Bollywood is speaking to Chinese film-goers with a Hindi-language hit that’s outdrawing Star Wars in a market that Hollywood has staked out for making big-budget blockbusters pay.Secret Superstar, the tale of a 14-year-old Muslim-Indian girl who strives to become a singer, has topped China’s box office since its local release on 19 January, surpassing sales for Star Wars: Last Jedi, according to ticketing-data provider Maoyan.The second straight hit in China for Bollywood actor-producer Aamir Khan, Secret Superstar underscores how quickly the world’s second-biggest film market is evolving from franchise fare like Universal Pictures’ Fast & Furious instalments to a taste for films from all around the world. Based on results from the past 12 months alone, hits from India, Thailand and Spain show China’s box-office may already be less blockbuster-centric than America’s.Read it at Live Mint Related Items
Advertising, according to its sharper and grounded exponents has been defined as a profession that is single-mindedly engaged in the business of “creating wants and manufacturing needs.” Be that as it may, its criticality in today’s blatantly consumerist universe, however, remains more potent than ever and can never be ignored, overlooked or dismissed. After all, we live in a world where any and everything is up for sale. Taare Zameen ParUnlike yesterday, the bifurcation of readers, listeners and viewers has been brutally eliminated and dumped into one slot: consumers! Everything is target-specific and market-driven. Life is no longer about your ability or talent to write a book that’s an enjoyable read or create music that has charm and resonance — it’s all about whether (irrespective of your creative impulse) your output/creation/material has a market. If it doesn’t (but has potential) can that market be created?Once upon a time, films we made on the basis of stories, scripts, cast, directors etc. without fuss, hype or drama. There was a constituency for every genre of films — be it Bimal, Roy, Guru Dutt and Mehboob Khan type or the more commercial fare. Trade and film magazines carried announcements and newsbytes about casting and release dates and these were enough to arouse curiosity and generate excitement among the fans to prompt movement toward the neighboring, friendly movie theaters. It was a simple, innocent time when the number of films was limited, spaced out and the profile of the fans bordered on loyal, patient and easy-to-please. It was a relaxed and laid-back environment where the directors ruled. Script, stories, stars were of utmost importance. Content and substance was king. Promotion? Marketing? Advertising? Gimmicks? Woh kya hai? Wasn’t that for soaps, colas and biscuits? RaajneetiNot any more, sweetheart! Today promotion and marketing are critical components to the success of any film; key factors that can spell the difference between success and failure, boom or bust. Quality per se doesn’t seem to carry much weight as clearly demonstrated by the sad showing of films like Firaaq, Parzania, Mirch, The Japanese Wife, even Turning 30. No One Killed Jessica could be seen and used as a brilliant contemporary case-study, a super example of how focused, strategic, intelligently-crafted promotion can add solid, marketability to a small-budget product. For weeks before the film’s release its stars Rani Mukherjee and Vidya Balan were zipping around all the mandatory, must-do spots that define today’s promotion — malls, radio/ TV studios, newspaper offices, reality shows, fashion shows, school/colleges, place of orship — with maha enthusiasm, drama and fun, all of which provided a huge lift to Raj Kumar Gupta’s wonderful and engaging film. Little wonder that Jessica ($2 million project) has been declared this year’s first legit hit. The Baap of this game, however, remains Aamir Khan. During Ghajini, tonsured head, he went around the country providing Ghajini haircuts to all who stormed his meets. During Taare Zameen Par, he took on the academic and student community. For 3 Idiots he went one step ahead — he disappeared for long lengths of time only to re-surface with weavers in Madhya Pradesh, mom’s house in Benaras and kids at college campuses. Peepli Live too gained hugely from his heavy-duty promotion (4 continents in 16 days) and although it didn’t make it to the Oscars, it garnered great audience-connect and return on investment, despite being a startlingly non-mainstream small-budget product. The fact that it was also a brilliantly original and engaging satire made life easier for Khan. Even the “I don’t give a damn about PR” Salman Khan, seems to have read the writing on the wall, recognizing and tuning in to this game. He set aside quality time for promotional activities for both Wanted and Dabangg — and boy, did they rock! Most stars, however, (secretly) hate this “insane activity,” but can’t do anything about it because it comes with the territory and is of immense significance to the publicity of the film. Declares Rohan Sippy, an informed and evolved new-age producer: “Beyond stars, scripts and directors, marketing and promotion today are the real drivers that define boom or doom for a movie. It’s a fiercely competitive scene with diverse themes representing massive choices to an audience-base-forever hung-up on novelty, freshness and excitement in any which form and has zero respect, interest or time for loyalty or history. The real challenge is to get these guys to the theater through new inventive and innovative promos that are designed to ‘surprise and delight,’ leading to ticket-sales as also create a buzz that is infectious.” Peepli LiveToday even reticent and reluctant stars like Katrina Kaif and Akshay Kumar have got into the act. Kat’s crazy promo tours for Raajneeti and Tees Maar Khan and Akshay’s pan-India trips for Action Replay and Tees Maar Khan are interesting examples. Even the Big B, post-Mohabbatein has been agreeable to bogey along and continues do interviews across TV, radio and press. However, many of the new-gen are cool with it and totally agree that promos are critical in the selling