NAB 2014: Blackmagic Announces URSA Camera

first_imgAudio File TypeUnknown Monitors2 LCD monitors; 10 inch monitor and, 5-inch touch screen monitor. Dynamic Range12 stops Video Resolution3840 x 2160, 1920 x 1080 SensorSuper 35 Frame Rateup to 60 fps InputTimecode, SDI. Blackmagic’s new “future proof” camera boasts 4K recording, a global shutter and 2 LCD monitors.NAB 2014 has already proved to be just as exciting as expected. With AJA Video Systems entering the 4K camera world and Sony announcing a few of new XD-cameras, it’s only natural that Blackmagic Design would have a slew of new announcements to kick off the conference.Blackmagic URSA CameraBlackmagic stated that after seeing such large and complex rigs being created around their “small intimate” camera’s they decided that the public wanted a Blackmagic camera that could be used on larger productions. The result is the Blackmagic URSA Camera.The camera was created for professional film/video shoots. The aluminum camera is broken up into three separate stations (DOP, Camera Assistant, Audio Engineer) for different crew departments.The DOP station has a 10 inch fold out on set monitor with a separate 5 inch screen for adjusting on camera settings, camera status’s, and scopes. The camera assist station has another LCD screen for camera settings, status, and scopes. Lastly, the audio station features meters, controls and various audio connections.The camera has an upgradeable Super 35 4K image sensor with global shutter, 12G-SDI connections, XLR audio inputs with Phantom power and Dual CFast based RAW and ProRes recorders. The dual recorders mean you never have to stop recording to change out your cards. The camera was designed to be upgraded by the user. Blackmagic states that the camera sensor can easily be upgraded by simply taking out 4 bolts making it “future proof”.The URSA is available in 4 different models: an EF mount, a PL mount, B4 mount and HDMI. Blackmagic has created this camera with upgradability in mind so if you ever get tired of your EF mount camera you can easily purchase and install the PL mount on your camera and vise-versa, making it incredibly versatile. The B4 mount was specially designed for broadcasting lenses. The HDMI model is a lens-less and sensor-less camera that is solely intended to record and monitor footage. And with 2 great monitors that isn’t a bad idea at all.The camera records in 60fps but has a cooling feature that allows for recording far beyond 100 fps, so when faster sensors are released users can upgrade to the newer sensor to get more frames-per-second.Blackmagic URSA Specs Reference OutputSDI OutputEVF HD-SDI, SDI video, SDI Audio, Timecode. Recording Codec12 bit Cinema DNG Raw, Apple ProRes Audio Inputs2 XLR inputs with phantom power Power1 x 4pin XLR port for external power or battery use. 1 x 12v output using 4-pin XLR to power external accessories. Connectors for V-mount and Gold mount plates are available. Chroma SubsamplingUnknown Pricing and AvailabilityThe Blackmagic URSA camera will be available in July of 2014 in the EF, PL, and HDMI models. The B4 mount release date has not been set yet but Blackmagic expects it to be soon. The URSA EF will be $5,995 and the URSA PL will be $6,495.In each URSA Camera kit you get:Blackmagic URSAActive EF Mount turretTurret Dust Cap12V AC AdapterTripod mounting plate adapterDaVinci ResolveBlackmagic has many more announcements to make here at NAB 2014. Check back here on PremiumBeat’s blog to get all the latest information.What do you think of the URSA camera? Will it be a game changer in the professional film/video industry? Share in the comments below.last_img read more

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On Being a Combative Diplomat

first_imgSome time ago, I wrote here that the best salespeople I have ever seen were combative. Many times here I have written an incomplete idea that I found valuable, only to find a better way to share it later. The post you are reading now is another example of identifying more of the truth by sitting with an idea for a long time.A Strong Point of ViewThe two words I have strung together don’t seem to go together very well. They seem to be conflicting ideas, and in fact, they are in some ways very much in conflict. However, the tension is what makes this an interesting pair—and a more useful idea. The word “combative” means eager to fight. Before you take too much offense, let’s remember that we often “fight for what’s right,” and “fight for what we care about.” The word “diplomat” means someone who is effective with other people when there is a conflict of some sort or another.To be someone that other people look to for help and advice, you must possess a set of beliefs that point to some truth, some right answer, some course of action that is better than other choices. Not only do you have to suggest ideas that conflict with the ideas of the people you are advising, but that may also conflict with popular ideas and approaches. The “combative” part of “combative diplomat” means that you are going to advocate for what is right, i.e. fight for it. The “diplomat” means that you are going to do so with great consideration for the people you are serving as you are pushing for what you believe is necessary.Conflicting IdeasWhat makes the combative diplomat effective is that they approach conflict as an opportunity to collaborate. They approach others in a way that causes them to leave their hands at their sides, open to exploring an idea—without feeling that they have to raise their hands and protect themselves.F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” If Fitzgerald is right, what is better than a first-rate intelligence is the ability to execute two conflicting ideas as an approach to helping others improve. Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

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India’s 29th State Telangana Will Be Born on June 2

first_imgGovernment sources said the home ministry will fix June 2 as the date on which the division of Andhra Pradesh would come into force. Related Itemslast_img

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Summer On a plate

first_imgRediscovering forgotten fruits and vegetables, and reviving food memories dating back to childhood Related Itemslast_img

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Ajit Pai Faces Backlash From Indian American Lawmakers Over Net Neutrality

first_imgFederal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai has come under attack from several Indian American lawmakers for his proposal to repeal the net neutrality policy. Pai’s proposal to withdraw the Obama-era policy, which stipulated that all websites would have to be treated equally by Internet providers, also prompted activists to protest against the move outside his house.A war of words has also started between him and Ro Khanna, the Indian American Congressman from Silicon Valley.Khanna tweeted: “We need stronger net neutrality laws that ban most forms of zero rating instead of weakening these laws!”, and retweeted an article from the Los Angeles Times that said, “In Portugal, with no net neutrality, Internet providers are starting to split the net into packages.”According to Khanna, the FCC is giving major corporations “even more control over the media, paving the way for megamergers like Sinclair-Tribune.”He added: “We have to fight for less consolidation to save our democracy.”Net neutrality is the foundation of the open internet, which we use every single day. If overturned, you could lose the ability to apply for jobs, do research for school, and access affordable telemedicine.— Ro Khanna (@RoKhanna) November 28, 2017Pai responded to the attack, saying: “In addition to making the false assertion that Portugal has no net neutrality, Congressman Khanna is pointing to an example that has nothing to do with net neutrality.”“In addition to making the false assertion that Portugal has no net neutrality, Congressman Khanna is pointing to an example that has nothing to do with net neutrality.” https://t.co/7jglBHI7W9— Ajit Pai (@AjitPaiFCC) November 25, 2017.@AjitPaiFCC attacked me today along with @MarkRuffalo & @Alyssa_Milano but got the facts wrong. Application-specific bundles like the Portugal MEO example would almost certainly have been revised by the Wheeler FCC under the 2015 order. Maybe read the order before repealing it?— Ro Khanna (@RoKhanna) November 29, 2017Senator Kamala Harris has also opposed the proposal, saying: “Our message has been clear: broadband providers must not be allowed to tilt the playing field by blocking or throttling their competitors, prioritizing their offerings, or otherwise unreasonably interfering with lawful content.”According to Harris, more than 7,00,000 Californians and over eight million Americans have submitted comments in response to the FCC’s “misguided” proposal. She added that repealing net neutrality would be a terrible mistake as it would hurt the most vulnerable and voiceless people of the United States. “It will imperil our economy while reducing innovation, entrepreneurship, and creativity,” she said in an email to her supporters that was posted on medium.com.Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard said that dismantling net neutrality would mean denying the most fundamental First Amendment rights to many sections of America’s population. “Net neutrality protections ensure that the Internet remains open, fair, and equal for everyone. By dismantling these protections, would mean we turn our backs on the most fundamental First Amendment rights of our students, entrepreneurs, innovators, small businesses, and working families, and all who rely on an open Internet to level the playing field of opportunity,” she said, PTI reported. “The FCC must fulfill their responsibility to all Americans, not just big Internet Service Providers (ISPs),” Gabbard added.The move also saw opposition from Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who said, “Those with more money will get faster Internet service, or be able to access more of the Internet. Competition among new streaming services and content providers will be severely damaged. And we, the consumers, will pay for it.”The FCC chairman, on the other hand, targeted Twitter by saying: “Let’s not kid ourselves; when it comes to a free and open Internet, Twitter is a part of the problem. The company has a viewpoint and uses that viewpoint to discriminate.”To illustrate his point, he describes an instance where Twitter had refused to let Republican Representative Marsha Blackburn advertise a campaign video with an anti-abortion message, Reuters reported.A spokesperson for Twitter responded to Pai’s statements by saying that at no time was Blackburn’s video censored and that her followers would still be able to see it. “Because advertisements are served to users who do not necessarily follow an account, we therefore have higher standards for their content,” the Twitter spokesperson added.Pai’s proposal against net neutrality will be put on the FCC table on Dec.14. The move is expected to get passed as the Republicans have five votes against three from the Democratic Party. Related ItemsAjit PaiNet neutralityUnited Stateslast_img read more

