Some 15 years ago, I had the good fortune of meeting the late, brilliant poet-lyricist Majrooh Sultanpuri. Like any fan and admirer of his incandescent work, I piled on and badgered him with a zillion questions about poetry, lyric writing, Bollywood, the works! I remember one distinct response to my pointed question about the difference in the treatment of love — from a lyricist in B-town’s perspective — between his time and the present. Gracious, (as befitting true-blue artists of his era), but with a wicked twinkle in his eye, the great man said “Hamare zamane mein, mashook ko hum Mere Mehboob ya Chaudvin ka Chand kehke zikar karte the. [pause] Aaj Kal, ek bahut hi popular gaana hai Tu cheez badi hai mast, mast! Wah, bahut khoob! Aaap khud hi andaza lagaiye, huzoor.” (In our time, we used to address the person we loved as my beloved, or the full moon. These days, there is a very popular song, you are a big item, cool, cool. Great! You can draw your own conclusion.)While I cracked up, the writer of immortal lyrics like Teri aankhon ke sivan duniya mein rakkha kya hain, allowed himself a mischievous smile. Today, if he — or any of his illustrious contemporaries like Kaifi Azmi, Shakeel Badayuni or Sahir — were around, they could well have had a collective cardiac arrest listening to the quality of lyrics, rocking the scene, darling tere liye.Not everyone agrees. Theater actress Lushin Dubey believes that even back in the fifties and sixties, lyricists like Sahir did switch lanes to adapt and go with the times and mood of the character, no matter how bizarre or un-romantic. “Who can forget his Tel maalish, champi in a heavy dark and dense film like Pyaasa?” Oxford-based author of The Japanese Wife, Kunal Basu, a vitriolic critic of most of what Bollywood stands for, dismisses any element of originality or creativity in the industry. “For me, Bollywood is a mega-budget farce, dedicated to trivializing the Indian way of life, converting it to a pathetic, easily digestible caricature that is easy to consume and digest for the culturally deficient. Any resemblance to anything remotely inventive, innovative or half way experimental, provocative or pushing the envelope is a savage coincidence. Imitative, (read: Hollywood) wildly self-absorbed and self-congratulatory and constantly catering to the lowest common denominator to grab numbers, we get the trash we deserve. So why blame the writers of the Munni-Sheila anthems? They are spot-on in the populist, low-brow, jhatka-matka space that defines most of the Bollywood product and consumers.” Harsh words, but what really is driving this new kind of lyric writing — bold, bindaas, irreverent, catchy, conversational, raunchy — in a segment that was once sacred and the hallowed premise of the sensitive, poetic and artistic?Film Critic Saibal Chatterjee cuts to the chase: “I do firmly believe it has to do with the times we live in, the product being manufactured and the target audience, addressed. While a Gulzar and Javed Akhtar will always have a market following, the crowd that constitute today’s core decision-makers — youngistan between the ages of 15-25 — are of a totally different mindset, honed in a completely different cultural milieu and context. Impulsive, impatient with zero brand-loyalty and constantly looking for new highs and kicks through novelty, not for them the languorous, metaphor and romance-dripping word-magic. This has opened the doors of a new breed of lyricists coming from the world of advertising — sharp, hawk-eyed, creative mavericks who are trained to recognize and march to the beat of the market, transforming a rarified and inspirational calling into a cold-blooded, writing-to-sell exercise. The template is more copy-writing (Ad-style) than lyric writing … and mass-acceptance rather than excellence is the mantra of the hour. In this new game, Munni and Sheila are the chartbusters with the Band Baaja Baaraat lyrics following suit.” 20-something ad-man Abhinav Joshi agrees: “Today communication — not heavy duty language, as in purple prose or imagery-dripping poetry — is what rocks with the masses. This is reflected in books, magazines, movies, TV, everyday conversation, advertising … why on earth should Bollywood films be any different? The three commandments are mota bol, seedha bol, jaldi bol! Surprise and delight me, boss, if you want memorability or top-of-the-mind recall. Item songs help in the marketing of a film vastly in its pre-released stage. They build hype and grab eyeballs. Dabangg and Tees Maar Khan benefited largely from their signature tunes. Mallika Sherawat’s Razia (Gundo mein phaas gayi) in Thank You is the next sizzler on the bloc. Brash n’bindaas is the new cool, man … way to go!”While one of the two great exponents of classy lyrics — Javed Akhtar being the other — Gulzar remains un-amused at the present state of lyric writing, he understands where it is coming from: “It is a time and place thing. In today’s digital-driven, hi-speed world with women multi-tasking as never before, can a Mere Mehboob, Chaudvin ka Chand, Babul Mora, Din dhal jaye, Jane woh kaise ever appear credible? Where’s the context? The intent, emotion and passion is the same, but the mode and method of expression is in sync with the compulsions of the here and now, the techno-driven times. As for the quality of today’s lyrics, I would hesitate to pass sweeping judgement. Besides, songs written to win mass acclaim, have always existed in the industry framework and so, to each his own.” Javed Akhtar agrees: “Catchy and chaalu songs were there in the golden age of Hindi movies too — 1950s and 1960s — but poetry ruled and that’s because the custodians of cinema at that time were people who understood, loved and celebrated great lyrics — be it directors, writers, music directors, singers, even actors. Besides, the lyricists were all quality poets in their own right, who had deflected into films for commercial reasons and enriched it, beyond compare. Lastly, but most importantly, there was a large, eager and enthusiastic constituency who were avid lovers of great lyrics. So it all fitted in beautifully.” Akhtar laments the fact that this entire space is shrinking with alarming speed and puts the blame squarely on the new-age custodians of Bollywood. “Most of the convent-educated, West obsessed players in the industry don’t seem to have either interest or knowledge about quality Urdu lyrics, dedicated as they are to the slang and short-hand jhatka writing that titillates and grabs instant attention. As eminent poet and lyric writer (Umrao Jan) Sharyar stated in a recent interview, today’s ‘Industry doesn’t need lyricists but versifiers!’ I, however, have faith in the masses and genuinely believe that, like alternative cinema, good lyrics too, even today, does have a substantial audience, but provided they are allowed to connect with this endangered genre … the level playing field is disappearing and that is both disappointing and sad.”At the end of the day, lyrics and lyricists don’t function in isolation, but as an integral part of a cinematic narrative. The quality, profile, story-lines and treatment of today’s movies, the guys who are making them and the full-on focus and pitch on the marketing machinery that is unleashed and promotion leveraged, hardly lends itself to a climate conducive to poetic contemplative, soft, gentle, romantic, philosophical musings or verse of the rarified Urdu kind. In the age of instant coffee and fast-food, it seems inevitable that chicken-soup for the soul will be forced to go the way decreed by the sizzling red hot, sexy, drool divas Ms. Munni or Sheila! Related Items
