Ready for NIA questioning in Srinagar, says Mirwaiz

first_imgHurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Monday made a second plea before the National Investigation Agency “to question him in Srinagar instead of New Delhi”.“The Mirwaiz has reiterated that he is willing to cooperate in the matter but has asked for the venue for examination to be shifted from Delhi to Srinagar. The concerns and apprehensions (over his security outside the State) and regarding travel to Delhi was already expressed on March 10 in a letter addressed to the NIA,” said the Mirwaiz’s counsel in a statement on Monday.“Earlier many persons have been examined by the agency at Humhama Budgam while conducting investigation. The Mirwaiz sees no reason why his client cannot be examined in similar manner,” said the counsel.The NIA had issued a second summon to the Mirwaiz, also Kashmir’s head priest, on March 14 and asked him to report to the agency’s Delhi office on March 18. Earlier, the NIA searched the office and house of Mr. Farooq on March 9 and asked for his personal appearance before the NIA in a case lodged by the agency in 2017 in an “illegal funding” case.last_img read more

No No To Nano

first_imgOn Dec. 17, almost two years after the Nano was launched, Tata Motors aired the car’s first television commercial. Set in small-town India, it shows a young girl repeatedly asking her grandmother, “When will it arrive?” Finally, after narrow lanes, rocky terrain and compliments from passers-by, the sunshine-yellow Nano arrives. The little girl excitedly hugs the car. Then she notices a gathering of admiring neighbors, and dabs a little dot of kohl on the car to ward off the evil eye.It may not be that easy for Tata Motors, the manufacturers of the Nano, to wish away the evil eye. When it was launched in March of 2009, the Nano was regarded as the hottest thing on four wheels. “The design language is in the same space as the Mercedes Smart,” said BusinessWeek. Reported the Financial Times: “If ever there were a symbol of India’s ambitions to become a modern nation, it would surely be the Nano.” Cut to the end of 2010. “India’s Nano becomes a no-no for car buyers,” says The Washington Post. Last November, Tata Motors dispatched only 509 units of the Nano to retailers, according to SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers). In a year that the Indian auto industry grew close to 32% (based on SIAM data), Nano’s dispatches declined steadily from a high of 9,000 units in July. (There was a pick up, however, in December.)Even before the first car hit the roads, the Nano brought controversy. In October 2008, work at Tata Motors’ Singur plant in West Bengal came to an abrupt close because of political pressures. The company announced plans to move the factory across the country to Sanand, Gujarat. (This started operations in June 2010). In the interim, it rolled out only 50,000 units (as opposed to 300,000 units at Singur) from its Pantnagar plant, in Uttarakhand. “As a result, instead of an open sales launch, we had to launch the car through the booking route in April 2009 and could begin deliveries only in July 2009 — that, too, in a staggered manner,” says Tata Motors spokesperson Debasis Ray. (The company’s executives and channel partners have been instructed not to interact with the media.)Big Boom for BookingsNonetheless, the Nano remained a modern-day symbol of India’s ingenuity. The public euphoria secured Tata Motors more than 200,000 bookings, from which a computerized program shortlisted 100,000 “lucky” customers for deliveries through 2010. Of the remaining, 55,000 chose to retain their bookings for the second lot of deliveries. The rest were refunded their entire booking amount ($1,800 for the Nano base model; $2,400 for the Nano CX; and U$2,800 for the Nano LX).By the end of the year, it was a different picture. As of December 2010, there were about 77,000 Nanos sold — a far cry from the one million units group chairman Ratan Tata had been talking about in 2005. This figure includes open sales (that started in August 2010) and some deliveries to the second batch of applicants. That would imply that at least 78,000 (23,000 from the first batch plus 55,000 from the second) have cancelled or “delayed delivery” (where customers opted to take delivery later).“We’ve always said that whenever there is a product launch through a booking route, there are cancellations,” Ray notes. “There are also people waiting to take delivery at a time of their own volition. But we are not disclosing the numbers in the public domain.” Ray also denies that the declining deliveries are related to diminishing demand. “In fact, demand has been picking up with open sales,” he says. “Also, we were nearing the end of the year, so you have to look at your stocks in a manner that they match what you’re supposed to deliver during the year. You do not carry a lot of stock into the new year, because people will want to purchase cars that are produced in the new year.”“Overconfidence and Arrogance”According to Gautam Sen, editor of Auto India, the real problem behind the declining sales is “a total marketing failure. Even during the bookings, it was the banks (giving auto loans) who were advertising (and not the company). In 2009, the Nano won the ‘Indian Car of the Year’ award, but the Tatas did not leverage this at all. They have not leveraged anything. I think there has been a sense of overconfidence and arrogance on the part of the company. They thought the car would sell itself because it was ‘the Nano’ and (because of) the kind of coverage it received around the world. They just took their eyes off the ball.” The Nano had received unprecedented global media coverage thanks to its size, a $2,000 price tag, and the “halo effect” of being a Tata product. That may have made it even more difficult for the company to manage people’s expectations. “Those who start with lot of buzz have to deal with the aftermath of disappointed consumers. Those who have a quieter launch are better equipped to alter the product and the plan as they go along, away from the glare of the media,” says Sudipt Roy, professor of marketing at the Hyderabad-based Indian School of Business (ISB).A case in point: the incidents of fires in a few cars in mid-2010. It is not uncommon for cars, especially in the hot weather conditions in India, to have initial safety concerns. But in the case of the high-profile Nano, these concerns made waves. Instead of using this as an opportunity (see opinion piece by Wharton’s John Paul MacDuffie), the Tatas went into denial. “They should have taken strong measures to convince people the car was safe. They could have handled it much better,” says Sen.Tata Motors released a statement saying that the fires were caused by “additional foreign electrical equipment having been installed or foreign material left on the exhaust system.” They also offered “enhanced features” to all those who had purchased the car, but insisted it was not a “recall.” Tata’s Ray says their customer satisfaction studies with current Nano owners indicate that more than 80% are “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the car.The Tatas may well have taken the right approach in the Indian environment. Consumer protection is in its infancy, and to recall a product might well stigmatize it for life. “We came to the conclusion that this car would go into the hinterlands, so we should make a robust car even more robust. That’s (the reason for) the upgrades. A ‘recall’ happens when there is an engineering defect and you want to correct that defect. With the Nano, there is no engineering defect; we are simply adding features,” says Ray. But concerns about the car’s safety persist, and many question whether that effort was aggressive enough to erase the image of a Nano engulfed in flames from consumers’ minds.Communication Complacency The communication complacency was evident elsewhere. Once demand started to fade, Tata Motors might have helped sales had it disclosed the easy availability of the Nano (because of the cancellations and delays). The general perception was that consumers would have to wait two years for delivery. This would not have been an easy choice for the company. After the huge pre-launch hype, it would have caused public embarrassment to admit the car was not moving. But this has resulted in an ironic situation, observers have noted: New buyers are not coming forward because they feel they don’t stand a chance of getting delivery until the company sets up additional capacities.Ray, however, defends the Tata’s approach. “(The Nano) was not available off the shelf until we started open sales,” he says. “There is no question of sluggish sales. Until August (2010), we were only delivering pre-booked cars. I was not selling openly because I did not have the capability to. Despite that, had I started advertising, would I not be wasting money? So in classical marketing style, I have brought in advertising only when it was required — initially print and