Category: fkfsinnakyte

WHO Certifies India Polio-free

first_imgIndia, was certified polio-free by an independent commission of the World Health Organisation (WHO) with no case of the disease being reported in the country for three years. Related Itemslast_img

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FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Increases Security at Home Following Threats

first_imgU.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai, who has been facing backlash and death threats online and otherwise for repealing net neutrality laws, has now installed CCTV cameras around his home and got a security detail for himself and his family.Pai has been on the receiving end of hate mail and threats to his life since repealing the Obama-era Net Neutrality policy. Earlier this month, he cancelled his scheduled appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018 reportedly after receiving death threats.As an explanation for the cancellation he said it was at an inconvenient time.Prior to this, there was a bomb scare on the day of the vote of repealing Net Neutrality, which led to evacuation of the premises briefly.The vitriol also plagued his family earlier as protesters had gathered outside his home with signs “Is this really the world you want [your children] to inherit?” and “They will come to know the truth. Dad murdered democracy in cold blood” with his children’s names on it. Pai had said in November that it “crosses a line with me.” During his appearance on Fox and Friends he said that “it was a little nerve-racking, especially for my wife.” He later issued a statement asking the protesters to leave his family out of this and “focus on debating the merits of the issue.”Meanwhile, 50 Senators have endorsed a resolution to withdraw the repeal, which deregulated internet providers. The resolution requires one more lawmaker to pass the Senate resolution of disapproval. The resolution seeks to overturn the current deregulation, which Republicans said was restrictive for the industry, and stops FCC from going through with such measures again.Democrats have opposed repealing of FCC as it provided protection to the consumers.“With full caucus support it’s clear that Democrats are committed to fighting to keep the Internet from becoming the Wild West where ISPs are free to offer premium service to only the wealthiest customers while average consumers are left with far inferior options,” said Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., the Denver Post reported. However, Democrats are in minority in the Senate and it remains to be seen if the resolution is actualized. Related ItemsIndian AmericanInternetUnited Stateslast_img read more

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7,000 Foreign Students Falsely Accused of Cheating English Tests in UK: Report

first_imgThe United Kingdom Home Office, which has been fighting a scandal over deportation targets for immigrants, reportedly forced almost 7,000 foreign students to leave the country after falsely accusing them of cheating. Home Secretary Sajid Javid is now being urged to look into the plight of the falsely accused students.The Financial Times report cited immigration barrister Patrick Lewis as saying that the Home Office may have falsely accused 7,000 foreign students of faking their English proficiency test and ordered them to leave the country. Some of them were detained and rendered homeless as they lost their position at the university and part-time jobs, according to the report.Calling the treatment meted out to the foreign students as “hostile environment” policy, Lewis said that most of the them were not allowed to appeal against the Home Office decision or obtain the evidence against them, or meet officials face-to-face so the quality of their English could be assessed. Many of the students were told to return to their home country and file for appeal but in countries like Bangladesh, India and China there is no system for such an appeal, he told the Guardian.The foreign students were detained and accused of falsifying their English proficiency test after BBC’s Panorama program aired an investigation in February 2014. It revealed systemic fraud at some colleges in the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC).UK Prime Minister Theresa May, who was the Home Secretary in 2014, asked the Educational Testing Services (ETS), the United States-based company that ran the system, to analyze voice records to check if students had cheated.ETS said that 33,725 test takers had used proxies for the exam and that another 22,694 cases were “questionable.” More than 4,600 people were deported or left Britain.Four men were arrested and sentenced to prison for rigging about 800 TOEIC tests in order to help applicants cheat the UK immigration system in 2016, according to thepienews.However, in December 2016, a Bangladeshi student, who was affected by fraud investigation, won a legal battle against the government, which failed to show evidence that he had cheated.“Almost remarkably, ETS provided no evidence, directly or indirectly to this tribunal,” Judge McCloskey noted, according to BBC. “Its refusal to provide the voice recordings of these two appellants in particular is mildly astonishing.”He concluded that the court found Sharif Majumder and the other appellant to be “truthful and reliable witnesses” and “the clear winners” in their appeals.In 2016, it was found that only 80 per cent of the accused students were cheaters and thus there were 7,000 who were falsely accused.Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham, told FT: “Conversations with those affected have convinced me that many were entirely innocent. Their treatment has been shameful.” He urged Javid to look into these cases.“It is very clearly an aspect of the hostile environment. The whole thing strikes me as completely scandalous. They say their lives have been ruined by this. Their families invested quite often their life savings to provide a decent British education at a good university for their child. They’ve paid the money, they’ve lost their visa halfway through a course and they’re absolutely stuck. A lot of them feel they can’t go back to India or Bangladesh because of the shame attached to this. They’ve been accused of cheating by the British government,” the Guardian reported.The government has recently been in the middle of a controversy for intimidating immigrants from West Indies, who came to the United Kingdom after the Second World War and are called the Windrush generation, to leave the country. Home Secretary Amber Rudd was forced to resign from her position as a result of the scandal. Rudd was replaced by Sajid Javid, the son of immigrant parents, who assured the public that the government will review the immigration policies. Related ItemsacademicsSajid JavidUnited Kingdomlast_img read more

