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The Supreme Court on Monday declined a plea to take suo motu cognisance of the deaths of children in a government hospital at Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh.A lawyer made the plea before a Bench led by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar, who responded that he should approach the Allahabad High Court.‘HC can deal with it’The Bench reasoned that the incident happened in “one State and in one hospital”, and the High Court was best to deal with the case, in case a petition is filed before it.The court also asked why it should intervene as the authorities had already swung into action.The lawyer wanted an Special Investigation Team to be constituted under the directions of the SC to investigate the deaths of over 60 children, many allegedly due to a disruption in the oxygen supply, at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College Hospital in Gorakhpur.
The India-Pakistan connection made them a global talking point at the US Open but Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi do not even consider themselves from two different nations.They were the first India-Pakistan combination to reach a Grand Slam final and their coming together and doing well at a tennis major, generated a huge interest.Even the Ambassadors from the two countries to the United Nations came together to cheer them and it was enough for media to add some political colour to the coverage, considering the two countries have fought three wars since becoming independent.Media coined terms like ‘Indo-Pak Express, Indo-Pak peace pair’ to describe their pairing but Bopanna today said he and Qureshi have never thought about the countries they belong to and their compatibility as individuals was the sole reason behind their partnership.”Qureshi and I got together because we felt that we would make a good doubles team. We know each other for so long and have a great understanding so it only made sense to play together.”We never intended on making any political statement. It is the media who gives us these tags, we never look at each other as being from different countries,” Bopanna told PTI in an interview.Asked that playing with a strong slogan such as “Stop War, Start Tennis” itself was a political statement, Bopanna said them being ambassadors for peace was the sole reason for having that message on their on-court attire.”We are just here to play tennis. We are great friends off the court and are looking to take our careers forward together. Since we are ambassadors for peace we try to spread that message through sports. We are not here to make any political statements,” he insisted. .advertisementThey brought together the two hostile nations to clap, scream and enjoy together and Bopanna said he and Qureshi would love to do more with their partnership.”Well, we want people to trust and respect each other.Sports should never be subject to religion or politics,” he said.Talking about the biggest match of their career, the Indian Davis Cupper said he and Qureshi now have the belief that they are Grand Slam material and could soon even win one.”Earlier we used to win the first set but fall of on the second set and then take the third. But now we want to win big. We focus even harder on the second set, and the entire US Open, the only sets we dropped were in the finals.”Also that we can compete at this level and we know we belong here. We just need to stay focused, work hard and we can win a Grand Slam final.”The runners-up trophy has already earned them a huge bonanza as they are now ranked world number six.”Hopefully, it will lead to many great performances and eventually take us to the No.1 spot in doubles. I am noted as a confidence player, and I am sure that this final, will help me be a more confident player and doing better.”Bopanna could have been only the fourth Indian and Qureshi first Pakistani to win a Grand Slam had they beaten the Bryan brothers — Mike and Bob — in the US Open final.They are little disappointed to miss out on history but still very much satisfied.”We are still working our way towards winning a Grand Slam. Despite the result it was a great achievement to make it to the finals. We were a bit disappointed, but looking back I think that is definitely something to be proud of,” he said.
The Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA held its biannual Open Mind Gala on March 22nd at the Beverly Hilton in support of mental health research, education, and clinical care programs at UCLA.Demi Lovato Honored At Open Mind GalaCredit/Copyright: Getty Images for UCLA Semel Institute’s Open Mind GalaThe Open Mind Gala, which was sponsored by both The Friends of the Semel Institute and the UCLA Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital Board of Directors, raised over $900,000 for the cause.Friends Courteney Cox and Lisa KudrowCredit/Copyright: Getty Images for UCLA Semel Institute’s Open Mind GalaThe Open Mind Gala honored three leaders in business, education, and entertainment, for their work in advancing the fields of neuroscience and mental health. Demi Lovato received the Artistic Award of Courage from CAST Centers CEO Mike Bayer for her inspirational leadership, passion, and advocacy in using her platform to heroically speak out about mental health in order to reduce stigma, raise awareness, and help others. Julia S. Gouw accepted the Humanitarian Award, in memory of Dr. Lori Altshuler, from Dr. Peter Whybrow for her deep commitment to improving the lives of those with mental illness through humanitarian efforts and philanthropy. Dr. Kelsey Martin was honored with the Visionary Award, presented to her by Chancellor Gene Block, for her outstanding visionary work in the fields of mental health and neuroscience. Actress Lisa Kudrow hosted the event, while singer-songwriter Chord Overstreet took the stage with his guitar in hand to perform “Homeland” and his new single “Hold On.”Attendees included Vicky Goodman (Founder and President of The Friends of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior at UCLA), Dr. Nancy Glaser (Founding Chair of The Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital Board of Advisors), event co-chairs Margot Calabrese, Alexandra Dwek, Beth Karmin, and Dana Pachulski, UCLA’s Dr. Michael Gitlin, Dr. Andrew Leuchter, and Dr. Thomas Strouse, along with Dan Bucatinsky, Courteney Cox, Diane Keaton, Andrea and Peter Roth, Jane Semel, Luke Walton, UCLA Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Scott Waugh, and more.
