Silken Again

first_imgThe historical Silk Route connecting India and China – closed for 44 years, since the Indo-China War in 1962 – is reopening on July 6. The opening of the Nathu La Pass, located 4,500 meters above sea level is expected to multiply trade between the two countries, already expected to hit $20 billion this year even before the reopening of the Silk Route.The Silk Route has immense historical significance and at one time almost 80 percent of the trade between the two countries passed through the road. The 5,000 mile long Silk Road, which dates back to the 1st century, connected India and China to Europe on the northern route and to Egypt and Africa on the Southern route. It is credited by historians as laying the foundations of the modern world and the evolution of civilizations in India, China, Rome, Mesopotomia, etc. The reopening will also reduce the length of the pilgrimage to Mount Kailash, revered by Hindus as home of Shiva, from 15 days to two days. Related Itemslast_img read more

Back To Pennsylvania Ave

first_imgKal Penn is returning to the White House Office of Public Engagement to work as an associate director after filming the latest “Harold and Kumar” installment. Penn, who goes by his given name Kalpen Modi left the FOX hit show House to join the White House’s Office of Public Engagement in July 2009 as a liaison for the Asian American and art communities. He quit his post earlier this year to film A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas. premiering in 2011.   Related Itemslast_img

Global Luxury Brands Woo Indian Fashionistas

first_imgMore than five international luxury brands, including Roberto Cavalli, Armani Junior, Tumi and Hackett, opened shop at the capital’s swish DLF Emporio mall this year. For officials of these brands, choosing the destination was half the battle won because of its elite clientele and the presence of other “exquisite brands.”Spread over 320,000 sq feet, the DLF Emporio mall in south Delhi’s Vasant Kunj area had opened in 2008. The four floor mall is home to 65 international brands and 129 Indian designer brands. The list is growing each year.Tumi, one of the world’s leading brands for travel, business and lifestyle accessories, debuted at the luxury destination in July. Armani Junior, a subsidiary of international fashion label Giorgio Armani, opened doors for the Indian market in September, and so did British men’s clothing and accessories brand Hackett London.However, it was the launch of Italian designer brand Roberto Cavalli’s first flagship store in the country here that stole the limelight this year. Cavalli himself flew down for the launch.His store, spread over approximately 400 sq ft on the ground floor, resonates with the brand’s trademarks — bold patterns and exotic animal prints.“Keeping Roberto Cavalli’s brand aesthetics in mind that eludes luxury and class, there would have been no better place than DLF Emporio to open our first-ever store in the capital,” Cavalli said during his visit, when he also launched his world-renowned Cafe Cavalli.As a visitor to the mall, one would see a distinct crowd — often suited-booted men with well-dressed women, clutching expensive designer bags in hand, emanating a strong whiff of luxury perfumes, and with their heads held high. Of course, the stores and their products’ prices only suit specific and limited pockets, given a minimum price of Rs. 5,000 for even a small item like a card holder.Says Dinaz Madhukar, senior vice president of DLF Emporio: “There is a different customer base that comes to DLF Emporio. Our main idea of bringing in the luxury at the place is to familiarise people with the brands because the more they know about the brands, the more the brands will get business. Yes, we have an elite customer base and we are trying to make sure that people get the opportunity to experience the best at any given point of time.”The mall also saw the opening of leisure and resort wear brand Turquoise & Gold (T&G) in August.“Our brand’s primary focus to position itself as an exquisite luxury brand. As such, the clientele that frequents DLF Emporio is a perfect fit for us,” Samara Mahindra, T&G’s head of marketing and communication, said.Emporio already houses well-heeled stores of international brands like Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Gucci, Christian Louboutin, Salvatore Ferragamo, Tom Ford, Bottega Veneta, Ermenegildo Zegna, Fendi, Jimmy Choo, Dior, Paul Smith, Canali, Hugo Boss and Burberry, among others.But that’s no competition, says Mahindra.“T&G is one of the very few brands in India that specializes in luxury resort wear. The USP of our brand is the prints that are specially crafted and customised from Europe. So, the presence of international brands does not affect our brand to a great extent, as T&G is unique and people are always looking for anything that is slightly off beat and different,” she added.Indian brands which retail at the luxury mall include Varun Bahl, Shantanu and Nikhi, Kotwara, Manav Gangwani, Abhishek Gupta, Abraham and Thakore, Ravi Bajaj, Ashish Soni, Neeru Kumar, Malini Ramani, Rohit Bal, Gaurav Gupta, Suneet Verma , Tarun Tahiliani and Raghvendra Rathore.Monisha Jaisingh, Peacock Bride by Falguni and Shane Peacock and Anju Modi joined the list this year.According to Madhukar, Indian brands occupy smaller spaces in the mall compared to the stores of foreign brands; the huge Louis Vuitton and Dior stores immediately catch the eye at the mall.“Indian brands have actually taken smaller spaces because they don’t require huge spaces. Also, international brands are mostly checked out for accessories and ready-to-wear. The rush for Indian brands gets heavier towards the festival and wedding season,” she said.The retail scenario in the capital is undergoing substantial changes and redefinition, according to Dushyanth Ganjam, head of retail, Ganjam Jewellers, which also has a store in the mall.“But focussed and specialised retailing will take some more time and effort to reach substantial growth and maturity in Delhi. DLF Emporio is experiencing this, and its future is positive,” Ganjam said.The rentals for the stores are high and vary according to the floor and the size of each store, but none of the brands was keen to share financial figures or even footfalls.However, Ganjam explained that “the profitability at DLF Emporio would take some more time to match up to the profitability of the other retail outlets. The density of business in Emporio is in its nascent stages and another factor is the comparatively high costs of rentals.” Related Itemslast_img read more

