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INSIDE THIS ISSUE Raees Gets Banned in Pakistan "...Raees depicts Muslims as criminals and terrorists...”

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Superbowl Goes Gaga! Lady Gaga lead the show, with a 12-minute set that featured her biggest tracks

To read the full story turn to page 25




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A ROMANTIC COMEDY SET FOR WORLDWIDE RELEASE THIS VALENTINE Mahi NRI (My Beloved Non-Resident Indian) is set for release on Friday 10th February 2017. Primarily set in Birmingham, it's a realistic multi-cultural romantic comedy centered on student Sherry (Hardy Sandhu) who comes to UK to become an NRI (Non-Resident Indian) in order to please his girlfriend's mother. After all, only a man from the UK is good enough for her daughter. Film Director Gaurav Bavdankar said, "Most of the filmmakers from India want to go and film in London. I wanted my main characters to be based in my home town, Birmingham. Birmingham and the Black Country have range of locations to offer...Also the music is going to be loved by all as it has got the best combination of composers, lyricists and singers”.

For Indians, the UK is still seen as the place where the streets are paved with gold, where all British Asians have huge sprawling houses and big cars. Lead actor Sandhu says, "I worked hard to prep myself for the part of Sherry, who is a happy-golucky guy who doesn’t have a care in the world, until the reality of him losing his girlfriend dawns upon him. I thoroughly enjoyed working in UK, it was a blast, it was also great meeting people from all walks of life and loved the locations." Film Producer Ranbir Kaloya said, “I fell in love with the story and characters the first time I read the script. The film to a degree is the reality of what happens in India and the UK. In most cases, Indian parents want men from the UK to marry their daughters so they have a better way of life. This film


Hordes of protesters turned up outside the Council House

Hundreds Attend Anti-Trump Rally

shows the journey of a young man who comes to UK to get his citizenship and the many mishaps and misfortunes that hinder his plans. Many people from the UK and India will relate to this film in many ways”. Model-actress-singer Rameet Sandhu, plays Mandy in the film, and says: "As a British Indian girl born and raised in Glasgow, I was so humbled to be chosen for this film. I worked very hard to play Mandy and I hope my work will be appreciated." The story and screenplay has been written by Gaurav Bavdankar and Mohinder Pratap Singh. Music by Arjunaa Harjai and background score by Inderpaul Wouhra. The film also stars Poppy Jabbal, Gurpreet Ghuggi, Anjum Batra, Ranjan Sehgal, B N Sharma, Gulvinder Ghir and Navneet Nishan.

To read the full story turn to page 24


Deepika Padukone

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Valentines Day Feature and Competition All the details inside Turn to Page - 14

Deepika Padukone Interview - PG 26

January 30th saw more than five hundred people gathered in Victoria Square, Birmingham, to protest against the Trump ban and his proposed state visit. Hordes of protesters turned up outside the Council House in defiance of the

ban which would see muslims and immigrants from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen barred from entering the United States. Although Theresa May was able to strike a deal with Trump

exempting Brits with dual citizenship with those seven countries, her extension of an invitation of a state visit for the billionaire president has been met with huge backlash. Continued on Page 2

Cook Retires as English Test Captain - PG 38






Continued From Front Page Over a million people signed a petition calling the revocation of the invitation, which May refused to submit to on the grounds of it being a ‘populist gesture.’ In response, protests were held in several cities around the UK; Birmingham, London, Manchester, Newcastle and more. The Birmingham protest was set up and chaired by 29-year-old Hasanain Jaffer from

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Kings Heath, who set up the Facebook event page. In only two days, the page attracted over 6,000 people with hundreds immediately confirming attendance. It was timed to coincide with nationwide antiTrump protests and was supported by Stand Up To Racism, Stop the War Coalition, MEND (Muslim Engagement and Development), the Muslim Association of Britain, Amnesty International, UNISON and the West Midlands Green Party.


























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We spoke with some of the protesters at the Birmingham rally. One person called the Trump ban ‘disgraceful.’ Another said ‘spouting hate, especially Islamophobia, and blaming a whole religion for the actions and views of certain extremists is a bit farfetched and it’s history repeating itself.” Flags of the UK, LGBTQ, the EU and even communism were on show. There were multiple signs and boards denouncing Trump, racism, hate crime and division. Some of the speakers at the rally included Val Harrison, chair of Birmingham Progressive Synagogue, who said “there is far more that unites us (Muslims and Jews] than divides us. We are people who know what happens when authority chooses a group as a scapegoat and then turns

on them. History teaches us that what starts with small steps can rapidly escalate into

unimaginable suffering for the target group.” Birmingham Labour councillors also made speeches at the rally, with one MP saying, “We will not allow fascism to rise in this country, we will not allow fascism and racism to rise in Europe, the United States or anywhere in this world while have a voice.” Another speaker included Reverend David Butterworth, of the Methodist Church, who said: “Whatever we can do to make this a more peaceful city and a more inclusive city, and to stand up and be counted, we must and should do it together. “The only way that Donald Trump will win is if the good people of Birmingham, and of other cities that we’re twinned with like Chicago, stay silent.” Shami Chakrabarti, the

Shadow attorney general, said: "It is in sadness and solidarity that we gather here this evening. I also hope, friends, that we stand here in solidarity with all the world's women who the president has insulted and all the desperate refugees that he would spurn." Should Trump be allowed to go ahead with the state visit, it may signal to some that the UK is in agreement with the ban- which many politicians have denounced as illegal and cruel. Despite the nationwide protests, Theresa May is still adamant about allowing Trump to attend on a state visit, which would see him hosted by the Queen and staying at Buckingham Palace. May was branded 'Theresa the Appeaser' by MPs in the Commons, with Labour's Yvette Cooper even going

"There is far more that unites us than divides us..." so far as to tell her: "This order [anti-immigration ban] was signed on Holocaust Memorial Day. For the sake of history, have the guts to speak out." Many have ridiculed the anti-Trump protests and the petition, adding that a state visit by Trump would bear no embarrassment to the Queen who in the past has hosted such dictators as Robert Mugabe and Nicolae Ceausescu. Former US president Barack Obama has also voiced his concern, saying that he 'fundamentally disagrees' with the discriminatory ban.

HRH The Prince of Wales hears about army engagement with ethnic communities including Sikh Union Coventry His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales was briefed on the on-going work between the Army and ethnic minority communities during a flagship national event held at St Philips Centre, Leicester on Wednesday 25th January 2017. Army formations from across the UK showcased a range of multi-faith engagement activity undertaken last year that highlighted how they are engaging with different ethnic minority communities to build lasting connections and mutual trust. Guests included the many community leaders that the brigades are working with to strengthen integration through

dialogue and understanding. This included Sikh Union Coventry who work closely with the Army throughout the year for example the Army has an annual presence at the Vaisakhi Sports Day organised by Sikh Union Coventry and is attended by around 8,000 members of the community. Bhovinder Nagra Vice-Chairman of Sikh Union Coventry represented the organisation. He met with HRH The Prince of Wales and highlighted the work Sikh Union does with different Army units based in the West Midlands. He said “It was a great honour to meet HRH The Prince of Wales and for Sikh Union to be recognised as an example

of best practice in terms of community engagement by the Army”. Lieutenant Colonel David Utting, Head of Engagement at HQ London District, spoke to His Royal Highness about how the London HQ is working hard to break down barriers and misconceptions in the Boroughs of London and the relationships that the Army has built with local communities. Every external activity organised by HQ London District has a multi-ethnic and multi-faith dimension. The District also organises specific events with particular faith groups. For example, it joined the Sikh community in commemorating the Battle of Saragarhi.













Enraged Train Passenger Kicks over £3.40 Fare

• CCTV: The passenger swore at and berated staff A viral that circulated online showed a horrific spat of abuse hurled at a rail employee on a London-Midland line between Bournville and Northfield. The video, recorded on the phone of a train conductor, shows a man verbally attacking and physically assaulting people on the train before fleeing. The incident came about after a conductor asked Elliot Nash, 32, to show his ticket or pay his fare. He flatly refused to pay, to which the female conductor challenged him. Nash immediately spewed abuse at the rail staff, telling them to “f*** off” and that he was not going to pay his fare. He then threatened to “knock them out.” In the disturbing rant, Nash can be seen hurling vitriol at three staff members, even taunting them “go and phone the police you little muppet” as he angrily strides up and down the aisle. Despite being told that he is being recorded, Nash continues ranting and aggressively storming around the train carriage. He repeatedly degrades the staff, saying “what a s*** job you do going



collect tickets, you’re a tramp.” In the next segment, Nash is seen holding onto the headrests and violently kicking someone down the aisle. He then departed the train and was arrested at his home in Northfield not two hours later. Nash has since been charged with common assault and two public order offences against members of staff and the public. Despite all the evidence against him, Nash repeatedly denied charges and only pleaded guilty after the case went to trial. He has been jailed for three months. PC Nicola Mallaber, of the British Transport Police, said: “As the footage shows, his attitude is completely unacceptable and there was absolutely no need for this to have escalated into violence… all for the sake of a £3.40 fare.”

• CCTV: Nash lifts himself and kicks a staff member

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Father Of Three Pulled Aside Forty-Two Times In Three Years • Ali Ahmed (Bottom) has been pulled aside 42 times in just 3 years


hmed Ali, from Derby, believes he might just be the most pulled aside man in Britain. The forty-year-old says he is a victim on racial profiling after being pulled aside 42 times in three years at British airports, whether it be Birmingham, Manchester, Luton, London Heathrow or Stansted. In fact, so assured is Ali that he will pulled aside, he now arrives at the airport excessively early in prep for questioning. Ali has been removed from flights, including once while his wife was pregnant, and

was once questioned for five hours. Questions include his thoughts on ISIS and whether he considers himself a threat to Great Britain. The father of three frequently flies abroad as part of his charity work for Unite 4 Humanity. In his latest stoppage, Ali was pulled aside by at Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport, France, and was refused from boarding his Ryanair flight. Furthermore, the immigration officials refused to deal with him unless he spoke French. As such, he was forced to buy a new ticket and travel the next day. Ali explained, “‘I have no problems with

the immigration as they were trying to be quick as possible but Ryanair were told that I was taken to one side yet still would not let me board. ‘My solicitor thinks I am the most stopped man in the country,’ he said. ‘He believes it is profiling but I don’t understand why it always seem to be me.’ Incidents of racial profiling often go unmentioned in England due to the much more circulated stories coming out of countries like American and France, but Ali’s story brings to light that Britain is still very much dealing with its own racial prejudices.

My solicitor thinks I am the most stopped man in the country..

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Kal Yafai, Chris Woakes and Matt Gotrel are amongst some of the sporting heroes inspiring children


oxing champion Kal Yafai, England cricketer Chris Woakes and Olympic gold medallist Matt Gotrel are amongst some of the sporting heroes inspiring children for the Birmingham School Games. In its sixth year, the Games took place on the 9th and 10th February 2017 at PlayFootball Birmingham and saw 1500 children from over 100 schools compete against each other. The event is an Olympic/Paralympic style school sport competition run by Sport Birmingham and is part of the Government’s plans for lasting sporting legacy after hosting the London 2012 Games. Mike Chamberlain, chief executive at Sport Birmingham said “The Games aren’t just about sport, they help young people develop skills and instil values essential to everyday life such as team work, determination, honesty,

passion, self-belief and respect. Birmingham Bears and England cricket all-rounder Chris Woakes posted a video message saying: “Good luck to everyone taking part and I hope it goes all really well, be the best version of yourself and play with a smile on your face.” Other athletes who posted good luck messages included Paralympics athlete Sam Ruddock and Olympic medallist and former Birchfield Harrier Katharine Merry. The Birmingham School Games launch, at the Edgbaston Priory, featured Olympic Gold Medallist Rower Matt Gotrel MBE who spoke about his experiences of school sport and how it helped impact his career. WBA super-fly weight champion Kal Yafai and Olympic winning medallist gymnast Kristian Thomas attended the Games where they talked to children about their journey’s to becoming elite athletes.




Library of Birmingham & British Library win Heritage Lottery Fund to celebrate South Asian culture.

The Library of Birmingham and the British Library have received £91,700 of National Lottery funding to present Documenting Histories, a partnership project celebrating the important role South Asian culture has played in forming Birmingham’s history and identity. At the heart of the project is a major exhibition which will open in July, drawing on both libraries’ rich collections, supported by a programme of complementary events and workshops during 2017. This will explore Britain’s South Asian heritage, examining the contribution made by South Asian people to Birmingham and the UK, and featuring

contributions from local communities as they are invited to share their stories in their own words. This year marks an important milestone in South Asian history and activities will be taking place in Birmingham and across the country to mark the UK’s longstanding cultural ties with the Indian subcontinent. In 2017, Birmingham will be celebrating Utsav, Year of South Asian Culture and the contribution those communities have made to the city. Utsav, meaning festival/celebration, was officially launched on 18 January and will feature a wide variety of professional and community events and activities throughout the year.

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Is it a matter of faith or is it culture?


Four-year-old sent home from school for wearing a headscarf


Man Dies After Getting Stabbed on Handsworth Bus A man has died after being stabbed to death on a bus in Handsworth on the 23rd January. The attack took place on Rookery Road at 10.43pm on the Number No 11A bus as it travelled through Handsworth. The victim, a man in his thirties, died after emergency services used CPR but failed to save him. The police have released a description of the attacker; black, male, 5ft 9ins, aged around 30, wearing a baseball cap, padded jacket and carrying dark duffel-type bag. As of now, it is believed the weapon was a pocket knife. After stabbing the victim on the upper deck, the suspect fled the bus, heading towards Soho Road. Detectives have launched an investigation and are seeking whether it was recorded on the bus CCTV. A post-mortem may also take place to find the cause of death.





he much controversial hijab is back in the news again after a four year old girl was sent home for wearing the headscarf. Her school, St Clare's School in Robert Road, Handsworth, sent the child home for wearing a hijab in class. They told the child’s parents that the Catholic school had a strict dress they expected all kids to follow. Birmingham Councilor Waseem Zaffar met with the Headteacher on January 20th, ‘clearly outlining to her that this policy contravenes with the equalities act.’ Zaffar, a cabinet member for equalities, challenged the schools ban. However, some have come out in support of the ban. Shaista Gohir, of the Muslim Women’s


Network, said: ““We challenge parents who spray tan or give pole dancing classes to seven-year-olds, so we should be challenging Muslim parents who make young children wear the hijab. I’ve seen girls of two wearing them.” She added, “While schools have to be inclusive, they haven’t done anything wrong because there is no Islamic requirement for a four-year-old to wear a headscarf. What is the need to put a headscarf on a four-year-old? "Because it is not a part of faith. I would not like to see it normalised for four and five-yearolds to be wearing headscarves. In the current climate there is so much negativity towards Islam. By saying it is part of faith, when

it isn’t – or normalising it – is not a good thing.” She went on: “But, as it is not a matter of faith, the school is as entitled to tell children not to wear it as they are to stop a child wearing trainers or even a Superman costume. Let them be children, they’ve got their whole life to wear a headscarf if they want to.”


