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MCI (P) 135/03/2018
SINGAPORE, WEEKEND OF FRIDAY,
FEBRUARY 15, 2019
BACK IN INDIA WITH
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India’s first war memorial to be
India will get its first National War
Memorial 40 years after it was first
proposed by the armed forces.
The memorial, which will bear all
the names of independent India’s war
victims, will be inaugurated by Prime
Minister Narendra Modi on Feb 25.
The design of the memorial is a
series of four concentric circles or
“chakras” around a main obelisk like
the national symbol, the
Dharmachakra. It is situated in the “C
Hexagon” of the India Gate circle.
The project had been pending for
decades under previous governments
and had missed two deadlines – the last
Independence Day (Aug 15) and this
year’s Republic Day (Jan 26).
Crackdown on illegal bootleggers
after 80 die from toxic hooch
Police have launched a crackdown on
illegal bootleggers after 80 people were
killed drinking toxic hooch in the north
Police believe the deaths occurred
when victims across two neighbouring
states drank from the same batch of
illegal homemade brew, which was
produced by a criminal group operating
between Uttar Pradesh and
The majority of the deaths were
reported in Uttar Pradesh, with 36
dying in Saharanpur district and eight
in Kushinagar. Thirty-six people died in
Uttarakhand’s Haridwar district.
Two suspects accused of selling the
illicit liquor have been arrested.
Shivaji’s Raigad Fort to be made
The hilltop Raigad Fort in Maharashtra
from where Chhatrapati Shivaji
Maharaj laid the foundations of
“Hindavi Swaraj” is poised for a major
revamp to make it a global tourist
The 350-year-old majestic fort,
which stands on a 820-metre hill and
rises to 1,356m above sea level, is
presently managed by the
Archaeological Survey of India.
Highlights of the attraction will
include a heritage walk encompassing a
14km and four-hour tour of the fort and
more than 350 historic sites within it
which tourists will get to explore
Tea exports down in 2018
India’s tea exports decreased
marginally to 249.11 million kg in 2018
from 251.91 million kg exported in the
previous year, according to data from
Tea Board India.
Provisional data from the board also
suggested that tea exports, in value
terms, in the last calendar year were up
by about three per cent to Rs5,132.37
crores as compared to Rs4,987.59
crores in the same period a year ago.
Exports to neighbouring Pakistan
and China went up, while the
shipments to Germany, the UK and
Commonwealth of Independent States
countries, including Russia, Ukraine
and Kazakhstan, were down in volume
Wrestler-turned-police officer gets
12 years’ jail in drugs case
Former international wrestler Jagdish
Bhola was on Wednesday convicted
and sentenced by a special Central
Bureau of Investigation court in a
multi-crore drugs racket, termed as
Punjab’s biggest and busted in 2013.
He was sentenced to imprisonment
for 12, 10 and two years in the three
cases in which he was convicted.
Bhola had been a deputy
superintendent in the Punjab Police but
was dismissed from service in 2012
after his links with the drugs racket
He was arrested in November 2013
in connection with a Rs700-crore drugs
New study shows Patna is India’s
most polluted city
Three cities have beaten Delhi to
become India’s most polluted this year,
with Patna emerging as the first.
The other two cities occupying
prominent positions on the list are
Kanpur and Varanasi.
This is according to a study released
by IIT-Kanpur and non-government
organisation Shakti Foundation.
The study also revealed that the
country witnessed 50 per cent more
pollution than China this year.
It is based on data studied over a
45-day period through October and
November last year.
Tamil Nadu imposes fine on
plastic ban violators
A heavy penalty of up to Rs1 lakh will
be imposed on those who flout the
plastic ban rule in Tamil Nadu.
Minister S.P. Velumani introduced
the bill in the Tamil Nadu Assembly on
The bill amends laws relating to
powers of municipal corporations and
municipalities to levy fines on those
violating the ban on single-use plastics.
