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TMZ attempts to prevent Johnny Depp from calling ex-employee to testify

Washington [US]: On Tuesday, TMZ filed an emergency request in Virginia to prevent Johnny Depp from bringing one of its former workers to testify in his defamation case. According to Variety, in the motion, TMZ is attempting to protect a confidential source who provided the outlet with a video of Depp yelling at ex-wife Amber Heard and slamming cabinets. The jury was shown the video early in the trial. Depp's team has indicated that Morgan Tremaine, a former TMZ field assignment manager, will be called as a witness on Wednesday. They have not stated what questions will be posed to Tremaine.The lawyers for TMZ contended that the source's identity should be protected under Virginia law's journalist's privilege. Tremaine's evidence, according to the publication, is immaterial to the matter of whether Depp and Heard defamed one other. During her cross-examination of Heard, Depp's lawyer, Camille Vasquez, argued that she had leaked the film and that the outlet had paid her for it. She said, "I didn't do that," Heard testified. "I had nothing to do with that." When Heard went to court in May 2016 to obtain a restraining order against Depp, Vasquez suspected that Heard's team had tipped off TMZ. Heard expressed surprise that photographers were present, and speculated that it was Depp's divorce lawyer, Laura Wasser, who had tight ties to TMZ. TMZ's lawyer argued in the motion that Tremaine had nothing to do with the video's receipt and that any testimony he might give about the confidential source would be based on "rumour and conjecture." "TMZ promised this source that it would maintain their confidentiality and would not disclose their name or other information about them," wrote the outlet's attorneys. "TMZ makes such promises of confidentiality, from time to time, so that it may publish information in the public interest, and it relies on the journalist's privilege protecting the identity of confidential sources to do so", as reported by Variety.

Telangana Congress urges state govt to remove Veer Savarkar's portrait from museum

Hyderabad (Telangana) : Telangana Congress on Wednesday urged the Telangana government to remove the photo of RSS leader Veer Savarkar from the Salar Jung Museum here. Congress urged the government to replace it with the photo of freedom fighters like Bhagat Singh, Mahatma Gandhi or Nizams of Hyderabad. In a conversation with reporters on Tuesday, Organising Secretary in Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee Osman Mohammed Khan said, "The Congress leaders on Tuesday visited the Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad. At the museum, we objected to placing the photo of Savarkar inside the Museum and demand the Government to remove it with immediate effect."Khan further expressed his unhappiness over witnessing the minimalist representation of Nizams of Hyderabad in the museum. "Today, we came to this museum which is one of the best in Hyderabad. I felt really bad looking at a few scenes here. Salar Jung was a Prime Minister during the Nizam rule. The Nizam family here had donated several antique pieces. However, the government did not acknowledge it well." "The museum authorities have removed all his photos from the museum. Instead, they chose to place the photo of Savarkar here. Savarkar was never a part of the freedom struggle. He was supporting the Britishers. Putting his photo in Salar Jung museum is very shameful and we condemn it," he said. He further questioned Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi by saying, "the museum comes under your jurisdiction. Here, the local MLA, local corporator is of AIMIM. Such a big issue is happening and you are not aware of it? We appeal that Savarkar's portrait be removed from here immediately."

ED summons two sons, wife of Nawab Malik in money laundering case, none appear

Mumbai (Maharashtra) : Enforcement Directorate in its chargesheet said that both the sons and wife of Maharashtra minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik were summoned for interrogation, but none of them appeared in connection with Malik's money laundering case. "Nawab Malik's wife Mehjabin was summoned twice whereas his son Faraj Malik was summoned 5 times in connection with a money laundering case. But none of them appeared before the ED," informed the chargesheet today morning. On Tuesday, it was revealed that Malik has had links with fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim's D-company for a long time, according to the investigation of the Enforcement Directorate against him in connection with a money laundering case. The Enforcement Directorate has filed a prosecution complaint (chargesheet) before the Special PMLA court in Mumbai.In the prosecution complaint, the ED elaborately mentioned Malik's alleged link to the D-company, and purported conspiracy to "usurp" the Goawala building compound in Kurla West in 1996. Also, a special court on May 20 took cognisance of the Enforcement Directorate's chargesheet against the NCP leader and said there is prima facie evidence to indicate Malik was directly and knowingly involved in the money laundering and criminal conspiracy with others to usurp Goawala compound in Kurla. The court has issued a process against him and the 1993 bomb blast case accused Sardar Shahwali Khan, who is also named in the case.

Spicejet faces ransomware attack; flights impacted

New Delhi : Hundreds of SpiceJet airlines passengers were stranded at various airports due to a ransomware attack that impacted the morning flight departures on Wednesday. Confirming the development, a spokesperson informed that a ransomware attack on Tuesday night had slowed down the departure of flights today morning. "Certain SpiceJet systems faced an attempted ransomware attack last night that impacted and slowed down morning flight departures today. Our IT team has contained and rectified the situation and flights are operating normally now," the SpiceJet tweeted after getting numerous queries over the delay in departure. Meanwhile, as the passengers stuck at airports raised concerns over the delay the ground staff informed them that 'the server was down'. One of the passengers, Saurav Goyal tweeted, "Extremely poor customer service by flyspicejet. My flight to Srinagar SG 473 scheduled at 6.25 AM from Delhi today is still at the airport. The Staff has no clue and poor excuse is 'server down' so cannot take printouts. Passengers are suffering."

J-K: LG Manoj Sinha visits Rahul Bhat’s residence, meets family

Budgam (J&K): Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on May 24 visited the residence and met the family of Rahul Bhat, an employee of Chadoora Tehsil Office, who was shot dead by terrorists on May 12 in his office. “Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha empathized with us and expressed heartfelt grief. He said he will help us as much as he can; assured us that investigation is underway and is at its final stage,” said Bitta Ji Bhat, father of Rahul Bhat.

Kedarnath Temple wears thin sheet of snow, Char Dham Yatra disrupted

Kedarnath (Uttarakhand): Kedarnath Dham in Uttarakhand has been covered in a thin sheet of snow due to snowfall on May 25. Rudraprayag district is witnessing rain and snowfall for the last couple of days. Char Dham Yatra has been disrupted due to snowfall and rain. India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted ‘partly cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers’ for the city.

What if man marries another man...: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar

Patna (Bihar) : Criticizing the dowry system, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday said that there is nothing worse than demanding dowry for marrying a girl else what will happen to childbirth if a "man marries to another man". Kumar's remarks came during the inauguration of a newly constructed girls' hostel in Patna on Tuesday. Speaking at the occasion, the Chief Minister said," In our times there used to be no girls in the colleges. How bad it felt. But today, girls are in every field be it medical or engineering. A lot of initiatives have been taken for women's empowerment. We imposed prohibition. We started a campaign against the dowry system and child marriage." "There is nothing worse than demanding dowry for marrying a girl. If you will get married then only children will be born. What will happen to childbirth if a man gets married to another man? I have already said that I would attend a marriage only if it was declared that dowry was not taken," he added.

J-K LG meets cricketer Umran Malik, says govt will take care of his training

Jammu (J&K): Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha met Indian Cricketer Umran Malik and his family and congratulated him on getting selected for Team India. Sinha said the Jammu and Kashmir government will take care of Umran Malik's training and other facilities. Umran Malik received his maiden call-up for the national team. Umran will play five-match T20 International home series against South Africa at home, which will start from June 9 onwards.

Azam Khan skips UP assembly proceedings; sparks rumours of rift with Akhilesh Yadav

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) : Senior Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan skipped Uttar Pradesh Assembly proceedings for the second day in a row on Tuesday amid growing speculation of a rift between him and party president Akhilesh Yadav. Khan, on Monday, had left without attending the proceedings of the house, after being sworn in as a member of the house in Speaker Satish Mahan's chamber. Addressing reporters on Tuesday, Khan said, "I did not attend the proceedings of the House as my health condition was not good."The Budget session of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly on Monday began on a stormy note with Samajwadi Party MLAs rushing to the well of the House and raising slogans during the Governor's address. The state's budget will be presented on May 26. Khan was released on bail from Sitapur Jail where he was lodged on various charges, including that of land grabbing. Khan's recent meeting with Shivpal Singh Yadav also fueled rumours of the rift. "Shivpal is my companion. I have met him on earlier occasions as well. I don't think that there is anything wrong in meeting him. It was just a courtesy meeting," Khan told reporters. Khan had on Monday evening met Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party Lohia (PSPL) founder Shivpal Yadav at his residence.

Karnataka: Heavy police deployment around Juma Masjid in Mangaluru

Mangaluru (Karnataka): Large number of police personnel have been deployed at Malali Juma Masjid in Mangaluru after right-wing organisations performed 'Tambula Prashne' at Sri Ramanjaneya Bhajana Mandira in Malali on Wednesday morning.According to Mangaluru authorities, section 144 will be in place within a 500-meter area of Juma Masjid here till 8 am on May 26.Meanwhile, Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal performed 'Tambula Prashne' at Sri Ramanjaneya Bhajana Mandira in Malali this morning. Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said, "The district administration is monitoring everything. Section 144 imposed in the area near Masjid." A Hindu temple-like architectural design was discovered underneath an old mosque on the outskirts of Mangaluru on April 21.The development came to the fore during the renovation work at Juma Masjid in Malali, on the outskirts of Mangaluru. The renovation work was being conducted by the mosque authorities. Following this, people have been suggesting that there is every possibility that a Hindu temple existed at the site. VHP leaders had appealed to the district administration to stop the work till the documents were verified.

