THE CONTACT WEEKLY NEWSPAPER ISSUE - 695, 29 NOV. - 5 DEC, 2016 PH: (905) 671 - 4761
Mintoo or Painda, whose plan did Nabha jail escapees follow?
LUCKNOW The investigation of Sunday’s Nabha jailbreak is throwing up contradictory information about who actually planned the escapeKhalistan Liberation Force chief Harminder Singh, alias Mintoo, who has since been rearrested, or Parminder Singh, alias Painda, who had met Mintoo during a stint in the same prison. Painda, the arrested “mastermind” of the escape, has contradicted the Punjab government’s claim that the incident was a terrorist act. He revealed during interrogation on Monday that he, a gangster named Prema from Jalandhar and one Harry from Batala had gone to free their aides and that freeing the KLF chief had been a “friendly favour”. Parminder was arrested by UP police in Shamli on Sunday evening en route to Dehradun. In New Delhi, top officials said their investigations revealed that the escape of Mintoo, along with
a gang of criminals, may not have been a coincidence and that there are indications that Mintoo planned the whole operation by exhorting the others to do something bigger for the “faith”. Arrested in November 2014 upon arrival from Thailand, Mintoo was desperate to escape and saw an opportunity after regularly interacting with gangsters Vicky Gounder, Gurpeet Singh Sekhon, Amandeep Singh, alias Dhotian, and Kulpreet Singh, alias Neeta Deol, in Nabha Central Jail. According to sources, Mintoo, an old hand at planning and executing terror-related activities, exhorted the gangsters in the name of their faith. "He told them, 'Ye chote chote kaam kab tak karte rahoge... yahan se bahar niklo aur dharma ke liye kuch bada karo (How long will you go on commiting these petty crimes... get out of here and do something big for the faith)'," said a top
official. Mintoo had originally planned to escape during a court hearing, sources said. But, as luck would have it, his case had not come up for hearing for the past four months. “He was the initiator of the plan. He put the idea in their minds and that’s why he was the first one near the jail gates when the escape operation began on Sunday, and he was the first to board the Fortuner car,” said a top official. Sources in Central intelligence agencies say Mintoo was very close to Pakistan-based terror leaders, the ISI and the Pakistan Army’s India operations supervisors before his arrest and, if he had managed to escape, it would have been a huge embarrassment for the Punjab government ahead of the Assembly elections. Mintoo has apparently admitted to the Delhi police special cell that he was prepared to flee to Germany after breaking out and
to reunite there with associates from his organisation and the banned outfit BabbarKhalsa International. He was supposed to travel to Mumbai from Delhi and then to Goa where he would meet Kashmir Singh (he, too, had escaped along with Mintoo but they separated in Delhi) and take him along. From Goa he was supposed to travel to Nepal, then Malaysia, and then to Germany. Mintoo claimed during interrogation by Delhi police’s special cell that on the day of the jailbreak he and five others who escaped had been out in the open within the jail premises as a ‘bhandara’ (public feast) was being organised at the gurdwara inside. Punjab deputy CM SukhbirBadal had expressed the possibility of the jailbreak having been orchestrated by Pakistan’s ISI. He had said Pakistan was desperate to revive terror after the Indian Army’s surgical strike across the LoC and could have
facilitated the Nabha jailbreak to free KLF chief and equip him to create trouble in Punjab. Prema is wanted by police in connection with several criminal cases. His aides had been arrested in 2015. Parminder had befriended Prema’s associates in Nabha jail. Imprisoned for the murder of ASI Gurudeo Singh, Parminder had escaped from judicial custody in March and had contacted Prema. “Parminder said during his stay in jail he grew familiar with Harminder Singh, alias Mintoo, the dreaded KLF chief who too wanted to escape along with other members of the Prema gang,” said DIG (Saharanapur range) Jitendra Kumar Shahi. He said the information extracted from Parminder contained no indication he had any link with any terror group in India or across the border. “But we are looking into the call details of the four cellphones we have recovered from him,” he said.
Issue - 695 (2)
29 Nov. - 5 Dec, 2016
Nabha jailbreak: Woman NIA to charge Masood Azhar for Pathankot terror attack killed in naka firing had killed dreams to fight poverty
Patiala Neha Sharma, the 24-year-old woman who died in police firing at a checkpoint set up after Sunday’s jailbreak at Nabha, had left studies and was the only bread-earner for her Patialabased family. Now residing in a newly built house in GobindBagh area of the city, her family was in poverty 15 years ago, when her father, a factory worker, died of cardiac arrest. Seven years later, she left school and dreams of making it big in academics or otherwise, and started performing with local dance and orchestra groups. The family was not happy initially, but soon accepted her profession. Recently, she had started getting work out of Punjab at exhibitions and malls for promotion of
products. Neelam Sharma, her mother, said, “She was the only source of income and worked hard to counter the financial hurdles after my husband’s death.” Neha was the eldest of four siblings. “My youngest son is in Class 10 and the eldest, who left school in Class 8 due to our bleak economic condition, is unemployed. The third resides with my parents,” said Neelam. Neha’s paternal grandmother also lives with the family. Cops want ‘compromise’ Neha was killed when a policeman at a checkpoint near Dharamheri village, 25km from here near the Haryana border, opened fire at a car in which she was travelling. A bike-borne passerby was injured too. The
FIR for murder was registered against an unidentified policeman at the Samana police station. Family members now claim that police personnel and other “middlemen” are approaching them for a “compromise”. Manish Sharma, Neha’s brother, said, “Since right after the incident, police officials are trying to negotiate with us. But we want a strict action.” Meanwhile, Congress leader and Patiala-rural MLA Brahm Mohindra said the act has been done “in a suspicious manner”. “Police claim the driver tried to flee with the car, but all the bullets pierced the front windshield. We demand a highlevel committee to dig out the actual facts,” he said.
THE home Ministry has accorded sanction to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to file a charge sheet against Jaish-eMohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar and three others in the Pathankot terror strike carried out on January 2. After receiving sanction under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), the NIA will name Azhar, his brother Rauf Asghar, and handlers of four terrorists - Qashif Jan and Shaid Latif - in the charge sheet to be filed soon, official sources said. The four terrorists, after entering into India from Bamiyal area of Gurudaspur, had carried out the terror strike inside the strategic Pathankot Indian Air Force base killing eight people, including seven personnel of IAF and National Security Guard. The fresh charge sheet will help India in building pressure on the international community to declare Azhar and his organisation a global terror group under the United Nations’ antiterror laws. The previous attempts were spurned after China exercised its veto power. The charge sheet will name only four terrorists involved in the attack as against six claimed by the NSG. According to the NIA, the terrorists, who were killed after two days of gunfight were identified as Nasir Hussain, Hafiz Abu Bakar, Umar Farooq and Abdul Qayum and they were residents of Vehari (Punjab),
Gujranwala (Punjab), Sanghar (Sindh) and Sukkur (Sindh) districts of Pakistan respectively. The NIA investigation also
THREE suspected Al-Qaeda operatives were arrested on Monday by the National Investigation Agency in Madurai, police said. The three allegedly planned to attack 22 top leaders of the country including Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They were allegedly involved in threatening embassies of various countries in India, they said. Those arrested were identified as M Khareem, Asif Sultan Mohammed and Abbas Ali. While Khareem was arrested from Usmannagar, Asif Sultan Mohammed was picked up from G R Nagar and Abbas Ali from Ismailpuram, police said. Explosive materials were also
seized from them. Police said NIA raided several places on specific information that suspected Al-Qaeda activists were operating from South Tamil Nadu in and around Madurai. Explosive materials and arms have been seized from them, police said, declining to elaborate. The trio was allegedly running the Al-Qaeda unit in South Tamil Nadu. They were also allegedly involved in the explosions that took place in various courts in the country over a period of time, police added. NIA were also searching for two other suspected AlQaeda operatives, Hakeem and Dawood Sulaiman, they said
included looking into the phone numbers and a conversation that one of the terrorists had minutes before launching the attack, besides a video message of Rauf released on Jaishaffiliated website minutes after the strike. In the video message, which was subsequently removed from the website, Rauf had claimed responsibility for the Pathankot attack. The charge sheet will also include evidence of linking the footprints of one of the terrorists obtained from Bamiyal besides matching of DNA sample found from a soft drink can in the hijacked car of Punjab Superintendent of Police Salwinder Singh. The Pathankot terror strike had seen a joint investigation team from Pakistan also arriving in India for carrying out a thorough probe. However, upon their return, the Pakistani team claimed that India neither shared much of evidence nor allowed it to interrogate the personnel involved in repulsing the attack.
Punjab: How a taxi driver got Rs 3 ‘Al-Qaeda’ men held 9,806 crore in his Jan Dhan account for plan to attack PM
Patiala Taxi driver Balwinder Singh was surprised beyond words when he woke up on November 4 to discover that a sum of Rs 98,05,95,12,231 had been credited into his State Bank of Patiala (SBoP) account. That’s a little less than Rs 9,806 crore! Or, a little over Rs 98 billion. Close to Flipkart’s revenue for the last fiscal! But his celebration over possibly the biggest credit entry in an individual’s bank account in the state, however, ended before it could even begin. The money was debited from Singh’s account the very next day. “I made many rounds of the bank, but nobody listened to me.
Instead they kept my passbook with them on November 7, and issued a new passbook without the gigantic entry,” said Singh. “I had opened the account under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY). My balance usually is around Rs 3,000,” he added. Branch manager Ravinder Kumar refused to divulge any details. “An investigation by income tax (I-T) officials is on,” he said. Lead bank manager Sandeep Garg, however, had quite a simple explanation for the freak
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occurrence. “The account holder happens to be a designated vendor for the bank. While passing a credit entry of Rs 200, an assistant manager (accounts) wrongly inserted the bank’s 11-digit internal Banking General Ledger account number in the amount column. The mistake was noticed the next day, following which the entry was reversed,” he said. Deputy commissioner Bhupinder Singh Rai confirmed the matter. An official said there was no doubt that the bank officials had acted irresponsibly on several counts. “Instead of telling the account holder themselves, they did even attend to him when he visited the branch,” he said on the condition of anonymity. A team of income tax staff from Barnala, Sangrur and Patiala led by assistant commissioner Pritpal Singh carried out the investigation till midnight.
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Issue - 695 (3)
29 Nov. - 5 Dec, 2016
Online behind the bars, escaped Punjab gangsters go offline from Facebook too Jalandhar “Kaam aisa karo ke naam ho jaaye varna naam aisa karo ke naam lete hee kaam ho jaaye,” read a message posted on Facebook on Saturday. True to his word, gangster Gurpreet Sekhon was one of the names echoing across the country on Sunday morning, as reports of an audacious jailbreak in Punjab began to emerge. Ten men had stormed the high-security Nabha jail and freed Khalistan Liberation Force leader Harminder Singh Mintoo, his aide and four gangsters, including Sekhon. Since his escape, Sekhon, who was brought to the Nabha jail in 2015, is awfully quite — no fresh updates on Facebook. Same for the other three escapees Harjinder Singh alias Vicky Gondar, Kulpreet Singh alias Neeta and Amandeep Singh alias Bura. For men who never let go of an opportunity to brag, little has been heard from them after they pulled off a daring escape. Behind bars, Facebook was the gangsters’ favourite toy, their favoured weapon to inspire terror and awe
among rivals as well as fans. Yes, they do have fans and fan pages where they posted pictures and messages regularly, jail no bar. In fact, most gangsters in Punjab are active on Facebook. While many of them use mobile phones in the jail – it is against law others have their supporters and friends updating information. One such message was posted after the jailbreak. Police staged the escape to carry out a Bhopal-like “fake gunfight” to kill the men who fled, a reference to a controversial encounter in which eight Simi men were killed hours after they broke out of a jail in Madhya Pradesh. The post appeared on the
Facebook page of Neeta and the sender signed off as “Neeta’s brother”. It questions the police’s version of the events and says there is more to the escape than meets the eye. A few more messages along the same line and then all quiet. In contrast, a post has a warning for the Punjab government. “No one dare encounter our brothers. Badals will have to pay for it,” says the latest post on the “Shera Khuban Grp” Facebook page. The page was created by sympathisers of Gurshahid Singh alias Shera Khuban, a Ferozepur-based gangster who was gunned down by police in 2012. Gangsters often post
pictures with weapons, on motorcycles and in expensive cars image management is a serious business. They compete with each other in posting videos of stories about them, as also CCTV footage of activities of their gang members. Lying low is so passé. In May, Vicky Gonder, one the escapees, termed the murder of gangster-turnedpolitician Jaswinder Singh ‘Rocky’ as “justice for Shera Khuban”. He went on to mock Bathinda senior superintendent of police Swapan Sharma for failing to stop his associates from killing Rocky. The messages were posted from jail. Sukha Kahlwan, a rival of Gurpreet Sekhon, virtually Facebooked his jail stint. Pictures of him inside the jail and of his court visits were regularly updated on his fan page “Sukha kahlon sharp shooter”. A video of the gangster, made on a mobile phone, thrashing an inmate in the Kapurthala jail was also put on the page. He was allegedly murdered by the Sekhon gang in January 2015.
Kalyan youth ‘who joined IS killed’, phone call informed kin son was ‘martyred’ Mumbai Aman Tandel, one of the four youth from Kalyan who went to Iraq in May 2014 to reportedly join the Islamic State (IS), may have been killed in an air strike. The Tandel family received a call from an unidentified caller on Saturday night, telling them that Aman was “martyred”. “We were having dinner when we got a call on our landline. The caller said Aman was martyred in an air strike. Aman’s father Naeem answered the call but when he asked who the caller was, he hung up,” said Aman’s uncle. The family has not informed the police yet. “The call came at around 11.20pm and the caller barely spoke for 30 seconds. Naeem tried to get more details but the caller hung up. It seemed to be an international call and we will approach the police and inform them,” said Aman’s uncle, adding that they will wait for a confirmation about his death from the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Of the four youth Areeb Majeed, Fahad Shaikh,
Aman Tandel and Shaheen Tanki who left home to join the IS, Majeed was brought back in November 2014. He is in NIA custody.
Tanki’s family received a call in January last year, informing them about his death. But there has been no confirmation yet. “We were saddened by the news but only time will give us the real picture,” said Aman’s uncle, who is also related to Tanki. B Kadam, senior police inspector from the antiterrorism squad (Thane), said: “We have not got any information. His family members have not told us anything about the call. We will trace the call and investigate if necessary.” Earlier this year, an IS video surfaced that purportedly showed Aman and others threatening to avenge the “killings of Muslims in Kashmir, Gujarat and Muzaffarnagar”.
Fearing tighter US visa regime, Indian IT firms rush to hire, acquire Bengaluru Anticipating a more protectionist US technology visa programme under a Donald Trump administration, India’s $150 billion IT services sector will speed up acquisitions in the United States and recruit more heavily from college campuses there. Indian companies including Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys and Wipro have long used H1-B skilled worker visas to fly computer engineers to the US, their largest overseas market, temporarily to service clients. Staff from those three companies accounted for around 86,000 new H1-B workers in 2005-14. The US currently issues close to that number of H1-B visas each year. President-elect Trump’s campaign rhetoric, and his pick for Attorney General of Senator Jeff
Sessions, a long-time critic of the visa programme, have many expecting a tighter regime. “The world over, there’s a lot of protectionism coming in and push back on immigration. Unfortunately, people are confusing immigration with a high-skilled temporary workforce, because we are really a temporary workforce,” said Pravin Rao, chief operating officer at Infosys, India’s secondlargest information technology firm. While few expect a complete shutdown of skilled worker visas as Indian engineers are an established part of the fabric of Silicon Valley, and US businesses depend on their cheaper IT and software solutions, any changes are likely to push up costs. And a more restrictive programme would likely mean Indian IT firms sending fewer developers
and engineers to the United States, and increasing campus recruitment there. “We have to accelerate hiring of locals if they are
increase our costs,” he said, noting Infosys typically recruits 500-700 people each quarter in the US and Europe, around 80 percent of whom are
available, and start recruiting freshers from universities there,” said Infosys’ Rao, noting a shift from the traditional model of recruiting mainly experienced people in the US “Now we have to get into a model where we will recruit freshers, train them and gradually deploy them, and this will
locals. Acquisitions Trump’s election win and Britain’s referendum vote to leave the European Union are headwinds for India’s IT sector, as clients such as big US and British banks and insurers hold off on spending while the dust settles. In India’s IT hub of
Bengaluru and the financial capital Mumbai, executives expect a Trump administration to raise the minimum wage for foreign workers, pressuring already squeezed margins. Buying US companies would help Indian IT firms build their local headcount, increase their on-the-ground presence in key markets and help counter any protectionist regulations. Indian software services companies have invested more than $2 billion in the United States in the past five years. North America accounts for more than half of the sector’s revenue. “We have to accelerate acquisitions,” said Rao at Infosys, which in the past two years has bought companies including US-based Noah Consulting and Kallidus Technologies. Jatin Dalal, Wipro’s chief financial officer, said his growth strategy is to buy companies that offer
something beyond what Wipro already does, or new, disruptive firms such as Appirio, a US cloud services firm. The chief executive of Tech Mahindra, C.P. Gurnani, said his firm, which two years ago bought network services management firm Lightbridge Communications Corp, is on the look-out for more US acquisitions, particularly in healthcare and fintech - financial technology firms that are disrupting traditional banking services. Offshoring and automation In a broader shift from labour intensive onsite projects, Indian IT firms are also turning to highertech services such as automation, cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) platforms. With better technology and faster networks, IT firms are encouraging Western clients to adopt more virtual services.
Issue - 695 (4)
29 Nov. - 5 Dec, 2016
GANGSTERS ON THE LOOSE, RIVAL SURRENDERS IN FEAR THE daring jail break by two terrorists and four gangsters on Sunday has given a headache not only to the police, but also the underworld in the state, with many fearing for their lives dreading that an all-out gang war will break out as the gangsters are now on the loose. The intensity of fear among rival gangs is so strong that the leader of one gang, Amit Sharma, who was on the run after allegedly opening fire at a bouncer 20 days ago, surrendered before police in Mohali on Monday, telling cops that he may be killed. The police effort has majorly centered
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on capturing Khalistan Liberation Front chief Harminder Singh Mintoo and there is little known about the fourgangsters Vicky Gounder, GurpreetSekhon, Neeta Deol and Vikramjit - who also escaped from the high-security Nabha prison on Sunday morning. Another KLF ultra, Kashmir Singh, is also at large, police said. Vicky Gaunder, who was the leader of the gang, has built up a reputation among his rival gangsters, leading to the fears of a gang war on his escape. He
had allegedly killed rival gangster-turned-politician Jaswinder Singh Rocky in Parwanoo, Himachal Pradesh in May this year. So as soon as Amit Sharma, who is believed to be close to deputy chief minister of Punjab Sukhbir Singh Badal, heard news of the escape, he decided to surrender before the police. The local court has remanded him to four days in police custody. “We have arrested Amit Sharma alias Meet. He is accused of firing at a bouncer. We have got his police remand. The investigations are on,”Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, SSP of Mohali said. According to the police, a probe has been launched to probe the connection between Khalistani terrorists and gangsters who managed to escape from the jail. Police said that Pakistan is desperate to revive terrorism in the region and is using these gangs as proxy armies. A special task force has also been formed to probe the 57 gangs active in the region.
Parminder reveals links with Punjab drug mafia
MEERUT A day after he was arrested in UP’s Kairana, Parminder Singh, alias Painda, who allegedly masterminded the Nabha jailbreak, has revealed that he has “deep links” with Punjab’s notorious drug mafia and some of its kingpins. Singh’s confession, that he is a coaccused in a drug peddling case with infamous smuggler JagdishBhola, has once again revealed a narco-terror nexus operating in the border state. Shamli SP Ajay Pal, part of the interrogation, told TOI on Monday that Singh has also been accused of murdering a police officer, and in 2009, he helped an accused escape jail in a similar manner.
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MINTOO’S GOA PLAN THWARTED Terrorist held while trying to visit Delhi gurudwara before escaping to Goa & reactivating his pro-Khalistan network A detour towards a Delhi gurudwara cost escaped Khalistani terrorist Harminder Singh Mintoo his freedom as cops nabbed the 49-year-old near the Nizamuddin railway station on Monday while he was hailing an auto-rickshaw. The Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) chief fled from a high-security prison in Punjab at the weekend when about 10 armed men disguised as policemen attacked the jail, freeing five other inmates. But Mintoo was caught within 24 hours by Delhi Police’s special cell in the Capital from where he had planned to reach Goa via Mumbai and then fly off to Thailand or Germany where he could find support from members of the Khalistan movement’s international wing. Mintoo had trimmed his beard and moustache to dodge the cops. The KLF is fighting for a separate Sikh homeland in Punjab. Mintoo, who had a dozen cases against him, was arrested by state authorities two years ago at an airport when he returned from Thailand. According to security officials, investigations reveal he was in touch with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and a banned terrorist group in that country. His communications were intercepted till early this month where he has also discussed transfer of funds. However, cops have not been able to establish any direct involvement of ISI or a terror outfit in the jailbreak and say only local gangsters were involved. After the jailbreak, Punjab Police alerted their counterparts in neighbouring states, suspecting he was moving towards Delhi. Following intensive checking and tracking, Mintoo was arrested. Sources say since he had
about five hours in Delhi before his train to Panvel was to leave, he decided to visit a gurudwara. A court remanded him in police custody for seven days. Cops said that the role of the ISI and other extremist
groups has to be probed as he had also visited Pakistan. According to Delhi police Special cell, Mintoo was trying to escape to the Panvel suburb in Mumbai from the Nizamuddin railway station where he was arrested early on Monday. He had plans to go to Goa, where he had stayed from 1989 to 2007. Officials say that Mintoo, who carried a bounty of Rs 25 lakh, revealed during the investigation that the jailbreak was planned during a langar inside the prison and Gurpreet Singh Shekhon, a notorious Punjab gangster, was the mastermind. Shekon has circulated the information about the timing and escape route and Mintoo was part of the conspiracy. Interrogation has also indicated that there was likely some laxity in the security arrangements at Nabha jail. Hardened criminals were put together in cells and were allowed to interact freely within the prison premises. The inmates also had
easy access to mobile phones and SIM cards. Visitors’ meetings were used for gang dealings and planning. After the jailbreak, Mintoo was accompanied by Shekhon and two more gangsters— Kashmira Singh and Amandeep Singh, alias Dhotian, in an SUV. They travelled to Haryana’s Kaithal district where Shekhon dropped off Mintoo and Kashmira, 24 kilometers from Kaithal. Shekhon had arranged Rs 19,000 through his brother, identified as Mani, which he handed over to them. “The two kept hiding for a long time in sugarcane fields after which Singh went into a nearby village and brought a pair of scissors to change their look. Mintoo trimmed his beard and moustache to escape coming into police net,” said Arvind Deep, special commissioner of police (CP), special cell. The duo then boarded a jeep to reach Kurukshetra. There they got on a Haryana Roadways bus to reach Panipat and then took a bus for Delhi. They parted ways in the Capital, planning to meet in Goa. Cops are still carrying out raids to nab Singh, the officer said. Cops said Mintoo called up a relative in Delhi’s Subhash Nagar, which also helped the security agency track him. Punjab Police shared detailed descriptions of four vehicles used in the jailbreak. Following the alert, Delhi Police deployed 100 cops for an overnight manhunt as special cell teams were sent to hotels, railway stations and bus stands. Policemen spotted a Sikh man near the station parking, but his face did not match the photograph. “As soon as cops approached him, Mintoo took out a pistol but was overpowered. We have recovered a train ticket to Panvel and a pistol with six live cartridges,” Deep said.
Issue - 695 (5)
29 Nov. - 5 Dec, 2016
Ban on Indian films causing losses of millions: Pakistani distributors Pakistani film distributors have run up losses of millions of rupees because of a ban they imposed on Indian movies following a spike in tensions between the two countries, leading to the shelving of plans to build more multiplexes. The self-imposed ban was to have been lifted in late October but several developments, including a terror attack in Quetta that killed 60 people and was blamed by some in Pakistan on Indian elements, led to the postponement of a decision. More than a month after the ban was put in place, Pakistani exhibitors are feeling the pinch with losses of Rs 10 million in daily revenue on weekends alone, Newsweek Pakistan reported on Monday. “It is the worst year for cinemas and theaters in Pakistan,” Zoraiz Lashari, chairman of the Pakistan Film Distribution Association, was quoted as saying by the magazine. “Over 200 cinemas were in the pipeline for construction. These plans have either been shelved or are on hold for now,” he
said. Indian films had largely fuelled the cinema boom in Pakistan in recent years, with revenue from Indian films accounting for between 60% and 75% of box office revenues in Pakistan over the past three years. Salman Khan’s Sultan alone earned more than Rs 300 million at the Pakistani box office. Emporium, Pakistan’s largest shopping mall in Lahore, had announced a multiplex with nine screens. Following the ban on Indian films, the number was cut to three. Distributors are also concerned about the widespread piracy of Bollywood movies. “The decision is not hurting those who are illegally
Another MLA, Rajwinder Kaur Bhagike, quits Akali Dal after ticket denial
Moga Rajwinder Kaur Bhagike, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MLA from Nihalsinghwala constituency in Moga district, resigned from the party on Monday after she was denied the ticket to contest the 2017 assembly polls. She was replaced by Shiv Ram Kaler, who at present is MLA from Jagraon. Bhagike is the fourth MLA to quit the party over denial of ticket, after former minister Sarwan Singh Phillaur, Phillaur MLA Avinash Chander and Baghapurana MLA Maheshinder Singh. The move came a week
after Bhagike during a show of strength gave seven days to the party to reconsider its decision after the first list of 69 candidates came out. Apparently targeting agriculture minister Tota Singh, she said that the Akali Dal has given “fourfour tickets to family members of a single leader, who has even failed to curb the drug menace from the notorious Daulewala village”. “Forgetting the sacrifices of dedicated and taksali (traditional) leaders, the party is under the impression that a single party leader can make it win all assembly seats. The party will regret this,” she said. Bhagike said that had her father-in-law Jaura Singh Bhagike, a senior Akali leader, not gone to jail during Emergency, their family would be among the rich class “and then the Akali Dal would have requested us to take poll tickets”.
selling Indian movies in Pakistan,” said Nadeem Mandiwala, one of the country’s leading film importers. “They won’t stop. But we have to, who are working legally. And it’s not just about the money; it’s what we did for 40 years, rebuilding trade, which is no more.” Pakistani distributors and cinema owners had said their ban was only a response to the Indian film industry’s actions after the terrorist attack on an Indian Army camp in Uri that killed 19 soldiers. The Indian Motion Picture Producers Association prohibited its members from hiring Pakistan actors and technicians and actors such as Fawad Khan, Mahira Khan and Ali Zafar
were forced to return from India. The recent boom had taken the number of screens in Pakistan to more than 100. The film industry made only 10 movies this year, of which only two were a commercial success. In comparison, Lashari said, Pakistan exhibits more than 50 Bollywood movies every year. Pakistani distributors recently turned to films from Iran and Turkey but it’s unclear whether they can be as successful as Bollywood productions. The last time the Pakistan government imposed a ban on Indian films was after the war in 1965. This ended in 2006, when former dictator Pervez Musharraf allowed the import of a limited number of Indian movies every year. No one is sure how long the current ban will last. According to Lashari, war between artists on both sides of the Line of Control helps no one. “How is watching each others’ movies anti-state? Trade and visits by Indian religious leaders to sermons in Raiwind seem to remain halal.”
