Simon Cowell to produce Betty Boop movie

News4u-Entertainment Desk- Los Angeles: Music mogul Simon Cowell is ready to put his power behind a new movie, involving iconic cartoon character Betty Boop.

Betty Boop`s past appearances on screen include Max Fleischer`s `Talkartoons`, after which she got her own cartoon series. She also made a cameo in 1988 film `Who Framed Roger Rabbit`.

This upcoming project, however, will be her first music-driven, hybrid animated comedy.

The British music mogul is collaborating with Fleischer Studios, which owns the cartoon character, and Australian digital production house Animal Logic for the project, reports a website.

“Betty is an icon, and one of the biggest stars in the world - I`m thrilled to be working with her. Betty, I`ve worked with some serious divas, but I think you could be the biggest of them all,” Cowell said of the character, famous for her trademark bob hair and mini dress. IANS


Simon Cowell

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The Indian connection in Jerusalem through the centuries

News4u-Features Desk- New Delhi: For close to a century, many generations of an Indian family have been looking after the Indian Hospice, a symbol of India`s heritage, in the old city of Jerusalem. This existence intrigued Indian diplomat-writer Navtej Sarna, who has chronicled its story in a fascinating new book.

Sarna had read about this institution before, but it was only when he landed in Israel in 2008 as the Indian ambassador that he could visit the hospice which hosted Indian soldiers during World War II and today provides accommodation to Indian pilgrims of all faiths.

Sarna felt the topic was “compelling and waiting to be written”.

The outcome? His latest non-fiction work, “Indians at Herod`s Gate: A Jerusalem Tale” (Rainlight, Rs. 500) came into being after three years of meticulous research, several interactions and countless walks in the old city.

“This is a book about Indian connection to Jerusalem through the centuries and is explored from the standpoint of the Indian Hospice,” Sarna, currently a Special Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs and who has been named Secretary (West), told IANS in an interview.

In 2012, then external affairs minister S.M. Krishna had provided a grant of $25,000 to the hospice.

“When you visit something as layered and rich and complex as Jerusalem, the combination is so compelling that I had to go for it,” he added.

The 182-page book takes the reader back to the point when Baba Farid, a sufi saint, visited Jerusalem 800 years ago.

The Indian Hospice was born 800 years ago, with Sheikh Nazir Ansari, a police inspector`s son from Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh, becoming the first Indian to look after the hospice, situated opposite Herod`s Gate in the old city, since 1924. Since then generations of the Ansari family have kept the Indian flag flying in a situation which, according to Sarna, is “politically fraught where every inch of territory is claimed or counter-claimed”.

It was this Indian angle that Sarna, author of “Winter Evenings”, couldn`t resist.

Several meetings with the family of the present Jerusalem Hospice director, Sheikh Mohammed Munir Ansari, led to revelations the family wasn`t even aware of. And then began the quest to make the Ansari family a centre point, explore this little Indian haven and compare it with complexities of many decades of conflicts that engulf the state located in southwest Asia between the Mediterranean and the deserts of Syria and Arabia.

“There are interesting details about how this place became the centre of conflict in 1967 (during the Six-day war), how it was rebuilt and how its character has changed over several decades,” said Sarna.

“It was very important to put a social and political context in place at every stage. It was very challenging to tell just enough and not overload so much of history that the main story gets submerged,” he added, referring to the time when Jerusalem had just come out of the Ottoman Empire and was brought into the British Mandate for Palestine.

According to Sarna he followed an “organic process” over a period of three years during which he explored the bylanes of the old city like one does in Chandni Chowk. Admitting that being an Indian was an advantage there as “Indian standing is very high no matter which side of the conflict”, Sarna feels there are many untold stories that need to be told and have India connection. IANS


The Indian connection in Jerusalem through the centuries

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Priyanka will add commercial value to ‘Mary Kom’: Omung Kumar

News4u-Entertainment Desk- Mumbai: Omung Kumar, who is making his directorial debut with ‘Mary Kom’, which stars Priyanka Chopra as Olympic bronze medallist boxer M.C. Mary Kom, says the National Award winning actress will add “commercial value” to the film.

