Month: December 2019

 

Month of the Family Caregiver

first_imgThis MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on November 3, 2017. In 1997, President Clinton signed the first National Family Caregiver Month Presidential Proclamation, and ever since then every president has followed suit, making November National Family Caregiver Month.Family Caregivers are so important to this nation, and we would like to take this opportunity to show them our appreciation. The goal of our MFLN Military Caregiving concentration is to provide the most current research-based information for service providers and family caregivers as it relates to caring for individuals of wounded service members or military families of children with special healthcare needs.We focus on an array of issues from traumatic brain injury to autism, and caregiver self-care. Throughout the month of November, we will continue to recognize challenges and issues surrounding this unique audience by highlighting our current resources and sharing additional outreach from other agencies and organizations via social media.Get started today by checking out the items below to support your families and their loved ones.last_img read more

 

Video Editing Quick Tip: How to End a Track With Reverb

first_imgAdd epic drama to your next project by ending your clips with audio reverb.Image via ShutterstockIn this thorough tutorial created by Derek Lieu, ending a music cue with reverb is made simple. With just a few easy-to-remember steps, you can give your video a dramatic boost.  The effect is instantly recognizable and will up your production value in a manner of seconds.The video covers the technique for Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro 7, Final Cut Pro X, and Avid Media Composer. Derek also goes into further explanation over the process on his blog. The following GIFs are taken from the Premiere Pro section of the video.1. Nest the ClipFirst, find the sound/beat you want to end the clip on. Cut the clip on the exact note you want the reverb to affect. Next, isolate the clip and then Nest it. Rename it and it will move it to a different sequence.2. Add Black Video to Extend the ClipIn order for the clip to be extended, add a clip of black video to the nested sequence. This will allow you to drag your intended clip out to however long you want the reverb to last.3. Apply the ReverbOnce you drag the clip out, Apply a Fade if needed and then Apply the Reverb Effect. Bam. You did it! Also, if you need a new song or sound effect for your video, check out PremiumBeats stacked library full of impressive tracks here.How do you like to use reverb? Share your techniques in the comments below!last_img read more

 

Interview: How This Oscar Nom Edited Downsizing While Directing His First Feature

