Obama looking forward to set ‘new agenda’ with Modi : Kerry

News4u-News Desk- President Barack Obama is looking forward to a Summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September to set an “ambitious new agenda” to chart a new course in the bilateral ties, top US functionaries John Kerry and Penny Pritzker said.

Kerry, US Secretary of State, and Pritzker, Secretary of Commerce, conveyed this during a meeting in New Delhi with Modi who said the two countries should prepare for concrete outcomes during the Summit to take the relationship to “an entirely new level on the basis of vision, strategy and action plan.”

Modi is expected to travel to Washington in September- end for his first Summit meeting with Obama.

During the hour-long meeting, the two visiting Secretaries briefed the Prime Minister on the India-US Strategic Dialogue that took place here yesterday.

Conveying that Obama attaches great priority to relations with India, both for bilateral cooperation and global partnership, they said he looks forward to a “productive and fruitful” Summit in September to “set an ambitious new agenda to chart a new course in the relationship”, a PMO statement said.

Modi said there was broad convergence of views and interests between the two countries. He conveyed his appreciation for Obama’s “thoughtful and detailed letter” and asked both sides to prepare for “concrete outcomes during the Summit to take the relationship to an entirely new level, on the basis of vision, strategy and action plan”, the statement said.

Modi outlined his vision for India and for the partnership between the world`s two largest democracies in addressing global challenges, promoting peace and stability in the world and supporting India`s own economic transformation.

The Prime Minister highlighted the opportunities for partnership in trade, investment, clean energy, innovation, education, skill development, agro-processing, youth empowerment, among others.

Modi emphasised the need for developed countries to understand the challenges of poverty in developing countries and their governments’ responsibilities in addressing them, when discussions take place in international forums.

The Prime Minister also talked about the regional situation, including India’s engagement in Asia Pacific region and commitment to bring South Asia together in a united effort to promote regional economic development.

India’s commitment to continue its support to Afghanistan and the need to confront terrorism on the principles of “zero tolerance” and eschewing a selective approach to terrorism was also highlighted by Modi during the meeting with Kerry and Pritzker. The Prime Minister thanked Kerry and Pritzker for visiting India for the Strategic Dialogue although it was the turn of the US to host it.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Principal Secretary Nripendra Misra, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh and other officials were present at the meeting, the PMO statement said.


Obama looking forward to set ‘new agenda’ with Modi : Kerry

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Beyonce may ‘secretly’ be hunting for her own place amidst divorce rumors

News4u-Entertainment Desk- Beyonce has been reportedly searching for an apartment without hubby Jay Z, which might be pointing to the demise of their marriage.

The King and Queen of R ‘n’ B are currently travelling for their ‘On The Run’ tour, but during a day off the ‘Irreplaceable’ singer travelled to London in June to view a 16.2million pounds penthouse apartment in Chelsea, the Daily Star reported.

A source told New York Post that Beyonce was very quiet, as if she was looking on the sly. The source further added that Jay Z was not downsizing, so there was no way a 20 million dollars apartment was for her mother or sister, however, they are trying to figure out a way to split without divorcing.

Meanwhile the ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ singer are doing a grand job of displaying unity, seemingly not a care that the whole world was scrutinizing their every move. ANI


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CIA apologises for spying on Senate computers

News4u-News Desk- The chief of the CIA today apologised for the US spy agency’s surveillance of computers used by lawmakers and their staffers involved in investigating the organisation’s harsh interrogation techniques.

In a statement, the CIA said its employees had “acted in a manner inconsistent with the common understanding reached” between the agency and lawmakers in 2009, when a Senate committee started an investigation into the CIA’s harsh interrogation techniques.

Top senators were fuming over report of CIA spying over them, which was reported by the CIA Inspector General.

“This is appalling and deeply threatening to the system of checks and balances,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said.

“Congress has a constitutional responsibility to conduct oversight and the CIA’s actions were an attempt to undermine that responsibility,” he added.

“What is even more disturbing is that the unauthorized CIA actions come in the context of the Senate’s effort to complete a report of the CIA’s interrogation program.

