Monthly Archives: December 2017

New Delhi: Indian shuttler P.V. Sindhu won her second successive group stage match to qualify for the semi-finals but men's singles star Kidambi Srikanth lost for the second time in succession to be out of the race for the last four stage of the World Superseries Finals here on Thursday.

Sindhu crushed Japanese Sayaka Sato 21-13, 21-12 in 36 minutes to secure her second straight victory, eliminating Sayaka at the Hamadan Sports Complex.


The Indian joined Japanese Akane Yamaguchi to advance to the semi-finals from Group A.

Yamaguchi defeated He Bingjiao 21-14, 13-21, 21-8 to make it two wins from as many games, thereby cementing a spot in the semi-finals.

With the defeat, Bingjiao was also knocked out having lost two matches.

From Group B, Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon was also through to the semi-finals. Chinese Taipei's Tai Tzu Ying and Chen Yufei of China are still in contention but South Korean Sung ji Hyun has been eliminated.

In the men's singles, Indian Srikanth lost to Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei 18-21, 18-21.

Chinese Shi Yuqi defeated Viktor Axelsen 13-21, 21-18, 21-17 to register his second successive victory, sealing a place in the last four stage. Axelsen had beaten Srikanth on the opening day.

Chou Tien, who had lost to Yuqi on Wednesday, will face Axelsen on Friday and the winner will join the Chinese in the semi-finals.





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New Delhi: Actress Bhumi Pednekar, who has played characters such as a overweight woman in "Dum Laga Ke Haisha" and a vivacious girl in "Toilet: Ek Prem Katha", feels lucky for the roles that has come her way.

"You feel happy when your films do well commercially but I feel extremely lucky about the kind of roles I have got. Yes, it is great to be part of a film that has done well but it is even better to have something substantial to do in a film," Bhumi, who was here to launch the skin and health care brand Divine Organics, told to news agency IANS.


The actress hopes to get such roles in the future.

"I really hope to continue getting such roles. I am really happy the way life is going on," she added.

Bhumi is gearing up for her fourth film "Chambal", which revolves around the Chambal dacoits. The film is directed by "Udta Punjab" famed Abhishek Chaubey and also stars Sushant Singh Rajput.



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New Delhi: Kamal Haasan on Saturday congratulated politician Rahul Gandhi who has taken over as the new Congress President. The veteran actor-filmmaker says he's sure that Rahul would work and deserve the admiration like his elders.

"Congratulations Mr. Rahul.G. Your seat does not define you but you can define your position. I have admired your elders. I am sure you would work and deserve my admiration too. All the strength to your shoulders," Kamal wrote.


The process of his election as the new Congress chief was completed after the Central Election Authority President Mullapally Ramachandran handed over the Certificate of Election to Rahul Gandhi in a ceremony at Congress party headquarters.

The ceremony was marked by loud celebrations as scorces of Rahul Gandhi supporters danced to upbeat tunes, raised slogans, burst crackers and distributed sweets outside the party office here.

Kamal, who is known for films like "Hey Ram" and "Vishwaroopam", has previously shown desire to join politics. He has also hinted launching his party by January.

On his birthday in November, Kamal announced the launch of a new app, which marked a step towards his political debut.




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New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi took over as Congress president today from his mother Sonia Gandhi, who led India's oldest party for 19 years. The 47-year-old, who has for years been seen as a reluctant politician but has lately shown signs of shedding that image, took charge in a ceremony on the lawns of the party's 24 Akbar Road headquarters in Delhi.

Images of Mahatma Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh beamed on a banner behind him as he accepted the takeover certificate after the traditional "Vande Mataram". Sonia Gandhi and the former prime minister were also on the stage with him.

"Congress took India to 21st century, but the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) is taking us back to medieval times," Rahul Gandhi said, attacking PM Modi and the government in his first speech as Congress president.

"I promise to make the Congress a grand old - and young party," he told workers, switching between English and Hindi, text and extempore.


Sonia Gandhi, in an emotional farewell speech, said: "Rahul is my son, and it would not be right of me to praise him. But I can say this, that in these testing times, he has stood up to dangerous men in power. He has faced challenges with courage and will steer the party in the correct direction."


