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  1. THE HAGUE: Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch food and consumer products giant, said Thursday that sales were down in the third quarter, hit by the strong euro and economic fallout from the hurricanes in the United States. Unilever, which owns more than 400 household brands including Dove, Knorr soups, Lipton, Magnum and Marmite, said in a statement that sales were down 1.6 per cent to 13.2 billion euros in the period from July to September. The 1.6pc decrease in sales "included a negative currency impact of 5.1pc," the statement said. In addition, "growth in the quarter was adversely affected by poorer weather in Europe compared with last year and natural disasters in the Americas". Chief executive Paul Polman said that emerging markets were driving growth in the third quarter. "While conditions in our developed markets remain challenging, we are starting to see signs of improvement in some of our biggest emerging markets including India and China," he said. Unilever did not provide any profit figures for the July-September period. But it confirmed its full-year targets and said it was "making good progress against the strategic objectives we have set out for 2020." Rotterdam-based Unilever, which employs some 169,000 people around the world, spurned a takeover bid by US rival Kraft Heinz in February. Since then, it has sought to prove to shareholders that it is better off on its own and vowed better profitability. In April, Unilever unveiled a 3.5-billion euro restructuring plan and announced the spin-off of its margarine division, which includes the Flora, Blue Band and Rama brands.
  2. The 10-storey building may look like a hotel, but it is thought to be the world's biggest large-scale house-share, offering modest rooms and upscale services for hundreds of young adults caught in London's housing crisis. Photo: AFP LONDON: The 10-storey building may look like a hotel, but it is thought to be the world's biggest large-scale house-share, offering modest rooms and upscale services for hundreds of young adults caught in London's housing crisis. The Old Oak building, situated on a canal bank in north-west London, opened in the spring of 2016 and has become a pioneer of "co-living", a concept that is beginning to catch on elsewhere, notably in the United States. "Today in cities, we don't know our neighbours, housing is more and more expensive, we're living behind our devices and this is addressing that challenge," said Ryan Fix, consultant at The Collective, the project's developer. This was no niche market, he insisted: "It's going to be a massive movement in the coming decades." Ed Thomas, who manages the property for The Collective, offers a tour of the 546-room building and its facilities. "You've got a nice spacious room with big window that lets lots of light in," he says as he shows AFP a room measuring 12 square metres (129 square feet). All of the rooms are currently occupied. Some have a tiny ensuite bathroom, with a small wash basin placed almost over the toilet, and a kitchenette. In others, the cooking and washroom areas are shared. Yoga and cinema The Old Oak boasts high-end facilities such as a spa, gym, library, work room, restaurant and even a cinema, which is packed for evening showings of the hit TV series "Game of Thrones". The building is a ten-minute walk from two London Underground stations. And its distinguishing features include its industrial-style architecture and sprawling common spaces filled with colourful armchairs and wooden furniture. There are also communal activities on offer, such as music evenings and yoga classes. The majority of the Old Oak's current tenants are young people aged between 22 and 35 earning an average of £30,000 a year ($40,000, 34,000 euros) ? who might otherwise be sharing a cramped house with strangers. It is common for Londoners to spend "40 to 50 percent of their net salary" on housing, James Mannix, a partner at estate agency Knight Frank, told AFP. "It is extremely difficult to find a place to rent in London and young people are increasingly marginalised," said The Collective's Ed Thomas. "It is very time-consuming, and even once you move into somewhere, the chances that you find a group of people that you get along with are extremely slim. We're trying to tackle that problem." According to Knight Frank, a typical room in shared accommodation costs £1,602 per month in central London and £954 in areas farther out. The Old Oak's prices are largely in line with those of the local area. The majority of the rooms cost between £850 and £1,100 pounds per month, but that includes all bills (energy, internet, cleaning, taxes and common facilities). The largest are advertised at more than £1,400. 'An investment' Adam Saez, a 26-year-old Australian sports trainer who has lived in Old Oak for over a year, sees his rent as "an investment". "I've not only made friends, but I've also done a lot of networking, so I've met lot of people that I now work with as well," he told AFP. Sarah Sinigaglia, a 19-year-old Italian-Swiss student newly arrived in London, agreed. "It's very easy to meet people," she said. "In the evening, you can go downstairs (...) to the lobby or the bar, and there are lots of people like me who are alone." The Collective, whose first shared building was funded by a "Singapore family" for an undisclosed amount, is launching two other projects in east London. One is close to the Olympic Park in Stratford and the other in Canary Wharf, in the business district of the British capital. They are expected to open in 2019, with a combined total of 1,000 rooms up for rent. The Collective is also looking to expand internationally and eyeing different target groups, such as families. Estate agent Mannix said the concept of co-living is "socially a good thing," creating affordable accommodation ? at the same time profitable for the developers ? in a private-sector response to a crisis which the public authorities are failing to tackle sufficiently.
  3. Parents always want to protect their kids from anything and everything under the sun and it's quite understandable, because they want to keep them secure. Reasonable. But what happens when this love triggers their overprotective instincts and they set out to control their kids' lives? We guess John Cena, Leslie Mann and Ike Barinholtz might be in a better position to answer this, since that's exactly what they will be doing in the upcoming comedy movie 'Blockers'. © Universal Pictures Since time immemorial, Hollywood has been making big bucks by stressing on the importance of prom night in teenagers' lives and how their parents freak out, imagining their kids losing their virginity one fine day (or should we say night). So what makes this one special that the rest? The mighty John Cena as an overprotective dad, who even dares to chug beer through his (I can't even) butt for his daughter? Of course! But this isn't the only 'special' element. The movie smartly plays around the concept of using emojis for conveying sexual messages – you know just millennial things – and how poor parents are trying hard to decode those *** emojis. © Universal Pictures The premise of the movie is slightly cliché; a trio of parents who have seen their daughters grow up together, stumble upon a group chat where the daughters are busy chatting through emojis. Turns out, the three have signed a '*** pact' where they will lose their virginity on their prom night. Well, definitely the shock was bigger than walking in on kids masturbating. So the parents decided to ruin the prom night for their kids and go to extreme lengths to stop them from having ***. We wonder if the thought of teaching their kids to have safe *** ever crossed their minds, it could have been a less painful option, especially for John Cena. While Leslie Mann and Ike Barinholtz share a great comic timing, professional wrestler John Cena managed to tickle our funny bones as well with his hilarious antics. 'Pitch Perfect' writer Kay Cannon wears the Director's hat for this film which stars Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Viswanathan, and Gideon Adlan as the beautiful daughters. The coming-of-age comedy movie is expected to release on April 6, 2018.
