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  1. BEIRUT: Saudi Arabia´s appointment of its first female head of sports should attract more women into gyms and onto sports pitches in a nation where women are not allowed to exercise with men, female sports organisers said on Friday. US-raised Princess Reema bint Bandar last week became the first female president of the Saudi Federation for Community Sports that manages sports-related activities for both men and women in the deeply conservative Muslim kingdom, local media reported. Her appointment came amid a series of changes for women in Saudi hailed as a new progressive trend including giving women the right to drive and encouraging more women to work. But a guardianship system, under which a male family member must grant permission for a woman to study, travel and other activities, remains in place. Lina Al Maeena, who formed Jeddah United, Saudi Arabia´s first private female basketball club, in 2003, said the princess´ appointment was significant. "It´s going to be changing stereotypes because of her appointment in that role as the head of both genders," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation from Jeddah. Female participation in sports has long been a controversial issue in Saudi where women cannot exercise with men and there are no public sports facilities for women as many conservative Muslim clerics consider sport for females as immodest. Saudi Arabia didn´t send any women to the Olympics until 2012. But this has taken its toll, with around 44 percent of women classified as obese in Saudi Arabia which has some of the world´s highest rates of obesity and diabetes. Susan Turner, chief executive of NuYu, the kingdom´s first chain of female fitness centres, said bint Bandar´s appointment would bring women´s health to the "forefront". "It´s everybody´s right to have access to these facilities and to look after their health women are realising that if they are not doing (exercise) already it is just bringing those statistics and facts to light," said Turner. According to the kingdom´s Vision 2030 reform plan, only 13 percent of the Saudi population exercises at least once a week. The plan aims to boost that number to 40 percent. Bint Bandar - daughter of a former Saudi ambassador to Washington - championed the licensing of female-only gyms and sports clubs in her previous role leading the women´s section of the national General Sports Authority. Turner said she hoped in addition to getting more women into sports her own business would benefit. "For us to be able to grow more clubs and that we can get licenses and knowing that somebody very confident and very capable is in charge of just gives us a huge amount of confidence," Turner said by phone from Riyadh. Al Maeena, who is also a member of the advisory Shura Council, said having a woman in the role would have a knock-on effect across Saudi society. "I see a lot of business opportunities, a lot of women empowerment," she said.
  2. COX'S BAZAAR: Thousands of Rohingya Muslims stranded near Bangladesh's border this week after fleeing violence in Myanmar have finally been permitted to enter refugee camps after "strict screening", officials said Thursday. The UN had expressed deep concern about the new wave of around 10,000 refugees, including children and elderly people who, dehydrated and hungry from the long journey, had been stopped from crossing the border into Bangladesh and left to squat in paddy fields. It was not immediately clear why the new arrivals were being held in an area of no man's land, but the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) had said it was calling on the Bangladesh authorities "to urgently admit" the group. Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) spokesman Major Iqbal Ahmed told AFP on Thursday that the newcomers, who were blocked at Anjumanpara near the border town of Ukhiya, had been screened "very carefully" to stop "unwanted visitors". "After strict checking, they are being taken to the extended Kutupalong camp where they will receive some basic goods and later will be shifted to another camp," said Ahmed. Excluding the latest wave, the UN says some 582,000 Rohingya refugees had fled Myanmar for Bangladesh since late August, when militant attacks on Myanmar´s security forces in Rakhine state sparked a major army crackdown. But Bangladesh, which has been overwhelmed by the influx of people fleeing the violence, is wary of radical extremists getting into its refugee camps where there are now more than 800,000 Rohingya in all. Many of the new arrivals were from Rakhine's Buthidaung district, which lies relatively far from the border with Bangladesh. Some told an AFP correspondent they had trekked for days to reach the border as their villages remain under military surveillance and they had nothing to eat. "We ran out of food," said Shamser Alam, 21, from Yin Ma Kyaung Taung village near Buthidaung town. "There is no village market. There are too many restrictions. We don't have freedom. Not more than five people can pray together." Sufia Khatun, a mother of four, said one of her sons was killed in a stampede after Buddhist militants attacked her village. "We ran for our lives and I lost Jalal. Later I found he was killed in the stampede," she told AFP. Sanjida Khatun, from Phone Nyo Lake village who tried to escape with her husband Mohammad Amin, three sons and a 15-day-old baby, said she was attacked by armed men while going to the border. "They indiscriminately hacked my husband to death. I narrowly escaped with my sons," she said. Myanmar has subjected the 1.1 million Rohingya community to decades of hostility and refused them citizenship even though many have lived there for generations. Bangladesh has announced plans to build a refugee camp that could accommodate around 800,000 Rohingya in Kutupalong. The camp would be the largest in the world and has raised concerns about the risks of heavily concentrating such a large number of vulnerable people, such as the spread of disease.
  3. NEW YORK: Thirty years ago, before heading to work at the New York Stock Exchange, Peter Kenny left his home in lower Manhattan and made a detour to the nearby Our Lady of Victory church to pray to St. Jude, the Roman Catholic patron saint of desperate and lost causes. The reason was the stock market crash known as ?Black Monday? on October 19, 1987. ?Blessed mother get me through this,? he prayed. Kenny, now senior market strategist at Global Markets Advisory Group in New York, was a newly minted member of the New York Stock Exchange, having joined the exchange in February that year. He was stunned by the events that unfolded the previous day, the worst trading day in US history. ?I don?t think anyone was prepared for what actually transpired in the overseas markets, which led to the bloodbath on Monday,? said Kenny. When it was over, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI had lost 22.6 percent in one day, equivalent to a drop of about 5,200 points in the index today. The benchmark US S&P 500 index .SPX plunged 20.5 percent on Black Monday, equal to a drop of over 520 points today, and the Nasdaq dropped 11.4 percent, comparable to a drop of about 750 points. In 1987 US stock prices had climbed steadily all year, as they have in 2017, with each of the three major US indexes hitting record highs in late August. But September turned into a difficult month, with each index falling more than 2.0 percent, though not by enough to raise alarm bells among investors. But as the calendar flipped to October, the selling in US equity markets intensified. The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI and S&P 500 .SPX fell more than 9.0 percent in the week before Black Monday. On the morning of Monday, October 19, 1987, Art Hogan, then a floor broker at the Boston Stock Exchange, expected a possible rebound for stock prices. Nothing had prepared him for what was to unfold. ?It was clear in that first hour... this was going to be as bad as we?ve seen in our lifetimes,? said Hogan, now chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York. Many describe the events of Black Monday as the first instance of computer trading gone haywire, caused by the use of portfolio insurance, a hedging strategy against market declines that involves selling short in stock index futures. The prior week?s fall in US stocks led to selling by investors in Asian markets to limit losses. Those losses then signaled investors in Europe to sell, which caused increased selling by the time US markets were to open on Black Monday. ?It was like nobody wanted to question the computer,? said Ken Polcari, director of the NYSE floor division at O?Neil Securities in New York, who was a 26-year-old in his second year as a member of the NYSE. ?Then what happens is it feeds on itself because as the prices got worse the risk management software kept spitting out a new message - You need to sell more,? said Polcari. Portfolio insurance, the short selling of stock index futures to protect against a decline in value, caused computerized program trading to issue sell orders as a safeguard against more losses. Instead, losses intensified, causing even more sell orders in a feedback loop. With computer trading in its infancy, the floor of the NYSE was filled with more members than today, with trades executed by hand on paper. Thousands of traders scrambled to handle the tidal wave of selling, with volumes so extreme prices were delayed by hours, further complicating the process. ?The opening was 90 minutes (delayed), so you knew there was a lot of influx of orders, the futures (contracts) were down, everything was down, so we knew we were in for a rough ride,? said Peter Costa, president at Empire Executions Inc in New York, who has been working on the trading floor since 1981. The widespread selling and delay in reporting prices also hit the stock options market, said Gordon Charlop, a managing director at Rosenblatt Securities in New York who was trading options on the American Exchange at the time of the crash. ?The options market slowed down to a crawl because nobody could really figure out how to derive options prices from equities because we weren?t sure what the equity prices were,? said Charlop. Of the 30 companies whose stocks are in the Dow today, slightly less than half were in the index at the time. American Express (AXP.N) lost 26.2 percent on Black Monday, Procter & Gamble (PG.N) plunged 27.8 percent, and Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) tumbled 23.4 percent. ?The price movements in the stocks were not like anything I had ever seen prior to that day, or since that day, in fact,? said Ted Weisberg, floor trader with Seaport Securities in New York, who has been a member of the exchange since 1969. ?It was in fact the scariest day, the most emotional day, except when we came back to work after September 11, that I have ever spent on the trading floor.?
