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No Rip Off, Says Secret Ballot Producer Marco Mueller on Newton Plagiarism Row

first_imgThe Rajkummar Rao-starrer Hindi film Newton is currently making news once again for being the Indian entry to the Oscars in the foreign language film category. The film, directed by Amit V. Masurkar, is a satirical look at the country’s election process.While Indian filmmakers and viewers expressed happiness over the decision, social media has also been abuzz with reports that Newton is inspired from Babak Payami’s Iranian film, Secret Ballot. Members of Bollywood fraternity, including Anurag Kashyap, as well as fans have openly snubbed the connection between the two films.Secret Ballot producer Marco Mueller also came out in defense of Newton, saying there was not even a hint of plagiarism, IANS reported.On Sept. 25 night, Kashyap, in a Facebook post, shared Muller’s opinion after watching Newton.“A pretty decent film, definitely no rip off from our Secret Ballot (even if the general concept is the same)” and then I asked him if I can share his response on social media? He replied,”Please feel free as you see fit, there is not even a hint of plagiarisation,” Kashyap, who spoke in defense of the film on Sept. 24, posted.He also shared the screenshot of his conversation with Mueller.Kashyap had earlier tweeted: “Newton is as much a copy of Secret Ballot as The Avengers is of Watan Ke Rakhwale.”He added: “Newton is an award winner from Berlin fest and I can promise you those curators watch more films in a year than rest of us do in a lifetime.”National Film Award-winning moviemaker Jaideep Varma posted a long note on Facebook, urging people to watch both the films.However, not everyone was quick to jump and take the Indian film’s side. Asjad Nazir, the entertainment editor of Eastern Eye newspaper, posted tweeted that the film may get disqualified for because of its similarity with the Iranian movie.Have spoken to some experts. India Oscar entry #Newton likely to get disqualified early because its so similar to the film #SecretBallot 🙄— Asjad Nazir (@asjadnazir) September 23, 2017Veteran film critic Khalid Mohamed withdrew the rating of four stars that he had given to the Newton, and tweeted:SAD!!! NEWTON is too close for comfort to Iran’s SECRET BALLOT.Withdraw my 4 stars revu for whatevr it was worth.— khalid mohamed (@Jhajhajha) September 23, 2017The movie, produced by Manish Mundra of Drishyam Films, had its world premiere at the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival, where it won the CICAE Award for Best Film in the Forum Section.While Newton, which stars National Award-winning actor Rao, revolves around a government employee who struggles to supervise voting in a forest area of Chhattisgarh, controlled by Maoists, Secret Ballot is described as a movie that centers on the life of a lady ballot officer who visits a desolate place to encourage voters to take part in the elections.Masurkar has already spoken over the controversy, saying: “The story was born from my heart. I had no idea about Secret Ballot.” Related ItemsAmit MasurkarAnurag KashyapLittle IndiaMarco Mueller NewtonNewton OscarsNewton plagiarism controversyNewton Secret Ballot controversyRajkummar Rao Newtonlast_img read more

Netflix Considers Cheaper Prices to Chase Boom in India Viewers

first_imgNetflix believes that India has hundreds of millions of potential video customers, and the company will explore a lower-priced plan to reel them in.“We’ll experiment with other pricing models not only for India, but around the world that allow us to sort of broaden access by providing a pricing tier that sits below our current lowest tier,” Netflix Chief Product Officer Gregory Peters said on a conference call with analysts late Tuesday after the company reported third-quarter earnings.The company may also add shows for India in languages other than English and Hindi, Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings said on the call. He cited hundreds of millions of mobile phone subscribers in the country as potential customers.“We’ll take it 1 million at a time and figure out how to expand the market as we grow,” Hastings said. On the call, Hastings declined to provide exact details on the company’s India growth.The rise of online entertainment in India has paralleled the growth of high-speed internet in the country. More than 150 million people in the country have high-speed internet access, often through their phones.Revenue from “over-the-top” video services like YouTube, Netflix and others reached 20.2 billion rupees in 2017, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report. By 2022, that’s expected to more than double, making India one of the top 10 markets for the services, with subscription video making up almost 80 percent of the market, PricewaterhouseCoopers said.(c) 2018, Bloomberg Related Itemslast_img read more

Inner-City Yoga

first_imgYa’gotto to shake’m all! Just push it harder missy….you doin lazy.”By the end of it all, I was scattered nerves.Scattered nerves!Chill dude I was, what I love to call, the ultimate Asicran (the smooth Asian-American type). I am the fusion — the perfect blend of my two worlds. Notorious for high end assumptions, I could have been just a wee bit off this time around, in set-ups this far out of my familiar zone.“Girrrrlll this ain’t some borin’ cardio. This is hot yoga an’ by end of it all you be smoking hot. If not, you gettn’ your bucks back. U getin’ cutie?” And with a wild thrust of her feminine qualifiers — the prudish me still blushes using the “b” words —I was ushered in.Now this got to be some cool routine to get my mind singing and dancing in celestial harmony and just having that umbilical connection — sharing the same nationality — I got a natural jumpstart. Was I excited? You bet.With Yoga for Dummies tucked under my arms, I entered the turf with sobriety and a demure ponytail in anticipation of seeing those faces, with that other-world effulgence. Didn’t quite know what I was trying to seek, but it got to be in the realm of abstentions, abstractions, meditation, liberation, or some other cool things of that genre, to pack that extra punch.After all, Suite-C demanded much more than a techie. You got to be cool, hip and happening and yoga seemed as a good, and sometimes the only, hip and happening in town.Having undertaken a hard and arduous journey from the Himalayan ranges, crossing the mountains and seas, facing rejection as Hippie culture, yoga had finally arrived breaking through the glass walls of corporate America. The starry late-nights and socialite evenings would remain woefully incomplete without a word or two on Patanjali and Hatha Yoga. I had to — absolutely had to — get on the bandwagon, before it was too late. I plunged headlong.Skimming through yellow pages, I finally zeroed on a school that sounded as exotic as the kriyas (tough routines) it taught: Discover the other self. Holy kamoly! This had to be it.In one brilliant move, I ensured my next three promotions, and the accompanying huge increments. Beating the Indian clock, I arrived sharp.The other self, the lady hardly looks herself. In scorching pink halters, dark blue sweat-pants, and that coarse hair, highlighted blonde, she answered the bell, huffing and puffing. Sweat beads trickled down her temple on to the podgy shoulder giving her skin the so-not-needed sheen and of course a pugnacious odor. With a mid-riff that could have easily been confused for a truck tire, I was ushered in by this not-so-promising lady.Keep yourself together; many times great things start out little shaky.“What type y’wanna start with?”Ah! So you got choices. I knew this was “the” place.I am in a dingy room, fogged with incense smoke. I had to squint hard to look around. A fairly tolerable background score filled the air till one “aaahhhh” followed in chorus by many “aaahhhs” — both male and female — punctured the music.“Sex’em-up yoga. This is, you know, for those who like some exo with a lot of ero.”Exo with ero?Yea baby, shortie for exotic and erotic.Ah! So those unnerving grunts were actually for….Of course, the big O.With those raunchy, straight out of Kama Sutra, images on the walls, I should have known betterGirl this one a darn hit class. You sure u ain’t…anyway….“Shake hard and harder….Thrust and move.…Stick it in now.Com’on faster and faster….”Next up: Jazz up your Booties. In that smoldering class, with that bile-raising stench filling the room, the teacher did everything — shake your boobies, jiggle your booties — but find the mind-soul coordinates. Most seemed hard pressed at sculpting basic body co-ordinates, never mind mind-soul and the rest.But Miss R., what about the body-mind tuning? I mean, you know the Kundilini-awakening type.“What yoga?”Oh never mind now. We are in the business of selling inner-city yoga not some Himalayan jig. Got it missy. Now if you don’t mind, got some other clients….Well, got to accept that even in this land of plenty there are things money simply cannot buy. But what it cannot, it sure can concoct into a heady adaptation of the original.No doubt, Patanjali has got to be turning in his grave with this new rendition of the inner-city yoga.  Related Itemslast_img read more

