BJP seeks Z-category security for Biplab Deb

first_imgThe BJP in Tripura will write to the Union Home Ministry seeking more security for Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, who, the party says, is facing a threat to his life from drug cartels because of his drive against opium and cannabis growers.On Thursday, BJP MLA Ratan Chakraborty said the Centre was aware of the need to tighten Mr. Deb’s security, following a report that drug lords in Myanmar had hatched a plot to kill him. Myanmar is a major producer of narcotic drugs.“We are drafting a note for the MHA, requesting that the Chief Minister’s security be enhanced to the Z category from the current Y category… We have also asked party workers to be on their toes as the Chief Minister often breaks security cordon to meet people,” Mr. Chakraborty said.After its formation in March, the BJP-led coalition declared war on drugs. The police and other security agencies have so far seized more than 50,000 kg of cannabis and destroyed plants on large areas across the State. Police officers say the drug corridor from Myanmar to Bangladesh, through Tripura, has been choked, with drug lords in Myanmar turning restive.last_img read more

London Olympics: India could surprise Holland in first Olympic hockey match, says coach Michael Nobbs

first_imgStanding at the River Bank arena and gazing into the cloudy London sky, the two stalwarts of Indian hockey Sandeep Singh and Ignace Tirkey soaked in the atmosphere on Sunday.These two men are sole survivors from the 2004 Athens Olympics and are again in focus because of their fitness as India begin their league campaign against former champions Holland.From Athens to London it has been one hell of a roller-coaster ride for Indian hockey. Having finished eighth in Athens, the team did not even qualify for the Beijing Olympics.Understandably, there was an outcry at home as our national sport had gone to the dogs. It was a harsh truth which was hard to digest and making it back to the Olympic fold earlier this year by winning the qualifier in New Delhi has come as a whiff of fresh air.However, one shouldn’t get fooled that this team is going to finish in the medal bracket as equations in global hockey have changed so drastically.Holland, India’s first opponent, were champions in Athens 1996 and Sydney 2000, but have lost some amount of grip after that.But if one is to hear coach Michael Nobbs ‘ words, then there is a statement in it. “Once these boys step on to the turf on Monday, there can be no denying they become Olympians. And that is a huge tag which you can’t take away,” said the Australian who has played at the highest level.India are currently ranked 10th in the world by the FIH and are placed with potent Germany, New Zealand, Korea and Belgium.In the other pool, neighbours Pakistan are placed with Britain, South Africa, Australia and Spain.On the eve of the big match, captain Bharat Chetr i was relaxed. “We want to produce a good display and are eager to show that the London connection with Indian hockey is not just symbolic,” said Chetri.The overall mood and sense is that world champions Australia and Olympic champions Germany will again be hot contenders for the title.As regards Pakistan, their hockey has been in turmoil after they won gold in the Guangzhou Asian Games and qualified for the London Olympics.Frequent change in the officialdom of the Pakistan Hockey Federation and treating players shabbily has been their bane. And when some of their players came to India recently for the cash-rich World Hockey League, it led to a bigger uproar.How well the Asian champions can take these upheavals in their stride remains to be seen.Back to India, not having played Holland recently could be a boon says Nobbs. “We could surprise them with our play as we have had a change in the team with a lot of youngsters turning out in this particular Olympics,” said Nobbs.While nobody is expecting miracles from the Indian hockey team, they have worked hard on their fitness. After the highs and lows of battles between two federations in India, matters have settled.Common perception is that the Indian Hockey Federation ruined the sport and in the four years after failing to make it to Beijing, there is now more exposure and inputs for the Indian team.Even though Hockey India, which now runs the sport has its share of detractors at home, the good thing is we are at least there at the London Olympics.advertisementlast_img read more

Sports Wrap: Venkatesh Prasad applies for India selector’s job, India face Spanish challenge at Davis Cup and more

first_imgVenkatesh Prasad, Nayan Mongia among 80 applicants for India’s next selection committee  The BCCI for the first time has invited applications through public advertisement for the post of senior, junior and women’s selection committee.Have India wasted home advantage against Spain in Davis Cup?Spain, five time-time Davis Cup champions, are expected to breeze past the Indian team without breaking much sweat. Europa League: Manchester United suffer shock defeat in opener  Manchester United were floored by a late goal from Feyenoord while Inter Milan were stunned 2-0 at home by Israeli side Hapoel Beer-Sheva. Usain Bolt announces plans to open sports clinic in Jamaica  Nine-time Olympic Gold medallist Usain Bolt has announced plans to open a sports clinic in Jamaica after retiring from the track and field. Sebastian Vettel seeks Singapore success to salvage season  Sebastian Vettel is running out of races to record his first win of the season for Ferrari but the German is optimistic this week’s Singapore Grand Prix could provide some belated success for the Italian team.last_img read more

