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Game of Thrones final.....

Game of Thrones final.....

Agencies  "Game of Thrones" spent the lapse between seasons five and six being peppered by questions about Jon Snow's fate. Based on Sunday's extra-long finale, the producers will be spared that irritation, but anticip...

Aamir Liaquat's show banned for three days

Aamir Liaquat's show banned for three days

Staff Reporter The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on Monday, after receiving hundreds of complaints, barred TV anchor Aamir Liaquat’s 'Inam Ghar' show for three days on Geo Entertainment, said a sta...

Mufti Qavi's Ruet-e-Hilal membership suspended

Mufti Qavi's Ruet-e-Hilal membership suspended

Staff Reporter ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Yousaf on Wednesday suspended Mufti Abdul Qavi’s membership of Ruet-i-Hilal Committee after pictures of him with model and Facebook celebrity Qandeel Baloch surfac...

FIA stops Ayyan Ali from flying abroad

FIA stops Ayyan Ali from flying abroad

  Staff Reporter KARACHI: Model Ayyan Ali’s attempt to go abroad once again hit to the ground when Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials on Wednesday barred her at Karachi airport. Ayyan, who is facing money lau...

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Salman Khan walks free as 'hit-and-run case not established'

Bollywood actor Salman Khan was acquitted by the Bombay High Court (BHC) of all charges in a 2002 hit-and-run case on Thursday as the 'prosecution failed to establish its case against the star', Times of India reported.

"On the basis of evidence submitted by the prosecution, Salman cannot be convicted," a BHC judge said while announcing the verdict. "Prosecution has failed to establish its case against the appellant accused (Salman Khan) on all charges."

“The appeal is allowed and the decision of the trial court is quashed and set aside. Salman Khan is acquitted of all charges,” judge Anil Ramchandra Joshi told the Bombay High Court. The Bollywood star had earlier been sentenced to five years in prison at the outcome of his trial in May.

Salman Khan posted a message on Twitter which said, "I accept the decision of the judiciary with humility. I thank my family, friends and fans for their support and prayers."

A BHC judge on Wednesday had said the court had "come to the conclusion that the prosecution had failed to bring material on record to establish beyond reasonable doubt that the appellant [Khan] was driving and under the influence of alcohol and also, whether the accident occurred due to bursting (of a tyre) prior to the incident or tyre burst after the incident," according to another TOI report.

"The law has no place for opinion of the public," the court said today.

In May 2015, Khan was charged by the Mumbai High Court with culpable homicide and handed a five-year sentence for crashing his SUV into a group of homeless men in India's entertainment capital Mumbai in 2002 and then fleeing the scene.

The actor had blamed his driver, saying he was responsible for the late night crash in which his Toyota Land Cruiser mounted the pavement where five men were sleeping outside a bakery in the upmarket suburb of Bandra West.

A constable attached to Khan's security detail said in an earlier statement to police that the drunk actor lost control of the car while driving at about 90 kilometres an hour.

"The people were sleeping on the footpath. Salman and (his cousin) Kamaal ran away from the spot," the constable, who died in 2007 of tuberculosis, said.

One of the sleeping labourers injured in the accident said in his statement that "Salman was so drunk he fell. He stood but he fell again and then he... ran away."

But Khan's lawyers had said the action and romantic comedy star had in fact been drinking water all evening and had climbed out of the driver's seat after the accident because the passenger side door had been damaged.

They also said the homeless man was killed during an operation to move the car, rather than the crash itself, when the bumper fell off and landed on him.

Finally, in April 2015, his driver took the stand and said he crashed after the front left tyre burst, making steering and braking difficult.

During the hearing against him, the judge told Khan in court, "you were driving the car," and found him guilty on all eight charges against him.

His sentence was suspended pending appeal within a week of his conviction and he continued to be on bail while he appealed against the verdict.

 

Kendrick Lamar leads Grammy nominations

BBC

Kendrick Lamar has emerged as the front-runner for next year's Grammy Awards, with 11 nominations in total.

The hip-hop star is up for album of the year for To Pimp A Butterfly, a dense, detailed trawl of black music, US politics and his personal demons.

His competition comes from Taylor Swift, whose pop smash 1989 is finally nominated, a year after its release.

It came out too late to be eligible for last year's awards, a fate which has befallen Adele's 25 this time around.

Swift ties with R&B star The Weeknd for second place, with seven nominations apiece, while Ed Sheeran and James Bay represent the UK.

Sheeran is up for two of the major prizes - song of the year and record of the year - for his emotive ballad Thinking Out Loud.

The former award goes to the writers (in this case Sheeran and Amy Wadge), while the record of the year category takes into account the performance and production of a hit song.

Other nominees for song of the year include The Weeknd's breakthrough hit Can't Feel My Face and Mark Ronson's global smash Uptown Funk.

