Another journalist’s body found

first_imgNews Follow the news on Mexico Organisation May 5, 2021 Find out more MexicoAmericas Reporter Pablo Ruelas Barraza was found shot to death in Huatabampo (Sonora state, northwest Mexico) on 13 June, apparently executed by two gunmen who tried first to kidnap him. Ruelas, 38, worked for regional dailies Diario del Yaqui in Huatabampo and El Regional de Sonora in Hermosillo. The past month has been grim for the country’s journalists. Local media said Ruelas Barraza, a general reporter, had received death threats. Reporters Without Borders called on investigators to consider that he might have been killed because of his work and warned that focusing on his previous brushes with the law must not be allowed to interfere with this. The organisation said the killing again raised the issue of when the federal government was going to apply the new agreement on protecting journalists signed last November. News May 13, 2021 Find out more MexicoAmericas 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies Receive email alerts News RSF_en Help by sharing this information to go further A total of 74 journalists have been murdered in Mexico since 2000 and 13 others have disappeared. The government’s war against drug-traffickers has cost about 40,000 lives since December 2006.Cartoon : Hernández_____________________________________10.06.11 – Acapulco daily’s news editor missing for past three daysMarco Antonio López Ortiz, the news editor of Novedades Acapulco, a daily based in the resort city of Acapulco (in the southwestern state of Guerrero), has been missing since 11:30 p.m. on 7 June, when he was kidnapped by several individuals as he went to meet a woman friend in a bar, according to reports yesterday on the websites of his newspaper and El Sur, another local paper. Colleagues from Novedades Acapulco found his car outside the bar.The staff of the two newspapers did not want to provide Reporters Without Borders with any additional information about the case. The Guerrero State Commission for Human Rights (CEDH) said no complaint had been filed with the commission by López’s family by yesterday evening.“Like CEDH president Juan Alarcón Hernández, we voice our solidarity with López’s family and colleagues and we hope he will be found safe and sound soon, even if the outcome of the most recent disappearance of a journalist in Mexico makes us fear the worse. There have been many murders and disappearance in this region and two journalists were murdered in Guerrero last year without any progress in the investigation until now.”Violence against journalists, human rights activists and civil society representatives continues unabated as a “peace caravan” that set off from the southern city of Cuernavaca six days ago continues to head for the US border, where it is due to arrive tomorrow. Led by Javier Sicilia, a poet whose son was murdered in March, it is intended to remind the federal authorities of the terrible toll from their offensive against drug trafficking – 40,000 dead since December 2006.“Organized crime has to be combated but the authorities, who are themselves often its accomplices, cannot continue this insane offensive that has plunged the country into a state of war and sacrificed so many innocent lives,” Reporters Without Borders added. “The international community is not doing enough to denounce this collapse of the rule of law. What remains of civil liberties as armed terror continues to reign?”Reporters Without Borders will continue as long as necessary to relay the important “No more blood – No + sangre” campaign by leading Mexican cartoonists. A total of 73 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 2000, and 13 (including López) have gone missing since 2003. April 28, 2021 Find out more June 14, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Another journalist’s body found Reporter murdered in northwestern Mexico’s Sonora state NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say Reportslast_img read more

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Redknapp taking nothing for granted

first_imgQPR manager Harry Redknapp believes his relegation-bound side will find it hard to secure an immediate return to the Barclays Premier League. Redknapp added: “Whatever happens, the Championship is a tough, demanding league and you need players that are ready and willing to play Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday and then Saturday. Every Saturday, then midweek. “You need the right characters if you’re going to get out of the division and that is something that will have to be looked at very carefully.” Asked if he has such characters in the squad, Redknapp said: “Well, some. I think you would have to look and try to bring one or two right types in. They might be in lower divisions but lads that would love the opportunity to come here and play.” Redknapp admits it will be hard to mould the squad as he would like due to the fact QPR will struggle to shift many of the under performing players sitting on large contracts. One thing the Rs boss demands, though, is a new pitch at Loftus Road. “I am not saying we play like Barcelona but that football pitch is not conducive to good football, I don’t care who is in charge,” Redknapp said. “That pitch is the bumpiest, bobbliest – it is a lower third division pitch. The first thing the club need to do, I think, is invest in a new pitch in the summer if you want to produce a team that can play some football.” The west Londoners’ fate was all but confirmed on Saturday as they fell to a 2-0 defeat at home to fellow strugglers Stoke. It leaves QPR 10 points adrift of safety with just four matches remaining and Redknapp conceded they now face an “almost impossible” task. Redknapp will be hoping QPR make a swift return to the top flight but warned promotion from the npower Championship is far from easy. He said. “I think this is a good club but when people say ‘well, they’ll come straight back up next year’, it will be very hard to do that. Don’t kid yourselves.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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Badger defense aims to put weekend struggles behind it