A day after his arrest on corruption charges, Suresh Kalmadi’s 15-year tenure as the IOA president came to an abrupt end after he was sacked from the post and veteran sports administrator V.K. Malhotra was ‘unanimously’ named as the acting president. The swift action to end Kalmadi’s reign as the supremo was taken by the IOA officials in a meeting chaired by Malhotra himself, citing clause 13B of the constitution which empowers the vice-president to take interim charge in the absence of the president.Acting IOA president V. K. Malhotra.Malhotra said he will call a meeting of the IOA Executive Board at the earliest in consultation with the Secretary General Randhir Singh, who is out of town, and discuss the situation arising out of the arrest of Kalmadi. “IOA constitution is very clear, there cannot be vacuum and work of the IOA will have to continue. So I have accepted to work as the acting president of the IOA,” Malhotra told reporters after the meeting. “I will call a meeting of the Executive Committee as soon as possible which is prescribed under the constitution. Secretary General (Randhir Singh) is returning to Delhi and after consulting him I will call a meeting of the Executive Board. We will discuss all the issues at length in the Board meeting,” he said. Kalmadi, former Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chairman, was on Tuesday arrested by CBI for allegedly awarding a contract for the mega event to a Swiss company at an inflated rate of Rs 141 crore in a “pre-meditated” manner.But, the haste shown in removing Kalmadi came as a surprise to many of the IOA office bearers, particularly when its Secretary General Randhir Singh was out of station. It was not clear whether the meeting, where 15 members are said to have attended, has legal validity. The IOA officials, however, maintained that senior members were consulted over telephone before taking the decision to appoint Malhotra as acting president. Vice President Tarlochan Singh, who was also present at the meeting, said that many of the members could not be present at the conclave because of the short notice but they have consulted them on phone. “Under Article 13B of IOA constitution, the senior vice president will chair all the meeting during the absence of the president. In case of the long absence of the president, the senior vice president will discharge all the responsibilities of the president. So we have decided to appoint Mr Malhotra as the acting president,” Tarlochan said. Minister of State of Sports Ajay Maken on Monday had indicated that Suresh Kalmadi’s days as Indian Olympic Association head may soon be over in the wake of his arrest in the Commonwealth Games scam case. “While we have asked the IOA to take action against Kalmadi, we are also seeking legal opinions and the views of Attorney General G.E. Vahanwati. So, even if the IOA doesn’t taken action, we will remove Kalmadi if the AG gives the go-ahead,” Maken had told Headlines Today. On being asked if he believes that a tainted person should not head the IOA, Maken had said, “I entirely agree. A tainted person should not represent India at the international fora. However, since IOA is an autonomous body, we need to be careful about the IOC guidelines.” After his arrest on Monday, Kalmadi was immediately suspended from the Congress.advertisementWhy Gill and Sports ministry officials not questioned: Kalmadi’s lawyerSuresh Kalmadi’s lawyer on Tuesday wondered why CBI was not questioning the former Sports Minister M S Gill and other officials in the CWG scam as the ultimate decision on TSR contract in the Commonwealth Games were taken by them.Advocate Hitesh Jain, who appeared for Kalmadi along with Amit Desai, told reporters after the days proceedings, “all the decisions were taken by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and the then minister M S Gill. No summons have been issued to them to join the investigation.””No officials of the ministry has been called by the CBI to record their statement,” Jain said.Slipper thrown at Kalmadi On Tuesday, when Kalmadi was being taken to court by the CBI, a man flung a slipper at him. Although Kalmadi was not hurt in the incident, the alleged attacker was immediately taken into custody. He was identified as Manoj Sharma and was being questioned by the police. Manoj is a Gwalior-based lawyer, whose license was revoked earlier for rowdy behaviour inside court. He reportedly came to Delhi two days ago, with an affidavit demanding Kalmadi’s arrest. He has reportedly told the police that he is a warrior against corruption.advertisement- With inputs from PTI
Danny Kingad. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines–Danny Kingad is considered to be among ONE Championship’s promising fighters.Kingad’s impressive 9-1 record tells a bright future ahead of the Filipino warrior.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event View comments Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants “Before, I was only able to watch him, and even used him as a character in some console and mobile games. I never would have imagined that he would be here in ONE,” Kingad said.“Even back then, he was on my wish list of dream match-ups, so hopefully, I can fulfill that dream.” Johnson is regarded as one of the best to ever do it in the mixed martial arts scene.But despite Johnson’s stature, Kingad remains unfazed.“I respect him because he was able to compete against some of the best in the sport, proving just how strong he is,” Kingad said. “But of course, I want to test his skills because I believe that when it comes to the flyweight division, the best are really here in Asia.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Not bad for someone who describes his former self as a “troublemaker” before he discovered martial arts.“Back then, I was really a troublemaker,” Kingad admitted.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“However, when I got into the gym, that’s when I learned how to respect others. When you respect your fellow man, you will be successful, and it will steer you away from harm.”Now, Kingad is set for another big fight against Senzo Ikeda in the quarterfinals of ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix on Sunday in Tokyo, Japan as part of the ONE: A New Era card. Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Google Philippines names new country director Conor McGregor under investigation for sex assault – report MOST READ Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Team Lakay’s rough start lights a fire under Danny Kingad PLAY LIST 01:04Team Lakay’s rough start lights a fire under Danny Kingad01:51Osenio offers no excuse for loss to Chinese foe01:27ONE: Geje Eustaquio, Adriano Moraes looking for convincing finish to trilogy02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Kingad said martial arts transformed him to become a better person.And it starts with every training session under the guidance of Team Lakay headmaster Mark Sangiao.“Every time we talk to each other, he shares and teaches us [respect],” Kingad explained.“After every training session, we get in line, and he tells us how to salute our seniors and fellow gym mates.”Kingad is in the same Grand Prix tournament as his idol Demetrious Johnson and he hopes to cross paths with the American legend along the way for his dream matchup to finally come to fruition.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES
AdvertisementEddie Hearn and fellow British Promoter Frank Warren released statements via social media confirming a power-house fight at middleweight. Former WBO junior middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade (25-0, 16 KOs) will now face WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs).The WBO ordered a purse bid earlier this month that was to take place today.Andrade, a 30-year-old Rhode Island native, have had promotional issues and inactivity plaguing his career. It seems those troubles are now behind him.The slick southpaw fighter recently signed with the DAZN project and was going to make his debut October 6, in Chicago. It now seems he will be pulled off that card.Delighted to agree terms for @BooBooAndrade to challenge @bjsaunders_ for the WBO World title – full details coming soon @DAZN_USA 💥— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) July 25, 2018Saunders, a 28-year-old British champion, is coming off of two spectacular performances against David Lemieux and Willie Monroe Jr. This will be his first fight in 2018.Now this news is huge as both men have been going back and fourth on social media. It also shows that both Hearn and Warren as willing to work together which is a great thing for boxing.This fight will most likely take place at the Duncan Donut Center in Providence, Rhode Island on October 20. In addition, it will be part of the DAZN USA promotion.Advertisement
Rohit Sharma praised India’s new No.4 Ambati Rayudu for “grabbing the opportunity with both hands” after the Hyderabad batsman continued to impress since making his comeback to India’s one day internationals side.Rayudu has smashed three half-centuries and a hundred in 10 ODIs after making a comeback to the Indian side. Rayudu did not find a place in the Indian team for two years as India tried as many as 7 players for the No.4 spot.However, none of them were consistent enough to cement their place . But Rayudu has justified his selection so far since his return to the Indian side in September.Rohit said the 81-ball 100 by Rayudu will remove any doubts that he is the ideal number four in the run-up to next year’s ICC World Cup in England and Wales.Read – Partnership with Ambati Rayudu was the game changer: Rohit SharmaRohit and Rayudu smashed hundreds to set up India’s 224-run victory over the West Indies in the fourth and penultimate ODI at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Monday.The victory helped India take an unassailable 2-1 lead in the 5-match series.”I think [it’s a] very important [knock]. Hopefully, he has solved all the mysteries of number 4. I guess till the World Cup, there won’t be any talk of number 4,” Rohit said at the post-match media conference.Also read – After I get to a hundred, my aim is to see how far I go: Rohit SharmaRohit led the way with his whirlwind innings of 162 and Rayudu played the ideal foil as the duo added 211 runs to power India to an imposing 377 for five.advertisementIn response, West Indies were bowled out for 153 with rookie left-arm seamer Khaleel Ahmed and Kuldeep Yadav grabbing three wickets each.”He [Rayudu] batted brilliantly because at that point a big partnership was needed and it was a perfect platform for him also to showcase what he’s got. There was pressure, of course, losing top two batsmen and building a partnership was important. So it was a pressure innings and I thought he responded well to that situation.”Read – Rohit Sharma becomes second-most prolific six-hitter for India in ODIsRohit’s blazing knock came off 137 balls with the help of 20 fours and four sixes while Rayudu decorated his 81-ball knock with eight boundaries and four sixes.”He batted freely, once he got to 50 he started playing shots. We have known Rayudu for a long time and he can produce innings like this. That’s probably the reason we got him at number four and he has not disappointed.”Whatever opportunities he has got since Asia Cup in this series he has grabbed it with both hands,” added Rohit.’KHALEEL MATURING PRETTY FAST’The Mumbaikar also hailed Khaleel Ahmed and said he could be handy in conditions helpful to swing bowling like in New Zealand and England during the World Cup.”Khaleel is a promising prospect. With a left-arm seamer you always have that edge. And the way Khaleel swung the ball today, he would have troubled any batsmen. He is maturing pretty fast.”The World Cup is still a long way off with lots of games remaining and I wouldn’t say spots have been guaranteed to anyone. I hope he continues to do well. We are playing in New Zealand and then the World Cup in England where the ball swings a lot. He could be quite handy there,” said Rohit. Left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed bagged three wickets (AP Photo)About his own knock, Rohit said he was not thinking of scoring another double.”I never thought of a double hundred. I just wanted to make sure to get as many runs as possible and get the team into a good position. Rayudu told me that ‘you have got a good chance for a double’. The CCI can be tricky in terms of chasing and our bowlers did well in getting them out,” he remarked.The fifth and final ODI of the series will be played at Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday.(With inputs from PTI)
After launching the LG Q9 in January this year, LG electronics is back with another Q-series smartphone. The Korean electronics giant on Tuesday, February 12 launched the LG Q9 One smartphone. The newly launched smartphone is essentially the Android One version of the LG Q9.Just like the LG Q9, the LG Q9 One also comes with a 6.1-inch quad HD+ Full Vision display with a resolution of 3,120 x 1,440 pixels and an aspect ratio of 19.5:9, which makes it aesthetically balanced and ideal for single-handed operations. The phone comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal memory which can be expanded further using a 2TB microSD card.Another feature that the LG Q9 One shares with its non-Android One variant, Q9, is the camera. In the front, the LG Q9 One sports an 8MP camera and on the back there is a 16MP camera with f/1.6 aperture, optical image stabalisation (OIS) feature and a HDR10 support.In terms of battery, the LG Q9 One comes with a 3,000mAh battery and it features support for Qualcomm’s proprietary Quick Charge 3.0 technology. And as far as the audio is concerned, the phone comes with 