IPL 2019: Jasprit Bumrah wins hearts for his gesture towards Quinton de Kock

first_imgQuinton de Kock’s mistake in the penultimate over of the IPL 2019 final between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings could have been very costly for his team but fortunately he ended up on the winning side as MI beat CSK by 1 run in a thrilling game on Sunday to lift their 4th IPL title.Jasprit Bumrah was bowling the 19th over and he had been brilliant up until the final ball when he bowled a bouncer to Ravindra Jadeja who couldn’t connect and the ball went through to de Kock behind the stumps.It was a regulation take for Quinton de Kock but he couldn’t gather the ball as it moved away in the final moment and went to the boundary.Bumrah, rather than getting angry at de Kock for his costly mistake, chose to go up to the wicketkeeper and pat him on the back. He decided to forgive de Kock and told him it’s alright.The moment was captured on camera and lauded by the commentators and fans on social media.HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE JASPRIT BUMRAH. HE’S JUST AMAZING. pic.twitter.com/9h0aYNFRtV(@inzaynpari7) May 12, 2019My respect for Jasprit Bumrah has gone up a level. Not for his bowling, which is superb of course. We all are aware of itThat conversation he had with QDK and calming his nerves is top stuff #IPL2019Final #IPL2019 #IPL #MIShruti Hariharan (@Shruti_2890) May 12, 2019At a time when every fan including me were losing their shit with the fielding blunders, loads of respect to Jasprit Bumrah for keeping that calm. I don’t think anyone would’ve managed to keep their nerves like him at that moment. #IPL2019Final#MIvCSK #MI #Csk pic.twitter.com/TQbTlnTlcDadvertisementshakeel akhtar (@BeingSAkhtar) May 12, 2019Jasprit Bumrah bowled a gem of a spell in a big game under pressure. He laughed it away when Rahul Chahar dropped Watson of his bowling. He consoled Quinton De Kock when he gave away those byes in a big moment. The man is captain material, as calm as a toad in the sun.Hardik Rajgor (@Hardism) May 12, 2019One of the best moments of the day. Jasprit Bumrah to Quinton de Kock after he dropped Jadeja on his bowling #MIvCSK #IPL2019Final pic.twitter.com/HrpIxFrFd9Saurabh (@SteynGun_) May 12, 2019Mumbai Indians ultimately defended 149 in 20 overs to lift their fourth IPL title in Hyderabad. Riding on Shane Watson’s 80, Chennai were cruising till the final over but made a mess of it in the end as Watson got run out off the fourth delivery.Lasith Malinga produced an incredible last over to defend nine runs as Mumbai Indians claimed undisputed supremacy in the IPL. CSK needed nine runs off the last over but the experienced Lankan paceman Malinga kept his nerve to concede eight. He trapped Shardul Thakur leg before in the last ball after Watson (80 off 59) got run out two balls earlier.Unprecedented scenes from Hyderabad as @mipaltan became #VIVOIPL champs for the 4th time!Lasith Malinga showing his true class in the last over #MIvCSK pic.twitter.com/ZzVK0KHx5OIndianPremierLeague (@IPL) May 12, 2019Before that Jasprit Bumrah kept Mumbai in the hunt with his tidy overs and two wickets, getting rid of Dwayne Bravo and Ambati Rayudu. The premier Indian pacer produced 13 dot balls in his testing overs. Young leg-spinner Rahul Chahar also played a key role in the middle overs as he too created pressure by bowling 13 dot balls.superstar is the Indians’ superstar tonight with an exceptional spell of 2/14 @Jaspritbumrah93 is the Man of the Match in the #VIVOIPL final. #MIvCSK pic.twitter.com/TibSU2QYPTIndianPremierLeague (@IPL) May 12, 2019Both teams were tied at three IPL titles each heading into the finale with Mumbai holding the upper hand, having beaten CSK thrice earlier in the competition.Also Read | IPL 2019 Final: Mumbai Indians beat Chennai Super Kings in last-ball thriller to win 4th titleAlso Read | IPL 2019: Lasith Malinga recalls last-over nerves after MI win record 4th titleAlso Read | IPL 2019 final: Kieron Pollard protests against umpire call in last over from BravoAlso Read | Controversy in IPL 2019 Final: Rohit Sharma upset after Shardul Thakur’s rude send-off actlast_img read more

‘Ronaldo can play at the top as long as he wants’

first_imgCristiano Ronaldo Ronaldo can play at elite level for as long as he wants – Fernandes Sacha Pisani 19:05 3/3/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(5) CristianoRonaldo-cropped Getty Images Cristiano Ronaldo Lokomotiv Moskva v Spartak Moskva Real Madrid v Getafe Real Madrid Portugal Primera División World Cup Lokomotiv Moskva Premier League The attacker may have turned 33 last month, but he shows few signs of slowing down, something his countryman puts down to his mentality Real Madrid and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo can continue playing at the highest level for as long as he wants, insists countryman Manuel Fernandes.Ronaldo celebrated his 33rd birthday in February but the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is still going strong for club and country.He has scored 14 La Liga goals and 28 across all competitions for Madrid in a relatively modest season by his own exceptional standards but netted twice in Madrid’s 3-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie last month. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Indeed, he has started 2018 better than any other calendar year with Los Blancos and now the former Manchester United forward will look to help Madrid complete the job at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday as Madrid seek to win the competition for the third season in a row.And Lokomotiv Moscow star Fernandes told Omnisport: “Cristiano is special because of his strong winning mentality.”He is very aware of what needs to be done in order to achieve his goals.”Obviously, he takes care of himself and that’s another main reason for his success. A true model of professionalism and constant superiority.”Keeping up his physical condition and wanting to achieve more, he can play at the highest level until he wants to.” Aside from a potential Champions League three-peat, Portugal’s captain, all-time leading scorer and most capped player will also be targeting World Cup glory.Ronaldo helped Portugal triumph at Euro 2016, and Fernando Santos’ men now head to Russia in June with heightened expectations.The European champions will come up against neighbours Spain, Morocco and Iran in Group B and Portugal’s hopes are set to rest heavily on Ronaldo.”Spain are one of the strongest candidates to win the cup,” World Cup hopeful Fernandes – who has 11 caps for Portugal – said.”It is true that the initial clash with them will be extremely difficult, but I’m sure they think the same when they consider their first match in the World Cup is against the European Champions.”We will be focused on that initial match, but also must consider how difficult the games against Morocco and Iran will be. Morocco has players featuring in the best European leagues and Iran has had an impressive qualification phase and has been preparing exclusively for this competition for over a year now. It’s a World Cup level group, one of the strongest.””Cristiano as always will be in his best form but if you ask him, I’m sure he will say the team’s form and belief will be the decisive factors.”last_img read more

Legal Update For Nebraska Star RB Maurice Washington

first_imgnebraska running back maurice washington runs against minnesotaLINCOLN, NE – OCTOBER 20: Running back Maurice Washington #28 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers stretches for an extra yards against defensive lineman Winston DeLattiboudere #46 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the first half at Memorial Stadium on October 20, 2018 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)Nebraska running back Maurice Washington is going to wait a bit longer to get some of his legal proceedings underway. On of his key court dates is now set to be pushed back.According to the Lincoln Journal Star, Washington’s plea hearing has been moved back to July 25 due to a “pending discovery request.” The plea hearing will take place only days before the Huskers open their preseason camp.Washington is facing felony charges in California stemming from an explicit video that he allegedly sent to an ex-girlfriend. He was charged with the felonies back in February of this year.As a freshman, Washington rushed for 455 yards and three touchdowns with a 5.9 yard/carry average. He also contributed an extra 24 receptions for 221 yards and a touchdown. He was poised for an increased role in 2019, but his legal issues now put those plans in jeopardy, especially if the NCAA drops the hammer on him.To make matters worse, earlier this month it was revealed that he had been cited for possessing drug paraphernalia.It may be months, or even the entire season, before all of Washington’s legal problems are completely resolved. But we don’t yet know what head coach Scott Frost will do if all of his issues remain unresolved at the start of the season.last_img read more

