‘Super Blood Wolf Moon’ to Light Up the Sky This Weekend

Look up into the night sky on Sunday and – if it is clear – you may witness the so-called “Super Blood Wolf Moon” total lunar eclipse, which will take a star turn across the continental United States during prime time for viewing.

The total eclipse, which will begin minutes before midnight on the East Coast (0500 GMT or 10:30 am IST) and just before 9 pm in the West, will unfold on the day before Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a national holiday when most Americans have no school or work.

That means even the youngest astronomy buffs may get to stay up late and attend one of many watch parties that have been organized from Florida to Oregon.

The total eclipse will last for about an hour, and the best viewing is from North and South America, according to National Geographic. Partial eclipses leading up to and following the total eclipse mean the entire event will last 3.5 hours.

Total lunar eclipses occur when the moon moves into perfect alignment with the sun and earth, giving it a copper-red or “blood” appearance to those watching from below.

“Amateur astronomy clubs are throwing parties because this is what they live for – to get entire families excited about our place in the universe by seeing the mechanics of the cosmos,” said Andrew Fazekas, spokesman for Astronomers Without Borders.

In Pennsylvania, the York County Astronomical Society has invited the public to peer through its observatory’s telescopes for a close-up look. In Los Angeles, Griffith Observatory said it was anticipating “extremely large crowds,” and its website will live-stream a telescopic view of the eclipse.

Coppery red glow
A “super” moon occurs when the moon is especially close to earth, while a “wolf moon” is the traditional name for the full moon of January, when the howling of wolves was a sound that helped define winter, according to The Farmers Almanac.

In a total lunar eclipse, the moon never goes completely dark. Rather, it takes on a reddish glow from refracted light as the heavenly bodies move into position – hence the “blood moon” moniker. The more particulate or pollution in the atmosphere, the redder the moon appears.

“All of the sunrises and sunsets around the world are simultaneously cast onto the surface of the moon,” Fazekas said.

As many as 2.8 billion people may see this weekend’s eclipse from the Western Hemisphere, Europe, West Africa and northernmost Russia, according to Space.com.

While total lunar eclipses are not especially rare, the 2019 version takes place early enough in the evening that it can be enjoyed by US stargazers of all ages, said George Lomaga, a retired astronomy professor from Suffolk County Community College. He plans to attend an eclipse party at Hallock State Park Preserve on New York’s Long Island.

There, astrophotographer Robert Farrell will demonstrate how to use a mobile phone to photograph celestial objects through a telescope so the spectacle can be shared online.

If skies are clear, the phenomenon can be seen with the naked eye and no protection is needed to safely enjoy the view, Griffith Observatory said.

Granted permission to stay up past his 8 pm bedtime, Gabriel Houging, 8, of Citrus Heights, California, is already dreaming of what he’ll see.

“It’s going to be a moon, but it’s going to look like you painted it orange!” Houging said.

© Thomson Reuters 2019

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Bank open after long weekend and Strike will close for days more

नई दिल्ली:

लोगों में बैंकों के खुलने या बंद होने की स्थिति को लेकर कंफ्यूजन देखा जा रहा है. चूंकि लंबे वीकेंड और हड़ताल की वजह से बैंक 21 से 23 दिसंबर तक बंद रहे थे. आज बैंक खुले रहेंगे लेकिन 25 दिसंबर को क्रिसमस और 26 दिसंबर को हड़ताल की वजह से बैंक फिर दो दिनों के लिए बंद हो जाएंगे. दिसंबर के इस हफ्ते में बैंक के लेन-देन की प्रक्रिया काफी प्रभावित रही. क्योंकि 21 दिसंबर को सरकारी बैंक अपनी मांगों को लेकर हड़ताल पर रहे. 22 दिसंबर को महीने का चौथा शनिवार होने का कारण देशभर के सभी सरकारी और प्राइवेट बैंकों बंद रहे. 23 दिसंबर को रविवार था. 

