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  1. KARACHI: Anti-terrorism courts (ATCs) in Karachi Monday sentenced two men to 21 years in prison each, after they were convicted of possessing illegal arms and explosives. The ATC-II sentenced accused, Afroze alias Nakaam Guddu, for 21 years and imposed a fine worth Rs50,000 on him, a spokesman for the Pakistan Rangers Sindh said in a statement. Guddu, who was apprehended in November 2015, was affiliated with Muttahida Qaumi Movement-London (MQM-L), it said. The other accused, Shahabuddin, was also sentenced for 21 years along with a fine imposed on him worth Rs100,000 by ATC-XIII. The statement added that Shahabuddin was arrested in March 2017.
  2. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) greets his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi (L) at Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv on July 4, 2017-Photo: File (AFP) NEW DELHI: Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in New Delhi on Sunday for the first visit by an Israeli leader to India in 15 years, promising closer ties with the regional power. Netanyahu and his wife Sara were welcomed at the international airport in New Delhi by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who made history in July when he became the first Indian leader to visit Israel. "This visit is an opportunity to enhance cooperation with a global economic, security, technology and tourism power," Netanyahu said in a statement ahead of his visit. "Indian Prime Minister Modi is a close friend of Israel and of mine." Modi -- who will accompany Netanyahu for large parts of his five-day tour -- embraced the Israeli prime minister on the tarmac before the pair set off to pay homage at a war memorial in the Indian capital. "Your visit to India is historic and special. It will further cement the close friendship between our nations," Modi said on Twitter. Netanyahu will be only the second Israeli PM to visit India and the first since Ariel Sharon in 2003. He is accompanied by the largest-ever business delegation to travel with an Israeli leader. Executives in technology, agriculture and defence are among those making the journey as Tel Aviv pursues deals with Asia´s third-largest economy. The build up to Netanyahu´s visit was soured this month when India called off a deal to buy 8,000 anti-tank guided missiles from Israel´s state-owned defence contractor Rafael. The Indian army and the government are discussing ways to revive the $500 million order, which was scrapped when the country´s own state-run defence contractor offered to build similar missiles locally. Israel is a major weapons supplier to India, exporting an average of $1 billion of military equipment each year, but Modi wants to end India´s status as the world´s top defence importer. Netanyahu and Modi kicked off the visit with a stop at a memorial to Indian soldiers who fought in World War I to help liberate the Israeli city of Haifa. The Israeli leader will later meet with Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj before a private dinner with Modi. Netanyahu expects to sign new agreements in fields of energy, aviation and cinema production, with stops at the Taj Mahal, a visit to Modi´s home state of Gujarat and meetings with Bollywood luminaries in Mumbai. But he will also make an emotional visit to a Jewish centre targeted in the 2008 Mumbai attacks during his tour, a symbolic gesture to India´s tiny and shrinking Jewish community. Netanyahu will accompany 11-year-old Moshe Holtzberg as the boy returns for the first time to the house where his parents were killed in the attacks that left 166 people dead.
  3. A wild wolf has been found in the northern Belgian region of Flanders for the first time in more than a century, an environmental group said Saturday. Photo: AFP file BRUSSELS: A wild wolf has been found in the northern Belgian region of Flanders for the first time in more than a century, an environmental group said Saturday. "Our country was the only one in continental Europe to have not been visited by a wolf," since the animal began recolonising the continent, Landschap said. Overhunting, industrialisation and urban sprawl progressively led to the disappearance of the wolf from most of Western Europe since the beginning of the 20th century. Since the Bern Convention of 1979, the wolf has gone from public enemy to a protected species as "a fundamental element of our natural European heritage". In some countries, like Romania and Poland where there have always been wolves, people adapt to treat an attack on sheep "like an accident, like a flock that falls into a ravine", says Farid Benhammou, a specialist on predators. But in the new zones of wolf colonisation ? in France and in some regions of Italy and Spain ? there are major tensions, with farmers particularly unhappy at their re-emergence. The wolf detected in Flanders in early January had an electronic tracker collar around its neck which allowed it to be identified as coming from neighbouring Germany. The same animal had been spotted around Christmas in the Netherlands, according to Landschap. "In recent days the wolf has stayed near the Flemish town of Beringen and the military base at Leopoldsburg. The animal has covered 500 kilometres (300 miles) in ten days," the group said. In 2011 hidden cameras picked up images at night of what was very likely a wolf in the Ardennes region of southern Belgium. But without any DNA traces, or any further appearances, the sighting could not be confirmed. Groups in support of biodiversity welcomed the latest news of a wolf detected in Belgium, calling on the government to adopt a strategy to encourage the return of the species to the country on a more permanent basis, including compensation to farmers whose livestock are attacked.
  4. Children run down the stairs of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, US, October 29, 2012. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/Files NEW YORK: Visitors to the Metropolitan Museum of Art will now have to pay $25 to enter if they do not live in New York state starting March 1, a first in half a century. Since 1970, this cultural landmark on New York's Fifth Avenue only asked for a "suggested" donation of $25 per adult, which Met president Daniel Weiss noted was "uncommon". Under the new policy, the fee ? which will be paid largely by tourists ? will fetch a ticket that lasts for three days and also covers entry to the museum's annexes ? Met Breuer for modern and contemporary art, and The Cloisters for medieval and decorative arts. "We think that is an extraordinary value," Weiss said. In order to not penalize students from New York and the surrounding region, they will only be asked to pay what they can. Students and seniors visiting from other regions will get reduced fares of $12 and $17, respectively. Entry will be free for children under the age of 12. The move follows months of talks with New York City Hall. Fred Dixon, president of the city's destination marketing organization NYC & Company, said City Hall accepted the new policy of this "catalyst" of cultural tourism, confident it would not negatively impact tourism. "The role the Met plays (in tourism) is tremendous," added Dixon. Weiss, who landed in his current post in 2015 to bolster the prestigious museum's finances, noted that while 63 percent of visitors paid the full suggested price in 2004, only 17 percent did so last year. So while attendance kept increasing, admission revenues were flat. Pointing to "a significant diminution in the effectiveness of our policy," Weiss stressed that "admission revenues would still be one of the lowest of all art institutions we have seen in the last 12 years." Admissions would still account only for a fraction of the Met's annual budget of $305 million. They currently account for 14 percent of revenue. Even with the new mandatory fee, they would still only represent no more than 17 percent of revenue, according to Weiss. The Met receives relatively minimal public subsidies ? compared to the world's other top public institutions, such as the Louvre in Paris ? and obtains most of its revenue from donations, which cover half of its annual budget.
  5. Timberlake's fifth solo studio album 'Man of the Woods' comes out on February 2 NEW YORK: Pop superstar Justin Timberlake on Tuesday announced his first album in nearly five years, promising more "personal" songwriting inspired by his home and family. The 36-year-old singer and actor said that "Man of the Woods," his fifth solo studio album, will come out on February 2 -- two days before he headlines entertainment during the Super Bowl, generally the most watched television event of the year in the United States. Timberlake unveiled the album with a short video on social media that, true to the album´s title, shows him walking reflectively in scenes of nature from a snowy forest to a sunny corn field. "This album is really inspired by my son, my wife, my family, but -- more so than any other album I´ve ever written -- where I´m from," Timberlake says in the video. "And it´s personal." Timberlake -- who had a son in 2015 with his wife, actress Jessica Biel -- grew up near Memphis, Tennessee, one of the capitals of blues and soul music as well as rural-rooted country. The video features snippets of acoustic guitar, hinting perhaps at a more somber sound for the album, but closes with Timberlake in the studio with all-star pop producer Pharrell Williams. Timberlake, one of the top-selling artists of the 21st century both as a solo artist and with boy band NSYNC, rose to fame with an electronic pop sound before finding a new voice by bringing in R&B, notably on his 2006 album "FutureSex/LoveSounds." Timberlake has been offering hints of his upcoming album for years. In a 2016 interview with the BBC, Timberlake declined to describe it as a country album but acknowledged the influence. "I really did grow up in a place in America where I was like two hours from the country music capital of the world (Nashville), home of the blues, birthplace of American rock ´n´ roll," he said. Timberlake last released full albums in 2013, putting out "The 20/20 Experience" and "The 20/20 Experience -- 2 of 2" in quick succession. Even without albums, Timberlake has kept putting out music, scoring a mega-hit in 2016 with "Can´t Stop the Feeling!" a giddy summer song that appeared in the animated film "Trolls." But Timberlake has focused increasingly on acting rather than music in the past several years, most recently starring as a bookish and seductive lifeguard in Woody Allen´s "Wonder Wheel."
