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Desperately Seeking Desi

first_imgSince I was a child, I have been desperately trying to learn Hindi to no avail. I had given up until 2008 when I decided to go back to India after 10 long years. It was the perfect time to revisit my Indian roots and try to learn the language again. Although I understood some Hindi, I couldn’t converse in it with any fluency, much less in Kachi or Tulu, my parents’ native tongues. I didn’t know how to cook any of my grandmother’s family recipes (and she lived with us growing up), I had one Indian friend, I rarely went to India (thanks to years of family squabbles), and I never celebrated any Indian holidays. At the very least I could learn Hindi so I would have something to pass on to my progeny.  So I figured the best way to learn was to speak to my parents. It seemed like an easy enough proposition. The only problem is my parents had zero patience for my learning curve and it was just much easier for them to speak in English. Our phone conversations usually went like this:“Hi mom.”“Hi Resh. So I went to the Trader Joe’s the other day and I found this—““Hindi bolo!” “Fine,” she would say begrudgingly. As she prattled on in Hindi, I would listen intently trying to catch everything she was saying.“Tumne sasta baingain laya?”“No!! That’s not what I said I can’t explain this in Hindi. I said the eggplant….”I would get frustrated and upset and resign myself to the fact that if I was going to learn Hindi, I would have to do it on my own. Growing up Indian, I often felt pressured (like many other South Asian kids) to get good grades, stay out of trouble, get into a top-tier school, make a lot of money, all the while remaining a virgin and drug-free. These were all the attributes that I came to associate with “being” Indian. But did all of these things really make me Indian? When was I going to learn about history, language and culture? How to properly put on a sari? How to roll a roti?The problem is my parents seemed less concerned with me learning about Indian culture and more about me not turning into a wild crazy American teenager along the lines of American Pie or Girls Gone Wild. Perhaps it was years of watching Jerry Springer or General Hospital that had caused my mom to become so fearful. Or perhaps it was my dad’s partying in America during his graduate student days that made him want to lock us up. Either way, over time my perception of Indian culture started to seem less a celebration of our heritage and more like a set of rules and regulations. It was more about what I couldn’t do than what I could. Don’t date. Don’t stay out late. Don’t have sex until you’re married. And definitely don’t study liberal arts in college. And for God’s sake don’t do anything to embarrass your parents. Trying to be a respectable Indian girl growing up left me feeling rather out of place with my non-Indian peers, who seemed much more experienced in worldly affairs such as boys and booze than I was. Yet when I attempted to fit in with other South Asians in high school I often felt rejected, because I was often deemed “too white” by other desis. What exactly does that mean, I would wonder? Was it because I listen to The Rolling Stones instead of Jay-Z? And conversely would listening to hip hop make you “too black”? Or was it because I would rather watch Brad Pitt than Shah Rukh Khan? The absurdity of such stereotypical expectations, the early curfews, the ban on dating, and the intense paranoia about the opposite sex deflowering their virgin daughter, set me up like a pressure cooker waiting to explode. Frustrated that I couldn’t seem to fit in with either American or Indian culture, I decided to chuck all rules I grew up with out the proverbial window. I went to college and did everything my parents didn’t want me to do: have sex, get drunk, and smoke a lot of weed. And become (horror of all horrors) a liberal arts major. In my young mind, being Indian meant fitting into a mold, a cookie-cutter formula that assured I was like everyone else. To my parents, who didn’t have to question their “Indianess,” their rules were less about being Indian and more about ensuring that I was successful and stable. The problem was I didn’t know how to hold onto my Indian heritage and still be an individual as it seemed there was no room for uniqueness or self-expression. In my desire to do things like work in the fashion industry, get tattoos, and backpack across Europe, I often felt like I was rebelling against my culture when I was merely just being myself. I began to wonder why getting a tattoo made me any less Indian, (it was in Sanskrit after all).The irony was I often yearned to be “more” Indian. I wished I knew how to speak five Indian languages or that I found myself attracted to desi men or that I wanted to be a doctor or that I preferred bhangra and hip hop to rock music. Perhaps then I would be able to fit in somewhere. But trying to make myself fit into the mold of what everyone else thought was Indian was like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. It just wasn’t me. For a long time I shunned anything considered remotely Indian, frustrated by the fact that I felt I would never be accepted. I moved across the country, 3,000 miles away from my family, moved in with a boyfriend, and worked as a server at a trendy Los Angeles restaurant. If I could never fit in, why bother trying to be the good girl? Interestingly enough, it was this space from my family and everything they stood for that allowed me to really discover my culture on my own terms. After a few years out West, I began to miss Indian culture and yearned for something I could get involved with to stay close to my roots. In my search I stumbled upon an Indian arts festival in Los Angeles, exposing me to a community of fascinating South Asian actors, writers, comedians, musicians, and dancers. Much to my relief, doctors and engineers were nowhere to be found.I began to read books by native Indian and Indian American authors, such as Song of the Cuckoo Bird, Interpreter of Maladies. I discovered the South Asian wing of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. I practiced cooking dishes like moong dal and tandoori paneer. I started appreciating Indian American music like that of Chee Malabar and M.I.A. (way before she became famous, I might add.) I began to practice yoga and meditate. I even started reading the Bhagavad Gita, (who knew Krishna was so wise?).My new found appreciation of Indian culture began to expand my ideas of what it means to be Indian. Instead of resentment, I found myself filled with a sense of gratitude toward my culture. I love the sense of family and community that Indian culture fosters. I love that Indians take education so seriously. I love that Indians are loud and boisterous. I love that my nieces and nephews call me fiya and masi. Ultimately I was excited and relieved to find there was a place for me within Indian culture, and it didn’t revolve around whether or not I was a doctor. Even though I moved far away from home, I found myself growing closer to my family, including my stateside cousins. My entire life I had taken my negative feelings about Indian culture and transferred it on to them. Surely because they were so “Indian” (MBA degrees, kids, marriage, etc.), I felt they would reject me and my unorthodox ways. But nothing could be farther from the truth. Upon developing a relationship with them I found nothing but open arms and love from a family that will always care for me no matter the choices I make. Now as I sit here older, wiser and back on the east coast, I know that my relationship with my culture is my own. And it’s my job to nurture it. It doesn’t rely on the perceptions of other Indians, or on what they think Indian culture is. I still meditate on most days and my apartment is decorated with silk paintings of Krishna and his ladies, wooden elephants and old sepia pictures of my family. I might never date an Indian or listen to Bollywood music, but that doesn’t make me any less Indian. And maybe my parents will never be able to teach me Hindi, but that doesn’t mean I can’t learn it on my own. I better get back to that Hindi book. Related Itemslast_img read more

