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  1. While it may or may not seem like it, becoming a porn star is actually extremely hard. (Pun not intended, but if it fits, it fits, again pun not intended) Everyone watches porn but not a lot of people would actually want to become a pornstar, so they won't really bother to research about how to get in the business. It may seem like 'oh, it's just about having ***', but it's way more than that. Settle down, because - It's quite difficult to make it as male porn star, and a Redditor called 'carnageeleven' decided to list out all the requirements – and there are a lot – and it's surprising that there are people who actually clear the initial stage. So, carnageeleven's friend was offered a job as a male porn star with BangBros in Miami for $35,000 a year, and they explained all the key requirements for the job on Reddit. First things first, size matters. Mostly, they look for guys with above average dicks, we're talking 8-9 inches at least. Then comes the hard part, literally. You should have the ability to get hard quickly, with little or no stimulation, and should also be able to cum on command. And, now comes the part that would probably just scare away all the guys – “You shouldn't have a problem with doing some things that might seem gay to most men.” Okay, the next one is pretty standard – you need to have a professional portfolio. Now comes the real bit – “If you get as far as an interview, you will walk into a room with an older dude. He will tell you to pull out your dick. You have 30 seconds to get hard. There may or may not be an actress there. She may or may not help you. As in, she'll allow you to look at her boobs (if you're a good-looking dude she might even let you touch her. Nothing below the waist). You will be asked to masturbate for around 10-15 min, again... With no visual stimulation or anything.” Then, the director will tell you to cum, and you would only have a minute to 'blow your load'. After 15 minutes, you'll have to get hard again, which will probably be really hard as it is, but then you have to maintain that erection for at least 10 minutes, and then you'll be asked to cum again. If you can survive through all of that, and perform well, then you'll be offered a job. Obviously, when you're actually filming you need to know how to maintain your erection, between shots and all. But, it doesn't end there – “You've got you be able to **** in very odd positions. For example, leg up doggy style, sideways shot from behind. Keep in mind they're looking for good shots of the woman and you're just a dick. Move your leg this way, it'll seem very awkward and uncomfortable. But it's about what the camera sees and how it feels to you.” With so many people behind the camera, just watching you do your thing, there's no room for modesty. Also, there's enjoying *** as well. Even though you have to pretend on camera that you're so turned on by the girl, in your mind you'll probably just be thinking about whatever stops you from cumming. If you've come this far, c'mon man, you can't blow it now, you'll just be wasting everyone's money and time. The most important skills – “Get hard on demand, cum on demand, learn to aim your nut with a snipers precision. And be quick about being able to nut again.” That's a lot to take in. Along with being fit and being able to do all the scenes, one more thing helps a lot – “It helps to be bi, or even gay, since you're going to be fucking a girl for upwards of an hour and you can't be fighting your nut the entire time.” Well, that was a lot of information to take in at once. I actually have a lot of respect for all the pornstars, they work so hard. But obviously, the Reddit user also highlighted that there's still some discrimination – “It's easy to get into as a girl, it's extremely difficult to get into as a guy.” Well, if you're aspiring to get into porn, I'm genuinely saying this, Good luck, because you really really need it.
  2. Are you alien to Bollywood and the humungous list of movies it has in its bag? Are you someone who has barely watched a handful of Hindi movies? Well, even if you have ticked the above boxes, there are certain names you will remember no matter what and Karan Johar is one such name. From making a cameo appearance in 'Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge' to becoming one of the most sought after and successful directors in Bollywood, Karan Johar or as some call him KJo, has come a long way. © Dharma Productions Even if you don't remember most of his films, there is no way on earth that people will forget his directorial debut film! It was a movie which gave us a character no one else can ever dare to recreate – the one and only diva 'Poo'. Yes, we are talking about 'Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Ghum' that completed 16 years today. Do you feel old already? We surely do. #I6yearsofK3G....a film that is exceptionally close to my heart....have the most beautiful memories...thank you @SrBachchan @iamsrk @iHrithik @kajol #jayaaunty #kareena #rani for making my experience so special.... A post shared by Karan Johar (@karanjohar) on Dec 13, 2017 at 10:50am PST Even today, the wave of 'K3G' rules our minds, thanks to the ensemble cast, brilliant acting and of course an over-the-board script that struck the right chord with the audience. © Dharma Productions And now that very movie has completed 16 years and its proud director KJo shared an amazing series of pictures that took us right down memory lane. He posted pictures from behind the scenes and brought back all those amazing memories attached with the film. #16yearsofK3G......the age of innocence A post shared by Karan Johar (@karanjohar) on Dec 13, 2017 at 10:51am PST Who do you think did it better? Karan Johar or Kareena Kapoor? Me overacting trying to teach KAREENA what to do!!! ð#16yearsofk3g A post shared by Karan Johar (@karanjohar) on Dec 13, 2017 at 9:51pm PST Watching over the emotional climax reunion #16yearsofk3g A post shared by Karan Johar (@karanjohar) on Dec 13, 2017 at 9:52pm PST We can already imagine Karan Johar saying (in Poo's style) “You're so P.H.A.T…Pretty Hot And Tempting”. It seems I was obsessed with Poo!!!! #16yearsofk3g A post shared by Karan Johar (@karanjohar) on Dec 13, 2017 at 9:54pm PST And we found another reason to go and watch 'Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Ghum' again. Last minute adjustments #16yearsofk3g A post shared by Karan Johar (@karanjohar) on Dec 13, 2017 at 9:55pm PST While we were swimming in the pool of nostalgia, it was Kajol who stole the limelight with her hilarious reply. After Karan posted the picture, Kajol was quick to recollect that it was the same shot that was taken when she broke her finger and was on painkillers. © Dharma Productions As we were containing our excitement after reading their replies, Farah Khan too jumped into the banter and started a separate hilarious discussion altogether. © Dharma Productions From Amitabh Bachchan playing a typical patriarch, Shah Rukh Khan playing his obedient son who falls in love with a free-spirited Kajol and leaves the house when Amitabh disapproves of her, to Laddoo's insane body transformation and the self-obsessed Poo; every character made the movie a memorable affair for all Bollywood fans. But if at all there was a K3G sequel to be made, we would want a movie solely focusing on Poo's life.