Mythologies With a Modern Twist

first_imgShiva is no longer just a god, nor Ravan a mere villain.Having dared to think out-of-the-box, a brave new breed of publishers have revamped the modern Indian comics by adding a zing to flat storytelling and zoomed in on lesser-known aspects of Indian mythologies, making new pop-culture icons out of age-old characters.Not only youngsters, but veteran comic book fans are lapping up the current trend, where mythological characters with contemporary twists are acquiring a swashbuckling superhero-like stature in a departure from folklore of yore imparting moral lessons.“Well in India, many of the smaller and newer publishers are moving away from the traditional mythological and historical storylines to more contemporary content. Most are solely focusing on a much older and mature audience,” Jatin Varma, founder of Comic Con India, said. Comic Con annually brings together stakeholders in the field for an exposition and conferences.With the advent of web comics and graphic novels, comics are now part of the mainstream.Vivek Goel, whose Holy Cow Entertainment churns out the popular Aghori and Ravanayan series of graphic novels, points out children are more likely to take to mythologies if there’s more to the story and deviating from stereotype helps.“If you need youngsters, teens, adults to get hooked on to mythology then you need to upgrade the same with better quality art, a changed perspective and non-stereotypic cradle to grave stories. Give them a different perspective of the characters and they will love it,” Goel said.“For example Ravanayan is the Ramayana story from its villain’s perspective and his personal journey to become the biggest villain Hindu mythology has ever witnessed. Ravanayan is Ravan’s personal life story before the abduction of Sita,” Goel explained, adding that Aghori delves into the outlandish world of the sect of ascetics that children rarely read about.It is not just the rehashed script that attracts the super-hero loving youngsters accustomed to the bright tones and stylized content of western comics juggernauts like Marvel and DC.Bold and gritty, the illustrations in themselves are tempting enough. A storyscape dominated by rich colors, sharp brush strokes and angular features to provide a 3D-like effect is a successful tool to sway the average “Avengers” fan to Shiva and Vishnu.“Our art is more global and 3D oriented…it’s more stylish. We put more effort in the research on our art and colors,” said Karan Vir Arora, CEO/Visionary of Vimanika Comics that brings out the top-selling I am Kalki and Shiva-Legends of the Immortal series.Moreover, weaving the age-old formula of triumph of good over evil into a contemporary backdrop is a powerful tool to woo readers, and Vimanika has done just that.While Kalki, the 10th reincarnation of Lord Vishnu, is known to slay the demons of corruption in the original, in his new look, he is an ordinary teenager in a modern city who hunts down demons by night.“From experimenting with colors, narratives, styles, to dealing with issues that concern society, feminism, sexuality, religion and the like, the world of comics is no longer defined the way it was even some years ago,” said Sreejita Bose of StripTease, the e-magazine on comics.While novels and webcomics are “interesting and swift” portals to disseminate stories on Indian culture and heritage to children, exaggerations of characters might lead to development of skewed concepts of right and wrong.“It is not possible in our busy schedule to tell them stories. So these media do help. But on the other hand if the characters are too bold or exaggerated then it confuses the kids about what is right or wrong,” said Suchismita Ray Paul, sociologist and assistant professor at the Jogmaya Devi College here.“But they are the most important way to teach them about good over evil,” Paul added. Related Itemslast_img read more