  4. KIEV: Five people were killed Wednesday when a car ploughed into a crowd of pedestrians in the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, local police said, ruling out a terror link. The Kharkiv police department said six others were hurt, although the extent of their injuries remained unclear. But local police spokesman Yaroslav Trakalo told the Ukrainska Pravda news site that two women's condition was "very serious". The police statement said the female driver of the SUV vehicle had been detained, adding that a criminal case involving driving safety violations had been launched. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail, the police statement said. Photographs published on various Ukrainian news sites showed the remains of a black SUV vehicle scattered across a crosswalk where the accident occurred. Kharkiv is located less than 300 kilometres (190 miles) northwest of Ukraine's eastern war zone in which more than 10,000 have died in fighting between government soldiers and Russian-backed insurgents. The city itself was briefly the site of pro-Russian protests after Ukraine toppled its Kremlin-backed leadership in a February 2014 revolt. But the city of about 1.4 million people has avoided being dragged into the conflict and remains firmly under the Ukrainian government's control.
  5. Turkish gendarmerie have released 7,500 illegally hunted frogs ? which had been destined for dining tables in China and France ? into safe waters, after uncovering a poaching ring. Photo: File ISTANBUL: Turkish gendarmerie have released 7,500 illegally hunted frogs ? which had been destined for dining tables in China and France ? into safe waters, after uncovering a poaching ring. Officers detained five men on frog trafficking charges, after discovering the amphibians in dozens of nets inside a minibus in the central Anatolian province of Nevsehir, the state-run Anadolu news agency said Wednesday. The suspects said they were due to ship the frogs to Adana in southern Turkey where they were to be exported on to France and China where frogs are eaten. The officers later freed the frogs into the Kizilirmak river, one of Turkey´s largest, which flows into the Black Sea. Hasan Huseyin Dogancay, head of a local livestock agency, told Anadolu it was the first time he had encountered such large-scale poaching. "We just released the frogs back to nature because they were caught without permission and outside permitted hunting areas," he said. Conservationists have called for restrictions on frog hunting because of the animal's declining population. France placed a ban on commercial frog hunting in 1980.
  6. Some 582,000 Rohingya refugees have now fled Myanmar for Bangladesh since late August, the United Nations said Tuesday, warning that thousands more were still stranded at the border. Photo: Reuters COX'S BAZAR: Some 582,000 Rohingya refugees have now fled Myanmar for Bangladesh since late August, the United Nations said Tuesday, warning that thousands more were still stranded at the border. The UN said between 10,000 and 15,000 new refugees have arrived at the border in the last 48 hours alone, fleeing violence in Myanmar, where Rohingya villages are being burned to the ground. It expressed deep concern about newly arrived refugees including children and elderly people dehydrated and hungry from the long journey who are stranded near the border. One Bangladesh Border Guard (BGB) official told AFP on condition of anonymity that the new arrivals were being held in an area of no man´s land, although it was not immediately clear why. Spokesman Andrej Mahecic said the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) was advocating with the Bangladesh authorities "to urgently admit these refugees fleeing violence and increasingly difficult conditions back home". He said UNHCR staff had spoken with people who described walking for a week to reach the Bangladesh border. Most are still squatting in paddy fields in Bangladesh, and were waiting for permission to move away from the border, he said. "Every minute counts given the fragile condition they´re arriving in," said Mahecic. Mahecic said many had chosen to remain in their homes in Myanmar´s Rakhine state despite repeated threats to leave or be killed. "They finally fled when their villages were set on fire," he said. Many of the new arrivals were from Rakhine´s Buthidaung district, which lies relatively far from the border with Bangladesh. "The military killed my brother. We walked all the way to this land to save our lives," said Mohammad Shoeb, who arrived at the border with his family on Monday evening. The UN said a jump of 45,000 in its estimated number of newly arrived refugees to 582,000 was due partly to improved access to some areas where many had previously gone uncounted. That figure does not include the thousands currently in no man´s land. The Rohingya are fleeing violence in Myanmar´s Rakhine state, where the UN has accused troops of waging an ethnic cleansing campaign against them. The numbers have soared since August 25, when militant attacks on Myanmar´s security forces in Rakhine sparked a major military backlash. Hundreds more have drowned making the perilous journey. On Monday authorities said they had found the bodies of 10 Rohingya whose boat sank in the estuary of the Naf river that divides the two countries. The UNHCR said it was working with the Bangladesh government to complete a new transit centre in Kutupalong, the largest of the refugee camps housing the Rohingya. Bangladesh has announced plans to build a refugee camp that could accommodate around 800,000 Rohingya in Kutupalong. The camp would be the largest in the world and has raised concerns about the risks of heavily concentrating such a large number of vulnerable people, such as the spread of disease.
