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Found 62 results

  1. “If no bill, your food is free.” Well, we aren't assuring you about anything; this is what the Indian Railways is saying. And if implemented properly, it can actually make for a good strategy to deal with overcharging. Indian Railways, a journey that started roughly around the nineteenth century, has today become one of the world's largest railway networks and a beautiful memory from our childhood that we are slowly losing touch with. We might have switched to road trips or flights, but even today a small packet of 'jhaal-muri' makes us nostalgic as we reminisce the good ol' days of travelling in a train. Pexels However, all those memories went down the hill, when reports of degrading quality of food, overcharging of food and poor services started making the rounds. But now the Indian Railways have turned the tables and put an end to the problem of overcharging. In a great move, the Indian Railways decided to introduce a policy to protect the passengers from paying extra to the train caterers. Instagram/ Window Seat Project Railway Minister Piyush Goyal took to Twitter to share the news with everyone and said that all the passengers who are not given a bill, can take away the food for free. By March 31, the policy will be implemented in all those trains, where food is served on payment basis. IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation) has already started publishing the message on their official website. No food bill, no payment: Railways targets overcharging.https://t.co/TgDxnrDiLs — Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) March 20, 2018 In fact, IRCTC has also hired inspectors, who will make sure that the process is fair and running smoothly, and that a bill is issued even for a small cup of tea. According to a report in Indian Express, M P Mall, chairman and managing director of IRCTC said “We have readied 120 officials to man the trains and in some time we are going to put in place more people on inspection duty to gradually man every train during food service time. They will ensure proper service and billing.” Overcharging is one of the biggest problems that Indian Railways is struggling with currently. Hopefully, Goyal's policy will come as a respite to all the passengers.
  2. Norway is blessed with some of the most stunning locations in the world. With the beautiful Northern Lights adorning its clear night sky and snowy peaks, the place could very well be a secret fantasy land from our childhood stories. With cliffs overlooking crystal clear blue waters set against a starry sky, Norway is home to a variety of natural wonders. Its untouched landscapes covered with greens and whites are enough to take our breath away. Scenes so naturally perfect you'd fear spoiling it with your human touch. Here are a few pictures of the stunning Norwegian night sky that will make you yearn to visit the place right away. 1. The fishing village of Reine is one of the most beautiful places in Norway © Thinkstock Photos_Nitrogliserin_Reine 2. Leaving on my snowmobile to chill under the Northern Lights in the sleepy town of Longyearbyen. © Thinkstock Photos_BublikPolina 3. As dusk sets over the glitter of the day. Location: Mount Floyen in Bergen © Wikimedia Commons Mount Floyen - Bergen 4. One of the best roads to drive on in the world, the Atlantic Ocean Road looks like a passage straight to heaven © Thinkstock Photos_Lukas Bischoff 5. Miles to go before I sleep © Twitter_trendtenreviews 6. The moonlight, the snowy silence, a wooden cabin and a lover's warm touch – could there be anything better? © Thinkstock Photos_francescadani 7. Could live here forever. © Pexels_Stefan Stefancik 8. Another breathtaking view of a city's glittery lights against the backdrop of a calm ocean. This is the beautiful port town of Aalesund. © Wikimedia Commons_Aalesund 9. Come let's sail away, and catch the wind again. © Thinkstock Photos_RainbowJoe_Fjords 10. Fifteen feet of pure white © norwegian wintermoon Reddit 11. I'm leaving on a jet plane © Thinkstock Photos_Hallestrandsfoto_Alesund 12. If we could ever build a house somewhere, this would be it. © Reine Youtube_MrBangthamai 13. Have you seen the moon today? © Thinkstock Photos_nightman1965_Stavenger 14. I'll see you on the dark side of the moon © Pixabay If only I could have a wooden cabin in the country. What's your dream destination? Tell us in the comments section below!
  3. The people who are grow the food we eat work in trying conditions. Cultivating a crop is not child's play and our farmers deserve all the respect they can get. In a country like India, where the sun scorches the earth for most of the year, you automatically learn to do the best with the resources you have, and our farmers have been toiling it out commendably. Armed with demands and marching in discipline.#KisanMarch #KisanLongMarch #CPIM #RedSalute pic.twitter.com/levWc7pEwm — vijesh krishnankutty (@vijeshpk) March 12, 2018 A case in point is Lakshman Bhasre who has marched from Nasik to Mumbai along with his fellow farmers. Walking for a straight 7 days in the sweltering heat, with feet bleeding from walking too much, the farmers made our hearts cry with their plight and perseverance. While they had stocked up on food and other necessary amenities for the way, one major challenge was the lack of electricity and plug points to charge phones. Phones are no longer a luxury but a necessity today. Lakshman Bhasire, who hails from Tryumbakeshwar Taluka, just taught everyone a lesson in jugaad. The man has been walking with a small solar panel propped on his head. The hours of walking in the sun keep the panel charged. He has not only been charging his phone but also provides charging for other people's phones. Favourite photo from #KisanLongMarch this afternoon -- Farmers have no access to electricity so Lakshman Bhasre from Tryumbakeshwar Taluka has been marching for 6 days with a tiny solar panel on his head. He uses it to charge his phone and help other marchers charge theirs. pic.twitter.com/3He32abd4z — Pragya Tiwari (@PragyaTiwari) March 12, 2018 As we sit in the comfort of our air-conditioned homes and offices and whine about having to sit in our air-conditioned cars in traffic jams, our farmers are fighting in the worst possible conditions and yet fighting ways to keep afloat.
  4. With passing time, the role of a woman on the big screen has been changing constantly. There was a time when she was just used on-screen for decorative purposes, but time has changed and women have really traveled a long way along in the film industry. They are no more the 'abala naari' who need a man to protect them, but who would ideally want a man to just be with them. She is now the woman of substance and doesn't fear from speaking her mind out publicly and stand for her rights. She still belongs to this patriarchal society, but now she is also a rebel. It's interesting to see how with time Hindi cinema has adapted to reality and has tried to show the changing time, culture and influences. From a woman struggling to get her foothold, making it big in the big corporate world to simply bringing a story of a housewife, films have indeed changed. From Meena Kumari to Vidya Balan, from 'Bandit Queen' to 'Lipstick Under My Burkha', the women in films are no more just a visual treat but have been playing pivotal roles creating a huge change both on-screen and off-screen. We bring you 13 films where women were the real heroes and had a brilliant cast supporting them. 1957: 'Mother India' Mehboob Production Considered to be Nargis Dutt's best performance till date, 'Mother India is one such movie that actually changed the way Indian films used to portray women. A classic from the early era of Indian Cinema, this film is a must watch. Nargis plays Radha, a poor villager who has struggled throughout her life to raise her two sons. She is said to be the woman who never supports wrong and stands up for justice. Staying true to her ethics and beliefs, she ends up killing her own son just for justice. Now that's totally something! 