Los Angeles: Legendary former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, who had been hospitalised following respiratory problems, has passed away, a family spokesman said.
“After a 32-year battle with Parkinson’s disease, Muhammad Ali has passed away at the age of 74,” family spokesman Bob Gunnell said in a statement on Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.
Ali, known as Cassius Clay before he converted to Islam, began boxing training at the age of 12 years.
He won the World heavyweight championship at the age of 22 in 1964. He was stripped of his title in 1967 after he cited his religious beliefs and rufused to be conscripted in the US Army due to his opposition to the Vietnam war. He again won the title again in 1974 and 1978.
Ali had been hospitalized in Phoenix, Arizona this week due to respiratory problems, although his condition was said to be stable.
Paradise Valley Police Department in Arizona told ABC network an emergency medical call was made from Ali’s address in Phoenix on Thursday, reports Efe.
The Phoenix Fire Department also confirmed responding to a call on the same day to assist a 74-year-old man with respiratory issues.
One of the greatest boxers in the history, Ali retired in 1981 and soon found signs of sluggishness and neurological damage. He thereafter received treatment for Parkinson’s disease.
The legendary boxer had been hospitalized several times in recent years, including in early 2015 with a severe urinary infection that was initially diagnosed as pneumonia.
Ali appeared weaker with every public appearance he made, the last being on April 9 when he was seen wearing sunglasses at the annual Celebrity Fight Night gala in Phoenix to raise funds for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
However, the sporting icon led a relatively peaceful life with his fourth wife Lonnie, who he married in 1986.
Ali’s death touches more than just the boxing world as he was one of the most recognised people in the world for his actions both in and out of the ring.His conversion to Islam, name changes and opposition to the Vietnam War polarised the country.
However, he later became a symbol of peace with his messages on freedom, peace and equality.
“A true great has left us. Muhammad Ali transformed this country and impacted the world with his spirit,” said Bob Arum, his longtime boxing promoter. (IANS)
SHILLONG: The decision of the State Governor V Shanmuganathan to send only one name (PN Syiem) to the Election Commission instead of all the 8 legislators as demanded by High Court to ascertain whether they face disqualification for holding the office of MDC may come under the scanner of High Court of Meghalaya.
In the May 31 order, the Governor said that the KHADC chief P N Syiem cannot be disqualified for holding the office in KHADC based on the opinion of Election Commission which did not find it as an office of profit under the state government.
The High Court in its order on December 15 last year, while stating that the case can await the decision of the Governor, which would be taken upon receiving the opinion of the Election Commission, however, observed that “the Election Commission of India is expected to give its opinion on the entire issue relating to all eight MLAs as referred to by the Governor”.
However, only the name of KHADC CEM was sent by the Governor to the Election Commission.
When contacted to know whether this will fall under contempt of court, a legal officer with the state government said that the government has no role in sending the names, as the matter is dealt by the office of the Governor.
The seven legislators whose names were not sent to the Election Commission are HDR. Lyngdoh, Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit, Stephanson Mukhim, Phlastingwell Pangniang, Brolding Nongsiej, Metbah Lyngdoh and Sanbor Shullai.
They were holding the post of MDCs till the dual post Bill came into effect from October 1 last year.
Doha: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived here on Saturday on a two-day visit which is focused on giving a new push to the economic ties, particularly in the hydrocarbon sector, between India and the energy-rich Qatar.
Modi will hold detailed talks with Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and address the business community of Qatar, a country which is India’s largest supplier of LNG requirements, accounting for 65 per cent of the country’s total imports last financial year. (PTI)
SHILLONG: The BJP has slammed the Congress for blaming the saffron party for the failure on the part of the party to control dissidence in Congress Legislature Party.
During the Tura by poll, the Congress had targeted the BJP instead of directly taking on NPP candidate Conrad Sangma and now for the failure on the part of the Chief Minister to control the dissident activities, the blame is on BJP, the state BJP leader Shibun Lyngdoh said on Saturday.
Last week, in a letter addressed to the Congress High Command, the Chief Minster had said that the CLP is stable, but hinted the role of BJP in creating trouble affecting the stability of his government.
However, according to the State BJP president , at this juncture since the BJP does not have a single legislator in the House, the party is not all interested in toppling game.
“We are now strengthening the party at the grass root level to ensure that the party registers victory in the Assembly polls scheduled to be held in 2018”, Lyngdoh said.
To a query, the state BJP leader said that the leadership issue of the Congress is the internal matter of the party and asserted that the BJP does not have any role in this.
