Ahead of Independence Day, the Centre has urged all citizens not to use national flags made of plastic and asked the states and the Union Territories to ensure strict compliance of the flag code.
In an advisory to states and the Union Territories, the Union Home Ministry said the national flag represents hopes and aspirations of the people of India and hence should occupy a position of honour.
The ministry said it has been brought to its notice that during important events, the national flag made of plastic is used in place of paper flags.
Since plastic flags are not biodegradable like paper flags, they do not get decomposed for a long time and ensuring appropriate disposal of national flag made of plastic commensurate with the dignity of the flag, is a practical problem, the advisory said.
The advisory is issued every year ahead of Independence Day and Republic Day. The ministry had also issued the advisory on August 8.
According to Section 2 of 'The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971' - Whoever in any public place or in any other place within public view burns, mutilates, defaces, defiles, disfigures, destroys, tramples upon or otherwise shows disrespect to or brings into contempt (whether by words, either spoken or written, or by acts) the Indian National Flag or any part thereof, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.
The advisory said on important national, cultural and sports events, flags made of paper only are to be used by public in terms of the provisions of the 'Flag Code of India, 2002' and such paper flags are not to be discarded or thrown on the ground after the event.
Such flags are to be disposed of, in private, consistent with the dignity of the flag. Wide publicity for not using the national flag made of plastic should be made along with its advertisement in the electronic and print media
State governments, UT administrations, secretaries of all ministries and departments of government of India were told to ensure strict compliance of the provisions contained in the 'Flag Code of India, 2002' and 'The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971.
There is universal affection and respect for and loyalty to the national flag. Yet, a perceptible lack of awareness is often noticed amongst people as well as organisations and agencies of the government in regard to laws, practices and conventions that apply to 'display of the national flag', the advisory said.
Bollywood actor Salman Khan, who is currently shooting 'Bharat' in Malta, posted a special message for his fans on Instagram, ahead of Independence Day.
In support of Indian government's campaigns -'Swachh Bharat' and 'Hum fit toh India fit', the actor wrote, "Swachh Bharat toh hum fit... hum fit toh India fit.... then u can do whatever u want to do man.. but don't trouble your motherland."
What we loved about the caption is how Salman added his own swag to it. It's the same phrase that he says at the end of every Bigg Boss episode. Trust Salman to infuse wit and humour in just anything!
The picture seems to have been taken after a strenous workout session as it sees a broody Salman standing in what looks like a gym.
The fitness challenge which has been trending on social media of late was started by Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other famous personalities including Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma, Deepika Padukone, Hrithik Roshan, Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu have also taken it up.
Speaking at Nabanna, the state secretariat, Banerjee questioned the BJP chief and asked Shah whether his parents had birth certificates.
The brutal attack came after Banerjee met a delegation from United Bengali Forum who had come from Assam to highlight their plight over the NRC issue.
"I want to ask Amit Shah, does his mother and father have birth certificates? If you ask me, I do not have my parent's birth certificates. Would Swami Vivekananda have the certificates? Atal ji is ill now, so I cannot ask him, but I wish I could ask him whether he has all the certificates? One family can keep the record, not all. I belonged to a backward family, certificates were not maintained," Banerjee said. She also said, "Would Gandhiji's family have certificates?"
According to Zee Media's pooja Mehta, Banerjee went on to call the entire NRC exercise as politically motivated. "This is a political move ahead of the elections. Sometimes they (the Centre) will play India-Pakistan, sometimes they will play India-China. I am also hearing that they are getting the currency notes printed outside the country," she alleged.
This is not the first time that the Trinamool Congress supremo attacked the ruling party at the Centre and BJP president Amit Shah.
On Tuesday, she alleged that Bengali-speaking population was being targeted. She claimed a majority of the 40 lakh who did not make it to the Assam draft list were a Bengali-speaking people.
"Of the total 40 lakh, 25 lakhs are Bengali Hindus, 13 lakhs Bengali Muslims and 2 lakh Nepalis, Biharis and others. I have shown you so many documents. People in Punjab and Pakistan speak the same language. People in Bengal and Bangladesh speak the same language. Isn't Hindi and Urdu widely spoken in the country? If you do not like a particular community, you cannot spread hatred like this. Hasina ji (Bangla PM) is welcome, others not? Didn't Bengal participate in the freedom struggle? What's wrong in speaking the Bangla language?" she said.
