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Apple Asks iPhone Users to Share Best Photos January 23, 2019 13:27

Apple on Wednesday started its iPhone photo competition, asking users to submit the most stunning photographs captured on iPhones. From January 22 to February 7, Apple is looking for outstanding photographs for its "Shot on iPhone Challenge". The worldwide submissions will be reviewed by the panel of judges, who will select 10 winning photos, and the winners will be announced in February, the company said in a statement late on Tuesday. The winning photographs will be featured on hoardings in select cities, Apple retail stores and online. "Post your best photo taken on iPhone to Instagram or Twitter with the #ShotOniPhone hashtag to participate in the challenge. Photos can be straight from the camera, edited through Apple's editing tools in the Photos app or with third-party software. "You retain your rights to your photograph; however, by submitting your photo, you grant Apple a royalty-free, worldwide, irrevocable, non-exclusive license for one year to use," said the company. -Sowmya Sangam

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India Lacks System to Generate Quality Tennis Players: Rohan Bopanna January 23, 2019 13:22

Indian tennis player Rohan Bopanna has blamed the system for not producing quality players and demanded more tournaments in the country itself. After having bad outings in both the categories (men’s and mixed doubles) in the ongoing Australia Open at Melbourne, Bopanna said the country needs to have more academies and strong basic programs to produce more tennis players. "We don’t have a system in place to generate that many players. And not only the system, but we need to have tournaments in India. We have only one ATP tournament and two challengers in India which is not enough. If you look at Europe or USA, they have 25 to 30 weeks of just tournaments alone which makes a difference," Bopanna told IANS. "Tennis is an expensive sport, so to travel constantly week in and week out is tough. If each state in India has one challenger tournament, then you can travel only in India and make international points and that way we can constantly build a number of athletes and raise their rankings," he added. "First, we have to start with the system than with tournaments then obviously to have good academies in place. So that entire system, once that comes into play, we will have more players coming out of it." Bopanna, who had paired up with Zhaoxuan Yang, went down 6-3, 3-6, 6-10 to Robert Farah and Anna-Lena Groenefeld in the opening match of the mixed doubles category at the Australian Open. In the men's doubles category, Bopanna paired up with fellow Indian Divij Sharan and lost his opening round match to the Spanish pair of Pablo Carreño Busta and Guillermo García-López. Divij is a left-handed player and Bopanna had paired up with him for the first time in a Grand Slam. They had won the Maharashtra Open but could not continue the momentum in the first Grand Slam of the year. "Nothing went wrong in this tournament. I have to give credit to the opponents, who are playing in this circuit for such a long time, so they are more experienced than us," Bopanna said. "Yes, we were seeded higher but if you look at the experience in the Grand Slams, our opponents were more experienced than us. For me, playing with a left-hander is something new this time and it takes time to build a partnership and that’s what we are working on as a team," he added. India will host Italy on the grass in the qualifiers for the Davis Cup in Kolkata next month. Talking about the tie, Bopanna said the tie against Italy will be tough but the new format might help India. According to the new rules, the tie has been cut from three days to two and each rubber will be decided over three sets, down from the earlier five. "The Davis cup tie is a very, very tough tie because the Italians have four or five players in the top 100 which makes a big difference, while we don't have anyone currently. Yes, after this week, Prajnesh (Gunneswaran) might come into the top 100 but apart from this, they still have a lot more top players," he said. "So, we are surely going to have a tough tie against them but having the new format of best of three sets, I think we do have a chance." -Sowmya Sangam

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R .Madhavan Plays Nambi Narayanan in Rocketry: The Nambi Effect January 23, 2019 11:59