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India Invites Trump to be Chief Guest at 2019 Republic Day Parade: Report

first_imgThe Indian government has invited United States President Donald Trump to be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi in 2019, the Times of India reported. India’s invitation is being considered “favourably” by the Trump administration, the report added.India is, however, still awaiting a response from the U.S. government to the invitation that was sent in April this year. The invite was reportedly sent after several rounds of diplomatic talks between the two countries.Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has earlier invited several high-profile global politicians for the occasion since his Bharatiya Janata Party government came into power in 2014. While former U.S. President Barack Obama was the chief guest for the Jan. 26 event in 2015, the following year saw former French President Francois Hollande witnessing the parade. In 2017, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan visited India for the Republic Day celebrations. The event this year was attended by 10 leaders from ASEAN countries — Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, Laos and Brunei.Trump’s visit to India, if he accepts the invitation, will be eagerly watched since the two countries have been experiencing differences over various issues, including trade tariffs, U.S. immigration policies, and defense ties. America’s pressure upon India to curtail its crude oil import from Iran has recently further strained the relations between both the nations. India is hoping for a waiver from the sanctions that the United States is threatening to impose on countries that import crude from Iran.American lawmakers are trying to get a waiver for India from sanctions for its plan to buy long-range S-400 air defence system from Russia in a Rs 40,000-crore deal, PTI reported. At the request of U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, U.S. senators are working to get a waiver for India from the punitive Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions ACT (CAATSA), through which sanctions are placed on countries that purchase significant military equipment from Russia, according to the news agency.In a letter written to Senator John McCain, who chairs the committee, Mattis has urged for a legislative waiver for India, Republican Senator Dan Sullivan, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said on July 12. During the Annual Leadership Summit of the US India Strategic and Partnership Forum (USISPF) in Washington, Sullivan and Democratic Senator Mark Warner, who is the vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said that the lawmakers are keen to find a way to balance India’s old ties and defense relationship with Russia, the report added. Related ItemsDonald TrumpRepublic DayUnited Stateslast_img read more

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Modi’s Party Is Trounced in India’s Semifinal Elections

first_imgIs India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, in trouble?With his white beard and booming speeches (and supposedly 56-inch chest), Modi swept into power four years ago by promoting a populist brand of politics that mixed brawny Hindu nationalist views with lofty economic promises.But on Tuesday, his party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, got walloped according to elections results just released from races held across five states.The party, widely known by the initials BJP, suffered its worst defeat in recent years, losing more than 100 legislative seats, a result that shook the political establishment and left many wondering if Modi is in danger of losing next year’s national election.The elections were held over the past several weeks, but results were not announced until Tuesday. Indian pundits described the races, held in the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Chhattisgarh and Telangana, as the “semifinals” of Indian politics. In just a few months, this country of 1.3 billion people who speak dozens of languages and live across an incredibly varied landscape from Himalayan mountaintops to tropical isles is set to hold national parliamentary elections.It appears that Modi, who seemed so invincible not long ago, may be vulnerable as his brand loses its luster. At the same time, the leading opposition party, the Indian National Congress, once considered comatose, has suddenly woken up.“The competition is neck to neck,” said Narendra Kumar, a political scientist at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, the capital.Indian voters are famous for passionately embracing a party or politician in one election and then enthusiastically voting them out in the next.Among the complaints against Modi: He has ignored farmers. He cannot deliver on his party’s promises, including creating 1 million jobs a month, which economists said was impossible. The cost of living has sharply increased. And, not least, the BJP has been criticized as too soft on violent Hindu extremists, including mobs that have lynched people for slaughtering cows, a revered animal in Hinduism.“The common man does not support mob lynchings,” said Anil Verma, head of the Association for Democratic Reforms, a nonpartisan organization in New Delhi.Analysts say more Indians are growing upset with Modi’s party for not cracking down on the mobs, who often twist Hindu nationalist messages espoused by BJP leaders and use them to justify violence. Vigilantes have killed dozens of people, most of them Muslim or lower caste Hindus, in the name of protecting cows.“Indians by and large are not happy with the killing of their fellow men,” Kumar said. “That should be a message for the prime minister before the 2019 elections.”The five states that just held elections — mostly rural and representing India’s heartland — are considered a bellwether. But experts have warned against extrapolating too much from these state races to national elections, noting that Modi still commands a loyal following in many quarters.He is seen as a champion of a bigger, stronger India, whose economy is now sixth-largest in the world. (A decade ago, it was not even in the top 10.) He also remains a compelling orator, able to stir crowds with his booming baritone voice. Modi rose to power by embracing Hindu nationalist politics, and his base remains firmly behind him because they see him as a protector of their values.Most experts say that if the next election were purely a popularity contest between Modi and Rahul Gandhi, the leader of the Indian National Congress and scion of a long political dynasty, it would be Modi’s to lose.But Indian elections do not work that way. The country is a parliamentary system, and local issues affect the national bottom line. Political alliances are crucial, and this could be a problem for Modi.Most analysts expect Modi’s party to lose many seats next year; the question is whether he will be able to win a thin majority in Parliament.On Tuesday, the Indian National Congress was on track to pick up more than 100 of the 678 total seats across the five states.And something even bigger may be happening. Across India, economic worries are becoming a pressing issue that Modi will have trouble sweeping away. He raised high expectations, promising to attract huge China-style export factories and create millions of high-paying jobs.India’s annual growth rate has been over 7 percent, but Modi has not turned India into the next China. The amount of red tape in India remains stultifying, and many parts of the country’s manufacturing sector, such as textiles, have suffered widespread layoffs.Millions of farmers are on the brink of crisis, facing rising fertilizer and electricity costs and lower prices for their produce. Experts say their distress is driven by too much competition, strict export rules and inadequate government purchases. One farmer who said he received less than the equivalent of $20 for 1,600 pounds of onions sent the money to Modi to make a point.“Modi will definitely be hurt in the parliamentary elections next year — even more so if the opposition can sharpen the focus of the campaign to stress farm distress,” said Arati Jerath, a columnist who writes about politics for some of India’s biggest newspapers.Other sources of discontent are a new tax system put in place under Modi and his decision in 2016 to suddenly replace most of the country’s currency, which was supposed to crack down on money laundering but led to severe cash shortages.Even so, Tuesday’s election results were not all good news for the Indian National Congress. Once a powerful brand in the northeast, the party lost its majority in the last state it controlled in that region, Mizoram.But the results in India’s agrarian, Hindi-speaking cow belt, where the BJP has dominated or been highly competitive for the past decade and a half, must have been even more deflating to Modi and his team.His party’s headquarters in New Delhi appeared deserted Tuesday, while wild celebrations broke out at those of the Indian National Congress.Even Modi’s usually superconfident allies admitted to being concerned.“This has been a very intriguing election,” said Seshadri Chari, a member of the BJP’s national executive committee. “Modi is going to be personally worried.”c.2018 New York Times News Service Related Itemslast_img read more

