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ARRI Conquers the Academy Awards. RED? Not so Much.

first_imgARRI was the camera of choice for a majority of the 2015 Oscar nominees, while RED was noticeably absent for the second straight year. Let’s take a look at the major award categories and see who shot on what.Oscar night is always full of revelations and bombshells, but one of the evening’s most interesting surprises was in the hardware representation category. Out of all the nominated films, Richard Linklaters’s Boyhood was the only film to not utilize ARRI gear – and RED was totally absent for the second year in a row. Let’s take a look at the major categories and find out what films were shot on what cameras.Best PictureAmerican Sniper: ARRI  Alexa XTBirdman: ARRI  Alexa M, ARRI  Alexa XTBoyhood: Moviecam Compact, Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2The Grand Budapest Hotel: ARRICAM STThe Imitation Game: ARRICAM LT, ARRICAM STSelma: ARRI ALEXA XT PlusThe Theory of Everything: ARRI ALEXA, ARRIFLEX 16 SR3 Whiplash: ARRI ALEXA, Canon EOS 7DBest DirectorBirdman: ARRI ALEXA M, ARRI ALEXA XTBoyhood: Moviecam Compact, Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2Foxcatcher: ARRIFLEX 235, Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2The Grand Budapest Hotel: ARRICAM STThe Imitation Game: ARRICAM LT, ARRICAM STBest CinematographyBirdman: ARRI ALEXA M, ARRI ALEXA XTThe Grand Budapest Hotel: ARRICAM STIda: ARRI ALEXA PLUS 4:3Mr. Turner: ARRI ALEXA PLUS, Canon EOS C500Unbroken: ARRI ALEXA XT M, ARRI ALEXA XT Plus, ARRI ALEXA XT Studio, ARRI ALEXA XTBest EditingAmerican Sniper: ARRI ALEXA XTBoyhood: Moviecam Compact, Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2The Grand Budapest Hotel: ARRICAM STThe Imitation Game: ARRICAM LT, ARRICAM STWhiplash: ARRI ALEXA, Canon EOS 7DOf course, while this small sampling of Hollywood talent chooses to work with ARRI, RED is still a beloved go-to tool for filmmakers like Peter Jackson, David Fincher, and Steven Soderbergh. And with the recent announcement of the upcoming WEAPON upgrade, next year’s list of Academy Award nominees might have you seeing RED.Do you have any opinion on the RED vs ARRI debate?Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.last_img read more

Plant releases its pollen in the full moon

first_imgFull moons are often thought to be a catalyst for romance. Something about that dim white light in the dark sky has for centuries inspired humans to compose sonatas, paint pictures, and explore the cosmos. But it seems we’re far from being the only organisms inspired by the moon’s beauty. A new study, published online today in Biology Letters, suggests that a small scrubby shrub called Ephedra foeminea releases its pollen only when the moon is full.Found on cliffs, ravines, and bare rocks from Italy to Yemen, Ephedra is a gymnosperm, meaning, like pine trees, it houses its reproductive structures within cones. Some varieties depend on wind to spread its pollen around, but others form pollen drops to attract flies and moths. What scientists didn’t know was precisely when—or how—insect pollination took place.The realization that E. foeminea waits for the full moon came almost by accident. In the summer of 2014, Stockholm University botanist Catarina Rydin and her team traveled to the Balkans to study why some lineages of the plant had switched from wind to insect pollination. But they arrived too early in the summer and couldn’t find any actively pollinating plants. Looking over past records and other literature, Rydin realized that many pictures of the plant’s pollen-laden droplets oozing out from their tiny cones were beautifully lit by moonlight. “I am not sure why, but all of a sudden we experienced a eureka moment!” she says.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Just a few weeks later, on the night of a full moon, E. foeminea shrubs in the study area began to release drops of pollen-rich fluid. The sugary liquid is especially attractive to a host of nocturnal flies and moths, many of which are known to navigate using the polarized light from the moon. Rydin and her team thus speculate that Ephedra evolved to release its pollen when the moon was brightest so that its pollinators could be as efficient as possible. “It’s an interesting study. I think that there’s a clear correlation there,” said Chris Cutler, an entomologist at Dalhousie University, Halifax, in Canada.The researchers then went back to analyze historical data on E. foeminea’s pollination periods in previous years and compared them with lunar cycles from the same year. After controlling for fluctuations in temperature and precipitation, the team found that 2014 was not an anomaly: The shrub appeared to be consistently entering its weeklong pollination phase on the night of the full moon in July. To further bolster their theory, the team looked at species of Ephedra that are pollinated by wind and discovered that these close relatives did not appear to sync their pollination phases with the lunar cycle.It seems odd that a plant would forego pollination opportunities while waiting for the moon to reach its maximum size, and indeed, full-moon pollination has garnered justified skepticism before. But Rydin points out that the cost of producing pollen is high enough that Ephedra might conserve energy for the July full moon, which stays in the sky longer than partial moons. “We think it is all about maximizing the efficiency, not only regarding the preciseness of pollinator navigation and attraction to the cones, but also in terms of number of efficient dark hours. Only at full moon do the insects have a moon to navigate by during the entire night.”How the plants sense the full moon remains a mystery, but Rydin’s early guess is that they are actually aware of the minute differences in tidal force that the moon exerts on Earth. The moon’s orbit is elliptical, meaning that at some points it’s closer to our planet than others, causing its gravitational pull to fluctuate ever so slightly. How the plants might perceive such miniscule forces is unknown, but Rydin hopes to get a chance to investigate further. Likewise, an investigation into the insect species might help shore up the findings. “I think what’s needed next is to find what the insect fauna is in those habitats and if they have cyclic activity with full moons. That’s the missing link so far with the paper,” Cutler says.The other possibility is that Ephedra is detecting the moonlight itself. But this theory presents its own challenging questions. How does the plant differentiate between moonlight from an almost full and a truly full moon? What happens if it’s cloudy on the night of the full moon in July? Oddly enough, the second question is hard to answer using historic data because the weather in Ephedra’s distribution region is so mild, and cloudy summer nights are so rare.Whatever the case, the result is spectacular: Amid the moon’s cool glow, thousands upon thousands of silvery droplets coalesce on Ephedra’s cones to reflect the moonlight into the compound eyes of passing insects, signaling the start of a weeklong feast for the arthropods and another mating season for E. foeminea.*Correction, 2 April, 1:07 p.m.: An earlier version of this article stated that Ephedra was a flowering plant, when, in fact, it is a gymnosperm.last_img read more