India’s Actresses Are Starting to Seize Their Own #MeToo Moment

first_imgOn her regular rounds of Bollywood casting studios, Mona Mathews says she will occasionally be asked: “Are you willing to compromise?”She says no, although if she were more ambitious, the 48-year-old belly dancer and aspiring actress says, she would have to say yes. For newcomers like her, with no surefire connections, the route to stardom has long involved submitting to expectations of sex.As allegations against powerful men pour out of Hollywood, Mathews is one of a handful of women breaking the silence in Bollywood, one of the world’s most prolific moviemaking centers. Rape and sexual abuse are as common here as anywhere, industry insiders say, but Indian women who speak out face an unusually high risk of losing their jobs and reputations, given the tendency to blame victims that extends even to the legal system.“People want to talk, but they are scared,” Mathews said. “They don’t want to be in the limelight for the wrong reasons. If women talk, other women will say: ‘This is a normal thing. Why is she making such a big fuss?’ ”Daisy Irani, now 67, spoke about her years as a child star — and what she says were multiple experiences of sexual abuse — at her home in Mumbai last month. Photo: Vidhi Doshi/The Washington Post)One of the few established celebrities to break ranks is Daisy Irani, a former child star from the 1950s and ’60s who last month alleged that she was raped at age 6 by a male guardian she called Uncle Nazar – a man who accompanied her to film shoots in other cities.“It happened only once,” she recalled in a recent interview. “I don’t remember anything, just pain and fear. I remember him saying, ‘If you tell anybody . . .’ ” she trailed off, wagging her finger.Irani’s story, splashed on the front page of the Mumbai Mirror newspaper, caused a sensation in India, where many people still recall the young actress onscreen, often playing a curly-haired boy.Irani, 68, said she was abused by many men throughout her career as a child star but did not tell anyone at the time because she did not realize how serious it was and did not think she would be believed.“Whoever felt they wanted to, would touch me,” she said. “Even if I had told the director, would he have cared?”She said she told her story to a journalist friend, Khalid Mohamed, last month when they were discussing the rape and sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein and the #MeToo movement they triggered. “What’s the big deal?” she recalled telling him. “It happens a lot. It happened to me.”Mohamed’s astonished reaction, she said, made her realize that few people knew the gritty details of the sexual abuse that has long pervaded India’s movie industry, known worldwide for its sparkling costumes, colorful song-and-dance sequences and dramatic fight scenes. She said she often watched child performers on television song-and-dance competitions and wanted to warn parents about the dangers of early fame.As allegations trickle out from India’s image-conscious movie business, a few Bollywood women have shared the #MeToo hashtag on social media. According to Mahesh Bhatt, a prominent movie director, the charges against Weinstein have shaken the industry. But no one of Weinstein’s stature has been publicly accused of abuse.“I’m told by people that there are innumerable such characters here,” Bhatt said. “But here in India, there is a lot of victim blaming. If you have been propositioned, people will say you had it coming.”Former Bollywood actress and talk-show host Simi Garewal said it is unlikely that Bollywood’s influential men will ever undergo the same scrutiny as Hollywood’s. “In America, you have checks and balances,” she said. “Here, if you criticize a male star, you’re not going to get any roles.”India’s other movie industries – including Kollywood, Mollywood and Tollywood, which produce movies in the Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu languages, respectively – are also starting to open up about the treatment of women in the business. In the southern state of Kerala, a group of actresses launched a campaign against sexual abuse last year, months before the New York Times’ article on allegations against Weinstein, after an actress was abducted for two hours and sexually assaulted by four men in a car on her way home from dubbing a movie.In Chennai in February, actress Amala Paul lodged a police complaint against a businessman for harassing her during a dance rehearsal. Last week, actress Sri Reddy removed her top in front of the Movie Artistes’ Association building in the city of Hyderabad to protest directors’ preference for women from other parts of the country, who according to Reddy are more willing to trade sex for movie roles.Mathews, the newcomer Bollywood actress, said she is often invited to directors’ homes for private dinners – and turns them down knowing they usually come with the expectation of sexual favors. Once, she said, a movie director told her she would get a role in his movie in exchange for sex. Another time, she recalled, a casting director called and asked for pictures of her wearing a bikini and when she refused said, “Okay, can you send it with your head cut off?”Men here are also victims. Leading Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh said on Garewal’s talk show, “India’s Most Desirable,” that he had been propositioned by a gay casting director early in his career.“He was a small-time casting agent,” Singh told Garewal. He asked, “Tell me, darling, are you a smart worker or are you a hard worker?” The agent then began asking more explicit questions, Singh said.Rishi Bhattacharya, a 27-year-old actor using an umbrella between auditions to protect his skin from the sun, said such incidents were common. He recalled one casting agent who invited him to a seedy venue, refused to show him a script, and proceeded to kiss and touch him inappropriately.“I felt awkward,” Bhattacharya said. “I said, ‘I respect your feelings, but I can’t fulfill your desires because I’m straight.’ ”India’s regressive attitudes toward women became the focus of international attention after the horrific gang rape of a physiotherapy student in New Delhi in 2012. The incident galvanized a feminist movement across the country.Rape and sexual misconduct are rampant in India, Irani said, and are part of a wider problem of women being seen as inferior to men.“In our country, a mother tells a girl that she won’t get to eat until her brother eats,” she said. “We put men on a pedestal. They don’t want to come down.”(c) 2018, The Washington Post  Related Itemslast_img read more

Ramachandran Ottapathu-led Choppies to Open 40 More Stores in Africa

first_imgChoppies Enterprises, the Botswana-based budget retailer led by Indian-origin millionaire Ramachandran Ottapathu, is aiming to open 40 more stores in Africa in the next few months. The expansion plans are estimated to cost about 300 million pula ($29 million), Reuters reported.Choppies, which already has units in seven countries, plans to enter Namibia before the end of this year before embarking on an expansion drive in South Africa, Kenya, Zambia and Tanzania, Ottapathu, the chief executive of the firm, told the news agency in an interview.“We will enter Namibia for the first time before the year ends,” Ottapathu said. “After a few years of losses, we are now making profits in South Africa.” The company is operating below break-even in new markets, such as Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia and Mozambique. It is making profits in Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe — countries where it has been present for three years or more, Ottapathu told the Botswana-based Mmegi newspaper in an interview, adding that the new stores in the pipeline will come up in South Africa(13), Zambia(8), Kenya(4), Tanzania(3), Mozambique(3), Zimbabwe(2), Namibia(3).Ottapathu, 52, holds a 19.5 percent stake in the company, which is valued at over $60 million. The Botswana-listed retailer has 217 stores in the continent. Ottapathu co-founded Choppies in 1986 as a single store named Wayside Supermarket at the Lobatse town of Botswana. The company has been expanding vigorously in the last couple of years. It acquired 21 retail stores in South Africa from Jwayelani Retail in March last year, and went on to acquire three more in Kenya from Ukwala Supermarkets in November.Ottapathu has been criticized for paying high wages to employees in South Africa while cutting costs through low salaries to workers in Botswana, a charge he refutes by citing the difference in the cost of living in the two countries. “On wages, we have to understand that the cost of living is almost double in South Africa compared to Botswana,” he told Mmegi. “You have to look at the Purchasing Power Parity not just the exchange rate. The minimum wage in South Africa is R2,500 and here it’s around P700.”Ottapathu is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and a Fellow of the Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants. He is a qualified chartered accountant and holds a B.Com degree from the University of Calicut. Related ItemsBotswana Indian millionaireChoppies EnterprisesChoppies IndianIndian African millionaireLittle IndiaOttapathu NRIRamachandran Ottapathulast_img read more