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Emmerdale star Bhasker Patel gets behind the new ACT FAST stroke campaign E

mmerdale actor Bhasker Patel is calling on South Asians to know the common signs of stroke highlighted in the latest Public Health England national Act FAST campaign. Act FAST reminds people of the key symptoms of stroke and the importance of calling 999 immediately if they notice any single one of the symptoms in themselves or others. Stroke is now the fourth largest cause of death in the UK and South Asians are at a higher risk of having a stroke than their white counterparts due to diabetes and high blood pressure being significant factors causing stroke. New statisitcs reveal that stroke kills over 40,000 people a year and almost two thirds leave hospital with a disability. People are most likely to have a stroke



when they are 55 years of age or older, but South Asians are at a greater risk of experiencing a stroke at a younger age. Research shows that 24% of people would wait to call

"....I urge you to save your life, or somebody you love, think and Act FAST, call 999 if you notice any single one of the three key signs..." an ambulance because they wrongly believe that they need to see two or more symptoms of stroke to be sure. Other barriers to dialling 999 include feeling that they need permission to act on behalf of others. As part of the campaign new films will encourage everyone not to hesitate and make the call immediately when they see

any of the key stroke symptoms: • Face – has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile? • Arms – can they raise both their arms and keep them there? • Speech – is their speech slurred? Bhasker Patel, Emmerdale actor said: “Stroke is a serious medical emergency which can cause disability and ultimately kill. South Asians are twice as likely to have a stroke than white people – and we have a greater chance of having a stroke at a younger age.” “I urge you to save your life, or somebody you love, think and Act FAST, call 999 if you notice any single one of the three key signs of a stroke: Face, Arms, Speech. The speed in which you react can

• Dr Nergis Mavalvala worked alongside other researchers

make the difference between life and death.” As part of the campaign Public Health England, has released a series of films encouraging people to call 999 if they notice the symptoms of stroke in themselves or anyone else. Featuring in the new films are television stars, Chizzy Akudolu and Emmerdale actor Bhasker Patel, alongside healthcare practitioners and stroke survivors – some who have recovered well and others who have been left with life - changing disabilities. View Bhasker Patel's film.


Don’t ignore the warning signs. If you’ve been suffering from tummy troubles such as diarrhoea, bloating, discomfort or anything else that just doesn’t feel right for three weeks or more, it could be a sign of cancer. It’s probably nothing serious, but finding cancer early makes it more treatable, so tell your doctor.


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It is our constant endeavour not just to be able lawyers on all legal advice related to NRI property issues but to be friends and guides to the overseas community as well. We bring you the latest from this part of the world so that you may feel connected to your roots and also, take steps that help you protect your interests. Over the past few months, if the world thought that the Indian government would stop its ‘cleanliness drive’ with the demonetisation process alone, then they need to know that, that step was just a beginning. Following that has been a strong initiative being pursued in the area of property ownership. There is an impetus to bring about professionalism and transparency in the Real Estate sector. All ‘benami’ transactions (where the property is not in your name-details on our website would be brought under the microscope and suitably punished. In the light of this, getting your property ownership titles in order is imperative. These precautions are especially true for the NRIs – since they have to most often leave their assets in the hands of some caretakers or relatives/friends. It has become a necessity that all ownership claims and titles should be explicitly defined so that there is no ambiguity on these. Further, all papers should accommodate the rules of the land. It is common to hear of property disputes related

to inheritance issues. This is a bane for most overseas citizens. Inheritance leads to complications and the problem of ‘Transfer’ of property often gets ignored. Uncertainty usually creeps in when the property papers are not in proper order. Even if you were to inherit property, there would be a difficulty in carrying out legal, valid transactions for the same unless the legal formalities are completed. A ‘transfer’ can logically be accomplished either through a Will document or the law of natural succession (where there is no Will) or a Gift deed. The last situation could be when a normal sales procedure takes place and property are bought & sold. Lack of awareness about these transfer associated nuances causes a lot of avoidable harassment for many NRIs. In fact, transfer of property or Mutation is one of the most sought after advice issues for the legal property experts in our company. Make sure that you remain informed, educated and alert about your property issues in India – most of all, stay cautious and keep your documents duly updated.

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Reproductive Health Awareness Day and World Cancer Day

Birmingham Bids Black Sabbath Goodbye



The world of music had its eyes on Birmingham this February as Black Sabbath, one of the most lauded rock bands in history, bid a final goodbye to their fans. The concert, aptly titled The End, saw hundreds upon hundreds of fans from around the world jet into Birmingham to see the band play one last, final time. They came from as far as Japan, Mexico, Uruguay, Poland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, LA and more. The atmosphere before the concert was simply electric and the stage featured everything: fireworks, flame throwers, smoke machines, confetti cannons and more. Black and purple balloons even descended from the rafters. Black Sabbath, which started their career in The Crown pub on Station Street, 1968, shredded through all of their classics, including Black Sabbath, War Pigs, Iron Man, Children of The Grave and Paranoid, Behind the Wall of Sleep, N.I.B and Hand of Doom.

Hi Cysters! February, the month of love with Valentines day fast approaching. I hope you have a beautiful month ahead. February also marks two very other important days, Reproductive Health Awareness Day and World Cancer Day Reproductive Health Awareness Day Celebrated on the 12th

February (that’s two days before Valentines for you guys who seem to forget!), Reproductive Health Awareness Day is an opportunity to raise awareness about sexual and reproductive health issues, to educate to reduce the spread of sexually transmitted infections. There are many sexual and reproductive health issues that can affect anyone’s life. The most common of which

is Sexually Transmitted Infections. Prevention is the key, so it is important to learn how to prevent the spread of STIs for example, using a Condom. Some of the symptoms of STIs include: unusual discharge from the penis, vagina or anus pain during sex or urination sores, blisters, ulcers, warts or rashes in the genital area itchiness or irritation in the

genital area persistent diarrhoea fever or flu-like symptoms abnormal or unusual vaginal bleeding, especially after having sex pain in the scrotum or testicles lumps and bumps on the genitals. Remember that many people who have an STI do not develop any symptoms and may not be aware they have an infection that can

Read about World Cancer Day on our website:

Birmingham the Worst for Unemployment

According to official figures, Birmingham has the worst unemployment figures in the country. A breakdown of each Parliamentary constituency revealed that four out of the five worst areas for unemployment were all in Birmingham. The only other place in the bottom five was Middlesbrough, where 3240

people are currently claiming jobseekers allowance. Ladywood tops the list of unemployment figures, with more people claiming Jobseekers Allowances there than anywhere else. There are currently 5757 people in Ladywood claiming the jobseekers benefits, these people making up 5.9% of those 16-64. The MP for Erdington, Birmingham, Jack Dromey, said, “These shocking statistics bring home the enduring problems of high unemployment in Birmingham. “Birmingham may be booming but there are still tens of thousands of Brummies left behind who want a decent job or training.”

The North East of the UK has the worst rates of regional unemployment, far outstripping the West Midlands. The figures show that there are 161,000 unemployed in the West Midlands – an increase of 3000 since last year- with Birmingham having strikingly high rates. However the number of those in work has also increased since last year by 76,000, with 2.7million now in work. However, given that the overall population in the West Midlands has increased, it is only statistically normal for both unemployment and employment to rise in number as well.

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be passed on to their sexual partners, which is why checkups are so important. Once you have an STI, you need immediate treatment since it can cause severe complications even when the signs and symptoms disappear. If you suspect that you have an STI, you need to consult your GP immediately to get a diagnosis and the proper treatment. Do not leave it and think the problem will go away... you will spoil Valentine’s Day and any further Valentines Days the longer you leave it! So join us, in this truly remarkable international event and help us raise awareness. Cysters will be celebrating this month by basing our Twitter Chat - #CystersChat on Sexual and Reproductive Health and World Cancer Day. Join the Conversation every week from 7 – 8pm via Twitter #CystersChat Remember – whatever Gynaecological problem you are going through, you ARE beautiful and you are still a woman! Love Neelam <3 For more information, help or support get in touch with us.


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Love is in the air and V here is where... 14




alentine's Day is coming up, and whether you like it or not, most everyone you know will be looking to celebrate the Day of Love. If you or your significant other are struggling for ideas on how to bring about the mood, look no further than our carefully curated list of date spots. Enjoy great meals, spectacular settings and the company of your one and only.

SABAI SABAI There's not one, not two, but three awesome Sabai Sabai restaurants to choose from this Valentine's Day. So whether you go to Moseley, Harborne or Stratford Upon Avon, you'll be guaranteed sumptuously tasty Thai dishes, great cocktails and great service in beautiful surroundings.

If you fancy a pre-Valentines romantic treat then join Hotel du Vin in the month of love at a spectacular black-tie champagne dinner at the boutique hotel. Jonathan Simms of Perrier-Jouet will host a decadently extravagant Valentines champagne celebration featuring aperitif and canapés, a delicious 4 course dinner and some wonderful champagnes from the Perrier-Jouet stable including the legendary Belle Epoque.




LOBSTER PENINSULA There's not one, not two, but three awesome Sabai Sabai restaurants to choose from this Valentine's Day. So whether you go to Moseley, Harborne or Stratford Upon Avon, you'll be guaranteed sumptuously tasty Thai dishes, great cocktails and great service in beautiful surroundings.

ALUNA You may just want to go somewhere fun for a first date!! Aluna Cocktail Bar at the


Mailbox is definitely the right place to create that magic. The mixologists are

like social scientists, dedicated to creating the most fantastic molecular cocktails.


So if are looking to inject some fire into your love life this Valentine's Day then book your date night at Indico Street Kitchen in Shirley. Curry is supposedly high in aphrodisiac ingredients with a korma curry having the most - coconut, garlic, ginger, chilli and almonds!



WIN a meal for 2 with a Diwale cocktail each DelicioUS pr & inDico have teamed up to give The Asian Today readers a Valentines Day treat. A romantic meal for two at their fabulous Shirley restaurant could be yours this February 14th.

Say 'Hola' to El Borracho De Oro if you're looking for somewhere really authentic. Tapas is ideal date food for you and your lover to get your fingers stuck into and the laid back, mediterranean style venue is the perfect place to say Te Amo over a glass of Rioja.


To enter just answer this question: Which of these dishes is NOT typical Indian Street Food. (a) dosa


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email your answer to with your name and number by the 13th FEB. T&C'S Apply Three course menu and one cocktail each. (PRIZE NOT TRANSFERABLE)

If decadence is more your style, then the sumptuous Varanasi would definitely fit the bill. With its dark moody interior full of golden chairs, silky drapes, dramatic buddhas and glistening chandeliers it really is a special place for romance.

With around 100,000 people in the UK dying from smoking per year, it is one of the nation’s biggest causes of death. Did you know each cigarette has around 4,000 chemicals, many of which are known to be toxic? Ammonia, tar, carbon monoxide and arsenic are some of the chemicals you would breathe in when smoking. Smoking can damage your heart and blood circulation, brain as well as your lungs and cause diseases including heart disease, cervical cancer, lung cancer and stroke. Chewing smokeless tobacco such as paan or gutkha is popular amongst people from south Asian communities. All forms of tobacco can damage your health and using smokeless tobacco raises the risk of mouth cancer. Smoking bidi and shisha can also increase your risk of cancer, heart disease and respiratory disease. The benefits of not smoking are huge and quitting smoking can make a real difference to your lifestyle and health. Here are some of the benefits of giving up smoking: • Better breathing – Giving up smoking will allow you to breathe more easily and cough less. Lung capacity can also increase by up to 10 percent within nine months of giving up. • Longer life – Stopping smoking can not only add years to your life, it can also improve

your chances of living a disease-free and mobile life. • Younger looking skin – The skin of a non-smoker gets more nutrients and without these nutrients skin can start looking sallow. • Improved fertility – Non smokers find it easier to get pregnant and have a reduced chance of having a miscarriage. Being a non-smoker also improves the chances of giving birth to a healthy baby. • More energy – Within two to 12 weeks of stopping smoking your circulation will improve and as a result, you will be able to walk and run much easier. Giving up smoking can also boost your immune system. Making small changes to your lifestyle can play a part in helping you quit. Here are some tips to help you give up smoking. Firstly think positive. Make a plan to stop smoking and stick to it. Create a list of reasons as to why you want to quit. Keep the list in a place where you can see it. Chances of having cancer, heart attacks or stroke as well as your blood pressure going down are some of the reasons you may wish to include on your list. Talk to your friends and family for support. Why not suggest to other smokers you know that you give up together? The more support and encouragement you can get the better.

Are you on Twitter? To find out what is going on around our hospitals, and for latest news and updates follow us @heartofengland. Join our conversation today! Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust staff provides general and specialist hospital care across Heartlands Hospital, Solihull Hospitals, Good Hope Hospital and Birmingham Chest Clinic. The Trust also provides community health services across the borough of Solihull. The Trust employs more than 10,000 members of staff, making it one of the top five employers in the Midlands.




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THE ASIAN TODAY B'ham Orchestra Receives £250,000 Gift

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra has received a generous donation in aid of his extensive educational programme. Clive and Sylvia Richards, two philanthropists based in Herefordshire, donated £250,000 to the Orchestra to support it over the next five years. The gift was made in celebration of the appointment of the orchestra’s new Music Director, the renowned Mirga Gražinyt -Tyla, who the Telegraph called ‘conducting’s next superstar.’ Mirga’s concerts have already caused a storm in the classical world, with many betting on her to revitalise the Birmingham music scene and rejuvenate the Orchestra. The generous sum should be able to help fund thirty concerts in the following year, the Orchestra’s educational programme and the CBSO Youth Orchestra and CBSO Youth and Children’s Choruses.



