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    Indian Supreme Court to announce verdict on IIOJK special status next week


    Indian security force personnel stand guard near the residence of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, a veteran separatist politician from IIOJK after he died in Srinagar, on September 2, 2021. — Reuters
    • Petitions allege Indian govt misused Parliament to divide IIOK.
    • Revocation of Article 370 allowed Indians to work there.
    • Move seen as attempt to dilute Muslim-majority Kashmir with Hindu settlers.

    The Supreme Court in India is set to deliver its verdict Monday (December 11) on a batch of petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution which granted special status to the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). 

    The five-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chandrachud heard the matter for 16 days and reserved its verdict on September 5.

    Over 20 petitions filed by senior lawyers allege that the Indian government misused its majority in parliament to issue executive orders and divide the occupied region into Union Territories, Mint reported.

    The Indian Supreme Court, in 2020, refused to transfer the case to a seven-judge Constitution Bench, and the five-judge bench kept the matter to itself.

    The Indian government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi abolished the autonomous status of the occupied valley and deployed tens of thousands of additional troops to head off any protests against the unilateral move.  

    By repealing Article 370 of the constitution, people from the rest of India were given the right to acquire property in the disputed territory and settle there permanently.

    Kashmiris see the move as an attempt to dilute the demographics of Muslim-majority Kashmir with Hindu settlers.

    Pakistan had strongly condemned the move and vowed to “exercise all possible options to counter the illegal steps” taken by India.

    India has for decades stationed more than half a million soldiers in the Himalayan disputed territory.

    The suspension of IIOJK’s semi-autonomous status allowed Indians from elsewhere to buy land and claim government jobs there, a policy denounced by critics as «settler colonialism».

    Many residents and critics say that authorities have since curbed media freedoms and public protests in a drastic curtailment of civil liberties.

    Modi’s government has defended the decision in the court, saying the change had brought «peace, progress and prosperity» to the restive territory.

    Consolidating New Delhi’s rule over the IIOJK has long been a key plank of Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

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    Transfer Talk: Saudi clubs interested in Robert Lewandowski


    The winter transfer window hasn’t reopened in Europe yet, but there are moves in the works and plenty of gossip swirling around. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!

    TOP STORY: Saudi clubs interested in Barca’s Lewandowski

    The representatives of Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski have received contact from the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), according to Rudy Galetti.

    The PIF hopes to begin discussions over a potential move that would see the 35-year-old make the switch to the Saudi Pro League, having previously had him on the radar in the summer.

    Lewandowski chose to stay with the Blaugrana last season after helping them win the LaLiga title, following a campaign in which he scored 23 goals while assisting another seven in 34 matches.

    Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga & more (U.S.)

    Similar form this season has seen him contribute directly to 10 goals in 13 games, and there are still over two years remaining on his contract, which isn’t set to expire until the summer of 2026.

    But after clubs in Saudi Arabia successfully managed to sign Karim Benzema before missing out on attempts to sign both Lewandowski and Liverpool‘s Mohamed Salah, the latest indicates that their interest in Europe’s biggest stars is set to resurface when the winter transfer window opens.


    – Liverpool are keen on Wolfsburg centre-back Maxence Lacroix, reports the Mirror. The 23-year-old is being considered as a potential replacement for Joël Matip, who as well as being set to enter the final six months of his deal, suffered an ACL injury in the 4-3 victory over Fulham on Sunday. Lacroix is reported to be available for a fee over £25m.

    AC Milan are considering signing Stuttgart striker Serhou Guirassy in January, writes Calciomercato. The Rossoneri are on the lookout for a long-term No. 9 for the future and could activate the €17m release clause in the 27-year-old’s contract to sign him. Guirassy has been one of the leading stars in Europe this season and scored his 17th goal of the campaign in the 2-0 DFB Pokal win over Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.

    – An agreement has been reached between Juventus and winger Federico Chiesa over a one-year contract extension, reports Gazzetta dello Sport. The Bianconeri have been prioritising signing the 26-year-old to new terms as of late, but it is reported that the agreement has been reached on the basis that the club will consider offloading him if an offer from a suitable club arrives in the summer.

