australia is what I am looking forward to,” he adds. Warne’s battles with Sachin Tendulkar were a stuff of legend; some that he won and in quite a few of them where he finished second best. Does he think Kohli is in the Tendulkar league? “I think the way Virat plays and you look at his numbers and it’s uncanny how many times he has got hundreds in odi cricket chasing totals down.”
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Murdered doc’s parents can now hope for justice SC tells Delhi HC to take a decision within 4 months
Finally, there is good news for doctor couple Shalini and Sanjay Pande seeking justice for their son murdered by a stalker colleague inside the St
Stephen’s Hospital in the Capital nine months ago. The Supreme Court (SC) On Friday directed the Delhi High Court to expeditiously hear their plea for a CBI probe into the killing of their son 26-year-old Shashwat Pande on August 25 inside the St Stephen’s Hospital where he was a resident doctor, and take a decision within four months. Nine months have gone by and the accused has not been arrested. The accused is one Suyash Gupta, a fellow resident doctor, allegedly a bisexual, who had been stalking Shashwat for two years, was “over obsessed” with him and against whom there is “strong”
circumstantial evidence. “We have lost faith in the state police and apprehend that a relative of the accused who is a politician is pressurizing the state police to go slow with the investigation,” Shashwat’s distraught mother 52-yearold Shalini Pande, an Allahabadbased doctor, told this paper Body of Shashwat, a final year radio diagnosis student, had 20 stab wounds, including on his private parts, neck, chest, thigh, back and face. Not only the police are yet to arrest Suyash, the investigation has also not moved an inch. Suyash went missing after the murder. “May be the police work like
Air traffic controller reveals how stacking system works GENERAL hustle and bustle and people sitting in front of radar screens with cigarettes hanging out of their mouths — that’s what many people think it’s like inside an air traffic control tower. But the reality is very different, explained
Jules Tarr, who’s been an air traffic controller at London Heathrow for 27 years. The 52-year-old took time out from guiding aircraft into land at one of the world’s busiest airports — it handles about 1,300 flights a day — and she revealed that many people are almost disappointed when they visit the Heathrow control tower. She said: “People think that if they visit the control tower it’s going to be noisy and busy, and that it’ll be very stressful and full of hustle and bustle. But it’s really about as opposite to that as it’s possible to get. When I take visitors to the control
tower they normally comment on how calm it is. We work closely as a team with a lovely sense of camaraderie.” “But everybody is dependent on everybody doing their job correctly, so I don’t think it’s as frenetic as people expect — I think people are sometimes almost disappointed. They expect it to be full of people sitting there with cigarettes hanging out of their mouths.” It’s highly unlikely that anyone in the room ever feels worried about their responsibilities — guiding thousands of passengers a day safely into the air and onto the ground. Jules for one can’t recall a day on the job when she’s ever felt nervous. “We are so well trained. I don’t recall ever feeling nervous at work. It’s just not something that enters your head. You have airplanes to move and you have to move them as safely and expeditiously as you can. But you don’t think for one minute about anything that could go wrong.” Jules, who works for Nats (formerly National Air Traffic Services), added that there are three air traffic control teams in the tower, one for take-offs, one for arrivals and one that takes care of ground movements. And they all operate at maximum sharpness, with breaks rigorously enforced.