NIA arrests 3 suspected al-Qaeda operatives who were planning to kill PM Modi
Madurai Following raids in several places across Madurai in Tamil Nadu, three suspected al-Qaeda operatives were arrested today by the National Investigation Agency, police said. Police said the three allegedly planned to attack 22 top leaders of the country including Prime Minister Narendra Modi. INVESTIGATION AND ARREST Those arrested were identified as M Khareem, Asif Sultan Mohammed and Abbas Ali. While Khareem was arrested from Usmannagar, Asif Sultan Mohammed was picked up from G R Nagar and Abbas Ali from Ismailpuram.
Police said NIA raided several places on receiving specific information that suspected al-Qaeda activists were operating in and around Madurai. The NIA had tracked their movement for 10 days before apprehending the suspects today morning. Police are also on the the lookout for two other men, Hakeem and Dawood Sulaiman. The arrested men are believed to have been involved in the planning of five different court attacks. Hoards of explosives were confiscated from the suspects’ residence. Police said the arrested suspects had made threatening phone calls to six different embassies as well.
Assam car thief boasts of murdering 42 people Jorhat Bubu Konwar of central Assam is a known car thief and murder suspect. What’s unknown until his arrest this weekend is that he is a contract killer, with 42 hits by his own admission. In front of television cameras on Monday, the 38-year-old owned up to his involvement in several sensational murders, including that of a popular physician in 2006 and a Congress leader two years later. “He is a dreaded car thief and several murder cases are lodged against him. What surprised us was his boast that he has killed 42 people,” said Rishikesh Hazarika, in-charge of Pulibor police station in Jorhat district. Konwar started his innings in crime early. Beginning with petty thefts and robberies when he was 16, he graduated to car thefts, murders, kidnappings and extortion. Money was the sole motive
of this lynchpin of a gang involved in killing politicians, businessmen, taxi drivers and professionals. “He used to honey-trap businessmen with the help of girls and extort money from them,” officer Hazarika said. Konwar has more than 50 cases including seven murders and 27 car thefts against him and was arrested several times before. But he always got bail because of botched investigations and continued his criminal activities.
He was released from Jorhat jail only a few days before his re-arrest on Sunday. “My husband was used by politicians to murder their rivals. They used to pay him big sums,” Konwar’s wife, Panchi Gogoi, told news channels on Monday. The murder of prominent doctor Mridul Baruah, Congress leader Hemanta Baruah, businessman KL Ginoria in 2012 and school headmaster DN Gogoi in 2014 had grabbed headlines in Assam. These were alleged victims of Konwar.
The shocked police want to verify Konwar’s boast of 42 murders, but their efforts suffered a setback as the district court sent him to 14 days judicial custody. “The order will affect our investigation. We will apply again to seek police custody so that his involvement in the murders can be established with proof,” Hazarika said. Konwar lost three fingers of his right hand eight years ago trying to make a crude bomb at home, but that didn’t deter the son of a former Nagaland police constable from continuing his crime run. “He is from Amguri in Sivasagar district and he grew up in Nagaland. After a crime, he would flee to that state,” said Amguri police station in-charge Kiran Nath. Konwar came in touch with criminal elements early in life. His underworld links in Nagaland now helps him cool his heels in the hill state after a crime in Assam.
Issue - 695 (6)
29 Nov. - 5 Dec, 2016
California considers ban on sex between lawyers and clients The nation’s largest state bar association is overhauling ethics rules for attorneys for the first time in 30 years, and some lawyers are unhappy about a proposal that would open them up to discipline for having sex with clients. California currently bars attorneys from coercing a client into sex or demanding sex in exchange for legal representation. Supporters of an all-out ban say the relationship between a lawyer and client is inherently unequal, so any sexual relationship is potentially coercive. But some attorneys say it’s an unjustified invasion of privacy. The proposal is part of a long-awaited shake-up of the state bar association’s ethics rules for attorneys, which were last fully revised in 1987. Lawyers who violate the regulations are subject to discipline ranging from private censure to loss of their legal license. A state bar commission has spent months crafting and amending 70 rules under goals set by the California Supreme Court. Other changes under consideration would allow the state bar to discipline attorneys for discrimination and harassment even
without a separate finding of wrongdoing. The current rule requires a final determination of wrongful discrimination in a lawsuit or other proceeding before the state bar can take action. Still another change would bring California in line with other states by subjecting prosecutors to discipline for failing to turn over evidence they know or reasonably should know would help the defence. “The first and foremost goal is to promote confidence in the legal profession and administration of justice and ensure adequate protection to the public,” said Lee Smalley Edmon, a California appellate court judge and head of the commission revising the rules. The sex ban has divided the rules revision commission, though similar restrictions are in place in other states. As
of May 2015, 17 states had adopted a blanket sex ban drafted by the American Bar Association, according to an ABA committee that looked at implementation of the group’s ban.Like the ABA ban, California’s proposal creates an exception when the sexual relationship preceded the attorney-client relationship. At an October commission meeting, lawyer and commission member Daniel Eaton said the current rule regarding sex isn’t working, and pointed to a lack of disciplinary action against attorneys as evidence. Between September 1992 and January 2010, the state bar investigated 205 complaints of misconduct under the current sex restriction, according to an analysis of state bar data that accompanied the proposal. It imposed discipline in only one case.
The current rule also forbids sex if it causes the lawyer to “perform legal services incompetently.” A bright-line rule would provide clarity to attorneys and remove the difficulty of proving the sexual relationship was the result of coercion or negatively affected the lawyer’s performance, supporters say. “If we have a very flat guideline, it gets out of the area of subjectivity,” said Andrew Servais, chair of the San Diego County Bar Association’s legal ethics committee. Opponents of the ban, including the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s ethics committee, say it’s unnecessary and would be struck down as an unconstitutional violation of fundamental privacy rights. No empirical or even reliable anecdotal evidence shows a ban is needed to protect the public or regulate the legal profession, James Ham, another lawyer on the commission, said in a dissent filed with the commission. He added, “Proponents of a complete ban cannot articulate why a lawyer should be disciplined for sexual relations with a mature, intelligent, consenting adult, in the absence of any quid pro quo, coercion, intimidation or undue influence.”
Indian deer enters Pakistan’s Punjab, handed over to police, ‘escapes’
A deer that entered Pakistan’s Punjab province from the Indian side of the border on Monday was “detained” by people and “handed over” to police, according to a media report. The development came after several instances of pigeons from the Pakistani side being held by security forces, especially in India’s Punjab state. The deer entered Sialkot district of Punjab province early on Monday, Jaag TV news channel reported. The animal apparently crossed the border along the Ravi river. The channel beamed footage of several men holding the deer and carrying it along a road before a crowd on excited onlookers. It reported that deer from the Indian side often entered Pakistan in the areas along the Ravi. The channel further quoted local residents as saying
that the deer “disappeared” after it was handed over to police, who claimed it had “escaped”. The incident led to some humorous exchanges on Twitter, with people from India and Pakistan asking how the deer’s “nationality” had been established and how it had “escaped”. In the past, several “spy” pigeons have been held by Indian security forces, especially when tensions have spiked between the two countries. In October, a pigeon from the Pakistani side, was taken into “custody” after a letter written in Urdu and addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi was found attached to it by BSF personnel in Pathankot. In September, another pigeon from the Pakistani side with some Urdu words inscribed on its wings was held by police in Mukerian sub-division.
After Mann vs Sukhbir, AAP to US mosques receive hate letter threatening field ‘surprise heavyweights’ to ‘cleanse the filthy Muslims’ against CM, Majithia Talwandi Sabo After pitching its Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann against deputy
chief minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday said it will field heavyweights against chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and senior cabinet minister Bikram Singh Majithia, too. “We will field surprise heavyweights against senior Badal and Majithia as well,” AAP’s Punjab affairs incharge Sanjay Singh said at a
press conference here. The party has declared that Mann will fight against Sukhbir, who is currently MLA from Jalalabad. Sanjay was here to hold a meeting with AAP workers for feedback on candidates fielded by the party. Sources said several workers complained of a “weak” campaign in Bathinda region. Two candidates have already been replaced by the AAP citing weak campaigning.The party’s Talwandi Sabo candidate Baljinder Kaur, Bathinda-rural candidate Rupinder Kaur Ruby, and Deepak Bansal from Bathinda-urban, were with Sanjay at the press conference. On jailbreak Sanjay demanded a high-level judicial probe into the Nabha jailbreak, saying that the AAP smelt “a political angle and game plan” in the episode. “Even though we do not have any concrete evidence on the ruling politicians’ hands in this, we demand a judicial probe, as the conspiracy by those in power cannot be ruled out.”
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Three California mosques received a letter calling Muslims “vile and filthy,” praising President-elect Donald Trump and saying he plans to “cleanse” America, an association of Muslim-Americans said Sunday. The same short, anti-Muslim letter addressed to “Children of Satan” was sent in recent days to mosques in San Jose in northern California and Long Beach and Claremont in the Los Angeles area, said the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR. The letter dismissed Muslims as a “vile and filthy people” and called on them to “pack your bags and get out of Dodge,” the council said. Trump, the letter added, is “going to cleanse America and make it shine again. And, he’s going to start with you Muslims.” The document has prompted council chapters in California to appeal for stepped-up police protection of mosques. “This hate campaign targeting California houses of worship must be investigated as an act
of religious intimidation, and our state’s leaders should speak out against the growing anti-Muslim bigotry that leads to such incidents,” said Hussam Ayloush, leader of the council’s Los Angeles branch. Since Trump — who ralled against Muslims and immigrants during the campaign — was elected on November 8, more than 100 anti-Muslim incidents have occurred
across the country, said CAIR. It quoted the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which monitors hate crimes, as saying over 700 incidents targeting different minority groups had been documented since election day.
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Issue - 695 (7)
29 Nov.- 5 Dec, 2016
Nepal bans new Indian Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes, waits for RBI notification Kathmandu At a time when Nepalese citizens are facing problems in exchanging withdrawn Indian notes of
Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination, the country’s central bank on Thursday banned the exchange of India’s new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 currency notes. The Nepal Rastra Bank said the new Indian notes cannot be exchanged until the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issues a new notification under the Foreign Exchange Management Act. Such a notification allows citizens of foreign countries to hold a certain amount in Indian currency, officials said. Ramu Poudel, the Nepal Rastra Bank’s chief for the eastern region, told members of the business community in Biratnagar that the new Indian rupees are considered “ illegal” and cannot be exchanged until new arrangements are made by the Indian side. “As of now, our understanding with the Reserve Bank of India is that a Nepali citizen can hold up to Indian Rs
25,000 (in the) old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. Even the fate of those old notes is uncertain, how can these new Indian notes
coming into the market be considered as legal?” Poudel said. Indian currency is widely accepted in Nepal, where many people have been facing problems in exchanging the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. Due to the open border between the two countries, the new Indian notes too have entered areas along the border with India. Nepal and India are yet to reach an agreement on modalities for the exchange of the withdrawn notes held by Nepalese citizens. Poudel said the two central banks are in close contacts to address this issue but no way out has been found as yet. The Nepal Rastra Bank set up a task force to prepare guidelines for exchanging the withdrawn Indian currency notes. It handed over some guidelines to the Indian side through the Indian embassy of Kathmandu. Officials said the Nepalese side had
suggested that authorities could collect the withdrawn Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes from Nepalese citizens and send them to the RBI for verification and exchange into Nepali currency. Nepal’s central bank has also made it clear it will not provide over-thecounter exchange facilities to Nepalese citizens holding the withdrawn Indian currency because it lacks the expertise and technology to identify counterfeit currency. Experts said India is cautious about providing exchange facilities to citizens of a foreign country as it fears it could be misused as “ a clearing house” to convert counterfeit currency. The Nepali side also suggested that Nepalese citizens would have to open accounts at banks and financial institutions and deposit the demonetised Indian currency to receive the equivalent amount directly in their accounts. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” and finance minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara have already urged their Indian counterparts to arrange exchange facilities for Nepalese citizens. The Nepal Rastra Bank has said the country’s financial system holds Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes worth Indian Rs 33.6 million. This amount includes cash in bank vaults, financial institutions and the central bank. However, the actual amount is believed to be much higher.
AAP fields doctor from Amarinder bastion Patiala Samana The Aam Aadmi Party has announced the candidature of a qualified doctor from Patiala urban assembly seat from where Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh is likely to contest. Party convener Arvind Kejriwal announced eye specialist Dr Balbir Singh’s name from the seat at a rally in Samana on Thursday.Unlike the party strategy at Jalalabad where the party has fielded its heavyweight MP Bhagwant Mann against Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal, the party has given ticket to Dr Balbir, comparatively a weak candidate against Amarinder, who, since 2002, has won three successive elections with big margins.Dr Balbir was
reportedly demanding ticket from Sanaur or Patiala (rural).At present, Amarinder’s wife Preneet
for the latter in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, before parting ways with him.“Now, it is the turn of
Kaur represents the Patiala (urban) seat. She got elected after Amarinder resigned from assembly after being elected as the Lok Sabha member from Amritsar. In the 2014 assembly by-poll, the security of AAP candidate Harjit Singh Adaltiwala was forfeited.Dr Balbir, a former associate of suspended AAP MP Dharamvira Gandhi, had campaigned
the ‘Maharaja’ (Amarinder) to face defeat. Earlier, the AAP had packed the bags of the ‘Maharani’ (Amarinder’s wife Preneet Kaur) in the parliamentary elections,” said Kejriwal, while announcing ticket of Dr Balbir.Pertinently, Dr Gandhi had trounced the Congress heavyweight Preneet Kaur in 2014 Lok Sahba elections. He is also an environmentalist.
Indian man forced to live on terrace of UAE building for 8 months Abu Dhabi An Indian man who had been living on the terrace of a building for the past eight months in UAE’s Ajman city as his employer had not returned his passport after settling his dues, was offered help overwhelmingly by people after a local media reported his plight.Sajeev Rajan, a oneeyed man in his early 40s who worked for a Sharjahbased construction company, made the barren concrete terrace of a sixstoreyed building his residence. He has been desperately trying to return home to Kollam, in Kerala, where his wife, two children and ageing parents await him. After Khaleej Times reported his story, now several people have come forward with offers to buy air tickets, give him a job, or provide monetary help. Rajan, an electrician, had been surviving off the generosity of some construction workers and shop owners in the neighbourhood during his 237-day stay on the terrace. According to Khaleej
Times, officials of the Indian consulate refused to comment on the issue. Rajan’s employer told the
daily on Monday that he was “trying his best” to repatriate the worker. “There is no other option but to wait for the labour court hearing and I don’t know when that is due,” S. Singh, the employer who hails from Punjab, told the daily. On Monday, Rajan’s told Khaleej Times: “Please send me home or I will die here...there is no money for food or room.” “I was living in the company accommodation for two years. My contract ended on March 11 and I wanted to go home. Working for Dh900 ($245) per month did not meet my expectations.” “I do not have money for food, but a restaurant owner gives me food. One person gives me Dh3 per day for breakfast.”
Rajan told the daily that he has approached the labour court “several times”, the Indian Consulate, community associations and others “but nobody could help me”. After getting offers of help on Tuesday, Rajan thanked the people for their support. “I am happy that after a long time today I will get money for food. For several months, I had been eating from a restaurant without paying them. “For eight months, I knocked on several doors for help. I have been to the Indian consulate many times and I hope I will be able to go home soon,” he said. “I got a call from the consulate asking about my situation. Last time at the consulate, my employer had agreed to settle everything within four days. But nothing happened.” The Indian consulate had earlier told Khaleej Times that the employer had promised to settle the issue by the first week of October but nobody contacted them.
Issue - 695 (8)
29 Nov.- 5 Dec, 2016
AAP replaces candidate who accused leaders of seeking money Chandigarh Hours after he accused top Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of seeking Rs 1 crore for campaign or lose his ticket, Vinod Kumar was replaced by the party as its candidate from Bhoa segment for the Punjab assembly polls due early next year, on Thursday. The new candidate is Amarjit Singh. At a press conference earlier in the day, Vinod, a registered medical practitioner who also worked as a journalist with a Hindi national daily, had said that on November 12 he was called to a house in Sector 18 of Chandigarh and party leaders Sanjay Singh (Punjab affairs in-charge ) and Durgesh Pathak (national organisationbuilding head) gave him an offer. “They told me that I was not campaigning properly, and told
me to get Rs 1 crore deposited with them so that they could take care of it. I was shocked. They also offered for me to withdraw from the contest by taking Rs 30 lakh. They told me that there are other people in the
constituency who have offered Rs 2 crore to the party to contest,” alleged Vinod, whose candidature was announced on October 8 along with 27 others’. Vinod said MP Bhagwant Mann
Pak air force chief warns India against escalating dispute into full-scale war
Islamabad Pakistan’s air force chief has warned arch-rival India against escalating the dispute over Kashmir into full-scale war. Marshal Sohail Aman’s warning on Thursday comes as tensions are soaring between Islamabad and New Delhi over the contested Himalayan territory after a day of violent exchanges.The Pakistani army said Indian fire killed 12 civilians and three soldiers on
Wednesday - the deadliest incident in weeks of border clashes.Aman told reporters in the port city of Karachi that “it is better if India shows restrain”. If New Delhi escalates the crisis, he says Pakistani troops will “know full well how to deal with them”. Kashmir is split between Indian and Pakistani areas of control and claimed in its entirety by both countries, which have fought two wars over the territory.
French satirical paper Charlie Hebdo to publish German edition
Paris The French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo will publish a German version in the country that has given the best reception to the weekly paper outside France since the attacks that wiped out the Paris editorial staff in January 2015. Starting next week, the German edition, priced at 4 euros ($4.20), will be available across Germany every Thursday with a first print run of 200,000
copies and content mainly translated from the French version, the magazine announced Wednesday. German readers will also find some exclusive production by the French editorial staff in Paris. A team of five translators is based in the Western German town of Frankfurt. Charlie Hebdo eventually hopes to collaborate with German cartoonists.
and Sunam candidate Aman Arora were also present when the party leaders gave him the offer. He even alleged that Sanjay made him speak to Delhi CM and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal. “He (Kejriwal) also told me to take directions from Sanjay Singh and Durgesh Pathak,” said Vinod. At a press conference late evening, Sanjay announced the replacement and said it was being done as Vinod had not been able to campaign well. “He failed to engage with the public, and was told several times to improve. But he failed to meet party’s expectations. The matter even came up in the party’s political affairs committee.” About the allegations, Sanjay said, “He had obviously preempted the party’s move to replace him over nonperformance. There is not an iota of truth in what he has said. I will leave public life if he proves a word of it.” “We had made it clear to all our candidates that anyone found wanting in election campaign will have his ticket cancelled,” Sanjay told reporters. He said Vinod had claimed that he had visited 13,040 houses as part of door-to-door campaigning but had actually covered only 1,444. “He was also found wanting visa-vis wall writings and showing projector shows in Bhoa.” Vinod, when asked why he took so long to make the “Rs 1-crore demand” public, said, “I was given one week to decide, but my conscience never allowed me to fall into the trap, so I decided to make it public.”
Pakistan vet sued for Rs 25 million over kitten’s death
Islamabad A cat owner has sued an Islamabad veterinarian, accusing him of negligence that allegedly led to her cat’s death, a media report said on Wednesday. Mismah Sundus told Dawn she took her two-month-old cat for a routine check-up to Faisal Khan’s clinic in Sector F-7 of the Pakistan capital. “My cat was admitted to the hospital and I was asked to return the following day,” Sundus said.The same evening, when she picked up her cat from the clinic and returned home, the cat fell sick.Sundus said she rushed
her kitten to another doctor’s clinic where it died. “The doctor told me my cat had been kept at a lower temperature, not suitable for mammals. This is why my cat died,” she added.A post-mortem report was also submitted in the local court.The plaintiff accused Faisal Khan and his staff of negligence, and asked for Pakistani Rs 25 million in fine.Sundus also demanded that all accused serve a jail sentence. She made a plea to the veterinary council to install CCTV cameras in these clinics to monitor how animals are treated.
Canada-bound Pakistani flight diverted to UK after toilet gets choked A Pakistan International Airlines’ flight bound from Toronto to Lahore had to be diverted to Manchester after the aircraft’s toilet got clogged as something solid was thrown into it by unidentified passengers. The flight PK-798 was travelling from Toronto in Canada to Lahore, Pakistan on Saturday when the crew decided to divert it to Manchester, London.The Boeing 777-200 aircraft remained on the ground for about 3 hours, then continued its journey, the AeroInside reported.The airline said the toilets of the aircraft choked after something solid was thrown into by unidentified passengers.According to a statement issued by the airline’s spokesperson, the toilets are connected to a common drain line, all toilets onboard the aircraft were rendered unusable.
Pak sentences 5 to death for burning of Christian couple for ‘blasphemy’ Lahore A Pakistani anti-terror court sentenced five people to death on Wednesday over the killing of a Christian couple who were lynched and burned in a kiln after being falsely accused of blasphemy.The deaths of Shahzad Masih and Shama Bibi caused outrage in Pakistan and saw other Christian families living near their home in Punjab flee the area in fear.The illiterate couple had been falsely accused of tossing out pages of the Koran along with the rubbish, desecrating the Muslim holy book.Blasphemy is legally punishable by death in the deeply conservative Muslim country, where even unproven accusations can stir violence. Critics say the laws are abused to wage personal vendettas, often against Christians. Witnesses described how an angry mob of hundreds of people set upon the couple near the town of Kot Radha Kishan in Punjab in 2014, attacking them and then throwing their bodies into a brick kiln.It is unclear whether they were still alive when tossed into the kiln.Riaz Anjum, the lawyer
representing the couple’s family, said a total of 103 people had been charged in the case. But the court in the eastern city of Lahore had acquitted 90, including the owner of the brick kiln.He had been accused of locking the couple up as they tried to flee for fear they would default on their debt to him. Apart from the five sentenced to hang, eight others were given two years’ imprisonment. “The five people awarded the death sentence were involved in dragging, beating and burning the couple while the other eight played a supportive role according to the judgement,”
Anjum said. Senior prosecutor Khurram Khan confirmed the ruling. Police have traditionally been reluctant to clamp down on mob violence for fear of enraging Islamists, a fact not lost upon the relatives of the deceased. It was not clear when the death sentences would be carried out. After the attack it emerged that the couple had been falsely accused. Shahzad’s father, a faith healer who used pages with inscriptions in many languages for his work, had died shortly before the incident. The family was burning documents that belonged to him.
Issue - 695 (9)
29 Nov.- 5 Dec, 2016
AAP MP Mann says too busy With 7 lakh newborn deaths in 2015, campaigning, can’t appear India fared worse than most neighbours New Delhi India was home to 700,000 of the one million babies who died within 28 days of birth in South Asia in 2015, according to a Unicef report released in
Kathmandu on Wednesday. India consistently ranked a low sixth in newborn-care services among the eight countries in the region, including Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives. Only Pakistan and Afghanistan ranked lower than India.India accounts for 26% of newborn deaths in the world. “The total number of deaths are highest in India because of its large young population and corresponding high number of births, but the high newborn mortality rate is an indicator of where India sits in the region, and the ranking needs to be a lot higher,” said Douglas Noble, Unicef regional health adviser for South Asia, speaking to HT from Nepal. Newborn mortality rates (NMR),
defined as deaths per 1,000 live births, in India are the third highest at 28. Pakistan’s NMR is the highest at 46 followed by Afghanistan at 36, which are unacceptably high
compared to the best-performing Maldives and Sri Lanka, where 5 newborn deaths happen per 1,000 live births. The Unicef’s South Asia Health Atlas 2016 praised Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan for making remarkable progress in routine immunization given their public health challenges. It said Pakistan, Afghanistan and India need to see very significant improvements in the next few years to being down newborn death rates. Giving each child three doses of the DTP vaccine against diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus is the World Health Organization’s accepted indicator for routine immunisation coverage. In India, DPT3 coverage is 87% against Bhutan’s 99% and Bangladesh’s
Indian Sikh couple gunned down in Philippines, two suspects arrested
Manila A Sikh couple from India were gunned down on?Thursday by two bike-borne assailants in the Philippines’ Camarines Sur province, a media report said. Bahagwant Singh Buttar, 45 and his wife Jaswinder Kaur, 36, residents of Sipocot town in the province, were killed by two gunmen who were riding a bike, Tempo newspaper reported. The gunmen killed them on the spot, police said. Two suspects, Marvin Magdaong and Rodolfo T Gumatay, have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the incident by the police after a chase in Sitio
Nabuntog in Bangas Caves. The motive behind the murder was not immediately known, police said. Two pistols and live ammunition have been recovered from their possession, police said, adding that a case has been registered. There have been many attacks on Indians in the Philippines in the past. The last incident reported in August, when a 26-year-old man, who belonged to Punjab’s Phagwara and lived in Santiago city, was shot dead just a couple of months before he was scheduled to get married.
94%.“India has shown a jump up in routine immunisation coverage over the past three to four years and if it builds on this momentum and keeps going at the same pace, vaccinating 98% children will be possible very soon,” Noble said.What worked for Nepal and Bangladesh was the putting together of systems for training health workers, procurement of supplies, monitoring programmes and making course corrections, whenever needed. “We’re not talking of hi-tech solutions but interventions that can easily be applied on a large scale, such as application of chlorhexidine to the umbilical cord to prevent infection and early initiation of breastfeeding (within an hour of birth),” Noble said. With an under-five population of more than 121 million, India accounts for the highest number of the 1.5 million global childhood pneumonia and diarrhoea deaths, followed by Nigeria and Pakistan. These deaths can be prevented using vaccines, oral rehydration solution and basic hygiene practices.
before parliamentary panel
New Delhi Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) lawmaker Bhagwant Mann, who is being probed by a parliamentary panel for an alleged breach of security by him, has said he has nothing to add to or alter in his earlier deposition. Mann said he had written to the panel headed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Kirit Somaiya saying he is campaigning for the upcoming assembly elections in Punjab and should be given a few days notice to appear before it. The panel had requested him to appear before it this week.
“I will not water down my stand,” the Sangrur MP told Hindustan Times over phone from his home state where he is campaigning along with AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal. “I will be there for the November 28 hearing,” Mann said. Somaiya said Mann has to appear before the panel. “He was first requested to come... now he has been summoned,” he said. Mann had, on the first day of the monsoon session, shot a video of his journey to Parliament that showed the location of security pickets in the high-security zone and put it out on social media.