of their movies. Chocolate Boy Imran Khan cheerfully zoomed across cities, at home and abroad, promoting I Hate Luv Storys, convinced that this exercise provides a brilliant on-the-ground, real connect with the audiences, vital for any star who cares for reality-checks.New-age, promo whiz-kids too speak confidently of challenges that this new discipline demands. As one of them observes: “It is often more challenging and tough than even shooting a film because the demands are not conventional. There is a science to it in terms of research, psychographics and demographics of the target audience, the right pitch — in terms of tone-of-voice — and visuals — all in tandem with the viewers’ curiosity and excitement connect. Also star-presence at the right time and place across cities are critical … and today, beyond the Metros, even some smaller centers must be patronized because of their box-office and revenue-generating potential. It’s complex!” No One Killed JessicaHowever, despite the quantum leaps that promos and marketing have taken as center-stage players in the selling of a film and the mega-budgets allocated to some big block-buster projects (such as nearly $4 million each for last year’s dud Blue and this year for Shah Rukh Khan’s Ra. One), along with specialized professionals who know this niche job well, even the most brilliantly publicized, packaged and promoted film can bomb, big time, if it lacks substance. Look toward Kites, Raavan, Blue, Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey, Dil Bole Hadippa!, Guzaarish and you get a clear and disturbing picture of how promotion is God can become a deadly joke.The conclusion must come from a sharp, perceptive film analyst, Siabal Chatterjee, who minces no words in offering his informed take: “Aamir Khan provides a fascinating study — in this area — relating to contrarian moves. He refuses to patronize award functions at home, but has no problem freaking out where the Oscars or other international film fests are concerned. When he is not involved in a movie, he is off the media radar but the moment he is ‘on’ — whether its haircuts, disguises, even publicly airing his private life, hitherto never ever discussed (when and where he first met Kiran; what attracted each to the other; how it is impossible not to fall in love with him; best and most annoying traits in each other, etc, etc, etc) – promotion ke liye kuch bhi karega! How do all this connect with Dhobi Ghat? Ask Mr. Perfectionist!” Related Items
India, the second-largest market for Nokia’s handsets, will become its global hub for exports. Its Chennai plant, which currently exports to 58 countries, will become its global operations center, according to the company, the world’s largest cell phone manufacturer.Almost half of India’s 185 million cell phones in India are Nokia. India now ranks only behind China as the largest market for Nokia phones, displacing the United States. Related Items
(left to right) Dhoni, R Ashwin and Suresh Raina.Former Australian test cricketer, Tom Moody, currently coaching Sri Lanka for the World Cup, is not impressed with the way the Men in Blue have performed in the tournament. There have been times when Indians have been extremely lucky. “M S Dhoni must realise that luck alone will not help his side win the Cup,” he warned ESPN Star Sports commentator Alan Wilkins on the sidelines of a match at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Excerpts. Q. So Team India’s weakest link is bowling?A. India’s bowling has let them down very badly and they have to work out a formula and stick to it. It has not happened so far in the tournament. Each bowler has to know his role. Once each bowler knows his full responsibility and when he is going to bowl, he will get the best out of the overs allotted. It needs to happen fast.Q. Indians have got great starts while batting but don’t seem to be able to follow up. Why?A. It’s strange. India have been in such dominant positions but they folded dramatically, especially against England, when they should have scored another 30 runs at least. They faltered against South Africa too, when they should have had another 50 runs on the board. They have to value each run scored. Indians threw away priceless runs in crucial matches, especially when they had the opposition bowlers at their mercy.Q. How would you bowl the death over?advertisementA. Dhoni, not me, has to think about his “death bowlers.” Did Ashish Nehra, for instance, know that he was going to be called upon to bowl the final over against South Africa? The Indian skipper has to have a mental checklist of the death bowlers who will do the job for him. And no one should regret that decision.Q. What about India’s poor fielding and lack of fitness?A. It is too late for India to improve their individual athleticism and skills through conditioning, but they have liabilities in the field which are costing runs. It is critical, therefore, for Dhoni to have fielders in positions where they can do the best job. Doing skill exercises in the middle of the tournament won’t help India’s fielders. Knowing what each player is capable of in the field is crucial.Q. So what is the Indian team’s primary strength?A. India’s top order batting is as good as any top order in the World Cup and all the batsmen are in form-Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kholi and Yuvraj Singh. They are the apparatus through which India can impose their superiority in this tournament. India’s top order has to continue to get big scores because India’s bowling is their weakness, and their fielding is also likely to cost too many runs. So the responsibility is on India’s batsmen to bat India into match-winning totals. The collapse against South Africa was inexcusable.Q. So will Dhoni have to do things differently?A. Yes, in a way he has to work out strategies in bowling and fielding that will complement India’s batting. He has to make it clear to every member of the team what his job responsibility is in the side. India’s approach to matches from here on has to be more formulaic. It must not be left to chance.
Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday moved another step closer to a place in the Indian Premier League season nine play-offs with an eight-wicket win (Duckworth-Lewis method) over Rising Pune Supergiants. (Full Coverage | Points Table)YUSUF PATHAN’S ONSLAUGHT Chasing a revised target of 66 in 9 overs, the two-time champions, led by Gautam Gambhir, cruised home with 24 balls to spare in a rain-affected match to move to second spot in the IPL table.In-form Yusuf Pathan (37 off 18) helped KKR make light work of the target. Earlier, Pune had struggled to reach 103 for six when rain stopped play for a little more than two hours at the Eden Gardens. (Also read: This is how KKR thumped RPS and climbed to the second spot on the table) GAMBHIR’S PLOY KKR’s rookie pacer Ankit Rajpoot said it was a deliberate ploy from their captain Gambhir to place five close-in fielders for rival skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.Dhoni was left stifled, managing only 8 off 22 balls when rain stopped play.”Ball was turning and spinners were getting a lot of help. So we thought of setting an attacking field against Mahibhai (Dhoni),” said Rajpoot.With Piyush Chawla (2/21) in the middle of a fine spell, Dhoni walked out when Pune were 74/4 in 10.3 overs as Gambhir renewed his spin strategy against the struggling Indian limited overs captain.Gambhir brought himself at silly point, added two slips, a short leg and a short cover as Dhoni failed to get the scoreboard ticking.”We wanted to create pressure and get him out early to brighten our prospects. Left-handers have it easy, while Dhoni being a right-hander we wanted to go for an attacking field,” he said.advertisementThe wicket was offering turn and keeping low but Rajpoot said it was still good for the batsmen who applied themselves.”Wicket was very good for batting and bowling. I don’t think it was bad for batting. The batsmen who applied themselves did well on this track,” he said.(With PTI inputs)
Mary Kom, a mother of three, was showcasing glimpses of her vintage self during the final of women’s 48 kg bout at Women’s World Boxing Championships 2018 in front of a packed crowd at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New Delhi on Saturday.The 35-year-old had beaten Ukraine’s Hanna Okhota only in September this year at the Silesian Open in Poland by a unanimous decision and Satuday’s result was no different.Mary was in control of the bout from the word go and despite a stern challenge from Okhota in the second round, she was able to impress the judges with her ever-improving reflexes and nimble-footed approach.With Saturday’s win, Mary became the joint-most successful boxer in the history of the world meet as she Cuba’s Felix Savon’s tally of six titles. She had already become the most successful women’s boxer when she reached the semi-final on Friday as it confirmed her seventh world meet medal.Also read: Mary Kom sets sight on Tokyo Olympics after record-breaking World Boxing goldNotably, Mary had won a silver on her debut in 2001 and dominated the meet between 2002 and 2010, winning five straight yellow metals.Having been away from the boxing ring for a long time, Mary returned to competitive boxing and the 48 kg category only last year. The seasoned boxer, who seems to have successfully put behind the memories of Rio Olympics disappointment, announced her comeback by winning the Asian women’s boxing championships in Vietnam.It took eight long years for the record-breaking gold to come Mary’s way, but when it came, the entire nation erupted in joy.advertisementPrime Minister Narendra Modi led the congratulatory messages as social media celebrated the superwoman’s latest achievement.A proud moment for Indian sports.Congratulations to Mary Kom for winning a Gold in the Women’s World Boxing Championships. The diligence with which she’s pursued sports and excelled at the world stage is extremely inspiring. Her win is truly special. @MangteCNarendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 24, 2018I have fulfilled my duty. I thank my coaches, support staffs @BFI_official @IndiaSports @Media_SAI for all the supports and beloved in me. pic.twitter.com/DbocgISmSHMary Kom (@MangteC) November 24, 2018MAGNIFICENT MARY!CONGRATS to @MangteC for the GOLD in Women’s World Boxing Championships in 48 kg category!With this, she hs become the FIRST EVER female boxer to win 6 World Championships!A fabulous achievement by a wonderful athlete! Wt a proud day for us all! #MaryKom pic.twitter.com/kd12D8Ii4TRajyavardhan Rathore (@Ra_THORe) November 24, 2018So Mary Kom won again? What bout it?Madhavan Narayanan (@madversity) November 24, 2018Congratulations @Mangtec for winning the World Championship Gold Medal in Women’s Boxing. You are a true inspiration for all of us. Take a bow… #MaryKomAshwin Ravichandran (@ashwinravi99) November 24, 2018Heartiest Congratulations to a living legend, @MangteC for making India proud once again with her record 6th World Championship Gold . #MaryKom pic.twitter.com/J4cBMUKf0QVVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) November 24, 2018A stellar achievement for #MaryKom , becoming the first woman boxer to win six world championship Gold. One of India’s greatest ever sportsperson. Super happy and super proud ! pic.twitter.com/jw2V4QBuloVirender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) November 24, 2018You are an Inspiration @MangteC.. Magnificent