first_imgHow editor Kevin Tent, ACE, maintains his highly regarded editing career while balancing his first time directing a motion picture.Top image via Vertical Entertainment.There is something to be said about a friendship that has spawned several Oscar nominations, but that just the type of relationship Kevin Tent has with Alexander Payne.Director Alexander Payne is well regarded for crafting award-winning features like Election, About Schmidt, Sideways, The Descendents, Nebraska, and the upcoming film Downsizing. (Those films alone have 19 Oscar nominations, and 2 wins.) That said, Payne doesn’t work alone. One of his longest lasting relationships is with editor Kevin Tent, ACE.Image via Kevin Tent.Tent has edited all of the previously mentioned films — earning himself an Oscar nomination for The Descendents. He has also cut several more highly praised features like Blow, Girl, Interrupted, The Golden Compass, and the pilot for HBO’s Hung.This year alone, Tent will simultaneously see the release of his latest edit, Downsizing, and his directorial debut, Crash Pad. In a way, it’s just an extension of a long lasting relationship, as Payne directed Downsizing and served as an Executive Producer on Crash Pad.Image via Vertical Entertainment. Crash Pad is an indie-comedy starring Domhall Gleeson and Thomas Haden Church that is currently available on Video-On-Demand. Downsizing, starring Matt Damon and Christoph Waltz, will release in theaters in December.I had the chance to talk with Kevin Tent on his incredible editing career, working his way up as an editor, and the chance he finally had to direct his own film. Here’s what I learned in our conversation.Kevin Tent: So you’re calling from Texas?Michael Maher: I am. I’m in a little town called Denton, just north of Dallas. It’s actually the same little town Thomas Haden Church went to college.KT: No way! Really?Image via Vertical Entertainment.MM: Yeah, he was here at the University of North Texas, which is where I went to school to study Radio, Television, and Film.KT: Ah, don’t they have a good music department too?MM: Oh yeah, they are world-renowned for their jazz program.KT: Yes! Yes, exactly. Actually, Daniel Rojas did a lot of the music in Crash Pad, and he went to school there. He did a lot of the club music and stuff like that. He’s an amazing guy, really talented. I thought that was the same school. How cool!Image via Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock.MM: Very cool. So, I want to pick your brain for a little bit. I’d like to start with editing, because I want to learn about how your experiences editing films helped prepare you for directing. Can you tell our readers about your editing history? You know, they always say editors never really planned on becoming editors.KT: That’s true. That’s true, true, true.  Well, I had always known I wanted to do something in film. I had this big notion of working in movies when I was a kid. But, I knew nothing about it. I grew up out in the country in upstate New York, outside of Buffalo. So I didn’t know anything about movies, but I knew I liked watching them — and I thought it would be fun to work in them.So I made a couple short films with some friends, then decided to move to California, knowing that they made movies out here. I dropped out of college and came to Los Angeles, and went to LA City Film School. I kinda just stumbled into that place, but it was actually a very good place for me.I went there, and then I cut my own short films, which I very much enjoyed — I thought that was kinda cool. Then I got my very first job out of film school, which was editing. It was editing for a little educational film company, editing those films we all saw in high school that were really boring, ridiculous, static, and cheesy. I was the editor on a bunch of those, like for a couple of years I did that.Then I would also edit my friends short films, and stuff like that. I really started liking it a lot, and would just do it whenever I had a chance. Then I guess you could say my career starting going when I had an opportunity to re-cut a movie and finish a movie for Roger Corman.Image via Zeta/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock.That was a great place to learn to edit. It was there where I really started going into this editing career, and it was great. So I stuck with it, and I kept cutting Roger’s movies, and then I moved into independents. I cut a movie called Guncrazy for Tamra Davis, which starred a very young Drew Barrymore. It was a really cool hip film, so then I started getting some indie-cred, which was right when the independent film scene was just getting started.So yeah, then I kept on cutting and finally one day Alexander Payne called, and he was looking for an editor. We met and hit if off, and I’ve been doing his movies since — as well as many other things.MM: That’s quite the career so far!KT: It is. It’s been amazing, and I’ve been very fortunate, and very grateful.MM: So in terms of the post-process. Tell us about how much it has shifted since you were cutting those indie films.KT: Yeah, we were still cutting film. Ha, that’s how old I am! You know, it happened so fast. You don’t even have to be that old to see how much it’s changed, though now all the young apprentice editors and special assistant editors in our cutting rooms now have never worked with film. Which is so mind boggling.Like, how many people load film into their cameras anymore, you know? But yeah, I started out on film on 16mm, and then 35mm. In fact, Citizen Ruth, Alexander’s first film, we cut that on film.MM: Then did you primarily switch to AVID after that?KT: I did, I did. I had a job, the first one I cut on Avid. This really nice editor in the room next door that showed me how to use it. The producers wanted me to take a class, and I called up to see how much the class on Avid cost. It was like $600 at the time, and I was like ‘I CAN’T AFFORD THAT!” So I didn’t do it. I just sat down and started cutting, and I kinda just learned it. It was very intuitive, and it was very much like cutting with film. So, I just dug in. I think it’s amazing, I love my Avid.Image via Paramount/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock.MM: Going back to your relationship with Alexander Payne, tell me about how much that process has changed. Not only have the budgets changed, but you’ve also done more VFX heavy work. What’s so different about editing something like Downsizing?KT: It’s just a lot bigger. It’s a lot more moving parts, but in a lot of ways it’s the same. We approached it like all the other films we’ve done together. We really let the performances guide us in our decisions of when to cut, where to cut, how to shape a scene. Even though there were visual effects and everything, we really cemented the scenes around the performances and then built about from there with the visual effects.It’s a multi-step process, but the main driving force in our decisions didn’t really change.MM: How did your experience as an editor help shape your thinking when directing a film?KT: I think I sorta had editing it in the back of my mind when directing. I messed up a couple times, where I was like ‘I don’t know why I didn’t go back and get more coverage on this thing, or I should’ve gotten more coverage.My film was really low budget, and we didn’t really have a lot of time. Everything was moving really quickly. There were a couple of times where I shot things more in a oner — thankfully most of the times I did get coverage.I ran out of time too. You want to get as much as possible, but we were moving really quick. For the most part I got everything I wanted, so my editor part of my brain was working.I do remember being on the set and going, ‘alright, if this doesn’t work with them coming in the room here, the I can always cut to the scene midway here and try to get a different transition.’ I figured as an editor we could figure it out someway to get in and out of scenes faster.Image via Vertical Entertainment. MM: So correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the schedule of Downsizing was pushed, and you had this brief window to direct Crash Pad, so you’re working on your own film while production started ramping up on the other. How did you manage to balance these two projects?KT: I was really hard. It was really hard to do.So I had been trying to get the movie made for a while, and then I got a heads up early on that Downsizing was gonna push to wait for Matt Damon. I saw a window of a year, so if I was ever going to get this movie made, I’m gonna have to push hard now.I got a really great producer, Bill Horberg, and I said to him that I had this short window and asked if he would produce it. He had already told me that he really liked the script, and he said yes. That really got the ball rolling. We were shooting while Alexander was in pre-production, and then we were cutting while he was finishing pre-production, and then I was finishing while he started shooting. So it was really hard to do both things, but there was another editor helping cut dailies while I was working on them too, so when I was doing my sound mix, they covered for me.Plus my son was graduating high school at the same time, and trying to figure out where he was going to college. It was like three major life things going on at once. It was pretty crazy, but we survived. It was a wild time.Image via Vertical Entertainment.MM: So in your role as a director now, what was it like having to assemble a cast?KT: You know, it’s all so fluid and happening so quickly, you’re not even aware of what exactly is going on. All I know is that we were so lucky to get Domhnall Gleason, and he was the only person I really wanted for that role. I had seen him in About Time, and he was really charming and funny in that.And then we were really lucky to get Thomas [Haden Church], you know I had known him from Sideways, and he kind of did us a favor and came in. You know, it was a first-time director and not very much money and all that stuff, but he joined us. He and Domhnall just had the best chemistry, and they were so funny on the set and off the set. We were really lucky to get those two guys.Image via Vertical Entertainment. Then Nina [Dobrev] was the next person to jump onboard. She was looking to do a comedy. And the last person we got right before pre-production was Christina Applegate.You know, it’s hard to cast. All these balls are up in the air, and then it just falls in place. Don’t ask me how it all happened, it all happened very quickly. It happened, and it happened in a great way. I was very lucky.MM: When you’re cutting a feature like this, music is such a big part of the process. What’s it like working on an indie-film with a limited budget versus a feature like Downsizing?KT: Music is critically important to a movie. I always knew it from editing, but realized it when directing that who your composer is, is just as important as your lead actor. They really have their own personality and sound, and you’re adding this very strong element to your movie.I was lucky to get Rolfe Kent, who also did Downsizing. In Crash Pad we had a low budget, but that doesn’t mean you don’t get great music. There are so many talented people like Daniel Rojas, who did amazing.A lot of times you cut to music, that’s a lot of what we do. Hopefully you can afford the music you use, but music can get expensive.Luckily there are a lot of talented people out here, and it’s a lot like when I started editing. I worked for no money, I did things for free. I worked just to get experience and more credits. There’s lots of people who still do that with music, or editing, or directing, or whatever.Image via REX/Shutterstock.MM: What’s the difference for a director during post-production? How involved are you with every cut?KT: Well for Downsizing, we had a whole army of people. We had a visual effects department, post-production supervisors, we had everybody. But on a little film, you just have less of all those people.I did have a fantastic editor that I worked with, Franco Pante, who was one of my assistant editors back 10 or 11 years ago on a Barry Sonnenfeld film that was shot in Vancouver. We worked very closely together. I just couldn’t help myself, so I did some cutting too, and we would cut back and forth. He would send me some scenes, and I’d show him things I had in mind. It was a great back and forth, it was very enjoyable. He made some of my favorite cuts in the movie, that I don’t think I would have ever thought of, and that was refreshing and great. He did a great job.MM: Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?KT: Well, if they see Crash Pad, I hope they like. And if they see Downsizing, I hope they like it.  I hope they get a kick out of them.Want more behind-the-scenes looks and interviews like this? Check out these articles.How Roger Deakins Shot and Lit Blade Runner 2049A Look Inside the Post-Production Process Behind “It”Interview: Behind the Scenes with YouTube’s Binging with BabishHow Editor Paul Machliss Cut Baby Driver in Real Time on LocationInterview: Director of Photography Jake Swantko of Netflix’s IcarusHow “American Vandal” Shows Us the Future of Documentary Filmlast_img read more