SRH vs DD: I hurt myself on the rib cage, reveals David Warner

first_imgSunrisers Hyderabad captain David said he hurt himself while taking a catch but heaped praise on his players for his side’s 15-run win over Delhi Daredevils here on Wednesday. (David Warner hails ‘exceptional’ Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul after win over Delhi Daredevils)Warner was seen grimacing as he fell down on his back while taking a catch to dismiss Rishabh Pant of the bowling of Yuvraj Singh in the 10th over of Delhi’s run chase. (More IPL News)”I hurt myself on the rib cage,” Warner said after the match. (SRH vs DD: Kane Williamson feels fortunate after dream comeback)Warner praised Kane Williamson (89) and Shikhar Dhwan (70) for their 136-run stand for the second wicket to lay the foundation for Hyderabad’s total of 191 for 4 after electing to bat.”It was an outstanding performance from the guys. Kane, first game for him this year, the way he and Shikhar played laid an outstanding platform for the guys,” said Warner. (SCORECARD)”We galvanise well together, we know what to expect. Fantastic performance from the guys with the bat and then following it up with the ball as well,” he added. (HIGHLIGHTS)Talking about his bowling unit, Warner said, “Delhi have an outstanding bowling attack with pace upfront. It was about tossing the ball to the youngster playing the first game or go to Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar), our experienced paceman.”We threw the ball to the youngster and he came out on top. To come out and play the way he played, and Bhuvi was world-class again. Credit to the fast bowlers.”advertisementDelhi captain Zaheer Khan said it was a great game of cricket though his side lost it.”180 would have been ideal to chase, but the last over I bowled is going to haunt me for a bit. Even with 190, we felt we had a good chance,” he said.”Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar) was just fantastic, the lengths he is bowling and the rhythm he is in, he is helping Sunrisers defend.”Asked about Karun Nair’s run-out which changed the scenario of the game, Zaheer said, “These things happen in the heat of the situation. But overall, the morale is good. We have been losing by small margins.”Man-of-the-match Kane Williamson said he was fortunate to play the match, his first outing this season.”Nice to get a game. The guys have been doing a fantastic job, so fortunate to get a game,” said Williamson who scored a 51-ball 89 in Hyderabad’s 191 for 4.”It was a very good surface, it was important to get a good score batting first. Once again, just those partnerships throughout were important and I think the icing on the cake were the couple of boundaries that took us past 180.”Our fielding has improved, which is something we have focused on. I just got a little niggle, probably was not going to do the team too much of a service being out with the niggle.”last_img read more

PCAs upcoming stadium in Mullanpur to be ready by 2020

first_imgChandigarh, May 15 (PTI) Punjab will have another world-class cricket stadium by 2020 with the state cricket Association (PCA) developing the facility in Mullanpur, near Mohali. Punjab already has a cricket facility in Mohali?s I S Bindra PCA Stadium, built in 1992, but over the years lack of proper parking facilities have emerged as major constraint as the existing facility is located in thick of a residential colony. In 2011, PCA?s Executive Committee had met under the Chairmanship of its the then President I S Bindra and decided to build a modern cricket stadium at Mullanpur, on the outskirts of Chandigarh, which will be three times bigger than the existing one. “We had acquired nearly 40 acres of free hold land at Mullanpur in the demarcated sports and leisure area, which is having wide roads and very good connectivity from Chandigarh and even from various places in Punjab. “The new stadium at Mullanpur, also called New Chandigarh, is going to be ready in next three years or even before that,” PCA?s Chief Executive Officer, Brigadier G S Sandhu (retd) told reporters today at the site. The new stadia would have three grounds ? for matches and practice ? and also a state-of-the-art cricket academy which would attract trainees from associate and affiliated members of the ICC, said PCAs Chief Operating Officer, Deepak Sharma. At the site of the new stadium, which will be built in two phases, work is going on in full swing and the boundary wall has come up. The total cost for building the first phase of the stadium, which is coming up in Togan and Tira villages, is approximately Rs 150 crore, Honorary Project Director of the Mullanpur stadium project, B K Bassi said, adding after the completion of the first phase the matches can be hosted. As against Mohali stadiums seating capacity of nearly 27,000, the Mullanpur facility can accommodate 38,000 spectators, Bassi said. There will be an independent players pavilion, which will be located on the first floor. Besides, a corporate pavilion will also be set up, media block will come up in the north pavilion and there will be two general stands, Sharma said. According to Bassi, the Mullanpur stadium will have sub-surface drainage, which the existing PCA stadium lacks, meaning the ground will be dry within 30 minutes of a heavy downpour. Deepak Sharma said the stadium will have rain water harvesting and solar panels making it environmentally friendly. “There will be a total of sixteen gates and the new facility will be disabled friendly,” he said. The stadium will have its own sewerage treatment plant. As against 18 flood lights installed in the Mohali stadium due to height restrictions, the Mullanpur facility will have 4-6 flood light pillars. PTI SUN BS BSadvertisementlast_img read more

All the IPL riches and India still do not have a settled middle order

first_imgManish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, KL Rahul and Yuvraj Singh are some of the names that have all tried their hand at batting in the middle-order for Team India in the ODI format this year. But the team is yet to find the right combination in the batting lineup.All the above-mentioned players are tried and tested batsmen and have proved their worth in the Indian Premier League. Franchises have shelled out millions of dollars for their services in the IPL but when it comes to the national side, captain Virat Kohli and the team management are still working out its permutations and combinations.Yuvraj Singh is the most experienced player of the lot but his inconsistent run combined with fitness issues meant that he was dropped from the side after the series in West Indies in June this year.Jadhav is the only player who has been a constant feature in the playing XI since he provides the captain with the additional option of part-time spin and often makes crucial breakthrough’s with his street-smart bowling.But frequent changes in the batting order hasn’t helped the 32-year-old. Jadhav has batted in all positions in the middle-order from No. 4-7 depending upon the situation of the game. Out of all the positions he has batted in, No. 6 has suited Jadhav the most as he averages over 63 in that spot having played 12 innings scoring 511 runs including two hundreds and a fifty.The next best bet in the middle order is Pandey but the Karnataka batsman has strangely found himself in and out of the playing XI more often than not. In the two years since he made his ODI debut, Pandey has played just 19 matches and scored 430 runs at an average of 43 with one hundred and two half-centuries.advertisementPandey though, has mostly been drafted into the playing XI when someone or the other gets injured or is unavailable due to some reason. However, this year the team management has stuck with Pandey but he still hasn’t managed to grab a permanent place in the XI.Pandey has played 7 matches this year and scored 169 runs at 42.25 with one half-century. Like Jadhav, India have experimented with Pandey at No. 4, 5 and 6 in the last two years. His average at No. 5 is over 55 while at 6 he averages over 45.Reuters Photo India have also tried Rahul once each at No. 4 and 5 but he failed to make an impression in both innings. In fact this year Rahul’s form in the ODI format has been very poor which is why he was dropped from the squad for the ongoing series against New Zealand.Rahul’s omission has given Karthik an opportunity to make a comeback and cement his place in the team, something which he hasn’t been able to do since he made his debut in 2004. Consistency has deserted the right-hander every time he has been brought into the side.The 32-year-old veteran cricketer made his ODI return after a gap of three years in the ODI series against the West Indies this year where he played two games and scored 2 and 50  not out. In the first ODI against the Black Caps, Karthik made an impressive 37 and sort of bailed the team out of trouble along with Kohli. But once again he failed to convert a start and perished against the run of play.The man who is still holding the middle-order together for India is the ever-reliable MS Dhoni, who has regained his form this year ever since he gave up the limited-overs captaincy in January.Dhoni is averaging over 67 in the 24 ODIs he has played this year scoring 673 runs with one hundred and five fifties. Cricket pundits have been pleading for Dhoni to be sent up the batting order but the team management has been reluctant to do so because if the most-experienced batsman gets out cheaply then it will badly expose the rest of the youngsters coming in after him.Dhoni hasn’t batted above the No. 5 slot this year where in 8 innings he is averaging over 62 with one hundred and three fifties. At No. 6 he has played 7 knocks and is averaging over 78 with two scores of over 50. India have even sent him at No. 7 three times this year where he is averaging 65.The sensational Hardik Pandya has played 24 games this year and is averaging over 41 with four half-centuries. He has been sent up the order as high as No. 4 where he’s played four innings and made 142 runs at 35.50 with a strike rate of over 105. But the 24-year-old has been India’s best bet at No. 7 where he’s played 9 innings and scored 330 runs at over 47 with a strike rate of 125.advertisementPandya is the floater who can be lethal in any position as he possesses the ability to hit sixes and fours at will. Along with Dhoni, Pandya is the only other permanent face in the middle-order.It’s the other three slots which has caused India a headache. Captain Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri are still continuing to experiment with the available options but are reluctant to zero in on a particular combination, which may later go on to hurt India on their foreign tours.last_img read more

