New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area idolizing Joe Montana, Steve Young and the San Francisco 49ers. Now, after winning his fourth Super Bowl on Sunday, Brady has helped the Patriots cement their place alongside the 49ers among the top NFL dynasties of all time.Whether the Patriots or the 49ers rank as the top modern NFL dynasty depends on the length of the period you consider. In the chart below, I’ve measured the top franchises over periods ranging from one year to 25 years.1I’ve listed the top three teams for each period, but there is no overlap allowed: For instance, if the 2003-2007 Patriots are the top five-year dynasty, I won’t also list the 2004-2008 Patriots. Rankings are based on a team’s average Elo rating at the end of each season. (We’ve calculated Elo ratings back to the AFL-NFL merger year of 1970, so great teams before that — like the Green Bay Packers of the 1960s — are not considered.) Here’s the list:Brady’s 2007 Patriots finished with the highest single-season Elo rating ever, despite being upset in the Super Bowl by the New York Giants. Even if you’re no fan of the 2007 Patriots, another Brady team ranks second: the 2004 Patriots.But when we’re thinking about dynasties, we’re thinking about success over a multi-year period. Brady’s 2003 and 2004 Patriots are one of seven franchises to have won consecutive Super Bowls, and on the Elo list they’re essentially tied with the 1992-93 Dallas Cowboys and 1972-73 Miami Dolphins for the best two-year runs ever. The early 1990s Cowboys earn the nod for the top three- and four-year peaks, although it’s a close call in each case.For periods of longer than four years, the top two franchises become pretty clear: the Patriots and the 49ers:The Patriots rate as having the best five- and six-year runs;The 49ers have the best seven- and eight-year stretches;The Patriots then overtake the Niners as the best dynasty for periods of nine through 12 years;But the 49ers win again for periods of 13 years and longer.The 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers is the other franchise that can make a case for being the top modern dynasty. The Steelers won four Super Bowls in a six-year stretch in the 1974 through 1979 seasons and are extremely competitive with the Patriots and the 49ers in Elo for the top six- and seven-year runs.But those Steelers did not have the longevity of the 49ers or the Patriots. Pittsburgh’s quarterback, Terry Bradshaw, was not terribly effective before or after his Super Bowl run. Brady, by contrast, has been anywhere from good to MVP-caliber since he first took over the Patriots’ starting job in 2001, and the Patriots have not had a losing year since. The 49ers, meanwhile, had 16 consecutive winning seasons from 1983 to 1998.
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Super users are slated to create content for the Web sites, answer user questions about technology and give real time feedback on content created for MaximumPC.com and Maximumtech.com. Once Maximumtech.com gains a solid audience, Phillips will launch the 300 super user initiative in that property.Expecting about 10,000 responses to this inquiry, staff will then choose 300 readers to be part of this “inner circle”. Entry includes a badge for their Facebook pages so other readers can reach directly out to them, ability to upload photos to the MaximumPC.com site and Facebook pages, discounts, coupons and first chances to purchase merchandise from the sites.Editorial staff will launch the MaximumPC.com super user search in June, with Maximumtech.com following as soon as adequate audience numbers are gained. Maximumtech.com is picking up where MaximumTech leaves off. Phillips says that the print property is higher-end, full of data entry points and photography, and aimed at “the hardcore tech enthusiast”. Maximumtech.com is positioned for early adopters, who are more confused about technology than excited by it. Maximumtech.com will not only introduce new products, but also explain exactly what to do with them. With an outpour of technology reaching into virtually every aspect of daily life, even the most technologically stinted folks are finding themselves with the newest gadgets and wondering, “What exactly do I do with this?”Maximumtech.com is hoping to answer some of these questions. The Web site is a spin-off of the quarterly print MaximumTech, which was launched in August 2010. The print MaximumTech is newsstand only, and has a sell through of 36 percent on 120,000 issues released with each new edition. A property of Future US, MaximumTech is poised to ramp up to six print issues in 2012, with monthly issues set for 2013.Currently, Maximumtech.com has a full-time editorial staff of two, a features editor and a news editor. MaximumPC.com and Maclife.com writers will contribute to Maximumtech.com, and freelancers are also used to create content. Jon Phillips, editorial director, is also tapping into their successful social media streams (MaximumPC.com currently has 35,000 Facebook fans and 14,000 Twitter followers) to create a group of 300 “super users” to contribute to the sites. Starting with MaximumPC.com, an invitation to fill out a survey will be sent out on the Web site, Facebook and Twitter pages. The survey will include a brief essay question concerning why readers would want to become “super users”, what kind of equipment they’re interested in and what they’d like to cover. Phillips says that Web sites like Engadget.com do an adequate job of covering the rumor and technology news mill, but lack the guidance that new consumers need. He also believes that, “People are starting to tire of ‘three and a half stars’ from CNET[.com].” To that end, Maximumtech.com will offer accurate ratings of products, as well as guidance on whether to buy a technology product now or if the consumer should wait for the next version to be released.Set to be advertisement-supported, Toshiba has already signed on, and other deals are in the works. After the “smart home” issue of Maximum Tech, Dwell sought out an advertising partnership, and talks of national syndication with content and broadcasting properties are currently underway.
