World Cup 2019: Vijay Shankar Claims To Beat KL Rahul, Dinesh Karthik

After having a victory against Pakistan in Manchester on Sunday, India is to face Afghanistan in Southampton on Saturday. Having a five-day break between the two matches, Indian cricket team had time to relax and regain their strength for the next match.

All-rounder Vijay Shankar, in a video posted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) described how he spent his day off.

In the video, Shankar spoke about how his favourite activity during his day off is to play a word game on his phone .

The 28-year-old also revealed that Dinesh Karthik and KL Rahul were among others in the team who play the game and also claimed that he was the best among the three.

Shankar was hit on his toe by a Jasprit Bumrah yorker during a training session, but reports coming out of the Indian camp suggest it’s nothing serious.

Team India, so far has had a terrific run in the ICC Cricket World Cup. With three wins and a no result in four games, the Virat Kohli-led team is currently in fourth place on the points table.

With the next match scheduled against Afghanistan, who are yet to win a game, the Indian camp will not have much to worry about apart from injury management and making sure no other player picks up a niggle. Fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar is nursing a hamstring niggle and according to captain Virat Kohli could miss at least India’s next two matches.

Amitabh Bachhan’s First Look From Gulabo Sitabo Revealed Today

Actor Amitabh Bachchan’s quirky first look from his upcoming film Gulabo Sitabowas revealed earlier today. Film trade analyst Taran Adarsh, tweeted the picture revealing that Bachchan will play an old bespectacled Muslim man with a fat nose.

The film, which also stars Ayushmann Khurrana in a pivotal role, is slated to release on April 24, 2020.

Sharing Bachchan’s first look, Adarsh tweeted, “Unveiling Amitabh Bachchan’s quirky character look from #GulaboSitabo… Costars Ayushmann Khurrana… Directed by Shoojit Sircar… 24 April 2020 release.”

Written by Sircar’s frequent collaborator Juhi Chaturvedi of Vicky DonorPiku and October fame, Gulabo Sitabo is produced by Ronnie Lahiri and Sheel Kumar. Notably, it will bring Bachchan and Khurrana together on the big screen for the first time.

Talking about the family comedy which set in Lucknow, Sircar earlier said, “After Piku and Vicky Donor, I had been wanting to work with Mr Bachchan and Ayushmann on an equally quirky script so this fell perfectly in place.”

As for the film’s quirky title, he said, “Gulabo Sitabo is a fun colloquial metaphor used by the locals (in Lucknow)…as to it’s connect to the story, wait and watch the film to know more”.

Apart from Gulabo Sitabo, Khurrana and Bachchan have a slew of other films in various stages of production. Khurrana will soon be seen in Anubhav Sinha’s Article 15. He also has Raaj Shaandilyaa’s

Dream Girl and Amar Kaushik’s Balain his kitty. Meanwhile, Bachchan will be seen in Rumi Jaffery’s Chehre, Ayan Mukerji’s Brahmastra and Nagraj Manjule’s Jhund.

Boris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt To Face Each Other As British PM Candidates

The notable Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt came up on Thirsday as the only two candidates left in the race to become British Prime Minister, with the flamboyant Mr. Johnson odds-on favourite to win next month.

In a fifth and final ballot of Conservative lawmakers, which eliminated Environment Secretary Michael Gove, Mr. Johnson was again way out in front with 160 out of 313 votes, versus Mr. Hunt’s 77. One ballot paper was rejected.

Mr. Johnson, 55, who served as London Mayor for eight years, has cast himself as the only candidate who can deliver Brexit on Oct. 31 while fighting off the electoral threats of Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party and Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour.

Mr. Johnson has increased his share of the vote of Conservative lawmakers at each of the ballots so far: 114 out of 313 votes in the first ballot on June 13; 126 on June 18; 143 on Wednesday; and 157 and 160 on Thursday.

Mr. Gove was third with 75. Interior minister Sajid Javid was knocked out in the fourth round earlier on Thursday. Betting markets gave Mr. Johnson a 92% probability of winning and Mr. Hunt just 7%.