  6. CAIRO: An Egyptian court sentenced ousted president Mohamed Morsi to three years in prison along with 19 other defendants on Saturday for "insulting the judiciary," his lawyer said. The other defendants include former members of parliament, activists and three journalists. Morsi had already been sentenced to a total of 45 years in prison in two other trials after the military ousted him in 2013. The defendants had all been charged with making statements deemed insulting to the judiciary. Five other defendants, including jailed activist Alaa Abdel Fattah, were fined about $1,680 each. Morsi was also ordered to pay two million Egyptian pounds to the head of the judges' syndicate and another judge, while 22 other defendants were ordered to pay one million pounds to the head of the syndicate. Morsi's lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsud told AFP that he would appeal the verdict. Thousands of Islamic Brotherhood activists have been arrested and put on trial since the military ousted the divisive Morsi following mass protests demanding his resignation. The crackdown extended to other opponents of then army chief now President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who was elected a year after Morsi´s overthrow.
  7. Huawei?s smartphone shipments in 2017 totaled 153 million units and its global market share surpassed 10 per cent. Photo: Reuters/File1 HONG KONG: China?s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd expects 2017 revenue to rise 15 per cent to 600 billion yuan ($92.08 billion), its rotating chief executive, Ken Hu, said in a New Year?s message to staff posted on its official WeChat account on Friday. That would make it the slowest revenue growth in four years for Huawei, the world?s third-largest smartphone maker after Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Apple Inc. Hu also said Huawei?s smartphone shipments in 2017 totaled 153 million units and its global market share surpassed 10 per cent. Huawei vowed to focus on profit after posting near-flat annual profit growth in March, weighed down by its fast-growing but thin-margin smartphone business and heavy marketing spending. Its leading position in the world?s biggest smartphone market came under threat from local rivals over the past year and a half. Huawei?s China market share was 22.3 per cent in the third quarter, followed by OPPO at 21.6 per cent, showed latest data from IDC. The industry tracker forecasts China?s total smartphone shipments in 2017 to shrink slightly compared with a year earlier. In his message, Hu said Huawei?s enterprise business needs to ?maintain mid-to-high growth speed and become a pillar business for the company in five years?. He also asked for its consumer business to continue to improve profitability, its new public cloud business to increase in scale, and its core carrier business to beat the industry.
  8. Our 20s are perhaps the most important years of our life. Graduating, entering the world of jobs or business and learning a thousand new lessons; everything one does in their 20s seem to stay for the long run. While it takes time for some people to figure out their way through this phase, others luckily don't have a hard time finding their calling. And the story of these two NIFT students is proof of the same. © Your Story Praween KR (from Bihar) and Sindhuja K (from Hyderabad) were students at the National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai when they realized that entrepreneurship is the direction they want their career to go in. Pursuing a bachelor's in knitwear design, the duo decided to go ahead and set up an e-commerce website in 2015. Their own online clothing brand, 'Young Trendz' was thus born with an investment of Rs 10 lakhs. And luckily for them, they tasted success pretty soon as in two months, they started selling on online marketplaces like Flipkart, Amazon, Voonik and Paytm. © Young Trendz Although, they were only able to get as only 10 orders a day in the initial few days but the decision of collaborating with the famous colleges of the country including the IITs and IIMs made them popular. The USP of their brand was producing and introducing couple clothing in India, something which was already a popular trend in the Chinese and Korean markets. During the Valentine week in 2016, they started by selling a limited stock of couple clothing and now that comprises 20% of their total sales today. The best part about their brand is that they sell most of the items in the price range of Rs 250 to Rs 600 since their target audience is mostly college students. As Young Trendz grew, their priority was to have a seamless product development channel, and the best choice for that to happen was to make a shift to Tirupur, the knitwear and manufacturing hub of India. Now, with a team of 30 people, Young Trendz has warehouses in Telangana, Karnataka, Haryana, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu and have further plans of expansion. They also have three designers working for them, and outsource photoshoot and ad campaign shoots. However, it wasn't all fun and games. Since both of them came from a non-business background, they had to learn a lot of things before venturing into this business—from reading Class 12 accounts books to learning a new language (Tamil), and understanding taxes. They now have more than 3,500 products uploaded across all e-commerce marketplaces and their collections are refreshed twice a month. And of course, with the amount of hard work that they have put in, this year, they are reaching a turnover of Rs 20 Crore which is worth an applause. Further plans of expansion include setting up of offline stores and adding new categories to their collection. Their story definitely serves as an inspiration for all those who want to venture into the e-commerce space and with the boom in e-commerce, Young Trendz seems set for a bright future.
