Modi meets Koirala, three agreements signed

News4u-News Desk- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday met his Nepalese counterpart Sushil Koirala during which the two sides signed three agreements, including a NRs 69 million grant to Nepal to supply iodated salt to curb iodine deficiency diseases.

Modi, who arrived Kathmandu on Sunday morning on his maiden official visit to Nepal, met Koirala at Singha Durbar Secretariat.

The two leaders discussed various issues including Nepal’s peace process and constitution-drafting process as well as economic issues.

They also discussed various facets of mutual relations and issues of common interest.

After the talks, Modi and Koirala witnessed the signing of three agreements.

Under the first agreement, India will provide a grant assistance worth NRs 69 million to supply iodated salt to curb goitre and other disease s related with iodine deficiency.

The second agreement was regarding the amendment of Articles 17 and 18 of the Pancheswor Multiple Project, the Himalayan Times reported.

The third agreement is about cooperation between Nepal Television and Doordarshan, the state-owned television stations of both the countries, it said.

From Singhadurbar, Modi went to the Constituent Assembly building in New Baneshwar to meet Speaker Subas Chandra Nembang. On his way to the Constituent Assembly, Modi stopped his convoy to meet common people.

Earlier, Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to pay a bilateral visit to Nepal in 17 years, was given a rousing welcome with his counterpart receiving him at the Tribhuvan International Airport, deviating from protocol for the purpose.

Deputy Prime Ministers Bam Dev Gautam and Prakash Man Singh were also present at the airport.

Nepalese Foreign Minister Mahendra Pandey paid a courtesy call on Modi and briefly discussed some bilateral issues, including hydro-power, trade, energy and security.

The meeting took place at a five star hotel an hour after Modi arrived here on a two-day trip, becoming the first Indian Prime Minister to pay a bilateral visit to Nepal in 17 years.

“The talks were held in a very cordial and friendly atmosphere,” Pandey told the news agency after the meeting.

Modi, in his pre-departure statement summing up the sentiment attached to the two-day trip, had said, “I am excited about my visit and pleased that I am able to go there within weeks of assuming office as Prime Minister.”

Modi had said that he looks forward to working with the Nepalese leadership to forge a “new relationship” by identifying steps to strengthen bilateral cooperation in key sectors, including trade and investment, hydropower, agriculture and agro-processing, environment, tourism, education, culture and sports.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi

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Nimrat Kaur plays ISI agent in Homeland 4

News4u-Entertainment Desk- Bollywood actor Nimrat Kaur is all set to mark her presence on the international scene with the popular political thriller Homeland 4.

The 32-year-old actress, who is currently shooting in Capetown for its fourth season, took to Twitter to announce the same. “More than just a sign? #Homeland #Season4 #CapeTown #DreamTeam #latergram,” Nimrat posted on Twitter along with the picture of her luggage.

The Indian beauty also confessed that she was not a viewer of the series and watched the pilot after giving her screen test. “Pretty fun for someone who watched the pilot after the screen test! Season 4 Homeland it is,” she added.

Starring Claire Danes, Rupert Friend, Mandy Patinkin, Tracy Letts among others, Homeland 4 is expected to bow on October 5.

Nimrat is said to be playing an ISI agent in the TV series. The actor won international acclaim as the loney wife who starts exchanging notes with a stranger through a misplaced lunchbox in Riteish Batra’s Lunchbox. PTI


Nimrat Kaur

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India lose to Australia 0-4, settle for silver in men’s hockey

News4u-Sports Desk- India’s quest for Commonwealth Games hockey gold remained unfulfilled as they went down tamely 0-4 to title holders and world champions Australia in the final at the National Hockey Centre in Glasgow on Sunday.

Even though the two teams are class apart, it was an ideal opportunity for eight-time Olympic champions India to avenge their 0-8 thrashing at the hands of mighty Australia in the 2010 edition of the Games in New Delhi.

But it was not to be as Australia produced a clinical performance and completely dominated the match by scoring two goals in each half to secure their fifth consecutive Commonwealth Games title since the introduction of hockey in the quadrennial event in 1998.