The deeply troubling CIA actions show to what lengths some in the CIA are willing to stoop in order to prevent the report’s release and to avoid accountability,” Reid said.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman, Dianne Feinstein, who was briefed Tuesday by CIA Inspector General David Buckley on the results of an IG investigation, said the CIA personnel inappropriately searched Senate Intelligence Committee computers in violation of an agreement they had reached.

“CIA Director (John) Brennan apologized for these actions and submitted the IG report to an accountability board.

These are positive first steps.

This IG report corrects the record and it is my understanding that a declassified report will be made available to the public shortly,” Feinstein said.

Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, said he is appalled that the CIA searched the computers of Senate staffers who were working to shed light on “a very dark chapter” in the nation’s history.

“Congressional oversight of the executive branch, without fear of interference or intimidation, is fundamental to our nation’s founding principle of the separation of powers.

The CIA’s misconduct threatens the institution of the Senate and its role in ensuring the proper oversight of our government.

The CIA Director owes the Senate and the American people an explanation of how this was allowed to occur,” he said.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters that Brennan has taken the further step of appointing an accountability board to review the situation, review the conduct of these individuals who are involved, and if necessary ensure that they are properly held accountable for that conduct.


CIA

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Web portal on blood banks coming soon

News4u-News Desk- The status of stock, information on the availability of blood of specific groups in state-run blood banks will now be a click away as the West Bengal government is now all ready to roll out a web portal linking them together.

“The state government is determined to help people with information on blood banks in the state. That’s why we’ve thought of linking them together through online and work has already been started,” West Bengal Health Services Director Biswaranjan Satpathy said.

Hopefully the website would be ready very soon, Satpathy said. State Blood Transfusion Council Joint Director (Blood Safety) Dr Arabinda Bala said that Webel had been given the responsibility to build the portal and it was expected to be launched by next January.

The portal would provide complete detail of the stock of blood in the 58 state-run blood banks specifying its group.

So a person requiring blood of a specific group would be able to know from which blood bank he could get it without visiting them.

There were cases in which a patient could not be saved because the specific group of blood he needed was not available in certain blood banks, though it was available in another, an official at the state Health department said.

“This portal will help one to track the stock and get the blood in time,” he said. It would also provide a donor’s details, which would help officials to contact him in time of blood shortage, he said.

In fact, once the portal was ready organisers of blood camps would have to apply online for holding camps, he said.

Apart from assisting donors and patients, the portal would also help the state government monitor the blood banks’ mode of operations.

“Once the portal comes up, it would help us operate things in a more transparent manner,” Dr Bala said.

“There have been reports of refusal by blood banks and also cases of theft of blood units. But this portal would not only help us monitor the stock but also improve the services,” Bala said.

The blood banks, linked online, would be connected with the state Health Ministry Department at its Salt Lake office and Webel would be entrusted with the task of running it in the first six months, after which ministry workers would take over charge.


Web portal on blood banks coming soon

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Libya Islamic militias declare control of Benghazi

News4u-News Desk- Islamic hard-line militias, including the group accused by the United States in a 2012 attack that killed the ambassador and three other Americans, claimed control of Libya’s second largest city, Benghazi, after overrunning army barracks and seizing heavy weapons.

The sweep in the eastern city is part of a new backlash by hard-liners against their rivals ahead of the sitting of a new parliament.

In the capital Tripoli, escalating battles on Thursday between militias prompted multiple foreign governments to scramble to get out their citizens as thousands of Libyans fled across the border into Tunisia.

The weeks-long surge of violence renewed fears that Libya, which has been in chaos since the 2011 civil war that ousted longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi, is plunging deeper into civil strife.

With a crippled central government and weak army and police, the country’s numerous rival militias have held sway in Libya for the past three years.

Though they battled each other frequently, a balance of fear among them prevented any from going too far and forced them to divide areas of power.

But now, there militias led by Islamist and extremist commanders appear to be trying to gain a more decisive upper hand.

The Health Ministry said in a statement yesterday that the death toll in Tripoli since the violence intensified in the past month reached 214, with more than 981 people wounded.

Militias allied to Islamist politicians have been fighting for weeks to wrest control of Tripoli’s airport from rival militias, destroying much of the airport in the process.

Thursday, witnesses said that random rocket fire hit houses and vehicles in western Tripoli, sending residents fleeing.

Shelling hit a funeral in a southern district, killing four children and three women from a single family, security officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to talk to the press.

