Priyanka speaks for girl empowerment at UN Global Goals Awards

A UN Goodwill Ambassador and actor Priyanka Chopra spoke about girl child rights and empowerment at the UN Global Goals Awards in New York. In the event, Chopra presented the Leadership Award to Ria Sharma, the founder of Make Love Not Scars MLNS) group that works in supporting acid attack victims. While presenting the award to Sharma, the goodwill ambassador shared the advocacy of the MLNS group has ensured a Supreme Court verdict in favour of free treatment for acid victims.

According to the Times of India, Priyanka said,“Ria founded Make Love Not Scars (MLNS), which is an organization that actively supports survivors of acid attacks physically and mentally, and campaigns to raise awareness of the issue’. Ria’s efforts are contributing to change the lives of many women who have survived acid attacks,”

The 35-year-old National Award winner also met the youngest UNICEF goodwill ambassador, Muzoon Al-Mellehan, a Syrian activist and refugee working towards education for Syrian girls.

The event was an august gathering of world leaders from the fields of non-profits, business, media and the UN aimed at accomplishing the Sustainable Development Goals for girls and empowering them.

Sources: HT, TOI

Dramatic return for Maria Sharapova

It was at the 2016 Australian Open when she was tested positive for the banned heart medication Meldonium after losing to Serena Williams in the quarterfinals. Although her suspension ended in April, physical ailments have plagued her comeback all summer. She couldn’t play the qualifying tournament at Wimbledon because of a left thigh injury, pulled out of both Toronto and Cincinnati tournaments due to a left forearm tweak. The U.S. Tennis Association, as a courtesy to a former champion, gave her a wild card entry into the Grand slam and she played her first match back like she never ever left.
She was slated to play current world No. 2 Simona Halep of Romania against whom she has a head to head record of 6-0. This match showed why that record is so one sided. Maria’s serve was precise, she was hitting each angle perfectly and she easily covered more ground than her opponent. But Halep was not going to let this match go so easy since the stakes were even higher for her. She was one of seven women who was vying for the coveted world No.1 position. She fought with vigour but eventually surrendered the match 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to Sharapova in what was a thrilling match.
At the end of the match Sharapova was quoted saying, “Despite not playing a lot of matches coming into this, it almost seemed like I had no right to win this match today. And I somehow did. I think that is what I’m most proud of. I felt like my team and I have been through a lot. Since I’ve come back, I feel like I’m on a team. You know, I’m not just winning for myself, but I’m winning for everyone that has stood behind me. That is a very special feeling to have.”

Magnus Carlsen’s wins third chess championship title

Norway’s Magnus Carlsen beat Russia’s Sergey Karjakin to win his third World Chess Championship title at New York on Wednesday.

The players tied against each other in 12 regular rounds with ten draw and one win each. Carlsen made the winning move in the 16th game of the match with a queen sacrifice to checkmate his opponent.

The tournament took place at a New York building overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge that was once the city’s fish market.

Over six million chess fans followed the game world-over, BBC reported. The match venue saw hundreds of attendees who paid between $100 and $500 to watch the game. Special arrangements were made so that the audience could watch the players through a soundproof glass.

Carlsen’s win was made more special when fans cheered and greeted him “Happy Birthday” to mark his 26th.

The total prize money of $1.1 million was initially to be divided between the winner and loser as 600,000 euros and 400,000 euros, but split into 550,000 euros and 450,000 euros respectively, as the game went into extra time.

Magnus Carlsen is an iconic name in the world of chess. He had tasted victory against Vishwanathan Anand in the championship organised by the International Chess Federation, FIDE — in 2013 and 2014.

SOURCES: The Indian Express BBC

IMAGE SOURCE: AFP

Remembering 9/11, fifteen years on

September 11, 2016 marks the 15th anniversary of the most deadly terror strikes to ever occur on United States’ soil. Nearly 3,000 innocent lives were lost when a terror attack of gigantic proportions was put into action by Al-Qaeda, led by Osama Bin Laden. Four planes were hijacked, out of which two crashed into the twin towers of World Trade Center, New York, one crashed into the Pentagon, and one crashed near Pennsylvania, apparently missing its actual target. Fifteen years later, the horror of the attacks is still fresh.

On the eve of 9/11, United States has come together to remember those innocents who lost their lives, as well as those, who died trying to save others. Family and friends said their prayers for the loved ones who have gone, and tributes were paid to the officers who had fallen fighting for others. Wreaths were laid, and the US flag was flown high in thousands as America vowed, ‘We will never forget’.

United States’ President Barack Obama also released a video in which he acknowledged the efforts of the first responders and thanked them for their sacrifice. He honoured the memory of those who lost their lives that fateful day, and highly condemned the actions of terrorists who are spilling blood throughout the world today. He stated that “Terrorists will never be able to defeat the United States. Their only hope is to terrorise us into changing who we are or our way of life. That’s why we Americans will never give in to fear. And it’s why this weekend we remember the true spirit of 9/11.” Obama’s address at the Pentagon will be to commemorate memories of the dead, and all their names will be read out in a remembrance service at the site where the Twin Towers once existed, now known as Ground Zero.

As the World Trade Center towers came crashing down, the world watched in dreadfulness as the scale of destruction unfolded. The amount of planning and coordination it took to execute this attack has proved to be a landmark in the history of terror strikes.  Fifteen long years have passed since the world witnessed such senseless destruction, and hence, a befitting tribute was truly in order.

Sahara finds new suitor for prized overseas hotels

The Sahara Group has found a new suitor who bid $1.3 billion for its prized overseas hotels .

A consortium of family investors comprising of UK’s Jasdev Sagger led 3 Associates and others from UAE and Saudi Arabia, has offered $1.3 billion for Sahara’s hotel assets– Grosvernor House in London, the Park Plaza and Dream Downtown in New York. 

Sagger told the PTI that they’ve made a “very compelling offer.” He added that they would aim at long term investment if the offer is accepted by the Sahara group and the Supreme Court. As reported by the Economic Times, if the consortium acquires the deal, it plans to dispose the Dreams and focus on the development of the Grosvernor House and the Plaza.  

The Indian group on the other hand have not hinted upon any confirmation yet. The offer may lead to a new bidding war, as it had initiated talks with a Qatar based group for the deal of these hotels. 

Sahara group’s chief Subrata Roy was in jail for over two years in connection with a long-running dispute with market regulator SEBI and is currently out on parole and trying to raise funds.If the deal is cracked, a major chunk shall go to India-born billionaire brothers David and Simon Reuben who had signed a USD 850 million deal with Sahara to prevent the Grosvernor from undergoing a ‘default-triggered sale’. 

The developments in this deal shall largely determine Sahara’ position in the market.

Sources: The HinduThe Economic Times,