She further said that even cows should now be given certificates to identify whether a cow is a refugee or an infiltrator. "My question is to all the Gau-rakshaks, is cow a refugee or an infiltrators. Make certificates for cows so that we know whether they are refugees or infiltrators. Amit Shah may not eat Hilsa fish. But people in Bangladesh, Bengal, UP and Bihar eat Hilsa fish. Is Hilsa a refugee or an infiltrator? This is super-emergency," she claimed.
This apart, she expressed dissent over not being consulted over the 'one nation, one poll' theory. "The BJP members feel that they are super human beings. They have crossed all historical, geographical, political boundaries. They changed the name of Mughalsarai also. They did not discuss it with political parties or in Parliament. I will not be surprised if they go for presidential kind of elections. Commoners are the biggest sufferers. BJP government harasses the people. It is a militant organisation.’
The trailer of Akshay Kumar starrer Gold, gave us a glimpse of what to expect from the Reema Kagti directorial. From what we know about the film so far and after watching the trailer of the historical drama, it looks like the Reema Kagti film is going to pay tribute to the passion of a patriot and evoke the feel of 'one nation' amongst the citizens of India.
The films seems to have shouldered the responsibility of igniting the feeling of patriotism and socialism amongst the masses. But Akshay, who essays the role of an assistant hockey manager in the film, Tapan Das, doesn't think that Gold is either a social or a patriotic film. While interacting with a group of media persons in Delhi, he said, "I saw the film last night and I would say that Gold is a very commercial film."
The actor further added, "Yes, patriotism is there, but when I was watching it I actually thought that I made a commercial film. While I was picturising it, while I was doing the film, while I was thinking about it, I always thought it was a patriotic film, but mujhe nahi pata tha ki patriotic ke sath itni commercial bann jaegi."
Apparently, the actor was "literally shocked" when he watched the film. But Akshay is really happy to see how the film has turned out. "I had goosebumps towards the end of the film. The kind of work my director (Reema Kagti) has done is amazing," the actor said.
The Padman star also believes that Gold belongs to the younger lot of the film, including Amit Sadh, Kunal Kapoor, Vineet Kumar Singh and Mouni Roy. He said, "I would say that this whole film belongs to these young boys and my heroine (Mouni). They actually have done amazing work. I think Gold belongs to them."
Gold traces the story of Tapan Das, a young hockey assistant manager who dreams of playing for an independent nation. His hatred for British Raj propels him to find and recruit the best hockey players in India to make a team that will beat India's oppressor at their game in their backyard!
The movie chronicles the journey of Indian hockey team during the 'golden era' that led to India winning its first gold medal at the Olympics. Written and directed by Reema Kagti, Gold is slated to release on August 15.
Earlier, a report on ZeeNews had suggested that the Kangana was so impressed on watching the first few rushes of Manikarnika, that she has decided to unveil the teaser of the film on the occasion of Independence Day. Now, turns out that that isn't actually the case.
As per recent reports that are doing the rounds, the makers of the film have decided to unveil the first official poster of Manikarnika on Independence Day, i.e., tomorrow. Why are they revealing the poster on August 15 you ask? Well, turns out that the makers feel that as the queen of Jhansi was the most important figure in the Indian rebellion of 1857 against the British rule, Independence Day is the apt day for the release of the poster.
Not just that, aparently, there are also plans to release the teaser of the movie on October 2, which is Gandhi Jayanti. The trailer of the film is supposed to be out on November 19, which happens to be the birth anniversary of Rani Lakshmibai.
The upcoming episode of dance reality show, Dance Deewane, will see Bollywood's Dhak Dhak girl Madhuri Dixit Nene relive a few moments from yesteryear actress Madhubala's iconic Mughal-e-Azam song 'Mohe Panghat Pe Nandlal Chhed Gayo Re'.
Madhuri, who shot the retro special episode on Monday, recently instagrammed her Madhubala look and her striking resemblance to the iconic actress has left internet into a tizzy. Interestingly, Madhuri has been compared to Madhubala on several occasions before and this time she has given a legit reason to netizens to compare both the beauties.