now, television.”What really happened to the original 200,000 bookings? Industry observers say there are no clear answers. Some orders were cancelled initially. Others were cancelled later. But there is a large percentage that falls under “delayed delivery.” Indian consumers have a lottery mentality: People apply for things they don’t want, expecting to sell them at a premium when they get delivery. “Dealers expect early-bird owners (of the Nano) to command a hefty premium of Rs. 30,000 (nearly one-third the price of the car) because of the initial shortage in supply,” reported economic daily Business Standard, a few days before the launch. “We cannot comment on speculative buying. There is no way for me to know what the intentions of people buying the Nano are,” says Tata’s Ray.Experts concede that part of the problem was not of the Tata’s making. Because the Nano plant had to move from West Bengal to Gujarat, production timelines were difficult to maintain. With not enough cars being made, the company felt it didn’t have to advertise or even set up efficient distribution channels. Butthe hype about the car died down, and the stories about the fires gained prominence.Trouble with the Mother PlantIn fact, Abdul Majeed, leader (automotive practice) PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) India, believes the core problem was the initial lack of a mother plant. “The root of all (of Tata Motors’) problems is that they didn’t have the capacity right to go all over the country from day one. With such an initiative, the most important thing is to have the mother plant up and running. They probably had a plan in place that they couldn’t execute, because they just weren’t ready for a whole roll out.”Sumit Bali, CEO of Kotak Mahindra Prime (which makes auto loans), cites yet another reason. “Since the exit of Rajeev Dube (president, Tata Motors, passenger car division), the whole passenger car division was restructured. Hence, most of the team responsible for the marketing was no longer involved. The new team, with diverse backgrounds, took time to understand the issues.”One of those issues was the product’s positioning, believes ISB’s Roy. “The positioning of the car was entirely wrong. There was a great disconnect in the kind of people they were reaching out to and the kind of people they wanted to sell to,” he says. That the target segment for the Nano was two-wheeler owners and first-time buyers from small towns and rural areas was evident from the oft-chronicled story of Ratan Tata’s inspiration for the Nano: On a rainy day, Tata saw a family of four on a scooter — the father driving it, the son in front of him, and the wife behind him holding a baby. Tata intended the Nano to be bought by those graduating from two-wheelers.  With over 11 million two-wheelers sold in India last year (according to SIAM), the market clearly exists. But instead of reaching out to the intended segment, understanding their purchase behavior, Tata Motors seemed to be consumed by the pressure on margins. They relied heavily on non-conventional methods: They created a special Nano website where one could design their own Nano and play games; used social networking sites such as Facebook and Orkut; leveraged blogs; and purchased online advertising. “The online medium was hardly the right way to sell to their target segment. It should be around shops, bazaars, where they can create buzz around the car through word of mouth,” says Roy, “They ended up selling 75% of the cars in five major cities in India. For 50% of the people, it was a second car.”Tata’s Ray concedes that during the booking phase, the company had no control on who applied. “Eventually, most bookings were from those who were familiar with cars,” he says. The attractive price tag — the cornerstone of the Nano mania — turned out to be a double-edged sword. “There is a great challenge in telling people that this is an economical car, because a car is an aspirational product,” Roy says. “That is something the Tatas have to crack. You can’t say, ‘Here is a car that’s cheap, so buy it.’ That will not work; the car has to connect with the right customer segment emotionally. They have to win the battle of the mind.”The Way ForwardWith the spate of media articles, print, television and even radio advertising, as well as other targeted initiatives, the Nano’s marketing has recently taken off. 2010 ended on an upbeat note, with December sales to dealers bouncing back to 5,784 units (according to SIAM). Tata’s Ray predicts that the numbers will only increase and production schedules are being gradually ramped up. “Now that we have begun open sales (available across the country since early January) for the first time, we are proactively going to those (consumers) for whom the car is meant,” he says.That is exactly the path forward recommended by Kevin Freiberg, co-author of Nanovation, a book that uses the Nano as an analogy to “teach the world to think big.” “We think the way forward for Nano is to help villagers in rural India and those at the bottom of the pyramid (to) get financing and make the process of buying their first car less intimidating…. Perhaps another way forward for the Nano is to get back to focusing on the people for whom the car was originally intended,” Freiberg said.The channels are being scaled up and tailored to the customers. Ray says that most of the Nano’s targeted customers felt intimidated by flashy showrooms. So in addition to the 874 regular sales outlets, 289 Special Nano Access Points have been set up for customers to test-drive or test-ride the car. Some 1,200 salespersons have been recruited and trained to work out of these dealerships. As a further purchase incentive and a confidence-boosting measure, Tata Motors has more than doubled the Nano’s warranty to four-years or 60,000 km (whichever comes earlier) at no extra cost. Customers can also purchase a maintenance contract at $2 per month.The company has undertaken a massive outdoor campaign across 104 towns in five states. The message to Sanjay Pareek, president of marketing services firm Percept Out-Of-Home, was clear. “They want to get two-wheeler owners who wish to upgrade to a four-wheeler in tier two and tier three towns,” says Pareek. Accordingly, the communication that went out clearly stated that the Nano is now easily available with an easy-payment scheme. “The dealers have said the selection of sites is correct. And the proof of the pudding lies in the fact that they (Tata Motors) have just indicated that they will roll over the campaign for another month-and-a-half or two,” he adds.Financing Is CriticalThe financing might prove vital, especially since the car is now more expensive. The base model is now $2,700 and the top variant as much as $4,000 (Mumbai prices). PwC’s Majeed warns that “from $2,000, you can’t go to a $4,000 car, because if the price differential between the Nano and the next best alternative — the Maruti Suzuki Alto (starting at $4,000) — comes down, (the Nano) won’t be very attractive to people. The segment they’re targeting is very cost competitive; they need to keep their cost structure very tight.”To soften the blow, Tata Motors has set up financing arrangements with 29 banks and non-banking finance companies, with almost 90% assistance at “easy rates.” Additionally, Tata Motors Finance, a subsidiary of Tata Motors that helps finance their vehicles, will process the loan of applicants with unclear documentation (a rampant problem with customers in that segment) in just 48 hours. The Nano has had its share of challenges. But is that not typical for many new product? S. Ramesh Kumar, professor of marketing at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, believes that “any company attempting an innovation with regard to high-involvement durable categories, especially at the level of disruptive innovation at the lower end of the market, faces unexpected risks as the brand has to strike a competitive balance between several aspects of the offering and the price.”But the Nano now seems to be well poised to overcome its early setbacks, experts say. PwC’s Majeed expects increased competition in the small car segment. “But as long as the Nano gets its act together, it will be able to get good market share and create a new segment.”There will be new challenges and fresh competition. Auto India’s Sen points to the Alto with the twin cylinder engine that Maruti Suzuki is planning to introduce in 2012. It will be priced close to the Nano. And there is another positioning problem coming up as the Tatas add bells and whistles — a more powerful engine, power steering, power windows, five-speed gearbox and even an airbag.Power, in all its forms, will come at a price. Will the new strategies — some still on the drawing board — work? “We don’t know,” says author Freiberg. “But we do know this: Tata Motors is a great company with a deep culture of commitment to the needs of the customer. We can’t wait to see how they handle this situation.”   Related Itemslast_img read more

