KFC closes 100 restaurants in Malaysia over boycott against pro-Zionists

News Network
April 30, 2024

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US fast-food chain KFC has been forced to close over 100 restaurants in Malaysia over a pro-Palestine boycott of the company.

The Straits Times reported on Monday that the American restaurant chain specializing in fried chicken had to reduce its operations across Malaysia, mostly in north-eastern Kelantan state, following calls for a boycott of the company amid protests over the US government’s backing of the Israeli regime in its genocide of the Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Nearly 80 percent, or 21 KFC outlets, in Kelantan state stopped their operations, followed by 15 outlets in Johor and 11 in Selangor, the most industrialized state in Malaysia.

Citing a local Chinese-language newspaper, the Straits Times added the local franchisor of the Louisville, Kentucky-headquartered company in the Muslim-majority Southeast Asian nation, QSR Brands Holdings Bhd, is temporarily suspending operations in more than 100 KFC outlets after about half a year of boycott movement. “QSR Brands, which owns and operates the KFC fast-food franchise in Malaysia, is suspending 108 outlets nationwide.”

In this regard, chairman of the pro-Palestinian group Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) in Malaysia, Professor Mohd Nazari Ismail, told the Singapore-based newspaper that, “KFC is not on the BDS list of targeted companies. But many Malaysians see any American fast-food operator to be related to Israel, including KFC.” The BDS has been pushing for various forms of boycott movement against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law.

KFC was also forced to shut its first branch in Algeria earlier this month, just two days after its opening, following protests over US support to Israel.

The boycott action has severely affected worldwide operations of American fast-food giants McDonald’s, KFC, Starbucks, etc., with the pro-Palestine campaign having the potential to spread further across the globe.

Boycotted US companies are either perceived by pro-Palestinians to have taken pro-Israeli stances in the genocidal war on Gaza, or have financial ties to the Israel regime and/or have made illegal investments in the occupied Palestinian lands.

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coastaldigest.com news network
June 29,2024

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Mangaluru: A wave of joy and nostalgia has swept over Tulu-speaking communities in coastal Karnataka with the exciting news that Tulu is now included in Google Translate. This significant development promises to elevate the language’s popularity and recognition on a global scale, filling hearts with pride and happiness.

"The addition of Tulu to Google Translate is a monumental achievement for the language and its speakers," beamed Karnataka Tulu Sahitya Academy chairman Tharanath Gatti Kapikad.

He expressed that the community is overjoyed, believing this step will expose Tulu to a broader audience, allowing people worldwide to appreciate its richness and beauty.

"With Tulu now available on such a widely used translation platform, the coastal district anticipates a surge in interest and curiosity about our language and culture. We also hope this recognition will help bring due prominence to the language. The people of Tulunadu have long been advocating for Tulu to be included in Schedule VIII of the Constitution and to be declared an official language of Karnataka," he shared.

Kapikad noted that while the academy did not directly influence this development, the introduction of Tulu Wikipedia has also played a crucial role in garnering recognition, as there are now several articles in Tulu on the platform. He encouraged people to send feedback to Google Translate to help improve the feature further.

MLAs D Vedavyas Kamath, U Rajesh Naik, Gurme Suresh Shetty, and others also praised Google Translate for adding the language. "I express sincere gratitude to the Google team for making Tulu available alongside 110 other languages," Kamath said with heartfelt appreciation.

This moment is not just a technological advancement but a celebration of Tulu heritage, invoking memories of a rich past and hopes for a flourishing future.

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Agencies
June 29,2024

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Bengaluru: Amid raging debate over the possibility of change in Chief Minister and demand for three more deputy chief ministers in Karnataka, state Congress president D K Shivakumar on Saturday asked partymen and leaders to refrain from issuing public statements on the issue and warned of disciplinary action.

Shivakumar, who is also the Deputy Chief Minister urged partymen to "shut their mouth" in the interest of the party, as he also requested seers not to interfere in political matters.

There is growing demand within the state cabinet to have three more deputy chief ministers from Veerashaiva-Lingayat, SC/ST and minority communities. Currently, Shivakumar from the dominant Vokkaliga community is the only Deputy Chief Minister in the Siddaramaiah cabinet.

