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Mattis, Pompeo to Travel to India for 2+2 in September July 19, 2018 12:02

The first 2+2 dialogue between Defence and Foreign Ministers of India and the United States will take place in September first week in New Delhi. An official announcement on this will be probably in the following few days, according to a report. The dialogue which was initially scheduled for July 6 in Washington was postponed due to changes in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's schedule. Pompeo was in Pyongyang for denuclearization talks with the North Korean regime on July 6. James Mattis, Defence Secretary, had offered to host Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on the same day, but India did not warm up to the thought of an abbreviated meeting.Pompeo and Mattis be traveling to New Delhi in the first week of September. In the meantime, both countries are trying to turn the spare time provided by the unexpected postponement of the dialogue into an advantage. Negotiations are underway on the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA). A communications agreement is significant to the forward movement of the unfinished proposal for India to acquire armed drones from American company General Atomics. India has reservations regarding the standard text of the COMCASA agreement that the U.S enter into with allies. While the U.S. would opt the standard agreement, it is open to an India-specific agreement too. Both sides have exchanged drafts of the understanding, and communicators are hopeful of its conclusion in time for the dialogue. Lord's visit is to encourage DTTI and similar visits in the past normally included a roundtable with private defense companies. "The private sector is expected to a play a key role in DTTI and their participation in the dialogue would be helpful," said Benjamin Schwartz, Head of the U.S.-India Business Council’s Defense and Aerospace programme.By Sowmya Sangam

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TAUK Hosts Bonalu Celebrations in London July 19, 2018 09:54

Telangana Association of United Kingdom (TAUK) celebrated Bonalu fete in London in an expansive manner.Regional Members of Parliament Seema Malhotra, Virendra Sharma, and the initial secretary of Indian High Commission Anima Bharadwaj dignified the celebrations as the chief guests while more than 800 Non-Resident Indian (NRI) family members from all the corners of United Kingdom took part in the event.Umpteen locals likewise took part in the celebrations which were held in unalloyed conventional ways.The chief guests, as enthralled with the grand celebrations, acclaimed the endeavor of TAUK for their social service programs without bounds. They likewise offered their assistance in all possible manners to the approaching TAUK programs. TAUK founder Anil Koormachalam, President Pavitra Reddy Kandi, Vice-president Swathi Budagam, and Secretary Ravi Rethineni uttered their felicity on the success of the Bonalu event.By Sowmya Sangam

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NRI Sisters Sell Nuts to Aid Cancer Patients in Mumbai July 19, 2018 06:51

Dubai-settled teenage sisters have been selling packaged nuts for a year now in order to raise money to aid children suffering from cancer and assist them with finer care at Mumbai's Tata Memorial Hospital.Till date, their endeavor has provided 1500+ nights of shelter to children and their families, who would otherwise be staying roadside.The duo, under the Helping Hands Foundation's Accommodation Project, sells nuts to raise funds at local events and exhibitions in the United Arab Emirates.Mehr Bhatia, 16, says, "We don't take donations; instead, we sell organic nuts for a certain price, the proceeds of which all go to the project. A packet of nuts priced Dh40 can fund a night’s stay of a child at the hospital."Earlier this week, sisters Mehr Bhatia and Shenaya Bhatia, visited Mumbai to meet the children, along with their parents, who are second-generation businesspersons in Dubai. Shenaya, 12, says on their trip, "The experience was an eye-opener, we knew it would be hard for those kids and their families but seeing it ourselves made us aware of how much more we need to do."It was the first time they met the affected children. Mehr says, "Communicating with the children in the hospital wasn't very successful as they were quite young and shy to speak to visitors. Later when we visited the Dharamshala where the kids and their families were staying during treatment, we spoke to a 17-year-old girl who told us about how she was treated in the Tata Memorial Hospital but her Leukemia then relapsed and her whole family had to travel back to Mumbai from her village for the treatment, she has spent seven years of her life in and out of hospitals."She adds, "We also had the chance to speak to some of the parents who told us about the struggles they go through and how their entire family is affected throughout the period of treatment. Both parents are required for the duration of the child’s stay in the hospital as usually the mother stays with the child and provides emotional support whereas the father then goes out to collect funds to support the rest of his family."Currently, they plan on taking the awareness one step farther by giving more negotiations across Dubai and in schools.The duo says they would like to keep the literal sum of funds raised unveiled.By Sowmya Sangam

