Matt Chapman not himself at plate lately as A’s fall to Astros

first_imgHOUSTON — The A’s needed a strong outing from Aaron Brooks with the offense still a little out of whack.That did not happen.Brooks was not sharp and the A’s offense mustered up just one extra-base hit in Saturday’s 6-0 loss to the Astros at Minute Maid Park. It was the first time Oakland has been shut out this season and the fifth time they have scored two runs or less in their last 10 games. The A’s also lost back-to-back games for the first time since their opening series against the …last_img read more

Mai Mai: muti capital of Jo’burg

first_img29 April 2003It’s the oldest market in Johannesburg – dedicated to traditional healing. Apart perhaps, from the Faraday market, no other complex in the country can boast such a rich concentration of traditional herbs and healers.The sickly of the city flock here to have their ills, physical and spiritual, divined and treated by traditional healers.Now, following years of neglect, the Mai Mai bazaar has begun to generate. Moves are under way to restore the market to its pristine beauty and promote it as a prime tourist destination in the city. The market has now been brought under the management of the Metropolitan Trading Company, a council-owned company dedicated to the construction and maintenance of markets throughout the city, and already, signs of improvement are beginning to show.Dubbed “Ezinyangeni” – the place of healers, the Mai Mai is nestled on the eastern wing of the city centre. Jabu Vilakazi, manager of the market, describes it as “Afrocentric”, catering for indigenous needs and practices, and indeed, it is here that some spiritual and cultural elements of indigenous South African knowledge have been reworked and preserved.Many consider it to be the “muti” (traditional medicine) capital of Johannesburg, with most of its 176 units dedicated to traditional healing.Mai Mai is also home to some 600 people, many of whom have lived in the complex for decades, evolving into a close-knit, self-contained community. Dance competitions featuring dancing troupes from hostels across the city are a regular feature of the complex.“What sets the Mai Mai apart is its unique product, the presence of an established community in the premises and, of course, its cultural richness,” says Nhlanhla Ndovela of the Metropolitan Trading Company.Tourist attractionTourists fascinated by its exotic offerings stream to the market. “They come here to buy traditional artefacts, including Zulu attire, clothes made from animal skins and feathers, walking sticks, knobkerries, shields, sandals, beaded items. Some also visit the place to have their ills diagnosed,” says young shop assistant Nkosinathi Mkhwanazi, who mans perhaps the biggest and most elaborate of the muti stalls in the market.As you approach his shop in the complex, you are greeted by various animal parts hung out to dry on the verandah. This is not biltong, but medicine reputed to cure various ills – medicine, according to Mkhwanazi, that is capable of getting a patient acquitted from a serious legal case, or of staving off bad luck or nightmares, or of making a person popular with people.“You prepare this by first burning then grinding it,” explains Mkhwanazi, pointing at the remains of a porcupine which, he says, “mixed with the right choice of herbs and grinded tree bucks, renders you invincible before your enemies. You become strong and immune to bad spells and general misfortunes.”The presence of coffins in the store just opposite, where they are manufactured, lends an eerie feel to the place.Desmond Sweke, managing director of Setplan, a development planning company which was contracted by the city council to survey, profile and register city hawkers in the mid-1990s, describes Mai Mai as a “treasure chest waiting to be discovered – an oasis of African culture in the city”.Yet the culture you encounter here is not fossilised – or packaged to meet the expectations of visiting tourists – but is part of a lived experience capturing the interface between South Africa’s urban landscape and traditional beliefs and cultural forms of expression.Sweke expresses confidence that the market can be developed into a lucrative trading area, a thriving community and premier tourist destination in the city.The trajectory of the Mai Mai is closely linked to the influx of first-generation migrants to Joburg, who have remained insulated from local communities since the 1950s.From a stable to a communityThe site was first used as a stable to accommodate horses which were used to pull soil carts back in the 1940s. It was subsequently converted into a market and became an entry point for newly arrived migrants, under the custodianship of the old Johannesburg city council.In 1994, the market was taken over by the newly established Southern Metropolitan Local Council (SMLC) which, working in conjunction with Setplan, set about upgrading the facilities in the complex.Being located in but not of the city, residents of Mai Mai retain links to the countryside and continue practising traditional forms of treating ailments. Some of the traders initially moved in as healers but ended up setting up home in the complex, bringing their wives and kids to stay with them and, in the process, putting pressure on the infrastructure of the market.“The sewerage and storm water drainage were blocked and generally the infrastructure began to cave in under pressure,” says Li Pernegger, the former manager of economic empowerment and business support for the SMLC, and now project manager for economic development in the corporate planning unit.Today, families, including children, stay in the complex, much to the irritation of some traders. Wilfred Sithole who owns a furniture manufacturing plant in the complex and has been attached to the market for over 50 years, says the presence of people on the premises has led to its decay.“The place was not properly maintained and, over time, the presence of people on the premises created social problems like excessive drinking and theft, which are not good for business. We would like to see it turned into a purely trading area and the residents being relocated somewhere else.”But Sweke says such a move would be ill-advised as it is precisely the presence of residents which gives the market its colourful character.According to Perneger, some industries, such as panel beating, may be thriving at Mai Mai, “but are not complementary to tourism”. Such industries, Sweke agrees, should be removed from the market to make it more dedicated to products which enhance its appeal to tourists.Meanwhile, the city forges ahead with plans to give the market a facelift. The MTC has set out to upgrade the market by cleaning it up, removing the rubble which has accumulated over the years and fixing ablution facilities.Cultural appealThe company has also come out in support of moves to promote the market’s cultural appeal. Last year, the city provided funding for the training of tour guides. The open space which was previously occupied is now being cleared for use as a dancing ground.The MTC will, in the near future, register and issue licences to all the traders operating from the market. Children will also not be allowed on the premises after 8pm.Back at Mkhwanazi’s practice, despite its collection of tree and animal parts, it is refreshingly neat and tidy, like the grounds of the complex.A python skin competes for space with a dead vulture and a baboon on the ceiling. Other concoctions of an indeterminate nature are placed inside labelled bottles. “Isende lehashi” (horse penis) “Zamafufunyane” (for nightmares and hysteria), “Owobusoka” (guaranteed to improve the romantic fortunes of a bachelor), “Zikatokoloshe” (to ward off an imaginary evil goblin said to spread terror at night).Some of the potions are reputed to cure common ailments such as pubic lice, persistent headaches and stomach aches, skin rashes and other identifiable illnesses of a physical nature.According to Bhekabantu Ngema, a 58-year old “inyanga” (traditional doctor) who has lived in Mai Mai since 1967, patients should ideally come to inyangas with the knowledge of what muti they want. “Otherwise,” says Ngema, “they should start by consulting sangomas (spiritual healers and traditional seers) who can determine the nature of the problem. Only then can we as healers help with the appropriate medicine, or help establish contact with your ancestors.”Sangomas, says Mkhwanazi, normally detect two kinds of bad luck. One is inflicted through witchcraft, usually by a jealous rival, the other is caused by unhappy ancestors. It is here that patients are counselled to slaughter a beast to appease and rekindle relations with the ancestors.“In other words, sangomas diagnose and prescribe, while we inyangas generally heal, although we can also prescribe, depending on the nature of the problem or whether our ancestors give us the power to help a patient,” explains Ngema.Hence some of the stores double up as consulting rooms. This is where one’s fortunes and misfortunes are read and a possible cure suggested. Mai Mai also serves as a training ground for sangomas.Once the muti is obtained, it can be taken in various ways, depending on its form and nature. While some muti is just good for washing with, smearing on one’s body, or for burning and inhaling, other muti is designed for elaborate uses like ukuphalaza (regurgitating), ukuchatha (applying by means of an enema), or nokugquma (steaming).In the MTC, the council hopes to have come up with a potion to heal the ills which have afflicted Mai Mai over time.Source: City of Johannesburg websitelast_img read more

