Artists from India, S Africa to feature in ‘Shared History Festival’

News4u-News Desk- Artists from South Africa and India will feature in the eighth edition of the ‘Shared History Festival’ in Johannesburg.

The 14-day programme is one of the highlights of the annual Johannesburg Arts Alive International Festival, set to begin in Johannesburg from 1st September.

“The High Commission of India in South Africa prides itself on promoting and propagating Indian culture and building relations between India and rest of the world,” said India’s Deputy High Commissioner Armstrong Changsan.

“By hosting this exhibition it hopes to provide an avenue for dialogue between India and South Africa,” Changsan added.

Hailing the festival as a platform that “has presented cutting edge contemporary work and memorable collaborations with leading South African directors, conductors, orchestras, dance and theatre companies over the years”, Sanjoy Roy of Teamwork Arts, co-coordinator of the event said that the focus this time is to rope in talented women performers from India and South Africa.

Colors of Festival and Performances

There are various colors of this festival as dance and theatre including multi-media show with music, anecdotes, videos and archival images.

“As a run up to the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing next year, we have focused on some of the best women performers from India and South Africa, bringing together the exceptionally talented Ira Dubey, Lillete Dubey, Jailoshini Naidoo and Vidya Shah,” Roy added.

The festival supported by the High Commission of India will screen the award-winning works like a one-woman drama ‘Nine Parts of Desire’, starring Indian actress Ira Dubey and directed by her mother Lillete Dubey; and ‘A Crackling Comedy Show’ featuring Jailoshini Naidoo and her hysterical alter-ego Aunty Rumba in the ‘theatre’ section.

The music section will feature Indian musician Vidya Shah with ‘Women on Record’, a multi-media show with music, anecdotes, videos and archival images that celebrate women performers in the early 20th century of India.

“The performance re-creates the gramophone era of the Divas of that time, through songs, videos and stories.

Despite their significant contributions to Indian culture most of these women have been forgotten by the people,” said Roy.

Bollywood singer Sukhwinder Singh, known for the Grammy Award winning song, ‘Jai Ho’ from the film Slum Dog Millionaire and his mega hit number ‘Chaiyya Chaiyya’ will end the festival on 15th September.

‘Shared History Festival’

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Karthikeyan third in Abu Dhabi, completes final GM norm

News4u-Sports Desk- Young Murali Karthikeyan finished a creditable third and earned his third and final Grandmaster norm after settling for a draw with Grandmaster Zahar Efimenkov of Ukraine in the ninth and final round of Abu Dhabi Masters that concluded in Abu Dhabi.

Registering a performance rating of 2709, the 15-year-old Karthikeyan had the best tiebreak score to back him and the young Indian now just needs to touch the 2500 ELO rating mark to become the next Grandmaster of the country.

In a bizarre turn of events the overnight joint leaders, Vidit Gujrathi and G N Gopal, lost their games to Yuriy Kuzubov of Ukraine and Tigran Petrosian of Armenia to end the Indian hopes of a title victory.

What had looked like a sureshot title a couple of days back with Karthikeyan, Gujrathi and Gopal holding the top three position, instead saw the Indian trio finishing third, fourth and fifth following losses suffered by Gujrathi and Gopal on the final day.

Kuzubov emerged as the winner on seven points after a late rally in the tournament while Petrosian had to be content with second place. It was a seven-way tie for the third spot and apart from the Indian trio, Sergey Volkov and Vladimir Burmakin of Russia, Viorel Iordachescu of Moldova and Efimenko made the cut.

Among other Indians in the fray, Vaibhav Suri did well to beat higher ranked Amin Baseem of Egypt in the final round, while Abhijeet Gupta also did some damage control to his rating by outplaying Adam Horvath of Hungary. Also coming out with a good result was International Master V AV Rajesh who overcame the challenge of highest rated local Grandmaster A R Salem Saleh.

Karthikeyan’s Grandmaster norm was a mere formality as he had to just appear for the game to achieve the same.

However the Chennai-boy continued with his excellent form to hold another big name in the game in Efimenko.

It was a Ruy Lopez exchange variation where Karthikeyan played white and did not give any chance to Efimenko in the subsequent endgame. The peace was signed in 35 moves.

Gujrathi fell prey to a tactical shot in the middle game after gaining a level position with black pieces. Losing a queen side pawn, the Indian never recovered and lost in 33 moves.

Gopal played white and he had the best chance to secure first place.

However he too, went haywire as the complexities arose from a King pawn game and Petrosian pounced on his opportunity to reach a winning endgame.


Murali Karthikeyan

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Disaster survivor raped in Uttarakhand

News4u-News Desk- A 10-year-old girl, who lost her parents in last year’s disaster in Uttarakhand and was wandering homeless, was repeatedly raped allegedly by a scrap dealer in Tehri district.

