Category Archives: India News

Irrfan Khan, Bollywood’s Trailblazer, Passes Away At 53

Irrfan Khan, an icon of Indian cinema who had a string of Anglo-American successes under his belt, including Slumdog Millionaire, Life of Pi and Jurassic World, has died in Mumbai.

He had been admitted to the intensive care unit of Mumbai’s Kokilaben hospital on Tuesday with a colon infection and on Wednesday morning a statement was released confirming his death.

“It’s saddening that this day, we have to bring forward the news of him passing away,” read the statement. “Irrfan was a strong soul, someone who fought till the very end and always inspired everyone who came close to him.”

Despite his status as one of Bollywood’s most celebrated actors, Khan had a reputation for modesty and integrity and news of his death sent India into mourning, prompting actors, fans and politicians from across the world to express their sadness at his death.

In March 2018, Khan revealed he had been diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour, but after extensive treatment he recovered well enough to shoot Angrezi Medium, the film that would turn out to be his last, and whose release this March was cut short because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Best known to English-speaking audiences as the police inspector in Slumdog Millionaire and for his roles in Jurassic World and Life of Pi, Khan was a Bollywood mainstay, acting in hits such as Haider, Piku and Hindi Medium.

 

Can extending India’s lockdown stop coronavirus?

One-fifth of world’s population face extended confinement in government-led battle to protect millions from infection.

More than 1.3 billion people across India have lived under lockdown for more than three weeks as the government tries to blunt the effect of coronavirus and prevent healthcare facilities from being overwhelmed by a wave of new infections. But a 21-day period of confinement has not been enough to stop the spread of COVID-19 and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has now announced the extension of the biggest lockdown in world history until at least May 3.

India’s health ministry says the number of COVID-19 cases has just crossed the 10,000 mark, with deaths in the hundreds compared with the thousands seen in other countries such as Italy, Spain and the United States. But there are concerns among health experts that the true number of cases is much higher due to a lack of testing and tracing in many parts of the country. The lockdown is also taking its toll on India’s economy. While some parts of the country may soon see the easing of some restrictions, millions of workers remain fearful that a protracted shutdown will push them deep into poverty.

So take precautions and stay home stay healthy.

Basic Protective measures against the Coronavirus

1. Wash your hands frequently

Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

2. Maintain social distancing

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

3. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth

Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

4. Practice respiratory hygiene

Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.

5. If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early

Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.

6. Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider

Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

 

Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak.

Stay Home Stay Safe

Ukrainian Jetliner Crashes Near Tehran Airport, Killing All 176 Aboard

A Ukraine International Airlines jetliner reportedly carrying 176 passengers and crew has crashed near Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport, according to Iran state television, which said all those aboard are dead. Iranian officials said they believe one of the plane’s engines caught fire.

Ukraine’s foreign minister, Vadym Prystaiko, wrote in a tweet that the victims included 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians (including the 9 crew members), 10 passengers from Switzerland, four Afghans, three Germans and three from the United Kingdom.

Airline officials said most of the passengers were likely en route to make connecting flights in Kyiv, according to The Associated Press.

Flightradar24, a website that tracks commercial aviation in real time, said flight 752, a Boeing 737-800, “crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran.

Exactly what happened to the airplane is not yet clear. Iranian officials quickly attributed the crash to a mechanical issue.

Later, Qassem Biniaz, a spokesman for Iran’s Road and Transportation Ministry quoted by the state-run IRNA news agency, said one of the engines apparently caught fire and a witness on the ground was quoted by the AP as saying he heard “a massive explosion.” Another witness quoted by the news agency said he believed the pilot had steered the plane toward a soccer field and away from a residential area.

Reza Jafarzadeh, a ministry spokesman, said a team of investigators had been dispatched to the site on the southwestern outskirts of Tehran.

An Iranian emergency official told state TV that all those aboard the plane were killed in the crash and that rescuers were recovering remains.

The Associated Press reports that where the jetliner went down, its journalists saw a field littered with debris and that bodies were strewn among pieces of the plane. Television footage showed burning plane parts and rescue workers wearing face masks as they retrieved bodies.