this. But only those who have lost their child will know the pain. Our world has collapsed. After resident doctor stint in St Stephen’s hospital, Shashwat was to settle with us in Allahabad after getting married and was also gearing up to take charge of my husband’s clinic,” said the sobbing mother. Explaining the reason for rushing to SC, their lawyer Siddhartha Dave said that on February 21, while issuing order on a plea filed by Suyash’s mother for a direction to police to return her son kept in “illegal detention,” a single bench of the Delhi HC expressed satisfaction
with respect to manner in which Delhi Police are conducting the probe. In her petition in HC, Suyash’s mother said she and her husband were called to the hospital where Suyash worked and told their son was bisexual and that the deceased and their son were having a secret relationship. She claimed that her son was prescribed a strong antipsychotic drug upon knowing about his sexual orientation, which had severe side-effects such as short-term memory lapse, nausea, dyskinesia, mental sluggishness and others
Mysterious sea creature sparks panic in Philippines A HUGE hairy sea creature has been found washed up on a beach in the Philippines — sparking fears it is an omen that a natural disaster is looming. The body of the mystery 20-footlong animal surfaced in the town of San Antonio in Oriental Mindoro province at about 7pm on May 11. Villagers flocked to see the enormous carcass of the ‘globster’ — an unidentified organic mass — and pose for selfies. Marine workers took samples from the strange creature, which is four feet wide at one end and two feet wide at the other. They said the greyish white blob smelled ‘awful’ and like ‘something from another planet.’ And some residents were left fearing the dead animal was a warning that a natural disaster might be on the horizon. “An earthquake is heading for Oriental Mindoro,” said Tam Maling. “The big globster is a sign of something bad coming. Please
pray for us.” Mother-of-two Imelda Mariz said: “I couldn’t believe what it was, I’ve never seen anything like it. In God’s name, I was shocked. The children were scared it was a dead monster. Nobody knows what it is yet.” Fishery Law Enforcement Officer Vox Krusada said: “For now we can say it is a whale, but the exact species is still unknown. The tissue samples are now sent to our lab for DNA analysis. The local government of Gloria will now bury the carcass.”
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Health Fasting may boost stem cell regeneration
BOSTON A 24-hour fast may reverse the age-related loss of stem cell function that regenerates new intestinal cells, according to a study. Researchers, including those from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US, found that fasting dramatically improves stem cells’ ability to regenerate, in both aged and young mice. In fasting mice, cells begin breaking down fatty acids instead of glucose, a change that stimulates the stem cells to become more regenerative. In the study published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, the researchers found that they could also boost regeneration with a molecule that activates the same metabolic switch. Such an intervention could potentially help older people recovering from gastrointestinal infections or cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, the researchers said. “This study
provided evidence that fasting induces a metabolic switch in the intestinal stem cells, from utilizing carbohydrates to burning fat,” said David Sabatini, a professor at MIT. “Interestingly, switching these cells to fatty acid oxidation enhanced their function significantly. Pharmacological targeting of this pathway may provide a therapeutic opportunity to improve tissue homeostasis in age-associated pathologies,” said Sabatini. Intestinal stem cells are responsible for maintaining the lining of the intestine, which typically renews itself every five days. When an injury or infection occurs, stem cells are key to repairing any damage. As people age, the regenerative abilities of these intestinal stem cells decline, so it takes longer for the intestine to recover. The researchers focused on understanding how a 24-hour
fast enhances the function of young and old intestinal stem cells. After mice fasted for 24 hours, they removed intestinal stem cells and grew them in a culture dish, allowing them to determine whether the cells can give rise to “mini-intestines” known as organoids. The researchers found that stem cells from the fasting mice doubled their regenerative capacity. “It was very obvious that fasting had this really immense effect on the ability of intestinal crypts to form more organoids, which is stem-cell-driven,” said Maria Mihaylova from Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in the US. “This was something that we saw in both the young mice and the aged mice, and we really wanted to understand the molecular mechanisms driving this,” Mihaylova said. Further studies, including sequencing the messenger RNA of stem cells from the mice that fasted, revealed that fasting induces cells to switch from their usual metabolism, which burns carbohydrates such as sugars, to metabolising fatty acids. This switch occurs through the activation of transcription factors called PPARs, which turn on many genes that are involved in metabolising fatty acids. The researchers found that if they turned off this pathway, fasting could no longer boost regeneration.