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China imposes lockdown in parts of Beijing as COVID-19 outbreak continues

Beijing : Reeling under the mismanagement of Xi Jinping's Zero-Covid Policy, parts of Beijing have again come under a lockdown on Sunday, as the pandemic outbreak continues to spread in more and more cities in China. The authorities have imposed a lockdown in the Haidian district along with Chaoyang, Fengtai, Shunyi, and Fangshan districts, China's Global Times reported citing a statement of the city government's spokesperson, Xu in Hejian. As per the Chinese media reports, except for restaurants offering delivery services and pharmacies, all indoor entertainment venues, gyms, training institutes, and shopping malls have been closed from today. All graded scenic points in the capital city will be suspended, and at the same time, all parks should cap visits to 30 per cent of capacity, Global Times reported citing Xu Hejian's statement. The residents across five districts in Beijing have been asked to work from home until May 28 as the domestically-transmitted COVID-19 situation remains uncertain. While explaining the reasons for the rise in sporadic cases, Xu said that the COVID-19 situation has been complicated by the highly-contagious Omicron with most patients only presenting mild symptoms. He also said that the negligence of the people towards the Covid-19 precautionary norms has also contributed to the clustered outbreak which intensifies the transmission risk of the infection, Global Times reported. According to the National Health Commission report today, China on Saturday reported 157 locally transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which Beijing reported 52 new confirmed locally transmitted COVID-19 cases and 9 local asymptomatic cases. China's much-publicized 'zero-covid' strategy that the government credited for bringing the country out of the pandemic till recently is falling apart as the rapidly mounting cases are again forcing mass lockdowns like those seen in 2020.

Amit Shah asks Rahul Gandhi to take off 'Italian glasses' to see development

Namsai (Arunachal Pradesh) : Taking a potshot at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who is currently in the UK, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said the Wayanad MP must take off his Italian glasses and look at the development work done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Pema Khandu in Arunachal Pradesh. Shah inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of various development projects worth Rs 1,000 crores in the Namsai district. Speaking on the occasion, the Union Home Minister Shah said, "Congress leaders ask what happened in eight years, these people are awake with their eyes closed. Rahul baba must take off his Italian glasses and look at the development work done by PM Modi and Chief Minister Pema Khandu." "A lot of work was done in the last eight years in Arunachal to improve infrastructure, strengthen law and order and boost the tourism sector. The work that has been done by Pema Khandu and Narendra Modi in eight years has not happened in 50 years," Shah said. The Union Home Minister is on a two-day visit to Arunachal Pradesh. He attended various programmes in the state.Earlier today, Shah visited Golden Pagoda in Namsai district of Arunachal Pradesh. Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju and State Chief Minister Pema Khandu were also present with him. Later in the day, Shah will review the security and development, and interact with Army, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Services Selection Board (SSB), Assam Rifles, Border Road Organisation, and National Highways Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDLC) personnel, here at Namsai.He will also take part in Bada Khaana-- a collective feast where all ranks of Army personnel and Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) troops eat together.

Raj Thackeray urges PM Modi to bring Uniform Civil Code, population control law

Pune (Maharashtra): Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Sunday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to bring Uniform Civil Code (UCC) and law on population control in the country. Addressing a rally in Pune, Thackeray said, "I request the Prime Minister to bring Uniform Civil Code at the earliest, also bring a law on population control and change the name of Aurangabad to Sambhajinaga. Do it at once and all the dispute will end."On postponing his Ayodhya visit, the MNS chief said, "Two days ago, I tweeted about postponing my Ayodhya visit. I intentionally gave the statement to allow everyone to give their reactions. Those who were against my Ayodhya visit were trying to trap me, but I decided not to fall into this controversy." Thackeray had postponed his planned Ayodhya visit which was scheduled for June 5. He further slammed Amravati MP Navneet Rana and her MLA husband Ravi Rana for the ruckus outside Matoshree, the residence of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. "After I asked my workers to play Hanuman Chalisa on loudspeakers, the Rana couple (Ravi and Navneet Rana) said they will recite Hanuman Chalisa at Matoshree. Is Matoshree a mosque? Everyone knows what happened between Shiv Sainiks and the Rana couple later," added the MNS chief. Meanwhile, heavy deployment of the police was made at Ganesh Kala Krida Manch in Pune where Raj Thackeray addressed a rally today. The MNS chief has been at the centre stage of the loudspeakers row in Maharashtra. The controversy started after Thackeray on April 12 gave an ultimatum to the Maharashtra government to remove loudspeakers from mosques by May 3, failing which, he warned, MNS workers will play Hanuman Chalisa on loudspeakers. A case was filed against Raj Thackeray when he appealed to people to play Hanuman Chalisa on loudspeakers in the areas where loudspeakers are used for 'Azaan'.

Johnny Depp to testify once again in defamation trial against Amber Heard

Washington : Seems like a sequel to Hollywood actor Johnny Depp's testimony in his defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard is about to come. According to Deadline, a source close to Depp's legal team confirmed that the actor will almost certainly take the stand first thing next week.After last appearing on the stand, in the Virginia-set trial over two weeks ago, the former 'Pirates of the Caribbean' will be called by the defence as a third witness on Monday. He will follow an anatomy expert and an IPV expert in what is the last week of the trial, reported the outlet. As per Deadline, Judge Penny Azcarte has said that she wants closing arguments to occur on May 27. Depp has sued Heard for USD 50 million in defamation after she alluded to their alleged abusive relationship in an op-ed written for The Washington Post.

BJP accuses KCR of ignoring farmers' issues in Telangana, slams him over India tour

Hyderabad (Telangana) : Criticising the Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao's India tour, BJP MLA Etela Rajender on Saturday said he is visiting other places leaving farmers and people's issues here in the state. "The people of the state voted for KCR for good governance so that he can provide better health, education and welfare activities for people but he utterly failed in every aspect," the BJP leader said. KCR, who is on a two-day visit to the national capital, accompanied Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to visit a Delhi government school in South Moti Bagh on Saturday.Taking a dig at Rao, the BJP leader said KCR is nowhere concerned with national politics and has a responsibility to work here in Telangana but he left all his work and went to Delhi. "The farmers' paddy issue has been kept in the Centre for one month, he left farmers aside and went there. Earlier, former chief minister of the state N Chandrababu Naidu also did the same mistake and was removed from power, he (KCR) will also face the same fate," Rajender said. Earlier on Saturday, Rao took a tour of Delhi's government schools and Mohalla clinics with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Lauding the Delhi government's efforts in the education sector, KCR said that they have transformed the aims of students from "job seekers" to "job providers".

Telangana CM KCR praises Kejriwal govt after visiting schools, Mohalla clinics in Delhi

New Delhi: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao visited a Mohalla clinic in RK Puram area of Delhi on May 21. After the visit, CM KCR said, “Mohalla Clinics and schools are good work by AAP. After Telangana became a state, we've been looking out for good things to incorporate. After we received good feedback on clinics, we have copied it in our state.” The Telangana Minister was accompanied by Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Health Minister Satyendar Jain. CM KCR is on a week-long national tour.

Centre's decision to slash petrol, diesel prices underlines PM Modi's commitment to concerns of citizens: Hardeep Singh Puri

New Delhi: Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Saturday thanked the Centre for the visionary decision of reducing Central excise on petrol and diesel and said that it underlines PM Modi's unwavering commitment to concerns of citizens and showcases his leadership in crisis. "Grateful to PM Narendra Modi ji and FM Nirmala Sitharaman ji for the visionary decision of reducing Central excise on Petrol by Rs 8/ltr and Diesel by Rs 6/ltr, which will translate into a reduction in the price of petrol by Rs 9.5 /ltr and Diesel by Rs 7/ltr. Cost of Rs 1 lakh cr/year to the exchequer," Puri said in a tweet. The Union Minister said, "This decision follows Nov '21 central excise cut of Rs 5 on petrol and Rs 10 on Diesel. It underlines PM Modi Ji's unwavering commitment to concerns of citizens and showcases PM's leadership in crisis, despite refusal by some states to reduce prices and extraordinary supply constraints." Further highlighting the fact that despite this second reduction in Central excise, the price of Petrol and Diesel in States like Maharashtra, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand and Kerala remain around Rs 10-15 higher than in BJP ruled states, the Union Minister said it is time for these states to wake up and reduce VAT to provide relief to their consumers."This is due to the refusal of their respective State Govts to reduce VAT. It is time for these states to wake up and reduce VAT to provide relief to their consumers," he added. Earlier on Saturday, in a significant step aimed at providing relief to people from high fuel prices, the Centre announced a reduction in excise duty on petrol by Rs 8 per litre and on diesel by Rs 6 per litre. Making the announcement in tweets, Finance Minister Sitharman said that the move will have a revenue implication of around Rs 1 lakh crore per year. She also urged states to also reduce VAT on petroleum products to give relief to the common man. The government had similarly reduced excise duty on petrol and diesel in November last year on the eve of Diwali. It had reduced excise duty on petrol by Rs 5 a litre and on diesel by Rs 10 a litre.

Amit Shah lays foundation stone of 51 feet Lord Parshuram statue in Arunachal

Lohit (Arunachal Pradesh): Union Home Minister Amit Shah on May 21 laid foundation stone of 51 feet bronze statue of Lord Parshuram in the Lohit district of Arunachal Pradesh.

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SHE Teams ensure women's safety in Telangana

Hyderabad (Telangana) : SHE Teams, one of its kind initiative in the country started by the Telangana Police, are working round the clock to ensure women's safety. Speaking to ANI, Sirisha Raghavendra, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police said, "SHE Teams were started in 2014, on a priority basis by the Telangana government to ensure women's safety. There is so much floating population in Hyderabad. Many women come here for jobs from the northern and northeastern states. So women's safety is a priority." Referring to the National Crime Records Bureau, the official said Hyderabad is rated the safest city for women. SHE Teams were incepted as a pilot project in Hyderabad and then expanded to 31 districts. "A greater responsibility was entrusted to Bharosa and SHE Teams. SHE Teams are one of its kind initiatives started in the country and we are lucky and fortunate to be part of it. Our teams carry discreet cameras with them and they are spread across the city," said Raghavendra. On the POCSO crimes and incidents of domestic violence, the Additional DCP said, "Our priority is every crime gets reported. In the last three years, we got 107 convictions which include 17 life sentences. This is acting as a deterrent to offenders." Sanjana, a citizen said, "SHE Teams are a very good initiative. Many women work in the night shifts, so safety is essential. There are also call centres and helpline numbers. If there is any problem, we can call these numbers. Action is taken immediately."