“I look forward to getting out across the UK and to set out my plan to deliver Brexit, unite our country, and create a brighter future for all of us,” Johnson said.

Hunt, once an opponent of leaving the European Union who has now promised to exit with a deal, cast himself as the underdog.

“In politics surprises happen as they did today,” he said. ”I do not doubt the responsibility on my shoulders – to show my party how we deliver Brexit and not an election, but also a turbo-charged economy and a country that walks tall in the world.”

Vote next month

Now, around 1,60,000 Conservative Party grassroots members will vote on who will be their leader — and Britain’s next Prime Minister — by the end of July.

Mr. Johnson has pledged to leave the European Union (EU) on October 31 with or without a deal.

The EU has said it will not renegotiate the divorce deal that Theresa May agreed last year and the British Parliament has indicated it will block a no-deal exit.

He has not addressed how he will solve that riddle.

Rise ofBoris

The rise of Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson – known as simply “Boris” – to pole position for leading the world’s fifth largest economy, is the grandest twist so far in a career that has morphed from journalism via TV-show fame, comedy and scandal into the brinkmanship of Britain’s Brexit crisis.

Born in New York, Mr. Johnson was educated at Eton, Britain’s most exclusive school, and at Balliol College, Oxford. He began his career at a management consultancy in the City of London but dropped out after a week.

He then turned to journalism but was sacked from The Times newspaper for making up quotes.

Hired by The Daily Telegraph, Mr. Johnson infuriated European officials and delighted then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher by lampooning the European Economic Community establishment with a host of sometimes misleading reports from Brussels.

After entering politics, Johnson was sacked from the Conservative Partys policy team while in opposition for lying about an extra-marital affair.

But his charismatic oratory and disarmingly self-deprecating confidence allowed him to survive both gaffes and scandal. He won two terms as London mayor from 2008 to 2016.

In 2016, he became one of the most recognisable faces of the Brexit campaign which won the referendum with 52% of the votes cast versus 48% for staying in.

His bid to replace former prime minister David Cameron, who resigned after the referendum, was foiled by Gove who pulled out of his campaign saying Johnson was unsuitable for the job.

After May won the premiership, she prompted consternation in European capitals by appointing Johnson foreign minister. He resigned in 2018 over May’s handling of Brexit.

PM Hunt?

Jeremy Richard Streynsham Hunt, the son of an admiral, was educated at the prestigious fee-paying Charterhouse school before studying philosophy, politics, and economics at Magdalen College, Oxford.

After working as an English teacher in Japan, he went on to found an educational publishing firm. He speaks fluent Japanese and has a Chinese wife.

After Mr. Johnson resigned as Foreign Secretary, Mr. Hunt, while on a visit to China, accidentally referred to his wife as Japanese.

He supported remaining in the EU in the 2016 referendum but has since promised to lead Britain out of the bloc.

Mr. Hunt says that while he would prefer to leave the EU with a deal, he believes a no-deal exit is better than no Brexit.

He was the most senior figure vying to succeed May to reject a threat to leave with no deal by the end of October, saying lawmakers would block any such move.

“Any prime minister who promised to leave the EU by a specific date without the time to renegotiate and pass a new deal would, in effect, be committing to a general election the moment parliament tried to stop it. And trying to deliver no deal through a general election is not a solution; it is political suicide,” he said.

“A different deal is, therefore, the only solution … That means negotiations that take us out of the customs union while generously respecting legitimate concerns about the Irish border.”

US Prez Donald Trump Approves Military Strikes On Iran, But Pulls Back Later

US president Donald Trump approved military strikes against Iran in retaliation for shooting off a US surveillance drone. However, the US pulled back from launching them Thursday night after a day of escalating tensions.

As late as 7pm Thursday, military and diplomatic officials were expecting a strike, after intense discussions and debate at the White House among the president’s top national security officials and congressional leaders, according to multiple senior administration officials involved in or briefed on the deliberations.

Officials said the president had initially approved attacks on a handful of Iranian targets, like radar and missile batteries.