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Mind Your Language

first_imgIndian English has its own zany nuances and quirks, as these letters, applying for leave and jobs, in India show.1.”Since I have to go to my village to sell my land along with my wife, please sanction me one-week leave.”2. Leave-letter from an employee who was performing his daughter’s wedding:“As I am marrying my daughter, please grant a week’s leave.”3.”As my mother-in-law has expired and I am only one responsible for it, please grant me 10 days leave.”4. Another employee applied for half day leave as follows: “Since I’ve to go to the cremation ground at 10 o-clock and I may not return, please grant me half day casual leave”5. “I am suffering from fever, please declare one day holiday.”6. A leave letter to the headmaster:“As I am studying in this school I am suffering from headache. I request you to leave me today”7. Another leave letter written to the headmaster:“As my headache is paining, please grant me leave for the day.”8. Covering note:“I am enclosed herewith…”9. “Dear Sir: with reference to the above, please refer to my below…”10. “My wife is suffering from sickness and as I am her only husband at home I may be granted leave”.11. “I am in well here and hope you are also in the same well.”12. “This has reference to your advertisement calling for a ‘ Typist and an Accountant – Male or Female.’ As I am both for the past several years and I can handle both with good experience, I am applying for the post.”  Related Itemslast_img read more

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Literary Wars

first_imgThose who were present at the session of Mumbai’s Literary Festival in November were witness to a rare phenomenon: a maestro-like performance from Girish Karnad. After years of being underwhelmed by his on-screen histrionics, they were stunned by the ferocity that accompanied Karnad’s seemingly clinical – but no less effective – demolition of V.S.Naipaul’s reputation as an India observer.  In less than an hour of the “master class,” he had irreparably punctured the genteel politeness of the organizers – personified by litfest honcho Anil Dharker – and turned the week-long jamboree on its head by questioning their decision to award Naipaul a Lifetime Achievement award.No, the awardee -the 2001 Nobel Prize winner for Literature – was not in the audience. The grand old man was vacationing with his wife in Goa after receiving the award and after giving a rather mushy public interview to his kid-gloved acolyte Farrukh Dhondy a couple of days prior to the Karnad outburst. Dhondy, who was in the audience for Karnad’s session, tried to speak up in Naipaul’s defence. But Karnad, whose stint in the mid-1970s as director of the Film and Television Institute (FTII) in Pune was marked by criticism of autocratic conduct, shut him up brusquely, saying he’d already had his say. An ironic sidelight to the session: Naseeruddin Shah, an FTII alumnus who spearheaded the students’ protest against Karnad’s administration, watched the entire denouement silently from a front-row seat.A few days later, Girish Karnad was back in the news with a tirade against the 1913 Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore while speaking to students in a Bengaluru University, calling his plays “unbearable” and justifying Tagore’s exclusion from the pantheon of iconic Indian playwrights after the legendary Kalidasa – in which Karnad has routinely included Hindi writers Dharamveer Bharati and Mohan Rakesh, Badal Sircar in Bengali, Vijay Tendulkar in Marathi, and himself in Kannada – on the basis of two contentious claims.  One, that the aforementioned playwrights never expressly acknowledged their debt to Tagore’s dramatic legacy. And two, that Tagore’s plays have been largely ignored by performing groups after his death, and that even during his lifetime they were staged for the most part by his relatives in the privacy of his drawing room.A clarification is in order. Karnad, it turns out, never really went after Tagore’s plays with a singular vituperative focus, as the news media would have us believe. Rather, his address spanned the entire history of Indian theater, and Tagore’s contribution was mentioned – albeit in less than laudatory terms – as a mere footnote, while recognizing the unquestioned brilliance of his poetry.  However, Karnad’s evidence for his summary dismissal of Tagore’s dramatic endeavors remains questionable. That a writer never expressly identified his influences is not proof that he wasn’t influenced by a certain literary tradition, or that he did not unconsciously rebel against it. Does a writer achieve greatness only when and if his literary successors anoint him? And as for the Tagore clan confining its performance of his plays to the precincts of their home, it probably had a lot to do with the proscription against “respectable” women of that era appearing on the public stage as actors.Karnad appeared later on national television for a more substantive discussion of the subject wherein he critiqued the “cardboard cut-out” characters -especially those depicting the rural poor – in Tagore’s plays, attributing the flaw to the zamindar-writer’s limited contact with that class of people.  However subjective it may be, Girish Karnad’s opinion of Tagore as a playwright demands our attention.  His views might not pass muster for the Bengali chauvinists who believe that every word or musical phrase that wafts from across the Hoogly River should be accepted as a work of genius. As an insightful commentator of the literary scene and with more than a dozen landmark plays to his name, Karnad is better qualified than most of us to comment on and judge the Tagore oeuvre.  Moreover, other writers in the past have shared the same opinion. Khushwant Singh was once heckled when he derided Tagore’s talent as a playwright at a public lecture in (where else?) erstwhile Calcutta. It’s time someone pointed a decisive and unwavering finger at the elephant in the room, if only to set the record straight.Karnad’s finger-pointing at V.S.Naipaul could prove even more consequential. After all, Tagore’s literary works – much like Mahatma Gandhi’s political philosophy – are fossilized in a kind of idolatry that often short-circuits an informed and open debate outside of scholarly journals. And while his best writings – Gitanjali (poetry), Gora (novel) and The Home-Coming (short story) – are truly timeless, his plays are less known to contemporary readers. And you don’t have to be an erudite literary critic to know why. However great a writer may be, his lesser works tend to fade away with his passing.Naipaul, on the other hand, is alive and kicking and – needless to mention – productive and provocative.  He continues to grab headlines with his books and, in fallow times, with his putdowns of contemporary and older writers. It is interesting to see if Naipaul himself follows the sage advice he dished out to his once-fawning junior, the American writer Paul Theroux, after a bitter fallout between them. “Take it on the chin, and move on,” he is reported to have told Theroux when he bumped into him on the street after a particularly rude fax message from the senior statesman.It would be sad – and unusual – if Naipaul actually decides to take Karnad’s slug on the chin and move on. Unusual, because Naipaul thrives as much on the feisty give-and-take that’s become the extra-curricular norm at literary events as he does on the elegance and the gravitas of his written word. And sad, because the spat at the Mumbai litfest over his writings and its susceptibilities has larger ramifications which deserve serious contemplation, and which would remain  agonizingly unexplored if everyone just packed up their notes, shook hands and went home.  The issue transcends the acrimony of the moment, and stands uneasily at the intersection of the conflicting ideologies, opposing worldviews and competing egos bristling around in Indian and global literature.So what about Naipaul and his work got Karnad’s goat?  Acknowledging his gifts as a writer of fluent prose, Karnad took unequivocal exception to Naipaul’s politics. These, he contends, are offensive enough to debar the writer from being celebrated as a literary icon – particularly in India. His points of dispute and displeasure in the specific context of the Nobel and Litfest awards to Naipaul are:One, that although Naipaul is a “foreigner,” he is “sycophantically” regarded by India – and, by implication, its English-language writers – as an Indian. Two, that the timing of his Nobel Prize – close on the heels of the 9/11 attacks – suggests he won it in no small measure for his anti-Islamic worldview as reflected in his writings and public pronouncements. Three, Naipaul’s novels about India are “abysmal” and that his non-fictional exploration of its journey into modernity is vitiated by “a rabid antipathy to the Indian Muslim,” which prompts him to “glamorize in cold blood” the brutalities against Muslims during the post-Babri riots as “a creative act” prompted by “a passion.” Four, this exploration misses the very essence of Indian culture because Naipaul makes no reference in any of his books to Indian music, which has grown out of an interweaving of Sufi and Bhakti traditions. Five, besides being “tone-deaf” to its music, Naipaul also is blind to the beauty of its architecture: the Taj Mahal repulses him; it is, for him, a symbol of the rape-and-loot atrocities of the Muslim invaders-turned rulers of medieval India. Six, Naipaul has simply borrowed the convenient Muslim-as-marauder template formulated by the British Indologists of the 18th and 19th centuries to base his understanding of India and its history. And seven, that a closer examination of Naipaul’s so-called non-fictional narratives – including his purported interactions with Indians during his travels in India – may, in fact, be disconcertingly fictional.First, some no-brainers.  