34 years on, compensation for Blue Star detainees

first_imgThe detainees who were arrested and kept in a Jodhpur prison following the Army operation to flush out militants from the Golden Temple in 1984 will finally get some relief with Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh scheduled to hand over compensation money to them today, a government spokesperson said on Wednesday.The Chief Minister will distribute cheques totalling ₹4.5 crore to 40 of the detainees here at a programme in the presence of all members of his Cabinet, the spokesperson said.Capt. Singh had recently written to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and also spoken to Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba on the matter. He had said if the Centre failed to pay its share of the compensation, then the State government will take over that liability too.300 people arrested Around 300 people were arrested and detained in the Jodhpur jail in June 1984 in the wake of Operation Blue Star, and were later released in three batches, between March 1989 and July 1991.Of these, 224 had appealed for compensation in the lower court, alleging wrongful detention and torture but they failed to get any relief from the court in 2011.However, 40 of the them went in appeal to the District and Sessions Court, Amritsar, and were awarded ₹4 lakh each as compensation with 6% interest (from the date of filing of the appeal to payment of compensation) in April last year.Appeal by CentreThe court had held the Union and the State governments jointly liable for payment of the compensation, and although the Punjab government had given an undertaking to the court to pay half the amount, the Centre had moved an appeal in the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the order, the spokesperson said.Earlier, the Chief Minister had also met the Jodhpur detainees and assured them of his government’s full support.Strong reaction The detainees had been suffering for the past several years for no fault of theirs, the Capt. Singh had said, while pointing out that the Centre’s decision to go in appeal against the compensation award had evoked a strong reaction among the Sikh community and was further likely to lead to a sense of alienation and perceived injustice among the community.last_img read more


Goran Dragic back with Heat after summer title for Slovenia

first_imgFILE – In this Sept. 17. 2017, file photo, Slovenia’s Goran Dragic lifts the trophy after defeating Serbia in the Eurobasket European Basketball Championship finals in Istanbul. Here’s how Heat guard Goran Dragic spent his summer vacation. He led Slovenia, his mother’s homeland, to an improbable gold medal at the European Championships. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel, File)MIAMI — A quick summary of the last few weeks in the life of Miami guard Goran Dragic:He led Slovenia, his mother’s homeland and the place he calls home, to an improbable gold medal at the European Championships. The title game came against Serbia, his father’s homeland and a place where he still has relatives.ADVERTISEMENT BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight The Heat had a strange season a year ago — starting 11-30, finishing 30-11 and missing the playoffs in a tiebreaker. Dragic averaged a career-best 20.3 points, and emerged as a locker-room leader as the year went along. He also did what he could to persuade Heat free agents like Dion Waiters and James Johnson to stay.“It’s a lot of new challenges ahead,” Dragic said. “I’m looking forward to come to Miami and to battle for a title in Miami. Nobody gave us a chance, the Slovenian national team. Nobody is going to give us a chance in Miami. But I always believe. Why not?”An estimated 20,000 people stood in the pouring rain to greet the Slovenian team when it arrived home. The medal ceremony after the championship game became Slovenia’s most-watched television event in the country, at least since ratings started being kept. Dragic was told 94 percent of the nation was watching.“I’m just proud of him,” Heat President Pat Riley said. “And I’m proud that we have him.”Before 1991, both Serbia and Slovenia were part of Yugoslavia. Hence, the family ties for Dragic still exist.“Playing for my national team for the past 12 years, you’re always waiting to achieve something, and as soon as we won the final all the burden from my shoulders fell down,” he said. “I felt so happy. And, of course, on the other side, I have family in Serbia. But I was born in Slovenia … it was not a question that I was going to do everything to bring them a title.” Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  LATEST STORIES Read Next Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City He was the tournament’s MVP . He received one of Slovenia’s highest civilian honors. He was brought to tears by a gift of a jersey from the mother of his idol, the late star Drazen Petrovic.And through it all, the words of Heat coach Erik Spoelstra echoed in his head — winning a championship is usually more demanding mentally than physically.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Now I fully understand what he means,” Dragic said.It’s a lesson Dragic hopes to put to more use starting next week, when he returns to the U.S. and the Heatbegin training camp. The only true point guard on Miami’s roster, Dragic is going to be a major key if the Heat are to return to the playoffs and contend in the Eastern Conference. And coming off his MVP showing at EuroBasket, the Heat hope his game keeps elevating. “He looked sensational,” Spoelstra said of his point guard’s play at EuroBasket. “I’m so happy for him, so proud of that accomplishment, this most unlikely championship. Slovenia is a country of only 2 million.It’s smaller than the city of Miami. And to beat the powerhouses over there, but also to see how passionate Goran was about trying to lead this team to the title.”Dragic averaged 22.6 points and 5.1 assists in the nine games. His 35 points in the title game was the high for the tournament.He told Spoelstra in June he was all-in on trying to deliver Slovenia its first gold medal.“He trained extremely diligently for this,” Spoelstra said. “And he competed and led at such a high level. You could just see the emotions pouring out of him. I talked to him on the phone after they won and he said, ‘This is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.’”The task that awaits in Miami won’t be easy.ADVERTISEMENT Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. IOC tries to calm Olympic concerns amid North Korea tension View commentslast_img read more