  9. Tuesday marks two decades since Rose vowed to Jack she´d "never let go" -- before spectacularly reneging on her promise, sending her frozen-to-death paramour to a watery grave and leaving "Titaniacs" worldwide sobbing into their popcorn. Photo: courtesy Titanic LOS ANGELES: Part saturnine elegy to doomed youth, part exaltation of the transcendent power of love, blockbuster disaster movie "Titanic" is delivering that sinking feeling to a whole new generation of fans. Tuesday marks two decades since Rose vowed to Jack she´d "never let go" -- before spectacularly reneging on her promise, sending her frozen-to-death paramour to a watery grave and leaving "Titaniacs" worldwide sobbing into their popcorn. The anniversary has been celebrated with screenings across the United States, and audiences are still swooning over the young lovers played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet -- now both Oscar winners and Hollywood A-listers. "The Titanic story itself has a timeless quality. It seems to exist outside our daily lives. As this straight moral lesson, it´s something that fascinates us," director James Cameron told fans at a Los Angeles screening to mark the milestone. Winslet's love-struck socialite and DiCaprio´s artistic drifter were fictionalised characters in a dramatisation of the real-life sinking in 1912 of history's most famous ship after it hit an iceberg on its maiden voyage across the Atlantic. The film, distributed by Paramount at home and Fox abroad, entered into movie history when it picked up 11 Oscars, including best picture and best director for Cameron. With a worldwide gross of $2.2 billion, it was the most successful movie ever made until Cameron´s "Avatar" (2009) took $2.8 billion at the box office. At an intimidating 195 minutes, the movie can feel in parts as long as the voyage on which it is based, but it earned mostly glowing reviews, and the theme song "My Heart Will Go On" became a global success for Celine Dion. Tuesday marks two decades since Rose vowed to Jack she´d "never let go" -- before spectacularly reneging on her promise, sending her frozen-to-death paramour to a watery grave and leaving "Titaniacs" worldwide sobbing into their popcorn. Photo: courtesy Titanic Five-word pitch Cameron, 63, says he sold the idea to Fox executives with "probably the shortest pitch for a major movie in Hollywood history." "I whipped open this book and in the centre is a beautiful double-truck spread right across both pages of a painting by Ken Marschall, the best artist of the subject of the Titanic," he recalled. "It was a beautiful shot of the rocket going off and lighting up the ship, and lifeboats rowing away as it went down in the more sedate, quiet part of the sinking. I said, ´Romeo and Juliet on that.´ Five words." DiCaprio and Winslet -- then 21 and 20, respectively -- began filming in September 1996, their first scene together the moment in which the actress appears nude for him to paint. Any awkwardness was short-lived and the pair quickly became close friends, reuniting onscreen a decade later for Sam Mendes´s fraught love story "Revolutionary Road." "They really bonded and they were there for each other through a long, difficult, grueling shoot. They were there to support each other," Cameron said. Bloated production The epic proportions of the $200 million production, with its 1,000 extras and crew of more than 800, can hardly be overstated. Tuesday marks two decades since Rose vowed to Jack she´d "never let go" -- before spectacularly reneging on her promise, sending her frozen-to-death paramour to a watery grave and leaving "Titaniacs" worldwide sobbing into their popcorn. Photo: courtesy Titanic Cameron had a full-scale model of the ill-fated luxury liner constructed on 40 acres of Mexican waterfront bought by Fox, after receiving the blueprints from the original shipbuilder. The rooms were meticulously recreated from old photographs, as was RMS Titanic´s first class staircase, mahogany woodwork and gold-plated light fixtures, all of which was destroyed in the sinking scene. Such was the perceived folly of the bloated production -- then the costliest ever -- that Variety began a daily "Titanic Watch" column, ridiculing what was expected to be the biggest flop in Hollywood history. A despondent Cameron kept a razor blade taped to the screen of his video editing equipment with an inscription written in pen: "Use in case film sucks." 'Rules of gravity didn't apply' The movie test-screened to rapturous applause in Minneapolis, however, and Cameron was reassured that he´d actually made a decent movie. It opened with a domestic haul of $28.6 million and was expected to follow the normal pattern for blockbusters, dropping by 40-50 percent in its second weekend. Instead, it made another $28 million, and $32 million on the third weekend, eventually securing the top spot for 15 consecutive weeks. "It just went down by like two percent a week and everybody just felt like we were in this alternate universe where the rules of gravity didn´t apply," said Cameron. Experts theorized that the numbers were being boosted by groups of young teenage girls watching multiple times, but Cameron believes "Titanic" did so well because the love story appealed across generations. "With all due respect to Kate and Leo, and they´re both good friends of mine, it´s not Kate and Leo anymore -- it´s Jack and Rose," said Cameron. "And it will always be Jack and Rose. I guess that´s what I´m proudest of, that we´ve created something that has its own reality, that´s outside of time, and theoretically that could still be enjoyed indefinitely."
  10. This year was quite an eventful one for Hollywood and all the movie junkies out there. If you ever thought that 2017 went by in the blink of an eye or was a really bland year, we've got something in store for you. Since, New Year is right around the corner; let's take a look at these 10 reasons (read movies) that made 2017 one of the coolest years to live in. 1. Dunkirk © Warner Bros. Christopher Nolan needs no introduction. From a man who has earlier given us movies like 'Interstellar', 'The Dark Knight' and 'Inception'; one can expect nothing but the best and sometimes even beyond that. His 2017 release 'Dunkirk' was no different. Set in the backdrop of World War II, 'Dunkirk' revolves around the allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire and France, who found themselves surrounded by the German Army. How they get safely evacuated after a fierce battle, weaves the rest of the story. 2. Thor: Ragnarok © Marvel Entertainment If there was to be an epitome for 'The Midas Touch', we would most definitely vouch for Marvel. They can turn anything into gold and 'Thor: Ragnarok' is proof. Yes, it is best Thor movie you will ever see! Yes, it is the same movie which Mark Ruffalo aka Hulk accidently live streamed a portion from, prior to the release! Yes, it is same movie that we would love to watch again and again and again. So folks, don't wait for Christmas, go and watch it right now. 3. Coco © Pixar If there was anything that Disney and Pixar taught us this year, it was the fact that we can never grow old to watch an animated movie. And the immense popularity of 'Coco' is proof of the same. This movie has already grossed nearly $390 million worldwide and has also nominated for Best Animated Feature Film at the 75th Golden Globe Awards. The movie narrates the story of Miguel Rivera, a 12-year-old boy, who accidently gets transported to the land of the dead. There he meets his musician great-great-grandfather and seeks his help to reunite with his living family. Even if you are not someone who watches animated movies, give this at least one chance. The movie also has a hidden message, which you need you find out yourself. 4. Justice League © DC Comics *Drum Roll please*…Let's get on with the much-talked about movie of this year, a movie that we have waited 10 years for, 'Justice League'. We agree, the flick turned more heads for Superman's airbrushed moustache than the new characters and their superpowers. But let's not take away from the fact that this was one movie that compelled us to say, “We came! We saw! And we never got over it.” And for all the critics who feel that this movie was a disappointment, let's take revenge on them by making them watch Hindi superhero movies. 5. IT © New Line Cinema Until last year, whenever someone made plans to watch a horror movie, people could not think beyond 'The Exorcist', 'The Conjuring', 'Death Note' or 'The Ring'. But, after the release of 'It', things changed and how. Maybe, this is the charm or should we say fear of Stephen King's novels. Even today, people might not remember what they did two days back, but they surely remember Pennywise, the evil clown who loves to feast on innocent children. While Stephen King did a fantastic job with the novel, director Andrés Muschietti left no stone unturned in making the movie adaptation bigger and scarier than any horror movies out there in the market. 6. Blade Runner 2049 We don't think we can get over this picture of Ryan Gosling anytime soon. © Columbia Pictures Now that we saw this picture, let's talk about the movie it is from - 'Blade Runner 2049'. If we were to explain this movie in one word, we would possible use either 'Exceptional' or 'Brilliant'; and the fact that it has already grossed $256 million worldwide, is kind of reassuring that we are not wrong. Set 30 years after the first film, this one will take you through the life of Officer K (played by Gosling), a new blade runner for the Los Angeles Police Department. His unravels a long-buried secret and…we won't tell you the whole story. Go and watch the movie, right now. 7. Logan © Marvel Entertainment Another fantastic superhero movie from Marvel, 'Logan' is the 10th installment in the 'X-Men' series and final solo movie of our beloved superhero Wolverine. The movie has already grossed $616 million worldwide, becoming this year's second highest grossing R-rated film ('It' is the first). We don't think we need to say anything in addition to it or explain why you should watch it. All we can say is, you are missing out on some really cool stuff, if you haven't seen it already. 'Logan' features an aged Wolverine along with an extremely ill Professor X, who set out to save Laura (she was created from Wolverine's DNA), from the evil forces Reaves and Alkali-Transigen led by Donald Pierce and Zander Rice. 8. Baby Driver © Media Rights Capital 'Baby Driver' is probably one of the best action movies of 2017, with a musical touch that makes it all the more intriguing. 'The Fault In Our Stars' actor Ansel Elgort did a fabulous job as the talented (music obsessed) getaway driver named Baby, who is forced into working for a mysterious kingpin (Kevin Spacey) of a gang of bank robbers. In other news, Director Edgar Wright has already teased the fans that a sequel is “being hammered out”. 9. Wonder Woman © Warner Bros. If there was an award for the best season (we are talking about weather and not a show), summer of 2017 will possibly win that prize without any competition. Reason? Gal Gadot, our 'Wonder Woman'. She was the primary reason for all the heat and rise in temperature we all witnessed. Want proof? How about we tell you that this movie was the 8th highest grossing film of 2017, after it earned a whopping $821 million globally! Still need reasons? It singlehandedly destroyed everything that Marvel worked hard for. Still not sure whether to watch it? Well go and watch it for Gal Gadot and how she turns into one of the most badass superheroes this world has ever seen. 10. Get Out © Universal Pictures Written and directed by Jordan Peele, 'Get Out' is a horror movie that follows the lives of a young couple, who visit the woman's parents, only to witness a series of strange events that scar the man's life forever. It is an amazing movie that was critically acclaimed to be one of the best films of this year. So peeps, go ahead and tag your friends to make a movie marathon plan with them. Also let us know about your favourite movies from 2017, which did not make it to this list.