Mary Clinches Gold For 6th time. More Power To You #MaryKom pic.twitter.com/NOJ2jFeZMgVijender Singh (@boxervijender) November 24, 2018Heartiest congratulations to boxer Mary Kom for creating history by winning an unprecedented sixth gold medal at Women’s World Boxing Championships 2018. She has made the nation proud. #WWCHs2018 @MangteCN Chandrababu Naidu (@ncbn) November 24, 2018A herculean achievement. Salute to @MangteC #MaryKom #WorldBoxingChampionship https://t.co/ZNrjC6wQM5Sanjeev Singh (@sanjeevrsingh) November 24, 2018Historic win by @MangteC. Epitomizes what unwavering commitment and dedication can do. Hope to see her win many more accolades for India. -Sg #boxing https://t.co/IqXBHwqsDkSadhguru (@SadhguruJV) November 24, 2018What an inspiration @MangteC ! Congratulations on the historic 6th GOLD #MaryKom pic.twitter.com/d3wuHNy319Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) November 24, 2018Congratulations Mary Kom for winning a record sixth world title. We are proud of your golden achievement at the Women’s World Boxing Championships @MangteCMamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) November 24, 2018Congratulations @MangteC didi on winning historic 6th World title. More power to you. We all are proud of you. #PunchMeinHainDum #MaryKomHima Das (@HimaDas8) November 24, 2018You are an absolute champion, @MangteC!Congratulations on winning gold for the 6th time in the #WorldBoxingChampionships. The nation stands proud of your landmark achievement. #MaryKomDr Raman Singh (@drramansingh) November 24, 2018Historic win by @MangteC. Epitomizes what unwavering commitment and dedication can do. Hope to see her win many more accolades for India. -Sg #boxing https://t.co/IqXBHwqsDkadvertisementSadhguru (@SadhguruJV) November 24, 2018Heartiest congratulation to the daughter of India @MangteC for creating history, by clinching record 6th @AIBA_Boxing World Boxing Championship Gold.#WWCHs2018 #MaryKom pic.twitter.com/wval4V9PxzVijay Goel (@VijayGoelBJP) November 24, 2018And the Golden streak continues for #MaryKom. Congratulations @MangteC for making India proud again. Your excellence and indomitable spirit is always an inspiration for every Indian.Niranjan Patnaik (@NPatnaikOdisha) November 24, 2018Wow… many congratulations!!@AIBA_Boxing World Champion@MangteC for winning the title 6th time. #MaryKom You made India Proud once again! pic.twitter.com/iiewxK6ViDManoj Tiwari (@ManojTiwariMP) November 24, 2018
Never-before-seen side of PM: Modi was calm, cheerful in crisis, says Bear Grylls on Man vs Wild episode
Narendra Modi was an example of calm in the middle of a crisis, said Bear Grylls, the host of the popular television show ‘Man vs Wild’, ahead of the premiere of the special episode on Discovery Channel.”PM Modi is a man who cares deeply about the environment. That is why he came on this journey with me. He has actually spent time in the jungle as a younger man and I was surprised how comfortable he was out there and how calm he was,” Bear Grylls said in an interview to news agency ANI.Bear Grylls in Wales(UK): Our team who was filming( Man vs Wild) was really on the edge, but the PM(Modi) was just very calm and I saw that throughout our journey. Whatever we were doing, he was very calm. That was cool to see…What shone bright for me was his humility pic.twitter.com/Fhf0ABEGQgANI (@ANI) August 10, 2019″We got hit by some really big stones and torrential rain whilst we were there. Our team was really on the edge, but the Prime Minister was just very calm and I saw that throughout our journey. Whatever we were doing, he was very calm. That was cool to see. You never really know what someone is like until there’s a crisis. It was good to be reminded that as a world leader, Prime Minister Modi is calm in a crisis,” Bear Grylls was quoted as saying by ANI.PM Modi spent some hours with Grylls deep inside the forests of the Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand to shoot for the episode, which will premiere on August 12.advertisementWhat stood out the most about Modi throughout the journey, Grylls said, was Modi’s humility, as even through incessant rains, there was a “big smile” on his face.Bear Grylls in Wales(UK): The side of PM Modi you will see is unlike you have ever seen before. The team has come back and said this could be the most watched TV show ever in any country in the world, and that is my hope for it. pic.twitter.com/d2sk1JVfjNANI (@ANI) August 10, 2019Grylls also said that PM Modi was a very humble guy and was a sport while crossing the river on a raft made out of reeds and a tarpaulin.”What shone bright for me was his humility. Even though there was rain and his secret services were trying to get out umbrellas, he said ‘no I’m fine’. I made a raft out of reeds and a tarpaulin. I said I think we can get across the river using this, but the secret services were like ‘we cannot put the Prime Minister in a little raft’. But he [Modi] said he was fine and we’d do this together. He asked me to get in too, but the things started sinking. So it was me swimming and pushing him, he was soaking wet but there was a big smile on his face even through the rain,” Grylls said.”I said to him in the beginning, it was my job to keep you safe from wild animals, bad weather and big rivers, which was true. He was calm and considerate, very trusting of me and we just travelled together. It was harder for his security team as they were carrying weapons briefcases and all that. The Prime Minister was an example of calm and cheerfulness,” Bear Grylls added.Last month, Bear Grylls shared a 45-second promo of the special episode on Twitter, which broke the internet, as people got to see a completely contrasting side to the Prime Minister.(With ANI inputs)READ | PM Modi rows boat, makes weapon, goes on a wild adventure for Man vs Wild TV showWATCH | PM Modi rows boat, makes weapon, goes on a wild adventure for Man vs Wild TV show