  7. NEW YORK: It is 5 pm, otherwise known as rush hour in Manhattan. Julia Lyons, 31, finishes work and heads straight for her daily dose of peace and quiet -- half an hour at meditation studio "Mndfl." Since April 2016, when she discovered the then-brand-new studio, the investment bank employee has abandoned yoga and embraced meditation. "I have been meditating pretty regularly -- probably five times a week, 30-minute sessions," says Lyons, sipping a cup of tea on the studio´s sofa. "I just need a moment to chill out. This city -- you are always running place to place and there are not a lot of quiet spaces," she explains. "I think it´s made me a lot happier and also just helped me make better decisions, more thoughtful decisions." Practiced by millions around the world, meditation promotes mental wellbeing through concentration, breathing techniques and self-awareness. For a long time, those singing its praises were intellectuals, celebrities or people dedicated to spirituality. Its popularity in the West is owed in part to the Beatles, who promoted the practice on their return from India in the late 1960s. But these days, meditation can be found in all areas of life -- from hospitals exploring its benefits for patients with serious illnesses to schools who recommend it for children and television shows. The craze is a result of many factors -- waning attendance at places of worship, lives spent submerged in smartphones, not to mention neuroscientists´ confirmation of the benefits. As a result, demand is spreading across American cities -- perhaps a natural continuation of the yoga craze, which firmly embedded the search for nirvana in the health and wellbeing industry. $10 for half an hour Lodro Rinzler, Mndfl´s 34-year-old "chief spiritual officer," opened his first studio in Greenwich Village at the end of 2015, and now owns two others in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Elsewhere in the US, studios can be found in Los Angeles, Miami, Washington and Boston. Introduced to meditation as a child by his parents, who converted to Buddhism in the 1970s, he says business "is going well." "The people who come here are really a cross-section of all New Yorkers," he explains. "If the common denominator is, ´I am really stressed out, I need to know how to deal with my mind´ -- that´s basically everyone." Rinzler refuses to talk money, revealing only that classes are often full -- and the 75 numbered pads in his studios have been reserved online 70,000 times in just 18 months. The reason for success? A model offering a well-rounded introduction to this ancient practice for a reasonable price. For years, Rinzler explains, Buddhist centres only offered long introductions -- sessions of several hours, or even seminars lasting a number of days and costing up to several thousand dollars. With classes priced at just $10 for half an hour and options for unlimited subscriptions, new studios in New York or Los Angeles hope to capture a wider audience. Their model is similar to gyms, but with "zen" in abundance -- including dimmed lights, plant walls, and unlimited organic tea. CEOs join, employees follow Companies are also reaping meditation´s benefits. More and more organizations in Silicon Valley and other sectors are introducing employees to the practice, convinced of the long-term benefits for the workforce. Emily Fletcher, an ex-actress who has taught meditation since 2012, launched a special program for companies 18 months ago. Starting from 150 students in the first year, she now has over 7,000 -- and hopes to reach tens of thousands more with online courses, including in medium-sized cities such as Cleveland, Ohio or Tallahassee, Florida. "The most common way that I find myself teaching at companies is I teach the CEOs to meditate, and they start to benefit and they bring me on to do a talk with the company," Fletcher, CEO of Ziva Meditation, says. Employees take part on a voluntary basis, mostly "for some selfish reasons," the 38-year-old explains. "Either they want to speak better, please their boss, want to make more money or have better ***..." But Fletcher insists she has no issue with people starting out of self-interest. "If you actually practice you will start enjoying your life more, your brain will function better, your body will feel better, you get sick less often," she says. "Those altruistic things will happen as a result of the practice anyway." Mobile meditation Another aspect of the industry gaining traction is meditation apps. One of the most popular, Headspace, had already been downloaded more than 11 million times in the spring -- and boasts over 400,000 paying users. But meditation´s newfound popularity is of such high intensity, neither Rinzler nor Fletcher is concerned about competing studios popping up over time. "I am sure they are going to be exactly like yoga studios, you are going to find them on every block..." Rinzler predicts. "If you look at it as a business, there is competition," Fletcher reflects, adding, "if you see it as a mission, there are colleagues." "There are not too many teachers when it comes to teaching four billion people in my lifetime!"
  8. Maria Sharapova beat Swiss qualifier Stefanie Voegele 6-3, 6-1 TIANJIN, CHINA: Maria Sharapova equalled her best performance since returning from a doping suspension as she breezed into the Tianjin Open semi-finals on Friday. The Russian easily defeated Swiss qualifier Stefanie Voegele 6-3, 6-1 in 64 minutes and the former world number one will face China´s Peng Shuai in the last four. Sharapova returned in April from a 15-month suspension for taking the banned substance meldonium. In her first tournament back, in Stuttgart, she made it to the semi-finals but has been unable to repeat that feat again, until now. The 30-year-old, ranked 86 in the world, was granted a wildcard for Tianjin because her ranking was too low. Peng, the third seed and reigning Tianjin champion, will offer a far sterner test than 196-ranked Voegele. Home hope Peng thrashed Spain´s Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-0, 6-1 in their quarter-final.
  9. PESHAWAR: Pakistan People?s Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari Thursday said whenever the PML-N came into power, they ruined the country?s economy and brought it on the brink of bankruptcy. Addressing a press conference here, the former president said if the country is weakening economically, then there must have been someone responsible for it. He said his party would create jobs for people if the party was brought to power again by the people. ?Whenever the PPP came to power, it provided jobs to the people, didn?t snatch them.? Commenting on the PTI chairman, Zardari said Imran Khan is lost in his own world and for him Pervez Khattak is the best individual.
  10. From just being on the sidelines of an MMA bout, to actually ending up fighting in it and becoming a champion, to getting engaged, we can say one thing for sure – Luis Felipe Alvim had one hell of a night. The 22-year old went to watch the Fora Fight welterweight title fight between Carlos Eduardo Rufino and Claudinei Kall. But, it turned out that Rufino was overweight by just a single pound, so Kall finally decided to pull out after initially accepting, leaving the stage open for any competitor. That's when Alvim came in. © Instagram/Luis Felipe Alvim The mixed martial arts fan, who is a black belt in muay thai under UFC lightweight Felipe Silva and blue belt in jiu-jitsu, volunteered to take the empty spot. Even though Alvim had never fought in a MMA fight, he stepped into the octagon anyway, putting his skills to test, according to MMA Fighting. Even though he was absolutely throttled during the fight, Alvim managed to get to get Rufino in a triangle choke, forcing him to tap. “He took me down and landed some heavy shots, and I thought 'oh sh*t, what the f*ck am I doing here?” Alvim said. “When I locked the triangle I thought to myself, 'sh*t, I'll catch him.' I asked God 'please, don't let this round end,' and he tapped.” © Instagram/Luis Felipe Alvim Well, in just one night Alvim made his MMA debut and ended up walking away with the Fora Fight welterweight belt. Posting a picture from the fight on his Instagram, he said, “I believed all the time that I would win and went there and did. I never imagined that it would be that way, nor in my best dream. I fought well and left with that victory.” © Instagram/Luis Felipe Alvim “It is a memory that I will carry throughout my life. I want to thank God first, then my fiancée, my masters Felipe Silva and Fabiano Silva who believed in me and got me even without training properly for a fight of this size.” After winning the belt, he decided to take this already memorable night to another level. He proposed to his girlfriend right then and there in the octagon, with blood still dripping from his face. And, obviously she said yes. © Instagram/Luis Felipe Alvim Alvim told MMA Fighting: “I showed my girlfriend - my fiancée now [laughs] - the trailer of the movie 'Troy' yesterday, in which this kid tells Achilles he'd never fight a giant like Achilles was about to do, and Achilles says, 'That's why your name won't be remembered.' That stuck in my mind.” Well, winning a fight you had just gone to watch is enough for people to remember you.