Report Finds Nursery System Favours Middle Class

earnings are having to fork out over a third of their earnings on childcare due to regulations. The report found that families already on middle class salaries benefit the most from the current system, instead of the disadvantaged. Worse yet, nursery costs are only set to increase due to a lack of funding in the system. Co-author of the report, Len Shackleton, said: "Government interventions in the childcare sector have resulted in both British families and taxpayers bearing a heavy burden of expensive provision. "Regulation has led to an excessive formalisation of childcare and preschool, which has not only pushed up costs but paid scant attention to parental preferences. "Many families may not want the structured form of pre-school that the government requires as standard. "At a time when many families are facing a cost of living crisis, it is important the government rethinks its involvement in childcare. Rowing back on unnecessary regulation and focusing public funds on those who need it, rather than subsidising the well-off, would be a good way to start."

According to the Institute of Economic Affairs, the free entitlement to childcare should be replaced with a system that supports disadvantaged children. As of now, all parents in England have the right to 15 hours of free child care a week which the IEA says has distorted the market price. It also adds that many families on average



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Winners announced at the 5th annual British Muslim Awards 2017 T

The Wonder of Learning Written By: Ambreen Khan Director & Senior Academic Performance Coach

What if? Why Worry?

One in four people will suffer from an anxiety disorder in their lifetime. And the rest of us will worry, fuss, and fret far more than we need to. Worry is amazingly common. Worry is like blood pressure, you need a certain level to live, but too much can lead to an unhealthy mind and body. At its worst, worry is insidious, invisible, feeding on anything it finds. It sets upon you unwanted and unbidden, feasting on the infinite array of negative possibilities in life, diminishing your enjoyment of friends, family achievements, and physical being. All because you live in fear of what might go wrong. People who worry too much suffer. For all their hard work, for all their humour and willingness to laugh at themselves, for all their self-awareness, worriers just cannot achieve peace of mind. What is Worry? Worry is a special form of fear. It is what humans do with simple fear once it reaches the part of their brain called the cerebral cortex. We make fear complex, adding anticipation, memory imagination, and emotion. Worry can take shape in many forms, but it almost always stems from an overwhelming sense of feeling vulnerable and powerless. Today, we are finally beginning to understand the biology of worry to pinpoint what is happening


in the nerve cells of the worrier. Our autonomic nervous systems is cranked up higher, and our blood pressure, pulse, and respiratory rate may be also increase. As some may be less sensitive than others when it comes to the brain's natural stress modulators. Other pioneering research, by Jerome Kagan (PhD), has revealed that children who are highstrung and highly aroused early on in childhood, often become tense, shy and worrying adults. Our new knowledge in the field of Neuroscience and Brain Plasticity has enabled us to stop blaming worriers for their woes, and begin helping them to get better. One of our newest and most powerful findings is that our brains are adaptable and flexible. You cannot give yourself a new brain but you can be redirected, retrained, reassured, and reset. You can change. RETRAINING YOUR BRAIN Worriers can retrain their brain by learning new mental skills. It’s like training your muscles to learn the pattern of a golf or tennis swing, so that the correct swing becomes automatic. You can train your brain to learn effective ways of dealing with situations that arise again and again, such as financial worries or fears of failure. There is a window of opportunity that lasts about a minute, during which you can sever the tentacle of a toxic worry before it grips you totally as the brain has not yet gone into spasm. That is the time to defuse worry. “Worry Wisely!” There is such a thing as wise worry; it is our reaction to worry that counts. For winners, worry is a reason to take positive action giving successful people an edge.

For further support email:

he fifth annual British Muslim Awards took place on Wednesday January 25 where the winners were announced at the glamorous event at the Athena Hotel in Leicester. The black tie event acknowledged and celebrated the achievements, determination and hard work of professionals and businesses from the Muslim community in Britain. The evening was one of celebration, recognising a wide range of achievements which cover various aspects of society including business, charity, sport, arts and culture Young Achiever of the Year Ibrar Hussain (Bradford Central Lions Club, Bradford)

Community Organisation Cricket Beyond the Boundary Line (Bradford)

and much more. The evening was hosted by the TV presenter and broadcaster journalist Samina Kiyani and the presenter, actor and voiceover artist Inayat Kanji. The celebration of success, welcomed over 400 guests who enjoyed reflecting upon the significant role of Britain’s Muslims in society. Irfan Younis, CEO and Founder of Oceanic Consulting events said: “Our finalists and winners again demonstrated the commitment and dedication British Muslims have made to their chosen industries. We are delighted to have

delivered the 5th British Muslim Awards and have seen the awards grow both in awareness and attendance year on year. “It was a really inspirational evening and we were honoured to deliver the British Muslim Awards 2017 making sure that all the efforts from the Muslim society don’t go unnoticed. Congratulations to all the winners and finalists.” As well as recognising the achievements of British Muslims at the forefront of their industries the awards raised money for the National Zakat Foundation.

Businessman of the Year Atif Kamran (Learning Enterprise Org Ltd, Oxford) Businesswoman of the Year Dr Laura Zahra McDonald (Connect Futures, Birmingham) Family Run Business of the Year My Pure Trip Ltd (Birmingham)

Business of the Year Riverdale Insurance (Birmingham) Power Business of the Year Regal Foods Products Group Plc (Bradford) Leaders in Finance Nemat Shafiq (Bank of England, London) Religious Advocate of the Year Imam Sohayb Peerbhai (Cravenarms Islamic Centre, Cravenarms)

Arts and Culture Awareness Maaida Noor (Surrey)

Noor Inayat Khan Muslim Woman of the Year Award Gulnaz Brennan (Chai Times, Bolton)

Diversity Champion of the Year IBM CIC (Portsmouth/Hampshire)

Spirit of Britain Haloodies (London)

Charity of the Year Human Appeal (Manchester) Muslim in the Communit Yasmin Mohammed Farooq Nathani (Shama Women’s Centre, Leicester) Best at Sport Haseeb Hameed (Lancashire County Cricket Club, Bolton) Rising Star of the Year Khalid Aziz (Lycamobile, London) Dr Abbas Khan Services to Medicine Award Dr Hina Shahid (Muslim Doctors Association, London) Services to Media Nasreen Ahmed (Script Editor – BBC Doctors, Birmingham) Services to Education Monira Ahmed (University of Central Lancashire, Preston) Services to Science & Engineering Dr. Kal Karim (University of Leicester, Cambridge) Services to Law Syed Talha Rafique (Duncan Lewis Solicitors, London) Services to Creativity & Technology Safwan Ahmedmia (Supersaf, Leicester) Services to Civil/Third Sector Dr Syed Nayyer Abidi MBE (Health Awareness Trust UK, Manchester) Services to Accounting Mohammed Haque (MAH, Chartered Accountants,London) Uniform Services of the Year Bas Javid (West Midlands Police, Solihull) Entrepreneur of the Year Kazi Mohammed Shafiqur Rahman (Firnas Airways, London)

NOMINATIONS NOW OPEN Join us on Friday 7th July 2017 @ 6pm - Edgbaston Stadium For tickets, sponsorship or for more information visit our website: PROUD MEDIA PARTNERS






The UK’s leading property investment event arrives in the Midlands to offer free advice for the buy-to-let market The LI Media portfolio includes: National Landlord Investment Show: Comprising 11 shows in 2017, it attracted over 21,000 visitors in 2016, a growth of 31% since 2015. Exhibitor numbers have also grown to over 550 annually. Landlord Investor Magazine is a subscription-based product available in both print and digital formats with 11 issues each year. It offers advice, features, and news, and helps property professionals keep up to date with essential industry developments. Subscribe at: For exhibiting enquiries, please call +44 (0)20 8656 5075 or email

Registration is FREE at: Those interested in the Morning Networking Event can indicate their attendance as part of their registration. There is free parking available at Aston Villa Football Club.


ational Landlord Investment Show is the UK’s leading property investment exhibition, and is returning to the Midlands for its second show of the year on Wednesday 19 April at Aston Villa Football Club. The exhibition not only offers local landlords and property investors a host of leading suppliers of property investment, tax, legal, insurance and mortgage services, it also features 10+ seminars from renowned property experts – all included in the complimentary admission. Proudly supported by Asian Today for the second year running, it is a perfect place to get advice and an in-depth understanding of the investment opportunities available – in both Birmingham and the Midlands. ‘It’s going to be a very stimulating day, with many features, suppliers and seminars for property professionals, explains Tracey Hanbury, Event Director from LI Media, who have successfully developed and run these events throughout the UK. ‘Our shows offer advice to help seasoned landlords and investors, as well as those considering entering the buy-to-let market. We are delighted to have successfully delivered 44 exhibitions so far throughout the UK since our inception in 2013’. ‘We look forward to welcoming visitors to what will be our 45th show to date, and the Midlands, as a property hotspot, is a prime

location to host us again this year. Visitors will be able to source the latest property investment services from renowned brands such as Nethouseprices, Royal Bank of Scotland and Valuation Office Agency, as well companies such as Shawbrook Bank, Pennycuick Collins, Bedford Insurance Group and Fitzwilliam Capital Partners who offer local or niche buy-to-let services in areas from tax, to mortgages to legal.’ Tenancy Deposit Scheme, who are exhibiting for the third year running, confirm the popularity of the show, ‘National Landlord Investment Show is a really well run event and has gained the popularity it deserves within the industry - a must attend event for anyone looking for knowledge and contacts in the property investment arena.’

Complimentary Seminars The two seminar theatres host 10+ speakers throughout the day who have unparalleled experience in the UK and overseas buy-to-let markets. Ever popular, they offer visitors a chance to expand their knowledge, keep up-to-date with developments in the market including Brexit and will feature topics covering the entire spectrum of buy-to-let. This interactive environment is a popular format for visitors, who use it to ask questions, discuss and make new connections.

About Landlord Investment Show National Landlord Investment Show is the UK’s leading property exhibition and operates at property hotspots throughout the country. Established in 2013, it has now run 44 shows successfully, providing property investment solutions for over 21,000 seasoned and new investors in the buy-to-let market in the last 12 months.

Networking Opportunities Visitors will also be able to expand their networks at the Morning Networking Event, also at Aston Villa Football Club, starting just before the show doors open at 9.00am on the morning on the show. It’s a fantastic opportunity to expand business networks, both locally and further afield and is also free to attend.




Register FREE online for your chance to win a tour of Villa Park.


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Join 1000s of the buy-to-let market to network, learn from property experts and source services from leading suppliers.

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Conservative Woman for New Lord Mayor



University of Birmingham Creates City Development Blueprint With Global Aims R esearchers at the University of Birmingham have developed an investigative method of diagnosing the challenges facing cities around the world. It is hoped the blueprint could help city policy makers improve the quality of life for city residents, and project leaders are already looking to apply the methods in cities in places like India, Brazil and South Africa. The blueprint has come out of the Urban Living Birmingham, a pilot project aimed at exploring and improving city life. The project used a wide range of data and evidence used by city leaders to inform policy, combined with an analysis of 248 datasets. With support from the Research Councils UK/Innovate UK Urban Living Partnership, the researchers spent six months analysing data and evidence, discovering the unique challenges of Birmingham. Here’s what they found: • Birmingham performs poorly on health, with health outcomes varying in quality between different parts of the city; and, the evidence base for health policies is disconnected and fragmented; • Getting around Birmingham is known to be difficult with some areas suffering from disproportionately high levels of traffic congestion, whilst others have poorer access to public transport; but, the needed strategic

For the first time in forty years, Birmingham will have a female Conservative Councillor as Lord Mayor. The new Lord Mayor, Councillor Anne Underwood, has represented Sutton Four Oaks for the Conservative Party since 1982. Underwood was Chair of the Sutton Coldfield District Committee and Deputy Chair of the Corporate Resources and Governance Overview & Scrutiny Committee. Furthermore, she was a member of the Corporate Resources and Governance Overview & Scrutiny Committee, Council Business Management Committee and Lord Mayor's Advisory Group. Underwood, who will be taking over the ceremonial role of Lord Mayor come May, said: “I’m grateful for the huge honour afforded me by council colleagues from all parties. I’m really looking forward to representing Birmingham as its first citizen and raising its profile as a young and exciting place to live, work and play.”



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solutions are difficult to implement or missing entirely; • Reducing carbon emissions and being environmentally friendly has fallen down the city’s list of priorities, while economic growth has risen, causing inherent tensions as the city strives to meet its sustainability obligations; and • There are difficulties in creating an economically vibrant city with knock-on effects on attracting inward investment and new residents. Professor John Bryson of Enterprise and Economic Geography, said: “It’s vital to develop a diagnostic approach to identifying urban challenges before creating suitable policy. Without diagnosis of the challenges facing a city like Birmingham, the impact of actions aimed at boosting citizens’ quality of life is limited. “Our project aims to transform how urban services and governance are delivered, so that they produce better outcomes for Birmingham people. Our citizens will help to innovate and create urban services in a way of working that can be applied in cities around the world. “As a global ‘civic’ university, we have a responsibility to enriching the life of our home city and the wider world. We believe our efforts can make a significant contribution to helping Birmingham and other world cities meet the needs of their citizens.”

The blueprint could help city policy makers improve the quality of life for city residents






23 41

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Raees Gets Banned in Pakistan "...Raees depicts Muslims as criminals and terrorists...”

To read the full story turn to page 24

Superbowl Goes Gaga! Lady Gaga lead the show, with a 12-minute set that featured her biggest tracks

To read the full story turn to page 25



converted to


A ROMANTIC COMEDY SET FOR WORLDWIDE RELEASE THIS VALENTINE Mahi NRI (My Beloved Non-Resident Indian) is set for release on Friday 10th February 2017. Primarily set in Birmingham, it's a realistic multi-cultural romantic comedy centered on student Sherry (Hardy Sandhu) who comes to UK to become an NRI (Non-Resident Indian) in order to please his girlfriend's mother. After all, only a man from the UK is good enough for her daughter. Film Director Gaurav Bavdankar said, "Most of the filmmakers from India want to go and film in London. I wanted my main characters to be based in my home town, Birmingham. Birmingham and the Black Country have range of locations to offer...Also the music is going to be loved by all as it has got the best combination of composers, lyricists and singers”.

