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Nagarjuna's Next Film Finalized January 18, 2019 13:20

King Nagarjuna is left in shock with back to back debacles. His career went down hill from the past couple of years and the actor is on a break. Nag is busy with the shoot of his next film titled Brahmastra directed by Ayan Mukherjee. Ranbir Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan and Alia Bhatt are the lead actors in this action thriller that will release this year. Nagarjuna will be seen in a cameo in this film. As per the latest news, the actor signed his next film titled Bangarraju. Kalyan Krishna Kurasala who directed Soggade Chinni Nayana will direct this film which is a sequel for Soggade Chinni Nayana. Young actor Naga Chaitanya will be seen in a special role in this village based family drama. The regular shoot commences from April this year and Annapurna Studios will produce Bangarraju. The makers are keen on releasing this film during Sankranthi 2019.

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Indian Techie Becomes World’s Youngest to Climb 7 Volcanic Peaks January 18, 2019 12:39

Bengaluru based techie Satyarup Siddhanta, 35, set foot on the 4,285-metre high volcanic peak, Mt. Sidley in Antarctica, at 6:28 a.m. (Indian Standard Time) on Wednesday, becoming the youngest person in the world, taking 274 days to scale the tallest volcanoes and volcanoes in all seven continents.According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Daniel Bull, an Australian, was the youngest to climb these peaks. He achieved it at the age of 36 years and 157 days, completing the summits between 2006 and 2017.“At 10:10 Fluttered the india flag at sidley what a proud moment,” (sic) he tweeted. At 10:10 Fluttered the india flag at sidley what a proud moment | Find me with inReach➜https://t.co/uNb1Kmko0r — Satyarup Siddhanta (@SatyarupS) January 16, 2019 Earlier this year, he scaled Pico de Orizaba which is the highest volcanic peak in North America.Based in Bengaluru, Siddhanta hails from Haridevpur in South Kolkata and is a software engineer by profession.He holds the record of conquering several summits such as Mt Kilimanjaro in Africa, Mt Elbrus in Europe, Mt Denali in Alaska and Mt Monch Blanc in France.-Sowmya Sangam

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‘Sridevi Just a Name’: Priya Varrier on ‘Sridevi Bungalow’ Row January 18, 2019 12:15

Priya Prakash Varrier, who became a viral internet sensation overnight with a wink scene in Malayalam film Oru Adar Love, has landed in trouble after the release of the trailer of her debut Bollywood film Sridevi Bungalow. The trailer of the film is being heavily criticized for allegedly sharing similarities with the life of late actress Sridevi. Twitterati had slammed the makers over generating buzz around the tragedy. Addressing the controversy in a recent interview with Times of India, Priya said, “Sridevi is just the name of my character in the movie. Who would want to create such controversies? I think the curiosity surrounding the trailer is good and we have to leave it to the audience to judge if the film is based on the veteran actress Sridevi ma’am.” The director of the film Prashant Mambully claiming the movie as crime-thriller as well came out in the film's defense. He is apparently annoyed over the fact that people are generating negative publicity for the film. “We would like to leave it to the audience to decide. The film is a crime thriller and it is important to maintain the suspense of the story. I cannot walk around and reveal the plot to all. I am a hardcore fan of actress Sridevi and I respect and admire her a lot,” he said. According to reports, Boney Kapoor, husband of the late actress, has sent a legal notice to the makers of the film over the film’s title and the depiction of the main character’s death. Priya plays the lead role as the successful but lonely actor in the film. According to the report, friends of the Kapoors say that the filmmaker will not rest easy until the project is aborted. “For Boney, a sleazy representation of his wife’s life is unacceptable. He will not rest easy until this project is aborted,” a close friend told the daily. -Sowmya      

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India Beats Australia to Win ODI Series January 18, 2019 11:48