KCR lauds Delhi govt’s work in education sector, says ‘Will take their school model to Telangana’

New Delhi: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao on May 21 praised the Delhi government's efforts in the education sector, saying, "We will request the Delhi government to provide an orientation to our staff." “Business Blaster' curriculum is mind-boggling; developing government schools in such a way is probably the first in this country. Good results will be yielded; students will become enterprising, self-dependent and job providers,” said Telangana CM. “Telangana government also started 'Apna gaon, Apna pathshala', to improve basic infrastructure... looking at how students are benefitting with the beautiful infrastructure and changed curriculum, we'll request Delhi government to provide an orientation to our officials,” he added.

Raj Thackeray to hold rally in Pune amid heavy deployment of police

Pune (Maharashtra) : Heavy deployment of the police has been made at Ganesh Kala Krida Manch in Pune where Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray will address a rally today. "We are expecting 10,000-15,000 people to attend today's rally. Raj Thackeray will talk on many issues, including his Ayodhya visit," said Sainath Babar, Pune MNS president. Thackeray has postponed his planned Ayodhya visit which was scheduled for June 5. In a Twitter post, the MNS chief said that he will share more details on his visit to Ayodhya at his rally in Pune on Sunday. The MNS chief has been at the centre stage of the loudspeakers row in Maharashtra. The controversy started after Thackeray on April 12 gave an ultimatum to the Maharashtra government to remove loudspeakers from mosques by May 3, failing which, he warned, MNS workers will play Hanuman Chalisa on loudspeakers. A case was filed against Raj Thackeray when he appealed to people to play Hanuman Chalisa on loudspeakers in the areas where loudspeakers are used for 'Azaan'.

NCB, Mumbai seizes 864 kg of codeine-based cough syrup, arrests two accused

Thane (Maharashtra) : Narcotics Control Bureau, Mumbai on Friday seized 864 kilograms of codeine-based cough syrup in the Bhiwandi area of Thane and arrested two persons in the matter.The NCB also seized a two-wheeler vehicle from the possession of the accused arrested in the matter. "NCB Mumbai on Friday seized 864 kgs or 8,640 bottles of codine-based cough syrup at Bhiwandi, Thane and intercepted two persons along with one pickup vehicle and a two-wheeler," the official data informed. Further probe into the matter is underway.

New Buddhist Temple in Gaya will further enhance relations between India, Korea: South Korean Envoy

Gaya : South Korea's Ambassador to India, Chang Jae-bok, attended the inauguration of a new Korean Buddhist temple in Bodh Gaya, Bihar on May 21. Buddhist monks and devotees also attended the event. “It's a great achievement. This will further enhance relations between India and Korea,” said Chang Jae-bok, South Korean Ambassador.

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Raman Singh calls Rahul Gandhi 'non-playing' captain, takes dig at Congress' Chintan Shivir

Jaipur (Rajasthan) : Former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister and BJP vice President Dr Raman Singh has taken a dig at recently-concluded Congress 'Chintan Shivir' and targeted Rahul Gandhi by calling him a "non-playing" captain. Speaking to mediapersons after the BJP national office bearers meeting concluded in Jaipur, he said Rahul Gandhi neither wants to become a captain nor wants to enter the field. Commenting of the 'Chintan Shivir', the BJP vice president said, "I remember that when Chintan Shivir was held in 2013, they (Congress) had governments in 13 states. The same Chintan Shivir happened again in 2022 and the government remained in two states only. I feel after this Chintan Shivir, there will be no Congress government left in any state." He further said as per Congress' policy and thinking, it is not a "Chintan Shivir" but a "Chinta Shivir". "These people (Congress) want to make a person captain, who himself does not want to be a captain. He is not ready to become a non-playing captain either. Rahul Gandhi is neither scoring runs nor taking wickets," Singh attacked further. Attacking the Gandhi family, the BJP president said, "The party is only limited to three people. They can't rise above or think above it. The party has lost its faith in the public. They have looted the people of this country for a long time, now they will not get that opportunity." Singh criticised Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel's Chhattisgarh model and said that Baghel sought votes for the Congress in Assembly elections of Assam and Uttar Pradesh in the name of the model but they suffered defeat in both states. The meeting of BJP national office bearers was held in Jaipur on Friday, wherein it has been decided that many events will be organized across the country to commemorate the completion of eight years of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government at the Centre. Along with this, all the Union Ministers will be given the responsibility to go to different states to contact and communicate with the people taking benefit of the central government schemes.

Rajnath Singh urges students to idealise APJ Abdul Kalam

Pune (Maharashtra): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on May 20, while advising the students to understand the importance of education and employ it in a positive manner, urged them to idealise former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam. "Despite being a millionaire someone can become Osama bin Laden while despite being a newspaper vendor someone can become APJ Abdul Kalam. This is the basic difference between the two which depends on ethos," said the minister while addressing the convocation of DY Patil Vidyapeeth in Pune. "We have seen that after taking complex pilot training in the US, young people carried out an attack of 9/11. In India too, there're young people involved in terrorist activities people who're quite educated," he added. Citing an example of an article written by Thomas L. Friedman, Singh said, "In the article, people both in Infosys and Al Qaeda are highly educated, have mission and commitment. But the difference between the two is that one carries out 9/11 attacks while the other works for the society."

Don't replace Mahatma Gandhi's statue: Congress appeals to Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation

Hyderabad (Telangana) : Senior Telangana Congress leader Marri Shashidhar Reddy and other party leaders appealed to Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation not to replace Mahatma Gandhi statue at James Street in Secunderabad with another statue. "The Gandhi statue in Secunderabad has a lot of history. In the 1950s the owner of Paradise theatre, Anjaiah donated the statue to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi," said Reddy. Attacking at preset ruling TRS government in the state, the leader said the government wants to erect another statue by shifting Gandhi's statue to a less prominent place. "It reminds us of Tuglak's rule. Installing another statue in the same place is unfortunate, we are against it. This should not be touched, we will not allow this to be touched," he said. Former Congress MP and party's senior leader V Hanumantha Rao said, "Mahatma Gandhi's statue was Anjaiah. During independence, Gandhi came to this place from the James Street Railway station. This statue is a monument and heritage." "The new statue can be installed at another location near Secunderabad railway station. This is our request, if you won't stop the work here, we will conduct an all-party meeting and we will take up the issue seriously," he added. Congress party in a letter to Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MA&UD) Commissioner has raised serious objections and stated that there should not be any other (second) statue near Gandhi's statue. This idea of a second statue would be called "Tughlak's action". The new statue can be installed at another location, the letter read. "The original statue should remain in the same place and must not be touched/shifted. There can be no compromise on both these things. We would welcome any beautification work that is taken up but the sanctity of the location should be maintained at all times," Congress said in a letter. "We will also welcome any steps taken to beautify the entire stretch of the MG Road. The proposal for the construction of restrooms, food stalls, a small library etc as a part of the project is totally unacceptable, as they will adversely impact the sanctity of the park," it read further.

J&K: Portion of mountain falls apart in Markerkote area in Ramban

Ramban : A portion of a mountain fell apart in the Makerkote area on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway in J&K’s Ramban district on May 20. The incident happened near the site of where a part of an under-construction tunnel collapsed last night. "We were not expecting something like this. Two machines got stuck. Due to wind storms, rescue operation was impacted. 16-17 hours of operation was wasted. Have to make a new assessment," Deputy Commissioner of Ramban, Massaratul Islam said.

Naxal affected Bastar is changing with development of roads, schools: CM Baghel

Raipur (Chhattisgarh) : Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Friday said the with the development of roads, bridges and schools, naxal-affected Bastar is changing. Describing the picture of change, the Chief Minister said the development work is going on new bridges, culverts, and roads are contributing and the schools which have been shut for the last 15 years have started. Speaking at the press conference in Raipur, Baghel said, "Bastar is changing, and development work is underway. Schools reopened after about 15 years, 156 schools reopened in Bijapur and 98 schools started in Sukma. People are getting benefits from state government schemes."The Chief Minister said, "The income of the people is increasing. There are four tractor showrooms in Bijapur alone. Apart from motorcycles and cars, tractor showrooms are visible all around Jagdalpur. This shows that People are taking benefits of government schemes." "The Bastar is developing in health, income and education. The products of women of self-help groups are getting recognition in agriculture, minor forest produce, goat farming, poultry, and fish farming and C Mart is also opening in all cities," he added. The Chief Minister interacted with locals in Bhanpuri, Bastar, as part of his 'Bhaint Mulakat' campaign on Friday. He also announced several facilities for the people. On being asked about the Gyanvapi Mosque Case, Baghel refused to comment saying "The court is monitoring the situation, I don't think that should make any statement about it."

Light Rainfall in parts of Delhi brings relief from scorching heat

New Delhi: Parts of Delhi received light rainfall on May 20, bringing some relief from the scorching heat over the past few days. Thunderstorms and lightning were also observed in certain parts of Noida. Parts of Delhi received light rainfall on May 20. Rainfall brought some relief from the scorching heat over the past few days. Thunderstorms and lightning were also observed in certain parts of Noida.

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Cannes 2022: Aryabhatta, Sundar Pichai have more fans than actors, says R Madhavan

Cannes (France): Bollywood Actor Ranganathan Madhavan on May 19 said that Indian cinema has largely neglected extraordinary stories from the science and technology field and its many pioneers, whose followers eclipse the numbermay19v58 of fans that movie stars have in the country. Speaking at the inaugural event of the Indian Pavillion at Cannes Film Festival, Actor R Madhavan said, “From Aryabhatta to Sundar Pichai, we have such extraordinary stories as far as science and technology is concerned. We are not making movies about them, they are an inspiration for youngsters around the world. They have bigger fans than actors.”

