The latest twist in Leander Paes -Rhea Pillai battle

News4u-News Desk-Celebrity marriages have been sustaining gossip factories through the ages. Most recently, gossip mills were abuzz with speculations about how Hrithik Roshan will lose at least Rs 400 crore as part of his divorce settlement with Susanne Khan. However, no breakup has been more profitable for the gossip industry than the Leander Paes-Rhea Pillai falling out.

While news broke that Paes wants to break up with Rhea Pillai back in May 2013, the couple has kept the media guessing about their former relationship status. A year later, it is unclear if Paes married Pillai or not. That nugget of information is crucial because it will decide the big property/alimony battle that follows the end of all celebrity relationships.

Most media reports until now have suggested that the two were not legally married, but a recent report published in The Times of India suggests otherwise:

What is truly interesting is that while a segment of the media suggested that the two were not married and were only living-in, it has come to light that the couple had solemnised their union. In the affidavit that is reproduced below, Leander has called Rhea his wife. And his passport also has her name as his spouse.

The property tussle that seems to have already begun will only get complicated if the confusion around the couple’s marital status persists, given that India doesn’t have too many clear laws when it comes to unmarried couples living together.

Firstpost had reported in the past that Paes’ publicist had informed media houses, after they reported the couple’s split, that Paes was never married to Pillai. The publicist told DNA in May 2013, “Leander and Rhea are not married. They have a daughter, but they are in a live-in relationship.”

The copy of the affidavit and passport uncovered by TOI are not available online, but their claim is the latest twist in what have become a hugely convoluted and ugly breakup.

A cover story on Mumbai Mirror in May 2013 published details of Paes’ complaints against Pillai where he accused the latter of being an ‘uncaring’ mother. The issue of them not being married also came up in the same.

Indian Express reported in May that Pillai had filed a complaint with the Bandra Police Station alleging that Paes barred her from entering the house after she returned from a party, late at night. Pillai and Paes had been living in the same house even after they officially ended their relationship.

She was accompanied by her young daughter, who was allowed to enter the premises, while Pillai was not allowed access. IE published pictures of Pillai leaving the police station. Later, the police had to accompany Pillai to their home where she found that Paes had already packed her belongings in an attempt to oust her.

Paes’ lawyers, however, denies the charges.

More recently, Pillai lodged a complaint of domestic violence against Paes and his father, an allegation which again brought up the issue of marriage. “However, Leander’s application, filed by his lawyers Mridula Kadam and Ishwar Nankani of Nankani Associates, has said that one of the criteria to seek protection under the Domestic Violence Act is the relationship should be ‘in the nature of marriage’”, Times of India reported.

The former model is also seeking maintenance worth Rs 4 lakh every month, which again has become about their marital status. Paes’ lawyers have latched on to it and are fighting tooth and nail so that the tennis ace doesn’t have cough up the said amount of money. His lawyers, in fact, have argued that Aiyana, the couple’s 8-year-old child was born when Pillai was still married to Sanjay Dutt. They are using the fact to suggest that Pillai decided to have the child knowing that she and Paes were not married, meaning Paes was not legally bound to shoulder the responsibilities of a married man.

There doesn’t seem to be a quick end to this saga. Gossip mills, however, aren’t complaining. First Post & agencies


Leander Paes -Rhea Pillai

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Sierra Leone declares Ebola public health emergency

News4u-News Desk- Sierra Leone’s president has declared a public health emergency to curb the deadly Ebola outbreak.

Ernest Bai Koroma said the epicentres of the outbreak in the east would be quarantined and asked the security forces to enforce the measures.

The UN says more than 670 people in West Africa have died of Ebola since February - 224 of them in Sierra Leone.

This includes Dr Sheik Umar Khan who led Sierra Leone’s fight against the virus. His funeral is on Thursday.

Airport screening
As part of the new measures to contain the viral haemorrhagic fever, travellers at airports will have to wash their hands with disinfectant and have their temperatures checked, President Koroma said in a statement.

His measures follow tough anti-Ebola policies introduced this week in neighbouring Liberia, where schools have been closed and some communities are to be quarantined.

Both President Koroma and his Liberian counterpart Ellen Johnson Sirleaf have cancelled visits to Washington for the US-Africa summit next week because of the crisis.