CBI begins probe into MP compensation cheque scam

first_imgThe CBI has registered a case to probe alleged fraud in claiming compensation running into crores through forged cheques, in connection with the land acquired for a project linked to the Bargi Dam in Madhya Pradesh. The State government had referred the case to the CBI in September 2018. 10 accounts in PSU banksTen accounts opened in the State Bank of India, UCO Bank, Bank of Baroda and the Union Bank, which were used by those involved to get the money transferred from the exchequer, have been identified so far. While nine of them were purportedly in the name of individuals and residents of Katni, one was in the name of “Green View”.The case was initially registered at a police station in Katni in November 2017, after receipt of a complaint from the Land Acquisition department that more than ₹4 crore had been fraudulently withdrawn using cheques bearing forged signatures of the official concerned.As it turned out, in July 2016, 26 cheque books were issued to the department concerned for the purpose of giving compensation to people whose land was acquired. While some were used, the others remained in the department’s custody.However, after the fraud was detected, the officials came across evidence indicating that duplicate cheques had been issued, as the department had later started paying compensations through Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS). Such cheques were allegedly used with forged signatures of the authorised official to withdraw funds.last_img read more

Sachin Tendulkar bats for UDRS

first_imgStar Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar on Thursday said that he was not against using the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) and he believed that it was beneficial for cricket. Video However, he did feel that the UDRS would be more effective with the support of snickometer and hotspot technology. He said the use of these two, along with the UDRS, would give more consistent results.”I am not against DRS, but I feel it will be more effective with the support of the Snickometer and Hot Spot technology. This will give more consistent results,” said Tendulkar. The Master Blaster said that Hawkeye, another technology in use to assist the umpires, was not always foolproof in judging the line and bounce of the ball. Ever since the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has consistently refused to use the UDRS in a bilateral series, rumours have been afloat that it was being done because some of the senior players, including Tendulkar. India’s refusal once again against its use in the crucial series against England, which begins in July, has drawn widespread criticism from the English players as well as its media. In fact, even the former World Cup winning coach of India, Gary Kirsten, has also been a big supporter of the system. It was during his tenure that Team India first expressed its reservations against the referral system. Kirsten, who is currently the coach of South African, was vocal in his support to the UDRS and called it a great system time and again. He also went on to mention how the UDRS helped the umpires achieve a higher level of consistency and hence deserves its place in the international stage.advertisementlast_img read more

PBA D-League: Go for Gold-CSB thumps Batangas-EAC

first_imgView comments The Scratchers lost their early 17-point lead, 28-11, as the Generals fought back in the second quarter to end the half up 47-41.This blown lead drew the ire of Scratchers head coach Charles Tiu, who blasted his players for playing lackadaisical basketball.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“I am not happy, we’re up by 17 and they think they’re that great,” said Tiu. “We almost lost this game.”The two sides went back-and-forth until midway of the fourth quarter until Prince Carlos broke the 84-84 tie with back-to-back three-pointers to give Go for Gold-CSB a 90-94 lead with 5:08 left to play. Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte With Popovich ejected in first minute, Nuggets blow past Spurscenter_img PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Justin Gutang and Roosevelt Adams then took over for the Scratchers in the final minutes.The Scratchers improved to a 2-3 record for the sixth spot in the Aspirants Group while the Generals dropped to a 1-4 card for the eighth seed.Gutang led Go for Gold-CSB with 20 points, eight assists, and six steals while Adams had 18 points and 12 rebounds.Allen Martin had 17 points for Batangas-EAC while Clark Derige added 13 points and seven boards.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess MANILA, Philippines—Go for Gold-College of St. Benilde lost a big lead but promptly recovered to blast Batangas-Emilio Aguinaldo College, 102-87, in the 2019 PBA D-League Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games messlast_img read more

Standhardinger nails dagger vs former team as NorthPort stuns San Miguel

first_img“At least, for now, we’re inside the magic circle of eight teams that will make the playoffs,” said NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio in Filipino. “Had we lost, we would have been stuck at the bottom with the teams at 2-5.”NorthPort needed every bit of contribution from its roster to counter the 57-point night of San Miguel’s Dez Wells. Wells, however, ended up gasping in the stretch, missing crucial shots that allowed the Batang Pier to assemble that game-clinching 10-2 run.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGreatest ever?SPORTSFormer PBA import Anthony Grundy passes away at 40SPORTSSan Miguel suspends Santos, Nabong, Tubid indefinitely after ‘tussle’ in practice“This was the team that kicked us out of last conference when we fell short,” said Jarencio. “So this one’s for the management and fans.” MOST READ Becoming his own man After disappointing season, Ahanmisi vows to go all out for Adamson in final year Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:33Leo Austria, SMB wary of ‘more experienced’ Hotshots ahead of PBA Finals rematch00:50Trending Articles02:11Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:38‘Bato’ to be ‘most effective’ CHR head? It’s for public to decide – Gascon02:07Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal01:28Ex-President Noynoy Aquino admits contracting pneumonia00:45Aquino agrees with Drilon on SEA games ‘kaldero’ spending issue Someone from the Philippines could win a $208 million jackpot this week! Canadian vaping study details danger from ‘popcorn lung’ chemical DTI creates Marahuyo, a luxe Filipino fashion brand for global buyers Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Now Northport big man Christian Stanhardinger faces his former team. PBA IMAGESMANILA, Philippines–Christian Standhardinger provided more than just the drama, knocking down the dagger shot in a killer endgame run by NorthPort, which fashioned out a 127-119 stunner over fancied San Miguel Beer on Wednesday night in the PBA Governors’ Cup at Cuneta Astrodome.Standhardinger’s basket highlighted the brief but telling run that the Batang Pier used to notch their third victory in seven games. But he wasn’t the only key to the win as new import Michael Qualls, Jervy Cruz, Kevin Ferrer and Nico Elorde all contributed to hand San Miguel just its second loss in seven outings.ADVERTISEMENT Matteo Guidicelli had saved up for Sarah G’s ring since 2014? LATEST STORIES This jewelry designer is also an architect Duterte calls himself, Go, Cayetano ‘the brightest stars’ in PH politics Ethel Booba on SEA Games cauldron: ‘Sulit kung corrupt ang panggatong’ View comments Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more

Colgate Scholarship Offer- A small step towards your child’s bright future!