Dhoni non-committal on Yuvraj playing in Kochi ODI

first_imgIndia captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was on Saturday non-committal on dashing batsman Yuvraj Singh playing Sunday’s first ODI against Australia or not here but gave indications that youngster Saurabh Tiwary could make his international debut.Asked if Yuvraj, who returned to the ODI squad after being dropped from the Test series, would play, Dhoni replied cryptically, “You will have to wait and watch”.Dhoni said, “Every series is important irrespective of whether you are in the side or an experienced player or youngster coming back to the game. The more the competition, it is good for the side. Be it Yuvraj or Suresh Raina or me or the youngsters it’s the same,” he said.Dhoni was forthcoming though when asked if Murali Vijay will be fielded as one of the openers. “Yes, Murali Vijay will be there,” he said.He said Tiwary was suited for batting at number six or seven as he always wanted to go for big hits as was seen in the IPL and Champions League Twenty20 where he got exposure against some best bowlers in the world.”We want to blood him because he has been part of the team for a few series earlier. He has got exposure against the best bowlers in the IPL and CL T20. I think it is an ideal opportunity for us to give him a place in the final XI and let him play the kind of cricket he plays. He is ideally suited for number six or seven slot wherein he can look to go after the bowlers,” said Dhoni about Tiwary who also hails from Jharkhand.Dhoni said Tiwary has the right attitude to go a long way in international cricket.”He wants to go out in the middle and play the kind of cricket he knows. He backs himself and he is hard working and spends his time at net sessions. He is good character to have.With proper guidance and with little more exposure to international cricket, he can be really successful.”It is good to have some one from Jharkhand. It is slightly tougher for a player to come from a small state and represent your country. It is not a restriction any more because most of cricket played in India is covered by media in a beautiful manner and selectors will notice. It is good to have him in the side. He is an aggressive character and quite young,” he added.Australia have won all the ODI series in India since 1998 and understandably Dhoni was quite cautious talking about the result of the three-match series.”I think I lost most of the tosses in the last couple of times when they visited India. Some of the wickets were not hard enough for us to post a winning total. That is also one of the reasons. In their last trip to India, there were quite a few close games that went till the end and in Australia’s favour.advertisementSick of seeing Sachin score so heavily: ClarkeThe stand-in Australian captain Micahel Clarke is relieved that batting stalwart Sachin Tendulkar and the dashing Virender Sehwag will not be a part of the much vaunted Indian batting line-up in the One-day series, starting Sunday.The Indian Cricket Board has rested Tendulkar while dangerous Virender Sehwag and prolific scorer Gautam Gambhir are not playing due to injury.Tendulkar scored more than 400 runs in the Test series and was adjudged Man-of-the-series and Clarke is happy that his bowlers will not have contend with his class.”I am happy that all those guys (Tendulkar, Sehwag) are not playing. I am sick of seeing Sachin scoring so many runs. But I still think Indian team is very strong. They have a lot of young players who have played T20s and ODIs before and they have a lot of talent,” Clarke said on the eve of the series-opener.Australians are also without some big stars and Clarke said, it will be an even contest.”I think the opposition we are playing is very tough, especially in the Indian conditions but I am confident that if we play to our best, we will win the series. As I said earlier this series is going to be fought evenly,” he said.The Aussie captain was not sure if pacer Dough Bollinger will be able to make it to the final XI.”Doug is recovering but I am not sure if he is going to be fit to play tomorrow, we will have to wait and see. He hasn’t had a bowl since straining his abdomen, I think we will have to wait and see how he pulls up after a bowl today.”advertisementPersistent rains have not only denied the two sides some valuable practice but are also threatening to play a spoilsport.Clarke said his team mates are itching to go out.”I think all the boys are sick to be going to the gym. We haven’t done much really to be honest. We are really keen to get outside and play the first ODI.”I think we will step out and do some running around, catch a few balls, get out of the hotel rooms. It’s been good for the body to have no cricket in the last two three days but we are very keen to play tomorrow,” he said.On being asked if Australia will field two spinners considering the help Indian pitches offer them, Clarke was not sure.”In all three forms of the game, Nathan Hauritz form has been very good in the last 12 months. He would have liked to perform better in the Test matches no doubt but Hauritz has been a good one-day bowler for a long time. Young Steven Smith is a good all rounder.”I haven’t been to the ground, so I have to look at the conditions and may be who knows both of them might be playing.We will wait and see tomorrow,” he said.With inputs from PTIlast_img read more


Lady Eagles don’t want any letup heading into Final Four

first_imgDuterte wants probe of SEA Games mess Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games PLAY LIST 01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting It’s official: Davao City is host of 2019 Palarong Pambansa Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—If other teams think that Ateneo would slack off after clinching a Final Four spot, the rest of the league should’ve thought otherwise.The Lady Eagles hold the best record in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament at 10-1 after brushing off National University 25-14, 24-26, 25-17, 25-19, Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img MOST READ Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles “I think it’s a good learning experience, we started a bit slow and losing the second set was just a reminder that we can’t take any team lightly and we have to challenge ourselves,” said Kat Tolentino, who finished with 13 points.“We have just have to always win convincingly and we’ll learn from this,” added Tolentino.Madayag, who had 12 points against the Lady Bulldogs, said that it’s imperative for the Lady Eagles to finish the tournament’s elimination round on a strong note so they could build momentum heading into the semifinals.“We have to finish strong in these final games and hopefully we can still improve on our game like minimize our errors,” said Madayag.ADVERTISEMENT Ateneo was also the first team in the tournament to clinch a spot to the big dance but co-captain Maddie Madayag said the Lady Eagles have no plans of letting up.“First and foremost we shouldn’t be complacent because it’s not part of our character and we don’t want to show that just because we’re part of the Final Four we’re going to go easy on them,” said Madayag in Filipino.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsNU stunned Ateneo in the second set and also had its moments in the third and fourth sets where it refused to fold.Ultimately, it was the rookie-laden Lady Bulldogs’ inexperience that decided the match when Ivy Lacsina’s final attempt sailed beyond the baseline. Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more


Andersson: Ibra has no influence

first_imgZlatan Ibrahimović Ibrahimovic has no influence on Sweden team, insists Andersson Joe Wright Last updated 1 year ago 21:34 6/17/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Zlatan Ibrahimovic LA Galaxy Sporting KC Getty Images Zlatan Ibrahimović World Cup Sweden v South Korea South Korea Sweden The LA Galaxy striker had an “extraordinary” career with his national team but his time has come and gone, the coach has said Sweden head coach Janne Andersson insists Zlatan Ibrahimovic has not had any influence on the team’s preparations for their World Cup opener with South Korea.LA Galaxy striker Ibrahimovic retired from international football after Euro 2016, but hinted at a possible return for this year’s finals in Russia during what proved to be a protracted commercial campaign.Andersson says the 36-year-old is now firmly out of the picture when it comes to Sweden’s plans and has not had any involvement at any stage of the build-up to Monday’s match in Nizhny Novgorod. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Arsenal would be selling their soul with Mourinho move He told a news conference: “I became the head coach almost exactly two years ago, after the Euros, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, together with a number of others, chose to announce they were leaving the national team.”I respected that and that was the end point of his extraordinary career for Sweden. He hasn’t had any involvement whatsoever with the team since.”There’s no link between him and the team, nor with any other players who have left.”A peculiar spying row has emerged ahead of the match, which will be Sweden’s first at a World Cup since their round-of-16 defeat to Germany in 2006.It was suggested Sweden’s main training ground in Gelendzhik made it too easy for rivals to watch their sessions, while there were accusations that scout Lars Jacobsson rented a house to make it easy to monitor South Korea’s pre-tournament camp in Austria.However, Andersson says the truth of the alleged ‘spying’ is more mundane.”He heard about a practice session, he didn’t understand it was a closed session, he was asked to leave and he watched from a distance,” he said.”It’s very important we show respect to our opponents. If it has been perceived another way, we apologise. You’re making a mountain out of a molehill.”Hidden tricks are only hidden if they stay hidden. I have nothing I’m hiding. As to the Korean head coach and his tricks, it’s entirely up to him.”Andersson also clarified the work done by the team’s “sports counsellor”, who has been working with the players on their mental fortitude.”I worked with him at my former team and he became a natural part of the team,” he explained. “There’s nothing strange about mental coaching.”He’s very, very good at what he does and he is an important part of our team.”last_img read more