Jagmeet is now Trinamool Cong Punjab chief, AAP pact ‘strengthened’ Bathinda Ahead of the 2017 Punjab assembly elections, the Trinamool Congress on Thursday appointed former Congress leader Jagmeet Singh Brar as the party’s state unit chief. He said his unconditional support to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will continue so as to rid Punjab of the Shiromani Akali DalBharatiya Janata Party government. The Trinamool also said it plans to forge an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for the Punjab assembly polls. Brar, who was expelled from the Congress in April, is a former member of Parliament (MP) and a former Congress working committee member. “Brar has been fighting for the cause of the people of Punjab for several years. He will continue to fight against corruption and the drug menace in the state,” Trinamool Congress vice-president Mukul Roy said in Delhi. On the likely alliance, “it is too early to say anything. But we do have a great rapport with the AAP; both want to fulfil people’s
wish to get rid of the current SAD-BJP alliance government in the state,” said Trinamool MP Sultan Ahmed. In the wake of the Congress defeat in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Brar had suggested that Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi go on a sabbatical so as to introspect on the worst ever performance of the Congress. He was looking to join the AAP later, but managed to forge an alliance with it through a forum he had floated after months of issuing statements in praise of AAP boss Arvind Kejriwal.Now, he said his decision to join the Trinamool was in due consultation with the AAP. “My decision to join the Trinamool is part of a larger initiative to form a national alternative and was done after due consultation with the AAP,” Brar said.“Our efforts along with the AAP to rid Punjab of the (Parkash Singh) Badal scourge
will continue. There is no scope for difference here,” Brar said. “Our support for the AAP will continue unchanged and unconditionally under the leadership of (West Bengal chief minister) Mamata Banerjee,” he said. “In fact, Kejriwal and Mamta Banerjee have a consensus on taking on the Modi regime, and the TMC’s presence in Punjab would strengthen this move of the AAP,” Brar told HT on phone. Brar has been addressing rallies of the AAP in Punjab for over a month now, stressing that he was extending his support to Kejriwal’s ideology of clean politics without joining th hat party. On Wednesday he got an “appointment letter as in-charge of the TMC’s Punjab unit” from Mamata in Delhi following a close-door meeting between the two.“I and Mamata Banerjee have been old colleagues of our Congress days, and since then I am constant touch with her,” Brar said.
Issue - 695 (10)
Jat Sikh parents seek a professional match for their handsome, Canadian citizen son, well settled in Toronto as a professional Chartered Accountant (CA-CPA), born May-1979, 6'-1" tall. Clean shaven, non-drinker, raised in Canada. The girl should be professionally qualified, family oriented with a balance of eastern & western values. Please send your bio-data & recent picture to: email@example.com or call: 905-796-2044 ***698*** Well educated Nai Sikh family seeking a qualified match for their daughter, 83 born, 5’-1" tall, smart/beautiful, MBA from USA, on H1B visa, working as a Manager in MNC . Family is well settled in Canada. Please send your bio-data and recent pictures to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 1-204-881-3814 ***697*** Suitable match for handsome, slim, clean-shaven, graduate, Sikh Tonk-Kashtri Canadian citizen boy, 5'-10'’ tall, (28/09/ 1984 born in Moga 7:35 am), Legally divorced after short marriage. The girl should be family-oriented, from Sikh/Hindu families. The girl on Visitor/ Student Visa or Work permit can also be considered. Please send your bio-data & recent picture to: email@example.com or call 1-778-318-4240 (Vancouver) ***697*** jatt Sikh Canadian PR, 24 yrs. old, 5'-5" tall, B.com,, Buisness management (BCIT),, Red seal certified cosmetologist (ITA), Provincial instructor, slim, fair, beautiful daughter belongs to cultural family. The boy should be handsome, professionally qualified, well settled, jatt Sikh from a landlord family. Please send your bio-data & recent picture to: Sransurrey@gmail.com or call: 1-604-779-0046 or 1-604-7672727 ***697*** Jatt Sikh parents seek a suitable match for their Canadian citizen daughter, 30 yrs. old, 5'-5" tall, diploma in business administration an accounting, licensed optician, currently working as optician. The boy should be Canandian citizen/ immigrant, educated, well settled. Please send your recent picture and bio-data to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 416-879-2595 ***697*** Ramgaria Sikh family seek a suitable match for their daughter, age 32 yrs. old, 5’-3” tall, B.Tech in ECE, working in I.T., Canadian Immigrant, divorced, family oriented, well versed in both cultures. The boy should be equally qualified & employed, well versed in both cultures.Please send your biodata and recent pictures to: email@example.com or Call : 1-204-583-847, 011-9181466-57115, ***697***
29 Nov.- 5 Dec, 2016
Punjabi parents seek a suitable match for their son, 35 yrs. old, 5’-4” tall, naver married, American Citizen, clean shaven, Master’s in Elecrical Engineering, employed as a I.T. professional in a well reputed company of California U.S.A. The girl should be educated, family oriented, well versed in both culturesd, only girls can be considered who wants to relocate. Caste no bar. Please send your bio-data and recent pictures to: firstname.lastname@example.org or Call : 1510-742-2200 ***697*** Jat Sikh family seek a suitalble match for their son, 34 yrsÍ old, 5’-6” tall, Minor Psysical disablity, graduate, Canadian born, having good job. The girl should be Canadian/American Immigrant or Citiizen. Divorcee can also be considered. Please send your bio-data and recent pictures to: anita.k.gataric@gmail,com or Call : 1-604-837-8062 or 1-604525-8062 ***697*** Jatt Sikh family seek a suitable match for their daughter, born Aug., 1983, 5’-7" tall, master’s in Nursing, currently working as a Nurse practitioner, American Citizen, having strong family values. The boy should be Jatt Sikh, well educated, family oriented with good family background and from USA. Please send your bio data and recent picture to: email@example.com or call:1-559-346-7832 ***697*** Jat Sikh parents invite a matrimonial alliance for their daughter, 29 yrs. old, 5’-6” tall, Diploma in Hair dressing from Australia, beautiful, family oriented from a good family background, living in India and managing Canadian family business in India and Africa, widw (one daughter). The boy should be Canadian/American, Immigrant/Citizen, well educated, settled with family values. Whole family is well settled in Canada. Respond with family details to:firstname.lastname@example.org Or Call : 1-604-618-5834 ***697*** Well settled Jat Sikh parents seeking professionally qualified Jat Sikh match from U.S.A. or willing to relocate in U.S.A. for their daughter, 36 yrs. old, 5’-6” tall, American Citizen, Graduated, Currently Working as Human Resource Information Systerm “HIRS” Analyst with well known Health Care Organisation in Bay Areas, California. Please send your biodata and recent picture to: email@example.com Or Call : 1-408-657-7644 ***697*** Sikh Khatri parents seek a suitable match for their teetotaler, US Citizen son, 28 yrs. old, 5’4’’ tall, master’s degree in engineering from a top US university, working at a private
company in New York area. The girl should be family oriented, educated, beautiful, preferably residing in US. Please send your biodata & recent pictures to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 1- 347- 921-1453 *** 697 *** Punjabi Brahman Doctor parents seek a suitable match beautiful girl for their son, 28 yrs. old, 6’ tall, doctor in punjab. The girl should be beautiful, preferably from medical line. The boy wants to settle his own business in Ontario. Any upper caste also welcome. Younger brother software engineer is in Ottawa and relatives are well settled in Ontario & Quebec. Please send your bio-data & recent picture to:email@example.com or call: or call: 011-91- 91987-2614118 ***697*** Jat Sikh educated family seek a suitable match for their American citizen daughter, 31 yrs. old (born in 1985), 5'-3" tall, well settled in job. Boy preferred to be in USA or have a work permit.Please send your bio-data & recent picture to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 1- 209-629-3506 *** 697 *** Suitable match for Jassal boy, 26 yrs. old, 5’-10” tall, clean shaven, B.Pharma, Own Business in India. The girl should be Canadian Immigrant or Citizen. Parents Currently in Canada on visitor visa. The boy’s two sisters are well settled in Canada. Caste No Bar. Please Call : 416-540-0080 ***697*** Jat Sikh parents seek a suitable match for their Mangleek son, 25 yrs. old, 5’-10” tall, Canadian Immigrant, Bachelor in IT, well settled. The girl should be Canadian/American, Immigrant/ Citizen, educated with family values atleast 5’-5” tall. First preference goes to Chandigarh, Mohali and Patiala. Please email recent picture and bio-data to: email@example.com Or Call : 1-206-229-3330 ***697*** Jat Sikh Gill family seeks a suitable match for their daughter, 33 yrs. old, 5’-6” tall, College graduate with diploma in Business Administration and Accounting. The boy should be 33-37 yrs. of age, well qualified and raised in Canada. Please Call : 905-874-0721 ***697*** Tonk Kshatriya Sikh parents seeking a suitable match for their Canadian Citizen daughter, 28 yrs. old, 5’-3” tall, B.Com, CGA, Working with the government. The boy should be Canadian Citizen or PR, equally qualified, well settled in job in Toronto or surrounding area. Preferebly clean shaven. Please send your bio-data and recent picture to: firstname.lastname@example.org Or Call : 416-722-9771 ***697*** Looking for suitable match for 34 yrs. old, Canadian born male, 5’-
5” tall, with athletic built, minor physical disability, however fully independent and capable. The girl should be from Canada/America only. Divorced may also be considred. Please Call : 1-604722-0279 Or : 1-604-525-8062 ***697*** Jat Sikh parents seek a suitable match for their daughter, 26 yrs. old, 5’-2.5” tall, American Citizen, Registered Nurse (RN). The boy should be professionally educated. Seattle (USA), Malwa (India) prefered. Please email recent picture and bio-data to: email@example.com Or Call : 1-206-391-8477 ***697*** Saraswat Brahmin family seek a suitable match for their son, 28 yrs. old, 5’-7” tall, M.Tech. Mechanical, College Professor in India. The girl should be educated, American/Canadian Immigrant or Citizen. Uncle is well settled in U.S.A. Caste No Bar. Please send your biodata and recent picture to: firstname.lastname@example.org Or Call : 1-408-960-9190 ***697*** Well settled Ramgarhia Sikh family seeks a professionally qualified match from Canada for their beautiful, fair daughter, 25 yrs. old, 5’-3” tall, Architect, P.R. Applied, based at Hyderabad India. Father retired Army Major & Businessman. Please respond with bio-data and recent picture to: email@example.com Or Call : 647-669-7997 ***697*** Punjabi Brahmin family seek a suitable match for their son, 28 yrs. old, 6’ tall, M.S. (Artho Doctor), working in Govt. Hospital in India as a surgeon, wants to settle his own Business in Canada. The girl should be from Medical Profession, beautiful, Canadian Immigrant/Citizen atleast 5’-6” tall or above. Caste No Bar. Brother & Close relatives are well settled in Canada. Please send your bio-data and recent picture to: firstname.lastname@example.org Or Call : 647-282-9503 Or : 647347-3685 ***697*** Jat Sikh family seek a suitable match for their daughter, 33 yrs. old, 5’-7” tall, U.S.A. born, beautiful, Degree in Accounting & Finance, working in her own field, family oriented. The boy should be atleast 6’ tall,
handsome, equally educated, preferably from Bay Area. The boy on HI Visa can be considred. Please send your bio-data and recent picture to: email@example.com Or Call : 1-408-849-1525 ***697*** Sikh Khatri parents invite matrimonial alliance for their son, 32 yrs. old, 5’-7” tall, teetotaller, working as software consultant in Wisconsin on H1B Visa. Green Card is in process. Looking for a family oriented educated girl.Please respond with bio-data and recent picture to: firstname.lastname@example.org Or Call : 1414-552-7913 ***697*** Sharma family seek a suitable match for their son, 34 yrs. old, 5'8'’ tall, fair, Masters degree in business and technology from University of Waterloo, Masters in computers applications from India, Canadian immigrant (PR), working as an I.T engineer in Tata Consultancy services / BMO in Toronto. The girl should be Canadian/American immigrant/ Citizen, well educated/qualified. The girl on student visa or work visa can also contact. Caste no bar. Please send your bio-data & recent picture to: email@example.com ***697*** Punjabi Sikh parents seeking a match for their Canadian born & raised, clean shaven son, 33 yrs. old, 6’-1” tall, handsome, Doctor M.D., completed internal Medicine residency & fellowship (Specialization), now working as a specialist in G.T.A. The girl should be resident Doctor/M.D. or Physician. Born & raised in Canada from Ontario, beautiful atleast 5’-6” tall with family values. Please send your bio-data and recent picture to: sm9058@ hotmail.com ***697*** Khatri parents seeking a suitable match for their daughter, 28 yrs. old, 5’-2” tall, Amrican Citizen, professionally settled (Doctor) in her job. The boy should be American Citizen, well educated and well settled in job. Please Call : 1-347251-9112 ***697*** Prajapat parents invite matrimonial alliance for their daughter 25 yrs. old, 5’-2” tall, B.Sc. Nursing degree holder, working in govt. job in India, beautiful, family oriented. The boy should be American Citizen, educated and from a good family background. Close relatives well settled in America. Please Call : 1916-505-8907 Or : 011-91-9592925551Or Call: 1-408-476-0721 ***697***
Lady Helper White House Canada in Brampton, requires a Live-in lady helper. Hotel experience preferred but will train the suitable candidate. Must be available to stand, walk and bend for extended periods of time. Duties include making beds, dusting, cleaning bathroom, vacuuming, replenishing supplies, cooking and elderly care (1 hr. daily approx)
Issue - 695 (11)
29 Nov.- 5 Dec, 2016
Switzerland to share info on Indians holding Swiss bank accounts
New Delhi In a big step towards fighting black money stashed overseas, Switzerland on Tuesday agreed to automatic sharing of information with India on Swiss bank accounts of Indians as of September 2018 onwards. They will not share details about accounts held prior to that period, while the first such exchange will happen in September 2019. The ‘Joint Declaration’ for implementation of AEOI signed today between India and Switzerland provides that both countries will start collecting data in accordance with the global standards in 2018 and exchange it from 2019 onwards. INDIA PROMISES TO SAFEGUARD CONFIDENTIALITY OF DATA While Switzerland has conformed to the global standards on automatic exchange of information with the
signing of the declaration, India, on its part, has promised to safeguard the confidentiality of the data. “It will now be possible for India to receive from September, 2019 onwards, the financial information of accounts held by Indian residents in Switzerland for 2018 and subsequent years, on an automatic basis,” said a Finance Ministry statement. Describing the signing of declaration as a “big step”, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia tweeted: “The income tax department will be able to obtain information from accounts of all Indians stashed in Switzerland from 2018 onwards.” The Swiss Federal Department of Finance said in a statement that the signing of the joint declaration with India confirms Switzerland’s international commitment to implementing the automatic exchange of Information (AEOI) standard.
“Switzerland is thus strengthening its network of AEOI partner states. India meets in particular the high demands in terms of adherence to the principle of speciality and the safeguarding of confidentiality for the data delivered, which are prerequisites for the introduction of the AEOI,” it said. Switzerland, which has always been at the centre of the debate on black money allegedly stashed by Indians abroad, used to be known for very strong secrecy walls till a few years ago around its banking practices. A huge global pressure has resulted in Switzerland relenting on the tough secrecy clauses its local laws gave to the banks. Several information requests on details about Indians who had accounts in Swiss banks are still pending. Today’s declaration, however, does not talk about exchange of information based on stolen data or pending requests from India. BRING BACK UNACCOUNTED INDIAN MONEY STASHED ABROAD: OPPOSITION Following the government’s demonetisation of high value currency notes earlier this month as a crack down on domestic black money, some opposition parties have been demanding that the government take action to bring back the unaccounted Indian money stashed abroad, particularly in Swiss banks.
US warns its citizens of terror strikes at Christmas markets in Europe
Washington The US has warned its citizens that Europe is at a “heightened risk of terror attacks” at its Christmas markets and other seasonal holiday events. The US State Department said it had “credible information” that the Islamic State (IS) and Al Qaeda were planning attacks and focusing on the “upcoming holiday season”, reported the Telegraph.It warned American travellers to exercise caution at “holiday festivals, events and outdoor markets”.The travel warning was issued as the US military said it expected IS to resort to more traditional terrorist attacks. “We don’t think they are going to become an organisation that no longer presents a danger
once Raqqa and Mosul are taken away,” said Col John Dorrian, the spokesman for the US-led coalition against IS. “What they are going to do is devolve into the type of terror organisation that we’ve known they were all along and continue to try to do external operations and try to motivate lone wolf attackers.” The State Department warning was released a week after the one-year anniversary of the 2015 Paris attacks, which killed 130 people across the French capital. It does not mention any specific countries as being particularly at risk but notes that 2015 saw attacks in Belgium, France, Germany, and Turkey.
‘I can shoot, _I?’, ‘He can bomb, _ he?’: Peek into Islamic State’s school books
Libya arrests wife of senior al Qaida-linked militant Belmokhtar Benghazi, Libya Libyan authorities said Tuesday that they have arrested a wife of the one-eyed militant leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar, once considered the most dangerous man in the Sahara and a veteran al Qaeda-linked figure. A Libyan anti-terrorism force said that one of Belmokhtar’s wives, Asma Kadousi, was arrested Saturday along with a female companion. It said she had recently given birth in the militant stronghold of Darna, in eastern Libya. It said Belmokhtar is believed to be in southern Libya. A witness told The Associated Press earlier this month that he had seen Belmokhtar in the southern town of Sabha, where a drone attack reportedly killed a militant leader linked to Belmokhtar, along with six others, last week. The witness asked not to be named for security concerns, and it was not possible to confirm the report. The Algerian militant, once a top figure in al Qaeda’s North African affiliate, is one of the most-wanted militants in the region, with a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture. He escaped a US drone strike in eastern Libya last year.Belmokhtar led the January 2013 attack on Algeria’s Ain Amenas gas complex, in which at least 35 hostages, including
three Americans, were killed. Believed to be 43 years old, he was dubbed “the one-eyed sheikh” after losing an eye in combat.He was later named the leader of the Morabitoon, an al Qaeda-linked group that operates in northern and western
Tuesday condemned the killing of a senior religious official who was abducted in Tripoli a month ago. It was not clear who killed Nader al-Omrani, but he was a member of a religious body that is strongly opposed to Field Marshal Khalifa Hifter, who leads
Africa, according to the Long War Journal, a blog that monitors jihadi groups. Libya has been plagued by chaos since the 2011 uprising, in which US and European airstrikes helped rebels overthrow the longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Today much of the country is controlled by a patchwork of armed groups, some of which are allied to a UNbacked government based in the capital, Tripoli, and others allied to authorities based in the country’s far east.The UNbrokered government on
forces allied with the eastern government.
London School text books obtained from Mosul in Iraq showed the sickening propaganda used by the Islamic State to brain wash young children who the jihadists dub as the “Cubs of the Caliphate”. The Mirror, posted on its website, pictures of pages from the textbooks which were discovered in the eastern Mosul neighbourhood of Hay Al-Intasar during an ongoing military offensive to free hundreds of thousands of residents from ISIS’ grip in its last stronghold in Iraq.One exercise in the “English for the Islamic State” textbook for 11 year-old children asked students to find out the time but the clocks are pictured attached to sticks of dynamite with wires protruding from them. An Arabic grammar book for children aged 7-8 instructed students to use words like bomb, vest, martyr and explode in a sentence.An exercise asks students to fill in missing words in sentences such as “I can shoot, __I?” and “He can bomb, __ he?”. Another exercise instructs pupils to choose the correct word to complete the following sentence: “Usaamah is a fighter. He is
shooting in the __”. The options listed are -- ‘Battle, Park, Suq (market)’. Another page features a vocabulary list of countries. But the countries listed are all those from which significant numbers of foreign fighters have left in order to join ISIS in Syria and Iraq , such as Britain, France, Pakistan, Yemen and Nigeria, the report said. The English textbook was designed for children around the age of 11, but others, including the Arabic grammar book for children aged 7-8, show the violent propaganda being fed to children even younger. The books were used on a daily basis, as children in Mosul were forced to study for hours on end, the report said.The pictures even show evidence that some of the exercises have been completed in pencil.Earlier this year, ISIS had reportedly launched its first mobile app for children to teach them the Arabic alphabet and the vocabulary taught by it included jihadist themes along with words like ‘tank’, ‘gun’ and ‘rocket’. More than a million people have been living in Mosul under the brutal terror of ISIS since the terror group captured the city in the summer of 2014.
Issue - 695 (12)
29 Nov.- 5 Dec, 2016
China asks Muslims to oppose extremism, stick to socialism Beijing China has asked Muslim citizens to resolutely oppose religious extremism and stick to socialism with Chinese characteristics as it tightened security in the restive Muslimmajority Xinjiang province with
stern measures. Chinese Muslims should resolutely oppose religious extremism, Wang Zuo’an, chief of the state administration for religious affairs, said. In his address at the 10th National Congress of Chinese Muslims on Saturday, Wang said the development of Islam in China should stick to socialism with Chinese characteristics, state-run Xinhua news agency reported today. While respecting Muslims’ beliefs and customs, religious interference in the fields of politics, justice and education is intolerable, Wang said. It is strongly advocated that new mosques should demonstrate Chinese characteristics and
national features, instead of deliberate copying foreign architectural styles, Wang said. He also said he appreciated the work of the Islamic Association of China (IAC) during the past five years. The IAC should foster Islamic
clergy and actively carry out friendly exchange with foreign countries, Wang said. His comments came as China has tightened rules for religious ceremonies and directed residents in Xinjiang province to surrender their passports in a bid to restrict their attempts to migrate abroad. People of the province have been told to surrender their passports to local police stations for examination and management. “Those who refuse to hand in their passports should bear the responsibility themselves if they are forbidden from going abroad,” the local government directive said last week. Also Xinjiang has established religious committees and
‘One who bedeviled 11 American presidents’:
US media headlines of Castro’s death
residential communities to manage religious practices since September, requiring local residents to report their religious activities or activities attended by religious people, including circumcision, weddings and funerals, La Disheng, a professor at the Party School of the Communist Party of China Xinjiang regional committee, said. Getting a passport is often complicated and takes more time in Xinjiang than in other provinces, given the rising threat of terrorism in the region and the government’s ongoing antiterrorism campaign, an official in the province said. The new passport followed steady migration of Uyghurs, Turkik speaking Muslims to Turkey and several other countries. According to reports, several hundred Uyghur youth have been fighting along with Islamic State in Syria and China apprehends that the battle-hardened militants may return to cause more violence in the troubled province. Resource-rich Xinjiang, bordering PoK and Afghanistan was on the boil for over six years following unrest among Uyghur Muslims over the increasing settlements of Han Chinese from other provinces. The province has witnessed some deadly terror attacks in recent years which also spread to Beijing and other parts of China. The attacks were officially blamed on the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) which is linked to al-Qaeda in the past and now Islamic State.
‘Gotta catch them all’: Racist stickers in UK ask to deport Obama, London mayor
London Racist mock ‘Pakemon’ stickers featuring London mayor Sadiq Khan and US President Barack Obama have appeared in London with a tagline urging people to “deport them all”, prompting police to probe the “hate crime”, media reports said on?Sunday. The stickers with the tagline “Gotta catch and deport them all”, have been put up by unidentified persons on bus stops, cashpoints and at tube stations in London. Police are investigating the hate crime after the stickers, mock-up versions of Pokemon cards mimicking the real game’s slogan “Gotta catch’em all”, appeared, Metro.co.uk reported. One such poster has given the name ‘Hamaskhan’ to Mayor Khan, an an apparent attempt to link him to Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, it reported.It states, “Description: Probably the most dangerous Pakemon, Hamaskhan believes that Londoners should learn to accept Islamic terrorism whilst he is mayor. Weaknesses: Hamaskhan’s hatred of Christians and Jews will result
in him losing power and a long prison sentence”.One sticker features Obama, describing him as “the USA’s Muslim in Chief”, the report said.Another shows white Muslim convert Jordan Horner, who had called for Shariah Law in London, stating, “Gingermo is not a true Pakemon, having converted to Islam believing he might make some friends who are as angry and weak-minded as himself”, it reported.Stickers have been reported all over the capital, including Bromley, Surbiton and Waterloo.Some Twitter accounts have been sharing the photos of the stickers, urging people to swap and collect them. Meanwhile, British Transport Police (BTP) has urged people to report any sightings of the stickers.“British Transport Police is committed to preventing incidents of hate crime and prejudice and all incidents of this nature are investigated thoroughly. “Everyone has the right to travel on the rail network without fear or intimidation. Racially or religiously motivated crime will simply not be tolerated,” a BTP spokesman said.
Cab driver jailed in UK?for ‘misogyny’ against Muslim women
Washington US media early on Saturday headlined the death of the country’s long time rival Fidel Castro, updating websites over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and devoting major coverage to the Cuban revolutionary.The New York Times described Castro , who died late Friday in Havana, as the man who “bedeviled 11 American presidents and briefly pushed the world to the brink of nuclear war.” Castro “became a towering international figure whose importance in the 20th century far exceeded what might have been expected from the head of state of a Caribbean island nation of 11 million people,” the paper wrote.The Washington Post described Castro as “a spiritual
beacon to the world’s far left,” and although he was “beloved by a legion of followers, his detractors saw him as a repressive leader who turned Cuba into a de facto gulag.” “With his trademark fatigues and scruffy beard,” the Los Angeles Times wrote , “Castro wore his defiance of Western capitalism like a badge of honor, keeping communism alive in the Western Hemisphere two decades after the fall of the Soviet Union.” For the Miami Herald, Castro was “a shaggy-bearded figure in combat fatigues whose long shadow spread across Latin America and the world,” and wondered if history will absolve him - as the leftist icon once defiantly claimed -- or if he will be vilified.
London A 38-year-old cab driver, who pretended to be a doctor to impress Muslim women including those from Pakistan and secretly filmed himself having sex with them to extort money besides threatening to shame them, has been jailed for eight and a half years in the UK. He was convicted on charges of sexual assault, blackmail, voyeurism, theft and fraud against three victims at Cardiff Crown Court, where Judge Tom Crowther described his actions as “pure misogyny”. Farhan Mirza, from Abertillery in South Wales, met the women, who were looking for long-term relationships, using a false profile on a dating website. To impress and manipulate them into sex, he would hang surgical scrubs in his wardrobe and also carry a stethoscope, The Independent reported on Sunday. In reality, he worked as a taxi driver and IT worker and lived with his mother, the report said. He also falsely told one woman he was an IT manager and his
family were all in successful jobs, such as that his father was a company director in Pakistan
pounds in cash at his house and intimate images of herself and other women.
and his sister was a doctor. Mirza used the videos to blackmail his victims, who were all Muslim women, the report said, adding that they were targeted because of the acute shame they would suffer if the films were made public. He also threatened to send the videos to one of his victim’s relatives in Pakistan, where she feared they could be targeted by extremist religious groups, it said. A victim went to the police after she discovered 70,000
“It is the prosecution’s case that Mr Mirza is a particular kind of sexual predator and he chooses his victims carefully,” the Guardian quoted prosecutor Timothy Evans as telling the court. “Because of their religious and ethnic backgrounds, he targeted them because of the terror, embarrassment and humiliation that each of these ladies would have felt in their minds by what this defendant did to them,” Evans said.