Google Pixel 2 goes on sale in India, price starts at Rs 61,000

first_imgOne half of Google’s latest Pixel 2 lineup is now available in India. The Pixel 2 can be purchased online exclusively on Flipkart and via offline channels that include Reliance Digital, Croma and Vijay Sales, among others with financing options from HDFC Bank, Bajaj Finance and other leading institutions. The Pixel 2 will also be shipping to those who have pre-ordered the device starting November 2.The Google Pixel 2 has been priced at Rs 61,000 for the 64GB variant and Rs 70,000 for the 128GB variant. As far as design is concerned, the Pixel 2 looks similar to the original Pixel, sporting significant bezels on the front. The back also sees a similar metal and glass division like its predecessor and will be offered in Just Black, Clearly White, and Kinda Blue colour options. The Pixel 2 sports a 5-inch screen with a 1080p resolution and an aspect ratio of 16:9.The Pixel 2 is powered by Snapdragon 835 and is offered with 4GB of RAM. The handset houses a 2700mAh battery and will ship with Android 8.0 Oreo out-of-the-box. The smartphone features a single 12-megapixel rear camera with dual-pixel sensor and f/1.8 aperture. The front sees an 8-megapixel sensor with f/2.4 aperture. Connectivity options on board include Wi-Fi 2.4/5GHz 802.11 a/b/c/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC. Other features include Active Edge Sense to quickly launch Google Assistant by squeezing the frame, Google Lens, support for e-SIM, IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, fingerprint sensor on the back and front-firing stereo speakers, among other things.Also Read: iPhone X Vs Pixel 2 XL: Should you get Apple’s best or the best of Android?advertisementMeanwhile, the larger Pixel 2 XL will start shipping from November 15 for pre-order customers. The smartphone features a design language that is a little different from its predecessor. The most notable feature about it is its slim bezels on the front that provides a full-screen display and an 18:9 aspect ratio. It features a 6-inch display with 1440p resolution and shares hardware and software specs similar to the Pixel 2.last_img read more

Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic combine to hand Switzerland their fourth Hopman Cup title

first_imgRoger Federer and Belinda Bencic combined for a comfortable mixed doubles victory to lead Switzerland to a thrilling victory over Germany in the Hopman Cup final on Saturday.With the win, Switzerland won their fourth Hopman Cup title. The last time Switzerland won the title was in 2001 when Federer had teamed up with Martina Hingis.Federer weathered an initial storm from the Gen Next star Alexander Zverev to eventually come out victorious.After losing a close first set 6-7(4), the world No.2 stamped his authority and dominated Zverev to the hilt in the second set.Zverev was simply unable to play Federer at all in the second set and the Swiss great crushed him 6-0.ALSO WATCHThe final set saw pretty much a similar pattern with Federer dominating the German. Federer made the match his own with a massive 6-2 win in the final set and took the match..@rogerfederer in command. He defeats Alexander #Zverev 6-7(4) 6-0 6-2 to give #TeamSwitzerland a 1-0 lead in the #HopmanCup 2018 final. pic.twitter.com/kPSKBUsRpl- Hopman Cup (@hopmancup) January 6, 2018Angelique Kerber then decimated Bencic 6-4, 6-1 to send the title battle to the mixed doubles match. The win was Kerber’s fourth straight singles win at the Hopman Cup this year.Thereafter, Federer and Bencic came together to overcome Zverev and Kerber 4-3(4) 4-2 to lift the Hopman Cup for Switzerland.Take a bow, @rogerfederer and @BelindaBencic �??? #HopmanCup pic.twitter.com/aN0SoEjqIC- Hopman Cup (@hopmancup) January 6, 2018With the win, Federer won her second Hopman Cup and the world No.2 was reminded of his first, which he won with Hingis.advertisement”She (Hingis) had a great career and to have that in a small country like Switzerland is very rare,” Federer said after winning the title.”It made me also believe with hard work and dedication you get really far because I didn’t believe that much at that point when I was younger, I thought it was more all talent.”Federer is prepping for the year’s first Grand Slam, the Australian Open. Federer is one of the prime contenders for the title with the other three of the ‘Big Four’ in doubt.Andy Murray has already pulled out of the tournament and Novak Djokovic are also in doubt, though they haven’t taken a decision yet.(With inputs from Agencies)last_img read more