Meanwhile, Ethiopia and Kenya are to begin screening all passengers arriving from West Africa.

In a statement, Ethiopian Airlines said ground and on-board staff would have also been sensitised on how to handle suspected cases of the virus.

However, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Thursday that it was not recommending any travel restrictions or border closures after consulting the World Health Organisation, according to Reuters.

Any risks would be low in the rare event of an Ebola sufferer travelling by air, it adds.

Earlier this week, two airlines - Asky, a regional carrier, and Nigeria’s Arik Air - suspended flights to Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Sheik Umar Khan, 39, was a leading doctor specialising in viral haemorrhagic fever who died after contracting Ebola while treating patients. When it was announced that he had been infected, the health minister called him a “national hero” for his tireless work.

“He’d become a real figurehead for the Ebola response so there’s a sense of deep sadness in what’s a very small community here in Freetown,” his colleague Dr Oliver Johnson said.

“When the news first broke that he was sick, I think it added to fears amongst the many doctors and nurses about treating Ebola patients. People thought, if even Dr Khan can get sick, then any of us can get sick.” BBC


Sierra Leone declares Ebola public health emergency

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Turkish deputy PM says immoral women can’t help pole-dancing

News4u-News Desk- Istanbul: A senior Turkish minister who caused an outcry by suggesting women should not laugh loudly in public waded into a new controversy on Wednesday by attacking women who he said could not resist pole dancing.

Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc, a co-founder of the ruling Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP), has strongly criticised in recent days what he sees as a decline of moral standards in Turkey.

His comment earlier this week that women should not laugh in public was ridiculed by secular Turks, with women taking to Twitter en masse to post pictures of themselves laughing deliriously.

Arinc said in televised comments Wednesday that those remarks had been taken out of context and he had wanted to comment on the “general rules of morality”.

Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc. Reuters imageTurkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc. Reuters image
But he added: “There are women who leave on holiday without their husbands and others who don’t have self control and can’t stop themselves from climbing up a pole.”

“Anyone can live like this. I can’t be angry against you but I can just have pity for you,” he said.

Arinc’s latest remarks appear to have been prompted by the wife of a prominent Turkish footballer who posted a picture of herself pole dancing on Instagram with the slogan “when I see a pole, I just can’t resist”.

The woman, the wife of Caner Erkin, a prominent player for Istanbul giants Fenerbahce, has since deleted the image from her account.

Mimicking the Twitter campaign Tuesday over Arinc’s comments on laughing, bloggers posted pictures of their pets climbing up poles or flags proudly flying from poles.

Political tensions are riding high in Turkey as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan prepares to stand in presidential elections on August 10 with his critics accusing the government of seeking to erode the country’s secular principles.
Turkey’s liberal press slammed Arinc’s latest remarks, with columnist Ismigul Simsek of the Bianet website telling him to go back to “watering the flowers”.

“We know what kind of society, woman and morality you are trying to reconstruct. We are following it closely but we don’t like it. And we don’t choose it,” she wrote. AFP


Pole dance

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Hrithik Roshan denies rumours about Rs 400 crore alimony demanded by ex-wife

News4u-Entertainment Desk- Rubbishing the rumours blown about the alimony of Rs 400 crore demanded by ex-wife Sussanne Khan, Hrithik Roshan cleared his stand open house on Twitter by denying the ‘fabricated news’.

According to media reports, a friend close to the couple confirms, “Finance and money has not even so far been a topic of discussion between Hrithik and Sussanne. They have even left it out of court because it does not hold any importance to them. Hrithik being the person he is, would do anything to ensure that his family is happy and well looked after. Sussanne too is an independent working girl who has her own business. Any talk of money or dispute over settlement is ridiculous and fabricated.”

The ace Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan and interior designer Sussanne Kahn’s decision to walk out of their 13-year-old marriage came as quite a shock to the entire Bollywood town last year. Based on hearsay, Sussanne demanded Rs 400 crore from ex-husband Hrithik as alimony. It was also reported that Hrithik agreed to pay Rs 380 crore in settlement.

Amid all the personal chaos, the celebrity couple remains close to their kids — Hrehaan and Hridhaan. They were spotted celebrating their son’s birthday.Agencies


Hrithik Roshan & Sussane Khan

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G7 powers warn Russia of tougher sanctions over Ukraine

News4u-News Desk-The leaders of the world’s major developed economies have condemned Russia’s actions to destabilize Ukraine and warned of tougher sanctions if it fails to de-escalate tensions in the region.

