Miss Universe 2021 Harnaaz Sandhu on arrival at the Mumbai International
Airport on Wednesday.
REPORT ON PAGE 4
SINGAPORE, WEEKEND OF FRIDAY,
DECEMBER 17, 2021
MCI (P) 034/10/2021
SHAH RUKH KHAN
IS OSCAR HOPEFUL
Modi’s Twitter account hacked by
Indian Prime Minister Narendra
Modi’s Twitter account was hacked on
Sunday with a message declaring his
country had adopted bitcoin as legal
tender and was distributing the
cryptocurrency to citizens.
Mr Modi is a prolific tweeter and is
the world’s most popular incumbent
politician on the platform, with more
than 73 million followers on his main
His office tweeted that the account
was “very briefly compromised” and
that Twitter had since restored control.
Gujarat acknowledges more
Covid-19 deaths than official tally
Gujarat has acknowledged more
Covid-19 deaths than its official tally,
according to a court document filed
on Monday, lending weight to fears
that India’s actual toll is much higher
Officials from the state told the
Supreme Court that it had received
22,557 applications as of Dec 6 from
families of the dead seeking
compensation and 16,175 had been
approved. Its reported death count is
10,099, according to the state’s latest
Farmers head home after
Thousands of farmers packed their
belongings and dismantled tent cities
on the outskirts of Delhi on Saturday
as they headed home following a
year-long protest against the Indian
government’s agriculture policies.
In a rare retreat last month, Prime
Minister Narendra Modi announced
and pushed through Parliament the
repeal of three contentious laws that
farmers claimed would let private
companies control the country’s
Ex-CJ Gogoi’s remarks to NDTV
trigger privilege notice
Former Chief Justice of India Ranjan
Gogoi’s comments in an interview
with NDTV have resulted in a
privilege notice in Parliament against
him. “I go to the Rajya Sabha (Upper
House) whenever I feel like it,” he told
NDTV in the interview focused on his
memoir Justice For The Judge.
His statements are in contempt of
the Rajya Sabha, undermine the
dignity of the House and constitute
breach of privilege, the notice
submitted by two Trinamool Congress
CEO who fired 900 employees via
Zoom takes time off
Better.com chief executive officer
Vishal Garg has taken time off, after a
video of him firing 900 people via a
Zoom call went viral on social media.
He apologised last week for the
way he handled the layoffs. Chief
financial officer Kevin Ryan will be
managing the day-to-day decisions of
Man arrested for allegedly stealing
Police in Assam have recovered a
stolen watch customised for
Argentinian footballer Diego
Maradona and arrested a man behind
the alleged theft in Dubai.
Officials said on Saturday that they
detained Wazid Hussain who fled to
India with the Hublot watch.
The 37-year-old had been working
as a security guard since 2016 at a
Dubai firm where memorabilia relating
to Maradona were stored.
Poonawalla family pledges $91m
to Oxford University
Vaccine maker Serum Institute of India
(SII) has pledged £50 million ($91
million) to the University of Oxford
for setting up a research campus that
will also house the institute behind the
AstraZeneca-Oxford Covid-19 shot.
The investment was made through
the Indian company’s Serum Life
Sciences unit, Oxford University said
The research building will be
named after Serum’s billionaire
owners, the Poonawalla family.
Hyderabad sees India’s first
cutting-edge lung transplant
India has become one of a handful of
nations including the United States
and Canada where a “breathing lung
transplant” can be done.
This cutting-edge process helps
increase the time available between
harvesting the organ and the
transplant. It also increases the
recipient body’s ability to accept the
organ by removing infection.
The first such transplant was done
at Hyderabad’s Krishna Institute of
Medical Sciences on Saturday.
UP police foil man’s attempt to
Police in Uttar Pradesh have foiled a
plot by a man to fake his own death to
avoid being returned to jail.
Officers said Sudesh Kumar, 36,
murdered a man, Domen Ravidas, and
tried to pass the body off as his own
with the aid of his wife.
But the police found CCTV footage
of him carrying the body on a bike.
