Most Recent

Palawan is world’s ‘most beautiful’ island
The Philippines’ very own Palawan island has been dubbed by a popular news and opinion website as “the most beautiful island in the world.” Carly Ledbetter of The Huffington Post wrote an article about Palawan published on the website on November 24. Titled “Palawan, The Most Beautiful Island In The World, Is Sheer Perfection,” the article focused on what the province has to offer. It also featured several photos of Palawan, from Kayangan Lake to the island’s many beaches and “incredible and rare” wildlife. “It’s hard to believe the Philippines are an under-appreciated tropical travel destination, especially with their extraordinary hiking, biking, beaches and of course – islands that are THIS beautiful,” wrote Ledbetter, who is the Associate Lifestyle Editor of The Huffington Post. “And while we’d like to visit every single island in the Philippines, there’s one island in particular we’re zeroing in on – Palawan, a hidden piece of paradise that was recently named ‘The Top Island in the World’ by Conde Nast Traveler’s Reader Choice Awards,” she added. “There, beautiful blue water mixes with emerald green, jungle-filled mountains that appear to rise up from the ocean, and small fishing villages dot the island. Together with its neighboring islands, it creates the Palawan province, aka Paradise.” Last month, the award-winning US travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler released the results of its 27th annual Readers’ Choice Awards. Palawan, with over 76,000 votes, beat out the likes of Kiawah Island in South Carolina, Maui in Hawaii, Bazaruto Archipelago in Mozambique, the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands in Australia, and Santorini in Greece. Palawan Island, voted the BEST island in the World.... http://t.co/sbUaCvUwzk #Heaven — The National Lottery (@TNLUK) October 27, 2014 Breathtaking! Palawan Island Philippines pic.twitter.com/opGLwj4DcR — Eduardo Amorim (@dudu_amorim) October 3, 2014 This aerial island video will seduce you into a buying a plane ticket immediately http://t.co/UqIdbATbzj — HuffPost Hawaii (@HuffPostHawaii) August 12, 2014 I couldn't think of a better place to start Sunday :) Palawan island Philippines pic.twitter.com/WJ82pE8QjM — Pamela Sutherland (@Ltd_To_Two) April 20, 2014 A hammock on a palm on Palawan Island, #Philippines. pic.twitter.com/QsOz29ceIa — Beautiful Pictures (@BEAUTIFULPlCS) January 24, 2014 [...]
10
Like
Save
Twin brothers defy odds to become dads to boys born on same day
Twin brothers from Wolverhampton have defied odds of 150,000 - 1 to become dads to baby boys born on the same day - in the same hospital. Jeromme and Jarrell Spence, from Fordhouses, became fathers within hours of each other at New Cross Hospital in the early hours of this morning. The twins, aged 21, knew their partners were both having a baby boy, and both had the same due date, but they didn’t believe they would arrive on the same day. Jeromme became a father first when his partner delivered 8lb 7oz Cameron at 2.04am and then Jarrell's son was born 7lb 11oz at 4.34am. Both babies were born in the same room and in the same water pool, delivered by the same midwife. Baby Cameron Credit: Wolverhampton NHS Baby Cassen Credit: Wolverhampton NHS   [...]
10
Like
Save
Ferguson Protests Turn Violent After Michael Brown’s Killer Told He Won’t Face Prosecution
The small Missouri town where an unarmed black teenager was shot dead burned amid violent protests after it was announced the officer who shot him would not face prosecution. Flames engulfed stores and cars in Ferguson early on Tuesday morning and gunfire reportedly kept firefighters at bay. Protesters smashed windows out of police cars and buildings, several of which were later looted and set ablaze, and officers lobbed tear gas from inside armored vehicles to disperse crowds in scenes reminiscent of the early days of unrest that followed the August 9 shooting. The violence came after a Grand Jury announced Darren Wilson, who is white, would not face prosecution for shooting unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown. The violence came despite pleas for peace from Brown's family and others. A storage facility, two auto parts stores, a beauty supply store and pizza shop were just some of the businesses that burned. Smashed window glass littered the sidewalks around many other businesses, from locally owned shops to a McDonalds along the main drag. The Ferguson Market — where surveillance video had recorded Brown stealing cigars minutes before he was killed — was ransacked. Late to this, but here's part of Eric Holder's statement on grand jury announcement #Ferguson pic.twitter.com/NavPzffl0x — Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) November 25, 2014 https://t.co/Xvcxx5Aorz — Ben Kesling (@bkesling) November 25, 2014 Burning beauty supply store in #Ferguson https://t.co/HPpXIhxTTS — Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) November 25, 2014 #Ferguson burns. pic.twitter.com/KvnRtJA94R — Robert Cohen (@kodacohen) November 25, 2014 Car on fire behind New York Grill in Dellwood #ferguson https://t.co/vtpY4KzWIY — Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) November 25, 2014 [...]
5
Like
Save
Amitabh Bachchan rubbishes Dilip Kumar’s death hoax
The Twitter world was left in shock last evening when news of veteran actor Dilip Kumar's demise went viral. Bollywood celebs are no strangers to death hoaxes and actor Dilip sahab is not new to this list. In 2011, rumours spread like wildfire of the veteran actor's death. After which, the actor's wife Saira Bani issued a public statement, clarifying that he was completely fine. String of tweets stated that Dilip Kumar passed away at a private hospital in Mumbai due to prolonged illness. Slamming the news megastar Amitabh Bachchan posted on twitter:   T 1685 - Some baseless rumours being spread about Yusuf Saheb - Dilip Kumar, being ill .. Saira ji just informed me he is perfectly fine ! — Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) November 24, 2014       [...]
10
Like
Save
Our fight was over-dramatised: Shah Rukh Khan on Salman Khan
Speaking to the media for the first time post their famous re-union, Shah Rukh Khan said his fight with Salman Khan was never like what it was made out by the media. While at an event when Shah Rukh was asked about patch up with Salman, he blamed media for over dramatising the fight and stated that even when it was not all hunky-dory, there never was bad blood between them. According to a leading daily he said, "Because of Bollywood, people some times over dramatise things. Our relationship with people is not exactly what is being presented outside. There has been a long relationship between both our families, mine and Salman's and our children. So it was never like going to some place new". What the world witnessed during Arpita's wedding is the actual relation, industry's two biggest Khans share.  The two hit it off big time during Arpita's sangeet and reception. In fact the two danced away to glory at the reception announcing to the whole world that the 'long-standing enmity' was mere media creation. EXCLUSIVE PICS ★@iamsrk & @BeingSalmanKhan Sharing Happy Moment At Arpita's Wedding★ ALL PICS➜ http://t.co/xZkt8dKzQn pic.twitter.com/hs7isefech — TEAM SHAH RUKH KHAN (@TEAMSRK_ONLINE) November 22, 2014 Will Arpita’s wedding reception bring @iamSRK, @beingSalmankhan, @aamir_khan under one roof? http://t.co/VNPbG5qYmG pic.twitter.com/CLYvZXwFuN — IE entertainment (@ScreenIndia) November 21, 2014 .@iamsrk & @BeingSalmanKhan come together for #Salman's sister #Arpita's grand wedding. RT if you love this picture! pic.twitter.com/SkUJyWUNXT — #etcBollywood (@ETCBollywood) November 17, 2014 [...]