UK MP Priti Patel Caught in Controversy Over Meetings with Israeli Leaders

first_imgBritish Member of Parliament Priti Patel, who was accused of withholding information about her meetings with Israeli leaders, has accused the Foreign Office officials of briefing against her.  Patel was reported to have been accompanied by Lord Polak, the honorary president of pro-Israeli lobby Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) while meeting Yair Lapid, the leader of Yesh Atid Party, in Israel during a personal holiday in August. Ministers are required to inform the Foreign Office about official business while they are overseas. The ministerial code of conduct states that “ministers must ensure that no conflict arises, or could reasonably be perceived to arise, between their public duties and their private interests, financial or otherwise”. Patel visited many organizations where official business was discussed, the BBC reported. However, the Telegraph quoted a source from the International Development department as saying that she had gone on a personal holiday.  However, Patel said that Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was aware about the trip prior to her departure, the Guardian reported. She said that officials were wrong to claim she had not informed the Foreign Office.  “Boris knew about the visit. The point is that the Foreign Office did know about this, Boris knew about [the trip]. It is not on, it is not on at all…I went out there, I paid for it. And there is nothing else to this. It is quite extraordinary. It is for the Foreign Office to go away and explain themselves,” Patel told the Guardian. Downing Street dismissed allegations that Patel broke ministerial rules during the Israel visit, saying: “There is no investigation,” the Independent reported. The incident follows weeks of animosity between the Foreign Office and the Department of International Development. Patel is the Secretary of State for International Development and is seen as a possible future prime minister.  One minister was quoted by the Telegraph as saying, “This is outrageous. She is a Cabinet minister. She just cannot do this.” A former minister said: “What does it say to the rest of the Middle East if a senior Cabinet minister in charge of Britain’s huge aid budget disappears… from a family holiday in Israel and is under the wing of a pro-Israeli lobbyist?” Patel’s critics have accused her of currying favor with wealthy pro-Israeli conservative donors to fund a future campaign. Others said that Patel, the former vice-chairman of CFI, was conducting “freelance foreign policy”.  Patel took out time from her personal holiday to meet Lapid on Aug. 24. He tweeted, “Great to meet with Priti Patel, UK Secretary of State for International Development, today. A true friend of Israel.”  Polak told the BBC that he and Patel just happened to be on holiday at the same time. “We met up for one or two things,” he said. “…I just joined her for a couple of days, some drinks, some dinner, that kind of thing.” That included the meeting with Lapid: “He is just an old friend of mine… We just had coffee with him. It wasn’t anything formal,” Polak said.  Related Itemslast_img read more

Indian Independence Day Being Celebrated Across the World

first_img1. Menu of 1947 Recreated at St. James Court, A Taj Hotel, LondonTo celebrate 70 years of India’s Independence, St. James Court, A Taj Hotel, London, and some other branches of the hotel across India are recreating the menu that was served at the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai as the night of Independence fell. The menu mostly comprises Indo-French dishes.Priced after the year of Independence at Rs 1947, the spread will have an array of vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies, including Consomme a L’indienne” or the “Indian consomme”, “Vacherin de peches liberation” and “Poularde Souffle Independence”.The three-course meal includes a classic French bouillon broth with chicken, flavoured with cardamom and pepper, a smoked creamy almond soup, “Delices a l’hindustan”– tamarind flavoured cottage cheese tikkas — and the souffle independence — a fluffy three-egg omelette with chicken. The hotels are also offering a 70 per cent discount to serving and retired Armed Forces personnel in India.The country’s first Governor-General, Lord Mountbatten, bid farewell to the young country from the steps of Taj Palace in Mumbai in June 1948.2. Kalaripayattu Event in LuxembourgThe Indian Association in Luxembourg, on the occasion of Independence Day, is showcasing the ancient martial art Kalaripayattu with an eight-member group specialising in the form. It is going to be a free event and is scheduled to be held on August 16.Called the ‘mother of all martial arts’, Kalaripayattu originated in Kerala and can be traced back to 3,000 years. It features several animal postures and is inspired by animals such as lion, tiger, wild boar, snake, crocodile, horse and elephant.The grace and ballet-like movements of the form set it apart from other martial art forms.3. Free Beer at Glasgow RestaurantThe Dhabba in Merchant City, Glasgow, will unveil a new a la carte menu on Independence Day and those who buy two courses from this menu will be given a free pint of Kingfisher beer.The Dhabba at 44 Candleriggs, along with its sister Dakhin at 89 Candleriggs, are the only two Indian restaurants in the city listed in Michelin Guide. The owner, Navdeep Basi will be introducing some of his favourite dishes from northern India in the The Dhabba’s Independence Day menu.4. ‘Curry Me to Goa’ at Abu DhabiJannah Burj Al Sarab Hotel in Abu Dhabi is organising an Indian-themed night, ‘Curry Me to Goa’ on Independence Day. Chef Hussein Rammal has designed the menu, keeping in with his strengths in Goan cuisine. Other delicacies like butter chicken, smoked fish curry, naan and fried rice will be the highlights of the menu while guests unwind amid the hotel’s Indian decor.5. Celebrations across the USFrom the Magnificent India festival in Houston on August 20 and the India Independence Day Parade in Chicago on August 19, to the India Independence Day in California’s Chatsworth on August 26, the United States is dotted with events being organised to celebrate the occasion. Related Itemslast_img read more