But the action was then abruptly called off for the evening, putting a halt to what would have been the president’s third military action against targets in the Middle East. Trump had struck twice at targets in Syria, in 2017 and 2018.

It was not clear whether Trump simply changed his mind on the strikes or whether the administration altered course because of logistics or strategy. It was also not clear whether the attacks might still go forward.

Asked about the plans for a strike and the decision to hold back, the White House declined to comment, as did Pentagon officials. No government officials asked The New York Times to withhold the article.

The retaliation plan was intended as a response to the shooting down of the unmanned, $130 million surveillance drone, which was struck Thursday morning by an Iranian surface-to-air missile, according to a senior administration official who was briefed on the military planning and spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential plans.

The strike was set to take place just before dawn Friday in Iran to minimize risk to the Iranian military or to civilians.

But military officials received word a short time later that the strike was off, at least temporarily.

The possibility of a retaliatory strike hung over Washington for much of the day. Officials in both countries traded accusations about the location of the drone when it was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile launched from the Iranian coast along the Gulf of Oman.

Trump’s national security advisers split about whether to respond militarily. Senior administration officials said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; John Bolton, the national security adviser; and Gina Haspel, the CIA director, had favored a military response. But top Pentagon officials cautioned that such an action could result in a spiraling escalation with risks for US forces in the region.

Congressional leaders were briefed by administration officials in the Situation Room.

The destruction of the drone underscored the already tense relations between the two countries after Trump’s recent accusations that Iran is to blame for explosions last week that damaged oil tankers traveling through the strait, the vital waterway for much of the world’s oil. Iran has denied that accusation.

Iran’s announcement this week that it would soon breach one of the key limits it had agreed to in a 2015 pact intended to limit its nuclear program has also fueled tensions. Trump, who pulled the United States out of the 2015 pact, has vowed that he will not allow Tehran to build a nuclear weapon.

On Thursday, Trump insisted that the United States’ unmanned surveillance aircraft was flying over international waters when it was taken down by an Iranian missile.

“This drone was in international waters, clearly,” the president told reporters Thursday afternoon at the White House as he began a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada. “We have it all documented. It’s documented scientifically, not just words.”

Asked what would come next, Trump said, “Let’s see what happens.”

Iran’s government fiercely disputed the president’s characterization, insisting that the drone had strayed into Iranian airspace. Iran released GPS coordinates that put the drone 8 miles off the country’s coast, inside the 12 nautical miles from the shore that Iran claims as its territorial waters.

Majid Takht-Ravanchi, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, wrote in a letter to the Security Council that the drone ignored repeated radio warnings before it was downed. He said that Tehran “does not seek war” but “is determined to vigorously defend its land, sea and air.”

Congressional Democrats emerged from the president’s classified briefing in the Situation Room and urged Trump to de-escalate the situation. They called on the president to seek congressional authorization before taking any military action.

“This is a dangerous situation,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. “We are dealing with a country that is a bad actor in the region. We have no illusions about Iran in terms of their ballistic missile transfers, about who they support in the region and the rest.”

Iran’s destruction of the drone appeared to provide a boost for officials inside the Trump administration who have long argued for a more confrontational approach to Iran, including the possibility of military actions that could punish the regime for its support of terrorism and other destabilizing behavior in the region.

In his public appearance, Trump initially seemed to be looking for a way to avoid a potentially serious military crisis. Instead of directly accusing the leaders of Iran, Trump said someone “loose and stupid” in Iran was responsible for shooting down the drone.

The president said he suspected it was some individual in Iran who “made a big mistake,” even as Iran had taken responsibility for the strike and asserted that the high-altitude drone was operating over Iranian air space, which US officials denied.

Trump said the episode would have been far more serious if the aircraft had been a piloted vehicle, and not a drone. It made “a big, big difference” that an American pilot was not threatened, he told reporters.

Last year, Trump pulled the United States out of the 2015 nuclear pact with Iran, over the objections of China, Russia and US allies in Europe. He has also imposed punishing economic sanctions on Iran, trying to cut off its already limited access to international trade, including oil sales.