first_imgExpectations abounded last weekend when the Wisconsin Badgers traveled to Evanston, Ill., to face the Northwestern Wildcats. A 6-0 record, a place atop the Big Ten conference and an end to a six-year skid in Evanston were all supposed to occur in the eyes of many. What wasn’t expected was a defensive collapse. Yet that’s exactly what transpired. The Badger defense was confused by the volatile Wildcat offense after giving up an average of 18.2 points per game entering Saturdays contest. Wisconsin’s defense imploded in the second half, allowing 41 second-half points and 51 total points to an unranked Northwestern squad.The Badger defense was out of rhythm all day long and was repeatedly beaten by Northwestern tailback Tyrell Sutton and quarterback Brett Basanez. Sutton, who rushed 244 yards along with three touchdowns, punished the Badgers with his explosive runs and bruising style.”We were confused by all of the things they were doing. We didn’t effectively get them corrected on the sideline so they continued to take advantage of us and not let us get settled in,” linebacker Mark Zalewski said.The Badgers, who were giving up 77.4 rushing yards per game in their first five contests, gave up 319 yards on the ground against Northwestern. Wisconsin was unable to make the big stop down the stretch and put on a clinic of how not to tackle. The defense knows they can play better and it will have to start this week against archrival Minnesota.”Everyone on the defense is really excited to get out there and play another game and show the last week was not the real defense,” Zalewski said. “Everyone’s eager to get out there and show what our defense is really all about.”Minnesota’s rushing attack, which leads the Big Ten in rushing yards per game this season, is led by junior tailback Laurence Maroney. Maroney, who is averaging 150 yards per game his season, leads a Minnesota offense that ranks third in the Big Ten.”Maroney is a really good football player. He does great things when the ball is in his hands. If you ask me his truest assets are that he’s very fast and he’s very physical, he’s not a guy who’s going to dance around a whole lot and make people miss him,” defensive coordinator Bret Bielema said. “Maroney is one of those guys who sees a hole and goes straight ahead, and that’s what makes him a powerful explosive back.”The most important thing for the Badgers this weekend will be stopping the run and forcing Minnesota’s unproven pass offense to make plays. Minnesota’s passing attack, has been led by junior signal caller Bryan Cupito so far this season, but an injury to the Cincinnati native may have put him on the shelf for this weekend’s matchup.Thus Minnesota, which ranks ninth in the Big Ten in total passing yards may be forced to turn to redshirt freshman Tony Mortensen. The Badgers know they cannot allow Maroney, and back up running back Gary Russell, to get into a rhythm and will do everything they can to force the Gopher quarterbacks to make plays through the air.”Were really going to have to swarm to the ball, get of our blocks, get to him [Maroney] quick and wrap him up,” defensive lineman Joe Monty said. “We’re going to have to get to him early and not let him get into a rhythm.”The Badgers defense will look to come out strong this week and prove that they are the unit that helped Wisconsin start 5-0, and not the defense that was embarrassed by a lesser opponent in Northwestern a week ago.”We know we have something to prove this week, and that’s the competitive nature of our football team,” Bielema said. “Our guys obviously have a big challenge to respond to this week, not just from the standpoint of [what] Minnesota brings to the table, but with what happened a week ago. Our guys know people are going to be concerned with how we respond this week, and our guys are up for the challenge.”last_img read more

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Western Coal Production Boost

first_imgAt its recent shareholder meeting, Vancouver-based Western Coal Corporation announced, that it plans to boost annual coal output to 10 million tonnes by 2013.That’s an increase of 3 million tonnes, over the current porduction capacity. Western’s Brule, Wolverine and Willow Creek operations are all located in the South Peace, near Chetwynd and Tumbler Ridge.The Canadian Mining Journal, in a Sunday story, said the company noted that metallurgical coal markets are recovering, with recent spot prices for coking coal now over $170 a tonne U.S.- Advertisement -Next year’s contract coal prices are also expected to be significantly higher, if steel demand continues to recover as predicted.last_img

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Classic Transfer: Real Madrid sign Liverpool’s star attacker for FREE

first_img Steve McManaman celebrates winning the Champions League It’s being reported that Real Madrid, despite having the firepower of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez, Isco and Jese, are ready to add Liverpool sensation Raheem Sterling to their ranks.With Reds manager Brendan Rodgers not keen on handing the youngster a mega-money contract, a deal could be in the offing next summer and, if the teenager does make the switch, Los Blancos will be hoping he has an impact like that of Steve McManaman’s back in 1999.England international McManaman had been one of Liverpool’s star players in the 1990s as the likes of Graeme Souness, Roy Evans and Gerard Houllier attempted to halt a decline following their 1990 First Division title win.Having burst on to the scene after making his debut in 1991 under Kenny Dalglish, the lank-haired midfielder, blessed with stamina, skill and eye for a pass, was soon an Anfield hero as he created the chance for Michael Thomas to score in the 1992 FA Cup final, where the Reds beat Sunderland 2-0, earning him the man of the match award.And following another man of the match display at Wembley in 1995, where he scored two virtuoso goals in Liverpool’s 2-1 victory over Bolton in the League Cup, all and sundry were hailing McManaman’s abilities.Interest peaked in 1997 when Barcelona and Juventus made bids for the dribbler’s services and by 1999, following a series of contract wrangles, he was being lined up by Real Madrid, who secured him on a free transfer thanks to the relatively new Bosman ruling, which allows out of contract players to leave for nothing.The deal was arranged part way through the 1998/99 season, and was the first time Liverpool had lost a star player for nothing, which shocked many Kopites at the time and undoubtedly reduced McManaman’s status in the eyes of some supporters.In Spain, however, McManaman was vindicated as he thrived where so many Englishman had failed before. In his debut season he became the first English player to win the Champions League with a foreign club, as he volleyed home (see below) their second in a 3-0 victory over Valencia in the Stade de France and was named man of the match.More success followed in the 2000/01 season as he was a member of the team which won La Liga, despite Vicente del Bosque being keen to sell him along with a raft of other players, which included Nicolas Anelka and Fernando Redondo, to finance their move for Luis Figo.Eventually, during a sustained period of excellence at the Bernabeu, even though Florentino Perez’s ‘Galaticos’ transfer policy threatened to curtail his time in Madrid, McManaman won a second Champions League in 2002, scoring a crucial goal in the semi-final away win at Barcelona, and a second league title in 2003.Upon his exit from the club in 2003, as David Beckham moved to the Spanish capital, McManaman was comfortably the most successful English to have played abroad and is still remembered as club legend at Real Madrid. 1last_img read more

