+123 456 7890 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View, CA 94043

Sibal attacks BJP over ‘spurt in street violence’

first_imgSenior Congress leader Kapil Sibal blamed the ruling BJP for the alleged “spurt in street violence across the country” and claimed that these incidents would stop once a coalition government came to power at the Centre.He was speaking at a panel discussion, Conflicts in Democracy, organised by the All India Professional Congress in Nagpur. Terming the polarisation on religious lines a threat, Mr. Sibal said, “The source of conflict today is the fragmentation of ideologies. The country continues to witness a culture of domination by the Brahmin community. It’s a culture of exploitation. There has to be a distinction between the state and (ruling) party. This distinction has vanished under the present dispensation. If the BJP comes to power again, the street violence will continue but if a coalition government comes to power, it will stop.”Calling the CAG observations in the 2G spectrum case a “mathematical fantasy”, he said that even the court and the media refused to believe the facts. Mr. Sibal said, “After the [Supreme Court] judgment, the spectrum was auctioned. The result is that the sector stands destroyed. Many players have run away. Now there is a monopoly [of a select few]. The industry is in the debt of ₹5,75,000 crore and even connectivity remains poor. You have to understand that the services are for the people and not for the government. But we lost our government because of this [2G issue].”last_img read more

Read More »

BJP rules out mid-term polls in Goa

first_imgThe Bharatiya Janata Party’s State unit general secretary and South Goa MP Narendra Sawaikar on Thursday ruled out mid-term polls in Goa.Mr. Sawaikar blamed the Congress for “trying to create confusion by raising the bogey of mid-term elections in the State”. Goa is witnessing a political turmoil due to the prolonged illness of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. “The BJP-led coalition government will not only complete its five-year term but also give a smooth, development-centric governance to the State,” Mr. Sawaikar said. “The statement by some of the Congress leaders that Goa is heading for mid-term polls, is nothing but a futile attempt to create confusion,” he said. The clueless Goa Congress is baffled by the development agenda and its effective implementation by Parrikar-led govt,” he further said, adding, “Congress is only scared of its imminent defeat in both the by-polls as well as in the Lok Sabha polls.” This statement comes after those made by Congress president Girish Chodankar and Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar two days ago that the BJP was trying to engineer mid-term polls in Goa, along with the 2019 general elections and was likely to dissolve the Assembly soon.last_img read more

Read More »

A timeline of major attacks on security forces in Jammu and Kashmir

first_imgIn what could be the deadliest attack on the armed forces in Jammu and Kashmir in the last three decades in the State, at least 40 CRPF jawans were killed when a vehicle laden with explosives detonated in the Lethpora area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama. Terror outfit Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was a suicide blast. Here is a timeline of the major attacks that have taken place in Jammu and Kashmir since 1999 till date.February 10, 2018: A group of heavily-armed men struck the sprawling Sunjuwan Military camp of the 36 brigade of the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry before dawn on February 10, killing six Army personnel. December 31, 2017: Five CRPF jawans were killed in a pre-dawn suicide attack on the central force’s training-cum-induction centre in Pulwama’s Lethpora area. September 18, 2016: Heavily armed militants stormed a battalion headquarters of the Army in North Kashmir’s Uri town in the wee hours, killing 17 jawans and injuring 20 other personnel.June 25, 2016: Eight CRPF personnel were killed and 20 others injured when militants attacked their convoy at Frestbal near Pampore in Srinagar on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.February 21, 2016: Three army commandos, including two Captains and a militant, were killed in a fierce gunfight with a group of terrorists holed up inside a government building on the outskirts of Srinagar, raising the toll to seven in the encounter that began a day earlier.December 7, 2015: Six CRPF personnel were injured when militants opened firing on their convoy near Green Tunnel at Samthan in Bijbehara in South Kashmir’s Anantnag District.November 25, 2015: Three JeM militants and a generator operator of MES were killed when a group of militants attacked an Army camp near LoC at Tanghdar in North Kashmir’s Kupwara District.November 18, 2015: A Colonel with the Army’s elite Para Commando unit was killed in an encounter with militants in the forests of Kupwara.May 31, 2015: Army foils attack on its Brigade headquarters in Tanghdar sector of Kupwara District by killing four members of six heavily armed militants.March 21, 2015: Two terrorists were killed during a fidayeen attack at the Army camp on Jammu-Pathankot National Highway in Samba District. Three persons including one civilian, a Major and an Army jawan were also injured during the attack.March 20, 2015: A fidayeen squad of militants in Army fatigues stormed a Police Station in Kathua District killing seven persons, including three SF personnel, two civilian and two militants while 12 persons, including eight CRPF personnel, three Policemen and a civilian were also injured in the incident.December 5, 2014: A group of heavily armed militants stormed into an Army’s 31 Field Regiment Ordinance Camp located at Mohra in Uri Sector of Baramulla District near the LoC.One Lieutenant Colonel and seven soldiers of the Army, one ASI and two constables of Jammu and Kashmir Police were killed. Six militants were also killed in the operation.November 27, 2014: 10 persons, including four civilians, three Army soldiers and three militants were killed in a day-long encounter at border village of Kathaar in Arnia sector, close to the International Border, of Jammu District.September 26, 2013: At least 13 killed in twin suicide attacks Jammu and Kashmir. A total of 10 people, apart from three militants, were killed during the attacks.The dead include four policemen and two civilians in Kathua District and four Army personnel, including Lieutenant Colonel Bikramjeet Singh in Samba District.24 June, 2013: Eight soldiers killed in attack on military convoy at Hyderpora, Srinagar.31 March, 2013: Attack on CRPF camp in Srinagar kills five.5 October, 2006: Terrorists attack at Budshah Chowk, in heart of Srinagar, killing five JKP personnel, two CRPF soldiers and one civilian.6 April, 2005: A day before the bus from Srinagar to Muzaffarabad in Pakistan occupied Kashmir is to be flagged off, two suicide squad terrorists attack the Tourist Reception Centre.22 July, 2003: A three-member team storms an army camp killing eight security force personnel, including a Brigadier, and injuring 12 others in Akhnoor.14 May, 2002: 36 persons are killed and 48 others injured in a fidayeen attack on an army cantonment in Kaluchak, Jammu.Most of the killed were family members.3 November, 1999: Ten army personnel killed in fidayeen attack on 15 Corps Headquarters at Srinagar’s Badami Bagh.(With inputs from The Hindu Net Desk)last_img read more

Read More »

Focus on education in Bihar budget

first_imgThe revenue surplus budget of ₹2,00,501 crore was on Tuesday presented in the Bihar Assembly with focus on education, rural development and energy sectors. “It’s a revenue surplus budget of ₹21,516.99 crore for the financial year 2019-20 with focus on education, energy and development in rural sectors… an amount of ₹34,798 crore is allocated for the education sector while ₹15,699 crore would go to the rural development sector. The allocation for the energy sector is ₹8,894.32 crore,” Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said after presenting the budget. Mr. Modi added that the “sustained efforts by the government for the last few years have yielded good results in the economic growth of the State”. The budget also has provision for opening 11 medical colleges in the State, while a substantial amount has been allocated for the welfare of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes, Mr. Modi said. An amount of ₹,734 crore has been allocated towards the welfare of the SCs and ₹1,565 crore towards the ST welfare in the budget.Nine-fold increaseThe development expenditure for the year 2019-20 is ₹1,43,133.73 crore and non-development expenditure ₹54,367.30 crore. “Bihar has the highest growth rate among all States, and the budget is nine times more than that of the year 2004-05,” added Mr. Modi. The Annual Scheme Outlay for the financial year 2019-20 is estimated at ₹1,00,000.98 crore, which is ₹8,206.25 crore more than for the year 2018-19. The Establishment & Commitment expenditure for the financial year 2019-20 is estimated at ₹99,110.01 crore which is ₹14,437.39 crore more than for the year 2018-19. Revenue receipts The grants-in-aid from the Central government is estimated at ₹49,019.38 crore in 2019-20 which is ₹2,588.26 crore more than for 2018-19.The funds for the Central Sector Schemes for the financial year 2019-20 are estimated at ₹497.03 crore. Total revenue receipt has been estimated at ₹1,76,747.64 crore in 2019-20 which is ₹18,696.23 crore more than for the year 2018-19. However, the Opposition parties termed the budget “depressive and anti-poor”.last_img read more

