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Australia to Replace UK as Second Most Popular Destination for Foreign Students

first_imgAustralia may soon replace the United Kingdom as the second most popular destination in the world for international students, according to a recent report from the University College London. There has been little growth in the number of international students entering the United Kingdom since 2012, UCL’s Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE) said in a report released on July 19.In terms of total international student numbers in tertiary education, Australia may have surpassed the United Kingdom in 2018, and if not, will almost certainly do so in 2019, pushing the UK to the third spot, according to the report authored by Prof. Simon Marginson, Director of CGHE and professor of International Higher Education at the UCL Institute of Education.While the number of incoming international students in the United Kingdom has grown slowly, Australia has experienced a surge over the last few years. In 2015, the UK received over 130,000 more overseas students than Australia. However, Australia has maintained annual growth rate of 12-14 percent in the number of overseas students, which may have propelled it to overtake the United Kingdom.Britain retained its second place at world level in 2015, after the United States, the report said, citing the UNESCO Institute of Statistics data on incoming international students. The rate of growth in 2011-15 was more rapid in the United States than the United Kingdom due to the Obama administration’s open-door policy, the report said. The number of students entering America increased by 198,000, marking a rise of 27.9 percent, during 2011- 15, while the corresponding numbers for the United Kingdom rose by 11,000, an increase of 2.6 percent.The number of international students entering the United States has fallen since Donald Trump became the country’s president. Between 2015-16 and 2016-17, total international students in America increased by 3.4 percent, as compared to successive increases in the previous three years of 8.1, 10 and 7.4 percent.“UK higher education is still highly valued internationally, but the government has held down the growth of international student numbers for five years, by limiting new student numbers and post-study work visas,” Prof Marginson said in a statement. “Meanwhile, competitor nations are strongly promoting their international education.”The position of the United Kingdom depends heavily on student enrollment from the European Union, making it the most attractive destination for European students. This number is likely to fall sharply after Brexit, since students will have to pay full international student fee instead of UK fee.Also, Canada is fast catching up too, benefiting from the slowdown in international student arrivals in the United States. Though it remains behind the United Kingdom, its international student intake is increasing at a faster rate, which may push it to pass the United Kingdom, the report says.The number of Indian students arriving in the United Kingdom has fallen since the post-study work visa was discontinued in 2012. The number dropped by 60 percent from its peak of 23,970 in 2010-2011 to 9,720 in 2016-2017, the Times of India reported.On the other hand, the number of Indian students going to Australia increased to a seven-year-high in 2017, the Australian High Commission in New Delhi said earlier this year. In November 2017, more than 68,000 Indian students were studying in Australia, an increase of 14.65 percent from the corresponding figure of 60,013 last year. In 2016, there was a 12 per cent increase from 2015, according to data from the high commission. Related ItemsAustraliaUnited Kingdomlast_img read more

Vikram Chandra’s Sacred Games

first_imgIt’s been seven years in the making and reportedly bagged a seven figure advance after a heated bidding war on three continents. A $300,000 marketing blitz has spread the word across the literary landscape, and it’s been translated into 11 languages. Now Sacred Games (HarperCollins) by Vikram Chandra is in the hands of readers, all 900 pages of it – a heft that can hardly be supported in the subway or even in bed! Defying and subverting genres, Chandra takes what could have been your regular cops-and-robbers thriller and transforms and reinvents it as high drama, an epic tale, setting it in the complex, frenetic city of Mumbai of the 1990’s.The protagonists set on a collision course are police inspector Sartaj Singh and mafia overlord Ganesh Gaitonde, and the novel is as overpopulated as Mumbai itself with scores of unforgettable characters.Originally Chandra had envisaged the novel at just 300 pages, but as his characters and the machinations of the city took over, the novel took on a life of its own: “What I became really fascinated by was the mesh of this huge network of events and human lives and political agendas and historical forces sort of threading through each other, making this weave, and individual people caught up in this, often being affected by things that were thousands of miles away, and not knowing why.”Desi readers will get a real pleasure out of reading Hindi words peppered through the novel and lots of Bombaiyya slang, which brings the city alive. In fact the book has so much street talk and so many characters that it comes with a glossary and a listing of a who’s who!Chandra did much of his research pounding the pavements of the city and actually meeting with the bhais of the underworld. Was he ever in danger? He says with a disarming smile: “For the most part everyone was very avuncular as in ‘Come, come, sit and have a cup of chai.’ Especially the higher level guys, they operate like they are nationally famous, they operate like corporate heads, and they are interested in spin. It’s not that easy but you can get to talk to some of them. “A lot of the lower level guys were harder to find, because they are always afraid. A lot of them never sleep more than one night in the same place. Everyone was perfectly courteous and invariably the last line was – and I’m translating from Bombaiyya now – ‘If you ever have a problem, come talk to me!’”Chandra is bemused at the interest his research of the underworld has generated, pointing out that a novel is all about the world of imagination: “I think we live in a somewhat confessional age and, like it or not, authenticity is attached to personal experience, but that’s not what writers do. Writers lie for a living. And I think we should remember that!”-Lavina Melwani  Related Itemslast_img read more