  11. An Ecuadorean court on Wednesday sentenced Vice President Jorge Glas to six years in jail after finding him guilty of receiving bribes from Brazilian construction company Odebrecht in return for handing the scandal-ridden firm state contracts. A close ally of leftist ex-President Rafael Correa, Glas served as Correa?s vice president from 2013 and retained the position under current President Lenin Moreno. But Moreno, who has largely broken from Correa, suspended Glas in August, accusing him of not being a team player. An Ecuadorean judge in October then ordered pre-trial detention for Glas as part of the investigation into Odebrecht. The public prosecutor?s office accused him of pocketing a roughly $13.5-million (£10 million) bribe from Odebrecht via his uncle. ?Glas constructed, with (former Odebrecht executive) Jose Conceicao Santos, the awarding of public contracts in return for payment,? Judge Edgar Flores said on Wednesday as he read the decision. Glas, a 48-year-old electrical engineer, has been accused by senior members of Correa?s government of corruption while serving as strategic sectors minister and vice president. His lawyer slammed the decision as ?unjust? and vowed to appeal. Glas? downfall highlights how fallout from the massive Odebrecht corruption scandal has continued to ripple across South America. The company, which has admitted to paying bribes to win contracts in a number of countries, has paid $3.5 billion in settlements in the United States, Brazil and Switzerland. Odebrecht allegedly paid $33.5 million in bribes to secure contracts in Ecuador. The opposition says that Correa?s government was slow to investigate, although he rejects that.
  12. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson addresses a news conference during a meeting of OSCE Foreign Ministers in Vienna, Austria, December 7, 2017. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger PARIS: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Friday that the relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem would probably not take place for at least two years. "This is not something that is going to happen this year or probably not next year, but the president does want us to move in a very concrete and steadfast way to ensure the embassy is located in Jerusalem when we?re able to do so, at the earliest possible time," Tillerson said after talks in Paris with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. Listing the steps involved in moving the embassy from Tel Aviv, Tillerson said the US needed to acquire a site, develop plans, receive congressional authorization for the spending, "and then actually building the embassy". Tillerson reiterated that the move was not intended to prejudge the outcome of future peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. "The president in his statement... did not indicate any final status for Jerusalem. "In fact, he was I think very clear that the final status, including the borders, would be left to the parties to negotiate and decide," he added. His remarks came as the fallout from US President Donald Trump?s decision to unilaterally recognise Jerusalem as Israel?s capital ? renouncing nearly seven decades of US foreign policy ? continued to reverberate, with Palestinians staging a "day of rage". Tillerson also met President Emmanuel Macron, who has joined a host of world leaders in condemning the move.
  13. Former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar appears at Ingham County Circuit Court in Lansing, Michigan, US, November 22, 2017. AFP/Jeff Kowalsky/Files A federal judge on Thursday sentenced Larry Nassar ? the former USA Gymnastics team doctor accused of sexually assaulting gymnasts ? to 60 years in prison on federal child pornography charges that grew out of a *** abuse investigation. US District Judge Janet Neff in Grand Rapids, Michigan, handed down the sentence sought by prosecutors, who said there was a link between Nassar?s child pornography and his ?prolific molestation of children?, according to court documents. ?He has demonstrated that he should never again have access to children,? Neff said according to the Lansing State Journal. Matt Newburg ? Nassar?s attorney ? said he was ?devastated? and remorseful, according to a State Journal video. Nassar, 54, pleaded guilty in July to possessing thousands of images and videos of child pornography depicting children as young as infants between 2003 and 2016. Nassar is also set to be sentenced in January in two Michigan courts after pleading guilty to additional counts of criminal sexual conduct related to allegations he assaulted girls under the guise of medical treatment. At that hearing, all of the more than 120 victims or their parents will be allowed to give impact statements. Nassar is likely to spend the remainder of his life in prison. Nassar was the team physician for the Michigan State University gymnastics and women?s crew teams, as well as an associate professor at MSU?s College of Osteopathic Medicine. He served as the USA Gymnastics physician through four Olympic Games. ?He abused my trust, he abused my body, and he left scars on my psyche that may never go away,? Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney said in a victim statement submitted to Neff. Nassar?s attorneys had asked the federal judge for leniency, arguing Nassar had helped fellow inmates and taken Bible classes since his arrest nearly a year ago, the State Journal said. At a news conference Thursday, Rachael Denhollander ? one of Nassar?s victims and among those suing USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University ? said the organizations failed to protect them from the abuse. Between 1997 and 2015, at least seven women or girls say they raised concerns about Nassar?s actions to coaches, trainers, police or MSU officials, the State Journal reported. ?Today, the justice feels very incomplete,? Denhollander said during a news conference broadcast by WZZM. USA Gymnastics and Michigan State could not be immediately reached for comment. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette this week urged Michigan State to release an internal investigation into the university?s handling of the allegations.
  14. Remember Mickey Rourke? Yup, the same guy who almost killed the Iron Man. Mickey Rourke has always been renowned for the physique he carries. A former and professional boxer and weight training regular, Mickey has managed to stay pretty much shredded throughout his appearances in movies. It's like the thing for fitness is embedded into his DNA and nothing proves that more than his recent shirtless pictures. Here's Mickey shopping robustly on his recent trip to Rome. © YouTube Mind you, he's 65 years old and way fitter the than most 25 year olds. © YouTube Rourke has been boxing for over 30 years now and made his debut at 12 years old. © YouTube His top notch acting in 'The Wrestler' (2009) won him a Golden Globe and fostered his career as an intense actor. © YouTube In the above images Mickey easily sits at somewhere between 12-15% body fat. Being in great shape at his age is more than just an achievement. A look at his Instagram and you will agree that the man still moves weight in the gym. “”Not a happy day ð A post shared by MICKEY ROURKE (@mickey_rourke_) on Oct 4, 2017 at 3:53pm PDT The man's also not new to the latest low carbohydrate diets and even trains 3 times a day sometimes. Training 3 times a day,low carbs diet knock the shit out of you...i'm dying for greasy cheeseburger ð ð©ð©ð« A post shared by MICKEY ROURKE (@mickey_rourke_) on Sep 20, 2017 at 10:54pm PDT If you need motivation, you know who to look up to.
  15. Arguably one of the most exciting youngsters in the Indian team, Hardik Pandya has earned the trust of his captain and the selectors on the back of some scintillating performances in the recent past. He has enthralled fans with his blistering batting abilities, while his bowling skills continue to aid Team India in crucial situations. Today, he has a lucrative IPL contract and various brands are running behind him to represent their products and services. But, life has never been this good for Pandya before. There were no fans, no money and not even enough food on the table for the Baroda cricketer. All he had was passion and the will to overcome all odds to achieve what once looked like a far-fetched dream. In fact, the Baroda cricketer had to resort to hiding his car as he did not have enough money to pay its EMIs for two years. Speaking on the show 'Breakfast With Champions', the 24-year-old revealed that he intended to save everything he used to earn back then to pay his car's EMI. Instagram/@hardikpandya93 “I have struggled for three years. We used to save Rs 5 and Rs 10. I still remember in IPL, we got around Rs 70 thousand and we thought we would survive on it for some time. Because we were struggling for almost three years then. We had not paid EMI for two years. We were smart, we used to hide our car. We didn't want the car to go. Everything we earned in those three years was supposed to be saved for the car rather than having something new for us or buying something. It was just car's EMI and food that mattered to us at that time,” he said. Instagram/@hardikpandya93 But, his struggles finally came to an end after Mumbai Indians won the Indian Premier League (IPL) title in his first year with the team itself. “God is kind. My first year, we won the IPL and then I got a cheque of Rs 50 lakhs. From there, I got a car for free and I bought a new car as well. Imagine, three months back we were struggling and fighting for money and within three months I have Rs 50-60 lakhs in my pocket. It was all about saving at that time,” he added. From being a local cricketer who charged Rs 400 per game, Pandya has surely come a long way to become one of the pivotal cogs in the Indian team.