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How low-cost airline policies hit your back pocket

first_imgStatistics released by a low-profile European online travel site show that countries failing to foster budget airlines and the development of so-called ultra-low-cost carriers (ULCCs) miss out on the air travel affordability revolution.Berlin-based Kiwi.com says it has analysed data on more than one million air journeys to come up with its annual review of air fares, which ranks the world’s top 75 countries for air travel affordability.The top of the affordability list is dominated by countries that have encouraged the proliferation of low-cost carriers, such as India, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines in Asia,  and the EU, which has fierce competition between low-cost carriers (LCCs) and full-service airlines as well as between low-cost carriers such as Ryanair and easyJet.The US, which invented the LCC —  the first of which, Texas-based Southwest Airlines, has grown to become the nation’s biggest domestic airline — has also now spawned ULCCs, such as Spirit Airlines, Allegiant and Frontier, which are among the country’s fastest growing and most profitable.But that has served only to highlight the glaring disparity between the US and its northern neighbor, Canada, which has a terrible record of discouraging competition and hiking the cost of air travel.According to Kiwi.com, the US is No.17 in the global air fare affordability ranking, whereas Canada is No.70, with only Japan, Netherlands, Qatar, Finland and United Arab Emirates bigger basket cases in that category. The Kiwi.com data shows fares in the US cost just $US9.81 per 100 kilometres compared with a whopping $US38.71 in Canada.That’s because Canada has high airport costs and security charges that can be as much as $US25 per passenger compared with as little as $US2 in other countries.It’s also pointed out that Canada’s insistence on 75 per cent Canadian ownership of airlines has stifled foreign investment, when jurisdictions like the US and EU allow 50 per cent foreign ownership.Some countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, even allow 100 per cent foreign investment. Without that, Australia would not now have two LCCs, as Virgin Australia subsidiary Tigerair started life as part of Singapore’s Tigerair and took advantage of the lack of ownership restrictions to set up a domestic service Downunder.Even so, according to Kiwi.com’s data, Australia, which has a reputation for high business costs, is barely better than Canada, coming in at No.66 on the list at $US35.69 per 100 kilometres — partly explained by the fact that Australia’s two LCCs are now part of the Qantas-Virgin duopoly.Compare that to Malaysia — No.2 on the list with average air fares retailing for just $US3.78 per 100 kilometres.Canada’s high-cost regime for airlines means that, until recently, the country has had only one LCC, WestJet.That has changed with the arrival of three fledgling ULCCs, Jetlines, NewLeaf and Enerjet, which are using or planning to use secondary airports, where costs are lower. Part of their strategy is to target the five million Canadians who cross the border into the US each year to access cheap fares unavailable at home.It’s not before time. “Griping about the cost of air travel in this country is as endemic as bitching about the weather,” business columnist John Ivison wrote recently in Canada’s National Post newspaper.Full Kiwi.com travel affordability comparison table here:last_img read more

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The Details Behind Reddit’s New Video Hosting Capabilities

first_imgReddit’s Video LimitsImage via metamorworks.While Reddit still seems to be tinkering with some rough guidelines and particulars, there does seem to be some limits as to what types of videos you can post as well as set terms for file size and length. Reddit tends to favor small, bite-sized clips and GIFs, so the following are the first hard limits:File size: 1 GB.Length: 15 mins.GIF Length: 1 min. Select “Image/Video.”Click “Camera” to record a new video or “Library” to select one you’ve already recorded.Add a title.Click “Post” to submit. Here are all the updates on how Reddit is now hosting video content natively — and what that means for filmmakers and marketers.For those of you familiar with Reddit, the almost-endless online community has long been a harbor for YouTube and Vimeo links on any topic and for any sub-community. However, in the past year, as Reddit continues to grow into more of a major social media player, the site has finally rolled out its own native video hosting platform.For all of us at /r/filmmakers, /r/videography, and /r/editors, this means a more direct upload option with ideally better playback and quicker karma returns. This new platform something is also something for content marketers to stay on top of. So let’s look at some tips on creating and uploading Reddit videos.Note: this article is an update to our comprehensive guide to posting videos to Reddit, which has more tips and tricks for posting video content from all sources.Desktop and Phone UploadImage by GaudiLab.Unlike YouTube (in some ways) and definitely Vimeo, Reddit’s video hosting technology is more similar to Facebook’s, in the sense that it’s more user-friendly rather than being video producer-minded. From Reddit’s first post about their new video hosting, here are the simple steps for uploading footage from your phone or desktop.Desktop:Click “Submit Link” on a Reddit video-enabled subreddit.Click “Choose File.”Select an MP4 or MOV video file to upload.Choose a thumbnail for your video.Add a title.Click “Submit.”Phone:Click “Post something interesting” at the top of your “Home” feed.Or, on a Reddit video-enabled subreddit, click “Post to r/___”. Reddit’s Video-to-GIF MechanicImage via Jacob Lund.Along with video hosting, Reddit continues to encourage users to convert their video footage into GIF-based content, which is a popular style for many of their communities (/r/GIFs would be an obvious example). From a post from /u/RamsesThePigeon, Reddit offers in-site conversion for your video uploads into Reddit-friendly GIFs with their new mechanic.Notes on the Video-to-GIF Mechanic: Upload videos (MP4 or MOV, up to 15-minutes long) directly to Reddit.Convert uploaded videos to GIFs.Trim uploaded videos from within the mobile applications.Read comments while watching Reddit-hosted videos. Proper Reddiquette and KarmaImage via GaudiLab.As we said in our comprehensive guide to posting videos to Reddit, posting a video to Reddit is more of an endeavor than creating the content — or even a simple post. Proper Reddit etiquette (or Reddiquette) means a strict adherence to Reddit’s rules and bylaws — as well as providing genuinely helpful, informative, and interesting content to the community (or subreddit) you’re posting in. For more on the subject, you can also dive into Reddit’s wiki page for all the nuances of the community.Cover image by golubovystock.For more online community posting tips and tricks for your video content, check out some of these articles below.Engage Your Audience with YouTube’s New Community TabInterview: Behind the Scenes with YouTube’s Binging with Babish9 Filmmaking Channels to Follow on Vimeo5 Underrated Ways to Promote YouTube VideosHow to Properly Export Video for Vimeolast_img read more

