Hot And Cold

first_imgOver 22 million Indians have migrated to different parts of the world, but there’s another migration that’s taking place and few people have realized just how momentous it is. The mass migration of millions and millions of samosas, kachoris, dosas and idlis – made in India and quick frozen – delivered to your door in California, London or Dubai, almost as fresh as those made by your dear Amma!Who would have thought that there would be a virtual kitchen in your freezer? It’s indeed a Cold Revolution – walk into any Indian grocery store in the United States and you will be amazed by the variety in frozen dinners with everything from gourmet specialties like Paneer Hariyali to Malai Kofta to Uttappam.Some of the major manufacturers and distributors of frozen Indian food in the United States include Deep Foods, headquartered in New Jersey, House of Spices and Rajbhog Foods in New York, Raja Foods in Chicago, Dishanka Gourmet Imports in Texas and Kostos International in California. Each is doing its bit in getting frozen ready to eat dinners, ice-creams and snacks to hungry and harried South Asians across America – and some are even winning over converts from the mainstream. And they are certainly Each isringing it up at the cash register – frozen foods are a cash cow.While the Indian frozen foods comprise just a small part of the multibillion-dollar American frozen food industry, the sales figures are quite respectable. According to Neil Soni, vice president of House of Spices, “Wholesalers to retailers, it’s possibly a $15 million market, while for the retailers it could be a $25 million market. It’s a good component with lots of growth opportunities.”Soni believes that with the tight scheduling of working families, time is at a premium and so the Indian market is evolving into what the mainstream consumers already expect from their supermarkets.Few mainstream customers would go to a supermarket to buy flour to make bread from scratch; in the same way many Indian consumers are skipping the raw material to get the ready-made chappatis and naans because everyone’s so time-deprived. House of Spices is a major distributor of several brand names from India, including products like Vadilal frozen vegetables as well as ready-to-eat dinners like Vadilal’s Sarso ka Sag, Bhindi Masala, Dum Alu, Punjabi Chole, Dal Makhani and Navratan Korma. It also imports frozen snacks like samosas and kachoris under its own brand name Lakshmi, and the Lakshmi line is expanding to include more South Indian snacks, because Soni feels there is a big demand from the South Indian community which hasn’t been met.Probably the biggest player in frozen foods is Deep Foods, which actually manufactures most of its frozen items in the United States. Pressed on the magnitude of the demand frozen foods, Deep’s Archit Amin says, “You’re still going to have more basmati sales than frozen foods, there’s no doubt about it. The groceries are still the No. 1 product that people go to these stores for. What we do see a pick up in is in entrees, not as much as we’d like to see, but we do see a lot of potential there.”  Indeed, it must be hard for Indian families to give up the cultural tradition of cooking fresh food every day, but in this new world you don’t have the retinue of servants nor do you have the time to always whip up an elaborate meal from scratch, weeping as you chop the onions.Amin is quick to defend the benefits of frozen food: “Most Indian people have the impression that frozen food is not fresh and that’s the biggest misconception. I can’t emphasize that enough.”   He challenges people to offer Deep’s Malai Koftas along with restaurant malai koftas in a blind taste test to guests. “Then just be honest, have them tell you which one they picked. If you do that you would know what I’m talking about.”He says the freshest food you’ll find in the market is frozen unless you’re going to prepare it yourself. He adds, “Think of what frozen really is, it’s actually time-trapped and frozen. Frozen in time and you’re not going to get anything fresher then that.”For most manufact-urers of frozen food, that probably is the challenge, to convince Indian consumers that they can get a premium dish for a few dollars instead of goiing to a good restaurant for that taste. In its light hearted advertisement, Deep Foods has tried to convey that message: you see a bachelor eating a frozen dinner and as he takes each successive bite, the room is transformed into a fancy restaurant and he morphs every step of the way as he gets five star treatment. As Indian families adapt American lifestyles with both spouses working and the children involved in scores of extra-curricular activities, there’s less time to prepare food. Says Amin, “Most households that I talk to are eating more out than not; it doesn’t have to be that way. There is an in-between way and you don’t have to spend that kind of money nor do you have to spend time cooking.”Deep Foods has a 100,000 square feet facility in Union, NJ, where it produces several lines – Mirch Masala, Deep and Curry Classics, as well as the Green Guru International Cuisine line. It also distributes other frozen food lines such as Maharani and Kawon Malaysian parathas.The company first started its frozen foods business by manufacturing Reena Cce Cream with such Indian flavors as pistachio and mango. Amin recalls, “The Indian community was growing so we realized there was a need.We recognized that more and more couples were working and had less time to spend in the kitchen.Now we get so much fan mail saying that these meals are a lifesaver.” The company, which was started in 1977, today churns out 20,000 frozen meals in each shift. “One of the newest things we are doing is we’ve actually put up a facility in India for making items that are hand-made and we are proudly employing about 300 people in Gujarat,” says Amin. So now we have the outsourcing of samosas! He says the products made in their manufacturing facility in India are imported into the United States, but are also produced for consumption in the homeland. We use the same USDA and FDA guidelines since Deep has been in the U.S. business for over 20 years. We use only Bisleri water- bottled spring water in our plant in India and fresh Indian flour. It’s been a great experience and the people are simply wonderful there.” Another big player is Raja Foods, based in Skokie, Ill, a suburb of Chicago. The company has been in business since 1992 and imports frozen foods from India under the Swad label. According to Swetal Patel of Raja Foods, Swad has the largest variety of frozen vegetables in the market, especially ethnic products like tindora, papdi lilva, valor papdi, chauri and tandal jo ni bhaji, which is a leafy root vegetables which is a part of traditional Gujarati cuisine. These come fresh from the farms in Gujarat and are much easier to prepare since they are already cleaned and cut.Says Swetal Patel, “All you need to do is heat your oil, put the vegetables in and ten minutes later, and it’s done. For people who are looking to make authentic dishes this is great. Fresh produce may be available here, but only in certain seasons and may be more expensive.”Another example he gives is that of drumsticks, which if fresh, could go for about $4.99 a pound, since they have to be flown in from the Dominican Republic; the frozen drumsticks from India retail from $1.39 to a $1. 99. He says, “The price point is very attractive. There are certain cities were fresh is not so easily accessible and frozen products become a solution.”The owners of Raja Foods also have a chain of Indian grocery stores and five restaurants in Illinois, and the chefs formulate many of the entrees for the frozen line. He says, “If you had the Swad Dal Makhani and restaurant Dal Makhani, you’d probably pick ours over it.  And at $1.99 you can’t go wrong – it takes five minutes to make.”Asked to identify the best-selling the products in Chicago, Patel lists the Swad frozen samosas, kachoris and the Asian Indian spring rolls – people tend to stock up on them as Diwali approaches. Currently Raja Foods is making more shelf-stabilized dinners than frozen, but will be adding several new products in a month.  Says Patel, “Other players often job it out to people but we have our own facilities in India. Our best bread is going to be something we discovered in Delhi, called the Papad Paratha, a paratha with papad inside it. Trust me, it’s unbelievable!We’re also coming out with paneer and potato wraps. These will be great for people on the go, like college students and the taste is really good. It’s solid Indian paneer which tastes delicious.”Another player in the frozen food business is Rajbhog, Inc., established in New York, and whose name is synonymous with sweets and snacks. Sachin Mody, one of the owners, says, “For us, the frozen foods was a new line we started about two years ago, but it has significantly increased. The demand is there, basically both husband and wife are working. The younger generation has grown up and they are all working, and even the ones who are married are both working. So for them, this is a fast way to eat.” Rajbhog manufactures about 45 frozen items from matter paneer to Punjabi chole to party samosas, and all their frozen entrees and appetizers are manufactured in New York in an 18,000 square foot factory and are shipped all over the United States.Modi emphasizes that companies are also doing a lot of volume on raw frozen vegetables from India. “We sell about 16 varieties of frozen vegetables, like cut okra, tindora, papri lilva and blocks of methi and everything is cut and cleaned already.” He says the vegetables, immediately after being picked on the farms, are cut and flash frozen.Undhiyu, a traditional Gujarati item that is an authentic mix of Indian vegetables and many different beans, is one of Rajbhog’s dishes. Says Mody, “There are people who like Undhiyu, but their