Modistan

first_img Next ModistanStrongman Modi stands head and shoulders above everyone else in the eyes of the Indian people. He can do no wrong, it seems, going by the findings of the India Today-Karvy Insights Mood of the Nation Poll for 2019.advertisement Raj Chengappa New Delhi August 16, 2019 ISSUE DATE: August 26, 2019UPDATED: August 21, 2019 12:00 IST Illustration by Nilanjan Das; Digital imaging by Amarjeet Singh NagiOnly rarely does a nation’s destiny become so closely intertwined with that of its leader. Till recently, this pantheon of great Indian leaders had been limited to Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi. Some did come within striking distance of that trinity: Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Rajiv Gandhi, Narasimha RaoOnly rarely does a nation’s destiny become so closely intertwined with that of its leader. Till recently, this pantheon of great Indian leaders had been limited to Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi. Some did come within striking distance of that trinity: Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Rajiv Gandhi, Narasimha Rao and, for a brief while, even Manmohan Singh when he was re-elected prime minister for the second time. But these statesmen were unable to ascend the altar of mass idolatry.Now, however, a new claimant is emerging to the throne of absolute power: Narendra Damodardas Modi. The size of the screens and the colour with which we view our leaders have drastically altered from the sepia-toned photographs of Gandhi and Nehru and the flickering black-and-white images of Indira on hunchbacked television sets. We now view our leaders on palm-sized screens, keep track of them through their staccato tweets and are more connected with them than ever before. No Indian leader has mastered the wizardry of such an engagement better than Modi. As a result, in just five years, his persona looms even larger than a 70 mm movie screen in our collective consciousness.Like the mythical German god Thor (made popular in recent times by Hollywood), Modi is now regarded as someone who can make both thunder and lightning happen. He is both the storm that can sweep voters off their feet, and its eye. He does not just occupy centre stage, he has become the stage itself. Welcome to Modistan.advertisementNot a day seems to pass without some dramatically scripted scene starring the prime minister. There is Modi directly addressing the nation to explain why he took the most significant decision on Kashmir since India’s Independence by revoking its autonomous status enshrined in Article 370. Then there is Modi in Parliament waxing eloquent on his dream of a $5 trillion-sized economy for India by 2025 and getting a desk-thumping endorsement from his colleagues even though the country faces the biggest economic slowdown since he first took over as prime minister in 2014.There is also Modi exposing the lack of unity in the opposition in the Rajya Sabha (where the government did not have a majority) by getting the bill making triple talaq illegal passed with ease and hailing the victory as righting a historic wrong done to Muslim women. There is Modi again, now in camouflage fatigues, venturing into the wilds of Corbett National Park, for a popular Discovery TV show. When its anchor Bear Grylls, who described Modi as a great sport, asked him whether he used to dream of becoming prime minister, he replied: My focus has always been on one thing: the development of the nation. And I am satisfied doing that job. The nation, for its part, not only seems satisfied with the way Modi is going about doing that job, it also has immense faith in his ability to deliver, as the biannual india today-Karvy Insights Mood of the Nation (MOTN) survey reveals. Coming just two months after he led his party, the BJP, to a stupendous 300-plus majority in Election 2019, the survey shows that Modi’s popularity has soared to stratospheric heights. Seventy-one per cent of those polled rate his performance as prime minister good’ and outstanding’an even higher endorsement than the 69 per cent he got in the MOTN conducted soon after his announcement of demonetisation in November 2016. Though, when it comes to the regions, the south does not endorse his leadership as strongly as the others do. And disaggregated by community, his ratings are lower among non-Hindus, especially Muslims.Do note that the current MOTN was conducted before the Modi government made a historic change in the constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir. His ratings may have soared even higher after that decision, given that close to 57 per cent of those polled in this MOTN had endorsed his party’s manifesto promise to abrogate Article 370. Even without the Kashmir decision, when asked whom they thought was the best prime minister, Modi was rated higher than all other prime ministers by a substantial margin37 per cent compared to Indira Gandhi (14 per cent), Atal Bihari Vajpayee (11 per cent) and Jawaharlal Nehru (9 per cent).Modi has the remarkable skill of keeping his ear to the ground and feeling the pulse of the people, better than anyone else in recent history. That, coupled with a tremendous self-belief, deep convictions, hard work, the ability to think big and take even bigger risks, extraordinary communication skills and talent for dramatic faits accomplis, seems to have elevated him to his current exalted status. Modi can do no wrong in the eyes of the people. The MOTN August 2019 poll findings are a clear indication of that trend.advertisementTake the Pulwama terror attack in February 2019 and the retaliatory strike by the Indian Air Force on a terror camp in Balakot deep inside Pakistan. Though it was a major intelligence failure that led to the attack in Kashmir, Modi’s willingness to carry out an air strike at the risk of losing an election or, worse, even starting a war with Pakistan, saw him emerge as a decisive leader willing to bite the bullet. The poll lists his image as a nationalist strongman and the Balakot strike as the two main reasons why the people re-elected him. The paradoxical public reaction to demonetisation is particularly revealing. Earlier MOTN polls showed that after the initial euphoria over its stated objective of rooting out black money, concern grew in subsequent polls about the disruption it had caused to the economy and the resultant loss of jobs. But Modi exhibited an uncanny ability to convince people that the act was necessary to curb corruption which seems to have positively impacted his poll fortunesregardless of its impact on the economy. Forty-one per cent of our respondents listed corruption-free governance, demonetisation and a crackdown on black money as the biggest achievements of the Modi government. These three figured way higher than even his pro-poor development and social reform schemes like the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana for building houses for the poor and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan for providing toilets to all households. That said, in answers to specific questions in the poll, people did express a high degree of satisfaction with the way the government has implemented its key development programmes.Interestingly, those surveyed endorsed four other significant qualities that should make Modi happy: he is seen as pro-poor, uncorrupt, possessing an extraordinary connect with people and believing in sabka saath, sabka vikaas, sabka vishvaas (despite his party fielding only seven Muslim candidates among the 437 seats it contested in the parliamentary poll). The opposition