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Taste Movie 2015

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UK foiled 7 terror attacks in last 6 months, says David Cameron

LONDON/ANTALYA: British intelligence services have foiled seven terror attacks in the past six months in the UK while earlier response to such warning had originated from al-Qaida and the area between Pakistan and Afghanistan, prime minister David Cameron said on Monday.

Cameron’s remarks came as the UK government planned to recruit 1,900 new spies for the country, in the biggest increase in British security spending since the July 7 bombings in London in 2005 as radicalised Britons returned home from Syria with potential to carry out terror attacks.

“Our security and intelligence services have stopped something like seven attacks in the last six months, albeit attacks planned on a smaller scale…

“It was the sort of thing we were warned about but the warning that we were previously planning and responding to very much came out of al-Qaida and that area between Pakistan and Afghanistan,” Cameron told British media from the ongoing G20 summit in Turkey.

He said the plots were on a smaller scale as compared to Paris but added the attacks in the French capital could happen anywhere.

“But whenever anything like this happens you have to go right back to the drawing board and look at what happened and how many people were involved and how many locations were involved and what more steps you need to take to try to keep yourself safe.

“We have been aware of these cells operating in Syria that are radicalising people in our own countries, potentially sending people back to carry out attacks,” Cameron said.

The UK government’s new funding will be invested in security and intelligence agencies to provide 1,900 new officers, an increase of 15 per cent, at MI5, MI6 and GCHQ.

It also involved a doubling in funding for aviation security is also expected to be agreed this week.

Ranji Trophy: Skipper Behera's marathon 255 puts Odisha in strong position against Haryana

LAHLI: Captain Natraj Behera struck a magnificent unbeaten 255 to guide Odisha to a mammoth 529 for six declared in their first innings against Haryana on the second day of their Group A Ranji Trophy cricket match, here on Monday.

Behera, who resumed at his overnight score of 143, faced 453 balls and struck 19 boundaries and four sixes during his marathon knock.

But another overnight centurion Ranjit Singh (112) could add just three runs before being dismissed by Harshal Patel.

But Behera and Halhadar Das (93) shared 157 runs for the sixth to take Odisha forward.

Das scored his runs off 155 balls with the help of nine boundaries and three hits over the fence.

Resuming at 280 for one, Odisha piled up 249 more runs before declaring their innings after facing 163 overs.

Patel (2/94) and Jayant Yadav (2/164) picked up two wickets each for Haryana.

In reply, Haryana finished the day on 38 for no loss in 15 overs.

Rahul Dewan was batting on 26, while giving him company was Nitin Saini on 12.

Brief Scores:

Odisha: 529 for six decl. in 163 overs (Natraj Behera 255 not out, Ranjit Singh 112, Halhadar Das 93; Harshal Patel 2/94).

Haryana: 38 for no loss in 15 overs (Rahul Dewan 26 not out, Nitin Saini 12 not out).

Islamic State threatens attack on Washington, other countries

PARIS/CAIRO: Islamic State warned in a new video on Monday that countries taking part in air strikes against Syria would suffer the same fate as France, and threatened to attack in Washington.

“We say to the states that take part in the crusader campaign that, by God, you will have a day God willing, like France’s and by God, as we struck France in the centre of its abode in Paris, then we swear that we will strike America at its centre in Washington,” one man in the video said.

It was not immediately possible to verify the authenticity of the video.

French police make arrests, seize arms and drugs in overnight raids

French police made 23 arrests and seized assault rifles and drugs in a nationwide overnight sweep on suspected Islamist militants following Friday’s attacks, the government said.

Interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said 168 homes were raided in France’s major cities and elsewhere, and 104 people had been put under house arrest in the last 48 hours.

Police seized 31 firearms as well as computer hard drives and telephones, and illegal drugs were found in 18 of the raids, Cazeneuve told journalists.

One Islamist militant suspected of arms and drugs dealing was found to have Kalashnikov assault rifles, automatic handguns and bullet proof vests.

In one raid on the house of the parents of a suspect, police found military fatigues and a rocket launcher in addition to more bullet proof vests and automatic handguns.

“We know that more attacks are being prepared, not just against France but also against other European countries,” Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on RTL radio.

Cazeneuve said police were making rapid progress in their investigation into a wave of shootings and suicide bombings in Paris which left 129 people dead.

“We are making use of the legal framework of the state of emergency to question people who are part of the radical jihadist movement … and all those who advocate hate of the republic,” Valls said.

Europe observes minute’s silence for victims

Across France and throughout Europe, people paused for a minute’s silence at noon French time (1100GMT) in memory of the victims.

Overnight, France launched its heaviest airstrikes yet on the Islamic State group’s de-facto capital in Syria, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said “we are at war” against terrorism.

