• Today is: Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Sidharth, Kriti team up for music anthem

March26/ 2015

New Delhi, March 26: Bollywood actors Sidharth Malhotra and Kriti Sanon, ambassadors of American Swan, have teamed up to dance in a music anthem for the online fashion brand.

Sharing screen space for the first time, the two also share a crackling chemistry in the #ASIAM video, which is a reflection of the trendy and youthful spirit of the brand.

The video also captures all elements that can appeal most to the youth — catchy lyrics, foot-tapping beats, fun dance moves and lots of style.

Besides the lead pair, the video also boasts of other major Bollywood tie-ups.

The song is composed by Meet Bros Anjjan of “Baby doll” fame, and it is sung by Benny Dayal, who has belted out hits like “Badtameez dil”. The video has been directed and choreographed by Remo D’Souza, who has come up with a signature dance step for it.

Talking about the #ASIAM music anthem, Sidharth said: “What excited me most was the interesting concept of the anthem that American Swan came up with. It was great fun matching steps with Remo and, of course, being paired with Kriti, who is a fabulous dancer herself.”

Kriti also enjoyed the “fun idea and clutter-breaking format” of the video.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the #ASIAM music video shoot with Sidharth who is naturally charming… The American Swan collection is young and trendy,” she said.

The “#ASIAM” video will be launched on all social channels first. The campaign will soon be launched through TV and print as well.

Social network firm Roposo raises $5 mn

March26/ 2015

Bengaluru, March 26: Fashion-focused social network Roposo.com on Thursday announced raising $5 million (Rs.31 crore) in fresh round (series A) of funding from global venture investor Tiger Global.

As a brand of Relevant E-solutions, Gurgaon-based Roposo website allows women to shop for new products online and its trends are liked, curated, personalised and updated daily from an array of online brands and e-commerce portals.

The start-up’s venture partners Indian Quotient and e-retailer Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal also participated in the new round of funding.

Co-founded by three IIT-Delhi veterans — Mayank Bhangadia, former Zomato.com chief technology officer Avinash Saxena and Kaushal Shubhank — the social network is a one-stop destination for fashion addicts, offering a variety of choices from 145 web stores, with dresses ranging from apparel to footwear, accessories and lingerie.

Roposo had raised an unspecified amount earlier from India Quotient, 5ideas, Start-up Superfuel and angel investor Bansal.

“We have created an online playroom with fashion products and a hangout for fashion addicts around it.

We want our network to be better than Google and Facebook for fashion searches,” co-founder Mayank Bhangadia said in a statement here.

The start-up hopes that fashion seekers will make its website their default fashion-search engine.

“As fashion discovery is an untouched space in India, our tech team has come with ways to make this search intuitive,” Roposo chief executive and co-founder Saxena said on the occasion.

The funding will also help the social network strengthen its product.

With browsers spending about 200 minutes (three hours and 20 minutes) on their platform, the social network is a leader in fashion search in the country.

“Brands and marketplaces are shifting to social platforms like Facebook from generic platforms. Fashion-focused brands like StalkBuyLove have profile on our platform, where they create content stories for fashion-seeking audience,” Shubhank noted.

As an independent contract manufacturing and sourcing group, the US-based Tiger Global has $6 billion of assets under management and strong presence in the Silicon Valley.

An early stage venture capital initiative, 5ideas invests in human capital and social capital to deliver value in the seed stage, while Startup Superfuel, launched by former Fashion and You chief executive Pearl Uppal and Gaurav Kachru, is a platform aimed at fuelling the tech start-up ecosystem in India.

Set up in June 2012 by Anand Lunia, India Quotient invests in very early stage startups that are discovering a revenue model, pricing, product or strategy.

ABVP protest in Patna turns violent

March26/ 2015

Patna, March 26: Police opened fire in the air and resorted to a baton charge on Thursday to disperse ABVP members who pelted stones at the police during a protest near the Bihar assembly here against the deteriorating education system, officials said.

Over a dozen policemen, ABVP members and some media persons were injured in the violence. In view of the tension more security forces have been deployed to keep the protesters in control, a district police official said.

The protest turned violent when ABVP activists with saffron flags in their hands started pelting stones at the police and later broke open a gate of the assembly.

“Police resorted to baton charge and opened fire in the air to disperse ABVP members,” a district official said.

Nearly 50 ABVP members have been detained for attacking police and violating Section 144 near the Bihar assembly.

Later some ABVP activists, angered at the police action, attacked members of the public, targeted vehicles and tried to ransack some shops in different parts of Patna.

Mukesh Bhatt roots for new talent in films

March26/ 2015

Mumbai, March 26: Film and TV Producers Guild of India President Mukesh Bhatt says that rather than focussing on Indian cinema’s 50-plus stars, the need is to create a new breed of talent and promote it.