  3. India and Pakistan share a rivalry like no other in international cricket. The two countries absolutely love cricket, and whenever they lock horns, it creates a unique aura, both inside and outside the stadium. Whether it's the 2011 World Cup semi-final between the two teams, attracting over 988 million viewers or the fact that the tickets for their 2015 World Cup match were sold out within 12 minutes, the Indo-Pak rivalry generates a lot of excitement amongst anxious fans as there is never a dull moment in the match. © Reuters But, while the players from both the sides are often involved in heated exchanges on the field, the fierce competition has rarely transcended off it. The cricketers from India and Pakistan share mutual respect and a cordial relationship away from the cricket field. And, the recent wishes from the Pakistani cricket stars for Virat Kohli's high-profile wedding are a testimony to that. From Mohammad Amir to Shahid Afridi, Pakistani cricket stars were quick to wish Virat and Anushka after the duo confirmed the reports of their marriage in Italy. Congratulations @imVkohli @AnushkaSharma on your wedding. May God Bless you two and give you happiness and a rewarding married life. — Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) December 11, 2017 "Congratulations @imVkohli @AnushkaSharma on your wedding. May God Bless you two and give you happiness and a rewarding married life," Afridi wrote on Twitter. Congrats bro god bless uðððð — Mohammad Amir (@iamamirofficial) December 11, 2017 On the other hand, Pakistani speedster Mohammad Amir, too, wished the couple: "Congrats bro god bless u". Wishing @imVkohli and @AnushkaSharma all the best in the new innings of their life #viratanushka #congrats — Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) December 11, 2017 Then, there was Rawalpindi Express Shoaid Akhtar who also poured in his wishes: "Wishing @imVkohli and @AnushkaSharma all the best in the new innings of their life #viratanushka #congrats". Congratulations to you both and much happiness on your wedding day. May your love shine warmly forever @imVkohli @AnushkaSharma — Umar Akmal (@Umar96Akmal) December 11, 2017 Out-of-favour cricketer Umar Akmal was also congratulated the newly-wed couple: "Congratulations to you both and much happiness on your wedding day. May your love shine warmly forever @imVkohli @AnushkaSharma". Congratulations to @imVkohli & @AnushkaSharma on their newly married life. May it be a journey full of happiness & good luck for your new innings bro. — Azhar Mahmood (@AzharMahmood11) December 11, 2017 Azhar Mahmood, one of the iconic all-rounders of Pakistan, wrote: "Congratulations to @imVkohli & @AnushkaSharma on their newly married life. May it be a journey full of happiness & good luck for your new innings bro". Apart from the cricket icons, a lot of Pakistani fans also showered Virat and Anushka with the wishes. It was great to see the Indian couple - who got married in a private ceremony - bringing the people of India and Pakistan together. Today we have promised each other to be bound in love for ever. We are truly blessed to share the news with you.This beautiful day will be made more special with the love and support of our family of fans & well wishers. Thank you for being such an important part of our journey. — Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) December 11, 2017 Despite cross-border tensions taking a toll on bilateral cricket ties between India and Pakistan, the Indian cricket team and Virat Kohli have shown great respect to their counterparts across the border. Earlier, Team India had sent Kohli's iconic jersey to Afridi after he retired from international cricket. Also, in recent times, Kohli has vocally lauded the turnaround of Pakistani seamer Amir who continues to share a good rapport with the Indian captain. As the cricketers from both the teams continue to share a healthy relationship, let's hope that India and Pakistan can resolve their political differences in the near future so that cricket fans can once again witness scintillating Indo-Pak matches which are currently restricted to ICC events.
  4. Virat and Anushka's fairytale wedding in Italy has raised the collective emotional quotient of the internet. It's not every day that a Bollywood star marries a cricket sensation in a picture perfect setting of an Italian landscape. Virushka, could you be any dreamier? Indian women just raised their honeymoon expectations by an entire continent! One look at the pictures and this is everyone's first thought: Is this for real of yet another Manyavar ad? © Twitter_imVKohli If your timeline is also flooding with an overdose of mush and making you want to cry happy tears, here are some of the funniest tweets that'll make it a little more real. Sharmaji ki beti jokes coming in 3…2…1 Most of the Indian Fathers to their daughters today ðð¼ “Tum vahi #WhatsApp karti raho, udhar #Sharmaji ki beti #Indian #Captain ko le gayið¡” #virushkaKiShadi #SharmaJiKiBeti #TuesdayThoughts — WiseFool (@Mohnish_Shukla) December 12, 2017 Manyavar really did it #virushkaKiShadi #TuesdayThoughts Came across this on #Facebook: People spend money on Pre-Wedding photoshoots. But if you are smart (and famous), you can get paid for one too. Case in point: The recent Manyavar ad. ðð¤£ð@KyaUkhaadLega — Liu Chuen Chen (@chuenchenliu) December 12, 2017 Match-winning six Kids: Gets Married, plans a honeymoon. Adults: Plans a honeymoon, gets married. Legend: Gets Married at honeymoon location.#VirushkaWedding — Godman Chikna (@Madan_Chikna) December 11, 2017 Erm…not between 6 am and 10 pm though Finally, Virat Kohli bowled his maiden over. #VirushkaKiShadi — Durex India (@DurexIndia) December 12, 2017 Italian dinner today Virat & Anushka got married. Rahul Gandhi elected as congress president. What a great day for Italy ðð» — Shridhar V (@iimcomic) December 11, 2017 Virat knows how to win this match Kohli is doing marriage right. Always agree to and repeat what your wife says. — cricBC (@cricBC) December 11, 2017 Sharmaji is winning at life. Excuse me, what's the procedure to change surname? Kohli's best partnerships: On field with Sharmaji ka beta. Outside with Sharmaji ki beti. Have a blessed life @AnushkaSharma and @imVkohli — Roflindian (@Roflindian) December 11, 2017 Point noted They must hide Virat Kohli's bat instead of his shoes for a better negotiation.#VirushkaWEDDING — Sand-d Singh (@Sand_In_Deed) December 11, 2017 You know you'll pass the exam when Sharmaji ki beti sits next to you Just BFF things. #VirushkaWEDDING — East India Comedy (@EastIndiaComedy) December 11, 2017 All of us right now Me: * suffering from depression,insomnia,anxiety,has to repay loans,EMIs,is jobless,flunked in exam and life * Me: OMG.I am so happy Virat and Anushka got married.God bless them.May they always be happy and get everything in life...#VirushkaWEDDING #Virushka #ViratWedsAnushka — Diabetes (@bloodysugary) December 11, 2017
  5. Steven Spielberg, though some of his movies play around aliens, is someone whose name isn't alien to those who love to watch sci-fi movies. From a man who has earlier given us movies like 'Jaws', 'E.T the Extra-Terrestrial', 'Jurassic Park' and 'A.I. Artificial Intelligence'; you can expect nothing but the best. In 2011, author Ernest Cline released his first novel titled 'Ready Player One', which took sci-fi genre lovers by storm. Fast forward to the present time and Spielberg has already chalked out a brilliant movie adaptation for the same. Warner Bros. rolled out a trailer of the movie yesterday and yes, it is awesome. © Warner Bros. By now, we all know that with his trippy and ahead-of-the-world imagination, Spielberg can f**k with our minds like no one else. So, when he got to try his hands on an equally crazy novel, he turned it into a masterpiece that packs decades of pop-culture into one kickass movie. This trailer is proof that there is no looking back for Spielberg fans from here on. Honestly, did you ever imagine a world where Chucky and King Kong can co-exist? Well, Spielberg did in this movie, which is set in 2045, in Columbus, Ohio. In a time, when the world is crumbling down, people have found a way to survive in the OASIS, a virtual reality universe created by genius James Halliday (played by Mark Rylance). © Warner Bros. He dies after creating this masterpiece and leaves his humongous fortune in a digital Easter egg, which is hidden somewhere inside the OASIS. For some reason, this Halliday guy reminds us of Steve Jobs. Anyway, in this virtual reality world of OASIS, you can literally visit any imaginable world and thanks to this, we got to enjoy watching characters from the 80s pop culture scenario. © Warner Bros. The trailer starts with Wade Watts (played by Tye Sheridan of 'X-Men: Apocalypse' fame) who joins the game and from there starts adventurous journey to find the three hidden keys that will lead them to the Easter egg and let them take control of the whole game. While we love the premise of the story, presence of Chucky and King Kong took us by surprise, making it difficult for us to contain our excitement. 'Ready Player One' stars Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg, and Mark Rylance and is expected to release on March 30, 2018.