Iran has warned of serious consequences if Europe does not find a way around those sanctions, though it has denied involvement in the attacks on tankers near the vital Strait of Hormuz. On Monday, Iran said it would soon stop abiding by a central component of the nuclear deal, the limit on how much enriched uranium it is allowed to stockpile.

Both Washington and Tehran said the downing of the drone occurred at 4:05 a.m. Iranian time on Thursday, or 7:35 p.m. on Wednesday in Washington. The drone “was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile system while operating in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz,” US Central Command said in a statement. “This was an unprovoked attack on a US surveillance asset in international airspace.”

Iran’s ability to target and destroy the high-altitude drone, which was developed to evade the very surface-to-air missiles used to bring it down, surprised some Defense Department officials, who interpreted it as a show of how difficult Tehran can make things for the United States as it deploys more troops and steps up surveillance in the region.

Lt. Gen. Joseph Guastella, the Air Force commander for the Central Command region in the Middle East, said the attack could have endangered “innocent civilians,” even though officials at Central Command continued to assert that the drone was over international waters. He said that the closest that the drone got to the Iranian coast was 21 miles.

Late Thursday, the Defense Department released additional imagery in an email to support its case that the drone never entered Iranian airspace. But the department incorrectly called the flight path of the drone the location of the shooting down and offered little context for an image that appeared to be the drone exploding in midair.

Iran’s foreign affairs minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said in a post on Twitter that he gave what he said were precise coordinates for where the US drone was targeted.

“At 00:14 US drone took off from UAE in stealth mode & violated Iranian airspace,” he said in a tweet that included coordinates that he said were near Kouh-e Mobarak. “We’ve retrieved sections of the US military drone in OUR territorial waters where it was shot down.”

Trump’s comments on Thursday afternoon in the Oval Office reflected the long-standing tension between the president’s desire to be seen as tough on the world stage and his campaign promise to make sure that the United States did not get tangled in more foreign wars.

The president has embraced a reputation as someone who punches back when he is challenged. Only months into his tenure, Trump launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at an air base in Syria after a chemical weapon attack.

But he has often talked about ending American involvement in long-running conflicts abroad, describing his “America First” agenda as having little room for being the world’s police force. In a tweet in January, he said he hoped that “Endless Wars, especially those which are fought out of judgement mistakes” would “eventually come to a glorious end!”

According to Iranian news media, a foreign ministry spokesman there said that flying a drone into Iranian airspace was an “aggressive and provocative” move by the United States.

Hossein Salami, commander-in-chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, said crossing the country’s border was “our red line,” the semiofficial Mehr news agency reported.

“We are not going to get engaged in a war with any country, but we are fully prepared for war,” Salami said at a military ceremony in Sanandaj, Iran, according to a translation from Press TV, a state-run news outlet. “Today’s incident was a clear sign of this precise message, so we are continuing our resistance.”

Iranian news media said the drone had flown over Iranian territory unauthorized, and reported that it had been shot down in Hormozgan province, along the country’s southern coast on the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

Both the United States and Iran identified the aircraft as an RQ-4 Global Hawk, a surveillance drone made by Northrop Grumman.

“This was a show of force — their equivalent of an inside pitch,” said Derek Chollet, a former assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs during the Obama administration, speaking of Iran’s decision to shoot down the drone.

James G Stavridis, who retired as a four-star admiral after serving as the supreme allied commander at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, warned that the two countries were in a dangerous game that could quickly spiral out of control. He described Iran’s downing of the drone, which costs about $130 million, as a “logical albeit highly dangerous escalatory move by Iran.”

Indiabulls- Lakshmi Vilas Bank Meger Gets CCI Approval

Indiabulls Housing Finance said on Friday that the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the proposed merger of itself with Lakshmi Vilas Bank. The latter had announced its merger with Indiabulls in April this year in a share-swap deal with an intent to create a combined entity with larger capital base and wider geographical reach.

“The Competition Commission of India… at its meeting held on June 20, 2019, considered the proposed combination and approved the same,” Indiabulls Housing Finance said in a BSE filing.

