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  1. LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore has summoned Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif with regard to an inquiry into Ashiana-e-Iqbal housing scheme, according to a spokesman for the anti-graft body. The Punjab chief minister is called upon to appear before a combined investigation team at the NAB complex in Lahore on January 22, read a notification issued by NAB Lahore.
  2. Steve Bannon was fired by the White House in August 2017. Photo: File WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump?s former chief strategist Steve Bannon declined on Tuesday to comply with a subpoena ordering him to answer questions from a US House intelligence panel about his time at the White House as part of its investigation into allegations of Russian interference in the US election. After Bannon initially refused to answer questions about the matter, Devin Nunes, the committee?s Republican party chairman, authorised a subpoena during the meeting to press Bannon to respond. Even then, Bannon refused to answer questions after his lawyer had conferred with the White House and was told again to refuse to answer questions about the transition period immediately after Trump was elected, or Bannon?s time in the administration, according to Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the committee. Separately, the New York Times reported that Bannon had been subpoenaed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller to testify before a grand jury in a probe of alleged ties between Russia and Trump?s 2016 presidential campaign, on Tuesday. It was the first time Mueller is known to have used a subpoena against a member of Trump?s inner circle, the Times said. It cited a person with direct knowledge of the matter. A spokesman for Mueller?s office declined comment. Bill Burck, a lawyer for Bannon, could not immediately be reached for comment on the subpoena or his testimony before the House panel. The reported subpoena of Bannon does not mean he is a target of Mueller?s criminal investigation. Bannon, a champion of Trump?s ?America First? agenda, was among the Republican?s closest aides during the 2016 election campaign, the presidential transition and his first months in office. But the pair had a bitter public falling out over comments Bannon made to author Michael Wolff for his recent book ?Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.? In the book, Bannon is quoted as describing a June 2016 meeting between Trump associates, including the president?s son Donald Trump Jr, his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and a Russian lawyer, as ?treasonous? and ?unpatriotic.? Russia has denied meddling in the election and Trump has denied any collusion between his campaign and Moscow. Bannon was fired by the White House in August, though he continued to speak with Trump and tried to promote the president?s agenda. Pressure tactic? Bannon spent hours on Tuesday meeting behind closed doors with members of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee. He was the latest high-profile figure to appear before the panel as part of its investigation into allegations of Russian interference in the US election. Bannon refused to speak not only about his time at the White House, but also any conversations he had with President Trump after he had left the administration ?that might be for the purpose of the President seeking his advice on anything,? Schiff said. ?We expect to have Mr Bannon back in, we hope very soon, with a different position by the White House,? Schiff said. Asked if the White House had told Bannon not to answer certain questions, spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said: ?As with all congressional activities touching upon the White House, Congress must consult with the White House prior to obtaining confidential material.? ?We?ve been cooperating fully with these ongoing investigations and encourage the committees to work with us to find an appropriate accommodation in order to ensure Congress obtains information necessary to its legitimate interests,? she said. Mueller?s subpoena, which was issued last week, could be a pressure tactic to induce Bannon to cooperate fully with his investigation. Attorney Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor, said the most likely reason for a Mueller subpoena of Bannon was that ?he thought having an attorney present and giving Bannon a more relaxed setting would not yield the same testimony as if he got him in the grand jury room with no attorney there and a more adversarial style of questioning.? A witness is not permitted to bring an attorney into a federal grand jury proceeding, but can step outside to consult with counsel.
  3. Kapil Mohan, the creator of Old Monk is not with us anymore, but what stays behind is the legendary rum he gave us, which was probably our first and the best companion when we entered adulthood. Old Monk is not just a mere drink, it's a religion and if there was ever a cult to be made for Old Monk, I will run as the President for that group. I am sure just like me, all those who swear by this drink will unanimously agree that for us Old Monk is the only rum in the world, theirs is no other brand and there never will be any. © Facebook Be it celebrating the good things that happened to us, the friends we made in college over a glass of rum, or dealing with our first heartbreak; Old Monk has all the rights to proudly take credit for all the major milestones in our lives. Paying a tribute to one of the best things ever made in the world, here's a short film that will take you to a walk down the memory lane to reminisce the good ol' memories and times you all have shared with Old Monk. © switch off films Sanjay Mishra is one of the finest actors in Bollywood and when he takes up any movie, you know it's going to be special and when you throw in a bottle of Old Monk into the same frame, you know that you are signing up for something incredible and emotional. And this short film titled 'Monk' does exactly that, it taps into all those memories and emotions you share with your friends and leaves you teary-eyed by the end of the film. Produced by Switch Off Films, this short film also stars Jeetu Shastri as the friend who Mishra shares his drink with. As we enjoy the duo's friendly banter and how they recollect all the crazy things they did in the past, by the end of it we realize that he was drinking all alone while remembering his close friend. Honestly, there could not have been a better tribute to acknowledge the spirit of Old Monk and the long lasting friendships it has helped weave. So go ahead and tag your friends to let them know how much you love them and how dearly you miss those Old Monk sessions you had with them.
  4. ISLAMABAD: The US Department of State?s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Ambassador Alice Wells on Tuesday said that the US seeks to move toward a new relationship with Pakistan. In her meetings with different Pakistani officials, she said that the new relationship should be based on mutual interest in realising a stable and prosperous region, according to a press statement issued by the US Embassy in Pakistan. Acknowledging Pakistan?s considerable sacrifices in fighting terrorism, Wells emphasised that the US South Asia strategy represents an opportunity to work together for the establishment of a stable, peaceful Afghanistan, the defeat of Daesh in South Asia, and the elimination of terrorist groups that threaten both Pakistan and the United States. Earlier on Monday, top US military officer Marine General Joseph Dunford had said he was committed to the US-Pakistan relationship, which has been strained in recent weeks as Washington piles pressure on Islamabad to crack down on militants. ?Do we agree on everything right now? No we don?t. But are we committed to a more effective relationship with Pakistan? We are. And I?m not giving up on that,? Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had told a small group of reporters during a trip to Brussels. The United States has long blamed militant safe-havens in Pakistan for prolonging the war in neighbouring Afghanistan, giving insurgents a place to plot attacks and rebuild their forces. Pakistan is a crucial gateway for US military supplies destined for US and other troops fighting a 16-year-old war in Afghanistan. Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump?s administration, demanding ?do more? from Pakistan, had announced a plan to suspend up to roughly $2 billion in US security assistance. An outcry was triggered in Islamabad following Washington's statement. Pakistan?s military had said its army chief told US General Joseph Votel, head of the US military?s Central Command, that Pakistan ?felt betrayed? by US criticism.