Brand South Africa proud of South Africa’s competitive bid for SKA

first_imgBrand South Africa would like to congratulate the Department of Science and Technology; the SA SKA bid team, and Minister of Science and Technology Naledi Pandor, on their success in hosting the Square Kilometre Array, in partnership with Australia.Brand South Africa CEO, Miller Matola, says that South Africa is thrilled with the opportunity to share the hosting of the SKA as the partnership with Australia will open up new avenues for skills development as well as ideas and cultural exchange.“The SKA will bring advancements of astro-sciences to both countries and facilitate knowledge sharing between young and older astronomy and cosmology experts. The opportunity to share the SKA with Australia will also highlight the benefits of partnerships on a global scale, and will improve industry cohesion and co-development in astronomy and other related fields.”In addition to the SKA, South Africa’s plans to focus on developing the field of astronomy will be enhanced by the MeerKAT project in the Northern Cape. The MeerKAT is a powerful scientific tool in its own right and it will attract the best scientists and engineers to work in Africa and will provide unrivalled opportunities for scientists and engineers across the continent and the country.Matola adds that the building of the MeerKAT will also spearhead the Department of Science and Technology’s campaign to introduce astronomy to scholars and students across the country, and develop and retain human capital in the field of science and engineering.“We thank the bid committee for giving us and our African partners the platform to bring the stars and the universe closer to the leaders and explorers of tomorrow. SKA funding and infrastructure will encourage our scholars and students to take up science and technology subjects, and a new class of scientists will be developed. The SKA will showcase the innovation from African communities and will embolden career interest in the diverse field of physics and cosmology.”last_img read more

Is This Nintendo Knock-Off The Worst iPhone App Ever?