 

WAV vs. MP3: Why You Need Hi-Res Audio for Your Video

first_imgCompressed LosslessThe name “compressed lossless” may sound like a contradiction. However, the compression isn’t occurring in a way that degrades the audio itself. I like to explain it more like “space-efficient lossless.” Think of it almost like zip-compressing a music file, then unzipping it during playback. This results in a smaller file size, but the audio quality is still lossless, enabling full frequency playback. Sounds like the best of both worlds, right?Compressed lossless audio files can be anywhere from 1/2 to 1/3 the size of uncompressed audio files — or even smaller.The drawbacks for compressed lossless files are that they are the least supported (compared to uncompressed and compressed lossy.) They also require a little more computing power to play back, because they need decoding.Pros: Smaller file size, lossless, full audio frequencyCons: Less playback support on devices or editors Compressed LossyCompressed lossy audio formats are likely the most common audio files you use when listening to music. (Examples include .MP3 and .AAC.) This is because compressed lossy audio files have the most support among portable devices, and they have the smallest file sizes (meaning you can store more songs in less space.)In some cases, compressed lossy audio files can take up 1/10 the space as the same file that is uncompressed. (.MP3 compared to .WAV for example.) Compressed lossy audio files are ideal for streaming online.However, all that compression comes at a cost. The drawback is that the audio has a limited frequency range and noticeable audio artifacts when compared to a lossless format. Another drawback is that you have less range in post when it comes to editing and audio manipulation. Plus, each time you edit a compressed lossless file and re-export it, you lose more and more quality. Compressed lossy audio files are also not ideal for music loops because the codec adds short blank spaces at the beginning and end of the file.Pros: Smallest files sizes, wide playback supportCons: compressed, lossy, not ideal for editing In which we go over the different audio file formats at your disposal — and which is best for video editing.When using various audio files in your video edits, such as music tracks and sound effects, does the audio file type really make a difference? (Spoiler: yes, it does.) But the real question is why are there so many different audio file formats? And what is the purpose for each one? So let’s break that down, and in so doing, determine the best audio file formats to use when editing videos.Audio File FormatsTo help us get a grasp on the different audio file formats, I have categorized them into three main groups. Each group has a list of audio file formats most commonly associated with it. The audio groups are as follows:Uncompressed file formats: .WAV, .AIFFCompressed Lossless file formats: .FLAC, .ALAC (Apple Lossless)Compressed Lossy file formats: .MP3, .AAC, .WMA, .OGGLet’s run through the details of each format, as well as their pros and cons.UncompressedYou can think of uncompressed audio formats like the equivalent of RAW video formats. Essentially, you’re getting the audio data with no compression. This allows for a wide range of audio bit depth and sample rates. This results in better audio quality and covers the full frequency that the human ear can hear. (The original audio recording bit depth and sample rate play a big part in this equation as well. Compressed audio files converted into uncompressed audio formats don’t magically regain any audio quality.)Uncompressed audio files are typically easier to work with in audio and video editors because they require less processing to play back. And since uncompressed files contain more data, you’ll get better results when you’re manipulating the audio in post with various effects.The most common drawback for uncompressed audio files is their size, which is usually between 25-40 MB for an average song. These sizes aren’t a major issue today with transfer services like Dropbox and Google Drive (compared to 10+ years ago). However, in most cases, the uncompressed audio files are still too large to easily send as an email attachment. Also, some portable music players or devices may not support uncompressed audio formats. (Generally, most modern ones do, though.)Pros: No compression, lossless, full audio frequency, easier to work with in postCons: Large file size, some portable devices may not support itcenter_img Best audio format for video editingWhen it comes to audio formats to use when editing, you have to use what you have available. In an ideal world, use uncompressed formats such as .WAV or .AIFF whenever possible. They’ll give you the most latitude in post, and they have the most support. Plus, the audio on your video is going to get compressed during the final video export. So it helps to start with the best possible audio.In some cases, .MP3s may be all you need, and they are easy to transfer quickly.Looking for more articles on working with audio? Check these out.Creative Ways to Use Music Loops in Your VideosAudio Tips: How to Remove Vocals in a Song Using StemsTutorial: Removing Audio Pops and Recording Audio DifferentlyChanging the Audio Editing Game with PremiumBeat’s Track StemsThe Audio Ramp-Up: The Best Transition You Should Be Usinglast_img read more