  5. Ever since the retirement of MS Dhoni from the longest format, Indian selectors and Captain Virat Kohli have put their faith in Wriddhiman Saha, making him their first-choice wicket-keeper in Test cricket. But, despite Saha's wicket-keeping record in the first Test, his failure with the willow at Newlands saw him getting axed for the second Test. Saha's loss quickly became Parthiv Patel's gain as the latter found his way back into Test cricket after almost four years. While it was surely an opportunity for Patel to impress his skipper and the selectors in a bid to cement his spot, there is no denying that a slip-up would bring the century-old jokes on Patel back on the social media. In act, ahead of the second Test in Centurion, former Indian cricketer and 'Twitter King' Virender Sehwag targeted Patel even before his selection was confirmed. Few days back, Sehwag shared a photo a picture of two chappattis which were shaped in the form of gloves. नठनवà¥à¤²à¥ दà¥à¤²à¥à¤¹à¤¨ à¤à¤¯à¥z पति बà¥à¤²à¤¾ à¤à¤ªà¤¨à¥ हाथ à¤à¥ रà¥à¤à¥ बना à¤à¥ à¤à¤¿à¤²à¤¾à¤ । — Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) January 10, 2018 He also captioned the image with a funny one-liner in Hindi that read: "A husband asked his newly-wedded bride to cook him a meal using her own hands". However, in a funny dig at Parthiv, Sehwag said: "Nikke @parthiv9 , Bhai wicket keeping gloves hain wahaan ya bhejoon!". Idhar meri perfect size wale bahut gloves le ke aaya hu.. ise udhar hi rakhe aap..delhi mai thand Badh gayi hai to ghar me kisi ke Kaam aaynege... — parthiv patel (@parthiv9) January 10, 2018 In reply, Parthiv, himself, fired a witty comment at Sehwag saying: "Idhar meri perfect size wale bahut gloves le ke aaya hu.. ise udhar hi rakhe aap..delhi mai thand Badh gayi hai to ghar me kisi ke Kaam aaynege". While it was all fun and games back then, the present-day scenario is completely different. The pocket-sized attacking wicket-keeper batsman has struggled to score runs, while his glovework behind the stumps is absolutely shambolic. While many would have expected the Gujarat cricketer to come good, Patel, so far, has only managed to score 19 runs alongside several dropped catches behind the stumps. © Reuters If Patel was not already the subject of immense criticism, his exploits on Day 3 at the SuperSport Park left his captain Virat Kohli, teammate Jasprit Bumrah and a whole lot of fans baffled. In the 25th over of South Africa's second innings, Bumrah created a chance against Dean Elgar, who edged one of his deliveries behind the stumps. But, to the sheer horror of Indian fans, Patel didn't even attempt to catch the ball. When I die I want Parthiv Patel to lower me into my grave so he can let me down one last time -Kohli#SAvIND — ambar_hitmanð (@ambar_hitman) January 15, 2018 What was more frustrating to see for the fans, was the fact that instead of realising his mistake, he immediately pointed towards Cheteshwar Pujara at the first slip and suggested that it was his catch. As a huge opportunity was missed, Bumrah and skipper Virat Kohli looked livid at Patel, who kept insisting it was a catch for the fielder at first slip. Sadly, it wasn't the only catch that Patel had dropped in the game. He had also failed to send Hashim Amla back into the hut after he edged one off Ravichandran Ashwin's bowling. Patel has been so poor that it beggared belief. In fact, former Indian cricketer and commentator Sanjay Manjrekar even claimed that he had never seen a Test match where Patel did not drop a catch. The folks on Twitter echoed similar sentiments against Patel who attracted more criticism on the micro-blogging website. When I die I want Parthiv Patel to lower me into my grave so he can let me down one last time -Kohli#SAvIND — ambar_hitmanð (@ambar_hitman) January 15, 2018 Meanwhile parthiv patel in dressing room.. #indvssa #SAvsIndia #ParthivPatel — Nishant Gupta (@nishantgupta870) January 15, 2018 An injured Saha or a retired Dhoni can do better than a fit & fine Parthiv Patel. #SAvInd — SAGAR (@sagarcasm) January 15, 2018 Great leave by Parthiv Patel.Oops he ws keeping wkts.𤣠Could've saved his wicket if he'd left d ball like dis while he ws batting #SAvsIndia — Sushil Kulkarni (@sushilk15) January 15, 2018 #INDvSA #SAvsIND people will understand importance of Saha behind the wicket. Useless parthiv patel — mohit kashyap (@Kingmohitkk) January 15, 2018 An injured Saha or a retired Dhoni can do better than a fit & fine Parthiv Patel. #SAvInd — SAGAR (@sagarcasm) January 15, 2018 Parthiv Patel has left the ball better than any other Indian player on this tour. #SAvInd — Raunak Kapoor (@RaunakRK) January 15, 2018 Parthiv Patel is like that guy from school who used to fart in the class but always put blame on other innocent guys. — Sunil- The Cricketer (@1sInto2s) January 15, 2018 Parthiv Patel has taken a catch. It is a miracle. He moves one step away from initiation into the Akmal family. — Sorabh Pant (@hankypanty) January 16, 2018 #SAvIND #SAvsIndia If there is a competition of dropping catches, Parthiv Patel and Kamran Akmal would fight for top honors. — Chandan (@sportsbloggerCK) January 16, 2018 Parthiv Patel's keeping explained #INDvSA #SAvIND #INDvsSA — Mahendra Singh Dhoni (@FarziCaptain) January 16, 2018 If only poor Parthiv could foresee what was going to happen on his return to Test cricket, we reckon he would have surely taken Sehwag's special gloves. After all, who knows those two chapattis - looking like gloves - might have helped him catch the ball because this lad is surely not catching them with regular ones. Given the present-day situation, we wonder what Viru must be thinking about tweeting now.
  6. You're never too cool to eat "bhutta" during the monsoon and there will come a time when you'll see it being roasted on the roadside, to which you'll instinctively roll your car window down and garishly yell at the vendor to have a freshly masala-d one sent to you. Should we put a spoke in your wheel though? Did you know that if you were driving the GAC Enverge, you'll probably be forced to skip the "bhutta" unless you decided to get out of the car and get it yourself-- it looks like you can't roll down the car windows in the Chinese automaker's ridiculous concept! How will you ever ash your cigarette outside the car, waiting for an epiphany wave to wash over you while listening to "Bittersweet Symphony". Welcome to the future, it looks bleak: boo fricken' hoo, no window roll downs for you! © AP It appears that the car windows have VR screens in-built for infotainment. Does that mean you'll probably not even see the "butta"? If you have the screens on? Probably. Bummer. Mind you, the car is a beauty queen with a shiny disposition and a body so rounded that Beyonce would suffer a bruised ego! The head and tail lamps are what could give the city lights at Madison Square, a run for their money. That's what will attract you to it, in the first place. Is giving up bhutta a small price to pay for this piece of art? Probably not. © AP Car windows aside, the car in itself may be a little "meh", even if in its concept stages. It's a crossover in a time of clear classifications-- either a sedan or an SUV for you, not many appreciate the middle. We love the dihedral doors and the snazzy air intakes but that's not enough to make it user compatible! © AP Now, look at the dash, for instance-- minimal, in a world where there is an information overload, and the acid green glow on it is definitely not its most charming feature. The dodgy looking rectangular steering is not enough to redeem the poorly done interiors, either. What about the powertrain? It's a current-arian, alright, an all-electric vehicle capable of doing nearly 600km on a full charge. But, the Chinese automakers threw in some fancy engineering by giving it a fast charge range of up to 385km in merely 10 minutes. That is something you could give up the "bhutta" for, if green energy is what you swear by. © AP Could you challenge someone to a quick straight line in the vehicle? Can't say, but we'll know in the latter half of 2019 because that's when the brand claims it will make its first deliveries. Ok GAC, we'll put the "bhutta" dilemma aside and wait for the Enverge production variant to make it worth the sacrifice (if we sacrifice it, that is) Just check out the reveal:
  7. Women are anything but subtle, but when it comes to addressing issues in a relationship, they might not be as straightforward either. Sometimes, during a turbulent relationship, women may whine and beat around the bush, hoping that men would and could understand what exactly it is that is bothering them. And, more often than not, men fail to do that! We aren't talking about smaller issues related to subtlety that women show; like pretending to be interested in how many wickets you took in a game of cricket or not enjoying the company of your friends. We're talking about much bigger tell tale signs of women being unhappy in a relationship and wanting to end it. Here are some obscure indications that will help you prepare for when the end is near or when the 'talk' is going to happen from her end. Communication Will Cease This is the first sign your woman is unhappy in a relationship and wants to call it quits. Her texts, DM's, good morning messages or even late night calls will become a little less frequent than before. This is an obvious sign since women make more of an effort to keep in touch with men, on a daily basis, than men do. She might withdraw, not necessarily to break up but to also get space and to put things into perspective. "When my relationship went through a rough patch, I was lost. One thing that helped me clear my mind was ceasing communication and backing out and giving myself time to think. I first wanted to break away completely but the space helped me analyse things in the right way", quotes Naintara, a marketing professional. If you do realise that your woman has withdrawn her communication considerably, definitely have a chat with her. She's probably thinking twice about the relationship. © Thinkstock/Getty Images Your Plans With Her Take A Hike If she's still into you, as she was before, she will be super excited to make plans with you. But, if you see her dodging plans or cancelling last minute, a little too often, it's probably her indecisiveness about the relationship that's keeping her at bay. She may be cancelling plans, last minute, to act on some pending plans from before, so always give her the benefit of the doubt. But, if you see it happening often enough, there is definitely something she's trying to convey and obviously she can't convey it straight up. If you see her more excited about other plans and bailing out on you last minute, that's definitely a sure shot sign. It means she'd rather be doing something else, than spending time with you. © Thinkstock/Getty Images She Gives In Easily During A Fight Some women, when challenged with frequent friction in a relationship chose complacency over going with the flow. That's because they've probably lost interest in salvaging whatever it is that is diminishing. If your girlfriend walks out on you halfway during a fight, while shrugging her shoulders, you