Apples stock sours Microsofts soars Say what

first_imgWall Street investors are enamoured with a newly emergent tech company.It has nothing to do with posting selfies or finding a soul mate. The company is instead making billions of dollars selling cloud-computing and other technical services to offices around the world.Say hello to Microsoft, the 1990s home-computing powerhouse that is having a renaissance moment – eclipsing Facebook, Google, Amazon and the other tech darlings of the late decade.And now it is close to surpassing Apple as the world’s most valuable publicly traded company.Yes, that Microsoft. As other tech giants stumble, its steady resilience is paying off.That Microsoft is even close to eclipsing Apple — and did so briefly a few times this week — would have been unheard of just a few years ago.But under CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has found stability by moving away from its flagship Windows operating system and focusing on cloud-computing services with long-term business contracts.“Microsoft looks like they’ve finally turned the corner and have become a viable cloud player,” said Daniel Morgan, senior portfolio manager for Synovus Trust. “They’ve made a very strong transition away from the desktop.”A brief period of trading Monday was the first time in more than eight years that Microsoft was worth more than Apple. Microsoft surpassed Apple again briefly Tuesday, before Apple closed on top with a market value of $827 billion, just 0.5 per cent ahead of Microsoft’s $822 billion.Apple has been the world’s most prosperous firm since claiming the top spot from Exxon Mobil earlier this decade. Microsoft hasn’t been at the top since the height of the dot-com boom in 2000.Microsoft became a contender again in large part because Apple’s stock has fallen 25 per cent since early October, while Microsoft hasn’t done any worse than the rest of the stock market. But the fact that it hasn’t done poorly is a reflection of its steady focus on business customers in recent years.Just a few years ago, Microsoft’s prospects looked bleak. The company was dependent on licensing fees from the Windows operating system used in personal computers, but people were spending money instead on the latest smartphones. In 2013, PC sales plunged 10 per cent to about 315 million, the worst year-to-year drop ever, according to research firms Gartner and IDC. It didn’t help that Microsoft’s effort to make PCs more like phones, Windows 8, was widely panned.But a turnaround began when the Redmond, Washington, company promoted Nadella as CEO in 2014. He succeeded Microsoft’s longtime CEO, Steve Ballmer, who initially scoffed at the notion that people would be willing to pay $500 or more for Apple’s iPhones.That bet paid off. Windows is now a dwindling fraction of Microsoft’s business. While the company still runs consumer-focused businesses such as Bing search and Xbox gaming, it has prioritized business-oriented services such as its Office line of email and other workplace software, as well as newer additions such as LinkedIn and Skype. But its biggest growth has happened in the cloud, particularly the cloud platform it calls Azure. Cloud computing now accounts for more than a quarter of Microsoft’s revenue, and Microsoft rivals Amazon as a leading provider of such services.Being less reliant on consumer demand helped shield Microsoft from holiday season turbulence and U.S.-China trade war jitters affecting Apple and other tech companies.President Donald Trump amplified those tariff concerns when he told The Wall Street Journal in a story published late Monday that new tariffs could affect iPhones and laptops imported from China.The iPhone maker had already seen its stock fall after reporting a mixed bag of quarterly results earlier this month amid fears about how the technology industry will fare in the face of such threats as rising interest rates, increased government regulation and Trump’s escalating trade war with China.Apple also spooked investors with an unexpected decision to stop disclosing how many iPhones it sells each quarter. That move has been widely interpreted as a sign that Apple foresees further declines in iPhone sales and is trying to mask that.While smartphones caused the downturn in personal computers years ago, sales of smartphones themselves have now stalled. That’s partly because with fewer innovations from previous models, more people choose to hold on to the devices for longer periods before upgrading.Morgan said Microsoft is outperforming its tech rivals in part because of what it’s not. It doesn’t face as much regulatory scrutiny as advertising-hungry Google and Facebook, which have attracted controversy over their data-harvesting practices. Unlike Netflix, it’s not on a hunt for a diminishing number of international subscribers. And while Amazon also has a strong cloud business, it’s still more dependent on online retail.___AP Technology Writer Michael Liedtke contributed to this report.Matt O’Brien, The Associated Presslast_img read more


Akhilesh files nomination from Azamgarh

first_imgAzamgarh (UP): Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday filed his nomination papers for the Azamgarh Lok Sabha seat. The SP chief, accompanied by BSP national general secretary Satish Chandra Misra, arrived here this morning to a rousing reception by party workers who had gathered in large numbers. He later drove to the Collectorate to file his nomination papers as party supporters raised slogans outside. Coming out after filing his papers, Yadav said people will vote for the development works undertaken by his government here. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The SP chief said Azamgarh is the ‘karambhoomi’ of ‘samajwadis’ and exuded confidence that the people will continue to repose their faith in him by giving him blessings and support. Akhilesh Yadav is seeking election from the seat won by his father Mulayam Singh Yadav in the 2014 elections and is pitted against Bhojpuri superstar Nirahua or Dinesh Lal Yadav of BJP. Mulayam Singh had won from Azamgarh Lok Sabha seat in the 2014 elections along with the Mainpuri seat, which he had represented thrice earlier in 1996, 2004 and 2009 but had retained Azamgarh. Polling in Azamgarh is slated for the sixth phase on May 12.last_img read more


IAF chopper on PM Modi duty makes emergency landing

first_imgPratapgarh (UP): An IAF helicopter on a mission to review the security at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally venue on Wednesday developed a technical fault and made an emergency landing on the outskirts of the district here, police said. All persons onboard the chopper were safe. “The helicopter used for reviewing the secret security of the rally of Prime Minister Narendra Modi developed a technical fault and made an emergency landing at around 1.00 pm in Barapur village under Jethwara police station, 30 km from here after certain technical glitches were noticed,” Superintendent of Police S Anand said. Police rushed to the spot where the chopper had landed as soon as they got the news, he added. The prime minister, who addressed two election rallies in Ayodhya and Kaushambi on Wednesday, is likely to woo voters of Pratapgarh on Friday.last_img read more