  4. Kamran Akmal holding his newborn baby girl. Photo: Kamran Akmal twitter The former wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal and his wife recently welcomed a baby girl. Akmal took to social media to share his joy with his fans, with a picture of his newborn and kids. Calling it a blessing, Akmal wrote, ?Alhamdulliah, I?m blessed with a baby girl again. Allah has open the doors of his rehmat again on me. Feeling blessed!? But someone couldn't resist getting savage. Fellow cricketers were quick to congratulate Akmal.
  5. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (C), who is also ruling Liberal Democratic Party leader, shout slogans with a local candidate (L) and a supporter during an election campaign rally in Fukushima, Japan. Photo: Reuters TOKYO: Election campaigning in Japan began in earnest on Tuesday with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seeking to repel an upstart new party that has pledged to rid the government of cronyism in a challenge to Abe?s near-five year hold on power. The Oct. 22 lower house election pits Abe?s Liberal Democratic Party-led coalition against the less than one-month-old Party of Hope headed by popular Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, a former LDP lawmaker often floated as a possible first female premier. Abe says he needs to renew his mandate to cope with a ?national crisis? stemming from North Korea?s nuclear and missile threat and the demographic time-bomb of Japan?s fast-ageing population. The 63-year-old Abe called the poll amid opposition disarray and an uptick in approval ratings that had slid due to a series of scandals over suspected cronyism. But, the sudden emergence of Koike?s party, which also appeals to conservative voters, could upset Abe?s calculation. The main opposition Democratic Party imploded last month and a big chunk of its candidates are running on the Party of Hope ticket. In his first campaign speech Abe attacked the opposition for using populist slogans. ?What creates our future is not a boom or slogan. It is policy that creates our future,? Abe said in Fukushima, northeast Japan. ?We just cannot afford to lose.? The LDP-led coalition is defending a two-thirds ?super majority? in parliament?s lower house, so losing its simple majority would be a major upset. Abe?s LDP had 288 seats in the lower house before it was dissolved for the election, while its junior partner the Komeito had 35. The total number of seats has been cut to 465 from 475. Recent opinion polls show the LDP in the lead and some analysts think Abe could still pull off another landslide victory. A soggy performance for the LDP, however, could stir calls from inside the party to replace Abe or deny him a third term as leader in September 2018, ending his chances of becoming Japan?s longest-serving premier. SHORTAGE OF HOPE? Koike, who defied the LDP last year to run for governor, calls her fledgling party a ?reformist, conservative? group free from the fetters of vested interests -- an often popular campaign slogan in Japan. ?We have a surplus of things in this country, but what we don?t have is hope for the future,? said Koike, 65, kicking off her campaign outside one of Tokyo?s major train stations. Koike has repeatedly said she won?t run for a seat which would make her eligible for the premiership and has declined to say whom her party would support for the post, leaving the door open to a variety of possible tie-ups including with Abe?s LDP. ?The Party of Hope looks a lot like the LDP, but doesn?t have the same problem with vested interests,? said Koji Sasaya, 82, a U.S. resident and longtime LDP supporter who traveled to Japan to vote in the election for Koike?s new party. Others outside the station were less convinced by Koike?s talk of cleaner politics, while trusting Abe to safeguard national security. ?I doubt she can deliver politics free from vested interests,? said Minori Hiramatsu, a 28-year-old mother of one who was on her way to a job interview. ?Abe has problems domestically, but he is the best person to protect us from North Korean threats.? The Party of Hope echoes Abe?s LDP on security and diplomacy - it backs tough sanctions on North Korea and controversial security legislation enacted in 2015 to expand the military?s role overseas. Koike also agrees with Abe that Japan?s post-war, U.S.-drafted, pacifist constitution should be amended, though not necessarily on what changes are needed. On economic policies, Koike?s party has sought to differentiate itself by calling for an end to nuclear power by 2030 and a freeze on a sales tax hike planned for 2019. Abe wants to keep nuclear power as a key part of Japan?s energy mix, and raise the sales tax and spend more of the revenues on education and child care. A center-left Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, formed from the liberal wing of the failed Democratic Party, is wooing voters dissatisfied with both conservative options.
  6. ISLAMABAD: Outgoing naval chief Admiral Zakaullah on Saturday handed over the command of the navy to Admiral Zafar Mehmood Abbasi. He passed the baton of command to Admiral Abbasi at a ceremony held at Naval's headquarters in Islamabad. In his final speech as chief of naval staff, Admiral Zakaullah congratulated the incoming naval chief on assuming command. Admiral Zakaullah said he is proud to have led courageous officers of Pakistan Navy. "The regional challenges are complex and far from being over. We believe it is important to maintain the regional balance of power," he said. "We have full capabilities to defend our country." He added that Pakistan has signed a free-gate contract with China. "We have signed a modern serviceship contract with China which will be prepared at Karachi shipyard," he said. The outgoing naval chief said that the China Pakistan Economic Corridor will bring peace and prosperity in the region and Pakistan Navy is playing its due role in providing security to the projects related to it. He said that Pakistan Navy will get Sea King helicopters from UK this year, and a submarine contract has been formalised. Who is Admiral Zafar Mehmood Abbasi? Admiral Zafar Mehmood Abbasi took commission in Navy's operations branch in 1981. He received his initial education from Royal Naval College Dartmouth. For his 39-year extensive services to the Navy he has also been conferred with Hilal-e-Imtiaz (military).
  7. KARACHI: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has taken strict notice of the recent spate of knife attacks on women in the metropolis, and ordered immediate arrest of the culprits involved. In his statement issued via PPP media cell, Bilawal directed the concerned authorities to take strict and swift action against the culprits behind the attacks, which have injured 13 women in different parts of the city. ?PPP will not tolerate [these] attacks on innocent women. These terrorists are challenging our nation by attacking our women,? he stated. ?Every mother and sister in Pakistan is a Benazir Bhutto, and their protection is obligatory upon us,? he said, adding that the attackers do not deserve even an ounce of mercy. Five more injured in fresh Karachi knife attacks on women The incidents occur over a span of three hours in Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Gulshan-e-Iqbal areas and surroundings The PPP chairman also asked the judiciary to direct the police to ensure protection of women. He further said that the attackers should be handed exemplary punishment, otherwise fingers will be raised. Five more girls were wounded in fresh knife attacks in Karachi late Wednesday, police said, which occurred over a span of three hours and spread a renewed wave of terror across the city.
