Leaders of the ruling Janata Dal (United) in Bihar said seat-sharing talks for the 2019 Lok Sabha poll with the BJP were in the last stage, and a deal would be announced soon.“The seat-sharing arrangement with the BJP is in the final and last stage… It will be officially announced soon,” JD(U) Rajya Sabha member R.C.P. Singh told journalists after a four-hour State executive meeting on Sunday. Mr. Singh is considered close to JD(U) president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. “The JD(U) will give priority to the youth in ticket distribution,” he added.JD(U) sources said the BJP had assured the party of 15 of the 40 seats. The other NDA allies, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), have been demanding early finalisation of seat-sharing. Mr. Singh said the executive discussed how to strengthen and expand the organisation. He said workers would be trained from the booth level.Mr. Singh said the NDA will hold meetings and rallies in each district of the State to reach out to “each and every section of society.”In the 2014 Parliamentary poll, the BJP had won 22 seats while the JD(U) had bagged only 2 seats.BJP’s alliance partners LJP and RLSP had won 6 and 3 seats while the RJD, Congress and NCP tally was 4, 2 and 1 respectively.Later, Mr. Nitish Kumar had joined hands with the Lalu Prasad-led RJD and the Congress and defeated the BJP in the Assembly poll to come back to power in 2015. However, Mr. Kumar ditched the grand alliance and joined hands again with the BJP in July 2017.
The police on Monday arrested another person for his alleged involvement in the murder of a BJD leader at Chhatrapur in Odisha’s Ganjam district, an officer said. The accused, Subrat Patnaik (18) alias Lucky of Pandiripada, was arrested for his alleged involvement in the murder of Chhatrapur NAC councillor Laxmidutta Pradhan on September 17, 2017. With this arrest, the total number of persons arrested in the case increased to 19. “Patnaik was absconding and was arrested on a tip-off,” said Chhatrapur SDPO Ramesh Chandra Sethi. Those arrested include BJP’s Ganjam district unit secretary Krushna Chandra Nayak and Laxmipur panchayat samiti member N. Duryodhan Reddy. The police again issued notices to BJP spokesperson Golak Mohapatra and general secretary Bhrugu Buxipatra.
Middle-level employees in the Indian IT sector are facing an uncertain future even as the industry gears up to adapt itself to the changes brought about by automation and newer technologies. Related Items
Virender Sehwag blasted Kings XI Punjab’s foreign players after they failed to perform in their must-win game against Rising Pune Supergiant, resulting in Punjab’s exit from the Indian Premier League 2017.Rising Pune Supergiant cruised into the IPL playoffs with a thoroughly one-sided nine-wicket victory over Punjab in a do-or-die final group league match.It was complete domination by the home team, which first skittled out Kings XI Punjab for a paltry 73 and then chased down the target in only 12 overs to finish second in the eight-team table with 18 points.Sehwag, who is not known to mince words, came down heavily on captain Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Marsh, Martin Guptill and Eoin Morgan after Punjab’s loss on Sunday.”Very much disappointed. I can say that none of the foreign players took the responsibility and at least play 12-15 overs. Their role was to one out of the top four should bat at least 12-15 overs but none of the batsmen took the responsibility.”I think they were complaining about wicket that it was little bit on the slower side but you have played international cricket so much that you should get used to playing on all wickets… good or bad. There are very rare occasion when you get a good wicket to bat on. But whatever wicket you get, you have to at least play 20 over for your side,” he added.Sehwag said Guptill and Morgan, being the experienced players, should have batted responsibly.”Out of Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Marsh, Martin Guptill and Eoin Morgan… Guptill and Morgan were the senior-most and experienced players but none of them batted 12-15 overs. We are very disappointed.”advertisement”It happens in the game because I thought the way we fought back against KKR and Mumbai, we had a good chance to play against Pune. But yes, we didn’t play well,” said Sehwag, who is the director of cricket operations with KXIP.
ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit has updated his rankings following the third week of the 2018 regular season.Herbstreit, who was on the call for Saturday night’s Ohio State-TCU game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, has made a slight change to the top of his rankings.The ESPN analyst updates his top four after each week of the season. He’s bumped a new team into his No. 2 spot.Herbstreit’s new top four:AlabamaGeorgiaClemsonOhio StateHerbstreit unveiled his new rankings after the Ohio State-TCU game on Saturday night.Herbstreit said that Georgia has been playing so well that the Bulldogs are worthy of being bumped into the No. 2 spot. All four of these teams have been fairly dominant so far this season, though.The new Coaches’ Poll and AP Poll top 25s will be released later today.
