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‘Send Rockets Not At Each Other, But Rather To The Stars’, Says Elon Musk In Subtle Peace Message

Elon Musk


It made sense when one of the richest and most influential man in the world commented that countries should not be sending rockets at each other, but to the stars, in the context of the escalating hostilities in the Middle East and exchange of a barrage of drones and missiles between Iran and Israel, which threatens further escalation into a broader full blown war.

Hours after the news broke about missiles having been fired by Israel in response to Iran’s massive drone and missile attack unleashed on Israeli territory, and subsequently a series of explosions rocking the Shekari army airbase in the northwest Iranian province of Isfahan, Musk took to his own social media platform X and posted a subtle message advocating peace.

“We should send rockets not at each other, but rather to the stars,” he said in his social media post. “Maybe world leaders should just email memes at each other and let the public vote on who wins,” Musk joked, adding “I prefer that over war.”

Unlike most top global business leaders, Musk is known to express his views on most internationally significant developments taking place across the world, including the Russia-Ukraine war and the Israel-Hamas conflict, widely perceived to be part of his ambition to become a world leader.

The cofounder of path-breaking companies like Tesla and SpaceX, who he has also established control over may more levers of power through his ownership of X, Starlink and other technology platforms, has become an increasingly important player in the global affairs.

In line with his vision, he has been touring the world to meet top political leaders and paving the road to the future with his rockets, satellite network, leadership in electric cars and control of one of the world’s most consequential social networks.




Bitcoin Ponzi Scam Latest To Mire Raj Kundra, Shilpa Shetty Since 2013

In happier times: Raj Kundra & Shilpa Shetty (File photo)


Out of one controversy, and into another – that’s how life has been for actor Shilpa Shetty and her businessman husband Raj Kundra for over a decade.

Released on bail, in a 2021 case of allegedly producing and distributing porn films using a subscriber-driven mobile app called ‘HotShots’, Raj Kundra now finds himself mired in a bitcoin ponzi investment scam, following investigations into which the much in news Enforcement Directorate (ED) Mumbai has provisionally attached the immovable and movable properties linked to the power couple in Mumbai and Pune valued at Rs 97.79 core under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

After the development, the couple shared a joint statement through their lawyer, Prashant Patil, on Thursday stating: “We shall follow the due process of law and take necessary steps as prescribed under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act to protect the liberty and property of my clients. On the face of it, there is no prima facie case made out against my clients Mr Raj Kundra and Mrs Shilpa Shetty Kundra.”

The statement added, “We have complete faith in the Honourable Judiciary. I believe when we make our fair representation before the Honourable Enforcement Directorate, even the investigation agencies may grant justice to us. We have faith in a fair investigation. We stand committed to cooperating with the authorities as and when required.”

However later, Kundra took to his Instagram and shared a couple of cryptic posts on his Stories at two different times on Thursday night and Friday afternoon, which have widely been interpreted as his response to the ED’s allegations.

Raj Kundra’s Instagram Story

In his first Story, he shared the image of a roaring lion with the text splashed across it reading thus: “Learning to stay calm when you feel disrespected is a different type of growth.”

The second Story carried a black and white image of a little girl standing alone amidst rows of flowers in a park with the text: “There is a time to be a nice person. And there’s a time to say enough is enough.”

According to the ED, Kundra’s name has come up in a Bitcoin scam. He allegedly holds Bitcoins worth Rs 150 crore.

According to a Economic Times report, the money laundering case has emerged from multiple FIRs registered by the Maharashtra Police and Delhi Police on the basis of complaints by investors against a company named Variable Tech Pte Ltd, Late Amit Bhardwaj, Ajay Bhardwaj, Vivek Bhardwaj, Simpy Bhardwaj, Mahender Bhardwaj and number of agents.

It was alleged in the FIRs that they had collected huge amounts of funds in Bitcoin investments (worth Rs 6,600 crore in 2017) from gullible public with the promise of 10 per cent per month return in crypto assets.

The probe agency claims that the promoters cheated the investors, and have been concealing the ill gotten Bitcoins in obscure online wallets. Kundra received 285 Bitcoins from the mastermind and promoter of Gain Bitcoin Ponzi scam Amit Bhardwaj for setting up Bitcoin mining farm in Ukraine, the ED says.

The deal, however, did not materialise, but Kundra is still in possession of 285 Bitcoins which are presently valued at more than Rs 150 crore, the ED maintains.

Other controversies involving Raj-Shilpa

Earlier, in 2021, Kundra was arrested by the Mumbai Police after four women complained that they were forced to shoot pornographic content after being promised an acting job in web series. He was released on bail two months later and an application filed by him seeking discharge in the case is reportedly pending before the trial court.