first_imgnick statt Its full title is Super Monster Bros By Adventure Time Pocket Free Games, and it just may be the worst iPhone app ever. Dug up by an excellent IGN series ‘”iPhone Garbage,” the free app is a side-scrolling game that not only blatantly rips off Nintendo with slightly altered Pokémon character designs, but it also employs an aggressive in-app purchase system that spams users constantly with offers at prices up to $100! It’s a iPhone rip-off tactic only marginally less offensiver than the ever-popular screenshot scam.For instance, if you want to use a character other than the default, which is basically a duplicate of Charmander from the original Pokémon games, you need to cough up anywhere from $4.99 for the caveman to a whopping $99.99 for the Charizard look-alike. Then when you’re actually playing the game, you’re bombarded with offers for other purchases, like $1 to buy more firepower for your character or 20 extra lives for $10. Then there are the full-screen ads for other apps that randomly pop up on-screen in the middle of the game. Not surprisingly, the gameplay is beyond terrible. There doesn’t seem to be any point outside of scamming people into paying for ridiculous add-ons. The biggest mystery is how this travesty got through Apple’s App Store approval process despite apparently infringing on copyrighted Nintendo material and an all-around exploitive design. The games are also available on Google’s less-restrictive Google Play market for Android. What To Watch Out ForReviews are certainly a great way to keep others from downloading a terrible app; the first three reviews that show up are titled, respectively, “This should be criminal..,” “This app is offensive,” and “This should be illegal.”  So you may wonder who gets fooled by this nonsense, but how about those unlucky parents with kids who know their Apple ID passwords. All it takes is clicking the Buy button and entering your password, and this game could end up costing some family hundreds of dollars.In fact, the Top 10 in-app purchases list in the App Store indicates that the number-one item purchased by players is the “Role NO.1 and Unlock All” feature – for an absurd $99.99. So who is the mastermind behind this ingenious money-making machine? That would be a developer by the name of Mario Casas, designer of such other gems as Adventure Games Super Monster Bros Plus and Super Squirrel Bros by Mario Casas Games. They all share similar designs and the same in-app purchasing system.  How To Report Bad Apps to AppleThe App Store has long wrestled with a proliferation of scam apps. IGN’s iPhone Garbage series exposes a dark corner of the App Store where games like Krazy Kong (a Donkey Kong rip-off) and Legend of Zenda (a Zelda rip-off) somehow found a home. Apple seems to take an after-the-fact approach to rooting them out, as outlined here by iMore’s Rene Ritchie:Apple’s approach seems to be that of YouTube – approve any app that meets technical criteria and then respond to publicity or legal takedown demands from copyright holders when and if they come in. It’s one of the smartest, safest approaches, legally, for Apple. They certainly don’t want to take on the responsibility of pre-emptively moderating intellectual property, and then have their necks on the lawsuit line when something slips through and the rights holders sue both the offending party and Apple.So how do you report a bad app like Super Monster Bros By Adventure Time Pocket Free Games?  If you dropped a bundle on this game’s purchases, Apple devotes a Web page to reporting issues with purchases. If you managed to hold on to your cash but still want to report the app, the best way is to go through iTunes Support. Be warned, though, Apple hasn’t shown much inclination to substantially overhaul its review process to catch these specific types of tricks. So as long as these kinds of exploitive apps can make their creators easy money, they’ll keep showing up.  Update: The game, as well as all other titles from the same developer, are no longer available in the U.S. App Store. It’s not clear whether or not they are still available in other countries, but we will update with that information as soon as we can.  Tags:#App Store#Apple#games#iOS#iPhone#play Related Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfacescenter_img Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

Bihar, where state-run girl shelters are under the scanner

first_img How many such homes are there?Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma, whose husband too was accused of visiting the Muzaffarpur shelter home frequently, says there are 110 such shelter and short-stay homes in the State for girls and women, “but we’ve reports of irregularities at only five of them, while the rest are doing well.” However, the 100-page TISS report said officials had pointed out several discrepancies at over a dozen shelter and short-stay homes, including at Motihari, Chhapra, Sasaram, Bhabhua, Vaishali and other places.Will they be probed as well?Department Principal Secretary Atul Prasad said that in view of the TISS report, investigations were going on at all shelter and short-stay homes and suitable action would be taken, if discrepancies were found. If need be, girls and women would be shifted from there and the NGOs given the contract to run the homes would be blacklisted, he said. The Muzaffarpur home has already been sealed and girls have been shifted to shelter homes at Patna, Mokama and Madhubani. The NGO had also been blacklisted, he said.What happens next?The government has recommended a CBI inquiry into the Muzaffarpur case and the names of several bigwigs are expected to surface in the investigation. Mr. Prasad admitted that the TISS social audit report was an eye-opener and said the Department would consider a number of measures to prevent such incidents occurring again. Among some of the suggestions are installation of CCTV cameras and deputing transgenders as security guards at such shelter and short-stay homes. What happened?A social audit report prepared by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) found that at a State-run shelter home, Balika Grih, in Muzaffarpur, a north Bihar district, 34 of the 44 girls had been sexually exploited. Following the report of “physical and sexual violence” against girls at the home, the Opposition parties sought a High Court-monitored CBI probe. On Thursday, the State government recommended a CBI inquiry.How did it come about?In June 2017, the Social Welfare Department, which looks after shelter and short-stay homes in the State, asked the TISS to prepare a report on their condition. The report, submitted to the Department on April 26 this year, made startling revelations about “physical and sexual violations of girls,” especially at the Muzaffarpur home. On May 31, the Department filed an FIR at the women’s police station in Muzaffarpur, seeking “suitable action” on the plight of girls as mentioned on page 52 of the TISS report under the caption ‘Grave Concern.’ On June 2, the Muzaffarpur police arrested Brajesh Thakur, the man who was managing the NGO, Sewa Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti, to which the Department had given a contract to run the home. Subsequently, nine other persons, seven of them women employees at the home, were arrested and sent to jail. A chargesheet was filed on July 26. One accused, Dilip Verma, is absconding.Why does it matter?The Muzaffarpur case has come as a huge embarrassment to the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government as Opposition leaders not only raised the issue strongly in and outside the State legislature but also accused the government of protecting Thakur. A local politician, Thakur is believed to have close relations with several BJP and JD(U) leaders. He had contested the Assembly election in 1995 and 2000 from Kudhani in Muzaffarpur as a candidate of the Bihar People’s Party, then an NDA ally, but lost. He also runs a vernacular newspaper Pratah Kamal from the same building in which the shelter home is located, and was in the State press accreditation committee too. His newspaper, despite having a very low circulation, was empanelled by the government’s Public Relations Department and has been the beneficiary of government advertisements worth crores of rupees.last_img read more