There was a lot of excitement on the campus of North Shore Animal League America’s national adoption headquarters in New York when Renee Felice Smith of NCIS: Los Angeles loaned her time and talent to co-direct and film a Public Service Announcement for the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum.Renee Felice Smith PSAThe actress was joined by a cast made up of thirty five pre-k, elementary, middle and high school student volunteers. In addition to the human cast, the PSA features some of their best and brightest shelter pets, otherwise known as Mutt-i-grees!The PSA, which launched in early June, highlights this unique educational program now in over 2,000 schools nationwide. Responding to the needs of the whole child, the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum is unique, bridging social and emotional learning with humane education with the ultimate goal of helping to end euthanasia. The PSA will bring the benefits and highlights of the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum to the attention of school administrators, teachers, parents and entire school communities.While the Curriculum does not require the presence of a pet in the classroom, animals in the form of puppets and toys are effectively utilized in commanding attention, improving cognitive abilities and contribute to teaching students how to be more compassionate and empathetic. Some schools do choose to use therapy dogs or shelter dogs to enhance the lessons.The curriculum was developed by North Shore Animal League America’s Pet Savers Foundation, in collaboration with Yale University’s School of the 21st Century, and funded by The Cesar Millan Foundation. The lessons are easily implemented with scripted lessons that align with the Common Core standards and feature lessons on dog behavior developed by renowned dog behavior expert, Cesar Millan.Renée, along with top advertising and media professionals, donated their time and talent to develop a meaningful and impactful message: “a piece,” said Renée, “that will raise awareness about this revolutionary program and effectively introduce the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum to the world.” She added, “We take tests, we study for the SATs and that’s all fine and good, but what the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum does is show another side of the spectrum, and show another side of learning and becoming a whole person. Education programs like the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum are key to building a more compassionate society, a more accepting society. A society that has more tolerance for each other.”Renée’s passion for children and animals was evident on the set but doesn’t end there. She is developing a children’s book series based on her dog, Hugo.To view the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum PSA or to learn more about the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum, visit www.education.muttigrees.org.
The G20 Heads of State meeting this weekend in Brisbane, Australia, and recent announcements by China and the United States, present excellent opportunities for world leaders to advance global financial measures that are essential to avert catastrophic climate change, The Elders said today.While noting that a phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies is on the agenda for the meeting, they call on G20 leaders to hold a more ambitious discussion. The Elders urge governments of other wealthy nations to follow suit and “shoulder their fair share of the burden,” to mobilise capital flows for the Green Climate Fund and meet the overall target of $100 billion per year by 2020 for climate mitigation.They also ask leaders to work towards a binding international agreement on pricing carbon emissions. A “credible and predictable” carbon price will encourage investment in climate mitigation and accelerate the development of alternative energy sources.In letters sent last week to each G20 head of state or government, the Elders stress the urgent economic argument for governments to act decisively on climate. “We understand the economic focus of the G20,” they write. “Nevertheless, the risks of climate change are pressing and, if left unaddressed, will certainly affect the stability of nations and increase the pressures on global finances.”Following the climate summit convened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in September, the Elders highlight the power of the G20 to rouse further political momentum for governments to reach a fair, robust and binding multilateral agreement on climate change at the COP21, in Paris in December 2015.“Powerfully representative, yet of a size able to generate consensus,” the Elders write, “[the G20] can promote the necessary decisive and speedy action on climate change, as it has done in the past in response to the global financial crisis.”They add: “The world is watching and looking for visionary leadership on climate change – and will rightly be holding the G20 representatives to account.”
Just back from a visit to Africa’s second most populous country, Stephen Lewis, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, said some 2 million to 3 million people of the nearly 70 million living in Ethiopia are infected with the virus.Stressing the need to assist the nation, he said the Government is seeking $400 million from the Global Fund on AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. “The possibilities of widespread treatment in Ethiopia hang on the availability of resources,” he stressed.On the positive side, he said Ethiopians are embracing HIV testing and counselling. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) has also initiated “community conversations” on the once-taboo topics of HIV/AIDS, female genital mutilation, bride sharing, polygamy, child marriage, condoms and women’s rights.Mr. Lewis also urged action to assist the roughly 1 million Ethiopian children orphaned by AIDS. “They are on the verge of a tremendous crisis,” he warned, voicing particular concern about the children’s lack of access to education due to unaffordable school fees. He also drew attention to the larger need for universal free primary education. “I’ve asked publicly countless times why it isn’t possible to launch a continent-wide campaign to abolish fees,” he said. “I fail to see why we should all stand by while children are denied their childhood and their prospects for the future.””A school would put orphan children in regular contact with adults again, restore a sense of self-worth, provide a place of security, perhaps offer a meal at lunch, and ignite the wonders of friendship,” he said.