1987: 'Mirch Masala' Eagle You might have not really watched this one but Ketan Mehta's 'Mirch Masala' brings in a tale of an ordinary woman Sonbai played by Smitha Patil from a village, who decides to say no to powerful authorities. You also have a story of another woman played by Deepti Naval who is the wife of the village's sarpanch. She is someone who revolts against her own husband because she wants to educate her own daughters. While this might look like a normal story to you today, this was released in a regressive time when a woman standing for her rights was a huge deal. 1994: 'Bandit Queen' Saregama Based on the life of Indian dacoit, Phoolan Devi, this movie literally can give you goosebumps. Played by Seema Biswas, the movie brings about the tale of a woman who fought with every man from police to goons who once destroyed her life. It's shown how she overpowers these powerful men. This Shekhar Kapoor's film was based on the biography named India's Bandit Queen: The True Story of Phoolan Devi by Mala Sen. 2000: 'Astitva' Twitter How about a movie that actually highlights the male chauvinist culture of our country? Well, we often use this term but Mahesh Manjrekar actually made a brilliant movie 'Astitva' starring Tabu in 2000. The film simply brings up the issue of domestic abuse, extramarital affair, that a woman is often aware of but is forbidden from talking about it. The movie introduces you to Aditi Shrikant Pandit's (Tabu) story who is trying to find her own identity outside her so-called happy marriage. Finally, she takes a bold step and moves away from her husband and son with her help of her to-be daughter-in-law, Namrata Shirodkar, who ends up leaving her boyfriend as too. Well, a win-win for both the females. 2011: 'No One Killed Jessica' UTV The Jessica Lal murder case literally shocked the entire nation. Based on the real-life incident, this film shows the tale of Sabrina Lal (Vidya Balan) who fights against the wealthy and influential people who were involved in the murder of her sister. On another hand, you also have Rani Mukerji who plays a journalist and helps Sabrina in every way possible. Give this one a watch. 2013: 'English Vinglish' Eros Some stories are just too beautiful, 'English Vinglish' falls on the list of that one. Directed by Gauri Shinde, this is an ordinary story of a housewife Shashi Godbole played by the iconic Sridevi. The story flawlessly shows how the woman who makes your house a home, is an exceptional mother, and also how a wife is looked down by her husband and kids, just because she can't speak English fluently. She is hurt like any human would be. Tables turn during her trip to the US, where she learns the language and despite overcoming her shortcomings and proving her family wrong, she still remains a wonderful homemaker like always. An impressive tale, that simply touches your heart. 2014: 'Queen' Viacom18 Motion Pictures Some stories give you the much required feel-good factor and Kangana Ranaut's 'Queen' totally falls into that category. The movie brings you a beautiful story of Rani who decides to take a honeymoon alone when her fiancé, played by Rajkummar Rao, decides to call off the wedding. When she travels the world, she comes across different people and learns new things about life. She comes back as a changed person all set to start her life on her own terms. 2014: 'Mary Kom' Viacom18 Motion Pictures 'Mary Kom' is an inspiring story of Indian boxer M.C. Mary Kom who won India great awards internationally. Played by Priyanka Chopra, the story brilliantly takes us through Kom's life. What makes this film special is all the hardships she went through to make it big in her career. The understanding shown between Kom's husband and her is what many need today. We also get to see how she makes a smashing comeback after her marriage and having babies. 2014: 'Mardaani' Yash Raj Films This is indeed one hell of a film to watch. The story of 'Mardaani' revolves around Shivani Roy a female cop donned by Rani Mukerji, who is all set to take down goons no matter what. She gets a new case where she has to fight the organisation involved in child trafficking and drugs. The performance by Rani is worthy of all the applause and praise. 2016: 'Neerja' Fox India This is the inspiring story of flight purser Neerja Bhanot who was shot by the terrorists and killed while she was trying to save lives of hundreds of passengers when Pan Am Flight 73 was hijacked. Played by Sonam Kapoor, this is one of her best performances till the date. 2016: 'Pink' RSE Well, many find it kind of difficult to understand the meaning of 'No' and that's what the movie 'Pink' is all about. The movie clearly states not to judge a woman based on her lifestyle and a man cannot force a woman against her will. Amitabh Bachchan dons the advocate hat that fights for the girls in a legal battle against boys who comes from rich influential families. 2017: 'Lipstick Under My Burkha' Prakash Jha Production This film is an honest portrayal of our not-so-sanskari society. Alankrita Shrivastava's movie is about lives of four women living in Bhopal who have their own simple problems. The film openly talks about a woman's sexual desire and believe us, it's not a woman-oriented film. But something that even the sensible men in our society would relate with. An amazing watch indeed! 2017: 'Tumhari Sulu' T-Series This one is such a feel-good film that Vidya Balan will literally charm your boots off and will make you fall in love with Sulu. Director Suresh Triveni's 'Tumhari Sulu' is the story of a middle-class family which is so heart-warming that from the first frame to the last, you are totally invested in the story. The film tells the tale of Sulochana Dubey (Vidya Balan) aka Sulu who is a housewife and lives with her husband Ashok (Manav Kaul) and son Pranav. You often see her coming up with silly plans to do something or the other. One day out of the blue, she lands the role of a late-night radio jockey. Her sexy voice and her unique perspective in dealing with people's problems make it an adventurous ride until reality catches up with her. What makes 'Tumhari Sulu' so impactful is that it makes you celebrate small things in life. It teaches you the importance of accepting each other's idiosyncrasies wholeheartedly. A movie that you just can't miss.
  5. In today's time, there isn't a dearth of unusual jobs. From getting your beard stroked by strangers to partying on a cruise all year long, you can earn money without having any qualifications or even talent. And adding to that already long list of weird jobs is the one of a 'Whisky Distillery Tester'. © Facebook (Love Scotland) StagWeb.co.uk, a UK-based website that plans getaways and parties for men, is looking for a person who would be willing to take up this job. As the name suggests, it involves drinking quite a lot of whisky for 'testing' purposes at different distilleries. So, let's get this straight: you will be drinking and travelling at the company's expense and will be paid for tasting whiskey and reviewing it? Sign us up! via GIPHY However, before you think of leaving your full-time job, we'd suggest you think before putting in that resignation because this job is a part-time one. But you know what? via GIPHY Now pretty sure you are wondering that you need some kind of excellent taste buds to be eligible for this job. Well well, let us be the bearer of the good news and tell you that you don't. In fact, you don't require any kind of skills or experience and just need to be above 18 years of age. Don't believe us? Have a look: © StagWeb It doesn't get any easier than this, guys. In fact, the application process is pretty easy too; no fancy resumes are required. All you need to do is finish this sentence "I drink therefore I am..." in no more than 150 words and enter here.
  6. The prime witness in the Intezar murder case, Madiha Kayani, has gone missing after releasing a video statement on Wednesday, according to reports received by Geo News. Intezar Ahmed was killed after the police's Anti Car Lifting Cell (ACLC) officials opened fire on his vehicle on Khayaban-e-Ittehad, DHA on the night of January 13. The girl, who was accompanying Intezar when he was murdered, had claimed in the video message that her life was in danger and appealed to the Rangers to provide her with security. Later on the same day, Qasim Shah, a mutual friend of Madiha and Intezar, spoke to Geo News and said that the police had taken the girl in its custody Thursday morning. However, the police have denied that she is in their custody. In an interim charge-sheet submitted to the judicial magistrate today, the police have given a clean chit to ACLC SSP Muqaddas Haider, whose guards allegedly shot dead Intezar, Madiha Kayani, who accompanied Intezar in the vehicle, and two persons identified as Mahrukh and Sohail.