  16. Voyager 1 Fires Up Thrusters After 37 Years. An artist concept depicting one of the twin Voyager spacecraft. Photo: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory WASHINGTON: NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft -- cruising interstellar space billions of miles from Earth -- was back on the right track Friday thanks to thrusters that were fired up for the first time in 37 years. The unmanned spaceship was launched along with its twin, Voyager 2, more than 40 years ago to explore the outer planets of our solar system, traveling further than any human-made object in history. But after decades of operation, the "attitude control thrusters" that turn the spacecraft by firing tiny "puffs" had degraded. The small adjustments are needed to turn Voyager´s antenna toward Earth, allowing it to continue sending communications. "At 13 billion miles from Earth, there's no mechanic shop nearby to get a tune-up," NASA said in a news release. Experts at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California decided to turn to four backup thrusters that were last used on November 8, 1980. "The Voyager flight team dug up decades-old data and examined the software that was coded in an outdated assembler language, to make sure we could safely test the thrusters," said Chris Jones, chief engineer at JPL. The engineers fired up the thrusters on Tuesday and tested their ability to turn Voyager using 10-millisecond pulses. Then they waited 19 hours, 35 minutes for the test results to arrive at an antenna in Goldstone, California. Turns out the thrusters worked just fine. "The Voyager team got more excited each time with each milestone in the thruster test. The mood was one of relief, joy and incredulity after witnessing these well-rested thrusters pick up the baton as if no time had passed at all," said Todd Barber, a JPL propulsion engineer. Being able to use the backup thrusters means the lifespan of Voyager 1 has been extended by two or three years, added Suzanne Dodd, project manager for Voyager. NASA plans to switch over to the formerly dormant thrusters in January. They will likely also conduct similar tests on the backup thrusters on Voyager 2. Scientists still hear from the Voyager spacecraft daily, and expect to get data for about another decade. Astronomy textbooks were rewritten on a wide scale thanks to the Voyager spacecraft, which zoomed past Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus. The plutonium-powered spaceships will continue until they finally run out of fuel, and will then orbit in the center of the Milky Way galaxy.
  17. LONDON: A British pensioner was on Friday sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 13 years for murdering his stepson in 1968 in an attack witnessed by the toddler's brother. David Dearlove, 71, was found guilty at Teesside Crown Court in northeast England of swinging 19-month-old Paul Booth by the ankles and bashing his head against a fireplace. The attack was seen by Paul´s brother Peter, who was three years old at the time and had crept downstairs at the family home to get a drink. Peter Booth told police what had happened after childhood memories came back to him in adulthood but no action was taken initially. In 2015, after seeing a photo of Dearlove with Paul on his knee on Facebook, Booth went to the police again and an investigation was launched. "I want to pay tribute to Paul´s family and other witnesses who provided such an emotive testimony," Detective Inspector Mark Dimelow said outside the court after the verdict. "I praise their bravery in having to relive events from 50 years ago," he said. Dearlove, who is retired and has two daughters, was 21 when he moved in with Carol Booth, a single mother, and her three young children. He said at the time about the death that Paul had fallen out of bed. The couple split up in 1970 and she died in 1991. A month before Paul was killed, nursery staff were concerned about bruises on his body and the injuries were investigated by the authorities. The case relied mostly on that investigation, as well as a post-mortem examination, since Paul Booth was buried in an unmarked grave and his body has not been found.
  18. ?Kal Ho Naa Ho? was released in 2003 and immediately became a hit in India and abroad As ?Kal Ho Naa Ho? completed 14 years on Tuesday, Karan Johar, who wrote the story and screenplay of the Bollywood hit, took to Twitter to express his emotions connected with it. ?#14YearsOfKalHoNaHo ....a film that i will always strongly associate with my father....a memory that is both heartbreaking and yet full of heart....and that title song is my strength Mantra for life....? he tweeted. The film, which stars Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta and Saif Ali Khan in lead roles, was a huge commercial success when it released in 2003. It was the second highest-grossing film domestically, and the highest-grossing film in overseas and worldwide collections that year. Niranjan Iyengar wrote the dialogues, while Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy composed the music and Javed Akhtar wrote the lyrics. In his autobiography, ?An Unsuitable Boy?, Karan Johar expressed his regret at not directing the film himself. A scene from 'Kal Ho Naa Ho' Did you know? -- Kareena Kapoor was initially the first choice for Naina. After she refused due to differences over her fees, Preity Zinta was the immediate next choice. -- Salman Khan refused to play Rohit in ?Kal Ho Naa Ho?. The role was then given to Saif Ali Khan. -- It was the last film to be produced by Yash Johar before his death on June 26, 2004. -- Karan Johar complied with international copyright laws and bought the license to the rights to Roy Orbison's Pretty Woman to use it in the film.
