China fourth quarter GDP growth slows to 6.4 percent, as expected



China’s economy grew 6.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018 from a year earlier, official data showed on Monday, in line with expectations and slower than the previous quarter’s 6.5 percent growth.+ADw-div class+AD0AIg-feedflare+ACIAPg
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NDTV

Played By Ben Affleck In Argo, Tony Mendez, CIA Agent Who Escaped Iran, Dies


Tony Mendez, covert operations specialist, came up with an original plan to rescue US diplomats from Iran

Washington: 

Former CIA agent Tony Mendez, who engineered a creative way to smuggle US hostages out of Iran in 1980 and was immortalized in the Hollywood film “Argo,” died of complications from Parkinson’s Disease, his family said. He was 78.

Mendez, who will have a private burial in Nevada, died on Saturday, his literary agent Christy Fletcher said via Twitter, relaying a family statement.

“The last thing he and his wife Jonna Mendez did was get their new book to the publisher and he died feeling he had completed writing the stories that he wanted to be told,” the family statement read.

It added that Mendez had been suffering from Parkinson’s for the past 10 years.

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Actor Ben Affleck, who starred as Tony Mendez in the Hollywood production, described the ex-agent on Twitter as “a man of extraordinary grace, decency, humility and kindness … I’m so proud to have worked for him and to have told one of his stories.”

Faux Sci-Fi Movie

When Iranian revolutionaries seized the US embassy in Tehran in 1979, a handful of diplomats managed to escape through a back door and took refuge at the Canadian embassy.

Mendez, a specialist in covert operations, came up with an original plan to rescue them: set up the production in Hollywood of a faux science fiction movie titled “Argo,” travel to Iran to scout out locations, then return to the United States with the hostages masquerading as the film crew.

The six US diplomats, armed with fake Canadian passports, slipped out of Iran and to safety on January 27, 1980.

The story served as inspiration for the film “Argo,” which won three Oscars in 2013 including for best motion picture.

Fifty-two other Americans were not as lucky, and were held hostage by the Iranian revolutionaries for 444 days.

Secretary of State and former CIA chief Mike Pompeo described Mendez as “an extraordinarily gifted intelligence officer” and “truly an American hero.”

Actor Ben Affleck, who starred as Mendez in the Hollywood production, described the ex-agent on Twitter as “a man of extraordinary grace, decency, humility and kindness … I’m so proud to have worked for him and to have told one of his stories.”

Mendez’s latest book, co-authored with his wife Jonna — also formerly with the CIA — is due out in May and titled “The Moscow Rules: The Secret CIA Tactics That Helped America Win the Cold War.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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Saints coach laments late blown call in loss to Rams



New Orleans coach Sean Payton said the NFL’s league office told him referees had blown a call in Sunday’s National Football Conference (NFC) championship game that cost the Saints a trip to the Super Bowl.+ADw-div class+AD0AIg-feedflare+ACIAPg
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China posts slowest economic growth since 1990

China posts slowest economic growth since 1990


The world’s second-biggest economy expanded 6.6%, according to official data published Monday. That’s the weakest annual performance since 1990.

Growth slowed to 6.4% in the fourth quarter of 2018, in line with economist’s predictions.

The Chinese economy has lost momentum following government efforts to try to rein in high levels of debt. It has also started coming under pressure from the trade war with the trade war with the United States, which has resulted in new tariffs on more than $250 billion of Chinese exports.

China’s economic growth is expected to drop closer to 6% in 2019. But many analysts are skeptical about the accuracy of the government figures and say growth may be significantly lower in reality.

This is a developing story.



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Ravish Pal Singh

Jab You Vote: Congress netas want Kareena to contest polls, say Yuva will back her


The leaders argued that since Kareena Kapoor is famous among youngsters, they will vote for her.