Time, December 10, 2007; Esquire, June 2008As it’s been noted on this blog before, magazine editors seem to have an endless fascination with putting Barack Obama on their covers. Which, in turn, leads to fascinating graphic portrayals—some, you might say, angelic—and, naturally, perhaps, some overlap. Like this.Both shots come from the same photo shoot. The original shoot (by renowned, one-named photographer Platon) was commissioned by Time; Esquire bought the cover shot from Platon. I asked Esquire design director David Curcurito for background. He referred me to a lengthy interview Michael Norseng, the magazine’s director of photography, gave to Rob Haggart, former photo director for Men’s Journal and Outside and blogger behind A Photo Editor:In response to the original question you refrenced, “we wonder how Esquire failed to get an exclusive portrait for their cover” my guess is that they didn’t bother to read Charles Pierce’s story on the inside of the issue “The Cynic and The Senator Obama.” Charles observed the Obama campaign from the outside, as the millions of us in the crowd are doing, and offered a critical appraisal of the Senator without a sit down interview. As you know, it’s rare, especially for a guy who had bigger fish to fry at the time of the issue, to participate in a shoot when there is no direct involvement with the piece.We were of course aware that the Platon shoot was originally commissioned by Time and how they ran the material. However, Platon has a long history of shooting key political figures for Esquire, starting with, one of the most iconic of all time, the Bill Clinton cover in December of 2000. Since then, he has done others, GOP candidate McCain in 06 and Senator Edwards in 07. So, if a shoot would have somehow presented itself, its fair to say that he would have been at the top of our list. Thus, we were extremely happy that the B/W shot was available and that we got it for our cover.My guess is that they feel in love with the image, and probably figured that in this election cycle, six months is an eternity, and few readers would notice (given Curcurito’s trademark coverline treatments) and those that did wouldn’t care.
The breakneck growth of The News Group in 2009, thanks largely to its acquisition of Anderson News’s assets, has given it close to 50 percent market share—almost double its previous footprint—and unprecedented leverage with retailers. The impact of the wholesaler’s size and influence will be a major factor in the years ahead.The News Group U.S. is the Smyrna, Georgia-based division of the Canadian distributor and part of the massive Vancouver, BC, Canada-based Jim Pattison Group, which had sales of $6.7 billion in 2009 with holdings in the automotive dealership, packaging, food sales and distribution, and export and financial industries.The News Group entered into the U.S. in the late 1990s by partnering with several regional wholesalers and grew its footprint in the country with a model based on limited partnerships. “[The U.S. Group] was created that way to service the U.S. without having to invest in the infrastructure,” said David Parry, president of The News Group U.S. “It gave us the ability to go to national chains and service those locations in a broad sense.” Now, the Pattison-owned portion of the group is 65 percent, with 35 percent representing LP-agencies. Those distributors are separately-owned and operated with their own P&Ls, said Parry, who added that Pattison has first right of refusal. In other words, if one of the LP agencies wanted to break away, they’d need to go to Pattison first.The limited partnership model gives The News Group a shared resource structure and fixed-cost efficiencies. “It’s a marketing, promotions and accounting joint venture,” said Parry. “We can work with our retailers on a national basis and bid with them. It’s the same thing with purchasing—we’re one voice to the publishers. We can consolidate our data and look and feel as one entity to simplify the process.”The Anderson FactorIn February 2009, wholesaler Anderson News abruptly shut its doors, blowing a chunk of the supply chain right off the rails and brought, for several months, magazine distribution to a standstill. About 25 percent of the market was suddenly up for grabs. The event spooked everyone—from publishers to retailers—and highlighted in stark relief the frailty of the distribution channel.The News Group quickly stepped into the void and hammered out a deal to purchase what was left of Anderson. That action is widely credited with mending a fatally broken supply chain after the Anderson implosion.The News Group picked up 15 of Anderson’s major distribution centers, 60 depots, 1,300 trucks and hired 4,000 employees. “We