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ZODIAC

Found 739 results

  1. Asad Umar to answer questions pertaining to the export of and subsidies on sugar
  2. MSR will appear before the court after expiry of his judicial remand. He has been in NAB's custody since March 12
  3. We all love to get the hottest tech every year and the newest smartphone that launches from your favourite brand. However, there is one problem that is making the smartphone game even more boring than ever before. Lately, most smartphones across all budgets look identical to each other with slight differences that donât really matter. Innovation in design is also very incremental where most smartphones just look like a slab with screens that can only be differentiated by their branding. However, this was not the case back in the 2000s as we saw phones with innovations both in terms of functionality and software. Whether you were a Nokia user or a Motorola user, it doesnât really matter because they all looked different from each other. The competition was stiff back in the day, and it made companies innovate in terms of design that canât be replicated by phone companies today. Hardware is more or less commoditised today, which limits companies from experimenting as much they did in the early and late 2000s. There was a phone for almost every type of phone user and really do miss those days. There are plenty of phones that fit this category, but we decided to compile a list of five phones that pushed the envelope and embodied real innovation when it came to the design: 1. Nokia 3310 © Wikipedia Commons Youâve probably seen this phone before and heard many stories about its durability. In fact, the phone looked quite basic but its high durability factor was the reason why most people bought this phone; and to play Snake. The phone took the world with storm, thanks to its smaller form factor and the fact that it can last longer than your average phone during its period. The phone also upgraded the text limit to 459-character, three times longer than any phone at the time. No wonder it sold more than 125 million units. 2. Motorola Razr © Wikipedia Commons We still consider this the sexiest phone of all time as it was the coolest looking phone anyone can get. It was featured in movies, music videos and even in cartoons making it one of the most innovative designs of flip phones. It was sleek, it had a colour screen and the flip closing sound was addictive to hear. The phone also pushed boundaries with its ring tone selection and it even came with a camera that was not available on every phone. The phone was first launched in 2004 and the company tried to give a modern twist to the Razr with a foldable screen but that was a massive failure. 3. Nokia N-Gage QD © Alophone We all dreamt of playing proper games on our phones and Nokia N-Gage was the first phone to deliver on this promise. It was an attempt by Nokia to capture the Nintendo Gameboy Advance audience. The second iteration of the phone i.e. âNokia N-Gage QDâ had ironed out all the design flaws from its predecessor. However, the phone wasnât as successful as we would have liked it to be. Having said that, this phone shows that Nokia wasnât afraid of experimenting with phone designs and actually deliver a phone that can also play some awesome games. Some say Nokia N-Gage QD is the inspiration for many gaming smartphones we see today, albeit none of them are as impressive as Nokiaâs design. 4. Sony Ericsson P900 © YouTube/Cortado In a way, the Sony Ericsson P900 was the first smartphone that supported third-party Java applications, had a touch screen and a flip design all in one phone. The keypad could be flipped open to access an entire display that could be used with a stylus. The phone also had a jog-wheel on the top right corner for easier navigation. It was a great successor to the Sony Ericsson P800; however, it was the P900 that challenged the status quo in 2003. 5. Nokia Communicator © Wikiepdia Commons The first phone to infuse a laptop design into a phone was the Nokia Communicator and the phone is still considered quite legendary by many. You can say the Nokia Communicator is the Godfather of the modern smartphone as many features introduced on this phone are now being used in smartphones today. The phone looks normal from outside but when opening the clamshell front, the phone had access to a full-blown QWERTY keyboard and an LCD display that was almost as big as the phone. The phone also had internet connectivity for people to email documents that could be typed on the phone itself. 6. Apple iPhone © Reddit The most revolutionary phone of our time is no doubt the first iPhone which was introduced by Steve Jobs on stage in 2007. It was nothing like the competition and is responsible for the demise of the feature phone as we know them. It had a sleek metal and glass design and had only one main button. Instead of using a stylus, you could use your fingers for using the screen and it came with apps that were far superior to anything we had seen. The iPhone paved the way for modern smartphones in a way that we havenât really been able to go back to where phones came from. View the full article
  4. Thanks to Doordarshan, the popular show Ramayan is back on the TV and I am on a nostalgia trip. Back then, we all used to watch it on our television screens and it seems like we are back to those golden days when people used to respect each other and TV used to air shows that made sense and shows like âNaaginâ didnât exist. We had actors like Arun Govil who played the character of Lord Ram to perfection. When one tries to imagine Lord Ram, we can only think of him in that avatar, as no one, post that, could ever give justice to the grandeur of the character of Lord Ram. Even after 33 years since its first telecast, the show continues to receive the same amount of love. Itâs trending on Twitter every day and people are thankful to the channel for re-airing the show in these difficult times of lockdown in the country. MensXP got in touch with Arun Govil to know his reaction to Ramayan getting a positive response by the millennials and how challenging was it to shoot in those days as facilities and production budgets were tight and limited. Ramayan is back and people from every generation is loving the show, especially the millennials. Many of us have watched it