Canadian Sikh MP Under Pressure From Opposition Over ‘Ethics Violation’

first_imgCanadian Liberal MP Raj Grewal is in the midst of a controversy following criticism that he got an invitation for his employer for an event in New Delhi where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was present.Grewal, a first-term MP for Brampton East, secured invites for Brampton construction executive Yusuf Yenilmez for high level events in India with the Canadian delegation, which is being seen as a violation of the ethics code for MPs by the Opposition parties.Grewal has received “employment income” from Yenilmez’s company Zgemi Inc. since April 2017 for providing legal services for private disputes.New Democratic Party (NDP) MP Charlie Angus and Conservative MP Stephanie Kusie have asked Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion to investigate Grewal. Conservative MP Peter Kent (Thornhill) said that the Liberal MP’s business relationship with Yenilmez has the potential for conflict of interest.“Why did he enable or get an invitation for Mr. Yenilmez?” Kent said, the Toronto Star reported. “I think any reasonable person would see there is very real potential for conflict of interest in this situation.”Grewal’s party has come to his defense, saying that the commissioner is aware of the business relationship between Grewal and Yenilmez.The primary contention of the Conservative Party against Grewal’s action is that Yenilmez would have had access to senior members of the government to discuss business interests.Yenilmez attended business delegation events with Trudeau in Mumbai and New Delhi during the Canadian Prime Minister’s India trip in February this year. On Zgemi’s Facebook page, Yenilmez can be seen posing with members of Trudeau’s delegation, including Katie Telford, his chief of staff; Navdeep Bains, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development; Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan; Government House leader Bardish Chagger; Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi; and Nadir Patel, Canada’s High Commissioner in India.“We were obviously there together at events but nothing was pre-planned or co-ordinated before,” Grewal told the Toronto Star. While he denied facilitating access to the events for Yenilmez, Trudeau’s office said that Grewal did secure the invitation for the construction business owner for an event organized by Canada’s high commissioner. “MP Grewal invited him to the reception,” Trudeau spokesperson Chantal Gagnon told the Toronto Star in an email.According to the ethics commissioner’s office, Grewal is not subject to Conflict of Interest Act but only the ethics code, according to which the lawmaker did not need the commissioner’s permission before inviting Yenilmez but should have taken care that he doesn’t make personal gains by using his office.“I signed up independently as a Canadian business looking to partner with Indian business looking to expand in Canada,” Yenilmez said. “Zgemi is working hard to expand across Canada and the world.”The Trudeau administration has been battling the Jaspal Atwal scandal and a fall in his popularity after the India trip, that left the ruling party embarrassed. The Conservative opposition had conducted marathon voting in the House of Commons to force Trudeau’s administration to answer questions about the presence of Atwal, a convicted Khalistan sympathizer, during an official event in India.The government offered on April 3 to give an unclassified briefing by Trudeau’s National Security Adviser Daniel Jean to the MPs on Commons Committee, and a more in-depth classified briefing to Conservative leader Andrew Scheer.Trudeau’s popularity also took a hit after the India trip, according to CBC’s Poll Tracker. Conservative Party is now in the lead at 37.7 per cent of voting intentions compared with Trudeau’s Liberals at 33.7 per cent. Related ItemsCanadaJustin Trudeauraj grewallast_img read more

Children Lead Sit-in at Senate Building to Protest Trump’s Family Separation Policy