“Now people are talking about the poster and the trailer, which means people are liking it and it`s all thanks to Priyanka. Priyanka will add commercial value to `Mary Kom`.”

While there were also reports that the director and the film`s co-producer Sanjay Leela Bhansali are not on talking terms because of creative differences, Omung said: “These are all rumours there is absolutely no issue between both of us.”IANS


Priyanka with Mary Kom

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CJI: State organs must have mutual respect

News4u-News Desk- Chief Justice of India R M Lodha has said there should be mutual respect among judiciary, parliament and executive, each of which should be unhindered by “extraneous influence.”

The comments came in a day after Parliament scrapped the collegium system of appointments.

“I am sure that people in Judiciary, people in Executive and people in Parliament are mature enough to have mutual respect for each other and ensure that each of them is permitted to work in their sphere unhindered by any extraneous influence,” Justice Lodha said on Independence day.

He said Constitution makers made it sure that all organs of the state operate in their respective field without encroaching upon each other’s domain.

Notwithstanding reservations of judiciary, Parliament had on Thursday, cleared two bills providing for a new mechanism for appointment of judges to higher judiciary by scrapping over two-decades old collegium system.

In his speech, he referred to appointment of less than 1000 judges to higher judiciary by the present system of judiciary appointing judges but did not elaborate or refer to the proposed judicial appointments commission being put in place by the government.

Apparently responding to criticism over inordinate delay in the justice delivery system, Justice Lodha noted that while judiciary is responsible for appointing less then 1,000 judges (of SC and HCs), the state governments appoint 19,000 judges in lower courts.

Giving a break up, the CJI said the present collegium system appoints 906 judges of the High Court and 31 to the Supreme Court. “As head of judiciary, my heart feels pain when I find criminal justice system has given tremendous suffering, pain, exploitation of human rights and deprivation of human liberty,” he said, adding, that majority of prisoners in jails are undertrials.

“It is curious and tragic paradox that prisons are housed more by undertrials than convicts,” he said while noting that in central prisons more than 50 percent inmates are undertrials and in case of district prisons the figure is more than 72 percent.

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who was present at the function organized by the Supreme Court Bar Association, said sanctity and independence of judiciary will be held high.

“Our government’s commitment to the sanctity and independence of judiciary is complete and we hold it very high,” Prasad said.

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has told him from the very start to ensure that outdated laws are scrapped.

Asking the Law Minister to consider increasing the number of judges to increase judge-case ratio or judge-population ratio, Justice Lodha said that government should also provide technology tools to police, prosecution and judicial officers to speed up the justice delivery system.

“Police don’t have tools and they can’t handle cyber crimes. There are deficiences in prosecution and as a matter of fact their is delay in justice delivery system,” he said.


Chief Justice of India R M Lodha

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Anti-govt protesters march on in Pakistan; shots fired at Imran Khan

News4u-News Desk- Determined to oust Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, tens of thousands of protesters on Friday marched towards the capital in two separate convoys as clashes erupted with opposition leader Imran Khan claiming that ruling PML-N activists fired at his vehicle.

Two opposition groups, led by cricketer-turned-politician Khan and Canada-based cleric Tahirul Qadri, plan to converge on Islamabad to press Sharif to call an early election little over a year after his landslide victory in the polls.

“The PML-N workers opened fire on my container (vehicle). If I was hit who could stop my party workers from reacting,” said Khan, the chief of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.

He urged his party workers to remain peaceful, saying if the martial law was imposed in the wake of the government’s actions his party would be blamed.

“The government is blaming us for the Gujranwala incident. It will also blame us in case martial law is imposed on such acts of the government,” Khan said.

Khan also presented video footage of PML-N workers attacking his vehicle. The footage showed PML-N workers pelting stones and shoes on his vehiclewith those on board seen ducking.