Chris Ciriello (13th minute, 29th, 48th) slammed a hat-trick for Australia, while Eddie Ockenden (51st) scored the final goal of the match from a field effort.

Starting as underdogs, there was nothing to lose for the Indian team in the gold medal match against a formidable opponent like Australia, who beat them 4-2 in the group stages. But the Sardar Singh-led side failed to live up to the tall ask as the Aussies controlled the match from start to finish.

The Indians showed glimpses of brilliance with some bright moves but the Aussie defence was too hard to break.

As expected Australia took the lead in the 13th minute when Ciriello struck from their first penalty corner.

The Aussies continued their dominance and earned another penalty corner in the 20th minute but with Ciriello out of the turf they failed to convert the chance. Soon India earned their first and only penalty corner of the match but Kieron Govers made a goalline save to deny V R Raghunath.

Australia continued to put pressure on the Indian defence by mounting persistent attacks which resulted in their third penalty corner and Ciriello once again stepped up to convert the opportunity to double his side’s lead.

Trailing by just two goals, the Indians were expected to put up a fightback after the change of ends but it was not to be.

The script was the same in the second half as Australia continued their dominance while India’s attacks were few and far between.

Australia extended their lead when Ciriello scored his third goal of the day by converting another penalty corner in 48th minute.

Three minutes later, Ockenden virtually sealed the gold medal for Australia by tapping in from close range as an onrushing Indian P R Sreejesh failed to make the save. While Australia and India won the gold and silver respectively, England claimed the bronze medal. England beat New Zealand 4-2 in penalty shootout to win bronze after both the teams were locked 3-3 at the end of regulation 70 minutes Incidentally, the bronze is England’s first medal in the hockey event at the Commonwealth Games.


India lose to Australia 0-4, settle for silver in men’s hockey

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CWG 2014 : P Kashyap wins gold in men’s singles badminton

News4u-Sports Desk- Parupalli Kashyap, on Thursday, etched his name firmly in the history books by becoming the first Indian male shuttler in 32 years to win a gold medal in the Glassgow Commonwealth Games.

A bronze-medallist at the Delhi Games, Kashyap rose to the occasion and played a sensational game of nerves to eke out a breath-taking 21-14 11-21 21-19 triumph against Derek Wong of Singapore in the final showdown which lasted for over an hour.

The 27-year-old from Hyderabad thus joined badminton legend Prakash Padukone and the late Syed Modi, who had won the title in the past. While Padukone had won the men’s singles gold medal at the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Canada, Modi retained it four years later.

It turned out to be a red letter day for World No. 22 Kashyap who bagged the biggest title of his career. He had reached the quarterfinals of the London Olympics and won the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold in 2012.

Up against a tricky player, Wong, who was immaculate with his court coverage and wrist play, Kashyap was rewarded for his relentless never give up attitude at the Emirates Arena.

In the first game, Kashyap was leading 14-8 in first game before Wong came back with the help of some precise smashes to gather four straight points but the Indian soon turned the tables.

Kashyap put pressure on his opponent and gathered few points at the net to reach 18-12. Soon he garnered seven game points after Wong’s return got buried into the nets. An inaccurate down-the-line smash from Kashyap helped Wong save one but the Indian soon wrapped it up with another jump smash to earn the bragging rights.

Not ready to take it lying down, Wong changed his gameplan and started penetrating the defence of Kashyap to lead 11-6 at the interval. Kashyap committed too many unforced errors and Wong too stepped up his game to move to 15-8.

In the end, a service error, a down-the-line smash from Wong and a few wide shots helped the Malaysian to make a roaring comeback into the contest.

Back to his winning court, Kashyap started the decider on a positive note as his smashes were more accurate and he judged the shuttle well too.

But still he found it tough to break Wong’s defence who used his tricky deceptive shots, better court coverage and better net play to lead 11-8.

After the interval, Kashyap narrowed the lead to 11-12. At 13-11, the duo engaged in a long aggresive rally which the Indian won, amid loud cheers from the expat fans at the Emirates Arena.

Kashyap soon drew level at 14-14 when Wong found the net and then surged ahead with a bodyline smash. The Indian stepped up the attack and engaged in a fast-paced rally which ended with Wong hitting long.