11
Like
Save
I-T seizes over Rs 135cr cash, jewellery from Sahara group
The Income Tax department has claimed to have seized Rs 135 crore in cash from the premises of Sahara group during its raids in Delhi and Noida in connection with alleged tax evasion charges. Sources said the department made one of its highest seizures which also includes jewellery worth Rs one crore. The entire cash, they said, has been remitted in a public sector bank branch in Delhi. When contacted by , Sahara group said, "Please note that the amount mentioned in your query is not correct. But whatever may be the figure, each and every penny is company's legitimate money." "Since last one year, we are facing complete embargo on our properties and for 20 months all our accounts were freezed and the entire amounts of freezed accounts have been paid to SEBI," a spokesperson for the Sahara group said, adding that the cash has been kept by the company at various locations to meet emergencies. "Under such circumstances we are tightly managing the affairs of our big organization and hence some legitimate cash is kept at various points for various kinds of requirements and higher emergencies. As getting bigger amounts from bank account is extremely difficult and when, which account, SEBI will seize, we do not know," the Sahara spokesperson added. Officials said the I-T raided these premises on November 22 on suspicion and intelligence inputs that huge amounts of "unaccounted" cash is lying at these locations. Through the Central Board of Direct Taxes, the tax department is expected to inform the Enforcement Directorate about the cash for probe of any suspected hawala transactions under the Foreign Exchange Management Act. They added that a report in this regard has already been sent to the Special Investigation Team on black money. The department, they said, will now issue notices to the Sahara group to "explain the source of this cash". Recently, another central investigative agency Enforcement Directorate registered a money laundering case against the group in connection with non-payment of crores of rupees to depositors as probed by capital markets regulator SEBI. The criminal case was registered by Mumbai zonal office of the ED, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, after it got reports in this regard from the Securities and Exchange Board of India. IT raid at Sahara offices: Cash, jewellery worth Rs 135 cr seized http://t.co/ozYIBr8aej pic.twitter.com/SUKIxw9ufQ — India Today (@IndiaToday) November 24, 2014 Check this @SuryaRay Raid on Sahara properties in Delhi & NCR: The income tax department yesterday… http://t.co/JySx9QXKTm #SuryaRay #India — Vincent Patel (@Vincent__Patel) November 23, 2014 [...]
10
Like
Save
PM Modi’s wife Jashodaben ‘unhappy’ over security cover, files RTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's wife Jashodaben on Monday filed an RTI application with Mehsana police to seek clarity on security cover given to her at present and wanted to know what she is entitled to. In her application, Jashodaben expressed unhappiness about the current security set-up, where her guards travel in government vehicles like car, while, despite being a PM's wife, she has to travel in public transport. Jashodaben noted that late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was killed by her own bodyguards and that she felt scared of her guards. She asked the government to make it compulsory for each guard to produce copy of deployment order. She asked the government to explain the definition of protocol and sought details about what is included under it and what other benefits she is entitled for as per that protocol. Mehsana superintendent of police (SP) JR Mothalia said that Jashodaben wants to know what are her rights as PM's wife as far as the security aspect is concerned. "Today, she came to our office and filed an RTI to know about her rights as PM's wife with regard to security cover. We will give our written reply to her in stipulated time," said Mothalia. Jashodaben lives with her brother Ashok Modi at Unjha town of Mehsana district. After Narendra Modi was sworn in as PM, she has been given security by Mehasana police. "We have deployed ten of our policemen, including armed guards, for her security. They work in two shifts, five each in one shift." said police inspector of Mehsana Special Operations Group(SOG) JS Chavda. In her application, Jashodaben sought several documents from the police department related to her security cover given as per the protocol, including the certified copy of actual order passed by government about providing security. She also wanted to know the laws and related provisions in Indian Constitution about security cover given to a PM's wife. pic.twitter.com/su3rE2dTjC — Shaktisinh Gohil (@shaktisinhgohil) November 24, 2014 [...]
10
Like
Save
Salman Khan gifts Rolls-Royce Phantom to newly-wed couple Arpita and Aayush : Celebrities, News
What happens when sister of a superstar, generous superstar to be precise, gets married? Apart from a royal wedding in a palace with who's who of the country being part of the celebration, gifts from the superstar brother is a must. After gifting Arpita Khan a whopping Rs.16 crore terrace flat at Carter Road, Salman Khan has showered his little sister and his husband with another gift. The actor has gifted newly wed couple Arpita and Aayush a swanky Rolls-Royce Phantom. The car costs a whopping Rs.4 crore in India, Salman has chosen to gift a white color Rolls-Royce to the couple. As per reports Salman got emotional and blessed the couple all the happiness as he handed over the keys of the car to them. Arpita and Aayush married on November 18 at Taj Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad. The wedding is one of the most talked about wedding of the year. Salman Khan will also host a reception in Mumbai on November 21. Well, bhai ho to Bhai jaisa! [...]
10
Like
Save
TISS scholar from Manipur murdered in south Delhi flat
A 33-year-old PhD scholar from Manipur was found brutally murdered at his Kotla Mubarakpur flat in south Delhi on Wednesday night, in what police said appears to be a crime triggered by enmity. The researcher's throat had been slit with a kitchen knife. The victim, Kashung Zingran Kengoo, was pursuing his doctorate from Mumbai's prestigious Tata Institute of Social Studies, from where he had also completed his MPhil in sociology in 2012. He had been living in the capital after his MPhil. Police have ruled out robbery as a motive behind the murder as no valuables were missing from Kengoo's one-room flat. He had shifted to the flat, at F-block of Krishna Gali, two months back. On Wednesday night, house owner Narender Kumar got a call from another tenant on the third floor, who said blood was flowing out of Kengoo's room. "His head was half-severed from the body and he was lying on a mat," said Devinder Kumar, Narender's brother. Police said they found Kengoo's laptop, mobile and wallet lying beside him on a bed and a bowl of biryani kept near his head. A kitchen knife with blood stains was found lying close to the body. Kengoo was wearing a T-shirt and shorts and had his slippers on. Preliminary investigations suggest the assailant's entry into the house was friendly. The killer seems to have left in a hurry leaving the door half open. The body was sent for a postmortem to the AIIMS Trauma centre where doctors said Kengoo's throat had been slit thrice with the knife which led to his death. They said the murder may have been committed between 8pm and 9pm. Police informed his father in Manipur around 10pm after which his brother, who lives in Delhi, was informed. "I was straightaway taken to the AIIMS trauma centre and told about the incident," said Yaorei, the victim's brother. A crime and forensic team reached the house around midnight and lifted evidence. Police have also recovered CCTV footages from the area for analysis and are questioning the landlord and his son for the sequence of events. After coming to Delhi, Kengoo stayed with brother Yaorei for one-and-a-half years but wanted to shift to an apartment of his own for completing his research work. He was pursuing research on education and employment. Yaorei works as a senior executive with an NGO affiliated to a private hospital and stays with his wife in Chirag Delhi. Yaorei said he had helped his brother find the Kotla Mubarakpur flat. Yaorei said although Kengoo had very few friends in Delhi, he often invited them for dinner at his house. Police are probing the role of an acquaintance in the crime. Kengoo's family members said he was Naga from Ukhrul district of Manipur. His father is a retired PWD employee from the district and his mother a housewife. He went to college in Manipur before shifting to Mumbai for his MPhil. "He had not gone back home for the last two years and was planning to visit this Christmas. He came to my house and had even planned an outing before that," said Yaorei. [...]
10
Like
Save
Delhi’s Khan Market is India’s most expensive retail location
National capital's upscale Khan Market continues to be the most expensive place to hire a shop in the country, even though its ranking worldwide has dropped by three notches to 31st position. "India's Khan Market has slipped in global ranking for retail main street locations by three spots to be ranked at 31 from its previous position of 28," property consultant Cushman & Wakefield said in a statement. "Khan Market in NCR, which is the most expensive retail location in India, saw no change in rental from the last year, remaining on an average rental of Rs 1,250/sq ft a month," it added. The fall in ranking is due to fluctuation in rupee value against the US dollar. C&W, in its annual report 'Main Streets across the World 2014' ranked New York's Upper 5th Avenue as the most expensive location in the world overtaking Causeway Bay in Hong Kong. In the list of 65 most expensive retail locations, Paris' Avenue des Champs Elysees ranked third while London's New Bond Street and Sydney's Pitt Street Mall were at the 4th and 5th positions respectively. Khan Market was ranked 10th in Asia Pacific ranking. In India ranking, the top three positions were occupied by retail markets of New Delhi with Khan Market being most expensive at Rs 1,250 per sq ft a month. Khan Market did not see any change in rentals for the second year in a row due to non-availability of retail space in the location. Connaught Place (Rs 780/sq ft a month) ranked second in the India survey for most expensive retail locations. CP recorded a rise of 4 per cent in rentals y-o-y. "South Extension in New Delhi and Linking Road in Mumbai were jointly on third place of the survey with retail rentals of INR 750/ sf/mth respectively," C&W said. The report also revealed that Pune's JM Road recorded the highest year-on-year increase in rental values of about 8.5 per cent over last year on account of continued activities in the location. C&W's report 'Main Streets Across The World' provides a detailed analysis of retail property rental performance across world. Commenting on the report, C&W Executive Managing Director South Asia Sanjay Dutt said: "Retailers have largely been active in leasing spaces on main streets as there have been limited quality options available to them in malls, which have also witnessed limited supply." He expected demand for Indian retail real estate to continue showing an upward movement owing to positive economic sentiments and increased consumer confidence. "This is expected to reflect in greater uptake of space in the coming months. However, the demand growth is expected to be in emerging retail markets where retailers are looking at reaching out to larger target audiences," Dutt said. [...]