Searching For Answers

first_imgAngelina Jolie and Brad Pitt walked the red carpet to flashing bulbs and the cheers of fans at the premiere of A Mighty Heart – Hollywood’s tribute to Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan. The movie is based a memoir by his wife Mariane who was with him in Karachi and was expecting their child at the time. Asra (Archie Panjabi)and Mariane (Angelina Jolie) in A Mighty Heart British Asian actor Archie Panjabi stars as Asra Nomani, a friend and colleague of Pearl at the Journal, with whom the couple stayed in Pakistan and whose Karachi home was turned into a command center in the search for him.The film comes uncomfortably close to real life events that everyone has followed anxiously in recent years. Movies, however, have a way of sorting out everything in two hours and a few bags of popcorn later you have all the answers. But you come out wondering – is it really “The End”? Has Danny Pearl’s murder really been solved? And what about people like Asra Nomani who must now go on with their lives?Little India spoke with the real Asra Nomani, who lives in Morgantown, W.Va. She says, “I do hope people will realize that the story doesn’t end with the movie because we still don’t know who killed Danny, we still don’t know why they killed him. As a journalist, that’s what I’m still interested in and that’s what I’m still working on.”Nomani, who was a Journal journalist for 15 years, is currently a visiting professor at Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies, where she is co-teaching an investigative journalism course, the Pearl Project. The journalist in her is skeptical of commonly held assumptions, including those on Omar Sheikh, the man convicted of Pearl’s murder.“Why did Omar Sheikh’s name not come up at all when Danny went missing in spite of his having kidnapped Americans in the past? When India released Sheikh in the Kandahar hijacking, where did he go?” Nomani asks. “He was wandering the streets of Pakistan in 2002 so he had to have been on somebody’s radar. Did he have a special handler in the Pakistani intelligence that was his contact? Because as journalists, it’s not good enough to just assume he had links to the ISI.”And then of course there is the bigger picture, that of endangered journalists in a difficult new world: “Danny would not have wanted us to have been fixated on him, but he became the turning point in the experience of journalists in the 21st century – and now we’re all sitting ducks. In the old days in Vietnam, you had press written across your chest and you were protected, but now it’s like we have a target on our back.“I want to explore the question by understanding Danny’s death and why he had become fair game to so many. It seems a real misunderstanding of journalists and our role in society. There’s a serious distrust of journalists in the Muslim world. What’s the basis of that mistrust and what can we do about it?”On a personal level too, Nomani was really caught in the crossfire, being a Muslim woman who had befriended Pearl, a Jew. Since she was born in India, there were also stories in the Pakistani papers implying that she was an agent for RAW, the Indian intelligence agency.“It was completely hell. I was so naïve I really didn’t understand the political animosity between Indians and Pakistanis,” she says. “I have a family which flows both ways and so I did not know that because I was born in India I would be the subject of mistrust and even conspiracy theories.”As a journalist, she always reported on the news and did not expect to become news herself. But in the Pearl case she was drawn into the maelstrom. She says, “I knew the bias and prejudice in my own communities and that did offend me deeply, but I also knew my parents had raised me with a deeper value system, which had allowed me to even be close friends with Danny.”But there was a price to pay for this friendship and it was a scary time for her family. She recalls: “My extended family couldn’t even call me for fear they would then become suspect. My boyfriend baled out the first day for fear he would be detained or disappear. And at that time I learnt that I was pregnant. It was the last thing I would have expected. It added another layer of trauma, because I had basically lost my boyfriend and I had to make a choice whether to break every tradition in our culture and my religion, and have my child.”At this traumatic time, Nomani realized she had to choose: cave in to her fears or continue to try and find Pearl’s killers. She says, “I knew this was my farz or duty as Danny’s friend, to stand up for him.”It was also a time that she took on another battle, her rights as a Muslim woman. Not only did she decide to have her child as an unwed mother – a virtual taboo in her community, but she also started questioning her position as a woman in the Islamic world. Why did women have to take a backseat even in a dialogue with the Almighty? Her father had helped found the mosque in Morgantown, but the Wahhabian influences there did not permit women to use the front door; they had to enter from the back and sit in the secluded balcony. They were not allowed to participate, but rather had to send their questions through a child to the mosque elders.While researching her book, Standing Alone in Mecca: An American Woman’s Struggle for the Soul of Islam, she visited Saudi Arabia, which was an eye-opener for her. In spite of Saudi Arabia being the home of puranitical Wahhabism, she found women could enter the most sacred mosque in the Muslim world through the front door. She also participated in the ancient ritual at Mecca where she got to follow, as every pilgrim does in the footsteps of Hajjar, the wife of prophet Abraham, who ran to search for water for her son Isma’il.“We as women are not allowed to run now, because the Saudi law forbids it because it’s too titillating to see a woman running, so all we can do is walk slowly or maybe a little faster than slow,” she says. “For thousands of years women have been running in Hajjar’s footsteps, and now women can’t run? There should be equal opportunity for faith and it’s easier not to take a position, but it was a time when I felt I had to.”Nomani took the most difficult steps in her life and actually walked in through the front door of the mosque in her community and insisted on staying over objections. It’s been a lonely fight, but she finally prevailed.As a Muslim feminist, she has now made it her mission to see that women get a role in Islam by reinterpreting the faith. She believes that Sharia laws are not divine wisdom, but just man’s interpretation of theology and laws.“So I say we can touch it – it’s not untouchable – and we have to, because Sharia is used by people for atrocities, as a cover for intolerance,” she observes. “We know it’s the same in Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and even Buddhism. I realized these interpretations were having an affect on our lives: I might not have had my son had I believed in these laws. If my parents had believed in these laws, I might not have had this beautiful child.”She adds, “It was because of people who believed that it was acceptable in Islam to kill a Jew and an American that Danny was murdered. That’s when I realized we had to stand up and that’s partly why it’s taken me this much time to come to the point of the investigation. I feel like I have now stood up strong in my community and I feel I’ve challenged it and that these men don’t define Islam.”Nomani, who grew up till the age of four in Hyderabad, believes that living in that city with people of many faiths and communities influenced her parents’ world view. While she had the same conflicts many second generation Indian Americans have with immigrant parents, such as not being able to go to the prom, she was given many opportunities.Her Muslim parents were open to many things: they allowed her to run track, attend graduate school and become a journalist – all difficult choices for a woman in a conservative Muslim family. She says, “Ultimately my parents freed me from so much without my even knowing it. In that way my parents really didn’t put barriers – they were always kind.”Being brought up as an Indian Muslim was always tied to the experience of living with different faiths and an openness to other viewpoints. Says Nomani, “I feel we’ve now slipped backward – growing up, there wasn’t any divide. Wahhabi ideology seems to imply that Indian Muslims are not authentic, but I believe when we practice this kind of tolerance and pluralism we are more authentic to Islam’s ideals.”For Nomani, whether it’s Pearl’s murder or the issues in her own life as a Muslim woman, it all comes back finally to who gets to be the interpreter of religion. She says, “It’s essentially a war of ideas and I’m going to fight for my view of what Islam should look like.” Related Itemslast_img read more