  7. Most of our friends are bhukkads (so are we) and would never ever spare a chance to get a free treat. It doesn't have to be a new job or your birthday, even getting a tinder date or getting kicked out of class can classify as an occasion for a treat. C'mon looting friends is a part of the bro-code! But the point is, now you really don't have to think twice about splurging on your buddies. Dineout's Great Indian Restaurant Festival is here until the 28th of Feb, and you can let them hog to their hearts and still not go broke! Confused? Well, if you go to any of these restaurants, you get a flat 50% on food, drinks and buffet. Yes. For real. Check it out: 1. Social A post shared by Social - Café / Co Working (@socialoffline) on Nov 15, 2017 at 3:15am PST Location: Delhi, Bangalore & Mumbai This quirky, urban hangout is perfect to chill with friends. Their theme-based menu is loaded up for all sort of foodies. Be it English/Indian breakfast, Chinese, Goan, North Indian, or even Parsi; there's a lot to choose from! Also, the ambience in each Social is amazing and unique. For instance, it resembles a school in Odeon Social and looks like a Mumbai chawl in Cyberhub Social etc. If you guys want to just eat, drink and have fun, this place is your go-to spot. 2. Biergarten A post shared by Biergarten (@biergartenbangalore) on Dec 12, 2016 at 3:24am PST Location: Bangalore If you love spending quality time with your friends - having those long conversations about life and reminiscing memories, this relaxed outdoor ambience is perfect. Moreover, they serve Chinese, Continental, and European delicacies which are affordable and delicious. Situated right near the tech parks in Whitefield, it's a great place to go after office-hours and enjoy a fulsome meal along with a few mugs of beer. 3. Chili's American Grill And Bar A post shared by Chilis India- West & South (@chilisindia) on Jul 4, 2017 at 4:33am PDT Location: PAN India If your friends are serious junk-food lovers who go crazy with cheese, you can take them to Chili's American Grill & Bar. This casual dining place serves a wide variety of appetizers, soups and chilli, salads, burgers, sandwiches, quesadillas, chicken and seafood entrees, fajitas, ribs, steaks and desserts prepared using the authentic Meso-American style of cooking. Cool, isn't it? 4. SodaBottleOpenerWala A post shared by SodaBottleOpenerWala (@sbowindia) on Dec 14, 2017 at 11:20pm PST Location: Mumbai If you guys want to go old-school in 'Bombay', SodaBottleOpenerWala is the place! They serve some really cool dishes with quirky names, which will actually take you guys down memory lane giving you a good laugh along with its Parsi swaad. Even the ambience showcases the real legacy of the Bombay Irani Café and bar - it's humorous, colonial and extremely witty. And of course, it's Instagram-worthy too! 5. The Irish House A post shared by The Irish House (@theirishhouseindia) on Dec 22, 2017 at 9:23am PST Location: PAN India This rustic resto-pub is great for a guy's night out! Let's start with the food and drinks- they've got a variety of brews and an exclusive variety of American and Continental delicacies. If that's not enough, they have Live music performances and DJ Nights too, moreover, the place also provides sports screening facility to all. Now, who wants to watch a match at home when there's a friend treating you to all this, right? 6. Bombay Brassiere A post shared by Bombay Brasserie (@bombaybrasserie_in) on Aug 25, 2017 at 11:36pm PDT Location: Mumbai, Kolkata & Bangalore If you have a gang of friends who are in a mood for desi, homely dishes, this place is ideal. Along with a relaxing and awesome ambience, they have an extensive food and bar menu serving dishes in which you can relish the flavour and spirit of traditional Indian cooking. Their moms will definitely thank you! 7. Flyp@MTV A post shared by FLYP@MTV (@flypatmtv) on Dec 19, 2017 at 3:57am PST Location: Delhi & Mumbai When they say 'party de yaar', you can literally throw a party (definitely, without going broke). FLYP@MTV is the perfect nightlife spot where you will get a variety of drinks and an awesome ambience. They even have a budget-friendly menu with mostly North Indian, Chinese, and Continental cuisines. For all music lovers and for people who like to groove and move, there is no better place than this. 8. Pling, Pullman At Aerocity A post shared by Pullman New Delhi Aerocity (@pullmannewdelhiaerocity) on Aug 15, 2017 at 1:37am PDT Location: New Delhi When your friends bug you to treat them at a 5-star hotel, it can sound a bit too out-of-your-league. But well, it's not. This posh restaurant, Pling, which is located in Pullman, serves European and Modern Indian cuisines that can take you on a delectable ride. The fine dining restaurant even has a well-set bar that spoils you for choice with its varied options of spirits. Especially, if you're treating your folks for a special reason, then this one's a must-visit. 9. Rainforest Restrobar A post shared by Rainforest Resto Bar (@rainforestresto) on Jan 1, 2018 at 10:29pm PST Location: Mumbai If your gang is missing some adventure, and you guys are in a mood to explore, then this forest-themed restrobar is perfect. It has a wildlife set-up that takes you to an amazing dining adventure and is paired up with an awesome outdoor seating. Also, they have dishes in the North Indian, Italian, Chinese, and Mughlai cuisines along with an array of drinks in their bar menu. 10. Hard Rock Cafe A post shared by Hard Rock Cafe India (@hrcindia) on May 3, 2017 at 3:39am PDT Location: Pune If your friends are hard-core music lovers, who love rock music over amazing American food, head over to Hard Rock Cafe. Their mocktails and cocktails are always a killer combination with the cheese-laden burgers or steaks. And if you head there on a Thursday night, you can enjoy the live band too. There's a DJ playing music on other days. 11. The Beer Cafe A post shared by The Beer Cafe (@thebeercafe) on Nov 17, 2017 at 7:50am PST Location: PAN India The name is enough to tell you about this place! They have the largest collection of draught beers to choose from along with a variety of different beers from all around the world. So if your friends want to just chill with some great beer; this is a really affordable place to treat them. 12. British Brewing Company A post shared by British Brewing Company (@bbcoindia) on Jan 27, 2018 at 2:22am PST Location: Mumbai If your friends want just want to relax, watch sports, eat and drink like a fish, the British Brewing Company is a great bet. This resto-bar serves a wide array of drinks and finger food from their Multi-Cuisine menu including a variety of Italian, Chinese, and Continental delicacies. And of course, their brewery has a great variety of beer and cocktails to offer too. So you see, you really don't need a reason to celebrate, thanks to Dineout! They are giving everyone a huge reason to dine out - a whopping flat 50% discount on food, drinks and buffet at India's top 2000+ restaurants as a part of the Great Indian Restaurant Festival. Restaurants range from the top standalone brands in each of the 8 cities as well as certain 5-star dining restaurants. All you need to do is head to Dineout and buy a deal worth Rs. 50! Choose from the 3 deal buckets- food, drinks or buffet. There will be special menus available at select restaurants. What's more? If you use Airtel Payments Bank, you will get a 100% cashback on the booking fee. On top of this, you can get 50% off the menu price of Pepsi at 400 select GIRF participating restaurants across 8 cities. And how about getting a complimentary drink for each guest at 100 select GIRF participating restaurants across 5 cities? The Great Indian Restaurant Festival lasts for the entirety of February and the bookings are on. Also, don't miss the chance to loot your friends too!
  8. A Bitcoin (virtual currency) coin placed on Dollar banknotes is seen in this illustration picture, November 6, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Files TOKYO: A hacking theft that netted $530 million, a ban on Facebook advertising, regulation even in Russia, and more wild price swings: despite another stomach-churning week for cryptocurrencies, analysts say they are here to stay. While headline-grabbing hacks like that suffered by Japan?s Coincheck are likely to attract the attention of regulators, experts say the "Teflon" crypto boom is now part of the economic landscape. Cryptocurrencies have "been down numerous times, but always able to get off the canvas," Stephen Innes ? the head of Asia-Pacific trading at OANDA ? told AFP. Virtual currencies have certainly taken some hefty blows recently. In the dead of night, hackers stole $530 million in Japanese virtual currency from Coincheck, sending prices plunging and underlining the vulnerability, and volatility, of cryptocurrencies. The January 26 hack appears to be the largest cryptocurrency theft ever, exceeding even the $480 million stolen in 2014 from another Japanese virtual currency exchange, MtGox. In the wake of the MtGox theft, Japan?s government introduced regulations requiring exchanges to obtain a government-issued licence. And the news from Coincheck again piqued regulators? interest, with Finance Minister Taro Aso admitting this week that the government "needs to strengthen our supervision". Coincheck "did not store the important things separately. I think they lacked fundamental knowledge or common sense", he said. Regulators have already clamped down in South Korea and China and even in Russia, where a draft law was drawn up last week aimed at controlling the production and creation of virtual money. On Thursday, India?s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government did not consider cryptocurrencies legal tender and would "take all measures to eliminate" their use as part of a payment system and in funding illegitimate activities. Innes said such regulatory oversight was long overdue, as the current framework was "far too lax given investors? vulnerabilities from both market volatility and cybercriminals". "In general, the regulatory framework in Asia was terrible, which offered criminals mouth-watering targets," he added. ?Systemically important? Crypto regulation was also on the minds of the global elite at this year?s World Economic Forum, with British finance minister Philip Hammond urging governments to be "cautious". "Possibly, we do need to look at the way we regulate this environment before the amount of outstanding bitcoin becomes large enough to be systemically important in the global economy," he told Bloomberg TV. Tech giant Facebook then got in on the act, banning all ads related to cryptocurrencies in an effort to fight scams. All this has taken its toll on the value of bitcoin ? the best-known virtual currency ? which soared to nearly $20,000 before dropping back to less than half that value with wild daily swings. But despite the negative publicity and the growing attention of regulators, enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies does not appear to be waning. BitFlyer ? Japan?s main bitcoin exchange ? told AFP it had actually seen increased interest after the Coincheck hack was revealed. "Many people got interested in cryptocurrencies. On our platform, the number of new account applications increased," bitFlyer CFO Midori Kanemitsu said. And Innes said virtual currency had "a sort of Teflon persona". He said he expected to see dips down to around $6,000 "before the market irons out." "Given recent trading patterns, I suspect $10,000-$15,000 will be the sweet spot, and as more traditional market makers enter the fray... volatility will decrease." ?More selective? Industry professionals say there is no stopping the technology behind virtual currencies and while some cryptocurrencies may disappear, others will likely pop up in their place. "All kinds of new ideas are emerging," said lawyer Ken Kawai, an expert in financial regulation and the blockchain technology behind cryptocurrencies. "Hacks occur. People who choose to use this technology must be aware of the danger associated with it," he told AFP. "I expect to see users becoming more selective when choosing exchanges." To ensure client safety and improved use of the technology, virtual currency exchanges should face strict regulations like banks and brokerages, he suggested. Banks and e-commerce firms could use the most stable cryptocurrencies among themselves, while others could be traded as alternative assets, Kawai said. With investor interest apparently insatiable, regulators are likely to introduce a range of tighter checks, including requiring exchanges to verify the identity of their clients. They could also impose outside cyber audits to protect against the kind of security loopholes that appear to have led to the Coincheck theft. Cryptocurrency trading is also likely to come under the scrutiny of tax authorities, potentially cooling investor appetite if particularly steep new tariffs are rolled out, analysts say. Kanemitsu said bitFlyer would welcome "good and reasonable regulation" as "an opportunity." Hikaru Kusaka ? the co-founder of blockhive, an innovation incubator ? said consumers will eventually weed out the weak virtual currencies and only the best will survive. "To put it dramatically, maybe not all the cryptocurrencies will disappear, but new ones will emerge, and there will be a process of picking and choosing," said Kusaka.