On Thursday evening, thousands of residents marched into Tripoli’s central Martyrs Square in a protest denouncing militias.

They raised banners reading, “Libya only” and “Enough bloodshed.” Tripoli residents said fuel and gasoline shortages were worsening, and food prices had leaped.

“All of this is caused by political parties that are fighting for power,” said Abdelfattah Alghanai, a man shopping for vegetables.

Spain announced it was pulling its ambassador and most embassy staff out of Tripoli.


Libya Islamic militias declare control of Benghazi

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HIGHLIGHTS: Kerry-Swaraj joint Press address

News4u-News Desk- ‘We see great potential in US as our global partner,’ External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said after talks with Secretary of State John Kerry.

Highlights of the joint Press conference:

- There is growing global partnership to the relationship, says Sushma Swaraj.

-India and US are indispensable partners in 21st century. There are incredible possibilities in our relationship: John Kerry.

-In weeks to come, we will take series of steps to pave the way for PM Narendra Modi’s visit to US in September: John Kerry.

- We raised the issue of snooping and conveyed that such spying was not acceptable, says Sushma Swaraj.

- We are encouraging India to reach a compromise formula on WTO deal, says John Kerry.


Kerry-Swaraj joint Press address

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Cate Blanchett was desperate to play dwarf in ‘The Hobbit’

News4u-Entertainment Desk- Cate Blanchett, who plays ethereal elf Lady Galadriel in ‘Lord of the Rings’, instead wanted to be a dwarf on the movie adaptation of JJR Tolkien’s books.

The 45-year-old ‘Lord of the Rings’ reprised her role in ‘The Hobbit’. Blanchett, however, said she was disappointed for not getting a chance to dress up as one of the hairy mythical creatures in the film trilogy, reported Contactmusic.

“I was so desperate to play a dwarf. The facial hair. You go into the wig room. Oh my god. The beard,” she said. PTI


Cate Blanchett

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Bradley Cooper denies secretly marrying Suki Waterhouse

News4u-Entertainment Desk- London: Superstar Bradley Cooper insists he is not married to British model Suki Waterhouse, despite being seen wearing a wedding ring.

The 39-year-old actor said that it was his father`s ring and he was not married.

“You know when they take a picture and it becomes a negative image? That was my father`s ring. I am not married,” he said.

The couple have been together for 18 months.

Cooper also revealed that he spent three hours a day in the gym for his role as Chris Kyle in `American Sniper`, the story of a marine who killed over 150 terrorists.

“I bulked up and gained 40lb ? I ate 5,000 calories a day. It was brutal,” he added. PTI


Bradley Cooper denies secretly marrying Suki Waterhouse

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‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ has nothing to do with my personal life, says Kareena Kapoor

News4u-Entertainment Desk- Mumbai: Kareena Kapoor and Salman Khan`s next ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ is about a Brahmin girl and Muslim boy, but the former says that it has no correlation with her personal life.

“The film is going on floors in October. It`s a story of a Muslim guy and Brahmin girl. It`s got nothing do with my personal life, but it`s a beautiful human story,” Kareena, who is married to Saif Ali Khan said.

“I think it will be Salman`s career`s best film. It will have Salman in a completely different light altogether and it`s a very special film.

“It`s special because Salman is producing himself and I am honoured I am with him. I am lucky to work with all the Khans in all their home productions,” added the actress who was last seen in damp squib ‘Gori Tere Pyaar Mein’.

Kabir Khan will wield the megaphone for ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’. To be made under Salman Khan Ventures, it will be released on Eid next year. IANS


Kareena Kapoor

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Twitter loss widens but user numbers propel shares

News4u-Business Desk- Twitter has reported that its quarterly loss widened to USD 145 million despite revenue more than doubling, but its shares soared on word of healthy user growth.

Revenue at the popular one-to-many messaging service topped USD 312 million in the three months that ended June 30, with the number of monthly active users hitting 271 million, up 24 per cent when compared with the same period a year earlier, Twitter reported .

The loss adjusted for special items was less than the market had expected, and the rise in use evidently bolstered confidence of investors who pushed the stock up more than 28 per cent to USD 49.50 in after-market trading that followed release of the earnings figures.


Twitter

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