Read More »

A new phase in the Ebola war

first_imgMONROVIA—When Kevin De Cock flew home from this city of 1 million in August, he was leaving behind an apocalyptic scene. More than 100 people were coming down with Ebola daily. Patients were dying outside of treatment units filled to capacity, and bodies lay rotting in the streets. Some mathematical models projected that Liberia would face thousands of new cases weekly by December. “There was really no way of knowing how much worse this might get,” says De Cock, an epidemiologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta.But when he returned to Monrovia on 9 November, the situation was very different. The grim projections had been wrong. Although the Ebola epidemic is still growing in Sierra Leone, and Guinea’s numbers are swinging up and down, Liberia is now reporting only about 20 new patients a day. Treatment units have hundreds of empty beds, and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has lifted the state of emergency put in place in August. Now the country faces new challenges: rebuilding a shattered health care system, tamping down local outbreaks, and looking for ways to drive the number of new cases to zero.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)No one here is quite sure what has caused the epidemic to wane. Safe burials may be a big factor, says Katri Jalava, a Finnish veterinarian and an epidemiological consultant to the World Health Organization. It’s a local custom to wash the corpse and then use the same water to wash the hands of the bereaved, she says. “In terms of a disease like Ebola that is absolutely mad.” Most agree that people’s everyday behavior has changed as well. Ubiquitous street signs warn that “Ebola is real” and tell Monrovians “Don’t be the next case.” Outside many homes are small hand-washing stations with bleach, and Liberians have stopped hugging and shaking hands.Yet “this is still a catastrophe,” De Cock says. Even 20 daily Ebola cases would have been unimaginable a year ago. And Guinea has shown that success in fighting Ebola can be short-lived: Twice, that country was on the cusp of ending the outbreak, and twice the virus came roaring back.Some have even questioned whether Liberia’s recent drop in cases is real. At a meeting at the Liberian ministry of health last week, a U.S. Agency for International Development representative said he had been sent specifically to find out if the numbers can be trusted. “Yes,” answered Swedish statistician Hans Rosling, who has spent the past month in Monrovia helping the Liberian government interpret epidemiological data. CDC researchers, for instance, have used mouth swabs to test dead bodies in Monrovia for Ebola; about 20% to 30% are now positive, down from close to 90% during the height of the epidemic. The real number of cases may be twice the reported number, but not much more, Rosling says. “We’re in a new phase now.”The international response has been slow to adapt. Although the Pentagon has said it will build fewer new Ebola treatment centers, their construction is ongoing. “That doesn’t make sense at all,” says Thierry Goffeau, head of the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) mission in Liberia. “It’s clearly a waste of human and financial resources.” Rosling, too, says tactics have to change. In September, the main job was building clinics, removing the dead, and keeping as many patients as possible isolated. Now, it’s about setting up a flexible system to respond to new outbreaks, identifying patients quickly, and tracing their contacts to prevent more infections. “What we needed to do in the first phase was rugby,” Rosling says. “Now it is chess.”Liberia’s medical system, which collapsed under the weight of Ebola, is gearing up again. Doctors are returning to work, clinics are reopening. Goffeau says that is sorely needed: “People are dying at home of many other diseases than Ebola, because they have no access to health care.” But medical staff still face an important risk. One in every hundred or thousand patients may carry the Ebola virus—which could start new cycles of infection. There are reports that doctors at some clinics are now doing surgery and delivering babies in Ebola protection suits.At Redemption Hospital in Monrovia, whose inpatient department was closed this summer after several doctors died from Ebola, MSF is trying to protect staff with a new triage unit, which opened on 19 November. Patients with Ebola-like symptoms are interviewed; if they meet the criteria for a suspect case, they stay in one of 10 small rooms while their blood is tested. Those who test negative can enter the inpatient ward, while an ambulance takes Ebola patients to a treatment unit. MSF has also started distributing malaria drugs to hundreds of thousands of people, not just to lower the burden of that disease, which was neglected for months, but also to reduce the number of people visiting hospitals with a fever.Reopening Monrovia’s schools poses similar quandaries. One idea is to screen pupils’ temperature as they enter the school. “But what do you do if a 10-year-old kid has a high temperature and the other kids start pointing at him and shouting ‘Ebola’?” Rosling says. In a meeting with President Sirleaf, he has argued for a cautious approach: Opening some schools and carefully studying what happens.The capital region still serves as a reservoir from which patients travel to rural areas and spark fresh outbreaks, De Cock says—and now that the rainy season has ended, travel may pick up. In Bong County, for instance, a few hours northwest of Monrovia, two big outbreaks are spreading, at least one seeded from the capital. The treatment unit in the district of Suakoko, run by the International Medical Corps, is full, and new patients are brought in daily. Sambhavi Cheemalapati, the unit’s program coordinator, says she is seeing far more patients than are accounted for in the official numbers. Aid should focus on spreading prevention messages in these remote locales, Goffeau says. “If the people really understand what Ebola is and how to avoid infection, we might stop this epidemic,” he says.Such regional flare-ups make it unlikely that the Liberian epidemic will be over anytime soon, Rosling says. Still, he believes it’s possible that the country may see its first day without a single case as early as December. Given the cataclysmic projections of just 2 months ago, that would be a remarkable turnaround.*The Ebola Files: Given the current Ebola outbreak, unprecedented in terms of number of people killed and rapid geographic spread, Science and Science Translational Medicine have made a collection of research and news articles on the viral disease freely available to researchers and the general public.last_img read more

Read More »

Clocking the hot gas gushing from the Milky Way’s core

first_imgMany galaxies are shooting material out of their cores, and in 2010 astronomers were surprised to discover that our galaxy was one of them, giving us a front-row seat on the phenomenon. They used the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope to detect two huge lobes of gamma ray–emitting gas that extend far above and below the Milky Way’s center. Now, other astronomers have clocked the speed of this outflow in work that may eventually resolve the key question raised by its discovery: What caused it? A black hole or a burst of star birth?The so-called Fermi bubbles tower more than 30,000 light-years above and below the plane of the galaxy. Two chief theories exist to explain them. Perhaps material plunged toward the supermassive black hole at the Milky Way’s center and, swirling around it, generated strong magnetic fields that launched huge jets of gas, which produced the Fermi bubbles. Or perhaps the galactic downtown sparkled with hordes of new stars—a “starburst”—whose strong winds and supernova explosions cast material away. Now, astronomer Andrew Fox of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, and his colleagues have used the Hubble Space Telescope to measure how the expelled gas is moving. “For the first time, we’re really nailing down what the outflow speed is,” he says. The astronomers observed a far more distant source, a quasar in the constellation Serpens named PDS 456 that lies more than 2 billion light-years behind the northern Fermi bubble. As the quasar’s light zips through the Fermi bubble, carbon and silicon atoms in the gas absorb certain wavelengths of ultraviolet light. The Doppler shifts of these atoms indicate that some gas is racing toward us and some away—exactly the pattern we should see if material is spewing out of the galactic center. As the astronomers will report in an upcoming issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters, the speed of the outflow is 900 to 1000 kilometers per second.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The velocity measurement is “a great step forward,” says Douglas Finkbeiner of Harvard University, one of the astronomers who discovered the Fermi bubbles. According to Dmitry Malyshev, an astronomer at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, “this is pioneering work” in the study of the Fermi bubbles.The speed reveals when the Fermi outflow started: 2.5 million to 4.0 million years ago. Astronomers recently gauged the age of the Fermi bubbles less directly, by arguing that whatever produced them also irradiated a long strand of gas shed by two nearby galaxies. The glow of this gas, called the Magellanic Stream, implies that the flare-up occurred 1 million to 3 million years ago. But using that argument to deduce the Fermi bubbles’ age is more circumstantial, Finkbeiner says, whereas the new estimate comes from dividing the distance by the speed to get the time, something so simple a high school physics student can do it. “We see that as a good thing,” Fox says.Unfortunately, neither the speed nor the age establishes how the Fermi bubbles formed—whether from black hole activity or from a starburst. But Fox’s team has already used Hubble to observe more than 20 additional quasars that lie behind other parts of the Fermi bubbles. When analyzed, this data should yield velocities throughout the bubbles, which may finally unveil their origin.last_img read more