Kareena Kapoor

File Photo- Reuters

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Congress leaders Guddu Chauhan and Anees Khan put forward the demand
  • They said Kareena’s ties with the Pataudi family will help her win the election
  • Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi was soundly defeated in 1991 Lok Sabha elections in Bhopal

Probably buoyed by the recent success in assembly elections, Congress leaders in Madhya Pradesh have put forward a demand that actress Kareena Kapoor should be given a chance to contest Lok Sabha elections from Bhopal on party ticket.

Congress leaders Guddu Chauhan and Anees Khan have come up with the plan which they say will be instrumental in unseating BJP from power in the city that has become its stronghold. Bhopal has chosen to elect a BJP MP for decades.

Guddu Chauhan and Anees Khan argued that since Kareena Kapoor has a great fan-following among the youngsters, they will vote for her.

Additionally, they pointed out, being a daughter-in-law of Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi will work in Kareena’s favour. Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, father of actor Saif Ali Khan, was born in Bhopal. His grandfather was the last ruling Nawab of Bhopal.

The Pataudi family has had strong ties with the city. Kareena Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Sharmila Tagore and Soha Ali Khan have visited Bhopal many times.

The two Congress leaders strongly feel that this will translate into votes for Congress if Kareena Kapoor contests on the party ticket. Chauhan and Khan are eager to meet Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath to discuss the matter further.

Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi had contested Lok Sabha elections from Bhopal in the year 1991. He was soundly defeated by BJP’s Sushil Chandra Verma.

Verma had defeated Pataudi with a margin of more than one lakh votes.

BJP lashes out at Congress

BJP took potshots at the Congress after the demand for Kareena Kapoor’s candidacy.

“Congress ke paas neta nahi bache isliye abhineta ke sahare chunaav ladna chah rahe hain (Congress does not have a strong candidate, so it is now trying to field an actor),” said Alok Sanjar, current MP of Bhopal.

He claimed that the Congress is trying to “import” a candidate from Mumbai as they are no competent local leaders. He expressed confidence that BJP will win Bhopal in upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

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Detained ex-Nissan chairman Ghosn offers stock, passports for bail



Ousted Nissan Motor Co chairman Carlos Ghosn has offered to post stock he owns in the automaker as collateral, surrender his passports and submit to electronic tracking as part of a renewed effort to persuade a Tokyo court to grant him bail while he awaits trial on charges of financial misconduct, a spokeswoman for the car executive said.+ADw-div class+AD0AIg-feedflare+ACIAPg
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Nissan CEO says not at stage to discuss revising capital ties with Renault: Jiji



Nissan CEO Hirota Saikawa said he had not heard about a reported French proposal to integrate Nissan’s management with France’s Renault, adding that it was not the stage to discuss revising their capital ties, Jiji news agency reported on Monday.+ADw-div class+AD0AIg-feedflare+ACIAPg
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Mexico gasoline pipeline leak detected hours before fatal blast



Mexico’s state oil firm, Pemex, did not close the valve at a leaking gasoline pipeline when first notified because it was not initially thought to be an +ACI-important+ACI leak, Mexico’s security minister said on Sunday.+ADw-div class+AD0AIg-feedflare+ACIAPg
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Bitter cold cancels some U.S. lunar eclipse festivities



Many lunar eclipse festivities were canceled due to a flash freeze across the central and northeastern U.S. states on Sunday, with icy roadways rather than cloudy skies blamed by astronomers for spoiling the party.+ADw-div class+AD0AIg-feedflare+ACIAPg
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End +ACYAIw-039+ADs-no-deal brinkmanship+ACYAIw-039+ADs and let+ACYAIw-039+ADs-s talk, Britain+ACYAIw-039+ADs-s Corbyn tells May



Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party, will reiterate on Monday his willingness to talk to Prime Minister Theresa May on ways to break the deadlock over Brexit but not while the government wastes money on +ACI-no-deal brinkmanship+ACI.+ADw-div class+AD0AIg-feedflare+ACIAPg
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