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  1. 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.
  2. India is no stranger to social unrest. Behind the CAA-NRC protests that are sweeping across the nation and making headlines around the world, is a long legacy of protests - each with their own demands, philosophies, social clashes and successes or failures. While the current protests seem to be leaderless, several Indian politicians have had a history of associating themselves with activism along broad ranges of the political spectrum. Here are some of the faces we've seen behind placards and posters of India's most momentous protests and agitations. Periyar E.V. Ramasamy - Tamil Nadu Anti-Hindi Protests, 1937-1940 © (Wikimedia) One of India's foremost progressive and feminist thinkers, he also knew how to strike a good pose. Age During Protests: 58 Synonymous with representing Dravidian interests and pushing for progressive, forward-thinking reforms, Periyar R.V. Ramasamy is one of Tamil Nadu's most respected and well-documented thinkers. A staunch ally of Ambedkar's, one of his key contributions as an activist arose during the imposition of Hindi as a compulsory language in Tamil Nadu, a move that many saw as deeply insensitive of the region's cultural interests. © Periyar alongside Dr. Ambedkar and Jinnah in Bombay, 1940. Ramasamy, along with several others, spearheaded a powerful movement that included fasts, conferences, marches, picketing and protests. The government responded with a crackdown resulting in the deaths of two protesters and the arrests of 1,198 people including women and children - although the British Raj in Madras gave into their demands on February 1940 after the resignation of the Congress Government in 1939. Narendra Modi - Navnirman Movement, 1974 © (India Today) Modi as a prakarchak in the RSS, during the early seventies. Age During Protests: 24 PM Modi's home state Gujarat wasn't a good place to be in, back in 1971. After winning the 1970 war against Pakistan, the then-Congress government was faced with the tall order of uplifting the poor - a difficult task considering that Gujarat was suffering from widespread corruption, famine and inflation at the time. © (Narendramodi.in) Thousands of protestors launched a campaign to dethrone the Congress from their seat at Ahmedabad. Inspired by the actions of student activists who demanded reforms, thousands of Gujaratis joined in to create the Navnirman protests. PM Modi, who was only 24 years old at the time, had already developed an interest in activism during his association with the ABVP, and joined the protest on the front lines. Not only was the protest a success - it also deeply shaped a younger PM Modi's political beliefs and was the event that propelled him from student activism to serious politics - perhaps we wouldn't have seen him become Prime Minister without this early major influence. Arun Jaitley - Anti-Emergency Protests, 1974-1977 © (arunjaitley.com) Jaitley contesting for college elections back in the early seventies. Age During Protests: 22 This ex-Finance Minister has had a long and pretty intense history with activism as an ABVP student leader. Strongly opposed to Indira Gandhi's rule as Prime Minister, he rallied support against her, almost immediately after emergency was imposed on the night of June 25, 1975. “The next morning,” recounted Jaitley, “I collected as many people as I could and burnt an effigy of Mrs Gandhi [Indira] and got arrested. I courted arrest.” © (Wikimedia) From prison to Parliament - Jaitley practicing as a senior advocate during the eighties and nineties. Jaitley spent the next 19 months in jail, and after his release, continued to focus on creating change through his career as an advocate at the highest levels of the Indian legal machine. Prafulla Kumar Mahanta - The Assam Movement, 1979-85 © (The Telegraph) Mahanta (far left) along with AASU colleagues, meeting with Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1979. Age During Protests: 27 Mahanta entered the political realm at a young age - while studying law at Gauhati University, he was appointed president of the All Assam Students' Union (AASU), which spearheaded and led the popular Assam Movement against illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. The movement aimed to protect the cultural, social and economic interests of the indegenous Assamese people. © (Wikimedia) Mahanta making an appearance with the Culture & Tourism Ministry, New Delhi. The movement propelled him from the platform of a young student leader to one of the region's most influential politicians, eventually becoming Chief Minister of Assam for two separate terms. He now serves as an MLA from the Barhampur constituency. Anna Hazare - Indian Anti-Corruption Movement, 2011 © (Reuters) Hazare adjusts his glasses at a sit-in protest in New Delhi. Age During Protests: 74 Kisan Baburao Hazare, better known as Anna Hazare, is perhaps one of the closest protest leaders the country has had to Mohandas Gandhi himself. Choosing a similar tactic of hunger strikes and peaceful agitation, he began his work as an activist in the late 70s, using grassroot level movements to uplift villages from poverty in Maharashtra. © (Reuters) Hazare's supporters were attacked by police water cannons during a protest outside ex-CM Manmohan Singh's residence. In 2011, Hazare led a widespread anti-corruption movement that aimed to introduce the Jan Lokpal Bill into India's legislature. While the bill faced roadblocks, the social activism brought together thousands of Indians against corrupt government officials, and also led to the rise of Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party. Arvind Kejriwal - Nirbhaya Movement, 2012 © (Reuters) Kejriwal addressing a gathering of his supporters after being appointed CM of Delhi. Speaking of Kejriwal - the former income tax official and now CM of Delhi has had a long career in activism - leading the charge right alongside Anna Hazare during the anti-corruption protests, until the two split on differences of opinion. This ascension from the anti-corruption movement led to the Aam Aadmi Party being formed in November 2012 - mere weeks away from the horrific rape case involving Jyoti Singh, commonly referred to as Nirbhaya. In outrage, thousands of protestors, especially women, stormed the streets of New Delhi demanding swift action against the rapists. © (Reuters) No stranger to protests, it seems. Kejriwal, just barely a few days into his new political career as AAP President, took a group of 60-70 activists on a march from Jantar Mantar right up to the residence of Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi, where they held a candlelight vigil and demanded that the criminals be brought to justice - given that the police were using lathi charges, water cannons and teargas to suppress protests, Kejriwal deserves a mention for being one of the few political voices to stand on-ground for Nirbhaya's justice - which will finally be realised later this January. View the full article
  3. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said that the United States (US) remained the top export destination of Pakistani products during the first five months of the current financial year (2019-20), followed by the United Kingdom (UK) and China. The total exports to the US during July-November (2019-20) were recorded at $1744.415 million against exports of $1698.809 mn during July-November (2018-19), showing an increase of 2.68 percent during the period under review, according to the SBP. This was followed by UK, where Pakistan exported goods worth $728.120 mn against exports of $753.054 mn last year, showing decrease of 3.31 percent. China was the third top export destination, where Pakistan exported products worth $727.480 mn during the current financial year against exports of $741.643 mn during the last fiscal year, showing a nominal decrease of 1.90 percent, SBP data said. Among other countries, Pakistani exports to United Arab Emirates (UAE) stood at $663.883 mn against $538.786 mn during last year, showing increase of 23.21 percent, while the exports to Germany were recorded at $533.048 mn against $549.071 mn last year. During the first five months of the financial year, exports to Afghanistan were recorded at $432.465 mn against $460.461 mn the last financial year, whereas exports to Spain stood at $380.249 mn against $379.083 mn the previous year. Pakistan’s exports to Italy were recorded at $324.971 mn against $322.660 mn last year, whereas exports to Bangladesh stood at $297.676 mn against $314.108 mn from the last period. Similarly, exports to Belgium during the current financial year were recorded at $226.668 mn against $252.240 mn, while exports to France stood at $188.902 mn against $192.340 mn in the previous period. Pakistan's exports to Singapore were recorded at $109.006 mn during the current financial year compared to $119.586 mn last year, whereas exports to Japan stood at $84.113 mn against $91.932 mn, to Indonesia $32.412 mn against $138.031 mn, whereas exports to India stood at $15.518 mn during the financial year against $182.207 mn during last year.
