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Russell Crowe sends fires climate message to Golden Globes

Russell CroweImage copyright Getty Images

Actor Russell Crowe has used his winner’s speech at the Golden Globes to raise awareness of the deadly bushfire crisis in Australia.

“Make no mistake. The tragedy unfolding in Australia is climate change-based,” he said in a message read out on stage by show host Jennifer Aniston.

Crowe won the award for his portrayal of Fox News Chief Executive Roger Ailes in The Loudest Voice in the Room.

His comments join a wave of celebrity support for the fire response.

At least 24 people have died since the fires began in September.

The fires are a natural part of the Australian weather cycle, but have been worsened this year by hotter-than-average temperatures and a persistent drought in many areas.

Crowe is one of thousands of Australian residents whose homes have been lost or damaged by the bushfires, which are affecting every state and territory.

“We need to act based on science, move our global workforce to renewable energy and respect our planet for the unique and amazing place it is,” he said in his message.

Crowe was not at the Golden Globes ceremony in Hollywood – Aniston said he had stayed at home to protect his family.

He has been posting regularly on social media since the fires began, about the damage to his home but also encouraging donations to the largely volunteer fire services.

His latest video showed his Golden Globe alongside his firefighting equipment.

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Media captionThe BBC’s Phil Mercer says Kangaroo Valley has “a horrible, ghostly feel”

Actress Cate Blanchett also paid tribute at the ceremony to the largely volunteer firefighting operation, saying: “When one country is facing a climate disaster, we are all facing a climate disaster.”

And Joaquin Phoenix, who won best actor in a drama for The Joker, called on Hollywood to “get unified and make some changes” on climate change.

Sports and celebrity donations

The Golden Globe speeches are part of a surge of celebrity activism over the past week, as the scale of the crisis has become more known internationally.

Scores of actors, singers and sports stars – Australian or otherwise – have donated to help the victims of the fires or are encouraging others to do so.

Australian actress Margot Robbie shared an emotional appeal on Instagram on Monday showing pictures of her childhood to show “how beautiful our country is”.

“It is so beautiful and it’s really hurting right now,” she said, while calling for her followers to give to various charities “to give future generations the kind of childhood I was so lucky to have”.

Prominent Australian writers have also joined forces under the #AuthorsForFireys hashtag on Twitter, auctioning off personalised pieces of writing, workshops, illustrations or coaching in exchange for donations.

Image copyright Getty Images

In the sports world, Australian world number one tennis player Ashleigh Barty said on Sunday that she would donate all her prize money from the upcoming Brisbane Open to the relief fund.

Five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova says she plans to donate an initial A$25,000 and asked men’s world number two Novak Djokovic to match it.

Earlier, Australian player Nick Kyrgios said he would donate A$200 for every ace he hits during the tournament.

Donations have also been pledged by Australian actress Nicole Kidman and her husband Keith Urban, and by the singer Pink, who said on Saturday she was “totally devastated”.

Comedian Celeste Barber, who found fame through recreating celebrity Instagram pictures, launched an appeal through her account at the weekend which has already raised more than A$31m.

She shared an image of her mother-in-law’s home, saying: “It’s terrifying. They are scared.”

Kim Kardashian-West, who has nearly 63 million followers on Twitter, tweeted a string of news articles about the fires on 3 January, followed by the message: “Climate change is real”, while Selena Gomez, with more than 59 million followers on Twitter, also called for donations.

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has warned that the fires could burn for months.

BBC news

Pakistan forgiveness laws: The price of getting away with murder

A drawing of a woman in front of the Islamabad cityscape

The murder was so brutal it shocked even the hardened detectives who arrived at the scene on the outskirts of Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad. Bushra Iftikhar, a 28-year-old housewife, had been stabbed with such force that the knife her assailant used had bent out of shape, and he had continued the attack with a screwdriver.

The killer? Her husband, Sami Ullah.

The couple had four children already, and at the time of her death Bushra Iftikhar was pregnant with their fifth. Why exactly her husband killed her remains unclear. He claimed in court to have been suffering a mental breakdown and to have no recollection of the incident. Her family says he accused her of wanting to convert to another religious sect.

But what does seem clear is that Sami Ullah was a violent man. He had previously been accused of the attempted murder of a neighbour, and of being part of a violent argument at a restaurant.