For Indians, the UK is still seen as the place where the streets are paved with gold, where all British Asians have huge sprawling houses and big cars. Lead actor Sandhu says, "I worked hard to prep myself for the part of Sherry, who is a happy-golucky guy who doesn’t have a care in the world, until the reality of him losing his girlfriend dawns upon him. I thoroughly enjoyed working in UK, it was a blast, it was also great meeting people from all walks of life and loved the locations." Film Producer Ranbir Kaloya said, “I fell in love with the story and characters the first time I read the script. The film to a degree is the reality of what happens in India and the UK. In most cases, Indian parents want men from the UK to marry their daughters so they have a better way of life. This film

shows the journey of a young man who comes to UK to get his citizenship and the many mishaps and misfortunes that hinder his plans. Many people from the UK and India will relate to this film in many ways”. Model-actress-singer Rameet Sandhu, plays Mandy in the film, and says: "As a British Indian girl born and raised in Glasgow, I was so humbled to be chosen for this film. I worked very hard to play Mandy and I hope my work will be appreciated." The story and screenplay has been written by Gaurav Bavdankar and Mohinder Pratap Singh. Music by Arjunaa Harjai and background score by Inderpaul Wouhra. The film also stars Poppy Jabbal, Gurpreet Ghuggi, Anjum Batra, Ranjan Sehgal, B N Sharma, Gulvinder Ghir and Navneet Nishan.

To read the full story turn to page 24


Deepika Padukone

To read the full story turn to page 27



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Katherine Jenkins Claps Back at Beckham Over Leaked Emails David Beckham has been caught in an upset after a number of emails of his were leaked to the public, one of which regarded the Welsh singer Katherine Jenkins and her OBE honour of 2014. In the email, the footballing hero said, “Katherine Jenkins OBE for what? Singing at the rugby and going to see the troops plus taking coke. F***ing joke.” It is believed the emails were sent to his long term agent Simon Oliveira before being intercepted. In it, he rails against the Honours Committee, even hailing them, “a bunch of cunts,” for missing out on a Knighthood despite his extensive charity work. It didn’t take long for Jenkin’s team to smugly holler back however, as they provided the Mirror Online with a “fact sheet” on why she received the acclaimed

honour. “We are not issuing a statement– just providing a fact sheet as to why Katherine Jenkins received an OBE in the 2014 New Year’s Honours List for services to music and charity in response to Beckham," a spokesperson said. "With regards to the taking of coke which Katherine has courageously publicly admitted with great honesty- this was when she was in her early 20s, still a student– over a decade before she was awarded her OBE and started her recording career.” The statement also lists her many visits to troops abroad, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Cyprus and Kosovo. Jenkins is also a trustee of the British Forces Foundation, a trustee of Care after Combat and also an Ambassador of the 2016 Invictus Games.



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Raees Banned in Pakistan Raees has proven an exception to Pakistan’s applauded act of lifting the ‘Bollywood ban.’ Despite Hindi cinema returning to the Pakistani airwaves, film legend Shah Rukh Khan’s latest picture will not be joining the rest. Raees was scheduled for release on February 2nd until the Raees distributor informed the public that the film had been banned. A CBFC official told BBC Urdu that the reason was that Raees "depicts Muslims as criminals and terrorists” and that some scenes were "offensive to a particular sect."

Pakistani film director Jami Mehmood said, “People ought to be tolerant of other people's views. We should watch Indian movies with the viewpoint of the Indians in mind, like Iranian films are watched in the United States."

James Cameron Confirms Avatar 2 and 3, and 4, and 5… Blue alien lovers have rejoiced after James Cameron confirmed he has completed all four Avatar sequel scripts. Fans were expecting a sequel- maybe even two- but four? According to The Daily Beast, Cameron said: “The thing is, my focus isn’t on Avatar 2. My focus is on Avatar 2, 3, 4, and 5 equally. That’s exactly how I’m approaching it. They’ve all been developed equally. I’ve just finished the script to Avatar 5. I’m now starting the process of active prep. I’ll be working with the actors

in the capture volume in August, so I’m booked in production every day between now and then. Our volume is up and running, and everything is designed, and so we’re going full-guns right now. I feel like I’ve been let out of jail, because I’ve been in the writing cave for the last two years. I’m actually enjoying life. I don’t enjoy writing. I wouldn’t wish writing on a dog.” Avatar 2 is set for release in December 2018. As for Avatar 3, 4, 5, 21, 136, 485, we assume they’re all still in production.

Has Lindsay Lohan converted to Islam? We’re used to rumours swirling around Hollywood’s favourite real life Damsel in Distress Lindsay Lohan, but these rumours general circulate around drink, drugs and a combination of the former with drivingcertainly not to do with a possible

conversion to Islam. The former child star has been making numerous humanitarian trips from her glitzy home in LA to the Middle East, where she has been working with Syrian children in Turkey. On top of this, the star celebrated New Years in Dubai and over the past weekend, deleted all of her Instagram pictures and changed her bio to ‘Alaikum salam.’ Lindsay first teased fans and paparazzi alike when she was seen carrying around a Quran. Last year, she was quoted as saying “I'm a very spiritual

person and I've become more spiritual as time has gone on.” “I'm really in touch, whether it's prayer or meditation... there are so many powers greater than me in the world. I've been blessed and lucky enough to have been given a gift to share with other people.” It’s not the first time she’s dabbled in other religions however, having attended Kabbalah classes and Courtney Love’s Buddhist chanting group. Many Muslims have expressed support for the actress, welcoming her to Islam if she is indeed joining.




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BIZ SHOWBIZ SHOWBIZ SHOWBIZ SHOWBIZ SHOWBIZ SHOWBIZ SHOWBIZ “I’m a black woman who loves Bollywood, why is my colour an issue?” A black woman made waves across the internet when she wrote an open letter professing her love for Bollywood and bringing to light the many racist encounters she’s faced because of it. Fabienne Menoud, a 26-year-old Haitian nurse, wrote: "My passion is India, I'm listening

to Bollywood songs all the time, my favourite actress is Deepika...I love Indian food, I’m learning Hindi and I'm black, Haitian and proud!" She fell in love with India at age 14 and more than a decade later, is still very much down the rabbit hole. However the nurse has also ran into abuse. She's

Superbowl Goes Gaga! Lady Gaga put on an astounding performance at this year’s Superbowl half-time show. The Superbowl is the most watched American sports event of the year, with the half-time show one of the most hotly anticipated stages in the entertainment scene. This year saw pop superstar Lady Gaga lead the show, with a 12-minute set that featured her biggest tracks. With aerial stunts, back up dancers, drones, lights and more, this was one super Superbowl show to remember. However, it was hard to miss how tinged- no, saturatedwith politicisms the show was. Gaga first opened the show by appearing 79 meters above the crowd as a sea of drones twinkled around her in the colours of the American flag. She sang Woody Guthrie's civil rights anthem 'This Land Is Your Land' and also performed ‘Born This Way’ – an anthem for tolerance one might argue. She performed some of her biggest hits, Pokerface, Telephone and Just Dance, the choreography of which left the proud live singer breathless for her ballad, Million Reasons.

been met with disbelief, scorn for liking non-Western media"when Indian people love western things, why does nobody laugh at them?"- and has even been shunned by those she adored, “I came to 2 celebrities and asked them for a picture, one of them looked at me and left.’ But Fabienne's been met

with praise for her cultural appreciation and for revealing the racism she’s faced. Hers is a common story for many western fans of non-western culture, but hopefully, with more people like Fabienne, it can one day be a thing of the past.

Closeted Karan Refuses to Come Out Karan Johar, arguably the most successful Bollywood director of all time, has India in uproar yet againover his new autobiography. Karan, who has directed such classics as 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai' to contemporary trailblazers 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil', has sparked the debate on homosexuality after a very tongue-in-cheek passage in his new book. He wrote: "Everybody knows what my sexual orientation is. I don't need to scream it out. If I need to spell it out, I won't only because I live in a country where I could possibly be jailed for saying this. Which is why I Karan Johar will not say the three words that possibly everybody knows about me.” Karan’s new book, 'An Unsuitable Boy', is a play on words on Vikram Seth’s 'A Suitable Boy'. Seth gained increased notoriety after lambasting Indian law that criminalises homosexuality. Currently, the Indian Penal Code regards same-sex relations as an ‘unnatural offence,’ a law which was written into effect 155 years ago. Author Seth said it was a "sad dereliction of their responsibility" for famous gay Indians to keep quiet on their sexuality. Although Karan’s book, co-authored by

Amir Khan & Faryal speak out on

sex tape British boxer Amir Khan and his model wife Far yal Makhdoom have guested on ITV’s 'This Morning' in order to address the recent sex tape leak that proved Amir Khan’s once alleged cheating. Showing a united front, the couple, who have been embroiled in a nasty and ver y public family feud, insisted they were doing just fine as a couple and that they cite revenge as the reason for the leak. Far yal, 25, said, “I really do believe it happened because of what’s being going on in the media lately, so I feel like someone’s done it out of revenge. Someone close to us.” Amir then chimed in, “There’s a lot of stuff going on with the family. I think whoever did it probably thought this was the best time to do it and [they] just want to put us down really…"

I really do believe it happened because of what’s being going on in the media lately..

Poonam Saxena, does not explicitly state the director and screenwriter’s preferences, the message remains plain as day. Still, he has drawn widespread criticism for his veiled words and refusal to officially come out, with some accusing him of belittling the suffering of gays and even trivialising homosexuality in his movies. However Karan hit back, explaining: "The reason I don't say it out aloud is simply that I don't want to be dealing with the FIRs. I'm very sorry. I have a job, I have a commitment to my company, to my people who work for me; there are over a hundred people that I'm answerable to. "I'm not going to sit in the courts because of ridiculous, completely bigoted individuals who have no education, no intelligence, who go into some kind of rapture for publicity."

Fab or Drab, Here’s Who Grabbed a SAG. This year’s SAG Awards was full to the brim with politically charged speeches and opportunities ripe for memage. Stand out winners included Stranger Things, Orange is the new Black and The People v OJ Simpson: American Crime Story. BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A TV COMEDY SERIES WINNER: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep BEST MALE ACTOR IN A TV COMEDY SERIES WINNER: William H Macy, Shameless BEST CAST IN A TV COMEDY SERIES Orange is the New Black BEST FEMALE SUPPORTING ACTOR WINNER: Viola Davis, Fences BEST MALE SUPPORTING ACTOR WINNER: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

Read the full winners list on our website



01. 02. 03. 04. 05. 06. 07. 08. 09. 10.

Channa Mereya Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

The Humma Song OK Jaanu

Zaalima Raees

The Break Up Song Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

Laila Main Laila Raees


Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

Kaabil Hoon Kaabil

Kala Chashma

Baar Baar Dekho

Nashe Si Chadh Gayi Befikre

Wonderland Lakeeran


01. 02. 03. 04. 05. 06. 07. 08. 09. 10.


Mickey Singh

Laembadgini Diljit Dosanjh

Angreji Wali Madam

Kulwinder Billa, Dr.Zeus & Shipra

Do You Know Diljit Dosanjh


Roach Killa & Garry Sandhu

Love Controller Zack Knight

Hold Me

Mickey Singh

Koka Silver Da Mona Singh

No Make Up

Bilal Saeed ft Bohemia

Talli Hogiya

Rameet Sandhu & Dr Zeus


01. 02. 03. 04. 05. 06. 07. 08. 09. 10.

Shape of You Ed Sheeran


Clean Bandit ft Sean Paul

I feel it coming

Weeknd ft Daft Punk

Fxxk It Big Bang


Rag 'n' Bone Man



No Lie

Sean Paul ft Dua Lipa

I don't wanna live forever Zayn & Taylor Swift

Fake Love Drake

Castle on the Hill Ed Sheeran



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Rameet Sandhu SHOWBIZ





Talks about her new music single So tell us about your new single. My new single is a Punjabi/Bollywood track called Talli Hogaya and it’s with Dr Zeus and Dr Dre’s son Curtis Young featuring on it. And how was it working with Dr Zeus and Curtis Young?


Working with Dr Zeus has been absolutely amazing he’s such a humble guy and I had no complaints he’s so talented and so creative as well I was blown away. Working with Curtis Young, I’ve actually been working with him for three years, we’ve recorded songs which are unreleased so I thought I’d bring him onto this track as well and bring on Dr Zeus. I wanted to bring something new to the industry. What was the idea behind the music video?

Don’t worry if you’re not successful this time round. We’ll be running the vue competition every month!

The Asian Today has teamed up with VUE cinemas to offer ONE lucky reader the chance to get their hands on a pair of tickets to watch Rock On 2 at VUE Star City! All you have to do is e-mail your ANSWER, name, FULL ADDRESS details and contact number to before the closing date to be in with a chance of winning!

I wanted to do something different to my other music videos, I’ve always had a storyline and a traditional style but I thought for this music video, I’m going to go for something a bit more mainstream. Curtis has come all the way from LA so I wanted to have a mainstream touch to it. You’re clearly multitalented, being an actress and Miss India Scotland, so what made you want to do singing as well? I’ve always been doing singing and acting from a very young age. It’s never been the one, it’s always been the two. I was part of a CBBC programme as

well about 4-5 years ago. So acting has always been there and singing has always been there from the very start as well. I recently got signed to T-series as well but I never just do one thing, I’ve always done a lot of things at the same time, that’s just me. Have you ever faced any obstacles or setbacks in your career? Yes, I think being an Asian female is always going to be an obstacle in this career. Not everyone from your family supports you. I have my mom, my dad and my brother and they’re very supportive, but then there’s some other members who don’t support you and you always feel criticised, you always feel bad. But now I’ve come to a point where all I need is my mom, my dad and my brother. It is very, very hard, especially with me being from Scotland, meeting producers and getting to know them is very difficult and getting the right sound, getting the right song. You have to spend a lot of money on the project as well and you want to make sure everything’s tiptop, everything’s right. What’s it like dealing with people that have misconceptions about you being an Asian girl? It used to bother me a lot early in my career. Being an Asian, I should sit in the house and do cooking or become a lawyer or doctor. But I always wanted to do singing and acting, my mum always supported me from a very young age. I’m totally inspired by her drive and she really pushed me and I’m so happy I’ve decided to stick by it as well.