Bollywood Biopic to Bring Tennis Star Vijay Amritraj’s Life on Screen

first_imgThe life story of former Indian American tennis player Vijay Amritraj will soon be seen in a biopic. The rights of the Bollywood movie, which will mainly focus on Amritraj’s professional career, personal life, and philanthropic activities, have been obtained by Cinestaan Film Company.Amritraj himself confirmed the news through a statement, saying, “Parents love, compassion, dedication and hard work under the most trying circumstances can make a child’s dream come true even if he or she is nowhere near good enough in anything. I am humbled that a company like Cinestaan Film Company would want to tell my story but this is about mothers, children and overwhelming love.Vijay’s son Prakash Amritraj is co-producing the movie with Cinestaan.“I’ve always felt beyond blessed to have my greatest hero and my father be the same person,” said Prakash, India West reported.“While the world knows of his numerous achievements, my brother Vikram and I have always felt if everyone was to know his character and the love that made him; the world could truly be a better place and more seeds of love, inspiration, and hope will be sown. I can’t be more excited to bring this story to the big screen,” added Prakash.Calling Vijay the only Indian sportsman to have been celebrated so much on the world stage, Cinestaan chairman Rohit Khattar recalled the pride he felt as an Indian to read about his triumphs overseas. He added that while most people only know of Vijay’s successes, they will now be in awe of him when they see the challenges that were presented to him in early life before he achieved greatness.Path to SuccessAmritraj, who lives in California with wife Shyamala, who is Sri Lankan Tamil, and sons Prakash and Vikram, was born in Chennai. He started playing tennis in his early childhood. At the age of 17, he played his first Grand Prix event. He emerged as an internationally known figure when he reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon and the US Open in 1973.In 1980, he reached his career top ranking in singles — World No. 16 — a record that remains untouched by any Indian tennis player. Amritraj reached the quarter finals of Wimbledon but lost the game to Jimmy Connors.Besides being a tennis player, Amritraj tried his luck in acting too. He played an MI 6 agent named Vijay in the 1983 James Bond movie, Octopussy. He also made a brief appearance in Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home.India honored him with a Padma Shri in 1983. As a part of his philanthropic efforts, he set up the Vijay Amritraj Foundation in 2006, and was later named a United Nations Messenger of Peace. Related ItemsAmritraj CinestaanLittle IndiaPrakash AmritrajVijay AmritrajVijay Amritraj biopicVijay Amritraj movielast_img read more

Theranos CEO, Indian American Former President Indicted in Multi-Million Dollar Fraud Case

first_imgA federal grand jury has indicted Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, the former president of Silicon Valley-based company Theranos Inc., and its founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement on June 15.The duo was charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine counts of wire fraud. According to the indictment unsealed on June 15, the charges stem from allegations that Holmes and Balwani engaged in a multi-million dollar scheme to defraud investors, and a separate scheme to defraud doctors and patients. Both schemes involved efforts to promote Theranos Inc.Balwani, 53, was employed at Theranos from September 2009 through 2016. At times during that period, Balwani worked in several capacities, including as a member of the company’s board of directors, as its president, and as its chief operating officer.Theranos is a private health care and life sciences company founded by 34-year-old Holmes in 2003.“Holmes and Balwani used advertisements and solicitations to encourage and induce doctors and patients to use Theranos’ blood testing laboratory services, even though they knew Theranos was not capable of consistently producing accurate and reliable results for certain blood tests,” the indictment stated. The tests performed on Theranos technology were likely to contain inaccurate and unreliable results, it said.“This indictment alleges a corporate conspiracy to defraud financial investors. This conspiracy misled doctors and patients about the reliability of medical tests that endangered health and lives,” Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett said in a statement.The indictment alleges that the duo used a combination of direct communications, marketing materials, statements to the media, financial statements, models, and other information to defraud potential investors. They also claimed that Theranos developed a revolutionary and proprietary analyzer that they referred to by various names, including as the TSPU, Edison, or minilab.“The defendants claimed the analyzer was able to perform a full range of clinical tests using small blood samples drawn from a finger stick.  The defendants also represented that the analyzer could produce results that were more accurate and reliable than those yielded by conventional methods—all at a faster speed than previously possible,” the statement added.According to the indictment, Holmes and Balwani through their company, Theranos, not only defrauded investors, but also consumers who trusted and relied upon their allegedly-revolutionary blood-testing technology.“The conduct alleged in these charges erodes public trust in the safety and effectiveness of medical products, including diagnostics,” said Catherine A. Hermsen, Acting Director, Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations.In March, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had charged Balwani, and Holmes, and the company itself for raising $700 million through fraudulent statements about the firm. Related ItemsCaliforniatheranos incUnited Stateslast_img read more

