6 Dead In Firing By Forces In Clashes After Encounter In Jammu And Kashmir’s Pulwama


Pulwama encounter: Three terrorists, who were hiding in an orchard, were shot dead in the encounter.

Srinagar: 

A soldier and six civilians were killed in an encounter which broke out this morning between terrorists and security forces in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

Three terrorists, who were hiding in an orchard, were shot dead in the encounter.

The six civilians were killed in firing by security forces during clashes that followed the encounter.Two of them have been identified as Abid Hussain and Amir Ahmad. Eyewitnesses say they had bullet injuries in their head and chest. Several others young people were injured in the pellet shotgun firing and clashes. Clashes broke out in neighbouring villages too after the death of the civilians. Internet services have been suspended in Pulwama.

A pre-dawn operation was jointly launched by the army, the police and the CRPF after they received specific information about the presence of three local terrorists in an orchard, police sources said.

 





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District In Charge Puttaranga Shetty


Around 91 patients have been shifted from Chamarajnagar to Mysuru.

Bengaluru: 

Two people have been arrested in connection with the Karnataka temple food poisoning case, district in-charge minister of Charamajanagar Puttaranga Shetty told news agency ANI on Saturday. As many as 11 people died, including two children and 82 have been hospitalised after they consumed religious food offering — or Prasad served at the Kichu Maranda temple in Sulivadi village, nearly 160 km from Bengaluru.

Many crows have also been found dead, reportedly after eating the prasad. The police are looking for five more suspects, sources said.

Mr Shetty, who visited a hospital where those affected are undergoing treatment, said a dispute between two groups could be the reason for poisoning.

“Whoever may be the culprit, action will be taken against them. Police are investigating the case and have already arrested two people. There was some dispute between 2 groups. I think something has happened,” Mr Shetty told ANI.

He said 47 patients are being shifted to Care Hospital, 17 are in JSS Hospital and  others are admitted in different Mysuru hospitals. “Around 91 patients have been shifted from Chamarajnagar to Mysuru,” he added.

Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has announced a compensation of Rs. 5 lakh for each of the victims’ families.

The police said the religious offering was distributed after the temple’s foundation-laying ceremony. “Doctors think the toxin could be pesticide,” said an officer, adding that an investigation will confirm how the toxic substance entered the food.

(With inputs from ANI)





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Heavy Rain Likely In Odisha As Cyclonic Storm Forms Over Bay Of Bengal


In October, Odisha was hit by Cyclone Titli.

Bhubaneswar: 

A deep depression over the Bay of Bengal is all set to intensify into a cyclonic storm by Saturday and it is likely to bring heavy rainfall to several parts of Odisha, the met office said on Friday.

Though there is no cyclone threat to Odisha, heavy rainfall is likely in Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, Nabarangpur, Kalahandi and Kandhamal districts on December 17, HR Biswas, the Director of the Meteorological Centre in Bhubaneswar.

The Met office said the depression over south-east Bay of Bengal formed on Thursday intensified into a deep depression on Friday. It moved in the north-north-west direction and lay centred about 1,090 km southeast of Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh.

It is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm in the next 24 hours and into a severe cyclonic storm in the next 36 hours. It will move in north-north-west direction and cross Andhra Pradesh coast between Ongole and Kakinada on December 17 afternoon, it said.

Fishermen have been advised to not venture into southwest and adjoining west-central Bay of Bengal on Saturday and west-central and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal on December 16 and 17, Biswas said.

In view of the weather conditions, distance cautionary signal number one has been put up at all ports of the state.





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I Know How To Cut-Khashoggi Killer Said In Audio: Turkey President


Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Turkey.

Istanbul: 

One of the killers of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was heard saying “I know how to cut” on the audio of the killing Turkey shared with U.S. and European officials, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday.

Erdogan also slammed Riyadh for its changing account of how Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and prominent critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct.2. The journalist had gone there to collect documents for his forthcoming marriage.