  9. The London charity behind a men-only fundraising gala where specially hired hostesses were groped and harassed, according to a Financial Times report, faced a swift backlash on Wednesday with donations being returned and politicians denouncing it. Photo: Reuters file LONDON: The London charity behind a men-only fundraising gala where specially hired hostesses were groped and harassed, according to a Financial Times report, faced a swift backlash on Wednesday with donations being returned and politicians denouncing it. The FT article by a reporter who went undercover at the Presidents Club gala last week described braying men in tuxedos fondling women, putting their hands up their skirts, pulling them into their laps, making lewd comments and offering to take them to hotel rooms. One of the 130 hostesses, who were required to wear skimpy black dresses with matching underwear and to sign non-disclosure agreements before entertaining the 360 male guests, said a diner had exposed his ***** to her during the event. ?Women were bought as bait for men, for rich men, not a mile from where we stand, as if that is acceptable behaviour. It is totally unacceptable,? lawmaker Jess Phillips told parliament during a hastily convened debate about the issue. She was one of several visibly furious women politicians who lined up to denounce the event as despicable. Two London children?s hospitals, Great Ormond Street and Evelina, said they would return donations received from the Presidents Club, while corporate sponsor WPP, the advertising group, said it was severing ties with the organisation. ?We would never knowingly accept donations raised in this way,? Great Ormond Street said in a statement. By the end of the day, the previously little known Presidents Club announced it would shut itself down. ?The trustees have decided that the Presidents Club will not host any further fundraising events. Remaining funds will be distributed in an efficient manner to children?s charities and it will then be closed,? the charity said in a statement. The FT said the event, an annual fixture on the London social calendar for three decades, was attended by business executives, financiers, politicians and other powerful men. Coming at a time of intense public debate about sexual harassment in the workplace, the report conjured up an image of sections of the British establishment that many found shocking and badly out of touch with modern values. ?I thought that things had changed. However, it is absolutely clear that things have not changed,? Anne Milton, junior education minister, told parliament. ?I think that there is an association between wealthy people and this sort of behaviour, and we have to send a clear message that it is unacceptable.? The Bank of England, which was dragged into the story because one of the prizes offered up for auction at the event was tea with Governor Mark Carney, said it had not approved the prize or had any contact with the organisers. ?The Governor is deeply dismayed that such an event could take place,? the Bank said in a statement. Also on offer for big donors was lunch with Boris Johnson, Britain?s foreign secretary. The Foreign Office declined immediate comment. Prime Minister Theresa May?s spokesman said Johnson had not known about the prize. ?You look far too sober? Luxury goods businessman David Meller, one of co-chairmen of the Presidents Club Charitable Trust, stepped down as a non-executive board member at the education ministry as the fallout from the FT report intensified. May?s spokesman said she had been uncomfortable reading about the event, pointedly saying that as a woman she would not have been invited. One of the people who did attend was Conservative member of parliament Nadhim Zahawi, who is also a junior minister in the education department. Milton told parliament Zahawi had not stayed long, prompting jeers from opposition lawmakers. Zahawi said on Twitter the behaviour described in the FT report was truly shocking and he condemned it. ?I will never attend a men-only function ever,? he added. The FT report said lots put up for auction at the gala, which was held at the prestigious Dorchester Hotel, included a night at a strip club and a course of plastic surgery, with the invitation ?Add spice to your wife?. At an after-party, held in a smaller room off the main lobby of the Dorchester, a man described as a prominent society figure had grabbed a hostess by the waist and pulled her in against his stomach.
  10. JI chief Siraj-ul-Haq/File photo KASUR: Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Siraj-ul-Haq on Thursday visited the family of the late Zainab, a seven-year-old girl who was brutally raped and murdered, to express his condolences over the heinous incident. Speaking to media on the occasion, Siraj criticised Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his administration for what he said was their failure to prevent the crime. ?Chief Minister sahib, where was your police, where was your dolphin force? Why were [they] sleeping when [Zainab] was kidnapped?? he questioned. ?Innocent Zainab was brutally murdered after being kidnapped,? the JI chief lamented, as he reiterated demand that the culprit(s) be caught and punished. Taking aim at the provincial chief minister, Siraj asked why it took Shehbaz Sharif [so long to visit] the deceased?s family. ?The chief minister?s office [is just] one hour?s drive away from Kasur. Zainab was a poor man?s daughter, that?s why he didn?t visit [on the same day],? the JI chief alleged. The city of Kasur remains in mourning for the third day today, as an air of gloom, mixed with rage, hovers following the brutal discovery of the rape and murder of the minor. Kasur in mourning after brutal rape, murder of minor Zainab Residents still out on streets, lawyers boycotting courts today in protest Protests re-erupted today following a day of demonstrations on Wednesday after news of the incident sparked nationwide public outrage. Residents are protesting on Kali Pul Chowk, whereas the Ferozepur Road, linking Kasur to nearby towns and cities, remains blocked. Markets also remain closed in protest against the incident. Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif visited Zainab's residence early Thursday morning. In his conversation with the deceased?s parents, Shehbaz promised not to rest until the culprit(s) responsible for the heinous crime is caught and punished. The chief minister has also constituted a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) headed by Additional Inspector-General Abubakar Khuda Bakhsh. The JIT also includes officials from the Inter-Services Intelligence and the Intelligence Bureau.