WASHINGTON – Mortgage giant Freddie Mac reported net income of $2.3 billion for the third quarter, reversing a loss in the same period of 2015.The government-controlled company said Tuesday its fees from lenders for backing mortgages increased and the impact of interest rates moderated in the July-September period.McLean, Virginia-based Freddie will pay an equivalent dividend of $2.3 billion to the U.S. Treasury next month. Freddie will have paid $101.4 billion in dividends, exceeding its government bailout of $71 billion.The government rescued Freddie and larger sibling Fannie Mae at the height of the financial crisis in September 2008, after they suffered huge losses from risky mortgages in the housing market bust.Together the companies received taxpayer aid totalling about $187 billion. The housing market’s gradual recovery has made Freddie and Fannie profitable again.Freddie’s third-quarter profit marked a reversal from the $475 million net loss it sustained in the same period last year.The company said it had fewer delinquent mortgages on its books in the third quarter. “Credit quality is at its best in eight years,” Freddie CEO Donald Layton said in a statement.Record-low interest rates this year have helped spur home purchases and boost the housing market.The Federal Reserve has been holding its key short-term rate at a record low near zero for seven years, since the onset of the financial crisis. Expectations have been building for a slight rate increase by the Fed next month, which would be its second in a year. The Fed isn’t expected to move on rates at its meeting this week, coming so close to Election Day, but it could signal a December hike.A government report on Friday showed that gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic health, grew at annual rate of 2.9 per cent in the third quarter, shaking off a lacklustre first half and accelerating to its strongest growth in two years. The better-than-expected Commerce Department data keeps the Fed on track for a December rate boost.Freddie and Fannie own or guarantee about half of all U.S. mortgages, worth about $5 trillion. Along with other federal agencies, they back roughly 90 per cent of new home loans.The two companies don’t directly make loans to borrowers. They buy mortgages from lenders, package them as bonds, guarantee them against default and sell them to investors. That helps make loans available.Freddie said its fee income from lenders for guaranteeing mortgages was $133 million in the third quarter, an increase of $9 million from the April-June period.The housing market’s revival over the last four years has been choppy, and it has lagged behind the rest of the economy. Despite the low borrowing rates that could lure prospective homebuyers, the market has remained hampered by tight mortgage credit, rising home prices and stagnating incomes. Affordability remains a problem. Freddie Mac income $2.3B in 3Q by Marcy Gordon, The Associated Press Posted Nov 1, 2016 6:49 am MDT Last Updated Nov 1, 2016 at 8:04 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
He said Eilidh’s mother was “distraught” when he spoke to her, adding: “She has been to all the hotels where girls who have become separated from their parents or guardians have congregated. My heart aches for them and all those caught up in this. Laura, is a close friend of my daughter so it has been difficult.“It is unbelievable. They sent a text to say it was the last song and Marion went off to get them. She went off to get them and when she got to the building the people were rushing out. Everybody is very worried.”Mr Manford said Eilidh was a bright and “highly motivated” girl who was looking forward to a special treat with her friend. Mr MacIntyre wrote on Twitter: “Please…please retweet. Looking for my daughter and her friend. Laura MacIntyre and Eilidh MacLeod”. She had failed to reappear after the concert with her school friend Eilidh MacLeod, 14, who was still unaccounted for last night.Eilidh’s mother Marion had travelled with them from the Isle of Barra and was due to meet them outside the arena.She mounted a frantic search of hotels and hospitals and was asked by police for detailed descriptions of the girls’ clothing in a bid to help locate them.As her husband Roddy, and Laura’s parents, Michael and Nan, arranged to fly to Manchester, islanders in the close-knit community of around 1,000 feared the worst.But Angus MacNeil, the SNP general election candidate and a close friend of the families, learned early on Tuesday night that one of the teenagers had been found.He said he understood Laura was suffering from very serious burns, suggesting the pair may have been close to the blast, and added that the whole island was “still numb with shock” and extremely worried about Eilidh. Cecilia MacFadyen, Laura’s grandmother, said at her home on the island: “Laura is alive and in hospital. I don’t know anything about Eilidh.” They travelled to Manchester from the picturesque island in the Western Isles as a birthday treat for the younger girl, and as a reward for doing well in their examsLaura’s father Michael said earlier that it was his daughter’s first concert and a birthday present for Eilidh and the pair were “big fans” of Ariana Grande.He added: “Laura was so happy to be going down there with her friend.“It was Laura’s first concert. I was a bit hesitant about her going to a concert so far away but she seemed so happy.”The girls are third year pupils at the 170-pupil Barra Community School and their families have long connections with the island, which is famed for its white sand beaches and is almost crime-free.Mrs MacLeod’s last message from the pair was a text message to say that the last song had started and they would be out soon.She set out to the arena and when she arrived people were running out of the building. She then began a frantic search for the girls, visiting hotels and calling hospitals in a bid to find them. Before leaving Barra, which has a population of around 1,100, many of them Gaelic speakers, the families issued frantic appeals for help in finding them. Please…please reetweet. Looking for my daughter and her friend . Laura Macintyre and Eilidh Macleod #manchesterattack pic.twitter.com/1N0cikPQEf— micheal macintyre (@leanish8) May 23, 2017 Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Eilidh’s aunt Margaret MacNeil wrote on Facebook: “My niece and her friend were at the Ariana Grande concert tonight and there has been no contact since the explosion. Please let us find the girls safe and well.”Mr MacNeil, who knows both families well, also took to social media to appeal for help in locating the girls.He said he was “worried sick” about the pair and revealed later that Laura had been found. Mr MacNeil went to school with Eilidh’s father Roddy, a merchant seaman, and his daughter is a close friend of Laura. He drove Eilidh’s father Roddy to the airport on Benbecula, further north in the Western Isles, so that he could catch a flight to Glasgow and then Manchester.Mr Manford said: “He is distressed but he is a very strong individual and they are a very strong family. We are extremely grateful for the understanding and help the family has received from all quarters although I wish we could have some good news.“It was a treat, a reward for them for their own hard work with their exams. They were very excited and were looking forward to an enjoyable time.“Eilidh is a very bright, highly motivated person. She is also a highly talented piper in a pipe band on the island.” One of two missing teenagers who travelled to the concert from a remote Scottish island has been found seriously ill in hospital after a desperate search that lasted almost 20 hours.Laura MacIntyre was located in intensive care in Manchester suffering from serious burns after her distraught parents flew to the city to join the search for her. Donald Manford, an island councillor and Eilidh’s grand uncle, said that after so many hours with no information it was a “tremendous relief” to Laura’s family that the teenager had been found alive. He added that relatives were still praying for news of Eilidh.
