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  • Taapsee Pannu to endorse Honda's two-wheelers

    Actress Taapsee Pannu, who has worked in the Hindi and the southern film industry, has been roped in as the first female brand ambassador for Japanese motorcycle and scooter manufacturing brand Honda.
    "It is a brand that I was associated with even before I thought of becoming an actor. The first ever vehicle I ever drove was a Honda. Presently I own an Activa and Honda car as well. It's a landmark in not only my career, but my lifetime to be an ambassador of a brand of such supreme calibre," Taapsee told IANS.

    On Wednesday, Honda launched two new editions of Aviator and Activa automatic scooters here.

    Sexy Maria Sharapova for Harper´s Bazaar

     Maria Sharapova isn't afraid to star onto magazine photo shoots looking fierce and beautiful. The Russian has developed great confidence in front of the camera over the years, so much that in the past she also posed multiple times just wearing swim suits.
    Recently the Russian starred in a new photo shoot, for magazine Harper's Bazaar. Looking sexy and stunning wearing gold, Maria is already getting into the fashionable London mood. Maria will also be opening her Sugarpova Exclusive Candy Lounge in London, right during the Championships of Wimbledon.

    It seems a busy period for the Russian, who at Wimbledon will try to do better than last year's fourth round.  Sharapova hasn't reached the second week in London since 2011, which marks her last appearance into a Wimbledon final, losing to Petra Kvitova.

    Congress demands Smriti Irani’s resignation

     Congress on Wednesday demanded that Smriti Irani resign as HRD minister after a trial court took cognizance of a complaint about her educational qualifications, the party taking pleasure in the fact that PM Narendra Modi's weapon to take on Rahul Gandhi was on the back foot.

    AICC spokesman Ajay Maken said Irani could not be the minister in-charge of education when an inquiry seeking details from Delhi University about her degrees was on. "Is it not a conflict of interest? She should resign or the PM should remove her," he said.

    Maken reminded that Congress had raised the issue immediately after the PM constituted his Cabinet as Irani's election affidavits had serious discrepancies with different claims about her degrees.

    NSUI, the Congress's students' outfit, held a demonstration in front of Shastri Bhavan which houses the HRD ministry to seek Irani's resignation. Shouting slogans, NSUI members burnt her effigy. NSUI chief Roji John said, "It is an insult to the academic and student community that a person who is not clear about her own educational qualifications is the country's HRD minister. She must resign."
    Congress is set to pile more pressure with the party's Delhi unit deciding to hold a protest at Jantar Mantar seeking Irani's resignation on Thursday.

    For the party aggressively pursuing 'Modigate', the court observation on Irani has brought special relish that goes beyond the satisfaction of punching holes in BJP's claim of "scam-free" governance.

    BJP had lately deployed Irani to take on Rahul after the latter's post-sabbatical aggression against Modi government, especially the PM, in Parliament.

    Irani's forays into Rahul's constituency Amethi reflected a strategy to tie down Rahul to his seat and cut down on his national campaign. The HRD minister contested unsuccessfully against Rahul in the 2014 polls. After Rahul accused the Centre of "politics of revenge" for cancelling the food park in Amethi, Irani held a rally in the UP town attacking the Congress leader. She then challenged that "the Gandhis would be seeing more of me in Amethi".

    This Is What Beyonce Looks Like 22 Days into a Vegan Diet

    Major announcement from Beyonce! That’s what she teased a few days ago. Turns out it was another opportunity to free her fans from some hard-earned money. Also, a reason to post some online pics of her in a swimsuit.

    That special announcement? She started a vegan delivery service with personal trainer Marco Borges and a new diet plan, “22 Days Nutrition”. This Borges quack started a ‘revolutionary’ 22-day diet that’s “based around a whole-food plant-based diet, and bans meat, eggs, dairy, alcohol and processed foods for 22 days – the length of time it is thought to take to build new food habits.” Bsically, they say 21 days to break bad habits and the 22nd day to start a new, hoepfully healthier, habit.
    Wannnnk. Here’s a tip, eat in moderation and don’t stuff your face with bad shit. If it comes in a package, it’s not good for you. And alcohol has a ton of calories. Do people really need Beyonce to teach them this? Sadly, yes.

    These people will line up to shove their money into Beyonce’s face as if she was a deity. Are they gonna rub her belly for good luck also? If there’s any justice in this world, this new delivery service will fail, just like Jay-Z’s arrogant streaming service, Tidal.

    Six dead in ammonia gas tanker leak near Ludhiana

    At least six persons were killed and around 100 others complained of breathing problems when an ammonia gas tanker leaked early on Saturday near Ludhiana, police said.