The case has caused global outrage and has damaged the international standing of the 33-year-old crown prince, the kingdom’s de facto ruler. The U.S. Senate on Thursday delivered a rare rebuke to President Donald Trump for his support of the crown prince, whom it blamed for the killing.

“The United States, Germany, France, Canada, we made them all listen… The man clearly says ‘I know how to cut’. This man is a soldier. These are all in the audio recordings,” Erdogan said in a speech in Istanbul. He did not give further details about the recording.

Body Not Found

Istanbul’s chief prosecutor has said Khashoggi was suffocated by his killers in the consulate, before his body was dismembered and disposed of. His remains have not been found.

Khashoggi repeatedly told his killers “I can’t breathe” during his final moments, CNN reported on Monday, quoting a source who said they had read the full translated transcript of an audio recording.Saudi Arabia has said the prince had no prior knowledge of the murder. After offering numerous contradictory explanations, Riyadh later said Khashoggi had been killed when negotiations to persuade him to return to Saudi Arabia failed.

Erdogan renewed his criticism of Riyadh’s explanation of the killing. Originally it had said Khashoggi had left the consulate. That was disputed by his Turkish fiancee, who had waited outside the building and said he never emerged.

“The prince says Jamal Khashoggi left the consulate. Is Jamal Khashoggi a kid? His fiancee is waiting outside,” Erdogan said. “They think the world is dumb. This nation isn’t dumb and it knows how to hold people accountable.”

Turkish officials said last week that the Istanbul prosecutor’s office had concluded there was “strong suspicion” that Saud al-Qahtani, a top aide to Prince Mohammed, and General Ahmed al-Asiri, who served as deputy head of foreign intelligence, were among the planners of Khashoggi’s killing.

After Riyadh ruled out extraditing the two men, Turkey said this week that the world should seek out justice for Khashoggi under international law.

Erdogan has repeatedly said he would not give up the case. Trump has said he wants Washington to stand by the Saudi government and the prince, despite the CIA assessment that it was probably the prince who ordered Khashoggi’s killing.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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Jeetendra, Hema Malini, Sunny Deol, Kartik Aaryan Attend Star-Studded Party In Mumbai


New Delhi: 

Jeetendra, Hema Malini, Sunny Deol, Ekta Kapoor and Kartik Aaryan headlined the star-studded guest list at Isha Ambani and Anand Piramal’s wedding reception on Friday,Mumbai. Actress Hema Malini was accompanied by daughter Ahana Deol and son-in-law Vaibhav Vohra. Hema Malini checked in almost an hour after Esha Deol arrived with husband Bharat Takhtani. Zaheer Khan’s plus one was his wife Sagarika Ghatge. Dia Mirza made a stunning entry with husband Sahil Sangha by her side. Kartik Aaryan, who was also part of the wedding reception made a dapper entry in a black tuxedo.

Filmmaker Subhash Ghai arrived with his family to bless the newlyweds. CBFC head Prasoon Joshi, filmmaker Madhur Bhandarker and singer Adnan Sami arrived at the wedding reception with their respective families. The flashbulbs popped incessantly as the Ambani and Piramal families walked in for the photo-op outside the wedding reception venue. Isha Ambani looked gorgeous in a embellished golden lehenga choli while Anand complemented her in a black bandhgala and pants. Actor Neil Nitin Mukesh was also photographed arriving at the venue with his father Nitin Mukesh.
 

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The Ambani and Piramal families outside the reception venue

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Newlyweds Isha Ambani and Anand Piramal

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Jeetendra with children Ekta and Tusshar Kapoor

Singer Adnan Sami with family

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Actor Boman Irani with his wife

Nita and Mukesh Ambani’s daughter Isha’s wedding was a star studded affair, which took place at the Ambani residence on Wednesday. The wedding was attended by Bollywood celebrities, politicians and industrialists. Rajinikanth, The Bachchans, Aamir Khan and his wife Kiran Rao, Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas, Shahid Kapoor and wife Mira Rajput, Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan were some of the celebrities who had attended the wedding. Former President Pranab Mukherjee was also photographed the wedding.