wives don’t know how to make it. Our whole concept when we started making frozen food was like bringing mother’s food back into your home.” Rajbhog is also marketing another line of frozen foods, Bombay Kitchen, which is geared to the health conscious and mainstream taste. The entrees like baigan bartha and navratan korma are low fat, low sodium and low spice and will be available shortly.Out in California, Kostos Internat-ional entered the frozen foods arena seven years ago with its Vegis brand of parathas, which until then had only been available in the form of Malaysian parathas. Vegis Homestyle Gourmet Foods include specialized breads like naan, Toast-A-Roti, paratha, chapatti, poori and flaky parathas. While some of the Vegie breads are made in an automated bakery in California, the majority of the products come from India. The lineup includes five types of naan – garlic, onion, Sher -e-Punjab, tandoori and roghani.This is a truly global world and Pillsbury, the American company, is actually making naans in India, and Kostos International is national distributor for the Pillsbury line. So why is Pillsbury’s Doughboy, usually busy with cakes and pastries, making frozen naans and parathas? Says Kostos Vice President Jay Parikh, “Pillsbury has many ethnic lines, and one of them is Indian. Though it’s an American company, the outfit which manufactures the frozen flat breads is completely Indian. They have a factory near Bombay and they have the experts in the field of Indian food and that’s how they developed the recipes.” Pillsbury has seven frozen products coming into the United States – a ready to puff roti, spring onion parathas, layered Malabar parathas, Adraki Alu parathas, tawa whole wheat parathas, stuffed spicy alu masaledaar naan and a paneer-filled naan.That’s more variety than you see in the breadbaskets of many Indian restaurants! Kostos International distributes to 1,300 stores nationally, mostly Indian and Pakistani, and some Middle Eastern stores. Says Parikh: “We have a few mainstream outlets at the moment. Indian foods are not as famous as Chinese and other foods, but are getting known, and the frozen samosas and spring rolls are very popular.”So America is finally waking up to the joy of zapping a microwave button and retrieving sizzling malai koftas in minutes! Why so late in the day in the United States, when the Brits have long made Indian food a national favorite, available in the frozen and chilled sections of mainstream stores like Mark and Spencer’s and Selfridges?“Well the American market is only 30 years old,” says Neil Soni. “The English market has been around ever since England occupied India. They’ve been exposed to the Indian culture so that market is almost a 100 years old. On top of the millions of South Asians in the UK who are eating Indian food consistently, there is a 100 million population where 50 percent of the people are exposed to Indian food. There may be a demographic of 50 million people who like Indian food.”He points out that even in a cosmopolitan city like New York there might be many affluent Americans who don’t know about Indian food and don’t want to try it because they’ve never been exposed to it. He says: “I think there’s a very big opportunity, but it has to be marketed properly. Right now I find that only the younger, college educated Americans – from the ages of 18 and 25 have the most potential to try Indian food.”Swetal Patel of Raja Foods says of the chilled foods that are such a rage in London:“More than frozen, they have what is called chilled foods. When you go to the deli here in American stores you really are finding a lot of the same products you found 30 or 40 years ago. It hasn’t really evolved but in London because of the Indian influence these foods are readily available.”He says that the Indian influence hasn’t been here that long while Chinese and Italian foods have been here much longer. “Italian food finally made it to the deli counter about seven years ago and Chinese food is slowly making its way – so it’s going to be some time before Indian food make it to the chilled section.You’ve got to remember England is about the size of Illinois so to distribute food like that is simple. There’s no complication. Here’s it’s a monster, we have four time zones!”  Indeed, the thought of massive amounts of vegetables traveling from farms in Gujarat and ready to eat entrees from factories in the heat of India all the way to America is mind-boggling, for the product has to be frozen at all times to maintain its quality. So what are the logistics of getting this food to consumers? Swetal Patel of Raja Foods says: “It’s not the infrastructure in India as that of the European shipping companies. They have hrefrigerated containers, so it’s produced frozen, packed frozen, shipped frozen, delivered frozen.”He finds that in India the frozen trend has not yet caught on with consumers and people tend to eat fresh. One of the stores he visited had just one small freezer while as he explains, all the Patel Brother grocery stores in the United States are equipped with large freezers: “As a company we’ve invested the most amount of money in freezers. Any new store we open, we put in $100,000 worth just in freezers.” The appropriate equipment is vital to the success of the business and as Archit Amin of Deep Foods says, “We have huge freezers that take the temperature of the product down to negative 40 degrees in 45 minutes. We do about 20,000 trays in a shift daily and 50 foot freezer trailer trucks take it across the country to the distributors.”The frozen food revolution is happening mainly because of great transportation, but a huge infrastructure is needed in this country as well. Swetal Patel says that a lot has to be invested in the freezers and they have 6000 sq foot freezers in both their facilities in Chicago and New York: “The initial investment in the units isn’t that much, but the cost to run them on a monthly basis can be $6000 a month.”So with all the costs and transportation, is it worth all the trouble, bringing frozen foods in from India? Says Swetal Patel, “Oh, yeah, why not? Everyone’s still making a profit. Trust me, it would have been dead in the water if it weren’t profitable!”Has he thought of selling to the mainstream? He says, “Raja Foods is a company which sells to many supermarkets in the country – Whole Foods, Jewel and AP. However the whole frozen aspect as a business is new to us and selling frozen to supermarkets isn’t as easy as everyone thinks. It costs more to do business with supermarkets.” Sagar Patel of Asianfood company.com, an Internet wholesaler and retailer in Houston, has taken the frozen foods online, sending out frozen foods throughout the United States and to countries like Canada and the U.K. “What we try to do is target the market from both sides with mostly Indian products but also mainstream products, ranging from bagels to desserts.”The company has warehouse and freezer facilities and partners with various distributors selling every brand from Ashoka to Deep Foods and Pillsbury. The main alliance is with Dishaka Gourmet Imports in Houston, who are the manufacturers and distributors of Chirag brand of food items.  “We’ve been around for just one and a half years and the majority of my clients are non-Indian, ” says Sagar Patel. “We recognized that the only reason mainstream customers do not buy Indian products is because they don’t know what to do with them.So we’ve developed a process where people can contact us off our website and we have people on our staff who will actually walk the customers through the ingredients and the processes in which they can use the foods.”  The frozen products are sent out to retail customers by Fed Ex, using dry ice and specially manufactured containers. Has the demand gone up with Indians? Says Sagar Patel, ” I would say so, definitely, but the Indian market is a little bit harder for us to break in.I think there will still be time needed for the adaptation process to happen, because there are so many grocery stores for Indian products in American cities now.”Asianfoodcompany.com finds more potential in the affluent mainstream market that chooses to look at Indian food as gourmet. Patel says that in the course of a year, business has grown risen ten fold. He adds: “We see a lot of business for frozen food, currently it accounts for 40 percent of what we send out. It’s popular with the mainstream; they’ve had Indian food in restaurants and they’d like to be able to recreate it at home but if they can’t, the next best thing is to be able to buy it.”Presently most of the frozen entrees are vegetarian but Deep Foods’ Curry Classics line has several chicken entrees too, including chicken curry, pad thai, basil curry, samosas as well as Tandoori chicken with spinach. Considering that India has such a vast variety of non-vegetarian and seafood dishes, the surface has barely been scratched in replicating these for the frozen sector.Interestingly enough, all the large manufacturers that Little India spoke to have the second generation involved in the family business – and surely these American born and educated entrepreneurs will be all the more receptive to innovative ideas and new challenges.So the next time you’re on deadline and have no time to cook and don’t have the desire to eat yet another turkey sandwich or slice of pizza, holler for your invisible personal chef. No need to chop and cut; all the exercise your fingers have to do is open up the boxes and zap the microwave button.Huge succulent samosas stuffed with cheese and jalapeno peppers, plates of steaming daal makhani, palak paneer and an array of crisp parathas, rotis and naan. Or perhaps you’d prefer fluffy idlis, golden dosas, uttampams and some spicy rasam? No problem, it’s all in the box.Spread out your fit for a king feast on the dining table and then say a silent prayer of thanks to your Indian grocer! Related Itemslast_img read more

