The Punjab Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday hit out at the ruling Congress government alleging that the State has seen a surge in farmers’ suicides, unscheduled power cuts and deterioration of law and order in the two months that the party has been in power.“During these sixty days, Punjab has witnessed an increase in farmers’ suicides, unscheduled power cuts, rising prices of sand and gravel, open availability of drugs, sacrilege of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, atrocities against Dalits and growing incidents of gang war,” BJP leaders Madan Mohan Mittal, Harjit Singh Grewal, Manjit Singh Rai and Vineet Joshi said in a joint press conference.Pre-poll promise“The farmers are committing suicide due to Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh’s failure to fulfil the party’s pre-poll promise of waiving their loans,” the BJP leaders said.“Law and order situation is deteriorating. Since the last two months, the mining mafia is calling the shots due to which prices of sand and gravel have risen sharply,” they alleged.Meanwhile, Shiromani Akali Dal leader and former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal described the first two months of the Congress government in Punjab as “the summer of broken promises, lawlessness and vendetta against political rivals”.“No one expected them to perform miracles, which the Congress had promises to perform, but no one expected them to fail so miserably so soon and with such admission of helplessness,” said Mr. Badal. Four main promises“They formed this government with four main promises: check on acts of sacrilege, drug eradication, loan waiver to farmers and jobs to every youth. They have done nothing so far except PR stunts on any of the four fronts,” said the former chief Minister.
Hrishikesh Mukherjee dead at 84. Anand may not have approved in full measure. After all, that adorable character from the 1970 eponymous film had declared with die-hard flamboyance *Zindagi badi honi chahiye, lambi nahi.* (Literally translated: Have a “big” life, not a long one.) The line was dialogue-writer Gulzar’s; the sentiment unmistakably director Mukherjee’s. But his mourners, a now-middle-aging generation of Indian filmgoers who first came under the spell of mainstream Hindi cinema in the 1950s and 1960s, were agreed nonetheless that this Babu Moshai had lived a life that was truly “big” in creative dimension. RIP: Hrishikesh Mukherjee (1922 – 2006)Hrishida had not just outlived Anand’s dictum. He also seemed to have clumsily outgrown Bollywood itself and was clearly out of his depth working in what might have seemed to the veteran director like an alien industry with alien aesthetic and production values. Braving failing health, he last directed *Jhoot Bole Kauwa Kaate* in 1998, a swan-song that was sadly off-key. A warmed-up rehash of an earlier film (*Golmaal*), it disappointed on every count – thematic content, narrative flair, music and finally, box-office returns. The film’s failure began a period of intense personal loneliness and desolation in Mukherjee’s life which culminated in his death.The cliché that a thespian’s death marks the end of an era for once rang true. No other Hindi film-maker’s work typified the way the Indian middle-class lived and loved in the days before the “multinational” economic-reforms invasion of the 1990s topsy-turvied its near-frugal lifestyle and Nehruvian values. True, this *gharana* of film-making had other talented adherents – notably Basu Chatterjee, Gulzar, Sai Paranjpe and the late Basu Bhattacharya – but Hrishida was their undisputed torch-bearer and senior, both in age as well as all-round film-making ability and influence. It’s a point of telling significance that none of these worthies has directed any memorable film for more than a decade. To write a Hrishida obituary therefore is to pay moist-eyed tribute to an entire genre of Indian film-making that is now extinct.Mukherjee began as a film editor and assistant director to Bimal Roy, another great film-maker from his native Bengal. The experience he gained from both these tasks shaped his outlook and left an indelible stamp on all his films. He loved editing movies, and openly admitted it was his first love. Perhaps it stemmed from his own latent and unspoken urge to bring a sense of order to an imperfect and disorderly world. Hrishida’s services were always available gratis – time permitting – to any young “new wave” film-maker. He had a soft corner for such directors, much to the chagrin of the rest of commercial Bollywood which hated Mukherjee for supporting the likes of Mani Kaul and Kumar Shahani during his tenure as de facto chief of National Film Development Corporation, a state-owned film financing and subsidizing firm. “I’m very fond of these boys,” he told me when Indian new-wave cinema peaked in the 1970s. “And I have nothing but admiration for their courage to push the frontiers of film art – something I’ve never dared to do.” But what he as a director managed, without any fuss or self-conscious derring-do, was to deploy his solid technical knowledge of film-editing grammar to regulate his shot-taking style, thus curtailing the number and the length of his takes. Result: an enviable economy in terms of raw-stock consumption as well as studio time.An anecdote reflects the importance he gave to film editing. Mukherjee ran into a magazine reporter after he had completed the shooting schedule of *Asli Naqli,* a 1962 romance starring Dev Anand and Sadhana. The reporter asked how the project was progressing. Tongue firmly in cheek, Mukherjee quipped: “The *naqli* part of the project is over, and I’m looking forward to the *asli* part – the editing.”Stars, I suspect, were a species Hrishida viewed and accepted as a necessary evil in his scheme of things. It was a taste for big marquee-names he had obviously inherited from Bimal Roy. In fact, Mukherjee outdid his mentor in this regard by working with each of the star-trinity (Dilip-Raj-Dev) within the first five years of his directorial career. Like Roy, he was astute however in ensuring that the star’s on-screen mannerisms never got in the way of the character, and that the star’s remuneration never inflated the film’s budget beyond viable limits. The star, in turn, was often willing to forego the usual fat fee in return for featuring in a project of substance, in a landmark film guaranteed to enhance the star’s status as an actor. No one complained about this win-win situation, least of all the distributors and exhibitors who raked in ample profits from Mukherjee’s films.In addition, he possessed an eye for picking a potential winner (Jaya Bhaduri and Amitabh Bachchan, among others) and an uncanny knack for balancing newcomers with established stars. And so there was Dilip Kumar romancing a fresh Bengali import Suchitra Sen in *Musafir,* Rajesh Khanna facing a callow Amitabh Bachchan in *Anand,* Balraj Sahni playing husband to an inexperienced Leela Naidu in *Anuradha,* and Dharmendra with a host of guest-stars opposite first-timer Jaya Bhaduri in *Guddi.* Perhaps his only shortcoming in dealing with stars was his widely-reported reluctance to crack the whip on undisciplined actors – something unheard of in a Bimal Roy project. Hrishida indulged his actors like a favourite uncle, and so few were surprised when he called for his constant companion (his chess-board) on the sets after Rekha and Rajesh Khanna failed repeatedly to turn up for shooting *Khubsoorat* and *Bawarchi* respectively, and Amitabh Bachchan and Rajesh Khanna got into a childish tiff over who would die in the last scene of *Namak Haraam.