The Piramal family hosted Isha Ambani and Anand Piramal’s first reception party at their new home, Gulita in Mumbai on Thursday. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev, Ratan Tata, Cyrus Poonawalla were part of the wedding reception party.

The Ambani and Piramal families hosted the pre-wedding functions of Isha and Anand in Udaipur over the weekend.





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Like My Father, Don’t Have Hunger For Any Post


Jyotiraditya Scindia refused to divulge if he was offered the deputy chief minister’s role.

New Delhi: 

Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia today claimed that he has no regrets about not being appointed as the Madhya Pradesh chief minister, saying that he had simply “accepted” what the party high command told him to do.

“It’s important in life to practice what you preach, and I had said that I would go by the Congress high command’s decision on the matter,” he told NDTV in an exclusive interview, adding that he did not protest when state party president Kamal Nath was chosen as the chief minister instead.

Mr Scindia, however, refused to divulge if he was offered the deputy chief minister’s role. “I cannot say that. I am already the chief whip of my party in parliament, and the leadership will decide if I should be given anything more,” he said. “At an individual level, you can only roll up your sleeve and get in the heat of things… build the party from strength to strength.”

The Congress leader also sidestepped a question on party chief Rahul Gandhi choosing somebody from the old guard despite proclaiming at the outset that greater emphasis will be placed on the youth under his watch. “I think capability is the key factor here, not age or experience,” he said. “And like my father, I have no hunger for any post.”

However, Mr Scindia maintained that resting on its laurels would be the worst thing for the Congress to do at the moment. “The biggest pitfall is when you think that any election is going to be a walkover. See what happened to the BJP… they thought they were so powerful, but we ended up winning three states in the Hindi heartland,” he said. “But the Modi of 2013 is not the Modi of 2018. The cliche — you can fool some people some of the time, you can fool all people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time — works here. I think people have seen through many of the maya jaals and jhumlas that the BJP has promised the people.”

The Congress leader said the next step would be to strengthen opposition unity against the BJP, and it mattered little if certain elements in the alliance seemed reluctant to project Mr Gandhi as its face. “We are not like the BJP. We don’t believe that our way is the highway. We have a coalition called the UPA (United Progressive Alliance), and we will all sit together to decide our 2019 strategy. But there is no doubt in my mind that Rahul is — and should be — our prime ministerial candidate. Only he has the might to take on Modi,” he asserted.

The Congress won 114 seats in the Madhya Pradesh assembly elections, the results of which were declared on December 11. It then went on to secure the support of the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and four independents to cross the majority mark of 116 seats.





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Saina Nehwal, Parupalli Kashyap Get Married, Announce On Twitter


Film actor Chiranjeevi, Governor E.S.L Narasimhan and Vimala Narasimhan, former cricketer V Chamundeswaranath, owner of Hyderabad Hunters (PBL franchise) VRK Rao and Gopichand among others. Both stars took to Instagram to upload the pictures of them extending the wedding invitations to the celebrities. Saina, 28, had said that she had started dating Kashyap, 32, in 2007 after they began going on tours together but had delayed the marriage in order to focus on their careers.

On the work front, Saina Nehwal had won a women’s singles gold in the 2018 Commonwealth Games. She also has 20 major titles to her name, which include an Olympic bronze and silver at the World Championships. As for Kashyap, he had reached a career-high ranking of World No.6 before injuries stopped his rise in the men’s circuit.

Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap’s wedding will be the latest after a string of high-profile sports couples tied the knot.

India cricket captain Virat Kohli married Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma in Italy last year, while grand Slam-winning Indian tennis star Sania Mirza married Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Malik in 2010.





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Arun Jaitley Rejects Congress’ Joint Parliamentary Committee Probe Demand


Truth has only one version and falsehood has many, Arun Jaitley said after Supreme Court’s Rafale verdict

New Delhi: 

With the Congress still demanding an investigation into the Rafale deal despite the Supreme Court saying there is no proof of wrongdoing in it, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today ruled out the possibility of a Joint Parliamentary Committee, and said “The deaf will never hear an answer.” 