while growing up but for new generation kids, itâs a first. They are loving it and have been trending Ramayan on Twitter. What do you have to say about it? âIt feels great when you get so much of love and when people from every generation like you, it means that show has a universal appeal. The show has been telecast at such a time that everyone can watch it sitting with their families. It's a family-oriented show and you get to learn about relationships between a father and son, husband and wife, and many other relationships. The younger generation was earlier not thorough with Ramayan but now they can see it and understand it properly. These days, kids are smart and they know the positives and negatives. I am sure that the younger generation will follow some things from Ramayan. â When I was a kid, I used to think you are the real Lord Rama. Have you ever faced such situations back then when people used to come to thinking you as some celestial being? âThere were a lot of people who looked at me as I am Lord Rama and I could see them get goose bumps on their body. They used to start crying and say 'Oh Bhagwaan'. People used to touch my feet and run away saying that we have finally met God â âAaj hume bhagwaan milgaye, aaj humne bhagwaan dekh liyeâ, so there were a lot of such instances that happened back then. â View this post on Instagram⢠पà¥à¤°à¤­à¥ शà¥à¤°à¥ राम ⢠Sri Arun Govilji as Lord Rama, Ramanand Sagar's Ramayana! Arun Goviljii we fans love you @siyaramkijai ðð . . . Quick sketch from Pencil : HB, 2B. . #arungovil #arungovil_ram #sunillahri #sunillahri_laxman #arvindtrivedi #ramayana #ramayan #ramayanam #ramayanagiveaway #lordrama #lordram #10_top_artist #art_xplore #drawingsketch #drawingindian #indian_artists_club @laughingcoloursA post shared by (@sketches_of_harsh) So, it's not that directors didn't come with the modern versions of Ramayan but there's some charm about Ramanand Sagar's Ramayan and no one could ever recreate it. Do you agree? Let me tell you, after this Ramayan, there were at least 4 to 5 versions of it that were shown on TV. In fact, Ramanand Ji's brothers had also tried it but they also didn't work and the reasons are the quality of the show, Sagar Sahab's writing is unbeatable in this show, right kind of the casting, and this Ramayan was made with having faith in god. Later on, we too realized that God was helping us to make the show. Everyone in the show was dedicated to the show and we were not thinking it's just a character in the show. We were literally a part of it from our hearts and this emotion wasn't there in the rest of the versions. Nowadays, TV stars or Bollywood celebs have a lot of luxuries like their own personal vanity vans and rooms with AC but that wasn't the case when you were shooting. How challenging was it for you back then? There were no facilities at all. We had rooms to ourselves but that had only the basic amenities and even the bed was like 'lakdi ka takhta sorts' (old ones if you remember). I remember âitni garmi hoti thi and usmein humne kaam kiyaâ. Luxuries never make a project, it's your hard work that gives you the result. âHumari jitni jewelry hoti thi, mukut and all, it was made of metal and nowadays, fabric ka ban jata hai. Wo mukut and jewelry were so heavy that we used to get cuts on our skin and even our shoulders used to give up but then, we kept working hard and it did take a toll but the results were good and that kept all of us going. â View this post on InstagramA post shared by (@giggle.dude) So, when you play such a positive character, there's an image that's imprinted on people's minds and it's very hard for them to see you in sort of a negative portrayal. Did that happen in your case? âThoda nahi, aise poora hua tha mere sath. I was in commercial films prior to Ramayan. I had started working in 1977 and Ramayan came in 87. After Ramayan, I was out from commercial films and no one could think, Arun Govil could play anything but a deity. I also tried my hands but I myself didn't like it and I realized that this man is not made for grey characters. I wanted to change my image from positive to negative but that didn't happen so I left chasing what I didn't have. â Back in those days, humanity meant something different and life was very simple. Recently, a video had surfaced where Arvind Trivedi (who played the role of Raavan) was feeling apologetic for abducting Sita on the reel screen. But, now, we don't see such humanity or emotions. How will Ramayan restore the basic emotion of humanity? âEmotions toh basically logon ki life se missing hai aajkal. We are living in a materialistic world and emotions have no space which is not a good sign. Ramayan does help and let me tell you, we become habitual of the environment we stay in. If you stay with negative people, you tend to think negatively and when you are surrounded by positivity, you will absorb it as human beings have the tendency to observe our surroundings and react in a certain way. If you see positive things on TV, you will obviously learn good things. â View this post on Instagrambehind the scene â¥ï¸ #ram #ravan #ramayan #ramayanaA post shared by (@kharagpurlover) Ending on a positive note, what message you would want to give to the younger generation? âRamayan has so many things that you can learn from and it's quite relevant in today's life too. I would say 'sanskaar' bohot kaam aate hai. In our everyday lives, no one is telling these things so better to learn from Ramayan. We go to convent schools and it's good that you want to grow but don't get convent schools at home. In today's age, parents don't tell their children ki pair chu kar jao. I feel respect is getting lost and I think we should retain our 'sanskaar'. I would tell the youngsters to try everything, but it's important to know the positives and negatives. â Have you relived the golden days with your family while watching this mythological saga? View the full article