Police believe he should have been in prison, but instead he didn’t even face a proper trial.

According to Bushra Iftikhar’s brother, Sami Ullah’s family were influential in the local area and had paid money to the victims of those earlier cases.

“In the old cases, he gave money and quickly got out of prison,” Mohammad Zakaria bluntly told the BBC.

Under Pakistani law, victims or their families have the right to forgive suspects in a number of serious crimes, including most instances of murder. All they have to do is state in court that they forgive a suspect “in the name of God”. In reality, legal observers agree that the primary motive for that “forgiveness” is normally financial, and the informal payment of money to victims is not illegal.

Image caption Mohammad Zakaria believes his brother-in-law became more violent after the first incidents

The provisions allowing crimes of bodily harm to be “settled” or “forgiven” were introduced in the 1990s as part of a set of Islamic-inspired legal reforms.

Supporters of the system say it helps reduce pressure on Pakistan’s already overburdened and delay-ridden court system, and reduces the likelihood of feuds developing. But according to one study, the murder conviction rate in the country dropped from 29% in 1990, before the laws were introduced, to just 12% in 2000.

Critics argue the law can give repeat offenders a sense of impunity, and is a tool for the more powerful to evade justice. Bushra Iftikhar’s brother believes the fact her killer was never punished in any of his previous cases only made him grow more violent.

“He became arrogant. He thought: ‘I did this, and nothing happened. Now I’m free and the law can’t touch me.'”

Sami Ullah’s family admit the previous cases had ended in what are often termed “compromises”, but insist they had agreed them to avoid a drawn-out legal process, not because Sami Ullah was guilty. Sami Ullah is currently appealing against a death sentence after being convicted of murder.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Many cases never even make it to court (pictured: the Supreme Court in Islamabad)

Ashtar Ausaf Ali, who served as attorney general under the previous government, put forward plans to reform the laws in 2015 whilst still retaining the element of forgiveness.

“A person has the right to forgive,” he told the BBC from his office in the city of Lahore, but he added that crime wasn’t just a matter for an individual, but for society.

His idea was to introduce mandatory minimum sentences, so that “people would know that they cannot put a price tag on a crime”.

Despite being supported by some clerics, Mr Ali’s proposals were blocked by a number of Islamist politicians. At the moment, there seems little prospect of them being resurrected.

Undermining the system

The current law is a source of frustration at times for both police officers and criminal prosecutors. Courts do have the right to reject settlements if they believe they are coerced, but most observers agree that due to the number of cases in the court system, they rarely investigate thoroughly.

Meanwhile, one detective told me he had come across dozens of examples of offenders reaching a settlement with their alleged victims only to go on to reoffend. He said the police would spend time and resources investigating a crime only for the case to end abruptly.

Then there are other times, when the police themselves can be the beneficiaries of such “settlements”.

Image copyright Handout
Image caption Salahuddin Ayubi died after being arrested

In August, CCTV images of a thief sticking his tongue out at the camera as he stole a bank card from a cash machine in the central Pakistani city of Faisalabad went viral on social media.

But the case took a grim turn as shortly after Salahuddin Ayubi was arrested by police, he died in custody.

The compromise

Suspicions mounted after another video emerged of Salahuddin Ayubi, who apparently initially pretended to police that he was deaf and mute, writhing in pain as a policeman twisted his arms behind his back while another interrogated him.

Salahuddin’s father, Muhammad Afzal, initially pressed for justice for his son, who is believed to have suffered from a mental illness. However, a month later, he announced he was forgiving the policemen accused of killing him “in the name of God”.

The “settlement” or “compromise” in that case is understood to have consisted of an agreement the authorities would build a new 8km (five-mile) road in the family’s village, as well as a new gas pipeline, not to mention the payment of an undisclosed sum of money.

Salahuddin’s father seemed content with the deal, which was brokered by a radical cleric with links to the intelligence services. But others, who don’t have powerful backers or the weight of public pressure behind them, often end up feeling as if they have no choice but to agree with what is being offered to them.

In a village outside Lahore, I met the family of another man who died in police custody. He had been detained after wrongly being accused of murder.

The BBC is not revealing the family’s names in order to protect them from repercussions, but they say a mixture of coercion and money led them to drop the case against the police officers they hold responsible for his death.

“We haven’t forgiven them in our hearts,” the victim’s brother told me. “We never will, but we were helpless.”