first_imgColgate-Palmolive India Limited, the market leader in Oral Care in India, has launched its annual Colgate Scholarship Offer. As a part of this limited-edition offer, valid till July 31, 2017, Colgate is offering more than 300 scholarships worth more than Rs 52 lacs, to help children take small yet meaningful steps in fulfilling their dreams.Since its launch in 2009, Colgate’s Scholarship Offer has been contributing to the lives of children by giving them and their families a future to smile about. So far, the programme has enabled more than 1000 Indian families, from across 100 cities, to give their children a bright future – be it in dance, sports, music, or academic educations.The 2017 Colgate Scholarship Offer has more than just scholarships to offer.While purchase of the product is not mandatory to participate in the scholarship offer, those  who buy a pack of Colgate Dental Cream (100g and above) also get a free one-month video tutorial subscription, worth Rs 999 each, of BYJU’S – the education app for school students best known for its maths and science lessons.To make education accessible for everyone, Colgate along with BYJUs has created special audio lectures for the deserving little ones who cannot access the app. To know more rush to your nearest store and pick your pack today!On this occasion, Mr. Issam Bachaalani, Managing Director, Colgate-Palmolive (India) Limited said, “The Colgate Scholarship Offer is one of the many Colgate initiatives meant to give children and their families a future they can smile about.Since the launch of this annual programme in 2009, Colgate has tried, in a small way, to impact the lives of Indian families across 100 cities. That, has been a motivation for us to scale up the program this year, by not only providing more scholarships but also by partnering with BYJU’S, the Education Platform so that each pack of toothpaste offered free access to BYJUs content for a month — an offer worth Rs 999.”advertisementCommenting on this partnership, Byju Raveendran, Founder and CEO, BYJU’S said, “At BYJU’S, our main focus is to make learning accessible, effective, engaging and personalised for everyone. Our learning programmes have been designed to address the gap in the way in which students learn concepts today and how it can actually be learnt.”About BYJU’SBYJU’S is India’s largest Ed-tech company and the creator of India’s largest K12 learning app which offers highly adaptive, engaging and effective learning programmes for students in classes 4-12 (K-12) and competitive exams like JEE, NEET, CAT, IAS, GRE and GMAT. Launched in 2015, BYJU’S has become the preferred education app for students across age groups.About Colgate-Palmolive (India) LimitedColgate-Palmolive (India) Limited is India’s leading provider of scientifically proven oral care products with multiple benefits at various price points.last_img read more