criticism that Modi is publicity-hungry, pro-rich, dictatorial, anti-Muslim and always in campaign mode did not wash with those who were surveyed. (Rahul Gandhi, please note.)In the January MOTN poll, the lack of jobs and farmers’ distress figured on top of the list of issues of concern among voters. This seemed to open up a window for the opposition to make a fight of it in the national election. Instead, as the August poll indicates, people remain unconvinced by the opposition’s efforts and its clear leadership vacuum as compared to Modi’s jumbo persona. Over 50 per cent of those polled said the main reason for the failure of the opposition was that it had no prime ministerial face and appeared divided. While those surveyed continue to express deep concern for both farmers’ woes and jobs, they seem to have put their trust in Modi’s ability to turn around the flagging economy and tide over the crises.advertisement That Modi remains an unchallenged colossus is evident from the number of seats the BJP is projected to get were an election to be held now. The survey shows that the BJP would win 308 seatsfive more than what the party got in the general election, with its vote share moving up by one percentage point, from 37 per cent. While there is no drop in the Congress vote share of 20 per cent, the survey projects a slide from the already dismal tally of 52 to 49. The only silver lining for the party is that despite Rahul’s decision to quit as president, leaving the party leaderless, its flock of faithful hasn’t deserted itas yet. Asked whether they believed the Congress was in terminal decline, 50 per cent agreed. On the leadership issue, the response was mixed: 49 per cent felt that only a non-Gandhi, non-dynastic leader could revive the party, but when asked to rate Congress leaders, both Priyanka and Rahul figured higher than other Congress leaders. In terms of leading the opposition fight against Modi, Mamata Banerjee emerges as the best alternative, closely followed by Akhilesh Yadav, Arvind Kejriwal, Naveen Patnaik and Sharad Pawar.In foreign affairs, too, Modi has come out looking good. Those surveyed back Modi’s approach of not engaging in talks with Pakistan till it puts an end to cross-border terrorism. They believe that relations with the US have improved under the Trump presidency. And that the Modi government’s tenure has seen a gradual improvement of relations with China.There are many pluses to having a leader with such extreme power and the trust of a nationand there are minuses. First, the pluses. In his second term, Modi has already shown that of the three core issues before his party and its mentor organisation, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), his government has been able to deliver on two of them: shredding Article 370 and pushing for a uniform civil code (triple talaq act is seen as part of it). Whether the outcome of the decision on Kashmir will be peace or rising protests and terror attacks is yet to be tested. On the other issue of building a Ram temple in Ayodhya, with mediation failing, the party is hoping that the Supreme Court delivers a verdict in its favour.While he has clearly kept the Hindutva flock happy, Modi has also taken care to go beyond a narrow cultural agenda and focus on a development model that RSS leaders such as Deendayal Upadhyay espoused. He seems to recive public endorsement for this approach to development and economic growth, as also for the recent budget, including his bold agenda of making India a $5 trillion economy in five years. Yet, when it came to taking radical reforms to boost the economy, Modi seems to prefer incremental steps rather than big-bang announcements. As an aide put it, The prime minister believes more in stable reform with direction rather than disruption without direction. But Modi should take note of the fact that while giving a thumbs up to his $5 trillion dream, a substantial number of those polled believed it could be achieved only through radical reforms. There are also clear warning signals of an economic slowdownwith key sectors like auto and real estate in the doldrumssomething that the Modi government has to sort out.The minuses of having a brute majority in Parliament backed by such enormous personal popularity is that voters’ expectations tend to be extraordinarily high too. It becomes extremely difficult for any leader or government to satisfy them. The Indian cricket team knows the fickleness of public opinion only too well. The adulation and the hero worship remain only as long as the team is winning. But they drop steeply when performance flagsas we saw in the recent World Cup. The other danger is that hubris sets in far quicker if you don’t have either a strong opposition or cabinet colleagues with the stature to question and moderate your decisions. Authoritarianism usually follows, with the leader increasingly relying on a small clique for advice. In his second term, Modi should welcome opposition suggestions and take criticism (including from the media) in his stride.Since India recently successfully tested its largest ever rocketGSLV Mark 3to launch its second moon mission, Modi and his colleagues can learn some lessons from the laws of physics that drive rockets. During take-off, a rocket needs to have the drag of its immense weight to stabilise its initial flight. Without that, it can tumble out of control. The drag it experiences allows it to maintain its balance till it develops sufficient thrust to break free of the clutches of gravity and soar to even greater distances with the accuracy it is designed for. As in rocketry, the trick for any leader is to learn to welcome the drag and use it to stabilise one’s flight to achieve the desired height. Among the many qualities Modi has is his ability to be a keen listener and fast learner. If the prime minister plays to these strengths, the sky needn’t be the limit. METHODOLOGYThe India Today Group-Karvy Insights Mood of the Nation (MOTN) poll was conducted by Karvy Insights Limited. A total of 12,126 interviews were conducted (67 per cent rural and 33 per cent urban, and an almost equal number of females and males), spread across 97 parliamentary constituencies and 194 assembly constituencies in 19 statesAndhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. The survey was conducted before the official announcement of the dilution of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir by the NDA government.In each assembly constituency, different starting points were selected covering all the five zones of the constituency: north, south, east, west and centre. A fixed number of interviews were done in each, rigorously following the right-hand rule of household selection. The fieldwork for the MOTN poll was conducted from July 22, 2019 to July 30, 2019. The survey followed random sampling. All interviews were conducted face to face using a standard structured interview questionnaire, which was translated into regional languages. A 15 to 20-minute interview was conducted with each respondent and all the responses were collected digitally using tablets and mobile phones.The poll was conducted under the supervision of Ranjit Chib, chairman of Karvy Insights. He was assisted by vice-president Dixit Chanana and associate vice-presidents Sachin Gupta and Debashish Chatterjee.You’ve reached your article limitSign in to keep reading India TodaySign inSign up NOW to get:Premium content on Aaj Tak HD ChannelUnrestricted access to India Today magazine contentGet real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byKritika Bansallast_img read more