should know that something is wrong and she's beginning to not give a damn about the situation. "I withdraw significantly, especially when I am stuck in a crossfire and I don't want to be there. It's like a constant battle you're losing, so the best thing to do is to stop giving a f***", says Amalya, a food blogger. If you begin to notice her callous attitude about something you care about, then it's time to take a hint. © Thinkstock/Getty Images She Picks Fights Over Trivial Things While some women don't care much about winning at a fight anymore, because they're almost done with the relationship, some pick a fight over things that didn't bother them before. They mostly pick things which are trivial in nature. The reason they do this is because subconsciously, they're trying to either push you away or are just irritated with you almost every time they're around you. There could be numerous reasons as to why she's irritated or picking a fight. Either she's stressed out about something other than the relationship or she's genuinely unhappy and wants to call it off. "By the end of my last relationship I was so done that even his presence around me was infuriating and I always reacted with anger and picked fights even for the smallest things that he did wrong". says Damini, a graphic designer. © Thinkstock/Getty Images She Withdraws From Everything Not just you, she withdraws from every part of you and your life. She will stop picking up calls from your mom or even cancel plans with your sister last minute because she doesn't feel obliged to make any effort for them anymore, since she's in a bad space with you. If you notice these subtle signs of her withdrawing, try and nip the issue in the bud and have a conversation with her, straight up. © Thinkstock/Getty Images She Weeds You Out Of Her Social Circle Guess what, you're not invited to a bar hopping session with her and her friends anymore. Yes, this is a definite sign that she wants out when she doesn't even want you around in a social setting. She might also do this to try and wrangle some space from the relationship but if she does this one too many times, she's definitely going to call it off sooner than later. Notice if she's going for parties all by herself or with her gang or even attending weddings (something that you two did together) on her own, she's trying to tell you that she'd rather just do these things by herself. "I eventually realised I didn't want him around me or my social circle because we were just not getting along, but I didn't want to break his heart so I started avoiding him. i wish I'd just told him straight up" - Ananya, Journalist. © Thinkstock/Getty Images The *** Isn't The Same Anymore "Our chemistry in bed just fizzled out. Not from his side but mine. That's because I just didn't feel it anymore and there wasn't any passion left and I couldn't get myself to tell him I want out" - Tapsi, Researcher. Oh, the *** is definitely affected when the chemistry is slowly dying between a couple. If you see her losing interest in things that she loved doing in bed, you know something is up. It could be something as simple as not using her tongue anymore while she's kissing you or giving refusing to give you head every single time. You will also begin to notice small things like her not caring much for unshaved legs or bikini waxes, something she was very staunch about. Her sexy lingerie rests at the back of her drawer and she's in her everyday underpants, whenever she's with you. These little things about losing interest in the way she dresses or the small things she doesn't do or take care of anymore are the biggest signs of things coming to an end or her losing interest in the relationship. © Thinkstock/Getty Images The Chemistry Fades Away If she's ending the relationship, the first thing to crumble is the chemistry you two share. It could be something as significant as her not getting or remembering inside jokes you two shared once, right up to her actions being callous towards your behaviour. If the chemistry is dying, she's surely going to come up to you soon and talk about ending the relationship. If you let it slip away for far too long, there isn't really anything you can do about it later. © Thinkstock/Getty Images Sometimes it's hard to tell what women want or think but there are signs you will notice, which will probably give you answers to their subtle behaviour and callous attitude. If you catch these signs and notice things are changing, try and talk to her and figure out how you can salvage the relationship. Otherwise, all you can do is succumb to your fate and pray that your next girlfriend is a little more straightforward!
  8. ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif questioned on Tuesday the timing of the 'grand protest' spearheaded by the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and supported by major opposition parties. He was responding to reporters' queries after attending the corruption hearing against him in the accountability court. When asked about the PAT protest, which begins tomorrow, Nawaz wondered why "the maulana [cleric] from Canada is here at this time." He was referring to PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri. "If you think about the reasons, you?ll get the answers [to Qadri's timing]," said Nawaz, adding that people will decide the country?s fate in the elections, which are only four months. The PAT is protesting over the 2014 Model Town incident, in which its workers were killed in police firing, and demanding the dissolution of the government. 'Balochistan CM issue a disservice to democracy' When asked about the recent change of the chief minister in Balochistan, the former prime minister said the the Balochistan political issue needs to be taken seriously. "This is a sick joke with the people," said the Pakistan Muslim League-N president, adding that he has summoned a meeting with the party's Baloch leadership on Thursday to find out why this happened. The PML-N chief wondered how a person with 500 votes became the chief minister, adding that "this is a disservice to democracy, Pakistan and its people". Last week, the PML-N government in Balochistan was rocked with a crisis as Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri was forced to resign following a no-confidence motion against him which was supported by some PML-N members. The new chief minister, Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, hails from the PML-Quaid and bagged the 2013 election from Awaran District with around 550 votes due to a boycott by the separatists. 'Pehla hafta zabardast, doosra zabardasti' Accompanied by his daughter Maryam, also accused in the corruption case, Federal Health Minister Saira Afzal Tarar, his political aide Senator Asif Kirmani and other party leaders, Nawaz narrated a story about a famous film in Lahore in the 1960s. "After it was released, someone asked how the movie was faring, to which the producer replied ?Pehlay haftay zabardast, doosray haftay zabardasti (The first week was great but the second was forced)". Addressing reporters, he said you all are here every day and know how strong this case is.
  9. Virat Kohli's pumped celebration after reaching his hundred, South Africa v India, 2nd Test, Centurion, 3rd day, January 15, 2018/Getty Images CENTURION: Virat Kohli led by example with a batting masterclass as India stayed in contention on the third day of the second Test against South Africa at SuperSport Park on Monday. Captain Kohli hit a masterly 153 in India´s first innings of 307 to stay in touch in Centurion, even though South Africa stretched a 28-run first-innings lead to 118 by scoring 90 for two in their second batting effort on a storm-shortened afternoon. India are slightly behind going into day four despite Kohli´s innings and two early wickets from opening bowler Jasprit Bumrah, but they could justifiably feel that they were still in with a chance of levelling the three-match series following South Africa´s 72-run win in the first Test at Cape Town. "Virat´s innings was very crucial for us. The game is in the balance and we will look to create pressure and take early wickets tomorrow," said Bumrah. But Kohli was clearly not happy when play resumed in South Africa´s second innings after an hour-long rain break. He was seen in conversation with the umpires, which Bumrah said was about the condition of the ball. "The ball was swinging (before the break) but when we went back, both sides of the ball got wet so the ball stopped swinging," added Bumrah. "We asked what can we do to get the ball dry." Breathtaking strokeplay Kohli had lamented India´s poor batting in Cape Town and he could not have provided a better demonstration of how to handle South Africa´s four-pronged pace attack. In a model of concentration, good judgement and occasional breathtaking strokes, Kohli batted for 380 minutes, faced 217 balls and hit 15 fours. It was his 21st Test century to go along with 15 half-centuries, the best conversion rate since Don Bradman of any batsman who has passed 50 more than 30 times. He was last man out when he was caught in the deep off Morne Morkel, hitting to one of eight fielders on the boundary as he tried to squeeze some extra runs with his tailenders. Morkel finished with four for 60, taking the last three wickets. But he also felt a little disgruntled, saying the pitch was reminiscent of those usually found in India. "I´ve played cricket here all my life and never seen a wicket like this," said Morkel. "It was really hard work in the heat with conditions really, really tough." Despite his lamentations about the conditions, Morkel said there was a good chance of South Africa clinching the series. "Even if we got 250 ahead it would be tough to get on the last day, with the wicket turning a bit and the ball keeping low." Kohli received minimal support from his team-mates, with Murali Vijay (46) and Ravichandran Ashwin (38) the only other batsmen to reach 20. Ashwin helped Kohli add 71 off 87 balls for the seventh wicket but he lived dangerously after being peppered by short-pitched balls from Kagiso Rabada at the start of his innings. South Africa´s second innings got off to a poor start as Bumrah reduced them to three for two. Aiden Markram was Bumrah´s first victim, falling leg before wicket as he played back to a ball which cut back and kept low. Bumrah followed up with the wicket of Hashim Amla, who was also trapped on the back foot by a similar delivery. Both batsmen were so palpably in front of their stumps that neither sought a review. India had opened the bowling with off-spinner Ashwin and he troubled left-handed opener Dean Elgar. But Elgar survived to share an unbroken 87-run partnership with AB de Villiers, who batted confidently to reach 50 not out. Elgar was unbeaten on 36. A thunderstorm interrupted play for an hour when South Africa were 68 for two. It resumed for another 27 minutes under gloomy skies with the floodlights on before bad light ended the day. Both batsmen survived some anxious moments, in particular Elgar, who on 29 edged Bumrah at catchable height between wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel and first slip Pujara.