French authorities say on Sunday night’s airstrikes destroyed a jihadi training camp and a munitions dump in the city of Raqqa, where Iraqi intelligence officials say the attacks on Paris were planned.

Twelve aircraft including 10 fighter jets dropped a total of 20 bombs in the biggest air strikes since France extended its bombing campaign against the extremist group to Syria in September, a Defense Ministry statement said. The jets launched from sites in Jordan and the Persian Gulf, in coordination with US forces.

Three teams of attackers including seven suicide bombers attacked the national stadium, the concert hall and nearby nightspots Friday. In addition to those killed, the attacks wounded 350 people, 99 of them seriously.

French authorities have identified several suspected attackers, most with links to France or Belgium.

A French official identified the suspected mastermind as Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who is said to be linked to the thwarted attacks on a Paris-bound high-speed train and a Paris area church earlier this year. The official has direct knowledge of the investigation but is not authorized to be publicly identified as speaking about the probe.

As efforts were being made to capture those behind the attacks, more details have emerged of those who carried them out.

The Paris prosecutor’s office said Monday one of the suicide bombers who blew himself up in the Bataclan music hall Friday night was Samy Amimour, a 28-year-old Frenchman charged in a terrorism investigation in 2012. Amimour was placed under judicial supervision, but dropped off authorities’ radar in 2013 and an international arrest warrant was issued.

An attacker who blew himself up outside the national soccer stadium was said to have been found with a Syrian passport with the name Ahmad Al Mohammad, a 25-year-old born in Idlib. The prosecutor’s office said fingerprints from the attacker match those of someone who passed through Greece in October.

Another, said to have been identified by the print on a recovered finger, was 29-year-old Frenchman Ismael Mostefai, who had a record of petty crime and had been flagged in 2010 for ties to Islamic radicalism.

A judicial official said police have also identified two other suicide bombers, both French nationals who’d been living in Belgium: 20-year-old Bilal Hadfi, who detonated himself outside the Stade de France; and 31-year-old Brahim Abdeslam, who blew himself up on the Boulevard Voltaire.

At least one key suspect is on the loose. The arrest warrant for 26-year-old Salah Abdeslam _ brother of bomber Brahim _ describes him as very dangerous and warns people not to intervene if they see him.

French officials revealed to The Associated Press that police already had him in their grasp early Saturday, when they stopped a car carrying three men near the Belgian border. By then, hours had passed since authorities identified Abdeslam as the renter of a Volkswagen Polo that carried hostage takers to the Paris theater where so many died.

Three French police officials and a top French security official confirmed that officers let Abdeslam go after checking his ID. They spoke on condition of anonymity, lacking authorization to publicly disclose such details.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attacks. Its statement mocked France’s air attacks on suspected IS targets in Syria and Iraq, and called Paris “the capital of prostitution and obscenity.”

Tantalizing clues about the extent of the plot have emerged from Baghdad, where senior Iraqi officials told the AP that France and other countries had been warned on Thursday of an imminent attack.

An Iraqi intelligence dispatch warned that Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had ordered his followers to immediately launch gun and bomb attacks and take hostages inside the countries of the coalition fighting them in Iraq and Syria.

The Iraqi dispatch, which was obtained by the AP, provided no details on when or where the attack would take place, and a senior French security official told the AP that French intelligence gets these kinds of warnings “all the time” and “every day.”

However, Iraqi intelligence officials told the AP that they also warned France about specific details: Among them, that the attackers were trained for this operation and were sent back to France from Raqqa, the Islamic State’s de-facto capital.

The officials also said a sleeper cell in France then met with the attackers after their training and helped them to execute the plan. There were 24 people involved in the operation, they said: 19 attackers and five others in charge of logistics and planning.

None of these details have been corroborated by officials of France or other Western intelligence agencies.

All these French and Iraqi security and intelligence officials spoke with the AP on condition of anonymity, citing the ongoing investigation.

The identification of several French suspects stoked fears of homegrown terrorism in France, which has exported more jihadis than any other in Europe, and seen many return from the fight. All three gunmen in the January attacks on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper and a kosher supermarket in Paris were French.

In the worst of Friday’s attacks, gunmen stormed the Bataclan theater during a rock concert, taking the audience hostage and firing on them repeatedly. Eighty-nine people were killed and many more wounded.

Julien Pearce, a journalist at Europe 1 radio who escaped by crawling onto the stage, said he got a good look at one attacker who appeared “very young.”

“That’s what struck me, his childish face, very determined, cold, calm, frightening,” Pearce said.

Refugees fleeing war by the tens of thousands fear the Paris attacks could prompt Europe to close its doors, especially after police said a Syrian passport found next to one attacker’s body suggested its owner passed through Greece into the European Union and on through Macedonia and Serbia last month.