He asserts that the film industry is not creating future wealth.

“We have got the biggest stars today… they are 50 plus and singing romantic songs. We have to bring young stars. We need to create young talent and promote it,” Bhatt said here Wednesday at the Ficci Frames 2015 conclave.

“We need to create future wealth but we are not creating that,” he added.

Although he is not against the star system that rakes in the moolah at the Bollywood box office, he is all for new talent.

“We have stars and it is very good. They give us Rs.200 crore, Rs.300 crore and more… but we need to have a second line. A new breed of actors should come up,” said Bhatt, known to promote young and new talent through his banner Vishesh Films.

“How is it going to happen? We have to do it,” he said.

Facebook makes it easier to embed its videos anywhere on web

March26/ 2015

Washington,March 26: Social networking site Facebook will now allow videos on its platform to be embedded across the web.

According to The Verge, users can now copy an embed code, place it in a menu at the bottom of the video and it will show up in a new and functional player.

Facebook had been chasing advertisers and publishers lately and adding support for embeds, which would spread videos outside its own platform. The move is a critical step taken by the social media platform towards building a video presence.

The company is also set to introduce support for 360-degree videos within its native video player. These videos will allow viewers to look around the world in all directions while the video is playing.

The news came after YouTube launched support for 360-degree videos very recently.

Although video hosting features offered by Facebook have never really posed a competition to YouTube yet, speculations are rife that with a little work, they may put up a tough contest for Google’s video-sharing website.


OPEC daily basket price closes tad lower

March26/ 2015

Vienna, March 26 (IANS/WAM) The basket of 12 crude oils of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) closed at $50.83 a barrel on Wednesday, compared to $50.92 on Tuesday, the organisation’s secretariat said.

The OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes is made up of Murban (UAE), Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia) and Merey (Venezuela). A barrel equals 159 litres.

Uber driver arrested for sexually assaulting female passenger in Paris

March26/ 2015

Washington, March 26 : An Uber driver in France has reportedly been arrested for sexually assaulting a female passenger outside a nightclub in Paris.

According to The Verge, the incident occurred on January 17 when the accused drove a young woman and two of her friends to the Show Case nightclub along the Seine River. He dropped off the two friends near the nightclub but drove a little further before letting the third woman out because she was seated in the front passenger seat and was not curbside. It was then that the chauffeur ordered the female passenger to perform oral sex. A dispute followed and later on, the woman pressed charges of sexual assault against the driver, who has denied any wrongdoing.

The unnamed driver is due to appear before a judge on May 29 and may face a five-year-long term in jail and a fine of 75,000 pounds, if convicted.

Thomas Meister, spokesman for Uber France, commented on the incident by saying that the driver had been “immediately suspended” when the company was notified about it in January. He added that the firm was offering “full cooperation to the police.”

Uber has elicited widespread criticism across the globe for its safety record in recent months. In India, an Uber driver was arrested on charges of raping a female passenger late last year. The taxi-hailing service is embroiled in legal battles in several countries across the world.



People are wired to get over romantic break ups

March26/ 2015

New York, March 26: People are hardwired to fall out of love and move onto new romantic relationships, shows research from Saint Louis University.

“We have a mechanism in our brains designed by natural selection to pull us through a very tumultuous time in our lives,” said Brian Boutwell, associate professor at Saint Louis University.

“It suggests people will recover; the pain will go away with time. There will be a light at the end of the tunnel,” he added.

Boutwell and his colleagues examined the process of falling out of love and breaking up and moving on to develop a new romantic relationship.

Men and women might break up for different reasons. For instance, a man is more likely to end a relationship because a woman has had a sexual relationship with another man.

“For evolutionary reasons, men should be wired to try and avoid raising children that are not genetically their own,” the authors wrote.

“Men are particularly sensitive to sexual infidelity between their partner and someone else,” Boutwell said. “That is not to say women do not get jealous. They certainly do but it is especially acute for men regarding sexual infidelity.”

On the other hand, a woman may be more likely to break up if her partner has been emotionally unfaithful partly because of evolutionary reasons.

Over the deep time of evolution, natural selection has designed mate ejection in females to avoid the loss of resources, such as help in raising a child and physical protection, that their mates provide.

Sometimes both men and women end a relationship for the same reason.

“For instance, neither gender tends to tolerate or value cruelty on the part of their partner,” Boutwell noted.

In addition, some people might be more likely than others to fall out of love or have problems moving. The ability to break up and find someone new to love lies along a continuum, influenced by environmental and genetic factors.