Read More »

New season of Indian weddings kicks off in Turkey’s Antalya

first_imgAntalya, Turkey’s tourism capital, has picked up where it left off in 2017 as a favorite destination for Indian couples seeking to tie the knot. The southern resort city saw its first Indian wedding of the year this Monday at a luxury hotel in the Belek district.A significant majority of India’s billionaires and wealthiest families are holding their marriage ceremonies abroad each year with Turkey being a very new market for India in terms of wedding tourism.Read it at Daily Sabah Related Itemslast_img read more

Read More »

Indian Origin Footballer Called Up To The National Side & To Face India

first_imgIndian origin player Joshua Pynadath has been called for the USA U16 Team to play against Norway and India U16 Team in the Sports Chain tournament. The Sports Chain tournament will be played between four countries – USA, India, and Norway, at Benicassim, in Spain.Pynadath is a left winger who earlier played for the Real Madrid youth team before he moved on a free transfer to Ajax in 2015. Prior to that, he played for Red Star F. C. and De Anza Force F. C.Read it at Sports Keeda Related Itemslast_img read more

Read More »

Fashion Tango

first_imgThere were no knockout turbans, no saffron yogi robes and no six-armed goddesses on the runway this season in New York. And yet… and yet… India was very much there, like the stanza of a half remembered song, a dream that you forget on waking as it recedes into the subconscious.Yes, India was there and yet not there, the tinkle of a silver anklet heard in the distance.For years major international designers from Valentino to Armani have incorporated Indian influences in their work and for years fashion forecasters have predicted that India is the flavor of the month, a passing fad. And Indian influences have come and they’ve gone, and last season they were back again in the bohemian look, the kurtis and long skirts. We’ve all seen the Indian fashion influences percolating in mainstream America. Walk down the streets and you see the Indian inspired tunics and kurtis in the windows of major stores, the Indian juthis are sold on the sidewalks in the Village in New York and are even finding space in national ad campaigns. Pashminas first hit the major stores and trickled down to street fashion with knock-offs popping up all over the place for $5.99. Dangling chandelier earrings based on Indian jhumkis have also caught on with fashion mavens. Yes, fashion may be symbolized by the couturiers in Milan, Paris and London, but it eventually trickles down to the street-smart fashionista on the streets and the subway who teams a kurti or a Pashmina with her jeans.“I think there’s been an overdose and now the emphasis is on the very European, very vintage,” says a New York fashion insider who co-ordinates the embroidery for American designers and did not want her name used. “Embellishment is still very strong, but it’s toned down, very sophisticated.”Yet there’s so much more than meets the eye. The Indian connection has so infiltrated the fashion world that it’s become part of the atmosphere, part of the style language without being distinctly Indian.Take the recent Olympus Fashion Week in the shining white-tented city, which arose in Bryant Park, almost a Camelot of the Style Kingdom. India peeked out in different ways. One of the showstoppers during Fashion Week is always Bill Blass, an iconic American name that has dressed the elite and crème de la crème over the years with his timeless tailored look, the latest being First Lady Barbara Bush. For years there have been shadings of India in the evening wear of Bill Blass. Michael Vollbracht, the designer who’s continuing the legacy of Bill Blass, says the embroideries were all made in India and were a major focus of the collection. He is planning a trip to India soon for fresh inspiration.And intriguingly enough, the Indian fashion inspiration is just the tip of the iceberg. Bill Blass, which has expanded over the years to casual and men’s apparel, home furnishings, jeans and accessories, has Indian connections which go way beyond inspiration into the very manufacture and creation of the finished products of this $700 million company. The connections go all the way to the top since Bill Blass is jointly owned by Michael Groveman, CEO, and Haresh Tharani, who is chairman of Bill Blass. The company is part of Tharanco Group, which also owns The Resource Club and other companies.Asked if it was a challenge to maintain the spirit of Bill Blass, Tharani said, “No challenge at all. Michael Vollbracht and his staff stay true to the House of Blass.” Bill Blass is an international venture and turns to both India and China for creating the line. Tharani says, “Both countries are excellent as fabrics and trims are available in both countries, and the production is done there as well. Now with quotas largely lifted it’s certainly a boon to both countries. While some intricate fabrics are beaded in India, the garments are sewn in New York.” So the fashion world is sometimes fueled by Indian style and silhouettes, sometimes by Indian colors, but increasingly by Indian manufacturers who, with China, are the fashion outposts.The Bryant Park show had another showstopper. Models walking down the runway in gorgeous outfits – tailored cocktail suits, dresses and cashmere separates. The gowns were a paean to opulence with beads so delicate that they had to be attached with a surgical needle! What was really Indian here? The designer, Naeem Khan.Khan, who’s a recent entrant to Bryant Park shows, counts the Princess Aga Khan, Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos and Tinsley Mortimer amongst his high society fans. He has created a multimillion business in the past two years and his clothes are sold in stores worldwide, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus as well as 40 other specialty stores in the United States. The designer is new and vibrant, yet as old as antique zardozi. His roots go back to the wonderful S.U. Zariwala embroidery empire owned by his grandfather and father in India, and he grew up surrounded by lush craftsmanship and fabrics. That still forms the basis of his collection, and having worked with the fashion icon Roy Halston for three years, he learned the fashion business from the inside. For the past 14 years he did sophisticated collections under different labels until he was ready to put his own name to his collection.And again at Bryant Park, another Indian story unfolded. That of Ashish Soni, the young designer from India, the first to show at this prestigious spot, although Indian American designer Anand Jon debuted there earlier. Of course, the fashion world extends far beyond Bryant Park but this is the heartbeat, the nucleus where the international fashion world converges, where the world’s press, buyers and fashion mavens congregate. So it’s noteworthy that almost like layering, these different aspects of Indian style, crafts and manufacturing were visible at Bryant Park.We asked a seasoned fashion aficionado to walk us through the maze of American fashion to see what role India was playing, both in the creative and business aspect of the multibillion-dollar fashion industry.Salman Khokhar is chief executive officer and president of Koka Consulting, which helps international manufacturers partner with designers to create new brands. Earlier, he was the voce president of global strategy at Calvin Klein, managing a $1.5 billion wholesale distribution network. Later he played the same role at Donna Karan, heading up global strategy for both DKNY and DK Collection. “There’s a huge sense that everyone feels South Asia is taking over, Indian influence is taking over, and the reality is: not even one percent! It’s like get off that cloud, not at all!” he says.But he adds that the good news is that it’s a clean slate and the right person – or the right group of people – can come in and if they execute this well, they will own it.