Paris remains on edge amid three days of official mourning. French troops have deployed by the thousands and tourist sites remain shuttered in one of the most visited cities on Earth. Panic ensued Sunday night as police abruptly cleared hundreds of mourners from the famed Place de la Republique square, where police said firecrackers sparked a false alarm.

“Whoever starts running starts everyone else running,” said Alice Carton, city council member who was at the square. “It’s a very weird atmosphere. The sirens and screaming are a source of fear.”

Trust your kid's coach, Aparna Popat tells parents

Former National badminton champion Aparna Popat stressed the need for parents of young sportspersons to communicate effectively with children and not pressure them into setting unrealistic targets.

Speaking to around 50 parents at a workshop organized here, Popat recalled personal experiences as she highlighted the unique challenges of raising an athlete.

“What parents say touches a chord with kids, which is why you have to choose your words carefully while communicating with children,” said the nine-time National champ in the event conducted by GoSports Foundation at Vesoma on Saturday.

“You are not your results, you produce results,” said leadership trainer Girish Manimaran, adding that it is important for kids to treat feedback as a neutral piece of information and not get caught up with whether it is positive or negative.

“While giving feedback it is important to refrain from being judgmental and confusing the reality with one’s interpretation of it,” he told parents, suggesting they communicate openly, rather than constantly advising kids.

“It is important to trust coaches and their plan. Any negative comments on the coach or the politics of the sport in the child’s presence can have an adverse impact on growth,” Popat said, adding to Manimaran’s point, before saying that parents had to be role models and inculcate the spirit of sportsmanship.

Popat said coaches and experts would have to be trusted on technical matters. “Information on technical aspects of sport, on strength and mental conditioning is easily available. But it is important parents use this information to understand and empathize with the struggles and challenges their children face, rather than encroach the domain of experts,” she said.

Storyteller Aparna Athreya impressed upon parents the importance of helping children understand their own strengths and weaknesses and encouraging them to take their own decisions which would help boost their self-confidence. “Letting children make decisions ensures their commitment to the decisions, without feeling unduly pressured,” she said.

“Raising an athlete is not easy,” said Umakanth, the father of rising badminton player Mithula UK. “Given the stress it is easy to get carried away and believe that you have to advise your child on every aspect of the sport. It helps to be reminded, sometimes, that it is necessary to take a step back and just observe,” he said.

13 Kurdish militants killed in southeast Turkey air strikes

ANKARA: Turkish security forces killed 13 Kurdish militants in air strikes close to the country’s southeastern Iraq border, the army said, as a surge in violence showed no signs of abating.
Bloodshed has swept the mainly Kurdish region since a two-year Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) ceasefire broke down in July, leaving hundreds dead and tearing apart a peace process launched by Ankara with the group’s jailed leader in late 2012.

President Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to fight the PKK until all of its militants are “liquidated”.

The PKK fighters were killed in air strikes on the Cukurca district of Hakkari province on Sunday, the army said in a statement on Monday. Four militants were detained in two other eastern provinces, Agri and Siirt, the army added.

The PKK took up arms against the state in 1984, and more than 40,000 people, mostly Kurdish militants, have died in the conflict. It is listed as a terrorist organisation by Ankara, the United States and European Union.

World leaders are currently gathered in the Turkish coastal province of Antalya for the G20, with tackling terrorism seen as a key priority.

Ex-IPL COO Sundar Raman to join as CEO of Reliance Sports

MUMBAI: Former Indian Premier League chief operating officer Sundar Raman will join the Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) as its chief executive officer – sports, the company announced on Monday.
“Sundar Raman is joining Reliance as its CEO – Sports. He will be responsible for consolidation and integration of RIL’s sports portfolio including its Foundation activities in Sports,” RIL said in a statement.

“In addition to the existing sports properties of RIL, Sundar will be driving newer avenues of growth in this area and also at integration with our digital services of Jio. Sundar brings with him a rich and unique experience of over two decades in understanding consumer insights and as a pioneer in the growth of sporting properties in India,” it said.

Over the course of last few years, RIL has invested in a variety of sports properties and is now positioned as one of India’s leading sports businesses. RIL is involved in multiple sports (cricket, football, basketball, tennis, golf) either on its own or through joint ventures.

In addition, the Reliance Foundation has several initiatives such as basketball and Young Champs.

Speaking about his new role, Sundar said: “I am delighted at the opportunity to join Reliance. Reliance existing sports properties coupled with its Jio digital services provides newer areas of growth. RIL has a huge aspiration in the sports area. The opportunity to be engaged in integrating the entire sports portfolio and make sports also an integral and important element in RIL’s growth will be an exciting journey.”

Six killed in Burundi violence: police

NAIROBI: At least six people were killed and several others wounded in the latest violence in Burundi’s capital, police and witnesses said today, a week after the launch of a crackdown search for weapons.