Indian Immigrant Uber Driver Charged with Sexual Assault Pleads Guilty in Australia

first_imgAn Indian immigrant Uber driver, accused of sexually assaulting a passenger, has pleaded guilty in Australia. The Indian student has already spent a year in custody and faces visa cancellation, Daily Mail reported.Satveer Singh, 25, who was driving Uber at Gold Coast at the night of the incident, took advantage of the young victim after locking her up in the car for 27 minutes and sexually assaulting her. He only let her go after the victim shared her phone number with him, the report added.Singh texted the victim the next day, asking “hi, how was your last night. I hope everything is good,” which was followed by another text few hours letter saying, “I think you forget about me,” the publication quoted Singh in the report.The incident happened in the night of Sept. 2017 when the 20-year-old young woman booked an uber after a night of drinking in Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast.Judge David Kent stated the young woman ‘was vulnerable, alone, and alcohol affected and the circumstances between the two of you created a position of trust,” according to the publication.  He also stated that the driver breached the position of the trust.Singh parked the car near her house in a bay for 27 minutes and forced himself on her, the report stated. A CCTV footage of the car parked, has been found to prove his car was stopped in the bay for 27 minutes.The victim said that the man forced himself on her as he bit her lips and sexually assaulted her after lifting the dress. The conduct which left her confused as she continued telling him that he is not doing the right thing. The woman was found crying hysterically when she finally escaped the car.Crown prosecutor Michael Connelly stated that a security guard recounted seeing the woman “rocking and sobbing at the same time. She made the complaint and said, ‘I have been raped”.Singh has spent 300 days in immigration detention on Christmas Island and faced cancellation of Visa, Gold Coast Bulletin reported.Additionally, Judge Kent also sentenced Singh to a three-year good behavior bond, referring to the time he has already spent in immigration detention and custody as longer than what he would have been sentenced to. Related Itemslast_img read more

Indian-Origin Doctor among Six Charged in Alleged Healthcare Fraud of $464 million in U.S.

first_imgAn Indian-origin doctor is among six doctors charged for alleged health fraud of $464 million in the United States. This alleged medical fraud involves over 13 million unlawfully prescribed opioid prescription drugs.According to a press release issued by U.S. Attorney’s Office in Eastern District of Michigan on Dec.6, six doctors including Dr. Rajendra Bothra have been charged with 56-count of medical fraud.Bothra, 77, is the owner and operator of a pain clinic in Michigan. It is alleged that his pain clinic issued bills to insurance companies by mentioning a maximum number of medical procedures and services provided to patients, who were not in need of such procedures.The statement further names five other doctors: Dr. Eric Backos (65), Dr. Ganiu Edu (50), Dr. David Lewis (41), Dr. Christopher Russo (50) and Dr. Ronald Kufner (68). All these doctors worked at Bothra’s clinic and allegedly prescribed opioid medication to patients so that they keep visiting the clinic.“Once there, in order to receive the highly addictive opioid prescriptions, patients were forced to undergo ancillary services, such as painful facet joint and facet block injections,” added the statement.U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said that opioid distribution has done devastating damage to the community and to the United States as a whole.“Healthcare professionals who prey on patients who are addicted to opioids in order to line their pockets is particularly egregious.  We will continue to prosecute such individuals who choose to violate federal law and their ethical oaths,” said Schneider as per the release.Timothy R. Slater, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Detroit Division said that FBI and its partners are committed to conducting vigorous investigations against those doctors, who deliberately prescribe opioid to their patients so that they are bound to undergo unnecessary medical procedures.“Today’s charges should signal to the community that we take these cases seriously and I encourage anyone who has information about this case – or about any other activity of this type – to contact the FBI at 313-965-2323,” said Slater.“Physicians who engage in the illegal and negligent prescribing of controlled substance in order to unjustly enrich themselves of taxpayer dollars will be held accountable,” said Lamont Pugh III, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.“The OIG will continue to prioritize the investigation of allegations involving fraud schemes that incorporate the illegitimate prescribing of Opioid medications in order to protect the health and safety of patients,” added Pugh, who is also Office of Inspector General – Chicago Region.“Each person charged here is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt,” says the release. Related Itemslast_img read more