  11. WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday after the first intra-Korean talks in over two years that the United States was willing to speak to North Korea ?under the right circumstances,? although it was far from clear whether this would pay dividends. South Korea said Trump had also said in a phone call with its President Moon Jae-in that there would be no military action while North-South talks were going on and that a Wall Street Journal article saying he was contemplating a military strike against North Korea was ?completely wrong.? ?Who knows where it leads?? Trump told reporters at the White House after his call with Moon to discuss Tuesday?s North-South talks, the first since 2015. He said Moon told him the talks went well, and added: ?Hopefully it will lead to success for the world, not just for our country, but for the world. And we?ll be seeing over the next number of weeks and months what happens.? At a later news conference with the visiting Norwegian prime minister, Trump said the United States had problems with North Korea, but ?a lot of good talks are going on right now.? ?I see a lot of good energy. I like it very much ... So, hopefully, a lot of good things are going to work out.? ?I think that we will have peace through strength,? he said, a reference to his policy of maintaining a powerful U.S. military. South Korea?s Presidential Blue House said both men had said the dialogue ?could naturally lead to talks between the United States and North Korea for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula after the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.? At Tuesday?s intra-Korea talks, North Korea said it would attend the Olympics, which South Korea will host next month, while both sides agreed to resolve problems between them through dialogue and to revive military consultations to avoid accidental conflict. However, Pyongyang said it would not discuss its nuclear weapons because they were aimed only at the United States and not its ?brethren? in South Korea, or Russia or China, showing that a diplomatic breakthrough to the crisis remained far off. While Washington has welcomed the talks as a first step toward solving the crisis over North Korea?s program to develop nuclear missiles capable of reaching the United States, it has reiterated that any talks involving the United States must be aimed at North Korea?s denuclearization. The White House said Trump told Moon the United States was willing to talk to North Korea ?at the appropriate time and under the right circumstances.? Trump, who has swung between hurling insults and threats at North Korea to expressing a willingness to talk, said on Saturday he would be willing to speak to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, though not without pre-conditions. An unsourced article in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday said U.S. officials were debating whether it was possible to mount a limited military strike against North Korea without igniting an all-out war. The Trump administration has said it prefers a diplomatic solution, but that all options are on the table, including military ones. U.S. officials say Trump has been considering a number of military options, including a preemptive strike on a missile or nuclear facility, but officials and analysts have warned of the risks of triggering a catastrophic wider conflict. MOON CREDITS TRUMP FOR TALKS Earlier on Tuesday, Moon made a point of crediting Trump for the Korean talks and also said he himself was open to meeting with Kim at any time if conditions were right and ?certain achievements are guaranteed?. ?The purpose of it shouldn?t be talks for the sake of talks,? he told a news conference, while warning that Pyongyang would face stronger sanctions if ?provocations? continued. North Korea ramped up missile launches last year and conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test, prompting a U.S.-led campaign to impose some of the strongest international sanctions yet, which Pyongyang dubbed an ?act of war?. Trump and Kim have exchanged threats and insults over the past year, raising fears of war. South Korea and the United States are technically still at war with the North after the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended with a truce, not a peace treaty. Washington and Seoul opened the way for the talks last week when they announced the postponement of joint military exercises that Pyongyang has denounced as a rehearsal for invasion. Washington had raised concerns that a New Year overture from Kim that led to the talks could be aimed at driving a wedge between the allies, but Moon said he and Washington did not differ over how to respond to North Korean threats. ?This initial round of talks is for the improvement of relations between North and South Korea. Our task ... is to draw North Korea to talks aimed at the denuclearization of the North,? Moon said. ?(It?s) our basic stance that will never be given up.? The United Nations Security Council said following a briefing on the talks that it hopes ?that such interactions will lead toward the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.? Olof Skoog, Swedish ambassador to the U.N., said his nation had called for the briefing because it was important for the Security Council to remain active and united in its efforts to resolve the Korean conflict. On an agreement on continued military-to-military talks and the reopened inter-Korean military hotline, Skoog said: ?We have consistently underlined the importance of these channels of communication to avoid misunderstanding and to reduce tensions.? North Korea?s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said all problems would be resolved through the efforts of the Korean people alone. ?If the North and South abandon external forces and cooperate together, we will be able to fully solve all problems to match our people?s needs and our joint prosperity,? it said. In spite of the hopeful words about the potential for future talks, the U.S. intelligence assessment of North Korea?s weapons programs has not altered, officials say. U.S. officials familiar with the classified analysis say the consensus is that Kim remains convinced that the United States is determined to overthrow him and that only a nuclear arsenal that threatens America can deter that. One official said the North-South talks were likely to follow the pattern of past diplomatic efforts, in which North Korea has benefited from aid without making concessions. Lee Woo-young, a professor at Seoul?s University of North Korean Studies, said it was wise of Moon to praise Trump. ?By doing that, he can help the U.S. build logic for moving toward negotiations,? he said. The United States and Canada are due to host a conference of about 20 foreign ministers next week in Vancouver to discuss North Korea, without the participation of China, Pyongyang?s sole major ally and biggest trade partner. The State Department said the talks, which will involve countries that supported South Korea in the Korean War, would look at ways both to increase the U.S.-led pressure campaign on North Korea and take diplomatic efforts forward. ?The pressure campaign is intended to lead to credible negotiations on denuclearization,? a spokesman said. China said it was opposed to the meeting as it would not help reduce tensions.
  12. Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah. Photo: Geo News FAISALABAD: Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah on Sunday said Pakistan has come a long way from where it stood in 2013. ?The entire world said that Pakistan would default in 2013 but the nation gave Nawaz Sharif a chance and look where the country is standing now,? Sanaullah said while addressing the inauguration ceremony of a vocational training centre in Faisalabad. The law minister said that load shedding ended in Pakistan during Nawaz?s tenure. ?The world is saying that Pakistan?s economy has strengthened and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project has changed the fortune of the country,? he claimed, adding that despite all the development his party ? Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) ? was "stopped from working." The provincial minister encouraged people to send their daughters to the vocational training centre to learn trades and support them in earning a livelihood.
  13. [embed_video1 url=http://stream.jeem.tv/vod/47cf0477c6a1248bf790a49dec6fb5f9.mp4/playlist.m3u8?wmsAuthSign=c2VydmVyX3RpbWU9MS8zLzIwMTggMjozMDozMSBQTSZoYXNoX3ZhbHVlPTBsRzVzd1I0MHpJenZMRlZFRzZmbnc9PSZ2YWxpZG1pbnV0ZXM9NjAmaWQ9MQ== style=center] HYDERABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Nawaz Sharif has forcefully tried to enter politics of Balochistan, where a crisis situation has emerged, said Pakistan Peoples Party?s Maula Bakhsh Chandio. While referring to the resignations in the Balochistan cabinet, the PPP leader said a crisis situation has risen ever since Nawaz started meddling in the affairs of Balochistan. A notification from the office of governor Balochistan de-notified Sarfraz Bugti as the provincial minister for home and tribal affairs, prisons and PDMA on the advice of the chief minister. Bugti had earlier tweeted rejecting media reports that he had been dismissed from the provincial cabinet, adding that he submitted his resignation on Tuesday afternoon to governor Balochistan. Bugti did not reveal any reasons behind his resignation, he did state that his conscience did not allow him to carry on with a dispensation which had 'completely failed the people of Balochistan'. Shortly after, Balochistan Minister of Fisheries Mir Sarfaraz Chakar Dhomki also resigned and sent his resignation to Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri. The development in the political landscape came after 14 provincial lawmakers decided to take measures against Zehri. Earlier, provincial lawmakers submitted a no-confidence motion against the chief minister of Balochistan. During Wednesday?s news conference, Chandio said Nawaz heads the party of a ?specific province?, and has forcefully entered Balochistan. He added that Nawaz has played his part in politics and has seen his rise. But now, he added, the public would not accept whatever agreement the ruling party was planning to reach. Nevertheless, the PPP leader believed the coming days would see unusual alliances between political parties. About the chief of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Chandio said Imran Khan will be ousted from the place he is conducting his politics from. ?Imran has been blaming and cursing the entire world and would soon start targetting institutions as well,? the PPP leader claimed.
  14. Various Bollywood stars took to social media to share snaps of them vacationing at happening places around the world ahead of New Year. Here are Akshay Kumar, Alia Bhatt, Kareena and Saif giving their fans some major vacation goals! Alia is away at the peaceful, beautiful Bali island with her girlfriends, and she seems to be having an amazing time. Akshay Kumar and Twinkle Khanna meanwhile are enjoying the deep "blue sea and skies to match, long conversations and fishing for a catch" in Cape Town. And of course Saifeena along with the little Taimur on vacation have already hit the headlines with their adorable family photo. The trio is in Switzerland to celebrate New Year.
