Day: January 14, 2021

Bhupinder Singh Mann recuses from Supreme Court-appointed committee panel on farm laws | India News

BATHINDA: Farmer leader Bhupinder Singh Mann has recused himself from the Supreme Court appointed committee to talk to farmers on the three farm laws and make recommendations.
Mann who heads the Bhartiya Kisan Union took to Twitter to make the announcement.
Bhupinder Singh was one of the four members nominated by Supreme Court in the committee. The farm unions though had rejected the committee and declined to go to the committee.
In the tweet Mann wrote, “While I am thankful to Supreme Court for nominating me in 4 members committee to start dialogue with kisan unions on three laws brought by central government.”
“As a farmer myself and a union leader, in view of the prevailing sentiments and apprehensions among various farm unions and the public in general, I am ready to sacrifice any position offered or given to me so as to not compromise the interests of the farmers of the country. I am recusing myself from the committee but I will always stand by my farmers and Punjab,” the statement said.
A lot of politics too started over the formation of committee in Punjab. Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday raised objection and said that two members of the committee, Bhupinder Singh Mann and Ashok Gulati are close to Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh.

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Four More Shots Please! Season 3 Shoot To Begin Soon? Kirti Kulhari Shares Update


Amazon Prime Video has renewed its comedy series Four More Shots Please! for the third season. The news was announced by the cast of the show on Instagram. Actor Kirti Kulhari, who plays the role of Anjana Menon in the show, has shared a bunch of new pictures from her recent meet-up with her Four More Shots Please co-stars — Sayani Gupta, Bani J, and Maanvi Gagroo. They are beginning work the upcoming third season of the show.

Sharing the photos, Kirti wrote, ‘And we are back #fourmoreshotsplease #season3 Shoot begins super soon .. Lovely to be back with the crazy 3 .. @maanvigagroo @sayanigupta #banij @pritishnandycommunication.’ The photos show Kirti in a white dress, Sayani in a blue and white one and Maanvi in a blue shirt, blue shorts and a black blazer. Bani is seen in large glasses and bright blue hair.

Their fans are excited to see them back together in the new season. ‘Can’t wait! Please make it longer this time,’ wrote one. ‘Eagerly Waiting For Season 3,’ wrote another.

The show follows four women in Mumbai as they navigate through their lives, friendships, relationships and work. It also stars Milind Soman, Prateik Babbar, Lisa Ray, Shibani Dandekar and others. The second season of the show received mixed reviews by critics. The show was nominated for an International Emmy in the Best Comedy Series category.

Four More Shots Please! has received wide appreciation from viewers all across the world. The chemistry between the four leading women has been much loved and so has been their impeccable style sense. The third season is definitely going to create even more buzz. The shooting begins this year itself.

Kriti Kulhari will also be seen in Netflix’s Hindi adaptation of Girl on the Train. The film stars Parineeti Chopra in the lead with Aditi Rao Hydari and others.





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Japan’s new virus emergency met with public indifference

TOKYO: Japan’s expanded state of emergency went into effect Thursday as the government seeks to stop a surge of new coronavirus infections, though with the restrictions not binding many people appeared to be ignoring the requests to avoid nonessential travel.
People were still commuting on crowded trains and buses in Osaka, Fukuoka and other areas of the seven new prefectures placed under the state of emergency. In Tokyo, where the emergency decree has already been in place for a week, the governor expressed concern about people not following the official guidance.
“I thank for your cooperation, but the number of people up and about in town has not been significantly reduced,” Gov. Yuriko Koike told reporters.
She said the state of emergency is not just about avoiding eating out at night or for restaurants to close early, but to reduce contacts among people.
“The virus has no calendar, clock or even a map. Day or night, or prefectural borders doesn’t matter,” she said. “Please avoid going out for nonessential purposes.”
Under the state of emergency that now covers areas home to more than half of Japan’s population, bars and restaurants have been asked to close by 8 p.m., employers have been asked to have 70% of their staff work from home and residents in the affected areas have been asked to avoid going out for nonessential purposes. Reduced capacity has also been requested for sports and other events.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga‘s government has said the measures are needed to prevent an increase in infections in urban areas from spilling over to smaller towns where medical systems are vulnerable. Suga has called the situation “severe” and asked the people to cooperate, though in Japan the requests are nonbinding and those who ignore them are not punished.
The Tokyo governor urged the country’s main business organization to encourage employers to do more to promote remote work and reduce commuting as requested by the government.
Japan has seen coronavirus infections and deaths roughly double over the past month to about 302,000 and 4,200 respectively. Tokyo alone reported 1,502 new cases on Thursday.
Yet despite the surge, Japan has reported far fewer infections than many countries of its size.
Experts say people are not responsive to the emergency measures due to growing complacency.
Suga has said he will seek the revision of a law to allow his government to issue binding measures with penalties for violators.
The Cabinet minister in charge of the coronavirus measures, Yasutoshi Nishimura, told a special parliamentary panel Thursday that further expansion of the emergency is possible if infections spread.
The emergency decree now covers Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Fukuoka, Aichi, Gifu and Tochigi prefectures.
Dr Shigeru Omi, a former World Health Organization regional director who heads a government Covid-19 taskforce, said tougher measures such as business shutdown requests may be needed if the measures are ineffective by early February. He has previously said a month-long emergency may not be enough to slow the surge.
Suga has been criticized for not taking stronger action earlier in the outbreak, when measures were largely limited to asking the public to take basic safety measures such as wearing masks and washing hands.