first_imgIn the middle of a sit-in at the Hart Senate Office Building, protesters began to make demands.They wanted crayons. A snack. That action figure that turns into another action figure.On Thursday, it was the children who led the charge.About 100 people, many of them very young, marched, toddled and, in some cases, were carried from St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., to the building where about 50 senators have offices.When they arrived, they gathered in a circle, hoisting signs that declared, “I AM A CHILD.” They sang songs that riffed on familiar nursery rhymes – “If you’re powerful and you know it, clap your hands” – and cheered, stomped and danced.Thursday was the Trump administration’s court-imposed deadline to reunite thousands of children and parents separated by immigration agents at the U.S.-Mexico border. Those younger than 5 were supposed to be returned to their families earlier this month, although the administration did not reunite all of them by the court-assigned date.Hundreds of children whose parents have been deemed “ineligible” by the government will remain separated, including those whose parents were deported without them.The government was expected to update a federal judge on its progress by the end of the day Thursday.Protest organizers said they wanted to bring children front and center so lawmakers could see the kinds of kids the president’s “zero tolerance” policy has affected.“This is what a 2-month-old looks like,” said Jenn Kauffman, 38, gesturing to the wide-eyed baby affixed to her chest. “He’s still breast-feeding. He depends on me for nourishment, for everything. I don’t know what either of us would do if we were separated.”Parents at the rally said they wanted to show their children what it means to stand up for others in the face of injustice.“Do you remember what we talked about, what it means to be here at this protest?” Margo Simon, 41, prompted her son.“It means equal rights,” said Indy, 4, pumping his fist into the air.Nearby, a 3-year-old girl flashed a metallic red cape emblazoned with the Wonder Woman symbol.“When I told her we were going to go to protest and try to help those children, she said, ‘If we’re going to be superheroes, I need my cape,’ ” said Diana Raverlie, 44, of Arlington, Virginia.Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., asked the children to show her drawings they had made of their families and the messages they had written.Suri Baez, 7, had drawn two hearts – one broken and one intact. The broken one is for families who were separated, she told Harris. Their hearts will be whole again when they find their way back together.“Oh, that’s fantastic,” Harris said, crouching down to look up at the girl. “So there was a broken heart and now there’s a good, solid heart.”Suri nodded.“It is the ultimate act of inhumanity to rip those children from those parents. And to do it for what? For the sake of so-called deterrence?” Harris told the crowd. “It is important that we all stand up and say, ‘We as a country are better than this.’ ”Children and others march to the Hart Senate Office Building. Photo: Salwan Georges/Washingtpn PostThe protest, organized by a coalition of groups calling themselves Families Belong Together, echoed a demonstration at the same building in late June in which nearly 600 protesters were arrested.By the time Capitol Police issued warnings to disperse Thursday, the children had drawn the attention of Senate staff and tour group members, who gathered at windows and craned their heads to watch.“We don’t want to arrest anyone who doesn’t want to be arrested today,” an officer told one of the organizers as parents helped children tuck their signs away.Suri was there with her two siblings, Roberto, 12, and Luna, 14. For the three siblings, who came to Washington, D.C., from Denver to participate in the march, the memory of their mother, Jeanette Vizguerra, being removed from their home was still fresh.Vizguerra, 46, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico City who has lived in the United States for 21 years, was detained last year for 86 days.Immigration officials picked her up for violations that included driving without a valid license and crossing the border illegally, she said. Her children are U.S. citizens.“I feel like it’s kind of similar, us being without our mom and those kids being without theirs – it’s cruel and inhumane,” Roberto said. “I know I’m not going through the same pain that those kids [at the border] are, but I wanted to be here so I could feel like maybe we’re helping them.” Related Itemslast_img read more

Invest Like A Pro

first_imgStock market investing is safer than bank deposits. Quite shocking, isn’t it? The principal trick is to choose the right company to invest in. Understanding finances or reading company reports will help. All it takes is a little bit of arithmetic and few hours a week. There are three basic questions to keep in m ind.Why should I invest?Everyday products are churned out by public companies. Why not let your money grow with them? One needs to invest in the stock market to beat inflation. The average inflation rate is 6%. Your investments in banks automatically lose around 9% due to inflation and taxes.How should I invest? 1)  Make a list of all the essential criteria that a company must meet. Invest only if it meets them. Some of the most important criteria to look for: consistent earnings, no debt or very low debt, substantial cash flow, good margins and a great return on capital.2) Invest at the right price. It is as important as investing in the right company.3) Scrutinize company reports to detect accounting scams. Here are two warning signs. a) Company A is not able to make money, but doesn’t want its share price to go down. What does it do? Manipulate its accounting. How? If it has made a sale, but not yet collected money from the customer, the sale can still be included in its yearly sales. How can an investor detect this? By watching out for accounts receivables. If accounts receivable is more than 10% of total sales, then it is a clear warning sign that the company is into some scheme to generate income. No corporation pays a bill the instant it arrives. It takes anywhere between 45 days to 60 days for pending bills to clear. But if a company’s accounts receivable extend beyond that period, it is a clear warning sign.b) Even corporations, like individuals, need to pay taxes. If a company has good earnings and sales, but is not paying little or no taxes, it’s a red flag. Where to investConsider parking your investments in Roth IRA, education IRAs, Coverdell ESA and 529 plans. They offer tremendous tax benefits.Debunking MythsMyth: Assumption that as soon as you buy a stock, it’ll go up.Fact: Small lots of shares being bought by an individual cannot make a dent in share prices. Institutional investors mainly drive share prices. Major institutions such as Vanguard, Fidelity, etc., buy millions of shares at periodical intervals. That’s when the share price goes up. Similarly, when they start selling, they sell in large quantities and thus the price of a stock crashes.  So an individual investor who wants to profit from the stocks has to enter before major institutions start buying the stock and exit before they start selling.Myth: An analyst can always predict whether a stock is likely to go up or not.Fact: An analyst’s job is to report the future of the company. He upgrades a stock after it has reached its peak price and downgrades after it drops. Mutual fund managers look at various aspects before pumping in more money into the stock and one such factor is the analysts’ recommendation. However, an individual investor cannot profit from the analysts’ recommendation as there are too many analysts recommending individual stocks and an individual investor cannot sort through all the recommendations of analysts.Myth: Diversification avoids risksFact: There is no difference in the risk levels between investing in diversified stocks and individual stocks. If investors want to profit from the stock market, they can do so by simply analyzing few companies that they are comfortable with instead of following the entire market.Bottom lineOne can invest profitably in the stock market. All it requires is basic financial knowledge. Resources are available in plenty. So do your homework and invest like a pro. Siva Nara and Priya Raghavan are coauthors of Dollar Wise, Penny Foolish? Related Itemslast_img read more

