Priyanka Chopra to announce Oscar nominations


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Los Angeles, Jan 22 (PTI) Priyanka Chopra, who made waves when she appeared for two consecutive Academy Awards, has now gone beyond the red carpet appearances and will be announcing the Oscar nominations for this year.

The Academy made the revelation as it shared pictures from the nominations shoot on Instagram.

“Behind the scenes with Priyanka Chopra. Tune in to the #OscarNoms announcement on Tuesday,” the photograph’s caption read.

Apart from Priyanka, Rosario Dawson, Rebel Willson, Michelle Yeoh and Michelle Rodriguez will introduce this year’s Oscar nominations.

Priyanka, who is currently attending the Sundance Film Festival, along with the cast of her second Hollywood venture, “A Kid Like Jake”, made her first Oscars appearance in 2016.

Salman’s Bajrangi Bhaijaan to release on 8000 screens in China


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Mumbai, Jan 22 (PTI) Superstar Salman Khan’s blockbuster film “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” is set to have a release on 8,000 plus cinema screens in China, producer Eros International has confirmed.

The film will release on March 2 during the Chinese Lantern Festival. The movie is the first Salman-starrer, which will release in the country.

“China has emerged as an important market and major box office earner for Indian films in recent years, what with the recent success of ‘Dangal’ and we are delighted to partner with E Stars to showcase our film to China.

“Our Indo-China co-productions are still in the making which we are extremely excited about, meanwhile what better film than ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ starring one of India’s most loved superstars that weaves the universal story of cross border friendship to release in a growing market like China,” Jyoti Deshpande, Group CEO, Eros International said in a statement.

The drama, directed by Kabir Khan, features Salman as Bajrangi, an ardent devotee of Hindu deity Hanuman, and his arduous journey to reunite a six-year-old Pakistani girl with her parents.

Eros released “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” across 4,200 screens in India and over 700 screens in the international market on July 17, 2015.

Tendulkar gives pep talk to women’s team ahead of SA series


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Mumbai, Jan 22 (PTI) Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar today gave a pep talk to members of the Indian women’s cricket team, who will travel to South Africa for a gruelling ODI and T20 series.

It is learnt that Tendulkar spoke to the members of the team captained by Mithali Raj, for over an hour, at the Mumbai Cricket Association’s Bandra Kurla complex here.

The Indian’s women team will tour South Africa for a three-match ODI series, which starts at Kimberly on February 5, followed by a five-match T20 series, which begins on February 13 at Potchefstroom.

The players were quite inquisitive and asked Tendulkar on how he prepared before a Test match.

It was also understood that that the legendary batsman told the players to go with a positive frame of mind and advised them not to worry about the conditions there.

Tendulkar has also told the members not to burden themselves and advised them to avoid making minor mistakes.

Naidu for mandatory cancer screening after a certain age


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Cancer screening after a certain age should be made mandatory in the country, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu said today, and asked researchers to make path-breaking advances in cancer prevention and treatment.

Addressing a graduation ceremony at the Tata Memorial Centre here, he also called for greater emphasis on inventing strategies in the battle against cancer.

“Two-thirds of advanced cancer cases are preventable.

Therefore, early detection and treatment are the need of the hour. The government should make it mandatory after a particular age for cancer screening. A healthy nation can become (a) wealthy nation,” Naidu said.

“We should educate and spread awareness about early detection and prevention of cancer,” he said.

Quoting the Indian Council of Medical Research data, Naidu said, “In 2016, the total number of new cancer cases was expected to be around 14.5 lakh and the figure is likely to reach nearly 17.3 lakh new cases in 2020. Over 7.36 lakh people were expected to succumb to the disease in 2016 while the figure is estimated to shoot up to 8.8 lakh by 2020.”

The data also revealed that only 12.5 per cent of patients come for treatment at early stages of the disease, Naidu said, adding among women, breast cancer topped the list, while it was mouth cancer among men.

“According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey, in India during 2016-17, around 19 per cent of men, 12.8 per cent of women and 21.4 per cent of all adults smoke tobacco and 42.4 per cent of men, 14.2 per cent of women and 28.6 per cent of all adults either smoke tobacco and or use smokeless tobacco,” the vice president said.