The team India has clinched the one-day international series with a seven-wicket victory with four balls to spare in the third and deciding game against Australia in Melbourne on Friday.Veteran wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni in a highly skillful manner lead India to the win with an unbeaten 87 with substantial support from Kedar Jadhav on 61 not out.India completed the thoroughly-successful tour of Australia winning the One Day International (ODI) series for the first time in the country. Twitter exploded with congratulatory messages for the Men in Blue. Wonderful calm, composed innings from Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav playing a very important hand. So India do the double, win the test and the one-day series as well. This has been a very fruitful Australia tour for Team India . — VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) January 18, 2019 Doesn’t hit those massive sixes but rotates the strike well,knows his boundary areas that’s the reason his strike rate is always close to 100. Top inning that by @JadhavKedar #AUSvSL — Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) January 18, 2019 's dream run in this tour to ends with a bang!Dhoni (87*) and Jadhav (61*) time this chase to perfection.Not to forget @yuzi_chahal's 6-fer that set the tone for initially.Their first ever bilateral ODI series win in . win by 7 wickets#AUSvIND #PlayBold — Royal Challengers (@RCBTweets) January 18, 2019 Now that is the performance of a champion. MS Dhoni is man of the series. Brilliant. — Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 18, 2019 Super Game of well done boys @BCCI more than the series result I think big big plus for India it’s good to see @msdhoni s form going forward which is going to be very crucial.. sabash @JadhavKedar mza aa gya 2-1 great way to finish the tour — Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) January 18, 2019 Super successful test series and India addressing all the concerns in the ODI side in style. Chahal and Kedar granbing their chances in style, Bhuvi back at his best, Shami impressive and most importantly Dhoni answering with the bat in style — Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) January 18, 2019 Om Finishaya Namah !Test Series ODI Series — Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) January 18, 2019 India win the match and the series! Dhoni has done it again to guide them home unbeaten on 87* with four balls to spare: https://t.co/6xmi9N8VsW #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/44dGhxldTL — cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 18, 2019 Keep Calm, and MSD A series-winning knock, in which Australia will rue the two dropshttps://t.co/0pLTVqQi1s #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/FHq1HjJqol — ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) January 18, 2019 -Sowmya Sangam

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H-1B Visa Holders are ‘Underpaid, Vulnerable to Abuse’: U.S. Think-Tank January 18, 2019 10:46

The United States think-tank on Thursday claimed that the workers under the H-1B visa programme are “vulnerable to abuse” and “frequently” placed in poor working conditions.In the report, seeking reforms such as a substantial increase in wages, the South Asia Center of the Atlantic Council also sought safeguards for those working under the visa programme such as providing greater employment rights and fair working conditions. “H1-B holders in the United States can rest assured that changes are soon coming which will bring both simplicity and certainty to your stay, including a potential path to citizenship. We want to encourage talented and highly skilled people to pursue career options in the U.S.,” Trump had tweet Friday.Authored by Ron Hira from Howard University and head of South Asia Center of the Atlantic Council, Bharat Gopalaswamy, the report says the current system not only harms Americans, but it also enables H-1B workers to be exploited. “H-1B workers themselves are underpaid, vulnerable to abuse, and frequently placed in poor working conditions. Adopting safeguards to ensure H-1B workers are paid appropriate wages, provided fair working conditions, and given greater employment rights would not only improve their lives but would also better protect U.S. workers,” it said.The report said adopting adequate safeguards would also ensure the H-1B programme contributes to the United States economy by filling genuine shortages in the labor market with foreign workers who possess rare skills and can be rightly characterized as the “best and brightest”.Reforms SuggestedThree key reforms were suggested by think-tank saying these should apply to all employers and not simply a subset of them.“The first, and most important, reform is to substantially raise the wages of H-1B workers. If the United States is going to invite in the “best and brightest” workers, they ought to be paid in the top quartile,” the report said.Second, employers should demonstrate they have actively recruited US workers, and offered positions to qualified people, prior to turning to the H-1B programme, it said. The report observed that the rationale of the H-1B programme is to fill labor gaps and not merely to swell the pool of candidates for employers, the report observed.“Third, the programme needs an effective and efficient enforcement mechanism,” the think-tank said, claiming that the current programme compliance is complaint-driven, resting almost entirely on whistleblowers to reduce fraud. This is a poor design, it said.The Atlantic Council said there should be adjustments to the allocation process. “It makes no sense to allocate H-1B on a first-come, first served basis or, even worse, by random lottery - as occurs when the program is immediately oversubscribed,” it said.-Sowmya Sangam

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Smelling High-Calorie Food for 2 Minutes Can Help You Eat Less: Study January 18, 2019 10:42