  11. Well, looks like Mia Khalifa got a taste of her own medicine! For the last few months, Mia Khalifa has only been in news for outing guys, mainly athletes, for sliding into her DMs on Instagram. Exhibit 1 - Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras tried to slyly strike up a conversation with her, and it completely backfired for him. Cubbies, your man's is wandering around left field. Can you come get him? @Cubs — Mia Khalifa (@miakhalifa) September 5, 2017 Exhibit 2 – Before Willson, she had slammed NFL star Duke Williams, as well, for doing the same thing. Warning: Trespassers in my DM's will be shot and hung out to dry in public. — Mia Khalifa (@miakhalifa) July 12, 2015 But now, look how the tables have turned! Former NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas has put Mia on blast for sliding into his DMs. She really knew what she wanted as she relentlessly kept messaging him even after not getting a reply, according to the screenshot. @miakhalifa would slide in my dm #fortheD ððthe thirst is real since backpage is gone ðððthis #Bihhh has no room for negotiations with me.. $150 or you better slide into #nelly dm for that raw dick behind a #walmart ð¬ð¬ A post shared by Gilbert Arenas (@no.chill.gil) on Oct 9, 2017 at 10:40am PDT No Chill Gil, indeed. And, as for Mia's response for being put on blast like that, she just had this to say. Is Gilbert Arenas even relevant anymore? — Mia Khalifa (@miakhalifa) October 9, 2017 Well, Mia he is relevant enough for you to be sliding into his DMs “#fortheD”, as he says.
  12. Rafael Nadal sent an ominous warning of intent as the 16-time Grand Slam winner bulldozed his way into the quarter-finals of the China Open on Thursday. The Spanish world number one, enjoying a late-career flourish, dispatched Russia's promising Karen Khachanov 6-3, 6-3 on the outside hard court in Beijing. Nadal, the top seed and coming off the back of a third US Open title, faces big-serving American John Isner in the last eight. The 31-year-old Nadal broke Khachanov, ranked 42 in the world, in the fourth game and was never in serious trouble after that. Khachanov, at age 21 a rising talent, simply had no reply to Nadal's explosive forehand and made too many routine errors. Nadal broke the young Russian again in the third game of the second set as he cruised into the last eight. It was a contrast to his opener in the Chinese capital, when Nadal saved two match points against Frenchman Lucas Pouille.
  13. geo_embedgallery SAN FRANCISCO: Google on Wednesday unveiled new versions of its Pixel smartphone, the highlight of a refreshed line aimed at weaving artificial intelligence deeper into modern lives. Google software and artificial intelligence were common threads in the gamut of new devices it unveiled to step up its challenge on the hardware front to rivals such as Apple and Amazon The new Pixel 2 and larger Pixel 2 XL are the first Google-made phones to be released since the California tech giant announced the acquisition of key segments of Taiwan-based electronics group HTC. The upgraded smartphones will be available for order as of Wednesday in six countries starting at $649 for five-inch display Pixel 2, and $849 for the six-inch Pixel 2 XL. The new aluminium-body smartphones along with Google's upgraded connected speakers and new laptop computer all aim to infuse artificial intelligence to make the devices more user-friendly, built around the Google Assistant ? the rival to Amazon's Alexa, Microsoft's Cortana and others. Google vice president Rick Osterloh said Google's new devices "are simple to use and they anticipate your needs." Osterloh told the product launch event in San Francisco: "You interact with your devices naturally with your voice or by touching them." Google, by bringing in a team of engineers from HTC, aims to emulate the success of Apple iPhones by controlling the hardware as well as the software used in the premium-priced handsets. The revamped camera in the smartphone retains a single lens but seeks to improve images via "computational photography," an artificial intelligence tool that can enhance pictures. Analyst Ian Fogg of IHS Markit said in a tweet that the new smartphone "adds incremental improvements on the great v1" while noting that "Google's challenge is to solve production limits which hurt the original." Fogg said the use of computation to improve images with a single lens "is technically impressive." Mini speaker, mini camera Google announced a slimmed down version of its connected speaker called Google Home Mini starting at $49 in the United States, stepping up its challenge to market leader Amazon. The new Google Home Mini is available for pre-order in the seven countries where the device is offered and will go on sale in stores October 19, the company said. The new speaker, which responds to voice commands using artificial intelligence, is less than half the price of Google's first generation speaker and makes this "more accessible to more people," said Google hardware designer Isabelle Olsson. A premium version of the speaker ? a $399 Google Home Max unveiled Wednesday ? offers more power and audio quality for music aficionados. The new Google Clips camera ? one of the surprises of the event ? "looks for smiles (and) moments, because the software is in the camera," said Google product manager Juston Payne. "It's like having my own photographer shooting and choosing my best moments for me," Payne said of the $249 device. Another surprise from the event was the wireless Pixel Buds, which can deliver audio from a smartphone and also include the Google Assistant and real-time translation. A demonstration at the event included a two-way conversation with one person speaking English and the other Swedish. "The camera and the earbuds were really held up as examples of what the company can do by leveraging the Google Assistant," said Ross Rubin of Reticle Research. A new Pixelbook laptop was touted as a "high performance" computer powered by its Chrome operating system and designed as a rival to Microsoft's Surface and Apple's iPad Pro. With a 12.3-inch display, the device is a convertible PC that can be used as a tablet and is sold starting at $999 for US customers. 'AI-first world' Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said the new devices showcase the tech giant's artificial intelligence. "We've been working hard continuing our shift from a mobile-first to an AI-first world," he said. "We are working on software and hardware together because that is the best way to drive computing forward." The launch comes in the wake of Apple's announcement of a new line of iPhones, and Amazon's upgrades to its Echo speakers powered by its Alexa digital assistant "It is a portfolio designed to take Google into more parts of your life, particularly in your home," Reticle Research analyst Ross Rubin said of the array of devices the internet giant unveiled on Wednesday. "Amazon is focusing on a range of price points and designs; Google is focusing on a range of experiences." COVER IMAGE: The new Google Pixel 2 XL smartphone is seen (front-side) at a product launch event at the SFJAZZ Center, October 4, 2017. AFP/Elijah Nouvelage
