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#MeToo Tops Instagram Advocacy Hashtags with 1 Mn Usage in 2018 December 13, 2018 12:09

The #MeToo movement that took the media industry and film industries by rant and rave topped popular photo-sharing platform Instagram's advocacy hashtags with 1.5 million usages in 2018, the company said on Thursday. In the report named, "Instagram Year In Review 2018", the Facebook-owned company said that #timesup (used 597K times) and #marchforourlives (used 562K times), at the second and third spot, demonstrated that the platform can be a powerful platform for users to speak out and bring light to meaningful causes. Related content: PM Narendra Modi Most Followed World Leader on Instagram "Across our India community, in particular, kindness and love took center stage as people from across the country took to Instagram to share the things they love. "#love secured the top spot when it comes to the most used hashtag followed, which was closely followed by #instagood and #fashion. Beyond this, the highest growth hashtag in India was #lovequotes," the company said in a statement. The game Fortnite as well saw explosive growth with #fortnite being the fastest growing hashtag worldwide. The "Heart Love Sticker" by Arata was the most-used "Giphy" sticker in Instagram Stories, while "Heart Eyes" was the most-used "Face Filter" in Stories. -Sowmya Sangam

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Trump's Ex-Lawyer Sentenced to 3 Years over Hush Money December 13, 2018 11:53

Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen has been sentenced to three years of imprisonment on Wednesday on campaign finance violations for paying hush money to two women who said they had affairs with the United States President, including multiple charges. In court, Cohen said he took "full responsibility" for his actions while working for Trump. Cohen's sentence will be the longest up to now for anyone involved with the President or stemming from special counsel. "I take full responsibility for each act that I pled guilty to the personal ones to me and those involving the President of the United States of America," Cohen said. The 52-year-old Cohen was sentenced to 36 months in prison by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The U.S. District Judge William Pauley also handed Cohen an additional two months for special counsel Robert Mueller's charge. Mueller is probing Russian interfering in the 2016 election. This charge will be served at the same time with the U.S. attorney's New York office term. Cohen has been ordered to surrender on March 6. The judge agreed to urge Otisville prison, in upstate New York, as the prison where Cohen will serve his sentence. Pauley described the crimes that Cohen had pleaded guilty to as "a veritable smorgasbord of fraudulent conduct" before announcing his sentence. Cohen also said he was living in a "personal and mental" prison since he started working for Trump. "This may seem hard to believe, but today is one of the most meaningful days of my life... I have been living in a personal and mental incarceration ever since the day that I accepted the offer to work for a real estate mogul whose business acumen that I deeply admired,” he said. Cohen's attorney, Guy Petrillo, had sought leniency for his client, saying his "cooperation here should be viewed against a non-standard framework". The special counsel's office "investigation is of utmost national significance, no less than seen 40 years ago in Watergate". In August, Cohen had pleaded guilty to charges of tax evasion, campaign finance violations and making false statements to a federally-insured bank. The plea entered followed the filing of an eight-count criminal information, which alleged that Cohen concealed more than $4 million in personal income from the Internal Revenue Service, made mendacious statements to a federally-insured financial institution in connection with a $500,000 home equity loan, and, in 2016, caused $280,000 in payments to be made to silence two women who otherwise planned to speak publicly regarding their alleged affairs with a presidential candidate, thereby intending to influence the 2016 presidential election. Trump was not named in the charges, but then it was unsubtle Cohen was acting on his behalf. The payments included $130,000 to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, which the government considers an illegal donation to Trump's campaign since it was intended to improve his election chances. The charges against Cohen also include paying money to the two women in 2016 "to suppress" their stories from publishing in media "so as to prevent it from influencing the election". "Cohen was able to arrange for the purchase of two stories, so as to suppress them and prevent them from influencing the election," the federal prosecutors had said. -Sowmya Sangam

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Caffeine Therapy Can Boost Brain Development in Preemies: Study December 13, 2018 11:43