  19. It's been 14 years since we were introduced to Aman, Rohit, and Naina in Nikkhil Advani's eternally watchable 'Kal Ho Naa Ho'. But, if you like me, are a fan of the film, it might just feel like yesterday. 'Kal Ho Naa Ho' was the closest a Karan Johar production got to in depicting a middle-class family instead of the usual wealthy Raichands. The film stood out for introducing us to Saif Ali Khan in (romantic) top form, making us fall in love with the New York way of life as much as with Sweetu's adorable dating woes. It reminded us why Shah Rukh Khan is considered the 'King of Romance', besides mainstreaming the idea of a chashmish heroine. © Dharma Productions To start with, 'Kal Ho Naa Ho's magic lay in the fact that it was one of the cleverest love-triangles Bollywood had in years. Think about all the love triangles we've grown up with; they've all been guilty of pitting the two potential romantic options afforded to the heroine against each other. In doing so, they made the choice very easy for us. Take 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai' for example. What did we know about Salman Khan's Aman, except for the fact that he wasn't the one for Anjali? In our heads, we were so invested in watching Rahul and Anjali together, that we didn't even pause to think of Aman as an able contender. It was a similar case with Anjali, when Rahul was madly in love with Tina. Tina was shown as the girl more worthy of being Rahul's one true love, not Anjali. In fact, in 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam', even though Aishwarya's Nandini ended up with Vanraj, it was actually Sameer's heroism and perfectness that stayed with us. We've all imagined deep down in our hearts an alternate ending to the film, where Nandini and Sameer are together, haven't we? Even 'Dil Toh Pagal Hai' has been complicit in displaying this one sided love to the “chosen one”. But not 'Kal Ho Naa Ho'. Kal Ho Naa Ho is what happens when the two romantic leads in a love-triangle are given equal footing. Throughout the film, it was well-nigh impossible to blindly be either #TeamRohit or #TeamAman, mostly because both the teams were pretty damn perfect. Naina loved Aman, and so did he. He was everything a girl could ask for: thoughtful, loving, and quick to bring a laugh on anyone's face, especially on the face of the girl who needed it the most: Naina. It's apt that in the film, we first meet Aman when Jenny, Naina, Shiv, and Gia are shown praying for a miracle, desperately in need of an angel. Aman is the literal angel in Naina and her family's life; even reviving Jenny's restaurant business. (The Baar Baar Haan sequence is a standout) But that didn't mean Rohit was any less. © Dharma Productions Saif Ali Khan's Rohit was the greatest friend anyone could have. When Naina confided in him that she was in love with Aman, he put Naina's feelings before his own needs without the blink of an eye. The pain of not having someone he loved immensely love him back was conspicuous from his face, but for Rohit what mattered more was the fact that his best friend was happy. It could be argued that his momentary sacrifice was much tamer than Aman's share-- considering he was literally dying--but Rohit's selfless gesture had a charming quietness about it. Even later, when Naina ends up choosing Rohit, he remains grateful; both for Aman's friendship, and Naina's trust and the love for him. No amount of re-watches of 'Kal Ho Naa Ho' can make the saddening beauty of the “little black diary scene” any less evocative. It's a scene where Aman is the star; one where he gets to live his secret desire of expressing just how much he loves Naina. It's a scene that I'm sure has made the coldest of hearts melt, not only because of SRK's complete acting prowess but also due to Rohit's honesty. Even though he wants Naina, he can't help but feel bad because that's the kind of man Rohit is. Who wouldn't want him as a partner? The film's beauty as a modern Bollywood love-triangle then lay in the fact that it built both the heroes up to such an extent that either of them could be the perfect choice for Naina. It's a cruel but effective reminder in the fact that sometimes who we end up with is a result of the circumstances, rather than who we are in love with. It makes you introspect, forget what every other Bollywood love-triangle has imbibed in you, and asks: What happens when both your options are as good as each other? It's definitely the cleverest love-triangle we've had in a long, long time. © Dharma Productions It also helps that the film is made up of some of the most fascinating supporting characters: From Gia, Naina's singing superstar grandmother to Kantaben, Sweetu and Rajpal Yadav's groom act, every character has a different set of quirk to them, and add so much flavour to the film. In fact, it is Rohit's parents who steal the limelight in their customised, cringey G-U-J-J-U song. The fact that most of us still remember scenes from the film vividly is proof of how successful the legacy of 'Kal Ho Naa Ho' is. No matter how great the storyline was, it'd be remiss to not talk about the soundtrack. If Mahi Ve taught us to dance, then Pretty Woman made us smile. If Kuch Toh Hua Hai succeeded in depicting and making us feel the beauty of the entire process of falling in love, then the title track of 'Kal Ho Naa Ho' made us promise to make the most out of life's every moment. It's only fitting that we thank 'Kal Ho Naa Ho' for having the gall to take up the issue of homosexuality and infidelity at a time when most films shied away from talking about these things, for making us love Aman and Rohit in equal measure, for giving us a heroine who was independent and smart, and for being a film we can turn to on any given day.
  20. The land that was to become Israel represented 54 percent of mandate Palestine, though Jews accounted for 30 percent of the population-AFP PARIS: The UN plan that partitioned Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab, was adopted 70 years ago. The resolution led to the creation of Israel, but an independent Palestinian state has yet to see the light of day. Here is a recap. Palestine handed to UN After World War II, Britain´s grasp on power in Palestine was slipping. It had received a mandate for the territory from the League of Nations in 1922. But things had changed radically since then, following the Jewish Holocaust, mounting pressure from underground zionist groups, the creation of the Arab League and increased US involvement in the Middle East. In February 1947 London announced it would give up control of Palestine, handing it over to the United Nations, which had replaced the League of Nations. A three-minute vote The UN General Assembly in New York adopted Resolution 181 on the partition of Palestine on November 29, 1947. In a vote that took less than three minutes, Palestine -- home to 1.3 million Arabs and 600,000 Jews -- was divided into three entities which were to be formed by August 1, 1948. The Jewish state was allocated 14,000 square kilometres (5,400 square miles) of territory, while the Palestinians were to keep three regions spanning 11,500 square kilometres (4,400 square miles). A special international zone was created for Jerusalem and its surrounding areas. The land that was to become Israel represented 54 percent of mandate Palestine, though Jews accounted for 30 percent of the population. The UN plan also laid out details on citizenship, transit rights, economic union and a declaration that each of the independent states allow access to holy sites and respect the rights of religious communities and minorities. Common US, Soviet Union front Even though Britain had prompted the session that called the vote, it abstained because of the explosive nature of the text. Having regularly changed its position over the Palestinian issue, London was at this point broadly on the side of the Arabs. Arab states were against, calling for the creation of a single, democratic and independent Palestinian state encompassing the whole area. However they came up against an unexpected alliance between Cold War foes the United States and the Soviet Union which made it possible to get the two-thirds majority needed for the text to be adopted. While the Soviet Union wanted Britain out of Palestine, the United States leadership, encouraged by Jews inside the country, backed the formation of an independent Jewish state. Dream for Jews, Arab nightmare While Jewish leaders accepted the UN plan, some zionists rejected it because the territory that was granted fell far short of the Greater Israel to which they aspired. But in Tel Aviv there were scenes of jubilation among Jews. Arab countries rejected the project. And among Palestinians there was a deep sense of injustice, with the number of violent incidents in Palestinian territory eventually escalating. On May 14, 1948, Zionist leader David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the creation of the State of Israel after the end of the British mandate in Palestine. The first Arab-Israeli war broke out a day later. By the end of the conflict, Israel occupied 78 percent of mandate Palestine. A Palestinian exodus began, with more than 760,000 eventually leaving. During the Six-Day War of June 1967 Israel took more territory, occupying the West Bank, east Jerusalem -- which it went on to annex -- and the Gaza Strip, from which it unilaterally withdrew in 2005. It also took parts of the Golan Heights from Syria and Sinai from Egypt, which it later returned in 1982
  21. Seated at tables with glasses of tea in the heart of Baghdad?s bookshop district, the customers of Shabandar cafe have watched 100 years of Iraq?s tumultuous history pass by. Photo: AFP file BAGHDAD: Seated at tables with glasses of tea in the heart of Baghdad?s bookshop district, the customers of Shabandar cafe have watched 100 years of Iraq?s tumultuous history pass by. Since opening its doors a century ago, the establishment has become a hub of Baghdad?s intellectual life, drawing poets and politicians to its wooden benches and photo-lined walls. ?I?ve been coming here for the past 60 years,? Abdel Fattah al-Noeimi, 77, tells AFP, dapper in his spotless brown suit and matching tie. ?At nine in the morning until two or three in the afternoon, when everyone is leaving.? From British rule to modern-day Iraq, Shabandar has lived through the birth of a nation, the toppling of its monarchy, decades of domination by Saddam Hussein, the drama of the US-led invasion and the bloody chaos that followed. The twists and tragedies have all left their mark on the cafe. During the sectarian bloodletting, a car bomb in 2007 tore through the historic Al-Mutanabbi Street on which the cafe stands ? killing around 100 people. Among the dead were four sons and a grandson of Shabandar?s owner, Mohammed al-Khashali. A history book But Khashali does not want to dwell on that tragic event ? and today the rhythm of clinking tea glasses, bubbling hookah pipes and conversation hums just as it always has done. ?Taking a seat here is like taking a seat in a history book,? the proprietor tells AFP from his regular position by the glass and wood front doors. When it first became a cafe in 1917, the brick and plaster building was already a local institution as it housed the printing press of merchant Abdel Majid al-Shabandar ? whose name comes from Turkish, meaning ?the greatest of merchants?. Khashali ? who sports a traditional white robe and beard of the same colour ? took over in 1963 and made a decision that would prove defining: he banned all games, including cards and dominoes, from the cafe. While the move surprised some customers, it meant the new owner stayed true to a ?promise? he had made to himself. ?That this would be a place where people of culture would meet,? Khashali said. ?That is truly what happened.? School of thought Dozens of black and white photographs covering the walls of the cafe offer a glimpse into the history of Baghdad and Iraq, chronicling some of its leading lights and others who have since slipped into obscurity. In a golden book, a number of foreign ambassadors have left their signatures. The diversity of the faces of the men and women lining the walls is echoed nowadays by the varied crowd that still packs into Shabandar each morning. The cafe is ?not reserved for any religion, or culture or part of society ? everyone is here?, says regular patron Noeimi. It even encompasses a certain ?school of thought? of its own, he insists, where despite the profound divisions that have torn apart Iraqi society, ?everyone respects each others? ideas?. As the hubbub of chatter and shouted orders rumbles on around him, Rammah Abdelamir, 17, looks up from his book on modern political thought to take in this ?monument of old Baghdad?. Waiters weave between customers, filling their glasses with steaming hot tea, as they barely look up from deep in their conversations. ?This place is a bit of a mecca for intellectuals and a place of learning for each new generation,? Abdelamir says.