Tribal Instincts

first_imgAs she strolls down Dadabhai Naoroji Road in Mumbai, Aussie Marion Whitta gets a tap on the shoulder from a tall Indian fan. “I bought Dianetics (the first book of a post-modern faith called Scientology) in 1987 in Melbourne,” he says. He is in a yellow polo shirt inscribed with the Scientology logo on the back. He walks with her for about 50 paces, interrupting the conversation she is trying to have with friend. He recounts the moment he first encountered Scientology, never once wiping the loyal puppy-dog grin off his face.Whitta, who is over 50 and has a smoker’s husky voice, is a leader of Scientology and a veteran at handling the Scientology fan base. She tells this reporter the gushing gratitude of the devout, “happens to us all the time.”The late L. Ron Hubbard founded Scientology in the 50s. Hubbard was investigated by U.S. government agencies for fraud and Russell Miller, who wrote an unofficial biography on Hubbard, described him as “one of the most successful and colorful confidence tricksters of the twentieth century.” Over the decades, Scientology has amassed numerous fans and controversies. Today, it is best identified as Tom Cruise’s religion. Scientology trainers from France and the United States practice Scientology techniques on a Mumbai resident. The trainers incite reactions from the student through taunts and insults with the aim of helping student maintain their peace and composure in the face of adversity.To promote the ideas of Scientology in India, scores of its prophets, from countries like America, France and Australia, have landed in Mumbai to officially introduce their brand of fool-proof “science” of self-improvement. They haven’t set up an official church in Mumbai yet, but the Church of Scientology has operated in Delhi for some time. There are other Scientology branches or “missions” in Patiala, Mysore and Kolkata, where training is conducted.Scientologists count between 4,000 to 5,000 Indians as members, most of whom have been impressed by the all-souls-compatible philosophy of the religion – you don’t have to renounce an old faith to become a Scientologist. It works as a complimentary religion that supplements a person’s faith. As a religion, it “provides exact principles and practical technology for improving self-confidence, intelligence and ability,” according to its official book, What is Scientology, a 1000-page tome weighing 7 lbs.It’s basically a self-improvement scheme that allows people to “become more themselves,” says Whitta. But Scientologists don’t usually offer a direct understanding of what it is. Scientology trainer, Felix Lange, a boyish, blond man from Germany with innocent eyes says, “When I’m asked what it is, I usually ask the other person about himself, ask about what’s going on in his life and find out which issues he is dealing with. Scientology can help you with those, I say.”The core fundamentals of the ideologies put forth by Hubbard in Dianetics are derived not from divine inspiration, but from bits and pieces of religious texts and world study, stitched together by the former writer of science fiction novels. The four trainers and their leader, Whitta, who are in India to spread the word, have reached out to the Bombay Municipal Corporation staff (Mumbai’s version of city council), various branches of the fire brigade and Jai Hind College among other organizations.Scientology offers many courses, whose de scri ptions read like the wish-lists of people afflicted with a common problem known as “living life.” Everyday problems can be solved, like achieving new levels of practical life abilities, communication, concentration, stress-reduction, studying, etc. The Super Power course promises, “Twelve individual rundowns can put a person into fantastic shape unleashing the Super Power of a Thetan.” The New Life Rundown course will, “address the main block or the area of irrationality. It can bring a new start, a new viewpoint of sanity and rationality.”The first step in becoming a Scientologist is to read Dianetics, a book that includes the understatement: “This volume has made no effort to use resounding or thunderous phrases, frowning polysyllables or professorial detachment. When one is delivering answers which are simple, he need not make the communication any more difficult than is necessary to convey the ideas.” A Scientology trainer from Germany practices a hands on healing technique on a Mumbai Scientology member The next step is to undergo “auditing,” a name given for one-on-one therapy sessions. Through working out negative memories from the past, one moves from a state of “pre-clear” to “clear” in about a year’s time with an investment of about Rs 14,000 ($350) to Rs 22,000 ($450), says Shalini Sharma of the Delhi centre. A pre-clear is someone who still has a “reactive mind,” someone who is sensitive to negative experiences and reacts accordingly. A clear is someone who no longer has the “reactive mind.” Next step is becoming an “operating Thetan,” one who invests much more to achieve “total freedom,” a state not unlike experiencing enlightenment. With “total freedom” an operating Thetan is “able to control himself and his environment, he becomes more powerful, stable and responsible,” according to Scientology’s texts.When the yellow uniformed disseminators of information aren’t flitting around town, headed to various training locales, they conduct training on themselves, and on drop-in groupies in a small windowless room in a nonde scri pt hotel in the Fort neighborhood of Mumbai. The room is also where the prophets are staying.People like 24-year-old Sonia Makwani are here through word-of-mouthreferral. She is the founder of NGO, Touch One Life, who has completed courses in holistic healing, has a master’s degree in clinical psychology and a doctorate in hypnotherapy. Then there are people who have accidentally fallen into Scientology, like the 24-year-old drop-out from the University of Pennsylvania who has moved back in with his parents in Colaba. He stumbled upon Scientology in Nariman Point one day when its apostles had set up a tent near the fire brigade. “I’ve stayed in the program this far only because nothing has driven me away,” he says with an American accent.Whitta had found Scientology after suffering through debilitating juvenile arthritis. When she was nine, she was walking with the help of a cane, and even moving in a wheel chair. She was in and out of the hospital until her mother finally tried Scientology. “All I know is it worked. Scientology worked for me. I walked in with a walking stick and I walked out without it.”The Dianetics book is replete with such stories of triumph. Scientologists also talk fondly of the peculiar, “silent birth” of Suri Cruise, the revered daughter of Katie Holmes and the most famous fan of Scientology, Tom Cruise. Scientologists believe that anything said around a person who is unconscious, whether from an accident, sickness or by the virtue of being in the birth canal, can negatively affect that person, by way of the power of suggestion.The claims of Scientology have long been contested by mainstream science. The French government has been in court battles for years over limiting the practice of Scientology in the country. It wanted to bring Scientology under the arm of legislation it had passed against “fraudulent abuse of a state of ignorance or weakness,” which is punishable with a maximum sentence of a three-year jail term. A Scientologist in that country was recently convicted of involuntary homicide for the death of a member who went into heavy debt from paying for Scientology courses and eventually committed suicide. The faith has also been investigated by the European International Police Organization (Interpol), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S Post Office. In Clearwater, Florida, a wrongful death case against the Church of Scientology for the death of Lisa McPherson, who died of pulmonary thrombosis while under its care, was settled out of court in 2004.The most contentious part of Scientology is that it considers homosexuality a perversion, an incendiary view today in the West. “The sexual pervert (and by this term Dianetics includes any and all forms of deviation like homosexuality, sexual sadism, etc.,) is actually quite ill physically…he is so far from normal and so extremely dangerous to society that the tolerance of perversion is as thoroughly bad for society as punishment for it.” Whitta says in a reassuring tone, “We know how to deal with it though.” Scientologists can audit a pre-clear to reduce the influence of homosexuality in a person. Of course, some argue that it’s Scientologists who need help.   Related Itemslast_img read more

