PHs Inday Espina Varona wins RSF Prize for Independence

PH\s Inday Espina Varona wins RSF Prize for Independence

Reporters Without Borders Courage award won by Gulf News columnist

Indian freelance reporter Swati Chaturvedi and Filipina social media campaigner Inday Espina-Varona were honoured at the RSF annual awards, being staged in London for the first time.

Established in 1985 to defend and promote press freedom, Paris-based RSF has been presenting its yearly awards since 1992.

Previous winners include the late Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi and the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet.

Journalist Swati Chaturvedi was awarded the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Press Freedom Award for Courage. Chaturvedi, who works as a freelance journalist, won the award for her book I Am a Troll, an expose on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)s IT cell.

She has faced online harassment campaigns after exposing what she calls a “troll army” operating for the governing Bharatiya Janata Party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Pauline Adès-Mével, head of RSFs EU-Balkans desk, said: “Over the past year, Matthew Caruana Galizia has campaigned tirelessly for justice for the murder of his mother, journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, and for justice to be rendered for all the crimes she exposed. He should take pride in having made a difference by showing another side of Malta, a small Mediterranean archipelago that, behind its tourist paradise facade, is plagued by corruption. We join Matthews call for full justice for his mother, and hope this award will offer him support and protection for his valuable work.” 

“Unfortunately, the way politics has panned out across the world, journalists are really under threat.

This year’s awards were selected by a high-profile international jury, including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi and Chinese activist Wu’er Kaixi – both RSF emeritus board members – as well as RSF President Pierre Haski. RSF’s UK advisory board – including Fleet Street legend Eve Pollard, former Director of BBC News James Harding, Channel 4 News Anchor Jon Snow, and media commentator Roy Greenslade – selected the winner of the special ‘L’esprit de RSF’ prize. 

Veteran journalist Espina-Varona founded a social media womens rights campaign in response to Philippine President Rodrigo Dutertes comments on women.

Other noteworthy participants who spoke at the awards included BBC Chief International Correspondent Lyse Doucet, former RSF award winners Can Dundar and Zaina Erhaim, Chinese dissident activist Wu’er Kaixi, Fleet Street legend Eve Pollard, and media commentator Roy Greenslade.

“After a particularly hard-hitting column, I find 50 to 80 private messages calling me a liar, an ugly woman, and mostly these are sexist attacks,” she told AFP.

This year’s awards were made possible thanks to the generous support of TV5MONDE – a long-standing partner of RSF’s Press Freedom Awards – along with 4 New Square Solicitors, the European Publishers Council, and Heineken. RSF is grateful for these kind contributions.

“The slurs dont really bother me but the threats that say we know where you live, well see if you are as brave as you think – that bothers me because it also happens to other journalists.”

She won the Prize for Independence, awarded to reporters for resisting pressure in carrying out their work.

“Independence is very important for citizen journalism. I teach young people to be critical minded and I hope this award will inspire them,” she said.

The Prize for Impact was created to honour journalists, media or NGOs whose work has led to concrete improvement in journalistic freedom, independence and pluralism, or to an increase in awareness of these matters.

Some 63 journalists, 11 citizen journalists and four media assistants have been killed so far in 2018, RSF said, including Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Maltese journalist Matthew Caruana Galizia won the Prize for Impact at the annual Press Freedom Awards held in London by Reporters Without Borders. 

Caruana Galizia won the Prize for Impact, awarded for work that has led to an increase in awareness of journalistic freedom.

His mother, Maltas pioneering anti-corruption blogger, was assassinated in a car bomb attack in October 2017.

“Its about continuing to fight for the right thing: justice for my mother and for her stories. Everything else will follow.

Swati Chaturvedi from India won the Prize for Courage while Inday Espina-Varona from the Philippines won the Prize for Independence. 

He said Malta could and should become a functional European Union democracy that did not have to rely on investigative journalism as the last remaining line of defence.

The Observers Carole Cadwalladr won the Lesprit de RSF prize, which was set aside for the United Kingdom media to mark Londons hosting of the ceremony. Cadwalladr was selected for her investigations into the subversion of democratic processes in the United States and United Kingdom, which exposed the role of Cambridge Analytica in the President Donald Trump and Brexit campaigns.

However, “its toxicity will spread” throughout the EU if partners including Britain and France did not join the fight.

Indian journalist Swati Chaturvedi | Facebook/Swati Chaturvedi Indian journalist Swati Chaturvedi on Thursday won the Press Freedom Award for Courage, given annually by Reporters without Borders. The freelance reporter won the award for her book I am a Troll: Inside the Secret World of the Bharatiya Janata Partys Digital Army.