Every so often when you enter a restaurant, the aroma of pizzas, burger or sandwiches may entice you but you refrain yourself from eating them due to high calorie it contains. Are you on a diet and still can’t control yourself from eating high-calorie food? Okay, here’s a piece of good news for you. A study suggests that smelling the food items for longer than 2 minutes will make you feel satiated. The researchers, including one Indian origin, said that ambient food scent can directly satisfy the belly because the brain does not necessarily differentiate the source of sensory pleasure. "Ambient scent can be a powerful tool to resist cravings for indulgent foods. In fact, subtle sensory stimuli like scents can be more effective in influencing children's and adults' food choices than restrictive policies," said lead author Dipayan Biswas, Professor at the University of South Florida. A direct connection has been discovered between the length of exposure time and whether or not one will indulge. A series of tests were also conducted by the researchers using a nebulizer that individually gave off the smell of healthy and unhealthy food items (strawberries versus cookies, pizza versus apples). The findings, published in the Journal of Marketing Research, showed that participants exposed to the scent of cookies for less than 30 seconds were more probable to want a cookie. However, those exposed for longer than two minutes did not find that cookie desirable and picked strawberries as an alternative. The results were similar in case of the scent of pizza and apples.The study further noted that since non-indulgent foods do not give off much of an ambient scent, they are typically not connected with reward, thus they have little influence on what we order. Since high caloric foods are high in sugars and fats, the extraordinary consumption of these type of foods increase the risk factors for heart disease, obesity type-2 diabetes as well as cancers.-Sowmya Sangam

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Tulsi Gabbard Apologizes for Her Past Statement on LGBTQ January 18, 2019 10:36

The Indian American Democratic presidential aspirant Tulsi Gabbard on Thursday apologized for her past remarks on the LGBTQ community, saying now she has a strong commitment to fight for her rights. Gabbard, 37, the first Hindu lawmaker in the United States Congress earlier this week announced she will run for 2020 presidential election.In the past, she "forcefully defended" her father who was fighting against gay rights and marriage equality in Hawaii.In a video message, Gabbard said: "In my past, I said and believed things that were wrong, and worse, hurtful to the LGBTQ community and their loved ones. Many years ago, I apologized for my words and, more importantly, for the negative impact that they had"."I sincerely repeat my apology today. I'm deeply sorry for having said them. My views have changed significantly since then, and my record in Congress over the last six years reflects what is in my heart: A strong and ongoing commitment to fighting for LGBTQ rights."When we deny LGBTQ people the basic rights that exist for every American, we are denying their humanity, denying that they are equal. We are also creating a dangerous environment that breeds discrimination and violence. When we divide people based on who they are or who they love, all we are doing is adding fuel the flames that perpetuate bigotry and hatred," Gabbard said.Related content: Tulsi Gabbard Announces 2020 Presidential BidAn Iraq war veteran, who is highly popular among Indian Americans was recently re-elected for her fourth consecutive term to the House of Representatives from the State of Hawaii."I know that LGBTQ+ people still struggle, are still facing discrimination, are still facing abuse and still fear that their hard-won rights are going to be taken away by people who hold views like I used to," she said.That cannot happen because every single American deserves to be treated equally by their fellow Americans and under the law, she said."I will continue to fight for LGBTQ+ people, whether they're in school or serving in uniform, trying to get healthcare, taking care of their family, or looking for a home," she said.Gabbard said she grew up knowing that every person is a child of God and equally loved by God."I have always believed in the fundamental rights and equality of all people. But I also grew up in a socially conservative household, where I was raised to believe that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.For a period of my life, I didn't see the contradiction in those beliefs."While many Americans may be able to relate to growing up in a conservative home, my story is a little different because my father was very outspoken.He was an activist who was fighting against gay rights and marriage equality in Hawaii – and at that time, I forcefully defended him and his cause," Gabbard explained."But over the years as I grew up, I formed my own opinions based on my life experience that significantly changed my views -- at a very personal level in truly having aloha, love, for all people, and making sure that every American, regardless of sexual orientation, is treated equally under the law," she added.The 2020 presidential primary cycle is scheduled to commence from the Iowa Caucuses on February 3, 2020, followed by the New Hampshire Primary on February 11, Nevada caucus of February 15 and South Carolina on February 22.-Sowmya Sangam

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Charan's Vinaya Vidheya Rama First Week Collections January 18, 2019 08:55

Mega Powerstar Ram Charan after a blockbuster like Rangasthalam tested his luck with an out and out mass entertainer titled Vinaya Vidheya Rama. The film is directed by Boyapati Sreenu and is made on a massive budget. Kiara Advani played the female lead and Vivek Oberoi, Prashanth, Aryan Rajesh, Sneha played other pivotal roles. Vinaya Vidheya Rama released across the globe in record number of screens on January 12th. The film received poor response from the audience and has been badly rejected among the Sankranthi releases. Vinaya Vidheya Rama raked Rs 56.73 crores in its first week across the globe which is quite low. Devi Sri Prasad is the music director and DVV Danayya is the producer. Here are the first week collections of Vinaya Vidheya Rama: Nizam: Rs 12.06 Cr Ceeded: Rs 11 Cr Vizag: Rs 6.65 Cr East: Rs 4.58 Cr West: Rs 3.77 Cr Guntur: Rs 6.05 Cr Krishna: Rs 3.35 Cr Nellore: Rs 2.62 Cr AP and Telangana: Rs 50.08 Cr Rest of India: Rs 5.25 Cr Rest of World: Rs 1.40 Cr Total Worldwide: Rs 56.73 Cr  