Finals MVP Durant keeps launching shots, eager to be better

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight MOST READ Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday PLAY LIST 03:12Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday01:43Who are Filipinos rooting for in the NBA Finals?02:25Raptors or Warriors? PBA players take their pick of NBA champ01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Durant’s new deal earns him approximately $53 million over the next two years and includes a player option for year two. His willingness to be flexible allowed the Warriors to re-sign Curry for $201 million over five years and 2015 Finals MVP Andre Iguodala to a three-year contract with $48 million guaranteed, among all the other reliable returners.Durant repeatedly curses when he misses during those heated post-practice shootouts with Curry. They rarely keep an official count on made shots or track who wins.“I honestly don’t know exactly what the standings are when it comes to that but we always challenge each other,” Curry said. “I think the best thing about it is we both get mad when we miss a shot because you know in that competition that we have if you miss a shot you’re probably going to end up losing whatever spot or whatever drill you’re doing. Every shot’s important, which for us can transition into the game because you have that certain focus and expectation that you’re going to make every shot. Put a little bitof pressure on yourself while you can in practice in these situations.”For Durant, it’s all about getting better alongside the shooter he considers the world’s most accurate.“I’m just coming into work every day trying to get better and I’m going home afterward,” Durant said. “It’ssimple. Just try to simplify it, so I get my work in and go home. … I don’t even remember last year.”Durant is far more comfortable this preseason.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next The NBA Finals MVP wants more from himself. He thinks about it when he’s sitting on his couch at home.Beginning his 11th NBA season at age 29 and fresh off his first career championship, Durant is as determined as ever.In his second season with the Golden State Warriors, he is challenging himself to do everything better, down to setting great screens to get teammates open.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“I just want to keep doing the same things,” Durant said. “If I’m making five out of my 10 shots a night, I can see if I can try to make 5 1/2 or six shots a night. I guess that’s just the next challenge that I have for myself, just continue to do the small things with my game as far as my rhythm, catching and shooting, dribbling, one-dribble pull-ups, post-ups, all that type of stuff that goes into me being the scorer that I am. I’ve got to work on that every day, make sure that doesn’t fall by the wayside because if I take two or three days off from doing that stuff I’m right behind. I can’t take days off because I’m not physically as big and strong as a lot of guys that can use their bodies. I’ve got to rely on my skill a little bit more.”He sure delivered on basketball’s biggest stage just four months ago, then — as promised — accepted a pay cut so general manager Bob Myers could keep the roster largely intact for repeat run. LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary NBA: Curry to pick Dubs teammates if picked as All Star game captain LATEST STORIES FILE – In this Sept. 22, 2017, file photo, Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant poses for photos during the NBA basketball team’s media day in Oakland , Calif. Beginning his 11th NBA season at age 29 and fresh off his first career championship, Durant is as determined as ever. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, FIle)OAKLAND, Calif. — Fatigued after a long flight home from China, Kevin Durant knocked down one baseline 3-pointer after another — making 21 of 22 and 19 straight before finally another miss had him hollering in frustration over the blaring music.Stephen Curry wasn’t even pushing him this time in one of their thrilling competitions — just KD and a couple of capable rebounders.ADVERTISEMENT Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa The constant scrutiny about why he left Oklahoma City to join a super team and the questions on how the Warriors could possibly share the ball so many ways have subsided at last. He has settled in beautifully to the Bay Area. The music and low-key vibe at team headquarters are now familiar.Yes, Durant is at ease.“Oh, yeah. Last year he was trying to figure out what the hell we were doing and this year he’s totally dialed in, understands the concepts,” coach Steve Kerr said, “comfortable in his surroundings, not only on the floor but off. He’s a different guy this year. … It took a couple months for him to get comfortable with our style of play more than anything. It’s one thing to memorize a play, it’s another thing to feel comfortable with the concepts of what you’re trying accomplish every time down the floor. Then there’s a lot of little nuances within that. I thought it took him a couple months, then he figured it out and he was off and running.”Teammates can’t wait to see what Durant does next.Iguodala appreciates greats like Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady but will put Durant at the top.“In my opinion KD is the most talented I’ve ever seen. There have been some other talented guys though, but he’s gotten the most out of his talent, just like TMac and Vince,” Iguodala said. “There are a lot of guys who are talented and they don’t even make it to the pros. I’m saying KD is most talented because he’s maximized his talent. He’s still got more room to go, so I believe he’s still grinding to get there.”From Day One, Durant showed he’s a difference-maker.“There’s a lot of stuff I’ve been thinking about,” he said, “and I’m just trying to take it all in and get better.” View commentslast_img read more