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The Biggest Losers

first_imgAnil Ambani is the biggest loser in this year’s Forbes list of the World’s Billionaires. Ambani lost $3.9 billion of his fortune as shares of Reliance Communications tanked to a third of their value one year ago. Three other Indians were among the ten biggest billionaire losers: Mittal Steel’s Lakshmi Mittal lost $25.7 billion; DLF’s K.P. Singh lost $25 billion and Anil’s brother Mukesh Ambani lost $23.5 billion.The global meltdown has squeezed the world’s billionaires hard. According to Forbes, the number of billionaires fell from 1125 in 2008 in 793 in 2009 and lost $1.4 trillion of their wealth. The number of Indian billionaires halved from 55 in 2008 to just 24 this year as the Indian stock market shed almost half its value and the rupee depreciated almost 24% against the dollar.The Surviving Indian BillionairesGlobal RankNameValue (Billions)   7Mukesh Ambani$19.50 8Lakshmi Mittal$19.30 34Anil Ambani$10.10 59Sunil Mittal & family$7.70 83Azim Premji$5.70 86Shashi & Ravi Ruia$5.60 98Kushal Pal Singh$5.00 124Kumar Birla$4.20 183Adi Godrej & family$3.30 205Dilip Shanghvi$3.00 234Savitri Jindal$2.70 246Malvinder & Shivinder Singh$2.60 318G M Rao$2.10 334Micky Jagtiani$2.00 397Gautam Adani$1.80 397Indu Jain$1.80 430Shiv Nadar$1.70 468Cyrus Poonawalla$1.50 468Anil Agarwal$1.50 601Uday Kotak$1.20 601Kalanithi Maran$1.20 601Chandru Raheja$1.20 647Subhash Chandra$1.10 701Anurag Dikshit$1.00         Related Itemslast_img read more

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Tale of The Two Falls

first_imgA network of three waterfalls — American Falls, Horseshoe Falls and Bridal Veil Falls — comprise the 51 meter tall Niagara Falls. The Falls spread across two countries, situated between the province of Ontario and state of New York. The Horseshoe Falls lie principally on the Canada side. From the United States, the American Falls can be viewed from Prospect Point Park. The main attraction, however, is the State Park.On the Canadian side, Queen Victoria Park offers views of the Horseshoe Falls and the American Falls. The Skylon Tower offers the highest view of the Falls.The Canadian side of Niagara Falls is exceedingly popular among Indians. Anastasia Belashov, manager International Tour & Travel Trade, Asia Pacific, Niagara Falls Tourism, says, “Unfortunately Niagara Falls doesn’t have exact stats on the number of visitors from India; estimated number, based on Destination Canada stats, is about 250,000 per year. This is not the largest number of visitors. However, it’s one of the important markets for Canada and Niagara and we work closely with Canadian tourism office in India to grow the number.”Canadian officials do not have estimates for the proportion of Indian visitors who cross the border from the U.S. side to view the Falls. Belashov said: “The 250,000 approximate number of visitors from India includes these coming from U.S. side. Again, we don’t have much stats as the border officials do not share this information with tourism organizations. It’s easier to get a U.S. visa than Canadian visa, and for that reason, some travelers come to see Niagara from the U.S. side and never cross to Canada. These visitors are not included into the stats as they never step on the Canadian side.”Niagara Falls, Canada, is far more economically vibrant and developed than the U.S. side with numerous casinos and Nevada-style attractions, such as Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Madame Tussaud’s Museum, Guinness World Records Museum, etc. Says Newell Nussbaumer of Buffalo Rising: “There is a huge difference between the American side and the Canadian side. The Canadian side is beautiful and exciting, with loads of restaurants and sightseeing experiences. The American side is considerably more destitute, although there is a wonderful park to explore.“The American side needs to land some serious infill. It needs to get rid of the parking lots and concentrate on building features similar to what is seen on the Canadian side. I believe that the tide is slowly turning for the American side, but it’s got a heck of a lot of catching up to do. Hopefully any further advancement would bode well for Buffalo, which is experiencing an exciting renaissance currently.” Related Itemslast_img read more

