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NRI in Bid to Promote to Jute Cultivation December 11, 2018 13:26

A Non-Resident Indian (NRI) and PULSES Chief Executive Officer Srinubabu Gadela wage a war against plastic saying it is ruining the health of the people and the wealth of the farmers with the huge drop in jute production in the backward Srikakulam district. The United States-returned NRI has been organizing meetings for the past few months to make farmers to go back to jute. He says adequate availability of raw jute would lead to a revival of all the closed industries. Dr. Srinubabu, who hails from Allena village of Burja mandal, completed his post-doctorate from the Stanford University and started Omics International Private Limited to facilitate free access of journals for researchers. Later, he established the Pulses Group, a health informatics and health care services in Hyderabad. Dr. Srinubabu, who is not content with his achievements, is keen on enhancing the income sources of farmers by guiding them in the usage of the latest technology and information in agriculture. He has been conducting training programs for youngsters to become entrepreneurs. "Thousands of farmers and laborers have fallen victims with little demand for jute cultivation and closure of many industries in Rajam, Bobbili, Vizianagaram, and other places. The revival of jute production and processing would certainly minimize the usage of plastic covers and bags. There is a huge demand for jute material in paper and textile industries too. That is why I am suggesting the farmers go back to jute cultivation which is sure to generate more income and employment." Ambedkar University Vice-Chancellor Kuna Ramjee said the University would sign an agreement with the Pulses Group in training PG students in a systematic way. "Youngsters from poor families and Telugu medium can also do wonders if they work hard and develop new ideas. That is why we requested its chairman to take up special training programs and help the PG students to get jobs in reputed firms and start their own industries," said Dr. Ramjee. Minister for Human Resources Ganta Srinivasa Rao felicitated Dr. Srinubabu for coming forward to serve the native district. "We should do something for our native places. It will certainly make other well-settled NRIs utilize their knowledge and wealth to benefit the backward areas," he said. -Sowmya Sangam

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100 American Children Abducted to India: U.S. Congressman December 11, 2018 12:27

The top United States Congressman has alleged that about 100 American children have been abducted to India and seek "real action" from the Trump administration to bring them back to the country. Parents told the stories of their children's abductions and detailed the steps they had taken in the hopes their children would be returned to them during a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing to examine international child abduction, "We have 100 American children abducted to India, with almost no hope of return home without the United States choosing to take real action, such as lowering the number of visas available to Indian citizens until abducted American children are returned," Congressman Chris Smith said. He said that the Trump administration can and must use current law more aggressively to bring American children home to their families. Smith said the 'Goldman Act' empowers the Secretary of State with significant sanctions that must be utilized, including the authority to: withdraw, limit, or suspend the U.S. development, security, or economic support assistance; delay or cancel one or more bilateral working, official, or state visits; extradite the taking parent, which puts pressure on the parent to return the child; or to come up with their own action that would have positive effect. The act was signed by former President Barack Obama on August 8, 2014. It chiefly seeks to facilitate the return of children from both the Hague Convention and non-Convention countries. India is not a signatory to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. No bilateral agreements are between the two countries. Without the Hague Abduction Convention or any other protocols intended to resolve abduction cases, parents by and large must pursue custody of abducted children in Indian courts, where they are generally unsuccessful. While Japan was finally named "non-compliant" by the Trump administration in this year’s annual report, Japan is still not held accountable for the dozens of cases that were pending before it signed the Hague Convention in 2014, he said. "I believe the Trump administration can and must do better with the backing of the Hague Convention, bilateral agreements, and requests for cooperation in return of abduction children with the actions described in the Goldman Act. Goldman Act actions were intended to get results - use the sanctions, Mr. President - because we can and must do better," Smith said. Smith said the Hague Convention was intended to minimize trauma to children and left behind parents, returning children to their home country for custody determinations quickly - but it is regularly flouted without consequence to the violating country. "Tragically, the State Department has persistently refused to use the return tools in the Goldman Act as envisioned by Congress to enforce the Hague Convention, and to move non-Hague countries to bilateral resolution agreements with the United States," he rued. The Hague Convention is a multilateral treaty developed by the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) that gives a prompt method to return a child internationally abducted by a parent from one member country to another. While in the U.S. it is called abduction, most of such instances are a consequence of marital conflict wherein one of the parents stays with the child in India and quite frequently gets a court order in their favor. The State Department in its travel advisory for India cautions the U.S. citizens for acting forcefully to get back their kids while in India. India is the number 1 non-Hague Abduction Convention signatory destination of child abduction from the U.S., and number 3 overall, according to a 2015 State Department report. The State Department reported 104 cases of abduction in 2014 of the American children in India. This comprises 20 new cases and 84 from the former years. Each year, over 450 new children are abducted, adding to the 11,000 children who were abducted internationally amid 2008 and 2017, Smith said. -Sowmya Sangam