10
Like
Save
These Grandmas Can’t Stop Giggling After Smoking Weed For The First Time
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRBAZJ4lF0U&width=610&height=345 The nice thing about writing for any publication or website that isn’t the Sun-Sentinel is that your grandparents probably aren’t reading it. So I’m free to wonder if my grandma ever smoked weed in peace, without fear of Jewish guilt (it’s like Catholic guilt, but with more latkes — all and all, not that bad). All I know is, she’s not one of the golden girls trying marijuana for the first time in the video above. They handle their initial encounter with a bong like champs, especially the woman on the left. She’s obviously the Grandmother Flash of the group. [...]
10
Like
Save
Incredible images as historic snowstorm blankets upstate New York
A storm of epic proportions has blanketed much of upstate New York, trapping people in their homes and vehicles as more than six feet of snow fell in 48 hours. And it’s not over yet. The band of snow shifted slightly into Buffalo’s northern suburbs Wednesday morning, but forecasters warn a second bout of lake-effect snow will move into the region and could dump another two feet by Thursday. As residents of the Buffalo area hunkered down, many took to social media to share photos of winter’s wrath. Here’s a look: @WGRZ #wgrzsnow west seneca snow❄️ pic.twitter.com/8SjYzXjqlJ — Emma Taylor (@emma12sings) November 18, 2014 "Shall we order in tonight?" #buffaloblizzard2014 pic.twitter.com/Pfzie74meu — Jay McKee (@JayMcKee74) November 19, 2014 Photo: Lake effect storm near Buffalo closes part of @NYSThruway8790 with significant snowfall pic.twitter.com/bOYHZIBUZB — Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) November 18, 2014 Buffalo it still getting pummeled with lake effect snow through the night.. Pretty amazing sight actually.. pic.twitter.com/CfEFzQ2zR5 — Jay McKee (@JayMcKee74) November 19, 2014 @NWSIndianapolis Friend in Buffalo opened her garage door and it looked like this: pic.twitter.com/xUuhGsYgML — Amy Alexander (@TrainerAmyIndy) November 19, 2014 Car buried in the driveway at a home in south Buffalo. #BuffaloSnow pic.twitter.com/hZRtXbB7Dn — DR (@Media371) November 19, 2014 Imagine opening the door to this... This is a shot from Buffalo, NY Tuesday...#lakeeffect pic.twitter.com/Y6zmqlfPGU — Greg Pollak (@GregPollak) November 19, 2014 Lake effect snow outside Buffalo, NY is over four feet in the last 24 hours. Photo via @aaronwivb pic.twitter.com/BFtZr3orZt — Kyle Underwood (@wx8) November 18, 2014 Near Buffalo, NY. Photo: Cathy Ganci-Sunderlin pic.twitter.com/v8DdP4zt5V — Schnack (@WXSchnack) November 19, 2014 "Buffalo snow isn't that bad".. pic.twitter.com/3hVXYwQob1 — Chris J Macri (@ChrisJamesMacri) November 18, 2014 Photo from Caitlin Battaglia who is stuck on the Thruway near Lackawanna tolls. pic.twitter.com/RVcJCi7q1b — WGRZ (@WGRZ) November 19, 2014 The scene from Transit Road, a NYSEG truck among those stuck in the #LakeEffect pic.twitter.com/BCCGWcYChp — WBEN NewsRadio 930AM (@NewsRadio930) November 18, 2014 Shoveling out in south Buffalo. Some progress. #lakeeffect Posted by Nick D'Angelo to WIVB. pic.twitter.com/2h4H2rycje — The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) November 19, 2014 South Park Avenue in South Buffalo @WGRZ #WGRZsnow pic.twitter.com/gRz5K8tTRN — Melissa Sitarek (@MissySopko0514) November 19, 2014 Literally the snow is crashing through homes in Buffalo! @10weather @ABC @AriWeather @Ken_Brewer pic.twitter.com/rzUl4GR5Qf — Sherri Grin (@SherriGrin) November 19, 2014 Ambulance parked & abandoned on Clinton St in south Buffalo. All roads around them are filled w/ several ft of snow. pic.twitter.com/fneViyt6OY — Jeremy Cohn (@JeremyGlobalTV) November 19, 2014 I'm in Lackawanna, just south of #Buffalo. Most roads closed, several feet of snow. Cops responding to calls on foot pic.twitter.com/PxkkBTpbjn — Jeremy Cohn (@JeremyGlobalTV) November 19, 2014 [...]
10
Like
Save
Cured in Liberia, man tests positive for Ebola in Delhi
A 26-year-old Indian who was treated and cured of Ebola virus disease in Liberia has been quarantined at the Delhi airport's health facility after having tested positive twice. Although his blood samples were repeatedly found free of the disease, the deadly virus showed up in his semen. The man was being kept under strict surveillance at the isolation ward of IGI Airport's health facility. He carries a certificate from Liberia of having successfully undergone treatment for the disease. "During recovery from Ebola, patients continue to shed the virus in body fluids. It's unlikely that he may infect others through personal contact. However, due to presence of the virus in his semen, it's possible that he could transmit the disease through sexual contact for up to 90 days after cure," Dr V M Katoch, DG, Indian Council of Medical Research, told TOI. India has so far been free of Ebola, a disease termed as the 'most serious health crisis in modern times' by World Health Organisation, having claimed roughly 5,200 lives in west Africa and two in the US. The man's semen sample tested positive in multiple tests conducted at the National Centre for Disease Control in Delhi and the National Institute of Virology in Pune. The ICMR chief said the suspect will be tested again, repeatedly, over the next few days to rule out the presence of any virus before he is allowed to leave the quarantine zone. He did not comment on the possibility of the man having infected someone already during travel. The Ebola suspect, health ministry officials said, had travelled from Liberia to India and reached Delhi on November 10. He underwent the mandatory screening at the Delhi Airport. On interview, he gave history of febrile illness for which he was admitted to a health facility in Liberia on September 11 and got discharged on September 30. "The 26-year-old carried a certificate of medical clearance from the ministry of health and social welfare, government of Liberia which says he has 'successfully undergone care and treatment related to Ebola Virus Disease and after post treatment assessment he has been declared free of any clinical signs and symptoms and confirmed negative by laboratory analysis'," said a senior official. Suspected Ebola patients being taken to the Airport health office at IGI airport in Delhi. Major airports are being monitored by the government after the deadly Ebola outbreak. "As per WHO specifications, the person is deemed cured since the blood samples have tested negative for EVD," the official said. "However, as has been reported in the past, the virus may continue to be positive in secretions such as urine and semen for a longer time. Before releasing him from quarantine, a decision was taken to test his other body fluids." The suspect does not exhibit any symptoms of the disease. Sources in the health ministry said his family has been informed about the situation. [...]