“Right now the only people who own it are designers like Ralph Lauren, Badgley Mischka and Oscar de la Renta,” he says. ” Ralph Lauren consistently uses Indian influences, beading and embroideries in his collection. He’s been able to raise the level to such sophistication that he can almost own that look, without it being Indian, which is honestly, a huge accomplishment for him to take such a unique ethnic look and make it his own. His embrace of the Nehru collar has been so strong over the years, that now in his designs, it’s regarded simply as the Ralph Lauren look.” Indeed, that’s what the best designers are able to do: take something and make it their own. They repeatedly use embroidery and patterns that are Indian, but mix them with fabrics that are Italian and styling that is very European or American. Says Khokhar: “By mixing them in a way that is very natural, no one area overwhelms the look.”Aria Das is a New York City fashion stylist who has worked with major stores like Bergdof Goodman, and has done personal style consultations with celebrities and society princesses. She observes, “This season some of the editors said, ‘Oh, we don’t want to see even one bead or sequin!’ In the last season, in spring-summer, they were beaded out. You saw beading everywhere. But my take on it is beading is here to stay, sequins are here to stay, just like the jeans or tunic. It’s not going to go anywhere.” The beading just seems to have moved its location. Last summer all the designers had so much beading around the neck that you didn’t have to wear a necklace. This season instead of having it on the collar or around the neckline, they’ve got it around the bust. Says Das: “Most of the American designers have done beading, but very subtly, very differently. So the Indian influence is there, but it doesn’t look particularly Indian. ”She points out that the 2006 Spring and Summer collections show tunics with a twist, caught at the waist and with just a little beading, while Anna Sui has some interesting crocheted jackets from India. The truth is practically every major designer has some influence that can be traced to India.“Designers from Oscar de la Renta to Roberto Cavalli go to India for their couture line, to get the beading and embroideries done in India. But most of them just get the embroideries done there on piece goods – collars, waistbands – and then send them on to Italy or the United States for the stitching. Indians are very good with embroidery but they still haven’t come to that stage where they are adroit at cutting, the way Europeans are,” says Das. Indeed, the American fashion market is one mountain every Indian designer wants to climb – simply because it’s there! There are many designers in India, but not many have what it takes to crack this tough market. Ashish Soni has been one of the success stories from India.Says Khokhar, who is part of CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) and presented Soni with a group of emerging designers: “It was a very strong initiative by CFDA to allow younger designers to have an equal showcase during the Fashion Week, which is otherwise a very expensive undertaking.” Soni says of his arrival at Bryant Park: “It wasn’t an easy task and since it’s quite an expensive venture, a lot of time was spent on raising sponsorship money to make it possible. It came about as an invitation from Fern Mallis, executive director of 7th on Sixth who comes every year to India for Fashion Week. She has been seeing my work for the last six years and this time felt I was ready to make the leap.” He says he got press and has managed to sell to stores worldwide, some small yet prestigious. Would he consider changing the style to suit the American market? Says Soni, ” I don’t like to change my signature depending on where I show it. But fabrics, yes, I believe the American market prefers more luxurious fabrics whereas the Europeans love more organic and natural looking fabrics.”Did he think that India and Indian Americans will play a significant part or is India another taste of the month? “I think it will be somewhere between both these scenarios. We are making a dent slowly on the international front so are no longer just a seasonal flavor. However, we still have a long way to go before we are considered mainstream in the U.S. fashion market.”Nonetheless, a whole breed of Indian designers, young, savvy, at home in any part of the globe, are increasingly testing the waters in foreign markets. Many of them are already in stores in London, Singapore and Dubai, but New York is the market to conquer. More and more, they are moving in fashion circuits, showcasing their collections in Singapore Fashion Week and Fashion Week of the Americas in Miami as well as the Coterie shows in New York. The noted names from India include Manish Malhotra, Tarun Tahiliani, Ranna Gill and Payal Singhal. Some of them are selling to individuals and some others have been able to market their label through stores. Gill, who graduated from Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, interned with Rohit Khosla in India and Donna Karan and Polo Ralph Lauren in New York. She returned to India where she started her own collection that sells internationally and also has her own showrooms in India. She has now got a foot back into New York where she participated in Fall/Winter 2005 Fashion Fair.Indian designers have made New York and London an extension of Bombay or Delhi, and are here frequently, holding fashion shows for the South Asian market, and trunk shows, which are often attended by the mainstream. Recently thumbing through the Daily News, one found a Payal Singhal sample sale on the fashion pages. Singhal graduated from the Parsons School of Design in New York and has been a stylist for MTV India. At 22 she launched her signature line and also has a store in Mumbai, and retail outlets in Hong Kong, Dubai, London, New York and Miami. Singhal now lives in India and New York.Of course, the designers of Indian origin who were born and brought up in the United States start out with an advantage as they are already familiar the culture. An example is Romain Kapadia, a noted designer of men’s clothing. Says Khokhar: “He’s someone who understands the space he’s competing in. He’s selling to Bloomingdale’s so he needs to compete with not Tarun or JJ, but with Gucci and Dior. So his production is in Italy and his fabrics are all Italian.” Kapadia, who was born and raised in Texas, graduated from the business and fashion design program at the University of Texas and launched his own luxury line of men’s clothing in 2002. His collection is in several stores, and he won Gen Arts Fresh Faces 2003 and Fashion Group Rising Star Award 2003.Then there’s Shalini Kumar who grew up in India, but came to America as a student. She has been selling to luxury stores and boutiques like Bergdorf Goodman, Linda Dresner, and Wilkes Bashford. Again, there’s nothing overtly Indian in her collection, which is made in New York. She says, “The Indian sensibility doesn’t directly display itself in any of my collections. The influence is much more subtle and is more obvious in my choice of color or perhaps the drape of fabric or the composition of the collection itself. I use old couture fabrics primarily from France, Italy and England. I love the antique silk brocades from India and have used them frequently in my collections.”Once again, it’s bits and pieces of India that American designers incorporate in their collections. The designers actually steer away from anything that runs the risk of being labelled a trend or fad, and tend to use aspects of Indian influences very carefully, so they can continue to use it, season after season. Says Khokhar: “If a designer came up with a very Indian-influenced line, he wouldn’t be able to do it again.”That is why you see the occasional touch, the accessory rather than the whole wedding party, the band and baraat too! Subtlety is the name of the game.Indeed, there’s a global borrowing – east borrows from west borrows from east. “The difficulty is that designers don’t really give credit to any one influence,” says Khokhar. ” There are elaborate lines