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC audio technology along with the company’s DTS:X speakers, a feature was also available in the LG G7+ ThinQ that we reviewed last year.The LG Q9 One is protected by IP68 dust and water resistant technology and it comes with MIL-STD 810G military grade standard. It has Wi-Fi standard 802.11, Bluetooth 5.0 BLE, NFC and USB Type-C for connectivity. The newly launched phone shares all these features with its non-Android One sibling.advertisementThe point of difference, however, is the processor and the operating system. Unlike the LG Q9, which comes with the quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chipset and runs on Android 8.1 Oreo, the LG Q9 One ships with Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 system-on-chip and it runs on Google’s Android One mobile platform.The LG Q9 One also costs more than Q9. While the LG Q9 was available for 499,400 won (Rs 31,000 approximately), the LG Q9 One is priced at 599,500 won (Rs 37,800 approximately). In case you are wondering when you will be able to get your hands on the LG Q9 One in India then you might have to wait for a while. The phone has been launched in Korea and there is no word on when LG will launch the phone in its global markets including India.ALSO READ: | LG unveils LG Q9 smartphone with an unusual choice for a processorALSO READ: | LG Q9 leaked press render shows a 6.1-inch screen with a notched displayALSO READ: | Leaked photo shows LG Q9 with a notched display and a 3.5mm jack
Real Madrid ‘We have to stay calm’ – Madrid captain Ramos believes deficit can be overturned Sacha Pisani Last updated 2 years ago 11:02 21/9/2017 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) GABRIEL BOUYS Real Madrid Sergio Ramos Real Betis Primera División Despite his side falling 1-0 to Real Betis and going seven points adrift of Barcelona, the defender was in no mood to panic Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos said he is refusing to panic after the La Liga champions were stunned by Real Betis and lost ground on leaders Barcelona.It was a night to forget for stuttering titleholders Madrid, who suffered a late 1-0 loss at home to Betis on Wednesday – extending their winless league run in the Spanish capital to three matches.Real 4/11 to win CL Group H Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina 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 A 94th-minute goal from Antonio Sanabria silenced the Santiago Bernabeu and snapped Madrid’s 73-match scoring streak as Zinedine Zidane’s men fell seven points adrift of bitter rivals Barca after five rounds.But Ramos was in an upbeat mood post-match, telling reporters: “It wasn’t one of our best days, particularly in front of goal. We didn’t play great football but we did create a lot of chances.”We had opportunities to score from the early stages. It’s tough to get the first goal in these games and sometimes it just won’t come. The team did everything it could, we created chances, many of them pretty clear-cut in which we could easily have scored.”We’ve got to move on and turn our attentions to the next game. We’ve turned around some big points deficits in La Liga in the past. We have to stay calm because there are a lot of games still to come and points up for grabs. I’m going home with a clear conscience, knowing I gave it all I had, even if the result didn’t go for us.”When we don’t win, we have to draw conclusions and assess our mistakes. Things can always be improved. We have to keep calm and stick together, that’s the key to success.” Zidane analizó en la sala de prensa del Bernabéu el partido contra el Betis. https://t.co/noNdqb2vbc — Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) September 20, 2017 Madrid have the chance to return to winning ways away from the Bernabeu when they travel to Deportivo Alaves on Saturday.
District court stays arrest warrant against Mohammed ShamiDistrict and Sessions Judge Rai Chattopadhyay stayed the warrant issued against Shami by the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (ACJM) on September 2.advertisement Next Press Trust of India KolkataSeptember 10, 2019UPDATED: September 10, 2019 00:26 IST District court stays arrest warrant against Mohammed Shami (file photo)A district court on Monday stayed an arrest warrant against Indian pacer Mohammed Shami in connection with a case of alleged domestic violence filed by his estranged wife Hasin Jahan.District and Sessions Judge Rai Chattopadhyay stayed the warrant issued against Shami by the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (ACJM) on September 2.Shami had challenged the ACJM order in the District and Sessions Court.Shami’s counsel Sheikh Salim Rahaman said that it was pleaded before Judge Chattopadhyay that after filing of chargesheet in a case, the magistrate has to issue summons against the accused.Rahaman claimed that failing to appear before a court on summons may invite a warrant being issued by the magistrate.He claimed that the ACJM had instead of issuing the summons, issued a warrant of arrest against Shami.The ACJM had issued the arrest warrant against cricketer Shami, saying he should surrender within 15 days of returning to the country. Shami was on the West Indies tour with the Indian cricket team when the warrant was issued.Taking note that the pacer was away on ‘national duty’, the ACJM had kept in abeyance execution of the warrant till 15 days after his return to the country, according to Rahaman.The ACJM had directed that Shami would have to surrender before the court within 15 days of returning to India, failing which the arrest warrant would be executed against him.Jahan had filed the case of domestic violence against Shami and some of his family members in early 2018.Read | Mohammed Shami in touch with lawyer from US, returns on September 12Read | Mohammed Shami thinks he is too powerful, says his wife Hasin JahanadvertisementFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byArshi Aggarwal
zoom Australian energy company AGL has selected Crib Point, Western Port, in Victoria as the preferred site for the construction of a gas import terminal.The company said that a gas import jetty and pipeline would be built in order to increase energy security and supply in south eastern Australia.“Crib Point is best placed to serve Victoria, Australia’s largest gas market, as well as take advantage of the existing pipeline network, industrial port facility and associated infrastructure,” AGL added.AGL will continue to engage with the relevant stakeholders, including Government authorities and the Western Port community, to complete feasibility studies on the proposed site.“This doesn’t signal the end of the feasibility studies for the proposed site but now accelerates the process. We look forward to ongoing consultation with the local community to answer their questions and proceed towards a formal application to the Victorian Government,” Richard Wrightson, AGL Executive General Manager, Wholesale Markets, said.“If all goes to plan, AGL would invest roughly AUD 250 million, commence construction in 2019 and bring the terminal into operation by 2020/21.”