  5. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Tuesday, made an official announcement on the extension of nationwide lockdown till May 3. People largely were okay with the extension, owing to the increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the country. However, most of them were disappointed with one thing - no new âtaskâ this time. All of the Prime Ministerâs previous announcements had been accompanied by certain âtasksâ for citizens such as clapping or banging plates from balconies to commemorate the contributions of frontline health workers at 8 pm on âJanta curfewâ, which was on March 22 or lighting candles for 9 minutes at 9 pm on April 5 to fight the coronavirus darkness. People across the county actively took part in both the events. This time, however, PM Modiâs speech was more sombre and Indians largely were disappointed with no announcement of new tasks. Most of them took to Twitter to lament the missing "task" and shared hilarious memes. Here, take a look: When the speech ends but modiji didn't give any other task to do. pic.twitter.com/0HzJ5wH5Q5 â âªï¸Sagarwaâªï¸ (@chocolateboey07) April 14, 2020Modiji: *doesnât give any new task* Indians: pic.twitter.com/6ygCMd6Khs â Akash (@vaderakash) April 14, 2020Modiji came, #lockdown2 speech given, but no task given Me and boys : pic.twitter.com/KMUGE1xH1d â Chirag Jain (@jainchirag922) April 14, 2020When Modiji concluded the speech without alloting any task. pic.twitter.com/7BDGJOiNY1 â Kishan Jhunjhunwala (@Jhunjhunastic) April 14, 2020When you are waiting for a new task but Modiji finishes speech without one pic.twitter.com/ODInGj8dAB â Ankesh Khunteta (@ankesh_k_13) April 14, 2020*Modiji finished his speech without giving any task to his fellow countrymen. *Meanwhile memers:- pic.twitter.com/leoWJMrBqq â Divyanshu Rathore (@TheFrozenWords) April 14, 2020Meanwhile, PM Modi, in his speech, made seven requests to people about behavioural guidelines that they should follow during the lockdown period, such as helping out poor people, wearing homemade face masks, taking care of elders at home and not terminating employees among others. The government will issue detailed guidelines on the lockdown on Wednesday. View the full article
  6. The release of 100 Taliban fighters is the first steps towards a subsequent exchange of 6,000 prisoners
  7. Ahead of the semi-finals of the ICC World Cup 2011, the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Indian cricket team found themselves to be high on confidence and they had all the reasons in the world to do so. After all, they had just ended Ricky Ponting and the Australiansâ 12-year dominance over World Cup cricket, thanks to Yuvraj Singhâs match-winning performance in the quarter-final clash at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium. #OnThisDay in 2011, Yuvraj Singh and Brett Lee gave their all for their respective teams. However, only one could win. 50s of Sachin and Gambhir as well as Raina's partnership with Yuvraj helped India win this quarter final against Australia. pic.twitter.com/jfVj1BUZDt â Rashmi (@Iam__Rashmi) March 24, 2020On the other side, Shahid Afridiâs Men in Green had just defeated the West Indies by 10 wickets in their quarter-final match and had no reason to doubt themselves against their neighbouring opponents, even though they were the hosts. However, the sheer significance of the historic rivalry is enough to overwhelm the strongest of men. For India, the need to make it to the finals and finally clinch the World Cup trophy after a drought of 28 years. For Pakistan, the desperation to break the curse of being winless against the Men in Blue in the history of the tournament. A WC SEMIFINAL CAN'T GET ANY BIGGER THAN THIS Sehwag sizzler at the top Lucky Sachin anchoring the innings MS-Raina with key knocks Indian bowlers having a field day#OnThisDay in 2011, India snatched another Mauka Mauka from Pak in a WC encounter, winning by 29 runsð®ð³ pic.twitter.com/gG7y5tuJRo â North Stand Gang - Wankhede (@NorthStandGang) March 30, 2020By the end of the day, only one team would go on to fulfil their dreams, the other, as we now know, would have to wait for at least 12 more years. Before the toss, Dhoni announced that he had replaced an inform Ravichandran Ashwin with an experienced Ashish Nehra. Afridi, showing faith in his Playing XI from the Windies win, didnât change a single man, and Shoaib Akhtarâs dream of facing the Indian batsmen in a World Cup duel remained unfulfilled. #OnThiDay in 2011 India beat Pakistan and qualofied for final of ICC cricket World Cup amd it was my first ever match which made me fall in love with cricket it made me extremely sad i remember those tears in @SAfridiOfficial eyes i remember shoaib akhtar got retired pic.twitter.com/PuqPjLliKr â Momina Shahzadian ðµð° (@IamMomina_19) March 30, 2019As India won the toss, an arrogant Shahid Afridi mentioned that the toss didnât matter anyway and that the Mohali pitch was in favour of the spinners. India, throughout the tournament, had dangerously depended on their two openers to give them a fleeting start and they had just the two men to get the job done. One on side of the pitch was Virender Sehwag, who scored 36 out of the 38 run-innings with boundaries before giving up his wicket Wahab Riaz on an LBW appeal, and on the other was the master blaster, Sachin Tendulkar, the man who was at the twilight of his illustrious career, and only one good innings short of scoring his 100th century. © Reuters After Sehwagâs early dismissal, Tendulkar knew that the burden of giving a good start to his captain would fall on his shoulders and he was ready for it. He continued to hold the fort while the bleeding of wickets didnât stop on the other end. First, Gambhir was sent back to the pavilion at 27, then Virat Kohli was dismissed on 9. Even the hero from the previous match, Yuvraj Singh failed to impress as he was bowled out by Riaz on a golden duck. © Reuters Tendulkar was hungry for the win, he wanted his 100th century and he wanted it against Pakistan in the World Cup semi-final. However, as the oldest veteran of the team, he also knew better than to lose his wicket in haste. Slowly but steadily, he struck 11 fours and never in his innings lofted a shot for a maximum, except that one time when he failed to keep it down and âBoom Boomâ Afridi caught him out at cover in the 37th over. The hope of watching their God complete the unprecedented journey of scoring 100 tons came to a crashing halt for millions of his fans. © Reuters Nonetheless, his 85 runs turned out to be enough to hold off Afridiâs batting-order as it was backed up by some fine bowling by the lastest team inductee, Nehra ji who, while giving away just 33 runs and picking up two wickets in his 10 overs, became the most efficient bowler against Pakistan. Other Indian bowlers in Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel, Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh, all scalped two wickets each, as well. Most High Voltage World Cup Match India Vs Pakistan#OnThisDay in 2011 Sachin Tendulkar Made 85 Runs in WC Semi Final Mohali. 