  6. Justice Mohammad Ayub Khan took oath as the new judge of Peshawar High Court on December 5, 2017. Photo: Geo News screen grab1 PESHAWAR: Justice Mohammad Ayub Khan took oath as the new judge of Peshawar High Court on Tuesday. PHC Chief Justice Yahya Afridi administered the oath to him at a ceremony. With the appointment of Justice Ayub, the number of judges in the high court has risen to 15, reported Geo News. Justice Ayub Khan took the oath in a ceremony attended by many lawyers and judges. ?I, Muhammad Ayub Khan, do solemnly swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance to Pakistan. That as a judge of Peshawar High Court for the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, I will discharge my duties and perform my functions honestly, to the best of my ability, and faithfully in accordance with the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the law. That I will abide by the code of the conduct issues by the Supreme Judicial Council,? he pledged during the ceremony. ?I will not allow my personal interests to influence my official conduct or my official decisions. I will preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. And that in all circumstances, I will do right to all manner of people, according to law, without fear of favour, affection or ill-will. May Allah Almighty help and guide me. Ameen.? Before his elevation, Justice Ayub was serving as judge of accountability court in Peshawar. He also served as district and sessions judge and remained posted in different stations. Justice Ayub also served as registrar of the PHC.
  7. NEW DELHI: He has never held public office, once likened power to "poison", and saw his politician father and grandmother assassinated. Now Rahul Gandhi is poised to take over as leader of the party that has ruled India for much of its history. The 46-year-old's expected nomination as president of the Congress Party follows years of speculation that he would succeed his mother in the role he has been prepared for since birth. The son, grandson and great-grandson of prime ministers, Rahul has carried the burden of expectation since his father Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in 1991. His reputation as a reluctant leader and his lacklustre performance in the 2014 general election campaign, which he fronted, had cast doubt over his suitability for the role. But analysts say the Gandhi family's tight grip on the party leadership - dating back to India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru - made his ascension almost inevitable. His mother Sonia has led the party for 19 years and has worked tirelessly to ensure her son's eventual succession. But he faces an immense battle to revive the ailing center-left party ahead of the next national polls due in 2019. A Financial Times editorial last month called Rahul an "amiable and pleasant fellow who lacks the will to win power or the killer instinct necessary for the cut and thrust of political battle in India". Just 58 percent of Indians view him positively, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center earlier this year that put Prime Minister Narendra Modi 30 points ahead of him in the popularity stakes. Life of privilege "He will be always seen as a dynast. But much will depend on how he delivers results for the party," said Gurpreet Mahajan, political studies professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. "His only shield to criticism will be performance." Rahul's supporters argue that he has landed some punches in recent months after a lengthy post-election period during which Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) appeared unassailable. Others, however, say a dip in the BJP's popularity has more to do with a slowing in growth under Modi, the son of a tea-seller who has repeatedly riled Rahul as a "shehzada" or prince. Rahul was born into a life of privilege, but his younger years were cloaked in tragedy. He was 14 when his grandmother, prime minister Indira Gandhi, was slain by her Sikh bodyguards in 1984 as revenge for the storming of the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Just six years later his father Rajiv was killed by a suicide bomber when campaigning for re-election. "In my life I have seen my grandmother die, I have seen my father die, I have seen my grandmother go to jail and I have actually been through a tremendous amount of pain as a child," he once said in a TV interview. "When these things happen to you, what I had to be scared of I lost. There is absolutely nothing I am scared of." Rahul was educated in India and at Harvard and Cambridge and first worked in business management in London before winning the family constituency seat of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh state in 2004. After a stint as head of its youth wing, his profile rose further when he became Congress vice president in January 2013. But he has struggled to carve out a reputation as a politician in his own right, not helped by the fact his younger sister Priyanka brims with the charisma he is accused of lacking. He rejected offers to enter the last Congress government, instead promoting causes such as right-to-information legislation he regards as key to curbing rampant corruption and a food security bill that critics say India can ill afford. He has been at his most impassioned defending the secular tradition personified by his great-grandfather Jawaharal Nehru, India´s first prime minister, whose socialist model framed the post-independence economy.
  8. PARIS: Former US president Barack Obama on Saturday took a new swipe at his successor Donald Trump over the Paris climate accord at a meeting with business leaders in the French capital. Obama also vouched for the superiority of female leadership as "men seem to be having some problems these days", alluding to the sexual assault and harassment scandals currently engulfing the United States. Speaking to a group of communications and media leaders as well as financiers and academics known as Les Napoleons, Obama regretted what he called a "temporary absence of American leadership" on climate change. He was referring to Trump´s threat to withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate accord, the day after making similar remarks during a visit to New Delhi. Trump has said the accord is crippling US business and has called for the agreement to be renegotiated. Asked to list leadership qualities for the future, Obama advocated "more focus on putting women in power, because men seem to be having some problems these days." "Not to generalise, but women seem to have a better capacity than men do, partly because of their socialisation," said the 56-year-old Democrat who left office in January. Obama also used the occasion to hone his post-presidential vision of hope and change as he seeks to build support for the foundation he launched in September. "If we can adapt to change we can make extraordinary progress. Hope is not being blind to problems," Obama said. "Hope is facing problems and then still believing that we can work them out." He insisted that the world is "healthier, wealthier and less violent than at any time in human history", with "only a few things that are irreversible". 'Deeply embedded inequality' But he also warned of the dangers of "deeply embedded inequality". "Going forward we need to modernise our economies in a way that is inclusive," he said. Obama lunched earlier Saturday with Emmanuel Macron, meeting him for the first time after backing the French leader´s presidential campaign. Macron, 39, emulated Obama's youth-oriented campaign, focusing on mobilising grassroots support for his upstart centrist movement En Marche. Macron had rolled out the red carpet for Trump in July, hosting him as guest of honour for Bastille Day celebrations when he sought -- unsuccessfully -- to change the US leader´s mind on pulling out of the Paris climate change agreement. Obama also met Saturday with France´s former president Francois Hollande and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo. "We discussed the big challenges of the planet and especially the subject of the climate. We are confident the accord will be implemented," Hollande tweeted afterward. Hidalgo said the C40, an international network of mayors that she heads, would build ties with the Obama Foundation focusing on climate change. Obama was seen as a major catch for Les Napoleons, a relatively unknown networking group set up in 2014 and claiming a membership of some 3,000. The former US president´s fee has not been disclosed, but a rampant rumour mill suggested the figure of $400,000 (336,000 euros). That was the paycheck Obama cashed after speaking to a Wall Street bank in September.
  9. The popular photo-sharing platform is all set for a major design overhaul. Photo: Reuters Snapchat users should gear up for change, as the social-media platform is ready to roll out changes to a few test-user later this week. The popular photo-sharing platform is all set for a major design overhaul. Co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel recently made the announcement, and also took a dig at competitors Facebook and Twitter over the issue of fake news. The company is redesigning its app to separate media and social communications, making it easier to use and understand, Spiegel wrote in an opinion piece in Axios on Wednesday. ?We think this helps guard against fake news and mindless scrambles for friends or unworthy distractions,? Spiegel said, taking a jibe at rivals Facebook and Twitter. ?The separation takes an important step forward towards strengthening our relationships with our friends and our relationships with the media,? he added. The design overhaul will focus on separating the ?Discover? page on the right and the ?Friends? page on the left. ?Discover? allows you to see stories from vetted publishers, stories from around the world or stories from influencers or people you chose to follow, while the ?Friends? page features updates from close friends and family. The changes will be available to all users on iOS and Android devices in the coming weeks, reports say. The entire redesign was done in-house, a Snapchat spokesperson was quoted as saying. Social media giant Facebook has been accused of copying Snapchat in the past. Earlier, this week, it started working on a feature similar to Snapchat?s ?Streaks? which is an addictive game that encourages friends to send messages back and forth for consecutive days.