by young designers who may have a Capri pants that is closer to a churidar. And that’s it. The rest of it could be very oriental or north European. So it’s so merged that you can’t really say it’s an Indian influence although the echoes are in there.”Mathew Williamson is a British designer who could be a role model to Indian designers, because he’s doing what they could be doing. He has his line manufactured in India and dresses celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Trudy Styler and Helena Christensen – on both sides of the Atlantic. His clothes have tremendous Indian influences, and he visits India several times a year for his productions. Earlier one might have been excited by the sight of American designers of South Asian origin, but now there are so many that it’s all one big fashion fest.Anand Jon has capitalized on Indian craftsmanship, but given it his own spin, creating designs which society and party princesses love, and he is savvy enough to understand that marketing is part of the designing process. His latest is AJ Jeans, which he is selling to stores on both coasts. The back and forth between Bombay, Delhi, Paris, London and Dubai is exhilarating as designers turn the globe into their fashion runway. Alpana Bawa, a New Yorker, has understood Americans’ love of color and married it to India’s heritage of festive colors. Her clothes, and now her home design line, celebrates color and style. She has had her own store on Grand Street and also sells to specialty boutiques across the country. The fabrics and colors are Indian, but the sensibility is American.Alia Khan grew up in the United States and has always celebrated her South Asian roots with clothes that are luxurious and chic, but emphasizes the cut, the colors and crafts of the sub-continent. She has a catalog line, does fashion shows and has also dressed celebrities like Phylicia Rashad.The U.S. market has also expanded because of the huge South Asian community too, which is hankering for an integrated sportswear wardrobe with desi influences. People don’t wear cookie cutter outfits and if you’re young and South Asian you want to incorporate that into your wardrobe, perhaps Gap pants worn with a halter top designed by a young Indian designer. There is a void in the market for such casual wear.There are certainly many young designers born and brought up here who’d like to take a shot at it. Kanika Saluja worked for her brother’s fashion label, Rishta, in New York City, sketching designs on her own. The result was her own collection of novelty T-shirts and the birth of her own collection Nikka. The collection includes coats, dresses, caftans and accessories, and is contemporary yet with Indian touches. Nikka is represented by Showroom Seven and sells to Barneys, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, Lord and Taylor, Henri Bendels, and Nordstrom’s. East and West are becoming a real blend for emerging designer Swati Argade, who grew up in New York and sells to about half a dozen stores in Soho and Brooklyn. Her last collection is called Bengali Girl and features handwoven Bengali silks and linens, and Indian touches like ebony buttons. The collection was woven near Shantiniketan, but the silhouettes are very modern, very American. It is something you can slip on and hop into a yellow cab or take the subway.“One of the things about Indian fashion which is a real blessing is just the diversity of styles and traditions that come out of India. The choice of fabric and embroidery is just endless, not to mention cuts and silhouettes,” says Argade. ” I think that’s the most amazing thing about being an Indian designer. And being an Indian American designer is great as well, because you’ve lived here all your life and that combination of endless embroidery options and endless textile traditions.”Argade conceptualizes in New York, but does the production in India, traveling and sourcing fabrics and working in collaboration with the Fashion College in Poona.Says Argade, “To be honest, I think I’m still breaking into the mainstream. I think we are lucky in America, because we have access to so many different cultures, particularly living in New York we get a feel for so many different aesthetics.”Young Indian- American entrepreneurs are also taking ownership of the India-inspired look for the millions of South Asian consumers and the mainstream. Salima and Karima Popatia are two sisters in New York who have opened Indomix, a store in Soho, which showcases Indian designers to the mainstream.As the sisters explain on the Indomix site: “Saks, Bloomies and even Barney’s were of no avail. The racks full with dresses embellished in intricate eastern detail, the latest trend, yet none exude the essence of our entangled cultures. We bring our dualistic personalities in the form of an intermingled style of design.”Karima and Salima grew up in New York, graduated from New York University and have been intrigued by designers in India. They sell only Indian designers and 75 percent of their clients are mainstream Americans. The best selling items are pintuck shirts, dresses and tunics which range from $75 to 550.Says Salima: “The Indian trend has been huge in the past couple of years and continues to be big with the whole Bohemian look, but we are not trying to promote the Indian look, we are trying to create an awareness for Indian designers on an international platform. We are more about fabric, texture, style, fit than an actual trend.”Ask Harish Tharani of Bill Blass about the possibility of Indian designers breaking into the mainstream market, and he says: “Of course they will. I presently see the India-based designers really showing styles that are updated styles of Indian origin, and I have seen some fusion where east meets the west as well. They are certainly a talented group showing India’s rich heritage in fabrics, embellishments and color. Once they migrate from that and the styling becomes more global, the opportunity is certainly there.”Most Indians were delighted to see their common, daily wear kurti and pants ensconced in the temples of high fashion such as Saks and Neiman Marcus, albeit with a hefty price tag.“Prices are generated by the label and not by the style,” observes Khokhar. “It’s made at a very high quality level and there’s a designer name attached to it so it’s really directional: if the designer decides that the kurti is a valid style and he wants to take it to the market and thinks the customer is ready for it, he’ll do it and Neiman Marcus will put it in their store. So it’s almost like establishing credibility. So if the designer says the kurti is it, Neiman Marcus says the kurti is it, the customer is going to just follow and say, ‘Yup, the kurti is it!’”Rather than isolated trends, Khokhar says he would like to see the Indian influence as part of a larger story. And that seems to be happening. Walk in the festive chaos of Times Square with its glittering neon signs, colorful crowds and rushing taxis, and look around. Stop and try to spot the Indian thing in this frenetic scene. You’ll probably not get it in a million years – but it’s the huge billboard with a man and a woman in sexy Plugg Jeans.The brand, which is sold at Macy’s, is owned by an Indian American company Andrew Sports Club, which manufactures its jeans in China! Talk about the globe being a village!“At the end of the day it’s not just about ideas, it’s really about execution,” says Khokhar. “We all know that clothing and fashion from that region – fabrics, colors, embroidery, the workmanship – is spectacular. It’s just a matter of packaging it well, making it at the level of quality which is European or Italian and then selling it to the audience here, not as a fad, but as a very meaningful statement.”Indeed, the Indian apparel manufacturers and fashion in America are intricately linked, especially in couture and sportswear. India has merged into the sounds, the very heartbeat of fashion. East and West are caught in an intricate embrace, a seamless tango, in the very weave and threading of fashion. Related Itemslast_img read more