Milkha ‘ignored’ during CWG opening show

first_imgLegendary athlete Milkha Singh has expressed bitterness about the treatment meted out to him during the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games (CWG) on Sunday. Milkha was apparently ignored by the Games organisers when he arrived for the ceremony as a special invitee. The athlete, who is fondly called the ‘Flying Sikh’, was denied a seat in the VIP enclosure where the other special guests were seated. Instead, he was given a place in the ordinary seating area after entry from gate no. 14 of the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.  Milkha told Headlines Today that if sportsmen from the past weren’t respected, the future of young sportsmen was in doubt. Milkha said he did not know if he would be treated the same way during the CWG closing ceremony.last_img

Lokpal panel winds up in failure; Hazare to fast from Aug 16

first_imgGandhian Anna Hazare has threatened to go on yet another fast-unto-death against the government’s “intransigence” on the contentious Lokpal legislation. He announced his decision to go on an indefinite fast after the failure of the final round of talks on the draft Bill on Tuesday.Stepping up his attack soon after the meeting with the government panel, Anna said he would go on a fast from August 16 as the government had ” no intention” of drafting a strong Lokpal Bill. He said protest was the only option left. (READ GOVT DRAFT OF LOKPAL BILL)”We have been saying the government is not serious on the Lokpal Bill. We are sure the people will teach them a lesson,” Hazare said.Sensing the mood of the activists, the UPA government gathered its flock to muster support on the draft Bill. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh convened a meeting of UPA leaders late in the evening in an apparent bid to show unity of the ruling alliance on the issue. (READ CIVIL SOCIETY DRAFT OF LOKPAL BILL)Sources said finance minister Pranab Mukherjee briefed the leaders on the two drafts and told them that he would hold consultations with all other parties too. The allies backed the government.Besides the PM, present at the meeting were UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, defence minister A. K. Antony, political secretary to Sonia, Ahmed Patel, Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee, NCP’s Praful Patel, DMK leader T. R. Baalu, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah and IUML leader E. Ahmed. Sulking DMK patriarch M. Karunanidhi, who was in Delhi to meet his jailed daughter Kanimozhi, stayed away.advertisementThe ninth and last meeting of the Lokpal Bill drafting committee ended with both sides differing on at least six key features. The government made it clear that two drafts of the Bill, one prepared by the government and the other by activists, will be circulated to all political parties.After taking the views of political parties, a single Bill, comprising both the views, will be presented to the Cabinet. The government proposes to call an all-party meeting in July.Just before the meeting, Trinamool chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee voiced her strong support for the government stand. In fact, Banerjee went a step further to give a certificate of recommendation to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. One of the most contested clauses during the discussions on the Lokpal is the inclusion of the prime minister in its ambit. The government is resisting PM’s inclusion, while the civil society is pressing for it.”I know the PM is an honest man,” Banerjee said at the Press Club in the Capital. “Do you think the inclusion of one person will strengthen the fight against corruption? Whether the PM or the chief justice is included, it hardly matters. To fight corruption we need a larger systemic change,” she said.The government has also postponed the monsoon session in order to arrive at a political consensus on the legislation. The session is usually held in the third week of July but now it is scheduled to begin on August 1.The civil society members maintained that they were “most disappointed” at the outcome of the drafting committee’s meetings but added that the government did agree to make major changes in their views on the Bill. HRD minister Kapil Sibal said the talks could not resolve key differences.One of the key issues, bringing the Prime Minister under the Lokpal’s purview, came up during Tuesday’s discussion as well. While the government opposed the clause, activists maintained that the Bill will be complete only if the PM and his office are also brought under the Bill’s purview. Both the sides also disagreed on issues like the appointment of Lokpal, integrating CBI and vigilance into Lokpal, bringing higher judiciary, lower bureaucracy and MPs in the Lokpal’s ambit.HRD minister Kapil Sibal said the government fears that the Lokpal can be a “parallel authority” if certain views of the activists were accepted. He maintained that the government is committed to table the Bill in the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament. “We want to have a strong Lokpal bill but there need to be checks and balances. We can’t afford to have a parallel government,” he said.Sibal said the inclusion of PM in the Bill’s ambit was the major stumbling block. “The PM is the lynchpin of parliamentary democracy. We want to protect prospective PM and the institution of the Prime Minister,” he said. If the Lokpal starts issuing notice to the PM, “given the situation when we are in a neighbourhood which is extremely sensitive, anything can happen anytime,” he said.advertisementStating that the discussions with Team Anna were constructive, Sibal said the government has made changes in the initial draft. He said the government proposes to give Lokpal quasijudicial powers, provision for time-bound trial and police powers to its investigating officers. However, he said the government cannot allow a parallel investigation agency that will be answerable to nobody.After the meeting, Sibal said the Cabinet will take up the Bill after discussions with political parties. “They gave their draft, we gave our draft and there was a short discussion. However, on important issues there was no agreement. The views of political parties have been sought on six issues,” he said.Leaving scope for more discussions, Sibal said activists can comment on the government’s Bill within three days.”We agreed to disagree. But we hope that differences can be resolved. If they wish to give comments on our drafts, they can do so,” Sibal said.The activists, however, were far from impressed. “The government draft which was unveiled at the meeting excludes the Prime Minister,” Arvind Kejriwal, a member of the panel, said. “I am deeply disappointed by the government’s model of Lokpal,” said another member Prashant Bhushan.The drafting committee was formed on April 9. The panel is co-chaired by Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and Supreme Court lawyer Shanti Bhushan. Five key ministers, Kapil Sibal, Salman Khurshid, M. Veerappa Moily and P Chidambaram, represented the government on the panel. Anna Hazare, Prashant Bhushan, Arvind Kejriwal and Santosh Hegde represented the activists.For more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.last_img read more