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India Becoming Laboratory for American Companies: U.S. Expert January 18, 2019 07:03

India is becoming a “laboratory” for American companies, not only to explain their presence there but also to reinvent themselves in sustainability and disruptive-technology, an expert said during a discussion at ICCR-Houston India conference to boost the bilateral trade investment.Various other panelists also emphasized that the possible economic ties between India and the United States are limitless and investment in emerging industries such as e-commerce, digital payments, and startups can further boost business on both sidesThe third edition of the business event was held under the theme of "Make in India-The Inside Story" earlier this week and was attended by several senior officials from India and Texas. "India is becoming a laboratory for U.S. companies, not only to explain their presence there but also to reinvent themselves in sustainability and disruptive-technology," Djordjija Petkosk, lecturer and senior fellow at Wharton Legal Studies & Business Ethics, University of Pennsylvania and adviser to World Bank, said."Also, an important step to expand business in other emerging economies globally," Petkosk told PTI.Principal Economic Adviser at India's Ministry of Finance, Sanjeev Sanyal called for the building of a new India, an economy based on innovation and rule of law."Economic fundamentals in India are strong, and the challenge is to push it into an even higher growth trajectory," Sanyal said.The financial inclusion programs such as Jan Dhan Yojan, banking reforms, and Corporate Social Responsibility activities in India was discussed by Sachin Chaturvedi, Director General at the Research and Information System for Developing Countries, an Indian based think-tank. Sandip Sen, Global CEO of Aegis Ltd, a private entity, called for investment in various areas of emerging industries."There are emerging industries and opportunities to invest in it including digital payments, e-commerce, startups, and Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning," he said.Consul General of India in Houston, Anupam Ray, talked about the role played by the Houston India conference as a unique platform for the evolution of business.Pointing out that Houston is the 4th busiest gateway for trade between India and the U.S., Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner emphasized the importance of a direct flight between Houston and India."A direct flight will help grow the bilateral trade relations between Houston and India," he said.Conference Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Expedien, Jiten Agarwal, emphasized on the Liquefied Natural Gas and new shipments of petroleum, in addition to various commercial deals that have occurred as a consequence of the networking during conferences since its inception in 2017.During the discussion, the experts likewise highlighted on the progress in the business relations between India and the U.S."India has progressed from a reactive to a proactive society, which has led to the stability of the economy from a security perspective," Air Vice Marshal (retd) Arjun Subramanian said.Makarand Paranjape, Director of Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, India, mentioned that the alliance between the United States and India existed naturally and was defeated by external forces."Indian diaspora has become a critical mass in the U.S., that going forward, the friendship between the two countries will only grow further," he said.-Sowmya Sangam

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Vinesh Phogat First Indian Nominated for Laurels World Sports Award January 18, 2019 05:30

Indian female wrestler Vinesh Phogat has become the first Indian sportsperson to be nominated for Laurels World Sports Award that honors individuals and teams from the world of sports along with achievements in sporting all through the year.Vinesh, who has been nominated in “Laureus World Sporting Comeback” category for the year 2019, will be competing with Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris, golf great Tiger Woods, American alpine ski racer Lindsey Vonn, Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Manyu, and Dutch para-snowboarding star Bibian Mentel-Spee.Earlier this year, Vinesh won gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, another gold at the Asian Games in Jakarta, and a silver in the 2018 Asian Championships in Bishkek. The gold in Jakarta was the first by an Indian female wrestler at the Asian Games.The 24-year-old Vinesh’s career in wrestling was thought to be over after she suffered a knee injury that ended her quarter-final bout and as well her dreams of winning a medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.But then after working her way back to fitness, Vinesh announced her comeback with the Commonwealth Games gold and a victory at the Madrid Grand Prix. In 2016, she had lost the Olympic quarter-final to China's San Yanan. Her 2018 Asian Games had begun with a repeat of the fixture and Vinesh went on to triumph the match 8-2.Vinesh was one of the nominees for the Padma Shri award in 2018, after giving her best at the Asiad. Three years after the grim injury, Vinesh is now expected to be a favorite to win a medal at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.-Sowmya Sangam

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