  14. Female Qatari jockey Maryam Al-Subaiey (L) participates in a horse race at the Racing and Equestrian Club in Doha, in February 2017. Photo: AFP A Qatari woman who created ripples by appearing on television without a headscarf has broken new ground as a jockey in the conservative Gulf country, where men usually hold the reins. Maryam al-Subaiey has defied expectation and tradition ? as well as any fear of controversy ? to pursue her "dream" of racing horses, which even a nasty fall this year could not crush. "I don't have to do things that society expects from me as a woman," Subaiey, 31, told AFP. "I am expected to be a businesswoman and eventually get married and have kids." She adds: "But being a female athlete, this is not something that is considered Qatari. "It's just not expected. It's very different." Racing against tradition Subaiey's dream came true on February 24 at Qatar's pastoral Racing and Equestrian Club, a green oasis on the western fringes of the capital Doha. There, on the undercard of an eight-race meeting, she took to the track for the very first time. Subaiey didn't win ? she finished eleventh out of 14 runners in the "Thoroughbred Handicap" on her mount "Comedy Night". But more notable than her final position was the fact she competed at all. Women have raced before in Qatar ? indeed there was another non-Qatari female jockey in the same handicap and there are local media reports dating back to 2008 about a 14-year-old amateur riding at the equestrian club. But although records are not conclusive, officials told AFP that Subaiey was the first ever Qatari female jockey to take part in such a ranking event. "I still can't believe that I am here," she said immediately afterwards. "The importance of my presence here isn't just the fact that I am the first female Qatari jockey ? I am here for all female Qataris and all female Khaleejis," she said, referring to women from the Gulf. Backlash Her groundbreaking ride also took many in attendance by surprise. "To be honest, I didn't think there were female jockeys here," said one Western racegoer. Subaiey is well-known among some Qataris. Last year, she appeared on France 24 Arabic television to discuss how Qatari women view their role in society. There was a backlash though as she appeared on screen not wearing a headscarf. One online commenter called her "a bad example" for Qatari women. Another more vehement poster wrote: "Education is no good if it results in disobeying God's orders." Subaiey ? speaking at the racetrack without a headscarf -- responded simply: "I have the freedom to choose what and what not to wear." 'Not prestigious' Subaiey's gallop into history began back in August 2014 during what she described as a "very difficult time in my life". She had lost her job as a video director for a local television station and wanted a change of direction. Although she had ridden horses as a child she had no experience as a jockey. But she said: "This is something I wanted to do for a very long time. I love horses and I thought, why not?" One of those why nots was social convention in Qatar. Being a female jockey was seen by some as "not prestigious" in such a traditional society, admitted Subaiey, who wears the same style of racing silks to compete in as her male jockey counterparts. But although her desire to become a jockey may have raised a few eyebrows, Subaiey said she has the support of her family, who had no prior involvement in the horse racing world, and many compatriots -- "even Qatari men". "All I hear is positive comments," she added. "A lot of young girls tell me that I inspire them. That's what I want to do." Another "why not" would be the number of female sports stars in Qatar. Despite using sport to brand itself globally, including in horse racing where Qatar sponsors major events in France and Britain including the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and the Goodwood Festival, there are few homegrown female sports stars. Qatar took just two female athletes to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, even fewer than the four in London in 2012, the first time Qatar had taken female competitors to the Games. Disaster strikes As part of her training to become a jockey, Subaiey has trained with noted British jockey Steve Smith Eccles at his school in the British "racing capital", Newmarket. She was training hard for up to six hours a day. However, disaster struck in her second race back home in March. She fell from her horse, sustaining severe injuries, including a double fracture to her pelvis. "My family was so devastated, but they know I am going to go back to racing. They know I am stubborn and they know I can never say no," she said. Subaiey plans to get back in the saddle and continue her training in Newmarket in October. "If anything, more than ever before, I have something to prove."
  15. Rangana Herath led Sri Lanka to a thrilling victory with a six-wicket haul/Getty Images ABU DHABI: Wily left-arm spinner Rangana Herath was left delighted as he joined the 400-wicket club with a six-wicket haul that helped Sri Lanka to a narrow 21-run win over Pakistan in Abu Dhabi on Monday. The 39-year-old finished with 6-43 -- 11-136 in the match -- to help Sri Lanka dismiss Pakistan for 114 after they were set a target of 136 to win on the fifth and final day at Sheikh Zayed Stadium. Herath´s dismissal of last batsman Mohammad Abbas was his 400th wicket in his 84th Test, becoming the 14th most successful bowler and fifth spinner in the five-day format to reach the milestone. He also completed 100 wickets against Pakistan in 20 Tests when he took the fifth wicket. He is the first bowler to take a century of wickets against Pakistan, beating Indian paceman Kapil Dev who fell one short with 99. Herath was delighted at reaching the milestone. "I´m so happy with the remarkable achievement of 400 wickets," said Herath after the match. "All credit should go to the people behind me, from my parents to the team and the supporting staff." Herath, who took 5-93 in Pakistan´s first innings of 422, admitted there was help from the pitch on which 16 wickets fell on the last day. "There was some assistance from the surface. There was something for the spinners so I got this success," he said. Herath took 23 wickets against Pakistan in 2014 -- a world record in a two-match series, and he said he had no clue why he was continually so successful against the nation. "I have no idea. I´ve played nearly 20 Tests, maybe that´s why," he said. He is the second Sri Lankan to take 400 or more wickets behind Muttiah Muralitharan who is the highest wicket taker in all Test cricket with 800. He also became the fourth fastest to the milestone behind Muralitharan (72 Tests), New Zealand´s Richard Hadlee (80 Tests) and South Africa Dale Steyn (80 Tests). The second Test -- a day night affair -- will start in Dubai from Friday.