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The Greek Government responded very quickly to the damage caused by the fires two weeks ago by announcing a series of emergency measures for the protection of the areas that suffered from the fires.The government said it would help rebuild houses destroyed in the fire and support local farmers, vowing to restore the forests and take protection measures in future.Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister George Souflias announced the measures following a meeting of the Greek cabinet.Souflias announced that planning will be carried out very soon for the implementation of flood-protection and corrosion-protection measures, as well as the creation of fire-protection zones and the construction of roads through forests to enable easy access to all regions affected by the fires.He stressed that the countryside will be linked by satellite for the monitoring of land to be reforested, like in the case of Mount Parnitha, and the region will also be placed under constant surveillance.“We shall get to work immediately. All services and officials must coordinate themselves and I believe that with the help of all we shall be able to confront this great ecological disaster that has taken place to a considerable degree,” he said.The Greek government also announced financial aid for those whose homes were damaged or destroyed during the fires.750 euros per square metre, up to a maximum area of 120 square meters, will be provided by the Greek government for homes that have been completely destroyed and 450 euros per square meter for homes that were damaged, according to government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros.The government also said it will provide municipalities and prefectures affected by the blazes with an injection of 3.3 million euros, while adding that inspectors have been sent out to record damages suffered by stock breeders and crop farmers to determine compensation. Meanwhile, the National Bankof Greece announced that fire victims having any form of loan with the lender can ask to be included in a program offering more flexibility in their payments.
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Greece may be in need of foreign investment, however there are some enterprises which not only manage to stay afloat during the ongoing crisis, but also to actually expand to the broader Balkans. Such is the case for Energean Oil & Gas, which made a significant step towards international success, signing a seven-year Concession Agreement for hydrocarbons exploration production with the State of Montenegro. The €19 million contract was signed on Wednesday by Dragica Sekulic of the Ministry of Economy in the State of Montenegro, and Mathios Rigas, Chairman and CEO of Energean Group, during a ceremony held at Podgorica. The Montenegrin parliament has already approved the agreement, which concerns Blocks 4219-26 and 4218-30 off the country’s coast, and includes a new 3D seismic survey (to begin in the first quarter of 2018), the preparation of geophysical and geological studies, and the drilling of one well. The two blocks are at a depth of 50-100 metres near the coast of Bar. Energean Oil & Gas has been active in the western Greece region since 2014, but its entry in the Adriatic is raising its status to an international level. Commenting after the deal, Rigas said: “I am delighted to sign this concession contract, which marks a significant day for Energean and our continued growth, as we enter the highly promising Adriatic region. Whilst a number of major oil and gas companies left the area during the period of sustained low oil prices, Energean remained committed to pursuing the development of the region, and is now extremely well-placed to take advantage of this commitment and focus.”