PTI spokesperson Shireen Mazari said at least eight party workers were injured in clashes in Gujranwala.

Three of them have been seriously injured and shifted to a hospital. They have suffered head injuries, she said.

Mazari alleged that Federal Commerce MinisterKhurram Dastgir’s menwere involved in the incident. Gujranwala district is the constituency of Dastgir. “Police present there did not act to stop the PML-N activists,” she alleged, adding that “we cannot give guarantee of our party workers remainingpeacefulifthey are attacked en route to Islamabad.”

The anti-government protesters of both the groups plan to stage a sit-in in Islamabad to press their claims, at the end of a “long march” — which set off on a 370-km journey to the country’s capital on Thursday.

Khan initiated his ‘Azadi March’ from his Zaman Park residence in Lahore, while Qadri launched his ‘Inqelab March’ (revolution march) from the Model Town area of the city.

Khan has already underlined his demands, saying Sharif should resign and a caretaker government should be formedfor holding a fresh general election in the country.

Qadri has also unveiled the goals of his ‘revolution’ march, saying its fundamental purpose is to restore democracy and alleviate poverty.

Khan’s convoy had reached Gujranwala, 80 kilometers from Lahore, while Qadri’s convoy had reached Jehlum, 180 kilometers from Lahore, after 25 hours of journey.


Imraan Khan-Chief of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party

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Boko Haram kidnaps 100, Chad frees most captives

News4u-News Desk- Nigeria’s Boko Haram militant group kidnapped 100 people earlier this month but most were freed by security forces from neighbouring Chad, a Nigerian security official and a local self-defense member said on Friday.

The abductions took place on August 10 in Doron Baga in the Kukawa area near the border with Chad, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

He said the terrorists were stopped as they crossed the Chad border by Chadian soldiers who killed most of them and set free most of the captives.

Muhammed Gava, a member of the anti-Boko Haram vigilante movement, said 20 females and about 70 young men had been forced to board speed boats in Lake Chad, which lies on the border between Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon.

Nigeria’s fight against the extremist group began in 2009 but hit the international spotlight in mid-April, when the militants kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls.

The girls have still not been freed. Boko Haram wants to enforce an Islamic state in Nigeria, whose population of more than 170 million people is almost evenly divided between a mainly Muslim north and largely Christian south.

The group has intensified its violent campaign this year and is increasingly targeting civilians. More than 4,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed this year alone by all sides in the conflict, which include Nigerian security forces, Amnesty International said on August 5.

This compares to an estimated 3,600 people killed in the first four years of the Islamic insurgency. While the group’s attacks are mostly in northeast Nigeria, Boko Haram has detonated bombs as far away as Lagos, the commercial capital in Nigeria’s southwest.


Boko Haram kidnaps 100

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BSF gifts sweets to Pakistan on I-Day

News4u-News Desk- Border Security Force in Attari gifted eight boxes of famous Indian sweets and fruits to Pakistan on the occasion of Independence Day.

BSF Inspector General (Punjab Frontier) Ashok Kumar, DIG MF Farooqui along with other senior officials were present when the boxes of sweets and fruits were gifted to Pakistan at the Joint Check Post Attari/Wagah border, BSF officials said.

From the Pakistan side, rangers led by Wing Commander Asher Khan accepted the gifts, they said.

For the occasion, borders on both sides were decorated and people of surrounding villages were present there to witness the ceremony.

Personnel from both the forces were in a happy mood, hugging each other and shaking hands, besides exchanging pleasantries, the officials said.

On Thursday, Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) Director General Khan Tahir Javed Khan and colleagues had greeted Farooqui and the Indian jawans on Pakistan’s Independence Day, the officials said.


BSF gifts sweets to Pakistan on I-Day

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Christina Aguilera to pose for Playboy?

News4u-Entertainment Desk- London: Pop star Christina Aguilera reportedly wants to unveil her post-baby body in Playboy after she gives birth to her second child.

The 33-year-old `Your Body` hitmaker, who recently posed nude to show off her growing baby bump on the cover of the latest issue of V magazine, is eager to strip down again.