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Overlapping of Hinduism and Judaism

first_imgThe visit of India’s Prime Minister to Israel, and the thousands of Jews who joined in the celebration of Diwali in Times Square, mark a new opening in the history of two very ancient religions and cultures, that have rarely interacted in the past.Although Jews have lived in India for more than 2,400 years, the traditional Jewish avoidance of missionary activity has meant that Hindu culture knows very little about Judaism.Like Hindus, Jews have produced a very large and complex textual tradition; and value religious study over sacrificial rituals. Both Hinduism and Judaism have many dietary restrictions. Unlike Hinduism, by virtue of their religion Jews have always been, and will always be, a minority.Unlike Buddhism and Christianity, which are named after one special person; Hinduism and Judaism are named after overlapping national, cultural, and geographical locations. Here are some interesting differences and similarities between Hinduism and Judaism.In a world where everybody worshiped many Gods, Jews worshiped only one.In a world where everybody represented the divine visibly through sculpture, painting, or a natural object, Jews were taught that God was invisible.When Christianity and Islam took over the western world, the Jews continued to follow their own tradition and refused to assimilate.Of all the religions and cultures that existed in the world 3,000 years ago when David was King in Jerusalem only the Jews and the Hindus have survived.Even in the Messianic Age “each nation will follow its own God” (religion) and Jews will follow their God. i.e. religious pluralism is the will of God. (Micah 4:5)Differences are very important even though nothing is totally black or white.Differences are of degree and relative mixture. Thus Judaism teaches:This world, and what you make of it, is more important than the next world.How you behave is more important than what you believe.Human nature is both good and bad, but in most people the good is greater than the bad.God will not make us good without our co-operation (free will) and humans alone can’t create a holy society. God and humans need each other.Relationships are the most important aspect of living a good spiritual life.Relationships demand commitments (covenants).To do something from a sense of duty (mitvah) is spiritually superior to doing it just because you want to do it. (mitzvah is Hebrew for “commandment. A combination of a religious law, personal obligation, and a privilege. Plural is Mitzvot. Often used to refer to a meritorious or charitable act. First known use: 1,300 BCE)To do something as part of a community or a tradition is better than to just do your own spiritual thing in order to realize yourself.Relationships are mutual, interactive and continually changing, so Judaism is an always developing religion, as each generation reacts to God’s continual call.While Judaism is the only religion for Jews, other religions also provide paths that lead to God and to a good way of life. Religious pluralism is what God desires so our humility and tolerance of others can be tested. As Swami Vivekananda taught: “follow one, and hate none”.This same teaching is in the Quran (109:6): “You have your religion and I have mine.” Or as the Indian Muslim sage Maulana Wahiduddin Khan says: “Follow one religion and respect all.”Like Hinduism anyone who studies the Hebrew Scriptures from a Rabbinic Bible is struck by the number of different commentaries that surround the few lines of the sacred text on each page.Most religions that have a sacred scripture have editions that come with one commentary. Occasionally they have an edition with two or three commentaries. The standard Jewish study Bible usually comes with at least 5-10 different commentaries.All of this traces back to a verse in the Book of Psalms: “One thing God has spoken; two things have I heard” (Psalms 62:12). In other words, multiple interpretations of each verse of any Sacred Scripture can be correct, and the word of God, even if they contradict one another. The Hebrew term for this concept of pluralistic interpretation is; Shivim Panim LaTorah (each verse of Torah-Sacred Scripture has 70 different facets).Jewish tradition recognizes four general types of interpretation.P’shat; the plain simple meaning,Remez; the allegorical metaphorical meaning,De-rash; the moral educational meaning, andSod; the mystical hidden meaning.Allen Maller is former rabbi of Temple Akiba in Culver City, Calif. Related Itemslast_img read more

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Rugby Meets Red Rover: Kabaddi Has Captured the Heart of India