* Whereas the script called for Khanna’s “death,” both wanted to be the film’s sole martyr. Only when the argument raged on and became a time-consuming stalemate, did Hrishida resolve it by threatening to have both the characters killed! Amitabh finally relented.Like Bimal Roy who was known to be a more-than-decent violinist, Hrishikesh Mukherjee was a connoisseur too, having been born into a musical famil. His brother Kashinath Mukherjee was a well-known sitar player in Calcutta. And like Roy, he depended heavily on songs to punctuate his film stories. Think of *Anari, Anuradha, Chhaya, Asli Naqli, Aashiq, Saanjh Aur Savera, Anupama* and *Anand* – and what strikes you is the thread of melodious numbers running through all of them. His innate musical sense prompted the inclusion of a hard-core Hindustani classical number in his debut film *Musafir,* a duet sung by Lata Mangeshkar and – hold your breath – Dilip Kumar! Playback singers, including queen-bee Lata, were often amazed at Mukherjee’s ability to suggest an apt musical nuance and explain its rendition in notational parlance at his song recordings.HRISHIKESH MUKHERJEE-A DIRECTOR’S FILMOGRAPHY1. Musafir (1957)2. Anari (1959)3. Anuradha (1960)4. Memdidi (1961)5. Chhaya (1961)6. Asli-Naqli (1962)7. Aashiq (1962)8. Saanjh Aur Savera (1964)9. Do Dil (1965)10. Gaban (1966)11. Biwi Aur Makaan (1966)12. Anupama (1966)13. Majhli Didi (1967)14. Aashirwaad (1968)15. Satyakam (1969)16. Pyar Ka Sapna (1969)17. Anand (1970)18. Guddi (1971)19. Buddha Mil Gaya (1971)20. Sabse Bada Sukh (1972)21. Bawarchi (1972)22. Abhimaan (1973)23. Namak Haraam (1973)24. Phir Kab Milogi (1974)25. Mili (1975)26. Chupke Chupke (1975)27. Chaitali (1975)28. Arjun Pandit (1976)29. Alaap (1977)30. Kotwal Saab (1977)31. Naukri (1978)32. Golmaal (1979)33. Jurmana (1979)34. Khubsoorat (1980)35. Naram Garam (1981)36. Bemisaal (1982)37. Sadma (1983)38. Kisise Na Kehna (1983)39. Rang Birangi (1983)40. Achha Bura (1983)41. Jhooti (1985)42. Lathi (1988)43. Namumkin (1988)44. Jhoot Bole Kauwa Kaate (1998) Despite accommodating all the major trappings of Hindi commercial cinema – established stars, song-and-dance routines, traditional story-telling patterns – Mukherjee’s films never strayed far from a compassionate portrayal of basic middle-class identities and their resultant bread-and-butter aspirations. Take his lead characters. You’ll find the hero working as a full-time professional for his living: Dilip Kumar as a music teacher in *Musafir,* Balraj Sahni as a doctor in *Anuradha,* Dharmendra as an engineer in *Satyakam,* Amitabh Bachchan as an industrialist and Rajesh Khanna as a trade-unionist in *Namak Haraam,* and even the perennial bumbler Amol Palekar as a qualified chartered accountant in *Golmaal.*By assigning his heroes a regular 10-to-5 job, the film-maker rooted them firmly in their social milieu and made their concerns all the more palpable for his audience. It was – at the very least – a sensitive nod to the fact that we all spend a major bulk of our waking hours pursuing a vocation and also to the overwhelming probability that our vocation could be instrumental in shaping our world-view. If all this sounds just too mundane, obvious and mandatory for any believable story, start counting the number of “successful” films in the last decade that have met this criterion. Do you recall what Shahrukh Khan as the hero of *Kuch Kuch Hota Hai* – an all-time Bollywood blockbuster – does for a living? And how many screen minutes does he spend actually working on a job?It was this abiding respect Mukherjee had for honest and hard-working professionals coupled with his disarming humility that came through loud and clear in a lengthy meeting I had with the film-maker several years ago. After an interview about film-related matters in the confines of his study – during which he voted for *Satyakam* as his best work, and named Satyajit Ray as the most accomplished Indian film-maker – we settled on the porch of his seaside bungalow in the Bombay suburb of Bandra with mugs of tea and a mellowing sun for auburn-hued company. He talked about his long-time friend Raj Kapoor. The man’s commitment to cinema was matched, he said, only by his loyalty to friends, justifying the dedication of *Anand* to Kapoor with whom Hrishida had first conceived the project.He then talked of his scientist son. “You should be interviewing him, not me,” Hrishida said sharply. “He works very hard exploring the secrets of science so it can benefit mankind, and what do I do? Make people sing and dance, and create empty illusions to entertain others. It’s really nothing compared to what professionals like my son do for years on end without expecting material rewards.” He was moved to tears. (I wonder if he said something similar to President K.R.Narayanan while accepting the Padma Vibhushan in 2001.) But that evening, Hrishida’s tears reminded me of Balraj Sahni in *Anuradha.* The doctor-hero, forever busy caring for patients in a ramshackle village, suddenly realizes he has been grossly neglecting his young and pretty singer-wife. The realization has a profound effect and he breaks down into uncontrollable sobs.What about Hrishida’s own wife? Mukherjee’s personal life remained a mystery even to his close associates. And given his high-priest stature in the industry, no newspaper or magazine – not even the shamelessly gossipy rags – ever dared to probe it. My senior journalist colleagues had warned me to steer clear of any discussion about his wife who, according to the grapevine, was lived alone in Calcutta for several years. When she was mentioned in passing that day, Hrishida was cryptic and deftly steered the conversation to another less controversial topic.To be sure, my curiosity about Hrishida’s personal relationships goes way beyond the realm of gossip. Surely, celebrities have the right to privacy and the dignity of being spared the media scrutiny of their private doings. But from where does a reclusive artiste, particularly one who comments on the human condition through an exploration of inter-personal relationships, tap into the subtle details that impart a throbbing credibility and a gentle humor to the intimacy shared by life-mates? Is a combination of mere imagination and second-hand sources like fictional stories good enough? At least in Hrishida’s case, we’ll probably never know. What we do know and now cherish are his memorable characters. Three of them spring straight to mind. Ashok Kumar in *Aashirwaad* and Rajesh Khanna in *Anand* are “heroes” in unheroic – i.e. non-romantic – parts that defy the conventional mold of a Bollywood lead characters. My ultimate favourite however is Mrs.D’Sa, the landlady of *Anari* (1959) whose sharp and relentless tongue drips undiluted acid, but whose heart is pure gold. Mukherjee, I suspect, was inspired by a similar character in Bimal Roy’s 1953 masterpiece *Do Bigha Zameen.* But the *DBZ* character was a minor cog in the story and at best evoked amused and sympathetic smiles. Mrs.D’Sa, in comparison, is a veritable Bollywood institution. You kept seeing shades of her acerbic personality in motherly characters down the years in lesser films by lesser film-makers, and Mukherjee himself reprised the character (with the same actress Lalita Pawar) as the head-nurse in *Anand.*And while the *Anand* “life-line” with which this piece began is a heart-warming bit of dialogue that’s become as legendary as the *Godfather* offer one can’t refuse, spare a thought for a scene from the brilliantly scripted *Anari.* An honest but unemployed Raj Kapoor traces industry magnate Motilal to a glitzy restaurant to return his misplaced wallet stuffed with currency notes. Motilal gestures toward the revelers at a party in progress on the dance floor, and says: “Yeh woh log hain jinhe raste par batwe milay, magar unhon ne wapas nahi kiye.” (These are folks who found lost wallets on roads, but never returned them.)I have yet to find a more damning comment on the country’s middle-class, which is so willing to compromise its values in pursuit of material pleasures. Was Hrishida’s 1959 film crystal-gazing into an India of the 21st century? Related Items
BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Palace: Duterte to hear out security execs on alleged China control of NGCP The two teams traded blows up until the 1:25 mark when Aljun Melecio sank a booming triple to give La Salle a 74-71 lead.Then the Green Archers capitalized on Vince Magbuhos’ point-blank miss with Ricci Rivero connecting with big man Justine Baltazar at the 51-second mark for a 76-71 lead.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutDespite the win, La Salle head coach Aldin Ayo lamented his team’s performance, saying he wasn’t able to get the usual numbers from his players.“We did not play our game, there were players who also did not play their game,” said Ayo. “This tested the depth of our bench, there were players who did not play their game but there were players who stepped up.” For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Deaf personalities everyone should know PLAY LIST 04:26Deaf personalities everyone should know01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games05:01What the Deaf want the hearing to know02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games LATEST STORIES Ben Mbala, a constant double-double machine for La Salle, managed just nine points and seven rebounds in 15 minutes of play.Filling Mbala’s void was the lanky Baltazar who led the Green Archers with 15 points while Santi Santillan had a 12-point and 14-rebound double-double.Alvin Pasaol had a game-high 30 points, on 12-of-23 shooting, with nine rebounds to lead the 2-5 Red Warriors.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ View comments BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games Every 18 seconds someone is diagnosed with HIV BSP survey: PH banks see bright horizon amid dark global recession clouds ‘Insatiable’ Real Madrid hailed masters of Europe Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next FILE PHOTO – Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netDe La Salle had to fend off University of the East, 77-71, in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.The Green Archers improved to 4-2 and remained in the fourth spot of Group A behind Lyceum (5-2), which sits at third.ADVERTISEMENT