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Isha Ambani, Anand Piramal's Wedding to Cost $100 Mn: Sources December 11, 2018 11:48

India is getting everything set for what could be one of the world's most lavish weddings ever. On December 12, Asia's richest man - oil-and-telecom tycoon Mukesh Ambani's daughter Isha Ambani to billionaire Ajay Piramal's son, Anand. The week-long extravaganza is estimated to cost about $100 million, according to people familiar with the planning. To put the figure in perspective, Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding 37 years ago reportedly cost $110 million in today’s dollars. Invitees to the pre-wedding festivities, in the central Indian lake city of Udaipur, range from international celebrities such as Beyonce to politicians like Hillary Clinton and business tycoons including Henry Kravis, according to people familiar with the matter. The guest list is so long that the Ambanis and Piramals have taken over at least five five-star hotels nearby, and a war room has been set up in Mumbai to manage logistics, they said. According to local media reports, more than 100 chartered flights will fly guests to and from Udaipur's Maharana Pratap Airport. As gratitude to the city of Udaipur, the Ambanis donated enough food to feed 5,100 people three meals a day for four days and set up a bazaar to showcase 108 traditional Indian paintings, pottery and other art from local artisans, according to a statement from a family representative. The main ceremony will be held at the patriarch's home, the 27-story Antilia palace in Mumbai and post-wedding events will be held in the city. For the chairman of Reliance Industries Limited, who overtook Jack Ma this year as Asia's wealthiest man, Isha will be the first of his children to wed. After the festivities, the newlyweds are poised to move into their $64-million diamond-themed mansion at the Gulita building in Mumbai, according to one of the people. -Sowmya Sangam

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RRR Team Taking a Long Break December 11, 2018 10:31

SS Rajamouli's next project finally kick-started and it has been tentatively titled RRR. NTR and Ram Charan are the lead actors in this action thriller. The first schedule of the film has been wrapped up recently and NTR, Charan shot for a high voltage action episode for almost three weeks. The movie unit is on a break and Rajamouli along with the team of RRR will be taking a long break before the second schedule of the film kick-starts. Ram Charan moved to the shoot of Vinaya Vidheya Rama and the last song is canned currently. Soon the actor will start promoting the film that will hit the screens during Sankranthi 2019. Rajamouli will be busy with his son Karthikeya's wedding that will take place early next month. NTR will work on his looks and the second schedule of RRR will take place after Sankranthi 2019. DVV Danayya is the producer and RRR will release during summer 2020.  

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Zero Hindi Movie December 11, 2018 09:52

Zero is an upcoming Bollywood film directed by Aanand L. Rai and produced by Gauri Khan. The film stars Shah Rukh Khan, Anushka Sharma, Katrina Kaif, Abhay Deol in the leading roles. For more previews, stay tuned....