Vitamin D therapy can help tackle diseases
Enhanced activation of Vitamin D by protecting beta cells may be a potential new approach for treating diabetes as well as other diseases, including cancer, researchers have suggested. When beta cells — the cells in the pancreas that produce, store and release the hormone insulin — become dysfunctional, the body cannot make insulin to control blood sugar (glucose) and levels of glucose can rise to dangerous and even fatal levels. The researchers found that Vitamin D in cells and mouse models can be beneficial in treating these damaged beta cells. They also provided new insights about gene regulation that could be applied to developing treatments for other diseases, including cancer. “We know that diabetes is a disease caused by inflammation. We identified the Vitamin D receptor as an important modulator of both inflammation and beta cell survival,” said Ronald Evans, from Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California, US. Using beta cells created from
embryonic stem cells, the team was able to identify a compound — iBRD9 — that appeared to enhance the activation of the Vitamin D receptor when it was combined with Vitamin D to improve the survival of beta cells. In the paper, published in the journal Cell, the team conducted a screening test to look for compounds that improved the survival of beta cells in a dish. They then tested the combination in a mouse model of diabetes and showed that it could bring glucose back to normal levels in the animals. Combining the new compound with vitamin D allowed certain protective genes to be expressed at much higher levels than they are in diseased cells. “Activating the vitamin D receptor can trigger the anti-inflammatory function of genes to help cells survive under stressed conditions,” explained Michael Downes, from the institute. The researchers noted that although the new compound did not appear to cause any side effects in the mice, further testing is needed before clinical trials can begin.
Mass vaccination may not prevent Ebola outbreaks London Mass vaccination programmes will not help prevent new Ebola virus outbreaks, a study has found. Researchers from University of Kent in the UK analysed the prospects for various Ebolavirus vaccines and found that, for the foreseable future at least, Ebolavirus outbreak control depends on surveillance and the isolation of cases. The findings come as the World Health Organisation has announced a new Ebola virus outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Kongo. The study revealed that very high proportions of potentially
affected populations would need to be protected by vaccination to establish herd immunity, which prevents virus transmission within a population. The study identified that, in the critical phases of many Ebola virus outbreaks, the average infected individual infects four or more other people, which enables the virus to spread rapidly. At this level, 80 per cent of a population would need to be immunised to prevent outbreaks, even if a highly effective vaccine that protects 90 per cent of individuals after
vaccination was available. Such vaccination rates are currently unachievable. In a vaccination trial during the West
African Ebola virus epidemic, only 49 per cent of individuals who had been in contact with Ebola virus patients could be vaccinated.
Thirty-four per cent of contacts refused vaccination although they had been exposed to the disease. There are currently no clinical vaccine candidates available that protect against all four human-pathogenic Ebolaviruses. It also remains unclear whether the available vaccine candidates provide the long-term protection that is required for the sort of prophylactic mass vaccination programme that could prevent Ebola, which becomes repeatedly introduced into the human population from animal reservoirs. A large vaccination programme would
also be costly and impractical, the study points out. Costs for current Ebolavirus vaccine candidates are estimated to be in a range of USD 15-20 per dose, with some 462 million people living in the areas affected by Ebolavirus outbreaks, many of them in very remote rural areas. In the absence of a realistic prophylactic mass vaccination programme, the researchers conclude that clinical vaccine candidates will need to be focused on health care workers who are often involved in disease transmission, potentially in combination with the vaccination of patient contacts.
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Gene editing can make chocolate trees disease resistant
Washington Scientists are using a powerful gene-editing tool to grow cacao trees that are more resistant to diseases, an advance that could help boost the production of chocolates all over the world. The cacao tree, which grows in tropical regions, produces the cocoa beans that are the raw material of chocolate. Reliable productivity from cacao plants is essential to the multibillion-dollar chocolate industry, the economies of producing countries and the livelihoods of millions of smallholder cacao farmers. However, each year, several plant diseases severely limit global production, with 20-30 per cent of cocoa pods destroyed preharvest, said Andrew Fister, postdoctoral scholar from Pennsylvania State University in the US. “In West Africa, severe outbreaks of fungal diseases can destroy all cacao fruit on a single