  10. An Indonesian Muslim woman riding a horse in Bekasi-AFP BEKASI, INDONESIA: Riding a horse or nailing an archery target is tough at the best of times -- it´s even harder when you´re wearing a niqab. But that isn´t about to stop a group of Indonesian women who have banded together to combat prejudice against the face-covering veil, which has been at the centre of a heated global debate over religious freedom and women´s rights. The "Niqab Squad" meets to recite the Quran or, at one recent gathering, mounted horses and tried their gloved hands at archery. Janariah, a 19-year-old group member, had never ridden a horse before but she gave it a whirl in her flowing black veil, as other niqab-wearing novices fired off arrows with suction-cup tips. "It´s not really difficult," insisted Janariah, who like many Indonesians goes by name, as she giggled and tried to keep her animal on track in the blazing Jakarta sun. "Even running is okay. If you´re used to it, it´s comfortable. The most important thing is that you don´t see it (niqab) as a burden and you´ve got to be patient." 'Weird looks´ Although the body covering garment with narrow slits to see through is common in ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia and some other Gulf states, they´re rare in Indonesia, where around 90 percent of its 255 million people have traditionally followed a moderate form of Islam. Recently, a private Islamic high school on the main island Java was reprimanded by local officials after pictures went viral online that showed a classroom of female students wearing niqab. The veils violated a national regulation on acceptable school uniforms. Indonesian Muslim women participating in an archery lesson in Bekasi-AFP Seeking out other women facing discrimination online, Indadari Mindrayanti founded the squad this year after switching from hijab -- a headscarf that leaves the face visible -- to the more restrictive niqab in 2016. The twice-divorced Mindrayanti - who was once married to an Indonesian soap opera celebrity - saw it was a way to be more pious but the decision hasn´t gone over well with her family or people on the street who often give her "weird looks". She saw it was a way to be more pious but the decision hasn´t gone over well with her family or people on the street who often give her "weird looks". "It´s hard to expect people to talk to you. They look kind of afraid," the 34-year-old told AFP at a mosque in Indonesia´s sprawling capital. "Walking on the street sometimes I get comments like ´Wow, there´s a ninja´ or ´uh, very scary,´ uncomfortable comments like that." Some of the group´s fast-growing membership of 3,000 women in Indonesia, as well as Malaysia, Taiwan and South Africa, say they´ve been labelled as extremists and are regularly asked questions such as "why are you dressed like a terrorist?" Ideological battle Mindrayanti felt the stares when she went to France seeking treatment for a skin condition this year. France was the first European country to ban the full-face veil in public spaces and a bitter ideological battle is raging across Europe and in North America over whether the niqab, and more restrictive burqa, are key to religious freedom or an affront to women´s rights. Last month, Canada´s Quebec province prohibited government workers and anyone receiving public services from covering their face, which critics said unfairly targets Muslim women who wear a niqab. "Our goal is that we want to unite differences, even within Islam itself," said Mario, who was involved in organising the squad´s horse riding and archery event. "There are different views even in Islam...and the prophet wants us all to unite." Worries about Indonesia´s religious tolerance soared when Jakarta´s Christian governor was jailed for two years in May on blasphemy charges. "We have to respect women who wear niqab but they cannot claim it´s the best practice of the religion because it is a product of the Arabs," said Zuhairi Misrawi, head of the Muslim Moderate Society. Niqab Squad´s founder, however, says she will keep trying to win over sceptics by speaking to them in a gentle, friendly voice to let people know her intentions are good, even if they´re puzzled by her appearance. "The niqab doesn´t prevent us from socialising with anyone, even if they are not Muslim," Mindrayanti added. "We can be a good ambassadors of Muslims in front of non-Muslims...(and) those who don´t understand Islam and only know it from what they see in the media."
  11. When it comes to the Bigg Boss house, we all have our favourites. But one contestant whom you just can't ignore is Arshi Khan. Love her or hate her, she is one hell of a woman who has got the entire nation's tongues wagging. 'Awaam jaanti hai', that Arshi is the most entertaining contestant. The two words that come to our mind to describe her are fearless and wild. There is no one who hasn't judged her but she doesn't care about what others think. She is here to play a game and is clearly excelling in it. (c) Colors From being questioned about her character to being slut-shamed, she has faced it all within a very little time, but nothing can lower down her spirit. She continues to be who she is and never fails to surprise you. While she has been hearing comments from Hina Khan and Priyank Sharma, she stayed true to her words and did exactly as promised. Just a few days ago she mentioned that she can walk in a towel around the house if she feels like. And she just did it! (c) Colors But guess who actually made it happen? No one other than A-Cash! Akash Dadlani reminded her of what she said and literally made her do what she said on the national television. Stepping out of the bathroom in just a yellow towel, wrapped around her body, she roamed around the house. As expected everyone was shocked and the expression that we saw on everyone's face was just priceless. It was interesting to see the prank that Arshi and Akash came up with. (c) Colors Check out Arshi going all bold and raising the temperature in the house with her sultry avatar! Boy, she is going to stay for a very, very long time in this game, we just know it. Akash Dadlani & Arshi Khan play a prank in the house! Will the housemates fall prey to it? Tune in at 10:30 PM to find out! #BB11 — COLORS (@ColorsTV) November 24, 2017
  12. ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has issued notices to the federal government and National Accountability Bureau on petition against all the Pakistanis whose names are mentioned in the Panama Papers. A two-member bench headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal heard petitions on Thursday against 436 Pakistanis mentioned in the Panama Papers. While presenting his argument, Advocate Tariq Asad, one of the petitioners, said indiscriminate action should be taken against those who formed offshore companies through corrupt means. He added such steps are taken to evade taxes in the home country. To this, Justice Afzal said main purpose of the hearing was to take action against those possessing assets beyond their known sources of income. However, he added, NAB was the actual body that would take the required steps. As per the court, corruption is prevalent in all institutions of the state. Therefore the court combined the petitions filed by Asad and Jamaat-e-Islami chief Siraj-ul-Haq, issuing notices to NAB and the federal government. Disqualified by SC, Nawaz Sharif steps down as PM On July 28, Nawaz Sharif stepped down as the prime minister of Pakistan on Friday after being disqualified from holding public office by the Supreme Court in a landmark decision on the Panama Papers case. Announcing its verdict, the five-member bench unanimously disqualified Nawaz Sharif for failing to disclose his un-withdrawn receivables constituting assets from UAE-based Capital FZE in his nominations papers for the 2013 General Election, stating that this meant he was not ?honest? and ?truthful?, as per the Constitution. Disqualified by SC, Nawaz Sharif steps down as prime minister Nawaz Sharif disqualified for failing to disclose his un-withdrawn receivables constituting assets from UAE-based Capital FZE in his 2013 election nominations papers "It is hereby declared that having failed to disclose his un-withdrawn receivables constituting assets from Capital FZE Jebel Ali, UAE in his nomination papers filed for the General Elections held in 2013 in terms of Section 12(2)(f) of the Representation of the People Act, 1976 (ROPA), and having furnished a false declaration under solemn affirmation respondent No. 1 Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is not honest in terms of Section 99(f) of Const. Ps. No. 29-30/2016 & 03/2017. 24 ROPA and Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 and therefore he is disqualified to be a Member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament)." In the verdict, all five judges ruled to send references against Nawaz Sharif, his children Maryam, Hussain and Hasan, son-in-law Captain (retd) Safdar and Ishaq Dar to an accountability court.