Wong found the net again and Kashyap them earned a point with a cross-court smash to move to 19-16. The Malaysian, however, soon rubbed off the deficit with a three-point burst but he hit long and wide next as Kashyap burst into celebration.


P Kashyap wins gold in men’s singles badminton 

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CWG 2014: Two Indian officials arrested in Glasgow

News4u-News Desk- Two Indian officials — Rajeev Mehta and Virender Malik, have reportedly been arrested in Glasgow for alleged assault. Mehta is the General Secretary of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) while Malik is a wrestling referee.

They were, however, are not part of the official 215-strong Indian contingent staying in the Games Village in Glasgow.

The duo will stay in police custody over the weekend and will be produced before the magistrate on Monday.

The Glasgow Games will come to an end today following 11 days of competition in 261 medal events in 18 sports.

India are currently in the fifth place in the medal tally with 61 medals, including 14 golds.


CWG 2014

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IMF’s Lagarde says Ukraine may need more aid

News4u-News Desk- The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, said that Ukraine may need more international aid if its crisis with the pro-Russia separatist rebellion is prolonged.

“As it stands and under current circumstances and the set of our assumptions, which includes a conflict that eventually is resolved in a not-too-distant future, no additional financing is needed,” Lagarde said at a news conference at IMF headquarters in Washington.

But “if any of those parameters changes… additional financing might very well be needed” in 12 months, said Lagarde, managing director of the 188-nation institution.

In late April, the IMF approved a USD 17 billion line of credit to Ukraine, part of a USD 27 billion international financial lifeline to the country’s economy reeling from the rebellion blamed by the West on neighboring Russia, an accusation Moscow denies.

“If any those key parameters changes, we will have to revisit the whole strategy because we’re talking about a different situation,” Lagarde said.

The first installment of the aid, worth USD 3.19 billion, was disbursed in early May.

The Ukraine crisis has escalated since the bailout began, with the pro-Russia separatists advancing their control of eastern Ukraine — the industrial engine of the economy — and the downing of a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane over the area in mid-July.

The IMF, which makes loan payouts conditional on a country’s progress in achieving drastic economic reforms, is supposed to disburse its next aid installment to Kiev in late August but must be careful given the recent political crisis in the government, Lagarde said.

“All, of course, has to be supported by the government,” she said.

The Ukrainian parliament is set to hold a special session on Thursday to decide whether to accept or reject the sudden resignation last Thursday of the prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

“If elections were called during the year we would certainly seek the endorsement by the political leaders,” Lagarde added.


The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde

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‘US looks forward to enhance mil-to-mil ties with India’

News4u-News Desk- The US is looking forward to enhancing military-to-military relationship with India, a top American military commander has said ahead of Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel’s upcoming visit to the country.

“We look forward to enhancing our mil-to-mil relationships with India. A couple of years ago, President Barack Obama reiterated that we will need to build a long-term, better and stronger relationship with India, and that includes our mil-to-mil participation,” Admiral Samuel Locklear, the leader of American forces in the Pacific told Pentagon reporters at a news conference.

Hagel is scheduled to visit India next month, immediately after fifth India-US Strategic Dialogue in New Delhi this week, which would be co-chaired by Secretary of State John Kerry and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Hagel’s trip to India, the details of which have not been announced so far, is expected to give a big boost to defense ties between the two countries.

“I would recommend that he (Hagel) recognise that - and to relay to his (Indian) counterparts there that we’re interested in building closer mil-to-mil relationships,” Locklear said in response to a question.

“We have had for a number of years very good relationships between our services, between PACOM and the services there, and we have an ongoing number of exercises that seem to have worked pretty well for our growing partnership. So we look forward to the road ahead. We think it’s all positive,” he said.

Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said, “India is an important country in the region. We look forward to continuing to make the relationship stronger and better.”


‘US looks forward to enhance mil-to-mil ties with India’

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Lucy (Movie-Review)

News4u-Entertainment Desk- One wrong decision lands Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) in trouble and changes her life forever.

