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Viji Alles

Vijay Mallya – A view from inside the court house.

I once witnessed a party thrown by Vijay Mallya’s Force India Formula One team, somewhere near the Silverstone race track in Northamptonshire. The British Grand Prix had just ended and the marquee where the party was being held was filling up with the who’s who of the racing and celebrity …

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Nerds winning…while masturbating. Inspired by Satyajit Ray. ‘Brahman Naman’ is coming to Netflix.

Unconventional filmmaker Qaushiq Mukherjee’s (AKA ‘Q’) surprisingly not-unconventional and touching ode to adolescent geeks and their shenanigans, ‘Brahman Naman’, is arriving on Netflix on 7 July. The film stars Shashank Arora, Vaiswath Shankar, Sindhu Sreenivasa Murthy and Sid Mallya (son of embattled Kingfisher tycoon Vijay Mallya) and has won widespread plaudits since it’s …

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#Draconian: Dozens of babies born to asylum seekers in Australia face deportation after court ruling

Dozens of babies born to asylum seekers could be deported from Australia after a court ruled in a test case that a baby born to a Burmese national is an illegal entrant to the country. 

Eleven-month-old Ferouz Myuddin was born at a Brisbane hospital to a Rohingya Muslim asylum seeker.

The mother and baby had been transferred to the city from the notorious refugee detention centre on the island of Nauru, off the north eastern coast of Australia.

Ferouz's mother is one of the hundreds of so-called 'Boat People' who have attempted the perilous sea-crossing to Australia from South East Asia, often in overcrowded and dangerous fishing vessels operated by human traffickers.

Apart from Burmese Rohingya Muslims, their numbers include Sri Lankan Tamils and Hazara Shia's from Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Many of them have been detained at Nauru for years in conditions that have been likened to those of a concentration camp.

A judge in Brisbane however, ruled in favour of the Australian government, declaring that the babies were "unauthorized maritime arrivals" and therefore could not claim refugee status.

Lawyers say that up to 100 other babies could be affected by the ruling as the government of conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbot prepares to amend the country's Migration Act to retrospectively declare all babies born to asylum seekers who arrive by boat as "unauthorized" entrants.

If the amendments are passed all the babies will be transferred back to Nauru.

Ferouz's family had arrived in Australian territorial waters in September 2013 and were immediately taken to Nauru.  When Ferouz was born prematurely, he and his mother were transferred to a hospital in Brisbane after complications arose during the delivery.

The government says that the move is aimed at discouraging people smugglers.  Lawyers for the Myuddin family however, described the ruling as "ludicrous".

The family are reportedly planning to appeal. 

The ruling is the latest in what many say are draconian measures to clamp down on asylum seekers to Australia, the former penal colony built by the marginalized of societies as diverse as Britain and China. 

Last month, the country signed a controversial deal with Cambodia to resettle refugees in that country.

The government has also introduced 'temporary' visas allowing immigration authorities to deport refugees if conditions in their home country are deemed to have improved.

Australia's High Court is also hearing a separate challenge over 157 asylum seekers from Sri Lanka who set out from southern India and were intercepted by the Australian navy in July.

They were held on a customs ship at sea for a month, initially in secret, Their lawyers argued they were illegally detained, but government lawyers said the decision was made under existing laws.

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#Honour: Malala is youngest-ever winner of Nobel Peace Prize

Teenage Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai has won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize. The 17-year-old shares this year’s prize with the Indian children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi. The duo were named winners of the $1.1 million prize by the chairman of the Nobel committee, former Norwegian Prime Minister Thorbjoern Jagland, …

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#Triumph: Denied by Sri Lanka, booed by Indian fans, Moeen Ali caps eventful summer with top honour at Asian Cricket Awards

A British-Pakistani all-rounder who tormented the Sri Lankans and Indians during the English cricketing summer and who was subjected to abuse by some Indian fans last night won the top award at the inaugural Asian Cricket Awards in London.

Birmingham-born Moeen Ali was named Player of the Year at the event at Lord's, beating out fellow England international Ravi Bopara, Yorkshire leg-spinner Adil Rashid and Warwickshire captain Varun Chopra for the signature award.

The honour capped a fabulous summer for the 27-year-old Worcestershire cricketer who played one of the finest ever Test innings when he held off Sri Lanka's victory charge at Headingly in June only for a miraculous draw to be snatched away off the penultimate delivery of the match when non-striker James Anderson was caught out.

Later on in the summer he troubled India's much-vaunted batting line up with his seemingly innocuous off-spin and was booed and abused by Indian fans during several One Day International matches.

He also made headlines for wearing a wristband in support of Palestinians during Israel's bloody Gaza offensive in July.

After being presented with the award by another high-profile British-Pakistani, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Ali became emotional and dabbed at his eyes as he recalled his first summer in England colours. 

"I’m very happy and very proud.  It’s a great achievement to be the first person to win this award.  It has been one of those seasons where I took every day as it came.  I didn’t get too excited or too down.  I just enjoyed every single minute of it.

"I always feel I can do better. This was my first full season in international cricket and it is a stepping-stone. Hopefully I can go from strength to strength."

Ali said walking out at Lord's on Test debut against Sri Lanka had been a personal highlight of the summer.

"I wasn’t that nervous, my dad was more nervous than I was, I just enjoyed every bit of it."

Other notable winners on the night included Middlesex left-armer Ravi Patel, who won Young Player of the Year; former England all-rounder Isa Guha, who won Media Personality of the Year and Sky Sports commentator Nasser Hussain, who was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Full List of winners:

Grassroots Cricket Award - Gopi Raj, founder, England Tamil Cricket League

Amateur Player of the Year - Simran Panesar, Warwickshire U-19's

Professional Young Player of the Year - Ravi Patel, Middlesex

Woman in Cricket - Salma Bi, Worcestershire

Coach of the Year - Qasim Ali, Lancashire South Asian Talent Saerch/England Physical Disability Squad)

Media Personality - Isa Guha

Behind The Scenes Award - Amjad Aziz, Vice Chairman, Birmingham Cricket League

Asian Cricket Club of the Year - London Tigers

Inspiration - Naz Khan, Chairman, Attock CC

The Founders – Lifetime Achievement Award - Nasser Hussain OBE

The Founders Special Recognition Award - Wasim Khan MBE

Professional Player of the Year - Moeen Ali


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