Issue - 695 (13)
29 Nov.- 5 Dec, 2016
UK Parliament clears new surveillance law dubbed ‘snoopers’ charter’ London British Parliament has passed a new snooping law which, if gets royal assent, will give authorities
was introduced by then UK home secretary Theresa May in 2012, and took two attempts to get passed following
power to access the internet browsing history of everyone in the UK.The new Investigatory Powers Bill has been dubbed the “snooper’s charter” for its sweeping nature of access to the British public’s internet history. The law forces UK internet providers to store browsing histories, including domains visited for one year, in case of police investigations.The bill, which will come into force after receiving royal assent from Queen Elizabeth II next week,
breakdowns in the previous Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government. “It won’t happen in a big bang next week. It will be a phased programme of the introduction of the measures over a year or so,” UK Home Office official Chris Mills told a meeting of internet service providers on Thursday. The law requires telecom companies to keep records of all users’ web activity for a year, creating databases of personal information that the firms worry could be vulnerable to leaks and hackers.“The task of law enforcement and security and intelligence agencies has become vastly more demanding in this digital age. It is right that those protecting us have the powers they need to do so but it is the role of government and Parliament to ensure there are limits to those powers,” said Prime Minister May in the House of Commons recently. Welcoming the bill as a decisive
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moment in updating Britain’s surveillance laws, she said “There should be no area of cyberspace which is a haven for those who seek to harm us to plot, poison minds and peddle hatred under the radar”. “I am also clear that the exercise and scope of investigatory powers should be clearly set out and subject to stringent safeguards and robust oversight, including ‘doublelock’ authorisation for the most intrusive capabilities. This bill will establish world-leading oversight to govern an investigatory powers regime which is more open and transparent than anywhere else in the world,” she said.However, civil liberty groups have long criticised the bill, with some arguing that the law will let the UK government document everything online. Organisations including the UK Food Standards Agency and the Department for Work and Pensions will be able to see UK citizens’ entire internet browsing history within weeks. Those internet connection records ICRs in effect serve as a full list of every website that people have visited, rather than collecting which specific pages are visited or what’s done on them. ICRs will be made available to a wide range of government bodies including law enforcement agencies such as the police, the military and the secret service. It also includes the Food Standards Agency, the Gambling Commission, councils and the Welsh Ambulance Services National Health Service Trust.
Thai town lays on monkey banquet
LOPBURI It is a feast fit for a monkey king. On Sunday the central Thai town of Lopburi put on a five-star banquet for its hundreds of macaque inhabitants, sparking a mass simian food fight. Lopburi has been laying on an annual feast - part merit-making tradition and part unabashed tourist attraction - for its monkeys since the late 1980s. This year’s feast featured a smorgasbord of fruit that was quickly demolished by the hungry guests who squawked and tussled as they gulped down their feast, much to the delight of a horde of distantly related human onlookers armed with cameras.While Thailand is an overwhelmingly Buddhist nation, it has long assimilated Hindu traditions and lore from its pre-Buddhist era.As a result monkeys are afforded a special place in Thai hearts thanks to the heroic Hindu monkey god Hanuman, who helped Rama rescue his beloved wife Sita from
the clutches of an evil demon king. But the inhabitants of Lopburi take their love for monkeys to a whole new level. The festival takes place on the ruins of Phra Prang Sam Yot, an 800-year-old Khmer-era Hindu temple and one of the town’s most striking landmarks. “It’s pretty awesome to see so many wild monkeys just roaming around the streets,” said Amanda, a tourist from the United States. “They were eating over there and lots of food to choose from and they were attacking each other and running around and jumping on people,” she told AFP. The regular feeding has left Lopburi’s monkey population notoriously unafraid of humans. “The monkeys are crazy,” said Fang Xi, a 36-year-old sales manager from China. “One of the monkeys wants to steal my hair clip and doesn’t want to get off my shoulder. Two other girls were afraid and ran away.”
Kids’ hospital fulfils Mandela dream 3 years after death JOHANNESBURG Brightly-painted wards and colourful furnishings are matched by state-of-the-art equipment and pioneering operating theatres at a new children’s hospital in Johannesburg honouring Nelson Mandela.After he led the struggle to dismantle apartheid, one of Mandela’s most cherished dreams was to build the first specialist paediatric hospital in southern Africa.To mark the third anniversary of his death on December 5, and more than 10 years after he conceived the idea, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital admits its first patients on December 2. His dream materialised after a successful battle for funds despite the global economic downturn and the difficulties of inspiring donors without Mandela’s charm and iconic presence. “It’s a miracle, or just short of a miracle. The children’s hospital was a dream - nothing but a dream and an idea,” Sibongile Mkhabela, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, told AFP on a tour of one of the new
wards.Mandela, who was South Africa’s first post-apartheid president from 1994 - 1999, officially started the project in July 2009 at the site of an old cricket ground. Much of the fund-raising took place as Mandela became increasingly frail and unable to lobby for donations. “We needed $100 million (95 million euros), we had not a penny,” said Mkhabela. “It was very difficult to do it without him... extremely difficult, but people were ready to hear us, they could relate to the vision. “There are a number of ways that you can remember Mr Mandela, he was a statesman. You could build a statue... but at his core, he loved children.” The 200-bed healthcare facility had to compete for funding with emergency humanitarian crises in Syria and elsewhere. “South Africa was not seen as a big area of need,” Mkhabela said. Construction finally began in 2014 as donations came in from philanthropists and businesses including the Bill Gates Foundation, Kellogg Foundation,
Islamic Relief Worldwide and South African businessman Eric Samson. Some children even emptied their piggy banks, while ordinary South Africans donated through a popular text message appeal. The hospital logo of animated faces was designed by children, as was the wallpaper in the wards and along the corridors. The three-floor critical-care facility will provide cancer care, kidney and lung treatment, as well as heart, chest and brain surgery and a range of other urgent medical needs.
It will be staffed by 450 paediatric nurses who have been undergoing training over the past five years and 150 specialist doctors, including some from Canada’s Hospital for Sick Children and John Hopkins Medicine International in the US. Built on a plot of land covering 34,000 square metres (370,000 square feet) in the grounds of the University of the Witwatersrand, the hospital will offer free services to those from poorer backgrounds and only charge those who can afford it. It is equipped with a wide array
of advanced equipment, including ultra-sensitive scanners that can detect the “minutest” details and make “diagnoses that general equipment might not pick up”, said Joe Seoloane, the hospital’s project leader. “It’s a children’s hospital and must specialise in conditions that are unique to children. “We are proud and excited that ultimately, come December 2, we can officially say ‘Africa: here is a hospital for those conditions that you thought you need to go to Europe for’.” The hospital will also offer video broadcasting so that doctors in outlying areas across southern Africa can learn from live operations. It will be Africa’s fifth children’s hospital: there are two in Egypt, one in Kenya and a Red Cross hospital in Cape Town, all of which were built several decades ago. The hospital will have a radio station streaming music into the wards to entertain the children and will also offer on-site accommodation for parents.
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29 Nov.- 5 Dec, 2016
Danish supermarket offers fresh take on expired food COPENHAGEN It may be past its sell-by date, but for many Danes it’s a tasty proposition: A supermarket in Copenhagen selling surplus food has proved to be so popular it recently opened a second store. After launching in the gritty inner city district of Amager earlier this year, the “Wefood” project earlier this month drew a long line as it opened a second branch in Norrebro, a trendy neighbourhood popular with left-leaning academics and immigrants.Hipsters rubbed shoulders with working class mums as a cooking school founded by Claus Meyer - a co-founder of Copenhagen’s celebrated Noma restaurant - handed out cauliflower soup and bread made from surplus ingredients.“It’s awesome that instead of throwing things out they are choosing to sell it for money. You support a good cause,” said Signe Skovgaard Sorensen, a student, after picking up a bottle of upscale olive oil for 20 kroner (2.7 euros, $2.9).“Isn’t it great?” pensioner Olga Fruerlund said, holding up a jar of sweets that she planned to give to her grandchildren for Christmas.The sweets “can last for a hundred years because there is sugar in them,” she added. Selling expired food is legal in Denmark as long as it is clearly advertised and there is no immediate danger to consuming it.“We look, we smell, we feel the product and see if it’s still consumable,” project leader Bassel Hmeidan said.All products are donated by producers, import and export
companies and local supermarkets, and are collected by Wefood’s staff, all of whom are volunteers. The store’s profit goes to charity. Prices are around half of
what they would be elsewhere, but even its biggest fans would struggle to do their weekly shop here. The products available depend on what is available from donors, resulting in an eclectic mix that changes from day to day.One weekday afternoon, customers were greeted by a mountain of Disney and Star Warsbranded popcorn, while the fresh fruit section had been reduced to a handful of rotting apples. Food waste has become an increasingly hot topic in recent years, with initiatives ranging from a French ban last year on destroying unsold food products, to a global network of cafes serving dishes with food destined for the scrap heap. The Britain-based The Real Junk Food Project also opened the country’s first food waste supermarket in a warehouse near Leeds in September.With a greater focus than its Danish peer on feeding the poor, the British project urges customers to simply “pay as they feel”.A UN panel said earlier this month that
supermarkets’ preference for perfect looking produce and the use of arbitrary “best before” labels cause massive food waste that if reversed could feed the world’s hungry.
Nearly 1.3 billion tonnes of food are wasted every year, more than enough to sustain the one billion people suffering from hunger globally, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said. Denmark has managed to reduce its food waste by 25 percent over the past five years, partly due to the influential “Stop Wasting Food” group founded by Russian-born activist Selina Juul in 2008. Juul grew up in the 1980s Soviet Union and says she was shocked by the amount of food being thrown away in Denmark when she moved there as a 13 year old in 1993. “Surplus food has become very popular,” she said of one of the measures advocated by the group: offering heavy discounts on items that are about to expire, which is now done by most Danish supermarkets. Inspired by Juul, one of Denmark’s biggest discount chains, Rema 1000, has become an unlikely champion in the battle against food waste.
US names French Islamic State suspect as planner of Paris, Brussels attacks Washington The United States on Tuesday named a French veteran of the Foreign Legion as a suspect in the planning of bloody attacks in Paris and Brussels.The US State Department added Abdelilah Himich, also known as Abu Suleiman Al-Faransi, to its list of “specially designated global terrorists.”The designation said he founded 300-strong Islamic State “European foreign terrorist fighter cell” and reportedly helped plan the deadly attacks.US and French officials describe
Himich as 27 or 28 years old and as a Moroccanborn French citizen who
served six months in the French Foreign Legion. In November last year, Islamists attacked the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, sprayed cafes with bullets and set off bombs outside a soccer match. In all 130 people died, and hundreds more were hurt. Then in March, suicide
bombers attacked Brussels airport and a metro station, killing 32 more.According to the State Department, Himich helped plan these attacks, as well as providing fighters for Islamic State operations in Iraq and Syria.The designation also blacklisted Abdullah Ahmed alMeshedani, who allegedly houses fighters, answering to IS leader Abu Bakr alBaghdadi. It also named Basil Hassan, who is accused of shooting and wounding Lars Hedegaard. a 70-year-old Danish historian, in February 2013.
Two of its main initiatives are about reducing waste after the product has been sold: The company stopped offering bulk discounts in 2008 so that single-person households would not buy more than they could eat. Last year it reduced the size and price of some of its bread loaves for the same reason. “The biggest problem with food waste is among the customers,” said John Wagner, the chief executive of the Danish Grocers’ Association. Regular supermarkets were becoming better at forecasting demand for different products, but they needed to do more to inform their customers that a lot of food is edible beyond its expiry date. Wefood next year plans to open in Aarhus, Denmark’s second largest city, but Wagner said the brand was unlikely to become a major chain. “The problem should be solved before we get to the point where we have to give the products to a store like Wefood,” he said.
China curbs passports in Muslim-majority Xinjiang
Beijing Authorities in China’s western Muslim-majority Xinjiang region have told residents to “hand in their passports”, suggesting they will require approval for undertaking any foreign travel.Police in Aksu, a prefecture of 2.5 million people, have told residents to hand in passports which “will be managed by the police”, the Global Times, a Communist Party-run newspaper, reported. Xinjiang is home to around 10 million Muslim Uighurs, one of China’s 55 minority groups, who make up around half of the region’s population. It has seen intermittent violence that the government blames on Uighur separatist groups. The move is thought to be aimed at the Uighur residents of Xinjiang. Past restrictions that made it difficult for residents to
apply for passports had been applied to Uighurs but not Han Chinese residents in the province. The restrictions come as Chinese authorities say hundreds of Uighurs have left via Southeast Asia for Turkey and Syria. While Beijing says those who have left have gone to join the Islamic State, overseas Uighur groups say among those seeking refugee status are many families, including women and children fleeing from what they say is religious persecution.“Anyone who needs the passport must apply to the police station,” an official source in Aksu told the Global Times, saying the policy was being implemented province-wide.To combat what it sees as rising extremism, the Chinese government has tightened controls in Xinjiang.
Issue 695 (15)
29 Nov.- 5 Dec, 2016
Self-help bestseller COMING-of-age drama can be tricky business. The subject always sells, yet it has been done to death. In an unconventional sense, Gauri Shinde’s debut flick English Vinglish belonged to the genre the story of a shy middleaged homemmaker on an identity discovery trip can be deemed coming-of-age, too. Dear Zindagi is more traditional in the way it explores the genre, in that sense. Shinde this time tells the story of a young girl torn between her dilemmas in personal and professional lives. Bringing back the liberally melodramatic style that made English Vinglish an instant hit, Shinde’s new film is a dose of mainstream entertainment that should mainly keep the multiplex crowds happy. Alia Bhatt’s casting must have been an easy decision. She is cute, she is saleable. So she let Shinde max out the sympathy quotient for the film’s protagonist, who is weekend REVIEWS meant to be vulnerable in a feelgood way. Plus, Alia has proved sufficient acting chops
Vinayak Chakravorty By
Dear Zindagi Cast: Alia Bhatt, Shah Rukh Khan, Kunal Kapoor, Angad Bedi, Ali Zafar, Aditya Roy Kapur, Yashaswini Dayama, Ira Dubey, Rohit Saraf Direction: Gauri Shinde
in her tailormade roles of Highway and Udta Punjab, even 2 States. The smart bit about Shinde’s script is it basically requires Alia to be herself — one cannot quite find any demand for exceptional histrionics. Alia comes across impressively too, as the protagonist Kaira. She does amply to carry
Shinde’s film on her dainty shoulders. The gist: Kaira is a spirited young girl but confused about men and her mission in life. She is readying to be a cinematographer in films but her personal life (read: off-and-on boyfriends and an unhappy childhood) keep interfering. Plot progression sees Shah Rukh Khan’s very marketable cameo enter Kaira’s life. He is Jehangir Khan, or Jug, a shrink known for his unorthodox methods. Kaira’s sessions with Jug help her fathom life. She begins to understand the need for celebrating life’s little imperfections to gain overall happiness. Dear Zindagi is feelgood screen fiction, rendered in the wrap of a glossy self-help bestseller. The film’s highlights are its performances. Every member of the cast shines. Alia and SRK, particularly, have done impressively in authorbacked roles. Together, they render energy to the script. It’s your film if you love your Bollywood cuppa served with extra mush.
Gripping sci-fi adventure ALIENS touch down on earth, and the fate of the planet is in the hands of a chosen few. You have seen that idea unfold on screen only about a zillion times before, so what makes new-age Hollywood maverick Denis Villeneuve’s latest a cut above the assembly-line? Simply, imagination. Arrival mixes cutting edge storytelling with spiffy CGI, the icing on the cake being Amy Adams’ brilliant act. A finely balanced emotional core forms the base for one of the most intelligently executed action dramas you have seen this year. Genrewise, the film is masterfully narrated to regale lovers of good sci-fi cinema.
Arrival Cast: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg, Tzi Ma Direction: Denis Villeneuve
Eric Heisserer’s screenplay is based on author Ted Chiang’s novella Story Of Your Life, which won multiple awards in the realm of sci-fi writing. Action takes off quiet early into the film as several extraterrestrial spacecraft landings are sighted all around the world. A team of specialists is commissioned to investigate,
including linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams), mathematician Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner), and US Army Colonel Weber (Forest Whitaker). The onus is on Banks, of course, to communicate with the aliens before it is too late. Director Villeneuve delivers it all with relish, and an eerie undertone that brings back to mind Shyamalan’s glory days. The film turns a standard commercial theme into something special. — Vinayak Chakravorty
Issue 695 (16)
29 Nov.- 5 Dec, 2016
In Bollywood, every day is like a fight: Prachi Desai Since her debut with Rock On!! in 2008, Prachi Desai has been part of many films. However, the actor feels she has been “a bit choosy”, because the work that has been offered to her “was too repetitive”, a n d required her to play
mature parts. Prachi, who was 19 when she made her debut, says, “The minute I came in, I was perceived as a mature actor.” She adds, “Then, I did films like Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai (2010). But, amidst it all, I think people forgot that this 19-year-old deserved to play roles her age. I am still in my 20s and need to portray characters that I can relate to. I need to work with actors who are my age. Why does this [mature] image become a barrier? Ideally, I would love to do a musical, a romcom or a romantic film.” Prachi says that whenever “stalwarts and top directors” meet her, they are amazed by how young she looks in real life. “But when it comes to working with me, the reaction is the opposite. Also, since I don’t come from a film family, my father can’t produce a movie for me. So, every day is like a fight. You are on your own for everything,” says the actor, adding that “life has come full circle” with Rock On 2. “Doing the film has been very emotional and special for me,” she says. The actor admits that being part of the sequel to Rock On!! comes with “pressure and expectations”. “But this is also the most unrelatable role I have
ever played in my life. I am much younger in my head than the role that I play. If I am pulling off that maturity and complexity convincingly, then that’s just the actor in me (laughs),” she says. Calling herself an “outsider”, Prachi says that she is “waiting for movies such as Queen (2013), Highway (2014), Band Baaja Baraat (2010) or Aashiqui 2 (2013), which have changed the lives of all the respective actors”, to come her way. In fact, the actor is ready to fight for good roles. “Because I think I am talented (laughs). If I was lame, I would have given up. I am still putting in my best in all my films,” says Prachi. In 2006, Prachi started off her career with the hit TV show, Kasamh Se. Ask her if she is open to going back to TV and she says, “If the story is good, my role is fantastic and it’s a short finite series, I would consider it. I don’t differentiate between acting on TV and in films. If I ever come across a great story I wouldn’t mind co-producing a web show or a miniseries on TV.” The actor admits that the content on Indian TV today is “shocking”. “Why is it getting more regressive by the day? We need better content on TV. With films like Kapoor & Sons and Pink doing well, we know the youth wants to see things like that. But there’s nothing for them and that’s why they turn to the web,” she says.
We should be careful about what we feed our minds: Konkona Sensharma From an entertainment journalist in Page 3 (2005) to the troubled mother of a murdered teenage daughter in Talvar (2015), Konkona Sensharma’s portrayal of varied characters has often received critical acclaim. The actor says that she chooses films primarily on the basis of their content. “I choose movies that appeal to me. Also, I believe that if a film is made well, the financial aspect doesn’t matter,” she says. Konkona will soon be seen in a movie that revolves around four women who are longing for freedom. The actor says that women-centric films are doing well because of the stories that are being told today. “Films like Mary Kom (2014) and Neerja worked because they are wellmade productions. Other than the fact that they have a woman as the protagonist, they are great stories,” she says. According to Konkona, male actors are given preference over female ones mainly in commercial films. “These
things happen usually with films that are financially viable or follow some kind of mainstream, conventional format. The films may not always do well, but a large amount of money is spent on them,” she says. Konkona says that when it comes to choosing good content, the Indian audience needs to make an effort. “There is some quality control that needs to be done. We are busy watching stupid reality television shows. I would say that the way we are careful about what we eat, we should be careful about what we feed our minds as well.”
I don’t like to look back. It is a Actors aren’t running around waste of time: Abhishek Bachchan trees anymore: Bhumi Pednekar The only son of megastar Amitabh Bachchan, he made his acting debut in 2000 and won hearts for performances in films like Guru and Yuva. But Abhishek Bachchan says one should not “waste time” living on “past laurels” and should, instead, look to the future. Asked how he looks at his 16-year-old journey in filmdom, the-40-year-old said in an interview: “I don’t like to look back. It is a waste of time. It is better to look ahead and the new horizons you have set to conquer.” “If you keep looking over your shoulder, you are going to start moving backwards after a while. So don’t live on your past laurels. Look to the future and try to achieve new ones,” he added. While the actor has worked in hits like Dostana, Dhoom, Bunty Aur Babli, he has also had his share of duds like Drona and Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon. Asked if success and failure of a film affects him, Abhishek said: “Of course it does. It is like your own creative baby. You work hard on a film. When it does well, it’s a great confidence booster. It’s an affirmation that your belief in working hard is correct and you are going in the right direction.” “If the film doesn’t do well...it tells you that you didn’t get it right and you have to try to get it right. So, it’s
going to affect you both ways. Success and failure both affect you,” he added. Abhishek is married to former Miss World and well-known actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and the two were last seen on-screen in Mani Ratnam’s Raavan, which released in 2010. Abhishek is keen to work with Aishwarya again. “I would like to work with her. Like we have always said that ‘Oh! we want to work together, so let’s make a film’. You are talking about two individual actors, who individually like and want to do a script (together).” The Housefull 3 actor says whenever the couple does find something they both want to work on, they would grab the opportunity. “As and when we find something, I am sure we will be the first people to jump on board,” he said. Abhishek and Aishwarya got married in 2007 and the two welcomed their daughter Aaradhya Bachchan in November 2011. He says parenthood is an “instinct”. “The greatest thing about parenthood is that it’s an instinct and it just happens naturally. You learn to cope with it in your own way. If anybody asks me about tips on parenting, I just say ‘dont worry about it, it will come naturally to you’,” said Abhishek, who is the face of watch brand Omega.
in an industry where toned bodies are usually preferred over curvy ones, Bhumi Pedneker’s role as Sandhya in her first movie, Dum Laga Ke Haisha (2015), was a refreshing change. Defying norms, the actor pulled off a realistic, well-rounded character with aplomb. Bhumi will soon be seen in an offbeat, romantic film, titled Toilet Ek Prem Katha, alongside Akshay Kumar. Speaking about the movie, Bhumi says that she was initially nervous when she learned she would be sharing the screen with Akshay. “Working with Akshay Kumar has been a fabulous experience. He has great energy on the sets. He is always so enthusiastic about everything,” she says. are being made and are being accepted by the audience. “If you look at Dum Laga Ke Haisha, it was a purely content-based film. Things are changing; actors aren’t running around trees anymore. Characterdriven films are being made as well.” About two weeks ago, Akshay posted a picture on Instagram with Bhumi from the sets of their upcoming film. In it, the latter is seen sporting traditional wear, reminiscent of her look in her debut. “But the two characters can’t be compared, as they are very different,” the actor insists. Ask her what her primary criteria for choosing a film is, and she says, “For me, the most important thing is the story and whether the character is appealing. It has to be a strong story.”
Issue 695 (17)
29 Nov.- 5 Dec, 2016
Amber Heard asks women to speak up against domestic violence
Amber Heard, whose own abuse allegations against former husband Johnny Depp made headlines earlier this year, recently opened up about her experience and encouraged other victims to “speak up” against domestic violence. The 30-year-old teamed up with the ‘#GirlGaze Project’ to create an emotionally-charged two-minute video, where the actress speaks directly to the camera, urging women to “raise your voice” because it is the “most powerful” thing, reports
E! Online. “Speak up, speak up. Raise your voice, your voice is the most powerful thing and we, together, as women standing shoulder to shoulder cannot and will not any longer accept silence,” she encouraged. At many points in the video, Heard is seen fighting back tears, as she describes in detail the “shame” she felt through her experience. “I guess there was a lot of shame attached to that label of ‘victim,’” Heard explained. “It happens to
Stop giving us reasons to love you more: Tom Hanks send typewriter to a fan
Actor Tom Hanks has gifted a typewriter to a fan who drew sketches of him. The actor surprised Denise Esposito with a gift on Wednesday, reports Dailymail.co.uk. Hanks included a personal note to the artist, which read: “For your lovely book of sketches of all those movies... Here is a typewriter to
do with whatever you need... Make more art! And many thanks. Tom Hanks.” Esposito told the website LAist she met the Sully actor who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House earlier this week at the Rome Film Festival in October. She had managed to present his publicist with a sketchbook she put together depicting him in his movies. In September, the actor crashed a wedding in Central Park, New York, while out jogging and posed for selfies with the happy couple. Also, in 2012, a set of photographs emerged showing Hanks posing with a fan who was pretending to be passed out drunk in a North Dakota restaurant.
so many women. When it happens in your home, behind closed doors, with someone you love, it’s not as straightforward. If a stranger did this it would be a no-brainer.” The Drive Angry star then reflected on the support she received from close confidants. “If I hadn’t had a few people that I really trust around me, a few women support, a few friends. If I hadn’t had them around me, how different my life would be,” she shared. Heard also expressed that she believed there should be a greater focus on the negative stigma attached to reporting instances of domestic abuse and how to combat it, instead of solely addressing the attackers. “We need to take responsibility for how we talk about these things. The only way people are going to feel comfortable coming forward, raising their voices and standing up for themselves, is if we change the system in place that keeps them quiet,” Heard said. At the end of the former couple’s lengthy divorce battle, Depp agreed to pay Amber a 7 million dollars settlement, all of which she requested be donated to the American Civil Liberties Union and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.
face after he spotted photographers outside the celebrity hotspot before hopping into the passenger seat of his friend’s car. Perry and Bloom reportedly split after being together for 10 months. According to a report, the singer and Bloom haven’t ended on brilliant terms.
If you truly desire something and believe that it will come to you, it will: This was the essence of Rhonda Byrne’s bestseller, The Secret. In an exclusive interview, the Australian author talks about the Hollywood movie being made on the book, and if she’d like a Bollywood connection to it. Byrne’s book is celebrating its 10th anniversary, but its controversial concept attracted a lot of mockery. “Whether you believe in it or not, if you’re happy, you attract happiness,” she says. “Everyone has their own opinion. I’m okay with that.” The book’s “be happy to attract happiness” concept makes one draw similarities with Indian beliefs about positivity and good karma. But Byrne says that though her research revealed that “there might be some
relevance, it’s not obvious”. As the conversation veers to India, she says, “I wanted to visit India even before I wrote The Secret. But work always comes first. I do love Indian films, though.” She adds with a smile, “I know that a lot of Bollywood actors have used my book to become big.” We fish for names, but in vain. Instead, we ask her if she’d like a Bollywood film to be made on her book. “Actually, there’s a Hollywood flick being made on it. It’s about a man in his 40s, and a single mom with three kids. Remember Darcy from Pride and Prejudice? He’s like that,” she says. “I’d love Hugh Jackman to play the part. He’d be perfect! He is such a beautiful human being.”