Also in 2021, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had imposed a penalty of Rs 3 lakhs on Viaan Industries, and its promoters Shilpa Shetty and Raj Kundra, after finding them guilty of not complying with its regulations in insider trading.

The same year Shilpa Shetty and her mother Sunanda Shetty were investigated by the Lucknow police in an alleged fraud involving money taken for opening a branch of a spa and wellness chain and not fulfilling the promise. The chairperson of the spa and wellness chain later clarified that Shilpa Shetty and her mother Sunanda Shetty had no connection with the chain and that they had amicably parted ways long ago.

In 2013, while being a co-owner of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchisee Rajasthan Royals, Kundra’s name was linked to a betting scam involving IPL matches, which led to a ban on him from cricket for life.

Google Clamps Down On Activist Employees, Sacks 28



Google, one of the world’s largest companies, has been grappling with growing activism within sections of its 180,000+ workforce seeking among other things overhauls on pay, harassment and ethics by the company. In a latest run-in over the company’s Nimbus Cloud contract with various ministries of the Israeli government, Google has fired 28 employees involved in persistent protests and obstructions despite warnings from the company’s top leadership.

The strict action follows several employees participating in sit-ins at the company’s New York and Sunnyvale, California offices. Nine staffers were arrested by the police a day earlier on charges of trespass at the two offices after being reported by the company.

Google has sternly warned that physically impeding other employees’ work and preventing them from accessing the company’s facilities is a clear violation of its policies, and completely unacceptable behavior.

According to media reports, tensions had been brewing between the company’s top leadership and a well knit section of activist employees over Project Nimbus, a $1.2 billion deal between Google and Amazon to supply the Israeli government with cloud services, including artificial intelligence, which the protesting employees allege will aid Israel’s military.

The rift has widened to a gulf since the war in Gaza strip began in October 2023 following the most devastating multi pronged lightening terror attack by Hamas and other outfits on southern Israel, which left 1700 people, including 600 soldiers of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) and 60 policemen, dead and hundreds of others injured. An unspecified number of people were also kidnapped by the attackers and held hostage in the Gaza strip.

The brutal full scale retaliatory war unleashed by Israel on the Gaza strip has triggered a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented proportions in the Palestinian territory with an estimated  33,000+ people killed in Gaza and 76,000 others wounded and lakhs staring at starvation.

While Google asserted that it had terminated the 28 employees after concluding individual investigations, the activist employees described the company action as a “flagrant act of retaliation” and alleged that some employees who did not directly participate in the protests were also among those fired.

Massive Eruption Of Ruang Volcano In Indonesia Triggers Evacuations


Raises fears of 1871 like tsunami which killed 400 people

A dramatic eruption on Wednesday, after two previous main explosive events in the Ruang volcano on Ruang island, in the North Sulawesti province of Indonesia, on Wednesday, which spewed a fiery-red column of lava, incandescent rock, and ash as much as three kms into the sky, has lead to large scale evacuations, temporary closure of a provisional airport and raised fears of a 1871 like tsunami that killed 400 people.

According to the National Agency for Disaster Countermeasure, named BNPB, the country’s Multiplatform Application for Geohazard Mitigation and Assessment (MAGMA) has raised the alert level for the volcano, which has a peak of 725 metres above the sea level, to IV, the highest in the four-tiered system.

Officials worry that part of the volcano could collapse into the sea and cause a tsunami, as happened in 1871.

BNPD informed in a statement that people living in Tagulandang Island area, located a km north-east of Ruang Island, and others that are within a radius of six km, especially those living close to the coast, have been ordered to be immediately evacuated to a safe place.

A TV grab of the Ruang volcano eruption

The volcano was still billowing a column of smoke on Thursday morning, prompting authorities to shut the nearest international airport in Manado city on Sulawesi island for 24 hours.

Runways were shut “due to the spread of volcanic ash which could endanger flight safety”, Ambar Suryoko, head of the Manado region airport authority office, has been reported as saying.

The airport hosts airlines that fly to Singapore and cities in South Korea and China.

Indonesia sits along the “Ring of Fire”, the most active zone in the world for seismic activity.

In December 2023, more than 20 people died in Indonesia after a surprise volcanic eruption at Mount Marapi on the island of Sumatra.

According to a study, among the 17,504 islands in Indonesia, there are 22 volcanic islands with records of volcanic eruptions from pre-historic times. As much as 75% of these are classified as active and have a high potential to endanger the surrounding population which generally lives on small islands.

