View Comments Off-Broadway, the New York premiere of Stoppard’s Indian Ink will bow at the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre in September 2014. Set on two different continents and in two different eras, Indian Ink follows free-spirited English poet Flora Crewe on her travels through India in the 1930s, where her intricate relationship with an Indian artist unfurls against the backdrop of a country seeking its independence. Fifty years later, in 1980s England, her younger sister Eleanor tries to preserve the legacy of Flora’s controversial career. Casting and opening date will be announced in due course. Noises Off, a hilarious play-within-a-play, follows an ambitious director named Lloyd Davis and his troupe of mediocre actors as they blunder from a bad dress rehearsal to a spectacularly disastrous performance. The cast and crew are putting together a silly sex comedy titled, Nothing On—a single-set farce in which lovers frollic, doors slam, clothes are tossed away and embarrassing hi-jinks ensue. Noises Off premiered on Broadway in 1983 and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play. The revival will open Roundabout’s Broadway season at the American Airlines Theatre in January 2015; casting and an opening date have not yet been announced. Roundabout’s slate for its current season includes Broadway mountings of Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal (directed by Lyndsey Turner), Cabaret, starring Alan Cumming and Michelle Williams (directed by Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall) and Violet, starring Sutton Foster (directed by Leigh Silverman). Off-Broadway productions include Donald Margulies’ Dinner With Friends (directed by Tony winner Pam MacKinnon) and Bekah Brunstetter’s Cutie and Bear (directed by Evan Cabnet). Roundabout Theatre Company has added two productions—a Broadway revival of Michael Frayn’s gut-busting comedy Noises Off, directed by Jeremy Herrin, and an off-Broadway production of Tom Stoppard’s romantic drama Indian Ink, directed by Carey Perloff—to its 2014-15 season. As previously announced, RTC’s upcoming season also includes Stoppard’s The Real Thing, starring Ewan McGregor in his Broadway debut and directed by Sam Gold.
The Ingredients Show 2018When : 16-18 AprilWhere : Hall 3, NEC BirminghamWhy : Join the biggest names in the food development industry for the launch of The Ingredients Show, William Reed’s latest trade event.From the lowdown on tiger nuts to an insight into insect grub, the packed live events timetable includes seminars, debates and demonstrations that will explain the trends likely to shape the industry this year.Food colour experts GNT will discuss rising demand for Instagrammable food and give top tips on using natural colours to drive sales, while Steve Osborn of The Aurora Ceres Partnership will explain the art of combining consumer trends with future food technologies to create nutritious, functional and tasty grub.As many mass market companies struggle to attain trust and authenticity in the halal sector, a panel of experts will discuss how to win over halal customers and whether the sector can reach ‘mainstream’ UK consumers.And join IRI’s Martin Wood to discuss what drives flavour trends, from evolving shopping habits and customer psychology to the effect of the sugar levy and product descriptions. Using EPoS market databases, Wood will dissect the biggest trends of 2017 and their origins, including the momentous rise of tonic, after being put back on the map by Fever-Tree and the rise of craft gin.Tuck into insect snacks, learn about which consumer trends are shaping new formats in sports nutrition and watch as foods are printed live on stage by Foodini, the latest technology innovation from Natural Machines.As well as live events, attendees will have the opportunity to meet top suppliers, new manufacturers and industry experts, including more than 100 international exhibitors showcasing products, innovations, services and equipment.See, taste and learn about the foods and flavours set to inspire this year’s NPD, while making and building on key business relationships in the first UK food and drink event to focus solely on the most vital part of food development: ingredients.This doesn’t necessarily mean everyone will get their own nutritionist (although it’s worth noting Waitrose did offer a personalised service as part of a two-store trial earlier this year). Instead, it could be simply targeting foods at certain demographics, says Emily Foster, founder of nutrition and marketing consultancy Glowing Potential. “A lot of people in the industry perceive personalised nutrition as a complicated, ominous topic, but it doesn’t have to be,” says Foster, who will host a session on the topic at the Food & Drink Expo. “Personalised nutrition can be as simple as highlighting specific food and drink products tailored for customers who want to lower their cholesterol, or who may want to lose weight.”In this nutrition-obsessed society, consumers are always on the lookout for something that can give them a hefty hit of vitamins, minerals and fibre. This brings Foster to the subject of her next session at the Food & Drink Expo: superfoods. As consumers get savvier about what they eat, Foster expects to see more caution in the face of superfood claims. “Products labelled as being or containing superfoods could still be high in sugar or saturated fat. There are no parameters for what is or isn’t a superfood,” says Foster. “Are people aware that the ‘superfood’ they’re purchasing may not be healthy? And if not, how can food businesses ensure they’re being responsible?” Farm Shop & Deli ShowWhen : 16-18 AprilWhere : Hall 1, NEC BirminghamWhy : This is the main industry event for those wanting to keep up to date with the latest news, trends and products in the specialist retail sector. Over 450 companies from big brands to smaller, artisanal producers will attend over the three-day event, making the show a vital opportunity for any industry member looking to form new business relationships or strengthen existing ones. As well as hosting a wide range of exhibitors, the show will include an events programme designed to provide all the information needed for a business to thrive in speciality retail in 2018. Featuring expert insight, lively debates and topical discussions ranging from boosting beer sales and sustainability to rethinking retail through smart integrations, the programme also hosts the annual Farm Shop & Deli Award Finals, showcasing the best and brightest retailers across the sector.In the more distant future, consumers may skip the convenience store altogether for the ultimate quick fix: printing their own snacks. At The Ingredient Show, tech company Natural Machines will present Foodini, the 3D food printer. Hailed as one of the top seven tech superheroes to watch by CNN, the printer will produce food live on stage as company co-founder Lynette Kucsma and engineer Victor Delgado explain how it has the potential to change the industry.In the shorter term, we could see technology enabling us to cryogenically freeze ready meals and the internet of things disrupting the traditional supply chain, as speakers at Foodex will explain.So there’s no shortage of change at this year’s William Reed shows. You may not be eating an