  16. Thomas Beach Alter, also known as Tom Alter, was a loved figure of the Indian Cinema fraternity and was best known for playing a staunch British Official in many movies. He died earlier this week, after giving us 40 years of uninterrupted and dedicated cinema and he will forever be remembered for some of his prominent roles that we absolutely loved! From 'Gandhi' to 'Junoon' to even 'Shaktiman', a fine actor to watch on screen and in theatre, he has definitely left a legacy behind with his fine acting skills. The actor sadly passed away after battling stage 4 of cancer. Here's a peek into the actor's versatile acting career and the characters he played, that stuck with us, through time, in these 10 roles in films and television series, respectively! Shatranj Ke Khilari (1977) Tom started his Bollywood journey with this Satyajit Ray film. The movie was based on Munshi Premchand's short story. The film is based on the eve of the 1857 Indian Rebellion and two wealthy Indian men who love to indulge in a game of chess amidst scheming British officials of the East India Company. Tom played the role of Captain Weston, an aide de camp to General James Outram, a prominent English general who fought the rebellion. (c)Youtube Des Pardes (1978) This film was produced and directed by Dev Anand and, as the name suggests, it was a movie about the then social evils plaguing society. Tom Alter plays the role of a police officer by the name of inspector Martin. (c) Navketan International Films Kranti (1981) Kranti, directed by Manoj Kumar, featured Tom in the role of a British officer and the movie was set in the 19th century when India was struggling with independence. (c)Manoj Kumar Productions Gandhi (1982) Playing the role of a doctor who takes care of Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturba Gandhi in prison, in the film 'Gandhi', Tom Alter did great justice to the character. Even though the role was small, it was noticed by his Indian fans for sure. (c)Goldcrest Films Parinda (1989) 'Parinda' is a crime drama film, directed by Vidhu Vinod Chopra and showcases Alter's role in a different character altogether. The movie, quite relevant to reality, revolves around the underworld and the life of the people residing in Mumbai. Tom played the role of Musa, a deadly gangster in the city. (c)Vinod Chopra Productions Aashiqui (1990) Alter plays a nasty, stubborn hostel warden who makes Anu Aggarwal's life miserable! The role was quite meaty and away from all the soft spoken, polite roles he's ever done! (c)T-Series Zabaan Sambhal Ke(1993) In a humerous attempt to learn the Hindi language, Tom Alter joins a Hindi speaking class, held together by Pankaj Kapur. The show was hilarious, and the best version of the British sitcom ‘Mind Your Language'. (c)Doordarshan Television Series Junoon (1994) Tom Alter played a suave, vile mobster ‘Don Keshav Kalsi'. The oldest and the most popular show on Doordarshan back in the day, Junoon revolved around some glamorous lifestyles and emotionally charged drama. (c)Cinevistasa Limited Shaktiman (1997) A very different role portrayal as ‘Mahaguru', Tom Alter really proved his worth as a versatile actor in the hit series 'Shaktiman'. His role required him to be fluent in Sanskrit, that was laced in Hindi and he nailed it to the T! If you remember watching ‘Shaktiman' as a kid, you will definitely remember Alter's role. (c)Doordarshan Television Series Veer-Zaara (2004) 'Veer-Zaara', a renowned film starring Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta, had a lot of powerful character play. One of Tom Alter's recent films, he fit into the role of a doctor beautifully. (c)Yash Raj Films
  17. Not all heroes wear capes, this one was wearing a wedding suit. Clayton and Brittany Cook had just tied the knot and were getting their wedding photographs clicked when the photo session turned into a rescue mission when the groom jumped into a pond to save a little boy from drowning. According to the couple, while the photo shoot was going on, three children had been following them around, giggling and cheering them on. While talking to BBC, Clayton said, “I was sort of keeping a close eye on them, just because they were close to the water.” © Darren Hatt/Hatt Photography While he was waiting for his turn to be photographed, he noticed that only two of the three children were standing on a rock ledge that led down to the pond. “I kind of just said to myself, well I'm pretty sure that just drops off, and I'm going to go check just to make sure the kids are okay,” he told BBC. “When I got there, they were kind of looking down in the water and pointing. That's when I saw the boy — he was in the water, struggling, trying to keep his head up above the water and just flailing his arms quite a bit and just trying to keep air in himself. That's when I was able to kind of jump down the rock ledge.” © Darren Hatt/Hatt Photography After jumping in, he told the boy to grab his hand, and then he was able to grab the boy by his wrist. He said, “I kind of plucked him out and put him on top of the ledge there.” He further said that even though the boy was okay, “he was in a lot of shock, and he was probably pretty tired. I think he was fighting for longer than I even thought.” At first, when Brittany saw her new husband jumping into a pond, she thought he was playing some kind of a joke. She ended up shouting “What are you doing!”, which made the photographer turn around and see what was happening. He instantly started snapping pictures, perfectly capturing this heroic moment. Their photographer, Darren Hatt, posted the pictures on his Facebook page, saying, “A special shout out to last night's groom Clayton! His quick action saved the little guy who was struggling to swim. Well done sir!” What an amazing guy!
  18. Firecrackers are very, very normal in the festive season. And so are Nehru jackets, Bandhgala suits, Angrakhas (cc: Shahid's Padmavati one) or for most men—long/short kurtas. However, personally, we're obsessed with the Nehru jacket. It can be dressed down, dressed up, customised in every way and can even walk parallel to its most formal cousin, the bandhgala suit. But last night, our interest in the piece was absolutely unparalleled. Reason being: Hrithik Roshan's recent outfit that featured a stellar Nehru jacket x Angrakha pedigree, left a stunner down Indian menswear for us. © Viral Bhayani From Manish Malhotra to Kunal Rawal, literally everyone's been on the Nehru jacket parade for years now. And since it's inception, there's never been a dearth of this ethnic wear staple at stores. Plus, there's velvet, silk, 100% cotton, mixed race with Angrakhas or Sherwanis, just so many interpretations the jacket comes in these days. And let's not forget, celebrities adore wearing it. But that's not what's important here, at least as far as Mr. Roshan's outfit is concerned. © Viral Bhayani If it hasn't hit you yet, there's a lot to love about Hrithik's outfit here. Let's begin with his top half—flap over detailing, a very unusual pop colour for a late evening outing, asymmetrical kurta and a small patch of fabric casually resting around his left shoulder. Phew...but great! The bottom half too, isn't far behind. His bottoms, to begin with, are neither too wide legged nor slim-fitted, but aren't looking odd at all. Having said that, the footwear pairing is our favourite aspect about this outfit! Not a very bold choice of colour, but blue oxford shoes with a pop yellow ethnic jacket is a smart choice, we must say. © Viral Bhayani Since you now know 'what to wear' and 'how to wear it' this festive season, keep your worries at bay and get back to the drill.
