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Nahel Family Tell BBC Police Use of Lethal Force Must Change

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nahal

A relative of the French teenager Nahel shot by police has told the BBC the family did not want his death to spark riots, but insisted the law around lethal force at traffic stops must change.

Nahel M was shot point-blank by police after failing to stop for a traffic check last Tuesday.

“We never called for hate or riots,” the relative said.

France has seen five days of violent rioting.

But the unrest ebbed again on Sunday night, with 157 arrests reported by the early hours of Monday morning.

The previous night, there had been more than 700 arrests.

Speaking to the BBC near the family home in Nanterre, the relative said the rioting – which has seen thousands arrested, shops looted and hundreds of vehicles set alight across France – did not honour Nahel’s memory.

“We didn’t ask to break or steal. All of this is not for Nahel,” they told the BBC, speaking on condition of anonymity because tensions are so high following Nahel’s shooting.

They said they had called for a “White March in the street. Walking in memory of Nahel. Walking, even being angry in the street, demonstrating, but without outbursts”.

Nahel

Nahel M was shot dead by police on Tuesday, sparking days of protest and unrest

The relative said French authorities must now change the law that allows police officers to shoot during traffic stops.

Nahel’s relative called for “better training for the French police, weapons regulation for police, and reviewing the law that allows police to use lethal force if a young person refuses to stop at a traffic stop”.

France’s penal code was changed in 2017 to allow for a broader use of firearms after police said they were facing increased levels of violence.

Critics argue the increase in traffic related shootings is a direct result of that change, which they say is much too vague because it leaves officers to determine whether the driver’s refusal to comply poses a risk.

So far this year, three people have been killed during police traffic stops – following a record 13 people killed in traffic stop incidents last year. According to Reuters news agency most of those victims have been of black or Arab origin.

Anais, a family friend and neighbour also told the BBC that being a young black man in France’s suburbs meant being subject to racism, violence and racial profiling on a daily basis.

“They [the police] humiliate, insult and don’t speak properly to them. And now they kill them! Nahel was covered by the press, but it’s not the first time this has happened,” she said.

Nahel’s relative said as a result of the ongoing chaos, the family had not had a moment to sit down together and remember him.

“We want everything to calm down. Social media, riots, everything needs to calm down. With all of this, we haven’t had time to sit down for five minutes together and think about how he’s gone now,” they said.

Earlier on Sunday, Nahel’s grandmother also called for an end to the violence and accused rioters of using Nahel’s death as an excuse.

“Don’t destroy the schools, don’t destroy the buses. It is other mothers who take these buses,” Nadia, Nahel’s grandmother, told BFMTV.

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Also read: Work and Hope Where Bangladeshi Brooklyn Gathers

Work and Hope Where Bangladeshi Brooklyn Gathers

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Bangladeshi

At an intersection in Brooklyn, Bangladeshi immigrants take some of their first steps toward new lives. Where Church and McDonald Avenues meet, the scent of milky tea fills the air, and Bengali is more common than English.

For decades, construction work was a primary trade for members of the Bangladeshi community in Kensington, a Brooklyn neighborhood. But the once-familiar morning rumble of contractors’ vans now has given way to the afternoon whirl of e-bikes making deliveries.

In the evenings, groups of men leave their crowded, subdivided apartments for adda, an informal gathering to catch up, often with snacks and tea.

Since the early 1970s, Bangladeshi immigrants have expanded their footprint with businesses, newfound political influence and places to worship. For many, the city now feels like home.

bangladeshi immigrants - brooklyn The intersection of Church and McDonald Avenues, the heart of Little Bangladesh, in Brooklyn’s Kensington neighbourhood, May 10, 2023. The intersection is the center of a growing Bangladeshi community that has become a beacon for newly arrived immigrants from the South Asian country, where newcomers can find apartments, jobs and friends. (Jonah Markowitz/The New York Times)

The number of Bangladeshis in New York City has nearly tripled over the past decade to more than 100,000. New communities dot the city, and their growth has helped make Asians the fastest-growing racial group in the city, according to the latest census data.

In Brooklyn last October, a corner in Kensington became one of a handful of places officially given the name “Little Bangladesh.” There, the intersection of Church and McDonald has become a beacon for newly arrived Bangladeshis — a jumping-off point where newcomers can find apartments, jobs and friends.