Read More »

Rebirth At Perth?

first_imgMuch like the country’s premier bourse – the Bombay Stock Exchange – Indian cricket is lunging from one crisis to another. As I write this on the evening of January 23, the eve of the fourth and final Test Match at Adelaide against Australia, there is more stuff in the newspapers and in the electronic media about the supposed rifts within the Indian cricket team than about its preparation for a potentially exciting finale to the Test series.The latest ruckus centers on the selection of the team for the triangular one-day-international (ODI) series in which India faces Sri Lanka and Australia soon after its Test series against the hosts. By dropping three of the veteran quartet of star batsmen – Saurav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, V.V.S.Laxman, and Sachin Tendulkar – the Indian selectors unwittingly pried open a Pandora’s Box. The trouble, ironically, is one of riches. All four touched sublime batting form at various times during the three tests played so far, but only Tendulkar was spared the selectors’ axe for the ODI series. Supporters of the discarded players (those of the “Dada” from West Bengal being the most chauvinistic and vociferous) have gone to town denouncing the selection policy of putting youth ahead of experience. Harbhajan Singh celebrates taking the wicket of Australia’s captain Ricky Ponting for 1 run at the Sydney Cricket Ground on the fourth day of their second cricket test. True, one could have opted to retain one or even two of the dropped in-form veterans, considering they have obviously acclimatized themselves to the trying Australian conditions. But when a debate of this sort generates more heat than light, pertinent points tend to be lost. For instance, test cricket calls for a different emphasis on a player’s skills than do One-Dayers, and the seniors are not famous for their agility in the field. Also, if India’s One-Day skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni wants a side of his choice – which does not include the above trinity of veterans -so be it. A captain can, and usually should, call the shots for team composition.Sadly, the ODI selection imbroglio overshadowed a remarkable Indian win in the third test match in the series. Remarkable enough for commentators such as Sunil Gavaskar (one of the few observers of the game with a keen sense of history) to call it the greatest ever since Indian cricket first tasted a series victory on foreign soil in 1971. The Perth victory was sweet revenge not only against an unsportsmanlike and boorish Australian team, but also against at least a dozen umpiring decisions that went against the Indians in the second Test at Sydney which, in fairer circumstances, we should have won or, at the very least, honorably drawn.Journalism, it is often said, is history in a hurry. If so, it isn’t at all surprising that the reports and analyses of the Perth Test have missed its historical significance. It is commonplace to overlook the significance of an event, particularly when it is preceded and followed by the “noise” of the surrounding controversy.I’d go a step further than Mr.Gavaskar. Perth signifies a new chapter in Indian cricket, a renaissance of sorts. No, don’t look at the scores to know why. There wasn’t a single century scored in that test, nor a single five-wicket haul which, for the uninitiated, is the bowling equivalent of a batsman’s century. The absence of individual dominance over the match, in fact, could at best be a pointer to collective effort.But the real reasons transcend the material aspects of the game. To know their significance, let me trace the events that led to this remarkable contest. The Indians came to Perth after a harrowing experience at Sydney where we lost, not to a better cricketing opponent but to a couple of lousy umpires.Worse, Harbhajan Singh was slapped with a match-ban for an allegedly racist remark against Andrew Symonds on the field during the Sydney Test. The ban (later suspended) came from the International Cricket Council (ICC) matchreferee Mike Proctor, who, like the rest of us, saw nothing untoward on television. Furthermore, the umpires admitted they neither heard nor saw anything that was incriminatory enough to be reported for disciplinary sanctions by ICC (see sidebar).Despite this, Proctor accepted the version of the Australian players and dismissed that of Sachin Tendulkar, the only Indian cricketer on the field at the time, aside from Singh. Was Harbhajan being framed by the Aussies because he has been tormenting Aussie skipper and leading batsman Ricky Ponting with his spin-bowling guile? Did Harbhajan, in a straight-faced exchange of swear-words with Symonds say “teri maa ki” which the latter, an Australian of aborigine extraction, heard as “monkey”? We can only speculate on the basis of unconfirmed insider whispers.What we do know however, is that the Indian team was understandably hurt by the insult of the undeserved one-sided ban on top of the injury of the loss as a result of the one-sided umpiring at Sydney. The team had the option of packing the bags and returning home in the wake of the tensions between the opposing teams as well as over the umpires.Instead the boys played out of their skins to beat the Australians convincingly in the next Test match barely a week later. That a team often ridiculed in the past – including by this writer – for its seemingly spineless display of cricket in crunch situations, should steel itself and fight like wounded tigers to subjugate the world’s highest ranked (and worst-behaved) team speaks of a remarkable transformation.Perth was a rite of passage, in a manner of speaking, for a bunch of boys who walked through the fire of unforeseen adversity and emerged as a team of dignified mature men.For sure, earlier teams have tasted test match victories. For sure, many of those wins were severe contests of on-field nerve and temperament. But I’m not so sure any of them was such a gruelling test of character, such a resounding affirmation of self belief. Are We Really The Bad Boys Of World Cricket?Indians are the bad boys of cricket, according to an Australian media analysis of ICC-code violations by players and teams playing international Test and One-Day cricket. India and Pakistan come out looking the worst. In a damage-control exercise to shield their own brattish cricketers against the wrath of cricket-lovers worldwide, Australian newsmen have stumbled upon a gold-mine. Ostensibly hoping to win friends and influence people in favour of the Aussies in the midst of the Sydney controversy by tarnishing the image of Indian cricketers, The Sunday Telegraph of Melbourne published a list of On-field Offences by Teams and Players, as adjudicated by ICC officials over the last ten years. Here it is: TEAM OFFENCES (since 1997) India 43 Pakistan 39 South Africa 27 Australia 25 England 21 Sri Lanka 18 Zimbabwe 15 New Zealand 14 West Indies 13PLAYER OFFENCES (since 1997) Sourav Ganguly (India) 12 Inzamam-ul-Haq (Pakistan) 11 Shoaib Akhtar (Pakistan) 07 Graeme Smith (South Africa) 06 Glenn McGrath (Australia) 06 Harbhajan Singh (India) 05But the real question is: How credible is a pot that calls the kettle black?Every right-thinking television viewer of international cricket knows the score. White-skinned players routinely get away with excessive appealing (to the point of intimidating umpires), abusing rival players, ball tampering, unreasonable gamesmanship, time-wasting and widespread dissent, while those with darker complexions are not so lucky. If that is not racist, what is? It happens simply because despite the Asian countries (read: India) contributing a lion’s share to the ICC kitty, the representation in its top policy-making echelons is disproportionately white.So far, the Asian countries and their players have been ignoring these unfair sanctions because they primarily involve pecuniary penalties and make no material difference to the outcome of a match. But now we know that they can have long-term consequences: they all add up, and can serve (a decade later) as a handy brush to tarnish team and player reputations. The firangs themselves have a saying for it: Give a dog a bad name, and hang him  Related Itemslast_img read more

Read More »

Indian UN Official Dismissed Over Sexual Misconduct

first_imgA senior Indian UN officer was dismissed following a probe into charges of sexual misconduct leveled against him by several of his male subordinates. The investigation upheld the allegations against Ravi Karkara, who was suspended on full pay last year from the post of Deputy Executive Director at UN Women, following accusations of sexual misconduct by many colleagues. In a statement issued on Sept. 18, the United Nations agency for gender equality and women empowerment said that the investigative and disciplinary processes found the allegations of sexual misconduct to be true. The probe against Karkara, who has not been named by UN Women in the case, conducted by the Office of Audit and Investigation of UNDP Investigation lasted 15 months and was completed in August.  Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said, in the statement: “The investigative and disciplinary processes into allegations involving a UN Women staff member have concluded that sexual misconduct occurred. As a result, I have dismissed the staff member; this is the strongest disciplinary measure available within the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations (UN). Consequently, the staff member is prohibited from employment within the UN system.” She added that the former staff member will not be protected by diplomatic immunity.  “Although UN Women does not have the authority to prosecute, the UN is guided by its obligation to bring credible allegations of criminal conduct to the attention of relevant national authorities. UN Women stands ready to cooperate with any national authority that decides to investigate this matter,” she said. Reports against Karkara, who has also served as a Senior Adviser on Strategic Partnerships to the Assistant Secretary General, first emerged last year. In June 2017, Steve Lee, 25, accused the Indian national of sending him numerous messages, some involving pornographic material, grabbing his genitals and mocking his religious beliefs.   Eight man accused Karkara of using his position to harass them, Newsweek reported in August this year. One among them was Lee, who told the publication that Karkara used to make obscene gestures and ask him inappropriate questions.  Others said he stalked them online, used sexually suggestive language, and demanded sexual favors in return for better career opportunities.Karkara is an Indian national but not an official of the Indian government or a diplomat at the Indian permanent mission to the UN.“Since the proceedings are still internal to the UN and relate to an international civil servant who is not an Indian diplomat the Indian Mission has not been kept informed of the developments in the UN’s internal investigation,” a diplomat at the Indian mission was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times in a previous report. Related ItemsHuman RightsUnited Nationslast_img read more

Read More »