The Ambulatory Chemotherapy Unit at the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) was officially opened on November 23, to provide enhanced care for cancer patients. The unit is the first of its kind for the downtown-based hospital and will improve treatment and diagnostic services for increased survival and recovery of persons suffering from cancer. A total of $6.5 million was spent to refurbish and equip the former Charles Moss Ward to house the facility. Most of the money, $5 million, went into the provision of over 30 pieces of equipment, including intravenous (IV) stands, infusion pumps, a crash cart, vital signs monitors, suction machine, and vinyl recliner chairs. A Bio-safety Cabinet was also installed, which is designed to reduce exposure during the preparation of hazardous drugs. The remaining $1.5 million was spent on the renovation of the building, including tiling of bathroom and replacement of ceiling; painting and furnishing; installation of electrical outlets and plugs and circuits for air conditioning units. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, said improving the capacity of major hospitals such as the KPH, to offer cancer prevention, screening, early diagnosis, and treatment, is a critical part of efforts to improve overall health care. He stated that the development of a centre of excellence for cancer is one of the “big ticket” items of the administration. Chairman, South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA), Lyttleton Shirley, said that for many patients, chemotherapy is a vital component on the road to recovery, and the opening of the unit brings the KPH one step closer to revolutionising the level of treatment given to cancer patients. “The new unit will now offer chemotherapy services to patients on an out-patient basis, freeing up at least 18 bed spaces, which would have normally been reserved on our wards for patients accessing this service each week. These patients can now access treatment comfortably in an environment that is more conducive to the type of treatment being administered,” he informed. Mr. Shirley said that since the beginning of the year, the SERHA has spent US$356,860 to replace the cobalt source at the hospital and upgrade the unit. “We have also purchased vital equipment as ventilators and operating theatres lights as well as repair diagnostic equipment totalling some $9 million. Additionally, equipment and accessories were purchased for the MRI unit costing almost US$230, 000,” he said.
Cara McKenna APTN National NewsIt’s a new beginning for future generations at Snaw-Naw-As on Vancouver Island.They’re reclaiming an important part of their culture that was once taken away with a traditional baby welcoming ceremony.
Libreville – King Mohammed VI and Gabonese president Ali Bongo Ondimba, chaired, Thursday at the Presidential Palace in Libreville, the signing ceremony of the strategic partnership between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Gabonese Republic in the field of fertilizer.This strategic partnership aims to increase food security on the continent, and is part of South-South cooperation.On a continent where nearly 80 per cent of arable land is not exploited, this unprecedented project aims to produce phosphate and ammonia fertilizer that is adapted to the specificities of the different ecosystems that make up African soil, and enhance agricultural potential for sustainable human development. Total production capacity will be around 2 million tons of fertilizer per year by 2018, which will be directed primarily towards African countries.The potential for exploitation could reach 8 million tons per year, due to the strong demand for adequate and accessible fertilizer.On this occasion, Mostapha Terrab, CEO of The Office Cherifien de Phosphate (OCP) gave a presentation on this partnership which integrates the natural resources of both countries (phosphate and gas).This initiative seeks to build fertilizer plants:In Gabon: 1 Ammonia Production unit (from Gabonese gas), the first unit of its kind in the region, and which supplies neighboring markets, and 1 fertilizer production unit.In Morocco: two production units of Phosphoric Acid from Moroccan phosphate, and 1 fertilizer production unit.The initiative will help create more direct and indirect 5000 jobs in Gabon and Morocco.An Agreement protocol of 9 months, signed between Morocco and Gabon parties, will launch the required studies to start the project.The partnership agreement was signed by, on the Moroccan side, by Moulay Hafid Alamy, Minister of Industry, Trade, Investment and Digital Economy, Abdelkader Aamara, Minister of Energy, Mines, Water and the Environment, and Mostafa Terrab CEO of OCP, and on the Gabonese side, by Régis Immongault Tatagani, Minister of Mines, Industry and Tourism, Etienne Dieudonné Ngoubou, Minister of Petroleum and Hydrocarbons, and Fabrice Nze-Bekale, CEO of Equatorial Mining Company.