R.Madhavan is all set to play the role of ISRO Scientist Nambi Narayanan in this new film Rocketry :The Nambi Effect. It is also his directorial debut. The posts about his makeover have been receiving a lot of praise in social media.       View this post on Instagram @Rocketryfilm When getting in the character take 2 years and getting the look in place take 14 hrs on the chair.@#Rocketrythenambieffect. A post shared by R. Madhavan (@actormaddy) on Jan 13, 2019 at 7:06pm PST       View this post on Instagram After 14 hrs on the chair.. Who is who is WHO??? #rocketryfilm @tricolourfilm @media.raindrop @vijaymoolan A post shared by R. Madhavan (@actormaddy) on Jan 21, 2019 at 9:32pm PST In the photo, the 48-year-old actor looks like a doppelganger of Nambi Narayanan, an Indian scientist and aerospace engineer. Talking about his makeover he said, When getting in the character take 2 years and getting the look in place take 14 hrs on the chair. Nambi Narayanan was a senior official at ISRO and was charged with espionage in 1994. CBI dismissed the charges against him in 1996 and in 1998, Supreme Court declared him not guilty. As on the Monday, Madhavan shared a photo from the set of the film where he was seen with the clapboard of Rocketry: The Nambi Effect. He captioned the image as, “Need all you BLESSINGS .”       View this post on Instagram Need all you BLESSINGS. A post shared by R. Madhavan (@actormaddy) on Jan 20, 2019 at 9:12pm PST The movie will be released in multiple languages including Hindi, English, Tamil and Telugu.-Sai Kumar

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Varun Tej Racing to The Top January 23, 2019 12:14

With a bunch of Mega heroes making waves in Telugu cinema, several actors raced to the top and witnessed massive disasters. Ram Charan who scored an industry hit with Rangasthalam shocked his fans and audience with Vinaya Vidheya Rama that was named as the biggest disaster in his career. Sai Dharam Tej who raced to the top among the second tire actors tasted six disasters in a row and lost trace. Allu Arjun after a disaster like Naa Peru Surya is left puzzled and is idle from the past eight months. But things are completely different with Varun Tej who is signing back to back films and tasting hits. Fidaa and Tholi Prema elevated the actor who made his place prominent. Anthariksham 9000kmph that released during December was a decent attempt and Varun was lauded for his daring attempt. Soon during Sankranthi, Venkatesh and Varun Tej thrilled the audience with their comic timing in F2 and the film has been declared as the first blockbuster of 2019. The film breached into Rs 60 crore mark and is running strong all over. Varun Tej is widely appreciated for being consistent and racing to the top chart among Mega actors. He also has an interesting bunch of surprises and some big announcements are awaited soon.  

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Mahesh's Maharshi Release Pushed January 23, 2019 12:09

Superstar Mahesh Babu is shooting for Maharshi, a family entertainer directed by Vamshi Paidipally. The movie's shoot is taking place in Pollachi and will be wrapped up this week. The next schedule will take place in Abu Dhabi from the first week of February. Pooja Hegde is the heroine and Allari Naresh will be seen in a crucial role in Maharshi. The movie is made on a massive budget and has been announced for April 5th release. The latest update is that Maharshi release has been pushed and the movie will now release on April 25th all over. One of the film's producer Dil Raju revealed the release date of Maharshi. The shoot of the film is progressing on time and reason for the delay in the release of Maharshi is yet to be known. Devi Sri Prasad is the music composer and Dil Raju, PVP, Ashwini Dutt are the producers.  

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Trump Should Resign, Says U.S. Former Secretary of State John Kerry January 23, 2019 11:50

Former United States Secretary of State John Kerry has said if he can speak to President Donald Trump directly, he would tell him to “resign”. During the World Economic Forum panel on Tuesday, Kerry was asked what he would say to Trump if he were seated across from him, Kerry gave a one-word response: “Resign”. Trump was supposed to attend the World Economic Forum to deliver an address, but he withdrew because of the partial government shutdown that turned out to be the longest in U.S. history. “He doesn't take any of this seriously,” the 2004 Democratic nominee for President said on the panel, adding that he doesn't think Trump had the “ability” to have deep conversations, the Washington Post reported. The White House did not respond to Kerry's comment, but Trump had earlier slammed the media for not understanding him and his approach to Davos. “Last time I went to Davos, the fake news said I should not go there. This year, because of the shutdown, I decided not to go, and the fake news said I should be there. The fact is that the people understand the media better than the media understands them!” Trump tweeted before Kerry’s call to resign. Kerry, who was Secretary of State during President Barack Obama’s second term, also criticized Trump for “his insane decision” to pull out of the Paris climate accord in June 2017, for which “people will die”. “I wish there was a lawsuit capacity that could hold people liable for such an insane decision as he has made, which is going to cost lives,” he said. “People will die because of the President’s decision, and billions of dollars of damage will be done to the property.” Kerry also accused the President of lying about the consequences of pulling out of the accord. Trump claimed at the time that he was leaving to pursue “fair treatment” and so that foreign leaders would no longer “laugh at us”. “I’m disappointed when a President of the U.S. lies, and that was a lie - there's no burden,” said Kerry, adding that “Paris did not place outside burdens levied by any other country on any other country”. -Sowmya Sangam