Onlookers on the rooftop of a building next to the hotel where a fire broke out.
in hotel fire
At least 17 people were killed when a
fire engulfed a five-storey hotel in the
heart of Delhi before dawn on
Tuesday, leaving some survivors in
critical condition and others dazed
The dead included at least two
women from Myanmar and a child
who could not escape the leaping
flames and the thick smoke at Hotel
Arpit Palace in the
of Karol Bagh.
Two employees of Hindustan
Petroleum Corporation, an Indian
Revenue Service official and three
members of a family from Kochi in
Kerala were also killed in the second
worst fire incident in the capital since
the 1997 Uphaar cinema tragedy in
south Delhi that killed 59 people.
February 15, 2019
Mrs Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Mr Rahul
Gandhi touring Lucknow.
India’s Nehru-Gandhi dynasty on Mon-
day unleashed its newest star – with
thousands turning out to see Priyanka
Gandhi Vadra speak at her first rally as
the country gears up for general elec-
Crowds showered rose petals on the
great-granddaughter of India’s first
prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru as she
took an open-bus tour through Luc-
know, capital of the key northern state
of Uttar Pradesh.
The opposition Congress party is
counting on the 47-year-old daughter of
assassinated prime minister Rajiv
Gandhi to boost its campaign against the
ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led
by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who
is expected to call the elections in April.
Mrs Vadra and elder brother Rahul
Gandhi, the Congress president, waved
at cheering supporters who chanted
their names while dancing to drums.
Many wore pink T-shirts emblazoned
with her picture.
At a rally she called for supporters to
join a campaign to build “a new future”
for India and a “new kind of politics
where everyone is a stakeholder”.
But it will not be easy for the brother-
sister combination to sway voters in Ut-
tar Pradesh, where two regional caste-
based parties now compete for power
with the BJP and Congress is only a mar-
The BJP won 73 of the 80 seats in the
state in the last general elections. BJP
president Amit Shah said last week the
party would win 74 seats this time.
Mrs Vadra stayed in Lucknow for
three more days and held marathon
meetings with party workers from more
than 40 constituencies.
“I am still trying to understand what
are the issues and the complexities
where we lack in the organisation,” she
said. “I’m learning a lot from party work-
ers and taking their views on how to
fight elections, to win.”
News agency IANS quoted party
workers who met Mrs Vadra as saying
that they were told: “My focus is on
strengthening the party organisation in
the state and to ensure that we win, the
‘muqabla’ (fight) is between Rahul and
Modi and not me.”
Priyanka getting views
on how to win
With India’s parliamentary elections
due by May, supporters of Prime Minis-
ter Narendra Modi are looking at differ-
ent ways to boost his image.
Some have imprinted his photo on
wedding invitations and gold and silver
bars, while others have him waving
from coffee mugs and T-shirts.
A shop owner in Surat, a city from
the state of Gujarat from which Mr Modi
hails, has gone a step further: He has
launched the “Modi Sari”.
It is available in different styles. And,
after word spread about its availability,
women in Surat have been flocking to
the shop to buy the sari, reported the
The newspaper quoted shopkeeper
Ronak Shah as saying: “The digitally-
printed sari has become a favourite
among women. We have four varieties
which we are selling currently. In the
coming days, we are planning to launch
saris of other politicians and leaders.”
Customers have the option to choose
between a sari that shows Mr Modi
against a backdrop of flowers or one
with the face of the Prime Minister
alongside what appears to be the demon-
etised Rs1,000 note.
A shopper told the Ahmedabad Mir-
ror: “When I went to the store, I saw the
sari with the photo of PM Modi. I really
liked it, so I bought it. To wear his sari is
a matter of pride.”
According to the Times of India, a
supporter in Hyderabad recently used
the wedding card of his son as a platform
to canvas for Mr Modi’s re-election.
Mr Subhash Rao Kishan Rao Yande,
68, asked guests to vote for Mr Modi in-
stead of giving gifts to the couple.
NDTV reported that a Gujarati fam-
ily last month invited guests to their
son’s wedding and urged them to vote
for the BJP.