ONE Championship gets cash for major growth

first_imgSityodtong told The Associated Press on Wednesday that ONE Championship plans to stage up to 30 events in 2018 and will financially compete to sign the world’s best fighters, all while concentrating on its primary goal of being Asia’s dominant MMA brand. To that mission, Sityodtong intends to expand the Singapore-based promotion’s reach next year into Japan, South Korea and eventually India.“Already we’re the largest martial arts organization in the history of Asia,” Sityodtong said. “All the pieces suggest that we have a big, big runway of growth ahead of us and that we’re just scratching the surface of our potential.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsThe growth is already visible: In the final five months of 2017 alone, ONE Championship has 11 scheduled shows spread among Macau, Malaysia, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Myanmar.After doing 18 events this year, Sityodtong projects 24 to 30 shows for 2018. The increase will include aggressive expansion into China, where ONE Championship is already staging events this year in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, just north of Hong Kong. ONE Championship: Kings of Destiny at Mall of Asia Arena last April 21. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netONE Championship has secured a major equity investment from venture capital firm Sequoia India and investment firm Mission Holdings, positioning the ascendant mixed martial arts promotion to increase its presence throughout Asia.The investment means ONE Championship has raised over $100 million in total capital less than six years after its first show, according to Chatri Sityodtong, the promotion’s chairman and CEO.ADVERTISEMENT Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Helicopter carrying WWE exec makes emergency ocean landing Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claimcenter_img LATEST STORIES MOST READ ONE Championship already claimed it was the largest sports media property in Asia before the latest round of investment, with video programming seen in 128 countries and live shows attracting large crowds throughout the Eastern hemisphere. The promotion received capital last year from Heliconia Capital Management, which is owned by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund.Sityodtong is a Harvard-educated entrepreneur and a lifelong martial artist who left a lucrative career as a hedge fund manager to start ONE Championship as a showcase for homegrown Asian martial artists. He is looking forward to utilizing Sequoia’s expertise on business expansion while he plots his still-young promotion’s next moves.“It’s been a whirlwind,” Sityodtong said. “Just six years ago, this was a PowerPoint presentation, and now we arguably have the most blue chip shareholder base for any sports property out here in Asia.”The UFC, the sport’s richest and most prominent promotion, is striving to increase its presence in Asia with shows in Singapore, Japan and China this year. UFC fights are watched avidly across Asia, and the promotion has a healthy number of fighters under contract with Asian ethnicity, but Sityodtong claims ONE Championship already has “a massive lead over the UFC” in the fight for Asian fans.“We’re very focused on Asia, with Asian content that really resonates,” Sityodtong said. “So it’s very different scale. It would be like ONE Championship coming to America with Asian heroes and trying to ignite American audiences without any Americans on a show. It’s hard to do so.”ADVERTISEMENT Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo ONE Championship’s talent pool is Asian-focused, but not exclusive. Its champions include Filipino-American heavyweight Brandon Vera, Wisconsin-born welterweight Ben Askren, Brazilian light heavyweight Roger Gracie — and Angela Lee , the Canada-born, Hawaii-raised atomweight who has become one of the promotion’s most popular fighters.While ONE Championship’s roster of fighters probably doesn’t measure up to the UFC’s group on pure overall talent, Sityodtong’s promotion is about much more than blood and belts. Although he has the money to bid for top free-agent fighters alongside the UFC and Bellator, Sityodtong is more interested in creating a product that suits ONE Championship’s conception of the Asian audience’s sensibilities.“The UFC has done a wonderful job in the Western hemisphere and deserve their success, but they focus primarily on the fighting, on the violence, on controversy, on disrespect,” Sityodtong said. “You know, Conor McGregor, in your face, F-this, F-that. We’ve chosen to focus on Asian values, and that kind of stuff just doesn’t fly. ONE Championship is a true celebration of martial arts, which is Asia’s greatest cultural treasure, and we want to honor the Asian values of humility, kindness, integrity, strength and discipline. So it’s a very different approach.”Sityodtong believes that cultivated, clean-cut image has the side benefit of attracting corporate sponsors and deep-pocketed partners — including Sequoia India, a branch of the famed U.S. venture capital firm that invested in Apple, Google, PayPal, YouTube, Instagram, Yahoo!, WhatsApp and countless other foundational technology companies.“ONE Championship has been a pioneer and major driving force of the martial arts industry in Asia, with surging popularity across major countries,” said Shailendra J Singh, the managing director of Sequoia Capital (India). “It has played an incredible role in nurturing local talent and developing local stars, led by a wonderful, mission-oriented team. We are delighted to join the team in their pursuit of developing the leading martial arts franchise for Asia’s 4.4 billion people.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ View commentslast_img read more

IPL 2016: Sunrisers Hyderabad lose Ashish Nehra to hamstring injury

first_imgSunrisers Hyderabad pacer Ashish Nehra has been ruled out of Indian Premier League 2016 with a hamstring injury. The 37-year-old, who made a stunning comeback into the Indian T20 side in January this year, had a good campaign with SRH, picking nine wickets in eight matches. (Ashish Nehra mystified with omission after 2011 World Cup)But a long and draining season finally took its toll on Nehra.The left-arm seamer from Delhi was mysteriously left out of the Indian side since the 2011 World Cup. He had figures of 2/33 but the selectors continued to overlook him even as Mahendra Singh Dhoni grappled with the problem of finding suitable new-ball bowlers.(IPL Full Coverage | Points Table)India tried an array of pacers after 2011 including Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Pankaj Singh, Dhawal Kulkarni, Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav, Mohit Sharma, Jaydev Unadkat and Vinay Kumar. None of these could leave a lasting impression. Zaheer Khan’s powers as India’s lead seamer started waning but Nehra continued to sit out in the cold. Yet Nehra never found favour until India’s T20 series against Australia earlier in the year.Since then, he silenced his detractors picking 18 wickets in 15 T20 Internationals.last_img read more