  22. When I was growing up, my favourite thing to do was to come home from school and watch shows on the new, hottest music channel on TV: Channel [V]. It didn't need a long or elaborate name: it was iconic just as Channel V, the channel which your parents scolded you for spending too much time watching. Although we remember the famous 'itna paisa mein itna-ich milega?,' the truth is that Channel V never needed to advertise. We were hooked from day one. No matter your taste, age, gender or interests, it had something for everybody. It had an Indian version of international shows like 'Popstars' and 'Making the Band' (which gave us the unforgettable all-girl band VIVA), 'Get Gorgeous', 'Hit Machine', 'Dare to Dare'. All day long, it played music videos, soaps and reality shows. And who could forget their VJs? The sexy Purab Kohli, Gaurav Kapoor, Kamal Sidhu, Juhi Pande, Nina Manuel, Sarah-Jane Dias (who went on to become Femina Miss India and represent the country in the Miss World competition) and Shruti Seth were responsible for stoking a billion crushes. Channel V gave them an essential platform from which to advance their career. One of them even interviewed Katrina Kaif on Channel V in 2004. You might not know him now – he's just a minor actor by the name of Aditya Roy Kapoor! Back then, he was a skinny young boy interviewing a Bollywood newcomer. That way, Channel V was a breeding ground for a lot of talents who would go on to become models, actors, and pageant contestants. © YouTube It's difficult to describe just how much impact this channel had on the hearts and minds of today's youth. Long before we tuned into 'The Voice' or 'American Idol', we all rooted for the young Indian girls lining up to audition, hoping they would be discovered. (And subsequently, we watched the music videos for 'Hum Naye Geet Sunaye' and 'Jaago Zara', thrilled to pieces that we had our own desi band.) When Anuradha Menon put on her geeky glasses to become 'Lola Kutty', a million Malayalees tuned in to laugh. (It helped that she had a perfect handle on the accent, the type of sari, and the gift of comic timing. Haryanvis had Udham Singh—the Jat, a role played by Munish Makhija.) We loved seeing Upen Patel host 'Get Gorgeous IV', a show that promised to make aspiring models famous (unfortunately none of these newly-minted superstars ever enjoyed more than 15 minutes of fame). But all these shows came a distant second to the actual music videos that were played on Channel V. You see, Channel V knew its audience. This was before the days of YouTube, when we couldn't watch music videos anytime we wanted. This was before iTunes and iPods, when we couldn't listen to songs as we took the bus to school. In fact, most Indian homes didn't have unlimited Internet at the time: we had those dial-up connections that we could only use for a limited time (we mostly spent it chatting with our friends on MSN Messenger, until our dads yelled at us to get offline so they could use the landline). So for many of us, our only way to watch international music videos was through MTV or Channel V (on Channel V, it would be 'Hotline' that gave us our Eminem fix). Channel V was, for many people, the slightly-more-Indian version of MTV (when Star wanted to make MTV's content more Indian, MTV abandoned the Star platform and Star launched Channel V to cater to people who wanted both Indian and foreign music videos.) © Twitter And we were in luck because both MTV and Channel V would be competing for our attention, and producing shows like 'Emotional Atyachaar', 'Stay Tuned', 'Roadies', 'Dare to Date', 'Splitsvilla', and 'Axe Ur Ex': each more outrageous than the next. (Axe Your Ex featured people who played wacky revenge pranks on their exes, some even going so far as to kidnap them for the camera!) We were spoiled for choice when it came to dating shows and reality shows. The game has been changed forever by the Internet, of course. The advent of digital completely disrupted and changed our modes of music consumption. Now, people are responsible for curating the music, movies, and TV that they like. But in a time when we couldn't choose from a music library of a billion songs, Channel V was the curator. Whatever the VJs on Channel V thought was hip, cool, fashionable, we listened to. (We also took fashion cues from them, which meant that we were obsessed with distressed denim, neon jackets, and other typically nineties bad fashion choices.) Now, many of us don't even watch TV – why put up with advertisements, when we can stream shows without interruption from the Netflix app installed on our iPads? But as privileged as the youth of today are, I feel a pang of regret that they won't understand how good it was to wait for something. The fact that I had to wait in order to watch my favourite shows on Channel V made the watching experience that much more special. I had to appreciate it because I didn't have any other way to access it. So my eyes were glued to the television every moment that the program was on. But now, when I watch Game of Thrones, I often find myself looking away from the screen, because I don't appreciate it as much now that I have it on demand. What went so wrong along the way for Channel V? Problems started to arise due to the way Channel V handled strategy. According to Ashish Patil, former chief executive at MTV India, it was V's frequent relaunches and changes in leadership that did them in. “The trouble is, Channel V used to have a re-launch every three years,” says Patil. “Meanwhile, MTV kept reinventing with music, lifestyle, romance, gadgets as well as reality shows such as 'Roadies' and 'Splitsvilla' which are still around. We also did music awards, style awards and extended the brand into merchandise.” © Twitter In 2012, Channel V was reinstated as a reality show channel, instead of being exclusively a music brand. When it shifted its focus off music (this happened in 2015), it lost much of its popularity and TRPs. It was even classified as such – as a youth entertainment channel rather than a music channel. Of course, this was not what audiences wanted, and Channel V lost its firm focus and position on the market. It was not strong enough as a general entertainment channel to compete with channels like Star World. Accordingly, viewership dropped drastically. In 2016, this mistake was corrected: it went back to playing music videos on loop. But it was too late for Channel V to regain popularity, and Star India decided to shut down operations. (It is rumored to be replaced by a Kannada sports channel). But for a lot of us- the millennials, the generation that grew up watching people send in requests for the latest hit songs- Channel V is irreplaceable. The memories that we have around coming home, kicking off our school shoes, and eating Bourbon biscuits in front of the latest edition of Hotline are eternal. RIP, V. You live on in our memories.