Lucy is deceived by her shady boyfriend, who coerces her into undertaking a delivery job. Little does she know that she has been used as a drug mule instead! However, the victim in her becomes lethal when she is accidentally exposed to an overdose of the very experimental drugs she is about to transfer.

Lucy’s premise is built on the widely popular myth that we ‘human beings only make use of 10% of our brain’. What will happen if a drug (here, CPH4) alters that calculation drastically, thus enabling us to use the full 100%?

Lucy undergoes this. Her brain power keeps increasing, making her seem like a highly volatile, walking, talking time bomb about to explode. What will happen to Lucy after the drug unlocks her mind’s full potential?

While the concept is highly intriguing and thought-provoking, you cannot stretch an idea way beyond its limits. Lucy’s dilemma is mysterious and gripping but as the film oscillates between sci-fi, action and philosophy, you somewhere find it all too pseudo-cerebral and convoluted. The combination of multiple genres makes the film look like a bizarre mix of The Tree of Life and La Femme Nikita!

Morgan Freeman stands out in his small but significant role. Scarlett Johansson is convincing but after a while, the film gets too far-fetched and her character loses its sheen. While we are keen on counting her rising brain potential, changing psyche and the unexpected repercussions, the overindulgent French filmmaker seems more desperate to focus on his femme fatale’s implausible superpowers (telekinesis and mind-reading) instead.

Lucy may fail to woo the mainstream audience as it doesn’t boast an extravagant budget or thrilling special effects. You don’t feel for the protagonist either as she loses everything that makes her human, including pain and fear of death. However, if you are a fan of ‘experimental’ cinema, you will appreciate this unconventional attempt. Courtesy toi…


Lucy

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Lateef: The King of Crime (Movie-Review)

News4u-Entertainment Desk- Based on the Gujarat mafia of the 80′s, the film captures the rise and fall of then underworld king, gangster Abdul Latif.

Mumbai has always been the muse for most filmmakers who have been intrigued by the underworld. However, for a change, we have a film which attempts to expose Gujarat’s ugly underbelly.

Set in the 80′s, the film revolves around the underworld’s nexus with politicians and the police in Gujarat. How Latif (Hameed Khan) emerged as the crime-lord and why he was revered by his followers, before being killed in an encounter by the Ahmedabad police, forms the story.

We’re also told about Latif’s political networking, dominance in the bootlegging trade and association with Dawood Ibrahim.

The intention behind making this film is sincere but acting, production values and storytelling fail to make you feel invested in it. You don’t feel for the central character, unlike past films like Dayavan or Haji Mastan in Once Upon a Time in Mumbai. The execution lacks the tension, pace, continuity and emotional connect required for a film of this genre.

The lead actor fails to do justice to his infamous character as he lacks screen presence. The twist in the end doesn’t evoke any reaction either.

To sum it up, you appreciate the makers for bringing this untold real-life story to celluloid. But at the end of the day, a biopic must affect you in some way, which doesn’t happen here. Courtesy toi…


Lateef: The King of Crime

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Nepalese Foreign Minister calls on Modi

News4u-News Desk- Nepalese Foreign Minister Mahendra Pandey on Sunday paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and briefly discussed some bilateral issues, including hydro-power, trade, energy and security.

The meeting took place at a five star hotel an hour after Modi arrived in Kathmandu on a two-day trip, becoming the first Indian Prime Minister to pay a bilateral visit to Nepal in 17 years.

“The talks were held in a very cordial and friendly atmosphere,” Pandey said after the meeting.

“We have to move hand-in-hand in development,” he said.

Pandey said during the brief meeting some bilateral issues including hydro-power, trade, energy and security were covered. Political and cultural issues also came up for discussion.

“He (Modi) speaks less but he is result oriented. During my meeting, I felt whatever he says he believes in doing it,” he said when asked about his meeting with the Prime Minister.

The two leaders also underlined the need for expediting the ongoing projects being implemented under Nepal-India cooperation.

All the leading dailies in Kathmandu published banner headline news today covering Modi’s visit.

“Modi’s visit is a turning page in Nepal-India relations” describes a front page article carried by The Kathmanmdu Post.