farm,” said Fister. “Because diseases are a persistent problem for cacao, improving disease resistance has been a priority for researchers. But development of disease-resistant varieties has been slowed by the need for sources of genetic resistance and the long generation time of cacao trees,” she said. The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Plant Science, is the first to demonstrate the feasibility of using CRISPR technology to improve Theobroma cacao. CRISPR stands for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats. It is a way to modify an organism’s genome by precisely delivering a DNAcutting enzyme, Cas9, to a targeted region of DNA. The resulting change can delete or replace specific DNA pieces, thereby promoting or disabling certain traits. Previous work in cacao
Prenatal coffee consumption can make child obese London Are you expecting? If so, refrain from drinking coffee, as babies born to women who drank coffee during pregnancy were
found to be at a higher risk of being overweight, claims a study. Consumption of even one or two cups of coffee per day by expectant mothers can put their babies into a higher risk of being obese at school age. “There may be good cause to increase the restriction of the recommended maximum of three cups of coffee per day. Caffeine is not a medicine that needs to be consumed,” said Verena Sengpiel, Associate Professor at the University of Gothenburg’s Sahlgrenska Academy in Sweden. However, the clear link between caffeine and the cause
of obesity is not yet proved, the study showed. Published in BMJ Open Journal, the team included 50,943 expectant mothers. The children born to women who had consumed caffeine during pregnancy were studied till they were eight years old. During the study, children aged five years old, who were overweight or obese were five per cent greater in the group whose mothers had the highest caffeine consumption in the study, compared to those whose mothers had the lowest caffeine consumption. The risk of child obesity due to prenatal caffeine consumption was also seen among women who followed the recommended amount as according to the National Food Agency, i.e. three cups of coffee every day. Even though further studies are needed, it is better to reduce the consumption or completely refrain from caffeine intake during pregnancy, Sengpiel advised.
identified a gene, known as TcNPR3, that suppresses the plant’s disease response. The researchers hypothesised that using CRISPR-Cas9 to knock out this gene would result in enhanced disease resistance. To test their hypothesis, they used Agrobacterium—a plant pathogen modified to remove its ability to cause disease—to introduce CRISPR-Cas9 components into detached cacao leaves. Subsequent analysis of treated tissue found deletions in 27 per cent of TcNPR3 copies. When infected with Phytopthera tropicalis, a naturally occurring pathogen of cacao and other plants, the treated leaves showed greater resistance to the disease. The results suggested that the mutation of only a fraction of the copies of the targeted gene may be sufficient to trigger downstream processes, resulting in systemic disease resistance in the plant. The researchers also created CRISPR gene-edited cacao embryos, which they will grow into mature trees to test the effectiveness of this approach at a whole-plant level. This research builds on more than 30 years of biotechnology research aimed at building a better cacao tree, according to Mark Guiltinan, professor at Penn State. “Our lab has developed several tools for the improvement of cacao, and CRISPR is just one more tool,” he said.
Mild head blows may raise dementia risk
New York Even head blows that do not result in loss of consciousness may cause brain changes that increase the risk of dementia, new research has found. The study, which tracked more than 350,000 participants, showed that the likelihood of dementia more than doubled following concussion. Concussion without loss of consciousness led to 2.36 times the risk for dementia, showed the findings published in the journal JAMA Neurology. These risks were slightly elevated for those in the loss-ofconsciousness bracket (2.51) and were nearly four times higher (3.77) for those with the more serious moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury. The researchers identified participants from two databases. The first group included all-era veterans whose traumatic brain injuries could
have occurred during civilian or military life. The second group included veterans serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, for whom most of these injuries had occurred in combat zones, such as from shockwaves in blasts. “The findings in both groups were similar, indicating that concussions occurring in combat areas were as likely to be linked to dementia as those concussions affecting the general population,” said first author Deborah Barnes, Professor at the University of California, San Francisco, US. In total, 357,558 participants, whose average age was 49, were tracked. Half had been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury, of which 54 per cent reported experiencing concussion. The study followed the participants for an average of 4.2 years.
Scientists decode Stone Age hepatitis B virus London Scientists have recovered oldest viral genomes of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and found that the deadly virus has been circulating in Europe for at least 7,000 years.