File photo of BJP President Nitin Gadkari.Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday alleged that the “highest political level” in the UPA government was involved in Commonwealth Games (CWG) irregularities and demanded an investigation by a joint parliamentary committee. “A joint parliamentary committee should be set up to expose those who gave political patronage (to the CWG scam). This scam has the involvement of people at the highest level,” Gadkari said. “The BJP demands that the probe should cover all agencies of the Centre and Delhi government involved (in CWG work),” he said. Gadkari said the Games preparations had seen a cost escalation of 17.5 times but the central ministries and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) kept sanctioning the additional funds without verification. “The BJP wants to know who evaluated and okayed the budget escalations,” he said. The BJP chief alleged that contracts for the stadia and other constructions were given to selective contractors without checking their technical and financial credentials. “The estimates for the stadia were quoted 40-60 times higher and the technical norms tailormade to suit some contractors,” Gadkari said. He also alleged that thousands of crores meant for the welfare of Scheduled Castes were diverted to the Games and only Rs 300 crore out of the total expenditure of Rs 70,000 crore was used for the athletes. Calling the ongoing probe an “eyewash”, Gadkari said: “The prime minister spoke of taking action only a month before the Games when the irregularities started emerging while this corruption has been on for several years.” “The BJP demands that all files related to CWG be seized immediately as they can be tampered with. The Enforcement Directorate should be asked to look into FERA violations and give a report within a month. The CBI should finish its probe within three months,” Gadkari said. Gadkari’s charges came on a day when income tax authorities – as part of the CWG probe – conducted raids at several places in Delhi, including BJP leader Sudhanshu Mittal’s home.advertisement
Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez recieved some backing from his manager after his lacklustre performance against relegation-threatened West Ham United on Wednesday.Arsene Wenger said that the entire team has to improve and not just Sanchez after the Gunners’ goalless draw at London Stadium.”He is (very ambitious) but in situations like that, you do not want to focus on one player. You focus more on the collective attitude of the team to keep them focused on the quality of our game,” Wenger told Standard Sport.”We create chances. (The goals) will come. It’s difficult to say he’s had a dip. He tried tonight, he did fight. It was difficult because they defended very well as well.”The Chilean, who has been one of Arsenal’s most important players in recent seasons, has just scored four Premier League goals this campaign. He last scored in Arsenal’s win over Huddersfield Town on November 30.?? It was 10 against 10 in the final third and we couldnt find an opening because they defended very well. We created chances but lacked the sharpness.??#WHUvAFC pic.twitter.com/ygiSkxdNuk- Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) December 13, 2017Arsenal’s form has mirrored the Sanchez’s, with the north London side winless in their last three league games and slipping to seventh in the table after managing to keep just three of 22 shots on target at the London Stadium.Wenger also said that the defeat to second-placed Manchester United earlier this month and a lack of preparation time were also factors in Arsenal’s meek display during the stalemate.advertisementArsenal host 16th-placed Newcastle United, who are winless in eight league games, on Saturday.(Courtesy: Reuters)
India Today Web Desk New DelhiJune 16, 2019UPDATED: June 16, 2019 15:35 IST Shooter Gagan Narang has shared a post on Father’s Day. (Photo: Instagram/Gagan Narang)HIGHLIGHTSAce Indian shooter Gagan Narang on Sunday shared an emotional post on Father’s DayGagan Narang said his father sold their house to buy him a rifleFor 20 years, Gagan Narang said, his family stayed on rentAce Indian shooter Gagan Narang on Sunday shared an emotional post for his father on Father’s Day. Taking to social media, Gagan Narang said that 20 years ago, his father sold his house to buy him a rifle when he came home crying.For 20 years, Gagan Narang said, his family stayed on rent.Elaborating further on the 20-year-old episode, Gagan Narang said that his father sold his house not because he knew his son would win medals for the country but because he came home crying.Gagan Narang’s Instagram post read: “Twenty years ago this man standing next to me sold his house to buy a rifle for me, not because he knew I would go on to win medals for the country one day. But it was when I came back home crying from the shooting range because the owner of the gun I was using sold it to another shooter.””We stayed on rent for 20 years,” Narang said.”He didn’t know how far I would go in the sport back then or that I would shoot a world record, be world number 1 and go on to win an Olympic medal for India. He did what a father needed to do to bring a smile on his son’s face,” Gagan Narang said.GAGAN NARANG’S FULL POST ON FATHER’S DAYHe concluded the post with: “Happy Father’s Day dad, cannot repay this debt ever #happyfathersday to all the dads out there who move heaven and earth for their sons and daughters only to see them smile.”Also Read | India vs Pakistan Manchester Weather Live Updates: Will rain play spoilsport today?Also Read | India vs Pakistan Live Score, ICC World Cup 2019: India look to make it 7-0 against PakistanFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byChanchal Chauhan Dad sold his house to buy me rifle: Shooter Gagan Narang shares emotional post on Father’s DayElaborating further on the 20-year-old episode, Gagan Narang said that his father sold his house not because he knew his son would win medals for the country but because he came home crying.advertisement
Editors’ Recommendations The Maserati Quattroporte: Luxury You Can Sort of Almost Imagine Affording The All-New 2020 Corvette Stingray Is a Mid-Engine Supercar for the Everyman In 2005, Bugatti brought a gun to a knife fight in the form of its Veyron supercar. More accurately, Bugatti introduced the world to guns when all it knew was swords and arrows. Over 1,000 horsepower, a 0-to-60 mph sprint below 3.0 seconds, and a top speed of 250 mph were the figures of fantasy.In the time since that supercar heard round the world, the competition have refined their weapons. Established players like Ferrari, Porsche, and McLaren can match or beat Bugatti’s tired old Veyron and upstarts like Hennessey created their own world-beating monsters.The king lost its crown.But now the seasoned emperor is back in a new suit of armour – one that isn’t just shiny, but innovative as well. Today, Bugatti reveals its Chiron supercar, successor to the Veyron and heir to the speed throne. In the automaker’s own words, the Chiron is the world’s first production supercar to wrangle 1,500 horsepower and 1,180 pound-feet of torque, which would make it the most high-powered ever.Robb Report has the nitty gritty details, but here’s the scoop:0-to-60 mph will take less than 2.5 seconds and its new, limited, top speed will hover at 261 mph. Those who are carefully watching the top speed wars know that Hennessey’s Venom set the record at 270 mph recently, but something tells me there’s more speed to be pulled from the Chiron’s reworked quad-turbocharged 8.0-liter W16 engine.“It is part of human nature to cross boundaries and set new records – to run 100 m faster than ever before, to fly even further into space and to enter new realms. This striving is also our driving force at Bugatti,” said Wolfgang Dürheimer, President of Bugatti Automobiles. “The Chiron is the result of our efforts to make the best even better.”Those don’t sound like the words of a brand who’s ready to rule a lesser kingdom.The Chiron is built on a new carbon fibre monocoque chassis, with tires developed specifically for Bugatti and a slew of innovative technologies to make the car handle as well as it rockets to ludicrous speed.“Our customers form an exclusive group of automobile collectors who are searching for the very best. With the Veyron, they have the best production sports car of the past 10 years,” Dürheimer continues. “This is why their demands and expectations for our next step – the Chiron – were so high.“Only 500 examples of the Chiron will be built, each costing €2.4 million/$2.61 million USD. Pre-orders are already in process, and the first production units will be available this Fall. Watch This Bugatti Chiron Shatter a World Speed Record at More Than 300 MPH 6 Fastest Cars in the World Right Now 1. Photo by Ronan Glon 2. Photo by Ronan Glon 3. Photo by Ronan Glon 4. Photo by Ronan Glon 5. Photo by Ronan Glon 6. Photo by Ronan Glon 7. Photo by Ronan Glon 8. Photo by Ronan Glon 9. Photo by Ronan Glon This 1949 Barn Find Coupe Was Resurrected As a 638-Horsepower Hellraiser