insect-based, cryogenically frozen ready meal next to your 3D food printer just yet, but the future isn’t far off. National Convenience Show 2018When : 16-18 AprilWhere : Hall 1, NEC, BirminghamWhy : The essential event for convenience owners and buyers is back, with a packed live event timetable including seminars, Q&A sessions and debates. The lineup will look at everything from how to upsell and inspire customers, to the potential role of robotics in solving the emerging skills crisis.The changing nature of the industry will also come under the spotlight. Following a turbulent 2017 that saw major deals between Tesco and Booker, plus the Co-op and Nisa, Convenience Store editor David Rees will lead a panel of experts including Booker managing director Steve Fox in a discussion on what all this means for convenience businesses and their customers. As the major networking event of the year, bringing together industry titans and hundreds of brands across the convenience market under one roof, the NCS is the place to build business relationships and gain the insight you need for the year ahead.Just to prove the term isn’t going anywhere, the tiger nut will come under the microscope as the next superfood in this year’s Ingredients Show. Consumers are already going nuts for, er, nuts – as proven by Kantar Worldpanel data, which shows value sales have gone up 7.4% over the past year. Foodex 2018When : 16-18 AprilWhere : Halls 3 and 3a, NEC BirminghamWhy : As the UK’s number one trade event for food and drink processing, packaging and logistics, Foodex brings together the latest innovations and trends across the industry. This year’s jam-packed programme will keep you up to date with all the latest technological advancements in food manufacturing. Find out how emerging robotics could have the potential to streamline processes, improve product quality and even solve the skills crisis, uncover the world of the internet of things, or get to grips with how to perfect your supply chain and drive efficiencies. Plus, make sure your packaging is meeting growing demands for traceability and transparency in the industry and understand the role of the Grocery Code Adjudicator. With over 500 suppliers set to exhibit, the event is an unmissable opportunity to create and develop relationships, as well as to view the latest products and technologies that are shaping the food industry.The tiger nut has something different to the rest of the market, though. Firstly, it’s not a nut. It’s actually a nutrient-dense root vegetable, says Ani de la Prida, co-founder of The Tiger Nut Company. And not only does it provide a gluten-like texture to various foods, but Prida says it can also work as a milk alternative, making it perfect for the growing free-from crowd. Add to that the tagline of promoting ‘good gut health’ due to high levels of prebiotic fibre, and tiger nuts could well be a ‘superfood’ worth the label.A six-legged mealAnother emerging food is insects. Raphaelle Browaeys, communications manager at insect food producer Jimini’s, is confident insects can hit mainstream retail in 2018. As a fellow speaker at The Ingredients Show, she will make the case for a six-legged meal. From 3D food printers to six-legged grub, food is getting futuristic. Find out what’s on the horizon at this week’s five William Reed food shows,The future looked pretty good in cartoon series The Jetsons. Firstly, they had flying cars. More importantly, there was a machine that could spit out whatever food you fancied in a matter of seconds. With today’s fast-paced technology, this could soon be a reality (yes, we are now looking at using 3D printers to make our dinner). Yet there are also plenty of less techy trends that will shape how we eat in future. The five William Reed shows at the NEC Birmingham over the coming week will cover everything that is set to influence our eating habits, from 3D printers to the next superfood. So what are the top trends worth noticing?The most pressing influence on our nation’s eating habits is health. In the era of the sugar levy and war on obesity, shoppers are placing ever more scrutiny on the nutritional information of what they’re putting into their baskets. So it is the perfect breeding ground for the first trend in the list: personalised nutrition. Food & Drink Expo 2018When : 16-18 AprilWhere : Hall 2, NEC BirminghamWhy : Take a look at the latest products, innovations and technologies in food and drink across a range of sectors and countries at the Food & Drink Expo. Taste the latest flavour trends, meet industry experts and gain unique insights over the three-day event, as well as mingling with some of the biggest and newest suppliers and brands. The live event timetable spans a celebration of the best in Welsh cuisine (including samples), emerging UK wine trends with ‘The Wine Tipster’ Neil Phillips and Pimp My Cheeseboard, featuring chef Fan Kenny and food writer Patrick McGuigan’s mission to revolutionise cheese platters, inspired by a new wave of cheese restaurants in the US. From using storyboarding to best effect with media experts Digital Blonde to getting code confident with Groceries Code Adjudicator Christine Tacon, the Food & Drink expo provides you with the information you need for success in 2018.Not only are they more environmentally sustainable than meat, she stresses they have numerous health benefits and are relatively cheap to produce. So if can consumers get their heads around the ick-factor, they could be next on the nation’s menu. Sustainability more generally is another major trend shaping the food industry. Whether we’re talking food waste – a hot topic at the Food & Drink Expo and the Farm Shop & Deli Show – or actual waste, discussed at the National Convenience Show, the environment is shaping all corners of food and drink. Take the coffee industry, for example. At Farm Shop & Deli Live, Monkshood Coffee owner Elliot Wallis will talk about the increasing need to be sustainable – from sourcing the coffee beans to the cups it’s served in. “Customers want to feel like they are buying a product that reflects their values, from an ethical, eco-friendly retailer or brand,” he says.And he believes consumers are increasingly willing to pay a premium for sustainable, specialty coffee (which he will be handing out samples of during the show). “Farm shops and delis are ideally placed to utilise craft coffee to grow profits,” says Wallis. “The USP of speciality, artisanal retailers will always be quality over price, and customers are more willing to pay extra for a great product.”Changing face of convenienceAnother thing consumers are willing to pay more for is convenience. It’s been a long-standing trend, and it’s the ideal backdrop for this year’s National Convenience Show. But what consumers are looking for from this format has been slowly changing. In years gone by, the local c-store was the place to pick up a Mars bar and a can of Coke. To cater for today’s more health-conscious consumer, retailers will offer more of the innovative types of foods listed above. Not only does that mean offering healthy food-to-go options – already done expertly by some retailers such as Simply Fresh – but snacking sections will need to go beyond confectionery bars to include healthy options such as protein bars and nut-based treats (or even insects, perhaps).