Atal Bihari Vajpayee: The personal side of the poet-politician

first_imgIn tandem: Atal Bihari Vajpayee with L.K. AdvaniPolitics seems to be an accidental vocation for India’s most popular politician. At times it seems as if he is the most suppressed poet in the world, yearning for the moment when verses will redeem him. There was such a moment on Christmas,,In tandem: Atal Bihari Vajpayee with L.K. AdvaniPolitics seems to be an accidental vocation for India’s most popular politician. At times it seems as if he is the most suppressed poet in the world, yearning for the moment when verses will redeem him. There was such a moment on Christmas, which also happened to be his 79th birthday.Vijay Goel, the minister of state for sports and a known Vajpayee-ite, organised a poets’ meet in Delhi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee was not supposed to be there. The night fog in the capital ensured that the prime minister cancelled his Jaipur holiday and got a place for himself on the poets’ dais.The poet was not in a mood to read; he was as hazy as the evening, that too despite a maudlin recital by former prime minister and current painter and poet Vishwanath Pratap Singh. But conspicuous was the little book with flagged pages that Vajpayee carried.And the poet couldn’t resist when the pressure from the stage was too much. The rest was verse and better and Vajpayee concluded on an upbeat note: “Geet naya gata hoon (I sing a new song).” That could very well have been the theme song of India in the year 2003.Gentle rivals: A.B. Vajpayee with Sonia GandhiArbiter of National MoralityVajpayee certainly was the most sung leader of the year, a permanent headline. In politics he was the Teflon premier: scandal was always the other. As arbiter of national morality, he was for the fair distribution of justice, and it was politically rewarding too, as in the shame of Dilip Singh Judev and in the fall of Ajit Jogi.advertisementIn economics, the Hindu nationalist party in power didn’t mean the Hindu rate of growth: in five years foreign exchange reserves have grown from $31 billion to $100 billion, and the average growth has been more than 5 per cent. The Sensex is touching 6000. In foreign affairs, India further caught up with the world.As prime minister, Vajpayee has made 30 foreign visits so far (as against 40 domestic trips in 2003 itself and 250 since 1998), and received 102 dignitaries from abroad. The baggage of anti-Americanism had already been discarded, and in 2003, India reached out to China and Russia with a renewed sense of engagement. Be it Moscow or Beijing, Vajpayee had an easy rapport with his counterparts.The leader from what Bill Clinton once termed one of the most dangerous places on earth was a sobering presence of wisdom. He made news and he shaped news. And no politician in India today can sing of hope with such conviction – and sound so convincing.At a time when popular faith in a politician is touching a new low, he is liked and loved, that too from a party that has not fully recovered from an image crisis. In a country where leaders are either admired or feared, Vajpayee has that rare distinction of being feted in mass affection. And it is not because of his poetry but his politics.Six years in power and as young as 79 he still looks the only leader India has at this moment, within and without BJP, who can sing a new song for a country where half the population is in their 20s.He exudes stability and ensures confidence. He is Mr Moderation in a parivar of religious extremists and ideological adventurers. Vajpayee prevails by virtue of being a family member with a mind of his own, a mind that plays havoc with those who are at the receiving end.This prime minister has made duality a political philosophy. He says one thing and it means two things. Or more. It confuses as well as enlightens. It confounds as well as clarifies. Take this. The prime minister was addressing BJP members of Parliament sometime in November.Then he dropped this unexpected aside: “Agar koi karvan ko beech mein chhor kar chala jaye to karvan rukna nahin chahiye (Even if someone leaves the caravan midway, the caravan must move on).” The effect was as astounding as the line itself.Was he referring to himself, that the time had come for him to call it a day? That it was time for others to carry forward the good work even if he was not there? Or, was it something more sinister? Something like: We are not going to be dictated to by the allies; we won’t let ourselves be blackmailed by you; please go if you can’t tolerate us. Allies in Chennai and elsewhere could not have missed the message, even if it was in Hindi.Leader as Unifier, Coalition as DharmaadvertisementFair play: A.B. Vajpayee kicks off the National Football LeagueStill the singular achievement of this duality is peace in Hindutva’s battlefield. He is the political Hindu for whom religion doesn’t mean the cultural balkanisation of India. He is the Ram bhakt for whom mythology is not the last refuge of the political warrior. True, the idea of Ayodhya is dear to him.As he wrote in his famous musings from Kumarakom in 2001, “… there was no dispute over a Ram temple at Ayodhya being a statement of the national sentiment”. In Vajpayee’s text, it is a national sentiment, not a political sentiment. But the undisputed helmsman of Hindutva has ensured that the national sentiment of India’s first ruling “nationalist” party doesn’t turn out to be a source of national division, that battering Ram is not the ideal God or man.In India 2003, new pillars of hate didn’t soar in Ayodhya. The trident didn’t become the abiding symbol of Hindu nationalism. And Vajpayee didn’t cease to be a Hindu either.In post-Gujarat 2003, the communal faultlines of India were hardly visible in the overwhelming shadow of the Leader. He didn’t let his country fall apart. His leadership is the axis on which India remains intact.No mean achievement in a party where quite a few hawks seek glory in a distant yesterday and nurse scars of history as the birthmarks of a political Hindu. Vajpayee has never been a favourite of Nagpur, the headquarters of the RSS.He is not Hindu enough for the swayamsevaks. The prime minister knows that confrontation is not the way out, but containment is. The grand old man of the saffron parivar is smarter. Madan Das Devi, RSS joint general secretary, at 59, and M. Venkaiah Naidu, the BJP president, at 55, are former ABVP colleagues and get along smoothly.Art of the matterUnlike the prime minister, long-time confidant and Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani has revelled in being an organisation man. It has left Vajpayee free to look at the big picture without getting his hands dirty in petty matters. It works well. If Advani is the organisation’s head, Vajpayee is its heart. In retrospect, the simulated conflict between the vikas purush and the lok purush was a nonissue. In the BJP today there is room for only one param purush, and he also happens to be the vikas purush, literally.In the early 1970s, Devi was the ABVP organisation secretary and Naidu the general secretary. The Class of 70 is in power in the states as well as the Centre. The rise of Devi and Naidu has provided Vajpayee with a politically useful link between Reshmi Bagh in Nagpur and Race Course Road in Delhi. The patriarch uses the generational shift in the family as a personal source of consolidation – and peace.In 2003, the beneficiary was not he alone. India was spared the tyranny of Nagpur that could have spelt division. For a change, the tactics of a politician have become a national blessing. And this unifier has brought in a new coalition dharma in India that has come a long way from the single party domination of the Congress era – or the farce of the centre-leftists.The National Democratic Alliance is unarguably the first functional experiment in unity in ideological diversity. It is a powerhouse of warring egos and exaggerated regional ambitions. It is not the uses of power alone that keep them together.It is the presence of Vajpayee, the benign inclusivist, the human face of Hindu nationalism, the leader whose image is brighter than his party, though he may insist “there is no question of liking me and not my party”. That is not the reality. In the age of political co-habitation, he is the acceptable leader on the right with whom partners are most comfortable.His surprise presence at Murasoli Maran’s funeral was a quintessential Vajpayee gesture, that too at a time when the BJP’s relationship with the DMK was palpably tense. When the BJP had its first tryst with power, the party didn’t have any cultural experience in living with outsiders. No longer.Give the credit to the most acceptable unifier. Unifier as the paramount leader. Vajpayee’s supremacy within the BJP is no longer an accident born out of the conspiracy of situations. It is an inevitability. In retrospect, the simulated conflict between the vikas purush and the lok purush was a non-issue.In the BJP today there is room for only one param purush, and he also happens to be the vikas purush, literally. The deputy prime minister can’t disagree. If there is another power centre in the BJP represented by L.K. Advani, Vajpayee is its official creator. He alone can afford to do that.It is a freedom born out of confidence and an awareness about his own indispensability. This confidence marks his style as prime minister as well. He delegates. He trusts. His colleagues enjoy functional freedom. He forgives, but doesn’t forget. He doesn’t overshadow.He lets in sunlight, and this only accelerates the team spirit. In 2003, the good work of Vajpayee’s team was India’s delight. Still, he could have done more. He had the mandate; his supremacy, within and without the party, was unchallenged. He had grown larger than his party. He could have grown larger than popular expectation. The renaissance man from the right was too gentle to push harder.As he breezes into the year of the big battle, the alternative to Vajpayee is Vajpayee, in the party or outside. The Opposition, read the Congress, doesn’t have a leader or ideas to match him.India’s Grand Old Party has forgotten to counter ideas with ideas, and for the BJP, the biggest idea is the grand old man himself. In one of his poems he writes, “I can see far ahead, I can read the writing on the wall even if I can’t read a palm.” India may not have fully read the writing on the political mind of