    West Ham are best positioned to secure the signature of Lyon winger Rayan Cherki, reports TeamTalk. The 20-year-old was recently reported to have been available for transfer on Thursday for a fee of €20m, and having previously been linked to Chelsea, it looks as though the Hammers are now at the front of the queue for him.

    – Juventus are keeping close tabs on the situation of Lazio winger Felipe Anderson, reveals Matteo Moretto. Anderson is set to enter the final six months of his contract in January, and the Bianconeri are keen on landing him as a free transfer. The 30-year-old has contributed to five goals in 14 Serie A matches this season.

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    Soaring Adani Shares Push LIC To Newer Highs –Check What Experts Say


    New Delhi: The Life Insurance Corporation of India stock price hit 52-week high on BSE, NSE on Friday. At 11.50 am, share of the insurer was trading at Rs 794.30, higher by Rs 8.85 or 1.13 on BSE.

    LIC on Thursday reclaimed market capitalization of Rs 5 lakh crore-mark after the shares of the company hit a 52-week high on the bourses. With Thursday’s jump in LIC shares, the second-largest PSU by market cap, surged another 19 per cent this week. 

    Analysts believe that the strong market capitalisation was witnessed on the back of LIC’s Jeevan Utsav plan which is an Individual, Savings, Whole Life Insurance plan with Guaranteed Additions throughout Premium Paying Term. 

    Meanwhile, some analysts have also attributed the increase in LIC’s M-cap to the rally in the value of Adani Group of companies where the insurer has a significant shareholding. The Adani group of companies have witnessed a significant rally in the last four months.

    Shreyansh Shah, Research Analyst, StoxBox told Zee Media, «With LIC holding stakes across Adani Group companies, the recent run-up in the LIC share price can definitely be attributed to the strong comeback by Adani Group shares on the back of ‘clean chit’ from a US agency and increasing hopes of a favourable decision by the Supreme Court. Additionally, we believe that strong response to the LIC’s Jeevan Utsav plan along with a generally improved market sentiment towards PSU stocks following strong performance by the ruling BJP in state elections contributed to the gains. Our sense is that it would be prudent to hold the stock from a medium-to-long term perspective due to the company’s leading position in the life insurance space, attractive valuation and favourable tailwinds such as rising domestic savings and increasing awareness & acceptance of life insurance.»

    Amit Goel, Co-Founder & Chief Global Strategist, Pace 360 echoed similar views. He said, «Life Insurance Corp’s (LIC) stock price has been rocketing up in the recent past. While there are plenty of factors behind it the most important are growth in premiums collected this year, prospects of better profits because of the rise in stock market and a massive revival in Adani group shares in the last few weeks.  LIC’s investment in the Adani Group companies has effectively doubled in value since the Hindenburg report-driven lows. Consequently, the insurer’s share price was also shooting up, extending strong gains this week. LIC’s holdings in Adani stocks have now reached a value of ₹56,629 crore. This marks an impressive recovery of ₹30,300 crore from the company’s lowest point, hit following allegations from short-seller Hindenburg.»

    As on December 2022, LIC has the following stakes in seven Adani Group Companies –9.1% stake in Adani Ports & SEZ, 4.2% stake in Adani Enterprises, 6.3 percent stake in Ambuja Cements, 6.4 percent stake in ACC, 1.3  percent stake in Adani Green Energy, 6 percent stake in Adani Total Gas, 3.7 percent stake in Adani Energy Solutions.

    Adani stocks have been under major pressure following the the US-based short seller Hindenburg Research report, that wiped out $100 billion from its total mcap. However, the clean chit by US agency, which said that accusations against billionaire Guatam Adani-led group by Hindenburg was irrelevant, led to sharp rally in Adani group stocks.

    Goel added, «The Adani Group experienced a surge in stock values of up to 20%, following the conclusion of a US agency investigation which found that the accusations made by Hindenburg Research against the Gautam Adani led group were not applicable to Adani Ports. This rebound was further propelled by several factors, including the Adani Group’s debt repayment, recent investment by GQG Partners, clearance from the US government, the Supreme Court’s confidence in an investigation into the group by the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and a ₹7 lakh crore capex plan.»