 

SIT summons former Goa CM Kamat in illegal mining case

first_imgA Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Goa police has summoned former Chief Minister and former Minister for Mines Digambar Kamat to the crime branch office on Tuesday in connection with the estimated ₹35,000 crore mining scam. A senior official of the crime branch confirmed on Sunday to The Hindu that apart from Mr. Kamat, who held the mines portfolio for 12 years, former Director of Mines Arvind Lolienkar has also been summoned.This is the second time Kamat has been summoned in connection with the case. He was last questioned along with Mr. Lolienkar in February 2014. The SIT is looking to speed up investigation into the matter after the new Manohar Parrikar government took over recently. Significantly, Mr. Kamat was seen as the front-runner among Congress leaders acceptable to likely allies like Goa Forward Party, to take over as Chief Minister if party could form government post recent State assembly elections.After it made illegal mining and loss to State on that count as one of the major election issues in 2021, BJP had promised to bring to book all those involved in illegal mining and recover the loss to the exchequer because of it. However, Mr. Parrikar continued to face flak from anti-illegal mining groups and activists for not pursuing the matter as promised. On July 26, 2013, the Mines department had filed a criminal complaint in the illegal mining case with the crime branch, seeking that it fix criminal liability against those involved in illegal mining. It also requested that the police file an FIR against persons identified in the Supreme Court-appointed central empowered committee (CEC), the Shah Commission report on illegal mining that estimated the loss to exchequer due to illegal mining to Rs.35,000 crores, and in the reports about illegal mining by then Public Account Committee of the Goa legislative assembly headed by Mr. Parrikar.Apart from Mr. Kamat and Mr. Lolienkar, another retired Mines Director J.B. Bhingui, technical assistant Shyam Sawant, retired senior geologist of Mines department Hectar Fernandes have also been grilled by SIT sleuths so far.The SIT, probing 16 cases of illegal mining, has till date charge sheeted Frost International Pvt Ltd, a mining company before a special court under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The details of extraction, storage and trade till September 2012 — when mining operations were shut by the Supreme Court — information regarding production, export, purchase of ore, domestic sale, iron ore storage, opening and closing stock, clearances from Union Ministry of Environment and Forest, Indian Bureau of Mines among others are already in the SIT custody indicating the magnitude of the cases.last_img read more

 

Probe into Delhi-Meerut expressway

first_imgStaff Reporter A probe has been ordered into allegations of corruption and irregularities in the purchase of land for the Delhi-Meerut expressway project. Meerut Divisional Commissioner Dr. Prabhat Kumar ordered the probe after receiving several complaints that some officials allegedly bought land from villagers in the names of their proxies after the high-profile infrastructure project was notified in 2012. Dr. Kumar has asked the District Magistrate of Ghaziabad to conduct the probe and submit the report in two weeks. “We received several complaints that many officials, in a nexus with private parties, managed to get their relatives and acquaintances to buy land from villagers after the notification of the project was done. It was alleged that they made money when the compensation for the land was increased during the arbitration stage. I have asked the District Magistrate of Ghaziabad to probe the allegations and submit the report in two weeks,” said Dr. Kumar. “The probe into the allegations is already underway. Action will be taken against people who violated rules,” added Dr. Kumar. In August, he asked officials of the Meerut Development Authority to come to his office and had the police to arrest them after they were found to be involved in a case of corruption. Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation for the 74-km Delhi-Meerut expressway project in December 2015. The acquisition of land began in 2015 and, so far, over ₹400 crore has been awarded as compensation. Senior administrative officials of Ghaziabad told The Hindu that the initial probe had revealed that land had been bought and sold in as many as 450 cases after the notification of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway project.last_img read more