“The alarming number of deaths is a reminder of the urgent need to provide journalists with more protection,” said RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire.

Some 168 journalists, 150 citizen journalists and 19 media assistants are in jail, the organisation said.

Inday Espina-Varona from the Philippines won the prize for independence for her reportage on sensitive matters and leading the #BabaeAko campaign, the Filipino equivalent of the #MeToo movement, in President Rodrigo Dutertes administration.

RSFs 2018 World Press Freedom Index ranks the worst five countries for journalists as China, Syria, Turkmenistan, Eritrea and North Korea, which came last at 180th.

The organisation said Chaturvedi has been subjected to virulent online harassment for investigating the IT cell within the Bharatiya Janata Party, that is notorious for keeping an army of angry trolls.

Indian journalist Swati Chaturvedi, who authored the book I am a Troll: Inside the Secret World of the Bharatiya Janata Partys Digital Army, was given the Press Freedom Award for Courage, in an annual event by Reporters without Borders.

Chaturvedis book, published in 2016, exposes the online trolls affiliated with the BJP and how they incite online communal tension and abuse, and sexually harass journalists, opposition politicians and anyone who questions them, according to its description on Goodreads.

Despite this, Chaturvedis work, both within and outside the realm of her book, as a reflection of the inner workings of the government, continue to be her force-driver, she says. In an interview with The Gulf News, a website she has also written for, she said: I have always been doing the same thing, since the day I started my career. I have remained the same. I speak the truth as I perceive it and thats that.

The other nominees included Paolo Borrometi (editor of anti-mafia investigative site La Spia in Italy), Cigdem Toker (independent Turkish journalist and columnist for Cumhuriyet) and Hamid El Mahdaoui (founder editor of Badil.info, who was sentenced to a jail term of three years in June in Morocco), The Gulf News report added.

Other awardees of the night included Matthew Caruana Galizia from Malta, who bagged the award for impact, for tracking down those who killed his mother, Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was assassinated in 2017 after she began investigations into corruption, Scroll reported.

Being recognized for her efforts in her #BabaeAko campaign, the Filipino equivalent of the #MeToo movement, in President Rodrigo Dutertes administration in Philippines, Espina-Varona won the prize for independence as well, the report added.

The Indian cricket captain though has found himself in the middle of a controversy after asking a fan to leave the country for a tweet in which they mentioned preferring cricketers from England and Australia.

I dont think you should live in India. Go and live somewhere else. Why are you living in our country and loving other countries? I dont mind you not liking me. I dont think you should live in our country and like other things. Get your priorities right,\” said the Indian skipper who is currently resting from Indias ongoing T20 series against West Indies.

Predictably, there has been an outpour of criticism directed towards the cricketer following his comments. The one that however has stood out are the tweets of Harsha Bhogle whos worked closely with Virat for cricket broadcasts.

Unlike Mohammad Kaif or IPL Chief Rajiv Shukla who tried to say that Virat was being misunderstood, Bhogle got to the root of the issue and addressed the one growing problem that has been taking shape in Indian cricket, especially in the administrative vacuum created by the absence of a strong board president since the departure of Anurag Thakur in January 2016.

Bhogle wrote, Virat Kohlis statement is a reflection of the bubble that most famous people either slip into or are forced into. The voices within it are frequently those that they wish to hear. It is a comfortable bubble and that is why famous people must try hard to prevent it from forming. That is also why contrary opinions are frowned upon. Power and fame tend to attract those people who agree with you and reinforce your opinion because they benefit from proximity to fame and power.

Virat Kohli is the undisputed cricket star of the world right now, scoring the most runs across formats in the last few years. He is also a strong enough voice in Indian cricket to have affected the sacking of Anil Kumble as the coach of the team last year. He is also the only player in the country who rests from almost every other tournament the team participates in.

With the board being run by a court-appointed Committee of Administrators – the composition of which has whittled down to two members from the original four – there really hasnt been any administrator in the BCCI who has tried to dispute any demand of the skipper.

All this invariably has created a bubble where Virat Kohli calls the shots or calls out those views that oppose his own.

In the past year itself, the Indian skipper has subjected journalists to his ire on multiple occasions; be it when he was asked about the teams dismal performance in South Africa or when Ravi Shastri called this current Indian team the best touring side in the last 15-20 years.