Brain imaging studies of men and women who claimed to be deeply in love also provided important clues about dealing with breakups. Functional MRIs showed an increase in neuronal activity in the parts of the brain — the pleasure areas — that also become active with cocaine use.

Falling out of love, Boutwell contended, might be compared to asking a cocaine addict to break his or her habit.

“Ultimately, trying to move on from a former mate may be similar in some ways to an attempt at breaking a drug habit,” the authors noted.

Boutwell urged more research into lost love to better understand the difficulties that can creep into a romantic relationship.

“If we better understand mate ejection, it may offer direct and actionable insight into ways in which couples can save a relationship that might otherwise come to a stultifying and abrupt halt,” he concluded.

Workshop on regulatory impact assessment to cut red tape

March26/ 2015

New Delhi, March 26: In a first of its kind in India, consumer protection society CUTS International is conducting a workshop here on Regulatory Impact Assessment — an area devoted to devising ways to cut down red tape for ease of doing business.

The two-day workshop is part of a CUTS project on Regulatory Impact Assessments (RIA) in the financial sector supported by the British government, the NGO said in a release on Thursday.

RIA is a tool used to assess the costs and benefits of a regulation before it is adopted, or when existing laws need to be rectified.

“It is evolving quickly as it is mainstreamed into policy processes around the world,” CUTS said in the statement.

Emphasising the need for the country to undertake rigorous cost-benefit assessment of laws and regulations to help remove impediments to national growth, Amitabh Kant, secretary in the department of industrial policy and promotion, told the workshop that “RIA can help measure the laws and regulation that hurt national growth”.

Pradeep S. Mehta, secretary general, CUTS, said “the absence of RIA in policy framework in India results in formulation of a bunch of avoidable regulations”.

“India needs to launch regulatory impact assessments to weed out laws that hurt business growth,” he averred.

Will return to India to film ‘Kungfu Yoga’: Jackie Chan

March26/ 2015

New Delhi, March 26: Asian cinematic icon Jackie Chan, whose latest actioner “Dragon Blade” hits Indian screens on Friday, says he may come down to the country to shoot his new film “Kungfu Yoga”, the first project under a India-China co-production agreement signed during President Xi Jinping’s visit here last September.

When Chan last visited India in 2013, he spoke to this IANS correspondent about the need for encouraging movie collaborations and cultural exchange between the two countries.

Is he pioneering something in that direction?

“Yes, I am planning to start a new movie called ‘Kungfu Yoga’. That means I will be returning to film in India. Perhaps next time you will interview me on a set,” Chan, who will turn 61 next month, told IANS in an email interview from Beijing.

The star of movies like “Police Story”, “Rush Hour” and “The Myth”, Chan will be seen in a prominent role in “Kungfu Yoga”.

From the film’s title, one believes it will be a perfect amalgamation of Chinese martial art Kungfu, and the art of Yoga, which originated in ancient India and now thrives around the world.

Chan’s earlier India collaboration has been with Bollywood beauty Mallika Sherawat in his 2005 film “The Myth”. But will his association with the Indian entertainment industry include a Bollywood film?

“I don’t think about it in terms of doing a Bollywood movie, or even a Hollywood movie. The most important thing is the script. But, yes, I’m planning the new movie called ‘Kungfu Yoga’. Hopefully, we will start filming in the autumn,” he added.

Meanwhile, the actor, who has regaled legions of his fans across the globe with his comedic and action avatars, hopes his American-Chinese collaboration “Dragon Blade”, directed by Daniel Lee, appeals to Indian audiences with its story.

“The myth about ancient Romans lost in China is absolutely intriguing…Also, I designed the fight sequences myself and I think the audiences will love them. Last of all, the songs and music in the movie are something I’m very proud of,” he said.

In “Dragon Blade”, releasing here in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, Chan has worked with Hollywood actors John Cusack and Adrian Brody. The experience, he says, was “great”.

“I enjoyed working with them and I look forward to working with more Hollywood stars in China. For many years, I acted in Hollywood films. It’s exciting now that Hollywood stars are acting in Chinese films,” said the actor, who defies age with his enthusiasm, passion and ability to perform daredevilry without a thought.

What keeps him going?

“Enjoy every moment of your life. Accept your own self. Be young at heart. I still go to the gym every day and run for an hour. But I never go on a diet. I believe in being ‘Happy go Lucky’! That’s my secret,” said the action star, who worked with more than 800 extras, over 350 crew members and hundreds of horses for “Dragon Blade”.

As a sexagenarian, is he choosing his roles more carefully?

“Of course, I am now 61. I would like audiences to think of me as a dramatic actor who happens to also do action. In my recent films, I’ve been trying to broaden my roles, including in “Dragon Blade”.”