RRB Fee Refund: बैंक डिटेल सही करने का लिंक एक्टिव, फेल हुआ है रिफंड तो अपनाए ये तरीका

सोमवार 24 दिसंबर को बैंक तीन दिनों की छुट्टी के बाद खुले, लंबी छुट्टी के बाद आज बैंकों में खासी भीड़ होने की उम्मीद की जा रही है. सभी कामों को आज निपटाने की कोशिश की जा रही है क्योंकि इसके बाद 25 दिसंबर को क्रिसमस के कारण सभी बैंकों में अवकाश रहेगा, जबकि 26 दिसंबर को फिर से बैंकों में हड़ताल रहेगी. 27 दिसंबर से दोबारा से बैंकों में कामकाज सामान्य हो पाएगा. 24 दिसंबर को छोड़कर इन पांच दिनों में बैंकों में बंदी के कारण एटीएम पर या तो भीड़ दिख रही है या उनके खाली होने के कारण सन्नाटा पसरा दिखाई दिया. 

मनमोहन सिंह ने कसा PM मोदी पर तंज, बोले-मैं ऐसा प्रधानमंत्री नहीं था जो मीडिया से बात करने में डरता हो

विजया बैंक और देना बैंक के बैंक आफ बड़ौदा में प्रस्तावित विलय के खिलाफ सार्वजनिक और निजी क्षेत्र के बैंकों के करीब 10 लाख कर्मचारियों ने 26 दिसंबर को एक दिन की हड़ताल का आह्वान किया है. इससे पहले सार्वजनिक क्षेत्र के बैंकों के अधिकारियों की यूनियन ने इन्हीं मांगों और वेतन-वार्ता को शीघ्र सम्पन्न करने की मांग को लेकर शुक्रवार को हड़ताल की थी. सरकार ने सितंबर में सार्वजनिक क्षेत्र के विजया बैंक और देना बैंक का बैंक आफ बड़ौदा में विलय करने की घोषणा की थी. इससे देश का तीसरा सबसे बड़ा बैंक अस्तित्व में आएगा. विजया बैंक और देना बैंक कमजोर बैंकों के लिए रिजर्व बैंक की त्वरित सुधारात्मक कार्रवाई (पीसीए) नियमों के तहत कुछ पाबंदी में रखे गए हैं. यूनाइटेड फोरम आफ बैंक यूनियंस (यूएफबीयू) ने कहा कि यह विलय बैंक या बैंक ग्राहकों के हित में नहीं है. वास्तव में इससे दोनों को नुकसान होगा.  यूएफबीयू नौ बैंक यूनियनों का संगठन है. इसमें आल इंडिया बैंक आफिसर्स कन्फेडरेशन, आल इंडिया बैंक एम्पलाइज एसोसिएशन और नेशनल आर्गेनाइजेशन आफ बैंक वर्कर्स आदि यूनियनें शामिल हैं.  नेशनल आर्गनाइजेशन आफ बैंक वर्कर्स के उपाध्यक्ष अश्विनी राणा ने कहा,”26 दिसंबर की हड़ताल तय कार्यक्रम के अनुसार होगी”


बैंक आफ बड़ौदा, देना और विजया बैंक के विलय को मंजूरी

यूनियनों का दावा है कि सरकार विलय के जरिये बैंकों का आकार बढ़ाना चाहती है लेकिन यदि देश के सभी सार्वजनिक क्षेत्र के बैंकों को भी मिलाकर एक कर दिया जाए तो भी विलय के बाद अस्तित्व में आई इकाई को दुनिया के शीर्ष दस बैंकों में स्थान नहीं मिलेगा. बैंक यूनियनों ने 26 दिसंबर को रैली निकालने जाएगी और दक्षिण मुंबई के आजाद मैदान में विरोध प्रदर्शन करने का भी ऐलान किया है. 

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Shah Rukh Khan’s Film Earns Rs 20.14 Crore. Weekend ‘Extremely Crucial’

New Delhi: 

Shah Rukh Khan, Anushka Sharma and Katrina Kaif’s Zero has “underperformed” at the box office on the opening day, Bollywood trade analyst Taran Adarsh tweeted. The Aanand L Rai directed film has earned Rs 20.14 crore on Day 1 (Friday). Taran Adarsh also added that the weekend business of the film is “extremely crucial”. “Zero has underperformed on Day 1, despite extensive release [4380 screens] + Christmas vacations… Saturday and Sunday business extremely crucial… Friday Rs 20.14 crore (India business),” Taran Adarsh wrote. Prashanth Neel’s Kannada film KGF, starring Yash and Srinidhi Shetty also hit the screens on the same day. The film which released in five languages, including, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi, collected Rs 2 crore on the opening day.



