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India's mighty show on R-Day
India showed its rich cultural diversity and military might as well as achievements in diverse fields at the 66th Republic Day parade in Delhi which had US President Barack Obama as the chief guest for the first time. Obama spent more than two hours on an outdoor viewing platform during the show. Obama nodded in approval as tanks and rocket launchers rolled down the parade route and helicopters ferrying Indian flags flew overhead. Obama was seated next to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, donning a multicoloured 'bandhej safa' (turban), as the two leaders chatted and enjoyed the annual spectacle. A smiling US President was seen nodding in appreciation on several occasions.

British Sikhs condemn racial attack in North Wales
British Asians are shocked to learn about a 24 years old Sikh man, who is suffering 'life changing injuries' following what is believed to be a racially motivated attacked with a machete and a hammer by a 25 years old man. He launched the savage attack on dentist Sarandev Bhambra, originally from Leeds, who was buying his launch at the Tesco supermarket in Mold, North Wales, on 14th January 2015.

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The winners of the 14th annual Asian Achievers Awards were announced on September 19th at a star-studded gala event at the Grosvenor House Hotel, on London’s Park Lane. Winners included Hanif Kureshi CBE for Media, Arts and Culture; Mahmud Kamani, co-founder of for Business Person of the Year; and Wasim Khan MBE, the first British-Pakistani to play professional cricket in England, for Achievement in Community Service.

Mumbai UK visa service will severely inconvenience tens of thousands
Mumbai, one of the largest cities in the world and busiest UK visa centres is having its visa staff reduced from 70 to 20, with decision-making being centralised in New Delhi, 850 miles away, despite receiving the same volume of applications every year.
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India News

No handshakes and hugs in Telangana
Hyderabad: With 11 swine flu deaths and 250 cases in January, Telangana is the worst hit state in India. Alarmed by the situation, the Telangana government is putting effort in to control and treat swine flu cases in the state. To prevent the spread of the disease, the government is even advising people to say no to handshakes and hugs and only say 'Namaste' to greet people. The government is reaching out to people and creating awareness about preventive measures.
"We are telling people to avoid body contact like handshake or even hugs as they can get infected," said Dr Narendra Nath, Director, NIMS, government appointed spokesperson for swine flu.

Bill Gates promises support to AP's development
Davos: Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates assured chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu that he would support Andhra Pradesh in technology, application development and start-ups, education, health and immunisation programmes. After attending a private dinner hosted by Gates in Davos, Naidu had a 40-minute meeting with him. The chief minister made a presentation on Andhra Pradesh’s innovation and start-up policy and also about the skill development programme to him.

Badal focusing on 'Sangat darshan' to woo voters
Chandigarh: As by-poll approaches, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has been focusing on "Sangat darshan" programme to influence the Dhuri voters. Dhuri, in Sangrur district has caught the fancy of Badal, especially after the Assembly seat fell vacant following the resignation by sitting Congress MLA Arvind Khanna.

Tiger population triples in TN in less than a decade
Chennai: The tiger population in Tamil Nadu has tripled in just eight years, finds the latest official count of the big cats. From 76 tigers in 2006, the number of big cats shot up to 229 in 2014, says the report on the Status of Tigers in India - 2014 by the National Tiger Conservation Authority. The 2010 survey recorded 163 tigers.

Chidambaram's son faces expulsion from Cong
Chennai: Even as senior Congress functionary Janardhan Dwivedi is facing flak for hailing Narendra Modi's victory in Lok Sabha elections, former Union minister P C Chidambaram's son Karti Chidambaram faces disciplinary action and could even be expelled from the Congress for praising the Prime Minister. The Tamil Nadu Congress Committee has issued a show-cause notice to Karti asking why he should not be expelled for his anti-party remarks at a meeting with his supporters in Chennai, where, among other things, he had praised Modi for his “political acumen.”

Faith healer allegedly dupes vulnerable victims
A Court has heard that a con artist masqueraded as a ‘faith healer’ to dupe vulnerable victims out of £650,000 in a series of scams. Mohammed Ashrafi (50) allegedly pretended to be a devotee of the Indian spiritual master Sai Baba, with special powers to perform miracles, Leicester Crown Court was told. It has been claimed that he convinced 18 ‘believers’ into thinking they were going to win the National Lottery – and persuaded them to part with life savings.

Subrata Roy strikes deal to mortgage two hotels
India's Sahara group chairman Subrata Roy has struck a deal to mortgage London’s Grosvenor House Hotel and and New York’s Plaza hotel. The deals were struck in a Delhi jail between India’s most controversial billionaire and a consortium which includes an American rap star.