Bewitching Allure of Home

first_imgWhen the Kamats returned to India after 10 years in Boston in 2004, they were all set to make Bangalore their permanent residence. They had it fully planned out. Their two sons were admitted to an international school, which incorporated the traditional Indian ethos. They wanted the boys to grow up with a global outlook, but also rooted in their own culture.Close and distant family were more than welcomed in their new home, located in the better suburbs of the city. Their parents were displaced from their ancestral homes into rented accommodations near the house. As Jaya Kamat* liked to say, “We want our children to grow up knowing their grandparents. I feel that is so important.” The grandparents would visit their grandchildren to spend quality time with them every evening.Jaya Kamat, who was used to doing all her chores herself in the U.S., now had a retinue of house helps. She would correct friends every time they referred to the help as maids.Shridhar Kamat’s* political correctness at his workplace was equally admirable. He treated subordinates with the same courtesy that he reserved for his peers. As the CEO of the organization, his attitude did not go unnoticed by the staff and a big deal would be made at office parties about their new considerate boss.  Life was good. To paraphrase Robert Browning, “God was in his heaven and all was well with the world.”Switch to 2012 and the Kamats have begun packing their bags to return to the United States. Shridhar Kamat quit the company and is on a six-month sabbatical. Their older son has another year left of high school and once he graduates, the Kamats will leave India once again. Their younger son will complete his high school in the United States. The status of their parents remains unresolved. But one thing is clear that they will not be accompanying the Kamats. Equally certainly, the Kamats are not returning to India anytime soon.When and how did the India dream of the Kamats sour? More importantly why did it sour? The Kamats aren’t the only returned NRIs heading back to the United States. Various Indian media reports suggest that the number of returned NRIs heading abroad is growing, perhaps faster than the NRIs returning to live the India dream.The reasons are many. The slowdown of the Indian economy, the sluggish and exasperating bureaucracy, the corruption, the chaotic traffic, the filth and total lack of civic sense and the general apathy of people. India is not for the faint-hearted,Times of India columnist Chidananda Rajghatta commented in one article: “The infrastructure in India is a train wreck; the trains are a horror to travel on; the travel sector is inhospitable; the hospitality industry is unhealthy; the health segment is being corporatized; the corporate world is politicized; and the political arena is….”Though the Kamats are reticent about sharing why India did not work out, several friends explained that the Kamats could not cope with the way of life in India. Though both Jaya and Shridhar were born and raised in India, in their 10 years in Boston they had become accustomed to a totally different lifestyle, to which they quickly and readily adapted.When they returned to India, it was a very different homeland. The good part was that the economy had opened up, “foreign” things were readily available. Their friends were watching the same television shows and had many common interests. A lot of it felt like “way back at home in Boston.” The added advantage was the help and support of the extended family, the chauffer driven cars, the domestic help and a big house in the heart of the city.However, there were many people like the Kamats, not necessarily returned NRIs, who were doing well themselves, even better. In the India of 2012, the American-returned tag is not a cachet anymore.The returning NRIs are also quickly realizing that the nostalgia of past experiences seldom withstands the harsh realities of an extended stay. Madhusudhan Akundi, who went to the United States as a student to pursue a master’s and ended up with a software job there, says he returned to India for his parents’ sake, as “they were highly dependent on me, especially my mother.”He gives examples of friends who returned to India for varying reasons: “I know of a guy in our apartment complex who felt compelled to return because he was the only son. Moreover, life in the U.S. for him revolved around work, lawn mowing, taking kids to hobby classes or soccer practice, cleaning the house and the shed, cooking for the week, and a whole lot of household chores. Now that is something most Indians miss about India — the advantage of having cheap domestic help.” saysAnother friend was motivated by a great job opportunity: “This friend was offered a posting in India by an American MNC. He realized that he could have the best of both worlds — a high-paying job with the American job culture that he was used to plus the advantage of living in his homeland. He feels since he is from the U.S., he has an advantage in rising up fast in the organization’s India operations.”Akundi narrated the case of another friend who wanted to return to India because he has two daughters and did not want them to be raised in the U.S. when they hit their teens.Whatever the drivers for the return to India, few NRIs have a realistic sense of what awaits them. According to Lakshmi Pratury, who came to India in 2009 to set up the India chapter of the TED Talks: “Things that you thought were better in India, are in fact better than the expectation, while things you thought are going to be bad, are in reality worse than what you expected.”When she came to Bangalore she expected that her then five-year-old son would be well taken care of. “In fact, it is so much better. He got to know his extended family and has all the freedom to come and go as he pleases in the gated community where we live,” she says. On the other hand, “I knew that the traffic would be a difficult issue, but I could never imagine that it will be such a nightmare.” Pratury says: “India is not for the weak stomached. You can be as happy as the people you are surrounded by.”Which is perhaps why most returning NRIs prefer to live next to each other in gated communities that real estate companies are feverishly promoting — Mediterranean style villas, French chateau, American suburban homes and the like.Saranagati Chatterjee went to the United States in 1998 for his MBA and worked there until 2011, when the homeland bug bit him. “I came back primarily because of family. It was not feasible to come every six months to meet my folks.” Saranagati, who works in Yahoo in Bangalore, says so far the experience has been mixed for him.“It is hard if you have lived in the U.S. for so long. Things that you took for granted like getting a new SIM card for your mobile, opening a bank account to buying a car or getting a cooking gas connection, are more difficult and frustrating to get done,” he says. “Information is not easily available. One goes by only word of mouth. So you ask people around you how to get this done and how to get that done. Nothing is black and white.”On the positive said, Chatterjee is happy that his two daughters can play freely in the gated community where he lives. “There is no pressure to arrange for classes and drive them to the neighborhood parks like in the U.S.,” he says.But as the months pass by, Chatterjee is contemplating returning to the United States. “When I came here I was open to accepting the way of life in India today. Increasingly, I feel a decision will have to be taken and I think I will return to the U.S. When we came to India on holidays it was very different. We would visit family, eat out and generally have a good time. But living here is a different ball game altogether.”He says that returning NRIs who do not have compelling reasons to stay back, such as family, are more inclined to return to their adopted homeland.Rachna Singh, a tech entrepreneur who founded her company gohatchi, says though there are startup challenges in India, she somehow connects with India better, “I chose Bangalore because like the Bay Area, it happens to be the place for startups.” Singh has been in India for a year-and-a-half and is happy with her decision. “Anyway, I travel to the U.S. every six months, so I do not miss it. I am pleasantly surprised by the people of Bangalore and their attitude of live and let live,” she says.Pratury is open to going back to the United States, “I had low expectations when I came to India.” She has discovered that schools are not well rounded and, contrary to popular belief, India is an expensive place to live in. “One thing that I learnt here was integrating the personal and professional life … and in a way it is a good thing that I appreciate,” she adds.Akundi believes that returning NRIs must have a  strong reason for staying put. “Regardless of the family and domestic helps, life in the U.S. has its own charm — great weather, amazing roads, easy access to lots of beautiful places, things to do, great cars to drive around, clean system, 24 hours supply of water and electricity, clean places, no queues, no corruption and a whole host of other things. On the other hand, in India, reality can hit hard. You take your car on the road and you hit a pothole. You are watching tennis on TV and there’s a power failure. You go to a shopping mall, it is filled with thousands of people on a weekend … This reality makes people somewhat regret their decision,” Akundi says.“There is another thing that most people do not admit — there is a certain superiority feeling when you live abroad,” he adds. “You feel you are more privileged, you feel better about yourself living in the U.S. than in India. This feeling is mutual and hence the returned NRIs who go back to the U.S. want to regain that status — the exalted status of the NRI. *Name changed to protect privacyLand of OpportunitiesMehul Parikh left India in 2008 to pursue an MBA from the University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK. Unable to land a job after graduation, he returned to India in 2010 and currently works as a project manager in an IT company. He says, “I have been able to earn good in India, paid my education loan and also started to save money.”He admits that he could have earned more abroad: “On the other hand, working in India has the comfort of living with family and enjoying a social life. According to me, working abroad is good if you have a project for a year or two and then return to your own country. I am not certain of entire India, but Mumbai has always been a land of opportunities for me.” — Dhara Salla Best Thing That Happened to MePravin Soni and his elder brother left India in 1979 for Bahrain, but were forced out by their sponsor and returned to India after just two years. “Though returning wasn’t a problem, I wish I could have lived there a little longer. I had never planned to live abroad all my life as I was very attached to my family and wanted to take care of their needs. I have always been very rooted to my country.”He focused on his family gold business and did exceptionally well, “Getting back to India was the best thing that could ever happen to me. That decade was the golden decade of my entire life’s earnings.”Nevertheless, he believes that his brief foreign experience was worthwhile: “I would like to tell the youth of today, it’s a great experience to leave your country. It gives an understanding of the cross cultural working environment.”Soni is now a successful businessman with thriving businesses in gold manufacturing, finance, real estate and a jewelry store. — Dhara Salla Returning was the Best DecisionPriyadharshini Janarthanan went to the United States in 2008 for a MBA at Baruch College. After completing her education she landed a job in New York, but in September 2011 she gave up her American Dream to return to India to partner with her father in his business.She has never regretted the decision: “Even though I had a good pay and a job, after a certain point I started to feel lonely. ‘The living abroad’ phase was definitely a struggle — emotionally and financially. But to handle it well just makes me feel independent and good about myself. I totally believe in the song ‘Empire State of Mind.’”Settling in the United States was just not for her: “Since my return I have never looked back and prefer the comfort of a social and family life above all. I believe that returning to India was the best decision.” — D.S. Related Itemslast_img read more

