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Pakistan "puzzled" over U.S. July 29, 2016 12:39

The "extremely opposing views" emanating from within the U.S. Congress about Pakistan's counter-terrorism policies and efforts to promote peace in Afghanistan have confused several Pakistani policy makers. Pakistani policy makers seems to be "puzzled" over Washington's conduct with regard to its relationship with Islamabad.Pakistan and the United States have had a phase of uneasy relations over the allegations that Islamabad's counter-terrorism operations are focusing only on militants linked to the anti-state, Pakistani Taliban and is sparing sanctuaries linked to the Afghan militants, including Haqqani Network terrorist group.Recently U.S Congress has prevented the Obama administration from subsidizing the sale of eight F-16 fighter planes to Pakistan. The recent US Congressional hearing under the title "Pakistan: Friend or foe" has further infuriated the Pakistani senators. Some lawmakers and witnesses during the hearing has demanded Washington to cut off all the financial and military aid to Islamabad and accused the Pakistan military of maintaining ties with Taliban and Haqqani militants fighting the U.S.-backed Afghan government."The hearing you have referred to was informal and was very thinly attended. Mr. Ted Poe, who was behind the idea of hearing, himself did not attend it. His negative bias against Pakistan is well known, so nothing positive could be expected," asserted Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mohammad Nafees Zakaria.Former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan and United Nations, Zalmay Khalilzad, had even urged the United States to adopt a policy of total isolation against the Islamabad and turn it into a "second North Korea" to force it to cooperate for peace in Afghanistan.Owais Leghari, chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, has asserted that Pakistan is being increasingly blamed and turned into a "punching bag" because of setbacks the U.S. policy has suffered in Afghanistan."They are looking at securing the Pakistan border in a more substantial way. So, I want to help Pakistan, and they are doing the right thing and there is a lot of improvement to be made. But I would acknowledge it a step in the right direction," said U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham.By Premji

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Indonesia Spared Execution Of Gurdip Singh; 4 Others Executed July 29, 2016 11:43

External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj has tweeted that Gurdip Singh, who was arrested in Indonesia in the case of drug smuggling and who was sentenced to death by execution, has been spared by the Indonesian authorities. However, the four other convicts are executed. Two Nigerians, one Senegalese and one Indonesian were executed after petitions to review their cases had been denied, according to reports. Sushma Swaraj tweeted, Indian Ambassador in Indonesia has informed me that Gurdip Singh whose execution was fixed for last night, has not been executed. — Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) July 29, 2016 Government was constantly in touch with the Indonesian authorities to demand clemency for Gurdip Singh. Sushma Swaraj on Thursday (July 28) tweeted that the government officials along with the officials at Jakarta embassy are doing all the efforts to save Mr. Singh. External Affairs ministry official spokesperson, in his weekly media briefing on Thursday had said, “Afdhal Muhammad, the legal representative of Gurdip Singh was of the view that he can file for presidential clemency under the relevant law before the President of the Republic of Indonesia.”“The embassy sent a note verbale to the ministry of foreign affairs of Indonesia requesting that all legal recourse should be exhausted before the death penalty is carried out,” he added. Gurdip Singh, 48, was found guilty in trying to smuggle 300 grams of heroin, along with 9 other convicts in 2005. All of them were scheduled to be executed. According to the details, Mr. Singh was arrested on August 29, 2004 at the Soekarno Hatta Airport in Jakarta on charges of drug trafficking. In February 2005, he was sentenced to capital punishment by the Tangerang court despite his prosecutor’s demand of 20 years imprisonment. By Prajakt K.

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Central intelligence agencies warn threat for PM on August 15 July 29, 2016 10:52

Central intelligence agencies had informed the SPG and anti-terror units a few weeks ago about the possibility of coordinated attacks on August 15.  The security agencies have advised the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address the nation from within a bulletproof enclosure at Red Fort this Independence Day. Intelligence agencies and the Special Protection Group had made a strong pitch to national security adviser Ajit Doval in this regard.They hope that the PM would not ignore the advisory as the threat perception is "extremely high". If the PM heed the caution, then it might be the first time that he would be allowing this kind of security around him. Last year and the year before, Modi, in a last-minute decision, had decided to do away with the bulletproof enclosure while giving his speech.Apart from Islamic State and al Qaida, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and splinter groups like Hizbul Mujahideen and Harkat-ul-Jehadi-Islami have been plotting to target Modi.Two inputs about al-Qaida and ISIS planning to target Army and police establishments have already been shared. The police, therefore, have chalked out an "unprecedented security arrangement" this time. Central intelligence agencies has informed the SPG and anti-terror units a few weeks ago about the possibility of coordinated attacks on August 15 and a higher possibility of a lonewolf attack.Several drills have been carried out and commandos and spotters have been deployed at strategic locations to keep the PM out of the range of most short and long-range weapons. The innermost cordon has been specially trained in this aspect.PM speaking from within bulletproof enclosures became a tradition after Indira Gandhi's assassination. But in 2014, Modi had bucked this trend in his maiden Independence Day speech as PM.By Premji

