Indian filmmaker wins Oeil d'or award

Thursday 22nd July 2021 03:55 EDT

Mumbai-based filmmaker Payal Kapadia has won the Oeil d'or (Golden Eye) award for Best Documentary for her film, "A Night of Knowing Nothing," at the Cannes Film Festival. "A Night of Knowing Nothing" has emerged the winner from a list of 28 documentaries submitted from around the world. The five-member jury was headed by American documentary producer Ezra Edelman. Other names in the jury were French filmmaker Julie Bertuccelli, French actor Deborah Francois, Franco-American film critic Iris Brey and Orwa Nyrabia, artistic director of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. "A Night of Knowing Nothing" is a story of a college student who writes letters to her lover when he is away.

Amrita Sher-Gil's painting sold for £3.78 mn

Amrita Sher-Gil's 1938 painting titled, "In the Ladies Enclosure," sold for £3.78 million at an auction by the Mumbai-based auction house Saffronart, setting a world record for the highest value achieved by the artist in auction. It is also the second-most expensive work of Indian art sold globally after V S Gaitonde's "Untitled, 1961, " which was sold for £3.99 million in March this year.
Sher-Gil (1913-1941) was a Hungarian Indian painter and has been called one of the greatest avant-garde women artists of the early 20th century. The National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi also houses a large collection of her art. According to Dinesh Vazirani, Saffronart CEO and co-founder, "The record-breaking sale is a clear indication of her artistic merit and is a testament to her skill and talent."

Emmy nomination for 'Top Chef' and 'Indian Matchmaking'

Indian American Padma Lakshmi's TV show, “Top Chef,” and 'Indian Matchmaking' which was released on Netflix in July last year, were nominated for 2021 Emmy Awards. The New York Times best-selling author and “Top Chef” host has been nominated for Outstanding Host for a Reality-Competition Program award alongside longtime judges Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons. “Top Chef” also earned nominations for Outstanding Picture Editing for a Structured Reality or Competition Program, Outstanding Casting for a Reality Program, and Outstanding Directing for a Reality Program. 'Indian Matchmaking' has been nominated under the Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program category. The executive producers of the show are Eli Holzman, Aaron Saidman, JC Begley and Smriti Mundhra. The show, headlined by Sima Taparia, dropped on Netflix on 16 July. It soon became a talked-about topic on social media with people pointing out the good, bad, and the ugly. Sima Taparia is a matchmaker from Mumbai who, even on the show, tried to find matches for Indian families.

Indian-origin pastor wins Masterchef Australia

Indian-origin Justin Narayan has clinched the MasterChef Australia 2021, marking the end of Season 13. The 27-year-old first generation Australian with Fijian and Indian ancestry is a pastor by profession and the second Indian-origin chef to claim the trophy after Sashi Cheliah won in 2018. He emerged a winner after defeating two other finalists - Kishwar Choudhury and Pete Campbell. After cooking two of Australian chef Peter Gilmore’s dishes - shaved southern squid with koji butter and shiitake custard and a golden crackle, with a perfect 40/40 score, Justin took home $250,000 prize money. He was also popular for his amazing sense of humour and adorable friendship with the runner-up Pete Campbell.

Indian American nominated to top USAID post

President Joe Biden has appointed renowned physician Atul Gawande as Assistant Administrator of the Bureau for Global Health, United States Agency for International Development. According to a report, Gawande’s role at USAID will focus on efforts to prevent child and maternal deaths, control the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and combat infectious diseases. Gawande is a professor of surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and at Harvard Medical School. The Indian American physician previously served as a senior advisor in the Department of Health and Human Services during the Clinton Administration.

Pak blacklists book for Malala picture besides war hero

The textbook board of Pakistan’s Punjab province has confiscated the entire unsold stock of a Grade 7 social studies book published by Oxford University Press for featuring a picture of Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousufzai alongside Maj Aziz Bhatti, considered a 1965 War hero, reports Omer Farooq Khan. It has raised the hackles of the establishment because, unlike in the West, Malala isn’t quite everyone’s favourite in her native country. Last year, the board had banned 100 books that were deemed to be “against” the twonation theory, or “unethical”.

Nepal’s new PM Deuba wins trust vote

Nepal’s new Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Sunday comfortably won a vote of confidence in the reinstated lower House of Parliament. Deuba, the 75-year-old chief of the Nepali Congress, secured 165 votes in the 275-member House of Representatives, the Himalayan Times reported. As many as 249 lawmakers participated in the voting process and 83 of them voted against Deuba while one lawmaker remained neutral, it said. A total of 136 votes were required for Deuba to win Parliament’s confidence. Deuba took the oath of office and secrecy on July 13 for a record fifth time, a day after a five-member Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana reinstated the dissolved House of Representatives for the second time in five months.

Another bid Bangladeshi American for NY State Assembly

Bangladeshi American Mary Jobaida announced her second bid for the New York state Assembly, pledging to run on a platform that addresses climate change, inequities in housing and income, and racial justice, based on her work with underserved populations. “I am a first generation immigrant, public school parent, public transit commuter, community advocate and healthcare worker. I am also a tired resident who has seen the struggles of the residents with poor quality of life and massive displacement of low and working class people in this district,” said the candidate in her Ballotpedia statement. “I am tired of the lack of democratic representation and I am running for office to bring back democracy and true representation back. I will work to create an inclusive state that will value racial justice, equity and inclusion,” she said.