Eight arrested over posts about
General Rawat crash
At least eight people have been
arrested, two booked and one
suspended from a government job
across India over offensive postings on
social media about the deaths of
General Bipin Rawat, his wife and
other armed forces officers in a
helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu last
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj
Bommai instructed the police to take
action against “perverted minds” who
tweet “derogative, celebratory
messages” over the crash.
Police probe Mother Teresa
charity for ‘forced conversion’
Police are probing a charity started by
Mother Teresa in Gujarat.
Officials are investigating whether
the Missionaries of Charity forced
girls in its shelter home to wear a
cross and read the Bible.
District social officer Mayank
Trivedi told AFP that his complaint to
the police was based on a report by
child welfare authorities and other
Guards held after shots fired to
drive away elephants kill child
Two forest guards were arrested in
Assam’s Kamrup district on Sunday
after a child was killed and her
mother injured as they opened fire on
wild elephants in a bid to push the
herd back into the forest.
Two bullets accidentally hit
two-year-old Arbi Daimary, who died.
Her mother Malobika Daimary is
now under treatment at the Gauhati
Medical College and Hospital.
Netflix slashes prices in battle
with Disney, Amazon
Netflix on Tuesday slashed the prices
of its streaming services in India for
the first time since launching five
years ago as it moves to better
compete with fierce rivals Disney and
The streaming giant cut prices by
60 per cent to Rs199 ($3.56) a month
for its basic plan that lets users watch
content on a single device.
State told to pay compensation to
man in prison for 41 years
In a rare judgment, the Calcutta High
Court has asked the state government
to pay a Nepali citizen Rs500,000 as
compensation for keeping him behind
bars for 41 years without trial.
After a human rights organisation
raised the issue, the Calcutta High
Court intervened and released Durga
Prasad Timsina, aka Dipak Joshi, in
March this year.
He was arrested on May 12, 1980,
in Darjeeling district for his
involvement in a murder case.
Visitors look at a cake in the shape of
a Santa moon at the 47th Annual
Cake Show in Bengaluru on
The sculpture is edible and was
crafted out of sugar bricks and paste.
The show, organised by the
National Consumer Fair, features
more than 20 cake sculptures crafted
by chefs and students from the Sugar
The showcase also includes a
6.09m Statue of Liberty and a
7.31m-wide recreation of a Jungle
“Structuring a Statue of Liberty
with 400kg of chocolate and royal
icing was challenging,” head chef
Samie Ramachandran told the Deccan
“Painting on sugar and gum paste
was challenging too.”
The exhibition will be open to the
public till Jan 2.
This Santa’s a sweet treat for
visitors to Bengaluru exhibition
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V.K. Santosh Kumar
Channel Excellence Lead
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan has been
keeping a low profile and staying away from the
media glare since his son Aryan Khan was arrested
in the drugs-on-cruise case in Mumbai in October.
The actor finally made a digital appearance at a
He looked a little beefed-up in a photo from the
event which was shared by one of his fan pages on
Instagram, reported News 18.
The photo shows Shah Rukh engrossed in an
interaction digitally for a brand endorsement.
Fans were happy to see their beloved actor back
in action and speculated whether the look was for
his upcoming film Pathan, in which he will be seen
doing some high-octane stunts.
The shooting for Pathan, which also has Deepika
Padukone and John Abraham in the lead roles. was
put on hold in October following Aryan’s legal
According to Pinkvilla, Shah Rukh began shoot-
ing important sequences for the film from Wednes-
day along with Deepika and John.
A closed set has reportedly been erected for this
Mumbai schedule which will go on for 20 days.
Following this, Shah Rukh and the team will
reportedly take off for an international shooting
“It was a difficult period for Shah Rukh Khan and
the family and in that phase the superstar was
completely involved in the legal aspects, letting go of
all professional commitments,” a source told
“His diet plan and fitness regime had also gone
for a toss in those 30 to 40 days resulting in loss of
muscles too. Now with things finally better, Shah
Rukh has resumed work on his physique as both
Pathan and Atlee’s next film feature him in a
Shah Rukh has other reasons to be cheerful too.
He was recently listed among the world’s top 20
most admired men of 2021 in a survey carried out
by data analytics company YouGov.