Telangana government signs MoU with King's College London

London [UK]: The Telangana government has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with King's College London in the presence of the Minister for Industries and Commerce KT Rama Rao in connection with the Pharma University at Hyderabad Pharma City. The MoU was signed during the visit of the Minister and other delegates from Telangana to King's College London on Thursday. Minister KTR is leading Telangana delegation's visit to the United Kingdom. It was signed by Principal Secretary Jayesh Ranjan, and Professor Richard Trembath, Senior Vice President (Health & Life Sciences) and Executive Director of King's Health Partners. The visit also provided an opportunity to discuss shared ambitions and future collaborations between the State and King's College London, with a particular focus on Telangana's Pharma City - a cluster for industry and academic innovation currently in development. This Memorandum of Understanding sets out a joint intention between the King's College and the Government of Telangana to explore the development of higher education provisions within the Telangana Pharma City. This will involve collaborative research projects, staff, and student exchanges, as well as curriculum development and upskilling. Hyderabad, the capital of Telangana, is an international life science and tech hub, producing a third of the world's vaccines and hosting the secondary offices of some of the world's biggest tech companies, including Microsoft, Google, Amazon, amongst others. The current Telangana life sciences ecosystem has a value of $50billion. The partnership fostered between King's and Telangana will help to support the vision for Pharma City, of which the creation of a life sciences higher education provision forms a key element, drawing together innovation, research, development, and excellence.KTR's visit to London follows an engaging trip to India by King's delegates, including the President and Principal of King's College London last month, spearheaded by the British Council as part of its focus to strengthen HE sectors through internationalization in both India and the UK. Professor Shitij Kapur, President & Principal of King's College London said: "King's is a global university and we are proud of our academic partnerships and high-impact research collaborations with India. These include an anthropological research study with India's flagship cancer hospital, Tata Memorial Centre in Mumbai and the King's India Institute, an interdisciplinary center for research, education and public engagement on contemporary India launched in 2012. "This collaboration represents an exciting opportunity to develop higher education provision in Telangana with a focus on areas with current global significance and in which King's has world-leading expertise, including technology and health care." At the signing ceremony, KT Rama Rao, who is also Telangana IT Minister, that spread across 19,000 acres, Hyderabad Pharma City will be the world's largest pharma cluster and the establishment of a Life Sciences and Pharma University is an integral part of the Pharma City vision. "With Telangana's life sciences ecosystem estimated at USD 50 billion, combined with King's College London's world-leading expertise in research and training, I'm hopeful that this collaboration will deliver mutually beneficial partnerships for both Telangana and the UK" he said. According to a release, Sir Steve Smith, the UK government's International Education Champion, said he was delighted that King's College London and the Telangana government are embarking on the first steps of this hugely important partnership. "UK Government is committed to supporting deep and meaningful teaching and research partnerships that not only bring benefit to the UK and India but to a global community as well. This is an opportunity for world-leading collaboration in teaching and research into the most pressing health challenges of the day. The Government of Telangana and the British Council are longstanding partners in driving the internationalization of higher education in the state. On behalf of my colleagues in the UK Government and British Council, I am delighted to support the signing of this MoU."

PM Modi to attend Quad Summit in Tokyo on May 24: MEA

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the Quad Summit on May 24 in Tokyo, informed the Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi on May 19. Addressing a Press Conference, he said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the Quad Summit on May 24 in Tokyo. This would be the 4th Summit of Quad leaders. Bilateral meetings with Japanese counterpart and bilateral meeting with US President to take place on May 24.” “During the visit, PM Narendra Modi will participate in a business event with Japanese business leaders. He will also address and interact with the Indian community in Japan. PM is also likely to have a bilateral meeting with Australia’s PM,” he added.

Punjab CM meets Amit Shah, issues of national security, Bhakra Beas board discussed

New Delhi : Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Thursday met Union Home Minister Amit Shah at his residence in Delhi and discussed several issues including national security and technology infrastructure to enhance border management services. "Discussed demands of farmers, representation of Punjab in BBMB, stopping drones on the border, MSP on Basmati...border areas and security in Punjab. Home Minister assured to look into all demands," Punjab CM tweeted. After the meeting, the Punjab CM also informed that the Centre will provide ten more companies of security forces to Punjab."I discussed several matters including issues of national security and technology infrastructure to enhance border management services. A total of 10 more companies of security forces will be provided by the Centre to Punjab," Mann told media persons. Mann said he also requested Home Minister to provide anti-drone technologies to the Punjab government to tackle the smuggling of arms and ammunition as well as drugs. "We requested anti-drone technology. He (Amit Shah) said that we will work together in regard to national security. Several other matters including the Basmati crop and Punjab quota issue in Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) were also discussed," he added. The chief minister also discussed ongoing farmers' protests near the Chandigarh- Mohali border, demanding a bonus on the wheat prices, with the Home Minister.

What Congress couldn't do, SC has done today: Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa on Navjot Sidhu’s sentence

Chandigarh: Senior Congress leader and former deputy Chief Minister of Punjab, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa on May 19 commented on Supreme Court sentencing one-year term to Navjot Singh Sidhu in road rage case. “No one can challenge SC's decision. The loss Sidhu has caused to Congress party no one can repair. What Congress couldn't do, SC has done today. In February, I had asked Rahul Gandhi to expel Sidhu and Sunil Jakhar from the party,” said Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa.

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Tamannaah Bhatia feels honoured to be part of 2022 Cannes Film Festival

Cannes [France]: Bollywood actor Tamannaah Bhatia is attending the 2022 Cannes Film Festival as part of the Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur led star-studded Indian delegation. While speaking to media about being part of the Festival, the 'Baahubali' actor shared that she's very excited. "I am so excited about this, it's such an honour and I am really looking forward," she said.For her Red Carpet look, Tamannaah had donned an elegant ball gown which had a trail. She rounded her look with smoky eyes and diamond earrings. Apart from her, the Indian delegates at the 75th Cannes Film Festival include Ricky Kej, Vani Tripathi, Prasoon Joshi, AR Rahman, R Madhavan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Pooja Hegde, Shekhar Kapur and folk singer Mame Khan. On Wednesday, the Indian pavilion at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival will be inaugurated on Wednesday with a video message by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. At the launch, Thakur along with a host of dignitaries will be present.

Deepika Padukone calls 'Huge honour' to be part of Cannes jury board

Cannes : Bollywood superstar Deepika Padukone made heads turn with her glamorous entry at the red carpet ceremony for the 75th annual Cannes film festival, wearing a saree designed by none other than Sabyasachi. Deepika interacted with the media and expressed her 'gratitude' for this opportunity to represent her country at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. Although she has been a regular at Cannes for the last few years, this year she marks her debut as one of the eight-member jury board at the 75th edition of the Cannes Film Festival. On being asked about how she feels being a part of the 8 member-jury for this year's film festival, Deepika speaks to Reuters saying, "It's such a huge honour." "It's not something that our country's sort of seen very often. So I think when we are given the opportunity, I think we did give up a lot of humility and a lot of gratitude," Deepika adds. Donning an exquisite Sabyasachi dress, the Bollywood diva was seen exuding retro vibes with her golden-black shimmery saree. She opted for bold make-up with her dramatic winger eyeliner serving as the major highlight of her look. Talking about the co-existence of streaming platforms and cinematic releases, the 36-year-old actor said to Reuters, "I don't think that one is sort of eating into the other. Have filmmakers had to, have had to adapt? Yes. Maybe. Maybe the kind of stories that we tell, maybe in the formats that we tell them in, a little bit. Maybe if you're making a film for an OTT (streaming) platform, maybe the kind of story that you're telling or the scale of it might vary a little bit. But I look at it as a good thing. I feel like it's given so many more people, so many more opportunities - actors, writers, producers, directors. So I just look at it as a much bigger opportunity." Deepika graced the red carpet along with other jury members such as Rebecca Hall, Noomi Rapace, Jasmine Trinca, Asghar Farhadi, Ladj Ly, Jeff Nichols and Joachim Trier.

