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YouTube extends music streaming service to Europe

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PARIS: YouTube extended its music streaming service to Europe Monday a month after it launched in North America and parts of Asia.

YouTube Music will offer Europeans millions of songs and videos advertising-free for a subscription of 9.99 euros a month — 11 per cent more expensive than its US version. An existing free version of the standalone service with ads will continue with “a reimagined mobile app and brand new desktop player”, it said.

The Google-owned giant said it would have “thousands of playlists… millions of songs, albums and artist radio” – a tool than allows listeners to build radio lists around a singer or band. The new service is an attempt by the Californian digital empire to combat its fast-growing rivals like Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer.

Google boasts that 1.3 billion internet users already listen to music via YouTube, but it wants a bigger slice of the paid-for music market. The music industry lobby group, the IFPI, said that 176 million people around the world paid to stream music in 2017, the majority on Sweden-based Spotify, which has 75 million paying subscribers.

YouTube has faced criticism from the music industry for abusing its position, with the IFPI saying that it only pays $1 a year per user in royalties to artists while Spotify pays $20.

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Controversies emerge online as Teefa in Trouble breaks records!

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KARACHI: Ali Zafar and Maya Ali’s most-anticipated venture Teefa in Trouble has become the chartbuster as soon as it hit the cinemas.

According to the details, hordes of cinephiles thronged the theatres and the endeavor broke the opening day box office record.

The film successfully manages to gross some Rs22.5 million, smashing the earlier record held by Jawani Phir Nahi Ani.

The flick has entertained the cinemagoers while winning their hearts at the same time. As a matter of fact, critics reckon the venture as the dawn for Pakistani cinema.

Social media controversies?

With the release of the blockbuster film, videos and snaps of protests against Zafar and the film started making round on social media.

Sources privy to NPTV have been intimated that when the premiere of Teefa in Trouble was held on Thursday here in this Megapolis, a group of protesters converged there and chanted slogans against Zafar, who had been accused of sexual misconduct by Meesha Shafi.

Today, a group of protesters assembled inside the Nueplex Cinema. Security forced them out but they kept on protesting outside the theatre.

A source quoted one of the protestors as lamenting, “We arrived at the protest around 2:30 pm. They forced us out of the cinema and when we were exiting, we heard this girl screaming, she was one of ours. Four guards had snatched her phone saying she was recording a video.”

“When we went to get her, the Nueplex security forced us down into the basement, they headbutted us with their guns, they pointed a gun at a 17-year-old. There were 20 of them against four of us. They also made us kneel while we waited for the police to come to pick us up.”

Nevertheless, according to reports received from a number of countries the movie has been completely sold out. 

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Ali breaks silence on Shafi’s harassment controversy!

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LAHORE: For the first time, singer-cum-actor Ali Zafar opens up about the allegations of assaulting singer Meesha Shafi.

He muses, “People will find out in time. With time everything comes out and the truth unveils itself. I, since day one, said that I will not fight this over social media as I will take the professional course and I have sought professional remedies and the due course of law shall give justice in time.”

He went on to claim, ” she was a very close family friend, she used to come to our house, she was my wife’s friend.” He continued, “We had a concert together, and the jam that she’s talking about, that has a video and there were 10 witnesses and two witnesses out of that jam were women. They came out in the open and said that ‘we were there how could she even think and say this?’ I was hurt since I’ve been working towards women empowerment.”

Asserting that Meesha raised bogus accusations just to get publicity, the singer further says, “What she has to gain from all of this is something I shouldn’t even be commenting on at this point.”

Amid all such negativity, Zafar’s Teefa in Trouble has been released today. Nevertheless, Ali is optimistic. “I don’t worry because when you know things and when you are on the right side and know the truth you don’t worry because falsehood by its nature is bound to perish.”

Readers may recall how Meesha uploaded a snap on Twitter in April and wrote, “I have been subjected to sexual harassment of a physical nature at the hands of a colleague from my industry: Ali Zafar. These incidences did not happen when I was young or just entering the industry. This happened to be despite the fact that I am an empowered, accomplished woman who is known for speaking her mind! This happened to me as a mother of two children.”

“Ali is someone I have known for many years and someone I shared the stage with. I feel betrayed by his behavior and his attitude and I know that I am not alone,” added she.

Responding to this, Ali, while sharing the picture on Twitter, posted, “I categorically deny any and all claims of harassment lodged against me by Ms. Shafi. I intend to take this through the courts of law and to address this professionally and seriously, rather than to lodge any allegations here.”

At the moment, the case is persisting in court and the session court Lahore judge Shahzad Ahmed has summoned Meesha while commanding her to submit the response to the defamation suit filed by Ali. However, she has not shown up till the date and off to abroad.

Relevant pieces published earlier:

Meesha isn’t obliged to appear in court: Counsel

Ali’s suit: Meesha to submit her response by 5th July!

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Is Ali Zafar’s Teefa in a trouble due to Bollywood’s Dhadak?

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LAHORE: Sources privy to NPTV have been intimated that the Central Board of Film Censors (CBFC) has given a go-ahead nod to the forthcoming Bollywood movie titled Dhadak to be screened here in Pakistan.

According to the details, the Punjab Film Censor Board (PFCB) and Sindh Film Censor Board (SFCB) assessed the venture on Wednesday as to decide whether it would be released here on not.

As per our sources, PFCB and SFCB will also clear Dhadak. It is bound to clash with Ali Zafar’s most-anticipated venture entitled Teefa in Trouble as they both are scheduled to go on the floors this Friday, 20th July. 

As per a well-placed source, “This weekend will probably be one of the busier ones due to the release of two new films. We are expecting both Teefa in Trouble and Dhadak to receive a great response from the public.”

“Sridevi’s death earlier this year may encourage the public to watch Dhadak. However, we also have faith in our local films. I believe both Teefa in Trouble and Dhadak will overshadow Sanju, even though Sanju is still playing in cinemas and providing great revenue,” added the source.

It has further been revealed that Dhadak is a simple love narrative sans any bold or obscene content. The film is a debutant venture of Shahid Kapoor’s brother Ishaan Khattar and Bollywood legend Sridevi’s daughter Janhvi Kapoor.

Helmed by Shashank Khaitan, the film also harbors actors Aditya Kumar, Ashutosh Rana and others in a significant role.

On the other hand, Teefa in Trouble trailer and songs such as Item Number, Chan Ve and lately released Sajna Door went to the top of the charts.

The film, which has an ensemble of ace actors such as Javed Sheikh, Faisal Qureshi, and Mahmood Aslam, is said to be the most expensive Pakistani movie to date. Also, this is the first endeavor to be screened in Russian cinemas including more than 25 states globally in multiple languages.

It is pertinent to mention here that pundits at the helm of affairs are of the view that Teefa in Trouble, claiming to be a family movie, has already received much hype among the cinephiles. Therefore, the film will be a huge success anyhow even after having being clashed with the said Bollywood venture. (Aiman Inam)

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