Tags 2 2019 Volvo S60 review: More competitive than ever More From Roadshow Comments 49 Photos Tesla’s Model 3 Performance subtly adds the power 2019 Lexus GS F review: A PG-13 flick in an R-rated segment Tesla Tesla 2019 Dodge Durango SRT review: Three-row muscle car Share your voice Electric Cars Car Industry Enlarge ImageThe Model S has been around for seven years now, so Tesla has a pretty good idea of what breaks and what doesn’t. Manuel Carrillo III/Roadshow One of the fringe benefits of having an electric car is that for the most part, they require much less maintenance than a comparable vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine. Tesla is taking advantage of this after crunching the data on the last few years of service and vehicle data by moving away from a recommended yearly service program to one that only requires vehicles to come in when parts need to be replaced.This probably sounds crazy if you’ve never spent a significant amount of time with an electric vehicle, but think about it like this: What are the most common service items on your ICE-powered car? Oil changes, brakes and tires. Add in things like accessory belts and timing belts that degrade with use and heat and all of a sudden you have a pretty full maintenance schedule.An EV doesn’t have engine oil to change, nor do the motors produce the same kind of heat that gasoline or diesel-powered engines do. Parts aren’t subjected to the same kind of temperature extremes. With brakes, many EV drivers use their vehicles with high levels of regenerative braking. This uses the drivetrain to slow the car and recharge the battery and saves significant wear on the vehicle’s braking components. Brake fluid, however, will still be checked every two years for water contamination.Add in the fact that Teslas are internet-connected and have robust remote diagnostic capabilities and a yearly check-up seems even less necessary. Tesla representatives are quick to point out that this shift in service methodology has nothing to do with a Tesla’s warranty, and vehicles that need service can get it.Tesla will stop pushing its prepaid maintenance plans for customers, but will still honor the plans that have been sold. It seems likely that the “as-necessary” service system will end up being cheaper than a prepaid plan for customers anyway.
JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) 3 Comments Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Boring Company,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Read the AirPods review $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express See It Read DJI Osmo Action preview Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) Amazon Sprint Chris Monroe/CNET Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR $60 at Best Buy Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). Turo: Save $30 on any car rental Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) Sarah Tew/CNET Best Buy Turo What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. See It $999 Politics Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. $6 at Tidal Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) $59 at eBay Read Google Home Hub review Tags Rylo $210 at Best Buy $520 at HP Sarah Tew/CNET $299 at Amazon $155 at Google Express $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express See at Amazon $999 Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. $999 The Cheapskate An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. Read the Rylo camera preview See at Turo Read Lenovo Smart Clock review DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. See it Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X $999 See It Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. Share your voice Apple iPhone XS Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) The Boring Company’s flamethrowers would be banned as part of a bill passed by the New York State Senate. Logan Moy/CNET Flamethrowers, including those from Elon Musk’s Boring Company, are causing concern among New York lawmakers. The New York State Senate passed a bill this month banning the possession of flamethrowers for recreational use. Having one would be a Class E felony, which could lead to up to four years in prison, according to a CNBC report on Friday. “Elon Musk’s Boring Company released a new flamethrower which sold out of all 20,000 within days, without any concern to the training of the purchasers or their reasons for buying,” lawmakers said in a release. “Allowing the general public to access this type of machine is extremely problematic.”Last year, Musk tweeted that the company changed the name of the product to “Not a Flamethrower” because of “recent regulatory/customs rules enacted to inhibit transport of anything called a Flamethrower.”The bill, sponsored by Democratic Sens. John Brooks and David Carlucci, passed the Senate 48-13 on June 11. It hasn’t yet been voted on in the Assembly. The New York State Senate and The Boring Company didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. This isn’t the first time lawmakers have tried to ban the Boring Company’s flamethrowers. Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, a Democrat from California, said last year he planned to introduce state legislation blocking sales of the flamethrowers to the public. Originally published June 21, 2:04 p.m. PT.Update, 3:48 p.m.: Adds information from New York State Senate press release. Boost Mobile Comments Tags Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. Angela Lang/CNET Share your voice 7 Sarah Tew/CNET Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays Sarah Tew/CNET
Representational ImageSupreme Court of India official websiteThe Nirmohi Akhara, one of the parties that got one-third of the disputed land in the Ayodhya title dispute, moved the Supreme Court on Tuesday opposing the Centre’s plea to release the majority of the 67.7 acres of acquired land, saying it cannot be given to anyone by the government.Urging the apex court to decide on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid Ayodhya title dispute, the Akhara has alleged that a number of temples on the acquired land managed by it has been damaged.The Centre has moved the top court seeking the modification of its earlier order and the release of “excess/superfluous” land so that it can be returned to those who have owned it.Its application is yet to be heard by the court as it has ordered mediation of the dispute for an amicable settlement of the title suit.
[Representational Image]PIB IndiaAmid uproar over Narendra Modi’s government continuing with the Union Budget 2017-2018, following the death of E Ahmed, Congress MP from Kerala had raised doubts over the possible postponement of Budget speech. However, the House Speaker, Sumithra Mahajan gave the go ahead following a tribute and few minutes silence in respect of the deceased MP. The highlights below let us have a peek into the government’s focus for the next fiscal year, until the fine print of the Budget reaches everyone. Read: Union Budget Session 2017 Live Updates: MP Ahamed’s death creates uncertainty; FM Arun Jaitley reaches Parliament, Union Cabinet to meet shortlyFinance Minister, Arun Jailtley started his Union Budget 2017 at 11 pm as planned. Top highlights of Union Budget 2017-2018:We have moved from a discretionary administration to a policy-based administration.Focus will be on energising our youth, to reap benefits of growth and employment.International Monetary Fund estimates that the world GDP will grow by 3.1 percent in 2016 and 3.4 percent in 2017.Demonetisation is a bold and decisive measure, for many decades tax evasion was a way of life for many.Pace of remonetisation has picked up and will soon reach comfortable levels. Effects of Demonetisation not expected to spill over to next year.Have done away with planned and non-planned allocation.Agenda is to transform, energise and clean India.Surplus liquidity in the banking system will aid in lower cost of lending and credit.Committed to double farmer income in five years. Agriculture is expected to grow at 4.1 percent in the current year.Overall approach in this year’s Budget has been to spend more in rural areas.Farmers will benefit from 60-day interest waiver announced by PM.Target of agricultural loans to farmers set at record Rs 10 lakh cr in 2017-18Fasal Bima Yojana coverage will be increased to 40 percent.Issuance of soil health cards has gathered momentum.Pledges to setup a mini lab in krishi vigyan kendrasWill support NABARD to digitise 63,000 primary agri co-operatives.To set up Rs 5,000 cr worth dedicated micro irrigation fund by NABARD.Long term irrigation fund set up in NABARD, additional corpus Rs 20,000 cr.Dairy processing fund initial corpus at Rs 2,000 cr.Pledges to bring one crore households out of poverty by 2019.National agricultural markets to be expanded to 585 markets.Cabinet approves extension of tenure of loans under credit linked subsidy scheme of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana from 15 to 20 years.Budget allocation to MNREGA increased to a record Rs 48,000 crore for 2017-18 from Rs 37,000 cr in 2016-17.Total allocation for rural, agricultural and allied