Chesss New Best Player Is A Fearless Swashbuckling Algorithm

Chess is an antique, about 1,500 years old, according to most historians. As a result, its evolution seems essentially complete, a hoary game now largely trudging along. That’s not to say that there haven’t been milestones. In medieval Europe, for example, they made the squares on the board alternate black and white. In the 15th century, the queen got her modern powers.1Long ago, the queen could move only one square diagonally at a time.And in the 20th century came the computer. Chess was simple enough (not many rules, smallish board) and complicated enough (many possible games) to make a fruitful test bed for artificial intelligence programs. This attracted engineering brains and corporate money. In 1997, they broke through: IBM’s Deep Blue supercomputer defeated the world champion, Garry Kasparov. Humans don’t hold a candle to supercomputers, or even smartphones, in competition anymore. Top human players do, however, lean on computers in training, relying on them for guidance, analysis and insight. Computer engines now mold the way the game is played at its highest human levels: calculating, stodgy, defensive, careful. Or at least that’s how it has been. But if you read headlines from the chess world last month, you’d think the game was jolted forward again by an unexpected quantum leap. But to where?The revolutionary is known as AlphaZero. It’s a new neural network, reinforcement learning algorithm developed by DeepMind, Google’s secretive artificial intelligence subsidiary. Unlike other top programs, which receive extensive input and fine-tuning from programmers and chess masters, drawing on the wealth of accumulated human chess knowledge, AlphaZero is exclusively self-taught. It learned to play solely by playing against itself, over and over and over — 44 million games. It kept track of what strategies led to a win, favoring those, and which didn’t, casting those aside. After just four hours of this tabula rasa training, it clobbered the top chess program, an engine called Stockfish, winning 28 games, drawing 72 and losing zero. These results were described last month in a paper posted on arXiv, a repository of scientific research.Within hours, the chess world descended, like the faithful to freshly chiseled tablets of stone, on the sample of 10 computer-versus-computer games published in the paper’s appendix. Two broad themes emerged: First, AlphaZero adopted an all-out attacking style, making many bold material sacrifices to set up positional advantages. Second, elite chess may therefore not be as prone to dull draws as we thought. It will still be calculating, yes, but not stodgy, defensive and careful. Chess may yet have some evolution to go. For a taste of AlphaZero’s prowess, consider the following play from one of the published games. It’s worth emphasizing here just how good Stockfish, which is open source and was developed by a small team of programmers, is. It won the 2016 Top Chess Engine Championship, the premier computer tournament, and no human player who has ever lived would stand a chance against it in a match.It was AlphaZero’s turn to move, armed with the white pieces, against Stockfish with the black, in the position below: In the middle of the AlphaZero paper is a diagram called Table 2. It shows the 12 most popular chess openings played by humans, along with how frequently AlphaZero “discovered” and played those openings during its intense tabula rasa training. These openings are the result of extensive human study and trial — blood, sweat and tears — spread across the centuries and around the globe. AlphaZero taught itself them one by one: the English opening, the French, the Sicilian, the Queen’s gambit, the Caro-Kann.The diagram is a haunting image, as if a superfast algorithm had taught itself English in an afternoon and then re-created, almost by accident, full stanzas of Keats. But it’s also reassuring. That we even have a theory of the opening moves in chess is an artifact of our status as imperfect beings. There is a single right and best way to begin a chess game. Mathematical theory tells us so. We just don’t know what it is. Neither does AlphaZero.Yet.DeepMind was also responsible for the program AlphaGo, which has bested the top humans in Go, that other, much more complex ancient board game, to much anguish and consternation. An early version of AlphaGo was trained, in part, by human experts’ games — tabula inscripta. Later versions, including AlphaZero, stripped out all traces of our history.“For a while, for like two months, we could say to ourselves, ‘Well, the Go AI contains thousands of years of accumulated human thinking, all the rolled up knowledge of heuristics and proverbs and famous games,’” Frank Lantz, the director of NYU’s Game Center, told me. “We can’t tell that story anymore. If you don’t find this terrifying, at least a little, you are made of stronger stuff than me. I find it terrifying, but I also find it beautiful. Everything surprising is beautiful in a way.” AlphaZero is already behind by two pawns, and its bishop is, in theory, less powerful than one of Stockfish’s rooks. It’s losing badly on paper. AlphaZero moved its pawn up a square, to g4 — innocuous enough. But now consider Stockfish’s black position. Any move it makes leaves it worse off than if it hadn’t moved at all! It can’t move its king, or its queen, without disaster. It can’t move its rooks because its f7 pawn would die and its king would be in mortal danger. It can’t move any of its other pawns without them being captured. It can’t do anything. But that’s the thing about chess: You have to move. This situation is known as zugzwang, German for “forced move.” AlphaZero watches while Stockfish walks off its own plank. Stockfish chose to move its pawn forward to d5; it was immediately captured by the white bishop as the attack closed further in.You could make an argument that that game, and the other games between the two computers, were some of the strongest contests of chess, over hundreds of years and billions of games, ever played.But were they fair? After the AlphaZero research paper was published, some wondered if the scales were tipped in AlphaZero’s favor. Chess.com received a lengthy comment from Tord Romstad, one of Stockfish’s creators. “The match results by themselves are not particularly meaningful,” Romstad said. He cited the fact that the games were played giving each program one minute per move — a rather odd decision, given that games get much more complicated as they go on and that Stockfish was programmed to be able to allocate its time wisely. Players are typically allowed to distribute their allotted time across their moves as they see fit, rather than being hemmed in to a specific amount of time per turn. Romstad also noted that an old version of Stockfish was used, with settings that hadn’t been properly tested and data structures insufficient for those settings.Romstad called the comparison of Stockfish to AlphaZero “apples to orangutans.” A computer analysis of the zugzwang game, for example, reveals that Stockfish, according to Stockfish, made four inaccuracies, four mistakes and three blunders. Not all iterations of Stockfishes are created equal.DeepMind declined to comment for this article, citing the fact that its AlphaZero research is under peer review.Strong human players want to see more, ideally with the playing field more level. “I saw some amazing chess, but I also know we did not get the best possible,” Robert Hess, an American grandmaster, told me. “This holds true for human competition as well: If you gave Magnus [Carlsen] and Fabiano [Caruana] 24 hours per move, would there be any wins? How few mistakes? In being practical, we sacrifice perfection for efficiency.”Chess.com surveyed a number of top grandmasters, who were assembled this month for a tournament in London (the home of DeepMind), about what AlphaZero means for their profession. Sergey Karjakin, the Russian world championship runner-up, said he’d pay “maybe $100,000” for access to the program. One chess commentator joked that Russian president Vladimir Putin might help Karjakin access the program to prepare for next year’s Candidates Tournament. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, the top French player, said it was “worth easily seven figures.” Wesley So, the U.S. national champion, joked that he’d call Rex Sinquefield, the wealthy financier and chess philanthropist, to see how much he’d pony up.“I don’t think this changes the landscape of human chess much at all for the time being,” the grandmaster Hess told me. “We don’t have the ability to memorize everything, and the games themselves were more or less perfect models of mostly known concepts.”In some aesthetic ways, though, AlphaZero represents a computer shift toward the human approach to chess. Stockfish evaluated 70 million positions per second, a brute-force number suitable to hardware, while AlphaZero evaluated only 80,000, relying on its “intuition,” like a human grandmaster would. Moreover, AlphaZero’s style of play — relentless aggression — was thought to be “refuted” by stodgy engines like Stockfish, leading to the careful and draw-prone style that currently dominates the top ranks of competitive chess.But maybe it’s more illustrative to say that AlphaZero played like neither a human nor a computer, but like an alien — some sort of chess intelligence which we can barely fathom. “I find it very positive!” David Chalmers, a philosopher at NYU who studies AI and the singularity, told me. “Just because it’s alien to us now doesn’t mean it’s something that humans could never have gotten to.” read more