HBV— one of the most widespread human pathogens—is responsible for the contagious liver disease. Today, it infects approximately 350 million people worldwide and kills more than 600,000 people a year. However, its origin and evolutionary history remain unclear. In the study, the researchers not only recovered ancient viral DNA from skeletons but also reconstructed the genomes of three strains of HBV. While the ancient virus is similar to its modern counterparts, the strains represent a distinct lineage that has likely gone extinct. It is also more closely related to chimpanzee and gorilla viruses, the findings showed. “Our results demonstrate that HBV already
existed in Europeans 7,000 years ago and that its genomic structure closely resembled that of modern hepatitis B viruses, despite the differences observed,” said lead author Ben Krause-Kyora, from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and Kiel University. “More ancient precursors, intermediates and modern strains of both human and non-human primate HBV strains need to be sequenced to disentangle the complex evolution of this virus,” he added. For the study, appearing in the journal eLife, the team analysed samples from the teeth of 53 skeletons excavated from Neolithic and medieval sites in Germany. The remains dated from around 5000 BC to 1200 AD. The researchers screened all samples for viral pathogens and detected ancient HBV in three of the individuals. Full HBV genomes were recovered from these samples, two of which were from the Neolithic period, dating to about 7,000 and 5,000 years ago, and one from the medieval period. The Neolithic genomes represent the by far oldest virus genomes reconstructed to date. Interestingly, the ancient virus genomes appear to represent distinct lineages that have no close relatives today and possibly went extinct. The two Neolithic genomes, although recovered from individuals that lived 2,000 years apart, were relatively similar to each other in comparison with modern strains, and were in fact more closely related to modern strains of HBV found in Chimpanzees and Gorillas.
Issue 771 (39)
15 - 21 May, 2018
Marinated Turkey Breast
Ingredients 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 2 (3 pound) boneless turkey
the garlic, basil, and pepper. Rub over the turkey breasts. Insert one clove into each end of the turkey breasts, and one in the center. In a large shallow dish, blend vegetable oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, and brown sugar. Place the breasts in the dish, and turn to coat. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator at least 4 hours. Preheat grill for high heat. breast halves Lightly oil the grill grate. Dis6 whole cloves card marinade, place turkey 1/4 cup vegetable oil breasts on the grill. Close the 1/4 cup soy sauce lid, and grill turkey breasts 2 tablespoons lemon juice about 15 minutes on each side, 1 tablespoon brown sugar or to an internal temperature of Directions In a small bowl, mix together 170 degrees F (68 degrees C).
Herbed Chicken Nuggets Ingredients 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts 2 eggs, beaten 1 tablespoon water 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs, seasoned 1/2 cup wheat germ 1 teaspoon dried basil 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 tablespoon vegetable oil Directions Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Trim any fat from chicken and cut into 1-inch cubes. In a bowl, beat the eggs with the water and add the chicken. Combine the parsley,
Pesto Polenta Lasagna
Ingredients 1 (18 ounce) package polenta, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices 1/2 (24 ounce) jar bottled marinara sauce 1/4 cup pesto 1/4 cup pine nuts 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese Directions Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Oil an 11x7x2 inch baking
dish. Arrange a single layer of polenta in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Spread a thin layer of pesto over the polenta. Spoon half of the sauce over the polenta. Top with another layer of polenta and sauce. Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Turn on the broiler. Top polenta with cheese and pine nuts, and broil until cheese browns and nuts are toasted.
Mexican Pasta thyme, red pepper, bread crumbs, wheat germ, basil and pepper. Stir in the oil with a fork and mix well to distribute evenly. Pour seasoning mixture into a resealable plastic bag and toss the chicken
pieces to coat. Place coated chicken pieces on the prepared baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for 10 minutes, turn the pieces, and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
Favorite Barbecue Chicken Ingredients 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil 1/4 cup diced onion 2 cloves garlic, minced 5 tablespoons ketchup 3 tablespoons honey 3 tablespoons brown sugar 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce salt and pepper to taste 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves Directions Preheat grill for medium-high heat. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until tender. Stir in ketchup, honey, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Cook for a few minutes to thicken sauce. Remove from heat, and allow to cool. Lightly oil the grill grate. Dip chicken in sauce, and turn to coat. Cook on grill for 10 to 15 minutes, turning once. Move chicken to the skillet with sauce. Simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side.