“Why should they blame us for their internal problems, we are busy in strengthening our party base and we are not interested in changing government in Meghalaya. The panic reaction by the Congress will only harm them”, Lyngdoh said.
SHILLONG: Even as demand for the chief minister’s resignation poured in from friendly and unfriendly quarters, Mukul Sangma is determined to defy all odds and cling on to the hot seat.
Political pundits, however, feel that this will be a blessing in disguise for non-Congress parties as the next Assembly polls are scheduled to take place in less than two- year’s time.
The Chief Minister has claimed to have the support of majority of party legislators including Ministers in the tussle for leadership, which according to political observers may drag on till the beginning of 2018 when the state will go to polls.
Though the dissidents hoped that the Chief Minister would gracefully step down paving way for a new leader to take over the chief ministership, the latter took an aggressive stand and apprised the AICC that “all is well”.
A dissident Congress legislator is of the view that the leadership issue is very much relevant in the context of humiliating defeat of the party in Tura by-poll.
However, the state BJP leadership is amused over the state of affairs within the Congress and said that the BJP is not interested in meddling with the affairs of the Congress party.
“We are looking at 2018 and people will teach Congress a lesson for the mess the party has created in the State”, the state BJP President Shibun Lyngdoh said.
A UDP leader, on the other hand, said that it would be good for his party if Mukul Sangma continues as the Chief Minister till 2018. “The anti-incumbency factor will help UDP and other non-Congress parties to come back to power,” the UDP leader said.
As far as Congress is concerned, the legislators would not like to go the Assam way (vertical split).
The MPCC president DD Lapang , whom the dissidents have projected as the next leader, said that party would solve the crisis amicably and asserted that there was no question of splitting the party .
In his usual style, Lapang said that though there were differences in the family, “it does not mean that the house should be torched”.
However, the non-Congress parties feel this double standard of some Congress leaders — projecting themselves to be true Congressmen and at the same time adding fuel to dissident activities— will benefit them as the wave of anger against Congress is brewing in the State for its overall failure in governance.
Los Angeles, June 04 (IANS): Legendary former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, who had been hospitalised following respiratory problems, has passed away, a family spokesman said.
"After a 32-year battle with Parkinson's disease, Muhammad Ali has passed away at the age of 74," family spokesman Bob Gunnell said in a statement on Friday.
SHILLONG, June 04: The North East Students’ Organization on Saturday has urged upon the Central Government to intervene and ensure that the Inner Line Permit is implemented in all the states comprising the North East region of India.
Submitting a memorandum in this regard to the Governor of Meghalaya, V Shanmuganathan, NESO members informed that similar memorandums will be submitted to all the Governors of the North East states.
SHILLONG, June 04: Taking note of the damage caused by illegal stone quarrying on a section of the road in West Jaintia Hills (WJH) district, the State Government has directed those responsible for this damage to pay for the repair of the same if they don’t stop their quarrying activities.
SHILLONG, June 04: Meghalaya Social Welfare Minister, Deborah Marak on Saturday pointed out the paradox in Meghalaya which, in spite of following a matrilineal system, sees a high number of cases of abuse of women.
Addressing a workshop on legislations related to empowerment of women, at Williamnagar on Saturday, Marak said, “In matrilineal Meghalaya, women enjoy respect and regard but in it shocking to learn that they are abused, denied rights and not treated as equals.”
TURA, June 04: After condemnation of the lack of support for meritorious students from politicians from the state, school authorities of Jawaharlal Nehru Higher Secondary School in Phulbari clarified on the issue saying that a felicitation program had already been planned though the same was to be a surprise for those that did well in both the HSSLC and SSLC examinations, the results of which were declared recently.
SHILLONG, June 04: While pointing out a serious irregularity in the process of selection of candidates for a Government post, the Garo Students’ Union (GSU) has on Saturday demanded that the State Government postpones the personal interview for the said post.
SHILLONG, June 04: The people of Mawhiang in East Khasi Hills (EKH) district, in collaboration with the North East Slow Food & Agrobiodiversity Society (NESFAS) joined hands to observe the World Environment Day, celebrated globally on June 5 every year, by planting around 800 saplings on Friday.
Director: Ram Gopal Varma
Presented in a docudrama style, Di rector Ram Gopal Varma’s Veerappan is a true story on the life of the dreaded sandalwood smuggler, Koose Muniswamy Veerappan who was wanted by the police of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and was famously addressed as Veerappan. The film offers a dispassionate account of his life.