A Box Office India report stated that though Zero “underperformed” as to what was expected of the film on the opening day, the number is still “pretty healthy”. “Zero has underperformed on the first day as to what was expected from the film but the number is pretty healthy at Rs 20 crore nett. The opening day is similar to 2.0 (Hindi) with multiplexes doing a bit better than that film but smaller centers being less. It is also similar to what the likes of Dilwale and Raees did on day one and the Salman Khan starrer Tubelight and all these are under performers,” the report stated.

Zero mostly opened to lukewarm reviews with praises for Shah Rukh Khan’s performance. Film critic Saibal Chatterjee in his review for NDTV gave Zero 2 stars out of 5. “Shah Rukh Khan cannot be faulted. He gives his hundred per cent to liven up Zero, but for a film running on empty that is only a zero-sum game. Anushka Sharma contorts her face and angles her lips to deliver her lines – Full marks to her for effort. Katrina, who inevitably makes her entry with an item number, tries her best to convey the angst of a public figure whose life is a series of mishaps,” he wrote.

Shah Rukh Khan plays the role of a vertically challenged man named Bauua Singh. Anushka Sharma features as a specially abled scientist named Aafia while Katrina plays the role of an alcoholic actress Babita Kumari.

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Long Weekend Alert. Banks To Be Closed For 3 Days Starting Today

Bank strike has been called on December 21 and 26.

New Delhi: 

A bank strike has been called by a union of public sector bank officers today, demanding immediate wage revision and opposing the merger of the state-owned banks.

The strike call given by the All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC) expected to hit banking operations across the country. However, private sector banks would continue their usual business as they are not part of the strike.

Most of the banks have already informed their customers about the strike and its impact on their normal banking operation.

The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of the top nine bank unions, has also decided to observe a strike on December 26 against the proposed merger Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank.

The bank unions feel that the mergers of these three banks will lead to job cuts in the banking sector and allow private sector banks to dominate the industry

Taking into account these two days of unions’ strike and other holidays, banks would be closed for most of the extended Christmas weekend. So, most bank branches will be open only for a day between this Friday and next Wednesday. Till December 26, there are three holidays — fourth Saturday on December 22, then Sunday and then Christmas on Tuesday.

All India Bank Officers’ Confederation joint general secretary Ravinder Gupta said, “We have demanded wage revision based on the minimum wages formula without linking to profits or paying capacity.”

As of now, many major banks have not given the mandate, few banks have given mandate to IBA for negotiating only up to Scale III officers, said Charanjit deputy general secretary Canara Bank Officers’ Association, an affiliate of All India Bank Officers’ Confederation said.

Such fractured mandate will be resulting in deep cut of allocated funds meant for distributing among the various heads of pay slip components, Mr Gupta said.

As the allocated funds would be the agreed percentage of total pay slip components of up to scale III in respect of those banks which have given mandate and not the pay slip components of the entire industry of all the cadres including workmen, he added.

Dates on which bank services will be hit:

December 21: Bank officers’ union strike

December 22: Fourth Saturday Off

December 23: Sunday Weekly Off

December 25: Christmas holiday

December 26: Strike by United Forum of Bank Unions

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Top Cops To Spend Weekend Discussing Terror, Maoism At High-Level Meet

Home Minister Rajnath Singh with other dignitaries at the inaugural event of the meet.


Does the growing radicalisation in India originate from religion or genuine grievances? This question is going to keep the country’s top cops busy this weekend.

The narrative that fundamentalism hinges largely on a person’s religiosity is one of the most contentious topics under discussion at a director general of police-level conference being organised by the Intelligence Bureau at Kevadiya in Gujarat’s Narmada district. The annual event, to be held at Tent City near the Statue of Unity, will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval — among others.

Mr Singh addressed the inaugural session of the conference on Thursday.

“Grievances are based more on perceived notions than real issues. Various instances have shown that if these grievances are not addressed on time, they assume religious tones and cause law and order issues,” a senior officer told NDTV, citing Kashmir as an example.

According to the officer, the role of social media in instigating misguided youth is another point of discussion likely to be addressed at the conference. “Officers are going to be briefed on how to tackle fake news,” he added.

The radicalisation of 108 youngsters by ISIS recruiters will also be taken up at the event. “Even though the percentage is very low, this is an area of concern for the government,” another officer said.