Celebrity fashion designer Manish Malhotra and Bollywood make-up artist Mickey Contractor helped Madhuri transform into the legendary actress.
They look like the epitome of beauty, grace and sensuality all at once. Can't decide who is more beautiful - Madhuri or Madhubala.
We must admit, everyone from the costume designer Manish Malhotra, stylist Tanya Ghavri to makeup artiste Mickey Contractor have done a fab job at helping Madhuri recreate the iconic look. Everything from the colors of the lehenga, jewelry to the eye-makeup is on point!
Dressed in an orange emroidered lehenga and a maroon coloured choli - Madhuri looked nothing less than a goddess! Also, that mang tikka is just love at first sight.
We don't think anyone else could have done justice to Madhubala's beauty, like Madhuri has.
Another closeup because we just can't get enough of her.
'Dance Deewane' host Arjun Bijlani and judges Madhuri Dixit, Shashank Khaitan and Tushar Kalia welcome John Abraham on the show.
Both the 'Happies' - Sonakshi Sinha and Diana Penty get clicked with Madhuri Dixit during 'Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi' promotions.
Three sailors are missing and one suffered burn injuries after a section of Shipping Corporation of India’s (SCI) tanker vessel – MT Desh Vaibhav exploded in morning off Oman’s coast.
According to the statement issued by SCI, MT Desh Vaibhav was on her way to Fujairah in United Arab Emirates and reportedly suffered an explosion in one of her cargo tanks at around 9.35 am on Tuesday morning off Oman coast.
The ship is a crude oil tanker.
As per preliminary information available with SCI, three personnel are reported missing.
“One other person with burns is being evacuated by helicopter. Assistance has been sought from the Oman Royal Navy and other ships in the vicinity. As per latest status, the fire has subsided and a fire fighting vessel is expected to reach the vessel shortly to cool down the tanks,” said SCI’s spokesperson.
Shyam Rao Shirke, a mechanical contractor who patented production of bio-CNG from sewage sludge, has shared how his initiative became functional.
"I collected water from drains and made mini 'collector' to collect water bubbles, used a drum to make a gas holder. When tested, system was functional. I connected it to a gas stove and made tea," Shirke said in an interview to ANI.
Sharing that Chhattisgarh Science and Technology gave him money to take it to the next level, Shirke said he built and installed it in a nullah.
"In three days enough gas was collected. It was installed in a house where food was prepared for 4-5 months," the mechanical contractor said.
"Scientists told me my paper has been sent to higher authorities. It had already been 2 years hence, I had forgotten about it. Yesterday I came to know Modi ji (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) has mentioned my invention in his speech," he added.
Sharing his ordeal, Shirke said he had no financial assistance.
"People from Municipality threw away the equipment, saying it's a wastage. People from Science and Technology asked me to lodge FIR. I was disappointed so didn't do anything," he said.
Addressing a public rally in Karnataka's Bidar on Monday, Congress President Rahul Gandhi took a swipe at Prime Minister Modi over the story about a tea seller making use of gas from a nearby drainage.
"Modi promised to give 2 crore jobs to youth, now, he says make pakoras... make 'gas from drainage', he said.
Reacting on Congress President's remark, Shirke said he didn't know Rahul would be so "immature"
‘Nallah emitting foul gases and polluting environment is now being used for something like this and creating fuel. It's in national interest. I didn't like what Rahul Gandhi ji said, never thought he's immature,’ Shirke said.
On August 10, Prime Minister Modi while addressing a World Biofuel Day event had spoken about the possibility of generating fuel from sewage gas. He told the story of a tea seller executing the process.
Actor Akshay Kumar and Mouni Roy are keeping really busy with the promotions of their upcoming film Gold, and are flying from one place to the other and giving interviews each day, non-stop. During one such promotional event in Delhi, Akshay Kumar revealed that the Naagin of Indian television Mouni Roy has already singed three more films after Gold.
Yes, you read that right! Mouni Roy whose debut film has yet not released, has three films in her kitty already!
When the Padman actor was asked where he thinks Mouni will be in the next 10 years from now, he promptly told DNA, "In 10 years? She has already come a long way. She has signed four films in this short time. Chaar films sign karli isne!" The actor also went on to say that he imagines Mouni doing really great in the next few years.