The film begins on a cynical note with a quote from Voltaire with states, “A society gets a criminal it deserves.”
The script written by R.D. Tailang and Ram Gopal Varma, is based on narratives from N. K. Senthamarai Kannan, the Police Commissioner, who headed Operation Cocoon, an initiative launched by the Special Task Force of Tamil Nadu Police to nab the forest brigand and his associates.
The film too is narrated from the Police officer’s point of view in a non-linear fashion starting from April 05, 2004 and captures the events of Veerappan’s life till his death on October 18, 2004, in a drab manner.
Much of the screenplay is generic and one-dimensional in nature. Apart from killing, poaching of Elephant tusks and ambushing the police, it does not give any insight of Veerappan’s personal life. While the first half of the film is engaging, the second half drags.
Sandeep Bharadwaj essays Veerappan’s character with sluggish ease. It is amusing to watch him with his handle-bar moustache literally dress up and emulate Veerappan. But unfortunately, not much emphasise is given to him, as an actor.
With unflinching gaze, Sachiin Joshi plays the tough police officer from whose point of view the story is narrated. Except for flexing his muscles, he has nothing much to emote.
Usha Jadhav as Veerappan’s wife Muthulaxmi is convincing. You empathise with her when she tells her landlady, Shreeya, ‘woh waisa aadmi nahin hai jaise police and press kehte hain.’
Of the rest of the cast, Lisa Ray as Shreeya is a misfit, Nassir as the Police Commissioner is perfunctory. He just seems to be an extension of the character he plays on Television.
The character who stands out in a small but definite role is that of Kumar, the re-instated forest officer who coaxes Veerappan to step out of the forest to meet the LTTE Chief Prabhakaran.
The locales, production design which include designer Vishaka’s costumes, are brilliantly captured by cinematographer Aniket Khandagale’s lens. His lengthy shots panning the wild terrain, along with some top angle long shots are remarkable and worth a mention.
The computer generated images too, merge well with the live action drama.
John Stewart Eduri’s effusive background score is brilliantly layered with the visuals by Editor Anwar Ali.
Overall, Veerappan is a mediocre fare. (IANS)
Director: Anu Menon
There are hospitals, and there are hospi tals — to take care of the ill. But there are no schools to teach us how to cope with the ill.Waiting is about two people whose respective spouses are seriously ill and in a coma. Shiv (Naseeruddin Shah) and Tara (Kalki Koechlin) are just…waiting… Waiting for a miracle, perhaps?
Of the two, Tara is the younger, hence angry, confused and bitter. Shiv, who doesn’t know her from Adam (or Eve) takes charge of her, sort-of-holds-her-hand and guides her through the various stages that the bereaved must go through before they attain a state of calm acceptance.
There is this elegantly-staged scene in Tara’s hotel room where Shiv explains to her how she must make her bewildered way through the many emotions that destiny has suddenly thrust on her by putting her husband in a state of mortal uncertainty. Here, and everywhere else, we can see and hear in Naseer’s voice the full force of his experience in the art of bereavement.
The beauty of watching Waiting is that no one needs to fake it. Not the actors and not us the audience. We’ve all gone through the process of dealing with loss, or worse still, impending loss when someone dying in the other room is so close to your heartbeat, you wish you could lend some of your breath to the dying beloved.
It is this sense of lived-in experience that makes Anu Menon’s post-debut mellow-drama so denuded of drama it smells like life.
Nothing that Ms. Menon did in her first film, the picaresque rom-com “London, Paris, New York”, prepared us for the emotional journey she undertakes in “Waiting”. If wisdom is what we gather from travel, then Ms. Menon seems far more widely-travelled in Waiting than she did in her debut film.
Though confined largely to a hospital, “Waiting” never overpowers you with the smell of antiseptic, nor stifles you with gloom. There is a bright light piercing the dark mood of mortality that envelopes the film.
Though outwardly the grim tale is swathed in somberness, miraculously Ms. Menon bathes the two main characters’ irredeemably depressing predicament in a dip of sunshine. A lot of the positivity that the film exudes has to do with the two principal performances.
Kalki, with her rebellious mood swings and defiant attitude to destiny, makes the traumatized young wife’s role so vivid and vibrant, you just want to hug her and calm her down. Provided she doesn’t sock you in the crotch for stepping the line.
And what better antidote to hysteria than Naseeruddin Shah? Sagacious and so gracious in his suffering he brings to his role of the bereaved husband the kind of intrinsic tranquility that only the wisest possess.