  13. It might have scored top of the box office, but Justice League didn't have the super opening weekend predicted, falling short of expectations with takings of $96 million, according to industry estimates released Sunday. With an all-star cast including Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ben Affleck as Batman and Henry Cavill as Superman, Justice League ? based on the DC Comics superheroes team ? sees a mash-up of classic characters fend off the threat of supervillain Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds). The big-budget Warner Bros production ? which fared better internationally, taking $185 million ? was forecast to earn $110 million in North American cinemas, according to Variety. Meanwhile, in at second ? earning $27.1 million ? was Lionsgate's newly-released Wonder, according to box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations. Starring Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, and Jacob Tremblay, Wonder follows the journey of August Pullman, a young boy with facial differences, as he enters the fifth grade at a mainstream school for the first time. After thundering to the top spot last week, Thor: Ragnarok slipped into third place in its third weekend in cinemas, taking $21.8 million. Featuring the self-mocking humor of Chris Hemsworth as the powerful Norse god alongside Cate Blanchett as Hela, goddess of death, Thor has raked in an impressive $247.4 million since its release in North American cinemas. Meanwhile, Paramount's Daddy's Home 2 halved its earnings from last weekend, dropping to fourth place with $14.8 million. The festive comedy stars Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg as Brad and Dusty, who join forces to give their kids the perfect holiday ? an effort challenged when their own fathers show up. In at fifth was Fox's Murder on the Orient Express, earning $13.8 million. The fourth television or cinema adaptation of Agatha Christie's classic detective novel, the murder mystery was directed by Kenneth Branagh, who also stars as part of an A-list cast including Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz and Judi Dench. Rounding out the top 10 were: 1. The Star ($10 million) 2. A Bad Moms Christmas ($6.9 million) 3. Lady Bird ($2.5 million) 4. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri ($1.1 million) 5. Jigsaw ($1.1 million)
  14. ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar has taken a suo motu notice of the Turbat incident in which 20 bodies were recovered over a span of around four days. The chief justice on Sunday sought detailed reports within three days from the director general of Federal Investigation Agency and the inspector general of Balochistan on the incident. He also questioned the role the relevant authorities have decided to play in preventing such incidents. Five bullet-ridden bodies found in Turbat Levies sources said all the deceased belonged to Gujrat On November 15, 15 bodies were found in Buleda area of Turbat tehsil in Kech district of Balochistan. The bodies bore bullet wounds and were of people from different parts of Punjab, including Mandi Bahauddin, Gujranwala, Gujrat and Sialkot. It was found out the 15 people were en route to Europe through Iran for jobs. They were being taken by an agent, whom they had paid for their illegal migration. Later, on the night of November 17, five more bodies were found in the same tehsil, Turbat, albeit at the distance from the previous spot. Bodies of five men found in Turbat sent to their hometown Five bullet-riddled bodies were found in Tajban, Turbat on Saturday The five bodies were found from Tajban area of Turbat, closer to Panjgur. Documents found with the deceased revealed the five people were friends belonging to Gujrat in Punjab. While speaking to Geo News, Balochistan Government Spokesperson Anwarul Haq had said their assessment showed the five were killed in the same incident in which the 15 were shot dead. He added their bodies were found in an operation that was launched in the area after the first 15 bodies were recovered.
  15. There are so many makeup editing apps that have come and gone, but none of them have caused an uproar like the recently released 'MakeApp'. While a lot of apps claimed to add makeup to pictures, MakeApp has one extra feature that has caused a controversy, and it's actually quite funny. In addition to adding makeup to your pictures, with Makeapp, you can also remove the existing makeup from your selfies. The app allows the users to add or remove makeup for up to five pictures, and then it charges $0.99 for unlimited use. This removal function in particular has upset a lot of people, as the premise of the feature seems misogynistic. Why are some men mad that women wear make-up why how is it affecting them why must they try to interfere with women just leave us alone god — not kyra (@Foolthebooboo) November 14, 2017 But, it's just another app that is fun and honestly shouldn't be taken seriously. It's supposed to alter your image and sometimes it does go wrong, so who cares. Dear women getting mad about the MakeApp thing... EVEN IF YOU AREN'T WEARING ANY MAKEUP IT STILL ALTERS YOUR PICTURES. IT IS NOT MEANT TO BE A SERIOUS THINGS. STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT A DUMB APP THAT IS JUST MEANT FOR FUN. — ðThe Unapologetic Canadianð (@Audacious_Leaf) November 15, 2017 The creator of the App, Ashot Gabrelyanov claims that it's been misunderstood. While talking to HuffPost, he said, “I want to stress that this was not intended to be a misogynistic product.” “We built MakeApp as a fun experiment and released it into the wild a few months ago and unfortunately the media coverage solely focused on the makeup removal function of the app and characterized it as a bunch of 'tech bros' trying to hurt women, which is just so far from the truth.” Sometimes it works really well as well. This app ain't got nothing on Taylor Swift. Haha! I knew it! I knew that even without the make up Taylor Swift is still a total hottie #makeapp #TaylorSwift — Old Mother Goose (@hammerfluff) November 15, 2017 Can't fray the taytay! She still has it. #makeapp #TaylorSwift #haggening #TheHaggening — Old Mother Goose (@hammerfluff) November 15, 2017 Everyone is having fun with it. .@mor100 should be the new spokesperson for #makeAPP — Preston & Steve Show (@PrestonSteve933) November 14, 2017 Amid the sexism controversy came the hilarious tweets, and that's what matters. People are having way too much fun playing with this app, to come up with some of the funniest jokes. Accurate. Wow, #MakeApp is real as Hell, tho. #CreepyJoeBiden — Notorious Augusto P (@GenAugustoP) November 15, 2017 A little too accurate? #MakeApp is scary accurate — jewish pepe (@Edwardcouch3) November 15, 2017 Damn those Russians. THE RUSSIANS HACKED YOUR COMPLEXION! #MakeApp — Wayfaring Stranger (@waitopiggu) November 14, 2017 Yes, very serious stuff. #MakeApp is no joke — White American (@MrDarcyRevenge) November 17, 2017 Oops. I SHOULD NOT HAVE OPENED THIS DOOR#makeapp #thehaggening — trill cosby (@jay__all__day) November 15, 2017 Well, that's disappointing. Well, I'm thoroughly disappointed. It doesn't make any difference! 1/5 stars #MAKEAPP — Mr. Awra ð»ð¤ (@b6mboo6crob6t) November 16, 2017 That's the best use. Stop the violence! #MakeApp — The Safest Space (@TheSafestSpace) November 16, 2017 But, what about his signature orange look? with makeapp @realDonaldTrump looks even better. — ã¢ãã ð (@darklordkek) November 15, 2017
  16. [embed_video1 url= style=center] LAHORE: The chief justice of Lahore High Court (LHC) took notice of torture of special needs children in Punjab after more such videos emerged on Thursday, showing staffers manhandling children in Sialkot. The videos that emerged Thursday showed a bus conductor forcing a girl to sit on the seat for two persons, and later slapping her. According to Sambrial assistant commissioner, the bus in which the conductor is seen torturing children belongs to Government Special Education School Sambrial, Sialkot. The school bus is run on Daska-Sambrial route. The conductor seen in the footage has been arrested and a case lodged against him. Higher authorities have also suspended the school principal and driver of the said bus, and ordered an inquiry. Fresh videos show special needs children being tortured in Lahore The clips show school staffers torturing children with disabilities Taking notice of the incident, the LHC chief justice ordered deployment of two unarmed guards on the school bus. Earlier, two different video clips of torture of special needs children of a government-run institute in Lahore surfaced on Wednesday. At least two such videos emerged last month, in which bus conductors were seen torturing children of Gung Mahal School for the Deaf & Dumb ? a government institute in Gulberg. The videos had drawn public ire prompting authorities to arrest the staffers and produce them before a court, where both the parties had informed the judge that they had reached an understanding. One of the clips, which surfaced on Wednesday, showed a school staffer arguing with and torturing a child. The other clip showed a staffer scolding a girl. He is seen picking the girl up and forcing her to sit on a seat in the school bus. The staffer, in the footage, is later witnessed slapping the schoolgirl for leaving the seat.