Marée noire : trois graves erreurs ont été commisesÉtats-Unis – L’explosion de la plateforme Deepwater Horizon aurait sans doute pu être évitée. Selon des élus américains, elle a été précédée de trois signaux avertisseurs, lesquels n’ont pas été pris en compte. Tout d’abord, 51 minutes avant l’explosion, un premier signal a été déclenché, avertissant d’une “quantité de liquides sortant du puits devenue plus importante que celle pompée à l’intérieur”. Dix minutes plus tard, un autre signal : alors que le puits était fermé dans le cadre d’un test, le liquide “a continué à s’écouler et la pression dans le conduit de forage a augmenté de façon inattendue”.Enfin, 18 minutes avant l’explosion, “une pression anormale” est constatée. La pompe est fermée mais il est alors trop tard. Le bilan sera fatal : onze personnes périssent durant l’explosion. Le naufrage de la plate-forme aura lieu le 22 avril, et des millions de litres de pétrole polluent actuellement le golfe du Mexique.BP a usé de divers moyens pour mettre fin à cette catastrophe écologique, sans grand succès. Le groupe pétrolier devrait prochainement injecter du ciment dans le puits afin d’arrêter la fuite. Cependant, cette opération n’a qu’un peu plus de 60% de chance de réussir. Le 26 mai 2010 à 11:42 • Emmanuel Perrin
Cruise figures forecast to drop, says Tourism Director Minister of Works puts government buildings reconstruction post hurricanes at $8.6m Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:Fish fry, grand turk, ralph higgs Premier attends town hall meetings Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 25 Mar 2015 – Here’s what the Ministry of Tourism & TCI Tourist Board had to say: “Grand Turk will play host to the destination’s most popular cultural experience as Turks and Caicos Tourist Board and LIME partner to bring the weekly Island Fish Fry to the nation’s capital.Several local vendors have signed up to be a part of the bi-monthly event which will take place at the Victoria Public Library on the first and last Thursday of each month, beginning Thursday, March 26, 2015. Similar to the Island Fish Fry line up in Providenciales, there will be entertainment by local bands, a Junkanoo Rush and cultural performances.Mr. Ralph L. Higgs, Director of Tourism, speaking to the establishment of the fish fry in Grand Turk commented, “We are constantly seeking new opportunities to give visitors an authentic experience of the Turks and Caicos Islands throughout the length and breadth of the destination. At the same time, it is also important for us to remind our locals to be proud of our heritage. Over the past two years, the weekly Island Fish Fry has allowed us to bridge the gap between tourist and locals, by fostering camaraderie and genuine hospitality which we hope can be replicated in the nation’s capital.” Thursday’s inaugural fish fry in Grand Turk will feature live band performance by Mega Force Band and will feature cultural performances, and giveaways by LIME. Vendors will have local food and beverages on sale beginning at 12:00noon, with the official opening at 5:30pm.
Fulham owner Shahid Khan has come out in support of Slavisa Jokanovic despite their poor start to the Premier League season.Following speculation over the future of Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic, Khan issued a public defense and rubbished reports that his job is under threat.However, losing 3-0 at home to Bournemouth has increased pressure on the manager, with Fulham stuck in the Premier League relegation zone.Khan exclusively told Sky Sports News: “I think Slav’s our guy.“It was not a good day for us yesterday after playing Bournemouth but I spent quite a bit of time with him and I have all the confidence in Slav.“I’m optimistic and I have faith in the players and Slav to keep us up.Official: Tottenham sign Fulham youngster Ryan Sessegnon Andrew Smyth – August 8, 2019 Tottenham have sealed another transfer deadline day deal to sign the highly-rated Ryan Sessegnon from Fulham.“We knew it was going to be tough and that’s why we wanted to add to the squad.“We did and we had a great transfer window. We have to come up with the team that moves us forward but I’m very optimistic.“I want the fans to remember that last year we were at the bottom of the Championship table, not too many people had hope for us to get promoted.”
A pond on ANWR coastal plain. The fate of the plain, also called the 1002 area, has been in dispute for 40 years. (Photo: USFWS)Opening the 10-02 area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge or ANWR has been a dream of Alaska’s congressional delegation and the oil industry for decades, but for Gwitch’in people and environmentalists, the idea is a nightmare. The Bureau of Land Management plans a lease sale there this year. How will that unfold and what’s at stake? It’s our discussion on the next Talk of Alaska. HOST: Lori TownsendGUESTS:Andy Moderow, Alaska Director of Alaska Wilderness LeagueLiz Ruskin, Washington D.C. reporter for Alaska Public MediaRebecca Logan, CEO of Alaska Support Industry AllianceLINKS:Video: What is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge?Related: Interior delays public comment deadline for ANWR oil leasingFor a full list of ANWR leasing public hearings, click herePARTICIPATE:Call 550-8422 (Anchorage) or 1-800-478-8255 (statewide) during the live broadcastPost your comment before, during or after the live broadcast (comments may be read on air).Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (comments may be read on air)LIVE Broadcast: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. on APRN stations statewide.SUBSCRIBE: Get Talk of Alaska updates automatically by email, RSS or podcast. Listen to archival audio from previous debates about ANWR below.