  4. Irrfan Khan - what is it about this ruggedly handsome man with his sheepish smile, that draws us in with ineloquently uttered dialogues, unsuitably professed love confessions and even the most awkwardly unheroic action punches that he successfully delivers? © Instagram Over a span of more than 30 long years that Irrfan has been in the industry, he has had a psychedelic journey sprinkled with riveting performances ranging from that of a letter writer in his debut film, to his outstanding performance in Puzzle and Karwaan before he bounced back after a tryst with cancer and promised to treat movie-lovers with yet another memorable journey, Angrezi Medium. © Instagram However, despite the dedicated fan base Irrfan enjoys, it needs to be reiterated why even the most gifted crop of Bollywood actors are no match to this dark horse who is in a league of his own. All we need is 5 points to prove it, so here goes: 1. He Is The Underdog Who Dared To Reach For The Stars © UTV spotboy It takes a lot to move out of your own shadow in a place that loves to typecast artists. For the longest time, Irrfan played his part with utmost honesty even when he was roped in for meagre roles with not more than a few seconds of screentime, Irrfan stretched his wings and landed in Hollywood after having proved his mettle in B-town. Today, Hollywood swears by his merit (or should we say magic) and Bollywood celebrates the gift of an unparalleled performer. 2. He Is Bollywood's Most Successful Atypical Hero © Yash Raj Films He's nothing like the 'typical' Bollywood hero you come across on the silver screen. His aren't the looks that sell tickets, you wouldn't have seen the man do a proper Bollywood dance number on too many occasions and he definitely does not subscribe to the 'ideal' romantic hero that Bollywood feeds us and makes for the most eligible anti-hero out there, who made it big despite being removed for Bollywood's trusted checklist of a hit-maker. 3. Irrfan Doesn't Just Act Or Perform, He Teaches © Instagram There's a craft in Irrfan's acting. He is a craftsman, a weaver of stories but most importantly, he is a teacher who turns his work into a classroom. And while he successfully entertains, he makes sure his audience learns a thing or two, either about the craft or the message he is trying to deliver with his performance. Regardless of how he does it, it's a lesson people love going back to. 4. Irrfan Isn't Just An International Celebrity, He Is A Million Dreams Personified © BCCL No star kid or Bollywood's overnight celebrity matched up to what Irrfan stands for. His journey makes him unconquerable. His struggles fuel millions of dreams and his success gives aspiring actors hope to not give up and continue to chase after their dreams. Irrfan makes people believe that dreams only come true when we dare not to give up. 5. Irrfan Is What Happens When Failure, Dedication And Undiluted Honesty Come Together © Sony-Pictures-Class As more and more new talent continues to surface in the mainstream acting scene, it takes a keen eye to identify that it takes more than mere looks, passion and lineage to make a mark for yourself in the industry. Irrfan isn't made up of solely the success that he enjoys, but instead, he is a product of his failures, and days of oblivion which were chased away by his utter honesty and dedication towards the one thing that rules his life - his craft, acting. View the full article
  5. Photo: FileLOS ANGELES: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker continues to rule the cinematic universe, keeping its top ranking in North American theaters this weekend with $34.5 million, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations said Monday. That brought the three-week domestic total for the Disney film — marketed as a grand finale of the nine-film Skywalker Saga — to $451.6 million. It has taken an additional $468 million overseas, as it inches closer to the $1 billion mark overall. Holding onto the second spot again was Sony's Jumanji: The Next Level, an action sequel with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Kevin Hart, which took in $26.2 million for the Friday-through-Sunday period. Overall, it was an impressive weekend for Sony, which had three films in the top five. Its Little Women moved up from fourth last weekend to third, with a take of $13.6 million. The Greta Gerwig-directed version of Louisa May Alcott's classic novel has drawn strong reviews from critics. Many were irate that it missed out on nods for best director or best film at the weekend´s Golden Globes. Saoirse Ronan did get a best actress nomination for her role as Jo March, but lost to Renee Zellweger (Judy). Disney grabbed fourth spot with Frozen II. The animated musical about Queen Elsa and her gang took in $11.9 million in its seventh week out. With an accumulated global total of $1.3 billion, it has become the top-grossing animated film of all time, surpassing The Incredibles 2, Disney said. Yet another Sony movie, new release The Grudge, placed fifth at $11.4 million. The supernatural horror film is a remake of a 2002 Japanese movie. The movie got a rare "F" rating from audiences — the lowest possible grade. It is only the 20th film in 40 years to do so, according to the CinemaScore website. Rounding out the top 10 were:Spies in Disguise ($10.4 million) Knives Out ($8.9 million) Uncut Gems ($7.6 million) Bombshell ($4.1 million) Cats ($2.6 million)
  6. Fortnite is still the biggest game in the world and there's no denying that. While we really don't need any numbers to prove it, but there are solid figures that tell that the battle royale game made more money in digital sales than any other video game in 2019. That's right! Fortnite was once again the top-grossing online video game of the year. It's not really a surprise since it topped the list last year as well, and we hardly saw any other game running to snatch that title this year. © Reuters According to the data revealed in a report, Fortnite managed to bring in a staggering $1.8 billion in revenue in 2019. That's a lot of money for a game that's technically free-to-play. Even the premium titles fail to scoop that much. That being said, it's worth pointing out that the overall sales figure is down a quarter from 2018. In 2018, Fortnite earned a record-setting $2.4 billion, a number that's still hard to fathom for an online free-to-play multiplayer game. If anything, then it should tell you that Fortnite's popularity is setting in. Fornite has become a household name now, and there's hardly anybody out there on the internet who's not familiar with Fortnite. © Epic Games Part of the reason why people spend money on Fortnite is because of the content. The folks over at Epic Games managed to strike some of the best partnerships. The company teamed up with the likes of musician Marshmello, Marvel's Avengers, Nike for Air Jordan, and ended the year strong with Star Wars content. It's things like this that make people want to hand out money and buy new items. The more items you have on the store, the more battle passes and cosmetic items you're going to be selling. It's as simple as that. With its numbers, Fortnite also managed to beat out titles like FIFA 19, Call Of Duty Modern Warfare, Candy Crush, Pokémon Go, and more. Fornite managed to dwarf even the world's largest PC game, League Of Legends, which brought in $1.5 billion last year. Source: Superdata View the full article
