Saturday, March 17, 2018

Xi Jinping gets second term

China’s  parliament unanimously handed President Xi Jinping a second term Saturday and elevated his right-hand man to the vice presidency, giving him a strong ally to consolidate power and handle US trade threats.

Xi’s reappointment by the Communist Party-controlled legislature was a foregone conclusion, but all eyes had been on whether his former anti-corruption enforcer, Wang Qishan, would become his deputy.
The National People’s Congress has widely expanded Xi’s already considerable authority during its annual session, adding his name to the constitution and lifting the two five-year term limit for the presidency and vice presidency.
Xi received a standing ovation after winning all 2,970 votes. Only one delegate voted against Wang’s appointment, with 2,969 in favour. In 2013, Xi had received 2,952 votes, with one against and three abstentions, a 99.86 percent share.
Xi and Wang shook hands as the legislators applauded.
As part of the package of constitutional amendments, Xi and Wang for the first time took the oath of office by pledging allegiance to the constitution. Xi put his left hand on a red-covered book containing the constitution, and raised his right fist to take his oath.
Elevating Wang allows Xi to keep a formidable ally by his side, as China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong cements his authority and sets his sights on a possible lifelong tenure.
Wang, 69, stepped down from the Communist Party’s ruling council in October under informal retirement rules.
But he has kept a prominent profile, sitting at the same table as the seven members of the Politburo Standing Committee during the public sessions of the National People’s Congress.
Wang’s appointment shows that “he’s a really important political advisor,” said Kerry Brown, director of the Lau China Institute at King’s College London. “He’s a very capable politician, so it make sense he would still be around,” Brown told AFP, noting that “it also shows we’re in an unconventional time in Chinese politics.”
Wang was at the frontline of Xi’s anti-corruption crusade, heading the party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, which punished 1.5 million officials in the past five years, from low-level cadres to regional leaders and generals. He stepped down last year.
Known internationally in his previous role as China’s pointman on trade, Wang could help Xi deal with increasingly tense relations with the United States amid fears of a looming trade war, analysts say.

Russia expel 23 British diplomats

Russian has said shall take retaliatory actions so have they asked British embassy 23 diplomats to leave. The retaliatory measures were communicated to British ambassador Laurie Bristow, when he was summoned before  the foreign ministry in Moscow this week.
Moscow times reports Russia has decided to expel 23 British diplomats who must leave Moscow within a week, its foreign ministry said on Saturday, after a meeting with Britain’s ambassador to Russia, Laurie Bristow.
In retaliation for British Prime Minister Theresa May’s decision to kick out 23 Russians, Moscow has also decided to close the British Council in Russia and to withdraw permission for Britain to open a general consulate in St Petersburg, the ministry said in a statement.
Russia announced Saturday it will expel 23 British diplomats and halt the activities of the British Council in response to London’s “provocative” measures over the poisoning of a former Russian double agent and his daughter.
“Twenty three diplomatic staff at the British embassy in Moscow are declared persona non grata and to be expelled within a week,” the foreign ministry said in a statement after summoning the British ambassador Laurie Bristow.
It said the move was a response to Britain’s “provocative actions” and “baseless accusations over the incident in Salisbury on March 4,” referring to the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal with a nerve agent developed in the Soviet Union, which Britain has blamed on Russia.
Russia also said it was halting the activities of the British Council, Britain’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, across the country.
“Due to the unregulated status of the British Council in Russia, its activity is halted,” the foreign ministry said.
And the ministry had also warned Britain that “if further unfriendly actions are taken towards Russia, the Russian side retains the right to take other answering measures.”

Philippine plane crashes into house

Ten people were killed when a small plane crashed into a house just outside the Philippine capital on Saturday, police and aviation officials said.
The twin-engine aircraft crashed shortly after taking off in Plaridel town, killing all five aboard as well as three children, a mother and a grandmother from the family in the house, said Superintendent Julio Lizardo.
“We had to dig through the rubble to find the bodies,” he said, explaining why the toll rose from an initial figure of seven dead.
Officials declined to say what may have caused the crash of the Piper PA-23 Apache, operated by a local charter company. Media agencies

TV Heartthrob Tarun Malhotra’s Bollywood debut cakewalk

TV Heartthrob Tarun Malhotra’s Bollywood debut opposite Esha Deol in Cakewalk.

After working with ace filmmakers like Pradeep Sarkar and Gaurie Shinde, Tarun will work with debutant director duo Ram Kamal Mukherjee and Abhra Chakraborty.
Tarun always wanted to act in a Hindi feature film. When producer turned director Ram Kamal Mukherjee offered him male lead in his film Cakewalk, Tarun couldn’t believe that he was an inch away from making his dream come true. Incidentally, he met Ram Kamal when he was heading Stardust magazine. 