He said a steady stream of local politicians and influential figures had arrived on his doorstep when they began to fight for justice.

“They would say: ‘Do a deal. If you don’t, you won’t be able to do anything anyway. Maybe they’ll go to jail for six months or a year, after that they’ll be freed and can make all sorts of trouble for you.'”

The family are poor and were offered enough money to buy a house, something they would have struggled ever to do otherwise. They accepted, but the mother remained distraught at the bargain she felt forced to make.

“I wish to God that we were still living in a rented house, and my son was still alive,” she said. “They took my son and gave me money for a house, what kind of deal is that?”

Illustration by Nick Galvin

BBC news

NIFTEM Recruitment 2020 Research Manager Posts

NIFTEM Recruitment 2019 – NIFTEM invites applications for recruitment of 01 Research Manager Posts. The applicants are requested to Download Application Form through Official Website www.niftem.ac.in. Interested candidates are requested to peruse the advertisement regarding the process of Examinations and Interview, Eligibility Criteria, Application Fee, How to Apply, Pattern of Examination, Exam Date, Result Date etc,. Refer thoroughly before applying.

Recruitment 2018 01 Research Manager Posts:
National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and
Total No of Vacancies: 01
Job Location: Haryana

Latest NIFTEM Vacancy Details:
of the Post & No of Vacancies:
Invites Applications for the Following Posts
Name of Post
No. of Post
Research Manager
 for NIFTEM Vacancy 2020:
Name of Post
Research Manager
MBA/PGDM or equivalent course/ Masters in Social Work with exposure in Market Research or allied subjects Candidates with a background of working in Quantitative side of Primary Research with an exposure in the FMCG/CPG or allied sector will be preferred Candidate must have Minimum Five years research experience (after post graduation) in the relevant area Knowledge of Qualitative Research will be an added advantage

Age Limit:
Name of the Category
For Gen/ UR Candidates
Upper age limit is relaxed by 5 years for SC/ST; 3 years for OBC, 10 Years for
Persons with Disabilities (15 years for SC/ST PWD’s & 13 years for OBC
PWD’s) and for Ex-S as per Govt. of India rules. Candidates Relaxation in Upper
Age limit will be provided as per Govt. Rules. Go through NIFTEM official
Notification 2020 for more reference
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Name of Post
Research Manager
Rs. 40,000/- per month
Selection Procedure for NIFTEM:
Selection Procedure:
NIFTEM may follow the following
process to select the candidates.

How to apply
for NIFTEM Research Manager Post: 
Interested candidates may appear for a walk in interview at NIFTEM
on 22 nd Jan 2020 at 11.00 am. Interview for the out-stationed candidates via web
shall be facilitated. The soft copy of the application in the given format
(Annexure I) should be submitted at knrcniftem@gmail.com and the hard copy of
the same has to be brought at the time of interview. The candidates should
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Indian govt seeks to woo Bollywood stars as citizenship law protests rage on

Bollywood stars Salman Khan, Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan: File photo

MUMBAI:  The Indian government invited numerous Bollywood stars and film industry personalities to a private gathering on Sunday in an effort to garner support for a new citizenship law that has triggered weeks of sometimes violent protests nationwide.

At least 25 people have been killed so far in clashes with the police during five weeks of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA.

If combined with a proposed national register of citizens, critics of the CAA fear it will discriminate against India’s Muslim minority and chip away at its secular constitution.

Two industry sources told Reuters they had received invites to Sunday’s gathering at a five-star hotel in Mumbai. Roughly 20 to 25 people from both the Hindi and Marathi film industry are expected to attend the event, one of the sources said.

An invitation seen by Reuters said the event hosted by two senior leaders of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) aimed to “facilitate a discussion on myths and realities pertaining to the (CAA)”.

Wooing Bollywood stars, who have a huge social media following among Indians of all faiths, could help the BJP alter some of the negative narrative around the new law.

The law, and the outrage it has prompted, pose a dilemma for a film industry that has some big-name Muslim personalities, but caters predominantly to India’s majority Hindu population. A handful of Bollywood figures have condemned the CAA, while some others have faced criticism for not weighing in on the issue.

Modi, who spearheads the Hindu nationalist BJP, has often appeared alongside actors and film industry figures at public events. The industry has, in turn, produced films that some critics have said approached political endorsements.