Rahul Gandhi is the fifth member of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty to lead the Congress; no one challenged his elevation in the organization election that critics describe as a sham.

Sonia Gandhi, who took over in 1998 and is the party's longest-serving president, had told NDTV on Friday: "My role now is to retire." She also said Rahul had been playing an active role in all decisions in the past three years.

Congress leaders quickly clarified that Sonia Gandhi was retiring only as Congress president, not from politics.

Rahul Gandhi is widely expected to begin his presidency with two new defeats for the Congress, which has been struggling to win elections since it lost power at the centre in 2014.

What the Congress calls a "new era" comes two days before election results for two states that exit polls say the party won't win - Gujarat, where the BJP has ruled for 22 years, and Himachal Pradesh, which the Congress had barely won in the previous election.




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New Delhi : Actor-filmmaker Prabhudheva met five-time World Champion M.C. Mary Kom and called her the "pride of India".

He on Friday shared a photograph of himself along with Kom.


"With the Pride of India - 'Magnificent Mary' Mary Kom. She's every bit the magic that she is," Prabhudheva captioned the image.

On the film front, Prabhudheva will be seen directing actor Sooraj Pancholi, son of actor Aditya Pancholi and Zareena Wahab. He made his silver screen debut with "Hero".

The film is said to be a comedy and will be produced by T-Series. Other details are still underwraps.

Prabhudheva was seen performing with superstar Salman Khan in the capital for the Da-Bangg Tour.





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New Delhi : After Congress President-elect Rahul Gandhi visited villages hit by Cyclone Ockhi and commiserated with families of fisher folk, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also said to visit Kerala and Tamil Nadu soon, an official said.

Putting an end to political criticism, Modi was expected to visit the southern districts of these states, possibly on Monday or Tuesday. However, the exact date is not known.


According to informed sources he will visit two fishing villages here and one in Kanyakumari.

Kerala government officials have that the official intimation about Modi's visit has come.

It was on November 30 that Ockhi struck and left more than 70 fishermen from the southern districts of Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam dead, while more than 250 of them were yet to be traced.

The Kerala government has blamed the Centre and the weather monitoring organisations for not properly conveying the arrival of Ockhi.

The weather officials in their turn have said that right from November 28 at regular intervals, they had alerted the Kerala government of what was in store.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has come under severe attack as despite being in the capital city, he has failed to travel 10 km to visit the grieving fishermen families.

While Defence Minister Nirmala Sitaraman flew down and visited these villages, the Congress party leadership blamed Modi for not arriving to be with the grieving.

On Thursday, Gandhi spend time with fishermen both here and at Kanyakumari.



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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday the Centre is committed to put all the state capitals of the northeast on the rail map and is executing 15 new projects in the region.

"We are committed to bring all the state capitals of the northeast region on the rail map. The government of India is executing 15 new rail line projects of 1,385 km length, at a cost of over Rs 47,000 crore," Modi said during his visit to Mizoram.

"It is said that the lack of connectivity is one of the biggest hurdles in the path of development of the Northeastern region," Modi noted, adding: "My government wants to do 'transformation by transportation' through investment in infrastructure..."

He said the Centre has been proactively following the 'Act East Policy'. "As a gate-way to South East Asia, Mizoram stands to gain immensely from this. It can emerge as a key transit point for trade with Myanmar and Bangladesh," said the Prime Minister.

The vision of New India can be realised only if fruits of development reach all, he said.

The Centre plans to focus on around 115 districts which are relatively backward when evaluated on various indicators. This will benefit backward districts of Northeastern states, including Mizoram, said Modi.

"In the spirit of "Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas" every Indian, irrespective of caste, gender, religion, class must have equal opportunities to partake in the new prosperity," he added.

Modi was in Mizoram to inaugurate the 60 MW Tuirial Hydro Electric Power Project (HEPP). He dedicated the project to the people saying it will boost the socio-economic development of the state.

