Archive | September, 2016

Kat, PC, DP, Jacqueline , Anushka, who will be the next Ms Krrish?

Posted on 28 September 2016 by admin

The epic Battle between the Super Gals begins. The universe is shaking. Wonder Woman is feeling threatened. CatWoman is counting her nine lives and Amazon Woman has fled to the forests. Because another epic battle for the title of Supergal has just begun. Given how well all the hollywood superhero ventures (Avengers, Superman, Batman, Captain America, etc) are doing even in the hindi dubbed versions – some surpassing the collections of even the biggest of hindi movie releases in the same week – Bollywood is gearing to ‘UP’ it’s superhero quotient. And also given that hrithik Roshan’s Krrish franchise with his dad is India’s biggest success in the superhero stakes, it was a given that dad/ Producer/ Director – Rakesh Roshan would make his fourth installment of Krrish a battle worthy of Universe.

“A superhero like Krissh needs a super heroine nothing less. No ordinary mortal. Someone who can fly, fight and save the world in one breath, figuratively speaking of course. And all our top rung actresses are more than super heroines.

As to who it will be finally saving the world with Krissh? Wait and watch. That’s a secret for now” says rakesh roshan Announced for end 2018 or early 2019, Krissh 4 has already triggered a battle.

And this time the weapons of war are lipsticks, mascara, eyelashes and powdered noses. Yes, the biggest of heroines are being shortlist to play Mrs Superhero. Names on the shortlist are Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Katrina Kaif, Deepika Padukone and Jacqueline Fernandes.

The top of the crop are already trying on the catsuits and colours that will match Krrish’s costume best. Speculation is rife that it’ll be one f these names.

The heroines chose to stay mum, though the ‘crossed-fingers’ said it all. So who will it be? All are superhot and top of their game and match the studly Duggu to the T. But the decision this time is by Daddy-dearest who’s the captain of this starship enterprise. But watch this space for more on this. Meanwhile, the battle rages on.

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Sunny makes way for Captain Cool

Posted on 28 September 2016 by admin

Only Dhoni will be arriving on the big screen this Friday. Though earlier there were indications that Sunny Leone’s Beiimaan Love will be releasing on the same day, those plans have now been quashed.

Sunny Leone’s Beiiman Love is on hold till next month. Confirms our source, `Yes, the film has now been pushed all the way to October 14.` Reason for this is two fold. First and foremost, Neeraj Pandey’s MS Dhoni – The Untold Story is releasing on a record count of screens, which means there is just no chance for any other film to be find any space in theatres. Beiimaan wouldn’t have got more than two-three shows per screen, which is bad for a film.

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Kareena Kapoor on kids and motherhood

Posted on 28 September 2016 by admin

Actress Kareena Kapoor Khan is known to be more of a trendsetter, than a follower in Bollywood. The star, who is pregnant with her first child, is not only beating the benchmark and continuing her film career while being pregnant, she also keeping herself in top shape, ready to hit the big screen after delivering her baby. However, when it comes to naming the child, the actress and hubby Saif Ali Khan are hopping on board the portmanteau (a linguistic blend of words, where two words or names are joint to create a new word) bandwagon and are considering naming their child ‘Saifeena’. In a recent chat show, the actress joked, “He finds it really funny. He says we’ll name our child Saifeena.” Over the past year, Bollywood star couples got creative while naming their children, Rani and Aditya Chopra named their daughter Adira, and actor Shahid Kapoor and wife Mira named their daughters Misha. Bollywood couple Kareena Kapoor Khan and Saif Ali Khan are expecting their first child together in December this year. The gorgeous mom-to-be recently got together with her nutritionist and dietician Rujuta Diwekar and revealed several interesting facts about her diet and food cravings with other moms-to-be. Those who expected her craving to include pastries and chocolates were in for a total surprise when the actress revealed that she was actually craving for bitter gourd. Kareena said, “I am craving for karela (bitter gourd)!” She added saying, “I like the bitter pungent taste.

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Bring spice into your life with modern recipes from Anjali Pathak’s Indian Family Kitchen

Posted on 21 September 2016 by admin

 “Spice is where the flavour is,” chef Anjali Pathak says.

“One spice can genuinely transform any dish. With just a little bit of know-how, you can create really healthy dishes in very little time at all.”

In her cookbook, The Indian Family Kitchen: Classic Dishes for a New Generation (Appetite by Random House, 2016), she encourages readers to experiment with spices and get familiar with the vibrant flavours that result.