  10. This file photo from Sept 07, 2017 shows England's Ben Stokes reacting during a Test match between England and West Indies at Lords cricket ground in London.?AFP photo LONDON: England all-rounder Ben Stokes was charged with affray on Monday following an incident outside a nightclub, casting fresh doubt over his international future after he missed the side's ill-fated Ashes tour. Cricket chiefs said they would meet in the next 48 hours to decide if Stokes will be allowed to take part in England's upcoming tour of New Zealand, for which he has already been selected. The confrontation in September in the southwestern city of Bristol reportedly left a man with a fractured eye socket. Stokes, 26, was suspended from international cricket until further notice by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), meaning he missed the Australia tour. "The CPS was passed a file of evidence by Avon and Somerset Police on 29 November in relation to an incident of disorder in Bristol city centre," said a spokesman for England's Crown Prosecution Service. World changed for English cricket after Stokes incident: Cook Stokes is currently banned from international cricket while authorities probe his alleged involvement in a late-night fight outside a nightclub "Further material was subsequently received in late December. Following a review of all the available evidence, the CPS has today authorised the police to charge three men with affray in connection with the incident." Stokes and the two other men will appear at Bristol Magistrates' Court on a date to be fixed following the incident in the early hours of September 25 after England had beaten the West Indies in a one-day international in the city. 'Clear my name' Responding to Monday's announcement, Stokes vowed to "clear my name", telling his Twitter followers: "I want to thank all those who have continued to support me in relation to the Bristol incident, not least my family, friends, fans and team-mates. "I gave a full and detailed account of my actions to the police on day one ? the same day as the incident ? and have co-operated at each step of the police inquiry. "I am keen to have an opportunity to clear my name but, on advice, the appropriate time to do this is when the case comes to trial. "The CPS' decision to charge me, as well as Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale, at least means that my account of what happened that night can come out in court and be made public. Until then, my focus is very much on cricket." Stokes had already been ruled out of England's ongoing one-day international series in Australia and his next involvement in senior cricket could be in the lucrative Indian Premier League after he was cleared by the ECB to play in a second season of the franchise Twenty20 tournament. England crashed to a 4-0 defeat in Australia in the absence of the dynamic Durham all-rounder, who is an aggressive middle-order batsman, lively paceman and excellent slip fielder. England drop Stokes after assault arrest Stokes and Hales will miss the game at The Oval. Stokes sparked talk of a possible England recall by playing in his native New Zealand for domestic side Canterbury for a month, but has since returned home to be with his wife and young family. Last week Stokes was included in England´s 16-man squad for the test tour of New Zealand, the country he left as a child when his father got a job in England. But the ECB added that "his involvement remains subject to any relevant legal or disciplinary developments in relation to the incident in Bristol in September". "ECB is aware that Ben Stokes has been charged with affray in relation to an incident in Bristol in September," said a board spokesman. "The board will now convene within 48 hours to decide on Ben Stokes's availability to represent England at this stage. A further announcement will be made in due course." Under English law, affray, which refers to fighting in public, can carry a sentence of up to three years in prison if the case is heard in a crown court. But if the case is tried in a magistrates' court, the maximum penalty is a fine or six months in prison.
  11. KASUR: Father of Zainab, the seven-year-old rape and murder victim, Muhammad Ameen said on Monday he is satisfied with the Punjab government measures taken to arrest killers and police is updating them about the progress. Ameen, addressed a press conference a day after he lamented that not a single suspect in the case has been arrested. The victim?s father said that he is hopeful that breakthrough will be made in the case soon. ?Zainab?s case should be resolved based on humanitarian basis and not on political grounds,? said the girl?s father. The DNA samples of all my family members have been taken, he revealed. Ameen said that he has met the teams constituted by the Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif and is satisfied by the progress. ?All the political leaders who met me said that they felt the pain of the tragedy,? he said that the politicians assured him that no one could take the issue politically. While speaking to media on Sunday, Ameen remarked that the speed of the investigation has not been hastened. ?The police keep assuring us that the suspect will be arrested soon,? he shared. Earlier, Zainab's father had slammed the police for ?negligence in tracing out the culprit(s) in time? to save his daughter?s life. Speaking to Geo News a day after the discovery of the minor?s body and her burial, her father, Mohammad Ameen, said that prompt action by the police could have saved his daughter.
  12. Not very long ago, in the ever-competitive world of cricket, the Indian cricket team was full of so-called nice guys who were well-behaved, rarely sledged and just believed in going about their business. However, the current crop of the Indian side is nowhere close to their predecessors. With Virat Kohli at the helm, Team India has adopted an aggressive approach to their game, tackling fire with fire. This team is not afraid to express themselves, never shy away from mincing words and that exuberance finds its way in the manner they play the sport. Currently engrossed in an exciting battle with South Africa, the chatter caught on the stump-mic is a testimony to India's evolution in the sport. If the funny conversation between Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar at Newlands spoke about their intent, Kohli's exchange with Murali Vijay where the Indian captain spoke, rattling the Proteas by batting till the end (sounds completely different in Hindi) makes the case stronger. Stump mic catches Virat abusing 'Sham tak khelenge inki Gaand phat jayegi' #SAvIND #SAvsIND — Khurram Siddiquee (@iamkhurram12) January 14, 2018 Similarly, in the second innings of the 2nd Test in Centurion, Kohli and Pandya were involved in a clever technique to negate the South African pace attack which was running riot with their away movement. With both Rohit Sharma and Parthiv Patel back in the hut, Pandya joined his captain at the crease and it's needless to say that India couldn't afford another dismissal. While Kohli was able to read the opposition bowlers with ease, his partner Pandya at the other end was seemingly second-guessing them. This is when Kohli's contribution, apart from his crucial innings to his side, came to the fore. Kohli has seen his batting partners struggle against the moving ball, so he ensured he let Pandya know which side the ball would reverse. If the shiny side was away from the batsman, meaning the ball would reverse away from Pandya, Kohli had his bat in the left hand while he was at the non-striker's end, indicating that it would swing further to the offside. When the bowler got one to reverse in, Kohli would switch the bat to his right hand, giving Pandya an early advantage of knowing that it would come in to him. Part 1: This is interesting!! Kohli-Pandya devise a mysterious plan to encounter reverse swing via foot gestures — anshul kothari (@slimshady_ansh) January 14, 2018 In the 60th over, when Vernon Philander came into the attack, Kohli was once again seen informing Pandya what the South African was going to bowl at him. And, their clever exchange was all captured on the stump-mic. Part 2: VK makes a change in his mysterious strategy for a last second change in seam position — anshul kothari (@slimshady_ansh) January 14, 2018 Kohli: Yahan pe change kiya (He changed it here). Pandya: Andar ke liye leke hi bhaagaa tha (He ran in with the one that would originally come in). Kohli: Jo leke niklega agar change karega toh uska opposite hai (The side of the ball he runs in with, if he changes, it will go the opposite way). Pandya: Main bataaun aapko? (Should I tell you on spotting?). Kohli: Nahin nahin, mujhe dikha, main bataa raha hun.. (No, no.. I picked it, I am just telling you). © BCCL However, despite their brilliant plan to keep the Proteas at bay, there was one rare slip up. On the first delivery of the 61st over, Kohli had his bat in the left hand which meant that Morne Morkel was going to bowl one that moves away. But, Morkel cleverly bowled the one that slid in. Thankfully, for India, Pandya stood his ground and played it off his guard. With the potential danger of a dismissal averted, both Kohli and Pandya immediately got together after the ball and had a laugh about it.