There are also some very interesting peripheral characters and performances. Ratnabali Bhattacharjee as Kalki’s best friend who is caring and concerned but has her own life to live. Rajat Kapoor as a pragmatic, sometimes-ruthless doctor is excellent, though you do wonder if there are more doctors in the vast hospital.
And Rajeev Ravindranathan as a kind, gentle and godfearing office colleague of Kalki’s comatose husband is so spot-on that you wonder if the man knows he is acting.
There are many points of polemical discussion that this big-little film raises on the trauma of grief, morality and medical ethics. To its credit, the film doesn’t allow the narrative to be weighed down by existential issues. By and large, the two actors are given room to let their bonding over a bout of bereavement grow organically.
Apart from a few strenuous episodes (Tara’s sudden outburst on seeing messages on her comatose husband’s phone from a colleague who turns out to be a male buddy, is jarring). “Waiting” swims through the tides of its traumatic design with candour and grace.
This is a gentle and moving heartbreaking story of two strangers bonded by bereavement, one wise and retrained and reluctant to use the ‘F’ word even when life fucks him over, the other volatile and temperamental and so proud of her Twitter sociability that she didn’t get time to realize life is not about how many followers you have, but how minutely you read the writing on the wall.
Not since Ritesh Batra’s “The Lunchbox” have I seen an indie film addressing itself to the ageless issue of human desolation and individual grief with such warmth, dignity, grace, honesty and humour. (IANS)
Chennai: The Madras High Court has notified amendment of the rules under the Advocates Act prescribing disciplinary action against unruly lawyers so as to ensure court proceedings are conducted in a peaceful manner.
The registrar general of the court issued the notification recently amending the rules.
Under the Advocates Actm courts have the power to debar advocates indulging in activities like attempting to influence a judge or participate in procession inside the court campus or holds placards and other acts.
Advocates indulging in such actions shall be debarred from appearing before the high or subordinate court permanently or for such periods as the court thinks fit.
The registrar general shall report the matter to the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu.
If an advocate misconducts himself as specified under Rule 14-A before the high court, the court shall has the power to take action against him/her. The court can also debar the advocate from appearing before it and all subordinate courts.
In case of misconduct before the court of principal district judge, then the judge can take action debarring the erring advocate from appearing before any court within such district.
If an advocate commits the act of misconduct before any subordinate court, the court concerned shall report the matter to principal district court within whose jurisdiction it falls.
On receipt of the report, the principal district judge shall have the power to initiate action against the advocate concerned and debar him from appearing before any court in such district. (IANS)
New Delhi: The Congress on Saturday questioned the BJP-led NDA government for its “failure to create jobs” during its two-year rule and said that Narendra Modi-led government’s record in agriculture was dismal.
Senior Congress leader P. Chadambaram, in a press conference here on completion of two years of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, said: “Growth was negative at -0.2 percent in 2014-15 and a meagre 1.1 percent in 2015-16.” The government failed to anticipate and tackle the acute distress in rural India, he said. “Where are the jobs? The most notable failure of the NDA government has been in job creation,” the Congress leader said.
“The ferment in universities can be partly attributed to the bleak future faced by university graduates. Besides, there are millions of young people who will complete no more than 8 or 10 years of school education and will have no special skills. Where are the jobs for them,” Chidambaram said.
He further said: “There is little to cheer in the GDP numbers. There is a growing dichotomy between the GDP numbers and the other economic indicators.
“If calculated under the methodology of the old series, the estimate for 2015-16 would be about 5 percent and not 7.6 percent. (IANS)
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday asserted that her government was committed to bringing back Kashmiri Pandits and other migrants to the Valley and would set up transit accommodations for them till they feel safe to return to their native places.
Rejecting claims of opposition parties and separatists that the government was setting up separate colonies for Kashmiri Pandits, she told the Assembly that the construction of transit accommodation was among recommendations made by the Prime Minister’s Working Group, formed in 2005, and it will be for Muslim and Sikh migrants too. She wondered how migrants can be asked “to return to their native places when our political workers — be it from PDP, Congress, National Conference or any other party — are living under security in hotels in Srinagar”.
“Why don’t we tell them to return to their places? Because they don’t feel secure. No body raises questions why we have made a colony for them,” Mehbooba said. She said her government was committed to setting up composite transit accommodation with basic facilities.
“This is a facility for migrants. Don’t we have Muslim migrants? Don’t we have migrants in Jammu? Are not there Sikhs and other people among them? If we are saying 50 per cent will be Kashmiri Pandits and the rest others, you are saying it is Israel-like situation,” she said. Mehbooba said the migrants can return to their native places only when they feel secure enough. “They can go to Ganderbal, Pulwama or Baramulla after that,” she said.