Editors’ Recommendations 14 Scandinavian Clothing Brands You Need to Know Is Calisthenics Right For You? A Guide to Bodyweight Workouts 5 Classic Whiskey Cocktails You Should Know How to Make Helpful Wine Terminology So You Sound Like You Know What You’re Talking About What Is the Best Jean Style for You? Europe’s history, architecture, and romantic charm make it the perfect holiday vacation destination. From 100-year-old markets to glass “igloo” hotel rooms with views of the Northern Lights, here are eight of the best places in Europe to spend Christmas.Visit the Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, GermanyEven if Christmas markets aren’t your thing, Germany’s Christkindlesmarkt is well worth a visit. As one of the world’s oldest and now most famous holiday markets, it draws more than two million visitors every year. The Christkind (Christ Child) — a beautiful, young, blond woman adorned with angel wings and a golden dress — kicks off the event each year with a theatrical holiday speech. Germany may not be well-known for haute cuisine, but its best holiday edibles — gluwein (mulled red wine), local bratwurst, and lebkuchen (a traditional Christmas dessert similar to gingerbread) — are all worth a try.Explore an Actual Winter Wonderland in Lapland, Finland“Winter wonderland” is an overused bit of hyperbole among tourism boards. However, every winter, that’s exactly what northern Finland becomes. Travelers willing to brave the country’s notoriously frigid temperatures will find truly unique outdoor opportunities in Urho Kekkonen National Park. Less than two hours from Helsinki by plane, the massive, protected area offers cross-country skiing, reindeer-pulled-sled rides, and is considered by many Europeans who “believe” to be the modern home of Santa. The Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort offers stunning accommodations including twenty domed glass “igloos” with panoramic views to some of the best Aurora Borealis viewing on the planet.Get a Taste of True Scandinavian Cuisine in Reykjavík, IcelandLaekjarbrekka/Facebook Laekjarbrekka/FacebookNorth Americans are finally hip to what Europeans have known for years: Iceland is simply amazing. With only four hours of daylight during winter, the days in Reykjavík feel surreal. At Christmastime in particular, the city comes alive with illuminated statues of the 12 Yule Lads (the country’s nod to Santa), all-night holiday partying, and routine Northern Lights displays. For the hungry, Laekjarbrekka offers elevated yet authentic Scandinavian and Icelandic dishes — fish stew (pictured above), anyone? For a proper post-dinner tipple, visit the adjacent cocktail bar for a shot of Brennivín (Icelandic “firewater”) and unparalleled views of the city from the rotating, 360-degree dome above. The quaint Hotel Leifur Eiriksson offers some of the most centrally located lodging in Reykjavík with views to Hallgrímskirkja cathedral and affordable rates (especially by Icelandic standards) to boot.Peruse Europe’s Best-Preserved Medieval City of Bruges, BelgiumPhoto by DimiTalen/Wikimedia Commons Photo by DimiTalen/Wikimedia CommonsWith its meandering cobblestone streets, perfectly preserved medieval architecture, and winding canal system, Bruges offers no shortage of charm any time of year. Christmas is the busiest season, but trust us, it’s worth braving the tourist crowds. Think legendary Belgian beer and world-famous Belgian hot chocolate. Head to the Bruges Christmas Market for ice skating amid centuries-old buildings that appear much now as they did the day they were built. Nearby, the intimate lounge at the sophisticated Grand Hotel Casselbergh Bruges is a great place to warm up with glühwein and a bit of speculoos. The hotel’s lobby is a maze of elegant rooms, each uniquely decorated with an elaborate holiday display — all worth exploring.Enjoy Theater and Trdelník in Prague, Czech RepublicMany Eastern European cities battle for the title of “Most Charming,” and Prague is an easy contender for good reason. The entire city feels as if pulled directly from a Gothic fairytale. No time of year is this more evident than at Christmas. Old Town Square is the de facto home for the city’s celebrations as it hosts Prague’s oldest, largest, and most impressive Christmas market. Here, there’s an endless array of artisan crafts and handmade ornaments. But, more important are the traditional Czech delicacies like mulled wine, spit-roasted hams, and trdelník — rolled dough often topped with walnuts and sugar. To sidestep the holiday crowds, head to the satellite markets at Náměstí Míru (Peace Square) and Wenceslas Square which are smaller but every bit as charming. Make time to check out a performance of The Nutcracker at the legendary National Theater.Appreciate Table Art in Copenhagen, DenmarkFew countries in Europe marry innovative design, small-town hospitality, old world charm, and some of the world’s happiest people like Denmark. Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens is a picture-perfect combination of all of these. As the world’s second oldest amusement park, it offers plenty of childlike fun and vintage appeal. It’s made even more so during the holiday season when the park is adorned with hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights, and a charming, alpine-inspired market selling all kinds of traditional Danish wares. The city’s already stunning Nyhavn district comes alive during the holidays as a beautifully lit backdrop for a romantic waterfront stroll. The Royal Copenhagen Christmas Tables — arguably the city’s most well-known Christmas event — is also worth a look. Every year since the 1960s, a handful of artists decorates six tables with elaborate displays, each with a unique backstory.Visit France’s Oldest Christmas Market in StrasbourgFor Christmas travelers to France, Paris might seem the obvious choice. However, Strasbourg is our pick. Amid hundreds of twinkling house-lighting displays and intricate decorations, the city’s UNESCO-listed Old Town truly comes alive during the holidays. Marchés de Noël are set up in plazas throughout the city, but the market at the foot of the city’s beautiful Gothic Cathédrale Notre-Dame is the heart of the action. Dating back nearly 450 years, it’s France’s oldest Christmas market. Hundreds of vendors pack into wooden stalls, selling everything from carved Nativity figurines to handmade Christmas ornaments to homemade holiday treats like bredele (small Alsatian cookies), roasted chestnuts, and vin chaud (mulled wine). It’s all for sale amid a backdrop of traditional Nativity plays, live holiday music, and plenty of ice skating.Attend Choir Practice in Vienna, AustriaFew cities sparkle at the holidays like Vienna. Seemingly every building in the Austrian capital is adorned with hundreds of thousands of lights to celebrate Christmas each year. It’s also home to the most popular Christmas markets in Europe, like the city’s flagship Viennese Christmas Market at City Hall. The authentic market boasts more than 160 vendors selling all manner of traditional Austrian wares, including handmade toys, candles, and holiday treats. Market-goers are treated to a backdrop of holiday caroling from every surrounding street corner. The nearby Hofburgkapelle (Hofburg Chapel) is also home to a ticketed Christmas mass where guests can listen to the world-famous Vienna Boys Choir.
HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Burnside Drive Burnside Drive will have lane closures for widening at various times until Wednesday, April 30. Gravelling, signal installation, paving and repaving will take place from Commodore Drive to Exit 3, and from the eastbound ramp from Highway 111 to Burnside Drive for about one kilometre. Traffic control consists of cones, barriers, signs and people. Work takes place from sunrise to sunset. NEW WORK Local Area Office: 902-424-6144 Fax: 902-424-0054 PICTOU COUNTY: Six Mile Brook Six Mile Brook Road in Pictou Co. is closed at the Morrison culvert south of Graveyard Road until further notice. Detour signs show an alternate route. KINGS COUNTY: Ira Bill Road The Ira Bill Road in Billtown, Kings Co. is reduced to one lane because of a culvert failure until Sunday, June 1. Temporary traffic signals are in place. KINGS COUNTY: Hantsport Kates bridge on Tannery Road in Hantsport is closed, today, Friday, April 18 until Friday, April 25, for repairs. Motorists are advised that repairs may take longer than expected. A detour is available on Avon Street. KINGS COUNTY: Glebe Bridge Glebe bridge on Route 201 will have a 2.7-metre height restriction and a 15-tonne weight restriction until further notice. Local Area Office: 902-893-6194 Fax: 902-893-8175 PICTOU COUNTY: West River East Side Road West River East Side Road near Salt Springs is reduced to one lane for repairs until further notice. Traffic control consists of signals. A wide-load detour route is marked. Local Area Office: 902-538-3877 Fax: 902-538-8288 Local Area Office: 902-755-7146 Fax: 902-755-7049 -30- Local Area Office: 902-527-5448 Fax: 902-527-5371 CONTINUING WORK Local Are Office: 902-679-4308 Fax: 902-679-6124 PICTOU COUNTY: Big Gut Bridge Big Gut bridge on Route 348 near Pictou Landing is open to motorists. A temporary bridge will accommodate one-lane traffic and is controlled by traffic signals. The bridge width restriction is 4.2 metres. Motorists should proceed with caution. Local Area Office: 902-925-2247 Fax: 902-925-2704 Local Area Office: 902-538-3877 Fax: 902-538-8288 COLCHESTER COUNTY: Eben Fulton Bridge Eben Fulton Bridge on Route 336, about 80 metres east from Route 289, is closed for repairs until Friday, April 25. Signs showing a detour are in place. Local Area Office: 902-755-7060 Fax: 902-755-7049 KINGS COUNTY: Lovett Road Bridge Lovett Road Bridge on Lovett Road will be reduced to one lane for bridge repairs from Monday, April 21 to Friday, May 2.
OTTAWA – High-ranking Belgian officials played down a perceived snub of the Belgian king and queen by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as the royal couple carried on day two of their week-long state visit to Canada.A meeting between Trudeau and the royal couple would have been preferred, Belgium’s deputy prime minister said in an interview Tuesday.“It’s all the time better to have contact with the prime minister,” Didier Reynders said.But Reynders, who is also Belgium’s foreign and European affairs minister, said he understood that Trudeau is dealing with more pressing political concerns: namely, showing support for his country’s steel and aluminum industries.Trudeau launched a cross-country tour of steel and aluminum mills this week in light of potential tariffs on the metals being imposed by the U.S. government, even though Canada and Mexico were granted a temporary exemption from the tariffs last week by President Donald Trump.“It’s a choice,” Reynders said of Trudeau’s decision to immerse himself in meetings with steel and aluminum producers.“We have full respect for such a choice.”A government source, who was not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity, said Belgian officials were told well in advance of the planned visit by King Philippe and Queen Mathilde that Trudeau would likely be unavailable to meet with them this week.But that message was relayed before the prime minister planned his outreach tour of cities that could be impacted by tariffs.What was more important for Belgium this week, said Reynders, was that Canada’s International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne was available to discuss trade issues with Belgian political and industrial leaders.“Of course we’d prefer also to discuss with the prime minister,” said Reynders.“As a politician, I fully understand that this may be a priority to be very close to the workers and very close to the different people in the steel industry and in aluminum than to organize a contact during a state visit.”Several other federal cabinet ministers have greeted the royals so far; among them Treasury Board President Scott Brison and Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan, who was at Gov. Gen. Julie Payette’s side as she officially welcomed the couple Monday at Rideau Hall.King Philippe spoke Tuesday at the University of Ottawa where he also met with students and academics before attending a First World War commemoration, where a cannon from the war that was gifted to Belgium in 1919 was put on display at the Canadian War Museum.Trudeau, meanwhile, was in Hamilton, Ont., visiting the city’s two largest steel producers in a show of solidarity with workers as the Liberal government also worked back channels to ensure that Trump’s threat of tariffs doesn’t become a reality.Trump has tied Canada’s exemption from the tariffs to a successful and speedy conclusion to negotiations to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement.On Monday, Trudeau visited aluminum facilities in Quebec, but also spoke with President Trump by telephone about the NAFTA talks and the potential threat to impose tariffs.The White House said Trump emphasized on that call “the importance of quickly concluding the ongoing NAFTA negotiation” while Trudeau said he warned that slapping tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum would only serve to harm the NAFTA talks and would run counter to Trumps stated goals of saving American jobs and lifting the U.S. economy.Reynders said the unfolding tariff spat, which still threatens European industries, is a reminder of the importance of diversifying relations with countries, including Canada, where governments are more open to co-operative trade.He cited the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, known as CETA, between Canada and the European Union, as a clear example of how countries and regions can mutually benefit from opening their doors to freer market access.Belgium is among the roughly 20 countries that have yet to ratify CETA, but that process could be completed by as early as the end of this year, Reynders predicted.It wasn’t too long ago that Canada was paying much attention to Belgium as it worked to overcome resistance to CETA by the European country’s Wallonia region, which held out the threat of vetoing the pact before it was eventually signed in October 2016.The Walloons were backed at the time by anti-trade activists in opposing CETA’s investor-state dispute settlement mechanism.But a change of government in Wallonia last year was expected to nullify any further resistance to ratification, Reynders suggested.“It’s (no longer) a problem to implement and ratify the entire document,” he said, save for a European court ruling expected soon on investor provisions of the agreement.