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Popular TV Actress Sanjeeda Shaikh Shares Stunning PIC To Wish Fans On Makar Sankranti



Popular TV actress Sanjeeda Shaikh surprised her fans when she posted a stunning photo to wish them on the occasion of Makar Sankranti 2021.



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WHO convenes emergency committee early over coronavirus variants

GENEVA: The World Health Organization‘s emergency committee will meet two weeks early on Thursday to discuss the new coronavirus variants from South Africa and Britain that have rapidly spread to at least 50 countries and sparked widespread alarm.
The newly identified variants, which appear to be significantly more infectious than the strain that emerged in China in 2019, come as spiking virus numbers force many nations to enforce new lockdowns.
The committee normally gathers every three months but the WHO said the director-general pulled the meeting forward “to consider issues that need urgent discussion”.
“These are the recent variants and considerations on the use (of) vaccination and testing certificates for international travel,” the global body said Wednesday.
There are concerns that the new mutations may render certain vaccines less effective, undermining hopes that inoculations offer the best hope of recovery from the global pandemic.
The committee of experts is overseen by France’s Didier Houssin and its recommendations will be published after the meeting.
The meeting comes as global infections soared past 91 million and deaths approached two million, with governments around the world reimposing painful economic lockdowns and social restrictions.
The newly discovered variants can only be identified by sequencing their genetic code, an analysis that is not possible everywhere.
A third mutation, originating in the Brazilian Amazon and whose discovery Japan announced on Sunday, is currently being analyzed and could impact the immune response, according to the WHO.

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We Have Been Spending An Awful Lot Of Time Glued To Our Phones And It Is Making App Companies Very Rich


It was perhaps not a hidden secret that over the past 12 months or so, that we all have been spending far too much time glued to our smartphone screens. And bad habits often last long, so better watch out for this one. Nevertheless, app analytics platform App Annie has now put numbers to the situation, and they are in equal parts mind-boggling and worrying. The highlights—there were as many as 218 billion new app downloads in 2020 across all app stores and platforms, users spent as much as $143 billion on app purchases and spent an average of 4.2 hours looking at their smartphone screens as life passed us by.

The App Annie data says that the 218 billion in new app downloads is a 7% increase year-on-year and indicates that app habits haven’t fully formed yet and there is still demand for new apps. The amount of time we have all collectively wasted last year on communication platforms in particular, such as WhatsApp, Zoom and Microsoft Teams, the lack of app habits is surprising. Users spent 3.5 trillion hours doing something or the other on their Android phones alone and India’s share in that was 650.660 billion hours. In India, on just Android phones alone, the average daily time spent on mobile was clocked at 4.6 hours. This was up from 3.3 hours per day in 2019.

Indian smartphone users across platforms also clocked the highest engagement with financial platforms, such as mobile wallets, digital payments apps, shopping for major purchases like a car or a house, financial services such as loans or making investments. In the APAC region, India led the way followed by Indonesia and Japan. At the same time, China saw a decline in financial app downloads after new regulations came into place for the peer-to-peer lending services. The App Annie data says that in terms of the time spent in 2020, the breakout apps in the financial services space in India are Kite Zerodha, Google Pay, PhonePe, Angel Broking and Moneycontrol.