Amber Heard completes testimony, accuses Johnny Depp of trying to 'kill' her

Washington [US]: After undergoing four days of trail, Amber Heard finished her testimony on Tuesday, defending herself from allegations of faking her abuse claims against ex-husband Johnny Depp. The testimony turned bitter when Depp's attorney Camille Vasquez, accused her of lying and suggested that she was the true abuser. She played audio recordings of arguments between the couple and read-aloud love notes that Heard had written to Depp after the alleged assaults, reports Variety. "You weren't scared of him at all, were you?" Vasquez asked Amber, to which she replied, "This is a man who tried to kill me. Of course, it's scary. He's also my husband." Heard is defending herself against Depp's $50 million libel lawsuit. Depp's team accused Heard of destroying his career with false accusations of physical and sexual assault. Depp gave his own account of their relationship over the course of four days in April, and the outcome of the trial will largely depend on which of the two the jury finds more trustworthy. In a very disturbing case, Heard testified that Depp had sexually attacked her with a bottle during an ugly fight while they were in Australia in March 2015. However, Depp denied this and accused her of throwing a bottle at him during their argument, which smashed and broke the tip of his middle finger. In her cross-examination, Depp's attorney played the couple's conversation after the fight, where Depp confessed that he had tried to escape the situation by locking himself in a bathroom, but that Heard had kept "coming to get me." "Johnny is not an accurate historian of what happened during that period of time, I'll guarantee you," Heard said. She alleged that Depp had cut his own fingertip when he smashed a wall-mounted telephone. Vazquez challenged the account. "You're the one who assaulted someone with a bottle in Australia, isn't that right, Ms. Heard?" Vasquez asked. "I didn't assault Johnny in Australia, I didn't assault Johnny ever. I couldn't," said Heard. Depp's attorney played a recording in which Heard admitted to 'hitting' the actor. To which, she testifies that she sometimes had to use her body to defend herself. Vasquez played a security camera video from May 22, 2016, showing Heard and actor James Franco taking an elevator to her apartment. It was the night after the couple's final fight. There, Depp allegedly threw a phone at Heard's face after which police were called into the apartment. Heard applied for a divorce and sought a restraining order within the following days. "You're taking him up to the penthouses, aren't you?" Vasquez asked. "That's where I lived," Heard said.Heard had previously testified that Depp was jealous of Franco and had become accusatory after she filmed a love scene with him for the film 'The Adderall Diaries' in 2014. "He hated -- hated -- James Franco," Heard testified earlier this month. Depp had also testified that he suspected Franco and Heard were having an affair. Vazquez talked about Amber's role in 'Aquaman' and suggested that Depp had secured the role for her. "Excuse me? No, Ms. Vasquez, I got myself that role by auditioning," Heard said. Heard said that she had to fight to be in 'Aquaman 2' and that her role had been reduced. "I don't know if I will even be in the final cut or how much I will be," she testified. Early on Tuesday, Vasquez had the court show the jury the knife that Heard gave as a gift at the beginning of his relationship with Depp. She asked why she would give such a gift to a man who could be drunk and violent. "I wasn't worried he was going to stab me with it," she said. Vasquez played audio of a fight in which Heard -- through laughter -- called Depp a "sellout" and a "washed-up piece of shit." "I called him horrible ugly things," Heard said. "We spoke to each other in a really horrible way." As per Variety, Heard was paid USD 7 million in their divorce settlement, a portion of which she has donated to charity. On redirect, Heard's attorney Elaine Bredehoft noted that Depp had made USD 65 million in 2015 and that Heard would be entitled to half that, or USD 32.5 million. "I didn't want it," Heard said. "I realized that was what I was entitled to, but I didn't want it." The trial is expected to wrap up on May 27, after which it will go to the jury for deliberation.

Gyanvapi Mosque row: Hopeful SC will do complete justice, says Asaduddin Owaisi

Hyderabad (Telangana): Amid the Gyanvapi Mosque row, All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) Chief Asaduddin Owaisi on May 17 said that they are hopeful that Supreme Court will do complete justice as grave procedural unfairness happened. “We are hopeful SC will do complete justice as grave procedural unfairness happened. Commissioner didn’t give a report to the lower court judge, the petitioner moved an application and before the notice was given to the Muslim side, the judge passed an order to protect the area and limit namazis to 20. The order is unfair, we hope SC will completely stay the order and recognise unfairness in ignoring the 1991 Places of Worship Act, Allahabad HC order, and sealing without hearing from the other party. The order of the trial court was wrong, unfair, and illegal,” he said.

Gyanvapi mosque row: BJP leader accuses Owaisi of playing victim card, trying to provoke a community

New Delhi : Slamming AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi for his opposition to the survey at Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Minority Morcha spokesperson Syed Yaser Jilani on Tuesday said Owaisi is trying to "provoke a section and playing the victim card". Speaking to ANI, Jilani said, "Asaduddin Owaisi is doing the work of devils. Owaisi is known for opposing whatever work is done according to the Constitution of India. He talks about Article 6 of the 1991 Act. But, he does not discuss Article 4, which is for worship. Asaduddin Owaisi's only job is to obstruct any good work in every way." Jilani said that the facts should be produced before the court. "Let people know what facts come out. Do you (Owaisi) have faith in the Constitution of India or not? If you have faith, you should wait. But, Asaduddin Owaisi is constantly trying to provoke a section, a community, intimidating people, playing the victim card," stated Jilani. Asked about the claims of finding a Shivling in the Gyanvapi Masjid premises, Jilani said, "The people of India trust the court. I believe that thesurvey report will be given due consideration by the court. Whoever is on the other side, also has the right to move to the Supreme Court. Our Constitution has given everyone the same power." All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday termed the Varanasi court's order on the Kashi-Vishwanath temple-Gyanvapi Mosque issue as wrong, unfair and illegal. Earlier on Monday, the Varanasi court directed the district administration to seal the spot of the survey inside the complex where allegedly 'Shivling' has been found by the surveying team. As the third day of the court-ordered videography survey of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi Mosque complex in Varanasi concluded on Monday, the Hindu petitioner in the case, Sohan Lal Arya claimed that the committee found a Shivling at the complex. Arya, who accompanied the court commission for the mosque survey, said that they have found "conclusive evidence". The survey was conducted in accordance with the Varanasi Civil Court's order to continue the survey despite objections from the mosque authorities. After the conclusion of the survey, the Varanasi court ordered the District Magistrate of Varanasi, Kaushal Raj Sharma, "to seal the area where the Shivling was found and to bar people from going to the place." In its order, the court said that the DM, police commissioner and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) commandant Varanasi will be responsible for the security of the sealed area. However, the matter is sub judice to Supreme Court, from where the final decision is yet to come.

Kannada TV actor Chethana Raj passes away after fat removal surgery

Bengaluru (Karnataka): Actor Chethana Raj, best known for her roles in Kannada TV shows, has died after undergoing fat-free cosmetic surgery in a Bengaluru's private hospital. Family members of 21-year-old alleged that Chethana passed away due to doctors' negligence. Reportedly, Chethana was admitted to the hospital for the surgery on May 16. However, she developed complications as fluid began to accumulate in her lungs. Chethana breathed her last on Tuesday and her family members are in deep shock ever since they learned about her demise. Chethana's parents have even lodged a complaint against the hospital.

Mosque row: Places of Worship Act result of Cong's appeasement politics, says BJP Leader

Raipur (Chhattisgarh) : Amid the Gyanvapi mosque controversy, Chhattisgarh BJP leader Brijmohan Agrawal accused the Congress of playing appeasement politics and alleged that the matter is the result of PV Narasimha Rao government's The Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 Bill. "Due to appeasement politics, Congress' PV Narasimha Rao govt brought Bill (Places of Worship Act). Lord Shiva was worshipped in Gyanvapi before 2001 but because of that Bill, Namaz started. Even today 'Nandi Maharaj' sits in front of the mosque", said Brijmohan Agrawal. The three-day-long court-monitored videography survey of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi Mosque complex in Varanasi concluded on Monday.The Hindu petitioner in the case, Sohan Lal Arya on Monday claimed that the committee found a Shivling at the complex. Arya, who accompanied the court commission for the mosque survey, said that they have found "conclusive evidence". Taking a dig at the Congress Government in Chhattisgarh, Agarwal said, "The volume frequency of Azaan speakers has been reduced in other states. Congress party should make it clear whether the Bhupesh Baghel government will issue the order on the same lines in the state." The loudspeakers row started when the MNS chief on April 12 gave an ultimatum to the Maharashtra government to remove loudspeakers from mosques by May 3, failing which, he warned, MNS workers will play Hanuman Chalisa on loudspeakers. A case was filed against Raj Thackeray when he appealed to people to play Hanuman Chalisa on loudspeakers in the areas where loudspeakers are used for 'Azaan'. The Uttar Pradesh government led by Yogi Adityanath removed unauthorized loudspeakers from religious places and set the volume of loudspeakers to permissible limits across the state. The Basavaraj Bommai government in Karnataka, on May 11, also issued an order on the use of loudspeakers following the azaan and Hanuman Chalisa row.

Wheat shipping picks up speed as Centre announces relaxation on exports

Kolkata: As the Central government announced relaxation on wheat exports, shipping of huge consignments picked up speed at Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port in Kolkata on May 17. The BJP government allowed consignments handed over to Customs Departments on or before May 13 to pass. “There's no problem at the port, last year we exported 3 lakh tonnes wheat. This year we've shipped 90,000 tonnes of wheat & 50,000 tonnes of wheat lie on port. Wheat under contract made before 13th May also getting shipped,” Vinit Kumar, Chairman, Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port Trust. Notably, Centre had earlier announced to limit wheat exports in order to contain rising wheat prices and manage food security in India.

Gujarat: Hardik Patel resigns from Congress

Ahmedabad (Gujarat) : Gujarat Congress Committee working president Hardik Patel, who recently expressed discontentment with the state party leadership, on Wednesday resigned from Congress. Taking to Twitter, Patel said, "Today I took the courage to resign from the post (Gujarat Congress Committee working president) and primary membership of the Congress Party. I am sure that my decision will be welcomed by all my colleagues and the people of Gujarat. I believe that after this step, I will be able to work truly for Gujarat in future." Earlier, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi reached out to disgruntled Gujarat Congress Committee working president Hardik Patel to sort out differences in the party unit ahead of state assembly polls, sources had said. Party sources had claimed that Rahul Gandhi himself sent a message to Hardik Patel asking him to continue in the party. He also asked the party in charge and other leaders to reach out to Patel to sort out the differences. Speculations were rife about Patel joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after he had lauded the BJP government for revoking Article 370 and the construction of Ram Mandir. However, he had issued a clarification that he is not upset with party leaders Rahul Gandhi or Priyanka Gandhi but he was upset with the state leadership. According to reports, Patel who rose to prominence in July 2015 by leading a Patidar reservation movement, is upset with the party leadership for a long time now. "He wanted to become president of the state Congress committee but he was only made the working president. Despite being appointed as the working president his opinion is not taken on major decisions by the state leadership," sources had said. Speculations are also there that Patel might join Aam Aadmi Party. The Gujarat Assembly elections are slated to be held this year.

