Kardashians pledge $500,000 as celebs rally for Harvey storm relief

Kim Kardashian has earned millions from her KKW Beauty line. (AFP)
Updated 30 August 2017
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Kardashians pledge $500,000 as celebs rally for Harvey storm relief

LOS ANGELES: Kim Kardashian and her family on Tuesday donated a collective $500,000 to Storm Harvey relief efforts, joining celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Dwayne Johnson, NFL player J.J. Watt and comedian Kevin Hart who have pledged funds to help the tens of thousands affected by the devastation in Texas.
Kardashian, her sisters Khloe and Kourtney and mom Kris Jenner made the pledges on Twitter, directing their funds to the Red Cross and Salvation Army.
“Houston we are praying for you! My mom, sisters & I will be donating $500,000,” the TV reality star tweeted.
Tropical Storm Harvey, which hit land as a hurricane over the weekend, has brought catastrophic flooding to Texas, killing at least 11 people and paralyzing Houston. City officials on Tuesday prepared to shelter up to 19,000 people, with thousands more expected to flee the area.
“Ride Along” star Hart set the celebrity ball rolling on Monday with a $50,000 donation and social media challenge that called on stars to match him. Johnson, Lopez and rapper DJ Khaled each have pledged $25,000.
Houston Texans NFL player Watt launched his own online effort on Sunday with a $100,000 donation and a video plea. The fund quickly reached $1 million, and Watt tweeted on Tuesday his goal was now $4 million.
Houston’s most famous export, Beyonce, who has recently moved from New York to Los Angeles, has said she is working on a plan to help her hometown recover
“Texas You are in my prayers,” the singer posted on her Instagram page. In statement to the Houston Chronicle on Monday, Beyonce added that she was working closely with her team and her Houston pastor “to implement a plan to help as many as we can.”
British band Coldplay, who canceled a planned show in Houston on Friday because of the impending hurricane, wrote a new song for the city called “Houston #1,” which they performed at a concert in Miami on Monday.


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.