  13. Yoga teacher Annelise Hagen demonstrates a facial muscle stretch that is a part of her face intensive yoga teachings in New York August 31 2007. REUTERS To his toolbox of Botox, fillers and plastic surgery, cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Murad Alam has added a new, low-cost, noninvasive anti-aging treatment: facial yoga. Dermatologists measured improvements in the appearance of the faces of a small group of middle-age women after they did half an hour of daily face-toning exercises for eight weeks, followed by alternate-day exercises for another 12 weeks. The results surprised lead author Alam, vice chair and professor of dermatology at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. ?In fact, the results were stronger than I expected,? he said in a phone interview. ?It?s really a win-win for patients.? Participants included 27 women between ages 40 and 65, though only 16 completed the full course. It began with two 90-minute muscle resistant facial exercise-training sessions led by co-author Gary Sikorski of Happy Face Yoga in Providence, Rhode Island. Participants learned to perform cheek pushups and eye-bag removers, among other exercises. Then they practiced at home. Dermatologists looking at unmarked before-and-after photos saw improvements in upper cheek and lower cheek fullness, and they estimated the average age of women who stuck with the program as significantly younger at the end than at the start. The average estimated age dropped almost three years, from nearly 51 years to 48 years. Participants also rated themselves as more satisfied with the appearance of their faces at the study?s end, Alam and colleagues reported in JAMA Dermatology. ?Now there is some evidence that facial exercises may improve facial appearance and reduce some visible signs of aging,? Alam said. ?Assuming the findings are confirmed in a larger study, individuals now have a low-cost, non-toxic way for looking younger or to augment other cosmetic or anti-aging treatments they may be seeking.? The exercises enlarge and strengthen facial muscles to firm and tone the face, giving it a younger appearance, he said. Happy Face sells instructional worksheets ? promising smoother skin, firmed cheeks and raised eyelids ? for $19.95. DVDs cost $24.95. But not all dermatologists are rushing to promote the videos or the exercises. Dr. John Chi, a plastic surgeon and professor at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, said the study raises more questions than it answers. ?The jury is still out on whether or not facial yoga is effective in reversing the signs of aging,? he said in an email. Chi, who was not involved with the study, said he would recommend facial yoga to patients who found it relaxing and enjoyable but not for the purpose of facial rejuvenation. ?While the premise of facial exercises to improve the facial appearance or reverse signs of aging is an appealing one, there is little evidence to suggest that there is any benefit in this regard,? he said. Chi said facial yoga had not been rigorously examined in peer-reviewed scientific studies. Asked if procedures such as facelifts, Botox and fillers had been rigorously examined in peer-reviewed studies, he replied: ?Great question. Attempts to do so have been made in the scientific literature with variable levels of scientific rigor.? Alam agrees that his study raises additional research questions, such as whether the exercises would work for men and how much time people need to commit to doing the exercises for them to be optimally effective. He would like to see a larger study.
  14. Prince Alwaleed, whose net worth has been estimated by Forbes magazine at $17 billion, is chairman and owner of international investment firm Kingdom Holding-Reuters DUBAI/JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia?s billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, detained for over two months in an anti-corruption crackdown, is negotiating a possible settlement with authorities but so far has not agreed on terms, a senior Saudi official said. Prince Alwaleed, whose net worth has been estimated by Forbes magazine at $17 billion, is chairman and owner of international investment firm Kingdom Holding, and one of the country?s most prominent businessmen. ?He offered a certain figure but it doesn?t meet the figure required from him, and until today the attorney-general hasn?t approved it,? the official said on condition of anonymity under government briefing rules. A second source familiar with Prince Alwaleed?s case told Reuters on Saturday that he had offered to make a ?donation? to the Saudi government, which would avoid any admission of wrongdoing, and to do so from assets of his own choosing. But the government refused those terms, the source said. Since early November Prince Alwaleed has been held, with dozens of other members of Saudi Arabia?s political and business elite detained in the crackdown, in Riyadh?s opulent Ritz Carlton hotel as authorities seek to reach settlements with the detainees. Saudi officials say they aim to claw back some $100 billion of funds that rightfully belong to the state. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who launched the crackdown, has indicated he wants to close existing cases quickly and expects most suspects to cut a deal. The allegations against Prince Alwaleed include money laundering, bribery and extorting officials, a Saudi official told Reuters soon after his detention. Neither he nor his company has commented publicly on the charges. Kingdom Holding, which has said it is continuing to operate normally, did not respond to requests for comment when asked about any settlement talks. Construction giant Saudi Binladin Group said on Saturday that some of its shareholders might transfer part of their holdings to the state in a settlement with authorities. Chairman Bakr Bin Laden and several family members were detained in the crackdown. In late November, senior Saudi Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, once seen as a leading contender to the throne, was freed after reaching a settlement with authorities that involved paying more than $1 billion, according to a Saudi official.
  15. We Indians eat, sleep and breathe movies. There is literally no one who doesn't love Bollywood. Watching a movie is more like an experience for us Indians. For some, it's about de-stressing, while for others, it's a family experience and memories are built on those kinds of unique experiences. While we watch films on the big screen, have you ever thought of watching a full-blown Bollywood film with actors dancing, performing and singing right in front of you? Wouldn't that be one hell of an experience in itself? (c) Wizcarft Well, to sate all those theatre dreams, there's a new Broadway-styled Bollywood musical drama, fittingly called, 'Balle-Balle'. The theatre is truly an aesthetic escapade but when it is combined with some Bollywood elements, it's more than just a routine dance and song show. For people who think theatre is for serious, arty-farty people, this show by Wizcraft might seriously change your outlook towards theatrical productions. Taking the art form of theatre to another level, 'Balle Balle' is resplendent with magnificent performances, cutting-edge technology, costumes and sets. The story revolves around complex relationships, sagas of love, a cornucopia of emotions, and fleshed-out characters with whom you can easily relate to. Maybe for once, you might think the drama is over-the-top, but the lively atmosphere will suck you in, letting you just enjoy the vibe. (c) Wizcraft Bollywood theatre can be like a double-edged sword. Things can either get ridiculously entertaining or it can go haywire, thus losing its grip on the story. But in this stage production, the director tries to balance it rather well. The premise of the story is simple, Papaji (Arun Premchand Khiani) is getting one of his daughters, Isha (Jasleen kaur) hitched to a rapper called Swag (Hriday Gattani) from Canada. But Swag falls for her sister Nisha (Shona Sharma) while Isha is still in love with her boyfriend, Nikhil (Hitesh Malukani) who is also their wedding planner. These two love stories and the drama surrounding it is what this theatrical play is all about. Featuring 48 artists, this production is no less extravagant than a full Bollywood experience. From 25 live Bollywood song performances, breathtaking visuals to some untailored scenes, miscast characters and over- the-top dramaturgy, Viraf Sarkari's directorial turn is flawed but is a fun watch at the end of the day. (c) Wizcraft The live singing adds a new aspect to the stage play. What ultimately shores up the show is the sincere performance by each and every character and how they enjoy themselves on stage. You instantly develop a liking for Grandmother Medha Paranjape and Amishka Sood as the single aunt is coquettish, but never in a reductive sense. 'Balle Balle' is a curious mix of perfect elements and sensibility that makes this drama a thoroughly riveting, pleasing and entertaining watch. Don't be surprised if, by the end of it, you find yourself grooving and signing with the crew. It's a Bollywood blitzkrieg and you shouldn't miss this one!
  16. Time and again, Shah Rukh Khan has made India proud. He isn't just Bollywood's King Khan but also a global star who's loved by everyone around the world. He is an amazing actor, performer, and producer, but what makes him extraordinary is his involvement in humanitarian work. Unlike many, he doesn't publicly talk about his initiatives. But that doesn't mean people don't notice the change he is trying to bring. For all the work that he has done towards children and women rights in India, the actor is now being honoured with World Economic Forum's (WEF) Crystal Award. Reliving my childhood this #ChildrensDay ! The babies taught me a step or two... A post shared by Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) on Nov 14, 2017 at 8:07am PST For those who are unaware, Crystal Awards celebrate the achievements of artists around the globe who have shown commitment toward improving the state of the world. Along with SRK, Hollywood actress Cate Blanchett, and British musician Sir Elton John will be bestowed with this prestigious award at WEF's 48th Annual Meeting in Davos, the 24th Annual Crystal Awards. Davos 2018: Meet the Crystal Awardees @eltonofficial @iamsrk #wef18 — World Economic Forum (@wef) January 10, 2018 Talking about SRK, weforum said, "He is the founder of the nonâprofit Meer Foundation, which provides support to female victims of acid attacks and major burn injuries through medical treatment, legal aid, vocational training, rehabilitation and livelihood support. He has also been responsible for the creation of specialized children's hospital wards and has supported childcare centres with free boarding for children undergoing cancer treatment." SRK even said, “With victims of acid attacks I have had the privilege to witness the unparalleled courage and compassion that women are capable of. I have seen the transformative strength of goodness and the healing power of gentleness." Over a hundred beautiful souls from the Spark a Change Foundation dropped in to visit me on set! Best #ChildrensDay ever... A post shared by Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) on Nov 14, 2017 at 6:57am PST He even shared the news on Twitter and wrote, “Thank u for this honour. I consider my work with these heroic & beautiful women a great privilege as it imparts dignity & purpose to my life. I hope to spread awareness of the unparalleled heroism of these ladies & reach out to others in order to carry this work to its conclusion.” Thank u for this honour. I consider my work with these heroic & beautiful women a great privilege as it imparts dignity & purpose to my life. I hope to spread awareness of the unparalleled heroism of these ladies & reach out to others in order to carry this work to its conclusion — Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) January 11, 2018 Isn't he truly a Badshah of hearts, making us proud always?