Telangana govt provides financial assistance through 'Driver Empowerment Programme

Hyderabad: Telangana government initiated ‘Driver Empowerment Programme’ to offer financial help and empower the drivers. The main focus of the scheme is to help the drivers belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, minority communities and backward groups. It would help them purchase a vehicle and to earn their own bread. Speaking to ANI, Abdul Hameed, an auto driver by profession, said that he recieved the vehicle from the state government's scheme five years ago. "The total amount was Rs 3 lakh in which I paid Rs 1.5 lakh and another half was paid by Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao led government. I have cleared all the debt and the vehicle is mine now," he said. Hailing the KCR government, Hameed said that the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) is really good and is helping the poor.

Plea filed in Varanasi court to demolish wall beside wazukhana in Gyanvapi mosque, says lawyer

Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh): An application has been filed in Varanasi court to demolish the wall beside wazukhana where a Shivling is claimed to be found during the survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque premises, said lawyer Vishnu Shankar Jain, representing the Hindu side on Wednesday. "The court ordered to remove Advocate Commissioner Ajay Mishra for hiring a private cameraman and leaking the contents of the survey. Further, we filed an application for the demolition of the wall beside the wazukhana so that we can enter further. The court will hear the matter today," said Jain. The Varanasi civil court on Tuesday removed the Advocate-Commissioner Ajay Kumar Mishra from the panel formed to survey the Gyanvapi mosque. The court-appointed special Commission has also received two-more days to submit the survey report. The three-day-long court-monitored videography survey of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi Mosque complex in Varanasi concluded on Monday. The Hindu petitioner in the case, Sohan Lal Arya on Monday claimed that the committee found a Shivling at the complex. Arya, who accompanied the court commission for the mosque survey, said that they have found "conclusive evidence". The Supreme Court heard the plea seeking a stay on the survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex in Varanasi on Tuesday and observed that till the next date of hearing Varanasi District Majistrate will ensure that the Shivling area will be protected but it will not impede access of Muslims to the mosque for prayers. Meanwhile, the President of the Hindu Sena, Vishnu Gupta on Tuesday filed an intervention application seeking directions for dismissal of the petition filed by Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Management Committee challenging the videography survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex, which is adjacent to the famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi. After the conclusion of the survey, the Varanasi court ordered the District Magistrate of Varanasi, Kaushal Raj Sharma, "to seal the area where the Shivling was found and to bar people from going to the place." In its order, the court said that the DM, police commissioner and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) commandant Varanasi will be responsible for the security of the sealed area.

OnePlus Nord 2T to be launched with MediaTek Dimensity 1300 chip

New Delhi: In spite of numerous leaks, the OnePlus Nord 2T was unofficial until the latest announcement from the company, confirming the smartphone would go official on May 19.In the run-up to the event, OnePlus is confirming one new detail about the phone every passing day.On the last day, it confirmed support for 80W SuperVOOC charging, which can pump a day's worth of power into the battery in just 15 minutes. The battery capacity wasn't mentioned, but the leaks have it pegged at 4,500 mAh, reports GSM Arena. However, the latest announcement confirms the use of the Dimensity 1300 chipset. The chipset was unveiled a month ago and it is considered that the Nord 2T would be the first to use it.The Dimensity 1300 is a successor to the Dimensity 1200, the chipset found inside the Nord 2. It is still a 6nm chip (from TSMC's foundries), it has four Cortex-A78 cores (one at 3.0GHz, three at 2.6GHz), four A55 cores (2.0GHz) and a Mali-G77 MC9 GPU.The next details that are speculated to be revealed are the flagship-level camera details. If rumours are to be true, the setup will feature a main cam using a 50MP IMX766 sensor (with OIS), an 8MP ultra-wide, plus a 2MP module on the back, along with a 32MP IMX615 on the front. The final reveal on the 19th, just before the event, will be about the screen (rumored to be 6.43" FHD+ 90Hz).Also, the Nord CE 2 Lite 5G and Nord Buds are also set to launch globally as part of the event.

As farmers' agitation continues, Punjab CM calls protest as unwarranted, undesirable

Mohali (Punjab) : As the farmers' agitation near the Chandigarh-Mohali border continued on Wednesday over various demands including a bonus on wheat, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann called the protest unwarranted and undesirable. Farmers from Punjab, who were stopped from heading to the state's capital to raise various demands, including a bonus on wheat, with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government, sat on a protest near the Chandigarh-Mohali border on Tuesday. However, the Chief Minister said that he will fix all farmers' issues and is ready to meet them. "It's their right to protest... 'murdabad-murdabad' doesn't seem nice... I'll make everything right, but that doesn't mean that after 2 months, you start thinking 'murdabad' slogans haven't been raised, let's go to Chandigarh," said Mann on farmers' protest in Punjab on Tuesday.The Punjab Chief Minister on Tuesday asked the farmers to stop mere sloganeering and join hands with the state government for checking the depleting water table in Punjab. "I am ready to meet them (farmers), but 'Murdabad' (sloganeering) is not the way... I myself am a farmer's son... When I am saying basmati and moong dal will be on MSP...At least put in efforts... Not everything can be 'Murdabad'," he added. Meanwhile, the farmers said that we will stay here and register their protest till Bhagwant Mann fulfill their demands."We will stay here and register their protest until our demands are not fulfilled. Till then we will eat, drink and sleep here. We will bring all our belongings with us, we will do this like Delhi, said a farmer. In a statement issued by the Chief Minister's Office, Mann categorically said that a staggered program for sowing of paddy won't harm the interests of the farmers but it can act as a catalyst to save the water table in the state.Bhagwant Mann said that he was acting as per the path shown by the great gurus and no one can stop him from that. He unequivocally said that his doors are open for talks with the farmers but hollow slogans can't broke his firm resolve to check the further depletion of water table. "I am the son of a farmer and I know it well what was requirements of the farmers. I am fully aware of the difference between June 10 and June 18," he said. However, Bhagwant Mann said that he doesn't owe any patent for water and air but even he owes a larger responsibility towards saving these natural precious resources. He said that instead of staging protests, the farmers should come forward and support the state government for this noble cause aimed at betterment of Punjab and Punjabis. "I had already announced purchasing the Basmati and Moongi crop on MSP adding that the state government was also incentivising the farmers adopting direct sowing," said the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister asked the farmers to support him for a year and said that if the farmers suffer any loss during this period then the state government will fully compensate them. He asked the agitating farmers unions to tell that whether he was wrong because he is thinking about saving the water and checking environmental pollution in the state. Mann also asked the agitating unions that why they were mum when a bus of school children met an accident due to straw burning at Batala or when two small children died due to fire. The Chief Minister said that it is the high time that all of us should make concerted efforts for saving Punjab instead of indulging in such tantrums. Bhagwant Mann said that he had been raising the issue of farmers in Lok Sabha and now also he is duty bound to secure their interests. However, he said that Farmers should also realise the gravity of situation and support the state government.

Jamaica looks forward to friend India for wheat, fertilizers import

Kingston (Jamaica): Jamaican Commerce Minister Aubyn Hill on May 18 said that the country is looking forward to enriching investment ties with India and added that the talks for imports of wheat, fertilizers, and farm equipment from India are ongoing. “We have enough wheat import today, but we don't know what will happen tomorrow as the world changed on Feb 24, Russia now has a war engagement with Ukraine. So we are opening discussions with our friend, India,” he said while talking to media.

DRDO carries out successful maiden testfiring of Naval Anti-ship missile

Balasore (Odisha): Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully conducted the maiden flight test of the indigenously developed Naval Anti-ship missile launched from Seaking 42B Naval Helicopter from ITR Balasore in Odisha on Wednesday at 8:50 am. This firing is a significant step towards achieving self-reliance in niche missile technology and reaffirms the Indian Navy's commitment to indigenisation. The mission has met all its objectives. It is the first indigenous air-launched Anti-ship missile system for Indian Navy. The missile followed the desired sea skimming trajectory and reached the designated target with high degree of accuracy, validating the control, guidance and mission algorithms.All the sub-systems performed satisfactorily. The sensors deployed across the test range and near impact point tracked the missile trajectory and captured all the events. The missile employed many new technologies including an indigenously developed launcher for the helicopter. The missile guidance system includes state-of-the-art navigation system and integrated avionics. The flight test was witnessed by senior officers of DRDO and the Indian Navy. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO, Indian Navy and associated teams for the maiden developmental flight test and said that India attained a high level of capability in the indigenous design and development of missile systems. Secretary DD R&D and Chairman DRDO, Dr G Satheesh Reddy appreciated the efforts of the project team and congratulated the DRDO community for successfully proving mission objectives. He also complimented the Indian Navy and Naval Flight Test Squadron for their support to the project and said that the system will strengthen offensive capability of Indian Navy.

Tanday Park in Udhampur makes special arrangements for deer to battle heatwave

\ Udhampur (J&K): Wildlife Protection Authorities have made special arrangements for deer in Udhampur’s Tanday Park to provide them relief from the scorching heat. They also made arrangements to protect animals, and reptiles amid rising temperatures.

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IPL 2022: KKR skipper Shreyas praises team for 'fearless cricket' after win over SRH

Pune (Maharashtra) : Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Shreyas Iyer said it was important to win the toss against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Saturday as the teams batting first in Pune, have a winning record. Russell scored unbeaten 49 runs with the bat and took three wickets with the ball to guide Kolkata Knight Riders to a 54-run win against Sunrisers Hyderabad here at MCA Stadium in Pune on Saturday. "The mindset we came up with in this game was simply outstanding. All the boys did the right things, they played fearless cricket. It was really important to win the toss. The teams batting first have won a lot of matches in Pune. Everything panned out really well. We were going over by over. The plan was to give Russell the strike as much as possible. We knew Washi had one over left, that was the over we were going to target. Sam was also giving that support," said Shreyas in a post-match presentation."It worked out pretty well, hope it works out for us in the final game as well. It was an over-par total. Sunil and Varun stepped-up on this slow wicket, they bowled smart and got crucial wickets. We never let them to get under our skins, kudos to that. We don't have anything to lose right now. We haven't played our A-game so far in the league, that's what I spoke today before the match started," he added. Earlier, Shreyas had given a statement about KKR's CEO Venky Mysore being involved in the team's selection. This statement faced a lot of criticism on social media. Regarding this, the KKR skipper said, "Also I want to clarify from the last interview. When I took the CEO's name, I wanted to say that he's there to console the players who've been sitting out. It's tough for us as well when we select the team." Coming to the match, Russell (49), and Sam Billings (34) shone with the bat and posted a target of 178 runs against KKR. Later, Russell scalped three wickets while Tim Southee returned with two wickets and restricted SRH at 123/8, and registered a 54-run win.