A daily dose of caffeine therapy could help in boosting the development of brains of premature babies as well as lung functions and can be absolutely safe, according to researchers including one of Indian-origin. According to study, starting caffeine therapy to babies born under 29 weeks, kept in the Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs), within two days after birth reduced the number of time babies needed to use ventilators. It as well reduced the risk of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD) - a form of chronic lung disease caused by damage to the lungs from the use of a breathing device. "Caffeine is the most commonly used drug in the NICU after antibiotics," said Abhay Lodha, Associate Professor in the University of Calgary in Canada. "Caffeine may also improve better lung stretch and expansion, cardiac output and blood pressure in premature infants, which improves oxygen supply throughout the body and brain, reducing the duration of mechanical ventilation and the risk of chronic lung disease and injury on the developing brain," Lodha added. Read: First Baby Born After Dead Womb Transplant The findings, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that early caffeine treatment has no long-term negative effects on neurodevelopment. On the other hand, it is associated with better cognitive scores, and reduced odds of cerebral palsy - a congenital disorder of movement, muscle tone or posture - and hearing impairment, the study showed. "It is important that we understand the long-term effects of caffeine as a treatment and ensure these babies are not only surviving but have the quality of life down the road," Lodha noted. For the study, the team examined 2,108 neonates among which 1,545 were in the early-caffeine group and 563 were in the late-caffeine group. They examined data of babies at age 18 to 24 months where they were assessed for their cognitive, language and motor development. -Sowmya Sangam

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NRIs in Saudi Celebrate TRS Victory December 13, 2018 11:27

The followers of Telangana Rashtra Samithi in Saudi Arabia celebrated the party's triumph in Telangana Assembly Elections and said people of the State had reaffirmed their faith in the leadership of party chief K Chandrashekhar Rao to fulfill his avowed vision of creating Bangaru Telangana (Golden Telangana). Likewise, many events were planned over the weekend in Riyadh and other cities in Saudi Arabia and other parts of the region. As part of celebrations of the TRS' victory, party halls of several restaurants were booked by TRS supporters. The prominent Non-Resident Indian (NRI) community leaders applauded the welfare and development schemes of the TRS government, especially for minority and backward communities. "The victory shows that Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao is the only tallest leader in the State," said prominent TRS activist Mohammed Aqueel, usually known as TRS Aqueel. Interestingly, for the first time, AIMIM (All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen) followers, who live in a significant number in Saudi Arabia, joined the TRS men to celebrate the victory. -Sowmya Sangam

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Antariksham 9000 KMPH Telugu Movie December 13, 2018 10:57

Antariksham 9000 KMPH is an upcoming Tollywood film directed by Sankalp Reddy and produced by First Frame Entertainments. The film stars Varun Tej, Aditi Rao Hydari, Lavanya Tripathi, Srinivas Avasarala in the leading roles. For more previews, stay tuned....

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Haley Says Trump's 'Unpredictable' Nature Helped Her Get Job Done at UN December 13, 2018 10:32