A demonstration was staged in Jaffna today over the civilian deaths as a result of the war in Syria.Those who participated in the protest said that Syria must not become another Sri Lanka where hundreds were killed during the final stages of the war. Airstrikes, shellings and the reported use of chemical weapons have killed more than 580 Syrian civilians, including countless children and women, in less than two weeks, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The Syrian conflict enters its 8th year this month. More than 465,000 Syrians have been killed in the fighting, over a million injured, and over 12 million – half the country’s prewar population – have been displaced from their homes. (Colombo Gazette)
NEW YORK, N.Y. – Campbell Soup Co. is closing two U.S. plants and cutting more than 700 jobs as it looks to trim costs amid declining consumption of its canned soups.The world’s largest soup maker said Thursday that it will close a plant in Sacramento, Calif., that has about 700 full-time workers. The plant, which makes soups, sauces and beverages, was built in 1947 and is the company’s oldest in the country. That also means it has the highest production costs of Campbell’s four U.S. soup plants.Campbell also plans to shutter a spice plant in South Plainfield, N.J. that has 27 employees. Production will be shifted to the company’s other spice plant in Milwaukee.Employees at the two closing plants were notified that there would be a meeting at 6 a.m. local time Thursday; about 400 workers showed up in California, where they were told of the closure.“It’s always difficult, even when there’s a business case that is compelling,” said Anthony Sanzio, a Campbell spokesman. “You’re dealing with people, and this is going to impact 700 employees who’ve worked together closely for many years.”CEO Denise Morrison, who was been on the job for about a year, was not present at the meeting.The announcement comes as Campbell looks to freshen up its image with dozens of new soup flavours and sauces intended to lure younger consumers. Many of the new products come in pouches designed to convey a fresher feel, rather than the iconic steel cans that have long defined the company.Those new pouches are manufactured with another party and are not made at Campbell’s soup plants.Although Campbell makes other products such Pepperidge Farm baked goods and V8 vegetable juices, soups account for half its revenue. And the Camden, N.J.-based company has struggled to fix the soup unit.Over the past decade, overall canned soup consumption is down 13 per cent, according to the research firm Euromonitor International, as fresh soups have become more widely available at supermarkets and restaurants. Campbell’s share of the market has also declined to 53 per cent, down from 67 per cent a decade earlier.To expand into products with more growth potential, Campbell this summer purchased Bolthouse Farms in a $1.55 billion cash deal. The company says the move will help it stake a claim in the fresh packaged food category, which is growing at a faster clip than the broader packaged food market.Campbell Soup has about 19,900 employees globally. The company said the California plant is expected to close by July 2013 and the New Jersey plant by March 2013.The company expects the closings to result in about $115 million in pre-tax costs. Its actions will also require about $27 million in capital spending.Annual savings are predicted to be about $30 million starting in fiscal 2016.Shares of Campbell were down 19 cents at $34.67. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by News Staff Posted Sep 27, 2012 2:06 pm MDT Campbell Soup to close 2 US plants, eliminating more than 700 jobs
← Previous Story Omeyer, Lavrov and Perić coming to goalkeepers camp in Makarska (Croatia) Next Story → Patrick Wiencek becomes “Zebra” from 2012 FA GoppingenMiladin Kozlina After eight and a half years in T-shirts of former EHF CL winner, Celje Pivovarna Laško, Miladin Kozlina (28), who plays as a left back, but more as a defensive specialist, decided to move and take opportunity for playing in the best handball league – Toyota Handball Bundesliga. His new team is Frisch Auf Goppingen, where he will work with a coach, Velimir Petković.Kozlina was the part of silver Slovenian team at EHF EURO 2004 and also Celje Pivovarna Laško golden season (2003/2004) when they won EHF Champions League in front of SG Flensburg.
GARDAÍ ARE INVESTIGATING an assault that took place in Dublin city centre this evening.A garda spokesperson said that an assault occurred on the corner of Parnell St and Gardiner St at about 9.15pm.The victim received a wound to their face but was not seriously injured.There have been no arrests as yet.Reports from the scene said that blood could be seen at a shop on the corner where the two streets meet.