first_imgFor the uninitiated, kabaddi, the ancient Indian game that is taking the world’s second-most populous country by storm, looks far too simple to be a professional sport.A hybrid of rugby, touch football and the playground game known in England as British Bulldog and in the United States as Red Rover (“Red rover, red rover, let Tommy come over…”), kabaddi (pronounced kuh-bud-DEE) uses no balls, pucks, nets, goal posts, hoops, holes, rackets, clubs, sticks or bats. It is so unknown in the West that on Aug. 8, 2017, ESPNU, the American digital cable and satellite sports television channel owned by ESPN Inc., showcased what it termed “the finest in seldom-seen sports,” including the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup Final. An exhibition match was played at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, but it did not catch on internationally.But those who take the time to examine India’s rare homegrown game that is gaining appeal abroad begin to recognize a highly strategic endeavor that demands speed, strength, timing, an understanding of geometric angles and the kind of fancy footwork that would have impressed Muhammad Ali and Fred Astaire.Spectators at a Kabaddi match get rowdy in Nagpur, India, Aug. 5, 2017. Photo: Atul Loke/The New York Times)Indians like that it’s the only competition in the wide world of sports to require the player on offense to chant a word — “kabaddi,” derived from “kai-pidi,” meaning “to hold hands” in the Tamil language — in one uninterrupted breath for the 30 seconds of his run at the defense. The sport takes its playbook from the Mahabharata, the ninth century B.C. Hindu epic poem, where it is mentioned as a military formation called the Chakravyuha. It has been enjoyed for hundreds of years as a rural game played on India’s dirt and mud fields.Now, with the establishment in 2014 of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) and television coverage, as the league’s sixth season is set to begin Sunday, the sport has captured Indians’ hearts, souls and TV remotes. Its popularity as a spectator sport is now second only to the British import cricket, which Indians still worship with near religious fervor. Last year some 313 million TV viewers watched league matches, according to Indian TV viewership surveys.Given kabaddi’s recent gains, it should continue to penetrate the Indian market and may eventually even garner attention in the West.“Kabaddi is a compelling gladiatorlike sport — one man heroically pit against seven — with such old associations in India that I was immediately taken in,” said Ronnie Screwvala, the Indian multimedia entrepreneur who was the first person to acquire a team, U Mumba, when the league launched in 2014. “Indians have needed something they can claim as only theirs.”Kabaddi players during a match in Nagpur, India, Aug. 5, 2017. Photo: Atul Loke/The New York TimesThe rules of the game and scoring are not intuitive to a Western sports fan watching it for the first several times.The basics are these: Two teams of seven players each line up on either side of a 13-by-10 meter (42.6-by-32.8 feet) hard rubber mat, separated by a midline. There is something called a balk line behind that and a bonus line behind the balk line.To earn a point, one team sends out a solo “raider,” who must cross the centerline, tag an opposing player on the defense within 30 seconds, then cross back over the centerline to his side before being tackled. Players tackle each other with no holds barred, almost literally. Beyond that, scoring gets complicated for a kabaddi neophyte. Then the other team sends out a player, and on and on it goes for two fast-paced 20-minute halves.The game got a dressing up since its rural mud field days when Star TV India, an Asian television service owned by 21st Century Fox, teamed up with the league, which is owned by Mashal Sports, a Bangalore-based sports management company. Last year, Star sold a five-year sponsorship to Vivo, a Chinese technology company, for $47 million, that was the league’s first corporate tie-in.The challenge for Star TV “was unique in the history of televised sports,” said Uday Shankar, chief executive of the Indian channel. “For a spectator sport in its embryonic stages, we’ve had to invent vocabulary for commentators, find directors who’ve had parallel experience, mostly from rugby, tweak some rules to make it TV-friendly, and even figure out what stats fans would want to track.”Star also made the game more visually appealing for TV with flashing neon signage and smoke machines in arenas. Costumed crowd-rousing mascots bounce around before games and during breaks in the action. At least a dozen cameras catch it all.Screwvala gave his players a fashion makeover, “to make them look more appealing.” They got stylish haircuts and Oakley goggles to wear when not competing.Kabaddi players during a match in Nagpur, India, Aug. 5, 2017. Photo: Atul Loke/The New York TimesCumulative viewership for PKL matches rose from 217 million for Season 4 to 313 million for Season 5, according to Partho Dasgupta, chief executive of India’s Broadcast Audience Research Council.PKL’s Season 5 finale was the best rated non-cricket event on TV, with 26.2 million kabaddi viewers versus 55.6 million cricket fans, Dasgupta said.Shankar conceded it will take several more years before kabaddi begins to be profitable as a programming entity.In May, though, as owners bid on players for Season 6, Screwvala was ahead of the curve again, shelling out $138,690 for 26-year-old Fazel Atrachali, the Iranian defender who led the gold-winning Iranian team that beat India at the Asian Games in August. It is the highest amount ever paid for a non-Indian player. This may not seem like a lot compared to what cricketers and other major professional athletes earn in most countries, but it’s a windfall considering the average annual per capita income in India is about $1,700.U Mumba also acquired Iran’s Asian Games gold-winning coach, Amir Gholamreza Mazandarani, the first-ever foreign coach in the PKL.Of the 239 players selected to play for PKL’s 12 teams — each team consisting of 18-24 players — 26 players come from some 14 Asian countries other than India, including South Korea, Iran, Bangladesh, Taiwan, Kenya, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Japan, Oman, Nepal, Thailand, Mauritius and Malaysia.“This much foreign involvement in an India-born sport bodes very well for the sport here at home,” said Screwvala. “In business, open competition always makes the good even better.”An avid fan, he is often in the front row at U Mumba contests, with his wife, Zarina, and daughter, Trishya Screwvala, all three jumping from their seats, cheering loudly at each score or tackle.Will the globalization of kabaddi catch on in the Americas and Europe?“We can hope so, but it doesn’t matter,” Screwvala said. “We’re just happy to see a homegrown product traveling to other shores, and spreading here.”Perry Garfinkel is a longtime Times contributor who writes frequently about India.c.2018 New York Times News Service Related ItemsKabaddilast_img read more

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Manick Sorcar, the Man with the Laser Touch