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NCAA Season 93’s Best 7: Week 8

first_imgTrending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:37Protesters 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 View comments LATEST STORIES LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games MOST READ Forty-five games done, and it seems like the battle lines have already been drawn.Lyceum and San Beda have established control of the field, but the rest of the pack are not far behind, with leaders already gearing up for the homestretch of the eliminations come the second round.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 shutoutHowever, we must first put the spotlight on the first round as last year’s Final Four teams took center stage and rounded out their schedules.Here’s our list of this week’s top performers. Read Next Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC With the collegiate season in full swing, INQUIRER lists the week’s top seven performers in the ongoing NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament. From their game statistics to their overall impact in the outcomes, everything is weighed to come up with the best players from the week that was.ADVERTISEMENT 5. Kent Salado – G, Arellano Chiefs26 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assistsLast Week: N/APhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netKent Salado could just carry so much for the Arellano.Despite the speedster’s best efforts, he still can’t stop the Chiefs from losing five of their last six games to finish the first round.One thing going Arellano’s way, though, is the week-long break, giving Salado, coach Jerry Codiñera, and the rest of the team to reassess their standing as they seek to make a huge run in the second round.6. Christian Buñag – C, Mapua Cardinals15 points, 21 reboundsLast Week: N/APhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netWhen one door closes, another one opens.Luckily for Christian Buñag, the injuries abound the Mapua lineup led to him racking up consistent double-doubles through the course of the first roundUnfortunately, those stats aren’t translating to wins, and Buñag needs more help to validate the numbers he’s pouring for the Cardinals.7. Jed Mendoza – G, JRU Heavy Bombers12 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assistsLast Week: N/APhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAnother strong showing from Jed Mendoza results to another win for JRU.The first-year playmaker has proven that he’s no one-game wonder, emerging as a solid contributor for Meneses’ rotation after the first round. 1. Javee Mocon – F, San Beda Red Lions19 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 blockLast Week: N/APhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netHard work pays off, especially for Javee Mocon.Playing second fiddle behind leader Robert Bolick all season long, the versatile forward finally gained his share of the spotlight as he helped San Beda close out the first round on a seven-game winning streak.Mocon may not get the lion’s share of the limelight for the Red Lions, but there’s no doubt that his contributions are largely to blame for his side’s ascent this NCAA season.2. Robert Bolick – G, San Beda Red Lions23 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assistsLast Week: N/AADVERTISEMENT For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity.center_img Streaking Ginebra outlasts Star in OT Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netWhat a way for Bolick to cap off the first round.Allowing his teammates to step up in the past few games, the swingman finally took the baton and torched the net early in San Beda’s 95-70 thumping of Arellano, getting his baskets in the first half to set the tone for the blowout.The game may have been billed as a Finals rematch, but just like in last year’s championship duel, Bolick remains to be the Chiefs’ bane and made the Red Lions no match for the opposition.3. Aaron Bordon – G, JRU Heavy Bombers17 points (8/14 FG), 4 assistsLast Week: N/AAaron Bordon. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netCoach Vergel Meneses continues to stumble on surprise contributors for Jose Rizal University, this time, unearthing Aaron Bordon.The transferee from Cavite State University stepped up and tallied a career-best 17 points to provide the offensive boost for the Heavy Bombers in their close 68-59 escape of Mapua.If Bordon sustains his form, it shouldn’t be a surprise that JRU can hold on to its standing and move on once again to the Final Four.4. Donald Tankoua – C, San Beda Red Lions15 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 blockLast Week: N/AAaron BordonSlowly but surely, Donald Tankoua is getting his groove back.Evoking memories of last season’s Finals, the Cameroonian big man churned out his best outing in the first round as San Beda once again got the better of Arellano on Tuesday.The signs are promising, and if Tankoua continues this tear, there’s no doubt that the Red Lions can also sustain this winning run. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. If Mendoza continues this stretch in the second round, things may continue looking up for the Heavy Bombers. SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chieflast_img read more