Security was tightened in Kathmandu and most of the schools voluntarily announced closure for today and Monday in view of Modi’s visit.

Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to pay a bilateral visit to Nepal in 17 years, was received at the Tribhuvan International Airport by Prime Minister Sushil Koirala who deviated from protocol for the purpose.

Deputy Prime Ministers Bam Dev Gautam and Prakash Man Singh were also present at the airport.

A colorful ceremonial guard of honour was presented to Prime Minister Modi at the airport with the anthems of India and Nepal being played.

Modi was also offered a 19-gun salute by the Nepal Army.

There was tight security in and around the airport. The route from the airport to the hotel, a drive of about 10 minutes, saw an impromptu line up of the local people who had turned out in large numbers, waving flags and clicking photographs with cameras as well as mobile phones.

During his two-day visit, Modi will be holding talks with his counterpart Sushil Koirala and meet other political leaders. He will also have the rare honour of addressing Nepal’s Constituent Assembly.

Ahead of his visit, Modi had said that he looks forward to working with the Nepalese leadership to forge a new relationship by identifying steps to strengthen bilateral cooperation in key sectors, including trade and investment, hydropower, agriculture and agro-processing, environment, tourism, education, culture and sports.

“I am excited about my visit and pleased that I am able to go there within weeks of assuming office as Prime Minister,” he had said in a pre-departure statement on Saturday.

“I hope my visit will open a new chapter in India-Nepal relations, characterised by more frequent political engagement and closer cooperation across the full spectrum of our extraordinarily broad-based relations, which will serve as a model and catalyst for South Asian partnership for prosperity,” Modi had said.

Describing Nepal as a close friend and neighbour, he had said, “We have had the privilege of being a leading partner in Nepal’s socio-economic development. We are committed to continuing our support to Nepal in its development efforts.”

Modi’s Nepal visit will also unite a youth with his family. 26-year-old Jeet Bahadur, who came in contact with Modi in Ahmedabad over a decade back and was since looked after by him, is travelling with the Prime Minister to Kathmandu to be personally handed over to his mother and elder brother.

“On a personal note, my Nepal visit is very special… Some personal emotions are also attached to this visit.,” Modi had said.

In a series of tweets, the Prime Minister had said, “Years back, I met a child Jeet Bahadur in a helpless condition. He knew nothing, where to go, what to do. He did not know anybody, nor did he understand the language.”

“Guided by God, I started thinking about him. Gradually, he developed interest in studies and playing. He also learned Gujarati language,” Modi had said.

The Prime Minister said sometime back, he was able to locate Bahadur’s parents. “This was possible because he (Bahadur) has six fingers in his foot.”

“Thankfully, we were able to locate his parents. I am glad that the parents would be reunited with their son,” he had said.

During the visit, the two countries are expected to sign agreements in sectors like power. India may also announce economic aid for that country.

The Prime Minister had said that his visit highlights the high priority that his government attaches to relations with Nepal and India’s determination to take our relationship to an entirely new level.

Modi had said that he will have the opportunity to hold detailed discussions with the Nepalese leadership on the entire gamut of bilateral relations.

He had said that he looked forward to working with the leadership of Nepal “to forge a new relationship for the new century between our two rapidly transforming countries.”

Referring to the recent meeting of India-Nepal Joint Commission after a long gap of 23 years, the Prime Minister said it reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and cooperation with a focus on economic relations, trade and connectivity.

“Our ongoing major projects for development of border infrastructure will usher in economic prosperity to people living on both sides of the border and also enhance connectivity,” Modi had said.

During the visit, the two sides will explore ways to further strengthen development cooperation.

Recalling with delight that Koirala had graced his swearing-in ceremony on 26th May, Modi had said it demonstrated the solidarity of the people of Nepal with India and the shared commitment to democracy.

The Prime Minister had also expressed gratitude to the people and the elected representatives of Nepal for giving him the rare honour of addressing the Parliament of Nepal.

“For me, another significance of this visit is that I will have the opportunity of paying obeisance at Pashupatinath Temple on ‘sawan ki somwar’,” Modi had said.


Nepalese Foreign Minister calls on Modi

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