6 WC ODIs Vs Pak#SachinTendulkar Played 5 Match Sachin Won M.O.M 3 times INDIA WON ALL How Old Were You When India Beat Pakistan in 2011.? pic.twitter.com/zCNzdyKhdN â Sachinð®ð³ Tendulkar FC CrickeTendulkar (@CrickeTendulkar) March 30, 2020India won the match by 29 runs and went on to the final of the 2011 World Cup to meet Kumar Sangakkaraâs Sri Lankan squad for the ultimate recognition at Tendulkarâs home ground in Mumbai. As far as the match against Pakistan was concerned, the little master turned out to be godsent for Dhoni and Co. He was crowned a well earned âMan of the Match,â before he went on to address the Mohali crowd: âI would like to thank everybody in Mohali for the terrific support. The team played brilliantly. The way we bowled and fielded was awesome.â © Reuters âInitially, Viru got us off to a flier and we had to take our time and play out the spinners. We kept losing wickets which we did not want. Raina played well in the end,â he said in the post-match interview. âGoing back to Mumbai is a great occasion. We want to focus on the job that is ahead. All the five matches against Pakistan have been memorable.â The second half of the ICC World Cup 2011 journey for the Men In Blue was rather unique. For every match that India won during the knockout rounds, you could pinpoint the very specific player who led us to the other side. In the quarter-final, it was Yuvraj Singh, in the semis it was Sachin Tendulkar and in the final, it was going to be the then Indian skipper MS Dhoni, who would hit the greatest six of his career to win the World Cup trophy. View the full article
  8. NAB had arrested MSR in connection with a private property case that involves a piece of land that changed hands 34 years ago
  9. The quarantine mode is on and while some of us are doing fine because the anti social life was already a way of living for many of us, most of the other people are having an extremely hard time managing their schedules. Today is the âJanta Curfewâ day and the entire nation is observing it by staying indoors, which basically means we are all locked up with families and suddenly we donât know what to do with all this time and people around us. So, if you fear your house will turn into a âBigg Boss ka gharâ and lectures from your mom and dad are like background music in real life for you, then here are some light comedies you can stream today with your family. These movies are available on your OTT platform so weâve picked the one which are easily available for you: 1. Dil Chahta HaiIf you are an independent kid paying your own wifi bill and living life but still have never managed to make one Goa plan without mummy or daddy asking âkyu jaana haiâ, then try watching this today and throw in some emotional blackmail asking if you can finally go once the coronavirus scare is settled. 2. Jai Mummy Di A casual, random watch which can serve dual purpose of entertaining and throwing in a hint to your mom about your alleged affair with the neighbourhood girlfriend. *wink* 3. MubarakaanIf the quarantine has caught up to your senses and things make no sense as your sibling pick up fights and your parents aimlessly scroll on Whatsapp, then just put everyone in a room and stream this mindless comedy which will make you all laugh in chorus. 4. Carry On JattaThis is probably one âgo toâ movie which will make you laugh, no matter what kind of a day you are having. Best part is that this one also has a sequel. So watching this with mom and dad will be fun. Get some popcorn and enjoy! Do not worry about not getting the whole hang of the Punjabi dialect as the subtitles make it easy to understand. 5. Hindi MediumA family oriented social comedy meant to be watched with your family. The second part of the franchise, sadly, had to be taken off theatres for now but until then, stream this one and enjoy a light watch. 6. Krazzy TabbarIt literally translates to âcrazy familyâ so that should explain why this can be a good watch today. A funny love story with lots of situational comedy scenes thrown in. View the full article
  10. National Assembly speaker Asad Qaiser says agriculture is and would remain central to Pakistan?s economic development
  11. PM Imran and Turkish President Erdogan to visit Faisal mosque for Friday prayers, hold presser afterwards
  12. Defence minister says government is in constant contact with opposition to sort out problems
  13. WhatsApp is about to end support for smartphones running on older operating systems from today which turns out to be millions of phones. The communication application will run on both older Android and iOS devices as the company will end support from February 2 2020. © Unsplash/Kon Karampelas The older operating systems that will be not be supported are the legacy operating systems that no longer receive any updates or come installed on smartphones anymore. Most of the users who will get affected by this can simply update the operating system to have WhatsApp run-in on their smartphones. However, a massive number of users will not be able to upgrade as OEMs have not rolled out updates for older smartphones. To make things simpler, smartphones using Android 2.3.7 and older, and iPhone iOS 8 or older will not be able to use WhatsApp on the smartphones from today. Users can check their software version from the settings and tap on about phone or software version option. © Reuters WhatsApp has also said that older Android and iOS operating systems "can no longer create new accounts, nor re-verify existing accounts after February 1, 2020.â WhatsApp will work on some older operating systems such as KaiOS 2.5.1+ OS, that is being used by JioPhone and JioPhone 2. "This was a tough decision for us to make, but the right one in order to give people better ways to keep in touch with friends, family, and loved ones using WhatsApp," said a spokesperson for the company. If you are upgrading your operating system today to make WhatsApp work on your smartphone, we advise you to take a back up of your chats before going through with the update. Users can take a backup of their WhatsApp conversation by tapping on Settings> Chats> Chat Backup in both Android and iOS versions of the application. View the full article