Vajpayee, but he seems to have read the theme of 2004 and beyond. Politically it could be an extension of Vajpayee 2003.Good Economics as Family ValuesadvertisementIn good company: A.B. Vajpayee has earned the respect of Vladimir Putin and George W. Bush (right)The growth of Vajpayee was not entirely political. For someone who has been caricatured as an economic neophyte, 2003 was truly his annus mirabilis. “There is no conflict between swadeshi and liberalisation.As someone who subscribes to the basic philosophy of swadeshi, I believe in liberalisation,” he once said in an interview. In the past year, Vajpayee as the prime minister of reform was on full display. For Vajpayee though, India’s big six problems of thirst, shelter, education, jobs, electricity and roads are but stanzas of a dismal national saga.Through five years he set up committees and task forces to look for immediate and long-term solutions, for micro and macro strategies. These committees studied interlinking of rivers, creation of low-wage jobs in rural areas, bringing electricity and telecommunication to villages and linking rural India with the rest of the country. His “Connectivity Revolution” has caught the imagination of voters and pundits.The most visible faces of this revolution have clearly been telecom, the comfort of better highways and what villagers have come to dub as NABARD roads (roads funded by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development).In many ways Vajpayee’s economic management is led by a familial statesmanship. He intrinsically believes that people must be able to afford the basics and some happiness in life. This he believes will come through productivity, job growth and competition. But he is not a prisoner of dogma.Despite a growing fiscal deficit he backed Jaswant Singh’s effort to enrich taxpayers and make products cheaper. When industry complained about cost of money, Vajpayee pushed his view. Lower interest rates have boosted consumption, provided cheaper finance for farmers and reduced states’ debt.Through his foreign trips, Vajpayee has chanted the growth mantra and walked that extra mile. When a member country blocked India’s entry to the ASEAN, Vajpayee flew in a senior minister to sort out the issue. If India emerged as the voice of the developing nations at Cancun it was thanks to his networking with Thabo Mbeki, President of South Africa, Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Chinese Premier Hu Jintao.Of course it can’t be denied that the performance of the economy has not been the best in the past five years. Indeed some would argue that at below 5 per cent across the Ninth Plan it was the worst in two decades. But that is a factor of choice and circumstance. When Vajpayee took over he was denied his first choice for finance minister, Jaswant.But it isn’t just choice, Yashwant Sinha vs Jaswant. What is rarely acknowledged is that the Vajpayee regime has been through the most tumultuous times. Even as the government was being sworn in in February 1998, Asian economies were wrenched by the financial contagion.Then there were the post-Pokhran sanctions, followed by the Kargil war in 1999, the series of natural calamities in Gujarat and Orissa in 2000, the 9/11 effect in 2001 and worst the eight month standoff at the border followed by the worst drought in two decades in 2002. In many ways 2003 is the first year the Vajpayee economy has had to actually perform.At Home in Global ArenaPeace moves: A.B. Vajpayee with Pervez Musharraf at AgraVajpayee’s performance was captivating on the foreign front. Once Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s celebrated spin doctor, seated at a banquet with Vajpayee, leaned across and said to him: “Sir, I would love to work for you.” For a man who made his living by putting words into others’ mouths, Vajpayee’s legendary silences must have opened up entire vistas of “spin” for him.It is clear that Vajpayee does not win friends and influence people through his loquaciousness. Yet most world leaders count him as a friend – Vladimir Putin invited Vajpayee among a select group of world leaders (George W. Bush was the other) for a private dinner in St Petersburg in the summer, while Bush had Vajpayee over for lunch in New York in September, the only head of government to get such an invite.According to officials, at one point Bush turned to Vajpayee and said, almost deferentially, “You are a good man.” After his refusal to send troops to Iraq it was more than good manners that prompted that involuntary admission. For a man who presided over India’s first Hindu nationalist government and was responsible for the 1998 nuclear blasts, it is amazing that Vajpayee retains the impression of being a man of peace.Amazing because his image-building machine is remarkably inept – his media managers keep him away from press interviews so his responses are all written. Rajiv Gandhi and Indira Gandhi were more individualistic in their interactions with world leaders, representing more the family of Nehru rather than a nation.But Vajpayee is the political face of a nation that is stepping into the 21st century with a degree of eclat that wasn’t there before. He heads a nation that is young and, for the first time, on the right side of the technological divide, and a lot of that confidence rubs off.VAJPAYEEISMS “Politics has become a game of capturing power and power is a means of accumulating wealth … no one can point fingers at us on corruption issues. It is our pledge that our life is pure.” on the NDA government, March 29″When we said we will provide one crore jobs in our manifesto, we did not mean that the Government would call one crore people from across the country every year and give them jobs.” reply to Sonia Gandhi, March 4″The Government did not move the Supreme Court on the dispute over a piece of land because of political consideration… Ayodhya issue should be resolved through a court verdict or through talks.” on Ayodhya issue, March 5″Chunav ghoshana patra tatha bhashan apni jagah thik hain lekin sarkar se logon ka anubhav ant mein nirnayak sidh hota hai (In the end governance counts, not election manifestos).” at the BJP national executive meet, April 5″I wonder why I am referred to as the Indian prime minister, not as prime minister. I do not see any other prime minister here. Unless of course you already have a replacement in mind … ” in Malaysia, February”Main sapno ka saudagar nahin hun. Mere paon zameen par theek tarah se jamay huay hain (I do not sell dreams, I keep my feet firmly on the ground).” at a meet in Srinagar, April 20It has affected the way he conducts himself with world leaders. It has also affected the way he has hot-wired Indian foreign policy. “He has few words but they are well-chosen,” say aides. “He absorbs a crisis as much as possible and takes the path of peace and conciliation rather than confrontation.” It is in Pakistan that Vajpayee’s “street cred” is at its highest.The high point was undoubtedly that dappled February afternoon in 1999 when he addressed the Pakistani elite at Governor’s House in Lahore in chaste Hindi and touched the hearts of many Pakistanis.Which is why the current peace initiative with Pakistan rides on his shoulders, just as in July 2001 he preferred to trash the Agra Summit rather than submit to Musharraf’s strange variety of arm-twisting diplomacy. There is that streak of firmness underneath all that conciliation and it is accompanied by a vision of India in the world that is not tied to the coattails of any superpower.In many ways, he is the father of India’s “non-ideological” foreign policy, which, in recent years has reshaped India’s equations with the world with national interest as its central goal.If the nuclear tests were a statement of advancing technology and security concerns, Vajpayee moved swiftly to mend relations with the US – promoting an unprecedented dialogue between trusted friend Jaswant and Strobe Talbott that rewrote the dynamics between the two nations, prompted a Clinton visit in 2000 and even opened up the unmentionables of hi-tech to India for the first time.But if Vajpayee was unstinting in India’s support to Bush’s NMD (National Missile Defense) and the global war on terror, it was with equal conviction that he refused to send Indian troops to Iraq or spare the US on its blind partiality to Pakistan. He moved to embrace Iran after the US had included it in the “axis of evil” and has done business with Myanmar as well, all to further Indian interests.In the face of American criticism, he spearheaded India’s increased presence in Afghanistan and even set up India’s first military base in Tajikistan, especially as the US looks comfortable in its Central Asian abode.He redrafted India’s traditional ties with Russia that were in danger of becoming irrelevant and embraced south-east Asia with a robust initiative. By welcoming Ariel Sharon of Israel in Delhi, he told the Arabs that India’s relations with Israel could not be held hostage to old equations.He was equally at home strutting through the streets of Istanbul and Damascus. But it is with China that Vajpayee showed political finesse. Defying the SARS fear, he landed in Beijing and got Hu to restart the boundary talks, this time through a high level political representative – his trusted friend Brajesh Mishra.In doing so, he formalised India’s unspoken position on Tibet and received the formal nod on Sikkim from Beijing. Vajpayee plays with a tentative style but a sure hand. And through the maze of his diplomatic parleys one pattern is becoming clear – he wants to secure India’s borders.It was an obsession with Jaswant and Vajpayee is not immune to its persuasive logic, which says that to prosper India’s borders needed to be secured. It not only explains his initiatives with China and Pakistan but as the recent crackdown by the Bhutanese Army showed, even on the eastern frontiers.If technology, economics and trade are the ballasts of the new India, Vajpayee wants to give it strategic direction – peace with Pakistan and a UN Security Council seat. That is when India would gain its rightful place in the world.Hopefully he would be able to take India there. In his poetic optimism, “The winds and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators”. If 2003 is any indication, the future holds little worry for the artful navigator.With Shankkar Aiyar, Indrani Bagchi, Rajeev Deshpande and Priya Sahgallast_img read more