    The leak occurred when the tanker got stuck under a flyover on the Doraha bypass along a canal, about 25 kms from Ludhiana, according to the police.

    Six persons died after inhaling the leaked gas. Doraha Police Station's SHO Rajnish Kumar Sood said the bodies have been shifted to a hospital in Ludhiana. Around 100 others complained of breathing problems, he added.
    The affected people have been admitted to different hospitals in Doraha, Khanna and Ludhiana, the SHO said.

    Residents in the area were forced to vacate their homes when the gas from the tanker spread in and around Doraha, police said.

    The tanker had Gujarat registration number, according to the police. Police officers have rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation.

    More details are awaited. Identities of the victims are yet to be ascertained, the police said. 

    Pakistanis are living longer but not healthier lives

     People in Pakistan are living longer, but not happily.

    It is not a political statement but the finding of a worldwide study that the longer living Pakistanis are spending more time in ill health.

    International researchers working for the Global Burden of Disease project reported that in 2013 migraines, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and diabetes were among the 10 leading causes of ‘years lived with disability’ (YLDs) in Pakistan.

    Other leading causes included hearing loss, anxiety disorders and neck pain.

    Titled “1990-2013: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013” the study was led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, and is based on data of 301 acute and chronic diseases and injuries in 188 countries.
    Death rates are falling faster than those of nonfatal diseases and injuries

    People are living longer in Pakistan despite spending more time in ill health because rates of non-fatal diseases and injuries decline more slowly than death rates, the study explained.

    For both sexes combined, the leading causes of YLDs remained largely the same during the period 1990-2013. But they take an increased toll on health due to population growth and aging, it said.
    It also shows that musculoskeletal disorders – which include shoulder injuries and fractures from osteoporosis – have replaced diarrheal diseases as a leading cause of YLDs for Pakistani women. In the 23 years the study covers, iron-deficiency anemia at 11 per cent was the smallest percentage increase among the top causes of YLDs while musculoskeletal disorders as the cause increased by 163 per cent, and diabetes by 170 per cent.

    Diabetes YLDs for men in Pakistan increased by 100 per cent and depression by 94 per cent during those years, while that from iron-deficiency anemia declined by 9 per cent.

    “The health of Pakistanis is increasingly threatened by non-communicable diseases such as depression, chronic back pain, and migraines,” said Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta, co-author of the study and founding director of the Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health at the Aga Khan University in Karachi.

    “At the same time, diseases like iron-deficiency anemia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes are also costing people in Pakistan many years of healthy life. It is critical that we understand which diseases and injuries are causing disability so that we can effectively allocate resources for national planning,” Professor Bhutta added.

    Apple creates 'Move to iOS' app to pull Android users away from Google

    The iPhone 6 has been more successful than previous versions of the smartphone at drawing Android users away from Google’s mobile platform, and Apple wants to capitalize on that with a new app that makes it easier for them to make the switch.

    Later this year, a new “Move to iOS” app will wirelessly transfer a user’s “contacts, message history, camera photos and videos, web bookmarks, mail accounts, calendars, wallpaper, and DRM-free songs and books” from an Android phone to their new iPhone.

    The switching process will also suggest that they install free apps from their Android device that are also available on Apple’s App Store, so switchers can quickly get back on their feet with their favorite apps like Facebook and Twitter. Paid apps that they have on Android with iOS versions available will be added to a user’s wish list in the iOS App Store.
    According to Apple, the whole process will be handled “securely” so that a user’s personal information doesn’t get exposed. It’s not clear exactly how the process works yet, and how aggressive Apple will be when it comes to migrating users away from Google’s services. For example, it’s possible that the process will move all of the contacts a user has stored with Google over to iCloud—Apple hasn’t said one way or another.

    Once the process is done, the Android app will helpfully prompt users to recycle their Android phone, just to keep them from going back to Google’s mobile platform unless they buy a new phone.

    The app wasn’t announced on stage Monday morning during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote, but it appeared on the promotional page the company created to show off its new mobile operating system ahead of its launch later this year.

    Tanu Weds Manu Returns Movie Review

    Movie sequels are all too often horribly musty affairs. Tanu Weds Manu Returns isn't one.

    Notwithstanding the stray false notes that the film strikes, especially in the run-up to the climax, it is a bright and breezy romp that draws sustenance from its droll dialogues, outstanding cast of actors and all-round jollity.

    The film hits the ground running, cruises along like a song until its final moments, where it comes close to losing its way just a tad.