Berry Bitter Harvest

first_imgIndian Canadian berry pickers in farms outside Vancouver work in conditions reminiscent of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, a Canadian Tax Court judge has ruled. “When a 65-year-old grandmother leaves her village in India, travels nearly two days to Vancouver and is hired within a week by a labor contractor who transports her – at dawn and back at night – in a crowded van for up to eight hours a day so she can earn eight hours pay at minimum wage – or less if paid on piece rate – something is radically wrong with certain aspects of the federal family reunification program and also the berry and vegetable industry in British Columbia,” Dwayne Rowe, a Tax Court of Canada judge, said in a ruling.The judge was ruling on an appeal by 75 berry pickers, all Indians, on employment insurance benefits against S & S Harvesting Ltd., in which many workers presented graphic tales of their exploitation as new immigrants by the company. Judge Rowe said the company’s owner Surjit Randhawa exercised “Svengali-like control” over his employees, who treated him as “a god-like figure who had to be obeyed.”  Related Itemslast_img read more

Basting Her Belly

first_imgTop Chef host Padma Lakshmi is unwilling to reveal the identity of the father of her baby, but she is not protecting her belly from prying eyes. “One thing that happens when you’re pregnant is that as your stomach starts to stretch [and] it itches! So I have to keep my belly really lubricated.” To relieve the itch, Lakshmi, who divorced the author Salman Rushdie in 2007, says, “Every morning, there’s a buttering ceremony after I get out of the shower. It’s really like basting a turkey with body butter.”  Related Itemslast_img read more

Mansion Bans Meat

first_imgA vegetarian Australian billionaire has banned workers building his $63 million mega-mansion from eating meat at the construction site.Pankaj and Radhika Oswal’s mansion in Perth’s exclusive Peppermint Grove suburb, when completed in 2011, will be the largest in the country. Radhika Oswal said, “I’m putting my money where my mouth is. I’ve always been a vegetarian so I have always felt strongly about it.”An Australian government official denounced the ban as “absolutely wrong … she’s telling them what they’re going to eat . . . it’s wrong.” The Perth Times reported that, according to one source some workers still ate meat on the site “just to spite them.”  Related Itemslast_img read more

LOOK: Valdez judges fitness contest; Villanueva, AVO impress

first_imgIt seems like Alyssa Valdez, the Philippine volleyball superstar, has been everywhere these days.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa Ateneo rolls to 4th straight win, blanks struggling UP Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving AFP official booed out of forumcenter_img Read Next Valdez on Sunday was among the judges of a fitness competition on Sunday.CONTRIBUTED PHOTOThe 24-year-old Valdez has always been in the limelight ever since her playing days at Ateneo in the UAAP, where she won three MVP awards and led the Lady Eagles to a couple of championships.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutValdez also had stints in Thailand and Taiwan and recently, she’s been appearing on television as segment host of Upfront.But she’s not the only known athlete during the event with volleyball player Amanda Villanueva and cager Arnold Van Opstal also there as participants. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOVillanueva and cager Van Opstal were stars in their own right back in their college days.Villanueva had her moments as part of the Adamson Lady Falcons while Van Opstal helped the De La Salle Green Archers win the UAAP title in 2013.CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Cops linking 2 drug cases to murder of Tagudin judge – CJ Peralta PLAY LIST 01:07Cops linking 2 drug cases to murder of Tagudin judge – CJ Peralta02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:16CJ Peralta says QC judge followed rules in giving nod to raids on militant offices01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding View commentslast_img read more