NRI Voice: Cayman Calling

first_imgSujith Kumar’s journey to Cayman Islands is nothing short of the stuff that makes a movie. The hospitality industry professional has been working at a resort in Caribbean islands for the past one year and he has nothing but good things to say about his life there.However, Kumar’s journey began with a rude shock when he landed in the region. He speaks to Little India about the challenges he faced while settling down in what he describes as paradise on earth.Preparing for the MoveIt was initially quite difficult for me as I held an Indian passport. I didn’t have enough time to apply for a USA transit visa or British transit visa from Dubai as I needed to join the property in Cayman Islands as soon as possible. So I decided to take a route through Dubai-Moscow-Cuba-Grand Cayman Islands as I came to know from different websites as well as from government officials that Indians don’t need a transit for Moscow or even Cuba.Initial ShockI started my journey through Moscow and once I landed in Cuba I needed to catch another flight to continue my journey. Soon I was approached by a Cuban immigration official who took my passport and mobile phone and asked me to sit in a corner. I noticed that Cuban immigration officials were targeting only Indian passport holders. They threatened to send me back home if I did not give him $400. They put me in a room for almost one and half hours, threatened me and even called me an Indian slave. I had to go through all this despite possessing all the required papers. When I agreed to give him money, he took me to a restroom nearby, gave back my passport and asked to hand over all the money I had. It was a shocking experience. After a long flight I was totally frustrated and tired.I narrated this harrowing experience in Cuba to a Cayman Airways official and I was told that it frequently happens to Indian passport holders.Paradise on EarthGetting to Cayman Islands was an unpleasant experience, but I have had nothing but good times here. I am currently working as an assistant restaurant manager at a resort here, and I have fallen in love with this place. It is safe, clean and one of the best places I have ever been to. People are friendly and they know how to live life.When I was first offered this job I didn’t have any idea about the place, but I took it up as a challenge and I don’t regret this decision. Cayman Islands is considered one of the developed and richest Caribbean islands. It’s a United Kingdom oversees territory.Life at Cayman IslandsThe pace of life is very slow and people have time for each other. Caymanians are family-oriented people and they do a lot to preserve their culture.I was surprised to see that there are quite a lot of Indians living here. A number of Indian business enterprises are set up here. But there are only two Indian restaurants here. Related ItemsCaribbeanCaymanlast_img read more