Tarun recollects, “I met Ram Kamal when I was called to choreograph the annual event of Magna Publications five years ago. I met him for the first time. He came across as a no-nonsense guy. I was teaching him a dance routine for one of the acts. It is nostalgic to revisit those memories. I was delighted when
Ram Kamal told me he would like to consider me for the role, he asked me ‘If I would like to do it?’, for the belief that he showed in me, my response was ‘Hell yeah!’ And now I am all set to make my Bollywood debut.”
Tarun will be seen opposite Bollywood actress Esha Deol. Considering both Esha and Tarun are fabulous dancers, do we get to see some “Dhoom machale” moves in Cakewalk? “That I can’t reveal right now, but I am excited and nervous at the same time. I think Esha is a powerhouse of talent. I look forward to start the process of making this beautiful depiction of relationships in a subtle way. The story written by Ram Kamal is just so amazing and real. And l am absolutely sure that working with director duo like Ram Kamal and Abhra Chakraborty is going to be a cakewalk,” he concludes. Produced by Assorted Motion Pictires and S S One Entertainments, the film will shot in Mumbai and Kolkata. Produced by Dinesh Gupta, Shailendra Kumar and Aritra Das, the film has music by Shailendra Sayanti
Tarun bagged his first TV project Jaanbaz Sindabad for Ramanand Sagar productions for Zee TV. He played antagonist Keherman, which was based on a Persian fairy tale. “I thoroughly relished the experience. My learning prevailed as I further went onto working with Pradeep dada (Sarkar) for a TVC, which lead me to receiving more calls from him for several other projects. Today I have been a part of almost 8 advertisements with Dada. I owe him a lot because today I grew as an actor because of him,” he informs.
Tarun recently played lead in a web series Dulha Wanted. He shared screen space with veteran Surekha Sikhri. He also played cameo in an Australian TV series Jack Irish. He might soon make his debut in a Marathi film. Recently he worked with Gaurie Shinde for a TVC starring Alia Bhatt.

Tarun worked in a dance musical fashion film for Neeta Lulla, which bagged the Best Fashion Film Award at London Film Festival. He was also associated with dancing diva Madhuri Dixit for her television “home learning” of various dance moves. “It was in the later years, when I began to take an keen interest in acting, as I felt I could further explore my creative side, it was just a matter of time that it became my primary line of work,” he avers.

Rahul Sharma lost 20 kilos

Rahul Sharma lost 20 kilos for his debut Hindi thriller film X Ray- The Inner Image.

Who says only women in Bollywood have to deal with physical stereotypes? There are men too who succumb to such prejudices and lose out on opportunities! Case in point being the upcoming star Rahul Sharma who broke many barriers to make his way in the Hindi film industry and is a classic example of a great transformation by having lost as many as 20 KILOS! 
Hailing from Muzzarpur, Bihar, Rahul had to deal with many backlashes for his looks. Despite taking formal training in acting from Vidur Chaturvedi’s acting academy, in his initial auditions, Rahul faced rejections not for his acting mettle but for being over weight and dark! “Yes, it’s true. I did get rejected for being fat and dark!,” recalls Rahul who finally has landed himself his debut film X-Ray – The Inner Image.
“I went for auditions where people were more interested in my looks than my talent. But this movie is my answer to all those people,” says Sharma. “I did work hard to make this far. I refined my acting skills even more, got some back camera training as well and all this while losing 20 Kilos! The journey was tough, I went through severe diets and workout to get this body and I am glad it worked for me,” exclaims Rahul who is tremendously inspired by actors like Varun Dhawan and Tiger Shroff! “I think they showcase great discipline and that’s what I admire about both Varun and Tiger. They inspire me to work hard on myself and hence I want to be like them,” says Rahul.
Starting off with music videos and having done many fashion shows, Rahul is very excited about his debut project. “It’s a thriller directed by Rajiv S Ruia,” divulges Rahul very cautiously while refusing to give out more details.The film is produced by Baba Motion Pictures.
Well, Rahul Sharma sure looks the promising star of 2019! Atta boy!

 Sonia: Modi Gov,can’t cower down Congress

Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi addresses the 84th party plenary session in New Delhi. Modi’s promises were all ‘dramebazi’, says Sonia.
The salient features are  as such,
First of all, I congratulate Rahul Gandhi, he took up this responsibility (of party president) at a very challenging time
The party’s victory will be the nation’s victory. It will be the victory for each one of us. The Congress is not a political term, it is a movement
Today only one things matters — how to strengthen the great party with which we have relations which goes back in time
Forty years back Indiraji’s stunning victory in Chikmagalur turned around Indian politics, once again our party must give a similar performance.
You all know how due circumstances I entered the public sphere but when I realized that the party is weakening, keeping in mind sentiments of Congressmen, I entered the political arena.
Under Manmohan Singh’s government economic growth was at its highest. Today, I am saddened to see that Modi government is weakening and ignoring the schemes and programs (implemented during UPA)
In last four years, this arrogant govt has left no stone upturned to destroy Congress. But Congress has never cowered down and it will never cower down.>
We are exposing fraud and corruption by PM Modi and the people with him, using proof.
It is the beginning of a new chapter, the challenges we are facing are not usual ones. We need to make an India free of corruption and vendetta, under President Rahul Gandhi, let us pledge that we will make all efforts to to do this.

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