London Olympics: Though Paes-Vardhan pair is out, they have won hearts with the spirited challenge put up against the French

first_imgAfter all the rancour surrounding selection, it was well worth the wait as Leander Paes and scratch partner Vishnu Vardhan played their hearts out before losing 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-3 to Frenchmen Michael Llodra and Jo-Wilfred Tsonga in the second round on Wednesday night. Up against two strong players, it was all about how the seasoned Leander could guide Vishnu on grass. “Does he have grass court shoes?” Leander had asked after the Hyderabad player had been selected as his partner.On Wednesday, Vishnu showed he had the shoes and the game for grass to compete for a full three sets on a slick surface at the hallowed All England Club at Wimbledon.In fading light, when the dew can be difficult to play on, Leander and Vishnu laboured hard before their exit.”I don’t really feel under pressure when I’m on the court. I really concentrate on trying to get my partner to play his best.Being the first time we have played together as a team, we’ve played a hell of a match. Our first-round match was against some really tough opponents with one player No. 33 (Robin Haase) in the world in singles and the other No. 21 in doubles (Jean-Julier Rojer),” Leander said.”Today, we came up one or two games short against a formidable French team. But I was just talking to Vish during the match and saying ‘can you imagine a third or fourth match playing together?’We have a lot of firepower, but there are still a few things that we have to improve on. We have a big game and I’m very happy about that.”advertisementTalking about the demise of serve-and-volley tennis on grass, Leander said, “The surface has changed a lot over the last decade and the grass has become a lot harder, a lot firmer with the ball bouncing a lot higher.When you hit an approach shot it has to be very good so that you can follow up. The balls are a lot heavier too, hence you find a lot more players playing from the back.”For his part, Vishnu was excited. “Lee and his team have been working on me for the last month-and-a-half. It’s not just an overnight thing.We’ve spoken about strategies and tactics and then the gameplan last night and I cannot thank him enough. He is an amazing leader and this is how a champion is,” Vishnu said.Looking at the future of Indian tennis, Vishnu is one who will be watched with interest. He did well in the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games and he has now learnt valuable lessons from his maiden Olympics.last_img read more

BMW 3 Series GT first drive review

first_imgThe BMW 3 Gran Turismo facelift was big news. Not because of the new LED adaptive headlights, LED tail lights, new wheel design or the subtly redesigned bumpers. It got us excited, since the 3 GT brought back the badge that spelt the poor-man’s M-car – the 330i. Last seen in India on the E90 3-Series from the late 2000s, quite sparingly seen though, the 330i packed the hallmark BMW powertrain, a naturally aspirated inline six sending power to the rear wheels only.Engine:This 330i GT, unfortunately, doesn’t get the inline six. It too is rear wheel drive but it gets a new engine, codenamed the B46, a turbocharged inline four cylinder. That also means BMW has managed to get similar power and more torque out of an engine that’s a litre and two cylinders down on the free-revving six in the E90.Engine response is crisp, right off idle and power comes in strong all the way to the 6,500rpm redline. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)Importantly though, while that engine had been known to deliver fuel efficiency in the low single digits, this car is rated at 15kmpl plus in the ARAI driving cycle. Pretty good news, then? Well, at the time of this issue going to print BMW has quietly introduced this engine in the regular 3-Series sedan too. I’d say that’s even better news.Engine and gearbox work well together to provide thrills behind the wheel. Steering mounted shift paddles are available, in case your chauffer would like more driving involvement. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)Design:advertisementWhat you do get with the 3 GT though is more space – in the boot and in the rear seat. Adopting the notchback design has allowed for more headroom and knee room in the back, along with a rear seat that can recline for extra comfort. Though this F30 generation of 3-Series was never really cramped, the extra space will appease for sure. The 40:20:40 rear seat split, extra 40 litres of cargo space in the boot and the large, intrusion-free boot opening will definitely please too, the only fly in the ointment being that the space saver spare tyre doesn’t really save space in the boot.Luxury Line trim gets the gloss black trim. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)That apart, the 3 GT, as on the earlier model, gets what BMW calls an Air Curtain, vents behind the front wheels that help with the aerodynamics of having a higher roofline.Interiors:The interiors see no major changes in aesthetics, the cabin remains comfortable and you always get the feeling that you’re in something that’s built to last. Equipment levels across variants is notable, with 8-airbags, reversing camera, 9-speaker audio, navigation and electronic safety aids as standard.Updates to the MMI are new to the refreshed car. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)Though the climate control system gets an updated LCD screen and the infotainment system has also been updated to the latest version of BMW’s iDrive and is very intuitive to use. The graphics that have the car roll onto the screen when you change drive modes, are slick. Speaking of drive modes, you can choose from Eco, Comfort, Sport and Sport+.Updates to the climate control are new to the refreshed car. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)Drive Quality:The drive modes alter steering feel, gearbox behaviour and engine response at the pedal. Comfort is where we’ll start, since the overall impression of the 3 GT is that the ride is very, very good, being able to flatten out most road surfaces without upsetting the balance of the car. From Comfort to Sport, there’s a very natural weight to the steering that tightens up as speeds increase, with Comfort obviously offering city-appropriate feel and lightness. The engine response is crisp, right off idle and power comes in strong all the way to the 6,500rpm redline, which for a turbo motor is impressive, as is the raspy sound of the motor.Vents for rear passengers are placed very low to the floor but can be angled upwards to direct air towards the face. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)The eight-speed dual clutch ‘box is impressive helping the car establish the 0-100kmph dash in a claimed 6.1 seconds. We didn’t get the chance to push the car dynamically but mechanical grip from the chassis and 18-inch tyres is confidence inspiring.Verdict:This 3 GT makes a confusing case for itself. It’s got more space and practicality than the 3-Series sedan which makes it a better car to be in the back seat of. But in the 330i spec, it’s proper quick, if a little soft in the handling department. Not to forget, the downside of the practicality is that side profile view. We’d still recommend the diesel powertrain, if you’re more likely to be behind the driver’s seat than behind the wheel.advertisementNotchback design has allowed for more headroom and knee room in the back. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)On the other hand, if you value practicality and you love the thought of a quick petrol Beemer, the 330i GT may be the car for you. Personally… I hear BMW is taking orders for the 330i 3-Series sedan now.ALSO READ:2017 BMW 530d first drive reviewALSO READ:BMW Z4 is fun and interesting little carlast_img read more