For social media apps, TikTok was by far and away the most popular app globally in a segment that saw an incredible 325% year-on-year growth. TikTok surpassed Facebook on the monthly average time spent metric in many countries, including China, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, USA, Germany and UK to name a few. In India, the breakout social media platforms are Telegram, WhatsApp Messenger, Instagram, MX TakaTak and Moj. TikTok was banned in India in the late summer, as part of the multiple phases that also saw other popular Chinese owned apps banned in India, including the PUBG Mobile game.

Video streaming platforms were the savior when everyone remained indoors during the coronavirus pandemic. App Annie data says that 40% more hours were streamed on mobile in 2020 than the year before. China led the way with close to 100 billion hours in multiple quarters while India peaked close to 50 billion hours of video streaming. While Netflix is the leading video streaming platform in many countries, is Netflix, but India found its entertainment on MX Player, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Airtel Xstream TV app and WeTV. It is surprising that the likes of Disney+ Hotstar, Sony Liv and Zee5 don’t feature in the top five most popular streaming apps in India.



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Former presidential hopeful Andrew Yang to run for New York mayor

NEW YORK: Former US presidential hopeful and tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang has announced he will run for mayor of New York City in an election this year that he is an early favourite to win.
Yang, 46, announced his run on Twitter Wednesday, posting a video of him skateboarding with his wife on the Brooklyn Bridge.
Yang, the son of Taiwanese immigrants – running as a Democratic candidate – said he would aim to reverse the fortunes of a city shaken by the coronavirus pandemic.
“I moved to New York City 25 years ago. I came of age, fell in love, and became a father here. Seeing our City in so much pain breaks my heart,” he wrote.
The lawyer turned tech entrepreneur would become the city’s first-ever Asian-American mayor.
His mastery of social networks, fervent support within the “Yang Gang,” and fundraising skills placed him among the heavyweights of the presidential election.
But he eventually threw in the towel after the New Hampshire primary in February 2020 in a race won by President-elect Joe Biden.
Yang has been criticised by some for spending too much time outside the city he aims to lead. He spent the last few weeks in Georgia, helping the Democrats to win two key seats in the US Senate.
The election to decide Bill de Blasio’s successor is scheduled for November 2, but in the Democratic stronghold of New York the race will effectively start in the party’s mayoral primary on June 22.
Economic recovery is set to be a central theme in the election to lead a city that suffered a severe financial hit when coronavirus was first recorded there in the spring.
Many businesses have closed, unemployment and crime are rising, and a budget crisis is looming, raising fears that the city may return to its dark days of the 1970s and 1980s.
Around 30 candidates will jostle to win the Democratic primary.
In a December poll, Yang was the most popular candidate even though he had not yet announced his run. He was almost tied with Eric Adams, a Black former police officer who has served as Brooklyn borough president since 2013.
Another prominent candidate is Raymond McGuire, one of New York’s most respected Black bankers, who has the support of Wall Street and the business community.
A political novice, he has already raised more than $5 million for his campaign, according to the New York Times.

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Maharashtra: Allegations against NCP minister serious, says Sharad Pawar | Mumbai News – Times of India

MUMBAI: Terming the rape claim by a woman against Maharashtra social justice minister Dhananjay Munde as serious, NCP president Sharad Pawar on Thursday said the party will discuss the issue and decide on it “as soon as possible.
Pawar also referred to the NCBs arrest of the son- in-law of another NCP minister Nawab Malik in a drug case and said people concerned should cooperate with the agency.
The NCP chief said there is no personal allegation against Malik.
Pawar told reporters that Munde met him on Wednesday and explained the details in connection with the allegation.
“I think the allegation against him (Munde) is serious. Naturally, we will have to discuss the issue as a party. I will discuss the same in detail with my key colleagues and take them into confidence,” Pawar said.
“Further steps will be taken after knowing their views. We will do this as soon as possible, he added.
Munde told reporters that Pawar and other leaders of the party will take a call on the issue of his resignation.
The 37-year-old woman, an aspiring singer, had said she wrote to Mumbai police commissioner on January 10, stating that Munde repeatedly raped her in 2006. She also claimed that she approached Oshiwara police here earlier but her complaint was ignored.
Munde, NCP leader from Beed district, has denied the allegations, claiming he is being blackmailed by the woman and her sister.
Munde (45) said the woman’s claims were part of a conspiracy to blackmail him. He, however, acknowledged that he was in a relationship with the woman’s sister and has two children with her.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Munde said his wife, family and friends were aware of this relationship, adding the two kids have been accepted by his family.
He said the woman with whom he was in a relationship had been blackmailing him since 2019 and he had filed a police complaint and also moved the Bombay High Court seeking a stay on distribution of defamatory content against him.