    But one leaves the auditorium with a smile on the face, having witnessed the misadventures of an array of flawed but loveably high-spirited characters who thrive on confusion.

    Yes, it's frothy, but this is fluff that is rooted in recognisable and relatable settings.

    In Himanshu Sharma's busy screenplay, little nuances of culture and language - which obviously vary wildly from the bylanes of Kanpur to the precincts of Delhi University to the rustic ambience of Haryana - are underscored with love, care and precision.

    Tanu Weds Manu Returns revolves around an unintentionally dangerous London- meets-Jhajjar liaison.

    So ominous threats are made by some quarters, but nobody whips out a gun or goes for the kill or hurls ugly invectives.
    This is infinitely more velvety than the much-hyped mess that we were subjected to last week.

    Tanu Weds Manu Returns, which takes off exactly from where its 2011 predecessor left, exudes an air of welcome freshness. For the most part, the film eschews excess.

    The stage for the comic rigmarole is set by a preliminary sequence staged in an ante-room of a British mental asylum where Tanu and Manu, now wedded for four desultory years, have a go at each other like a pair of Kilkenny cats.

    Their marriage is on the rocks and the love that brought them together against all odds has evaporated.

    Launching a broadside at Manu, Tanu accuses him of being devoid of any spark. I am not a lighter, he retorts.

    Manu, on his part, complains to the psychiatric counsellor that Tanu suffers from bipolar disorder and has hormonal issues. She is too moody and demanding, he asserts.

    The unseemly fracas ends in an insane-with-rage Manu being dragged away by the asylum attendants and placed under observation.

    Tanu calls Pappi (Deepak Dobriyal) to head to London and rescue his friend while she flies back to Kanpur.

    Kangana Ranaut, in a magnificently effective double role, powers the comic drama forward with an effortless act that requires her to embody two diametrically divergent faces of Eve in small-town India.

    Tanu Weds Manu Returns vindicates the general belief that Kangana is currently in a zone where she can do no wrong.

    On one hand she is the bubbly and recklessly rebellious Kanpur girl Tanuja Trivedi alias Tanu who walks out on her "boring" London doctor-hubby Manu Sharma (R Madhavan) on a whim and returns to her hometown.

    On the other she embodies the no-nonsense persona of Kusum Sangwan alias Datto, the feisty sports quota Delhi University student from Jhajjar who is a carbon copy of Tanu but for her buck teeth, pixie bob and unalloyed Haryanvi diction.

    Rahul's visit buoys state Cong ranks

    The first visit of All India Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi to Telangana has come as a major confidence booster for the state Congress. The huge response has buoyed the party leaders and cadre, especially it was the first major event organized by the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee after the state bifurcation.

    The Congress has not conducted any major event after its debacle in the general election except some rallies against shifting of TB and Chest hospital in the city and power crisis.

    There had been a feeling among the Congress leaders that there was a lull in party activity for the past 11 months and that the cadre needed a fresh dose of enthusiasm. Rahul Gandhi's visit to Adilabad appeared to have done the trick.
    The party members had started making arrangements for Rahul's visit two weeks ago, erecting banners and flexies all along the national highway up to Nirmal and peppering the town with party tri-colour flags and cut-outs of Rahul. Same was the scene along the padayatra route.

    Congress workers and locals waited till well past Thursday midnight in front of the hotel in Nirmal town, where Rahul Gandhi was staying, to try and catch a glimpse of the leader. The police faced a tough time in clearing the gathering in view of the security requirements.

    "The party should conduct such big programmes to take up people's problems and issues at least once in three months. The workers were inactive in the past 11 months and these programmes would definitely boost their morale and confidence," Ramesh Nagul, a farmer from Nirmal said.

    Shruti Haasan bags role in 'Singam 3'

    Actress Shruti Haasan has reportedly been roped in for the third installment of the 'Singam' franchise. The film, which will be helmed by Hari Gopalakrishnan, also features Suriya and Anushka Shetty in the lead roles.

    "Shruti is most likely to play the second lead. While she agreed to be part of the project, the paperwork is still pending. She's expected to sign on the dotted line soon," a source from the film's unit told IANS.

    Director Hari had planned to include Shruti in 'Singam 3' after he was impressed with her work in their last Tamil outing
    Shruti Haasan bags role in 'Singam 3'

    "The film is expected to go on the floors in September. Anirudh Ravichander will be composing tunes, while comedian Soori has been cast in an important role," the source said.

    Suriya, who is currently busy with Tamil thriller '24', will join the sets from September onwards

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