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Former U.S. Senators Warn of 'Constitutional Crisis' Under Trump December 11, 2018 09:44

Both the major party former senators in the United States on Monday warned of threats to the U.S. democracy under President Donald Trump, a "constitutional crisis" for America. The total forty-four ex-senators said the convergence of events - as special counsel Robert Mueller probes whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russia to tilt the 2016 election in his favor, and a soon-to-be Democrat-led House starts launching related probes - made for extremely precarious political waters. The 44 comprise Democrats like John Kerry and Bill Bradley and Republicans like Richard Lugar and Ben Nighthorse Campbell, and they paint the situation ominously as a constitutional crisis. "It is our shared view that we are entering a dangerous period, and we feel an obligation to speak up about serious challenges to the rule of law, the Constitution, our governing institutions and our national security," the ex-lawmakers wrote in a Washington Post opinion piece Monday. "We are at an inflection point in which the foundational principles of our democracy and our national security interests are at stake, and the rule of law and the ability of our institutions to function freely and independently must be upheld," they wrote. And "at other critical moments in our history, when constitutional crises have threatened our foundations, it has been the Senate that has stood in defense of our democracy. Today is once again such a time," the group stressed. They urged current and future members of the U.S. Senate to make certain that "partisanship or self-interest does not replace national interest." Bipartisan cooperation has plunged with Trump in power. How lawmakers in both houses of Congress deal the crisis will be key to how the nation handles Trump's being its first sitting president involved in a felony. Referred to as "Individual-1," Trump was directly implicated in ordering payments to alleged ex-lovers - which prosecutors believe sought to influence the outcome of the election. Meanwhile, President Trump believes that he could be impeached and sees it as a real possibility. White House officials, however, do not believe that investigation into possible collusion with Russia in 2016 U.S. presidential elections could lead to his impeachment. Talks of impeachment came up recently when prosecutors made a blockbuster filing in the Southern District of New York. Prosecutors directly claimed for the first time that Cohen was being directed by Trump when he broke the law in the 2016 presidential campaign. He also said that payments to the women - Playboy model Karen McDougal and porn star Stormy Daniels were private transactions. He also added that Cohen was lying in order to get his prison sentence reduced. -Sowmya Sangam

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Ganguly Lauds India's Win over Australia, Says Series Will Be Competitive December 11, 2018 07:24

The former captain of Indian team Sourav Ganguly lauding team's 31-run-victory over Australia in the first Test in Adelaide on Monday predicted the series will be hard-fought one and all four rubbers will yield results. "It's an excellent win. Really credible," Ganguly told reporters at the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) premises. Chasing 323 for victory, Australia's lower middle order gave a tough fight in their second innings against an inspired Indian bowling attack before being eventually bowled out for 291 just before tea on the fifth and final day. This is India's sixth Test win on Australian soil and is the first time they have won a series opener in Australia. India had posted 250 in the first innings riding on Cheteshwar Pujara's 123 with Australia managing 235 in reply as Ravichandran Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah grabbed three wickets apiece. In the second innings, Pujara (71) starred with the bat once again as India made 307, setting the hosts a daunting target, to which they fell short. For the Aussies, off-spinner Nathan Lyon grabbed six wickets while India's Bumrah, Ashwin and Mohammed Shami bagged three wickets. India has never won a Test series in Australia with their best result being a 1-1 draw in the 2003-04 series under Ganguly. There are three more Test matches to go and Ganguly predicted every match will have a winner. "It will be a competitive series. There will be a result in every match." India will next play in Perth from Friday. -Sowmya Sangam

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Indian Arrested on Charges of Smuggling Foreign Nationals into U.S. December 11, 2018 06:41

An Indian national has been arrested on charge of smuggling foreign nationals into the United States for private financial gain, according to Department of Justice. The 38-year-old Bhavin Patel is charged by indictment with one count of conspiracy to bring in and harbor aliens and six counts of smuggling foreign nationals into the U.S. through commercial airline flights, New Jersey U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said on Monday. He is scheduled to be arraigned on December 18, 2018, before the U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez. Arrested by special agents of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) on December 7, at Newark Liberty International Airport, Patel if convicted faces a maximum potential sentence of 10 years in prison. Each substantive charge of smuggling carries a maximum potential sentence of five years in prison. In its court papers, HSI said that it's beginning in October 2013, an undercover law enforcement officer posing as a smuggler began meeting with Patel in Bangkok. Patel told the undercover law enforcement officer that he wanted to smuggle Indian nationals into the U.S. On three occasions, Patel or his conspirator transported the Indian nationals to an airport in Thailand, at which point the undercover law enforcement officer would purportedly use his contacts to smuggle them into the U.S. through commercial airline flights. Patel agreed to wire down payments for each individual to be smuggled into the U.S. and to pay a balance of tens of thousands of dollars for each individual once the foreign nationals arrived in the United States, HSI alleged in its court papers. Over the ensuing months, Patel arranged for six Indian nationals to be brought to Thailand for smuggling into the United States via Newark Liberty International Airport, HSI alleged.  -Sowmya Sangam