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Snapshots

first_imgDifferent strokesThe idea for her latest book, Children of a Better God, a story about children living with celebral palsy, first came to Sushmita Bagchi 19 years ago when she had been invited to the Spastics Society of Karnataka for an event. Many years later, she volunteered at the society,Different strokesThe idea for her latest book, Children of a Better God, a story about children living with celebral palsy, first came to Sushmita Bagchi 19 years ago when she had been invited to the Spastics Society of Karnataka for an event. Many years later, she volunteered at the society where she had a glimpse into their lives. “I realised that these children are like any other, the same innocence, playfulness, mischief and very similar hopes, aspirations and uncertainties,” she says. The book follows Anupurba, an art teacher in the United States, who has to reluctantly move back to India when her husband is transferred. Out of boredom, she chooses to volunteer at a school for children suffering from the disability and embarks on a journey to understand their tribulations and the courage they face them with. A celebrated Oriya author and winner of the state Sahitya Akademi Award, Bagchi wrote the original, Deba Shishu, in Oriya that has now been translated into English by Bikram K. Das.What’s going up Windows phone 7: The Windows Phone 7 is packed with cool features that will make you stand out in the crowd.Marc Jacobs: Fluid drapery and luxe fabrics by Marc Jacobs are the in-thing this season.What’s going down Miley cyrus: From sporting grungy clothes to ratty hair, the erstwhile Disney starlet is on a train to crazyville.Courtney Cox and David Arquette: After 11 years together, the stars are headed towards a split.Fashion rewindBefore they made their debut all across the world, some of fashion’s most stable trends had a bizarre history behind their popularity.Hats on: Audrey Hepburn made them popular in the classic Breakfast at Tiffanys, but it was Queen Elizabeth I who sealed their permanent status in history by creating a law in 1571 that made it compulsory for anyone over the age of seven to wear a hat on Sundays and holidays or else pay a fine, creating a tradition for generations to follow.Shoe fetish: When former First Lady of the Philippines Imelda Marcos and her husband were exiled in 1976, she had to say goodbye to 2,700 pairs of pumps, stilettos and sling backs. That’s 5,400 in all. And you thought Carrie Bradshaw had it all.Stringing it: The G-string came into being in New York city, at the dawn of World War II. In 1939, when mayor Fiorello LaGuardia ordered the city’s exotic dancers to be a little more covered up in honour of the World’s Fair, voila, the thong was born. This was also the time when the unfortunate fish-cut came into existence.-Gunjeet Sra and Sumaiya KhanIf you have 5 minutes: Listen to Secrets by the Colorado based OneRepublic, an experimental song that defies genres.Punjabi by natureAnita Lerche embodies the encounter of the east with the west. The Danish singer has been creating waves with her Punjabi songs and is now ready to sing Hindi numbers too. An alumnus of the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, London, Lerche, 36, first began singing in Indian languages on holiday in Manali where she picked up local songs seven years ago. She then headed to Punjab and recorded her first album, Heer From Denmark. Due to go back home in six months, she cancelled her ticket and there was no looking back. She has performed in the UK, Denmark and the US and jams with south Asian artists, the latest of which was a concert to raise funds for flood victims in Pakistan. “I think it’s interesting how people from different cultures can inspire each other through music. The borders dissolve and you can reach out,” she says. After a hiatus, she is now back in India and plans to head to Bollywood.5 Reasons we love winterBonfires: It’s time to get cosy with friends and family.The sun: You can soak up the sun and get a gorgeous tan.Sunday brunches: Eat to your heart’s content and forget the flab.Winter drinks: Nothing feels warmer than a cup of coffee or soup.Winter wardrobe: Flaunt those coats, jackets and scarves. get colourful.The right moveIt’s not always easy to move, but when you find your dream house, don’t make the mistake of jumping at the offer of ridiculously low rents or the great views, especially if you are single. Here is an easy checklist that will get you through the moving snafus and help you seal the right deal.Know thy neighbour: Make sure that you check out the people living around you before moving to a new house. Not only will it give you an idea about the kind of place it is, but it will also give you a peek into the lifestyle you will be expected to lead. For instance, if your neighbours are middleaged parents or retired people, remember that you will be expected to keep it quiet and will have to say goodbye to racy parties. Living nextdoor to a group of boys, if you are on your own, is not a good idea either.Know the history: Before you fall for the dream packages your property dealer has to offer, call the person vacating the house to do a background check on its history. The first thing to do is to ask about their reason for moving and the landlord’s habits. If it involves excessive landlord troubles, it’s a good idea to opt out of the deal.Do your research: The final thing to do is a security check and see the locality you are moving into. Check the nearest police station and the hospital. If you do not have a car, check out nearby taxi stands and neighbourhood safety. Do a random recce one evening to see the kind of people who hang around your locality. While you are at it, befriend other single women. You might need their help when least expected-Gunjeet Sra and Sumaiya KhanIf you have an hour: Read Two Virgins by Kamala Markandaya, a captivating tale of two sisters with different dreams living in a small village.Dance with meEvery girl dreams of becoming a dancer at least once in her life, but not most of us are as lucky as Anusha Lall, 36, Director, Gati Dance Forum, or have the talent to do so. Gati, which began in 2007 as a small group of dancers, has grown into a forum that provides infrastructure for trained dancers, to explore new forms of expression through their body. Lall, who is currently working on the IGNITE! Festival of Contemporary Dance, scheduled for this month in Delhi, is a trained Bharatanatyam dancer. But that doesn’t stop her from exploring newer forms. Not one to undermine the seriousness of either classical or contemporary dance style, Lall says, “Contemporary forms are part of the evolution. It does not necessarily mean the older forms will die out. Classical forms are like the alphabet, on the basis of which one can create new languages of dance.” As part of the process of learning and exploring, Gati now holds a summer residency programme apart from regular workshopsin the capital. How she fits in so much in her life is simple, “Dancing is my passion. And we at Gati really feel that dancers should get their space,” says Lall.Go catch it Delhi: The India International Trade Fair, November 14-27, Pragati Maidan. It’s a mad rush but it’s worth a visit. After all, where will you get the world’s finest at one stop.Mumbai: The Connoisseur-Chocolate Tasting & Appreciation Course, November 14, at Bandra Kurla Complex. This is where you should be if you have a sweet craving or simply can’t just get enough of chocolate.Bangalore: Furniture Fair, November 11-14. Revamp your house this festive season by indulging in some exciting furniture being showcased here.Chennai: EON (everything organic and natural) Exhibition, November 26-28. From natural cosmetics to wellness products, this is the place for advocates of mother nature.Husband’s day inDo you often find yourself complaining about your husband not being involved with the family? Some tips to make life easier. Don’t define any roles: Make sure you don’t make your husband feel like he’s helping you out. It should be about sharing responsibility.Spend time: Becoming parents need not necessarily mean you can’t have your exclusive time together. Parenting shouldn’t kill the romance. This way, the husband won’t feel bogged down by responsibility and will understand the importance of spending quality time together.Parenting: Give your husband alone time with the children. Let him take them out for grocery shopping or just ice cream.Talk it out: This is the best way to deal with issues. Tell him about your concerns and work a way out.-Kruttika KalluryIf you have 20 minutes: Log onto www.gkhamba.com to read social satire, on everything from the CWG to A-Roy, that will have you gurgling with laughter.advertisementadvertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