Read the full interview on our website:



Who plays the role of Jolly Mishra in Jolly LLB 2? A). Akshay Kumar B). Manoj Kumar C). Raj Kumar Closing date: 28th February 2017 Terms and Conditions: All entrants must put their FULL NAME, ADDRESS,CONTACT NUMBER and EMAIL ADDRESS when entering the competition. Any winner selected without a FULL address will be disqualified • Winner will only be allowed to watch any screening of Dangal with their tickets • Winner will be notified by e-mail by Asian Today.




being funny with a purpose PG.




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Banging the Drum for Local Culture


audiences across the UK. As a network, we offer broadcast channels such as Rishtey that offers a wide variety of entertainment for the entire f a m i l y, a n d News18 India, the world’s window to India. It gives me great pleasure to announce the launch of our new local production, Desi Beat on our flagship channel, COLORS. Extensive research was carried out to deduce our viewers’ areas of interests. Desi Beat has been conceptualised and developed to suit preferences of Desi television audiences in the UK. The promos of the show have already gained remarkable traction on social media, crossing the 5000 views mark in just two days. We hope that our audiences will embrace this fresh and innovative format with open arms.”


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Martin Delaney Talks Movies, Hollywood and being a CaucASIAN

DESI BEATS! eading South Asian entertainment channel, COLORS TV have launched a new and unique locally produced show. Named ‘Desi Beat’, the show started late last month with a view to showcase the best of local Asian culture. Desi Beat will showcase UK’s most exotic and preferred trends in food and lifestyle. Celebrity host Raj Ghai will embark upon a fascinating journey of the finest destinations known for their cuisine, apparel and accessories and impeccable travel experiences across the United Kingdom in his truly ‘Desi’ and unmatched style. From the most authentic 'lehenga' to the spiciest 'Indian Curry', every Sunday, Raj will unravel a new mystery that a new destination presents – its wide array of local & international Desi trends – in his inimitable style. In Raj’s own words, “If it’s made it to my list, it’s a MUST visit!” On the launch of the show, Govind Shahi, Business Head, IndiaCast Media, Europe, says “COLORS TV has been a frontrunner in differentiated content, admired by South Asian











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Deepika Padukone






In XXX: RETURN OF XANDER CAGE, Bollywood beauty DEEPIKA PADUKONE stars as Serena Unger, deadly rival turned xXx partner-in-crime in VIN DIESEL’S merry band of lethal misfits. Tasked by the NSA’s Jane Marke (Toni Colette) with retrieving ‘Pandora’s Box’ – a nifty little gadget capable of hijacking and weaponizing satellites – the third installment in the franchise sees Padukone and Diesel (joined by DONNIE YEN, Ruby Rose, Nina Dobrev, and Rory McCann) in a race against time to save the day. Listed by Forbes as one of the highest paid actresses working today, 31-year-old Deepika Padukone is one of the movie’s most beloved stars in her native India. Her collaboration with co-star Vin Diesel and director DJ Caruso (I Am Number Four) in xXx marks her Hollywood debut. We spoke with Padukone about the making of her new film in Mexico City.

Deepika Padukone

Vin Diesel



What’s it like making your Hollywood debut?

It’s been so exciting and so much fun. I think this was the most perfect launch of a new film that anyone could have asked for, period, especially considering what a big franchise movie it is and that Serena, my character, has such a strong part - so different from the way we’ve seen women in action films before. I think all of these things made this experience, for me, truly special.

What kind of training did you do to prepare for it?

The physical part of it was what I needed to focus on most. The character herself was very relatable, as I said. It was something that was very organic. But the gun training, the weapons, the knives – those are the things that I needed to work on. I had done an action film in India before. But it didn’t involve any weapons. The minute you have weapons involved, the kind of focus and concentration that’s required is much more intense. And so to get there, we would rehearse every weekend. We’d film Monday to Friday, and then train over the weekend to make sure we’d get it right.


What was it like working with Bollywood star Vin Diesel?

I felt very comfortable. I think it helped that I’d met him before and that we had that connection. So when I walked onto the set, I felt like I already knew him. It was not a new relationship that I had to discover. But also there was DJ Caruso. You know, it’s so important to have a director who believes in you and who keeps feeding you that energy and making you believe that whatever you’re doing is beautiful and amazing. At least, I’m that kind of actor. I need my director to keep telling me that I’m doing well, because that gives me the confidence to do even more. So my sense of confidence and comfort came from Vin, but a lot of it came from DJ as well. It really came from both of them.

British Indian actor Dev Patel has been nominated for an Oscar for his outstanding performance in Lion. The actor, who first rocketed to fame in Danny Boyle’s Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire, is up for the Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the 89th Academy Awards, which will be held on February 26. It is Dev’s first Oscar nomination, something many Hollywood actors can only dream of. Lion, directed by Garth David, stars Dev as Saroo Brierly, a young man embarking from Australia to India in order to find his lost family and also stars Nicole Kidman and Rooney


Tell us about your character, Serena Unger, and how you approached the role...

I think my approach was pretty organic. For me, Serena is someone who’s very today, very contemporary. And she’s also very relatable. I remember watching action films when I was a little girl and thinking ‘Why am I watching this movie?’ Because there was nothing to relate to. When I read the script of xXx and saw what an important role Serena plays in the story, first as an individual – strong, confident and intelligent - and then how she works with others to form a team and even lead the group when she needs to… Well, I was hooked. She has a lot of fun moments as well and a lot of romantic moments too… I think all of these things make it so, so relatable, especially for women. I think every woman has that strong, heroic voice inside them. I think Serena is the representation of that voice.


What was it like watching the finished film for the first time?

My first reaction was that we made such a beautiful movie that’s also entertaining and fun. Obviously, it’s got the adrenaline. But there’s also a socially relevant message there. It’s very difficult, I think, to come across scripts that have both. Sometimes you have films that really have a very strong message, but they’re not very entertaining. And then you have the entertaining films that just leave you feeling nothing. For me, xXx is unique. It has all the action and adventure, and it’s fun. But at the same time, it makes you think. Best of all is how DJ Caruso has blended it all together so seamlessly.

Mara. It is based on the best-selling autobiography, ‘A Long Way Home,’ written by the real life Saroo Brierley. The tale centres on a young Saroo who is separated from his family after falling asleep on a train. After many adventures and challenges, he is eventually adopted by an Australian couple. When the film first broke, it instantly began generating Oscar buzz and received rave reviews at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. Soon after receiving his nomination, Dev told the BBC, ““I’m sitting here with my mouth wide open figuring out how this happened. I’m feeling

overwhelmingly grateful right now.” He told PTI, ““The film has opened people to my potential. After Slumdog Millionaire, it was really hard for me to get quality work. You think it would be easy but it is actually quite a struggle. I felt pigeon-holed. “But I kept working hard and have been patient for many years now. So, when a role like this came, I gave everything that I had to do justice to it. It feels really good when it is recognised.” The 26-year-old faces stiff competition for the Academy Award however, vying against Mahershala Ali for Moonlight and Jeff Bridges for Hell or High Water.

Dev Patel Bags First Oscar Nomination


Manish Gajjar Hindi Film Adviser for Vue Cinemas


JOLLY LLB 2 Director: Subhash Kapoor Cast: Akshay Kumar, Annu Kapoor, Huma Qureshi Set against the backdrop of Lucknow, Jolly LLB 2 is inspired by true events. It tells the story of Jolly Mishra a hustler, who survives by fighting petty cases by using every tactic under the sun to make a quick buck to earn a decent living. Having spent years in the chaotic and dingy court corridors, Jolly is looking out for an opportunity that could turn the tide in his favour. This will help him achieve his dream of becoming a fullfledged lawyer. When faced with the glimpse of such an opportunity, Jolly jumps at the chance but in the process commits an innocent mistake with irreversible consequences. He ends up fighting a big case against the ruthless advocate Mathur. Jolly LLB 2 is a satire about an underdog attempting to catapult himself to the top of the legal food chain. Anarchy, mayhem and underhandedness, all expressed through wit and humour form the cornerstones of this courtroom tale. The original film which released in 2013 titled Jolly told the story of a struggling lawyer who took up a hitand-run case. It featured Arshad Warsi and Boman Irani in lead roles. But in this sequel it is Akshay Kumar who plays the lead role of a lawyer. Jolly LLB 2 is shot entirely in Lucknow and Manali. Akshay who is currently riding high on the successes of Airlift, Rustom and Housefull 3 worked hard to get the film’s shooting done in 3 months. One cannot fail to notice that every Akshay Kumar film has a special number which is very distinctive to this actor. In this case it’s the song sequence titled Jolly Good Fellow sees Akshay doing his comic antics. The song has Lord Krishna too. It seems Akshay uses Lord Krishna in all his films – he played Krishna in OMG! and in Bhool Bhulaiyaa he danced to Hare Krishna Hare Ram song.







Rough Sleeping up by 50% since 2015 According to a new report by the government, rough sleeping has more than doubled since 2010 and has risen by a staggering 50% in the last two years alone. Department for Communities and Local Governmen released figures that reveal over half of the councils in England have all recorded an increase in rough sleeping since last year. The homelessness charity Crisis called the increasing rate ‘appalling.’ However, the government has insisted it is determined tackle the problem, most notably by investing £550 million to see less people suffering on the streets.



Yorkshire Techy Teen Turns down £5 million • Mohammed Ali of Yorkshire refuses £5million for his comparison website


The Thinking Man's Mouthpiece Photographer and LoveBrum trustee, Jas Sansi brings a dose of all things Birmingham. With an unprecedented love of the city and its unique diverseness, he brings his 6-foot passion to The Asian Today.

What does Birmingham need?

The chief executive of Crisis, Jon Sparkes, said, "Behind these statistics are thousands of desperate people, sleeping in doorways, bin shelters, stations and parks - anywhere they can find to stay safe and escape the elements. "Rough sleeping ruins lives, leaving people vulnerable to violence and abuse, and taking a dreadful toll on their mental and physical health. Our recent research has shown how rough sleepers are 17 times more likely to be victims of violence. This is no way for anyone to live." In 2010, the number of rough sleepers was recorded at 1768. In 2015, there were 3569. In 2016, there were 4134. More worryingly is the high correlation between mental illness and homelessness. St Mungos’ research found that 40% of rough sleepers suffered mental health issues, 41% had alcohol dependency and 31% had drug problems.


teenage tech prodigy has turned away an eye-watering £5million for a website that he set up in his bedroom. Mohammed Ali, 16, created the price comparison website,, in his bedroom but estimates that it will be worth far more than £5million in the future. The website uses Ali’s specially made algorithm to provide users with ‘real time quotes instead of the normal pre-fixed quotes you

find on insurance sites.’ He said, “The big thing about what we’re doing is that there are no competitors – this is a real time money saving expert – it’s like a Bloomberg for the general public.’ was set up in partnership with his 60-year-old business partner Chris Thorpe and is set to go live on January 28th. Ali, an A-Level student from Yorkshire, explains, “The offer was rejected in December, just before Christmas


‘We met the investors in London, they were a global data driven company, and they didn’t realise I created all the technology involved. ‘The main reason we rejected the offer was because, if the technology and concept is worth millions already, just think how much it will be worth once people use it.’

Russel Square Stabber Pleads Guilty to Killing

I just had a pizza from Pizza Haq w: t: 0121 4 400 400

a: 87 - 89 Court Road, Balsall Heath Birmingham, B12 9LQ

Zakaria Bulhan has pleaded guilty to killing one and injuring five others during a knife attack in London’s Russel Square last August. The 19-year-old was arrested minutes after the attack, in which he killed an American tourist, whom he stabbed in the back, puncturing her left lung. He has pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds

of diminished responsibility, denying murder. The defence maintained he was suffering from ‘acute’ paranoid schizophrenia at the time he exacted the killing. Bulhan, a Norwegian national of Somali origin, had dropped out of college months before the killing took place and in March 2016, he was referred for mental health treatment.

The Midlands has been quiet on Brexit, overshadowed by Scotland, Sunderland and the City of London. What does Birmingham require from the brexit negotiations? Our time has now come to step out of London’s shadow. But there is an awkward question to address in its relationship with the rest of the Combined Authority made up of Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton. The Midlands must accept Birmingham as the region’s beacon city for attracting inward investment. These funds will benefit all who shelter under the combined authority of the West Midlands. So why Birmingham? Three reasons; It has momentum, it is the region’s international brand and it has the cultural cache to attract and retain the brightest and the best. Birmingham needs tariff free access to the EU. The Range Rovers and Jaguars must be allowed to compete on a equal footing with the Mercedes and the Audi’s. Birmingham needs Government investment in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.) HS2 is coming, Birmingham Airport is growing and tomorrow’s cars need you to buy them, even if they won’t require you to drive them. The six Universities in Birmingham need to attract overseas students. These young people bring with them spending power and return to their countries as ambassadors for the region. Birmingham needs the Arts to continue and flourish. They are a magnet for national and international visitors. The Arts are a catalyst for inspiring creative thought. Why do we need creatives? Tomorrow’s problems will not be solved by today’s solutions. British pride has to manifest itself in greater prosperity and exporting values of fairness, equality and opportunity. Pride is a bridge, it is not a wall. This is what Birmingham needs to become New York, Barcelona, Mumbai, Munich or Shanghai. Second cities that are engines of growth for their regions and flag bearers for their countries. Brexiters want us to embrace the world, let’s start by embracing Birmingham.



Ikea To Sell Syrian Refugee Made Rugs

6 Kill

ix people are dead and eight seriously injured after two men carried out shooting in a Mosque in Quebec. The shooting take place on Sunday, at around 7.30pm, at the Islamic Cultural Centre where fifty people were gathered for evening prayers. As of now, Canada is treating the shooting as a terrorist attack. One person was arrested at the scene and another nearby. The second shooter called 911 from a vehicle, asking to cooperate with the police but adding that he was armed. He

was arrested near Ile d’Orleans at around 9pm. It is alleged the shooters were students at Laval University, Quebec City, with one being of Moroccan origin. According to a witness who spoke with Radio Canada, "the two men were wearing black cagoules” and one "had a "strong Quebecois accent." The attack is believed to be racially motivated and is not the first time the Centre has been targeted: a pig's head was left on the doorstep last June during Ramadan. Quebec Premier Philippe

Couillard has called for solidarity rallies in an effort to band together and diminish fear. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said "we condemn this terrorist attack on Muslims in a center of worship and refuge. MuslimCanadians are an important part of our national fabric, and these senseless acts have no place in our communities, city and country," He has termed the incident a "terrorist attack on Muslims" and added that it is "heart-wrenching to see such senseless violence."