  8. SAN FRANCISCO: Google?s announcement that it was planning to launch a smart video camera as part of its push into hardware sent shares of action camera maker GoPro Inc down more than six percent on Wednesday. Google Clips will be the first standalone camera from the search and advertising company, which has expanded its hardware business over the last year. Its signature feature draws on machine learning technology to automatically begin recording when notable actions are detected. Those could include a child cracking a smile or a dog entering the frame. It was one of a suite of new products unveiled by Alphabet Inc?s Google on Wednesday. Its move into smartphones, speakers and laptops has put the search giant into competition with Apple Inc and Inc. Clips, which Google said is ?coming soon,? takes on compact cameras such as GoPro?s Hero5 Session and Snap Inc?s Spectacles as each strives to make the process of recording video simpler and more mobile. GoPro stock closed down 6.3 percent at $10.39. Shares of Snap, which derives revenue mostly from ad sales on its social media app, dropped 0.75 percent to $14.53. Google?s camera has a traditional shutter button. But users may also clip the camera onto an object and have Clips automatically record ?stable, clear shots? of familiar faces set by the user, the company said. Each shot lasts seven seconds, and the battery survives about three hours in the smart-capture mode, according to Google. ?We hope Google Clips helps you capture more spontaneous moments in life, without any of the hassle,? Google Clips product manager Juston Payne wrote in a company blog post. Footage wirelessly downloads through an app for Google, Apple and Samsung smartphones. Video can be stored to an unlimited online storage locker provided by Google, and high-resolution photos can be cut from the clip. At $249, it is comparable to GoPro?s $299 Hero5 Session, which can be controlled by voice for handsfree usage. Snap?s Spectacles, which are sunglasses with a video camera on one corner, records a 10-second video after the press of a button on the frame. They cost $129. Session and Spectacles are typically used outdoors, whereas Google said its devices ?works best when used at home with family and close friends.? GoPro and Snap have not released smart-capture capability.
  9. FORPHEUS, a fourth-generation table-tennis robot developed by automation parts maker Omron returns a shot to a human player at a top Tokyo tech fair on October 2. Photo: AFP A ping-pong-playing robot served up a hit at a top Tokyo tech fair Monday, while a barely-moving machine in the shape of a sloth aimed to provide a relaxing change of pace. The alien-looking table-tennis star, named FORPHEUS, had a tough opponent, in the shape of Japan's first-ever Olympic singles medal-winner in a man-versus-machine clash. Technicians have worked on FORPHEUS's robotics and artificial intelligence technology and had hoped it would be able to return a smash from the Olympian, Jun Mizutani. "This machine now has the ability to react to a smash by observing the other player's movement," said Masayuki Koizumi in charge of sensing technology research at Omron, the robot's creator. "We hope people with advanced ping pong skills will play with the machine," he said. But Mizutani appeared to have little reason to hang up his bat yet, as the robot failed to retrieve his attacking shot. "One day it might hit back," Mizutani, 28, said after the match. Omron also showcased a new censor that can detect whether a driver is concentrating or dozing off in a self-driving car. The company aims to commercialise its technology by 2020, it said at the Cutting-Edge IT & Electronics Comprehensive Exhibition (CEATEC) near Tokyo. 'Slow robots' Meanwhile, a new Tokyo start-up aims to help budding gymnasts and ballet dancers with a mirror that streams the movements of professional athletes. Using the augmented reality (AR) technology, would-be prima ballerinas can imitate the correct techniques when practising in front of the mirror by following the images of real experts. "You can consider it as a cyber coach," said Fujio Tamaki, founder of FunLife start-up, after demonstrating a pirouette by watching the teacher's moves in the mirror. "We hope we can provide professional skills that are not easy to access for the wider public ? such as kids in remote areas," he said. But such professional coaching does not come cheap -- the firm is renting the product for some 200,000 yen ($1,780) a month. For robot fans wanting a change of pace, toy maker Bandai showcased its new creation called "Norobo" ? a combination of the words "noro" (slow) and "robot" ? which comes in the shape of a panda or a sloth. A Norobo hangs from its arms on a tree-like bar, moving only 12 centimetres in eight hours. "Nowadays, technologies are too advanced and we're stressed out by using them," said Bandai's general manager Shingo Watanabe. "So why not create the world of slow robots?" Users can look at the sloth-like robot and just relax, he explained. The CEATEC, which exhibits the latest in consumer technology from nearly 670 firms, is open to the public from Tuesday to Friday.
  10. US-based graphic designer James Fridman is famous for the hilarious Photoshop pranks he carries out on people. If you remember well, we told you how people submit their pictures to him and Fridman takes their requests a tad too literally. With social media full of heavily edited pictures and people obsessed with airbrushed enhanced versions of themselves, Fridman's editing skills are just what the internet needs right now! Well, he is back with a new set of Photoshop trolling and it's hilarious as ever. His edited pictures are all over Twitter and frankly, they are better than the original pictures. No better way to put people's narcissism to shame. Next time your friend crops you out of their picture, you know what to do! Let's see how James trolls people for their narcissism: Still wanna grow up, young man? — James Fridman (@fjamie013) July 8, 2017 Oops — James Fridman (@fjamie013) August 12, 2017 Love's got to be blind — James Fridman (@fjamie013) July 21, 2017 His dad wouldn't like this — James Fridman (@fjamie013) June 27, 2017 That cracked us up! — James Fridman (@fjamie013) August 18, 2017 Perfect — James Fridman (@fjamie013) June 22, 2017 Nice legs there — James Fridman (@fjamie013) September 20, 2017 You are not alone — James Fridman (@fjamie013) August 28, 2017 That's lighter — James Fridman (@fjamie013) August 23, 2017 Theory of relativity — James Fridman (@fjamie013) May 29, 2017 Burn! — James Fridman (@fjamie013) May 13, 2017 Super awake now? — James Fridman (@fjamie013) June 11, 2017 No one messes with the dad — James Fridman (@fjamie013) September 12, 2017 Friendship goals — James Fridman (@fjamie013) 7 May 2017 I'm not proposing, I just want to pee — James Fridman (@fjamie013) 5 July 2017 James accepts photo editing requests if you have a sense of humour and can take a joke. If you have a narcissist friend to troll, send his pictures (of course, with their permission) to James Fridman for some photoshopping fun!