After loss to No 1 Virginia silver lining apparent for Ohio State

The No. 4 Ohio State men’s tennis team is looking to keep its undefeated record at home this season in tact when it hosts Notre Dame and LSU this weekend. The Buckeyes (10-2) head into the matchups coming off a trip to the semifinals in the International Tennis Association (ITA) Team Indoor Championship in Seattle, Wash. OSU secured shutout victories against two ranked opponents during the tournament run, beating both then-No. 13 California and then-No. 5 Pepperdine, 4-0, before falling to No. 1 Virginia, 4-3, in semifinal play. In the semifinal loss to the Cavaliers, OSU doubles tandems continued their 2013 win streak when the teams of junior Blaz Rola and redshirt sophomore Kevin Metka and redshirt senior Devin McCarthy and junior Ille Van Engelen won their matches, 8-4 and 8-6, respectively. In singles, after a 6-4, 6-2 victory from Rola, OSU forfeited its 2-0 lead as redshirt sophomore Hunter Callahan, redshirt freshman Chris Diaz and McCarthy all lost their individual matches. A win by senior Connor Smith tied the match 3-3 before the Cavaliers captured the winning point in a showdown featuring the top two players in the nation, Virginia’s Alex Domijan (No. 1) and OSU’s redshirt junior Peter Kobelt (No. 2). The scoreboard favored Domijan, 6-3, 3-6, 7-5. “We got the doubles point, and seemed to be off on the right foot,” said coach Ty Tucker. “Overall, the guys fought hard and played hard.” The close loss against the nation’s top team in Virginia gave the Buckeyes optimism for how the team will fare down the stretch. “We noticed that we have a pretty good team,” McCarthy said. “We have some guys who are stepping up. We obviously lost to the No. 1 team in the country, so just trying to build upon that and realizing that at the end of the year we could win a national title.” Van Engelen said the team knew they had the potential to knock off Virginia but fell short. “(The loss) is also perspective for the future, because they are the No. 1 team in the country and have amazing players, so if we can compete with them so closely now, that’s perfect,” Van Engelen said. Since both losses for the Buckeyes this season have taken place on the road, facing off against No. 25 Notre Dame and No. 24 LSU in Columbus should serve as an advantage for OSU, which has not lost at home in more than 150 matches. “The guys are comfortable here. We have two very good teams coming in, and we need to play good tennis,” said assistant coach Justin Kronauge. “After a tough loss, I think they are ready to get out there and put on a good show this weekend.” With only several matches before conference play kicks off, OSU players plan on keeping a high level of intensity on the court. “Especially since we are traveling to North Carolina right after (this weekend), it’s important to get back into the rhythm, win our matches and get back in the flow,” Van Engelen said. McCarthy credited Tucker for always telling the team to focus on “getting 10 percent better” and then seeing where the team is by the end of the season. “I think it’s kind of to this point where it’s ‘push through,’” McCarthy said. “You never know at the end of the season – we might win (a national title).” The matches against Notre Dame and LSU are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Both matches are set to begin at noon at the Varsity Tennis Center. read more


Commentary SECs depth argument seems unrealistic

In college football it is widely accepted the Southeastern Conference is the best.Seven straight national championships is hard to argue with, especially when six of those title games have been by double digits.But the argument that the SEC is the deepest conference in America because any team can beat any team doesn’t seem to be realistic.From the start of the 2012 season until last Friday, the top six teams in the SEC based on their conference record: Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas A&M had a combined total of one loss to the bottom eight teams in the conference.Now after five of those teams lost to lower tier SEC squads – LSU to Ole Miss, Texas A&M to Auburn, South Carolina to Tennessee, Florida to Missouri and Georgia to Vanderbilt – the conference is being touted as the deepest in America.That just doesn’t seem logical, you cannot go from being blatantly top heavy to ultra deep just because the stars lined up one weekend and a bunch of teams lost.One week simply does not make a deep conference.If things continue along this trend and the top teams continue to falter then maybe that argument could be made, but for now, it doesn’t have enough merit.Even if you look at the SEC’s national titles over its collective run of dominance it is top heavy. Of the four championships won since Florida claimed their second in 2008-09, Alabama has won the title three times, with arch-rival Auburn being the only team to unseat them.And after the BCS rankings were released Sunday, the Crimson Tide, ranked No. 1, look poised to bring home another this year.If you are a league that supposedly boasts parity then shouldn’t those championships be more spread out? Wouldn’t you expect a team like Georgia or Texas A&M to contend for a championship?Last season the argument was made that the Big Ten conference was made up of Ohio State, who could not participate in the postseason because of sanctions stemming from tattoo-gate, and then everyone else.Couldn’t you make the same argument with Alabama this season?Sure, until someone manages to unseat the SEC as reigning national champions they will remain as the class of college football. But the conference doesn’t need the added hype making it seem better than it is.The gap in talent between conferences is closing, but until the SEC is brought back down to earth things will remain as they are in college football. read more


Football 3 Ohio State defensive players to watch in the Spring Game

Ohio State then-freshman linebacker Baron Browning (5) attempts to stop a Scarlet Knight in the fourth quarter against Rutgers on Sep. 30. Ohio State won 56-0. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorOhio State entered last spring with many starters on its veteran-laden defense set. Not to mention, multiple players, including defensive ends Tyquan Lewis, Nick Bosa and Sam Hubbard and linebacker Jerome Baker, had already established themselves as playmakers.But this season, beyond defensive end Nick Bosa and defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones, not many potential game-changers are known. A lot of talent exists on the defense, but most remain unproven.A number of highly regarded freshmen — including four five-star prospects — were added to Ohio State’s defense last season, but the vast majority either played in reserve roles or did not play at all. The Spring Game will offer the first chance to watch many of them play extended minutes. Here are some players on the Buckeyes’ defense to watch in Saturday’s Spring Game.Chase YoungThe moment former five-star prospect and sophomore defensive end Chase Young stepped on campus, his chiseled 6-foot-5, 265-pound frame stuck out. The enormous 18-year-old almost became a punch line with many people comparing him physically to an NFL player, despite having recently graduated from high school.Ohio State then-freshman defensive end Chase Young (2) waits in between plays in the fourth quarter of the Ohio State- UNLV game on Sept. 23, 2017. Ohio State won 54- 21. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorNow, with a year of experience, Young’s time has arrived.With Hubbard, Lewis and Jalyn Holmes off to the NFL, defensive end went from a position of enormous depth to a top-heavy unit manned by one stud, a duo of highly regarded, yet inexperienced players and a former defensive tackle. Therefore, it is pertinent for Young to make the leap from five-star prospect to impact player.Having spent a season backing up that trio and Bosa, the sophomore defensive end should now be ready to slide into a starting role opposite Bosa. Young picked up 3.5 sacks last season and should be in line to more than double that tally in 2018.Though quarterbacks sometimes wear a different color of jersey in the Spring Game that dictates they aren’t allowed to be hit, that likely will not be the case Saturday with no guaranteed starter. With signal-callers able to be hit, the Spring Game referees should be ready to blow their whistles quickly because Young is coming for the quarterback trio.Baron BrowningAnother former five-star prospect, sophomore linebacker Baron Browning earned special teams reps and mop-up duty on defense early in the season, but gained more playing time toward the end of the year. With Baker and Chris Worley gone and redshirt sophomore Tuf Borland sidelined with an Achilles injury, Browning has a chance to earn a starting position in his second collegiate season. However, he has to beat out a number of worthy, experienced linebackers in Malik Harrison, Keandre Jones, Dante Booker, Pete Werner and Justin Hilliard to make an impact.Browning stands out when he walks onto the field due to his uncommon combination of size and speed. His physical gifts have even impressed head coach Urban Meyer, who called him “as talented a linebacker as has ever walked through these doors.”“He’s got it all now. He’s got A to Z,” Meyer said. “An intelligent guy, a good person, and God has blessed him with an incredible skillset.”That skillset allows him to play all three linebacker positions. Though with Borland likely set as the starting middle linebacker, he will likely have his best shot at playing time on the outside.Every opportunity counts when a large group of players is interlocked in a position battle. And everyone will have their final shot to make an impression during spring practice on Saturday. The most physically gifted player at his position, Browning should stand out.Shaun WadeOne of Ohio State’s two five-star cornerbacks in the 2018 recruiting class, Shaun Wade did not get nearly the opportunity offered to fellow five-star cornerback Jeffrey Okudah. Wade’s body would not allow it. He underwent abdominal surgery during the season and never saw the field.Ohio State then-freshman cornerback Shaun Wade warms up prior to the Buckeyes’ season-opening 49-21 win over Indiana on Aug. 31 in Bloomington, Indiana. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports EditorNow a redshirt freshman, Wade has the opportunity to make the impact many thought he would last season. Redshirt junior cornerbacks Kendall Sheffield and Damon Arnette, along with Okudah, stand in the way of Wade earning starter-level snaps to start the year. But considering his rank as the second-best cornerback in the 2017 class, the now-healthy Wade should push for snaps. And with Okudah sitting out spring practice and the Spring Game due to having surgery on a torn labrum that has bothered him since high school, Wade has a chance to shine.In the past, the Buckeyes relied on a three-cornerback rotation. With Kerry Coombs gone, new cornerbacks coach Taver Johnson said he intends to maintain the rotation, provided he has three starter-quality cornerbacks. With Okudah out for the spring, Wade has a chance to prove he can break into the trio of rotating starters.And with all eyes on the quarterback battle during the Spring Game, the opportunity exists for Wade to make a statement in front of a crowd. read more