Virat Kohli and his aggression have become synonymous with Indian cricket, but now it seems to be reaching a phase where its transformed to the more dangerous avatar of arrogance.

The BCCI may let this attitude fester, but one wonders what effect this could have on the next generation of Indian cricketers that is now starting to make their way to the Indian dressing room. Do they want to be like Sachin – the calm, composed, respectful hero or should they aspire to now become like the captain of their team –aggressive, derisive and, for Indian cricket, regressive?

After her private pictures were leaked on the Internet, actor Akshara Haasan took to Twitter to express her disappointment. She added that she has filed a complaint with the Mumbai Police and the Cyber Cell to track the people responsible for the leak. The actor, who said that she does not know who is behind the leak, termed the crime, a deeply unfortunate event.

Recently, some of my private pictures were leaked on the Internet. Who did this or why, is not known to me yet. But what I do know that it is deeply unfortunate to make a young girl the victim of such an act only for a pervert minds enjoyment, she wrote on Twitter.

She also expressed her disappointment over people sharing these pictures, thereby participating in the harassment. The post read :

Akshara pointed out that this is happening at a time when a number of women are speaking up about their stories of sexual harassment, making it all the more disturbing and deeply upsetting.

The actor, who made her debut in Amitabh Bachchans Shamitabh in 2015, wrote that she hopes to get to the bottom of this with the help of the police and the cyber cell.

Haasan, who was last seen in Ajiths Viswasam in 2017, is currently working on a project alongside Vikram, produced by her fathers Kamal Haasans banner, Raaj Kamal Films.

The National Air Quality Index has dropped a Diwali bomb on Kolkata — air quality in the city over two festive nights was the worst among the metros.

According to a report of the Central Pollution Control Board, Kolkatas average AQI (air quality index) from 4pm on Tuesday, 6 November, till 4pm on Wednesday, 7 November, was 326. In the next 24 hours, including Diwali night, the AQI crept up to 354.

On 5 and 6 November, prior to Kali Puja and Diwali, the AQI reading was 73 and 57 respectively. In the national index, both readings fall in the satisfactory range. Any reading between 301 and 400 is very poor and can cause respiratory illness on prolonged exposure.

Hilsa were sold at Rs 1,500 a kilo at Gariahat, Maniktala and other markets in the city on Thursday, 8 November. Topshe cost Rs 750 and parshe Rs 500 plus.

A day before Bhai Phonta, the price of Bengals favourite fishes soared across the markets but still found takers.

Most varieties of fish in the market have become costlier by at least Rs 100 a kilo since last week. Hilsa, on its way out for this year, has seen a steeper rise, fish sellers said.

The city police arrested 93 people till 11pm on Diwali for allegedly bursting fireworks outside the Supreme Court-mandated window.

The arrest count shot up to 1,029 after midnight, suggesting a spurt in the bursting of firecrackers as the night wore on.

The city on Diwali night was better off than what it was last year but the arrest figures suggest the Supreme Court ban on bursting of firecrackers at any time of the day other than from 8pm to 10pm was hardly enforced.

Residents of a number of apartment complexes in the Loudon Street-Park Street-Camac Street area enjoyed a quieter Diwali compared with previous years, thanks to a sustained campaign in the run-up to and the vigil during the festival of lights.

Officers from Shakespeare Sarani and Park Street police stations held meetings with residents of the apartment blocks and told them about the 8pm-10pm window set by the Supreme Court for bursting fireworks.

A 36-year-old medicine shop owner with a heart ailment died when a tubri that he had bent down to inspect after it failed to light up uncharacteristically exploded in his face on Diwali night in Cooch Behar.

Tubris, a firework that produces a rising fountain of sparkles, are not meant to explode like crackers but such accidents are not unheard of.

Anirban Ghosh, 36, who runs a medicine shop at Suniti Road in Cooch Behar town, had bent down to check the tubri that had not lit up after a few attempts when the earthen shell burst and a flying piece hit his forehead.

Two persons died of suspected dengue in a span of 72 hours in a Jadavpur neighbourhood, barely 200m from the university campus, as the rest of the city geared up to celebrate the festival of lights. At least 18 people in the same locality are down with similar symptoms.

The two victims of the dreaded virus — which has claimed more than 15 lives in the city this year — are a 28-year-old mother of two, including a two-month old, and a 43-year-old laundry-owner, both residents of a slum near the abandoned Bengal Lamp Factory. While both tested NS1 positive, the civic authorities refused to recognise them as dengue victims saying the disease was yet to be confirmed.