Other matters likely to be discussed at the conference are the steps initiated by the Ministry of Home Affairs to counter radicalisation in all theatres, from areas affected by Left-wing extremism to those in the hinterlands. The centre’s efforts to promote democracy in Kashmir by holding panchayat and urban body polls will also be taken up.

The decline of Left-wing extremism will also come up for discussion at the meet. The Union Home Ministry claims that they have been able to reduce the number of districts to under 36 over the last few years. The officers will also talk on the need to speed up agreements with terrorist groups in the Northeast in order to bring peace to the region. While the Centre has suspended operations against at least 20 such groups in the region, they are yet to reach an agreement with those like the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) and the Bodo Liberation Front.

In his address at the inaugural function, the Union Minister claimed that the security scenario in the Northeast region has witnessed steady improvement in recent years. “All parameters of violence have improved in 2018 in comparison to corresponding period of 2017. There is 17% decline in the total number of such incidents and 38% reduction in civilian casualties,” he said.

Mr Singh also cited government statistics to show how violence in Maoist-hit areas has abated in the last eight years.

Besides this, the government’s efforts at containing Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in Kashmir and other places will be discussed at the conference. A special session will be held on the Inter-Services Intelligence’s efforts to fuel propaganda for a Sikh nation. “Also, a section of the government fears that the Pakistani agency may misuse the Kartarpur corridor. That will be discussed too,” an officer said.

While PM Modi and Rajnath Singh will stay in a special Mini Durbari Tent set up for VIPs at Tent City, the other tents will be occupied by top officials and state home ministers.

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#NewMenuAlert: Sushi, Shrimps & Mimosas: The Sunday Brunch At Whisky Samba Is A Weekend Treat


  • Whisky Samba has been enthralling guests in Gurgaon for a few years now
  • It is known to have the longest bar in Delhi-NCR
  • Whisky Samba is slowly making Food its high point

Whisky Samba, a classy restaurant by seasoned restaurateurs Ashish Dev Kapur and partner Joydeep Singh, has been enthralling guests in Gurgaon for a few years now. The restaurant, located at one of Gurgaon’s most posh office addresses, became popular initially, thanks to its large bouquet of cocktails, mocktails and an exhaustive wine menu. Incidentally, Whisky Samba is known to have the longest bar in Delhi-NCR. The stunning 50-foot bar offers an impressive 180 types of whisky and whisky-based cocktails. The food here was always good, but not necessarily what would pull you to this part of NCR on a weekend. Aiming to change that, the team got on board Chef Vikramjit Roy a few months back, with the result that Whisky Samba is slowly making Food its high point.


Whisky Samba recently introduced a fabulous new menu spearheaded by Chef Roy

 Chef Vikramjit Roy, of course, needs very little introduction to those who have been following the restaurant scene in India. For the uninitiated, Chef Roy is an industry veteran and the man behind such iconic brands like Tian, Pan Asian and Wasabi by Morimoto. Not many know that Chef Roy has also worked with international restaurants like Bangkok’s Nahm and the famous Din Tai Fung’s Taipei branch.

Whisky Samba recently introduced a fabulous new menu spearheaded by Chef Roy, which clearly reflects his vast experience in Pan Asian flavours. The new menu is presented well and is showcased as Gourmet Bar Meals – with the aim to tie-in their specialty bar offerings along with a fresh set of savouries and sweets.

(Also Read: #NewMenuAlert: Hong Kong Club’s New Menu Promises A Burst Of Flavours With An Edgy Twist)


The new menu has modern Japanese and Pan Asian dishes as well

The menu is broadly divided into two parts – one with Modern Japanese and Pan Asian dishes and the other showcasing a set of ‘Nostalgic Mains’. The variety in the first is huge and every dish comes with super flavours and international-style presentation. But it’s the second half of the menu that I find more exotic, actually. This part is inspired by Chef Roy’s family recipes, and flavours that have been collected from all over the country over his travels; this section is a must-try for the regional-food junkies. We don’t know if these dishes are Chef’s personal favourites, but it’s safe to say they are from his personal collection and that’s good enough! 


Drawing from the new menu, Whisky Samba has created a weekend meal aimed at people from Gurgaon, and even South Delhi.  The Sunday Brunch menu, in a way, offers you the best of both worlds. You’ve got sushi, salads, burritos, toasts, and warm appetisers like dim sums, soups, fritters and stir-fried meats, with of course cocktails and wines to enjoy, plus there are also a few signature nostalgia dishes to savour as mains. 