first_imgIf there is someone who can rightfully say “there is magic in the air” it is Manick Sorcar. The Colorado-based artiste has, after all, breathed magic all his life, right from the time he was born to PC Sorcar, the acclaimed Padma Shri-winning jadugar behind the popular Indrajal Show. From watching his father perform vanishing tricks with the silverware at the dining table as a child to creating his own stupendous laser animation shows, Manick’s life over the last seven decades has largely revolved around the creation of powerful visual fantasy.The laser-animator has won a lot of international acclaim – including the Award of Merit at Accolade Global Film Competition for his laser animation creation Beautiful Mess that he won in June this year — for his work over the past four decades of his life in the United States. And all these years, he has actively attempted to bridge the cultural gap between India and the West through fine arts, cartoons, animations, laser arts, and stage shows with live action mixed with laser animation.“I love my homeland India and proud of her rich culture,” the 72-year-old artiste, born in Tangail (now in Bangladesh), tells Little India. “I also love the USA, my adopted land, and the country of opportunities. My life’s goal is to bring a better understanding between the two countries through my little means of art.”Sorcar’s portfolio flaunts a wide range of topics that are inspired from and explore Indian history, mythology and regional literature. His short animation films on the Panchatantra, or those adapted from works of writers such as Sukumar Ray became popular at elementary schools in the U.S. as an effective media to educate American children about another culture. His efforts were recognized by Colorado governor John W. Hickenlooper in 2015, who wrote: “For a quarter of a century, your animation films have taken children on a special journey to the lands of India where they have learned more of her culture and people. These films have taught that diversity is an asset and what brings us together is our common thread of humanity irrespective of where we grew up.”When he moved on from animations to work with laser beams, Sorcar took the venture a step ahead from the usual shows. “I try to use the manipulated strong beam of light as a paint brush for thematic animation that tells a story, and evokes emotions,” he says.One of the emotions his works have never failed to arouse among viewers is the sense of pride for their Indian heritage. With shows such as Our Republic’s Birth, which celebrated India’s 61st Republic Day at the Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco, Enlightenment of Buddha, which was performed on stage at the Denver Center for Performing Arts, and Swamiji, a laser documentary on the life of Swami Vivekananda, he made sure his passion touched a chord with the audience. Just the way it did with his two daughters who were born in the United States. When the two were young, Sorcar and his wife used to write children’s songs in Bengali, for which he composed the music, and then encouraged their daughters to sing them.The conscious involvement of his daughters in his shows perhaps stems from the fact that his father had engaged him in his acts. Sorcar, in fact, first got hands-on experience in art at the back stage of his father’s magic shows, when he started painting some props, and quickly moved on to paint large settings. “One thing led to another and soon I found myself playing with stage lighting to enhance the artwork,” he recalls, narrating how he got the urge to learn more about the science of lighting, and took up illumination as a subject while pursuing electrical engineering at Benares Hindu University.His interest intensified when he came to the United States to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Washington in 1972. The passion, however, was not at the cost of the art that has been the first love of his family for eight generations. Though both his brothers — PC Sorcar, Jr. and PC Sorcar, Young – became magicians, Manick chose not to take it up as a profession. “I was more inclined to pursue my own interest,” he says.So does he perform any magic now? “Of course, I do!” he retorts. “In my stage shows, we keep at least one or two magic items in my father’s honor.”Guess, that’s the magic of magic. Related ItemsAmerican Indian laseristLittle IndiaManick SorcarManick Sorcar laseristManick Sorcar magicianManick Sorcar USPC Sorcar magicianlast_img read more

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Sikh Temple in Canada Vandalized, Community Leader Appeals People to Speak Against Racism

first_imgA Sikh temple in Canada’s British Columbia was vandalized on Nov.19 by unidentified people, who sprayed a wall with black paint to write some racist words. Investigations to identify the vandals are undergoing.The graffiti near the parking lot of Kelowna’s Sikh temple named Gurdwara Guru Amardas Darbar Sikh Society was found around 10 am, reported Coast Mountain Views.The publication quoted Tarsem Singh Goraya , president of the temple, as saying, “It’s just sad, it’s very upsetting that there are some people like this that still have that mentality. Everyone is treated the same under our religion, but this, out of ignorance, I just don’t know.”It was also reported that Sikh temple has been targeted in a racial attack earlier as well but at that time police was not informed. But this time, temple authorities contacted police immediately.Goraya said, “We thought someone maybe wasn’t happy or something so we just ignored it.”“I hope they (the vandals) gain some knowledge… There is always going to be a difference of opinions but humans are all the same,” he added as per the report.After this latest vandalizing incident, a Sikh community leader has appealed to the people to speak up about the racism.Amanpreet Singh Hundal, who is B.C. vice-president of the World Sikh Organization of Canada, told Radio West, “I was very surprised that in 2018 this type of event would take place.”“It’s just an opportunity for us to do a lot more education,” he added.He said that Sikh community has always tried its level best to remain positive. He believes that few people in Kelowna have hateful views in their minds. He appeals people to speak out when they hear about racism.Terming this incident an opportunity for the community members to do a lot more education, he said, “That’s your chance to not be silent… We all have a responsibility.”“That’s an opportunity for us,” he was quoted by Radio West as saying. Related Itemslast_img read more

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Ailments slow down Gilas star

first_imgK-pop star Jung Joon-young convicted of gang rape, spycam crimes Victories over China and Iraq allowed the Filipinos to stay away from world power Australia, which could go on to clash with either New Zealand or defending champion China on the way to the title match.Standhardinger skipped the team’s practice on Saturday and watched his teammates in the shootaround on Sunday leading to the 9 p.m. clash with the winless Qataris.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 shutoutThe Fil-German’s injury cropped up on the day that the 6-foot-10 June Mar Fajardo finally joined the team in practice after sitting out the first two games because of a calf injury.Standhardinger has been a force in the middle for Gilas despite being only 6-foot-8, averaging 15.5 points and 6.5 rebounds. SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC 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 Albertos finish 1-2 LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Photo from Fiba.comWith the next Gilas Pilipinas game in the Fiba Asia Cup in Beirut not to happen until Wednesday at the earliest, Christian Standhardinger will have some time to recover from a severe stiff neck and a bruised shoulder.The Filipinos were to face Qatar at press time on Sunday night. Even with a loss, they will advance straight into the quarterfinals where they will clash with either Lebanon or Jones Cup tormentor South Korea for a place in the Final Four.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Read Next Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses MOST READ WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding View commentslast_img read more

