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Indian-origin Accused in Biggest U.S. Navy Bribery Case in Singapore June 22, 2018 11:49

A 57-year-old Indian-origin Singaporean woman is accused of being active in the sizable bribery case in the history of the United States Navy. According to a media report, the woman may face a jail term of more than three years.Sharon Rachael Gursharan Kaur, a lead contract specialist for the U.S. Navy, was allegedly involved in the $35-million 'Fat Leonard' scandal, which resulted in the apprehension and conviction of several senior officers of the U.S. Navy, including a rear admiral, according to report. On Thursday, the court detected that she received more than Singapore Dollar (SGD) 130,000 in bribes from the Malaysian chief executive of Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA) Leonard Glenn Francis. GMDA is a subsidiary of Singapore-based Glenn Marine Group which supply goods and services for American ships in at least a dozen countries in Asia.Francis, also known to several US Navy personnel as "Fat Leonard", had allegedly paid Kaur bribes between 2006 and 2011 as a reward for giving him information about the US Navy that was not available to the public. She would disclose procurement-sensitive data and price information of his firm's competitors. As a result, he was able to prepare more competitive bids to secure lucrative contracts with the US Navy.Deputy Public Prosecutor Jiang Ke-Yue told the court that the information she leaked was connected to 16 U.S. Navy contracts. GDMA subjected bids for 14 of them and was granted 11 contracts worth some $48 million in whole.According to paper, the prosecution made its submissions to the court and asked for Kaur to be handed over a jail term of at least three years and seven months.The three counts corruption charges and one count of dealing with the benefits of her criminal activities were made against Kaur on June 30 earlier this year. Currently, she is now out on bail bond of SGD 50,000 and is hoped-for to be sentenced on July 6.Defense counsel Suresh Damodara told District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan that Kaur was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and went through total ablation in late 2016.Damodara pleading for the enforcement of minimal sentences argued that captivity could "exacerbate" Kaur's medical condition and lead to a relapse, which would be life-threatening, the Singapore daily reported.In January 2015, Francis had pleaded guilty to his offenses in the U.S.  and remains in detention there facing a maximum jail term of 25 years and has since agreed to forfeit $35 million in personal assets.DPP Jiang said more than 10 US Navy officials have since pleaded guilty in the US to their roles in the scandal. They include US Navy commander Bobby Pitts, who was in charge of the Fleet Industrial Supply Command in Singapore, and retired Rear Admiral Robert Gilbeau. Both men were sentenced to one-and-a-half years' jail last year. By Sowmya Sangam

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Anti-India Protests Turn Vicious in Kashmir June 22, 2018 09:22

The anti-India protests in Kashmir on Friday has killed at least four rebels, a counterinsurgency police official and a civilian during a gun battle, whereas several people were injured. Government officials forayed a cluster of homes on a clue that rebels were hiding in the Southern Srigufwara area they came under fire from militants, a police official stated. According to Indian army spokesman Col. Rajesh Kalia, four militants and a police officer with the counterinsurgency force were killed in the fighting. In first exchange of gunfire civilian and his wife were injured, as soldiers cornered the rebels in couple's house. Residents said the injured couple was not given time by government forces to leave their home. They were evacuated to a hospital where the husband was announced dead on arrival.Police said at least two soldiers were also wounded in the fighting.Protests and clashes broke out as the fighting raged, near the site of the gunbattle and in other neighborhoods as residents tried to aid the cornered militants to escape. Pellets and tear gas was fired by government forces at the stone-throwing protesters, injuring at least 20.Authorities suspended mobile phone internet service in several districts in the region, a common practice to make organizing protests more difficult and according to the government, stop hearsay mongering.India and Pakistan have fought two wars over Kashmir, which is divided between the neighbors but claimed by both in totality. Since 1989, rebel groups have been combat-ready against Indian rule and about 70,000 people have been killed in the armed rebellion and a subsequent Indian military crackdown. Rebels demand that Kashmir is united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country.India accuses Pakistan of arming and training the rebels, a charge Pakistan denies.By Sowmya Sangam

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Allu Aravind in talks with Mahesh Babu? June 22, 2018 08:37

Superstar Mahesh Babu is a delighted man after the release of Bharat Ane Nenu. The movie ended up as the biggest hit in the actor’s career and after a small break, Mahesh started shooting for his next film recently in Dehradun. Vamshi Paidipally is the director and Pooja Hegde is the female lead. This untitled film will release during summer next year. The latest news we hear is that Mega producer Allu Aravind met Superstar recently and expressed his interest of producing a film with him. Mahesh was left delighted and agreed to work with him at the earliest if things get final. Allu Aravind who has a bunch of actors in his family wanted to produce a Mega film with a Superstar. Making no time waste, Allu Aravind met Superstar and got his nod immediately. Mahesh who has been in talks with directors like SS Rajamouli, Sukumar and Sandeep Vanga is completely occupied. We have to wait to see when this Mega project gets finalized.  