Updated 23.05pmTHE TAOISEACH ENDA Kenny was in Germany this morning to officially open a new Primark store.The shop in Alexanderplatz, central Berlin will create 800 new jobs.That will bring the total number of people employed by Primark in Germany to over 6,100.The Taoiseach was on hand to open the store and he even tried his hand at a few words of German…the crowd loved it. Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTubePrimark first came to Germany in 2005 with a shop in Bremen.This is the now the company’s thirteenth store nationwide the second one in Berlin. Enda Kenny said, “We are seeing a new wave of international expansion from Irish companies abroad and I am heartened to see Primark leading this charge.I am particularly happy to see that this Irish company is creating tens of thousands of jobs across Europe.And happy he was…Looking to the futurePrimark plans to open a number of new stores in Germany over the next 12 months including Stuttgart, Krefeld, Dresden, Kaiserslautern, Braunschweig and Weiterstadt.Primark CEO, Paul Marchant, said: “We have had a fantastic response from the German people and we look forward to opening many more stores in Germany”.There are currently 276 Primark stores located in 9 countries across Europe.Earlier this year, Primark also announced an expansion into the USA, the new store in Boston is due to open towards the end of 2015.Read: Primark says that hidden message stitched onto a dress label was a hoax>
Maladies de la vieillesse : les dépister précocement dans notre sommeil ?États-Unis – Une étude vient de démontrer un lien entre les maladies mentales typiques de la vieillesse et notre comportement en phase de sommeil.Les personnes ayant un sommeil agité auraient plus de risques de développer la maladie de Parkinson ou de sombrer dans la démence à la fin de leur vie.À lire aussiMaladie d’Alzheimer : définition, symptômes, traitement, stades, test, de quoi s’agit-il ?Pendant la phase du sommeil durant laquelle nous rêvons, nos muscles sont normalement paralysés. Néanmoins, certains d’entre nous peuvent ne pas subir ce phénomène et avoir de violents mouvements. On entend par là qu’ils frappent leur partenaire, tombent du lit ou même se cassent la main en la cognant contre le mur. Ce comportement serait le signe de désordres mentaux qui apparaîtraient plus tard dans la vie. Cette étude a été publiée dans le Journal of Neurology par le docteur Bradley Boeve, de la clinique Mayo, dans le Minnesota. Même si d’autres recherches seront nécessaires pour comprendre les mécanismes dont il est ici question, ces premiers résultats donnent l’espoir d’un diagnostic précoce, possible clé pour ralentir l’évolution des maladies neurodégénératives. Le 7 août 2010 à 15:04 • Emmanuel Perrin
Médaille d’or du CNRS : les pièges à CO2 de Gérard Férey récompensésFrance – Le CNRS a récompensé jeudi 9 septembre un chimiste de 69 ans, inventeur de nouveaux matériaux permettant de stocker de l’hydrogène, du CO2 ou des substances thérapeutiques. Des applications industrielles et médicales dérivées pourraient bientôt voir le jour.Stocker de l’hydrogène pour des piles à combustible, piéger du CO2 pour le transformer en méthanol utilisé dans divers processus industriels, confiner des nanoparticules de médicaments chimiothérapiques pour 5 à 15 jours de diffusion lente dans l’organisme… Voilà quelques applications possibles des nouveaux matériaux poreux inventés par Gérard Férey, chimiste et directeur de l’Institut Lavoisier à l’université de Versailles. Des travaux qui viennent de lui valoir la médaille d’or du Centre nationale de la recherche scientifique, une prestigieuse distinction française décernée dans le domaine des sciences.Travaillant depuis 1996 sur des matériaux poreux mi-minéraux, mi-organiques, ce chercheur qui a débuté tout en bas de l’échelle a fait breveter il y a deux ans son “MIL-101”. Un seul litre de ce matériau peut stocker, comprimé dans les micropores de 3,5 nanomètres qui le composent, l’équivalent de 400 litres de CO2 avant compression. Le procédé pourrait être exploité industriellement. Dans le domaine médical, il pourrait être utilisé dans les cas de leucémie des enfants, de cancer du sein ou de sida, pour diffuser au compte-gouttes dans l’organisme certains médicaments. M. Férey souligne cependant que, dans ce dernier domaine, de longues recherches et de nombreux essais seront encore nécessaires. Le 10 septembre 2010 à 12:36 • Emmanuel Perrin
Vautours empoisonnés : le nettoyeur des savanes se raréfie dangereusementPubliée dans Biological Conservation, une étude américaine montre que depuis une trentaine d’années, 60 % des populations de vautours du Massaï Mara ont décliné. En cause : l’empoisonnement de carcasses de bétail, visant les prédateurs mais touchant les charognards.Imprégnée de Furadan, un pesticide toxique, une seule carcasse de vache ou de chèvre, intentionnellement abandonnée dans la savane par des éleveurs pour se “venger” de prédateurs, peut empoisonner 150 vautours, selon l’ONG américaine Peregrine Fund, dont le directeur pour l’Afrique, le Dr Munir Virani, réclame l’interdiction de ce produit dans la région “pour préserver ces membres-clé de la communauté des enleveurs d’ordures”.À lire aussiKenya : quand une lionne s’attaque à un hippopotame et… le regrette immédiatementEntre 2003 et 2005, le Dr Virani et son équipe ont dénombré les vautours à travers le Kenya, constatant une baisse de 60 % des effectifs depuis les années 1980. Corinne Kendall, chercheuse à l’Université de Princeton (États-Unis), qui travaille avec Peregrine Fund, a équipé certains volatiles avec des capteurs GPS, et établi que les vautours, qui exploitent un territoire de 30 à 80.000 kilomètres carrés, ne sont pas empoisonnés que dans le périmètre – protégé – de la réserve.L’ONG préconise de faire passer au statut de “vulnérables”, dans la liste rouge de l’Union internationale pour la conservation de la nature (UICN), trois espèces : le vautour africain, le vautour de Rüppell et le vautour charognard. “Si nous perdons les vautours, les touristes devront parcourir la réserve avec des masques sur le visage, parce que la puanteur des carcasses d’animaux sauvages sera devenue insupportable”, avertit le Dr Virani.Le 24 décembre 2010 à 20:02 • Emmanuel Perrin