Curry Named NBA’s MVP

first_imgOAKLAND, Calif. — Some called him too small. Others too fragile. Now, Stephen Curry has a new label: NBA MVP.The Golden State Warriors’ point guard won the league’s top individual award May 4, beating out Houston’s James Harden in a race that turned out not to be that close.Curry received 100 of 130 first-place votes for a total of 1,198 points from a panel of 129 writers and broadcasters, along with the fan vote on the NBA’s website.Harden had 25 first-place votes and 936 points. Cleveland’s LeBron James, a four-time MVP, got five first-place votes and 552 points.Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook (352 points) finished fourth and New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis (203 points) was fifth.With the revitalized Warriors winning at a historic pace, Curry’s case for MVP resonated around the league as loud as the nightly chants at rowdy Oracle Arena.Curry carried the top-seeded Warriors to a franchise-record 67 wins, surpassed his own record for most 3-pointers in a season and added to his growing reputation as one of the most entertaining spectacles in sports. He’s the franchise’s first MVP since Wilt Chamberlain in 1960, when the Warriors played in Philadelphia.Curry was set to receive the award during an afternoon news conference Monday in Oakland. He will be presented with the hardware again during an on-court ceremony when Golden State hosts Memphis in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals May 5.Congratulations rolled in from players around the league at practices and on social media. None echoed louder than those from James, who called Curry the main reason for the Warriors’ rapid rise to championship contender.“He’s the catalyst of that whole ship,” James said at the Cavaliers’ morning shootaround. “And I think he’s had an unbelievable season. And I think it’s very well deserved, and I think it’s great that another kid born in Akron, Ohio, can win an MVP, so, I liked it.”Curry was born in Akron but grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he started in the shadows of his father, former NBA player Dell Curry.Despite his famous name, most major colleges didn’t offer Curry a scholarship coming out of high school because they thought he was too small.Curry proved them all wrong, going from a shooting guard who dazzled at Davidson during the NCAA Tournament to a polished professional point guard who can shoot, dribble and distribute with the best of them.In a game dominated by big men and played by some of the world’s greatest athletes, the 6-foot-3, 190-pound Curry controls the flow without physically overpowering defenders.But there were times when it seemed Curry’s potential might not be reached. Two operations on his right ankle in his first three seasons with Golden State fueled questions about his durability. He even had to prove his worth to the team that drafted him seventh overall in 2009.Curry signed a $44 million, four-year contract extension with the Warriors before the 2012-13 season. Back then, the deal looked like a major risk for the Warriors considering Curry’s injury history.Now? Well, Curry is clearly one of basketball’s best bargains.He eclipsed his own record of 272 3-pointers set two years ago, hitting 286 from beyond the arc this season. He already owns three of the five most prolific 3-point shooting seasons in NBA history.Curry averaged 23.8 points, 7.7 assists, 4.3 rebounds and two steals this season. He shot 48.7 percent from the floor and 44.3 percent from 3-point range.Off the floor, his popularity is also soaring.Curry received more All-Star votes than any player and joined James and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver at the league’s biggest marketing events during All-Star weekend in New York, where his face plastered posters in subway stations and televisions in taxi cabs. He also delivered by winning his first 3-point contest.___By Antonio Gonzalez. AP sports writer Tom Withers in Cleveland contributed to this report___TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Fact check: Postcard News fakes data to show more sports medals during NDA rule than UPA

first_imgCorrection: The focus of our story was on the number of medals won during the UPA and the NDA rule. Our premise for picking up a claim was based on the photographs that were published by Postcard News comparing Manmohan Singh and Narendra Modi with sportspersons. However, we were pointed out for drawing our own inference from the pictures rather than restricting ourselves to the claim made explicitly. Taking a cue from the feedback, we corrected our story. Now, the story focuses on the pose of the two prime ministers in the pictures.Is Prime Minister Narendra Modi more humble towards medal winning athletes than former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh? This is what is being claimed in a story on the website Postcard News on the basis of two photographs.Postcard News published a post showing two pictures of former PM Manmohan Singh and PM Narendra Modi posing with sportspersons who won medals in international events. The first picture shows Singh sitting with his wife Gursharan Kaur, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and the then Union minister for sports while the medal winners are standing behind them. The second picture shows Modi standing and interacting with medal winners who are seated around him in the chairs. The message along with the picture in the Postcard News reads: “Pic 1- Everyone sitting except medal winners. Pic 2- Everyone is sitting except the Prime Minister.” See the difference”.The post has tries to paint Singh in a poor light and as compared to PM Modi who kept standing while the athletes were offered chairs.advertisementIndia Today fact checked the post to verify the claim made by Postcard News. We found that the claim is misleading as it has selectively picked up pictures from two different occasions to drive home a point.By reverse searching the first picture of Singh on Google, we found that it was the picture taken on August 17, 2012. The six medal winners at London Olympic Games had met the then PM Singh at his official residence. While, the second photo of Modi with the medal winners was clicked on April 30, 2018, when India’s CWG medal winners met him at his Lok Kalyan Marg residence. Modi congratulated the medal winners and also interacted with them.But there are several other pictures of both the leaders publically available which shows them interacting with the players at different occasions. Contrary to what the report of Postcard claims, there are also pictures in which Singh is standing with the players while PM Modi is posing for a group photograph in which he is sitting in the chair while the medal winners stand behind him. This debunks the claim.The following picture was taken when Singh felicitated CWG medal winners at his residence on October 15, 2010. In another picture, Singh can be seen interacting with the medal winners of Asian Games 2010 in New Delhi on December 04, 2010. Here is a picture of PM Modi sitting while medal winners were standing behind him for a group photograph. Modi had hosted the 2014 Asian Games winners at his residence. He posed with the athletes and officials. The photo was tweeted by PM Modi himself on October 14, 2014. The picture is available in the the media coverage section on PM Modi’s website dated October 16, 2014.With our medal winning athletes. pic.twitter.com/RntpmE1v5fNarendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 14, 2014 We also found pictures in which both PM Modi as well as the athletes were standing. This one was clicked when the PM greeted Rio Olympics-bound athletes.From our fact check, we found that the claim made by Postcard News was incorrect.If you have a story that looks suspicious, please share with us at factcheck@intoday.com or send us a message on the WhatsApp number 73 7000 7000last_img read more

Celtic grind out draw against Rosenborg to progress in Champions League

first_imgRosenborg Share on Pinterest Brendan Rodgers’ side frustrated their hosts after the break without threatening too much themselves and the Norwegians ran out of imagination and inspiration and ultimately the competition.Celtic, who have qualified for its group stages in the last two seasons under Rodgers, now take on AEK Athens in the next round with the first match at Parkhead next week and with a possible play-off to follow.Rodgers kept faith with the same side which started in the first leg with the regular right-back Mikael Lustig on the bench after returning late from World Cup duties with Sweden.Celtic had started the game in Glasgow unsteadily and lost an early goal to Birger Meling before rallying in style and this time there were a few first-half scares.Only a saving tackle by Cristian Gamboa in the seventh minute, with Celtic’s defence stretched, prevented Pal Andre Helland going clear in on goal against Gordon.The Parkhead defender was less concise when his attempted headed clearance landed at the feet of Meling but the Norwegian’s wild drive cleared the bar by yards.In the 16th minute Gordon caused some alarm among the 200 or so travelling Celtic fans when he fumbled a whipped-in cross from Helland with the defender Jack Hendry unconvincingly completing the clearance. European club football Share via Email Champions League The Fiver: the Guardian’s take on the world of football Celtic negotiated their way into the third qualifying round of the Champions League with a 3-1 aggregate victory against Rosenborg following a gritty goalless draw at the Lerkendal Stadium.The Scottish champions took a two-goal advantage to Norway from the first leg of their second qualifying round in Glasgow but were tentative in a first half in which an added-time save from the keeper, Craig Gordon, prevented Marius Lundemo from opening the scoring for the home side. The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email. Share on LinkedIn Read more Reuse this content Within a minute of the restart a powerful run from Odsonne Édouard, aided by Callum McGregor, ended with his right-footed drive from 14 yards clearing the far post. The swift move promised a more dynamic Celtic but Rosenborg quickly responded with efforts from Meling and the captain, Mike Jensen, both going wide.In the 65th minute, after Tom Rogic replaced James Forrest, Gordon made a fine save from an angled-drive by the Rosenborg substitute Jonathan Levi, who had come on for Helland.The home side, under the tutelage of an interim manager, Rini Coolen, the academy director who took over from the sacked Kare Ingebrigtsen before the game at Parkhead, saw the tie slowly drift away.Rosenborg had the ball in the net in the 87th minute but the Swiss referee, Sandro Scharer, ruled it out for a challenge by Nicklas Bendtner on Gordon and, with that, all Norwegian hope was gone. Burnley seek Uefa permission to register extra keeper for Aberdeen tie match reports Share on Facebook Share on WhatsApp Topics Share on Twitter The home side grew in confidence but at times their passing lacked precision, although Lundemo’s close-range header from Helland’s cross inside two minutes of added time was goalbound before Gordon stretched to tip the ball over. Read more Share on Messenger Celticlast_img read more