Naidu underlined the importance of ayurveda to the graduating students, saying, “Medical students should try to explore if ancient Indian medical systems like ayurveda, can offer some alternative solutions on cancer treatment.”

According to some scholars, cancer treatment with ayurveda goes back to seventh century BC, where Atreya and Dhanwanthari used herbal medicines for treating early stages of cancer, he said.

“We should see if there are some indigenous cost- effective solutions that may be useful for making cancer treatment more affordable,” Naidu said.

The vice president said, “People should go back to their roots, especially the way we live and the way we think.”

Awareness must be created, particularly among the youngsters, on the need to lead healthy lifestyles and avoid consumption of junk food, he said.

Naidu also touched on the need to increase palliative care centres in the country.

He asked doctors and medical students to spread awareness on the need to observe personal hygiene and maintain sanitation.

Lack of personal hygiene causes infections like HPV, which, in turn, has the potential to cause cancer of the cervix, Naidu said.

Yoga training should be imparted to students as part of ensuring healthy lifestyles, he said, adding yoga is a holistic approach to healthy living and there is evidence that it enhances the well being and quality of life.

Modi hugs only privileged people, not farmers, jawans: Rahul


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New Delhi, Jan 22 (PTI) Congress President Rahul Gandhi today alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi embraces only privileged people and not farmers, labourers or jawans.

Gandhi’s remarks came after Modi defended his trademark hugging of world leaders in a TV interview, saying he was unaware of laid down protocols as he is a common man.

“He claims he is a common man, but embraces only the privileged. Modiji, what is your compulsion… it’s important that farmers, labourers and jawans are also hugged,” Gandhi wrote on Twitter.

The Congress chief has often denounced Modi s way of greeting world leaders with a hug.

The party had earlier put up a video mocking Modi for hugging world leaders.

Karni Sena open to watching ‘Padmaavat’ ahead of its release: Kalvi


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Jaipur, Jan 22 (PTI) The Shree Rajput Karni Sena, a group opposing film ‘Padmaavat’, said today it was ready to watch the Bollywood period drama as offered by Bhansali productions to end the deadlock on the issue.

The film, slated to be released on January 25, has been been facing protests by Karni Sena and other fringe groups over allegations that historical facts were distorted in the flick.

“We are ready to watch the film. We never said that we will not watch the film. The filmmaker had assured us one year ago that he will go for a special screening and now he has written for the screening and we are ready for that,” Sena leader Lokendra Singh Kalvi, who was in Uttar Pradesh, told PTI over the phone.

Bhansali production had on January 20 written a letter to Shree Rajput Karni Sena and Rajput Sabha, Jaipur, inviting them to watch the film and assured that the film showcased the honour and valour of the Rajput community.

Bawana fire: Man running firecracker plant arrested


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The Delhi Police has arrested a 49-year-old man who was running the firecracker plant in Bawana, where 17 people died in a massive blaze yesterday.

Manoj Jain, who ran the factory, was arrested. A probe revealed it was a factory of “cold firecrackers” used in stage shows and Holi celebrations, said Rajneesh Gupta, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Rohini).

Firecracker packages found at the site suggest the same, he said.

Jain had rented the factory from January 1, the DCP said.

Police said Jain was out of Delhi and was apprehended yesterday while returning from the airport.

During interrogation, he revealed that he was paying Rs 25,000 as rent for the premises.

Even though police suspect that Jain was running the factory in partnership with his friend Lalit Goel, he claimed that he was running it alone.

The case was today transferred to the Crime Branch that will look into the rent agreement.

Locals in Bawana alleged that the facility was flouting norms and crackers were being manufactured illegally. They claimed that workers came in two shifts and were made to work with the doors locked.

However, the claim was dismissed by Delhi Fire Services.

One of the injured labourers told police that the firecrackers used to be brought from outside and were only packed at the unit.

Of the 17 killed, 10 were women. Fourteen bodies have been identified so far.

Police said an FIR had been under IPC sections relating to culpable homicide not amounting to murder, and negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible material. The maximum punishment under the sections is 10 years.

Anand suffers shock defeat against Kramnik


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Indian grandmaster Viswanathan Anand’s quest for a record sixth title suffered a setback as he slumped to a shock defeat against Vladimir Kramnik of Russia in the seventh round of the Tata Steel Masters chess tournament, here.