Mother and lover charged for murder
A London court has heard that an 8-year-old girl was brutally beaten to death by two women, one of them her mother, who were involved in an "unconventional" relationship. Ayesha Ali had bite marks on her shoulders and had suffered extensive carpet burns, suggesting she had been dragged around the house.

UK News

Birmingham hospital treats 1500 cases of FGM in 5 years
A shocking statistic has revealed that a Birmingham hospital reportedly has treated 1500 cases of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in just five years, as discussed at a meeting of the West Midlands Police and Crime Panel. Members were told that cases of the sickening practice peaked at Birmingham’s Heartlands Hospital in 2013 with 349 recorded victims - nearly 20% more than the previous year, the Birmingham Mail reported. It means around six victims are treated at the hospital every single week, showing the true scale of the hidden crime.

Speeding teenage driver regrets killing grandfather
A teenage driver who killed a grandfather as he sped a 105,000 Range Rover at 81 mph, in a 30 mph zone has regretted his action. Kirpal Singh Sokhi, 19, careered into Stephen Beckett’s car after “flooring” the powerful 4x4, which he had allegedly taken without permission.
As he was jailed for five years, Birmingham Crown Court heard Sokhi reportedly ignored speed humps and speed signs and kept the accelerator pedal to the floor until a crash was inevitable.

Sham marriage ring convicted
A £12,000 sham marriage bride from the infamous Benefits street has been jailed for 16 months. 37 years old Marcella Brotac, who lives on the infamous James Turner Street, Winson Green, had agreed to marry Harjeet Singh, 25, just 24 hours after meeting him.
She was convicted of conspiring to facilitate a breach of immigration laws at Birmingham Crown Court in December and jailed on Friday at Northampton Crown Court.

Schools asked to test-run new maths GCSEs by Ofqual
Schools in England are being asked to put pupils through extra mock maths exams after concerns were raised over the new maths GCSE. In December, two examination boards accused a rival of offering sample maths papers that are too easy. Schools are due to start teaching the reformed maths GCSE from September, with the first exams to be sat in 2017.

Irresponsible landlord prosecuted by Redbridge Council
Mr Salim Ahmed, from Ilford IG1 who rented a potentially dangerous property to tenants in Ilford has been fined a total of £7,467.20. It is the latest in a number of successful prosecutions taken by the Council against irresponsible landlords.

Murthy family donates £200,000 to the Gandhi Statue Memorial Trust
With the receipt of £200,000 from leading entrepreneur Narayan Murthy, wife Sudha Murthy and children Akshata and Rohan, the Gandhi Statue Memorial Trust has confirmed that it has crossed the £750,000 mark for the establishment of the Mahatma Gandhi Statue at Parliament Square, in London.
Mr Murthy, the founder of leading IT services firm, Infosys, said "Mahatma Gandhi was someone who demonstrated the tremendous power of leadership by example.
His courage and commitment are an inspiration and I am delighted that his statue will stand in such a respected setting."

Birmingham pizza parlour boss facing £3,000 bill for infestation
A pizza parlour in Birmingham was forced to temporarily close after health inspectors discovered it was infested with cockroaches. Pizza Pan in Aldridge Road, Perry Barr, was ordered to shut for three days because of the risk to human health.

Faith groups in Birmingham come together to reject extremism and violence
Faith groups in Birmingham came together for ‘Not In Our Name’ rally in the city on Sunday to reject extremism and violence. Members of Moseley Inter Faith Forum - made up of Muslims, Jews, Christians, Sikhs and Hindus – met at the Victoria Square on Sunday, January 25, between 12.30-1.30pm. The rally was addressed by Birmingham Lord Mayor Coun Shafique Shah and other speakers.

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Rain keeps India alive in Tri-series
The one-day international between India and Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground was abandoned due to rain. The game could only see 16 overs in which India scored 69 for the loss of two wickets before rain stopped play. The two teams take two points each from the match, which means that the final league game between India and England on January 30 at the WACA in Perth will be a straight knockout for a chance to play Australia in the final on February 1 at the same venue.

MCC to enhance link with Nepalese cricket in 2015
Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) is set to bolster its links with Nepalese cricket this year, starting with national team captain Paras Khadka’s selection in the first MCC squad of 2015. Khadka will be part of the squad for the Emirates T20 tournament which takes place in Dubai on 20th March and also features Lancashire, Yorkshire and Sussex.

Pak cricketers barred from using social media websites
The Pakistani players, featuring in the World Cup squad, have been banned from using social networking sites during the mega event, beginning next month. Team manager, Naved Akram Cheema confirmed that as part of their central contracts, players would not be allowed to use any social networking site on the coming tour to New Zealand and in the World Cup.