If you spent any amount of time this weekend combing through Netflix in search of something to watch (so every weekend), you likely came across Aggretsuko. The new series from Hello Kitty purveyors Sanrio dropped onto the streaming service this weekend. It’s not something you should skip. Aggretsuko is a Sanrio series for all of us. The adults who either have been or are still in jobs they hate for demanding bosses who don’t appreciate the hard work they do, and don’t appear to do any meaningful work themselves. This is a show for people who put up with crap all day and let it all out as soon as they can finally leave the office. The show doesn’t stick around long, but you fall in love with its characters fast.The series follows Retsuko, a red panda working in the accounting department of a large trading firm in Tokyo. At the very beginning of the first episode, she’s excited to start her first day of work. Five years later, that positive attitude is gone. Worn away by years of menial work, and the worst bosses imaginable. She lets out her frustrations like most of us do: drinking. And secretly performing death metal karaoke by herself. Retsuko is us. Insecure, shy, beaten down by the world, but a defiant monster of metal on the inside. (And given the amount of Hello Kitty fans I’ve known who were also giant metalheads, this pairing makes way more sense than it might appear to at first glance.)Photo via NetflixFor the first few episodes, the series shows signs of becoming formulaic. Retsuko goes to work, has to deal with some indignity or another, and her frustrations lead to a metal number where she chews out the source of her frustration. As fun as that is, a whole series of that would get boring fast. But Aggretsuko is serialized, which is something I don’t expect from cartoons that are only 15 minutes per episode. As the first season’s ten episodes play out, Retsuko grows as a person. She tries new things and makes new friends. She starts out hiding her metal fandom from others, but soon finds her friends not only accept it; they think it’s cool. I really appreciate the part where she gives another woman pointers on how to do a metal scream without hurting your voice. It’s an essential, yet often overlooked skill.If you are or were recently in your 20s, whole episodes of this show look like they were modeled directly off of your life. Especially satisfying is when Retsuko’s old childhood friend offers her a job at the imports store she’s trying to start. It sounds so great. Retsuko could do accounting for the store, travel the world to help with the importing; it sounds like a dream gig. And for one blissful day, Retsuko is convinced she’s going to quit her soul-crushing job. It’s fun to watch her be completely checked out. If you’ve ever had a terrible job, you remember what those days were like when you knew you were going to quit. When you could really say “I don’t need this job” and mean it. You remember how low your tolerance for bullshit was. It was like a mountain of stress had lifted off your shoulders. That’s what watching this episode feels like. It’s early in the season, but already you’ve seen Retsuko put up with so much, you relish when she finally talks back to her boss.Photo via NetflixThen, the friend gives her more information about the store. She doesn’t have a storefront, or any kind of investment. It’s going to be an online shop, and nobody involved is going to be taking home much money in the early days. When Retsuko asks how she’s supposed to pay rent, the friend suggests moving back in with her parents. Because that’s an option everyone has. That hit close to home. It’s never been a friend doing that to me, but I’ve definitely gone after a writing gig and found out way late in the process that they would only start paying at some unspecified date in the future, maybe. (Don’t work for free, kids.) After that episode, Retsuko doesn’t see the friend much, and I don’t blame her.The side characters are what really make the series shine, though. Retsuko is great, but it’s really cool to see how much work the show put into making most of her friends real, fleshed out people. There’s an incredibly strong cast of women on this show, each coping with stifling corporate culture in their own way. Fenneko, a fennec fox stalks everyone’s social media for dirt. Tsunoda blatantly sucks up to her bosses to make her own life easier. At the outset, you’re made to hate her, as Retsuko does, but then she makes it clear she knows exactly what’s she’s doing, and she doesn’t care if anyone hates her for it. You start to respect her after that. Then there are Gori and Washimi. A gorilla and bird everyone admires as at the top of their game. They are the most powerful women in a largely male-dominated company. Retsuko and her friends look up to them, revere them. They are, after all, the mythical beings known as “people who have their shit together.”Photo via NetflixThen Retsuko gets to know them. When she sees marrying rich as her fastest way out of the company, she starts to take yoga classes. When she sees Gori and Washimi in the same class, she gets all nervous. She’s so scared of making a fool of herself in front of two accomplished women so much higher on the corporate ladder than she is. What she doesn’t realize is they have similar insecurities. They’ve got the whole office life part figured out, but Gori, in particular, thinks Retsuko’s really cool, and takes Retsuko’s nervousness as a sign that she doesn’t like her. And that stresses her out. We all got stuff we’re going through, you know? And as Retsuko starts hanging out with them more, she grows more confident. They enjoy her metal-singing talents, and she becomes less afraid of busting them out when she needs to. It’s really cool to see such solid, meaningful character arcs play out over a short 150-minute season.There’s really only one part of the show that didn’t land at all for me. That’s her boss Ton’s odd redemption in the last episode. Throughout the series, he’s a literal sexist pig. He makes it very clear that he treats Retsuko worse than everyone else because she’s a woman. When the CEO talks to him about his behavior, he changes and starts becoming a better boss, but only until he finds out its Retsuko who complained. Then, he retaliates. Though we get a great scene of Retsuko chewing him out with death metal, he doesn’t have much of an arc to speak of. That’s why, during the season’s final arc where she’s smitten with a guy who’s oblivious and inconsiderate, it’s so weird to have Ton be the voice of reason.Photo via NetflixRetsuko’s friends try to tell her she’s running herself ragged in this relationship, but she doesn’t listen. It’s only when Ton makes an accounting allegory about putting in more than you get out, that she realizes her new guy’s inattentiveness is really annoying. And it’s weird to have Ton be the one to make her realize that. Before that moment, he’s never shown any signs of being a decent boss or human being except when under duress. It’s a moment that’s completely unearned. Especially because he was so sexist at the beginning, that half-hearted redemption left a bad taste in my mouth.But that was the only falter in an otherwise joyful series. Aggretsuko is the show you need to get through the uncertainty of a thankless job in your 20s. It’s a satisfying, adorable satire of the modern world. Retsuko is the death metal red panda you didn’t realize you had inside you, and I desperately want season two. At ten 15-minute episodes, this first season is almost too short. It has the exact opposite problem most Netflix series do. On the bright side, that makes this series easy to return to whenever I need it. As frustrations with the modern world mount ever higher over the next year, and you know they will, I’m glad I have Aggretsuko to let them out with a death metal scream. Stay on target Hello Kitty Heads to Hollywood With Her First Film DealAdamTots Presents: Deepmind Sanrio Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.