10
Like
Save
Finally! Whatsapp Lets You Disable The Blue Ticks Feature
No, you aren't dreaming. You can finally stop cribbing about those irritating blue ticks that show the sender you have read their message. Whatsapp loves privacy after all! Heartbeats stopped, Twitter exploded and relationships ended when Whatsapp launched their blue ticks feature. This feature let senders see when their message had been read. What it meant was that users could no longer ignore messages or lie that they didn't check Whatsapp. While everyone exploded and vented online, Whatsapp did some damage control. The next update which comes nearly 2 weeks after the blue ticks were launched lets users disable the blue ticks feature. Wondering how to do it? Here's how: Download the APK file As the new version is still under testing and hasn't been rolled out, you'll have to restrict yourself to downloading the APK file directly from Whatsapp website and running it on your phone. Before downloading the APK file, please check that you have enabled the 'Download from Unknown Sources' setting on your phone. Install the new app Once you've downloaded the new file, transfer it to your phone and run the app.  Choose 'Settings' Under your new Whatsapp, go to 'Settings' and then choose the 'Accounts' option.  Change 'Privacy' Under 'Accounts' you'll see an option titled 'Privacy'. Click on Privacy and you'll have another option titled 'Read Receipts'. Once you click on 'Read Receipts', you'll be able to disable the blue ticks. However, please remember that once you deactivate the feature, while the person who sends you the messages won't be able to see whether you read them or not, neither will you be able to see whether your friends have read the messages you sent. Moreover, the feature is not yet applicable to groups. You'll still be able to see the blue ticks whenever all the members of the group read the message. Biggest bummer? If you're a non-Android Whatsapp user, the wait for you is longer as the blue ticks can be disabled only on the Android version currently. Sorry, Apple fanboys. Whatsapp was much lauded earlier this year when they finally provided an option to hide the 'last seen' feature. But all good was undone with the introduction of blue ticks. With this move, we hope Whatsapp gets back in the good books of their users!  [...]
13
Like
Save
‘Vape’ chosen as Oxford English Dictionary’s word of the year for 2014
Vape, a verb meaning to inhale or exhale the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette has been named as the word of the year 2014 by Oxford Dictionaries. The title is usually given to a word whose usage has increased exponentially during the year to date. The winning word should "reflect the ethos, mood or preoccupations of that particular year and to have lasting potential as a word of cultural significance". Oxford Dictionaries editor found that the use of the word vape in 2014 had more than doubled compared to 2013. Vape was first coined in the late 1980s when companies like RJR Nabisco were experimenting with the first "smokeless" cigarettes. The word has not only taken off but has also emerged in new avatars - vaper, vapoholic and vaporium. Oxford Dictionaries' editorial director Judy Pearsall said "As vaping has gone mainstream, with celebrities from Lindsay Lohan to Barry Manilow giving it a go, and with growing public debate on the public dangers and the need for regulation, so the language usage of the word 'vape' and related terms in 2014 has shown a marked increase". The Word of the Year need not have been coined within the past 12 months, but it does need to have become prominent or notable in that time. Vape was added to the Oxford Dictionaries 2014. They said "E-cigarettes were not commercially available until the 21st century, having been invented in China in 2003, yet the word vape actually dates to the early 1980s. Its earliest known use is in an article, "Why do People Smoke" in New Society in 1983. The author, Rob Stepney, described a hypothetical device being explored at the time: "an inhaler or 'non-combustible' cigarette, looking much like the real thing, but...delivering a metered dose of nicotine vapour. (The new habit, if it catches on, would be known as vaping.)" The shortlist which was prepared after scanning 150 million English words also included bae (shortened form of baby or babe but is sometimes interpreted as an acronym for 'before anyone else'", slacktivism, indyref to normcore. Indyref is the short form of independence referendum while normcore means a trend in which ordinary, unfashionable clothing is worn as a deliberate fashion statement. Slacktivism means actions performed via the internet in support of a political or social cause but regarded as requiring little time or involvement, like signing an online petition or joining a campaign group on a social media website. has been chosen as the word of the year by editorial staff at Oxford Dictionaries. Use of the word, defined as to "inhale and exhale the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device", has more than doubled over the course of the year to win. The shortlist, which included contenders such as bae, slacktivism and indyref, is compiled by scanning around 150m words of English in use every month - using software to identify new or emerging usage - before lexicographers select a shortlist from which the winner is chosen. The winning word should "reflect the ethos, mood or preoccupations of that particular year and to have lasting potential as a word of cultural significance". Vaping was first coined in the 1980s when companies such as RJR began experimenting with the first 'smokeless cigarettes'. "A gap emerged in the lexicon, as a word was needed to describe this activity, and distinguish it from 'smoking'," said Oxford's experts of the rise of vaping and accompanying lexicon. "It's hard to anticipate what's going to capture the public imagination at any given moment," president of Oxford's dictionaries division Casper Grathwohl told TIME. "Vape only really caught on a few years ago and now we've seen a dramatic rise." He added: "A word is just the surface of something that often has a really complex and rich life underneath". Oxford Dictionaries' editorial director Judy Pearsall added: "As vaping has gone mainstream, with celebrities from Lindsay Lohan to Barry Manilow giving it a go, and with growing public debate on the public dangers and the need for regulation, so the language usage of the word 'vape' and related terms in 2014 has shown a marked increase". The vaping market has exploded recently, capturing new markets as much of the public cottons to an alternative to traditional smoking, and with such interest new words have become publicly recognisable, including vaper, vapoholic, vaporium, carto, e-juice. Other contenders such as bae, generally taken to be a term of endearment for one's romantic partner, were did not make the top grade - perhaps in an attempt to be a little more serious about the exercise than last year, which saw selfie championed as 2013's word of the year. [...]
12
Like
Save
London issues largest-ever rupee bond of Rs 10 billion
The UK today marked the official issuance of the largest-ever Indian bond of Rs 10 billion on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) here aimed at increasing foreign investment in India. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) had recently announced the Rs 10 billion, named " Masala Bond", as the longest issue ever for an offshore rupee bond with a maturity of 10 years. As the first rupee bond to be listed on the LSE, it is aimed at increasing foreign investment in India. "As we continue to strengthen Britain's relationship with India, the IFC's bond issue in London is welcome news, and is testament to our position as a global financial centre," said Indian-origin minister in the UK's Treasury department Priti Patel. Infrastructure and financial services were two of the main areas identified for partnership between the UK and India during the recent Economic and Financial Dialogue between the Chancellor and Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Proceeds raised from the bond will be exclusively invested in India's infrastructure. "As the government's representative for the Indian diaspora, I am pleased to have Britain front and centre in this investment in India's future," added Patel, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury. IFC is part of the World Bank Group and provides advice and investment to help the private sector find solutions to development issues. The proceeds of the bond will be used to drive investment in Indian infrastructure. [...]