In Naipaul, we see Sunita Williams redux – or is it vice versa? When are we going to stop bending backwards to appropriate world celebrities as “Indian” merely because of their Indian-sounding names or their marginal Indian ancestry? Naipaul fawners, among Indian writers in English, are legion. Not to be left behind, the Indian Government – through the agency of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations – played its part in hosting a full-scale litfest at Neemrana in Rajasthan in February 2002 to honor the newly-minted Nobel Laureate.Karnad may well have hit the mark in ascribing deeper ideological motives to Naipaul’s Nobel award. Was it another strike in the “clash of civilizations” that has obsessed the West and demonized the “others” – with Muslims heading this list? And given the facts of recent political and economic history, is it entirely fanciful to suspect that the Mumbai Litfest’s Lifetime Achievement Award to Naipaul was but a craven nod to the liberalization-privatization-globalization syndrome that is engulfing us in every sphere of life?With one of India’s largest corporate houses as its primary sponsor, the Tata Literature Live! showed an unmistakable bias toward English-language writing and was indeed dead to any kind of regional Indian literature. A telling example was one of the panel discussions titled “Multi-Story Crisis: Has Fiction Failed Mumbai?”  It totally ignored the regional-language literature the city has spawned. Not a word was uttered on the contributions of Marathi writers, such as Arun Sadhu, whose Mumbai-centric novels Mumbai Dinank and Simhasan are counted among the modern-day classics on the subject. Moreover, Sadhu has worked for several years as a English-language journalist while moonlighting as a Marathi novelist, and so could have comfortably held his own as a litfest panelist. On the other hand, the litfest featured a host of foreigners showcasing their writing, oratorial and other performing talents.It was therefore a cosmic retribution of sorts for regional Indian literature to see one of its own – Girish Karnad, the Kannada playwright – giving it to those English ones, in a manner of speaking, even if the man himself, with an Oxford degree and bestowed with the country’s highest literary honors – not to speak of plum postings in governmental institutions throughout his career – would hardly fit the profile of an anti-Establishment “mofussil” writer.But listening to Karnad at the listfest metaphorically twisting the knife in Naipaul’s underbelly, brought to the fore a more fundamental question: What makes a writer – or, for that matter, any artiste – great? Is there a veritable – and verifiable – checklist of attributes that bestow artistic greatness? And how does Naipaul fare in that scrutiny, and in the light of the Karnad-inspired prosecution?To be sure, Naipaul’s fluid prose is a testament to an exceptional writing style. The question though is whether the craft of stringing together words to convey an idea most persuasively is the sole measure of greatness. If that were indeed a sufficient qualification, several copywriters in advertising agencies would be lining up for the Nobel.  Clearly then, the enduring and universal quality of the idea conveyed, and its ability to uniquely and honestly mirror the human condition stand out as significant markers.  And here, Naipaul’s critics might have him cornered.One is tempted to speculate that had V.S.Naipaul restricted himself to writing novels – where factual happenings can be manipulatively recounted to achieve a higher literary truth -h is place in the gallery of literary greats would have been more or less assured. Despite what Karnad thinks about the “abysmal” quality of a couple of them, the majority of Naipaul’s novels are first-rate by any standard.His masterpiece A House for Mr. Biswas is an all-time personal favorite for its wealth of insightful detail and its profound compassion for the plight of its protagonist – modeled closely on Naipaul’s own father, a small-time Indian journalist in Trinidad whose straitened circumstances forced him to live as a ghar-jamaai in the house of his wealthy in-laws, and whose life’s twin ambitions centered on acquiring a semblance of literary fame and a house he could call his own.Moving away from his own family and from fiction, Naipaul retains the masterful eye for capturing the telling oddity, but fails to approach his subjects with the basic humility required of a chronicler, and thus to suffuse his non-fiction writing with the same depth of compassion – or even empathy. In a brilliant essay on An Area of Darkness, Naipaul’s first non-fiction work on India describing a trip in the early 1960s, poet and critic Nissim Ezekiel writes: “My quarrel with Mr. NaipaulÉ.is not because of [the] condemnatory judgments of his, so fiercely, so blazingly expressed. My quarrel is that Mr. Naipaul is so often uninvolved and unconcerned.É.To forget this [primary prerequisite] is to be wholly subjective, wholly self-righteousÉ. If only Mr. Naipaul could have realized how utterly unreasonable this attitude is! It nearly undermines the validity of his arguments.”The operative word is “attitude.” Would knowledge of Indian music and an appreciation of its architecture have helped Naipaul pass the Karnad test? I doubt it.  Mere knowledge of the art-form without an attitude of openness and genuine curiosity would come to naught in seeking to understand a culture. Karnad’s qualifiers might also be unfair to the sensorily disabled.  Is he implying that a tone-deaf person has no business becoming a travel writer? Or that Ved Mehta’s books are less than perceptive because their author is visually challenged?Karnad’s quarrel with Naipaul for refusing to admire the architectural beauty of the Taj Mahal seems, at best, trivial. It’s a truism that the same object means different things to different people. Lovers of Urdu poetry marvel at the diametrically opposite responses the Agra monument evoked from two of its most esteemed practitioners. Whereas Shakeel Badayuni wrote Ek shahenshah ne banva ke haseen taj mahal / Saari duniya ko mohabbat ki nishaani di hai (An emperor by building the beautiful Taj Mahal / Has given the whole world a symbol of love), his more irascible contemporary Sahir Ludhianvi retorted Ek shahenshah ne banva ke haseen taj mahal / Hum garibon ki mohabbat ka udaya hai mazaak (An emperor by building the beautiful Taj Mahal / Has mocked the love of us poor folk). Sahir was persuaded by his fellow-comrades in the progressive movement to desist from publishing the rest of his tirade against the Taj Mahal in deference to the laborers who built it!To fault Naipaul’s baggage for weighing down his writings with controvertible notions of history borrowed from blinkered sources is an altogether different matter. An arguably more valid – and certainly more damning – accusation by Karnad concerns the historical accuracy of the “facts” on which Naipaul constructs his arguments and which, in turn, enable him to make his characteristically sweeping statements about a country as diverse, and a society as complex as India. Naipaul depended on the likes of William Jones and his ilk to provide him with a primer to Indian history. But the primer, alleges Karnad, irreversibly colored the writer’s analysis of several key events – notably, the fall of Vijayanagar – with the result that Naipaul swallowed wholesale the Muslim-as-marauder theory posited in 1900 by the Indologist Robert Sewell and now propagated by the right-leaning Hindu fundamentalists, and which served to justify the anti-Muslim stance of Naipaul’s books on India.If Karnad is to be believed, Naipaul’s tendency to selectively adopt “facts” to fit his worldview extends even to the interviews he conducted with Indians during his travels across the country.  One such interviewee – Ashoke Chatterjee, Director of the Ahmedabad-based National Institute of Design (NID) – emailed Karnad to complain that the essay Naipaul wrote after visiting him was a scenario that could have been but was not what he actually saw: “Fragments of reality were selected and put together into a collage of pure fantasy.”Will these revelations open up the debate about literary icons and honors? Will they call into question the criteria adopted for selecting the winners? For instance, the Nobel Prize committee, with its preponderance of Swedish members, has been accused of Eurocentrism. Perhaps the outbursts of a luminary like Karnad could jump-start the “reform” process in India. But does the argumentative Indian read books?The answer might lie in a detail from Khushwant Singh’s criticism of Tagore’s plays. After being heckled for several minutes by the Calcutta crowd, Singh was about to resume his talk when a young man stood up and declared: “How dare you criticize Gurudev? We worship him.”The irrepressible Sardar replied, tongue firmly in cheek: “I would suggest that you stop worshipping him, and start reading him.” Related Itemslast_img read more