The board of Lakshmi Vilas Bank had approved the merger with Indiabulls Housing Finance in which shareholders of the bank will get 14 shares of Indiabulls Housing Finance for every 100 shares they hold.

The combined entity, with employee strength of 14,302, will have a loan book size of Rs 1.23 lakh crore for the first nine-month period of 2018-19.

After the proposed merger, Indiabulls Housing Finance will get access to low cost deposits, geographical diversification and expanded client-base and cross-selling opportunities.

Aviation Ministry Gives Jet airways’ Foreign Flying Rights To Indian Carriers

Jet Airways’ foreign flying rights have been distributed among Indian carriers by the aviation ministry. This was carried out through an allocation process that was opposed by airlines such as IndiGo and GoAir. The two opposing airlines have challenged the move in separate letters to the ministry, said people known to the matter.

Government officials defended the method as transparent and fair.

IndiGo and SpiceJet have got the maximum number of rights, with 84 weekly flights for the first and 77 for the second. GoAir got the rights to operate 30 weekly flights, while Viatara got 28. All the allocations are for three months. Indi-Go’s contention is that it should have got more rights, in line with its share of about half the domestic market, said the people cited above.

Airline representatives were asked to pick a chit and were given preference, according to the number they got as well as their fleet induction plans, sources said. This took place last week and letters to airlines were issued earlier this week, they added.

With this allocation, the government has farmed out almost all the foreign flying rights of the grounded Jet Airways, which stopped flying on April 18.

About half of Jet’s rights had already been given to state-owned Air India, which got about 5,700 weekly seats on the India-Dubai route, over 5,000 on the India-Qatar route as well as about 4,600 additional seats to and from London. The rest have now been distributed among the private carriers. Destinations that have been awarded to these airlines include Dubai, Singapore, Thailand, China and Hong Kong.

Domestic routes had been distributed earlier — of the total 750 slots that Jet Airways had at various airports, 480 have been allocated.

GoAir has also written to the Prime Minister’s Office protesting about the model followed to allocate overseas rights, they said.

“The government should have followed the normal procedure and awarded rights under rules prescribed in the AIC (Aeronautical Information Circular) but that was not done to favour a certain airline,” said one of the persons cited above.

Under the AIC rules, the allocation of rights should be in proportion to domestic capacity, which would have fetched more flying rights for market leader IndiGo, which flew 49% of all passengers in May followed by SpiceJet (14.8%), Air India (13.5%), GoAir (11.1%) and Vistara (4.7%).

“GoAir is sure that the model is not transparent and the government also did not have any convincing reply on the query that the airline had on the model followed,” said an executive.

SpiceJet didn’t oppose the procedure although it registered concern over the number of rights allocated. “We would like to state in clear and unequivocal terms that SpiceJet fully supports the government’s decision with regards to the mechanism adopted for allocating flying rights,” the airline said in an email.

Tata Group-Singapore Airlines joint venture Vistara also supported the move and appre- l to ciated allocate the foreign government flying ’s rights move to all carriers.

IndiGo, GoAir and Vistara didn’t respond to queries.

Government sources insisted that the model was transparent and ensured that every airline got a fair share.

“It was a transparent auction conducted in front of all airlines to ensure that no one is left out,” said a senior aviation ministry official, who did not want to be identified. “We also took into consideration the fleet induction plan of airlines during the award of bilateral rights to ensure that the airlines have aircraft to launch these flights. Some airlines, however, revised their fleet induction plan later. This would not have helped their case, as the rights were already awarded.”

Airlines sources said they were considering legal remedies but did not elaborate.

Gmail For Android Is To Get A Dark Mode

Android and iOS have been moving towards official system-wide dark themes since earlier this year. Apart from this, Google and Apple are also working on adding dark themes to all of their mobile apps.

The latest one to get the treatment is Gmail for Android, but don’t pop the champagne just yet. It’s still very much a work in progress, even though it is randomly showing up for people running the latest version of the app.