“The fire is so heavy that we cannot (do) any rescue… we have 22 ambulances, four bus ambulances and a helicopter at the site,” Pirhossein Koulivand, head of Iran’s emergency services, told Iran state television, according to Reuters.

Initially, Iran state television reported 180 passengers and crew were aboard the airplane, but later said the figure was 170.

In a statement hours after the first reports, Ukraine Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk clarified that the plane was carrying 167 passengers and 9 crew members. He confirmed that all aboard the plane had been killed and that authorities were trying to clarify the circumstances of the crash.

“My sincere condolences to the relatives and friends of all passengers and crew,” Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said, according to Reuters.

The news agency quoted Zelenskiy as saying Ukraine’s consul in Iran was at the crash site. Zelenskiy himself was on a visit to Oman but returning to the capital due to the crash, his office said in a statement.

The crash came just hours after Iran launched missiles into Iraq to retaliate against a U.S. drone strike last week that killed Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Quds Force, in Baghdad.

In addition, the crash occurred less than an hour after the Federal Aviation Administration prohibited U.S. civil aviation “from operating in the airspace over Iraq, Iran, and the waters of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.”

According to aviation tracking sites, the plane is a 737-800, a common single-aisle twin-engine airliner that is in service around the world. The plane that crashed was manufactured about 3 1/2 years ago and is an earlier generation than the troubled MAX aircraft that has been grounded globally after two deadly crashes in 2018 and last year.

Boeing 737-800s have been involved in other fatal accidents over the years, including in 2016, when a FlyDubai 737-800 crashed in Russia, killing 62 people. In 2010, an Air India 737-800 crashed in southern India, killing 150 passengers and crew.

PNB fraud case: Swiss authorities freeze four bank accounts of Nirav Modi, sister

Four Swiss bank accounts of beleaguered diamantaire Nirav Modi, the main accused in the USD 2-billion PNB fraud case, and his sister have been “frozen” by authorities in Switzerland as part of the criminal money laundering probe being conducted against them in India, official sources said. They said the accounts, at present, have deposits totalling Rs 283.16 crore and they have been frozen on the request of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) after it informed Switzerland authorities that the money kept in them are “proceeds of crime” of a bank fraud perpetrated by the duo.

The ED, they said, made the request to the Swiss authorities sometime back and sent an official request under the criminal provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Official sources said while the accounts of Nirav Modi, the diamantaire under arrest in this case in London, have deposits of USD 3,74,11,596 while the accounts in the name of his sister Purvi Modi has deposits of GBP 27,38,136. This totals around Rs 283.16 crore, they said.

The central probe agency is expected to now make a move for the attachment of these bank accounts under the PMLA. The ED along with the CBI are investigating Nirav Modi, his uncle Mehul Choksi and others for alleged money laundering and corruption to defraud the Brady House branch of the PNB in Mumbai to the tune of over Rs 13,000 crore. The alleged scam was unearthed last year and Purvi Modi was also named as an accused by the ED in its chargesheet filed before a Mumbai court.

Source Link: Financialexpress.com

Journalist Shot At While Driving In Delhi, Attackers Threw Eggs On Car

New Delhi:

A journalist was shot at by a group of masked men while she was in her car at east Delhi’s Vasundhara Enclave, the police said today. Mitali Chandola, who lives in Noida, was driving her Hyundai i20 car around 12:30 am on Sunday when a Maruti Swift suddenly overtook her, the police said.

Some masked men inside the car fired two shots at her, the police said, adding the bullets pierced through the front windshield and one of them hit her hand. Ms Chandola told the police the attackers also threw eggs on her car’s windshield before accelerating away.

She has been admitted to Dharamshila Hospital in east Delhi and is out of danger.

The police said they are investigating whether any gang that targets motorists at night with eggs to distract and rob them were involved in the attack.

The police have also not ruled out personal enmity. Ms Chandola said she was not in good terms with her family, according to the police.

“She has received bullet injuries in her arm. She is out of danger. Prima facie it appears to be case of family dispute,” senior police officer Jasmeet Singh told reporters.

The police have launched a hunt for the accused.

In 2008, a 26-year-old journalist, Soumya Viswanathan, was shot dead in south Delhi’s Vasant Kunj while she was driving around 3:30 am.