In a joint press conference with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman after the Supreme Court’s massive validation for the government, Mr Jaitley said “deals like Rafale cannot be reviewed in a body of partisan divisions, it can only be done in a court of law.”

Mr Jaitley said the disrupters have lost on all counts and called allegations by the Congress “fiction writing that was compromising national security”. 

“All the figures by the government are correct and all the figures by Mr Rahul Gandhi are false and I have justified it… The truth has only one version and falsehood has many. That is why Mr Rahul Gandhi quoted several figures,” Mr Jaitley said.

Ms Sitharaman said the Rafale matter has been put to rest with the Supreme Court verdict.

The Supreme Court this morning said there was no reason to doubt the decision-making process behind the Rafale jet deal by the government, which has been repeatedly accused by the Congress of corruption in the Rs. 59,000-crore deal for 36 jets. 

Petitions alleging that the government had gone for an overpriced deal to help Anil Ambani’s company bag an offset contract with jet-maker Dassault also didn’t wash with the top court, which dismissed the need for a probe and said: “There is no evidence of commercial favouritism to any private entity.”

The Congress and other opposition parties allege that the Centre scrapped a deal for 126 Rafale jets negotiated by the previous UPA government and entered an expensive new contract just to help Anil Ambani’s rookie defence company bag an offset partnership with the jet manufacturer Dassault.

“We do not find any substantial material on record to show that this is a case of commercial favouritism to any party by the Indian government,” said the Supreme Court, knocking down the allegations. Anil Ambani, in a statement, said the ruling “conclusively established the complete falsity of wild, baseless and politically motivated allegations”.

Disclaimer: NDTV has been sued for 10,000 crores by Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group for its coverage of the Rafale deal.





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Aquaman Movie Review: Jason Momoa’s Film Does Not Hold Much Water


Cast: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe

Director: James Wan

Rating: 2.5 Stars (Out of 5)

Swamped by familiar tropes of the comic-book superhero adventure genre, Aquaman, notwithstanding its visual gloss and exceptionally classy special effects, appears intent on sliding down a slippery slope. The film brooks no pauses. It plunges headlong into the story of the half-human protagonist’s birth to a flesh-and-blood lighthouse keeper (Temuera Morrison) and a princess of an underwater kingdom (Nicole Kidman) fleeing an arranged marriage.

Every ten minutes or so thereafter, the plot takes a new turn, comes up with a fresh twist and introduces another character. By the time you wrap your head around them, it scurries off in some other direction. Fans of this sort of no-holds-barred, wires-and-rigs filmmaking might find the dizzying pace exciting, but constant blurring tends to get a touch tiring, not the least because Aquaman clocks in at a little under two and a half hours, significantly more than the standard length of a superhero film. So does it give you your money’s worth? Yes, if you look at the brighter side of things.

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A still from Aquaman (Image courtesy: Instagram)

 

In his first superhero film, director James Wan, a proven conjurer of money-spinning supernatural horror flicks, often plays to his strengths, lending the overlong, pulpy saga great momentum and a high degree of kinetic energy by moving from one location to another – from the coast of Maine to the depths of the ocean to the Sahara desert to the city of Sicily. Every big idea that is serviceable is thrown into the mix, but all the action cannot paper over the big hollow created at the heart of the story by the very nature of the enterprise: more dazzling than convincing. Once the technical adroitness loses its novelty, the rest is just routine stuff.

However, the film’s meta-human protagonist, played with vim and vigour by Jason Momoa, holds his ground in an all-out war to save the ‘surface world’ from the evil plans of the king of the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, Orm (Patrick Wilson), who aspires to unite the seven underwater kingdoms and assume the title of Ocean Master.

The alarm bells are ringing loud and clear, when the hero decides it is time for action. Aided and advised by two Atlanteans, Princess Mera (Amber Heard) and his mentor Vulko (Willem Dafoe), Arthur Curry/Aquaman is drawn into the mission to stop King Orm from pushing the world to the brink of war. On the baddie’s side are Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), intent upon vengeance for the killing of his father in a piracy attempt thwarted by Aquaman, and King Nereus (Dolph Lundgren), who has promised the hand of his daughter Mera to Orm. Mera, of course, has other ideas.