Mattel Unveils Fashionable ‘Star Wars’ x Barbie Dolls‘Star Wars: Resistance’ Finale Sets Up ‘The Rise of Sk… Stay on target Finn (John Boyega)John Boyego is Finn (via Disney)Finn is the activist in all of us: Shocked by the First Order’s cruelty, stormtrooper FN-2187 turns against the military dictatorship to join the Resistance.Prior to John Boyega’s casting, the character was portrayed as Caucasian in many pieces of pre-production concept art. Thankfully, Abrams didn’t get caught up in ethnicity (or nationality), and let talent speak for itself. Impressed by his debut in Attack the Block, the director invited Boyega to audition for Finn. But the British up-and-comer wasn’t the only one:Michael B. JordanJordan lost the role to John Boyega (via vulture.com)Despite recurring roles in The Wire, All My Children, Friday Night Lights, and Parenthood, Michael B. Jordan didn’t get his big break until 2013, when he starred in indie darling Fruitvale Station. In the years since, he’s played Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four, Adonis Johnson in Creed, and Erik Killmonger in Black Panther. He cannot, however, add First Order stormtrooper to his resume.The 30-year-old actor is said to have met with J.J. Abrams. But didn’t make the final casting cut.Ray FisherRay Fisher snagged a role in another franchise (via Warner Bros.)Unlike most of his Justice League co-stars, Ray Fisher (aka Cyborg) is not yet a household name. And while the rookie actor lost out on the Star Wars role of a lifetime, he is set to headline his own superhero film. So things are looking up. A long time ago (circa 2013) in a galaxy far, far away (Hollywood), writer/director/producer J.J. Abrams scoured Earth to find the perfect cast for his latest film—an epic space opera.Follow-up to 1983’s Return of the Jedi, Episode VII—The Force Awakens is the first installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy (set to continue with next month’s The Last Jedi, from Rian Johnson).In scouting actors for a slew of new parts—including Rey, Finn, and Kylo Ren—Abrams intentionally looked for unknown talent. And rightfully so: He wanted audiences to “meet these characters [in the film] and not feel like it’s him from that thing, or it’s her from that thing.”He stuck to that promise, casting British newbies Daisy Ridley and John Boyega in the lead roles of Rey and Finn. Thrust into the Star Wars spotlight, the pair have since snagged a number of other high-profile gigs (Ridley will co-star with Tom Holland in the big-screen adaptation of Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking book trilogy; look for Boyega in the upcoming Watership Down TV mini-series).But their IMDb pages would look much more sparse if not for that big break in The Force Awakens. Scroll down to see who else could have landed a three-film contract, their own line of action figures, and Oscar Isaac’s phone number.Rey (Daisy Ridley)Daisy Ridley is Rey (via Disney)Scavenger and Force prodigy, Rey discovered her latent Force-sensitivity while on a journey to find Jedi Master Luke Skywalker and bring new hope to a galaxy on the brink of war.The lead character—described as “beautiful, smart, athletic”—was brought to life by relative unknown Daisy Ridley. She wasn’t a shoe-in for the role, though:Saoirse RonanIrish actress Saoirse (rhymes with “inertia”) Ronan auditioned for The Force Awakens—”like everyone else did.” But, like almost everyone else, she lost the gig.“I don’t have Star Wars. I don’t have the role,” the Atonement star told Indie Wire in 2013. “To pretend that you have a lightsaber in a scene is always very exciting. It would be great. But it’s something that everyone’s gone up for.”Elizabeth OlsenThe Scarlet Witch dashed Elizabeth Olsen’s hopes of being Rey (via Marvel)A self-proclaimed Star Wars superfan, Elizabeth Olsen reportedly turned down the chance to audition for J.J. Abrams—because she was already tied to another major film franchise.Under contract with Marvel Studios for the role of Scarlet Witch, Olsen’s Age of Ultron shooting schedule also clashed with the dates for The Force Awakens.Jennifer LawrenceYou don’t need big names to sell a Star Wars movie. So while J.Law may have been on Abrams’ shortlist of potential celebrities for the film, the young actress was eventually passed over for a fresh face. You can watch her likeness (played hilariously by Vanessa Bayer) audition for the part in a star-studded Saturday Night Live sketch.Shailene WoodleyShailene Woodley coulda been Rey (via Lionsgate)Shailene Woodley is another franchise favorite reportedly considered for Rey, though little is known about her audition or chances. Kylo Ren (Adam Driver)Adam Driver is Kylo Ren (via Disney)Trained by his uncle as a Jedi, the son of Han and Leia is seduced to the dark side and aspires to be as powerful as his grandfather, Darth Vader. Master of the Knights of Ren and a commander for the First Order, Ben Solo-cum-Kylo Ren is the embodiment of a new generation of dark-side warriors.And while Adam Driver’s deep voice and searing expression may have helped snag the nefarious role, the Girls actor wasn’t the only one considered for the villain:Eddie RedmayneEddie Redmayne has never been bad (via Warner Bros.)Eddie Redmayne has built an Oscar-winning career on playing the good guys (or girls)—from documentarian Colin Clark (My Week With Marilyn) and lovesick Marius (Les Misérables) to physicist Stephen Hawking (The Theory of Everything), pioneering Lili Elbe (The Danish Girl), and Magizoologist Newt Scamander (Fantastic Beats and Where to Find Them). But aside from his over-the-top performance as Jupiter Ascending‘s Balem Abrasax, the Brit has never really shown his dark side.