  11. Pakistan's newest female superhero has vowed to battle venal officials and protect battered women, as her creator tries to inspire the next generation to fight injustice in a deeply patriarchal society. The new "Pakistan Girl" comic series is based on Sarah, a normal teenager with a pet cat who discovers she has superhuman powers after waking from a coma caused by a blast in her village. Donning a green cape, Pakistan's national colour, the protagonist whips a man beating a woman in a market and saves a young girl taken hostage by a bribe-seeking police officer in the series' first comic book released this summer. The creator of the English-language comic says he hopes the superhero will give young girls across Pakistan a role model and embolden them to fight corruption and violence in a country where crime is rife in major cities and corruption is the norm."There's a huge shortage of female role models and superheroes in the mainstream media here," author Hassan Siddiqui told AFP. "We wanted to create a strong female character for the girls in Pakistan and even the young boys in Pakistan that they can look up to." Women in Pakistan have fought for their rights for decades,where so-called "honour killings" and other violence against women remains commonplace. Netizens on social media have welcomed the comic, writing largely positive reviews online and calling for more superhero stories in the future. "Its a very brilliant step by you guys... I'm a big fan of Marvel and DC comics and looking forward for this too," wrote fan Syed Hassan Nasir on Facebook. The author said he now plans to work on an Urdu version of the comic with the aim of reaching millions of readers across the country. He is also mulling a possible animation adaption. New education But reaching the masses won't be easy. Pakistan's education system has been woefully underfunded for decades, exacerbating illiteracy with more than half of the country?s eight-year-olds unable to read. According to a 2016 government study, a staggering 24 million Pakistani children are out of school, with a larger share of girls staying home than boys -- 12.8 million compared to 11.2 million. But new fan and school principal Saadia Adnan hopes the comic will provide a new way to help educate children, while also steering them clear of gender stereotypes. "I think we should be teaching them through this kind of literature because that's actually the tender age when they are building their own images of their future life," said Adnan after browsing through a bookstore copy. Siddiqui's latest creation follows the success of his earlier comic series "Pakistan Man" -- a moustachioed hero who battles one nemesis named "The Corrupter" and another villain responsible for banning Youtube. "Siddiqui's first comic, 'Pakistan Man', sold like hot cakes and I hope this book, which is already doing good with sales, will follow suit," said Ahmad Saeed, owner of Islamabad's biggest bookstore Saeed Book Bank. Pakistan Girl also follows in the footsteps of the country?s hit 2013 comic "The Burka Avenger", which chronicled the adventures of a mild-mannered teacher who fights gangsters trying to close down the girls' school where she works.
  12. PARIS: A graphic novel version of "The Diary of Anne Frank" by the creators of the Oscar-nominated film "Waltz with Bashir" will roll off the presses next month, its publishers said Monday. Writer-director Ari Folman and illustrator David Polonsky -- who made the acclaimed 2008 animated documentary about Israeli soldiers during the 1982 invasion of Lebanon -- are also making a film about Frank, to appear in 2019. The diary the German-born, Jewish teenager kept, while hiding in an Amsterdam attic in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands until her capture in 1944, is one of the most-read books in the world. Folman said he had some insight into Frank's suffering since his own parents were Holocaust survivors. "Anne and her family arrived at the gates of Auschwitz the same day my parents arrived there," the filmmaker said. Frank died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp sometime in early 1945, aged 15. The camp was liberated by British troops in April. Israeli-born Folman told AFP that when the Anne Frank foundation suggested they adapt the diary "our first response was, 'No way!'" -- for them, the diary was sacrosanct. But after thinking about for a while, they realised it would be crucial to bring the story to a new generation. 'Biting sense of humour' "I am afraid we are coming to a time when there will be no survivors of the Holocaust left alive, and no more witnesses to tell their stories," Folman said. "There is a severe threat that the things we have to learn (from the Holocaust) will not be taught and learned if we don't find a new language for them." The graphic novel will first appear in Dutch, German, French and Spanish in October with an English version following in the spring. The 160-page book is an abridged version of the original because "it would take more than 3,500 pages to fully adapt it", Folman said. However, several letters Anne Frank wrote to her imaginary friend Kitty have been included in full. And Folman said they had tried to "preserve Anne's rather biting sense of humour, her sarcasm and her obsession with food." The original "has a lot of humour," Polonsky said. "It is a beautiful work by a beautiful person ... and the best thing we can do is just carry on this spirit and treat it as a work of art, and I am not afraid to say that it should even be a bit of entertainment." The graphic novel will appear in around 50 countries from October, with publication in other languages coming later, a spokesman for the foundation told AFP.
  13. FRANKFURT: German carmaker Audi is taking a lead in bringing more automated driving to roads, but rivals seem in no rush to follow while legal and regulatory uncertainties still cloud the technology. At the Frankfurt car show, Audi paraded the A8 which can drive itself under certain conditions, help the driver to change lanes and does not require drivers to monitor the road - though they must be ready to intervene at the sound of an alarm. On a scale where zero is a fully manual car and five a fully autonomous one, the A8 is a level three, putting it ahead of level two features offered by Tesla and General Motors (GM). Struggling to emerge from the shadow of parent Volkswagen?s diesel emissions scandal, Audi is badly in need of a new prestige model and a marketing coup. ?It?s gratifying that we are able to set a positive sign for real ?Vorsprung durch Technik?,? said research and development chief Peter Mertens, referring to Audi?s advertising slogan meaning ?advancement through technology?. But with special approval still required almost everywhere to drive such a car, and question marks over how quickly the driver has to take back control - and who is responsible during handover - some rivals are skeptical the market is ready. ?Who will accept to pay for something that they can use only in extremely limited conditions?? asked Didier Leroy, European chairman of Japanese carmaker Toyota. ?The fact that Audi is introducing this one now doesn?t mean that we will rush in the coming months to say that we are able to do it too. That is not our logic,? he told Reuters at the car show. Among the A8?s new features is the ?traffic jam pilot?, which can completely control driving at up to 60 kilometers (37 miles) per hour on a divided highway. The German company expects customers will be able to use all the model?s self-driving functions next year or in 2019. It is applying for approval country by country, starting with Germany, a spokesman said during the show. Audi thus hopes to leapfrog Tesla, whose Autopilot technology suffered a major blow when a driver using it was killed in a crash, and GM, whose Super Cruise feature to be offered this autumn will allow limited hands-off driving at highway speeds on limited access roads like dual carriageways. In the wake of the crash, Tesla said the driver was using Autopilot in conditions for which it was not intended, and US regulators said automakers should take steps to make sure semi-autonomous systems are not misused. Hand on wheels Regulatory regimes vary widely across the world and, in the United States, even from state to state, creating a headache for manufacturers. Some authorities would rather they held back. ?We?re very concerned about the idea that drivers will be encouraged to pay even less attention than they already are and that manufacturers are rolling out these systems without existing federal standards,? Linda Bailey, executive director of the US National Association of City Transportation Officials, told Reuters. Florida, seen as the least restrictive state, has essentially legalised all forms of autonomous driving without the need for a permit or insurance requirements. New York, at the other end of the spectrum, has a law that demands drivers always have at least one hand on the wheel. Michael Jellen, president of Velodyne, which develops lidar sensing technology that is used in autonomous cars, said the industry still had a long way to go. ?When they truly launch a hands-free, driver disengagement system, that?s when we think (the industry) will have evolved,? he said in an interview. ?Today, when