There are quick-hit recipes such as tiger shrimp with lime and mustard seeds, and a quinoa salad brightened with ginger and cumin. Bigger bites — slow-cooked tamarind-glazed pork, a layered chicken biryani, and slow-roast spiced lamb — are meant for lingering over when you have more time to spare.

Sweets include roast hazelnut and cardamom ice cream, coconut and ginger cheesecake, and aromatic steeped fruit with saffron crème. There are lassis – creamy, salty and sweet – and cocktails flavoured with orange blossom water and star anise.

If you’ve ever strolled down the international aisle at a major Canadian grocery store and picked up some butter chicken curry paste, pappadums or mango pickle, chances are you’re already well-acquainted with Pathak’s culinary legacy.

Her grandparents founded Patak’s in 1957, originally selling her grandmother’s samosas, bhajias (vegetable fritters) and sweets to a devoted following from their U.K. home.

“I grew up having bhajias regularly – I love them, I think most people tend to love them. They’re deep-fried, what’s not to love?” Pathak says with a laugh.

She puts a spin on the classic in The Indian Family Kitchen. Grated carrots, onion and ginger join fresh spinach in the gram (chickpea) flour fritters, which are best served hot with mango chutney (recipes follow).

“The straight onion ones are nice but there are so many ways to make them cooler. Spinach is really good for you, and it cooks a lot quicker. So you can bulk (the bhajias) out and then you don’t need to fry them as much,” she says.

Pathak worked for the family business as a teenager – paying her dues in accounts (because she was good at math) and eventually joining the creative side of the company developing new products.

After studying nutrition at university and backpacking around the world, she decided to carve her own path in the culinary world and became a chef. Pathak went on to work with Jamie Oliver in London, teaching various international cuisines at his now closed Recipease cooking school.

The seed was planted and she now lives in Mumbai, where she runs her own internationally-focused culinary studio called Flavour Diaries. Spending so much time in India over the past year, she says, has opened her eyes to how quickly the cuisine is changing.

“People who haven’t travelled to India recently won’t have seen how much (it) has moved on. And how experimental they’re becoming with food and bringing so many international flavours onto traditional Indian recipes – it’s incredibly exciting,” Pathak says.

“Being able to spread my wings with international food has allowed me to dip in and out of all the parts of food and cooking that I love. A little bit of this, a little bit of that – and I’m borrowing ideas, borrowing techniques and creating dishes that are just full-flavoured.”

In addition to her contemporary recipes, she takes this approach with her variations on family favourites and classic dishes as well, such as aloo tikki (potato cakes), breads such as naan and roti, tadka dahl, and papri chaat.

Papri chaat is a popular street food made with fried dough, potatoes, chickpeas, yogurt, chutney and sev (crunchy chickpea noodles) – it’s traditionally served piled high. Pathak’s version is bite-sized, canape-style, and she’s sped up the process by calling for store-bought puff pastry.

Tadka dahl, yellow lentils finished with a tadka – oil tempered with spices, chilies, garlic and ginger – “is an ultimate classic.” Pathak adds cherry tomatoes and scallions to her version, and likes to stir through fresh greens like spinach or watercress.

“(Using cherry tomatoes and scallions) isn’t traditional. But those are things that I love frankly, so that’s why I add it. It’s the way I cook. There are so many different ways to keep it traditional but also building and moving the cuisine on a little bit,” she says.

“There’s nothing wrong with moving with the times. But I don’t necessarily always want to make everything one step better. A chicken tikka masala is a chicken tikka masala – if it’s great, then why mess with it.”

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Move ahead on body cameras for police

Posted on 21 September 2016 by admin

They don’t come cheap and they’re hardly flawless, but small cameras worn by frontline police seem a promising investment in public accountability. That’s the upshot of an almost year-long pilot project which had 85 Toronto police officers wearing these devices.

The resulting 95-page report, released, shows strong support from the public and participating officers for what are sometimes called “lapel cameras.” There are, however, some challenges identified in the evaluation.

Foremost is the heavy investment needed to bring in the technology. The total projected cost is more than $50 million, over five years, with $18.6 million needed in the first year alone. As if that weren’t obstacle enough, the bill would come at a time when city hall is pushing to cut the police budget by as much as $100 million.

Other issues include weak camera batteries that can’t hold a charge for an entire shift, and excessive administration work, as officers catalogue large amounts of recorded information.