Nikki Haley, the outgoing United States ambassador to the United Nations, has said she used President Donald Trump's "rhetoric" and "unpredictable" nature to get the job done at the world body. In October, Haley announced that she was leaving the post by the end of the year, who has served nearly two years in the post. Although some have speculated that Haley, 46, may challenge Trump in the 2020 presidential election, but she has said that she will support the president. "He (Trump) would ratchet up the rhetoric, and then I'd go back to the ambassadors and say: 'You know, he's pretty upset. I can't promise you what he's going to do or not, but I can tell you if we do these sanctions, it will keep him from going too far,'" Haley told NBC. "I know all of it," she said in response to a question about the president's bombastic statements in public and on Twitter. "But I'm disciplined enough to know not to get into the drama," she said. At the United Nations, "I was trying to get the job done," she said. "And I got the job done by being truthful, but also by letting him be unpredictable and not showing our cards." Haley said that she was aware that some people believe that she and Trump are not always on the same page, but she said that's only because "our styles are very different." Related content: U.S. Should Not Give Even a Dollar to Pak till It Acts on Terror: Nikki Haley "And, you know, I've always found that funny," she said. "But the truth at the end of the day is I may be harder on some things or I may be tougher in some ways, but I've never strayed from where the president was or never strayed from where his policy wants to go." As for Heather Nauert, the State Department spokeswoman whom Trump has said he will nominate to succeed Haley at the U.S., Haley said that while "I want her to be successful," only time will tell whether her appointment was a good one. Haley also made it clear that she blamed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi government for dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi's death in October, even as the president has repeatedly said that the U.S. has reached no final conclusion about the prince's involvement. Trump downplays intelligence that Saudi crown prince ordered Khashoggi's murder. "It was the Saudi government, and MBS is the head of the Saudi government," Haley said Tuesday, referring to the prince by his initials. "So they are all responsible, and they don't get a pass, not an individual, not the government - they don't get a pass." -Sowmya Sangam

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Shahid Kapoor's 'Haider' Co-Star Saqib Bilal Killed in Military Encounter December 13, 2018 10:02

The 17-year-old Saqib Bilal Sheikh, a theatre artist and also who played a small role in 2014 movie Haider starring Shahid Kapoor and Tabu, has been killed in an encounter with the Indian security forces in Srinagar's Mujigund. Nearly four months after he disappeared from home in Bandipora district's Hajin, Saqib was suspected to have joined militancy. He was gunned down along with another teenager who also had gone missing along with Bilal and a Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist identified as Ali Bhai, a Pakistani. Mother and sisters of Slain LeT Rebel Sakib Bilal sit next to his body during the Last rits in Hajin village area of north Kashmir some 35 kilometers from Srinagar on December 10,2018. Slain Sakib was among the three militants killed in long gun-battle in Mujigund Srinager pic.twitter.com/nu0uqbHBha — Sajad Hameed (@SheikhS57677840) December 11, 2018 Amid rains thousands of people attend last rites of slain millitant's 14 year old mudasir Rashid and saqib Bilal in hajjin Baindpora. pic.twitter.com/zS1cDZnztI — Sajad Hameed (@SheikhS57677840) December 11, 2018 Haider, film directed by Vishal Bhardwaj dealt with the less discussed topic of ordinary Kashmiris who get caught up in the battle between the insurgent and the security forces. Hindustan Times quoting a relative of Bilal said that the teenager had acted in Haider when he a class VI student. He appeared in two scenes, one as a 'chocolate boy' and in another, as surviving a violent incident in a bus. News 18 reported that both Saqib and the other teenager, Mudasir Parray used to play football at Hajin's Eidgah and on August 31 they disappeared together. The families, suspecting that the teenagers might have joined militancy tried to trace them for months, but to no avail. Only recently when the photos of the two teenagers brandishing automatic guns began making rounds on social media the families realized that their worst fears have come true. Recalling him as a bright student who had a passion for football and acting, Bilal's kin said the family is yet to understand how he got attracted to militancy. "He wanted to be an engineer. He loved football and acting," his grief-stricken father Bilal Ahmad Sheikh told News18. "He would never talk about militancy or the conflict. His life was filled with his own adventures," he added. -Sowmya Sangam

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Singapore Private Banks Target NRI Clients in Middle East December 13, 2018 09:48