The matter came to light after the minor was found in Chamba recently and disclosed her ordeal to a woman constable, Tehri Superintendent of Police Mukhtar Mohsin said.

The accused Maniram, who hails from Koti village near Chamba in Tehri district, was arrested on Thursday after a medical examination of the girl confirmed rape, he said.

He has been remanded in 14 days’ judicial custody.

Taking serious note of the incident Chief Minister Harish Rawat has sought a report from DGP B S Sidhu on the case.

In her statement recorded before the Magistrate in Tehri, the victim who hails from a village in Rudraprayag district, said she had lost her home and her parents in last year’s deluge at Kedarnath as her entire village had been washed away.

She was rescued by an army chopper and airlifted to Haridwar where she came into contact with a woman, who took her to Meerut and forced her into rag picking.

After staying there for months she escaped to Hardiwar and lived there as a beggar.

A man named Ajay then brought her to Chamba in Tehri district where Maniram allegedly raped her, the SP said.

Being a minor, the victim has not been able to tell anything clearly about her village and her relatives, the official said.

All that the girl remembers is that she was grazing cattle in a field in Kedar valley on June 16-17 when the calamity struck and when she returned home she found her house razed to the ground and all her relatives including her parents missing, the SP said.

Police officials from Rudraprayag and Tehri are coordinating with each other to find out details of the case.


Disaster survivor raped in Uttarakhand

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WHO sounds alarm over Ebola infections as deaths top 1,500

News4u-News Desk- The World Health Organization said on Friday that the number of Ebola cases was increasing rapidly and could exceed 20,000 before the virus is brought under control, as the death toll topped 1,500.

New figures showed the massive scale of the crisis, which the WHO said indicated a “rapid increase still in the intensity of transmission” that could cost at least $490 million (370 million euros) to tackle.

Bruce Aylward, the WHO’s head of emergency programmes, said it could take six to nine months to bring Ebola under control, by which time the number of infections could have passed 20,000.

“That’s not saying we expect 20,000, that’s not saying we would accept, more importantly, 20,000 cases,” he told reporters in Geneva, calling the situation a “global health security issue”.

“But we have got to have a system that is robust enough to deal with… a very bad case scenario.”

EBOLA CASES IN AFFECTED COUNTRIES

As of August 26; 1,552 people had been confirmed dead from Ebola in four countries, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria while 3,062 had been infected.

Liberia was the worst affected with 694 deaths; 422 people have died in Sierra Leone; and 430 in Guinea, where the virus emerged at the start of the year.

Nigeria has now recorded six deaths.

But Aylward warned that the actual caseload could be “two to four times higher than the number of cases you see reported”.

Nigeria’s latest death in the southeastern oil city of Port Harcourt was the first outside its biggest city, Lagos, and dashed hopes that the country had successfully contained the virus.

SEARCH OF A POTENTIAL VACCINE

Scientists meanwhile said the first human trials of a potential vaccine will start next week using a product known as the NIAID/GSK Ebola vaccine candidate made by pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline and the US government.

Health ministers from member states of the West African regional bloc ECOWAS met today in the Ghanaian capital Accra and vowed to strengthen their response to the devastating outbreak.

Ghana’s President John Mahama, the current ECOWAS chairman, complained security measures taken by other countries to prevent the virus spreading, including travel bans, had unfairly hit member states.

“Currently in the sub-region, Ebola is officially reported in four countries and yet the entire West African sub-region of 15 nations and even Africa as a whole of 54 nations has been stigmatised,” he said.


WHO sounds alarm over Ebola infections

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Shahrukh is Ambassador of Interpol’s ‘Turn Back Crime’campaign

News4u-News Desk- Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan has become the first Indian actor to be roped in as an Ambassador of Interpol’s ‘Turn Back Crime’ campaign, aimed at promoting greater awareness on how to prevent crime.

“It’s a very special honour to be a part of INTERPOL’s ‘Turn Back Crime’ campaign as an Ambassador.

As Mahatma Gandhi once said, ‘I shall not fear anyone on Earth. I shall fear only God. I shall not bear ill will toward anyone. I shall not submit to injustice from anyone. I shall conquer untruth by truth. And in resisting untruth, I shall put up with all suffering, if I have to’.

“We all should believe in this maxim and in whatever way possible resolve not to let unjust people who might threaten us with criminal activity make us fear them. Because I believe we can, we should, and we must stand together against the few who commit crimes against any human being, in whatever form or guise these crimes might take,” Khan was quoted in an official release from Interpol Headquarters in Lyon in France.

The multi-award winning actor, the first Indian to be made an Ambassador for the global campaign, is lending his voice to help spread the message that all of society benefits when citizens respect the law and fight crime, it said.

