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This NRI in Qatar Keen on Farming is 'Going Green' December 12, 2018 10:09

In spite of the harsh climate of Arabia, Jyothy, a Non-Resident Indian, has successfully grown vegetables and flowers at her villa compound in Doha's Matar Qadeem. Although Jyothy came to Qatar as a nurse at Hamad General Hospital, she later shifted her focus to farming. She is married to Thomas, a businessman. The couple hails from Kuttyadi in Kozhikode district of Kerala. Winning Formula The secret behind Jyothy's success is Direct Composting Technique (DCT). Empty tins are cut from the bottom and one-fourth of the cans are sunk into the sand. Leftover food and vegetables are dumped in the tins and allowed to compost. This turns into compost pretty fast. When vegetables are planted, the tins are kept close to them. The chief benefit of the method is that the roots of the plants are not cut while providing fertilizer. From her experience, Jyothy says that cutting sardines into small pieces and putting them in the tins can replace the use of fish amino acid. From Kerala's own beans to the bitter gourd, okra, brinjal, tomato, ivy gourd, cucumber, ash gourd, bottle gourd and Muskmelon (shamam fruit), you can find everything in this garden. The moringa tree is without leaves but full of drumsticks. Beans and bitter gourd are plucked every other day. Carrot, cabbage, cauliflower, potato, lettuce, and watermelon can also be found here. One can as well find Cape gooseberries here, which is uncommon in the kitchen gardens of other Malayalis here. Likewise known as golden berry, this is the wild fruit that used to be once commonly found in Kerala. It is difficult to spot one in Kerala these days. Jyothy bought its sapling from Al Dosari Park in Doha. The sour and sweet fruit that is available at supermarkets in Qatar could set you back by 50 riyals, however small its packet be. Jyothy is as well growing flowers in pots that are fixed or hung from outer walls of her villa. She is also active in several groups and collectives of farming enthusiasts in Qatar such as Hope, Haritham, Vayalum Veedum, Nammude Adukkalathottam Doha and Krishiyidam Qatar. -Sowmya Sangam

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Maari 2 Tamil Movie December 12, 2018 09:49

Maari 2 is an upcoming Kollywood film directed by Balaji Mohan and produced by Dhanush. The film stars Dhanush, Sai Pallavi, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, Krishna Kulasekaran in the leading roles. For more previews, stay tuned....

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Myanmar to Grant Visa-On-Arrival to Indian Tourists: President Kovind December 12, 2018 09:57

President of India Ram Nath Kovind today said Myanmar will provide visa-on-arrival for Indian tourists in order to boost people-to-people relations with India. The proclamation by the president came as he began his five-day visit to the country aiming to continue India's high-level engagements with Myanmar under the rubric of 'Act East Policy' and 'Neighborhood First Policy'. "Coinciding with President Kovind's visit, and to further people-to-people relations, Myanmar has also announced a visa-on-arrival facility for Indian tourists entering the country through the international airports of Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon and Mandalay," the president's office tweeted. Coinciding with President Kovind’s visit, and to further people-to-people relations, Myanmar has also announced a visa-on-arrival facility for Indian tourists entering the country through the international airports of Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon and Mandalay. — President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) 11 December 2018 The President said residents of India's Northeast region have particularly welcomed and are beginning to reap the benefits of the Land-border Crossing Agreement which concluded recently. The landmark Land Border Crossing Agreement between India and Myanmar signed on May 11, 2018, was brought into effect in August with the simultaneous opening of international entry-exit checkpoints at the Tamu-Moreh and the Rihkhawdar-Zowkhawtar border between the two nations. "They look forward to the early conclusion of the Motor Vehicles Agreement," President Kovind said. Several agreements are expected to be signed during the President's visit. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Myanmar earlier this year, while Myanmar's State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi visited India in January for the India-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Commemorative Summit.-Sowmya Sangam

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Thalaiva Turns 68: Wishes Pour in from Politicians, Celebrities December 12, 2018 08:53

As actor Rajinikanth celebrates his 68th birthday on Wednesday, wishes have been pouring in from admirers, politicians and the who's who of the entertainment industry. Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan shared a collage of photographs of him with Rajinikanth calling the Tamil superstar a 'sensation ever'. Rajinikanth's contemporary, Kamal Haasan, also took to Twitter to wish the star. T 3023 - Happy birthday Rajni .. Dec 12 th .. friend colleague and a sensation ever !!பிறந்தநாள் வாழ்த்துக்கள் pic.twitter.com/nE8iQxg14u — Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) December 11, 2018 A dream co-star and a legend in every right! You are an epitome of simplicity and it was an absolute honour to work with you. #HappyBirthdaySuperstar @rajinikanth :) pic.twitter.com/8ePaaIWwit — Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) December 12, 2018 Wishes poured in from Malayalam and Telugu film industries as well. என் பல ஆண்டு நண்பர், சக மாணவர், சூப்பர் ஸ்டாருக்கு பிறந்த நாள் வாழ்த்துக்கள். நம் நட்பும், வெற்றிகளும் தொடரட்டும். — Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) December 12, 2018 Here's wishing the man who's been an inspiration for generations, @rajinikanth sir, a very happy birthday!!! Wish you good health & happiness always! #HBDSuperStarRajinikanth — Mahesh Babu (@urstrulyMahesh) December 12, 2018 Happy Birthday Dear @rajinikanth#HBDSuperStarRajinikanth pic.twitter.com/wrTQkZjVdA — Mohanlal (@Mohanlal) December 12, 2018   Politicians    திரையுலக சூப்பர் ஸ்டாரும், அருமை நண்பருமான @rajinikanth அவர்களுக்கு இனிய பிறந்தநாள் வாழ்த்துகள்! வாழ்க வளமுடன்! நலமுடன்! pic.twitter.com/0Ofmv451Nu — M.K.Stalin (@mkstalin) December 12, 2018 -Sowmya    

