Shah meets Maha BJP leaders keeps away from ally Shiv Sena

first_imgMumbai: BJP president Amit Shah on Monday held a brief meeting here with Maharashtra party leaders, including Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, but kept away from the ally Shiv Sena.During his Mumbai visit, he also visited the chief minister’s official residence ‘Varsha’ in Malabar Hill area. “Shah’s meetings were confined only to state BJP leaders and he also visited the Siddhivinayak temple at Prabhadevi here,” a party functionary said. He is also scheduled to visit the Lalbaugcha Raja Ganesh pandal in central Mumbai. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’On Sunday evening, Shah addressed a rally in Solapur during the conclusion of the second phase of Fadnavis’ ‘Mahajanadesh Yatra, a mass outreach campaign ahead of the upcoming state Assembly polls. He held discussions with Fadnavis, state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil and few other leaders in Solapur and stayed there during the night, the party functionary said. On Monday, Shah travelled with Fadnavis to Mumbai where he again briefly met some state party leaders, he said. Political observers expected Shah to meet Sena leaders since the state Assembly elections are due soon, but the BJP chief skipped it. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KIn 2014, the BJP and Sena contested the state polls separately. The BJP at that time won 121 out of the total 288 seats, the highest so far by the party in the state. Several MLAs and leaders from the opposition Congress and NCP have joined either the BJP or the Sena in the recent weeks. Some more opposition leaders are also likely to join the BJP during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the state on September 7 when he will inaugurate some projects.last_img read more

US authorities targeting TorontoNew York City Chinese human smuggling network using Akwesasne

first_img(Screen grab of search warrant affidavit to examining cell phones seized during Aug. 11 arrest of 3 Chinese nationals)Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsU.S. federal authorities are trying to dismantle a smuggling network moving Chinese nationals from Toronto to New York City through the Mohawk community of Akwesasne which straddles the Canada-U.S. border, court documents show.The smuggling network advertises its services by publishing ads in Chinese-language newspapers sold in the Toronto-area. The ads include the phone number of a broker who sets up the smuggling run, according to court documents filed with the U.S. Federal Court Northern New York District.Akwesasne, a Mohawk community straddling the Ontario, Quebec and New York State borders, is often used by networks trying to smuggle people from Canada into the U.S.The geographic location of Akwesasne, with a portion of the St. Lawrence River running through it, makes it an attractive area to attempt runs across the border. It is possible to take a boat from the northern shore of the St. Lawrence River to the southern shore of the St. Regis Village or Snye areas of Akwesasne and then walk across unguarded portions of the international boundary into the U.S.U.S. authorities have recently turned their attention to a network smuggling Chinese nationals from Toronto to New York City.The U.S. Border Patrol filed three search warrant affidavits last Thursday with the Federal Court to conduct forensic examinations of cell phones and a GPS device seized during the Aug. 11 arrest of three Chinese nationals who were on U.S. soil illegally. The three individuals were in a 2013 white Honda Pilot SUV with New York State plates that was stopped by the U.S. Border Patrol shortly after it left the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino.Court documents show U.S. Border Patrol investigators are trying to dismantle the Chinese smuggling network through leads unearthed by examining the seized cells phones and GPS device.Investigators are currently focusing on a Chinese national named Wanxiang Chen, the driver of the SUV, who admitted to authorities he had successfully transported seven people in three previous trips from Akwesasne to New York City, according to court documents.Chen, who lives between the Brooklyn and Queens boroughs of the city, was also found by authorities to be residing in the U.S. illegally.A U.S. Federal Court judge has ordered Chen’s two passengers, Lili Cai and Kang Shen Shi, to appear as material witnesses against Chen during trial.Cai and Shi’s immigration status in Canada remains unclear.U.S. Border Patrol investigators turned their sights on Chen after obtaining information following a raid of a home in Akwesasne in July and from the cooperation of an individual facing alien smuggling charges. Investigators were tipped off to a smuggling operation involving Chinese nationals set for July 27.  This eventually led them to Chen’s Honda SUV, according to court documents.When Chen returned on Aug. 11, Border Patrol agents were ready.Court documents reviewed by APTN formed a partial snapshot of how the smuggling operation worked and it began with the newspaper ad.Cai told investigators that she phoned the number in the newspaper ad. The man who answered the phone set up the operation and arranged transport from the Toronto area to a marina on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River. The trip would cost Cai $8,000.Cai told investigators she was transported across the river, but the documents provided no details on how she ended up at the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino, which sits on the U.S. side of the community, where she was eventually picked-up by Chen.Previous human smuggling cases, however, revealed that smuggled individuals are usually hidden in a home in the community after they are taken by boat across the river. They are then spirited to a spot on the outskirts of the reserve for the final leg of the trip to New York City or other points. In one case last year, an Akwesasne resident bought bus tickets for two Chinese nationals for the trip to New York City.After Cai phoned the number in the newspaper, a man from a “travel agency” in New York City contacted Chen to travel to the casino for the pick-up. It would be his fourth trip. Chen told authorities he was paid $900 cash for each trip by a man who handed the money over on a street corner in the city.This time, however, Border Patrol agents were watching as he drove his SUV into the parking lot of the casino and through the valet parking area near the entrance to pick up Cai and Shi. The SUV left the casino at 12:56 p.m. It was tracked and pulled-over at 1:06 p.m. on State Route 37 as Chen and his occupants travelled through Fort Covington, NY.Chen, who is in custody, is scheduled for trial which is scheduled to begin Nov. 9 in Syracuse, NY.None of the allegations contained in the court documents have been proven in [email protected]@JorgeBarreralast_img read more