ADLINK: fanless Embedded computers with Windows 7 support

first_imgADLINK Technology launched the MXE-1500 Series of fanless embedded computers. The successor to ADLINK’s MXE-1300 Series, the MXE 1500 offers richer I/O interfaces, and more flexible I/O configurations in the same compact enclosure. Intel Celeron(Braswell) processors, Intel’s last generation of CPU to support Windows 7, power the MXE-1500 to a 90% increase in image processing capabilities over the previous generation, and support three independent displays, altogether delivering an unequaled price/performance ratio and making the MXE-1500 an ideal choice for industrial automation applications and mass transit operators.By featuring Intel Celeron N3160/N3060 processors, the latest generation of processors to support Windows 7, the MXE-1500 is able to power upgrades of existing control systems, while maintaining compatibility with existing software, benefiting a wide variety of operating environments.For industrial applications with limited space that still demand rich I/O connectivity, the MXE-1500 Series’ compact footprint offers flexible configuration that dramatically simplifies deployment. Standard interfaces include four COM ports, three LAN ports, six USB (two 3.0 and four 2.0), and one internal USB 2.0 dongle. Users can flexibly choose LVDS or DP ports, and expand up to six COM ports, select optional amplifier, or add TPM2.0 according to specific requirements. This market-leading flexibility fully serves the needs of diverse industrial applications such as factory, machine, and logistics automation, enroute information systems, station gate controls, ticket vending machines, and many others. The MXE-1500 can further be quickly configured with isolated modular DC power supply to satisfy application requirements for maritime computers.Based on the Intel Celeron N3160/ N3060 processor, the MXE-1500 series can support three independent displays. In addition, the graphic performance of quad core N3160 SoC processor has increased by 90% compared to the previous generation Intel Atom E3845 processor and the computing power has increased by 20%. As for mass transit operators, the MXE-1500 is definitely the ideal choice offering great performance at value price.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Boards & Modules Continue Reading Previous ST: single-chip three-phase and three-sense BLDC driverNext Kontron: COM Express Type 6 module with 8th Gen Intel Core/ Xeon E processorslast_img read more

Zimbabwe Cricket decide not to renew staff contracts, players to be paid later

first_imgZimbabwe Cricket is currently facing a crunch financially and hence has decided not to renew the contracts of its staff members, owing to the financial reconstruction of the organisation.The board, however, assured that the players’ contract would be reviewed and agreed by the next week.Earlier, it was offered a lifeline in the form of funds by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in the month of June, which helped the board to pay the outstanding salaries to its players that were due since four months, according to reports in the media.In an official statement, the Zimbabwe Cricket said that tough measures were needed to preserve the game of cricket in the country.”This strategic planning process is under way and needs to incorporate plans to ensure that the competitiveness and strength of domestic cricket and the high performance cricket pathway is at least maintained,” the board said in a statement.”The domestic season will start in November and the staff complement required will by that time have been defined and agreed to suit the ZC cricket strategic direction.”Zimbabwe are slated to play three ODIs and three T20Is against South Africa, later in the year.(With inputs from ANI)last_img read more

Talking Horses: Peopleton Brook v Jamie Baulch, plus Tuesday’s tips for Kempton

first_imgShare on Messenger Sport Twitter Pinterest Facebook Horse racing Expert Eye heads for Dewhurst after being ruled out of National Stakes Share on Twitter features Share on WhatsApp Horse racing tips Reuse this content Talking Horses Share on LinkedIn The variety of the action is often cited as one of the enduring qualities of racing in the British Isles and that is certainly true of Tuesday’s fare, which ranges from turf flat racing at Goodwood, one of the most picturesque courses in the country, to jump racing at Hexham in Northumberland and all-weather racing under floodlights in the evening at Kempton.center_img Share on Facebook The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage Tuesday’s tips Read more Since you’re here… … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Topics The most one-sided race ever seen on the turf, or more precisely the sand, or the dirt as the all-weather is sometimes referred to, took place at Kempton in 2010 when Jamie Baulch, the Olympic silver medallist, raced Peopleton Brook over 100 metres. Peopleton Brook, admittedly a very moderate performer by Thoroughbred standards, was on offer at the incredibly generous odds of 9-1 on before he beat the athlete by what was officially recorded as 52 lengths.There is no such certainty at the Surrey track on Tuesday evening but Noble Masterpiece (6.50) seemingly has plenty in his favour in the 32Red App handicap over a mile. The well-bred Sir Michael Stoute-trained runner quickened up in fine style on his handicap-race debut at Yarmouth last month and is expected to be well suited by the step up in distance this time.The best bet of the day runs at Hamilton in the shape of Guishan (4.45), who lines up for the EBF Flowers of Scotland Fillies’ Handicap. The progressive runner overcame a poor draw to win in good style at Chester last time out and has winning form over Tuesday’s track and trip. Support The Guardian Share on Pinterest Goodwood 1.30 Ancient Longing 2.05 Rasima 2.40 Mt Augustus 3.15 Golden Salute 3.50 Arthur McBride 4.25 Jashma 5.0o Maestro MacHamilton 1.50 Bombay 2.25 Retribution 3.00 What Wonders Weave 3.35 Dodgy Bob 4.10 Racquet 4.45 Guishan (nap) 5.20 Paddy’s Rock 5.55 State SovereigntyHexham 2.15 Kalanisi Glen 2.50 Gettysburg Address 3.25 River Of Intrigue 4.00 Tornado Watch 4.35 Miss Conway 5.10 AshkounKempton 5.50 Roman Spinner 6.20 Creek Walk 6.50 Noble Masterpiece (nb) 7.20 Future Empire 7.50 Captain Lars 8.20 Luang Prabang 8.50 Howardian Hills Read more Share via Emaillast_img read more