Hugo Lloris handed £50k fine and a driving ban

first_imgTottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has been banned from driving for 20 months and fined £50,000 after entering a guilty plea for drink-drivingThe 31-year-old attended a hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court early today after being detained by police on August 24.The court was how Lloris provided a sample containing 80 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, which is two times over the legal limit in the United Kingdom.Lloris was spotted by an unmarked police car while driving his Porsche Panamera in the early hours.Prosecutor Henry Fitch claimed that the Frenchman went past a red light before being stopped.Cristiano Ronaldo, Nemanja Vidic, Manchester UnitedVidic: “Ronaldo is the most professional footballer I’ve seen” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Nemanja Vidic opened up on how a 21-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo’s professionalism left him stunned at Manchester United.But Lloris’ lawyer, David Sonn, said that his client had been dining in a restaurant where he received drinks from fellow diners.“On July 15 he was arguably the proudest man on the planet [after France’s World Cup triumph],” Mr Sonn said on BBC.“Just 40 days later, he was arrested. He experienced the indignity of being handcuffed and put in a police station overnight.“The spectacular fall from grace is not lost on Mr Lloris,” he said.last_img read more



Technology outages compound DMV inefficiencies and wait times

first_img Posted: August 16, 2018 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsKUSI’s Sasha Foo takes a closer look at recent technology outages at local DMV’s, that combined with inefficiencies and long wait times, have made the problems with California DMV’s even worse. August 16, 2018 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter Sasha Foo Technology outages compound DMV inefficiencies and wait times Sasha Foo, last_img read more



Exposed database reveals personal information of 16 million job seekers

first_img Share your voice Tags This data breach response tool tells you what to do next Data breaches can sucker-punch you. Prepare to fight back What to do when your data is exposed or stolen Now playing: Watch this: 1:48 An exposed database reveals personal info for 1.6 million job seekers around the world. Graphic by Pixabay/Illustration by CNET An unsecured database of personal information, including phone numbers, salary expectations and openness to new job opportunities, of about 1.6 million job seekers from around the world has been discovered online, according to research published Monday. The database, found by independent researcher Anurag Sen in May, includes information on professionals from the US, Australia, Japan and several other countries.The database appears to be owned by Indian recruitment company Talanton AI. It’s hosted in plain text on a cloud server, and anyone with a web browser can access it with the right web address. Names in the database include potential job seekers with high-profile roles in the Australian government, at Tommy Hilfiger Japan and in the FBI’s Domestic Security Alliance Council, a public-private partnership that shares information about cybersecurity threats with the government.Sen released the research as a contractor for Safety Detective, an Israeli company that reviews antivirus software. A researcher at Safety Detective who helped vet the information said the exposure could put workers in an awkward position at their jobs. What’s more, phone numbers and email addresses can help scammers who want to impersonate company officials.The data appears to have been found on LinkedIn profiles, as well as with direct outreach to job seekers. Safety Detective checked some of the information and determined it was real. Post a comment The exposure is an example of a serious, ongoing problem that can inadvertently affect almost anyone. Companies around the globe have moved sensitive information to cloud servers, but many lack the expertise to do so securely. The transition has led to exposures of sensitive health information, financial data and private contact information. Even children’s information has been exposed.A database exposure is not the same as a hack, because you don’t need to break into a computer system to find the data. Instead, you just need to find the right IP address, which is the distinct numerical address assigned to each page on the internet. There’s no indication hackers have accessed the information in the Talanton AI database.In May, Sen found an unsecured database owned by Indian marketing company Chttrbox, which contained contact information for Instagram influencers. The data wasn’t private, but had been collected in a manner that violated Instagram’s terms of service, according to the photo-sharing service.A community of researchers around the world spend their time hunting down exposed databases and trying to get them fixed, but new databases with poor security come online every day, experts say.Talanton AI’s website doesn’t appear to be fully functional. Links and buttons on the home page lead to 404 error messages or do nothing. When contacted about the exposure, a Talanton representative said he would share the information with the appropriate person.Sen’s research indicated that the database is hosted on a cloud server operated by Tata Communications. Tata said it doesn’t host the Talanton AI database.It isn’t the responsibility of a cloud service provider to secure client information, but some will notify customers if a problem is discovered and will help protect the data.Originally published June 17.Correction, June 28: This story has been updated to indicate that Tata Communications doesn’t host the Talanton AI database. Security Internet Privacy 0 A database with info on 80M+ US households was left open…last_img read more