 

Adityanath releases ‘white paper’, targets previous govts

first_imgSix months after taking over the reins of Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday released a ‘white paper’ here, documenting the functioning of his government so far. However, far from being a dossier of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government’s achievements, it read like a negative critique of the previous Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) governments, with lists of acts of misgovernance and corruption over the last 14 years, from 2003-2017. Mulayam Singh, Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav were Chief Ministers during this period.Mr. Adityanath released the 22-page booklet featuring 25 topics hours after he was sworn in as an MLC, as mandated, along with four other ministers. The document accuses the previous governments of being “insensitive” to the people’s mandate, encouraging corrupt and anti-social elements, and carrying out scams after scams.The BJP government “inherited corruption, crime, goondagardi and lawlessness from the previous governments”, and due to the poor law and order, investors and traders were not able to operate their businesses in Uttar Pradesh, it reads.“On average, there were two riots per week under previous governments,” the document says, mentioning communal violence in Muzaffarnagar, Bareilly and other districts.Samajwadi Party spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary retaliated by saying that within just six months of the BJP coming to power, the State had slowed down in the development race.last_img read more

 

CBI files charge sheet against Ram Rahim for alleged castration

first_imgThe Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday filed the first charge sheet against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and two doctors for alleged castration of his followers at Sirsa. The Dera chief is serving a 20-year jail term in two rape cases.The doctors arraigned in the charge sheet are M.P. Singh, a resident of Delhi’s Mayur Vihar, and Pankaj Garg from Panchkula in Haryana. They have been accused of castrating Ram Rahim’s followers at his instance.Dr. Singh is currently in judicial custody in connection with the riots that took place in Panchkula and Sirsa in Haryana, after Ram Rahim was convicted in two rape cases in August last year.The CBI case is based on a writ petition filed by a former Dera follower, Hansraj Chauhan, in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in July 2012 alleging that 400 followers of the Dera chief were castrated. It was alleged that Ram Rahim got his devotees castrated on false claims that it would lead to “realisation of God” through him.Following the High Court’s directions, the agency registered an FIR in 2015 to investigate the allegations. Last October, the CBI recorded Ram Rahim’s statement in connection with the alleged castration.“Further investigations in the case are under way. More charge sheets may be filed in due course,” said a CBI official.last_img read more

 

BJP has grand plans for Ambedkar anniversary

first_imgSeeking to take the wind out of the Opposition parties’ sails, the BJP is planning to hold grand events across Uttar Pradesh to mark the birth anniversary of B.R. Ambedkar and honour Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath with the title of “Dalit Mitra”.Padyatras planned“On the eve of the birth anniversary of the architect of the Constitution, party workers will take out padyatras in the districts,” said Kaushal Kishore, BJP MP from Mohanlalganj, in Lucknow.Mr. Kishore, also the State president of BJP’s SC Morcha, showered praises on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Chief Minister for working on the mission of Babasaheb.“After the formation of the BJP government at the Centre and in U.P., both of them have started working on the mission of Babasaheb. A large number of beneficiaries of different schemes of the Centre are people from SC/ST community,” he said.‘Ms. Mayawati scared’ Slamming BSP supremo Mayawati, Mr. Kishore said she is frightened by the fact that a large number of people belonging to the SC/ST community are beneficiaries of different schemes of the NDA government. “She feels worried… and our rival political parties are hatching a conspiracy to tarnish the image of the BJP,” he said. “Mayawati must remember that it was a BJP leader who saved her (when she was attacked at a guest house in U.P.). If she is siding with the party which had once tried to take her life, then she cannot be a well-wisher of Dalits,” he said, seeking to drive a wedge into the new-found bonhomie between the BSP and the SP.Govt.’s intentionMr. Kishore added that if the government’s intention was to repeal the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, then it would not have filed a review petition in the Supreme Court which had recently passed an order on the law.last_img read more

 