A temple priest in Behala was arrested on Wednesday, 6 November, on charges of physically abusing a 28-year-old mentally disabled woman — a mother of a schoolgirl — on the temple premises. The priest had reportedly been abusing her for the past two months. On Wednesday, he was caught red-handed by the survivors sister. The police said the accused was beaten up before he was handed over to them. He had to be taken to a hospital for treatment.

The incident sparked tension and a huge mob gathered in the area. The crowd spilled onto Diamond Harbour Road, disrupting traffic for some time.

Media giant Netflix is set to increase its original Indian content in the coming months. It announced a host of new films, which will include projects produced by Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Sharma and Madhuri Dixit, at its See Whats Next event in Singapore. At the event, the companys Chief Creative Officer Ted Sarandos stated that India holds a key position in the streaming services future plans.

Among the first of these films to premiere on the platform is Rajma Chawal, which stars Rishi Kapoor who plays a widow who tries to reconnect with his son. Directed by Leena Yadav, it is slated to release on 30 November.

Priyanka Chopra and mother Madhu Chopra have produced Firebrand, a Marathi film about a successful lawyer, played by Usha Jadhav, who is a victim of sexual assault. She tackles tough cases professionally and battles with intimacy issues in her private life. The film also stars Girish Kulkarni as her husband along with Sachin Khedekar and Rajeshwari Sachdev.

Madhuri Dixit will also produce a Marathi film called 15th August. Set in a chawl, it is a satirical take on the struggles of middle class India.

Anushka Sharma and Karnesh Sharmas Clean Slate Films will produce period film Bulbul. In it, protagonist Satya returns to India to find that his brothers child bride Bulbul is now a lady of the palace. But their ancestral village is plagued by mysterious deaths and hauntings. He must uncover the truth to resolve these strange goings on.

Also under production is Chopsticks, featuring Abhay Deol and Mithila Palkar. The story follows a girl who seeks out a con artist to help her recover her stolen car from a Mumbai gangster. Manav Kaul, Neena Gupta and Divya Dutta will be seen in Music Teacher.

Hotel Mumbai, which is a portrayal of the 26/11 terror attacks in the city, will be released as a Netflix Original in 2019. Directed by Anthony Maras, the film stars an ensemble international cast that includes Dev Patel, Armie Hammer and Jason Isaacs.

Other films announced include Upstarts, a story of three college graduates from small town India who find themselves caught up in the frenzy of startup culture; and Cobalt Blue, an adaptation of the eponymous novel by Sachin Kundalkar about a sister and brother who fall in love with the same man.

Post the success of Sacred Games, Netflix has announced that six new Indian web series are on the cards.

Simran Sethi, Creative Executive for India named Typewriter, created by Kahaani director Sujoy Ghosh among the titles in the pipeline. The series is set in Goa and is about a haunted house.

Prayaag Akbars novel Leila will also see a six-part screen adaptation directed by Deepa Mehta with Huma Qureshi and Sanjay Suri among the cast.

Shah Rukh Khan made a video announcement unveiling glimpses of Bard of Blood, which is being produced by Red Chillies Entertainment. The espionage thriller is based on a book by Bilal Siddiqui and stars Emraan Hashmi.

The event also saw the reveal of the teaser for Selection Day, a series based on a book of the same name by Aravind Adiga. Produced by Anil Kapoor Film Company and Seven Stories Ltd, it is a coming-of-age drama about two brothers who are raised by their strict father to be star cricket players.

Another big project that was revealed at the event is a spin-off of the popular film series Baahubali. Producer Prasad Devineni mentioned that it will be a prequel to both films and explore that backstories of characters from the story as well as introduce new ones.

Speaking about the upcoming original Indian content that Netflix has in the works, CCO Ted Sarandos stated, This line-up cuts across genres from horror to fantasy and in locations from Leh to Mumbai. The breadth of stories with its local settings and complex characters is incredible and we cant wait for people to discover and fall in love with them.

There is good news for \”Game of Thrones\” Indian fans as the Night King from the show, Vladimir Furdik, will mark his presence at the upcoming 8th edition of Maruti Suzuki Arena Delhi Comic Con.

To take place from December 7 to December 9, the three-day festival will treat the citys fandom to the best of comics, movies, television, games and cosplay, reports IANS.