“Everybody is coming here for socializing, but also to think about the next day,” said Sohel Mahmud, 54, a Bangladeshi journalist who runs ProbasiTV, an online news site covering the diaspora, out of a rowhouse a few steps away.

Young Bangladeshi Americans are making inroads into politics, most notably with the election of Shahana Hanif, a daughter of Kensington, to the City Council in 2021. Hanif’s victory, at age 30, made her the first woman to represent the district, as well as the first Muslim woman and one of the first two South Asians on the council.

hanif brooklyn Shahana Hanif, a New York City Council member and daughter of Brooklyn’s Bangladeshi community, in the council chambers at City Hall in New York, May 7, 2023. Hanif’s election victory in 2021, at age 30, made her the first woman to represent her district, as well as the first Muslim woman and one of the first two South Asians on the council. (Jonah Markowitz/The New York Times)

It was Hanif who requested the intersection’s new name. She also co-sponsored a resolution to make Feb. 21 Mother Language Day, in tandem with a holiday in Bangladesh commemorating protesters who fought for Bengali as a state language in the 1950s, when the area was part of Pakistan.

Hanif’s family history illustrates how Bangladeshi Kensington came to be. Her father arrived in the early ’80s and worked his way up in construction and restaurants, and came to own a local mainstay, Radhuni Sweets & Restaurant, which is now run by others.

Her experiences in the neighbourhood drove her to make sure that all members of the community feel welcome in its public spaces. While the corner is often a male-dominated space, she and other Bangladeshi American women have carved out their own places there.

“I grew up like, ‘Wear a shawl over your chest, look down,’” Hanif said. “There was a script. And I think many of us did not follow that script and pursued our own paths in an interesting, unique way.”

In recent years, Bangladeshis have come to the United States, as so many other migrants, after a perilous journey through Latin America. Some hope to apply for asylum; some are looking for a way to earn money to send home; some simply seek a better life.

Many of the Bangladeshis in Kensington hail from rural areas around the Bay of Bengal: Noakhali, Chittagong and Sandwip. Among them is Mir Hossain, 47. He arrived five years ago, after he said he was attacked for his political allegiances.

Hossain found the building blocks of his new life on the corner in Kensington, drawing on his years of experience in metalwork.

Hossain crossed through 19 countries on his monthslong journey to Brooklyn. He flew from the Middle East to South America and then trekked on foot through the Darién Gap, which divides Colombia and Panama, picking up work along the way when he could.

His bet seems to be paying off. He received asylum, and then a green card. He landed his apartment and jobs through connections he made on the corner, and rose from day laborer to subcontractor. Now he picks up other workers from the corner in his Ford F-150 truck.

But still, something is missing. His wife and two children remain in Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital. He hopes they will be able to join him in Brooklyn soon.

“I don’t sleep well,” he said. “I miss my family.”

Kensington’s gathering spaces have also become crucial networking opportunities for the growing number of young Bangladeshi men working for food delivery apps like Seamless and DoorDash, a path that became more lucrative during the pandemic.

Many deliverymen zip around wealthier areas like nearby Park Slope during the dinner rush, and then head to Kensington for their own meals.

Working for the apps can offer more flexibility than construction. But the potential for danger is constant: accidents, terrible weather and crime, all without the protections offered by steady employment.

In October 2021, a Bangladeshi deliveryman named Sala Miah was fatally stabbed during a robbery at a Manhattan park where he had stopped to rest after a long shift. Miah’s funeral was held at one of several Bangladeshi mosques in Kensington. He was 51.

Rubel Uddin’s younger brother, Tarek Aziz, was killed in 2021 when he hit a patch of gravel while riding his scooter delivering a late order. It was hot out the day of the accident, and he wasn’t wearing a helmet.

“In our life we are being tested,” said Uddin, who is 34. “Everything is temporary.”

When his mother calls from Bangladesh, she begs her son to stop doing delivery work.

Although Uddin remains deeply depressed about his brother’s death, he has continued because he needs the income. He uses a car now instead of a moped.

Uddin lives with six other men in a three-bedroom apartment in East New York crowded with plants that remind him of the verdant village he left a decade ago. His roommates deliver food, drive taxis or do construction, and they all pay rent to a fellow Bangladeshi who owns the building.

They do their shopping in Kensington, as well as in Bangladeshi shops in Jackson Heights and Ozone Park in Queens, and he appreciates the sense of community. But he is weighing his limited options and considering leaving New York.