“We once again condemn Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, and actions to de-stabilize eastern Ukraine. Those actions are unacceptable and violate international law,” the G7 countries said in a joint statement in Washington.

A day after US and European Union slapped sanctions on Russia, the G7 countries — comprising Britain, France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US — said Moscow still has the opportunity to choose the path of de-escalation, which would lead to the removal of these sanctions.

“If it does not do so, however, we remain ready to further intensify the costs of its adverse actions.”

The G7 condemned the tragic downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 allegedly by pro-Russia rebels and the deaths of 298 innocent civilians. The group demanded “a prompt, full, unimpeded, and transparent international investigation.”

The group called upon all sides to respect a ceasefire at and around the crash site, as demanded by a UNSC resolution.

The G7 said the terrible event should have marked a watershed in the Ukraine conflict, causing Russia to stop arming rebels across the border. “Regrettably, however, Russia has not changed course.”

This week, the G7 have announced additional coordinated sanctions on Russia, including sanctions on specific companies operating in key sectors of the Russian economy.

“We believe it is essential to demonstrate to the Russian leadership that it must stop its support for the separatists in eastern Ukraine and tangibly participate in creating the necessary conditions for the political process,” the group said.

The G7 countries called for a peaceful settlement of the crisis in Ukraine and underlined the need to implement Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s peace plan.


G7 powers warn Russia of tougher sanctions over Ukraine

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Serena on song in WTA return at Stanford

News4u-Sports Desk- Serena Williams put a worrying Wimbledon behind her, launching her build-up to the US Open with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Karolina Pliskova at Stanford.

The American world number one, playing for the first time since her third-round singles exit at Wimbledon was followed by a dramatic doubles retirement, showed no sign of illness or rust as she rolled to victory over the 45th-ranked Czech in 64 minutes.

After enjoying a first-round bye, the top seed punched her ticket to the quarter-finals of the WTA hardcourt tournament, where she’ll face the winner of Thursday’s second-round match between former world number one Ana Ivanovic and Canadian qualifier Carol Zhao.

Second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska was less successful in her first outing since a disappointing Wimbledon.

Unseeded Varvara Lepchenko toppled the world number five 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 for her first win over the Polish star in six career meetings.

Radwanska, in her first match since a fourth-round Wimbledon exit, squandered a 3-1 lead in the opening set.

She broke Lepchenko three times to take the second set, but was on the defensive after an early break in the third.

Radwanska broke back to knot the set at 3-3, but Lepchenko, ranked 59th in the world, broke again for a 5-4 lead and seized her chance for a first career victory over a top-five player, holding serve in the final game to seal the triumph after two hours and 35 minutes.

With the US Open due to start on August 25, it was another disappointing outing for Radwanska.

She has yet to lift a trophy in 2014, and hasn’t reached a final since a runner-up finish to Italian Flavia Pennetta at Indian Wells in March. Lepchenko next faces US qualifier Sachia Vickery, a 6-7 (4/7), 6-2, 6-1 winner over Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig.

Williams has captured titles at Brisbane, Miami and Rome in 2014, but she has failed to add to her tally of 17 Grand Slam singles titles, and the US Open offers her last chance this year to do so.

After falling in the third round of singles play at Wimbledon, Williams looked wobbly in a second-round doubles match from which she and her sister Venus eventually retired.

Since then Serena had withdrawn from a tournament in Bastad, but she said this week her time off had helped her recover from a virus and she showed no ill-effects on Wednesday.

“She had a really good serve,” Williams said of Pliskova, who kept the first set close but finally surrendered the frame when Williams broke her in the final game.

Williams broke again in the second game en route to a 3-0 lead in the second, and broke Pliskova to love to close out the match when the Czech belted a forehand long.

Williams saved all three break points she faced in the match and fired nine aces.

“I think I played really well,” Williams said. “I’m on the right path. I’m excited and I’m looking forward to my next match.”


Serena on song

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Libya Islamists seize key Benghazi army base

News4u-News Desk-Islamist groups have seized the army special forces headquarters in Libya’s Benghazi after days of fighting left at least 35 soldiers dead and plunged the country deeper into lawlessness.