Akshay further added, "She has signed four films when her first film isn't even out yet. Usne teen films aur hadap li hai, so you can imagine that in the next 10 years she will finish anout 42 films." To this Mouni smiled ear to ear and said, "Aapke muh me ghee-shakkar."
Looks like Mouni Roy is surely going to make it big in the industry. She already has a humongous fan following courtesy her TV stint and now, making her Bollywood debut with Akshay Kumar surely will earn her brownie points. The actress, who is essaying the role of Akshay Kumar's (Tapan Das) wife in the film, thinks about reality than to support her husband's dream.
Gold is a story ofTapan Das, a young assistant manager for India's hockey team, who wishes of forming a team which plays and wins the gold at the Olympics for a free India. He despises the British and hence wants to find and recruit the best hockey players to form a team that is capable enough to beat India's oppressor at their game in their backyard.
The film that chronicles the journey of Indian hockey team during the 'golden era' and its subsequent win at the Olympics, has been helmed by Reema Kagti.
A motorway bridge collapsed on Tuesday over the northern Italian port city of Genoa, killing dozens of people according to the local ambulance service, in what the transport minister said was likely to be "an immense tragedy".
The local fire brigade said the bridge collapsed at around 11:30 a.m. (0930 GMT) during torrential rainfall. Television showed images of the collapsed section of the bridge, built on the A10 toll motorway in the 1960s.
The head of the ambulance service said there were "dozens of dead", according to Italian news agency Adnkronos. At least 10 people were killed and 20 vehicles were involved, local police sources said.
An ambulance official told Reuters the service could only confirm two injured people so far, "but we suppose there are unfortunately a lot of dead."
Restructuring work on the bridge was carried out in 2016. The highway operator said work to shore up the foundation of the bridge was being carried out at the time of the collapse, adding that the bridge was constantly monitored.
The elevated road crumbled over a river, railroad tracks and buildings. The highway is a major artery to the Italian Riviera and to France's southern coast. Train services around Genoa have been halted.
A witness told Sky Italia television he saw "eight or nine" vehicles on the bridge when it collapsed in what he said was an "apocalyptic scene".
Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli said in a tweet that he was "following with great apprehension what seems like an immense tragedy".
Shares in Atlantia, the toll road operator which runs the motorway, were suspended after falling 6.3 percent after news of the collapse.
For those who did not know, Facebook has a dedicated Messenger Kids app aimed at the young social media enthusiasts. The app has now been updated to allow kids to make friends with their school buddies, albeit with the same level of parental control.
The Messenger Kids app now allows kids to send friend requests, Mashable reported. It is an opt-in feature and when enabled, creates a four-word passphrase which they have to provide to their friend. The requests still require parental permission. However, it is simply a way to ease up the process of sending requests.
The app, which is for kids younger than 13 years of age, further provides more control to the parents who can remove any contact, set a sleep mode to the app, and does not have any ads or in-app purchases as opposed to the regular Messenger app.
Facebook Messenger Kids app is more like a clean version of the regular Messenger with kid-friendly stickers, GIFs, and emoji. There's also an option for the kids to report or block inappropriate content which will be notified to their parent or guardian.
Late last year, Facebook rolled out Messenger Kids, an app that lets the world's biggest social media company expand into a so-far untapped market of kids under 13 while also giving parents complete control over what their children see.
Facebook normally requires users to be at least 13 years old. The new app gives it a chance to win brand loyalty from younger children at a time when it faces competition for teenagers from other social media platforms such as Snapchat.
There already are a handful of other apps that children can use with parental consent, and kids can communicate with each other using texting on cellphones.
Facebook said research showed young children were already using technology on a regular basis - but on apps built for teens and adults, raising concern among parents that their children might be communicating with strangers.The stand-alone app on children's devices can be controlled by a parent's Facebook account that will allow kids to use video chat and send photos, videos or text messages to friends approved by their parents.
Twitter's leaner version of the app, Twitter Lite, is now available in over 45 countries, the company has announced. The app was launched in last year, and since then, it has gradually moved from its initial regions of operation to 21 more countries this week.