Aquaman points to the concerns of our times. So, on one level, Orm’s fury is sought to be justified. He wants to make the surface people pay for polluting the ocean and killing its children. Princess Atlanna, whose liaison with Tom Curry produces Arthur, a boy she raises until she is compelled to return to Atlantis to settle into matrimony in her own world so that her son isn’t harmed, describes her relationship with a human as “living proof that people can co-exist”.

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A still from Aquaman (Image courtesy: Instagram)

 

A little later in the film, after Arthur has grown into the liberally tattooed, muscular Aquaman who wields a trident to stunning effect, Mera shows him the customs and border control line in Atlantis and casually mentions to him that people do keep crossing across despite the enormous risks involved. War, the environment, the migrant crisis, a world on self-destruct mode – all these are undeniably hot buttons issues but are out-of-sync with the purpose of the film, which is really aimed at delivering non-stop entertainment. Some of it is cheesy, and some of it is good old-fashioned diversion.

Returning to Momoa, it is worth mentioning that he had two jabs at preparing himself for this solo Aquaman film, having appeared in two prior productions as the DC superhero in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (in a blink-and-miss role) and 2017’s Justice League (in which he appeared reluctant to seek the limelight). The dry-runs clearly helped him ease himself into the skin of Aquaman.

Flipping between the ferocious and the flippant – he protects a submarine from a vicious high sea pirate with as much aplomb as he guzzles beer and poses for selfies with ‘fans’ in a local pub – the actor embraces the eccentricities of the character with gay abandon. As a superhero, his arc is as fascinating as that of any other crusader that we see in the DC Universe. Momoa is a potent force, bringing forth the dimensions of the struggle of a hero who is at first reluctant to jump into battle, but after he has overcome his reservations, goes all out to live up to the power superhuman powers bestowed on him.

The spectacular and energetic action that unfolds in the eye-popping undersea world of Atlantis, where rulers and guards alike ride seahorses, crocodiles and sharks, the splendour of the imposing palaces, arenas and ruins at the bottom of the ocean, and the quality actors in the supporting cast (Willem Dafoe, Nicole Kidman, Patrick Wilson) enhance the firepower of this CGI-heavy extravaganza that never seeks to water down its overflowing tub of tricks.

Momoa is well supported by Amber Heard in the role of the Atlantean princess who throws her lot behind Aquaman. Has Willem Dafoe ever been less than perfect? Give him any role and he makes it his own. His turn as Vulko here is no different.

Aquaman is a patchy film that does not hold much water. The surfeit of plots and counterplots driven by heroes and villains who pop in and out makes the whirligig a tad confusing at times. But, on the flip side, the excess never allows the film to slacken its pace or lose its steam.





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Ashok Gehlot For Rajasthan, Sachin Pilot Offered Deputy’s Post: Sources


Rahul Gandhi tweeted a photo of him with Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot.

New Delhi: 

Ashok Gehlot is the new Chief Minister of Rajasthan, sources said today, shortly after Rahul Gandhi dropped a big hint that the tussle for the post of Rajasthan chief minister was over. The Congress president tweeted a photo with Ashok Gehlot and his rival for the top job, Sachin Pilot, all three grinning. It was a replica of his photo to announce the Madhya Pradesh detente last evening. Sources say Sachin Pilot, the Rajasthan Congress chief, has been offered the post of deputy.

It is not known whether Sachin Pilot has accepted the consolation prize. It took several rounds of meetings over the past 36 hours to bring the 41-year-old leader on board. Rahul Gandhi’s sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra joined one of the meetings.

In a sign that the situation may still be tense, Ashok Gehlot’s name is likely to be announced at the Congress office in Delhi instead of at a meeting of lawmakers in Rajasthan capital Jaipur.





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