NZ win series against Lanka
New Zealand wrapped up their one-day series against Sri Lanka with a game to spare on Sunday when Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor orchestrated a 120-run win in game six. Williamson (97) and Taylor (96) provided the backbone of New Zealand's 315-8 in their 50 overs and Sri Lanka were all out for 195 in the 41st over.

Ravindra Jadeja sues Rajkot newspaper
Indian cricketer Ravindra Jadeja has filed a defamation suit against the editor of a Rajkot-based evening newspaper for defamation, seeking damages of Rs 510 million. Principal senior civil judge P B Parmar issued a summons to Satish Mehta, editor and owner of 'Aabtak', asking him to remain present in the court on February 4.

Even English counties don't want KP
Sacked England batsman Kevin Pietersen's hopes of returning to the national Test squad suffered a setback after domestic side Surrey all but ruled out a return for him. The South-African born batsman was de-registered by the county club three months ago and has now reportedly been told that he won't be offered a return.

After all the noise, Saina, Sushil miss out on Padma award
Saina Nehwal's recent show of petulance in demanding a Padma award this time has led to a domino effect with the ace shuttler not figuring in the list of winners, but it has also swept away the claims of Sushil Kumar, the two-time Olympic wrestling medal winner.

SC bars Srinivasan from contesting BCCI poll
After almost 18 months of deliberations on the 2013 Indian Premier League betting and match-fixing scandal, the Supreme Court of India has barred N Srinivasan from contesting Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) elections till such time he had "commercial interest in cricket."

World News

Safe havens within Pakistan not acceptable: Obama
New Delhi: US President Barack Obama said US had been unrelenting in its fight against terror - a fight in which Indians and Americans were united. Referring to the the 9/11 attack in New York and the 26/11 attack in Mumbai, Obama said the two nations stood together in defence of their security and way of life.
He went on to add, "I've made it clear that even as the United States works with Pakistan to meet the threat of terrorism, safe havens within Pakistan are not acceptable and that those behind the Mumbai terrorist attack must face justice." "On the most basic level, a good India-US relationship has to be based on the same principles as our successful partnerships with our other close partners and friends around the world," Obama said in an interview.

Outrage forces US firm to pull `Gandhi' beer
Milford: A US microbrewery said it would stop using the name and image of Mahatma Gandhi on one of its beers after complaints that it was offensive to the Indian community. New England Brewing Company of Connecticut had been marketing its India pale ale under the name `Gandhi-Bot', with a label and cartoon image depicting a robot version of Gandhi.“After consideration we feel that renaming Gandhi-Bot is the right move,” the company said in a statement. “Taking these steps will allow us to express our support for the Indian-American community while also limiting any economic losses.” The company said it made the decision to rebrand the beer following meetings with Indian-American business owners, temple leaders and state officials, including Glastonbury state representative Prasad Srinivasan.

Weapons cache adds fuel to coup bid charges against Rajapaksa
Colombo: The recovery of a weapons cache in central Colombo has added fuel to allegations that former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa had planned a coup to maintain his grip on power when he realised that he was about to lose the recent election. Meanwhile, Rajapaksa appealed to the country’s new ruler not to exact “political revenge” from the allegations.
Rajapaksa’s plea came after a stash of arms were discovered in central Colombo, allegedly belonging to Rakna Lanka Security Service, a private company said to be under the control of the former president’s younger brother Gotobhaya Rajapaksa. The haul included 157 Chinese-made machine guns, shotguns, a heavy machine guns, ammunition, body armour and helmets. Two days earlier, another, bigger cache of weapons was found on a container ship docked in the southern port city of Galle. It included more than 3,000 automatic weapons.

Modi, Obama unveil steps for new high to business, trade ties
India-US business links were set for a quantum jump with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's assurance of "consistent policies" and "welcoming environment" leading to US President Barack Obama announcing steps to lead to $4 billion trade with and investment in India.
"Over the next two years, our Export Import Bank (EXIM) will support $1 billion Made In America goods exports to India. Our Overseas Private Investment Corporation will support lending small and medium businesses across India in more than $1 billion in loans. And our US Trade and Development Agency will invest nearly $2 billion in renewable energy in India," Obama said in his address at the US-India Business Summit on Monday.




It's a good time for getting on with your loved ones, as Venus and Mars embrace your 12th house. Bear in mind that Mercury turns retrograde in your eleventh house of friends and associates as well. The next few weeks would serve you well if you spend more time listening than speaking.


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