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Parliament House library visited by a monkey July 29, 2016 10:39

A monkey has found its way into the reading room meant for MPs and journalists. It roamed around the reading room for half an hour. It jumped on the tables and climbed up electrical wires in the gallery area and again climbed down. After failing to discover an exit from the library for about 30 minutes, it made its way out of the main door and through the green-carpeted corridor, and finally left by the main gate of the building on the side meant for VIPs.The library staff kept calling for Parliament security, but to no avail. There was no help forthcoming as there was no way to catch the simian in Parliament in the absence of a langoor, which had been earlier deployed to deal with the recurring monkey menace.Earlier, langoors were employed for chasing away monkeys in parts of Lutyens' Delhi. But the decision to do away with langoors had been taken, with the Parliament House bidding them goodbye in June end, when their employment was terminated. Monkeys are being again spotted on Parliament premises since langoors took their last pay and left.The security staff at the Central Hall door has quickly shut the gates and prevented the monkey from intruding into the place where MPs, ministers and journalists, along with the catering staff are always present in good numbers.By Premji

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Bank Employees To Go On Nationwide Strike Today July 29, 2016 10:11

Bank employees of all the public, private and foreign sector bank will be going on strike on Friday against the proposed merger of all the associate banks to State Bank of India (SBI) as well as the banking reforms which has been announced by the government recently. General people may face extensive problems on Friday as over 10 lakh bank employees will be on a nationwide strike. A nine-bank union organization, United Forum of Bank Unions have been agitating against the banking reforms which has been announced by the government such as privatization of public sector ob banks, privatization of Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI) bank by reducing the government’s share to less than 49 percent and mergers of public sector banks and mergers of SBI and its associate lenders, reports said. Reports added that the employee associations are also demanding for strict action against the willful defaulters. Almost all the banks including SBI have informed the customers about service issues which they might face on July 29 due to the strike at all banks on ‘issue and demand to stop banking sector reforms’. By Prajakt K.

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Dishoom Movie Review and Ratings July 29, 2016 00:29

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Pelli Choopulu Movie Review and Ratings July 29, 2016 00:20

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Jakkanna Movie Review and Ratings July 28, 2016 21:14

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Nargis Fakhri Coming Back July 28, 2016 19:25

Stupendous model Nargis Fakhri has been quite selective with her films and she has not been signing many Bollywood films. She has been quite active in fashion shows and photo shoots rather than in films. Leaving the promotions in middle, the actress moved to USA and she was absent even during the promotions of her last film Housefull 3. There have been lot of rumours that she is in a rough patch in her career after breakup with her boyfriend Uday Chopra. However trashing all the rumours, the actress has taken Instagram to reveal that she will be coming back to India soon after completing her assignments in USA. She said that she will be promoting her upcoming movie Banjo with Ritesh Deshmukh soon. Nargis Fakhri also said that she will many more Bollywood films after she comes back to the country.

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Deepika’s Shocking Remuneration July 28, 2016 19:21

Bollywood’s top actress Deepika Padukone is now the top actress in Bollywood. After back to back hits like Piku and Bajirao Mastani, she made her Hollywood debut with the film XXX: The Return of Xander Cage which will release during summer next year. She has not signed any Bollywood film in this gap and she returned back to India after wrapping up the shoot of her first Hollywood outing. After returning back she signed her first Bollywood movie Padmavathi.Top director Sanjay Leela Bhansali will direct the movie and Deepika Padukone will essay the title role in Padmavathi. Though Priyanka Chopra has been initially considered for the movie, Deepika has been finalized to play Padmavathi. Sources revealed that she has been paid a whopping amount of Rs 16 crores for the film. SLB Films and Eros International are bankrolling the project and the shoot of the film will start in September this year. Padmavathi will hit the screens during 2017 December.

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