My ego is going nuts. I’ll never work again: Emma Stone was so jealous of J-Law
Actor Emma Stone says she was once jealous of her friend Jennifer Lawrence and feared that she will never be able to make her mark as the Hunger Games star was so talented. Stone has now realised that they
Orlando Bloom spotted with mystery woman days after split from Katy Perry Actor Orlando Bloom headed out to lunch with a female friend amid reports of his split from singer Katy Perry. The Pirates of the Caribbean actor was recently photographed leaving SoHo House in Malibu on Tuesday. He sported a navy sweater and dark jeans, reports mirror.co.uk. He was seen trying to hide his
Rhonda Byrne wants Hugh Jackman to play lead in film on The Secret
“Not long after Halloween, Orlando confessed to pals that he’d decided to end their relationship,” a source said. “He claimed that he’s just not ready to get married and have babies.” The actor already has five-yearold son Flynn with former wife Miranda Kerr. The pair separated in 2013.
are completely different when it comes to work, reported Female First. “She may not even know this, but there was definitely a time early on when I was like, ‘Oh hey my ego is going nuts, she’s so great and vibrant and
talented, I’m screwed, I’ll never work again, goodbye yellow brick road.’ “Then I chilled and remembered we’re completely different and there is room for everyone, even if it’s an industry that doesn’t really seem to support the idea up front. We both really do love each other and care about each other as people, beyond being actors,” Stone said. The 28-year-old actor said she is always there for Lawrence, 26, and their friendship is going to remain intact. “I support her completely when it comes to work and I feel the same from her, but I know we’d be friends even if we didn’t do the same job.”
Issue 695 (18)
29 Nov.- 5 Dec, 2016
Sikh apex body asks SC to apply anti-ragging laws against ‘racist’ jokes targeting community in schools and colleges
SGPC: TREAT SARDAR JOKES AS RAGGING New Delhi SIKH jokes are no laughing matter. In fact, students indulging in them may soon end up behind bars. The apex body representing the Sikh community demanded in the Supreme Court on Thursday that “racial slurs” and “racial profiling” be included in the definition of ragging that is banned in educational institutions. The Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) approached the SC this week with suggestions regarding a possible ban on jokes or negative remarks about Sikhs. The community has over the years been at the receiving end of a large number of gags and wisecracks, which typically portray its members as dim-witted. Most of them feature two fictional characters, Santa and Banta. But many believe Sikh jokes, like all jokes playing on stereotypes and jesting about one’s race, are harmless fun. Holding
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that the stringent measures will “bolster the pride and selfesteem of youngsters belonging to the Sardar community, and preserve the Sikh identity”, the SGPC said, “since curbing of such jokes and comments on the basis of physical unshorn hair, and tie patkas (mini headscarf), or turbans, and just by virtue of adorning the symbols of their religion become the victims of mean jokes and insinuations which can emotionally scar them for life,” it said. DSGMC’s lawyer RS Suri however said he is not for any penal provision, but primarily wants sensitisation of the public, especially school students, on the issue. While Chowdhury demanded a ban on websites spreading jokes portraying the Sardar community as “persons of low intellect, stupid and foolish” and equated this to “racial abuse”, the DSGMC sought “framing the guidelines to curb the menace of the social,
racial, religious, ethnic remarks abuses or jokes and direction to the state to implement some guidelines through their law-enforcing agencies at all the public places”. “Certain types of jokes becoming viral after the advent of the social media, WhatsApp, some of which are in very bad taste, are hurting us,” Suri argued. “It is not only against the Sikhs. There is a wider canvas like Biharis, people from the Northeast also are the butt of many jokes. We may be enjoying jokes and also cracking jokes ourselves. But we do not want to become jokes ourselves.” Narrating her personal embarrassment on account of such jokes, Chowdhury had said during the last hearing: “I know the petition is strange. But I am on something else... the kids in the community are thoroughly demoralised. I am married to a Hindu family. My daughter and son do not want the ‘Kaur’ and ‘Singh’ tag with their names. Their friends make fun of them.” She said she found it strange that
when certain communities and castes are targeted, there’s always much “hue and cry”, but when Sikhs are made the butt of jokes, there is not a single word of protest. On the first day of hearing on October 31 last year, initially the court was in a mood to dismiss the petition until Chowdhury primafacie convinced the bench that it was a matter worth serious hearing and the issue was related to the prestige of the community. She argued that such jokes amounted to humiliating and insulting the Sikh community. “Why should we ban such a thing? The community is known for its great sense of humour… they enjoy the jokes … Did author Khushwant Singh not write jokes on Sikhs? And, he was a Sardar. Perhaps the Sikh community will object to the banning of these jokes on the Internet,” Justice Thakur had told Chowdhury.
Lady Helper Wanted 647-970-2665
Issue 695 (19)
29 Nov.- 5 Dec, 2016
New Delhi INDIA should amend the rules on testing the sexual potency of rape accused, a group of the country’s top forensic experts has urged in an international journal, underscoring a crucial legal contention in a nation where violence against women is common. The examination is meant to establish that the accused is physically capable of committing the alleged sexual acts. Wellknown people who underwent it include spiritual leaders Asaram Bapu and Swami Nithyananda, journalist Tarun Tejpal and actor Shiney Ahuja. However, experts say Indian laws are ambiguous on what exactly constitutes “potency” and how to determine it. Every rape accused in the country has to undergo the test, but the article suggests that to rule out impotence, experts only say “sexual dysfunction” as potency depends upon various anatomical, physiological, pathological and psychological factors. As per the changed definition of rape after Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013, potency test stands irrelevant in rape cases, therefore, medical experts are of the opinion that the test should be scrapped as in the rest of the world, a potency test does not even exist in medical literature. In Indian medical text books, it is described as ability in males to perform sexual intercourse. Forensic experts (Prof) Dr Sudhir Gupta, (Add Prof) Dr Abhishek Yadav from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Dr Shashank Pooniya from Lady Hardinge Medical College and Dr Md Shadab Raheel from FH Medical College in Firozabad (Uttar Pradesh) have said in the article that unlike sterility, potency is not permanent and it depends on various factors. Besides organic causes, diseases and psychological causes are also responsible for impotence. The article has been published in the International Egyptian Journal of Forensic Sciences. One of the authors, Prof (Dr) Sudhir Gupta, head of the forensic department at AIIMS, told Mail Today, “Whenever an accused is apprehended on charges of sexual assaults, he should be subjected to necessary medicolegal examination for collection of trace evidences without any reference to potency testing.” He added that if the accused is apprehended for committing rape under clause a, b, c and d of section 375 IPC, the person should be exempted from undergoing potency test. Another author, (Add Prof) Dr Abhishek Yadav, said, “When a person has been apprehended for committing rape under clause a, of section 375 IPC and he does not claim impotency, then there should be no reason to believe that the man is impotent and should be exempted from undergoing potency test. If the accused claims to be impotent, only then should he be subjected to potency test by a court order when the magistrate has assessed the necessity of the potency test.” Experts have argued that in a developing country like India where the health sector is already struggling due to
* A person who might have impotency towards one particular gender, needs not be impotent towards all other genders * Being or not sexually impotent also depends on performance related activity A person might not show potency in an unfamiliar or uncomfortable atmosphere
* POTENCY of an accused in current practice is determined by the fact that after general physical examination, systemic examination, absence of any major illness and anatomically normal external genitalia, no condition could be found which can interfere in an individual’s capability of performing sexual intercourse under normal circumstances. However, various other factors like pathological or psychological conditions also play part in determination of potency. These factors are not considered in most of the cases.
marriage and divorce. Recently, a fasttrack Court in Delhi raised objections to the manner in which potency examination of an accused is done and “double negative” opinion is given after the test. The court also asked the Union Health Ministry to frame guidelines for potency
tests of accused, if necessary. “The current opinion of potency tests is doublenegative and generally written as, ‘There is nothing to suggest that the person examined is incapable of performing sexual intercourse under normal circumstances’,” Dr Yadav said.
CURRENTTEST IS NOT FOOLPROOF * A man may have been potent at the time of alleged rape but may have become impotent at the time of medical examination or vice versa. This is particularly relevant when the acquisition is brought up after considerable time gap * A person who is impotent towards one particular person needs not to be impotent towards others
the lack of funds and manpower, there is no need for spending huge resources on such an issue which ultimately does not have any substantial impact over the fate of a case in a court of law. In civil courts, questions of potency arise in cases like adoption, disputed paternity, nullity of
Quake-triggered avalanche kills Nepali guide KATHMANDU A 43-year-old Nepali guide died and a British climber was injured on Monday when an earthquake triggered an avalanche on the Himalayan peak they were climbing, an expedition operator said. They were part of a 13member team climbing the 6,812-metre (22,349-foot) Ama Dablam peak in the Everest region when the 5.6 magnitude earthquake struck early
Monday. “The avalanche occurred after the quake hit,” Iswari Paudel, managing director of Himalayan Guides, told AFP. “The two were airlifted but the guide died on the way. The British climber suffered minor injuries and is undergoing treatment in Kathmandu.” Paudel said all other team members are safe. Nepal is recovering from a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake last year that killed 9,000 people,
including 18 who died when an avalanche hit the Everest base camp. In April 2014 16 guides were killed on Mount Everest when an avalanche struck, causing a virtual shutdown of the world’s highest peak for the remainder of the season. Mountaineering is a major revenue-earner for the impoverished Himalayan nation, home to eight of the world’s 14 peaks over 8,000 metres.
Issue 695 (20)
Punjabi music is witnessing a popularity spike in the maple country as more Indians sing ‘O Canada’ and take citizenship
OYE! By Karishma Kuenzang PUNJABI music is booming in Canada and how. Touring musicians say their business in the maple country have gone up by 60 to 80 per cent in the last two to three years alone, even as Punjabi music continues to dominate markets in the UK, and Dubai. Many like rapper Raftaar attribute the growing population of Indians in Canada to the increasing popularity of the genre. “Most Punjabis go to Canada anyway, and in the last two to three years, there has been an increase in Punjabi population in Canada, which is also evident in the number of Punjabi people Prime Minister Justine Trudeau has in his cabinet,” he says. “The demand has shot up almost by 80 per cent,” says Raftaar, adding that the fan following has also swelled in countries such as the US, UK and Australia. Some of the recent remakes of Punjabi classics like (kala chasma) have found a more global market, he says. Folk hop artiste Jaz Dhami is all praise for Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau for his contribution towards Indian culture. “It’s great what Trudeau has done. He is promoting Indian culture and Punjabi music, by extension, which anyway has a great following. This is one leader who understands the importance of Punjabi music in his country’s music space.” Singer Dilbagh Singh believes that it’s folk style Punjabi music that works best in Canada. “A lot of Punjabi people have shifted to Canada, and the older generation wants the younger ones to know about the Indian culture through music, hence the demand for folk numbers,” says Singh. The number of Indians have increased so much that there are now just two communities: Canadians and Indians (primarily north Indians, which comprise mostly Punjabis). THAT’S another reason why not only Punjabi music but the whole culture is getting popular, adds Singh. He also attributes the growing popularity to social media and platforms like YouTube. “Earlier, people living abroad would get to listen to a Punjabi song only if it was extremely popular in India, and was shown on TV or if someone you knew was travelling and would get a copy of the song along. But now, if you upload the video/soundtrack in the morning, you can hear it anywhere in the world in five minutes,” he says. Agrees folk hop artiste Dhami: “Social media is a great platform for Punjabi artistes today. The number of hits, likes and shares you get on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram or other platform of social media,
29 Nov. - 5 Dec, 2016
CANADA LIVE SHOWS BRING THE BUCKS Recording may be an important aspect of the music industry, but it’s live shows that are earning the big bucks for Punjabi artistes. “Most of the money made today is not through recordings and sale of albums, but through live shows,” says Singer Dilbagh Singh. Dilbagh does eight to 10 shows abroad in a year, besides doing double the number of shows in India. His performances aren’t just restricted to north India alone but also in states such as Tamil Nadu, Hyderabad, Assam and West Bengal. “Live shows are where the money lies, because unlike outside India, artistes don’t get royalties through recordings,” says rapper Raftaar. He does around 10 to 15 shows during the wedding season. decides the fate of artistes today. If you don’t have an online presence, you lose out on many fans and opportunities,” he says. “The market has increased by at least by 60 per cent in the last couple of years, and most Punjabi artistes are now doing triple the number of shows abroad,” says Dhami. According to Dilbagh Singh there is a major difference in the
taste of audience when it comes to India and abroad. “In India, people want to listen to tadka and want some Western and urban edge to Punjabi music, but outside the country, they want to listen to folk style Punjabi music,” says Singh. “So, my line-up is completely different when I perform in India and when I perform abroad. I can do a two to three hour non-
stop performance filled with some Bollywood songs in India, but when I go abroad for shows, I have to prepare old folk songs,” he adds. The real test of Punjabi music now is to break into Hollywwod, says singer Manj Musik. “It might take another 10 years or more. But that’s when I will say Punjabi music has become truly global,” says Musik.
Raunchy rap a passing fad for singers IS IT the incorporation of rap that has given Punjabi music its global boost? “People in India are now getting more familiar with rap music, so it’s natural for it to become a part of Punjabi music as well,” says Jaz Dhami, folk hop artiste. Singer Dilbagh, who equates rap to talking and speaking in rhymes, says: “Rap is like the tadka, the masala that people want to listen to. It’s like a chicken topping on a pizza — it’s a phase. Even Bollywood had a phase when there was a lot of rap in the songs,” says Dilbagh. “I think rap in Punjabi music will eventually die out, but the beats and the tunes, which are the crux of music, will stay,” he says. The evolution of Punjabi music happened from 2012 onwards, when people like Honey Singh came into the scene. “His music was gamechanging. Earlier, India was
known only for Bollywood music, but today, even Punjabi music is really popular abroad,” adds Dhami. According to singer Manj Musik it’s only Bollywood that gives more weightage to Punjabi rap. “If you ever go to Punjab, you’ll notice that Punjabi folk is still a thriving business. We need more platforms like Coke Studio and Unplugged to get audiences more educated and aware of Punjabi music, not just Bollywood.” And when it comes to rap what matters are the lyrics. For a rap song to work, the lyrics need to connect with the younger generation. “Earlier, they were mostly about picnics. Now it’s all about pubs, bars and lounges,” says rapper Raftar. “Profanities in lyrics were prevalent for a while, but it’s fading out now,” he adds.
Issue 695 (22)
29 Nov.- 5 Dec, 2016
CREEPY TRUMP TURNED OFF DIANA THOSE who were there still recall how dazzling Diana was that night. She wore diamond and pearl drop earrings and a velvet gown that was alluringly low-cut. Some 900 of New York’s most powerful movers and shakers had gathered at the Hilton Hotel in Manhattan for a glittering $1,000-a-plate charity dinner. It was December 1995, and fate had placed Donald Trump on the princess’s table, although his second wife Marla was also present. Diana had greeted him and other major donors earlier at the reception. She’d already met the tycoon several times, mostly at charity functions, but didn’t know him well, although he’d offered her complimentary membership of his Florida country club, Maralago — an offer she declined. She was certainly well aware of his reputation with women, though he had never made a pass at her. For his part, Trump had noted Diana’s qualities in some detail. As he wrote in his book, The Art Of The Comeback, published in November 1997, three months after her death: “I couldn’t help but notice how she moved people. She lit up the room. Her charm. Her presence. She was a genuine princess — a dream lady.” Totally unaware of how he felt, you can imagine Diana’s surprise soon after she and Charles were divorced in July 1996 — six months after that Manhattan dinner — to receive
Pesticides to heal cancer and HIV
A COMPANY which makes a pesticide called Doom has reacted angrily after a South African pastor said he could cure cancer and HIV by spraying it in people’s faces. In a Facebook post Lethebo Rabalago, who claims to be a prophet, says he can heal people by spraying them with Doom. Rabalago who runs the Mount Zion General Assembly in Limpopo province near the border with Mozambique. Tiger Brands, the company that produces Doom, has warned people the product is not designed to be sprayed at or even near people and a South African government commission has urged people to complain if they suffer as a result.
a huge basket of flowers from Trump. They were for her 35th birthday. Clearly the lascivious billionaire was making the princess an exception to his locker-room maxim that ‘it’s checkout time’ for women once they reach the age of 35. (Of course, history then could have taken a very different course. If they had hit it off, she might now be about to move into the White House as America’s First Lady — never having dated Dodi Fayed with such tragic consequences.) This week, however, it emerged how, two months after Diana was killed in that car crash in Paris, Trump talked about her with rather less respect than he showed in the
book. Rather, she was a potential sexual target. At the time, he was a guest on an American radio show presented by ‘shock jock’ DJ Howard Stern and he boasted, on air, that he ‘could and would’ have slept with Diana. “You could have nailed her,” suggested the DJ crudely, to which Trump replied: “I think I could have...She had the height,
the beauty, and the skin.” Nothing, notice, about what it was that he thought might make him attractive to her. For these were the obnoxious thoughts of a rich man whose own marriage was beginning to crumble and who believed his charm, fortified by his money, could buy him just about anything, or anyone. Two years later, his marriage to Marla
Japan skating rink slammed for freezing 5,000 fish TOKYO A Japanese skating rink that froze 5,000 dead fish into the ice as an attraction for visitors has been forced to close after receiving a barrage of criticism. Amusement park Space World is now melting the rink - which could take about a week - and will hold a memorial service for
the fish, the company said. The rink in southwestern Japan opened on November 12, after 5,000 fish were frozen under the surface of the ice as a decorative effect while customers skated above. But the concept was slammed as unethical and the rink in the city of Kitakyushu was forced to close on Sunday, Space World spokesman Koji Shibata said. “We received critical voices saying it is not good to use creatures as a toy, and that it is
bad to let food go to waste,” he told AFP on Monday. Social media erupted, with one visitor to the park’s Facebook page writing: “An event on an ice rink with frozen fish... How sinful.” “This is not personal but a social issue. They made food into a toy where children go and play,” said another. Shibata said the fish were all already dead at the time of purchase and were considered unfit to be sold in markets. “Internally we’d had discussions over the morality of the idea” before the display was set up, he said. Toshimi Takeda, general manager of Space World, said the intention was for customers to have fun while also learning about fish. “We wanted customers to experience the feeling of skating on the sea, but after receiving criticism, we decided that we could not operate it any more”, he said. “We are planning to hold a memorial service for the fish inviting a Shinto priest, which we’d planned before getting criticised.”
was over after just six years. The truth is Trump hadn’t said much to Diana that evening in New York. In fact, the one person Diana was really hoping to meet didn’t show up. This was John F. Kennedy Jnr, son of the assassinated JFK and, at 35, a year older than Diana and said to be the world’s most eligible bachelor. Young JFK Jnr was told later that he ‘missed a treat’ — Diana was so bewitching that she was described as having ‘won Amer ica’. As for Trump, his remarks at the Hilton gala were confined to expressing his admiration for the way Diana handled a heckler who interrupted her speech. It happened when the princess was talking about people in need, especially parents with small children, when a middle-
aged woman shouted out: “Where are your children, Diana?” “At school!” shot back the princess, and she moved seamlessly on. No doubt Trump would have liked to have had more than a few words with the princess, who that night was sitting between two of the most respected figures in America, the celebrated veteran statesman Henry Kissinger and Colin Powell, the U.S. Army four-star general who later became Secretary of State under President George W. Bush. The vain Trump clearly assumed he could be in with a chance. After all, the princess had then been separated from the Prince of Wales for more than three years and had been enjoying the company of another billionaire American.
Issue 695 (23)
29 Nov.- 5 Dec, 2016
DEATH OF Fidel Castro Former Cuban President, a defining figure of 20th century, dies at 90 FIDEL Castro, the Cuban revolutionary leader who built a communist state on the doorstep of the United States and for five decades defied U.S. efforts to topple him, died on Friday. He was 90. A towering figure of the second half of the 20th Century, Castro stuck to his ideology beyond the collapse of Soviet communism and remained widely respected in parts of the world that had struggled against colonial rule. He had been in poor health since an intestinal ailment nearly killed him in 2006. He formally ceded power to his younger brother Raul Castro two years later. Wearing a green military uniform, a somber Raul Castro, 85, appeared on state television on Friday night to announce his brother’s death. “At 10.29 at night, the chief commander of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz died,” he said, without giving a cause of death. “Ever onward, to victory,” he said, using the slogan of the Cuban revolution. on December 4. The bearded Fidel Castro took power in a 1959 revolution and ruled Cuba for 49 years with a mix of charisma and iron will creating a oneparty state and becoming a central figure in the Cold War. He was demonized by the U. S. and its allies but admired by many leftists around the world,
Tributes came in from allies, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Venezuela’s socialist President Nicolas Maduro, who said “revolutionaries of the world must follow his legacy. Although Raul Castro always glorified his older brother, he has changed Cuba by introducing economic reforms and agreeing with the United States in December 2014 to reestablish diplomatic ties and end decades of hostility. Fidel Castro offered only lukewarm support for the deal. He also did not meet Barack Obama when he visited Havana earlier this year, the first time a U.S. president had stepped foot on Cuban soil since 1928. The news of Castro’s death spread slowly among Friday night revelers on the streets of Havana. Cuba declared nine days of mourning, during which time the ashes will be taken to different parts of the country. A burial ceremony will be held
especially socialist revolutionaries in Latin America and Africa. In April, in a rare public appearance at the Communist Party conference, Fidel Castro shocked party apparatchiks by referring to his own imminent mortality. “Soon I will be like all the rest. Our turn comes to all of us, but the ideas of the Cuban communists will remain,” he said.
How 638 ways to kill Castro failed AFTER surviving more than 600 reported assassination attempts, former Cuban president Fidel Castro passed away peacefully aged 90. The controversial Communist leader, who ruled his country with an iron fist as a one-party state from 1959 to 2008, spent most of his fifty years in the cross-hairs of the U.S. government. “If surviving assassination attempts were an Olympic event, I would win the gold medal,” he once said of the multiple attempts on his life. Fabian Escalante, who protected Castro, claims there were 638 CIA plots to assassinate him that would seem at home in a James Bond movie. From exploding cigars and exploding seashells, to a poisonous fountain pen
and a mafia-style execution, CIA made countless attempts to topple the him in 1960s. One of the most famous came when CIA hired his ex-mistress Marita Lorenz to feed him poisoned capsules. They convinced her that she had to return to Cuba to assassinate her former lover for the good of America. However, Castro found out about the attempt, and allegedly handed her a gun and told her to shoot him, which she said she could not. And the assassination bids kept coming. “More people have tried to murder the world’s most famous socialist than any man alive,” according to the 2006 British documentary ‘638 Ways to Kill Castro.’
Issue 695 (24)
29 Nov.- 5 Dec, 2016
A karmic situation comes to the fore as you face a difficult emotional choice or professional decision this week. A positive attitude takes you smoothly through most situations. The past catches up as old records and projects are revived once again. Enemies and competitors in business hang about you in a sinister fashion but cannot harm you in any way or taint your reputation. Emotional people need attention and their mood swings may not be easy to deal with. Business and finances go through a temporary low which can be taken in y stride.
You face truths and facts in personal and professional situations to gain clarity and understanding. A gentle and kind approach helps you to get your point across in personal and business partnerships. Youthful energy allows you to look at options and new beginnings. You finally come up with brilliant ideas and plans, which are actualised in a subtle and intelligent manner without inviting opposition. You are mentally strong and stand to win any argument or debate in a professional controversy. Media involvement and exposure can give you an opportunity for creative expression.
There is a strong feeling of enthusiasm and emotional resonance in your life and personal relationships this week. You are graceful and amiable in family matters and social occasions. You respond quickly to attraction and new ideas at work but may find it hard to sustain the same level of interest for a length of time. Beware of external influences or interested people who attempt to sway your resolve and decision to make a professional move. A sentimental journey down memory lane with an old friend is on the cards. Look for depth and character when choosing a partner or associate.
You establish a foundation for further expansion and professional growth after a period of struggle this week. You enjoy the support of two significant people in an important venture. Business collaboration leads to friendship and association over a period of time. You are in the limelight and all kinds of expectations need to be fulfilled, however, it is important to remember your own priorities. You are strong enough to stand your ground and do what is fair, just and noble in family situations and business partnerships. The weekend is a good time to look into the past and do some introspection.
You have established a deep personal, family roots and professional foundation. Changes may come and expansion may be considered but your material stability stays intact as you remain in a position of power. You spend time with family and close friends. Older relatives or parents may need your assistance, be available. You can expect to hear some good news and receive visitors. Profit in business is imminent but continue creative activity in professional ventures. Avoid being heavy and laid back when you need to be active and dynamic.
You are blessed with beauty, pleasure and happiness in personal relationships and gain in business partnerships this week. Its best to go with the flow as the river of life is taking you in an unfamiliar but positive direction. If you swim upstream in the river and struggle against the flow you give yourself a hard time and achieve nothing. Your trust in personal friendships and professional opportunities is restored after some meditation and introspection. You win over people with your innocent and friendly nature but beware of being taken for a ride. Walking or gardening is good for you.
You resolve family conflicts and professional situations with calm authority. You are persistent, yet adaptable when business goals are to be achieved and targets have to be met. Love and romance in personal relationships add spice and spontaneity to everything you do. Beware of an older woman who is quick to take offense without good cause. You are blessed with good health and energy to participate in busy schedules. You can swim easily through troubled waters with your personal charm, warmth and charisma, which disarms most people.
Whether you are beginning something new and need inspiration or you have just finished something and want to rest and rejuvenate your energy, meditate and tap the source of life and nourishment within you. A professional opportunity that comes out of the blue is hard to resist as it promises name and gain. A transforming personal experience is on the cards! Physical strength and endurance enable you to indulge in busy schedules and competitive sport. You must aim for the highest and not make compromises, as achievement of the highest degree is possible now.
You are full of intellectual ideas and designs this week as new opportunities and projects get underway. You dominate professional scenes with brilliant plans. You tend to be changeable with an interest in far too many aspects that can divide your energy. Donâ€™t allow a malicious and unreliable man to meddle in family or business affairs. Your social life is scintillating as you connect with interesting and well-known personalities. You need not over analyze personal relationships but rather respond with your heart and deep feelings, only then can you expect love and support from partner.
Golden Cups full of light and lotus blossoms greet you this week with love, pleasure and happiness in personal relationships. You taste abundance and success in professional ventures. A family celebration brings you closer to old friends and long lost family. You donâ€™t have a good excuse to be unhappy, in fact, share your love, happiness and goodwill with all around you. Your social life is busy and scintillating. Beware of conceit in professional matters and over indulgence in food, drink or emotion on social occasions.
You are blessed with divine wisdom and endurance to achieve professional and personal goals. You can be stubborn and persevering in your efforts. You play the role of a father figure and take responsibility for people. You are the consultant and advisor in the family, as well as, in your field of activity. You make an impact and a big difference wherever you are, especially during conflicts and discussions. Investment in land, home or property would be gainful. You invite respect and appreciation for your participation in prestigious professional projects.
A harmonious movement of the planets around the Sun brings success and gain in professional and business matters this week! You stand firm and strong through ups and downs to maintain a position of power and influence. Your personal relationship maybe going through a somewhat dreamy and transitory stage at this point. Itâ€™s best to wait and watch how it goes before making a commitment. Beware of a conceited adversary, as he can be insolent and belligerent in professional meetings. Beware of making compromises to gain power or approval of others at the cost of your own priorities.