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Pravasi Bharatiya Divas: Swaraj Lauds Hema Malini’s Dance Drama January 23, 2019 09:18

Actor-turned-politician Hema Malini’s performance as Ma Ganga at 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas conventions has induced External Affairs Minister of India Sushma Swaraj to laud her. After watching Hema Malini’s 90-minute dance performance in the presence of national and international delegates and ministers, Swaraj told Hema Malini: "I don't have words about your performance. First time ever in my life, I am taking three words from famous TV shows for your performance - Adbhut, Avishwasniya, and Akalpaniya." Hema Malini performed as the holy river Ganga and narrated the history of the river and how it is getting polluted. #WATCH Veteran actor & BJP MP Hema Malini performing at the 'Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas' in Varanasi. (22.01.2019) pic.twitter.com/akP9fVwHKv — ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) January 23, 2019 Based on the “Role of Indian Diaspora in building a New India,” the dance drama - ‘Ma Ganga’ also gave participants a chance to visit in progress Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj and likewise witness the Republic Day Parade in New Delhi on January 26. As per reports, the costumes were designed by Neeta Lulla, music was composed by Asit Desai and his son Alaap Desai and the songs were rendered by Sudesh Wadkar, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Shankar Mahadevan, and Mika Singh. The special effects were by Vibhore Khandelwal. The objective of the convention, as well as the plenary, was to call for the diaspora's participation in the area of affordable waste management in the country, especially with reference to India’s flagship plans such as the National Mission for Clean Ganga, Swacch Bharat Mission, and the Smart Cities initiative. The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the closing day will see the presence of President of India Ram Nath Kovind. -Sowmya Sangam

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78% of Americans Support High-Skilled Immigrants: Survey January 23, 2019 09:11

Contrary to the perception that high-skilled immigrants are displacing Americans, a new survey showed that a majority of Americans support high-skilled immigrants. A report by Pew based on a survey of 12 countries said, around eight in ten adult Americans - 78 percent - support encouraging highly people to immigrate and work in the United States. The support was around the same as in other advanced countries, but lower than in Sweden (88 percent), the United Kingdom (85 percent), Canada (84 percent), Germany (81 percent) and Australia (79 percent). The findings of the study for the U.S. is contrary to the negative perception of the H-1B visa programme, which is a major path for high-skilled immigrants, among critics who say it has been misused to displace Americans with cheaper workers provided by outsourcing firms. The H-1B visa, which is largely sought by Indians, allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. H-1B visa programme supporters have argued it helps American companies make up for the shortage of locally available hands. The Trump administration is tightening the rules for the entry of foreigners in the U.S. schools and colleges, which industry sources say, have made the procedure complicated, unpredictable and expensive. Asked about this gap between the opposition and public support, Pew senior researcher Phillip Connor, who also co-authored the report, said, “Those in the U.S. who have more education are more likely to support the immigration of highly skilled people. Similarly, those in the U.S. with a higher income are more likely to support the immigration of highly skilled people.” Every year scores of foreign professionals enter the U.S. workforce through Optional Practical Training (OPT) for students and H-1B. A large number of them stay on if sponsored, by their employers to join the queue for citizenship, going first through acquiring permanent residency (Green Card). Earlier this week, the U.S. think-tank claimed that the workers under the H-1B visa programme are “vulnerable to abuse” and “frequently” placed in substandard working conditions. -Sowmya Sangam

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Trump to Renominate 51 Expired Judicial Nominees, Including Neomi Rao January 23, 2019 09:02