Khan joins actor Jackie Chan as an Ambassador for the campaign, which has already garnered support from public figures including footballer Lionel Messi, Formula 1 racing drivers Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen in addition to law enforcement agencies around the world. The ‘Turn Back Crime’ campaign is aimed at raising public awareness that organised crime is often involved in seemingly unrelated crimes.

Drugs trafficking, people smuggling, counterfeiting, cybercrime, kidnapping, crimes against children and corruption in sport are in fact often interconnected, with profits from one crime area used to fund another.

Interpol Secretary General Ronald K Noble said “Shah Rukh Khan has dedicated his life to making films which reflect the highest level of professionalism and commitment to bringing joy into the lives of hundreds of millions of film goers in India and around the world”.

“We are honoured to have him as an Ambassador for Interpol’s global Turn Back Crime campaign and we look forward to seeing how he puts his artistic talents behind this campaign,” Noble said.

The campaign is aimed at helping the public better understand these issues and empowering them not to be duped by criminals when buying products or using the Internet besides reaching out to companies and policy-makers in a bid to form a united front against contemporary crime challenges, and to support the ongoing activities of the global law enforcement community.


Shahrukh Khan

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Coal stock at Punjab’s thermal plants reach critical stage

News4u-News Desk- The power supply situation may go from bad to worse in Punjab, with PSPCL’s thermal power plants facing “acute shortage” of coal supply, left with coal stock for just 3 to 5 days to fire energy plants.

Despite taking up the matter with the Centre, the coal supplies to three power plants of Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL) continue to remain at “critical” levels.

“Yes, there is a scarcity of coal stock being faced by PSPCL thermal units. Plants are having coal stock of 3 to 4 days,” PSPCL, Director Distribution K L Sharma said on Thursday.

Punjab has already been facing unscheduled load shedding in the range of 5-6 hours per day because of gap between demand and supply.

With lower coal supplies to PSPCL’s thermal units, Lehra Mohabbat plant is left with coal stock of 48,000 tonnes, enough for running the plant for just 3.5 days.

Similarly, Ropar thermal plant is having 54,000 tonnes of coal stock which will be sufficient for just 2 days, while Bathinda plant is left with 38,000 tonnes of coal, which will be enough for 5 days, official sources said.

The combined power generation capacity of state-owned three thermal plants is 2,640 MW.

Ideally, there is a need to maintain coal stock by each thermal unit for minimum of 21 days for running plant smoothly as Punjab being far away from coal producing states, official sources said.

However, PSPCL officials maintained that there has not been any disruption in power production despite “scarcity” of coal.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in meeting held with Union Minister of State for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal on August 19 had urged him to direct Central Coalfield Ltd (CCL) to immediately supply committed quantity of 3.5 coal rakes per day during the paddy season.

However, CCL, in a letter written, has asked PSPCL authorities to take up the matter with the Railways for increasing the supply of rakes for transportation of coal.

CCL has said that it made an offer of loading of 86 rakes in July against which Railways allotted 64 rakes and 52 rakes were supplied.


Punjab’s thermal plants

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Obama looks forward to meet Modi: White House

News4u-News Desk- India and the US share a rich and robust relationship and President Barack Obama looks forward to building on that when he meets with Prime Minister Narendra Modi here, the White House said Wednesday.

“As you know, the President after the election of Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi, invited him to Washington. We’re still working on locking down a date. The president does look forward to meeting with the Prime Minister at a mutually convenient time,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at his daily news conference.

Referring to the recent India trip by Secretary of State John Kerry and Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel during which they not only met their Indian counterparts but also Modi, Earnest said they discussed the very broad relationship between the United States and India.

Obama was briefed on these visits when Kerry and Hagel met him at the White House on Tuesday and Monday respectively.

“Items on the agenda included national security and counter- terrorism cooperation for sure. There were also discussions about the economic ties and trade relationship that exists between India and the United States,” Earnest said.

“So, there is a rich, robust relationship between the United States and India that was on display when the (US) President hosted Prime Minister Modi’s predecessor for a State Dinner here at the White House early in the first term of this administration. And the President looks forward to building on that relationship when he meets with Prime Minister Modi at a time sometime soon,” he said.


Obama

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William Greaves, TV host and filmmaker, dead at 87

News4u-Entertainment Desk-William Greaves, the Emmy-award winning co-host and executive producer of a groundbreaking television news program and a prolific filmmaker whose subjects ranged from Muhammad Ali to the Harlem Renaissance to the black middle class, has died at age 87.

Greaves died Monday at his Manhattan home after a prolonged illness, according to his granddaughter, Liani Greaves.