Aussie cricket legend Andrew Symonds dies in car crash

Queensland [Australia]: Legendary Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds, aged 46, died in a car accident on Hervey Range Road near the Alice River Bridge in Queensland, Australia when his car left the road and rolled, a Queensland police statement said on Saturday night. This is yet another tragic blow to Australian cricket. Symonds is the third Australian cricket legend to suddenly pass away this year following the tragic deaths of Shane Warne and Rod Marsh in March. Many are left heartbroken with tweets pouring in expressing shock over Symonds' death. Australian cricket coach and former cricketer Jason Neil Gillespie expressed shock over the news of Symonds death. "Horrendous news to wake up to," he tweeted, adding, "Utterly devastated. We are all gonna miss you mate." Former teammate and Fox Cricket colleague Adam Gilchrist wrote, "This really hurts." According to reports by Senior cricket journalist Robert Craddock, the Aussie all-rounder was killed about 50kms outside Townsville on Saturday night. As per a Queensland police statement, Symonds was in a single-car crash at about 10:30 pm. Following the information of the accident, paramedics arrived at the scene but could not revive the former Australian cricketer. Symonds was the only person in the car. Symonds played 26 Tests for Australia and was an integral part of Australia's white-ball sides that dominated the world between 1999 and 2007. In playing retirement, both Warne and Symonds were valued members of Fox Cricket's commentary team.

'Stop innocent killings': BJP protests against Kashmiri Pandit Rahul Bhat's murder in Srinagar

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) : As the outrage over the killing of Kashmiri Pandit government employee Rahul Bhat continues, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) staged a protest against the horrifying incident in Srinagar on Saturday morning. Protesters were seen raising slogans with placards in their hands which read "Stop innocent killings". "Every section of the society is condemning this killing. This protest is not only about Rahul Bhat, but all the innocent killings that took place in Jammu and Kashmir. We have been protesting against terrorism for the past 70 years here and we will continue to do so," Manzoor Bhat, BJP media cell in-charge told media. People across the union territory have been protesting against the killing of Rahul Bhat and demanding security in Jammu and Kashmir. Earlier on Friday, Kashmiri Pandit government employees staged a sit-in demonstration against the killing in Budgam. Jammu and Kashmir government had also constituted a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the murder of Kashmiri pandit Rahul Bhat who was shot dead by terrorists two days ago. Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha announced that the J-K administration will provide a government job to Rahul Bhat's wife in Jammu and financial assistance to his family. Rahul Bhatt, an employee of the Tehsil office in the Budgam district's Chadoora, was shot dead by terrorists in Budgam on Thursday.

Manik Saha to take oath as Tripura CM

Agartala (Tripura) : A day after BJP leader Biplab Kumar Deb resigned from the post of the Tripura Chief Minister, state party chief Manik Saha will take oath as the next chief minister of the state on Sunday at Raj Bhawan in Agartala. The swearing-in ceremony of the Council of Ministers will take place at 11:30 am on May 15 at Raj Bhawan, Agartala. Dr Saha, who was chosen by the BJP as the new chief minister of Tripura, is a Rajya Sabha MP and chief of the party in the state which will go to the polls by March next year. A professor of dental surgery, Dr Saha will be expected to steer the party to victory in the assembly polls amid a multi-cornered contest in the northeastern state where Trinamool Congress is also seeking to emerge as a key player. Dr Saha, 69, was named as the leader of the BJP legislature party hours after the resignation of Deb. He will take oath as the 11th Chief Minister of Tripura. The sudden political development came as a surprise to the people of the state. Dr Saha joined BJP in 2016 after quitting Congress. He was made party chief in 2020 and elected to Rajya Sabha in March this year. Meanwhile, Deb resigned from his post in fast-paced political developments in the state that will face polls early next year. He said after submitting his resignation to State Governor Satyadeo Narain Arya that he had wholeheartedly served the people of the state. Deb had taken oath as the first Chief Minister of Bharatiya Janata Party in Tripura in 2018 ending the 25-year-rule of the Communist Party of India in the state.

Marathi actress held for 'derogatory' post against Sharad Pawar

Mumbai (Maharashtra) : Thane Police on Saturday arrested Marathi actress Ketaki Chitale for allegedly sharing a 'derogatory' post on NCP chief Sharad Pawar on social media platforms. In her post on Friday, Ketaki made objectionable statements on Pawar's appearance, illness and voice. The post contained phrases like "hell is waiting" and "you hate Brahmins", allegedly referring to Pawar whose party shares power in Maharashtra with the Shiv Sena and Congress. Ketaki Chitale will be produced before a court on Sunday. A total of four cases have been registered against the actress under sections 153A, 500, 501 and 505 of IPC.

UP CM Yogi Adityanath offers prayers at Mahaparinirvana Temple in Kushinagar

Kushinagar (UP): Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on May 14 offered prayers at Mahaparinirvana Temple in Kushinagar. He inspected the venue ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit.

Hyderabad: Amit Shah inaugurates National Cyber Forensic Laboratory at CFSL campus

Hyderabad: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on May 14 inaugurated the ‘National Cyber Forensic Laboratory’ (NCFL) at Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) campus in Hyderabad. Union Minister G Kishan Reddy was also present at the inaugural ceremony. He will later address a public meeting in Tukkuguda.

Amit Shah lashes out at KCR, says TRS govt does nothing except changing names of Central schemes

Rangareddy (Telangana) : Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday lashed out at the Telangana Rashtra Samithi government in the state asserting that Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao's government of Telangana does nothing except changing the names of Central schemes. Addressing a public meeting on the concluding day of Praja Sangrama Yatra in the Tukkuguda area of Rangareddy in Telangana, Shah said, "PM Modi has done many things for the development and people of Telangana. Chandrashekhar Rao's government of Telangana does nothing except change the names of PM Modi Ji's schemes." On April 19, the death of a 25-year-old BJP worker in Telangana's Khammam area triggered a tense situation in the town. The BJP worker Sai Ganesh died while undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Hyderabad, and his body was brought to Khammam town in the evening, triggering violent protests from the BJP workers. The BJP workers had alleged harassment by the police and Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leaders. Speaking on this issue, Amit Shah today said, "BJP workers are being killed in broad daylight today. This Chandrashekhar Rao wants to turn Telangana into Bengal, will you allow this to happen? They have to stop. I will ensure that the killers of BJP worker Sai Ganesh get punished." The senior BJP leader, whose party won two assembly by-polls and the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) election in the last two years, expressed confidence in the BJP coming to power in the state in the hustings next year and urged the voters to elect the saffron party to usher in a secure and prosperous Telangana."In the 2019 elections, the people of Telangana gave 4 seats to the BJP, we lost 2 seats by a very close margin. But in the previously held Hyderabad Municipal Corporation elections and 2 by-elections, you have made BJP victorious." Shah addressed a public meeting on the concluding day of the month-long 'Praja Sangrama Yatra' Phase-2 in Telangana in his day-long visit to the state on Saturday. The second phase of Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJPs) 'Praja Sangrama Yatra' began last month on the occasion of Dr BR Ambedkar Jayanti. The first phase of the 'yatra', which began in August 2021, was held for 36 days covering 19 Assembly constituencies in eight districts last year starting from Hyderabad and traversing Rangareddy, Vikarabad, Sangareddy, Medak, Kamareddy, Sircilla and Siddipet. Through the 'yatra', the BJP has been projecting the party's strength in the state. State BJP leaders expect that the meeting will boost the morale of the party and gear up the cadre for the next year's Assembly elections.

Muslims can never become vote bank, change regime in India, says Owaisi

Ahmedabad (Gujarat) : All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Saturday said that India never had and will never have a numerically large Muslim vote bank and the community will never have the potential to change the regime in the country. "This country never had and will never have any Muslim vote bank. Muslims cannot change a regime in the country. You have been misled. Muslims always thought they were a vote bank. But this is not true", said AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi addressing an event in Ahmedabad. Owaisi on Saturday declared that he would be contesting the upcoming assembly elections in Gujarat."In India, there has been a majoritarian vote bank and will be there. If we could change a regime, why would there be less representation of Muslims in Parliament? If we could change the government....then the court order came on Babri Masjid, and now the Gyanvapi mosque issue has cropped up," added Owaisi. On Thursday, he termed the Gyanvapi Masjid verdict a "blatant violation" of the Places of Worship Act 1991. As per the Act, "no person shall convert any place of worship of any religious denomination or any section thereof into a place of worship of a different section of the same religious denomination or of a different religious denomination or any section thereof." He said that the court's decision is also a violation of the Supreme Court judgment given in the Babri Masjid title dispute."The order of the court is a blatant violation of the Places of Worship Act 1991. It is a violation of Supreme Court judgment given in the Babri Masjid title dispute," Owaisi told ANI. His comments came in the wake of the Gyanvapi Masjid vs Shringar Gauri case after a Varanasi court allowed the survey of the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi. The officials began the court-mandated survey in the mosque. The AIMIM chief questioned the Congress's silence over the Gyanvapi Masjid row. He said, "Why Congress is not saying anything about the Gyanvapi Masjid case? This country can't be run on basis of 'Astha', this country has to be run on the basis of rule of law, the Constitution of India. Will contest elections in Gujarat,", added Owaisi in Ahmedabad.