Others also still dream of home. Motiul, 54, who asked that his last name not be used because of his legal status, arrived in New York as a cargo-ship crewman in 2018 with $100 in his pocket. He headed straight to the home of a Bangladeshi friend in Kensington, and he stayed after his short-term visa expired.

His story harks back to some of the earliest Bangladeshis in New York, who came in the 1920s as “ship jumpers,” men who worked on ships and stayed in the city once they docked here.

These days, Motiul mostly renovates building exteriors, working on scaffolding on high floors, which can net him as much as $350 a day. He also traveled to Philadelphia to work for a Bangladeshi contractor there. But work is excruciatingly slow — sometimes only a couple of days a month — and the cost of living is high.

His mind is back in his small town in the Jessore District, where renovations are underway on his family home. He oversees the process from afar, instructing workers in the brick-pointing techniques he has learned in New York. His wife and three grown children have urged him to return.

“They say I have done enough for them,” he said.

Some women in the community are pushing to create new opportunities for themselves, but also to preserve their language and culture, especially for Bangladeshi children growing up in a diverse city.

Farojan Saeed, 28, moved to New York in 2016 to join her husband, Syed Rehan, who works in technology.

Now Saeed teaches dance at a local public school and at the Bangladesh Institute of Performing Arts, which promotes the arts and language of Bangladesh and holds classes in the neighbourhood. She also works as an intake coordinator for a home healthcare company.

bangladeshi dance - brooklyn Annie Ferdous, who runs the Bangladeshi Institute of Performing Arts, leads a Bangladeshi folk dancing class in the Woodside neighborhood of Queens March 18, 2023. (Jonah Markowitz/The New York Times)

Her husband has been living for more than 20 years in the same small apartment in Kensington, which they now share with his parents.

Saeed wants to buy a house, but real estate in Kensington has become far too expensive. She is considering Jamaica, Queens, where the performing arts institute has another outpost.

Annie Ferdous helped found the Bangladeshi Institute of Performing Arts in the early ’90s. She is trying to carve out a space inside a conservative culture where dance is often frowned upon. Some see it as incompatible with their interpretation of Islam.

Saeed also faced opposition as she was growing up, from relatives on her mother’s side who frowned upon dance. But her father pushed for her to be allowed to pursue her art, which she calls her first love.

With other public spaces so dominated by men, Ferdous sees it as vital that women gather to keep their traditions alive. She calls it “constructive adda.”

“Those of us who can, if we lead the path and move forward, then a few others will think, ‘Let me also, we have a space,’” she said.

The neighborhood buzzed at the end of Ramadan, as Bangladeshis from around the city gathered to worship, do charitable works and break their fasts each night. The faithful filled nearly a whole block of McDonald Avenue during Eid al-Fitr, the festival celebrated at the end of Ramadan.

eid celebration brooklyn bangladeshis Bangladeshi men from all over New York City fill McDonald Avenue for prayer during Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of fasting for Ramadan, in Brooklyn, April 21, 2023. (Jonah Markowitz/The New York Times)

Mahmud, the journalist, was among them. As men greeted one another with warm hugs after the service, he said it felt like home.

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Also read: Kremlin Brands Accusations it killed Prigozhin an ‘Absolute Lie’

Manipur Violence Seems Pre-Planned – CM Biren Singh

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Manipur Violence

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh Saturday said that while it is “not possible to confirm or deny international hand” in the ongoing ethnic clashes between the Meitei and Kuki communities in the state, it “seems pre-planned”.

In an interview with news agency ANI, Singh also said that he was considering resigning from his post earlier this week due to fears that the public had lost confidence in him, but the show of support made him change his mind.

Manipur has been witnessing ethnic clashes between the Meitei and Kuki communities since May 3, over the possible inclusion of the former into the Scheduled Tribes (ST) list.

Biren Singh

Here’s what CM Biren Singh said:

01
‘Indian security force can’t possibly cover everything in long, porous India-Myanmar border’
Manipur CM N Biren Singh, when asked about a possible international hand in the ongoing ethnic clashes in the state, said, “Manipur is neighbouring with Myanmar, and China is also nearby. We have a 398-km long porous, unguarded border. We have Indian security forces guarding us, but they can’t possibly cover everything. Anyone can imagine what all can happen there… what’s happening now, we can’t deny or confirm international hand in it.”

He added, “It seems pre-planned but the reason is not clear.”