For now, the dark theme is only there in the Gmail app’s Settings. You don’t get it in the main window or the sidebar, unfortunately. Also, it seems to come on and off when it wants to, and you have no control over it because there’s no toggle to enable or disable dark mode.

Hopefully Google is hard at work turning this into an actual full dark theme for Gmail, and will release that soon – or, at the latest, when Android Q comes out in August. It would be sad for Pixel owners to enable the system-wide dark theme and find built-in apps such as Gmail still not supporting it.

Xiaomi Mi CC9 Series To Launch Today

Xiaomi had earlier this week teased its first ever flip camera smartphone. Although the name is yet to be revealed, the rumours suggest that it will be the Mi CC9 series. The coming series is a result of the company’s acquisition with the hardware division of Meitu.

Under the series, Xiaomi is expected to launch two smartphones Mi CC9 and Mi CC9e. At least this is what the rumours and leaks circulating and flooding the internet suggest. The Mi CC9 and Mi CC9e are launching in China today at 10AM CST Asia (07:30 AM IST).

Xiaomi and several of its executive have been teasing the new series for a while now including CEO Lei Jun. It is worth noting that this is the first time that Xiaomi and Meitu have come together to launch a smartphone. Rumours and leaks suggest that both the Mi CC9 and Mi CC9e will be selfie-focused smartphones and will use Meitu’s camera technology. The smartphones are most likely going to the young generation considering it’s selfie focused and is said to come with a refreshing design with pink accents all around the smartphone. As of now there are no details whether or not this series will come to India. Possibly, not.

Ahead of the launch, the Mi CC9 has been subjected to several leaks and rumours and that revealed some of the important specs of the smartphone. Leaks suggest that the Mi CC9 will be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor similar to the Redmi K20 while the Mi CC9e will come with Snapdragon 730 processor. This is one of the many highlights of the Mi CC9. Another biggest highlight of the Mi CC9 will be its motorised flip camera similar to the Asus 6Z. The flip camera is said to follow the same functioning as the Asus 6Z. The flip camera setup of the Mi CC9 is expected to include a 48MP primary sensor, an ultra-wide-angle camera, and a telephoto camera. Rumours and leaks also suggest the Mi CC9 will come packed with waterdrop notch display, in-display fingerprint sensor, and 4,000mAh battery with 27W fast charging support. In comparison, the Mi CC9e is expected to come with a rear fingerprint sensor. Both the phones are tipped to come with NFC support. Additionally, both the Mi CC9 and the Mi CC9e are tipped to come packed with a 32-megapixel camera similar to the Redmi Y3 that launched in India a couple of weeks ago.

Some past leaks suggest that the Mi CC9e will come in only one variant with 6GB RAM and 64GB storage for CNY 1,599 (roughly Rs.16,000). The Mi CC9 is said to come in three storage variants — 6GB + 128GB for CNY 2,499 (roughly Rs. 25,100), 8GB + 128GB for CNY 2,799 (roughly Rs. 28,100), and 8GB + 256GB for CNY 3,099 (roughly Rs. 31,100).

Google Done With Making Tablets, Pixel Slate Is Not Getting A Successor

The Pixel Slate launched last year alongwith Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL smartphones, runs Chrome OS as Google is trying hard to take over the Nexus tablets.

The company is now officially giving up on tablets entirely. The Pixel Slate will never get a successor, and there are no more Chrome OS or Android tablets in development by Google’s hardware teams.

There used to be two tablets in development, both smaller than the Pixel Slate, but earlier this week these were canceled along with the sheer concept of Google ever making tablets again.

The company plans to focus on Chrome OS laptops going forward, and of course Pixel smartphones running Android. In fact, a new Pixelbook laptop could arrive by the end of the year, perhaps announced at the same time as the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL this fall.

Since not even the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL smartphones have been selling well, we can only assume how bad things were for the Pixel Slate. Speaking of that, Google is committed to continued support for it, all the way through June 2024.

Also, the company’s Android and Chrome teams are “100% committed for the long-run on working” with partners “on tablets for all segments of the market (consumer, enterprise, edu)”, according to Rick Osterloh, Google’s SVP, Devices & Services.