World Cup: Argentinian FA sorry for guide on how to talk to Russian women

first_imgThere are more than a few concerns before next month’s World Cup in Russia: the threat of hooliganism, the country’s patchy record on LGBT rights, and the prospect of Russia playing Vladimir Putin at centre-forward. For officials at Argentina’s Football Association (AFA), however, the most pressing issue appears to be how to talk to women.On Tuesday, the AFA held a course for players, staff and journalists about what to expect when they travel to Russia. Among the materials was a manual entitled Russian Language and Culture, which included a chapter on “What to do to have a chance with a Russian girl”. Anyone wanting a chance with a Russian man was left to figure things out for themselves.Setting aside the obvious dubious morals of the whole exercise, it turns out that the manual’s author, Eduardo Pennisi, believes Russian women have the same standards as pretty much everyone else on Earth. Apparently, they like people who are “clean” and smell “good”. Topics Share on WhatsApp “The teacher in charge of the course chose information to give the assistants but regretfully at the moment of printing, because of an unforeseen error a text that was never part of the course was included. The administrative personnel of the department proceeded to remove it immediately. We regret that the error would have obscured the importance of the day’s lesson and the permanent educational activities given by AFA, and expressing our sincerest apologies to those affected by the publication, which in no way reflects the thoughts of the Argentine Football Association or its president Claudio Tapia or any of of his directions.”Pennisi does not offer any advice on whether or not Lionel Messi should play in the false nine role at the World Cup. In another stunning revelation, Russian women like to be treated as human beings. “Russian girls do not like to feel like objects,” reads a passage from the manual, translated into English by Deadspin. “Many men, because Russian women are beautiful, only want to take them to bed. Maybe they want it too, but they are people who want to feel important and unique. The advice is to treat the women who is in front of you with their own ideas and wishes. Pay attention to their values and personality. Don’t ask stupid questions about sex.”Additionally, Pennisi advises Argentinian men to avoid printing out their bank statement on a first date. “Maybe you try to impress her by talking about the money you have, that you know everything, that you are perfect and the others are poor stupid people,” reads the manual. “In the end, if the girl has a little sense, she will bounce you. Be real and talk about you in real terms, talk about your faults in a fun way and about your positive points.”The AFA soon realised they had made a mistake and issued a statement on Wednesday. “After an internal investigation in respect to yesterday’s events during the Russian Language and Culture course, it has been concluded that the materials distributed were incorrectly printed,” read the statement. World Cup 2018: complete guide to all 736 players Nacho Catullo (@nachocatullo)El curso fue hoy en la AFA. Tengo el cuaderno. Nos lo sacaron para cortar esa hoja pero yo la guardé cuando supuse lo que harían. 15, 2018 Share on LinkedIn Reuse this content World Cup 2018 Argentina Share on Facebook Share on Messenger Share via Email news Share on Twitter World Cup Share on Pinterest Read morelast_img read more

Arsenal prioritising top four over trophies – Cech

first_imgPetr Cech admits a top-four finish is the priority for Arsenal this season, but he is hoping a Champions League return can be complemented by major silverware.The veteran goalkeeper is well versed in the art of trophy-collecting, having lifted a number over the course of a distinguished career.He is looking for another winners’ medal to be delivered in 2018-19, in what could be his final campaign with the Gunners as his contract runs down. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Helping the club to recover from a two-year absence from the European elite is the ultimate goal for all concerned at Emirates Stadium, but FA Cup and Europa League glory remain up for grabs.Cech, 36, said of Arsenal’s targets: “Our priority is to get into the top four [so we can] be in the Champions League and then you want to progress and evolve as a club, as a team. “We have a new manager and obviously we set our targets so if we can win a trophy together in the first season it would be a good achievement. “You play every game to win and this time we were in the FA Cup, we have the tradition as a club to do well and if we can win it, we’d like to do so. “It is the same with the Europa League – we started really well and are in the last 32. “These are two targets but the Premier League remains a big objective, to get into the top four.”Ramsey Blackpool arsenal fa cupArsenal kept themselves in the hunt for another FA Cup during their last outing, with a 3-0 third round victory enjoyed over Blackpool.Unai Emery’s side made light work of League One opponents on the day, but it was an eventful trip to Bloomfield Road for the Gunners as they found themselves caught up in the ongoing protests of the home support against owner Owen Oyston.”We started with the guy sitting on our bus,” said Cech.”We had to change the bus. It was one of those things that were aware of and we knew that something might happen. “We tried to concentrate on our game, on our performance and obviously after that you think ‘okay, something might happen during the game’ but we were ready for it. “We knew that we have to concentrate on our performance. We did it really well.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Throttle Jockey: Brassy, classy Blacksquare CB550 bobber