Afghan Diplomat Shot in Pakistan Third secretary Mohammed Zaki, an Afghan diplomat, was shot dead in the consulate, Karachi, by a security guard. The security, also Afghan and Zaki’s personal bodyguard, is thought to have shot the diplomat over a personal conflict. Zaki died of his injuries shortly after being shot. Haris Khan, a consulate

Anjum's Butler



Quebec Mosque Attack ed, 8 injured S




Ikea has been heaped with praise after announcing that it will be selling a line of rugs and textiles made exclusively by Syrian refugees. The move comes amid rising controversy over the treatment of refugees by acts such as the Trump ban. The rugs will be on sale in 2019 and aim to provide people displaced by civil war with jobs. It is expected that 200 refugees will benefit from the decision, most of them woman and most of them currently living in Jordan. The range and supply manager at Ikea, Jesper Brodin, said, ““a major tragedy of our time” adding that Jordan has

taken great responsibility in hosting people displaced by Syria’s civil war. “We decided to look into how Ikea can contribute.” The rugs will be sold locally and across the Middle East. Over 650,000 Syrian refugees are currently in Jordan. The Jordanian government pledged to issue 200,000 of them with work permits. Ikea previously aided refugees with the flat-pack refugee shelter. This innovative design was made in partnership with the UNHCR and thousands of them were used to modestly house refugees during the winter months.

Austrians Protest Against Proposed Burka/Niqab Ban

spokesman, said, “"We were working at our office when we heard gunshots. Everybody was running in panic when I got out." Police and paramilitary forces swarmed the area after the shooting, where the security guard was arrested. Police now have him in custody and are currently investigating.

Twitter: @Jassansi 3000 Muslim women and supporters held a protest in Vienna after the government revealed plans to impose a ban on wearing burkas in public places. The march was staged by the Network Muslim Civil Society and other organisations and took place in front of Austria’s Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs. They claimed the burka was an element of ‘self-empowerment’ and carried the slogan, “MuslimBanAustria: My body - My right of selfdetermination!”

Many have criticised the proposed ban- which was adopted in France- for being racist, sexist and Islamophobic. Many non-Muslims attended the event to protest against creeping ‘Trumpism’- associated with racism, sexism and societal division. The Austrian government’s burka plan read, “We believe in an open society that is also based on open communication. Fullbody veils in public spaces stand against that and will therefore be prohibited.”






The Healing Power of Colour

By: Mita Mistry

Fashion & Beauty Correspondent: Sara Khan Twitter: @sarakblog Facebook: /sarakblog website:


“Rainbows apologise for angry skies.” Sylvia Voirol Colour is diverse in everyday life, it guides us from showing when fruit is ripe and ready to eat to red lights in our environment indicating danger. Colour has symbolic significance in many cultures, Asian brides wear red to welcome the flow of passion, abundance and joy. In the West, black is a mark of respect during death. Colour is everywhere but there is far more to it than meets the eye, it is a powerful healer, a language of the soul. Ancient Egpytians (1550 BC) realised that each colour has is own transformational and healing properties. They used specially built solarium rooms with different coloured glasses for sun-light to shine onto the patient to achieve specific therapeutic benefits. In the teachings of sacred Sanskrit, the chakras are wheels of light energy that vibrate at colour frequencies. If you are suffering from a break up, low self esteem or health issues your heart chakra is likely to be affected and can be helped by the soothing affects of green. Green promotes psychological and emotional harmony affecting blood pressure and all conditions of the heart. Spending time in nature or visiualising green are simple ways to help. In Five Element Acupuncture, practitioners read the colour of a patient’s complexion and the appearance of body tissues. This is one of the keys to diagnosing the root cause of imbalances. Chromotherapy (colour therapy) believes that colour affects our moods and emotions. A preference or aversion to certain colours is symbolic of our subconscious and personality as well as what we need to balance our energy. For example a strong preference for blue matches a person who is practical, faithful having a sense for order and rational thinking or you could be drawn to blue if you are passionate and firey and need cooling down. Colours are vibrations of energy and have been used to heal since ancient times. A healthy body depends on a natural flow of energy, a rainbow of vibrations. When any of these colours fade, energy stagnates affecting us physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. Colour is a simple, powerful way to restore energy vibrations to the right frequency.

The Best of Fashion Parade Bride We’ve got an exclusive for you, Fashion Parade Bride by Mustang Productions held in the heart of London, Marylebone. Photography Credit: RAFYL

The exclusive invite-only event saw celebrities like Gurinder Chadha, Neev Spencer and Lizzie Cundy joined dignitaries like ex-Prime Minister of Pakistan Shaukat Aziz, on the front row, amid a sparkling gold catwalk that saw bridal and luxury prêt collections from some of Pakistan’s leading designers, including Nilofer Shahid, Nomi Ansari, Tena Durrani, Shamaeel Ansari, Maria B, Faiza Samee, Saira Rizwan, Rani Emaan, Seher Tareen and Sherzad Rahimtoola. Here are our best of Fashion Parade Bride.




Sheet Mask Your Life Right




D H A L I W A L Dal Dhaliwal is UK’s first Indian Female Health and Fitness Coach to launch a private fitness gym. She is also a Health and Fitness TV Presenter. Dal has been working in the wellness Industry since 1998.


The holy trinity for the millennial skin worshipper. Many women growing up in England or anywhere in the west have a skincare routine that consists solely of this, and whilst these three steps are crucial factors for an effective and transformative skin care routine- they are not transformative in and of themselves. For a true skin turnaround, one needs to look beyond the basic routine.

SHEET MASKS What are sheet masks you ask? Sheet masks, extremely popular in beauty-centric China and Korea, are soft sheets that are soaked full of nutrient-rich serum. There are sheet masks to combat every skin condition: acne, dryness, flakiness

and sheet masks that suit specific purposes: moisturising, plumping, and smoothening. Sheet masks can be easily slotted into your routine, after toner and before eye cream/moisturiser and delivers maximum treatment. Better yet, sheet masks are highly relaxing and meditative, giving you twenty minutes of chill time while

you bask in their serumy goodness. On top of this, sheet masks are a better alternative to clay masks as clay is known to strip moisture out of the skin, hence damaging the skin’s moisture barrier and contributing to aging. Sheet masks on the other hand form a barrier, locking in not only the serum but also any other products you put on before it by preventing evaporation. As such, using a sheet mask can actually boost the effectiveness of your other skincare products! Like exfoliating, sheet masking is highly powerful and hence should only be done once or twice a week. There are sheet masks to meet a variety of needs and some of our favourites include: Benton Snail Bee High Content Mask (contains bee venom extract), Tonymoly Panda Dream Eye Patch and Lancôme Advanced Génifique Mask.




3. 4.

First, start off with your routine: Make up remover, Cleanser, Exfoliator, Toner, Essence/ Serums/Boosters if you use them, SHEET MASK, Eye Cream, Moisturiser. Leave the mask on for only 20 minutes. Some masks containing Vitamin C will begin to sting after about 10 minutes, if so, it’s time to take it off (but don’t throw away) Lightly pay the serum into the skin until it is nicely absorbed. Ball up the sheet mask and use the leftover serum on your neck, décolletage and arms!

Explaining that Unexplainable Acne! You're not a teenager any more so you can't blame hormones. You're not a junk food guzzler, so it can't be the food either. You're not on your time of the month! And yet there they are. Acne, pimples, spots, they're a menace for women everywhere. What makes them most infuriating is not knowing why you have them. Many turn to skincare to cure their acne but find it no use, and this is because it's not always down to the skin itself. If you suffer from such unexplainable acne, here are a few things to consider and avoid. 1. Phone Mobile phones are one of the most common causes of temporary acne, due to the phone

surface screen acting as a breeding ground for bacteria, which is then transferred to your face. Thankfully, simply wiping your phone clean everyday can help minimise such growth. Use a soft cloth or glasses cleaner to ensure your phone doesn't get scratched. 2. Pillow Covers Ensure you change your pillow covers once a week. Better yet, change it the minute your hair starts getting greasy. The majority of bacteria on pillow covers comes from the dirt and grease on your hair which is left to fester while you're out at school or work. 3.Exfoliating Believe it or not, exfoliating can actually

be the cause of your acne. If you're using an abrasive physical exfoliator, such as the St Ives apricot scrub, you could actually be doing more harm than good. This is because such exfoliators strip an excess of moisture away from the skin, causing your skin to over produce sebum and oil to compensate, causing spots. On top of that, harsh scrubbing causes micro tears in the skin which lets bacteria in, further contributing to acne.


Age is not a barrier – keep moving! Many people become less active with age and there are many reasons why we tend to slow down. Some reasons for becoming more sedentary with age can be to do with health issues, pain issues, and weight gain - and for some older people it can be the worry of falling. Many people think that exercise isn’t suitable to take part in when you are older. Being active and having a healthy lifestyle is more important than ever for our health as we get older. It can help with weight management and symptoms of pain and illness. Keeping active can protect against disease and lowers your risk for a variety of conditions, including Alzheimer’s, dementia, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, high blood pressure, and obesity. Keeping active will help you maintain or lose weight. Regular physical activity helps you look and feel younger and stay independent longer. Participating in regular exercise is good for your mental and physical health. It can help with the mind, memory, mood and boost your energy levels, improves sleep and self-confidence. Regular exercises that build strength and stamina prevent loss of bone mass and improve balance and coordination. Getting moving can help you manage pain and improve your strength and self-confidence. Exercise enhances mobility, flexibility, balance, coordination and posture - which in turn will help reduce the risk of falls. Where to start Get medical clearance from your doctor before starting an exercise program, especially if you have a pre-existing health condition. A health professional can help you create a workout plan that suits your specific needs and goals.

Many people think they are too old to start exercising. The fact is you are never too old to get moving and improve your health. Research shows that adults who become active in later life often show greater improvements and health benefits than their younger counterparts. If you have never exercised before, or it’s been a while just begin with gentle activities and build up slowly over time. Try different activities to find something you enjoy. The important thing is to be realistic and take into consideration any limitations or health ailments that you may currently have. If you have a disability and are unsure of exercise then seek the guidance from a health professional who can recommend safe and effective activity or specific exercise. If you are chair bound you may face certain special challenges but can do special chair bound designed exercises , stretches , chair aerobics or lift light weights, chair Tai Chi etc. Diet It’s essential to support activity levels with the right diet. Diet as well as exercise can have a major impact on mood, energy and fitness. Increase and vary your sources of protein - instead of relying on just red meat, include more poultry, fish, beans, and eggs. Reduce the amount of processed carbohydrates you consume—and replace them with high-quality protein. As you get older regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It can help prevent many of the health issues that can come with age. Good general fitness can be achieved in as little as 30 minutes each day. Exercising daily can help prolong your life and improve the quality of it - helping to improve your physical and mental wellbeing – and helping to keep you less dependent on others.


Body Perfect Personal Training ensures you get the optimum workout experience and we are dedicated in helping you achieve your results. Your individualised plan will include strategies to overcome obstacles and develop a positive mental attitude which will gear you towards achieving your health and fitness goals.


Our Personal Training service is available at our prestigious studio situated in the heart of Warwickshire or alternatively try our excellent Online Training service.

“Our mission is to help busy women to feel good, gain confidence, build on their self-esteem and to be the best possible version of themselves.” - Dal Dhaliwal

Body Perfect Personal Training delivers an experience that is unique, personalised and we are 100% committed in helping you reach your goals!





THE ASIAN TODAY PR supremo and food blogger Anita Champaneri brings her blog Ms Delicious PR and all things food to The Asian Today, bringing all the news from hot restaurants to cool bars and everything in between.

February Favourites The Indian Brewery

So many marvellous independents beer places have opened up over the last year in Birmingham, that now beer lovers are truly spoiled for choice. The newest addition to the jewellery quarter, the Indian Brewery, is already spicing things up in the area. The Indian Brewery has resurrected the old coffee

shop, under Snow Hill's railway arches, and turned it into a bar selling craft beer as well as artisan coffee. Obviously, being Indian you have to throw a bit of masala into the mix, so it doubles up as an Indian street food cafe. As well as bacon naan on the breakfast menu, diners can enjoy pakora pops, Indian fish and chips and Chaat bombs! The parantha with channa - is bound to be a hit with people seeking an authentic street style dish. We tried the mixed grill platter stacked with sheekh kebabs, lamb chops, fish pakoras and chicken wings. People were queuing to get in on a Thursday night at 6pm so it already looks like they are onto a winning formula.

The Physician Looks like Edgbaston’s cool new pub is just what the doctor ordered. The Physician, opened just before Christmas, just down the road from The Highfield and The Edgbaston Boutique Hotel on the Calthorpe Estate. The building has been extensively refurbished making the most of the features of this beautiful building and keeping true to its history. It is quite traditional but with a contemporary twist, and now it has a large bar and two dining rooms, plus a new courtyard garden and orangery. The four working

fireplaces dotted around the pub provide an instant feel-good factor, to re-create those festive cosy evenings during the cold winter months. You’ll find good cask beers, freshly cooked food, decent and affordable wine and a good shelf of malt whiskies throughout. They’ve raised the bar when it comes to their light bites - how does the Moroccan Spiced Chicken thighs with lemon cous cous, apricot, date and pomegranate salad (£9.95) sound? Make sure you head there soon to give the menu your full diagnosis!

Tom’s Kitchen Renowned chef Tom Aikens, opened his eponymous restaurant Tom’s Kitchen in The Mailbox just before New Year’s Eve. Tom’s Kitchen offers British favourites and comfort food classics in a relaxed and informal brasserie setting. Open 7 days a week, popular dishes include starters of Spicy Crab Cake with tomato and cucumber salsa; Truffled Macaroni Cheese; and Steak tartare,

main courses feature Fish & Chips with crushed peas, tartare sauce and lemon; Poached Monkfish with escabeche, saffron sauce, herb crust alongside dishes from the dedicated grill menu such as Tom's Kitchen Burger with smoked Applewood cheddar, bacon and gherkins; 650g Angus Cross Chateaubriand Steak; or Cornish Lemon Sole served with caper and parsley sauce.