More than 150,000 people have been evacuated in 25 volcanic unrests on nine volcanic islands during 1966 to 2017.

The largest fatalities from eruptions on volcanic islands have been caused by volcanic tsunamis. Between 416 and 2018, there were 19 volcanic tsunami events on Indonesia’s volcanic islands, resulting in 41,328 deaths, the study added

AAP Names 3 MLAs In Final List Of Punjab Candidates For Lok Sabha Elections 2024

Tinu pitted against “deserter” Rinku from Jalandhar (SC); MLAs Sherry Kalsi, Kaka Brar, and Pappi Parashar also in fray

The ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab named three of its incumbent MLAs in its final list of four candidates to cover all 13 Lok Sabha seats in the state which go to the polls on June 1.

As per the list posted on X by the party’s national general secretary (organization) Dr Sandeep Pathak , the party MLA from Batala Amansher Singh Sherry Kalsi will contest from Gurdaspur,  Jagdeep Singh Kaka Brar, MLA Muktsar, will be in the race from Ferozepur, and Ludhiana (Central) MLA Ashok Parashar Pappi is being fielded from Ludhiana parliamentary seat.

Two-time former Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MLA from Adampur constituency Pawan Kumar Tinu, who resigned from his party and was welcomed into the AAP fold by Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann recently, has been pitted in Jalandhar (SC) against Sushil Kumar Rinku, who, despite having been repeated from the seat by AAP quit the party and joined the BJP, and is now the candidate of the saffron party. Former chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi of the Congress is a formidable candidate from the constituency.

BJP Names 3 More Candidates In Punjab For Lok Sabha Elections 2024

Parampal Kaur Sidhu
Incumbent MP & Union minister of State Som Prakash’s wife Anita from Hoshiarpur (SC), Ex-IAS Parampal Kaur from Bathinda, and Manjit Singh Manna Mianwind from Khadoor Sahib

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has announced the names of three more candidates to contest the Lok Sabha elections 2024 from Punjab, which goes to the polls in the last phase on June 1.

With this the party, which is contesting the parliamentary elections in the border state for the first time outside of the alliance with its senior Punjab partner Shiromani Akali Dal, has named candidates to nine of the 13 seats.

Expectedly, Parampal Kaur Sidhu, daughter-in-law of senior Akali leader and former Punjab cabinet Minister Sikandar Singh Maluka, who recently resigned from the IAS and joined the BJP along with her husband Gurpreet Singh, Chairman of Bathinda zila parishad, has been fielded by the party from Bathinda.

File photo of Anita with her husband Som Prakash

From Hoshiarpur (SC) seat, which the party has traditionally been contesting as part of the alliance, and from where it won the last two elections in 2014 and 2019, the BJP has replaced its incumbent MP and Union minister of state Som Prakash with his wife Anita Som Prakash apparently on considerations of advancing age and health issues. Som Prakash crossed 75 years of age recently.

Manjit Singh Manna Mianwind

The party has reposed faith in the candidature of BJP district president (Amritsar Rural) Manjit Singh Manna Mianwind from Khadoor Sabha Lok Sabha constituency. A two-time Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MLA from Khadoor Sahib assembly constituency (2002, 2007), Manjit Singh later moved to the newly constituted Baba Bakala (SC) assembly constituency.

He joined the BJP prior to the 2022 assembly elections in the state after he was denied the SAD ticket from Baba Bakala. However, he lost his security deposit when he joined the fray as a BJP candidate from the same constituency, as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) wave swept the state.

The Baba Bakala seat was also won by AAP candidate Dalbir Singh Tong by a big margin. SAD candidate Baljit Singh Jalal Ushman finished a distant third behind Santokh Singh Bhalaipur of the Congress.





Kejriwal Fails to Get Immediate Relief From SC In Liquor Policy Case

File photo of Arvind Kejriwal

Trial court extends his judicial custody till April 23

Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) National Convenor Arvind Kejriwal on Monday 15.04.2024 failed to get immediate relief from the Supreme Court of India on his plea challenging a Delhi High Court order upholding his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and his subsequent remand in connection with the Delhi excise policy case.

Hearing his plea, a bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta issued notice to the ED directing it to file a reply by April 24. The matter would next be heard in the week commencing April 29.

During the hearing on Monday, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Kejriwal, sought “an extremely short date (Friday)” to begin hearing the petition, which was declined by the court. “We will give a reasonable date… a very short date. But not what you are saying,” the court said, as it also told Singhvi to “reserve your arguments” after he continued to press for an earlier hearing.

Meanwhile, in a related hearing, a Delhi court extended Kejriwal’s judicial custody till April 23.