hammered out the deal in about 48 hours and did the rest in about 60 days,” said Parry.All told, Parry said The News Group spent in the high seven figures, with investments ongoing in scan-based trading and other infrastructure.Bigger Size, More LeverageNow, however, we’re left with a very different distribution landscape with The News Group commanding a 46 percent market share, according to Parry. That size gives the wholesaler some obvious benefits, but those benefits trickle back to publishers, too, he said.Along with Anderson’s assets, The News Group took over distribution into 10,225 stores.News Group’s new size and the shock of the near-collapse of the distribution chain helped the wholesaler negotiate more favorable terms with retailers, which have historically been the 900-pound gorilla in the room. Parry said he struck new, multi-year contracts with retailers, and confirmed rumors that he shaved a “couple of points” on the terms in his favor.“The fragmented nature of the business was the biggest point of leverage,” said Parry. “The fragility of our business was our greatest asset to reworking the deals. The retailers had to reconsider the margins they were getting in the category.”Those terms may be favorable now, but what happens when contracts are up for renewal in a few years? “They’re sustainable,” reassured Parry, who seemed to think there was only one direction to keep moving in. “It’s human nature to try to get more,” he said, referring to retailers who might try to negotiate terms back in their favor. “That might be the situation, but the question back to the retailers is how steadfast they are in maintaining profitability. I can say we will not go back. We were 12 years with losses.”Over the last several years, those losses have been diminishing. The News Group, prior to Anderson’s closure, had already been working on improving its deals, consolidating its infrastructure and distribution centers, and reorganizing management. “We saved $10 million to $15 million in operational expenses,” said Parry.Those actions will result in a projected profit in 2010. “It will be a mild profit, but it’s better than losing money,” said Parry.Going forward, Parry said that they’ll continue to look at operating costs and try to keep them as low as possible without impacting service levels. He said the company will turn to publisher accounts and examine them for efficiencies, promotional involvement, cover pricing and “which ones pay their way and which ones don’t” in an effort to adjust margins wherever possible.“There’s no way around the fact that they took on so much business that costs skyrocketed,” said Rodale’s senior vide president of retail sales Richard Alleger. “In my view they must have looked at every account and how valuable it is and how many resources they could put against it. As a publisher I applaud that. Anything they can do to make themselves more financially solid is a good thing.”SBT Still on the TableScan-based trading is still a looming and contentious issue. Parry said fully 60 percent of News Group’s volume—driven by Wal Mart, Target, Safeway, Kroger, and others—is handled with SBT, noting that represents “millions of dollars sitting on wholesalers’ books. We’re taking all of that inventory as a receivable and creating a liability. The banks look at it as debt, not equity. That’s where, in the future, the wholesalers are going to need help from the publishers.”Yet publishers, who’ve long used their national distributors such as Comag and Time/Warner Retail Sales and Marketing, as a shield-like go-between in deals with the wholesalers may not be ready to get directly involved. “‘Publisher’ is an open-ended term,” said Alleger. “While I’m a publisher, I don’t have a contract with the News Group, my national distributor does that. Any discussion on that line will have to go through the national distributor, regardless of how I feel. That is where the discussion is going to have to happen.”Keeping Product on ShelvesWith all the business that The News Group picked up, publishers are concerned over its ability to merchandise magazines consistently. Rife with turnover, merchandising requires bodies in stores to make sure titles are stocked and restocked. “[The News Group has] to find all these folks to merchandise on a regular basis,” said Alleger. “Most of those jobs are the most difficult in retention. I can’t even imagine the juggling they have to do.”Parry, however, is confident the merchandising end is taken care of. “With the addition of our Select Merchandising team and our partners, we have over 7,000 merchandising employees working our retailer displays today. We have never been in a better position to service and execute on behalf of the publishers.”