One dead, 106 rescued from Vasai waterfall

first_imgOne picnicker lost his life while 106 others were rescued from the Chinchoti waterfall in Vasai, where weekend revellers were stranded due to torrential rainfall on Saturday. Vasai police officials said two to three groups of people had come from Mumbai to spend the weekend at the popular picnic spot in the Tungareshwar forest, and were stranded when water levels started rising due to the incessant rain on Saturday. As the flooding continued, people began climbing on trees to save themselves, and some of them called the Palghar police control room. Information was relayed to all concerned agencies, including the Palghar Fire Brigade, and several teams were rushed to the spot. Rescue operations began within the hour with the help of local fishermen. Around an hour later, after realising that over 100 people were stranded and the water levels were still rising, the Palghar police reached out to the National Disaster Response Force, and a team was sent to assist with the rescue efforts. “After over four hours of sustained rescue operations, which were conducted in collaboration with all concerned agencies and locals, we rescued a total of 106 people from the area and brought them to safety. We also pulled out a body from the water, which was identified as that of Bhavesh Gupta, a resident of Kandivali in Mumbai, who had come to spend the weekend at the waterfall with his friends,” Superintendent of Police (Palghar) Manjunath Singe said. All accounted for Mr. Singe added that by late Saturday night, all the revellers were accounted for and the operation was called off. Officers said that 26 of the 106 people who were rescued were stuck in ‘danger zones’, high risk areas with a history of fatalities, and rescuing them took the longest period of time. The police have registered an Accidental Death Report in connection with Mr. Gupta’s death, and his body will be handed over to his family after post mortem examination at the municipal hospital in Vasai, officials said.last_img read more

 

Govind Pansare murder: Kolhapur court remands Amol Kale in police custody

first_imgThe Kolhapur district and sessions court on Thursday remanded Amol Kale, a key accused in the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh, in police custody till November 22 in the case of murder of Communist leader and writer Govind Pansare. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Maharashtra police, probing Pansare’s murder, secured his custody from the Bengaluru central prison on Wednesday. Kale, along with the other accused Rajesh Bangera and Amit Digwekar, is lodged there in the Lankesh murder case. Government prosecutor Shivajirao Rane requested the court that Kale be remanded in police custody for 14 days because the SIT’s investigation revealed his involvement in the murder of Pansare. “The SIT has gathered information on Kale’s stay in Kolhapur in November-December 2014, before the murder of Pansare (on February 16, 2015). It is necessary to determine how Kale hatched the conspiracy that led to the death of Pansare, where in Kolhapur he received training in firearms, who were his accomplices and what were his past links with the city,” Mr. Rane said. After hearing arguments by the defence against police custody, Judge S.S. Raul remanded Kale in police custody for seven days. Kale is also a suspect in the murder of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar. The CBI has interrogated him in the case. In September, the CBI gave the green signal to the SIT to question him in the Pansare killing.Pansare and his wife Uma were repeatedly shot at by motorcycle-borne assailants as they returned from a morning stroll at Sagar Mal at Kolhapur. While Ms. Pansare survived the attack, her husband succumbed to wounds at Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai on February 20. In June this year, the Karnataka SIT, probing the Lankesh case, chanced upon a diary allegedly belonging to Kale. It allegedly contained a ‘hit-list’ of progressive and secular thinkers, who were critics of radical Hindutva ideas. The list contained the names of the relatives of Pansare and Dabholkar. After questioning Kale in the Dabholkar case, the CBI alleged that the motorbike and the murder weapon used in the killing of the rationalist were supplied by Kale and that he was one of the key conspirators. Kale, alleged to be a former activist of the rightwing Hindu Janjagruti Samiti (HJS), was first arrested in May this year in the Pimpri-Chinchwad area of Pune by the Karnataka SIT in the Lankesh murder case. The agency suspects Kale has masterminded the murder of Dabholkar, suggesting that he and Sachin Andure, alleged to be the main shooter in the Dabholkar killing, had met in Aurangabad district and stayed in a lodge there. In January this year, the Kolhapur sessions court granted conditional bail to radical Hindutva activist Virendra Tawde, named as the mastermind in the Dabholkar murder, in the Pansare case. According to probe agencies, Tawde is a crucial link to the murders of Pansare and Dabholkar. The SIT’s supplementary chargesheet even names Tawde as ‘mastermind’ in the Pansare murder, suspecting him of conducting the reconnaissance before the murder. Motorcycle-borne assailants killed Dabholkar on August 20, 2013, with a 7.65-mm country pistol when he was taking his morning stroll on the Omkareshwar Bridge in Pune. Pansare and wife Uma were shot with two 7.65-mm country weapons. The same modus operandi was used in the murder of rationalist M.M. Kalburgi by two persons outside his home in Dharwad, Kanataka.last_img read more

 