An Islamist and jihadist alliance announced the capture of the main military base in the eastern city in a statement on Wednesday, which was confirmed by an army official.

Ansar al-Sharia, blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by Washington, posted photos on Facebook of dozens of weapons and crates of ammunition it claimed its jihadists had seized from the base. Libya’s Red Crescent said it had recovered the bodies of 35 soldiers from the base.

“Up to now we have managed to recover 35 bodies. But there are more” to be found, Red Crescent spokesman Mohamed al-Misrati told reporters. Fighting in Benghazi has claimed about another 60 lives since Saturday, medical officials in the city said.

“Special forces under the command of (Colonel) Wanis Abu Khamada withdrew after several attacks,” said the army official after the biggest loss yet for the armed forces in their fight against the country’s powerful militias.

The special forces are one of the units of Libya’s regular armed forces that support rogue Libyan general Khalifa Haftar, but they have not placed themselves under his command.

Haftar began his offensive against radical Islamist groups in Benghazi, dubbed “Operation Dignity”, in mid-May.

On Wednesday, intermittent gunfire was heard in several parts of the city, and protesters managed to peacefully evict members of the “Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries” from Al-Jala hospital that they controlled.

Former deputy premier and MP Mustapha Abu Shagur was meanwhile freed by his kidnappers, hours after they snatched him from his Tripoli home on Tuesday, his family said.

The kidnapping highlighted the failure of authorities to rein in militias that sprang up during the 2011 uprising which overthrew long-time dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

“Doctor Abu Shagur has been freed. He is tired but in good health,” his nephew Isam al-Naass told reporters.

Libya’s recently elected parliament had been due to meet in Benghazi on August 4 but will instead hold an emergency meeting Saturday in the eastern city of Tobruk, a lawmaker said.

“In light of the dangerous situation in the country we decided to hold an emergency meeting in Tobruk,” east of Benghazi, said Abu Bakr Biira, the MP who was due to preside over the inaugural session.

Amid rising lawlessness, several countries, including Portugal, the Netherlands, Canada and Bulgaria, evacuated citizens or closed their embassies in Tripoli earlier this week.


Libya Islamists seize key Benghazi army base

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Some ‘licking their chops’ at Nadal absence

News4u-Sports Desk- Rafael Nadal’s announcement that he will miss key US Open warm-up events at Toronto and Cincinnati with a right wrist injury will have some rivals “licking their chops.”

So says Wimbledon semi-finalist Milos Raonic, among those surprised to learn that the 28-year-old Spaniard, the reigning US Open champion, would be sidelined for the ATP Masters Series events, where he was also reigning champion.

“There’s a lot of people hungry in this sport,” Raonic said at the ATP and WTA Washington Open.

“It’s unfortunate to see him go but … there are too many that are hungry and are licking their chops.”

Second-ranked Nadal, a 14-time Grand Slam champion, won an emotional French Open title in June but has not played since being ousted in the fourth round at Wimbledon.

Doctors told Nadal that he must rest the injury, suffered in training on Tuesday, for two to three weeks.

That will enhance the chances of rivals to capture a crown, including Canada’s seventh-ranked Raonic, even though such formidable foes as world number one Novak Djokovic and 17-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer remain in the fields the next two weeks.

“There’s nobody losing sleep over it,” Raonic said over Nadal’s absence. “Because everybody wants to make the most of the opportunities.”

However, fifth-ranked Czech Tomas Berdych said the game will miss Nadal.

“I wish him a fast and soon recovery,” Berdych said. “To miss a player like Rafa a week or more, it’s always a shame and especially at these big events.”

Berdych noted that the line between practicing hard enough and too much is a fine one. “You really need to plan carefully, what to train, when to train and how to train,” Berdych said.

While it’s easy to say you can work out for a long time in a session, there is a long-term risk in marathon workouts.

“How long can you last to do it?” Berdych said. “We’re all getting older. we’re all getting more matches under out belt.”

Tournament organizers, certainly, will miss having Nadal as a drawing card. “It’s very unfortunate that Rafa is unable to defend his title,” Cincinnati tournament director Vince Cicero said.

“He’s a great champion, and his run to the title last year electrified our fans. We will miss him and we wish him a very speedy recovery.” “Rafa is a fan favorite and our fans will be upset by his absence,” said Toronto tournament director Karl Hale.


