Sunday, 25 March 2012

Home Secretary proposes tough new immigration rules

 
Home Secretary Theresa May is planning a crackdown on immigrants from outside the EU who “abuse” family visas to settle in Britain, the Sunday Telegraph reports.
The paper cited a letter from Mrs May to deputy PM Nick Clegg proposing a new minimum income of GBP25,700 for anyone seeking to bring a spouse or other dependent to the UK; nearly double the current threshold of GBP13,700.
The minimum income requirement could be revised up to GBP62,600 if children are to be sponsored.
Mrs May reportedly also wants a longer probationary period of five years before spouses or partners can apply to live permanently in Britain, and a higher level of English to be required.
The proposals could cut the number of non-EU immigrants allowed in by 15,000 a year - a significant step towards the Government's aim of reducing "net" migration to 100,000 people each year.
The Sunday Telegraph reports however that the Liberal Democrats will oppose the proposals.
In 2010, some 48,900 visas were issued under the spouse/dependent category.
The majority of those who come to settle in Britain using this method are women from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.
-    Staff Reporter

BBC to air new Dewani CCTV footage


BBC Panorama is to broadcast new CCTV footage of the hours leading up to the murder of honeymooner Anni Dewani in South Africa in 2010.
The hour-long documentary will be aired on March 29 and claims to investigate the case against Anni’s husband Shrien who is currently fighting a move by South African prosecutors to extradite him to Cape Town to stand trial.
A teaser for the show on its website said: “Did the wealthy businessman engage a taxi driver to arrange his wife’s death, or is he wrongly accused?
“The CCTV images reveal a different side to the couple than has so far been portrayed.”
Anni Dewani, 28, was fatally shot when a taxi she and her husband were using was allegedly hijacked in the notorious Gugulethu sector of Cape Town in November 2010.
Shrien Dewani said that after about 20 minutes of driving around he was kicked out of the car when the hijackers drove off with his wife.
Her body was eventually discovered on November 14 in the hijacked car.
The driver of the taxi, Zola Robert Tongo, later admitted guilt on a charge of murder in a plea bargain and was sentenced in December 2010 to 18 years in jail.
Tongo told the police that Shrien Dewani had offered him 15 000 Rand (GBP1400) to stage the hijacking and have Anni killed.
British Home Secretary Theresa May formally approved an extradition order against Mr Dewani in September last year.
He has since appealed the order to the British High Court.
- Staff Reporter

Shabana Azmi given Proclamation of NYC

PoorBest  Legendary actress Shabana Azmi has been honored by the Big Apple with a ‘Proclamation by the City of New York’ city of New York for her contribution to cinema and the film industry of the City.
61-year-old Azmi – the first Indian to receive the honor - was presented with the proclamation by Patricia Kaufmann, Executive Director of Motion Picture and Television Development of the New York Governor’s office.
The proclamation also applauded her work as a social activist, noting that apart from being a “highly respected” advocate for social justice, she has worked tirelessly for other causes, including funding for displaced Kashmiri migrants and relief for victims of the Latur earthquake.
“Coming from the city’s council in recognition of my work in cinema is obviously something that makes me very happy,” Azmi told Press Trust of India.
The proclamation added that her presence on the board of the arts organisation Indo-American Arts council (IAAC) has inspired hundreds of Indian film makers in the New York area for over a decade.
-   Staff Reporter

Konnie Huq gives birth to Baby boy

 
Former Blue Peter and Xtra Factor host Konnie Huq has given birth to a baby boy.
Huq, 36, and writer husband Charlie Brooker, are said to be “chuffed to bits” following the birth of Covey Brooker Huq at a Central London hospital.
Huq – whose parents are originally from Bangladesh – said: "A real cutie. We are chuffed to bits, he is absolutely gorgeous!!"
Konnie only revealed in December that she was expecting her first child.
The TV Presenter married the 41-year-old Brooker in Last Vegas in 2010 after dating for nine months.
-    Staff Reporter