JIRC Urges Companies to Donate Books

first_img Literary specialists and principals have been engaged to recommend students most in need of the intervention. Registration forms will also be available online for parents to register their children for participation. The camp, which is expected to cater to some 1,500 children between six and 17 years old, will run from July 24 to 28 and will be held at 15 locations across the 14 parishes. The Jamaica Intensive Reading Clinic (JIRC) is calling on corporate Jamaica to come on board and donate books and other resources to its week-long islandwide reading camp in July.The camp, which is expected to cater to some 1,500 children between six and 17 years old, will run from July 24 to 28 and will be held at 15 locations across the 14 parishes.Executive Director of JIRC, Santana Morris, said there is an ongoing book drive to acquire material to be used for ‘reading corners’ at each location.She explained that the camp will be targeting children in need of literacy intervention and will address the five main components of literacy – fluency, comprehension skills, vocabulary development, phonemics and phonological development.Literary specialists and principals have been engaged to recommend students most in need of the intervention. Registration forms will also be available online for parents to register their children for participation.“JIRC is a strategic, non-profit, innovative initiative that was created to help students master the art of reading. We gather trained literacy specialists across the island to create special programmes to help students who are having literacy challenges, who are from a low financial background, and others who might even just want to read above their grade level,” Ms. Morris said.The JIRC Summer Reading Camp was first held in 2016 in seven parishes.“This year, we will be having a mixture of activities, including an edutainment package, where we will be inviting different professionals to come in and to speak to the students about why literacy is important and how it applies in their work and field,” she said.She said this is to include nurses, doctors, security personnel, skilled labourers and others from the community, who will demonstrate the value of literacy in their everyday work.“We will be focusing on promoting literacy in our communities. Teachers and the Ministry of Education cannot do it alone, so we have to come together as a nation to help our students to master reading and to eradicate illiteracy in our country,” she said.Children will be screened at the start of the camp to ascertain their level of need and be assigned accordingly.The Executive Director said some 800 volunteers, including 300 teachers, have been accepted to help in the teaching and running of the camps.She explained that the JIRC aims to use culturally relevant books and material to help the youngsters relate to the lessons.The programme is also looking to utilise digital solutions to help children learn to read.“We are hoping to get sponsorship for tablets or laptops that will aid in delivery this year. This will help students develop literacy and create a better foundation for lifelong learning,” she said.The National Youth Service (NYS) has offered to collaborate with the JIRC to provide a stipend for volunteers from the age of 17 to 29.Information on how to donate can be found at the website: www.jamaicaintensivereadingclinic.com and on the JIRC Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts. The Jamaica Intensive Reading Clinic (JIRC) is calling on corporate Jamaica to come on board and donate books and other resources to its week-long islandwide reading camp in July. Story Highlightslast_img read more

Call me by your name Archiving history present of archrivals India Pak

first_imgNew Delhi: Gujarat in India, Gujrat in Pakistan; Hyderabad here and also there; Delhi Gate in Lahore and Lahori Gate in Patiala. Then there is the favourite sweetmeat of many Indians, the Karachi halwa, while the Pakistanis relish Bengali samosa. Some names have withstood the uneasy decades since Partition, standing out like little beacons of oneness in a landscape fraught with hostility but also hope between two neighbours sharing a border and age-old cultural ties. India-Pakistan, locked into a hyphenated relationship of a shared history and a divided present, is not just about rift but also about the many vestiges of unity that have survived seven decades. It’s about the names of streets, shops, monuments, food and more, say historians and others on both sides of the border. With the recent escalation in tensions following the Pulwama terror attack, this legacy has come under increasing strain. The spotlight of unwelcome attention fell on the Karachi Bakery in Ahmedabad and Bengaluru after the February 14 strike, which prompted the first aerial combat between the two countries since 1971 and led to the capture of an IAF pilot by Pakistan on February 27. Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was released almost three days later on March 1. The managements of the two stores were told by vigilantes to hide Karachi’, Pakistan’s buzzing commercial centre, from their signboards. Forced to show their Indianness, they also put up a tricolour along with posters reading that the brand was established in 1953 by a Sindhi, Khanchand Ramnani, who migrated to India after Partition and is “absolutely Indian by heart”. The ripple effect of fear could be seen in other cities, including in the national capital, particularly the historic walled city. “All I can tell you is that we are as Indian as anyone standing or doing business in the street out here. Anyone judging our loyalty for this nation by the name of my shop, which is there for over good 50 years now, is despicable,” said an Old Delhi based trader.last_img read more