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Can Stars Act?

first_imgIt’s a timeless, endless and relentless controversy that began the day performers and performances came into being. Stars consider actors a dull, theatrical lot, desperate to play the “realism” card to prove to the world that great acting comes from being natural and real life, which to them is a lot like death-warmed-up! Actors view stars as corny and laughable cardboard cut-outs, forever engaged in hamming and posturing for their end objective of successfully catering to the lowest common denominator, who wouldn’t recognize real acting performance if it stared them in the face or bit their behind.Not all of this is true … or false. In terms of sheer acting, Naseeruddin Shah, Om, Pankaj Kapoor, Irfaan Khan, Konkona Sen Sharma, Rahul Bose or Sahana Goswami undoubtedly represent mind blowing fare, but do they go across a fraction as big as the stars? The killer Khan clan, Hrithik, Akshay, Ranbir or Kat, Bips, Kareena and Priyanka may not have the histrionic fire-power of the above list, but their glamor, charisma, electric presence and sex appeal mesmerizes. Amitabh Bachchan in Paa Agreed, say the critics, but popularity is not excellence. These dumb award ceremonies played out in different parts of the world, are silly, ego-boosting shows pandering to dumbed-down, glamor-starved, Bolly-crazy NRIs, neither interested nor knowledgeable about the real thing, they insist. Can these stars, earning mind-blowing pay-checks, act to save their life?Loaded question, but the answer has to be: If given the scope, opportunity, motivation, inspiration and mentoring, yes! Examples? Here goes …Let’s start with King Khan. Shahrukh Khan has always — not without reason — been perceived, first and last, as a star. Tashan, and mannerisms define his screen persona as the ultimate, romantic lover-boy, whose pairing with Kajol, is rated as the biggest wow of the generation. Sling in comedy, dance, action and drama and Shahrukh offers the most lethally entertaining package in B-town. It’s not great acting, say his critics, but hamming and doing the same damn thing over and over again. Maybe, says the cool dude, but if a zillion fans all over planet earth are okay with it, who am I to quarrel with it, boss? On a more serious note, didn’t lover boy Khan deliver in super style in Swadesh and later Chak De? And didn’t the recent My Name is Khan prove his ability to push the envelope one more time? Remember Shahid Kapoor (the poor man’s SRK?) constantly flashing his cute, lover-boy, dancing-star image in film after film after film? And then came Kaminey and blew the hell out of this image, right? Playing a double role — disabled — the cutie pie socked home a solid thumper!Same with dancing freak, Greek God looking Hrithik Roshan. After his sensational Kaho Naa … he was the new hot star on the block, remember? A couple of bombs later, playing a guy with a child-like personality, Roshan junior risked his all to come up trumps in Koi… Mil Gaya. Risky as hell — one false move and it would turn out to be a caricature — Duggu leapt in and rocked, big time!  Aamir Khan at a press conference for Ghajini What about the metrosexual and uber-cool dude Saif Ali Khan? After a zillion bombs, he was “discovered” by Farhan Akhtar in Dil Chahta Hai and took off from there. However, the first sign of a real, stark risk-taking move was his deadly negative role in Ek Haseena Thi. The film may not have romanced the charts, but it clearly served notice to anyone who cared to note that here was a talent clearly beyond the image. Omkara confirmed it in an amazingly, chilling manner. He played Langda Tyagi so convincingly that one forgot he is really the Chhote Nawab of B-town! And can one ever forget dud actor Abhishek Bachchan transforming into a fine performer in Yuva and later Guru? It took the perceptive Mani Ratnam to figure out the real strengths of Amitabh Bachchan’s baby and boy, did he exploit them to the full in both movie.! Ever since, Abhi has indeed moved on … and away from his dad’s giant-sized shadow! Aamir Khan actually doesn’t need to be listed in this group, because, if there is one star who has consistently dared to tilt at windmills — from Lagaan to 3 idiots — to demonstrate his urge to portray different roles, characters and personas, it is this pocket-sized dynamo of talent.   Shahid Kapoor in KamineySo, these are some of the major hot n’ happening stars who have risen to the bait, when it came their way. Hey? What about the Big B, you ask? Sure, with Paa and a host of character roles — Sarkar, Cheeni Kum, Baghban, KANK — he does qualify, but not, in my book, in quite as convincing a way as, say, Aamir. Because at his peak (in the 1970s and early 1980s), he never ever attempted anything that disturbed his image, or rocked the boat. Pity, as he was one star who could have given both, his outstanding talent and the small film movement of that time, a dynamic momentum. Ah well, better late than never, I guess …Cut to the perpetually dismissed, neglected, taunted and patronized constituency — Bollywood heroines! Barbie Dolls, sexy, glamorous props inserted to provide the hero with a “love interest” and the drooling, voyeuristic mobs a deadly peek show. While it is true that beauty queens and hot models are invading the biz in droves, there are enough examples to demonstrate that these so-called mannequins can sometimes startle and stun the biggest cynic. See for yourself …Let’s start with the celebrated ice maiden, Ash Rai Bachchan. For a long time, she was the butt of jokes relating to acting, remember? A doll in a showcase, cosmetic queen … Then came Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and more significantly, Rituparno Ghosh’s Chokher Bali and later Raincoat. In recent times, Guru reaffirmed what people never knew about the beauty — she had talent. What she needed was a director and a vehicle to showcase it with passion, inspiration and confidence.   Shah Rukh Khan on the set of My Name Is Khan with director Karan JoharLikewise, the lovely Kareena Kapoor zonked one and all by going de-glam and socking out one helluva performance early in Chameli, in which she played the role of a sex-worker. Rani Mukherjee, at her peak, had the guts and confidence to play a deaf, blind girl in Sanjay Leela Bansari’s path-breaking Black. Unforgettable, huh? And beauty queen Priyanka Chopra in the role of the sexually aggressive other woman in Aitraaz and later doing two astonishing turns in Kaminey and What’s Your Rashee. Amazing, naa? As we go into print, the reigning diva Katrina Kaif makes her debut in this list with Prakash Jha’s Rajneeti, where she plays a female politician. At the end of the day, we should remember a couple of things. One, despite the frenzied star craze in our land, a film is ultimately a director’s product. It is he and he alone, through his vision, talent, and sensitivity who can extract the best out of his performers. Which is exactly why, despite having the biggest marquee draws, several big films bomb and smaller films click. Secondly, most stars are mostly clueless about their own strength and talent-bandwidth and if properly motivated and driven they can, and do, achieve wonders.So, can stars act? Yes, they can — if and when challenged by the right set of circumstances. But come on, why bother if just looking hot and posturing can excite their drooling fans and secure them paychecks to wake the dead?HERO AS ZERO!B-towns new obsession with de-glam stars.Once upon a time, the hero was handsome, brave, noble, honest, God-fearing and tread the path of virtue with all his mental and physical faculties. The heroine was beautiful, virtuous, sacrificial, ever-giving and never ever strayed from the straight and narrow. Not any more, guys. Suddenly, it is cool to be imperfect in Bollywood. Check it out …  Aamir KhanWhat better example to kick-off than Bollywood’s Ace of Hearts Shahrukh Khan — the quintessential Mr. Romantic — playing a character suffering from Asperger’s syndrome, a mild form of autism, in his last release My Name is Khan; a guy who can neither say a simple “I love you” to his lovely wife (Kajol) nor make eye contact. Earlier he limped his way into several hearts as a disgruntled, frustrated and injured footballer in Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna. A couple of years earlier, another superstar Aamir Khan did his number in Ghajini, playing a hero who suffered from short term memory loss. Earlier yet, chocolate boy Shahid Kapoor hit the disability button real hard in Kaminey, essaying a double role in which one stutters while the other lisps.Cut to Rani Mukherjee, who played a deaf-mute in Black. Kajol was blind in Fanaa and suffered Alzheimer’s in U, Me Aur Hum. Hubby Ajay Devgan, played a developmentally challenged father in Main Aisa Hi Hoon. As we go to print, rumor has it that in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s latest movie Guzarish, Hrithik plays a paraplegic. No big deal, remember his brilliant turn as an overgrown child in Koi… Mil Gaya? And of course the Amitabh Bachchan’s astonishing portrayal in Paa was something else. If reports are to be believed, many more “disabled” roles are in the offing.And the stars are grabbing! Good heavens, wassup guys? Whatever happened to the glamor-glycerine breed, the cosmetic, conscious, image-fixated dudes and dolls? After all, the heavy-duty gyming and beauty-parlor kills, this? Critics are not surprised. They point to Hollywood which has pushed this envelope, big time. Whether it is Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump and Philadelphia, Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man, Jamie Fox in Ray, and Al Pacino in Scent Of a Woman — these guys have never hesitated to storm into the blood n’ marrow of these roles, making them come alive … and image, be damned! Bollywood too seems to be heading that way. “In terms of histrionic challenge for stars it is certainly very potent, visible and tempting. Besides, audiences too seem to be cool with the disabled hero/heroine. An exciting churn is on and in this scenario, anything that is engaging, fresh, novel and impactive is … on!” says film critic Saibal Chatterjee. So, the age of the perfect hero and gorgeous heroine is under challenge — and B-town and audiences are the richer for it.— ML  Related Itemslast_img read more