A minister’s son born in New York City, Greaves had a diverse background that included drawing, acting, dance and engineering. He leaves behind a vast film archive of black art and culture.

Greaves made hundreds of movies, and in the 1960s, he served as co-host and executive producer of “Black Journal,” among the first TV news programs designed for a black audience.

“Black Journal” won an Emmy in 1970 for excellence in public affairs. He studied engineering at City College of New York, but dropped out to pursue a career in the performing arts.

He joined the American Negro Theatre, where fellow members included Harry Belafonte and Sidney Poitier, and was briefly part of The Actors Studio, with Marlon Brando among his peers.

Greaves appeared in “Lost in the Stars,” “Lost Boundaries” and other movies, but he became frustrated with the roles offered black performers, especially after being asked to play a porter in a Broadway revival of “The Twentieth Century.”

He moved to Canada and immersed himself in documentary-making as part of the National Film Board of Canada.

The rise of the civil rights movement opened up chances for work in the United States, and in the early ’60s, he returned and formed William Greaves Productions.

His notable documentaries included “Still a Brother: Inside the Black Middle Class” and “From These Roots,” about the Harlem Renaissance. In 1966, at the request of the United States Information Agency, he traveled to Senegal and filmed the First World Festival of Negro Arts, which featured Duke Ellington and Langston Hughes, among others.

He also made the experimental “Symbiopyschotaxiplasm: Take One,” what he called a “cosmic comedy” about a director (Greaves) facing a rebellion from his cast and crew.

A cult favorite admired by Steven Soderbergh, “Symbiopyschotaxiplasm” was filmed in the late 1960s, but wasn’t released until 2005.

In 1959, Greaves married Louise Archambault, who collaborated on many of his films. They had three children.


William Greaves

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Manipur Governor VK Duggal resigns

News4u-News Desk- Vinod Kumar Duggal has resigned as Manipur Governor Thursday night becoming the ninth governor appointed by the UPA regime to quit since the NDA Government came to power in May this year.

Duggal, who holds additional charge of Mizoram as well, arrived here and called on President Pranab Mukherjee where he handed over the resignation.

“I have submitted my resignation to the President,” Duggal, a former Union Home Secretary, said.

Asked whether he was asked to quit, 69-year-old Duggal, who became the Governor of the Northeastern state on 31st December last, said, “I have resigned on my own accord.”

Duggal, who served as Home Secretary from 2005 to 2007, is the second Governor to have put in his papers this week.

Earlier, Sheila Dikshit resigned as Governor of Kerala on 26th August.

With this, Duggal, as IAS officer of 1968 batch, becomes the ninth Governor to have resigned since the Narendra Modi government came to power on 26th May.


Manipur Governor VK Duggal resigns

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Saina, Sindhu enter World Badminton C’ships quarterfinals

News4u-Sports Desk- Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu came back from a game down to win their respective women’s singles matches as they entered the quarterfinals of the World Badminton Championships, Copenhagen on Thursday.

Sindhu, 19, held her nerves in the last six match points to upset World No.5 Yeon Ju Bae of South Korea 19-21 22-20 25-23 in 1 hour and 16 minutes at the Ballerup Super Arena.

The 11th-seeded Hyderabadi will now take on World No.2 Shixian Wang of China, who eased past Thi Trang Vu of Vietnam 21-12 21-7 in the pre-quarterfinals match.

Earlier Olympic bronze medallist Nehwal fought her way back from a game down to register a 14-21 21-18 21-12 victory over Sayaka Takahashi of Japan.

World No.7 Saina, seeded seventh in the tournament, lost the first game, but rallied in a fine fashion to prevail over her 13th seeded Japanese rival in a match that lasted an hour and five minutes.

Saina will take on World No.1 Li Xuerui of China in the last-eight stage of the tournament.

In the opening game today, the Indian looked completely off colour and was never in contention.

From the very beginning she started to trail behind and there was not even one instance in the game when Saina could catch her opponent.

The World No. 14 Japanese straight away opened up a 4-0 lead and throughout the game, Saina was lagging behind.

The nearest she could reach her rival was at 5-6.

In the second game, the Indian got her act together and surged ahead with a 7-3 lead, but Takahashi soon earned four consecutive points to make it 7-7 and then moved swiftly to extend the gap.

At one stage the Japanese had opened up a huge 13-8 lead and the Indian was seen playing only the catch-up game.

But just when it was looking as if it was all over for Saina, she maintained her clam to brought the gap down to 15-16 before catching Takahashi at 17-17.

At 18-18, Saina upped the ante and reeled off three straight points to take the match to the decider.

The third and final game turned out to be a cake walk for India’s ace shuttler, who broke away from a tied 7-7 situation to topple her rival 21-12 at the end.


Saina Nehwal

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