  23. When people say that Indian women are the most beautiful in the whole wide world, they mean it and we vouch for it. While beauty pageants are not the only means of measuring the value of our women in the world, they surely are a platform that allows you to make an impact. The 'Miss World' pageant is no different. While the entire country is celebrating the win of Manushi Chillar for getting the crown home, it's not the first time it has come to us. I am so happy that I have done my nation proud and I am very excited to begin a new journey!!. Thank you everyone for all the wishes, means the world to me. @missindiaorg @missworld #manushichhillar #missworld A post shared by Manushi Chhillar (@manushi_chhillar) on Nov 18, 2017 at 9:23pm PST Ever since the winner was announced, everyone's trying to recall who the previous winners were. These are the gorgeous Indian women who brought the title home: 1. Reita Faria- She won the crown back in 1966 and unlike most beauty pageant winners who choose entertainment as a career option, she opted to pursue medicine. However, she stayed connected with judging beauty pageants. 2. Aishwarya Rai- The entire planet is aware of her beauty. A super successful Bollywood run, a wonderful mother and a woman who chose to be associated with some stellar causes and used her fame for all the right reasons, Aishwarya still rules the heart of everyone. 3. Diana Hayden- She got the crown in 1997 and entered B-town for a short run. She is happily married now. 4. Yukta Mookhey- She won the title in 199, shortly after Diana. Her movies didn't really have a successful run at the box office so eventually she quit Bollywood. 5. Priyanka Chopra- Needs no recognition and continues being the 'desi' heartbeat for everyone. She is a megastar, a known name in Hollywood, on every channel and still stunning as always! Manushi is the latest and the sixth beauty from our country who has made us super proud. The beautiful girl hails from Haryana and is pursuing MBBS as well. The list will hopefully grow in the future, until then, your knowledge has brushed up well.
  24. After a long hiatus of 17 years, the coveted crown of Miss World has finally come to India and as expected our happiness and pride knows no bounds. The woman who made this happen, who made the whole nation proud, is 20-year-old Medical student from Haryana, Manushi Chhillar. Manushi is the sixth Indian to win this prestigious title. 'Quantico' star aka our Desi girl, Priyanka Chopra had won the title in 2000. Manushi defeated beauties from over 108 countries to win the crown, in a dazzling ceremony held at Sanya City Arena, China. The crown was passed on to the new queen by Stephanie Del Valle, Miss World 2016 from Puerto Rico. (c) Reuters “The feeling is still sinking in and I am very excited to make India proud too. I'm also looking forward to the year ahead,” Manushi was quoted saying in a statement after this exceptional victory. However, apart from her win, it's her amazing answer that has stunned the whole world and filled our hearts with respect for her at the same time. When asked about “Which profession deserves the highest salary and why?” This is what Manushi said, “I think a mother deserves the highest respect and when you talk about salary it's not always about cash but I feel it's the love and respect that you give to someone. My mother has always been the biggest inspiration in my life. All mothers sacrifice so much for their kids. So, I think it is the job of a mother that deserves the highest salary.” Well said, girl! (c) Reuters Manushi's victory opened the floodgates of congratulatory messages from all corners of the country. People's excitement and joy knew no bounds and even as I am writing this, I am sure that the nation's heart is beaming with pride, not just for her victory but also for her love for her mother and her simplicity. Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to wish Manushi and wrote that India is proud of her accomplishment. Congratulations @ManushiChhillar! India is proud of your accomplishment. — Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 18, 2017 Former Miss World, who is now taking the whole world by storm, Priyanka Chopra too congratulated her after she heard this news, expressing happiness that India finally found a successor. And we have a successor!Congratulations @ManushiChhillar on becoming #MissWorld2017.. cherish and learn, and most importantly enjoy it.Bravo — PRIYANKA (@priyankachopra) November 18, 2017 Amitabh Bachchan, Sushmita Sen, Randeep Hooda, Anupam Kher and other celebrities too wished her for this great achievement. T 2715 - A Miss World in our world .. ! Pride and felicitations .. à¤à¤°à¥à¤µ à¤à¤° à¤à¤¼à¥à¤¶à¤¿à¤¯à¤¾à¤ , भारत à¤à¤¾ à¤à¤à¤¡à¤¾ à¤à¤¾à¤¡à¤¼ दिया विशà¥à¤µ मà¥à¤ ।। Manushi Chillar congratulations !!ð¤£ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ — Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) November 18, 2017 Congratulations @ManushiChhillar! May your beautiful smile and grace always win over the world and help make a positive change â¤ï¸ #MissWorld2017 #India — Dia Mirza (@deespeak) November 18, 2017 Dear @ManushiChhillar!! Thank you for bringing that crown back to India after 17years. Thank you for your amazing answer about mothers. Congratulations. India awaits to welcome you with colours of love, warmth & pride. Jai Ho.ð®ð³ððð — Anupam Kher (@AnupamPkher) November 18, 2017 India wins Miss World 2017!!!! Congratulations @ManushiChhillar ðððâ¤ï¸ððð»yipeeeee about time!!!!ðð®ð³ð super proud!!!! #JaiHind ðªâ¤ï¸ð — sushmita sen (@thesushmitasen) November 18, 2017 First they took #Sports & now #Glamour these #Haryanavi #women I tell are something else.. well done #ManushiChhillar à¤à¥à¤à¤à¥ राà¤à¥à¤à¥ मà¥à¤à¤° #MissWorld2017 महारॠà¤à¥à¤°à¥ à¤à¥à¤°à¥à¤¯à¤¾ तॠà¤à¤® à¤à¤¤à¥ भॠना हà¥à¤ !! @ManushiChhillar ðð½ðð½ðð½ — Randeep Hooda (@RandeepHooda) November 18, 2017 Congratulations manushi chhillar (our Femina Miss India) on winning miss world 2017. India is proud of you. @narendramodi — Vineet jain (@vineetjaintimes) November 18, 2017
  25. Not all heroes wear capes, some wear diapers and bring along bundles of joy fire with them. Well, if you are a 90s kid and binge-watched 'The Incredibles' instead of playing outdoors, you will know who we are talking about – Jack-Jack. The adorably dangerous baby who was responsible for the end of the evil 'Syndrome'. Now, the super cute toddler Jack-Jack is coming back and Disney just confirmed it by teasing us with this short trailer. © Pixar Studios Finally it's happening! 'The Incredibles' now has a sequel. But this much-anticipated teaser is so short that if you sneeze after opening the video, chances are you will miss out the whole thing by the time you are done wiping your nose. (Yeah, we know we exaggerated.) But, like people say that good things come in small packages, this teaser too was an entertaining one despite being short. It instantly takes you on a nostalgic trip as the flashback from the 2004 movie starts playing in our minds. © Pixar Studios The teaser is out and by the looks of it, the movie will pick up from where the first one left – the family comes back home after defeating Syndrome, only to realize that their toddler isn't any ordinary baby, but is actually a ball of fire with his own superpowers. This movie will be Jack-Jack's own individual film where he will be seen possessing every superpower imaginable and we are not complaining at all. Now that the sequel hints at focusing on Jack-Jack, guess who is going to be super-excited? Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl? No. Dash and Violet? No. It's Edna Mode, their irritable fashion designer who will now get to use her sass to make an ubercool superhero suit for Jack-Jack. © Pixar Studios We even hope that Kari McKeen gets hired permanently as Jack-Jack's babysitter. I mean, who else can deal with a shape-shifting, fire spewing baby as 'calmly' as her? © Pixar Studios Almost 13 years ago, the Parr family came in our lives and took the whole world by storm. One big guy stuck in his white collar job, his whiney wife who is going crazy managing her kids; they looked like a normal family from outside, but secretly all of them were actually 'supers' who used their superpowers one last time to defeat the villain and his robots to change the fate of the world. Now it's time for Jack-Jack to shine and we are confident that Brad Bird won't disappoint us this time as well. © Pixar Studios 'The Incredibles' wasn't just a movie, it was much more than that and kids today can never understand our excitement and feelings that were attached with this film back then. This was a film that was once etched deep in our hearts and was at one point loved more than 'Justice League' and 'Avengers' combined (or maybe not, opinion may differ). So, let's take a deep breath and gear up to push aside all the kids to make it to the line of the movie tickets, because the much-awaited movie 'incredibles 2' belongs to us more than anyone else. The movie is slated for a June 15, 2018 release.