Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao announce divorce after 15 years of marriage to begin new chapter

News Network
July 3, 2021

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Mumbai, July 3: In yet another separation of a high-profile celebrity couple, Bollywood actor, producer and activist Aamir Khan and his filmmaker wife Kiran Rao have ended their marriage.

However, they will collaborate in film projects and jointly run their NGO, Paani Foundation. The couple announced the separation on Saturday in a joint statement.

Aamir and Kiran tied the knot in 2005 and have a son Azad Rao Khan.

Kiran was Aamir's second wife. They met on the sets of Lagaan and began their relationship. He was married to Reena Dutta earlier. They married in 1986 and divorced in 2002. They have two children — Junaid and Ira.

In a joint statement, Aamir and Kiran said: "In these 15 beautiful years together, we have shared a lifetime of experiences, joy and laughter, and our relationship has only grown in trust, respect and love. Now we would like to begin a new chapter in our lives — no longer as husband and wife, but as co-parents and family for each other."

They said they had begun a planned separation some time ago, and now feel comfortable to formalise this arrangement, of living separately yet sharing their lives the way an extended family does.

"We remain devoted parents to our son Azad, who we will nurture and raise together. We will also continue to work as collaborators on films, Paani Foundation, and other projects that we feel passionate about," they said.

They extended "a big thank you" to their families and friends for their constant support and understanding about this evolution in the relationship, and without whom they would not have been so secure in taking this leap.

"We request our well-wishers for good wishes and blessings and hope that - like us - you will see this divorce not as an end, but as the start of a new journey. Thanks and love, Kiran and Aamir," the statement reads.

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News Network
September 21,2021

Even after the UK announced easing of travel rules related to Covid-19, travellers who received their vaccines in the UAE, India and a few other countries will be considered ‘unvaccinated’ in the UK.

According to the rules, passengers who aren’t recognised as being fully vaccinated will have to take a pre-departure test, further PCR tests on Day 2 and Day 8 of arrival, and self-isolate at their given address for 10 days upon entry.

The rules announced last week will be effective October 4. Britain said it will recognise vaccinations given in 17 more countries, including Australia, Canada, Japan, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and South Korea. It had previously recognised only shots given in the UK, the US and the European Union.

However, James Cleverly, Minister for Middle East & North Africa in the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, said the UK government is finalising arrangements to include the UAE in the plans. “We are finalising arrangements with UAE to include their nationals and residents in our plans to open up to the fully vaccinated from other countries from 4 October,” he said in a tweet.

UK expats residing in the UAE responded angrily to the tweet.

“I hope you’re right. I’m a UK citizen and resident vaccinated while in Dubai, had to do severe rounds of unnecessary quarantine not to mention the cost. It breaks my heart that I feel unwelcome in my own country. It makes no sense!,” said Twitter handle @nataliebirkett.

@EnsOrenda replied to Cleverly: “UAE has a very high vaccine rate, low case rates & v.low death rates. We are obliged to wear face mask in all public places still. The UAE represents a much lower risk than many approved countries. So, it makes sense to recognise Pfizer and AZ vaccines administered from UAE too.”

Aviation analyst Alex Macheras also criticised the policy, saying it is unnecessarily complicated.

“Quite something for UK to take such a stance against so many countries vaccine rollouts…especially those countries administering the exact same vaccines as UK (Pfizer/AZ/Moderna/etc). As we’ve come to expect, UK’s latest travel policy is as unnecessarily complicated as ever."

Author WIlliam Dalrymple used harsh words to slam the policy. “Idiotic UK arrogance & stupidity- especially when Boris was arguing that the Indian AstraZeneca vaccine was the same as the UK one earlier in the Summer,” he said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, former Indian ministers Jairam Ramesh and Shashi Tharoor slammed the UK’s travel rules under which Indians vaccinated with Covishield would still be treated as unvaccinated.

Ramesh called it “smacks of racism” while Tharoor said that because of the restrictions he had even pulled out of a debate at The Cambridge Union debating society and from the launch events for the UK edition of his book, The Battle Of Belonging.

From October 4, the current traffic light system of red, amber and green countries based on levels of Covid-19 risk will be scrapped in the UK and replaced with one red list only.

The scrapping of an amber list, which is what India is currently on, means reduced cost burden for travellers — especially for the Indian diaspora vaccinated in the UK — related to compulsory PCR tests.

However, an expanded list of countries whose vaccines are recognised in England does not include India, which means that Indians vaccinated with Covishield — the Serum Institute of India produced Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine — would still be subjected to the restrictions mandatory for those unvaccinated.

This new two-tiered system in the UK is expected to stay in place till the end of the year, with a further review planned for early in the New Year.

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News Network
September 21,2021

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Bengaluru, Sept 21: At least two persons lost their lives and a few others are feared trapped after a major fire broke out following suspected LPG leakage in an apartment at Devera Chikkanahalli, around 20 kilometres from Bengaluru. The blast is said to have occurred in the third floor of Ashrith Apartment. Three nearby flats have also reportedly caught fire.

Fire, emergency department officials and the police are trying to bring the fire under control and rescue those trapped.

There is speculation that a child may have died in the fire, but officials are yet to confirm it. Five persons have been rescued so far. 

Preliminary information suggests that the fire broke out in the top two floors of the five-floor apartment building due to an LPG gas leakage, followed by a blast around 5 pm. The fire has spread to four flats, and officials are trying to prevent it from spreading further. Furniture and other valuables have been gutted in the flames.

Soon after residents heard a huge noise and noticed smoke in the apartment, they ran out from their flats to save themselves. The building has 72 flats. 
People noticed a woman trapped in the fire. She was unable to come out of her flat or jump as there was an iron grill mesh on the window. One witness added that it is not known yet how many are trapped. 

Srinath Joshi, deputy commissioner of police (South-East) said, one person was shifted to hospital and two others are suspected to be trapped inside. More details will be available only after the fire is brought under control, he said.

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News Network
September 22,2021

Koppal, Sept 22: Five people have been arrested for allegedly seeking to fine a Dalit family of Rs 25,000 for "purification" of the Hanuman temple in Miyapur village in the district after their two-year-old son entered it, police said on Wednesday.

"We have arrested five people in connection with the case," the superintendent of police T Sreedhara said.

According to the official, the incident took place on September 4 and it came to light only on Monday following which a case was registered. "The Dalit family was reluctant to lodge a complaint," Sreedhara added.

Chandrashekhar belonging to the Chennadasar community wished to seek the blessings of Hanuman for his two-year-old son on his birthday on September four. "Chandrashekhar and his family members were standing outside but the boy ran inside the temple, which irked the temple priest who sought to make it an issue," they added. Some others from "upper castes" sided with the priest, and a meeting was held on September 11 where they demanded Rs 25,000 towards the expenditure for the "purification" of the temple. However, other villagers from upper castes opposed the move terming it 'harsh.'

The episode sparked a debate in the village and came to the notice of the Kushtagi police. The family was afraid to approach the police fearing backlash from sections upper caste. Some members of the Koppal district Chennadasar Mahasabha too visited the village and held meetings, leading to a tense atmosphere.

Based on a complaint by Social Welfare Department assistant director Balachandra Sanganal, the case was registered on Tuesday. In the past two days, the district administration conducted a series of public meetings to sensitise people of the village against the evil of casteism and its impact on society. Further, a grand Pooja was organised where all the communities of the village took part including Chennadasars in the presence of police.

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