Nadal

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32 killed, several wounded in Xinjiang terror attack

News4u-News Desk-At least 32 people were killed and several others wounded in a major terror attack by a mob armed with knives and axes in northwest China’s volatile Xinjiang province on the eve of Eid, in the latest violence blamed on Islamist militants.

Police shot dead 22 “attackers” and arrested 41 others when suspected Uygur militants attacked a government office and a police station in Elixku township in Kashgar’s Yarkand, or Shache on Monday, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.

At least 10 civilians were killed in the incidents, the report said adding that initial investigation showed it was a “premeditated terrorist attack.”

State-run Xinhua news agency reported that dozens were either killed or injured in the attack during Eid in the Muslim Uygur native province on Tuesday night. The agency did not provide details or cite any reasons for the delay in reporting the news.

A gang armed with knives and axes had attacked a police station and government offices in Elixku Township. Some moved on to the nearby Huangdi Township, attacking civilians and smashing vehicles, the report said.

The Post report said militants hijacked a bus to Kashgar to distract police, and kept them busy while attacks took place elsewhere. Shache and Makit are under Kashgar’s administration, and the area has been hit by several violent incidents in recent years.

However, the official version was disputed by US-based Uyghur American Association today. It said according to “local sources” police killed protesters and condemned “Chinese security forces’ heavy-handed Ramadan crackdown since the beginning of the Holy Month and extrajudicial use of lethal force in recent weeks.”

The attack took place at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, which authorities had attempted to get Muslims in Xinjiang to ignore, in an indication of what rights groups say is discrimination targeting the Uygurs.

Xinjiang, restive over native Muslim Uygur’s resentment over settlements of Hans, has witnessed a surge in terror attacks. China accuses an Al qaeda-backed East Turkestan Islamic Movement for the attacks. Last month, police shot dead 13 people who attacked a police station in Yecheng county, also near Kashgar.

Located near the border with Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, Kashgar is the biggest city in Xinjiang and the westernmost city in China.

Monday’s incident also coincided with the 10th Kashgar Central and South Asia Commodity Fair attended by about 1,600 businessmen and delegates from countries like Pakistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.


32 killed, several wounded in Xinjiang terror attack

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Liverpool edge Man City on penalties in friendly match

News4u-Sports Desk-Liverpool rallied twice against Manchester City and triumphed 3-2 in a penalty shoot-out Wednesday after their pre-season friendly at baseball’s Yankee Stadium ended 2-2 after regular time.

Stevan Jovetic scored twice for Manchester City, but Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling answered for Liverpool in the clash between last season’s top two teams in the English Premier League.

Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool dominated in the shootout, with two saves from Simon Mignolet. Montenegro’s Jovetic opened the scoring in the 53rd minute after a defensive miscue from Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard.

Jesus Navas had fired a cross from the right and Gerrard was unable to block it. The ball trickled through his legs and Jovetic pounced to fire it home.

Henderson equalized six minutes later with a fine finish after solid work from Sterling and Daniel Sturridge.

But Jovetic restored the Premier League champions’ lead in the 67th.

It was the second match in a row that Jovetic scored two for the Premier League champions. He netted a brace in Sunday’s 5-1 friendly triumph over Italy’s AC Milan in Pittsburgh.

England international Sterling knotted the score at 2-2 in the 85th with a well-taken strike — and had a goal disallowed in injury time for offside.

After a lively performance throughout, Manchester City were lackluster in the shoot-out, with Aleksandar Kolarov, Yaya Toure and Navas all failing to convert from the spot. The match drew a crowd of 49,653 to Yankee Stadium.

Manchester City are the majority owners, along with storied Major League Baseball franchise the Yankees, of Major League Soccer expansion club New York City Football Club, which is slated to begin play in 2015 at the baseball ground in the Bronx.

On the night, however, Liverpool fans outnumbered City supporters at the match which was part of the International Champions Cup — a friendly tournament featuring eight European clubs all preparing for the start of their domestic campaigns.

Manchester City had the better of possession in the scoreless first half, but Liverpool had arguably the best chance to score when Rickie Lambert’s header from point-blank range was denied by City keeper Willy Caballero.


Liverpool edge Man City on penalties in friendly

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