Konnie Huq gives birth to Baby boy

Hello! magazine to launch Pakistan edition

 
Celebrity rag Hello! is to launch a Pakistan edition next month in a bid to deflect the world’s attention from the constant news stream featuring corrupt politicians, bent cricketers, assassinations and Islamic fundamentalists.
The magazine – renowned for its’ heavily airbrushed photos of major and minor celebrities and mundane events where the only prerequisite for entry is the ability to plant an endless stream of air kisses – will cover all areas of lifestyle and entertainment, from cuisine, culture, arts and fashion.
The new publication’s chief executive officer and publisher Zahraa Saifullah said Hello! Pakistan will be ‘socially responsible’ and be mindful of the conservative values that underpin Pakistani society.
Consulting editor Wajahat Khan told reporters: "The idea is not to celebrate the celebrity but to discover more (in Pakistan)."
He dismissed suggestions the magazine could have a problem with religious or radical groups although one of the stand-out questions at the press launch was whether the publishers “had obtained a No Objection letter  from the radical Jama’at at-e-Islami group?”
"We don't want to encroach upon the rights of anybody. We have to remain within the parameters of Pakistan,'' Khan said, adding that freedom of expression is allowed under the country's constitution.
Pakistani-Czech model and actress has been tentatively penned in to appear on the cover of the first issue of the magazine, featuring plenty of shoulder.
- Staff Reporter

Hello! magazine to launch Pakistan edition

Bollywood to make its presence felt at TIFF

 
Film-makers from Mumbai, home to India's thriving Bollywood, will be showcased at this year's Toronto International Film Festival (Tiff).
The festival's famed City to City section will showcase the emerging trends of Mumbai cinema, the festival artistic director Cameron Bailey says.
Mr Bailey says the idea is "to introduce the new generation of independent Mumbai film-makers to audiences and buyers in Toronto and help create a platform for their films in North America".
Tiff, which runs from 6-16 September this year, will premiere 10 films made by directors working in Mumbai.
Tiff is one of the world's top film festivals and is regarded as a gateway to the North American market.
"This is just the right time to showcase Mumbai's exciting new independent cinema to the world," says Mr Bailey.
Mr Bailey believes that the growing energy and innovation in the Mumbai movie industry in recent times has led to the emergence of local independent films that provide a contrast to the glitz and glamour of Bollywood's big banner extravaganzas.
'Historical overview'
According to Mr Bailey, Tiff's cinematic focus on Mumbai will see a marked departure from the previous three editions of the City to City programme in two crucial respects.
The selected Mumbai films will not necessarily be set in the city of their origin, unlike the entries that made it to the Tel Aviv, Istanbul and Buenos Aires programmes in the past three years.
"Past editions of City to City explored how film-makers represented their urban landscape. This year we'll shift the scope of the programme to showcase film-makers living and working in Mumbai, regardless of where their films are set," says Mr Bailey.
And, all 10 of the films in the 2012 City to City selection will be new.
"In the past, we included some older films in order to provide a historical overview of a city and its cinema," says Mr Bailey.
"In the case of Mumbai, however, I expect to find enough new films to fill up the whole section."
Mr Bailey also hopes that a majority of the films in the Mumbai package will be world premieres.
But, he is quick to add, "while we would certainly prefer each of them to be a premiere, one cannot expect every single film in the selection to be absolutely new".
The final line-up is scheduled to be announced in August. "We will select both fiction films and feature-length documentaries for the City to City programme," says Mr Bailey.
"Might be early days yet but we do have some film-makers in our sights. We are tracking the progress of their next films."
'Reflect diversity'
Though the final composition of Tiff's Mumbai package will take several months to emerge, among the Mumbai films that might be in the running are Anurag Kashyap's two-part Gangs of Wasseypur, Dibakar Banerjee's political thriller Shanghai and Reema Kagti's suspense drama Talaash, starring Aamir Khan.
City to City is now in its fourth year. But Mr Bailey's association with Mumbai goes back much further - to the early years of the new millennium, when he first began selecting Indian films for Tiff.
"In my initial years here, I would select only art house films, primarily from Kolkata and Kerala. A film like Ashim Ahluwalia's John & John would be rare. But that has now changed," says Mr Bailey, adding that somewhere down the line Tiff began programming star-studded commercial Bollywood films as well.
Big Bollywood titles that have played in Tiff include Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, Singh is King and Dil Bole Hadippa.
The emergence of a new independent cinema in Mumbai has altered the canvas significantly and given Tiff a wider spectrum to choose from.
"We have in the recent past shown films such as That Girl in Yellow Boots and Dhobi Ghat," he says.
"The City to City selection will have both independent films as well as big, commercial productions," Mr Bailey says.
"It would be a mix that will reflect the diversity of the city itself."
-    Saibal Chatterjee, BBC News

Bollywood to make its presence felt at TIFF