Kejriwal was produced virtually before special judge Kaveri Baweja of the Rouse Avenue Courts on the expiry of his judicial custody. The Court said it is extending custody till April 23 when judicial custody of co-accused (Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader K Kavitha) is also ending.

Earlier, the Rouse Avenue Courts also sent K Kavitha to judicial custody till April 23 after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) did not seek an extension of her three-day police custody and sought 14-day judicial custody instead. The CBI submitted before the court that she did not cooperate with its investigation and “deliberately gave evasive replies contrary to the evidence on record”.

K Kavitha is the daughter of former Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.


Samsung Regains Top Smartphone Maker Slot, As Apple Records Greater Fall In Shipments In 1Q24

Image Courtesy: Samsung


Preliminary data collated by US based premier market intelligence and research organization International Data Corporation (IDC) for the Jan-March 2024 quarter shows that Korean smartphone giant Samsung has once again reasserted its top position in the smartphone market worldwide, dethroning iPhone maker Apple, which had managed to capture the top spot at the end of 2023.

IDC, headquartered in Needham, Massachusetts, shared this information from its Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker in a handout posted on its website on Monday.

Apple’s global smartphone shipments reportedly fell by 9.6% in the quarter, from 55.4 million units in the same period last year to 50.1 million units. Samsung’s shipments also fell during this period, but by just 0.7% to 60.1 million units. Apple’s global market share fell to 17.3% from 20.7% a year ago, while Samsung’s fell to 20.8% from 22.5% amid rising sales of Chinese companies Xiaomi and Transsion.

Xiaomi, the third largest smartphone shipper in the quarter, recorded almost 34% rise in sales to 40.8 million units, while Transsion shipments leaped 85% to 28.5 million. OPPO overtook Vivo to claim the fifth spot in the first quarter.

However, striking a note of optimism, the IDC handout noted that the global smartphone shipments increased 7.8% year over year to 289.4 million units in the first quarter of 2024 (1Q24). “While the industry is not completely out of the woods, as macroeconomic challenges remain in many markets, this marks the third consecutive quarter of shipment growth, a strong indicator that a recovery is well underway,” it added.

Ryan Reith, group vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers, shared: “As expected, smartphone recovery continues to move forward with market optimism slowly building among the top brands.”

While IDC expects Samsung and Apple to maintain their hold on the high end of the market, it envisions that the resurgence of Huawei in China, as well as notable gains from Xiaomi, Transsion, OPPO/OnePlus, and Vivo will likely have both OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) looking for areas to expand and diversify. In its opinion as the recovery progresses, the top companies can be expected to gain share, as the smaller brands struggle for positioning.

IDC’s research director of its Worldwide Tracker team Nabila Popal adds: “The smartphone market is emerging from the turbulence of the last two years both stronger and changed. Firstly, we continue to see growth in value and average selling prices (ASPs) as consumers opt for more expensive devices knowing they will hold onto their devices longer. Secondly, there is a shift in power among the Top 5 companies, which will likely continue as market players adjust their strategies in a post-recovery world.

“Xiaomi is coming back strong from the large declines experienced over the past two years and Transsion is becoming a stable presence in the Top 5 with aggressive growth in international markets. In contrast, while the Top 2 players both saw negative growth in the first quarter, it seems Samsung is in a stronger position overall than they were in recent quarters,” she concluded.

Channi It Is From Jalandhar, Khaira from Sangrur In Cong’s First List Of 6 Candidates For 2024 Lok Sabha Elections In Punjab

Charanjit Singh Channi fielded from Jalandhar (SC) lok sabha seat
Dr Gandhi from Patiala; Aujla & Amar Singh retained from Amritsar & Fatehgarh Sahib

The Indian National Congress (INC) has finally named its candidates for six of the 13 Lok Sabha seats from Punjab which is going to the polls in the final phase of the 2024 elections on June 1.

The six have found their names in another list of 10 candidates from Delhi, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh released by the party late on Sunday.

The candidates named for Punjab seats

  • Amritsar – Gurjeet Singh Aujla
  • Jalandhar (SC) – Chranjit Singh Channi
  • Fatehgarh Sahib (SC) – Dr Amar Singh
  • Bathinda – Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu
  • Sangrur – Sukhpal Singh Khaira
  • Patiala – Dr Dharam Vira Gandhi
Gurjit Singh Aujla retained from Amritsar
Dr Amar Singh retained from Fatehgarh Sahib (SC) seat

The party has retained its sitting MPs Gurjeet Singh Aujla and Dr Amar Singh from Amritsar and Fatehgarh Sahib (SC) constituencies, respectively. Former chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi has expectedly been fielded from Jalandhar (SC) seat and firebrand party MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira, on bail in a 2015 drug haul case, from Sangrur.

