Oprah to serve as godmother of new Holland America ship

In this Oct. 21, 2017 file photo, Oprah Winfrey arrives for the David Foster Foundation 30th Anniversary Miracle Gala and Concert, in Vancouver, British Columbia. (AP)
Updated 14 June 2018
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Oprah to serve as godmother of new Holland America ship

FLORIDA: Oprah Winfrey will serve as godmother of a new Holland America ship called the Nieuw Statendam (pronounced new STAHT-un-dam).
In a video recorded with her pal Gayle King, Winfrey recounted “sailing to Alaska last year” on a Holland America ship, adding that she is “setting sail again.”
Winfrey will join a Jan. 30 three-day “Girls’ Getaway” on the cruise line’s new ship from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Passengers may attend one of three live “Conversations with Oprah” onboard. Other getaway events will be hosted by editorial staff from O, The Oprah Magazine, including King, the editor-at-large.
Winfrey will also christen the vessel in a private ceremony at an undisclosed date. The ship is under construction in Italy.
Holland America and O, The Oprah Magazine launched a partnership in 2017.
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www.hollandamerica.com


Bollywood’s Amitabh Bachchan becomes farmers’ star after clearing loans

Updated 21 November 2018
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Bollywood’s Amitabh Bachchan becomes farmers’ star after clearing loans

  • Farmers and other agriculture workers together make up about half India’s 1.3 billion people
  • Bachchan wrote in his blog this week that he had helped 1,398 farmers from the northern state of Uttar Pradesh and felt a ‘sense of accomplishment’

CHENNAI, India: Bollywood veteran Amitabh Bachchan was hailed on Wednesday as a star of India’s farmers after clearing loans worth more than 40 million rupees ($560,000) as an agricultural crisis forces many rural workers into extreme poverty.
India’s farmers have been hit hard by a drop in commodity prices, stagnant wages, record fuel prices and high fertilizer costs, sparking rallies across the country this year calling for better prices for produce and loan waivers.
Farmers and other agriculture workers together make up about half India’s 1.3 billion people.
“It is a very big problem that has left farmers across the country in dire straits,” Rakesh Tikait, spokesperson of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Indian Farmers’ Union) told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a phone interview.
“The government policies are flawed and need an overhaul. We are fighting for that change but are thankful for any help that comes along the way.”
Tikait said Bachchan’s gesture might have been symbolic but it meant a lot for farmers who were struggling to survive.
More than 12,600 farmers and agricultural workers committed suicide in 2015 alone, accounting for about 10 percent of all suicides in India, with almost 60 percent of suicides caused by bankruptcy and indebtedness, according to official data.
Bachchan, one of Indian cinema’s most revered actors, wrote in his blog this week that he had helped 1,398 farmers from the northern state of Uttar Pradesh and felt a “sense of accomplishment.”
“Gratitude leans across to the desire of removing some of the burdens that farmers continue to suffer ... and the inner peace it generates when the desired is completed,” he wrote.