Chetan PriyadarshanBengaluru is hosting a two-day vintage motorcycle show with over 200 bikes at UB City. Here you can catch a glimpse of the 1920 BSA Pointing to one of the vehicles used by Hitler’s armed forces. The show was inaugurated by Kannada actor Puneet Rajkumar on Saturday and the first day attracted a footfall of over 600 visitors. It is being organised by the Federation of Historical Vehicles of India (FHVI) and Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens (FIVA) on the occasion of International Motorcycle Week. Chetan PriyadarshanJointly sponsored by UB City and The Prestige Group, the show has vintage bikes from Royal Enfield, Jawa, Yezdi, Harley Davidson, Indian, Nortons, Triumph, BMW, BSA, Matchless, AJS, and Lambretta. Rare bikes like Velocette, Cossack, Douglas, CZ, JAP, Cezeta, Micoletta, Norman, and NSU were also showcased in large numbers.This is the first time FIVA, an official partner of UNESCO, is organising the event in India. According to Dr. Ravi Prakash, the president of FHVI, “This event is the first step to preserve royalty and the beauty of vintage motor and its craftsmanship.” He added that the motto behind such kind of shows is to provide its viewers the understanding of the complex high-end motors.The event showcased vintage bikes ranging from 1900s to late 1980s. The biggest attraction in the event was the introduction of a Zundapp, a vintage of 1936 from Germany. It is the only one available in a working condition in the world. It is a bike from the Hitler’s army from World War 2. The bike fuses in it a power of 650cc, hand gear, shock driven, boxer twin engine. Chetan PriyadarshanThe event also showcases the very first cycles named, Bone Shakers and Panny Farthing dating back to 1860 and 1870, respectively. The event allotted special attention to a few companies which were the benchmark to the evolution of motorcycles. The oldest collections of FHVI consisting of a Douglas (1920), an AJS H7 (1927), a BSA (1931) was showcased together with the vintage cycles. Chetan PriyadarshanThe presence of several high-profile motorcycle manufacturers with their collections, the vintage motorcycle show had plenty going for it. Here is a quick roundup:Harley Davidson Chetan PriyadarshanThere were multiple bikes displayed by the brand with one of the oldest being the two cylinder v-twin engine, Knucklehead EL vintage 1937. There were many classic models and also racing models like 1983-XR 1000 in the display.Royal Enfield Chetan PriyadarshanThe company took the grandeur of showcasing its very first continental GT models and the Interceptors. The company also displayed some of the newer models like the army brown classic and the bullet.TVS Chetan PriyadarshanBoasting of its renovations on the Apache RR310, the company made it obvious with their display of the vintage and the recent release, the changes and what the company has changed so far.Jawa Chetan PriyadarshanThe major attraction by the company was the 660cc continental vintage display. Adding into the flavour was the 350cc twin engine. The relative newer varieties are flooding the market but the vintage relatively gives a greater grandeur.Ariel Chetan PriyadarshanThe company boasted mostly of its single sitter, double engine carriers in the show. The British motor company showcased a variety ranging from 350cc to 500cc carriers. The Red Hunter classic and the Ariel Square Four MKII classic were the main attractions because of their elongated looks. The 400cc, Ariel Sloper also attracted a lot of people.BMW Chetan PriyadarshanThough the company did not showcase many vintage carriers, the classic models described the grandeur of the company. BMW R100RS and 900cc classic gave the show a different charm of luxury craftsmanship. The other attraction was the 400cc, BMW R4, stamped in 1934.Indian Chetan PriyadarshanThe famous cruiser manufacturing auto company displayed an astonishing range of single sitter classic models. The visitors were awed by seeing the look of the double cylinder carrier.Triumph Chetan PriyadarshanThe UK manufacturer displayed its twin cylinder Tiger models and the 500cc classic models. The major attraction was the sand brown, 350cc Triumph 3HW.BSA Chetan PriyadarshanThe company played the trump-card role for the show. Its contrast displays ranging from cycle mopeds to classic bikes and bullets were displayed with the other competitors in the auto industry. The company showed by the way of their display, what they rolled, through the years of progress. The major attraction for the viewers was the 1980’s bond street carrier. The attractions were the BSA James, 150cc vintage stamped in 1938, the BSA BB 33 stamped in 1933 and the BSA 500cc sidecar, stamped in 1928.Panther Chetan PriyadarshanThe company displayed one of the motorbikes from 1947. The carrier is completely rusted but is kept in factory condition to retain its vintage grandeur. The other attraction was the 75cc Panther model from 1955.Some of the other vintage motors on display are a 350cc AJS from 1925, 500cc Sunbeam from 1949 and 500cc Sunbeam S7 from 1951.