MATHURA: Actor and BJP lawmaker Hema Malini on Sunday campaigned in her parliamentary constituency, Mathura, in Uttar Pradesh with her husband and actor, Dharmendra, by her side. The popular Bollywood couple addressed a crowd for the Jat community where a massive crowd turned up. Addressing the rally, Dharmendra recalled how his humble beginnings helped him become a successful actor. “I am the son of a farmer and I have worked very hard in the fields when I was young,” he said. Dharmendra had a brief political stint about ten years ago when he contested the 2004 national elections from Rajasthan’s Bikaner on BJP ticket and won. Raising the poll pitch in the constituency, where the BJP has won four out of six Lok Sabha elections since 1991, Dharmendra told the crowd: “Gao walon, (Hema ji ke liye) vote karna. Nahi to kisi aas paas ki tanki pe chad jaunga aur wahan bahut mausi ko pukarunga. Bahut mausiyan aa jayengi. (Dear villagers, please vote for Hema Malini ji. Else, I will climb on one of the tanks and give a shout out to Mausi ji. I am sure a lot of them will come).” He reminded the crowd of the iconic scene from the movie, “Sholay”, where Hema Malini starred together with her husband and played the role of “Basanti”, a village girl. Hema Malini said she was excited to have her husband by her side. “With just two days remaining for the poll campaign to end in Mathura, people are excited to see me and him together. People have seen both of us together in so many movies. We are seeking votes for Mathura’s development,” she told reporters. Before the rally, she tweeted a picture of two of them together and said it was a “special day”. “Today is also a special day for me! Dharam ji is here in Mathura to campaign for a whole day on my behalf. The public is waiting eagerly to get a glimpse of him & listen to what he has to say! A photo taken in my house in Mathura just now before we leave for campaigning…(sic),” she wrote.
00:00:00 | 00:00:00::Projekktor V1.3.09 Ontario’s NDP energy critic wants the provincial auditor general to investigate the cost of the nuclear expansion plan scrapped last week by the governing Liberals at a cost of $180 million.Peter Tabuns says voters should know how much the government spent moving ahead with nuclear plants that weren’t needed. The Liberals say they abandoned the plans to spend billions of dollars to build two new nuclear reactors because the province doesn’t need the power.The government will, however, go ahead with the refurbishment of existing nuclear reactors at Bruce Power near Kincardine and the Darlington nuclear generating station in Clarington.The NDP say if they form the next government they would wean the province off of nuclear power. The Progressive Conservatives say they would restart building nuclear facilities.
Brussels airport terminal connector building during construction. Photo: S. Melis The United Nations has strongly condemned today’s terrorist bombings in Brussels, extending condolences to the victims and their families while expressing solidarity with the people and Government of Belgium. A statement issued by the members of the Security Council indicated that more than 30 people were killed and many more injured in the attacks, for which the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) has claimed responsibility. The 15-member body stressed the need to intensify regional and international efforts to overcome terrorism and violent extremism, while reaffirming that “terrorism constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.” Earlier today, a statement issued by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson said “the despicable attacks today struck at the heart of Belgium and the centre of the European Union.” “The Secretary-General hopes those responsible will be swiftly brought to justice. He is confident that Belgium’s and Europe’s commitment to human rights, democracy and peaceful coexistence will continue to be the true and lasting response to the hatred and violence of which they became a victim today,” it added. Also reacting to the terror attack, the President of the UN General Assembly, Mogens Lykketoft, said he is “horrified.” “We have in the last week seen atrocities in Turkey, Ivory Coast and now in Belgium. It must be condemned in the strongest terms,” Mr. Lykketoft said in a statement. “Acts of terrorism are unjustifiable regardless of their motivation and terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes on of the most serious threats to international peace and security. Acts of terrorism have no place in the modern world and only serve to strengthen the resolve of governments the world over to find and prosecute the individuals responsible,” he added. Meanwhile, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) said it is “deeply shocked by the tragic attacks” perpetrated today. “This is not an attack on Belgium, it is an attack on us all and sadly these tragic events remind us again that we are facing a global threat that needs to be addressed globally,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.
The Amazon Kindle Fire was touted as the first real iPad competitor due in large part to its low price and Amazon’s massive marketing muscle. While initial shipments were substantial, a new report from IDC suggests that the sales of the Fire have dropped off precipitously. IDC estimates the last quarter of 2011 saw 4.8 million devices ship, but in the first quarter of 2012 Amazon only moved 750,000 Fires.There are obviously some factors that affect Kindle sales. The Fire was brand new in late 2011, and there was pent up demand. Also, Q4 is the holiday season, when otherwise right-thinking adults spend huge sums of money on things they might not need. However, if you look at the numbers as a share of the overall tablet market, the decrease does look bad. The Fire went from 16.8% of tablets to just 4%. Recent financial warnings from TI (which makes the processor in the Fire) supports this data.This indicates that the Fire is slipping in relation to other devices — this is not just an effect of a slower shopping season. Apple, for instance, continued to dominate the market by shipping 11.8 million tablets. That’s a much smaller drop as a percentage than the Kindle Fire saw.A low price might be great for getting people to try a device, but opinions of the Fire had been almost universally mixed. Some functions, like reading ebooks are handled well by the device. But Amazon’s assurances that the Silk browser would revolutionize mobile browsing with its cloud acceleration did not come to pass.Amazon’s unofficial numbers from IDC leave it in third place behind Apple and Samsung for the first quarter. The low price of the Fire will certainly keep the device moving, but Amazon might not be destined for the tablet dominance some were predicting.via All Things D
NEW YORK (AP) — Apple founder and CEO Steve Jobs sent a note Monday to employees saying he’s taking a medical leave of absence so he can focus on his health.He says he will continue as CEO and be involved in major decisions but has asked Tim Cook to be responsible for all day-to-day operations.Jobs says he loves Apple and hopes to be back as soon as he can. He says he and his family would appreciate respect for their privacy.
A private, nonprofit railroad academy might relocate from California to Battle Ground to take advantage of the county’s short-line railroad, Clark County commissioners learned Wednesday.Commissioners were having a work session with railroad coordinator Jon Holladay on the 33-mile Chelatchie Prairie Railroad when Holladay introduced David Rangel, founder of the Modoc Railroad Academy.Rangel said the vocational school, which trains engineers, brakemen and conductors, has grown too big at its current location outside of Sacramento.“We are an elephant in a closet,” Rangel said.He said the school has seven instructors and 24 students at any one time; students take eight-week conductor courses or 20-week engineer courses.Rangel said since students come from all over the country, the school can be located anywhere. He said he’s looked at open short-line railroads in other states but likes the urban amenities and the proximity to Portland International Airport.Rangel said he’s been looking for classroom space in Battle Ground and he would also need to find student housing. He’d be willing to build student housing, if necessary.Currently, there’s commercial use of the railroad west of Battle Ground. Eric Temple, the main user, supports the school using the eastern portion of the line, Holladay said.An excursion train also uses the line.Commissioner Steve Stuart said he was concerned about the school using the line that runs through Battle Ground, but Holladay said the school would use the portion of the line that runs northeast of Battle Ground up to Chelatchie Prairie.
Last year, the magazine began placing ads in the footers of editorial pages, alongside page numbers, launched a ‘VIP’ subscriber program and an online ad network. The Obama site is also a traffic grab, as the URL redirects to Paste’s Web site, and a banner ad appears at the top. Paste, the Decatur, Georgia-based music and entertainment magazine that’s developed a penchant for innovative experimentation, has launched a Web site—Obamicon.Me—that allows users to create their own digital versions of the iconic Barack Obama “Hope” poster.TheShepard Fairey-designed poster became a cult phenomenon, and was one ofthe iconic images of the 2008 presidential campaign—one that inspiredmagazine covers from 5280 to Time.Already, more than 10,000 “Obamaicons” have been created.Thata music and entertainment magazine would launch a Web site that hasalmost nothing to do with the music or entertainment industries is unusual,but sorta par for the course for Paste. In 2007, the magazine rolledout a pay-what-you-want subscription offer modeled after the rock bandRadiohead, which allowed its fans to pay what they wanted to downloadan album.