Personal Directives Act Introduced

first_imgNova Scotians will have greater control over personal-care decisions under legislation introduced today, May 9. The Personal Directives Act will provide Nova Scotians an opportunity to make certain personal-care decisions in advance, including health-care decisions. Individuals will be able to give instructions and express their wishes about how personal-care decisions are to be made in the event they become incapacitated. In addition, individuals will be able to appoint a delegate to make decisions on personal-care matters. The legislation will also provide instruction on the choice of a substitute decision-maker, if a personal directive has not been created. “It is a sad fact of life that sometimes illness or injury occurs suddenly and without warning,” said Attorney General and Justice Minister Cecil Clarke. “This legislation will allow people a further measure of control at a time when they may otherwise be vulnerable.” Personal-care decisions include matters such as health care, home-care services, nutrition, shelter, residence, clothing, comforts, social activities and support services. “This legislation will enable Nova Scotians to prepare for a time when they may no longer be capable of making personal-care decisions, including health care and residence,” said Health Minister Chris d’Entremont.last_img read more

Millard had means motive and opportunity to kill his father Crown alleges

first_imgTORONTO – A Toronto man killed his aviation executive father to access millions in inheritance, prosecutors alleged at the trial of the twice-convicted murderer on Monday, while the defence argued the death was a simple case of suicide.The assertions were presented in closing arguments at the first-degree murder trial of Dellen Millard, 32, who has pleaded not guilty to killing his father, 71-year-old Wayne Millard.The older Millard died on Nov. 29, 2012. Court has heard he was found with a bullet lodged in his brain after being shot through his left eye. The coroner and police initially concluded he died by suicide.“Wayne Millard did not kill himself,” Crown lawyer Jill Cameron said. “Dellen Millard carried about a calculated plan to murder his father and cover it up.”Wayne Millard had a $10-million plan to transform the family’s aviation business, Millardair, into a maintenance shop for passenger jets, the judge-alone trial heard. He told many people he was creating the business for his son.“Wayne Millard was spending the family money creating a legacy for Dellen Millard that he didn’t want,” Cameron said.Shortly after Wayne Millard died, his son — a co-owner of Millardair — fired all employees and returned a crucial license from the federal government to operate the company, the Crown said.“(Dellen Millard) now had money, power, freedom and control,” Cameron said.Dellen Millard’s defence lawyer argued, however, that Wayne Millard was depressed, an alcoholic and “drowning” underneath the stress of the business, echoing what his client told police shortly after his father died.“There is an overwhelming body of evidence that points to suicide,” Ravin Pillay said.“It was a suicide then, it is a suicide now.”The Crown said Dellen Millard’s plan to murder his father crystallized on Nov. 1, 2012, when the family aviation business received a maintenance, repair and overhaul certificate from Transport Canada.“The plan was hatched as soon as that licence came through for a business he didn’t want,” Cameron said. “Money was being funnelled out, his inheritance being spent.”That’s the same day the younger Millard bought a second cellphone, the Crown said.Court has heard that phone was used to call a cab from the home of Millard’s friend, Mark Smich, in Oakville, Ont., early on Nov. 29, 2012. Records show that phone was at the home Millard shared with his father at about 1 a.m. that day, and then back at Smich’s house at 6 a.m.Pillay countered that there was no proof that Millard was travelling with that phone and that it wouldn’t make sense to use a phone that was still registered in his name, if this was, in fact, murder.Millard left behind his main phone and a credit card so Smich and his girlfriend could buy pizza, the Crown alleged. Cameron said it was all a ruse to create a false alibi.The coroner put Wayne Millard’s death between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m., court heard.The Crown said Wayne Millard was not suicidal, but hopeful for the future, and had made plans for the day after he had been found dead, as well as plans to teach his girlfriend how to fly.“Everything was coming up Wayne,” Cameron said.She also said Wayne Millard couldn’t have physically shot himself in the face because of his position in his bed, where he was found lying on his side with a revolver nearby.Pillay said it’s impossible to reconstruct the moment of shooting with any certainty.The judge-alone trial has heard Dellen Millard bought the revolver found next to his father’s body from a gun dealer, and that his DNA was found on the weapon.Pillay said the DNA on the gun could have simply come from his client buying it.Ultimately, Pillay concluded, suicide is a complex issue and, in this case, misunderstood by the Crown.“With years of untreated depression compounded by decades of alcohol abuse, Wayne Millard was driven to a final impulsive act,” he said.Wayne Millard’s entire life was devoted to his son, Pillay said. And when Dellen Millard told his father that he was a failure and the reason behind the company’s financial troubles, Wayne Millard broke down.“That must have been very painful,” Pillay said.Millard is currently serving two life sentences for the deaths of Toronto woman Laura Babcock and Hamilton man Tim Bosma.The judge said she may have a verdict by July 19, but the decision may come in September due to her caseload.last_img read more

US pot firm urges Trump to deny Canadian producers competitive advantage

first_imgWASHINGTON – An American cannabis producer is warning President Donald Trump that Canada is poised to dominate the North American marijuana industry unless the United States takes steps to eliminate barriers to financing and market capital south of the border.A full-page ad in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, framed as a plea to the White House and its most prominent occupant, warns the U.S. is rapidly losing its competitive advantage to Canada, where recreational pot becomes legal at midnight.“The cannabis industry is legal in 31 states, yet most domestic companies do not have access to traditional banking or institutional financing,” reads the ad, signed by Derek Peterson, the chairman and CEO of California-based Terra Tech Corp.“As a result, many U.S. companies are being forced to move to the Canadian public markets to access capital and build their businesses.”The ad also warns that Canadian firms have tapped into U.S. investor interest in order to raise and spend money in order to acquire American cannabis assets.“Regrettably, this will put what should be one of our homeland’s greatest economic drivers in foreign control.”As of Wednesday, Canada will be the first G7 member to greenlight legal recreational pot — a move Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has justified as an effort to better protect young people from the drug’s effects and eliminate the influence of organized crime.In an interview, Peterson admitted to having mixed feelings about the momentous paradigm shift that’s scheduled to begin north of the border when the Trudeau government’s promise to legalize recreational pot finally becomes a reality.“It’s a double-edged sword,” he said. “I’m afraid of the economic impacts right now if we don’t do anything, but at the same time, (Canada) really triggered and ignited the national discussion.“I literally would categorize that as the single most pivotal point in our own path towards legalization, that they took the initiative to do it.”The challenge for U.S. firms lies in the fact that while recreational cannabis is legal in nine states and medicinal pot in 22 others, it remains illegal under federal law. Sending product across state lines is impossible, as is the ability for companies to obtain financing from major banks.Federal statutes aimed at curtailing the cocaine trade in the 1980s remain on the books, making it impossible for companies like Terra Tech to deduct routine business expenses and capital equipment like computers and payroll costs against their taxes, Peterson said.Producers have to rely on smaller financial institutions like credit unions for financing, while the major players in the world of institutional capital have been flocking to back Canadian rivals, he added.The result is what Peterson called a “federal illegality tax” that extends across the spectrum of a U.S. producer’s operations and swallows profit margins whole.“The reality is, like it or hate it, you guys are getting a first-mover advantage,” he said of the Canadian industry.“We’re sitting here with no access to banking, getting our credit cards shut off, having all these crazy headwinds due to the dichotomy between state and federal law, and you guys took the first-mover advantage from the federal perspective and you’re reaping the rewards of it.”The solution, Peterson writes, is for the U.S. government to allow states to enact their own cannabis regulations “so that we can fairly compete and protect our domestic industry before it’s too late.”The federal philosophy on recreational pot in the U.S. has been fraught with confusion since Trump was elected in 2016.Despite campaigning on a promise to leave the issue up to individual states, the White House appeared to reverse course earlier this year by rescinding the so-called Cole memorandum, an Obama-era edict that prevented federal interference with those states where recreational cannabis is legal. Trump has since insisted, however, that the federal law would not be enforced in those jurisdictions.Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican congressman from California, has since said he has been assured that Trump plans to proceed with reforming federal marijuana laws as they pertain to medicinal pot once next month’s midterm elections are over.“The global cannabis boom, for raising money in Canada, has just been absolutely incredible,” said Anthony Durkacz, majority owner of First Republic Capital and a director of cannabis producer FSD Pharma, based in Cobourg, Ont.But Durkacz said the growth in the Canadian industry thus far could prove to be only the tip of the iceberg if Trump follows Peterson’s advice and starts lowering barriers to the production and sale of marijuana — something he considers an inevitability.“Canada is a very, very small country — economically we are tiny. There’s more money in Manhattan alone than all of Canada, by multiples,” he said.“For us, where the good times and the bullish market will continue is if America legalizes cannabis.”last_img read more