The invitation card read: “Our gift is
your vote for PM Modi in 2019 Lok
Groom Bhushan Branson tweeted
on Jan 3 that Mr Modi’s government has
achieved a lot during its tenure: @naren-
dramodi Sir. With my wedding invita-
tion card, I am trying to explain the
achievement, schemes by Modi Govt. &
Urging all invitees get the use. Hand to
hand helping them to get the max.bene-
fit. I believe “We have to take care of
Modi, Modi will take care of nation.”
NDTV also reported that a restau-
rant owner in Karnataka has been ap-
pealing to to his customers to vote for
Mr Modi during the coming elections.
It said Mr Velappa from Hubli has
stuck stickers and posters of Mr Modi on
his restaurant wall along with the
achievements and initiatives of the
He has also printed Mr Modi’s inspir-
ing quotes on the food bills, which has
taken his customers by surprise.
It quoted the restaurant owner as say-
ing: “I want people to give one more
chance to Prime Minister Narendra
Modi. I have pasted a lot of stickers of
the Prime Minister in my shop to influ-
ence people. I want my customers to
vote for him.”
Mr Modi’s supporters in the past
have used the Swachh Bharat (a cam-
paign to clean the streets, roads and in-
frastructure of India’s cities, towns and
rural areas) logo on their wedding cards
too. He had retweeted some of them.
Last year, a jewellery shop in Surat
sold gold and silver bars with Mr Modi’s
face engraved on them. Mugs and T-shirts
with such photo impressions have also
been popular across the country.
creates a buzz
A woman in a store in Surat trying on a “Modi Sari”.
2. World Radio Day
4. Bottlenose dolphin
5. Michelle Obama
7. Jennifer Lawrence
Connoisseurs sometimes like to en-
joy red wine along with slices of
They now do not have to make
two purchases to indulge in their
All they have to do is buy UK
company Rubis’ chocolate wine.
Not to be mistaken with the sac-
charine chocolate liqueurs usually
served at parties, this boozy prod-
uct is described as a “chocolate-
flavoured Spanish fortified wine
made from the Tempranillo grape
and infused with a luxurious choco-
In other words, this “off-the-
wall alternative to port” is more of a
true dessert wine and less of a nov-
elty bottle buy.
The black grape variety comes
from the La Mancha plateau, an
arid but fertile area. Its hot, wind-
swept summers produce an abun-
dance of the fruity Tempranillo,
which are picked at the perfect mo-
ment of ripeness.
According to the company’s web-
site, Tempranillo grapes from Spain
are brought to England and blended
with a special ingredient.
Along with cacao beans, it pro-
duces a dark chocolate taste that
goes into a product which can be
consumed throughout the year.
The wine also has “velvety,
smooth dark chocolate” flavours,
according to Rubis’ website.
It also has hints of cherry, red
fruit and dried fig.
The wine can be served at room
temperature or over ice, depending
on how you like your wine.
If you’re really feeling the
dessert game, you could also pour it
over ice cream.
Interestingly, you get a sweet
dark chocolatey taste at the tip of
your tongue and the taste of the
red wine at the back.
According to various customer
reviews, the wine is a smash hit.
One said: “Tastes divine, the tex-
ture of chocolate and the red wine
combined is perfect, great just to re-
lax and unwind.”
Another noted: “The subtle
chocolate taste changes the drink
completely – it’s not sickly or too
The views of a third customer
was: “This is like liquid chocolate
and so tasty! If you like chocolate
and you like red wine, you’ll proba-
bly love this.”
The owners of Rubis Interna-
tional, an Indian family that has
been in the wines and spirits busi-
ness for nearly 50 years, chose to
launch the chocolate wine in Singa-
pore as it is the gateway to Asia.
“Singapore has a sophisticated
mix of people from all over the
world and has a buzzing social and
cosmopolitan scene,” the com-
pany’s representative said. “We
also chose Singapore because this
country is the best place to break
the stigma of red wine.”
The wine, costing $38 a bottle,
is served at hotels, restaurants,
cafes and bars.
It is also available at Cold Stor-
age (Market Place), Giant Wine
Warehouse, RedMart, Wine Deliv-
ery and Lazada.
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