Twitter Lite is now available in newer countries including India, Argentina, Ghana, Turkey, Ukrain, Yemen, and Zimbabwe, taking the total count to over 45 countries. The app is available in Google Play Store.
The light version weighs just 3MB and saves data. It supports slower 2G or 3G networks and loads data quickly. There's a Bookmarks feature which allows you to go back to a particular tweet when you have sufficient data. Other features include Night Mode, Threaded Tweets, and the newly added Push Notifications.
Recently, Twitter said it had removed more than 143,000 apps from the messaging service since April in a fresh crackdown on "malicious" activity from automated accounts. The San Francisco-based social network said it was tightening access to its application programming interfaces (APIs) that allows developers to make automated Twitter posts.
"We're committed to providing access to our platform to developers whose products and services make Twitter a better place," said Twitter senior product management director Rob Johnson.
"However, recognizing the challenges facing Twitter and the public -- from spam and malicious automation to surveillance and invasions of privacy -- we're taking additional steps to ensure that our developer platform works in service of the overall health of conversation on Twitter."
Johnson offered no details on the revoked apps, but Twitter has been under pressure over automated accounts or "bots" which spread misinformation or falsely amplify a person or political cause. "We do not tolerate the use of our APIs to produce spam, manipulate conversations, or invade the privacy of people using Twitter," he said. "We're continuing to invest in building out improved tools and processes to help us stop malicious apps faster and more efficiently."
Google's location tracking feature has again come under the scanner after it was found that the feature continues to monitor your searches, voice activity, and location even after you manually turn it off.
The location tracking feature is crucial to a lot of apps such as cab-hailing apps, food ordering, maps, and so on. Google maintains that the feature is important to keep improving the user experience.
According to Cnet, while Google allows you to turn off Location History, it does not necessarily turn it off for other apps which may retain data of users' location.
If you want to turn off the location tracking feature, you can do so but you must remember that location-based services, including finding your device, will be disabled. To fully disable Google location tracking, you will need to disable a setting called Web & App Activity.
On Android app, go to Settings, then tap on Google -->Google Account -->Data & personalization--> Web & App activity and toggle it off. For desktop, you can sign into your account and then go to Personal info & activity --> My Activity and then from Activity controls toggle off Web & App Activity and Location History. If you want to enable the location services, you can follow the same process and turn on the feature.
The JioPhone 2 will be available online via a flash sale on Jio.com, starting August 16, at 12PM. It is priced at Rs 2,999. Additionally, starting tomorrow, JioPhone customers will also be able to use Facebook, YouTube and Google Maps. WhatsApp will also be soon available on JioPhone devices.
The company mentioned in a statement, “With the added functionalities, newly launched JioPhone 2 model and Jio’s wider network reach and strong retail presence across India, JioPhone is well on its way to enable 100 million users on this JioPhone platform in the shortest possible time.”
In terms of specifications, the JioPhone 2 comes with a 2.40-inch display with a 240 X 320 pixels resolution and 512MB of RAM. The phone packs 4GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 128GB via a microSD card.
As far as the cameras are concerned, the Jio Phone 2 packs a 2-megapixel primary camera on the rear and a 0.3-megapixel front shooter for selfies. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, Global Positioning System (GPS), Bluetooth, Near-field communication (NFC) and frequency modulation (FM). The Jio Phone 2 runs KAI OS and is powered by a 2000mAh battery. The device supports popular apps such as YouTube, WhatsApp, and Facebook.
During the same event, Mukesh Ambani also announced the launch of fixed-line broadband services Jio GigaFiber. While explaining the broadband for large enterprises, Ambani said that fixed-line broadband will mean having the ability to compete in the global marketplace, using digital tools and techniques that are powering the fourth industrial revolution. He added that for merchants and small businesses, fixed-line broadband will enable fixed-line connectivity with the agility and customer obsession of a small owner-driven business you empower them to compete on level terms with larger businesses.
Speaking at the Reliance Industries' 41st Annual General Meeting, Mukesh Ambani highlighted that Jio's subscribers grew from 124 million at the end of last year to 210 million at the end of FY18.
'When will you get married?'Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi is very well aware with this question. In fact, there has rarely been any media or public interaction where he has not been asked about his wedding plans.