President Donald Trump on Tuesday re-sent a list of 51 judicial nominees including an Indian American nominee Neomi Rao, who is under criticism for her earlier writings in which she to a certain extent blamed women victims of date-rape, describing race as a “hot, money-making issue” and LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) issues as “trendy”. Currently serving as Trump’s deregulation czar in the Office of Management and Budget, Rao was nominated to replace Brett Kavanaugh on the DC court of appeals in November earlier this year but her nomination with hundreds of others expired with the last Congress. In wake of her controversial writings that had surfaced since her nomination, questions were raised if she would be re-nominated. Rao’s nomination is pulling close scrutiny as well since some reports have indicated that she has been added to the White House’s list of potential nominees for the Supreme Court, if and when a slot falls vacant on the nine-member bench. Her writings go back for the most part to her days at Yale and the Weekly Standard, that was closed recently. A list of these articles was compiled by a liberal advocacy group Alliance for Justice (AFJ) and distributed to news publications earlier this week. In an article in the Standard in 1996, Rao wrote critically about two African American scholars and said they “position themselves above the corporate hype. Race may be a hot, money-making issue, but even … (one of the two men) seems to realize that it can be talked to death”. In a 1994 article in the Yale Herald, Rao wrote that men accused of raping a drunk woman must be prosecuted, “a good way to avoid a potential date rape is to stay reasonably sober.” “And if she drinks to the point where she can no longer choose, well, getting to that point was part of her choice,” Rao wrote. “Implying that a drunk woman has no control of her actions, but that a drunk man does strips women of all moral responsibility.” Also in the Yale Herald, she wrote in 1994 while commenting on a rift between LGTB groups on the campus, that “Trendy political movements have only recently added sexuality to the standard checklist of traits requiring tolerance.” Alliance for Justice president Nan Aron has questioned Rao’s nomination to the DC circuit saying it is “second in importance only to the U.S. Supreme Court (and the nomination) appears to be entirely consistent with this administration’s stated goal of using the justice system to eviscerate a whole host of legal protections for Americans”. But the department of justice has defended Rao, saying she was being “intentionally provocative” in those writing. “Neomi Rao is a renowned constitutional and administrative law expert. That is why the President nominated her to the DC Circuit. The views she expressed a quarter century ago as a college student writing for her student newspaper were intentionally provocative, designed to raise questions and push back against liberal elitism that dominated her campus at the time,” a spokesperson told BuzzFeed. “More than two decades later, her views can be found in her numerous academic articles and speeches. We are confident Ms. Rao will make an exemplary judge on the DC Circuit,” the spokesperson added. But the arguably college writings can cause a fuss. One of Trump’s judicial nominees was forced to withdraw his nomination earlier this year over an article written by him in college. -Sowmya Sangam

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Mohammed Shami Fastest Indian To Take 100 ODI Wickets January 23, 2019 06:42

IND VS NZ: Mohammed Shami on Wednesday became the fastest Indian bowler to take 100 wickets in One-day Internationals during the first match against New Zealand at McLean Park in Napier. Shami removed New Zealand opener Martin Guptill in his first over to overtake the record previously held by left-arm swing bowler Irfan Pathan. Shami got to the landmark in his 56th ODI while Pathan had done it in 59 matches. Others in this list are: Zaheer Khan (65 ODIs) Ajit Agarkar (67) Javagal Srinath (68) This is the complete the list of top five fastest bowlers from India to take 100 ODI wickets. 100 ODI wickets and counting for @MdShami11#TeamIndia #NZvIND pic.twitter.com/3RVvthg1CH — BCCI (@BCCI) January 23, 2019 A brilliant performance from Indian bowling unit as New Zealand have been bowled out for 157. Highest scorer in New Zealand batting lineup is captain Kane williamson(64) Innings Break!A clinical bowling performance from #TeamIndia and New Zealand are bundled out for 157 (Kuldeep 4/39, Chahal 2/43, Shami 3/19)#NZvIND pic.twitter.com/rfjIqv9zdk — BCCI (@BCCI) January 23, 2019 -Sai Kumar

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