10
Like
Save
Rampal eludes police, LPG cylinders at ashram force cops to halt operation
They were supposed to arrest a godman defying court orders, but they ended up clobbering the journalists. In the daylong clashes between controversial preacher Rampal's armed militia and Haryana police on Tuesday, more than 200 people were injured, among whom were at least 70 journalists, attacked by cops after the Baba's followers charged at them. Rampal, summoned by the Punjab and Haryana high court for contempt by failing to appear in a murder case, continued to elude the police inside his fortified ashram, where his armed and dangerous followers allegedly forcibly held people including women and children as human shields. READ ALSO Who is Rampal? Cases against HaryanagodmanRampal No sooner did the cops try to enter Rampal's Satlok Ashram at around 11.30am to arrest him, than the "Baba's commandos" — this is what they call themselves — allegedly fired at them. As the cops retreated, they lathi-charged journalists covering the conflict, wounding at least 25 of them, some of them grievously. More were hurt later. Bringing down a side wall of the ashram with the help of earth-moving machines, the police used water cannon and teargas shells and staged a lathicharge to make their way in. The operation was abruptly halted around 4pm when the police discovered a pile of LPG gas cylinders while breaking the ashram's rear wall. It was feared that desperate followers of the godman could trigger an inferno by igniting the cylinders. According to reporters from other media houses, policemen attacked NDTV cameramen and also damaged OB vans outside the ashram. Eyewitnesses corroborated this saying cops targeted TV cameras and smashed them. Times Now correspondent Bhavtosh Singh and cameramen Yogesh Bhardwaj and Imtiaz were also injured and their equipment damaged in the attack by the police. Video footage of the assault showed policemen chasing journalists and beating them. Pitched battles, however, between cops and Rampal's followers continued. Seeing the police charge, 50 followers doused themselves with fuel threatening self-immolation, but were neutralized by water cannons. Rampal's commandos then lobbed petrol bombs, acid pouches, stones and fired gunshots from strategically-built posts on the roof of the ashram. The skirmish left 105 cops and 85 followers injured. All the wounded were admitted to nearby hospitals. While nine cops suffered serious injuries, one woman follower was found burnt. Haryana DGP S N Vasisth said there was no casualty so far and the injured cops as well as ashram followers were taken to hospitals. He said the police had received calls from inside the ashram on Tuesday morning complaining of wrongful confinement by the ashram management. Several followers evacuated by cops confirmed that they were not allowed to leave the premises by the ashram authorities for many days. The 63-year-old junior engineer-turned-preacher is said to be holed up in the ashram despite rumours to the contrary. A large number of members of Rampal's 'army' arrested by cops claimed that ashram authorities had retained their arms licences and said there was an illegal weapons cache in the ashram. Hundreds of women and children rescued from the ashram were whisked away in 10 buses and dropped at the railways station and bus stand. On the attack on journalists, the DGP said it was unfortunate and promised to conduct an inquiry. "Following requests from mediapersons we directed officers to take 86 journalists to the spot. Till now we don't have reports about attack by cops on mediapersons," DGP Vashisht said in a statement. Hisar-based journalists, Surender and Sunil, managed to escape from the conflict zone and were spotted by an ambulance driver who rushed them to the hospital. Sunil said, "I was covering the police action and a cop thrashed me. I told him that I was a journalist but that did not deter him. I somehow managed to get away from him finally." Press Council of India chairman Justice Markandey Katju condemned the police action against journalists. "Media freedom is a guaranteed fundamental right under the Constitution. The attack by the police on mediapersons in Hisar today is totally unacceptable in a democracy," Katju said in a statement in New Delhi. [...]
5
Like
Save
PM Modi Kept Out of Nehru Anniversary Celebrations, Sonia Gandhi Attacks Saffron Forces
The Congress celebrations on the 125th birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru on Monday provided a platform for the coming together of several non-BJP parties - among them arch-enemies Trinanool Congress and the Left. The Congress had pointedly excluded Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the guest list, which had several world leaders including former Afghan president Hamid Karzai and former foreign minister of Egypt Amr Moussa. While the BJP strongly criticised the disrespect shown to the Prime Minister's Office, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi made it clear that it was an assembly of 'like-minded secular parties'. Some Congress leaders argue that the BJP never invited Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for any of their functions. Underscoring secularism was an article of faith for Nehru, Mrs Gandhi, who is also her grand daughter-in-law, said, "There could be no Indian-ness, no India, without secularism". "Secularism was and remains more than an ideal. It is a compelling necessity for a country as diverse as India," she added. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is trying to contain a BJP surge in her state, responded, saying, "I don't believe in communal politics. It (communalism) is the number one enemy.  We have seen (communal clashes) in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Gujarat. Even in Bengal, they are trying (to trigger clashes)." At the function, Ms Banerjee had shared stage with senior CPM leader Sitaram Yechury and CPI's D Raja.   Former Prime Minister and JD(S) chief HD Deve Gowda, JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav, NCP leader DP Tripathi and RJD's Jaiprakash Yadav were also present on the occasion. Calling it a coming together of "disparate elements", Union Minister and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley wrote in his blog, "Those who rejected Panditji's politics in his lifetime, are a part of the "show of strength" at this symposium". "Dr Ram Manohar Lohia... rejected Panditji's politics during his lifetime. The Left's anger against Panditji was further fuelled by the invocation of Article 356 to dislodge the first ever democratically elected Communist Government led by Shri EMS Namboodripad in Kerala," he wrote. [...]
22
Like
Save
PM Modi’s a ‘Rock Star’, Screamed Fans in Australia
SYDNEY:  Thousands of rapturous supporters flocked to hear a public address by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the first visit by an Indian premier to Australia in 28 years. Mr Modi, 64, was greeted like a pop star on a trip to New York in September and received a similar reception in Sydney, which he visited after attending the G-20 summit in Brisbane. "Modi's a rock star!" screamed one supporter as the Indian premier took the stage to a wildly enthusiastic reception. "This love, this welcome... I give this to the feet of the children of mother India," Mr Modi said, observing that many people were still outside, unable to gain access to the packed venue. "He is our most charismatic leader and he is going to take our country to the next generation," said Sushil Chaddha, an IT consultant who has lived in Australia for three decades.   Beside him stood dozens of people wearing "Modi in Australia" T-shirts printed with the Indian leader's face in the style of Barack Obama's "Yes We Can" 2008 election posters. Others chanted "Modi, Modi, Modi!" as they jumped, sang and danced, with drums and music playing in the background. Some 20,000 people, mostly from the Indian diaspora in Australia, jammed the stadium, although some had travelled from as far as the United States, Singapore and New Zealand. Reports said there were 25 television crews from India at the event. Scores of supporters arrived on a train decked out in the country's national colours. The so-called "Modi Express" saw more than 200 supporters board a train from Melbourne for the 12-hour journey to Sydney, singing and dancing in the carriages ahead of the event. "After a long, long time, such a phenomenon, such an excitement, such a wave has come, which is unparallelled," a passenger, Rakesh Raizada, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. There are around 450,000 people of Indian origin in Australia, including many from the student community, and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott will be rolling out the red carpet for Mr Modi in Canberra on Tuesday. His trip Down Under -- for the G20 summit in Brisbane and a state visit -- comes just two months after Mr Abbott's tour of India, during which the two countries sealed a long-awaited nuclear energy deal. Mr Modi will address Parliament in Canberra on Tuesday. While he was largely feted, not everyone at the stadium was there to welcome him, with about 100 Sikh protesters lining a street beside the entrance. "The main message is unity," said Karandeep Singh Chadha. "PM Modi and his associates are involved in pro-Hindu movements that are trying to squash minorities." [...]
32
Like
Save
Sunny Leone, Pamela Anderson, Claudia Ciesla, Sofia Hayat – 7 foreign celebrities who spiced up Bigg Boss!
Bigg Boss is known for bringing a flurry of foreign celebrities to spice up the show each year. From Pamela Anderson to Sunny Leone and Andrew Symonds, the makers have upped the game every year by getting foreign celebrities to interact with the Indian audience. Now with Kim Kardashian all set to make her grand debut on Indian television in the eighth season of Bigg Boss, the buzz is likely to hit the roof in the days to come. Here are 7 other foreign celebrities who added that special zing to the show. Sunny Leone She was the contestant who gained more than just popularity from the reality show. Her stint on the show raised quite a few eyebrows, given her career as a pornstar. But slowly and steadily, with her subdued and calculated moves, Sunny managed to win a lot of favour and was soon a mass favourite. She was sweet and candid on the show and eventually went on to even bag a Bollywood film! Jade Goody Bigg Boss hit the perfect casting coup when they brought in Jade Goody in Bigg Boss 2 which was hosted by Shilpa Shetty. The differences between Shilpa and Jade go back to the UK version of Big Brother, when Jade’s comments on Shilpa sparked worldwide protests of alleged racism. Jade was later diagnosed with cancer and had to leave the show. But despite their hostile interactions in the past, Shilpa and Jade shared a cordial relationship during her stay in India. Atithi devo bhava, anyone? Pamela Anderson Pam did not enter the show as a contestant but as a special guest, but did quite a lot to make sure the TRPs scaled right up! From entering the house in a translucent white sari to dancing to Madhuri Dixit’s iconic Dhak Dhak Karne Laga number, Pamela made sure to heat things up! Andrew Symonds The cricketer had been in the news for a controversial comment on Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh. When he entered the Bigg Boss house, he played the game subtly, without getting into any arguments, barring a few occasions when he lost his cool. Bigg Boss helped us see a different side to the aggressive Aussie batsman! Claudia Ciesla Claudia was just starting off in Bollywood doing item numbers, when she was approached to be a part of the show. She danced, she sang and shared some chemistry with co contestant Pravesh Rana. But it was her sexy pool acts which sky rocketed TRPs on the show. Elli Avram Possibly the most innocent and sweetest amongst all the foreigners who have been on the show, Elli came out of the house, with her head held high. From her naughty pranks on the other housemates to her sweet camaraderie with host Salman Khan, people could not have enough of Elli and her eviction from the BB7 house definitely broke a lot of hearts. Sofia Hayat Sofia was famous in the Bigg Boss for her insignificant fights, frivolous arguments and nonsensical explanations. Not only the audience, but the controversial foreign star also received a lot of flak from host Salman Khan. [...]