Jamaicans Encouraged to Support National Quality Policy

first_img Director General in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Vivian Brown, has encouraged Jamaicans to support the Government’s National Quality Policy 2017, as it aims to increase the nation’s annual gross domestic product (GDP) and export earnings.According to Mr. Brown, the new policy will help with quality upgrading of locally produced goods and services to internationally required standards, not only for local consumers but for the export market.“Quality upgrading of our producers, large and small, not only improves our products and services to meet increasing demands of customer expectations but also enhances opportunities for expansion into new markets,” Mr. Brown said at a National Quality Policy Workshop held at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St. Andrew today (March 6), to analyse and discuss the policy with stakeholders.The National Quality Policy 2017, now in its White Paper stage, articulates the Government’s position on the quality of goods and services produced and consumed in Jamaica.It supports the achievement of the National Development Goals as expressed in the National Development Plan – Vision 2030, by facilitating the production and export of quality goods and services, through the establishment and use of the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI), to ensure compliance with global market requirements.“The Government of Jamaica is committed to enhancing the development and maintenance of a modern and robust National Quality Infrastructure. We are committed to the development of our national quality capabilities and competencies and the provision of a competitive trading environment based on internationally accepted standards and principles,” Mr. Brown said.“Equally, we are firmly committed to creating a quality environment that will encourage local consumers to demand high-quality products and services,” he added.Mr. Brown said it is important for the Government to get support with formalising the framework of this new policy, especially from the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), as they account for the highest percentage of producers, manufacturers and service providers in Jamaica.“Very importantly for the policy is the ability of our micro, small and medium- sized enterprises to comply with the correct standards and regulations applied in export markets as well as the domestic market,” he said.“In all of this, there’s a pivotal role for the private sector in the development and the implementation of the quality policy as well as its participation in the development of our national quality infrastructure. If we are to achieve the maximum benefit from the National Quality Infrastructure, the private sector must be encouraged to avail itself of information and services being provided by the NQI,” Mr. Brown argued.He said the Government will develop appropriate mechanisms to identify the standards and policy needs of the MSME sector, including establishing initiatives for national quality infrastructure support, which relates to the National Quality Policy (NQP).The Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC) will play a pivotal role in assisting Jamaican business operators to meet the standards outlined in the new NQP.JANAAC is the national accreditation body of Jamaica that provides services to conformity assessment bodies (CABs), consisting of laboratory inspection bodies and certification bodies.It is an agency of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries and is the only internationally recognised accreditation body in the English-speaking Caribbean. JANAAC was the title sponsor of the workshop. It supports the achievement of the National Development Goals as expressed in the National Development Plan – Vision 2030, by facilitating the production and export of quality goods and services, through the establishment and use of the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI), to ensure compliance with global market requirements. Director General in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Vivian Brown, has encouraged Jamaicans to support the Government’s National Quality Policy 2017, as it aims to increase the nation’s annual gross domestic product (GDP) and export earnings. “Quality upgrading of our producers, large and small, not only improves our products and services to meet increasing demands of customer expectations but also enhances opportunities for expansion into new markets,” Mr. Brown said at a National Quality Policy Workshop held at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St. Andrew today (March 6), to analyse and discuss the policy with stakeholders. Story Highlightslast_img read more

Nova Scotians to Have Easier Access to Heating Assistance

first_imgGovernment is making changes to the Heating Assistance Rebate Program that will make it easier and faster for Nova Scotians to apply for and receive their rebate. The 2016-17 program will begin accepting applications on Monday, Oct. 31 and feature a new online application system and direct deposit option. Eligible applicants can receive up to a $200 rebate for heating assistance. “We know some Nova Scotians struggle with the cost of heating their homes during the cold winter months,” says Service Nova Scotia Minister Mark Furey. “Nova Scotians expect and want more government services to be available online and with this announcement we’re doing just that.” The new online system will allow Nova Scotians to apply for the rebate online, and will allow both those who apply online and by paper form to check the status of their application online in real time. Before now, applicants had to call Service Nova Scotia to ask for an update on their application. Those registered for direct deposit with Canada Revenue Agency can also receive their rebate directly to their bank account. Paper applications will still be available at Access Nova Scotia locations, Community Services’ and MLA offices, or through more than 70 community groups and other locations across the province, and for print online. “Last year, the program helped more than 42,600 citizens and families in the province stay warm during the cold winter months,” said Mr. Furey. “It’s my hope that we reach every Nova Scotian who can benefit from this program.” Beginning in 2017, the Heating Assistance Rebate Program will move to a fixed launch date. For more information and to apply online, please visit http://www.novascotia.ca/heatinghelp .last_img read more

Suspended ViceAdmiral Norman to be removed as militarys secondincommand

first_imgOTTAWA – Suspended Vice-Admiral Mark Norman will be shuffled out of his position as the military’s second-in-command on Thursday, as the criminal case against him works its way through the court system.The move comes 18 months after Norman was relieved of his duties as vice chief of defence staff for allegedly leaking government secrets to a Quebec shipyard, for which he faces one charge of breach of trust.The veteran naval officer has denied any wrongdoing and has said he plans to fight the charge in court.Defence chief Gen. Jonathan Vance had appointed several other senior officers to fill in on a temporary basis until the case could go through the judicial process.He has also shouldered some of the position’s responsibilities himself.But the Defence Department has confirmed that Vance has tapped army commander Lt.-Gen. Paul Wynnyk to take over as the Forces’ new vice chief, effective July 16.“Command and control, as well as leadership, are critical as the Canadian Armed Forces continue to deploy on operations and implement the defence policy,” DND spokesman Daniel Le Bouthillier said in an email.“The chief of defence staff is grateful for those who have stepped up to fill the gap, but at this juncture … the Canadian Armed Forces require a full-time vice chief of defence staff going forward.”The military just this week began to deploy troops to the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali.Norman will be moved to a supernumerary position within the defence chief’s office, Le Bouthillier added, where he will continue to serve as a member of the Forces until the court case plays out.It is believed Norman was informed of the shuffle ahead of time, as he and Vance have been in constant contact by email and the occasional phone call and letter since January 2017, though it’s unclear whether he agreed to it.The move is likely to spark anger from Norman’s supporters, including many former military members and even some politicians who have contributed thousands of dollars to help pay for his legal defence.The case against Norman revolves around the newly elected Liberal government’s decision in November 2015 to reconsider a $700-million contract the Harper Conservatives had awarded to Quebec-based Davie Shipbuilding.The contract was to convert a civilian vessel, the MV Asterix, into a temporary navy resupply ship that would be leased for five years, with another five-year option, until permanent replacements could be built in Vancouver.While the plan to revisit the contract was supposed to remain secret, court documents released last year show the RCMP suspected Norman was upset with the decision and worried the government would cancel the project.He was commander of the navy at the time and, according to the documents, allegedly worked with Davie to try to pressure the government to stick with the project.None of the allegations against Norman have been tested in court.The Liberals ultimately decided to proceed with the project and the MV Asterix is now being used by the navy.Norman was officially charged on March 9, at which point Vance issued a statement saying he needed to “consider the impact and implications” of the criminal charge against the military’s second-in-command.“This is a complex matter, separate from the judicial process,” Vance said at the time. “I need time to weigh these factors carefully and deliberately.”– Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitter.last_img read more