  7. NEW YORK: World oil prices jumped on Friday after the US killed a top Iranian general, fanning fresh fears of conflict in the crude-rich Middle East, with Tehran warning of "severe" retaliation. While global stock markets were mixed following the US killing of Qasem Soleimani, oil prices jumped more than three percent. In Washington, a Pentagon official said the US would deploy at least 3,000 additional troops to the Middle East as Iran´s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei promised "severe revenge" for the death of the military mastermind. The killing of Soleimani represents "a significant spike in geopolitical risks and could lead to a direct confrontation between the US and Iran," Oxford Economics said in a commentary. "The importance stems less from the potential loss of Iranian oil supplies... and more from the risk that this could spark a broader conflict that draws in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and others," Cailin Birch, global economist at The Economist Intelligence Unit told AFP. "There is also a significant risk that Iran could launch a targeted attack on US ships in the region, which could disrupt seaborne crude oil flows and cause prices to rise further." Oil prices saw record gains in September after attacks on two Saudi Arabian facilities briefly slashed output in the world´s top oil exporter by half. Birch, however, talked down the prospect of a full-blown war and described Friday´s price gains as "fairly muted" so far. European stock markets were mixed, while Wall Street retreated from records, with the Dow ending down 0.8 percent. While US stocks were in the red the whole session, the moderate size of the losses suggested investors recalled the pullbacks following earlier violent events in international hotspots did not prove lasting, said Gregori Volokhine of Meeschaert Financial Services. "It´s like previous geopolitical events and it doesn´t change the broader dynamic of the market, which is that investors are feeling good because the economy is better than expected, the trade war is easing and the Fed is being supportive," he said. Among the sectors, petroleum companies such as Schlumberger and Apache gained, along with defense companies including Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. But airlines shares were under pressure. Meanwhile, investors piled into safe-havens, including government bonds, the Japanese yen and gold, which reached a near four-month peak.
  8. Photo: ReutersLONDON: World oil prices jumped on Friday after the US killed a top Iranian general, fanning fresh fears of conflict in the crude-rich Middle East, with Tehran warning of "severe" retaliation. The head of Iran's Quds Force, Qasem Soleimani, was killed in an attack on Baghdad's international airport early Friday. Later, US President Donald Trump tweeted a picture of the American flag and the Pentagon said he had ordered Soleimani's assassination. Brent oil surged 4.5 percent in the London morning and WTI jumped 4.1 percent as traders fretted over the dramatic escalation in tensions, although prices dropped back before the European close. Also read: Top Iran commander Qassem Soleimani killed in US strike on Baghdad Major oil firms saw their shares gain ground, BP adding 2.75 percent to 494.05 pence while Royal Dutch Shell B shares rose 2.13 percent to 2,306.50 pence. Broader conflictIran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned Tehran would seek "severe revenge" for "the criminals who bloodied their foul hands with his blood", while the country's foreign minister called the move a "dangerous escalation". Cailin Birch, global economist at The Economist Intelligence Unit, said the market feared a "broader conflict". "The importance stems less from the potential loss of Iranian oil supplies... and more from the risk that this could spark a broader conflict that draws in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and others," she told AFP. "There is also a significant risk that Iran could launch a targeted attack on US ships in the region, which could disrupt seaborne crude oil flows and cause prices to rise further." Prices saw record gains in September after attacks on two Saudi Arabian facilities briefly slashed output in the world's top oil exporter by half. Trump blamed Iran for the attack and previous other blasts on tankers in the Gulf last year. 'The market remembers'The market remembers very well the unexpected drone attack on Saudi Aramco last autumn and is afraid that something similar can have a massive impact on oil market supply and prices for an extensive period of time," noted Saltvedt. Read more: Pompeo phones Gen Bajwa to discuss 'defensive action' of killing Soleimani Birch, however, talked down the prospect of a full-blown war and described Friday's price gains as "fairly muted" so far. "We do not expect to see a one-day price spike, in percentage terms, as large as the 10-percent jump seen in September 2019 when Saudi oil infrastructure was attacked. "While this strike is the most significant escalation of US-Iran tensions that we've seen yet, we still do not expect the US and Iran to enter into a full-fledged war that would impact oil production and disrupt regional supply chains." Meanwhile, investors piled into safe-havens, including government bonds, the Japanese yen and gold, which reached a near four-month peak. Global equity markets were also open to profit-taking following strong recent gains. On Wall Street, after fresh highs Thursday the Dow Jones index started sluggishly. The index was down 0.7 percent more than two hours into the session after an industry survey showed the US manufacturing sector contracted for the fifth straight month in December. Key figures around 1700 GMT West Texas Intermediate: UP 2.8 percent at $62.41 per barrel Brent Crude: UP 0.4 percent at $66.25 per barrel London - FTSE 100: UP 0.2 percent at 7,622.40 points (close) Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 1.3 percent at 13,219.14 (close) Paris - CAC 40: FLAT at 6,044.16 (close) EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.5 percent at 3,773.37 New York - Dow: DOWN 0.7 percent at 28,665.38 Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 0.3 percent at 28,451.50 (close) Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.1 percent at 3,083.79 (close) Tokyo - Nikkei 225: Closed for a public holiday Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3095 from $1.3145 at 2200 GMT Euro/pound: UP at 85.16 pence from 84.99 pence Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1168 from $1.1172 Dollar/yen: DOWN at 107.93 from 108.57 yen
  9. Former Iranian general Qasem Soleimani. Photo: FilePARIS: The world reacted with alarm on Friday after top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani was killed in a US strike in Iraq, with leaders appealing for restraint. The assassination was praised by US President Donald Trump´s Republicans but elsewhere there were warnings of the danger it could inflame regional tensions. Following are some of the reactions from around the world: 'Severe revenge'"Martyrdom was the reward for his ceaseless efforts in all these years," Iran´s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Twitter, declaring three days of mourning. "With him gone, God willing, his work and his path will not be stopped, but severe revenge awaits the criminals who bloodied their foul hands with his blood and other martyrs´ in last night´s incident." Khamenei called Soleimani the "international face of the resistance" and said he was killed by "the most cruel of those on earth". All people who back the resistance would be his "avengers". "The lack of our devoted and dear general is bitter, but continuing the fight and achieving final victory will embitter the murderers and criminals even more." 