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Preity Zinta-Ness Wadia: Happily never after

first_imgKings XI Punjab co-owners Preity Zinta and Ness Wadia at the 2008 IPL auction in Mumbai.In 2003, as larger-than-life reel heroes cowered, actor Preity Zinta, a mere 28 years old, testified against gangster Chhota Shakeel in the Bharat Shah case of Bollywood’s nexus with the Mumbai underworld. Current Mumbai,Kings XI Punjab co-owners Preity Zinta and Ness Wadia at the 2008 IPL auction in Mumbai.In 2003, as larger-than-life reel heroes cowered, actor Preity Zinta, a mere 28 years old, testified against gangster Chhota Shakeel in the Bharat Shah case of Bollywood’s nexus with the Mumbai underworld. Current Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria was then the city’s Crime Branch chief. He put her into witness protection and kept her out of the public eye for two months. She was the only witness not to turn hostile, testifying to the Mumbai Sessions Court that the gangster had said: “Main bhai ka aadmi Razak bol raha hoon aur mujhe 50 lakh chahiye.” Preity claimed, when she finally emerged, that she had aged 10 years in those two months. But she was proud, she was vocal, and she was fearless.This time, as Maria steers the investigations into the now 39-year-old’s charges of verbal and physical abuse against ex-boyfriend and co-owner of the Kings XI Punjab team, Ness Wadia, he deals with a very different Preity. Distraught, emotional, self-admittedly fearful for her life, the actor skipped out of the public eye hurriedly, taking off to her home in Los Angeles after filing a midnight complaint on June 12 at the Marine Lines Police Station in Mumbai under sections 354, 509, 504, 506 of the IPC, two weeks after the incident occurred. Mumbai Police, unsure of whether to add a stalking charge in the absence of CCTV footage to corroborate her claim, and under pressure to be seen as proactive on women’s issues, sent a letter to her via lawyer Hitesh Jain, asking her to record a statement in person by the following weekend.advertisementThe police have also requested access to prior emails that Preity claims she had sent, warning Ness to back off. Quite far removed from the actor who publicly took on the mafia, Preity accuses Ness of pulling her arm and mouthing obscenities at her in full public view at the IPL Qualifier 2 held at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on May 30. Even as gangster Ravi Pujari claims to intervene on her behalf with the Wadias, via a number traceable to Iran, anti-extortion police are investigating if he was acting independently.Preity answered “wrong number” when INDIA TODAY called her and didn’t respond to text messages but her lawyer confirmed that the actor is directly in touch with Mumbai Police on the details of the case. She subsequently tweeted from her account to clarify: “A big Thank U 2all the people 4the support. Amazed at how much speculation in the media. No I’m not selling my stake or settling in the US.” and “So called sources says anything & its getting reported. Pls No hearsay. There are many IMP Issues in India which are much more news worthy.”The Wadias, an old-world reclusive part of Mumbai’s high society, have countered the claims saying the two had a spat caused by her refusal to save reserved seats for his mother, Maureen Wadia, and nephew, as Preity did not want to sit next to them. The Wadias had arrived late as it was Ness’s birthday and found their seats occupied by Preity’s entourage. Angered at seeing his mother standing for 20 minutes, Ness snapped.The case has pulled much of Bollywood and sporting society into its ambit, with many annoyed at having to take sides. Arjun Tendulkar, son of Sachin Tendulkar, was supposedly in the VIP enclosure and at the receiving end of a few of Ness’s obscenities. IPL COO Sundar Raman confirmed to investigators that Preity had verbally complained to him about the incident but declined information as he did not witness it; he told police that he had asked the actor to “deal with it calmly later”.Businessman Danish Kanaujia and two Wankhede employees stationed at the Garware Pavilion have reportedly given eyewitness statements. Celebrity journalists Tavleen Singh and Shobhaa De have publicly debated the merits of women of privilege seeking police help for verbal abuse.Preity and Ness with Kings XI Punjab cheergirls. Friends of both parties, like model Indrani Dasgupta, who is engaged to the Kings XI Punjab co-owner Karan Paul, of the Apeejay Group, and Lisa Haydon, former girlfriend of one of Ness’s oldest and closest friends Karan Bhojwani, have been pulled into society speculation.Legal sources have also claimed that negotiations are on to buy out Preity’s 23 per cent stake in Kings XI Punjab, which turned profitable in 2014 for the first time and was estimated to have a brand valuation of $32 million by Mumbai-based firm American Appraisal; the franchise was valued at $76 million when it was first bought in 2008. A newspaper report has claimed that Preity is looking to sell and move to the US. A Wadia group spokesperson confirmed that “the option to sell stakes will be on the table in future.” However, highly placed legal sources close to the Wadias also claim that Preity got wind of their move to cut their losses and divest their stake in the IPL next season and panicked. All Kings XI Punjab owners-Dabur’s Mohit Burman and the Wadias- barring Preity have attempted to jettison their stake at some point. Without the IPL, Preity has nothing, the legal sources claim.advertisementWith Mumbai’s legal community condemning the application of Section 354, which pertains to assault or criminal force used to outrage the modesty of a woman, Preity’s lawyer has clarified they have not mentioned sexual assault, only physical and verbal abuse.Friends of the Wadias claim Preity is still not over Ness, though their relationship ended five years ago and he is soon to be engaged to a mysterious lady love. “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,” a top society lawyer close to the Wadias says. Preity’s friends have countered saying it was she who walked out of an abusive relationship. How did a one-time fairy-tale romance between a bubbly actor at her peak and a most eligible bachelor reach such divisive and disastrously public proportions? The saga began soon after December 2004, when Preity survived the Indian Ocean