22
Like
Save
India is now the world’s slave capital: Global Slavery Index 2014
With over 14.2 million in India being involved in forced labour and being victims of trafficking - for sexual exploitation and forced marriage, the country is home to the largest number of people trapped in modern slavery. Globally, 35.8 million people are enslaved across the world. Of them, 23.5 million people are in Asia, two-thirds of global total in 2014 (65.8%). The Global Slavery Index 2014 announced on Monday that India and Pakistan alone account for over 45% of total global enslaved population and have highest prevalence of modern slavery in Asia. The Index said, "Particularly in countries such as India and Pakistan, nationals - often including entire families - are enslaved through bonded labour in construction, agriculture, brick making, garment factories and manufacturing." The report this year found 23% more people across the world are involved in modern slavery than previous estimated. Modern slavery exists in all 167 countries with five countries accounting for 61% of the world's population living in modern slavery. The 2014 Global Slavery Index (GSI) has been published by the Walk Free Foundation, a global human rights organization with a mission to end modern slavery in a generation. The report looks at prevalence (the percentage of a country's population that is enslaved) as well as the total number of people living in modern slavery in each country. It estimates that over 23.5 million people in Asia are living in modern slavery. This is equivalent to almost two-thirds of the global total number of people enslaved. Of these, over 14.2 million are in India and over 2.05 million are in Pakistan, which demonstrate the highest prevalence of modern slavery in Asia (1.141% and 1.13% of their populations respectively). In South Asia, these countries are followed in prevalence by Nepal (0.823% of the population, 228,700 people), Bangladesh (0.435%, 680,900), Afghanistan (0.435, 132,800) and Sri Lanka (0.359%, 73,600). "Some countries with the biggest challenges are also taking important steps to tackle the problem. India for example has strengthened its criminal justice framework through legislative amendments and has established 215 Anti- Human Trafficking Police Units. Much more needs to be done," said the global report. Commenting on the report's findings, Andrew Forrest, chairman of Walk Free Foundation, said: "There is an assumption that slavery is an issue from a bygone era. Or that it only exists in countries ravaged by war and poverty. These findings show that modern slavery exists in every country. We are all responsible for the most appalling situations where modern slavery exists and the desperate misery it brings upon our fellow human beings. The first step in eradicating slavery is to measure it. And with that critical information, we must all come together - governments, businesses and civil society - to finally bring an end to the most severe form of exploitation." Mauritania has the highest proportion (prevalence) of its population in modern slavery, at 4%, followed by Uzbekistan (3.97%), Haiti (2.3%), Qatar (1.36%) and India (1.14%). Iceland and Luxembourg have the lowest number of people enslaved in both prevalence and in absolute numbers, estimated at less than 100 each, closely followed by Ireland with under 300. Modern slavery involves one person possessing or controlling another person in such as a way as to significantly deprive that person of their individual liberty, with the intention of exploiting that person through their use, management, profit, transfer or disposal. Modern slavery contributes to the production of at least 122 goods from 58 countries worldwide. The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates the illicit profits of forced labour to be $150 billion a year. The report says, "India's modern slavery challenges are immense. Across India's population of over 1.2 billion people, all forms of modern slavery, including inter-generational bonded labour, trafficking for sexual exploitation and forced marriage, exist. Evidence suggests that members of lower castes and tribes, religious minorities and migrant workers are disproportionately affected by modern slavery. Modern slavery occurs in brick kilns, carpet weaving, embroidery and other textile manufacturing, forced prostitution, agriculture, domestic servitude, mining, and organised begging rings. labour is particularly prevalent throughout India with families enslaved for generations." "There are reports of women and children from India being recruited with promises of non-existent jobs and later sold for sexual exploitation, or forced into sham marriages. In some religious groups, pre-pubescent girls are sold for sexual servitude in temples. Recent reports suggest that one child goes missing every eight minutes; it is feared that some are sold into forced begging, domestic work, and commercial sexual exploitation." According to the report, on paper, criminal justice reforms specific to h [...]
22
Like
Save
More bad news for the Congress: Owaisi’s MIM could rob the Muslim vote in Delhi
If the Hindu right wing has been a big worry for the Congress so far, here comes the threat from a cadre-based Muslim party. After delivering the Congress a crippling blow in Maharashtra, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) is now toying with the idea of contesting in Delhi. Even if it decides not to however, its presence is likely to impact the way the community votes. This, as the results of the last few elections reveal, could work to the detriment of the Grand Old Party and the advantage of the BJP. No wonder, behind closed doors, Congress leaders believe that there’s a covert understanding between the MIM and the BJP. When the Hyderabad-based All India Majlis-e- Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) decided to contest the Maharashtra assembly elections, political pundits, and the Congress, didn’t read much into it. But by the end of it, the AIMIM or MIM had left a lasting impression on the political arena. The party led by their firebrand leader Asaduddin Owaisi had done better than the Raj Thackeray led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) to win two seats. “We did not fight the Lok Sabha elections because we didn’t want BJP to have an advantage, but here it was a multi-cornered contest,” said Owaisi. “My aim is to see Muslims, Dalits and the oppressed classes get their due in the political system,” he added. What was even more impressive for the MIM was that it managed to win 0.9 percent of the total votes polled while fielding only 24 candidates in the 288 member Maharashtra assembly, an average of over 20,000 votes per constituency it contested. It also finished second on three seats while coming third in another eight seats. With Owaisi expressing his intent to expand the base of his party in North India, alarm bells are ringing in the Congress camp. “The BJP gets support of MIM in Maharashtra and now MIM will be contesting in Delhi. Who will gain if MIM fights in Delhi? Obviously BJP!” commented senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Twitter. A look at Delhi’s political scenario will make clear why the Congress is worried. The party currently has only eight seats in the 70-member Delhi assembly. The victory in these seats was largely due to Muslim votes - half of Congress’ elected MLAs are Muslims. Twelve seats in the 2013 assembly election were decided by a margin of 2000 or less votes. The Congress is banking heavily on the “minority” vote which form a sizeable 25 percent of the voters in almost 10 seats of the state. “All I can say is that there is a need for secular forces to come together to keep the BJP at bay,” says Sandeep Dikshit, National spokesperson for the party. What could turn the tables for the BJP is the possible entry of MIM in these seats, as this would eat into the traditional vote of the Congress. In seats where the Congress candidate is not in a direct fight with BJP, this vote is likely to shift to AAP. So even AAP has its task cut out if Owaisi decides to throw his hat in the ring. The Congress and the MIM are already at loggerheads after the Maharashtra verdict, Sushil Kumar Shinde’s daughter and Solapur City MLA Praniti Shinde has openly called for a ban on the party accusing them of being “anti-national”. “What Owaisi can do for BJP, no one can as they are both flip sides of the coin,” said a senior Congress leader on condition of anonymity. “He will give fiery speeches that will polarize voters. That helps BJP to consolidate the Hindu vote while the Muslim vote will split between Congress, AAP and MIM,” he added. The party remains in wait and watch mode as the MIM is yet to make its position clear on whether it will formally take the plunge by contesting elections in Delhi. The emergence of MIM on the political scene is not just a reflection of the unfulfilled aspirations of the minority community, but also puts the Congress in the dock for mere “tokenism”. Owaisi does have a point when he says that the myth of the “Muslim vote bank” has been busted after the 2014 general elections. Whichever way one interprets his rise, it gives an interesting new twist to the communal-secular divide in Indian politics and puts the Congress and other parties which have long taken Muslims for granted on notice. [...]