James Gunn Once Again Directing ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’Dark Phoenix Trailer Released & More Marvel Movie News Stay on target A few weeks ago at Toy Fair I saw Hasbro’s Marvel Legends series role-play version of the Infinity Gauntlet. I fell in love as soon as I saw the ridiculous bronze mitt with the glowing stones and loud clanks and space noises. I’m a sucker for sci-fi/fantasy/comic/anime/game prop replicas, and the Infinity Gauntlet itself is just amazing to see (we had a big foam Hulk hand version of the Infinity Gauntlet, one of the San Diego Comic-Con Exclusives from a few years ago, but alas it’s no longer with us for comparison), so seeing a movie version with articulated fingers, lights, and sound effects hit all of my weak points.And Hasbro obligingly sent us one. Which I’m currently gazing lovingly at as it sits on my desk.AdChoices广告First, here’s an important detail about Hasbro’s different role playing toys and their tiers. There are lots of simple masks and gloves and Nerf guns based on Marvel and Star Wars that you can pick up at any toy store. Basic stuff so you and your kids can have fun pretending you’re Star Lord or Black Panther without spending a lot of money.Then there’s the collector’s tier. For Marvel, it’s Marvel Legends, and for Star Wars it’s the Black Series (or, for lightsabers, ForceFX). They’re the step up line from basic movie tie-in toys, designed more for collectors than kids. They’re often larger, with more intricate engineering and better details. They’re also more expensive, with the role playing items specifically easily breaking $100 each (though the 6-inch Legends and Black action figures are a more affordable $15-20, and can be more easily found at stores).Yes, this is a $100 toy glove. It’s also the Infinity Gauntlet, so show some respect.The Infinity Gauntlet is massive. It stands nearly 20 inches tall and over 8 inches wide, dwarfing even my large hands. It’s made of heavy, dense plastic, mostly colored a metallic copper-bronze with some subtle two-tone shading. The fingers are gigantic, with articulated, mechanical. They’re possibly the most interesting part of the gauntlet.You don’t move the Infinity Gauntlet by flexing your fingers inside its fingers, like a proper gauntlet. Even my hands aren’t big enough to wiggle Thanos’ beefy sausage fingers on their own. Instead, each finger is basically a puppet. Some sort of… finger puppet.You hook your fingers into five plastic rings inside the gauntlet, surrounding a fixed plastic bar if you just want to make a big fist and swing it around without moving the fingers. Each ring moves a finger, flexing inward as you pull. It’s some pretty impressive engineering to make the Infinity Gauntlet life-sized and not just a gold glove that would have been clearly smaller than the giant doom mitt in the movie.Yes, because you can move each finger individually, you can make different weird gestures. You can also try to grip things, but I wouldn’t drink wine with the gauntlet.The Infinity Stones (not the Infinity Gems, because this is an MCU Infinity Gauntlet) are mounted in the knuckles and on the back of the hand. They’re translucent colored gems, molded to look rough and permanently attached to the gauntlet. So, no, you can’t take the Infinity Stones out and store them separately, which is a bit of a shame. Fortunately, the gauntlet’s goofy effects make up for it.Three AA batteries fit in a battery compartment under a panel on the gauntlet’s bracer, and they enable all the special effects. When batteries are in, pressing the yellow Infinity Stone lights all of the Infinity Stones up and makes the gauntlet hum and make space noises. It first thrums loudly, then makes a crackling woosh sound that quickly becomes annoying. The dumb energy sounds are fine, but the real joy is when you flex the fingers. The gauntlet makes loud, creaking, mechanical sounds, as if you were really swinging a big metal glove with articulated fingers.The Infinity Gauntlet doesn’t come with a fancy base or stand, but it doesn’t really need one, because it stands up on its own. The bottom is flared so wide and the plastic is so hard that it can stand straight up on any flat surface. And, while Hasbro didn’t include a nice stand to keep the gauntlet lifted, they did include a handy locking switch for displaying it. The hand stays open by default, but a small mechanical switch below the yellow Infinity Stone lets you lock any of the fingers in place closed. With the switch flipped, you can keep the gauntlet in a fist, or throwing up metal horns, or making any other gesture. It’s a nice touch. Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. The only real complaint I can make with the Infinity Gauntlet is that the front of the hand doesn’t look as seamless as the back of the hand. Several black screw holes can be seen on the palm, and the fingers’ hinges are clearly visible like Transformers kibble. Some bronze/copper-colored rubber plugs over the screw holes would really have made the front of the gauntlet look as good as the back. I also wouldn’t mind if the finish was a little more gold than dull copper/bronze, but it still looks good.The Hasbro Marvel Legends Infinity Gauntlet is a huge prop/toy/collectible that’s worth getting excited over. It’s a giant mechanical mitt that glows and makes noises and looks just like Thanos’ big dumb hand. If you’ve been invested in the MCU since the first Avengers and you love the Infinity Gauntlet, this is a must-have item. $100 is pricey if you look at it like a toy, but it’s in line with if not slightly less expensive than similar prop collectibles, like Hasbro’s ForceFX lightsabers or Bandai’s Proplica line. Basically, it’s big, loud, and looks cool, even if you don’t have purple skin and a problem chin.