Talking about the comic con, Furdik said in a statement: \”I am looking forward to coming back to India and visiting Delhi and meeting my fans. I have wonderful memories from my last visit to India and I am looking forward trying out the excellent food and seeing your beautiful country again.\”

Netflix has announced a new original series based on SS Rajamoulis Baahubaliseries, titled Baahubali: Before The Beginning. The series will be a prequel and has been ordered for two seasons. The first season will adapt the book The Rise of Sivagami by Anand Neelakantan and will contain nine episodes. Mrunal Thakur and Rahul Bose would star in the series, it has been announced Netflixs See What Next event in Asia. Read more here.

The trailer of KGF, starring Yash and Srinidhi Shetty, has been launched. The Kannada film, directed by Prashanth Neel, is being dubbed into Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi, Chinese and Japanese.

Actor Rana Daggubati on Friday launched the first official poster of actress Tamannaah starrer Telugu film \”Next Enti\”.

\”Happy to be launching the first look of Next Enti. All the best..,\” Daggubati wrote on Instagram while unveiling the first look of the film.

Being helmed by Bollywood director Kunal Kohli, \”Next Enti\” also stars actors Sundeep Kishan and Navdeep in the lead roles, reports IANS.

Netflix lifted the curtains off its plans for Asia expansion by announcing the launch of 17 new originals, nine of them hailing from India.

The announcement was made by Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings and chief content officer Ted Sarandos at the See Whats Next: Asia event here.

\”What we do is very special. We invest in stories and we commission some of the best stories around the world,\” Hastings said.

\”And in particular with Asian filmmakers, storytellers from India, Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan and everywhere throughout Asia, we are producing stories and sharing them. What happens when you share stories, it builds connections,\” he added.

The line-up of its made-in-Asia shows also includes five Anime titles from Japan and original productions in Thai, Korean and Chinese languages, reports PTI.

After her private pictures were leaked on the Internet, actor Akshara Haasan took to Twitter to express her disappointment. She added that she has filed a complaint with Mumbai Police and Cyber Cell to track the people responsible for the leak. The actor, who said that she does not know who is behind the leak, termed the crime, a deeply unfortunate event, reports The News Minute.

Recently, some of my private pictures were leaked on the Internet. Who did this or why, is not known to me yet. But what I do know that it is deeply unfortunate to make a young girl the victim of such an act only for a pervert minds enjoyment, she posted on Twitter.

Media giant Netflix announced several new titles that will be released as original Indian content in the coming months at its See Whats Next event in Singapore. These include films produced by Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Sharma and Madhuri Dixit. Upcoming titles are Rajma Chawal, Firebrand, Bulbul, Chopsticks and 15th August.

The streaming platform will also debut six new web series, including Typewriter by Sujoy Ghosh and Bard of Blood produced by Red Chillies Entertainment.

The Satanic Temple is suing the makers of TV series \”The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina\” for $50 million over a statue.

Netflix and Warner Bros allegedly copied the groups statue of the goat deity Baphomet in the programme. Both production companies have declined to comment on the law suit, the BBC reported.

Baphomet is part of its campaign to \”complement and contrast\” a Ten Commandments monument in Oklahoma City on the grounds of religious freedom, reports IANS.

Satanic Temple said it does not worship Satan, but instead seeks \”to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people\”.

Ahead of their wedding, it was reported that Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra and American singer Nick Jonas have obtained a marriage license in the US.

As per theblast.com, the couple, who got engaged in August, visited the Beverly Hills Courthouse last week and filled out the paperwork to obtain the license.

The report further stated that the couple was planning to bring the license with them to India for their wedding in December and then will eventually file the license in the US to make the marriage official in both countries.

Priyanka and Nick are reportedly getting married at Rajasthans Mehrangarh Fort in December, reports IANS.

Thugs of Hindostan, starring Aamir Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Katrina Kaif and Fatima Sana Shaikh, released on 8 November. Said to be the most expensive film yet to be produced in Bollywood, there are a lot of expectations – and money – riding on the Vijay Krishna Acharya film.

Thugs of Hindostan is expected to do good business in the long Diwali weekend despite the panning by the critics. But would the business sustain after the initial hoopla? We have to wait and watch. For starters, the film has earned the fastest Rs 50 crore and that too on day one. Read more here.

Filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh is directing a haunted house series titled Typewriter for the digital giant Netflix. It is being shot in Goa. Simran Sethi, Creative Executive India for Netflix, announced the news at the platforms See Whats Next: Asia event.

She said: \”He mentioned his idea to us and we knew that it was a Netflix series.\” She added that the series follows a group of wannabe ghost hunters, who want to capture an evil spirit in a villa in their neighbourhood. Other details are still under wraps.