On Tuesday, however, he stumped many when he said that he was already married! Yes, during an interaction with journalists in Hyderabad, when prodded over his marriage, Gandhi said that ‘he was married to Congress party.’
He said that priority for him right now is to defeat Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP in 2019 General Elections. On his famous hug inside the Lok Sabha, Gandhi said that this was his way of telling people that Congress doesn’t believe in ‘hatred.’
This is not the first time Gandhi made a cryptic comment over the marriage issue. Last year, while attending the 112th PHD Chamber's annual session & awards for excellence 2017 in New Delhi, Gandhi had candidly said ' (Shaadi) Jab hogi, hogi' (When it happens, it will happen).
The Congress president was on a two-day visit to Telangana to gear up Congress unit ahead of elections next year. Gandhi also held separate interactions with senior leaders and booth committee presidents in Hyderabad.
Gandhi, who is on a two-day visit to Hyderabad, his first after becoming the party President, addressed a tele-conference with the party's booth-committee presidents in the state, Congress sources said.
He was given a 15-minute presentation on the Leader Development Mission in Reserved Constituencies (LDMRC) undertaken by the party in Telangana.
LDMRC aims at promoting leadership from backward communities.
The Congress President had one-to-one meetings with a number of senior leaders, including MPs, MLAs, MLCs and ex-MPs focusing on ways to strengthen the party, P Sudhakar Reddy, Deputy Leader of Congress in state Legislative Council told reporters here.
Reddy said he stressed on better coordination and unity among party leaders and workers to take on rivals.
Gandhi held an interactive session with Women Self-Help Groups (SHGs) yesterday.
He promised to support the women SHGs if the Congress came to power after next year's Legislative Assembly polls in Telangana.
He addressed a public meeting at Serilingampalli last evening where he said the party, if elected to power, would honour the commitments made to Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in the Andhra Pradesh Re-organisation Act.
Alia Bhatt has refuted reports that she is no longer friends with Katrina Kaif and said she is extremely fond of the Tiger Zinda Hai star.
There have been reports that their equation hit rock bottom after Alia started dating Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina's former boyfriend. Gossip columns went a step ahead and even concluded that all is not well between the two as Katrina stopped liking Alia's pictures on Instagram.
When asked if they were no longer friends, Alia told reporters, "No, straight up. I've always been very fond of Katrina. I believe that it's two ways. I don't know why other people feel differently.
"I will send her a message and ask her to start liking my pictures. If that's the barometer of friendship we must start liking everyone's pictures... May be I just don't have very good pictures, that's possible. But no, there's no stress whatsoever," she added.
The actor was speaking at the launch of the new collection of Caprese bags, for which she also walked the ramp here last night.
On the professional front, Alia has Gully Boy with Ranveer Singh, Brahmastra, featuring Ranbir and megastar Amitabh Bachchan and the recently-announced Karan Johar directorial Takht.
The historical drama also stars Kareena Kapoor, Ranveer, Vicky Kaushal, Janhvi, Anil Kapoor and Bhumi Pednekar.
While previously Deepika Padukone came under fire for playing the title role in Padmaavat, when asked if she was apprehensive to take up a historical film, Alia said it was not the case.
"Any kind of a character is challenging whether it's historical, contemporary or modern. I'm just happy and honoured to be associated with such a big film and a big cast and to be directed by Karan again.
"About the possibility of a problem, I think that pressure should be taken only around release. What's the use of taking this pressure now," she added.
Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar has once again joined hands with the Union Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways to promote road safety through its new campaign - 'Sadak Suraksha Jeevan Raksha'.
In the series of videos instagrammed by him, Akshay, dressed as a traffic police constable, can be seen handing out challans to all those who think 'Road unke baap ki hai'. Directed by filmmaker R Balkhasve, the three ad films use commuters' favourite phrase, “Sadak kya tere baap ki hain”, to send home an important message about road safety.
The three videos on Akshay's social media pages are posted with these messages:
"It is always better to be safe than sorry. Follow traffic rules for your own and others safety kyunki road kisi ke baap ki nahi hai."
“I feel that often such messages when sent through documentaries get lost as the viewers usually don’t absorb their essence. With these advertisements we have tried to spread awareness in a light-hearted yet impactful way,” Kumar had earlier said at the launch event.