Ted Turner Our Future Depends On Her Rights

first_imgIn recognition of World Population Day on Friday, July 11, United Nations Foundation Founder and Chairman Ted Turner released the following statement.“Young people have the power to transform their communities and create a better world for us all. But the facts are clear: many of the world’s adolescent girls are not reaching their full potential because of a lack of access to quality reproductive health information, education and services. We must recognize that reproductive health isn’t a privilege; it’s a right.“Right now, statistics show that some 14 million girls are subject to early or forced marriage each year. Many of these girls become pregnant before their bodies are ready, which is why pregnancy is a leading cause of death among girls aged 15-19. Approximately 70,000 girls are dying every year, according to the ICPD Global Review Report. That’s not a future that we want.“The good news is: we have the power to change this reality and help girls everywhere reach their full potential. When girls can fully realize their sexual and reproductive health and rights, they can choose their own paths in life. They can stay in school, avoid early marriage and unintended pregnancy, and pursue an income. They can have children when they are ready. In turn, they lift themselves, their families and their communities out of poverty.“I see a future with healthier girls and women, stronger families, more prosperous communities and a more sustainable planet. To get there, we must redouble efforts to invest in the information, education and services she needs to plan her family and her future, and ensure that the health and rights of adolescent girls is robustly included in the next development framework.“This World Population Day, let’s all commit to supporting the United Nations to ensure every girl can reach her full potential. It’s a no brainer: invest in the health and rights of an adolescent girl now, and you’ll invest in a better future for us all.”last_img read more

2010 World Cup Bribe Scandal behind Sepp Blatters Resignation

Rabat – Sepp Blatter took world football by surprise when he has decided Tuesday to step down from FIFA after 17 years in charge of the sport’s world governing body. The stunning decision comes only four days after the 79-year-old was re-elected as FIFA boss for a fifth consecutive term.According to media reports, one of the main reasons behind Blatter’s decision could be the alleged corruption of his secretary general, Jerome Valcke. Valcke allegedly made a $10 million transfer in 2008 to Jack Warner, former CONCACAF president and FIFA vice president, who faces corruption charges in the U.S.U.S. officials are reported to believe that the money was allegedly paid as a bribe in exchange for votes to give the 2010 World Cup to South Africa at the expense of rival bidder Morocco.A letter dated 4 March 2008 has emerged apparently linking the football organization’s secretary general to the $10 million payment.In the letter, the president of the South African Football Association addressed directly to Jerome Valcke requesting the diversion of funds.In an email to the New York Times, Valcke said he had not authorized the payment and had no power to do so. A Fifa spokeswoman said the payment was authorized by the then-finance committee chairman, Julio Grondona, who died last year.Fifa says the $10m payment went towards a legitimate “project to support the African diaspora in Caribbean countries as part of “the Diaspora Legacy Programme”.Last week, seven senior FIFA officials were arrested in Zurich. U.S. federal prosecutors brought charges against other officials accused of corruption. read more