sectors for 2017-18 is Rs 187223 cr, which is 24 percent higher than last year.100 percent village electrification will be achieved by May 1, 2018.Proposes to introduce a system of measuring annual learning, science to be given more focus.To complete 1,00,00,000 houses by 2019 for houseless and those living in kaccha house.Open defecation free villages are now being given priority for pipe to water supply.Safe drinking water to cover 28,000 arsenic and Fluoride affected habitations in the next four years.For senior citizens, Aadhar cards giving their health condition will be introduced.Two new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to be set up in Jharkhand and Gujarat.Steps will be taken to launch dedicated trains for pilgrimage and tourism.Rail safety fund with corpus of Rs 100,000 crore will be created over a period of five years.A new metro rail policy will be announced, this will open up new jobs for our youth.At least 25 stations are expected to be awarded during 2017-18; 500 stations are to be made differently abled-friendly by providing lifts and escalators.By 2019, all coaches of Indian Railways will be fitted with bio-toilets.Service charges on e-tickets booked through IRCTC will be withdrawn.Transport sector allocated Rs 2.41 lakh crore and Bharat Net Project allocated Rs 10,000 cr.The Foreign Investment Promotion Board has been abolished.Action plan to eliminate Kala Azar and Filariasis by 2017, Leprosy by 2018, Measles by 2020 and Tuberculosis by 2025.Mission Antyodaya to bring 1 crore households out of poverty and to make 50,000 Gram Panchayats poverty-free.During 2017-18, another 5 lakh ponds will be constructed, for drought-proofing.Railway related state-run companies like IRCON and IRCTC to be listed on stock exchanges.3.5 crore youth will be trained under Sankalp program launched by the government.Propose to double the lending target of Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana and set it up at Rs 2.44 lakh crore for 2017-18.Unmanned railway level crossings to be done away with by 2020.Government to commission 3,500 km of railway tracks in 2018.Propose to feed 7000 solar railway station in medium term.Government proposes 1 lakh cr corpus for Railway ministry’s safety fund over five years.Chandigarh and eight districts of Haryana have been declared kerosene free.Pace of construction of roads has increased to Rs 133 km/day in 2017.2,000 km of coastal roads have been identified for development.National Highway allocation now stands at Rs 64,000 cr.FM proposes Rs 2.41 lakh cr allocation.Rs 3.96 lakh cr have been allocated for infrastructure.Government to take up second phase of solar power development for additional 20,000 mw.Government to launch Adhaar Pay soon.Rs 10,000 cr allocated for recapitalisation of PSU banks.New rules for pricing medical devices to benefit common man.Government considering introduction of new law to confiscate assets of offenders who escape the country.Aadhar enabled payment system to be launched soon. Banks have targeted to introduce additional 10 lakh Point-of-Sale terminals by March 2017.Total expenditure of budget 2017-18 has been placed at Rs 21.47 lakh cr.Defence expenditure excluding pension at Rs 2.74 lakh cr.Total resources being transferred to the states andunion territories with legislature is Rs 4.11 lakh cr.Fiscal deficit target for 2017-18 is 3.2 percent. Proposes to create a payment regulatory board at RBI.Government to launch two new schemes to promote BHIM App.Government to take steps to promote digital payments at petrol pumps, hospitals.Government to set up new crude oil reserves.Web-based pension distribution system for defence will be established.We are largely a tax non compliant society, when too many people evade taxes burden falls on those who are honest.Out of 3.7 crore who filed tax returns in 2015-16, only 24 lakh persons showed income above Rs 10 lakh.Due to demonetisation advance tax on personal income tax has been increased by 34.8 percent. There is an urgent need to protect the poor from chit fund schemes, draft bill placed in public domain.The net tax revenue grew by 17 percent in 2015-16.Capital gains tax to be exempted, for persons holding land from which land was pooled for creation of state capital of Telangana.Holding period for land and building will be reduced to 2 years from 3 years.Income tax for small companies with an annual turnover of 50 crore, now to pay 25 percent, a 5 percent reduction.Not to remove Minimum Alternative Tax in 2017-18; Propose to allow a carry forward of MAT for a period of 15 years as against 10 years now.Proposes to reduce basic