  17. Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, US, December 6, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid Wall Street closed at record highs on Thursday as rising oil prices lifted energy stocks and investors bet on a strong U.S. corporate earnings season. The S&P energy sector closed up 2 percent as Brent crude went above $70 a barrel for the first time since December 2014, boosted by a surprise drop in US production and lower crude inventories. The consumer discretionary sector saw strong gains in media and retail stocks, while the industrials index was helped by airlines after news from No. 2 U.S. carrier Delta Air Lines. ?The unifying factor of today?s move and this whole week is a heightened confidence in the pace of economic activity. That helps explain the demand picture, which has oil up at $70,? said Scott Clemons, chief investment strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 205.6 points (0.81 percent) to 25,574.73, the S&P 500 gained 19.33 points (0.70 percent) to 2,767.56, and the Nasdaq Composite added 58.21 points (0.81 percent) to 7,211.78. Wall Street had dropped on Wednesday, the first daily decline for S&P and Nasdaq in 2018, after a report China would slow US government bond purchases and a report that US President Donald Trump would end a key trade agreement. The major indexes pared gains briefly in late afternoon trading on Thursday after New York Fed President William Dudley said tax cuts could lead to economic overheating. He predicted above-trend GDP growth with rising inflation in 2018. ?Dudley is touching on something that investors should fear,? said Brian Battle, director of trading at Performance Trust Capital Partners in Chicago. ?The only threat to the stock market right now is high interest rates. If rates are higher, the present value of equities are too high.? Investors are betting on bullish quarterly earnings reports from big companies and details on savings from federal tax cuts. The reporting season kicks off in earnest on Friday, with results from the big US banks JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co. Earnings for S&P 500 companies are expected to have increased by 11.8 percent in the recently-ended quarter, with the biggest gain from the energy sector, according to Thomson Reuters. ?This market feels this week like a deep breath before the onslaught of earnings reports,? Clemons said. ?This is a wait-and-see mode with a healthy amount of optimism.? Delta Air Lines shares closed up 4.8 percent at $58.52 after it predicted a double benefit from the US corporate tax cut ? savings on its own bill and an uptick in business travel as companies to spend tax savings. It also reported an upbeat quarterly profit. Delta helped the Dow Jones U.S. Airlines index close up 4.2 percent. The Dow Jones Transport index rose 2.3 percent ? its biggest one-day percentage gain since November 29. Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 3.40-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 3.18-to-1 ratio favoured advancers. The S&P 500 posted 107 new 52-week highs and 8 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 176 new highs and 18 new lows. On US exchanges, 6.74 billion shares changed hands, above the 6.39 billion average for the last 20 trading days.
  18. The iconic Lana Del Rey song 'Blue Jeans' must have been playing on a loop in every woman's head present at the Yamaha Fascino calendar launch. The reason? John Abraham. And of course, his blue jeans and white button down. Paired with the simplest shoes ever. © Viral Bhayani John never fails to impress us, quite frankly. He has been giving us body goals (and more) since the early aughts. And, add to that his on-screen presence, paired with his very public love life and a well-calculated (and documented) streak of wearing chappals in public, makes him India's Most Relatable Dude © Viral Bhayani Now, one can argue that with a physique like that, you can put on a potato sack and it will look good (which does make sense, to be honest), but we disagree. A lot of people have amazing bodies, but that, in no way undermines their potential to rile up the fashion police by getting it all terribly wrong. We have a lot of examples to prove it, but we are focusing on John here. © Viral Bhayani The combination of a white shirt and blue jeans is considered an instant classic for a reason. And, a select few sartorial champs like our very own John here have taken up the onus of explaining why. No, seriously, can you name a more iconic duo? We'll wait. © Viral Bhayani We have also learnt another thing today which is that if you're wearing blue jeans that are tailored to your body with a not-so-basic white shirt, white sneakers are the best shoes that can complement the OG combo. Those are the simplest in terms of footwear choice, but they can spell magic when worn on the right occasions. Voila! © Viral Bhayani We like how he has kept the outfit very John Abraham. Which is no accessories whatsoever, with the exception of a wristwatch and a 100-cr body... his most prized accessory. We are also taken aback by the fact that John has finally decided to ditch his chappals and wear a proper pair of shoes for once. Hurray, hurray... but as we sit at our desks churning out a million stories, we know that this is honestly a bleak moment in John's sartorial history. Mr. Abraham loves chappals and there's no separating him from that. © Viral Bhayani So, let's enjoy this moment while it lasts. Note to self: 1) Build a body like John 2) Wear white sneakers more often 3) Tailor your jeans 4) Break-up with recent bae and find yourself an Instagram model...JK!
  19. WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Thursday suggested he could have a good relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, but refused to say if the two had spoken. "I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong-Un," Trump told the Wall Street Journal in an interview. "I have relationships with people. I think you people are surprised." The paper reported that Trump would not be drawn on whether contacts had already been initiated between the two foes. Washington and Pyongyang are in a standoff over North Korea´s missile and nuclear programs, which could be used to target the United States and her allies. Trump has repeatedly insulted the North Korean leader, describing him as mad and a "rocket man." Asked if he had spoken to Kim, Trump said "I don´t want to comment on it. I´m not saying I have or haven´t. I just don´t want to comment."
  20. FILE PHOTO: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Britain, May 19, 2017. REUTERS QUITO/LONDON: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was ?naturalized? as an Ecuadorean on Dec. 12, at his request, Ecuador?s foreign minister said on Thursday, adding that she was seeking a ?dignified? solution to his situation with Britain. Britain said earlier on Thursday it had refused a request by Ecuador for Assange to be given diplomatic status, a spokesman for Britain?s Foreign Office said. Assange has been holed up for more than five years in the Ecuadorean embassy in London where he was granted asylum in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over rape allegations. Ecuador?s foreign minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa confirmed Assange?s citizenship request at a press conference in Quito. She said she feared for threats to Assange?s life coming from third party states.
  21. Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal/File photo ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Foreign Office said on Thursday it is in talks with the United States over matters of mutual interest, including security assistance, but it was too soon to reveal more at this point in time. In his weekly briefing, Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said the two countries were in talks over matters of mutual interest, including security assistance, details of which cannot be revealed to media just now. The FO spokesperson shared concern over India?s plan to send satellites into space, allegedly for spying purposes. India intends to send 31 satellites into space on Saturday (January 13), with reports suggesting that the satellites have been fitted with spying devices, he said. India should refrain from military use of space technology and [such measures] that could disrupt the balance of power in the region, Faisal stated. The Foreign Office in its statement also condemned the Quetta suicide bombing and the brutal rape and murder of the seven-year-old Zainab in Kasur. The FO spokesperson informed that ambassadors/heads of mission of resident Missions in Islamabad were briefed on Wednesday by the country?s top civilian and military officials on Pakistan's achievements and challenges in counter-terrorism efforts, and in combating violent extremism. Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, Chief of General Staff (CGS) Lt Gen Bilal Akbar, and the directors general of Military Operations and Military Intelligence briefed members of the diplomatic corps at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday. The diplomats were provided details about the success of Operation Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasaad, which had eliminated terrorist presence in Pakistan, a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had said earlier. RAW-NDS nexus undermining Pakistan's stability, Islamabad tells foreign diplomats Members of diplomatic corps also briefed about terrorist threat emanating from safe havens and sanctuaries in Afghanistan "They were also briefed about the terrorist threat emanating from the safe havens and sanctuaries in Afghanistan, resulting in loss of human lives and damage to infrastructure in Pakistan," the statement had said. The ambassadors and heads of missions were also briefed on how "Indian belligerence and unhelpful posturing is distracting Pakistan's counter-terrorism efforts and how an active RAW-NDS nexus is verifiably working to undermine Pakistan's internal stability," according to the FO statement. The members of the diplomatic corps were also shown evidence of an Indian campaign of unprecedented ceasefire violations, provocations and insinuations including terrorism in the form of IED attacks against innocent civilians on the Pakistan side of the LoC and the WB, the FO statement had added. The FO spokesperson reiterated that Pakistan has sacrificed the most in the war against terrorism, which cost the country more than 120 billion dollars. Faisal said there was concern over the activities of anti-Pakistan terrorists based in Afghanistan. He also refuted speculation regarding presence of any terrorist leadership on Pakistani soil. The FO spokesperson also urged the international community to stop the ongoing human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir.