Ferrari Mechanic Hit by Raikkonen Says He’s OK after Surgery

first_imgSAKHIR, Bahrain (AP) — The Ferrari mechanic who was hospitalized with a broken leg after being struck by Kimi Raikkonen’s car says he is “OK” following surgery.On Instagram, Francesco Cigarini wrote “Surgery ok. I have to thank all the people worried for me.”Cigarini included a photo of himself on a hospitable bed giving the thumbs up with his left leg covered in a cast from his thigh down to his toes.The post was liked by Raikkonen.The incident occurred during a botched tire change at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday. As Raikkonen pulled away, his rear left tire hit Cigarini’s leg, knocking him to the ground.Ferrari said Cigarini likely sustained a “shinbone and fibula fracture.”Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel won the race.CORRECTS FROM BITTED TO HIT- Ferrari mechanic Francesco, lies on the ground after being hit by Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen during a pit stop the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix, at the Formula One Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday, April 8, 2018. (Pool/Giuseppe Cacace Via AP)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

ICC’s tribute to champion babysitter and champion cricketer Rishabh Pant is going viral

first_imgInternational Cricket Council (ICC) has paid a tribute to Rishabh Pant after the Indian wicketkeeper-batsman was named the Emerging Player of the Year on Tuesday. Pant was picked by the ICC’s voting academy for a stellar show in his breakthrough Test year in 2018.Rishabh Pant’s cricketing talent is no secret. 20 catches and 350 runs in India’s historic Test series triumph over Australia in Australia earlier this month are testimony to his skills on the field. But Pant also gained popularity as a babysitter, thanks to Australia Test captain Tim Paine.On Tuesday, ICC posted a sketch of Pant with Paine family on social media, captioned: “Champion babysitter and champion cricketer. Rishabh Pant is the ICC Men’s Emerging Cricketer of the Year 2018!”Tim Paine and Rishabh Pant were constantly involved in sledging banters during the ongoing four-Test series between India and Australia. In one of the funny exchanges, Paine had asked Pant, “Do you babysit? I can take my wife to the movies while you watch the kids.”Well, a few days later Tim Paine’s wife, Bonnie Paine took to Instagram to share a photo of Pant with her kids and captioned it: “Best babysitter”. Notably, on New Year’s day.As wicketkeepers, both men were audible to the entire cricket world which was was hooked on to every ball of the four Tests played in Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.advertisementPant remained in high demand even from the Indian camp. Rohit Sharma, who recently became a father, wondered whether Pant would be happy to take over babysitting duties.Pant became the first Indian wicket-keeper to score a Test century in England, and equalled the record for the most catches taken in a Test, with 11 against Australia in Adelaide in December.He was also the first Indian wicket-keeper to score a Test hundred in Australia.last_img read more

‘Liverpool are shopping at Harrods but Arsenal aren’t’

first_imgMartin Keown has criticised Arsenal’s transfer policy and suggested they must make a number of new signings in the next few transfer windows.The 52-year-old was speaking after the Gunners’ 5-1 mauling at the hands of Liverpool on Saturday evening.Arsenal actually took the lead at Anfield before the hosts’ unstoppable attacking trio of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah ensured Liverpool gained all three points. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? And Keown believes that the Gunners are a long way off competing on the same level as Liverpool.”He [Emery] is going to have to go out there to buy personnel to come in,” the former Gunners defender said on BT Sport . “They don’t defend as a unit, they don’t press the ball. There are a succession of things that need to be sorted out. “You could say players are not good enough, but they have to make a better fist of it than they currently are.”Liverpool are shopping in Harrods and Arsenal simply aren’t.“Every time they’re spending money it is £65 million for the goalkeeper, £75m for Van Dijk, it is £50m for a midfield player,” he added.Arsenal did make a number of signings last summer, including Stephan Lichtsteiner, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Lucas Torreira and Bernd Leno, but Keown feels they are not good enough to challenge at the top of the table.“Arsenal are spending £25m for a goalkeeper who doesn’t make the squad for the Germany national team in the summer, maybe that says it all,” he said.”Is [Emery] going to be the one buying the players from now on. How many of these signings are actually his? Unai Emery Arsenal 2018-19“We’ll have to wait and see. There is going to have to be a big change in the Arsenal group.”The transfer window opens again next week and it could give Emery the opportunity to add to his squad.Arsenal have been linked with a number of players including Nabil Fekir, Ever Banega and Gary Cahill.Before that they are next in action on January 1 as they host Fulham at the Emirates Stadium.last_img read more