The film is called Crazy Rich Asians, but the cast is proud to be showcasing such a rare array of Asian culture and identity in a Hollywood movie.
The romantic comedy, opening in movie theaters on Wednesday and starring Constance Wu, Michelle Yeoh, Awkwafina and newcomer Henry Golding, is the first with an all-Asian ensemble cast from a major studio in 25 years.
Fresh Off the Boat actress Wu plays New York economics professor Rachel Chu, who flies to Singapore to meet her boyfriend's family only to discover that it is one of the wealthiest in the country.
Amid the lavish parties and romantic setbacks, the film highlights the clash of Western and Asian cultures and the tension between old-money Chinese families in Singapore and the nouveau riche.
It is also a love letter to Singapore, as the camera lingers on the city's modern and traditional architecture, parks, nearby tropical beaches, street food and music.
"I wanted to reflect that this was a warm place, that it wasn't a strange alien planet that you are going to, as Asia is often depicted," said director Jon M. Chu, who was raised in California by Taiwanese parents and had never previously been to Singapore.
The cast was drawn from Taiwan, Britain, China, Malaysia, the Philippines, the United States and Australia, along with Singapore, where it was filmed.
"It was like a swap meet of experiences of being Asian in different countries," said Golding, who was born in Malaysia and raised in Britain.
"Everybody had struggled in some aspect with their identity, so to be able to share that and come together and strengthen together, you couldn't even imagine," he said.
Gemma Chan, a London-born actress of Chinese heritage, said that making the movie had made her re-think her identity.
"When I was younger, as most children do, you just wanted to fit in. My Barbies had blond hair and blue eyes. I always felt, I'm different, I wish I wasn't different.
"Now I feel more proud than ever of my Asian heritage and it's something I can happily embrace," she said.
While the film is unapologetically Asian, even down to a game of Mahjong and a dumpling-making scene, the filmmakers say its themes of family, love and the struggle to be accepted are universal.
"It is a rare movie that is culturally specific, yet for the world," said actor Ken Jeong.
(L-R) MICHELLE YEOH as Eleanor, HENRY GOLDING as Nick and CONSTANCE WU as Rachel in Warner Bros. Pictures' and SK Global Entertainment's and Starlight Culture's contemporary romantic comedy "CRAZY RICH ASIANS"
Actor Sterling K Brown says Black Panther stands on its "own merits" but, at the same time, he believes the movie deserves an Oscar nod.
The critically-acclaimed actor, however, is confused about the Academy Awards' new popular film category, for which Black Panther stands eligible.
Brown played N'Jobu in the Marvel blockbuster with Chadwick Boseman in the title role.
At an FYC event for This Is Us, he told Variety, "When I first heard of the category, the first question I had was, What is the criterion for being nominated in this category?' If it's something that can give it some sort of merit and legitimacy, then I think it's cool.
"But I think Black Panther stands on its own merits regardless of its popularity as being a wonderful piece of art."
"Ryan Coogler (director) is an artiste. The man is three for three in his films thus far, and I don't see him striking out anytime soon. So whether it's in one category, the other, or both, the movie is worthy of recognition," he added.
Black Panther released in January this year, becoming the first superhero film featuring virtually an all-black cast.
Mark Hamill is set to star as warrior-monk knight in second season of History's medieval drama series Knightfall.
Knightfall follows the famed Knights Templar in their search for the Holy Grail. Hamill will play Talus, a veteran of the Crusades who survived a decade in captivity.
Tom Forbes and Genevieve Gaunt are also joining the cast toplined by Tom Cullen.
According to Entertainment Weekly, History has renewed the series with a new showrunner, Aaron Helbing taking over for Dominic Minghella.
"In the face of ever-increasing competition, we're proud of History's track record of producing signature drama series that are epic in scope with complex characters," History programming executive VP Eli Lehrer said in a statement.
"Whether it's the legendary Knights Templar, the extraordinary tale of medieval Norsemen, or the story of a formerly classified United States Air Force program investigating UFOs during the Cold War, these series reflect our commitment to bringing the defining, big canvas stories of history to life. We look forward to offering our viewers a grittier, darker Knightfall in season two and welcoming Mark to the cast," he added.