Stories published in June, 2018

Sanju is not the best film by Rajkumar Hirani but it is still definitely worth a watch!

There aren’t many films that you want to review after watching the teaser. When I was approached about reviewing Sanju, in my head I was saying, “Are you kidding me, of course I’ll do it!” Also, in my head, I was sure it was going to set the box office on fire and define new benchmarks of how to make a biopic. And I was not the only one. Yes, there aren’t many films that carry as many expectations as Rajkumar Hirani’s Sanju did. The challenge for someone like Hirani is how to surpass what he has already made and how ...

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The Turkish Republic, as we know it, is dead

In perhaps the most important election of the past two decades, Turkey has given its verdict, electing Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as the president and also giving his party, Justice and Development Party (AKP), who fought the elections in coalition with Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), a majority in the Parliament. President Erdogan called an early election because he was expecting to win at this time, and therefore, wanted to use the opportunity to consolidate his presidency, which after last year’s referendum had become an extremely powerful post. Just to reiterate that presidency after the referendum is no longer a ceremonial post but gives ...

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Teefa will definitely be in trouble if the movie is as disappointing as its trailer

I had been looking forward to the trailer of Ali Zafar’s Teefa in Trouble after its first look was released. It gave a positively different vibe than our usual Pakistani offerings and this had me intrigued. The three-minute long trailer debuted recently, and to my surprise, the trailer was quite lacklustre. The trailer starts off with a beautiful aerial view of Lahore and soon we are introduced to Teefa (Zafar) who is hired by a rich father to kidnap a girl, Anya (Maya Ali), so that his son Billu Butt (yes! You read that right, that is the name the ...

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5 ways Pakistan can turn the tri-series against Zimbabwe and Australia in their favour

The clouds of concern have cleared, and Pakistan is now ready to take on Zimbabwe and the currently third-ranked (in T20Is) Australia in a couple of days. Due to a financial crisis, the Zimbabwe Cricket Board was very uncertain regarding sponsorship and players’ availability for the tri-series, but it seems now that everything is in place to get the show started. Pakistan will be starting the series as favourites, which is very rare. The last time this was the case was in 2014 when Pakistan entered the Asia Cup as favourites, since India was short of their most dependable players: Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina and MS ...

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Jeez woman! Just take the compliment!

I remember the last time I met with a close female friend whom I hadn’t seen in a while. I greeted her with a warm smile and complimented her for being in great shape. Instead of accepting my compliment, she responded by saying, “No, I need to lose some weight.” I wonder why accepting a genuine compliment is so difficult for women nowadays? Why can’t they just say, “Thank you, so sweet of you”, and reciprocate the compliment? Instead, their usual response is blushing, looking away, losing the ability to articulate their thoughts or shaking their head in disagreement, even where ...

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Pakistan’s FATF grey-listing should not come as a surprise to anyone

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenary meeting in Paris has reportedly decided to keep Pakistan on its grey list; a decision that has surprised many in Pakistan. Pakistan has been kept on the so-called grey list which includes countries accused of financing or aiding terrorism. The FATF was established in 1989 – with its headquarters in Paris – and its main objectives include combating financing of terrorism, money laundering and other elements pertaining to the integrity of the international financial system. Even though Pakistan has surely not done enough to get off the grey list, the FATF failed to bring ...

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With Donald Trump’s travel ban 3.0, is America any safer?

Today, the Supreme Court allowed President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban to be fully enforced. This ban restricts visas from eight countries, including six Muslim-majority nations. The premise: ‘national security’. But does such a ban really make Americans safer? Here are five points all Americans need to understand. 1. Religious extremism, not Islam, is the real threat There is no denying the fact that religious extremists, and terrorist groups like the Islamic State (IS), pose a grave threat to the United States. These groups pervert religion for ulterior geo-political agendas. Their violent rhetoric – advocating for the killing of homosexuals, ‘blasphemers’, apostates and anyone who disagrees with ...

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Munch on these easy, lip-smacking snacks instead of your nails while rooting for your World Cup team!

The stage has been set. Stadium lights are ablaze. Billions around the world are worshipping the black and white ball. Even those who don’t really follow football are simply tailgating and gathering in groups to cheer on their favourite teams. The FIFA World Cup is already shaping up to be more exciting than many had hoped. Hosts Russia kicked off the 2018 World Cup against Saudi Arabia in Moscow. There have already been some shocks: Russia, the lowest-ranked team in the competition, was the first to qualify for the Round-of-16; defending champions Germany have been knocked out of the ...

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#FIFAWorldCup18: The only thing that worked for Argentina was Nigeria’s bad luck

This is a clipping of a supposed interview, attributed to Pelé, going viral on social media these days. It goes as follows: Interviewer: "Do you think Brazil's 1970 team can beat today's Argentina?" Pelé: "Yes." Interviewer: "By how much?" Pelé: "1-0" Interviewer: “That's it?" Pelé: "Well, most of us are over 75 years old now." 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/mThA6bDQ8A — World Cup (@EPLBible) June 25, 2018 This citation, to the best of my knowledge, is a complete fabrication. But the funny part is that if you analyse Argentina’s performances over the course of FIFA World Cup 2018, you would completely understand where the Brazilian legend would be coming from, if ...

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Will lightning strike twice for Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2?

Jawani Phir Nahi Ani was a massive hit at the box office and became the highest grossing movie in Pakistan’s history. An adventure-comedy directed by Nadeem Baig, the movie starred Humayun Saeed, Hamza Ali Abbasi, Ahmad Ali Butt, Vasay Chaudhry, Sohai Ali Abro, Mehwish Hayat, Javed Sheikh and Ayesha Khan. Due to the massive success of the movie, a sequel was in the making for which the trailer was recently released. Reprising their roles are Saeed, Butt and Chaudhry. Also part of the cast are Mawra Hocane, Kubra Khan and Fahad Mustafa. Other cast members include Sarwat Gillani, Sohail Ahmed and ...

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