customs duty on LNG from 5 percent to 2.5 percent in 2017-18.To cut presumptive turnover threshold for companies with turnover up to Rs 2 cr to 6 percent.SIT has suggested no cash transaction above Rs 3 lakhs. Government has accepted this.Maximum cash donation any party can receive will be Rs 2000 from one source.Political parties will be entitled to receive donations by cheque or in the digital mode from their donors.Political parties will need to file income tax returns.Proposes transparency in political party funding.Proposes to amend RBI Act for issue of electoral bonds for political funding.Government abolishes Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), more easing of the FDI policy on the anvil.Propose to reduce existing rate of taxation of those with income between 2.5 lakh to 5 lakh from 10 percent to 5 percent.Surcharge of 10 percent for those whose annual income is Rs 50 lakh to 1 cr.Finance minister to exempt some foreign portfolio investment from indirect transfer provisions.Tax foregone from deduction in tax rate at Rs 15,500 cr.Net revenue loss in direct tax could be Rs 20,000 cr due to exemptions.FM concludes his speech. Lok Sabha adjourned. (Source: EY India, ANI, CII)
Many Indians have also tweeted to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj asking her to take action to put an end to these products. They are being sold on the Amazon US app.Many tweets have shown that along with Hindu religious images, Amazon has been selling shower curtains and mats of symbols from other religions like Islam, Christianity, Sikhism and Buddhism. Amazon USAmazon is in quite a bit of trouble after many Indians, especially Hindus, called them out for selling bath mats, toilet seat covers and shoes bearing the images of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. The Indian flag also featured on shoes and bath mats.A hashtag, #BoycottAmazon, started trending on Twitter with many users sharing videos and photos of them deleting the e-commerce app.
.UNHCR Goodwill ambassador Cate Blanchett Wednesday warned of a “race against time” to protect Rohingya refugees from the worst impacts of the upcoming monsoon season in Bangladesh.”Heavy rains, potential cyclones and adverse weather conditions are threatening to put more than one hundred thousand Rohingya refugees living in congested settlements in Cox’s Bazaar district at serious risk in the coming months,” she said in Geneva.Blanchett, on return from a visit to Bangladesh this week, called for urgent action to support UNHCR and its partners working with Bangladesh government to avoid an “emergency within an emergency”, an UNHCR press release issued in Geneva on Wednesday said.Since August 2017 over 671,000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar have sought safety in Bangladesh.”The Rohingya refugees have already experienced targeted violence, human rights abuses and horrific journeys…They have shown unimaginable resilience and courage,” Blanchett said.She added, “But now, as the monsoon season approaches, the government of Bangladesh, supported by UNHCR and its partners, are in a race against time to ensure the refugees are as safe as they can be to deal with potential floods and landslides.”Calling for the international community to show solidarity and share the responsibility of this crisis with Bangladesh government Blanchett said the people of Bangladesh and host communities have been the first to respond to this crisis.”But I cannot stress how much more help is needed for these vulnerable stateless refugees, the majority of whom are women and children,” she said describing it as the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world.Blanchett said the Rohingys are a stateless minority and the people and government of Bangladesh have shown tremendous generosity and hospitality in the face of this influx.Kevin J Allen, Head of UNHCR’s emergency operation in Cox’s Bazaar said, “Bangladesh saved thousands of lives when it opened its borders and arms to Rohingya refugees.””It is now critical that we stand firmly by Bangladesh and the refugees we serve to protect them from cyclonic winds and heavy rains,” Kevin said.UNHCR is working to build dignified and decent lives for the stateless Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, including access to healthcare, education, shelter and self-reliance.The solutions to this refugee crisis lie in Myanmar, and UNHCR has therefore called on Myanmar to create conditions in Rakhine State that would permit the safe, dignified and sustainable repatriation of refugees who voluntarily choose to return to their homes.