Bentley will electrify all of its models by 2023

first_imgChevrolet ColoradoMaking its debut in the top 10 is the Chevrolet Colorado. Shown here in the tough ZR2 Bison off-road spec, the Chevy Colorado is an excellent truck and one of the two midsize pickups you can get with a diesel engine. Adding to the ZR2’s two-inch lift and front and rear locking differentials, the Bison gets beefier skid plates (trust me, that’s a good thing), steel bumpers and integrated recovery points. Heck, you can even get a snorkel.Base models get a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with a six-speed manual transmission, but a more popular choice is the 3.6-liter V6 gas engine with 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Meanwhile, the 2.8-liter diesel pumps out 186 horsepower and a delicious 369 pound-feet of twist and is mated to a six-speed automatic. The Chevy Colorado is built in Wentzville, Missouri. 2019 GMC Sierra Denali review: So close to greatness Honda OdysseyThe feature-rich Honda Odyssey minivan also retains its number-two slot from last year’s list. While the 2019 model doesn’t see any changes from last, it’s still a darn good choice for families on the go with reconfigurable seats, Wi-Fi and an excellent rear-seat entertainment system. The Cabin Watch video system lets parents keep an eye on their little darlings without turning around in their seats, while Cabin Talk amplifies their voice so no yelling is required.The Odyssey is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 rated for 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Most trims get a nine-speed automatic but the top Touring and Elite trims now use a 10-speed automatic with stop-start technology. The Honda Odyssey is made in Lincoln, Alabama. 1 26 Photos 2020 Bentley Bentayga Hybrid first drive: One posh plug-in Bentley’s first SUV is a 187-mph, all-terrain luxocrat Comment 2019 Honda Odyssey offers plenty of room and features for families Share your voice Share your voice 52 Photos Honda PilotDropping down to seventh place for 2019 is the Honda Pilot. Like its two-row Passport sibling, the three-row Pilot offers parent-focused technology like Cabin Talk as well as myriad standard driver-assistance features through the Honda Sensing tech suite. Honda’s largest crossover offers up nearly 84 cubic feet of cargo space. Honda’s 3.5-liter V6 engine shows up again, making a serviceable 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Touring and Elite trims get a nine-speed automatic transmission while lower trims have to make do with a six-speed auto. The Honda Pilot is made in Lincoln, Alabama. 12 Photos Jeep CherokeeKeeping its top-of-the-list placement, the Jeep Cherokee is 2019’s most American-made car. Refreshed for 2019, the compact crossover now features more tech, better cargo space and a slightly tweaked look. It’s available in no fewer the nine trims, including the off-road specific Trailhawk and a fancy-pants Trailhawk Elite.For 2019, the Cherokee gets a new 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine with 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, though naturally aspirated I4 and V6 choices are also available. Regardless of engine, a nine-speed automatic transmission gets the power to the pavement — or dirt as the case may be. The Cherokee is made in Belvidere, Illinois. 81 Photos 2019 Honda Passport: A well-rounded midsize offering 2019 Acura RDX A-Spec: Sharp handling, sharper looks More From Roadshow Acura MDXMoving up one slot to sixth place on the American Made Index is the non-hybrid variant of the Acura MDX. With its SH-AWD system, the MDX is one of the better handling midsize luxury crossovers, and for 2019 the company gives us the A-Spec treatment with a new front fascia and side skirts, 20-inch wheels, wider exhaust tips, unique gauges, a new steering wheel, carbon fiber trim and various Alcantara interior touches.However, both the standard and A-Spec models get a 3.5-liter V6 engine, rated for 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque going through a nine-speed automatic transmission. The Acura MDX is made in East Liberty, Ohio.  2019 Honda Ridgeline: The commuter’s pickup truck Acura RDXThe third-generation Acura RDX squeaks into the top ten list with larger proportions, plenty of interior space and better handling than its predecessor. Forward collision warning with collision mitigation braking, adaptive cruise control that works even in low-speed traffic, lane-keeping steering assist and road departure mitigation are all standard across the board. Like its MDX counterpart, the RDX is available with the A-Spec styling package.The RDX sports a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine. Output is stated at 273 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, and it’s mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The new RDX is built in East Liberty, Ohio. Honda RidgelineAgain keeping the status quo, the Honda Ridgeline maintains third place on the American Made Index. This crossover-that-looks-like-a-truck provides a better ride than a traditional pickup and gets an awesome lockable trunk right in the floor of the bed. And it doesn’t do the truck stuff too badly, either, as it’s able to carry 1,860 pounds of payload and tow 3,500 pounds.The Ridgeline is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 good for 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. That is channeled through a six-speed automatic transmission with available all-wheel drive. It’s built in Lincoln, Alabama. 2019 GMC Canyon: A fancier Colorado 49 Photos Honda PassportThe Honda Passport is a new (well, reborn) entry to both the Honda lineup and the American Made Index. This midsize crossover comes to the fray with great driving dynamics and plenty of tech like the standard Honda Sensing suite of active safety features. An available 8-inch touchscreen gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as a Wi-Fi hotspot.Under the hood is the stalwart 3.5-liter V6 producing 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. However unlike the Ridgeline, the Passport sends that power through a nine-speed automatic transmission. Having said that, just like the Ridgeline, this is the only powertrain available. The Honda Passport is built in Lincoln, Alabama. Comments Bentayga Hybrid electrifies the Bentley lineupcenter_img 2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison: An off-road animal Tags 2019 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport loves to hustle 68 Photos 2019 Honda Ridgeline review: Light duty, heavy punch 71 Photos Bentley Bentley,Enlarge ImageIt’s all in a day’s work for the Jeep Cherokee, the most American-made car in 2019. Jeep With high trade tensions looming and increasing talk of tariffs, more and more consumers are looking to buy American. Cars.com has released its annual American Made Index, showcasing companies that use the most American-sourced parts and labor in their vehicles. The results may surprise you.Cars.com analyzed more than 100 US-built vehicles for five key data points: manufacturing location, parts sourcing, US employment, engine sourcing and transmission sourcing. You might think something like the Ford F-150 would top the list, but it drops from its No. 5 spot for 2018 and out of the top 10 completely. Even the first-place holder, the Jeep Cherokee, is a pretty global product. It’s a Jeep, sure, but that brand is part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, an Italian-owned business.Cars.com surveyed 1,000 people and found that half are concerned about automotive import tariffs, with 41% saying they are unsure if tariffs would make them more likely to buy American. Either way, we’re big fans of all the vehicles on this list. These days, buying American doesn’t necessarily mean sticking with a US-based automaker. 2020 Bentley Continental GT V8 first drive: A more athletic grand tourer Car Industry Luxury cars Hybrids Electric Cars 2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison: A tougher off-roader 2019 Honda Pilot Elite: A smoother, tech-rich crossover SUV Enlarge ImageThe Bentayga Hybrid will go on sale later this year. Bentley Bentley’s first plug-in, the Bentayga Hybrid, will go on sale in the US near the end of this year. But it won’t be the brand’s only electrified model for long.”We will bring out hybrid versions of all our models by 2023,” Chris Craft, Bentley’s board member for sales and marketing, told Roadshow during a media event in California on Monday. It’s unclear which vehicles will gain electrification first, and Bentley did not say whether or not these new models will use a version of the Bentayga’s plug-in hybrid drivetrain.Bentley won’t stop there, though. “The next big focal point is to launch our first full electric car,” Craft said, “which we will do by 2025.”Craft believes electrified vehicles will fit nicely in Bentley’s portfolio, and sees a huge opportunity in this space. “Over 30% of luxury buyers are interested in electric cars,” he said. “That will be a big part of our future.” General Motors Chevrolet Honda Jeep Acura 3 18 Photos 10 Photos Chevrolet CorvetteMoving up from the 10th-place slot last year is the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette. While we’ve all been ogling the new mid-engine Corvette, it’s easy to forget what a performance bargain the current-generation ‘Vette is. From the base trim to the Grand Sport to the bonkers ZR1, the Corvette is an American icon.My preference is for the Grand Sport, which strikes a perfect balance between everyday drivability and canyon-carving performance. The 6.2-liter V8 puts out 460 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. You can get it with a seven-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission, but the kicker is the borrowed chassis and aero parts from the beefier Z06. Like I said, perfect balance. The Corvette is made in Bowling Green, Kentucky. 2019 Jeep Cherokee can handle the rough stuff More From Roadshow 69 Photos GMC CanyonIf you’re looking for a slightly fancier version of the Colorado that’s more focused on luxe than dirt, check out the GMC Canyon. The top Denali trim gets standard heated and ventilated front seats as well as a heated steering wheel. Maximum payload capability is 1,665 pounds while max towing is a fairly healthy 7,600 pounds.The Canyon is available with the same 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, 3.6-liter V6 or 2.8-liter diesel as the Chevrolet Colorado. It’s also built in Wentzville, Missouri. Tags 2019 Acura MDX adds new features and an A-Spec model 68 Photoslast_img read more