first_imgThere’s no shortage of custom bike builders these days, with custom choppers, bobbers and cafe bikes popping up like mushrooms after rain. Many are simply parts-swap machines with different bars, a custom seat, new paint and some parts lopped off or added to meet expectations of The Look the builder/owner wanted. Others are fantastical creations that rarely turn a wheel on actual pavement – pity, that.Then there are bikes like this Honda CB550 bobber, called Blacksquare, by builder Kyril Dambuleff of New Jersey. One look (fantastic photo gallery shot by Dambuleff above) and you know this is next-level craft. But the story behind the bike may be more fascinating than the machine itself, because Dambuleff isn’t some garage-dwelling gearhead with a ton of free time and customization experience. This is his first custom bike.Long story short: Dambuleff, a long-time rider and man of many talents, bought the low-mile 1977 Honda from a seller on eBay for $900 despite already owning other motorcycles (two BMWs), not because he’s an avid customizer or restorer, but because he didn’t feel he knew enough about… motorcycles.More specifically, Dambuleff wanted a bike to simply tear down so he could really understand how engines worked and how the different systems on a basic motorcycle functioned together.He’s in good company. Many motorcyclists today are about as familiar with the intricacies of their bikes as they are with brain surgery (brain surgeons excepted, of course). New motorcycles today are becoming more and more like new cars: computerized, homogenized, technofied, increasingly sterile. Seems like we only know something is amiss when the well-named idiot light goes on or a message appears in the LCD display. Off to the shop it goes.ABS, EFI, traction control and all the rest are great rider aids and make for amazing performance, but new bikes today aren’t exactly something you strip down in the garage with your own tools like riders did in decades previous. That pre-digital simplicity is what drew Dambuleff to the all-analog CB550, carburetors and all. Building the brass-tinged masterpiece the CB eventually became was not in the plan – at first.I guess I forgot to mention up top that when Dambuleff isn’t figuring out internal combustion processes for fun in the garage, he’s doing expert woodwork, taking magazine-quality photos (film degree: USC), pouring words into his website, or working for GE (science degree) in a very technical capacity. But I digress.Following his Buy It Now moment, the CB (below) arrived on a truck, complete with ape-hanger handlebars, a funky seat, ugly backrest and other modifications that were right in line with its 1970s heritage. But, only 5K miles were on the clock. In other words, a bike literally begging to be taken apart.And come apart it did. Four times in total before Blacksquare was fully realized. Dambuleff said that with the help of a mechanic friend, they took the bike apart for the first time and he began poking about in the heart of the CB550, which he says was chosen for its immediate availability, not because he has a soft spot for old Hondas.Once apart, the mysteries of internal combustion became, well, less mysterious, and when it was time to piece the venerable Honda back together again, Dambuleff decided he’d like to make a few changes, a few… improvements. As anyone who ends up sinking a boatload of cash, time, blood and sweat into a bike build can tell you, those are very, very infamous last words.Rather than detail in minute detail how the details of the build came together, I urge you to head on over to Dambuleff’s excellent website dedicated to the bike. Set aside some time. He goes into lengthy but engaging tales of how the Blacksquare came about, from the brass bits to the name (hint here) to how the bike conforms to The Golden Ratio on multiple levels. Like I said, set aside some time. It’s worth it.But, really, why the brass bits? Dambuleff said that, of course, he wanted it for the look, and initially, just the carb bells were brass. But when he ordered a pair of chrome marine spotlights with the intention of using one as a headlight, some polishing indicated that under the chrome plating, the lights were solid brass. It was a fantastic accidental find. He stripped the chrome off one light and installed it as the headlight, and as the build went on, he added more yellow bits, mostly brackets and fasteners, that complimented the headlight and bells, but he also stopped well short of overkill.Now that the Blacksquare bobber is complete, Dambuleff said he isn’t interested in making similar bikes for others and he’s also not interested in selling the Blacksquare, which he says gets plenty of time out on the road. But is the Blacksquare his first and last custom? Definitely not.Following the completion of the Blacksquare bobber, Dambuleff said he took what he had learned from his mechanic friend while tearing down that first engine and got ahold of another CB550 (they’re not exactly rare) and rebuilt its engine from the crank up – solo. So now he’s got another engine and chassis ready to roll, and he’d like to do another build, this time with a smaller tank and other stylistic adjustments that better show off Soichiro’s iconic four-banger.Looks like the Blacksquare is going to get a brother. On the Road with Mikah Meyer, the First Person to Visit Every National Park Site in One Trip If You Haven’t Visited the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, What Are You Waiting For? Indian Motorcycle’s 2020 Scout Lineup Pays Homage to Its 100-Year Legacy Editors’ Recommendations center_img The Custom Indian x Traeger Motorcycle Features a Legit Barbecue Grill Sidecar All photos by and courtesy of Kyril Dambuleff. What Kind of Motorcycle Should I Get? A Comprehensive Guide to Motorcycle Types last_img read more

Tax Credit Ensures a Bright Future for Film Industry

first_imgOur province is one of the most attractive film, television and new media jurisdictions in the country, thanks to the enhancements of the film industry and digital media tax credits, which were announced Dec. 6. The support and incentives offered by the government are essential to maintaining this vibrant and creative industry. Tax credits help make the industry and various regions in Nova Scotia more competitive. The film industry in Nova Scotia is a real success story. For over 25 years, it has brought international attention and acclaim to our province and allowed us to showcase our talent and beauty around the globe through both local and guest production. The film industry is a cornerstone of the creative economy. Hiring local writers, directors, actors, musicians, visual artists, animators, graphic designers, costume designers and more. The industry is also environmentally friendly leaving a smaller carbon footprint than many other traditional industries. Each year, the industry employs about 3,000 people and contributes over $100 million to our economy. Nova Scotia is continually ranked among the largest production centres in Canada. Nova Scotia is home to several educational institutions and training programs that offer programs supporting this industry. Maintaining a strong film industry allows us to keep the graduates of these programs here by providing them with highly skilled and high paying jobs. The Nova Scotia film industry tax credit is a great investment that offers a big return for the province. This labour-based credit creates good jobs and stimulates the economy. On domestic production, for every dollar received from the credit, an additional four dollars is attracted to our region. On foreign productions, every dollar leverages an additional nine. The film industry can help in the quest to bring the province back to balance. It employs Nova Scotians, attracts investment from outside and maximizes the province’s investment into our educational institutions by hiring many of their graduates. The government’s continued support for film industry and digital media tax credits will ensure the film industry and all the benefits it provides will continue to thrive in our province. These programs will create 21st century jobs that will grow the economy. -30-last_img read more

Annual charity lunch with Warren Buffett sells 346 million

first_imgEach year since 2000, bidders have been pledging ever greater sums to have lunch with investment mogul Warren Buffett, with proceeds benefitting one of his favorite charities.The previous 12 auctions have raised over $11.5 million for Glide, a San Francisco non-profit offering innovative programs to poor and marginalized people. The foundation serves 700,000 free meals a year and provides dozens of other social services on a $12 million budget.Last year’s winning bidder – fund manager Ted Weschler – paid $2.63 million for lunch with the “Oracle of Omaha” at the Smith & Wollensky steakhouse in Manhattan. Weschler was subsequently hired by Buffett in September as an investment manager at Berkshire Hathaway.This year 10 bidders entered 106 bids over the five-day auction period. The winning bidder, who has yet to be named, offered $3,456,789.Copyright ©2012Look to the Starslast_img read more

Famous Daves restaurant makes its debut in Canada

first_imgAPTN National NewsA popular American barbeque restaurant has expanded into Canada.Famous Dave’s opened up in Winnipeg.The chain is owned by Dave Anderson, a self made Native American multi-millionaire with an M.B.A. from Harvard.APTN’s Matt Thordarson went down to Dave’s newest location to see what all the fuss is about.last_img

Growth has been strong but productivity still low Bank of Canada deputy

first_imgSHERBROOKE, Que. – Economic growth in Canada has been strong in recent quarters, but significant challenges remain and productivity levels are still well below those in the United States, a senior Bank of Canada official says.Speaking to the Sherbrooke Chamber of Commerce, Bank of Canada deputy governor Sylvain Leduc said Tuesday that productivity growth could be increased by reducing the barriers that future fast-growing firms may face.Leduc says a report from the World Bank noted that Canada is one of the easiest countries to start a business, but he added that it is more difficult for firms to grow beyond a certain point.He says the recent free trade deal with Europe and an agreement earlier this year to help reduce barriers to interprovincial trade are encouraging examples to help firms grow.Leduc said that while about half of new firms close their doors within five years of starting, those that do make a name for themselves tend to grow rapidly and referred to them as “gazelles.”“These young, transformative companies that are growing at dizzying speeds have a good chance of developing new technologies that increase productivity,” he said.Leduc says the pace of economic growth is expected to slow over the next few quarters, but noted it should still exceed that of potential output.“We therefore expect an increase in entry rates and a decline in business exits over the coming quarters,” he said. “Moreover, the contribution of new firms to increasing the productive capacity of the economy could give rise to a virtuous circle of growth.”The Bank of Canada raised its key interest rate target last month for the second time this year following a strong start to the year for the economy.However, governor Stephen Poloz signalled last week that the bank would take a more cautious approach to any future rate hikes.last_img read more