StumbleUpon Submit OPAP delivers on Athens children’s hospital CSR projects July 6, 2020 Greek lottery and betting operator OPAP has outlined its social responsibility and fundraising initiatives, acting as the lead sponsor of the 36th ‘Athens Authentic Marathon’ (11 November 2018).Continuing its Athens Marathon legacy sponsorship, OPAP states that its underlining corporate vision is to ‘enhance Greek communities for the benefit of future generations’.Updating its stakeholders, OPAP governance has outlined three Greek youth orientated social responsibility directives that its marathon sponsorship will fund: ‘Children Hospitals’, ‘Sports Academies’ and ‘OPAP Forward’ programs.The Greek gambling firm will continue its ‘Hospital Renovation Projects’, with a dedicated commitment to redeveloping the Aghia Sofia and Panagioti children’s hospitals.Furthermore, OPAP governance will continue its direct support for Greek youth sports academies, seeking to fund 125 youth sports directives which support +10,000 young Athletes and 450 coaches.Finally, in 2018, the Greek lottery and betting operator launched its ‘OPAP Forward’ program, seeking to tackle Greece’s high youth unemployment head-on as one of Greece’s biggest corporations.Working alongside non-profit organisation and employment charity Endeavour, OPAP seeks to create a network of support for Greek SME businesses recruiting and developing the nation’s young talent.Supporting its social responsibility drive, last week OPAP launched its new TV campaign ‘I need your phone’ featuring Greek pop-star Sakis Rouvas promoting OPAP’s Athens Marathon fundraising app, which will allow Greek audiences to directly contribute to its initiatives Share Related Articles SAZKA confident of European comeback as assets weather COVID-19 storm June 12, 2020 Greek retail closures rock OPAP Q1 performance June 11, 2020 Share
Cruise to HavelockOut of the 570 odd islands that make the Andaman and Nicobar, only 38 are inhabited. That explains why its beaches are still pristine. Only one of the many stunning beaches is Radhanagar on Havelock Island (once rated as the best beach in Asia by Time magazine in 2004) that’s well worth your time.One of the best ways to get to Havelock is by a luxury catamaran called Makruzz that allows you splendid views through its large windows from the comfort of an air-conditioned space. The trip starts at 8.30 a.m. from the Phoenix jetty at Port Blair, arriving at Radhanagar after 90 minutes, and returning to Port Blair at 4 p.m. Log on to www.makruzz.com for bookings.National Arts Emporium, Port BlairMost tourists head to the government-run Sagarika Emporium on M.G. Road for buying souvenirs. From the sought after padauk wood (local weather-beaten wood that makes sturdy, lasting furniture), lightweight walking sticks made from cane, to caps and T-shirts, shell jewellery and wooden dancing dolls, shopping here is a fulfilling experience.But if you are looking for that little extra, I would recommend the National Arts Emporium, the ground floor shop at the Bengali club run by Kashmiri migrant Javed Ahmed Bhat. He sells mother of pearl and red coral jewellery, figures of tribals and various gods and goddesses made from the padauk wood. Javed cultures the pearls himself at his oyster farm and is quick to claim that all his designs are ‘original’. Tel: (03192) 236 051Bridge Bar, Port BlairLocated on the third floor of the TSG Hotel in Phoenix Bay, it is Port Blair’s only sports bar, though, and quite intriguingly, it is made like a ship’s bridge where mariners aren’t allowed to drink alcohol.advertisementWith real portholes on its walls, a few life jackets hung around, a wooden steering wheel embedded somewhere and LCD screens beaming the sporting event of the season, the place is a must visit for those who like their drinks in a relaxed ambience. Seafood here is awesome and so are the meat dishes coming hot out of the tandoor. The Chicken Tikka is very popular.Tel: 246 499, 246488The Golden Dragon, Port BlairFrom wayside eateries to fancy restaurants for diners, Port Blair boasts a mouthwatering variety. A real gem is The Golden Dragon, which not many people in Port Blair know about. The restaurant is the living room of a friendly Indian family, one that had emigrated from China via Kolkata. One of the best combinations here is the Chicken with Fungus (a type of black mushroom) and rice, which must follow the Chicken Lily Flower Soup. Near Goal Ghar.Volcano watching from seaplaneOne of the most exciting and relatively new options for those visiting Port Blair is a ride on a seaplane. I recommend a trip that flies over the Barren Island, India’s only active volcano. It will set you back by Rs. 7,500 for a round trip (there’s a minimum of five passengers needed against its total capacity of eight).This once-in-a-lifetime trip allows you to observe an uninhabited island, in the middle of nowhere, smoking through its gargantuan crater. The aircraft is a Cessna Caravan 208 A and is operated by Pawan Hans. Tickets can be obtained through all major tour operators in Port Blair.Activities in wandoorNow, if you care about the environment and want to get a firsthand experience of what it means to do it in real life, there’s ANET (Andaman and Nicobar Islands Environment Team) at Wandoor Beach (located about 26 km from Port Blair) to consider. ANET organises birdwatching, snorkelling and diving, but you must book in advance.The day tariff is Rs. 1,000, which includes food, board and all other facilities including the library, computer and internet access. The tariff is lower for researchers or volunteers and also gets substantially curtailed if one chooses to associate for longer durations. Log on to www.anetindia.org for details.Kulpreet YadavAuthor and freelance writer Kulpreet has set his latest book, A Waiting Wave, in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Always cheerful and positive in attitude, you’d never guess that he holds a position with the government of India–which is what makes him a resident of Port Blair. On his free time, Kulpreet explores the wonders of nature that surround him.Plus Pick: Neil IslandNeil Island’s claim to fame is not just the seafood its cluster of restaurants dish out (some of the best you may find in India), it has earned the moniker of the ‘vegetable garden’ among the islanders of the Andaman & Nicobar archipelago, and the recognition came after a long, tiring and enduring process. Way back in the 1960s, each family on Neil Island was promised five acres of agricultural land.This seemed a golden offer for the poor inhabitants of an island where agricultural land is scarce. But the dream soon turned sour with the official decision to include hilly land in the promised acres. What followed was a bitter struggle, which led to the migration of 75 Neil Island