Iranian presidential election candidates Hassan Rouhani and Ebrahim Raisi. AFPPolls opened in Iran on Friday with voters set to give their verdict on President Hassan Rouhani’s policy of opening up to the world and efforts to rebuild the stagnant economy.He faces stiff competition from hardline cleric Ebrahim Raisi, 56, who has positioned himself as a defender of the poor and called for a much tougher line with the West.Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei cast his ballot just minutes after polls opened at 8:00 am (0330 GMT).”The destiny of the country is in the hand of Iranians,” he told reporters as he voted in his compound in Tehran.Long lines had already formed at polling stations around the country.Rouhani, a 68-year-old moderate cleric, has sought to frame the election as a choice between greater civil liberties and “extremism”.He has pushed the boundaries over the past fortnight, criticising the continued arrest of reformist leaders and activists, and calling on security agencies not to interfere in the vote.Raisi says he will stick by the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, that saw curbs to Iran’s atomic programme in exchange for sanctions relief, but he points to the continued economic slump as proof that Rouhani’s diplomatic efforts have failed.”Instead of using the capable hands of our youths to resolve problems, they are putting our economy in the hands of foreigners,” Raisi said at a final rally in the holy city of Mashhad on Wednesday.Rouhani responded by calling on voters to keep hardliners away from Iran’s delicate diplomatic levers.”One wrong decision by the president can mean war and a correct decision can mean peace,” he said at his own Mashhad rally.The election comes at a tense moment in US-Iran relations.Rouhani gained a reprieve on Wednesday when the administration of US President Donald Trump agreed to continue waiving nuclear-related sanctions, keeping the deal on track for now.But Trump has launched a 90-day review of the accord that could see it abandoned, and is visiting Iran’s bitter regional rival Saudi Arabia this weekend.- Economic slump -“For me, Mr Rouhani’s dialogue with the world and moderation in society are very important,” said Zahra, a 32-year-old PhD student in food science.Under former hardline president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, “the sanctions really hurt us. It was hard to get lab equipment and very difficult to get visas to study abroad. Now my colleagues can travel to France and the US,” she said.Despite the global implications, it is the economy that has dominated the campaign.Rouhani has brought inflation down from around 40 percent when he took over in 2013, but prices are still rising by nine percent a year.Oil sales have rebounded since the nuclear deal took effect in January 2016, but growth in the rest of the economy has been limited, leaving unemployment at 12.5 percent overall, and almost 30 percent for young people.Rouhani has vowed to work towards the removal of remaining US sanctions that are stifling trade and investment deals with Europe and Asia, but he is unlikely to receive much assistance from Trump.Raisi has instead promised to triple cash hand-outs to the poor, hoping to pick up voters that once supported Ahmadinejad.Having proved too independent for the conservative establishment, Ahmadinejad was dramatically barred from standing by the Guardian Council last month as it disqualified all but six of the 1,636 people who signed up for the election.The presidential race has since narrowed to a two-horse race as other candidates either pulled out or called on their supporters to back Rouhani or Raisi.Two other candidates are still technically standing — conservative Mostafa Mirsalim and reformist Mostafa Hashemitaba — though they are not expected to win more than a few percent of the vote.Iranians are also voting for their local councils, with reformists particularly hoping to undo the conservatives’ narrow majority in Tehran.