  19. KARANGASEM: Some tourists are having second thoughts about visiting the tropical Indonesian resort island of Bali after repeated warnings that its highest volcano could erupt at any time, half a century after it killed more than 1,000 people. Strong volcanic tremors rumbling underground and billowing white smoke over the scenic Mount Agung have raised alarm, prompting the evacuation of more than 75,000 people within 12 km (7.5 miles). Sitting on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, Indonesia has nearly 130 active volcanoes, more than any other country. Many Indonesians live near volcanoes because lava flows make the surrounding soil and land fertile for farming. Several countries, including Australia, Singapore, and the United States, have issued travel advisories alerting holidaymakers to the new risk. And a hotel operator in Bali said news of the volcano had caused cancellations. ?Business is getting low since Mount Agung?s alert status was raised to the highest level,? said Ketut Purnawata, manager of Dasawana Resort, which is in the same district as the volcano, popular with tourists and hikers. Nearly five million people visited Bali last year - most of them from Australia, China and Japan. Airlines in Australia and Singapore said they were preparing for any disruptions due to an eruption, but flights were running normally for now. Virgin Australia and Jetstar, both of which fly to Bali from Australia, said they would carry extra fuel in case they needed to change course. Jetstar and Singapore-based budget carrier Scoot said they had been contacted by a small number of customers looking to change their travel dates. ?Less than 100 customers chose to rebook to a later date,? a Scoot spokeswoman said. Singapore Airlines and its short-haul arm SilkAir said customers traveling to Bali until Oct. 2 could rebook or request a refund, while AirAsia said flights were operating normally. One Indonesian travel agency said it had seen some cancellations. ?There will definitely be an impact on (sales of) tour packages but we don?t know the figures yet,? said Agustinus Pake Seko of PT Bayu Buana travel agency. President Joko Widodo visited shelters near Mount Agung on Tuesday and urged residents to follow evacuation procedures after reports that some people were reluctant to leave their homes because nothing had happened. ?While the government will continue to try to minimize the economic losses of the community, the most important priority is the safety of the people here,? Widodo told reporters. ?So I ask all people around Mount Agung to follow instructions from the officials and minimize the impact of this volcano.? Life was going along largely as normal on the island famous for its beaches, temples and gentle Hindu culture. One Spanish tourist, Jordi Portalo, 23, said he wasn?t troubled. ?I think it could happen but...maybe we?d have to stay here a couple more days, so nothing to worry about,? he said sitting at a cafe next to the trademark white surfing beach of Nusa Dua. The last time Mount Agung erupted was in 1963, before tourism took off, when streams of lava traveled as far as 7 km along its slopes, killing more than 1,000 villagers. More recent ash clouds from volcanic eruptions have also disrupted tourism in Bali and other parts of Indonesia. Hundreds of domestic and international flights were disrupted in 2016 when a volcano erupted on Bali?s neighboring Lombok island, sending columns of ash and debris into the air.
  20. Honestly, the fact that B.o.B is more famous for his flat earth conspiracy theories than his actual rapping career says a lot about him. Despite all the scientific proof in the world, he is completely convinced that the earth is ‘as flat as a pancake', and now he now he is dead set on proving this theory. Last week, he launched a GoFundMe page in an effort to ‘find the curve'. The rapper is hoping to raise $200,000 to help him launch satellites into space in order to prove everything that is already a scientific fact and has been proven before. "It's Flat-Earth B.o.B," he says in a YouTube video posted to the page. "I'm starting a GoFundMe because I would like to send one, if not multiple, satellites as far into space as I can, or into orbit as I can, to find the curve. I'm looking for the curve." The 29-year-old musician is quite a well-known conspiracy theorist, and he posts a lot about it. Science said it, not me — B.o.B (@bobatl) August 31, 2017 Back in January 2016, he even posted a series of tweets, which he claimed was proof that the earth is flat. The cities in the background are approx. 16miles apart... where is the curve ? please explain this — B.o.B (@bobatl) January 25, 2016 "No matter how high in elevation you are… the horizon is always eye level … sorry cadets… I didn't wanna be it either," he wrote. "I'm going up against the greatest liars in history … you've been tremendously deceived." This even caught the attention of astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, who hit back with straight up facts. @bobatl Earth's curve indeed blocks 150 (not 170) ft of Manhattan. But most buildings in midtown are waaay taller than that. — Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) January 25, 2016 @bobatl Polaris is gone by 1.5 deg S. Latitude. You've never been south of Earth's Equator, or if so, you've never looked up. — Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) January 25, 2016 The feud escalated with B.o.B's diss track "Flatline," and continued with a diss track from Tyson called "Flat to Fact" that he wrote with his nephew. "I'm bringing facts to combat a silly theory because B.o.B has gotta know the planet is a sphere," Tyson's nephew raps on the track. B.o.B's campaign currently has raised around $650 out of the $200,000, so it's a long way to go as of now, but if he's actually able to pull it off, it will be the most hilarious thing ever!
  21. Image Courtesy: Google's Project Jacquard website 'Levi collaboration'/Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) SAN FRANCISCO: Levi Strauss this week begins selling a denim jacket with touch controls woven into the fabric in the first fashion offering stitched from a collaboration with Google. The iconic California clothing maker, which has a legacy reaching back to Gold Rush in the mid-1800s, will mine the mobile internet boom with a "Trucker Jacket with Jacquard." ?Check out related video at the end of this story The denim jacket aimed at bicyclists has a sleeve cuff made of special Jacquard fabric that synchronizes wirelessly with smartphones, enabling a limited set of commands using swipes or taps, a video posted on YouTube by Levi Strauss showed. "As we see it, this isn't just about technology for technology's sake ? it's about addressing a real need for our consumers on the go," Paul Dillinger ? Levi vice president of global product innovation ? said. "This garment allows cyclists to literally navigate their rides, and manage other simple tasks, while never having to take their eyes off the road." Google engineer Ivan Poupyrev said in a blog post that first and foremost, "it's a jacket. Like any regular denim jacket, you can wash it (just remove the snap tag), it's durable, designed to be comfortable for cycling and it'll keep you warm on and off the bike." Poupyrev said the garment enables users to "perform common digital tasks ? like starting or stopping music, getting directions or reading incoming text messages ? by simply swiping or tapping the jacket sleeve." The Levi's Commuter Trucker jackets will be priced at $350 when they become available in select US shops beginning Wednesday and at the website on October 2. Slightly more than two years ago, Google used its annual developers' conference in San Francisco to reveal Project Jacquard and to spotlight Levi Strauss as its first partner. Named after a Frenchman who invented a type of loom, Project Jacquard is in the hands of a small Google team called Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP). Conductive threads can be woven into a wide array of fabrics, and be made to visually stand out or go unnoticed depending on designers' wishes. COVER IMAGE: Both images ? superimposed and background ? taken from Google's Project Jacquard website/Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP).