Toyota quarterly profit quadruples forecast upbeat on recovery from disasters

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Toyota quarterly profit quadruples, forecast upbeat on recovery from disasters TOKYO – Toyota’s quarterly profit more than quadrupled to 121 billion yen ($1.5 billion), and the automaker gave upbeat forecasts as it recovers from a sales plunge caused by the tsunami in Japan last year.Japan’s No. 1 automaker forecast Wednesday that profit for its business year ending March 2013 would soar to 760 billion yen ($9.5 billion). Net profit plunged 30 per cent to 283.6 billion yen ($3.5 billion) for the just ended business year.The annual results were better than the company projection for a 200 billion yen ($2.5 billion) profit, as well as the FactSet estimate at 279 billion yen ($3.49 billion). That, along with the jump in profit for the January-March quarter, is a sign of a turnaround from last year’s tsunami that hobbled Toyota production around the world.Toyota’s profit for January-March the previous year had been dismal at 25.4 billion yen because of the damage from an earthquake and tsunami that hit March 11, 2011. Flooding in Thailand, which disrupted supplies, added to the decline.Toyota President Akio Toyoda acknowledged the hardships, but also pointed to the strong yen, which erodes the overseas earnings of Japanese exporters such as Toyota.“Our vision is to establish a strong business foundation that will ensure profitability under any kind of difficult business environment,” he said.“But thanks to the concerted efforts of our employees, suppliers and dealers, we were able to recover production and sales faster than anticipated and achieved a strong result.”Toyota, which makes the Prius hybrid, Camry sedan and Lexus luxury models, said its vehicle sales grew in Japan, Europe and Africa, but not in North America. However, it is regaining market share there.The automaker expects to sell 8.7 million vehicles this business year, 1.3 million more vehicles than the nearly 7.4 million vehicles sold for the year ended March.Rising gas prices and concerns about global warming are major plus factors for Toyota and other Japanese automakers that excel at producing compact fuel-efficient models.Toyota’s image suffered in North America over a series of massive recalls since 2009, and its U.S. sales fell last year. But its sales and market share in the U.S. have almost recovered.“It’s no secret that Toyota had a tough year last year due to the production fallout from the Japanese earthquake. In the last few months though, Toyota has made big strides to regain the U.S. market share it lost to its competitors,” said Edmunds.com senior analyst Jessica Caldwell.But she warned Toyota needs to keep coming up with new products to maintain its recovery momentum amid intense competition.Toyota faces an increasingly powerful Hyundai Motor Co., a resurgent General Motors Co. and Volkswagen AG, who all remain hard to beat in key growth markets such as China.Toyota’s sales for the business year ended March 31 totalled 18.58 trillion yen ($232 billion), down 2 per cent.January-March sales rebounded to 5.7 trillion yen ($71.3 billion), up 23 per cent from 4.6 trillion yen a year earlier.The comeback at Toyota is playing out at other Japanese automakers.Last month, Honda Motor Co. reported its January-March profit jumped 61 per cent on robust car and motorcycle sales, and forecast record global sales of 4.3 million vehicles for this fiscal year.Nissan Motor Co. reports fiscal results Friday.Toyoda, the grandson of Toyota’s founder, vowed to lead a full turnaround, promising a range of products targeting emerging markets, in addition to established markets.“In recent years, we have suffered periods of hardship,” he said. “This year, I am determined to show tangible results.”Toyota shares closed unchanged at 3,145 yen ($39) in Tokyo, shortly before earnings were announced.___AP Auto Writer Tom Krisher in Detroit contributed to this report.____Follow Yuri Kageyama on Twitter at http://twitter.com/yurikageyama by News Staff Posted May 9, 2012 8:36 am MDT read more

Brexit row Britain demands free trade talks start by October despite EU

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Five papers will come out this week covering goods and services, confidential documents, civil judicial cooperation, dispute resolution and data protection. The publications – which focus on the technical detail of how Brexit will work – will be discussed at another round of talks at the end of the month.  “The decision has got to be taken about talking about the future relationship at the October EU Council. That’s when it ought to be taken. “The sensible thing to do is talk about it as soon as possible. It’s pretty obvious some aspects of the Ireland issues can’t be solved until you’re talking about how trade will work across the border.”  Mr Davis said: “In the coming days we will demonstrate our thinking even further, with five new papers – all part of our work to drive the talks forward, and make sure we can show beyond doubt that we have made sufficient progress on withdrawal issues by October so that we can move on to discuss our future relationship.”The EU Council – which represents the 27 EU countries – has the power to decide when to start talks about a trade deal. It is hoped the body will agree to widen the remit handed to Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, when it meets in October. But this is likely to be rebutted by Brussels because the UK has made clear that a figure for how much it will pay to leave the EU is unlikely to be settled by then. Mr Davis said this week in a BBC Radio Four interview that people should not expect a Brexit bill figure to be made public in either October or November. Britain is due to formally leave the EU on March 29 2019, though a transition period of up to three years after that will see the changes phased in over time. center_img However they are currently being overshadowed by a bigger row about the EU’s refusal to discuss the future trading relationship after Brexit. The EU is insisting there must be “sufficient progress” on three topics – EU citizens’ rights, the amount Britain will pay and Northern Ireland – before a free trade deal is discussed. However Whitehall sources now believe they will soon have ticked that box and believe further delay would unnecessarily damage the chances of an orderly break. There is particular concern that genuine progress cannot be made without detailed talks about what terms the EU and UK will be trading after Brexit. A senior Whitehall source said: “The UK Government is getting us into a position where it will become obvious that if there’s a problem when we leave with trade it will be the EU who created it, not the UK.  The European Union is damaging the chances of a smooth Brexit by refusing to talk about a future free trade deal, British ministers have claimed.In a warning shot to Brussels, senior Whitehall sources have told this newspaper that the Continent will be to blame for trade disruption unless they agree to widen talks. Ministers want the EU to sign off discussions about a free trade deal in October even if there is no agreement on how much Britain will pay in the so-called ‘Brexit bill’. David Davis has gone public with his concerns over timings, indicating the two-step negotiations process demanded by Brussels could backfire.“With the clock ticking, it wouldn’t be in either of our interests to run aspects of the negotiations twice,” said Mr Davis, the Brexit Secretary, in a statement issued yesterday. The comments mark an escalation in the timings row that is likely to dominate the coming months as Brexit negotiations become more advanced. The UK Government will be publishing a series of position papers on Brexit for the second week in a row after an active summer across Whitehall. last_img read more