Get more food news on twitter @deliciouspr and on the web :


Stay Healthy on the Go!


or those of us who travel or endure long commutes, it’s often very easy to find ourselves slipping into bad habits and giving into quick, convenient and unhealthy snacks. Here we give you some tips on how to curb those that little devilish voice in your ear (and stomach) and stay healthy on the go!

Fight it out with Fruit and Veg! If you want to eat healthy: fruit and veg is non-negotiable. As well as being packed with nutrients, fruits are low on calories, high on taste and can even improve alertness, mood and brain function! Perfect for when slipping into that sticky sleep! Frozen grapes are a firm favourite as well- try opting for red grapes as opposed to green or purples as they’re chock full with more antioxidants. Vegetables are great for filling up that empty tummy feeling and can be paired with dip, sauces and dressing! Try a bag of cherry tomatoes, a stick of celery or even just an apple or banana on your way.

Get Nutty! Nothing quite satisfies that nibbling craving like a pack of peanuts. Better yet, nuts are a powerful foodstuff when it comes to keeping the heart healthy. Nuts contain Vitamin E to prevent the development of plaques in your arteries, plant sterols which lower cholesterol and L-arginine which improves the health of your artery walls.

A Little Yoghurt Never Hurt! Greek yoghurt is one of the most popular snacks for both foodies, veggies and health lovers. Packed full

of protein, yoghurts also provide gutfriendly probiotic bacteria as well as calcium.

Foodies Festival Returns to Cannon Hill Park Food lover unite! The Foodies Festival is confirmed to be coming back to Birmingham this June in Cannon Hill Park. After the last two festivals, which saw an unprecedented number of visitors attracted to the banquetous bash, foodies can rest easy knowing this Summer will not be deprived of the delectable day. Elements of the event include Healthy Living and Grow Your Own, as well as a highly anticipated Cakes and Desserts Theatre. The Healthy Living segment will feature yoga and meditation whilst the Grow Your Own will deliver workshops on growing your own produce and herbs at home. As for the Cakes and Desserts

Theatre, the public will be thrilled to know that both Candice Brown and Nadiya Hussain (Bake Off winners, 2016 and 2015), will be in attendance, as well as Master chocolatier Fiona Sciotti and burlesque inspired baker Charlotte White. There will be heaps of street available from all around the world; Africa, India, China, America and more. Afternoon Tea is available in the popular Vintage Tea Room and drinks will also be on show, with everything from cocktails to prosecco to more. As usual, there will be fun chilli eating competitions, bug eating and live music. Tickets cost £8 and it will be held at Cannon Hill Park from June 23rd-26th.





RAF Escort Pakistan Plane to Stansted


A disruptive passenger caused a Pakistan International Airlines flight from Lahore to make an emergency landing at Stansted Airport. RAF Typhoon fighter jets were called in from Coningsby, Lincolnshire, and used to escort the 747 plane, whose original destination was Heathrow, and it landed at 2.50pm. A spokesperson from the Essex Police said that it was “not believed to be a hijack situation or terror matter" and that the diversion was just due to passenger disruption.

Wheelchair Users Win Priority Seats Supreme Court Case The Supreme Court has granted wheelchair users priority spaces on buses over pushchairs. The case was first brought forth by Doug Paulley, a disabled man from Wetherby, after he boarded a FirstGroup bus which had a sign reading: "Please give up this space if needed for a wheelchair user.” However a woman with a sleeping baby in a pushchair refused to move out of the priority space- even when asked by the driver- leaving Paul stuck at the bus stop.


Leeds County Court ruled that Firstgroup’s policy (which requests but does not require that non-disabled passengers allow wheelchair users priority spaces) had breached the Equality Act 2010. The Court of Appeal ruled that should Firstgroup have required instead of requested, it would have not struck a fair balance between the needs of the disabled and other vulnerable peoples. This didn’t stop Paulley however, who with support from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, took the matter to the Supreme Court. Lord Neuberger, the Supreme Court's president, said that FirstGroup drivers, after requesting and being refused, should then take further steps. The ECHR called the verdict “a victory for disabled people's rights" and "a hugely important decision, which has helped clarify the current state of the law, and will give confidence to thousands of disabled people in Britain to use public transport."

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Qasim Majid is a technology entrepreneur and the CEO and founder of Wow Zone – a digital marketing agency. He has been in the digital industry for 20 years. He serves on the board of the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce (part of the Greater Business Chamber of Commerce) and has been featured in Forbes, was a spokesperson for UK trade and investment and has recently featured in the Huffington Post.

BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY Having been in the technology sector for 20 years, I’ve seen a lot of changes. The rate of change over the recent 10 years has become rapid. This has had a huge impact on our habits as consumers and our life as business owners. For businesses to survive in this society ruled by instant gratification, organisations need to adapt and be agile to the modern phenomenon which is social media. Never has there been a better time for businesses to utilise technology and connect with customers that they had always dreamed of reaching. With this availability of information at our fingertips, businesses can really understand how their potential customers behave, think and buy products and services. If you have ambitions to grow, whether that’s into an industry specific sector or exploring international markets, then the online digital space will aid you in fulfilling those objectives. Entrepreneurs fall short when they think tactically and not strategically, due to the vacancy of a clearly defined objective. Their expectations are far-fetched in the time scales they’ve set upon themselves. If you want a successful outcome, my advice is always start with the end in mind. Devise a clear, measurable objective which is revisited and analysed every 90 days. If you do this and you have your fingers on the pulse of your digital marketing strategy, then you will reap the rewards.

@Wow_Zone /WowZoneLtd



Aldi Secures Place as UK’s 5th Largest Supermarket A

ccording to research firm Kantar Worldpanel, Aldi’s sales soared 12.4% year on year in the last three months, taking its market share to 6.2%. It’s a huge growth considering that 10 years ago, their market share was at a meagre 2%. Furthermore, it effectively means that Aldi is now the fifth biggest supermarket in Britain. The German-owned grocer is set to open its 700th store in late Feb and has another 300 in the pipeline for the next 5 years. Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons and now Aldi are now, in order, the country’s biggest supermarkets, with Co-op, Waitrose, Lidl and

Iceland following up behind. Head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, Fraser McKevitt, said: "Underpinned by an extensive programme of store openings, the past quarter has seen Aldi attract 826,000 more shoppers than during the same period last year.” Tesco also boasted an increase in sales, with a 0.3% rise over the Christmas period. Currently, they have a 28% share of the market. Since 2015, Sainsbury’s maintained a flat rate, Asda have dipped by 1.9%, and Waitrose grew by 2%. Aldi’s main rival, Lidl, upped its sales by an impressive 9.4%, bringing its market share to 4.5%.

HSBC Move to Birmingham

Energy prepay cap introduced to save customers £80 Energy regulator Ofgem has introduced a new price cap which is expected to save customers on prepayment energy meters an average £80 a year. The temporary price cap will come into effect in April and was recommended by the Competition and Market Authority after their two year investigation of the energy market. The caps will be updated repeatedly until 2020, when it the roll-out of smart meters will be completed. The new smart meters are

aimed to help prepayment customers who have a limited range of tariffs available to them. Ofgem chief executive Dermot Nolan said: “Customers who prepay for their energy are denied the best deals on the market available to those using other payment methods. "They are also more likely to be in vulnerable circumstances, including fuel poverty. This temporary cap will protect these households as we work to deliver a more competitive, fairer and smarter market for all consumers."

A new head office for HSBC will soon be opening up in Birmingham. Spiking a lot of interest, existing staff from around the world are now considering the move following HSBC’s relocation from the countries capital. Chief Executive of HSBC Bank, Antonio Simoes, has exclaimed how there has already been a lot of interest in jobs, with the most attention coming from staff working in Dubai and Hong Kong. HSBC had announced in 2015 that it had decided to choose Birmingham’s Arena Central development, on Broad Street, to be the location of it new retail banking arm, which has now been names as HSBC UK. This is going to be separate from the investment operations, due to the new laws that were passed in 2013, in the wake of the recession, which stated that certain banks should separate their retail and investments operations by Jan 1st 2019. As a result of this, 350 members of staff have moved or committed to moving to Birmingham for their jobs. Birmingham will be the home to 3500 staff members working at HSBC, with 1000 of the head office roles having been based in Canary Wharf formerly.

In total HSBC employs 45,000 people across the UK. Mr Simoes has stated, ‘More than 1,300 people within HSBC have said they are interested in roles in Birmingham, from our offices in the UK but also from people working globally. The reality is not all of these people will get jobs but it also doesn't mean we will fill all of these roles with internal candidates. There will be some roles which we need to recruit for locally in Birmingham. I have been reassured that there's a lot of talent in Birmingham and the wider Midlands for us to recruit from. I am encouraged by the momentum we have on building our broader team in Birmingham.’ He has also commented that HSBC’s opinion on Birmingham has not faltered despite its vote to leave the European Union and has said that HSBC will continue to support and commit to the city, adding, ‘There's been no affect from the outcome of the referendum. Our customers continue to trade as normal and my job as a chief executive is to support them. Our commitment to Birmingham as a bank has not changed after the Brexit vote.’


Celebrate International Womens Day with ABCC


Chamber of Commerce event to mark International Women’s Day.

International Women’s Day is celebrated throughout the world to recognise the progress that has been made to inspire women and to celebrate their achievements. This year, it takes place on Wednesday 8 March – and ABCC is holding its own celebration at Edgbaston cricket ground. As well as enjoying a varied 26-year career with the BBC, Anita Bhalla has presented a host of other national programmes. She is currently Chair of Performances Birmingham Ltd (Town Hall and Symphony Hall), the Creative City Partnership and a board member of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP. Anita has also won a string of awards and received an OBE in 2009 for services to broadcasting and communities. Farzana Baduel is founder and CEO of Curzon PR - a strategic marketing communications agency trusted by international governments, corporates, luxury and cultural brands. She set up Curzon in 2009 after previously serving as vice chair of business relations for the British Conservative Party. As a thought leader, Farzana regularly contributes to international publications, writing on PR & marketing, entrepreneurship, emerging market brands going global and diversity in the media. She has

Businesses urged to take part in Chamber survey The first Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce quarterly business survey of 2017 is now up and running – and local businesses are being encouraged to take part. The survey for the first quarter runs from today until Monday 27 February. The results help form the basis of the Chamber’s Quarterly Business Report which offers an up-to-date snapshot of the performance of the region’s businesses. It is the most comprehensive report of its kind in the city-region. All respondents will be entered into a prize draw, with one lucky winner receiving dinner for two at Gusto restaurant in Birmingham (terms and conditions apply). The survey takes on average around three minutes to complete. Raj Kandola, senior policy and patron adviser, said:

To book your place at the event visit www.greaterbirminghamchambers. com/networking-events/eventscalendar/listing/abcc-internationalwomens-day/details

eteran broadcaster Anita Bhalla and communications expert Farzana Baduel are the guest speakers at an Asian Business




provided expert commentary for the BBC, Forbes, FT, Al Jazeera and PR Week. Farzana is also the Editor of The PR Insider, a digital platform dedicated to the world of public relations. Her keynote speaking engagements have included KPMG, Chartered Institute of Public Relations and King’s College London. ABCC director Anjum Khan said: “Following on the success from last year and our main speaker Baroness Warsi, you are invited to join us to celebrate women’s achievements locally, nationally and internationally. “The event is expected to attract a wide range of businesses from across the region and it will provide an excellent opportunity to meet fellow members and enjoy a vibrant evening of networking in a relaxed atmosphere.” The event is open to all businesses. Tickets are £28 (plus VAT) for members and £40 (plus VAT) for non-members. A three-course meal is included in the ticket price. A number of sponsorship and exhibition opportunities are also available. For more information contact: events@birmingham-chamber. com To book your place at the event visit networking-events/events-calendar/ listing/abcc-international-womens-day/ details

“Given the extraordinary economic and political events that marked 2016, it is more important than ever to find out how our local businesses are being affected by the lower value of the pound, increasing concerns around exchange rates and the uncertainty caused by Britain’s impending exit from the European Union. “This survey helps us understand how all of these factors are really affecting businesses in our area. "The results of this survey form the basis of our Quarterly Business Report publication which we use inform decision makers and stakeholders across the region. “Respondents don’t need to be a CEO or director to take part - they just to have an understanding of how their business is performing.” To take part in the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.

Nominations for ABCC Executive Committee are open

The Asian Business Chamber of Commerce (ABCC) is inviting members to put themselves forward for election to the organisation’s executive committee. Those standing for this prestigious office must belong to a business which is a member of the ABCC. Nominations open on 1 February. ABCC president Saqib Bhatti said: “Being part of the board as an ambassador to the Asian Business Community is a real honour.” The ABCC has also

announced that its annual general meeting will be held on 25 April 2016. This meeting will include an update on ABCC matters, and will also be an opportunity for all members to network. For more information about the AGM, visit www. greaterbirminghamchambers. com and for nomination papers for the committee, contact Anjum Khan, Director of ABCC, a.khan@ birmingham-chamber or call her 0121 607 1910. The deadline for applications is 12 noon on 24 February.









Church of Scientology to Revamp Historical Bham Building


The Grade II Listed Building has been in the hands of the controversial church for 10 years





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t was back in 2007 that the Church of Scientology first bought the Pitmaston House in Moseley for £4.2million, and although the city council approved planning permission in 2013, no such work was carried out. The church was supposed to carry out a £6million “complete and sensitive” restoration of the building, transforming it from basic office use to a place of worship. They made plan to add a 140-seat chapel, a training centre and about 40 offices- none of which have come pass yet. The building was first

built in the 1930s on top of the footprint of the original Pitmaston House, which was built in the 1870s and in 2003, it was granted Grade II status. A spokesman for the Church of Scientology, Graeme Wilson, said: "We are indeed very pleased to announce that having received planning permission from the Birmingham City Council on 19 January, we are now able to move forward with the construction of our new Church of Scientology in Birmingham. "This is a major step forward and our intention is to complete this new Church

of Scientology in the coming year. Once the full renovations have been completed, the Church will be opened. To date, the Church has opened 56 new Scientology churches, community centres and Advanced Organizations in major cities and cultural centres across four continents, and new ones are dedicated each month." He added that the main aim of the church was to “give help in the local community, including with drug education, human rights education, literacy programmes, crime reduction programmes, helping those in need, and more.”