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346 Players to Be Auctioned for IPL 2019 December 12, 2018 07:46

The names of 346 players including Brendon McCullum, Yuvraj Singh, Lasith Malinga, and Dale Steyn have been listed among who will go under the hammer during the player auction for the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) in Jaipur on December 18. Although 1003 players had originally registered, the final list has been pruned after the eight franchises submitted their shortlists of players. According to a Board of Control for Cricket in India release, with Rs 2 crore as the highest reserve price, nine overseas players - Chris Woakes, McCullum, Shaun Marsh, Malinga, Corey Anderson, Colin Ingram, D'Arcy Short, Angelo Mathews - have opted to be slotted in the highest bracket. Jaydev Unadkat, last season's top Indian grosser with a massive final bid amount of Rs 11.5 crore, leads the pack among Indian players with a base price of Rs 1.5 crore. Former Kings XI Punjab all-rounders Yuvraj Singh and Axar Patel have set their base price at Rs 1 crore. With Rs 1.5 crore as the base price, Morne Morkel and Steyn will hope to come back to action for the 12th season of the IPL.  Among the Indian quicks, Ishant Sharma will invite the first bid at Rs 75 lakh while Mohammed Shami has set his base price at Rs 1 crore. -Sowmya Sangam

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Regular Flu Shot May Reduce Heart Failure Mortality, Says Study December 12, 2018 07:38

The risk of premature death among newly-diagnosed heart-failure patients may be reduced by getting an annual flu shot, a study has claimed. Influenza can be extremely serious or even fatal for patients with heart failure since they are oftentimes older than 65, have compromised circulation and other health complications, and infection may worsen the symptoms. A researcher from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark analyzed data on 134,048 patients with recently diagnosed coronary failure more than a 12-year period. Flu vaccination rates ranged from 16 percent in 2003 to 52 percent in 2015 with a peak of 54 percent in 2009, according to the study published in the journal Circulation. The study found that flu vaccination was associated with an 18 percent reduced risk of premature death, even after accounting for some other factors such as medications, other health conditions, education, and income. Annual flu vaccination following a heart failure diagnosis was associated with a 19 percent reduction in both all-cause and cardiovascular death when compared with no vaccination, researchers said. Getting the flu shot less than one time per year but more than not at all was associated with a 13 percent reduced the risk of all-cause death and an 8 percent reduced risk of cardiovascular death, they said. -Sowmya Sangam

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Slain Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Time's Person of the Year List December 12, 2018 07:23

The slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is on the shortlist for Time Magazine's Person of the Year 2018, the publication proclaimed on Monday. Besides Khashoggi, prominent world figures likewise feature in the list including United States President Donald Trump, Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Anadolu News Agency reported.The Time said that Khashoggi was a "prolific commentator and critic of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman." "Believed to have been murdered on the orders of the Crown Prince, his death prompted international outcry and scrutiny of the Saudi regime," the magazine added. Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist, went missing on October 2 after entering Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul to collect documents which would permit him to marry fiancee Hatice Cengiz. His fiancee, who was waiting outside the consulate, raised an alarm after Khashoggi failed to appear from the consulate. After a couple of weeks, Riyadh accepted the fact that the group of 15 Saudi "rogue" agents killed Khashoggi, leading to an international furor and complicating the already delicate relations between Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the U.S. The U.S. officials believe that Khashoggi's murder was ordered by the Saudi crown prince. -Sowmya Sangam

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Rajinikanth's Petta Teaser Review December 12, 2018 07:10

Superstar Rajinikanth is back with a bang with his recent outing 2.0 directed by Shankar. The film released in all the languages and received thumping response from the audience. The actor also completed shooting for his next film titled Petta which is directed by Karthik Subbaraj. Vijay Sethupathi, Simran, Trisha, Bobby Simha, Sasikumar, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Megha Akash played other crucial roles in this action thriller. On the eve of Rajinikanth's birthday, the makers released the teaser of the film today. It looks packed with Rajinikanth's style and is show throughout. The actor surprises his fans in two different looks and walks out in his own style. Anirudh is the music composer and Sun Pictures bankrolled Petta. The makers are in plans to release the movie during Sankranthi 2019.  