families to Little Andaman. Those left behind–98 families–began from scratch, moulding the nearly barren, hilly land to transform it into the green belt it is. The settlers never turned towards the mainland to keep their hearth burning.Drive past the Neil’s green stretched towards an extreme corner of the island, harbouring a long and secluded strip of cream-sand Sitapur Beach. A stretch of impossibly clean beach, minus human footprints, it commands both attention and admiration. The waters are as blue as you can imagine and the volcanic rocks on the shore may bring alive images of Jeju Island in Korea. There is daily ferry service from Port Blair to Neil Island.advertisementMust do: Andaman and Nicobar IslandsStay: Havelock, BarefootThis luxury eco-retreat is located on what is rated as one of the world’s best beaches. Set in seven acres of fertiliser and pesticide-free grounds, the resort consists of lovely cottages and villas made from indigenous materials. Stay in an Andaman villa fronted by a floor-to-ceiling picture window and rolling shutters that can either bring the outdoors in or cocoon you in your own world. Tel: (03192) 282 151; www.barefootindia.comEat: VenisonThe journey to Rangat from Port Blair has many delicious stops. En route you will find Kadamtala, a village that feeds delicious venison to hungry travellers. The meat is served in steel bowls and eaten with rice.Shop: Nicobari matsThis, apart from the beaches and its marine life, is what has made Andamans famous the world over. Made of natural fibres (coir, reeds and so on), these mats, interwoven with light and dark colours, are both stylish and sturdy. Buy these in the company of a local, preferably your guide, who can help you strike a good deal.See: Ross IslandThe ruins of the Raj on this island bear testimony to the atrocities committed by the British in this erstwhile penal colony. The island is in fact one extended museum, complete with weather-beaten buildings. 8 km from Port Blair.
US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants View comments Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Senators laud colleague Pacquiao’s win vs Broner “The Palace is one with the entire Filipino people in celebrating Senator Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Pacquiao’s successful WBA welterweight title defense over American Adrien Broner,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement moments after the fight.“While 11 years older than his opponent, the 40-year-old ‘Pambansang Kamao’ displayed his vintage form just like in his heyday and dominated Broner, who went back-pedalling, in full twelve rounds of battle,” he added.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsThe Palace meanwhile thanked Pacquiao “for not only bringing honor and glory to our flag” but for “once again uniting all Filipinos worldwide with his display of athleticism, power and Filipino pride.”Pacquiao retained his WBA World welterweight title after garnering a unanimous decision victory over Broner at MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Sunday (Manila time). /je Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes LATEST STORIES Manny Pacquiao, right, throws a right to Adrien Broner in the WBA welterweight title boxing match Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang hailed Senator and boxing champion Manny Pacquiao after his win over American boxer Adrien Broner.READ: Still the champ: Manny Pacquiao keeps welterweight title, outpoints Adrien BronerADVERTISEMENT Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Nothing wrong with raids on offices of progressive groups—Palace PLAY LIST 01:07Nothing wrong with raids on offices of progressive groups—Palace01:50Palace defends Duterte’s absences from Asean events00:37Palace to push on with efforts to review K-1202:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem MOST READ
New Delhi: From April, up to 10 lakh electric two-wheelers will get subsidy of Rs 20,000 each while 35,000 fully electric cars can avail benefit of Rs 1.5 lakh under the newly notified FAME-II scheme, reducing their prices for buyers. The second phase of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India (FAME-II) will be implemented for three years starting next month with a Rs 10,000 crore outlay. It has also envisaged providing support to 7,090 e-buses (having an ex-factory price of up to Rs 2 crore) with an incentive of up to Rs 50 lakh each, according to a notification issued by the Heavy Industries Ministry. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepMoreover, 5 lakh e-rickshaws having ex-factory price of up to Rs 5 lakh are set to get incentive of Rs 50,000 each. As per the notification, incentives of Rs 1.5 lakh each to 35,000 electric four-wheelers with an ex-factory price of up to Rs 15 lakh, and support of Rs 13,000 each to 20,000 strong hybrid four-wheelers with ex-factory price of up to Rs 15 lakh will be provided. The automobile industry has hailed the government’s move to announce the much awaited FAME-II scheme ahead of kicking in of the code of conduct for general elections, as further delay would have meant it could be rolled out only after the formation of the next government. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to Customs”This is a well-timed opportunity taken. There is continuity as there is no break between FAME-I and FAME-II,” Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) Director General Vishnu Mathur said. The FAME-II scheme will have a Rs 1,500-crore outlay in 2019-20; Rs 5,000 crore in 2020-21 and Rs 3,500 crore in 2021-22. It will cover buses with EV technology; electric, plug-in hybrid and strong hybrid four wheelers; electric three-wheelers including e-rickshaws and electric two-wheelers. “Now we have a road map for the next three years. The government has done its part and it is for the auto industry to perform now,” Mathur said. Considering that in FAME-I, the allocation was around Rs 800 crore, in the second phase it is a huge jump, which is a big boost for the industry, he added. Expressing similar views, Ather Energy Chief Business Officer Ravneet Phokela said, “Overall, FAME-II is a well-honed scheme that focuses on the key consumer adoption drivers, and also encourages local manufacturing of high-quality products; exactly what the EV industry needed at this stage.” He further said the decision to link battery capacity to subsidy is a great move since it will ensure influx of high-performance, quality vehicles. “The regulation that mandates players to provide at least 3 years of comprehensive warranty will encourage serious players to invest in the entire component cycle,” Phokela said. This, combined with the emphasis on local sourcing, is bound to aid automakers to invest in building a sustainable production ecosystem, he added.