A few more messy Endgame moments to leave you with:Tony Stark sent his daughter, Morgan, to bed after eating a juice pop, without having her brush her teeth. What will the tabloids say?!Why would Cap ever compliment his own butt? Yes, jaded present-day Cap curses more, but agreeing he has “America’s ass” is so gratuitously un-Cap.Tony’s death scene with Pepper. Of course she’s fighting by his side… but their house seems pretty remote. Who’s watching little Morgan? This seems like something Tony would ask, given the effort he’s put into protecting his “second chance”.Read more: Avengers: Endgame review — so close to perfectionOriginally posted May 6. Now playing: Watch this: Spoiler-free review: Love letter to fans tops Infinity War Spoiler-packed review: MCU clincher so close to perfect No postcredits scene, but there’s a tiny audio stinger The biggest spoiler-filled WTF questions It’s three hours long: The best times to pee Captain America will always be my favorite Avenger 83 Share your voice Now playing: Watch this: Still, considering the team’s penchant for stumbling into trouble when they collected the stones in the first place, it’s a pretty big leap to assume that one dude on his own will complete the task perfectly, six different times. How is he even getting from place to place, especially if the Pym Particles that enable quantum time travel are in short supply? How does one return the Soul Stone to Vormir?If Captain America didn’t take the Infinity Stone in the first place, how would he really know the precise moment in the timeline that he needs to drop in? He doesn’t.Good to see you again, Peggy. Richard Cartwright/ABC Cap-pily ever afterMuch has been said about Cap’s happy ending. After returning the Infinity Stones to their rightful place, he goes back for Peggy and they grow old together, making it as though Steve Rogers was never cryogenically frozen for 70 years. Presumably, he’s now lived life in his own timeline (is he living both timelines at once?) instead of popping back into 2023 on a platform the Hulk created for this last time-traveling adventure. We see Cap on a bench right next to this site, 5 seconds after he “left”. In the final scene, Captain Rogers and Peggy dance in a quiet house on a quiet street, a tidy, satisfying ending for Cap fans that’s more of a head-scratcher for people like me who are wondering why Rogers would risk altering the past or present of a world he’s taken great pains to help restore. Cap and his entourage may have gotten lucky with quantum time travel, but Mr. Values seems like the last person to claim he understands it, or of the possibility that the consequences of his actions could diverge Earth’s timelines forever. 1:20 Comments Captain America (Chris Evans) heads to battle in Avengers: Endgame. Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET I’ve now seen Avengers: Endgame twice. I genuinely like it. It has heart. It has gravitas. It has the kind of compelling storytelling that makes you want to believe that, yes, in some parallel universe, maybe it’s not so far-fetched that the characters we’ve grown to love over the years could confront the evils of our day. But it also has clumsy and sappy moments that lumber along to remind us the comics genre initially targeted teenage boys.Cinematic perfection is nearly impossible, especially in a 3 hour, 1 minute long movie that deals with a massive ensemble cast, disparate storylines, time travel science(!!!) and peak viewer expectation. Marvel’s goals were ambitious, and considering the scale of the job, Endgame is a triumph that’s clobbered the box office to become the No. 2 movie of all time. However, the film’s unignorable, groan-inducing WTF moments jostled the plot enough to distract me from an otherwise sweeping epic. Before you aim your Infinity Gauntlet at my jugular, let me tell you where I’m coming from. I’m a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but not a superfan. I read Watchmen, V for Vendetta and anything Neil Gaiman ever wrote, but Marvel comics weren’t on my teenage radar. When Iron Man burst onto the scene in 2008, I was hooked. In Iron Man and Robert Downey Jr’.s breezy Tony Stark was a sassy, genius superhero who felt like a product of our times, not the Golden Age of comics. Marvel Studios But 21 movies and too many episodes of Agents of Shield later, I, like my colleague Roger Cheng, am ready for a steadier, more intimate Phase 4 to begin. I have my favorite MCU films (Black Panther, Guardians of the Galaxy), but I’ve also been struck by superhero fatigue. It takes a lot more to impress me than it did 11 years ago.Maybe that’s why some of the cringiest moments of Avengers: Endgame stuck out like they did. Maybe going into the next phase, Marvel will perfect its already formidable storytelling chops with a little more nuance and finesse. Here are the plot points that bugged me most, in chronological order.WARNING: Major Avengers: Endgame spoilers ahead. Turn back now if you haven’t seen the film, or if you idolize Marvel and have a thin skin. You’ve been warned. Tags Spider-Man: Far From Home — Everything to know Women of Marvel Marvel We are Marvel women, hear us roarI’m not the first to groan over the cheesiness of amassing the women of Marvel in one swelling scene during the film’s megabattle. The miraculous grouping occurs when Peter Parker’s Spider-Man asks Captain Marvel how she’s going to get the Infinity Stones to Ant-Man’s time machine. If it weren’t ridiculous enough that the cowering teenager — who just attempted this very thing — is questioning one of the most powerful beings in the universe, take heart in the collection of female characters who seem to stop all this badass fighting they’re doing to congregate behind the glowing Captain Marvel while nobody attacks them.I’m all for girl power, but that was a little much.You can almost see the raw power shooting out of Captain Marvel. Marvel Studios You can’t. Beat. Thanos. One at a timeEarly on in Endgame, Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel leaves Avengers HQ to go kill Thanos, until a bunch of other Avengers convince her to take them along on the ambush. Catching an injured Thanos unawares, they work together to restrain him before Thor whacks off his head.Yet in the film’s climactic battle, the Avengers & Friends fall back on the same tactic that led to their defeat in Infinity War: taking on Thanos one at a time. Captain America. Thor. Iron Man. The Scarlet Witch. Captain Marvel. Guys, you’re killing me. The living had five years to workshop a coordinated plan. The Vanished Avengers, who seemed to have just been chilling in limbo with Doctor Strange until the moment was right, also had time to strategize. Instead — and obviously for dramatic effect — they rushed the super villain one by one, appearing to be a bunch of rash hotheads rather than a group of superpowered geniuses desperate to win the day before Thanos shreds Earth down to its last molecule.Thanos won’t go down easily. Marvel Studios Ashes to ashes, dust to dustDid it strike anyone else as odd that The Vanished seemed to be aware that they were wiped off the face of the Earth for five years? The grateful hugs between Spidey and Ned, his Guy in the Chair; the tender reunion between Hawkeye and his family; the grateful glances among Scott Lang (Ant-Man), Hope (Wasp) and Lang’s daughter Cassie. (Uh, whatever happened to ex-wife Maggie? Did he even check to see if she had survived?)Earlier in the movie, Thanos declared everyone gone forever. When you turn to dust, it would make sense for your entire consciousness to go with it. Marvel’s suggestion otherwise — at least in this particular case — flirts with religious belief. Without establishing more context within the MCU, the revelation just feels out of step.You need 6 people to recover the Infinity stones, but only 1 to return them. SureTime travel is messy business, which is why all the Infinity Stones that the Avengers gathered must be returned at their exact point and time of extraction. For some reason, Cap is the one to do this. This