someone has their hands on the wheel and their foot ready to brake, I call that driving.? In Europe, Germany is the pioneer, having passed a law in May that legalizes autonomous driving in principle as long as a licensed driver is behind the wheel - although approval still has to be sought for individual models. German politicians hope to persuade the European Union to adopt common regulations to speed adoption of autonomous driving and prevent self-driving systems from having to switch themselves off or change parameters when they encounter national borders - so-called geofencing. German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt hosted ministers from France and Luxembourg at the Frankfurt show on Thursday to establish a cross-border testing ground. Grey Zone In an attempt to address one area of uncertainty, Audi says it will assume liability for any accidents that happen when its automated driving technology is in use. But it will come at a price. While Audi has not yet fixed premiums for level three technology, the base price for the A8 without optional extra technology is already $108,000. Though level three, unlike level two, means theoretically the driver need no longer monitor the road while the car is in charge, the need to potentially jump in to take control limits the activities the driver can do when not in charge. A risk is that drivers relax their guard too much. ?It sets an expectation to the driver that the computer is in control - that?s what level three means. It means I can sit back and read a book,? said Gartner analyst Mike Ramsey. Autopilot features have long been used in aeroplanes, but the situation is very different there, where a pilot typically has plenty of time to react. ?It?s very, very rare to face another plane coming just in front of you and just to react in two seconds to avoid a crash. In the car, it?s possible,? Toyota?s Leroy said. Even then, the hand-off from computer to pilot can be bungled, resulting in crashes such as an Asiana flight into San Francisco in 2013 that killed three people and injured scores. Some question the worth of introducing level three at all at this stage. German automotive supplier Continental, with 1.2 billion euros in assisted driving component sales last year, said industry experts were questioning whether the grey zone in which neither the driver nor the car was clearly in control could be overcome. ?There is a discussion going on at the moment as to whether one shouldn?t skip level three after implementing level two,? Chief Executive Elmar Degenhart told Reuters at the show. Bosch, the world?s biggest automotive supplier, said it was seeing great demand for level three technology. Yet at its presentation at the show, it did not talk about autonomous driving in general, but rather only particular applications to solve particular problems, such as an automated valet parking garage it has built with Mercedes maker Daimler in Stuttgart, which should go into service next year. ?Everything we do in driver assistance has a mass-market use,? Bosch mobility chief Rolf Bulander said. ?We?re not interested in inventing things that will become reality only in a decade.? France?s PSA Group, which is developing autonomous driving technology with partners for its future Peugeot, Citroen, Opel and DS vehicles, said there was still value in technology that needed human oversight and regular intervention - with the right framework of rules. ?It still allows you to send and receive emails or read, even while staying on the alert,? programs and strategy chief Patrice Lucas told Reuters. ?The biggest hurdles are regulatory.?
  14. Selena Gomez (right) and her friend Francia Raisa (left). Photo: Selena Gomez INSTA Pop star Selena Gomez took to Instagram on Thursday to share a heart-warming story about her struggle and a friendship that carried her through. Gomez recently got a kidney transplant due to Lupus, a chronic inflammatory disease that occurs when the body?s immune system starts attacking its own tissues and organs. The 25-year-old pop star found herself at a loss of words to thank Francia Raisa ? her friend who donated her kidney to Gomez. "There aren?t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa," she says in the post with a picture of herself and Raisa on hospital beds. "She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis," Gomez wrote. The star says her disease "continues to be very misunderstood but progress is being made." The pop sensation, who recently released her music album, has fought the disease with incredible resolve. We wish you good health Selena!
  15. ?I?'?m proud to be the torch bearer of ideology which PML-N has,? Maryam said. ?I am (Nawaz?s) reflection, I am his extension" LAHORE: In campaigning for a Pakistan by-election seen as a test of support for ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the most visible figure is not on the ballot: Sharif?s daughter, Maryam, widely touted as his political heir-apparent. This past weekend, crowds mobbed Maryam?s car and threw rose petals as she crisscrossed the eastern city of Lahore campaigning for her mother, Kulsoom, who is the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party?s candidate to contest the seat Nawaz was forced to vacate by a Supreme Court ruling in July. With Kulsoom in London for cancer surgery, accompanied by Nawaz, 43-year-old Maryam has led the campaign with fiery speeches denouncing Nawaz?s opponents and the Supreme Court. Her influence within the PML-N has grown in recent years, with senior party figures crediting her with Nawaz?s move to embrace relatively more pro-women and liberal causes in a staunchly conservative nation of 208 million people. In a rare interview with foreign media, Maryam outlined to Reuters what drives her political ambitions as she emerges from her father?s shadow to become a prominent figure in the ruling party he still controls. ?I?'?m proud to be the torch bearer of ideology which PML-N has,? Maryam said at the weekend in Punjab?s provincial capital Lahore, her father?s electoral power base. ?I am (Nawaz?s) reflection, I am his extension. I have grown up espousing his agenda, his ideology.? Maryam has framed the election as a chance for voters to protest the Supreme Court?s verdict against her father and help the PML-N flex its electoral muscle. ?Your vote was disrespected and disregarded, will you answer to this disrespect on Sept. 17?? Maryam asked at a recent rally. The by-election is seen as a litmus test for the PML-N?s political fortunes in the wake of Nawaz?s ouster, and an early indicator of voter sentiment ahead of a general election next year. Opposition leader Imran Khan, on the ascendancy after Nawaz?s ouster, and eager to make inroads into the PML-N?s political heartlands in Punjab, has accused Maryam of benefiting from alleged corruption swirling around her father, and cast the by-election as a plebiscite on corruption. ?This election will decide where the people of Pakistan stand,? Khan, the leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, told crowds in Lahore last week. The PML-N made Maryam - a telegenic but inexperienced politician - the face of the campaign despite a Supreme Court-appointed panel accusing her of signing forged documents to obscure ownership of offshore companies used to buy upmarket London flats. She denies any wrongdoing but the Supreme Court has ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to launch a criminal investigation into her, Nawaz and other family members. Ahead of another rally on Sunday, Maryam hinted at military interference in Pakistani politics and portrayed herself as a campaigner for democracy. ?Our history is marred with dictatorships and repeated attacks on democracy, so this is what I struggle for,? she told Reuters. Maryam says her father?s dismissal by the Supreme Court is a conspiracy, noting his success in reinvigorating the economy - with a pro-business focus on infrastructure spending to boost development - and overall popularity ?sent alarm bells ringing? for those who don?t want Pakistan to have a strong leader. ?This was the main reason he was being targeted,? she said, before adding: ?That?s all I can say.? Such coded talk is a familiar dance in Pakistan, where politicians speak between the lines to imply that the hidden hand of the powerful military is behind unfolding events. Asked if she is talking about elements of the military being involved in her father?s ouster, as some senior PML-N figures have hinted, Maryam paused before saying: ?It?s not my place to comment?. Bhutto comparisons Maryam was coy when asked whether she has ambitions to be prime minister one day, saying she was not eyeing anything and was for now ?happy with love and affection that I?m getting?. But senior PML-N officials expect her to at least become a minister in the next cabinet if the party holds on to power after the 2018 poll. Others have suggested she may become a leader soon. Maryam was more forthcoming when asked about comparisons with slain female leader Benazir Bhutto, the daughter of former premier Zulfikar Bhutto who vied for power with Nawaz during two decades of political turmoil and tussles with the military. ?I have a lot of respect for the lady, but ... the only thing which is common between us is gender,? she said.