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Luxury Resurfaces in India

first_imgIndia has been no stranger to branded luxury. The shopping lists of Indian royalty are still remembered long after princely titles have been reduced to mere courtesy. In 1926, for instance, the Maharaja of Patiala gave iconic jewelry house Cartier its largest commission to date — the remodeling of his crown jewels, which included the 234.69 carat De Beers diamond. The result was the Patiala necklace weighing 962.25 carats with 2,930 diamonds. In 1928, the Maharaja of Jammu & Kashmir placed 30 orders in six months for trunks from luggage-maker Louis Vuitton, including one for a shoe maintenance kit. In the 1930s, 20% of Rolls Royce’s global sales were from India.These might be stray indulgences, but they highlight the extreme contrast that followed. For close to 50 years after Independence from the British, anything remotely opulent was frowned upon as India flirted with socialism. But in the past decade, the onset of liberalization and capitalism has enabled India’s new maharajas — industrialists, entrepreneurs, professionals and the rural rich — to blatantly covet all things luxurious. “Those who have made money in the past 15 to 20 years are the real big spenders in this segment,” says Vispi Patel, group director, Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey (LVMH) India. “The new, young, upper middle class who will spend rather than save will be new-generation, first-time customers for luxury products. They will fuel growth.”In 2012, millionaires in Asia outnumbered their counterparts in North America for the first time, according to the World Wealth Report 2012 released by consultancy Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management. The Asia-Pacific region has 3.37 million high net worth individuals (HNIs), compared to 3.35 million in North America. Asia surpassed Europe in 2010. India recorded a marginal decline, but that was largely because of notional losses in the exchange rate and a stock market slump. (The markets have recovered since, and the rupee has stabilized.)The new feature of the growth in the number of HNIs and the spread of luxury wares is that they are no longer restricted to the metros. It is difficult to get a handle on the number of rich in rural areas. Agricultural income is tax-free in India, and there are no reliable records of rich farmers. There is anecdotal evidence, however, that small-town luxury spending is shooting up. While the economic slowdown has impacted automobile sales, the luxury car segment has managed to retain its momentum, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30% to 40% from 2008 to 2012. Mercedes Benz India marketing director Debashis Mitra told India Knowledge@Wharton recently: “Two to three years ago, Delhi and Mumbai accounted for nearly 70% of our sales. Today, this percentage has declined to 50%; the rest is accounted for by Tier-2 towns.”Innovative MarketingAt a luxury conference last month, organized by business daily Mint, Joydeep Bhattacharya, head, and Sandeep Lodha, principal, of Bain & Company’s consumer products and retail practice in India, presented a report, titled “Small Ain’t Beautiful — Point of View on India Luxury Market.” According to the report, India’s traditional luxury market — which includes personal luxury goods such as watches, jewelry, apparel, accessories, fragrances and cosmetics as well as non-personal items such hotels, cars, boats, yachts, furniture and fine dining — is valued at about $6 billion and growing at 15% to 20% a year. Of this, the personal luxury goods segment is valued at $1.5 billion.The primary driver for such growth has been a 200% increase in the number of HNIs (with more than $1 million in onshore liquid assets) since 2006. The total number of HNIs is expected to reach 132,000 in 2013. The report also estimates there will be 1.1 million households with an annual disposable income over $100,000 in 2013, a 60% increase since 2006.Consequently, luxury brands are responding by increasing awareness with innovative marketing campaigns and events. For instance, Judith Leiber decided to tap into India’s burgeoning bourgeois even in Tier-2 cities with an exclusive trunk show in Indore. The luxury handbag brand, which typically sells about 300 bags in India a year, sold 30 pieces ranging from $500 to over $6,000 in one event.It’s not just one-off trunk shows, explains the Bain report. Luxury retail is moving out of five-star hotels into “hybrid” malls, with a mix of luxury and non-luxury stores with customized service. Says Atul Ruia, managing director of Phoenix Mills, the company that owns the upscale Palladium and mid-market High Street Phoenix malls in Mumbai: “Hybrid malls have been a huge driver of luxury goods’ sales, because the customer who shops at Zara here also shops at Burberry. All the brands realize that five-star hotels are not the way to go. The kind of numbers we have seen at Palladium in Mumbai or DLF Emporio in New Delhi are phenomenal because they reach a much wider audience. The numbers are surprising the luxury companies themselves.”Another factor that has driven awareness and consumption has been the influx of high-end fashion magazines in India. While Elle and L’Officiel have existed for over a decade, the launch of international fashion bible Vogue in 2007, followed by Harper’s Bazaar, has raised the fashion and lifestyle aspirations among middle-class India. Even Robb Report, the definitive American ultra luxury magazine for the uber wealthy, featuring cigars, cars, yachts and other toys for the rich and famous, has found its footing in India.Jamal Shaikh, editorial director, Robb Report India, says: “I think luxury magazines have exposed what was traditionally considered obnoxious spending to a people that believed that being frugal was the only way to live. Where Robb Report is concerned, our responsibility is not just putting out luxury, but curating and developing taste.”The Visibility FactorBain’s report suggests that a unique Indian interplay of supply and demand factors has determined the current penetration levels and growth of certain categories within the overall luxury segment. Luxury cars, with their high brand visibility, mature market and developed distribution and advertising, is the fastest growing category. Apparel, accessories, perfumes and cosmetics — categories most popular in other parts of the world — remain at the lower end of the penetration spectrum.The report attributes this disparity to “new money” — individuals who find it easier to “show off” with a branded car as opposed to bags and accessories. This is even truer of small towns. A psychological shift in the mindset of the Indian consumer, brought on by greater wealth, has also contributed to the increase of luxury retail. Bain expects that the upper middle-class Indian consumer will be more “status-driven” with a greater aspiration for “visible” luxury — where the brand is obvious.LVMH’s Patel counters this assertion. “While it is true that cars do show easier than a watch or handbag, portability is the greatest reason for the differing CAGR among these segments. Both are status symbols, but it is easy for a consumer to purchase a handbag or a perfume when traveling abroad; nobody will buy a Mercedes S Class. This disparity is seen in other markets as well, be it Singapore, Malaysia or Dubai. Patel emphasizes that in India, supply creates demand and not the other way around. “India is an investing market. If you set up a particular store or brand, even one that is relatively unknown, if you choose the right location, stock it adequately and promote it sufficiently, there will always be demand. Indians are keen to acquire, are inquisitive as a race and are open to trying new things.”The long breakeven period is perhaps one of the reasons the actual size and penetration of India’s luxury market remains small. The U.S. luxury market for personal luxury goods is estimated at $75 billion as opposed to India’s $1.5 billion. The more relevant comparison, to other BRIC nations, also suggests a considerable lag. Brazil’s personal luxury goods market is at $4 billion with 130 stores while China has surged ahead at $20 billion with 1,100 stores. (India has around 60 stores.) Unlike India, both countries also exhibit an awareness and appeal for luxury goods that goes beyond HNIs. The Indian way, albeit changing, largely follows a typical austere investment pattern — house first, then jewelry, followed by car and, last, other luxury products. That makes Indian branded jewelry the highest-selling luxury goods segment in the country.The Luxury GapBain’s report offers several explanations for this “Luxury Gap.” First, India has fewer HNIs than Brazil and China. Second, luxury companies have made limited retail distribution investments in India. After suffering heavy losses in the first round of investment in 2000, luxury vendors are reluctant to put in more money, as returns are higher in other emerging markets. High growth might be difficult to achieve given the limited supply-side investment early on. China, for instance, had 270 stores in 2003, when luxury companies had only first started investing in India.Patel compares LVMH’s experience in China and India: “For LVMH, the first Vuitton store opened in China only in 1992, 13 years after China introduced progressive reforms. Between 1992 and 2000 our main retail business in China was through our perfume and cosmetics business in department stores. The acceleration has happened only in the past eight to 10 years largely because in that time China has gone from being a poor country to a middle-class economy with greater purchasing power. In India, growth has followed a similar pattern. India will see its own acceleration as well.”Additionally, Bain’s report claims that in the six brands with the largest presence in India, there has been a marked slowdown in the number of stores opened. While 2010 saw 22 stores open doors, 2011-2013 is expected to have only eight. Even marketing investment in India remains low at less than 5% of sales as opposed to 15% of sales in other parts of the world. Patel offers his view: “The brands that have deep pockets are investing in India, but all luxury companies don’t have the means to do that. Through our wine & spirits, watch & jewelry and fashion & leather businesses, we have been investing in India for over 10 years.” But he concedes the return on investment is sometimes higher in other emerging economies, which is a deterrent to foreign investment.Regulatory factors have also been a significant deterrent in spurring growth of the luxury sector. High import duties mean that goods are 30% to 40% costlier than home country prices. 100% FDI is still to play out in practice as limits on sourcing restrictions still cap investment. And, like all other industries, luxury suffers the typical hazards of doing business in India — mediocre infrastructure, challenges of operating with local partners, high rents and lack of talent. “But there will be improvement in each of these aspects with the onset of hybrid luxury malls that are currently under development,” says Patel.Bain puts the growth potential at 20% to 30% in the short term. Patel and Ruia agree. “An inflexion point will take five to seven years,” says Patel. “But it will definitely come.” Related Itemslast_img read more