first_imgThe League opened its office in Mumbai in 2011 and as The League opened its office in Mumbai in 2011 and as part of its commitment to grow basketball in India, the League has hosted touring basketball events, grassroots development and talent search programmes. Since 2006, more than 30 current and former NBA and WNBA players have also visited India, including Satnam Singh, Sim Bhullar, Muggsy Bogues, Chris Bosh, Bruce Bowen, Swin Cash, Tamika Catchings, Pau Gasol, Robert Horry, Dwight Howard, Briann January, Jason Richardson and Brian Shaw, the release added. PTI SSR NRB CM RYSlast_img

Chelsea await John Terry’s reply after offering him one-year deal

first_imgChelsea says captain John Terry has been offered a contract for another season and the club is awaiting his response.The 35-year-old Terry is out of contract at the end of this season and in January said he would not be extending his stay.Following a sending off, Terry is suspended for the final game of the Premier League season against champion Leicester on Sunday.Chelsea says the contract extension was offered to Terry this week during a meeting with Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck and director Marina Granovskaia.Chelsea says “with it coming so late in the season, this is a big decision for John and his family and it is something that they are now considering.”last_img

It wasn’t a penalty – Hodgson fumes at decision

first_imgRoy Hodgson was left furious after a series of refereeing decisions went against Crystal Palace in a home loss to Liverpool.James Milner opened the scoring from the penalty spot in Monday’s Premier League game after former Reds defender Mamadou Sakho was harshly adjudged to have brought down Mohamed Salah in the box .Salah drew a foul from Aaron Wan-Bissaka that saw the young right-back dismissed before the Egypt star sent Sadio Mane clear to wrap up the points in injury time. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! An angry Hodgson disagreed with Michael Oliver’s decision to award Salah a penalty and said Palace should have had a spot-kick of their own when Max Meyer went down in the box.”It wasn’t a penalty. I’ve been in football a long time, and if that is a penalty then the game has changed beyond all recognition,” Hodgson told a news conference.”Mamadou is trying to defend and there is no way he is looking to foul the player or get contact on him at all.”If people can’t see that then I’ll be the pariah who sees only what he wants to see, and if all you guys see it as something different then I’ll accept it.”I don’t want penalties for my team in that way – if you ask me one day ‘was it a penalty’ and I don’t say that those situations aren’t penalties both for and against, then I’ll be very disappointed in myself and you’ll be quite entitled to take me up on it.”I’m frustrated because I don’t think that’s a penalty. I also don’t think it was a foul on James Milner when we had a counter-attacking chance, and I do think it was a penalty in the last minutes when Max Meyer gets wiped out in the area by [Virgil] van Dijk when he was about to get a touch on the ball, but these things happen.”Sometimes refereeing decisions go against you and it’s disappointing and a cause for frustration and anger, but if you ask me about the team’s performance I think it was very, very good.”I take some comfort and pride in that, but it’s not going to change my disappointment and anger at how we came in at half-time losing 1-0.”A couple of key moments just before half time cost us tonight but solid performance against one of the league’s best… must take positives into Sunday! #CPFC — Andros Townsend (@andros_townsend) August 20, 2018 Hodgson accepted Wan-Bissaka’s red card, though, the otherwise impressive 20-year-old bumping Salah to the ground after chasing down the Liverpool attacker as he ran through on Wayne Hennessey’s goal.”It’s one of those things,” the former England boss said. “We were pushing to get an equaliser, playing quite well, looking reasonably likely to get a goal and were asking questions of the Liverpool defence, but then from a ball lumped forward we didn’t win the header and we were light at the back.”Aaron did his level best to try and get back in and stop Salah from going free with the goalkeeper. He definitely touches him so there’s no question it was a sending off, but I don’t think he was looking to clip his heels – he was genuinely trying to get his foot on the ball but didn’t succeed.”As a result he caught the player and the referee was right to send him off.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more

Sergio Aguero rules out discomfort: This is the best I have felt in years

first_imgManchester City striker Sergio Aguero said that there is no lingering pain in his knee and said that for the first time in years, he is feeling this good.Aguero missed the end of last season as City won the Premier League but he recovered in time to play the World Cup for Argentina in Russia, where he scored two goals before their exit in the round-of-16.But, speaking to the club’s official website, Aguero said that he feels in peak condition.”I feel fantastic…I don’t feel any discomfort,” Aguero told the club’s website”During the past few years, I felt pains at times and when last season came to an end, we decided it would be best to start treatment. And the results were positive.”Aguero, who scored 21 goals in 25 league appearances last season, has hit the ground running in the new campaign with three goals from four starts, including a hat-trick in the 6-1 victory over Huddersfield Town.”I’m not sure if this is the best start of a season for me, but it’s the best I’ve felt in years,” Aguero added.”It shows in my game. The challenge now is keeping up this level, and I’ll be working nonstop to maintain it.”City, who are fourth in the table with 10 points from four games, host promoted Fulham on Saturday.last_img read more