Centre Asks SC to Spare 46 Illegal Coal Blocks to Meet Power

first_imgThe Central Government, on Monday, urged the Supreme Court to take immediate action on the fate of the illegal coal block allocations, but has requested not to invalidate 46 operational ones.Pointing at the critical power condition in the country, Attorney General Mukul Rahtogi asked the apex court to spare at least 46 coal blocks that has been declared illegal among 218 total blocks.He told the court that these blocks are either producing coal or is in the process of producing the much needed fuel at the time. A total of 40 blocks is currently operational while rest 6 blocks are expected to become operational shortly, Times of India reported.However, Rohtagi told SC that the Centre would accept whatever decision the apex court takes on the coal block allocation scam.The Centre is ready for the cancellation of the illegal and arbitrary allocation but urged the SC to take immediate decision as government would need to begin instant auctioning of the coal blocks to meet the power needs, as India is dependent mostly on coal as fuel for power generation.On 26 August, SC had declared that all coal blocks allocations between 1993 and 2011 lacked transparency and were issued through illegal methods; and whether or not all the allocations would be cancelled has to be decided in hearings starting from Monday.last_img read more


ICICI Group launches 100 ICICI Digital Villages

first_imgICICI Foundation has imparted free-of-cost training under its ‘ICICI Academy for Skills – Rural Initiative’ programme at these villages. Any resident of the village is eligible to get the training free of cost. The skill training is offered in a range of disciplines, which are identified based on the local economy around a particular village. The bank and ICICI Foundation assist the villagers in selling products through their market linkages in the local and nearby catchment areas. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley with Chanda Kochhar, managing director and chief executive officer of ICICI Bank at the inauguration of 100 Digital Villages in New Delhi on May 2, 2017.IANSThe ICICI Group on Tuesday dedicated 100 “ICICI Digital Villages” to the nation at an event in New Delhi, marking the bank’s efforts to partner the nation’s progress by empowering rural India. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who also currently holds defence portfolio, inaugurated the event, ‘ICICI Rural Summit – Sashakt Gaon, Samriddh Bharat.’The inauguration of the digital villages follows the bank’s commitment given in November 2016 to transform 100 villages into ‘ICICI Digital Villages’ in as many days. The programme involves end to end digitisation of transactions and other commercial activities, providing vocational training to villagers, extending credit facility and helping the villagers to access markets and earn a sustainable livelihood.The 100 villages which have been transformed into ‘ICICI Digital Villages’ are located across 17 states in India. These include 16 in Gujarat, 14 each in Maharashtra & Madhya Pradesh, 12 each in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and 11 in Rajasthan among others.Chanda Kochhar, Managing Director and CEO, ICICI Bank, spoke about the features of the villages. “We have created a less cash ecosystem at these villages, provided vocational training to over 11,300 villagers, including more than 7500 women and offered them credit linkages. We have done all of these in the past 100 days. We intend to expand the number of such villages by another 500 by December 2017. In the process, we will train an additional 50,000 individuals and impact 12.5 lakh lives,” she said.The villages are spread across the length and breadth of the country; the villagers can use digital channels for banking and payments transactions.They can also open bank accounts using Aadhar-based e-KYC (electronic Know Your Customer), make cashless payments at retail stores using Point-of-Sale (POS) machines and use an SMS based mobile solution. Villagers can also deposit and withdraw cash at their doorstep. The digitisation at the village dairy co-operative units enables the societies to pay the members digitally and directly into their bank accounts.Additionally, ICICI Bank in association with ICICI Foundation for Inclusive Growth (ICICI Foundation), the CSR arm of the ICICI Group, is imparting free vocational training to the villagers with a special focus on training women.As of now, over 11,300 villagers, including more than 7500 women, have been trained in the last 100 days to help them earn a sustainable livelihood. The bank is also extending credit facilities to credit-worthy trained villagers in a bid to boost self-employment opportunities in the villages. The programme has positively impacted the lives of nearly 2.5 lakh people here.This ambitious move of transforming over 100 villages into digital villages is inspired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision to scale up the digital village programme. In January 2015, he had dedicated the first ‘ICICI Digital Village’ at Akodara in Sabarkantha district of Gujarat, to the nation at an event commemorating 60 years of the ICICI Group.The ‘ICICI Digital Villages’ initiative have many significant benefits and aspects: ICICI Bank is using Aadhar-based e-KYC to help villagers open accounts in a paperless manner, without submitting physical documents. The saving accounts are linked to Aadhar to enable direct transfer of government benefits into these accounts. There is a dedicated ICICI Bank branch in each village to service these accounts. The bank has provided an SMS based mobile service which facilitates the villagers to transfer funds, receive SMS alerts & mini-statements and know their account balance. It is available in 10 regional languages and functions on basic feature phones as well. These languages are Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu. The bank has also set up POS machines which enables the retailers at the village including merchants, ration shops and village dairy cooperatives to accept digital payments. The Bank has also equipped Business Correspondents (BC) at these villages with micro-ATMs with GPRS facility. This allows villagers to deposit and withdraw cash by authenticating themselves with their Rupay debit card or through Aadhar based biometric authentication. Over 260 POS and micro-ATMs have been installed across these villages. · The list of the disciplines includes comprehensive agriculture, dairy and vermicomposting, agriculture equipment service and repair, dress designing and sandstone cutting, mobile phone servicing and electrical home appliances. These trainings are of duration of 15 to 30 days.center_img ICICI Bank facilitates the villagers to form Self Help Groups (SHGs) and Joint Liability Groups (JLGs) and then offers loans to the members. ICICI Bank is also extending loan facilities to the credit-worthy villagers in the form of Kisan credit cards, gold loans and farm equipment loans among others. The bank sanctions these loans using tablet devices at the door step of the villagers and SHGs, thus helping them to save time and effort to travel to a nodal branch. Additionally, the bank has created a cashless payment solution for the village milk cooperative societies and its members for sale of milk. Available across many villages, it has enabled the members to receive money directly into their accounts. A signboard of the ICICI Bank is pictured outside an automated teller machine (ATM) booth in New Delhi, India, March 4, 2016.Reuters filelast_img read more