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    7 Ways Dry Fruits Can Help In Attaining Daily Nutrition


    Incorporating a variety of dry fruits into your daily nutrition can contribute significantly to meeting your dietary needs and promoting overall well-being. However, it’s important to be mindful of portion sizes, as the natural sugars in dry fruits can contribute to calorie intake. As with any dietary changes, consulting with a healthcare professional or nutritionist is recommended to ensure that dry fruits align with individual health goals and requirements.

    Rich Source of Nutrients: Dry fruits are a concentrated source of essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They provide a convenient way to boost your daily intake of these vital elements, contributing to overall health.

    Energy Boost: Packed with natural sugars, dry fruits offer a quick and sustained energy boost. This makes them an excellent snack option for those looking to maintain energy levels throughout the day, especially during busy schedules.

    Fiber Content: Dry fruits are a good source of dietary fiber, promoting healthy digestion. Fiber aids in preventing constipation and maintaining bowel regularity. Including a variety of dry fruits in your diet can contribute to achieving your daily fiber requirements.

    Also read: Enhanced Circulation To Stress Reduction: 5 Health Benefits Of Walking Barefoot

    Heart Health: Many dry fruits, such as almonds and walnuts, are known for their heart-healthy benefits. They contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which help in reducing bad cholesterol levels and supporting cardiovascular health.

    Weight Management: Despite their natural sweetness, dry fruits can be beneficial for weight management when consumed in moderation. The fiber content helps in creating a feeling of fullness, reducing the likelihood of overeating and supporting weight control.

    Antioxidant Protection: Dry fruits, including raisins and prunes, are rich in antioxidants. These compounds help in neutralizing harmful free radicals in the body, providing protection against oxidative stress and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

    Nutrient-Dense Snacking: Dry fruits offer a convenient and portable snack option that requires no preparation. This makes them a practical choice for those with busy lifestyles. Grabbing a handful of mixed dry fruits provides a nutrient-dense snack that satisfies hunger and delivers essential vitamins and minerals.

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    Karachi braves coldest night of season as mercury drops below 14°C


    People sitting around wooden fire to keep them warm during chilled weather in city. — APP
    • Lowest temperature was recorded in Mithi (6.5°C)
    • Maximum temperature likely to range between 28°C to 30°C.
    • Dry weather will prevail in city for the next two days: Met Office.

    Karachi braved the coldest night of the winter season as the temperature dropped to 13.5 degrees Celsius in the port city, according to the Met Office on Friday.

    In Sindh, the lowest temperature was recorded in Mithi (6.5 °C), followed by Mohenjo Daro (7 °C), Sukkur (8) and 9.5 °C in Shaheed Benazirabad district.

    According to the weather forecasting department, the maximum temperature in the city likely to range between 28 to 30 degrees Celsius.

    It said the metropolis is likely to witness a further drop in mercury on Saturday-Sunday night when the temperature is expected to fall to 12 °C.

    The Met Department said dry weather will prevail in the city for the next two days while light fog is also expected in the morning.

    It added that winds are likely to blow from the northeast during the day and from the southwest in the evening in the metropolis.

    The weather is predicted to remain dry and cold in most parts of Sindh.

    Meanwhile, according to the monthly report issued by the Met Office, nearly normal to slightly above rainfall (snowfall over the high mountain) is likely over most parts of the country particularly the central parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during the current month.

    It said nearly normal precipitation is likely over most parts of the country particularly Sindh during January.

    “In February 2024, normal to slightly above normal precipitation is expected over most parts of the country particularly the upper Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.”and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.”

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    Selena Gomez shades ex Justin Bieber in furious Instagram rant

    Selena Gomez shades ex Justin Bieber in furious Instagram rant

    Selena Gomez took a not-so-subtle swipe at her former boyfriend Justin Bieber in a rant session on Instagram.

    The 33-year-old singer took to social media on Thursday, Dec. 7 to confirm her rumoured romance with Benny Blanco by commenting ‘Facts’ under a post.

    In a defense spree against critics of her new flame shortly after, she shaded her notorious romance with the Baby singer, calling him a “f***boy”.

    The Who Says singer insisted that she’s the “happiest” she has ever been, noting the record producer is “still better than anyone I’ve ever been with.”

    “I know what’s best for me and I will I get what I deserve,” she wrote in reply to one of the comments. “I appreciate your misguided input but I am growing.”