'Price of killing Americans'"In a display of resolve and strength, we struck the leader of those attacking our sovereign US territories," top House of Representatives Republican Kevin McCarthy said in a statement. "Wow - the price of killing and injuring Americans has just gone up drastically," Senator Lindsey Graham, a close confidant of Trump, wrote on Twitter. 'Adventurist step'"The killing of Soleimani... was an adventurist step that will increase tensions throughout the region," the Russian foreign ministry was quoted as saying by news agencies RIA Novosti and TASS. "Soleimani served the cause of protecting Iran´s national interests with devotion. We express our sincere condolences to the Iranian people." 'Dangerous escalation'The killing of Soleimani risks provoking a "dangerous escalation of violence", US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. "America -- and the world -- cannot afford to have tensions escalate to the point of no return." "President Trump just tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox," former vice president Joe Biden said in a statement. "Iran will surely respond. We could be on the brink of a major conflict across the Middle East." 'Appeal for restraint'"China has always opposed the use of force in international relations," foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a press briefing. "We urge the relevant sides, especially the United States, to remain calm and exercise restraint to avoid further escalating tensions." He said Iraq´s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity must be respected. China, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, is a key partner of Iran and major buyer of the country´s oil. 'Spark a devastating war'Iraq´s caretaker prime minister Adel Abdel Mahdi said the US strike, which also killed an Iraqi commander, was an "aggression" that would "spark a devastating war". "The assassination of an Iraqi military commander in an official post is an aggression against the country of Iraq, its state, its government and its people," he said in a statement. Abdel Mahdi said the strike was a "flagrant violation of the conditions authorising the presence of US troops" on Iraqi soil. 'World more dangerous'"We have woken up to a more dangerous world," France´s Europe Minister Amelie de Montchalin told French radio, saying President Emmanuel Macron would consult soon with players in the region. "In such operations, when can see an escalation is under way, but what we want above all is stability and de-escalation," Montchalin said. "All of France´s efforts... in all parts of the world aim to ensure that we are creating the conditions for peace or at least stability," she added. "Our role is not to take sides, but to talk with everyone," Montchalin said. 'Cowardly aggression'The Syrian government accused Washington of trying to fuel conflict in the Middle East. Syria is "certain that this cowardly US aggression... will only strengthen determination to follow in the path of the resistance´s martyred leaders," a foreign ministry official was quoted as saying by the state news agency SANA. 'Divine victory'Iraqis who have demonstrated for months against a government they see as beholden to Iran broke into song and dance after the US strike. "Oh Qasem Soleimani, this is a divine victory," they cheered in Baghdad´s iconic Tahrir Square, the epicentre of their movement. "This is God´s revenge for the blood of those killed," one added, after nearly 460 people were killed in violence that many demonstrators have blamed on Iran-backed security forces.
  10. As the celebrations for the New Year 2020 kicked off, people across the world were taking to social media to wish each other luck and happiness. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp are filled with motivational and inspirational quotes, wishes and messages. If you want to share new year greetings with friends and family, here are some suggestions: Below are some WhatsApp, Facebook and SMS suggestions: 1-The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals. – Melody Beattie 3-You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. – C.S. Lewis 3-Approach the New Year with resolve to find the opportunities hidden in each new day. – Michael Josephson 4-This is a new year. A new beginning. And things will change. – Taylor Swift 5-An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves. – Bill Vaughan
  11. Jennifer Aniston-starrer 'Murder Mystery' takes the lead in Netflix's top 2019 showsNetflix’s original film Murder Mystery, starring Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler, topped a list of the streaming service’s most popular releases of 2019 in the United States but its award-winning The Crown failed to make the top 10. Netflix said on Monday that science fiction series Stranger Things came in second, followed by the Michael Bay action movie 6 Underground. The animated movie Incredibles 2 and Martin Scorsese’s gangster film The Irishman took the fourth and fifth spots, respectively. The ranking was based on the number of households watching at least two minutes of a series, movie or special during its first 28 days on Netflix in 2019, the streaming service said. British royal series The Crown, whose first two seasons cost a reported $130 million to make, did not appear in the top 10 list for either the U.S. or the UK or Canada despite having won major awards, including for its leading actors. Season 3 was released in November and Netflix did not supply any viewing data. Netflix, which boasts more than 158 million subscribers around the world, only selectively releases viewership figures for programming it considers a hit, and the numbers are not verified by a third party. Executives at Netflix have said they plan to be more transparent with audience data to satisfy Hollywood producers and stars and to help viewers decide what to watch. The limited details on what grabbed Netflix viewers’ attention this year came ahead of the company’s January 21 quarterly earnings report, which will disclose revenue and membership by region for the first time. The streaming heavyweight is facing new competition, particularly from Walt Disney, which has been removing its movies from Netflix and putting them on the Disney+ streaming service. Netflix shares have risen 23 percent this year, the smallest annual rise in three years. The S&P 500 Index is up 29 percent for the year.
  12. Ayeza Khan's 'Meray Paas Tum Ho' trends yet again as Twitter was left amused after Saturday's episodeHumayun Saeed, Ayeza Khan and Adnan Siddiqui's Meray Pass Tum Ho has recently begun trending yet again as Twitter was sent into fits of laughter and amusement after Saturday's episode hit main stream TV. Some fans were floored by dialogues while others turned to creating hilarious memes at the show's expense. One of the most top trending posts featured a rented car which, eagle-eyed observers noted to be rented from a car rental page online. A screenshot of the ad was posted side by side to the car's license plate in the drama. One user captioned his post with the following words, "Pakistanis are better researchers then NASA #MerePaasTumHo." Others took to the show's recent plot twists with a fine tooth comb, asking what the previous episode was even about while one user questioned the emotional availability of Shehvar's wife. Lamenting over the situation in the country and the public's extensive interest in dramas, another user pointed out a sad truth about Pakistani citizens, they were quoted saying, "If our people take Pakistan's progress as seriously as they take drama's, we would have made progress by now. Some Twitter users took a jab at the show in the most light-hearted of ways.