  22. Those who know Rahul Dravid would agree that the former Indian great has never let his emotions get the better of him both personally and professionally. He isn't like Virat Kohli who wears his heart on his sleeve, nor was he like Sourav Ganguly, who once went topless in an animated celebration at Lord's. In fact, going by the calm and composed demeanour of Dravid, we doubt that the Indian batting legend would even hurt a fly. Similarly, when he turned 45 today, wishes poured in from every corner of the globe. And, while many other cricket stars would unsurprisingly opt for a crazy bash on their birthdays, Dravid has kept himself grounded. Wishing a very happy birthday to the Great Wall of India.. #RahulDravid what a player..a song from Bollywood I wanna dedicate to u is NA KOI HAI NA KOI THA.....CRICKET MAI TUMHARE JAISA.. Class apartð outstanding batting skills and slip catcherðð®ð³ð®ð³ð — Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) January 11, 2018 As he bolsters the Indian under-19 team with his coaching abilities at the ongoing ICC World Cup, his pupils from the team didn't shy away from making him a victim of a crazy birthday celebration in the dressing room. Though these kinds of birthday celebrations are nothing new in Indian cricket, given his seniority, not many would dare to victimise Dravid with the cake. VIDEO: #HappyBirthdayDravid The Wall turns 45 #Legend — BCCI (@BCCI) January 11, 2018 However, the young boys of the Indian team didn't give it much thought before smearing the face of their coach with the birthday cake. In a video shared by the BCCI, Dravid was seen ducking for cover as his players took turns to decorate his face and hair with the cake. Good morning India! ð®ð³ Rahul Dravid has this message to send you from New Zealand #U19CWC — Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) January 10, 2018 The Indian team couldn't have begun their U-19 Wolrd Cup campaign in a better way as they crushed South Africa by 189 runs in the first warm-up match. Twin half-centuries by Aryan Juyal (86) and Himanshu Rana (68) propelled India to a massive 332-run total after batting first. In reply, the Proteas failed to negate the seam bowling of Bengal pacer Ishan Porel who walked away with impressive figures of 4-23 to ensure India secured a massive win in what turned out to be a massive confidence-booster ahead of the tournament's group games.
  23. When Scarlett Johansson first played the role of Natasha Romanoff aka 'Black Widow' in 2010's 'Iron Man 2', she brought the whole world down to its knees. So much so, that her fans couldn't have enough of her. Naturally, over the last few years, the demand of a solo 'Black Widow' was on the rise. But unfortunately, Marvel was always reluctant about giving the fans a standalone film. © Marvel Studios And finally, after what seems like a million years, we have some good news in this context. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Marvel has finally taken a step forward and has hired a scriptwriter to work on the project. via GIPHY As per their report, screenwriter Jac Schaeffer has been hired even though the film is in early development. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige in an interview in 2016 said, "I would say certainly say the one [character] creatively and emotionally that we are most committing to doing is Black Widow.” He further added, "We think she's an amazing character. We think Scarlett Johansson's portrayal of her is amazing. She's a lead Avenger and has amazing stories in her own right to tell that we think would be fun to turn into a stand-alone franchise." © Facebook While there is no official greenlight from Marvel Studios, this latest development when combined with Kevin Feige's previous interview is enough to excite us. Another thing to notice here is the fact that this Black Widow news comes just days after the release of the trailer for Jennifer Lawrence's 'Red Sparrow'. The trailer had people talking about how it seemed like a Black Widow origin story. Nevertheless, we are willing to wait for a few years for a solo 'Black Widow' film and will remain patient as long as this is confirmed by Marvel.
  24. And so begins another hopeful year at the movies, brimming with infinite possibility, potential and promise. As we try and shake off the ghost of 2017 past, we look ahead to all the upcoming titles that look to entice and enthrall us with offbeat stories, unlikely casting and memorable characters. This is in many ways the most exciting time of year for cinephiles, as we haven't yet been jaded by jarring commercial vehicles, disillusioned by duds or bombarded with unnecessary hash tags and marketing blitzkriegs. All we really have to go on at this point is just the very idea of films on lists like this one, and the hope and excitement of what they could be and there's a distinct joy in that. Looking at the more pressing concerns and key questions for 2018, chief among them being: will Bollywood bounce back? Will the mainstream deliver and redeem itself from the lousy year that was? Will the notion of content being king be something we see on screen rather than just the oft-repeated buzzword and popular talking point that it's become? Will we see yet another regional gem dominate the national consciousness and emerge victorious as the definitive pan India hit? Will Priyanka Chopra finally make her long-awaited Bollywood comeback film? Will what looks to be a Khan-studded year get audiences back to cinemas in large numbers? Only time will tell. Till then, in no specific order, here's our list of the Bollywood films from 2018 that we're looking forward to the most: 1. 'Kaalakaandi' Like many, I for one to this day suffer from severe 'Delhi Belly' withdrawal symptoms. The path-breaking comedy was in every way a landmark within the mainstream with its distinct balls to the wall, no holds barred brand of hilarity. 'Delhi Belly' came out of nowhere, blew minds, and then disappeared without a trace with no film since coming even close to its legacy. It's a good thing then that the film's writer Akshat Verma is making his directorial debut with 'Kaalakaandi', a Bombay-based black comedy. The trailer certainly doesn't disappoint promising the same flavour of colourful crazy with an exciting cast including Saif Ali Khan, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Akshay Oberoi and the man himself - Vijay Raaz. Suffice to say, high hopes from this one! 2. 'Padmaavat' So much has been said, alleged and insinuated about this one that there's little I can add. Despite so much controversy, Sanjay Leela Bhansali's magnum opus is finally seeing the light of a release day and at last we'll get to see what all the fuss is about. All I can say is beneath all the death threats, shameful politics, media circuses and straight up bullying – there is a film which clearly has had many a heart and soul poured into it. What can be said with confidence is regardless of its outcome 'Padmaavat' is a film born out of pure, unwavering passion, the kind that's rare to see in our industry and you know you're in for something truly special. At a time when creative freedom is being so devastatingly trampled on, it almost feels like something of a responsibility to prove to the powers that despite all they've done to subjugate it, the film could still prove to be a success and is simply a must see. 3. 'Sanju' © twitter One of the most talked about releases headed our way this year which boasts of a wonderfully fascinating mix of elements. Not only is it the next from the heart-stealing mainstream maestro himself Rajkumar Hirani, it's also one of the few Bollywood biopics based on the life of a star who's still very much alive and kicking. With leading man Ranbir Kapoor essaying the title role of Sanjay Dutt, to see what the two talent powerhouses of Kapoor and Hirani pull off together is the stuff of movie dreams. Add to that the fact that it's the first time Hirani will be seen helming a biopic, a stark departure from his usual brand of social message-infused heart warmers. Above all, the ultimate test of Sanju will undoubtedly be whether it chooses to portray an honest picture of the controversial life of Sanjay Dutt or instead fall into the typical trap of needing to glorify and pander. Either way, the fact is it's simply one of the most anticipated films of the year. 4. 'Veere Di Wedding' © twitter Touted as one of Bollywood's first bonafide female buddy film and led by a power-packed all-female cast of Sonam Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor Khan and the infinitely talented Swara Bhaskar, this movie is about a group of friends who attend a wedding. While Sonam Kapoor hasn't traditionally been associated with quality cinema or strong performances, 'Neerja' was in every way her breakout performance and a potential turning point for the young star. We haven't seen her onscreen since so it'll be interesting to see what post-'Neerja' Sonam brings to the table. In an industry which typically churns out the same male-centered stories over and over again, everything about 'Veere Di Wedding' screams fun, new, refreshing, and long overdue. 