On Saturday, more than 100,000 people took part in a peaceful protest against the CAA in the southern city of Hyderabad.

Further protests were planned on Sunday in Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and several other Indian cities.

A source close to the BJP who is involved in organising Sunday’s private gathering said several party leaders had been enlisted to help explain the rationale of the CAA to various professional groups such as lawyers.

JNU: Indian students hurt in university violence

JNU students protest against the arrest of JNUSU President Kanhaiya at JNU campus, on February 29, 2016 in Delhi, IndiaImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption The JNU has been the site of previous protests and clashes

Police in India have entered the campus of one of the country’s most prestigious universities after reports of masked men attacking students.

About 20 students are said to have been injured at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in the capital Delhi.

Pictures shared on social media showed student union president Aishe Ghosh bleeding from a head wound.

The cause of the trouble is unclear. The university recently saw protests over a controversial citizenship law.

There were also violent clashes at JNU last year over a rise in hostel fees.

The student union blamed the latest violence on the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), a right-wing student body linked to India’s governing BJP political party. However, the ABVP said that its members had been attacked by left-wing groups, and some had been injured.

One member of staff said masked men armed with stones and sticks had attacked students and teachers on Sunday evening.

“These were not small stones, these were big stones that could have broken our skulls,” Professor Atul Sood told NDTV.

“I fell on the side and when I came out, I saw cars completely vandalised, including my car.”

Professor Sood said about 50 teachers and 200 students had been holding a meeting on the campus when the masked attackers walked in.

He said the violence was unlike anything the campus had witnessed before.

BBC news

Food doesn’t have a religion – response by Zomato creates controversy

Rise of an Hindu Muslim debate in food ordering app begins Claiming that the Zomato company is discriminated against by the halal code mentioned in food distribution companies.

Refusing to buy food brought by a non-Hindu, a customer canceled the order and made a complaint in twitter in response to the complaint Zomato replied “Food doesn’t have a religion. It is a religion”.

While this is praised by Several users, some are registering new opposition. The Zomato app, which refuses to see religion, has questioned whether the halal code is coded in the diet of a particular community, and whether this is a double standard.

Positive tweet by Zomato Food doesn’t have a religion. It is a religion. Was Retweet by its competitor Uber eats and says We stand by you.

And they are dropping their star rating for the Somato in the Play Store by one point. Similarly, they are questioning why there is no mention of Jadka food which is considered halal.

Zomato explained that restaurants would decide what kind of information their customers would like to offer and that they would consider adding jatka dishes.However, some customers are uninstalling the app from their phones.

Twitter trends with #SareeTwitter, here are the best tweets on it

#SareeTwitter the trending tag in Twitter in the last day. Women’s from all over the India sharing their pictures in Saree. The traditional wear Saree.It is not clear who or what inspired it, but women are sharing pictures of them wearing the Indian attire and proudly expressing the beauty of the attire. Numerous people have shared their pictures draped in beautiful sarees and soon #SareeTwitter has taken over on the microblogging network.

Vada Chennai 2 not Shelved, Dhanush clarifies on rumours

Actor Dhanush posted on his Twitter page that do not believe the rumors about Vada Chennai 2

In tweet about this, I do not know what caused confusion among my fans. Part Two of the NorthCenter is ready soon. At the same time, stay tuned for more information on my Twitter. Please, don’t believe the rumors that my picture is coming. Thank you.

As per the rumours in social media it’s been rumoured that Vada Chennai is not happening. The actual delay behind the shooting is several actors who played a key role in the movie are busy with some other projects.

DTNext last week, “Though Vada Chennai did well at the box office, the residents of north Chennai weren’t happy about the way their lifestyle has been portrayed on-screen. Vetrimaaran is now finding it tough to shoot for the remaining sequences in the same locality. Moreover, a couple of artistes who played pivotal roles in Vada Chennai got busy with other projects. That’s why the film has been shelved.”

The original film released in October 2018. It faced protests from north Chennai residents, mainly from the fishermen and women who said they were portrayed negatively in the film. A police complaint was also lodged against the use of abusive and offensive words.

Following this, Vetrimaaran issued an apology saying he or his team did not intend to offend anyone, and removed the controversial scenes. They said the next two sequels will be a more realistic portrayal of the people of north Chennai.