  13. Probably one of the best and the only shows to put the Indian entertainment scene on the international map with such a profound impact, Sacred Games has been enjoying the top position for over a year now. The New York Times curated a list of the '30 best international series of the decade' produced and made outside of the USA and without any iota of surprise, Sacred Games has made it to the prestigious list. Directed by Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane, the series takes you inside the underbelly of Mumbai where Sartaj Singh, an honest cop struggling with his personal and professional life, is caught trying to unravel the mystery of gangster Gaitonde. The show is on the 28th spot on the list and two other Indian shows, Delhi Crime and Stories Of Rabindranath Tagore have got honourable mention in the list as well. An Israeli show titled Prisoner Of War which is a take on the American show Homeland is on the number one position, followed by Sherlock on number 2. View the full article
  14. 2019 saw India take a huge leap from being just a cricket crazy country to accepting the diversity of sports that Indian athletes are actually good at. While some of these moments were completely based on the gravity of the titles won by numerous Indian sport stars, others were more about making a statement and taking a stand against wrong social norms and coming out victorious. Here are the five greatest Indian sporting moments of 2019: 1. PV Sindhu Wins BWF World Championships Pusarla Venkata Sindhu etched her name as one of the finest in the history of badminton when she won the silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. But when she became the first Indian to win the BWF World Championship gold in 2019, she created a class of her own. Highlights | @Pvsindhu1 ð®ð³ fulfills a perfect week in Basel securing the first world title of her career ð¸ Follow LIVE: https://t.co/WYFILldUvo#TOTALBWFWC2019 #Basel2019 pic.twitter.com/wDdxK1aVly — BWF (@bwfmedia) August 25, 2019 With the gold medal hanging around her neck and the Indian national anthem echoing through the stadium, Sindhu shed tears of joy atop the prestigious podium and it made for one of the most iconic moments for Indian badminton that people won't be forgetting anytime soon. 2. Sourav Ganguly Becomes BCCI President (2019) October 23, 2019 saw the 'Prince of Kolkata' become the ruler of Indian cricket. After successfully running the Cricket Association of Bengal for years, Sourav Ganguly was appointed as the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), albeit for a period of just nine months. It's official - @SGanguly99 formally elected as the President of BCCI pic.twitter.com/Ln1VkCTyIW — BCCI (@BCCI) October 23, 2019 Ever since assuming the position, Ganguly has been able to bring about some brilliant and much-needed changes in Indian cricket, with the introduction of Day-Night Test cricket in the country being the biggest so far. 3. Pankaj Advani Wins 23rd World Title (2019) If you'd listen to Pankaj Advani talk about the difficult situations under which his family was forced to move back to India during the Gulf War and how his mother raised his brother and him, you'd realise what a prodigy he was. View this post on Instagram The smiles say it all ðð.. IBSF World Team Snooker Champions ð.. Fantastic team effort and huge congrats to my teammate @adit147 for your maiden World Title ðð #Champions #worldtitle #snooker #elated A post shared by Pankaj Advani (@pankajadvaniofficial) on Sep 25, 2019 at 10:24pm PDT Falling in love with the game of snooker by watching his brother play in a parlour, Advani's relationship with the sport led him to winning his 23rd International Billiards and Snooker Federation (IBSF) world title in September 2019, making his name appear on every title that the federation had to offer. 4. Special Olympics Bharat Dominating World Games (2019) What makes a sporting moment “great”? Is it the number of people talking about it or the kind of prize money the winner earns from it? Or is it the essence of the dedication and hard work of the athletes, their supporting teams and their families put behind them that make it a true success? .@SpecialOlympics athlete Manali Manoj Shelke shows us that if at first you don't succeed... Try, try again ðª pic.twitter.com/Vy88d8Vpjt — ESPN (@espn) March 15, 2019 One of the most underrated and least talked-about Indian sports stories of the year belongs to our athletes with intellectual disability, our special olympians, who dominated the 2019 World Games in Abu Dhabi in March earlier this year. With 368 medals, the Indian contingent went on to set such massive national records and proved that their sportsman's spirit was no less than that of a Virat Kohli or a PV Sindhu. 5. Dutee Chand Opens Up About Same-*** Relationship In May, sprinter Dutee Chand revealed in an interview that she was in fact homosexual and had been in a serious and a happy relationship with her partner for some time now. While she refused to identify her partner because she didn't want to make her the "the centre of undue attention," Chand did become the first Indian athlete to come out and make her same-*** relationship public. Dutee Chand(to NDTV) on her family's opposition to same *** relationship: Mann rahega Kisi ke paas, body rahega Kisi ke paas? — vijaita singh (@vijaita) June 10, 2019 Despite facing some serious opposition from her sister, who even threatened to “put her in jail” for being homosexual, Chand showed utmost courage, stood her ground and became the beacon of hope for all the homosexual athletes who wish to go public. View the full article
  15. It's Christmas eve today and if you are looking to surprise the gadget lover in your life or simply shopping for some last moment gifts, tech gadgets are the easiest way to go. So, here are some really good tech gift items that are worth checking out - Ultimate Ears Wonderboom © YouTube/ Adam Savage's Tested Any celebration is incomplete without music. And if you think that's the right gift to give someone then the UE Wonderboom 2 is the one to check out. It's one of our favorite Bluetooth speakers around and it's just perfect for every occasion. It's got astonishingly good sound and it's waterproof too, so that's awesome. iPad Pro © YouTube/ Jonathan Morrison iPad is like the go-to option when it comes to tech gadget gifts. You just can't go wrong with the iPad, regardless of who you're buying it for. It's one of the most versatile pieces of tech we've used, be it for media consumption like watching movies and TV Shows, or playing video games. And with Apple Arcade and Apple TV+ available now, you just can't go wrong with this one. Couple this with a yearly subscription of a streaming service and you're sorted. Nintendo Switch © YouTube/ Apple Explained We've included Nintendo Switch in almost all of our gifting guides and rightfully so. Nintendo really nailed the handheld form factor with this one and how. Start playing at home on a big screen and simply pick up when you're on the go. Also, the games library for Switch has seen some really impressive games over the years. From Zelda to even newer titles like Wolfenstein, there's anything and everything you can ask for. You can also choose to go with the Nintendo Switch Lite option, but you'll miss the fun of having joy-cons and being able to play on a big screen, so keep that in mind. AirPods Pro © YouTube/ Marques Brownlee Apple's update to the highly popular pair of earbuds arrived a couple of months back, and they're just awesome. It's like Apple took something that was already very popular and made it even better. The new AirPods Pro has everything that the regular AirPods have and then some. You get new fancy features like noise-cancelation, which works flawlessly. AirPods Pro also comes with ear tips, which means they're less likely to fall out of your ears. OnePlus 7T © OnePlus If you're looking to buy a new smartphone for someone, then just go with the OnePlus 7T. It's OnePlus' latest smartphone and has almost everything that you can ask for from a good phone. Things like fast-charging, a superfluid 90Hz display, latest and greatest internals, etc., the OnePlus 7T is packed with the good stuff. You'll also find some good deals around this time of the year, so be sure to check it out. Echo Dot and Google Home © YouTube/ All things tech Lastly, if you know someone who's been wanting to buy a smart speaker, then you have just two obvious options. The Echo Dot and the Google Home Mini. Both of them are quite affordable and a good place to start building your smart home. Both of them also have a good audio output, so you don't have to worry about getting separate speakers too. View the full article
  16. Ronaldo defied his age and seemingly gravity. Photo: ESPN FC TwitterJuventus on Friday applauded Cristiano Ronaldo after his incredible leap to score the winner against Sampdoria pushed the Italian champions top of Serie A. Ronaldo, 34, defied his age and seemingly gravity on Wednesday when he met Alex Sandro's looping cross with what the club called "no ordinary header". "As he rose up into the air, where he seemingly hung suspended for a split second of time, Ronaldo reached an impressive height of 2.56m (8 foot 4 inches) when his head connected to the ball," Juventus said on its website. "He jumped 71cms off the ground to nod in his 11th headed goal since joining Juventus." The incredible goal just before half-time put Juve on 42 points, three ahead of Inter ahead of their match with struggling Genoa on Saturday. Fans on Twitter noted that Ronaldo has previously headed goals by jumping 2.93 metres against Manchester United in 2013 and 2.61 metres against Wales in 2016.