is likely because they’re all running low on the Pym Particles needed to make the “time heist” work, so they can’t send everyone back. And also likely because of Cap’s ulterior motive to rewind time and seek out Peggy Carter, his long lost love. Avengers: Endgame toys, merchandise to re-create the MCU capstone 18 Photos 2:58 Hawkeye’s mohawk-mulleted Ronin is totally unnecessaryAvengers: Endgame opens with Clint Barton coaching his daughter Lila in archery, his alter ego Hawkeye’s weapon of choice. It’s a tender, touching scene made even more poignant when Barton turns his head and turns back moments after Lila, his two sons and his wife Laura turn to dust after Thanos’ deadly snap, which wiped out half of Earth’s population.The next time you see Hawkeye, he’s covered head-to-toe in black, wielding a sword (not a bow) and slaughtering random baddies. This is supposed to be his Ronin phase. Unmasked, he has a thickly inked sleeve tattoo and a mulleted mohawk straight off of some 1980s Brat Pack B-lister. That’s it, I’m officially calling him Mohawkeye.Hawkeye’s vengeful transformation is all so dramatic. It also feels like a forced nod to Marvel fans familiar with Hawkeye’s Ronin story arc. But it isn’t necessary to drive Endgame’s plot. In fact, it’s so devoid of narrative support, it’s distracting, and it isn’t entirely clear how Ronin/Hawkeye (Hawknin? Rohawk?) strayed from his fellow Avengers’ stick-together philosophy.Check out that sick ‘do. Marvel Studios/Screenshot by Jován Pulgarín/CNET There is no way Thor would ever ‘eat a salad’The first time you saw Thor’s new beer belly, you were supposed to laugh. Me, I rolled my eyes. The joke is all too clear. Normally muscle-bound Thor has a gut, swills beer and plays Fortnite all day with his best buds Korg and Miek. The Norse God of Thunder is so morose after the Snap, he’s all but abdicated his duties to New Asgard to become an unkempt drunk. Hilarious!At one point, chubby Thor time-travels back to Asgard (the “time heist” is, after all, Endgame’s driving plot point) and sees his mother, Frigga, who easily deduces he’s from the future and, after giving him a pep talk and a big hug, shoots out one more nugget of advice. “And eat a salad,” she quips. The theater erupts in laughter.Let’s just think about this for a second: Do gods eat salad? Would gods even joke about eating salad? Do gods even need to eat to survive, or is food meant for pleasure only? A god, we’ve seen, can die in extreme circumstances — but, please, not of gluttony or malnutrition. The bodies of gods and other supreme beings can take a lot of abuse. Thor even reminds us in Endgame that he has literal lightning flowing through his veins. And we’re supposed to accept that mowing down a Casear is going to reinstate him to his washboard physique? Please.Thor doesn’t look this good in Endgame. Marvel Studios And this beer that Thor’s such a fan of. As the scene in New Asgard opens, the camera very briefly rests on barrels of “Asgardian” beer as Valkyrie tells Hulk and Rocket that Thor only emerges once a month to pick up supplies. Blink and you’ll miss that detail.However, it’s an important distinction. The first Thor movie and Avengers: Age of Ultron make it clear that the booze of mere mortals doesn’t affect the God of Thunder in the slightest. Hence, it doesn’t make sense for Thor to let Rocket lure him on the Avengers’ latest quest with the promise of suds: “There’s beer on the ship,” Rocket says. “What kind?” asks Thor thirstily. Maybe I’m overthinking it, but where are all these barrels of beer coming from anyway? Asgard is gone, and with it, most of its population. It’s doubtful that New Asgard — on Earth — has the fancy space ingredients to produce quantities of the potent spirit, unless some witch or warlock magicked them up.Read more: The science of Avengers: Endgame’s biggest paradoxC’mon, everyone knew about the Soul Stone’s required sacrificeThe Avengers travel back in time to steal the Infinity Stones so they can bring back The Vanished, the 50% of the population that dissolved into ashes after Thanos’ “snap” in Avengers: Infinity War. Natasha and Hawkeye wind up on Vormir, the barren planet where Thanos sacrificed Gamora in order to obtain the Soul Stone, one of six he needed to become all-powerful. Natasha and Hawkeye seem to be unaware of the Stone’s toll. “In order to take the stone, you must lose that which you love,” Red Skull, the stone’s keeper, intones. Natasha and Hawkeye seem oddly cool with this, then fight over who gets to toss themselves off the mountain to their death for the greater good. A few things bother me about this. First, there’s the level of love required to make the spell work. Natasha, who has unrequited feelings for Hawkeye, is the obvious candidate since she has more love and therefore more to lose. Barton, who kills out of grief for his vanished family, tearfully reunites with them later on in the film.If Clint were to chuck himself over the edge without deep love in his heart for Nat, would he meet the terms of the Soul Stone’s stipulation? The bloodthirsty stone demands terrible sacrifice, not just any soul for a soul.Nebula is a key player in the Endgame. Jay Maidment/Marvel Studios The bigger problem is that Nat and Hawkeye should have known the stakes. They all should have. Modern-day Nebula, Thanos’ less-loved daughter and Gamora’s sister, makes it clear that she knows the score when she tries to convince 2014’s Gamora to help her after that timeline’s Thanos captures her (it gets a little confusing). “Nice Nebula” would surely have given her new teammates a heads up that sending two people to retrieve the Soul Stone would probably result in only one coming back.Read more: Avengers: Endgame’s deaths and twists: Our biggest questionsUh, guys. Did anybody realize Nebula was gone?Speaking of Nebula, her disappearance went completely unnoticed. After successfully grabbing the Power Stone on Morag, her mission partner, Rhodey, time travels back to Avengers HQ a moment before Nebula is gripped by paralyzing pain. She’s captured by that timeline’s Thanos shortly thereafter, and confronts her earlier, more hateful self.All the time-traveling Avengers pop back into headquarters together, except for Natasha and Nebula. “Clint, where’s Nat?” Professor Hulk asks. Nobody asks about Nebula, or even seems to notice her absence at all. The next time an Avenger interacts with her is during the battle, when 2014’s Nebula imposter encounters Hawkeye clutching the Infinity-stone filled gauntlet. “I know you,” he says, handing it over. Endgame is here TV and Movies Top 5 things Avengers: Endgame sets up for the future
Hyderabad: Cybercrimes involving Nigerian gangs are increasing in number day-by-day as one more incident came to light on Friday. The victim approached the Rachakonda Cybercrime police after losing Rs 21 lakh in the name of kidney donation and falling prey to online fraud. According to Rachakonda Cybercrime police, a businessman belonging to Malkajgiri approached the accused after coming across an advertisement on internet stating the requirement of kidney. The businessman contacted the number mentioned in the advertisement and got in touch with the accused who introduced himself as Dr Wesley. Also Read – Farmers stage rasta roko against urea shortage in Kamareddy Advertise With Us The accused promised the businessman that he would get Rs 1.6 crore in return for his kidney. As the businessman incurred huge losses and was in debts, he decided to donate his kidney without consulting his family members to repay his debts. When he consulted Wesley on the phone, the accused introduced two other persons claiming to be doctors and explained various procedures for carrying out the operation. Later, they began collecting money from him in instalments under the pretext of various charges and promised that he would get Rs 1.6 crore after completion of the surgery. By believing them the complainant paid Rs 21 lakh in instalments in the last six months by transferring the amount to 30 bank accounts provided to him by the doctors.