TSX closes little changed as Dow hits fourthrecord high

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market closed slightly higher Friday in the wake of Canadian and U.S. jobs reports that blew past expectations.The S&P/TSX composite index finished the session 9.1 points higher to 12,835.61.The weak stock market performance came at the end of a strong week where a series of all-time highs on the Dow industrials contributed to the general feel-good factor across all financial markets. However, the TSX has been hobbled this week by a drop of about 1.6% in the gold sector.The Canadian dollar got a small boost Friday from the jobs reports, gaining 0.03 of a cent to 97.17 cents US.Statistics Canada reported that the economy created 50,700 jobs compared with the approximately 8,000 jobs that economists had expected.The country’s unemployment rate stayed steady at seven per cent as more people entered the workforce to seek jobs. Economists had expected a small increase.U.S. indexes were higher as the Labour Department reported that the United States cranked out 236,000 jobs — also far more than expected — pushing the U.S. unemployment rate to 7.7% from 7.9%.The Dow Jones industrials racked up a fourth, straight record high close, rising 67.58 points to 14,397.07. The Nasdaq was up 12.28 points to 3,244.37 and the S&P 500 index was ahead 6.92 points to 1,551.18.Economists had already raised their expectations for the February U.S. jobs data to 165,000 in the last couple of days in the wake of a strong reading on private sector job growth from payroll firm ADP and lower jobless insurance claims.The jobs report strengthens the case of stock market bulls, who say the economy is gaining momentum following a long and tepid recovery after the financial crisis and Great Recession, said JJ Kinahan, chief derivatives strategist at TD Ameritrade in New York.“It gives hope to those that say this rally isn’t just about the Fed, it’s about the economy recovering,” said Kinahan. “It’s giving people confidence that maybe the economy is turning the corner.”There was also positive news from the world’s second-biggest economy.China’s exports surged 21.8 per cent last month, well ahead of analysts’ expectations of single-digit growth as companies shut down for the Lunar New Year holiday.Imports fell 15.2 per cent, a decline from January’s 28 per cent growth, which suggested domestic demand might be weakening, but the picture is clouded by the holiday, when companies shut down for up to two weeks.That was the second piece of good news from China this week. China’s outgoing premier said earlier that the country would do what was necessary to achieve its target of 7.5 per cent growth this year.Positive Chinese data usually has a positive effect on markets as the country has been instrumental in helping the global economy dig out of the deep economic downturn that followed the 2008 financial collapse.However, commodity markets put in a mixed performance following the trade data.The base metals sector was the strongest component, ahead 1.57 cent while May copper down one cent at US$3.51 a pound. First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM) ran up $1.19 to C$20.42.The energy sector was slightly higher with the April crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange up 39 cents to US$91.95 a barrel and the energy sector was per cent. Cenovus Energy (TSX:CVE) gained 24 cents to $42.64.The TSX gold sector also eked out a small gain while April bullion gained $1.80 to US$1,576.90 an ounce. Iamgold (TSX:IMG) ran ahead 35 cents to $6.75.Outside of resource stocks, the tech sector was lower as shares of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (TSX:MDA) fell $3.07 to $69.70 after announcing a deal to raise $250-million in an offering of shares.The industrials sector was also negative as Canadian Pacific Railway (TSX:CP) shed $1.22 to $129.77.Engineering firm SNC-Lavalin (TSX:SNC) reported it had $94.6-million of net income or 63 cents per share in the fourth quarter with $2.42-billion in revenue. Analysts had estimated 90 cents per share of adjusted earnings and 92 cents per share of net income with $2.17-billion of revenue, according to figures compiled by Thomson Reuters. Its shares fell $2.84 to $43.01.The TSX Venture Exchange was up 1.62 points to 1,117.85.The TSX ended the week up 0.48% while the Dow industrials ran ahead 2.18%.This means the Dow has more than made up the losses stemming from the 2008 financial collapse, rising over 115% from the lows of March, 2009 that resulted from the financial collapse and subsequent recession.However, the TSX is still a good 2,300 points away from the all time high of 15,073 from the summer of 2008.A big reason is that Toronto is heavily weighted in resource stocks. They and commodity prices have had to content with a persistently weak global economy. read more

ICE Futures Canada Monday Canola prices higher barley unchanged

WINNIPEG — ICE Futures Canada closing prices:Canola: Nov. ’17 $1.10 higher $502.00; Jan. ’18 $1.00 higher $507.90; March ’18 $0.80 higher $512.30; May ’18 $0.80 higher $513.80; July ’18 $1.10 higher $514.60; Nov. ’18 $5.10 higher $483.10; Jan. ’19 $5.10 higher $484.80; March ’19 $5.10 higher $487.50; May ’19 $5.10 higher $487.50; July ’19 $5.10 higher $487.50; Nov. ’19 $5.10 higher $487.50.Barley (Western): Oct. ’17 unchanged $145.00; Dec. ’17 unchanged $148.00; March ’18 unchanged $151.00; May ’18 unchanged $151.00; July ’18 unchanged $151.00; Oct. ’18 unchanged $151.00; Dec. ’18 unchanged $151.00; March ’19 unchanged $151.00; May ’19 unchanged $151.00; July ’19 unchanged $151.00; Oct. ’19 unchanged $151.00.Monday’s estimated volume of trade: 343,160 tonnes of canola; 0 tonnes of barley (Western Barley). Total: 343,160. read more

Douglas ready to push forward 13A if elected North CM

There is also considerable support within the TNA for Mavai Senathirajah, leader of its chief constituent the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK).While the senior parliamentarian from Jaffna was expected to be the TNA’s candidate in 2013, the party leadership fielded Wigneswaran. His huge election victory proved a good start to the Northern Provincial Council but its appeal has since faded, as was evident in the local government polls. (Colombo Gazette) At the same time, he sees the international community as “merely a midwife”. “We have to bear our own children,” he said, making a case for a domestic solution to the Tamil question. Devananda would be competing with Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, who appears keen on a second term, though some within the TNA are resisting his candidacy. While he has sent out feelers to the leadership, the CM is also mulling a new political vehicle, local media reports say, as a fall back option, should he be denied the ticket. Former militant and Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) leader Douglas Devananda, says he will ensure the full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution if he is elected Chief Minister of the Northern Province at the next Provincial Council elections, The Hindu newspaper reported.Devananda has declared his intention to contest the election. “Unlike others, I can work well with the Centre and implement relevant policies on the ground,” he told The Hindu recently. “I will also strengthen ties with India, and ensure the full implementation of the 13th Amendment,” he said, referring to the legislation that followed the 1987 Indo-Lanka accord, and led to the creation of Sri Lanka’s provincial council system. “Had India backed me earlier, they would not have burnt their fingers this way.” read more

Condemning Copenhagen attacks Ban urges strong stand for tolerance end to discrimination

In a statement issued by his spokesperson in New York, Mr. Ban strongly condemned the shooting attacks in Copenhagen, which took place on 14 and 15 February 2015, respectively.According to press reports, the first of two shootings occurred Saturday evening when a gunman attacked a cultural center during a discussion on free expression. The gunman later fired shots near a synagogue before he was reportedly tracked down and killed by police. In all, two civilians reportedly died in the attacks Saturday and earlier today. Five police officers were wounded, according to Danish authorities.In his statement, the Secretary-General says that his thoughts are with the victims and their families, and that the UN stands in solidarity with the people and authorities of Denmark. “The Secretary-General reaffirms that there is no justification for attacks against civilians and reiterates the need to stand strong for freedom of expression and tolerance,” the statement goes on to say and emphasizes that there is no space for anti-Semitism or any form of racial, ethnic or religious discrimination in today’s world. read more