  17. Akshay Kumar's new film Good Newwz along with co-stars Kareena Kapoor, Diljit Dosanjh, and Kiara Advani is set to release on 27 December 2019 and Akshay, in particular, is going all out with promotions. For example, he seems to have taken a keen interest in making his outfits so quirky that it's bound to raise brows wherever he goes. Now, we know that celebrities have started investing in stylists and trendsetting outfits as part of their promotion strategy. A major proponent of this has been Ranveer Singh, who doesn't usually step out in regular clothes anymore. Akshay Kumar's co-star Diljit Dosanjh is also really passionate about his outfits. His closet is a pandora's box of the most vibrant sneakers and silhouettes that we often get to see whenever he steps. © Instagram/Manav Manglani Coming back to Akshay Kumar, for a recent promotional event, the star wore a pair of shorts over his joggers. Don't believe us? Take a look here: © Instagram/Manav Manglani It almost looks like he was rather protective of his joggers, so much so, that he had to wear a pair of shorts over them just so he wouldn't sit on anything with his joggers touching the surface and subsequently getting spoilt. The shorts, in this case, act as a protective layer. However, that's obviously not the case. This look is a vibe and we're all for it. View the full article
  18. Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brace as Juventus got back winning in Serie A. Photo: Reuters Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Juventus bounced back from their first defeat of the season to beat Udinese 3-1 and move top of Serie A on Sunday.Ronaldo struck twice in the first half to make it five goals in four games as champions Juve move one point ahead of leaders Inter Milan ahead of their trip to off-form Fiorentina later on Sunday."That's how we have to play, with confidence. Let's see what happens now," said Ronaldo.Maurizio Sarri's side had taken just one point from their last two league games, falling 3-1 to Lazio in Rome last weekend after a 2-2 draw against Sassuolo the previous week.But Portuguese star Ronaldo finished off a Paulo Dybala rebound after nine minutes at the Allianz Stadium, and burst through to finish off a Gonzalo Higuain cross on 36 minutes.Leonardo Bonucci sealed the three points just before the break when he headed in from close range.Ignacio Pussetto pulled a goal back for 17th-placed Udinese four minutes into injury time with his close range effort beating Gianluigi Buffon in the Juventus goal.Juventus play their final Serie A game before the winter break at Sampdoria on Wednesday, before a rematch against Lazio in the Italian Super Cup in Saudi Arabia next weekend."It is the first time after a Champions League match that we managed to attack the game well," said Sarri."We played very well for 60 minutes."Atalanta fell 2-1 at Bologna just days after the Champions League newcomers sealed their place in the competition´s last 16 despite losing their first three matches.Rodrigo Palacio tapped in the first after 12 minutes for Bologna off a rebound after a Riccardo Orsolini effort came off the post.Andrea Poli nodded in the second eight minutes after the break, before Ruslan Malinovskyi connected with a Musa Barrow cross to pull a goal back on the hour mark.AC Milan lack party spirit Atalanta failed to take advantage of their numerical superiority late on, as Bologna played the final five minutes a man down after Brazilian defender Danilo was sent off for two bookable offences.Gian Piero Gasperini's side are sixth on 28 points, one point off the Champions League places, with European rivals Cagliari, Lazio and Roma still to play this weekend."We are a team that often creates a lot, but is wasteful. Today we wasted too many opportunities," said Gasperini.AC Milan were held to a goalless draw against Sassuolo at the San Siro as the former European giants marked their 120th anniversary in tepid style.Theo Hernandez had a goal ruled out after half an hour following a Franck Kessie handball in the buildup, with Rafael Leao hitting the crossbar and the post.Stefano Pioli's side failed to make it three wins in a row and sit 10th with Sassuolo four places and five points below.Hellas Verona battled back from three goals down with all three substitutes scoring in a 15-minute second-half spell to hold Torino 3-3.Torino had taken a comfortable lead at the Stadio Bentegodi after Christian Ansaldi scored a brace with Alex Berenguer also on target for the visitors.But the hosts hit back with three goals after 69 minutes from players who all came off the bench.Giampaolo Pazzini converted a penalty on 69 minutes after Gleison Bremer was deemed to have used his elbow to block the ball.Pazzini was then involved in the second with Valerio Verre smashing in off a rebound, before Mariusz Stepinski added a third by pounching on a defensive error from Ola Aina to finish off.Torino are ninth, with Verona two points back in 12th, in the hosts´ final match before the winter break.Torino next play SPAL on Saturday.
  19. Even though Anil Kapoor is 62 years old, his persona looks like he is ageing in reverse. Besides that, if there's one more fact that can easily give other B-town stars a run for their money, then it has to be his fashion game. He is seen strutting in outfits that make him look a million bucks. From layering his outfits the right way to wearing sneakers that are chunky, Mr Kapoor does all the fashion things right, we would say. View this post on Instagram Monday? More like Mon-slay with @anilskapoor ⣠⣠Jacket : @doh_tak_keh ⣠T shirt : @trackandfieldclothes ⣠Shoes : @adidasoriginals ⣠Styled by : @abhilashatd ⣠Styling team : @dipteeagarwal @shivani.sarin @shaikh.ashraf114 ⣠Hair and make up : @deepakchauhanartist ⣠Managed by : @jalalmortezai⣠⣠#AnilKapoor #Bollywood #MensFashion #Pagalpanti #MenWithStyle #MensWear #MensFashion #MensFashionPost #MensStyle #FashionMen #HighFashionMen #GuysWithStyle #MensOutfit #MensOOTD #MaleFashion #MensWearDaily #FashionStylist #StyledByAbhilasha A post shared by Abhilasha Devnani (@abhilashatd) on Nov 11, 2019 at 1:10am PST He is sartorially woke and this time he proved it yet again by wearing high top sneakers. A closer look at this pair and you would see that the toe area is not the usual one. Yes, his sneakers are actually called 'Chameleon sneakers' and they change colours when the light hits this pair. Check it out: © Viral Bhayani © Sneaker Bar Detroit Anil Kapoor keeps himself abreast of the latest trends and these sneakers are a proof of that. He is seen wearing Air Jordan 1 All-Star 'Chameleon' sneakers. The sneakers are decked in white, black, silver and green tones. This Air Jordan has an iridescent approach and that's why it's called 'Chameleon' as it changes colour. Furthermore, these sneakers have black overlays on the toe as well as the inner liner. © Sneaker Bar Detroit © Sneaker Bar Detroit Not just Anil Kapoor, but many other elite Bollywood stars have experimented with their Jordans. Abhishek Bachchan, for example, wore his pair of sneakers with two different laces while Arjun Kapoor chose to keep his Jordans fearless. © Viral Bhayani These Retro sneakers released in 2017 and they retail at $175 as per Sneaker News. Anil Kapoor looks striking wearing this pair and we have to say he made a Jhakaas statement in it. As for his outfit, he wore a plaid shirt and coupled it with black pants. The casual vibe of this whole outfit looked even more elevated with his iridescent sneakers. Take a bow, sir! View the full article