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RX 100 First Week Collections July 19, 2018 06:34

RX 100 is one film which has been making enough noise across the globe. A small film that released last Thursday ended up as one of the biggest hits in Tollywood this year. Ajay Bhupathi made his directorial debut with the movie which featured Karthikeya and Paayal Rajput in the lead roles. Impressed with the narration, the audience made the film emerge as a massive hit. RX 100 has been made on a small budget of Rs 3 crores and the film raked Rs 8.17 crores in its first week across the globe. RX 100 is expected to end up collecting a theatrical share of over Rs 15 crores in its final run. Karthikeya Creations produced RX 100 and here are the first week worldwide shares of the movie: Nizam: Rs 3.65 Cr Ceeded: Rs 0.88 Cr Vizag: Rs 0.86 Cr Guntur: Rs 0.50 Cr East: Rs 0.59 Cr West: Rs 0.44 Cr Krishna: Rs 0.48 Cr Nellore: Rs 0.17 Cr AP and Telangana: Rs 7.57 Cr Rest of India: Rs 0.30 Cr Rest of World: Rs 0.30 Cr Total Worldwide: Rs 8.17 Cr  

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Survey: Indian-Americans Donate $1 Billion a Year, One-third of their Giving Potential July 19, 2018 06:07

Indian-Americans, with advance per capita financial gain, is found that they donate approximately USD 1 billion each year, far less than their potential of USD 3 billion philanthropy in the United States, according to the results of a first-of-its-kind survey.Indian-Americans in the study-which accessed the giving habits, had found that the community donates in the range of 1.5 percent of their income per year, in comparison to the average American donation rate of four percent per year.Indian-Americans have one of the advanced average household incomes of any ethnic community in the United States, and it is acknowledged as being well educated and socially aware.The Indiaspora-Dalberg Community Engagement Survey, which was released during the Indiaspora Philanthropy Summit at Georgetown University on Tuesday, found that Indian-Americans volunteer at nearly double the national average but give considerably less financially, finally leaving a significant social impact on the table. "Today, we are discussing what lies next for Indiaspora in our role as a philanthropic catalyst, which is one of the core pillars of our mission. We are in the early stages of strategically planning what we should do to move the needle which is to say, increase the amount of Indian-American philanthropic giving in America and to India, and make it more effective," said M R Rangaswami, Indiaspora founder.Joe Dougherty, Dalberg Advisors regional director for the Americas said that at over USD 3 billion dollars annually, the giving potential of Indian-Americans is tremendous."Imagine the kind of impact the diaspora could create if they met their giving potential. We hope that the results of this study help galvanize philanthropic efforts among this important and influential community," Dougherty said.Indian-Americans who are passionate over cultural impact has a diversity of curiosity, according to a survey, are cautious screeners and prolific volunteers."However, the community must not get complacent the Indian Diaspora has a long way to go before we can call ourselves good givers," the survey notes."We find there exists a large 'giving gap' in the realm of at least USD 2-3 billion. Further, we find a 'passion-donation gap', which means that the community does not necessarily give to those causes which it collectively claims to be most passionate about," it said.The study as well found that women and men do not always rank the identical causes in the same order of importance.Eventually, the community tends to view its business concern and investment activities as being almost wholly independent of their philanthropic engagements, it said.The study besides finding believable grounds buttressing the pervasive impression that Indian diaspora donors oftentimes lack trust in the philanthropic organizations they might desire to give to."In other words, donors harbor a 'trust deficit'," it said.By Sowmya Sangam

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Human Rights Council is United Nations 'Greatest Failure': Nikki Haley July 19, 2018 04:45