  16. Photo: Pilotganso Insta A pilot has posted selfies taken as he leans out of his cockpit window while flying over Dubai. Cruising high above the Palm Islands in the incredible shot, Instagram user 'Pilotganso' shared the selfie with his 43,000 followers captioned ?It?s already my second hometown #dubai Selfie." The picture, which has received almost 15,000 likes, hasn?t convinced everyone. Many users were quick to figure out that the picture is a clear fake. An eagle-eyed aviation fan, ioto1902, was quick to point out tell-tale signs that the picture was fake."Ship ascending northbound from nowhere. Direction of shade not matching those of houses. Winglet color (inward) not matching Fly Dubai scheme," the user wrote on an aviation forum. The pilot, in the past, admitted that similar posts were the result of smart editing. Many pictures of the pilot and his friends in pictures apparently taken with a selfie stick are present on his Instagram feed. Pilotganso recently admitted in a caption that one of his recent shots from the cockpit high above some paradise islands is fake. Users haven?t stopped from looking at his ?irresponsible behavior?, despite his admission that the pictures are fake. A user, lebby, wrote: "Why you acted so dangerous that you might risk of falling and endangered all the passengers?! Duh wth is wrong with you." Another user, stylebynelli, added: "So happy I am not flying with this guy anyway..people do anything these days just to get likes."
  17. The United States on Wednesday asked the United Nations to slap an oil embargo on North Korea and freeze the assets of leader Kim Jong-Un, setting up a potential clash with Russia and China over how to respond to Pyongyang's sixth and biggest nuclear test. A draft Security Council resolution obtained by AFP demands not only a ban on oil and gas supplies to North Korea, but also an end to textile exports and to payments made to North Korean guest workers, cutting off revenue to Kim's regime. China has long been reluctant to take measures that could trigger instability or a refugee exodus on its border, and Russia has resisted tough economic sanctions that could worsen the humanitarian crisis. In a phone call with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, US President Donald Trump on Wednesday insisted that military action against North Korea was not his "first choice" and pushed for a diplomatic option. After Kim's pariah regime claimed it carried out a hydrogen bomb test over the weekend, US Ambassador Nikki Haley said the United States would be seeking a vote at the council on new sanctions on September 11. The proposed package of measures would be the strongest yet against North Korea, which is barred under UN resolutions from developing nuclear or missile technology. The draft resolution takes aim directly at North Korea's leadership, proposing a freeze on Kim's assets as well as those of the ruling Worker's Party of Korea and the government. Kim would be added to a UN sanctions blacklist, subjecting him to a global travel ban, along with four other North Korean officials. The state-owned airline, Air Koryo, would also be hit by an assets freeze along with the Korean People's Army and eight other groups linked to the government, the military and the ruling party. Countries would be authorized to "use all necessary means" to seize and inspect North Korean cargo vessels on the UN sanctions list, according to the 13-page draft resolution. Nine North Korean ships would be added the blacklist. The measure would also scrap all joint ventures with North Korea. Russia balks at oil embargo In Vladivostok, South Korean President Moon Jae-In tried with little apparent success to convince Russian Vladimir Putin to cut off Pyongyang's key supplies of fuel oil. "In order to compel North Korea to come to the dialogue table, UN sanctions must be strengthened," Moon told Putin, a South Korean spokesman told the Yonhap news agency. "Now it is inevitable to cut off oil supplies to the North, we hope Russia will cooperate as well," he continued. The South Korean presidential spokesman quoted Putin as saying that Russia was concerned a block of fuel oil supplies would hurt civilians -- including hospitals. Putin reportedly argued that Russia exports a negligible amount of oil to North Korea -- about 40,000 tonnes a year. Experts say a ban on oil supplies would be devastating for ordinary North Koreans. "People will be forced to walk or not move at all, and to push buses instead of riding in them," said a report by the Nautilus Institute think tank. "There will be less light in households due to less kerosene." The ban will lead to more deforestation, the report said, as North Koreans will be forced to cut down trees to produce charcoal, leading to "more erosion, floods and more famine" in the already impoverished country. Kim's regime would immediately restrict supplies to private citizens, it added, and a ban would have "little or no immediate impact" on the North's army or its missile and nuclear programs. Frank call The diplomatic push could not disguise mounting tension, underscored by China conducting air force drills to defend its east coast "against nuclear and biological weapons." Trump spoke with Xi of China, the country seen as having the most influence on its unruly neighbour and key to getting any sanctions regime to stick. "I believe that President Xi agrees with me 100 percent. He doesn't want to see what's happening there, either. We had a very, very frank and very strong phone call," Trump said. According to the White House, Trump and Xi "committed to strengthen coordination and take further action with the goal of achieving the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."
  18. Facebook Inc is gearing up to make money from WhatsApp, the messaging service used by more than a billion people every day, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. WhatsApp will be testing new features to make it easier for people to communicate with businesses they want to reach on WhatsApp, the messaging service said on a blog post. ?We?re building and testing new tools via a free WhatsApp Business app for small companies and an enterprise solution for bigger companies operating at a large scale with a global base of customers, like airlines, e-commerce sites, and banks,? according to the blog post. WhatsApp has already started a pilot program that would feature a green badge next to a business contact, indicating that the business was verified by the messaging service. "We do intend on charging businesses in the future," Chief Operating Officer Matt Idema told the Journal in an interview. Reuters had reported in March that a potential revenue source for WhatsApp was to charge businesses that want to contact customers, citing company documents. Started in 2009, WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook for an eye-popping $22 billion in 2014. While WhatsApp had little revenue at the time of the deal, the purchase price was slightly more than the market value of Sony Corp. Facebook has not focused on WhatsApp so far. The social network had started showing ads inside its Messenger app in July to further monetize the chat service. Idema declined to describe the paid features or say when they would make their debut, according to the report. ?We don?t have the details of monetization figured out,? he told the Journal.