Case against lawyer illogical, says defence

first_imgThe Central Bureau of Investigation’s arrest of advocate Sanjeev Punalekar, counsel for the fringe right-wing outfit Sanatan Sanstha, in connection with the 2013 murder of rationalist Dr. Narendra Dabholkar was “illogical”, his lawyers argued on Tuesday.A special court was hearing the bail applications of Mr. Punalekar and his aide, Sanathan Sanstha member Vikram Bhave, who were arrested by the CBI on May 26.Mr. Punalekar and Mr. Bhave have been alleged to have participated in the conspiracy to murder Dr. Dabholkar, especially in destruction of evidence and in aiding and abetting Sachin Andure and Sharad Kalaskar — named by the CBI as the assailants.Arguing for bail, defence counsel, Advocate Virendra Ichalkaranjikar, said it made no sense to name his client in 2018 as part of a conspiracy for a murder that occurred in 2013.“The CBI says that advocate Punalekar had allegedly advised Kalaskar [the shooter] on destroy the murder weapon in July 2018. But if Dr. Dabholkar’s murder took place in 2013, then logically, any conspiracy must have been hatched prior to the crime, i.e. in 2013. So, how can the agency implicate advocate Punalekar for ‘conspiracy’ in 2018?” he submitted.He further pointed out the anomalies in terms of the murder weapon and the alleged assailants in the two charge sheets filed by the CBI in the case, first in June 2016 and the second supplementary charge sheet in February 2019.“In the first indictment, the CBI had named Sarang Akolkar and Vinay Pawar [absconding Sanstha activists] as the two shooters. Then, in 2019, it named Sachin Andure and Sharad Kalaskar without providing any logical reason as to this change,” he added.Advocate Dharmraj Chandel, another defence counsel said the agency could not post-date Mr. Punalekar’s role in the crime.“In this event, section 120 B [criminal conspiracy] and 302 [murder] of the Indian Penal Code [IPC] cannot be invoked against the accused. And if these cannot be invoked, then the UAPA, invoked against advocate Punalekar, too, is not tenable,” he said.Mr. Chandel further said that even if the CBI’s allegations were taken at face value, then the role assigned to advocate Punalekar – section 201[causing disappearance of evidence] of the IPC – was a bailable offence.Additional sessions judge R.M. Pande posted the next hearing on the bail pleas on June 17.On June 4, the court had remanded both accused to judicial custody.In September last year, seeking an extension of Mr. Kalaskar’s custody, the CBI had further disclosed to the court that in July 2018, the accused had allegedly dismantled four country-made pistols and thrown the firearms in the creeks of Greater Mumbai and Thane, while suggesting that one of the firearms could be the murder weapon used to kill Dr. Dabholkar.In his statement to the CBI last year, Mr. Kalaskar had allegedly said that Mr. Punalekar, known for his defamatory statements against Dr. Dabholkar, had asked him to destroy the weapons.According to the CBI, Mr. Kalaskar had further revealed that it was Thane-based Mr. Bhave who had allegedly planned the reconnaissance, pointed out Dr. Dabholkar to the assailants and even planned the getaway route for the shooters after the crime.Besides the arrests of Mr. Andure, Mr. Kalaskar and Dr. Virendra Tawde — said to be the alleged mastermind of the murders of Dr. Dabholkar and veteran Communist leader Govind Pansare — the CBI has arrested Amol Kale, Amit Digvekar and Rajesh Bangera in connection with the conspiracy to kill the two rationalist-thinkers.last_img read more

Read More »

Azam’s varsity raided

first_imgThe Uttar Pradesh police on Tuesday raided Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan’s Mohammad Ali Jauhar University in Rampur and recovered books which were allegedly stolen from a 250-year-old madrasa, officials said. “A team from the Rampur district administration and the police raided the university and recovered around 400 to 500 books of a madrasa with it’s stamp. The exact number of stolen books are yet not clear. The probe is on in the matter,” said I-G, law and order, Praveen Kumar here. Madrasa theftThe team was probing a case, registered last month, on the theft of thousands of books from the ancient Madrasa Aliya in Rampur which is about 250 years old. The recovered books are ancient and valuable, he said.last_img read more

Read More »

Haryana Congress ex-chief Ashok Tanwar quits party

first_imgThe Congress on Saturday suffered a setback as former chief of Haryana unit Ashok Tanwar resigned from the primary membership ahead of the October 21 Assembly polls after alleging “conspiracy to eliminate all leaders groomed by Rahul Gandhi”. Announcing his resignation on Twitter, the former Congress leader posted his four-page resignation letter addressed to party president Sonia Gandhi in which he alleged that the “Congress is going through existential crises, not because of its political opponents but because of serious internal contradiction”.“I, after several months of consideration, tender my resignation from the primary membership of the Congress party, which I nurtured from my sweat and blood. My fight is not personal but against the system which is destroying the grand old party,” the letter said.“In the last few years, numerous conspiracies are being hatched to eliminate all those young leaders who have been groomed by Shri Rahul Gandhi in the last one and half decade. Unfortunately, most victims of this conspiracy may not have the courage to stand up, but I think it is my moral duty to resist, oppose and expose this onslaught.” Mr. Tanwar was upset after being replaced by Kumari Selja and being denied ticket to contest the Assembly polls. On Wednesday, he had openly protested outside the Congress chief’s 10 Janpath residence here, alleging irregularities and corruption in ticket distribution.But his letter has brought to the fore again the divide between the older generation of leaders and the younger lot seen to be close to former party chief Rahul Gandhi. Similar charges were levelled by former Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam, former Jharkhand chief Ajay Kumar who joined the Aam Admi Party (AAP), former Tripura chief Pradyot Dev Burman who stepped down from his party post and cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu who resigned as a Minister after a tiff with the Punjab Chief Minister. The party, however, played down the conspiracy charges and advised leaders to exercise restraint. Asked about the comments by Mr. Nirupam and Mr. Tanwar, former Union Minister Manish Tewari said on Friday party colleagues should “not resort to kite flying by floating conspiracy theories”.Sources told The Hindu that instead of focussing on inner-party squabbles, the Congress is keen on taking on Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar government with targeted campaigns. After launching Pehle Report Phir Vote (First Report Then Vote) where the Opposition party had asked the government to present its five-year report card, the party has launched the Khattara Sarkar (rickety government) campaign as a pun.“With consistent deceptions & lies, Khattar Govt has shown Haryana that it must do away with #KhattaraSarkar to progress & leave misrule in the past!” tweeted Ms. Selja on Saturday.last_img read more

Read More »

Maharashtra waits for Amit Shah to resolve crisis

first_imgMaharahstra BJP leaders on Saturday said they were awaiting the arrival of party president Amit Shah, who is likely to begin talks with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray over government formation next week.The party, however, has started preparations for a swearing-in ceremony possibly at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium between November 5 and November 7, by which time it would have two days left to install a government, sources said. A new government must be installed before November 9.Sena impatientHowever, the Sena has warned that it could drop the ‘wait and watch’ approach if there is no end to the ongoing  crisis.Reacting to the BJP’s statement on the looming constitutional crisis, Sena leader Sanjay Raut asked if the alliance partner was threatening democratically elected legislators of its party. “If there is a delay in the formation of government in a State and a Minister from the ruling party says President’s Rule will be implemented in Maharashtra if a government isn’t formed, is this a threat to the MLAs who have been elected?” Mr. Raut said on Saturday. Former Finance Minister and senior BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar had on Friday said Maharashtra was headed for Presidential Rule if a government was not installed by November 7.Commenting on the situation, Mr. Raut said that due to the kind of situation prevailing in Maharashtra, all political parties are talking to each other. “Except for the Sena and the BJP, all parties are talking to each other,” he said. Cong., NCP clarifyMeanwhile, both the Congress and the NCP clarified they were not in touch with other parties. “We are not in contact with anyone. We have got the mandate to sit in the Opposition, we are ready for it,” NCP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said. His comments came a day after rumours were rife of NCP chief Sharad Pawar having  a telephonic conversation with Mr. Uddhav Thackeray. Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge also clarified that the party would sit in the Opposition. “I would like to make it clear that we have not held discussions with anybody to form the government,” he said. Mr. Ajit Pawar confirmed that Mr. Sharad Pawar would meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi on Monday. “Sharad Pawar will visit Delhi on Monday. I have information that he and Sonia Gandhi had spoken on the phone recently… He will speak to her [in Delhi]… A lot depends on what they discuss,” Mr. Ajit Pawar told reporters.NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik said alternatives could become available if the Sena took any decision in this regard in the interest of the people. “The NCP will definitely take a positive view if the Sena is ready to form the people’s government, minus the BJP. An alternative will be available if a decision is taken in the interest of people to form a government,” he said.last_img read more

Read More »

