India appoints Gautam Bambawale as new ambassador to China

Bambawale appointment comes at a time when India and China are trying to put behind the Dokalam stand-off

Gautam Bambawale

Seasoned diplomat Gautam Bambawale, India’s high commissioner to Pakistan, was today appointed as the country’s next envoy to China.

This was announced tonight by the external affairs ministry.

A 1984 India Foreign Service (IFS) officer, Bambawale is expected to take up the assignment shortly, the ministry said. He will replace Vijay Gokhale.

A deft hand in Sino-India relations, Bambawale opted to learn Mandarin Chinese as his foreign language and served in Hong Kong and Beijing between 1985 and 1991.

He was first the desk officer for China in the Ministry of External Affairs and served as director in the Americas Division of the ministry, responsible for relations with the US and Canada (1993-94).

He has also functioned as the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Indian Embassy in Beijing.

His appointment comes at a time when India and China are trying to put behind the Dokalam standoff and work on a “forward-looking” approach in their ties.

This is what makes Amitabh Bachchan the hot brand that he is, even at 75

Even as he turns 75 today, Amitabh Bachchan is one of the richest actors and one of the most in-demand endorsers in Bollywood

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Today’s Paper : Everyone is looking for the Don — the original one in Bollywood. And that is with good reason. In the fickle business of stardom, Amitabh Bachchan, who turns 75 today, has managed to remain relevant, anchoring Kaun Banega Crorepati, starring in films, and endorsing products.

Currently, he is one of the busiest actors in the country. After he is done shooting forKBC for Sony TV, he will be on the sets of 102 Not Out — a feature film in which he plays Rishi Kapoor’s father. It is expected to hit the screens next year. According to the latest Forbes’ list of richest actors in the country, he is ranked nine, with earnings of $9 million. This puts him ahead of Ranbir Kapoor (earning $8.5 million). He is the only one on the list above 60 years of age.

While his last film Sarkar 3 (2017) bombed, producers believe he can still hit the jackpot if the content of a film is good, such as Piku (2015) or Pink (2016). That’s the reason he still commands an attractive fee of Rs 7-10 crore per film, according to analysts.

Age is no impediment to his work as an endorser, either. Bachchan is the first choice for many corporate brands and also for governments looking to push social messages. Currently, he endorses 10 brands — ranging from inner wear (Lux Cozi), mobile phones (One Plus), jewellery (Kalyan Jewellers), air conditioners (LLoyd), to e-commerce sites (Just Dial), to name a few.

Bachchan is also the brand ambassador for the goods and services tax.

Companies are happy to fork out Rs 2 crore a day (most companies generally hire him for three to five days), because they know his magic will work. So what makes him tick at 75, when most stars are content with a Lifetime Achievement Award? (He has already got the coveted Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award.)

Sam Balsara, chairman of Madison World, one of the leading advertising firms in the country, said, “He (Bachchan) brings two key elements to the brand: Statesmanship and maturity through his iconic status, which no other cricket or Bollywood celebrity can match. He brings credibility to the brand. Read More

Imran Khan sends obscene texts, harasses us, says woman who quit his party

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf MNA Ayesha Gulalai said Imran Khan used to send her indecent text messages

Pakistan Tahreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Today’s Paper : Former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MNA Ayesha Gulalai has alleged that Imran Khan used to send her inappropriate text messages.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, the PTI MNA from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa announced to quit the party, calling for an inquiry into her allegations against the former cricketer, Geo News reports.

“I am not concerned about a party ticket or NA-1 seat. I did not leave the party over the issue of NA-1,” she said, adding that she had to go through mental agony due to the situation.

“Among many things, sending text messages is one of their bad habits,” she said.

“I received the first message in October 2013, you can check Imran’s Blackberry,” she said, adding that the PTI chairman “urges other women to use Blackberry cellphones so messages cannot be traced.”

“Check his Blackberry and you will know everything,” she added.

“The messages contained words that cannot be tolerated by any respectful individual.”

Imran Khan cannot keep himself under control.”

Gulalai further claimed that many women in the party are facing a similar situation.

Gulalai also alleged that Imran suffers from psychological issues and added that he does not like talented people. | Readmore…

Coach will be appointed before Sri Lanka tour, says BCCI’s Shukla

It is not that captain is given all the importance, added Shukla

Anil Kumble

Today’s Paper : The BCCI failed to resolve the differences between Anil Kumble and Virat Kohli despite its best efforts, said senior board official Rajeev Shukla before assuring that a new head coach will be appointed before India’s tour of Sri Lanka next month.

BCCI tried its level best to resolve the issue. The acting secretary, the CEO, they discussed the matter with Kumble and Kohli in great detail, the board consulted the chairman of the COA (Vinod Rai) also,” Shukla told reporters here today.

“They tried to resolve the issues but eventually no outcome could be found out and Kumble decided to move on,” he added.

Kumble, in his statement, said that Kohli had reservations about his coaching ‘style’ and there partnership was untenable.

“BCCI wishes Kumble best for the future. Meanwhile, BCCI has decided to search further for the coach. Before the Sri Lanka tour, the coach will be appointed and it will be the best coach for India,” said Shukla.