The Chief Minister said it cannot be expected that the people who have left the Valley 25 years ago will straight away go back to their places. “Some of them have forgotten the way to their homes.
Some don’t even remember their homes. What kind of humanity is this? We all agree that migrants are part of our Kashmiriyat and they should return with dignity,” she said. She said the state needs the Kashmiri Pandit migrants to fill the void in various sectors. “I would request them to come back.
They have such IQ. We have an AIIMS coming up. I would appeal to all Kashmiris — Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs — who are working in different hospitals outside the state to come back,” she said. (PTI)
New Delhi: The Congress on Saturday named former union ministers P. Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal, Jairam Ramesh, Ambika Soni and Oscar Fernandes as its candidates for the biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha.
The party’s list of eight candidates from seven states also included Pradeep Tamta, Vivek Tankha and Chhaya Verma.
A party release said that the names had been finalised by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi in consultation with leaders from different states.
The party has nominated Chidambaram from Maharashtra after the party’s poor showing in the recent Tamil Nadu assembly polls.
Ambika Soni has been retained from Punjab and Oscar Fernandes from Karnataka.
The party has also decided to send Ramesh to the upper house from Karnataka.
Tamta will be party nominee from Uttarakhand, Tankha from Madhya Pradesh and Verma from Chhattisgarh. (IANS)
Imphal: As many as 73 of the 323 government schools in Manipur have a pass percentage of zero in the High School Leaving Certificate (HSLC) or the class 10 examination whose results were announced on Tuesday.
That is, there was not a single student in these 73 schools — 22.6 percent of the total number — who passed the HSLC examination conducted from March 1-19 by the Board of Secondary Education Manipur (BSEM).
There was a total of 6,484 students from 323 government schools that appeared in the examination, and only 2,781 got through, a pass percentage of 42.8 percent.
That compares poorly with the state’s average pass percentage for HSLC 2016 of 61.52.
Furthermore, there are 28 government schools that had just one student each who passed the exam. And there is not a single government school that has a student in top 20 achievers.
What this clearly means is that government schools — on each of which millions of rupees of public funds are being spent — have been performing poorly as compared to the private schools.
Highly placed sources said, “The government has taken a serious note of the non-performance of the government schools. The only way out is to abolish some of these schools, so that students could get admission in private schools”.
The situation has been steadily worsening year after year, according to official reports.
In 2013 there were 28 government schools which did not have a single student who passed the HSLC examination.
That number climbed to 48 in 2014 and 70 in 2015.
The examination results have dismayed the parents and the students alike.
Romen Chingtham, who had had sent his son to a government school, told IANS that he was disappointed by failure of his son to pass the exam.
“I am faced with Hobson’s choice about his studies since I cannot send him to expensive private schools,” he said.
Officials of the education department declined to explain the failure of some of the government schools to have a single successful student.
The government’s solution to the problem has been to close down non-performing schools.
For instance, Tombisana high school in the heart of Imphal city was closed down and a marketing centre is now under construction there.
Bengali high school here was also demolished and the building for Ramkrishna Mission school is now coming up at the site.
The rich and the better off have long deserted government schools which are now left only with children of parents with modest means. (IANS)
Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh Governor J P Rajkhowa and Chief Minister Kalikho Pul on Saturday condoled the death of Army Havildar Hangpang Dada, who hailed from Borduria village of the state, killed in a gunfight with terrorists trying to sneak into India.
36-year-old Dada of Assam Regiment and posted with 35 Rashtriya Rifles died while fighting four heavily-armed terrorists who had infiltrated into northern Kashmir from PoK on May 26 last.
Conveying his condolence to the bereaved family, Rajkhowa said Dada’s death is a reminder to all about the extraordinary sacrifices made by the people of Arunachal Pradesh for the country. “We will draw inspiration from his ultimate sacrifice and continue to strive towards safe-guarding our motherland. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and relatives,” a Rajbhawan release quoting the governor said.
Pul in his condolence message to the soldier’s family said, “I am shocked over the tragic news of the death of a true soldier. He gave his life guarding the nation’s border.” “I express my sincere solidarity to the bereaved family members and also to the Army for the loss of their brave man…I salute him,” he said.
The Chief Minister has announced ex-gratia as per the government norms to the bereaved family members.
Dada is survived by wife, daughter and a six-year-old son. (PTI)