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Ravena sees Gilas stint as gauge of progress

first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netGilas Pilipinas overcame a three games in four days gauntlet the past week, eking out narrow wins over PBA teams as part of its buildup for the Jones Cup.The tune-up games were also beneficial for amateur standouts on the team like Kiefer Ravena, who was able to gauge himself against some of the top professional players in the country.ADVERTISEMENT Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes LATEST STORIES Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ View comments Against NLEX, the former Ateneo star set up Fil-German Christian Standhardinger for the game-winning basket before burying the go-ahead triple to sink Alaska three days later.With his skill set, potential and winning pedigree, Ravena is considered as one of the top draft prospects if he joins the class of 2017 along with versatile guard Ray Parks.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next “Being in this type of position for me, personally, allows me to see where I am, where to improve on and helps me in making a decision of making it into the draft already,” said Ravena.The 23-year-old Ravena has yet to decide whether he would declare for this year’s PBA Draft.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsBased on Ravena’s performance in the exhibition games, he proved he can roll with the big boys.Throughout his young basketball career, Ravena is known for his ability to flourish under pressure-packed situations and he made no exceptions during the tuneups. LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Boxers set bold goal: six-gold sweep Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: 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 City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

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Naveen asks bureaucrats to take bold decisions

first_imgBhubaneswar, Aug 22 (PTI) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today asked the state bureaucracy to take bold decisions keeping people as the focus and assured them of all out support.”Take bold decisions keeping people as the focus. I will stand behind you. All your good work will be recognised and rewarded,” Patnaik told the Team Odisha.Stating that he wants Team Odisha to take the state to the next level of governance, Patnaik said it should be a modern, empowered, progressive New Odisha.While launching the Vision Odisha here, Patnaik said through sheer team work, commitment and pro-people policies, his government has come a long way in the last 17 years to look into the eye of the storm.He claimed the state government has been able to set global benchmarks in disaster management and the country has acknowledged what it has achieved in certain sectors like poverty reduction, reduction of IMR & MMR, ease of doing business, providing rural housing and road connectivity to increasing farmers? incomes and agricultural production and womens empowerment.Patnaik said: “I fully understand that we need to do much more and put Odisha in a place where other states will look up to us.” He said the recognition of Best Administrator in the country is a reflection of the relentless hard work and dedication of Team Odisha.”Its not a mean achievement for a state which suffers from several natural disasters year after year with not much support from successive Central Governments. In spite of this thanks to the resilience of the people of Odisha, we have overcome many odds and reached here,” the Chief Minister added.advertisementRecalling his earlier days in the office, Patnaik said when he took charge in 2000, Odisha was in a state of despair – a state in hopelessly tough situation with endemic poverty, finances in shambles and infrastructure in a pathetic condition, almost at the bottom in most of the socioeconomic indicators.”All of you have worked for the betterment of the state. Without your hard work and commitment we couldnt have walked thus far,” Patnaik said to the members of the bureaucracy in the state.Noting that huge challenges remain before the government, the chief minister said his government stands for people centric governance where the outcome is always measured in terms of empowerment of the citizens.”Our focus on the 3Ts- team work, transparency and technology is well tested to bring about transformation. All of you must provide adequate leadership to your team where each member will work without fear, deliver the schemes and programmes without favour,” he said referring to officers.”Let Team Odisha show to the world the way to transform governance for public good. Let Team Odisha resolve to make the state the best state to live in,” he said.Let Team Odisha create a new brand of development ensuring zero casualty in the face of a super cyclone, build one million houses in two years, better the national average in IMR, move a record 8 million people out of poverty, be the only state to double agricultural income and play a vital role in National Food Security, Patnaik said.Settle the maximum land rights to tribals under the Forest Rights Act, lead the country by having the number one smart city, have half a million tribal students in residential schools, take up the challenge of hosting a global sporting event in 90 days and set benchmarks in that too, he exhorted.The Chief Minister was optimistic that the Team Odisha can deliver. PTI AAM RGlast_img read more

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Texas Tops Tanaka, Yanks, 5-2

first_imgARLINGTON, Texas — Masahiro Tanaka kept missing his spots for the New York Yankees.Once the Japanese right-hander allowed the first three Texas batters in the second inning to reach base and score, the Yankees never caught up.Colby Lewis worked six innings for his 11th victory as the Rangers won 5-2 on July 29, a night after AL East-leading New York beat them 21-5.Tanaka (7-4) had won his previous three starts, a stretch when he was the first Yankees pitcher since April 2013 to go at least seven innings in three consecutive victories. He struck out three and walked three, giving up four runs over six innings in Texas.“It’s not just the splitter. On all my pitches, I didn’t have command tonight,” Tanaka said through an interpreter. “It all comes down to mechanics. If my mechanics are there, the ball is coming off my hand efficiently. In the second inning, I wasn’t getting the tight downfall that I wanted.”After the Yankees scored two runs in the second, nine fewer than in the same inning the previous night, the Rangers quickly responded.“He didn’t throw the split for strikes. When you get in bad counts, you can’t get hitters to chase because they can be more selective. His command was not great,” Manager Joe Girardi said. “I thought he kept us in the game tonight. That’s what we ask of our starting pitchers. But we know he’s capable of pitching better.”Adrian Beltre had a single to start the second, before Mitch Moreland walked and Josh Hamilton had the first of his two RBI singles. Texas went ahead after run-scoring hits by Shin-Soo Choo and Delino DeShields.Beltre had two hits and scored twice for the Rangers, who won for only the second time in their last 14 home games.Lewis (11-4) struck out five while scattering seven hits and allowing two runs. He hit a batter but didn’t have a walk while winning his third consecutive start.“Colby probably didn’t have his best stuff, but Colby’s probably best when he doesn’t have his best stuff,” Manager Jeff Banister said. “I think he stays focused.”Shawn Tolleson worked a perfect ninth with two strikeouts for his 18th save in 19 chances.Carlos Beltran led off the Yankees second with his eighth homer of the season. There were three consecutive two-strike, two-out singles — including Jacoby Ellsbury’s for a 2-0 lead — before Brett Gardner’s inning-ending fly ball.New York had won four straight, and eight of nine.Beltre had another leadoff single in the fifth and came home when Hamilton grounded into a double play. While scoring a run, the play ended the club record-matching nine consecutive games without a double play.(STEPHEN HAWKINS, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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Liverpool Celebrates Champions League Win with Bus Parade

