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Solving Crossword Puzzles Does Not Stop Mental Decline: Study December 14, 2018 18:54

Researchers in the United Kingdom found on a habitual basis working at problem-solving games like Sudoku and crossword puzzles do not guard against a mental decline in later life. Existing research has suggested that mental ability can be kept up or improved by problem-solving games such as Sudoku and crossword puzzles. These studies say that playing board games, reading from an early age, and playing musical instruments at least twice a week is linked to reduced risk of dementia. A new study, published in The BMJ, suggests that regularly engaging in intellectual activities boosts mental ability over a lifetime and provides a "higher cognitive point" from which to decline. The sample took in 498 participants who were all born in 1936 and had all taken part in a group intelligence test at the age of 11. They were approximately 64 years old at the start of the study. Researchers used data from the archives of the Scottish Council for Research in Education, which had maintained population-based records of the Scottish Mental Surveys of 1947. However, there is a lack of historical childhood mental ability data, and the effect of practice on improving test scores has frequently been failed to notice in mental aging studies, they said. The study proved that engaging in intellectually stimulating activities on a regular basis was linked to the level of mental ability in old age, having the largest association with improving cognitive performance during the course of life. Dr Staff, Honorary Lecturer at the University of Aberdeen and Head of Medical Physics at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, suggests that while those who on a regular basis engage in problem-solving puzzles could possibly enhance their mental ability, this does not "protect an individual from decline but imparts a higher starting point from which decline is observed". -Sowmya Sangam

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Bhairava Geetha Movie Review, Rating, Story, Cast and Crew December 14, 2018 17:40

Bhairava Geetha is the story of Bhairava (Dhanunjaya) and Geetha (Irra Mor). While Geetha is the daughter of a factionist in the village and Bhairava works under her father. After completing her studies, Geetha returns to her village and falls in love with Bhairava. Her father comes to know and asks his goons to kill Bhairava. It is then the duo elope together and things turn quite worse. The rest of Bhairava Geetha is all about how the young couple stand strong facing all the obstacles and wins their love. Watch Bhairava Geetha to know about the complete story.

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#MeToo India Made Men Take Stock and Think: Ranveer Singh December 14, 2018 17:13

Bollywood star Ranveer Singh said the #MeToo movement has been very impactful in India and he hopes there is a change in the patriarchal thinking of Indian men. "The #MeToo movement was historic, revolutionary. It has made guys take stock and think and, that itself, is a big thing. It has been hugely impactful and significant," Ranveer said at the Times Network India Economic Conclave 2018 on Thursday. Ranveer said what happened in the last two months was a revolution. "It was happening all too fast, quickly. It was a revolution. You had perpetrators who aren't working anymore. It made a huge impact from where I stand. In my perception, what the movement should have done, I think it has. It has changed to a large extent the way men think. "Every man thinks twice, they are afraid. They think if they do something wrong, it is going to be called out. It had made a huge impact at the ground level." When asked about his idea of consent, the actor said the thinking of men needs to change. "We have, for the longest time, lived in a patriarchal society. Men feel very entitled in their species, in my surroundings at least. Fortunately, I have had an upbringing, my father has always been out, so I was raised by four women, mother, sister, grandmother, and great-grandmother, so I have a different way of looking at it. "I also studied in America where gender dynamics are very different, the outlook and view on sex are very different. I have had that kind of exposure. I have seen guys who have a sense of entitlement that is deeply ingrained in them and they laugh at you if you tell them otherwise." The actor said he would like to lead by example in his life. "I am hoping as a thought leader to contribute towards some positive change, by just leading in the example, I am hoping I make some change. It's too slow moving," he said. Ranveer, however, thinks India needs educational training in understanding the true meaning of consent. "These things have to start from a foundational, fundamental level. Parents need to pass on to kids and schools to students. What you understand of the world and the interactions while growing up," he said. The #MeToo movement hit India when Tanushree Dutta accused Nana Patekar of sexual misconduct while they were shooting for a song for their 2008 film 'Horn Ok Pleassss'. A number of high-profile men such as M J Akbar, Vikas Bahl, Alok Nath, Sajid Khan, Justin Das and, most recently, artist Subodh Gupta have been outed in India's #MeToo movement. -Sowmya  