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Muslim man beaten up in Gurugram, told to remove skullcap and chant Jai Shri Ram

first_imgCow vigilantes beat up three in M.P. for possession of beef; police arrest victims first  When Mr. Barkat tried to push the man and run away, the man allegedly tore his shirt. As Mr. Barkat started crying, the men left. Four of them drove away in a motorcycle and two just walked away into one of the alleys in the area.Mr. Barkat’s cousin Murtuja then took him to civil hospital. The hospital authorities made a call to the police.A case has been registered on charges of promoting religious hatred, causing hurt, criminal intimidation and unlawful assembly, among others, at City Police Station in this connection.Haryana BJP condemns incidentHaryana BJP spokesperson Raman Malik strongly condemned the incident saying that his party was against any kind of appeasement but any illegal act would not be tolerated. He said that he had spoken to the police in this connection and directed them to identify the persons involved at the earliest and take action against him as per the law. A Muslim man was beaten by a group of men at Jacubpura in Gurugram on May 25 night after he was told to remove his skullcap and chant Jai Shri Ram. No arrests have been made so far.Mohammad Barkat, 25, was returning to his shop around 10 p.m. on Saturday after offering prayers at Jama Masjid in Gurugram when a group of about half a dozen men allegedly accosted him outside a sweet shop and told him to remove his skull cap. “One of the men called me with an offensive word and told me that skullcap was not allowed in this area. When I told him that I was returning from a mosque, he slapped me. He also asked me to chant Bharat Mata Ki Jai and Jai Shri Ram. When I refused, he threatened to feed me pork,” Mr. Barkat said. He had come to Gurugram earlier this month to learn tailoring.Mr. Barkat claimed that the man allegedly picked up a stick and hit him and also abused him.Also Readlast_img read more

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221 new members for Assam Foreigners’ Tribunals

first_imgA panel of 221 members has been selected for the existing and upcoming Foreigners’ Tribunals (FTs) in Assam. Another 50 applicants have been put on the wait list.In a notification on Monday, the Gauhati High Court said the panel members comprised retired judicial officers, advocates and civil servants, who we were called for interviews from July 16 to August 11. It recommended the candidates, selected in order of merit,. The list had been prepared and published less than a fortnight before the completion of the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) on August 31.200 new tribunalsEach FT is headed by a judge-like member appointed under the FT Act, 1941, and FT Order, 1984, as per the guidelines issued by the government from time to time.Assam has 100 FTs. According to Home Department, there were initially 11 Illegal Migrant Determination Tribunals (IMDT). These were converted to FTs after the Supreme Court scrapped the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunals) Act, 1983.The government established another 21 FTs in 1983. Four more were added in 2009 and the remaining 64 established in 2014 for disposal of cases that were piling up in the FTs.The government would establish 200 FTs primarily for handling cases of people to be excluded from the final NRC. These would be in addition to the existing 100 and are part of the 1,000 that the Centre had decided to help Assam set up in view of the pressure envisaged to dispose of cases of people to be left out of the NRC.Officials in the Home and Political Department said the new FTs would be distributed among six districts. Kamrup (Metropolitan) district, which covers Guwahati and outskirts, would get 67 of these, followed by Nagaon with 39, Jorhat 31, Bongaigaon 22, Sonitpur 21, and Cachar 20.“Apart from the cases of people left out of the NRC, the new FTs will also deal with the regular cases of D-voters,” a senior officer said. ‘D’ stands for doubtful or dubious voter, a category of people disenfranchised by the government for their alleged lack of proper citizenship documents.last_img read more

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Pune rain: angry protesters heckle Guardian Minister

first_imgA day after intense showers ravaged several parts of Pune district, Guardian Minister Chandrakant Patil faced the ire of citizens on Friday, even as the death toll across the district rose to 18.Speaking here after surveying the worst-hit spots in the city and the district, Mr. Patil blamed illegal constructions and encroachments for the flash deluge that resulted in massive damage to property and loss of life.“Illegal constructions and encroachments on various canals have diverted the natural flow of streams, which led to water entering residential societies and wrecking property. The causes for these constructions have to be investigated. Moreover, why weren’t basic security measures followed at the time of these constructions?” Mr. Patil asked. Team to probe disasterHe said a team comprising senior IAS officials would be constituted to investigate the disaster. He also said all relief measures for the rain-affected in Pune would be applicable under the government resolution (GR) issued at the time of the Kolhapur and Sangli floods.On Thursday, when the city was coping with the rain damage, the Guardian Minister was in Delhi to iron out the seat-sharing issues between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiv Sena for the elections.Earlier, irate protesters blocked Mr. Patil’s convoy near Tangewala Society in Aranyeshwar area, prompting him and his entourage to leave the spot after barely 15 minutes. Five people died after the society’s compound wall collapsed owing to the relentless downpour. Protesters demanded to know what Mr. Patil was doing in Delhi when the city was being battered by flash floods.Urging him to go back, they said the Guardian Minister’s belated visit was merely a photo opportunity.Mr. Patil said those heckling him were mere “troublemakers” hired by the opposition parties. “There were no problems whatsoever. I was [at Tangewala Society] for 20-25 minutes. Genuine citizens told me about their problems. The rest were troublemakers hired by opposition parties.” He said because the model code of conduct is in place for the Assembly elections, he was compelled to put things before the aggrieved citizens in a restrained manner.Toll up to 18Meanwhile, the death toll across the district rose to 18 with at least four people still missing. There were unconfirmed reports of two more bodies being recovered, indicating a likely rise in the number of the deaths.More than 3,000 people in the city are lodged in transit camps, while teams of the fire department and nearly 2,000 municipal workers carried out cleanliness drives and relief operations.Despite the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) warnings of likely heavy rain on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday, the weather remained calm throughout the better part of Friday. Schools and colleges across the city and four other tehsils of the district remained shut following a precautionary directive of the Pune District Collector.According to a release issued on Friday afternoon, the IMD has forecast light to moderate rain on Friday night to be followed by light rain over the weekend.last_img read more

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Madhya Pradesh tehsildars go on three-day mass leave

first_imgDays after patwaris struck work for three days in Madhya Pradesh, tehsildars across the State have gone on mass leave for the same duration starting Thursday demanding pending promotions, better wages and sufficient computers in offices. Tehsildars, under the banner of the Madhya Pradesh Revenue Officers Union, sat on dharnas in 52 districts of the State on Wednesday and Thursday. “To call it a strike won’t be appropriate. We have gone on mass leave for three days. We’ll meet the Chief Minister, and if he doesn’t accept our demands, will go on strike,” said Jitendra Tiwari, executive president of the union. The government must clear pending promotions it had withheld for a while now, he said. “Moreover, salaries of tehsildars and naib tehsildars are too less and need to be increased according to Grade A norms,” he added. Both patwaris and tehsildars had a major role to play in flood estimation, extending relief to farmers and distributing aid. Preliminary estimates pegged damage at more than ₹16,000 crore. And recently, Chief Minister Kamal Nath called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting an immediate aid of ₹9,000 crore and a resurvey by a Central team. ‘Major role’“We have a major role in flood damage estimation and that’s why we pushed this agitation back. The estimation process is almost complete,” clarified Mr. Tiwari. The government was ensuring no work was affected due to the mass leave, Manish Rastogi, Principal Secretary, Revenue Department, told The Hindu.“Even when the patwaris went on strike, the relief work wasn’t affected as most of it had been completed before it,” he said. “Obviously, the overall progress was affected, but relief was still given to farmers.” Patwari thawPatwaris called off their strike last Sunday after meeting Revenue Minister Govind Singh Rajput. Earlier, Higher Education Minister Jitu Patwari had called patwaris corrupt, which had led to the agitation demanding a public apology from him. This had spooked both farmers and the government alike, triggering fears that the strike may hobble the relief process.last_img read more