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‘As the CM, I promise that I won’t allow Manipur to break up’
Discussing the demand for a separate administrative authority for the Kuki tribe in Manipur, Singh said, “We are one. Manipur is a small state but we have 34 tribes. All of these 34 tribes have to live together… As the CM, I promise that I won’t allow Manipur to break up and neither will there be a separate administrative authority in the state. I am prepared to make sacrifices to keep everyone together.”

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‘Have to ensure there is no demographic imbalance’
While talking about harmony in Manipur, N Biren Singh also said, “We just have to be careful that not many people from outside come and settle here. We have to ensure that there is no demographic imbalance.”

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‘Talked to my Kuki brothers and sisters, said let’s forgive and forget’
Singh assured that his government is taking steps to restore peace in the state. “A few hours ago, I spoke with our Kuki brothers and sisters over the telephone that let’s forgive and forget; reconcile and live together like we always have… Our priority is to restore peace and normalcy in Manipur,” he said.

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‘My government has still not recommended if Meiteis should be included in ST list or not’
When asked about the reasons behind the violence engulfing the state since May 3 this year, Singh said that he was also “confused”, and that only the people who had organised the rally which led to clashes can answer this question.

“The High Court had asked our government to respond within four weeks on the question of whether or not the Meitei community should be included in the Scheduled Tribes list. I had said a consensus is important… before we could take any decision, all this happened,” he said.

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‘If you don’t have public support, there’s no point in staying’
Singh also talked about why he was about to resign from the CM post last week, and what made him give up his plans.

“After people started burning effigies of the Prime Minister and the Home Minister, and after the BJP office in Imphal was attacked, I started doubting if people still have confidence in our government. Public ka support nahi hai too rehne ka kya fayda (‘If you don’t have public support, there’s no point in staying’), that’s my opinion… Yesterday, I saw the confidence and the trust of the people, and that’s why I will continue working for Manipur and for the party,” he said.

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‘We are eating poison fruits, whose seeds were sowed by Congress’
Lashing out at the Congress party, which has been demanding his resignation, Singh said, “We are eating the poison fruits, seeds of which were sowed by them.”

“Where did these problems come from? These are deep-rooted. They are not today’s problems. Those who are levelling allegations, like Congress: we are eating the poison fruits, seeds of which were sowed by them. The entire world knows whose mistake was it. The ethnic clash between Kuki and Meitei continued for two-three years, there were losses and deaths. That is why, the Kuki militants rose at that time, they were given a free run from 2005-2018, for 13 years. That is why this is happening,” Singh alleged.

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‘Rahul Gandhi came to Manipur with political agenda’
Singh also slammed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who had visited Manipur recently.

“We can’t stop anyone. But it has been 40 days. Why did he not come earlier? He is a Congress leader but in what capacity was he making the visit? I don’t think the timing was right. He seemed to have come with a political agenda. He came and then there was an incident in the market and BJP office was attacked. Did he come for the situation in the state or for political mileage? I don’t support the manner in which he came,” he said.

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‘Home Minister monitoring situation 24×7’
While talking about the efforts to restore peace in Manipur, Singh said, “The Home Minister (Amit Shah) of a country as large as India is staying in Manipur for days, monitoring the situation 24×7.”

10
‘Government trying to screen people coming from outside in wake of Myanmar turmoil’
Emphasising that his government’s priority was to ensure harmony and normalcy in Manipur, Singh said, “The government has only tried to screen the people coming from outside in the wake of the Myanmar turmoil and send them back once the situation improves.”

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iPhone 15 Series : Know About the Next Apple iPhone

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iPhone 15 Series

The next-generation flagship iPhone 15 Pro series handsets could have USB-C ports, a periscope camera and more.

Apple iPhone

Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express

Apple will launch the next-generation iPhone 15 series later this year. The rumour mill has been swirling for months about what the phones will look like and what they will be able to do. Like its predecessors, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro are expected to bring several exciting features to the table. So, if you’re planning to upgrade your iPhone in 2023, here’s everything we know about the iPhone 15 series so far.

iPhone 15 Pro

iPhone 15 Pro iPhone 15 Pro concept render (Image credit: Jonas Daehnert)

Four new iPhone models
Similar to the iPhone 14 series, Apple will supposedly unveil four new devices. Experts claim the iPhone 15 lineup will supposedly include two 6.1-inch and two 6.7-inch models. The regular iPhone will include a 6.1-inch iPhone 15 and a 6.7-inch iPhone 15 Plus, while the iPhone 15 Pro series will come in two models: a 6.1-inch iPhone Pro and a 6.7-inch iPhone Pro Max.