  19. Indian cricket has witnessed a lot of cricketers rising through the reigns and becoming a household name in the country. Whether it's the great Sachin Tendulkar or the majestic Virat Kohli, the cricketers have arguably become role models for the youngsters with their astronomical feats and achievements. While many have enjoyed the limelight over the years, only a handful have proved to be as influential as the crowd-favourite MS Dhoni. Ever since bursting on the international circuit, the Jharkhand cricketer has managed to strike a cord with the cricket-crazy nation. Be it his under-arm flicks without even looking at the stumps or whipping the bails off in a flash, the former Indian captain is just too important to be away from the limelight. He also sparked a fan frenzy during the fifth and final One-Day International (ODI) between India and Sri Lanka after becoming the first-ever wicket-keeper to register 100 stumpings in the history of ODI cricket. © Reuters From the cricket fraternity to popular celebs, Dhoni's unique record earned him plaudits from every corner of the country. But, just when we thought Dhoni was done entertaining us, the 36-year-old's exploits at the end of the fifth ODI was undeniably icing on the cake for the Indian cricket fans. Though Jasprit Bumrah bagged the 'Man of the Series' award and received a swanky set of wheels, it was Dhoni who managed to grab the spotlight, this time for his driving skills. Believed to have the safest pair of hands, not only behind the stumps but also behind the wheels, Dhoni was seen taking Bumrah's prized possession for a spin at the Premadasa stadium in Colombo. © Reuters Following the prize distribution ceremony, Dhoni took the keys of the utility vehicle and got behind the wheel. He was seen driving the red vehicle that had other Indian cricketers like Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya and Rohit Sharma crammed into it. Pandey left the driver's door open and stationed himself there, while Pandya occupied the passenger seat with Ajinkya Rahane in the back. Following in the footsteps of their teammates, others also joined in. Kedar Jadhav, who was carrying India's winning trophy, sat himself down on the roof, while Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, KL Rahul, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bumrah, Rohit and Bhuvneshwar Kumar all crammed themselves in the open cargo area of the vehicle. © Reuters This isn't the first time when Dhoni's fondness for driving a bike or a car inside the cricket stadium after the presentation ceremony was documented. Back in 2011, he was seen taking a motorbike for spin at the Eden Gardens with teammates Praveen Kumar and Suresh Raina on the back seat. Dhoni was adjudged 'Man of the Series' and also received a brand new bike for his sterling performance against the visiting Englishmen in the ODI series. Virat Kohli-led Indian side blanked the Sri Lankans 5-0 in the five-match ODI series and became the first team to whitewash the Island Nation in a bilateral series. That's MS Dhoni for you..#Dhoni100 — RVCJ Media (@RVCJ_FB) September 4, 2017 MS Dhoni Is Driving With Whole Indian Team This Time. ð . Love You Boys. Missed You So Much. ð #SLvsIND #SLvIND #t — Sir Jadeja (@SirJadejaOfc) September 4, 2017 He loves bikes but now he's got a bigger one. Driving the team around. @msdhoni #msdhoni #TeamIndia #SLvsIND — Pacific Sports Club (@pacific_club) September 3, 2017 Yesterday night, I was thinking same and ask myself, why @msdhoni is not driving today? Get answer after seeing news.. ððð¤£ðð¤ — Shekhar Pokale (@ShekharPokale) September 4, 2017 Still a driving force, MS Dhoni. ð®ð³#SLvIND #Dhoni100 — Karan Dewan (@karan13dewan) September 3, 2017 Then and now @msdhoni always driving by bike( then ) and car ( car ) @Jaspritbumrah93 @BCCI @ICC — Priya Raina (@ImPriyaRaina) September 3, 2017
  20. Monza: Lewis Hamilton broke Michael Schumacher´s record of all-time pole positions by securing his 69th with a devastating lap in the final seconds of Saturday´s rain-hit qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix. The 32-year-old Briton steered his Mercedes through treacherous conditions with patience, precision and courage to deliver a best lap in one minute and 35.554 seconds on full wet tyres. In a dramatic final session, he outpaced nearest rival Max Verstappen of Red Bull in teeming rain to claim his sixth pole at Monza and his fourth in succession. He had shared Schumacher´s record of 68 after taking pole in last weekend´s Belgian Grand Prix to set up victory and the record. "To do this here at such an historic circuit - I am going to have some pasta tonight to celebrate," said Hamilton, who achieved the mark in his 201st Grand Prix. Schumacher´s 68 poles came from 308 races. "It´s very hard to find the words to explain how I feel. I can´t believe that so much time has passed. There´ve been great experiences. "Sixty-nine poles - I just can´t believe it." Verstappen´s Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was third ahead of Canadian rookie Lance Stroll of Williams, French rookie Esteban Ocon of Force India and Valtteri Bottas, who was sixth in the second Mercedes. With the two Red Bulls hit by major grid penalties for taking new engine components, Stroll will start Sunday´s race, forecast to take place in dry conditions, from second on the grid alongside Hamilton. "It was a great qualifying session," said Stroll. "I just tossed the car around - I had great fun. I felt the car was performing well under me." In a dramatic finale to a session that ended nearly three hours later than expected after a long delay due to heavy rain, the Ferraris of Kimi Raikkonen and championship leader Sebastian Vettel ended up in disappointing seventh and eight positions on their team´s 70th anniversary. "I have no idea what the problem was," said Vettel, who will start from sixth. "I was surprised by how quick the others went. At this stage we don´t know why. It was an important day, but it is what it is and we will see how it goes tomorrow. "We have a good car so we don´t need to be afraid. The car is quick - we know that and you can overtake here - it should be a fun race." Felipe Massa was ninth in the second Williams and Stoffel Vandoorne 10th for McLaren. - ´Double standards´ - The session ended nearly four hours after it had begun with a curtailed Q1 brought to an early red-flagged halt when Frenchman Romain Grosjean aquaplaned and crashed in his Haas. He was unhurt but accused F1 race organisers of double standards for starting the session in dangerous conditions. After a delay of more than two and a half hours, qualifying resumed with the cars queuing in the pit lane and aware of forecasts that the gloomy weather was expected to deteriorate. Verstappen, Vettel, Bottas and then Hamilton took top spot as the times tumbled. Raikkonen was almost involved in a pit-lane collision when he was released into the path of a Force India, but braked immediately and Ferrari apologised. Bottas, in 1:35.716, topped Q1 ahead of Hamilton and Vettel and was soon back out for Q2. Vettel and Hamilton swapped fastest laps, with Bottas in close pursuit, the title contenders creating their own duel in the rain. Hamilton ended up quickest to head Bottas by seven-tenths with Vettel third. The rain intensified for the top-ten shootout and after one lap the leaders were in to switch from intermediates to wets, a decision that favoured the men, like Verstappen, who had started with them. After settling in, Hamilton went fastest again before being called to pit with three minutes remaining for another set of wets, on which he made history. "Lewis has been breaking a lot of records this year," said Bottas. "So it is no surprise. He is really a great driver."
  21. Amancio Ortega, founder of Zara climbed on top of the Forbes rich list, taking over Microsoft founder Bill Gates. On Tuesday, Ortega, 81, overtook the tech giant Gates on the global rich-list. The Spanish fashion tycoon, according to Forbes, with his $85 billion fortune, surpassed Gates' $84.9 billion to take the top spot. Ortega doesn't have the same name recognition as Gates or Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who became the world's richest man for a short time in July. His eye-watering net worth is up just shy of $1bn in the space of just a month, according to Forbes, putting him in a seemingly never-ending tussle with Gates and Amazon boss Jeff Bezos.