2004 Order of Nova Scotia Recipients Announced

first_img Major (ret’d) Marial M. Mosher, Halifax Regional Municipality, has been a dancer, military officer and academic. Her dance career took her to New York where she performed on Broadway. During the Second World War she joined the Canadian Women’s Army Corp., and served in Canada and Great Britain. She was instrumental in introducing the Canadian Studies program at Mount Saint Vincent University. The recipients were selected by the Order of Nova Scotia AdvisoryCouncil from 137 nominations submitted from across the province.They will be recognized at an investiture ceremony at GovernmentHouse, Halifax, on Tuesday, Oct. 5. The Order of Nova Scotia was established in June 2001. Ten peoplewere selected as inaugural members in 2002, with no more thanfive people being selected as recipients in the following years.Recipients have the right to use the initials O.N.S. after theirnames. — Donald Michael Julien, Truro, Colchester Co., has been the executive director of the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq since1994. He has been a life-long promoter of Mi’kmaq history andculture and is a member of the board of governors of the NovaScotia Museum and a member of the Nova Scotia Arts and CulturePartnership Council. Anne Marie Comeau, Saulnierville, Digby Co., is the founder and artistic director of Le Baie en Joie. Her outstanding contribution to the preservation and promotion of Acadian culture, regionally, nationally and internationally has been recognized with many awards. Nova Scotia’s arts and culture community are well represented inthis year’s 2004 Order of Nova Scotia recipients. Premier JohnHamm announced the names of the recipients today, July 22. “The Order of Nova Scotia is a very prestigious honour and Iwould like to congratulate this year’s recipients,” said PremierJohn Hamm. “Although their fields of endeavour are diverse, theyhave each made a significant contribution to our province.” The 2004 recipients are: Sherman Zwicker, Lunenburg, Lunenburg Co., was a former mayor of Lunenburg. For more than 50 years he has been involved with groups and agencies that work to promote the health and well- being of the people of his community and to preserve the cultural heritage of Lunenburg and its fishing tradition. Dr. Oscar Shiu-Yuet Wong, Glen Margaret, Halifax Regional Municipality, is a radiation oncologist and medical educator. He is the founding member and president of the Chinese Society of Nova Scotia, board member of the Metropolitan Immigrant Settlement Association, and founding member and director of the Canada/Hong Kong Business Association.last_img read more

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

first_imgOTTAWA – Sunny ways? Not so much at Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s historic home.The small structure north of Montreal has seen a sharp decline in attendance, to 623 visitors in 2016 from about 2,600 in 2011.The same trend is seen at semi-detached homes once owned by Sir George-Etienne Cartier, where the number of visitors has dropped by 67 per cent between 2011 and 2013, marked by a decline in school groups.A similar story also plays out at other historic sites at the centre of recently launched public consultations that, once complete, will produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures.The consultation documents point to multiple reasons for why people may not be visiting, including being far from tourist areas, having outdated facilities or simply being difficult to recognize.Laurier’s home is 60 kilometres north of Montreal. The historic site dedicated to the Battle of Chateauguay from the War of 1812 is “not an obvious tourist attraction due to its removed location.”Cartier’s buildings are in a “secluded” area of Montreal not frequented by tourists and fight for attention from larger attractions nearby like the Montreal Science Centre: “It is therefore difficult to draw attention to the site and attract visitors in this context,” Parks Canada officials wrote in the consultation document.On the other hand, Ontario’s Niagara region draws millions of visitors annually, benefiting the nearby historic sites that “are more integrated into local tourism infrastructure.”Visitors to the Coteau-du-Lac historic site along the St. Lawrence River sometimes don’t realize where they are, or have trouble navigating the attraction. The consultation on the 10-year management plan closed in May, but a key objective is to redo the “visitor circuit.”The agency is similarly suggesting changes to the visitors centre at the Battle of Chateauguay site southwest of Montreal.The 40-year-old building was designed to welcome up to 18,000 visitors annually, but is now open only three months a year, “incurs exorbitant” heating costs, and needs over $600,000 in repairs: “The centre no longer seems to be the best solution for the national historic site’s success, commemorative quality, or visitor experience.”Each consultation has a number of options being floated to the public about ways to ensure that visits to each site don’t become a thing of the past.Historic sites have tried to boost interest through interactive exhibits and collaboration with the people represented in exhibitions, such as Indigenous Peoples or visible minority communities, said Benjamin Forest, an associate professor of geography at McGill University in Montreal.The idea is to create a personal link to a site, memorial or monument, he said.“Visiting monuments isn’t primarily about learning facts or a historical story. Rather it’s about creating, or trying to create, an emotional connection,” Forest said.Parks Canada plans to spend $23.9 million to integrate Indigenous views, history and traditions into national parks, marine conservation areas and historic sites.Almost 1.3 million people visited all national historic sites between April and June, the agency says. That represents a 14 per cent decline from the same period last year when admission was free for everyone, making comparisons difficult.Last year’s Canada 150 numbers were part of “a unique opportunity,” said Parks Canada spokeswoman Audrey Champagne.“By building connections to these places, we can foster the stewards of tomorrow — people who know and care about these national treasures.”last_img read more