“It was [casting director] Nina Gold … and I was trying again and again with different versions of my kind of ‘koohh paaaah’ [Darth Vader breathing sound] voice,” Redmayne recalled on the Happy Sad Confused podcast. “And after like 10 shots she’s like, ‘You got anything else?’ I was like, ‘No.’”Michael FassbenderMichael Fassbender would have been the wrong choice for Kylo Ren (via 20th Century Fox)“We talked about a role,” Michael Fassbender revealed in an episode of the Happy Sad Confused podcast. “We had a conversation. I’m pretty sure I was busy doing something else in the summer he [Abrams] was kickstarting that.”Hugo WeavingThe man was born to play evil masterminds (via Warner Bros)On-screen chameleon Hugo Weaving is no stranger to film series or mischief-makers, having played half-elven lord Elrond in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the evil-minded Agent Smith in three Matrix movies; he even donned a mask for the title role in V for Vendetta. But the character actor lost the part of Kylo Ren to a fresh face 23 years his junior.General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson)Domhnall Gleeson is General Hux (via Disney)As a general in the First Order, Armitage Hux is a leading advocate of the harsh training methods employed to foster obedience among the ranks. The illegitimate son of Imperial Academy Commandant Brendol Hux, Armitage grew up believing it was his destiny to rule the galaxy.After all, you can do anything you put your mind to. (Well, except play General Hux if you’re anyone but the prolific Domhnall Gleeson.)Jesse PlemonsPlemons has worked alongside Amy Adams, Liam Neeson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Tom Hanks (via AMC)Following a taped audition that was reportedly well-received by casting directors, Jesse Plemons—of Friday Night Lights and Breaking Bad fame—flew from Austin to Los Angeles in 2014 for a second audition and face-to-face meeting with Abrams. Just as well he didn’t get the part: Plemons went on to star in the second season of Fargo, alongside Kirsten Dunst.
IrfanView 4.53 Image Viewer released by Martin Brinkmann on May 20, 2019 in Music and Video – Last Update: May 20, 2019 – 33 commentsIrfanView is one of the most advanced image viewers that is available for Windows. IrfanView 4.53 was released last week; it is the first release of the program in 2019 and one that introduces several new features and options.Just like the password manager KeePass, IrfanView belongs to a category of well designed powerful programs for Windows. The program’s main feature is image viewing but it supports a large number of related functions such as image conversions, batch processing of images, filter and effects, image optimizations, or the creation of slideshows that makes it an universal program when it comes to working with images on Windows.We have reviewed other great image viewers in the past such as Honeyview, XnView, or FastStone Image Viewer.Tip: Add IrfanView options to Windows Explorer.IrfanView 4.53 UpdateIrfanView 4.53 is available as a free 32-bit and 64-bit download for the operating system. Users may download and install the new version to update existing installations or start from scratch.The new version of IrfanView introduces new effects and options. As far as effects are concerned, it is now possible to insert speech bubbles using Image > Effects. Two additional groups of effects, “shadows, shapes, rounded corners, and snowflakes” and “Hexagon, Star, Spikes, Hearts”, have been added to the Image menu directly. Last but not least, support for the new Radial Brighten effect is available now as well.As far as options are concerned, the screen capture dialog features a new option to draw a red circle around the cursor, and there is a new advanced batch conversion option to set the maximum dimensions for resize operations.The application’s zooming functionality got a new feature as well. Hold down Ctrl-Shift while moving the mouse to move in the zoomed image; you may use the mouse wheel for zooming just like you do normally. A click returns to the previous view.The Contact Sheet dialog has a new profiles option, and IrfanView can read 1 BPP images in RAW as well now.The new version includes loading fixes for TIF, PCX and PSD files. Several plugins have been updated as well and users who use plugins need to install the new versions from the official plugins page of the extension.Closing WordsIrfanView is a powerful feature rich image viewer for Windows that is really fast even on systems that are not uber-powerful. The new version adds several new features to the application; while minor in the grand scheme of things, they do improve the functionality of the application.Now You: which image viewer do you use?SummaryArticle NameIrfanView 4.53 Image Viewer releasedDescriptionIrfanView 4.53, a new version of the image viewer and processor, it is the first release of the program in 2019 and one that introduces several new features and options.Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisement