World
Paris bistros crack down on loud-mouthed tourists
Cafes and bistros across the French capital have launched a crack-down on loud-mouthed foreign tourists, claiming they're ruining "the sophistication of the Paris dining experience", a media report said on Wednesday.
 
Cafés and brasseries across the city are signing up to the MEP! campaign, which stands for Manger en Paix (Eat in Peace), The Local news portal reported.
 
The crusade was launched in March by the Union of Paris Restaurants, Cafés, Brasseries and Small and Medium-sized Bistros -- a mouthful of UPRCBSMB -- and was the brainchild of one restaurant owner in the 1st Arrondissement who said the city's famed refined dining culture was under threat from "foreign foghorns".
 
"It's about respect for the city of Paris, for its history, its gastronomy, and its waiters," owner of the renowned La Bibliotheque restaurant, Alain Gueulard said.
 
"These people -- and yes I am mainly talking about Americans, British, Irish, Australians, New Zealanders and Spanish -- show no respect for other diners, particularly French ones," he said.
 
"They talk like they're at a heavy metal festival whereas any Parisian who has been brought up how to eat with etiquette knows that dining out is more like listening to a classical music concert. You just can't shout."
 
Restaurants that signed the campaign are given posters to display in windows and placemats for tables that warn diners they are in an "Eat in Peace" environment.
 
The logos show what appears to be camera-wearing tourists speaking loudly with a red cross through them. Beneath the images are warnings, in English, encouraging patrons to keep their voice down. 
 
"Tourists must understand we are in Paris, not London, New York or Glasgow. If they want to scream in each other's ears, then they should go to a swingers' club, not a bistro," said Femi Labouche, owner of the famed Michelin star diner "Quoi Quoi" on Rue des Rêves, in the 3rd Arrondissement.
 
The dining cultures on either side of the English Channel are marked by sharp contrast: The usually tacitern Britons open up at the dining table. Their luncheon and dinner lectures are famous. The normally garrulous French falls silent as if at prayer at his dining table. 

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Coal case: Apex court suspends summons to Manmohan
In a relief to former prime minister Manmohan Singh, the Supreme Court on Wednesday put on hold the summons issued by a special court in connection with the allocation of 15 percent share in the Talabira II coal block to Kumar Mangalam Birla owned Hindalco.
 
The apex court bench of Justice V. Gopala Gowda and Justice C. Nagappan suspended the summons by the special court holding trial of coal scam cases as senior counsel Kapil Sibal, questioning the March 11 order summoning Manmohan Singh, asked where was the act of illegallity.
 
Posing a number of questions, Sibal said: "Is it illegal to allocate mines? Is it illegal to choose private parties to allocate the mines?" Sibal asked where was the illegality.
 
Can the prime minister not review the decisions of the steering committee and balance the competitive public interest by allocating a part of Talabira II to Hindalco?
 
Sibal said that the guidelines for the allocation of the coal blocks were not statutory in nature and the prime minister can any time take decisions bypassing the guidelines.
 
While suspending the summons issued by the special court, the court issued notice to the CBI on a batch of petitions challenging the March 11 order.
 
The court also issued a notice to the central government on a writ petition by Kumar Mangalam Birla who challenged the constitutional validity of a section in the Prevention of Corruption Act.
 
Besides the summons to Manmohan Singh, the court also put on hold the summons against industrialist Kumar Manglam Birla, former coal secretary P.C. Parakh, D. Bhattacharya and Hindalco.
 
Manmohan Singh on March 25 moved the apex court to contest the special court's March 11, 2015, order directing him to appear before it for granting a share in the combined Talabira II and Talabira III coal block in Orissa to Kumar Mangalam Birla-owned Hindalco in 2005.
 
The special court trying coal block allocation scam cases on March 11 summoned Manmohan Singh, Birla, Parakh and Bhattacharya for offences of criminal conspiracy, breach of trust, and under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. 
 
The court summoned Manmohan Singh, Birla and Parakh after it rejected the closure report by the CBI.

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Lights, Camera, Action! Bollywood-themed eateries trend pan-India
The owners may be professional restaurateurs or diehard Bollywood fans, but they've chosen their unique ways to showcase their love for popular Hindi cinema through their joints
 
Imagine gorging on 'Anda Apna Apna' or 'Chicken Tussi Great Ho" at a restaurant with walls splashed with Bollywood posters, dialogues and film memorabilia. Special-themed eateries across India are cashing in on the craze for everything Bollywood - films, songs and stars.
 
The owners may be professional restaurateurs or diehard Bollywood fans, but they've chosen their unique ways to showcase their love for popular Hindi cinema through their joints.
 

Bollywood-inspired cafés are definitely in vogue, says Delhi's leading restaurateur Priyank Sukhija, who will soon open the doors of his pet project, Lights Camera Action, in the capital's trendy Hauz Khas Village. He stresses on the universal love for Bollywood music in the country, proven by the success of special Sufi nights and Bollywood karaoke bars.
 
"We all are Hindustani, and love the flavours of our movies. Lights Camera Action will be a fun place. With Bollywood themed interiors, the place has funky artwork and displays with popular dialogues like 'Mere paas maa hai'," Sukhija told IANS, pointing out at how his eatery will have room for all age-groups.
 
"It has displays from old classics to all-time favourites and more," he added.
 
In the capital's suburb Gurgaon, live entertainment destination Kingdom of Dream's restaurant IIFA Buzz Cafe has been planned as a complete Bollywood experience with thematic décor, props, music, special effects and larger-than-life moments of reel life in the form of posters, records, props and star memorabilia.
 
There's also one in Jharkhand, a chaat shop pioneered by Pappu Singh, an ardent fan of Bollywood's dancing queen Madhuri Dixit. Jamshedpur-based Pappu Singh, who has been in the business since 1995, celebrates Madhuri's birthday every year on May 15.
 
How's that?
 
Pappu Singh met Madhuri once and she tied to him a rakhi!
 
"As a fan of Madhuri Dixit, I started celebrating her birthday in 1996. Every year a number of people are invited and her birthday is celebrated with fanfare," Pappu Singh told IANS as he served up a yummy dahi bhalla followed by a kulfi faluda.
 
And in keeping with his intent, every inch of the walls and roof is papered over with posters of Madhuri from a range of films.
 
"My chaat shop is the best way to pay tribute to a Bollywood legend," Pappu Singh said, handing out a jal jeera-filled gol gappa to another customer.
 
In Mumbai, another such fan with a creative mind showcased his love for the 'Bhai' of Bollywood, Salman Khan, by opening a restaurant named Bhaijaanz.
 
"Being Bandra-ites and Samlan-iacs, since our childhood we wanted to do something dedicated to him, with the right essence of his taste (the fun he offers). We have dedicated a culinary tribute to our idol," Bhaijaanz owner Rahul Narain Kanal told IANS.
 
Bhaijaanz has a very quirky menu with dishes like "Anda Apna Apna", "Chicken Tussi Great Ho" and "Machli No.1" -- all after Salman's films -- and all at affordable rates.
 
South India, too, is not behind in the trend.
 
In Hyderabad, multi-cuisine restaurant 70mm has Bollywood as the theme and was started six years ago. 70mm has a red carpet, film posters and mannequins of Helen, Amitabh Bachchan and Rajkumar.
 
The restaurant also has different sections -- action and romantic -- and also a live chaat counter. This apart, they also entertain their patrons with live Bollywood music every evening.
 
Amar Ohri, the executive director of 70 mm, said the idea germinated "as a celebration of the big screen".
 
"We have merchandise, lots of posters and even mannequins depicting various iconic scenes of popular movies. And as we say in the restaurant, the real superstar is the food," Ohri told IANS.
 
Not a bad idea to get a taste of Bollywood away from cinema halls, and in a restaurant!

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