There are rustic, artsy ‘stations’ all over the restaurant

All dishes are served on your table, while you also have these rustic, artsy ‘stations’ all over the restaurant where you could go and get a soup, salad, duck roll or even a waffle/pancake to order. 
Some of the dishes you must not miss include: Minced chicken salad, fish dumplings with roasted onion sauce, crabmeat and poached chicken toast, asparagus croissant served with a spicy celery sauce and stir fried shrimps and the duck rolls. From the Chef’s Nostalgia section, I really enjoyed the red snapper cooked in mustard and raw mango sauce.


Everything on the menu is free of refined sugar and flour

The health conscious will be happy to note that everything on the menu is free of refined sugar and flour. Additionally, a quick chat with Chef Roy revealed that beyond his dishes and presentation, he is also trying to keep his overall approach modern and relevant to the world we live in. Salads are sourced locally and picked fresh regularly, meats are cooked sous-vide style, and he tries to get on board artisanal brands in a bid to support local, seasonal produce.

The Samba Sunday Brunch Details: 

Unlimited delicacies from sushi, cold plates, salads, dim sum, warm appetisers, mains & desserts. INR 2300 ++ (Food)
Add INR 1000++ (Unlimited cocktails/beer)
Add 1500 ++ (Unlimited IMFL, cocktails, beer, sparkling wine) 
For Reservations: 011 – 33106208

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Heavy Rainfall In Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu Over Weekend, Says Weather Department

Scattered rains expected over coastal Tamil Nadu around December 14. (Representative)

New Delhi: 

A low pressure intensifying in the Bay of Bengal is expected to bring a heavy spell of rain to Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu by this weekend, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said today.

“The low-pressure area over central parts of the south Bay of Bengal and adjoining equatorial Indian Oceans is likely to intensify into a deep depression during the next three days, bringing moderate to heavy rainfall in the south coastal Andhra Pradesh and north Tamil Nadu,” the IMD said.

With wind speed expected to reach 50-60 km/hour, the IMD has also issued a warning to fishermen to “not venture into the above sea areas”.

According to the Skymet Weather’s forecast, the low-pressure area is tracking in west-northwest direction towards Tamil Nadu coast. “As the system nears, we expect scattered rains to commence over coastal Tamil Nadu including Chennai around December 14,” it said.

By December 17, however, this weather system will move away towards northwest leading to a significant decrease in rain activity.

For the next 48 hours, the IMD has forecast the Chennai skies to be generally cloudy. The maximum temperature will be 31 degrees Celsius and the minimum 24 degrees Celsius.

For the latest News & Live Updates on Election Results from each assembly constituency in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for updates.

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Bigg Boss 12 Salman Khan Sreesanth Wife Surbhi Rana Brother Fight Video Viral Weekend Ka Vaar – Bigg Boss 12 Video: सलमान के सामने गुस्साईं श्रीसंत की बीवी, सुरभि के भाई बोले

खास बातें

  1. ‘बिग बॉस 12’ में जमकर घमासान
  2. श्रीसंत की पत्नी आएंगी नजर
  3. सुरभि राणा का पक्ष रखेंगे उनके भाई

नई दिल्ली: ‘बिग बॉस 12 (Bigg Boss 12)’ में सुरभि राणा ऐसी कंटेस्टेंट हैं जिनके हर हफ्ते दो चेहरे देखने को मिलते हैं. सुरभि राणा (Surbhi Rana) पूरे हफ्ते लोगों के साथ लड़ने और श्रीसंत (Sreesanth) को बेइज्जत करने का काम करती हैं. लेकिन जैसे ही ‘वीकेंड का वार’ आता है, सुरभि राणा सलमान खान (Salman Khan) को सलमान भैया, सलमान भैया करते हुए एकदम शांत हो जाती हैं. ‘बिग बॉस 12 (Bigg Boss 12)’ में सलमान खान ने शुक्रवार को ‘वीकेंड का वार’ में सुरभि राणा (Surbhi Rana) के इस व्यवहार के लिए उन्हें खूब सुनाया भी. लेकिन ‘बिग बॉस 12 (Bigg Boss 12)’ के शनिवार रात को आने वाले एपिसोड में उस समय मजा आएगा जब, श्रीसंत (Sreesanth) की पत्नी और सुरभि राणा (Surbhi Rana) के भाई शो में आएंगे.