Premium titanium build
If rumours have anything to go by, the iPhone 15 Pro might take a design from the Apple Watch Ultra. There is a possibility that Apple will use an Apple Watch Ultra-esque titanium frame to make the iPhone 15 Pro lighter and more durable. Titanium, after all, is significantly lighter and more durable than stainless steel and aluminium.

Dynamic Island on all four models
Rumour has it that the iPhone 14 Pro’s shape-shifting cutout, known as Dynamic Island, will come across all models in the upcoming iPhone 15 series. Though don’t expect base iPhone 15 models to have a higher refresh rate like Apple’s top-end Pro iPhones.

Periscope-style zoom lens
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo forecasts that the iPhone 15 Pro Max will get a periscope-style telephoto lens. This type of telephoto lens allows for higher optical zoom levels, with Kuo expecting a 6x optical zoom could come to the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Right now, the optical zoom on the iPhone 14 Pro Max is limited to 3x. Samsung’s flagships already have a built-in periscope lens.

Power efficient 3nm processor
The iPhone 15 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro Max are likely to be powered by the new A17 Bionic processor, which is said to be fabricated using TSMC’s 3nm process. Similarly, the new iPhones are also expected to feature an improved ultra-wideband (U2) chip, which is more efficient than the first-generation U1 chip.

On the other hand, the iPhone 15 and the iPhone 15 Plus are likely to use the older A16 Bionic processor featured in the iPhone 14 Pro. All four iPhone 15 models could feature a new 5G modem with support for faster wireless data transfer speeds, including Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3.

My little fun project needs so much more work than expected…. phew, but I think it’s worth it. pic.twitter.com/JlI52Ma5w6

— Jonas Daehnert (@PhoneDesigner) January 25, 2023

USB Type-C port for faster data transfer
One of the most important updates for the iPhone 15 series is expected to be the charging port. Apple might finally replace the lightning port with a USB Type-C port offering faster data transfer speeds. However, it is reported that Apple will limit fast charging on these devices to MFi-certified Type-C cables. While any USB Type-C cable might be able to charge an iPhone 15 variant, only an Apple-certified cable is expected to offer fast charging support.

Price hike seem almost certain
It seems that Apple will increase the price of the iPhone 15 due to the higher cost of manufacturing. Well-known analyst Dan Ives of investment firm Wedbush Securities believes that the average selling price for Apple’s next-generation iPhones will increase, which leads to a higher price tag for the iPhone 15 line compared to current models. Notably, the iPhone 14 saw a price increase in international markets with the exception of the US. In fact, industry analysts warn we could see price hikes of up to $200, with the high-end iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max models anticipated to see the largest increases.

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Also read: Twitter Puts a Cap on Number of Tweets Users Can Read Daily

Twitter Puts a Cap on Number of Tweets Users Can Read Daily

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twitter

Following the latest widespread outage suffered by Twitter in recent months, Twitter owner and former CEO Elon Musk announced that the company was now bringing new “temporary” limits in order to address “extreme levels” of data scraping and system manipulation. These limits include caps on the number of tweets that users (verified, unverified, or new) can view and read on the micro-blogging site. By imposing reading limits, Twitter aims to restrict the excessive access and exploitation of its data by other actors.

twitter

According to his original tweet on the matter, users who had subscribed to Twitter Blue and got verified (or found it forced upon them by Musk) will be allowed to read a maximum of 6000 posts per day. Unverified accounts, in comparison, will be allowed to view only 1/10th of this amount, while new accounts can view even lesser – 300 – daily.

Musk followed it up by increasing the limits to 8000 posts for verified accounts, 800 for unverified ones, and 400 for new accounts, which will be arriving “soon.” Currently, the new limitations are 10,000 posts (for verified users), 1000 posts (for unverified accounts), and 500 posts (for new ones), slightly increasing users’ ability to track new posts, and serving as an incentive for unverified and new users to subscribe to Twitter Blue. Whether it will actually entice users to subscribe or not remains to be seen.

Elon Musk

If you were one of the many users who tried to access or post content on Twitter’s website or mobile app, then you may have seen the “Rate limit exceeded” or “Cannot retrieve tweets” error messages. According to outage tracker Downdetector, more than 7,300 people reported issues with Twitter at around 11 AM ET.