first_imgHolding aloft the European Cup, Liverpool’s players were met by a sea of red as they embarked on a tour of the city center. Huge crowds of Liverpool fans wearing the team’s jersey and flying flags packed out roadsides, chanting and singing in the sunshine.Liverpool beat Tottenham 2-0 in the all-English final in Madrid on Saturday.Fans gather to watch as Liverpool soccer team ride an open top bus during the Champions League Cup Winners Parade through the streets of Liverpool, England, Sunday June 2, 2019. Liverpool is champion of Europe for a sixth time after beating Tottenham 2-0 in the Champions League final played in Madrid Saturday. (Richard Sellers/PA via AP)Fans gain vantage points to watch as Liverpool soccer team ride an open top bus during the Champions League Cup Winners Parade through the streets of Liverpool, England, Sunday June 2, 2019. Liverpool is champion of Europe for a sixth time after beating Tottenham 2-0 in the Champions League final played in Madrid Saturday. (Richard Sellers/PA via AP)Liverpool soccer fans line the route for the Champions League Winners Parade in Liverpool, England, Sunday June 2, 2019. Liverpool is champion of Europe for a sixth time after beating Tottenham 2-0 in the Champions League final played in Madrid Saturday. (Danny Lawson/PA via AP)Liverpool soccer team manager Jurgen Klopp, rides an open top bus during the Champions League Cup Winners Parade in Liverpool, England, Sunday June 2, 2019. Liverpool is champion of Europe for a sixth time after beating Tottenham 2-0 in the Champions League final played in Madrid Saturday. (Barrington Coombs/PA via AP)TweetPinShare0 Shares LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Thousands of people have welcomed Liverpool back to Merseyside after winning the Champions League as the team paraded the trophy through the city center.Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp and his players flew home on Sunday before boarding an open-top bus emblazoned with the message, “Champions of Europe.”last_img read more

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Man Utd legend tells Pogba: Curb your banter & do your job!

first_imgPaul Pogba Pogba must curb his ‘banter’ and do his ‘job’ – Man Utd legend Robson Chris Burton Last updated 1 year ago 16:10 4/1/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Paul Pogba Manchester United Getty Images Paul Pogba Manchester United Premier League The French midfielder has faced accusations of spending too much time on social media and colouring his hair and losing focus on his football Paul Pogba has been urged by Manchester United legend Bryan Robson to cut out the social media “banter” and focus on doing his “job”.The France international has faced plenty of criticism this season for his off-field activity, with the 25-year-old accused of spending too much time on social media and colouring his hair.His value to the cause at Old Trafford has been called into question as a result, with Jose Mourinho having opted to bench the £89 million midfielder at times. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Robson is among those who believe Pogba needs to start focusing more on his football in order to deliver on his potential, with it important for him to recognise that he is a sporting star first and global celebrity second.The former United captain told Off the Ball’s Football Show: “He’s on there [social media] a lot and he’s laughing and joking.“He likes to be in that limelight, coming across that he’s a laid back character and he’s jovial and he wants a bit of banter with the fans.“For me though, it’s a little bit too much. You need to win.“It’s not a game, so that’s where somebody like myself, Roy Keane and Graeme Souness, those sorts of people, a Gary Neville when he’s commentating, we understood that.“This isn’t a game, this is our living and we need to win and I think Paul’s got to get that a bit more into his character. This is a job.”Paul Pogba must do his job Bryan RobsonPogba was recently blasted by former France international striker Christophe Dugarry for being “not serious” and indulging in too many “stupid things” away from the pitch.The all-action midfielder responded to those barbs by producing a talismanic performance for his country in an international friendly clash with Russia which saw him score and assist for the first time for his country.He was also returned to the United starting XI for the meeting with Swansea on Saturday, and helped the Red Devils to a comfortable 2-0 victory at Old Trafford.last_img read more

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The Texas-Maryland Game Has Now Been Suspended

first_imgA closeup of Texas Longhorns coach Tom HermanAUSTIN, TX – SEPTEMBER 02: Head coach Tom Herman of the Texas Longhorns watches players warm up before the game against the Maryland Terrapins at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on September 2, 2017 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)The Texas-Maryland game is shaping up to be one of the best games of Week 1 – the Terrapins just took the lead late in the second half – but we’re not going to be getting any football at FedEx Field anytime soon.The game between the Longhorns and the Terps has been delayed due to weather.There are serious thunderstorms in the area. Anytime lightning is spotted, the game has to be delayed for at least 30 minutes.“BREAKING: Due to lightning in the area the @TerpsFootball vs. Texas game is currently in a weather delay,” Maryland announced.BREAKING: Due to lightning in the area the @TerpsFootball vs. Texas game is currently in a weather delay.— Terps Gameday (@TerpsGameday) September 1, 2018This is at least a 30-minute delay.This is the second major college football game to be delayed this afternoon. The Ohio State-Oregon State game was delayed for about an hour due to rain and lightning.Ohio State and Oregon State are back underway on ABC. The Buckeyes are blowing out the Beavers.Texas and Maryland, meanwhile, are playing on FOX Sports 1. It’s shaping up to be quite the finish.Stay tuned for more weather updates.last_img read more

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