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Clashes Blocking Women From Temple in India Brings Over 2,000 Arrests

first_imgAs India grapples with questions of how much government institutions should be involved in religious affairs, a violent war of wills playing out over women’s access to one of Hinduism’s most important temples has led to the arrest of more than 2,000 people this week, police said Friday.After India’s Supreme Court struck down a 1991 ban that forbid women of childbearing age from praying at the Sabarimala Temple, a centuries-old hillside shrine in the southern state of Kerala, it did not take long for protesters to set vehicles on fire, pummel police and attack women who tried to hike up a 3-mile trail to reach the temple.Thousands of furious devotees — many of them women — have vowed to resist the court’s verdict, saying it would chip away at years of tradition.In recent days, leaders of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s governing party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, and another powerful rival party, the Indian National Congress, which has traditionally extended rights to minorities, have sided with proponents of the ban.Since the 2014 national election of Modi, whose party has ties to Hindu nationalist groups, a burst of religious conservatism has swept through many parts of India.When the Sabarimala Temple opened last week for the first time since the court’s ruling, hundreds of baton-wielding police officers braced for a faceoff near the shrine, vowing that they would uphold the law and protect any woman who wished to visit the temple.Before the temple closed Monday evening for two weeks, at least 12 women had attempted the journey. All were harassed. None of them made it. One woman was so shaken that she fainted.Last Thursday, when a female journalist for The New York Times started hiking toward the temple, she was met with a screaming mob of hundreds of people, chased down the hill and hit with a rock on the shoulder. She was not seriously injured.By Friday, Krishna Kumar, a senior police official in Kerala, said 2,061 people had been arrested this week for preventing officials from enforcing the court’s verdict and for “creating trouble intentionally.”Krishna said he was worried about the temple’s November reopening, which marks the start of peak season. In the coming weeks, the pilgrimage to the Sabarimala Temple draws millions of devotees, and is often compared locally to the Hajj to Mecca.This week, officials in Kerala released photographs of more than 200 people suspected of violently blocking women from reaching the temple. Some were members of far-right Hindu sects.Next month, 5,000 additional police officers will be deployed in the area. “It’s going to be a huge task,” he said.In India, a multiethnic country of 1.3 billion people, court mandates are often loosely enforced, especially in rural areas. But police in Kerala, a highly literate state run by a coalition of communist parties, have encouraged women to visit the Sabarimala Temple, despite the security risks.But advocates of the ban say that women of childbearing age, defined by temple caretakers as those between 10 and 50 years old, should not be allowed to visit because the shrine’s deity, Lord Ayyappa, is celibate. Some Hindus consider menstruating women to be impure.The Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it would hear 19 review petitions next month challenging the ruling, though lawyers said it was unlikely that the decision would be overturned.c.2018 New York Times News Service Related Itemslast_img read more