This development also comes a few weeks after the social media company refused to pay its Google Cloud bills – Platformer reported that the Twitter’s contract with Google Cloud ended on June 30, and the micro-blogging site was withholding its payments.

These limitations came after Twitter began to block unregistered users from accessing the platform – if you were one of them, you would have met a Twitter window that asks you to either sign in to the platform or create a new account. Musk claimed that it was necessary, adding that “several hundred organizations (maybe more) were scraping Twitter data extremely aggressively, to the point where it was affecting the real user experience.”

He did not elaborate on exactly which organizations were scraping data from Twitter or how the system was manipulated, but informed that the new limitations were essential to resolve the issue. This development is hardly unexpected, given that Musk is known to be concerned with tech titans like Microsoft and Google using data to train large language models (LLMs), like the ones behind AI-powered chatbots like Bing AI, OpenAI’s ChatGPT, and Google’s Bard.

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Alex Carey Smartness was applauded by Ravichandran Ashwin

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Alex Carey

The controversial incident involving England batter Jonny Bairstow and Australian wicketkeeper Alex Carey in the second Ashes Test has been hotly debated, after Australia went on to take a 2-0 lead in the series with a 43-run win at Lord’s on Sunday.
Chasing a daunting 371 to win, England were bowled out for 327 after a fighting century by skipper Ben Stokes (155).

Alex Carey

But tempers flared before that, when Alex Carey dismissed Bairstow stumped.

The incident happened when Bairstow ducked the last ball of a Cameron Green over. Presuming the ball was dead, Bairstow left his crease to chat with non-striker Ben Stokes. But after collecting the ball, Carey threw down the stumps, with Bairstow out of his crease.

The dismissal led to a ‘spirit of cricket’ debate. However, India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin felt it was smart cricket by Carey.

Bairstow-gfx-1

Quoting a fan’s tweet, who mentioned how Ashwin was criticized for dismissing Jos Buttler in the IPL by removing the stumps while bowling, Ashwin wrote: “We must get one fact loud and clear. The keeper would never have a dip at the stumps from that far out in a Test match unless he or his team have noticed a pattern of the batter leaving his crease after leaving a ball like Bairstow did.”

“We must applaud the game smarts of the individual rather than skewing it towards unfair play or spirit of the game,” Ashwin’s tweet further read.

The third Test will begin on July 6 at Headingley.

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Also read: Stokes on fire but Australians get closer to Ashes

Stokes on fire but Australians get closer to Ashes

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Stokes

Ben Stokes on fire but Australians get closer to Ashes after win at Lord’s.

Stuart Broad’s batting has seen better days. The man with a Test highest of 169 has been a genuine tail-ender for a long time now, and is rarely keen to hang around for long. How does one then explain the veteran seamer taking one body blow after another from Australian pacers, landing a few punches of his own, and stitching what could have been a match-winning seventh-wicket century stand from a near-hopeless situation? Even No. 11 James Anderson, a veteran of 180 Tests, and rookie Josh Tongue suffered for a long time when the cause was seemingly lost.

Stokes

Steve Smith is one of the great catchers in contemporary cricket, whether close to the stumps or in the deep. How does then one explain him dropping a relatively sitter of a skier, which would in all probability have given the visitors a 2-0 lead in the five-match Ashes series with much less drama?

There is a certain magic about Ashes series that many in the subcontinent may not get. They may not appreciate what all the fuss is about. But what happened on Sunday would make believers of most cynics. It just matters more to England and Australia.

Make no mistake, the real protagonist in whatever happened on the final day of the second Test at Lord’s was England captain Ben Stokes. There were his 2019 Headingley heroics, but four years later he took it a few notches higher. Contrary to the Leeds game, Stokes’ 155 off 214 balls with nine fours and as many sixes couldn’t take his side home as the Aussies prevailed by 43 runs on another day of enthralling Test cricket. But the fare on offer for the second game in a row would force fans to keep coming back for more.

Stokes had been battling a bad knee, and was hit at various other spots on the body during his knock, but his track record – be it in white-ball World Cup final or marquee Test matches – shows that he relishes the big occasion when everything rests on his shoulders.