  17. British-Pakistani boxer Amir Khan has taken his £1.6 million mansion off the market after reconciliation with his pregnant wife. Earlier this month the boxer had posted a picture on his Instagram account announcing that he was reuniting with his pregnant wife. The decision to take the mansion off the market was made just days before Amir announced he was getting back with his wife. The house located in Bolton was put up for sale in June. geo_embedgallery
  18. Farmer Wang Enlin (second left) sits in his house with fellow environmental activists who have taken on a subsidiary of China's largest chemical firm, accusing it of polluting and destroying farmland. Photo: AFP Wang Enlin, an elderly farmer who left school when he was 10 years old and taught himself law armed with a single textbook and dictionary, makes for an unlikely eco-warrior. Yet the 64-year-old is determined to reap justice as he readies for a fresh battle in his war with a subsidiary of China's largest chemical firm, which he accuses of polluting and destroying his farmland. "In China, behind every case of pollution is a case of corruption," he said of his mission to bring Qihua Chemical Group (also known as Heilongjiang Haohua Chemical) to account. Wang and others villagers from northeast Heilongjiang province have sued Qihua accusing it of contaminating their soil, rendering it untenable for crops, in a case that has stretched on for more than 16 years. This February, Wang and his self-styled "Senior Citizen Environmental Protection Team" earned a rare victory when a local court ordered Qihua to clear up their chemical waste site ? adjacent to the farmers' land ? and pay a total of 820,000 yuan ($120,000) to compensate for lost harvests in 55 affected rural households. But that ruling was overturned on appeal, and Wang is now gearing up to fight back on another day in court. Northern China smog cuts life expectancy by 3 years versus south: study China is in the fourth year of a ?war on pollution? designed to reverse the damage "We will absolutely win. The law is on our side," Wang told AFP. His case is testing the possibilities of a national environmental protection law revised in 2015. The legislation was widely touted as a way to open the courts to public interest environmental damage lawsuits, but has been criticised for poor implementation. Change your fate Qihua is a subsidiary of the state-owned ChemChina, the country's largest chemical enterprise. It specialises in crude oil processing and petroleum products. Wang's battle began in 2001, when a village committee leased 28.5 hectares (70 acres) to Qihua for use as a chemical waste dumping ground without the villagers' consent. The villagers claim that the company failed to take proper pollution control measures. Wang says he felt compelled to teach himself law after realising he lacked the knowledge or resources to take on the might of an industrial giant. China had just emerged from its Great Famine when Wang left school: "It didn't matter at the time whether you got an education," he said. "It wouldn't change your fate." He was well into middle age when he found a textbook on environmental law at a local bookstore. It took him years to understand as he painstakingly looked up unfamiliar terms in a dog-eared dictionary. After petitioning the local authorities to no avail, he received aid in 2007 from the Centre for Legal Assistance to Pollution Victims, which helped the villagers put together a lawsuit using evidence he had compiled. A 2013 sampling of mercury levels conducted on the site by the Green Beagle Institute, a Beijing-based non-profit, found the land was "not suitable for agricultural use". Wang Baoqin and a fellow member of the 'Senior Citizen Environmental Protection Team' walk on farmland that they say was polluted by the Qihua chemical plant in Yushutun. Photo: AFP The Ministry of Environmental Protection included Qihua in a 2014 list of "major" environmental cases. But it was still another year before Wang's case was accepted into China's justice system. Prominent environmentalist Ma Jun told AFP that while the litigation process has been streamlined since 2015, pollution lawsuits can still take years to be heard partly because "local governments give some degree of protection to polluting companies". Today Wang prepares his own legal paperwork and hosts daily gatherings at his home for villagers hoping to learn about their rights. Wang, who suffers from lung problems and requires medicine to help him breathe, accuses Qihua of "pretending to be deaf and mute" on the issue. He says he is frequently visited by police officers who urge him to drop the case and stop talking to the media. Qihua's lawyers declined to comment on the case. 'Corrupt officials' In September, the Qiqihar Intermediate People's Court accepted Wang's request to appeal the ruling that overturned his initial victory. "We're just farmers, without any resources or power," said Wang Baoqin (no relation), a member of Wang Enlin's senior citizens' environmental group. Study links pollution to millions of deaths worldwide The study found pollution was linked to around nine million deaths in 2015 "Against the government, we can't win. Against those corrupt officials, we definitely can't win. So we decided to take the side road and fight the company." According to Rachel Stern, the author of "Environmental Litigation in China: A Study in Political Ambivalence," the number of new legal cases related to natural resources has increased tenfold over the past decade. The Supreme People's Court heard 133,000 such cases last year. Some complainants have found success: in 2015, a petrol giant was ordered to pay 1.68 million yuan ($265,000) to 21 fishermen whose livelihoods suffered from oil spills. Qihua's plant did not appear to be in operation when AFP reporters visited in late August. The land was dry and marked by patches of overgrown grass, no longer the site of a massive wastewater pond. But no crops will grow in the spot again, Wang Baoqin predicted. "We may not even see justice in our lifetimes," she said. "We're doing this for the generations to come."