The list was compiled taking feedback from
42,000 people in 38 countries and features the likes
of former United States President Barack Obama,
American business magnate Bill Gates, China’s
President Xi Jinping, footballer Cristiano Ronaldo
and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Shah Rukh was placed 14th, above the likes of
Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachhan, Pope Francis
and US President Joe Biden.
On Wednesday, the Bombay High Court also
exempted Aryan from appearing at the Mumbai
office of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) every
This condition was imposed on Shah Rukh’s son
by the High Court when he was granted bail in the
A single bench of Justice N.W. Sambre stated that
the condition has been modified.
“The applicant (Aryan) shall attend the office of
NCB Delhi as and when directed by the agency,
provided the NCB issues a 72-hour notice to the
applicant,” Justice Sambre said.
The court also modified another condition laid
down in the bail order that required Aryan to
furnish his itinerary to the NCB every time he
travels out of Mumbai.
“The applicant need not submit his itinerary if he
is travelling to Delhi for recording his statement. He
shall submit his itinerary to the NCB in case of any
other travel outside Mumbai,” Justice Sambre said.
While seeking the waiver of this condition,
Aryan’s counsel Amit Desai had argued: “The NCB’s
Mumbai office has now nothing to do with the case.
My client (Aryan) has been cooperating with the
probe and has, in fact, also appeared before the SIT
probing the case and recorded his statement.”
He also stated that Aryan would appear before
the SIT in Delhi when summons are issued to him.
Aryan’s application also mentioned that every
time he appears before the NCB’s office in Mumbai
there is a huge crowd and that he has to be
accompanied by police personnel which causes
Aryan was arrested by the NCB on Oct 3 on
charges of alleged possession, consumption and
sale/purchase of drugs following a raid on a cruise
ship off the Mumbai coast. He was granted bail on
Oct 28 and walked out of jail on Oct 30.
Indo-Asian News Service
Group Captain Varun Singh, who had been the
only survivor of the Dec 8 helicopter crash near
Coonoor in Tamil Nadu that killed India’s Chief
of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife
and 11 other military personnel, succumbed to
his injuries on Wednesday.
Gp Capt Singh had been battling for his life
at the Air Force Command Hospital in Ben-
With the 39-year-old’s passing, all 14 passen-
gers on board the helicopter have now died.
On Tuesday, the Indian Army had thanked
the locals for rescuing Gp Capt Singh.
“Many of you helped... without your help
the 14 could not have been moved to hospital
on time,” said Lieutenant-General A. Arun.
“The Air Force officer is alive and battling (for
life at a Bengaluru hospital). If he is there
(alive), you are the reason. So you were like god
for those 14. Thank you very much.”
Two people, including Gen Rawat and Gp
Capt Singh, were found alive by the rescuers
after the crash, a member of the rescue team
According to Mr N.C. Murali, a senior
fireman who was one of the first to reach the
spot where the Mi-17V5 crashed, Gen Rawat
was alive and was able to communicate when he
“We rescued two people alive. One was CDS
Rawat. As we carried him out, he spoke in a low
tone to the defence personnel in Hindi and
uttered his name,” Mr Murali told The Times of
According to him, Gen Rawat had suffered
severe burns in the lower part of his body. “He
was taken to the ambulance wrapped in a
bedsheet,” Mr Murali said, adding that the
general died on the way to the hospital.
A special team formed by India’s Defence
Ministry and led by Air Marshal Manavendra
Singh is probing the crash. It has deployed
drones over the crash site to unearth the
weather conditions and the reason for the crash.
With the flight data recorder already recov-
ered, the team will be conducting a detailed
technical evaluation on it and will provide a
report to the Defence Ministry.
The team will also seek the expertise of a
Russian defence team as the MI-17V5 helicopter
that crashed was made in Russia.
Indo-Asian News Service
Group Captain Varun Singh.
Beefed-up Shah Rukh makes digital appearance
Lone survivor of helicopter crash dies
“(Shah Rukh’s ) diet
plan and fitness
regime had gone
for a toss in those
30 to 40 days (of
legal battle to get
his son released
from jail) resulting
in loss of muscles
too. Now with
things finally better,
Shah Rukh has
resumed work on
his physique as
both Pathan and
Atlee’s next film
feature him in a
– A source close to the
December 17, 2021
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