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Karnataka: Enforcement Directorate arrests 7 middlemen with Rs 93 lakh in Rs 2,000 notes

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on 13 December arrested seven alleged middlemen and seized Rs 93 lakh in new currency in Karnataka, unearthing a racket of illegal conversion of demonetised notes.

Officials said the agency placed the seven - including the relative of a government official - under arrest late on Monday under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Rs 93 lakh in new notes of Rs 2,000 have been seized in the case, they added.

6 arrested for not standing up during national anthem at Kerala film festival

A police case has been registered against six people, on 13 December, for not standing up during the national anthem at an international film festival in Kerala.

According to a report in NDTV, the police said that the men did not stand even when officials present there requested them to stand as per the Supreme Court order. The IFFK organisers and Director of Chalachitra Academy, Charmin Kamal, also asked them to stand, but they refused.

The incident occurred on 12 December at the Kannakakunnu Nishagandhi Auditorium, an open air theatre, where an Egyptian movie was being screened.

Cristiano Ronaldo pips Lionel Messi to win 2016 Ballon d'Or

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo, on 12 December, won his fourth Ballon d'Or by piping his arch nemesis Lionel Messi in their long-running duel for the title of best footballer on the planet.

2016 proved to be the year for Ronaldo as he won the Champions League for the second time in three seasons; led Portugal to their first major title at Euro 2016 and had a surprise win over France.

Ronaldo is now one Ballon d'Or behind last year's winner Messi. The 31-year-old topped the poll of 173 journalists worldwide.

Jaipur: Cooperative bank CEO goes missing after IT department seizes cash worth Rs 1.56 crore

The Income Tax department on 12 December, has seized Rs 1.56 crore, including Rs 1.38 crore in 2,000 rupee notes, from a cooperative bank in Jaipur.

Following complaints of irregularities in exchange of notes, the IT department conducted a raid at the Integral Urban Cooperative bank yesterday.

"Total cash of Rs 1.56 crore, including Rs 1.38 crore in new Rs 2000 notes, was seized from the bank," an income tax official said.

Sukhbir Singh Badal launches water cruise bus for tourists with an eye on Punjab polls

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday launched the first amphibious bus of the state at Harike Pattan Lake in Ferozepur.

After the launch, he took a ride on the bus to the confluence of the Sutlej and Beas rivers.

Inviting his political rivals to experience the natural beauty of the lake through the service, Sukhbir said he accomplished whatever he had promised during his tenure and now parties like the Congress and AAP had been left with no face to show to the people.

The smartest witch, Hermione Granger, now a Hollywood favourite

Hollywood's representation of women is nothing to write home about. So then when the super intelligent character Hermione Granger from JK Rowling's Harry Potter wins an online poll, it's a sign of good things to come.

After all, entertainment is dictated by viewership. The Hollywood Reporter conducted this poll to identify the top female characters in cinema and over 1800 people participated.

Interestingly, both male and female participants chose the same heroine for top of their list - the smartest witch of her time, Granger!

Chris Martin messes up Coldplay gig proposal, pulls up wrong woman

It's not unusual for couples to propose and get engaged marry at Coldplay gigs. Swayed by the romance of Coldplay songs, couples often to the darnest of things.

But in this case, it was Chris Martin who messed up a man's proposal ides by pulling up the wrong woman on to the stage. Martin stopped A Sky Full of Stars midway at their Melbourne gig at Etihad Stadium for the proposal.

When he discovered that he'd got the wrong woman, the Coldplay lead quickly joked if anyone else wanted to marry her this would be a good time to propose. Awkward.

Anyway, the actual proposee was soon found by the proposer and she said yes. So all's well...

Malaria control efforts 'off-track' admits WHO

According to a fresh report released by the World Health Organisation on Tuesday, there have been 212 million new cases of malaria and 429,000 deaths in 2015. While this marks a slight drop from the previous year, WHO says that too many people are missing on available resources like medicines and bed nets that protect against mosquitoes that spread the disease.

By the end of 2015, UN health faction had set a goal of bringing down malaria cases to 'near zero', however, it's far from it's aim. The new aim is to cut down malaria by 90% by 2030.

"We're far from having completed the job," Dr. Pedro Alonso, director of WHO's malaria department, told AP. "The hardest is yet to come."