  19. HOLLYWOOD: Scandal-hit Hollywood left its woes behind Friday to honour Amy Adams for a glittering career that has seen her go from waitress to five-time Oscar nominee. The 43-year-old -- famous for the diversity of her film roles -- told AFP ahead of being presented with the 31st American Cinematheque Award that her proudest moment was her first nod for 2005 comedy "Junebug." "It really depends where I am in my life, but right now I´m looking for films with a specific message," she said on the red carpet in Beverly Hills as she weighed her 18-year career. "It can be very subtle, but I want it to mean something to me and move me forward in my life." A host of A-listers paid tribute to Adams in a rare celebration at the end of a week which has seen the industry tarnished by unprecedented allegations of sexual misconduct. "I´m always happy when I show up at work and she's there," Michael Shannon, who starred alongside Adams in 2016 neo-noir thriller "Nocturnal Animals," as well as two "Superman" movies, told AFP. "I've never seen her be anything but hard-working and easy to be around." Adams´s four other Oscar nominations were for best actress in "American Hustle" and supporting-actress roles for "Doubt," "The Fighter" and "The Master" -- but she has never won the coveted statuette. "I think Amy and I have the same attitude about it. We just feel fortunate that we´re a part of this business to begin with," two-time Oscar nominee Shannon told AFP. Adams´s award was a welcome moment of levity in a difficult week of soul-searching in Hollywood, which has seen the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct scandal expand to envelope Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey and comic actor Louis C.K. 'Striking' "It´s sad that people have been hurt and I´m glad that something is being done about it," said Shannon, 43. Adams's movie credits have included awards season favorites such as "Arrival" and box-office smashes such as "Enchanted" and "Man of Steel." She won Golden Globes for her work in "American Hustle" and "Big Eyes." Adams was presented with the American Cinematheque Award for "making a significant contribution to the art of the motion picture" by "Doubt" co-star Meryl Streep. Among those expected to attend the star-studded event at the plush Beverly Hilton were Tom Hanks, Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Messina, Kristen Stewart and Natalie Portman. Adams was raised in a Mormon family in Colorado -- one of seven children, all of whom, she says, liked to act. She did not tread the boards in high school, but took a job at a theater where she worked as a waitress. It was not until she moved to Minnesota that a producer saw her in the chorus line of "Anything Goes." Her first film role was as Leslie in "Drop Dead Gorgeous" (1999), which tells the story of girls in a Minnesota town competing in a beauty pageant. Her co-star in the film, Kirstie Alley, recognized her star power and urged her to move to Los Angeles. Villeneuve, who directed Adams in "Arrival," told AFP he was captivated by her performance in "The Master," Paul Thomas Anderson´s acclaimed 2012 psychological drama. "I thought what she did in this movie is unique in her filmography. It was quite striking," he said.
  20. Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan took a leave of absence on Tuesday from the University of Oxford following multiple rape and sexual misconduct allegations. Photo: AFP file LONDON: Scholar Tariq Ramadan took a leave of absence on Tuesday from the University of Oxford following multiple rape and sexual misconduct allegations, the British institution said. ?By mutual agreement, and with immediate effect, Tariq Ramadan has taken a leave of absence from the University of Oxford,? it said in a statement. Ramadan's duties will be reassigned and he will not be present on campus, the university said. The Swiss-born professor has denied two allegations of rape made by French women, as well as further allegations in Swiss media of sexual misconduct against teenage girls in the 1980s and 1990s. Oxford said the claims had caused ?heightened and understandable distress? and its principal concern remains ?the wellbeing of our students and staff?. ?An agreed leave of absence implies no presumption or acceptance of guilt and allows Professor Ramadan to address the extremely serious allegations made against him, all of which he categorically denies,? the university said. Ramadan has furiously denied the allegations as a ?campaign of lies launched by my adversaries? and is battling them in the courts.
  21. Katas Raj. Photo: ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Wednesday took a suo motu notice of the drying out of Katas Raj Temples pond in Chakwal. The pre-historic fabled pond is said to be drying out because of the huge amount of water consumption in cement factories nearby. The factories are reportedly sucking water through more than hundred drill bores, which have severely reduced the subsoil water level. That is beside the position that owing to the absence of proper water supply for the local areas of Katas Waulah and city Choa Saidan Shah, almost every home is depleting the water table by boring. The problem is also caused by the unreasonable plantation of eucalyptus trees in the region. Taking notice of the issue, the chief justice has sought a detailed report from Archaeology and Museum DG, Evacuee Trust Property Board secretary, Punjab Archeology Department DG and Chakwal deputy commissioner within three days. Katas Raj comprises of Hindu temples, a Buddhist stupa and other historic relics situated around a lake that is deemed sacred by Hindus.
  22. The control tower, nicknamed Goldorak, is pictured at Cointrin airport in Geneva, Switzerland, May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo GENEVA: A seven-year-old girl who ran away from her parents managed to take a train to Geneva airport and board a plane despite having no ticket. The girl gave her parents the slip near Geneva?s central railway station on Sunday, then took the one-stop ride to the airport. Her parents rang the Swiss police, who tracked her progress through the airport on security videos, airport spokesman Bertrand Staempfli said. She went through the security gate and managed to pass herself off as the child of adults around her, before using her small stature to slip through the departure gate without being noticed and boarding a plane, the airport said in a statement. On her first attempt she followed a crew toward the plane and was turned back. She melted into the crowd and pretended to look for her parents. The second time, she managed to get into a plane, was spotted by an official, stopped, and handed over to police. Staempfli declined to say which airline was involved or where it was flying to, but he said it was leaving from the airport?s French sector and the destination was in France. Geneva airport straddles the French-Swiss border and passengers can leave from France or Switzerland. The airport said in the statement it would tighten safety rules and boarding procedures as a result of what it called the ?highly regrettable incident?. ?This should never have happened,? Staempfli said.
  23. Spanish and Catalan separatist flags are waved in front of the Generalitat Palace, the Catalan regional government headquarters in Barcelona, Spain, October 30, 2017. ? Reuters BARCELONA/MADRID: Spain?s direct rule over Catalonia took hold smoothly on Monday as employees ignored calls for civil disobedience to turn up for work, and secessionist parties agreed to stand in new elections, implying acceptance that the regional government was dissolved. Ousted Catalan President Carles Puigdemont travelled to Belgium with several other members of his sacked administration, a senior member of Spain?s ruling People?s Party said. Spain?s state prosecutor, Attorney-General Jose Manuel Maza, called for charges of rebellion and sedition, as well as fraud and misuse of funds, to be brought against Catalan leaders. Catalonia, a prosperous region with its own language and culture, triggered Spain?s biggest crisis for decades by holding an independence referendum on Oct. 1, which Spanish courts called illegal. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy assumed direct control of the region on Friday, sacked its secessionist government and called a snap election for Dec. 21. Monday?s calm on the streets of Barcelona resolved a weekend of uncertainty during which it was not clear how the region would respond to central control. Some of the most prominent ousted Catalan leaders, including Puigdemont and Vice President Oriol Junqueras, had said they would not accept their dismissal. But their respective parties, PdeCat and Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, said on Monday they would take part in the election, a tacit acceptance that parliament had been dissolved. La Sexta television said Puigdemont could seek asylum in Belgium together with five other sacked members of his administration. The regional legislature cancelled a meeting for Tuesday, another signal lawmakers accepted they had been dismissed. A call for widespread civil disobedience from the main civic groups behind the secessionist campaign failed to attract many followers. Most public sector workers such as teachers, firefighters and the police started worked as normal on Monday and there was no sign of widespread absenteeism. A trade union, Intersindical-CSC, which had called for a general strike in Catalonia, said on Monday it had cancelled it. 'Things have to carry on' Sacked Catalan leaders have remained ambiguous but they stopped short of directly defying Spain?s authority. There were no signs of any spontaneous demonstration taking place. Puigdemont posted a picture on Instagram taken in the regional government headquarters, but was not seen entering, suggesting the photo may have been taken by someone else. Regional transport chief Josep Rull posted on Twitter a picture of him working in his office but he was later seen leaving the building. Spain?s transport minister had said in a radio interview Rull would be allowed to collect his personal belongings but not work there. When he left, Rull said he would now attend a PdeCat party meeting: ?Let?s go on with the scheduled agenda,? he said. Other regional leaders did not turn up to their offices though some of their staff did. One of 140 senior officials appointed directly by the outgoing government described the situation as ?normal? and said he had not yet received any letter of dismissal. ?We civil servants want everything to be normal. Things have to carry on. The day-to-day work still has to be done,? said the official, who works with the outgoing vice-president, Junqueras. Two hundred thousand public sector workers receive salaries paid by the Catalan region, and another 100,000 in the region rely directly on the Madrid government. Hundreds of thousands of supporters of a unified Spain marched on Sunday in one of the biggest shows of force yet by the so-called silent majority that has watched as regional political leaders push for Catalan independence. Two opinion polls also showed support for independence may have started to wane. A Sigma Dos survey published in El Mundo showed 33.5 percent Catalans were in favour of independence while a Metroscopia poll published by El Pais put that number at 29 percent. This compared to 41.1 percent in July according to an official survey carried out by the Catalan government. Opponents of secession largely boycotted the Oct. 1 referendum, when participants voted overwhelmingly for independence on turnout of 43 percent. Spain?s interior ministry named a new chief for the regional police on Saturday who has insisted that the 17,000 officers of the force should remain neutral. The force has already withdrawn protection for sacked regional government members, who were also left without their official cars. Their portraits were removed from the walls of public buildings. The government?s move to impose direct rule received the backing of several influential Catalan business lobbies who called on firms to stay in the region. The chaos has prompted an exodus of businesses from Catalonia, which contributes about a fifth of Spain?s economy.