Ghosh is known for movies like Kahaani, TE3N. He has also worked on digital platform with the short film Ahalya.

Rajinikanth on Friday tweeted in support of Tamil film Sarkar. He condemned unlawful acts such as damaging the films banners and demanding the removal of certain scenes from the film.

AR Murugadoss directed Sarkar, a political thriller, hit the screens on Tuesday. Ever since its release, many AIADMK ministers and party cadres expressed their displeasure over certain scenes in the film. Several party cadres on Wednesday protested outside various theatres in Tamil Nadu and indulged in damaging the banners of the film and cut-outs of Vijay. They also demanded certain scenes to be removed from the film.

Rajinikanth lashed out against these acts. He took to Twitter and wrote in Tamil: \”To protest for the removal of certain scenes from the movie and stop it from being screened after the Censor Board has certified it is against the law. I strong condemn this act.\”

On Thursday, actor-politician Kamal Haasan had also strongly objected the actions of AIADMK government regarding the issue.

Tamil Nadu Law Minister CV Shanmugam on Thursday compared the scenes in the film Sarkar, which stars actor Vijay, with terrorist activity aimed at instigating violence against the state government.

His remarks came even as AIADMK supporters protested outside theatres in Madurai, Coimbatore and in Chennai which screened the movie. Speaking to reporters, Shanmugam —without naming anyone—said the movie producer, hero and the theratre owners screening Sarkar, would face legal action.

According to a report by Mumbai Mirror, actor Ranveer Singh will be making a special appearance on reality show Bigg Boss before it wraps on 30 December. He will be seen alongside Rohit Shetty, the director of Ranveers upcoming action film Simmba.

This Diwali, if youre looking for a great phone that ranks high on style and comes loaded with features, then the Honor 8X is just for you. With its amazing camera, impressive performance and sleek appearance, this newly launched phone clearly stands out from the clutter.

Now honestly, who doesnt like to flaunt their phones these days? Well, get the Honor 8X and you wont tire showing it off. It combines minimalism with sophistication to give you a stylish phone that is sure to earn you compliments. With an aurora glass body on the front and back and a metal middle frame, the Honor 8X spells elegance.

The phones performance is already being talked about as its the first Honor phone that has the powerful octa-core Kirin 710 chipsets. It comes with the revolutionary GPU turbo technology that is sure to elevate the phones gaming performance. So PUBG lovers, rejoice! The phone youve been waiting for is here.

Lets talk about the most important aspect of any smartphone – the camera. The Honor 8X has a dual 20-megapixel and 2-megapixel rear camera and a 16-megapixel front camera. From letting you capture awwww moments with family this festive season to giving you selfies that will make you an Instagram star, the Honor 8X has you covered. The phone is intelligent enough to recognise over 500 scenarios across 22 categories and enhance the quality of your pictures. In the mood to have some fun with your pictures? The phones Augmented Reality feature lets you do that. The Honor 8X also provides natural bokeh effect and breathtaking night shots. You can spend a day alone trying out all that this phones camera has to offer. Exciting, innit?

Are you usually glued to your phone binge-watching your favourite shows? With its 6.5-inch full HD+ display, the Honor 8X will only make this experience better. Further, the phones uses the chip-on-film technology and patented antenna design to reduce the width of the bottom border to a mere 4.25 mm. That means, you get a whopping 91 percent screen-to-body ratio. And as we all know, a bigger screen always makes for better viewing.

It is these features that make the Honor 8X shine out in a crowd, but thats not all. For everything that the phone boasts of, its also a budget phone. The phones 4GB RAM – 64GB storage variant costs Rs 14,999, 6GB RAM – 64GB storage variant comes at Rs 16,999, while 6GB RAM – 128GB storage variant is priced at Rs 18,999. A festive phone for under Rs 20,000, now thats quite something.

The Honor 8X has already created quite a buzz in the market and has become the go-to phone this festive season. As much as people are loving the phones performance, theyve also fallen in love with its appearance. What are you waiting for then? Hurry up and get the Honor 8X!

Netflix has announced a new original series based on SS Rajamoulis Baahubali series, titled Baahubali: Before The Beginning. The series will be a prequel and has been ordered for two seasons. The first season will adapt the book The Rise of Sivagami by Anand Neelakantan and will contain nine episodes. Mrunal Thakur and Rahul Bose would star in the series, it has been announced Netflixs See What Next event in Asia.