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Indian-American Ph.D. Scholar Accuses BHU Faculty of Harassment December 14, 2018 16:37

An Indian-American Ph.D. scholar has accused Banaras Hindu University's Ayurveda Head of Department Anand Chaudary of harassment and stalking over five years. Dr. Bhaswati Bhattacharya, who received her doctorate in Rasa Shastra from the Faculty of Ayurveda from aforementioned university lodged a complaint with the Lanka police in Varanasi against Anand on November 22 and has claimed no First Information Report (FIR) has been registered in the case at the behest of the university. "For the past 5 years, Mr. Anand Kr Chaudhary has threatened me using defamation, derogation, stalking and both sexual and academic harassment. In fear for my career, withstanding threats that I would not be allowed to complete my studies, I withheld complaints until I safely received my Ph.D. degree certificate today," she wrote in the complaint. Bhaswati believes that there is pressure from the BHU on the police to not pursue the case, however, the BHU administration has denied this claim. Bhaswati enrolled in BHU for mid-career a Ph.D. in 2014, with a senior Fulbright faculty grant. She alleges that Anand began harassing her when she started her course. "He has tried to stop my progress in so many ways - from preventing me from attending classes and conferences to phantom violations on attendance, to sexually colored remarks about me to students in the department and faculty. He spread rumors that I had been sleeping around with other students and professors in the department," she says. Bhaswati says that Anand also stalked her. "He has also admitted over an email to faculty that he spent hours on my Facebook page trying to gather 'evidence' against me," she says. Although she approached the university regarding the harassment in 2015, and the Vice-Chancellor passed an order that Anand must ensure Bhaswati was not denied any opportunities, the harassment has continued, she alleges. The administration enabled his abusive behavior, and it is more or less an open secret, she says. After April 2015, the harassment - and social exclusion at the university - worsened, she says. In that month, she had filed a case after five men in the campus allegedly attempted to rape her and another colleague. The faculty saw this complaint as an attempt to defame the university, she says. BHU Public Relations Officer Rajesh Singh, when questioned about whether it was on BHU's behest that an FIR had not been filed in Bhaswati's case, said, "See, it is the police's job to file the FIR. What role do we have to play in it? Anyone can go to the police and file a complaint, if the police find that the allegations are authentic and true, they will register an FIR." When asked about the allegations against Anand Chaudhary, he said, "Our internal inquiry committee under the chairmanship of Institute of Medical Sciences Director, looked into the allegations made by her (Bhaswati) and has given Dr. Anand Chaudhary a clean chit." Anand Chaudhary denied Bhaswati's allegations, "There was never any stalking or sexual harassment. Nothing was done from my side as the Head of my department which may harm her in her academic pursuits." He alleged that this complaint is a "conspiracy" by Bhaswati to sabotage his career, that she tried to work around the Ph.D. rules of BHU, and he has only worked to enforce them. Anand added that in June 2017, Bhaswati had withdrawn her complaints against him. However, Bhaswati counters that she was forced to do that under threat that her thesis submission seminar would not be scheduled or else. -Sowmya Sangam

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K.G.F Telugu Movie December 14, 2018 15:04

K.G.F is an upcoming Tollywood film directed by Prashanth Neel and produced by Vijay Kiragandur. The film stars Yash, Srinidhi Shetty, Achyuth Kumar, Malavika Avinash in the leading roles. For more previews, stay tuned....