New Delhi: Embattled liquor baron Vijay Mallya on Tuesday lashed out at public sector banks for “double standards” under the current NDA regime for their intervention to bailout Jet Airways while the same lenders made his Kingfisher airlines “fail ruthlessly”.In a series of tweets reacting to banks led by State Bank of India taking over management control of troubled Jet Airways, Mallya said,”…Only wish the same was done for Kingfisher”. “Happy to see that PSU Banks have bailed out Jet Airways saving jobs, connectivity and enterprise,” he said. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’He further said,”the same PSU Banks let India’s finest airline with the best employees and connectivity fail ruthlessly. Double standards under NDA.” Mallya, who is facing extradition to India from the UK, lamented that his efforts to save Kingfisher Airlines was “not recognised and instead slammed in every possible way”. “I invested over Rs 4,000 crores into Kingfisher Airlines to save the company and its employees,” he claimed. He also lashed out at the BJP for differential treatment meted out to Kingfisher and Jet Airways. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K”BJP spokesman eloquently read out my letters to PM Manmohan Singh and alleged that PSU Banks under the UPA Government had wrongly supported Kingfisher Airlines,” Mallya said. He further said, “Media decimated me for writing to the current PM. I wonder what has changed now under the NDA Government.” The fugitive businessman reiterated his offer to pay off dues through his assets. “And I repeat once again that I have placed liquid assets before the Hon’ble Karnataka High Court to pay off the PSU Banks and all other creditors. Why do the Banks not take my money. It will help them to save Jet Airways if nothing else,” he said. Last month Mallya, who is wanted in India on alleged fraud and money laundering charges amounting to an estimated Rs 9,000 crores, had filed his application in the UK High Court, seeking permission to appeal against an extradition order signed by the British Home Secretary.
New Delhi: Justice S A Bobde, the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court, was on Tuesday appointed to conduct an in-house inquiry into the allegations of sexual harassment levelled against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.When contacted, Justice Bobde, who is next to the CJI in seniority, confirmed the development. He said being the number two judge, the Chief Justice of India has appointed him to look into the allegations of sexual harassment charges levelled by a former woman staff. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsJustice Bobde said that he has decided to form a panel by inducting two apex court judges — N V Ramana and Indira Banerjee. “I decided to have Justice Ramana in the panel as he is next to me in the seniority and Justice Banerjee as she is a woman judge,” Justice Bobde said. He said he has already issued notice to the woman who had written letters to the judges and sworn on affidavit about the alleged sexual harassment. The first hearing will be conducted on Friday and the apex court secretary general has also been asked to be ready with all documents and materials. “This is going to be an in-house procedure which does not contemplate representation of advocate on behalf of parties. It is not a formal judicial proceeding,” Justice Bobde said.