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Number of Hungry People in the World Risen Again, says UN Report June 22, 2018 07:50

The figure of ravenous people in the world has risen for the first time in more than a decade, according to United Nations report. Nearly 38 million people are underfed in the world, rising from 777 million in 2015 to 815 million in 2016, the year which the latest statistics are available. According to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals 2018 report, the struggle is now one of the main drivers of food insecurity in 18 countries. "After a prolonged decline, world hunger appears to be on the rise again. Conflict, drought, and disasters linked to climate change are among the key factors causing this reversal in progress," said the report. Ferocious conflicts likewise led to the forced displacement of a record high of 68.5 million in 2017.The report further noting the exploding impact of intense events related to a changing climate, said economic losses attributed to disasters were estimated at over $300 billion in 2017, which is the considered as highest losses in recent years.               Image source: The HinduThe child marriages count has seen dropping in South Asia, by 40 percent from 2000 to 2017. But then, water stress levels for numerous countries in the region are above 70 percent indicating fast-approaching water inadequacy. More than nine out of 10 people living in urban areas around the world are breathing impure air, with southern Asia scoring the bottom in this area. While the electricity and sanitation score in South Asia are still miserable, the report states attempts are being made to close the disparity."With just 12 years left to the 2030 deadline, we must inject a sense of urgency," said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in the foreword to the report. "Achieving the 2030 Agenda requires accelerated actions by countries along with collaborative partnerships among governments and stakeholders at all levels. This ambitious agenda necessitates profound change that goes beyond business as usual."By Sowmya Sangam

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Semma Botha Aagatha Tamil Movie June 22, 2018 06:39

Semma Botha Aagatha is an upcoming Kollywood film directed by Badri Venkatesh and produced by Atharvaa. The film stars Atharvaa, Mishti, Anaika Soti, Ashish Arjai in the leading roles. For more previews, stay tuned....

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India to Raise Tariffs on 29 U.S. Goods June 22, 2018 05:39

India will raise tariffs on 29 products from the United States, striking back against Washington's decision to enforce higher duties on Indian steel and aluminum exports amid a global trade war that has broken out as U.S. President Donald Trump seeks to combat what he comprehends as unfair terms.The duties will take effect August 4, which mean $240 million additional revenue. The Indian government said it will raise duties on American apples, walnuts, almonds and some stainless steel products among others, merely keeping high-end motorcycles off the list. The motorbikes are a tender point with Trump, who has cited tariffs on Harley-Davidson's in his trade-related comments on India.Earlier this week, India submitted a revised list of 30 items on which it proposes to raise customs duties by up to 50 percent to the World Trade Organization (WTO). The decision came subsequent to the U.S. rising duty on certain steel and aluminum products that had a tariff implication of $241 million for India."The duties will come into effect from August. We want to give time to the US to resolve these issues through discussions," said a commerce department official."India's position is that it can impose these tariffs but wants to discuss the contentious issues first," said an expert., regarding the high-level visit by U.S. Trade Representative's office officials succeeding week to being talk terms on the range of issues plaguing India - U.S. trade ties.India’s latest proposed changes include 100 percent duty on American almonds and walnuts, while pulses such as chickpeas and Bengal gram will be subject to 60 percent duty and a 50 percent tax will be charged on apples.In the notification to the WTO of its move to suspend concessions to the U.S. earlier this week, India said it anticipates around $238.09 million of duty to be accumulated through the measures.In March, the U.S. imposed 25 percent tariff on definite steel products and 10 percent on aluminum products that will aid the U.S. to collect $241 million of the tariff.By Sowmya Sangam

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Trump's Executive Order on Family Separations Deepens Confusion June 22, 2018 04:08