Issue 695 (25)
29 Nov.- 5 Dec, 2016
Technology HACKERS TARGET ATMS ACROSS Twitter boss Jack EUROPE AS CYBER THREAT GROWS Dorsey’s account London Cyber criminals have remotely attacked cash machines in more than a dozen countries across Europe this year, using malicious software that forces machines to spit out cash, according to Russian cyber security firm Group IB. Diebold Nixdorf and NCR Corp, the world’s two largest ATM makers, said they were aware of the attacks and have been working with customers to mitigate the threat. The newly disclosed heists across Europe follow the hacking of ATMs in Taiwan and Thailand that were widely reported over the summer. Although cyber criminals have been attacking cash machines for at least five years, the early campaigns mostly involved small numbers of ATMs because hackers needed to have physical access to cash out machines. The recent heists in Europe and Asia were run from central, remote command centers, enabling criminals to target large numbers of machines in “smash and grab” operations that seek to drain large amounts of cash before banks
uncover the hacks. “They are taking this to the next level in being able to attack a large number of machines at once,” said Nicholas Billett, Diebold Nixdorf’s senior director of core software and ATM Security. “They know they will be caught fairly quickly, so they stage it in such a way that they can get cash from as many ATMs as they can before they get shut down.” Group IB declined to name banks that were “jackpotted,” a term used to describe forcing ATMs to spit out cash, but said the victims were located in Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, Britain and Malaysia. Indeed, Dmitry Volkov, head of threat intelligence
with Group IB, told Reuters he expects more heists on ATMs. MORE HEISTS EXPECTED Hackers have moved from stealing payment card numbers and online banking credentials to more lucrative hacks on bank networks, giving them access not only to ATM machines, but also to electronic payment networks. A February attack on servers at Bangladesh’s central bank that controlled access to the SWIFT messaging system yielded more than $81 million in one of the biggest digital heists on record. Russian banks lost over $28 million in a series of wire-fraud cases that were identified earlier this year. “What we are seeing demonstrated is the new
model of organized crime,” said Shane Shook, an independent security consultant who helps banks and governments investigate cyber attacks and reviewed Group IB’s findings. Diebold Nixdorf and NCR both said they had provided banks with information on how to thwart the new types of attacks. “We have been working actively with customers, including those who have been impacted, as well as developing proactive security solutions and strategies to help prevent and minimize the impact of these attacks,” said Owen Wild, NCR’s global marketing director for enterprise fraud and security. Disclosure of the campaign follows two ATM hacks in July: $2.5 million was stolen from Taiwan’s First Bank and $350,000 from Thailand’s state-run Government Savings Bank. Hackers remotely infected ATMs at both banks, forcing them to spit out cash that was collected by teams of “money mules,” who authorities say traveled to Asia from Eastern Europe.
San Francisco The Twitter account of Jack Dorsey, the social network’s CEO and cofounder, was briefly suspended because of what he called “an internal mistake.” “Just setting up my twttr...Again (account suspension was an internal mistake),” Dorsey tweeted late yesterday. For about 15 minutes those trying to access Dorsey’s account received a message stating that the account was suspended. Only the company can suspend Twitter accounts, though users can deactivate their own. The company did not respond to an AFP inquiry. The incident came as
Twitter is struggling to increase its user base and seeking a path to profitability. Co-founder Dorsey returned as chief executive last year but has yet to ignite growth. Just weeks after reporting job cuts and a disappointing fiscal quarter, Twitter announced earlier this month that chief operating officer Adam Bain was leaving the company. Twitter was widely reported to be in talks to find a buyer but no deal has materialized. The company recently said it would cut nine percent of its workforce and discontinue its looping video application Vine in the coming months.
Facebook rolling out Mark Zuckerberg sells another $95 million in Facebook stock: Report new feature; now find nearby Wi-Fi
New York Social networking giant, Facebook, is rolling out a new feature that lets users to find nearby wireless hotspots for enhanced real-time
information sharing, it was reported on Tuesday. Earlier Facebook used to ask “Pages” to list Wi-Fi locations at their physical addresses and that seems the backbone that the
information is built on, the Next Web reported. “Without a strong internet connection, people have pretty shoddy results when trying to film live video. The more nearby locations Facebook can point you to, the better the quality of real-time information sharing, news, and viral-esque video content becomes,” noted the report. However, it was not clear if Android users can avail this feature and it has not rolled out to every iOS user yet.
New York Continuing on his goal to improve the world with his donations, Social networking giant Facebook‘s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has sold $95 million in Facebook stock between November 17 and 18, according to regulatory filings. The sale follows $190 million in Facebook stock sold by the same entities in October and another $190 million sold in September, Forbes reported on Monday adding that Zuckerberg has said that he will not sell or give away more than $1 billion in Facebook stock per year through 2018. “Zuckerberg`s net worth at
$52 billion. His net worth has increased over the past year despite the stock sales as a result of the rise in Facebook`s stock price,” noted the report. In September Chan and Zuckerberg had pledged to spend $3 billion over next decade to combat disease.
Facebook CEO had said at that time that if they could develop new tools, they could empower scientists all around the world to make much faster progress and breakthroughs. According to the Forbes estimates, Zuckerberg is currently the fourth richest person in the world.
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Pakistan court issues arrest warrant against Pervez Musharraf
Islamabad A Pakistani provincial court on Monday issued arrest warrant against former President General Pervez Musharraf in a case pertaining to the alleged murder of former Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti. A divisional bench of Balochistan High Court passed the order during hearing of a review petition challenging acquittal of the former President by an Anti-Terrorism Court in the case, Dawn reported. Justice Jamal Mandokhail and Justice Zaheeruddin Kakar heard a review petition filed by Nawabzada Jamil Bugti, son of Akbar Bugti. The counsel of former President Musharraf,
Akhtar Shah pleaded in the court that although his client respects the court, he cannot appear before the court due to “security reasons”. However, Bugti’s lawyer complained that despite repeated orders, the former President has failed to appear before the court. The court ordered that the administration should ensure provision of security to the former President while he appears in court. Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Bugti was killed in an operation in Balochistan’s rugged mountains of Taratani in Kohlu district on August 26, 2006. Bugti had led an armed campaign to press for provincial autonomy and a greater share of profits from Balochistan’s natural resources. The death of the Baloch chieftain had sparked angry protests in parts of the country.
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Brexit: UK government faces new legal challenge over single market London British Prime Minister Theresa May is set to face a new legal battle over whether the UK stays or leaves the European single market, the second legal challenge faced by the government over the Brexit process. British Influence, a pro-EU thinktank, is demanding a judicial review into the UK government’s assumption that membership of the European Economic Area (EEA) automatically ends when the country leaves the European Union (EU). Its lawyers claim the UK will not leave the European single market automatically when it leaves the EU and that the UK Parliament should decide on it. “There is a strong chance that the UK will be acting unlawfully by taking us out of the EEA with Brexit. We consider that they have an obligation to seek urgent clarification in the courts. So we are going to be petitioning for a judicial review,” said Jonathan Lis, deputy director for British Influence. British Influence said today it is writing to Brexit Secretary David Davis to inform him that it will seek a formal judicial review of the government’s position. But the UK
government’s stand is that the country’s EEA membership ends when the UK officially leaves the EU following a referendum in favour of an exit from the economic bloc in June.
The European single market is a trade agreement that allows different countries within the EU to trade across borders as easily as they can within their own country, with no extra tariffs or negotiations. There is a view which claims that Article 50, which deals with a country’s exit from the EU, does not provide for leaving the EEA, which extends the single market’s tariff-free trade in goods to countries like Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein — which are not full members of the EU. If the courts back the legal challenge and give Parliament the final say over EEA membership, then MPs could vote to ensure that Britain stays in the single market until
a long-term trading relationship with the EU has been agreed. The legal question is focused on whether the UK is a member of the EEA in its own right or because it is an EU member. Professor George Yarrow, chairman of the Regulatory Policy Institute and emeritus professor at Hertford College, Oxford, told BBC, “There is no provision in the EEAAgreement for UK membership to lapse if the UK withdraws from the EU. The only exit mechanism specified is Article 127, which would need to be triggered.” This latest challenge could mean a lengthy legal process, which could delay Brexit negotiations. If the courts say Article 127 does needs to be triggered, there is the question of whether an act of Parliament would be needed for it to be authorised. A UK government spokesperson said, “As the UK is party to the EEA Agreement only in its capacity as an EU member state, once we leave the European Union we will automatically cease to be a member of the EEA.”
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Issue - 695 (27)
29 Nov.- 5 Dec, 2016
Obama pardons last turkey in Thanksgiving tradition WASHINGTON President Barack Obama pardoned his last Thanksgiving turkey on Wednesday, an annual tradition that sees the US leader spare two birds - the centerpiece of most holiday tables - from the carving knife.
Obama’s teenage daughters, Sasha and Malia, who have stood by his side during previous pardons - notably casting sideeye glances at their father’s turkey-themed puns - were absent this year.The festive occasion, rife with bad jokes and poultry photo-ops, saw Obama’s significantly younger nephews, Austin and Aaron Robinson, take their place. “Unlike Malia and Sasha, they have not yet been turned cynical by Washington,” Obama said to laughter. “Thanksgiving is a chance to
gather with loved ones, reflect on our many blessings and, after a long campaign season, finally turn our attention from polls to poultry,” he said as he introduced this year’s turkeys - two 40pound, 18-week-old birds hailing from northwest Iowa, named
Tater and Tot.Tot was pardoned in the Rose Garden ceremony, while Tater was on hand as an alternate, should anything go awry with the main bird.“I want to take a moment to recognize the brave turkeys who weren’t so lucky, who didn’t get to ride the gravy train to freedom, who met their fate with courage and sacrifice and proved they weren’t chicken,” Obama said prompting amused groans from the gathering.“It’s not that bad now, come on,” he quipped. “All right, congratulations,”
Ex-US prosecutor, ‘most eligible bachelor’ again accused of sexual assault
Boston A former Massachusetts prosecutor once named one of People Magazine’s most eligible bachelors is again facing sexual assault allegations. Gary Zerola was arraigned Wednesday on two counts of sexual assault following an
incident that authorities say happened November 10 in Boston. He was held on $10,000 cash bail and ordered to wear a GPS monitoring bracelet, observe a curfew, have no contact with the victim and not consume alcohol. Authorities say Zerola and the victim were acquainted before the incident. The 45-year-old former Suffolk County prosecutor faced three sexual assault charges between 2006 and 2007, but was never convicted. Zerola made People Magazine’s list of America’s Top 50 Bachelors in 2001. His lawyer tells WCVB-TV the case is “based on a foundation of lies.” Zerola’s next court date is January 4.
Obama told the crowd after pardoning Tot, as the turkey gobbled on cue. The president also took the opportunity - his last pardoning before he leaves office in January - to check off a list of accomplishments he was thankful for: six straight years of job creation, the stock market tripling, uninsured rates at alltime lows thanks to his signature health care initiative and marriage equality, among others. “Thanksgiving is also a reminder of the source of our national strength, that out of many we are one and we’re bound not by race or religion but adherence to a common creed,” Obama said. The origin of the pardoning tradition is unclear - tales of spared turkeys date back to the 19th-century and the days of Abraham Lincoln whose son, the story goes, convinced him to let a bird live.John F. Kennedy was the first president to formally spare a turkey, in November 1963, but it wasn’t until the days of George H.W. Bush in 1989, that pardoning became a White House ritual.Thanksgiving is celebrated each year on the last Thursday of November.This year’s turkeys will live out the rest of their lives at Virginia Tech University’s newly built “Gobblers Rest” facility in its animal and poultry sciences department.
At 99, Colombian woman named America happy to become a US citizen
New York At age 99, a woman named America has become a US citizen.America Maria Hernandez, who was born in Colombia in 1917 and was brought to the US by one of her daughters in 1988, signed her naturalisation certificate and took the oath of allegiance during a ceremony Wednesday in her living room.Surrounded by family members, she smiled and said she was very happy. “I live in New York, the capital of the world,” she said while waiving a small American flag. Hernandez was born in October 1917 in Cordoba, Colombia, but mostly lived in Barranquilla. She had 12 children and now has 22 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. Hernandez’s daughter Hortensia Martinez, 69, said she brought Hernandez to the US so she
could help her take care of her son. Hernandez arrived with a green card arranged by her daughter, who had married a US citizen. Instead of renewing the card, the family asked Hernandez if she wanted to become a US citizen, and she said yes. Hernandez walks with a cane, likes to watch TV and enjoys attending activities at a local senior centre at least once a week. Asked on Wednesday what her secret for a long life is, she responded, “Being well, with my children. They all work. They are all good.” According to US Citizenship and Immigration Services, 730,000 people became US citizens in the government’s 2015 fiscal year. About 84,000 of those naturalisations were in the New York area.
Trump to name billionaire investor Ross as commerce secy Washington Donald Trump is expected to name as his commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, a billionaire investor who specialises in turning around failing companies as the US?President-elect expands his cabinet and makes it more diverse. And in his message to the nation on Thanksgiving, a national festival, Trump called for the need to “begin to heal our divisions”, invoking Abraham Lincoln to urge Americans to speak with “one voice and one heart”. Ross was instrumental in shaping Trump’s campaign platform on economy, specially the hardline position against the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, which Trump is determined to exit. According to The Washington Post, which first reported Ross was being considered, the investor built his fortune turning around distressed companies — one of which he sold to Lakshmi Mittal, the Indiaborn steel king. India will be following this appointment closely as commerce is now the second and equally important leg of an expanded bilateral annual engagement since 2014, called India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue.
On Wednesday, he named billionaire Betty DeVos to head the education department, adding another woman to his team after South Carolina’s Indian American governor Nikki Haley who will be US
his chief strategist and counsel. It came amid celebration of Trump’s victory among Alt-Right elements and a sharp spike in hate attacks on blacks, muslims, jews, hispanics and LGBT community across the
ambassador to the UN. Trump also named rival-turnedally Ben Carson his housing and urban development secretary, making him the first African American member in his team, which has been criticised for such appointments as the divisive Steven Bannon. Bannon, who as head of Breitbart News turned the publication into a platform for anti-semitic, racist and antiimmigrants Alt-Right conservatives, was among Trump’s first announcements, as
country, and fuelled fears of deepening fissures in American society. Trump has tried to stop it, but has been seen to be slow. His thanksgiving message sought to address those fears but it may take time, he cautioned. “We have just finished a long and bruising political campaign. Emotions are raw and tensions just don’t heal overnight. It doesn’t go quickly, unfortunately, but we have before us the chance now to make history together to bring real change.”
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Indian-Americans hail Nikki Haley’s US woman shoots house guests for being ‘too loud’, overstaying nomination as US envoy to UN Washington Cutting across party lines, Indian-Americans have hailed the nomination of Nikki Haley as the US envoy to the UN, saying this would further strengthen Indo-US
ties under the incoming Trump administration. If confirmed, Haley, 44, would be the first ever Cabinet-level official to ever serve in any US presidential administration. This would not only bring the Indian-American community closer to the Republican party, but further strengthen India-US relationship, said Sampat Shivangi, a Republican leader, who holds the distinction of attending the last four Republican National Convention. “This is a masterstroke. Now India has a friend at the highest
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world body. May be in securing India’s rightful place at the UN Security Council and other important matters. One thing to admire about Haley she has not forgotten her roots or heritage,”
Shivangi said. Haley is a great choice for the UN Ambassador post, said M Rangaswami, a Silicon Valleybased Indian-American entrepreneur. “She has had prior experience in South Carolina with foreign companies and governments. Nikki has been to India and has a good relationship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said.“The Indian-American community is excited that we now have someone at the cabinet level in the US government for the very first time!” he added. “It’s a proud moment for all Indian-Americans on Presidentelect Trump’s choice of Governor Nikki Haley as US ambassador to the United Nations,” said Puneet Ahluwalia, who was advisor to the Trump Campaign on Asia Pacific Islanders committee. “Haley’s appointment -- her Indian and Sikh heritage -- is a clear indication of inclusivity for the incoming administration,” Ahluwalia said.
E-cigarette explodes in man’s pants at NYC’s Grand Central
New York Officials say a man shopping in New York’s Grand Central Terminal suffered leg and hand burns when an e-cigarette exploded in his pants pocket. Central Cellars employee John Lee says it looked like fireworks exploding when the vaporizer pen suddenly blew up in the man’s pants Wednesday morning. Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman Aaron Donovan says the man was
taken by a private ambulance service to a hospital. He says the injuries appeared minor. Donovan says train service at the transit hub wasn’t affected. Electronic cigarettes and other battery-operated electronic smoking devices occasionally do catch fire. Last year, the federal Department of Transportation issued a rule prohibiting passengers from packing ecigarettes in checked luggage to protect against in-flight fires.
“Trump’s nomination of Nikki Haley to be our ambassador to the UN and to sit at the Horse Shoe table of the Security Council, a cabinet level position, has taken my breath away,” said Ravi Batra, a top IndianAmerican attorney in New York. Welcoming the appointment of Haley, Ashok Mago from Texas said this is just the beginning. “Governor Haley has done a tremendous work as South Carolina’s first female and Indian American Governor and she will surely succeed as the top diplomat at the United Nations,” said Sanjay Puri, chairman of the US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC). USINPAC has been working with the Trump transition team to make sure that qualified Indian Americans have the opportunity to serve in the Trump administration, Puri said. Last week, USINPAC had hosted Congressman Lou Barletta, and Matt Keelen, a republican strategist and consultant for the Trump campaign, for a google hangout.In addition to Haley, Keelen had said Trump is also considering the former Indianorigin governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal for a position in his administration. Keelen said Trump understood the importance of US-India ties, as the two nations share the same values, face the same issues with terrorist attacks on their soil.
Washington In a bizarre incident, a 32-yearold woman in the US opened fire at her house guests because they were “too loud” and had overstayed their welcome. Alana Annette Savell was charged with aggravated battery with a firearm after she shot at two people, striking one, at her home in Panama City, Florida. Bay County Sheriff’s Office said, “The victim (Ms Kirsty Jo Mohr) stated she felt herself get hit in the legs and ran away from the home and got into a vehicle.” “Savell stated that the victim and her friend had come to her home to hang out and began drinking and getting too loud. Savell stated she did not want them in her house and started shooting at their feet,” the sheriff’s office said.“The suspect’s boyfriend stated to investigators that he has told his girlfriend that once someone is told to leave their property three times, she is to go get the gun and shoot it at the ground. If that does not work, she is to shoot people in the leg,”
it said. After firing the gun at the ground, Savell continued shooting as the man and woman left, striking the woman twice in the leg, the Washington Post reported. Savell later acknowledged to authorities that there was a phone in the house and she could have simply called 911 to make the guests leave. “The defendant stated that she knew she was wrong for shooting at the victim and Gary, but stated when she started shooting she could not stop,” the affidavit read. Savell’s boyfriend was also struck with a round in the leg during the incident that took place on Monday, the sheriff’s office said. After the guests left, Savell put the handgun into a garbage can next to the house. Sheriff’s deputies were called around 2 AM to a hospital, where the female gunshot victim was receiving treatment. Savell was arrested about two hours later and taken to the Bay County Jail, where she is being held on a $ 100,000 bond.
Indian man attacked at a bar in US after being mistaken as Muslim Chicago An Indian man, mistaken for a Muslim, was brutally attacked at a bar in the US, the latest in a series of anti-Muslim hate crimes that have erupted since Donald Trump’s victory. Ankur Mehta was allegedly hit multiple times on his head and face at the Red Robin Restaurant in Pennsylvania while he was working on his tablet with his earphones on. The attacker, identified as Jeffrey Burgess, had grabbed and punched Mehta with his elbow and fist. He also allegedly called out racial and ethnic epithets at Mehta who was taken to a hospital with a loose tooth and a cut to his upper lip, Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 reported. Mehta told police that Burgess said to him that “things are different now” and “I don’t want you sitting next to me. You people.” Burgess, 54, spoke with slurred speech and was staggering and smelled of alcohol, police said, adding that he then used an ethnic slur commonly used
against those of Middle Eastern descent. “We believe this is just the latest incident in spike in anti-Muslim
officer said. Witnesses told police Burgess grabbed Mehta by the head and punched him. They also said
hate crimes since the November 8 elections,” Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said. The criminal complaint says Burgess “launched an unprovoked attack on the victim as he was seated at the bar, beat him physically,” Bethel Park police chief, Timothy O’Connor said. Mehta was oblivious to the comments until Burgess allegedly struck him in the face with his elbow multiple times, the
Mehta was defenceless and unaware of Burgess’s impending attack. Burgess was arrested for ethnic intimidation, simple assault, harassment and public drunkenness. The incident comes amid a notable spike in hate-crime incidents against the minority community following Trump’s election as US President. Many Muslim women have also spoken about ‘hijab grab’ attacks on them on social media.
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US-Iranian citizen convicted in US for trying to buy missiles for Iran New York A dual citizen of Iran and the United States was found guilty on Tuesday on charges that he tried to help acquire surface-toair missiles and aircraft components for the government of Iran in violation of US sanctions.
Olangian’s lawyer, said the verdict “was very disappointing and we do plan to appeal.” Olangian, who became a U.S. citizen in 1999, was arrested in Estonia in October 2012 and subsequently extradited to the United States following a sting operation orchestrated by the
Reza Olangian, 56, was convicted by a federal jury in Manhattan on all four counts he faced, including conspiring to acquire and transfer anti-aircraft missiles, prosecutors said. Olangian faces a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 25 years and a maximum of life. He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 13.Lee Ginsberg,
US Drug Enforcement Administration. Prosecutors said that in 2012, Olangian met in Ukraine with a DEA informant posing as a Russian weapons broker to arrange for the purchase of surface-to-air missiles and various military aircraft components. In recorded conversations and
Latin American art sells for nearly $23m at Christie’s auction
YEW YORK Christie’s on Wednesday wrapped up one of its biggest auctions of Latin American art at $22.7 million, with seven Cuban painters drawing record prices as interest in the region’s artists climbs. In a two-day sale, Christie’s auctioned nearly 300 lots of five major private collections. Although the total came in below the expected $30 million, it was still one of the auction house’s largest takes for Latin American art. “There were strong results for the collection of Cuban works belonging to a single owner, with active bids that earned many lots more than double the initial estimates,” Virgilio Garza, Christie’s Latin American art chief, said in a statement. “This auction means that modern Cuban painting is back,” he added. Buyers from 36 countries took part in the bidding. “Sandias” (“Watermelons”) by Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo, an almost abstract work of explosive colors, drew the highest sale price: $2.16 million after a telephone fight between two buyers. “The subject of Tamayo’s ‘Watermelons’ is perhaps one of
the most recurrent and most important in his work. And he is very personal, almost nostalgic about his childhood and his people, Oaxaca,” Marisol Nieves, a Latin American art expert, told AFP. Seven Cuban artists obtained record prices for their work - six modernists and one contemporary - including Mariano Rodriguez for “Pelea de gallos,” (“Cockfight”) which was sold for $1.08 million. Most of the Cuban works came from a mysterious CubanAmerican seller living in Florida who amassed an impressive collection of modern Cuban art for more than 30 years. Other Cubans who achieved record prices for works were Esterio Segura, Fidelio Ponce de Leon, Carlos Enriquez, Rene Portocarrero, Victor Manuel and Domingo Ramos.Two other artists broke their own records at the auction: Uruguay’s Pablo Atchugarry for a marble sculpture which sold at $ 439,500, and Argentina’s Guillermo Kuitca for his triptych “Deng Haag-Praha” painted on mattresses for the Biennale de Sao Paulo in 1989, which sold for $511,500.
emails, Olangian described his plans to acquire the missiles and parts and smuggle them into Iran, for whose government he was purchasing them, from Afghanistan or from another neighbouring country, prosecutors said. Prosecutors said Olangian negotiated a deal involving 10 missiles and dozens of aircraft parts, and during a video conference with the informant, stated that he ultimately wanted to acquire at least 200 missiles. The deal followed a failed effort by Olangian in 2007 to obtain about 100 missiles for Iran, prosecutors said. His goal throughout, they said, was to make a substantial profit selling the weapons. At trial, Ginsberg described Olangian as having been active in protests against the Iranian government during his US college studies and said he had moved back to Iran when it appeared the country might become more democratic. But after the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president in 2005, Olangian began engaging with people involved with selling weapons to get Iran to agree to buy them and expose the government “for what they were all about,” Ginsberg said. “It was his desire to get the Iranian government on the hook on a contract, on a piece of paper, that would definitely show what they were trying to do,” Ginsberg said in his opening statement.
Twitter boss briefly suspended from his own network
SAN FRANCISCO The Twitter account of Jack Dorsey, the social network’s CEO and co-founder, was briefly suspended Tuesday night because of what he called “an internal mistake.” “Just setting up my twitter...again (account suspension was an internal mistake),” Dorsey tweeted late Tuesday. For about 15 minutes those trying to access Dorsey’s account received a message stating that the account was suspended. Only the company can suspend Twitter accounts, though users can deactivate their own. The company did not respond to an AFP inquiry. The
incident came as Twitter is struggling to increase its user base and seeking a path to profitability. Co-founder Dorsey returned as chief executive last year but has yet to ignite growth. Just weeks after reporting job cuts and a disappointing fiscal quarter, Twitter announced earlier this month that chief operating officer Adam Bain was leaving the company. Twitter was widely reported to be in talks to find a buyer but no deal has materialized. The company recently said it would cut nine percent of its workforce and discontinue its looping video application Vine in the coming months.
Hindu legislator Tulsi Gabbard likely to be in Trump cabinet Washington Democratic congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard unexpectedly entered the race for a senior position in Trump administration when she met the presidentelect on Monday, sparking speculation she was being considered as US ambassador to the UN.It’s a cabinet-rank position considered as a stepping stone towards even more high-profile portfolios. Susan Rice, President Barack Obama’s first UN ambassador, was in contention for secretary of state before she was named National Security Adviser. “The two leaders had a detailed conversation regarding the situation in the Middle East including the crisis in Syria and America’s position in the world,” the Trump transition team said in a statement about their meeting.If that could be construed as a hint of a global affairs position being considered for Gabbard, the second part of the statement pointed to a domestic role — “They also discussed approaches to fix the VA (veteran affairs) and other veterans issues”.Gabbard, who
is a two-term US representative from Hawaii, is a member of the Army National Guard, a reserve component of the US armed forces, and has served two tours
this meeting … But I never have and never will play politics with American and Syrian lives.”She said she felt it “was important to take the opportunity to meet with
of duty in west Asia. She holds the rank of Major.Gabbard, who is a Hindu and took oath of office on a copy of Bhagwad Gita, is widely considered to be “one of our own” by the Indian American community. Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent her personal greetings and gifts on her marriage in 2015.Knowing her meeting with Trump would not go down well with her party, Gabbard said in a statement, “It would have been easier for me to refuse
the President-elect to counteract neocons’ steady drumbeats of war, which threaten to drag us into an escalation of the war to overthrow the Syrian government”.But Gabbard is unlikely to be affected by rumblings in the Democratic party, if any. She had stepped down as vice-chair of the party’s national committee to support Bernie Sanders, an independent who ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic ticket.
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China to control public smoking nationwide by year-end SHANGHAI China, the world’s biggest cigarette producer and consumer, aims to impose
national smoking-control regulations by the end of this year, authorities said Tuesday. The Asian giant has the world’s largest smoking population, with 28 percent of all adults and half of its adult men estimated to regularly use cigarettes. The World Health Organization (WHO) says a million people in China die of tobacco-related illnesses annually, with secondhand smoke contributing to some 100,000 deaths each year.