  14. Card will allow beneficiaries to withdraw monthly cash but also connect them to other projects under Ehsaas programme
  15. When Vietjet Air first invited me to Vietnam in December last year, aboard their first flight from Delhi, two very distinct images flashed across my mind. One was of course from Diane Nguyenâs amusing homecoming trip to Hanoi in Season 5 of Bojack Horseman, and second, much more contrastingly, was the gruesome 1972 âNapalm Girlâ from the Vietnam War. Voted as one of the most influential photos of all time, the latter, an iconic war image, shows a nine-year-old girl running unclothed towards the camera, as a bomb burned down her village, then her clothes and then almost half of her skin. View this post on Instagram#Vietjet is the first airline to bring you direct flights from New Delhi to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. In just 4 hours, you can start exploring the fine concoction that is Vietnam! Log on to www.vietjetair.com to book your flights today. . . . . #vietjet #vietjetair #vietnam #vietnamtourism #flights #bestdeals #travel #travelphotography #travelgram #instatravel #travelogue #travelling #instatravelling #vacay #vacation #vacationmode #explore #tourism #travelphotography #welltravelled #flight #flightcrew #friendlystaff #directflight #vietnamese #vietnamesefood #hanoi #hanoivietnam #hochiminhcity #hochiminhA post shared by (@vietjetindia) And despite a preset itinerary, I set out to trace their footsteps in my rather bastardly, touristy ways, only to discover something completely unexpected ultimately. FYI neither was I going through a divorce like Diane, nor was my country burning like the Napalm Girlâs (or at least thatâs what I thought while taking off on December 12, 2019). Before we begin, a few quick pointers for the curious: You need a passport with minimum six months validity, with at least two blank pagesEasiest way to get a visa and avoid queues is to apply for visa on arrival online. Upload documents and get the visa within 3-5 working daysIdeal way to travel from Delhi is via a Vietjet flight (https://www.vietjetair.com/Sites/Web/en-US/NewsDetail/news/4109/vietjet-is-a-pioneer-in-launching-2-direct-flights-from-vietnam-to-new-delhi-india) to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh. We all know how insane the sale prices were, but otherwise also you can get tickets for under Rs 12,000-15,000 if you plan well(The process isnât too tedious; mine was completed by the organisers, so jokeâs on you, JK) Part 1Coming back to the trip, it kicked off from an airport lounge at Delhiâs Terminal 3 (again arranged by the organisers) with a bunch of fellow journalists and bloggers. The flight to Hanoi took off on time and upon landing early morning, the immigration process was hassle-free as well. We set off on a local sightseeing tour immediately after breakfast, most amazingly in our own bus. We even got our personal tour guide, a 50-something gentleman who was extremely fatherly to say the least. Quick Vietnam socio-geography lesson before we begin: The country is made of three parts primarily â north, central and south. After many years of conflict, the communists finally seemed to rule the entire state before a proxy war started between Russian (pro-communist) and American (pro-capitalist) allied forces, who supported North and South respectively. And although the war ended with a communist victory in 1975, cultural and political differences still exist between the people from both sides. We are in the North right now. First stop: the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Itâs literally got the embalmed body of Ho Chi. Who is Ho Chi? Popularly referred to as Uncle Ho, heâs the Mahatma Gandhi equivalent of Vietnam. He led the independence movement from 1941 onward, defeating the French Union at the Battle of Äiá»n Biên Phủ in 1954, and ending the First Indochina War. Wish we could preserve Gandhiâs body, but we also wish that he was not murdered like he was. (Note: Donât wear short shorts, tank tops or anything non-sanskari) Next stop: The Temple of Literature.Essentially, this near 1000-year old edifice was once a college for the royals and other members of the imperial society. Fun fact: The temples of this variety that are dedicated to Confucius, the Chinese philosopher who advocated personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity, are called Confucian temples. © MensXP/Alshaar From my little understanding of Vietnam till this point (mostly from conversations with the tour guide and locals), it sure appears that a part of Confucius has stayed with them. It remains a communist regime, one of the handful that have survived in the 21st Century. Yet, it is one of the leading economies in South East Asia. Its infrastructure is at least a decade ahead of India and even its manufacturing sector is set to hit targets better. As a society, there is more gender equality in Vietnam and compulsory education policy is quantitatively eight years ahead of India. Moreover, English is their first foreign language and Mandarin is also fashionable. All in all, you would have a better standard of living doing what youâre doing in India right now. Some might struggle with the food though. We had a big lunch at a famous chicken restaurant downtown following the temple visit. And of course, mister tour guide ensured all local culinary delights are spread out on the table. This included heaps of chicken, prawns, shrimps and boiled fish. Vietnamese sauces are not as spicy as their Thai rivals, but youâll love the cuisine if youâre fond of seafood. © MensXP/Alshaar But the coffee is universally loved. Weâre talking about OG Vietnamese coffee; not the coffee + condensed milk pudding that you get in India in the name of Vietnamese coffee. My coffee baptising happened at Café Giang (the founders of egg coffee in 1946), post an hour-long cycle ride around Hoan Kiem Lake & The Old Quarter, where I shared a cigarette with my driver. In sign language, he told me that you can find the stronger stuff in the market too. Not that I necessarily indulged. The coffee, just like all traditional coffee shops in Vietnam, is made with egg. Yes, egg. The main ingredients of the egg coffee are