There is a special significance attached to Khaira being fielded from Sangrur. He and AAP chief minister of Punjab Bhagwant Singh Mann, who represented the constituency twice in the Lok Sabha from 2014 to 2022 before quitting the seat midway through the second term to contest the 2022 assembly elections in the state, have been involved in a long and bitter running battle of words. In giving him its ticket from the constituency, the Congress appears to be seeking to send a strong message to Mann.

Sukhpal Singh Khaira gets ticket from Sangrur

Khaira has been a three time MLA from Bholath. He began his political career with the Congress and later moved to the AAP in 2015. He remained AAP’s Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly for a year during 2017-18 before being suspended by the party for alleged anti-party activities.

In January 2019, he resigned from the primary membership of the party and floated a new political party Punjab Ekta Party. The same year he resigned from his assembly seat and contested the Lok Sabha elections from Bathinda as a candidate of the Punjab Democratic Alliance. He however lost the election.

He was welcomed back into the Congress fold in June 2021 by then Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh at the height of the leadership crisis besetting the latter. Khaira brought with him two rebel AAP MLAs Jagdev Singh Kamalu and Pirmal Singh Khalsa ahead of the 2022 assembly elections in the state. He again won the Bholath seat on the Congress ticket.

Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu gets party nod from Bathinda

From Bathinda, the party has placed its faith on four-time MLA from Talwandi Sabo Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu, who quit the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) after being suspended for alleged anti-party activities, and returned to the Congress in October 2023.

In Patiala, former AAP MP and cardiologist Dr Dharam Vira Gandhi, who joined the Congress recently, has been given the party ticket. The party’s four-time MP from this constituency and former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s wife Preneet Kaur had recently quit the party and joined her husband in the BJP. She is now the saffron party’s candidate for the June 1 elections. Dr Gandhi as an AAP candidate had defeated then incumbent Preneet Kaur in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections by over 20,000 votes.

Dr Dharam Vira Gandhi is party candidate from Patiala

He was made the AAP parliamentary party leader, but sacked in April 2021 when he spoke out against the expulsion of senior leaders like Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan from the party’s National Executive and later from the party. He was at that time replaced by party’s national convenor Arvind Kejriwal’s loyalist Bhagwant Singh Mann, the current chief minister of Punjab.

He had later quit the party and launched an outfit of his own called ‘Punjab Manch’. He unsuccessfully contested the 2019 lok sabha elections from the constituency as an Nawan Punjab Party (NPP) candidate, finishing third behind Preneet Kaur of the Congress and Surjit Singh Rakhra of SAD.

Heroic Mom Died Protecting Her Baby From Sydney Mall Stabbing Spree

CCTV grab of the attacker who went on a stabbing spree in a Sydney mall on 13.04.2024

A grievously stabbed new mother’s heroic dying act in trying to save her 9-month-old baby, which also suffered stab wounds in a mass and indiscriminate knife attack by a lone apparently “mentally ill” man in a Sydney shopping mall in Australia on Saturday, is the subject of administration across the country, which is in mourning over the horrific incident that has left at least six people dead, including the 38 years old woman, and several others injured.

According to media reports, more casualties were avoided by the timely intervention of a woman police officer on duty nearby who rushed alone to scene on getting information of the attack and shot the rampaging attacker dead.

File photo of Sydney mall stabbing spree victim Ash Good with her baby

The woman, later identified as Ash Good, and the baby, Harriet were reportedly among the first ones to be stabbed as the attacker, wearing a sports jersey and shorts, madly ran through at least two levels in the Westfield Bondi Junction Shopping Center with a large knife in hand, randomly chasing and brutally stabbing people.

Profusely bleeding from her stab wounds, Ash ran towards two strangers, later identified as brothers, and thrust her stabbed baby into the arms of one of them, hoping they would save it. Showing great presence of mind amidst the panic, the strangers pulled the stabbed mom and baby into a store and tied their wounds with whatever clothing they could find in an attempt to reduce the bleeding before emergency services reached the scene.

Rushed to hospital, the woman, however, could not survive, and the baby, after emergency surgery, is still serious but in stable condition. Out of the six dead, five were women.

During investigations into the incident, police authorities identified the attacker as Joel Cauchi (40) from Queensland state and linked the attack possibility to Cauchi’s mental health issues. In a statement released through Queensland Police, his family described his actions as “horrific” and said he had mental health issues “since he was a teenager”.