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Independence day celebrated in Surathkal
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Fadnavis wants to merge Marathi speaking areas to Maharastra
John Kerry wishes India on 69th Independence Day, praises its

Saudi King Salman has refused an invitation from Obama

Washington: Newly crowned Saudi King Salman has refused an invitation to attend a landmark summit hosted by President Barack Obama, amid angst over US-Iran nuclear negotiations.

Obama had invited six Gulf leaders to the presidential retreat at Camp David, seeking to shore up wavering trust while Washington negotiates with regional power Tehran.

Obama’s plans now lie in tatters, with only two heads of state slated to attend the Thursday meeting.

Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Washington said Sunday that recently named Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Nayef would instead lead the Saudi delegation to the meeting.

The king’s youthful son, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman - who is tipped as a possible future successor and who has driven recent military operations in Yemen - will also attend.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir said Salman would miss the meeting “due to the timing of the summit, the scheduled humanitarian ceasefire in Yemen and the opening of the King Salman Centre for Humanitarian Aid,” according to the embassy statement.

Oman’s Sultan Qaboos has been ill, and diplomats said Muscat will be represented by the deputy prime minister.

Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Shaikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahayan will attend, according to diplomats.

Even before becoming king, Salman was rumored to be ill, and his son and the now crown prince have played oversized roles in Saudi foreign policy. Saudi Arabia has denied the illness.

As late as Friday, US officials said they had expected Salman to come to Washington, before learning of the change in plan.

“This is not in response to any substantive issue,” insisted one senior US administration official.

Bahrain’s King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa will also miss the meeting, officials indicated Sunday, with the crown prince coming instead.

That means Obama will likely meet only the leaders of Kuwait and Qatar, despite the prestigious invitation.

The White House had hoped the meeting would assuage deep unease over Iran talks, which Gulf states see as a Faustian bargain, and Obama’s perceived disengagement from the region.

Gulf officials had been pressing for the United States to supply advanced weapons like F-35 stealth fighters as well as a written security guarantee in the face of a threat from Iran.

The Iran nuclear deal - which could be agreed in June - would curb Tehran’s nuclear programme in return for unfreezing sanctions and funds worth more than $100 billion.

Gulf states fear that money could be used to by arms and further support Iran’s proxy groups in the region.

A US official said a key part of the meetings would be to support a common Gulf defence infrastructure.

“This focus on mutual security extends to various areas - counterterrorism, maritime security, cybersecurity and ballistic missile defense,” the official said.

Washington and the Gulf nations are also expected to discuss conflicts across the Middle East including in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen.
  • Published in Saudi Arabia

I was neither drunk nor driving, says Salman

Mumbai:Actor Salman Khan, who deposed before the court in Mumbai in the 2002 hit-and-run case trial, denied that he was drunk on the intervening night of September 27-28 in 2002, and that he was driving the car at the time of the accident.

“The accident was not caused by me, sir,” Mr. Khan told Judge D.W. Deshpande.

He also said that the RTO had submitted a false report to the police that no licence was issued to him in the year 2002.

The prosecution's case is that the actor was drunk at the time of the accident, and that he overran the footpath dwellers after he lost control of the car he was driving. One person was killed and four were injured in the accident.

Constable Ravindra Patil, who was Mr. Khan's body guard, was present with him at the time of the accident. He is the complainant in the case. He had said in his statement to the police that the actor was in an inebriated condition, and that he had warned Mr. Khan against driving in such a condition.

He had said that Mr. Khan did not pay heed to his instructions, and drove at a high speed of 90 to 100 kmph. The actor lost control of his vehicle and ran over the people sleeping on the footpath, Patil had said in his complaint. An FIR was thereafter registered against the actor.

On Friday, Mr. Khan denied that he was under the influence of alcohol on the night of the accident. When asked by the judge about a witness statement which said that the actor's pupils were slightly dilated when he was taken for blood examination at J.J. Hospital, the actor said it was because of stress.

“I was awake through the night at that time. And I was stressed about this (accident),” he said.

He also denied that Constable Patil, the constable who succumbed to tuberculosis in 2007, was an eyewitness to the accident.

“He was sleeping at the time of the accident,” Mr. Khan told the judge in the sessions court.

He also said that it was his driver Ashok Singh who was driving the car at the time of the accident. “After the accident, my side of the door was jammed. So I jumped on the driver's side to come out of the car,” he told the court.

He also denied running away from the scene. “I was told that it would be easier to help the victims in my absence,” he said.

