Taliban Reneged On Promise To Reopen Afghan Girls’ Schools: Blinken

The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has expressed his disappointment over the fact that the Taliban has failed to fulfil their promises about reopening schools for girls in Afghanistan.

Testifying before a Senate committee in Washington, Blinken said that the Taliban has been unable to keep their promise of granting Afghan girls over grade 6, access to education by withdrawing their decision of banning girls’ schools, reported Tolo News.
“We have seen, including most recently, the Taliban fall back on its commitment that it had made to ensure that girls can go to school above the six grade,” said Blinken.

When asked by Senator Lindsey Graham about the presence of Daesh and al-Qaeda groups in Afghanistan, Blinken said that there is a very small number of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.

In response to Senator Lindsey Graham, Blinken mentioned that the presence of Islamic groups like Daesh and al-Qaeda which stand in opposition to the Taliban has been rendered futile because they are small in number, reported Tolo News.

“ISIS-K is as you know is of course an enemy of the Taliban and the issue there is not the will of the Taliban to take them on, it is their capacity. When it comes to the al-Qaeda, the Arab al-Qaeda core, there are a very, very small number of people,” Blinken said.

Further, an Afghan women’s rights activist, Shahla Arifi emphasized the importance of female education, highlighting the fact that Afghan women are the future of the country and yet they are being deprived of “educational, social and political rights.”

Earlier, Thomas West, the US special envoy for Afghanistan had expressed his concerns to former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, over the ban of girls’ schools in a phone conversation. West even urged the Afghan government to pay heed to the religious scholars of the country and revoke the ban.

The worldwide condemnation of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan has heightened, even more, after the Taliban decided to close all secondary schools for girls. Several activists and political parties have also urged the Taliban to reconsider the ban on secondary schools for girls. Earlier, the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) expressed their concern that the closing of secondary and high schools for girl students is a serious issue.

However, the Taliban’s Ministry of Education has assured that the schools for girls in grades 7-12 will be reopened in the near future. (ANI)

Modi Urges Judiciary To Encourage Use Of Local Languages In Courts

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that the confluence of objectives of the legislature and judiciary will help in preparing a roadmap for an effective and time-bound judicial delivery system in the country while also stating that the court should encourage the use of local languages.

The Prime Minister stated that while the judiciary is the custodian of the Constitution and the legislature has the mandate to represent the aspirations of the people.
Addressing the joint conference of Chief Ministers and Chief Justices of High Courts today, PM Modi said, “In our country, while the role of the judiciary is that of the guardian of the constitution, the legislature represents the aspirations of the citizens. I believe that this confluence of these two will prepare the roadmap for an effective and time-bound judicial delivery system in the country.”

He underlined the need to introduce local languages in the courts which will connect people to the judicial system.

“We need to encourage local languages in courts. This will not only increase the confidence of common citizens in the justice system but they will feel more connected to it,” he said.

He said that the “75 years of India’s independence have clarified the roles and responsibilities of the judiciary and executive”.

“Wherever necessary, this relation between judiciary and executive has evolved to give direction to the country,” the Prime Minister stated.

Further, PM Modi also stressed the need for a digital judicial system which can empower citizens.

“To strengthen citizens, technology has become an important tool. Likewise, our judicial infrastructure needs to be digitalised too. Tech-friendly human resources play an important role in integrating Digital India with the nation’s growth story. Blockchain, cyber security, robotics, AI (Artificial Intelligence) all are being taught in colleges,” he added.

Speaking about online payments, the Prime Minister said that digital transactions are now becoming common in small towns and villages.

“Today, digital transactions are becoming common in small towns and villages. Out of all the digital transactions that took place in the world last year, 40 per cent of them took place in India,” he said.

Union Minister of Law and Justice Kiren Rijiju, Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann were also present at the joint conference.

The joint conference is an occasion for the executive and the judiciary to come together to create frameworks for simple and convenient delivery of justice and to discuss steps required to overcome the challenges facing the justice system, according to PMO. (ANI)

Akshaye Joins Tabu and Ajay In ‘Drishyam 2’

Bollywood Star Akshaye Khanna will soon be seen sharing the screen with Ajay Devgn and Tabu in the upcoming flick ‘Drishyam 2’.

On Saturday, Tabu took to her Instagram handle and shared a picture of Akshaye Khanna and herself.
“Delighted to have a gem of an actor on board for #Drishyam2, Akshaye Khanna..#TrulyTalented,” she captioned the post.

In the picture, the camera is at an eye-level angle with a close-up shot of Akshaye sitting on a couch with Tabu.

The film, helmed by Abhishek Pathak, is a sequel to Tabu and Ajay Devgn’s 2015 crime thriller ‘Drishyam’.

For the unversed, Ajay Devgn’s character of Vijay in the hit film ‘Drishyam’ made everyone believe that their family went on a holiday which in turn was a perfect plan to save his family from a murder conviction.

Tabu will reprise her role as Meera Deshmukh, Inspector General of Police.