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Immigrants Bring Great Value to U.S.: Pramila Jayapal to Google CEO December 12, 2018 06:44

An Indian-American Chief Executive officer of Google Sunder Pichai appeared before a Congressional committee for a grilling by lawmakers on the search engine giant's data privacy, where Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal highlighted the value of immigrants. Sundar Pichai and Pramila Jayapal, holding reputable spheres of lives in the corporate world and politics respectively, were born in the state Tamil Nadu. "Let me just take a point of personal privilege to say that I was born in the same state as you in India and I am excited to see you leading a company and continuing to show that immigrants to this country contribute great value, in spite of some of the rhetoric we hear. Thank you, Mr Pichai," she told the Google CEO. Sundar Pichai, 46, was born in Chennai. A graduate from the IIT Kharagpur, he joined Google in 2004 and in 2015, was appointed the CEO of the company. Jayapal, 53, too was born in Chennai and came to the United States as a student. Both passed through a similar immigration pathway, involving H-1B visa and Green Card, before becoming the U.S. citizens. During the hearing, Jayapal asked questions to Pichai on sexual harassment and hate speech. "Do you agree with the UN high commissioner for human rights assessment that social media played a role, for example, in perpetuating genocide against the Rohingya and what is Google's response ability to moderate hate speech on your platforms?" she asked. "We feel a tremendous sense of responsibility to moderate hate speech. You know, we have defined hate speech clearly as inciting violence or hatred towards groups of people," Pichai said. "It is absolutely something which I think we need to take a very strict line on and we have stated our policies clearly and we are working hard to make our enforcement better and we have gotten a lot better. But it is not enough and so, we are committed to doing more here," he added. In her remarks, Jayapal expressed her deep concerns about employers mandating forced arbitration rather than allowing people to pursue justice. "Forcing people into arbitration when they have already experienced a violation of their basic rights I think is a deep injustice and it subjects people who have already been victimized to further victimization and we have seen research that shows that it discourages people from coming forward to report abuses, to begin with," she said. Pichai said Google's arbitration agreements did not require any confidentiality provisions. "That is how we have done it. But for sexual harassment, we agreed that it should be up to the employees and we give them a choice," he said. "We are definitely looking into this further. It is an area where I have gotten feedback personally from our employees, so we are definitely reviewing what we could do and you know, I am looking forward to consulting and happy to think about more changes here," Pichai said. Following Jayapal's remarks, Congressman Keith Rothfus said both the Indian-Americans were success stories of immigrants. "I just want to echo what my colleague Pramila Jayapal had said. I am glad you are here at the committee but I am glad you are here in our country. You are a success story and I can just think of you sitting as a teenager in India, thinking that this was probably never even on your radar," he said. "But you came to this country because this country had that promise out there and I want to thank you for being here today and encourage you to continue collaborating with this committee," Rothfus said. -Sowmya Sangam

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Trump Threatens to Shut Down Government over Border Wall December 12, 2018 05:21

President Donald Trump got involved in a scrap on live camera with senior opposition party leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. Trump, who was as well accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence, got into a heated argument in the White House with future House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer over funding for a border wall. Donald Trump then threatened the two Democrats with shutting down the government and said he would be "proud" to do so over border security. "I'll tell you what, I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck," Trump told the top Senate Democrat. "So, I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I'm not going to blame you for it." Nancy Pelosi appeared to be embarrassed by arguing in front of the cameras though Trump seemed to be in his element. "We're here to have a conversation," said Pelosi at one point. "I don't think we should have a debate in front of the press." Pelosi said she wanted to avoid a "Trump shutdown." But Trump and Schumer went at each other. Chuck Schumer said, "One thing that I think we can agree on is we shouldn't shut down the government over a dispute, and you want to shut it down." TRUMP: "The last time, Chuck, you shut it down, and then you opened it up very quickly. I don't want to do what you did." SCHUMER: "Twenty times you have called for, 'I will shut down the government if I don't get my wall.' None of us have said it." TRUMP: "You want to know something? ... I'll take it. You know what I'll say? Yes, if we don't get what we want one way or the other, whether it's through you, through the military, through anything you want to call, I will shut down the government." SCHUMER: "We disagree." TRUMP: "And I am proud ... I tell you what, I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck because the people of this country don't want criminals and people that have lots of problems and drugs pouring into our country. So, I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I'm not going to blame you for it. The last time you shut it down it didn't work. I will take the mantle of shutting down and I'm going to shut it down for border security." Trump's spat with Democrats on live TV comes as he been very abortive at getting Mexico to pay to build his border wall. This was a common rallying cry during his election campaign in 2016. He has likewise raised the evil spirit of an invading horde of migrants from Latin American countries to pull in support for his proposed border wall. -Sowmya Sangam

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