Swift has been nominated for the tongue-in-cheek Blank Space, as was Lamar for Alright, the hope-filled centerpiece of his album.

Lamar's domination of the shortlist is "a testimony to his artistry," said Neil Portnow, head of the Recording Academy.

"He's someone that's very serious about his art and about his craft, and has been working it for quite some time. And this is one of those instances where the work pays off."

The hip-hop artist's other nominations include best rap album and best pop duo/group performance for Bad Blood - a remix of one of the tracks on Swift's 1989.

He is also shortlisted twice for best rap song, including Kanye West's All Day, which he co-wrote - along with 18 other credited performers, which could make an interesting moment on stage if West wins.

Among the most prestigious awards in music, the Grammys feature an exhaustive 83 categories in 30 genres, including the likes of best tropical Latin album and best jazz improvisation.

Outside the main categories, the late Amy Winehouse is up for her seventh Grammy thanks to Asif Kapadia's revealing documentary on her life; while a deluxe reissue of The Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers is up for best box set.

Justin Bieber, who had been considered a contender for some of the main prizes, only gets one nomination, for best dance recording; while Rihanna also misses out, despite her Paul McCartney duet FourFiveSeconds being tipped as a nominee for song of the year.

Ayyan's passport return plea approved

Staff Reporter

RAWALPINDI: The special court of customs, excise and taxation here on Wednesday approved model Ayyan Ali's application to return her passport which was confiscated upon her arrest in March in a currency-smuggling case.

The court had summoned a response from customs officials on the application earlier filed by Ayyan for the return of her passport.

In a response, customs investigation officer Inspector Saleem expressed reservations regarding the return of Ayyan's passport.

The customs officer said three passports had been confiscated from Ayyan upon her arrest.

'Important evidence'

Ayyan's passport is important documentary evidence in the currency smuggling case and it is possible that if her passport was returned, Ayyan would leave for a foreign country, the customs official told Judge Rana Aftab Ahmed.

He added that the model's departure from the country will affect the currency smuggling case being heard by the customs court.

'Passport is her bread and butter'

However, Ayyan's counsel Khurram Latif Khosa told the court that the passport is Ayyan's "bread and butter" as she frequently travels abroad as part of her modelling contracts. The model serves as a cultural ambassador and serves Pakistan internationally, Khosa said.

 

 

Aamir Khan joins chorus against intolerance in India

Agencies

Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan has joined the rising chorus of protest against growing "intolerance" in India.

Khan said his filmmaker wife Kiran Rao had even suggested leaving the country.

Mr Khan told a journalism awards ceremony that he was "alarmed" over the rise in acts of intolerance in the "last six to eight months".

Earlier this month fellow superstar Shah Rukh Khan also spoke out against what he called "extreme intolerance" in India.

A movement that began with writers returning state awards has spread to scientists, historians and filmmakers.

They have cited the killing of rationalists MM Kalburgi and Govind Pansare, as well as the lynching of a man over suspicions he consumed beef, as examples of rising intolerance in the country.

Actor, director and producer Khan told a ceremony organised by The Indian Express newspaper that a sense of "insecurity" and "fear" had been growing in India.

"(Wife) Kiran and I have lived all our lives in India. For the first time, she said, should we move out of India? That's a disastrous and big statement for Kiran to make to me,"Khan was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

"She fears for her child. She fears about what the atmosphere around us will be. She feels scared to open the newspapers everyday. That does indicate that there is a sense of growing disquiet."

Khan said creative people were returning their awards to express dissatisfaction or disappointment with the state of affairs.

"For creative people, to voice what they feel is important. A number of creative people - historians and scientists - have increasingly had a certain feeling that they feel they need to express. One of the ways of expressing their dissatisfaction or disappointment is to return awards."

He said: "As long as you don't resort to violence, all individuals have a right to protest and they can protest in any manner they feel is right".

"This is certainly a way to protest for creative people."

A spokesperson for India's ruling BJP said Khan was entitled to his view, but India remained a tolerant country.

"You can't take the exception to be the rule. You can't be alarmist over stray incidents. Let us not define our country based on that," Nalin Kohli told the NDTV news channel.

Khan's comments have sharply divided sentiment on social media, with so many people tweeting on his comments that #AamirKhan was the top Twitter trend in India.

 

Ayan indicted in money laundering case

Staff Reporter

RAWALPINDI: The case involving model Ayan Ali garnered unprecedented media attention due to her celebrity status and the controversies surrounding it.

On Thursday, a customs court indicted model Ayan Ali for attempting to smuggle out of the country more than half a million dollars in cash. She has pleaded not guilty.

The court has summoned prosecution witnesses on December 8 to record their statements in the currency smuggling case.