espresso, condensed milk, a little sugar, butter, cheese and egg yolk, resembling a tiramisu in taste. Everything but the coffee is whisked into a creamy foam in a beater (originally in a small cup and by a bamboo whisk), before being poured over the coffee. You get two versions â the hot and the cold â and of course I tried both. After all, how much coffee is too much coffee? Donât listen to me, these two cups were enough. It was a stupid idea, but there was a seat reserved for me at the world-famous Lang Toi human circus in the cityâs opera house. And despite my coffee rush, I was obliged to attend. © MensXP/Alshaar Blame it on the caffeine, but the acrobatics and gymnastics, the stories of the village, the portrayal of innocent love, of seasons, of women, of men, of children, are scintillating, often leaving the jaw dropped, more often the heart stopped . After the 70-minute show, the group of 20-odd even escorts you out of the auditorium with music originating from the clapping of bamboo sticks. The night ended with another wholesome local meal, at Grandma Restaurant, before we ventured out to explore the nightlife at the Hanoi Night Market, very close to the Old Quarter. The streets are lined with tiny bars and pubs. A beer can costs around Rs 60-70 and Hanoi is a must-try. There are local breweries in other parts of the city too, but I was at my touristy max and wonât have much to offer to the discerning taste buds. © MensXP/Alshaar Back at the hotel though, my not-so-touristy instincts took me back to the Diane place. I somewhat managed to relive her experience, squeezing so much into one day, and still felt the same kind of cultural emptiness that she experiences, despite being here for some kind of enlightenment or higher gain. Part 2But the trip would then take me to exactly where she went next: Ha Long Bay, and marked a completely new dawn. © MensXP/Alshaar Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, around 180km east of Hanoi. The bus took around four hours to reach the boarding point of the ferry, which then carried us inside the waters of this astounding archipelago of around 2,000 limestone karsts and isles that come in various shapes and sizes. The limestone in this bay has undergone 500 million years of formation in different conditions and environments. And in the land where even prehistoric humans might have existed, we paid them a fitting tribute by getting drunk. The ferry had a variety of wonderful prawns and fishes on offer as we drank the afternoon away. © MensXP/Alshaar At the farthest end of the waters, marked by the Luon Cave, was a dock that hosted activities like kayaking and snorkelling. Iâm not a swimmer but the beer helped conquer the nerves and we saw the sun go down from kayaking in this gorgeously vestigial part of the South China Sea. Part 3Following another big local meal and a late night of beer drinking, we flew Vietjet to Ho Chi Minh (formerly known as Saigon) the next afternoon (of course, we got another tour bus and a rather puffed-up tour guide). This now is South Vietnam, where a large chunk of action happened during the Vietnam War. But again, the packed itinerary meant our tired souls needed a quieter evening, in order to resume the hardcore sightseeing on the final day in the city. But a dramatic turn of events later I was hooked to my Twitter feed, reading up on the police brutalities that took place in the Jamia Millia Islamia campus that day. The conversation about selective targeting of Muslims was now peaking, days after the Citizenship Amendment Bill was passed in the Parliament as an Act. As most people know by now, it allows all non-Muslims from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh to seek citizenship in India, and when clubbed with the National Register of Citizens (NRC), has invoked fears of Muslims being put in detention camps, like it happened in Assam in 2019. Night transitioned to day, and I was now in the Vietnam War Museum. The news from India kept developing. Protests were aplenty and the âapoliticalâ on my feed had also begun participating. The right-wing of course had hardened further. © MensXP/Alshaar Inside the four-storey museum was an account of the gruesome consequences of the Vietnam War. It told tales of the generations of people affected by bio-chemical weapons, the massacres committed by the American army on innocent Vietnamese villagers, and most remarkably, in the middle of a series of tear jerking pictures was the Napalm Girl. It represents the lowest of human actions and the most inhuman nature of their ramifications. And as details of police brutalities emerged from the Jamia violence, the metaphor could not be clearer. Our last and final stop on the trip was at the Cu Chi tunnels. The now restored forests spurted out thousands of arms and artillery at the time of being vetted post war. Another metaphor? The tunnels, used by anti-America soldiers as hiding spots during combat, emerged as symbols of resistance and the battle for liberation. They also served as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters for numerous North Vietnamese fighters. The tunnel systems were of great importance to the fighters in their resistance to American forces, and helped to counter the growing American military effort, according to my tour guide. With this as the last conversation and a heavy heart from all the violence in India, we headed back to the airport and landed in India via the second direct Vietjet flight route. I was supposed to write this travelogue immediately after, but the protests kept me occupied, psychologically, when not physically. Despite being there, I couldnât help being apologetic about my privilege. Just like Cu Chi though, Shaheen Bagh emerged as Indiaâs biggest hotspot of resistance. And just like the strong women soldiers of Cu Chi, whose videos are proudly screened for visitors, the women of Delhi have spearheaded Indiaâs battle for true democracy. At the end of the dimly lit tunnel that India traversing right now, the protestors represent a rare glimmer. Of the many lessons that can be learnt from Vietnam, one is that there is no winner in a war. And the second, in very Bojack Horseman-esque manner is: âIt gets easier. Every day, it gets a little easier. But you gotta do it every day â thatâs the hard part.â The fight to regain Indiaâs original fabric is going to be long, and more strength to the ones showing up every day. View the full article