tsunami, waking in Thailand to the sound of crashing waves that took the lives of a few of her closest childhood friends; she escaped traumatised. It was a time when she seemed blessed. It had been a good two years; by 2004, Preity was a blockbuster heroine: Koi… Mil Gaya did Rs 80 crore at the box office, Kal Ho Naa Ho raked in Rs 93 crore, while Veer-Zaara wowed both Indian and Pakistani audiences as it collected Rs 88 crore. Preity came off those years on a high, and into the arms of the heir to the Bombay Dyeing estate and great grandson of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Ness Wadia. Ness himself was no rookie to Bollywood or its stars; South Mumbai sources tell of his teenage crush on Ameesha Patel, whom he met at a gym. The two would exchange love notes and he would shower her with presents. His list of alleged dalliances included Manisha Koirala and Lara Dutta. Preity had lived in with Dutch engineer Lars Kjeldson, who is now married to actor Suchitra Pillai, and choreographer Marc Robinson. But when Preity and Ness met in February 2005 at a party, they were beautiful, successful, and seemingly made for each other.Contrary to popular opinion, when the two first started dating, just before Preity’s 30th birthday, bonding over travel and sport, Ness’s mother didn’t disapprove. “He’s an eligible bachelor, she is an eligible star, yes they are dating and as a mother I can only say my son is handsome, and they seem very equal, very well-matched,” soon-to-turn-spoilsport Maureen told Zee News at the time. Salaam Namaste had just released and Ness had made a blinkand-you-miss appearance as a man on the bus reading a paper, so lovelorn that he invented business appointments in Australia to be able to spend time with Preity on set. “We are going places all right… Ness is a very special person in my life, he makes me laugh and smile. I am in a very beautiful phase of my life,” Preity said in February 2005. Two months later, the couple visited the Vaishno Devi Shrine along with Preity’s mother Neelprabha Zinta, sparking rumours that a wedding was imminent with Ness sitting in on the aarti to make his mother-in-law-to-be happy.advertisementThey were the kind of couple that did things together. That year, on Independence Day, they launched a cleanliness drive, donating 15 dustbins to the suburb of Bandra, only to find them promptly stolen. If Preity went to New York right after to shoot for Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, her puppy love followed, with the duo stopping to spend time together on a holiday in Europe on the way back. Even as Ness remained increasingly absent from Mumbai, his brother Jeh, then 32, the original wild child, hung up his party boots and took over the family businesses, launching GoAir that year. Preity was clearly part of the family at the time, with Jeh quipping that he hoped she would be a brand ambassador for the low-cost carrier for free. Maureen’s influence became clear as Preity metamorphosed from a jeans-clad girl into a hat-andglove-sporting derby socialite.Flaunting it and happy-Preity had always claimed she would shout it from the rooftops if she was in love-trouble soon struck. In July 2005, Hindustan Times launched in Mumbai, printing transcripts between actor Salman Khan and his one-time girlfriend Aishwarya Rai, taped in August 2001, a time when Mumbai Police was monitoring the nexus between film stars and gangsters. In it, Salman made boastful sexual allegations about a person identified as Preity. She was in Italy at the time and made several frantic calls to convince her beau that the allegations weren’t true, including to close friend Aishwarya to find out if the tapes were doctored. Aishwarya reportedly told her that they weren’t. Preity sued the newspaper for defamation and obtained a clean chit from a forensic laboratory. It is telling of Preity’s ability to forgive and forge relationships that she went on to shoot Jaan-E-Mann with Salman, and he remains one of her closest friends, as does Aishwarya, whose wedding to Abhishek Bachchan she attended with Ness in 2007. But in 2006, public appearances declined and rumours began to swirl. The couple got over the incident but it had shaken them. Jeh Wadia had taken over as Bombay Dyeing MD. Ness was focusing on mill lands, a legal battle with the B.K. Birla family over the Century Mills complex and handling the redevelopment of Spring Mills. Both Preity and Maureen, who was coping with spondylitis alongside managing the newly introduced Mrs Gladrags contests, issued interviews in which they stated they “looked up to each other”.But other kinds of rumours were swirling around; that the couple was getting sucked into a wilder lifestyle. In 2007, singer-actor Suchitra Krishnamoorthi blamed Preity for her own split with director-husband Shekhar Kapur, claiming the two had had an affair. Krishnamoorthi told Mid-Day in March 2007 that Preity had called her up to clarify she was marrying Ness and that she had asked Kapur to give her away at the wedding. Ness and Preity were spotted having a blast at liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s yacht party ahead of the Turkish Grand Prix and at the Louis Vuitton Cup in Valencia, Spain, in June 2007. Rumours of distancing from the matriarch had set in-Maureen had made the now-infamous remark that she didn’t care if her son “married a Zinta or a zebra”.Preity and Ness with Mohit Burman.Once Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, her last mainstream film of the year, flopped, Preity began to change her image. She moved away from the Yash Raj label, opted for films like Rituparno Ghosh’s The Last Lear, and launched her own production house, beginning to position herself as a businesswoman fashioned after the family she would now be a part of. She stopped partying with the Khans, and was seen at races like the CN Wadia Cup horse race and charity events intent on leaving her filmi ways behind. She and Ness were planning their IPL venture. Preity took over creatives, handling uniforms, promotions, anthems. Ness handled the business and logistics. Ness dubbed her “the spirit of the team”.Priyanka Chopra, Kareena Kapoor and Katrina Kaif quickly filled the acting space she was vacating. When the duo made an appearance hand-in-hand at the Aishwarya-Abhishek wedding in April 2007 and the Elizabeth Hurley-Arun Nayar wedding in June, it again fuelled