ZEB1 hand held laser scanner strikes gold at historic Barberton mine

first_imgA ZEB1 hand held laser mapping system is being used to map excavations at a historic gold mine in South Africa. Mining has been taking place at Barberton Mines in the Mpumalanga province since 1884 during which time mine managers have employed a range of surveying techniques and technologies. The latest innovation in surveying is allowing for 3D measurement of mined out excavations at depths of up to 1,450 m. The ZEB1, purchased from 3D Laser Mapping, is exceeding all expectations in terms of accuracy, productivity and performance.“The results we are getting using the ZEB1, combined with our Mine Works GIS, are better than we could have imagined!” commented Koos Verster, Chief Surveyor of Barberton Mines. “We normally strive for 95% or higher accuracy but this combination is delivering 100%, not to mention the increase in productivity we have achieved. The ZEB1 is also withstanding our difficult environment, performing better than we hoped. It has been to some of the most extreme reaches of the mine, for prolonged periods of time, yet shows no undue effects.”Prior to the introduction of CAD in the early 90’s, Barberton Mine conducted the majority of stope survey work through offsetting with a 2D tabular deposit method. This did not highlight features such as folding, branching, thickening or thinning of mineralisation. Following the introduction of CAD in 1994 measurements were made using a hanging compass and clinometer. This method was far more accurate and enabled the production of 3D models but was, however, very time consuming.“Our previous working practices had been in place for a long time,” continued Verster, “and we often had to make compromises between accuracy and survey time. All of these issues have been overcome since we started working with the ZEB1.”Barberton mine is located 10 km northeast of the gold rush town of Barberton in Mpumalanga province, 260 km to the east of Johannesburg. The lode gold deposit is hosted in a volcanic and sedimentary sequence of the 3.5 billion year old Barberton Super Group. The extreme age and complex structural history of the ore body have resulted in a wide spectrum of lode shapes and dimensions. Various mining methods are employed due to variations in the deposit from the mine entrance level to depths of 1,450 m, but the majority of tonnes mined are by semi-mechanised cut and fill.Developed by CSIRO and commercialised by UK-based 3D Laser Mapping, ZEB1 uses robotic technology called Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM). The ZEB1 system includes a lightweight laser scanner mounted on a simple spring mechanism, which continuously scans as the operator walks through the environment. As the scanner loosely oscillates about the spring it produces a rotation that converts 2D laser measurements into 3D fields of view. Its ability to self-localise makes ZEB1 ideally suited for use indoors, underground and in other covered environments, where traditional solutions that utilise GPS don’t function well.last_img read more

One million Green Card forms sent to motor insurance providers in case

first_img By Órla Ryan As the clock ticks down, get all the best Brexit news and analysis in your inbox: File photo Image: Brian Lawless/PA Wire/PA Images https://jrnl.ie/4516751 24,796 Views 10 Comments Image: Brian Lawless/PA Wire/PA Images Wednesday 27 Feb 2019, 10:20 PM Share266 Tweet Email6 Feb 27th 2019, 10:20 PM Short URL “There are thousands of people who cross the border every day for work, school, college, medical appointments and to simply visit family or friends. It is imperative for these people that they can continue in their daily lives without impediments,” Troy said in a statement.Minister for Transport Shane Ross previously said it is not clear if motorists will be prosecuted for failing to carry Green Cards in the event of a no-deal Brexit.Earlier this month he told the Oireachtas Transport Committee: “If there is a no-deal Brexit, Irish-registered vehicles entering UK territory, including Northern Ireland, will be required to carry a Green Card, a document which proves that they have motor insurance.“Likewise UK citizens wishing to take their UK registered motor vehicles into Ireland will also require a Green Card.” There is an urgent responsibility on the government to resolve this issue. To force drivers on this island to apply for and carry an International Motor Insurance Card to travel across the border would be a significant breach of the spirit and ethos of the Good Friday Agreement.“The government must urgently put the case to the European Commission to waive the green card requirement,” Adams said.Robert Troy, Fianna Fáil’s Spokesperson on Transport, noted that around 13,000 cross-border journeys are made by those driving heavy goods vehicles and light goods vehicles every day.Not only will this cause major hardship for businesses and companies but it will be a major hindrance to the people living along the border. File photo One million Green Card forms sent to motor insurance providers in case there’s a no-deal Brexit Drivers who think they may need a card have been advised to apply one month in advance. ONE MILLION GREEN Card forms and electronic application templates have been issued to insurance providers by the  Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) in preparation for a potential no-deal Brexit. The figure was revealed at a special briefing organised for members of the Oireachtas.In January, motorists were told they would require an insurance Green Card to drive in Northern Ireland and the UK in the event of Britain leaving the European Union without a deal. Brexit is meant to officially happen on 29 March but — having previously rejected the draft Withdrawal Agreement struck by the British government and the EU — the House of Commons tonight overwhelmingly backed a proposal that could allow Brexit to be delayed. The MIBI has advised motorists who plan on driving in Northern Ireland and the UK immediately after 29 March to begin applying for their Green Cards from next week, in case a no-deal scenario materialises. Those who plan on travelling after that period have been advised to contact their insurance company or broker one month in advance of their expected travel date.Currently, Irish-registered vehicles that travel within the EU are covered by the terms of the EU Motor Insurance Directive. However, a no-deal Brexit would see the UK withdraw from this directive, meaning Irish motorists will require a Green Card to travel there.While MIBI guidelines state that there is no charge to obtain a Green Card, some insurers say that fees may apply when customers order them.Penalties Green Cards are documents which provide proof of insurance cover to law enforcement agencies in the relevant country. The MIBI has warned that motorists who drive in Northern Ireland or the UK without a Green Card, if no Brexit deal is agreed, “could possibly be subjected to the penalties for driving uninsured after that date”.If a deal is reached, the cards will not be necessary. If Britain seeks to extend Article 50 and delay Brexit, which looks increasingly likely, the need for the cards would also be delayed.Speaking after the Oireachtas briefing, David Fitzgerald, Chief Executive of the MIBI, said: “We still hope that Green Cards will not be required and that the UK will reach an agreement with the EU on an orderly Brexit.”Fitzgerald said that under a no-deal Brexit, Irish insurance documentation “may no longer be recognised by the law enforcement authorities in Northern Ireland or the rest of the UK”. He noted that penalties for driving in these countries without insurance include having your vehicle seized at the side of the road, fines and impoundment.“We don’t want to see that happen to motorists with valid insurance and we urge anyone who thinks this may impact them to apply for a Green Card in sufficient time,” he said.‘Breach of Good Friday Agreement’ The potential need for Green Cards has been criticised by many politicians. Sinn Féin TD Gerry Adams today said there is “an absence of information” about if and how the Green Card system would be implemented, and what powers An Garda Síochána and the PSNI would have if they stopped a driver who didn’t have a Green Card. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more