India is key focus area 3D printers next big thing

first_imgHouston: India is a very attractive market with high brand recognition for a computer hardware producer like Hewlett Packard, said HP Inc’s President for Asia Pacific and Japan, Tian Chong Ng. The Asia Pacific region — in which India is a key focus area — has been the fastest growing for HP and provided 16 per cent revenue growth last year. In Q1 of FY2019 it registered 8 per cent growth year-on-year, said Ng in the course of the HP Reinvent 2019 conference, the company’s largest global partner event. One reason for that is — India – and also the Asia Pacific region — tick marks on demographics trends which provide clear wins for HP: rapid urbanisation and more millennials are joining the work force. While HP is very positive on India and recognises its potential, there are no plans yet for setting up a manufacturing base in India. Ng said it already has a manufacturing base in China apart from others in Vietnam, Thailand and Japan. “There is an existing ecosystem in China and we don’t have plans for setting up a manufacturing base in India, he said. One focus area is the 3D printer, which offers HP great opportunity. Construction and automotive sectors are the focus areas here. Meanwhile, an MoU has been signed with the Andhra Pradesh government. “To be successful in India demands that we understand it,” he said. HP is also pushing gaming in a big way. However, this has not led to any thinking for manufacturing mobile phones in India, despite the high number of gamers in the country spurred by affordable android phones and cheap data. “Our strength is the PC business and we offer a whole family of products in that space,” Ng said.last_img read more

Shearers rough criticism against Pogba and Sanchez

first_imgLegendary striker Alan Shearer is one of the few who actually defends Jose Mourinho’s status as the manager, he goes after Pogba and Sanchez.Manchester United’s most recent form is very alarming, there are people blaming Mourinho and people blaming some of the players, but Alan Shearer is clear about where his allegiances are.The former Newcastle striker and Premier League’s all-time top scorer wrote a column for The Sun, where he felt the need to let it all out and publicly defend Jose Mourinho in a time when it’s easier to just go after the manager for all the bad results.Other legends of the game like Paul Scholes have come hardly after the Portuguese manager, flat out saying that his mouth is completely out of control and he should quit the job while he still has some dignity left.But for Alan Shearer, talking trash about Mourinho is wrong because the boss has an impressive resume that gives him more than enough credit to turn things around at Manchester United.Shearer wrote that he has never liked going after the manager because the players are also to blame when situations like this take place at any club, and Manchester United is no different as he specifically singled out Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez. Alan Shearer on Pogba:”He was offering nothing. Despite being a World Cup winner, he cannot lace the boots of those whose names will go down in history at Old Trafford” pic.twitter.com/o9syUVLiJm— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) October 2, 2018On his Monday column for The Sun, Shearer expressed how incredible the difference this Manchester United has with the one that Sir Alex Ferguson managed. Back when he was still a player, the Red Devils inspired a lot of respect and no information was leaked like today.Carrington is a source of drama 24/7, something that was impossible to imagine back in the day. For the England legend, there are two specific players to blame, and he went after them hard. His first victim was aul Pogba as he wrote: “It was never like this when I started in the game. The club had the power, as did the boss.”“Now all the power is with the players. Paul Pogba is Manchester United’s record signing. Just take that in for a moment and consider all the great players who have played for this club. Despite being a World Cup winner, he cannot lace the boots of those whose names will go down in history at Old Trafford.”“He was pathetic again at West Ham and was that bad that Mourinho had to drag him off as he was offering nothing. If he is looking to get the manager out then he is doing a much better job of that than playing football, as his team-mates were not much better,” he wrote.Jose Mourinho, Lionel MessiMourinho: “Lionel Messi made me a better coach” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho believes the experience of going up against Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi at Real Madrid made him a greater coach.Alan Shearer and Alex Ferguson. pic.twitter.com/9LIXWEFYvT— 90s Football (@90sfootball) October 2, 2018But Shearer wasn’t done, as he also pointed out the terrible situation that Alexis Sanchez is currently going through at Manchester United. The Chilean player was reportedly told by Mourinho that he won’t play a single more minute for the club until he modifies his attitude.For Alan Shearer, buying the Chilean forward from Arsenal was the single biggest mistake that the Red Devils could’ve made and he agrees with us that he may be one of the club’s biggest flops in recent history.“And where was Alexis Sanchez? This is a player they fought tooth and nail to sign ahead of their big rivals, pipping Pep to his signature. Yet he sums up everything wrong with United. He was not even on the bench after a series of poor displays.”“He has got nowhere near the levels we saw at Arsenal since the move and you have to ask why. City’s decision to step away from that deal is looking better and better.”“A manager of Mourinho’s stature and an incredible CV does not deserve this. Yet is he blameless? What on earth was he doing tactically in the 3-1 defeat at West Ham?” wrote Shearer in his explosive column for The Sun last Monday.And then, this Tuesday in the Champions League, Alan’s words made even more sense as the Red Devils weren’t even capable of getting past a goalless draw against Valencia.Alexis Sanchez regrets joining Manchester United from Arsenal in January after turning down the chance to join eventual champions Manchester City. [Mirror] pic.twitter.com/gqBt0NB12y— City Watch (@City_Watch) October 1, 2018Who do you think should leave Manchester United, Jose Mourinho or the players who are not performing? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.last_img read more