Kapil Sharma Show Why is Archana Puran Singh scared of Navjot Singh

first_imgTrust Kapil Sharma to entertain the audience with some witty and humorous jibes at his own team and the comedian-turned-actor never disappoints. The show, which has been running at a steady pace, being immensely loved by the audience, had another one of the insanely hilarious episodes last week.Kapil doesn’t leave any stone unturned when it comes to pulling the celebrity guest, Archana Puran Singh’s legs. In one such instance of the comedian teasing Singh, Kapil said that Archana Puran Singh is probably more scared of Navjot Singh Sidhu than ghosts. Archana Puran Singh had replaced Navjot Singh Sidhu after the latter’s comments on the Pulwama attack hadn’t gone down well with netizens and many political figures. Talking about her equation with the entire team, Archana Puran Singh had revealed that the team respects her a lot and even though they crack jokes or go beyond the script in pulling her leg, they immediately come to her to apologise and hug her.Sidhu’s comments hadn’t gone down well with the makers of the show and Twitterati demanded his immediate ouster from the show. There were reports of Salman Khan asking him to take a break from the show for a brief period so that the negative publicity could die down.In an interview with Hindustan Times, Archana Puran Singh had spoken up about how different she is from the man in question. Talking about Sidhu, she said: “We are two very different individuals. He has earned a name for himself and so have I. Our personalities are very different and both of us are happy in our own space. It’s just a coincidence that I am here and he is not and it goes on like that in our industry.”Navjot Singh Sidhu is yet to come back to the show.last_img read more

Strolling on the lanes of superstitious flea markets

first_imgA trip to the nearest flea market is always on a woman’s to-do list. Men often accompany them but they helplessly watch their woman fight her way through the narrow lanes and fellow shoppers to locate their favourite cheap but drool worthy clothes. The endless bargain, going through heaps of cheap clothes and the hot sun on top, bothers the shoppers. But there are certain superstitions that are ignored because it is part of a ritual, has something to do with religion or is simply a hidden obsessive compulsive disorder. There is a need to highlight certain superstitious occurrences as it causes inconvenience to the shoppers and is worthy of discussion. There are various superstitions that are a part of these markets and these things often annoy the shoppers but their love for shopping surpasses all hurdles. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’While trotting about the market early, before the crowd barges in, bundles of clothes contain interesting pieces which one might buy easily. But superstition is one point which is often noticed and yet ignored. Few people have come forward to reveal different superstitions in various flea markets in the national Capital.When the shopkeepers open the stalls/shops for the day around 11-12 am, they tend to sprinkle ‘jal’ (water) so that it attracts customers. The aim is not just to clean the area but to be aesthetically appealing so that shoppers head towards the particular shop. Jatin, a stall owner of jeans at Janpath market said: “sprinkling water brings us good luck. You’d see almost all shopkeepers doing it in the morning.” Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe shopkeepers never let the first customer go empty handed (good for us shoppers). But one never really realises what agenda they hide. When Millennium Post asked another shopkeeper in Sarojini Nagar Market as to why he agreed to such a low bargain (a shopper bought a stole for Rs 50 even when the shopkeeper demanded Rs 150), he said: “Madam boni ho jaegi aise, ab boni hogi tabhi toh kaam theek chalega humara.” The most baffling of all superstitions is the one where they refuse to exchange item only because they didn’t sell an item first.  One shopper Riddhi recalls how she was asked to leave the premises and come back in the evening when she attempted to exchange an item in Janpath market. She said: “I was surprised when he asked me to come again later in the evening. I waited right there for the boni to happen but the shopkeeper told me that waiting right here would delay the boni as my presence was affecting their sales. This was ridiculous but the shopkeepers were adamant and hence, I came back in the evening.”last_img read more