The United States ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Thursday wording the Human Rights Council as the United Nations "greatest failure", claimed that the institution has rendered cover for the world's most barbarous regimes as she defended the Trump administration's conclusion to draw back from it.The U.S. in the month of June withdrew from the UN Human Rights Council, saying America will not take lectures from hypocritical institutions and convicting its "shameless hypocrisy" in exonerating offenders through tranquility and incorrectly condemning those committing no wrongdoing. In her remarks at a top American think-tank 'The Heritage Foundation', the Indian-American U.S. Ambassador to the UN alleged that "more often, the Human Rights Council has provided cover, not condemnation, for the world's most inhumane regimes. It has been a bully pulpit for human rights violators." Alleging that Human Rights Council has been, not a place of conscience, but a place of politics, Haley said the UN body has focused its attention unfairly and relentlessly on Israel. Meanwhile, it has ignored the misery inflicted by regimes in Venezuela, Cuba, Zimbabwe, and China, she said. "Judged by how far it has fallen short of its promise, the Human Rights Council is the United Nations' greatest failure," Haley said."It has taken the idea of human dignity - the idea that is at the center of our national creed and the birthright of every human being - and it has reduced it to just another instrument of international politics. And that is a great tragedy," Haley said, noting that she did not come to this conclusion happily, or lightly. "Many of our friends urged us to stay for the sake of the institution. The United States, they said, provided the last shred of credibility the Council had. But that was precisely why we withdrew," she said. The right to speak freely, to associate and worship freely; to determine one's own future; to be equal before the law - these are sacred rights, she asserted. "We take these rights seriously - too seriously to allow them to be cheapened by an institution - especially one that calls itself the Human Rights Council," she said.Haley said to this day, asserting that none should make fault of equating membership in the Human Rights Council with the assist for human rights, the U.S. does more for human rights than any other country and the U.S. will proceed to do that. "We just won't do it inside a Council that consistently fails the cause of human rights," she said.Haley said America's back down from the Human Rights Council does not mean that it has given up its fight for reform. "On the contrary, any country willing to work with us to reshape the Council need only ask. Fixing the institutional flaws of the Human Rights Council was, is, and will remain one of the biggest priorities at the UN," she added.By Sowmya Sangam

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Indian Film Festival of Melbourne to Take Place Following Month, Rani Mukerji as Chief Guest July 18, 2018 11:32

The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) is scheduled to happen from August 10-22. On the jury are Simi Garewal, Nikkhil Advani, Sue Maslin, Jill Bilcock, Andrew Anastasios and Geoffrey Wright who will be choosing winners under the categories – Best Film, Best Indie Film, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Supporting Role and Best Director. A bulk of the movies competing for the awards are from Bollywood, such as Padman, Hichki, Padmaavat, Sanju, Secret Superstar and Raazi. Two Tollywood films, Mahanati and Rangasthalam, are also in the competition for the Best Film award. The nominees for the Best Actor award are Ranbir Kapoor (Sanju), Varun Dhawan (October), Fahadh Faasil (Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum), Ranveer Singh (Padmaavat), Akshay Kumar (Padman), Manoj Bajpayee (In the Shadows), Soumitra Chatterjee (Mayurakshi) and Shahid Kapoor (Padmaavat). The heroines competing for the Best Actress award are Keerthy Suresh (Mahanati), Rani Mukerji (Hichki), Vidya Balan (Tumhari Sulu), Deepika Padukone (Padmaavat), Alia Bhatt (Raazi), Bhanita Das (Village Rockstars), Tillotama Shome (Sir) and Zaira Wasim (Secret Superstar). In the Best Director category, the nominations are Rajkumar Hirani (Sanju), Shoojit Sircar (October), R Balki (Padman), Siddharth P Malhotra (Hichki), Advait Chandan (Secret Superstar), Dipesh Jain (In the Shadows), Ere Gowda (Balekempa), Suresh Triveni (Tumhari Sulu), Sanjay Leela Bhansali (Padmaavat), Rima Das (Village Rockstars), Meghna Gulzar (Raazi), Tabrez Noorani (Love Sonia) and Rohena Gera (Sir). Samantha Akkineni has been nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category for her performance in Mahanati. Galore of stars, including Freida Pinto, Rani Mukerji, Vicky Kaushal, Ram Charan, Richa Chadha, Rajkumar Hirani, Ali Fazal, Simi Garewal and Malaika Arora, will attend this year's IFFM. The fabled actors Shashi Kapoor and Sridevi Kapoor, who passed away recently, will be esteemed with peculiar screenings of their iconic movies Siddhartha and Chandni, respectively. Subsequently, the IIFM this year has honored Indian actress Rani Mukerji to be chief Guest. Mukerji will be hoisting Indian national flag at Melbourne's Main Public Square. She will be accompanying High Commissioner of India in Australia and The Mayor of Melbourne. -Sowmya Sangam    