  16. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. Photo: File Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will arrive in New York today to meet with the leadership of the United Nations (UN), as the Security Council of the international body convenes to discuss the alarming situation in Indian occupied Kashmir, Radio Pakistan reported. During his visit to New York, Qureshi will meet UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande. At a regular briefing on Tuesday, UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric confirmed the UN chief's meeting with the foreign minister, saying it was taking place at Pakistan's request. In response to a question, the spokesperson said Guterres had been advocating dialogue between India and Pakistan to resolve outstanding problems and that any solution should take into account the human rights situation in Kashmir. Read also: Pakistan to facilitate constructive engagement, Qureshi tells Saudi counterpart The foreign minister will then travel to Washington where he will meet Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Advisor Robert O' Brian and other senior US administration officials. He will also have meetings on the Capitol Hill, besides engagements with the media, policy think tanks and the Pakistani diaspora. Qureshi’s visit to United States comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran after the former killed Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike in Baghdad. Iran retaliated by targeting a US troops base in Iraq. The foreign minister, in his talks with the US leadership, will focus on Pakistan's diplomatic outreach, which has been undertaken on the direction of Prime Minister Imran Khan, in the wake of the recent tensions in the Middle East. Iran-US tensions: Pakistan urges all parties to exercise 'maximum restraint' Middle East peace missionQureshi has already visited Iran and Saudi Arabia, where he met the two countries' leaders in an effort to ease tensions in the region after a US airstrike killed Soleimani. The foreign minister embarked on the mission as tensions mounted across the Middle East following the 62-year-old general's death in Iraq and Iran's admission that it shot down an airliner by mistake, killing 176 people on board. Read also: Pakistan will not join any war in the region, FM Qureshi tells Iranian President Rouhani "Recent developments seriously endanger peace and security in an already volatile region and underscore the need for immediate and collective efforts for a peaceful resolution," the foreign office said as Qureshi left for Tehran on the first leg of his trip.
  17. Photo: FileThe Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has forecast light rain in Karachi on Sunday evening after a westerly weather system entered the country from neighbouring Iran led to heavy rains and snowfall in Balochistan, reported The News. “Light rain is expected in Karachi on Sunday evening or night through a westerly disturbance that would cause rains in most of the Sindh province. This system is already resulting in heavy rains and snowfall in the Balochistan province,” Anjum Nazir, a spokesman for PMD in Karachi, said on Saturday. Like other parts of the country, the port city is also in the grip of a cold wave although the temperature in the metropolis remains pleasant as compared to other cities and regions of the country, Nazim said. Read also: Freezing winds grip Karachi as winter cold intensifies The official added that despite gusty cold winds, the minimum temperature remained 12°C on Friday night, while maximum daytime temperature was 24°C. “Cloudy/partly cloudy weather is expected on Sunday in Karachi with chances of light rain. There would also be cold winds, but their gust would be lesser than what it is today.”
  18. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. Photo: File Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will embark on a one-day visit to Tehran today as part of Pakistan's 'role for peace' in the region, Radio Pakistan reported. According to Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi, Qureshi will hold talks with Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and other officials on the current situation in the region. Qureshi’s visit comes amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington after the latter killed top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in an airstrike on January 3 and the subsequent missile attacks by Iran on US bases in Iraq. Read also: PM directs Qureshi to visit US, Iran, Saudi Arabia as part of Pakistan's 'role for peace' The foreign minister will then travel to Riyadh where he will hold talks with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud and consult on the issues of regional peace and stability. During his visits, Qureshi will share Pakistan's perspective on the current situation by stressing the imperative of avoiding any conflict. The foreign minister will convey Pakistan's readiness to support all efforts that facilitate the resolution of differences and disputes through political and diplomatic means. FM Qureshi will then travel to Washington on Jan 15 where he will meet senior officials of Donald Trump administration to discuss the Middle East crisis. US troops knew Al-Asad base was about to come under attack: report Qureshi hopes tensions to ease after Iran admits plane crash mistakeOn Saturday, Qureshi in a statement said that Iran owning up to its mistake of downing Ukrainian passenger plane would likely ease up tensions in the region. “Iran’s confession of downing Ukrainian passenger plane should ease up tensions as the region can neither endure tension nor can it tolerate war anymore,” he said. FM Qureshi reiterated that Pakistan would play an active role to reduce growing tensions in the region. Iranian armed forces on Saturday admitted that they unintentionally shot down the Ukrainian airliner that crashed this week and blamed "human error" for the mistake. Tehran plane crash: Ukraine wants Iran to punish those responsible, pay compensation The plane, which crashed earlier killing all 176 people on board, was mistaken for a "hostile plane" and was hit while enemy threats were at the highest level, according to a press statement published by the official IRNA news agency.
