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Bollywood actor Shashi Kapoor dies aged 79

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MUMBAI — Veteran Bollywood actor Shashi Kapoor — a star of 1970s Indian cinema — died on Monday in Mumbai after a long illness, his family said. He was 79.

The multiple award-winning actor died at a hospital in Mumbai on Monday evening, his nephew Randhir Kapoor told the Press Trust of India news agency. His nephew Mohit Marwah confirmed the news on Twitter.

Kapoor was reportedly battling old age-related problems and under constant medical supervision.

Shashi — the youngest son of Prithviraj Kapoor, a pioneer of Hindi film and theater — appeared in more than 175 films, winning over fans with his charm and suave good looks.

His most memorable roles were in such films as ‘Jab Jab Phool Khile’ (Whenever The Flowers Bloom, 1965), ‘Kabhi Kabhie’ (Sometimes, 1976), and ‘Kalyug’ (Age of Downfall, 1981). He had aslo produced several hit films like Junoon, Kalyug, Vijeta and Utsav.

Apart from directing 1991 Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Ajooba, Shashi Kapoor also directed a Russian movie Vozvrashcheniye Bagdadskogo Vora in 1988.

Shashi Kapoor was honoured with the coveted Padmabhushan by the government of India in 2011.

He was also adored for his role opposite Bollywood veteran Amitabh Bachchan in the hit movie ‘Deewaar’ (The Wall, 1975) in which he delivered one of Hindi cinema’s most famous lines — ‘Mere paas maa hai’ (I have a mother).

Tributes poured in from the world of Indian cinema and politics following news of Kapoor’s death.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he was “saddened” by Kapoor’s death. “His brilliant acting will be remembered by generations to come,“” wrote Modi.

“Shashi uncle was not only a great star and a passionate filmmaker, but also a wonderful human being. His work has always given Indian audiences great joy,” Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan said in a statement posted on Twitter.

Kapoor was born in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata in 1938. He began his career early, assisting in his father’s traveling theater company and appearing on stage in a production of ‘Shakuntala,’ a classic Hindu love story, at the age of six.

Kapoor was among the first Indian actors to work abroad, with roles in Merchant Ivory films such as “The Householder” (1963), “Heat and Dust” (1983) and “Shakespeare Wallah” (1965).

In 1958, Kapoor married English actress Jennifer Kendal. They had three children together. Kendal died of cancer aged just 51 in 1984.

He is survived by three children, Kunal Kapoor, Sanjana Kapoor and Karan Kapoor.

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Deadly Nipah virus claims 12 in Indian state of Kerala

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NEW DELHI — At least 12 people in India have died from a rare deadly and contagious virus known as Nipah virus, according to news reports.

Four deaths were reported on Monday, including of a nurse who treated the three initial infections at the EMS Cooperative Hospital in Perambra. The death of the nurse triggered panic among hospital staff who have had their leaves cancelled to treat the sick, Hindustan Times reported

Two deaths were reported from Kozhikode and four from Malappuram district. At least six persons are in critical condition and another 20 are under observation, state health officials said.

It was recorded in Siliguri district in West Bengal in 2001 and is being suspected in Kerala now, according to media reports

Humans get infected by consuming fruit or date-palm sap contaminated by infected bats but while human-to-human transmission through body fluids is rare.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Nipah virus infection is an emerging disease that was first identified in 1999 during an outbreak among pig farmers in Malaysia and Singapore.

The virus is thought to naturally infect fruit bats (of the genus Pteropus), but it can also infect pigs and other domesticated animals, as well as humans, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The virus can also spread from person to person.

CDC says Nipah virus can cause an inflammation of the brain known as encephalitis. Symptoms can include fever and headache, followed by drowsiness, disorientation and confusion. People who are infected with the virus may fall into a coma within 48 hours of showing symptoms, the CDC says.

The virus can be highly lethal, with an average fatality rate of around 75 percent, according to the WHO.

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