Kolkata: Nineteen out of 30 persons arrested by National Investigation Agency (NIA) in connection with Khagragarh blast case were pronounced guilty on Wednesday.The quantum of punishment is scheduled to be announced on Friday. According to sources, on October 2, 2014, an explosion took place at a house at Khagragarh in Budwan which was taken on rent by a person identified as Sakil Ahmad alias Sakil Gazi. Sakil died on the spot several others were injured. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaOne of the injured persons succumbed to his injuries at a local hospital. During investigation, several objects and explosives used for preparation of bombs, grenades and components used to manufacture ammunition and machinery used in cutting and shaping iron pipes were seized. Primary investigation revealed the occupants of the house were active members of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), a terrorist organisation of Bangladesh. Following the case was handed over to NIA, 30 persons were arrested by the central agency and multiple charge-sheets were submitted before the court. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayA few days ago, 19 accused persons pleaded guilty to the magistrate. After submission of their prayer, magistrate of Special NIA Court accepted the appeal and on Wednesday he pronounced them guilty of criminal conspiracy and allegations under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The quantum of punishment is scheduled to be announced on Friday. The JMB terrorist arrested by Special Task Force (STF) of Kolkata Police had planned explosions at some temples in India in order to prove their existence. According to sources, during interrogation it was revealed that Salauddin, founder of JMB in Bangladesh did not wanted Ejaz Ahmed to be made the top most leader in India. But Kausar, who has been arrested by NIA, and is in judicial custody at present wanted Ejaz to be the second in command in India so that he could take over in case of Kausar’s absence. The police also came to know that Salauddin had come to India approximately two years ago and went to Bengaluru and Dhuliyan. Police came to know that recently Ejaz brought some Bangladeshi youths to India and provided them training. After completion their trainings, these youths were given tasks. After knowing their inputs, the police are trying to locate Salauddin and those youths. It is still unknown whether they have plans to explode bombs in any part of the country.
MADRID — Spanish national rail operator Renfe has cancelled hundreds of trains on one of the busiest travel days of the year due to a strike over staffing levels.The company said more than 700 scheduled services wouldn’t operate Wednesday, a day when many people were heading off on their summer vacation.The Spanish General Workers’ Federation also plans walkouts on three other heavy vacation traffic days — Aug. 14 and 31, and Sept. 1.The walkouts are held in two periods of four hours each. The government stipulated that a minimum number of services must run on each day of the strikes.The workers’ federation argues that a shortage of staff is leading to overwork and lower service quality. It says some 14,000 people work for state-owned Renfe.The Associated Press
Tijana Martin/The Canadian Press files Keith Stewart, senior energy strategist with Greenpeace Canada, said the province is choosing to ignore dissenting voices.“Rather than consider the input from thousands of Ontarians calling for greater action to fight climate change, the Ford government shot the messenger by getting rid of the environmental commissioner. This is government for the polluters, not the people,” he said in a statement.The government recently announced it was merging the commissioner’s office with that of the auditor general, which critics have said will reduce accountability on environmental issues.The province made close to $3 billion from cap and trade since the system was introduced in 2017, money that was earmarked for green energy programs.Premier Doug Ford vowed to eliminate the system and fight Ottawa’s carbon pricing plan during the spring election campaign, arguing both were too expensive for residents and businesses.Ontario’s cap-and-trade system aimed to lower greenhouse gas emissions by putting caps on the amount of pollution companies in certain industries could emit. If companies exceeded those limits they had to buy allowances at quarterly auctions or from other companies that came in under their limits. “We heard loud and clear directly from Ontarians that they cannot afford cap and trade,” Emily Hogeveen said in an email. “While some advocate policies that will cost families, we will pursue balanced policies that address our environmental challenges, while not betraying the commitments we made to the people.”She added the province sought input from the public, businesses and other stakeholders before releasing its own climate change plan in November. That plan proposes to use taxpayer dollars to spur private investment in clean technologies and create performance standards for large emitters.Saxe said those who weighed in on the cap and trade decision expressed concerns about a number of issues.“The loss of clean economy opportunities was the most common concern expressed in the submissions. Many were concerned that weakening Ontario’s climate policies would hurt investment in clean technology and risk long-term job creation in a low-carbon economy,” she wrote.“A number of commenters shared stories about how they benefited, or had hoped to benefit, from programs that re-invested revenues from cap and trade. Some common examples included electric vehicle purchases and energy efficiency retrofits.”This is government for the polluters, not the peopleKeith Stewart, senior energy strategist, Greenpeace Canada TORONTO — Ontario’s environmental commissioner says fewer than one per cent of people who weighed in on the government’s decision to scrap the province’s cap and trade system expressed clear support for the move.Dianne Saxe says her office reviewed most of the 11,000 comments submitted as part of a public consultation on a bill introduced last year to dismantle the carbon pricing system brought in by the previous Liberal government.Saxe says almost all respondents wrote to voice support for decisive action on climate change, and many were dismayed that cap and trade was being cancelled — particularly before a replacement plan was announced. Ottawa to return 90% of money it collects from carbon tax to the Canadians who pay it Feds on track to impose carbon tax on growing number of provinces on Jan. 1 Ontario will launch constitutional challenge of federal carbon tax plan The legislation to eliminate the cap-and-trade system passed in late October, after the 30-day consultation concluded but before the results were made public.It was introduced in July, but the final vote was delayed when an environmental group launched legal action against the Progressive Conservative government, alleging the province had flouted Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights by failing to hold public consultations on the issue.The legal action will still move forward on allegations that the government also skipped mandatory consultations on a regulation related to the cancellation of cap and trade.A spokeswoman for the environment minister said Wednesday the government was elected on a promise to eliminate cap and trade, but did not address Saxe’s analysis of the consultation results.Ontario Premier Doug Ford vowed to eliminate the cap and trade system and fight Ottawa’s carbon pricing plan during the spring election campaign.