Valverde dismisses contract talks

first_imgBarcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has revealed he is not worried about his future at the club as he dismisses speculation regarding signing a new contract.The former Athletic Bilbao manager’s deal with the Catalan club expires at the end of the season and the 54-year-old has continually been unwilling to speak about a new contract.Valverde won the league and cup double in his first season in charge but Barca suffered a shock Champions League quarter-final exit to Roma in 2017-18.The former Barca player was asked about his future again after the club’s 4-2 win over Sevilla on Saturday, however, he insists his focus in on the upcoming clashes with Inter and fierce rivals Real Madrid.“My future at Barca does not matter to me, I do not care,” said Valverde, according to FourFourTwo.David Villa, SpainQuiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.“I’m focused on the two matches that come and the noise that there is always around the team is the usual and you cannot do anything.”Barcelona’s win against Sevilla came at a heavy cost after captain and talisman, Lionel Messi fractured his arm at Camp Nou.The Spanish champions, who are a point clear atop LaLiga, next face Inter in the Champions League on Wednesday at the Camp Nou before entertaining Madrid in Sunday’s Clasico.last_img read more

Chinas C919 passenger jet takes off for maiden flight

first_img Close The first Chinese-built passenger jet has taken off from Shanghai for its maiden flight. The C919 aircraft aims to compete with the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 for the $2tn-worth global jet market. Some 570 of the planes have already been ordered, according to state-owned manufacturer Comac – and mostly by Chinese carriers. IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:01/0:48Loaded: 0%0:02Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-0:47?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading …center_img Chinas C919 passenger jet takes off for maiden flightlast_img read more

In a major push to offline retail Amazon to buy 10 stake

first_imgAmazon logoReutersIn a major boost to its offline retail segment ambitions in India, Amazon is all set to take over a minority stake in the Future Retail next week. The deal is expected to get the board approval on 14th November. This is likely one of the most the aggressive measures taken by the e-commerce giant, Amazon, to gain access to the growing retail business in India.The Economic Times has reported that the deal is likely to give Amazon access to one-third of India’s organised food and grocery market through the Big Bazaar and Nilgiris supermarket chains. The deal is expected to cost Amazon’s investment arm an amount of about Rs.2,500 crore. Notably, Future group has more than 1,100 stores in the country upon which Amazon will capitalize.One of the people associated with the development told the Economic Times “Amazon, through the foreign portfolio investor (FPI) route, will buy about 9.5% stake in Future Retail and has already signed a term sheet. The deal will be announced after board approval on November 14.”The two companies started negotiating for a partnership since the starting of this year when Future Group founder Kishore Biyani first met Amazon founder Jeff Bezos at his Seattle-based headquarters. Later, the executives of two companies met multiple times to deliberate on the modalities of the deal.The investment laws in Indian allows 51% foreign investment in multi-brand retail, however, Amazon is entering through the arm that’s registered as an FPI. It is the same route through which it acquired a minority stake of 5% in Shoppers Stop last year. An FPI is allowed to acquire less than 10% stake in an Indian company as a single firm, on the other hand, an Indian entity can dilute up to 49% stake to multiple FPIs.  Pictured: A retail outlet of Big Bazaar, which is owned by the Future Retail Ltd.Wikimedia commonsThe Indian consumer is still preferring offline retails business over the online mode which is evident with the fact that retail sale through physical stores accounts for more than 95% of all retail sales in the country.last_img read more