Darth Raider

first_imgNo one can accuse the Ducati XDiavel S of being genial. Even at standstill, this ‘cruiser’ motorcycle from the Italian stable has the mien of the Hound of the Baskervilles on a leash. Press the ignition, and it snarls menacingly, making the crowd part like the sea for Moses. Fear,,No one can accuse the Ducati XDiavel S of being genial. Even at standstill, this ‘cruiser’ motorcycle from the Italian stable has the mien of the Hound of the Baskervilles on a leash. Press the ignition, and it snarls menacingly, making the crowd part like the sea for Moses. Fear, trepidation, and awe sum up the standard reaction to the XDiavel S, which, given that ‘Diavel’ roughly translates into ‘evil, like the devil,’ is rather appropriate.It’s the only concession the XDiavel S makes, but it’s a big one: the mountain of torque-that lovely visceral grunt which imparts ride-ability much more than sheer power-bears down on the rider at as low as 5500 rpm, with a chunk of it coming at just 2000 rpm. What that means, basically, is not only that the XDiavel S can cruise, but also that it’s the first Ducati that allows you to enjoy the feel of a big motorcycle at reasonable velocity. Heck you could even listen to music (there’s Bluetooth connectivity for smartphones). You even get extended footpegs that create a laidback cruiser stance, a long wheelbase, and a low saddle. For all its dragster-like styling, the XDiavel S loves carving corners with almost as much venom as a sport-bike.True to its extra-terrestrial looks, the XDiavel S gets the full treatment of electronics one has come to expect from Ducati. Three riding modes-Urban, Cruiser and Sport-allow the rider to manipulate ride quality, power output, and more importantly how gently (for lack of a better word) or brutally that power is delivered. A practical Ducati is very much an oxymoron, and one of the biggest surprises the XDiavel S springs is its ability to keep its cool. Even in Delhi summer it never gets too hot under its skin, certainly not the singe-the hair-off-the-thighs hot that most big motorcycles tend to in the summer. Truly liberating.advertisementDucati XDiavel Engine 1262cc Testastretta DVT L-Twin, Liquid cooled; Power 247 kg TORQUE 247 kg; Kerb weight 247 kg; Price 18.47 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)last_img read more

LG to launch V50 ThinQ 5G on May 10

first_imgLG introduced its first 5G-enabled smartphone – the LG V50 ThinQ – at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019 back in February this year. The phone, which also featured an attachable second screen, was earlier slated to release in its home country, South Korea, on April 19. However, faulty 5G connectivity had forced the company to delay the launch of the V50 ThinQ 5G indefinitely.”LG Electronics has been working closely with Qualcomm and domestic mobile operators to improve 5G service and smartphone completeness…Accordingly, we plan to confirm the release date of LG V50 ThinQ later,” the company had written on its Korean newsroom.But now word is that the company has finally decided on a launch date for its V-series flagship device. According to a report by Business Korea, LG Electronics is planning to launch the LG V50 ThinQ on May 10. LG has partnered with three domestic carriers to launch its 5G phone in Korea. However, those mobile operators are still in the early stages of the deployment of their 5G networks. And so, it is possible that users could face connectivity while trying to access 5G speeds in the country even if they use the LG V50 ThinQ.The report noted that, the company delayed the launch of the LG V50 ThinQ in order to avoid mistrust among the users on the quality of LG’s 5G phones that could arise owing to the 5G network in the country. But now, the company is worried that that delaying the launch of the V50 ThinQ any further to lead to the consumers losing interest in the phone that created a lot of buzz at MWC 2019 owing to being the only smartphone with a detachable second screen among a bunch of foldable devices by Samsung and Huawei. But now the company risks losing the consumer interest and so it is launching the phone in its domestic market at a price of 1,199,000 won (Rs 71,000 approx).advertisementTo recall, The LG V50 ThinQ comes with a 6.4-inch QHD+ OLED FullVision display with a resolution of 3120×1440 pixels. It has Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor in its core and it sports a 6GB RAM with a 128GB memory that can be expanded further using a 2TB memory card. V50 ThinQ runs of Android 9.0 Pie.In terms of the camera, the LG V50 ThinQ comes with a triple rear camera setup — a feature that was also present in the company’s older V-series flagship device, the LG V40 ThinQ that we reviewed earlier this year — which includes a 16MP super wide angle lens, a 12MP standard lens, and a 12MP telephoto lens. On the front, V50 ThinQ sports a dual camera setup with an 8MP standard lens and a 5MP wide angle lens. It comes with a gigantic 4,000mAh battery and it features support for Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 technology.As far as the phone’s second attachable screen, or the dual screen, is concerned, it comes with a 6.2-inch FHD+ OLED FullVision display and it has three pogo ping slots that enable users to connect the display with the main device.ALSO READ: | Foldable phones: With V50 ThinQ, LG brings knife to a gun fight with Samsung and HuaweiALSO READ: | LG blames 5G connectivity for delayed V50 ThinQ 5G launchALSO READ: | LG V50 ThinQ: Full specifications, top features, India price & everything you need to knowlast_img read more

Move aside, Ozil! Gross taking the PL by storm

first_imgPremier League Move aside, Ozil! Meet the German taking the Premier League by storm Patrick Gleeson Last updated 2 years ago 22:00 11/2/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Pascal Gross, Mesut Ozil Getty Premier League Brighton & Hove Albion Swansea City v Brighton & Hove Albion Swansea City Opinion The Albion midfielder is proving to be an inspired piece of business this season, having signed from Ingolstadt in the summer Against Everton, Mesut Ozil registered more created chances than any other Premier League player in a single game this season with eight. And though the Arsenal playmaker has rightly been lauded for some of his creative displays during the 2017-18 campaign, his assist total tally is not enough to lift him into the top 10 in the rankings. Two of his German compatriots have, though, with only David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne currently above Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Pascal Gro​ss. The 25-year-old summer signing has been involved in 70 per cent of Albion’s goals this season, with Chris Hughton’s side sitting in 12th position after the opening 10 fixtures. Burnley 5/1 to beat Southampton Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Gross’ importance to Hughton’s side comes from the traditional No.10 role behind either Tomer Hemed or more recently Glenn Murray, stitching the midfield unit with the lone front man.Hughton’s counter-attacking system calls for players to work tirelessly for each other before exploiting wide areas of the pitch, and Gross has demonstrated both his ability to squeeze opponents into submission and an outstanding range of distribution. Pascal Gross BrightonThe 25-year-old has covered more ground than all but two Premier League players this season – Burnley’s Jack Cork and Watford’s Abdoulaye Doucoure – and created more chances than the likes of Manchester City winger Leroy Sane, Newcastle’s Matt Richie, and Riyad Mahrez of Leicester. Not only does Gross possess remarkable vision, but his set-pieces have also caused issues for opponents throughout the campaign. As the Bundesliga’s most creative player for the past two seasons, there were questions whether Gross would be able to replicate his performances in the English top flight prior to this season, but he has proved an inspired piece of business by the Albion recruitment team.Pascal Gross BrightonManchester United’s Henrikh Mkitaryan has registered the same number of chances created as Gross, and indeed the same number of assists, with Sane, the other German in the rankings, completing the top five. PREMIER LEAGUE CREATIVE STATS PL 2017-18 Team Assists Minutes Played Chances Created (inc. assists) Passing Accuracy Goals % Team Goals Involved in David Silva Manchester City 6 873 28 90.78 1 20.00% Kevin De Bruyne Manchester City 6 841 30 86.04 1 20.00% Pascal Groß Brighton & Hove Albion 5 838 23 75.9 2 70.00% Henrikh Mkhitaryan Manchester United 5 733 23 82.41 1 26.09% Leroy Sané Manchester City 5 588 15 83.15 6 31.43% César Azpilicueta Chelsea 4 900 7 83.74 1 27.78% Matt Ritchie Newcastle United 4 887 14 73.56 0 40.00% Riyad Mahrez Leicester City 4 778 12 78.91 1 35.71% Kyle Walker Manchester City 4 764 7 87.19 0 11.43% Kieran Trippier Tottenham Hotspur 4 633 14 81.82 0 21.05% DISTANCE COVERED IN PL 17-18 Premier League 2017-18 KM Covered Jack Cork 121.13 Abdoulaye Doucouré 118.59 Pascal Groß 117.63 Dele Alli 116.56 Nemanja Matic 116.20 Dale Stephens 115.86 Granit Xhaka 115.31 Davy Pröpper 114.52 Wilfred Ndidi 114.06 Jay Rodriguez 113.93 Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli and United’s Nemanja Matic complete the top five in terms of ground covered across the first 10 games of the campaign, with another two Brighton players making the top 10 – Dale Stephens and Davy Propper, Albion’s central two midfielders in their 4-4-1-1 system.Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka, Leicester’s Wilfred Ndidi and West Brom forward Jay Rodriguez complete the top 10. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