Audi German headquarters searched in emissions probe BERLIN – German authorities searched the offices of luxury automaker Audi on Wednesday in connection with the scandal over cheating on diesel emissions by its parent company, Volkswagen.The raids were part of a fraud investigation into Ingolstadt-based Audi, launched by prosecutors in Munich several weeks ago.Volkswagen and Audi brand vehicles with diesel engines make up the bulk of the vehicles caught up in Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal.Munich prosecutors’ spokesman Ken Heidenreich said the current investigation focuses on who was behind the use of the software in 80,000 Audis sold in the U.S. between 2009 and 2015 with 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel engines.No specific individuals are named in the investigation, he said.“The execution of the search warrants is meant to clarify which persons were involved in the use of the relevant technology and, where applicable, were involved in providing inaccurate information to third parties,” Heidenreich said in a statement.Audi spokesman Moritz Drechsel said that the raids were focused on the company headquarters in the Bavarian city of Ingolstadt and at its plant in Neckarsulm in the neighbouring state of Baden-Wuerttemberg.“Audi is fully co-operating with authorities as we have the highest interest in clarifying matters,” Drechsel said, adding that he could not comment further due to the ongoing investigation.Volkswagen has admitted it equipped diesel engines with software that detected when the vehicle was being tested and turned the emissions controls off during everyday driving. The result was cars that emitted some 40 times the U.S. limits of nitrogen oxides, a pollutant that can harm people’s health. Millions of cars worldwide had the deceptive software.On Friday, Volkswagen pleaded guilty in the U.S. to a scheme to get around American pollution rules. If a judge agrees to the Justice Department’s sentencing recommendation, the scandal will cost the company more than $20 billion in the U.S. alone.In addition to the Munich investigation of Audi, prosecutors in the city of Braunschweig are also investigating Volkswagen itself for possible criminal misconduct. by David Rising, The Associated Press Posted Mar 15, 2017 6:54 am MDT Last Updated Mar 15, 2017 at 8:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email The logo of German car producer Audi is photographed behind a red light prior to the annual press conference in Ingolstadt, Germany, Wednesday, March 15, 2017. German media report that authorities are searching offices of Audi in connection with an investigation into the luxury automaker’s parent company Volkswagen’s cheating on diesel emissions tests. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the appointment today of a veteran Red Cross official to head the main United Nations agency responsible for Palestinian refugees.Pierre Krähenbühl of Switzerland, currently Director of Operations at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), overseeing 12,000 staff in 80 countries, succeeds Filippo Grandi of Italy as Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).Prior to his current Red Cross post, he served as personal advisor to the President of the ICRC (2000-2002), carrying out various field assignments in El Salvador, Peru, Afghanistan and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and before that he was Head of Operations for Central and South-Eastern Europe.“Mr. Krähenbühl brings to the position a wealth of experience and dedicated passion in humanitarian, development and human-rights action, coupled with strategic leadership experience in politically sensitive and high-risk environments,” spokesperson Farhan Haq said. Mr. Ban lauded Mr. Grandi’s “outstanding dedication and commitment to the Palestinian people.”Established by the UN General Assembly in 1949 after the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict to carry out direct relief and works programmes for Palestine refugees, UNRWA currently provides services including education, health, social safety net assistance and micro-financing to some 5 million Palestinian refugees and their descendants in the West Ban and Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
cwick (Chadwick Matlin, senior editor): The NFL finally has its own version of the Starr Report. After a months-long investigation and hundreds of pages, a law firm hired by the NFL has found that the Patriots most likely did tamper with their footballs, and that Tom Brady was likely “generally aware of the inappropriate activities.” The report itself is sensational, full of amazing details about the bathroom habits of low-level assistants, furtive trash talk about Tom Brady, and a statistical appendix that seems designed for FiveThirtyEight to dissect. Let’s all assemble and talk about it! What stuck out most?andrewflowers (Andrew Flowers, quantitative editor): The report — especially the stat-sy appendix — went to great lengths to show that the difference in pressure between the Pats’ and Colts’ footballs was not due to chance.benm (Benjamin Morris, sportswriter): I would say that the report hammers home the stats and science sides of this extremely well so as to head off any skepticism on those fronts, but they’re relatively easy cases to make. You don’t need a stats degree to look at that table and see that something is amiss.The salacious parts to me are the surrounding facts: Who was responsible, how long has this been going on, what did Tom Brady know and when did he know it, etc? It has a lot more to say on those subjects than I would have guessed.neil_paine (Neil Paine, senior sportswriter): Yeah @benm – I was surprised they had the texts, which referred specifically to Brady being on the guy’s case about ball pressure.benm: And they present pretty good evidence that this was a deliberate rules violation for the purposes of gaining an advantage for Tom Brady and the Patriots organization, AND has likely been going on for some time.benc (Ben Casselman, chief economics writer): I am an unapologetic Pats fan, and would name my firstborn Brady if my wife would allow it. But one question I had was how clear it is that Brady wanted the balls UNDER 12.5 psi vs. as close to the minimum as possible. He seems to have complained about the balls in the Jets game, but those seem to have been inflated well over 12.5.neil_paine: @benc – Right, they did complain the balls were at 16 one game.benm: Agreed the evidence about Brady (at least from 30 minutes of dissecting it) seems a little more thin than evidence against McNally and Jastremski. [Jim McNally is the Officials Locker Room attendant for the Patriots, and John Jastremski is an equipment assistant for the team.]neil_paine: Another interesting note is that it was the first time in 19 years Walt Anderson [the head NFL referee for the game] couldn’t account for the balls. In the other games this was happening, who was the referee and what did he notice?benc: That feels to me a bit like the kind of thing you notice only after the fact though. Like, how sure are we Anderson would have noticed if he couldn’t find the balls on other occasions where no one raised questions?cwick: Left unaddressed is whether deflated balls had been helping the Patriots win — do we have any better sense for that now than we did before? Because before we thought this was isolated to just the Colts game, which they won handily. But now it seems like this was about Tom Brady’s preferences in more than just that game.benm: I think the much-maligned study by Warren Sharp about the Patriots having a low fumble rate should be taken more seriously, for sure. I mean, though it had flaws, at a very minimum that author correctly identified that the Patriots fumble rate has been absurdly small. I did my own calculations using binomial and Poisson models and found the same.benc: NOW this is a 538 chat!benm: But the fun part is when you get all Bayesian about it. As I said at the time, the existence of the Patriots’ extremely low fumble rate, as a Bayesian matter, makes it much more likely that the Patriots were intentionally cheating – even though the link between fumble rates and inflation levels is only speculative. That’s the beauty of Bayesianism. But it gets better: Now that it seems likely that the Patriots were violating the rules to gain an advantage, the fact that they also had an extremely low fumble rate makes it more likely that the relationship between inflation levels and fumbling is real – and more likely that the Patriots have materially benefited from their cheating.cwick: @benm “That’s the beauty of…” is a phrase that’s been written so many times. That may be the first time the sentence ended with “Bayesianism.”neil_paine: Agreed that some of those outlier Patriots stats deserve a second look – although it bears noting that the report specifically exonerates [head coach Bill] Belichick, so this doesn’t appear to be part of a grander conspiracy involving the entire team. (Certainly the team beyond Brady could benefit, though.)One question regarding the fumbling is whether non-QB players coming to the Patriots from other teams noticed a change in ball feel.benm: Agreed, the report seems to be focused primarily on these two Pats personnel, with a looser link to Brady.neil_paine: If I recall correctly, the WOWY (with or without you) evidence with players going to/from New England wasn’t very convincing after removing special teams plays.benm: But what do you do in a situation where the team benefits from one person in the organization bending rules? USC has lost national championships for less.neil_paine: Right, was going to say, that’s the kind of moral question that often haunts college teams forced to vacate wins/titles. (And unrelated players are faced with future bowl bans.)benm: And again, just to be clear. I’m not saying the Pats did gain some huge advantage from this. But the odds of that have gone up substantially.cwick: ok — can we talk about the data appendix for a minute, because I was floored by the detail.benm: Indeed, the science-y stuff “floored” me more than the stats.cwick: To your eyes, is this the most high-profile statistical model of the year? and were you impressed by it?andrewflowers: What I love about this report is the various extents the researchers went to make their analysis iron-clad: the natural experiment of comparing the Colts (control group) and Pats’ footballs; the statistical inference (p-values!) in examining the differences in the pressure changes; and the hard-science engineering to test the environmental effects. I mean, just look at this photo…andrewflowers: Someone also apparently “simulated” whether it’s possible to deflate 13 footballs in under 1 minute and 40 seconds. Apparently it is.benm: Honestly, it’s probably overkill. But that is, in a sense, a product of the incredibly strong statistical case. So I kind of give them credit for going so far to address alternate possibilities. A model a lot of stats people could probably learn from. I mean, once it’s clear that this didn’t happen by chance, the discussion moves to: So what explains it.benc: What do we think the odds are these guys were getting paid by the hour?andrewflowers: Very high.benm: Law firm: Yes — paid by the hour.benc: Because this has a definite, “Hey, is there another test we could run?” element to this.benm: And you think FiveThirtyEight is nerdy.andrewflowers: Honestly, today’s report is the best thing for the “Ideal Gas Law” since Bill Nye the Science Guy aired.cwick: Final question: What stat analysis does this report make you want to run out and do?andrewflowers: @benm’s point about the relationship between fumble rates and ball pressure.benc: Chart of “humor of references to Tom Brady’s balls” over time.benm: There’s definitely more to be done on the Patriots fumbling to isolate for the fact that they were the most consistently winning team, the types of plays they ran, their personnel, how that period fits in historical context (have other dominant teams had similarly bizarre quirks), etc.neil_paine: And perhaps another look at Brady from 2007 onward in general. That season was very much out of step with his previous performance. And what followed was very different as well. Do other QBs suddenly get that much better, at that age?benm: WOWD: With or Without Deflation.neil_paine: Lolbenm: Even if org isn’t culpable, it’s a pretty massive shift in the conversation about Pats. Suddenly we’re faced with the possibility of having to discount some amazing sports accomplishment. Again.neil_paine: “Behind every great fortune is a great crime.” This afternoon the NFL released the results of an investigation into whether or not the New England Patriots intentionally deflated footballs below league standards. The report was so sensational that we had to gather some of our best sports minds to talk about it. Here’s an edited transcript of our Slack conversation.