A Family Joined, with English There is Easy Communication with Community

first_imgPosted on December 22, 2010June 20, 2017By: Faatimaa Ahmadi, Young Champion of Maternal HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This blog post was contributed by Faatimaa Ahmadi, one of the fifteen Young Champions of Maternal Health chosen by Ashoka and the Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth. She will be blogging about her experience every month, and you can learn more about her, the other Young Champions, and the program here.“Nancy, can you believe it? I can say everything I want in English. There is no need anymore to try hard finding a word to convey my intent.”I am very happy and proud of this achievement and thankful to Joyce fertility support centre group for their effort. The ability helps me speak out more easily. Now that we are forming our working group to assess community needs related to health I can interact more efficiently.In the beginning of this month my family joined me. What a sweet time it was. I never thought that I will be apart from them, especially my six year-old son, for 2 months. Joyce fertility support centre group welcomed them warmly. The Iranian ambassador, Mr. Dabiran, kindly invited us to their home for dinner and they appreciated me for working with this humanitarian group to improve the health of human beings.I see that my son has changed; I don’t know which one of us has changed more. My son or me?It is the second time that I can feel changes happening inside me. The first time was after entering Alzahra University studying educational psychology. The second time is since when I was selected as a Young Champion to now work with Joyce fertility support centre in the Mukono and Wakiso districts of Uganda.I have visited some maternity wards of these districts. To reach the Mukono district we passed through soily and bumpy feeder roads which can makes me feel nauseous. I needed to sit in the fresh air for some minutes to get rid of this feeling when I arrived! But shortly I improved. You cannot imagine the smiles on the clients’ faces sitting in front of the health centre. Immediately I sensed that most of them were from far away, reaching the centre by a motorcycle (by the nick name of Boda Boda) holding a baby. The people of the community are innocent and hospitable. When I am with them no one understands the peace that I feel in my heart.In the health centers of the two districts we visited, each had one midwife. “When I don’t come to work this maternity ward is closed,” the midwife told us while she led us through the maternity wing. I wondered to myself, “What happens to clients when she is absent?”We were shown drugs and free HIV screenings. We also saw their lack of tap water, and their shortage of electricity (they use a charcoal stove to sterilize their instruments instead).One of the big challenges in these maternity wings is that the pregnant women come for prenatal and postnatal care but they don’t show up for giving birth (they prefer traditional birth attendants). I wonder why it is that they know the importance of prenatal and postnatal care, but they don’t understand the necessity of giving birth in health centers by the help of a trained midwife? Or, do they have the knowledge and just not apply it? I cannot say anything now. I have to wait to hear from them in the coming months.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

17 days agoAgent of Marco Silva confident he can be successful at Everton

first_imgAgent of Marco Silva confident he can be successful at Evertonby Paul Vegas17 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveThe agent of Everton boss Marco Silva remains confident he can be successful at Goodison Park.Everton currently occupy a position in the relegation zone following defeat to Burnley on Saturday and Newcastle United’s victory over Manchester United the following day. Carlos Goncalves told Record: “Any coach depends on the results. “We signed a three-year contract and football, with the entry of investors, makes us want immediate success, when success is actually built gradually.”The English coaches, who [managed] 10-15 years at the same club, disappeared.”Goncalves also opened up on Silva’s original move to Hull City in 2017.”Marco always had that ambition and hence took the risk, gambled in January and went to the condemned Hull City,” he added.”The club eventually were relegated but the work he did was unanimously well received. So he had four invitations to stay in the Premier League and moved to Watford.”I think all coaches have this ambition, because it is the most competitive championship in the world and where the best are.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Honomobo Proves Shipping Container Homes Can Be Affordable and Luxurious

first_img 15 Best Subscription Boxes for Men Who Love Gifts H02 Model/Honomobo H04+ Model/Honomobo Shark House’s Dramatic Angles Have Serious Bite H08 Model/Honomobo OBO Model/Honomobo Next 1 of 9 When you think of shipping containers, do you think luxurious, ultra modern homes? Probably not. But Honomobo, a modular home building company located in Alberta, Canada, is looking to change that. Their series of homes, created entirely from shipping containers, is completely revolutionizing the modular home market.Converting a shipping container into a usable space, either an office, store, or home, isn’t a new idea. Ever since the housing market crash in 2008, people have been looking for affordable housing anywhere they can find it. Shipping containers became appealing because they are cheap, incredibly durable, and easy to convert into a useable space. The problem: they often still look like a shipping container. Not exactly the kind of space you want to call home.Honomobo saw this glaring issue and rethought the entire conversion process. Locking them together like Lego blocks, the containers can be configured in a variety of layouts. They can be lined up in rows to create a sprawling, open concept space (like their H04 model) or stacked to create an ultra modern multi-level home (like the H08 model). From there, Honomobo goes to work converting the containers into sophisticated living spaces.Once the containers are delivered to the site and hooked together, Honomobo outfits the space with all of the modern amenities and finishes one expects in a high end home. Vinyl flooring, sleek white cabinetry, and solid surface counters make for a beautiful, minimalist design that is durable and easy to care for. Honomobo also made sure their plans included plenty of windows, allowing natural light to flood the home – a far cry from the cold, dark space that comes to mind when you hear the words “shipping container.” For the exterior, Honomobo provides a variety of color choices as well as an option to add a patio. The entire process, including obtaining building permits, takes just ten weeks – lightening fast in the home-building world.H08 Model/HonomoboSocial and environmental responsibility is one of the key elements of Honomobo’s business philosophy, so along with being stylish, these homes are affordable and sustainable. By recycling old containers, construction costs stay low. All of the Honomobo homes are also outfitted with solar panels which is both good for the environment and your wallet. Even the insulation, a special closed-cell foam, is sustainable, keeping the interior a consistent temperature year round.Honomobo didn’t stop at homes. Their OBO is the perfect structure to use as an office, workshop, man cave, or pop-up shop. At around 100 square feet, it is small enough to fit in your backyard and doesn’t require a permanent foundation. Just like the rest of their structures, the OBO is insulated, includes solar panels, and has the option to choose the exterior color. The 2020 Living Vehicle Is a Swanky Luxury Apartment on Wheels Editors’ Recommendations center_img 4 Tiny Houses You Can Buy on Amazon H03 Model/Honomobo H05+ Model/Honomobo H01 Model/Honomobo H04+ Model/Honomobo H04 Model/Honomobo Previous H03 Model/Honomobo You Can Still Road Trip Without Missing Work Thanks to the Kugelschifflast_img read more