NDA to begin Bihar campaign with Patna rally

first_imgThe State presidents of all three NDA constituents in Bihar— the BJP, the JD(U) and the Lok Janshakti Party — on Sunday announced that the grouping will hold a rally in Patna on March 3 to kick- start the poll process for the Lok Sabha election scheduled for later this year.Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to join Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and LJP president Ram Vilas Paswan on the stage.“While JDU) and LJP presidents — Nitish Kumar and Ram Vilas Paswan — have confirmed their presence at the rally, we’re expecting confirmation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah,” State JD(U) president Basistha Narayan Singh said at a press meet in Patna.State BJP president Nityanand Rai and LJP chief Pashupati Kumar Paras were also present at the interaction. “It will be a rally of a proportion not seen in last 30 to 40 years,” said Mr. Paras while Mr. Rai said, “In the rally we’ll ask the Congress what they have done in 50 years of their regime in the country, and also present our government’s achievements of five years”.However, political observers said that ahead of the Lok Sabha poll for which dates are likely to be announced in second week of the March, the NDA was trying to counter the Congress by organising a rally exactly after a month on the same ground in Patna. The Congress is scheduled to hold a Jan Aakansha Rally (People’s expectation Rally) on February 3 in Patna at which party president Rahul Gandhi will share the stage with other leaders of the mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) including Tejashwi Yadav (RJD), Jitan Ram Manjhi (HAM), Upendra Kushwaha (RLSP), Sharad Yadav and Mukesh Sahni. It is, however, not clear yet whether the Left leaders will join the rally. Road showMeanwhile, on Sunday, Congress Rajya Sabha MP and senior State leader Akhilesh Singh led a huge roadshow of hundreds of youths on motorcycles in Patna to garner support for the rally. Independent MLA and criminal-turned-politician Anant Singh who is popularly known as Chhote Sarkar, too joined the road-show along with his hundreds of supporters and declared that he would contest the upcoming Lok Sabha poll from Munger constituency on a Congress ticket. When asked about Mr. Anant Singh’s presence in the road-show, Congress leader Akhilesh Singh said, “He is a strong and popular leader…his presence will help the party to garner support for the rally.”Both Mr. Akhilesh Singh and Mr. Anant Singh belong to the upper caste Bhumihar community, widely seen as a BJP vote bank. It is said Mr. Akhilesh Singh has been keen on inducting Mr. Anant Singh into the party to take on JD(U) leader Lallan Singh, the likely NDA candidate and close friend of Mr. Nitish Kumar from Munger parliamentary constituency.However, State Congress president Madan Mohan Jha appeared uncomfortable with the idea of Mr. Anant Singh who faces as many as 16 criminal cases, being a candidate in the upcoming Lok Sabha poll. “If someone propagates and believes in party president Rahul Gandhi’s principles what can we do?…who will join the party or not is being decided at central level”, said Mr Jha.last_img read more

 

Capital contest: AAP slides; BJP, Congress fancy chances

first_img But what perhaps has been the most regular feature of the Delhi government has been the confrontation with the Lieutenant-Governor, who represents the Centre.From posting officials to notifying Bills passed by the Delhi Assembly, Mr. Kejriwal accused the L-G’s office of being the stumbling block in the functioning of an elected government in Delhi. Accusing the Centre of preventing an elected government from doing its job, the AAP’s manifesto now focusses on attaining full Statehood where the State government can acquire control of law and order and other key Ministries without any interference from the Centre.The AAP has also focussed on its successes such as improving the quality of education in government schools and impressive mohalla (neighbourhood) clinics.Key candidatesThough the party has announced candidates to all seven Lok Sabha seats, the focus is likely to be on candidates like Atishi Marlena Singh, the brain behind the revamped Delhi government schools, contesting against cricketer-turned-BJP candidate Gautam Gambhir and the Congress’s Arvinder Singh Lovely from East Delhi.The other key candidate is the party’s South Delhi contestant, Raghav Chadha, who is locked in a three-cornered fight between outgoing BJP MP Ramesh Bhiduri and boxing champion Vijender Singh, who is now the Congress candidate.After alliance efforts with the AAP failed, the Congress has fielded senior leaders, including former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit from North East Delhi against Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari and former Union Minister Ajay Maken against the BJP’s Meenakshi Lekhi. With the Assembly election in Delhi about eight months away, the Congress has decided to target the AAP on its development record and bring out a report card.The Congress believes it can win back the voters that it lost to the AAP in Delhi almost five years ago. That also explained why a section of the Delhi Congress, including Ms. Dikshit, was opposed to an alliance with the AAP.The BJP that had won all seven seats in 2014 would be trying out its familiar faces in five out of seven seats. Apart from Mr. Gambhir, the party has fielded Punjabi singer Hansraj Hans from North West Delhi, the only reserved seat for Schedule Castes.Fiercely fighting for its space in Delhi, the BJP is banking on Mr. Modi’s “decisive leadership” to win all the seven Lok Sabha seats as the first step in trying to dislodge the AAP from Delhi eight months later. The image of Arvind Kejriwal taking a dip in the Ganga at Varanasi’s Rajghat to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2014 Lok Sabha election announced him as a challenger to status quoist political parties.He and his newly formed Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) — that grew out of an anti-corruption movement against the Congress-led UPA government — had earned the reputation of being a giant slayer after it ended the Congress’s uninterrupted 15-year rule in Delhi by ousting the Sheila Dikshit-led government.Five years later, Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal is struggling to register a strong performance in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.Though the Modi wave had wiped it out even in the 2014 election, the AAP made a stunning comeback in February 2015 by winning 67 of the 70 Assembly seats.But the mood in May 2019 is a different one. With over four years of running the State government, a sense of anti-incumbency is growing.Turning down allliancesAn alliance with the Congress would have helped consolidate the anti-BJP votes but it did not happen. The past few days have also seen desertion by at least, two lawmakers of the Delhi Assembly.In Punjab too, where the AAP had won four Lok Sabha seats during 2014, the party has broken up into different splinter groups. Reflecting a sense of cynicism, his one-time colleague and political activist, Yogendra Yadav, who severed his ties with the AAP, suggested that Delhi voters should opt for NOTA [None of the above] during the May 12 polling.last_img read more

 