  15. Bronx: There are barely any traces of fire on the apartment building´s facade, no puddles of water on the ground, and only a handful of onlookers. The scene of New York´s deadliest fire in decades -- 12 are dead -- seems frozen by the frigid temperatures, which dropped to 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 degrees Celsius). On Friday, only two fire trucks, their lights still flashing, hinted at the drama that had unfolded the evening before in the Bronx. On the sidewalk, water blasted out by fire hoses encased the branches of a tree in ice -- a reminder of the Christmas decorations adorning 187th Street a few yards (meters) away, which are at odds with the tragic blaze. In this neighborhood, historically Italian but now multicultural, just a few people came to look at the building, which remains behind yellow security tape whipped by a frigid wind. Boy, three, playing with stove caused deadly New York fire, officials say The toddler had a history of fiddling with the stove in the kitchen of his family?s first-floor apartment, his mother said Two men come and go from the corner grocery. They are in their 20s, their shoulders covered with a blanket from the Red Cross. With a faraway look in their eyes, they decline to answer questions from reporters. Rafik Al-Jabali, 47, a neighbor who operates one of three grocery stores on the nearest corner, saw the tragedy quickly unfold. "It happened like this," he says, snapping his fingers. Jabali lives in the building right across the street from the doomed apartment block. He says he was in bed when the fire started. By the time he got to the window, firefighters had already begun working. Thick, dark smoke poured out of several windows. Moments later, he saw a woman taken out on a stretcher. "She was already dead," Jabali said, lowering his eyes. Haunted by the images Joel Rodriguez, 40, lives on the ground floor of the building and was able to escape rather easily, even though smoke had turned the corridors "pitch black." He saw several of his neighbors, brought out -- naked or largely exposed, deprived of their dignity -- on stretchers. Some of them were burned. "It was very tough," Rodriguez says. "I still have the images in my mind. I can´t erase them," he adds, his eyes masked by dark glasses. The city´s fire chief said Friday that a three-year-old boy playing with stove burners apparently accidentally ignited the fire. The victims included three small girls and an unidentified boy. Rodriguez says the building was home to "happy people" who brought out their barbecues in summer, noting: "Everybody has fun. We all get along. There´s no dispute or nothing." A visibly fatigued Rodriguez says he slept a little in his car, between visits to the hospital where his wife is being treated for smoke inhalation. He has a hard time seeing himself return to live in the building of light-colored bricks that was built in the early 20th century and which has become a tomb. "Today, I wouldn´t want to come back. It´s a memorial site right now," Rodriguez says. ´Today, they have nothing´ Behind him, Kenneth Cruiz arrives with a cart full of clothes that he had saved for victims of this year´s hurricanes in Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida, but never had the chance to give away. "This morning, my wife added three more jackets and I came over," he says, marching towards a school where most of the fire survivors are staying. A police officer says nobody is there, even if at least seven of his colleagues are stationed in the entrance, and dozens of officials come and go. He lets Cruiz leave the clothes. "My good deed," Cruiz says. "I´m sure a few hours ago, these people had everything, Christmas presents and everything. Today, they have nothing.
  16. Sony Pictures joined hands with Marvel and gave us the first trailer for 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse', which is supposed to be the first animated feature spider man movie. And now people, it is time to be meet Mile Morales. The trailer made its much awaited release at the 'Comic Con Experience 2017' in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The film is based on the Spider-Verse Marvel event which traced Morlun and his family killing every possible spider character that existed across the humungous Marvel universe. © Sony Pictures Eventually the spider men from all over gather to team up and win this war. The official synopsis of the movie reads something like this: “Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the creative minds behind The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street, bring their unique talents to a fresh vision of a different Spider-Man Universe, with a groundbreaking visual style that's the first of its kind. “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” introduces Brooklyn teen Miles Morales, and the limitless possibilities of the Spider-Verse, where more than one can wear the mask.” The movie is all set to hit screens on December 14th 2018 so that's a long wait but we trust these trailers to continue coming our way.
  17. KINGSTON: Multiple Olympic and world champion Usain Bolt has described the unveiling of his statue in front of Kingston?s National Stadium as one of the greatest moments of his career. The statue, commissioned by the Jamaican government and revealed by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, stands in front of the place where 15 years ago Bolt won the junior championships to announce himself to the world. ?For me this is up there, it can?t be doubted that this is one of the greatest moments in my career,? Bolt told Reuters after the unveiling on Sunday. ?Having a statue in the National Stadium where it all began; there are no words, I am just happy and really excited about this.? The statue was sculpted by Jamaican artist Basil Watson and features the 31-year-old in his trademark ?lightning bolt? pose, seen many times over the years as he set world records in the 100 and 200 metres, winning 11 world and eight Olympic golds. ?It was all worth it: the losses, the injuries, everything I?ve been through, it?s all worth it,? said Bolt, who signed off his stellar career with bronze in the 100m at the world championships in London earlier this year. ?It?s a wonderful thing to look back and see what your career has brought you. I?m very happy and proud of myself for the work. It?s just a good time and I am in a good place.? Holness has previously said that Bolt?s performances over the years has elevated the status of Jamaican sport. ?I have always aimed to make my country proud and to put my country in the best light possible so for the Prime Minister to say that it showed that my work paid off and it?s something that I am happy about,? Bolt added. ?In any way that I can continue doing that, it would be great.? Bolt was stripped of one of his nine Olympic gold medals when his former 4x100m relay teammate Nesta Carter retroactively tested positive for the banned stimulant methylhexanamine at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Carter has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the decision resulting from the doping test. Bolt, the only sprinter to win the 100m, 200m and 4x100 relay titles at three consecutive Olympics (2008, 2012, 2016) until Carter?s test result, was not losing any sleep over the medal missing from his glittering collection. ?I haven?t really been following it (the appeal). I?m just waiting on the time for them to say what is what. I?m just focusing on which direction I want my career to go,? he said.
  18. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) – Hindi Dubbed Movie The year is 1926, and Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident, were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt's fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.
  19. “Be it caste or communal violence, they stall the growth of the nation. Let us affirm that we will be free from these tensions.” This is a test. It's a great quote, actually. Threatening violence just because of caste or communal differences does take us backwards as a society. We are better than this, right? I like to think we are. Now, just take a moment here and guess whose quote it is. Difficult? Okay, let me make it easier. The quote is by a seasoned politician, with a bright future. Try and guess again and keep it to yourself. It's a test, remember. Read on. The controversy around 'Padmavati' has well and truly erupted in the past couple of days. It's been so crazy that I've personally not managed to keep account of all the bounties on the heads of Ranveer, Deepika and Bhansali himself. Is it Rs. 5 crores for deepika's hands or 10 crores for Ranveer's head? And who are these incredibly rich people who are outbidding and sponsoring murders direct on national television? © BCCL What we're witnessing in 'Padmavati' protests is the silent extreme majority, that's not silent anymore. And this is not just a one-off. There have been warning signs we've ignored for a few years now. It's a continuation of the dilution of the Indian culture to suit the extremist views of the right wing. We've seen it in other forms earlier - you eat meat, you die; you speak out against the establishment, you're anti-national; you marry outside your religion, it's love jihad. For a country that prides itself for being incredibly tolerant, the evidence points otherwise. While artists, journalists and anyone with liberal set of values are labelled inconsequential in regards to this new idea of India, the likes of Hindu Mahasabha and Karni Sena are allowed to run amok. Recently, in one of the most bashful displays of power, the Hindu Mahasabha established a 32-inch tall bust of Nathuram Godse, the assassinator of Mahatma Gandhi at its office in Daulatganj, Gwalior City. For them, Godse was a nationalist and the 'temple' at their office is a matter of pride. "Nobody should have any objection to this as we have set up the temple in our own space. It is Mahasabha's own property," said Mahasabha's Vice-president Jaiveer Bharadwaj, justifying his organisation's actions. To understand the current political environment of the country, it's important to know what feeds this kind of hate and activism. India is going through an economic downturn. After a massive blow to the Indian economy because of outlandish and brutal policies that were executed badly, the government lead by Narendra Modi is facing unprecedented backlash from its core group of supporters. Be it jobs or the promise of bringing structural reforms to labour laws, the gulf of difference between what was promised and what's been delivered is slowly changing the mood at the ground level. It's not scary enough for an upset in the upcoming state elections but it will definitely be an issue if the tide doesn't turn soon. © BCCL Therefore, the current wave of nationalism and cultural protectionism is a quick-fix way to divert attention from issues that truly matter. It's a master-stroke by the government in power but there's a thin line between insanity and genius. Historically, whenever the government of the day muddles in issues that flame communal hatred or pit particular communities against each other, it doesn't end well. Be it Indira Gandhi in Kashmir in 1983 or the Sangh Parivar's agenda of Hindutva now, political parties looking to further their vision of a 'new-age' India with societal controls often blows up with horrendous circumstances. In contrast then, the hullabaloo surrounding Sanjay Leela Bhansali's magnum-opus 'Padmavati' is intriguing to say the least. The Rajput community contests that some scenes in the movie depict Rani Padmini as the love interest of Khalji, the bashful Muslim ruler who is supposed to have courted Rani Padmini during his conquests in north India. But according to Bhansali himself, that's not the case because the controversial 'dream sequence' was never filmed. This statement from Bhansali must have cleared all such doubts but somehow it snowballed into a bigger controversy thereafter. “This movie embroiled into so many controversies because of some rumour. Rumour is this, in the movie a dream scene has been filmed between Rani Padmavati and Alauddin Khilji. I have already rejected this claim and also given a written proof of this. Today again, I am reiterating through this video that in our movie there is no such scene between Rani Padmavati and Alauddin Khilji, which would hurt the sentiments of anyone,” Bhansali had said in his attempt to clear the rumours. That there's no dream sequence in the movie is abundantly clear from Bhansali's statement as well as the special screening that was held for a handful of media persons. But still, the release of the movie seems to have been deferred. What is it then that makes the story of 'Padmavati' controversial? © BCCL In order to understand the historical account of this story, it's important to note that Khilji defeated the Rana of Chittor in 1303 and subsequently died in 1316. The story of 'Padmavati' though first appears in 1540, in a book of poetry by Malik Muhammad Jayasi, a sufi poet. That there's no mention of Padmavati for 224 years when she's supposed to have committed jauhar to save her honour against a Muslim ruler shows that the Khilji-Padmavati romance theorists did actually got it wrong. Why haven't then the filmmakers made sure that the true story comes out? Were the protests being seen as a good marketing vehicle for a movie with considerable investment? In hindsight, 'Padmavati' the movie doesn't deserve to be released. In fact, it should be banned. The government, by default, should take steps to stop its screening, now or in future, just because we know how inept it was in stopping all the protests and madness around it. If you are not against it, then you are for it, surely. The makers of the movie have given in to threats and political statements that amount to extortion, even though they can objectively convey that there's not even a single frame with both the characters of Padmavati and Khilji onscreen. They have chosen to take a step back and allow a theatre of threats and lunacy to play and sort itself. It puts up a lot of question marks over their beliefs and priorities because if they can't even stand up for their own work, then why should the audience risk a viewing amidst a threatening and violent environment? And so, we come back to what it means for India. What it means for a country where installing a statue of a murderer is tolerable but releasing a movie with stories of characters that might actually be fictional, is a headache? Can we continue to call ourselves modern when every difference of opinion is labelled anti-national? It's all inconsequential. Why? Read that quote once again. “Be it caste or communal violence, they stall the growth of the nation. Let us affirm that we will be free from these tensions.” -Narendra Modi See the irony now? Modi is essentially a politician PM. And the problem with politicians is that they want us to affirm that we will be free from these tensions (communal, caste violence) but only when it suits their agenda. Other than that, be it Padmavati or Bajirao, Godse or Bhindrawale, they're going to leave you at the mercy of the mob because fear is the best form of social control and that is all they crave, especially when they are in power.