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Donald Trump Calls India a True Friend: U.S. Official December 14, 2018 15:08

President Donald Trump calls India a "true friend", a top American diplomat has said as she highlighted the steps taken by the United States over the last two years to beef up its ties with India for the benefit of a broader Indo Pacific region. The remarks by Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice Wells' came at a farewell reception hosted by the State Department in honor of the outgoing Indian Ambassador to the U.S., Navtej Singh Sarna. "President Trump calls India a true friends and Secretary (of State Mike) Pompeo has characterized the U.S.-India bilateral relationship as one deeply bound by our shared values," she said. Top officials of the State Department and the White House were present at the farewell reception for Sarna held at the historic Blair House, which is the official guest house of the U.S. President. It is quite rare that the Blair House is used for a State Department farewell reception for an outgoing diplomat. The U.S. term of office of Sarna, who is retiring from Indian foreign service after an illustrious career of 38 years, has been extraordinary, Wells told the select audience. Sarna took charge as India's ambassador to the U.S. on November 5, 2016. "Over the last two years, we have been able to host Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi here in Washington for a successful summit with President Trump," Wells said. During Sarna's tenure, the two countries have inaugurated a new 2+2 Dialogue to elevate their cooperation on security and strategic priorities for the benefit of their people and for the benefit of a broader Indo Pacific region where the leadership of the two nations matters so much. "Under your leadership in our countries have negotiated and finalized a landmark communications compatibility and security agreement, which makes our military cooperation more profound and advanced. We have also taken significant steps to build on India's status as a US major defense partner, including elevating India to strategic trade authorization, tier one status,” Wells said. "In your engagements with Americans across the country and also with the more than three million Indian Americans and these incredibly vibrant business leaders, the students, the technologist, the artist, you really helped bring our people in other countries together," she said as she praised Sarna. Sarna said that the successful visit of Prime Minister Modi in June 2017 was the high point of his term here in Washington, D.C. "The fact that the outcomes were so strong from the visit, the personal chemistry between Prime Minister Modi and President trump was so, so evident... And the joint statement that we came out with really set the chart for the months to follow," the Indian ambassador said. Listing some of the major highlights of his posting in the U.S., Sarna said: "Today we can look back on and say that, well, yes, we are truly strategic global partners". "We have found a huge amount of understanding for our political space, for our strategic autonomy, for the needs of our economy, for our role, for our taking into account our art history and our regional position vis a vis several other countries," he said. "I think this entire process of building the bilateral relationship has been to work with each other to find while each country fulfills its national objectives - the U.S. as well as India - at the same time, we find ways and means of growing together," he said. -Sowmya Sangam

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K.G.F Kannada Movie December 14, 2018 14:48

K.G.F is an upcoming Kannada film directed by Prashanth Neel and produced by Vijay Kiragandur. The film stars Yash, Srinidhi Shetty, Achyuth Kumar, Malavika Avinash in the leading roles. For more previews, stay tuned....

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Indian-American Appointed to U.S. Body Advocating Religious Freedom December 14, 2018 10:33

An Indian-American woman lawyer on Thursday was appointed as a Commissioner to the United States Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). Arunima Bhargava, a civil rights lawyer is born and raised in Chicago and is currently the founder and president of the Anthem of Us, which describes itself as "a strategic advisory firm that works with educational institutions and corporations to promote dignity and justice for all". The USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan federal government entity established by the U.S. Congress to monitor, analyze and report on threats to religious freedom overseas. She has an substantial experience in various roles advocating for members of under-represented communities, including at the U.S. Department of Justice and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF). Currently, the USCIRF is headed by Tibetan-American Tenzin Dorjee. Dorjee commended House Leader Nancy Pelosi for appointing Bhargava as a USCIRF Commissioner. "With an impressive background and a demonstrated commitment to advocating for members of minority communities in the United States and abroad, Anurima Bhargava brings an important new perspective that will enhance the work of the Commission, especially on democratic India, with whom the United States has a long and proud relationship," he said. In addition to her work at the Department of Justice and the LDF, Bhargava served as a fellow at the Open Society Foundations and at the Harvard University. Prior to attending law school, Bhargava worked in India assisting women elected to local government. She has been a member of the Truman National Security Project and the Council on Foreign Relations. -Sowmya sangam

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#MeToo Tops Instagram Advocacy Hashtags with 1 Mn Usage in 2018 December 13, 2018 17:39

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 17:23

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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