“She wants to do Playboy. This is something she wanted to do even before she got pregnant. Christina`s always loved her body,” a source said.

The blonde beauty, who already has a six-year-old son, Max, is engaged to Matthew Rutler and is expecting a baby girl.

PTI


Christina Aguilera

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Eating pistachios may benefit diabetics, says study

News4u-Features Desk- Eating pistachios daily may reduce the body’s response to the stresses of everyday life in diabetics, a new study has claimed.

“In adults with diabetes, two servings of pistachios per day lowered vascular constriction during stress and improved neural control of the heart,” said Sheila G West, professor of biobehavioural health and nutritional sciences at Penn State.

“Although nuts are high in fat, they contain good fats, fibre, potassium and antioxidants. Given the high risk of heart disease in people with diabetes, nuts are an important component of a heart healthy diet in this population,” West said.

West and her colleagues investigated effects of pistachios on responses to standardised stress tasks in patients with well-controlled Type 2 diabetes who were otherwise healthy.

They used a randomised, crossover study design in which all meals were provided. Each of the diets contained the same number of calories.

After two weeks on the typical American diet - containing 36 per cent fat and 12 per cent saturated fats -participants were randomised to one of two test diets.

Test diets included a standard heart-healthy diet - 27 per cent fat and 7 per cent saturated fat - and a diet containing two servings per day of pistachios - about 3 ounces or 20 per cent of calories from pistachio nuts.

The typical research participant consumed about 150 pistachio nuts per day. The pistachio diet contained 33 per cent fat and 7 per cent saturated fat. Half of the nuts consumed each day were salted and half were unsalted.

At the end of each four-week diet period, the researchers measured blood pressure and total peripheral vascular resistance at rest and during two stress tests - a cold water challenge and a confusing mental arithmetic test.

“After the pistachio diet, blood vessels remained more relaxed and open during the stress tests,” West said.

Although laboratory measurements of blood pressure were not affected by pistachios, real-world measures of blood pressure (measured by an automated monitor) were significantly lower after the pistachio diet.

“We found that systolic blood pressure during sleep was particularly affected by pistachios. Average sleep blood pressure was reduced by about 4 points and this would be expected to lower workload on the heart,” said Katherine A Sauder, former graduate student in biobehavioural health, who conducted the measurements.

The team found that the pistachio diet lowered vascular constriction during stress. When arteries are dilated, the load on the heart is reduced. The physical challenge involved immersing one hand into icy water for two minutes.

“This cold stressor produces a large vascular constriction response in most people. In comparison with a low fat diet, the pistachio diet blunted that vascular response to stress,” West said.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.PTI

 

Eating pistachios may benefit diabetics

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Modi has arrived…

News4u-Features Desk- After a long long time, the ramparts of Lal Quila echoed a voice people did not, rather could not ignore. Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke not like a political leader but like a commander of an army out to defeat the swarm of ills plaguing this country for ages.

He refrained from self praise for he knows that till now he has achieved hardly anything worth the mention. Still we can say that the direction, his attitude and policies have taken , promise good results. He did not boast of any miracle he was going to perform in years to come, instead like a wise leader of a troup, requested the nation to support him in implementing his projects.

Above all inspite of his, a little arrogant visage, he sounded humble and diplomatic, praising the bevy of Prime Ministers preceding him. To sum up he dealt with all the imoortant issues facing the nation, like poverty,female foeticide, the truant and misled youth and the rampant corruption in all the walks of life.

When he said that “Employees coming to work on time”" should not become a news item, I felt like clapping. Alas! there were very few clappings during this innovative speech. Earlier the same venue had kept resounding with stage managed clappings now & then. For his maiden speech at Lal Quila, Modi deserves a pat on the back. One more thing, he ignored Pakistan & its antics on the border, all together and stressed that all the Sarc countries join hands for a better and happy future.

By- Veera Chaturvedi

veera@news4u.co.in

The Red Fort ,Delhi

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