“There have been several armed criminal attacks in many neighbourhoods of Bujumbura which were apparently coordinated,” a senior police officer said, confirming that six people were killed in separate attacks overnight Sunday.

Police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye declined to comment today on the violence.

Burundi descended into violence in April after president Pierre Nkurunziza launched a bid for a third consecutive term in office, despite concerns over the legality of such a move.

At least 240 people have been killed and more than 200,000 have fled the country since the opposition took to the streets to protest the incumbent’s refusal to give up power.

Three people were killed in a shooting at a bar with a fourth killed nearby, overnight yesterday, a witness and police said, while two civilians were also killed in Bujumbura.

Another person was killed and seven others wounded overnight Saturday in an attack on another small bar. Three police officers were also wounded in attacks.

Burundi is still scarred by memories of its 1993-2006 civil war pitting rebels from the Hutu majority against an army dominated by minority Tutsis.

Some 300,000 people were killed in the conflict, which kicked off a year before a genocide of mainly Tutsi people in neighbouring Rwanda.

International alarm has been mounting after repeated appeals to Nkurunziza to enter dialogue with the opposition went unanswered and the political rhetoric grew increasingly poisonous — drawing comparisons with the hate speech that whipped up the violence in Rwanda.

No question of playing in India, says PCB chief

NEW DELHI: PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan has stated that it will not be feasible for Pakistan to play the proposed bilateral series in India as suggested by Indian cricket board (BCCI).

It was Shaharyar who had informed one and all that BCCI president Shahshank Manohar had written to the PCB, inviting Pakistan to play the proposed bilateral series in December in India.

But Shaharyar made it clear that the series would only be possible only if India come and play in the UAE, Pakistan adopted home since 2009 after the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore.

“There is no question of playing in India. I am still awaiting the reason of not playing in UAE,” Shaharyar said.

“We went there in 2007 and 2012. This time not again. It is our series and we will play at our home venue which is the UAE. What is the problem playing in UAE as they had also played their IPL there as well so why not Pakistan series?,” he added.

According to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two boards in 2014, Pakistan were meant to host India for a home series comprising two Tests, five ODIs and two Twenty20s.

However, it is understood that only about a month’s window is available for the series as India travel to Australia on January 8 for a limited-over contest from January 12.

Like in India, where the final decision on the bilateral series would rest on the government, the PCB will also wait for a final approval from its government to go ahead with the proposed series.

Paris attacker linked to Belgian IS cell: Report

BRUSSELS: One of the suicide bombers in the Paris attacks had links to a Belgian Islamic State militant believed to be the mastermind of a jihadist cell dismantled in January, a report said on Monday.

The name of Paris attacker Brahim Abdeslam appears in several police files alongside leading militant Abdelhamid Abaaoud relating to criminal cases in 2010 and 2011, Flemish-language newspaper De Standaard reported.

“Investigators see a link with Verviers,” it said, referring to an eastern Belgian town where police shot dead two militants in January and broke up a cell aiming to kill Belgian police officers in the streets days after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris.

Belgian prosecutors were not immediately available for comment.

Abaaoud — a 27-year-old Belgian of Moroccan descent who allegedly led the group and had fought with the Islamic State group in Syria — remains at large. He has claimed in the IS English-language magazine Dabiq to have rejoined the group in Syria.

Both Abdeslam, a Belgium-based Frenchman who blew himself up outside a bar on Boulevard Voltaire, and Abaaoud lived in the Brussels district of Molenbeek which has a reputation as a hotbed of Islamist militancy.

French police have launched an international manhunt for Abdeslam’s Brussels-born brother Salah, who is also said to be linked to the Paris attacks.

Kartik to get 'Compassionate Athlete Award' from PETA

NEW DELHI: In recognition of his work in encouraging the public to follow his lead by going meat-free, cricketer Murali Kartik will be presented with a ‘Compassionate Athlete Award’ from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

Kartik promotes vegetarian meals on social media and has also starred in a PETA India campaign.

“Kartik Murali never stops letting the world know how the simple act of choosing a vegetarian meal can spare animals daily suffering and result in great health”, says PETA India Associate Director of Celebrity and Public Relations Sachin Bangera.

“PETA India is honoured to have such a strong player on the animals’ team.”

Kartik has worked to highlight how animals suffer in the meat industry.

In addition to his work to promote vegetarian meals, Kartik is quick to report animals in distress to PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, “animals are not ours to eat”.

He is part of a growing list of athletes and other celebrities – including Anil Kumble, Sushil Kumar, Pankaj Advani, R Madhavan, Lara Dutta, Pamela Anderson, Shahid Kapoor, Sonu Sood, Vidyut Jammwal and Paul McCartney, who have teamed up with PETA India or its international affiliates to promote kindness to animals.