SCPA Orders 12 RTGs from Konecranes

first_imgzoom South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) has ordered twelve Rubber Tired Gantry (RTG) cranes from the Finland-based crane manufacturer Konecranes.The cranes will be delivered to SCPA’s Wando Welch terminal in the Port of Charleston in early fall 2017.The new cranes will have a lifting capacity of 50 long tons while stacking 1-over-5 containers high and six plus truck lane wide. In addition, Konecranes said they will have equipment which eliminates container sway to increase container handling performance as well as the auto-steering and truck lift prevention features.“The RTGs will also have built-in readiness for special features including Stack Collision Prevention, and Auto-truck Guiding, which will be taken into use if the cranes are transitioned to semi-automated operation in the future,” the crane manufacturer said.According to Stevenson Kemp Jr., SCPA Director, Terminal Operations, this makes the port authority’s fifth RTG order from Konecranes. Once the new cranes become operational, the SCPA will operate a fleet of 53 Konecranes RTGs.SCPA handled 1.9 million TEUs during the 2016 fiscal year, an increase of 1.4 percent over the previous year. As measured in pier containers, or box volume, nearly 1.1 million boxes moved across the docks of the port’s container terminals in FY2016.last_img read more

After 5year struggle PBO to get data needed to measure cost of

first_imgOTTAWA – After a five-year battle with the Canada Revenue Agency, the parliamentary budget office is finally being promised the data needed to evaluate the amount of revenue Ottawa loses each year due to offshore tax havens and other tax avoidance schemes.The budget office has been demanding the data since December 2017 and has even threatened court action to get it. But, until now, the agency has refused to provide it, citing confidentiality of tax records.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Monday that a deal has finally been struck between the agency and the budget officer.“An agreement has been concluded with the parliamentary budget officer and will provide this data in a way that will ensure the protection of personal information of Canadians by the end of the month,” he told the House of Commons.Jean-Denis Frechette, the parliamentary budget officer, had given the agency until Feb. 28 to turn over the data before pursuing other options.He welcomed the news of a deal Monday, but reserved the option of going to court if the data that’s handed over turns out to be less than advertised.“So, yes, that would be something that could be considered, depending on the outcome of Feb. 28,” Frechette said in an interview.He said he has no problem with Trudeau’s caveat that the handover of information will be done in a manner that will protect the personal information of taxpayers, noting that his office has always said it wants “anonymized” data only.If his office gets all the information it has been seeking, Frechette guessed it might take six to 10 months to crunch the numbers and come up with an estimated “tax gap” — the difference between the amount of tax revenue that should have been collected in a year and what was actually collected. But the time frame will depend on the quality of information the Canada Revenue Agency provides.“If they send me … paper version of all their files in boxes, of course it will take a long time,” he said. “It’s difficult for me to guess.”The Conference Board of Canada has estimated that tax evasion and tax avoidance cost the federal treasury anywhere between $8.9 billion and $47.8 billion annually.The Trudeau government has been under pressure to allow the budget officer to do a more precise, independent estimate of the tax gap, particularly in the wake of the so-called Paradise Papers — a second major leak detailing how hundreds of billions of dollars from around the world are sheltered in offshore tax havens, at the expense of numerous countries’ treasuries.A number of other countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States, have long provided estimates of their tax gaps but Canada has refused to follow suit, until now.Until the size of the Canadian problem is known, Frechette said it’s impossible to know how to fix it.The Trudeau government has earmarked almost $1 billion over two years to crack down on offshore tax evasion.But while political attention has focused on the suspected billions lost to tax havens, Frechette said there are other factors at play, including Canadians involved in the underground economy who do not report their income and those who make honest errors in interpreting complicated tax rules.The Canada Revenue Agency has recently estimated that about $4.5 billion in GST revenue and about $8.8 billion in personal income tax revenue has gone uncollected annually. There has been no comprehensive estimate of the revenue lost from taxes on all sources, including corporations and trusts that are most likely to benefit from offshore tax shelters.last_img read more