Ajay is all set to reprise one of his most intriguing characters on-screen and continue in Vijay’s shoes in the sequel. The story unveils a journey that leaves the audience thinking about what might be his way out this time. (ANI)

Malaysia: 2,579 New COVID Infections, 6 Deaths

Malaysia reported 2,579 new COVID-19 infections as of midnight Friday, bringing the national total to 4,445,897, according to the health ministry.

There are six new imported cases and 2,573 local transmissions, data released on the ministry’s website showed.
A further six deaths have been reported, bringing the death toll to 35,542.

The ministry reported 6,055 new recoveries, bringing the total number of cured and discharged to 4,360,061.

There are 50,294 active cases, 78 are being held in intensive care and 50 of those are in need of assisted breathing.

The country reported 38,581 vaccine doses administered on Friday alone and 85 per cent of the population have received at least one dose, 81.7 per cent are fully vaccinated and 49.1 per cent have received boosters. (ANI/Xinhua)

ED Attaches ₹ 7 Cr Worth Assets Of Jacqueline In Money Laundering

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached assets worth Rs 7.27 crore of Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez in a money laundering case that involved jailed conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar, according to sources.

Sources said the attached property is a fixed deposit, and the move comes following the investigation of the ‘Rs 200-crore extortion case’ being probed by the agency against conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar, who is currently lodged in Delhi’s Tihar Jail.
The ED estimated that Chandrasekhar had given gifts worth over Rs 5 crore to Fernandez using the extorted money as well as funds close to US dollar 173,000 and around 27,000 Australian dollars to her close family members.

The action was taken months after ED confronted another arrested accused in the case, Pinky Irani with Chandrashekhar during interrogation.

Irani, who was held on December 9, had introduced Chandrashekhar to Fernandez. They were confronted in December last year. The investigators asked about their links and connection with Fernandez as well as matters related to the money laundering operations.

The investigation revealed that Irani, an alleged associate of Chandrashekhar, was paid a huge amount to introduce Fernandez to Chandrasekhar.

Earlier, the ED also confronted Irani with Fernandez.

The ED earlier questioned Fernandez in the money laundering case. Another actress Nora Fatehi was also questioned in connection with the same case. ED is also looking into various people who are directly or indirectly connected to this case.

Reports suggest that the ED is looking into the possibility that money was invested abroad and it was led by Chandrashekhar, who is accused in 21 cases.

This case is based on an FIR filed by Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) against Chandrashekhar who is accused of cheating and extorting Aditi Singh, wife of the former promoter of Religare Enterprises Shivinder Mohan Singh, who was arrested in October 2019 in a case related to alleged misappropriation of funds at Religare Finvest Ltd.

Chandrashekhar and his associates reportedly took money from Aditi after posing as government officials and promising to get bail for her husband. Chandrashekhar reportedly persuaded Aditi to transfer money by impersonating a central government official over a spoof call while he was lodged in Rohini jail and promised to manage bail for her husband.

Both Chandrashekhar and his actor wife Leena Maria Paul were arrested by the Delhi Police in September last year for their alleged role in the duping case. The Delhi Police has so far arrested 13 people in connection with the case.

The ED suspects that Chandrashekhar had extorted money from several people while he was in jail.

In October last year, the ED officials had conducted raids at Chandrashekhar’s sea-facing bungalow in Chennai and had found a fleet of 16 luxury cars worth crores of rupees.

At the time of the incident, Chandrashekhar was lodged in Delhi’s Rohini jail and was running an extortion racket behind the bars.

In September, the ED had arrested two aides of jailed conman against whom the Delhi Police recently invoked stringent provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).

Chandrashekhar was allegedly running the cheating and extortion racket in connivance with jail officials and some associates outside. (ANI)

Mass Graves With 900 Bodies Found At Different Places In Kyiv Oblast

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that the mass grave with 900 bodies had been found in different places in Kyiv Oblast.

Ukraine’s The Kyiv Independent earlier said that the Ukrainian President said a mass grave with 900 people was found in Kyiv Oblast. But after that, the media outlet issued a correction and said that Zelenskyy had been referring to the total number of people found in different mass graves in Kyiv Oblast.
“Hundreds of civilians have been killed in the region by Russian troops,” the media outlet reported.

On Friday, The Kyiv Independent reported that three Russian missiles hit Kyiv Oblast.

The missiles hit undisclosed infrastructure sites near the city of Fastiv in Kyiv Oblast, according to Oleksandr Pavlyuk, head of the Kyiv Oblast Military Administration, said the media outlet.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, during his visit to Ukraine’s Borodyanka, described the ongoing war “an absurdity” and stated that he imagines his family in one of the rooms which has now been destroyed.

“I imagined my family in one of those houses that is now destroyed and black,” he said. “I see my granddaughters running away in panic, part of the family eventually killed. So, the war is an absurdity in the 21st century. The war is evil,” Guterres was quoted as saying by OCHA (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) Ukraine.

The UN Chief arrived in Ukraine on Wednesday after his visit to Moscow. Taking to Twitter, UN Chief said that he will continue their work to expand the humanitarian support to Ukraine and will also secure the evacuation of civilians from conflict zones.