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Houses arranged for families of Bhavkhedi victims in Shivpuri city: Jyotiradtiya Scindia

first_imgFamilies of two Dalit children who were allegedly killed for defecating in the open in Bhavkhedi village in Shivpuri district would be moved into two houses in the city, Congress leader Jyotiradtiya Scindia has said.“I had promised them that I will leave the village only after settling them in Shivpuri,” Mr. Scindia told reporters. “For now, they have been moved into two temporary houses having a room, a kitchen and a courtyard each…Nothing can cure the deep wounds the family has suffered. But being people’s servants, the least we can do is bring them succour,” he said. The construction of permanent houses would at least take a month, Mr. Scindia told the family. “I am going to pay ₹5 – 5.5 lakh from my own pocket for it,” he added. Besides, he said, adult members of the family would be given employment, and children their education. “Both the families will start staying at the houses from tomorrow,” Mr. Scindia tweeted on Monday, after meeting the families.Two houses had been arranged for the families, he said, besides ensuring their adult members employment and children their education. The houses would be allotted to them under a government scheme, District Deputy Collector Manoj Garwal told The Hindu. “As for a job, we will have to see what kind of work they will be able to do. Most probably, it will be a daily wage job,” he said. Besides, Mr. Scindia on Monday wrote to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath appealing to him to provide lifetime support to the families as they “belonged to the Dalit community” and were “poor”.Requesting assistance on humanitarian ground, he said both the families should be given 10 ‘bigha’ land each. Moreover, “immediate financial support of ₹50 lakh each for the affected families was important”.On September 25, as the two children were defecating in the open along a village road, two Yadav men struck lathis on their heads, killing them. They were later arrested.During an interaction with Mr. Scindia, the father of one of the victims pleaded with him for a house outside the village. “I am going mad here. I may consume poison. I want justice,” he said. The father of one of the victims had earlier told The Hindu the family had lived in fear since then and had decided to leave the village fearing intimidation by the family of the accused.“I don’t see people of my region on religious or caste lines. Only a cruel person could commit something like this… I cannot believe someone in my region could even think of doing something like this,” Mr. Scindia told the father.last_img read more

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RSA reminds Ginebra to stay humble after back-to-back PBA titles

first_img“I hope with this win, we’ll be humble and nice to everybody,” the SMC head honcho said in Filipino, addressing the Gin Kings Monday during their official victory party at the SMC Head Offices.Ang is thankful that after nearly a decade of drought, coach Tim Cone was able to lead Ginebra to back-to-back titles in the season-ending conference amid a worthy adversary in Meralco.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutREAD: Ginebra escapes Meralco in Game 7, completes title repeat“Ginebra waited for a championship in eight years. We won last year, and this year, even up to the final minute, we didn’t know if we could repeat. But we’re thankful that we’re able to win back-to-back,” he said. LATEST STORIES MOST READ Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Fears over N.Korea attack during Winter Games an ‘exaggeration’ QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles03:06‘Pamana’: Mausoleum caretaker cherishes humble work for family02:41RSA reminds Ginebra to stay humble after back-to-back PBA titles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View comments RSA reminds Ginebra to stay humble after back-to-back PBA titles1.7K viewsSportsVentuno Web Player 4.51 Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Read Next Humble in victory and gracious in defeat.That was what San Miguel president and COO Ramon S. Ang reminded the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings and their legions of fans amid the celebration of their recent 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup conquest.ADVERTISEMENT San Miguel sports director Alfrancis Chua also likewise thanked the fans who trooped to the games and endlessly supported the crowd favorites.“This celebration is for all of you, for the ka-barangay!,” the Ginebra team governor said as he led the ceremonial toast.Ginebra’s title repeat smashed the gate attendance records, with Game 7 of the Finals drawing 54,086 fans to the cavernous Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.SMC president Ramon S. Ang and San Miguel sports director Alfrancis Chua hold the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup title during Ginebra’s victory party. Photo by Randolph B. Leongson/ INQUIRER.netADVERTISEMENT Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101last_img read more

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Paul Lee confident he will be back before new season starts

first_imgPaul Lee. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netThe Hotshots’ change of name from Star to Magnolia also signifies new hope for the players.Paul Lee, the Hotshots’ injury-plagued main man, is upbeat that he will return just before the new season starts.ADVERTISEMENT Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Star changes name to Magnolia Hotshots QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City LATEST STORIES READ: Star changes name to Magnolia Hotshots“The doctors have told me that at least, I’ll be ready by the first week of December,” he said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutLee is still recovering from a left knee injury that kept him out since Game 2 of the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals last month.But Lee believes that he’s on his way to regaining his full strength. Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101center_img CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa “Everything’s fine. My recovery has been good and there are hard drills where my injury no longer reacts anymore,” he said.Lee, however, will be the first to say that he’s not yet satisfied with his current form.“I need to catch up to them. I’ve been doing drills and exercises but I don’t feel it’s enough to get myself back in game shape,” he said.The team may have changed its name but its goal remains the same which is to win a championship.“The rest of my teammates are ready and I really wish we’ll be able to win a championship this season,” he said. “It’s a new chapter for all of us, and it’s a good challenge for us to win the crown. I hope we’ll be able to respond with what the bosses want.”ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Read Next Cayetano: 4 social media groups behind SEA Games ‘sabotage’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

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Russia’s latest star Zagitova takes European gold

first_imgBrace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Read Next “I woke up this morning with the thought that I’ll just do everything that’s in my power at the moment. I’ll live in the moment,” she said.Carolina Kostner of Italy, the Sochi Olympics bronze medalist, struggled through an error-filled free skate that included falling on her opening triple lutz, but took bronze on the back of her strong short program.The 30-year-old Italian veteran wore a pistachio-green catsuit that she said was inspired by the renowned Russian ballet dancer and choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky.“It was not at all my best performance and it’s a pity because my body’s ready and the practices were easy-going and mostly flawless and then you get into the competition and it just slips away,” she said.Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron won their fourth consecutive European figure skating championship, extending the two world records they already held.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH The French duo’s free dance to sections from Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” reflected the music’s mood changes. They were fluid in the first movement and animated in the stormy third. Papadakis and Cizeron scored a record 121.817 points for the free dance and 203.16 total.“I think we’re very happy with our scores and we had a great feeling on the ice today,” Cizeron said. “(We’ll) just keep working as usual and really just keep working with our team.”“The Olympic Games will come up very soon now and we’re really excited.”Silver and bronze went to Russian couples Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev and Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin, respectively, reversing their positions from the results after the short dance.Bobrova and Soloviev’s free skate was a touching tale of love sought, found and lost, ending with him trying to embrace her but missing as she stares in apparent dismay. The program featured a straight-line lift in which he kneeled on one leg and she balanced upside down on the outstretched thigh“Yes, we achieved a personal best, but we still want the mark to be higher,” Bobrova said. He added: “Now it is important that we relax a bit and then on January 27th we will fly to Japan and wait for our invitation” to the Pyeongchang Olympics, where Russians are to compete under a neutral flag. 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting LATEST STORIES NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Bellator begins yearlong heavyweight tournament at Forum Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Zagitova augmented several of her jumps by raising one of two hands above her head, her elbow-length crimson gloves drawing attention to the move.“I’m happy I performed two clean skates. Of course I’m happy I became the European champion and I want to keep going,” she said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutMedvedeva, who had won gold in every appearance since late 2015, landed some of her jumps with less assurance than her compatriot, though her “Anna Karenina” theme outpointed Zagitova on program components.Medvedeva missed the Grand Prix Final and the Russian nationals this season to recover from a foot stress fracture, and said “there were some moments during the skate when the two-month break had an impact.” Russia’s Alina Zagitova shows her gold medal, center, as she poses with Russia’s silver medallist Evgenia Medvedeva, left, and Italy’s bronze medallist Carolina Kostner, right, after the ladies free skating event at the European figure skating championships in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)MOSCOW — Alina Zagitova’s nearly flawless free skate on Saturday not only won gold in her debut at the European Figure Skating Championships, but also snapped the two-year winning streak of training partner Evgenia Medvedeva.The 15-year-old Russian landed seven clear triples as well as two double axels, one of them dramatically late in the program, skating to lively music from the ballet “Don Quixote.” The program scored 157.97 points, more than three points ahead of second-placed Medvedeva.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