China sees 1st death due to Monkey B virus

A Beijing-based veterinarian who was confirmed as China’s first human infection case with Monkey B virus (BV) has died, the media reported. The 53-year-old man, who worked for an institution researching on primates, showed early-onset symptoms of nausea and vomiting, a month after he dissected two dead monkeys in early March, the Global Times reported, citing Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. He died on May 27. The report said there were no fatal or even clinically evident BV infections in China before, thus the vet’s case is the first human infection case.

Zimbabwe returns to strict lockdown

Zimbabwe has returned to strict lockdown measures in a bid to combat a resurgence of Covid-19 amid vaccine shortages, information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said. She said to try to contain the spread, most people must stay at home, similar to restrictions adopted in March last year when towns and cities became almost deserted. Mutsvangwa added that people will now need letters from employers to justify why they must move out of their neighborhoods “with immediate effect.” She said “stiffer penalties will be imposed for violations,” including revoking the licenses of offending businesses.” Infections have soared in recent weeks despite a night curfew, reduced business hours, localized lockdowns in hotspot areas, and a ban on inter-city travel. The virus has spread to rural areas with inadequate health facilities. Zimbabwe is one of more than 14 African countries where the delta variant is quickly spreading.

After a 24-year search, man reunites with kidnapped son

A man has finally reunited with his abducted son after a 24-year hunt across China, handing out missing-person flyers, that burned through his savings and left him with massive debts. Guo Gangtang, 51, began searching for his then 2-year-old son after he was kidnapped in 1997 from their home in a village in Shandong. Guo travelled China on a motorcycle with a flag attached bearing his lost son’s image and carrying a bag full of flyers. Guo’s journey of around 5,00,000 km took him to most of China’s provinces. He also went through 10 motorcycles. Guo’s son was found after the ministry of public security launched a nationwide campaign this January. Police in June tracked down a man fitting his son’s description in Henan. After a DNA test confirming the relationship, a family reunion with his son Guo Xinzhen, 26, now a teacher, was arranged. The story inspired the 2015 hit film “Lost and Love”. “I’ve found my son, and I want to get back to normal life as soon as possible,” Guo said.

An 18-year-old to fly to space on July 20 with Bezos

Blue Origin said on Thursday that an 18-yearold paying customer will fly to space on board the company’s maiden crewed spaceflight on July 20, becoming the youngest ever astronaut. Oliver Daemen, who graduated from high school in 2020 and holds a private pilot’s licence, is not the winner of a $28 million auction, who has asked to remain anonymous and will fly on a future mission, the company said. “This marks the beginning of commercial operations for New Shepard, and Oliver represents a new generation of people who will help us build a road to space,” said Bob Smith, CEO of Blue Origin. He joins Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark, and Wally Funk aboard the first human flight involving the New Shepard spaceship. At 18-years-old and 82-years-young, Daemen and Funk will be the youngest and oldest astronauts to travel to space.

Britney wins right to choose lawyer to end conservatorship

Singer Britney Spears on Wednesday won the right to choose her own lawyer to help her end a 13-yearlong conservatorship and tearfully pleaded for the court to oust her father immediately from the role of controlling her business affairs.

Her father, Jamie Spears, has been a major figure in the conservatorship since he set it up in 2008 when his daughter had a mental health breakdown. He is currently the sole person in charge of her $60 million estate. “You’re allowing my dad to ruin my life,” Spears told the Los Angeles judge by phone. “I have to get rid of my dad and charge him with conservatorship abuse,” she added. Speaking for about 10 minutes, Spears, 39, said she had always been “extremely scared of my dad”.

She said she was fed up with multiple psychological evaluations in the last 13 years and wanted the conservatorship brought to an end without another one. “I’m not a perfect person, but their goal is to make me feel like I’m crazy.” Details of Spears’ mental health issues have never publicly been disclosed.

Last month she called the legal arrangement abusive and stupid in a 20-minute public address. Los Angeles Superior Court judge Brenda Penny approved former federal prosecutor Mathew Rosengart to represent Spears going forward. Rosengart, who has previously represented Hollywood stars Sean Penn and Steven Spielberg, said his goal was to end the conservatorship.

282 mn face malnutrition in Africa

According to a UN report, there was a dramatic jump in the worsening of world hunger in 2020 which was related to the fallout of the pandemic. The report estimates around a 10th of the global population, about 811 million people, were undernourished in 2020. FAO chief economist, Maximo Torero said “around 282 million people are more undernourished in Africa. In terms of the figures, we find that 720 to 811 million people around the world faced hunger in 2020. This number is approximately 118 million more than that of 2019. What this means is that 418 million people are more undernourished in Asia and around 282 million in Africa. In Latin America we also seen an increase to what 9.1% of the population being undernourished today", Torero said. This number suggests that it will take a tremendous effort for the world to honor its pledge to end hunger by 2030.

Prisoner swap deal was agreed with US, says Iran

Iran insisted that a prisoner swap deal has been agreed with the United States, the Iranian foreign ministry spokesman said, a day after Washington denied such an agreement had been reached. “‘Outrageous’ the US denying simple fact that there is an agreed deal on the matter of the detainees. Even on how to announce it,” Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a tweet. “Humanitarian swap was agreed with US & UK in Vienna-separate from JCPOA (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action)- on release of 10 prisoners on all sides. Iran is ready to proceed today.” The United States on Saturday denied that any deal had been reached on a prisoner swap.

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