    Gomez added: “Don’t feel free to grow with me just know I’m not going to be with a f***boy ever again. Sorry to disappoint.”

    Selena Gomez shades ex Justin Bieber in furious Instagram rant

    “I don’t understand,” she addressed another critic. “If you actually care about me. This is my happiest. If you don’t feel free to say whatever you want.”

    “But I will never allow your words to guide my life. Ever. I’m done,” the pop star affirmed.

    “If you can’t accept me at my happiest then don’t be in y[sic] life at all,” she added.

    Selena Gomez shades ex Justin Bieber in furious Instagram rant

    For the unversed, Gomez and Bieber were in an on again, off again relationship for eight years until 2018.

    The Yummy singer went on to marry his childhood friend Hailey Bieber soon after their split, while Gomez has remained mum about her love life except for a few high-profile romances, including The Weeknd. 

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    Arsenal want Fulham midfielder Joao Palhinha in January

    Arsenal are looking to bolster their midfield in the upcoming winter transfer window.

    They are looking to acquire the services of Fulham’s Joao Palhinha according to a report by the Mirror.

    The Gunners might be sitting at the top of the Premier League but Mikel Arteta still feels the need to reinforce his midfield. Palhinha has extensive experience with 47 appearances in the Premier League and he could make an immediate impact.

    Signing a new midfielder is now a priority for the Spanish manager heading into the winter window. While quite a few names have been linked with the Gunners, Palhinha could be the preferred choice for the North London club given his recent form.

    The 28-year-old defensive midfielder was close to parting ways with the Cottagers in the summer. The club had reached an agreement with Bayern Munich over a transfer worth £55 million but the deal collapsed as Fulham couldn’t sign a replacement in time. The German giants remain interested in the Portuguese international but they will now have to battle it out with Arsenal for his signatures.

    Joao Palhinha in action against Arsenal.

    While the Gunners have identified the 28-year-old as a top target for the winter, they might not have enough funds to execute such a transfer having already spent millions in the summer. And, this is where they could look to raise funds by selling Thomas Partey.

    The 30-year-old has struggled with injuries lately and Arteta could look to move him on in order to get his hands on Palhinha whose arrival will bolster his squad and help him in their pursuit of the Premier League title.

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    Ellen Holly, Trailblazing Star in ‘One Life to Live,’ Dies at 92


    Ms. Holly was the first Black performer to play a lead role on daytime television.

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    West Ham’s resilience overwhelms Spurs with 2-1 defeat


    Spurs remain in fifth place, trailing the top four by three points, while West Ham sit ninth in the league standings

    Postecoglou is looking for more from Tottenham. — AFP File

    West Ham defeated Tottenham 2-1 in a hotly contested Premier League game by mounting an incredible comeback on Thursday.

    Tottenham, off the back of a lively 3-3 draw with Manchester City, seemed poised for success after Cristian Romero handed them an early lead. However, West Ham’s persistence, reflected in goals from Jarrod Bowen and James Ward-Prowse, altered the course of the game.

    Following a thrilling 3-3 stalemate with Manchester City, Tottenham appeared to be on the verge of victory after Cristian Romero gave them an early lead. But West Ham’s tenacity, demonstrated by goals from James Ward-Prowse and Jarrod Bowen, changed the game’s trajectory.

    West Ham manager David Moyes lauded his team’s resilience against a formidable opponent like Spurs. He acknowledged the challenge they faced and expressed relief at scraping through with a win, especially considering Spurs’ dominance in the initial half.

    Spurs dominated possession early on, resulting in Romero’s 11th-minute header that put them ahead. Despite creating multiple opportunities, including chances from Dejan Kulusevski and Giovani Lo Celso, Spurs couldn’t extend their lead.

    The second half, however, showcased West Ham’s determination. Bowen’s equaliser and Ward-Prowse’s decisive goal highlighted Spurs’ struggle to secure wins despite taking the lead in recent games.

    Spurs captain Son Heung-min emphasised the need for a more decisive approach, stating the importance of killing off games in the Premier League.

    With this defeat, Spurs remain in fifth place, trailing the top four by three points, while West Ham sit ninth in the league standings.

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