22
Like
Save
Graphic Video Shows Beheaded U.S. Aid Worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig, ‘Syrian’ Captives
Agraphic video purportedly released by the militant Islamic State (IS) group shows that the Sunni extremist group has beheaded U.S. aid worker Peter Kassig, also known as Abdul-Rahman Kassig, and more than a dozen men described as Syrian soldiers. The 16-minute recording shows a masked militant claiming to have beheaded Kassig and standing over a severed head. The United States subsequently confirmed the death of Kassig, and President Barack Obama offered prayers and condolences to Kassig's parents and other relatives. "Abdul-Rahman was taken from us in an act of pure evil by a terrorist group that the world rightly associates with inhumanity," Obama said in a statement released aboard Air Force One as he flew back to the United States from an Asia tour. The United States has conducted air strikes against IS targets and conducted aid drops to their victims. The video also depicts the simultaneous beheadings of at least 15 men described as Syrian military personnel. It shows masked militants marching the prisoners by a wooden box of long military knives, each taking one as they pass, before forcing their victims to kneel in a line and decapitating them. The militants warn that U.S. soldiers will meet a similar fate. Kassig, a 26-year-old former Army Ranger who later joined humanitarian efforts and converted to Islam, was helping victims of the Syrian civil war when he was captured last year. The video was posted on websites used by the IS in the past. The National Security Council, which advises the U.S. president, said earlier that if the video was confirmed, "we are appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American aid worker and we express our deepest condolences to his family and friends." 'World Needs Him' Kassig's family said that after leaving the army, Kassig became an aid volunteer. He was said by friends to have converted to Islam while in captivity and changed his name from Peter to Abdul-Rahman. Kassig's parents, Ed and Paula Kassig, issued a statement via Facebook before the confirmation of the killing of their "treasured son." They added: "The family respectfully asks that the news media avoid playing into the hostage takers' hands and refrain from publishing or broadcasting photographs or video distributed by the hostage takers. We prefer our son is written about and remembered for his important work and the love he shared with friends and family, not in the manner the hostage takers would use to manipulate Americans and further their cause." A volunteer for Libyan and then Syrian humanitarian efforts, Kassig's brother had previously urged his captors to "please show mercy" because "we need him, the world needs him." A previous video -- released on October 3, purportedly by IS -- showed an IS masked militant threatening a man identified as Kassig. Following the release of that video, the National Security Council had said it was using all available means to secure his release. International Condemnation Speaking at the end of a G20 summit his country hosted, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott called IS a "death cult" and said there has been "a gruesome catalogue of beheadings, of crucifixions, of mass executions, of sexual slavery since [it] started to consolidate its hold in eastern Syria and northern Iraq." British Prime Minister David Cameron said he was "horrified" by the video. "I'm horrified by the cold-blooded murder of Abdul-Rahman Kassig. [IS] have again shown their depravity. My thoughts are with his family," Cameron said via Twitter. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls condemned the apparent executions of the U.S. aid worker and Syrian soldiers as a "barbaric act" that would only boost France's determination to take on IS militants. IS previously released videos showing the beheadings of two U.S. journalists -- James Foley and Steven Sotloff -- and of British nationals David Haines and Alan Henning. The group has executed scores of Iraqi and Syrian security personnel and carried out beheadings on camera. The militant group has also killed hundreds of Iraqi and Syrian tribesmen who opposed it, attacked religious and ethnic minorities, and sold women as slaves. The U.S. military's top general meanwhile said on November 16 that U.S. forces have begun advising Iraqi troops at an airbase in the western Anbar province, much of which is controlled by IS. The Obama administration said on November 7 that it would send up to 1,500 more U.S. troops to Iraq, widening its advising mission and initiating training of Baghdad's forces. General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Reuters in connection with his surprise visit to Iraq that a small group of advisers had already established themselves in a preliminary fashion at Ain al-Asad air base. He said they "are already working with the [Iraqi army's] seventh division to help them plan and help them understand the threa [...]
11
Like
Save
BITS-Goa student lands Rs 1.4 crore offer from Google
A 21-year old Bits Pilani, Goa campus student, Krunal Kishorbhai Patel, has landed a Rs 1.4-crore starting annual salary offer from Google for a position at the internet giant's headquarters at Mountain View, California. The campus placement will see him join the company as a software engineer in October 2015. Patel is pursuing a dual degree — BE (honours) in computer science and MSc (honours) in mathematics — at Bits. "I couldn't believe it for a few seconds when my recruiter called me to present the offer. It was the best day of my life," says Patel. Google had conducted APAC test for students who would be graduating in 2015 from different universities across Asia Pacific and Patel ranked second in India and eighth overall. Hailing from Rajkot, Gujarat, Patel finished his schooling from Atmiya. "I was not quite bothered about placements till my third year at Bits. I had no clue as to what companies are looking out for. But, I made sure I kept my grades high and focused on learning as many things as I could to update my knowledge about computer science and mathematence and mathematics," says Patel. He scored well in both the courses at the college with a CGPA (cumulative grade point average value) of 9.4, and cleared GATE 2014 with an all-India rank of 10 in computer science. [...]
22
Like
Save
Modi in Varanasi: PM nomintes Akhilesh Yadav, Suresh Raina and Raju Srivastav for Clean Ganga drive
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday nominated nine people to be part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Modi, who on Saturday morning visited Assi Ghat in Varanasi and participated in Ganga cleanliness drive, named Akhilesh Yadav, Manoj Tiwari, Kailash Kher, Manu Sharma, Mohammad Kaif, Swami Ram Bhadracharya, Devi Prasad Dwivedi, Suresh Raina and Raju Shrivastava for the cleanliness campaign from Uttar Pradesh. "When I began the drive, I had nominated nine people. Today, taking that forward, I am nominating Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Chancellor of Chitrakoot Handicapped University Swami Ram Bhadracharya, Bhojpuri actor Manoj Tiwari, writer Manu Sharma, cricketers Mohammad Kaif and Suresh Raina, Padma Shri Professor Devi Prasad Dwivedi, television actor and comedian Raju Shrivastava and singer Kailash Kher," the Prime Minister said. Modi reached the ghat in the morning, offered his prayers and then took a spade to start off the cleanliness drive. "I have started the cleanliness drive here. The social organisations here have assured me this entire ghat will be cleaned as soon as possible," Modi said. "After several years this shall be a gift through the medium of cleanliness here," he said. Modi had reached Varanasi, his Lok Sabha constituency, on Friday and adopted a village. [...]
21
Like
Save
Agra Muslims censure Shahi Imam, tell him to leave India
Infuriated by the invitation extended by Shahi Imam Ahmed Bukhari to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, while ignoring Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Agra Muslims took a drastic step of censuring the so-called royal cleric on Saturday, claiming that if the Imam considers himself above national interest, he should go and live in Pakistan. Talking to India Today, Ashfaq Saifi, national general secretary of BJP minority cell said that 'Dastaarbandi' is a public function and all members of the public are eligible to attend the function. He said that the Jama Masjid in Delhi is not the personal domain of Imam Abdulla Bukhari that he is transferring to his son, it belongs to every Muslim of the country. In the guise of this function, Abdulla Bukhari is conspiring to create fractions between Hindus and Muslims. All India Madarsa Board general secretary Maulana Uzair Aalam said that the Madarsa Board does not support Ahmed Bukhari's step, however I do resent that fact that the Prime Minister has not sent out any greetings on Muslim festivals that took place since he assumed charge, while earlier, all Prime Ministers used to do that. He said that as Prime Minister, Modi should protect the sentiments of people from all religions, instead of practicing right-wing Hindu Nationalism. Mohd. Israar Ahmed, principal of Madarsa Taleem-e-Quraan said that Ahmed Bukhari should not mix politics and religion and I do not support his decision to invite Nawaz Sharif. Gyaas Qureshi, social activist demanded that the government should end the title Shahi Imaam as the country is now a democracy, not a Mughal domain. There are thousands of mosques in this country that were constructed by Mughals. He asked that when the Jama Masjid of Agra was also a royal mosque while Agra was the capital of Mughals, then why only Ahmed Bukhari claims this title as his inheritance? A group of Shiv Sainiks burned the effigy of Abdulla Bukhari on Saturday, demanding that the government should immediately arrest the Imam on charges of sedition. Veenu Lavania, district president of Shiv Sena in Agra said that if someone hates the country he lives in, he is most certainly an anti-national element and should be punished accordingly. [...]