Nonetheless, body-worn cameras do provide an “unbiased, independent account of police/community interactions,” the Toronto Police Service concludes. That’s a highly desirable outcome and a good reason to equip the 3,200 frontline cops with lapel cameras.

As a next step, police officials are urging the Toronto Police Services Board to issue a non-binding call for proposals “to solicit interest from technology-providers.” The board on Thursday punted the issue to its October meeting, arguing it needs more time to read the report and digest its implications.

Fair enough. But given the immense potential of body cameras for providing independent conformation of what’s happening between officers and the people they police, it’s hard to oppose issuing at least a request for proposals. This could provide better insight into costs while encouraging camera suppliers to address such issues as weak battery life and heavy workloads.

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Eyes on this border crossing are 700 kilometres away

Posted on 21 September 2016 by admin

Morses Line is one of those places where the Canada-U.S. border is truly just an artificial stop on a country road.

In the late 1800s, it was a literal line established by a distant government that was crossed by villagers from the province of Quebec and the state of Vermont going about their business, which was mainly farming.

It has developed, but remains today as one of the smallest, most remote of the 117 crossing points along the 5,000-kilometre Canada-U.S. land border— one where populations on both sides share names, blood and a French mother tongue.

But after surviving threats of closure in Washington and absorbing budget cuts ordered by Ottawa, Morses Line has become ground zero for what could be the future of border management.

Where there was once a bucolic, white building welcoming people to Canadian soil and a century house next door that the head agent called home, now there is a state-of-the-art security structure loaded with cameras and defended by a guard located 700 kilometres away in Hamilton.

The Remote Traveller Processing program — a one-year pilot project — has been underway since February but the Canada Border Services Agency already has plans for similar operations at 19 other points-of-entry across the country if the program is deemed a success.

It works much like a high-tech drive-thru. Those seeking to enter Canada at Morses Line enter into a closed garage and park next to a kiosk that allows them to communicate with a border agent, show their passport and even pay duties on alcohol, tobacco or other goods with the swipe of a credit card.

“Are we letting our guard down?” said CBSA spokesperson Dominique McNeely. “The building was designed with enhanced security in mind. There are additional gates, there are many cameras and, compared to other border crossings nearby, there’s much more technology here to secure the border.”

That includes impact-resistant gates, a garage door that doesn’t open unless the border agent is satisfied there is no risk, and plenty of powerful cameras.

“We can see small writing on documents and we can actually zoom in very close and detect any type of signs,” McNeely said. “It’s like your classic interview at the border but it’s done remotely.”

If the agent has doubts, a traveller will be directed to the nearest staffed border crossing, which is 13 kilometres away. If there is something more nefarious, nearby agents are dispatched to conduct a more thorough search.

The potential national program is being tested at Morses Line for very local reasons.

In 2011, the United States Department of Homeland Security proposed the closure of its border post, which was built in 1934, processed about 40 vehicles each day and would cost $5.5 million (U.S.) to modernize.

Around the same time in Ottawa, the cash-strapped Conservative government decided to cut daily operating hours to between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

On both sides of the boundary, citizens, local politicians and businesses warned about the potential ramifications.

It would split up families and friends, impede first responders who regularly dash across the border to help out with emergencies and imperil the local economy, Saint-Armand Mayor Réal Pelletier told a parliamentary committee in November 2010.

The Morses Line crossing was due for a renovation. The work was extensive and involved demolishing the old structure, digging out a new basement facility for the imposing new superstructure and paving a nearby field for parking and vehicle traffic.

The project was also in line with joint Canada-U.S. border infrastructure plans. An April 2013 document on the subject speaks about equipping such stations with radiation detectors and limiting remote inspection to one side of the border to make sure there are “officers present on the other side, should an incident occur.”

The changes are a bigger problem for Canadian border agents, who could find themselves increasingly going to work in the equivalent of distant call centres far from the physical crossing points if the pilot project is expanded to some of the 75 other posts defined as small and remote points of entry.

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$10 million investment for water and wastewater projects in Brampton

Posted on 21 September 2016 by admin

 Investments in infrastructure help create jobs and grow the middle class now while building a strong foundation for a sustainable economic future.

Sonia Sidhu, Member of Parliament for Brampton South, on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Vic Dhillon, Member of Provincial Parliament for Brampton West, and Linda Jeffrey, Mayor of Brampton, announced that 10 water and wastewater infrastructure projects will be getting under way in Brampton thanks to the signing of an agreement with the Province of Ontario that brings a new federal infrastructure funding program into effect: the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF).