Flashpoint

It all may have been ignited by a bit of “dozy cricket” by Jonny Bairstow, in the words of some commentators, when he wandered out of his crease after ducking under a Cameron Green bouncer. It was the last ball of the over, but the umpire at the bowler’s end had not called ‘over’. Wicketkeeper Alex Carey had already gathered the ball and when his underarm throw hit the stumps, Bairstow was already well out of his crease.

The ball was not ‘dead’ and the batsman was deemed stumped.

For about 90 minutes either side of lunch on Sunday – from the moment Bairstow was dismissed – Lord’s was an unusually febrile place. Forget polite applause, every English run was vociferously cheered while every Australian intervention was met with jeers.

Stuck with the long English tail, and probably riled by the manner of Bairstow’s dismissal, Stokes decided to take matters into his own hands. He turned on his beast mode, and got into T20 style, smashing the living daylights out of the Aussie bowlers. The left-hander kept peppering the short leg-side boundary, profited from at least two dropped chances, and hit Green for three successive sixes to bring up his 13th Test hundred.

His stand with Broad brought 108 runs. They had come together when the target of 371 was still 178 runs away, and took England to within 70. Cummins & Co didn’t seem to know what hit them and had to regroup at the drinks break. They then focused on bringing the scoring rate under control, and when Stokes miscued an attempted pull shot into the leg-side off Josh Hazlewood, with the resultant leading edge being gobbled by Carey, there was only going to be one winner, even though the last English pair tried its best to delay the inevitable.

Bigger picture

Apart from the dramatic final day, this Test will also be remembered for the amount of short-pitched stuff resorted to by both teams, with a good deal of success. The two-paced nature of the pitch may have had something to do with it, and even on the final day, when Stokes was going berserk, Australia resorted to the same tactic, as there was not much help from the pitch and they were missing their premier off-spinner Nathan Lyon, who would have been expected to do the business in the fourth innings.

Even after Stokes’ dismissal, the eighth and ninth wickets fell to bouncers, before Mitchell Starc broke Tongue’s resistance with a yorker.

This series was billed as a face-off between Bazball and Australia’s more considered, traditional approach. Both matches so far have gone almost to the wire, with the slightly more conservative approach coming out on top both times. After their more gung-ho style at Edgbaston, there was a bit more pragmatism displayed by England in the second Test, manifesting in the bouncer barrage midway through Day 4, which brought them back into the game. It dried up the runs, and with several fielders on the boundary, it made taking the short ball on a high-risk option.

With a fielder at short leg and one at leg-gully, riding a bouncer was also not easy. It was an effective strategy, but made for turgid viewing, quite at odds with England’s stated mission of playing entertaining cricket and making a spectacle of it.

If the Aussies succeed in winning the Ashes series in England for the first time since 2001, it could be the coming-of-age moment for Cummins as captain. He has already led his team to World Test Championship glory, but doing what the likes of Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke failed to achieve would put him in elite company. Apart from his tactical and man-management qualities, Cummins has led from the front with both bat and ball, and late in the evening on Sunday had the energy to bowl at full pelt and chase the ball to the boundary himself with all the fielders surrounding the England tail-enders.

Winning at Lord’s despite getting the worst of the conditions while batting and bowling, and being a key bowler down for most of the game, is a feather in the cap for the impressive Australian skipper.

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Survey : 44% feel E-shopping Better for Fruits and Vegetables

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Survey

Nearly 44 percent of respondents feel that quality of fresh fruits and vegetables is better on online shopping platforms while 56 per cent think offline is superior, according to a survey. Agritech startup Otipy, which sells fresh fruits and vegetables along with groceries in Delhi-NCR and Mumbai, has conducted an online survey of more than 3,000 people during May to find out the changing shopping behaviours of consumers, the company said in a statement.

Survey

On affordability, the survey findings revealed that 50 per cent of respondents feel offline is cheaper while the remaining 50 per cent believe that rates are lower on online platforms.

Regarding weightage, around 50 per cent feel both online and offline modes are accurate, while nearly 30 per cent feel online is better.

Among other findings, 71 per cent of respondents expressed preference for online shopping. Around 36 per cent respondents want instant delivery of fresh fruits and vegetables and the remaining within 12-hour.
Convenience and time saving are two main factors for choosing online shopping of fruits and vegetables. Furthermore, the survey sheds light on the increasing demand for healthier and sustainable options, as 43 per cent of participants opt for organic or hydroponic fruits and vegetables.
Additionally, 51 per cent of respondents consider certification and traceability as highly important.