Upgraded Fire Station Opens in Freeport

first_img Upgraded station in Freeport, Montego Bay, constructed at a cost of just under $5 million Story Highlights Mayor of Montego Bay, Councilor Glendon Harris, called for good maintenance of the facility Fire fighters in St. James now have an upgraded station in Freeport, Montego Bay, constructed at a cost of just under $5 million.Speaking at a dedication ceremony on August 28, Deputy Superintendent of the Jamaica Fire Brigade, Andrew Russell, said members of the service gave their time and skills during the construction of the station, and ensured value for money.“Skilled firefighters from St. Elizabeth and St. James contributed valuable time and effort and installed the roof canopy, ceiling bed, kitchen cupboard and all other concrete and painting works,” he said.“As a cost saving initiative, firefighters with the requisite competencies were identified by the Project Manager and their skills utilized on the project. With their intervention and endowment from stakeholders, the project cost $4.7 million, about $1 million less than what was budgeted,” the Deputy Superintendent told the audience.Funding and material support for the facility came from the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, the Jamaica Fire Brigade, Premix Jamaica, ZIM Integrated Shipping Services, and Quality Dealers.The work included construction of over 1,000 square feet of living space, bathroom facilities, and other sections.Meanwhile, Mayor of Montego Bay, Councilor Glendon Harris, called for good maintenance of the facility and for all to have pride in the upkeep of the City of Montego Bay.“All of our officers will have to play their part in the maintenance of this facility. It is the duty of all of us to ensure that everything in this facility is at its best. Let us all take pride in the city, let us all take pride in this parish,” he said.For her part, Member of Parliament for West Central St. James, Mrs. Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, said all should be done to make firefighters comfortable, because they endanger themselves to save lives and property.“It is very important that we take care of our firemen and fire women. We are in the city of Montego Bay, and we have to protect its residents, and we have to protect the tourism industry. We also have here in Freeport, a very important industry, the information and communication technology industry. We have the important business of protecting the residents and our industries from destructive fires,” she said. The work included construction of over 1,000 square feet of living space, bathroom facilities, and other sectionslast_img read more

Ministry Introduces Certification Course for Aspiring Principals

first_imgStory Highlights The Ministry of Education is offering 40 scholarships for the programme. The programme will provide a standard credential, the Professional Qualification for Principalship (PQP). Dr. Smith said that the programme is a professional certification. The Ministry of Education, through the National College for Educational Leadership (NCEL), is to launch a course of study geared towards training individuals aspiring to become school principals.The programme will provide a standard credential, the Professional Qualification for Principalship (PQP), to which the Ministry of Education and school boards will refer before authorising the hiring of principals of public schools.“The course is set to get started in January 2014 at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona Campus, which will be delivering the programme on behalf of NCEL,” said Principal Director of NCEL, Dr. Maurice Smith.Dr. Smith, who was speaking at a recent JIS Think Tank, said that the programme “is akin to what an individual will do at Norman Manley Law School, so it is a professional certification. It is the rudiments and the rigor of the job that participants are going to be exposed to.”The programme has a prescriptive component that consists of a set of modules that must be completed by the participants within 15 months. There is also the practicum component that may be completed between two to three months. The programme is open to all teachers with a first degree and at least five years experience working in a school, and who have aspirations of becoming a school principal.In the meantime, the Ministry of Education is offering 40 scholarships for the programme. The application process for these scholarships opens on November 11 and closes on December 6, 2013. Application forms will be available on the Ministry’s website and also at the Ministry’s six Regional Educational offices island-wide.We invite individuals, who are eminently qualified to apply; those who have the conviction that this is what their purpose is in life,” Dr. Smith said.As of 2015, all persons interested in becoming a school principal must have the PQP in order to be considered for the post of principal of a public school.Established under the Education System Transformation Programme (ESTP), the NCEL is responsible for developing excellence in leadership as a common denominator in schools and support institutions.last_img read more

MOL Gets Nod for Future Design of LNGFuelled Boxships

first_imgzoom Japan-based Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and South Korean Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) have received an Approval In Principle (AIP) for the future design of a series of four LNG-powered 20,000 TEU containerships, which have been under construction.Issued by the international classification society DNV GL has issued, the AIP covered the boxships which were ordered from SHI in 2015. The ships were designed in anticipation of using LNG as a fuel, ahead of more stringent environmental regulations that will take effect in the coming years.At the construction stage, MOL and SHI developed a basic plan targeting vessels in service, performance evaluation, compliance with new regulations, and risk assessment (Hazard Identification Study (HAZID)) in a joint study, and completed the basic design in March.Global regulations on exhaust emissions from merchant vessels, not only by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and other specialized international bodies, but also by countries all over the world are becoming tighter, therefore MOL continued its studies on the use of LNG fuel in light of growing demand for next-generation clean fuels to replace conventional heavy fuel oil.The new design characteristics will feature an optimal retrofit plan targeting vessels in service, suitable LNG fuel tank layout and design for ultra-large-scale containerships, suitable LNG fuel supply system to ensure maximum engine power output for ultra-large-scale containerships and dual-fuel engine systems that allow the use of either LNG or heavy fuel oil.LNG bunkering system for the vessels has not been established yet, but is expected in the near future as studies on the use of LNG as a clean, environmentally friendly fuel are underway around the world.The first vessel of the series, the MOL Triumph, was delivered on March 27, which can be converted to run on LNG fuel when the LNG supply is commercially completed.last_img read more