The CWWF will make over $1.1 billion in combined funding available to Ontario communities for water and wastewater projects that will help ensure residents across the province have access to clean and safe drinking water and healthy rivers and lakes.

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NDP demands Wynne government show commitment to keep auto jobs in Ontario

Posted on 21 September 2016 by admin

During Question Period, Oshawa MPP Jennifer French, demanded the Wynne government commit to supporting auto jobs in Ontario, and workers and families in Oshawa and across the province, that depend on them.

“People in Oshawa are reaching a tipping point. If we are going to keep building vehicles in Oshawa, this Liberal government needs to step up, and get behind Oshawa’s auto workers,” French said. “Today it’s Oshawa, but the negotiations between General Motors and Unifor will set the tone for the future of good auto jobs across Ontario.”

While negotiations between General Motors and Unifor are taking place over auto jobs in Oshawa, the Wynne government failed to announce any new support or plans for Ontario auto jobs in its throne speech.

“People haven’t heard from the auto Czar, Ray Tanguay, and people know that ministers crossing their fingers and hoping for the best, isn’t a strategy,” French said. ”Will the government commit right here today to make auto jobs a real priority for this government?”

Over the summer, French met with residents in Oshawa who are concerned about job prospects and what it will mean to the future of the city.

“Whether it’s people working for GM, in any of the industry spin-off jobs, or all of the jobs supported by the sector, people know how important GM is to Oshawa. They are worried about what losing these jobs could mean for the next generation,” French said.

“Ontario’s New Democrats are in full support of efforts to keep and create jobs in Ontario’s auto sector, not just for today but for future generations of Ontarians. The commitment should be ongoing, unwavering and unshakeable.”

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THE CHALLENGE OF DEMOCRACY

Posted on 21 September 2016 by admin

Dr. Hasan Askari

 Democracy is the most popular system of government. Its support increased after the end of the Cold War and the breakup of the Soviet Union in December 1991. Its popularity can be judged from the fact that even dictatorial regimes try to project them as a democratic government. However, the shape and form of democracy varies from country to country.

 The use of label of “democracy” does not make a political system democratic. The key question is how judge the quality of democracy. Another problem is that democracy is equated with political status-quo in some countries like Pakistan where any challenge the sitting elected government is often described as playing into the hands of the adversaries of democracy. Still another problem is that many elected leaders think that their electoral victory gives them license to pursue any political agenda until the next general elections. Democracy has one major weakness because it can be destroyed by democratic means. The elected government can undermine democracy by using its voting power in the parliament to pass legislation that strengthens non-democratic and personalized rule.

 The first major requirement of genuine democracy is the holding of regular elections that are perceived as fair, free and transparent by the major competing political parties. All of them should get a level-playing ground and the procedures from the filing of the nomination papers to election campaign and the polling day arrangements as well as counting of votes and the declaration of result should to the satisfaction of the candidates and independent observers. The voters and the political parties should learn from electoral experience that they can change the government through the ballot box.

 Second, democracy is based on liberal constitutionalism. It needs a well-established constitutional and legal system that recognizes civil and political rights, equality of all citizens irrespective of religion, caste, ethnicity or language and region. An independent judiciary ensures that the Rule of Law is available to all citizens. The civil and political rights have to protected not only from the excesses of state institutions and functionaries but also secured against powerful interest groups that resort to violence or a threat thereof against any particular community or region.

 Third, the accountability of rulers and their immediate families is another condition for improving the rating of democracy. No ruler is above law and he/she can be held accountable for their official conduct while in office. There should be no tolerance for the conflict of official and private financial interests on the part of the rulers. The people holding key political offices cannot pursue personal commercial interests and the members of their immediate family cannot exploit the official position of their parents or guardians to their financial and business advantage

 Fourth, all major government transactions, especially involving state funds, must be transparent and available to any one for inspection. If sensitive security issues are involved in any official transaction it could be shared with the relevant committee of the parliament and public dissemination of information can be avoided.

 Fifth, democracy cannot be sustained if the elected political government cannot control corruption and partisan use of state resources by the permanent and political officials of the government. Any democratic system will falter if the key government leaders and officials freely engage in illegal practices for making money, allow some people to engage in corrupt practice to secure state resources, ignore financial corruption and looting of state funds in order to build political support. Merit and professionalism should be the main criteria for managing state affairs.