Having done quite well so far, Anand went for unwarranted complications against Kramnik who was at his best to match his opponent.

The Italian opening by the Indian became very complicated when Anand decided to keep his king in the middle of the board and Kramnik showed deep understanding in finding the right manoeuvres.

As it happened in the game, Anand’s king proved to be under more danger than the counterpart and Kramnik skillfully deployed his forces to carve out a fine victory in 36 moves.

The loss proved costly as Anand slipped to joint sixth spot from his overnight joint second position.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan stretched his lead to a full point after his third straight victory in the tournament.

On the receiving end was Wei Yi of China who was outdone from a Catalan opening where the former played white.

Top rated Magnus Carlsen was stretched but eventually converted a full point against Yifan Hou of China, the highest ranked woman player.

With six rounds still to come, Mamedyarov is sitting pretty on 5.5 points out of a possible seven and is now followed by Anish Giri of Holland, Wesley So of United States, Carlsen and Kramnik who all have 4.5 points each.

Anand, on four, shares the sixth position along with Sergey Karjakin of Russia.

The other Indian in the masters B Adhiban played out a draw with Maxim Matlakov of Russia to inch his tally up to 1.5 points. Adhiban has suffered four losses and drew the remaining three games thus far.

In the challengers section, grandmaster Vidit Gujrathi was again held to a draw by Lucas Van Foreest of Holland.

The Indian took his tally to five points in all and remained a full point behind tournament leader Anton Korobov of Ukraine who also split the point in his seventh round game.

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Irrfan,’Bareilly ki Barfi’ win big at Filmfare Awards 2017


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Mumbai, Jan 21 (PTI) Bollywood star Irrfan Khan took home the best actor trophy for his realistic and effective portrayal of a middle-class father in “Hindi Medium”, while romantic-comedy “Bareilly ki Barfi” earned other top two honours, including the best director award for Ashwiny Iyer at the 63rd Filmfare Awards.

The second award for “Bareilly ki Barfi” came for Rajkummar Rao in the best supporting actor category. Held last evening here, the prestigious award ceremony gave away the best actor (female) award to Vidya Balan for her heartwarming performance of a housewife-turned-radio jockey in “Tumhari Sulu”.

It was not only Irrfan but even “Hindi Medium” won in highest category – taking home the best film award. The dramedy, which marked the debut of director Saket Choudhary, was hit with the masses and the critics, and became one of the first successes of Bollywood in 2017, which until then suffered a dry spell at the box office.

Much like the last year, the award ceremony also more or less belonged to Rajkummar. He won the best actor (critics) award for his hard-hitting performance in survival drama “Trapped”. The film also won in technical categories – best editing and best sound design.

His “Newton”, which was selected as India’s official entry for the upcoming Oscars in the best foreign film category, also received two honours – best film (critics) and best original story for its writer-director Amit V Masurkar.

Critics choice for best actor (female) went to teenage star Zaira Wasim for “Secret Superstar”. The film also earned an award in the best supporting actor (female) category for Meher Vij, who played Zaira’s mother.

Actor-filmmaker Konkona Sensharma bagged the best debut director for “A Death in the Gunj”. The suspense drama also won in the best costume and best cinematography categories.

“Jagga Jasoos” might have been a box office dud but the film won big for its music. Pritam took home the best music album award, while Amitabh Bhattacharya received the honour for best lyrics. Pritam also bagged the award for the film’s background score.

“Jagga Jasoos” also won in the category of best choreography for Vijay Ganguly and Ruel Dausan Varindani for the song “Galti se mistake”.

The best playback singer (female) went to debutante Meghna Mishra for the song “Nachdi Phira” (‘Secret Superstar’), while singing sensation Arijit Singh received the best playback singer (male) award for “Roke na ruke naina” from “Badrinath Ki Dulhania”.

Veteran music composer Bappi Lahiri and actor Mala Sinha were honoured with the lifetime achievement award.

Ayushmann Khurrana-starrer “Shubh Mangal Saavdhan” earned writer Hitesh Kewalya the award for best dialogue.

Critically-acclaimed drama “Mukti Bhawan” got Shubhashish Bhutiani the trophy for best screenplay.

Superstar Salman Khan’s blockbuster “Tiger Zinda Hai” received the best action award. Arjun Rampal’s “Daddy” won in the category of best production design.