  20. Last night, Twitter went on a rampage, a year-end rampage. After literally posting every Top 10 list imaginable, they gave out so much data it's kind of hard to keep up with it. So, instead of just posting everything they shared, I'm focusing on a particular top 10 list because it's very interesting and Marvel-ous. Here are Twitter's top 10 actors for the year 2019: Top actors of 2019 ð¬#ThisHappened pic.twitter.com/NeXkCLFxa1 — Twitter Data (@TwitterData) December 9, 2019 Notice something weird? It's mostly Avengers! Actually, it's made up of 50 per cent of Avengers, so, looks like Marvel really did rule the year. It's not really surprising since the biggest Marvel movie, and honestly, the most highly-anticipated movie - Avengers: Endgame - came out this year, MCU and its actors were bound to be the most talked-about thing of 2019. Taking the first spot, we have our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man. His 'dusting' was the saddest one in Infinity War, and even though he didn't have that much screen time in Endgame, he still played one of the most important parts. I mean, Tony Stark literally invented time travel because he was sad about loosing his 'kid'. And then, with Spider-Man: Far From Home being such a huge success, and, of course, we can't forget about the entire Sony-Marvel custody battle for Tom Holland's Spidey, it's not at all surprising that he took the top spot. Next up, right behind Tom is Captain America himself. I don't even have to mention how important Chris Evans and Captain America were in Endgame. From him fighting himself to him finally wielding Mjolnir, it was the best movie for any Cap fanboy. After that, he made the internet go crazy over a sweater, yes a sweater, that he wore in Knives Out while playing a character that's the opposite of Steve Rogers in every way possible. Then, on the fourth spot we have none other than Robert Downey Jr. The man who started it all, who paved the way for MCU to become what it is today, finally left. His death was the most emotional of all, and well, RDJ actually leaving the character of Tony Stark was one of the saddest moments of the year. After that, on the seventh-place is the second-best Chris in Hollywood - Chris Hemsworth. Two words - Fat Thor. While a lot of people didn't like the fact that they made Thor fat in Endgame, I still personally believe that they showed a realistic portrayal of depression with his character. Yes, it was bit much when they used him for comic relief, but they did show him being back to his powerful self, even with a beer belly. After that, Chris even starred in Men In Black: International with his Ragnarok co-star Tessa Thompson. The two, obviously, had great chemistry as their Marvel characters, and even though MIB wasn't that great, their pairing does save the movie. Lastly, rounding up the list is Mark Ruffalo. He did go through the most change after Infinity War and showed up in Endgame as half-Hulk and half-Banner. He had some of the most hilarious moments in the movie and Professor Hulk was, obviously, loved by all. Moreover, he is a very vocal activist on Twitter and has been using his huge platform to talk about climate change and call out Trump any chance he gets. No wonder he's made it onto the top 10 Twitter list. View the full article
  21. Indian Home Minister Amit Shah. Photo: India TodayWASHINGTON: The passage of the religiously discriminatory Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in India, widely seen as being aimed at marginalizing the 200-million strong Muslim minority in the country, has fanned concerns in the United States. The lower house of the Indian legislature early Tuesday passed the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which will grant citizenship to religious minorities from neighbouring countries but not Muslims. The bill was voted on amid raucous scenes in parliament and protests in the northeast of the country.The bill provides that Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians fleeing ‘persecution’ in Muslim-majority Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan may be granted Indian citizenship. There is no similar provision for Muslim refugees. The bill sailed through the lower house with 311 votes in favour and only 80 against. It still has to be voted on by the upper house of the Indian legislature before it can be enacted as law. Reacting to the controversial bill, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released a statement saying that the US is ‘deeply troubled’ by the legislation. According to the USCIRF, the US will consider sanctions against senior members of the Indian political leadership if the bill is enacted as law. In its statement,the USCIRF noted that the bill specifically excluded Muslims, setting a legal criterion for citizenship based on religion. "The Citizenship (Amendment) Billis a dangerous turn in the wrong direction; it runs counter to India’s rich history of secular pluralism," the statement said.The commission also condemned the bill as a ‘violation’ of the Indian constitution, relating it to recent efforts to introduce the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam and nationwide. The NRC, like the citizenship bill, is widely believed to be the brain-child of the Indian Home Minister, Amit Shah. "USCIRF fears that the Indian government is creating a religious test for Indian citizenship that willstrip citizenship from millions of Muslims," the USCIRF warned. In a statement made separately early Tuesday, the US House Foreign Affairs Committee also condemned the passage of the contentious bill through the Indian lower house, saying that the so-called ‘religious test’ for citizenship undermined basic democratic tenets shared by the US and India.The ruling BJP in India had included the passage of the CAB as part of its manifesto released ahead of elections in May 2019.
  22. The entire Indian subcontinent was left aghast on 27th November when the brutal rape and murder of Priyanka Reddy came to light. The 27-year-old veterinary doctor was treated far worse than animals by a group of men in Hyderabad, who raped her, smothered her and finally burnt her body before ditching it under a bridge. The country was left trembling with shock, fear and anger at what had come to pass, and how incidents of rape and assault are slowly becoming the norm in our country. Amidst huge public uproar and media outcry since the fateful day, not only were the accused apprehended but the case was also being pushed for a quick verdict against the perpetrators. © Twitter-RupsaChak However, before the legal system could do the deed, all the four accused in the police custody were neutralised during a police 'encounter' during the early hours of 6th December in Hyderabad. According to the police, the accused were taken to the scene of the crime for a reconstruction of events, when the accused allegedly snatched the weapons from the police and attacked them in a bid to flee from the location. Following which, all four of them were shot down during the altercation. © Twitter Yogita Bhayana One man, the Cyberabad Police Commissioner V C Sajjanar has become the face of this 'encounter' that a majority of the people in the country are in support of. While the debate is on regarding how right or wrong the 'encounter' was, here are 5 things you need to know about IPS officer V C Sajjanar, who is being hailed as a hero by many: 1. Officer V C Sajjanar is a native of Karnataka and is a 1996 batch Indian Police Service cadet. He is a Commerce graduate, and also holds an MBA from the Karnataka University. © Twitter-CP-Hyderaba 2. While IPS officer V C Sajjanar began his career as an Assistant Superintendent of Police, he has held many distinguished titles within the police force, such as Superintendent of Police Warangal, IG of Special Intelligence Branch and currently he was serving as the Cyberabad Police Commissioner. 3. Officer Sajjanar has been involved in two other heavy-duty encounters in the past. In 2008, three men accused of throwing acid on two girls were shot dead by police during an encounter. Officer Sajjanar was the Superintendent of Police in Warangal at the time. © Twitter-CP-Hyderaba 4. Yet again as the IG of the anti-Naxalite unit of the Special Intelligence Branch in 2016, Officer Sajjanar was given credit for the arrest of many top Maoists and the encounter of senior Maoist leader Mohammed Nayeemuddin. 5. Known by his colleagues and juniors as a soft-spoken and mild-mannered man, the Priyanka Reddy encounter would be officer Sajjanar's third high-profile encounter case in service. He is known to work passionately towards the cause of women and child safety, cybercrime and human trafficking. View the full article
  23. Tour operator Wild Frontiers says it has seen an increase in customer numbers of 20 per cent in this year compared to 2018. Photo: Wild Frontier websiteTravel company Wild Frontiers has named Pakistan as the country to travel to for the year 2020,...