 Sixth, the government must provide basic services to citizenry to secure their voluntary loyalty for state institutions and processes. These services include education and health facilities for all, provision of clean drinking water, civic amenities and related facilities that make it possible for the citizens to lead a peaceful and secure life with the hope of better prospects for the future. The more the government works for the welfare and betterment of the common folks, the greater are the prospects that the people would be politically and psychologically attached with the political system.

 Seventh, the state policies must take care of the disadvantaged sections of the populace. The state must intervene in the economic and societal domains in order to remove sharp economic disparities among people and regions and work towards promoting socio-economic egalitarianism. If inequities increase in the society, it will contribute to breeding discontent, alienation and violence.

 This seven-point criteria can be used to judge the quality of democracy anywhere. What matters most is the overall direction of the political system. Democracy will become sustainable if the governance system is moving in the direction of achieving these goals and the citizens learn from experience that the government is genuinely working towards improving their quality of life.

 The countries that have returned to liberal constitutionalism and democracy after long years of military or authoritarian rule, must learn from the counties like Turkey, Indonesia and Brazil, to name a few, how they pushed the military back and strengthened electoral democracy. All these civilian governments performed in the economic domain, ensured good governance, provided a relatively secure and peaceful living to common people and gave them the hope for a better future.

 A non-performing and corrupt government cannot secure democracy only by engaging in propaganda against the military. Pakistani rulers need to learn from the countries that have improved the prospects of democracy?

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Canadians’ household debt surges to new record as borrowing continues

Posted on 21 September 2016 by admin

Canadian household debt soared to a record high in the second quarter of this year as rock-bottom interest rates continued to underpin heavy borrowing.

The ratio of debt to disposable income jumped to 167.6 per cent, higher than the first quarter’s 165.3 per cent and eclipsing last year’s record, according to Statistics Canada’s national balance sheet report released on Thursday.

At the end of the second quarter, households owed $1.68 in debt for every dollar of disposable income.

“Canadians love debt, and with interest rates this low, why wouldn’t they,” Leslie Preston, senior economist with Toronto-Dominion Bank, said in a note.

Canada’s central bank is not expected to raise interest rates for at least another year, setting the stage for Canadians to shoulder even more debt.

Ms. Preston said it may be reassuring to point out that the pace of debt accumulation was below its pre-recession pace. “The trouble is,” she added, “so is income growth.”

Household credit-market debt, which includes mortgage loans and consumer credit, jumped 2 per cent in the second quarter, while disposable income increased 0.5 per cent.

Total household credit-market debt reached $1.97-trillion, with $1.29-trillion in mortgages and $585.8-billion in credit cards, car loans and other personal loans.

Household net worth was up 1.9 per cent to $9.8-trillion due to booming real estate prices in the country’s most expensive housing markets, Vancouver and Toronto.

The Bank of Canada has repeatedly said high household debt could threaten financial stability, with the latest warning issued in its September interest rate announcement. “Financial vulnerabilities associated with household imbalances remain elevated and continue to rise,” the bank said.

But the central bank can do little. British Columbia’s provincial government is revamping how its housing market is regulated and taxed.

The most recent measure designed to cool the market for housing in Vancouver rolled out in August. The new 15-per-cent-tax on foreign real estate buyers has eased activity and could have an impact on mortgage borrowing in the coming quarters.

On the positive side, Statscan’s report showed the share of disposable income used to pay debt remained close to 14 per cent.

“Encouraging,” Krishen Rangasamy, senior economist with National Bank Financial, said in a note. Household debt service remains “manageable for now.”

Likewise, the share of mortgage debt relative to the total credit market remained at 65.6 per cent, the first time in six years that it stopped expanding.

“There is no question that government efforts to lean against the growth in household debt has had an impact,” said Craig Alexander, chief economist with the Conference Board of Canada.

Mr. Alexander pointed to the slowdown in mortgage credit since Ottawa started implementing stricter borrowing requirements and mortgage insurance rules.

Statistics Canada said the amount of mortgage principal paid by households was approaching the total amount of mortgage interest paid due to low interest rates.

But a consumer advocacy group warned Canadians not to get too comfortable with low interest rates.

“When interest rates are low, it’s tempting to take out loans and buy things on credit, but we have to remember that interest rates will rise eventually,” Scott Hannah, the chief executive of the Credit Counselling Society, said in a press release.

On the corporate side, non-financial businesses borrowed more in the second quarter. Their debt burden rose to 70 cents of credit-market debt for every dollar of equity, the highest level since 2009.

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