2.0 Box Office Collection Day 9: रजनीकांत की ‘Robot 2.0’ 500 करोड़ के पार, बनी अक्षय कुमार की सबसे कमाऊ फिल्म


Kedarnath Box Office Collection: सारा अली खान की ‘केदारनाथ’ को लग सकता है जोर का झटका, कमा सकती है इतने करोड़

‘बिग बॉस 12 (Bigg Boss 12)’ में आज वीकेंड का वार में श्रीसंत (Sreesanth) की पत्नी भुवनेश्वरी आएंगी तो सुरभि राणा (Surbhi Rana) के भाई भी शिरकत करेंगे. ‘बिग बॉस 12’ का एक वीडियो वायरल हो रहा है जिसमें श्रीसंत की पत्नी और सुरभि के भाई के बीच बहस हो रही है. सुरभि राणा के भाई बहुत ही अजीबोगरीब टिप्पणी करते हुए कहते हैं, “सुरभि मेरे द्वारा तैयार किया गया एक विस्फोट है.” श्रीसंत की पत्नी कहती हैं, “सुरभि मुंह के अंदर हाथ डालकर लोगों के मुंह से शब्द निकलवाती हैं. स्टार्ट वही करती है.” इस पर सुरभि के भाई कहते हैं, “सारे सुरभि को टारगेट करते हैं. ” तो भुवनेश्वरी कहती हैं, “वे सबको टारगेट कर रही हैं. शायद आप कोई गलत बिग बॉस देख रहे हैं.” इस तरह बिग बॉस के आज के एपिसोड में जमकर हंगामा होना तय है.

नीरू बाजवा के ‘लौंग लाची’ ने ली नोरा फतेही के ‘दिलबर’ से टक्कर, YouTube पर यूं किया कमाल – देखें Video


Avengers 4 Trailer: थानोस का खात्मा करने लौट आए सुपरहीरो, ट्रेलर में दम तोड़ते नजर आए आयरनमैन

‘बिग बॉस 12 (Bigg Boss 12)’ में शुक्रवार को सलमान खान ने सुरभि राणा और रोहित सुचांती की अच्छे से क्वास ली थी. सलमान खान ने रोहित सुचांती से कहा था कि श्रीसंत के सेलेब्रिटी स्टेटस पर खेलना बंद करो. सलमान खान ने रोहित से कहा कि तुम्हें दूसरों को चिढ़ाने के अलावा भी कुछ आता है या नहीं. रोहित सुचांती घर में पहले दिन से ही श्रीसंत और उनके क्रिकेट करियर पर कमेंट कर रहे हैं. रोहित सुचांती ने अभी तक घर में सिर्फ श्रीसंत को चिढ़ाने और सुरभि राणा के साथ मिलकर गेम खेलने के अलावा कुछ नहीं किया है. लेकिन इस हफ्ते सलमान खान ने रोहित के होश फाख्ता कर दिए हैं. 

 …और भी हैं बॉलीवुड से जुड़ी ढेरों ख़बरें…

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It’s Donald Trump Vs Barack Obama On Final US Campaign Weekend

Trump says his Republicans are in a good position ahead of the midterm congressional elections


After boasting about the economy and raising fears over immigration, US President Donald Trump is facing pushback from his predecessor Barack Obama, who is taking on an increasingly prominent role in the final weekend of campaigning before midterm elections in which Republican control of Congress is threatened.

With rallies taking place in Montana and Florida, a state he had already visited on Wednesday, Trump is keeping up his relentless campaign schedule before Tuesday’s ballot, which has become a referendum on his utterly unconventional presidency.

The campaigning comes one week after a gunman, who allegedly hated immigrants and Jews, killed 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, and after a fanatical Trump supporter was arrested in Florida on charges of mailing homemade bombs to more than a dozen Trump opponents, including Obama.

At a moment of deep national division, with the political temperature soaring, the president’s critics say he has helped create an atmosphere in which the two attackers felt comfortable to carry out their crimes.

“A Republican Congress means more jobs and less crime. A Democratic Congress means more crime and less jobs, very simple. I like that. Nothing like simplicity,” Trump told supporters in Belgrade, Montana.