  24. As we step into the new decade and leave behind all sorts of baggage, there are some events, some things and some trends which truly defined this decade. Yahoo India did a 'decade in review' survey and pushed out a report which listed out everything that made it to the top in this decade. Here are the 10 biggest Bollywood blockbusters of the decade which played big for the box office and the fans: 1. Dangal The 'dhaakad' girls Fatima Sana Sheikh and Sanya Malhotra, along with the brilliance of Aamir Khan made sure that this 2016 blockbuster went down in history for being one of the most successful movies, not just in India but also across the globe. This movie, based on the lives of the Phogat sisters and their journey to the Commonwealth games, is a must-watch and sits on top on this list. 2. Bajrangi Bhaijaan Salman bhai just has to be on this list, given the kind of insane fan following he enjoys. This larger-than-life movie follows the story of Pavan who finds a little Pakistani girl lost in Haryana and decides to help her go back home. 3. PK This Indian satirical comedy follows an alien played by Aamir Khan, who raises many thought-provoking questions which will leave you rambling for answers in life. Rajkumar Hirani is a brilliant storyteller, so this one just had to be on the list. 4. Sultan Yeah, this is a list dominated by Salman Khan and Aamir Khan. But the stats explain why and how their movies cater to the masses, hence the reason they appear so many times on this list. This movie shows Salman as a wrestler who initially gives up but then restarts his journey, emotionally and physically. 5. Tiger Zinda Hai So, yeah, no surprises here again. The movie did not enjoy much of critical acclaim but made some major moolah at the box office. 6. Dhoom 3 Another Aamir Khan movie on the list. This is the third instalment in the Dhoom franchise and has him playing the antagonist. The movie had a budget of over 175 Crore and ended up crossing 589 Crore at the box office with ease. 7. Sanju Rajkumar Hirani's brilliant direction met Ranbir Kapoor's magic and you, obviously, a major hit was witnessed on the big screen. Sanju is a biopic on actor Sanjay Dutt and had Ranbir donning various looks over the course of the film. 8. War The surprise entry on this list is this recent action-packed movie, but then again, Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff look like a sure-shot recipe for a hit. The movie is a chase-and-run story of two soldiers and was a major hit for not this year only but this decade as well. 9. Chennai Express Finally an SRK movie on the list! This Rohit Shetty action-comedy made over 425 Crore at the box office making it one of the biggest hits of the decade. 10. Dabangg Turns out, Salman Khan is more prominent that one can give him credit. His first edition in this franchise was made on a budget of over a whopping 1.02 billion Rupees and ended up ringing in around 4.65 billion rupees, which explains why it is on the list. Okay, before you go all judgmental on us, a gentle reminder that this list has not been consolidated by us and is based on pure stats. There are so many more brilliant movies which should have been here but, turns out, the 'aam aadmi' is high on the entertainment value of these movies alone which led to some serious money-making. View the full article
  25. The real tragedy doesn't lie in being average, it's actually in being better than the average, being talented and possessing the heart to really chase after your passion. It's like being caught in an in-between, and that's an awful place to be in for anyone, but it's especially tragic for an actor. They are often good enough to be at par with the lead actors (or even better than the leads at times) but as luck would have it, lack of 'connections' and opportunities makes them settle for much less such as playing the second fiddle. © Instagram - Jimmy Shergill It's rather disheartening that my opening lines for an article on Jimmy Shergill should contain the term 'tragedy' in it, but it is what it is. This thet Punjabi munda, has always been deeply connected to his roots, glimpses of which can be found in a number of memorable characters Jimmy has portrayed in the last two decades of his presence in Bollywood. Yet, it wouldn't be unfair to say that the Hindi film industry has failed to explore the true potential of this talented actor who could have been much more. He was killed off even before we really got to know him in Munna Bhai M.B.B.S., Bang Bang saw him share a similar fate once again where his character drops dead in the first five minutes of the film. Plays a guy with speech impairment in a film where he is trying to woo a girl and honestly, he seems to be losing the girl in every movie he signs up. © Instagram - Jimmy Shergill But a number of his movies and performances have left a mark in the hearts of people who feel this guy really deserves more than just five minutes of footage, being tossed around uncharacteristically, or reservations, when it comes to applauding his good work. 1. Maachis © Eros Entertainment Jimmy Shergill's 1996 debut movie showed him in the role of a young college guy, forced by circumstances to pick up arms. But Jaimal's small role was still impactful and helped carry the plot forward. Yet, very few would remember him from the film that also starred Chandrachur Singh and Tabu in the lead. 2. A Wednesday © Friday Filmworks Perhaps one of Jimmy's most memorable performances for most people, Jimmy as police officer Arif Khan who makes it his life's purpose to foil possible bombings in his city and the way he goes about doing it all is commendable, to say the least. 3. Yahaan © Sahara One Motion Pictures Jimmy Shergill as Captain Aman in Shoojit Sircar's Yahaan, not only made for an insightful war drama but his performance as an Army officer as well as a lover, who falls for a Kashmiri woman amid war and unrest, cannot be easily forgotten. 4. Special 26 © Friday Filmworks How can we forget Sub-Inspector Ranveer Singh who does a rather marvellous job of sending the CBI into a complete spin and the workings of which are not discovered until the very end? Not only Jimmy's performance, but even the way his character evolves in the film deserves an honest mention. 5. Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster © Bohra Bros Jimmy Shergill really does manage to pull off the role of Aditya Pratap Singh with great aplomb. As Singh tries to hold the fort against political meanderings and pressure to maintain his lifestyle as royalty, the film takes us through the many unimagined ways love, betrayal and money work. 6. Tanu Weds Manu Series © Viacom 18 If not anything else, Jimmy Shergill as Raja Awasthi credits a mention as one of his really memorable performances. When the nemesis succeeds to inspire sympathy in the hearts of the audience, you should know there's something special there, and Raja is just that. A lot twisted and sharp around the edges, but one that allows light to break through the cracks. You cannot help but really feel for the guy here. View the full article
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