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Malaysia Gets 16 Indian-Origin Members of Parliament

first_imgThe Malaysian Parliament has 16 elected members of Indian origin, following the 14th general election held this month, Free Malaysia Today reported. The number of Indian-origin MPs in the country in 2013 was 11.Malaysian Indians are now opting for multi-racial parties to represent them, as opposed to the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), the publication quoted Prof. Denison Jayasooria as saying. While only two of the Indian-origin members are from the ethnic-based MIC, the other 14 MPs belong to two political parties that make up the Pakatan Harapan coalition. Jayasooria, a principal research fellow at the Institute of Ethnic Studies at National University of Malaysia, further said that the trend is a major departure from the traditional approach of race-based political party representation.While the MIC is part of the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, which is the new federal government, comprises the Democratic Action Party and People’s Justice Party. These two parties have seven Indian MPs each. MIC president Subramaniam Sathasivam and deputy president Devamany  S. Krishnasamy did not win this year — an echo of what happened in the 2008 general election.“What is also significant is that many of them won with very large majorities,” Jayasooria further said. “In all the seats where there was a contest between Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan, with the exception of Cameron Highlands, all the Pakatan Harapan candidates won. The new reality is that for the first time since independence, MIC is with the new opposition in Parliament and out of the federal government.”Noting that many of the Indian MPs from Pakatan Harapan are dynamic politicians with good grassroots experience as well as professional competency, he added: “This is their opportunity to lead the Malaysian Indian community into the 2020s and beyond, with a message of hope and new ways of community empowerment in addressing social disadvantage positions.”Jayasooria also said that the Pakatan Harapan manifesto had special reference to address the concerns of the Indian community. “It is without a doubt that the Pakatan Harapan government will build on these. These will be strengthened to ensure the benefits reach the targeted groups,” he was quoted as saying.“In the dialogues before the 14th general election, Tun Mahathir did participate in a dialogue organized by Hindraf, and it could be possible that they and other strategic partners will work together to ensure effective delivery on major concerns such as citizenship rights, education and skills training, including scholarships, economic and micro business loans, urban poverty issues including affordable housing, and issues pertaining to death in custody, police brutality and human rights violations,” Jayasooria said.Mahathir Mohamad, the 92-year-old leader of the Pakatan Harapan and now the Prime Minister of Malaysia, also has Indian roots. Last month, Mohamad faced criticism for referring to the Malaysian-Indian community as “keling,” and issued an apology later over the same. “I would like to apologize to the Indian community because I used the derogatory term. I never meant to insult anyone but when I was a boy, we used that word but it is now considered derogatory. I apologize if I have caused any problems to them,” he said then. Related ItemsDiasporaMahathir MohamadMalaysialast_img read more

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Former Indian American Candidate Charged for Wrong Information in Election Literature

first_imgAn Indian American candidate who ran for the state Senate in Michigan’s 18th District is now facing criminal charges regarding her campaign which falsely indicates her as the incumbent.Anuja Rajendra, an Ann Arbor candidate who lost in a four-way Democratic primary race, held in August, might be sentenced to 90 days in jail if convicted, local media reported.According to media reports, Rajendra, known as a political newbie and a local business owner, has been charged for misdemeanor and the case will be heard by Judge Elizabeth Hines in Ann Arbor’s 15th District Court on Nov. 13.Michigan Election Law states if  any person who advertises or uses in any campaign material, including radio, television, newspapers, circulars, cards, or stationery, the words incumbent, re-elect, re-election, or otherwise indicates, represents, or gives the impression that a candidate for public office is the incumbent, when in fact the candidate is not the incumbent, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable as provided in section 934.The court record states the case as “wrongful use” of “incumbency designation” while indicating charges against the Indian origin woman, m.live reported.Further, the report notes the charges were filed against Rajendra on Oct. 11 after the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office decided to charge the former candidate for the July 1 offense.However, Ed Golembiewski, the county’s elections director and chief deputy clerk told the publication he had no knowledge about any complaint against the former candidate’s campaign literature.Further, Michael Steinberg, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan said that ACLU will be defending Rajendra, the report added.“She never intended to convey that she was an incumbent and the fact that she’s being charged with a crime punishable by 90 days in jail, it’s disturbing,” Steinberg was quoted as saying by the organization.He also told that ACLU will be filing a motion to dismiss the case.“The ACLU has a serious problem with the government charging political candidates with crimes for political speech,” Steinberg said. “Many idealistic individuals stepped forward and ran for office for the first time in this election cycle with the goal of making the world a better place,” he said adding, “Nothing can have more of a chilling effect on people participating in our democracy than threatening these civic-minded individuals with imprisonment.”Both ACLU and Rajendra have not made any comment on the news yet.Anuja Rajendra, CEO of BollyFit, a business she founded in 2007, ran for the Democratic primary for the state Senate District 18 seat where she faced three other candidates: Michelle Deatrick, Jeff Irwin and Matthew Miller. Related Itemslast_img read more

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‘Best in history’ Ronaldo put to test by Messi in ‘clasico’

first_imgAsian shares slide on weak Japan data; US markets closed Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH In this file photo, Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo connects with an overhead kick during the Champions League final soccer match between Juventus and Real Madrid at the Millennium stadium in Cardiff, Wales. APBARCELONA, Spain — Cristiano Ronaldo has made his claim. Now he has to live up to it.Ronaldo will face Lionel Messi on Saturday for the first time since the Portugal forward declared himself “the best player in the history” of soccer after equaling the Argentine’s five Ballon d’Or awards this month.ADVERTISEMENT Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 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 Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City 8th Top Leaders Forum assessed the progress of public-private efforts in building climate and disaster resilient communities Read Next Striker Luis Suarez has rediscovered his scoring touch at just the right time for Barcelona. After only scoring three times in the first 11 matches, Suarez has six goals in his last five league games. They will need him even more with backup forwards Paco Alcacer and Gerard Deulofeu injured.Karim Benzema has only scored two goals in 11 league appearances for Madrid this season. The drop in production has contributed to Madrid’s stumbles, leading many fans to lament the exit of Alvaro Morata to Chelsea.Jordi Alba has flourished going forward into the hole that Neymar used to occupy. The Spain left back is a favorite of Messi to weave together short-passing combinations that unlock packed defenses. His matchup against Madrid right back Dani Carvajal should be key.Gareth Bale is playing for his future. Recurrent injuries have cost the Wales winger his spot in Madrid’s starting lineup, with coach Zinedine Zidane preferring the playmaking — and sturdier legs — of Francisco “Isco” Alarcon. Bale returned after his latest injury layoff to help Madrid win the Club World Cup, but as a second-half substitute. He is likely to have that role against Barcelona and will need to make the most of the minutes he gets.Thomas Vermaelen was considered a lost cause. That was until defenders Samuel Umtiti and Javier Mascherano got injured, giving the Belgian another chance to find his spot in Barcelona’s rotation. Vermaelen has played six consecutive matches, a personal record for him at Barcelona. Injuries limited him to 11 league appearances in two seasons before he was loaned out to Roma last year. Now that he is back, the former Arsenal player will be critical to Barcelona’s chances of stopping Ronaldo. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Ronaldo has no doubt closed the gap with Messi after he led Madrid to back-to-back Champions League titles in the last two seasons. But for Atletico Madrid striker Fernando Torres, this past decade is still set to bear Messi’s mark.“If it wasn’t for (Ronaldo), Messi would have won twice as much,” Torres said Wednesday. “What Ronaldo has done in the age of Messi says a lot about him.”Ronaldo will need to be at his best on Saturday because anything other than a victory will deal a huge blow to Madrid’s title defense before the season reaches its midway point.Madrid enters the match in fourth place and trailing Barcelona by 11 with a match in hand. Atletico Madrid and Valencia are in second and third.“Given the situation we are in we are obligated to win,” Madrid defender Sergio Ramos said.Messi had one of his most memorable performances at Madrid last season when he scored his second of two brilliant goals in stoppage time to silence the Santiago Bernabeu.Madrid got revenge with wins of 3-1 and 2-0 in the Spanish Super Cup in August, when Barcelona was reeling from the departure of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain.Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde, however, quickly rallied his team and the Catalan club has not lost since, a run of 24 matches. With Neymar gone, Valverde has succeeded in tightening up Barcelona’s defense.“It would be important to win for everything that would represent, since the match is so special, and we are playing at their ground,” Messi said. “There would still be a long way to go for the league title, but a victory would be a nice before the Christmas break.”Here are some other potential keys to the “clasico.” Messi also has the edge in their head-to-head duels. Messi has outscored Ronaldo 19-17 since Ronaldo joined Madrid in 2009. Prior to that, Messi scored in a 2-0 win over Ronaldo’s Manchester United in the 2009 Champions League final.The Barcelona-led Messi has also had a clear advantage over Ronaldo’s Madrid. Messi has helped Barcelona beat Ronaldo’s side 13 times, to eight wins for Madrid and seven draws.Overall, Messi holds the “clasico” record with 24 goals in 36 matches. Ronaldo is one goal shy of matching Madrid great Alfredo Di Stefano’s 18 goals against Barcelona.The camera-shy Messi insisted again when he was recognized for leading the Spanish league in goals last campaign that he put more value on team titles than individual honors.“Titles are our goal,” Messi said. “If individual statistics are there also, that’s even better, but they are not the objective.”ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Cayetano: 4 social media groups behind SEA Games ‘sabotage’ BI on alert for illegally deployed OFWs to Iraq MOST READ LATEST STORIES Thirdy not surprised over manong’s stellar NLEX debut Basking in the spotlight of a glitzy ceremony under the Eiffel Tower, Ronaldo felt confident enough to put himself at the pinnacle of the sport, ahead of Messi and other greats like Pele and Diego Maradona.“You will go and say that I have a big head, but when you’re at the top, it’s normal that you’re criticized,” he told France Football. “I am the best player in history, in both good and bad times.”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 shutoutPersonalities aside, Ronaldo has a tough case to make.He and Messi both have four Champions League titles, but Messi’s eight Spanish league titles double Ronaldo’s tally for Madrid and Manchester United. Do not bring these items in SEA Games venues Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC View commentslast_img read more