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Beau Belga not slowing down despite trade rumors

first_imgLATEST STORIES Garcia addresses trade rumors, says he’s good terms with his players Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH AFP official booed out of forum Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Read Next “If they want to trade me, I can’t do anything about it, but as of now, I’m with Rain or Shine and I need to play well for them.”Belga, along with Jericho Cruz and Raymond Almazan, are in the middle of trade rumors supposedly stemming from their disconnect over how coach Caloy Garcia is running the team.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBut amid all talks, Belga was at his usual self, finishing with a double-double of 13 points, 13 rebounds, and three assists in the victory.It was the Sorsogon native’s way of staying professional knowing that as long as he’s wearing a Rain or Shine jersey, he has a responsibility to meet for the tea. “I’m with Rain or Shine as of now and I need to play because the bosses in Rain or Shine are the ones who are providing food for my family,” he said.Belga was the lone player involved in those trade talks who was willing to speak to the media. Jericho Cruz excused himself from the press, while Raymond Almazan quickly left the venue after the game. MOST READ View commentscenter_img Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netBeau Belga maintained that he has no say on whether Rain or Shine decides to trade him or any other player away.“Those things are already beyond our control,” he said in Filipino after the Elasto Painters’ 90-84 victory over Meralco on Friday.ADVERTISEMENT NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoiseslast_img read more

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In small interactions before Olympics, Korean unity emerges

first_imgPolice teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City MOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding View comments Read Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The South Korean pair of Kam Alex Kang Chan and Kim Kyu-eun shared the same ice with North Korea’s Kim Ju Sik and Ryom Tae Ok for the first time. Before training earlier this week, Kam and Kim used the same locker room and put on skates early so they had spare time together.Then Kam, 22, proposed taking a selfie together. He called the 25-year-old Kim “hyeong,” a Korean term used to refer to an elder brother or friend.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“I said something like ‘Hey, Ju Sik hyeong, let’s take a photo together!’” Kam said after training Tuesday. “I posted that photo for fun … and to mark the Olympics.”The photo recalls a famous 2016 selfie taken by two North and South Korean gymnasts at the Rio Olympics—something that IOC President Thomas Bach described as a “great gesture.” Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH North Korea’s Ryom Tae Ok and Kim Ju Sik, center, practice next to South Korea’s Kim Kyu-eun, front right, and Alex Kam during a pairs figure skating training session prior to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Monday, Feb. 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)GANGNEUNG, South Korea—A lot can be contained in a single selfie. The possibilities for peace between two entire nations, even.A selfie taken by smiling North and South Korean skaters and posted on Instagram illustrates yet another moment of reconciliation between the rivals, whose decades-long animosities could easily erupt again after the Pyeongchang Olympics.ADVERTISEMENT NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencerscenter_img Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting That was certainly at play Monday when four North and South Korean hockey players who didn’t take part in the session took a selfie and laughed together. Also grabbing attention: earlier photos of birthday parties thrown for two North Korean players, and a dictionary aimed at overcoming a linguistic divide.“Hockey really does bring people together,” said the team’s Canadian coach, Sarah Murray. “On our team, they are just players. You know … there is no North Korean or South Korean. They are all wearing the same jersey. We are all on the same team.”On Thursday, in another unusual spectacle, North Korea’s national anthem was played and its flag was hoisted alongside an Olympic flag during a boisterous welcoming ceremony for athletes from the North. South Korea has strict security laws that normally ban the playing of the North’s anthem and the raising of its flag .A group of South Korean B-boys, or break dancers, twisted their bodies and flipped relentlessly after walking into the center of a group of North Korean athletes. A North Korean band played the Korean folk tune “Arirang.” North Korean athletes hummed to themselves before starting to dance. South Korean dancers joined them, triggering a barrage of camera flashes.“I feel so good,” North Korean figure skating coach Kim Hyon Son said after the ceremony. “I want to see both North and South Korean people being pleased.”The feel-good sparks will peak during the opening ceremony on Friday, when athletes of the Koreas will march together under a single “unification flag” to the tune of “Arirang” instead of their respective anthems. It will be the first such joint march since 2007.It’s unclear what other Olympic moments involving the two countries could make news, particularly because the hockey team isn’t expected to win a medal.“Quite strangely, no medal, no issue,” said Jung Moon-hyun, a sports science professor at Chungnam National University in South Korea. “Whether North Korea does some action that pours cold water on the Olympic (reconciliation mood) is something to think about.”But Jung said even one win by the team will be “very meaningful” news. On Feb. 14, the Korean team faces Japan, which colonized Korea for more than three decades before it split into North and South shortly after World War II.When the Games end, North and South Korean players will be separated, probably for good. Their governments ban ordinary citizens from exchanging phone calls, letters and emails, so they won’t communicate unless they encounter each other in international competitions. Aldridge, Spurs hand Suns their most one-sided loss ever Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises AFP official booed out of forum Similar amicable interactions are visible among the North and South Korean female hockey players, who have formed the rivals’ first joint Olympic team.The team of 12 North Koreans and 23 South Koreans was composed last month as the Koreas agreed upon a package of reconciliation steps following a year of heightened nuclear tensions that triggered fears of war on the Korean Peninsula.Many experts have raised worries about teamwork, and a survey showed a majority of South Korean opposed the joint team. Why? They thought it would deprive South Korean athletes of playing time.At the height of their Cold War rivalry, sports were often an alternate battlefield between the Koreas. North Korean medalists often ignored South Korean competitors who extended their hands for handshakes at podiums. North Korea also boycotted the 1986 Asian Games and the 1988 Olympics, both held in Seoul.Since the Cold War, though, the countries have sometimes used sports as a way to thaw relations.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES For now, though, things like congenial selfies will have to be enough. The South Korean media certainly liked the latest one showing Kam and Kim flashing smiles and making peace signs. It was reproduced all over the country.The Seoul-based Kookmin Ilbo newspaper even gave it a memorable moniker, a sign of hope after generations of Korean division: “The icon of new peace.”last_img read more

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Show of grit

first_imgJohn Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding View comments The Ginebra victory and Phoenix Petroleum’s 104-100 conquest of GlobalPort in the first game knocked Blackwater out of the playoff race.The Fuel Masters will face TNT KaTropa on Sunday for the remaining quarterfinal berth with the winner clashing with twice-to-beat San Miguel Beer in the quarterfinals.Magnolia battles GlobalPort armed with the same advantage, while NLEX and Alaska clash in the other best-of-three quarterfinal series.Facing elimination, the Fuel Masters survived GlobalPort’s furious comeback in the first game. Matthew Wright had 32 points, but the Phoenix nearly blew a 31-point lead before winding up with a 5-6 record like Talk ’N Text and GlobalPort.ADVERTISEMENT Streaking Petron, F2 Logisitcs renew rivalry Ginebra finally made key plays in the third overtime against a suddenly cold-shooting Rain or Shine squad to forge a 100-92 victory and secure the fourth seed in the quarterfinals.Jervy Cruz hit a jumper with 34.1 seconds remaining and LA Tenorio buried cushion free throws as the Gin Kings avoided a difficult knockout duel against Blackwater for the eighth seed in the quarterfinals.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutInstead, the Gin Kings will end up as the fourth seed with a duel against the same Rain or Shine team that pushed them to the limit on the final day of the elimination round.Japeth Aguilar had 20 points in 51 minutes to lead Ginebra, which wound up with a 6-5 record just like NLEX and Rain or Shine. The Gin Kings, however, grabbed the fourth seed when quotient was applied. Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa LATEST STORIES Ginebra vs Rain or Shine. PBA IMAGESDragged into a dogfight, Barangay Ginebra showcased its trademark grit and resilience to come away with a victory that could go a long way in its hopes of going deep in the PBA Philippine Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.But if this was a sign of things to come, the road to the top won’t be any easier for the Gin Kings.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon Citycenter_img LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico Read Next Typhoon ‘Tisoy’ threatens Games Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMClast_img read more