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Bhushan Kumar’s T-Series Presents Guru Randhawa’s ‘Mehendi Wale Haath’


After delivering blockbuster party anthems like Naach Meri Rani and Baby Girl, this New Year Guru surprises his fans with a new side of him with a romantic ballad. This soulful composition by the successful young composer duo Sachet-Parampara along with Sayeed Quadri’s lyrics emote the feeling of falling in love and letting go. This soft romantic track directed in Punjab by Arvindr Khaira treats audiences to Guru’s raw earthy avatar, Sanjana’s naivety and the innocent love between the two.

From playing a Punjabi munda to donning the role of an army man, says Guru Randhawa, ‘Mehendi Wale Haath will be a beginning of a new journey for me, all thanks to Bhushanji for giving me this song. This song is something very different than my previous music and that is what attracted me to be a part of the song. The composition by Sachet Parampara and words by Quadri sahib will touch your heart deeply. I was more than happy to feature in the video where I could be myself and also in my small way show the love I have towards my country.’

Speaking about debuting in singles, says Sanjana Sanghi, ‘For me, it was the beautiful message behind Mehendi Wale Haath and collaborating with Guru & T-Series that made Mehendi Wale Haath an instant yes. Guru has been a wonderful co-star, is a dear friend, and an artist I’ve always admired. Working with my brilliant director Arvindr has been so enriching. I’m super excited!’

Adds duo Sachet-Parampara, ‘Music is a pure form of emotions. In our songs, we have always tried to bring out human emotions especially love in its most unadulterated form. With a song like ‘Mehendi Wale Haath’ we are lucky everything came together beautifully with its composition, heartwarming lyrics by Quadri sahab and Guru’s vocals. We thank Bhushan sir for believing in our music and always supporting us. Hoping for it to become a blockbuster song.’

Bhushan Kumar says, ‘Love is an emotion that we all experience very strongly as humans. With Mehendi Wale Haath, the composition, lyrics, vocals and the video have all come together beautifully and I am sure the song will touch your heart.’



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South Korea Court Upholds Jail For Ex-president Park, Clearing Way For Chance Of A Pardon

SEOUL: South Korea’s top court upheld on Thursday a 20-year jail sentence for former President Park Geun-hye on graft charges that led to her downfall, bringing an end to the legal process and so for the first time raising the possibility of a pardon.

Park became South Korea’s first democratically elected leader to be thrown out of office when, in 2017, the Constitutional Court upheld a parliament vote to impeach her over a scandal that also landed the heads of two conglomerates in jail.

The daughter of a military dictator, Park took office in 2013 as South Korea’s first woman president. She was brought down after being found guilty of colluding with a confidante to receive tens of billions of won from major conglomerates to help her family and fund non-profit foundations she owned.

Her case has been heard in different courts, including a retrial in July last year, but the Supreme Court’s ruling on Thursday to uphold a 20-year jail term and fine of 18 billion won ($16.38 million) exhausts her legal avenues.

Park, 68, who has been in jail since March 31, 2017, has denied wrongdoing. She was not present in court.

The end of the legal process clears the way for a presidential pardon, which her supporters called for.

“President Park Geun-hye is innocent,” the right-wing Our Republican Party said in a statement.

“The members of Our Republican Party want President Park to be freed as soon as possible.”

The chief of the ruling Democratic party, Lee Nak-yon, has floated the idea of a pardon for Park and another ex-president, Lee Myung-bak, also in jail on corruption charges, in the name of national unity.

Park is a divisive figure in a country where old Cold War fault lines between right and left can still define political rivalry.

A top aide to President Moon Jae-in, who is a liberal, said the president would make a decision on the question of a pardon for Park that reflects the will of the people.

Society appears split down the middle.

A survey by the pollster Realmeter last week found 47.7% of respondents in favour of a pardon and 48% against.

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee faces a final court ruling on Monday on whether he returns to jail on charges he bribed an associate of Park.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor

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