  20. KABUL: US Forces have launched airstrikes on drug-making laboratories in Afghanistan as part a new joint strategy with the Afghan military to cut off funding for the Taliban, authorities said Monday. Numerous drug labs were decimated in a series of aerial bombardments in the poppy-rich southern province of Helmand - a Taliban stronghold - on Sunday night, US and Afghan officials said. The joint operation came days after a UN report showed opium production in Afghanistan - a key source of funding for the Taliban's 16-year insurgency - soared 87 percent this year as the area under poppy cultivation hit a record high. General John Nicholson, commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, said targeting the drug labs would "hit the Taliban where it hurts" and warned more airstrikes would follow. "The strikes that were prosecuted last night will continue," Nicholson told a news conference in Kabul, stressing that poppy farmers would not be targeted. "We hit the labs where they turned poppy into heroin. We hit their storage facilities where they kept their final products, where they stockpiled their money and their command and control." The Taliban profits from the illegal drug trade by taxing poppy farmers and traffickers across the war-torn country, pocketing an estimated $200 million a year, official data shows. Several videos showing the airstrikes involving B-52 bombers and an F-22 fighter jet were played for reporters. Nicholson said US Forces began identifying drug labs to hit after President Donald Trump's strategy announcement in August made it easier for American air power to proactively target the Taliban and its sources of revenue and infrastructure. The Taliban issued a statement denying the existence of the drug-making facilities. The US-Afghan operation comes as around 3,000 additional American troops promised by Trump are deployed to help train and assist beleaguered Afghan security forces who have been struggling to beat back Taliban and Daesh insurgents. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime warned last week that the "significant levels" of opium cultivation and trafficking in Afghanistan would fuel the insurgency and boost funding for militants. The area under poppy cultivation has expanded by 63 percent to a record 328,000 hectares this year - topping the previous record of 224,000 hectares in 2014 - with the number of poppy-growing provinces jumping to 24. Only 10 Afghan provinces are now considered poppy-free. Nicholson said the Taliban had evolved into a "narco-insurgency" fighting to protect earnings from drug trafficking, illegal mining, kidnapping and murder for hire. "The fighting that they´re doing is to control the means of production, to control the poppy fields, to force farmers into growing poppy and then be able to process this opium into heroin in the relative safety of these areas," he said.
  21. LOS ANGELES: Charles Manson, the convicted mass murderer and cult leader who died on Sunday at the age of 83, orchestrated the gruesome murders of seven people in August 1969 in California by his followers, a group of runaways and outcasts known as the ?Manson Family.? Charles Manson: mastermind of infamous ´Family´ murders dies Manson headed an apocalyptic cult that committed random murders in upscale mostly white neighborhoods of Los Angeles -- unleashing a wave of panic in the city and beyond Here is what has become of several of the members of Manson?s cult: Charles ?Tex? Watson Watson, 71, described himself as Manson?s ?right hand man.? On Aug. 9, 1969, he and three female accomplices murdered actress Sharon Tate and four visitors at her Beverly Hills home. The following night, they killed a couple, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, at their Los Angeles home. Watson remains in prison in California after repeatedly being denied parole. He became a minister in 1981, taking a path similar to some other ex-Manson Family members who also turned to Christianity. Susan Atkins Atkins, who took part in several of the slayings including those at the Tate residence and who wrote ?Pig? in blood on a house wall, died of brain cancer in a California prison in 2009 at age 61. Atkins had been denied a request to be freed on parole as the fatal illness took hold. Patricia Krenwinkel Krenwinkel, 69, who took part in the murders of the LaBiancas and at the Tate residence, has become California?s longest-serving woman prisoner. In June, commissioners again denied parole for Krenwinkel, after a six-month inquiry to look into allegations that she had been abused by Manson or someone else, according to the Los Angeles Times. Leslie Van Houten Houten, 68, is serving a life sentence for taking part in the murders of the LaBiancas. Last year, California Governor Jerry Brown overturned a parole board recommendation that she should be released, saying that Van Houten still posed an ?unreasonable danger to society.? In September, the parole board again granted her parole, which started a 150-day review process that will likely culminate in a final decision by Brown. Bruce Davis Davis, 75, was sentenced to life in prison for the 1969 murders of music teacher Gary Hinman and stunt man Donald ?Shorty? Shea. Brown has repeatedly overturned recommendations by the California parole board that Davis should be freed. Robert (Bobby) Beusoleil Beusoleil, 70, is serving a life sentence for the 1969 murder of Hinman. A California parole board last denied his bid on Oct. 14, 2016. He will be eligible for a hearing again in 2019. Lynette ?Squeaky? Fromme Fromme, 69, was a member of the Manson Family and attended Manson?s trial. In 1975, she was tackled by a Secret Service agent after she aimed a pistol at then-President Gerald Ford. Convicted of attempted assassination, she was sentenced to life in prison. She was paroled in 2009 and moved to Marcy in New York state, according to the New York Post.