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15 players called up as Gilas resumes practice; Ravena, Paras on the list

first_imgTOTAL Excellium revs up for the second leg of the Toyota Vios Cup MOST READ Also included in Reyes’ tweet were Kiefer Ravena, Raymar Jose, Kobe Paras, and Fil-German forward Christian Standhardinger to suit up in the sessions two weeks from now.Gilas is gearing up for the upcoming 2017 Fiba Asia Cup in Lebanon and 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) and the PBA have yet to reach an agreement when it comes to the availability of the pool members in the coming international tournaments.ADVERTISEMENT What ‘missteps’? World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide In a short tweet on his Twitter account @coachot, the veteran mentor called up 15 names to participate in the Gilas practices.Gilas resumes practice June 20 & we’re calling in Jio,Mike,Almond,Ed,RR,Matt,Von,Kev,Carl,Mac,Fonz,Kief,Reymar, Kobe & Christian to actionFEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout— Chot Reyes (@coachot) June 9, 2017Pool members Jio Jalalon, Mike Tolomia, Ed Daquioag, Roger Pogoy, Matt Wright, Von Pessumal, Kevin Ferrer, Carl Bryan Cruz, Mac Belo, Fonzo Gotladera, and practice player Almond Vosotros were named in the post. With less than two months left for Gilas Pilipinas to prepare for the upcoming international tiffs, coach Chot Reyes has already sent his message loud and clear to cadet members and a number of amateurs to join the national team practices to begin on June 20.ADVERTISEMENT 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: 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 Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chickencenter_img Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken LATEST STORIES Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’last_img read more

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Ricky Rubio traded from Wolves to Jazz for 1st-round pick

first_imgREAD: NBA: Paul goes from Clippers to Rockets in blockbuster dealOther targets, if the Wolves can clear room, include J.J. Redick and Paul Millsap.Rubio has been at the center of trade rumors for years, and one finally came to fruition.Rubio was drafted in 2009, but did not come over from Spain until 2011, electrifying a stagnant franchise with his enthusiasm and no-look passes while also suffering through losing season after losing season. Teaming with Kevin Love, Rubio had the Wolves in position to make the playoffs in the Western Conference as a rookie when he tore the ACL in his knee in a game against the Lakers in March 2012.Rubio also missed 60 games in 2014-15 with a severely sprained ankle that required surgery. The two major injuries affected his ability to work out during the summers, when players often make the biggest strides in developing their games.READ: Garnett will kill for his teammates, says Rubio Finally, in year No. 6, Rubio started to show signs of his potential. Over the last 2 1/2 months of the season, he averaged 15.0 points and 10.3 assists while shooting 41.7 percent from the field and 37 percent from 3-point range, helping to take some of the scoring load after Zach LaVine went down with his own torn ACL.The performance was validating for a player who had been criticized during most of his NBA career for his poor shooting, and for an owner who had backed him through all the injuries, all the shooting struggles and through the heartbreaking death of his mother during the 2015-16 season. Glen Taylor and Rubio had grown close over the years, and Taylor very much wanted to keep Rubio as the passer with the new nucleus of Butler, Towns and Wiggins.The constant rumors were strain on Rubio, especially this season when Thibodeau took over as coach and president of basketball operations.Thibodeau had long been known to prefer point guards with more of a scoring mentality and had success with those types of players — Derrick Rose, D.J. Augustin, Nate Robinson — in Chicago. As the rumors heated up in February with talks with the Knicks centered on a Rubio-for-Rose swap, the Spaniard thought his time in Minnesota was coming to an end. Thibodeau ultimately decided to pass on the deal. Rubio wanted a conversation with Thibodeau to seek clarity on the issue, and perhaps receive a vote of confidence, but that never occurred. Once the season ended with a disappointing 31 victories and the 13th straight trip to the lottery, Rubio quietly let it be known to the organization that he would welcome a change of scenery if they felt there was a better point guard for Thibodeau’s system.After six straight years of losing, he joins a top-flight franchise on the rise. If the Jazz can hold on to Hayward and make a few more moves, they will be considered an upper tier Western Conference team.Rubio’s defensive prowess should mesh well with coach Quin Snyder and center Rudy Gobert, and his playmaking will be a big boost for a team with young talent on the wings. 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Ricky Rubio #9 and Zach LaVine #8 of the Minnesota Timberwolves talk during a free throw in the second half against the New Orleans Pelicans on April 13, 2016 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Adam Bettcher/Getty Images/AFPMINNEAPOLIS — The Ricky Rubio era in Minnesota is over and it didn’t take long for the Timberwolves to find a replacement.The Wolves sent Rubio to the Utah Jazz on Friday to clear cap space for a big run in free agency, then moved quickly to reach agreement with free agent point guard Jeff Teague on a three-year, $57 million deal, a person with knowledge of the agreement said.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera MOST READ LATEST STORIES Cayetano to unmask people behind ‘smear campaign’ vs him, SEA Games Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend The Jazz are looking to bolster the roster with hopes of convincing All-Star free agent Gordon Hayward to return and build off last season’s playoff run. Utah reached the postseason for the first time since 2012.READ: Hayward starting his free-agent tour as West gets tougher Rubio’s arrival likely means the end of George Hill’s run in Utah, though general manager Dennis Lindsey said Wednesday that Hill remained a top priority. Hill averaged a career-high 16.9 points after being acquired from Indiana last summer. Injuries, however, limited him to 49 games and caused Hill to miss the final three playoff games against Golden State.The deal means Minnesota can clear as much as $32 million in cap space to make a run at several free agents to pair with Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and the recently acquired Jimmy Butler.They started with Teague, a more consistent shooter at point guard than is Rubio, which makes him a better fit for Tom Thibodeau’s system. Teague averaged 15.3 points and a career-high 7.8 assists for the Indiana Pacers last season. He turned 29 last month and fits with the philosophy of ramping up the development curve for a team that has had a baby-faced core for the last three years.ADVERTISEMENT Hayward starting his free-agent tour as West gets tougher The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal cannot be signed until July 6.READ: Paul George heading to Thunder, Griffin stays with Clippers FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsThe Jazz sent a protected future first-round pick from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Timberwolves in exchange for Rubio, the Spaniard who has struggled with injuries at times over his six years in Minnesota. Utah received the pick when it traded Enes Kanter in a three-team deal in 2015.The two sides agreed to the move hours before free agency opened. The Jazz needed to make the deal before July 1 or would have lost the salary cap room necessary to pull it off. View commentslast_img read more