A conductor leads an orchestra as delegates stand for the national anthem during the closing session of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Photo: ReutersChina’s ruling Communist Party reveals its new leadership line-up on Wednesday when President Xi Jinping introduces his Politburo Standing Committee, culminating a week-long party congress.A key measure of Xi’s rising influence leading the world’s second-largest economy will be how many of his allies are installed on the Standing Committee, the apex of power in China. It is currently made up of seven people, all men, and headed by Xi, who is also party and military chief.Five members are expected to retire due to an unwritten rule limiting new five-year terms to those under 68.One of the five, a close Xi ally, the anti-corruption chief Wang Qishan, 69, was left off the new Central Committee, which elects the Standing Committee, but he could get another job a few months down the line, sources have said.The new line-up will be announced around midday (0400 GMT) at the first plenum of the congress. The congress itself formally ended on Tuesday, with Xi having his political theory written into the party’s constitution, putting him in the same company as the founder of modern China, Mao Zedong.The world should not be worried about China’s growing confidence, the influential state-run tabloid the Global Times wrote in an editorial on Wednesday.“We are creating a strong nation that is friendly toward others and understands the importance of sharing the benefits reaped from development, a trait that has yet to emerge in human society,” it said.Who gets on the new Standing Committee remains a closely guarded secret until Xi leads them out before the media in a room inside central Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, where all top party events take place.Names in contention include vice-premier Wang Yang, Xi advisers Li Zhanshu and Wang Huning, Shanghai party chief Han Zheng, Guangdong province party boss Hu Chunhua and Zhao Leji, who runs the powerful organisation department that oversees personnel decisions such as promotions and demotions.Other contenders include Chen Miner, who heads the party in the southwestern city of Chongqing; Beijing party boss Cai Qi; and Jiangsu province party boss Li Qiang, all of whom are close to Xi. Chen and Cai have enjoyed meteoric rises up the party ranks.Premier Li Keqiang is the only other member of the current Standing Committee apart from Xi who will remain, unless he is unexpectedly left off, which seems unlikely.Previous party congresses have anointed successors for the roles of party head and premier, with Xi and Li both vaulting on to the Standing Committee in 2007 before they were then further promoted to their current roles in 2012.Speculation has swirled in Beijing this week that Xi may break with precedent and not appoint an obvious successor, who would have to be young enough to serve three consecutive terms in the Standing Committee.
A Thai forensics unit scours the aftermath of a motorcycle bombing which killed three civilians and wounded others at a market in the restive southern Thai province of Yala on 22 January, 2018. Photo: AFPA motorcycle bomb killed three civilians and wounded 22 others on Monday morning at a market in Thailand’s insurgency-hit south, officials said, the first such attack on a ‘soft target’ in the Muslim-majority region for months.A rebellion against Thai rule in the culturally distinct Thai “Deep South” bordering Malaysia has left nearly 7,000 dead — the majority civilians — since 2004.The death toll in 2017 from the insurgency was the lowest in 13 years of conflict as peace talks edged forwards and the Thai junta boosted its security lockdown on the region.But Monday’s bomb at a packed market in Yala town popular with Buddhists and Muslims suggests a return to attacks on civilian targets.Chunks of torn corrugated roofing and parts of destroyed motorbikes and stalls littered a narrow alleyway in the market, as police picked through a scene of devastation shortly after the bomb.”The suspects parked the motorcycle in front of a stall selling pork in downtown Yala… it detonated 10 minutes later killing three civilians and wounding 19 others,” the policeman told AFP, requesting anonymity.”It’s the first big attack in downtown Yala in two years and is quite serious because people died.”It was not immediately clear if the bomb deliberately targeted the pork stall — and potentially its Buddhist customers.The wounded were taken to the main hospital in Yala, which is the main town of the province with the same name.Pramote Prom-in, an army spokesman for the region, confirmed the death toll, adding 22 were wounded “mainly with minor injuries”.Thailand, which colonised the ethnically Malay south roughly a century ago, has for decades been confronted by ethnic fighters seeking more autonomy, but the conflict flared up into its bloodiest phase in 2004.Rights groups have accused both the insurgents and security forces of widespread human rights abuses.The shadowy militant cells, who operate from remote communities and the forested Malaysia border zone have in recent months stepped back from targeting civilians amid heavy criticism.Monday’s attack could mark a dangerous new turn in the tactics.”If it was the work of the insurgents, then it’s a sign of things to come — a stern message to the authorities that they will resort to hitting soft targets,” Don Pathan, a Thailand-based independent analyst, told AFP.Pathan speculated the market blast could be “retaliation” for a specific incident in a conflict defined by tit-for-tat operations by insurgents and security forces.”But over recent years the insurgents haven’t targeted civilians out right… this is a big concern.”