Trump says his Republicans are in a good position ahead of the midterm congressional elections, particularly with new employment figures out showing the economy booming.

But polls point to the Democrats capturing at least the House of Representatives, threatening the billionaire president with the specter of an opposition finally able to block policies and dig into his highly opaque personal finances.

In the last stages of the campaign, Trump is dueling with Obama, who returned to the public eye at a Florida rally on Friday.

Obama is set to campaign again Sunday in his hometown of Chicago, as well as in Indiana, where the seat of Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly is in danger.

America at ‘a crossroads’

At a rally on Friday, Trump called America’s first black president “Barack H. Obama,” a reference to Obama’s middle name of Hussein. Before his presidential run, Trump fanned conspiracy theories about the origins of Obama, who was born in Hawaii.

Obama explained his reemergence at a Georgia rally in support of Stacey Abrams, who is seeking to be the first black female governor of any US state.

“I’m here for one simple reason: to ask you to vote,” Obama said. “The consequences of any of us staying home are profound because America is at a crossroads… The character of our country is on the ballot.”

Trump has brought an unprecedented brand of confrontational politics to the White House, and clearly enjoys a fight.

The latest official jobs figures, which showed 250,000 net new positions in October — ahead of forecasts — gave him a golden opportunity to crow over what he almost daily claims to be the world’s “hottest economy.”

But if, on the one hand, the president has been touting the United States as a land of plenty with jobs for all, on the other he has stirred fear and loathing.

Even as illegal immigration has dipped to a quarter of what it was in 2000, Trump claims that the country faces an “invasion” of Central Americans.

He has ordered regular army troops to the US-Mexican border as a caravan of a few thousand impoverished migrants slowly marches toward the boundary. They are currently marching toward Isla, in Mexico’s state of Veracruz.

He has also announced “tent cities” to detain people demanding political asylum, and claimed the power to scrap the right to citizenship for anyone born on US soil — until now considered protected by the US Constitution.

A military spokesman said that more than 7,000 US soldiers will be positioned in states bordering Mexico by the end of the weekend.

Newsweek reported that it had obtained documents which showed intelligence officials did not anticipate high involvement of criminal gangs among the migrants, and that the administration expects only a minority of those in the caravan would actually reach the border.

“These are bad people, there’s some bad hombres in that group,” Trump told the Montana rally.

“They came out with a list of 300 really bad ones, really bad ones, they’re in there,” he added, without specifying a source.

Obama decried Trump’s troop deployment as a “political stunt” serving to “get folks angry and ginned up.”

“There’s just constant fear-mongering to distract from the record,” he added.

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

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Mahindra Marazzo: Weekend Drive To Corbett National Park

All good things come in small packages! Well, it did for me too. After ages (a month actually) I had the weekend, just the weekend mind you, to myself. So, there it was! A short two-day weekend which goes away in a blink of an eye! A quick check with my colleagues and a few clicks on the internet later, I had booked myself at one of the many, many resorts dotted in and around Corbett National Park. The park itself hadn’t opened up, thanks to the Monsoon but that area is quite pretty in itself. The drive is not too great, but it is the right mix of good and bad roads, perfect to test a new vehicle. The only question was which one to take?

Mahindra Marazzo
49b8v39c(The Mahindra Marazzo loves to take on the outdoors)

Also Read: Mahindra Marazzo First Drive Review

The newly launched Mahindra Marazzo was standing in the office, silently staring, covered in a thin film of dust, imploring me to take her with me, with her limpid headlamps. And well, I just couldn’t say no to her! So, without much ado, it was decided that I will drive the Marazzo to Corbett. I took her home, filled her up and as I was packing my bags, I got a call from Azam, my colleague, who wanted to take a short break as well. Knowing him to be good company, I was more than happy for him to come along. Plus, Azam is a cameraperson par excellence too! Well, I would have loved for the Marazzo to pose in the wilderness of Corbett and let us take a few pics of her. So, the next morning, I picked up Azam from his home and off we went to Corbett National Park, waiting for some daring adventures to come along our way.