When asked whether Virat Kohli was the only one who objected to Kumble as coach, he said: “All these are speculations.

“As I said, sometimes there are differences of opinion and BCCI tried its level best to resolve the whole issue but sometimes things don’t work. Sometimes it happens that you can’t get along with someone.

“It is not that captain is given all the importance. We give importance to everybody. There are differences sometimes. They are also human beings,” Shukla added.

We will not succumb, says NDTV in a statement after CBI raids Prannoy Roy

CBI registered a case for causing an alleged loss to ICICI Bank to the tune of Rs 48 crore

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The Central Bureau of Investigation on Monday registered a case against NDTV founder Prannoy Roy, his wife Radhika Roy, a private company and others for causing an alleged loss to ICICI Bank to the tune of Rs 48 crore, ANI reported.

Media reports said that according to the first information report (FIR) filed, the loan amount defaulted by Roy is for a company named RRPR holdings private limited.

The CBI also carried out searches at Roy’s residence at Greater Kailash-I in New Delhi.

NDTV has released a statement after the raids that says:

This morning, the CBI stepped up the concerted harassment of NDTV and its promoters based on the same old endless false accusations.

NDTV and its promoters will fight tirelessly against this witch-hunt by multiple agencies. We will not succumb to these attempts to blatantly undermine democracy and free speech in India.

We have one message to those who are trying to destroy the institutions of India and everything it stands for: we will fight for our country and overcome these forces. | READMORE…

Protestors challenge cow rakshaks by openly eating beef in Chennai

Attack on IIT’s PhD scholar by students allegedly affiliated with Right wing bodies led to protest

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The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras on Wednesday witnessed protests against the attack on an institution’s research scholar who participated in the beef fest on the campus on Sunday. A group of protestors challenged cow rakshaks (vigilantes) by openly eating beef during the protest.

Various students of Revolutionary Student Youth Front (RSYF), Student Campus.

While other student bodies raised slogans against Narendra Modi led Union Government’s order and demanded arrest of the students who allegedly attacked Sooraj, activists of the TPDK went a step ahead and openly ate beef during the protest.

A TPDK protestor told ANI that “Students wings affiliated with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) have brutally beaten one of the students of this institution. We condemn this dastardly act. The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) is indulging in terrorist act and the attackers must be booked under Goonda act.”

He added that ‘beef eating act’ was a way to put forward their demand.

“Eating beef is tradition of Tamil people and nobody can change this.

s Federation of India (SFI), Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle (APSC), and activists of Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam (TPDK) protested near IIT-Madras gate against attack on an IIT Madras research scholar by some Right wing students for participating in beef fest.

Sooraj R- a PhD scholar and a member of Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle (APSC) was allegedly attacked on Tuesday by some students, who are allegedly affiliated with Right wing student bodies.

However, the police detained the protestors before they could enter the

Therefore, we demand the revocation of Centre’s ruling on the sale of cattle ban.”

Other protestor alleged that the police were unleashing violence against the protestors.

“Police have unleashed violence against protesters. They are beating us mercilessly. Is this a democracy? Do we not have right to speak, right to protest?

He also equated drinking cow urine practice with the practice of beef eating in Tamil Nadu.

“With regard to consumption of  beef  as the union government headed by BJP believes in drinking of urine, in the same lines, slaughtering cow and eating its beef is our tradition. We may eat beef or we eat something else, who are these people to stop or question us?” (READ MORE)

Modi govt’s new restrictions on cattle slaughter will hurt farmers the most

The government’s move will lead to an explosion in the number of ‘stray’ cattle

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Gazette No. 396, issued by the Government of India on May 23 and titled the ‘Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017’, promises to be the final death knell of cattle and buffaloes in India, and along with them, the destruction of what little remains of a dignified life and livelihood for farmers.

This completely innocuous sounding amendment, issued under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act – a Central law – imposes in section 22 a set of ‘Restrictions on sale of cattle’. These require the owner of cattle being brought to the market for sale, in other words the farmer, to produce and submit to the Animal Market Committee a written declaration stating that “the cattle has not been brought to the market for sale for slaughter”. In turn, the buyer of the animal has to undertake “that the animal is being bought for agriculture purposes and not slaughter”

The committee will further keep records of the sale of animals to ensure they are not resold within six months of purchase. They will also keep ID records of the buyer, seller and animal.

The rules defines ‘cattle’ to mean “cow, calf, bull, bullock, buffalo, heifer, steer and camel”.

By equating ‘slaughter’ with cruelty and criminalising the trade and transportation of animals for slaughter at animal markets as an act of cruelty, the Central government has effectively enforced a country-wide ban on the slaughter of buffaloes and cattle, and the consumption of beef, despite statements of denial from the environment minister.

Animal markets are crucial nuclei of the production cycle of animals, through which animals pass from farmers to others and vice-versa. These new rules effectively choke the free movement of animals via the market space and, more critically, completely undermine the freedom and rights of farmers, traders and all others whose livelihoods are linked to this production cycle, which ultimately is what sustains cattle and buffaloes of this country.

The right of farmers to life and livelihood is at stake: their dairy livelihoods and bullock-based agricultural livelihoods stand to be completely destroyed with this cruel law – cruel for farmers and cruel for animals.| READ MORE….