Birmingham hospital to be Sold for £1.2m

A former Birmingham hospital is set to be repurposed after going on sale for up to £1.2m. The Old skin hospital could see itself transformed into a pub, restaurant or other business and after being acquired by new hands. First built back in the 1880’s, the Birmingham and Midland Skin Hospital is a Grade II Listed building situated on John Bright

Street, which aside from the hospital, is filled with bars and restaurants. Skin Hospital is currently owned by Birmingham Properties group. Director at Lambert Smith Hampton, a commercial property consultancy, Richard Durkin said: “Opportunities like this don't come along very often and we confidently expect strong demand for the building which is

located in one of Birmingham's prime leisure locations. "It is just a stone's throw from Grand Central, John Lewis and the Mailbox with a wide range of bars and restaurants nearby. "It offers the buyers the opportunity to create a really attractive bar, restaurant, hotel or alternative leisure use right in the heart of the action."






Are you down on the new Car Tax Rules?







23 41

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Raees Gets Banned in Pakistan "...Raees depicts Muslims as criminals and terrorists...”

To read the full story turn to page 24

Superbowl Goes Gaga! Lady Gaga lead the show, with a 12-minute set that featured her biggest tracks



To read the full story turn to page 25



converted to


A ROMANTIC COMEDY SET FOR WORLDWIDE RELEASE THIS VALENTINE Mahi NRI (My Beloved Non-Resident Indian) is set for release on Friday 10th February 2017. Primarily set in Birmingham, it's a realistic multi-cultural romantic comedy centered on student Sherry (Hardy Sandhu) who comes to UK to become an NRI (Non-Resident Indian) in order to please his girlfriend's mother. After all, only a man from the UK is good enough for her daughter. Film Director Gaurav Bavdankar said, "Most of the filmmakers from India want to go and film in London. I wanted my main characters to be based in my home town, Birmingham. Birmingham and the Black Country have range of locations to offer...Also the music is going to be loved by all as it has got the best combination of composers, lyricists and singers”.

For Indians, the UK is still seen as the place where the streets are paved with gold, where all British Asians have huge sprawling houses and big cars. Lead actor Sandhu says, "I worked hard to prep myself for the part of Sherry, who is a happy-golucky guy who doesn’t have a care in the world, until the reality of him losing his girlfriend dawns upon him. I thoroughly enjoyed working in UK, it was a blast, it was also great meeting people from all walks of life and loved the locations." Film Producer Ranbir Kaloya said, “I fell in love with the story and characters the first time I read the script. The film to a degree is the reality of what happens in India and the UK. In most cases, Indian parents want men from the UK to marry their daughters so they have a better way of life. This film

shows the journey of a young man who comes to UK to get his citizenship and the many mishaps and misfortunes that hinder his plans. Many people from the UK and India will relate to this film in many ways”. Model-actress-singer Rameet Sandhu, plays Mandy in the film, and says: "As a British Indian girl born and raised in Glasgow, I was so humbled to be chosen for this film. I worked very hard to play Mandy and I hope my work will be appreciated." The story and screenplay has been written by Gaurav Bavdankar and Mohinder Pratap Singh. Music by Arjunaa Harjai and background score by Inderpaul Wouhra. The film also stars Poppy Jabbal, Gurpreet Ghuggi, Anjum Batra, Ranjan Sehgal, B N Sharma, Gulvinder Ghir and Navneet Nishan.

To read the full story turn to page 24


Deepika Padukone

To read the full story turn to page 27

Will a One Year Contract with Hamilton be ‘CareerEnding’ for Bottas?

From April 1st, you could see your car tax increasing

New DVLA car tax rules coming into effect in April could see motorists paying hundreds more on insurance rates. The former Chancellor George Osbourne brought forth the proposal two years ago with rules to reflect changes in emissions technology in new cars. In the plan, some car models would be significantly more expensive tax-wise than others, with only electric and hydrogen cars being exempt. All other cars would be made to pay a flat rate of £140, with new cars bought after April 1st costing £120 in road tax a year and £140 the year after. Vehicles that emit 131g/km will be taxed £200,

those emitting 141g/km will be charged £500, those emitting 171g/km will be charged £800 and those emitting 191g/km will be charged a searing £1,200. As for luxury and low emission cars, which are currently tax free, they will be costing £310 a year after their first year of use. According to James Hind, founder of, "Some models will cost significantly more to tax each year, so there are long-term savings to be had by buying before the new system kicks in. "Hybrid cars and small petrol-powered city cars will be cheaper to tax if you buy before April 1."

Lewis Hamilton’s father has warned Valterri Bottas, "it could be a careerending move when you go up against Lewis," as he settles into his place at Mercedes. Bottas has replaced Nico Rosberg after the world champion’s retirement from racing. As Hamilton’s new partner, the expectations for 27-year-old Bottas to perform are higher than ever. According to Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda, Pascal Wehrlein was a close favourite for the one year contract, but his lack of experience is

what ultimately cost him the job. Ex-formula 1 driver Mika Salosaid: “It's just surprising, to make a oneyear contract in Formula 1 nowadays. Everybody wants to make long-term contracts. I just don't know what the reason is behind it…Valtteri is good enough to sign for longer term. “I guess they just want to see how he performs and then see after that. They put Valtteri in a very difficult situation, against Lewis, on a one-year contract. It's not easy."

Paralympic Swimmer Retires After Decades long Career

Men Paying £101 more for Car Insurance

According to a comparison site’s research, male motorists pay £101 more a year for their car insurance than women. found that the average annual premium for men

was £812 for comprehensive car insurance in the last quarter of 2016, whereas women’s was only £711. It added that the gap had widened since 2015. UK law mandates that insurance firms not consider gender when considering setting premiums, however they are entitled to considering wider risks. Amanda Stretton, from Confused. com, said that insurance firms were “becoming more astute" in weighing particular risks. She further explained that as men drive more miles in more expensive cars and are most often driving to work, their risk of accident or repair was automatically increased, and hence the premiums. The director of general insurance policy at the Association of British Insurers, James Dalton, said: "Motor insurance remains a highly

competitive market, with motorists shopping around for the best deals. But pressure is growing on premiums. "Cold callers and ambulancechasing lawyers are still finding ways to exploit the system, with government data suggesting a 5% increase in whiplash style claims. This is driving up costs for honest motorists. "In addition, the government has doubled Insurance Premium Tax in just over a year, and repair bills are going up as cars get more sophisticated. So while insurers are doing all they can to control costs, these pressures show how important it is that the government's latest proposals to tackle low value whiplash style claims are implemented fully and as quickly as possible, and that there is no rise in Insurance Premium Tax."

After a 23-year long international career, seven-time Paralympic swimming champion Sascha Kindred has decided to retire. The Paralympic swimmer, who won gold at the Rio Olympics in the SM6 200m individual medley, made his debut back in 1994 has built a reputation for being one of the leading athletes in

his field. Suffering from cerebral palsy which affects the right side of his body, the German-born Brit has won nineteen medals and played in six Summer Paralympic Games. Now 39, the swimming star said that “the physical and mental demands to be an elite athlete [were] becoming too much.”




Leonardo Ulloa ‘Betrayed’ vows never to play for Leicester again

In a surprise social media outburst, Argentinian Leonardo Ulloa has vowed never to play for Leicester again. The thirty year old tweeted: “With all respect for LCFC fans. I feel betrayed by Raineri and let down by the club. I will not play again for them.” Leicester recently rejected a £7million bid from Sunderland which is thought to be the source of Ulloa’s anger. According to the striker, Raineri is holding him back from rebuilding his career elsewhere. Ulloa was first signed back in July 2014 for £8million. Since then, he has made just one start in the Premier League this term and has only scored one goal and still

has 18 months left on his contract. The footballer, who handed in his transfer request this month, told Sky: ““The manager’s been telling me for the last two weeks that if an offer of around £4m to £5m was arriving to the club, he would help me to leave. My understanding at this moment is that these offers are around those figures or even bigger that are not being considered, so after what Ranieri has been telling me for weeks, today he tells me that he wants me to stay. I can’t understand the situation or why they don’t let me continue playing my football somewhere else. If I stay at the club, it’s going to affect seriously my career and my future.”

Anthony Joshua Receives AntiMuslim Hate

The renowned British Boxer has been at the receiving end of racial abuse, after being snapped praying in a mosque. The world heavyweight champion was visiting Dubai prior to his mega fight with Wladimir Klitschko. The cause of the abuse being the fact that Joshua was seen in the holy building, taking part in Asr prayer, which is usually recited by Muslim. While Joshua himself is not Muslim, he posted the picture to his Instagram page, with the caption stating: "Besides luck, hard work & talent. Prayer is a solid foundation. It was nice to join my brother

as he led through afternoon prayer (asr)." This triggered an enormous amount of abuse being hurled at him through social media, with his own fans even threatening to unfollow him on Twitter and Instagram. Joshua stated in a previous interview, ‘I'm not going to dig anyone for their beliefs or anything like that, but I definitely feel religion is a big part of life, whether you believe in it or not, in everyone's day-to-day life religion's a big part," Anthony previously told PA. Prayer and so on, and beliefs, is definitely important to me. I don't have a preferred religion. I'd have to do research. I was born a Christian but as I've grown into my own man I don't attach myself to a religion, 100 per cent I have faith. Then, it's locking into what suits me."


Alastair Cook to step down as England Captain


fter much speculation, Alastair Cook has decided that he will be resigning as England Test Captain. The 32-year-old took on the charge as Captain back in August 2012 and took the team to victory in the Ashes 2013 and 2015. The batsman said, “"Stepping down has been an incredibly hard decision but I know this is the correct decision for me and at the right time for the team. Playing for England really is a privilege and I hope to carry on as a Test player, making a full contribution and helping the next England captain and the team however I can." It was during the Test series against India, in which England suffered a 4-0 defeat, that Cook admitted to having questions over his ability to captain. And before the India tour even began, Cook said that he was looking forward to no longer being captain.

England’s sore defeat drew widespread criticism over the play style, with the majority of it falling squarely on Cook’s shoulders. It was at this point that Cook suggested Joe Root, his vice-captain, could be ready to lead. Cook's long-time mentor Graham Gooch was against the resigning, saying, “This type of sportsman only comes once in a generation, maybe less. He's a great man and he's still got great things to do for his country.”

Who should be England's next test captain? #ATSport @theasiantoday

Cook Confirms Resignation IFAB to bring Sin-Bin Plan to Football? IFAB, the International Football Association Board, football’s lawmaking body, is going to look into whether Sin-bins for yellow card offences should be implemented in football. If given the green light, the decision could go into effect as soon as next month. The proposed measures have already been tested by Uefa development competitions and a number of amateur leagues in

recent years. If approved, the sin-bin would first come into effect in youth and amateur leagues and then slowly be eased into the professional game within two to three years. At IFAB’s annual meeting in London, the governing body will also be deciding on whether national associations should be given more freedom to decide on the number of substitutions in a game. The substituting

Denis Shapovalov Defaulted for Hitting Umpire

choice would be given to the captain to enhance their responsibilties “as part of a move to improve on-field discipline and create better communication between players and match officials". IFAB says this these new measures could aid the development of football at lower levels, "by promoting and encouraging more people to take part.”

Canada's Denis Shapovalov has said he is "incredibly ashamed and embarrassed" after his shocking outburst on the court. During the Great Britain Davis Cup, Shapovalov faced off against Kyle Edmund and

had just dropped serve when he furiously struck the ball off the court straight into the umpire’s eye. Immediately upon striking him, the crowd went silent and Shapovalov walked over to see if the umpire, Arnaud Gabas, was okay. Within seconds the umpire’s eye had closed up and he announced that 17-year-old Shapovalov had been defaulted. The teenager said, “Luckily he was OK but obviously it's unacceptable behaviour from

me. I just feel awful for letting my team down, for letting my country down, for acting in a way that I would never want to act. "I can promise that's the last time I will do anything like that. I'm going to learn from this and try to move past it." Garbas was taken to Ottawa General Hospital for a precautionary evaluation due to bruising and swelling. Shapovalov has since been fined $7000 for the attack.




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Deja Vu Federer wins 18th Grand Slam


he Australian Open ended in a blaze of glory as Roger Federer beat out top rival Rafael Nadal in a thrilling match to remember. Federer won 6-4 3-6 6-1 3-6 6-3 against Nadal, winning his 18th Grand Slam title in his first win in five years. "I've been coming here for almost 20 years now," the 35-year-old said. "I've always enjoyed it and now my family does too. "Thanks again for everything, to everybody. I hope to see you next year. If not, this was a wonderful run here and I can't be more happy to win." Federer is now the first man in history to win five

titles at three different Grand Slams; five wins at the Australian Opens, five at the US Opens and a staggering seven Wimbledons. As one of the fiercest and longest running rivalries in tennis history, the stakes were huge for both Federer and Nadal. Of the last five Federer V Nadal Grand Slam Finals, this is the first time the thirty-yearold Spaniard hasn’t won. The match, which lasted a blistering three hours and thirty seven minutes, saw moments of sheer brilliance from both players. Nadal dominated the fourth set and fought tooth and nail against Federer’s forehands and smashes.

Serena Knocks Out Venus to Win Australian Open

Nadal said, “I worked very hard to get where I am. I fight a lot, probably Roger deserved it a little bit more than me. I'm just going to keep trying. I feel I am back at a very high level." After winning an exhausting 26-stroke rally, Federer consoled Nadal then broke down in tears. "Tennis is a tough sport," he said. "There are no draws. If there were I would have been happy to accept one and share it with Rafa. "Everybody says they work very hard - I do the same - but I try not to shout about it. I'd like to thank my team. It's been a different last six months. I didn't think I'd make it but here I am."

Tennis champions, sisters and rivals Serena and Venus Williams had their first face off since 2009 in this year’s Australian Open. The final saw the two sisters go head to head in the Grand Slam, with Serena beating out Venus 6-4, 6-4 to win her seventh Australian Open title and 23rd Grand slam title. Having now won 10 grand slam titles,


the most by a mile, Serena is now being lauded as perhaps the greatest tennis player ever. Afterwards, Venus told the crowd: “Serena Williams, that’s my little sister, guys. I’ve been right there with you, some of them I lost right there against you,” Venus says. “I’m enormously proud of you, you mean the world to me.”






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