  22. 1. 'Dil Chahta Hai' Situation: Akshay Khanna slaps the crap out of Aamir Khan after the latter makes fun of him for being in love with an older woman. Significance: Nothing hurts more than your best buddy failing to support or at least understand your feelings. In this case, where Khanna was head over heels in love a woman twice his age, Khan mocking him and trying to talk him out of the whole thing was simply the last straw for him. Resulting in epic bitchslap! 2. 'Kal Ho Na Ho' Situation: Saif Ali Khan comes in his resplendent best, all set with flowers and music to tell Preity Zinta how deeply he loves her. But his heart is ripped from his chest and he is in visible pain when he finds out that she is in fact madly in love with his rambunctious friend- Shah Rukh Khan. Go figure. Significance: Oh this needs no elaboration! Unrequited love is like common cold but without a cure. One can only pray not to find themselves in poor Saif's shoes. 3. 'Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge' Situation: Poor Parmeet Sethi faced the embarrassment of a lifetime after his fiancée Kajol jumped onto the train to happiness with SRK, right in front of his family and friends (after getting beaten up black and blue on top of everything). He was not even the villain and he was meted such terrible treatment. Significance: Not everyone is Raj, nor does everyone want to be. But there are thousands of Kuljeets who are asked to swallow the bitter medicine just because they come across as the 'bad guys'. Hey! They have feelings too. 4. Devdas: Situation: A miserable SRK attends the wedding of his childhood sweetheart Aishwarya Rai. Poor bloke gives her away and even shoulders her palanquin. Significance: Those who have stood and watched helplessly as the woman they love began a new life with another man can relate to his pitiful situation. Of course, stumbling around drunk in grief and blind to the world is never recommended. 5. 'Raanjhanaa' Situation: Basically Dhanush in the entire movie. He literally dies trying to prove his love for a zombified Sonam Kapoor (who is already grieving for her dead Muslim lover). From being a stalker to a rickshawalla to also being mistaken for a beggar by college students! Boy, did he get the rough end of the deal. Significance: How far can you go for the one you love? It is a situation many of us have found ourselves in at some point. Finding ourselves charging full speed without brakes, all in an attempt to be at least visible to them can be exhausting. It is an interesting concept how the word “pride” suddenly loses all significance. 6. 'Student Of The Year' Situation: Varun Dhawan walks in on a horrific scene where his girlfriend Alia Bhatt and best friend Sidharth Malhotra are full on making out! No need to elaborate. Significance: Oh hell no! This is nothing but betrayal of the purest form. No wonder it took them 10 years to resolve the matter, which eventually ended in a public brawl with them punching the lights out of each other. Hurting your bro is evil enough, but making a move on his girl too? Honestly, getting hit is not enough punishment. 7. 'Pyaar Ka Punchnama' Situation: Divyendu Sharma (Liquid) gets humiliated at work in front of his colleagues by the woman he has a massive crush on. Especially AFTER he helped her in the company, paid for her flat, accompanied her literally everywhere, even listened when she whined about her loser ex. Panorama Studios Significance: The moral of the story in this situation is pretty simple: Don't become a ch****a even when you fall in love. If you do not respect yourself, then please don't expect others to. 8. 'Bachna Ae Haseeno' Situation: “What goes around comes back around”. This quote is personified spectacularly by playboy Ranbir Kapoor, who after breaking the hearts of two women who were in love with him, gets a taste of his own medicine by the fiercely independent Deepika Padukone. Significance: There are some of us who just have to learn things the hard way. And that's when Karma steps in. Basically, being a jerk has its repercussions. 9. 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil' Situation: Ranbir Kapoor is bonkers for the hopped-up-on-sugar-and-life Anushka Sharma. But she wants nothing more than friendship. He even ends up singing heartbroken at her wedding…which is followed by a tantrum where he repeatedly bangs his chest with a flower pot (yes, trying to show literal pain!) Significance: Friendzone is a bitch. It is the place where all hopes and dreams die. And if by God's miracle you do escape from that dark pit, please spread the knowledge to your bros. 10. 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai' Situation: Poor Salman Khan! Finds out on his effing wedding day that his bride is in love with someone else. Lord knows how he let this humiliation slide by and handed over Kajol to SRK with a smile on his face. Significance: The art of learning to let go is what Sallu bhai taught us in this emotionally charged scene. However, not all of us actually have the strength to sing and dance with flair after getting stomped on the heart in public.
  23. SEOUL: No unusual activity has been detected at the border with North Korea where a North Korean soldier defected this week, South Korea?s Unification Ministry said on Wednesday. The soldier is still being treated for his gunshot wounds after being shot several times by North Korean soldiers during his escape, ministry spokesman Baik Tae-hyun told a regular briefing. ?There will need to be some questioning on why he defected after his treatment is over,? said Baik.
  24. So far, three hotels, all beachfront resorts in Mexico, have been pinpointed in the warning system-Reuters NEW YORK: Women?s anti-violence groups on Thursday welcomed a new warning system on the online travel site TripAdvisor Inc that shows which hotels are believed to have been sites of sexual assault. The giant booking site, which claims hundreds of millions of online visitors each month, said it will measure hotel safety based on users? post and news media reports. Hotels where there have been incidents will be designated on the online listing, the Needham, Massachusetts-based company said. So far, three hotels, all beachfront resorts in Mexico, have been pinpointed in the warning system, which began on Wednesday. TripAdvisor lists 1.9 million hotels and other lodging options in 49 countries. ?Anything that gives honest information to the public is always a very good thing,? Ebony Tucker of the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. A third of all women experience violence at some point in their lives, and that figure is twice as high in some countries, according to the United Nations, where leaders recently launched a global anti-violence effort campaign. The move by the travel site also comes amid heightened awareness of sexual harassment as accusations have been mounting against a multitude of public figures. A spokesman for TripAdvisor said more hotels are expected to be designated as the site?s staff assesses user reviews. However, the company says it does not fact-check the reviews, which could pose a problem for participating hotels, said Suzanne Markham Bagnera, an assistant professor at Boston University?s School of Hospitality Administration. ?Without having that verification process, it can create an impact for your business,? she said. The designations will remain on a hotel?s TripAdvisor web page for up to three months and may be renewed or removed based on decisions by TripAdvisor staff, the company said. The warning system is a sign of increased recognition in the hospitality industry of a need to protect against sexual assault and harassment, said Maya Raghu, spokeswoman for the National Women?s Law Center in Washington. She said a US labor union campaign has been pushing for laws to protect hotel workers from sexual harassment by guests. Some US hotels have equipped housekeepers with panic buttons. ?There are several different trends that are happening right now that are perhaps forcing the travel and hospitality industry to address this issue,? she said. ?I?m glad (TripAdvisor) are taking this issue seriously,? she said. TripAdvisor was criticized last week after USA Today reported it had repeatedly deleted posts from a user who said she was raped by a security guard at a Mexico resort. TripAdvisor apologized to the women in a public statement.
  25. ‘Game Of Thrones‘ has pretty much glued its actors to their respective characters and it's kinda impossible to imagine them doing anything else, but this. Right? Like if I told you Khaleesi has starred in a modern day rom-com, it's actually tough to imagine her without that flowing gown, flying with Drogon and laying waste to Lannisters and white walkers. So yeah, that's the power of perception. The showrunners did a pretty good job in writing such amazing characters that we can't imagine them as anything else. So we dug up other famous projects the actors have starred in and it's a visual surprise. 1. Diana Rigg (Lady Olena Tyrell) ‘I want her to know it was me', she died with words that stung like a wasp. Probably one of the most brutal characters who used her words just as well as swords. She played the role of Emma Peel in the ‘Avengers' in a previous life. © HBO and Marvel 2. Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) He knows stuff and he drinks wine. Peter played Miles Finch in the movie ‘Elf'. © HBO and New Line Cinema 3. Lena Headey (Cersei ) The woman we all love to hate with so much passion. Lena was also seen in ‘The Purge' opposite Ethan Hawke and also as Queen Gorgo in ‘300'. © HBO and Universal Pictures 4. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) Before donning the role of the famous incestuous brother, Nikolaj played Master Gary Gordon in ‘Black Hawk Dawn' in a small but cool role. © HBO and Universal Pictures 5. Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell) The beautiful princess who met a very cruel end courtesy her wicked mother-in-law, looked intense as Cressida in ‘Mockinjay'. Just look at that amazing hair! © HBO and Revolution studios 6. Aiden Gillen (Petyr Baelish ) He didn't make it to the eight season of GOT but Aiden was spotted in ‘The Dark Knight Rises'. © HBO and Warner Bros 7. Kit Harrington (Jon Snow) You know nothing Jon Snow, because in case you missed it, he was seen as Vincent Cooper in ‘Silent Hill: Revelation'. © HBO and Davis Films 8 . Sean Bean (Ned Stark) You probably missed this one as well, but the brave king played Tracie Tremarco, in BBC's ‘The Accused'. Yeah, he wore a dress. © HBO and BBC 9. Rory McCann (The Hound) The brother of the Mountain played the role of Michael Armstrong in ‘Hot Fuzz' and it was downright hilarious. A far cry from the badass he plays on GoT. © HBO and Universal Studios 10. Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) Our beloved Khaleesi was recently seen in a romantic tale called ‘Me Before You'. © HBO and New Line cinema In case you were missing any of these characters, now you know where to spot them in a different ‘avatar'.