Telangana Govt’s Rs 5 meal proves to be a blessing for under privileged in state

Hyderabad: Telangana government under Annapurna scheme is providing hygienic food to under privileged, and down trodden at just Rs 5 per meal. The scheme was initially started with eight centers in 2014 and has now expanded to 150 centers. Under the scheme an estimated 25,000 people are daily provided with hot and nourishing meals.

Shah Rukh Khan shares pearls of wisdom with his daughter Suhana ahead of her big Bollywood debut

Mumbai (Maharashtra): Superstar Shah Rukh Khan is beaming with pride as his daughter Suhana Khan is all set to make her acting debut with Zoya Akhtar's directorial 'The Archies'. On Saturday, the makers unveiled the first look of the film and since then wishes have been pouring in for the young cast. SRK, too, shared the first look of his daughter from the upcoming project and penned valuable advice for his little one. "Remember @suhanakhan2 you are never going to be perfect....but being yourself is the closest to that. Be kind and giving as an actor....the brickbats and applause is not yours to keep....the part of you that gets left behind on screen will always belong to you....u have come a long way baby....but the road to peoples heart is unending.....stride forth and make as many smile as you can. Now let there be Light....Camera and Action! Signed Another Actor," he wrote.Replying to her father, Suhana commented, "Love you papa." He also gave a shout out to Zoya, recalling how he used to purchase "Archie's Digest for 25 paise per day from book rental stores." "From renting the Archie's Digest for 25 paise per day from book rental stores to see @zoieakhtar make this come alive on screen....is just incredible. Wishing all the little ones the best as they take their first little steps into the most beautiful of professions," he added. Mommy Gauri Khan could not resist congratulating Suhana on social media. "Congratulations... all the best to all the amazing kids and team of #TheArchies . And who better than @zoieakhtar to guide them through this journey!! You did it @suhanakhan2!!!!!!!," Gauri posted on Instagram.Archie comics, which feature teenage characters named Archie Andrews, Jughead Jones, Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge, Reggie Mantle and Sabrina Spellman, have seen several adaptations over the years. The Indian adaptation also marks the debut of Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan's grandson Agastya Nanda and the late Sridevi and Boney Kapoor's daughter Khushi Kapoor. It will be out on Netflix.

Tamil Nadu Guv rejects claims of imposition of Hindi, backs National Education Policy

Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) : After Tamil Nadu Higher Education Minister K Ponmudy's statement sparked the controversy over the Hindi language, state Governor RN Ravi backed the Centre's New Education Policy (NEP-2020), saying the impression of imposition of a language is "far from the truth". Further, he said that the NEP aims to promote teaching and learning in regional languages. "An impression is created by some people that the Centre is imposing a language on Tamil Nadu or anyone. I think that's far from the truth. That's not correct. In fact, the whole thrust of NEP is to impart learning and teaching in regional languages, in the mother tongue...," Ravi said. The Governor said that the people must seek justice in a language they understand. "People who go to seek justice must get it in the language they understand. We have to encourage and enrich all the languages of this country. Tamil is a very ancient and rich language," he added. Tamil Nadu Higher Education Minister K Ponmudy on Friday issued a clarification after making a controversial statement in the ongoing language debate, claiming that Hindi speaking people are selling 'Paani Puri' in the state. He made the controversial statement while questioning the rationale behind the argument that learning Hindi could open more employment opportunities. Claiming that those who speak Hindi are engaged in menial jobs here, the minister at a Convocation ceremony at Bharathiar University Ponmudy said, "If the argument that learning Hindi could open more employment opportunities was true then why are those speaking the Hindi language selling 'Paani-Puri' here?" After much criticism, the minister issued a clarification and said, "Various persons from Tamil Nadu go and work in the Northern States. I said in this sense that various persons from the North come here and work because there is no work available in Northern states." "Hindi is neither a national nor a link language. In the federal system, one can't impose any language forcefully," he said. We don't have any problem learning other languages, he said. Former Karnataka CM and Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah had said on Union HM's remark 'Hindi should be accepted as an alternative to English'. The minister's remark came amid the raging debate over the imposition of Hindi, which erupted after a Twitter spat between actors Ajay Ajay Devgn and Kiccha Sudeep. Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn, got into a war of words with South star Kichcha Sudeepa after the latter's comment that Hindi is no longer India's national language. As per media reports, during an event, Sudeepa stated that "Hindi is no more a national language". Following this, Devgan took to Twitter and expressed views on Sudeepa's comment. In Hindi, he wrote, "Kiccha Sudeep, my brother, according to you, if Hindi is not our national language then why do you release your native language [mother tongue] films by dubbing them in Hindi? Hindi was, is and always will be our mother tongue and national language. Jan Gan Man." The duo's Twitter exchange soon turned political after Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai extended support to Sudeep, saying that regional language is the most important. The Karnataka Opposition leaders HD Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah also commented on Devgn and Sudeepa's Twitter exchange.

TRS MLC Kavitha Kalvakuntla slams Centre's policies towards Telangana ahead of Amit Shah's visit

Hyderabad (Telangana) : Ahead of Union Minister Amit Shah's visit to the state here, Telangana Rashtra Samithi party MLC Kavitha Kalvakuntla slammed the Centre for its policies towards the state. Kalvakuntla, in a tweet today wrote, "Amit Shah welcome to Telangana!! Please tell the people of Telangana when will the central government clear the following: Dues of Finance Commission Grants- Over Rs 3000 crores, Backward Region Grant: Rs 1350 crore GST compensation: Rs 2247 crore." Kalvakuntla, who is also the Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao's daughter, questioned the Centre's policies for tackling inflation, unemployment and the issue of fuel prices. "Amit Shah Ji, what is your answer for the skyrocketing inflation, record-breaking unemployment in the country, maximum communal riots under BJP-as per BJP government's own data, making India one of the leading nations in selling most expensive fuel and #LPG," she tweeted. The TRS leader raised concerns to the Centre regarding the construction of prestigious institutes like IIT, IIM, IISER, IIIT, NID in the state. "Amit Shah Ji, when you meet the wonderful people of Telangana today. Tell them why did Union Govt fail to give Telangana a single IIT, IIM, IISER, IIIT, NID, Medical College or Navodaya Schools in the past 8 years?" she wrote in a tweet. "Why did the Union Government ignore NITI Aayog's recommendation of Rs 24,000 crore funds to #MissionKakatiya and #MissionBhagiratha - that inspired the prestigious Central Government Scheme of Har Ghar Jal," she said. The TRS leader said, "Amit Shah, isn't it the sheer hypocrisy of the Union Govt to accord the National project status to Upper Bhadra project in Karnataka, Ken Betwa river linking project and denying the same for Palamuru Rangareddy Lift Irrigation Scheme and #KaleshwaramProject of Telangana?" Amit Shah will visit Telangana today to address a public meeting to mark the culmination of the second leg of state BJP President Bandi Sanjay's 'Praja Sangrama Yatra'. BJP's Telangana unit announced on Monday that Shah will address the public meeting at Tukkuguda in Rangareddy district near Hyderabad.

Amit Shah arrives at Telangana airport, to inaugurate National Cyber Forensic Laboratory in Hyderabad

Hyderabad (Telangana) : Union Home Minister Amit Shah arrived on Saturday at the Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad to address Bharatiya Janata Party workers and people of the state. Union Minister G Kishan Reddy along with other leaders welcomed Amit Shah at the airport. Shah is scheduled to address a public meeting to mark the culmination of the second leg of state BJP President Bandi Sanjay's 'Praja Sangrama Yatra'.Further, in a tweet today, Shah wrote, "Looking forward to being in Telangana today to inaugurate the 'National Cyber Forensic Laboratory' (NCFL) in CFSL campus, Hyderabad. Will also address a public meeting in Tukkuguda." BJP's Telangana unit announced on Monday that Shah will address the public meeting at Tukkuguda in the Rangareddy district near Hyderabad. State BJP leaders expect that the meeting will boost the morale of the party and gear up the cadre for the next year's Assembly elections. The first phase of the 'yatra' was held for 36 days covering 19 Assembly constituencies in eight districts last year starting from Hyderabad and traversing Rangareddy, Vikarabad, Sangareddy, Medak, Kamareddy, Sircilla and Siddipet. Through the 'yatra', the BJP has been projecting the party's strength in the state.

Kerala hub of terrorism, says BJP Rajya Sabha Member KJ Alphons

New Delhi : Bharatiya Janata Party Rajya Sabha member KJ Alphons on Saturday claimed that Kerala is the hub of terrorism. He also accused the Kerala government of secretly supporting the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) and the Popular Front of India (PFI). He said that the major recruitment for terrorism is from Kerala, and SDPI and PFI target minorities for recruitment. Speaking to media, he said, "Which state is the hub of terrorism in the country? Recruiting the highest number of people into terrorism? It is Kerala. SDPI and PFI indoctrinate people towards terrorism, especially recruiting from minorities. Doing it for many years." He further said, "Sad part is both Congress-led UDF and Communist-led left-front have been promoting them. In public, they say no, but during elections, they take support from these two. Their people are let off despite serious crimes." The leader accused the government of Kerala of not taking any actions despite being aware of the anti-national activities. He questioned, "The government has all information regarding all the anti-national activities from these organizations but what action have they taken?" Kerala HC Observes 'no Doubt PFI & SDPI Extremist Organisations, Involved In Violence'/Kerala High Court said there was no doubt that the Social Democratic Party of India as well as the Popular Front of India (PFI) are extremist organizations. This comes after the Kerala High court on Friday observed that the SDPI and PFI are extremist organizations indulging in serious acts of violence. A single Bench of Justice K Haripal noted that "no doubt, SDPI, and PFI are extremist organizations indulging in serious acts of violence. All the same, those are not banned organizations.