Mr. Khan denied eyewitness accounts which said that irate people had held him after he came out of the car. He also denied eyewitness accounts that agitated bakery workers were shouting "Salman, come out of the car" after the accident.

"It is false that the bakery people caught me," he said.

Mr. Khan refuted the prosecution's claim that he was not traceable after the accident, and that he was apprehended by a police team after a tip-off. “I went straight to Bandra police station,” he said, while talking about the details of his arrest.

Earlier in the day, the actor moved an application seeking restraint on real-time reporting by the media about the actor's deposition. Mr. Khan’s lawyer Shrikant Shivade said that the media should be allowed to report on the matter only after conclusion of the actor’s statement.

The court thereafter passed an order to that effect. It also barred the media from doing any speculative reporting about the merits and demerits of the defence. “Till the conclusion of the trial, the media cannot discuss any merits and demerits. No opinions should be aired. Only factual reporting which depicts the entire and true picture, should be done,” the judge said.
  • Published in Mumbai

King Abdullah demises: Salman has been appointed as new king

Riyadh:  After battling for life in a Riyadh hospital since December, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz breathed his last on Friday January 23, 1am.

His funeral is set for this afternoon in Mecca. Abdullah came to power in 2005 after his half-brother King Fahd died. He is the man behind OPEC and a U.S. ally in the fight against al-Qaeda.

Abdullah, thought to have been born in 1923, had ruled Saudi Arabia as king since 2006, but had run the country as de facto regent for a decade before that after his predecessor King Fahd suffered a debilitating stroke. Abdullah was succeeded by his 79-year-old half-brother, Crown Prince Salman, the royal court said in a statement. King Salman has named his half-brother Muqrin as his crown prince and heir.

  • Published in Saudi Arabia

SRK and Salman have no nominations this year inFilmfare!!

Shahrukh khan and Salman Khan have no nominations this year for the upcoming 60th Britannia Filmfare Awards Nominations.

Not only have the actors not got nominated for the Best Actor (Male) category, their films, Happy New Year and Kick respectively too have been lagging in the nomination race.

Abhishek Bachchan got nominated in the Best Actor in Supporting Role (Male) category for his role in Happy New Year and Shreya Ghoshal for Best Singer (Female) for Manwa lage (Happy New Year) and Himesh Reshammiya, Meet Bros Anjjan and Honey Singh got nominated for Best Music Director for Kick.

Apart from these three nominations listed above, both Kick and Happy New Year have not been nominated in any section. We are not saying that they are brilliant movies who deserved nominations over other films but when you look at the nominations it does make you wonder.

Like, Nawazuddin Siddiqui deserved to have been nominated for the Best Actor In Supporting Role category rather than Abhishek Bachchan and if you could nominated Sonam Kapoor for Khoobsurat then probably Salman Khan deserved a chance at the Best Actor In Leading Role nominations as well.

This year's nomination list has been ruled by 2 States, which deserves the recognition but Shahrukh Khan and Salman Khan films being totally ignored is a bit weird.

Salman may be ignored owing to his allergies with award shows but Shahrukh Khan has won over 14 Filmfare awards till date, out of which, he has won the Filmfare Award for Best Actor for Baazigar (1993), Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), Dil To Pagal Hai (1997), Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), Devdas (2002), Swades (2004), Chak De! India (2007) and My Name Is Khan (2010).

However they have made up for the missing names through Filmfare Glamour and Style Awards where every actor's name who is missing in film awards list has been listed for their glamorous side and style sense.
  • Published in Entertainment

Shahrukh, Salman and Amir in one stage together: Fans overwhelmed

Mumbai: Just weeks after Bollywood's biggest Khans, Salman, Aamir and Shah Rukh, came together for a much-talked about photo-op during Arpita Khan's wedding, the three shared the stage once again on Tuesday, this time for the 21st anniversary celebration of Rajat Sharma's TV show, Aap Ki Adalat at Delhi's Pragati Maidan.

Sharma had invited the three Khans, among other celebrities, to be part of the celebrations, and interestingly, when the trio shared the stage, it was called Khan Ki Adalat. They even danced to Salman's famous towel-dance with Sharma. 

Heaping praises on the show, Salman said that he was impressed with the spirit and enthusiasm of Sharma's team in sustaining the show for 21 years. When asked who from the industry would he want to be grilled in the show, the Dabangg star said: “Katghare me mujhse better koi khada nahi ho sakta.”

Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha, actors Ajay Devgn, Sonakshi Sinha, Anupam Kher, Kirron Kher and several other big names also marked their attendance at the celebration. The episode will be aired on December 7, on India TV.
  • Published in Entertainment
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