Mehbooba Mufti, other detainees being shifted to warmer locations

first_imgThe beginning of Kashmir’s harsh winter has forced authorities to shift around 35 political detainees, including former Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti, to “warmer locations” in Srinagar.Senior officials told The Hindu that Ms. Mufti will be shifted to government accommodation, house number 6, located at Transport Lane on the Maulana Azad Road in Srinagar from the hut-turned sub-jail at Chashma Shahi.The hut was located on the slope of Zabarwan hills and the place would get colder than the lower areas in winter. “The Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, had received a formal request from Ms. Mufti and her family about the discomfort being faced by her due to power cuts and growing cold waves in the wake of the recent snowfall,” the officials said.Also Read  Ms. Mufti’s daughter Iltija Mufti too had approached the administration formally and cited a medical report to “have her unwell mother shifted to a location with better heating facility.”Heavy snowfall on November 7 has set off a cold wave in Kashmir and even struck a major blow to electricity supply, affecting the detention centres too.Sources said the sub-jail of Hari Niwas Palace, also located at the foothills of Zabarwan, where former Chief Minister and National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah is detained, also faced major power cuts between November 7 and 10. Sources said a visibly angry Mr. Abdullah offered to pay for the fuel to run the generator sets to the security personnel guarding the sub-jail, “which was turned down.”The authorities are also considering to shift 34 political detainees, including former minister and PDP leader Naeem Akhtar, People’s Conference chief and former minister Sajjad Lone, J&K Peoples Movement chief and IAS topper Shah Faesal and Srinagar Municipal Corporation deputy major Sheikh Imran. They are held at the Centaur Hotel located on the premises of the Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC), housed on the banks of the Dal Lake.“We have decided to shift them to a multi-storey building of MLAs Hostel on M.A. Road,” said an official. The Centaur Hotel which may have a better heating system, has billed the government over ₹2.6 crore as rent to keep the prisoners since August 5.“When snowfall occurred last week, I had to get hot water bottles from home for my father. The generator was not made available round the clock for heating the rooms. The government need to understand they are political prisoners and not criminals”, said the son of a senior NC leader.The MLAs Hostel, at the peak of the militancy, was made a secure zone to house mainstream political leaders and high profile personalities, most of whom faced threats from the militants.According to official data, around 279 political leaders and workers were detained in the clampdown against the regional parties following the August 5 decision to revoke J&K’s special status. In the past three months many leaders have been released and the numbers in detention now stand around 227, including three former chief ministers and over a dozen ex-ministers. Mehbooba Mufti shifted to government house in Srinagarlast_img read more

Read More »

Kiefer Ravena ‘very excited’ to play for Guiao at NLEX

first_imgCPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion One of the most sought after prospects in the game today, Ravena believes that joining the draft is the culmination of all of his work back from his days playing for Ateneo.“It’s all for this. We look forward to this day since we all started playing.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutRavena, who is projected to go second after Fil-German big man Christian Standhardinger, said he’s more than ready to play for whichever team he suits up for.But he admitted that the possibility of playing for coach Yeng Guiao at NLEX, which holds the No. 2 pick, makes him giddy. Read Next Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Standhardinger says he will be at PBA Draft after missing combine QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohortcenter_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. READ: Guiao eyes Standhardinger, Ravena as NLEX’s draft pick“If ever NLEX picks me, I’m excited to be under coach Yeng. I’ve been under a fiery coach before such as coach Jamike (Jarin), and I guess that was a good practice for me. But I don’t think coach Jamike is anywhere close to how coach Yeng is,” said the 23-year-old guard.“I’m very excited and I’ve talked to coach Yeng a couple of times prior to the combine, so hopefully everything pans out. If ever I go number two, I’ll be with him in NLEX.”Ravena cleared he will give his best effort to whichever team picks him.“For us, as long as we get our foot inside the PBA, we’ll control what we can control which is how we play, and that is giving 110 percent for the team that will pick us,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Kiefer Ravena surveys the floor during a scrimmage at the PBA Draft Combine at Gatorade Hoops Center. PBA IMAGESAfter giving it much thought, Kiefer Ravena feels that the timing is just right for him to enter the PBA.“I really thought about this with my family and a decision that really took so much time. Once I submitted my papers, I knew my future is already here,” Ravena said.ADVERTISEMENT Kin of Misamis Oriental hero cop to get death benefits, award — PNP Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View commentslast_img read more

Read More »

Keys to Victory: Lyceum-San Beda Finals series

first_imgCPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort San Beda, Lyceum early favorites ahead of NCAA Season 93 PLAY LIST 02:12San Beda, Lyceum early favorites ahead of NCAA Season 9302:00NCAA Season 93 Preview: Lyceum Pirates02:23NCAA Season 93 Preview: San Beda Red Lions01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Standhardinger on his one-handed freethrows: ‘I’m not very conventional’ The Red Lions have shown that they won’t hesitate cashing in on those charities, as they are the league’ssecond-best free throw shooting team with their 70.6-percent clip.Those charities were also the biggest difference maker in San Beda’s semifinals clash against San Sebastian, and almost won them the game in their second round clash against Lyceum.For the Pirates to finish what they started, they have to make the right adjustments while maintaining the intensity of their dizzying defense. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Truth be told, this is a post-season of firsts for Lyceum — first NCAA playoff appearance and first Finals appearance.Another first for the Pirates will be playing in big venues, and with the best-of-three Finals all scheduled at Smart Araneta Coliseum, their mettle will surely be tested under the brightest of lights and with crowds expected to swell to the rafters.Lyceum’s games have been a crowd-drawer all year long, with the biggest trove of fans coming in that final eliminations assignment against San Beda, a 107-105 double overtime classic which felt like a championship game.But playing in the historic Big Dome is a beast of its own, and Robinson has subjected his Pirates to soak in the atmosphere, bringing the team to UAAP games during their extended break.That’s a factor which could really come in handy for the Red Lions, as they are no strangers to being in venues of this magnitude, playing season openers and this time, their 12th straight Finals appearance.Cashing inIt’s not often that an opposing team gets the better of coach Boyet Fernandez.And with San Beda yet to topple the mighty Lyceum crew, the multi-titled mentor sure is motivating his crew to prove the doubters wrong.But for the Red Lions to do just that, they have to catch fire from downtown and make the most of their outside shooting prowess.San Beda has been ahead of everyone this season in utilizing the three-ball, shooting a league-best 35.3-percent, with Clint Doliguez, AC Soberano, and main man Robert Bolick all figuring in the league’s top 10. John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding The one man who could help the Red Lions go over the hump will be Davon Potts, who was used sparingly through the course of the eliminations but made his presence felt in the semifinals against the Golden Stags both on offense and defense.Pace or setIt’s no surprise that the immaculate Lyceum is at the top of majority of the statistical categories. Points, rebounds, assists, steals — you name it, the Pirates are the best.But what makes this Intramuros side dangerous is their frantic pace as the players have shown no let-ups when it comes to pushing the ball.Lyceum has thrived on the madness it enforces on its games, allowing it to take 7.1 steals which leads to 16.1 fastbreak points.On the other hand, San Beda makes the most of its deliberate sets as evidenced by it nabbing the league’s slowest pace.The question now is whose game will prevail once the ball gets tipped: the Pirates’ gung-ho attack or the Red Lions’ calculated approach?Let’s get physical?Lyceum’s relentlessness also bites it in the back whenever the referees call the games tight.And for San Beda, that might just be the opening it needs to finally puncture a hole on the Pirates’ ship. Lyceum and San Beda will finally have the chance to go at it again, this time with the NCAA Season 93 championship at stake.With their first two duels easily going down as the top games of the season, the clash between the Pirates and the Red Lions is no doubt going to be a must-see TV.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch run SPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHowever, both teams will be looking to expose even the slightest edge to tilt the title favor to theirrespective side.Here are INQUIRER’s keys to victory for this year’s NCAA Finals. Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa MOST READ Read Next After five months of fun-filled and action-packed games, the best of the best remain.ADVERTISEMENT Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Sharper sawComing off a 19-day layoff, San Beda didn’t look like it missed a beat, escaping San Sebastian, 76-71 last Tuesday to win in the stepladder semis.That shifts the spotlight to Lyceum, which will be coming into Friday’s game from a 22-day break after last seeing action last October 19 to complete the unprecedented 18-game eliminations sweep.Coach Topex Robinson has tried his best to keep his wards sharp, but will the near-one month break affect the psyche of the Pirates going into the series against the Red Lions?Under pressureADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES View commentslast_img read more

Read More »