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Guiao says playing at PH Arena ‘convenient’ but won’t regard venue as NLEX homecourt

first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netBOCAUE — The Philippine Arena may be near to coach Yeng Guiao, but the NLEX coach doesn’t regard the world’s largest indoor arena as his team’s homecourt in any way.“We can say that NLEX is our homecourt. But the game isn’t played on the road but rather, inside the arena,” the Road Warriors mentor said in Filipino.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. It’s easy to see Guiao liking the location of the venue with his house being located at Angeles, Pampanga. But for the fiery mentor, the good things for him end at the moment the expressway diverts to Ciudad de Victoria here in Bocaue, Bulacan.“It’s just convenient for us because the roads are good and the travel is fast,” he said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderThe magnitude of the place was one of the points of concern for Guiao coming to the Christmas Day game, knowing that the unfamiliarity of NLEX in the cavernous venue could come into play as they played here for the first time on Monday.“It’s so big. We haven’t practiced here so I told the players to come early for them to try to soak in the atmosphere and familiarize yourselves with the environment as much as possible. The feel is a huge thing because if you’re not comfortable with whatever it is, you may have a difficulty playing,” he said. Do not bring these items in SEA Games venues BI on alert for illegally deployed OFWs to Iraq Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics00:50Trending Articles01:29Police 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 Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Luckily for Guiao, his players followed his instructions and played at their best, with the Road Warriors coming away with a 115-104 triumph over GlobalPort to go 2-0 in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup.Despite the win, Guiao knows that majority of the fans who came to the venue are still cheering for one team only.“Once you enter the court, the fans inside are still rooting for Ginebra,” he said with a chuckle.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Read Next 8th Top Leaders Forum assessed the progress of public-private efforts in building climate and disaster resilient communitiescenter_img Cayetano: 4 social media groups behind SEA Games ‘sabotage’ MOST READ Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Alyssa proud to see Kiefer thrive in PBA LATEST STORIES Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH View comments Asian shares slide on weak Japan data; US markets closedlast_img read more

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BCCI chief Jagmohan Dalmiya’s proactive pronouncements yet to be backed by deeds

first_imgJagmohan Dalmiya’s strong-arm accountability needs to rattle the BCCI itself.Accountability” has a nice, businesslike ring to it: it’s the mantra of a man demanding answers, the new broom intent on sweeping away the cobwebs of complacency.BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya sees himself as that man of action and it is obvious,Jagmohan Dalmiya’s strong-arm accountability needs to rattle the BCCI itself.Accountability” has a nice, businesslike ring to it: it’s the mantra of a man demanding answers, the new broom intent on sweeping away the cobwebs of complacency.BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya sees himself as that man of action and it is obvious he knows how to cause a stir. Not just in the matter of Mike Denness.A few days into his presidency, Dalmiya demanded snappy answers from Indian coach John Wright and physio Andrew Leipus as to why the Indians made such forever-forlorn tourists and made pointed remarks about how generous their salaries were.A fairly cordial “internal” meeting of the trio in Delhi last week led to Dalmiya’s latest announcement that they would next hear about their jobs only on December 23, at the end of the Test series against England, so as not to upset the team in the interim. Such concern is both touching and reassuring.But as Ernest Hemingway had once cautioned, “Never confuse motion with action.” So let’s call a time-out on the new broom and wait till the noises for public consumption die down. Accountability is not a one-way street.The proactive BCCI chief may not be afraid to tread on toes, but the depth of his missionary zeal can be measured only when he treads on a few within his own board.The board has long forgotten that it is itself accountable to the silent shareholders of Indian cricket: the public who suffer the whole sorry soap opera and through their support contribute heavily to the board’s financial muscle. Lashing out at “foreigners” in public may be fun, but when they belong to your own camp it gets a little ridiculous, specially since the camp was in a shambles long before they arrived.If Dalmiya is serious about accountability, he should turn the pointed finger at himself and the BCCI. Their “honorary” jobs prevent them from being fired so that’s accountability out the window right there. How about individual integrity and the working of the human conscience? What, just got back from a nice vacation on Mars?In September this year, the board’s general body was to debate on some very weighty issues: the revamp of the Ranji Trophy into two divisions, the introduction of a graded system of payments to the national team and the increase in fees for domestic cricket. All that happened at the AGM was an election and a shuffle of posts.advertisementBCCI Treasurer Kishore Rungta assured INDIA TODAY that the graded system was being “looked at” because it had some “holes”, and a disparity between payments to seniors and juniors.It will take another AGM to approve of the Ranji revamp, this after a technical committee that included Sunil Gavaskar had recommended it. It would take place in due time after “experimentation”, Rungta says.At a political level, the two-division Ranji system will mean risking the votes of the weaker state associations. Who knows what compulsions will be attended to when the next AGM comes around? It will require daring to push the revamp through, and if it doesn’t happen, well, we know who’s accountable.Along with accountability, there’s another “A” that Dalmiya has forgotten – India A, where until now “A” stood for “afterthought”. Three of the last four India A team tours – meant to acquaint the second string with overseas conditions – were to the cricketing “strongholds” of Holland, the US and Abu Dhabi.In nine seasons, India A has not toured Australia, South Africa or England even once. It means when selectors look for openers or wicketkeepers they have no yardstick to judge a player’s abilities.In the 14 years since the Gavaskar-Krishnamachari Srikkanth pair, India has tried out 33 different opening combinations. Case closed. In Dalmiya’s bold new world of accountability, there is also a slow and subtle reinstatement of those who fell under the shadow of the match-fixing controversy.First, Kapil Dev’s bitterness evaporated into an offer to be fast bowling coach. Then came the appeal for redressal from Ajay Jadeja, with Kapil standing by in support. It seems all too pat. Motion and action. If you know what you’re looking for, it’s easy to tell the difference.last_img read more