Ben Lindbergh joins the Hot Takedown podcast to preview the 2016 MLB season. neil (Neil Paine, senior sportswriter): All right — the AL East is perennially one of the most competitive divisions in baseball, but the balance of power has shifted a bit away from the classic Yankees-Red Sox rivalry in recent years. Do we think that will persist this year with Toronto winning again, or do we have reason to think New York and especially Boston will return to their former glories?dszymborski: Well, both teams have a plausible case to contention, though either could come off the rails very quickly. I think it’s truer than ever that there are no great AL East teams or even any great AL teams, period.emmaspan: I’d agree with Dan that the AL East is pretty wide open. It wouldn’t shock me to see any of these teams squeak into a wild-card spot. And I believe SI’s preseason predictions for the AL East last year ended up being an exact inversion of the final standings. So everyone should definitely listen to me.dszymborski: The nice thing about the “all teams are plausible!” prediction is that people end up having to be less specific in their anger at me by the time the season ends.emmaspan: I think Boston will be pretty good this year, although to be fair, I also thought that last year, and, well. But I think the race is likelier to be between the Red Sox and the Blue Jays than the Yankees. All three of those teams have a lot of question marks in their rotations, but I think the Sox and Jays have lineups that can cover for a lot of that, and I’m not sure I’d say the same for New York. A FiveThirtyEight Chat emmaspan: Oh my gosh. I changed my mind: Orioles are going all the way this year. neil: So, to recap: slight edge to the Jays, but maybe the Red Sox, Yankees or even the Rays … And the Orioles will either finish last or recapture the spirit of ’89 in song and performance.emmaspan: That about sums it up on my end.dszymborski: Seems like a reasonable wrapup. And hi, Nate. I see you typing.natesilver (Nate Silver, editor in chief): Thanks, Dan and Emma!emmaspan: Hi Nate! [waves]natesilver: Was gonna say that we really need to work on an oral history of the 1991 Detroit Tigers: Tettleton + Fielder + Deer + Incaviglia = AWESOME.neil: Save it for the AL Central chat, Nate. :)emmaspan: And don’t give me any ideas you don’t want me to steal. dszymborski: I know the whole “Why Not?” song. I had the 1989 team video on VHS. It also included a Mickey Tettleton version of “I Love Mickey.” Boston Red Soxneil: You guys sound high on the Red Sox, despite the last-place finish a year ago. How much of that is the offseason additions (David Price, Craig Kimbrel, etc.) and how much is simply the guys who had down seasons a year ago bouncing back in some way, shape or form?dszymborski: I’m slightly higher on them than the Yankees. I actually picked them as very slight division favorites, but a lot can still go wrong.emmaspan: The latter, for me — the Red Sox played much better the second half of last year than the first. It looked like things were starting to come together. And any time you can add a durable (so far) ace like Price, it’s a big boost.dszymborski: Hard to go wrong signing David Price!emmaspan: I don’t think Hanley Ramirez or Pablo Sandoval will necessarily return to form, but if they can just be decent, there’s still a lot to like in that lineup.dszymborski: Ramirez at least seems to have more buy-in about playing first base. I urged people not to overrate how good he’d be in left field, but I didn’t see that disaster coming. I’m less optimistic on Sandoval. It was such a strange pair of signings. Third base was the logical reason to sign either Hanley or Sandoval going into last winter, but then they signed both.emmaspan: I wouldn’t say I’m optimistic about Sandoval, either, but last year was his worst ever and he’s still only 29, so I don’t think a return to (at least) mediocrity is out of the question. But yeah, those were strange moves even at the time. Personally, I will miss the sheer adventure of Hanley in left. A real adrenaline rush.dszymborski: I think the GM change is good for the Red Sox not just because of any managerial issue, just because it’s easier to walk away from various Sandoval/Ramirez experiments if they go poorly. Dave Dombrowski has nothing personally invested in Sandoval’s contract working out.emmaspan: That “if” is very generous of you.dszymborski: I’m a sunny optimist.neil: Yeah, I wanted to ask about the regime change there — Dombrowski is demonstrably one of the best GMs in baseball, but what is he going to do to succeed where Ben Cherington failed? And what do we make of that story where John Henry backed away from sabermetrics a bit as a guiding strategy?emmaspan: We’ll obviously have to see how it plays out, but I think the John Henry quotes got a little overblown — I think what he was saying is that they want to use a good mixture of analytics and scouting, which at this point is hardly controversial. Or shouldn’t be.dszymborski: Yeah. His comments also came at a slow time in the news cycle, so they got blown up a bit. Though Ruben Amaro and their “secret analytics” was highly entertaining for a few days.emmaspan: One of the most fun aspects of SI’s baseball season preview every year is we talk to a bunch of scouts, anonymously, about every team. They have some really fascinating (and funny) insights that you don’t get from even the best statistical analysis — but, of course, they also are spectacularly wrong sometimes. The Red Sox obviously did very well by sabermetrics and I don’t see them tossing it over the side. Almost all the best teams in baseball right now are teams that have done a good job balancing those perspectives.dszymborski: It used to be you had a serious divide between teams using data well and teams that don’t. That’s so much not the case these days.emmaspan: One thing to watch with Dombrowski is how much freedom he gets from ownership. That was an issue with Cherington, apparently, at several key points in his tenure.dszymborski: Yeah, he never really had the political capital that Theo Epstein did.emmaspan: You can be the best GM in the world, but if the owners insist that you hire Bobby Valentine, well …neil: Fair enough. So if Red Sox fans had any reason to panic, it should be more about maybe, say, the back end of that rotation than any grand shift in organization direction.emmaspan: Yes, although ownership meddling is something to be wary of in that and other areas.dszymborski: As organizations have more complex management structures and ownership groups continue to get more involved, I think chalking moves up to a specific GM isn’t as useful as it once was. New York Yankeesneil: All right, let’s move on to the Yankees. According to the numbers, at least, they might be the most underrated team in baseball — which I never thought I’d actually hear a Yankee team described as.dszymborski: One surprising — and positive — thing about New York is just how young its good pitching is. I do this thing called “contribution age,” in which I weight a team’s age by its projected WAR, and the Yankees actually