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Support for Dada grows after IPL snub

first_imgThe controversy generated over players auction in the IPL 4 on Saturday and Sunday, threatened to snowball into a major controversy after Sourav Ganguly, former Indian captain, was left unsold after the two-day auction.SRK says that KKR cannot be complete without Ganguly.Along with some other greats, the former Kolkata Knight Riders captain went unsold, sparking protests in his home town Behala and at other places in West Bengal.On Monday, when Headlines Today asked the question ‘Have the IPL team owners done an injustice to Sourav Ganguly by not bidding for him?’, the reactions came on expected lines. That team owner Shah Rukh Khan tried to soothe the ruffled feathers by extending an olive branch to one of the most successful captains was no solace to the furious fans. Sourav’s omission has sparked a heated debate over the crash commercialization of the sport at the expense of its beauty.An angry Somnath Chatterjee, former Lok Sabha Speaker, told Headlines Today, “What is the expertise of people who are deciding the worth of players? There is too little of sport and too much of commerce in IPL.””There is something wrong in deciding who are useful players. Sourav being dubbed useless is very surprising. If playing ability is criteria, Dada should have been bought,” Chatterjee said, asking, “what is the criterion (of the selection), as unknown players are being offered huge sums.”Former captain Kapil Dev, who is known for calling a spade a spade, said, “I wouldn’t have accepted SRK’s olive branch.”advertisementFormer selector Kiran More said, “After the snub, Sourav shouldn’t accept mentorship.””On purely cricketing grounds, Sourav should have been bought. I was surprised at Sourav being ignored at the IPl auction. Ganguly has a big fan following, which can’t be ignored,” added Kapil Dev.And there were tweets from Ganguly’s fans that told of the murky world cricket threatens to become.”I cannot imagine Ganguly, being left out. There’s definitely more than meets the eye,” writes Rhythm.Sagarika Deb, said, “Almost all the franchisees stood against ONE powerful man, Sourav Ganguly.””Dada’s our God. Without him it’s like temple without God,” Shankar Sampath tweets.Ganguly is a legend and an icon of Indian cricket, should not be ill-treated like this, says G.Ravi Kanth.T. Mehta tweeted: “Now it seems like KKR is like a box of chocolates without a chocolate & wrapper.”last_img read more

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Football World Cup qualifiers: India ready for UAE, says Chhetri

first_imgThe equation for India is simple: a victory margin of four goals against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in a World Cup football qualifying here on Thursday will keep them in the fray, otherwise, the dream for a place in the 2014 finals will stretch by another four years.The task, nonetheless, is as tough as it gets, especially after the 0-3 defeat to the UAE in the away tie last week. As the Indian team gears up for the door-die second leg of the qualifiers at the Ambedkar Stadium, forward Sunil Chhetri believes all is not yet lost, though the goal is tough.”What happened in the UAE was unfortunate. We lost two players (to the red card) within the first 25 minutes and we also conceded two penalties. We played well with nine men and the fact that we conceded only one goal from field-play gives us confidence,” Chhetri said on Tuesday. “We have shrugged off the shock of the defeat and the team is ready for the next match.” Chhetri acknowledged the superiority of their Gulf opponents. “We have to play our best game physically, tactically, technically, as the UAE are far better than us,” he said.India’s shock 2-1 win over Qatar in a friendly prior to the UAE match gives Chhetri inspiration. “Many people said it was a bad decision to play Qatar before the qualifiers as a big loss would deal a blow to our confidence. But we shocked everyone,” he said.Sunil Chhetri is confident that India can come back”It was an inspiring win, one which we cherish. So keeping that in mind, we need to start fresh in the second leg.” The team’s No. 1 goalkeeper Subrata Paul and defender Debabrata Roy were shown red cards in the first leg and will miss Thursday’s match.”Both players were an important part of our team, but their absence also opens the opportunity for two other players to prove their mettle,” Chhetri said.advertisement”Karanjit Singh who came in place for Subrata played a good game. And this is a chance for him. For the last five years, Subrata has been the first choice goalkeeper for India, thanks to his form and fitness. Now, Karanjit has a chance to show his talent.” Though Karanjit is most likely to fill in the shoes of Subrata, Roy’s substitute has yet not been decided.Chhetri is also happy that the match is being played at the Ambedkar Stadium, which has been a lucky venue for India in the last few years. “We won two Nehru Cup tournaments at the Ambedkar Stadium. This has been a lucky ground for us. Hope it remains so this time too,” he said.Chhetri Has a NiggleThe Indian team practiced at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Tuesday, but Chhetri did not practice with the main team.Though the rest of the players practiced set- piece movements and also a small game among themselves, Chhetri did only physical training and running under physical trainer Suresh Babu.”I have a minor injury in the ankle which I got during the UAE match. It’s nothing major though I did not practice with the team as I didn’t want to take chances,” he said.last_img read more

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Federer makes quick work of Monaco at US Open

first_imgRoger Federer reached the quarterfinals at a 30th consecutive Grand Slam tournament by making quick work of the 36th-ranked Juan Monaco 6-1, 6-2, 6-0 at the U.S. Open.Federer’s fourth-round match against Monaco didn’t get started until nearly midnight, and thanks to his superb play, it was over shortly before 1:15 a.m. Tuesday.Federer played brilliantly right from the start, taking the first five games – and 20 of the first 25 points – in only 12 minutes. He didn’t miss a beat in the second set, hitting four aces in his opening service game and finishing with 14.Five of Federer’s record 16 major championships have come at Flushing Meadows. In the quarterfinals, Federer will face 11th-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, who eliminated No. 8 Mardy Fish of the United States in five sets Monday.Tsonga upset Federer in the Wimbledon quarterfinals two months ago, coming all the way back after dropping the first two sets.”He’s a tough player. … I look forward to that match,” Federer said. “If I play as good as I did today, sure I have a chance.”Federer compiled a 42-4 edge in winners against Monaco.The start of their match was delayed because the preceding match in Arthur Ashe Stadium – No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki’s 6-7 (6), 7-5, 6-1 victory over No. 15 Svetlana Kuznetsova – lasted 3 hours, 2 minutes.”You have to be ready,” Federer said.Wozniacki, seeking her first Grand Slam title, trailed by a set and 4-1 in the second before coming back to beat the 2004 U.S. Open champion.advertisement”I knew that I had to do something,” said Wozniacki, who faces No. 10 Andrea Petkovic of Germany next. “I had to do something different.”She managed to turn things around thanks to a combination of her own increasingly aggressive play and Kuznetsova’s increased mistakes. Kuznetsova’s 40-20 edge in winners was rendered meaningless by her 78 unforced errors, 52 more than Wozniacki, who reached the U.S. Open quarterfinals for the third year in a row.Tsonga made it this far in New York for the first time, and unlike Fish, he’s already tasted this sort of success. Tsonga made it to the final of the 2008 Australian Open before losing to Novak Djokovic, and got to the Wimbledon semifinals this year – where he again lost to Djokovic.On Monday, Djokovic extended his 2011 record to 61-2 by beating No. 22 Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine 7-6 (14), 6-4, 6-2. Their 16-14 tiebreaker in the first set lasted nearly a half-hour all on its own, with Djokovic saving four set points and finally converting his sixth when Dolgopolov pushed a forehand long to close a 13-stroke exchange.Both men called that tiebreaker the key to the match. One tiny piece of evidence: Dolgopolov double-faulted twice in the opening game of the second set to get broken, and Djokovic was on his way.Asked whether he considered winning that energy- and will-testing tiebreaker to be a physical or mental triumph, Djokovic replied: “Combination of both. But in the end, it was more mental, just to hang in there, try to play right shots at the right time.”Djokovic now meets his Serbian Davis Cup teammate and friend Janko Tipsarevic, who is seeded 20th and made it to the first Grand Slam quarterfinal of his career by beating 2003 French champion and U.S. Open runner-up Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain 7-5, 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 in a match that lasted more than 3 hours.”Strange feeling,” Djokovic said. “We are professionals. Certainly we both want to win the match when we play against each other. So you kind of forget about friendship. You put that aside.”Most players complained about the wind, which gusted at up to 20 mph (32 kph) and kept changing directions, making even serve tosses difficult.Serena Williams handled those conditions much better than former No. 1 and 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic and beat her 6-3, 6-4 to return to a Grand Slam quarterfinal for the first time in 14 months. She missed about 11 of those with a series of health scares but looks really good so far at the U.S. Open.Against Ivanovic, Williams hit nine aces overall, only lost serve once, and finished off the match with four consecutive unreturned serves that ranged from 99 to 111 mph.”I didn’t even go for winners at any point,” said Williams, who hit only 16. “I just tried to get it over because it was so windy. It was definitely tough.”She’s seeded only 28th because of all of that time away, but now has won her past 16 matches heading into a quarterfinal against No. 17 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia. Pavlyuchenkova got past 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 in a match with 21 double-faults and 16 service breaks in 31 games.advertisement”I’m going to say that I don’t want to go out there and enjoy just being on center court playing against Serena,” Pavlyuchenkova said. “I would like to do well, try to fight, and with my effort, I’ll try to beat her.”last_img read more

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