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Mercedes E63 AMG snapped testing in Spain

first_imgAfter the launch of the regular E-class Sedan, this is now the clearest shots of the brutally sporty Mercedes E63 AMG, snapped undergoing testing in Spain. The car will seriously sharpen the senses of the Affalterbach sedan.It will all start with the powertrain. Affalterbach will make use of its new 4.0-litre biturbo V8, but expect the engine to be taken past its current 503 hp, the maximum current output it offers right now (on the Mercedes-AMG GT S and Mercedes-AMG C63 S). Nevertheless, unlike the version powering the sports car and similar to that on the beefed-up C-Class, the engine on the Mercedes E63 AMG will feature a dry sump lubrication system.In the standard version, the E63 should deliver somewhere around 550 horses, with a future S incarnation set to take that even further. For one thing, AMG Boss Tobias Moers has confirmed the V8 heart has plenty of unexploited potential for the years to come.Further down the driveline, there will be a 4Matic All-Wheel-Drive system, with certain rumours going as far as claiming the Rear-Wheel-Drive models will be discontinued.The latest major revamp turned the current E63 AMG into an insanely fast machine, one that has no issues taking on a Porsche Panamera Turbo and most of the credit comes from the introduction of the 4Matic system.Platform-wise, the new E-Class range will introduce an evolution of the MRA architecture seen on the C-Class. This means less weight and superior torsional rigidity. All with the added benefits of a larger cabin, with most of the extra room set to be invested in the rear area.advertisementWhile the standard E-Class is set to debut next year, the AMG-massaged model will arrive in 2017 as a 2018 model.The Germans are expected to place the AMG badges on the sedan and the T-Modell (wagon), but the new generation could see Afflaterbach signing the Coupe version for the first time. Check out the gallery of Mercedes E63 AMG herelast_img read more

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11-yr-old girl swims across Ganga, to cover 550 kms in 10 days

first_imgKanpur, Aug 29 (PTI) With a message of clean Ganga, an 11-year-old girl has taken up an uphill task of swimming across the mighty river to cover a distance of 550 km from Massacre Ghat in Kanpur to Varanasi in just 10 days.Shraddha Shukla, a Class IX student, dreams of representing India in swimming in the next Olympics. The Kanpur girl also wants to make people aware about the clean Ganga initiative.”She has already covered a distance of 150 kilometers and is on her way to Varanasi”, said her father Lalit Shukla, himself a professional diver and Shraddhas coach since childhood.”She has been trained since she was two”, said Lalit, while talking to reporters here. “Born in 2005, she had managed to cover the distance between Kanpur and Allahabad in one week in the year 2014, at nine years of age,” he said.Shraddha embarked on her journey last evening, on the occasion of National Sports Day from Kanpurs Massacre Ghat. She is being followed by a team of eight divers, two shooters and doctors, on a steamer.Talking of safety precautions, Lalit said that a fishing net is being used to keep her safe from suspected crocodiles in some areas, along with two shooters to tackle any dangerous situation. She will swim for seven hours in a day, he added.Since she began swimming at an early age, she has no fear of water. Many people have come to her aid but we havent recieved any help from the administration so far, he said.advertisement”The whole journey is being video recorded and we will send this to the UP government and also the central government. We want this girls talent to be acknowledged so that she gets a financial help to realise her Olympic dream.”We will also make an appeal to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Prime Minister Narendra Modi”, he said. PTI ZIR ARK DV ARKlast_img read more

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Virat Kohli inspires me to be fit: Mithali Raj

first_imgIndia women’s cricket team captain Mithali Raj on Thursday heaped praise on skipper Virat Kohli and said it is commendable how he stays focused on staying fit throughout the year.”It feels great that all of them are getting their due, and that people are finally recognising them,” the 34-year-old said at an event.”I’ve come so far playing cricket in an era where it was not really appreciated, and responding to trolls is not really worth my time.”There are so many people who inspire me every day, not one person. But if I do have to name someone, it’s got to be Virat Kohli, for bringing the focus on fitness. Be it the men or women, everyone wants to be the best in international cricket,” Raj added.last_img read more

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American TV partners win big with 2026 WC announcement

first_imgWorld Cup Media Microscope: American TV partners win big with 2026 World Cup announcement Seth Vertelney 01:19 6/14/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Fox Sports Fox Sports World Cup With the tournament set to take place in North America, Fox and Telemundo will reap major benefits The 2018 and 2022 World Cups turned out to be far different than what Fox thought it was signing up for.Fox bid nearly $500 million to secure the two tournaments (as well as the 2015 and 2019 Women’s World Cups and other FIFA tournaments) back in 2011, giving the network the broadcast rights to the world’s biggest sporting event for the first time.Then, disaster struck. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Arsenal would be selling their soul with Mourinho move First, FIFA took the decision to move the 2022 World Cup in Qatar from the summer to the winter, with Fox unwittingly being forced to shoehorn the tournament into the middle of its busy winter TV schedule rather than its much more unoccupied summer period as initially planned.Then, in a much bigger shock, the U.S. failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, robbing the network of guaranteed ratings gold in the form of at least three matches from the home team, and the advertising revenue that came with it.But Fox’s luck has turned around in a big way in the form of the 2026 World Cup.In February 2015, FIFA awarded Fox and Telemundo the rights to the 2026 World Cup without the standard bidding process. The move was eventually revealed to be part of a quid pro quo from FIFA to avoid any lawsuit regarding its bait and switch of the 2022 World Cup.By avoiding competition, the two networks received an unprecedented bargain.“We agreed that we will extend with Fox for the same price as what they pay for 2022 plus inflation costs,”  former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke told an inquiry into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding process.“Potentially we are losing money and we are making less money because we are not running an open process in the U.S. market, giving a chance to other channels to bid for and we just extend with Fox for the same amount of money,” Valcke continued.The decision was seen as especially lucrative for the two networks in anticipation of news that was made official on Wednesday in Moscow: The 2026 World Cup will be held in the United States, Mexico and Canada.“As the official English-language broadcaster of the next three FIFA World Cups, we expect the 2026 tournament to represent another massive leap forward in North America,” Fox said in a statement Wednesday.  “Fox Sports is excited to welcome our partners at FIFA and others around the world to our backyard for this unrivaled sporting event.”Fox is right to be excited.The 2026 World Cup promises to be a ratings bonanza, as the entire continent will be engulfed by soccer fervor and television networks will reap the benefits of an impassioned public and TV-friendly broadcast times.Boosted by interest at home and ideal kickoff times, the 1994 World Cup in the United States averaged 2.8 million U.S. viewers per game – a number that wouldn’t be topped until the 2010 World Cup.Back in 1994, soccer in the United States was a mere curiosity. The nation in 2026 will be vastly different than it was 32 years prior, filled with local soccer franchises that will have been established for decades and millions of fans who have been surrounded by the sport since birth.Easy prediction: The 2026 will demolish whatever viewership records will be in place before the tournament kicks off.Additionally, the 2026 World Cup is set to be the first with 48 teams instead of the current 32, meaning there will be 80 games instead of 64 and crucially for television, 16 more opportunities to sell advertising.It all adds up to an incoming windfall for Fox and Telemundo. Though 2018 and 2022 weren’t what the networks were hoping for, 2026 is shaping up to make everything worth their while.last_img read more

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ESPN Analyst Is Predicting A Major Week 4 Upset

first_imgOregon hosts Washington at Autzen Stadium.EUGENE, OR – AUGUST 30: A general view taken during the game between the Washington Huskies and the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium on August 30, 2008 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)ESPN’s college football analysts have released their score predictions for this weekend’s slate of big games.There are three major games this weekend:Alabama vs. Texas A&MOregon vs. StanfordTCU vs. TexasA couple of ESPN analysts are predicting some upsets.One ESPN reporter, Edward Aschoff, is predicting a top 10 team to fall. He has No. 7 Stanford going down.The score prediction:Oregon 27, No. 7 Stanford 24We’ve had a couple of top 10 teams lose so far this season. The No. 7 Cardinal falling would be the latest.Who are you picking?last_img read more

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