Former DIG and former Crimes OIC further remanded in Lasantha case

Tissa Sugathapala is accused of concealing and destroying information pertaining to the murder of Lasantha Wickrematunge. (Colombo Gazette) Former Senior Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police Prasanna Nanayakkara and former Mount Lavinia Police Crimes Officer in Charge (OIC) Tissa Sugathapala have been further remanded in the case over the murder of journalist Lasantha Wickremetunga.Nanayakkara and Sugathapala were today ordered by court to be further remanded till May 25th.

Apple et Google seraient en lice pour décrocher la Premier league

first_imgApple et Google seraient en lice pour décrocher la Premier league La vente des lots de diffusion des matchs de la première division anglaise s’anime ! Deux nouveaux postulants seraient arriver sur le banc des éventuels acheteurs : Apple et Google.Le premier gros match de la prochaine saison de Premier League risque bien de ne pas se situer sur le gazon, mais en coulisse, lors de l’attribution des lots de diffusion des matchs. Apple et Google viendraient d’entrer sur la liste des éventuels acquéreurs, aux cotés de Sky, d’Al Jazeera et d’ESPN, à la surprise générale, selon le Daily Mail.À lire aussiFossile, Mars et Google Chrome, les actus sciences que vous devez connaître ce 4 juinS’il paraît difficile d’entrevoir la stratégie de Google sur un tel marché (application android 4.0, service google tv ?), celle d’Apple, elle, paraît plus claire, quoique : l’attribution de ces droits pourraient venir étoffer les services de l’Apple TV…Ou de ceux de l’iTV, qui sait ?Mais la bataille sera difficile face à Al Jazeera, un groupe en pleine conquête sportive (on se souvient qu’il avait récupéré un lot important vis à vis de la Ligue 1 cette année en France), à ESPN, un poids lourd du sport voulant reconquérir des parts de marché, et Sky, qui avait déjà payer 1,6 milliard de livres l’an dernier pour ce même domaine, et qui ne voudra pas se laisser faire.Le 4 janvier 2012 à 17:15 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

NASA Inspired Winter Olympics Snowboard Team Uniforms

first_imgStay on target NASA Says 2 Asteroids Will Safely Fly By Earth This WeekendScientists Discover Possible Interstellar Visitor Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.center_img Burton Snowboards last week unveiled new space-age uniforms exclusively for the U.S. snowboard team, preparing for February’s Winter Olympics.Less than 100 days before the opening ceremony in PyeongChang, South Korea, the Vermont-based manufacturer revealed its one-of-a-kind attire for the men and women’s slopestyle, halfpipe, and big air competitions.“The sport of snowboarding is neither nationalistic nor team-oriented in nature; however, all of that changes for a minute every four years during the Olympic Games,” Jake Burton, founder of Burton Snowboards, said in a statement.Inspired by the American space program, the uniform is “innovative in function and retro-futuristic in design,” according to the company, which used iridescent silver fabric coated in fine aluminum for a “liquid metal look.”NASA-inspired down one-piece (via Burton Snowboards)Developed solely for the 2018 event, the super technical, lightweight, waterproof garb reflects and deflects light and sound, and pays homage to NASA with hand-drawn patches featuring the American flag and the term “USA.”Burton seems to have thought of everything, even incorporating artwork into the lining including Korean translations of phrases like “Do you speak English?” and “Wish me luck!”And that’s just the competition jacket and pants.The additional spacesuit-like down one-piece and down jacket give off iconic 1960s moonwalk vibes, while a fleece jacket-and-pant set was made with fabric originally created for the U.S. military.Leather mitts, fleece gloves, tech tees, and beanies complete the costume.NASA-inspired shirts (via Burton Snowboards)“I have always loved the astronauts’ suits, because not only do they have such a cool and amazing aesthetic, they also were designed to function under the most extreme conditions,” according to Greg Dacyshyn, head designer of Burton’s Olympic uniform program. “This gave us an incredible platform to push the innovation and technology of garments as well.“My hope is that these pieces help the athletes go where no rider has gone before,” he added.The U.S. Olympic snowboard team will be nominated based on a series of selection events this season, including the three-stop Toyota U.S. Grand Prix in Copper Mountain, Aspen/Snowmass, and Mammoth Mountain.Then tune in from Feb. 10 to 24 to watch the squad go for the gold at the Phoenix Snow Park and Alpensia Ski Jumping Center in PyeongChang.last_img read more