have the second-youngest pitching staff based on where they’re getting the value from (slightly behind the Mets).emmaspan: Do you think those young guys are ready, Dan? Luis Severino did look really strong last year, but small sample size and all that.dszymborski: Oh, I’m frightened by the downside, but a lot of the contributions that they’re going to get will need to be from those young/youngish guys. I’m bullish on Severino especially, simply because he’s one of the few starters that actually has his arm completely intact.emmaspan: Speaking of which, I worry about Michael Pineda staying healthy. I mean, also every other pitcher in the league, but Pineda has a long list of injury issues.neil: Masahiro Tanaka, too, has his own injury history as well.emmaspan: A good chunk of the Yankees’ season probably hangs on Tanaka’s elbow, which is pretty precarious. And I think at CC Sabathia‘s age, it’s unlikely he’ll get back to his top form, which is too bad, because he was enormously fun to watch.dszymborski: He was one of the great hopes for the next 300-game winner for a while, too. Watching his ZiPS career projection for wins come down year after year is very depressing. It peaked at 274 five years ago. Now it’s down to 231.emmaspan: Aw, CC. At least it sounds like he’s in a good place off the field and that’s great.neil: But is it fair to say the Yankees will probably once again be somewhere between OK and pretty decent on both the runs scored and allowed fronts? That was their formula last season, but it fell short of what are always the ravenous expectations in the Bronx.dszymborski: That seems about right. It’s an old risky team that can still patch together enough of a run to remain solid.emmaspan: That’s what I think. Their lineup is still overly reliant on old (by baseball standards) players but they shored it up a bit this offseason. I think it’ll be serviceable, and like the last few years, probably enough to put them in contention for a wild card. Money can’t buy you a championship, but it can keep you from totally sucking.dszymborski: I find using “old” a more loaded term these days, given how quickly baseball is running out of players that are older than I am.emmaspan: You should love the Yankees, then, Dan. Speaking of old, I thought for sure A-Rod would be cooked last year, but he was one of their best players. Is there any way he manages that again?dszymborski: I think he could. The question before last year was whether, after injuries and missing a year, he’d be able to do it at all. That he did it once should make us slightly more optimistic.neil: A-Rod’s regression potential, though, is another limiting factor for that lineup that probably keeps them more “OK” than “great.”dszymborski: Some of the issues in the offense would look less urgent if not for the Greg Bird injury.emmaspan: Yeah, not a great idea to go in without a good Mark Teixeira backup plan.neil: And what do we make of this bullpen Death Star they’ve built when Aroldis Chapman returns from suspension?emmaspan: It could make up for some of those rotation question marks — you don’t need to rely on length from that group of starters. For me, it would be more fun to watch if their buy-low on Chapman while he was under investigation for domestic violence hadn’t been so discouraging. But yes, from a pure baseball perspective, it’ll still be a spectacle.One of the more impressive aspects of the Yankees’ recent history is that for all their issues, they’ve done a good job replacing Mariano Rivera, which is a tall order. None of these guys are Mo, don’t get me wrong, but the bullpen hasn’t really been one of their problems. Toronto Blue Jaysneil: Well, let’s talk about the team that won the division last year, the Blue Jays. They were arguably the best team in baseball last season (sorry, Royals), but neither FanGraphs nor Baseball Prospectus’s projections think they’re the frontrunners this season. What do we think? Was last year their peak, or can they be as good this time around?emmaspan: The Blue Jays are my pick to win the division this year. Like last year, their lineup should be terrifying, but their rotation is less steady than you’d like. They’ll miss David Price. But when you can outscore everyone on the planet like that, it makes up for a lot.dszymborski: I think they come back to earth a bit. Not a lot went wrong last year. They’ll score a ton of runs, but there’s certainly some downside risk there. Though they’re still competitive, like the rest of the AL East.emmaspan: Even assuming that Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion won’t all have 40-HR seasons like last year, they can still bludgeon a lot of pitchers. They should also have a full year of Marcus Stroman, which could be huge (though I do worry a little about putting so much pressure on a kid who only had five starts last year).I covered the Blue Jays in the playoffs last year, including that crazy ALDS Game 5, and it was something else. I actually might be overestimating them a little because of how insane that moment was.neil: It was an incredible moment. But at that stage of the season, they’d also been buoyed by deadline pickups (in addition to actually playing to their run differential). Do they need to go out and get pieces again?emmaspan: I think they need a pitcher. Though there probably won’t be another David Price lying around.dszymborski: And even if there was, trading for a second David Price is tough.emmaspan: Yes. And their new GM has expressed reluctance to make those huge moves, which I know has some Jays fans worried.dszymborski: Yeah, say that the Nats are terrible and Stephen Strasburg is available. That’s all well and good, but it will be harder for the Jays to come up with another trade package in 2016.emmaspan: But one other thing in their favor — their offense was that good without Troy Tulowitzki hitting very well. He’ll help their defense regardless, but if he can return to even kinda his usual form, that’s huge. Even if you don’t get another ace at the deadline, even just a solid mid-rotation guy can be enough when you score 18 runs per game. (Slight exaggeration.)neil: Only slight.emmaspan: They also could use another reliable bullpen arm or two, I think. That might be easier to come by.dszymborski: But they have the mid-rotation guys. It’s the ace-type that you can confidently start six times in the playoffs they don’t have.emmaspan: I think Stroman can be that guy, though they’ll want to watch his innings this year.dszymborski: It’s a lot to put on a guy who just came back from one injury.emmaspan: Also, I personally am ready for the R.A. Dickey renaissance. Is it likely? OK, no. But it would be wonderful and you never fucking know with knuckleballers. (Please feel free to edit out my profanity — I get very worked up about knuckleballs.)neil: Profanity is fine, but only in the context of knuckleball pitchers.dszymborski: Dickey hasn’t been disappointing even, just not super inspiring: a slightly above-average pitcher that never misses a start. He’s also only 41 — he can be around for another decade or so.emmaspan: Right, but I vividly remember his Cy