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U.S. Becomes Third-largest Market for India's Cars July 18, 2018 06:43

The United States, which was non-existent as an export market for Indian automakers, is now the third-largest export destination, cheers to the stoppage in further regions.In Fiscal Year 2018, passenger car exports to the U.S. ballooned to $654 million from a paltry $3.52 million a year earlier, export data from the Ministry of Commerce presented.With this, the U.S. market contributed to 9.2 percent of the overall car exports from India, the third largest.According to industry experts, the impact of Brexit and firming commodity prices have hit India’s exports to most of the popular markets such as the UK and Europe.Exports to the UK, which was the second-largest market after Mexico in FY17, fell by nearly half to $220 million in FY18. In the meantime, exports to Spain went down 30 percent to $137 million and to Italy by 25 percent to $263 million.Export to Mexico, the major market for Indian automakers, raised 7.7 percent to $1.69 billion in FY2018.The surge in the U.S exports, yet, helped in an overall development of exports for the year.The overall car exports in FY 2018 grew 10 percent to $7.1 billion compared with $6.5 billion in the previous year.In 2017, two American companies, Ford and General Motors started exporting to the U.S. in a giant method.Though Ford started exporting its EcoSport from India to the U.S., GM entirely blackout India sales, using the whole production capacity for exports, chiefly to the U.S.Ford EcoSport and Chevrolet Beat persisted the utmost exported cars from India. The U.S. remains to be the major car market in the world and Indian exports are only scratching the surface.Being an advanced margin market, companies such as Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, and even Volkswagen are ramping up their exports to the U.S. from India, which has turned out to be a huge automotive manufacturing center, selling to about 175 countries.By Sowmya Sangam

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Indian Flick ‘Hichki’ to Hit Russian Screens this September July 18, 2018 05:20

After an irresistible response at the Belt and Road Film Week at Shanghai International Film Festival, the Indian film "Hichki" is all geared up to be released in Russia this September. The movie will be dubbed in Russian for the native spectators. "It's really heartening that 'Hichki' will now release in Russia. It professes the message of converting your worst obstacle into your biggest strength by embracing it and working each day to win over it. It has a beautiful message that nothing is impossible and life can be beautiful even with our inherent complications. I'm really excited to see the reaction of audiences in Russia," Siddharth P Malhotra, the director of the film, said in a statement. The film's producer Maneesh Sharma, assumes a widespread release in Russia, citing the universal plea of the film. The film-whose title is translated as "Ya-prepod" in Russian-is likely to be released across 70 screens in the country. "Hichki'' has touched the hearts of audiences across age groups, across countries. The film moved audiences at the Shanghai Film Festival where it was screened recently and we got a standing ovation there. It was an overwhelming reaction from a non-Hindi speaking market and now that the film is releasing in Russia, we expect audiences to feel the same emotions that people across the world are feeling after seeing the movie," Manish Sharma said. Of late, the Indian film industry has been making endeavors to reclaim its popularity amongst the Russian audience. During the Soviet era, Raj Kapoor was a superstar among Russians, but after the centralized purchasing system was discontinued in 1991, Indian films disappeared from Russia's movie theatres. With the aid of the Indian government, Indian film producers are again focused on the Russian market and are holding film festivals. Few Indian movie makers have even articulated an intense curiosity in filming in Russia. -Sowmya        

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