rumours that they would be next to tie the knot. In October, Jeh Wadia clarified Maureen’s remark saying “Preity is definitely a part of our family. In fact, it is a pleasure to have her in our family”. The next month, Preity and Ness were spotted in Shillong in the audience at the concert of her favourite band Mr Big. She was shooting for Jahnu Barua’s Har Pal.It was however during the making of Deepa Mehta’s Heaven on Earth, a film on domestic abuse for which Preity met with several Canadian victims of violence, that she experienced a near epiphany and began to let go of what was increasingly becoming an abusive relationship, says a close friend. In April 2008, Bollywood insiders and gossip columnists claimed that Ness slapped Preity at the screening of the film, renamed Videsh in Hindi, apparently angered that she was trying to send him a ‘message’ via the film, which she was rumoured to have taken in order to confront the issue. Their fights and subsequent patch-ups were getting routine now. In 2008, even as Preity and Ness forged an IPL partnership together, she bit the bullet. By 2009, it was done. Preity was to later tell Savvy magazine that she had made the decision to walk. In a depressed state-she told People magazine she was “mentally and physically exhausted”-she chose to travel, spending time with her family, her younger brother Manish Zinta, who lived with his then four-year-old daughter Maya in Los Angeles; her childhood friend and classmate from Shimla, Sangrur Congressman Arvind Khanna’s wife Shagun; and also hanging out with star wives such as Malaika Arora Khan and Gauri Khan in London. She spent time with designer Surily Goel in Paris. When the holiday extended into a general absence, she told people she was recovering from a ski accident.By December 2009, determined to take her role as the only woman owner of an IPL team at the time seriously, she enrolled for a short executive course in negotiating and dealmaking at Harvard University. Preity was talking politics, campaigning for the Congress in Kanpur for Sriprakash Jaiswal, and happily single. Ness and she originally signed up to a partnership in which each held 23 per cent, Mohit Burmanowned Windy Investments held 11.5 per cent, Mohit’s brother Gaurav Burman (also IPL chief Lalit Modi’s step son-in-law) owned 23 per cent; Karan Paul held 4 per cent, Shagun Khanna-owned Root Investments held 4 per cent, among others.Had they married unaffected by circumstances, Preity would have gone on to be a trophy wife in the VIP box, while Ness and Mohit would have handled the bulk of the business. Now, things were proving otherwise with the reinvented Preity. She was everywhere, at IPL auctions, in the dugout, at press conferences, with the team and players’ wives. In the 2009 season of IPL, Ness, who was by now dating Thapar Group heiress Ayesha Thapar, was getting into brawls at the VIP box while Preity stuck firmly to the dugout. The private security guards of South African businessman Ajay Gupta of the Sahara Group, a friend of the country’s President Jacob Zuma, thrashed Ness and Mohit Burman in the VIP box, Hindustan Times and The Times of India reported quoting agency reports, after Mohit Burman, it was alleged, had jabbed a woman spectator, Gupta’s daughter, with a Kings XI Punjab flagpole, demanding she get out of his line of vision. Ness and Mohit would have been deported if not for the intervention of Lalit Modi, who set up a meeting and insisted that the two apologise in person and in writing.The professional partnership lumbered on, despite rumours of a split. In 2010, a Chandigarh court issued nonbailable warrants against Ness, Preity and Mohit for failing to appear before it on complaints of not filing balance sheets and income-tax returns since Kings XI Punjab came into existence; Karan Paul had appeared before the court. The franchise was in financial doldrums and a move to make Rs 214.6 crore from a Rs 598 crore private placement of shares from Kolkata-based NVD Solar through a three-year contract came under the government scanner for irregularities.Kings XI Punjab then filed a criminal complaint accusing NVD Solar of reneging on payments to the tune of Rs 14 crore and bounced cheques of Rs 25 crore each via fake accounts. Preity, it was rumoured, meanwhile, struggled even more than Ness financially, having neglected her career during their romance. She sued the family of deceased producer Kamal Amrohi for interest and the return of the Rs 2 crore that she had loaned the family. There were rumours that she had put her decadelong home, Quantum Apartments in Khar, up for rent though she denied it vehemently. She raised Rs 10 crore in loans for her 2013 comeback film Ishqk in Paris from the Central Bank of India but the movie tanked at the box office, raking in only around Rs 3 crore. Preity paid the unit hands first but scriptwriter Abbas Tyrewala slapped her with a lawsuit asking for the payment of Rs 18 lakh. Preity contested the bill and claimed that she had paid everyone she owed money to. The case is still sub-judice. Finally, after seven years and despite losing in the IPL final this year, Kings XI Punjab showed a profit of Rs 78.01 lakh. The media attributed a part of the success to Preity. On the field she was one of the boys, a backslapping, hands-on team owner, maintaining a closeness and camaraderie unlike other team owners, who kept their celebrity distance.Off the field, if Preity’s allegations are true, she has remained Ness’s verbal punching bag. An emotional Preity has now asked for restitution under sections 354, 504 and 506 of the IPC. Each deal with outraging the modesty of a woman. Rumours swirl that the one-time couple is now in negotiations for her stake in the team to be bought out. That Preity, now thoroughly defeated, will give up the fight, sell her stake, and fed up of the Indian media and public prying, with the increasing murkiness of the IPL tournament, its alleged links with the underworld and unsavoury elements, move to Los Angeles to live with her brother.Would she who brooked no defeat from the mafia or tsunami or financial loss give up a finally triumphing team over verbal abuse and a seat she denied a co-owner? The answers again are with Police Chief Rakesh Maria as he pulls in witnesses for questioning. Perhaps life does come full circle, after all.last_img read more

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