The report highlighted a number of cases were the 30 day time frame agreed for handing over information was breached during investigations.GSOC said it had wait a year and half for information relating to one mater and said the watchdog was refused information on other occasions.A State investigative body, undertaking important enquiries, has been obliged to justify why it needs certain items germane to its enquiries to the very body whose members’ behaviour is under investigation. THE GARDA WATCHDOG has blasted the force for ”unacceptable delays” in handing over information about its members following complaints from the public.The Garda Ombudsman Commission today slammed gardai for not cooperating with its investigations and failing to comply with requests for details on members accused of misconduct.Earlier this month, the Commission raised concerns about delays in obtaining information from gardai for its investigation into collusion between the force and convicted drug dealer Kieran Boylan.Figures released in GSOC’s annual report show gardai received 2,089 complaints from members of the public last year which contained 5,449 allegations of misconduct by members of the force.The Garda Commissioner referred 72 incidents to the Commission, including seven that involved fatalities. As stated, undue justification, refusals, part disclosure, or part access, were never envisaged especially as in these cases the matters asked for are considered by GSOC to be non-contentious. We consider this situation unacceptable.The report also raised concerns about the length of time it took officers to process disciplinary investigations which in 21 cases took more than two years.The were 567 disciplinary investigations in 2012 and the watchdog said they were very rarely completed within the agreed 12 week time frame.Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan accepted there were delays in handing over information and said he had established a dedicated office to deal with future requests.Read: Callinan: Informants are “difficult to handle” >Read: Callinan “has no axe to grind” with penalty points whistleblowers >
That athlete is Nigerian weightlifter Chika Amalaha who was tested on July 25th. That athlete has now been suspended from the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.”Amalaha snatched a best of 85kg before managing 111kg in the clean and jerk for a total of 196kg, to become the youngest Commonwealth weightlifter gold medallist. Amalaha kisses her gold medal. Source: Alastair Grant- © AFP, 2014English cricketer banned from wearing pro-Gaza wristbands during matchA Jamaican not named Usain Bolt won 100m gold at the Commonwealth Games last night NIGERIAN TEEN WEIGHTLIFTER Chika Amalaha has been provisionally suspended from the Commonwealth Games after testing positive in a doping test taken after she won gold in the women’s 53kg category, the Commonwealth Games Federation announced this morning.The 16-year-old Amalaha provided an ‘A’ sample on July 25 which revealed traces of diuretics and masking agents.She will have a ‘B’ sample tested at a laboratory in London on 30 July.Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive Mike Hooper said: “We [have] issued a formal notice of disclosure to an athlete following an adverse analytical finding as a consequence of an in-competition test.
How much would you pay to view a movie in the comfort of your home while it’s still in theaters? Comcast and Universal Pictures are hoping you’d pay $60. The duo is planning on testing this first-run video-on-demand concept with the upcoming movie Tower Heist.Subscribers with HDTV set-top boxes will be able to order the film for $59.99 three weeks after its release on November 4. Comcast isn’t the only one offering VoD movies, though. DirectTV started testing a similar thing back in April. The DirectTV “Home Premiere” service costs $29.99 and allows users to buy movies starting 60 days after they premiere in theaters.Movie theater owners and executives at the largest chains in the US (AMC, Regal Entertainment, and Cinemark) were already furious about DirectTV launched its VoD program. We’re guessing they’re even more upset about the prospects of Comcast’s service since Comcast will release movies only 21 days after a film has been in theaters whereas DirectTV waits 60 days.We realize 60 bones for one movie seems like a lot, and it is. This would really only make sense for people with large families since it can cost an arm and leg for tickets, popcorn, drinks, and for the gas it takes to get to the theater. Unless you have a giant TV at home, plenty of seating room, and no qualms about charging your friends an entrance fee (money, beer, pizza?), paying $60 for a movie doesn’t really seem worth it. We’re also guessing the Comcast movies won’t be in 3D, which would actually make spending $60 to watch a 3D movie at home a lot more reasonable since one ticket to a 3D IMAX movie can cost up to $20.Universal is the first studio to jump on the offer with Tower Heist, and if enough people take advantage of it and box-office numbers aren’t significantly affected by it, then more studios may follow suit.Comcast is testing this new VoD method in Portland, Ore., and Atlanta, to about 500,000 digital cable subscribers. Universal is also offering the same release of Tower Heist to other cable and Internet companies who want to test out the VoD service.What do you think? Would you pay $60 to watch a movie that’s still in theaters just so you don’t have to leave your couch?via LA Times Blog
Bungie is set to open beta access to Destiny in early 2014. Gaining access to that beta requires you to pre-order the game and then follow the instructions to reserve your spot. However, this week there’s another way to gain access, and it doesn’t require a pre-order.Bungie has tweeted using the official Destiny The Game Twitter account, that all this week they will be randomly sending out beta codes for the game. Each day, tweets will appear at random from that account containing a valid code. To use it you just need to be quicker than anyone else at copy-pasting it into the sign-up page.In order to make the process of entering the code as fast as possible, you need to visit the Bungie code redemption page and join ASAP. This will take at least several minutes to complete as your newly created profile has to be verified, which will include waiting for an email with a verification link in it I’d imagine. Once that’s done you should be able to login and remained logged in for when those all important codes start appearing. Then it’s just going to be a case of who is fastest with their mouse and CTRL-C, CTRL-V actions.Bungie has been accepting beta requests since March of this year, but signing up just put your name into a hat from which the developer selected a lucky few participants. The player count is going to ramp up quickly as we head into next year, though.Is Destiny for you? It’s described as an open world shooter with gameplay footage showing a heavy emphasis on playing with friends. So it’s almost like an MMO FPS.