Trump scraps Pompeos N Korea trip

first_imgUS secretary of state Mike Pompeo listens as US president Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, US on 18 July 2018. Photo: ReutersUS president Donald Trump on Friday abruptly canceled his top diplomat’s planned trip to North Korea, publicly acknowledging for the first time that his effort to get Pyongyang to denuclearise had stalled since his summit with North Korea’s leader.Trump partly blamed China for the lack of progress with North Korea and suggested that talks with Pyongyang, led so far by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, could be on hold until after Washington resolved its bitter trade dispute with Beijing.It was a dramatic shift of tone for Trump, who had previously hailed his June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a success and said the North Korean nuclear threat was over, despite no real sign Pyongyang was willing to give up its nuclear weapons.But Trump still kept the door open to a second summit with Kim, with whom the president recently said he has “great chemistry.””I have asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to go to North Korea, at this time, because I feel we are not making sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” Trump wrote on Twitter.The North Korean mission to the United Nations declined to comment.Negotiations have all but deadlocked since the summit in Singapore. Pompeo has pressed for tangible steps toward North Korea’s abandonment of its nuclear arsenal while Pyongyang is demanding that Washington first make concessions of its own.Trump’s statement came just a day after Pompeo said he would again visit North Korea and would take his new special envoy, former auto industry executive Stephen Biegun, with him.But Trump asked Pompeo not to go during a Friday meeting and they crafted the tweets together, White House officials said.National security adviser John Bolton, considered a leading North Korea hawk, weighed in by speakerphone during a visit to Ukraine, US officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.Many other key officials learned of Trump’s decision by seeing the crawl across a television screen, some during a meeting on North Korea negotiations, officials said.Some US intelligence and defense officials had considered Pompeo’s latest trip to be premature and said the prospects for significant progress appeared dim.Pompeo, who would have been making his second visit to Pyongyang since the summit, had not been due to meet Kim this time.Trump himself was still open to another meeting with Kim, in hopes of advancing the process, but was not pleased with the latest signals from North Korea, a White House official said.Onus On ChinaTrump put some of the onus on China, North Korea’s biggest trading partner and a crucial actor in enforcing sanctions to keep pressure on Pyongyang.”Because of our much tougher Trading stance with China, I do not believe they are helping with the process of denuclearization as they once were (despite the UN Sanctions which are in place),” Trump tweeted.”Secretary Pompeo looks forward to going to North Korea in the near future, most likely after our Trading relationship with China is resolved,” Trump wrote. “In the meantime I would like to send my warmest regards and respect to Chairman Kim. I look forward to seeing him soon!”Trump told Reuters on Monday he believed Kim had taken specific steps toward denuclearization and that they would “most likely” meet again.Kelly Magsamen a former US deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asian affairs, said Trump was undermining his leverage with Kim as well as that of Pompeo and his new envoy.”It’s fine to not send the Secretary due to lack of progress, but don’t then also talk about how you are eager to meet with KJU and how China is thwarting you,” she tweeted.Christopher Hill, a former US ambassador to South Korea, tweeted: “Looks like @realDonaldTrump has begun to worry about #NorthKorea intentions. Good decision especially if otherwise Pompeo would have returned empty handed.”Kim made a broad, vague commitment in Singapore to work toward denuclearization of the Korean peninsula but has given no sign of willingness to give up his arsenal unilaterally.Talks since then have made little headway, with the two sides far apart on denuclearization and the US insistence for this to happen before North Korea sees any sanctions relief.On his last visit to Pyongyang, in July, Pompeo left saying progress had been made, only for North Korea within hours to denounce his “gangster-like demands.”U.S. officials have been trying without success to persuade North Korea to detail the extent of its nuclear arsenal.Trump’s decision came just days after the UN nuclear watchdog reported it had not found any indication that North Korea had stopped its nuclear activities.However, some analysts suggested Trump’s move may also be a negotiating ploy. In May, Trump announced he was calling off his planned summit with Kim, citing Pyongyang’s “open hostility,” only to reverse himself eight days later.The cancellation follows two days of US-China trade talks in Washington that ended with no sign of progress toward resolving a deepening trade war between the world’s two largest economies and no plans for more talks in the near term.last_img read more

Virginia Governor Vetoes Legislation to Defund Planned Parenthood

first_imgRICHMOND, Virginia – Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoed legislation Tuesday that sought to remove state and federal funding for women’s health providers such as Planned Parenthood and any other groups that perform abortions in Virginia.In his veto statement, McAuliffe said the bill, HB 2264, “would harm tens of thousands of Virginians who rely on the health care services and programs provided by Planned Parenthood health centers, by denying them access to affordable care.”Planned Parenthood held a veto ceremony on the steps of the Governor’s Mansion. According to the organization, more than 22,000 people in Richmond, Hampton, Virginia Beach, Charlottesville, and Roanoke rely on Planned Parenthood for health care, including cancer screenings, birth control, testing for and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, well-woman exams and legal abortions.“We are proud to have a governor in Virginia who stands with the women of our commonwealth,” said Paulette McElwain, president and CEO of the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood. She said McAuliffe “understands how vitally important access to comprehensive reproductive health care provided by Planned Parenthood is for women.”Pro-life activists lined the steps of the Governor’s Mansion bearing signs reading “All Lives Matter” and “Say No to Planned Parenthood.” In a press release, the Family Foundation of Virginia rejected the assertion that women would no longer have access to health care if the bill had been enacted.The foundation said the legislation would have redirected non-Medicaid taxpayer funding from organizations that provide abortions to hospitals and health centers that provide more comprehensive services for women.“Nothing in Virginia right now is more predictable than Terry McAuliffe doing all that he can to ensure that taxpayers are forced to prop up the abortion industry,” said Victoria Cobb, president of the Family Foundation. “If there’s one issue on which Gov. McAuliffe has been ideologically rigid, it is his unwavering support and protection of the same $1 billion abortion industry that contributed nearly $2 million to his election.”Del. Ben Cline, R-Amherst, sponsored HB 2264. He introduced identical legislation in the General Assembly’s 2016 session. Last year’s bill passed both the House and the Senate but was vetoed by McAuliffe. The House fell one vote short of overriding the governor’s veto.HB 2264 passed the House 60-33 on Feb. 7 and the Senate 20-19 on Feb. 14.For women’s rights advocates, McAuliffe’s veto comes as a relief. Republicans would have to muster a two-thirds majority in each chamber – 67 votes in the House and 27 in the Senate – to override the veto.“Defunding Planned Parenthood is a blatant attempt to deny women access to the full range of reproductive health care services, and Virginia women won’t stand for it,” said Anna Scholl, executive director of Progress Virginia, a liberal advocacy group.“Politicians in Richmond don’t get to decide where women get their health care and what kind of services they receive, and we’re glad that Gov. McAuliffe agrees.”last_img read more