New AG Lametti says he will resist any attempts to pressure him

first_imgOTTAWA — Attorney general David Lametti says he will resist any attempts to pressure him on the SNC-Lavalin criminal prosecution.Lametti is now in the hot seat in the controversial court case that has rocked the Liberal government, resulting in the resignations of two cabinet ministers, the prime minister’s most trusted adviser and the country’s top civil servant.The director of public prosecutions decided last fall not to negotiate a deferred-prosecution agreement with SNC-Lavalin, which is facing charges of bribery, and former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould says she was inappropriately pressured by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his senior staff to overrule that decision.On his way into question period Thursday, where the SNC saga is dominating the House of Commons again, Lametti said when he puts on his attorney-general hat, nobody will direct him to do anything.He said he wouldn’t comment on the details of the case, but said he did receive routine briefings on the file when he became the minister.Sources tell both the Toronto Star newspaper and CBC News that Wilson-Raybould made ensuring Lametti didn’t offer a remediation agreement to SNC-Lavalin a condition to Trudeau before she stepped down from cabinet in February.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Province declares state of emergency as hundreds of wildfires continue to rage

first_imgThe state of emergency applies to the entire province and ensures federal, provincial and local resources can be delivered in a co-ordinated response to protect the public, which remains the provincial government’s top priority.During the 2017 wildfire season, the Province was in a provincial state of emergency for 10 weeks, from July 7th to September 15th. The previous provincial state of emergency before the 2017 wildfire season was issued in August 2003.“Public safety is always our first priority and, as wildfire activity is expected to increase, this is a progressive step in our wildfire response to make sure British Columbia has access to any and all resources necessary,” Farnworth said. “Taking this step will further ensure we can protect the public, property and infrastructure, and assist with firefighting efforts.”As of yesterday, there were 566 wildfires burning in B.C., with 29 evacuation orders affecting approximately 3,050 people, in addition to 48 evacuation alerts impacting approximately 18,720 people.The Province says that the extended weather forecast calls for continued hot and dry conditions, with a risk of thunderstorms in some parts of the province.Currently, more than 3,372 firefighters and contractors are actively engaged in fighting fires in all fire regions of the province. This includes 1,427 B.C. contract personnel, as well as 436 out-of-province personnel from Alberta, New Brunswick, Northwest Territories, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Parks Canada, Australia, Mexico and New Zealand. VICTORIA, B.C. – The B.C. government has declared a provincial state of emergency to support the provincewide response to the ongoing wildfire situation.Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth made the declaration at 8:30 Wednesday morning based on the recommendation from B.C.’s wildfire and emergency management officials.The state of emergency is initially in effect for 14 days, once issued, and may be extended or rescinded as necessary. The federal government has responded to and accepted British Columbia’s request for assistance. In the coming days, federal personnel and resources will be arriving in B.C. to assist with wildfire efforts.“Given the unpredictable behaviour of wildfires and the number of significant wildfires in all areas of the province, we’re bringing in the additional resources we need to keep people and communities as safe as possible,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “We’re asking British Columbians to do their part and follow burning bans and restrictions to prevent human-caused fires.”The state of emergency gives agencies, such as the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, Emergency Management BC, the fire commissioner and the RCMP, the authority to take every action necessary to fight the wildfires and protect people and communities.last_img read more

IOC Lauds Moroccos Efforts to Develop National Sport

Rabat – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) lauded efforts made by Morocco to develop the national sport as well as the Kingdom’s interest in promoting young people’s status.“IOC officials have lauded efforts made by the Moroccan government to develop the national sport and the interest in promoting young people’s status,” said a statement by the Moroccan National Olympic Committee (CNOM) after a visit to Lausanne to explore and identify aspects likely to reinforce partnership with the IOC.During this visit (April 25-27), IOC officials voiced, to the Moroccan delegation which is composed of representatives of the youth and sports ministry, their full satisfaction with the special relations with the CNOM and expressed their appreciation of the understanding and complementarity between the Moroccan authorities and actors involved in national sports. They also offered their expertize for Morocco in relation with the different modes of sport management.With MAP read more

Barring of inspectors hampers Iran nuclear probe says top UN official

“I express my full confidence in the professionalism and impartiality of the inspectors concerned,” International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano said. “Both are very knowledgeable about the nuclear fuel cycle and have long experience in Iran.”Addressing the IAEA Board of Governors in Vienna, he underscored that Iran has “not provided the necessary cooperation to permit the agency to confirm that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.”That cooperation, Mr. Amano said, includes implementing Security Council resolutions and implementing the Additional Protocol, a set of safeguards aimed at boosting the agency’s ability to ensure that a State does not have undeclared nuclear material.Iran’s nuclear programme – which its officials have stated is for peaceful purposes, but some other countries contend is driven by military ambitions – has been a matter of international concern since the discovery in 2003 that the country had concealed its nuclear activities for 18 years in breach of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).The Council imposed a fourth round of sanctions against Iran in June, citing the proliferation risks posed by its nuclear programme and its continued failure to cooperate with the IAEA.The Council has imposed several rounds of sanctions on Iran since 2006, including a ban on all items which could contribute to the country’s enrichment of uranium, a necessary step for both peaceful and militaristic uses of nuclear energy, and arms sales and a freeze on assets.The IAEA’s latest report on Iran states that the country’s “repeated objection to the designation of inspectors with experience in Iran’s nuclear fuel cycle and facilities hampers the inspection process,” Mr. Amano said today, calling for the reversal of the 2007 decision to ban dozens of inspectors.That report, which says that Iran has not suspended its enrichment-related activities, is “a source of concern,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters in New York today.Mr. Ban urged the country to cooperate to the “fullest extent possible” to resolve all outstanding issues related to its nuclear programme.Mr. Amano’s address to the Board of Governors also noted that Syria has not fully cooperated with the IAEA over its Dair Alzour site, which has been alleged by some to be the site of a nuclear reactor, and other locations.“It is critical that Syria positively engaged with the agency on all these issues without further delay,” he stressed.The IAEA head also said that there is still a lack of clarity among Member States in the Middle East on the possible establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the area. 13 September 2010The head of the United Nations atomic watchdog today voiced “great regret” over Iran’s decision to bar two key nuclear inspectors and said the move hinders the body’s investigation into the country’s nuclear programme. read more

As Utah seeks to host 2nd Olympics upgrades continue

PARK CITY, Utah — Utah’s Olympic Park has announced an $11 million expansion to renovate training facilities and strengthen the state’s bid to host a second Winter Olympics.The Salt Lake Tribune reports that officials said at a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday that the project will add as many 10 new ski runs over the next five years, including some that will be world class level.The changes at the Park City site are part of a series of improvements in the works and planned at facilities used in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation CEO Colin Hilton said the improvements will also help recruit people who want to learn how to ski and snowboard.Salt Lake City is hoping to be selected to host the 2030 Winter Olympics.The Associated Press read more