Mena Suvari To Estonian Prime Minister Ban Fur Farming Now

first_imgAmerican Beauty star and Estonian-American Mena Suvari sent an urgent letter this week to Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas expressing her support for a bill introduced in February by parliament members to ban fur farming in the country by 2028.Her letter follows a recent survey that found that 69 percent of Estonians do not support breeding and killing animals for their fur. Politicians will cast their votes on the bill on May 9.“I was thrilled to learn that 14 members of the Estonian Parliament have proposed a bill to ban fur farming,” writes Suvari. “I urge Estonia to join other countries — including Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Slovenia — in taking a stand against cruelty to animals by banning fur farms.”Animals on fur farms are often given no veterinary care, and investigations of fox and fur farms in Estonia have revealed that animals are confined to filthy, cramped cages and suffer from festering, open wounds and eye infections.PETA — whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” — notes that there are currently as many as 50 fur farms in Estonia, and the largest one holds 150,000 minks and 20,000 foxes. The total number of animals destined to be turned into human outerwear each year is around 200,000.last_img read more

Kiefer Sutherland Ill never return to TV as Jack Bauer

first_img Facebook Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement Twittercenter_img Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Kiefer Sutherland has vowed not to return to TV for another series of 24 because he feels he’ll be letting fans down if he reprises his role as Jack Bauer.The actor last portrayed the counterterrorism expert in 2014’s 24: Live Another Day and he admits his phone is still ringing about a potential comeback – one he insists he won’t make.“The whole hook to get an audience back to watch it (2014’s limited 24 series) was, ‘This is a one-time deal, so you should watch it’… and then, when it worked out for us, go, ‘Oh, we decided to do another one?’ I don’t think that’s right,” Kiefer tells Adweek.last_img read more

King Mohammed VI Avoids Shaking Hands with Nabil Benabdellah

Rabat – In a meeting with ministers of the Moroccan government on September 26, King Mohammed VI reportedly shook hands with all the ministers in the Council of Ministers, with the exception of Nabil Benabdellah, Morocco’s Minister of Housing and Urban Policy, according to Moroccan news website, Medias24.Another Minister who was present at the council meeting revealed to Medias24 what allegedly happened  when the king avoided shaking hands with Benabdellah.This apparent royal snub came only a few weeks after the Royal Cabinet slammed Benabdellah for inappropriately implicating the King’s Advisor, Fouad Ali El Hima, in the electoral campaign prior to the legislative elections scheduled to be held on October 7. In early September, Nabil Benabdellah told Moroccan weekly Al Ayam that his party “has no problem with the Authenticity and Modernity party (PAM-opposition), but with the person who is behind the party,” in a tacit reference to El Hima.On September 13, the Royal Cabinet issued a communiqué denouncing the minister’s statement:“The latest statement of Nabil Benabdellah, Minister of Housing and Urban Policy and Secretary General of the Party of Progress and Socialism (PPS-majority), is a political diversion tool at election time, which requires refraining from launching unsubstantiated statements.”The communiqué of the Royal Cabinet also asserted that the Minister’s “irresponsible statements” are “dangerous” as they come from “a government member, while the targeted person [El Hima] currently holds the position of HM the King’s Adviser and no longer has any relationship with politics.” read more

SecretaryGeneral laments lack of progress on implementing Cyprus agreement

10 December 2007The Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides have made no progress in the past six months in implementing the July 2006 agreement aimed at establishing the framework for a political process so that full-fledged negotiations on solving the Cyprus problem can begin, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says. In his latest report to the Security Council on the work of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), Mr. Ban writes that the leaders of the two communities continue to publicly endorse the agreement’s principles that a settlement must be based “on a bi-zonal, bicommunal federation and political equality,” but that “a lack of political will to fully engage” was preventing any tangible progress.“All parties need to show greater flexibility and greater political courage,” he states, describing a September meeting of the leaders that did not produce any concrete results as “a lost opportunity.”Mr. Ban stresses that only sustained political will from Cypriots, translated into real action, will lead to a settlement, and to that end he urges the people of the island to become more actively involved in civil society.The Secretary-General also states that “it is regrettable that the ongoing debate on the lifting of the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots has become a debate on recognition. Recognition, or assisting secession, would be contrary to the resolutions of the Security Council.“Rather, the objective should be to engender greater economic and social parity between the sides by further promoting the development of the Turkish Cypriot community, so that the reunification of the island may occur in as seamless a manner as possible.”In addition, Mr. Ban welcomes the recent work of the Committee on Missing Persons – which is tasked with identifying the remains of missing persons and returning those remains to the families concerned – “towards the resolution of one of the most painful aspects of the Cyprus problem.”Given the general situation, the Secretary-General recommends that the mandate of UNIFCYP be extended for another six months, until 15 June next year. The mission is deployed on the Mediterranean island to supervise ceasefire lines, maintain a buffer zone and undertake humanitarian activities. read more