5. 'Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi' © instagram The idea of Kangana Ranaut playing a sword-wielding firebrand warrior feels so damn right that it's a wonder no one's done it before. Ranaut is already a one-woman army just waiting for the right role to match and the hope is 'Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi' will be just that. From Telugu director Krish, who's known for helming epic period war drama 'Gautamiputra Satakarni', making him well-placed to lead a project of this scope. The film is based on the life of Rani Laxmi Bai of Jhansi and the war she led against the British during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Let's hope 'Manikarnika' proves to be the definitive fiery feminist battle cry of 2018, the kind we sorely need more of. 6. 'Zero' 'Zero' is one of the most intriguing experiments of 2018 which sees SRK essaying the role of a vertically challenged man, teaming up with Aanand L Rai, a man who's become an industry unto himself. You have to applaud Aanand's ambition and SRK's courage. Unlike most superstars, you certainly can't accuse him of playing it safe. He is simply one of the most exciting actors today in that you just don't know what he's going to do next. 'Zero' is slated for a December release and also sees Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma in key roles. 7. 'Pari' © twitter Speaking of a talented one, Anushka Sharma will open 2018 with her 'Pari'. Barring that first striking visual, very little is known about the film which makes it all the more exciting. But given it stars Anushka Sharma and marks her third outing as producer, consider us on board, signed up and waiting. The film is due for a release in March. 8. 'Gold' © bollywood life While on face value, Akshay Kumar leading a film based on true events about a historic Indian sporting victory doesn't seem that surprising or different from the kinds of films he's currently taking on. But what really makes 'Gold' particularly interesting is that it's helmed by director Reema Kagti. The director, known for 'Talaash' and 'Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd' and co-writer of all things Zoya Akhtar, makes her much-awaited directorial comeback with this true story of how India won its first hockey gold medal as a free nation at the 1948 London Olympics. Keeping in line with its subject matter, 'Gold' will hit screens on 15th August. 9. 'October' © ht The dynamic duo and filmmaking force of nature that is director Shoojit Sircar, and writer Juhi Chaturvedi ('Vicky Donor', 'Madras Café') team up once again for the Varun Dhawan-starrer 'October'. While it's rumored to be a love story of sorts, very little is known about the film at present. The fact is Sircar is one of the best filmmakers in the country with a track record which is above reproach, so his name alone is enough to have us eager with anticipation. What's more, to see Varun Dhawan team up with him is certainly a welcome sight. Lord knows it's high time we see the young star in something less flashy and more substantial so he can once again blow us away a la 'Badlapur'. Shrouded in mystery, October is one of the most interesting releases of the year. 10. 'Raazi' © IE After making one of the best films of the last decade in 'Talvar', Meghna Gulzar is finally back with a much-awaited return to the director's chair with period spy drama 'Raazi' starring Alia Bhatt, and 'Masaan's Vicky Kaushal. The Bhatt-Gulzar colab is easily among the year's most exciting and we can't wait to see what it holds. 'Raazi' tells the story of a Kashmiri spy married to a Pakistani Army officer played by Kaushal, during the 1971 Indo-Pak war. The movie is expected to release in May. 11. 'Love Per Square Foot' © cinestaan This is perhaps the most curious little addition on this list as it is Bollywood's first straight to Netflix release. In a recent interview, the inimitable and outspoken Ratna Pathak Shah said this is one of her most eagerly awaited films. From talented actor and web series helmer Anand Tiwari, here making his directorial debut, 'Love Per Square Foot' is a quirky romantic comedy that chronicles a guy and girl who enter a marriage of convenience to buy a flat in Mumbai. The film stars Vicky Kaushal and 'Bang Baja Baarat's Angira Dhar making her big screen debut with supporting turns from the likes of Ratna Pathak Shah, Supriya Pathak and Raghubir Yadav. If that doesn't get the cinephile in you going I don't know what will. Above all, 'Love Per Square Foot' is an interesting experiment to see how a mainstream Bollywood release fairs on the global platform and could quite well prove to be something of a game-changer 12. 'Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar' © IE What do you do when one of the country's best filmmakers teams up with two of its least interesting and arguably most forgettable actors? Be curious as hell for one. To see what someone, as accomplished as Dibakar Bannerjee, saw in the casting choice of Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra is worth the ticket price alone. And Lord knows both Kapoor and Chopra need something worthwhile going for them with nothing but hollow commercial outings to their name of late. Touted to be a romantic thriller, the YRF film is scheduled for release in August. 13. 'Karwan' © koimi Malayalam superstar Dulquer Salmaan finally making his Bollywood debut in a road movie across Irrfan Khan and web series sensation Mithila Palkar?! Take. My. Money. Is there such a thing as too much talent in one film? Let's wait and watch because man I just can't wait. 14. 'Shoot The Piano Player' © twimg Not only is it thriller god Sriram Raghavan's next, but it also sees Ayushmann Khuranna taking a far darker tune in a much-needed exploration of his range outside of his quintessential boy-next-door-redefining-masculinity avatar. 'Shoot The Piano Player' is also rumored to star the unendingly talented Tabu and Radhika Apte in key roles. 15. 'Thugs Of Hindostan' © mtwiki Aamir Khan's next. Sold yet? No? Aamir Khan starring alongside Amitabh Bachchan. How about now? The upcoming epic period action film from Vijay Krishna Acharya ('Dhoom3') also features 'Dangal's Fatima Sana Shaikh and centers on a gang of thugs who posed a serious challenge to the British Empire in India in the early 19th century. 'Thugs Of Hindostan' is rumoured to be YRF's most expensive film to date. Suffice to say, expect scale and spectacle. The film is due for a November release, and damn can it not get here fast enough. Special Mentions: Sharat Katriya's 'Sui Dhaaga', R Balki's 'Pad Man', Anurag Kashyap's 'Mukkabaaz', Abhishek Sharma's 'Parmanu: The Story Of Pokhran', Siddharth Malhotra's 'Hichki' ,Neeraj Pandey's 'Aiyaary', Shankar's '2.0', Rohit Shetty's 'Simmba', 'Bombay Talkies 2', Vikramaditya Motwane's 'Bhavesh Joshi', Abhinay Deo's 'Raita' and whatever the hell even thinks about doing S S Rajamouli does next.
  25. You know you are in for some interesting scoop, the moment you hear the name Ram Gopal Varma. If anyone tells you that he does not know who RGV is, look at him closely because that's what a liar looks like. There is no way on earth that anyone can forget or not know RGV; the man is famous for his nasty tweets more than the movies he makes. But, let's keep that discussion for some other day and focus of his directorial skills. © Twitter Ram Gopal Varma is one fine director who is known for pushing the boundaries when it comes to making good movies. After giving us movies like 'Sarkar', 'Rangeela', 'Veerappan', 'Satya' and 'Nishabd'; RGV is back in action with his upcoming project and the cast will definitely leave you spellbound. Varma has worked with none other than Mia Malkova, the popular adult film star, who has helped many boys evolve into men. © Instagram Honestly, we were surprised to an extent that we thought this can't be true, but it is and Mia has confirmed this news herself, by sharing the movie's poster on Twitter. Interestingly, the title of the movie is 'God, *** and Truth' and this poster is totally NSFW. Indian film maker Ram Gopal Varma shot a video with me in Europe titled GOD , *** and TRUTH I will be the 2nd adult star after @SunnyLeone to be shot by an Indian feature film maker @Rgvzoomin — Mia Malkova (@MiaMalkova) 11 January 2018 The movie has been shot in Europe. Taking to Twitter, Mia wrote “Indian film maker Ram Gopal Varma shot a video with me in Europe titled 'GOD, *** and TRUTH'.” She further wrote, “I will be the 2nd adult star after @SunnyLeone to be shot by an Indian feature film maker.” Well, here Mia is kind of wrong because Varma has not worked on any film with Sunny and the man tweeted the same himself. He wrote, “Hey Mia it was such an elevating and thought provoking experience to film #GodSexTruth. I never shot with @SunnyLeone but will never forget the experience of shooting 'GOD, *** and TRUTH'.” Hey Mia it was such an elevating and thought provoking experience to film #GodSexTruth ..I never shot with @SunnyLeone but will never forget the experience of shooting GOD, *** and Truth — Ram Gopal Varma (@RGVzoomin) 11 January 2018 In fact, Varma also praised Mia and said she is the painting, while he is just the frame maker. @MiaMalkova I Thank you for the person you are and I admire and respect you for the way you project your thinking ..You are the painting and I am just a frame maker #GodSexTruth — Ram Gopal Varma (@RGVzoomin) 11 January 2018 Well, the poster looks highly intriguing and Mia looks beautiful as hell. While, we can't wait for the movie to release already, watch out for this space as the trailer is going to launch on January 16, 2018 at 9 AM.