Rejecting the arguments of her counsel Sardar Latif Khan Khosa, Judge Rana Aftab Ahmed indicted Ayan just over eight months after she was arrested.

The special court of customs, excise and taxation had dismissed Ayyan's acquittal plea on Nov 6. She then filed an acquittal plea in the Lahore High Court, which the court admitted for hearing.

The model was arrested on Mar 14, 2015, on charges of money laundering after being caught with over half a million dollars by customs officials at Islamabad's Benazir Bhutto International Airport.

She was granted bail in July after spending around four months in Rawalpindi's notorious Adiala Jail ─ and after her judicial remand was extended 16 times.

Ayan, who maintains she is 21 years old, was reportedly booked to travel on a flight to Dubai when customs officials recovered US $506,000 from her luggage before she could board the plane.

Pakistan cancels Adnan Sami's passport

Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan cancelled on Monday the passport of India-based singer Adnan Sami Khan, saying he failed to fulfill the criterion mentioned in the country’s laws.

Reportedly, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar confirmed the development, saying the citizen documentation of the singer was cancelled. “We will not issue NOC to him,” he said.

An NOC is a basic requirement for Sami to acquire any other country’s citizenship.

Pakistan had earlier refused to issue renunciation citizenship certificate to Sami after he remarked, “I don’t need the green passport anymore. I have found my home in India.”

“Why would we issue the certificate to a man who has no respect for ‘sacred’ documents,” a senior officer of the interior ministry had said while commenting on the singer’s remarks.

 

SRK grilled over sale of IPL franchise shares

The Enforcement Directorate has questioned Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan in a matter of alleged irregularities in the sale of shares of Knight Riders Sports Pvt Ltd (KRSPL) to a Mauritius-based company.

“We recorded Khan’s statement on Tuesday in connection with the violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act,” ED sources said.

The case, dating back to 2008-09, pertains to the share sale of KRSPL, owned by Khan’s Red Chillies along with Juhi Chawla and her husband, to a Mauritius-based company owned by Chawla’s husband Jay Mehta.

ED is probing allegations that shares sold to the Jay Mehta-owned Sea Island Investments were undervalued by eight to nine times.

Khan had faced ED once in 2011 when he was questioned about alleged foreign exchange violation of around Rs 100 crore.

At the time of incorporation in 2008, Red Chillies had 9,900 shares of KRSPL. The valuation report, made by ED’s external agency last year, said that when the equity shares of KRSPL were issued to Sea Island Investments, the fair value per equity share of KRSPL should have been between Rs 70-86.

However, the shares were issued at a value of Rs 10 each. According to the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), the price of shares issued to persons residing outside India should not be lower than the price worked out under the guidelines set by stock market regulator SEBI in case of a listed company, or on the basis of fair valuation of shares by a chartered accountant as per guidelines of the erstwhile Controller of Capital Issues (CCI).

Officials said that Khan cooperated with them and has provided them with some documents related to the transfer of shares.

Hindustan Times

 

Superstar, inventor, Nazi foe

Agencies

She was a glamorous Hollywood actress who romanced Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy and Jimmy Stewart onscreen and was hailed as "the world's most beautiful woman."

But Hedy Lamarr was bored. So in a private life more compelling than some of her movies, she dreamed up ways to fight the Nazis during World War II and earned a patent for an idea that laid the groundwork for such modern technologies as Bluetooth, GPs and Wi-Fi.

Lamarr, on what would have been her 101st birthday, was honored Monday with an animated doodle on Google's search page. The jazzy clip pays homage to her remarkable double career -- actress by day, inventor by night -- and introduces the late star to a new generation at a time when the science and technology fields are struggling to attract women.

Lamarr appeared onscreen regularly throughout the 1940s, most notably opposite Victor Mature in Cecil B. DeMille's "Samson and Delilah." But she grew weary of femme fatale roles that didn't showcase her intelligence.

"Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid," she famously said.

So during World War II, Lamarr drew upon her interest in science and military technology -- gained in part through her first marriage to an arms dealer -- to help devise a system to prevent the Nazis from blocking signals from radio-controlled Allied torpedoes. She teamed with composer George Antheil, a neighbor, to create a frequency-hopping system -- based on the 88 keys in pianos -- that would keep enemies from being able to detect the radio messages.

Hom's doodle alternates between scenes of movie-star glamor and Lamarr's sideline as an inventor. The actress looks bored in the back of a limo but perks up when she's tinkering with theories in her lab.

One quote from the actress, found on her estate's website, sounds like it could have been spoken yesterday.

"The world isn't getting any easier. With all these new inventions I believe that people are hurried more and pushed more," she said. "The hurried way is not the right way; you need time for everything -- time to work, time to play, time to rest."

 

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