Ingredients 1/2 pound seashell pasta 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 onions, chopped 1 green bell pepper, chopped 1/2 cup sweet corn kernels 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained 1 (14.5 ounce) can peeled and diced tomatoes 1/4 cup salsa 1/4 cup sliced black olives 1 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix salt and pepper to taste
Directions Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Cook onions and pepper in oil until lightly browned, 10 minutes. Stir in corn and heat through. Stir in black beans, tomatoes, salsa, olives, taco seasoning and salt and pepper and cook until thoroughly heated, 5 minutes. Toss sauce with cooked pasta and serve.
Issue 771 (40)
15 - 21 May, 2018
Gender equality comes to Valley A MID THE continuing strife in Kashmir Valley, chief minister Mehbooba Mufti has come up with a progressive and innovative move that, she hopes, will bear “farreaching economic consequences” for
womenfolk in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. Key among several decisions taken by the People’s Democratic PartyBharatiya Janata Party coalition government, in Srinagar on May 11, was to completely abolish the levying of stamp duties on property — both urban and rural — purchased and registered in the name of women. And using the medium so avidly preferred by her political brethren in Srinagar, Delhi and elsewhere, Mehbooba proclaimed
the new state norm in a tweet shortly after a meeting of the state Cabinet on Friday: “Pleased to announce that we have abolished stamp duty on the sale of property registered in the name of females. This incentive will encourage families to register their properties in the name of their sisters, daughters, wives & mothers.” It would, notwithstanding the prevailing patriarchal biases in the region, certainly make sense for families to take advantage of the concession. As it now stands, landed property, if registered in the name of a male, would attract a stamp duty of five per cent in urban areas, and three per cent in rural areas. Ownership registered to a woman is without any levy. Public works minister Naeem Akhtar says the concession would be effective immediately. As per J&K’s urban and rural revenue records, ownership of property — houses and agricultural land — vests predominantly with men. According to the chief minister, despite “contributing the maximum to our society”, a mere 33 per cent of women in the 15-49 age group own
homes. In contrast the number stands at 81 per cent for menfolk. The numbers for landed property, including farmland and orchards, is similarly skewed, and Mehbooba hopes to change that. Her move, that reportedly follows long consultations with women and other civil society groups, has been predictably,
applauded by both politicians and civil society in J&K. PDP spokesperson Rafi Ahmad Mir described the decision as a path-breaking initiative that was now out there for other Indian states to emulate. He said it was part of the PDP’s commitment to empowering the state’s women.
Iran takes the diplomacy route as tension rises IRAN’S foreign minister will embark on a diplomatic tour to try to salvage the nuclear deal amid high tensions following the US withdrawal and global fears over reports of unprecedented clashes with Israel in Syria. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will leave late Saturday for visits to Beijing,
Moscow and Brussels, a spokesman said Friday, holding meetings with all five of the remaining parties to the 2015 nuclear deal. Iran appeared determined not to be drawn into a wider regional conflict with Israel during the sensitive negotiations. That is despite Israel’s claims that it struck dozens of Iranian targets inside Syria early on Thursday as part of Operation House of Cards. Israeli Defence Minister Minister Avigdor Lieberman urged Syrian President Bashar alAssad to throw the Iranians out from his country. Israel said the strikes were in response to a missile volley fired from southern Syria by Iran’s Al-Quds force, that struck the occupied Golan Heights without causing casualties. But Iran flatly denied the Israeli version of events on Friday, saying Israel’s attacks were carried out on false pretexts. The repeated attacks by the Zionist regime on Syrian territory were carried out under pretexts that were invented by themselves and are without foundation, said foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi, without offering further details. Iran must tread a delicate line as it seeks to show resolve against Trump and the Israeli strikes without alienating the European partners it needs to salvage something from the nuclear deal. Zarif will hold high-pressure talks with the other parties to the deal, first in Beijing and Moscow, and then with his counterparts from Britain, France and Germany in Brussels on Tuesday. All five have condemned Trump’s move to walk out of the deal and reimpose crippling sanctions, but European companies in particular will be highly vulnerable to economic pressure from Washington. France still hopes for a wider settlement that will cover Iran’s activities across the West Asia and warned Tehran on Thursday against any temptation for regional dominance.
The Contact Epaper 15 May, 21 May 2018