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U.S. Should Not Give Even a Dollar to Pak till It Acts on Terror: Nikki Haley December 11, 2018 05:08

The outgoing United States ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who is of Indian origin, has accused Pakistan of allegedly harboring terrorists, saying the U.S. should not give Islamabad "even a dollar" until they correct the situation. "Giving them over a billion dollars, and they continue to harbor terrorists that turn around and kill our soldiers, that's never okay," Haley, who leaves the post at the end of this month, was quoted as saying in an interview with The Atlantic, published on Monday. Haley said the U.S. should approach foreign aid in a more transactional way, offering it only to countries that show the U.S. goodwill. "We shouldn't even give them a dollar until they correct it. Use the billion dollars. That's not a small amount of change," she said. Born as Nimrata Randhawa to Sikh parents, who migrated from Punjab, state of India, is married to Michael Haley, an American officer in the South Carolina Army National Guard. In the past as well, she has made anti-Pakistan statements. In the interview, Haley said that Pakistan should be told that "you have to do these things before we will even start to help you with your military or start to help you on counter-terrorism". "I think we just blindly allow money to keep going without thinking that this is real leverage," she said. In a recent interview with The Washington Post, Prime Minister Imran Khan dismissed the U.S. allegations that there were safe havens for terrorists in Pakistan, saying that the security forces had briefed him on the matter and told him that they had asked Washington "time and time again" to point out where the sanctuaries were. The prime minister also said that he would never want to have relations with the U.S. where Pakistan is treated like a "hired gun." -Sowmya Sangam

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Shashi Tharoor Launches Indian Author's Book at Sharjah Book Fair December 11, 2018 04:42

The Lady Biker, a collection of short stories by an Indian-American actor, producer, and author Thampi Antony, was released by Member of Indian parliament and author Shashi Tharoor, at the Sharjah International Book Fair earlier this month. Published by Mathrubhumi Books, Tharoor gave a copy to Abu Dhabi-based writer and cultural critic Shajahan Madampat on November 9. Tharoor said he is a great Malayalam short story enthusiast and lauded Antony's work. Antony, a resident of Alamo, California, said it was a matter of great privilege and delight, as a writer, to have the work released by Tharoor, a public figure with an enormous following and a packed schedule. Referring to the excitement that the presence of the Indian National Congress MP created, he said that there was a near stampede at the event. "Even the security guards couldn't do much," he said. "Some of my closest friends couldn't get anywhere near the book release event. I am delighted that he kept his promise to me and came for the release." The Lady Biker (original Malayalam title: Pen Biker) is a collection of 14 stories that was first published in several prominent Malayalam weeklies over a period of two years. The Lady Biker, the title story, was published in the Kalakaumudhi weekly. In the author's own words the book is an amalgam of the American life and Malayalee experiences. "Each story is a conversation," reviewer Veena Chand wrote in Mathrumbhumi. "Each character talks to the reader in plainest of languages." The Lady Biker is Antony's fifth Malayalam book and second short story collection. He has also written a novel, a collection of poems and a play. Antony has acted in 40 films, mostly in Malayalam, including Sufi Paranja Katha, Beyond the Soul, and Parudeesa. His latest movie Puzhayamma, directed by Vijeesh Mani, is scheduled to be released in the New Year. He also acted in Cash, a Hollywood movie that he produced. The Californian has likewise produced 7 films, most notably the Calcutta News. -Sowmya Sangam

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