DBS Bank, South-east Asia's biggest bank and Asia's sixth-biggest private bank by assets under management is planning to expand in the Middle East by doubling the number of private bankers there over the next five years, from more than 20 now, the bank said. It will home in on a growing wealth segment that looks towards Asia for investment opportunities, the bank said earlier this month. The bank will make its Dubai office a strategic hub for the Middle East, positioning itself as the partner of choice for clients wanting to access the Asian market. DBS has expanded its office premises located at the heart of Dubai's financial hub, DIFC. Over the past seven years, total revenue of this branch has grown 20 percent a year, it said. DBS' Middle East strategy includes targeting the Non-Resident Indian (NRI) business, the bank's spokesman told specialized media outlet Business Times. Tan Su Shan, its group head of wealth management and consumer banking, noted the enormous wealth of Middle East clients and their increasing appetite for Asian investments. Wealth in the Middle East remains on the rise, with the number of Ultra high-net-worth individual (UHNW) clients with more than $500 million in assets in this region projected to increase by 28 percent - from 390 last year to approximately 500 in 2022, she said. "With Middle East clients' appetite for Asia wealth solutions growing, DBS is well-positioned to support its Middle East clients in accessing Asia's growth opportunities through its strong Asian network, innovative investment solutions, and world-class digital capabilities," she said. Bank of Singapore (BOS), the private bank arm of OCBC (Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited Bank), has also been growing its Dubai operations to clinch more Middle East and NRI clients. Vikram Malhotra, BOS global market head for South Asia and the Middle East, said that as of September 30, the bank's revenue from the region has grown 20 percent on a year-on-year basis - with a good mix of Arab and NRI clients. Read: This NRI in Qatar Keen on Farming is 'Going Green' "We continue to hire strategically to expand our operations in our DIFC branch," he said. BOS opened its Dubai subdivision in February 2017 and has approximately 45 wealth managers in the city. This month, Citi Private Bank said it is eyeing a bigger chunk of Indian wealth business - globally and domestically. India has the largest diaspora population in the world, with as many as 16 million Indians living outside the country of their birth, says the United Nations report on migration trends. The bank, the second largest private bank in Asia, expects to acquire a significantly larger share of the wealth-management business represented by the worldwide Indian diaspora and the domestic Indian markets. A significant proportion of the diaspora are UHNW families, concentrated in South-east Asia, Hong Kong, Australasia, the Gulf region, East Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada, said Citi. "The mantra of globalization is something the Indian diaspora has been practicing for centuries," Jyrki Rauhio, South Asia head for Citi Private Bank told the Business Times. -Sowmya Sangam

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2.0 Collections for Two Weeks December 13, 2018 09:40

Superstar Rajinikanth has been shattered with back to back disasters. The actor had all his hopes on his next film titled 2.0 directed by Shankar. This sci fi thriller has been made on a massive budget of Rs 600 crores and it released across the globe on November 29th. The film received thumping response across the globe and it raked massive numbers in its first week. 2.0 collected a theatrical share of Rs 274.9 crores in two weeks of its theatrical run across the globe. The film dropped down badly all over in its second week and it is quite tough to recover the investments. Lyca Productions bankrolled the movie. Here are the two weeks collections of 2.0: AP and Telangana: Rs 48.90 Cr Tamil Nadu: Rs 52 Cr Karnataka: Rs 19.5 Cr Kerala: Rs 8 Cr North India: Rs 86 Cr All India: Rs 214.40 Cr Overseas: Rs 60.5 Cr Total Worldwide: Rs 274.9 Cr    

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Shriya Saran locked for Venky Mama December 13, 2018 09:33

Victory Venkatesh after keeping himself idle for over a year and half, signed a bunch of films. The actor signed  F2 (Fun and Frustration) in the direction of Anil Ravipudi and he wrapped up the film's shoot recently. The actor signed his next film titled Venky Mama. KS Ravindra is the director and Akkineni Naga Chaitanya is the other lead actor in this comic entertainer. The regular shoot will commence on December 17th in Hyderabad. Shriya Saran has been finalized to romance Venky in this mass entertainer. Though the makers were keen on locking Huma Qureshi, they finalized Shriya for the role. Rakul Preet Singh has been roped as the other heroine to romance Naga Chaitanya. Devi Sri Prasad will compose the music and Suresh Productions, People Media Factory, Kona Film Corporation will produce Venky Mama. The film will release during Sankranthi 2019.  

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