  22. Sarahah is a new anonymous message service that has taken the internet by storm. Photo: Sarahah If you have been active on social media, you must have noticed people sharing pictures of different messages written on white and turquoise background. The latest trend has been brought to us courtesy new app Sarahah, which means ?honesty? in Arabic. The anonymous messaging service, created by the Saudi Arabian developer Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq, seeks to allow people to convey their messages to others. A type of message people are likely to receive on Sarahah. Photo: The app, which was made available on June 13 this year on both iOS App Store and Google Play, was created with the simple reason to allow employees to post anonymous feedback to their employers. However, with time Tawfiq thought of expanding the concept and letting friends and acquaintances anonymously giving feedback to each other. The concept was an instant hit with the millennials and the app became instantly popular across the world. How it works? To use the app, you must first register on it. After registering, you will be given a link to share the anonymous message that they received. Interestingly, the recipient has no way of knowing who posted the message or responding to it in any way. The app?s Snapchat integration makes is far easier to use. Photo: Sarahah Threat of cyber-bullying However, the app has came under fire because of it anonymous feature as it enables cyber bulling. As majority of teenagers are using the application, the threat has become a real one, especially among children susceptible to suicide or depression. However, the company has taken few measures to counter bullying. According to CNN, Tawfiq said that app has a feature that filters keywords and prevents certain messages from being sent. It's also added a tool to allow users to block accounts. "We're taking this as a serious issue, and we're focused on [building] new features," he says. "I don't want users to stray from the goal of Sarahah."
  23. When you look at the sky, what do you see? During the day you'll see moving clouds, birds, flying objects and in the night you'll see stars. You know why we do that, meaning look at the stars? Because this busy life has left us no time to connect to the unkown. We don't even have the time to look up! We rarely stare at the sky out of curiosity. In our subconscious mind, we have already draen a picture of birds flying, objects flying, stars twinkling and the sun rising. But, more often than not, we don't actually look at them. And that might be the one reason we have evolved to be so ignorant towards nature. But, there are few men to whom this mystery is still incredibly intriguing and deep down all they want to to indulge the age old emotion we have of exploration. And one of these incredible people is Elon Musk, founder, and CEO of SpaceX. SpaceX is an aerospace manufacturer and a space transport services company headquartered in Hawthorne, intensively focusing on space exploration. © YouTube Recently, he shared a glimpse of what goes on inside the Falcon Factory, where SpaceX's powerful rockets are built and with which he is ambitious enough to try and colonize Mars. This Monday he shared a picture of the SpaceX factory as seen from space on his Instagram account. And, if you are anything like us, this image will leave you in awe! © Instagram/elonmusk You can see the big X at the center, the Tesla Supercharger on the left and the Falcon 9 First Stage B1019 section on the right. And of course, people love the image, and why not? © Instagram/elonmusk Here is an amazing drone tour of the SpaceX factory floor posted by Elon Musk a few days back
  24. LAHORE: Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif celebrated the spirit of Independence Day by taking out his grandchildren shopping for the occasion. In a Facebook post, the CM Punjab shared his views saying that passing on traditions to children and future generations is an important part of independence day celebrations. In his message he wished everyone a good day. "Passing on the traditions to our children and succeeding generations is an important part of celebrations marking independence day... Took my grandchildren out to buy them flags and badges... This outing revived the memory of my own childhood ... Hope you all had a great day! - Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif," he posted.
  25. Pilot Somasekhara Pemmireddy (L) and passenger Adam Nicholas park the plane after a flight over the capital in a Cessna 172 plane, at the London North Weald airfield on August 1. PHOTO: AFP A French start-up is reaching for the skies with a flight-sharing app, matching pilots with passengers looking for a low-cost way to take off in a private aircraft. "It's a great way to get on planes. It's quite a unique experience. It's something new," says Adam Nicholas, 27, at an airfield close to London. He is readying for his second trip with Wingly, a French firm connecting passengers and pilots for short flights, and the undisputed market leader in Europe with a community of more than 80,000 members. In Nicholas' first experience he took his girlfriend on a surprise day trip to Le Touquet, across the Channel in France. "We flew there in the morning, had some lunch, had some wine and then flew back again in the evening," he says. This time the Londoner will be flown by pilot Somasekhara Pemmiredy, 34, above the British capital aboard a Cessna 172 aircraft. Pemmiredy has clocked up more than 290 hours since gaining his pilot's licence in 2011. Working in security at a London airport during the evenings, he flies for Wingly in the daytime as a way to add more flight hours which are vital to achieving his ambition of working for an airline. Pemmiredy describes the set-up as a "win-win situation", as he prepares an eager Nicholas with the details of the altitude, speed and flight path they are about to take. But not before the pilot checks out another flight request on his phone, using the Wingly app which allows clients to contact pilots directly. "A month ago, I received a request for a flight with one-hour notice and I managed to fly," says Pemmiredy. "The guy was very lucky as it was my day off, so I could fly the couple to celebrate their anniversary in France." After the technical checks have been meticulously carried out, Pemmiredy and his passenger board the small aircraft which is owned by a flying club. The duo return an hour later after their flight over the city, both smiling. 'Leisure and discovery' Adopting a low-cost approach, Wingly co-founder Emeric de Waziers says he wants to "demonstrate that private aviation is accessible" and should not be restricted to a privileged few. Himself a pilot, Waziers explains that the flight-sharing model "allows you to fly cheaper and enjoy this passion without money being an obstacle". Rather than compete with commercial airlines or other modes of transport, he explains the focus is on "leisure and discovery" through picking destinations which are usually hard to reach. Wingly flights only cover short distances and, given the size of the aircraft used, can be cancelled at short-notice due to poor weather conditions. The London to Le Touquet route is among the most popular -- costing around £100 ($133, 112 euros) per person each way -- along with Paris to French islands Belle Ile or Ile d'Yeu. Rather than be likened to car service Uber, Waziers prefers to be the "BlaBlaCar of the skies" because Wingly allows passengers to divide the costs of a flight. While flight-sharing is proving popular in the UK and Germany, it has been slower to take off in France owing to restrictions on short flights by the civil aviation authority (DGAC), which were lifted in June. Between the three countries over 80,000 people have registered with Wingly, including 6,000 pilots, and each month the community is growing by 20 percent. The Parisian start-up attracts around 600 monthly passengers, while there are more than 30,000 flights listed on the platform. Its smaller competitors include Coavmi in France, SkyUber in Portugal and FlightClub in Germany. The Federal Aviation Administration has banned private pilots from offering flight sharing to the public in the United States, ruling out competition from across the Atlantic for now. Waziers has his eyes on the horizon, predicting an increasing number of people will come to understand the private planes "are not reserved for the elite". With Wingly's expansion, he hopes "everyone can enjoy it in the next ten years".