Notably, Russia launched a “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24, which the West has termed an unwarranted war. As a result of this, the western countries have also imposed several crippling sanctions on Moscow. (ANI)

Odisha: 58-Yr-Old MLA Appears For 10th Exam

A 58-year-old MLA from Odisha’s Phulbani who left education in the year 1978 due to family reasons is proving the old saying ‘age is no bar for learning’ by appearing for Class 10th examination this year.

Angada Kanhar, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MLA from Phulbani, on Friday appeared for the first paper in the ongoing Matric examination being conducted by the Board of Secondary Education (BSE).

Kanhar was seen along with his two friends appearing for the English paper at Rujangi High School.

Before entering the examination hall, Kanhar said, “I was in my class 10 in 1978, but was unable to appear for exams due to some family issues. Recently, I was told that many people at the age of 50 or more are appearing for exams. So, I too decided to appear for the board exams. There is no age barrier to appear for exams or to get educated.”

Kanhar is not the sole politician, who is appearing for the examination. He is being joined by one of his friends who is a Sarpanch.

“We are conducting board Exams at our centre which is open school exams. This is a special exam conducted for those who had to leave their studies midway for some reason. As many as 63 students have appeared for SIOS exam at our centre including Phulbani MLA Angad Kanhar and one of his friend who is a Sarpanch. This examination will get over by May 10,” said Archana Bas, Headmistress, Rujangi High School.

A total of 5.8 lakh students are appearing for the Class 10 state board examination in Odisha that commenced on Friday. (ANI)

Delhi: 1,607 Fresh COVID Cases, 2 Deaths

The national capital reported 1,607 fresh COVID-19 infections on Friday, taking the active caseload to 5,609 in the city, informed a health bulletin by the Delhi government.

The city reported the highest number of fresh infections since February 4 this year when 2,272 cases were recorded, according to the Delhi health department.
The daily case positivity rate stands at 5.28 per cent.

As many as 1,246 COVID patients recovered from the disease yesterday. The total number of recoveries since the onset of the pandemic in the city has gone up to 18,49,772.

Two COVID-affected persons succumbed to the virus during this period, taking the death toll in the national capital to 26,174.

As per the official data, more than 30,000 COVID samples were tested in the city yesterday.

Under the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive, a total of 60,287 eligible beneficiaries were administered coronavirus vaccine doses on Friday in Delhi.

So far, 3,34,01,239 vaccine doses have been provided in the national capital. (ANI)

Priyanka Posts Poolside Pics, Nick Reacts

New mommy in B-town, actor Priyanka Chopra, on Saturday shared some extremely hot photos in her latest post, leaving her followers awestruck.

In her recent Instagram post, the ‘Mary Kom’ star can be seen wearing a lime-coloured co-ord bikini set, relaxing in the pool at her LA abode.

“Instagram Vs Reality” she captioned the post

Priyanka looked really stunning and alluring and fans filled the comment section with fire and heart emoticons including her husband Nick Jonas who dropped a fire emoji and the comment ‘Damn’.

It was recently revealed that the actor couple duo Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas had named their daughter, who was born in January this year via surrogacy, as ‘Malti Marie’.

On the work front, Priyanka Chopra’s next films include Farhan Akhtar’s ‘Jee Le Zaraa,’ Amazon’s ‘Citadel,’ and Anthony Mackie’s ‘Ending Things.’ (ANI)

Hyderabad Haleem Store Provides Employment To Thousands

Amid the ongoing holy month of Ramzan, a Haleem store in Hyderabad has provided employment opportunities to more than a thousand unemployed people in the city, of which most are under-privileged college-going youngsters who work here part-time to meet their expenses.

“More than a thousand individuals have been employed at the store, of which maximum are the students working here part-time from 4 pm to 9 pm,” Mohd Abdul Musi, the owner of Pista House told ANI on Friday.

Speaking further, he said that more than 500 students have been provided with part-time opportunities to work as cashiers, supervisors, etc at over 25 outlets of the store in the state.

“Since the preparation of haleem is a tough job, more than 400 people are employed specifically for this task,” he added.

Haleem is an Arabian dish prepared by cooking grains, meat, spices, dry fruits, ghee, and milk among other ingredients on a low flame. This dish eventually gained popularity in Hyderabad, Telangana, and Maharashtra with time.

Musi, further said, that it is a matter of immense pride

that they are capable of sending it to the Middle East countries, from where the dish originated.

“It is full of so many proteins, vitamins, and minerals, so there are no disadvantages but only advantages of haleem,” said a customer at the store.

“After fasting for the whole during Ramzan, having haleem here is awesome as it gives instant energy because of its nutritional value,” said another epicure at the store.

The shop owners said that they are in the business of making haleem at the Pista House for 25 years, with 25 to 28 outlets in the city.

“We are trying our best to keep the legacy and quality of haleem maintained at the store. We are the largest makers and suppliers of haleem in the world,” said Musi.

According to him (owner), the haleem market has seen a revolution ever since they started making and selling it here.

“Haleem is a very healthy dish. It is a combination of pure ghee, mutton or chicken, and spices; when it all comes together, it makes a combination of a protein-packed dish,” he added. (ANI)