Mrunal Thakur would headline the series as a young Sivagami, while Rahul Bose would star as Skandadasa. The show, to be directed by Deva Katta (Prasthanam, Autonagar Surya) and Praveen Sataru (PSV Garuda Vega, Guntur Talkies), will also star Atul Kulkarni, Vaquar Shaikh, Jameel Khan, Siddharth Arora and Anup Soni.

Last year Netflix bought the exclusive worldwide streaming rights for Baahubali: The Beginning and Baahubali: The Conclusion in an major deal. Mrunal Thakur said in an interview with Hindustan Times:

The streaming giant had this to say, This (prequel) series captures Queen Sivagamis journey from a rebellious and vengeful girl to a wise and unequalled queen. Power, politics and intrigue find themselves juxtaposed against the rise of Mahishmati – from being a city-state to an empire. This is the rich backdrop and drama where the Baahubali franchise is set. The series promises to build on the incredible narrative style of the franchise – including its high production values, spectacular visuals and connective-epic story-telling.

The Baahubali series made a huge impact with its unique way of storytelling. This prequel promises to amp up the excitement of all the Baahubali fans. I am really honoured to be part of this project and be able to work with Rajamouli sir, Deva Katta told The News Minute.

TV comedian-actor Kapil Sharma is all set to come back on the small screen after a hiatus with another season of The Kapil Sharma Show. And as it turns out, Salman Khans production house would be powering the hugely popular show.

According to Mid-Day, Kapil Sharma used to produce his own shows earlier. But this time, Bhai would be banking on him. Shoot for the new season would begin on 16 December and a set is being in Film City at the moment.

Sharma seems to be getting back in the groove at last after a series of public spats and meltdowns last year. He is all set to tie the knot with Ginni Chatrath in December as well.

National Spokesperson Of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Sambit Patra on Friday, 9 November, launched an attack on Congress President Rahul Gandhi over his statement on demonetisation.

Patra said, \”Today Rahul ji in Chhattisgarh asked, did anyone saw any rich black money holder get out of a big car and stand in the line during demonetisation? Would like to tell him yes we saw you get out of your 4 crore car and stand in line?\”

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Friday announced a fresh list of six candidates for the December 7 Rajasthan Assembly elections.

According to the new list, Kishan Chand Sharma would contest from Dholpur, Ramhet Kushwah from Badi seat of Dholpur district, Lakshman Singh Chaudhary from Ramgarh seat of Alwar district, Vijay Shankar Bohra from Mahua of Dausa district, Sunil Kumar Jatav from Bayana seat of Bharatpur district.

The Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on Friday, 9 November, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has accepted Maldives President Elect Ibrahim Solihs invitation to attend his swearing-in ceremony on November 17.

SC Garg, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) Secretary, said on Friday, 9 November, that there was no proposal to ask RBI to transfer 3.6 or 1 lakh crore.

Well end FY 2018-19 with a fiscal deficit of 3.3 percent. Government has foregone 70000 crore of budgeted market borrowing this year. The only proposal under discussion is to fix RBIs apt economic capital framework, the DEA Secretary added.

Several gunmen in plainclothes barged into the Karachi Press Club (KPC), searched the building and harassed reporters there, a Club official said on Friday, 9 November.

\”Dozens of gunmen in plainclothes entered the Karachi Press Club at 10:30 pm and harassed journalists, examined different rooms, kitchen, upper floor of the building and sports hall,\” Niamat Khan, Joint Secretary of the club, told Efe news.

An encounter broke out on Friday, 9 November, between militants and security forces in Tral area of Pulwama district in Jammu and Kashmir, police said. No casualties have been reported so far, they said.

\”There has been an exchange of fire between security forces and terrorists at Tral in Pulwama district,\” a police spokesman said.

Former first lady accused, with her late dictator husband, of embezzling billions of dollars from state coffers

Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday, 9 November, wrote a letter to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, urging her to take up with the Government of Pakistan the issue of opening of the corridor from Dera Baba Nanak to Sri Kartarpur Sahib.

The Kerala High Court on Friday, 9 November, disqualified an Indian Union Muslim League MLA on a plea claiming that he used religion to win the Assembly polls in 2016.

Disqualifying KM Shaji, who had won the elections from Azhikode Assembly constituency in 2016, for six years, Justice PD Rajan directed the Kerala Assembly Speaker and the Election Commission to take appropriate action.

The US has carried out a total of 409 drone attacks in Pakistan targeting suspected militants since January 2004, killing 2,714 people and injuring 728 others, a media report said on Friday.