United States President Donald Trump's executive order on Wednesday to halt family separations unleashed confusion in Washington and at the Mexico border, as United States Customs and Border Protection said it would stop referring such cases for prosecution and migrant parents arrived at courthouses in Texas and Arizona wearing handcuffs lone to be led away without facing charges.Related content: Trump Signs Executive Order to End Family Separations at U.S. BorderA senior Customs and Border Protection official told the media source that the agency would freeze criminal referrals for migrant parents who cross illicitly with children, Justice Department officials insisted that their "zero tolerance" policy remained in force and that U.S. attorneys would proceed to prosecute those entering the United States unlawfully.On Capitol Hill, a hard-line immigration bill failed to pass and a key vote on a more moderate version of the legislation was postponed. The Pentagon, meanwhile, agreed to house up to 20,000 unaccompanied migrant children on military bases in approaching months.Despite the current outcry over the separation of more than 2,300 migrant children from their parents since May 5, Trump administration officials gave no statement that the families would be swiftly reunited.In scenes evocative of the botched "Muslim ban" in the early days of the Trump presidency, federal agencies on Thursday were largely left to construe the abrupt changes ordered by the White House the day before and figure out how to implement them. A family separation system that had been planned and tested over several months vanished at the president's pen, with no stated plan to reverse its effects.Administration officials held a meeting on Thursday evening to grapple with the conflicting understandings of what the executive order was meant to do.People familiar with the discussions said the president had indicated his chief goal was to diminish the public controversy surrounding separated families. Within the administration, however, the two main agencies tasked with following the order interpreted it very differently. The Justice Department filed court papers seeking permission from a judge to detain families together, Customs and Border Protection officials initially decided the order meant adults."We're suspending prosecutions of adults who are members of family units until Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can accelerate resource capability to allow us to maintain custody," the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to explain how the agency has interpreted and implemented Trump's order apprehended with children should be released.A Justice Department representative said that prosecutions would continue but that the decision to refer migrants for criminal charges after illegal crossings rests with the U.S. Border Patrol.By Sowmya Sangam

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Jamba Lakidi Pamba Movie Review, Rating, Story, Cast and Crew June 21, 2018 14:20

Jamba Lakidi Pamba is the story of Varun (Srinivas Reddy) and Pallavi (Siddhi Idnani) who get married with lot of aspirations. Soon misunderstandings arise and the duo decides to part ways. They then approach a famous a divorce lawyer Harischandra Prasad (Posani Krishna Murali) who deals 99 cases. Before clearing his 100th case, he dies in a road accident. God sends him back to clear his sins by uniting Varun and Pallavi. The rest of Jamba Lakidi Pamba is all about his efforts to make them turn happy. Watch Jamba Lakidi Pamba to know about the complete story.

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Sekhar Kammula to Direct Allu Arjun? June 21, 2018 12:22

Stylish Star Allu Arjun has been on a break and he is yet to sign his next film after a debacle like Naa Peru Surya. There have been several speculations about his next but none of the film has been locked as per the information from a close source. Vikram Kumar has been in talks for a movie from the past few months but Bunny is not happy with the second half and Vikram Kumar is currently working on the script. Names like Harish Shankar too have been considered. The latest update is that Sekhar Kammula narrated an interesting script to Allu Arjun recently. Bunny is yet to reveal his decision and the film is said to have a political touch. Allu Arjun has been left puzzled about the film and will take a call soon. Names like VI Anand too have been speculated but VI Anand moved to Ravi Teja. Bunny will either work with Vikram Kumar or Sekhar Kammula in his next informed a source.    

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Nayanthara all set to Play Jayalalithaa on screen? June 21, 2018 12:15

It’s raining biopics season all over. With a bunch of biopics in Bollywood, Telugu audience recently witnessed Mahanati which ended up as a massive money spinner and they are eagerly waiting for NTR, the biopic of legendary actor and politician NT Rama Rao. The film will start rolling soon and Krish will direct the movie. Balakrishna will play the lead role while Vishnu Induri and Sai Korrapati will bankroll this prestigious project. Now Vishnu Induri also has been working on the biopic of Tamil Nadu Ex-Chief Minister Jayalalithaa who passed away recently. Though Vidya Balan has been initially roped in for the biopic, she walked out of the project. Now the latest update says that Nayanthara has been approached for the role and she is yet to reveal her decision. Though she finds the role challenging and worth essaying, Nayanthara is in thoughts if she can allot bulk dates for the project. An official announcement will be made soon.    

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