Maya Hawkes Dad Posts Cute Stranger Things Instagram Tribute

first_img Ethan Hawke might be the biggest Stranger Things Season 3 fan: On Friday, Hawke posted a touching tribute to his daughter, Maya Hawke, about her breakout role in the sci-fi Netflix series.On the show, Maya Hawke plays Robin, Steve Harrington’s hilarious co-worker at Scoops Ahoy, the Starcourt Mall’s ice cream shop. Even though this isn’t Maya Hawke’s first major role, her dad is still proud of her and said “she’s the real thing.” 11 Best Monsters Made From Dead People PartsOriginal ‘Stranger Things’ Plan May Confirm Will Byers’ Sexuality “Some of you may have missed her in last year’s BBC production of Little Women. Some of you may have missed her work at Juilliard. I know many missed out on numerous high school productions — heck I even missed a few and I’m her father,” Ethan Hawke wrote on Instagram. “Some of you may know her music, some may not. But Ladies & Gentleman, get to know MAYA HAWKE. She’s the real thing. #StrangerThings.”Ethan Hawke also shared a funny GIF of Maya Hawke, which shows her in a Scoops Ahoy uniform in front of a carnival background with the words “One summer can change everything.”In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Maya Hawke discussed her character’s evolution throughout Stranger Things Season 3, including how Robin reacts to the bizarre, unexplainable happenings in Hawkins, Indiana.“I think it ended up working because you get to watch Robin’s walls come down,” Maya Hawke told Entertainment Tonight. “At first she’s trying to be a really tough guy and then with everything that happens to her, she really has to break open and really be herself and I hope that will come through when people watch it.”Stranger Things Season 3, which also stars David Harbour, Winona Ryder, and Millie Bobby Brown, is streaming on Netflix now.More on‘Stranger Things’ Season 3 Final Trailer Is a Horrifying Summer AdventureNetflix’s New ‘Stranger Things’ Game Takes Cues From ‘Pokemon Go’The Best ‘Stranger Things’ Toyscenter_img Stay on targetlast_img read more

Rollings echoes Glenn Murrays praise of Florin Andone

first_imgAndy Rollings has echoed Glenn Murray’s praise of Florin Andone, after the veteran striker called Andone a ‘nuisance’ due to his work rate for Brighton & Hove Albion.The former Seagulls defender played during the club’s first golden era in the 1970s and now watches closely as part of his role as a match-day host at the Amex Stadium.“Glenn has been incredible for us. He will always score goals.” Rollings said, according to Argus.“I think Andone looks a clever player. He puts himself about.”“He’s physical, he gets stuck in and you love to see that.”“I can understand what Glenn says about him because Andone doesn’t let anybody rest on their laurels.”BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - MARCH 02: Lewis Dunk of Brighton & Hove Albion celebrates team mate Florin Andone's goal during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Huddersfield Town at American Express Community Stadium on March 02, 2019 in Brighton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)Andone happy after Brighton won its “final” Manuel R. Medina – March 2, 2019 The match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Huddersfield Town felt like a final for striker Florin Andone and he’s delighted after winning it.“He works his socks off. You expect that of every player but he’s quick and you can’t rest against him.”Rollings also added: “I didn’t have much voice at the Palace game.”“But, when he scored that goal, I didn’t have any voice left!” “I think the squad looks stronger and I’ve enjoyed watching the boy Bissouma. What a talent he is going to be.”last_img read more

Ryan Babel blames Liverpool for failure to fulfil potential

first_imgFulham striker Ryan Babel is not happy with Liverpool, claiming the club stifled his potential and didn’t give him the guidance he needed and wanted.Babel spent only three years at Anfield following a move from Ajax in 2007 and now in Fulham.‘I wanted to develop well and, as they promised me before I joined, just be given the guidance I needed to become a better player,’ said Babel via Daily Mail.“That didn’t happen and, for a lot of different reasons, I didn’t fulfil my potential.”2010 World Cup. Netherlands, Robon Van persie, Wesley Snieder, Rafel van de VartReport: Babel says ego’s cost Holland World Cup glory George Patchias – September 10, 2019 Former Liverpool winger Ryan Babel has spoken out about four big ego’s that cost the Dutch national team, their best chance of World Cup…“I was young. Maybe I should have stayed a couple more years in Holland. I had been living with my parents so it was the first time living abroad and by myself. Different country, different culture.”“I came from Ajax where you play 4-3-3 mostly and as a winger, they didn’t want you to defend too far back. In the English game when you play 4-4-2 you have to change your mentality because you’re not a winger, you’re a left midfielder so you have to help your full-back.”“Those were the things I was struggling with, especially in my first year, and in my opinion, I don’t think the coaches taught me how to manage that properly. I had to find out myself. I think that was why I maybe I wasn’t always playing consistently.”last_img read more

TCI Integrity Commission Investigation

first_img Former Labour Commissioner arrested on corruption allegations confirms Integrity Commission Illegal Work Permit ring busted by Police and Integrity Commission Veteran Public Servant arrested in corruption probe, Tourism Deputy PS taken in today Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppTurks and Caicos, May 9th 2017 – Providenciales – Deputy Premier and Minister of Border Control and Employment, Sean Astwood has stated that his ministry is continuing their efforts to eradicate legacy issues including corruption by the Civil Service. This comes amid the joint and collaborative efforts of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force and the Integrity Commission to treat allegations of corruption and associated crimes, which threaten the national security of the country.Earlier today, both police and officers of the Integrity Commission visited the offices of the Labour Department in Providenciales and seized a number of documents in connection with ongoing investigations.Minister Astwood also confirmed that, “these activities will be on-going and we are committed to seeing them through to ensure that the Ministry of Border Control and Employment can operate as a well managed, efficient and responsive organization that consistently delivers on its corporate objectives and responsibilities.”Story By: Kay-Marie Fletcher#MagneticMediaNews#IntegrityCommission Related Items:#IntegrityCommission, #magneticmedianewslast_img read more

Local middle school teacher on leave after allegedly showing students pornography

first_img KUSI Newsroom KUSI Newsroom, Local middle school teacher on leave after allegedly showing students pornography Posted: April 19, 2018 April 19, 2018 SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A Horace Mann Middle School teacher who reportedly showed a sixth-grade class pornography has been placed on leave while the allegations are investigated, a school district representative confirmed Thursday.The instructor, whose name has not been made public, allegedly displayed the graphic images — a video of a man and woman having sex — during a physical-education class at the El Cerrito-area campus.Maureen Magee, the spokeswoman for San Diego Unified School District, said SDUSD officials were “aware of the allegations,” and were looking into them.Magee said district personnel policies prohibited her from commenting on any particulars of the case, except to say that the teacher in question has not been arrested.School officials were notified about the alleged incident on Monday. Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more