1bujmqhc(The cabin on the Marazzo is feature-rich and laid out well too)

Day 1

The highway leading out of Ghaziabad towards Uttarakhand was as usual piled up with slow-moving traffic and under-construction flyovers which slowed down our progress but once, we were clear of that part, the highway opened up for us to make up on time. It was just the two of us and two duffel bags in the Marazzo which meant that the Marazzo was more or less empty, so the 1.5-litre diesel engine finally got a chance to breathe free and stretch her legs on the highway. We were doing well on time, almost praying that it goes on like this till we reach Corbett! But the almighty had a different plan. The moment I thought this is getting too easy, we found adventure!

j9pj717o(Good roads, bad roads, no roads! The Marazzo takes everything in its stride)

And the adventure came down on us in form of torrential rain and some super bad roads right after the turnoff for Corbett and go towards Rampur from NH 58. The torrential downpour threw a spanner in our plans of taking some nice shots of the Mahindra Marazzo (we did manage a few of course, courtesy Azam) and the rains were making bad roads even worse. But, it was cakewalk for the Marazzo, who in all her Maroon glory took all of it head-on. The suspension setup was supple enough to soak up all the bumps and egged me to keep my foot planted on the accelerator pedal through some rather broken patches of tarmac. The rain slowed down to a light drizzle and it was almost as if the earth came alive. The leaves on the trees dotted along the road almost shone green and the sky too was painted in myriad hues of blue and grey. We found a nice spot for photographs and off Azam went click, click, click!

578gmh14(It is always good to take time out for oneself and to reflect on life. The Marazzo agrees with us!)

An hour and 3 GB of photos later, we resumed our journey towards Corbett and as we entered the periphery of the national park, we hit a jam! It was the weekend after all! We started our drive from Delhi at about 5:00 am in the morning and it was 12 pm by the time we reached our resort. Well, it is no tiring drive by a long stretch of imagination but it was the weekend and the pool in the resort looked quite inviting too! So, Azam and I dumped our bags in the room and hit the pool for a lazy, relaxing afternoon. 

nnjivmoc(The Mahindra Marazzo is quite capable plowing through tough terrain)

Day 2

Having relaxed and feeling refreshed, Azam and I decided to get an early start and see if we could find some nice locations and get some interesting pics of the Marazzo! Upon asking a couple of locals, we found a way which was strewn by rocks of all shapes and sizes and led us to the banks of the Kosi, which flows through the eastern periphery of Corbett and is one of the three rivers apart from Ramganga and Sonanadi which flow through and around Corbett. While the location was a picturesque spot, it was disheartening to see a tonne of garbage that was lying around. A place like this ought to be kept spotlessly clean, but it feels as if cleanliness is a concept which is alien to Indians. It is a crying shame, but we did manage to clean up the spot a bit and get some nice photographs of the Mahindra Marazzo, which was promptly given a wash by the overnight rain. I even managed to say something to the camera (doing a PTC) without stuttering and received a look of admiration from Azam! We spent a nice couple hours on the banks of the Kosi, got some nice shots and then went on our way to find a nice place for parathas and chai.

8iq0901o(The Marazzo, on the banks of River Kosi running across the eastern periphery of Corbett National Park)

After sumptuous breakfast, we lazed around at the restaurant and thinking of a good time to leave and well, that itself took us a good part of an hour. So by the time we decided to leave, it was actually time for us to leave (yea, we are a couple of lazy bums) if we wanted to avoid the evening traffic that was heading towards Delhi. And while the roads were bereft traffic for the better part, it was 50 kilometres outside of Ghaziabad that the traffic started and only ended when we reached office (which was 11pm in the night).

dl9ofpvs(What is life without a splash of colour? Water actually, in this case)

It was a tough drive, not because of the distance but the bad roads and the traffic but the Marazzo kept us comfortable throughout the drive. We had the top-spec model, which was loaded to the features and also proved to be decently fuel efficient, returning fuel efficiency of 15.4 kmpl overall. I am not going to bore you with the engine specifications of the Marazzo and its rivals. You can read all about it here, explained in detail by the boss himself.

rg583c0c(In terms of size, the Marazzo is smaller than the Innova Crysta but is great value for money)

Also Read: Mahindra Marazzo vs Toyota Innova Crysta

The final word is that the Marazzo has proved to be a worthy rival to the segment leader Toyota Innova Crysta and at a substantially affordable price, will definitely cause a dent in the sales of the Innova Crysta. It offers good performance, solid comfort and is priced decently as well.


Photography: Azam Siddiqui and Kingshuk Dutta

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