  22. The first trailer of the third and last film in the young-adult sci-fi ‘Maze Runner' series is out. With Dylan O'Brien as Thomas in the lead role, ‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure' takes you into the most dangerous labyrinth which is Last City. Thomas and his fellow Gladers must chart the dark depths of the maze in order to get to the truth about the cure that can potentially save many lives. © Twentieth Century Fox The movie is directed by Wes Ball and is scheduled to release on 26 January, 2018. It was originally supposed to release in February this year but it was delayed when Dylan was grievously injured on set and had to recover fully before resuming shoot. © Twentieth Century Fox The film also features Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Giancarlo Esposito from ‘Breaking Bad', and Aidan Gillen who plays Littlefinger in ‘Game of Thrones'. The action sequences resemble classic nineties action replete with train sequences and gun fights. Death Cure is a sequel ‘Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials' which itself was a sequel to ‘The Maze Runner'. The films are based on the ‘The Maze Runner' book series written by James Dashner. The first two films were a box office success, raking in $348.32 million and $312.33 million respectively.
  23. A Boeing 777 in KLM livery on the assembly line at the Boeing plant in Everett, Washington, in 2012. Photo: AFP A panel weighing 4.3 kilograms fell from a plane shortly after take-off from a Japanese airport and smashed the window of a car being driven below, news reports and the airline said Sunday. No one was injured but aviation authorities will send safety inspectors to the western city of Osaka to investigate, said national broadcaster NHK. The piece fell on the vehicle shortly after the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 777 with 321 passengers on board took off from Kansai International Airport bound for Amsterdam on Saturday. The panel damaged the car's roof and broke its rear window, NHK said. The panel, 0.6 meters (two feet) long and one meter wide, is made of composite materials and fell from the base of the right wing, Kyodo News said. It is believed to have fallen at an altitude of 2,400 metres or higher. KLM said the aircraft landed safely at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport Saturday afternoon. "KLM regrets this incident and has immediately launched an investigation into the causes," it said in a statement, adding that it is in close contact with Japanese aviation authorities and Boeing.
  24. If you've ever lived in Delhi and worked in Gurgaon, you know the pain of braving through traffic every single day. And god forbid, if it's monsoon, you are royally f*cked. If the government gave you a penny for every minute you've spent in Gurgaon-Delhi traffic, you'd be rich enough to buy a private jet to fly to work. But life is not that kind and here you are, burning liters after litres of petrol in traffic. One such fellow commuter Birender Kumar Singh found himself stuck at NH 48 and decided to tweet to the traffic police of both the areas. Delhi Traffic Police is known to be extremely prompt on Twitter, and usually respond within minutes. And most of the time, the response is enough to soothe down the aching nerves of someone sitting in the traffic for hours. This was not that time. @gurgaonpolice @dtptraffic stuck for last one hour at NH 48 in front of ambience mall. Please help — Birender Kumar Singh (@singhbk) September 22, 2017 To his surprise, Delhi Traffic Police told him that his complaint was being forwarded to Gurgaon Police: Thanks, matter is out of Delhi Police jurisdiction so your complaint is being forwarded to @gurgaonpolice for taking necessary action. — Delhi Traffic Police (@dtptraffic) September 22, 2017 Hilariously, Gurgaon Police passed the blame back to Delhi Traffic Police The traffic jam is till turn for T3 that's why I included delhi police in tweet — Birender Kumar Singh (@singhbk) September 22, 2017 @dtptraffic Plz clear your traffic over rajokri flyover. This is resulting in serious traffic congestion in Gurugram. — Gurugram Police (@gurgaonpolice) September 22, 2017 As Birender Singh found himself in the midst of a blame war between the two, Twitter intervened: — Adithaps (@adithaps) September 22, 2017 Well done both theð®, Public is suffering you guys are even confuse about your area. — Rahul à¤à¤°à¥à¤«à¤¼ Zimmy® (@hellorahul09) September 22, 2017 Gurgaon Police Vs Delhi Police — Spank'IT (@pank_it) September 23, 2017 The issue is competency to deal with such situations.. we need proactive traffic management not reactive.. @PMOIndia @narendramodi — Ankit Kakkar (@contactkakkar) September 23, 2017 Not a very comforting conversation for citizens, eh?
  25. Sri Lanka captain Upul Tharanga, pictured in March 2017, was among 40 contracted players on Sri Lanka's national team to call for an inquiry into Sri Lanka Cricket based on allegations by former team member Pramodya Wickremasinghe: Image Courtesy: Yahoo Philippines BRISTOL: The International Cricket Council announced Saturday it had initiated investigations in Sri Lanka and that officers from its anti-corruption unit (ACU) had recently visited the country. The ICC's general manager, ACU, Alex Marshall, confirmed the probe in a statement issued from the global governing body's Dubai headquarters, saying: "The ICC anti-corruption unit works to uphold integrity in cricket and this includes conducting investigations where there are reasonable grounds to do so. "There is currently an ICC (ACU) investigation underway in Sri Lanka," said Marshall. "Naturally as part of this, we are talking to a number of people." Marshall, the former head of the Hampshire police force in southern England, added the ICC would "not comment further on an ongoing investigation", a point emphasised by a spokeswoman for world cricket's ruling authority when contacted by AFP. The ICC's statement came just a day after Sri Lanka Cricket said that 40 contracted national team players, including captains Dinesh Chandimal and Upul Tharanga, had signed a petition to SLC calling for an immediate inquiry into "shocking" allegations made by Pramodya Wickremasinghe. A former Sri Lanka pace bowler and ex-national selector, Wickremasinghe gave an interview to a local television station where he made allegations concerning "unnatural match patterns" and player selections while blaming the current management for the team's poor performance. The SLC statement said current players regarded Wickremasinghe's comments as "disparaging and hurtful". The statement said the players had refuted the allegations as "totally baseless" and added that they performed for their "motherland...with a 200 percent commitment". It concluded by saying the players had urged SLC to initiate an immediate inquiry by summoning Wickremasinghe as they had all been slandered by his "diabolic allegations". However, SLC did not say if it had launched such an inquiry. Sri Lanka recently suffered the embarrassment of losing all nine international matches in a home campaign against India. Virat Kohli's visitors took the Test series 3-0 and then won a one-day international series 5-0 before triumphing in the lone Twenty20 international of their tour by seven wickets in Colombo earlier this month. Wickremasinghe's allegations are not the first to swirl around the Sri Lanka team. In July, former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga ? who led the Islanders to the 1996 World Cup title ? demanded an inquiry into the team's defeat by India in the 2011 final in Mumbai. Sri Lanka made four changes to their side against India from the one that beat New Zealand in the semi-finals, with Angelo Mathews, Rangana Herath, Ajanta Mendis and Chamara Silva making way for Thisara Perera, Suraj Randiv, Nuwan Kulasekara and Chamara Kapugedera. They made 274 in their 50 overs, including a hundred from star batsman Mahela Jayawardene, before losing by six wickets. "When we lost, I was distressed and I had a doubt," Ranatunga said in July. "We must investigate what happened to Sri Lanka at the 2011 World Cup final. I cannot reveal everything now, but one day I will. There must be an inquiry."