The attacks, carried out by the CIA-operated drones, over the years have targeted the areas of Bajaur, Bannu, Hangu, Khyber, Kurram, Mohmand, North Waziristan, Nushki, Orakzai, and South Waziristan, Dawn reported.

A special police officer (SPO) of Jammu and Kashmir Police was killed while two brothers were seriously injured when a load carrier they were travelling in skidded off the road and fell into a deep gorge in Doda district on Friday morning.

The load carrier, which was on its way to Doda from Gath, skidded off the road as the driver lost control over the vehicle while negotiating a sharp curve and fell into a 150-feet deep gorge, police said.

Ballari mining baron and former BJP minister Gali Janardhan Reddys advocate P Chandrashekar on Friday. 9 November, filed two petitions in the Karnataka High Court seeking quashing of the Ambident Group alleged bribery case.

Six persons were killed and 13 others injured on Friday, 9 November, when a roadways bus collided with a SUV in Uttar Pradeshs Ginnaur area, police said.

The incident took place on the Moradabad-Agra Highway. The injured have been rushed to a hospital where their condition was stated to be stable.

At least 171 children from separated families still remain in US custody more than four months after a judge ordered the American government to reunite the undocumented immigrant families it had split up at the border, according to court documents.

The court documents on Thursday, 8 November, said the children who remain in custody, there were seven who were in the pipeline to reunite with their parents in their countries of origin and six who the US government was working to discharge to parents in America, reports CNN.

One person was killed while two others were injured in a rush hour stabbing in Australias Melbourne on Friday, 9 November, local police said.

The police said that they had shot a man, the assailant, after he had made stabbing gestures at two officers. The man had crashed a car into Melbournes Bourke Street Mall and had attempted to stab people.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has released the second list of 6 candidates for the upcoming Rajasthan Assembly Elections.

Madras High Court rejects plea by Maran brothers – Kalanithi Maran and Dayanidhi Maran – to quash charges framed against them by a CBI court in the illegal telephone exchange case, reported ANI.

BJP workers and members stage protest in Bengaluru, opposing Tipu Jayanti celebrations which will be observed in the state tomorrow, reported ANI.

A woman died after she was allegedly raped by three men, including her former husband, and a stick was inserted in her private parts in Jamtara district of Jharkhand, police said on Thursday, 8 November.

Sub-Divisional Police Officer BN Singh said the womans ex-husband has been arrested a search is on to arrest the two others.

According to police, the woman had gone to watch a play at a theatre on Kali puja on Wednesday night. Her former husband and two of his associates forcibly took her to a field in the village under Narayanpur police station area.

Superstar Rajinikanth on Friday, 9 November, tweeted in support of actor Vijays latest Tamil film Sarkar. He condemned the actions of the protesters who had torn the films banners and demanded that certain scenes be cut from the film.

Directed by AR Murugadoss, the political thriller hit the screens on Tuesday, 6 November. Ever since its release, many AIADMK ministers and party cadres have expressed their displeasure over certain scenes in the film.

Several party cadres on Wednesday, 7 November, had protested outside theatres in Tamil Nadu, tearing posters and damaging the cut-outs of Vijay.

Indian journalist Swati Chaturvedi, who authored the book I am a Troll: Inside the Secret World of the Bharatiya Janata Partys Digital Army, was given the Press Freedom Award for Courage, in an annual event by Reporters without Borders.

Chaturvedis book, published in 2016, exposes the online trolls affiliated with the BJP and how they incite online communal tension and abuse, and sexually harass journalists, opposition politicians and anyone who questions them, according to its description on Goodreads.

Despite this, Chaturvedis work, both within and outside the realm of her book, as a reflection of the inner workings of the government, continue to be her force-driver, she says. In an interview with The Gulf News, a website she has also written for, she said: I have always been doing the same thing, since the day I started my career. I have remained the same. I speak the truth as I perceive it and thats that.

The other nominees included Paolo Borrometi (editor of anti-mafia investigative site La Spia in Italy), Cigdem Toker (independent Turkish journalist and columnist for Cumhuriyet) and Hamid El Mahdaoui (founder editor of Badil.info, who was sentenced to a jail term of three years in June in Morocco), The Gulf News report added.

Other awardees of the night included Matthew Caruana Galizia from Malta, who bagged the award for impact, for tracking down those who killed his mother, Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was assassinated in 2017 after she began investigations into corruption, Scroll reported.

Being recognized for her efforts in her #BabaeAko campaign, the Filipino equivalent of the #MeToo movement, in President Rodrigo Dutertes administration in Philippines, Espina-Varona won the prize for independence as well, the report added.


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