In June 2015 Beijing municipality adopted the toughest antismoking legislation in the country, banning smoking in
offices, restaurants, hotels and hospitals. Venues that flout the ban can face fines of up to 10,000 yuan ($1,450). Last week Shanghai also amended its tobacco regulations to ban indoor smoking and also outdoor smoking at public areas such as bus stops, schools and stadiums. At a WHO conference in the commercial hub, government health spokesman Mao Qunan indicated measures would be rolled out across the
Half the world will be online by end of 2016
JOHANNESBURG By the end of 2016, almost half of the world’s population will be using the internet as mobile networks grow and prices fall, but their numbers will remain concentrated in the developed world, a United Nations agency said on Tuesday. In the world’s developed countries about 80 percent of the population use the internet. But only about 40 percent in developing countries and less than 15 percent in lessdeveloped countries are online, according to a report by the U.N.’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU). In several of Africa’s poorer and more fragile countries, only one person in 10 is on the internet. The offline population is female, elderly, less educated, poorer and lives in rural areas, said the union, a specialized agency for information and communication technologies. Globally, 47 percent of the world’s population is online, still far short of a U.N. target of 60
percent by 2020. Some 3.9 billion people, more than half the world’s population, are not. ITU expects 3.5 billion people to have access by the end of this year. “In 2016, people no longer go online, they are online. The spread of 3G and 4G networks across the world had brought the internet to more and more people,” the report said. Telecoms and internet companies are expanding as more affordable smartphones encourage consumers to browse the internet, causing demand to grow for data-heavy services. However, less-developed countries - LDCs - still trail the rest of the world. “Internet penetration levels in LDCs today have reached the level enjoyed by developed countries in 1998, suggesting that the LDCs are lagging nearly 20 years behind the developed countries,” the report said. It blamed the cost of services and of extending infrastructure to rural and remote customers and the high price of mobile cellular use.
country. “The nationwide regulation to control smoking in public is undergoing the legislative process and is hoped to be announced and carried out this year,” he told reporters. “Strictly controlling smoking in public places through legal forms is an advancement for health.” Nearly 20 cities have already drawn up public no-smoking rules, Mao added. The commission first drafted the law in late 2014. Enforcing anti-smoking measures can be difficult in China as the state-run tobacco industry provides the government with colossal sums - 1.1 trillion yuan ($160 billion) in taxes and profits in 2015, up 20 percent year-on-year. China’s tobacco regulator shares offices and senior officials with the state-owned China National Tobacco Corp - a nearmonopoly and by far the world’s biggest cigarette producer. WHO director-general Margaret Chan called on more cities “to make sure that the tobacco control in China will make further progress”.
Rare Pokemon card sells for record $54,970 at auction
LOS ANGELES An extremely rare Pokemon trading card - the “Pikachu Illustrator” - was purchased for a record $54,970 at auction, organizers of the sale said Monday. Dallas-based Heritage Auctions said the card, of which 39 were ever made, sold to an unidentified Hong Kong collector at Saturday’s auction in Beverly Hills. “The Pikachu Illustrator card was given in January of 1998 to winners of the CoroCoro Comic Illustration Contest,” Michael Halperin, a spokesman for Heritage Auctions, told AFP. He said only 10 of the cards are known to be in mint condition and it is unclear how many are still privately owned. The “Pikachu Illustrator” first sold in the early 2000s for around $23,000,
Halperin said. The card, considered the most valuable and iconic Pokemon card among collectors, was designed by Atsuko Nishida, one of the chief Pokemon graphic illustrators. The card depicts the fan-favorite yellow rodent Pikachu, holding what appear to be drawing utensils.It was put up for auction by a private collector in the United States in the wake of the popularity surrounding the Pokemon Go app, which has more than 20 million active users.Halperin said the seller, who is in his mid-20s and did not wish to be identified, had begun collecting Pokemon cards in his teens. The Pokemon phenomenon first emerged in Japan in 1996 before becoming a global sensation.
Female monkeys use wile to rally troops PARIS Female vervet monkeys manipulate males into fighting battles by lavishing attention on brave soldiers while giving noncombatants the cold shoulder, researchers said Wednesday. As in humans, it turns out, social incentives can be just as big a driver for male monkeys to go to war as the resources they stand to gain from fighting, whether it be territory or food. “Ours is the first study to demonstrate that any nonhuman species use manipulative tactics, such as punishment or rewards, to promote participation in intergroup fights,” study coauthor Jean Arseneau, a primate specialist of the University of Zurich, told AFP. Arseneau and a team studied four vervet monkey groups at a game reserve in South Africa for two years. They observed that after a skirmish with a rival gang, usually over food, females would groom males that had fought hardest, while snapping at those that abstained.When the next battle came along, both those singled out for attention and those aggressively shunned would participate more vigorously in combat, the researchers reported in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.“Thus, females appear to use grooming as a reward for participation and aggression as punishment for defection”, said Arseneau.Vervet monkeys live in mixed-gender groups and both
sexes take part in frequent battles with rival troupes. Only handfuls fight each time. Males are larger than females
boosting “male mating success”. In group animals, such as humans, a delicate balance must be maintained between
and have longer canine teeth, making their presence valuable on the front lines. Success in battle ensures control over territory and food sources - a key concern for females, who take care of the young. But why would males risk involvement in a potentially highstakes battle just for a bit of female attention? “Receiving punishment” for not taking part in battles “could damage the... male’s social relationship(s)” with females in the group, the researchers wrote. On the other hand, being rewarded could “potentially signal to other female group members that the... male is a valuable social partner”, likely
participating in hunting or defence, which can be risky, and free-riding, which is less hazardous but can lead to social rejection. The riskiest group activity of all is warfare, and few animals other than humans and monkeys engage in it.
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29 Nov.- 5 Dec, 2016
Hong Kong Disneyland gets Dino-killing crater shows clues about Ice Age sea level ‘Frozen’ in $1.4b upgrade MEXICO The massive underwater crater left by the asteroid that exterminated the dinosaurs has
mission leader Jaime Urrutia, president of the Mexican Academy of Science. While a large part of the crater
provided new evidence that sea levels were much lower during the last Ice Age, researchers said Wednesday.Scientists worked on a platform off Mexico’s east coast to dig for clues about the destruction of life 66 million years ago inside the 200kilometer (125-mile) wide Chicxulub crater.By chance, the researchers found evidence that the sea was much further away than the current coast line during the last Ice Age, which began 110,000 years ago and ended around 11,000 years ago, said
is now under the Gulf of Mexico, it was not submerged during the Ice Age. “We discovered a circular structure at the bottom (of the sea),” Urrutia told a news conference. “The only way that (such structures) are made is through the dissolution of carbonate and for carbonate to dissolve it must be exposed to air,” he said. This shows that the Yucatan peninsula was “literally much larger” between 18,000 and 23,000 years ago during the last
East Aleppo Her hair tied into pigtails by matching pink ribbons, sevenyear-old Bana Alabed inspects the rubble in her home town of Aleppo, before walking to face the camera. “I am sad. It’s so bad,” she tells her audience in English in a clip posted on Twitter. She is later seen holding a banner reading:
forced from their homes.Renewed air strikes, after a pause that lasted several weeks, have worsened conditions in Aleppo’s rebel-held east, where residents are short of food, medicine and fuel. On her Twitter account, which is managed by her mother, Alabed shares pictures of the city’s bombed buildings and of herself
Ice Age, the scientist said. International geologists, paleontologists and microbiologists arrived on the Myrtle platform in the Gulf in April and worked there for two months, digging 1.5 kilometers (.93 mile) under the sea floor and extracting six tonnes of rock. Some results of the studies have been published in the journal Science but the analysis continues at a laboratory in Bremen, Germany. The 12-kilometer (7.4-mile) wide asteroid slammed the earth at a speed of 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) per second some 66 million years ago. Its crater is unique on the planet because of its “peak ring” formation, a circular elevation as high as 500 meters with a 30kilometer radius. The platform was installed over one of the peaks to study the nature of the rocks below and how they took shape. The scientists have yet to explain how the granite and molten rock petrified into peaks. The first results show that the rocks moved up “like jelly,” but while the rock was molten, the granite does not show signs of heating, Urrutia said. The $15 million Expedition 364 was the first to peer into the undersea part of the Chicxulub crater.
HONG KONG Hong Kong Disneyland announced Tuesday a $1.4 billion expansion featuring popular characters from the “Frozen” and “Marvel” movies, despite competition from a massive Disney resort in Shanghai. The upgrade at the world’s smallest Disney resort comes after Shanghai’s theme park opened in mid-June, pulling in nearly a million visitors within its first month of operation. The Hong Kong expansion will start in 2018, ending in 2023, with new attractions opening almost every year during that period. New attractions will also include a transformed castle, the central landmark in all of Disney’s six global resorts. Animated megahit “Frozen” raked in nearly $1.3 billion in global ticket sales,
while Marvel has had a string of blockbuster successes based on its roster of superheroes including Iron Man and Captain America. “This would attract more highspending and overnight visitors from more diversified market sources,” the city’s commerce and economic development minister Gregory So said. Hong Kong Disneyland has had three years of profitability since 2012, but attendance took a hit in 2015 after mass prodemocracy rallies rocked the city a year previously. In April the resort fired scores of staff after reporting an annual loss, the first large-scale sacking since its opening, reports said. Hong Kong Disneyland is 52 percent-owned by the city’s government.
Japan man dies after Seven-year-old Syrian girl takes to Twitter to depict life in Aleppo rice ball eating contest
“Stand with Aleppo. Please stop the bombing and end the siege.” The video, posted on Tuesday and accompanied by the text “checking in the morning after a night of bombing” is the latest the young girl has shared with her nearly 94,000 Twitter followers depicting life in the war-torn Syrian city.Her account gives a poignant human face to a nearly six-year conflict pitting President Bashar al-Assad against rebels seeking to oust him, in which hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and millions
at home.“Good afternoon from #Aleppo I’m reading to forget the war,” she said in one post
showing Alabed with a book and a doll. A picture posted on Thursday of smoke in the sky had the caption “Good morning from #Aleppo. We are still alive. - Bana.”Asked about what they hoped to achieve, Alabed’s mother Fatemah, told Reuters via Twitter in English: “Effort to show people our (lives) so they can act. We only tweet what we think of. The video is near our home, our neighbourhood (is) in ruin”. The seven-year-old’s tweets have gained attention from at least one prominent user of the microblogging site. When Fatemah tweeted “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling about her daughter wanting to read one of her stories, the writer and her agent quickly responded. Fatemah said Alabed had since received “Harry Potter” ebooks and would start reading them. Alabed tweeted her thanks with a picture to which the author replied: “Love you too, Bana! Thinking of you, keep safe #Aleppo”.
World’s tallest water slide to be torn down after boy dies riding it in US Kansas City The world’s tallest water slide will be torn down after a 10-year-old boy suffered a broken neck and was killed riding it in August, an amusement park in Kansas City, said. Caleb Thomas Schwab, son of a state lawmaker, died on Aug 7 at the Schlitterbahn waterpark on
the Verruckt water slide, which sends riders plunging down 17 storeys at up to 50 miles an hour (80 kph). The 168 feet (51.4 meter) slide will be decommissioned, closed permanently and removed after the ongoing investigation is complete, park officials said in a statement on Tuesday.
TOKYO A 28-year-old man died in Japan after choking on a rice ball at a speed-eating contest, an event organiser said Tuesday. The man, whose name was withheld, died on November 16 in hospital three days after choking, said the local farmer’s cooperative that sponsored the event in the western city of Hikone. Contestants competed to see how fast they could eat five “onigiri” balls of locally grown steamed rice, a popular Japanese comfort food. The man shoved his fifth rice ball into his mouth before passing out and was rushed to a local hospital where he later died, the organiser said. The contest was composed of three sets of five contestants each. “We had the first and the second sets finished and were watching the third group when this happened,” said the official at the cooperative, who declined to be named.
Eating contests are popular events at various regional fairs held in Japan to promote local produce and culture, as in other countries where choking deaths have been reported. Japan’s best known competitive eater is Takeru Kobayashi, who won fame as champion of an annual hot dog eating contest in New York. After news of the latest death was reported, New Yorkbased Kobayashi tweeted warnings about amateurs trying to eat too much too fast.
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Issue - 695 (32)
29 Nov.- 5 Dec, 2016
S. Korea’s presidential office explains Viagra purchase
Seoul A scandal over South Korean President Park Geun-Hye’s shadowy confidante took an even more bizarre turn Wednesday when Park’s office was forced to explain a mass purchase of Viagra.The revelations about Park’s decades-long ties with close friend Choi Soon-Sil and with Choi’s father -- the late founder of a cult-like religious group -- have sparked huge media interest in the president’s personal life.On Tuesday an opposition party lawmaker revealed that Park’s office last year bought hundreds of pills which can treat erectile dysfunction, including Viagra and the generic version of the drug.As the revelation sparked a
media frenzy, Park’s spokesman said the drug was purchased to ease possible mountain sickness during Park’s visit in May to high-altitude African nations including Ethiopia. “We bought it for the trip but did not use it,” Jung Youn-Kuk told reporters, adding the drug is known to be effective in treating altitude sickness.Park has never married and has no known partner.Her office in recent years also bought hundreds of injectable doses of human placenta extract and vitamin shots -- commonly used for detoxification and anti-ageing treatment.Jung said the doses were bought for workers at the presidential office including Park’s bodyguards.
After France, Belgium, now Netherland debates ban on burqa, niqab each other in the face. It was not immediately clear when lawmakers would vote on the issue. If the legislation passes Parliament’s lower house as expected, it must also be approved by the Senate before becoming law. A small group of people wearing full-face veils watched the debate from the public gallery. Independent lawmaker Jacques Monasch, called the burqa “a symbol of oppression of women” and objected to the presence of the veiled spectators in the
Prosecutors are investigating whether Park also had various injections prescribed for herself using Choi’s name at private clinics, without the knowledge of the official presidential medical staff.In a scandal which has engulfed the presidency, Park and Choi are accused of colluding to coerce local firms to donate tens of millions of dollars to dubious non-profit foundations controlled by Choi. Choi allegedly used some of the money for personal gain. Park is also accused of letting Choi meddle in state affairs to the extent of nominating top officials and editing her speeches. Park faces a criminal probe by prosecutors and a growing push for her impeachment.
Netherlands Dutch lawmakers on Wednesday debated a limited ban on facecovering headwear worn by some Muslim women that would outlaw the veils in places such as schools, hospitals and on public transportation. Only a few hundred Muslim women in the Netherlands wear concealing niqabs or full-face burqas, but successive governments have still sought to ban the garments, following the example of other European countries such as France and Belgium. Interior minister Ronald Plasterk said the Dutch proposal did not go as far as the complete bans in those countries. He called the legislation “religion-neutral,” but conceded that the debate about people wearing burqas on Dutch streets had played a major role in the proposal. Plasterk said that in a free country like the Netherlands people should be allowed to appear in public with their faces covered, if they want to, but that in government buildings and in health and education settings such as hospitals and schools, people need to be able to look
story highlights flaws in the regulation and enforcement of company formation in Britain. “Part of the raison d’etre for the enforcement is the protection of the public,” she said. This “doesn’t sound as if it’s happening.” At the core of the operation is a company formation agent named Simon Dowson. He lives in a refurbished farmhouse at the top of a hill and drives a black Mercedes AMG. He agreed to talk to reporters a few weeks ago when he was leaving a branch of Starbucks at the local mall. Dowson, 35, said he helped online merchants whose transactions are seen by credit card firms as “high risk” to win approval to take credit card payments. Many were overseas and needed a European company base. For a few
thousand pounds a time, Dowson would set up companies like Thunder Flash with UK addresses and provide the directors and company records, such as annual returns and tax forms, to meet UK requirements. A UK address made it easier for the sites to accept payments in Europe, Dowson said. He ran his business through two main companies: Brinken Merchant Incorporations (BMI) and later, EMB Management Solutions (EMB). Those firms in turn created the shell companies and named Consett locals as directors. The directors did nothing more than forward mail to Dowson’s offices for a few pounds a month; Dowson and his employees took care of the administration. His business turned over less than 1 million
pounds a year, he said. In 2009, the US Secret Service found that a company serviced by Dowson’s business with a Consett director had breached money-laundering laws. A German who confessed to being behind the operation was fined and jailed in the United States. Dowson and the firm’s director were not named in the US complaint.
gallery. One opponent of the legislation, Fatma Koser Kaya of the centrist D66 party, said the law was unnecessary because many institutions in the Netherlands already have independent authority to stop women from wearing burqas and niqabs in certain situations. “What are we banning today?” she asked. “This is symbolic lawmaking ... because in practice it already happens.”
How Consett became Britain’s porn hub, a town of over 400 web poker ‘directors’ England John Mawson and his wife Sandra live in a cramped onestorey home on a hill near Consett, an old steel town in the north east of England. They have been company directors for years, and between them serve 15 firms. But John had no idea what their companies did until a few years ago, when he looked online. One of the directorships he discovered was Thunder Flash Entertainment, owner of hardcore porn sites. It was a bolt from the blue.“All we’re supposed to be is just the names,” said the 61-year-old retired supermarket worker, kneeling on the living room carpet to play with the couple’s Chihuahua. The Mawsons are among more than 400 people in and around Consett who have served as directors for companies based in and around the town. These shell companies often have no real operations or staff in Britain, but have been conduits for millions of pounds in revenue generated by online businesses around the world. Some of the directors told Reuters they knew nothing about their roles. The residents of Consett are key cogs in a booming online industry. A Reuters
investigation has found they have served as directors of more than 1,000 businesses: Poker games, pop-up get-richquick schemes, vendors of colon cleansers and healthfoods, and much more. Some of the websites lured customers with cheap offers, only to hike prices as soon as people keyed in their credit card details. Thunder Flash, for example, would offer a threeday free trial, then bill those who signed up for $40 per month, its website showed. The site is no longer accepting customers; the Mawsons said they had been completely unaware of the practice. The network of directors in Consett sheds new light on the legal grey zones in Britain’s corporate regulation, showing how they help scammers turn UK businesses into tools of deception. Some of the activity the companies lent their names to was illegal, but neither the directors nor the company formation agent involved have been charged with any wrongdoing. Frances Coulson, head of insolvency and litigation at Moon Beever solicitors and a trustee director of an independent think tank, the Fraud Advisory Panel, said the
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29 Nov.- 5 Dec, 2016
Tokyo gets $2 British teens drink a ‘bathtub’ million Christmas tree of sugary drinks a year LONDON British teenagers drink almost a bathtub full of sugary drinks each year, Cancer Research UK said on Tuesday as the charity
urged the government to do more to improve children’s diets. Children aged 11 to 18 consume on average 234 cans of sugarsweetened soft drinks each year, CRUK said. The figure amounts to almost a bath full and is more than double the figure for children aged between four and 10, whose average annual intake is 110 cans. The data stems from a recent report carried out by the government’s health department and the Food Standards Agency, charting the population’s diet and
nutrition. The study found a drop in the amount of sugarsweetened soft drinks consumed by children, with a more significant fall recorded in the
under-10s than teenagers. Despite the improving figures, CRUK said there was an urgent need to further reduce children’s intake of sugary drinks and threw its support behind government proposal to introduce a sugar tax. “The ripple effect of a small tax on sugary drinks is enormous, and it will give soft drinks companies a clear incentive to reduce the amount of sugar in drinks,” said Alison Cox, director of prevention at CRUK. “But the government can do more to give the next generation a
Gaza doctors face challenge after birth of conjoined twins
GAZA Palestinian surgeons in the Gaza Strip were discussing medical options on Wednesday after the unexpected birth of conjoined twins - baby girls who share one heart and one body. “We thought they were twins and we would have no problem, but we discovered that it is a Siamese baby,” said Hanan AlWade, a paediatrician at Al Shifa, Gaza City’s main hospital. “The body is one but with two heads.” The babies were born by Caesarean section on Tuesday and are being kept under close monitoring in an intensive care unit. They have not been named. Doctors said they had not decided whether to attempt to separate them. If they try, they also need to consider whether they can perform the operations
in Gaza or should try to move the children to a hospital in Israel or abroad. “Separating them is very hard because they are sharing many organs and they have a defective heart,” said Wade. Reuters television pictures showed the two, joined to the body just below the neck, struggling to breath inside an incubator.
better chance. “The UK has an epidemic on its hands, and needs to act now,” she added. British Prime Minister Theresa May revealed plans in August to introduce a sugar tax aimed at tackling childhood obesity, tooth decay and type 2 diabetes. The sugar levy was first unveiled in March by the administration of May’s predecessor David Cameron.The tax on drinks with more than five grams of sugar per 100 millilitres will be introduced in two years, despite strong opposition from the drinks industry.Soft drinks giant A.G. Barr, maker of Scotland’s Irn-Bru fizzy drink, in September said the move towards sugar-free drinks followed “negative media coverage of the sector”. Barr said the drinks industry’s own action to reduce sugar rendered the sugar tax “an unnecessary measure in the context of government health policy objectives.” Only a handful of countries such as France, South Africa and Mexico have attempted such a tax.
TOKYO Want to impress the kids this Christmas? A Tokyo retailer has just the thing - if you’ve got about $2.0 million to spare. Jeweller Ginza Tanaka is going all out this season with a two-metre (6.6foot) Christmas tree made with pure gold wire that’s as fine as angel hair pasta. The shop in Tokyo’s glitzy Ginza district says the 19 kilogramme (42 pound) tree is made up of more than 1,200 metres (3,950 feet) of gold wire. “The wire is made of the finest gold which has a
99.999 percent purity level,” Ginza Tanaka store manager Takahiro Ito told AFP on Tuesday. Ito said the tree was made by the jeweller’s in-house artisans. The price tag? A cool 200 million yen ($1.8 million). While it may be a stretch finding a buyer, Ito said he hoped the opulent display would show off Japan’s world-famous craftmanship. “We want them to see our great technique and craftsmanship, and the glittering beauty of gold,” he said.
Brexit fallout to cost UK extra £122bn over five years London Britain must borrow an additional £122 billion over five years as it exits the European Union, the public finances advisory body said W e d n e s d a y, forcing the government to shelve plans to balance the books by 2020. The extra borrowing, worth $152 billion or 143 billion euros, covers the period until early 2021, and covers direct and indirect costs of Brexit, explained the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR). The OBR pinpointed £59 billion of additional borrowing directly caused by Brexit, including £16 billion as a result of lower migration and £18.1 billion due to lower productivity growth. Economic secretary to the Treasury Simon Kirby said he “didn’t necessarily accept” the prediction of extra borrowing caused by lower migration, but accepted it would “have an impact on GDP.”“We need to be clear that the British people voted on June 23 to leave the EU because they wanted control...There are positives and negatives,” he told a foreign
press briefing.In addition to the direct pressures of Brexit on the deficit, the OBR also highlighted the effects of the government’s
negotiation of new trade agreements with the EU and other countries will slow the pace of British foreign trade for
easing of austerity measures to cope with the Brexit fallout on borrowing levels.The OBR forecasts that the deficit will hit 3.5 percent of GDP in 2016 and 2.8 percent in 2017, compared with 3.1 percent and 2.1 percent respectively in its previous forecasts published in March. If correct, the shortfall in the public accounts would be comparable to that of France (3.3 percent in 2016 and 2.9 percent in 2017), according to the European Commission’s figures. The OBR forecast assumes that the United Kingdom will leave the EU in April 2019 and that the
a decade.Supporters of the defeated “Remain” campaign said the figures made a mockery of “Leave” claims that Brexit would swell the public coffers. Prominent EU critic MP John Redwood claimed the borrowing forecast was “far too high”, with the OBR itself admitting that the predictions were “uncertain” given the number of unknowns surrounding Britain’s departure from the EU. Britain’s economy has so far confounded expectations following the June 23 vote, posting stronger-thanexpected growth figures while government borrowing fell by more than expected in October.
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29 Nov.- 5 Dec, 2016
Nigerian king takes Shell to court in UK LONDON King Emere Godwin Bebe Okpabi holds up a plastic bottle containing contaminated water from his community in Nigeria, proof of oil pollution that he blames on Royal Dutch Shell and on which he hopes a London
court will deliver justice. “My people are drinking this water,” said the tribal king of the Ogale community in the oil-rich Niger Delta.Okpabi has flown to London for a High Court hearing on Tuesday in which lawyers for more than 40,000 Nigerians are demanding action from Shell to clean up oil spills that have devastated their communities for decades.“There are strange diseases in my community - skin diseases, people are dying sudden deaths, some people are impotent, low sperm count,” he told AFP. “I can afford to buy water. But can I afford to buy for everybody? No.”The Anglo-Dutch oil giant argues that the case should be heard in Nigeria, pointing out that it involves its Nigerian subsidiary SPDC, which runs a joint venture with the government, and Nigerian plaintiffs. But Okpabi, wearing a traditional robe with a red necklace and black top hat, said the English justice system was his only hope to end the blight
on his people’s lives. “Shell is Nigeria and Nigeria is Shell. You can never, never defeat Shell in a Nigerian court. The truth is that the Nigerian legal system is corrupt,” he said. He wants the High Court to compel Shell to implement a
2011 landmark report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), which warned of dangerously high levels of hydrocarbons in the water, bitumen-coated mangroves and poor air quality. It should order the company to “go and clean-up Ogale, go and provide water for them; go and do medical history for them, and where medical attention is needed provide for them,” he said. The king said no money would be enough to address the damage, which UNEP warned could take 25 to 30 years to resolve, but wants compensation, adding: “We are dying.”Shell will challenge the jurisdiction of the English courts in the case during three days of hearings this week, while it also disputes the claims made by lawyers Leigh Day, who represent Ogale and the smaller Bille community. “Both Bille and Ogale are areas heavily impacted by crude oil theft, pipeline sabotage and
illegal refining which remain the main sources of pollution across the Niger Delta,” a company spokeswoman said. She noted SPDC has not produced any oil or gas in Ogoniland, the region surrounding Ogale, since 1993. But Okpabi and his lawyers say the company’s ageing, leaky pipelines still run through the region and it must take responsibility.SPDC says it has delivered water and healthcare to the community and is supporting the implementation of the UNEP process by the government, which in June launched a $1 billion (£800 million, 940 million euros) oil pollution clean-up programme in the Niger Delta. Okpabi said he believed President Muhammadu Buhari is “sincere” in wanting to address the issue, but warned: “If we wait for the system to roll on its own, I hate to say this, but it may be too late for the people of Ogale.” Attacks on Nigerian pipelines have increased this year, cutting output and helping tip the country into recession, but Okpabi insists “there is no vandalising” in Ogale. The king condemned the saboteurs, warning that “you cannot bomb your house to get attention”. However, he added: “I’m also appealing to Shell and the Nigerian government to listen to those communities that are nonviolent and do something.” In January 2015, Shell agreed to pay more than $80 million to the Nigerian fishing community of Bodo for two oil spills in 2008, following a case brought by Leigh Day in London. In December, a Dutch court permitted four Nigerian farmers and fishermen to sue the company for environmental pollution, potentially opening the door to other cases to be brought in the Netherlands.