New standard for restaurants aimed at improving quality of services offered

…implementation to enable better services for consumersTHAG Director, Mitra Ramkumar (second from left) along with representatives of the GNBS and GTAThe Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS), the Tourism Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG) and the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) have inked a new agreement which seeks to improve the quality of services that are offered to customers.The entities stated that Tourism Month 2018 will play a major role in the promotion and implementation of the new document; National Standard for Restaurant: Code of practice for quality and management in the restaurant service.“Through the implementation of the standard, it is anticipated that restaurants and other food establishments will generally improve the quality of service offered to consumers,” they said.Additionally, Head of the Marketing and Communication Department of the GNBS, Syeid Ibrahim highlighted that the entity will be embarking on a ‘corporate marketing venture’ with the two partnering organisations to have the standard endorsed.According to him, this will be done in a phased manner which includes reviewing the standard to fill any possible shortfalls and making the standard available to all sizes and categories of establishments.Technical support to establishments will also be provided, based on stipulated requirements and evaluation. A certification of compliance will most likely be distributed.Ibrahim admitted that this initiative will take some time for establishments to get accustomed to the required standards, but it is necessary for economic revolution.President of THAG, Mitra Ramkumar applauded the GNBS for the new code of practice as he believes that it will yield the level of conformance businesses need to offer the best quality of service. Ramkumar is of the belief that restaurants who come on board will benefit significantly when the oil and gas industry further develops.Commenting on behalf of the GTA, Licensing and Training Manager, Davina Layne, specified that having quality tourism offerings is critical for customers to have value for their money.She said that quality is key for any visitor to a food establishment and having a standard, which was specifically developed to enhance the quality of service offered by restaurants, will give guidance on how they should consistently deliver in terms of experience and products.The GNBS will be offering the restaurant standard for sale at a reduced cost so as to encourage all categories of restaurants to get on board with the initiative. It is expected that by the end of 2019, a majority of these establishments will be in conformance. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedGNBS calls on businesses to improve quality of customer serviceApril 12, 2019In “Business”GNBS now ISO 9001 internationally certifiedApril 10, 2018In “Business”Consumers’ rights to take centre stage tomorrow – World Consumers Day to be observedMarch 14, 2017In “latest news” read more

Spain vows to block vote as Catalan leaders announce date for independence

first_imgMas said a majority of parties in Catalonia, but not all, backed the referendum.“There will be time for the Spanish state to negotiate with the Catalan institutions over how to hold this consultation in accordance with existing legal norms,” Mas said.Proud of their distinct language and culture and fed up after five years of stop-start recession, many of the 7.5 million people in Catalonia want to redraw the map of Spain, saying they feel short-changed by the central government which redistributes their taxes.But Rajoy swiftly squashed any hope that Madrid would consider allowing the creation of a new nation nestled between France and Spain.“It is up to all Spaniards to decide on the shape of their country”, the Spanish leader said. “No government can surrender what belongs to the Spanish people.”Rajoy said he regretted initiatives that “splinter society, feed division and generate deep uncertainty”.He called directly on Mas to respect “the political commitment he assumed not to break the law”.Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has vowed to stop the vote on independence. (Pic: AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)European Union President Herman Van Rompuy, who was in Madrid for talks with Rajoy, told the same news conference that he was “confident” Spain would remain united.He warned, too, that any new independent state would have to apply to become a member of the European Union, subject to ratification by all member states.CataloniaCatalonia was there at the symbolic birth of Spain when Queen Isabella of Castile and King Ferdinand of Aragon, a region that included Catalonia, married in 1469.Now Catalonia accounts for one-fifth of Spain’s total output and an even greater share of its exports.But a recent poll by the Catalonia Centre for Opinion Studies showed that those favouring greater autonomy or outright independence far outweighed those who wanted to stick withSpain.On 11 September, Catalonia’s national day, hundreds of thousands of Catalans massed in a vast human chain stretching across the region to demand independence.The national day recalls the conquest of Barcelona by Spanish king Philip V’s forces in 1714.Spain’s regions gained a large degree of autonomy, including responsibility for health and education, after the 1975 death of General Francisco Franco, who had centralised power in Madrid.Many Catalans point to Scotland, whose leaders have called a referendum next September on independence from the UK, a move authorised by the British government.Rajoy said in an interview this month that Catalonia could not hold a referendum like Scotland because Spain, unlike Britain, has a written constitution that rules out such a move.Read: Catalans make a human chain for independence >Column: The countdown to Scotland’s referendum is on – but many questions remain >© – AFP 2013 People wave “the Estelada” flags and demand the independence of Catalonia. Pic: (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)SPANISH PRIME MINISTER Mariano Rajoy has vowed  to block an attempt by Catalan leaders to hold an independence referendum on 9 November 2014.A few hours after Catalan political chief Artur Mas unveiled the date and wording of the poll, the Spanish leader refused even to countenance a break-up of the nation.“It is unconstitutional and it will not take place,” Rajoy told a news conference.“This initiative collides head-on with the foundation of the constitution which is the indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation,” the conservative premier said.Mas’ governing alliance and other nationalist parties in the region had agreed to put two questions to voters next year:- “Do you think that Catalonia should be a State, yes or no?”- “If yes, do you want that State to be independent, yes or no?”last_img read more

Microsoft is Finally Killing Off the Kinect

first_imgPour one out for the Kinect! In an exclusive interview with Co.Design, Alex Kipman, creator of the Kinect, and Matthew Lapsen, GM of Xbox Devices Marketing, revealed Microsoft has ceased production of its often-ridiculed peripheral.The original Kinect was released on the Xbox 360 during a time when motion controls were all the rage. Despite its current status as an industry joke, Kinect was initially a success — selling well over 35 million units since 2010. Because of that, Microsoft saw fit to bundle every Xbox One console with the device; a decision that tremendously backfired. In the beginning, the Kinect was integral to the Xbox One experience. However, the device was largely the reason for the console’s exorbitant $500 price point. Microsoft would eventually release a lower-priced Xbox One console without Kinect. The fact Xbox One S and Xbox One X do not have dedicated Kinect ports speaks volumes.Kinect ultimately failed as a gaming device, but its technology lives on. Microsoft’s HoloLens uses Kinect technology. The Kinect also proved it is possible to have an inexpensive depth camera. The technology’s ability to recognize faces, voices, and bodies is something that is also very important. Much like virtual reality, Kinect technology will have a bigger impact in fields outside of gaming.If you’re worried you can no longer use Kinect, fear not. The device is still compatible with Xbox One systems, and will continue to have support via updates. Though Xbox One S and Xbox One X do not have dedicated Kinect ports, you can still use the device on these systems if you have an adapter. Kinect units currently out in the wild are the last ones folks can buy. If (for some reason) you’re in the market for a Kinect, you may want to snatch one up now before they’re all gone.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more