Young season for the Mets. That was crazy fun.dszymborski: That mid-year stretch when nobody scored on him ever!emmaspan: And he had a few great starts last year, too, if I recall correctly. It’s still in there, somewhere, maybe!dszymborski: 2.80 second-half ERA!emmaspan: There you go. In my mind the AL Cy Young is already sewn up. Everyone else can go home.neil: You said it, Emma — you never (fucking) know with guys like that. But barring some kind of Dickey renaissance, the Jays’ only really question mark is the rotation, it seems. Emma said she’s picking Toronto as favorites; what say ye, Dan?dszymborski: Slightly picking Red Sox. But again, this is a year in which I can just project everybody to have a fun time.emmaspan: Red Sox were a close second for me. We pretty much agree, which means this is probably the Rays’ year. Tampa Bay Raysneil: Maybe the real wild card in this division (not literally the AL Wild Card, just the figure of speech — although maybe the literal Wild Card, too) is the Tampa Bay Rays. PECOTA is picking them to win the division, on the strength of a really outlier-ish fielding performance. What do you think? Are the Rays back?dszymborski: Yeah, ZiPS had the opposite: Rays at 80-82.neil: I think most other sources were more in line with ZiPS. Vegas pegged them with an over/under of 78 wins.emmaspan: I don’t think the Rays are back quite yet, but they’re better, and if a few things went right for them, the Wild Card is pretty realistic. I do think they’ll have good defense (Kevin Kiermaier by himself is basically a good defense), and potentially a strong rotation.dszymborski: Yeah, it could happen for sure. They’re a non-terrible team in a wide-open division.emmaspan: I just don’t see them hitting enough. But a few surprise performances and a couple of trades and who knows?dszymborski: You’re really seeing some of the effects of their recent drafts not bearing fruit yet. Only a single drafted Ray since David Price in 2007 has five WAR in the majors: Kiermaier.emmaspan: I’m pretty fascinated to see if Kiermaier’s insane defensive stats hold up. I mean, he’s obviously an excellent, excellent centerfielder — but worth five wins on defense alone?dszymborski: There’s gotta be some regression on that. Defensive stats are just so volatile. But even at +15, he’s a valuable player.emmaspan: Yeah, generally you take a single season of defensive stats with large grains of salt. That said, you watch him field, and he really is awesome. Obligatory plug — check out last week’s issue of SI for more on Kiermaier and his crazy centerfielding.dszymborski: I prefer “centerfieldery.” Sounds better after “feats of.”emmaspan: You’re right. Let’s go with “crazy feats of centerfieldery.” I won’t tell the SI copy desk if you don’t.neil: But it sounds like you both are somewhat skeptical of that +56 fielding runs above average PECOTA is spitting out for Tampa. Do they have much of a plausible path to the division crown if that doesn’t end up happening? Looking at the rest of their roster, it doesn’t seem like there’s enough else there.dszymborski: To establish +56 as a baseline, you gotta do it longer. (It’s like projecting Bonds in his 73-homer season. Even though he did hit 73, you probably shouldn’t have projected it beforehand.) And without that +56, it’s tougher for the Rays. But remember, I don’t see them being quite that good defensively and still think there’s a path — just not the most likely one.emmaspan: Right. I don’t think it’s likely but, again, it wouldn’t be shocking. Chris Archer is awesome. Matt Moore’s looked great. I think Drew Smyly can be good. Combine a really good rotation with very good fielding — even if it isn’t +56 fielding runs above average — and stranger things have happened.neil: In fairness, I should also say their catchers — specifically, Hank Conger and René Rivera — are really good framers. So some of that is being factored into PECOTA.emmaspan: Evan Longoria going back to his star levels would go a long way towards helping. I don’t know how likely that is. And even if it did, I still think they need a couple bats. But I don’t think they’re far away from contending.dszymborski: No, just need some things to go right. Like when you don’t want to do your homework and there’s a 40 percent chance of snow in the forecast. In honor of the 2016 Major League Baseball season, which starts Sunday, FiveThirtyEight is assembling some of our favorite baseball writers to chat about the year to come. Today, we focus on the American League East with Sports Illustrated senior editor Emma Span and ESPN analyst Dan Szymborski. The transcript below has been edited.Toronto Blue JaysBoston Red SoxNew York YankeesTampa Bay RaysBaltimore Orioles Baltimore Oriolesneil: You guys have just told me why any of the Jays, Red Sox, Yankees or Rays could win this division without anything too crazy happening. Does it stand to reason that Baltimore, who won this division as recently as two years ago, also fits that description?dszymborski: Pretty much. Although there’s something depressing about the fact that the Os had to increase their payroll to $150 million just to essentially maintain last year’s roster. (Which went 81-81.)emmaspan: They would surprise me the most of any AL East team, but even for them I would say they still have a shot. They’re gonna clobber a ton of home runs. That pitching, though.neil: The rotation looks especially shaky.dszymborski: It’s essentially four soft-tossing righties and Kevin Gausman, who they spent all of last year trying to use in the most awkward way imaginable.emmaspan: We did a big article on Jake Arrieta this week. Between what he said about his time in Baltimore and what the scout we talked to said about Gausman, yikes. Developing pitching prospects is risky for any team, but the Orioles desperately need to break this pattern.dszymborski: I think the Os lead the league in home runs, go 81-81, and the organization can’t quite figure out why.emmaspan: Their path to success is similar to last year’s Jays: out-slug all comers. But, again, for the Jays that involved picking up one of the best pitchers in baseball at the deadline, and that’s a tall order.dszymborski: Baltimore’s closer to a rebuild than any of the other AL East teams, I think. The farm’s dried up, they can’t increase payroll any more, and Manny Machado’s only got three years to free agency now.emmaspan: I feel awful for Orioles fans if the team doesn’t extend Machado and he goes elsewhere. Oof.dszymborski: I’m from Baltimore! I’m slowly coming to terms that he’s signing somewhere else for $300 million.emmaspan: I do think they have kind of a secret weapon in Buck Showalter, who can win you a few extra one-run games. And Yovani Gallardo should be pretty solid. It’s not an inspiring signing, but it’s something.dszymborski: Despite the doom and gloom, they do have a playoff scenario. It’s just that they’re going to have to face some tough questions quicker than the others.emmaspan: Your 2015 Baltimore Orioles: “Well, It’s Something.”neil: Better or worse than “Why Not?” More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Embed Code