22
Like
Save
Sri Lanka snubs India, opens port to Chinese submarine again
Despite India's strong reservations about a Chinese nuclear submarine at the Colombo port in September, the government has learned that Sri Lanka has permitted another Chinese attack submarine to dock at a Lankan port. According to the information received, the second docking is likely to take place very soon. The presence of Chinese submarines across Palk Straits has deeply disturbed the government which is making another call to Lankan authorities, this time to convey strong displeasure. The news of a second Chinese submarine docking in Sri Lanka comes days after the visit of Vietnam PM Nguyen Tan Dung to India and in complete disregard of India's message to Lankan defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa earlier this month. The Chinese fleet of submarines, both diesel and nuclear-powered (of which three can fire ballistic missiles), represent some of Beijing's most offensive military capabilities and have been the focus of international media when one of them propelled through Indian Ocean waters for the first time earlier this year, making its way to the Persian Gulf. A Chinese navy submarine attends an international fleet review to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army Navy on April 23, 2009 off Qingdao in Shandong Province. (Getty Images file photo) In a recent report, Wall Street Journal described the Chinese submarine fleet as Beijing's most significant military challenge in the region. And for them to surface at Lankan ports brings alive some of New Delhi's worst fears of China's expanding presence in India's neighbourhood. Sri Lanka's assurance — even from the highest level — that China has no military presence in the island nation does not inspire confidence. Consider the following: Coinciding with the election of Mahinda Rajapaksa as president in 2005, assistance from China has grown manifold and in infrastructure.  Of the totals assistance of $5.056 billion extended to Lanka by China from 1971 to 2012, around 94% or $4.761 billion came between 2005 and 2012. In the past two years (2012-2014), China has committed another $2.18 billion, mostly as loans with a high rate of interest. With its "no strings" overseas-aid policy, China has replaced Japan as the No. 1 donor to Sri Lanka. India believes that the Chinese have been favoured despite the commercial and economic viability of their projects being suspect. Traffic generated at Hambantota port and Matara international airport, both built by China, are said to be far below expectations. The Rajapaksa regime has not been deterred by the poor execution of projects by Chinese companies. One glaring example is the $1.35 billion Norochcholai coal power project which Sri Lankan authorities failed to rectify and have now asked the Chinese to operate it. Poor quality of equipment was said to be one of the reasons for the breakdown. What seems to have angered New Delhi is that the permission for docking another nuclear sub comes even after India conveyed to defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who is also brother of the president, that it had serious reservations about the Colombo docking on September 15. This Colombo stop for the sub in September came while President Pranab Mukherjee was touring Vietnam and when Indian and Chinese troops were locked in a face-off at Chumar in southeastern Ladakh. China later said the sub had docked in Colombo on its way to the Gulf of Aden. [...]
12
Like
Save
Why should women change their names on getting married?
My name is Sophie Coulombeau. But a year from now, after the fuss from my wedding has died down, it could be something rather different. For me, to adopt the surname of my partner and relinquish my own would profoundly affect how I think about my own identity. On the one hand, it would bind us into a family unit and make it easier to know what to write on the birth certificates if we ever have children. But on the other, it would make me first and foremost a wife, while my husband would remain, quite simply, himself. Introducing myself as "Sophie Hardiman" would mean that saying "I do" had fundamentally changed the answer to the question "Who am I?" If I chose to take my new husband's name, I'd be far from alone. A Eurobarometer survey, conducted in 1994, suggested that 94% of British women took their husbands' names when they got married. Recent smaller-scale research, however, suggests that this proportion has shrunk over the last two decades, especially among highly-educated and younger women. In 2013, academic Dr Rachel Thwaites found that 75% of respondents took their husband's names. Just last month, the Discourses of Marriage Research Group, a multi-institutional network interested in marriage equality, found that 54% of female respondents did the same. Since in Britain it has always been legal to call yourself whatever you like (as long as you're not committing fraud), it's hard to get a clear and definitive picture. But as a rough guide we can estimate that when the confetti has fallen, two-thirds to three-quarters of married British women still sign documents using their husband's surname or introduce themselves using it - they apply for new passports and credit cards, or they change their handles on social media. Feelings can run high over the issue of surname change, as demonstrated by recent criticism of Amal Alamuddin's decision to change her name when she married George Clooney. Some feminists point out that women suffer serious detriment to their careers when they change their names - that they signal their submission to their husbands, and reinforce to their own children the idea that women are inferior to men. Others shrug the issue off and say that women's names mean little to them, or point out that a birth name is usually the name of the woman's father anyway. Those who think a woman should change her surname often say that it's not really important, but, given the choice between the various options, they prefer to go with "tradition". This argument, of course, presupposes that traditions are worth preserving. But in fact, just a brief dip into the history of marital surname change - a specifically English phenomenon - reveals that its origins are at best controversial. And at worst, they are deeply unsavoury. British hereditary surnames are only about 1,000 years old. Imported by the French around the time of the Norman Conquest, they stabilised throughout much of English society by the 14th Century, with Celtic regions taking longer to adapt. Married women, however, were perceived to have no surname at all, since the Normans had also brought with them the doctrine of coverture, the legal principle that, upon marriage, a woman became her husband's possession. Her state of namelessness reflected this. In the words of one court in 1340, "when a woman took a husband, she lost every surname except 'wife of'". But, around the turn of the 15th Century, the French doctrine of coverture received a unique English twist. There was another interpretation of coverture available, based on scriptural ideas, which focused not on the husband's power over his wife but on the unity that marriage gave them. In the words of the English jurist Henry de Bracton, they became "a single person, because they are one flesh and one blood". As this idea gained ground, so did the clerical habit of designating a married woman by her husband's surname. The married woman had formerly been a vassal with no surname at all, but now, in theory, she came to share the surname of her husband as a symbol of their legal and spiritual unity. However, if there was one person in a marriage, that person was the husband. Married women still could not hold property, vote, or go to law. Legally, at the point of marriage they ceased to exist. By the early 17th Century, the custom of the woman adopting her husband's surname was sufficiently entrenched in England that the antiquarian William Camden could write: "Women with us, at their marriage, do change their surnames, and pass into their husbands names, and justly. For they are no more twain, but one flesh." Crucially, the custom was also specific to England. Camden noted with disapproval: "And yet in France and the Netherlands, the better sort of women will still retain their own name with their husbands… But I fear husbands will not like this note, for that some of their dames may be ambitiously over-pert and too forward to imitate it." So even in 1605, Camden id [...]
22
Like
Save
AirAsia India’s Diwali Offer: Fares Start at Rs 999
Budget carrier AirAsia India's Diwali special offer has fares starting at Rs. 999. The booking period for this AsiaAsia offer is between October 20 and October 26, 2014. This offer is applicable on travel between October 26, 2014 and April 30, 2015. As part of this AirAsia offer, tickets for the Bangalore to Chennai and Kochi route are priced at Rs. 999. On the Bangalore to Goa route tickets are priced at Rs. 1699. Fares on the Bangalore to Jaipur and Chandigarh route are Rs. 2999. AirAsia India is a three-way joint venture between Malaysia-based AirAsia Berhad, Tata Group and investment firm Telestra Tradeplace. Malaysia-based AirAsia Berhad holds 49 per cent stake in AirAsia India. AirAsia India from September 5 added Jaipur and Chandigarh to its network as part of its first foray into north India. Low-priced air tickets offered by various Indian airlines seem to have had an effect, with the number of passengers flown by them in August growing by over 8.3 per cent compared to July this year, official data showed. The latest figures showed the number of domestic passengers carried by the airlines grew from 52.60 lakh in July to 56.97 lakh in August. [...]
12
Like
Save