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SINGAPORE, WEEKEND OF FRIDAY,
NOVEMBER 29, 2019
MCI (P) 078/03/2019
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Doctors remove 7.4kg kidney from man
Surgeons at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in
New Delhi have removed a kidney weighing
7.4kg from a 56-year-old man with a
life-threatening genetic condition.
“It was a huge lump that was occupying
half of his abdomen,” said Mr Sachin
Kathuria, a member of the surgical team.
A normal kidney weighs about 120gm
to 150gm and is 12cm long.
The kidney removed from the man was
nearly 45cm long.
According to the Guinness Book of
Records, the largest kidney previously
removed from a human was 4.25kg in
an operation in Dubai in 2017.
Delhi court stays Kochhar biopic
A Delhi court has stayed the release of a movie
purportedly made on the life of former ICICI Bank
managing director and CEO Chanda Kochhar
without her consent.
The movie Chanda: A Signature that Ruined A
Career, produced by Manoj Nandwana and
S. Akhileswaran and directed by Ajay Singh, was
scheduled for screening at the Goa Film Festival on
Appearing for Mrs Kochhar, who is being probed
by the Central Bureau of Investigation and and the
Enforcement Directorate for alleged irregularities in
sanctioning loans to the Videocon Group, lawyers
Vijay Aggarwal and Naman Joshi argued that the
contents of the biopic are defamatory as it makes
insinuations and judgements about her life.
Cows in Ayodhya to get jute coat, bonfire
With winter setting in, the Ayodhya Municipal
Corporation in Uttar Pradesh has decided to buy
jute coats for the cows at different shelters in the
Mr Niraj Shukla, Nagar Nigam Commissioner of
Ayodhya, said that “three-layered coats for the
calves are being prepared”. Each coat will cost
He added that the shelters will also have bonfires
to protect the cows from extreme cold.
ISRO launches advanced satellite
The Indian Space Research Organisation on
Wednesday launched advanced earth imaging and
mapping satellite CARTOSAT-3 along with 13 other
CARTOSAT-3 is India’s most complex and
advanced earth imaging satellite.
It will address the increased user demand for
large-scale urban planning, rural resource and
infrastructure development, coastal land use and
Royal claims exposed as lies
For 40 years, stories about India’s most mysterious
and reclusive royal family did the rounds.
The widowed Begum Wilayat and her children,
Princess Sakina and Prince Ali Raza, claimed to be
the heirs of the Nawab of Oudh, descendants of
But the carefully-crafted family legend has been
exposed as a sensational lie by New York Times
journalist Ellen Barry, who said that, after four years
of work in India, Pakistan and England, they were
found to be simply imposters.
Govinda, Jackie fined for promoting herbal oil
A consumer court in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar
has imposed a fine of Rs20,000 on actors Govinda
and Jackie Shroff for endorsing a pain-relief oil.
The verdict was delivered after a complaint filed
by a youth five years ago that the oil endorsed by
the duo did not provide pain relief in 15 days as
claimed in the advertisement.
Chaayos under fire for using facial recognition
Chaayos, the multi-city chain of tea cafes, has
sparked anger on social media for employing facial
recognition, allegedly without customer consent.
It reportedly uses the technology – which allows
devices to identify users by their faces instead of
passwords – to speed up orders for regular
After the furore the move created, Chaayos
defended its system, saying it is committed to
protecting “our customers’ data security and
privacy” and that they could instead use their phone
numbers to pay bills.
Rohtang tunnel to open in May
The 8.8km-long Rohtang tunnel, being built on the
Leh-Manali highway, may become operational in the
next six months, according to a Himachal Pradesh
One of the longest road tunnels in India, it is
being built at an elevation of 10,171 feet under the
Rohtang Pass in the eastern Pir Panjal range of the
It will reduce the distance between Manali and
the tribal district Lahaul-Spiti’s administrative centre
Keylong by around 45km.
Cartoonist Sudhir Dhar dies at 87
Noted cartoonist Sudhir Dhar, whose works graced
several newspapers in a career spanning 58 years,
died on Tuesday after suffering a cardiac arrest. He
Dhar began his career with The Statesman in
1961, after which he moved to the Hindustan Times.
His cartoons have also appeared in The
Independent, The Pioneer, Delhi Times, New York
Times and Washington Post, among others.
People go nuts at festival
A vendor is seen selling peanuts
during the annual Kadlekai
Parishe, or peanut festival, in
Thousands attended India’s
largest penaut festival, held for
two days from Tuesday on the
iconic Bull Temple Road, where
farmers displayed their first crop
of the year.
The festival, which is said to
date back to the city’s founding
in 1537, sees the farmers
symbolically donate their
harvest to the Bull Temple in
This year, farmers from
neighbouring Tamil Nadu and
Andhra Pradesh also
Bullet train project in jeopardy
Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari (right) greeting chief
minister-designate Uddhav Thackeray.
India’s richest state was yesterday set to be
ruled by parties opposed to Prime Minister
Narendra Modi’s nationalist Bharatiya Janata
Party (BJP), jeopardising a Japanese-backed
bullet-train project opposed by farmers.
The BJP’s inability to pull together voters
in the western state of Maharashtra, of which
Mumbai is the capital, has meant that three
parties, including a former BJP ally, were set
to form the government.
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray,
59, was scheduled to take oath as the 18th
chief minister of Maharashtra yesterday.
His appointment came more than a month
after results of the assembly elections were
declared on Oct 24, reported India Today.
Soon after the results came in, Mr Thack-
eray reminded ally BJP of its promise to
share the chief minister’s post. But BJP
leader Devendra Fadnavis denied that such a
promise had been made.
An enraged Thackeray called off govern-
ment-formation talks, saying he could not
tolerate being dubbed a liar.
The falling apart led to the formation of an
unlikely alliance between the Sena on one
hand and ideologically-divergent Congress
and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on the
That is a major setback for Mr Modi after
his landslide victory in general elections this
It could also hinder the bullet train project,
a US$17 billion investment largely financed
by a long-term, low-cost loan from Japan.
The BJP was in power in both Maharash-
tra and Gujarat when work began on the
project in 2017.
“We have always opposed the bullet
train,” said Ms Manisha Kayande, a
spokesperson for the Shiv Sena. “Our state is
giving a major chunk of money for the
project, when most of the track is in another
state. This will definitely be re-framed.”
The train will run the 508km from Mum-
bai to Ahmedabad, the main city in Gujarat.
But it has run into obstacles acquiring land
amid opposition from fruit farmers.
Any delay in the project is likely to
undermine investor confidence at a time
when growth in India has slowed to its
weakest pace in years.
Critics say India does not need the high-
speed train and investment should go instead
to improve the existing network.
“We are not against development or infra-
structure projects, but at the same time
farmers’ interests can’t be ignored. We will
rethink about projects that farmers are oppos-
ing,” said a senior leader of the NCP.
The authorities have acquired 548 hectares
out of the total requirement of 1,380 and the
project is targeted to be operational by 2023,
the government told parliament in July.
Protests against land acquisitions are com-
mon in India, where tens of millions of
farmers till small holdings. A planned US$44
billion refinery to be run by a consortium
including Saudi Arabia’s Aramco, the world’s
biggest oil producer, is also struggling to
secure land in Maharashtra.
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