Tuirial Hydropower Project is the first major central government project to be successfully commissioned in Mizoram, Modi said, also adding that besides electricity the reservoir water will also open new avenues for navigation.

"This will provide connectivity to remote villages. The huge reservoir, spread over an area of 45 square km, can also be used for development of fisheries," Modi said.

The Prime Minister said the project would boost eco-tourism and provide a source of assured drinking water supply.

He said the project was first cleared by the union government of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, way back in 1998 but got delayed.

"The completion of this project is a reflection of our commitment to complete ongoing projects and usher in a new era of development in the Northeastern region," Modi said.

The Prime Minister also said that during the tenure of Vajpayee, significant work was done for the development of the Northeast.

"We have taken forward this vision and are devoting resources for the progress of the Northeast. My ministerial colleagues are frequently visiting the Northeast," Modi said.

"There have been over 150 ministerial visits. Our initiative - the Ministry of doner at your doorstep has added impetus to the development of the Northeast. It has enabled us to understand the aspirations of the Northeast even better," he added.

Modi also said that he was delighted to be in Mizoram and this was his first visit as Prime Minister as he had visited the state before also.

"I admire the beauty and friendly nature of the people," he said.

"The high literacy rate, scenic beauty and availability of large English-speaking population in Mizoram make for a perfect blend to develop the state as a model tourist destination," said the Prime Minister.






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New Delhi : Delhiites today woke up to another cold morning as the minimum temperature settled at 8.6 degrees Celsius, three notches below the season's average. 

However, the maximum temperature saw a slight increase from yesterday and rose to 27.5 degrees Celsius two notches above the normal for this time of the year, the MeT department said. 


Humidity levels oscillated between 28 and 92 per cent.

The weatherman has predicted a clear sky for tomorrow with mist in the morning. 

The maximum and minimum temperatures are expected to be 26 degrees Celsius and nine degrees Celsius, respectively. 

Yesterday, the maximum and minimum temperatures were 26.5 degree Celsius and 8.6 degree Celsius, respectively.



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New Delhi : Newly wed actress Anushka Sharma and star cricketer Virat Kohli are currently enjoying their honeymoon in snowcapped mountains -- but won't say where.

Anushka on Friday shared a cosy selfie with Virat, and the white landscape makes the perfect backdrop.


"In heaven, literally," Anushka captioned the image, without divulging the destination they are in.

Virat and Anushka's nuptials were a close family affair in Tuscany, Italy on December 11. It was a hush-hush affair at a luxury heritage resort Borgo Finocchieto, a little over 100 km away from Florence.

On the acting front, Anushka will next be seen in "Sui Dhaaga - Made in India", while Virat will join the team for the South Africa series which starts from December 30.

Before that, the couple will have a reception in Delhi on December 21 and in Mumbai on December 26.



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New Delhi: Two of the four death row convicts in the December 16, 2012 gangrape and murder case today moved the Supreme Court for review of its verdict upholding the capital punishment awarded to them.

The review petition by convicts Vinay Sharma and Pawan Kumar Gupta came after the top court on December 12 completed the hearing on the review plea filed by another death row convict Mukesh.

A 23-year-old paramedic student was gang raped on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 inside a moving bus in South Delhi by a gang of six persons and severely assaulted before being thrown out naked. She succumbed to her injuries on December 29, 2012 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.

The review plea, filed through advocate AP Singh for two of the convicts, claimed that death penalty was a premeditated and "cold blooded killing" of a human being by the state in the name of justice.It said the investigation in the matter was not only flawed but also unreliable as many facts of the investigation pertain to recording of the dying declaration of the victim.

The top court had on December 12 allowed the counsel to file review petition for another convict Akshay Singh and listed the matter for hearing on January 22.


The top court had on May 5 upheld the death penalty to the four convicts - Mukesh, 29, Pawan,22, Vinay Sharma, 23 and Akshay Kumar Singh, 31, saying the "brutal, barbaric and diabolic nature" of the crime could create a "tsunami of shock" to destroy a civilised society.

Another accused in the case, Ram Singh, had allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail, while a convicted juvenile has come out of the reformation home after serving a three- year term.

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