  19. National Assembly. Photo: FileThe National Assembly is expected to pass the the three amendment bills pertaining to the tenure of the serving chiefs of the armed forces today. The lower house of parliament will debate on the bills after the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Defence had unanimously approved the three amendment bills on Monday. In order to pass the bills, lawmakers in the lower house of Parliament on Monday adopted a resolution to suspend private members day to take up government business, reported The News. The private members day was scheduled to be held today (Tuesday) but now has been deferred to Wednesday. The National Assembly Standing Committee on Defence had been summoned on Monday to discuss amendments to the Army Act, Air Force Act, and Navy Act. The committee had to reconvene just three days after it initially 'approved' the three bills aimed at regularising the tenure of the services chiefs. Also read: COAS service extension: Army Act amendment bill to make future extensions airtight The committee had to be summoned again after it was established that the rules and regulations of parliament were violated in the January 3 session of the committee. After the National Assembly's approval, the bills will be approved by the Senate Standing Committee on Defence before bills are passed by the Senate. The bills would become acts of Parliament once signed by the president. Law Minister Farogh Naseem had said that all political parties including the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Pakistan Peoples Party have approved the amendment bills. Changes sought in lawThe proposed amendments set the maximum age limit of the three services chiefs — chief of army staff, chief of air staff and chief of naval staff — at 64 years. If the bills get passed, the prime minister will have the power to extend the tenure of any service chief and the president will give his final nod to the extension or reappointment. Under clause 8B of Army Act Amendment Bill, the president, on the advice of the prime minister, may “reappoint the Chief of the Army Staff for an additional tenure of three (03) years, on such terms and conditions, as may be determined by the president on the advice of the prime minister, in the national security interest or exigencies, from time to time”. “Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or any other law, or any order or judgement of any Court, the appointment, reappointment or extension of the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), or the exercise of discretion by the appointing authority in this regard, shall not be called into question before any court on any ground whatsoever,” the bill states. Also read: Cabinet approves amendment to Army Act SC directs govt to legislate on COAS tenureBack in November 2018, the Supreme Court had asked the government to legislate on an extension in the COAS's services within six months, allowing General Qamar Javed Bajwa to stay in office until then. Prior to that, PM Imran in August had approved the extension in the COAS's services through an executive order. Former chief justice Asif Saeed Khosa had in late November taken up a petition challenging the extension in service of the COAS, deeming it 'in the public interest'. The court had subsequently suspended the notification of the extension in General Bajwa's tenure. Last month, after the top court issued the detailed verdict in the case, the government had filed a review petition in the SC, pleading the court to form a larger bench to hear the case, and requesting it to keep the proceedings in-camera. Side by side, it had launched the formalities to formulate a bill formalising the rules governing the army chief's extension and have it passed through parliament.
  20. Photo: FileISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Defence has been summoned again today to discuss the amendments to the Army Act, Air Force Act, and Navy Act, a few days after it approved the bill aimed at regularizing the tenure of service chiefs. The meeting of the standing committee was called after it was established that the rules and regulations of the parliament were violated during the January 3 session of the committee. The parliament will vote on the bill after the go-ahead of the defence committee. Sources said that parliamentary secretary Captain Jamil Ahmed presided over the session, which was against the parliamentary procedures. Also read: Defence standing committee to meet again to discuss amendment bills Sources further said that Ahmed did not call for a vote when the time came to approve the bills, violating the rules and regulations of the lower house. Hence, Amjad Khan Niazi will chair the session of the standing committee when it meets today to discuss the amendment bills and approve them by a vote. In the previous meeting, members of the upper house had also been called to discuss the bills. However, senators have not been asked to attend Monday meeting, suggest reports. Opposition's supportThe Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) have already given their assent to the amendment bills. The PML-N has announced it will support the bill 'unconditionally' while the PPP has called for the 'democratic legislative process' to be followed. Also read: NA to vote on bill formalising services chiefs' tenure These laws will set the maximum age limit of the three services chiefs — chief of army staff, chief of air staff and chief of naval staff-- at 64 years. If the bills get passed, the prime minister will have the power to extend the tenure of any service chief and the president will give his final nod to the extension or reappointment. Under the clause 8B of the bill, the president, on the advice of the prime minister, may “reappoint the Chief of the Army Staff for additional tenure of three (03) years, on such terms and conditions, as may be determined by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister, in the national security interest or exigencies, from time to time”. “Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or any other law, or any order or judgement of any Court, the appointment, reappointment or extension of the Chief of the Army Staff, or the exercise of discretion by the appointing authority in this regard, shall not be called into question before any court on any ground whatsoever.” Also read: ECP issues list of lawmakers failing to disclose asset detailsSC directs govt to legislate on COAS tenureBack in November, the apex court had asked the government to legislate on an extension in the COAS's services within six months, allowing General Bajwa to stay in office until then, after briefly suspending the notification of the extension in his tenure. Prior to that, PM Imran in August had approved the extension in the COAS's services through an executive order. Former chief justice Asif Saeed Khosa had in late November taken up a petition 'in public interest', challenging the extension in service of the COAS. Last month, after the top court issued the detailed verdict in the COAS case, the government had filed a review petition in the SC, pleading the court to form a larger bench to hear the case, and requesting it to keep the proceedings in-camera.
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