A way to cause graphene to selffold into 3D shapes

first_img PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen (Phys.org)—A team of researchers with Johns Hopkins University and MIT has found a way to cause flat sheets of graphene to self-fold into 3-D geometric shapes. In their paper published on the open access site Science Advances, the group explains how they prepared the sheets and then used heat to cause them to fold. Temperature induced self-folding of a functionalized graphene flower. Credit: Weinan Xu, Johns Hopkins University PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Temperature induced self-folding of a functionalized graphene dumbbell. Credit: Weinan Xu, Johns Hopkins University Journal information: Science Advances Play Simulation of the temperature induced self-folding process of a functionalized graphene dumbbell. Credit: Zhao Qin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Graphene has been in the news a lot over the past decade, as its unique properties could lead to the development of a host of new applications. Some likely applications include biosensors and wearable electronics. Before such devices can be created, however, a means must be found to create three dimensional objects from flat sheets of the material. Up until now, most methods have involved etching or applying the sheets to a substrate that conforms to a desired shape. Both methods leave much to be desired; thus, researchers continue to seek a better solution. In this new effort, researchers have developed a micropatterning technique that leads to the flat graphene sheets bending along predesignated lines when heat is applied, causing the sheet to form into shapes—much like origami forms when manipulated by human hands.One of the main benefits of the new approach is that it preserves the intrinsic properties of the graphene, which has been the goal all along—after all, what is the point of using graphene in the first place if you have to diminish its unique attributes to make it conform to a desired shape? Another benefit is that the creases can cause a band gap in the graphene, which graphene notoriously lacks in its natural state. Citation: A way to cause graphene to self-fold into 3-D shapes (2017, October 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-10-graphene-self-fold-d.html Explore further Bubble technique used to measure shear forces between graphene sheets Play Simulation of the temperature induced self-folding process of a functionalized graphene flower. Credit: Zhao Qin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology The team notes that the technique is also compatible with traditional lithography and can be applied at the wafer scale. Also, it is highly parallel, which means it should not present manufacturing problems. They also report that they tested their technique by creating 3-D shapes that were used to hold living cells and nonlinear resistors. They also used one in the creation of a transistor device. By creating such useful 3-D structures, the team believes they have shown that their technique could be used to build viable wearable electronic devices and sensors that could be used inside of a living organism. © 2017 Phys.org More information: Weinan Xu et al. Ultrathin thermoresponsive self-folding 3D graphene, Science Advances (2017). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1701084AbstractGraphene and other two-dimensional materials have unique physical and chemical properties of broad relevance. It has been suggested that the transformation of these atomically planar materials to three-dimensional (3D) geometries by bending, wrinkling, or folding could significantly alter their properties and lead to novel structures and devices with compact form factors, but strategies to enable this shape change remain limited. We report a benign thermally responsive method to fold and unfold monolayer graphene into predesigned, ordered 3D structures. The methodology involves the surface functionalization of monolayer graphene using ultrathin noncovalently bonded mussel-inspired polydopamine and thermoresponsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) brushes. The functionalized graphene is micropatterned and self-folds into ordered 3D structures with reversible deformation under a full control by temperature. The structures are characterized using spectroscopy and microscopy, and self-folding is rationalized using a multiscale molecular dynamics model. Our work demonstrates the potential to design and fabricate ordered 3D graphene structures with predictable shape and dynamics. We highlight applicability by encapsulating live cells and creating nonlinear resistor and creased transistor devices. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

ART FOR KERALA CERAMICS

first_imgArtist and sculptor Vipul Kumar brought two works all the way from Jaipur for the NGMA Art for ‘Kerala floods sale’. A distinguished installation artist, who does ceramics with Buddhist elements in dictates of design has donated a brilliant work called Chorten Vessel.”In this series, organic forms referencing Himalayan landscapes interact with the architectural “chorten” forms. Conceptually the work is about time and timelessness – the lines on the landscape forms allude to the layering of time, a reference to finite or chronological time. The chorten itself is a reliquary, but also a signifier of ancient wisdom – a finger pointing towards the timeless, self-perpetuating nature of existence,” says Kacker. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe small pot of Jyotsna Bhatt from my collection goes back to nearly 20 years. I picked it up for Rs 300 from the Art Heritage summer sale which I would visit every year. As a gallery, Art Heritage stands on its own stead. It has always supported ceramics and recently had the historic exhibition of G.Reghu. Jyotsna Bhatt is a Gandhian, a mentor and a ceramic artist of great merit. This small pot with stripes is a quaint creation.Another wonderful work has been donated by the brilliant Leena Batra an artist who used to work at Garhi many years ago. Leena has donated a beautiful vase for dry flower arrangements. A small cute plate with a pair of hands has been donated by artist/architect and mentor Manjari Sharma. Manjari excels at stoneware is known for her quixotic creations. This work belongs to her show at Lalit Kala Akademi. Textures and tones combine to give Manjari’s work a certain edge in terms of creative zest. Manjari believes that doing anything with clay is about explorations and experiments. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveWhile Jyotsna Bhatt is a precision and perfection ceramic artist, Vineet is an artist who weaves deep meditation and research elements into his work. Vineet’s Chorten Vessel at once invites the contemplation of the human gaze. Vipul Kumar’s porcelain work has a rough-hewn and indigenous signature but his generosity of spirit is what is charming. The beauty about this sale is that Adwaita Gadanayak NGMA Director General has breathed life and graciousness into the exercise and inspired so many artists to donate. It is his pragmatism too that has held the whole show in good stead.The show at NGMA ends today. All proceeds go to Chief Minister’s fund in Kerala.last_img read more