Nearly 77 per cent are willing to pay up to 15 per cent more for organic and hydroponic fruits and vegetables.

Varun Khurana, Founder and CEO of Otipy, said, “We are pleased to see the strong preference for online platforms, which validates the convenience and time-saving benefits online platforms offer.”

Moreover, he said the findings emphasise the importance of quality and accurate weight measurement in the online grocery shopping experience.

“We will continue to leverage these insights to enhance our offerings and ensure we meet the evolving needs of our valued customers,” Khanna said.

Otipy, operated by Crofarm Agriproducts, was launched in 2020.

“Our revenue is estimated to reach Rs 160-170 crore in the 2022-23 fiscal year from Rs 70 crore in the previous year,” Khurana had said in February.

The bulk of revenue comes from fruits and vegetables.

Otipy has raised USD 45 million so far and plans to raise more funds to expand business.

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Satyaprem Ki Katha Gets a Standing Ovation from Audience

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Satyaprem Ki Katha

Satyaprem Ki Katha released on Thursday and the reactions for the film have been very positive. Kartik Aaryan and Kiara Advani visited a theatre in Mumbai today and were overwhelmed with the response of the audience.

Satyaprem Ki Katha

Kartik Aaryan and Kiara Advani starrer’ Satyaprem Ki Katha’ released on June 29 and since then, the film has only seen an upward curve. While the opening day collection of the film was average, the business has kept growing through positive word of mouth. Moreover, the film is touted as one of the best love stories which people have seen in recent times.
The on-screen pair visited a theatre today and surprised the audience.

They got highly emotional as people gave them a standing ovation. Kiara shared a video and she wrote, “When the audience gives us a standing ovation, that’s when you realise magic has been created ❤️ A moment to cherish forever🥹 All I want to say is Thank You from the entire team of #SatyapremKiKatha”

Kartik also shared a video and expressed gratitude to all the fans! He wrote, “This Standing Ovation isn’t just for Sattu and Katha but for the entire team that worked tirelessly towards this result 🤍🙏🏻 Gratitude 😊”

Both the actors were seen in very casual avatar. Kiara was seen sans make-up, being her most natural self. On Saturday, ‘Satyaprem Ki Katha’ made 9.5 crore at the box office and the Sunday business is expected to be at par, if not more.
The film directed by Sameer Vidwans and also stars Supriya Pathak, Gajraj Rao, Shikha Talsania among others.

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Also read: Kartik Aaryan as Sattu in SPKK sets a New Benchmark

Cable Car Crossing to Connect Switzerland and Italy within 2 hours

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Cable Car

For the first time in history, people will be reach Italy from Switzerland in two hours, thanks to the ‘Matterhorn Alpine Crossing’. Opened in Switzerland, this is also Europe’s highest cable car crossing. This three string cable car is the highest border crossing in Europe and will ascend over 4000 m, which is the highest altitude difference in Europe.

Europe’s highest cable car crossing to connect Switzerland and Italy within two hours!

Photo courtesy: Switzerland Tourism

For the first time in history, people will be reach Italy from Switzerland in two hours, thanks to the ‘Matterhorn Alpine Crossing’. Opened in Switzerland, this is also Europe’s highest cable car crossing. This three string cable car is the highest border crossing in Europe and will ascend over 4000 m, which is the highest altitude difference in Europe.

This will drastically reduced the travel time between the Matterhorn village Zermatt in Switzerland and Breuil-Cervinia in Italy. The cable car has been started at Testa Grigia station, where interestingly visitors can stand with one foot in Italy and the other in Switzerland!

The new cableway is all set to open up the Valle d’Aosta region for travellers who can visit the spectacular place and explore the pretty houses in typical Walliser (Valaisan) style. People can also enjoy riding, biking, hiking and golfing in the region.

Europe’s highest cable car crossing to connect Switzerland and Italy within two hours!

Photo courtesy: Switzerland Tourism

Talking more about the cable car, there will be 35 luxurious cabins in the gondola. Each will offer stunning panoramic views of the majestic Matterhorn from various perspectives. Also, there will be nine mountain stations where the ride will halt. Among these, five stops will be on the Swiss side and four on the Italian side.

Visitors can buy a one-way ticket with an optional start in Cervinia (Italy) or Zermatt (Switzerland) or a return ticket, making it a day trip.

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