A Vokkaliga seer Kumara Chandrashekaranatha Swamiji of Vishwa Vokkaliga Mahasamastana Math on Thursday had publicly urged Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to step down and make way for his deputy Shivakumar.

Following this a Veearashaiva-Lingayat seer -- Srisaila Jagadguru Channa Siddharama Panditaradhya Swamiji on Friday said ministers from his community should be considered for the CM's post in case there is a leadership change, while also pitching for them to be given priority in the event of creation of additional Deputy CM posts.

"There is no discussion on any Deputy Chief Minister nor there is any question about the Chief Minister. Swamiji (Vokkaliga seer) out of affection towards me might have spoken about me. That's all. I request -- I don't need anyone's recommendation. For the work we have done, our party high command will decide," Shivakumar said in response to a question whether he had discussed with the high command the demand for more DCMs during the Delhi visit.

Addressing reporters here, he said, "Kharge (AICC President Mallikarjun Kharge), Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and I, in the interest of the party, have decided how to function. So there is no need for any MLA or minister or Swamiji to speak. If they (seers) bless us it's enough."

There is no need for any minister to comment on the CM or Deputy CM issue in public or before the media, Shivakumar said and warned that "if any MLA or anyone from the party raises it, the AICC or I will be forced to issue notice and take disciplinary action. Discipline is important in the party. There is nothing without discipline."

"I know the struggle that has gone to bring the party to this level, there is no need for any of them to speak now."

Responding to a query, the Deputy CM said, "In the interest of the party I'm telling everyone -- if you shut your mouth it will be good for the party."

Asked about seers interfering in politics, he said, "No swamiji had spoken other than now...I request all of them with folded hands, don't interfere in political matters."

A section within the Congress is of the opinion that the statement by the ministers seeking three more Deputy CMs was part of a plan by Siddaramaiah's camp to keep Shivakumar in check, amid talks that he might seek the CM post after two-and-half years of this government's tenure, and to counter his influence both in the government and party.

There is also a feeling that the Vokkaliga seer publicly urging Siddaramaiah to step down and make way for Shivakumar is a counter to the CM from the KPCC president's camp.

There was stiff competition between Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar for the chief minister's post after the declaration of Assembly election results in May last year, and the Congress had managed to convince the latter and made him the Deputy Chief Minister.

There were some reports back then of a compromise having been reached based on a "rotational chief minister formula", according to which Shivakumar will become CM after two-and-half years, but those have not been officially confirmed by the party.

Shivakumar has made no secret of his ambition to become the CM, while Siddaramaiah had sought public support during the Lok Sabha polls so that the Congress wins the maximum number of seats in the state, which would strengthen his position.

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News Network
July 7,2024

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Henley & Partners Passport Index revealed India's passport strength improved by three position in 2024. The Indian passport is currently ranked 80th place as it has weakened during the past ten years of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rule. It has dropped from 76th position to 80th. 

The Index is based on exclusive International Air Transport Authority (Iata) data. In addition, publicly available and reliable online sources were also used to cross-check each passport against all 227 possible travel destinations.

List of countries Indian nationals can visit visa-free or get visa-on-arrival in 2024:

Africa: Angola, Burundi, Cape Verde islands, Comoro Islands, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Zimbabwe

Asia: Bhutan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Laos, Macao (SAR China), Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines (valid or unexpired American, Japanese, Australian, Canadian, Schengen, Singapore or UK visa, or permanent residence permit from these states) Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste

Americas: Bolivia, El Salvador

Caribbean: Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago

Oceania: Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Niue, Palau Islands, Samoa, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

Middle East: Jordan, Oman, Qatar

NOTE for UAE: As of December 6, 2023, Indian nationals with a normal passport valid for a minimum of six months from the arrival date, holding a visit visa or green card issued by the US which is valid for a minimum of six months or a UK or EU residence ID which is valid for a minimum of six months, can obtain a visa on arrival for a maximum stay of 14 days for a charge of Dh191 (subject to change). They can apply to extend their stay for an additional 14 days for Dh250 (subject to change) through Amer offices in Dubai.

Indian nationals holding an extension letter for US residency are not eligible for a visa on arrival. (According to a note published on Emirates airline website).

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