Ronaldo Celebrates Portugals Euro 2016 Qualification with Badr Hari in Marrakech

Rabat – The captain of the Portuguese national team Cristiano Ronaldo was spotted with World Kickboxing champion Badr Hari, in Marrakech late Thursday night, celebrating Portugal’s Euro 2016 qualification.Following his national team’s 1-0 win against Denmark on Thursday, Cristiano Ronaldo flew to Marrakech over an invitation from the Moroccan golden boy Badr Hari to celebrate Portugal’s qualifications to Euro 2016.The Real Madrid star posted a picture of him with two of his friends, sitting on the wing of the jet that flew them to Marrakech. Flying with style.— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) October 8, 2015Ronaldo joined Badr Hari at a fancy night club in the Red City to celebrate Portugal’s victory. A picture of them at the club having a good time went viral on social media.Badr Hari, on the other hand, posted this Friday afternoon a new picture on his facebook page alongside Ronaldo, chilling out at a swimming pool in Marrakech.Multiple media outlets in Morocco speculated that Ronaldo and Badr Hari could attend Morocco’s friendly game against Ivory Coast, this Friday night in Agadir, 205.06 km (127.42 miles) away from Marrakech.Portugal have qualified for UEFA Euro 2016 after defeating Denmark 1-0 in Group I. The decisive goal was scored by Joao Moutinho. read more

Chinese Cultural Understanding Through the Lens of Childrens Books

By Binwei YuRabat – A book donation and book signing event for Chinese writer Yang Peng’s children’s book was held at Les Etoiles Bookstore in Rabat on July 20.The event was opened with a speech from Yang Peng about his view on children’s imagination and reading habits. He stressed the importance of imagination for children and said the way to preserve and develop the imagination is to read more.  Yang Peng’s intriguing account was followed by a speech by the brains behind the event, his 15-year-old daughter Yang Yuchen. Her coherent and moving speech revealed her personal and sentimental interpretation of the meanings of her father’s books, as well as her passion for reading.“A good book is a paradise because, in a book, there is no limitation to one’s imagination. It takes you to a wonderland where you can break free from the bondage of reality and look at things from a different perspective,” said Yang Yuchen as her eyes sparkling.Impressed and inspired by Yuchen’s speech, the Moroccan children at the event bombarded her with questions, including about her writing experiences and her future career plans.Yang Yuchen donated 300 copies of books, written by Yang Peng and translated into French and Arabic, to Moroccan children. The donation included 130 copies to Les Savant Fous and 170 copies to Association Ibtassim as well as participants of the book event. The books include My Dad in A Pocket series and Mickey Mouse Kung Fu.Yang Peng is an award-winning children’s book writer in China. He won the Best Works Award (五个一工程奖), one of the most prestigious literature and arts awards in China, three times, in 1997, 2000 and 2002. He was also the first Chinese writer to sign a publishing contract with Disney. He has published more than 100 books, and 10,000,000 copies of his books have been sold. Yang Peng’s daughter Yang Yuchen is a 15-year-old high school student in New Jersey, USA. She manages a WeChat public account to promote English learning and AI knowledge in China, as well as to fundraise for book donations to Asia and Africa.This charitable and cross-cultural event not only offered Moroccan children options to widen their reading but also brought Chinese culture into Morocco. For example, part of the donation, Mickey Mouse Kung Fu, will expose children to traditional Chinese cultural elements, such as Buddhism, Taoism, and metaphysics, to bring Chinese stories and historical figures to live to readers. The literary and cultural exchange will help Moroccan readers to learn more about Chinese culture, especially the younger generation. read more

Lankans face return or transfer

“If they are entitled to asylum, they will not be able to settle in Australia; they will be settled in PNG.” The Sri Lankans began their enhanced screening as arrangements were finalised for the first transfer of people affected by the post-July 19 regional settlement arrangement to Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.Under new rules announced on July 19, anyone – including a person from Sri Lanka – who arrives in Australia by boat without a visa no longer has the chance to settle in Australia. “The message this agreement sends is clear: the dangerous boat journey is not worth it and you will never settle in Australia,” the spokesman said. “Accommodation is being expanded on Manus Island and there is no cap on the number of people who can be transferred there.” A group of 68 Sri Lankans who recently arrived at Cocos (Keeling) Islands is now on Christmas Island about to begin enhanced screening processes, the Australian High Commission in Colombo said.They face the same assessment process that unauthorised maritime arrivals (UMAs) of Sri Lankan background have since last year when the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) took steps to stem a significant upsurge in boat arrivals from Sri Lanka. “If they are not quickly returned to Colombo, they will be taken to Papua New Guinea where their claims will be assessed,” the spokesman said.The prime ministers of Australia and Papua New Guinea signed the new agreement, meaning all people arriving by boat without a visa from July 19 will be sent to Papua New Guinea, where their claims will be assessed.If people are found to be refugees, they will be permanently settled in Papua New Guinea – not Australia. Almost 1300 Sri Lankans have been sent home since August 2012 – nearly 1100 of them involuntarily.“These arrangements will continue and if they do not have proper asylum claims, people will be quickly returned to Sri Lanka,” the spokesman said. “This is making it clear that those who pay smugglers are throwing their money away and risking their lives in the process.” (Colombo Gazette) “Those who are screened out will be returned to Colombo as soon as possible, often within days,” the Australian High Commission in Colombo qouted a DIAC spokesman as saying. “If any of the group is screened in, they will not come to Australia for assessment; they will be among the first Sri Lankan boat arrivals sent to Papua New Guinea for processing. read more

Two Divisions Compete at Castle Dale Elementary Spelling Bee

By Julie JohansenCastle Dale Elementary divided its recent spelling bee into two parts; lower grades and upper grades.Winners of the lower grade spelling bee were Alyssa Jorgensen, first; Max Sorensen, second; and Bodee Norton, third. All three finalists are third graders.Following in the afternoon was the spelling bee for fourth and fifth grades. Gordon Cloward finished in first, with Rylan Neff in second and Peyton Sermon in third.Gordon Cloward will represent Castle Dale Elementary at the district bee on Feb. 6 at the Little Theatre in the Spartan Center at Emery High School. The contest will begin at 1 p.m. Lower grade winners Upper grade winners read more