  24. If we look at the social media platforms today, one will realize that we Indians love to fight, sometimes even without a cause. Until last year, we were fighting over intolerance, only to prove our opponents right. This time around, we are fighting over standing up during national anthem being played inside a movie hall. © Reuters Some even argued whether the national anthem should even be played during a movie screening, or whether we have come to this point where one's nationalism or patriotism is judged using such parameters. If the situation wasn't turbulent already, former Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir too jumped into this discussion and added fuel to the debate that's already peppered with controversies. Recently, Gambhir wrote about standing up during the national anthem on Twitter, “Standin n waitin outsid a club:20 mins. Standin n waitin outsid favourite restaurant 30 mins. Standin for nation anthem:52 secs. Tough?” Standin n waitin outsid a club:20 mins.Standin n waitin outsid favourite restaurant 30 mins.Standin for national anthem: 52 secs. Tough? — Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) 27 October 2017 On one hand where some people completely agreed with Gambhir's point, there were some who felt that their patriotism wasn't that fragile that it needs a 'forced' validation in the form of singing or standing up for national anthem. People argued that it should a matter of choice and not enforced on them. Standing outside the club: personal choice. Standing outside fav restaurant: personal choice. Standing for anthem : personal choice. Tough? — Aadesh Chaudhary (@fightadeshfight) 27 October 2017 @GautamGambhir U are 100% right But it's not about standing for national anthem. No one can ask anyone to prove their patriotism. — Anil Kumar Singh (@Anilsingh0207) 27 October 2017 No one Compelled you to stand outside restaurant. No one Compelled you to stand outside a club. But National Anthem is being Imposed upon. — Free Worldð¤ð®ð³ (@tarunkadian00) 27 October 2017 Even before the cricket match it's requested to stand up for national anthem.Same is at theaters & you say it's IMPOSED ON! just 52 secs man — sambit kumar rout (@rout_sambit) 27 October 2017 There were many who felt that arguing about standing during national anthem is pointless and that there are many more grave issues that are losing its importance in the process. more than 100 children died in Gorakhpur hospital in 3 days, not for lack of National Anthem! But for lack of Oxygen! Tough? — nknair (@nknairvm) 27 October 2017 11 year old Santoshi died not for lack of National Anthem, but was denied ration for 8 months. PROVIDE FOOD FOR POOR! Tough? — nknair (@nknairvm) 27 October 2017 Its really pathetic n embarrassing that people r discussing about national anthem as matter of choice... Well said Gauti — Heramb Mishra (@MishraHeramb) 27 October 2017 People are ready to stand for hours at the Ticket Counters on their favorite Hero's movie release but finds it tough to stand for 52 secs — Aditya Yellanki (@adityayellanki) October 27, 2017 Well, it's sad to see some people getting triggered over standing during national anthem and how they feel they are being 'forced' to do something that's against their wish. Honestly, we don't want to take any sides here, but arguing about something that can be resolved in less than '52 seconds' is saddening. And to raise this issue, Gambhir shared another heart-wrenching post, where a young kid is dancing and begging on the streets to make a living. He mentions how there's no one to stand up for him since everyone is busy debating whether one should stand for national anthem or not! Am sorry my young friend at d moment we don't have time to stand for u as we r busy debating whether to stand for national anthem or not! — Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) 29 October 2017 Twitteratis were quick to echo similar sentiments and came out in support of Gambhir's post. You are awsome @GautamGambhir .. Seriously people are focusing on unnecessary things, leaving behind the Important things.. — Ambedkar (@Ambedkar2008) October 29, 2017 National anthem became the important issue for our country, government and opposition. No one want to talk abt farmers, education, jobs etc. — Mayanti Langer (@Langer_Mayanti) October 29, 2017 Sad tos ee kids on the street doing this. This is the situatiom which needs to be resolved the most. Kids can't be doing this for money — cricketics (@cricketics) October 29, 2017 In schools, debates were considered to be a healthy form of discussion, where both the parties will put forward their point of view about any crucial topic. Even if the two have differing opinions, each person and their views were respected regardless of who is speaking against and in favour of the topic. Today, debates have turned into boxing rings, where people have shifted their focus on pointless and unnecessary arguments (fighting for things) that do not really affect anyone in any manner.
  25. WASHINGTON: Senator John McCain has taken a barely-veiled jab at President Donald Trump´s avoidance of military service, sharply escalating their war of words. Republican McCain was interviewed by broadcaster CSPAN on the 50th anniversary of his being shot down over Vietnam, which led to his five-year stay as a prisoner in the infamous "Hanoi Hilton" prison. "One aspect of the conflict, by the way, that I will never ever countenance is that we drafted the lowest-income level of America, and the highest-income level found a doctor that would say that they had a bone spur," McCain said, apparently singling out a diagnosis that allowed Trump to be medically disqualified for service in 1968. "That is wrong. That is wrong. If we are going to ask every American to serve, every American should serve," said McCain, himself an admiral´s son who refused an offer of early release by his captors after being tortured. As a presidential candidate in 2015, Trump said McCain was a war hero only "because he was captured." "I like people that weren´t captured," Trump said. During the Vietnam War, Trump won four educational deferments before graduating from university. After receiving his diploma, he was again eligible for the draft. But a subsequent armed forces physical examination in 1968 found him medically unfit. The relationship between the pair -- one a veteran lawmaker and war hero, the other a real estate tycoon and political neophyte before he assumed the presidency -- has long been testy. But the acrimony has risen to a new degree of bitterness. Last week, McCain railed against the "America First" approach espoused by the Trump administration. "To refuse the obligations of international leadership...for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past," said the 81-year-old, who was diagnosed with brain cancer in July. Trump lashed out Tuesday, telling conservative radio host Chris Plante: "People have to be careful because at some point I fight back. "I´m being very nice. I´m being very, very nice. But at some point I fight back, and it won´t be pretty." McCain has proved a thorn in Trump´s side in recent months, twice helping to scupper Republican attempts to repeal a healthcare law that was a signature accomplishment of former president Barack Obama.