Average lifespan in EU tops 80
BRUSSELS The average lifespan of people in the EU has topped 80 for the first time, but preventable illnesses caused by smoking, alcohol and obesity are taking a huge toll, a study said Wednesday. Gains were uneven as people in western European Union countries lived more than eight years longer on average than people in central and eastern countries, said the report by the European Commission and the OECD. “More needs to be done to reduce inequalities,” said Angel Gurria, head of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development as he launched the report in Brussels. The study said life expectancy across the 28-nation bloc has risen from 74.2 years in 1990 to 80.9 years in 2014 - the last year for which data were available topping 80 for the first time. But it warned that chronic diseases and related risk factors - including obesity, smoking, and heavy drinking - were taking a heavy toll on European societies. More than 550,000 people of working age died prematurely across the bloc each year from heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, cancer and respiratory diseases. “This represents a loss of about 3.4 million potential productive
life years,” the report said. Meanwhile 16 percent of adults are obese, up from 11 percent in 2000, while one in five people still smoked and heavy alcohol drinkers were more likely not to have a job than light to moderate drinkers. In total, around 50 million EU citizens suffer from two or more chronic illnesses, most over 65. “It shows that in the EU many people die every year from potentially avoidable diseases linked to risk factors such as smoking or obesity,” said European health commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis. These diseases are a drain on the struggling European economy too, the report says, with sick leave and disability benefits accounting for 1.7 percent of GDP in EU countries - more than the amount spent on unemployment benefits. People aged 50-59 who are suffering from severe depression were more than twice as likely to leave the labour market early, it added. Europe is also ageing fast, the report says. The over-65s have risen from less than 10 percent of the population in 1980 to nearly 20 percent in 2015 and could reach nearly 30 percent in 2060.
Pak surgical strikes will be remembered for generations: Raheel Sharif Islamabad Pakistan’s military leadership upped the ante in a war of words with India on Thursday, with army chief Gen Raheel Sharif saying any surgical strike by Pakistan would not be forgotten by Indians for generations to come. Air force chief Sohail Aman too warned India against escalating a dispute over Kashmir into fullscale war. The rhetoric by the military leadership came a day a flareup of hostilities along the LoC following the killing of three Indian soldiers, and the mutilation of the body of one, on Tuesday. Pakistani authorities said 11 civilians and three soldiers were killed in shelling by Indian forces. Sharif, who is on a farewell tour of army units before his retirement on November 29, was quoted by The Express Tribune as saying that “if Pakistan were
to launch surgical strikes, India would not be able to forget it for generations to come”. “India will be teaching its children about Pakistan’s surgical strike if the latter took such measures. Pakistani troops are capable of teaching Indian forces a lesson,” he said. Sharif’s remarks, made while addressing a ‘jirga’ of tribal elders in the Khyber semi-autonomous region, were also an apparent riposte to the surgical strikes carried out by Indian troops along the LoC in September in retaliation for an attack on an army camp in Uri by Pakistanbased militants. In Karachi, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman said Pakistan’s armed forces were prepared for all contingencies. “We are not worried about India at all, it is better if they show some restraint,” he told reporters
on the margins of a defence exhibition. If India escalates the crisis, Pakistani troops will “know full well how to deal with them”, he said. Aman called on India to resolve the Kashmir issue, saying: “They should speak on matters of
principle and our ties will improve.” Naval chief Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah also told the media that an Indian submarine’s alleged “breach of Pakistan’s waters” was “an unusual incident”. He added: “Whenever
India does something like this Pakistan will respond.” The Line of control in Kashmir has witnessed frequent exchanges of fire following unrest in Jammu and Kashmir that followed the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani.
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29 Nov.- 5 Dec, 2016
Not that I think like a batsman, I am one, says JADEJA MOHALI Often criticised for underperforming with the bat, India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja on Monday took a dig at his detractors after notching up a career-best Test score in the ongoing third match of the fivegame series against England. Jadeja was polite but sarcasm was not lost when he said that it’s not as if he fancies himself as a “specialist batsman” because he is indeed one. adeja’s career-best Test score of 90 helped India take a 134-
run first innings lead, thereby putting England under immense pressure on third day of the game. “It’s not that I consider myself as a batsman, I am a batsman,” Jadeja asserted when someone asked whether he has become more responsible while batting which was evident in his defensive game today. In fact to drive home a point, he took the help of statistics. “I have been scoring runs in firstclass cricket at an average of 53 (43 as per espncricinfo records),
if you leave aside Test matches, that is. It’s not the first time that I have made 90 runs. Yes, may be a first in Tests but I have an idea that I can bat. I wasn’t in a hurry, since it was a slow wicket with less turn. I knew after 50, 60 or 70 balls, I can up my scoring rate,” said the Saurashtra all-rounder. Asked to compare his 68 at Lord’s with today’s knock, Jadeja said: “I think any good innings that you have played for India is important. Even during this innings, we were in a situation
Ganguly vs Flintoff then, it’s Kohli vs Stokes now
MOHALI With ICC sanctions firmly in place, cricket has been losing character due to fear of penalty but there are still a few who can engage the crowd with their onfield skirmishes. Indian captain Virat Kohli and England’s premier all-rounder Ben Stokes are having a go at each other for the past three days — at times openly like on the first day and at times subtly like it has happened in the next two days. For many it would be a case of deja vu if they jog their memory
back to a similar on-field intensity that an England allrounder and an Indian captain showed. It was India’s most colourful captain Sourav Ganguly whose epic shirt waving at Lord’s balcony after 2002 NatWest final will be etched in cricket lovers’ memory forever. The trigger was Flintoff waving his jersey after winning an ODI for England at Wankhede Sadium few months prior to NatWest final. The third Test at Mohali is also witnessing some on-field
fireworks between Stokes and Kohli. On the first day, after Stokes was dismissed, he had a verbal spat with Kohli while returning to the pavilion — an act that got him ICC’s reprimand. On second day, it was Stokes’ turn to get a well-set Kohli out and then to comically gesture ‘sealed lips’ so as to make people aware that he has been under sanction. On the third day, as soon as Stokes was dismissed by Jayant Yadav, Kohli made an ‘I am quiet’ gesture which said it all. When Jonny Bairstow was asked about it, his answer suggested that they seemed to have now accepted that Virat Kohli comes with a package. “It’s up to him (Kohli), isn’t it. He’s obviously quite a vocal character. But that’s Virat. He gets a bit wound up. We’ll leave him to it. If he wants to do that, let him do that. And we’ll go about our business as we have over a period of time. But yes. If he wants to do that and let the crowd do that, then let him,” Bairstow’s answer revealed that they won’t like to go further with it even though it wasn’t exactly amusing.
where we were 5 for 150 (156) and from that situation to guide the team to a good position was challenging. Jayant (Yadav), (Ravichandran) Ashwin and myself spoke to each other, build the innings and luckily we are now in a good position considering that they are still 70 behind (56 actually) and are four down.” He said that since England was bowling “boring lines”, he decided to take them on during post lunch session. “I didn’t go on an attacking mode just like that. They were bowling boring lines outside off stump. We had lot of time at our disposal so I just thought that let’s disturb the bowler by going outside the off-stump. Try and use the area on the leg-side as there were only two fielders there. That’s what I was trying and luckily I got four boundaries in that over (of Woakes),” Jadeja said. Jadeja has no regrets missing out on his maiden Test hundred by 10 runs. “The shot that I got out is my pet shot. I can hit six anytime with that shot. I had confidence, but the ball came slow off the wicket and that’s why I didn’t get the required impact. I am not disappointed that I was out to that shot,” he said. In India’s Test history, it’s the first time that batsmen from No 7 to
9 have scored 50 plus runs in the same innings and Jadeja said that it proves a point that lowerorder too can bat. “Any team will have a plus point if its lower middle order is contributing. If the last 7-11 can give 50 to 100 runs extra for the team it’s a bonus. Luckily everyone is contributing, which is a good sign and also an indication that it’s not only the top-order that’s contributing. We have batting till No 9 and we can score runs. Everything that’s happening is for good,” the left-handed batsman said. But Jadeja did stress that spending extra time on batting at the nets has helped the team. “It’s not magic. Just a bit more focus, spending some more time batting at the nets, talking to batting coach, mentally prepared for certain situations where you need to take more responsibility. Ashwin is scoring runs, he has scored around 500 runs this season. I am also trying to score as many runs as possible to help the team,” he said. After a good day in office, Jadeja was in jovial mood and when one asked about his trademark sword celebrations, he said in jest: “That’s a Rajput trademark style, nothing special. It’s just that I can’t carry a sword into the ground!”
Even their spinners seemed like Muralitharan in England, says Jadeja MOHALI Ravichandran Ashwin may have had a huge role in instilling selfdoubt in England batsmen but his spin partner Ravindra Jadeja on Monday said it has also got a lot to do with which team is dominating the proceedings. However, Jadeja did have a wisecrack without taking Moeen Ali‘s name, who tormented India in England in 2014 with 19 victims. “Hum jab England gaye the tab toh unke spinners bhi aise lag raha tha ki Muralitharan ball daal raha hain. (When we went to England, even their spinners looked like Muralitharan is bowling),” he said, referring to Moeen Ali, as everyone around had a good laugh. Ashwin is only the third Indian cricketer to have scored 500 runs and taken 50 wickets in a single season. Asked if Ashwin threat is working in the minds of England top-order, Jadeja said: “In Test cricket, a lot depends on situation. If a team has upper hand, obviously the opposition will struggle. In my opinion, if a team has upperhand, that particular team’s batsmen as well
as bowlers would look more dangerous.” When Jonny Bairstow was asked the same question about Ashwin winning a mind game over Alastair Cook, he was quick to defend his captain. “First of all, Cook’s gone onto to the top-10 of the most runs scored by any Test batsman. So I don’t think there is much problem from his end. He has scored a heck of a lot of runs over a heck of a long period of time against any attack in the world,” said Bairstow. But Bairstow did praise Ashwin, terming him someone who has lot of tricks up his sleeve but also made it clear that they are not in awe of the Indian off-spinner. “Look Ashwin is a quality bowler. He is a bowler who has got a lot of tricks and lot of variations. He varies his pace really well, his trajectory is different at all times. So at some point you got to give credit to the bowler as well.
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Issue 695 (36)
29 Nov.- 5 Dec, 2016
Twenty-something urban explorers risk their lives in order to get the perfect shot of the world beneath them from the top of buildings across the world without wearing any safety gear as they balance precariously close to a hundred feet fatal fall. A
ONE SLIP FROM
STUMBLE would result in a tragedy. A series of photographs taken on top of some of the tallest buildings in the world show how far some daredevils will go to get the perfect shot. Precariously balanced on narrow ledges hundreds of feet above the earth, the thrillseekers show off their dangerous hobby. The pictures were taken at the top of buildings across the world, with Russia and Hong Kong featuring prominently as the 20-something urban explorers risk their lives to look down on the ground beneath them. Terrifyingly, none of the people who feature in the pictures appear to be wearing any form of safety gear as they balance precariously close to a fatal fall.
‘US mosques receive threatening letters’ Washington Amid reports of spurt in hate
received threatening letters and emails against the
crimes against Muslims after the electoral victory of Donald Trump, several mosques in the US have allegedly
community in the country. An anonymous handwritten letter, which so far has been received by three mosques in
California and one in Georgia, warned Muslims to “pack your bags and get out of dodge as Trump is going to cleanse America and make it shine again”. Anti-Muslim bigotry has surged since the Election Day, claimed Edward Ahmed Mitchell, executive director of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-GA). “Whoever sent these letters should know that they have only strengthened our resolve to keep practicing our faith, defending our rights and building bridges with our neighbours,” he said. Hussam Ayloush,
director of Los Angeles chapter of CAIR A these hate letters are designed to intimidate Muslims in the US. In a statement, CAIR calimed more than 100 antiMuslim incidents have occurred across the country after the November 8 general elections. Southern Poverty Law Center has documents more than 700 incidents targeting different minority groups. After being elected as the 45th president of the US, Trump has spoken against all kinds of hatecrimes. However, there has been no response from him in the aftermath of the series of hate letters being received by mosques in different parts of
the country. A query sent to the transition team remained unanswered. After a mosque was vandalised in her Congressional District in Washington States last week, Indian-American Congresswoman-elect Pramila Jayapal said, “I am deeply troubled that hate crimes against Muslims and minorities are on the rise, in particular at places of worship and schools.” “I strongly condemn this hateful act of vandalism of a place of worship. Hate has no place in our community, and we all stand united rejecting these actions in unequivocal terms,” she had said.
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Health Nitrogen plays a key Feeling tired all the time? You could role in gut health be having a thyroid problem!
Sydney The number of nitrogen microbes found in an individual’s gut play an important role in determining the type of diet strategy that can yield
results, a new research has found. Though there are different ways by which a person can have a good diet, but the same diet does not work in a same way for every individual, according to the study. “There are many different diet strategies that claim to promote gut health, and until now it has been very difficult to establish clear
causality between various types of diet and their effect on the host’s microbiome,” said lead author Andrew Holmes, Associate Professor from the University of Sydney in Australia. “This is because there are many complex factors at play, including food composition, eating pattern and genetic background,” added Holmes. For the study, researchers put 858 mice on 25 different diets composed of different amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fat. The results showed that there was a “tipping point” across all diets that related to how nutrients from the diet became available to nitrogen in the gut.
New Delhi Thyroid disorders are conditions that affect the functions of the thyroid. The thyroid, which is a butterfly-shaped gland located in front of the neck, makes thyroid hormone that controls the body’s metabolism in many ways, including how fast you burn calories and how fast your heart beats. Any dysfunction of the thyroid gland can cause serious problems to your body. Most common types of thyroid disorders include: * Hyperthyroidism - when your thyroid gland makes more thyroid hormones than your body requires. * Hypothyroidism - when your thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormones.
* Goiter - enlargement of the thyroid gland. * Thyroid cancer – a cancer in the butterflyshaped gland in the neck. * Thyroid nodules - lumps in the thyroid gland * Thyroiditis – swelling or inflammation of the thyroid. Anyone can get a thyroid disease, but if you’re a woman over 35 years your chances of getting a thyroid disorder are high.
Also, women are more likely than men to have thyroid problems, especially right after pregnancy and after menopause. Following are some common signs and symptoms that tell your thyroid has gone haywire: Symptoms of hypothyroidism include: * Fatigue or feeling exhausted * Constipation
* Poor tolerance to cold temperatures * Depression * Loss of appetite * Weight gain * Irregular menstrual periods * Low sex drive * Eye problems Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include: * Insomnia * Nervousness * Frequent bowel movements * Rapid weight loss * Excessive sweating * Joint pains * Feeling excessively hot in normal or cold temperatures * Eye problems If you have any of these symptoms, make sure that you consult a healthcare practitioner for a complete thyroid evaluation.
Preterm birth: Causes and risk Mental disorder: Depression may affect stomach, and anxiety skin factors you need to know!
New Delhi A preterm birth can be terrifying or even fatal for the baby, if it happens very early. Preterm birth, also known as premature birth, is defined as babies born alive before 37 weeks of pregnancy are completed. Depending on how early a baby is born, preterm births are divided into three subcategories: * extremely preterm (<28 weeks) * very preterm (28 to <32 weeks) * moderate to late preterm (32 to <37 weeks).
As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), induction or caesarean birth should not be planned before 39 completed weeks unless medically indicated. Although the specific cause of premature birth is unclear, certain factors, including lifestyle, medical or nonmedical conditions, genetic, age, may increase the risk of premature birth. These include: * Being pregnant with twins, triplets or other multiples * Being overweight or underweight
* Multiple miscarriages or abortions * Vaginal infections * Problems with the uterus, cervix or placenta * Conceiving through in vitro fertilization (IVF) * Having a previous premature birth * Diabetes * High blood pressure * Preeclampsia * Smoking * Alcohol abuse, especially during pregnancy * Age - if you are younger than 17 or older than 35 * Psychological stress Premature birth can happen to anyone, but for unknown reasons, black women are more at risk than are women of other races. There could also be a genetic influence. However, better understanding of the causes and mechanisms can help advance the development of solutions to prevent preterm birth.
London Researchers have found that depression in young people is often followed by arthritis and diseases of the digestive system, while skin diseases are common after anxiety disorders. The findings suggest that mental disorders are antecedent risk factors of certain physical diseases in early life, but also vice versa, according to the researchers. “Our results expand the relevance of mental disorders beyond mental to physical health care, and vice versa, supporting the concept of a more integrated mentalphysical health care approach, and open new starting points for early disease prevention and better treatments, with relevance for various medical disciplines,” the study said. The research group led by Marion Tegethoff in collaboration with Professor Gunther Meinlschmidt from the University of Basel in Switzerland examined the
temporal pattern and relationship between physical diseases and mental disorders in children and young people. They analysed data from a representative sample of 6,483 teenagers from the US aged between 13 and 18. The researchers noted that some physical diseases tend to occur more frequently in children and adolescents if they have previously suffered from certain mental disorders. Likewise, certain mental disorders tend to occur more frequently after the onset of particular physical diseases. Affective disorders such as
depression were frequently followed by arthritis and diseases of the digestive system, while the same relationship existed between anxiety disorders and skin diseases, showed the study published in the journal PLOS ONE. Anxiety disorders were more common if the person had already suffered from heart disease. A close association was also established for the first time between epileptic disorders and subsequent eating disorders. The results offer important insights into the causal relationship between mental disorders and physical disease.
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Are depression and PTSD the strongest reasons for suicide? New Delhi In October last year, doctors and researchers declared that India is fast on its way to becoming the suicide capital of the world with more than 90% deaths caused due to various forms of depression and its accompanying problems. This brings us to two of the most common causes that lead to suicide, which are depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Before we move on, it is important to know what depression and PTSD are. Laymen often confuse the two conditions as being the same or similar, but they aren’t. Depression Wikipedia defines depression as a mental disorder characterized by at least two weeks of low mood that is present across most situations. It is often accompanied by low selfesteem, loss of interest in normally enjoyable activities, low energy, and pain without a clear cause. People may also occasionally have false beliefs or see or hear things that others cannot. Some people have periods of depression separated by years in which they are normal while others nearly always have symptoms present. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) As per Wikipedia, PTSD is a mental disorder that can develop after a person is exposed to a traumatic event, such as sexual assault, warfare, traffic collisions, or other threats on a person’s life.
Symptoms may include disturbing thoughts, feelings, or dreams related to the events, mental or physical distress to trauma-related cues, attempts to avoid traumarelated cues, alterations in how a
person thinks and feels, and increased arousal. In a nutshell, depression is a major part or effect of PTSD. The trauma that caused the onset of PTSD also may cause depression. On the other hand, if you are suffering with either of the problems, it is quite possible that you may also have the other. Coming back to the connection of both these conditions with suicide, chances of a person suffering from depression or PTSD may have suicidal tendencies. As per Metanoia.org, suicidal people meet the formal criteria for PTSD and depression. Severe and prolonged suicidal pain is not something that most people suffer. People in suicidal crises feel that they are at the breaking point of what they can cope with. Medical Health Daily says that,
major depression is a leading cause of suicide throughout the world. People that do not treat their depressive symptoms have a greater risk for following through with suicide. Individuals with major depression are typically genetically wired in a way that makes it difficult to feel pleasure and happiness in life. 90% of people who commit suicide suffer from untreated depression. However, it also lists PTSD as a common cause of suicide. It says that, people with PTSD often live in a state of intense and sometimes debilitating anxiety and/or fear that can interfere with leading a normal life. When people feel helpless about their situation and permanently traumatized, they may turn to suicide. Major debate exists about the reason behind the increased risk of suicide in trauma survivors. While some studies suggest that suicide risk is higher among those who experienced trauma due to the symptoms of PTSD, others claim that suicide risk is higher in these individuals because of related psychiatric conditions like depression. PTSD, if diagnosed and treated on time, can reduce the risk of depression to a great extent. This basically concludes that both depression and PTSD are equally responsible for suicide and/or suicidal tendencies in those who suffer from them. They may be different from each other, however, are equally dangerous if not treated on time.
Researchers develop novel drug to repair brain damage in stroke patients New Delhi Researchers at University of Manchester, UK have come up with a novel drug that could possibly repair brain damage in stroke patients. It can potentially reduce the number of brain cells destroyed by stroke and also help in repairing the damage done to a certain extent. Stroke caused by a reduction in blood flow to the brain is a major cause of death as well as disability. Scientists at the University of Manchester, UK, have found that in rodents with stroke, treatment with the anti-inflammatory drug, interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra), can not only limit the death of existing brain cells but also promote the birth of new neurons. These new cells are thought to help restore function to areas of the
brain damaged by the stroke. The use of IL-1Ra not only limits the initial damage to brain cells, but also helps the brain repair itself longterm through the generation of new brain cells, the researchers said. Previous studies showed the treatment with IL-1Ra does indeed help rodents regain motor skills that were initially lost after a stroke. Early stage clinical trials in human stroke patients also suggest that IL-1Ra could be beneficial. “The results lend further strong support to the use of IL-1Ra in the treatment of stroke; however, further large trials are necessary,” said Stuart Allan, Professor at the University of Manchester. The drug is already licensed for use in humans for some conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis.
Now, scientists study brain Natural breast augmentation absolutely disease using Google Glass safe for young mothers: Doctors
New Delhi Scientists are taking the help of Google Glass to carry out studies regardingbrain disease, as per a latest media report. Scientists from Siberia are developing a prototype of a model using Google Glass to study an individual’s proneness to certain brain diseases at an early stage, media reported. The scientists are using Google Glass to study how people react to virtual reality and analysed the participants’ movements in virtual reality, rbth.com reported on Thursday. “They evaluated the condition of the muscles, the brain and the vestibular system. There is a difference between the
vestibular system’s reaction in healthy people and that in sick people,” said Ivan Tolmachev, one of the model’s developers. The test requires the person to be aware of what is happening around and follow the doctor’s instructions. The scientists are thinking of conducting the test on children who are five and older in order to understand if they are already prone to brain disease, noted the report. Scientists from Tomsk Polytechnic University and the Siberian State Medical University are together working on this prototype and the project will need $64,000 to make the model marketable.
New Delhi Natural Breast Augmentation a procedure where the breasts’ size is increased by transferring fat is completely safe for young mothers as lactation and other functions are preserved, doctors said on Saturday. According to the doctors, women desiring to have breast augmentation should opt for the natural way because there is no use of foreign material. There is no scar or mark left post-operative as the procedure is performed through keyhole, a minimally invasive process. “The use of silicone implant to enhance the breast size has become passe. In the age where technological devices are becoming nano sized and surgeries becoming minimally invasive, this latest technique of natural breast implantation has gained immense popularity,” said Lokesh Kumar, Director and head of BLK Centre for Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery. According to medical science, in Natural Breast Augmentation the size and volume of a woman’s breasts is increased using her own body. The minimally invasive procedure is safe and quick. In a
span of a few hours, a woman undergoes from a B to a C cup. The technique is less stressful on the woman’s body and heals faster. Additionally, the procedure has the
benefit of liposuction where the fat is harvested from areas like abdomen, waist, thighs, back or buttocks. Kumar said: “This technique is called Beauli and was invented in Germany a few years ago. During the procedure, a very high speed water jet stream is used to separate fat cells from the patient’s body.” “With the help of a thin metal tube, fat is extracted from areas that are resistant to diet and exercise. Once the fat is loose, it can be collected in a container which is ready to be used in any part of the body for enhancement. Like, for breast augmentation, this fatty tissue is injected under and around the breast area,” said
Kumar. Rakesh Ranjan, a general surgeon from Safdarjung hospital, said: “Today the situation is such that many women are put off with the word ‘silicone’ as there has been a lot of negative publicity due to the use of bad quality implants from unethical sources/ surgeons”. “But the safety of this procedure has stood the test of time. It is simple enough to be carried out as a day care procedure,” he said. Stating that biologically a woman loses volume in her breasts as she ages, Ranjan said: “This surgery is also for women who possess enough fat in the thighs, abdomen, back, buttocks or arms and want them to get removed, which instead can be used for breasts.” “Post procedure, the improvement in the breasts is visible only over the next few weeks, as the swelling goes down. One can expect to see marked improvement in breast size and volume as long as the bodyweight does not change,” said Ranjan.
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Issue 695 (39)
29 Nov.- 5 Dec, 2016
Breaded Chicken Fingers
Ingredients 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 1/2 inch strips 1 egg, beaten 1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 quart oil for frying
Directions Place chicken strips into a large, resealable plastic bag. In a small bowl, mix the egg, buttermilk and garlic powder. Pour mixture into bag with chicken. Seal, and refrigerate 2 to 4 hours. In another large, resealable plastic bag, mix together the flour, bread crumbs, salt and baking powder. Remove chicken from refrigerator, and drain, discarding buttermilk mixture. Place chicken in flour mixture bag. Seal, and shake to coat. Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Carefully place coated chicken in hot oil. Fry until golden brown and juices run clear. Drain on paper towels.
Penne Pasta with Spinach and Bacon Ingredients 1 (12 ounce) package penne pasta 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 6 slices bacon, chopped 2 tablespoons minced garlic 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes 1 bunch fresh spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces Directions Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the penne pasta, and cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Place bacon in the skillet, and cook until browned and crisp. Add garlic, and cook for about 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, and cook until
Mexican Baked Fish
Ingredients 1 1/2 pounds cod 1 cup salsa 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese 1/2 cup coarsely crushed corn chips 1 avocado - peeled, pitted and sliced 1/4 cup sour cream Directions Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease one 8x12 inch baking dish.
Rinse fish fillets under cold water, and pat dry with paper towels. Lay fillets side by side in the prepared baking dish. Pour the salsa over the top, and sprinkle evenly with the shredded cheese. Top with the crushed corn chips. Bake, uncovered, in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until fish is opaque and flakes with a fork. Serve topped with sliced avocado and sour cream.
Basil Shrimp heated through. Place the spinach into a colander, and drain the hot pasta over it so it is wilted. Transfer
to a large serving bowl, and toss with the remaining olive oil, and the bacon and tomato mixture.
Ingredients 1 (16 ounce) package angel hair pasta 1/4 cup olive oil 1/2 onion, chopped 4 cloves garlic, minced 2 cups roma (plum) tomatoes,
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese Directions Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 minutes or until al dente; drain. Pour olive oil in a large deep skillet over high-heat. Saute onions and garlic until lightly browned. Reduce heat to medium-high and add tomatoes, vinegar and chicken broth; simmer for about 8 minutes. diced 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar Stir in red pepper, black pepper, 1 (10.75 ounce) can low-sodium basil and cooked pasta, tossing thoroughly with sauce. Simmer chicken broth for about 5 more minutes and crushed red pepper to taste freshly ground black pepper to serve topped with grated cheese. taste
Ingredients 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil 1/4 cup butter, melted 1 1/2 lemons, juiced 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard (such as Grey Poupon Country Mustardâ„˘) 1/2 cup minced fresh basil leaves 3 cloves garlic, minced salt to taste white pepper 3 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined skewers Directions In a shallow, non-porous dish or bowl, mix to-
gether olive oil and melted butter. Stir in lemon juice, mustard, basil, and garlic, and season with salt and white pepper. Add shrimp, and toss to coat. Cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour. Preheat grill to high heat. Remove shrimp from marinade, and thread onto skewers. Discard marinade. Lightly oil grill grate, and arrange skewers on preheated grill. Cook for 4 minutes, turning once, or until opaque.
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29 Nov.- 5 Dec, 2016