Gupta Empire crumbles as Jacob Zuma exits South African Presidency

first_imgFor years, brothers Ajay, Atul and Rajesh Gupta were ranked among South Africa’s most prominent businessmen and socialized with the ruling elite, including their friend, then-President Jacob Zuma.They weathered accusations that they’d exploited their political connections to land an aircraft at a high-security military base to ferry guests to a private wedding, installed their allies in key positions at state companies, tried to influence cabinet appointments and looted billions. Read it at Economic Times Related Itemslast_img read more

 

An Indian-Origin Girl is in Top 1% of the World’s Brightest People

first_imgOut of 20-odd adults, Iona was the only child to give the test held last week in Birmingham.The raw scores are “normed” to take account of the candidate’s age and 162 is the highest score which can be achieved by someone under 18. For an adult, it is 161.Read it at The Qunit Related Itemslast_img

 

H1B Visas

first_imgSix months since applications for the 2010 H1B visas were opened, 6,500 visas remain unclaimed and immigration attorneys expect that for the first time since 2003, the quota may not be exhausted.Last year, the 65,000 H1B visas were snapped up in just one day.Days To Exhaust H1B Quota  2004 3232005 1842006 1322007  56 2008   2 2009   1  Related Itemslast_img

 

International Monetary Fund Projects India’s Growth at 7.4 Per Cent in 2018

first_imgThe International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) on April 17 projected India’s growth at 7.4 per cent in 2018 and 7.8 per cent in 2019, overtaking its rival neighbor China, which has been projected at 6.6 per cent and 6.4 per cent, respectively.India in 2018 and 2019 will re-emerge as one of the fastest growing major economies, with its growth picking up after a sharp dip in the second quarter of 2017 due to “one off factors,” according to the IMF.IMF kept unchanged the global growth forecasts for 2018 and 2019 at 3.9 per cent.The organization attributed the high projected growth rate for India in 2018 and 2019 to strong private consumption as well as fading transitory effects of the currency exchange initiative and implementation of the national Goods and Services Tax (GST).The latest IMF growth rate projection, which is released bi-annually, remains unchanged from the last one in October. In 2016, India’s growth rate was 7.1 per cent as opposed to China’s 6.7 per cent that year.India’s progress on structural reforms like GST will cause reduction of internal barriers for trade, increase in efficiency and improvement of tax compliance, the report said. “While the medium-term growth outlook for India is strong, an important challenge is to enhance inclusiveness,” it added.In the wake of the Punjab National Bank scam, India’s high public debt and recent failure to achieve the budget’s deficit target calls for a broader package of financial reforms, along with recapitalization, to improve the governance of public sector banks and strengthen banks’ debt recovery mechanisms, the IMF said.Easing labor market rigidities, reducing infrastructure bottlenecks, and improving educational outcomes will remove constraints on job creation and ensure that the demographic dividend are not wasted.The WEO report noted that growth in China and India in 2017 was supported by resurgent net exports and strong private consumption.In the period of 2018 and 2019, the WEO said of India: “Over the medium term, growth is expected to gradually rise with continued implementation of structural reforms that raise productivity and incentivize private investment.Over the medium term, China’s economy is projected to continue re-balancing away from investment toward private consumption and from industry to services, but non-financial debt is expected to continue rising as a share of GDP, and the accumulation of vulnerabilities clouds the medium-term outlook, the report said.Meanwhile, the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank have projected the Indian economy to grow at 7.3 per cent in 2018-19. Related ItemsEconomyGSTIMFlast_img read more

 

‘Pawar leader of Baramati only’

first_imgStating that the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) had reached a political dead end, Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) leader Prakash Ambedkar on Thursday said that NCP chief Sharad Pawar had lost all claim to be a ‘national leader’ after his party’s rout in the general elections.“The dismal performance of the NCP and the Congress in the Lok Sabha elections has reduced Sharad Pawar from being a national leader to being the leader of only the Baramati constituency,” said Mr. Ambedkar, speaking in Solapur.He also said Mr. Pawar had been ‘caught in the trap’ laid by the Bharatiya Janata Party.Mr. Ambedkar, whose front proved to be a major vote-splitter of traditional Congress-NCP votes, claimed that post the poll results, the VBA had emerged as the main opposition party and not the Congress-NCP combine.“If you analyse their [Congress-NCP] cumulative vote share, 80% of the votes they received were from the minority community while only 20% constitute non-Muslim votes,” said the VBA leader, who intends to contest all 288 seats in the upcoming Assembly elections.He also said the parties would have to contest the Assembly polls separately if they wished to rebuild their crumbling organisations.Mr. Ambedkar, who lost from both the Akola and the Solapur Lok Sabha seats, has forged an alliance with Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM).The only VBA candidate to win a Lok Sabha seat was Imtiaz Jaleel, formerly a sitting AIMIM legislator who bagged the Aurangabad Lok Sabha constituency to beat four-time Shiv Sena MP Chandrakant Khaire.In a bid to cobble up a viable ‘third front’, Mr. Ambedkar has already made an ‘offer’ to Swabhimani Paksha chief Raju Shetti to join his front.last_img read more